ONE VOICE
Healing the “environment and health”
by Bingo P. Dejaresco

The International Academy of Medical Specialists, Inc. marked its 6th Annual Convention at Novotel Manila last Sunday with the theme” GREEN HEALING” -tackling the environment and health issues.

Incoming president Dr Gil Vicente (Rhinologist, St Lukes Hospital) and Dr Leo Olarte (who is also a lawyer) Chairman of the Clean Air Advocates - gave a glimpse of the suffering Environment today which threaten’s man’s well being,nay survival even.

The alternating storms and drought brought by climate change had reduced crop yields (threatening food security) and caused the abandonment of some coastal areas (due to rising sea levels). Dr Vicente said “30% of the over 100 million Filipinos” today suffer from all kinds of respiratory allergies due to a polluted environment.

Senator Loren Legarda, the keynote speaker, revealed that climate change has been brought about 95% of the time by intense human activity-producing 565 gigatons of carbon dioxide since 1740 to modern times. Our forest cover has been severely depleted and 94% of Philippine corals are already compromised.

“Health Care without Harm” disclosed that hospitals use twice more energy than any building per floor square of land due to their 24 hour power needs and use of intense equipment and transportation for supplies, patients and personnel. The shocking truth is that 42% of them worldwide also do not have the proper waste disposal facilities.

Addressing physicians in the forum, Senator Legarda suggested that hospitals should use highly efficient energy -using transportation facilities, LED lighting and reduce aircon thermostat by two degrees. She cannot reconcile a tropical country like ours doing a 12 degree aircon atmosphere in a 36 degree outside environment.

Senator Loren suggested retrofitting hospital buildings to encompass more natural ventilation, day lighting from the sun and green roofs. The many-time senate head of Climate Change and the environment committees also talked of (MRF) material recycling efforts (to include gas) and waste water treatment facilities.

Meat in the menu causes most emissions, she revealed, and mentioned food compost process, organic food source and elimination of plastic bottled water in hospitals as some of the best practices.

Meanwhile, newly-elected senator Risa Hontiveros, who won on the basis of a pro Health platform has walked the talk on health and environment matters in her first two months in office.

Hontiveros said her pending senate bills include(among others): (1) increasing penalties for medical institutions who refuse to do appropriate medical attention to emergency cases (2) increasing the maternity leave periods of women from 60 to 120 days and 150 for solo women (3) increasing compensation and benefits for the barangay community health workers and granting further health education (4) mandatory Philhealth coverage of persons with disability and (5) appropriate funds to better the first 1,000 days of the life of children (3 years) and a mother/child health care fund.

For the environment, Risa has filed (1069) the “Alternative Mining Management Bill” to rectify the “Mining Law of 1995” and imposing heavier penalties and suspension of erring mining firms.Hontiveros described the mining industry as a “low return and high cost to community” category.

On the other hand ,TV broadcaster and author (Chairman of The Miss World Franchise in RP) Cory Quirino touched on another kind of “stewardship of oneself”. Of wellness, she said man basically “wants to live longer and to look good.”

Thus her DZMM radio show “Ma Beauty Pa Rin” has been a top rated show for the last 12 years. “Man just eats too much and moves too little” as Cory deplored the “fast food mentality” and “sedentary lifestyle.”

Cory mentioned that cancer, heart ailments and depression are lifestyle diseases that one can control. She recommends daily exercise and a diet that is low on carbohydrates and no sugar in the evening.

The grand daughter of a former RP president, Cory advises all to find out the causes of own’s individual aging. She mentioned that “stress” is by far - the mother of all illnesses.

Cory Quirino coined the acronym SAD as a look-out to avoid aging too soon: S for stress, sugar , sun (too much), A for anger and alcohol and D for dehydration and depression.

A mind-over-matter believer, Quirino quoted: “What you think, you will become” and said when you affirm something to yourself - the brain has no choice but to follow. Command it good thoughts, then.

Finally, Neric O Acosta, the General Manager of the Laguna Lake Development Authority) mentioned about the need to preserve our natural assets and the initiatives done to save the dying lake- Laguna Lakewhich is the country’s largest lake as we know.

The forum was likewise an endorsement of the value of blending the eastern and western medicine as contemplated in the TAMA (Traditional and Alternative Medicine Act of 1995) and RA 7394 law for the protection of the Filipino consumer.

The environment (outer landscape) and our health (inner landscape) need man’s full attention in order for man to enjoy this wonderful world given by God to mankind for free. SHALOM!

For comments: email to dejarescobingo@yahoo.com or boholrd@ mozcom.com


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