55% self-rated poverty

SEARCH FOR TRUTH - Ernesto M. Maceda (The Philippine Star) - October 30, 2014 - 12:00am

The latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey reports that 55 percent of Filipinos rate themselves as poor, the same rating of 55 percent in June.

Senator Grace Poe, in a privilege speech, said that 9.3 million Filipino families experienced hunger. She also said 7.36 million children below the age of 5 are malnourished.

She said the government and every Filipino should do their part to help end hunger.

To address hunger and malnutrition problems, especially among children, the government is willing to work with Senator Poe.

In prioritizing areas verified to have high rates of malnutrition among children, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is also prepared to work with Senator Poe.

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said the government would like to continue working with Congress in giving poverty reduction and social protection, which includes the fight against malnutrition, the highest priority in resource allocation.

Cayetano retreats

Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano admitted that the drop in his ratings to only 1 percent has made him think twice about his plan to run for president in 2016. He said that he is now more interested in having a baby rather than seek the presidency in 2016.

His Pulse Asia rating of only 1 percent is a significant drop from 5 percent in June.

Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Alan Peter Cayetano are receiving negative reviews on their demeanor of being harsh and bullying treatment of resource persons.

Cayetano said he is not interested in running for vice president. He reiterated that he would rather be a senator or a mayor.

Philippines, Asia vulnerable

The longer the Ebola outbreak rages in West Africa, the greater chance a traveler infected with the virus touches down in an Asian city, including Philippines.

An estimated 1,800 Filipinos are working in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. There are 100 Filipino peacekeepers in Liberia.

Health experts in the regions less developed countries fear any outbreak would be deadly and hard to contain.

The Department of Health (DOH) is targeting zero Ebola casualties despite doubts on the government’s capability to prevent the spread of the disease.

But DOH spokesman Lyndon Lee Suy said the government is exerting all efforts to ensure that no Filipino will die because of Ebola.

Health Secretary Enrique Ona gave assurance that government and private hospitals are equipped to handle Ebola patients. He has designated the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Muntinlupa, the San Lazaro Hospital in Manila and Lung Center of the Philippines in Quezon City to have designated isolation rooms for Ebola patients.

Hospitals in Western Visayas, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Bicol, Tuguegarao and Baguio City have also prepared isolation rooms in anticipation of Ebola cases.

Interior Secretary Roxas said the Aquino administration, together with the Philippine National Police, are ready to do their share in dealing with the Ebola threat as part of President Aquino’s “whole government approach,” the same strategy that the government applied in dealing with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) threat.

Indonesia has put 100 hospitals on standby for Ebola.

Early symptoms of Ebola include fever, headache, body aches, cough, stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea.

India, China, Indonesia and the Philippines have vast numbers of poor, many of whom live in slum areas.


The Moro National Liberation Front said the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front is biased against other stakeholder in Mindanao.

Lawyer Emmanuel Fontanilla, spokesman of the MNLF, said that contrary to the claims of the MILF and the government that the BBL would end the decade’s long conflict in Mindanao by unifying all stakeholders, the BBL is an “agreement of exclusion”.

Former Senator Ernesto Herrera said the BBL is giving way to fragmentation of the country.

Herrera also warned of the repercussion of the abolition of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Meanwhile, the BIFF has stepped up its raids on several towns in Maguindanao and North Cotabato.

Sueselbeck barred from leaving

Marc Sueselbeck, the German fiancee of slain transgender woman Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude, was barred by Immigration officers from leaving the Philippines last Sunday evening.

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) is investigating a complaint by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) seeking to declare Sueselbeck an undesirable alien by climbing a perimeter fence inside Camp Aguinaldo to get inside the Mutual Defense Board, a  facility jointly managed by the American and Philippine governments, where US Marine Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton is detained.

Sueselbeck has repeatedly apologized for the incident, saying he did not mean to disrespect Philippine authorities.

While the AFP accepts Sueselbeck’s apology, the German has to face the consequence of his actions,” AFP spokesman Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc said.

This is bureaucratic red tape. Why not allow him to leave voluntarily?

Sueselbeck attended the second day of the preliminary investigation by the prosecutors’ office in Olongapo, headed by Prosecutor Emilie Fe Delos Santos.


Former Speaker Arnulfo Fuentabella is launching his autobiography book, entitled “Embracing Destiny”, today at his residence in Tigaon, Camarines Sur. VP Binay and former President Joseph Estrada are the guests of honor. He will be assisted by his sons, Congressman Wimpy Fuentebella and Mayor Arnie Fuentebella.


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