Sympathy for Health Secretary Ona

HEALTH Secretary Ike Ona has taken forced leave to give him the time to answer the charges against him. Allegedly, Secretary Ona committed an irregularity in purchasing vaccines that were not cost-effective. Newspapers also reported that Secretary Ona is being criticized for additional funding for the renovation of the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM) […]

Grace from heaven, please heed our call

 THE “FIRST LEAVES of political spring are upon us” and of late we have the unacknowledged “Oplan Stop Nognog” that’s reminding us that the unofficial campaign period has started in earnest. That makes our electoral exercise the longest in the world, a similar honor we already owe to our four-month observance of the Christmas season. […]

Remember Yolanda’s lessons

ALL SOULS’ DAY will be different this year for those who lost relatives and friends when typhoon Yolanda battered the Philippines on Nov. 8 last year. It will also be difficult because for those who have survived, daily living has become a struggle: a struggle for food, sanitation and privacy.  One year since Yolanda, thousands […]

Stubbing out a costly addiction

WHOEVER SAYS that quitters never win should think twice when it comes to quitting smoking. The 2013 National Nutrition and Health Survey (NNHeS) reveals there were 3.2 million fewer Filipinos smoking after the passage of the Sin Tax Law, averting about 32,000 smoking-related deaths and billions worth of economic burden. In a series of focus […]

Stepping up and Toning Down – Different Dosage of Competition for Sectoral Benefits

“With the Quantitative Restriction (QR) on import of rice, expected to be abolished in July, 2017, in the Philippines, it is a need of the hour to work out an interim strategy to build the capacity of domestic farmers and other actors to face international competition,” claimed Dr. Roehlano Briones, Senior Fellow, Philippines Institute for […]

Retirement planning, the ‘boy scout’ way

EVER WONDERED why Vice-President Jejomar Binay has kept a 20-year hold on the presidency of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP)? Yes, there’s the political advantage of being at the helm of a two-million-member organization. But there could be more to it than that.  A recent report by a major daily said, “Vice-President Jejomar […]

Public Expenditure Tracking Survey: A Study of the Sponsored Program of the National Health Insurance Program

A study that utilized health facility and beneficiary questionnaires to track funds generated from excise taxes on tobacco and alcohol products that were earmarked for PhilHealth’s Sponsored Program (SP), providing free health care to the poorest 20 percent of the Filipino population. The study sought to identify problems and bottlenecks in the funding flow from […]