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Vaccinations against polio and measles kick off in Bataan

Vaccinations against polio and measles kick off in Bataan BALANGA City - The Bataan Provincial and Balanga City health offices on Monday’s flag-raising ceremonies launched the “Tigdas – German Measles – and Oral Polio Vaccine Mass Immunization” program in separate ceremonies.

Gov. Albert Raymond Garcia and brother City Mayor Jose Enrique S. Garcia, III administered oral polio vaccines to some infants at the Bataan Capitol and Balanga City Hall, respectively.

Health workers in the two health offices, on the other hand, administered measles rubella vaccine to selected babies.

The mass immunization was held simultaneously in all health centers in 11 towns and one city in the province. This will continue until September 30, 2014.

Dr. Rosanna Buccahan, provincial health officer, said there are 101,127 infants to be vaccinated with oral polio vaccine and 86,145 babies with measles rubella in Bataan.

She asked all parents to bring their children to the health centers.

Oral polio vaccine is given to children from birth to five years old while measles rubella to those aged nine months to five years.

The mass vaccination is a project of the Department of Health in collaboration with the World Health Organization and the United Nations’ Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

In Bataan some non-government organizations like Rotary Club assist the health offices in implementing the program.

Perla Esconde
Provincial Information Office

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3 PHL ‘smoke-free champions’ feel proud of achievement

3 PHL ‘smoke-free champions’ feel proud of achievement BALANGA City - Three city mayors in the country considered as “smoke-free champions” on Thursday expressed elation over their achievement, saying a big majority of their constituents support their program of attaining a 100 percent smoke-free environment.

Mayors Maloney Samaco of Maasin City, Leyte; Jose Enrique Garcia, III of Balanga City, Bataan and Bentham dela Cruz of Amlan City, Negros Occidental are last termers but vowed to continue with their advocacy.

All three city chief executives considered educating people and good information as major key in the success of their campaign. “People have to support the program to succeed,” they said.

The three cities are among the few cities in the Hall of Fame of the Department of Health after receiving Red Orchid Awards for three consecutive years in the anti-smoking campaign.

Samaco said selling of cigarettes in 70 barangays of Maasin is banned. He said that he no longer issues Mayor’s Permit to stores and wholesalers selling cigarettes after getting the Red Orchid Award.

“Why give a permit for selling a product that kills, gives sickness? I want my people to stay healthy,” Samaco said. Maasin has a population of 88,000.

Garcia foresees not only Bataan but the Philippines as smoke-free by 2025 beginning with the cities.

He announced that in Tuesday’s executive meeting of the League of Cities of the Philippines, Red Orchid Hall of Famers urged members to pass smoke-free ordinances to be presented to the General Assembly in October this year.

“We are happy to host a workshop for smoke-free champions in Southeast Asia and partners,” Garcia told delegates and participants in the Second Regional Workshop of the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance.

Dela Cruz said Amlan City and Negros Occidental are already smoke-free but not tobacco-free. “We use tobacco as pesticides for our organic farming,” the mayor said.

He said that public places in their area are smoke-free, extending even to private residences.

Rommel Ariola of the Framework Convention of Tobacco Control Alliance, Philippines, said many cities and municipalities in the Philippines are already Red Orchid awardees. He said that Davao City and Maasin City were in the first batch of Hall of Famers, followed by some cities, among them Balanga and the municipality of Amlan.

Perla Esconde
Provincial Information Office

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- who has written 236 posts on City Government of Balanga.

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SEATCA ‘Smoke-free City’ Award given to Balanga City

SEATCA ‘Smoke-free City’ Award given to Balanga City Balanga City, Bataan, Philippines/27 August 2014 - The Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) presented the SEATCA 'Smoke-free City' Award to Balanga City Mayor Joet Garcia, for "Exemplary commitment to protecting the health of its people by making all enclosed places and outdoor places 100% smoke-free." Last year, the award was given to the City of Davao.

SEATCA director Bungon Ritthiphakdee said, “I would like to convey our congratulations to Balanga City for being consistent in its implementation and enforcement of 100% smoke-free policies. You are able to sustain your efforts by mobilizing public participation and support, and your city deserves all the accolade and recognition.”

“Whether big or small, we hope other cities in the Southeast Asian region can follow your example, and learn from Balanga City’s experience,” she adds.

In the ASEAN many governments are trying to follow the Philippine’s example and hope to become a model smoke-free City.

The 2nd Smoke-free Cities ASEAN Regional Workshop: Shaping the Future of Smoke-free in the ASEAN, hosted by Red Orchid Award Hall of Famer Balanga City, concludes today.

Joy F. Alampay

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Mayor Joet Wants Balanga as PHL’s Emerging Hub for Knowledge-Based Businesses

Mayor Joet Wants Balanga as PHL’s  Emerging Hub for Knowledge-Based Businesses Mayor Jose Enrique S. Garcia, III on Thursday announced the new vision of the local government of transforming the component city into an emerging hub for knowledge-based businesses in the Philippines.

Speaking before 4,000 parents, teachers and students, the city mayor said that they have revised the old vision of University Town 2020, that of Balanga becoming the center for political, economic, social and cultural integration in Asia-Pacific.

“Instead, it is now ‘Balanga U-Town: The Emerging Hub for Knowledge-Based Businesses in the Philippines’,” Garcia said, adding “we want Balanga as No. 1 in innovation.”

He said that with the new vision, Balanga can easily survive the competitive world.

The mayor said he sees no reason why the city could not make it to the top. “Mahusay ang mga teachers, mahusay ang mga magulang at siyempre mahusay din ang mga anak na inaasahan nating gagawa ng mga new inventions and innovations.”

Under the EduChild program of the city, parents of pre-school children are compelled to attend regular seminars on proper parenting.

Garcia cited the case of Silicon Valley which is considered as the Knowledge-Based Capital center of the world.

Silicon Valley companies are knowledge-based like Apple, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter, Intel and eBay, among so many others.

The mayor made the announcement during the two-day Education Summit held at the Grand Ballroom of Lou-is Restaurant in Balanga City. The Summit, sponsored by the city government in coordination with the Department of Education, is aimed at having a world-class educational program in Balanga.

Dr. Ronaldo Pozon, City Schools Division Superintendent, said that with full assistance from the city government, drop-out rate among elementary and high school students has decreased considerably.

“The passing rate in the Alternative Learning System in Balanga is the highest in Region III,” he said.

In the Summit proper, Dr. Rommel Garcia, vice-chairman of the Dangerous Drugs Board, talked on “Engagement: Responsibility of Parents in Rearing up Drug-free Children.”

Richard Nollen, Project Duke chairperson, discussed “Parenting in the Eyes of a Child.”

Lawyer Eugenio Villareal, chairman, Movie & Television Review & Classification Board, dealt on “Equity: Accountability of Both Parents & Teachers towards ‘Matalinong Panonood ng Pamilya’.”

Perla Esconde Provincial Information Office

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First Organic Trading Post In Bataan Opens In Balanga City

First Organic Trading Post In Bataan Opens In Balanga City This component city on Friday opened the first Organic Trading Post in Bataan to encourage residents to patronize organically-raised fruits and vegetables and for more farmers to go into organic farming.

City Vice-Mayor Noel Valdecanas said they launched “Go Organic Farming” out of love for the environment. “Ang paggamit ng kemikal ay hindi lamang masama sa katawan ng tao kundi maging sa kalikasan,” he said.

Nerrissa Mateo, city agriculturist, said Region 3 in San Fernando, Pampanga of the Department of Agriculture, released P1.5 million for the trading post located at the modern Balanga City Public Market.

The amount of P1 million was used in building construction; P0.3M for refrigerators, chillers, vacuum pack sealer and other equipment inside the building, and P0.2M as seed capital of Kaanib.

Kaanib is a group of farmers from barangay Cataning in Balanga City who are into organic farming.

To ensure continuous supply of organic vegetables to the trading post, City Mayor Jose Enrique Garcia, III has required all 25 barangays to apply organic farming methods in all the village-operated gardens.

The city has also established two areas where city hall workers themselves cultivate the vegetable farm.

Mateo said the one-hectare farm was funded for P0.3M. With Kaanib cultivating three hectares, Balanga has currently four hectares of land principally devoted to organic farming, she said.

She said that the mayor wanted that no chemical fertilizers and pesticides will be used in these four hectare-farm and barangay vegetable gardens.

“We are hoping that more farmers will go into organic farming,” Mateo said. On sale at the trading post were papaya, calamansi, saging saba, string beans, eggplant, tomatoes, okra, kangkong, seedlings and organic pork meat. Soon, organic rice and other vegetables and fruits will be sold.

Ernie Esconde

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