News Briefs: Ex-Sandiganbayan justice cleared in illicit affair
The Supreme Court exonerated a former Sandiganbayan justice who was accused of having an illicit affair with a clerk of court in Caloocan City.
The high court cleared retired Associate Justice Roland Jurado of claims that he had an illicit affair with Caloocan City clerk of court Mona Lisa Buencamino.
Voting 13-0, the high court also junked for lack of merit the administrative charge that Jurado amassed unexplained wealth and failed to declare all his real properties in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth. —Marlon Ramos
CHEd urges college dropouts to go back to school
The Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) urged lifelong learners, adults who finished high school but did not proceed to college or dropped out, to enroll and pursue degrees for the school year 2017-2018.
CHEd Chair Patricia Licuanan pointed out that lifelong learners were also eligible for free tuition in state universities and colleges.
“Now is really the best chance to go back to college.
By next year, lifelong learners who would want to continue their undergraduate studies would have to face more requirements in going back to school, as colleges and universities might require them to take bridging programs or additional subjects in line with the competencies required in the new GE (general education) curriculum,” Licuanan said. —Jeannette I. Andrade
PAL adds 3 new domestic routes from Clark
Philippine Airlines (PAL) will add next month three new domestic routes out of Clark International Airport in Pampanga.
From Clark, the country’s flag carrier will fly to Bacolod, Tagbilaran and Cagayan de Oro cities starting June 22.
PAL spokesperson Maria Cielo Villaluna said the new routes would increase to eight its domestic flights out of Clark.
Presently, PAL offers flights to Busuanga, Caticlan, Cebu, Davao and Puerto Princesa from Clark.
The flag carrier offers only one international route to Incheon, South Korea.
Villaluna said PAL would fly three times a week from Clark to Bacolod and four times weekly to Cagayan de Oro.
Daily flights to Tagbilaran will also be available. To mark the launch of the three new routes, PAL is offering promo round-trip fares of P1,372 for Clark-Bacolod-Clark and Clark-Tagbilaran-Clark; as well as P1,820 for Clark-Cagayan de Oro-Clark flights.
Booking period is until Aug. 15, while travel period is from June 22 to Dec. 15. —Jeannette I. Andrade
PH, Japan Coast Guards to hold exercises in Sulu, Celebes
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and its Japanese counterpart will conduct joint exercises in Sulu and Celebes Sea to boost both their forces’ capabilities in fighting off piracy attacks.
The PCG with the Japanese Coast Guard (JCG) held the first of their bilateral drills on Saturday, with the second to be held on June 2- 3. PCG officer in charge Commodore Joel Garcia pointed out that the international shipping community was concerned with sea piracy attacks in the past months in southern Philippines.
JCG vice commandant for operations, Vice Admiral Shuichi Iwanami, said a memorandum was signed to boost the cooperation and relationship between the two forces.
JCG will deploy its jet aircraft, the Falcon 900, together with the PCG’s search-and-rescue vessels—BRP Davao del Norte and BRP Malapascua—as well as the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources sea vessel. —Julie M. Aurelio
Mandatory PhilHealth coverage for persons with autism
Sen. Leila de Lima wants mandatory coverage by Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) of persons with autism and the creation of an agency that would focus on the developmental disorder as a national health issue.
Senate Bill (SB) No. 1433 seeks the provision of the necessary educational and medical support for children and adults with autism as well as their families.
The proposed measure would mandate the government to establish a national roadmap through the creation of an autism council to address the disorder and provide educational and financial support.
De Lima said SB 1433 also aimed to protect children and adults with autism from discrimination. The Autism Society of the Philippines estimates that one out of every 500 Filipinos has autism. —Jeannette I. Andrade
Measure sought to ensure healthy mother, child
Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara sought a measure that would ensure health care for a mother and her newborn child to prevent malnutrition. Angara, who authored the Expanded Maternity Leave Benefits Act, proposed the First 1,000 Days Act, which would provide a comprehensive health care program that would cover the nine months of a mother’s pregnancy and her baby’s first two years.
Under the measure, a First 1,000 Days program would be jointly set up in every barangay by the Department of Health, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and the Department of Science and Technology, through the National Nutrition Council and the Food and Nutrition Research Institute.
“The program will develop and implement a practical and comprehensive health care plan for pregnant and lactating women as well as provide health and nutrition for their children from 1 to 1,000 days,” Angara said. —Jeannette I. Andrade
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