The latest news stories from the major news organizations in Cebu and Manila in the Philippines, the US and other countries.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

June 19, 2009 Major News Stories

H1N1 cases jump to 344, says DoH

The country now has 344 Influenza A(H1N1) cases after the Department of Health (DoH) confirmed 33 new cases on Thursday.  The new A(H1N1) patients include 24 men and 11 women, with ages ranging from one to 52 years, said Doctor Lyndon Lee Suy, a medical specialist from the Institute for Emerging Infectious Diseases.  Of the 344 cases, 242 have recovered and were discharged from the hospital, Lee Suy said.

RP's H1N1 flu cases reach 344

DepEd downplays H1N1 cases in schools

There is no need to declare a health emergency in Metro Manila schools even after a number of students were confirmed to have the Influenza A(H1N1) virus, an education official said.

4 suspected H1N1 cases in UP Diliman

The University of the Philippines-Diliman in Quezon City is monitoring four students suspected of being infected with the Influenza A (H1N1) virus.

Another QC school suspends classes

Another school in Quezon City, Dr. Alejandro Roces High School, has suspended its classes for 10 days following the confirmation that one of its students has the Influenza A (H1N1) virus.
The Metro Manila schools that have so far reported confirmed A(H1N1) cases are:

* De La Salle University–Taft, Manila;
* College of St. Benilde, Manila;
* Far Eastern University–East Asian College, Manila;
* St. Andrew's School, Parañaque City;
* Ateneo de Manila University and High School, Quezon City;
* Mapua Institute of Technology, Makati City;
* Our Lady of Perpetual Succor College, Marikina City;
* Miriam College, Quezon City;
* Lagro Elementary School, Quezon City;
* Lourdes School, Mandaluyong;
* Dominican College, San Juan City;
* Alejandro Roces High School, Quezon City; and
* University of the Philippines–Diliman, Quezon City.

In the provinces, the Hilera Elementary School in Jaen town in Nueva Ecija province, the Doña Candelaria Meneses Duque school in Bulacan town in the province of Bulacan, and the Philippine Science High School-Eastern Visayas campus in Leyte have confirmed cases.

5 students under watch for H1N1

Five students in Cebu are currently under observation for possible influenza A (H1N1) infection, this after they manifested flu-like symptoms for a few days following the opening of classes for college students last Monday.  School officials promptly told the DOH after five of its male students reported, at the same time, that they had a fever and sore throat. All five, aged 16 to 17 years old, live in the same dormitory and are classmates.

While the students did not have any history of travel to any infected country, the health department noted that some of the students have traveled to Manila and may have been in contact with foreigners.

H1N1 screening for ME-bound OFWs set

Medical clinics examining Filipino workers bound for the Middle East have agreed on a set of protocols to prevent workers with the Influenza A(H1N1) virus from leaving the county before they are well.

OFW from Singapore positive for H1N1

A 38-year-old native of Capiz province, who recently returned from Singapore where she worked as a domestic helper, has tested positive for the A(H1N1) virus, an official said.

Relax sick leave rules, prevent flu -- TUCP

As more and more people contract the Influenza A(H1N1) virus, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) called on employers to relax their sick leave rules to encourage staff members to stay at home if they develop flu symptoms.

PhilHealth up with P75T benefits for members infected by A(H1N1)

Hospitalization benefits are set at a maximum of P75,000 for members of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation and their qualified dependents confined with a confirmed case of the A(H1N1) virus.

DTI checking prices of alcohol, sanitizers

Amid reports of high prices and short supply of alcohol and hand sanitizers in the wake of the A(H1N1) scare, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has started monitoring prices of the products.

Govt slammed for failure in fighting AH1N1

If it is not adding insult to injury, it is causing double jeopardy. Non-government organizations working in the health sector are criticizing the Philippine government"s "palliative" approach to combating the fast spread of Influenza A(H1N1) infection, which has so far stricken over 300 Filipinos.  The Health Action Information Network (HAIN) and the Health Alliance for Democracy (HEAD) are one in saying that because the government has failed to address poverty, it has made Filipinos more vulnerable to communicable but supposedly preventable diseases such as influenza. 

5 arrested in Cebu City fiscal's murder

Five suspects in the ambush and killing of Cebu City Assistant Prosecutor Patrick Osorio last January were arrested by police early Thursday, Philippine National Police Director General Jesus Verzosa said.  Verzosa said joint elements of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit and the Regional Mobile Group in Region 7 arrested the five suspects in Barangay (village) Maghaway, Talisay City at 4 a.m.

Three of the five suspects were identified as Allan Senogat, the supposed triggerman; and Alex Abacahan Sr. and Alex Abacahan Jr.

Also recovered from the suspects were 11 high-powered firearms, Verzosa said.

The suspects were also believed to be responsible for the double murder of a village official and his son-in-law.

Talisay mayor's son leaves jail Joavan Fernandez out on P200 T bail

Reyes slams Recto for grandstanding

Energy Secretary Angelo T. Reyes said on Thursday that Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ralph G. Recto should "behave as a Cabinet member" and not use the issue of oil prices to attract public attention.

Panlilio dares 'Mikey': Run for governor

Pampanga Governor Eddie Panlilio challenged Representative Juan Miguel "Mikey" Arroyo on Thursday to run for governor of the province, saying the people of the province were not that dumb to elect him.

FVR to Glo: Make your 2010 plans clear

Former President Fidel Ramos has urged President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to once and for all make a "clear and positive declaration" about her plans for 2010.

Winner in poll automation questioned

Two companies that lost in the bidding for the Commission on Elections' automation program for the 2010 elections questioned on Thursday the technical and financial capabilities of the winner, the Smartmatic International and Total Information Management Corp. consoritum.

OFW voters exceed 100,000 mark

The number of Filipinos overseas who have registered to vote in next year's presidential, senatorial, and local elections has surpassed the 100,000 mark, the Overseas Absentee Voting Secretariat of the Department of Foreign Affairs said Thursday.

SC or DoJ? Senator asks new justice chief

Senator Francis Escudero asked Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera on Thursday to choose whether she wanted to keep her new post or leave it so she could concentrate on her nomination to a seat in the Supreme Court (SC).

RP rues blacklisting over human trafficking

Malacañang is dismayed over the inclusion of the Philippines in the United States' list of countries that have failed to adequately address the problem of human trafficking.

JI militants hiding in Sulu -- US colonel

Foreign terrorists are operating in the southern province of Sulu, a known bailiwick of the al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf, a United States military commander said Thursday.

Gunmen attack radio station building

Two unidentified men fired at a building housing a Catholic Church-run radio station in the northern province of Abra on Wednesday night, its police said.

5 soldiers injured in N. Samar clash

Five soldiers were injured after government forces had a series of encounters with New People's Army rebels in Samar, a military spokesman said Thursday.

5 Filipino hospital workers freed in Yemen

Japan, RP agree to boost economic ties

US Senate votes formal apology for slavery

US Airlines captain dies mid-flight

Samuel Goldwyn  - "I'm willing to admit that I may not always be right, but I am never wrong."

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