UNTV Cup Season 7: Charity organizations receive over P10-M cash prizes

UNTV News   •   March 13, 2019   •   9469

UNTV Cup Season 7 2nd Placer Senate Defenders pose for a photo together with their beneficiaries and UNTV Cup Founder Kuya Daniel Razon. (Charlie Miñon / Photoville International)

Aside from fostering camaraderie between players from different government agencies, participating teams of UNTV Cup are given the
opportunity to help people in need — that alone already makes every team a winner.

In line with the public service advocacy of UNTV Cup innovator, Daniel Razon, the charitable event allows each team to choose a charity institution that will receive corresponding cash prizes.

With the recently concluded UNTV Cup Season 7, chosen beneficiaries of respective teams once again received total cash prizes of ten million pesos tax free.

One of these charities is the Senate Defenders’ beneficiary, Pangarap Foundation Incorporated.

Pangarap Foundation provides shelter and care to street children and abused minors.

“Every year, we allocate the fund. So, yung mga previous na binibigay sa amin, dinadagdag namin sa pagkain because that is the most expensive item that we usually [provide], kasi hindi naman pwede magutom ‘yung mga bata. Pero last year, kasi marami, more than one million, ginamit namin sa pagpapa-aral sa mga anak. So, we have 43 na pinag-aaral at lahat sila ay nasa school,” Executive Director Leah Lanzuela of Pangarap Foundation, Inc. said.

(Every year, we allocate fund. So, the previous cash prizes we received, we used it to augment fund for food because that is the most expensive item. But last year, we had a lot — more than one million— which we used on the children’s education. We are currently sending 43 children to school.

The AFP Cavaliers dedicated their victory to the orphans of more than four thousand soldiers who were wounded or killed in action while on service.

It is the team’s third championship, and the cash prizes they have won from previous seasons of UNTV Cup have helped their chosen charity — the Armed Forces of the Philippines Educational Benefit System Office (AFP-EBSO) — in rebuilding the lives of the fallen soldiers’ families.

This season, the AFP Cavaliers once again bagged the grand prize for UNTV Cup Season 7, which means, their beneficiary will receive anew the coveted cash prize of four million pesos.

“Maliban sa pagpapa-aral, mayroon kaming mga allowances na binibigay ‘yung per semester and libreng miscellaneous, ‘yung mga libro, mga pangangailangang pang-araw-araw ng mga beneficiary natin,” AFP-EBSO Chief NCO MSG Manuel de Leon said.

(Aside from education, we have allowances provided per semester and free miscellaneous like books and daily needs of our beneficiaries.)

Senators Sonny Angara and Joel Villanueva lauded the advocacy of UNTV Cup.

“Napakaganda, talagang modern fairy tales itong ginagawa ninyo para sa ating mga kababayan. At kami naman, very privileged kami na maging parte nito at nagiging instrument kami through the game we love,” Sen. Sonny Angara said.

Sen. Joel Villanueva echoed the same sentiments, saying, “Itong ginagawa nila Kuya Daniel, ng UNTV leadership, talagang kakaiba ito eh. It’s such a great honor na to be part of really something big, something that has never been done before in the history of this country.”

Meanwhile, public service advocate, Daniel Razon, is thankful for the continued opportunity to help and do good for other people regardless of what others might say or think.

“We will always be happy doing it at nagpapasalamat tayo palagi sa Panginoon sa patuloy na pagbibigay sa atin ng pagkakataon na maipagpatuloy ito at dalangin natin na sana habang mayroon pa tayong pagkakataon ay makapagpatuloy tayo na magawa ‘yung ating natutunan na makagawa ng mabuti sa lahat ng mga tao at ‘yung ating paniniwala na ang paggawa ng mabuti ay hindi magbubunga ng masama,” the UNTV Cup innovator said.

In the next season of UNTV Cup, more teams from other government agencies are expected to participate which will extend help to more of our fellow Filipinos in need. — Asher Cadapan

PH gov’t urged to impose temporary ban on visitors from China to stop nCoV spread

Robie de Guzman   •   January 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Several lawmakers on Thursday called on the government to impose a temporary ban on the entry of visitors from China to avert the spread of the novel coronavirus (2019 n-CoV) in the country.

“I think it is time to put a temporary ‘Do not enter sign’ on our doorstep for visitors from China,” Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said in a statement.

Recto believes that visitors from China will understand the country’s action to temporarily close its doors as it is consistent with the Chinese government’s efforts to stave off the spread of the deadly virus.

“Let us explain to them that we are not permanently closing our doors. This is not a permanent Great Wall. This is only during the duration of the coronavirus crisis,” Recto said.

“We will only be borrowing a page from their manual. If Hong Kong has drastically reduced high-speed train and ferry services from China, then why can’t we do the same?” he added, referring to the territory’s decision to slash cross-border travel with mainland China.

He also said that even China has quarantined 40 million of its people, confining them in their homes and restricting their travel.

“If many of their people are not allowed to travel from Point A to B in China, then why are we allowing travel from most points in China to all points in the Philippines?” Recto said.

“There is no hint of racism or xenophobia in this policy. This is an assertion of the national wellbeing. And an acceptance of the fact that our defenses and capacity to respond to a health emergency is not that strong,” he added.

“When China sneezes, we get pneumonia. If that is the case, then an ounce of border control is worth a ton of cure.”

In a separate statement, Senator Risa Hontiveros said that all travelers from China and all those who passed through China in the past two weeks should be temporarily banned for at least 30 days.

“Our travel ban must firmly include both air and sea travel to prevent a local outbreak. This includes a temporary ban on all cruise ships from docking at any of our ports,” she said.

“I also urge the Bureau of Quarantine to implement mandatory quarantine to all those who have just arrived from China, to remain vigilant and to study the safety measures of our neighboring countries with confirmed cases of nCoV,” she added.

Hontiveros said her proposed temporary travel ban will give local health authorities more time to set in place all necessary safeguards.

“I also call on our public health units, especially our barangay health centers, to engage in active community surveillance,” she added.

Senator Joel Villanueva also appealed to the government to prioritize the safety and security of Filipinos and impose travel restrictions to and from China.

He also called on overseas Filipino workers (OFW) who are about to be deployed to China to postpone their trips indefinitely “to minimize the risk of being infected with the virus.

“For OFWs stranded in the quarantine areas, please follow the health protocol being observed in the area. Help our diplomatic staff there by notifying your status so that every Filipino is accounted for,” he said.

Villanueva also appealed to the public to follow safety precautions, and refrain from spreading fake news on social media to avoid inciting fear and panic.

“Finally, we ask our health department to intensify its information dissemination campaign, and ensure that our health facilities are properly equipped to handle the spread of this virus,” he added.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Thursday confirmed the country’s first case of 2019 novel coronavirus – a 38-year old female from China who arrived in the country on January 21.

As of Thursday, Chinese health authorities said the deaths due to novel coronavirus has climbed to 170 with confirmed cases of 7,736. Suspected cases, meanwhile, reached 12,167.

Outside of mainland China, more than 90 confirmed cases have been reported, 71 from other countries with three nations confirming person-to-person transmission.

Employers urged to prioritize workers’ safety, adopt telecommuting as PH confirms first nCoV case

Robie de Guzman   •   January 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A lawmaker on Thursday urged employers to prioritize their workers’ health and safety as the country confirms its first case of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

In a statement, Senator Joel Villanueva called on employers to consider the occupational health and safety of their entire organization and to not hesitate to send home workers who manifest symptoms of novel coronavirus.

Common symptoms of 2019-nCoV include cough, colds, fever and shortness of breath.

Coronavirus, which is a large group of viruses common among animals, causes respiratory infections ranging from common cold and pneumonia to more serious diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

He also urged the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to issue a labor advisory reminding private companies of their obligations to comply with the country’s labor laws, particularly the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act.  

“While the public’s awareness of the prevailing health scare concerning the novel coronavirus (nCoV) remains high, our labor officials should seize the moment to reiterate that the health and safety of our workers must be of paramount concern to employers. Our OSHS law states this principal clearly and unequivocally,” he said.

“The labor advisory will also serve as a warning for companies who think that they can tip toe around prevailing regulations without any consequence,” he added.

Villanueva, who chairs the Senate committee on labor, employment, and human resources development, also proposes for the private sector to adopt telecommuting as a work arrangement for employees whose tasks can be done remotely to minimize work disruptions.

Under Republic Act No. 11165, or the Telecommuting law, which Villanueva principally authored and sponsored, institutionalizes telecommuting as a work arrangement and harmonizes its principles with the Labor Code.

The senator also prodded DOLE to “take cue from their counterparts in the Department of Health, which have been aggressive in informing the public of the proper precautions to avoid nCoV and the suspected and confirmed incidences in the country.”

“We hope to see this similar resolve from our friends in the labor department for the benefit of our workers,” he said. “The most important action we can do is preventing the spread of illnesses as simple as the flu.”

“Right now, the practical approach to preventing an outbreak is a sustained information drive on the issue for workers and employers,” he added.

Senator wants gov’t to appoint disaster czar amid Taal eruption relief works

Robie de Guzman   •   January 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A lawmaker is urging the government to appoint a disaster czar who will oversee the relief efforts in the province of Batangas for residents displaced by the eruption of Taal Volcano.

Senator Joel Villanueva made the suggestion following reports that relief goods such as food and hygiene packs, among others, were unevenly distributed in various evacuation centers.

“Some evacuation centers have more than other places. If people are expected to stay longer in these evacuation centers, we must be able to manage our available resources well so we can cover the basic needs of our evacuees,” Villanueva said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

“For instance, we’ve observed that there’s a lack of portalets to maintain the sanitation around evacuation centers. We need a manager to assess the needs and look after the delivery of relief across affected areas,” he added.

Villanueva, who chairs the Senate labor committee, also suggested to device ways of spurring economic activity in areas affected by the Taal unrest.

He said that one way to jumpstart the local economy is to generate short-term employment to evacuees at shelters.

“If you’re sending relief to certain evacuation centers, why not hire someone there to take charge in the cooking of food for the people there? Or maintain the place for that matter?” Villanueva said.

“We should strive to help our people displaced by the eruption of Taal get back on their feet through employment and livelihood,” he added.

Villanueva also called on the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to fast-track its emergency employment programs to support evacuees while waiting out for the crisis to end.

The lawmaker noted that under the 2020 national budget, the labor department’s programs for emergency employment received a total allocation of P6.8 billion.

He also urged the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to provide assistance in the form of scholarships for evacuees who have lost everything when they were displaced.

The bulk of Tesda’s P12.975-billion budget for 2020 funds the various scholarship programs it offers, the senator explained.

Villanueva also said that the disaster czar could also fill in the requirement in the meantime as Congress deliberates on proposals to create a department specifically handling the government’s disaster relief efforts and resilience programs.

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