PIA News Service - Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Shelter Cluster distributes GI Sheets to Typhoon Yolanda victims

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

TACLOBAN CITY, Dec. 17 (PIA) – The Shelter Cluster for Typhoon Yolanda victims in Region 8 composed of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Energy (DOE), and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in cooperation with international organizations have distributed Galvanized Iron (GI) sheets to families in the hardly-hit areas.

According to Ma. Novelita Villarin, Focal Person for Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive Integrated Delivery of Social Service (KALAHI-CIDSS) of DSWD-8, as of December 16, the cluster was able to distribute a total of 20,064 GI sheets to 1,268 families in the eight barangays in Tanauan, Leyte and 10,470 to 689 families in the six barangays of Guiuan, Eastern Samar.

This covers a total of 1,957 families that have availed the total of 30,534 GI sheets from the cluster.

In the municipality of Guiuan, the six barangays are Bocao (61 families; 945 GI sheets); Alingarog (101 families; 1,725 GI sheets); Tagpuro (107 families; 1,705 GI sheets); Banahao (143 families; 2,335 GI sheets); Bagua (166 families; 1,895 GI sheets); and Hagna (111 families; 1,865 GI sheets).

Also, for the municipality of Tanauan, Eastern Samar, the nine barangays are San Isidro (228 families; 3,845 GI sheets); Guingauan (142 families; 2,280 GI sheets); Cahumayhumayan (202 families; 3,134 GI sheets); Picas (162 families; 2,475 GI sheets); Ada (69 families; 1,090 GI sheets); Cabunga-an (65 families; 980 GI sheets); Canbalisara (147 families; 2,715 GI sheets); and San Victor (253 families; 3,545 GI sheets).

The GI sheets are needed to repair the houses damaged by typhoon Yolanda. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


Clusters for typhoon Yolanda victims share issues & concerns

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

TACLOBAN CITY, Dec. 17 (PIA) – During the joint inter-cluster meeting of government agencies and international organizations held on Tuesday at the conference room of Leyte Sports Complex here, representatives from various clusters shared several issues and concerns on their operations.

With the presence of regional director Rey Gozon of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Region 8, the food security cluster stressed that coordination and linkages with other partners are ongoing to continuously provide high energy foods and safe water to typhoon Yolanda victims in the region.

The water system is also being monitored since there are still reported leaks on the distribution pipes.

The camp management cluster is intensifying its resettlement operations. Security of the evacuees is also tightened.

Some 1,957 families have also availed the total of 30,534 Galvanized Iron (GI) sheets to repair their houses damaged by Yolanda, it was learned.

Also, the emergency shelter cluster revealed that although the Department of Public Works and Highways has already started the construction of bunk houses, they have observed that there are still victims in the other affected municipalities that have no proper shelter and are moving from one place to another.

Meanwhile, the recovery and livelihood cluster raised that they will be hiring full-time staff to help them in doing the job that could also focus on its operations and these staff will be working in shift.

It was also learned that on Thursday, Dec. 19, a briefing on Humanitarian efforts by the government and the international organizations will be held in Tacloban City to inform the media and the public on the progress of its continued operations for Yolanda victims. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


“Doctors Without Borders” distribute essential relief supplies to Yolanda victims

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

TACLOBAN CITY, Dec. 17 (PIA)   The Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF), an international, independent medical humanitarian organization is continuously distributing essential relief supplies to typhoon Yolanda victims, as medical humanitarian efforts are needed by the Typhoon Yolanda victims in Region 8.

The MSF also known as “Doctors Without Borders” are distributing tents, plastic sheeting, cooking utensils, hygiene kits, mosquito nets and blankets, reconstruction kits (to help rebuild the houses of Yolanda victims), as well as supplies of clean drinking water.

In some areas of the region, the MSF teams are also distributing food, where needed, and materials to repair damaged boats.

In an interview over Power FM, Philippine Information Agency’s  (PIA) radio station installed in Tacloban City, Lee Pik Kwan, MSF Regional Communications Manager based in Hong Kong said they have distributed reconstruction kits to 3,000 families on the islands south of Guiuan in Samar and are preparing to distribute another 500 reconstruction kits to families in Guiuan, as well as boat repair kits.

“MFS’s work is a gesture of solidarity from one civil society to another, from one person to another. Its ultimate aim is to preserve life, alleviate suffering and maintain or protect human dignity,” expressed Lee.

Another set of essential relief items were also distributed to 6,600 families living in isolated communities in the mountainous area beyond the town of Burauen.

Also, in Talosa and Tanauan, teams have distributed relief items and hygiene kits to 3,000 families.

Over the past week, the team has distributed 3,000 construction kits in the municipality of Santa Fe and will distribute another 2,500.

Meanwhile, Lee also bared that MSF is providing medical and humanitarian assistance in five of the most affected areas in the Philippines, spanning three islands: around Guiuan in the east of Samar island; around Tacloban, ormoc, Santa Fe, and Burauen on Leyte island. “The humanitarian needs seen by MSF teams vary from place to place,” she said.

MSF is a worldwide movement with 19 main national offices around the world including Hong Kong, and is providing medical and humanitarian assistance in more than 60 countries. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


MSF offers free medical consultations, surgical operations to Yolanda victims

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

TACLOBAN CITY, Dec. 17 (PIA) – The Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF), an international, independent medical humanitarian organization is calling on the Typhoon Yolanda victims in Region 8 to avail of its free medical consultations and surgical operations at their temporary/tented hospitals.

Lee Pik Kwan, MSF Regional Communications Manager from Hong Kong bared that its tented hospitals offering its free services are situated in the grounds of the Felipe J. Abrigo referral hospital in Guiuan, Eastern Samar, and in Bethany Hospital, Tacloban City.

“The MSF teams have set-up temporary hospitals to provide interim care including an inflatable hospital in Tacloban, and tented hospitals in Burauen and Tanauan (on Leyte island) and Guiuan (on Samar island). We are aiming to provide normal medical services to our Yolanda victims such as maternal healthcare and inpatient services as quickly as possible,” said Lee.

It was also learned that the MSF has two mobile medical teams – one land-based, the other travelling by boat which are running mobile clinics in outlying areas. Teams are doing 500 consultations per week in inland areas and 700 on the small islands in the south of Guiuan, and another 700 in and around Tacloban City.

The support also includes repairing of damaged buildings, providing medical supplies, drugs and staff, and setting-up of ambulance service.

“The MSF is calling on all Yolanda victims to avail of the free medical consultations and surgical operations. Our temporary/tented hospitals are open 24 hours from Monday to Sunday. We are here to help you,” Lee stressed.

Also, a team of three psychologists is providing mental healthcare in the Tacloban region. “So for those who have emotional problems or sleeping disorder can come to us so we can also help you,” she added.

Some 154 international staff and 300 national staff are on the ground for this humanitarian activity of the MSF in Samar and Leyte islands.

The teams will continue its functionality until the local health facilities of the region and the staff can restore its operation capabilities.

The MSF, also known as “Doctors Without Borders” founded in 1971 by doctors and journalists, is delivering emergency aid and medical care to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, exclusion from healthcare and natural disaster. It offers assistance to people based on need and irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


Typhoon victims in Panay Island avail MSF's services

By Venus L. Garcia

TACLOBAN CITY, Dec. 17 (PIA) – Typhoon victims in Panay, an island in the western part of Visayas have availed the humanitarian services offered by the Medecins Sans  Frontieres (MSF).

MSF currently has six mobile clinic teams, working in Panay island and its nearby northeastern islands. The team has travelled by boat to distribute relief items.

More than 10,000 families have received hygiene kits, plastic sheeting, cooking utensils and kits containing materials to be used in repairing damages of structures.

“MSF is providing assistance to people who are affected by an oil spill tha occurred in Estancia’s harbor caused by typhoon. More than 5,000 residents are now temporarily relocated to the safer areas. We have distributed to them 125 tents and provided them with clean water,” said MSF regional communications Lee Pik Kwan.

Consultations are also provided to out patients. So far, the medical team has vaccinated more than 1,000 individuals, aged between 6 months and 15 years.

The team has conducted trainings to the local health staff on how to recognize acute emotional reactions of their patients so that the’ll know how to facilitate and what appropriate support they can apply. With this, 2,000 persons have already attended the sessions.

According to Lee, MSF is supporting the Balasan district hospital, which currently has 50 beds.

“Villages that relied on fishing as their primary source of income and food had many of the boats in their fleets destroyed. Therefore, MSF has provided emergency nutrition biscuits to around 18,000 children under five years old and to pregnant and breastfeeding women. Last week MSF also conducted a second food distribution comprising rice, beans, oil, sardines and emergency nutrition biscuits,” added Lee. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


UN Secretary General to visit Tacloban City

By Venus L. Garcia

TACLOBAN CITY, Dec. 17 (PIA) – The United Nations (UN) leader Ban Ki-moon will arrive on Saturday in the city to see for himself and assess the typhoon aftermath.

According to Vincent Omuga, UN Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) representative, the visit to Philipppines will be an opportune time to meet and discuss with government leaders the concerns on increasing damages brought about by calamities across nations.

Following his arrival on the same day will be a press conference in which venue will be announced soonest.

“He will visit the typhoon-stricken areas in Tacloban and to personally meet the local communities who are affected by the disaster,” said Omuga. 

The UN Sec-Gen will leave the Philippines on Sunday.

Prior to UN leader’s arrival, a briefing on Humanitarian efforts by the government with the UN and other international organizations will also be held on Thursday, Dec. 19, Leyte Sports Complex, this city to inform media and the public on the progress of its continued operations for typhoon Yolanda victims. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


UN agencies update implementation of humanitarian projects in EV

By Venus L. Garcia

TACLOBAN CITY, Dec. 17 (PIA) – The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UN Development Programme (UNDP), and UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) shared their significant contributions to the Yolanda Operations during the Joint Inter-Cluster meeting held recently at the Command Center, Leyte Sports Complex, this city.

One of the UNCHR representatives brought out the concern on the construction of bunkhouses. In as much as the government would want to diminish the congestion of refugees in the evacuation centers, they are suggesting to look into the key description, standard lay-out, and proper ventilation to ensure safety and security of the ones who will occupy the erected bunkhouses.

UNHCR emphasized that relocation sites must not be established near the coastal areas to avoid future hazards and so as not to create inconvenience for the recipients to move out from one place to another everytime their lives will be set in danger.

"The UNDP as well is incorporating some agricultural livelihood projects to help people obtain life’s necessities. They are working out on things that closely complement the government’s Yolanda Recovery and Reconstruction Plan which will be launched on December 18," said UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the Philippines  Luiza Carvalho.

In a report produced by by OCHA Philippines in collaboration with humanitarian partners, it was highlighted that recovery efforts are expanding, but acute humanitarian needs remain in affected areas, particularly in isolated and disadvantaged communities.

An estimated 14.1 million people have been affected, including 4.1 million who remain displaced.

The rainy season will start at the end of January in some affected areas, meaning that short and medium-term shelter solutions must be found beforehand. The Shelter Cluster is looking at a variety of options to address this urgent need said a report from a Shelter Cluster coordinator.

It was learned that cases of diarrhea have also increased in several areas of Ormoc and Leyte, emphasizing the need for close watch of communicable diseases in case of outbreaks.

As military airlift capacity continues to depart, the Logistics Cluster is focusing on roads and ports. A new cargo vessel will arrive in Cebu on December 18 to support UN, NGO and government relief efforts. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


MSF serves typhoon Yolanda victims 

By Venus L. Garcia

TACLOBAN CITY, Dec. 17 (PIA) - The Medecins Sans  Frontieres (MSF), also called Doctors Without Borders, a medical humanitarian organization has provided humanitarian assistance and medical services to the victims/survivors of typhoon Yolanda.

They have served in five of the most affected areas: Guiuan in the east of Samar island; Tacloban, Ormoc, Sta. Fe and Burauen on Leyte island; and Estancia on the northeastern part of Panay island.

MSF is prioritizing the provision of mobile clinics for isolated inland and coastal communities. Also, the team is advocating on giving primary healthcare and mental healthcare  in health centers, evacuaton sites and mobile clinics in identified villages.

MSF psychologists are carrying out 40 mental health sessions a week, running psychological activities, and raising awareness about mental health issues.

Mobie teams have conducted vaccination to children against polio and measles in parts of Leyte and Panay and targeting children living in the mountanous area in Liberty, a village in the east of Ormoc.

In Samar island, the MSF’s tent hospitals pitched on the grounds of Felipe J. Abrigo referral hospital in Guiuan is fully functioning, with 50-60 in-patients are admitted per week. Maternity, delivery and surgery services are also offered.

“The team have finished distributing tents, hygiene kits, and cooking equipment to people whose houses were destroyed by the typhoon. We have distributed reconstruction kits to 3,000 families on the islands south of Guiuan, and now preparing to distribute another 500 kits to families in Guian City, including boat repair kits to those who are needing it,” said Lee Pik Kwan, MSF regional communications coordinator.

Meanwhile, MSF’s water and sanitation (WatSan) specialists are currently providing water for 20,000 people daily. The WatSan team is also cleaning wells in villages located along the coastal strip whose water supplies were contaminated by salt water due to flooding and storm surge.

The team assigned in the northern part of Leyte are also providing 163,290 liters of clean drinking water to more than 33,000 people and have distributed 76,000 tabs for chlorinating water.

“MSF teams are continually doing some repair on damage health centers in four municipalities in Guiuan. We are set to continue our activities in the Eastern Visayas region over the coming months until secondary heathcare services are restored,” bared Lee.
The total MSF international staff on the ground now is154 and 300 national staff approximately, Lee added. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


Red Cross AgSur joins relief distribution, early recovery activities in typhoon “Yolanda” ravaged areas

By David M. Suyao

AGUSAN DEL SUR, Dec. 17 (PIA) - Four personnel from the Philippine Red Cross Agusan del Sur Chapter (PRC-AdS) were ordered by the Red Cross National Headquarters to extend technical assistance, relief distribution and early recovery activities in three municipalities in Leyte after super typhoon “Yolanda” hit the area leaving thousands of deaths and millions worth of damages.

The four, namely Reynaline Esguerra, Rosalie Morano, Anthony Mato and Abundio Quino will join the other four delegates from Southern Leyte and Valenzuela City Chapter, in the Assessment, Relief and Volunteer Recruitment Team covering the municipalities of Albuera, Isabel and Merida, all in the province of Leyte.

Abundio Quino, the PRC-AdS driver brought along with him his assigned service vehicle here in Agusan del Sur in order to augment the vehicular requirement in the typhoon ravaged areas.

According to the order received by the PRC-AdS team, their tasks are to ensure all pertinent data were gathered and properly validated in each given time. They have to ensure also that selection of beneficiaries is in accordance to the PRC criteria and policy. The team must submit relief distribution plan and daily relief distribution report for the affected families, while ensuring that provision of relief is conducted in the dignified and orderly manner.

Recruitment, orientation and mobilization of volunteers on the ground is also one of the team’s responsibility, while close coordination with other sectors in their volunteer needs mus also be addressed. Their target is to train new 143 voluteers in the area and maintain list of those volunteers with address, phone numbers and email address.

The four PRC-AdS personnel set foot in Leyte on December 5, 2013 and will be back here in Agusan del Sur on December 29, 2013. They will be spending their Christmas with the typhoon victims and the new year with their very own families. (DMS/PIA-Agusan del Sur)


Surigao Norte launches 'Bayay Paglaum'

By Susil D. Ragas

SURIGAO CITY, Dec. 17 (PIA) - The provincial government of Surigao del Norte launched recently the Bayay Paglaum (Home of Hope) program during the Peace Forum and Provincial Peace and Order Council Meeting held at the Provincial Convention Center, this city.

Bayay Paglaum (Home of Hope) is a peace village composed of cluster of homes for former rebels fully supported by the government. It will be established to help them assimilate and live normally in the mainstream of society.

Under this program, the identified project site shall have enough space for built-up area where houses, cottage industries and institutional facilities will be located and agricultural area for food production.

It must be near the more established community for access to other institutional needs like school, church, health center and water system. A convergence approach will also be instituted in the implementation.

Project duration is for 3 years and will start on January  2014, the 2-bedroom house total cost is P302,000.00 and project package, amenities and services includes rain collector system, farmland with agricultural inputs, free college/techvoc/alternative education thru the provincial scholarship program, DepEd and TESDA, immediate employment in the provincial government, Philhealth coverage and other health services, 4Ps membership, skills and livelihood training with initial capital, six-month rice allowance, value formation and other capability building activities, and security/protection.

The Bayay Paglaum (Home of Hope) is a proponent project of the provincial government of Surigao del Norte through the effort of Governor Sol F. Matugas and with the support from the national government and the private sector. (PIA-Surigao del Norte)


Feature: Himbaba-o: odd but tasty and nutritious veggie

By Czarina Teresita S. Martinez

MANILA, Dec. 17 (PIA) - Himbaba-o is an indigenous vegetables in the Philippines.  According to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), himbaba-o is widely grown in the Philippines. As proof, the DENR gathered unique names for himbaba-o in the different provinces of the Philippines. 

In Luzon, it is known as alukon in Ilocos, baeg in Pangasinan, alokon bongon in Mt. Province, himbaba-o in Nueva Ecija,  kabag in Mindoro, alitagtag in Camarines. While in the Visayas, himbaba-o in known as bulbulan in Cebu and Negros, and talubang in Siquijor. In Mindanao, himbaba-o is known as karud in Misamis, liba in Davao, and malabingan in Sulu.

Himbaba-o is a small to medium-sized tree. Horticulturists classify himbaba-o as a dioecious tree. Dioecious trees  have male and female flowers in separate trees. Thus, it is important for the male and female trees to be planted near each other for pollination to occur.

The DENR reports that himbaba-o is a drought- tolerant and fast-growing species. In Mindanao, himbaba-o wood is used for paneling, furniture, and cabinetwork. In the Visayas, the wood is used in making boats and canoes because it is water resistant.

The Ilocanos use the himbaba-o's tender young leaves and the flowers as ingredients for vegetable stew.

The Philippine Food Composition Tables (FCT) published by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) reports that the himbaba-o flower contains 362 milligrams of calcium and 645 micrograms of beta-carotene while the same amount of leaves contain 357 micrograms of calcium and 3,035 micrograms of beta-carotene  per 100 grams edible portion each.

My grandmother, an Ilocana, used to cook stewed himbaba-o topped with fried fish. The dish is popularly known as dinendeng or inabrao.  Here's how to prepare it:

Ingredients:

2-3 tablespoons bagoong na isda
1 head garlic, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup, patani or young lima beans, peeled
1/2 cup saluyot leaves, clean and trimmed
1/2 cup himbaba-o flowers, clean and trimmed
1 piece fried fish

Procedure:

Dilute bagoong na isda in 2 cups hot water and strain. Simmer water seasoned with bagoong  for 2 minutes then add garlic and patani. Simmer for 3 minutes or until patani is tender. Add saluyot and himbaba-o flowers and simmer for 5 minutes or until himbaba-o and saluyot leaves turn deep green and the broth becomes thick. Top with fried fish and cook for a minute. Serve hot.

The FNRI-DOST promotes the use of indigenous vegetables. Recently, FNRI-DOST recently published "Lutong FNRI: Mga Katutubong Gulay", a collection of indigenous vegetable recipes from soup to dessert. The collection also contains information on the yield per recipe and the estimated energy and nutrient content per serving.

"Lutong FNRI: Mga Katutubong Gulay" and other nutritious recipes are available at the FNRI-DOST Library and soon it will be uploaded in the FNRI website.

For more information on food and nutrition, contact Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City, E-Mail: mvc@fnri.dost.gov.ph or mar_v_c@yahoo.com, Telefax: (02) 8372934, (02) 8273164, or call (02) 8372071 local 2296 or visit our website: http:www.fnri.dost.gov.ph. (FNRI-DOST S&T Media Services/PIA-Caraga)


New guide for Pinoy healthy eating out soon

By Divorah V. Aguila

MANILA, Dec. 17 (PIA) - Tremendous increase in the number of cases of diet- and lifestyle-related diseases worldwide has become so evident and alarming due to the inevitable lifestyle changes brought about by the non-stop global and technological advances.  This happens not just in technologically-advanced countries but in developing nations like the Philippines as well.

Thus, more and more Filipinos, young and old alike, have become overweight, hypertensive, and physically inactive.  In response, the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) is committed to provide Filipino consumers with healthful visual tools to help Filipinos adopt healthy eating habits at meal times by delivering effective dietary and healthy lifestyle messages.

In partnership with the Department of Health (DOH), the FNRI-DOST will soon unveil a new tool for healthy eating.  Dubbed as “Pinggang Pinoy”, the new tool can be our blueprint for planning a healthy balanced meal.

Pinggang Pinoy should not be mixed up with the existing Daily Nutritional Guide (DNG) Pyramid for Filipinos developed also by the FNRI since they have different purposes.

The “Pinggang Pinoy” can be used side by side with the existing DNG Pyramid for Filipinos.  The latter is a quick and easy guide on how much to eat per mealtime, while the former shows at a glance the whole day recommendation.

Both the “Pinggang Pinoy” and the DNG Pyramid for Filipinos are based on the latest science about how our food, drink, and activity choices affect our health.

Remember: the DNG Pyramid is a simple, trustworthy guide in choosing a healthy diet.  Its foundation is daily exercise and water, since these two elements strongly influence our chances of staying healthy.  The DNG Pyramid builds from the base, showing that we should eat more foods from the bottom part of the pyramid like vegetables, whole grains and less from the top such as red meat, sugar, fats and oils.  When it’s time to eat, most of us use a plate.  So it is just appropriate to use the “Pinggang Pinoy” as a guide for a typical balanced meal.

For more information on food and nutrition, contact: Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City; Telephone/Fax Nos.: 837-2934 or 837-3164; Direct Line: 839-1839; DOST Trunk Line: 837-2071 to 82 local 2296 or 2284; e-mail: mvc@fnri.dost.gov.ph or at mar_v_c@yahoo.com; FNRI-DOST website http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph. (FNRI-DOST S&T Media Services/PIA-Caraga)