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DOH Holds HIV, AIDS Awareness Forum at Cebu Normal University

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Image Source: PIA

The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) under the Department of Health (DOH), held an HIV and AIDs awareness forum dubbed “Hi,V! Mag-ilhanay Ta: A Forum on HIV/AIDS Awareness and the Youth for Region VII” at the Cebu Normal University (CNU) recently.

Hi, V! is a part of Rated+ (Rated Plus), an awareness caravan by DOH-RITM that aims to promote a safe and open discourse on HIV/AIDs among the youth.

The forum began with a film showing of “Bakit Ako?”, the winning piece by De La Salle, Dasmarinas from last year’s Strain Film Exposition organized by DOH’s AIDS Research Group (ARG).

It was followed by an open forum tackling HIV myths and facts, stigma, treatment, and a testimonial from an HIV positive person.

There was also free HIV testing for the attendees and students.

“We want to tap those who are at risk. Your group of millennials are at risk,” Dr. Mark Kristoffer Pasayan, an Infectious Disease Specialist of RITM, told the participants as he explained why they are bringing the awareness fora to universities.

He revealed that there have been 30 new HIV cases reported in a day for this year, a big jump from the data in 2008 when one case was reported per day.

According to the HIV and Aids Registry of the Philippines (HARP) report, HIV reached the highest number of cases in May 2017 with 1,098 since 1984.

Out of total, one fourth are from the 15 to 24 age group, said Dr. Pasayan.

“As the years go by, as the numbers continue to increase, the people who get infected and diagnosed with HIV are getting younger and younger. [We] reach out to the college students to help them and bring awareness to this age group,” he stressed.

Among the regions, Central Visayas ranks third with the highest number of HIV/AIDs cases.

The National Capital Region (NCR) ranks first followed by Region 4A.

Another panelist, Cebu Plus Association Program Manager Jhay Encabo, said Cebu has the highest prevalence on HIV especially on cases of men having sex with men (MSM).

However, the numbers only reflect those who voluntarily submitted themselves for testing.

Encabo explained the concept of ‘outer circle’ or when the youth see themselves as invincible and that HIV will hit others but not themselves, is what usually prevents them from getting tested.

Dr. Pasayan stressed that early detection is key to treating HIV.

“If you know your status early, we can diagnose early and help you early. Don’t put yourself in a situation that your doctors can no longer help you,” he said.

“Life doesn’t end after diagnosis. We have seen those infected became much closer to their parents and social circles,” Encabo assured.

Dr. Pasayan explained that HIV or the human immunodeficiency virus is transmitted through unprotected sexual contact, shared needles, mother to child via breastfeeding, and blood transfusion. (asv/PIA-7-Cebu)

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Provincial Legal Office Begins Outreach Programs for 2018

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Image Source: http://www.cebu.gov.ph

To help ensure peace and order at the barangay level, the Provincial Legal Office (PLO) kick-started their first round of Barangay Legal Outreach Programs (BLOP) for the year in the Municipality of Dumanjug last February 8, 2018.

The BLOP is a training-workshop for barangay officials and workers in the proper understanding, application and execution of their functions through seminars on the laws relating to their public function.

Dumanjug Mayor Reniero Asentista lauded the Province for their proactive steps to strengthen public order.

“Angay na makabalo kamo (barangay officials and staff) unsa ang inyong mga papel ug responsibilidad isip piniliang opisyales sa barangay,” Asentista emphasized.

PLO department head Atty. Orvi Ortega said the importance of the BLOP is to get rid of misguided notions and ambiguities concerning barangay functions, and to assure that personnel are always ready to serve the public. “Para dili nata mahadlok sa unsa atong buhaton isip opisyal,” Ortega added.

Around 300 barangay officials from 18 barangays attended the BLOP seminar, which was separated into three segments. Three separate seminars were conducted for the barangay captains, barangay tanods and the lupong tagapamayapa.

Sessions addressing issues related to rules and procedures on arrests and seizures were given to barangay chiefs and tanods.

Members of the lupong tagapamayapa were also guided on the provisions of Republic Act 9262, otherwise known as the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act, including its procedure of mediation and the importance of the Barangay Protection Order (BPO) by the Philippine Alternative Dispute Resolution, Inc. (PADRi).

Discussions on forensic evidence preservation procedures were also tackled by PNP Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) personnel.

Another round of BLOP will soon be conducted for the remaining barangays in Dumanjug town.

www.cebu.gov.ph

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Capitol Employees Reminded on Public Service ‘With a Heart’

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Image source: S-Leadership Facebook Page

With the Cebu Provincial Government’s continued efforts to uphold good local governance, over 400 Capitol employees attended the seminar on servant leadership that aimed to remind them of their roles as public servants.

“The ‘Leadership with a Heart’ seminar helps us be reminded of our roles as public servants. Aside from this, there are activities lined-up this year that will surely boost our performance,” said Human Resource and Management Office Head Bonifer Nacorda.

Selene Lee-Yu, a renowned inspirational speaker, conducted the two-day seminar held last February 8 to 9. She has been giving the same seminar to various institutions, including the Philippine National Police Academy and RAFI Mega Club School of Leadership.

“The cure for corruption is going back to God,” Lee-Yu told the participants, adding that it is important to “change the inside (personality and character) and not just the outside.”

Servant leadership

Lee-Yu also emphasized that servant leadership simply means thinking on the number of people served and not how many will serve you.

“Without humility, there can be no unity. Stewardship begins from your heart. I am looking forward on how you’re going to apply all your learnings here,” Lee-Yu said.

Moreover, the second batch of Capitol Citizenship and Leadership Academy (CCLA) is set to be launched on May this year.

The first batch of CCLA, composed of 30 Job Order personnel was launched in September last year, wherein participants underwent a series of trainings focused on character-building, competence and skill enhancement, and fundamentals to leadership and citizenry development.

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C. Visayas No. 3 with Most Number of Drug-Infested Barangays

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Central Visayas came up third in the list of regions in the country with the most number of barangays heavily affected by illegal drugs.

This was confirmed by Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency – Central Visayas (PDEA-7) Director Emerson Margate on Thursday.

Margate said that according to the list furnished them by the PDEA Central Office, the National Capital Region is on top, followed by Region 9 or the Zamboanga Peninsula.

Central Visayas has 3,003 barangays and 2,229 of these are drug-affected, which is why the PDEA-7 is intensifying its operations, Margate said.

The PDEA-7 director said they are now doing every possible means to rid the region of the drug menace and asked the public to give them enough time to complete their mission, considering that they have to cover 800 barangays per year until the term of President Rodrigo Duterte ends in 2022.

Aside from their aggressive operations in apprehending suspected drug traffickers, pushers and users, Margate said they are also intensifying their proactive approaches and demand-reduction campaigns by conducting information drives and meetings or “pulong-pulong” in the barangays.

Despite the shortage in manpower, Margate said they have been able to apprehend several drug pushers. In fact, the PDEA-7 seized a total of PHP8 million worth of drugs last month, he added.

Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) Director Sr. Supt. Joel Doria said this is also a big challenge for the CCPO even as the different police stations, the Drug Enforcement Unit, and the City Intelligence Branch have been making arrests every day with no let up.

Police Regional Office-7 or PRO-7 (Central Visayas) Director Robert Quenery, for his part, said the drug problem in the region has really been a huge challenge in his leadership.

Based on the feedback of his intelligence personnel, Quenery said they have already identified all the drug dealers in Central Visayas and they would likewise intensify Oplan Tokhang.

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Cebu City Turns 81 Next Week

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Cebu City, dubbed the “Queen City of the South”, will celebrate its 81st Charter Day Anniversary on February 24.

Greggy Senados, of the Cebu City Public Information Office, said on Saturday that several activities have been lined up for this year’s celebration with the theme: “Cebu City @ 81: Tomorrow must be Better than Today”.

Ushering in the celebration is the observance of “Arts Week” on February 19-22 at the historical Plaza Independencia.

“Arts Week” is spearheaded by the Cebu City Cultural and Historical Affairs Office (CCCHAO).

The Cebu City Agriculture Department will also hold an awarding for Outstanding Farmers on February 21 at the Crown Regency Hotel as part of the Charter Day Anniversary celebration.

The “Serbisyong Sugbuanon” program, which brings the services of the Cebu city government closer to the people, will be held every last Friday of the month. On Feb. 23, it will be at the Plaza Sugbo fronting the Cebu City Hall.

The program is regularly held in the different barangays of Cebu City, but Mayor Tomas Osmeña decided to make it one of the highlights of the celebration and hold it in front of the City Hall this Friday, Senados said.

On the big day on February 24, there will be a thanksgiving mass, flag-raising ceremony, and parade and review in the morning at the Cebu City Hall.

The recognition of Young Sugbuanon Exemplary and Action-Driven Leaders (YOUSEAL) Awardees 2018 and Outstanding Cebu City Government Employees will immediately follow after the ceremonial activities at Plaza Sugbo.

The recognition program is being facilitated by the Cebu City Youth Affairs Office.

In the evening of February 24, the Awarding of Outstanding Individuals and Institutions as well as Posthumous Awardees with Testimonial Dinner will be hosted by the City at the Cebu City Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Barangay Lahug.

The 81st Charter Day Anniversary celebration, which will be observed as a holiday in Cebu City, is spearheaded by the Office of the Mayor, CCCHAO, and the Department of Manpower Development and Placement.

The Municipality of Cebu, which was then under the Cebu Provincial Government, became an independent Chartered City known as “Cebu City” on February 24, 1937 by virtue of Commonwealth Act No. 58.

Cebu was already considered a city during the Galleon Trade as it was then called “La Ciudad de Santissimo Nombre de Jesus,” or “The City of the Most Holy Name of Jesus,” making Cebu as the oldest city in the Philippines.

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