19 APRIL 2015.

bulet-arow.gif (856 bytes) Palace announces the conduct of this year's 'Balikatan' exercises
bulet-arow.gif (856 bytes) Agriculture, Energy Department work to address concerns over dry spell
bulet-arow.gif (856 bytes) Health department focuses on aggressive info campaign to combat HIV-AIDS

Palace announces the conduct of this year's 'Balikatan' exercises
 
The Palace announced the start of Balikatan exercises between Philippine and U.S. Forces aimed at enhancing the readiness of both militaries against any challenge.

"Bukas, Lunes, ika-20 ng Abril pormal na sisimulan ng Pilipinas at Estados Unidos ang sampung araw na Balikatan exercises," Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said during a radio interview Sunday.

"Ito ang ika-31 edisyon ng Balikatan mula nang ito’y sinimulang isagawa noong 1951, alinsunod sa Mutual Defense Treaty sa pagitan ng Pilipinas at Estados Unidos," he told dzRB Radyo Ng Bayan.

The Philippines and the U.S., through the defense agreement, continue to work together to enhance the readiness of their forces aimed at ensuring regional stability and security, Coloma said.

"Ang kahandaan sa paglulunsad ng agarang pagtugon sa mga krisis bunsod ng mga kalamidad ay isa ring mahalagang aspeto ng kooperasyon."

Filipino and American soldiers will not only conduct military drills but will also build school building as well as provide services to the community hosting the Balikatan exercises.

Soldiers will also conduct trainings and seminars for first responders for community health nursing, common diseases during calamities, and healthy lifestyle to help the people in the local community.

Coloma also said that according to the Department of National Defense, as part of the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief program, both Filipino and American forces will conduct structural assessment on seaport and airports in Capiz, Aklan, and Iloilo, which were damaged by Typhoon Yolanda. PND (as)

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Agriculture, energy departments work to address concerns over dry spell
 
The Department of Agriculture and the Department of Energy are both working to address the concerns in their respective sectors brought about by the onset of summer.

Some provinces are asking government assistance because of the impact of the summer on their farmlands that threaten their production.

"Kaya’t patuloy po ang pagtutok ng Department of Agriculture at mga ahensya nito sa sitwasyon ng tagtuyot na napansin sa iba’t ibang lalawigan, at ang pokus ng kanilang mga ginagawa ay tulungan ang mga magsasaka," Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said a radio interview Sunday.

Among the DA's initiative is providing seedlings as well as introducing alternate crops to farmers who want to remains productive even during the summer months.

"Doon naman sa mga lugar na mayroong maitutulong na patubig o irrigation resources ay nagde-deploy din ng tulong ang ating Department of Agriculture at iba pang mga ahensya," he said in the interview over dzRB Radyo Ng Bayan.

With regards to the power shortage in Mindanao that is feared to also affect Metro Manila, Coloma said the DOE is already addressing the problem.

"Ginagawa ng Department of Energy ang lahat ng nararapat na hakbang upang maagapan at matugunan ang anumang maaaring kakulangan sa supply ng kuryente," he said. PND (as)

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Health department focuses on aggressive info campaign to combat HIV-AIDS
 
The Department of Health aggressively conducts information campaign to raise awareness about human immunodeficiency virus-acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV-AIDS) that is becoming a concern in the country.

The DOH said it is alarmed by the rising number of infections each year that if continued may be difficult to control. The department said infections are high among males having sexual contact with males.

"Tungkol muna doon sa HIV cases, bilang pagtugon diyan, pinaiigting ng Department of Health ang pagsasagawa ng kampanyang pang-impormasyon upang maging maingat ang mga mamamayan laban sa mga sanhi o pinanggagalingan ng pagkakaroon ng HIV virus," Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a radio interview on Sunday.

"Naghahatid din ng serbisyong HIV testing at counseling ang DOH bilang tulong sa mga mamamayan," he told dzRB Radyo Ng Bayan when asked about government's response against the disease.

Coloma also commented on the proliferation of a new drug, the "liquid ecstasy," which is reportedly becoming popular among young drug users.

Coloma said the National Bureau of Investigation is conducting operations to prevent the manufacture and sale of this illegal narcotic.

"Ang PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency) at lahat ng mga kinauukulang ahensya ay nagbababala sa paggamit ng iligal na drogang ito," he said. PND (as)

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