Some safety tips in welcoming the new year

Marje Pelayo   •   December 25, 2018   •   1940

Firecrackers.

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) has again reminded the public to take extra caution in joining merry-making activities this holiday season.

Do not pick up failed firecrackers as they could still explode and damage your hands. These firecrackers, in particular, are the strong ones like super lolo, goodbye Philippines, atomic triangle and piccolo.

Since fire is common during year-end festivities, make sure that all electric appliance are unplugged before going outdoor or leaving the house.

Double check if the LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) tank is properly sealed and the hose is intact to prevent gas leakage and eventual fire.

The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), meanwhile, also reminded pet lovers and owners to keep their pets safe during festivities.

Dogs, for instance, are sensitive to noise and strong sound of firecrackers may stress them.

“Kadalasan dito ay nagkakaroon ng panic ang aso or yung pusa or kahit anong alaga natin na maari silang mawala or kung nakatali naman sila ay pwede silang masakal.” Explained Sharon Yap, the Education Offices of PAW.

“We advise kung pwede ipasok sa bahay and then kung may room kayo or extra na banyo. pwede ninyo sila doon ilagay and kung pwedeng mag-play ng soothing music para ma-drown out yung noise na ginagawa ng mga firecrackers natin,” she added. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

MMDA mulls over ‘no weekday sales’ in malls this holiday season

Marje Pelayo   •   October 3, 2019

Vendors rest at a market in Manila, Philippines, 22 December 2018. EPA-EFE/MARK R. CRISTINOV

MANILA, Philippines – The holiday season is fast approaching so expect heavier traffic situations on major thoroughfares in Metro Manila particularly in EDSA.

In anticipation of the heavy traffic flows, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is contemplating on banning weekday sales in malls.

According to MMDA Assistant General Manager for Planning Ret. Gen. Jose Ocampo, they are keen on imposing “weekend only” schedule for mall-wide sales to minimize the volume of vehicles and shopper-commuters especially during rush hours.

“It (mall sales) will add to the congestion on weekdays,” Ocampo said.

“But on weekends, of course, wala tayong pasok sa opisina and other place of work, pwede sila sa mall (But on weekends, of course, since there is no work in offices and in other place of work, they may go to the mall,)” he added.

Ocampo said there are a total of 34 malls across Metro Manila, 17 of which are located along EDSA.

The MMDA also plans to reimpose the holiday scheme they applied in 2018 which set the start of mall hours at 11:00 a.m.

Stakeholders as well as mall operators are set to meet with the MMDA to discuss and finalize the holiday traffic scheme for this year.

Once approved, the said traffic plan will be in effect starting this November until January 2020. – MNP (with details from Vincent Arboleda)

Eco-group pushes for consumer protection vs unsafe goods

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 3, 2019

Eco-group EcoWaste Coalition is pushing for consumer protection against unsafe goods in preparation for the holiday ‘shopping spree’.

This is in celebration of Consumer Welfare Month (CWM) this October. According to EcoWaste, the government should have more responsibility in guaranteeing that consumers are protected against abuses and imbalances in the marketplace.

“While protecting the consumer interest is indeed a shared responsibility, we believe that the government and the industry have the greater obligation of upholding the legally guaranteed rights of the Filipino consumer considering the powers and resources these two other pillars of consumer protection have,” according to Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has announced the theme of this year’s CWM which is ‘Consumer Protection: A Shared Responsibility.’

The DTI prepared several activities throughout the month in celebration of the CWM. These include a Konsyumer Caravan in several barangays in cities of Parañaque, Navotas, Manila, and Quezon on October 4, 11, 18, and 25.

The Konsyumer Caravan aims to educate consumers against buying hazardous products as well as their rights and responsibilities under the Fair Trade Laws.—AAC

DOH agrees with FDA decision to ban Dengvaxia in Phl

Maris Federez   •   August 22, 2019

A Filipino nurse prepares to administer an anti-dengue vaccine during a nationwide vaccination at a school in the flood-prone city of Marikina, east of Manila, Philippines, 04 April 2016. (Photoville International / FILE)

The Department of Health (DOH) has rejected the request of Sanofi Pasteur to overturn the decision of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban the use of Dengvaxia vaccine in the Philippines.

With this, the DOH approved the ruling of the FDA to permanently revoke the certificate of product registration of Dengvaxia for Sanofi’s failure to submit the necessary post-approval requirements.

“The decision concerns Sanofi’s complete disregard of FDA regulations, which were precisely put in place by law to ensure safety,” DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a statement.

Although Sanofi was able to submit the first two versions of its risk management plans (RMP), the pharmaceutical company failed to submit the third and final version of the plan.

The DOH said, however, that Sanofi may apply for a new certificate of product registration (CPR) for Dengvaxia but this must be in accordance with the FDA regulations.

“Given that Dengvaxia is an innovative drug, the importance of complying with these post-marketing commitments is critical to public safety,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, the department has assured that it continues to address the increasing cases of dengue in the country. /mbmf

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