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Quezon City News February 2017

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Quezon City - Archived News

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The Founder Manuel Quezon
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Wars of ancient history were about territory, power, family or lover's quarrel, politics and sometimes religion.

But we are in the Modern era and supposedly more educated and enlightened .

Think about this. Don't just brush off these questions.

  • Why is RELIGION still involved in WARS? Isn't religion supposed to be about PEACE?
  • Ask yourself; What religion is always involved in wars and consistently causing WARS, yet insists that it's a religion of peace?


Herbal remedies for diabetes.JPG
How to get the best out of the Malunggay
Moringa (Malungay) leaves compared to common foods
Values per 100gm. edible portion
Nutrient Moringa Leaves Other Foods
Vitamin A 6780 mcg Carrots: 1890 mcg
Vitamin C 220 mg Oranges: 30 mg
Calcium 440 mg Cow's milk: 120 mg
Potassium 259 mg Bananas: 88 mg
Protein 6.7 gm Cow's milk: 3.2 gm

QC shares best practices in the implementation of Safe Cities Program


QUEZON CITY (PIA)--The Quezon City government shared its experiences and challenges in the implementation of its Safe Cities Program.

During the 3-day “Safe, Empowering and Sustainable City Approaches in Action for Women and Girls” organized by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, also known as UN Women, QC Administrator Aldrin Cuña shared the city’s best practices in the implementation of Safe Cities Program.

The event is taking place from February 22 to 25, 2017 in Mexico City, Mexico.

More than 200 experts and advocates are participating in the conference, where 20 Mayors from cities around the world are expected to present their commitments to gender equality and making their cities safe and empowering for women and girls.

Quezon City is one of the first cities in the Philippines to pass a Gender Fair Ordinance which upholds the human rights of anyone, regardless of sexual orientation and penalizes discrimination based on gender.

It is also the first to pass an ordinance which penalizes cat-calling and any other forms of harassment against women in public areas.

Reminders in the form banners placed conspicuously all over the city to inform the public that all forms of harassment against women are not allowed in the city.

While only women (and girls) may be victims under the local law, the offender may be of any sex. The ordinance divides violations into light, medium and severe.

A person may be fined or jailed up to a month for committing light violations such as cursing, catcalling, repeatedly asking the subject for a date or her contact number, or taunting a woman with constant talk about sex.

With the same penalties as light, medium violations include stalking, making offensive mouth, hand or body gestures with intention to demean or threaten a woman.

Maynilad builds new reservoirs in QC, Muntinlupa and parts of Cavite


MANILA (PIA) – To help improve water supply, Maynilad Water Services, Inc. is currently constructing six new reservoirs in various locations within its West Concession area.

“Our goal is to provide 24-hour water supply at a strong pressure for our existing customers, as well as for expansion areas. Building additional reservoirs will help us to attain that goal,” said Maynilad President and CEO Ramoncito S. Fernandez.

Fernandez also said that Maynilad will continue to improve water infrastructure to meet the increasing demand.

According to Maynilad, the new reservoirs are in Quezon City, Muntinlupa, Imus City, Cavite City, Bacoor City, and Noveleta in Cavite Province.

Once completed around the last quarter of 2017, the impounding facilities will add 23 percent or 140 million liters per day (MLD) to Maynilad’s water-holding capacity. This volume of stored water combined is enough to meet the supply requirements of about 1.3 million Maynilad customers.

Since 2007, Maynilad has already built 28 reservoirs—up from only eight reservoirs before the West Concession was re-privatized under new owners.

DSWD pays tribute to partners; recognizes their efforts, contributions in achieving shared goals

(Social Marketing, DSWD)

As one of the highlights of its 66th Anniversary, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) recognized its various partners and stakeholders through the “Pagkilala sa Natatanging Kontribusyon sa Bayan (PaNata Ko sa Bayan) Awards” in a simple ceremony held yesterday, February 21 at the DSWD Auditorium, Batasan Hills, Quezon City.

In her welcome message, DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo said that the awards “are the Department’s way of thanking the various groups and individuals who have helpep the DSWD implement its mandate to serve the Filipino people not only during calamities and emergencies, but also during the course of their daily lives as they seek to improve the lives of their children and their families.”

“As the government’s lead welfare agency, the DSWD faces the massive challenge of responding to the needs of thousands of Filipinos who do not have the immediate means to address sudden emergencies, such as financial assistance for medical and hospital needs; educational needs of children, funeral and burial arrangements of loved ones and livelihood assistance for vulnerable sectors. These are among the most basic services that the DSWD provides. Aside from these, the Department also manages centers for abused women, for abandoned children and neglected senior citizens providing counseling and psycho-social interventions to people experiencing or recovering from trauma. During calamities, we try to respond as fast as we can to assist as many Filipinos as possible,” she expounded.

She said that given its mandate and the herculean challenge to assist all those in need, the DSWD needs all the help that it can get so that it can perform all its tasks.

“We will never be able to accomplish all that we need to do for our beneficiaries without the help and support of our various partners. We hold the annual PaNata awards to thank them and to give tribute to their own efforts to help Filipinos improve their lives,” Sec. Taguiwalo added.

The PANATA Awards is divided into sub-categories namely:

Salamat Po Award – a commendation of development partners and volunteers who helped the DSWD deliver its social protection services. The award is also in recognition of achieved goals and the established best practices of various NGO partners.

Gawad sa Makabagong Teknolohiyang Panlipunan – An award given to either a Local Government Unit (LGU), or an NGO which has introduced a new and effective social technology, the use of which has led to the creation of a best practice.

GAPAS Awards – a commendation given to (i) Local Government Unit (LGU) implementing DSWD programs and services such as Day Care Services, Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS) and Sustainable Livelihood Program enterprise and employment facilitation models and to LGUs effectively implementing a convergence initiative, and the Best People’s Organization that has significant contribution in their respective communities.

Gawad Serbisyo- a recognition to partners in government service who provide significant assistance and unwavering commitment during emergencies.

For the Salamat Po Individual Volunteer Category, the DSWD awarded Julie Taniongon from Brgy. Igsoro, Bugasong, Antique who despite his physical disability worked hard as a community volunteer of KALAHI-CIDSS.

Meanwhile, Cabanatuan City Day Care Workers Federation which have shown commendable efforts to go beyond their roles as day care workers ensuring that children’s safety and needs are prioritized during disaster operations, bagged the Salamat Po Award Volunteer Group Category.

The Department also recognized the contribution of its partner-local and international donors which have provided resources in cash or in-kind for the year 2016 to provide establishment of basic facilities and social services of the DSWD.

The local partner-donors are:

• Ronald McDonald House Charities Inc.
• PhilSeven Foundation
• Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation
• Kabisig ng Kalahi
• International Justice Mission
• A Child’s Trust is Ours to Nurture (ACTION)

International partner-donors:

• Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade-Australian Embassy (DFAT)
• Asian Development Bank
• World Bank
• United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
• United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
• United Nations World Food Programme (UNWFP)

In his message, UNFPA’s Country Representative Klaus Beck who gave the response on behalf of the awardees in this category cited the commitment and dedication of the DSWD work force in providing assistance to those in need, whether in disaster situations or to help them uplift their quality of life.

“It is you, the DSWD personnel who should be commended because you are the frontliners, and I have witnessed the work that you do in helping victims of disasters and the vulnerable sectors of society,” Beck stated.

On the other hand, the Salamat Po Award to Non-Government Organization category went to Signpost Philippines, Inc. based in the Province of Iloilo. The organization was recognized for working with the community to bring sustainable change that impact not only for the short period of time but goes beyond the project life.

For the GAPAS Awards, another sub-category, the LGU of Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro bagged two awards as Model LGU Implementing Day Care Service and Kalahi-CIDSS. Mayor Eduardo Gadiano, together with the head of the Municipal Social Welfare Development Office and other LGU staff received the awards.

The LGU of Mabalacat, Pampanga also received the GAPAS Award as Model LGU Implementing Day Care Service with Mayor Marino P. Morales receiving the award, while the LGU of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, represented by Mayor Romulo Festin was awarded as Model LGU Implementing Protective Programs and Services.

Two model LGUs were awarded for their excellent performance in implementing the two tracks of Sustainable Livelihood Program. These were the Municipality of Calinog, Iloilo, represented by Mayor Alex A. Centena, as Outstanding Sustainable Livelihood Program Enterprise and Employment Facilitation Model and the LGU of Taytay, Palawan for implementing SLP Microenterprise Development Model.

The municipality of Calinog acquired P26 million worth of livelihood and employment projects through the SLP-Yolanda Response and Reconstruction Program, while Taytay is currently implementing the Department’s SLP which aims to uplift the socio-economic conditions of the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program partner-beneficiaries.

In the LGU People’s Organization sub-category, Kalipunan ng Liping Filipina Baguio City Women’s Federation, Inc. represented by their president, Lolita P. Castro received the Model People’s Organization GAPAS Award.

Another sub-category, the Gawad sa Makabagong Teknolohiyang Panlipunan was awarded to the Municipality of Bacuag, Surigao del Norte for their innovative project, Integrated Community Action towards Recovery and Empowerment for Children and Youth Victims of Illegal Drugs (I CARE).

For the last category under PANATA Awards, the Gawad Serbisyo was bestowed on uniformed personnel and groups that assisted DSWD during disaster relief operations. These were Coast Guardman Course, National Police Training Institute, National Fire Training Institute, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine National Police, Philippine Air Force, Philippine Navy and the National Jail Management and Penology Training Institute.

In his closing message, Asst. Secretary for Special Concerns Jose Antonio Hernandez, PANATA Awards 2016 Chairperson, reiterated his thanks to all of the awardees. He said that the awards will inspire more LGUs, NGOs and other partners to “give their best in the implementation of social welfare development programs and services.”

He also commended the PANATA Committee, composed of rank and file employees from the different offices, bureaus, services and units of the DSWD Central Office for their efforts in ensuring that this year’s awarding ceremony is successful.

DSWD doubles its social pension beneficiaries


QUEZON CITY, February 21 (PIA) -- Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary is doubling the number of indigent seniors under its Social Pension Program for Indigent Senior Citizens (SPISC) program, this year from 1.3 to 2.8 million.

Social Welfare Secretary Jucy Taguiwalo explained that under the program, a monthly government assistance of P500 are given to qualified beneficiaries who are seniors aged 60 years old and above and who are frail, sickly or with the disability; with no regular income or support from family and relatives, and without a pension from private or government institutions.

With the increase in the number of beneficiaries, the approved budget allocation for the program’s implementation this year amounts to P17,940,258,000, higher than the P8,711,203,000 allocated last year.

The program was started in 2011 through Republic Act 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010. The program aims to improve the living condition of eligible indigent senior citizens and to protect them from neglect and deprivation.

DSWD implements the program through its 17 Field Offices in partnership with the Local Government Units (LGUs ) and with the help from the City/ Municipal Social Welfare and Development Offices (C/MSWDO) and Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA).

As of January 31, a total of 1,331,747 senior citizens or 96.79 percent of the target 1,375,970 beneficiaries for 2016 were able to receive their social pension. The conduct of payout is still ongoing for the remaining 44,223 beneficiaries.

Out of the total P8.7 billion allocation for the program last year, P8.5 billion or 98.21 percent was already utilized for the program’s implementation.

“DSWD is committed to protecting and helping the most vulnerable sectors of the society, which include the elderly. The social pension program is a great help to poor seniors who do not get support from their family. “the Secretary emphasized.

Meanwhile, Taguiwalo also urged senior citizens who qualified within the eligibility criteria to apply for the social pension program at the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs, City/Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office, or at the DSWD Regional Office. The applicant or his/her representative should bring his/her OSCA ID and Birth Certificate or any document that could prove his/her date of birth.

“We are glad to be able to serve more indigent seniors this year, as the program continues to widen,” the Secretary ended.

Quezon City Enters into Sisterhood with Naga City

(Quezon City Government Official Website)

Quezon City Herbert Bautista and Naga City Mayor John Bongat, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Sister City Cooperation between the two cities. The simple signing ceremony was held at the Bulwagang Amoranto, Quezon City Hall and witnessed by officials from both cities.

The partnership is expected to bring about a mutually beneficial relationship between Quezon City and Naga City. Both cities were recognized as the most competetive city, Quezon City in the Highly Urbanized category and Naga in the Component City category. The two cities are also recognized for innovation and good governance practices.

Smart Araneta Coliseum named SEABA venue


MANILA, Feb. 18 (PNA) -- The 2017 Southeast Asia Basketball Association (SEABA) Men's Championship has been set.

Gilas coach Chot Reyes announced on Twitter that the regional competition will be held on May 12-18 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

"SEABA now confirmed at Araneta from May 12-18," Reyes' tweet said.

"The Big Dome" has played host to numerous international basketball tournaments, such as the 1978 FIBA World Cup and the 1991 SEA Games, the most recent being a friendly between Gilas and Iran last year.

Former children's hospital in Banawe, QC now a medical center

By Leilani S. Junio [(PNA), CVL/LSJ/EDS]

MANILA, Feb. 16 (PNA) -- The newly upgraded private general hospital, Fe Del Mundo Medical Center (FDMMC), in Banawe, Quezon City was inaugurated Thursday.

"This is a very good initiative and a very good response to the people’s need for quality health care," Health Undersecretary Dr. Gerardo Bayugo said as he toured the medical center to see its equipment and facilities.

"I think this will be very much affordable, especially now that PhilHealth (Philippine Health Insurance Corp.) covers 100 percent of the population."

On behalf of the Department of Health (DOH), Bayugo thanked the FDMMC management for helping the department secure the health of Filipinos.

The newly inaugurated hospital was founded as a pediatric center by Dr. Fe del Mundo, the first woman pediatrician to be admitted to the Harvard Medical School in 1936, the first woman to be named National Scientist of the Philippines in 1980, and a recipient of various local and international awards.

The FDMMC was known as the Children's Memorial Hospital when it was established in 1957 with a 107-bed capacity and an array of services for pediatric patients.

To expand its services to cover adults, the FDMMC upgraded its facilities in the past three years to become a complete medical facility with equipment for all medical needs.

According to the hospital’s operations director, Richard Lirio, the FDMMC is currently under the management of Mount Grace Hospitals, which offers facilities and services in allergocology, obstetrics and gynecology, surgery, with various sub-specialties in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, anesthesia and pain management, and comprehensive diagnostic services.

"We are continuously improving and expanding our services to achieve our goal of giving our patients quality and affordable medical services," he said.

PCO, China Radio Int'l ink cooperation deal

By Pia Ranada (Rappler.com)

China's state-run radio broadcaster and the Philippines' government-owned media outfits agree to hold joint training sessions and cooperate in news gathering to improve their coverage of major events in their countries

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines' Presidential Communications Office (PCO) and China's state-owned international radio broadcaster signed an agreement to hold training sessions and to share content.

Officials of the PCO and China Radio International (CRI) signed the memorandum of agreement at the Philippine Information Agency in Quezon City on Tuesday, February 14.

The CRI also signed separate memoranda of understanding with 3 state-owned media groups – PTV, Radyo ng Bayan, and the Philippine News Agency.

The signing of the deals comes months after the PCO and China's State Council Information Office signed a MOA on news and information exchange, and training. The deal was among 12 signed during President Rodrigo Duterte's state visit to China in October 2016.

The visit led to the "full recovery" of ties between China and the Philippines and paved the way for other forms of cooperation, for instance, in infrastructure and acquisition of defense equipment.

Knowledge-sharing, joint interviews

Undersecretary Noel Puyat and Assistant Secretary Marie Banaag represented the PCO at the signing ceremony, while CRI president Wang Gengnian represented the other side.

The two agencies agreed on cooperation between CRI and Philippine government-run media outfits, all overseen by the PCO.

CRI and these media organizations agreed to share knowledge and best practices through visiting mechanisms and staff exchange programs. CRI can also hire Filipino staff members from the government media outlets.

Both CRI and the PCO's affiliated media outfits agreed to conduct "news production related" training for the other party's staff that could last from 3 months to a year, with expenses to be discussed by both parties.

There will also be sharing of content between the two agencies as a result of the MOA.

CRI and the PCO agreed to use each other's copyrighted material as long as the user acknowledges the source in its reports and programs.

For urgent and major events in the Philippines and China, the two agencies agreed to assist each other in information gathering by conducting joint interviews online, on-air, or via phone call.

Under the MOA, the PCO will assist CRI in its bid to put up its first Philippine bureau.

CRI broadcasts and maintains online sites in different languages, including Filipino. According to CRI Online Filipino, CRI has been airing its half-hour "Serbisyo Filipino" Filipino-language program since October 30, 1965.

QC to bring “Operation Birthright” to Sitio San Roque


QUEZON CITY, Feb. 14 (PIA)--Quezon City will be bringing its "Operation Birthright" to Sitio San Roque in Barangay Pag-Asa that will provide free birth registration to some 500 indigent residents in the area.

The registration program, which will be hosted by the City Civil Registry Department on February 17, forms part of the civil registration caravan organized by the Philippine Statistics Authority for the celebration of the Civil Registration Month this February with Quezon City taking the lead.

Mayor Herbert Bautista has been invited to join the National Statistician and Civil Registrar General Lisa Grace Bersales at the event.

The mobile registration that will be conducted along Agham Road fronting the Philippine Science High School, will give priority to unregistered city residents below 18 years old.

From the mobile registration, the caravan will also feature a lecture series and consultation that affect the status of a person and a medical mission that will be administered by QC health officials.

CCRD head Ramon Matabang said the mobile registration could also extend to indigent residents of Sitio Palanas in Barangay Varsa and other neighboring barangays just to make sure that the 500 target beneficiaries will be covered.

Matabang said the QC government has been continuously providing free birth registration to indigent in Quezon City residents underscoring the importance of birth registration as a child’s first right.

DICT launches migration plan for digital TV broadcasting


MANILA, Feb. 13 (PNA) -- The Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) will launch the Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcasting (DTTB) Migration Plan in a two-day Digital TV Summit to be held at Novotel Manila, Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City from February 14 to 15, 2017.

The DICT’s DTTB Migration Plan consists of comprehensive policies and regulations as well as technical and financial considerations that are essential for the Philippine’s migration to digital TV broadcasting.

The plan will help ensure seamless transition from analog to digital that will further lead to a complete Analog Switch Off (ASO).

This shall be done through partnership with national government agencies such as the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) for implementation and regulation, the Department of Finance (DOF) for funding, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for giving incentives to small scale broadcasters, the Department of Environment and National Resources (DENR) for e-waste management, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) for economic impact, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for financial subsidy in purchasing digital set top boxes.

DICT Secretary Rodolfo Salalima said the switch to digital transmission will not only pave the way for a better TV viewing experience for Filipinos but will also ensure a more efficient and richer information dissemination in times of calamities.

It has an Emergency Warning Broadcast System (EWBS) feature that allows the system to send early warnings for disaster preparedness and disseminate advisories and guidance on evacuation, food provisions, and medical assistance in times of disasters.

Furthermore, migrating to digital from analog will free very high frequencies (VHF) that can be maximized for future broadband deployment for Internet.

It will also foster a competitive environment for the broadcasters to offer new services through datacasting and Broadcast Markup Language (BML).

“A better Philippines in terms of broadcasting can only be achieved when there is collaboration among the government, its stakeholders, civil organizations, and private industries,” according to Salalima.

The first day of the Digital TV Summit is dedicated for the launching of the DTTB Migration Plan and the Ceremonial Digital TV Switch On. Partners from the broadcast industry are expected to grace the event to express their support and commitment in the comprehensive national implementation of the DTTB Migration Plan.

Moreover, exhibitors from different segments of the broadcast sectors (production, manufacturing, and content) will showcase emerging trends in Digital TV to educate the public on the latest Digital TV technology available in the market.

On the second day of the summit, experts from local and international broadcast firms will exchange best practices and knowledge regarding the current trends in the production, transmission, policy, and regulations that concern the transition from analog to Digital TV.

Quezon City Hosts 2017 Metro Tourism Summit

[Communications Coordination Center (CCC QC-LGU)]

Quezon City played host to the 2017 Metro Manila Tourism Summit, held from February 9 to 10, at Crowne Plaza Hotel in QC. In his welcome remarks, Mayor Herbert M. Bautista said, that with travel becoming easier and cheaper, demand has escalated for the tourism industry, pushing competition to more intense levels and pressuring stakeholders to develop stronger efforts at creating distinctions that can attract and capture markets. There is a greater pressure for places to reinvent themselves, because technology now is giving people with much more information to know and compare places and experiences.

He observed that, for those of us in Metro Manila, the distinction among cities may not be as distinct; there are many similarities that can be shared. At the same time, there are enough differences that NCR cities can capitalize on to set themselves, while also being open to sharing markets, with local and foreign tourists enjoying different experiences as they move through each of our cities.

Former Tourism Secretary Mina Gabor, founder and president of the International School of Sustainable Tourism, the challenge is posed before the Philippines to look at the top tourism destinations in Asia, to see what strategies and programs are working for them, and see what the Philippines can do to move to the top 10.

Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo, who was keynote speaker, pointed out the attractions that each of the Metro cities have, but said that it is also time to address the challenges that are common in highly dense cities, such as traffic congestion and poor urban planning. She said that the Department of Tourism is introducing the platforms by which cities can reintroduce themselves, because they may have been taken for granted these past years. It is time, she noted, for cities to build up their advantages and make the most of the opportunities that tourism brings. Quoting a source, she pointed out that beautiful destinations are not accidents, but are the result of deliberate planning, careful and effective execution and a lot of passion. She exhorted tourism stakeholders at the summit to be passionate yet deliberate in promoting the Philippines as a tourism destination.

Another speaker, Imtiaz Muqbil, one of the most respected trade and tourism journalists, with a rich breadth of experiences in the Asia-Pacific region, advised tourism planners that they must aim for the right balance, otherwise nothing will work. He observed the growing clonalisation of cities, combining the words ‘clone’ and ‘globalization,’ as he noticed that cities were beginning to look alike – with rising skyscrapers, traffic, and shopping malls. Cities, he said, may have lost their soul, their distinct character, in their aspiration to progress. They must look back at history and culture to rediscover what it is that led to their formation, and use these to carve out their distinction.

Donald Patrick Lim, chief digital officer of ABS CBN Broadcasting Corporation, shared the very candid observation that the Philippines was not similar to other ASEAN countries, and that of those who visit ASEAN, very few visit the Philippines. He said that it may be because we do not promote the Philippines with a cohesive marketing message that gives a tourist a solid impression about the country. Although the Philippines has a lot of attractions, what may be missing is a point of distinction – the essence, the soul and character of the Philippines should come out in this message.

Lim said that, with the tools of digital media, everyone can help in tourism promotion. He showed the example of Korean teenagers in the Philippines who produced their own youtube video, starring themselves, to show Koreans what they can discover and experience in the Philippines. Showing all the wonderful experiences in the Philippines as discovered by various people themselves, Lim showed a video produced entirely from videos taken by various local and foreign tourists themselves, of the breath-taking and fun activities they have had in different parts of the country. He said that these days, being digital is no longer a choice, it has become an imperative for tourism.

Adoption Consciousness celebration kicks off today


QUEZON CITY, February 11 (PIA) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will spearhead this morning the 2017 Adoption Consciousness Week (February 11-19, 2017) celebration together with national government agencies and members of the Association of Child Caring Agencies of the Philippines (ACCAP) at the Quezon City Memorial Circle (QCMC).

The celebration aims to promote legal adoption as a means of providing compassion and unconditional love to abandoned, neglected and surrendered children, thus the theme “Pagmamahal Palaganapin, Legal na Pag-aampon Ating Gawin! (Spread Unconditional Love through Legal Adoption).”

The celebration also encourages adoptive parents who simulated the birth registration of their adoptive child/children to undergo the process of legal adoption to protect their welfare and ensure that their rights are same with that of biological children.

“One of the important thrusts of our Department is to ensure that all children, whether adopted or legitimate, have the right to have a family that will provide the protection, care, and love that they need,” DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo said.

Taguiwalo added, ”We are advocating for the strengthening of the legal process of adoption to ensure that the rights of adopted children are protected and that they are justly recognized in our society.”

For the official launching of the event, adoptive families from DSWD-accredited child placement agencies and field offices (FOs) from the National Capital Region (NCR), CALABARZON, and MIMAROPA and national government agencies (NGAs) will gather and participate in the “Walk for Legal Adoption” parade which will be held at the Quezon City Memorial Circle on February 11.

This will be followed by a press conference participated by legal adoption experts and advocates. Some adoptive families will discuss the significance of legal adoption in safeguarding the best interest of adopted children.

To entice possible adoptive parents and assist adoptive parents who simulated the birth registration of their adoptive children, Adoption Help Desks manned by DSWD and partner government agencies will be put up in several selected malls and in government offices.

Schedule and location of the Adoption Help Desks will be in the following: February 11 – QCMC; February 13 - Regional Trial Court (RTC) ,Paranaque; February 17 - Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Main Office Ground Floor, Quezon City, SM Mall of Asia, SM Megamall, SM North EDSA, SM Manila, SM San Mateo, SM Fairview, SM Marikina and SM Bacoor.

On February 18 to 19, Adoption Help Desks will be put up in: SM Batangas, SM Sta. Rosa, SM Lipa, SM Calamba, SM Cabanatuan, Market-Market, Trinoma Mall and Festival Mall.

Schedule of the Adoption Help Desks in Government Agencies will be: February 20 – DSWD Central Office; February 21 – DOH Main Office, Tayuman, Sta Cruz, Manila; February 22 – DOJ, Padre Faura; and on February 23 at DepEd main office , Meralco Avenue, Pasiog City.

In support to the celebration, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) will hold an adoption forum on February 17 at the at the DILG Main Office. This will be attended by DILG staff, Officers of the Association of Barangay Captains (ABC), selected heads of barangays and City/Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office.

From 2009 to 2016, the Department has already issued 5,681 Certification Declaring a Child Legally Available for Adoption (CDCLAA) and matched some 1,409 children to local adoptive families.

During the same period, the Intercountry Adoption Board (ICAB) received a total of 3,799 children cleared for inter-country adoption and 3,517 children matched for inter-country adoption.

Meanwhile, Sec. Taguiwalo also called on other national and local government agencies involved in the process of legal adoption to strengthen inter-agency coordination and advocacy to prevent simulation of birth.

She also warned adoptive parents that simulation of birth is a criminal offense with a fine of imprisonment from six to 12 years and a fine not exceeding P50,000.00.

“We call on the public to help us spread compassion and love for the children who are still waiting to have their own families by sharing your time and resources to them through legal adoption,” appealed Sec. Taguiwalo.

QC declares last Sunday of May as Bike Day


QUEZON CITY, Feb. 10 (PIA)--In a bid to promote the use of bicycles as alternative mode of transport and encourage road sharing between motorists and non-motorists, the Quezon City has declared the last Sunday of May as Bicycle Day.

City Ordinance 2551-2016, underscored the importance of encouraging city residents to use bicycles not only for personal benefit but also as an effort to improve the city’s environmental quality.

The Quezon City is supportive of the moves to protect the environment by providing measures and initiatives such as creation of bike lanes to encourage residents to ride bicycles instead of motorized vehicles that cause air pollution.

QC to host biz caravan for SMEs


QUEZON CITY, Feb. 9 (PIA)--Small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurs will gather at the QC Experience (QCX) Museum tomorrow, Feb. 10 to hold a business caravan.

The Quezon City government has partnered with Makx Excellence Portal (MEP) in hosting QC’s 1st Business Convention for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

MEP founder Mark Alleister Roa said Quezon City’s status of being at the forefront of the movement for the advancement of businesses and engagement of entrepreneurs makes QC an ideal venue for the launch of the business caravan.

Quezon City’s Sikap Buhay Entrepreneurship and Cooperative Office (SBECO), Community Relations Office (CRO) and the Office of Councilor Estrella Valmocina, who sits as chair of the QC Council Committee on Small and Medium Enterprise, are coordinating efforts to further strengthen the city government’s thrust of helping the growing number of small businesses in the city.

SBECO, the poverty alleviation arm of the QC government, is focused on providing capital to micro-entrepreneurs and networking support for them to be able to make their enterprise.

Maynilad allots P13.2B for projects this year

By Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines – West Zone concessionaire Maynilad Water Services Inc. is spending P13.2 billion for its water and wastewater infrastructure projects this year.

Bulk or about P8.2 billion of this year’s capital expenditures will go to water infrastructure projects to ensure sufficient water supply and pressure in the West Zone.

Nearly P4.2 billion has been set aside for improvement works in its water treatment plants, construction and upgrade of pumping stations and reservoirs, laying of primary pipelines for water service expansion, and enhancements of common purpose facilities.

Some P4 billion will be allocated for Maynilad’s Non-Revenue Water (NRW) reduction program, which covers meter management, leak repairs, pipe replacements, and District Metered Area management.

The rest of the budget will be spent for the modernization of data management and information systems and maintenance and improvement of existing facilities, among others.

Funding will come from a combination of bank loans and internally generated funds. The water company expects to create around 40,549 jobs from its projects this year.

“Despite the delayed implementation of our Arbitral Award, we will pursue our investment plans for the West Zone because we have an obligation to provide good water and wastewater services to our over nine million customers,” Maynilad president and CEO Ramoncito Fernandez said.

DSWD joins advocacy for an Autism-OK ASEAN

(Social Marketing, DSWD)

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) continues to push for inclusive development for persons with disabilities (PWDs) through its support for persons with autism (PWAs) during the kick off celebration of the National Autism Consciousness Week (NACW), led by the Autism Society Philippines (ASP), at the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena on Sunday (February 5).

For this year, the celebration, slated from February 5 to 11, calls to build an autism-global society that enables PWAs to enjoy equal opportunities and rights to become independent and productive members of the society through its theme, “Onwards to an Autism-OK ASEAN.”

During the event’s opening program, representatives from international and diplomatic community, the private sector, and national government agencies including DSWD Undersecretary for Promotive Programs Ma. Lourdes Turalde-Jarabe, delivered messages of support to the PWA community.

“We will definitely push in the Philippine Development Plan that the rights and welfare of PWDs and persons with autism will be promoted and protected by the Duterte administration,” affirmed Usec. Turalde-Jarabe.

After the program, the DSWD delegation, led by Usec. Turalde-Jarabe and Protective Services Bureau (PSB) Director Ma. Alicia Bonoan, marched with thousands of advocates during the “Angels Walk for Autism” around the SM MOA complex to support for the awareness, acceptance and inclusion of PWAs in the society.

Meanwhile, DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo expressed her support to the advocacy and said that the Department and the current administration will ensure that concrete programs and services will be allotted to PWDs and PWAs.

“As the chair for this year’s ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC), the DSWD will continue to champion the rights and welfare of PWDs in ASEAN by pushing for concrete measures that promote their inclusive growth. We aim to incorporate discussions on how to address the programs and policy gaps for PWDs within the ASEAN Community and how we can establish stronger platforms to ensure that education, employment, medical needs and facilities are accessible to PWDs and are prioritized by all member-countries,” Sec. Taguiwalo said.

Health groups, Quezon City govt in joint efforts to make children’s first 1,000 days better


Malnutrition in children continues to be a major concern in the country, particularly during their first 1,000 days. Thus, various Philippine medical societies and private health organizations have entered into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the local government of Quezon City to implement nutrition-specific interventions to mothers and their infants in marginalized communities.

The first 1,000 days is the period that covers conception up to a child’s second birthday and there are health risks, which are irreversible, that occur during the said period.

The “First 1,000 Days Program” is a joint project of the Quezon City government, the Philippine Obstetrics and Gynecological Society (POGS), the Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS) and Kabisig ng Kalahi Inc. The pilot program will run for three years, or until September 30, 2019, with the intention to upscale the program for all Quezon City health units and their constituents.

Together, the organizations will implement an intervention program to address the lack of adequate nutrients received by Filipino children during the first 1,000 days of their lives, which cause irreversible damage or gaps in their physical, as well as mental, development. Some of these interventions are micronutrient supplementation, exclusive breastfeeding, immunization and proper nutrition.

“We are glad to participate in this public-private initiative to address maternal and child health concerns of our constituents, particularly since it is among the key priorities of our city government,” said Quezon City Councilor Lala Sotto-Antonio, who will file a resolution to back the First 1,000 Days Program.

Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, who signed the MOA, reiterated what he emphasized in his most recent or seventh State of the City Address (Soca) that public-health services is a necessity in poverty alleviation.

“Our objective has been to improve the survival rate of our newborns and reduce maternal mortality. The Batang 1,000 program that our City Health Department operationalizes in partnership with various groups seeks to provide the health protection and nutrition needed to ensure the normal development of a child from the time he is born to 2 years of age,” Bautista said.

He urged all mothers to register in their barangays for the program to receive comprehensive care package during their pregnancy, up to the time they give birth, and for their child, as well.

Participation and compliance, according to Program Manager Maria Christine Joy B. Tanteo, MD, DPPS, is very crucial in the success of the program. “The mothers really have to avail themselves of the interventions that we are offering and to comply with the entire program. That is the key in getting all the health and nutritional benefits for themselves and their child. There are no shortcuts. They have to go through the entire program.”

“We are hoping with this kind of program, we can increase the awareness of mothers, help them adopt the right attitude toward motherhood, take active participation in their pregnancy and care of their child,” said Luz Ma. Theresa Garcia, MD, medical director of SafeBirth Lying-In Clinic.

The first 1,000 days is a period that opens a critical window for most beneficial intervention and positive resulting outcomes. Likewise, it is also a period when both mothers and children are at a greater risk of malnutrition.

Thus, the role of Kabisig ng Kalahi Inc. in providing the nutritional requirements of the mothers and children through supplemental feeding is very crucial. “We have been doing this for a long time already in various parts of the country. We will help mothers take care of their own nutrition and that of their children by teaching them to plan and prepare nutritious meals,” said its founder and president, Victoria V. Weineke.

Proper nutrition and sustenance can give children a very good head start early on in their lives. The program’s regimen can deal with risks associated with lack of adequate nutrients or malnutrition, such as its most prevalent and serious manifestation, which is stunting. Based on the findings of the eigth National Nutrition Survey Philippines conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), three out of 10, or 30.3 percent, children among 0 to 5 years old were stunted.

Stunting is a major contributor to child mortality due to common childhood infections, such as diarrhea and pneumonia. Stunting is also related to increased risk of overweight and noncommunicable disease, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, later in life. Besides, stunting, the other physical manifestations or signs of malnutrition include underweight, overweight and wasting.

Brain or mental development is just as important, according to PPS, the outcome of the brain development during the first 2 years of a child determines to a large extent a person’s mental capacity for the rest of his or her life. “Brain development should be at par with the child’s chronological age,” said Milagros Bautista, MD, immediate president of PPS.

In effect, it is an early investment into the future of the children as it will give them a good head start in life. They will be nourished very well, thus will grow up to be physically and mentally equipped. Indirectly, that is the key in breaking the chain of intergenerational poverty.

Poverty, particularly intergenerational poverty, is still prevalent among Filipinos. Poverty is transmitted from one generation to another. Poor parents’ children eventually become poor adults themselves, because they were not provided with proper nutrition, health care and education, among others. Thus, they have limited or lack opportunities life.

In the Philippines the monthly poverty threshold for a family of five is at least P9,140—this is the amount the family needs to meet both basic food and nonfood needs. Poverty threshold also refers to the minimum income a family or individual must earn in order to be considered “not poor”.

The top 2 goals among the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are: end poverty in all its forms everywhere; and end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition.

POGS Vice President Mayumi S. Bismark, MD, said the First 1,000 Day Program is a seamless approach and that participation of the key health groups, which are experts in all aspects of care—from the women’s pregnancy to maternal and child care, will ensure its comprehensive implementation.

The clinical program is also meant to generate local data to support protocols that have been tested in other countries to ensure efficiency if and when it will be rolled out for implementation all over the country.

“It is the collective aim of all the organizations involved that the First 1,000 Days Program will be followed by others and will be implemented nationwide. We have gone beyond theories and concepts to actual implementation. Hopefully, we can bring the program down to the communities, so it can be adapted nationwide,” Bismark said.

63rd ACPC Governing Council Meeting: Make credit access easier for the Filipino Farmers — Piñol

By Carlos Baldosa (DA-AFID)

Department of Agriculture Secretary and Chairman of the Governing Council of the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) Manny Piñol together with the members of the Council and ACPC Executive Director Jocelyn Alma R. Badiola discussed ways to improve credit facilities making it more accessible and available for the Filipino farmer during a round table meeting held at the DA Central Office on the last day of January 2017.

“The absence of financing for farmers created a monumental problem in agriculture in the past,” Piñol said while emphasizing the need for a simple, fast, and reliable financing program for farmers and fisherfolks.

“Time is essential especially for farmers. A two weeks delay in planting means they may not be able to harvest on time especially before the typhoon season,” he added.

PUNLA or Program for Unified Lending in Agriculture aims to simplify and consolidate the agri lending programs of the government from around 7 down to 2-3 credit facilities providing a more convenient and less complex lending scheme to farmers and fishers.

PUNLA with an initial funding of P200 million targets to boost the respective agri-fishery industries of the 10 poorest provinces in the country.

The program provides lending for farmers and fisherfolk groups with less stringent requirements, faster fund-releasing time and low interest rates.

Another lending program that was discussed was the SURE Loan Program with P1 billion fund pledged by President Duterte. The President’s commitment followed after the recent visit and assessment of Sec. Piñol in flood stricken provinces in Mindanao.

SURE provides two packages – the Survival Package of P15,000 for food and subsistence and the Recovery Package of P20,000 for the farmer and fisherman to be used for buying fertilizers and farm inputs and enable them to recover. Both packages are interest and collateral free and payable in three years.

QC strictly regulates sale of anti-TB drugs


QUEZON CITY (PIA) -- Pharmacies and drugstores in Quezon City will no longer be allowed to sell anti-tuberculosis drugs over-the-counter or without doctor’s prescription.

QC Mayor Herbert M. Bautista has signed into law Ordinance No. 2545 or the “No prescription, no dispensing of anti-TBV drugs policy.”

The ordinance, principally authored by Councilor Eufemio Lagumbay, gives teeth to the local enforcement of a policy in dispensing prescription medication which includes anti-TB drugs. The ordinance also makes it imperative for pharmacies and drugstores to equip their personnel with the necessary skill and competence to help TB patients get access to the correct and complete TB treatment.

The dispositive portion of the ordinance cited Department of Health order and Republic Act 10918 or the amended Pharmacy Law Section 1 of Administrative Order No. 64 Series of 1989 prohibits the dispensing of identified foods, drugs, devices and cosmetics without prescription; while Section 22 of Republic Act 10918, otherwise known as an Act Regulating and Modernizing the practice of pharmacy in the Philippines, repealing for the purpose Republic Act 5921, otherwise known as Pharmacy Law, clearly states that prescription medicines may be dispensed only by duly registered and licensed pharmacist and only with the valid prescription of physician, dentist or veterinarian.

The ordinance also cited the effects of self-medication or indiscriminate use of anti-TB drugs which could lead to the development of multi-drug resistance as well as to other public health complications.

The ordinance, which highlights the city government’s continuing effort to make Quezon City a TB-free community, carries a penal provision including fines and permanent closure of the establishment found violating provisions of the ordinance.

As provided under the measure, the QC Health Department (QCHD) and the Business Permits and Licensing Office (BPLO) were tasked to implement the ordinance.

Quezon City seals sister-cities pact with Myanmar’s Yangon City


QUEZON CITY, Feb. 3 (PIA) -- Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding with the mayor of Yangon City in Myanmar binding the two Southeast Asian cities into a “sisterhood agreement”.

Mayor Maung Maung Soe signed in behalf of the Yangon City Development Committee, the administrative body of the former capital and largest city of Myanmar.

Senior officials of the Quezon City government and the Yangon City Development Committee witnessed ceremony held at the Bulwagang Amoranto of Quezon City Hall.

Ambassador Emil Fernandez, chief of the Office for Asia and Pacific Affairs of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), also witnessed the signing.

“This is a historic day for both our cities since the agreement signing happens to fall on the eve of the Golden Anniversary of the ASEAN,” Mayor Bautista said.

“The prospect of ASEAN economic integration looks bright for both our people through this exercise. Our commonalities in terms of colonial and economic experiences will make our integration and business dealings much easier,” the Mayor said.

Mayor Bautista later presented the Yangon mayor a symbolic key to Quezon City as a token of appreciation for his goodwill visit to the city.

For his part, Mayor Soe described Yangon City’s partnership with Quezon City as the first step for the development of both cities and shall serve as a venue for the opening up of various avenues for learning and experience to both parties.

Before the formal forging of the sister-cities pact, officials of the Yangon City Development Committee visited City Hall where senior officials briefed them on the best governance practices that Quezon City has adopted in the areas of ease of doing business, solid waste management and pollution control, disaster risk reduction and management and traffic management.