MANILA, December 29, 2003 (STAR) Eight officials of the China Narcotics Control Commission who are in the country to familiarize themselves with their counterpart institutions in the Philippines were impressed over the modern and highly equipped facilities being used by a leading rehabilitation and drug treatment center in Tagaytay, especially its curative approach for the recovery of drug dependents called Therapeutic Community Modality Plan.

Headed by Chen Cunyi, Deputy Secretary General of the China Narcotics Control Commission and Deputy Director General of the Narcotics Control Bureau, the eight-member delegation toured the facilities of Seagulls Flight Foundation Inc. Rehabilitation center accompanied by Ruben Irlandez, facility director and Col. Abe Limos of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Administration (PDEA) and Jerry Yap, SFFI consultant.

The Chinese narcotics officials even planned to adopt the novel idea of treating and caring for drug dependents being implemented by the SFFI which is patterned after the world renowned Daytop International in New York.

The visit of the Chinese officials aims to strengthen the cooperation between the Philippines and China on their Cooperation Against Illicit and Abuse of Narcotics Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Precursor.

That cooperation was contained in the bilateral memorandum of understanding between the two countries signed in Beijing, China on Oct. 30, 2001 and entered into force on May 28, 2003.

In pursuance of the implementation of the MOU, a delegation from the Philippines visited Beijing on Aug. 4-6, 2003 and one of the topics discussed was the visit of a delegation for a familiarization tour and meetings with PDEA officials.

It was PDEA Director General Anselmo Avenido who recommended that Seagulls be the sole rehabilitation center that should be visited by the Chinese narcotics officials as it is efficient and very effective when drug and alcohol treatment and rehabilitation is concerned.

Need For Ordinance On Recycled Air Cited

What has happened to the ordinance proposed by the Metro Manila Development Authority that would require airconditioned establishments to install filters to ensure air purity and prevent outbreak of airborne diseases? The ordinance was proposed to the MMDA after a suspected influenza virus infected hundreds of school children in exclusive schools in Metro Manila. Investigation by the Department of Health revealed the virus attack was caused by airconditioning units that lacked air filter that would have avoided spread of recycled air in the enclosed classrooms.

The ordinance becomes highly relevant in the light of a World Health Organization report that people spend 91 percent of their time indoors and need some control on indoor environment.

Uni-Air Philippines, Inc., exponent of pollution-free air, has emphasized that not only airconditioning units be mere cooling devices but must filter the air to make it safe to inhale. UPI distributes the split-type aircon unit with multi-point filter that traps large particles of dust and anti-bacteria purifier whose composition is titanium dioxide which, according to results of Japanese laboratory tests, is 99 percent effective in combating airborne pollutants.

UPI also has different models of air purifier with seven-stage purification process. These are nylon pre-filter made of wire mesh to trap large dust particles; high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) which catches dust that escape from the nylon filter; activated carbon treated with oxygen to open up millions of tiny pores between the carbon atoms to trap noxious gases in the air; the multi-point filter; anti-bacteria filter that does away with micro-organisms in the air; ultraviolet lamp, 100 percent the intensity of light that kills disease-causing germs on contact; and ion generator patterned from thunderstorm producing activated oxygen to keep the air fresh.

Time To Reflect

It is not always easy to keep New Year’s resolutions, more so when our busy lives take over our thoughts. Now there is something that can help you keep your time in perspective. You can experience a reflective take on time with the new cK mirror. Sleek, polished, luminous, the modern yet feminine timepiece offers a breath of luxury and a unique way of looking at your day. Instead of just telling you when to rush off to your next appointment, the mirror watch serves as a gentle reminder to spend time on what is really important in your life. Seamless and elegant, the cK mirror features an oversized dial (in mirror or shiny black) contrasted with ultra-thin bracelet with snap-in clasp.

Available at Time Depot, cK mirror is ideal for people with discerning tastes and who are looking for a modern interpretation of a most valuable resource – time. TIME DEPOT can be found in Rockwell (Makati), Robinson’s Place (Manila) Shangri-La Plaza Mall (Mandaluyong City), SM North EDSA Annex, SM Pampanga, and SM in Davao.

KC Council 8256 Thanksgiving Affair

The Knights of Columbus (KC) Council 8256, Barangay Don Bosco, Better Living Subdivision, Parañaque City, will hold its annual thanksgiving and traditional get-together tomorrow, Dec. 29. This was announced by Grand Knight (GK) Adorable Sales. Venue of the affair is Jesue-Marie School, Better Living, Parañaque City, courtesy of spouses Sir Knight Noli and Dr. Lily Canlas.

Sales said that KC Council 8256 have a lot to be thankful for as they have already attained about 80 percent of their community, church, youth, family services and other social and civic services in line with its various projects for the Columbian year 2003-2004.

He expressed his thanks to all the KC members who have given the significant support and contribution to KC 8256, have shared their time, talents and resources to be able to attain so many laudable projects for the year 2003. He expressed optimism that the coming year will be an upbeat and banner year for the council in its effort to upgrade the life of the community.

FortuneCare’s ‘Alay Sa Pangulo’ Presents A Dinner With The President

FortuneCare, a leading health maintenance organization (HMO), held Alay sa Pangulo last Dec. 17, where its management gave cash incentives to the top three qualifiers in three categories recognizing the important role of agents in its operation. In appreciation of their efforts, the nine winners also got a dinner with FortuneCare president, J. Antonio Cabangon Jr. in plush Hotel Shangri-La. Alay sa Pangulo agents incentive is a short-term production incentive conceived as a tribute to the president.

Recently, FortuneCare has improved further its services to its members as it signed a partnership agreement with De los Santos Medical Center (DLSMC) where FortuneCare members are provided personalized medical service as DLSMC allots exclusive wing called the FortuneCare Wing. In effect, this development will keep utilization at a minimum, reducing hospital cost by 25 percent highly favorable to FortuneCare members.

FortuneCare has also improved its clinic and office in Bacolod City as it transferred to its new location in St. Francis Center, Araneta Street, Singcang, Bacolod City along with sister companies Eternal Plans, Fortune Guarantee and Fortune Life. Meanwhile, Cebu branch has just renovated its clinic and marketing office. Another clinic is expected to open soon in Cavite.

Cabangon, in an interview, disclosed that the Fortune Group of Companies has achieved P1.5 billion in gross revenues for year 2003 and is optimistic of the future projecting a half a million members served by the year 2005. At present, FortuneCare has more than 200,000 members.

J. Antonio Cabangon Jr. is the son of Philippine Ambassador to Lao, PDR Antonio Cabangon Chua, who is founder and chairman emeritus of the Fortune Group of Companies.

Rizal Youth Leadership Institute A Success

Evident success of the 41st Rizal Youth Leadership Institute, an annual convention of student leaders from key colleges and universities all over the country and sponsored by the Order of the Knights of Rizal led by Supreme Commander Carmelo Gempesaw, was acclaimed as the said event ended Dec. 22, 2003 at the Teacher’s Camp, Baguio City.

Attended by almost 800 student leaders and SK members, prestigious speakers shared their wisdom in the conference led by Ateneo president Fr. Bienvenido Nebres, who delivered the keynote address, discussed various topics under the theme "Rizalism Renewed for National Peace Cooperation and Brotherhood."

The subtopics and their corresponding speakers are "Rizal Vision and National Peace, Cooperation and Brotherhood", DepEd Usec. Luis Gascon; "Responding to the Challenge of National Peace and Unity: The Voice of the Youth", Jeric Mendoza, 1998 Jose Rizal Model Student of the Philippines; "The Relevance of Rizal’s Teaching Today" – Dr. Amalia Cullarin Rosales of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

Meanwhile, in a related development, a temporary restraining order dated Dec. 22, 2003 was granted by Judge Artemio Tipon of Branch 46 RTC Manila enjoining any other group from misrepresenting themselves as officers of the Order of the Knights of Rizal.

The officers of the Supreme Council are Carmelo Gempesaw, supreme commander; Hans Schoof, deputy supreme commander; Ruben Madlansacay, supreme chancellor; Ponciano Aberin, supreme pursuivant; Freddie Mangune, supreme exchequer, Jeremias Singson, supreme archivist and assistant deputy supreme commander; Jose Emmanuel Carlos, Virgilio Esguerra and Esmeraldo Plastina, all supreme trustees and assistant deputy supreme commanders, and Francis Suavillo, deputy supreme pursuivant.

The members of the Council of Elders are: Justo Torres, supreme Commander emeritus as the chairman; Conrado Vasquez, Filemon Mendoza, Lamberto Nanquil, Demetrio Hilberto and Rogelio Quiambao.

Puyat Distributes More Wheelchairs

In a ceremony conducted last Dec. 6, coinciding with the induction of Bayanihan tungo sa Reporma at Pagunlad (BRP sa UNO) officers of Barangay San Antonio, Prof. Berna Romulo Puyat, together with actor Willy Revillame handed over three more wheel chairs to needy constituents of district 1 of Quezon City.

In her speech, Puyat thanked the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office for the wheelchairs and the unwavering support of the agency in assisting her in realizing her programs for the people of District 1. "We will," according to her, "continue to find more ways of delivering to the people what they deserve. We will continue to work with them, in the spirit of Bayanihan, and work out for ourselves what others continue to neglect. We will not fail our people."

In a short message delivered by Mr. Willy Revillame, he stressed that "this is not about politics. This is about helping people, specially the poor cope up with their disabilities. He added that he has been facilitating donations from various charitable institutions and awarding them to deserving people that he features in his weekly television program, and said that projects like this, undertaken by Puyat deserves the backing and support of the constituents of District 1.

After the awarding of the wheelchairs, an induction ceremony of the officers of the BRP San Antonio Chapter was held, this time joined by movie and television personality Marvin Agustin who led the reading of the oath. Agustin said that he attended the ceremonies not because of politics. "This is about involving myself with people specially the needy. This is about involving myself in Bayanihan, and in helping out Prof. Berna Romulo Puyat pursue her mission for the people of the 1st District of Quezon City."

Hilongos, Leyte Fiesta In Manila

The Kapunongang Hilongosnon (Leyte) sa Metro Manila (KHMM) will hold its annual fiesta celebration in honor of Our Lady of the Immaculate Concepcion on December 30 at the Palanan Sports Center, Filmore St., Makati City. The family of Angelo and Leonor Gotardo is this year’s hermano mayor.

KHMM will mark its 73rd anniversary with the launching of its foundation and website. The festivities will start with a mass at 4 p.m. followed by the opening of the Hilongos & KHMM exhibit by Rep. Carmen Cari and Gov. Remedios Petilla. Dr. Regino Paular of the National Historical Institute will be the guest of honor and speaker in the annual general membership meeting that follows.

Lawyer Teresita Castillon-Lora, KHMM president, said that the association thanked Mayor Jejomar Binay during a courtesy call for the use of the sports complex. Lora is urging all Hilongosnons living in Metro Manila to attend and learn more about the progress of the KHMM projects and other developments in their hometown. For more information call or text 0918-5010110 or 0917-6220580.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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