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DSWD Clarifies


That one of the two suspected illegal recruiters arrested here is supposedly a personnel of the  Zamboanga City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD) is false. Thus, declared CSWD Ma. Socorro Rojas.
She said, the suspect is a volunteer village health worker and “not a social worker nor an employee of CSWDO. She declined to name the suspect, who was caught allegedly serving food to the women unknowing they were victims of human trafficking. The local police, however did. They are Ruel Donayre, 29 and Girlie Ignacio, 43, both residents of Sitio Pook in the village of Cabaluay, Zamboanga City. They were recently arrested at a resort in cited village.
The six human trafficking victims, who are all women, are from Rizal, Laguna provinces, Baguio City, and Manila.  The youngest of them is aged 19 and the oldest, 28. Rojas is planning to conduct an anti-human trafficking awareness campaign among workers of resorts, hotels and motels in the city, where most trafficking victims are billeted before departure abroad, via the backdoor.
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Guidelines that would enable indigent families access to the P1-billion fund that President Duterte earmarked for his “Libreng Gamot para sa Masa” or Lingap sa Masa have been issued, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD,) bared.
The Lingap sa Masa program will be distinct and separate from the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) Service of the department.
Target beneficiaries of the new medical assistance program of the government include poor Filipinos in dire need of prescription medicines whether confined in or receiving out-patient treatment from identified hospitals.
The DSWD said priority will be given to real indigent citizens, those in crisis situations based on the assessment of social workers, regular and non-regular government employees, and the beneficiaries of soldiers and policemen who were either killed or wounded in the line of duty.
Social Welfare Sec. Judy Taguiwalo, however clarified that the program does not include prescription medicines for drug dependents undergoing treatment or rehabilitation for it is already covered under a different DSWD program.
The DSWD will be establishing desks in identified health centers where patients who need prescription medicines will be assessed and provided assistance via the issuance of guarantee letters for the purchase of such from hospital pharmacies or from its partner drug stores.
To avail of the program, one must present a valid ID.
Should the patient choose to course it through a representative, he/she must submit a valid ID enclosed in a signed authorization letter.
Another important requirement is a doctor’s prescription which must be issued within the last three months. It should indicate the date and the name of the patient, and the document must be signed by the attending physician, with his/her license number and contact details.
Taguiwalo said potential beneficiaries should also present proof of indigency, which may be issued by their barangays or the medical social service unit of an identified hospital. Doctors issuing the prescription may also certify that the patient is poor and qualified for the program.
Indigent folks are eligible for the Lingap sa Masa assistance program every month provided their situation is urgent as may be determined and approved by social workers. The lead implementing office of Lingap is the Protective Services Bureau of the DSWD.
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The New People’s Army (NPA) is in fight mode, announcing Saturday a “heightened armed resistance” against the Philippine Government’s “all-out war” declaration.
“No longer restricted by the active defense policy, the NPA, from hereon, must frustrate the all-out war of suppression of the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) by launching tactical offensives against any legitimate military target,” quoted from NPA spokesman Jorge “Ka Oris” Madlos on his statement posted in the NPA’s website.
Included in CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines)-NPA’s target are:
•    Legitimate military targets, including active troops of the AFP and PNP
•    Paramilitary or AFP-supported armed vigilante groups, intelligence operatives, and warlord private armies in detachments, camps or operational within, and beyond the NPA guerrilla zones.
On the other hand, Lorenzana has announced that he is still open to talks with the communist rebels, despite Duterte’s cancellation of peace talks.
Oh, c’mon... As if he would deviate from a Duterte order!
But on this one, WS agrees, as that is the position taken by both Fidel Agcaoili, NDFP Panel Chari and CPP founding president Jose Ma. Sison -  “The NPA remains open to peace talks while fighting rages in the countryside. At the same time, the revolutionary masses welcome the call for tactical offensives that will strengthen the people’s army and advance the people’s war towards genuine and just peace.” Madlos said in his statement.
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Philippine Information Agency (PIA) reports the confirmation of 6 casualties and injuries to 108 due to the 6.7 magnitude earthquake that hit Surigao City on Friday night.
In an interview with DZMM Teleradyo, Surigao del Norte Gov. Sol Matugas said that the province was still in chaos and still in the state of shock after the strong quake.
The governor said that 2 municipalities in the province do not have electricity, and 3 bridges were destroyed.
Meanwhile, Civil Aviation Authority of the Phils (CAAP) Public Information Officer Eric Apolonio confirmed that a notice (NOTAM) was issued starting today that it would close the operations of the Surigao airport due to the damaged runway in the airport.
He suggested, Butuan airport can be an alternative.
As of 5AM yesterday, PHIVOLCS recorded 89 aftershocks
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The South Korean defense ministry taunted that North Korea, in firing a ballistic missile on Sunday, was in an apparent provocation to est the response from new US President Donald Trump.
The missile, launched around 7:55 am (22:55 GMT Saturday) from Banghyon air base in the western side of North Pyongang Province, flew east towards the Sea of Japan (East Sea).
The missile flew some 500 kilometers (310 miles) before falling into the sea, a defense ministry spokesman said, adding the exact type of missile had yet to be identified, but suggested it must have been an intermediate-range Musudan missile.
He added, “It is believed that today’s missile launch … is aimed at drawing global attention to the North by priding its nuclear and missile capabilities.”
Last October North Korea test-fired Musudan missiles twice from the same airbase.
On a visit to Seoul earlier this month, new US Defense Secretary James Mattis warned Pyongyang that any nuclear attack would be met with an “effective and overwhelming” response.
Just how Trump responded, if ever, to the Pyongyang nuclear blast remains unreported.
In 2016 the North conducted two nuclear tests and numerous missile launches, allegedly in its quest to develop a nuclear weapons system capable of hitting the US mainland.
In January leader Kim Jong-Un boasted that Pyongyang was in the “final stages” of developing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in an apparent attempt to pressure the incoming US president.
Trump shot back on Twitter, saying “It won’t happen.”
The latest North Korean launch also comes after Trump assured visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that Washington was committed to the security of its key Asian ally.
So, it may do mean the South Korean statement may have been more than just a taunt.
It may have been a true test of wills.
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The lion-hearted Sen. Leila Dilemma, eh, de Lima yesterday stood by the authenticity of the contents of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) confidential memorandum that purportedly granted special treatment to high-profile inmates in exchange for testifying against her at a congressional inquiry last year.
Sought for comment, De Lima shot down Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II’s claim on Friday that her information was “hearsay.”
And we have yet to know just what the inmates’ testimonies are, and whether true or trumped up. (By Jimmy Cabato)

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