Category Archives: Press Release

Children Expose the Harms of Tobacco Using Art

Twelve Filipino child artists were awarded on Thursday by children’s rights groups in a poster-making competition aimed to demonstrate the dangers of tobacco companies and their products. 

The competition ‘Sigarilyo: Panganib sa Bayan Ko’ (‘Cigarettes: Danger to My Nation’) was launched by Child Rights Network (CRN) Philippines, Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD), Gitib, Inc., and ImagineLaw this August. The said competition received more than 200 entries from age groups 10-14 years old and 15-17 years old for both digital and traditional poster-making categories. 

‘Paralyzing Addiction’ by 12-year-old Kaye Sarmiento of Cavite wins first place in a digital poster-making competition by children’s rights groups to illustrate the death caused by the tobacco industry. 

Twelve-year-old Kaye Sarmiento won first place in her age group in the digital category for ‘Paralyzing Addiction’. Jun Ivanne Dalman’s digital poster ‘Tobacco Destroys, Destroy Tobacco’ placed first in his age group. 

In the traditional poster-making category that allowed the use of physical materials such as watercolor and acrylic, 12-year-old John Henry Luna Jr.’s poster ‘Mulat na Bulag’ won first place in the 10-14-year-old age group while Errol Caringal’s ‘The Outturns of Ash’ gained the top prize in the 15-17 age group.  

“Tobacco companies are targeting children and young people as the next generation of consumers of their deadly products to sustain their business,” said Romeo Dongeto, executive director of PLCPD and co-convener of CRN Philippines. 

“These artworks remind us to take time and listen to children and young people in their clamor for a  tobacco-free future,” he added. 

“We have to remind grown-ups constantly: there are 117,000 deaths every year due to tobacco-related illnesses in the Philippines, 269 billion pesos in annual socio-economic losses, 12.5% student-smokers as of 2019, and 23.8% adult smokers,” said ImagineLaw Executive Director Atty. Sophia San Luis.

‘Mulat na Bulag’ by 12-year-old John Henry Luna, Jr. of Quezon City exposes the harms caused by the tobacco industry.

“Children can reduce complex problems into the simplest truths: tobacco companies are harmful and deadly. Tobacco companies are neither friends nor allies,” she also said. 

The other finalists in the traditional poster-making category are the following: Second Place, 10-14-year-old Age Group: ‘Pag-iwas sa Mapanganib na Sigarilyo, Isang Babala para sa Sambayanang Pilipino’ by Elyzza Jane V. Caringal (13 years old) of Batangas; Third Place, 10-14-year-old Age Group: ‘Nagkakaisang Kabataan upang Sigarilyo ay Wakasan’ by Kyle Brondial Espinosa (13 years old) of Bataan; Second Place, 15-17-year-old Age Group: ‘Don’t Let Tobacco Burn Your Future Into Ashes by John Estrael J. Ballera (17 years old) from San Pedro City, Laguna; and Third Place, 15-17-year-old Age Group: ‘Deadly stick’ by Zara Gen G. Velasco (16 years old) from Nueva Ecija.

The other finalists in the digital poster-making category are the following: Second Place, 10-14-year-old Age Group: ‘Sigarilyo ay huwag susubukan dahil ito ay magdadala ng kadiliman sa sarili at sa bayan’ by Bai Alija Zacaria (14 years old) of North Cotabato; Third Place, 10-14-year-old Age Group: ‘Ill Effects of Cigarettes’ by Gerald Timothy M. Cruz (11 years old) of Zamboanga City; Second Place, 15-17-year-old Age Group: ‘Ang Industriya ng Tobacco’ by Lander John Salango (17 years old) of Cavite; and Third Place, 15-17-year-old Age Group: ‘Cremation’ by Imma Christel Ehlan Carranza Quimbo (16 years old) of Cavite. 

Winners received cash prizes and certificates.

Be Responsible Pet Owners

In celebration of Rabies Awareness Month, the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Agriculture (DA), renew their commitment to end the rabies disease through a campaign to increase awareness about rabies prevention. The theme this year is “Makiisa sa barangayan kontra rabies, maging responsableng pet owner.”

Oreo's mummy

Rabies is a vaccine preventable viral disease, yet more than 59,000 people die from this disease annually. In the Philippines, it is considered a public health problem as it is one of the most acutely fatal infection, responsible for the deaths of at least 200 Filipinos each year. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 99% of all rabies transmissions are from dogs.

“Prevention is key in eliminating the Rabies disease. 99% of all rabies transmissions to humans are from dogs. Be a responsible pet owner and vaccinate your pets. This is the most cost-effective strategy to prevent rabies,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III stated.

The partnership with DA, Department of Interior Local Government (DILG), Local Government Units (LGUs) and the private sector, aims to strengthen the prevention campaign to avoid unnecessary deaths due to rabies. The campaign focuses on responsible pet ownership and vaccine availability at established Animal Bite Treatment Centers.

“We have made great strides in eliminating rabies particularly in the Visayas region where a number of provinces were declared rabies-free. Let us continue this positive trend and work together towards completely eradicating this deadly disease. It is my hope to declare Philippines a rabies-free country by 2030,” the health chief concluded.

Rabies is acquired from virus in saliva entering a bite wound caused by an infected animal, usually a rabid dog. The severity of the bite determines the risk of infection. The disease does not usually spread from man to man. (Source)

Press Release

STATEMENT ON THE SIGNING OF THE PHILIPPINE HIV/AIDS ACT

Secretary of Health Francisco T. Duque III released the following statement today (January 10, 2019) on the signing of the Philippine HIV and Aids Act by President Rodrigo Duterte:

Editorial Cartoon by NVTorrecampo

“The signing of the Philippine HIV and Aids Act is a huge step forward in responding to the growing HIV epidemic in the Philippines.

Ngayon ay mabibigyan na natin ng tamang suporta ang mga Pilipinong may HIV-AIDS. Kaya naman lubos ang aming pasasalamat kay Presidente Duterte sa pagbibigay niya ng prayoridad at aksyon laban sa HIV-AIDS.

The law provides:

  • Comprehensive education and prevention programs for PLHIV and their families.
  • It also enables minors 15 years of age to get tested for HIV.

While the new law has been enacted, our next step is to be able to properly execute the law by developing an Implementing Rules and Regulations to guide executive officials in implementing the law, as well as the public in how to comply with the law.

A stronger collaboration is key to attaining our vision of an HIV-free country. The road ahead will be long and our climb will be steep, but we will thrive and win against HIV and AIDS.”

Recent cases as of Nov. 2018

Press Release