SULFUR DIOXIDE EMISSION SA BULKANG TAAL, TUMAAS

Marlon Luistro

Tumaas ang sulfur dioxide emission sa Bulkang Taal nitong Huwebes.

Sa inilabas na advisory ng Phivolcs kaninang alas-7 ng gabi, sinabi nitong nakapagtala ng 10,718 tonnes ng volcanic sulfur dioxide emission mula sa Taal Main Crater na lumikha ng volcanic smog o vog sa Taal Caldera.

Umabot din sa 6,612 tonnes kada araw ang average ng ibinubugang sulfur dioxide ng bulkan ngayong buwan ng Setyembre at patuloy na tumataas ang emission mula pa noong July 15, 2022.

Mula rin noong nakaraang buwan ay mayroong naobserbahang degassing activity sa proma ng upwelling ng volcanic fluids sa main crater lake at pagbuga ng naglalakihang mga steam rich plumes o usok na may taas na 2500 metro sa Taal Volcano Island.

Ngayong umaga ay namataan din ang vog ng mga residente ng bayan ng Laurel, Agoncillo at Sta. Teresita.

Babala ng Phivolcs, ang vog ay binubuo ng mga pinong droplets na naglalaman ng volcanic gas gaya ng sulfur dioxide na acidic at maaaring magdulot ng pagkairita ng mga mata, lalamunan at baga depende sa gas concentration at sa tagal ng exposure.

Sensitibo aniya sa vog ang mga may iniindang karamdaman gaya ng ashtma, lung disease at heart disease, senior citizens, buntis at mga bata.

Bilang pag iingat sa masamang epekto ng vog sa kalusugan ay pinapayuhan ang mga taong limitahan ang kanilang exposure, iwasan ang lumabas at manatili lamang sa loob ng bahay, isara ang pinto at bintana ng bahay para mablock out ang vog.

Pinapayuhan din ang mga taong magsuot ng N95 facemask, uminom ng tubig para mabawasan ang pagkairita ng lalamunan at kung kabilang sa mga sensitibong grupo ay bantayan ang sarili at humingi ng tulong sa doktor kung kinakailangan.

Ayon pa sa Phivolcs, maaari din aniyang mag-generate ng acid rain tuwing may pag-uulan at volcanic gas emission na maaaring makasira sa mga pananim at maapektuhan ang mga bubong ng bahay at gusali.

Nananatili naman sa Alert Level 1 ang Bulkang Taal at naroon pa rin ang panganib ng steam-driven o phreatic na pagputok, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfall at pagbuga ng nakamamatay na volcanic gas.

Kayat paalala ng Phivolcs, bawal pa rin ang pumunta sa Taal Volcano Island na idineklarang permanent danger zone lalo na sa mga lugar  ng main crater at Daang Kastila Fissure.

YOUNG LAGUNENSE KICKS OFF SEXUAL HEALTH APP TO BREAK STIGMA ON SAFE SEX TALK

With the rising cases of teen pregnancy, how can prevention be pushed in a country that still puts stigma on safe sex talk?

Laguna youth leader Samuel Madriaga aims to break that stigma by providing a safe space where young girls and adolescents in the LGBTQIA+ community can openly talk about adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH).

SafeTalks is a mobile app that is currently in its development stage. It will offer its users three core services. First is a real-time question and answer service hotline with trained peer educators who use non-judgmental and accurate responses. 

Second is a referral system that connects users to partner clinics and health professionals for counseling services on family planning, contraceptive use, and teenage pregnancy. 

The third feature is a built-in user pre-test and post-test that can be used for health research. The app is envisioned as a community-designed app.

“Designing a health intervention app that is built on the lived experiences of the youth is critical in breaking stigma. We want to facilitate their desired health-seeking behaviors to prevent the further increase of teenage pregnancy cases in the community,” the 22-year-old student from UP Manila said. 

Sam is at the helm of the Alliance of Public Health Advocates (ALPHA), the first youth-led health organization in San Pablo City. He is also one of the 30 Leadership and Democracy (LEAD) Fellows of the Youth Leadership for Democracy (YouthLed) 2021 project of The Asia Foundation in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (on USAID).

Young people reaching their full potential and achieving their dreams with good health and well-being is the overarching mantra of Samuel’s advocacy. 

But for SafeTalks, Samuel’s motivation goes deeper and more personal than that. 

“One reason why I pursued this project is because teenage pregnancy is personal to me having had some relatives who experienced this because of lack of knowledge and poor attitudes on sexual health which is highly stigmatized,” he said. 

Samuel’s work has also made him much aware of social inequities particularly in the health sector with inaccessible healthcare services and problematic policies that rub salt to the wound of many Filipinos. 

“I see people who get sick and fear to do basic check-ups because of the perceived high expenses. Many aspects of our healthcare also hinder our young people to be more literate and proactive in their health-seeking behaviors. These inspired me to proactively lobby for reforms on health leadership,” he added.  

Through profiling in a pilot barangay in San Pablo, where Samuel lives, he and his team of youth volunteers conducted an expert-validated survey to determine the knowledge, attitude, and practices of the youth on ASRH, particularly on teenage pregnancy. 

A 2020 report from the Social Weather Station (SWS) says that teenage pregnancy, often brought by unprotected sex, is the top concern of many Filipino women. In San Pablo City, a staggering 426 cases of teenage pregnancy have been reported in 2021 alone. 

To further push for this advocacy, Samuel sought for relevant agencies that could help with SafeTalks including the Department of Health (DOH).  

“When we started to speak and collaborate with them, they were surprised with how young people can lobby their own concerns, complete with data to support our cause,” said Samuel who presented results of the rapid area assessment, a data collection method to better understand community issues, which he adopted from the LEAD fellowship.

After that meeting, the DOH expressed support to develop the app. 

During his 2-year LEAD fellowship, Samuel trained under the Future Bridging Leadership Program (FBLP) of the Asian Institute of Management, Executive Education Courses at the Ateneo School of Government, and the Servant Leadership Program of the Ayala Foundation, Incorporated. 

“After this fellowship, I got a stronger personality, approaches, and confidence to propose our project. I learned to build networks with different agencies and stakeholders,” he said. 

Back in his hometown, Samuel and his team collaborated with the City Health Office to identify critical areas to pilot-test the project.

“We want that before we go to the ground, we have trained peer educators as ASRH is a sensitive topic. We need to know better how to appropriately engage with the community,” he said. The partnership with the local government helps them prepare better for the groundwork, he added.

Samuel’s group also aims to institutionalize the app and help craft a Reproductive Health Code in San Pablo City.  

When asked on what he wants to attain from this advocacy, Samuel concludes with great optimism, “I look forward to seeing young Filipinos experience overall wellness and good physical, mental, and reproductive health so they can be more productive and truly help in nation-building.”

The LEAD Fellowship is a two-year fellowship under the Youth Leadership for Democracy (YouthLed), a youth-focused program in the Philippines of The Asia Foundation in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). YouthLed aims to increase and improve youth civic engagement through leadership development, coalition building, and civic education. This is complemented with engagement activities that are relevant to the youth and support their meaningful participation in democratic governance. Among the goals of YouthLed is to develop political leadership skills, knowledge, character, and attitude of young leaders. It also intends to help them build coalitions and networks that will strengthen their capacity to navigate and optimize platforms for democratic governance.

SA BOOSTER PINASLAKAS INILUNSAD NA SA QUEZON PROVINCE

📷 Allan Llaneta

Allan Llaneta

Inilunsad na sa lalawigan  ng Quezon ang programa ng Department Of Health na “SA BOOSTER PINASLAKAS”.

Layon ng programa na  mabigyan ng booster shots ang mga mamamayan sa Quezon  partikular na ang mga

senior citizen at mga may comorbidity.

Ayon kay Quezon Governor Dra. Helen Tan sisikapin nilang mas mapataas pa ang bilang ng mabibigyan ng booster shot sa Quezon dahil batay sa tala ng mga nabakunahan sa Calabarzon Region, ang Quezon ang may pinakamababang bilang ng mga nabakunahan.

Sinabi naman ni Quezon Integrated Provincial Health Officer Head Dra. Christine Villasenior na tuloy ang mga ginagawang nilang pagbabakuna sa iba’t ibang lugar sa Quezon partikular sa lungsod ng Lucena.

Sa kasalukuyan umano  ay hindi pa umaabot sa 90% na target ng probinsya ang nabigyan ng booster shot.

Sa huli nanawagan si Dra Villasenior sa mga mamamayan ng lalawigan na magpa booster shot na para na rin sa kaligtasan ng lahat sa Covid 19 virus.

ACTIVE COVID-19 CASES IN QUEZON DROP TO 146 FROM 275

A resident in the island town of Patnanungan in Quezon province received the COVID-19 vaccine. (📷 DOH Calabarzon)

Sonny T. Mallari

LUCENA CITY — The number of active COVID-19 cases in Quezon province dropped to 146 on Wednesday, August 31.

The Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) recorded the highest number of active COVID-19 cases on August 7, with 275.

The IPHO, in its bulletin on Wednesday at 5 p.m., however, listed 17 deaths from the coronavirus in August.

Health authorities did not provide information on the COVID-19 variants of the active cases.

The infected individuals have been admitted to several hospitals while some are under home quarantine.

Lucena City topped the list with 37 active COVID-19 cases.

The latest data showed that 13 of the 41 municipalities in the province no longer have any recorded COVID-19 cases.

Those previously infected in the localities have either recovered or died, the IPHO report showed.

As of Wednesday, Quezon recorded 34,316 COVID-19 cases, 32,585 recoveries, and 1,585 deaths since the pandemic began in March 2020.

The Department of Health has yet to release its new alert level status to in the next two weeks.

DENGUE CASES IN CALABARZON UP BY 124%

The Department of Health (DOH)- CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) reported an increase of 124 percent, higher than the reported cases during the same period in 2021.

DOH-Calabarzon Regional Director Ariel I. Valencia said all provinces in CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon) recorded an upward trend in dengue cases due to the rainy season and increased mobility.

“Patuloy ang pagtaas ng cases natin sa dengue, dahil parin sa patuloy na mga pag-ulan at ang pagtaas ng mobility dahil sa economic activity,” Valencia said. 

Valencia added that CALABARZON posted 11, 842 dengue cases or 124 percent higher than the 5, 287 cases recorded during the same period last year. There were 19 deaths recorded. Data also showed that the primary age group affected by dengue ranged from 1 to 10 years old.

Laguna logged the highest number of cases at 3, 705 followed by Rizal with 2, 554; Cavite with 2, 077; Quezon 1, 799; Batangas with 1, 599; and Lucena with 108.

DOH encouraged residents to take the necessary precautions as cases continue to rise since the rainy season is not over. 

“Nananawagan ako sa lahat ng mga residente na gawin ang lahat ng mga pag-iingat para maiwasan natin ang paghantong sa epidemic,” Valencia added. 

“Ngayong nagsimula na ang face-to-face classes, pinaalalahanan din natin ang mga guro na gawin ang mga kaukulang hakbang para maprotektahan natin ang mga bata habang nasa loob ng paaralan,” Valencia concluded. 

Prior to the opening of classes last August 22, the DOH CALABARZON in collaboration with the Department of Education (DepEd) has launched the “Para sa Henerasyong Healthy, Balik Sigla sa Pagbalik Eskwela” in selected schools in CALABARZON. 

The campaign highlights the school-based Dengue Awareness Campaign with 4S strategy, 7 healthy habits, COVID-19 vaccination, and Konsultayo campaigns of the DOH.

DOH CALABARZON has distributed anti-dengue and other vector control supplies to schools and the Local Government Units (LGUs), highlighting the ceremonial installation of Olyset nets.

The DOH reiterated its reminder to the public to follow the 4S strategy, referring to search and destroy breeding places, secure self-protection, seek early consultation, and support fogging or spraying in hotspot areas to prevent an outbreak.

Dengue is transmitted through the bite of a female mosquito (Aedes aegypti). Symptoms include a sudden onset of fever with severe headache, severe pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain, rash, easy bruising, and nose or gum bleeding. 

The Department of Health (DOH)- CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) reported an increase of 124 percent, higher than the reported cases during the same period in 2021.

DOH-Calabarzon Regional Director Ariel I. Valencia said all provinces in CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon) recorded an upward trend in dengue cases due to the rainy season and increased mobility.

“Patuloy ang pagtaas ng cases natin sa dengue, dahil parin sa patuloy na mga pag-ulan at ang pagtaas ng mobility dahil sa economic activity,” Valencia said. 

Valencia added that CALABARZON posted 11, 842 dengue cases or 124 percent higher than the 5, 287 cases recorded during the same period last year. There were 19 deaths recorded. Data also showed that the primary age group affected by dengue ranged from 1 to 10 years old.

Laguna logged the highest number of cases at 3, 705 followed by Rizal with 2, 554; Cavite with 2, 077; Quezon 1, 799; Batangas with 1, 599; and Lucena with 108.

DOH encouraged residents to take the necessary precautions as cases continue to rise since the rainy season is not over. 

“Nananawagan ako sa lahat ng mga residente na gawin ang lahat ng mga pag-iingat para maiwasan natin ang paghantong sa epidemic,” Valencia added. 

“Ngayong nagsimula na ang face-to-face classes, pinaalalahanan din natin ang mga guro na gawin ang mga kaukulang hakbang para maprotektahan natin ang mga bata habang nasa loob ng paaralan,” Valencia concluded. 

Prior to the opening of classes last August 22, the DOH CALABARZON in collaboration with the Department of Education (DepEd) has launched the “Para sa Henerasyong Healthy, Balik Sigla sa Pagbalik Eskwela” in selected schools in CALABARZON. 

The campaign highlights the school-based Dengue Awareness Campaign with 4S strategy, 7 healthy habits, COVID-19 vaccination, and Konsultayo campaigns of the DOH.

DOH CALABARZON has distributed anti-dengue and other vector control supplies to schools and the Local Government Units (LGUs), highlighting the ceremonial installation of Olyset nets.

The DOH reiterated its reminder to the public to follow the 4S strategy, referring to search and destroy breeding places, secure self-protection, seek early consultation, and support fogging or spraying in hotspot areas to prevent an outbreak.

Dengue is transmitted through the bite of a female mosquito (Aedes aegypti). Symptoms include a sudden onset of fever with severe headache, severe pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain, rash, easy bruising, and nose or gum bleeding.

3 COVID-19 PATIENTS DIE IN QUEZON

Sonny T. Mallari

LUCENA CITY – Three more COVID-19 patients in Quezon died on Monday, August 22, amid a decline in the number of active cases in the province.

The Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) reported on Monday that the towns of Infanta and Atimonan and Tayabas City listed one fatality each.

The province had recorded 1,579 COVID-19 deaths since March 2020, 10 of them logged this month.

The IPHO also recorded that 86 patients had recovered from COVID-19, the highest single-day tally this month. At least 35 new infections were also listed.

From 275 active infections on August 7, it is now down to 186, as of the latest tally.

Eleven of the 41 municipalities in the province no longer have any recorded COVID-19 cases, the IPHO report showed.

The Department of Health placed Lucena, a highly urbanized city in Quezon, under alert level 1, the most lenient in the five-tier alert status, until August 31.

The rest of Quezon’s 40 localities will remain under alert level 2.

KASO NG COVID SA CALABARZON, BUMABA NG 14% SA LOOB NG 1 LINGGO

Marlon Luistro

Calamba City, Laguna – Bumaba na sa 3695 ang bilang ng mga aktibong kaso sa Rehiyong Calabarzon noong ika-18 ng Agosto, ayon sa Department of Health (DOH).

Mas mababa yan ng 14 porsyento kumpara sa 4,299 aktibong kasong naitala noong Agosto 11.

Umabot na rin sa 504,078 ang bilang ng mga gumaling sa COVID na mataas ng 0.77 porsyento kumpara sa 500,180 recoveries na naitala sa ika-11 ng Agosto.

Nadagdagan naman ng 36 ang bilang ng mga nasawi sa sakit mula sa ating 13,649 patungo sa 13,685.

Suma total ay umabot na sa 521,458 ang kabuuang bilang ng mga kaso ng COVID sa rehiyon simula nang magkapandemya mahigit dalawang taon na ang nakalilipas.

Pinakamaraming aktibong kaso ng  COVID-19 sa lalawigan ng Cavite na may 1,094, kasunod ang Laguna na may 1,364, at Batangas na may 657 active cases.

Pumang-apat naman sa may pinakamaraming aktibong kaso ang Quezon na may 294, kasunod ang Rizal na may 248 habang ang lungsod ng Lucena naman ang may pinakakonting bilang ng aktibong kaso na may 38.

Nito lamang ika-17 ng Agosto, kasabay ng kanyang pagpapabakuna ng pangalawang booster ay nanawagan si Pangulong Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. sa publiko na makiisa sa COVID-19 booster rollout ng pamahalaan.

Ayon sa pangulo makatutulong ang booster sa pagbubukas ng ekonomiya at pagpigil sa mga nakakapinsalang lockdown.

Sa kanyang  mensahe sa paglulunsad ng PinasLakas Vaccination Campaign sa SM City Manila, binigyang diin ni Marcos ang kahalagahan ng papapabakuna ng booster shot sa gitna pa rin ng banta ng COVID-19 at mga nakahahawang variant nito.

Isa aniya itong malaking hakbang para matugunan ang mga probleang kinakaharap ng ekonomiya ng bansa at makabangon sa negatibong epekto ng pandemya.

MUNGKAHING BLOOD DONORS SA BAWAT BARANGAY SA LUCENA CITY, ISINULONG SA SANGUNIAN

Allan Llaneta

Isinusulong ngayon sa Sangguniang Panglungsod ng Lucena ang resolusyon para sa pagbibigay ng kahalagahan at pagmamalasakit sa kalusugan ng mga Lucenahin.

Sa  pribilihiyong pananalita ni Councilor Beth Sio sinabi nito ang kanyang tatlong mungkahi kabilang ang  pangangailangan ng dugo ng mga Lucenahin, ang maaaring solusyon sa pamamagitan ng isang memorandum of understanding at ang advantage at qualifications ng pagiging isang donor.

Ayon sa resolusyong, ang kahalagahan umano ng dugo sa oras ng may pasyenteng naaksidente,  sasalang sa operasyon at yung mga manganganak.

Importanteng bagay umano habang wala pang sariling ospital ang Lucena.

Sinabi pa ni Sio ay dapat maging libre na ang processing fee ng mga Lucenahin pagkukuha ng dugo sa Red cross.

Ayon pa rito marapat na magkaroon ng Blood Donors Day sa bawat barangay upang mabatid din ng mga mamamayan ang kahalagahan ng pagkakaloob ng dugo.

DIOCESE OF LIPA: VOG-HIT RESIDENTS AROUND TAAL VOLCANO NEED FACE MASKS

📷 LASAC

Sonny T. Mallari

The Catholic Church in Lipa City in Batangas province has asked for donations of N95 masks to distribute to residents affected by volcanic smog or vog from Taal Volcano in Batangas province.

The volcano has been spewing thick steam-laden plumes since Thursday, posing environmental and health risks to nearby communities.

The Lipa Archdiocesan Social Action Center (LASAC) of the Diocese of Lipa posted its appeal for face masks on its Facebook page.

The donations could be sent to Laforce Building, St. Francis de Sales Major Seminary Compound, in Barangay Marawoy, Lipa City. The charity group also accepts cash donations via Gcash (tel. 09665726244) of Fr. Jayson Siapco.

“There is still a need for N95 (masks) especially the areas near the Taal Volcano,” the Lasac said, as reported on Friday night by CBCP News, the news and communication arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

On Friday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reported the volcano emitted 13,572 metric tons of sulfur dioxide (S02), produced significant vog that rose to 3,000 meters.

Phivolcs also observed an “upswelling of hot volcanic fluids” in the main crater lake of Taal and six volcanic tremors lasting from three to seven minutes.

On Aug. 7, the volcano spewed 17,141 MT of SO2, which was about three times higher than the average of the previous recordings. Prior to this period, Taal’s SO2 emissions have been at an average of 7,818 MT a day since July 15, an increase from the average of 1,289 MT daily between May and mid-July.

According to Phivolcs, vog consists of fine droplets that contain volcanic gas, such as SO2, which is acidic and can cause irritation of the eyes, throat, and respiratory tract.

Residents in the communities around the volcano were asked to limit their exposure to vog.

“Avoid outdoor activities, stay indoors and shut doors and windows to block out vog,” Phivolcs said.

It said that a sulfurous stench was also reported in the villages of Banyaga in Agoncillo town; Poblacion 5, Boso-boso, and Gulod in Laurel; and Talisay town proper.

The other localities in Batangas round the lake are the towns of Sta. Teresita, San Nicolas, Alitagtag, Cuenca, Balete and Mataasnakahoy; and the cities of Tanauan and Lipa.

On Friday, Agoncillo Mayor Cinderella Valenton-Reyes led local authorities in the distribution of N95 face masks to affected residents in the villages of Banyaga, Bilibinwang and Barigon. They also provided medicines and vitamins for children and infants to protect them from the toxic volcanic smog.

“Maging handa at alerto lamang po tayo sa lahat ng oras at palaging manalangin na malagpasan po natin ang krisis na ating kinakaharap,” the local government appealed to residents in a statement posted on social media.

Taal has had several phreatic or steam-driven explosions since its major eruption in January 2020. On July 1, Phivolcs lowered the warning status of Taal Volcano to alert level 1 (low-level unrest) from alert level 2 (decreased unrest).

State seismologists said that while Taal’s alert level had been lowered, this did not mean that the volcano no longer posed any danger.

“Alert level 1 prevails over Taal Volcano, which means that it is still in abnormal condition and should not be interpreted to have ceased unrest nor ceased the threat of eruptive activity,” the agency said.

It said the warning status may be raised to alert level 2 if there is an uptrend or pronounced change in monitored parameters indicating unrest.

CALABARZON LOGS 68 COVID-19 DEATHS IN AUGUST – DOH

Sonny T. Mallari

LUCENA CITY—With the continued spike in COVID-19 cases in Calabarzon, at least 68 infected patients died in the region this month, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

Data from the Health Education and Promotion Unit of DOH-Calabarzon on Thursday, August 11, showed that there were 10 new COVID-19 fatalities in the region.

Cavite topped the list with 19 deaths this month. It was followed by Batangas (18), Laguna (18), Rizal (8) and Quezon, including Lucena City (5).

Last month, at least 89 COVID-19-infected patients died in the region.

The DOH-Calabarzon tallied 4,299 active COVID-19 cases as of Aug. 11, reflecting an increase from 733 on July 1, data showed.

The analytics group OCTA Research explained that the high COVID-19 positivity rate could be partly due to the public’s waning immunity against the viral disease.

The positivity rate refers to the percentage of tests that turn out positive for COVID-19. Above 20 percent is considered very high, OCTA said.

Dr. Guido David, an OCTA Research fellow, tagged the positivity rate in Laguna (33.2) as “very high.”

David said the positivity rates in Quezon (25.1), Cavite (21.1), and Rizal (18.8) are also serious concerns.

In Quezon province, the low rate of vaccination among qualified residents has been one of the factors that caused the continuous spread of COVID-19 infections, according to the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO).

The IPHO disclosed that as of Aug. 6, out of 34 confirmed COVID-19 patients and 66 probable and suspected cases confined at the Quezon Medical Center (QMC), “six of them are severe and critical”.

“Four of them had no COVID-19 vaccines while the other two had no clear vaccination history and had no booster dose,” the IPHO disclosed in a public advisory issued on Aug. 6.

As of Aug. 5, at least 1,049,233 residents in the province or 74.8% of the target population have been administered vaccines against COVID-19.

However, only 161,973 or 23.1% of the general population have received their first booster dose, way below the target 701,770.

The IPHO also reported that only 107,023 senior citizens from the target of 141,752 were fully vaccinated. But only 29,440 have received their first booster dose.

Governor Helen Tan, who is also a physician, urged unvaccinated residents to get their jabs for their safety and protection of the community. She also asked the public to remain vigilant in the battle against COVID-19.