Saturday, January 7, 2017

#LeniLeaks: Office of the Vice President Involved in Orchestrated Moves Against Duterte

Wazzup Pilipinas!

#LeniLeaks is a story about a traitor billionaire too busy plotting to #OustDuterte that she forgot to set their Yahoo Groups to private. Those Yahoo Group emails are damning. Medyo careless sila ano? Or talagang tanga lang? This is even worse than Clinton's. Who needs hackers when you got dumb billionaires who let their private messages flaunted in the internet.

The Office of the Vice President (OVP) of the Philippines is instructing people and "communities" what to say and how to attack certain people on Facebook and how to undermine the image of the President who won without any shadow of a doubt. Nothing organic about these attacks. They are part of a social media strategy crafted by the OVP.

So.... why is mainstream media still playing deaf about this issue huh?

Passing a fake cheque as real while denying the existence of a destabilization plot summarizes #Lenileaks. It is the product of a never-ending plan to disturb the Duterte government. It is done in bad faith to oust a President who was duly voted by 16 million Filipinos. Now we probably know why Duterte had to fire her. Malacanang already knew something we don't - until now.

South Korean President downfall somehow began with a tablet negligently left behind by Choi Soonsil. Now we have this. We should take note of the names: Loida Nicolas Lewis, Imelda Nicolas, Vicky Garchitorena, Ted Laguatan, Rodel Rodis, Mila Aguilar, and a few more.

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Blue Palawan Kiteboard Open 2017

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Blue Kiteboarding and Blue Palawan Beach Club invites you to come and ride the worlds most tropical kite park this year!
The 2017 Blue Palawan Kite Open, the first International Slick and Slider Kiteboarding Competition in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, is back for it’s second year as the first event of the world renowned Kite Park League Tour. Kicking things off with a qualifying event on February 6 & 7, 2017. The qualifier is open to anyone and is your chance to compete alongside the world’s best kiteboarding park riding talent at the best tropical kite park in Asia.

The top two men and two women from the qualifier will join the invited 24 riders on Tuesday February 7th for opening celebrations and will collectively compete for their chance at the title during the main event to immediately follow the open qualifier from February 8th to 16th.

In line with this, the organizers have invited members of the media to get to know more about the Kiteboarding scene in the Philippines via a press conference to be held on January 10, 2017 at a venue in Makati!

Paula Rosales, one of the top female freestyle kite boarders in Asia, will speak on behalf of Blue Palawan and the local riders from Boracay, and their recent partnership with the Department of Tourism.

Three well known international kite boarders will also be joining the presscon:

Manuela Jungo -- Swiss kiteboarder; Ranked 5th for the last 3 years in Kiteboarding World Tour (

James Boulding -- Professional kiteboarder & filmmaker (

Eric James Rienstra -- Professional Kiteboarder from King Beach, CA; 2014 Beeline Rail Masters Champion (

Kazunori Yokota Aims to Redeem Himself with Win Over Australian Foe

Wazzup Pilipinas!

It is very rare for a debuting fighter to receive a title shot in his maiden fight under a particular mixed martial arts (MMA) organization’s banner, but this was the case when Japanese stalwart Kazunori Yokota made his first appearance in ONE Championship.

Yokota was on ONE Championship’s radar for a long time as he is an MMA fixture in his home-country with over 12 years of prizefighting experience under his belt.

In addition, Yokota is even considered as one of the toughest Asian featherweight competitors as he has constantly punished his opponents and grinded out 25 impressive victories in his 34-bout career.

It was a no-brainer that Yokota would have a crack at the coveted ONE Featherweight World Championship belt when he inked a lucrative multi-fight deal with Asia’s largest MMA promotion.

Riding high on an impressive 13-fight winning streak in the Japanese MMA circuit, Yokota earned a date with Russian combatant Marat Gafurov for the gold-plated strap in May 2016.

Although he was a highly-touted veteran from “The Land of the Rising Sun,” it did not quite go as planned for Yokota as he bowed down to Gafurov by way of second-round submission.

Yokota seeks to erase the painful memory of his ONE Championship debut at the expense of Australian standout Martin Nguyen.

Both men are scheduled to square off against each other in the co-headliner of ONE: QUEST FOR POWER, which takes place at the Jakarta Convention Center in Jakarta, Indonesia on 14 January.

Manila-Based Heavyweight Igor Subora Seeks Career Revitalization in Upcoming Bout

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Ukrainian fighter Igor Subora sees his upcoming three-round encounter with Sherif “The Shark” Mohamed as an opportunity to bring back the luster of his professional mixed martial arts (MMA) career.

Both highly-decorated combatants are set to collide on the undercard of ONE: QUEST FOR POWER, which takes place at the Jakarta Convention Center in Jakarta, Indonesia on 14 January.

Subora is one of the few foreign nationals who opted to make a run for the money and compete professionally in the Philippines.

Although he acquired his Combat Sambo pedigree overseas, Subora decided to train as an MMA competitor when he migrated to the country in 2008, honing his skills in neighboring gyms around Metro Manila.

Subora remarkably conquered the local MMA scene in the Philippines, attaining four first-round knockouts and one submission victory.

In addition, Subora captured a local MMA promotion’s heavyweight championship belt by way of a 49-second knockout in 2011 and reigned for three years with ease.

His success in the Philippine MMA circuit led him to be noticed by ONE Championship, which is widely regarded as the largest MMA organization in the Asia region.

Despite his triumphant run in the local ranks, he struggled to translate it in his first two ONE Championship assignments.

History Asia To Premiere TV Special “President Obama: In His Own Words”

Wazzup Pilipinas!

With the transition of power for the President of the United States of America to take place in a matter of days, HISTORY interrupts its regular programming to bring to Asia its two-hour TV special on the outgoing commander-in-chief, “President Obama: In His Own Words”.

Reflecting on his historic presidency; President Obama shares his thoughts on where the country was when he was elected, where it is now, and where he sees it going under his successor's command.

Comprising two interviews conducted before and after the 2016 Presidential election, “President Obama: In His Own Words” is the President's first-hand account of his time in office - his successes, his failures, his unfinished business - and what he hopes will be his legacy.

Also included are additional interviews with members of his staff including Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry, Congress, and the press, to make for a unique examination of the Obama presidency from the inside out, and a profound and candid historical record that will stand for generations.

As the 44th President of the United States of America, Obama was the first African-American to be elected to the office. Among the work he will be remembered for, Obama signed into law various economic stimulus legislation; the contentious "Obamacare"; changes to domestic financial regulations; and enabled LGBT individuals to serve in the US Armed Forces. In foreign policy, Obama ended US military involvement in the Iraq War; signed the arms control treaty with Russia, ordered US military involvement against Muammar Gaddafi in Libya; and ordered the operation that killed Osama bin Laden.

During his second term, Obama promoted domestic gun control and called for greater inclusiveness for LGBT Americans. In foreign policy, Obama ordered US military intervention to ISIL; reduced US combat operations in Afghanistan; promoted discussions to the 2015 Paris Agreement on global climate change; brokered a nuclear deal with Iran; and normalized US relations with Cuba.

The outgoing President was the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate for his efforts to promote nuclear non-proliferation and a fostering a new climate in international relations, especially in reaching out to the Muslim world.

HISTORY is available on Sky Cable Ch 67; Cable Link Ch 43; Dream Satellite Ch 30; Destiny Cable Ch 57; and Cignal Ch 125. HISTORY HD is available on Sky Cable Ch 165.

#Traslacion2017: The Feast of Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno in Quiapo

Wazzup Pilipinas!

#WalangPasok for all levels in the city of Manila on Monday, January 9, for the #Nazareno2017 . Devotees of the image of the #BlackNazarene will once again flock outside the Quiapo church. There will be tightened security, not only in Manila but nationwide, as the country will be under heightened alert as per Philippine National Police (PNP) because DILG Secretary Mike Sueno warns of a possible terror attack during the Feast of the Black Nazarene. It may not necessarily be at the actual event, and could target other areas since many would believe the police presence will be concentrated only in Manila.

A life-size image of Jesus Christ carrying a black wooden cross in a semi-kneeling position. This is how one describes the image of Nuestro Padre Hesus Nazareno in Quiapo. Crowned with thorns and a diadem of three silver rays, the head of Nazareno portrays the suffering face of Christ. It is said in the Passion narratives that Christ falls into his knee in the struggle to bear the heavy wooden cross.

The image of the Black Nazarene was brought to the Philippines by an unknown Recollect priest from Mexico during the Galleon trade. From the Church of Recollect Fathers in Intramuros, it was transferred to Quiapo Church according to the wish of the Archbishop Manila at that time.

Since then, the image of Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno has been enshrined in the center altar of the Church where it is visible to thousands of devotees.

Senator Tito Sotto Files Senate Resolution to Create Separate Film Festival for Indie Films

Wazzup Pilipinas!
"On a scale of 1 to Tito Sotto, how stupid are you?" 
Senator Tito Sotto files Senate resolution creating a separate film festival for indie films, saying these shouldn't dominate the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) every December.

Contrary to what he wants to happen, the MMFF is not intended to be exclusive for indie films. MMFF should be exclusive for quality Filipino films. Make a quality film if you want to make it to the MMFF.

He also questions the "quality" of the entries. questions the quality of indie films: "Quality ba yun? Hindi high-end equipment ang gamit. Hindi top quality ang video" says Sotto. How ironic, despite being in the showbiz industry for decades, he still has no clue about what quality films are.

People should say "Senador ba yan? Hindi naman high-end ang utak. Hindi rin top quality mag-isip."

'Sinira' daw ng MMFF2016 ang pasko ng mga bata eh ikaw nga Tito Sotto kinunsinte mo ang kapatid mo na nanggahasa ng katorse anyos na bata. Remember the Pepsi Paloma controversy? Now that's a longer story that should be talked about on a separate blog post.

Why is Tito Sotto even pushing for an indie-only MMFF wtf is Cinemalaya for then? HHHmmm..I believe I know where his motivations are coming from...Enteng Kabisote!

The MMFF would have been 100x better if the producers of ORO cast Tito Sotto as the dog.

Dear Tito Sotto, please watch #MMFF2016 entries so that you will know what made a quality film. Ang bitter mo hindi lang nakalusot si Enteng.

If he really wants "quality", then the mediocre/"corny" Vic Sotto films should also be excluded. I guess your brother's film business was seriously affected. Without context, it's safe to assume Tito Sotto hates Die Beautiful. Hello Paolo Ballesteros.

This comedian turned senator is the same person who said that “If you are not a pusher or a user, you have nothing to fear in the Philippines,” Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III. But Duterte has a name for those innocents killed in hi war on drugs: Collateral Damage.

When Senator Tito Sotto was asked about the survey that 8 out of 10 Pinoys worry about becoming EJK victims: "That means they know many people who are addicts, pushers"

James Taylor has also cancelled his concert in the Philippines as a protest, not because he is afraid of the EJK issues.

I am not surprised that Duterte is our President, as I am not surprised that Sotto is still a senator. Our political system is senseless. Our voting public misguided. ...and now Mocha Uson, from being a PhilStar Columnist, to an MMFF Ambassadres, and now an MTRCB Board Member? We are forever fucked.

"If you don’t read the news, you’re uninformed, if you do, you’re misinformed”

Mocha Uson Appointed as MTRCB Board Member

Wazzup Pilipinas!

"Why does this government keep trying to legitimize Mocha Uson? Why are they trying to repackage trash?" - Chowking Hazard @Watdahel_Marcel

Probably the BIGGEST JOKE I've heard from President Rodrigo Duterte ever! Mocha Uson has been appointed a board member of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB). Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea confirms the appointment. "Mocha is an artist. She is one of the biggest artists we have in the country. She's been in the show business world for more than a decade already," Presidential Communications Secretary Andanar said.

Kung si Mocha Uson nga pwedeng maging MTRCB board member so lahat ng imposible, pwedeng mangyari. Tangina crush naman pansinin mo na ako please.

Magbabalik loob na rin yata ako sa panunuod ng pinoy movies/ teleseryes ngayong board member na ng MTRCB si Mocha.

"Mocha Uson has common sense and knows the pulse of the public." says Tito Sotto. What? 

See? You can be anything you wish to be no matter how undeserving you are of it. Never give up on your dreams. Ang hinihintay ko na lang eh, ang magsama sa senado sina Tito Sotto at Mocha Uson. Power tandem ng Pilipinas kung nagkataon. Konting kapit pa kay Tatay Digong, Ate Mocha. Magiging Chief Justice ka niyan! So please don't joke about Mocha being the next president of the PH, it might come true. Lol!

Medtech Graduate at umabot ng 2nd Year sa Med School si Mocha. But Mocha is like our very own High School classmate who acts like a valedictorian even though we all know she can't even recite Panatang Makabayan right. SMH.

Mocha Uson says in Facebook post that her first mission is not to allow soft porn on prime time TV. She shouldn't be allowed on TV and soc med. Puro kasinungalingan at katangahan lang naman ang sinasabi.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

DOTr: Expect World-Class Air Traffic Service in the Philippines Very Soon

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) under the Department of Transportation (DOTr) recently unveiled an early gift to Filipinos this Year-- the operationalization of the new Communications Navigation Surveillance / Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) system by end of June 2017.

This CNS/ATM system is a state-of-the-art computer and satellite based air traffic management technology that will put the Philippines at the same level with other developed countries in the world by having aircraft transponders receive satellite signals and using transponder transmissions to determine the precise locations of aircraft in the sky. Thus, this project aims to provide a more efficient, economic, and safer air traffic flow management in the country. Currently, the same technology is being used by Australia, Taiwan, and other European states.

The technology-based flight data processing system of the CNS/ATM system will likewise enable aircraft operators to meet their departure and arrival schedules, and choose their preferred flight profiles with minimum inhibitions while prioritizing the safety and security of their passengers.

The 22-Million Yen project funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) includes the establishment of a central traffic control complex housed in the CAAP office in Manila, as well as ten (10) radar sites that cover the entire Philippine Flight Information Region (FIR). It is now 92% complete.

2017 Tech Predictions: Faster Speeds, Bigger Data, Smarter Cities

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Another year has come and gone, and we wonder about what is forthcoming as citizens of a highly connected and digitized world.   In a society where everything can change in the blink of an eye, we list down what we think are most likely to happen in the next dozen months.

LTE Dominance

4G LTE is big in the Philippines and it is no longer just available in key urban centers. Far flung regions have also began enjoying this high speed mobile technology thanks to efforts of telcos such as PLDT’s wireless unit Smart. Smart’s use of its recently tapped 700MHz will allow for wider range of LTE signal reach and stronger indoor penetration, making mobile experience much better than the current 3G standards.

With demand at an all-time high, expect more compatible phones, faster speeds, and better coverage. To be able to ride on to this LTE-wave, make sure you’re on an LTE phone – even better if it’s 700MHz-compatible.

Fiber on a Budget

Just like its nutritious namesake, Fiber is the best when it comes to ensuring a smooth and zippy internet experience. In recent years it has become more affordable and more reliable at that—it shouldn’t come as a surprise if it comes out with an even more affordable offering soon.

Moreover, in 2017, we’re expecting fiber internet experience to be deployed rapidly. PLDT recently announced that it’s starting to roll out “fiber-fast broadband on regular phone lines” through technologies called GiGa Wire and Over 500 buildings and residences are expected to be fiber-boosted soon.

Watch Stars or Be The Star
With both LTE and Fiber gaining widespread popularity, the rise of on-demand Live video services will undoubtedly follow suit. Fast connectivity is key for creating and consuming video content. It is also integral in making broadcasting features such as Facebook Live a hassle-free experience, continuously evolving how we send and receive live reports and updates.


Tap-to-go cashless payments will become the norm. We’ve already seen the contactless devices and tap cards make transportation less stressful, and in 2017 it will become more versatile than ever. In fact it can already be used in popular convenience store chains.

Cashless Online Shopping

Many have already seen the online shopping revolution take shape, but it’s still not as cashless as it should be. A number still prefer the Cash-On-Delivery (COD) payment method over more modern and convenient means. The good news, online payment will continue to be more flexible and convenient, with the rise of virtual payment cards and accounts. With the increasing acceptance of these channels, no need for everyone to own a credit card to purchase goods and services from websites and apps.

IoT for Pinoys

Internet of Things or IoT offerings for Filipinos will come into fruition. Unlike the ones available in more progressive countries, the localized version of IoT will cater to the Pinoys’ needs—perhaps a flood monitoring tool, door sensors, or even a real-time electricity consumption meter. All of these special functions can be monitored via an easy-to-use mobile app.

3D Printing for All

Designing your own scale models will further spur creativity to an already creative nation. 3D printing can create a new breed of digital Filipino sculptors that can take the world by storm. Local manufacturing, too, can benefit from this technology as it will allow them to create prototypes quickly and at significantly lower cost.

Burmese Countrymen Motivate Aung La N Sang to Win World Title

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Burmese mixed martial arts (MMA) superstar Aung La N Sang will have the opportunity of a lifetime as he gets a deserving shot at the ONE Middleweight World Championship belt.
Aung La challenges division kingpin Vitaly Bigdash in the main event of ONE: QUEST FOR POWER, which takes place at the Jakarta Convention Center in Jakarta, Indonesia on 14 January.
Marcin Prachnio was originally penciled to lock horns with Bigdash for the gold-plated strap, but the highly-touted Polish combatant was forced to withdraw from the middleweight championship clash due to an injury.
Stepping in to replace Prachnio is Aung La, who is riding high on a remarkable four-fight winning streak.
2016 has been a big year for the man known as “The Burmese Python,” who got his nickname due to his constricting style of fighting. Aung La won three consecutive fights in impressive fashion last year.
Returning from a nearly two-year hiatus, Aung La showed that he did not have cage rust in him by outstandingly submitting Egyptian stalwart Mohamed Ali with a first-round guillotine choke in March.
Aung La followed it up by handing Aleksei Butorin his first career defeat last August, forcing the Russian standout to tap with an arm-triangle choke in the second round.

Privacy Commission Finds Bautista Criminally Liable for "ComeLeak" Data Breach

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The National Privacy Commission (NPC) has found that the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) violated the Data Privacy Act of 2012; and has recommended the criminal prosecution of Chairman J. Andres D. Bautista, for the data breach that occurred between 20 and 27 of March last year.

In its decision dated December 28, 2016, on NPC Case No. 16-001, the NPC underscored Bautista’s “lack of appreciation” of the principle that data protection is more than just implementation of security measures. “Data privacy is more than the deployment of technical security; it also includes the implementation of physical and organizational measures, as well as regular review, evaluation, and updating of COMELEC’s privacy and security policies and practices,” the decision reads.

The NPC said the COMELEC “violated Sections 11, 20 and 21 of the Republic Act No. 10173” in the dispense of the agency’s duty as “personal information controller.” The document, meantime, mentioned Chairman Bautista as having “violated the provisions of Section 11, 20, 21 and 22 in relation to Section 26” of the same law.

Section 26 of the Data Privacy Act, which penalizes accessing sensitive personal information due to negligence, imposes imprisonment from 3 to 6 years and a fine from P500,000 to P4,000,000. Meantime, Section 36 accords additional penalties when the offender is a public officer, consisting in the disqualification from public office for a period equivalent to double the term of criminal penalty.

“The personal data in the breach is contained in several databases kept in the website: (a) the voter database in the Precinct Finder web application, containing75,302,683 records; (b) the voter database in the Post Finder web application, which contains 1,376,067 records; (c) the iRehistro registration database, with139,301 records; (d) the firearms ban database, containing 896,992 personal data records and 20,485 records of firearms serial numbers; and (e) the COMELEC personnel database, containing records of 1,267 COMELEC personnel,” the document reads, making the incident the worst recorded breach on a government-held personal database in the world, based on sheer volume.

Further illustrating the breadth of the breach, the NPC decision also gave a rundown of what types of compromised sensitive personal information were contained in COMELEC’s two web-based applications; “The voter database in the Precinct Finder application contained each voter’s complete name, date of birth, gender, civil status, address, precinct number, birthplace, disability, voter identification number, voter registration record number, reason for deletion/deactivation, registration date, and update time.”

“The voter database in the Post Finder application contained information on each voter’s verified name, date of birth, gender, civil status, post of registration, passport information, with number and expiry date, taxpayer identification number, e-mail address, mailing address, spouse’s name, the complete names of the voter’s mother and father, the voter’s addresses in the Philippines and abroad, post or country of registration, old registration information, Philippine representative’s complete name, citizenship, registration assistor, profession, sector,height and weight, identifying marks, biometrics description, voting history, mode of voting, and other textual reference information for the voter registration system,” the decision further reads, depicting how much personal data are now most likely in the hands of criminal elements as a result of the COMELEC data breach.

Referring to Bautista, the NPC decision reads “the wilful and intentional disregard of his duties as head of agency, which he should know or ought to know, is tantamount to gross negligence. The lack of a clear data governance policy, particularly in collecting and further processing of personal data, unnecessarily exposed personal and sensitive information of millions of Filipinos to unlawful access.

"A head of agency making his acts depend on the recommendations of the Executive Director or the Information Technology Department amplifies the want of even slight care. The duty to obey the law should begin at the top and should not be frustrated simply because no employee recommended such action,” the NPC decision further reads.

As corrective measures, the NPC has ordered the COMELEC and Chairman Bautista to do the following:

Appoint a Data Protection Officer in one month’s time from receipt of the decision. Conduct an agency-wide Privacy Impact Assessment within two months. Create a Privacy Management Program and a Breach Management Procedure within three months. Within six months upon receipt of the decision, the COMELEC is also obliged to implement organizational, physical and technical security measures in compliance with the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Data Privacy Act and the provisions of NPC Circular No. 16-01, on Security of Personal Data in Government Agencies.

The NPC has also recommended to the Secretary of Justice “further investigation for possible prosecution” under the Cybercrime Prevention Act, having found that one of the computers used in the COMELEC data breach had an IP address registered with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

Eagerness to Win Keeps Vaughn Donayre Motivated in Upcoming Fight

Wazzup Pilipinas!

When Vaughn Donayre directed his career path to ONE Championship nearly three years ago, he was once touted as a promising Filipino talent from the beautiful province of Cebu.

However, the luster of his billing as a top-notch prospect slowly faded when a string of setbacks came his way.

The 37-year-old Cebu native suffered a first-round submission defeat at the hands of Emirati combatant Mohammed Walidin in his August 2014 promotional debut.

Donayre encountered the same fate in his second ONE Championship outing as he tasted a first-round stoppage loss to Malaysian superstar Peter Davis in October 2014.

It was followed by falling short in a thrilling lightweight showcase against former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio Banario last April.

A victory under the ONE Championship umbrella remained elusive for Donayre as he yielded to Singaporean sensation Amir Khan via third-round submission this past November.

Determined to break his four-fight losing skid in Asia's largest mixed martial arts organization, Donayre chose not to wallow over his recent defeat as he jumps right back into action by squaring off with Dutch-Indonesian kickboxer Vincent Latoel.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Once Upon a Mattress: An Explosion of Theatrical and Comedic Energy Set to Open on January 20

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Ephesus Teatron Group, Inc. is all set to transport all of us to a magical world of musical theater as it proudly kicks off its first production for 2017 with “Once Upon a Mattress” at the Tanghalang Yaman Lahi Theater, Emilio Aguinaldo College located at 1221 Gen. Luna St. Ermita, Manila.

The schedule of performances are as follows: Jan. 20 – 22 (Fri. – Sun.) at 3:30 pm and 7:30 pm.

“Once Upon a Mattress” is from the Book by Jay Thompson, Marshall Barer and Dean Fuller. Music by Mary Rodgers. Lyrics by Marshall Barer. (Based on the story The Princess and the Pea by Hans Christian Andersen.)

The original 1959 Broadway production featured the debut of stage and TV personality Carol Burnett, and received two Tony Award nominations for Best Musical and Best Leading Actress. A 1960 London production was produced together with an original cast album recording. In 1996, Sarah Jessica Parker stepped into the leading role in a Broadway revival production together with Jane Krakowski which was nominated for the 1997 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. An Off-Broadway production had a limited run last January 2016. Adaptations for television were aired in the US in 1964, 1972, and lastly in 2005.


Due to an unhappy curse, King Sextimus is unable to speak. Meanwhile, his terror-of-a-wife, Queen Aggravain, has taken over control of the kingdom. Most importantly, in an attempt to keep Prince Dauntless single, she has decreed that only the princess that can pass her test may marry her son. Further, no one else in the kingdom may marry until Prince Dauntless does. Lady Larken and Sir Harry are extremely disturbed by this fact since Lady Larken is now pregnant with Sir Harry's baby. Luckily, Sir Harry is able to find an amazing princess, Winnifred the Woebegone. She instantly catches the attention of Prince Dauntless, and in the end, is able to pass the Queen's supposedly impassable sensitivity test. When the Queen still tries to prevent the Prince Dauntless from marrying, he tells her to 'shut up' which ends up breaking the curse on the king. Now able to speak, King Sextimus regains his rightful position as leader of the kingdom, and all is well.

For the Manila production, “Once Upon a Mattress” will be directed by Steven Conde who recently megged critically-acclaimed plays “Suicidal, Incorporated” and “Dog Sees God” for Twin Bill Theater.

“Once Upon a Mattress” is a silly, sassy, and a funny modern fairy tale musical with many amusing moments bursting at the seams featuring an assemblage of first-rate pros loaded with showbiz pizzazz and comic artistry from the Philippine theater industry.

Carla Guevara-Laforteza and Cara Barredo shall alternately play the role of Princess Winnifred the Woebegone. She is a feisty, outspoken, independent, strong, optimistic, and free-thinking princess from the swamp lands. She isn’t too good with manners. She wants to get married, but must go through the queen's unfair test as well. The Prince, naturally, falls madly in love with her.

Niño Alejandro will play the role of Prince Dauntless. A nice, not too smart, everyday type of young Prince who desperately wants to get married, but is prevented by his mother's strict tests that she gives to all potential candidates.

Hans Eckstein and Chino Veguillas shall alternately play the role of Sir Harry. He is the Queen’s Champion-in-Arms - the Lancelot of Knights - the macho, slightly egotistical, brave, romantic knight who decides to leave the kingdom to search for a princess, and finds Princess Winnifred in the swamp. Easily jealous, but loves Lady Larken with all his heart. Harry cannot marry Lady Larken until Prince Dauntless has found a suitable bride.

Milay Guinid will essay the role of Queen Aggravain. The loud, talkative woman who really rules the country. She is an overprotective, stubborn, sly Mom who is trying to keep her son, Prince Dauntless, from getting married.

Raymund Concepcion will play the role of King Sextimus. A kind, expressive, playful, and comedic character who is silent due to a curse placed upon him by a witch before the birth of Dauntless. He likes to chase girls through the corridors of the castle. Needs good improv skills.

Arion Sanchez and Chino Veguillas will alternately play the role of Minstrel. The handsome narrator of the story, as well as in the musical story line. He becomes smitten with Lady Larken and tries to persuade her to flee to Normandy with him. He and the Jester join forces to stop the Queen's plans.
Steven Hotchkiss plays the role of the Jester. An energetic and peppy man who is the King's right-hand man and assists him with every endeavor. The Jester also plots with the Minstrel to spoil the Queen's plans.

Onyl Torres and Alex Dagalea shall alternately play the role of the Wizard. The egotistical, ex-performer who directly serves the Queen. He is the Queen’s Henchman and thinks of all the Princess’ tests. He prides himself in his position and basically obeys all of the Queen’s orders.

Yanah Laurel and Jill Ita-as alternately essays the role of Lady Larken. She is the Queen’s Lady-in-Waiting but is put in charge of Princess Winnifred. She is madly in love with Sir Harry and desperately wants to marry him because she is pregnant with his baby. She tries to flee the Kingdom after having an argument with Sir Harry, but is convinced by Winnifred to reunite with him.

Sweet Samaniego- Buchanan plays the role of Princess No. 12. She is the first Princess that the audience sees who is performing the rounds of tests. Very eager, smart, thinks well on her feet – of course the Prince wants to marry her.

The Ladies-in-Waiting and Knights and are all waiting for the Prince to get married so that they can get married to each other. These are character roles and are not just part of the chorus.

The Queen’s Ladies-in-waiting will be played by Sweet Samaniego- Buchanan, Ayam Eckstein, Tina Macaraeg, Jill Ita-as, Mica Fajardo, Meggy Katigbak, Nicole Herrera, and Ash Factor.

The knights will be played by Vincent Kevin Pajara, Josh Cabiladas, Gry Gimena, Edrei Tan, Arion Sanchez, and Alex Dagalea.

The artistic team of “ONCE UPON A MATTRESS” are as follows: Steven Conde (Director); Sweet Samaniego – Buchanan (Artistic Director), Jay Pangilinan (Musical Arranger); Joseph Mattheu (Light Designer); Stephen Viñas (Choreographer); and Kayla Teodoro (Costume/Set Designer).

The production team is composed of the following: Sweet Samaniego – Buchanan, Danielle B. Eckstein, Vincent Kevin Pajara (Production Managers); Mary Joyce Tejero (Stage Manager); Toots Tolentino (Publicist); Roman Arambala (Assistant Stage Manager).

Ephesus Teatron Group, Inc. has Board of Directors composed of Gerry Buchanan (Chairman); Sweet Samaniego-Buchanan (President and Artistic Director), Emmanuel S. Martinez (Corporate Secretary and Company Manager).

For tickets and inquiries, call Ticketworld at 8919999; tel. nos. 632-1330 and 646-9330 or visit; email:

See you at the theater !!!!!

DOE Pushes Simulations to Safeguard Consumers During Malampaya Scheduled Maintenance

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Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi pushes to firm up measures by each concerned agencies and power stakeholders during the course of the Malampaya maintenance repair from 28 January to 16 February 2017 to ensure readiness of all stakeholders and by way of ensuring consumers are protected from any market abuses.

The Department of Energy (DOE) will closely coordinate with all Malampaya stakeholders including the Malampaya Consortium, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), Manila Electric Company (MERALCO), Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) Corp., Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC) and power generation companies and other distribution utilities to ensure sufficiency of power supply during the shutdown period.

Initially, Sec. Cusi instructed that “Materials, equipment and other assets necessary for the maintenance of Malampaya should all be delivered by January 15 and these should be ready for deployment to make sure that the repair activities should remain on schedule.”

The DOE noted that during the maintenance activities, some power plants are on scheduled maintenance as well. Based on initial study, the lowest projected power supply capacity during the period stood at 8,747 MW on 18 February, while highest demand is projected to reach 8,610 MW on 9 February.

To ensure sufficient power supply, the DOE requires the affected natgas power plants to run on alternative or replacement fuel but it is more expensive than natural gas. Natural Gas as fuel only costs around P4/kilowatt-hour and replacement fuel, such as diesel which costs around P6-P8/kWh.

Sec. Cusi then emphasized that “the Department is exploring all possible options and remedies to maximize protection for consumers.”

Moreover, to augment power supply, the DOE readies the Interruptible Load Program (ILP) in which around 900MW are enrolled.

Further, the DOE also encourages consumers to practice effective “demand-side management.”

The Secretary of Energy also enjoined that “The public should also be proactive in computing the effect of price adjustments to be provided in the simulations given by the agencies concerned to for consumers to practice efficiency measures to avoid price shocks.”

NEC Automates Large-Scale Data Prediction for Business Systems

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NEC Corporation announced the development of a “Predictive Analytics Automation Technology” that completely automates the process for large-scale data predictive analytics performed by relational databases that are widely used for business systems.

Currently, when analyzing relational databases composed of multiple databases, a great deal of work is required for processes that include the discovery and association of complex relationships between databases by skilled scientists, as well as the adjustment of prediction models by machine learning. Moreover, there is a shortage of well-trained data scientists capable of handling the rapidly growing need for advanced data analysis. As a result, there is heavy demand for highly accurate analysis methods that quickly perform large-scale data analysis and are user friendly for non-experts.

NEC’s Predictive Analytics Automation Technology, developed as part of its cutting-edge portfolio of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, NEC the WISE (*1), automates the series of processes for predictive analysis, from the extraction and design of a data item (feature that is effective for analysis, to the creation of the most suitable predictive model. As a result, even if an individual lacks advanced data analysis skill, it is possible to perform predictive analysis in a short time that is equal to or better than the accuracy of a well-trained data scientist.

Joint trials carried out by Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and NEC (*2) confirmed that this technology successfully maintained accuracy and reduced predictive analysis to just one day, in comparison to conventional methods that require 2-3 months of work by a professional analyst.

“This new technology can contribute to the acceleration of business decisions, including strategic planning, hypothesis verification and policy implementation, based on the discovery of new potential needs,” said Akio Yamada, general manager, Data Science Research Laboratories, NEC Corporation. “We aim to provide this technology as a service within the 2017 fiscal year for companies seeking to independently perform effective big data analysis.”

Key features of this technology include the following:

1) Strengthens NEC’s “Automatic Feature Design Technology” and automatically discovers feature quantities for relational data bases

This technology strengthens the “Automatic Feature Design Technology” that NEC announced in 2015 and automatically designs the feature for the relational databases that are widely used for business systems.

Based on the relationship of multiple databases, AI searches for and discovers hypotheses at high speed for combinations of data items (feature quantities) that are effective for prediction. Moreover, the system automatically creates the large number of queries to generate features from the databases.

As a result, the time and labor for analysis is significantly shortened since neither large amounts of work are necessary for feature hypothesis planning, which is dependent on analysis experience and knowledge about data, nor are database operations required for creating feature quantities. Furthermore, in comparison to manual analysis, a great deal more hypothesis searching can be executed in a short time, more accurate analysis results can be achieved, and new findings that may not have been noticed by manual processes may be discovered.

2) The “Automatic Prediction Model Design Technology” enables the automatic design of the most suitable model for the data.

Based on feature data, a wide range of prediction models are created using various machine learning methods, such as NEC’s “Heterogeneous Mixed Learning,” logistic regression and decision trees. The prediction model that provides the most suitable analysis results for a user’s goals is selected. Reasons for the predicted value calculated by the prediction model are also provided.

Since users are able to understand the basis of the prediction, they are also able to make the most suitable judgement and implement the most appropriate plan in response to a situation.

NEC also developed a Graphic User Interface (GUI) for intuitive operation, where a display provides users with easy to understand instructions to search for feature quantities and create predictive models.

Power Restored to More Than 1 Million Households in Typhoon Nina-Affected Areas

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With its 24/7 power restoration efforts, the energy family, spearheaded by the Department of Energy (DOE) together with its private institution partners, has resumed electricity supply to 1,003,519 households or about 57% re-energization of Typhoon Nina-affected areas as of 4 January 2017.

Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said, “After restoring power in town centers and nearby communities, our ground personnel are working round the clock, even double time to bring back the power supply to all affected households in Southern Luzon and Bicol regions.”

Specifically, Cusi relayed, “We, through the National Electrification Administration (NEA), already deployed 982 personnel from 52 participating energy companies and distribution utilities through Task Force Kapatid to help restore power supply in the affected 99 municipalities and 7 cities.”

On transmission facilities, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines reported that it deployed close to 600 personnel working 24/7 to attain 100% restoration of transmission lines by today. NGCP is focusing on the last three transmission service connected to NGCP customers that are still undergoing rehabilitation as of yesterday (3 January), which include Tabaco 20 Megavolt Ampere (MVA) Load-End Substation (LES) serving Albay Power & Energy Corp. (APEC); Malinao 5 MVA LES serving APEC; and Albay Agro-Industrial Development Corp. (ALINDECO) LES serving AboitizPower Renewable Incorporated’s Tiwi Geothermal Plant.

The following is the status of restoration in the affected provinces as of 4 January 2017:

A) On-Grid Areas:

For Sorsogon, the NEA reported that 46,366 households have been restored under the franchise area of Sorsogon II Electric Cooperative (SORECO II), while SORECO I is currently undergoing clearing and restoration of their distribution facilities.

Albay province, through the report of Albay Power and Energy Corporation (APEC), has restored 31% of all affected areas or a total of 68,668 households.

In Camarines Norte, all power facilities are up and running supplying electricity to its locals, while in Camarines Sur, there are still 296,219 households to be energized spread over the franchise areas of four (4) electric cooperatives in the province.

As reported by NEA, Quezon Province has reached 50% restoration status for all typhoon-affected areas, especially under the Quezon I Electric Cooperative.

For Batangas, NEA reported that Batangas II Electric Cooperative (BATELEC II) has attained 100% restoration, while BATELEC I stood at 90% or around 16,000 remaining households to be energized.

B) Off-Grid Areas:

In the hard-hit province of Catanduanes, the National Electrification Administration (NEA) reported that the First Catanduanes Electric Cooperative, Inc. (FICELCO) has counted 48,000 affected households undergoing restoration. Moreover, the National Power Corporation (NPC) reported that all affected government-owned power plants in the province are already in operation with a dependable capacity of 7.8 megawatts (MW), while among the privately-owned generation facilities totaling to 8.5 MW, only the 2.8 MW Sun West Corporation Hydroelectric Power is still non-operational due to flood water.

For Mindoro Island, NEA reported that 99% of households in Occidental Mindoro have been restored, while Oriental Mindoro stood at 68% re-energization or 120,682 households have experienced resumption of power supply.

While Marinduque’s generation and transmission facilities have been restored by NPC, there are still 43,200 affected households that are yet to be restored by Marinduque Electric Cooperative (MARELCO) as NEA reported.

All other off-grid areas (Masbate, Batangas, Camarines Sur and Marinduque Mini-Grids) under the supervision of NPC are back in operation awaiting restoration of distribution facilities.

“We’ve already added personnel and augmented assets through private institutions and we are continuously monitoring the progress of power restoration,” said Cusi.

Cusi concluded "We are exhausting all possible remedies to bring back the power in the affected areas the soonest possible. We cannot leave our kababayans until we have lighted each and every household affected by Typhoon Nina.”

Paws' Official Statement Regarding the Dog Killed in the MMFF Movie "Oro"

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In the investigative meeting with the MMFF Executive Committe (the ORO team and the PAWS representatives were met by the MMFF ExeCom separately), several things were established:

1. The ORO filmmakers lied to the MMFF Screening Committee. When the filmmakers were asked repeatedly during the initial screening of the film if the dog was harmed in the scene, they said “No.”

But during the inquiry yesterday, the filmmakers eventually admitted that the live dog shown at the start of the controversial scene and the dead dog being gutted is one and the same.

2. The filmmakers maintained that they (director, producer, actors & crew) did not kill the dog. They just happened upon the killing as this was a regular occurrence in the location where they were filming.

Note: PAWS Board Member Rich Ilustre, a director himself, made the observation that using actual footage of dog killing and editing it seamlessly into a scene with actors is extremely difficult. A copy of the ORO script that PAWS was able to secure yesterday showed that the graphic dog-killing segment was indeed part of the scene. And based on the final edited film, the production obviously planned how to properly stage the scene (the actors were blocked, the set was lit and the cameras and mics were positioned) to obtain the needed shots.

3. The killing of dogs is a crime as per RA8485 and the filmmakers did not report the illegal act after they filmed it. They also did not declare to the MMFF ExeCom that they filmed an actual crime up until they were asked again as a result of PAWS’ official request for an investigation.

4. Director Alvin Yapan texted an MMFF ExeCom member that the production crew bought the dog.

The dog was allegedly being sold by its owner for slaughter. This statement implies that while the filmmakers may not have had a direct hand in killing the animal, they gave the animal to dog killers knowing full well that the animal will be slaughtered.

Killing an animal for dramatic purposes or entertainment is ethically reprehensible.

The director, producer, crew, and (possibly) the actors and extras, violated the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) by procuring a dog for slaughter, and actually having it killed - whether by them directly or by some other people - for the movie.

The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) or RA 8485, as amended by RA 10631 imposes a penalty of 2 years and 1 day to 3 years imprisonment, and/or a fine not exceeding P250,000 if the offense is committed by an person who makes business out of cruelty to an animal.

This is no different from illegal "crush" videos where animals are procured to be "crushed" and tortured on video. In “crush” videos, animal cruelty is purposely committed and documented to be sold to willing viewers.

The only difference between the people behind “crush” videos and the people behind ORO is that the “crush” video producers sold videos of real acts of animal cruelty to people who were informed about what they were watching.

Moviegoers in the MMFF as well as the MMFF ExeCom and screening committee did NOT know that when they watched ORO, what they were seeing was an actual crime being committed.

For this, PAWS asked the MMFF ExeCom to pull out the film in cinemas, revoke all awards given and impose administrative sanctions on the director and producers of ORO.

PAWS is preparing to file criminal case against those who killed the dog and against the people who watched/filmed the crime as it was happening and did nothing to stop it.

Our investigation has not yet determined whether the former and the latter are one and the same.

We call upon the actors and crew members who may have personal knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the killing of the dog. The non-disclosure contract that you signed is null and void as there was an immoral and criminal act that was committed.

Please help us seek justice for the death of this dog and uphold humane standards for the use of animals in the entertainment industry.

PAWS calls upon the MMFF ExeCom to require the ORO filmmakers to submit the raw footages of the dog killing and help us complete our investigation.

We implore members of the entertainment industry to call out their colleagues when they commit acts of atrocities towards animals in the making of films and TV shows.

Animals should never be harmed, killed or reduced as mere props to be discarded after the shooting of a movie.

The Philippine entertainment industry must take an active role in the recognition of animals as sentient creatures capable of feeling fatigue, hunger and pain.

The use of animals must be avoided as much as possible if scenes can be depicted using inanimate substitutes and computer generated imagery or CGI.

If ever the use of live animals in a scene cannot be avoided, the animals should be treated humanely and always given the respect that should be accorded to living creatures.

We must all collectively stand up against what the director of ORO wants us to do -- to turn a blind eye against animal cruelty.

The end does not justify the means, Mr. Alvin Yapan, and you must answer for the crime that has been committed against the dog that was killed for your movie.

Network Security in the Era of the Millennials

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One of the toughest gigs in IT is the job of keeping an organization’s network safe. It is also one that is getting tougher with the rise of the millennial generation.

Millennials - those in their 20s to mid-30s - are starting to dominate workplaces around the world. More than one-in-three workers in the US are millennials, a 2015 study by Pew Research Center found. And this demographic group will account for half of the global workforce by 2020, according to PwC.

The term “millennial” has many connotations. Among them: They like sharing on social media. They won’t put up with bad user experiences. They want a flexible approach to work. They move on quickly if their expectations are not being met. These characteristics will define the culture of the future workplace. They will also put the current network security regimes of many organizations to a stern test.

Here are three considerations.

1. Social media

To block or not to block? Many organizations have probably considered this question when it comes to their employees’ use of social media in the workplace.

A study by HR software provider CareerBuilder, which polled employers from North America, found that 37% of employers see social media as one of the major productivity killers at the workplace, behind mobile phone and texting (55%), using the Internet (41%), and gossiping (39%). Three in four employers say two or more hours are lost a day in terms of productivity because employees are distracted.

From a network security perspective, social media is a vector for malware and socially engineered attacks. How many links that are shared innocently enough end up bringing users to compromised websites? And even if employees use social channels in a professional way, their friends and contacts are under no such obligation.

It is easy to ban or restrict social media sites at the network level. Static URL filters in Web filtering software can block or monitor specific URLs. The category-filtering feature can block entire groups of websites.

But that doesn’t mean CIOs should start blocking social networks at the workplace.

A better approach is to relook at how network security is being enforced holistically. Having a clear social media policy and training for staff is a good start. For instance, sales staff should be reminded of the security and business risks that might result from checking in their locations at customer sites via social channels like Facebook.

The most important safeguard though, is to have a robust, layered security infrastructure. It is a surer bet than having to rely on employees never erring in their clicks, taps, and swipes with their social media accounts.

2. Know thy security layers

Layered security, whereby different layers of security controls combine to protect data, devices, and people, is widely adopted today. It ensures that when attacks occur at different sources, whether at the network, application, device, or user level, they can be detected and stopped before they spread. It also offers an effective safeguard against different types of threats.

With the changing workplace habits brought on by millennial workers, CIOs should relook at how they are setting up each layer of protection.

Consider, for instance, the use of personal devices in the workplace. According to a McKinsey & Company study, around 80% of enterprises now allow employees to use personal devices to connect to corporate networks. And increasingly, employees expect their IT departments to support their personal devices with access to corporate applications like email and calendar. This trend, termed BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), poses a number of new security threats.

In particular, CIOs should look at bolstering security at the device layer. The first step to take is to shore up the devices themselves through mandating some combination of firewalls, anti-malware software, MDM (mobile device management) solutions, and regular patching. A BYOD culture also puts organizations at risk from having their employees' smart devices hacked because of poor passwords. Having policies and education on strong passwords are musts.

Device types can also be identified so that less secure devices, such as mobile phones, can be restricted from some parts of the network. Sessions should also be secured, such as by preventing users from visiting unsafe websites.

Similarly, defenses of the user layer should also be shored up to mitigate the rising risks of internal threats. This layer is often the trickiest to manage due to the need to balance security and convenience. You can also use a variety of authentication methods to identify network users and allow varying levels of access. Instilling awareness and educating staff are important steps to take.

3. Tackle shadow IT

Shadow IT is a term used to describe the use of applications and services, often cloud based, not sanctioned by the organization. Its uncontrolled nature poses a security threat and governance challenge.

Consider the scenario of employees using their smartphone to open a file. It is likely the phone will make a copy of the file, which could then be sent to an unapproved online storage destination when the phone performs its routine automatic backup. Just like that, your secure corporate data has been moved to an insecure location.

In the same way, the many social collaboration apps favoured by millennials can shift sensitive company information to insecure locations.

Mandating that staff stop using non-sanctioned devices and applications is unlikely to stop their growth in the organization. Frankly, with the ubiquity of smartphones, employees are using social networks and their personal cloud apps whether your policies prevent it or not.

What could be more effective is to educate users, as well as implement technology - such as data encryption, access control, and traffic monitoring - to manage the issue.

From a larger perspective, shadow IT happens when your staff is not happy with the solutions provided by the organization. While CIOs may not be able to prevent staff from seeking out alternative apps for, say, collaboration, they can keep things in check by being attuned to their needs.

Wriiten by Jeff Castillo, Country Manager, Fortinet Philippines

DOH Thanks Everyone for Successful Anti-Firecracker Campaigns

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“We would like to extend our gratitude for the support of other national agencies, the local government, non-government organizations, and the media during the anti-firecracker campaigns. Every year, we see the things that we need to strengthen in order to achieve our goal, and eventually, we do hope that we will attain zero casualties from fireworks/firecrackers during the holidays. The cooperation of local government units to organize public firework displays contributed to success of this campaign” Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial expressed.

As of 6:00 AM, January 1, 2017, a total of 350 fireworks-related injuries were recorded by DOH sentinel sites. This is 520 cases (60 %) lower than the five-year (2011-2015) average and 524 (60%) lower compared to the same time period last year. Of the total 350 cases, 348 were from fireworks/firecrackers injuries, and 2 cases of fireworks/firecrackers ingestion.

132 (38%) out of 348 injuries were caused by Piccolo, a prohibited firecracker in the country. Other fireworks causing injuries were from kwitis (44 cases or 13%), luces (19 cases or 5%), and fountain (19 cases or 5%).

Most fireworks-related injuries came from the National Capital Region (NCR) with 211 cases (60%), followed by Western Visayas with 34 cases (10%), and Central Luzon with 29 cases (8%). In NCR, most cases were from Manila with 81 out of 211 cases (38%), 48 cases (23%) were from Quezon City and 23 cases (11%) from Marikina. Majority of cases, are children less than 15 years old (58%).

The Firework/Firecracker related Injuries Surveillance of DOH started last December 21, 2016 and will end in January 5, 2017. Consolidated report of 50 hospitals reporting to DOH nationwide will be disclosed on January 6, 2017.

“Nais naming pakiusapan lalo na ang mga bata na huwag mamulot ng paputok na nagkalat sa kalsada. Siguraduhin din na pumunta sa ospital kung ikaw ay nagkasugat ng dahil sa paputok, maliit man o malaki ang sugat na iyong nakuha, dapat pa rin itong lapatan ng tamang gamot, Ang tetano ay nakamamatay, at ito ay nakukuha sa sugat nananggagaling mula sa paputok” Secretary Ubial added.

The health chief added that it is the responsibility of adults, especially parents or guardians to make sure that after the festivities, their surroundings must be cleaned up immediately so that children will not be tempted to pick-up firecrackers on the streets.

DOH clarified that the Iwas Paputok Campaign will not end in January 2017. It will strengthen its campaign by pushing the approval of the Executive Order to ban individual firecracker use and foster community fireworks instead in local government units, in order to achieve its goal of zero casualties due to firework/firecracker related injuries.

“Ngayong 2017, bigyan natin ng magandang simula ang ating pamilya. Hangad ng DOH na magkaroon tayo ng isang malusog, ligtas at manigong BagongTaon,” Secretary Ubial concluded.

FDA Issues Cease and Desist Order vs Sanofi

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The Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a Summons with Cease and Desist Order against pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur Inc. for airing television and radio advertisements of its dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia. The airing of the advertisement is in violation of Administrative Order No. 65 s. 1989, prohibiting advertisement in any form of prescription or ethical drug.

The FDA's Center for Drug Regulation and Research (CDRR) has monitored the airing of the advertising materials on dengue vaccination. It has also reported the unauthorized promotion of dengue vaccine in the malls.

In the Summons issued by FDA last December 13, 2016, Sanofi was directed to cease and desist from disseminating advertisements for Dengvaxia in any form of mass or social media. Sanofi was also directed to stop activities promoting and marketing the vaccine. However, as of December 15, 2016, the company has failed to comply with FDA’s directive to take down the said advertisements.

"Since Sanofi has not complied, we have issued summons directing them to cease and desist from airing the advertisements and Show Cause why they should not be penalized for violating the law." FDA Director General Nela Charade G. Puno said.

Puno added that to ensure immediate compliance, "the FDA already sent letters to TV and Radio Stations directing them not to air the said unauthorized ads."

Puno also said the FDA will monitor compliance by Sanofi and the stations.

"We are looking forward to their cooperation in our mandate to ensure that the public is provided only with the correct information on the food, drugs, cosmetics, and health devices that they use,” Puno pointed out.
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