CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)--To streamline and modernize the examination process, making it more efficient and accessible to candidates, the Civil Service Commission (CSC)-10 relaunched the Computerized Examination (ComEx), September 5, with CSC Chairperson Karlo Alexei Nograles.
"My visit to the regional office coincided with the relaunching of our ComEx, or computerized examination, for Region 10. We have now provided Region 10 with the new computer server to ensure the continuous conduct of our ComEx at least twice a week," Nograles said.
A total of 25 computer units have been allocated for the use of CSC exam applicants in the region, ensuring that technological gaps do not hinder the examination process.
Nograles also shared that the commission had faced challenges in conducting computerized examinations due to issues with computer servers, resulting in a halt in ComEx operations since February 2020. The relaunch is expected to resolve these issues and provide a more efficient and accessible examination experience for applicants.
As for the process, the chairperson said the registration for ComEx will be done online through the CSC ComEx website on a first-come, first-served basis. This digitalized and streamlined approach aims to expand the number of ComEx users, takers, and passers.
"With these digitalized and streamlined services, we hope to expand the number of ComEx users, ComEx takers, and ComEx passers," Nograles said.
CSC is working toward having ComEx in full operation within 2024, providing candidates with a more accessible and efficient means of taking civil service examinations.
The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT)-10 played a crucial role in supporting the relaunch. They participated in the blessing ceremony and expressed their commitment to providing technical assistance in setting up and operating the ComEx system.
Chairperson Nograles also mentioned the increasing passing rates in CSC exams, highlighting that under his watch, they have improved to 16%. He emphasized the importance of maintaining the CSC exam standards to ensure fairness for all applicants.
ComEx is specifically intended for individuals who may have failed the pen and paper test or those who have struggled to secure a schedule for the traditional examination, which is held only twice a year, in March and August.
CSC-10 envisions expanding ComEx to hold exams, ideally from twice a week to daily. To achieve this, they are collaborating with internet service providers to ensure stable internet connectivity in ComEx rooms across the region.
"We already have additional internet providers. Hopefully, in those of our field offices where the internet connection is not very strong, other service providers can also provide it so that we can ensure stable internet in the area to offer computerized exams," Nograles said.
The relaunch of computerized examinations is part of the region's 123rd Philippine Civil Service Anniversary celebration with the theme "Transforming Public Service in the Next Decade: Honing Agile and Future-Ready Servant-Heroes." (RTP/PIA-10)
Civil Service Commission Chairperson Karlo Alexei Nograles (left) and CSC-10 Regional Director Noemi Rabe-Torres lead the relaunch of the computerized examination that aims to streamline and modernize the examination process, making it more efficient and accessible to candidates, September 5, 2023, at the CSC-10 Regional Office. (RTP/PIA-10)
A total of 25 computer units have been allocated for the use of CSC exam applicants in the region, ensuring that technological gaps do not hinder the examination process. (RTP/PIA-10)
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)--Emphasizing the importance of embracing digitalization to improve public service and streamline government processes, Civil Service Commission (CSC) Chairperson Lawyer Karlo Alexei Nograles highlighted the ongoing digital transformation within their commission during a leadership development program, here, September 5.
Nograles stressed the significance of providing convenience through digitalization but noted that true convenience can only be achieved when users possess the knowledge and competence to use digital tools effectively and service providers have the skills and confidence to deliver efficient services.
"We in the Civil Service Commission have a vision of a more streamlined and digitalized service delivery, empowering people and organizations in human resource and organizational development, as well as in serving the public through streamlined and digitalized services," Nograles declared.
Recognizing that digital transformation is an ongoing process, Nograles emphasized the need for support from top management and change agents within government organizations. He stressed the necessity of upskilling and reskilling government workers to keep up with technological advancements.
Digitalization in CSC
CSC has already implemented several digital systems to enhance its services, including the External Civil Service Verification System (eCSEVS). This system allows Human Resource Management Officers (HRMOs) to access and verify the eligibility information of applicants before issuing appointments.
Nograles explained, "With this system, eligible individuals who have passed our civil service exams can access their eligibility information using the system."
Another innovative initiative is the Online Appointment Processing System (OAPS), which is set to revolutionize appointment processing. The fully automated system will eliminate the need for HRMOs to submit voluminous appointments and supporting documents physically to the CSC.
"Last month, we already pilot tested the Online Appointment Processing System (OAPS), and we in the CSC are envisioning a fully automated appointment processing system where HRMO will no longer submit voluminous appointments and supporting documents to the CSC," Nograles said.
For Region 10, the CSC plans to pilot-test OAPS in Camiguin to assess its effectiveness and make necessary adjustments before nationwide implementation. With the island's location, Nograles said Camiguin is a good area for testing to make sure that even remote areas could be served effectively.
Additionally, the CSC is launching an online learning management system to provide government workers with the opportunity to take courses online, increasing accessibility and convenience.
For addressing complaints related to government agencies, Nograles mentioned the Contact Center ng Bayan, which boasts an impressive 99% resolution rate. He affirmed that all complaints received by the Contact Center ng Bayan are referred to the appropriate agency and followed up until they are resolved.
Taking note of the lectures during the leadership development program, Elson Jamero of the Department of Education (DepEd) Camiguin Division said the initiative made by the Civil Service Commission Region 10 and the whole Philippines has a great impact on the national government and local government units because it will reduce the time of requesting clients, the taxpayers who need services from departments and agencies.
The 2023 Digital Transformation Leadership Development Program is part of the 123rd Philippine Civil Service Anniversary celebration organized by CSC-10. The program underscores the commitment of the Civil Service Commission to modernize and streamline government services through digital transformation. (RTP/PIA-10)
Civil Service Commission Chairperson Lawyer Karlo Alexei Nograles shares the importance of embracing digitalization to improve public service and streamline government processes during the 2023 Digital Transformation Leadership Development Program on September 5, 2023, at Cagayan de Oro City. (RTP/PIA-10)
One of the participants, Elson Jamero of the Department of Education Camiguin Division, says the initiative made by the Civil Service Commission Region 10 and the whole Philippines has a great impact on the national government and local government units because it will reduce the time of requesting clients, the taxpayers who need services from departments and agencies. (ZRD/PIA-10)
She was very grateful for the SM Mall’s assistance, then she said, "Who cares? SM Cares!"
Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez signed an agreement with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-10) for the turnover of Multipurpose Solar Speed Drying Trays or portable solar (PORTASOL) dryers last Wednesday, October 26.
The portasol, a Filipino-invented technology, is an equipment used by farmers in drying agricultural harvests such as rice, corn, and fish.
“PORTASOLs are valued at P36,000 per unit and it is scheduled to be given to identified farming and fisherfolk associations in different barangays in the city,” Rodriguez said.
“With the impending food crisis, the latest Filipino technology will aid our farmers to speed up the production of farm products. This will also allow them to generate more income and help our economy in general,” he explained further.
Rodriguez previously met with DOST provincial head Engr. Junelyn Ruiz and administrative division chief Liza Macapayad to discuss areas for partnership in livelihood programs.
Included in the proposed partnership are the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) and Local Grants in Aid (LGIA) programs of the science department.
SETUP will provide entrepreneurs with financial assistance to upgrade their technology and improve the productivity of Micro, Small, & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). LGIAs offer financial assistance worth P200,000 up to P3,000,000 to community-based enterprises to empower rural barangays.
The CdeO lawmaker stated he will continue to help DOST-10 facilitate the implementation of different programs as well as the identification of beneficiaries in the barangays.
It can be remembered that Rodriguez strongly fought to increase by P2 billion budget of DOST to fund needed programs for MSMEs and Research and Development efforts in the regional offices.
“We have to give premium to the programs and projects of the DOST by providing the agency with adequate funds. This is our way of showing profound and sincere support to our Filipino scientists, researchers, and innovators,” Rodriguez said in a previous statement.
The Mindanao lawmaker also principally authored RA 11914 or the Provincial Science and Technology Office Act (PSTOs), a law that converts Provincial Science and Technology Centers (PSTCs) into PSTOs, which helps expedite the transfer of appropriate knowledge, technologies, and services to rural areas. (PR)
Photo by Glycell Mondido
Photo by Glycell Mondido
Trigger Warning (TW): multiple mention of suicide
◼ Children and youth are most at-risk of self-harm
By Lina Sagaral Reyes
Cagayan de Oro – The specter of death by suicide continued to be a staple of radio news well into the third year of the Covid-19 pandemic in this highly urbanized city.
But nothing sent a singular shockwave of concern among local government officials as a particular case in mid-May 2021: A young man in his early 20s ended his life right inside a campus dorm room turned as one of the city government-run temporary treatment and monitoring facilities.(The corridor of a hotel turned into a temporary treatment and monitoring facility at the height of the pandemic in September 2021. Oxygen tanks are readied by the doors of those patients with breathing difficulties.)
He was recuperating from moderate symptoms of coronavirus infection, set to be released from confinement, and yet his vulnerability succumbed to self-harm at dawn.
Mayor Oscar Moreno expressed condolences with the grieving family at the daily press briefing that day. “We understand he was alone in the room. We respect the need of the family for privacy as they grieve,” he added.
Moreno later directed the local mental health board to convene and review the circumstances of the incident and suggest steps to strengthen the mental health and psychosocial support services (MHPSS) at the more than 20 isolation and treatment units in hotels, inns, and campuses throughout the city so that suicide prevention is better enforced.
The board is a multi-stakeholder body and adjunct to the local health board mandated under the Local Government Code and composed of mental health care professionals, non-government leaders and persons with lived experience of mental illness, with advisory and recommendatory tasks under the office of the local chief executive, particularly on mental health policies. It was formed in 2015 through an executive order aligned with the national government’s Mental Health Action Plan, 2015-2021 at the Department of Health, in consonance with the Mental Health Global Action Plan (mhGAP) of the World Health Organization (WHO). These policies at the global and national levels of governance seek to empower local communities and healthcare professionals to do their share in sustaining a mental health service program amid a dearth of psychiatrists and psychologists in poor and developing countries like the Philippines.
That seismic one-death-too-many moment also marked a dark milestone in the Oro government’s Covid response more than a year after a community quarantine was declared on March 19, 2020, and as hundreds of frontliners were mobilized to prevent the spread of the virus. City hall employees manned barangay health centers, hospitals, ports, airports, and roadside checkpoints to transport individuals to isolation units, cook meals for the confined or disinfect roads and buildings.
As breakthrough infections rose among frontliners, community transmissions increased, causing three-digit reports of cases. In a few weeks, the number of active cases would breach the thousandth-mark, most of whom were housed in the isolation units as the hospitals raised the code red status, or all beds occupied. In less than two months, Cagayan de Oro suffered the worst surge of Covid cases and was declared under an Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). At its peak, there were more than 3,000 active cases in a single day.
(Jaymee Leonen, director of the Psychosocial division of the Cagayan de Oro City Social Welfare and Development Office.)
“Burn-out and fatigue are real, we’ve nodded off. It was a wake-up shake for us to get wide awake again,” recalled Jaymee Leonen, director of the psychosocial division of the city social welfare and development (CSWD) office.
Mental health support
The Bayanihan: We Heal as One National Covid Response Act stipulates that isolation units and treatment facilities must be provided with MHPSS (mental health and psychosocial support services).
These tasks fell mainly on the shoulders of the understaffed and underfunded psychosocial division as the city health office focused on dealing with Covid cases, plus other health programs on major diseases. The Mental Health Act also mandates that the CSWD psychologists and social workers must provide post-disaster stress debriefing and psychological first aid to populations hit by calamities like this disease outbreak.
By the end of that week in May 2021, loopholes were addressed as two dedicated hotlines were made available exclusively for those who were housed in the government facilities, including those Covid positive but asymptomatic, or exhibiting mild or moderate symptoms.
Previously, three other lines provided counselling on mental health-related issues such as domestic violence and referrals to in-depth therapies.
These lines are on top of other measures, including keeping infected persons together in wider ward-like spaces such as dormitories in groups of 10 instead of keeping single individuals solitary in separate bedrooms. Nursing staff went on monitoring rounds at night and dawn, more watchful of specific at-risk individuals like youths, the immunocompromised and those living with mental health disorders.
The WHO, along with scientists and medical professionals, had warned of a spike in mental health problems, such as cases of suicidality, which had worried officials as early as prepandemic January 2020.
Pre-pandemic data show 800,000 die by suicide globally. The significance of addressing suicide-related crises is highlighted by the inclusion of suicide rate as an indicator of mental health and well-being in the Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs). Under SDG #3, suicide rates are targeted to be reduced to a third of 2016 data by 2030.
In an article in The Journal of Public Health, Prof. Jeff Clyde Corpuz of De La Salle University rang alarm bells as historically, suicide rates rose during disease outbreaks as the 1918-19 influenza epidemic in the US and the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in Hongkong.
Corpuz also wrote that the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) saw a 25.7 % rise in deaths by self-harm in 2020, the start of the pandemic, compared with 2019 data.
CSWD data show suicide rates in Oro increased slightly from 2.3% in 2020 (18 cases) to 2.45 (19 cases) in 2021. In Northern Mindanao, with 123 cases in 2021, suicide rate was calculated at 2.5%, an increase from the previous year’s 2.0%. The PSA however noted that the country’s suicide rate remained at 2.2% from 2016 to 2019.
“The trends (in Cagayan de Oro) show that they are getting younger. Ga kabata. The youngest is a nine-year-old,” Leonen told a forum in September 2021.
Her insight presaged the WHO findings released in a briefing paper in March 2022.
"Suicidal behaviors among children and young adolescents aged 20 and below were on the rise globally even as global suicide rates were stable in the early part of the pandemic," WHO experts concluded.
Dr. Ginger Ramirez, who monitored youth suicides in the country, also saw a sharp rise (58 %) in the number of youth suicides from January to October 2020, compared to 2021 data of the same period.
But a March 2022 WHO briefing paper said available national data from several countries showed no increase in suicide rates in the early months of the pandemic even with rising prevalence among the young.
A critic of the city government’s Covid-19 response strategies, however, insisted that these are only stopgap measures.
“The real faultline lies in the use of private commercial establishments like hotels instead of empowering barangays and neighborhoods to establish community-based facilities as envisaged in the Bayanihan Act.
“We are not used to leave our sick and ill alone. That is so Westernized. Our culture is more caregiving. Isolating the sick like this in a strange environment invites despair and depression, and alienation and anomie. We give them attention and presence which are denied (the infected) due to the viral contagion,” she said, adding that Covid funds were centrally handled by city hall, leaving most barangays empty-handed and disempowered throughout the pandemic.
(The mayor was contacted for comment and this story will be updated as soon as he replies).
Leonen said the trends in previous years indicate that more children as young as nine were reporting suicide ideation, attributing it to the pandemic impact on family life and social relationships. “Distressed parents beget distressed children.”
Meanwhile, awareness of the exclusive crisis hotlines was further enhanced by placing the contact phone numbers in leaflets handed out to clients as they checked into facilities.
But these lifelines were disrupted around late July till early September when the lines were burned to communicate with cash-strapped families competing to receive cash grants to stave off hunger as the local economy was on a standstill because of the ECQ status. The lines were flooded with calls and text messages from thousands of angry citizens who felt discriminated and excluded from the controversy-ridden distribution of the cash grants.
Leonen begged for sobriety and compassion for the caregivers as surreally, the phone messages turned into online abuse, filled with obscenities and threats, which spilled into the discussion threads of the psychosocial division’s Facebook posts.
As this was happening, those confined at the isolation rooms and wards could no longer avail of the counselling services. “I kept on calling the numbers since day one, but someone would have pushed the end button. It happened for days,” Rowena Taperla, 28, a young professional and former cultural worker, recalled her experience when she was confined for 10 days at an isolation unit.
Despite their unavailability, the exclusive lines were still announced and shared for several weeks during the daily briefings. Obviously, there was a disconnect between the CSWD and the information staff hosting the briefings as the latter was not informed of the disruption of services. The mixed-up was corrected only in September.
Asked for suggestions on how to improve the lifeline, Taperla said the service and the other hospital-based telehealth services must be made available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Presently, telehealth services are only available during office hours, 8 am-5 pm, Mondays to Fridays.
Under the Mental Health Act , suicide prevention hotlines are mandated to follow this 24/7 dictum.
“The night makes people more vulnerable,” Taperla explained when asked why she thought night duty is necessary.
Quoting the writer Diane Ackerman who volunteered for the night shift of a suicide prevention center in the 1990s, she further said,” As Ackerman observed, ‘people are most alone at night. They drink until they fill their minds with darkness forever. They have the pre-dawn crazies…If they can just get through till daybreak, the gloom might just break a little, and familiar people and routines offer hope.”
Fortunately, other private volunteer groups are filling the gaps by providing telehealth services via social media such as the Cagayan de Oro Mental Health Hour and Kamusta Youth Online Chat.
So far, only the DOH Kamusta Ka Hotline phone and social media lines are truly 24/7.
Three shifts of trained counsellors are manning three lines. By September 2021, the latest data indicated that around 15,000 calls had been received by the service, or around 25 calls per day, which could last for at least five minutes to an hour.
But Maria Dolores Mercado, DOH-10 regional coordinator on mental health, also urged that family members and friends can become lifelines themselves, as force multipliers, to be listeners and witnesses so that patients may not rely on crises lifelines. “If we cultivate the art of listening to these people, the call lines should serve as only the last resort,” she said.
“Usually these people would tell people their stories, their fears, their problems. They need a listening ear.”
“If any of your friends or a family member tell you they are suicidal, take them seriously. Do not dismiss them as ka-dramahan or just a mere joke. You must listen without judgment. Give them options, show and convince them they are not alone,” she suggested.
Another aspect that needs to be addressed is “postvention,” an activity that reduces the risk of suicide and debriefs the surviving and grieving family and friends in the aftershock of a sudden completed suicide. Persons whose attempt to end their lives did not succeed might also need support to process their situation.
As licensed social worker Ken Norton quoted, “It is said that a suicide dies but once and yet the survivors of the lost lives die a thousand deaths in the aftershocks of grief, guilt and shame.”
Postvention is considered “the third leg to the three-legged stool of addressing a suicide crisis,” aside from prevention and direct intervention but it is rarely included in programs such as this.
Today, primary vaccinations in the city has reached beyond 100% for the target sectors. Booster shots continue to be administered to target groups. The schools have reopened for face-to- face, in-person classes.
The isolation units and temporary treatment facilities are now in back-to-normal business, serving tourists and travelers in hotels and inns. But the city’s infirmary in Barangay Lumbia, the JR Borja General Hospital and Treatment Facility in Barangay San Simon–- built and or refurbished with pandemic funds and other private hospitals — had increased bed spaces in preparation for a future surge.
Daily Covid-positives are either zero or in low single digits. There are barely a 100 active cases, mostly in isolation in their homes.
Leonen said the Sanggunian has approved, as its swan song before their term ended in June, the much-awaited Mental Health Ordinance, which is a community-based service delivery program under the City Health Office.
The ordinance operationalizes the policies for local government’s roles laid out in the RA 11036.
With this legislation comes appropriate funding for more staff and counsellors to man the lifelines and serve the communities; more funding for training barangay health workers on psychological first aid and suicide prevention, and building facilities and providing free psychotropic medicines and mental health-care insurance for the mentally ill in barangays.
The implementation of the Mandanas ruling this year, in which local government units (LGUs) get a share of national tax revenues, heralds a bigger budgetary hoard for the LGUs and ensures better-funded mental health projects.
But this September, ironically, suicide cases clustered during and after September 9, Suicide Prevention Awareness Day.
Eight completed suicide incidents and two attempts within a week brought mid-year incidences to 16, with 10 attempted cases. With three more months to go before yearend, it is predicted that the number of suicides in 2022 will far exceed last year’s 19.
Leonen and Mercado agree that a challenge remains that of reining in the media as their coverage of suicide cases, especially of radio stations, become more of a sensationalized feeding frenzy that violates ethical protocols and risks social contagion or copycat cases.
But Leonen trusts that with frequent reminders from mental health advocates and champions within their ranks, the media will carry on its tasks to rally people to choose #hawidlaum: holding on to hope.
#Hawid-laum: Did socmed radio trigger Oro's suicide cluster in September?
Last of two parts
Cagayan de Oro – As the world marked the annual Suicide Awareness and Prevention Day on September 10 this year, a series of suicide incidents swept across Cagayan de Oro.
By the end of the month, the wave of eight cases within nine days - - from the September 10-18 - - catapulted the year's total to 23. This number of cases has surpassed 2021's tally of 19 suicide incidents, with still three months to go before the year would end.
But as quickly as the wave rose, during most of the month's second half - - between September 19 and 30 - - there were only two cases.
What caused the sudden spike and the equally sudden decline?
Maria Dolores Mercado, mental health program coordinator at the Department of Health-Region10 non-communicable diseases cluster, says exposure to exaggerated live broadcast coverage that extends from traditional to social media, could be a major factor.
In different forums in recent months, Dolores, a psychiatric nurse and college instructor in psychiatric nursing, had always called out the local broadcast media for its sensationalised coverage of these events as this, according to her, could result in more "copycat" suicide cases in the city.
"This is called the Werther phenomenon," she said, quoting the latest Department of Health administrative order that sets guidelines for the ethical and responsible reporting and portrayal of suicide in mass media and the cultural arts.
She discussed this at a forum among journalists and in an online public service program at Oro Broadcast Services on October 8.
The Werther effect, first mentioned in 1982 by David Phillips, references Werther, the protagonist in Goethe's novel, "The Sorrows of the Young Werther", who killed himself because of unrequited love.
In 1774,when it was first published, many young men, who has read this epistolary novel, killed themselves.
Many studies suggest that "media reports about people who have died by suicide can influence vulnerable people as is associated with higher rates of suicide," according to the Canadian Association of Psychiatrists, in its 2018 re-issue of a policy paper on suicide reporting guidelines.
Mercado revealed, without citing figures, that in Northern Mindanao, suicide cases had gone down this year as it had gone up in Cagayan de Oro.
"Adtong 2020,medyo misaka ang atong mga kaso (Northern Mindanao). Sa 2021,misaka pa gyud. Niubos na siya karong 2022. Pero half of the year pa man ang datos nga nag-abot." (The suicide cases somehow went up in 2020. In 2021,it went even higher. The cases went down this year but the data we have comprise only those in the first half of the year. ")
Region 10 is comprised of Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Lanao del Norte, and Camiguin.
But she further pointed out that suicide rates in the city had been always high, correlating it to the sensationalised, on-the-spot coverages of suicide crises.
"Pero daghan gyud cases diri sa Cagayan de Oro. Mao siguro kay diri ra man gud nga sensationalised kaayo ang pag balita." (The suicide rates had always been high in Cagayan de Oro. It is probably due to the sensationalised reporting. ")
She recalled how at one time, she heard the news as she was riding a taxi.
"Diha gyud time nga nagsakay kog taxi nga gusto na nako ignan ang driver nga adtoan nato na. Kay sobra ka sensationalised ug ka detalye." ("There was a time while I was riding in a taxi and was listening to the news on the radio and I had this urge to tell the taxi driver to bring me to the radio station to give the anchor a piece of my mind.")
More than 50 studies worldwide indicate that several factors could aggravate the Wether impact, including the duration, amount, and prominence of coverage. Also considered are the detailed description of the method used, dramatic images, and repetitive/extensive coverage.
If radio stations, with traditional and digital platforms, are a factor behind the surge in suicides, did they also contribute to the decline in cases after September 18th?
They probably did.
On September 18th, at around 8 p. m, a young man was seen at the edge of a protruding concrete platform holding the deck at Ysalina Bridge across the Cagayan de Oro River.
A staff of a food delivery service company stopped by, climbed down to the platform, placed his arms over his shoulders, and talked to the young man in those crucial minutes.
Relatives of the young man as well as a rescue team from Barangay Carmen came by later.
"I saw him from afar as I was crossing over the bridge on my way to deliver a basket of fried chicken wings to a hospital staff. I also saw a woman trying to get the attention of the young man, raising both hands but the man would not turn around and instead was just at the edge, looking down on the river," Ace Tristan Dy of Grab Food Delivery, said.
We were strangers to each other but somehow we understood each other,Dy reflected.
He said he had no training in rescuing people but his mother had often told him that he had the gift of persuasive speech. He attributed his calmness and intuitive skills to Buddhism, which is a long-time family practice.
In a few minutes, the young man agreed to go with his relatives.
Aside from traditional media coverage, the Facebook pages of at least 5 radio stations shared these moments of rescue captured in photographs by the Sangguniang Kabataan of Barangay Carmen.
From September 18, there were but just a single report of an attempted suicide till the first week of the next month.
The decline could be what is called the Papageno effect.
Since a seminal study by Thomas Niederkrotenthaler, evidence is growing that mass media can play a positive role in suicide prevention by showing that there are alternatives to suicide, which bring hope to people in crises.
The phenomenon is named after Papageno, the character in the opera Magic Flute, who lost his love and contemplated suicide but was convinced by three boys to choose to live anew.
The station DXCC of the Radio Mindanao Network, among those which shared the story in its traditional broadcast as well as in its Facebook page, has a policy to cover suicide responsibly, thus it reported the rescue extensively. Other radio stations like Magnum Radio, DXKO, Bombo Radyo and iFM Idol Radio also shared the posts.
Annaliza Amontos Reyes, program director at DXCC, said that their reporters are always reminded to follow the code of ethics of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP) , of which the station is a member.
The KBP has a code of ethics which provides guidelines in how to report crises situations,among others. But it still does not have particular guidelines in covering suicide.
When a suicide occurs and coverage is deemed necessary, Amontos-Reyes said that they (reporters) emphasize suicide prevention.
"We interview a psychologist so our listeners are educated what to do when faced with similar situations. And how we can help those who are suicidal."
As for sensationalised coverages as part of the strategy to beat others in the ratings game, she admonished a do-no-harm policy as more important.
" Bisan pa makataas sa ratings pero makadaot sa kadaghanan, dapat I-minimize. "
" Dili kay mas daghan pang komentaryo bahin sa nahitabo o sa pamilya kay sa pag-educate." (Instead of providing more commentary (than news) on the survivors or the family, we must educate (our listeners),she stressed.
"Focus ta sa pag educate. Unsaon nato malikayan ang suicide, unsaon nato pag tabang sa mga suicidal. Mas kinahanglan nato ang pag educate, "
("Let us focus on the goal to educate. On the preventive measures. On how we can support those who are suicidal. We need to stress more on how to educate.")
To get help:
National Center for Mental Health 24/7 Crisis Hotlines: 1800-1888-1553 (toll-free)
In Cagayan de Oro and Northern Mindanao, Kamusta Ka 24/7 Hotlines: 0997-359-0888/0965-055-6777/0965-835-6888
Cagayan de Oro City Cswd Mental Health Helpline, by appointment,8 a. m. to 5 p. m.: 09700392709
(This story was produced with a Health and Governance fellowship from the Philippine Press Institute (PPI) under the auspices of the Hanns Seidel Foundation-Philippines (HSFP). The contents of this story are the full responsibility of the journalist.
In a joint price surveillance by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Cagayan de Oro City Price Coordinating Council (CDO-CPCC), September 2, two stores were found to have violated the suggested retail price (SRP) rules.
Almer Masillones, DTI Misamis Oriental provincial director,
The team also spotted minor violations such as failure to put visible price tags on the display shelves and not posting an on-view SRP bulletin.
The DTI immediately issued an inquiry notice requiring the alleged violators to comply within three days.
"Since the DTI issued the new suggested retail price last month, we are validating whether the SRP is being implemented and find out if no one violated the directive,” Masillones said.
DTI MisOr emphasized that certain commodities such as canned sardines, processed milk, coffee refill, noodles, laundry soap, bottled water, candles, meatloaf, beef loaf, and condiments like salt, soy sauce, and vinegar, showed a slight increase in the SRP released by Central Office on August 12 compared to the SRP that had previously been issued.
This was attributed to the cost of raw materials, production, packaging charges, and freight and distribution costs, according to DTI.
The team's inspection records
“While everyone is doing their business, we too are safeguarding our consumers that will result in a vibrant economy,” Lawyer Egay Uy, Cagayan de Oro City’s regulatory compliance
To protect consumers from establishments that may take advantage of current market pricing on school supplies, basic necessities and prime commodities, DTI Misamis Oriental urged the purchasing public to report any violations to their office via DTI Misamis Oriental Facebook page or by visiting their office at State Investment Building, Tiano-Hayes streets, Cagayan de Oro City. (JAKA/PIA-10/Misamis Oriental)
Photo by Cdeo City Council
According to Rodriguez, he is currently in talks with PMMA president Superintendent Commodore Joel Abutal for the necessary preparations in establishing the said academy.
“PMMA is now drafting the implementing rules and regulations of the law. We will also be determining an administrator who is qualified to head the campus,” he added.
The aim is to produce highly skilled and qualified individuals that will be guaranteed employment once they graduate. It will also provide a chance for young people to take up maritime courses free of tuition and fees.
Presently, PMMA has 48 partner shipping companies that will provide immediate employment opportunities for its graduates.
The CdeO lawmaker said he will push for additional funds for PMMA-CdeO campus during the 2023 budget deliberations starting this September. (PR)
Courtesy: Rufus Rodriguez Facebook
Photo by Police Station 4
Photo by Cocpo
Photo by Police Station 4
Photo courtesy: Cocpo
Screenshot of the CCTV footage. (Courtesy: Surki Serenas)
By Alwen Saliring
Photo by Aicy Soriano/CIO