News Briefs

/ 07:23 AM August 25, 2018

3 Pinoys die of natural causes in Islamic pilgrimage–DFA

Three Filipino pilgrims died during the recent hajj, or pilgrimage, to Islam’s holy cities of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).


The DFA, in a statement, quoted a report from Consul General Edgar Badajos saying that the pilgrims—two male and one female—“died of natural causes.”

One of the male pilgrims died at Al Noor Hospital in Mecca due to peptic ulcer and coronary heart disease, while the other man died at the same hospital due to complications from diabetes. They were buried in Mecca on the day of their deaths. The female pilgrim died due to cardiac arrest after departing Manila on July 24. Her plane made an emergency landing in Bangladesh where she was pronounced dead.—JEROME ANING


Heavy rains damage P1B worth of public infrastructure

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) estimates that close to P1 billion worth of public infrastructure were damaged over the last few weeks due to heavy rains brought about by the enhanced monsoon.

The bulk of the damage was recorded in the Ilocos Region, where four bridges, nine road sections and 47 flood control systems, worth a total of about P558 million, were destroyed. The Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) saw 31 road sections and two flood control systems damaged. The DPWH put the cost of the damage in CAR at over P360 million and in Cagayan Valley at P33.5 million.—JOVIC YEE

Health dep’t promotes PSI method to space pregnancies

The Department of Health (DOH) is urging couples who wish to space their pregnancies to use the new family planning method called progestin subdermal implant (PSI).

According to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, the implant is an effective approach to meet the global need for birth spacing among women.

“The DOH strongly promotes the use of implants for couples who wish to space their pregnancies,” Duque said, as he advised couples to wait at least 18 months before getting pregnant again to maintain the best health for the mother and child.


The DOH corrected misconceptions that PSI causes abortion. Food and Drug Administration Advisory No. 2017-302 declared PSI as among the contraceptive products that are nonabortifacient, he said.—TINA G. SANTOS

No more special registration for BOL plebiscite–Comelec

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will no longer hold a special registration for the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) plebiscite but will instead intensify the ongoing nationwide voter registration for the May 2019 midterm elections, spokesperson James Jimenez said.

“The law provides that we must conduct a special registration. But since we already have an existing voter registration, what the Comelec will just do is to intensify our ongoing registration activity,” he said.

The poll body plans to hold the BOL plebiscite in January.—TINA G. SANTOS

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