[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 27 October Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Thu Oct 27 16:27:55 PHT 2005

Newsbriefs 27 October Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


WHO: RP should monitor migratory birds till March (www.abs-cbnnews.com)

"The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday said the Philippines should monitor the entry of migratory birds in the country until March next year to guard against possible entry of avian flu. 

"We really don't know when it would come... I understand the birds migrates till the month of March," Roman Vellayudhan of the WHO told DZMM. 

Vellayudhan commended the health and agriculture departments for acting early against the possible spread of avian flu in the country by banning poultry products from nations that have confirmed cases of bird flu. 

He said the first cases of bird flu were reported in Hong Kong in 1997, which then spread to Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, China and Cambodia.

"There is heightened awareness because now it has been reported in Russia, Pakistan, Croatia, Romania and even last week they even got a bird in quarantine in London. We are even more concerned that the disease will spread in Africa," he added." 

RP must speed up compulsory licensing of antiviral drugs (inq7.net)


"THE PHILIPPINES "must work double time" to seek the compulsory licensing of anti-viral drug oseltamivir following the pharmaceutical giant Roche's announcement it was willing to share its technology amid threats of global bird flu pandemic. 

Senator Manuel Roxas II, head of the Senate committee on trade and commerce, said the "present compulsory licensing laws impose time delay requisites like publication requirements, notices, and hearings before a decision is made by the Intellectual Property Office."

Roche makes the anti-viral drug oseltamivir -- sold under the brand name Tamiflu -- which treats type A influenza and is considered the world's key defense if the bird flu virus mutates into a strain passed among humans.

The Swiss-based drug company recently said it was willing to share its technology with other companies and governments "under licenses" to fast track production of oseltamivir.

"The Philippines should take advantage of this openness by Roche and see how our local drug manufacturers could also help in the manufacturing of the said drug," Roxas said."

Rise of local currency indication of economy's takeoff, says Palace 

"Malacañang expressed optimism Thursday that with the local currency's strengthening, the Philippine economy was doing better. 

The peso broke past the psychological barrier of 55 to a dollar yesterday, hitting a high of 54.960 during intraday trading on the back of strong dollar inflows from overseas Filipino workers and lack of corporate demand for the greenback. 

Yesterday's close was 25.20 centavos higher than Tuesday's close of 55.460 to $1. Total volume traded was heavy at $559 million on an average rate of 55.059. 

In his statement, Press Secretary Ignacio R. Bunye said, "The steady climb of the peso is a clear signal of an economy on the verge of takeoff." 

Likewise, Bunye said, "The President's efforts to address the budget deficit have gained the confidence of the business and financial community." 

"We will continue to invite investments that will bring in the jobs that would improve the lives of average Filipinos," he said."

Palace: Probe Central Luzon killings (www.abs-cbnnews.com)

"The Palace on Thursday ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to investigate the series of killings of activist leaders in Central Luzon, ABS-CBN News learned. 

DZMM reported on Thursday that 19 activist leaders had been killed in Central Luzon since September. The leftist Kilusang Mayo Uno said the deaths occurred between September 2 to October 26.

Presidential Spokesman Ignacio Bunye said the President has ordered police authorities to leave no stone unturned "to establish the motive behind the brutal attacks, to prevent the reign of violence and to make the perpetrators pay for their crimes."

"The President wants a speedy, impartial and full blown investigation of these senseless killings and the perpetrators brought to justice," Bunye said in a statement. 

Bunye also appealed to parties concerned to refrain from issuing baseless accusations."

Pichay on House speakership: It ain't over ... (inq7.net)

"SURIGAO del Sur Representative Prospero Pichay is not ready to throw in the towel, even after the merger of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's party Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi) with the ruling Lakas-CMD appears to have scuttled his bid for the House speakership. 

"How can you say it's over when it has yet to begin? I haven't even announced that I will (run)," said Pichay.

Pichay is now eyeing the support of the Liberal Party to boost his chances of ousting Speaker Jose de Venecia.

In a phone interview, Pichay said the LP, which was split in half by the failed impeachment bid last month, had decided to tackle the issue of the rivalry for the House speakership as "one party."

The LP held a party caucus on Tuesday at the residence Senator Manuel Roxas II. It was attended by 20 of the 34 LP House members.

"If they are for the Speaker, they could have said so there and then," said Pichay."

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