Ormoc City declared under state of calamity after Leyte earthquake

UNTV News   •   July 11, 2017   •   5063

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_071117_ORMOC

LEYTE, Philippines — The local government of Ormoc City may now use its emergency fund for its earthquake-affected residents following the declaration of a state of calamity in the area on Tuesday.

Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez said 20 percent of the city’s calamity fund will be used for the purchase of food, water and materials for the construction of shelters of residents whose houses have been badly damaged by the earthquake.

The declaration of a state of calamity will also allow the imposition of price freeze to prevent businessmen from raising the prices of their basic commodities.

Meanwhile, the Department of Education (DepEd) is in need of 70 million pesos for the rehabilitation of damaged classrooms in Ormoc City.

DepEd says there are 14 totally damaged classrooms, 59 with major damages, while 47 others with minor damages.

Public school teachers are now holding office outside of campus buildings as these already have cracks, and also due to aftershocks.

The Dolores National High School sustained the most damage as ten of its classrooms are totally damaged. It is currently cordoned off.

Teachers of Bagong Elementary School have no idea yet when to resume classes as six of its classrooms can no longer be used, while others have big cracks.

“President Duterte, if this news reaches you, I hope you could give us temporary solution to this problem. I hope you could help us hold makeshift classes so that students won’t be left behind in the lectures,” Bagong Elementary School teacher Lilibeth G. Codong said.

DepEd will set temporary learning spaces especially in schools with totally damaged classrooms so that classes will continue.

Meanwhile, DepEd vowed to immediately conduct stress debriefing to the students who panicked and are traumatized by the strong 5.4 in magnitude aftershock.

“Actually, our nurses together with the NGO’s non-government organization particularly save the children we have the SRA-E we have the LGU also and of course DOH and the DepEd nurses we already instructed them to conduct the stress de briefing particularly in the most affected areas in district 4,” education program specialist Dr. Elvin H. Wenceslao Sr. said.   — Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue

 

Classes still suspended in 3 Mindanao areas after strong quake — DepEd

Robie de Guzman   •   October 18, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Classes for some 1.9 million students in three regions in Mindanao remain suspended after a strong earthquake jolted parts of the island on Wednesday, Oct. 16, the Department of Education (DepEd) said Friday.

In a statement, DepEd said the magnitude 6.3 temblor affected around 3,873 schools with 1,989,260 learners from 17 divisions in Davao, Soccsksargen and Bangsamoro regions.

The tremor also damaged a total of 40 schools, based on DepEd’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Service released on Friday.

The department said a date for the resumption of classes in the said areas has yet to be announced.

DepEd assured it will “facilitate the delivery of immediate assistance to ensure learning continuity.”

As of Thursday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) recorded more than 400 aftershocks ranging from 1.5 to 5.5 magnitude and intensity of I to VII since the strong quake.

The quake left five people dead and 89 others injured, according to an update posted by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

DOH halts implementation of e-cigarette, vaping regulations

Marje Pelayo   •   October 18, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) has put on hold the implementation of its regulation on the use of e-cigarettes and vapes across the country.

According to the DOH, the decision was prompted by an injunction order issued by the Pasig City Regional Trial Court following a petition filed by e-cigarette companies.

The Department said e-cigarette firms are opposing the implementation of the regulation citing negative impacts on their income.

“Ayaw nilang mag-rehistro (They do not want to register),” said DOH spokesman Undersecretary Eric Domingo.

“Ayaw nilang ma-limit natin iyong nicotine content noong mga produkto, iyong volume na ibenta (They do not want to limit the products’ nicotine content and the volume),” he added.

Based on the administrative order issued by the DOH in June, all distributors, manufacturers, and sellers of e-cigarettes and vapes need to register to ensure that their use is properly regulated.

“Gusto natin may health warning. Gusto natin strictly kailangan ng ID (We want to include health warnings in the packaging. We strictly want an identification),” Domingo said.

“Hindi siya pwedeng ibenta sa mga menor de edad (They shouldn’t be sold to minors) and I think these are the things that the industry is trying to stop us from enforcing,” he added.

Based on DOH’s records, a total of 152 e-cigarette and vape manufacturers and retailers have already registered.

But the DOH is determined to stand by its regulation especially since the World Health Organization (WHO) has proven vapes’ harmful effects on human health.

“We are really very upset about this development but we will have to fight in the court for why we issued that administrative order,” Domingo noted.

Meanwhile, health experts are encouraging e-cigarettes and vape users to have themselves check as they might have developed illnesses associated with vaping.

Based on records of the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Food Drug Administration, 26 individuals have already died from a total of 1,300 cases of vaping-related illnesses.

“[That’s confirmed.] Therefore since [there are proofs] we have to do something about it,” Dr. Maria Encarnita Limpin, Secretary of the Philippine College of Physicians, concluded. MNP (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

DOH advises travelers to receive polio vaccine before leaving, entering PHL

Robie de Guzman   •   October 11, 2019

A Filipino health worker displays polio vaccines inside a government-run health center in Manila, Philippines, 08 October 2019 (issued 11 October 2019). EPA-EFE/FRANCIS R. MALASIG

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) is urging all travelers to get immunized against polio before leaving and entering the Philippines, following a declaration of an outbreak of polio in the country.

In an advisory, the DOH encouraged foreign nationals and returning Filipinos of all ages, who are intending to stay in the Philippines for four weeks and more to receive a single dose of inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) not later than four weeks before their scheduled travel to the Philippines.

This is if the traveler has not received polio vaccination in the last 12 months.

Those embarking on an urgent travel within four weeks are urged to get a single dose of IPV at least by the time of departure as this will still “provide benefits, particularly for frequent travelers.”

The DOH also advised travelers leaving the Philippines to check the immunization requirements of the country they are going to, and if required, receive a dose of IPV before departure.

They are also encouraged to get their International Certificate of Vaccination from the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) to serve as proof of their vaccination.

The advisory came weeks after the Philippines declared a type 2 polio outbreak following confirmed cases of vaccine-derived poliovirus.

The first case was a three-year old girl from Lanao del Sur while the second case was a five-year old boy from Laguna. The DOH also said the presence of poliovirus was also detected in collected sewage water samples from Manila and Davao.

The disease re-emerged 19 years after the country was declared polio-free.

Polio is a highly infectious viral disease which spreads rapidly. It can cause paralysis and, on rare occasions, can be fatal.

The DOH said there is no cure for polio and it can only be prevented with multiple doses of polio vaccines that have long been proven safe and effective.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), polio mainly affects children under five years of age, and vaccination is their only and best protection against the highly infectious disease.

But if immunization activities are poorly conducted and too few children have received the required three doses of polio vaccine, the agency said this can leave them “susceptible to poliovirus, either from vaccine-derived or wild polioviruses.”

Although the risk of international spread of polio is low, the WHO said that the of transmission and recirculation of the Polio virus within the Philippines is high due to low population immunity.

The World Health Organization stated that the risk of international spread of Polio is low, however, the risk of transmission and recirculation of the Polio virus within the Philippines is high due to low population immunity.

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