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Duterte to DepEd: Ensure basic level of health literacy

Photo: Facebook/Presidential Communications (Government of the Philippines)

President Rodrigo Duterte has called on the Department of Education (DepEd) to promote a basic level of “health literacy skills”.

Duterte told Congress that he has instructed DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones to enable teachers to educate Filipinos on the proper skills and ways of responding to disasters or pandemics, especially on the matter of mitigating the spread of a virus.

The president further noted that through the health literacy initiative, ordinary citizens would be able to play a more active role in preventing the “creation of secondary transmission chains”.

In a televised address, Duterte shared that his Barrett’s esophagus was worsening and could nearly progress to stage one cancer. He was advised by doctors to cease drinking alcohol so as not to aggravate his disease. His directive to DepEd for health literacy skills came after he revealed the status of his condition.

Barrett’s esophagus is commonly triggered by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a digestive disorder wherein stomach acid flows back into the esophagus. When one has Barrett’s esophagus, a lining in the tube linking the mouth to the stomach gets damaged by acid reflux and thickens. Those with the condition are more prone to developing esophageal cancer.

P754.4 billion of the proposed P4.506 trillion 2021 budget will be allocated to the education sector, primarily DepEd, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). DepEd aims to utilize the funds to support blended and flexible learning, through the production
of learning modules, acquisition of multimedia packages, and the construction of classrooms.

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Metro Manila, Cebu, and 10 other areas placed under GCQ until August 15

President Rodrigo Duterte has announced that Metro Manila will remain other general community quarantine (GCQ) until mid-August. He shared the news in a taped briefing aired on July 31, Friday.

Cebu City, on the other hand, which was under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from June 15 to July 15 and under modified ECQ from July 16 to July 31, will be placed under GCQ until August 15. The city noted a total of 8,136 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 6,740 recoveries and 342 fatalities.

Meanwhile, 10 other areas in the country will be placed under GCQ as well, namely, Bulacan, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City, Talisay City, as well as Minglanilla and Consolacion in Cebu province. The rest of the Philippines will be under modified GCQ.

Barangays in Metro Manila and Region IV-A with high levels or 80 percent of localized transmission will be observing stringent localized lockdown, while hospitals in the same areas would be monitored closely by Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega for compliance with protocols. Local government units (LGUs) have been required to submit daily and weekly reports on data such as the number of active cases, cases in community isolation facilities and health facilities, as well as those being treated at home.

“Also part of the measures are stringent enforcement of minimum health standards, massive targeted testing, intensified tracing, and quarantine of close contacts, isolation of confirmed cases, and strict adherence to Oplan Kalinga Implementation,” said presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.

As of July 30, the DOH has recorded 89,374 cases of coronavirus, with 65,064 recoveries, and 1,983 deaths nationwide.

Despite the World Health Organization (WHO) noting that a vaccine would not be possible until at least 2021, Duterte expressed his hopes for a vaccine to be available by December 2020.