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“Palitan natin ng serbisyo publiko ang kapangyarihan na ipinagkatiwala sa atin” – Gob. Fernando

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Nanumpa sa katungkulan si Gobernador Daniel R. Fernando bilang Punong Lalawigan muli ng Bulacan kay Executive Judge Olivia Escubio Samar nitong Lunes, Hunyo 27 sa Bulacan Capitol Gymnasium, Lunsod ng Malolos. Sinaksihan ng pamilya ng gobernador ang kanyang panunumpa kasama si Michael Angelo, Special Assistant to the Governor na may tangan ng kopya ng Panunumpa sa Tungkulin.- Larawang Kuha Ni Harold T. Raymundo

LUNSOD NG MALOLOS, Bulacan – “Wala tayong kapangyarihan sa ating mga sarili, maliban sa tiwala na ipinagkaloob sa atin ng ating mga kababayan. Palitan natin ng serbisyo publiko ang kapangyarihan na ipinagkatiwala sa atin.”

Ito ang mensahe ni Gobernador Daniel R. Fernando sa kanyang sarili at sa kanyang mga kapwa lingkod bayan sa panunumpa niya para sa ikalawang termino bilang ika-35 Gobernador ng Lalawigan ng Bulacan sa ginanap na “Pasinaya at Pagtatalaga sa Tungkulin ng Lahat ng Bagong Halal na Opisyal sa Lalawigan ng Bulacan”  nitong Lunes sa Bulacan Capitol Gymnasium sa lunsod na ito.

Sinabi ni Fernando na hindi niya pinangarap o pinlano na maging dakilang anak ng lalawigan ngunit tinatanggap niya ito ng buong pagpapakumbaba.

“Sadyang mahiwaga ang kalooban ng Dakilang Lumikha. Tayo ay patuloy na namamangha sa gawa ng kanyang mga kamay. Paano nga bang ang isang ordinaryong tao na artista lamang kung turingan ay nabigyan ng karangalang manungkulan bilang ika-35 Gobernador sa mahigit na 400 taong kasaysayan ng dakilang Lalawigan ng Bulacan,” aniya.

Binalikan rin niya ang mga pangyayari sa nakalipas na tatlong taon at inalala ang mga pagsubok na kinailangan niyang malagpasan ilang buwan matapos niyang simulan ang kanyang unang termino.

“Ang nagdaang tatlong taon ay puno ng pagsubok at pighati. Hindi lamang para sa inyong lingkod kundi sa buong daigdig. Hindi madaling magsimula ang isang lider lalo na sa gitna ng pandemya, ang pinakamatinding krisis ng ating panahon,” anang gobernador.

Para sa hinaharap, sinabi niya na akma ang kanyang mga balakin para sa kinabukasan sa mga plano ni halal na Pangulo Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. lalo na ang patungkol sa agrikultura, imprastraktura, at hanapbuhay.

Sa huli, nanawagan si Gob. Fernando sa kanyang mga kapwa opisyal ng gobyerno na magkaisa para sa lalong ikauunlad ng lalawigan at ng bansa.

“Mga kapwa lingkod bayan, gamitin natin ng mahusay ang pagkakataong ito. Ituon nawa natin ang lahat ng pagsisikap upang maitawid ang sambayanang minamahal mula sa kawalan patungo sa daloy ng oportunidad sa kabuhayan,” anang gobernador na nasa kanyang ikalawang termino.

Sa kabilang banda, pinuri ni dating Gobernador Roberto Pagdanganan ang mabilis na pagresponde ni Fernando laban sa pandemyang COVID-19.

“Tunay na inilapit ni Governor Daniel ang pamahalaan sa ating mga kababayan. Iyan ang maririnig mo kahit saan ka magpunta. Madaling lapitan at tunay na inilapit ang pamahalaan sa bayan. ‘Yan si Governor Daniel,” anang dating gobernador.

Samantala, kabilang sa iba pang lingkod bayan na nanumpa kahapon sina Bise Gobernador Alex Castro, mga Bokal, mga Kinatawan, mga Punong Bayan at Lunsod, mga Pangalawang Punong Bayan at Lunsod, at mga Konsehal.

Iskolar ng PSHS, nakatanggap ng international registration sa kanyang imbensyon

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Ipinapakita at ipinapaliwanag ni Vaugh Matthew Valle (kanan), iskolar ng Philippine Science High School o PSHS-Central Visayas Campus sa Argao, Cebu ang paggamit ng kanyang imbensyon na tinawag niyang VISION, na tutulong sa mga may kapansanan sa paningin sa kanilang pang-araw araw na gawain. Kasama ni Valle sa pagkakalikha nang nasabing imbensyon na nakarehistro na sa World Intellectual Property Organization, ang kanyang gurong si Dr. Benito A. Baje (wala sa larawan). - Larawang kuha ni Harold T. Raymundo

LUNSOD NG QUEZON – Naiparehistro na sa World Intellectual Property Organization ang imbensyon ni Vaugh Matthew Valle, iskolar ng Philippine Science High School o PSHS-Central Visayas Campus sa Argao, Cebu.

Tinawag ni Valle ang kanyang imbensyon na VISION, kung saan naging katuwang niya sa pagkakalikha nito ang kanyang gurong si Dr. Benito A. Baje.

Makatutulong sa mga may kapansanam sa paningin ang VISION sa pamamagitan nang pagsusuot nito at pagbibigay sa kanila ng mga visual signal mula sa paligid nila na pinroseso ng maliit na bahagi ng naturang aparato o device.

Parang ordinaryong sunglasses lang ang aparato na makatutulong sa mga gagamit nito sa pang-araw araw nilang gawain.

May real-time feature ang VISION na pinapaganang maramdaman ang parating na tao at bagay para ma alerto ang gumagamit nito.

Mai-scan nito ang buong paligid para maipakita sa magsusuot nito ang lokasyon ng mga bagay sa kanyang kapaligiran.

May text-to-speech function din ang nasabing device na magtatranslate ng teksto sa berbal na salita na magagamit ng user kapag nakaencounter ng nakasulat na alituntunin at direksyon.

Hinikayat naman ni Executive Director Lilia T. Habacon ng PSHS System ang kanilang mga iskolar na protektahan ang kanilang mga imbensyon.

“It’s another feat for PSHS scholars. We encourage our scholars to obtain Intellectual Property Rights to protect the integrity of their works. We hope that this recognition inspire more Filipinos to research, innovate and protect their work,” ani Habacon.

Ilan pang mga imbensyon at inobasyon na Tatak Pisay, Orihinal ang Likha mula sa iskolar na kinatawan ng Central Visayas Campus at Main Campus ang buong pagmamalaking ipinaliwanag at ipinrisinta rin sa harap ng mga opisyal ng eskuwelahan at ilang mamamahayag sa pamamagitan ng video presentation  nitong Biyernes, Hunyo 17 sa PSHSC Conference Room, Diliman, Lunsod ng Quezon. –  Ni Harold T. Raymundo

RAINBOW CITY ATTRACTION BRINGS INDOOR THRILL AT SM CITY BALIWAG

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Family and friends will have fun creating memories at SM City Baliwag’s Rainbow City attraction. – PR

There is always something to look forward to when it comes to exploring SM City Baliwag. Aside from boasting a diverse mix of global and local retail shops, food options, and specialty stores, the mall stays true to its commitment to making shopping a lot more exciting as it introduces its newest attraction, the Rainbow City, captivating the hearts of mallgoers, young and old.

Bringing a blast of colors to the 47×35 feet area in the Mall Atrium, the Rainbow City at SM City Baliwag celebrates the vibrant colors of the rainbow and offers shoppers a chance to capture memorable moments while enjoying the fun-filled elements surrounding the area. Each 3 x 4-meter rainbow installation mesmerizes shoppers with its bright hues and whimsical design, while the exhibition of lights and colors served as a visual feast for the onlookers.

Kids are in pure delight as they experience the Rainbow City’s exhibition of lights and colors at SM City Baliwag. — PR

“We consistently find ways to provide experiential shopping for our dear customers,” said Rodora Tolentino, Mall Manager at SM City Baliwag. “As such, we are happy to introduce exciting attractions, like the Rainbow City, to make their visit a lot more fun while creating lasting memories.”

More than just a photo opportunity, the Rainbow City at SM City Baliwag is part of the mall’s exciting innovations designed to bring mallgoers a delightful and immersive shopping experience. — PR

By December of this year, President Marcos will sign the Medical Cannabis Bill into law — Richard Nixon Gomez 

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Richard Nixon Gomez

By Perfecto T. Raymundo, Jr. 

QUEZON CITY — The Philippines has earned international recognition with three gold medals for Filipino Inventions. 

Filipino inventors and scientists Richard Nixon Gomez and his son Rigel Gomez won three gold awards for their entries in the E-Nnovate International Invention & Innovation on May 16-18, 2024 in Krakow, Poland. 

Their inventions were based on Technical Papers submitted and supported by actual inventions manufactured by Bauertek Farmaceutical Technologies, namely Black Garlic, Cancur, and PiCur. 

During the Press Conference on the International Recognition for Filipino Inventions in Max’s Restaurant in Quezon Memorial Circle on Thursday (May 23), DOST Secretary Dr. Renato U. Solidum, Jr. said that “noong malaman ko na nanalo ng prestigious awards sina Richard Nixon Gomez ay dapat magkaroon tayo ng press conference.”

“This has been supported by the national agencies and local government accelerating innovation and technology,” Solidum said. 

“In behalf of the DOST, we are proud of the international recognition as we have supported Bauertek in the past and continuing,” he added. 

Richard Nixon Gomez expressed his gratitude to the DOST and the national agencies for their support to Bauertek. 

“It has been a journey with the DOST,” Gomez said. 

He stressed that during the height of the Covid-19, Bauertek started hiring employees in order to provide income to those affected by restrictions of the pandemic. 

He also said that there is now an ongoing collaboration with the UP-PGH on pediatric oncologists in order to treat leukemia. 

Aside from the equipment provided by the DOST, there was a partnership with the academe, the DOST. 

The partnership with the DOST and the academe involved the hybrid turmeric in the Isabela State University in Ilagan, Isabela. 

Likewise, with the partnertship with the Nueva Ecija State University in Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija. 

The latest partnership with the DOST involved the assistance in the amount of PhP37 5-million project. 

Rigel Gomez cited the E-Nnovate International Invention & Innovation Summit held in Krakow, Poland. 

He said that they received their first special award for PiCur, which is the world’s powerful natural antioxidant. 

Because of technical glitch, Rigel Gomez said that they were surprised that it was announced that the grand prize was given to Cancur, which is PhytoCsnnabinoids to enhance ECS Receptors. 

Richard Nixon Gomez stressed that Cannabis is legal in Israel, Poland and in many countries in Asia and Europe. 

He said that 95 percent of the medicines prescripted in Israel is smoked. 

Gomez had been to several Cannabis facilities and plantations in countries in Southeast Asia, Europe, Middle East and North America and his commitment was that “What we have seen from those countries, we will surpass them.” 

“We don’t need to import Cannabis, because we have our own Cannabis which are of high concentrate compared with those from other countries,” Gomez said. 

“Our entry (Cancur) stood out because of consistent low dosage and efficacy,” Rigel Gomez said. 

“Cancur is legal in Poland and we all had the technical papers and supported by actual Inventions,” Richard Nixon Gomez said. 

Before the Bauertek came in, there was already a collaboration between the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) in Laoag, Ilocos Norte and the government of Japan involving Black garlic. 

” I think, we are 90 percent done with all the demolition in the 300-hectare in the CLSU (Central Luzon State University) and it would take another 3 years to complete it,” Richard Nixon Gomez said. 

He cited that Bauertek started as a small company and because of the financial help of DOST, Bauertek improved its research and development, laboratory and facility. 

Solidum stressed that Bauertek started as a small enterprise and grew to become a medium and big enterprise which was able to pay the financial assistance provided by the DOST within three years. 

He pointed out that “without a law, Filipino Inventions would benefit other countries first, and nobody can stop them to have their Inventions patented abroad.”

“By December of this year, the Medical Cannabis Bill will be signed into law by President Bongbong Marcos, Jr.,” Richard Nixon Gomez said. 

“Once legalized, the price of the Medical Cannabis in the Philippines will be 15 percent higher than the price of Cannabis abroad,” he added. 

Based on testimonial and scientific evidence, Cannabis can cure Alzheimers, Parkinson s Disease, cancer, epilepsy and many other ailments. 

Dr. Leah J. Buendia, said that “sa palagay ko po naging bahagi ang DOST sa pamamagitan ng ‘grant-in-aid program’.”

Bauertek Farmaceutical Technologies is the premier research, development, and manufacturing facility in the Philippines.

Undersecretary Sancho Mangobang lauded the partnership between the DOST and Bauertek. 

Mangobang hailed the international recognition for such a partnertship and for the Filipino in Inventions. – By Perfecto T. Raymundo, Jr.

PMCJ asks DENR, DOE, DOH, LNG firms to solve fossil gas’ health effects

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Concerned residents of Batangas, together with climate groups and civil society organizations hold a press conference at the Kenny Rogers Roasters in Matalino Street, Barangay Central, Quezon City on Thursday (May 23, 2024). The groups demands for a definite solution for the health crisis in their Barangay affected areas and call on concerned agencies to address the glaring health impacts of fossil gas (liquified natural gas/LNG) in Batangas. – Photo by Perfecto T. Raymundo, Jr.

By Perfecto T. Raymundo, Jr.

QUEZON CITY – The Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) on Thursday (May 23) urged the Departments of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Energy (DOE), Health (DOH), and the liquefied natural gas (LNG) companies to solve the effects of fossil gas in Batangas province.

The PMCJ noted that the DENR and DOH has partnered with gas companies First Gen Corporation, Aboitiz Equity Ventures, San Miguel Corporation, and Metro Pacific Investments Corporations, for the purpose of protecting the Verde Island Passage.

In a press conference in Kenny Roger’s, Larry Pascua, senior campaign manager of PMCJ, said “2020 nagsimula ang mga expansions ng fossil gas mula sa terminal ng First Gen Corporation ng San Miguel.”

“Ngayon mayron ng terminal ng LNG sa Batangas. Sa mga signing with San Miguel, Aboitiz at MVP, ay nagpapakita ng kung ano kanyang (Loyzaga) pinoprotektahan,” Pascua said.

“Si DENR Secretary Toni Yulo-Loyzaga na supposed to protect ng environment, ay  nagsaside sa mga giant LNG companies sa Batangas,” he added.

“if the LNG companies are really concerned about the health impacts, paano na yung mga impacts ay nagtraverse na po sa health impacts ng mga tao. At dahil dyan, nalagay sa panganib ang ating mga mamamayan,” Pascua said.

“Ang paggamit po ng LNG or fossil fuel, base sa science, ay lubhang mapaminsala at nakakamatay. Sinasabi nila na may pitong milyong katao ay namamatay dahil sa pollution dulot ng pagsusunog,” he added. 

“Ngayon po ay may nakafile na complaint laban sa mga LNG companies o polluters. Kailangan na kailangan na nating magtransition mula sa fossil fuel. Sinasabi po ng science, na mayroon na tayong limited time para isolve and climate change,” Pascua said.

“Akala natin ay every five years ay may heat wave, every year ay may heat wave na. Dapat si Sec. Loyzaga ay nasa side ng mga mamamayan, pero nagsaside na sya sa mga LNG companies. Dapat pabilisin ang wind energy alinsunod sa atas ni Pangulong Marcos, Jr.,” he added.

“Sabi ng mga scientists, dapat bawasan na at alisin na ang fossil fuel. Dapat palakasin na ng DOE ang renewable energy,” Pascua said.

“It’s time na ilabas na ang resulta ng imbestigasyon sa health impact assessment ng mga LNG plants at huwag ipaubaya lang sa local government units,” he added.

Irvin Doremon, a fisherman from Isla Verde, Batangas, said “sa kanila sa Isla Verde, ay dati po ay marami talaga kaming nahuhuling isda.”

“Ngayon po, ay wala na po kaming nahuhuling isda. Ang mga dumi na tinatapon nila sa Isla Verde ay sa amin napupunta at maraming isda na ang namatay dyan,” Doremon said.

“Kami po ay nananawagan sa mga kinauukulan na sana po at matugunan ang aming kahilingan,” he added.

Narciso Breton, a fisherman from Barangay Dela Paz, Batangas, said “ang lahat ng nanunungkulan sa parte ng kanilang lugar ay umaksyon, lalo na sa mga bata, nariyan po ang pangangati ng katawan.”

“Sa aming health center, ay wala kaming mahinging gamot. Ako po ay nanawagan sa kinauukulan na bigyan ng aksyon ang aming problema,” Breton said.

“Ang pakiusap ko po miski na sa mataas, na kami ay nahingi ng tulong,” he added.

Wilma Abanil, a volunteer health worker from Barangay Sta. Clara, Ilaya, Batangas, where the First Gen facility is located, said “ako po ay nananawagan hinggil sa kalusugan ng aking mga kabarangay.”

“DENR, DOE at LNG ay tinatawagan ko  na sana ay pakinggan ang aming panawangan. At kung ang mga taong ito ay nagbibingi-bingihan at nagsasabwatan, na imbis na kami ay pakinggan, sila ay pumapanig sa mga nagtayo ng malaking planta,” Abanil said.

“Kami ay binigyan ng malaking problema. Imbis na ito ay kanilang tigilan dahil alam nila na ito ay hindi na nila maibabalik,” she added.

“Ang aming panggastos sa pagkain at kalusugan ay nawala na,” Abanil said.

Joseph Vargas, of Sta. Rita, Ilaya, Batangas, said “nagkaroon po ng fishkill noong 2022. Yung mga napinsala dahil naapektuhan ang ilog ay hindi po natulungan.”

“Sila po ay naglagay ng anim na unit ng Armed Forces of the Phiippines at Philippine Navy. Nambubulabog at nagpapatrulya po sila doon,” Vargas said.

“Sa paglakbay ng panahon, ay nahihirapan na kami dahil hindi na kami makapangisda dahil sinasaway kami na bawal mangisda,” he added.

“Taong 2020, 2021 ay nag-expansion po sila ng dagdag na daungan para sa kanilang barko na patungo sa kanilang planta at pag naubos na ang supply ng ‘gatong’, ay mayroon naman isa pang malaking barko na magsusupply ng ‘gatong’ sa kanilang planta,” Vargas said.

“Nangangamba po kami na pag nagkaroon ng habagat, ay masisira ang barricade na kanilang inilagay. Halos 500 meters po ang layo namin mula sa barko. Yung kabuuang tubo na kanilang ibinaon ay 12 meters ang laki,” he added.

“Itong mga planta ay talagang nagbibigay sa amin ng malaking problema. Ang relocation na ibinigay sa amin ay “duplex” at ang kanilang bangka ay nasa dagat na,” Vargas said.

Dr. Benito Molino, of the Philippine Network of Forensics (PNF), said “ang ganitong proyekto ay hindi lamang nakakasira sa kalikasan kundi nakakaapekto sa kalusugan.”

“Matagal na po nating tinututulan ang ganitong klaseng planta. Dekada 80, ay tinututulan na namin ang Calaca Coal-Fired Power Plant sa Calaca City, Batangas,” Molino said.

“Pati ang mga halaman ay napeperwisyo at nababansot dahil sa mga plantang ito.

Halos walang mangga sa Zambales sa buwan ng Abril dahil sa epekto sa kalikasan ng mga plantang ito,” he added.

“Titulak namin na sana ay magkaroon ng health impact assessment bago magtayo o aprubahan ang ganitong mga proyekto,” Molino said. 

“Sana nga ay gawin na ito ng Department of Health na magkaroon ng health impact assessment at maglabas ng kautusan at isama na ng DENR ang environmental assessment para maproteksiyunan ang kalusugan ng ating mga mamamayan at pati na rin ang kalikasan,” he added. – By Perfecto T. Raymundo, Jr.

7 empleyado ng KWF sinibak nang walang makatwirang dahilan

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By Perfecto T. Raymundo, Jr.

MANILA –– Pitong job order employees, kabilang ang dalawang bingi, ng Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) ang sinibak sa tungkulin nang walang makatwirang dahilan.

Ang pagsibak ay isinagawa sa pamamagitan ng Board Resolution ng KWF na may petsang Mayo 13, 2024.

Walong part-time Commissioners ng KWF ang lumagda sa pagpapatibay ng Resolution at tatlong full-time Commissioners ang hindi lumagda.

Ang ginawang ito ng 8 Commissioners ay tahasang pagsuway sa direktang utos ni Pangulong Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. noong Mayo 1, 2024 na walang sisibaking JOs sa mga sangay ng pamahalaan at pinalawig pa nga ang kanilang kontrata.

Ang KWF Board Resolution ay nagsabing “Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the KWF” ang ginawang pagsasampa ng criminal complaint sa Ombudsman laban sa Tagapangulo ng KWF na si Art Casanova at Iba pa dahil sa di maipaliwanag na pagkawala ng Php1.8 million ng KWF sa hauling tatlong buwan ng 2023.

Ang reklamo ay isinampa ng isa sa pitong sinibak na empleyado nitong Pebrero 2024 sa dahilang di sila pinapasweldo ng ilang buwan na.

Nakaswedo lamang ang mga ito nang inutusan ng Manila Regional Trial Court si Tagapangulong Casanova na paswelduhin na ang pitong kawani. 

Ang pitong sinibak na empleyado ay binigyan na lamang na manatili sa kanilang pwesto ng hanggang Hunyo 30, 2024. Ni Perfecto T. Raymundo, Jr.

Pharmaceutical firm files cyber libel raps vs. Dr. Leachon

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Atty. Alex Avisado, Jr.

By Perfecto T. Raymundo, Jr. 

QUEZON CITY — Executives of Bell-Kenz     

Pharmaceutical, Inc. on Tuesday (May 21) filed cyberlibel charges with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) against Dr. Antonio “Tony” Leachon. 

In a press conference at Max’s  Restaurant in Scout Tuazon, Quezon City, Atty. Alex Avisado, Jr. said it took time for Bell-Kenz to take action in the sense that they would like to have an air tight case against the malicious allegations of Leachon. 

The allegations of Leachon claimed that Bell-Kenz has been overcharging or allegedly engaging in unethical standard. 

Avisado stressed that “was it right for claiming that doctors are practicing their profession in exchange for Rolex watch.”

“The disclosures of the doctors of Bell-Kenz are already complete,” he said. 

According to Avisado, they may file an administrative complaint against Leachon in order to revoke his license to practice medicine. 

Avisado added that they are not only holding Leachon criminally liable, but also other doctors who are destroying the reputation of Bell-Kenz which was only providing medicines which are cheaper by 30 percent to the Filipino people. 

“Bell-Kenz is open to all government agencies for the conduct of an investigation in order to clear the name of Bell-Kenz from the malicious allegations of Leachon,” Avisado said. 

Avisado said that Leachon went to the Senate and accused Bell-Kenz of allegedly switching his prescriptions. 

Atty. Dezery Perlez, Spokesperson of Bell-Kenz, said that they filed a criminal complaint for violation of the Ant-Cyber Law against Dr. Antonio Leachon. 

Leachon alleged or claimed that the doctors of Bell-Kenz are overcharging their patients in exchange for luxury cars.

“What we have filed is a criminal complaint and not a civil complaint which is penalized with imprisonment,” Perlez said. 

Perlez added that the NBI would take action on the malicious posts in the social media of Leachon which also destroyed the reputation of doctors. 

“As of today, we have only criminally charged a single respondent,” Perlez said. 

Atty. Joseph Vincent Go, legal counsel of Bell-Kenz, said that the allegations of Leachon had besmirched the reputation of Bell-Kenz. 

“At this point,” Go said, “we are not sure where did Leschon gather his sources of Bell-Kenz doctors who were allegedly engaging in unethical standard in exchange for luxury cars, jewelries and others.” 

Leachon, Go said, also had malicious postings in the Twitter and X. – By Perfecto T. Raymundo, Jr.

Silang mayor denies allegations against him

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Silang, Cavite Mayor Kevin Anarna (right) held a press conference to address the recent preventive suspension order and allegations by his former running mate-turned-detractor Vice Mayor Edward Carranza at Ponce Restaurant, Mezzanine Floor in Sct. Dr. Lazcano Street. Sacred Heart, Quezon City on Friday (May 17, 2024). - Photo by Perfecto T. Raymundo, Jr.

By Perfecto T. Raymundo, Jr. 

QUEZON CITY — Silang, Cavite Mayor Kevin Anarna has denied allegations levelled against him. 

In a press conference at Ponce Restaurant in Sacred Heart,  Quezon City on Friday (May 17). Mayor Anarna addressed the recent preventive suspension order and allegations by his former running mate-turned-detractor Vice Mayor Edward Arranza. 

Anarna stressed that the preventive suspension order imposed on him llacked due process. 

“The preventive suspension order was imposed without due process and opportunity to answer the charges against him,” Anarna said.

“These charges were the subject of an audit observation memorandum (AOM) issued on January 4, 2024, to which he replied on February 6, 2024,” he added. 

“No reason was given by the Commission on Audit (COA),” Anarna said. 

Atty. Isaiah O. Asuncion III is the legal counsel of Mayor Anarna. – By Perfecto T. Raymundo, Jr.

100 wheelchairs, aid, gifts given to PWDs in QC 

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Majority Floor Leader Dr. Doray Delarmente

By Perfecto T. Raymundo, Jr. 

QUEZON CITY — Ang Probinsyano Party- List (APPL) Rep. Alfred delos Santos spearheaded the distribution of wheelchairs and other assistance to some 100 persons with disabilities (PWDs) on Tuesday (May 21) at the 15th Floor of the Quezon City Hall. 

Rep. Delos Santos was joined by Majority Floor Leader Dr. Doray Delarmente, Councilor Aiko Melendez, and actor Piolo Pascual, among others. 

The gift giving was the initiative of Piolo Pascual in cooperation with Surge Fitness + Lifestyle, Ang Probinsyano Party-List, and Cornerstone Entertainment Vice President Jeff Fadillo. 

Also present during the event were the families of the beneficiaries, the staff of the Persons with Disability Affairs Office (PDAO) and the Quezon City government.

In her opening remarks, PDAO Head Deborah Dacanay expressed gratitude to Piolo Pascual, Councilor Melendez of District V, Rep. Delos Santos and the Probinsyano Party-List.

Rep. Delos Santos noted that the beneficiaries are excited to see actor Piolo Pascual. 

He acknowledged the presence of Councilor Melendez, among others. 

“This event will not be successful without the help of Jeff Fadillo,” delos Santos said. 

Delos Santos revealed that a bill has been passed in the 19th Congress for the benefit of all senior citizens. 

He also disclosed that he has filed a bill in the 19th Congress for the grant of Php1,000 for the persons with disability (PWDs) and a 20 percent discount for food, medicines and services. 

The Probinsyano Party-List representative also divulged that the PWDs will also be prioritized during the elections wherein they will not be required to line up just to be able to exercise their right of suffrage.

Majority Floor Leader Dr. Doray Delarmente, as representative of Mayor Joy Belmonte, said that they are present in today’s event to receive the donation of wheelchairs and gift packs. 

Delarmente read the message of Mayor Joy Belmonte, who expressed her heartfelt gratitude for the donation and gift giving. 

The mayor noted that 69,170 PWDs were registered in Quezon City.

Melendez also expresssed her gratitude for endeavors in upholding and protecting the rights and welfare of the PWDs in the city. 

Fadillo expressed his gratitude to the Quezon City local government, Councilor Aiko Melendez and Majority Floor Leader Delarmente and Rep. Alfred delos Santos. 

He admitted that he had been a PWD himself and it’s good that all the stakeholders are doing everything for the benefit and welfare of the PWDs. 

Piolo was elated for today’s gathering for the betterment of PWDs. 

He stressed that whatever is lacking to anyone should not be a cause of concern, but rather, take it as an opportunity for the better. 

Pascual, Melendez, Delarmente, Delos Santos and Fadillo turned over the five of the 100 wheelchairs initially to the PWD beneficiaries. 

In a press conference, Piolo said that “basically, it’s such a gift giving.” 

“A lot of things to do in the ground with Rep. Delos Santos. It’s as if it’s the spirit of Christmas already,” he added. 

Rep. Delos Santos said “what we do here is to give smile to the people.*

“The lives of the PWDs should be made a little bit enjoyable, livable,” he added. 

“We go to geographically situated PWDs to see what their condition is,” delos Santos said. 

Delos Santos is targeting to tour the countryside in order to know the real situation of the PWDs. 

Fadillo said “for me, it comes from a personal vantage point because I’m also a PWD.”

“Because of the people who helped me along the way, I was able to move on and move along,” he added. 

He expressed gratitude to the people as “this is just the beginning to realize our dream. Quezon City is such an amazing city that is very organized.”

He thanked the city councilors for helping the PWDs, especially to Pio Pascual. 

“61,000 registered PWDs and multiply that in the whole country.,” Fadilo said.

Delarmente said in behalf of Mayor Joy Delarnente. they would like to thank everyone for today’s gathering.

“Quezon City Is the biggest city in the country with 69,000 plus PWDs and because of that we need the help of everyone,” Delarmente said. 

Melendez noted “as a Party-List congressman, delos Santos is like a Senator of the Land.”

She thanked Papa P, Fadillo, Engelbert Apostol, the Head of PAISD. 

PDAO head Dacanay expressed her profound gratitude to Papa P, Delarnente, Melendez, Fadilo among others. 

Dacanay noted that” Quezon City is about one-fourth of Metro Manila.”

“The deaf cannot go to the theaters because there are no subtitles” she said. 

“In Quezon City, there are 69,000 PWDs because of legible registration,” she added. 

“There are four cases now ongoing for falsification of PWD IDs who have taken away the 20 percent discount which is supposed to be for the PWDs,” Dacanay said. – By Perfecto T. Raymundo, Jr.

QC advocates responsible gambling, address gaming addiction — Mayor Joy Belmonte 

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(From left) - Jody Bechtold, Chief Executive Officer of The Better Institute, Emeritus, International Gambling Certification Board; Teresita "Chit" C. Castillo, Chairperson of Seagulls Flock Organization; Alejandro H. Tetangco, Chairman of Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation; Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte; Dr. Stephanie Diez-Morel, Vice President of IGCB, Founder & president of Reboot & Recover, and Dr. Marc N. Potenza, professor of Psychiatry, Child Study and Neuroscience of Yale School of Medicine. – Photo by Perfecto T. Raymundo, Jr.

QUEZON CITY — Mayor Joy Belmonte on Monday (May 20) said that it’s due time to hold the first International conference on responsible gambling and gaming addiction. 

Belmonte recalled the incident wherein a high roller gambler, who was a former government employee, who staged an attack inside a gambling casino that claimed the lives of many innocent victims and destruction to properties.

She noted that gambling and gaming addiction have evolved from traditional forms. 

“Gambling and gaming are not only present in resorts but also in other places,” Belmonte said. 

“It is a slimmer of hope. The luck strikes in one in a million,” she added. 

She noted that there are now 43 million online gamers in the Philippines, majority of which use online devices. 

There remains a vacuum to address their setbacks. 

She cited for an instance that here in the Philippines, gaming and gambling are regulated by PAGCOR that contributes income to the government which fund projects and programs of the government. 

The Quezon City chief executive acknowledged the presence of PAGCOR chief Al Tengco. 

Belmonte cited a city ordinance which regulates responsible gaming and gambling activities of the 3.2 million QCitizens. 

She also cited the new Solaire casino hotel in Quezon City which will create thousands of jobs to city residents and generate millions in income to the city government. 

*There is a lot of work for us. Pioneering work in our communities which will address the problem of gambling addiction, ” Belmonte stressed. 

The Quezon City local government was praised for the initiatives undertaken in connection with responsible gambling and gaming addiction. 

In a press conference, Belmonte said the city government has led in data gathering in connection with responsible gambling and gaming addiction. 

She noted that gambling addiction may lead to mental health problems and may even result to destruction of the moral fiber of the family. 

“We aim to achieve responsible gambling and address gaming addiction,” Belmonte said. 

Belmonte noted that among the participants in today’s event are the members of the academe, who would in turn, disseminate awareness and information on responsible gambling and gaming addiction and how to address them. 

” We are empowering the youth,” she said. 

“For as long as I am the Mayor, it (Solaire North) will be the only one in Quezon City,” Belmonte stressed. 

She had requested that the Casino North should not be visible to school children. 

The Quezon City chief executive stressed that there are 19,000 city hall employees who are prohibited entry to Solaire North, but they and their respective families can dine in the restaurants in the area, however, never in casino area. 

Belmonte expressed the hope that they would be able to obtain “hard data” to present to PAGCOR in order to receive additional income so that the social risks of casino gambling would be addressed. 

Alejandro H. Tengco, Chairman of PAGCOR, said that the conference that starts today is being held with the help of the Quezon City government and the Seagulls Flock Organization. 

Tetangco echoed the statement earlier made by Mayor Belmonte that about one-third of the 115 million Filipinos are involved in gambling. 

“We are now looking at different platforms that would address the concerns of gamblers,” Tetangco said. 

He added that PAGCOR is now looking at a software to mitigate the problem of gambling addiction. 

He assured the stakeholders of PAGCOR that they are fully behind their initiatives for responsible gambling and address gaming addiction. 

The PAGCOR chief cited Globe for making Gcash the number one cash solution. 

“We have so many licensees and I urge them to support Seaguls Organization,” Tetangco said. 

He also noted the big attendees in today’s event, expressing the hope that bigger attendees will participate next year. 

Tetangco said that 68 percent of the gross revenues of PAGCOR goes to the national government, PhiHealth, Philippine Sports Commissioner and other corporate social responsibility initiatives. 

“We are the top GOCCs — BIR, BOC, PAGCOR — that are contributing to the coffers of the national government,” he said. 

“In 2023, almost Php50 billion has been remitted by Pagcor to the national coffers which funded various projects and programs of the government,” he added.

Tetangco noted that the prevailing rule is that a Casino facility should be at least 200 meters away from school premises. 

He also said that with the advanced identification system with the use of Artificial Intelligence, some 1,000 individuals would surely not be able to gain entry into the integrated casino facilities nationwide. 

Tetangco also prematurely announced that PAGCOR is studying the earlier statement made by Mayor Belmonte for the putting up of a “Hotline” nationwide precisely to address the concerns and problem of gaming addiction. 

Teresita “Chit” C. Castillo, Chairperson of Seagulls Flock Organization, said that they are neither in favor nor against gambling. 

Castillo added that they are basically advocates of helping those who have become gaming addicts. 

She lauded the support extended by PAGCOR to the initiatives of Seagulls Organization. 

Jody Bechtold CEO of The Better Institute, Emeritus, International Gambling Counselor Certification Board (IGCCB), said that she is neither in favor nor against gambling. 

Bechtold said that they are into providing trainings and certification for responsible gambling. 

She added that they would like to help address addiction in gambling and awareness on responsible gambling.

Dr. Stephanie Diez-Morel, Vice President of IGCCB, Founder & President Reboot & Recover said “We used certified trainings for responsible gambling.” 

Dr. Morel added that they would like to help Filipino families who have problems in gaming addiction. 

Dr. Marc N. Potenza, professor of Child Psychology in Yale University, said that there are several points that are noteworthy. 

Gambling problems do not only affect the individual but also the people around them.

Dr. Potenza expressed gratitude for today’s conference which in the end would help address responsible gambling and gaming addiction. – By Perfecto T. Raymundo, Jr.

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PhilHealth, PIA inks MOU to boost UHL, promote KonSulTa program

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PIA Deputy Director General for Creative & Internal Affairs Katherine Chloe De Castro (left), PIA Deputy Director General for Regional Operations Adolfo Ares, PIA Director General Undersecretary Jose A. Torres, Jr., Philhealth President & Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel R. Ledesma, Jr., and PhilHealth National Capital Region Vice President Bernadette C. Loco show to the media the copy of the Memorandum of Understanding between PhilHealth and PIA to boost the country's Universal Health Care implementation and to promote the KonSulTa program in the Philippines. – Photo by Perfecto T. Raymundo, Jr.

By Perfecto T. Raymundo, Jr. 

QUEZON CITY –– The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) on Monday (May 13) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to boost the country’s Universal Health Care (UHC) Law implementation and to promote the Konsulta Program (Konsultasyong Sulit at Tama) in the Philippines.

In a press conference at the Conference Room, PIA Building, Visayas Avenue, Quezon City, PIA Director General Undersecretary Jose A. Torres, Jr. said that formal partnership between PhilHealth NCR and PIA NCR was signed last year, and they took it upon themselves to make the partnership nationwide.

“With the MOU to be signed by PhilHealth and PIA will encourage all Filipinos to enroll as members of PhilHealth, who will benefit through their Konsulta Program, such that a PhP1.4- million package is available for breast cancer,” Torres said.

“We believe that we will reach up with our countrymen nationwide,” he added.

Torres, together with PIA Deputy Director General Katherine Chloe S. De Castro, Head of the Creative and Internal Affairs and PIA Deputy Director General for Regional Affairs Adolfo Ares P. Gutierrez are supervising 18 regions and 78 provinces nationwide.  

Under the PhilHealth Konsulta program are consultative services for laboratory tests, however, if the physician finds that the patient is healthy, he will be asked to return in six months. The laboratory tests are also covered by PhilHealth, which involves 13 laboratory tests.

But if the patient is found to be unhealthy, PhilHealth Konsulta will provide for free anti-microbial, anti-diabetes, fluid electrolites, Salbultamol, anti-asthma, among others.

To be PhilHealth members, All Filipinos can enroll online, through the PhilHealth website, or through the PhilHealth Konsulta health providers.

Last Feb. 14, 2024, PhilHealth celebrated its 29th Anniversary and increased its case rates such as in Dengue from PhP15,000 to PhP30,000 and in nine medical conditions, 8,000 case rates are covered by PhilHealth, PhP8,000 of PhP10,400 to maternal health care program and the dialysis sessions have been increased to 156 sessions.

Breast case rate from PhP100,000 to PhP1.4 million.

The Hotline of PhilHealth is now 24/7 and open on holidays.  

The MOU was signed by PhilHealth President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel R. Ledesma, Jr. and PIA Director General Undersecretary Jose A. Torres, Jr.

They were joined by PhilHealth National Capital Region (NCR) Vice President Bernadette C. Lico and PIA Deputy Director General for Regional Operations Adolfo Ares P. Gutierrez.

There are currently more than 2,161 Konsulta Package providers operating nationwide, PhilHealth, through its partnership, aims to expand its reach, initially targeting PIA personnel and their dependents nationwide.

The PIA will provide targeted communication support to ensure program implementation is efficient, guiding beneficiaries through enrollment and service utilization.

The collaboration builds upon a previous MOU signed by PhilHealth NCR and PIA NCR led by Regional Head Emver P. Cortez on Sept. 4, 2023, which focused on promoting the Konsulta program in Metro Manila and surrounding areas.

In his keynote message, PhilHealth President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel R. Ledesma, Jr. said that “maintaining healthy lifestyle is vital to our overall well-being.”

“PhilHealth supports the government’s program of providing healthcare program to all Filipinos.” Ledesma said.

“The Konsulta program aims to address health problems such as asthma, hypertension and other sickness,” he added.

“It is an utmost importance to inform the Filipinos of the healthcare program such as the Konsulta program which they can avail of,” Ledesma said.  

“Everybody is covered 100 percent, where the indigents are prioritized. All 115 million Filipinos are covered,” he added.

“It was clear in the UHL, that the last increase (premium contribution) was this year. But the PhilHealth coverage increased for chemo dialysis at 156 sessions. 30 percent increase almost across-the-board and it may even increase to 60 percent,” Ledesma said.

Ledesma stressed that they have piloted the amount of PhP254 billion for payment this year. “Definitely, we have the money to increase the benefit packages and digitalization. We still have to move forward through the information dissemination, especially in the far-flung areas,” he said.  

PhilHealth Vice President Bernadette C. Lico said that aside from Konsulta package, mental health case is also available with PhP9,000 or PhP16,000 health package, depending on the severity of the case.

By June 2024, two diagnostics such as mammogram and breast cancer will be included in the Konsulta program.   

Under the Konsulta program, the present 21 will expand to 53 essential drugs and medicines, wherein PhP9,000 allowance per year to procure the essential drugs will be available for Filipinos. – By Perfecto T. Raymundo, Jr.

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PhilSa confirms laumch of Long March 3B/E rocket

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By Perfecto T. Raymundo, Jr.

QUEZON CITY — The Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) confirmed on Thursday (May 9) the launch of the Long March 3B/E rocket of the People’s Republic of China (China).
The PhilSA said that the expected debris from the rocket launch was projected to have fallen within the identified drop zones approximately 28 Nautical Miles (NM) away from Rozul Reef and 38 NM away from Patag Island.
It added that the Long March 3B/E was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan China around 9:50 AM PhST (Philippine Standard Time) on May 9, 2024.
The details of the rocket drop zone were disclosed through a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) warning of an “aerospace flight activity.”
The PhilSA has disseminated a pre-launch report to relevant government agencies and authorities prior to the launch.
“Unburned debris from rockets, such as the booster and faring, are designed to be discarded as the rocket enters outer space,” it said.
“While not projected to fall on land features or inhabited areas, falling debris poses danger and potential risk to ships, aircraft, fishing boats, and other vessels that will pass through the drop zone,” it added.
There is also a possibility for the debris to float around the area and wash toward nearby coasts.
Additionally, the possibility of an uncontrolled re-entry to the atmosphere of the rocket’s upper stages returning from outer space cannot be ruled out at this time.
The PhilSA reiterated its advice for the public to inform local authorities if suspected debris is sighted.
It also cautioned against retrieving or coming in close contact with these materials that may contain remnants of toxic substances such as rocket fuel. – By Perfecto T. Raymundo, Jr.

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