HEADLINE NEWS EARLY THIS PAST WEEK ...

AQUINO VISITS GIRLSTOWN, WITNESSES A 'MIRACLE' 

NOV 4 --SILANG, Cavite—For once, the “inspirational leader” of the nation was the one struck with inspiration. President Aquino said he was inspired by the students and teachers of The Sisters of Mary Girlstown institution during his visit on Monday. “When I was invited by Sr. Maria [Cho] and Sr. Elena [Belarmino] to visit The Sisters of Mary Girlstown, they asked me to give an inspirational message,” the President said in Filipino. “This is what I will say after I saw the students and teachers in this school: You are inspiring.” Aquino, asked to deliver an inspirational message to the 3,400 pupils of the school, said it was commendable that the children who came from the “poorest of the poor” families continue their schooling despite hardships.

He said the children of the school were bringing hope to the country. “You are still very young but you are now burdened with big challenges. You are giving hope not only to yourselves but to your loved ones. You bring hope to our country,” the President said. Transforming society ---Aquino said the Girlstown students epitomized the belief that Filipinos could contribute to nation-building if given the opportunity. “You proved that if a Filipino is given an opportunity, despite what condition he is in or where he came from, he will not waste it,” he said. “Instead, he will do everything he can to contribute to the meaningful transformation of our society.” The Sisters of Mary Girlstown is a nonstock, nonprofit, nonpaying high school that caters to the children of the poorest of the poor families in the country. * READ MORE...

(ALSO) DOH chief went officially on leave: Politics rears ugly head in Ona case

NOV 5 --THE Palace would not comment Tuesday on growing speculation that Health Secretary Enrique Ona was being eased out in favor Undersecretary Janette Garin, an ally of President Benigno Aquino III. Officially, Ona went on a four-week leave to prepare answers to several questions that the President had about the Health Department’s vaccination campaign. Ona on Tuesday confirmed Tuesday that he asked for time to answer the President’s questions about the immunization program and other issues. Interviewed after he attended the necrological services of the former Health secretary and senator Juan Flavier, Ona said the process of preparing those answers was “very complicated and extensive.”  He also said the report he was preparing would include the department’s hospital reform program.

Asked if the President forced him to go on leave, he said: “What the President said yesterday, let’s just stick to it.” Since Garin was appointed to the Health Department in July 2013, there was talk that she would replace Ona. Garin, a three term congresswoman of Iloilo City, is a member of Aquino’s Liberal Party and his ally in the House of Representatives. She was also a co-author of the Reproductive Health Bill, a priority measure of the Aquino administration, and touted as one of its major accomplishments. In confirming Garin’s appointment as Health undersecretary, the President said her “extensive practice and knowledge as a medical practitioner,” and her legislative background, made her the perfect fit for the post. Before that, in one of the Liberal Party’s campaign sorties in Iloilo province, the President announced he wanted Garin at the Health Department to help him in his programs. Garin, an obstetrician-gynecologist, denied that politics was behind Ona’s leave of absence. After attending Flavier’s necrological services at the Health Department’s convention hall, Ona went to his office on the second floor of the main building and stayed there for some time. Despite being on leave, he initially said he wanted to go to Tacloban City upon the invitation of the Health Department’s regional director for Eastern Visayas.*READ MORE...

ALSO: PNoy, Mar visit wake of former Senator & DOH chief Juan Flavier

OCT 31---Aquino and Roxas went to the Church of the Risen Lord in UP Diliman at around 5 p.m. after the President inspected the airport and bus terminals amid the exodus of Filipinos to the provinces for Undas. Flavier died of multiple organ failure due to pneumonia on Thursday. He was 79. Flavier's family believes he died at peace.

"I think he's very peaceful. He's at peace," said one of his children, Joy Flavier-Alampay. "We're also one with God's plans that it's his time already." Flavier, who was also a former secretary of the Department of Health (DOH), spearheaded famous campaigns like "Oplan Alis Disease" that taught people to prevent and not just cure diseases, "Sangkap Pinoy" that sought to combat malnutrition, and the anti-smoking program "Yosi Kadiri." THIS IS THE FULL REPORT

(ALSO) DOH Chief Ona: Hair dye allergy, complicated report prompted leave

NOV 6 ---Health Secretary Enrique Ona speaks during a necrological service for former senator Juan Flavier at the Department of Health in Manila yesterday. EDD GUMBAN MANILA, Philippines - An allergic reaction to hair dye, and the preparation of a “very complicated report” for President Aquino prompted Health Secretary Enrique Ona to go on leave. “I am still in the process of doing the report because it is complicated and extensive,” Ona told reporters yesterday when asked why he had to request for a month-long leave supposedly to prepare a report on public health and other issues. Ona said he must explain in detail to the President the ongoing immunization program and hospital reform program of the Department of Health (DOH).

Amid speculation that he would be replaced, he said the hospital program is “a little bit complicated.” Ona said he also needed to go on leave so he could undergo medical check-up for a recurring allergy and other minor health concerns. He showed off his newly dyed black hair as he said his health was getting better. Health Undersecretary Janette Garin earlier reported that Ona’s use of hair dye triggered an allergic reaction. Although he is still on leave, Ona went to the DOH main office yesterday to attend the necrological service for former health secretary and senator Juan Flavier. It was his first public appearance since reports came out that the President had asked him to take a leave so he could explain certain issues. Ona maintained that his relationship with the President remains good. Garin, meanwhile, belied reports that she was being eyed as replacement for Ona. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Roxas talks about Cabinet encounter with Binay  

NOV 6 --MANILA - Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas confirmed that he and Vice President Jejomar Binay did not interact during Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting on typhoon Yolanda. Roxas said there was no opportunity for them to talk, saying they were seated far away from each other. Hindi kami nabigyan ng pagkakataon mag-usap. I was just listening and reported on my... Wala naman siyang sinabi or tinanong,” Roxas told reporters. Binay earlier alleged Roxas was behind a plan to derail his presidential bid for 2016. The vice president, who is now facing a Senate probe on alleged corruption in Makati, had criticized the Aquino administration for its supposed failure to address the people’s real needs.

On Monday, President Aquino said Binay is free to leave the Cabinet if he no longer believes in the administration's direction. "Kung saka-sakaling sinabi ni Vice President 'yun, siguro dalawa lang ang dapat natin maalala. Number one, kung palagay niya mayroon kaming kulang na ginagawa, miyembro siya ng gabinete, e di abisuhan niya kami, mag-advise kung paano natin i-improve ang sistema at hindi choice 'yun. Obligasyon 'yun, miyembro siya ng gabinete. Kung palagay naman niyang mali ang direksyon namin, siyempre malaya din siyang hindi na sumama sa aming mga kilusan," Aquino told reporters. The Cabinet meeting yesterday was described as tense, as it was the first time all three were in the same room following recent developments on the political front. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT

ALSO: GLINTS OF HOPE EMERGE IN TYPHOON-HIT TACLOBAN 

NOV 6 --Sitting on a wooden stool as his customers mill around clutching burgers and bottles of San Miguel beer, Jacques Palami talks enthusiastically about life in Tacloban a year after it was slammed by typhoon Yolanda. Owner of the brightly-lit pop-up bar Na Ning, Palami is one of a growing number of victims of the strongest storm on record to hit land who are committed to rebuilding the coastal town that many feared was beyond repair. Palami, 26, lost his childhood home and two relatives in the typhoon that destroyed 90 percent of Tacloban after it hit land on Nov. 8, killing, or leaving missing, some 7,000 people. Typhoon Yolanda forced as many as four million people to flee their homes as it powered across the central Philippines, packing winds of up to 315 km an hour (195 miles) and causing seven-meter (23 feet) storm surges.

Palami is among a group of local and foreign entrepreneurs bringing innovation and hope to Tacloban, a city with a registered population of around 220,000 where a year ago corpses lined the streets and looters ran amok. His bar, a refurbished truck that was used by his family to deliver food to relatives in the storm’s aftermath, is a popular place for locals and foreign aid workers to unwind. “This is the time in Tacloban where people are being creative and innovative because they have to be,” said Palami, who named his bar after his grandfather. “My vision is for Tacloban to remain on the map.” Palami, who spent 10 years working in Manila and abroad, returned to Tacloban after Yolanda, the deadliest Philippine typhoon on record, determined to help rebuild the city that is about 360 miles (580 kms) southeast of Manila. He set up the bar in January this year and it is now parked just minutes from some of the city’s landmarks—the cotton candy-colored Santo Niño church and a shrine said to be on the site of the childhood home of Imelda Marcos. REBUILD OR LEAVE? Jerry Yaokasin, Tacloban’s vice mayor, said the city’s recovery so far has been remarkable but much remains to be done. About 3,000 people are still living in dangerous areas and many more are still struggling to rebuild a livelihood. Tacloban, to all intents and purposes, is now a functioning city with much of the debris cleared, streets buzzing with traffic, children back at school and buildings patched up. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Disaster survivors to PNoy: Go to Tacloban  

Survivors of the various calamities that hit the country on Thursday dared President Benigno Aquino III to come to Tacloban City during the "national survivors conference" to commemorate the first year of super typhoon Yolanda landfall in Eastern Visayas. The People Surge Alliance for Yolanda Survivors made the challenge after President Aquino reportedly chose to hold a memorial for Yolanda victims in Eastern Samar on November 8. "President Aquino, face the music and face the people whom you have ignored, forsaken, and insulted here in Yolanda Ground Zero. Prove that we are indeed your ‘Boss’, and hold yourself accountable to the unified, national demands of victims of your criminal neglect,” People Surge chairperson Dr. Efleda Bautista said.

Various groups and organizations will commemorate the Yolanda anniversary with massive demonstrations and protest actions across the world this week as part of a ‘Global Surge’ to demand justice for the victims of disasters. The center of this surge is here at Tacloban City, where groups from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao have converged for a week-long series of activities including the National Disaster Survivors’ Conference on Thursday at the Cawacsi Retreat House. Capping this week’s activities is a mass demonstration in Tacloban, where an estimated 20,000 survivors and advocates will gather and occupy the city’s capital to demand Aquino’s ouster from the presidency, after "his government and leadership failed the people in all aspects of recovery and rehabilitation."  THIS IS THE FULL REPORT


READ FULL MEDIA NEWS REPORT:

Aquino visits Girlstown, witnesses ‘miracle’


INSPIRING WORK President Aquino talks with Inquirer chair Marixi R. Prieto during his visit to The Sisters of Mary Girlstown in Silang, Cavite province, on Monday. The Sisters of Mary School is a nonstock, nonprofit, nonpaying, live-in secondary institution for the poor. It is funded mainly through donations. MALACAÑANG PHOTO

SILANG, CAVITE, NOVEMBER 10, 2014
(INQUIRER) Aries Joseph Hegina @inquirerdotnet - For once, the “inspirational leader” of the nation was the one struck with inspiration.

President Aquino said he was inspired by the students and teachers of The Sisters of Mary Girlstown institution during his visit on Monday.

“When I was invited by Sr. Maria [Cho] and Sr. Elena [Belarmino] to visit The Sisters of Mary Girlstown, they asked me to give an inspirational message,” the President said in Filipino.

“This is what I will say after I saw the students and teachers in this school: You are inspiring.”

Aquino, asked to deliver an inspirational message to the 3,400 pupils of the school, said it was commendable that the children who came from the “poorest of the poor” families continue their schooling despite hardships.

He said the children of the school were bringing hope to the country.

“You are still very young but you are now burdened with big challenges. You are giving hope not only to yourselves but to your loved ones. You bring hope to our country,” the President said.

Transforming society

Aquino said the Girlstown students epitomized the belief that Filipinos could contribute to nation-building if given the opportunity.

“You proved that if a Filipino is given an opportunity, despite what condition he is in or where he came from, he will not waste it,” he said.

“Instead, he will do everything he can to contribute to the meaningful transformation of our society.”

The Sisters of Mary Girlstown is a nonstock, nonprofit, nonpaying high school that caters to the children of the poorest of the poor families in the country.

* Run by the Sisters of Mary of the Poor Congregation, it provides its pupils with food, shelter and clothing until they graduate. Donations from benefactors fund the operational expenses of the school.

Employment

During his visit, Aquino inspected the classrooms and laboratories where technical and vocational courses are taught.

Girlstown adopts a curriculum that enables students to choose their “trade” or the technical course they intend to specialize in. This, in turn, assures them of employment after graduation.

Tesda-certified

The courses, certified by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda), include dressmaking, contact center services, technical drafting, computer hardware servicing and culinary arts.

The President assured Girlstown of continued government support by tapping Tesda and the Department of Education (DepEd) to fund scholarships for the pupils.

60,000 graduates

To date, Girlstown and its counterpart Boystown have produced more than 60,000 graduates since the establishment of the school in the mid-1980s.

Mary Grace Balcac once thought continuing her education after finishing grade school was a distant dream.

Yet, despite coming from a family in Baguio City classified as among the poorest of the poor, she is now on her way to realizing her dream.

Balcac’s story is shared by students who live in The Sisters of Mary Girlstown in Biga, Silang town, Cavite province.

3 other campuses

Girlstown in Biga sits on a 3-hectare property complete with dormitories, laboratories, a running track and a memorial center named after the school’s late founder, Fr. Aloysius Schwartz.

The curriculum was tailored to adapt to a globalizing world and designed to instill digital literacy, inventive thinking, effective communication and productivity.

The Sisters of Mary of Banneux, the religious order founded by Schwartz, runs three other campuses in the Philippines: Boystown in Adlas, Cavite; a second Girlstown in Talisay City, Cebu province; and a second Boystown in Minglanilla town, also in Cebu.

The children are admitted in Girlstown, as in the other campuses, through a special admission process.


Fr. Al and his Boystowns & Girlstowns in the Philippines: Father Al: Champion of the Poor A testament to the life lived to the fullest, a tribute to my hero - The Servant of God, Msgr. Aloysius Schwartz. Founder of the Religious Congregations of the Sisters of Mary and the Brothers of Christ. Father and Champion to thousands of children from the poorest of the poor families in Korea, the Philippines, Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil and Honduras. If you have some stories or testimonials for Fr. Al email me at a.sanbuenaventura@asmsi.org.ph! #FB Page: Father Al, My Hero

Father Al
VISIT FR. AL at http://www.fatheralsainthood.org/

The nuns scour various areas in the country to look for potential applicants. The candidates should belong to families classified as poorest of the poor in the area and should be able to pass written exams in math and English subjects.

The admission process is in line with the school’s mission to provide poor but deserving students with the best education.

Father Al, as the founder is fondly known, started the first Boystown and Girlstown schools in 1985 on the invitation of Jaime Cardinal Sin, the late Archbishop of Manila.

15 students at start

From the original 15 students who were children of tuberculosis patients and detainees, the four campuses now teach 11,000 students.

Father Al was a holy man who dedicated his whole life in the service of the poor, Sister Belarmino, the order’s vicar general, told Inquirer.net.

When Father Al was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, in 1989, he continued working and even established Boystown and Girlstown schools in Mexico.

Magsaysay awardee

All told, the Sisters of Mary and its male religious counterpart, the Brothers of Christ, which Father Al also founded, serve in five countries.

Father Al received the Magsaysay Award for international understanding for his work outside the Philippines in 1983. He died in 1992.

A decade later, a cause that recognized his holiness was introduced and has since been forwarded to the Vatican for his possible beatification and subsequent canonization.

VIDEO URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0ctx96ELOk

FROM THE MANILA STANDARD

Officially DOH chief went on leave: Politics rears ugly head in Ona case By Macon Ramos-Araneta, Joyce Pangco Pañares | Nov. 05, 2014 at 12:01am


Ona

THE Palace would not comment Tuesday on growing speculation that Health Secretary Enrique Ona was being eased out in favor Undersecretary Janette Garin, an ally of President Benigno Aquino III.

Officially, Ona went on a four-week leave to prepare answers to several questions that the President had about the Health Department’s vaccination campaign.

Ona on Tuesday confirmed Tuesday that he asked for time to answer the President’s questions about the immunization program and other issues.

Interviewed after he attended the necrological services of the former Health secretary and senator Juan Flavier, Ona said the process of preparing those answers was “very complicated and extensive.”

He also said the report he was preparing would include the department’s hospital reform program.

Asked if the President forced him to go on leave, he said: “What the President said yesterday, let’s just stick to it.”

Since Garin was appointed to the Health Department in July 2013, there was talk that she would replace Ona.

Garin, a three term congresswoman of Iloilo City, is a member of Aquino’s Liberal Party and his ally in the House of Representatives.

She was also a co-author of the Reproductive Health Bill, a priority measure of the Aquino administration, and touted as one of its major accomplishments.

In confirming Garin’s appointment as Health undersecretary, the President said her “extensive practice and knowledge as a medical practitioner,” and her legislative background, made her the perfect fit for the post.

Before that, in one of the Liberal Party’s campaign sorties in Iloilo province, the President announced he wanted Garin at the Health Department to help him in his programs.

Garin, an obstetrician-gynecologist, denied that politics was behind Ona’s leave of absence.

After attending Flavier’s necrological services at the Health Department’s convention hall, Ona went to his office on the second floor of the main building and stayed there for some time.

Despite being on leave, he initially said he wanted to go to Tacloban City upon the invitation of the Health Department’s regional director for Eastern Visayas.

* He later changed his mind, however, one source at the Health Department said.

“Perhaps, he realized that he cannot represent the DOH in the event in Tacloban City for the Yolanda victims because he is on leave,” the source said.

Ona said his relationship with the President remains good, and that his condition is better now after suffering from allergies due to hair dye.

A source in the department said the President’s statement could be a signal that Ona should voluntarily give way to Garin, who has been appointed acting Health Secretary.

“From what we see, the President does not ax his Cabinet officials. He just gives them signs that they should make a graceful exit,” the source said.

“So if I were Secretary Ona, I would just quit the DOH because the President is already showing signs that he no longer wants me in his Cabinet,” the source added.

On the other hand, the source said, Ona was known to be stubborn and resistant to taking advice.

Yet another source said there were some reports of irregularities in the procurement of vaccines and hospital equipment, but said it was difficult to say if Ona was aware of these anomalies.

The President was also reportedly irritated with Ona’s request for P600 million funding for the rehabilitation of the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine amid the Ebola outbreak abroad. Ona earlier told the media they would need P500 million to address the outbreak of the fatal virus.

In a separate interview, Philippine College of Physicians president Anthony Leachon said letting Ona go on leave was the right thing to do.

“It is best to hear his side once he returns from his month-long leave,” said Leachon, who served Ona’s consultant from October 2010 to August 2013 for non-communicable diseases.

Leachon also suggested that Ona’s forced leave might be related to questions on his department’s use of its share of the so-called sin taxes on alcohol and tobacco.

In a recent Senate hearing, Ona was asked how these funds were used, and why the public could not feel any substantial improvements in health services.

In the Palace, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said Malacañang was not hiding anything about Ona’s four-week leave.

But when asked if the President was inclined to let go of Ona in favor of Garin, Coloma could not give a definite answer.

“The President has the final say as to who will lead government agencies. He is the Chief Executive, and all Cabinet members under the executive branch are under the leadership and supervision of the President. That is why he decides on those things,” Coloma said.

Coloma said the public should not read much into the earlier mix-up where presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda and Garin confirmed that Ona went on leave for personal and health reasons.

Aquino on Monday clarified that Ona sought the leave to give him more time to answer questions on the Health Department’s vaccination program.

“Secretary Lacierda’s statement on Secretary Ona’s leave of absence came from Undersecretary Garin, who has temporarily replaced Secretary Ona,” Coloma said.

“We are not hiding any details on this. The President has clarified the administrative process that Secretary Ona is currently undergoing,” the Palace official added.

Aquino said Ona asked for time to prepare his answers to the questions raised on the DOH’s immunization program, including the assumptions, target population, schedule of vaccination, and delivery of results.

“He cannot prepare his answers to all my questions if he continues to to discharge his day-to-day functions as Secretary of Health. So he asked to take a leave,” Aquino said.

Asked if he is still satisfied with Ona’s performance, the President said: “Whether or not I am satisfied will come after the results of these answers to the questions that were propounded to him.”

Garin earlier annouced that Ona had to go on sick leave because prescription medication has been ineffective in controlling his severe reaction to hair dye.

Ona’s leave of absence came at a time when the DoH is beefing up measures to prevent the entry of the deadly Ebola virus in the country.

FROM ABS-CBN

PNoy, Mar visit wake of Flavier ABS-CBNnews.com Posted at 10/31/2014 6:44 PM | Updated as of 10/31/2014 6:48 PM


Image on Twitter Bettina Magsaysay @bmagsaysay Follow Kaninang 5pm bumisita si Pres. Aquino sa burol ni dating Senador at Health Secretary Juan Flavier. 5:40 AM - 31 Oct 2014

MANILA - President Benigno Aquino III and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas on Friday visited the wake of former Senator Juan Flavier.

Aquino and Roxas went to the Church of the Risen Lord in UP Diliman at around 5 p.m. after the President inspected the airport and bus terminals amid the exodus of Filipinos to the provinces for Undas.


Image on Twitter Bettina Magsaysay @bmagsaysay Follow Kasama ni Pres. Aquino si DILG Sec. Mar Roxas sa pagbisita sa burol ng yumaong dating senador Juan Flavier. 5:45 AM - 31 Oct 2014

Flavier died of multiple organ failure due to pneumonia on Thursday. He was 79.

Flavier's family believes he died at peace.

"I think he's very peaceful. He's at peace," said one of his children, Joy Flavier-Alampay. "We're also one with God's plans that it's his time already."

Flavier, who was also a former secretary of the Department of Health (DOH), spearheaded famous campaigns like "Oplan Alis Disease" that taught people to prevent and not just cure diseases, "Sangkap Pinoy" that sought to combat malnutrition, and the anti-smoking program "Yosi Kadiri." -- With reports from Bettina Magsaysay and Ryan Chua, ABS-CBN News

FROM PHILSTAR

Ona: Hair dye allergy, complicated report prompted leave By Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 5, 2014 - 12:00am 3 244 googleplus0 0


Health Secretary Enrique Ona speaks during a necrological service for former senator Juan Flavier at the Department of Health in Manila yesterday. EDD GUMBAN

MANILA, Philippines - An allergic reaction to hair dye, and the preparation of a “very complicated report” for President Aquino prompted Health Secretary Enrique Ona to go on leave.

“I am still in the process of doing the report because it is complicated and extensive,” Ona told reporters yesterday when asked why he had to request for a month-long leave supposedly to prepare a report on public health and other issues.

Ona said he must explain in detail to the President the ongoing immunization program and hospital reform program of the Department of Health (DOH).

Amid speculation that he would be replaced, he said the hospital program is “a little bit complicated.”

Ona said he also needed to go on leave so he could undergo medical check-up for a recurring allergy and other minor health concerns.

He showed off his newly dyed black hair as he said his health was getting better.

Health Undersecretary Janette Garin earlier reported that Ona’s use of hair dye triggered an allergic reaction.

Although he is still on leave, Ona went to the DOH main office yesterday to attend the necrological service for former health secretary and senator Juan Flavier. It was his first public appearance since reports came out that the President had asked him to take a leave so he could explain certain issues.

Ona maintained that his relationship with the President remains good.

Garin, meanwhile, belied reports that she was being eyed as replacement for Ona.

* She said that while the President was a colleague in Congress, she was not close to him.

As acting health secretary, Garin said she directly discussed with him issues concerning on-going preparations against the possible spread of Ebola in the country.

Garin said the DOH is unaffected by the controversy surrounding Ona.

“We’re now getting attention but we would opt to see the DOH getting into the limelight due to its public health programs and not because of rumors, because we really believe that these issues will not affect our work. These issues should not affect the DOH,” Garin said.

At Malacañang, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said Ona is undergoing an “administrative process” as required by President Aquino for the DOH chief to keep his job.

Aquino told journalists Monday the DOH chief went on a month-long leave until Nov. 28 to prepare a report on wide-ranging issues – from vaccination to the reported urgent need to rehabilitate the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine where possible patients of Ebola virus may be held and treated.

Ona was seeking P600 million for the facility’s renovation, when sources say the immediate concern should be preventing the virus from entering the country.

Coloma rectified possible misimpression that he and presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda may have tried to conceal the truth behind Ona’s taking a leave because of allergy.

Coloma also said Aquino had made it clear that funding for big-ticket items like rehabilitating a medical facility should go through the usual budgetary process.

He said Aquino is more concerned about stopping the spread of the disease than curing those afflicted as such tack would make the “curative aspect” less costly.

On Garin’s being a Liberal Party member and a former Aquino colleague in Congress, Coloma said it’s the President’s prerogative to choose his officials. – Delon Porcalla

FROM ABS-CBN

Roxas talks about Cabinet encounter with Binay by Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News Posted at 11/06/2014 4:55 PM | Updated as of 11/06/2014 4:55 PM

MANILA - Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas confirmed that he and Vice President Jejomar Binay did not interact during Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting on typhoon Yolanda.

Roxas said there was no opportunity for them to talk, saying they were seated far away from each other.

Hindi kami nabigyan ng pagkakataon mag-usap. I was just listening and reported on my... Wala naman siyang sinabi or tinanong,” Roxas told reporters.

Binay earlier alleged Roxas was behind a plan to derail his presidential bid for 2016.

The vice president, who is now facing a Senate probe on alleged corruption in Makati, had criticized the Aquino administration for its supposed failure to address the people’s real needs.

On Monday, President Aquino said Binay is free to leave the Cabinet if he no longer believes in the administration's direction.

"Kung saka-sakaling sinabi ni Vice President 'yun, siguro dalawa lang ang dapat natin maalala. Number one, kung palagay niya mayroon kaming kulang na ginagawa, miyembro siya ng gabinete, e di abisuhan niya kami, mag-advise kung paano natin i-improve ang sistema at hindi choice 'yun. Obligasyon 'yun, miyembro siya ng gabinete. Kung palagay naman niyang mali ang direksyon namin, siyempre malaya din siyang hindi na sumama sa aming mga kilusan," Aquino told reporters.

The Cabinet meeting yesterday was described as tense, as it was the first time all three were in the same room following recent developments on the political front.

FROM MALAYA

GLINTS OF HOPE EMERGE IN TYPHOON-HIT TACLOBAN November 06, 2014

TACLOBAN. — Sitting on a wooden stool as his customers mill around clutching burgers and bottles of San Miguel beer, Jacques Palami talks enthusiastically about life in Tacloban a year after it was slammed by typhoon Yolanda.

Owner of the brightly-lit pop-up bar Na Ning, Palami is one of a growing number of victims of the strongest storm on record to hit land who are committed to rebuilding the coastal town that many feared was beyond repair.

Palami, 26, lost his childhood home and two relatives in the typhoon that destroyed 90 percent of Tacloban after it hit land on Nov. 8, killing, or leaving missing, some 7,000 people.

Typhoon Yolanda forced as many as four million people to flee their homes as it powered across the central Philippines, packing winds of up to 315 km an hour (195 miles) and causing seven-meter (23 feet) storm surges.

Palami is among a group of local and foreign entrepreneurs bringing innovation and hope to Tacloban, a city with a registered population of around 220,000 where a year ago corpses lined the streets and looters ran amok.

His bar, a refurbished truck that was used by his family to deliver food to relatives in the storm’s aftermath, is a popular place for locals and foreign aid workers to unwind.

“This is the time in Tacloban where people are being creative and innovative because they have to be,” said Palami, who named his bar after his grandfather.

“My vision is for Tacloban to remain on the map.”

Palami, who spent 10 years working in Manila and abroad, returned to Tacloban after Yolanda, the deadliest Philippine typhoon on record, determined to help rebuild the city that is about 360 miles (580 kms) southeast of Manila.

He set up the bar in January this year and it is now parked just minutes from some of the city’s landmarks—the cotton candy-colored Santo Niño church and a shrine said to be on the site of the childhood home of Imelda Marcos.

REBUILD OR LEAVE?

Jerry Yaokasin, Tacloban’s vice mayor, said the city’s recovery so far has been remarkable but much remains to be done. About 3,000 people are still living in dangerous areas and many more are still struggling to rebuild a livelihood.

Tacloban, to all intents and purposes, is now a functioning city with much of the debris cleared, streets buzzing with traffic, children back at school and buildings patched up.

* The scars are more obvious outside Tacloban, in smaller, more rural municipalities where fallen trees and collapsed homes are still commonplace, and in coastal neighborhoods where some families are still living in tents.

“Many thought we would not be able to recover. People were hopeless, desperate and even suggested we should just abandon the city,” Yaokasin said.

But many, like Palami, refuse to give up hope.

Filipino actor Jordan Sebastian and American development worker Justin Capen are the founders of the social enterprise Taclob—meaning “to cover” in local dialect Waray—that is producing eco-friendly waterproof backpacks made by typhoon survivors.

Every purchase of a “Compassion” backpack made of red Japanese truck tarpaulin and denim from jeans donated by Germany triggers a donation of a nylon orange “Courage” backpack that can double up as a floatation device to school children.

“Our main premise on doing this was that we would create an opportunity for the survivors ... the ability to give them the dignity of providing for themselves once again,” Capen said at an event this month on the countdown to the Tacloban anniversary,

“The backpack (also) gives the children courage so they don’t have to be afraid of storms anymore.”

Felipa Balbuana, 36, is one of around 20 employees and typhoon survivors working in a factory on the second floor of a supermarket in downtown Tacloban to produce the backpacks.

Balbuana, a mother of four, was a housewife with no sewing experience who lost her home to the storm. She was looking to supplement her husband’s increasingly meager income as a fish vendor when Taclob came to her neighborhood seeking staff.

“I’m very happy to have a job,” she said.

JOBS AND MUSIC

A resource center set up by non-profit organization Philippines Communities, based on a similar centre in post-earthquake Haiti, is aiming to provide more work opportunities.

Its two main attractions are a 3-D printing lab and a space for local carpenters, welders and handicraft makers.

After raising almost $25,000 from a crowd funding platform, the centre officially opens this month with over a dozen typhoon survivors who lost their homes already using the space.

A different kind of hope for Taliban has come from members of a youth choir hoping to win this year’s prestigious National Music Competitions for Young Artists (NAMCYA), where the nation’s best choirs, pianists and chamber musicians compete.

The choir of the St. Theresa Educational Foundation of Taliban, a private school, will represent both the city and Elite province at the annual NAMCYA this month in Manila after their planned entry last year was shelved when Yolanda hit.

“Winning this year would help lift the spirits of the people,” said Gianna, 14, who only gave her first name.

FROM PHILSTAR

Disaster survivors to PNoy: Go to Tacloban By Dennis Carcamo (philstar.com) | Updated November 6, 2014 - 2:15pm 2 71 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines - Survivors of the various calamities that hit the country on Thursday dared President Benigno Aquino III to come to Tacloban City during the "national survivors conference" to commemorate the first year of super typhoon Yolanda landfall in Eastern Visayas.

The People Surge Alliance for Yolanda Survivors made the challenge after President Aquino reportedly chose to hold a memorial for Yolanda victims in Eastern Samar on November 8.

"President Aquino, face the music and face the people whom you have ignored, forsaken, and insulted here in Yolanda Ground Zero. Prove that we are indeed your ‘Boss’, and hold yourself accountable to the unified, national demands of victims of your criminal neglect,” People Surge chairperson Dr. Efleda Bautista said.

Various groups and organizations will commemorate the Yolanda anniversary with massive demonstrations and protest actions across the world this week as part of a ‘Global Surge’ to demand justice for the victims of disasters.

The center of this surge is here at Tacloban City, where groups from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao have converged for a week-long series of activities including the National Disaster Survivors’ Conference on Thursday at the Cawacsi Retreat House.

Capping this week’s activities is a mass demonstration in Tacloban, where an estimated 20,000 survivors and advocates will gather and occupy the city’s capital to demand Aquino’s ouster from the presidency, after "his government and leadership failed the people in all aspects of recovery and rehabilitation."


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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