PIA News Service - Thursday, November 28, 2013

China provides medical reinforcement to PH

By Venus L. Garcia

TACLOBAN CITY, Nov. 28 (PIA) – China has arrived at the anchorage in Philippine territory on the 24th of November to augment the medical forces  for the Yolanda operations in this city.

Despite the sporadic tensions plotted between these countries, the sense of harmony is demonstrated when China government sent to the Philippines its Ark Peace, the Hospital Ship of Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy. It is an indigenous large-displacement maritime platform for medical treatment.

China’s Hospital Ship was commissioned on December 2008 with a length of 866.178m, 24m in beam, and 35.5m in height. It has eight levels and a full load displacement of 14,300t. The 4,000 m.sq. medical service facility is laid out into five areas, delivering capabilities of patient transfer, triage, surgery, diagnosis and treatment, and evacuation.

Mission Command Rear Admiral Shen Hao expressed his gratitude to the Philippine government for the strong support of the Navy. “We’ve encountered challenges in our mission here since the location of our ship is far from the coast. There’s an inconvenience in the transfer of patients, however, with the help of the Philippine Navy, they are facilitating the transport of patients from Tacloban sea port to our ship through its navy boats across Cacabato Bay,” he said.

There are three Philippine Navy liaisons who are presently on-board the ship who take charge in the direct coordination of operations.

Field hospital was also established to cater the patients before bringing them to the ship. Near to it is a temporary helipad. Ship's management is utilizing the use of helicopters to avoid transport delay of patients and it has critically improved their service by cutting the one and a half hour to only 20 minutes time of travel, an effective and time saving strategy.

“The Philippine health officers assisted us in visting several hospitals in Tacloban City and we got so much support from them. We’ve also witnessed the psychosocial support of local social workers to the patients,” remarked Chief of Maritime Hospital Senior Captain Sun Tao.

He added that they are not certain yet about the duration of their stay in the country and that their present priority is to provide medical treatments especially to Yolanda victims.

“The demands of victims need serious attention. It is our fourth day here and we are doing our best to accomodate more of them. Our intent is to share the spirit of humaniarian peace and friendship. We are doing this to spread love and care,” emphasized Sun Tao.

As of this time, the hospital ship has already served 55,000 patients in 17,000 countries around the world. They have extended their help to eight asian countries during the past four months.

In the country, they have already accomodated more than 20 inpatients who benefitted from the free medical treatments. 

With 399 officers and medical experts on board the ship, interpreter Lt. Wei Yan is encouraging the press and media outfits to visit them to see and observe that they are continuously complying the service standards. She concluded by deeply expressing their thanks to the Philippine government. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


MinDA, Banana growers extend bananas, food packs to EV

TACLOBAN CITY, Nov. 28 (PIA) - The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) and Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA) have donated around 6,000 boxes of bananas and 9,000 food packs to the typhoon victims in Eastern Visayas.

MinDA Sec. Luwalhati Antonino, in a phone-patch interview aired over Philippine Information Agency’s (PIA’s) Power FM, said the distribution is part of the agency’s humanitarian initiative dubbed “One Mindanao for Visayas,” which aims to augment relief and rehabilitation efforts for areas ravaged by Typhoon “Yolanda” in the Visayas and intensify assistance to the victims of one of the strongest typhoons recorded in history.

“This initiative has also provided Mindanawons the opportunity to extend personal contributions as an expression of gratitude for the support the entire country and the international communities had extended when Mindanao was also ravaged not long ago by Typhoons ‘Sendong’ and ‘Pablo,’” Antonino said.

MinDA Caraga Area Manager Cecil Trino, who led the distribution since Wednesday in Leyte, said they were able to distribute around 3,000 food packs to the town of Mayorga and 1,300 boxes of bananas to Palo.

“Each box can benefit at least 10 families. Practically, at least 60,000 families will benefit from these donations from Davao-based company, Tagum Agricultural Development Company, Inc. and other PBGEA members,” said Trino.

Also, Trino said they are set to distribute today around 700 boxes of bananas to Tacloban City and 800 boxes in Tanauan, Leyte. (FEA/PIA-Caraga)


DSWD-Caraga to hold Annual SLP Congress in Butuan

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Nov. 28 (PIA) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Caraga through its Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) will be holding this year’s SLP Congress on December 9 at the Balanghai Hotel and Convention Center, this city.

“The event is an avenue of showcasing and exhibiting the products of our Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries from their livelihood projects funded and assisted by the Sustainable Livelihood Program,” said DSWD-Caraga Regional Director Minda Brigoli.

One of the highlights of the said activity is the gallery viewing and product selling that is open to public starting 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

“This is one way of marketing and promoting our local products to potential buyers that will eventually help beneficiaries become profitable and productive in the society,” added Brigoli.

The SLP is a community-based capacity-building program aimed at improving the socio-economic status of its participants. The program was derived from the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach (SLA) crafted by the Department for International Development (DFID) in the United Kingdom. The SLP was then created, adopting key principles, structures, and processes from SLA and tailoring them to fit the setting of communities in the Philippines.

SLP also recognizes the need to converge efforts with other stakeholders. To achieve the best outcome possible, the DSWD enlists the help of the public sector through National Government Agencies (NGAs), Local Government Units (LGUs), and legislators. It also promotes public-private partnerships with development partners, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), People’s Organizations (POs), the academe, and the business sector. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


SSS, LGU-Butuan launch ‘AlkanSSSya’ Program

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Nov. 28 (PIA) - The Social Security System (SSS) in cooperation with the city government here thru Mayor Ferdinand Amante Jr., launched on Wednesday afternoon the SSS 'AlkanSSSya' Program with the informal sector at the city hall lobby.

Early morning on the same day, the SSS officials with Mayor Amante visited Langihan Public Market and briefed the tricycle drivers and vendors on the said program.

Amante expressed his congratulations to the officials of the SSS in Butuan and Cagayan de Oro City for coming up of the 'AlkanSSSya' Program for the benefit of the informal sector.

"I believe this will work. The sector is given the chance to save and be able to pay their own SSS premium. And by saving P10 a day, their monthly due will be ensured," he said.

Also, Atty. Edwin M. Alo, OIC of SSS Northern Mindanao Division, encouraged the informal sector to be persistent in saving until its whole-year SSS premiums will be completed.

"Once you completed your one year contribution, you can now avail of the educational loan to support your children's schooling," he said.

AlkanSSSya members can also avail of the agency's salary and housing loans as well as funeral, maternity, disability, death and retirement benefits. They will likewise be issued a Unified Member Idenfication card which they can use when transacting to private and public institutions.

Meanwhile, Mayor Amante with the SSS officials signed the Memorandum of Agreement that marked the partnership of the parties for the implementation of the SSS ‘AlkanSSSya’ Program.

The AlkanSSSya program is a micro savings program that aims to attract informal sector workers seeking access to social protection.  This program will make use of cabinet-like “piggy banks” to help its members save up on their premiums and eventually come up with the needed P312 monthly due. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


PNP chief to lead relief caravan for ‘Yolanda’-stricken cops

By Insp. Romuel Nacar

CAMP KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte, Nov. 28 (PIA) – Philippine National Police (PNP) Director-General Alan LM. Purisima is set to arrive here on Friday, Nov. 29 as he leads the relief caravan for police personnel affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda that battered Eastern Visayas on Nov. 8.

P/Chief Supt. Henry Losanes, acting regional director of Police Regional Office 8 (PRO-8) said that the PNP chief will extend cash assistance to the dependents of the four policemen who were casualties of the storm.

 “The PNP relief team will also provide relief packs to our men in the devastated areas, including new police uniforms,” Losanes said.

“This is a big help to our men as hundreds of them were also victims of the disaster, losing not only their homes but some of their love ones,” he added.

It was learned that SPO4 Rogelio Alba of Tacloban City Police Office; SPO1 Edgar Avina, PO2 Adelfo Lopez and PO2 Jaffy Villegas, all from Leyte Police Provincial Office, perished in the catastrophe.

Three out of the 6,271 police personnel assigned in the region are still unaccounted, as of this time.

Also, the PNP chief will inspect the devastation brought by the typhoon to PNP properties, including the regional and Leyte Police Provincial Office headquarters that were totally damaged, and some police stations in Leyte and other areas that were either totally or partially damaged. (FEA/P/Media Relations-PRO8/PIA-Caraga)


Reg’l PopQuiz, On-the-Spot winners bared

By Angie Balen- Antonio

BUTUAN CITY, Nov. 28 (PIA) –   Top students of the 12 schools divisions in the region showcased their talents in the recently concluded Regional Population Quiz and On-the-Spot Contests by the Commission on Population (PopCom) Caraga.

The On-the-Spot Contests include the Essay Writing, Poster Making and Jingle Writing and Singing dubbed as Festival of Talents.

The contests are a joint undertaking of the PopCom and the Department of Education (DepEd) that serve as an avenue where the students can best showcase their talents.

Participating Schools Division are Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Bayugan City, Bislig City, Butuan City, Province of Dinagat Islands, Siargao, Surigao City, Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte, and the newly installed Divisions of Cabadbaran City and Tandag City.

The following were adjudged as winners:

Population Quiz                 : MARIA VIA E. CATUBIG – Surigao City Division
Essay Writing Contest       : MICHAEL IRUH S. FAUNE-Butuan City Division
Poster Making Contest       : KING JOHN C. ROSALES-Butuan City Division
Jingle Writing & Singing      : KENNETH S. MAPA – Agusan del Norte Division

Each Champion receives cash prize, certificate of recognition, medal and trophy.

PopCom-Caraga Regional Director Alexander A. Makinano said that the regional champions will represent Caraga to the national contest sometime on April 2014.

The event is a yearly activity open to all high school students both public and private to popularize, increase awareness and appreciation on population issues and concerns and upgrade the student’s level of competence and confidence in facing life’s challenges. (PopCom-13/PIA-Caraga)


PhilHealth Tacloban, Ormoc offices now open to serve; issues policy on fortuitous events

By Kenneth Po

BUTUAN CITY, Nov. 28 - In just two weeks after Typhoon Yolanda wreaked havoc in Eastern Visayas, the Philippine Health (PhilHealth) Insurance Corporation announced that its local health insurance offices in the cities of Tacloban and Ormoc are now up and running to serve the health insurance needs of members and non-members alike.

PhilHealth fulfilled its promise to open the two leading offices Monday, November 25, after suffering from heavy damage from strong winds and storm surges.

“We are back in operation in these two major cities for the benefit of our members and partners, thanks to our resilient and dedicated team in Region VIII,” PhilHealth President and CEO Alexander A. Padilla said.

PhilHealth earlier assured the public that at least seven of their local health insurance offices and service desks in Southern Leyte, Samar and Biliran are still up and running despite the severe damage and very unusual situation that their employees are in.

“These offices can perform membership registration and verification concerns (without online inquiry due to power outage) and receiving of benefit claims and premium contributions, except for the service desks,” Padilla said, adding that members and partners can contact their Yolanda Action Center at (02) 441-7425 to 26 for PhilHealth’s disaster recovery, rehabilitation and support efforts in the area.

The PhilHealth Chief also said that to institutionalize their response during fortuitous events of such magnitude, PhilHealth has issued a policy that will serve as their template of response to ensure continuing health care benefits during such “acts of God”.

In its Circular 34, s-2013 dated November 15, 2013, PhilHealth will pay claims of members and non-members and accredited and non-accredited hospitals and professionals during such events.

“We will even extend filing period for claims to 120 days from date of discharge, make exemptions to the less than 24-hour confinement rule, and even reimbursement for destroyed claims,” Padilla stressed.

The Circular also allows for extension of deadline of premium payments and/or existing coverage as prescribed by PhilHealth, among other. (PhilHealth-13/PIA-Caraga)


Cebuano news: 8 ka mga hospitals nag-operate na sa Tacloban City

Ni Susil D. Ragas

SURIGAO CITY, Nob. 28 (PIA) – Human sa tulo ka semana nga milabay sa pagkaigo sa bagyong “Yolanda” sa maong syudad, otso na ka mga hospital ang hingpit ng nag-operate ug andam na nga motambal sa bisan unsa nga mga sakit.

Sumala ni DOH Asst. Secretary Paulyn Rosell-Ubial sa otso ka maong hospital, lima ang tertiary level, nga diin naghatag og operation services, ug tulo ang primary level nga modawat og outpatients apan dili mohimo og pagpag-opera.


Ang  lima ka tertiary level nga mga hospital mao ang Visayas Medical Center, RTR Medical Center, St. Paul’s Hospital, Bethany Hospital ug field hospitals sa Gobyernong Australia nga nahimutang duol sa airport.

Samtang ang tulo ka mga primary-level hospitals mao ang Mother of Mercy Hospital, Tacloban Doctors Hospital ug Tacloban City Hospital.

Alang niadtong mga pasyente nga nagkinahanglan og major operations, ila kining ipangadto sa Chinese hospital ship nga gitawag og “Peace Ark” nga nahidangat dinhi sa nasod niadtong niaging Domingo ug dili tungod niini dili na nila kinahanglan pa nga ipasakay sa eroplano ang mga pasyente aron dal-on didto sa Cebu ug Manila, sumala ni Ubial.

Gibutyag ni Ubial nga aduna nay duha ka kaso nga namatay sa neonatal tetanus tungod sa unsterile conditions, mao nga ilang gipaningkamotan nga tanang mga nanay nga mabdos adto gyud sa hospital manganak aron malikayan ang maong insedente.

Gibutyag usab niya nga usa ka kaso sa leptospirosis na ang namatay og 13 pa ka mga kaso ang nakitaan niini.

Sumala pa ni Ubial nga luyo sa tetanus, ang DOH nagamonitor usab sa mga kaso sa dengue tungod kay sukad niadtong Enero ngadto Agosto adunay 3,000 ka gikatahong mga kaso sa dengue sa Tacloban mao nga ang DOH adunay andam nga 12 ka mga fogging machines pangpatay sa lamok. Tulo niini ang gigamit sa Tacloban ug nuybe didto sa Leyte.

Dugang pa niya nga ang DOH milusad usab og mass vaccination kontra tigdas sa Tacloban ug Leyte. (PIA-Surigao del Norte)