News Briefs: May 24, 2019 | Inquirer News
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News Briefs: May 24, 2019

/ 05:00 AM May 24, 2019

PDI health columnist honored by peers

The Philippine Heart Association/Philippine College of Cardiology (PHA/PCC) on Wednesday conferred its  prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award on Inquirer health columnist Dr. Rafael Castillo during the association’s 50th annual convention. In a board resolution read by the current PHA/PCC president, Dr. Nannette Rey, Castillo was honored for his visionary leadership during his term in 1993-1994 when he was 39, the association’s youngest president.  He was cited as well for his accomplishments as a health educator, clinician, medical journal editor and journalist, academician, researcher and community organizer. Castillo, who has been writing the weekly health column Medical Files for the Inquirer since 2000,  has also championed various advocacies on health. A much sought-after speaker in local and foreign conferences, particularly in the field of hypertension, Castillo has brought international recognition to Filipino heart specialists as excellent researchers and resource persons. Castillo is the first Southeast Asian to be elected trustee/council member of the London-based International Society of Hypertension. His term ends in 2022.

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Morales ‘not disrespected’–Palace

“If former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales [had been] disrespected or mistreated,” Malacañang will definitely protest to Hong Kong authorities, “but that wasn’t the case,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said on Thursday. Panelo was responding to Sen. Risa Hontiveros’ dare for the Palace to protest Morales’ four-hour detention on Tuesday by immigration authorities in Hong Kong. At a press briefing, the Palace official said he had called up Morales, his “good friend, a former dance partner,” about the incident but that “she had no complaints that she was disrespected … She was just irritated because her plans for her grandchildren got ruined.” Morales said she believed the incident was related to the case that she and former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario had filed at the International Criminal Court against Chinese President Xi Jinping over China’s aggressive behavior in the South China Sea dispute. Detained Sen. Leila de Lima said Morales and Del Rosario’s complaint before the ICC “has a significant effect on the superpower.” “Despite its armor and sword, China can still be hurt by a senior woman with a sharp mind, a just cause and a pen,” she said.  —JULIE M. AURELIO

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Pantawid Pamilya program continues

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Thursday announced that the President has signed Republic Act No. 11310, which institutionalized the government’s cash transfer program. The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is the government’s national poverty reduction strategy, which was initially implemented during the Arroyo administration and expanded by the Aquino administration. Signed last April by the President, Senate Bill No. 2117, authored by detained opposition Sen. Leila de Lima, requires the government to provide conditional cash transfers to qualified poor households for a maximum period of seven years. Qualified beneficiaries include farmers, fishermen, homeless families, indigenous peoples, those from the informal sector and those living in isolated and disadvantaged areas, especially those without electricity. Among their benefits is a monthly grant of at least P300 per child enrolled in day care and elementary for a maximum of 10 months a year, P500 per child enrolled in junior high school and P700 per child enrolled in senior high school. —JULIE M. AURELIO

Duterte’s new appointees bared

President Duterte has named Mudjib Abu as a member of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, the post previously held by Moro Islamic Liberation Front vice chair, Ghazali Jaafar, who passed away in March this year. Duterte also appointed Fernando Borja, the former special envoy to China, as the new special presidential envoy to Japan for business and investment promotion for six months. Almarim Tillah’s appointment as the special presidental envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation was also renewed for another term, from Jan. 1, 2019, to

Dec. 31, 2019. The President also named pastor Grepor Belgica as the new presidential adviser for religious affairs, with a compensation of P1 a year. A former murder convict who was pardoned by authoritarian President Ferdinand Marcos in 1976, Belgica became a preacher after his release from prison. His son, Greco Belgica, is a commissioner of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission. Duterte also signed the appointments of Jose Sylton Solidum as assistant Cabinet secretary; Datu Mama Sinsuat Jr. as director 4 of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos; Rolyn Zambales as director 4 of the Department of the Interior and Local Government; Judith Iris Kaye Pagsanjan as director 3 of the Department of Transportation; Teresita Mata-Marañon as board member of the Coconut Industry Investment Fund Oil Mills Group; Leonor Cabral-Lim as member of the Philippine Council for Mental Health representing the academe and research, and Celerino Umandap as member of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration board of trustees representing land-based overseas Filipino workers. —JULIE M. AURELIO

Senate passage of End Endo bill lauded

The Nagkaisa Labor Coalition on Thursday said it welcomes “as a major victory for workers” the passage of Senate Bill No. 1826, or the End Endo bill. “We appreciate the Senate for standing firm against the [Department of Finance’s] effort to discourage [them] from supporting the bill,” said Nagkaisa chair Sonny Matula. He said “the categorical prohibition of the ‘labor-only’ contracting in Article 106 of the Labor Code will strengthen security of tenure.” It took more than two decades since the first End Endo bill was filed before it finally got passed, Matula added, noting that then Rep. Miguel Zubiri first filed the Security of Tenure bill in 1998. —TINA SANTOS

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TAGS: BTA, Dr. Rafael Castillo, End Endo Bill, Hongkong, Morales, Palace, pantawid pamilya, Rodrigo Duterte, Senate, Tags:news briefs
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