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RP to get 1.9M doses of A(H1N1) vaccine

By Anna Valmero
First Posted 17:17:00 04/07/2010

Filed Under: Government, Diseases, Health

MANILA, Philippines—Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral said Wednesday that the Philippines will receive anytime this week about 1.9 million doses of vaccines against A(H1N1) flu virus, which will be distributed to high-risk groups. Read the rest of this entry »


Hepatitis A outbreak declared in Iloilo town; 18 infected

By Anna Valmero
First Posted 13:21:00 03/18/2010

Filed Under: Health, Diseases

MANILA, Philippines – Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral declared Thursday an outbreak of hepatitis A in Sara town of Iloilo province, after the disease infected 18 persons there.

“About 18 of the 28 suspected cases are confirmed to have hepatitis A. They are now undergoing home treatment and we expect them to get well in three to four weeks,” said Cabral.

Doctor Eric Tayag, National Epidemiology Center (NEC) director, told reporters that of the 28 suspected cases – 15 students from Pitogo High School, 8 pupils of Pitogo Elementary School, three mothers and two out-of-school youth – 18 were confirmed to have been infected of hepatitis A.

“We received the reports of suspected hepatitis cases on March 1 and we have already dispatched a team to investigate the cause of the outbreak. Since the victims are students, we are looking to contaminated water sources since hepatitis A is caused by fecal contamination of water,” said Tayag.

Reports of the cause of the outbreak would be made available by next week, he said.

Symptoms of hepatitis A include brown urine, malaise, and pale under eyes.

Residents of Sara town are advised to boil their drinking water and practice hygiene, said Cabral

Comelec dashes Acosta’s presidential dream

By Anna Valmero
First Posted 18:36:00 03/04/2010

Filed Under: Eleksyon 2010, Elections, Inquirer Politics, Politics

MANILA, Philippines—(UPDATE) The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Thursday threw out the presidential bid of Vetallano Acosta for lack of qualifications, leaving only nine contenders in the May 10 race for the highest office of the land. Read the rest of this entry »

Comelec trains 240,000 teachers for automated poll duties

By Anna Valmero
First Posted 20:30:00 03/04/2010

Filed Under: Elections, Politics, Inquirer Politics, Eleksyon 2010

MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has started to train around 250,000 public school teachers who will act as board of election inspectors (BEIs) in the country’s first national automated polls in May.

“There will be 500 simultaneous training sessions of teachers nationwide for the whole month of March focusing on the new poll duties of BEIs like the operation of the poll machines to generate and print the Election Returns (ERs) and transmit them via telcos to Comelec servers,” said Comelec Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal, head of the steering committee on automation.

The teachers will be in charge of 76,000 clustered precincts nationwide, Gregorio told

In a separate interview, Smartmatic-Total Information Management (TIM) said the company trained last month 500 Comelec personnel on the automated election system. They will in turn train the BEIs.

Larrazabal said the duties of teachers in the 2010 polls will be “easier” than during the manual election system as almost all stages are automated.

Under the poll automation plan, the BEI chairman and other officers will be trained to operate the counting machine, which automatically counts, consolidates and transmits votes.

The BEI chairman is also tasked to certify the election returns printed by the machine through digital keys or signatures which will be randomly assigned by the election commission, said Comelec spokesman James Jimenez in another interview.

Technology firm in automated polls trains 50,000 staff

By Anna Valmero
First Posted 18:54:00 03/04/2010

Filed Under: Eleksyon 2010, Technology (general)

MANILA, Philippines – The automation partner of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has started hiring and training about 50,000 technicians and technical personnel for the May elections, a spokesman for the company told Thursday.

Smartmatic-Total Information Management spokesman Gene Gregorio the firm was hiring and training 42,000 technicians and 2,000 supervisors for precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines situated in voting centers nationwide and 4,000 technicians for the consolidation and canvassing system (CCS) in municipal, city, provincial, regional and national canvassing levels. Read the rest of this entry »

First automated overseas voting in HK and Singapore set April 10
By Anna Valmero First Posted 16:45:00 02/24/2010 Filed Under: Elections, Overseas Absentee Voting, Eleksyon 2010

MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is gearing up for the conduct of the first automated overseas absentee voting in Hong Kong and Singapore come April 10, an official said Wednesday.

Comelec Commissioner Armando Velasco, who heads the committee on overseas absentee voting (COAV), said the poll agency would visit the two countries to educate personnel of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on how to operate the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines when they perform poll duties as deputized staff for OAV for the May polls. DFA was tapped to cut travel expenses. Read the rest of this entry »

Comelec says SC ruling on Ladlad might result in stray ballots
January 13, 2010 21:12:00
Anna Valmero

MANILA, Philippines—An election on Wednesday expressed concern that the Supreme Court ruling on gay party-list Ang Ladlad would result in stray ballots as other disqualified party-list groups might demand the same treatment.

“While we respect the decision of the Supreme Court, we are also concerned that this might be taken as a precedent for other party lists with pending accreditation to appeal the inclusion of their names in the ballots,” said Comelec spokesman James Jimenez. Read the rest of this entry »


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