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Mass immunization set across Bulacan amid measles outbreak

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Wednesday, February 13th, 2019

BULACAN, Philippines – Due to the continuous rise in measles cases, the Bulacan Provincial government together with the Department of Health (DOH) Region 3 will hold a mass immunization in all 596 barangays in the province.

Measles cases across Bulacan have already reached 286 in the month of January alone; a more than 3,000% increase to last year’s seven cases during the same month.

The highest number recorded was in San Jose del Monte with 48; Baliuag with 33; Bocaue with 32; and Marilao with 21.

The infection already killed six infants age five months and below.

The situation prompted the local government unit (LGU) to intensify its Oplan Ligtas Tigdas program which was recently launched in the municipality of Malolos through the collaboration of the DOH Region 3 and the Bulacan Health Office, and the LGU.

All heads of barangays and health workers were directed to make rounds in communities to administer the immunization especially to babies who have no records of vaccination.

“Kailangan po namin ang pakiisa ninyo. (Mag) house to house. Ang target po natin ay ang mga nasa bahay wether they’re kinder,or day care (level) pero 1 month old or 6 months old. Ang kailangan po natin dito ay tulong ng mga kapitan,” appealed Bulacan Governor Wilhelmino Sy Alvarado.

In response, heads of barangays vowed to support the program for their respective constituents.

“Pupuntahan namin ang mga bahay-bahay per purok, may mga barangay health workers, volunteers,” assured Barangay Calumpit chairman Eugenio Garsota.

Meanwhile, Dr. Wilbert Ilerya of Pulilan Municipal Health Office suggested a schedule for the immunization program per barangay to avoid further spread of the infection.

He also stressed that once the mass immunization is launched, the local health center should make sure that there is enough supply of vaccines.

 This is a time of outbreak, kailangan may maibibigay na bakuna, para mahinto mo na yung paglaganap nung ng kaso ng measles,” Ilerya said.

The Health Regional Office, meanwhile, assured that there will be enough supply of vaccine for every barangay but in case of shortage, they can always ask for additional supply from the provincial health office.

As of now, wala po tayong kulang sa mga bakuna. Sapat papo ang ating bilang, If ever magkukulang man po we could always request from the
Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM)  to give another batch of vaccine from regular vaccination natin,” assured Dr. Shiela Mae Geronimo, DOH-3’s Development Management Officer 4.

Based on DOH-Region 3 records, Pampanga remains the highest in number of measles cases with 652; Bulacan with 560; and Tarlac with 333 cases.

DOH calls on the seven provinces in Region 3 to put up an isolation ward in every district and provincial hospitals to accommodate measles-infected patients.

We are having an outbreak at a regional level and the Bulacan level. We need to have isolation areas of all the hospital that we have whether it is level 1,2,3 hospital,” Geronimo emphasized. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Nestor Torres)

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DOTr targets partial operation of MRT-7 in 2021

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

Proposed MRT 7 train

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is targeting the partial operation of MRT-7 in 2021.

DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan said the project will definitely ease the burden of commuters as travel time from Quezon City to San Jose del Monte in Bulacan will reduce significantly from four hours to about 35 minutes once the project is completed.

On Wednesday (July 17), Batan and DOTr officials inspected MRT-7’s construction site in Quezon City to check the work in progress.

According to the project’s contractor San Miguel Corporation, the ongoing construction is already 44% complete which includes the train stations, platforms and the line where the railings will be placed.

The DOTr also announced that the procurement of 36 new train sets from South Korea has already been done.

MRT-7 is a 23-kilometer railway system that connects North Avenue in Quezon City to the province of Bulacan.

The train system traverses 14 stations namely North Avenue, Quezon City Memorial Circle, University Avenue, Tandang Sora, Don Antonio, Batasan, Manggahan, Doña Carmen, Regalado, Mindanao Avenue, Quirino, Sacred Heart, Tala and San Jose Del Monte.

It can load up to 500,000 passengers daily.

To prevent similar glitches as those in MRT Line 3, the DOTr is in close coordination with the agency’s private partners in terms of the regular maintenance of the MRT-7.

Usec. Batan said the completion of the entire project is expected in 2022. – with details from Joan Nano

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Three towns in Bulacan still submerged in flood, LGU cautions public against diseases from flood

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019

Flooded street in Marilao, Bulacan, Philippines (29 June 2019) | Courtesy: PVI

Bocaue, Balagtas, and Marilao, Bulacan are still submerged in flood due to the plastic waste in rivers.

Several residents are already suffering from skin diseases after wading through flood.

Ferdinand Librenan, one of the residents, said the flood is a huge inconvenience especially for their health.

Sa araw-araw nalang po kaming lahat nahihirapan dahil sa lalim ng tubig lagi mga bara na kanal, basura sobrang baha po, ultimo dumi ng tao tinatapon nalang, nangangati ka ganoon minsan may mga butlig-butlig, (All of us are inconvenienced because of the depth of the water. The waterways are clogged, there are garbage and severe flooding. Even the human waste is thrown here. I get itch and rashes),” he said.

The Bulacan Provincial Health Office reminds residents to always wear rain boots before wading through flood. They also cautioned parents not to let their children wade through flood to avoid diseases.—AAC (with reports from Nestor Torres)

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Actor Daniel Fernando proclaimed as governor of Bulacan

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Thursday, May 16th, 2019

Actor turned Bulacan governor, Daniel Fernando

Despite delays in vote transmission, the Provincial Board of Canvassers decided to proclaim actor Daniel Fernando as the new governor of Bulacan.

At 4:00 p.m. on Thursday (May 16), incumbent vice governor was officially proclaimed as the new Bulacan Governor.

Fernando got 706,026 votes against the 405,614votes of Malolos Mayor Christian Nativida.

According to Fernando, now that he is the new father of the province, he will prioritize projects and programs on health, education, environment for the welfare of all Bulakenyos.

Fernando served as the vice governor of Bulacan for three terms from 2010 to 2019. He also became a board member from 2003 to 2007.

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