Thursday, April 28, 2011

Trillanes appeals to scrutinize first versions of RH Bill before supporting it

SENATE OFFICE, Manila, April 29, 2011-In the midst of escalating word war between the Catholic Church and advocates of the Reproductive Health (RH) bill, Senator Antonio "Sonny" Trillanes IV has appealed to the public to read first the different versions of the Reproductive Health (RH) bill before supporting or promoting it.

“It would only do little to help educate the public on the issue of RH bill,” Trillanes said, adding that the public are unwittingly supporting the RH bill because they are being led to believe that the measure would control population growth and allow access to contraceptives.

“Contraceptives can be accessed freely now and the Department of Health (DOH) has been distributing contraceptives even without the RH bill. Also, there is no provision in the RH bill that would help control the population,” Trillanes said. However, a controversial provision of the RH bill which should be scrutinized is the inclusion of sex education in the curriculum of preschool and Grade 5 students,” Trillanes added.

The young legislator questioned the readiness of young children to handle a very sensitive subject such as sex, and the capability of our teachers to teach a subject they're not trained for where he believed that only the parents know when their kids are ready to be educated about sex and it's definitely not when they are in Grade 5.

“Are we ready for a scenario wherein kids would one day approach their parents and say, 'Mom, we were taught how to put on condoms in school today?" Trillanes asked.

The Philippine RH bill aims to guarantee access to methods and information on birth control and maternal care where they become the center of contentious debate since it was introduced by Albay 1st district Edcel Lagman on his Reproductive health act and population and development act of 2010 and while Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago introduced Senate bill No. 2378 otherwise known as Reproductive health act.

The two bills became controversial with the experts, academics, religious institutions, and major political figures on both pros and cons where the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) threatened to excommunicate President Aquino III if he insists on his stance that Filipino couples should be given the choice to use artificial contraceptives. (Jason de Asis)

Aurora’s Mt. Falcon proved by 7 advance mountaineers as one of Central Luzon highest peaks and toughest to climb

SAN LUIS, Aurora, April 29, 2011-Professor Leonardo Usita, president of the environmentalist group Noble Blue Falcons International (NBFI) said that seven (7) advance men team of his group conducted reconnaissance mission at Mt. Falcon before the 300 mountaineers and environmentalists from the Philippines-South Korea, among others to trek in this town today.

“Three (3) days before the Philippine International Climb 2011 to save Sierra Madre, an advance 7 men team of Noble Blue Falcons Environmental Mountaineers conducted reconnaissance mission in Mt Falcon,” he said, adding that the advance team confirmed that the 2007 findings of last Blue Falcons expedition report that there was a cell phone signal at the top of the mountain.

Usita also reported that they re-establish that in summer time where the Mt. Falcon can be climbed in 6 hours (uphill), and confirmed that it is one of Central Luzon's most difficult to climb and is a rich biodiversity that needs to be protected.

“The seven advance team already put ribbon markings and wood signs to guide the climbers and established camp sites where the climbers can stay,” he said. Usita identified the team as Vicente Porte, Marlon Dulay, Ruel Villar, Eduardo Sarenas, Dominador Bitong, Mar Tangson and Diojeto Minosa.

“The markings were already established for the success of this mountaineering adventure dubbed as Akyat Kalikasan, in support to save the longest Sierra Madre mountain rangers of the country,” Usita said.

Usita said that the climb for a cause activity will start today from April 29 to May 1 as the culminating activity in a lung-busting hike at the top of Mt. Falcon which at 5,231.60 ft. above sea level is one of Central Luzon’s highest peaks and is considered to be the toughest to climb.

“It is our way of promoting Aurora as an eco-tourism haven,” he said, saying that it is said to be Central Luzon’s stiffest mountain.

He said that the Blue Falcons mountaineers, who have become a global organization, will retrace their roots in Mt. Falcon, Ditumabo here in San Luis, Aurora where it was founded on March 19, 1996 by Sir Edward J. England.

Usita said that the jungle trek to kick off today is a peaceful rally in support to the executive order number 23 of President Aquino’s total logging ban nationwide where he noted that the group has opposed illegal logging in the province for 15 years.

“I assured the mountaineers will also witness the testament of the seven advance team who conducted reconnaissance patrol at Mt. Falcon where they could see the bountiful beauty of the mountains,” he said.

Aside from the Blue Falcons and the south Korean mountaineers, it is expected that the other groups will participate in the activity like the Greenpeace,  Hospital, Philippine National Red Cross, DFA-Katribu climbers, Green Philippines. Among others are the media from the Catholic Media Network-CMN, DZMM, Philippine star, DZRH, GMA7, ABS-CBN, Business Mirror, Esports Daily News, Radyo Natin and Bulgar. (Jason de Asis)

Trillanes bats for speed limit to utility vehicles to lessen Phl deaths and injuries

SENATE OFFICE, Manila, April 28, 2011-To lessen the number of deaths and injuries on the roads due to over speeding, Senator Antonio “Sonny” F. Trillanes IV filed a bill that would require on-board speed-limiting devices for all public utility vehicles (PUVs) where he believes that to have a speed limiting device fitted in their vehicles it would help to reduce speed-related fatal accidents which the number of victim continues to rise over the years.

The senator sponsored Senate Bill No. 2790 otherwise known as the proposed speed Limiters Act of 2011, stating that speed-limiting devices could help save lives since it would limit the speed on PUVs, which are most likely to break
speed limits on fast roads.

Trillanes strongly recommended that legislation obliging operators of PUVs to have that kind of device will ensure safe to all passengers, operators and drivers where 78 percent of the population rely on buses, jeepneys, taxis, trains and tricyles for mobility, and 44 percent of road accidents caused by speeding.

“It is very alarming that World Health Organization (WHO) reported that 2.4 million fatalities died due to road accidents,” Trillanes said, adding that local studies revealed that in Manila alone, almost 50 road accidents occur every day.

Trillanes stressed that by enforcing strict compliance with the mandated speed limits in various streets, highways and thoroughfares, vehicular accidents caused by speeding will be reduced and that lives will be saved.

“I hope that this proposed bill will be supported by my fellow solon in the Senate,” Trillanes said.

Trillanes cited that the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) imposed 60 kilometer per hour speed limit on the 12.4 kilometers thoroughfare which resulted to the dramatic reduction of road accidents along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City, adding that almost every week,  Commonwealth Avenue previously gained notoriety as a killer highway because of the great number of fatal accidents taking place on the said road; thus, the Senator believes that installing on-board speed-limiting devices on PUVs would be a step towards the right direction to duplicate this experience not only in Metro Manila but across the country.

Trillanes’ bill of PUVs will be required to bear the cost of the speed-limiting devices where the Senator said that the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) will be tasked to supervise and to inspect the setting up of speed-limiting devices to comply with speed limits corresponding to the maximum allowed in the route plied by a particular PUV.

“DOTC will also be authorized to subsidize deserving PUV owners in the procurement and installation of on-board speed-limiting devices,” Trillanes said, adding that the bill provides that no PUV shall be registered by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) without a properly calibrated speed-limiting device installed.

The bill stated that a fine of P30, 000 and a jail term of up to three years shall be imposed upon those who will be found to have tampered with a duly installed and set speed limiter.

The DOTC, in coordination with the LTO and the Land Transportation Franchise Regulatory Board will be tasked of the proposed measure in the formulation of the guidelines, rules and regulations of the implementing provisions. (Jason de Asis)


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