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Nothing learned

The New Year has arrived but it is clear many Filipinos have learned nothing when it comes to the continued use of dangerous firecrackers. As of Jan. 3, the Department of Health (DOH) had already tallied 933 injuries nationwide caused either by firecrackers or stray bullets during the holiday revelry, which the DOH traditionally measures from Dec. 21 to Jan. 5. This means that the number of injuries has already exceeded last year’s tally of 931 with two more days to go. Damning still is the finding that the vast majority of the injuries were caused by the notorious “piccolo” firecracker which, while being officially banned, is now making its way to the soon-to-be-severed fingers of more and more young Filipinos.

Posted: January 4th, 2014 in Editor's Pick,Editorial,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Hopeful celebration

The yearend celebration will be particularly poignant because of the recent calamities that hit the country. A big number of Filipinos are in mourning and hard put to look to the new year with hope. It is but fitting for those fortunate to be spared tremendous loss, whether personal or material, to respect those who have lost everything. They can start by shunning the ostentation—let alone noise, to speak nothing of risk to life and limb—of expensive firecrackers and fireworks.

Posted: December 13th, 2013 in Editor's Pick,Editorial,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Life-and-death issue

Four hundred thirty-one HIV cases—the highest number of cases reported in a month this year. The Department of Health announced that number and that claim only in June. But a month later, that figure would be breached with 449 new cases, a record high that didn’t last long. In October, the number climbed to 491, a new benchmark that’s about 66 percent higher than the 295 cases reported in the same month last year.

Posted: December 4th, 2013 in Editor's Pick,Editorial,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

What is it good for?

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The Department of Health’s Food and Drug Administration issued an advisory last week warning about “the massive advertisement, promotion of food/dietary supplements which may have often misled some consumers to buy them as drugs or medicines,” and providing some advice on checking product labels and using the FDA website for more information. The advisory reminded [...]

Posted: July 30th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

A baby box? Why not?

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“Have you ever been to Fabella Hospital?” Health Secretary Enrique Ona asked me over lunch during a break at the recent “Women Deliver” conference in Kuala Lumpur.

Posted: June 10th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Fit to serve

The program’s name may sound a bit silly, but the Department of Health’s newest internal endeavor packs more merit than meets the ear and is one enterprise all government offices might as well undertake—seriously. The concept is not exactly a DOH original; other entities, public and private, have applied it, albeit off-and-on, in many pasts and forms. Taken with even just half the level of sustained dedication and discipline that public service strictly and rightly demands, there’s no question both government agencies and employees would immensely profit from this investment not only in terms of a healthy body but also in terms of a wholesome public impression.

Posted: January 20th, 2013 in Columns,Editor's Pick,Editorial,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

‘Doctors to the Barrios’

What has happened to the “Doctors to the Barrios” program? Not much has been heard of the government project that then Health Secretary Juan Flavier pioneered in 1993, which encouraged medical graduates to consider spending a couple of years or so of their professional practice in some of the country’s poorest and most remote barrios and villages, where healthcare needs are at their direst.

Posted: November 13th, 2012 in Editor's Pick,Editorial,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Second Class Citizens

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I decided to take on the objectionable posture of a government agency, the Philippine Regulatory Commission, in trying to apply guidelines and provisions over foreign medical missions that discourage rather than facilitate. It is this posture of PRC that reeks of utak wang-wang, that places people of authority disdainful of the plight of the poor.

Posted: September 21st, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Viewpoints | Read More »

Utak Wang-Wang At PRC

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The PRC is the Philippine Regulatory Commission. I believe it is tasked to regulate licenses of professionals like doctors, nurses, engineers, etc. I have never dealt with the PRC although I have been approached by interested parties asking for endorsements to become commissioners in this agency. Of course, I never got to accommodate any of these requests because I have no influence whatsoever with the appointing authorities.

Posted: September 6th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Viewpoints | Read More »

Dengue and poverty

The recent outbreak of dengue cases has reached alarming numbers (nearly 70,000 cases, with more than 500 deaths), but still the government, particularly the Department of Health, seems to be handling the “situation” as if it were a normal thing. Whether or not this situation has become a nationwide problem, it should already be a [...]

Posted: August 23rd, 2011 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

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