Saturday, December 16, 2023

SSS signs agreement with Quirino Memorial Medical Center as newest KaSSSangga Collect Partner

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

The Social Security System (SSS) welcomed the Quirino Memorial Medical Center (QMMC) as its newest partner in implementing the KaSSSangga Collect Program (KCP) during the ceremonial signing held at the QMMC lobby on November 29, 2023.

SSS Executive Vice President for Branch Operations Sector Voltaire P. Agas (4th from left) and QMMC Medical Center Chief Dr. Evelyn Victoria E. Reside (3rd from left) led the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that will benefit 200 job order (JO) and contract of service (COS) workers and 1,500 medical professionals by becoming self-employed members of the SSS.

Under the agreement, QMMC will become an authorized Coverage and Collection Partner of SSS, which will collect and remit the corresponding monthly contributions of its JO/COS workers and medical professionals through a salary-deduction scheme.

Other signatories to the MOA are SSS Vice President for National Capital Region (NCR) North Division Fernando F. Nicolas (5th from left), SSS Cubao Branch Head Edna Q. Aldea (6th from left), QMMC Financial and Management Officer Melanie H. Lomotan (left), and QMMC Chief Administrative Officer Cecilia M. Villamin (2nd from left).

PHLPost Chief of Staff is CEU-Malolos Outstanding Alumni

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A Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPost) official recognized as an Outstanding Alumni of Centro Escolar University Alumni Foundation Inc. Malolos Chapter, last December 09, 2023,  at CEU Centrodome in Malolos City, Bulacan.

PHLPost Chief of Staff Marcos Ryan P. Laurente received the award from CEU Malolos Dean Dr. Maria Flordeliza Anastacio and Mr. Joseph R. Ventura, CEU AFI-Malolos Chapter President and Chair, Grand Alumni Homecoming, for his exceptional achievements and contributions in Public Service and Government, having truly set him apart, making him a shining example of the values and excellence CEU's Science and Virtue stands for.

"The CEU Alumni honors and highlights your remarkable journey," President Ventura said.

 "A recognition for the priceless years of Escolarian loyalty, career achievement, and virtuous altruism," the recognition read.

PHLPost Chief of Staff Laurente was recognized for his notable initiative in the Sulat Mulat Postal Awareness Caravan, an advocacy campaign by PHLPost to rekindle the efforts in the arts of letter writing among the youth. He spearheaded the National Letter Writing Day, an advocacy campaign celebrating World Post Day and promoting the enduring significance of handwritten letters.

"Thank you CEU Malolos for honoring me through this award”, Chief of Staff Laurente said.

“I am deeply grateful to my mother - Mama Libay and my father - Papa Rafael, especially my grandmother - Nanay Onor, for sending me to this institution. To my wife Mary Ann and kids - Joaquin and Athazia for their unwavering support. This award isn't just mine; it's a tribute to the love and strength they've given me. In gratitude, I extend this recognition to my PHLPost family. Together, we've woven a tapestry of achievements, and I am honored to share this milestone with you all. Thank you for being my pillars of strength and inspiration.", Laurente added.

In 2019, Laurente transitioned to the Philippine Statistics Authority, where he took on the role of Officer in Charge of the Government Sector Use Case Division for the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys). This is just before he was called again to serve PHLPost as the Chief of Staff of the newly appointed Postmaster General Luis D. Carlos with the rank of Director III.

His professional journey reflects a new breed of public servant. 

ImagineLaw receives second Prince Michael International Road Safety Award for supporting cities to protect children, vulnerable road users on roads

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His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent once again awarded ImagineLaw, a non-profit, public interest law group based in Manila, Philippines, with the prestigious Prince Michael International Road Safety Award (PMIRSA) for the organization’s work in advancing child road safety in the Philippines.

For over 30 years, the Award has been given to groups and individuals with outstanding achievements and innovations that improve road safety around the world. ImagineLaw received its first award three years ago for its work on improving speed limit setting and enforcement in the Philippines.

This year, ImagineLaw received its second PMIRSA in recognition of its advocacy efforts that led to the enactment of comprehensive local road safety policies in the Philippines. With support from the United Nations Children’s Fund, ImagineLaw assisted Angeles City and Valenzuela City in developing and enacting local road safety laws that introduce best practice road safety interventions to be implemented through multi-sectoral coalitions composed of national and local government agencies, civil society, private sector, and the academe.

With the enactment of these policies, efforts are now ongoing to make roads safer for children and other vulnerable road users. The two cities have developed their road safety action plans and conducted road safety assessments around schools to identify engineering and other interventions needed to protect school-going children.

“We are extremely honored to receive this award for the second time. This award is a reminder of the importance of collaboration across all sectors to protect the most vulnerable road users. We hope that in the coming years, more local governments will follow the example of the Cities of Angeles and Valenzuela,” said ImagineLaw’s Executive Director Sophia San Luis.

Toxic Watchdog Group Commends FDA for Issuing Public Health Warning Against Goree 24K Gold Beauty Cream

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Toxic watchdog group BAN Toxics lauds the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Philippines for issuing the FDA Advisory No. 2023-2392 – a Public Health Warning against the purchase and use of unauthorized Goree 24K Gold Beauty Cream on November 21, 2023.

On October 13, BAN Toxics alerted consumers to the sale of skin-lightening products (SLPs) containing toxic mercury, a known hazard to human health. The group purchased a “new” brand of Pakistan-made SLPs sold for P200 in the local market. Monitoring online shopping platforms like Shoppe and Lazada, the products were found priced between P170 to P200.

Using a SCIAPS X-200 HH XRF Analyzer, the Goree 24k Gold Beauty Cream 3-in-1 Formula was discovered to contain toxic mercury, measuring up to 41,500 parts per million (ppm). This exceeds the allowable limit of 1 ppm set by the FDA and outlined in the ASEAN Cosmetic Directive.

The Minamata Convention on Mercury prohibits the manufacture, import, or export of specific mercury-added products after 2020. According to this regulation, all cosmetic products must contain mercury concentrations of less than 1 part per million (ppm).

“We commend the FDA for issuing public health warnings against unnotified cosmetic products such as Goree Gold 24K Beauty Cream to prevent potential hazards from prohibited ingredients such as toxic mercury,” said Thony Dizon, Toxics Campaigner, BAN Toxics.

“As part of our Safe Cosmetics campaign, we’re committed to monitoring and reporting the unauthorized sale of unregistered and unnotified Skin Lightening Products containing mercury in both on-site and online markets. Our goal is to protect human health and the environment from mercury exposure,” he added.

Mercury is among the World Health Organization’s top ten chemicals of major public health concern. Mercury lightens the skin by suppressing the production of melanin and can also remove age spots, freckles, blemishes, and wrinkles. However, its use can lead to rashes, skin discoloration, and blotching. Mercury can enter the body through absorption, inhalation, or ingestion.

A documented case study details a 54-year-old woman who developed dementia, epilepsy, and peripheral polyneuropathy at 49 after consistently using skin-lightening cream for six years. Upon promptly ceasing exposure, her blood and urine mercury levels reverted to levels typically found in individuals not exposed to such products.

Mercury from soaps, creams, and beauty products ultimately reaches our waterways. Once in the environment, it transforms into a harmful substance called methylmercury that enters our food chain, notably through fish consumption. Pregnant women who consume methylmercury-contaminated fish can pass it on to their babies, potentially causing developmental issues.

Republic Act 9711, or the Food and Drug Administration Act of 2009, prohibits the manufacture, importation, distribution, and sale, among other things, of health products, including cosmetics, without the proper authorization from the agency.

BAN Toxics has been active in conducting market monitoring and test-buys of different skin-lightening products sold in the market or online to warn the public about the unlawful selling of skin-lightening products (SLPs) containing toxic mercury, a dangerous poison banned in cosmetic product formulations.

“Government regulators must collaborate on joint post-marketing surveillance and enforcement actions to curb the manufacture, trade, and sale of unnotified and unregistered cosmetic products in the country,” the group added.


Wazzup Pilipinas!?

The Department of Education (DepEd) has started hauling various learning resources from Transpac Logistics warehouses for distribution to public schools nationwide.

For context, the services of Transpac Logistics were procured by DepEd back in 2021. Under its contract, Transpac shall provide DepEd with logistics, warehousing, and tagging services from October 8, 2021 to June 30, 2022.

Due to the failure of Transpac to deliver the goods completely and on time, several discussions were held between the parties for the fulfillment of Transpac’s obligations.

Since the present Administration assumed office, continuous efforts were made to either compel delivery of the goods as required by contract, or for DepEd to be allowed to pull out and haul the learning resources from the warehouses — to no avail. Thus, in the exercise of diligence, and in the interest of recovering the goods by all means necessary, DepEd was constrained to resort to legal remedies.

On August 30, 2023, prompted by the lack of any concrete resolution to the issue, the DepEd partially terminated its contract with Transpac, in accordance with RA 9184, otherwise known as the Procurement Law.

On November 22, 2023, the DepEd also instituted legal proceedings, before the Regional Trial Court, to recover the goods that are still in Transpac’s possession.

Sometime in the first week of December 2023, the DepEd was in receipt of a letter from Transpac suddenly informing DepEd that it may now haul the goods stored in its warehouses.

Therefore, our Regional and Division offices have immediately started hauling the goods. The DepEd aims to completely haul and deliver the goods to our public schools in the next few weeks.

Finally, we would like to emphasize that this is not a simple case of unpaid warehouse fees as has been inaccurately framed by some outfits. Payment to providers may only be done upon the fulfillment of obligations and corresponding submission of complete documentation as required by accounting, auditing and other pertinent rules and regulations for the disbursement of funds.

We appeal to the public to remain vigilant against the spread of false and misleading information.

DepEd remains committed to safeguarding the public interest, so that our learners and stakeholders will not be shortchanged of the education services they deserve.

Thank you.

More intense typhoons to come this century, UP study warns

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Warming of sea surface in Asia-Pacific. Redder areas indicate a higher increase in temperature. (Photo credit: Delfino, R.J. et al. 

Response of damaging Philippines tropical cyclones to a warming climate using the pseudo global warming approach. Clim Dyn 61 (2023): p. 3506.)

The Philippines should brace for potentially stronger and more destructive typhoons due to climate change, warns new research coming out of the University of the Philippines - Diliman College of Science’s Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology (UPD-CS IESM).

Dr. Rafaela Jane Delfino and Dr. Gerry Bagtasa, together with colleagues from the UK, found that future Philippine typhoons may have a higher cyclone damage potential (CDP) than today’s typhoons. 

CDP is a metric that takes into account several factors, including the size of the cyclone and the speed of its winds. The scientists gathered data from recent typhoons and projected these onto likely future climate scenarios to figure out future CDPs. The greater the CDP, the greater potential damage costs, particularly from winds.

Specifically, the researchers looked at three of the most deadly super typhoons in recent history: 

Haiyan (which happened in 2013 and was locally named Yolanda); Bopha (2012, Pablo); and Mangkhut (2018, Ompong). They then hypothesized the potential damage from these typhoons if they happened in a future where the climate is forecast to be warmer and more humid, based on multiple climate projections for the years 2070 to 2099. 

Moreover, by employing various projections and considering several factors such as atmospheric temperature, sea surface temperature, pressure, and relative humidity, the researchers were able to conclusively link climate change to the intensification of the three Philippine typhoons mentioned in the study. They also found that future typhoons may be expected to be stronger and more damaging. Like spinning tops, the potentially faster winds and slower movement of these future typhoons could lead to them lingering longer over land and therefore causing more damage.

For example, under one forecast model, the CDP from a future cyclone similar to Super Typhoon Yolanda was seen to be as much as 37% greater than the damage experienced in 2013. In another simulation, Super Typhoon Ompong, which had a simulated maximum wind speed of 205 kph under present climate conditions, could potentially hit 270 kph under future climate conditions. The projections also showed an increase of as much as 50 kph in the maximum wind speeds of future typhoons like Yolanda and Pablo.

“Based on our simulations, it is found that the most damaging tropical cyclones like Haiyan, Bopha, and Mangkhut will have higher wind-related damage potential in the future,” the researchers concluded in their paper. 

“Tropical cyclones of such intensity and damage potential in the future will have serious implications with the increasing exposure and vulnerability in the Philippines,” they added, calling for further research using other models and typhoon data sets.


Delfino, R.J., Vidale, P.L., Bagtasa, G. et al. Response of damaging Philippines tropical cyclones to a warming climate using the pseudo global warming approach. Clim Dyn 61, 3499–3523 (2023).

Kratom Harmony: Understanding Legal Perspectives for Health

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Mitragyna speciosa, commonly known as kratom, has registered a tremendous surge in popularity in the last couple of years due to its perceived therapeutic benefits. Both scientific and anecdotal studies have found that the herb might remedy a host of medical issues. That explains why kratom extracts are now available in different parts of the world despite the plant being originally from Southeast Asia.

But like many herbs, Mitragyna speciosa isn’t globally accessible. So, it’s important to understand the legal implications of selling, distributing, or consuming kratom supplements in your jurisdiction before dealing with such products.

We’ve prepared a guide to kratom’s pharmacological applications, with a focus on its legality in select jurisdictions around the world.

What Are The Benefits Of Kratom?

Kratom boasts immense therapeutic benefits. The herb is available in different preparations, too. Popular ones include kratom powder, capsules, extracts, and infused teas.

All kratom formulations contain the plant’s healing properties. However, powders stand out for their versatility and ease of administering.

Pain relief is probably the most common reason people consume kratom powder or other kratom-based supplements. The herb treats pain by impacting specific opioid receptors in the body, particularly those spread around the brain and central nervous system (CNS).

You might also use kratom powder for inflammation. Like most herbs, kratom soothes inflammation by diminishing the release of the key proteins, such as cytokines, involved in transmitting inflammatory messages across the body.

Many kratom users also laud it for its incredible efficacy against anxiety and depression.

The plant’s extracts relieve anxiety by improving the body’s signaling of happiness-inducing chemicals, such as serotonin and dopamine.

Some studies further indicate that kratom might improve mental health by stabilizing the mood. The herb’s sedating properties designate it as a potential treatment for sleep disorders, such as insomnia and sleep apnea.

People struggling with chronic fatigue might benefit immensely by integrating Mitragy naspeciosa into their wellness routine. Certain kratom strains are remarkably stimulating, hence a potential remedy for physical and mental fatigue. In fact, kratom shares the same botanical family as coffee. And as you shall find, its energizing properties are nearly similar to caffeine’s.

There’s a long list of other medical issues that you might address using kratom-infused supplements. These include diminished cognitive performance, nausea, inappetence, erectile dysfunction (ED), etc.

Is Kratom Legal Worldwide?

As already hinted, kratom isn’t globally legal despite its well-documented therapeutic value.

Many regulators take issue with the herb’s potential psychedelic properties and have gone ahead to restrict access to it. Some countries have banned kratom altogether.

Let’s have a look at kratom’s legality in select jurisdictions.

1. United States

Kratom isn’t federally regulated in the United States. The implication is that relevant agencies like the FDA and DEA cannot guarantee the safety or quality of kratom supplements sold within US borders.

However, despite the apparent lack of federal regulations, kratom remains legal in most US states.

2. Canada

Canada is one of the pioneers in the race towards global kratom legalization. While the country has no specific acts regulating access to kratom, the herb is legal throughout all its provinces and territories, provided it’s not marketed as a consumable.

In other words, kratom vendors are better off dealing with alternative kratom supplements, such as topicals and aromatherapy products.

Note that this restriction doesn’t apply to kratom users, though. As a consumer, you can legally administer Mitragyna speciosa in all its conceivable forms, including oral preparations like powders and capsules.

3. United Kingdom

Kratom laws in the United Kingdom are rather fuzzy and somewhat contradictory.

The plant isn’t explicitly listed in the Psychoactive Substances Act, presumably legalizing its possession and use. However, the Misuse of Drugs Act prohibits vendors from selling kratom.

Simply put, it may be against the law to sell, but not necessarily possess or use, kratom in the UK.

4. China

Mitragyna speciosa is technically legal in China as no laws are banning it. In fact, there appears to be no official mention of the herb in the country’s law.

But considering China’s somewhat unpredictable judicial system, it’s best to err on the side of caution when it comes to psychedelic drugs like kratom. Be sure to consult a licensed legal practitioner before using or being in possession of kratom.

5. Southeast Asia

As kratom traces its roots to Southeast Asia, it’s intuitive to imagine that the plant is legal throughout all countries within the region. But that’s not exactly true.

Kratom is presently illegal in Malaysia. The herb is legal in Indonesia, although that might change in 2024 if recent government announcements are anything to go by.

Kratom was banned in Thailand for several years before the country legalized it for medicinal use in 2019 and for all applications in 2021. These were significant milestones, considering Thailand accounts for most kratom sold in the West, including the legendary Maeng Da strain.


Kratom’s legality isn’t the only factor to consider before adding this powerful herb to your wellness routine. Other aspects include strain and dosage recommendations.

Note that kratom comes in numerous strains, each having its signature effects. For instance, white-vein strains are energizing, while red-vein counterparts are generally soothing. It’s best to pick a cultivar depending on your desired effects.

As for the dosages, remember that a bit of kratom goes a long way. Always moderate your serving amounts to avoid experiencing any adverse reactions to the herb. Start with doses as little as 2 grams daily if you’re a new user.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

S43 STLP: Driving on the Road to Freedom

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After 3 seasons of online production, driven with their artistic passion for theatre, Artistang Artlets finally opened their 43rd season with an onsite production for their Senior’s Theater Literacy Program (STLP) entitled, “Maoyu Transit”.

For years, Artistang Artlets has been producing Theater Literacy Programs not only to entertain their audiences but to also educate them with the elements of theater. This year, Artistang Artlets opts to show their audiences the importance of symbolisms in theater by staging this moving story of love, acceptance, and freedom.

In “Maoyu Transit,” audiences will embark on a journey with a mother and a daughter boarding a peculiar bus. The driver, Mang Domeng, will help Aling Fe and Maya with their current predicament, and free them from their burdens. Little does he know, he too is on a journey of liberation. This emotionally charged play explores the power of compassion and human connection, rising above the limits of conventional storytelling.

Written and managed by Erin Moira Balbin, and directed by Ma. Cecilia Foja and Jenna Rose Macasaet, Maoyu Transit ran last November 30, 2023 with 4 consecutive shows running from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM, 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM, 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM, and 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM..

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

"Iwas Paputok" Campaign: BAN Toxics Collaborates with Schools to Prevent and Reduce Firecracker-Related Injuries

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Toxics watchdog group, BAN Toxics, and Toro Hills Elementary School in Quezon City launched a joint "Iwas Paputok" campaign with 2,000 participants urging the public to avoid firecrackers and fireworks for health and environmental reasons, promoting a toxic-free and waste-free Christmas and New Year celebration.

The event was timely given the recent tragic incident in Lapu-lapu City, where a firecracker factory fire resulted in the loss of four lives and injuries to six others, including a seven-year old child.

Under the theme “Iwas Paputok, Iwas Disgrasya, Iwas Polusyon,” BAN Toxics collaborates with the school, local officials, and representatives from the Philippine National Police and Bureau of Fire Protection assembled for an awareness-raising community parade. Students dressed in varied costumes portrayed the harmful effects of firecrackers and fireworks.

“We need to continue public awareness regarding the health hazards posed by firecrackers and fireworks, particularly among children. These festive items pose significant health concerns among children due to the presence of toxic chemicals that can severely harm the nervous and respiratory systems,” said Thony Dizon, Toxics Campaigner of BAN Toxics.

The chemicals and substances present in firecrackers include cadmium, lead, chromium, aluminum, magnesium, nitrates, nitrite, phosphates and sulfates, carbon monoxide, copper, manganese dioxide, potassium, sodium, zinc, oxides of nitrogen and sulfur. Exposure to these toxic chemicals can result in damage to the nervous and respiratory systems.

Aside from deaths and injuries caused by the unsafe manufacture and handling of firecrackers and fireworks, these products contain toxic chemicals that have been found to adversely affect people’s health. The chemical barium, used in firecrackers to produce the green color and prolong their shelf-life, has been banned in countries like India but is listed under controlled chemicals in the Philippines.

In 2015, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) issued Joint Memorandum Circular 2015-143. This directive aimed to regulate the sale, manufacture, distribution, and use of firecrackers, polyvinyl pipe ‘BOGA,’ and other pyrotechnic devices. It also advocated for preventive measures to mitigate firecracker and firework-related injuries, deaths, and property damage. The circular mandated cooperation among concerned local government units, the Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and Bureau of Customs during the holiday season.

To ensure a safer celebration for the coming year, BAN Toxics reiterated the call to abstain from firecrackers and fireworks, promoting alternative noise makers. This shift not only safeguards the environment but also protects human health, especially that of children.

According to news reports, last year witnessed a surge in fireworks-related injuries, reaching 307 cases—a 62 percent increase compared to the same period in 2021. The National Capital Region (NCR) consistently reported the highest number of fireworks-related injuries in both 2021 and 2022.

In incidents from June and November, firework-related injuries occurred due to an explosion in a Bulacan pyrotechnic devices stockroom caused by faulty wiring and a fatality involving a female firecracker factory worker in Barangay Bunlo, Bocaue, Bulacan, respectively, after a "kwitis" firework she was making exploded.

“We call the attention of the Philippine National Police, regulatory agencies, and local government officials to initiate monitoring and inspection, and eventual confiscation of prohibited firecrackers in the markets, both online and on-site to prevent firecracker-related injury among children,” he added.

Last November, BAN Toxics reported the early sale of various firecrackers openly being sold in Divisoria, Manila. These included crackling balls, crackers, pop pop, happy balls, dynamite, prohibited five stars, whistle bombs, and piccolos.

In alignment with government efforts to curb firecracker-related injuries, the group will lead "Iwas Paputok, Iwas Disgrasya, Iwas Polusyon" awareness campaigns in other communities to encourage safer and healthier holiday celebrations. 

According to the Department of Health (DOH), the chemicals and substances present in firecrackers and fireworks are as follows:

1. CADMIUM may produce irritation of the lungs and influenza-like symptoms. If cadmium is inhaled, ingested, or enters the body, it can accumulate and eventually damage the liver and kidneys. It is also a potential human carcinogen.

2. LEAD may affect the hematological profile of a person including the central nervous system and inhibits brain function. Exposure may also lead to developmental delays, growth retardation, behavioral effects, and learning delays.

3. CHROMIUM may cause skin damage and hypersensitivity, nasal mucosa ulceration, and nasal septum perforation. Long-term exposures may lead to lung cancer.

4. ALUMINUM has been noted to cause impaired memory, dementia, and convulsions.

5. MAGNESIUM dust and fumes when inhaled may irritate mucous membranes or upper respiratory tract and cause mental fume fever and deterioration of the central nervous system.

6. NITRATES, NITRITE, PHOSPHATES, and SULFATES may cause dizziness, abdominal cramps, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, weakness, and convulsions. Small repeated doses may lead to weakness, general depression, headache, and mental impairment. Phosphates may produce an acute effect on the liver and can cause severe eye damage and may eventually affect the central nervous system. Sulfates are skin and mucous membrane irritant and corrosive; it may cause edema of the lungs and can produce respiratory paralysis.

7. CARBON MONOXIDE (colorless, odorless gas) may cause euphoria, headache, eye irritation, narcosis, coma, may be rapidly fatal after formulation leads to anoxia of the brain, nervous system and heart.

8. COPPER dust fumes when inhaled may cause irritation in the respiratory tract.

9. MANGANESE DIOXIDE fumes cause lung irritation, pneumonia, with possible Parkinsonian symptoms, rigidity, muscular pains and tremor.

10. POTASSIUM irritation may lead to chemical pneumonitis and pulmonary edema. It may cause severe irritation of the upper respiratory tract with cough, burns and breathing difficulty.

11. SODIUM may cause irritation of the mucous membranes of the nose, throat and respiratory tract.

12. ZINC OXIDE fumes on lungs may cause mental fume fever symptoms like influenza, chills, fever, sweating and muscular weakness.

13. OXIDES of NITROGEN and SULFUR may reduce pulmonary function and mucosal irritation. Powerful irritants may cause respiratory damage.

Why slots break easily and often are in Demand by All Players?

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In online gambling, "slots that break easily" are often used by slot enthusiasts to describe games known for frequent payouts or those perceived to have a higher likelihood of hitting a jackpot. Such slots are attractive to players and, consequently, are in high demand for several reasons. From the thrill of the win to the psychological effects of frequent rewards, let's delve into why slots with a reputation for สล็อตแตกงาย have captivated the hearts of players worldwide.

The Allure of Frequent Payouts while สล็อตแตกงาย

The core attraction of slots that break easily is straightforward – players love to win. 

When a slot game tends to pay out regularly, even if the amounts are not always life-changing, it offers instant gratification and a sense of victory. Players are strongly encouraged to keep spinning the reels by these little winnings, which maintain the gameplay's interest and excitement levels high.

The Psychological Effect of สล็อตแตกงาย

There is a psychological component at play when the preference for slots breaks easily. The frequent payouts trigger the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward in the brain. This biochemical reaction can create a fast-paced, exhilarating gaming experience that many players seek out.

Low Variance Slots

The สล็อตแตกงาย often fall into the category of low-variance games. The risk-averse player who would rather play it safe and prolong their gaming session will find this ideal since they get made to pay out lesser sums more regularly. Beginners or those with lesser bankrolls find low volatility slots intriguing since they offer more regular winnings without requiring a significant financial investment.

Perceived Value for Money

For many players, slots that offer frequent wins give a perceived higher value for money. The reasoning is simple: wins mean more time playing without investing more funds. This perceived efficiency in expenditure is a strong draw for players who want to get the most entertainment out of every dollar spent.

The Chase for Bonuses and Free Spins

Slots known to break easily often come with generous bonuses and free spins, which give additional draws for players. These features not only provide chances to win without further betting but also enhance the overall gaming experience with exciting gameplay variations.

Word-of-Mouth and Community Recommendations

It's common to ascribe the popularity of certain spots to suggestions from the community and word-of-mouth. Slot games become viral and spark conversation in online gaming forums and communities. The demand for these games increases as more players want to give it a try.

Streamers and Influencers

The rise of gaming streamers and influencers has also played a part in the popularity of certain slot games. When a popular streamer experiences a big win on aสล็อตแตกงาย, it can quickly become a sensation, driving waves of players to try out the game in the hope of replicating that success.

Marketing and Promotions

Casinos have confirmed the demand for slots that break easily and often market them more aggressively. Promotions that highlight a game's potential for frequent payouts can entice both new and seasoned players. By showcasing the most player-friendly slots, casinos can attract a customer base.

The Joy of Gaming

Beyond the statistics and strategies, the simple joy of gaming plays a significant role in the popularity of สล็อตแตกงาย. These games provide a fun and stress-free form of entertainment where the player can enjoy numerous features, stunning graphics, and captivating soundtracks, all enhanced by the thrill of frequent wins.

Jackpot Potential

While frequent small wins are an attraction, the possibility of hitting a jackpot, no matter how slim, is always in the back of a player's mind. Slots perceived to break easily can sometimes carry the promise, or at least the hope, of a life-changing win.

This potential adds a layer of excitement to every spin.

A Sense of Control

Although slot outcomes are entirely based on random number generators, frequent wins can give players a false sense of control or influence over the game. This psychological aspect can make easily breakable slots particularly appealing.

Casual Play and Accessibility

Slots that break easily are particularly appealing for casual play. They're accessible, requiring no intricate strategy or extensive knowledge to enjoy. It makes them a perfect choice for players looking to unwind with minimal mental investment but maximum entertainment value.


The rational need for regular winnings and the more profound, innate enjoyment of the game are the two main drivers for สล็อตแตกงาย. These slots tap into the fundamental human love for immediate rewards while providing engaging entertainment that is easy to access and enjoy. The combination of psychological satisfaction, value for money, and the sheer thrill of winning ensures games remain highly sought after in online slots. As the online casino landscape continues to grow and evolve, one can expect that slots that frequently 'break' will maintain their appeal, continuing to draw players with the promise of fun, excitement, and potential profits.

SSS encourages retiree-pensioners to avail of its low-interest Pension Loan Program

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The Social Security System (SSS) calls on its retiree-pensioners to take advantage of its low-interest Pension Loan Program (PLP) for their immediate financial needs instead of borrowing from Sangla-ATM lenders.
SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Rolando Ledesma Macasaet said SSS launched PLP to assist SSS retiree-pensioners in their immediate financial needs by offering a loan program with a low-interest rate of 10% per annum computed on a diminishing principal balance, which is a far cry from those being lent by loan sharks.

“Aside from low interest rate, SSS will not require them to surrender their ATM cards as collaterals, unlike the practice of some private lending institutions. We also do not charge any processing or service fee when they avail of the pension loan,” Macasaet added.

Qualified retiree-pensioners can borrow a loan of up to three, six, nine, or 12 times their basic monthly pension (BMP) plus the P1,000 additional benefit or their aggregate monthly pension with a maximum loan amount of P200,000. Moreover, SSS will ensure that their net take-home pension is at least 47.25% of their aggregate monthly pension when they start paying the monthly amortization for the pension loan.

The SSS Chief said the PLP also has an extended repayment period. “A pension loan of three and six times the pensioner’s aggregate monthly pension has a payment term of six and 12 months, respectively. On the other hand, a pension loan of nine or 12 times the aggregate monthly pension has a payment term of 24 months,” he added.

The first monthly amortization for pension loans is due on the second month after SSS granted the loan. Further, the 1% service fee is waived to subsidize the payment for the borrower’s premium of the Credit Life Insurance (CLI).

To qualify for the PLP, retiree-pensioners:must be 85 years of age or below at the end of the last month of the loan term;
must have no deductions such as outstanding loan balance, benefit overpayment payable to the SSS, etc., from their monthly pension;
must have no existing advance pension under the SSS Calamity Assistance Package;
must be receiving their regular monthly pensions for at least one month, and the pension status is "Active"; and
must have updated “mailing address and mobile number.”Interested retiree-pensioners may submit their loan applications at the nearest SSS branch office or through their My.SSS account. Once approved, loan proceeds will be credited to their nominated bank account or UnionBank quick card, within three working days for online applications and five working days if filed over-the-counter through the SSS branch.

Monday, December 11, 2023

BingoPlus and ArenaPlus Dazzle audiences with Fun-Filled Week of EntertainmentOn-Stage and in Game Zones

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BingoPlus and ArenaPlus, the flagship brands of Digiplus Interactive Corp, a leading gaming and leisure provider in the country, are ending the year by adding life to the local entertainment scene, promoting young, rising talents to provide highest quality entertainment for everyone.

BingoPlus, the first and only live streaming bingo in the Philippines, and ArenaPlus, your 24/7 sports betting app in the country, delivered a fun and entertaining week both on-stage and online as it presented the first solo concert of the young P-Pop boy group ALAMAT, titled "Dagundong,". BP and AP also presented the debut concert of GMA’s 'All-Out Sundays (AOS)' vocal queens entitled "Queendom Live" at the Newport Performing Arts Theater in Pasay City.

It also launched the much-awaited competitive online tournament called Lupon Civil War Reborn League DOTA 2 2023, the official DOTA2 league organized by LuponWXC Civil War Season 7.

ALAMAT opened December with Dagundong, a unique and highly entertaining musical event at the New Frontier Theater. Starring Taneo, Mo, Tomas, R-ji, Jao, and Alas, the concert featured the group’s multilingual and multiethnic music that highlights the beauty and diversity of Filipino culture. Presented by ArenaPlus hosted games and provided prizes for everyone. BingoPlus also provided booths where thousands of concert goers can get free merchandise.

The following day, December 2, BingoPlus treated concert goers and music lovers with a night of power vocals as AOS vocal queens – Rita Daniela, Jessica Villarubin, Thea Astley, Mariane Osabel, Hannah Precillas, and Asia’s Limitless Star Julie Anne San Jose – staged an epic concert entitled "Queendom Live". Attended by thousands of fans, the queens sang their hearts out with iconic songs and performances. The audience was also treated to free merchandise from BingoPlus.

On December 3, ArenaPlus served as the Official Sportsbook Partner of the highly anticipated finale series of the Lupon Civil War Reborn League DOTA 2 2023, a competitive DOTA tournament that took place at the Highgrounds Cafe in Quezon City. Seven (7) teams competed for their dream bid to battle in the championship, with powerhouse teams Pathetic Shitters and ShukShukShuk Ragers ending up on top. The extremely heated competition was also outstanding for the excitement it generated for participants and audiences. ArenaPlus gave away Free 500 Pesos credits in the ArenaPlus app to five on-ground supporters and 5,000 Pesos worth of cash prize to the Astig Team Winner that was awarded to the tournament champion Pathetic Shitters.

“There’s no better way to end the year than by livening up the local entertainment scene, providing opportunities and exposure to young and rising artists, and ensuring that the high-quality entertainment they provide can be experienced by more people. BingoPlus and ArenaPlus have been at the forefront of achieving this highly committed mission for Filipinos since day 1, making stages and game zones extra fun and special, anytime and anywhere” said Jasper Vicencio, BingoPlus president.

BingoPlus and ArenaPlus proudly stand as flagship brands under Digiplus Interactive Corp, solidifying its position as a leading gaming and leisure provider in the country. For more updates, visit and or download the apps now via the App Store and Google Play.

P.A. Properties: 29 Years of Building Dreams and Stories

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"Behind Every Home is a Story"

This aptly captures the company's commitment to understanding the dreams, aspirations, and challenges faced by every homebuyer in their pursuit of having a home they could truly call their own.

In an industry where the path to home ownership can be challenging, P.A. Alvarez Properties and Development Corporation (P.A. Properties) has rewritten the narrative with a tagline that resonates deeply with empathy — "Behind Every Home is a Story."

"It's not just about constructing houses; it's about being part of the stories that unfold within those walls." Atty. Marianne Reyna Lina Cruz, the CEO of P.A. Properties, shared.

For nearly three decades, P.A. Properties has been a beacon of hope for countless Filipino families, turning the dream of affordable and quality home ownership into a reality.

A Legacy of Growth and Community Development

P.A. Properties has emerged as one of the country's fastest-growing real estate developers, spanning nearly three decades of unwavering dedication.

“Our developments aren't just addresses, they're ecosystems of opportunity. We build communities where homes ignite families’ aspirations, communities kindle friendships and security, and helping hands are always within reach,” Romarico T. Alvarez, Chairman of the Board of P.A. Properties, shared.

This year has been a testament to P.A. Properties' unwavering commitment to excellence in the realm of housing and community development. The company proudly showcased its dedication through various noteworthy projects, each contributing to the enhancement of living spaces and the betterment of communities.

The inaugural highlight of the year, St. Joseph Ridgeview Phase 2, on January 28, 2023, marked the commencement in Dasmarinas, Cavite. This unveiling was a manifestation of P.A. Properties' pledge to deliver quality living spaces and sustainable communities for the families in Southern Luzon. 

On August 8, 2023, P.A. Properties launched SanJos Square Bulacan, a 2.8-hectare commercial development, strategically located in front of a 30-hectare Nuvista San Jose Subdivision at Brgy. Sto. Cristo, San Jose Del Monte City, Bulacan. Placed nearby 35 local communities, it stands as a testament to P.A. Properties’ unwavering commitment to providing accessible basic necessities and fostering economic growth within local communities.

A Noteworthy Partnership 

P.A. Properties and Japanese property developer Hankyu Hanshin Properties Corporation (HHPC) established their robust collaboration in 2017, and it continues to thrive. Their partnership has not only endured but flourished, as evident in the recent launch of innovative joint venture projects such as Idesia in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan.

In a significant milestone last March 2023, P.A. Properties and Hankyu Hanshin Properties Corporation further solidified their alliance, unveiling plans for additional property developments across strategic locations, including Metro Manila, Laguna, and Pampanga. 

This strategic partnership has proven to be a catalyst for growth, demonstrating the commitment of both companies to elevating real estate landscapes.

Taking a monumental leap forward in October, these industry partners embarked on a new joint venture, a 19.8 hectare project in Cabuyao, Laguna. This latest endeavour signifies not only the continued expansion of their collaboration but also their dedication to elevating community spaces.

Awards and Recognition

Throughout the year, P.A. Properties garnered significant recognition, underscoring its remarkable achievements and contributions to the community. On March 10, 2023, P.A. Properties and its joint venture company were recognized by the City Government of San Pedro as the 31st and 55th Top Taxpayer for the year 2022. This acknowledgment affirmed P.A. Properties' commitment to fiscal responsibility and its substantial contributions to the local economy.

Continuing its streak of accolades, this year, P.A. Properties proudly received the Pag-IBIG Fund Accredited Developer Excellence Award. Securing the Top 9 position for 2022 Corporate Wide, the Top 8 Developer position for the 1st Semester of 2023 in the National Capital Region, the Top 9 Developer position for North Luzon, and the Best in Performing Loans Ratio for North Luzon. The company demonstrated excellence in its collaboration with the Pag-IBIG Fund, further reinforcing its reputation as a distinguished developer with a commitment to quality and reliability.

Progress Driven by Empathy

As P.A. Properties celebrates its 29th anniversary, the theme "Progress Driven By Empathy" takes center stage. This theme underscores the company's commitment to adaptive and community-centric development.

"Empathy is the cornerstone of sustainable development. Our progress is not just measured in structures but in the positive impact we make on people's lives, particularly in their chosen abode and community project," Jonathan G. Lu, P.A. Properties Vice Chairman enthused. 

In steadfast support of its valued customers, P.A. Properties has prioritized the homebuyers’ convenience and well-being through several initiatives. P.A. Properties introduced new online payment channels. This shows the company’s commitment to enhancing the payment experience for buyers and providing a seamless and accessible avenue for financial transactions.

Moreover, with the turnover of 44 communities to Homeowner’s Associations, P.A. Properties strives to foster a sense of community and belonging for the residents, ensuring a smooth transition to their new homes.

This significant accomplishment not only reflects the scale of our impact on the housing industry but also emphasizes its dedication to meeting the diverse needs of its customers. “At P.A. Properties, we empathize with our customers, understanding that their satisfaction and well-being are at the core of our mission, and we continue to explore avenues to enhance their overall experience with us," Atty. Lina-Cruz said

A Glimpse into the Future: Fresh and Dynamic Brand Strategy

P.A. Properties plans to unveil a new brand strategy as it looks toward the future. According to Atty. Lina-Cruz, P.A. Properties President, "Our fresh and dynamic look represents not just a visual change but a reflection of our continued evolution and commitment to excellence in the real estate sector."

P.A. Properties’ 29th anniversary is not just a celebration of its past and current achievements but likewise serves as a testament to a future where progress is inseparable from empathy-driven growth and social well-being.

P.A. Properties continues to be the author of countless Filipino dreams, weaving together the narratives of families and communities for nearly three decades.

UP STS scientists assess the effectiveness of the Philippines’ COVID-19 government policies

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The COVID-19 pandemic spurred governments worldwide to respond with containment policies, with the Philippines having one of the longest and most stringent COVID-19 policies in the world. How effective were these policies in containing the pandemic and providing social and economic support to citizens? This is the question UP Diliman College of Science’s Science, Technology and Society (UPD-CS STS) researchers ventured to answer.

A novel, multidisciplinary approach

STS scientists and faculty members Prof. Benjamin Vallejo Jr, Dr. Rodrigo Angelo Ong and Asst. Prof. Ranjit Singh Rye found a new interdisciplinary approach to the problem: “We just adopted statistical methods commonly used in marine behavioral ecology. After all, government policy response is a set of behaviors that can be standardized and compared with each other. The most significant behavioral responses can be statistically modeled,” Vallejo said.

“Furthermore, a multidisciplinary perspective allows for a better contextualization of how effective the policies are,” he added.

Using standardized policy response measures collated by the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker project (OxCGRT), they assessed the effectiveness of the Philippine response from 2020 to 2022. The OxCGRT includes daily policy response and implementation data from 180 World Health Organization (WHO)-member states, from 1 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2022.

The STS scientists were able to determine that stringent pandemic policies—including lockdowns, quarantines, stay-at-home ordinances, and travel restrictions—were effective in containing the pandemic within the first 60 days. These are all dependent on law enforcement and a securitized approach.

Effectivity of lockdowns and vaccinations

Complete lockdowns negatively affected the economy, so there was a gradual and phased relaxing of policies beginning in May 2020. It was during the relaxing of lockdowns with limited mobility starting with essential personnel that the shortcomings of the government's response became apparent. With lockdowns being phased out, contact tracing and testing became more necessary to immediately contain clusters of infections. The government was least effective in these efforts.

The policy analysis also revealed that the government’s vaccination rollout and prioritization, although with logistical difficulties at the start, was effective in reducing infections in the health workers sector and thus ensuring the delivery of health services The health workers received the vaccine in a shorter timeframe than the rest of the population beginning March 2021. Overall, it can be said that vaccination caused a more positive outcome in the pandemic.

It was also found that the continuation of travel health checks—such as requiring proof of vaccination, COVID-19 rtPCR tests, and, later, antigen tests—had a low odds ratio to the rate of COVID-19 case increase. This simply means that these requirements lessened the risk of spread of infections across provincial and international borders.

Mask wearing and social distancing

Non-pharmaceutical interventions such as mask-wearing and social distancing, while significantly effective at the local level, were not significantly effective at the national level. The reason is likely related to the differing levels of citizen compliance in communities. Implementation was with the local governments and reflects on political and governance realities. Politicians who implement restrictions without their constituents being consulted and convinced of the necessity of restrictions are likely to lose votes in the next election. In a democracy, citizen engagement with governments remains essential in responding to a crisis such as a pandemic while protecting civil rights according to law. Citizen participation is a central idea in STS in government.

The key role of STS in policy analysis

The UP STS scientists' work demonstrates that STS approaches to science-informed policy analysis can objectively assess the strengths and weaknesses of government policy. The scientists hope that their study will make policy and governance more effective especially in crises.

Prof. Vallejo is a marine biologist with the UPD-CS Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology; Dr. Ong, a physician, is a professorial lecturer with the Science and Society Program; and Asst. Prof. Rye is with the Department of Political Science of the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, UP Diliman. Prof. Vallejo and Dr. Ong also trained under the International Network for Governmental Science Advice (INGSA) in Malaysia on science advice and policy analysis.

Vallejo B, Ong RAC , Rye, RS (2023) An Assessment of the Philippines government’s Response to the COVID-19 pandemic based on policy response indices. SciEngg 16 (2) 426-436

MPT Mobility leveling up NLEX Drive & Dine’s ‘Shoot that Bottle’ program with basketball structure donation

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Continuing their corporate social responsibility thrust, MPT Mobility is all set to make Brgy. Canumay West, Valenzuela City the first beneficiary of the ongoing “Shoot That Bottle” program with a new basketball structure for the community.

“In line with our commitment to providing motorists and travelers with a unique experience, we launched the Shoot That Bottle campaign at NLEX Drive & Dine,” says MPT Mobility Director Rodrigo Franco. The simple but effective concept of colorful hoops above trash bins aims to encourage recycling, specifically that of single-use plastic bottles, ultimately reducing plastic waste in the vicinity—all while banking on Filipinos’ innate and inescapable love for basketball. Initially launched on October 28 of last year, the project promised to use proceeds to purchase recreation materials to be donated to different communities.

This first donation turnover ceremony took place on the 30th of November at L. San Diego Street, Brgy. Canumay West, Valenzuela City with the participation of distinguished individuals and organizations.

Among the attendees were officials from Brgy. Canumay West, key Marketing and Corporate Affairs representatives from MPT Mobility Corp., as well as spokespeople from NLEX Drive & Dine. “It may have been a relatively small ceremony, but we were and continue to be very excited to see our sustainability efforts blossom into something that the community will definitely love and make good use of,” adds Franco. “It’s a collaboration we’re proud of and hope to take to new heights in the near future.”

Asi Taulava and Larry Fonacier from the NLEX Road Warriors ended the ceremony on a high note with an inaugural game, reflecting the company's love for the sport and dedication to encouraging local talent. Mark Glenn Cruz, Marketing Executive from Pacific Paint (Boysen) Philippines, Inc., the official project partner of MPT Mobility, was also present during the ceremony.

As MPT Mobility’s venture into retail and leisure, NLEX Drive & Dine is more than just an expressway rest stop, it is a destination. One of many components in the group’s overall push to redefine mobility—by developing digital and on-ground solutions and mobile technologies to allow Filipinos to move and travel with more ease and control. As part of an answer to the need for a smarter, more integrated urban mobility system, MPT Mobility pledges to stay conscientious of plastic waste and to make the experience of both visiting and keeping NLEX Drive & Dine environmentally friendly a rewarding one. Follow NLEX Drive & Dine on Facebook and Instagram to learn more.

Check! Shopping tips at World Bazaar Festival

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

As we mark the one-year anniversary of embracing smarter shopping habits, we are excited to share valuable tips with our fellow Bazaaristas, just in time for the upcoming World Bazaar Festival.

In a world filled with endless choices, it's essential to shop smarter, not harder. The World Bazaar Festival, renowned for its diverse array of offerings, becomes the perfect backdrop for this celebration of informed consumerism.

Here are some tips to elevate your shopping experience at the World Bazaar Festival:

1. Plan Ahead: Take a moment to create a shopping list and prioritize your needs.With countless booths at the festival, a clear plan will ensure you make the most of your time.

2. Compare Prices: Explore various stalls before making a purchase. The festival is a treasure trove of unique finds, and comparing prices ensures you get the best deals.

3. Support Local Businesses: Filipinos take pride in their craftsmanship. Embrace the spirit of local entrepreneurship by supporting homegrown businesses at the festival.

4. Quality over Quantity: Instead of succumbing to impulse buys, focus on quality products that align with your needs. It's not about how much you buy but the value each purchase brings.

5. Be Mindful of Budget: Set a budget and stick to it. This ensures a more controlled and satisfying shopping experience.

6. Try Before You Buy: Especially for clothing or accessories, try them on or inspect them closely before making a purchase.

7. Stay Hydrated and Energized: Shopping can be a workout! Stay hydrated and have a snack to keep your energy levels up.

8. Be Open to Discoveries: While having a plan is good, be open to discovering new and unique items at the festival. You might find hidden gems.

9. Enjoy the Experience: Shopping is not just about acquiring items; it's an experience. Enjoy the vibrant atmosphere and cultural richness of the World Bazaar Festival while you shop.

10.Stay Informed: Keep an eye out for exclusive deals and promotions. Many exhibitors at the World Bazaar Festival offer discounts through various channels.

The World Bazaar Festival serves as a vibrant marketplace that mirrors the rich tapestry of Filipino culture and commerce. Let this event be a reminder to shop consciously, supporting local enterprises and making every purchase count. Join us at the World Trade Center from December 13-22, 2023. Get ready to "Shop 'til you pop"!

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