WHO: PH ranks third in highest number of measles cases

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 27, 2019   •   1668

The World Health Organization (WHO) has ranked the Philippines third among top ten countries with the highest number of measles cases in the world.

The Philippines recorded a total of 45,847 measles cases over a 12-month period up to June 2019. Madagascar ranked first, with over 150,000 cases and Ukraine followed with over 84,000 cases.

According to the Department of Health (DOH), the surge of measles cases in the country is due to vaccine hesitancy, which is defined by WHO as a “delay in acceptance or refusal of vaccines despite availability of vaccination services.”

“This refers to mothers who became hesitant to have their children vaccinated with vaccines that were long proven to be effective,” the DOH said.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III had previously appealed to the “public to rebuild [your] trust and confidence in vaccines that were long proven to be effective.”—AAC

Robredo: Majority of illegal drugs in PH came from China

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 15, 2019

Vice President Leni Robredo

Vice President Leni Robredo who is also the co-chairman of the government’s anti-illegal drug program, said that the majority of the illegal drugs in the country came from China.

After the Inter-agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) Enforcement Cluster Meeting on Thursday (November 14), Robredo said this is based on the reports they currently have.

“Kasi iyong pinaka-report talaga sa atin ngayon, karamihan sa supply na pumapasok dito, galing China. Pati iyon mga nahuhuli sa ma nago-operate within the Philippines, karamihan Chinese nationals or Filipino-Chinese national (Because based on the reports we have, most of the supply entering the country came from China. Even those who are arrested for operating in the Philippines, most of them are Chinese nationals or Filipino-Chinese nationals),” she said.

The vice president also said she wants to collect more data and review the information they have gathered regarding the supply of illegal drugs entering the country.

However, according to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Chief Aaron Aquino the drugs entering the country came from the Golden Triangle Drug Syndicate.

The Golden Triangle, Aquino said, is an area on the border of Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos.

Aquino added that due to the crackdown of illegal drugs in China, drug syndicates in the said country opted to get their supply from other places instead of manufacturing it.

Meanwhile, Robredo also plans to coordinate with other countries including the United States regarding the drug war in order to strengthen the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.—AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)

Quilty the cat earns rebel status for repeatedly freeing cat comrades

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 14, 2019

Who let the dogs cats out?

Quilty the cat became internet famous after repeatedly freeing his cat comrades at a shelter in Houston, Texas, United States.

Reports say the staff at the Friends for Life Animal Shelter had to collect around 15 cats every morning and put them back inside the cat room.

It was a spooky mystery at first, they did not know who or what kept opening the door in the cat room.

Later, through the security footage, they found out that it was Quilty who was guilty of freeing the other cats.

“Quilty will not be contained and he has no shame. Quilty loves to let cats out of the senior room. Repeatedly. Several times a day,” according to the post of the Friends for Life Animal Shelter.

Apparently, this is not the first time that Quilty the guilty kitty freed an animal comrade.

“This is not a new skill he learned here at the shelter, he used to let his dog sibling in the house at his old home,” the animal shelter said.

Quilty had to be put into a ‘solitary confinement’ for his rebellious act and had to ‘Quilty-proof’ the cat room. This gained a lot of attention from netizens around the world.

The internet fell in love with this rebel and some already made plans to adopt him. Quilty is currently in a sleepover which is a trial period with a potential owner.—AAC

PH as world’s biggest rice importer concerns Malacañang

Marje Pelayo   •   November 12, 2019

Filipino port workers unload sacks of rice, which are imported from Vietnam to be distributed by the National Food Authority (NFA), inside a ship docked at Surigao port, Mindanao, southern Philippines. EPA-EFE/ALLANAH TORRALBA (FILE)

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang does not deny being concerned about recent reports that the Philippines is currently the world’s top rice importer.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, such report may be true but the government is making sure that the Department of Agriculture (DA) is on top of the situation.

“Ginagawa naman ni Secretary Dar ang kaniyang mga pamamaraan (Secretary Dar is finding ways) to solve whatever problems confronting the farmers,” Panelo said.

The report published by the United States’ Department of Agriculture-Foreign Agricultural Services (USDA-FAS) projected the Philippines rice importation to reach a record high by year-end – about 3 million metric tons – the highest in the world and the country’s highest ever recorded.

This projection is way higher than China, the biggest rice importer so far at 2.5 million metric tons by year-end.

Malacañang, meanwhile, blames the country’s lack of irrigation as the main reason for the increase in rice importation. – MNP (with inputs from Rosalie Coz)

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