2.06.2017

Monday, February 6, 2017

DOH Sec. Ubial: Zika cases in PH now at 57

By Susil D. Ragas

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Feb. 6 (PIA) – Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial confirmed that as Feb. 2, 2017, a total of 57 Zika cases were reported in the country.

Sec. Ubial made the confirmation during the Kapihan sa Kapitolyo on Friday, Feb. 3 held at the PGO Conference Room, Capitol Compound here.

She said that there were 38 females, and 19 males with ages ranging from 7 to 59 years old confirmed cases and these were detected in the following areas: National Capital Region with 20 cases, CALABARZON - 18 cases, Western Visayas - 15 cases, Central Luzon - 2 cases and Central Visayas with 2 cases.  No deaths were reported, she added.

“Of the 57 cases, seven were confirmed Zika pregnant cases, with ages ranging from 16 to 32 years old, three came from the National Capital Region and two from CALABARZON and Central Visayas. One case, a 32 years old from Central Visayas has spontaneous abortion at nine weeks of pregnancy and the rest are being closely monitored," said Sec. Ubial.

Sec. Ubial bared that the department is currently verifying a report that a mother and her full term, newborn baby girl in Western Visayas, were screened positive for Zika virus antibodies using rapid diagnostic test which are not confirmatory.

“Samples from the mother and the baby were sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicines and will subjected to a confirmatory test on Zika virus using Real-Time Polymerese Chain Reaction,” she explained.

Sec. Ubial said the Zika infection is asymptomatic in 80 percent of cases and most of the time the disease is self-limiting. However, the effect on the result of pregnancy should not be counted. Zika virus has been linked to congenital CNS malformation like microcephaly.

She called on pregnant women to avoid mosquito bites especially during day time, "using insect repellents are safe for regular application and for those with fever, rash, and conjunctivitis, they must submit for consultation."

Sec. Ubial explained that Zika viral disease, caused by Zika virus, is characterized by fever, rash and conjunctivitis. Other symptoms are joint pain, muscle pain, headache, and vomiting. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for a week in most cases and not requiring hospitalization.

Zika virus is usually transmitted through the bite of infected female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the same mosquitoes that transmit Dengue and Chikungunya viruses. There have been reports that the virus can be transmitted through sexual contact.

She said the symptoms of Zika virus disease can be treated with common pain and fever relief medicines, rest and plenty of water intake.

“Pregnant women who develop illness should seek advice of doctors before taking any medicine. If symptoms persist, patients are advised to consult the nearest health facility. Currently there is no available vaccine to prevent Zika virus infection,” Sec. Ubial said.

She stressed that it is very important to search and destroy the potential breeding sites in order to prevent the spread of Aedes mosquitoes that serve as vector of the virus.  (DOH-Caraga/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


PESO Butuan now accepts SPES applicants

By Regal C. Oribia

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 6 (PIA) - The Public Employment Service Office (PESO) here is now taking in applicants for the annual Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES). The program is mandated under Republic Act No. 7323, which seeks to help poor but deserving students pursue their education by being employed during school vacation.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has alloted 1,000 slots available under the program on a first-come-first-served basis for the 86 barangays in the city.

The grantees are entitled to receive wages, 60 percent of which will be paid by the city government while 40 percent will be shouldered by the DOLE.

Registration remains open until April, this year. (RCO/PIA-Caraga)


Angara leads distribution of relief goods in Butuan City

By Jeffrey Tuazon

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 6 (PIA) – Providing much needed aid to the 454 affected families situated in Agusan National High School (ANHS) was the aim of visiting Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” M. Angara during the distribution of about 500 packs of relief goods, Friday, Feb. 3.

The 46 remaining goods were given to the ANHS non-teaching personnel and those evacuees who helped carry the goods.

During an interview with Sen. Angara, he stated ways on helping the evacuees from short term solutions like “giving relief goods to those affected” to long term solutions like “infrastructure that would alleviate damages … from these typhoons."

“As we know with climate change, we should always be prepared for the worst,” he said.

Angara along with Butuan City Mayor Ronnie Vic Lagnada and Vice Mayor Jose “Joboy” Aquino II, led the distribution of relief goods for the evacuees who have since vacated their homes since Jan. 20.

“We were thinking of going to Cagayan de Oro City but we were told that there were more people affected in Caraga region, that’s why we shifted our plans to Caraga,” the senator explained.

Moreover, Cagayan de Oro faced heavy rains that led to severe flooding in the said area, gaining the senator’s attention prior to Butuan.

“We heard that CDO [received] a lot of donations already … [We need] to make sure that at least everyone receives some help,” he added.

After Butuan, Angara visited other towns in Agusan del Sur, including Bayugan City and Prosperidad. (ANHS-Butuan City/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


AgNor supports farmers’ group

By Aimee B. Sienes

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 6 (PIA) - The provincial government of Agusan del Norte is full support of the plans and programs of the farmers’ associations in the province.

One of the farmers’ groups, the Consorcia Agro-Forestry Farmers’ Association, (CAFA) Inc. of Barangay Consorcia, municipality of Las Nieves, this province, a duly registered peoples organization by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), will receive an unserviceable Suzuki Multi-Cab with plate no. SHR-641 from the province, which the association can repair, to be used in its official business dealings.

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan through Sanggunian Resolution No. 038-2017, authored by Provincial Board Member Aquino W. Gambe, recently authorized Provincial Governor Ma. Angelica Rosedell M. Amante-Matba to transfer without cost the said vehicle to CAFA.

The legal transfer is necessary in line with Article 440 of the Rules and Regulations Implementing the Local Government Code of 1991 on the responsibility for proper use and care of government property. (LGU-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


DOE wants gasoline stations ready for e-vehicles

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 6 (PIA) - With the emergence of the electric vehicle industry in the Philippines, Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi has created an ad hoc technical working group to determine the suitability of gasoline stations as charging areas for electric or e-vehicles.

“In preparation for the booming electric vehicle industry, I instructed the DOE's Oil Industry Management Bureau and Energy Utilization Management Bureau to issue the necessary policies that will support the development of infrastructures complementing the e-vehicle industry, such as the availability of charging in gasoline stations,” said Cusi.

“We are currently drafting a policy on the reclassification of gasoline stations according to standards which includes - the parking area, comfort rooms, CCTVs and even convenience stores, among others. We are also exploring the possibility of the integration of an electric vehicle charging area to the existing facilities of gasoline stations,” added Cusi.

Under the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act 8479 or the “Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1998,” the Department of Energy (DOE) is empowered to subject all industry participants to provide suitability of facilities for their proposed operation in accordance with existing national and accepted international standards.

Based on existing policies, this provision in the Oil Deregulation Law was reflected in the DOE’s Retail Rules on Liquid Petroleum Products (Department Circular DC2003-11-010), wherein the Philippine National Standards on Petroleum Products, Retail Outlets and Health, Safety and Environment (PNS/DOE FS 1-1:2005) specifies that the building/structures (i.e., gasoline stations) shall have a sales office, toilet facilities and an electrical/mechanical room.


“Apart from readying electric vehicle infrastructures, we also want to strengthen our gasoline stations’ consumer welfare and satisfaction through well-maintained and functional amenities within its premises,” Sec. Cusi concluded. (DOE/PIA-Caraga)