Thursday, September 29, 2016

PhilHealth, DOH lead nationwide Walk for Life for Elderly

AT 6:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 1, around 6,000 elderly are expected to join the simultaneous Walk for Life in Metro Manila and in selected cities in the country.  This is the kick-off activity of the Elderly Filipino Week celebration and is spearheaded by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) and the Department of Health.

The activity aims to promote healthy lifestyle and wellness among the elderly.  Participants may also avail themselves of the services offered in the sites such as medical consultations, random blood sugar screening, cholesterol screening, bone scanning, blood pressure measurement and vaccination. 

PhilHealth will also put up service desks to answer queries and accept membership enrolment and data amendment.    Other government agencies will also set up booths to provide services to elderly participants.

The activity sites are  PFVR Gym in Baguio City, San Fernando City Plaza in La Union, Ayala Mall in Legazpi City, Almont Inland Resort in Butuan City, SMRAA Sports Complex in City of Koronadal and SM Malls in Pasay City, Cauayan, Isabela; Lucena, San Fernando, Pampanga; Batangas, Iloilo, Seaside-Cebu, Ecoland-Davao and Cagayan de Oro.

Registration is free.  

For details, contact the DOH's Disease Prevention and Control Bureau at 732-2494, 651-7800 locals 1750 to 1752. (END)

Reference:  Dr. Israel Francis A. Pargas
                   OIC-Vice President, Corporate Affairs Group

Expert to OFWs: Bringing kids abroad not always a good idea

An expert on mental health on Wednesday bared the possible negative effects of a child being brought to another country by his or her OFW parent.
At a forum in Quezon City, Dr. Kathryn Tan, assistant chief of the acute female division of the National Center for Mental Health, noted that children and adolescents who have to move abroad must cope with essentially a new life.
"You're tearing them away from their home country, from their friends, from their relatives, from their comforts, and you're transferring them to another continent with different people, exposed to racism, different language, different culture. It's culture shock," she said.
She said such adjustment to a new environment could sometimes lead to substance abuse, promiscuity, truancy and even depression.
"The problem would be more often their coping mechanism to the stress," Tan said.
The child's studies, Tan said, will also be adversely affected, as he or she will have to deal with an educational system that is very much different from that in the Philippines.
"Ang naging isang problema nila ay yung pagaaral sapagkat hindi valid yung klase ng edukasyon na ibinibigay dito pag nakakarating na sila sa [ibang bansa]," Tan said.
The forum, held at Lido on Mindanao Avenue, tackled the effects of migrant labor to Filipino children.
Another resource person, Fr. Benny Tuazon, parish priest of St. Anthony Parish, reminded OFWs that lost time could never be regained.
"If you lost time, you cannot bring it back around na yung pag-uwi mo, tapos you will pamper your children, hindi 'yun eh," he said.
Tuazon advised parents that if they could help it, they should just seek employment in the Philippines. —KBK, GMA News

NAIA-1 opens 'Wellwishers Lounges' for departing OFWs

The Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 on Wednesday opened its "Wellwishers Lounges" and encouraged OFWs and their families to avail of them.

Manila International Airport Authority General Manager Ed Monreal, joined by OFW Girlie Maalihan who is leaving for Riyadh, cut the ceremonial ribbon for the lounge.
—KBK, GMA News

POEA lifts deployment ban on OFWs returning to Libya

The government has lifted the processing and deployment of returning Filipino workers with valid and existing contracts to Libya following the downgrading of the alert level there.
From Level 4 (mandatory evacuation), the alert level in Libya has been downgraded to Level 2 (restriction phase), allowing the deployment of returning OFWs.
The partial lifting of the deployment ban was formalized in Resolution No. 16 of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Board.
"The POEA Governing Board now allows the resumption of the processing and deployment of Filipino workers to Libya," said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, who chairs the POEA Governing Board, in a statement Wednesday.
The order noted that only returning OFWs with valid and existing contracts are allowed to be deployed in Libya. For this they must submit the following:
  • copies of existing contracts;
  • certification of salaries and benefits of OFWs;
  • letter from the employer requesting for the return of the OFWs;
  • security and safety guarantees through valid company certifications; medical and life insurance coverage; and
  • guarantee of immediate repatriation based on submitted contingency plans

Bello said the deployment ban for newly hired OFWs shall be maintained until further notice.

The POEA suspended the processing and deployment of OFWs bound for Libya on May 30, 2014 due to the heightened political unrest there.

On June 13, 2014, Governing Board Resolution No. 9 was issued which allowed for the processing and deployment of certain skills categories of returning workers to Libya, while on July 22, 2014, the POEA, through Resolution No. 17, allowed additional skills categories of returning workers.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has conducted jobsite visit to Libya to assess the general situation there on August 18. —KBK, GMA News

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

No notarization needed for travel agency invitations to Dubai

Invitations or sponsorships of travel agencies issued to Dubai-bound Filipino travelers need not be notarized starting October 3, 2016, the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai said Tuesday.
In an advisory, the Consulate General said this is to give "due priority to the Bureau of Immigration's examination of the traveler's documents and determination of his/her capacity to support the travel abroad."
Foreigners who wish to enter the United Arab Emirates for personal, tourism, visit to relatives or friends, or similar reasons are required a visit visa.
The applicant for this type of visa should be sponsored by a person who is presently residing in the UAE. In the absence of a relative, a visitor can apply in any travel agencies in Dubai. —KBK, GMA News

Pinoy doctor recognized in US for championing reproductive health

A former doctor to the barrios, or a doctor who serves in rural areas, became the first Southeast Asian doctor to join the 120 Under 40 campaign for youth leaders who champion the cause of reproductive health around the world.

Dr. Marvin Masalunga will join nine others in a series of talks at Maryland, Washington, and New York as part of the program by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Bill and Melinda Gates Institute.
"It’s a validation of what I, and our group of rural health workers in Palawan, do for the people. Aside from that, it speaks that I am probably doing something right in my service," said Masalunga, who works in Coron, Palawan, as a deputy municipal health officer.
Masalunga, 27, was nominated by the the Forum for Family Planning and Development, a non-government organization concerned with population management.
Of his involvement with the Forum and rural health, Masalunga said, "In my involvement with the rural health community, I brought along with me three causes that are close to my heart – the disabled people, reproductive health, and mental health."
"These are the people who are at the laylayan (the outskirts of society). And they are the ones who need medical attention, the most," he added.
Masalunga is hoping to improve maternal health and educate the youth of their reproductive health rights to lessen the cases of maternal mortality and teenage pregnancy in Coron and other rural areas.
Masalunga also plans to take up pathology as his specialization and to create an adolescent forum to "empower the youth to know more about their reproductive health rights, and how they can take care of themselves better."
120 Under 40: The New Generation of Family Planning Leaders was launched in 2015 to recognize "the achievements of the next generation of family planning leaders worldwide."
All 40 winners, who are chosen through public voting, are rewarded with $1,000 and will be part of a roster of 120 youth leaders after a repeat of the ceremony in 2017 and 2019.
The assembly is in support of Family Planning 2020, a partnership that "aims to enable 120 million additional women and girls to access life-saving contraceptives and other reproductive health supplies." Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News

Pinay singer Ivy Grace Paredes leaves 'The X Factor UK' in style

Filipina singer Ivy Grace Paredes left "The X Factor UK" in style after she received the best crowd reaction and praises from the judges alike during her last performance in the reality-singing TV show.
Paredes, 33, impressed judges Nicole Scherzinger and Simon Cowell on Sunday (UK time) with her rendition of the Filipino-favorite "I Have Nothing" by Whitney Houston.

Scherzinger commented that Paredes' voice was "way too big for the Philippines" while Cowell said her performance was exciting despite not being "the most original thing" the judges have heard.
"I know why you left the Philippines because your voice is way too big for the Philippines alone, it's meant for the entire world to hear," Scherzinger said.
"Is it the most original thing we've ever heard? No. Is it exciting? Yes. Should you be in a chair, yes," Cowell added.
Though Paredes earned a slot in the next round of the show, visa troubles forced her to quit "The X Factor UK."
Paredes was refused an American visa, making her ineligible to continue to the US leg of the competition, according to a report on The Sun.
Paredes was a singer at a comedy bar in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates seven years ago and was supposed to sign a contract with a prominent hotel when she was invited to audition for the X Factor UK.
Paredes, who was from Malaybalay, Bukidnon, started singing in competitions when she was nine years old. She stopped going to school at age 14 to sing professionally to financially support her family. Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News
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