3.15.2010

PIA News Service - Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Feature: Pinoy youths struggle mounting unemployment

SURIGAO CITY (March 16) – Filipino youths are almost twice to be unemployed than adults, an International Labor Organization (ILO) official said during a National Youth Conference/Workshop for Decent Work under Global Crisis organized by the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) held recently in Tagaytay City.

ILO Employment and Migration Project Coordinator Roche Angon said that in the 2008 NSO Labor Force survey, Filipino young people aged 24 years old and below across the nation hit bloc nearly 50% unemployed.

 “In 2008, about 6.58 million youth are employed compared with 27.5 million adult workers. Consequently, 1.4 million youth are unemployed or 17.4% as compared to 4.6% or 1.33 million adult unemployed,” said Angon.

She also said that youth unemployment across the region has risen as inadequate training and the widespread use of short-term jobs make young workers one of the main victims of the economic meltdown.

Meantime, Toshiyuki Wakatsuki, Youth & Education Senior Officer of the International Trade Union Confederation in Asia Pacific (ITUC-AP) described youth unemployment rate as “very critical.” 

Wakatsuki attributed the high youth unemployment rate on the fact that young people in their own respective countries are primarily employed on short-term contracts that require company to pay lesser benefits and these have been the first to be eliminated in the recession.
 
Wakatsuki then called for an urgent support for the youth that include opportunities for employment and job creation, education, training/re-training and job exchange, working and social lives of the youth and trade union participation.

Decent Jobs for Filipino Youth 

The ILO together with other UN country team agencies that include International Organization for Migration (IOM), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and UN International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) developed a program called Youth, Employment and Migration (YEM): Alternatives to Migration, Decent Jobs for Filipino Youth specifically to improved policy coherence and implementation on youth, employment and migration through full stakeholder participation, and increased access to decent work for poor specifically to the young women and men in the country.
.
The YEM according to Angon will be implemented by the different line agencies which act as the National Steering Committee. 
.
She however said that the YEM Programme will only be implemented on the identified pilot project sites in the provinces of Agusan del Sur, Antique, Masbate and Maguindanao. 
.
“Discussions and workshop were already conducted to the different stakeholders and we are now in the initial stage of implementation,” she added.
.
“The programs hopes to benefit some 10,000 poor and vulnerable youth aged from 15-24 years old who are Out-of-School Youths, In-school Youths, high school graduates, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and Youth left behind by OFW parents,” said Angon.
.
Trade Unions to the Rescue
.
To demonstrate its concern for members, TUCP Campaign Officer Dominador Tuvera introduced the SALT program which stands as Solidarity action, Advocacy, Legislation and Trade Unions’ action. 
.
“It will be the unions’ action to the mounting unemployment problem of the youth in the country,” said Tuvera.
.
The SALT will serve as an entry point in engaging government’s programs and speed up its responses and interventions.
.
He also reminded its members the right to organize and collective bargaining.
(Fryan E. Abkilan, PIA-Surigao del Norte)
.
.
DOH-Caraga strengthens newborn screening campaign
.
By Jennifer P. Gaitano
.
BUTUAN CITY – To ensure every child’s health from its birth, the Center for Health Development (CHD) of the Department of Health (DOH) Caraga strengthens it campaign on the newborn screening implementation especially to the health facilities in the region. 
.
DOH-Caraga bared that newborn screening is an essential public health strategy that enables early detection of several metabolic disorders that could lead to mental retardation if not treated earlier. It has been an integral part of routine newborn care as mandated by the Republic Act 9288 otherwise known as the Newborn Screening Act of 2004.
.
According to reports, Caraga region at present have 61 newborn screening facilities. Among these facilities, only few have reached the target of screening 85% of the delivered babies. Through monitoring and evaluation of these facilities, major persistent issues that hamper increase of coverage were uncovered. The low performances of the facility are due to the increasing numbers of indigent patients and lack of information and education of parents regarding importance of newborn screening.
.
In line with this, CHD-DOH recently conducted the Sales Conference among partners in Newborn Screening program Implementation. The conference was conducted to ensure that the targeted coverage is met through adequate and sustained Newborn Screening information and education at all levels and lobby for funding to sponsor screening of indigent patients. 
.
Also, part of the activity was also to rally support of the individual/s groups who have powerful influence at the grassroots level and have big roles in changing the lives of the future members of the society.
.
With this advocacy, CHD-DOH is optimistic that families will bare with the implementation of the screening implementation as well as to all health facilities in the region. (PIA-Caraga) 
.
.
NFA assures stable rice supply despite El Niño
.
Regional Director Gil Pepito B. Paqueo assured the public of the availability of NFA rice to last a few months despite the threat of prolonged drought brought by the El Niño weather pattern this year.
.
RD Paqueo said that 128,750 bags of imported rice on board M/V BINH PHOUC and 120,000 bags unloaded from M/V VINH HUNG respectively from Thailand and Vietnam arrived recently at the port of Surigao City to beef up the stock inventory of the region. He also disclosed that the third vessel is due to drop anchor this week with a shipment of 130,000 bags of Vietnam rice in Surigao City port. 
.
This supply, he said, is part of the 1.6 million bags expected to arrive in the region this year. The region’s share in the rice importation has increased by 300,000 bags from the original procurement plan of 1.3 million bags as part of the El Nino mitigation plan. These rice imports will also cater the needs of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and Province of Dinagat Islands. 
.
With the regional consumption rate of 22,800 bags on the average daily, the NFA can sustain the market demand for the next 127 days. “With this inventory, we are capable of flooding the market with the commodity (and prevent) attempts to manipulate price and (put) consumers at a disadvantaged position,” said Paqueo.
.
He also noted that while prices of commercial rice have gone up slightly, NFA rice continues to be sold at P18.25 and P25 per kilo. “It is the agency’s commitment to make NFA rice available and visible in the market in order for the consumer to buy rice at low prices”, he said.
.
He then urged the public to send their comments, suggestions, queries and complaints in case of rice diversion, rebagging and overpricing to NFA office at (085) 342-7898. (Christine S. Parinas, NFA-13/ PIA-Caraga)
.
.
NFA opens new warehouse
.
National Food Authority headed by Regional Director Gil Pepito B. Paqueo officially inaugurated its 30,000-bag capacity warehouse in Brgy. Luna San Jose, Province of Dinagat Islands, last February 22, 2010.
.
Gracing the event were Gov. Geraldine “Jade” B. Ecleo and Tubajon Mayor Ronaldo O. Luib Sr. During the ceremony, Gov. Ecleo led the inaugural cutting of the ribbon and unveiling of the marker together with NFA Regional Director Paqueo and Assistant Regional Director Rolando M. Maravilla.
.
Gov. Ecleo was thankful for the construction of the warehouse in Dinagat which is very essential in order to deliver the rice needs of the people. She further commented that the NFA warehouse is a big help to the provincial government in serving the surrounding municipalities and nearby island barangays.
.
The blessing of the NFA warehouse was attended by NFA Caraga regional Staff and NFA Surigao del Norte employees. It was also participated by local officials and staff from Dinagat Islands Provincial Office.
.
The said warehouse is primarily aimed to increase storage for rice requirements which will cater to more than 108 barangays. It will also serve as rice depot supplying to adjacent islands.
.
The one-hectare land was donated by Carmencita Balocan of that same province. (Christine S. Parinas, NFA-13/ PIA-Caraga)
.
.
Domestic Violence up in Caraga
.
BUTUAN CITY – The incidence of spousal violence of women in Caraga posted high than on national average.

According to the 2008 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS), 20.9.% of married women age 15-49 in the region experienced physical violence by their spouse, which is higher compared to the national figure (14.4%).

Survey further revealed that women were hit by their husband because of jealousy (37.6%), followed by insist on knowing where she is at all times (23.8) and frequently accusing on being unfaithful (22.6%).

A study disclosed that women with exposure to spousal violence would likely result to mental health problems, which include depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse and suicidal behaviors and might have an increased risk of premature mortality due to the direct effects of trauma and due to increased risk of suicide.
.
On the other hand, the children and youth who witness family violence is more likely to use drugs, more likely to have suicidal thoughts and more likely to be charged with a criminal offense and as he grow up the child may uphold that violence is an acceptable form of conflict resolution. Thus, practice the same as soon as he/she has a family.
.
Furthermore, the greater is the amount of physical violence towards a spouse, the greater the probability of physical abuse of a child by the abusive spouse.

NDHS also revealed that married women here in the region have committed physical violence against their husband (24.2%).
.
The Commission on Population thru the Local Population Offices emphasized in the Responsible Parenting Movement classes that some of the important elements of a happy relationship between husband and wife are love, respect and understanding to avoid violence and achieve a harmonious married life. (Angie Balen, POPCOM-13/ PIA-Caraga)