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Philippine News Digest 60

August 24, 2003 · 

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Contents:

  • DSWD to probe children’s rights violations in Olongapo City
  • 50% of streetkids snort ‘rugby’
  • TB remains among top ten leading causes of death in the Philippines

DSWD to probe children’s rights violations in Olongapo City

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through its field office in Central Luzon conducted an investigation of the government-run Olongapo Center for Assistance, Rehabilitation and Empowerment (OCARE) after PREDA came out with a report documenting the violation of children’s rights in the said center. In her letter to Fr. Shay Cullen of PREDA, DSWD Director Flor Villar said the staff of the DSWD Regional Office and Standard Bureau of the Central Office have conducted initial visits in OCARE to validate the report. PREDA is planning to open in September an alternative home for the street children and children in jails. From May to June alone, the PREDA team of human rights workers have found 20 children in 29 jails in Central Luzon. Most have been released in recognizance to their parents while others were transferred to a rehabilitation center.

50% of streetkids snort ‘rugby’

Half of the country’s street children have at one time or another snorted ‘rugby’ and other aromatic solvents to assuage hunger pangs, according to non-government organizations in the Philippines. NGOs estimate the number of street children at 1.5 million but the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has a more conservative estimate of 75,000 to 80,000. Data from the Department of Social Welfare and Development shows that the number of Filipino street children increases by 6,365 annually. Meanwhile, the International Labor Organization says that more and more street children across Asia have become increasingly susceptible to dangerous and ilegal activities such as prostitution and drug trafficking since the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Source: Norman Bordadora, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 23 August 2003.

TB remains among top ten leading causes of death in the Philippines

Although tuberculosis could easily be cured, at least 75 Filipinos die of the disease everyday making it still one of the top ten leading causes of death in the Philippines. During a recent consultative meting in Davao City. medical officers and workers said that medicine shortage and the lack of medical technologists were the reasons the country’s TB statistics had not decreased over the years. The tubercle bacilli germ causes TB, an infectious disease usually affecting the lungs. It could be transmitted to other persons through coughing and sneezing. The most common sign of te disease is lingering cough, which usually lasts up to more than two weeks. Source: PDI Mindanao Bureau, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 23 August 2003.

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