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Palo, Leyte-“The sustained support and commitment expressed by the various stakeholders promises a successful celebration of this year’s nutrition month and the realization of our efforts to accelerate and improve the overall health and nutrition status of our children and the entire people in Eastern Visayas,” said by the Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator Dr. Catalino P. Dotollo, Jr. during the Nutrition Month (NM) Stakeholders Meeting, held on 19 June 2018, at the PopCom Conference Room, PopCom Compound, Government Center, Palo, Leyte.

Said expression came after the nutrition stakeholders from the local government units, non-government organizations, civil society organizations, among others, conveyed their support and participation to the month-long activities which will be highlighted with motorcade and launching activities, thematic talks, nutri-contests, and food garden advocacies. 

The nutrition month celebration is pursuant to Presidential Decree 491, or the Nutrition Act of the Philippines, signed on June 25, 1974, which mandates the National Nutrition Council (NNC) to spearhead the nationwide celebration of the Nutrition Month. 

This year’s celebration, with the theme is “Ugaliing Magtanim, Sapat na Nutrisyon Aanihin!”, underscores nutrition awareness through improved food access by increasing the number of households, schools, and communities engaged in food gardens. Specifically, the celebration aims to (1) encourage development of food gardens among families and in communities, schools, government offices, and workplaces; (2) mobilize various stakeholders to provide a fostering environment for sustainable food gardens; and (3) provide a platform to generate success stories of food gardens and recognize successful food gardeners.

 

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With great honor and pleasure to serve fellow advocates on health research, the Eastern Visayas Health Research & Development Consortium (EVHRDC) welcomed participants from the Department of Health Regional Office No. II for a Benchmarking Activity and Dialogue on Health Research Initiatives recently held at the DOST Regional Office VIII, Government Center, Candahug, Palo, Leyte on June 26, 2018.

The visitors from DOH RO II were the Research Management and Development (RMD) Coordinator, Carissa Pagulayan, and Health Program Researchers, namely:  Charmaine Barangan, Desiree Deray, Madeline Tamayo, and Dan Reyes.

Participants of the activity were the EVHRDC Research Management Committee (RMC)   with Leonido Olobia as Chair, and members namely: Dr. Bayani Blas (RTRMF), Catherine Iglesias (CHED), and Dr. Amabel Ganzo (UPM-SHS). 

Also in attendance were the EVHRDC Coordinator, Dr. Lucia Dauz, and the committee chairs of ERC and SOMEC, Dr. Jane Borrinaga and Josephine Hipe, respectively.

One of the highlights of the activity was the sharing of best practices from committee chairs and members of the different EVHRDC committees, of EVHRDC in general, and that of DOH RO8.

There were also presentations on the overview of EVHRDC, its accomplishments for CY 2017 and mid of 2018, as well as the targets for the second semester of the current year.

After the presentations and an open forum, the participants were taken for a tour to the EVHRDC ERC Office.

Grateful for the opportunity, the EVHRDC thanked the visitors for considering region 8’s consortium in their benchmarking activity.

EVHRDC and DOH RO2 are hopeful to undertake collaborative projects and activities in the future.

The Department of Health (DOH) Region 8 in coordination with the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC), conducts blood donation activities today in celebration of the World Blood Donor Day.

The bloodletting is being held at the Sagkahan Community Center, this city, with blood donors coming from different line agencies particularly from the tri-bureaus under the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

The one day activity has the theme, "Be there for someone else, give blood, share life".

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed Republic Act 11036, or the Philippine Mental Health Law, which aims to shed more light on the mental health of Filipinos.

The issue of mental health has been in the limelight following the recent suicide deaths of known personalities Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain and the sister of Queen Maxima of Denmark.

The Philippines is the last country to pass a mental health law in Southeast Asia.

“No longer shall Filipinos suffer silently in the dark,” Senator Risa Hontiveros said in a statement on Thursday.

Hontiveros is one of the authors and the principal sponsor of the bill along with Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Senators Loren Legarda, Sonny Trillanes, Bam Aquino, Sonny Angara and Joel Villanueva.

In other developments:


Deputy Speaker and Marikina Rep. Romero Quimbo on Thursday hailed the signing into law of the Mental Health Law.

“Truly fantastic news. It is a bill that languished in Congress for almost 20 years,” Quimbo said.

“Finally, the long wait is over. Today’s signing of the Mental Health Law will hopefully usher in the prevention of thousands of suicides that have been plaguing our country.”

Quimbo was the principal author of the House version of the then Mental Health Act.


The enactment into law of the Mental Health Act is a huge step in making mental health care more affordable, accessible and equitable, Senator Juan Edgardo Angara said, but he renewed his call to PhilHealth to cover the fees for psychiatric consultations and medicines, saying early intervention and prevention was crucial in treating mental illness.

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed Republic Act 11036, or the Philippine Mental Health Law, which aims to shed more light on the mental health of Filipinos.

The issue of mental health has been in the limelight following the recent suicide deaths of known personalities Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain and the sister of Queen Maxima of Denmark.

The Philippines is the last country to pass a mental health law in Southeast Asia.

“No longer shall Filipinos suffer silently in the dark,” Senator Risa Hontiveros said in a statement on Thursday.

Hontiveros is one of the authors and the principal sponsor of the bill along with Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Senators Loren Legarda, Sonny Trillanes, Bam Aquino, Sonny Angara and Joel Villanueva.

In other developments:

Deputy Speaker and Marikina Rep. Romero Quimbo on Thursday hailed the signing into law of the Mental Health Law.

“Truly fantastic news. It is a bill that languished in Congress for almost 20 years,” Quimbo said.

“Finally, the long wait is over. Today’s signing of the Mental Health Law will hopefully usher in the prevention of thousands of suicides that have been plaguing our country.”

Quimbo was the principal author of the House version of the then Mental Health Act.

The enactment into law of the Mental Health Act is a huge step in making mental health care more affordable, accessible and equitable, Senator Juan Edgardo Angara said, but he renewed his call to PhilHealth to cover the fees for psychiatric consultations and medicines, saying early intervention and prevention was crucial in treating mental illness.

Under the Mental Health Act, he said, PhilHealth must “ensure that insurance packages equivalent to those covering the physical disorders of comparable impact are available to patients affected by mental disorders.”

PhilHealth now only covers hospitalization brought about by an acute attack of mental and behavioral disorder at a package rate of P7,800.

Hontiveros said that the new law would finally “secure the rights and welfare of people with mental health needs.”

She said it would finally be providing mental health services down to the smallest branch of the government, improving the country’s capability to properly handle mental health issues.

Among the law’s coverage is the provision of mental health services from health care facilities up to promoting mental health education in schools and workplaces where mental health risks are more prevalent.

 

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Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Monday vowed to punish those responsible for anomalies in the P8.1-billion, two-phase Barangay Health Station Project, saying he was shocked by the volume of irregular transactions in his department.

“Heads will roll. Big names, small names, past and present. There will be no sacred cows. Heads will definitely roll,” Duque said at a briefing.

“I tried to give the persons involved the benefit of the doubt,” Duque told reporters. “I am beyond frustrated. I am saddened and disgusted that the Filipino people are being shortchanged by the very people who are supposed to serve them.”

The goal of the BHS Project was to build a functional PhilHealth-accredited health station in every barangay to ensure access to primary health care, using public elementary schools as identified sites.

But a task force organized by Duque in April confirmed the findings of a Commission on Audit report, which found that the project “was obstructed by ineligible and non-workable project sites that were not fully validated before project contracting and implementation due to the absence of specific guidelines.”

The CoA also noted that equipment procured for the project remained idle or undistributed to the intended beneficiaries.

Duque said the order of business was to clean house from within.

“I will continue instituting changes, including reorganization, in the coming days,” he said.

He said he has also ordered a meticulous review of all transactions entered into by the previous administrations.

The DoH has also submitted documents to the Senate, the House of Representatives, and the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission, which issued requests and subpoenas to help their own parallel investigations.

 

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