Friday, December 22, 2017

Safe Spaces On Giving Free Condoms with Lube Launched

Wazzup Pilipinas!

There’s nothing wrong in protecting one’s self, more so in using condoms with lube during sexual activities. This is what LoveYourself, an HIV prevention advocacy group, reiterates over and over again.

Yet, the usage of condoms with water-based lubricants as protection against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) remains a taboo among many Filipinos, even to populations most at-risk to these sexual health concerns.

“The government offers condoms for free not just as contraceptive, but more importantly as a protection against contracting HIV and STIs. We just have to mobilize its distribution to ensure that we really target and reach the right market or people,” LoveYourself Executive Director Ronivin G. Pagtakhan emphasized.

Pagtakhan pointed out that “Correct and consistent use of condoms with water-based lubricants remain the most effective method in preventing the spread of HIV, but accessibility and people wanting to have access to these services is still a huge challenge.”

“A sizable number of condoms procured by the government are largely unknown and untapped by the public, hence sometimes these were put to waste unused,” he added.

Safe Spaces Official Logo

Thus, LoveYourself in partnership with Save the Children introduces on Friday (22 December) the Safe Spaces PH at Greenbelt’s My Cinema in Makati City through an adult education dialogue to bring in the idea of a sustainable condom distribution supply chain that is backed-up by technology for public discussion.

Safe Space PH will be partnering with non-discriminatory and sex-positive establishments to serve as “Depots” or safe spaces where a condiment station, a receptacle where condoms with water-based lubricants are dispensed, is installed.

Safe Spaces also ensures seamless supply of condoms for distribution on these Depots.

It will also entail a heavy digital campaign for smart selling of the Depots and the program at large. In addition, Safe Space App is available on Google Play store and App Store to provide a snappy service, especially for the target population such as the youth and men-having-sex-with-men.

The Safe Space PH is a holistic solution to the barriers on active utilization of free condoms by the people.

An actual interface of the Safe Spaces App showing the location of Depots and its details.

These barriers include people’s averse to avail free condoms from the health centers or any designated areas where it is available; at times, insufficiency of condom supply on these designated areas; many people do not know that government-subsidized condoms are given for free; and many people do not know where to get these free condoms.

LoveYourself also encourages the public to visit its two clinics, which are also safe spaces not just for free and confidential HIV screening, but for free condom with water-based lubricants as well. These are LoveYourself Anglo along Shaw and LoveYourself Uni in Taft-Buendia. Both clinics are open every Wednesdays to Saturdays from 12:00 nn -7:00 p.m., and Sundays at 9:00 a.m.-2:00p.m.

For more details on #SafeSpacesPH and other LoveYourself’s services, individuals may visit the safe spaces page at and the group’s official website at or follow and like its social media channels: Facebook-, Twitter- @loveyourselfph, and Instagram-

DOE, Energy Team on Heightened Alert vs 'Vinta'

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi today directed the energy family to observe energy resiliency measures to combat the adverse effects of Severe Tropical Storm (STS) Vinta (international name: Tembin).

“The DOE assures the public that the energy family will work together on a 24/7 basis to immediately secure and normalize the energy supply in the STS Vinta-affected areas,” Cusi concluded.

According to the weather bureau PAGASA, the maximum sustained winds of STS Vinta reach 65 kilometers/hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 110 kph. The center of the storm has traversed the vicinity of Marawi City in Lanao del Sur, compromising power facilities in the franchise areas of electric cooperatives in nearby provinces.

“We are coordinating with electric cooperatives and other energy stakeholders in the affected areas through the Inter-Agency Task Force on Securing Energy Facilities (IATFSEF). We continuously monitor developments and reports so that we can mobilize our assets to assist the most affected households and stakeholders in the storm-hit areas,” Cusi said.

For the transmission sector, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines reported that the affected energy facilities are as follows:

1. Paranas-Quinapondan 69kV Line, which was out at 10:49 p.m. of 22 Dec. affecting Eastern Samar Electric Cooperative (ESAMELCO);

2. San Francisco-Tandag 69kV Line, which was out at 6:19 p.m. of 21 December affecting Surigao del Sur II Electric Cooperative (SURSECO II);

3. Bislig-Cateel-Baganga 69kV Line, which was out at 1:28 a.m. of 22 December affecting Davao Oriental Electric Cooperative (DORECO);

4. Jasaan-Kinoguitan 69kV Line, was out at 4:06 a.m. of 22 December but with atrial restoration at 5:23 a.m. The transmission line affected Camiguin Electric Cooperative Incorporated (CAMELCO) and Misamis Oriental II Electric Service Cooperative (MORESCO II);

5. Balo-i-Marawi 69kV Line, which was out at 5:02 a.m. of 22 December affecting Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative (LASURECO);

6. Agus6-Kauswagan 69kV Line, which was out 7:31 a.m. of 22 December affecting Lanao del Norte Electric Cooperative (LANECO);

7. Agus 6-Mapalad 69kV Line, which was out 10:18 p.m. of 22 December 2017 affecting Iligan Light & Power Inc.

According to the NGCP, the inspection and restoration of the affected lines will be in full swing as soon as the weather allows.

For the distribution sector, the National Electrification Administration (NEA) reported that the LASURECO franchise area is in total blackout due to heavy rains and strong winds brought about by TS Vinta. Initial reports showed that electric lines and steel poles were toppled down in some areas in MSU Barrio Salam, MSU Fisheries, Municipality of Marantao in Lanao del Sur and Municipality of Baloi in Lanao del Norte. Meanwhile, a Quick Response Team is now doing all the clearing in the affected areas.

In Agusan del Sur Electric Cooperative (ASELCO), only 1 feeder tripped in Trento substation due to a tree leaning on the line. There are also occurrences of minor trippings on the lateral lines and sitios in Veruela area.

Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative (DANECO), particularly the areas in Compostela Valley, are experiencing heavy downpour. Only the towns of Montevista, Nabunturan and Mawab are energized, while the rest are still experiencing trippings. The Municipality of Laak and Asuncion are experiencing power outage but linemen and crew were already dispatched to patrol the lines.

For the downstream oil industry sector, the DOE is closely coordinating with industry players on the ground for updates and reports on matters affecting petroleum products.

The DOE’s line is open for any energy related concern, just contact the Consumer Welfare and Promotion Office at tel. no. ‎‎‎429 2900 local 329 or email them at

On the Sea Accident Involving MV Mercraft 3

Wazzup Pilipinas!

22 December 2017

This refers to the sea mishap that occurred yesterday, 21 December 2017 at 10:30am, between Dinahican, Quezon and Polilio Island involving MV Mercraft 3.

Please be informed that MARINA Region 4 has dispatched search and rescue operations personnel, 30 minutes after the accident happened.

Initial reports from the field revealed that the vessel sank due to heavy rains and strong winds caused by the bad weather condition.

“Per narration of the [ship] master [Eruel MeraƱa]... the vessel collided with a hard object on its starboard side... allegedly a steel bouy. Hence, ingress of water caused the vessel to list and flooding started, and, simultaneously, they were battered with big waves estimated to be 3-5 meters high,” says DOTr Assistant Secretary for Maritime Fernando Juan Perez.

Of the 251 passengers, 243 survived the incident, and were immediately brought to the Barangay Dinahican Village Hall in Quezon for immediate medical attention.

Five bodies were recovered; three remained unidentified as of writing. The cadavers are currently kept at the Claro M. Recto Memorial District Hospital in Infanta, Quezon.

Three more passengers are still missing.

Force multipiers from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Enforcement Service have arrived in Quezon early afternoon of 22 December 2017, to check on the condition of the survivors and extend assistance on the ongoing search and rescue operation and investigation.

MARINA Region 4 Regional Director Marc Pascua is closely monitoring updates on the incident. More details will be provided soon.
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