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Monday, October 3, 2016

Promise Hope Not Death to Drug Dependents, Push for Public Health Approach to Anti-Drug Campaign


Wazzup Pilipinas!

Two days after President Rodrigo Duterte vowed to kill the country's estimated three million drug users, Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros made an emphatic appeal to the government to provide drug dependents with hope by mainstreaming a public health approach to its anti-drug campaign.

In a forum held at at the Ateneo De Manila University on Monday, Hontiveros spoke of the need for a policy anchored on public health and human rights to effectively address the drug problem and rehabilitate drug dependents. The forum was organized by the Ateneo School of Government, Ateneo Law School and the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health.

The Senator argued that worldwide the drug problem is acknowledged as a public health issue, and a strictly punitive and violent war on drugs have failed in many parts of the world.

"The government must promise hope not death to drug dependents. It must guarantee health care assistance not violence. This is the more effective, affordable and compassionate anti-drug policy," Hontiveros said.


"Harm reduction"


Hontiveros, who is also the Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, pushed for "harm reduction programs and practices" to reduce the adverse health, social and economic consequences of the use of illegal drugs. These include the opening of community-based out-patient rehabilitation programs, drop-in centers, and conducting of harm reduction capacity-building sessions for local governments, health agencies and non-government organizations.

"Harm reduction as an essential component of the public health approach to the drug problem has effectively reduced overdose, overdose deaths, and HIV transmissions. Furthermore, based on the experiences of China and Iran, harm reduction strategies led to less trafficking, less use of illicit drugs, crime reduction, higher rates of employment among former dependents, and greater participation of drug dependents in communities and family activities," Hontiveros explained.



"Cost-effective and affordable"


The first-term senator also said that a public health approach to the drug problem is cost-effective and affordable. Citing several studies, Hontiveros said that for every dollar invested on harm reduction, over $4 accrue in short term health-care cost savings. She also said advocates estimated that only 10 percent of the approximately $ 100 billion spent annually on international drug enforcement would already cover HIV prevention services for drug users for four years.

"The government must explore all available options and enrich the discourse on the alternatives we have. It must include the public health and human rights lens in its anti-drug campaign. Maybe in order to win this war, it is the legendary nurse, Florence Nightingale, that we must find inspiration from rather than an Adolf Hitler," Hontiveros concluded.

SHDA Convention Underscores Challenge to Philippine Housing Industry


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If there is one thing that was unequivocally and indisputably established during the 25th National Developers’ Convention of the Subdivision and Housing Developers’ Association, it is this: the housing industry has a mammoth task before it. After all, a 5.7 million-unit housing backlog for the year 2016 is not to be taken lightly. Yet, the participants of the conference left Iloilo with smiles on their faces because there are many reasons to be optimistic at the conclusion of the gathering held from September 22-23, 2016. With the theme “The Many Faces of Housing: Enhancing Lives”, there was no doubt left on any of the 300 participants’ minds that there are still many different ways to engage the general public in terms of kinds of housing (and price points) as well as location. And that they have a unique and important role in nation-building.

The keynote speaker on Sept. 23, Department of Public Works and Highways secretary Mark Villar noted that government expenditure on infrastructure through the DPWH has been consistently increasing by leaps and bounds: P190.9 billion in 2014, P273.9 billion in 2015, and P363.5 billion in 2016. The total budget for the year 2017 is P342.3 billion. The projects are in various stages of completion and the biggest fund allocation is in Mindanao with P133.1 billion.

Sen. JV Ejercito, chairman of the Senate Committee on Urban and Housing Resettlement, said that “we are in exciting times. The 17th congress is one of the most productive times in terms of setting a legislative agenda.” Two bills to address the housing backlog have been filed: Senate Bill No. 328, an Act creating the Department of Human Settlement and Urban Development, and Senate Bill 331: On-Site, In-City or Near-City Resettlement Act for Informal Settler Families.

Engr. Rodel Racadio, SHDA national president, reiterated that through the SHDA-commissioned Philippine Housing Roadmap, the partnership between government and the private sector “has created a comprehensive and actionable development plan to meet the needs of Filipinos in all sectors of society.” He further reiterated that any development in the housing industry has a multi-sectoral impact and multiplier effect.

Clean Up Your Act: It’s Time to Download the Handy App


Wazzup Pilipinas!

These days, apps play an integral part in everyone’s everyday lives. We all have smartphones at this point, and there are a variety of apps that can help to keep you in check, no matter what your needs. One of the best apps for everything related to cleaning your home or apartment is Handy.

The Handy cleaning app was previously known as Handybook and was founded back in 2012 by co-founders Oisin Hanrahan and Umang Dua. It came to be when Hanrahan was a student in Ireland and became a real estate developer in the Eastern Europe area. He began to purchase and renovate apartments in Budapest and soon developed the idea of Handy as a means of helping people to acquire a variety of services for the home.

Over the past few short years, Handy has gone from being a simple database of professional house cleaners, painters, plumbers, electricians and other home related professionals to a huge service that allows you to locate and book these pros. The service is available in the United States and throughout Europe. It has become so hugely popular that it could expand into other regions as well, including Asia and specifically, the southeastern country of the Philippines.

Handy provides users with a one hundred percent money back guarantee if they are not satisfied with the services of a professional who performs work on their home. However, it should be noted that all professional home workers are thoroughly background checked, highly experienced, friendly and insured. When you use the Handy app, you can quickly and conveniently schedule the home cleaner, plumber, electrician, mover or other professional of your choice, in as little as 60 seconds, and schedule them to come to perform services as early as the next day.

To use the app, all you need to do is to choose the payment method you want to use, select a professional and the date and time you want them to show up at your home. Because the app is right on your smartphone, it is highly convenient and you can book and manage your Handy appointments right at your fingertips while on the go at any time.
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