Health Sec Duque Assured of Full Support from Health Groups

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Press Announcement:

HealthJustice Philippines, a think tank and advocacy group with legal expertise in tobacco control and health promotion, congratulated and expressed its support for Francisco Duque III, who has just been appointed Health Secretary by President Rodrigo Duterte.

“We congratulate Francisco Duque III for once again being appointed Health Secretary. We assure him of our full support as he proceeds to make the desired changes in the Health Department, as well as continue the good ones that his predecessors have instituted, all for the good of the Filipino people,” said Mary Ann Fernandez Mendoza, President of HealthJustice Philippines.

Duterte signed Duque’s appointment papers last October 26. The appointment came after Paulyn Jean Ubial, Duterte’s first appointee to the post, failed to get the nod of the Commission of Appointments (CA) after three hearings.

Duque was the president and CEO of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) from 2001 to 2005. He afterwards served as Health Secretary from 2005 to 2010 under the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. He was appointed thereafter as the Chairman of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) by former President Benigno Aquino III. He led the CSC from 2010 to 2015. In 2014, Duque was recognized by the People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP) as People Manager of the Year in Public Sector. With Duque at its helm, CSC was named Employer of the Year by the same body a year after.

“Secretary Duque was the Health Secretary when the DOH CSC JMC 2010-01 was signed. We hope that he will push for the stronger enforcement of this memorandum circular, which prohibits interaction between the government and all its branches and instrumentalities and the tobacco industry unless strictly necessary and solely for the purpose of monitoring compliance with the law,” Fernandez Mendoza pointed out.

“We hope that the Health Department, under Duque’s leadership, will implement programs that encourage healthy lifestyles and having a healthy diet, or those that place greater importance on developing a healthier body as opposed to just focusing on the treatment of diseases. We know Duque, a physician, would agree that, as the old adage goes, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound cure,” Fernandez Mendoza added.

HealthJustice is a Bloomberg Awardee for Global Tobacco Control. It is a Programme Partner of the NCD Alliance, an international network of experts, organizations, and research institutions working to reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases, plenty of which have been associated with direct and indirect consumption of tobacco products.

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‘Mana Mo’ Celebrates Ocean Conservation and DOJ Enforcement of Laws

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MANA Mo Launch (Oceana)Mana means heritage. Our waters form the lifeblood of our national heritage which we draw on to protect our people and preserve our way of life,” said Executive Secretary and National Coast Watch Council (NCWC) Chairperson Salvador Medialdea during the formal launch of MANA MO, which was led by the NCWC in Malacañang Palace last September.

The first-ever Maritime and Archipelagic Nation Awareness Month (MANA MO) celebration concluded last month. MANA MO was proclaimed by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte as a special month of celebration intended to raise awareness on issues related to national maritime and archipelagic concerns, to be celebrated in the Philippines every September. More

Surf and Clean the Turf with Reef and WWF at Fun Baler

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20170929_093326
20170930_062554Time for Vitamin Sea once again . . . this time in Baler, Quezon for some surfing and team cleaning adventure. What a great way to appreciate our beautiful beaches by not only having fun in the water but also enjoying the company of friends cleaning up as a community. The idea is really to experience the fun of beach life along with the responsibiltiy of keeping the environment clean.

20170929_111351.jpgThanks to the collaboration of Reef Philippines and WWF who joined forces last September 29 to October 1 for an event to “Free the Sea” from choking in garbage. More

Pinoy-Made Vessel Monitoring System More Affordable for Fishermen

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Vessel Monitoring Device (Candeze Mongaya & Oceana)Press Announcement:

Proper vessel monitoring can save lives and make fishing more sustainable.

Seven sailors drowned when a Filipino merchant ship crashed into the USS Fitzgerald in the Sea of Japan last 17 June.  Last 21 August, the USS John McCain crashed into a commercial tanker near Singapore, leaving 10 dead.

For safety and fisheries transparency, all Philippine commercial fishing vessels must comply with the Amended Fisheries Code by installing AIS or other Vessel Monitoring Measures (VMM) by 2020, larger vessels having started AIS installation since 2015

The European Union estimates that about 26 million tonnes of seafood – 15% of global yields – are caught via Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing. The Philippines was issued a yellow card in June 2014 for previously failing to curb IUU fishing, serving to warn the country that unless it addressed IUU fishing, its seafood products would be banned in Europe, our biggest market for fish and fish products.

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Duterte Pushing for a Smoke-Free Nation

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“I have signed Executive Order No. 26 imposing a ban on smoking in public places to mitigate its consequences. We want to minimize access to tobacco products, and provide a more supportive environment for those who are attempting to quit tobacco use,” Duterte said.

HealthJustice Philippines, a think tank and advocacy group with legal expertise in tobacco control and health promotion, was quick to offer support to Duterte after he stated during his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) that he would limit access to tobacco products.

“It is inspiring to be working with a President who values the health of our people. We assure him of our continuous support and guidance in minimizing access to tobacco. More

Saving Dory, Nemo and Blue Fin Tuna at Benham Rise

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Philippine Rise Pledge (Oceana)
Time to give our oceans some attention before we lose our underwater treasures. Benham Rise (renamed recently as Philippine Rise) is “an important source of biodiversity and contributes to the resiliency of threatened ecosystems . . . also home of the Pacific Blue Fin Tuna”.  These are just some of the discoveries made of the area, exploration still ongoing.

Together with its allies in the government and private sector, Oceana Philippines is urgently pushing for the legal protection of Benham Rise as a marine protected area including the declaration of Benham Bank, the shallowest portion of Benham Rise, as a no-take zone, where human activity is not allowed.

In a policy dialogue called “Bayanihan Para sa Benham” hosted by Oceana and graced by representatives from various government agencies and other stakeholders, Director Mundita Lim of the Biodiversity Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources shared that Benham Rise was designated as an Ecologically and Biologically Significant Marine Area (EBSA) by 196 countries during the 13th Meeting of the Convention of Parties (COP) to the Convention of Biological Diversity in Mexico in December 2016.
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Oceana Sets Sails To Race and Save Tanon Straight

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Bigiw-Bugsay 2017 by Gregg Yan & Oceana (B)

“Sailing away to the sunset” is usually the final scene in a film, but for Oceana, it is the beginning of something exciting and fruitful. Keep in mind,  the Philippines is a sailing nation – a country of 7641 islands connected for thousands of years by waterways via various watercraft.

To celebrate the Month of the Oceans, Island Buzz Philippines, a water sports company dedicated to make Cebu the ‘Paddling Capital of the Philippines’, paid tribute to traditional Visayan sailing and paddling culture by organizing a Bigiw regatta. Held last 13 May in Moalboal, the second annual ‘Bigiw Bugsay’ event gathered both traditional sailors and modern stand-up paddle-boarders in the biggest flotilla yet seen in Southern Cebu. More

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