Wednesday, March 23, 2011

DOST PNRI monitors Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident in Japan

Contrary to some media reports, the DOST PNRI is not recommending the routine screening for radio activity of travelers from Japan and other countries abroad. 
It was found that no abnormal amount of radio activity on travelers from Japan who requested scanning from the DOST-PNRI.  According to World Health Organization, travelers returning from Japan who have come from beyond the 20-km evacuation zone surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and who have undergone proper screening and decontamination procedures in Japan, do not pose a radioactive health risk to others and do not require screening.
        The DOST-PNRI continues to closely monitor the situation at the Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclea Power Plants. Here are the following news bits:
        
        • Japanese recovery operations are continuing and meeting some successes including restoration of grid power to Units 1, 2, 5, and 6. Further large releases of radioactivity remain unlikely to happen.

       • The Japanese government is considering relevant precautionary measures and instructed four Prefectures around the nuclear power plants namely Ibaraki, Gunma, Tochigi, and Fukushima to refrain from distributing two types of vegetables (spinach and kakina) from these Prefectures and milk from Fukushima.

      • Radiation levels in major Japanese cities have not changed significantly and remain below those which are dangerous to human health.

      • Discussion among government agencies headed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), DOST, PNRI, National Dairy Authority (NDA), Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has begun in order to address the concern of the public regarding imported food items from Japan. The PNRI will continue to conduct radioactivity measurements in food as needed.

      • Portal monitors previously installed in the Port of Manila are already scanning container vans for radioactivity.
      • For the latest information on on-site and off-site radiological situations about the Fukushima accident, please access the following websites: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) website (www.iaea.org); and Nuclear and Industrial Safety Administration (NISA) of Japan (www.nisa.meti.go.jp/english/index.html).
  
      • For further advisories, please call the PNRI trunklines with Tel Nos. 929-6010 to 19 or visit the following websites: DOST (www.dost.gov.ph), PNRI (www.pnri.dost.gov.ph); and
STII (www.stii.dost.gov.ph).

      • Latest DOST-PNRI RADIATION LEVEL CHECK at PNRI grounds as of 3:00 PM, March 21, 2011: 95-122 nSv/hr (nanosieverts per hour) and the STATUS is NORMAL



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Friday, March 11, 2011

Mercury Drugstores implement 20% Discount for PWDs

(PWDs campaigns for the implementation of their 20% discount. Mr Emer Rojas, standing third from left is the president of New Vois Association of the Philippines. Inc.and contributor of Pinoyvision blog)





L
ike the senior citizens, Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) can now avail of the 20% discount to purchase medicines. Drugstores in the Philippines led by the giant chain, Mercury Drugstores finally agreed on implementing the provisions of Republic Act 9442 or the act amending RA 7277 (Magna Carta for Disabled Person) which provides, among others, with prescriptions to be used by PWDs. The law also states that the same discount must be given by hospitals and transportation needs of PWDs.
       On October 4, 2010 the PWDs staged a rally and marched to the Commission on Human Rights seeking for help and support of the government agency in the implementation of RA9442 law which was stubbornly defied by most of the drugstores in the Philippines. Commissioner Eta Rosales vowed full support and action for the sector’s request. During that time, only the Watson’s chain of drugstores provides 20% discount to medicine purchases by PWDs. Several meetings were initiated by the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA). These events prompted Hon. Arturo Robes, the chairman of the Social Services Committee at the House of Representatives to file House Resolution No. 221 to solve the impasse. The sponsor of RA9442 is Hon. Walden F. Bello of AKBAYAN PARTYLIST who diligently monitors the development.
         “It is a very timely decision for the Mercury Drugstore company to finally implement the law. Now, the sector, composed mainly of marginalized citizens, shall enjoy the full benefit of the law”, Emer Rojas, the president of New Vois Association said. Rojas is a member of the League of Leaders of PWD (LLPWD), a 16-man think-tank group of PWD leaders overseeing the Development Council (QCDC) and takes care of the general welfare of PWDs in the city under the chairmanship of Mayor Herbert Bautista.
         “We are on the verge of filing a class suit against these erring drugstore companies if they still defy the implementation of the law. It could have been a long battle and we are glad Mercury Drug has finally decided to do what is right. This is one event that clearly shows that the law still prevails in the Philippines and the government cares for its people,” Rojas added.

Note:
Mr. Emer Rojas is also the Board Secretary of House with No Steps Inc. (Tahanang Walang Hagdan); the Sectoral Representative of the Quezon City Development Council and a member of the League of Leaders of Persons with Disabilities (LLPWD).

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