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DOH to Hold HPV Vaccination Among 9 Years Old Pupils in Public Schools this August



Image Source: Cervical Screening Programme Department of Health

The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday said its free human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination will be back among nine year-old (Grade 4) students in public schools in the priority provinces in the country this school year.

According to Dr. Clarito U. Cairo, DOH Medical Officer 4 and program manager of cancer prevention and control program, the return of HPV immunization will start by August after students made their return to schools.

The total target now as priority areas will be the 46 poorest provinces out of the 81 provinces in the country, ” Dr. Cairo said in an interview with the Philippine News Agency.

Originally, the scope of the first HPV vaccination was planned to rolled out sometime in 2015 targeting female grade 4 students of public schools in the 20 provinces in the country under then the leadership of DOH former Health Secretary Janette L. Garin.

Under the original plan, the HPV immunization was supposed to be included as part of the school-based immunization program with the partnership of DOH and the Department of Education (DepEd).

Cairo said that the plan to make the HPV vaccination a part of school-based immunization did not however materialize under then the term of DepEd Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro and DOH just continued the immunization program to the target students through its rural health units of the 20 poorest regions in 2016.

The health expert said that the nod for the inclusion of HPV vaccination to the target areas was arrived at this year after higher authorities and partners from DepEd were convinced that the said immunization program is vital among the target students.

He said that HPV vaccination is important to be administered among the targeted to protect them from HPV.

HPV is an infection that can be transmitted when a person was exposed to sex or engaging in sexual act.

This infection may lead to onset of cervical cancer if the higher or stronger strains hits the victim.

For males it can cause penile and anal cancer.

It can be transmitted to male by a female or female to male or vice versa by the sexual partner who is a carrier of it.

Those who are prone to it are those who have risky sexual behaviors and have multiple partners.

He added that access of the young people nowadays through the influx of modern technology among sexual materials may also influence the young people to engage in sexual activity which is actually when and where will happen if they will have no control of themselves.

Other factors can be through unplanned sexual activity because of circumstances like if the individual later in life got drunk, has been under the influence of drugs wherein his/her sense of judgment was lost.

And if one becomes a carrier of it through a previous partner, his/her future partner will not know or have an idea that he/she is carrier and has the capability of transmitting such.

Unprotected, the individual during the time that they engage in sexual activity then may be transmitted by HPV due to lack of protection (immunization).

Based on the data of DOH, every year, more than 6,000 Filipinas are diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer is the second leading cancer-related cause of death among Filipino women.

The problem is that the disease is usually detected late because the affected women may have no obvious early signs and symptoms,” he said.

Treatment of it is costly and have high impact on the poor family not only in terms of financial aspects but also on the emotional side since oftentimes those who are afflicted with cervical infection are the mothers-or women during their productive years.

As ä light in every home, their loss can cause social and economic impact as well since women in our society plays a vital role in nation building.

Since the transmission of infection may start as one became exposed to a sexual partner, it is important, that the young will get the protection while they are still on the stage of life that they deserve the adequate protection and be educated about it at the same time through the school-based immunization program.

“That is why our target are those who are nine-years old still have higher immune system and has high probability of positive response to vaccine plus the fact that they are those who are not yet exposed to sexual activity” the health expert said.

The priority areas are the cities of Caloocan, Mandaluyong, Marikina, Pasay, Quezon, Taguig, and Valenzuela in Metro Manila; the provinces of Apayao, Ifugao, Pangasinan, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur and La Union in Ilocos Region; Pampanga and Zambales; in Central Luzon; Quezon, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal in CALABARZON; Camarines Sur and Masbate in Bicol Region; Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental in Central Visayas; Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Leyte, and the cities of Tacloban and Ormoc City in Eastern Visayas; Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Iloilo province, and the cities of Iloilo, Bacolod, and Dumaguete in Central Visayas; Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur, Davao City, North Cotabato, Sarangani, Zamboanga del Sur, Camiguin Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Marawi City in Mindanao.

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National News

Challenges Facing Filipinos Overseas Tackled at Global Online Confab



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Senior officials of the government and private institutions will tackle different problems and challenges facing overseas Filipinos (OFs), including persistent illegal recruitment,  at a global conference for overseas Filipinos to be held here and shown live on YouTube on Feb. 24 and 25.

The “2018 Global Conference of Overseas Filipinos & Livelihood/Investments Exhibition” also aims to help OFs identify which profitable livelihood projects that they can put up back home to secure the financial security of their families.

Between January and November last year, USD28.24 billion (PHP1.41 trillion) were sent home by overseas Filipinos through banking channels, according to data of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

Despite their huge earnings, many OFs have not put up sound investments, with scores still taking risks with illegal networking schemes.

“While overseas Filipinos are often hailed as modern heroes (bagong bayani) for sending home over USD20 billion a year, it is ironic that they are beset by numerous problems. This global conference aims to tackle these problems and help identify solutions to them with the assistance of government and private institutions,” said Alliance of Overseas Filipinos for Change (AOFC) President Juanito Concepcion.

Investments and livelihood are, therefore, a major focus of the conference organized by a Hong Kong-based NGO, AOFC, with LINKPAD Inc. in Manila as its secretariat and marketing arm.

 Further details about the event and sponsorships can be obtained from LINKPAD at (02) 734-6300, (02) 788-6521, and (02) 500-0040, 0908-6199582; 0917-5932000 or at

Up to 10,000 overseas Filipinos  gathered in Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and in different other countries in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North America are expected to watch online this conference that will be shown live on YouTube and Facebook Live. (PR)

About 500 local participants — comprised of visiting OFs, OFs who have returned home for good, family members of OFs, officials of government agencies and private institutions relevant to OFs and other migration and development stakeholders — are also attending the conference.

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National News

PH Top Officials Discuss Names on 5 Features in PH Rise




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Various government officials will meet to discuss possible Filipino names to give to the five underwater features in the Philippine Rise (formerly Benham Rise) named by China.

In a message Wednesday, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that this matter would be discussed by him, National Security Adviser (NSA) Hermogenes Esperon and other members of the Cabinet.

“Pag-uusapan pa namin ni NSA (Esperon) and ibang Cabinet members. (We will talk about it with NSA and other Cabinet members) As for me, I would also give these features Philippine names,” he added.

The DND chief made this statement after maritime law expert Dr. Jay Batongbacal revealed that China successfully named five undersea features in the region, all within the 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the country, as approved by the International Hydrographic Organization in 2017.

Three of the features were reportedly “discovered” during a survey by the Li Shiguang Hao of the China Navy Hydrographic Office in 2004 and the names were submitted to IHO for consideration in 2014.

The remaining two features were “discovered” by the same ship but proposals for names came in 2016. The features named are the Jinghao and Tianbao Seamounts said to be within 70 nautical miles east of Cagayan, and the Haidonquing Seamount located east at 190 nautical miles.

The other two named Cuiqiao Hill and Jujiu Seamount forms the central peaks of the Philippine Rise undersea geological province itself, said Batongbacal.

On Wednesday, Malacanang said the Philippine Embassy in Beijing already raised the subject with China.

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National News

‘Basyang’-Affected Families Now at 37k




Image Source: MetroCebu News

The number of families affected by Tropical Depression Basyang has now climbed to 37,138 or 152,025 persons residing in 387 barangays in 15 provinces in western, central and eastern Visayas, and Caraga, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said in its Thursday update.

Ricardo Jalad, NDRRMC executive director, said 10,307 families or about 40,089 persons have sought refuge in 194 evacuation centers, while another 470 families or 2,282 individuals are being aided outside evacuation centers.

Jalad also said that 350 houses have been damaged, 66 totally and 284 partially, in western and eastern Visayas, and Caraga.

A total of PHP2,801,016.94 worth of assistance has been provided by the Department of Social Welfare and Development and local government units to affected families in Western Visayas and Caraga.

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National News

DA Rolls Out ‘Bigas Ng Masa’ Affordable Rice Program




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The Department of Agriculture (DA) set its “Bigas ng Masa” affordable rice program rolling on Wednesday, initially launching it in Quezon City and shortly farming it out to its regional offices nationwide.

To make it more accessible to more Filipinos, the DA said Bigas ng Masa outlets can be set up in the regions, where farmers’ cooperatives can directly sell the affordable rice to consumers.

“We’ll help market their rice,” Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said in a media briefing Wednesday.

Aside from helping farmers earn, he said such marketing assistance under the Bigas ng Masa would eliminate price-raising layers of middlemen and other players crowding the supply chain, so consumers can buy rice that’s generally cheaper than what’s sold in the market.

With Bigas ng Masa, DA said consumers can buy quality rice at PHP38 per kilogram.

The DA assured looking into interventions that would further lower rice prices without draining the farmers’ income.

Piñol expressed disappointment over reported increases in commercial prices of rice after reports that the National Food Authority has dwindling rice stocks.

He said this should not be the case, as rice harvest in the country even increased last year, based on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority.

The DA and International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) assured the country’s rice situation is under control, noting “there’s enough rice for everybody” for 92 days straight.

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