September 21, 2017, 8:14 pm
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THE National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL) is conducting its 39th Annual Scientific Meeting today July 12 and tomorrow, at the Manila Hotel with the theme “Attaining Sustainable Development Goals: Philippine Fisheries and Other Aquatic Resources 20/20”. For this year, NAST PHL adopted the Sustainable Development Goals to be its overarching theme. The Agricultural Sciences Division, being the host division, agreed to focus on “fisheries” where science is critical. They are also interested in determining how these sectors will impact the achievement of SGDs in the Philippines. This annual activity of the Academy aims to convene a conference to determine how the Philippines will achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. 

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The Taguig City local council passed a resolution approving the release of P1.5 Million in calamity assistance to war-torn Marawi. 

Mayor Lani Cayetano: “We are very eager in helping our brothers and sisters. We want them to feel that they are not alone in this battle. We want this simple act to give them hope in their hearts.”

Were all mayors in the thousands of municipalities and cities in the country do likewise: The mayors might urge LGU councils to allot contributions to war-torn Marawi. If every LGU council would make it their mission to help in tragedies such as Taguig has done, recovery and misery would end sooner much sooner for the victims.

Mayor Cayetano and the Taguig council learned of Marawi being under a state of calamity after ISIS-inspired terrorists attacks. Military and police has to engage in gunfights in Barangay Basak Malutlut on May 23. This assault of Marawi is still going on victimizing over 30,000 families or 140,000 individuals displaced as a result and their homes and property severely damaged.

Mayor Cayetano asked everyone “to include the restoration of peace in Marawi City in their prayers, as she enjoined everyone to do what they could to help. 

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The reason there is an excessive loading and unloading of jeepney passengers in the middle of the road is because Filipino passengers are too lazy to walk. There is “Para...” to unload one passenger at the corner. A few steps down the same block, another cries, “Para...” Why didn’t this person get off when the previous person shouted Para...? Too lazy to walk 5 meters, that’s why. Five seconds later, the jeepney swerves and put on his brakes because a passenger signals to get on. 

Finally, MMDA is getting around to implement jeepney stops. “Many passengers get involved in road accidents. This will be similar to buses pero hindi natin ilalagay sa bus stops, para hindi sila magbangaan. This will be separate, it might be near or it might be adjacent, but it will be separate.” 

MMDA’s Thomas Orbos says that jeepney drivers slow down traffic flow when they frequently load and unload passengers in the middle of the road. Jeeney Stops. A need whose time has come.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute is promoting the consumption of brown rice to ensure good health among Filipinos. Can PhilRice do anything about the fact that brown rice is twice as expensive as overly milled white rice? Some can afford the price difference. But most can’t.

PhilRice executive director Sailila Abdula: “We are one in curtailing rice wastage because we believe that every grain our farmers produce means life to a Filipino, and could help in ensuring enough supply of rice for the country.” 

This campaign against wastage might start at kindergarten by teaching children that it is bad to put too much rice and other foods on your plate—half of which are left uneaten. Children should be taught to just put small portions on the plate. And after all is eaten, go and get a little more from the buffet or the kitchen. 

Certain cultures among Filipinos teach that one must not to clean up one’s plate. This might tell those around that you are poorly fed at home. It is right to leave some food on the plate. This is so stupid, and even certain adults believe in this waste. Just watch the leftover food on plates at buffets, weddings, picnics. They rake in the food, but their stomachs can only take in so much. 

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A bill proposing to ban soft drinks, energy drinks and colas in over 46,000 public schools in the country has been filed at the House of Representatives. 1-Ang Edukasyon Partylist Rep. Salvador Belaro, Jr. said he wants to improve the diet of more than 21 million Filipino students enrolled in public schools by banning the sale of sweetened drinks in all canteens of public elementary and high schools in the Philippines. In filing House Bill 4039, Belaro pointed the availability of these drinks, which are considered as major contributors to obesity and diabetes, in school canteens.

“Now that softdrinks are sold very cheap, no wonder it becomes the drink of choice of students during recess time. E para na silang kumakain ng tasa-tasang asukal sa sobrang tamis nitong mga softdrinks na ‘to e,” Belaro said. Bottled drinks made from artificially fruit flavored power should not be mistaken nor called “juice”. Juice is when the drink is squeezed out of a fruit. An orange flavored drink made from power is not juice, because it does not have a hint of fresh fruit. 

An 8-ounce bottle of a popular carbonated cola drink costs between P8 in retail stores. On average, a single bottle of a sugary drink contains around 40 grams of free sugars equivalent to around 10 teaspoons of table sugar, way too high from the WHO recommendation; and contributes to dental caries. Carbonation, the fizz or bubbles have been found to steal calcium away from the bones. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the healthy daily intake of sugars should be below 5 percent of daily energy intake only or just around 6 teaspoons of table sugar for adults.

On average, a single can of a sugary drink contains around 40 grams of free sugars equivalent to around 10 teaspoons of table sugar, way too high from the WHO recommendation. Most soda addicts buy 3 or 4 bottles of drinks a day. Department of Education already issued a department order prohibiting the sale of carbonated drinks, sugar-based synthetic or artificially flavored drinks, junk foods and any food product that may be detrimental to a child’s health in canteens in 2017. 

The partylist solon, however, noted that the softdrinks are still being sold to some canteens in public schools within Metro-Manila, thus stressing the need for a law.

The Duterte administration is also proposing to impose taxes on junk food and sugar-sweetened beverage taxes. 

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Dahliaspillera@yahoo.com
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