Saturday, April 16, 2011
SENATE OFFICE, Manila, April 17, 2011-Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Committee on Cultural Communities lamented on the indigenous people who died due to cholera outbreak where the majority of the children were affected in Palawan; thus, the Senator urged the Department of Health (DOH) to act swiftly by intensifying effective disease surveillance, control and prevention measures as the death toll continues to rise.
“The DOH should act swiftly in pointing out the exact source of the disease,” Legarda said, adding that the Cholera disease is preventable and easy to treat. It did not have to lead to the morbidity of a significant number of people, saying that this is an indication of the lack of proper medical services and health education being provided to our indigenous communities.
A cholera outbreak was declared by DOH in the entire town of Bataraza, Palawan, when 17 out of its 22 barangays showed cases of diarrhea, a symptom of cholera, along with severe stomach pains and vomiting. The DOH monitored at least 430 cases of diarrhea in the province, a majority of the patients tested positive for vibrio cholera, a bacterium which causes cholera in humans.
As of April 13, a total of 19 people have been killed by the disease from March 1 to April 12, 2011 according to DOH, saying that following this number, at least 7 out of 10 were children under 5 years old.
“These numbers are alarming. What is more painful is that the deaths could have been prevented if early detection, control and remedial measures were immediately done,” Legarda said.
Legarda stressed the importance of having health workers in every barangay in the country to ensure that even those in far-flung communities can avail of proper medical attention in their respective localities. “Health workers presence is needed in the barangay for their safety,” she said.
“There is a need for the government to address this concerned,” Legarda furthered, saying that she proposed measure filed in the Senate (Senate Bill 1384) that seeks to mandate the Department of Health to provide at least one health worker in every barangay.
The Senator concluded that our indigenous brothers and sisters who live in far-flung areas need to have access to medical services. They also need to be informed of proper sanitation practices and emergency response.
There is also a need to squeeze out concern over the consequences of climate change that affects the lives of the IP who are threatened by extreme weather events brought by climate change as they are more vulnerable to their livelihood, health, food security, cultural integrity and lands. (Jason de Asis)
SENATE OFFICE, Manila, April 17, 2011-Senator Edgardo J. Angara urged the country’s leading financial firms to help enhance credit to ensure the Filipinos to have the means to fuel their prosperity, and provide an instrument to help in economic recovery, following his calls to increase the availability of credit to small and medium scale entrepreneurs in order to spur the country’s economic growth.
In his keynote speech in the 30th National Credit Congress sponsored by the Credit Management Association of the Philippines, he explained that while the Philippines wasn’t hit as badly as other ASEAN countries in the worldwide economic crisis, local financial institutions still needed to restrict access to credit.
“In our country we saw the most visible effect of the global financial crisis was the tightening of credit, it became harder to obtain loans for both business and households. This held enormous consequences not only for sustaining the growth of enterprises and welfare of families, but also for helping to survive a profound economic shock,” Angara said.
He furthered that the people who need it most are the entrepreneurs, farmers and households in rural areas who have the most difficulty in acquiring credit, due to their lack of a good credit standing.
“We have to advocate for inclusive finance to ensure that our rural folks also cash in on the benefits of progress if we push for inclusive growth. The microfinance, micro-agri loans and micro-insurance are the emerging needs in our countryside which we must seek to provide if we want to achieve a healthy economy,” Angara added.
Earlier, the volume of microfinance activity has grown in the country and an increasing number of financial institutions have engaged in retail microfinance operations for the last few years.
This sector has been traditionally dominated by rural banks, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and finance cooperatives. In 2009 a number of commercial banks sought entrance into the retail microfinance market according to Asia Focus report reviews about the growth of the Philippines microfinance industry and discusses the implications of commercial banks entering this market. (Jason de Asis)
STA. ROSA, Nueva Ecija, April 17, 2011-To fast-track the delivery of basic services to Novo Ecijanos, Vice Gov. Jose Gay Padiernos has defended the move of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to transfer the venue of the weekly SP sessions to various municipalities and cities of the province from the seat of the Capitol in Palayan City.
“The mobile SP session is one way of giving the provincial board members a direct pulse of the needs and sentiments of a particular locality instead of just dealing with documents submitted to them during sessions at the SP session hall in Palayan,” Padiernos said.
“If the provincial government conducts fiesta caravans in various towns and cities where services are downloaded, we at the SP also feel that by conducting mobile sessions, we can readily identify the needs of the people and address them in their own homecourt,” he said.
He said deliberating on various requests for appropriations in SP sessions in Palayan does not exactly serve its purpose because “it’s hard to approve allocations for projects merely based on documents.”
Nevertheless, he said a skeletal force has been left at the SP office in Palayan to attend to the needs of visitors from other places.
Padiernos defended the move during a SP regular session at the session hall of the Sangguniang Bayan in this town, the hometown of Gov. Aurelio Matias-Umali and his wife, third district Rep. Czarina Umali, his brother Board Member Emmanuel Anthony Umali and cousin, Board Member Peter Marcus Matias. It was the fourth out-of-town session of the SP since it was held earlier in the towns of Cuyapo, Lupao and Penaranda.
During the session, the SP approved the request of Mayor Otep Angeles, Vice Mayor Irene Bernardo and the municipal government for the allocation of funds for 40 housing units. Half of the units will be funded by Governor Umali and the other half by Congresswoman Umali.
Padiernos described the present SP as a working SP which deliberates on measures without any political color and appropriates funds for funding requests irregardless of political affiliations of the requesting party. He cited the case of Angeles who belongs to another party apart from the Lakas-dominated SP.
He said that with all due respect to the previous SPs, the current SP is on a work mode a hundred percent and there is no room for politics here. (Jason de Asis)
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