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Philippine News Digest 9

December 5, 2001 · 

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Contents:

  • Income up but more are poor
  • Politics mars fight for gender equality
  • Drug suspects “falling like bowling pins”
  • Abuse rare in Ifugao
  • World AIDS day marked on December 1
  • Mayor orders son held for drugs, wife battery

Income up but more are poor

Figures from the 2000 Family Income and Expenditure Survey of the National Statistics Office show that Western Visayas recorded the second highest growth in annual family income last year by posting 28.3 percent growth rate. However, this does not necessarily mean economic growth and overall improvement in the standard of living of residents in the region because it could be offset by the disparity of incomes of families. The survey showed a movement toward a widening income disparity in western Visayas as well as in Eastern Visayas, Southern Mindanao, Central Visayas and Cagayan Valley. Source Nestor Burgos Jr.,PDI Visayas Bureau, 5 December 2001.

Politics mars fight for gender equality

Republic Act 7192 mandates that five percent of the total budget be set aside for what is known as the gender and development budget (GAB) to enable women to benefit equally and participate directly in their programs and projects. However, politicians who are concerned mainly with maintaining their hold on power hamper its full and proper implementation. In Angeles City, for instance, women’s groups that compose the Angeles City Women’s Coordinating Council are calling for the removal of partisan politics in gender mainstreaming after it was booted out from the GAD secretariat and replaced by a similar organization established by the local government itself. They say that it is only through the participation of a “genuine” civil society that the aims and objectives of the GAD would be achieved. Source Elizabeth Lolarga, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 5 December 2001.

Drug suspects “falling like bowling pins”

The Digos Death Squad continued its killing spree last week downing five suspected drug pushers, including Berna Sanguile who is believed to be one of the biggest retailers of shabu here in Digos City. Police reports show that after killing Sanguile, the suspects tried to slash the victim’s ear, apparently as “proof of service” as what they did to Fernando Rubia, but the crowd who started to gather around the crime scene prevented them from doing so. Source Anthony Allada and Allan Nawal, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 5 December 2001.

Abuse rare in Ifugao

A study conducted by American anthropologist David Levinson in 1981 but published only in 1997 by Yale University shows that the Ifugaos in Cordillera have the lowest incidence of wife battery and physical abuse on children among 46 tribes. When signs of domestic violence are observed in Ifugao households, the elders and the families of the couple are immediately consulted. In the presence of family members, the elders give advice to stop feuds among the couple. Intervention on family conflicts is said to be behind the low incidence of domestic violence among Ifugaos. Other groups with low incidence of wife beating are Andamans, Copper Eskimo, Iroquois (North America), Ona (Canada) and the Thais. Source Desiree Caluza, PDI Northern Luzon Bureau, 4 December 2001.

World AIDS day marked on December 1

The prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the Philippines is still at a low and slow level but this should not lead us into complacency because the situation may change across time. Once a critical mass is infected the epidemic could then take off and spread quickly. Among the factors mentioned as the reason for the slow and low spread of the disease are geographic considerations, awareness and information campaigns, low injecting drug use, multi-sectoral efforts for national AIDS policies, high literacy rate, relative sexual conservatism, and “low” imports of the virus.

At the end of 1999, the United Nations Programs on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) revealed some of the newest facts and figures since the disease was discovered in 1981.

-47 million have been infected since and of this number 5.6 million people are newly infected in 1999.

– There are 33.6 million people living with HIV/AIDS 70% of whom are in Africa while 95% of those infected are living in Third World countries.

– Life expectancy in some countries has fallen by as much as 20 years due to the epidemic.

– 16.3 million people have died from AIDS since the epidemic, 2.6 million of them died in 1999.

-About half of people with HIV are infected before they are 25 years old. Source Philippine Daily Inquirer, 3 December 2001.

Mayor orders son held for drugs, wife battery

It took a wife’s courage to speak out against physical threats and a father’s determination to end his son’s dependence to illegal drugs to be able to arrest Carmelo Lazatin Jr., son of Angeles City Mayor Carmelo Lazatin. The police arrested the young Lazatin on November 30 after escaping a police dragnet by changing vehicles. On his arrest, police found guns and noted the presence of a known drug pusher in his car. Mayor Lazatin, meanwhile, admitted that his son has been dependent on drugs since the latter’s teenage days and was sent twice to a rehabilitation center in Parañaque City. Source Tonette Orejas, PDI Central Luzon Desk, 3 December 2001

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