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Philippine News Digest 27

June 28, 2002 · 



  • Death Squad Blamed for Killing
  • 250,000 in East Visayas Malnourished
  • One in Every 6 Children into Child Labor
  • Zambales youth Gather for Summer Camp

250,000 in East Visayas malnourished

Nearly a quarter of a million, or 36.3 percent, of children in Eastern Visayas are malnourished as result of widespread poverty and lack of support from local government units for health and nutrition programs. In the year 2000, the prevalence rate of malnourished children in the region was 39.18 percent, involving 238, 426 children. The National Nutrition Commission defines malnutrition as a “state when the physical function of an individual is impaiored to the point when he/she can no longer maintain an adequate level of performance such as physical works, resisting or recovering from an illness and maintaining an adequate level of growth.” Though there was no nationwide ranking yet for the 2001 malnutrition rate, the figure already indicated that Eastern Visayas would definitely rank high in terms of the number of malnourished children in the country. Source: Joey Gabieta, Philippine Daily InquirerVisayas Bureau, 25 June 2002.

Death Squad Blamed for Killing

A death squad similar to the Davao and Digos Death Squads is reportedly behind the drug-related killings in recent weeks in General Santos City, southern Philippines. The latest victim was Rolando de las Marias, 40, who was shot dead in broad daylight June 20 a few meters from his house. Initial investigation by the police indicates the incident was connected to illegal drugs. A few weeks earlier, a former police major with alleged links to the bandit group Abu Sayaff and a local drug ring was killed just outside his home. According to Chief Insp. Allan Tanato, there were reports that former Chief Insp. Amil Abdahi was done in by the same vigilante group that killed two other suspected drug peddlers. The emergence of this vigilante group has drawn mixed reactions from various quarters. Former Mayor Rosalita Nunez condemned the spate of killings, adding that anyone is entitled to due process. The extra-judicial executions of suspected drug-traffickers took a turn for the worse upon the assumption last month of Supt. Efren Alquisar as chief of the Regional Anti-Narcotics Unit in this city. Source: M. Baliao, Today, 24 June 2002.

One in Every 6 children into Child Labor

A recently released report by the International Labor Organization (ILO) titled “A Future Without Child Labor” revealed that 246 million children- or one in every six children aged 5 to 17- are involved in child labor. Of these children, 111 million are into hazardous work to which they should be “immediately withdrawn.” An additional 59 million youths aged 15-17 should receive urgent and immediate protection from hazards at work while another 8.4 million children are caught in “unconditional” worst forms of child labor- slavery, trafficking, debt bondage and other forms of child labor, forced recruitment for armed conflict, prostitution, pornography and other illicit activities. The ILO organized on June 12 the first “World Day Against Child Labor” highlighting the worldwide movement to eliminate child labor, especially in its worst forms. Source: Today, 10 June 2002.

Zambales youth Gather for Summer Camp

More than 75 youth leaders from different towns of Zambales and Olongapo City gathered at the ABS-CBN Bayan Center in Iba, Zambales May 28 to June 1 for the Children and Youth Summer Camp 2002 organized by AKBAY, the youth arm of the PREDA Foundation. The camp, with the theme “Commune with the Environment”, aims to promote ecological awareness among young people and to provide venue for the exchange of their ideas and experiences on issues like environmental preservation and the proper utilization of natural resources. These objectives are achieved through interactive workshops and group dynamics, making the learning process fun and adventurous. Source: Internet News Network, June 2002.


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