REDUCING salt intake worldwide by only ten per cent could save millions of lives, a recent study says.

The study was published recently by the BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal), an international peer reviewed medical journal and a fully online first publication.

According to the researchers, government-led public service campaigns could massively cut mortality and disability caused by salt-triggered heart attacks and strokes for just over 10 U.S. cents a year per person.

Even without including healthcare savings, "we found that a government supported, national policy to reduce population sodium intake by 10 per cent over 10 years would be cost effective.”

Most adults exceed the recommended maximum salt levels of 2 grams per day, resulting in 1.65 million deaths from heart disease every year, according to the World Health Organization.

Research has also shown that national policies to curb salt consumption can reduce the number of people affected by high blood pressure and heart disease.

But few countries around the world have assessed the costs of implementing such programmes.

The study was done by a team of researchers led by Dariush Mozaffarian from the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy to calculate what it would cost to put in place a "soft regulation" strategy -- in coordination with industry -- for 183 nations.

They took into account age and sex distributions in each country in estimating both the costs and health effects.

They also tallied the number the number of years lost to poor health that could be averted -- a measure called DALYs (disability-adjusted life years) -- with a salt-reduced diet.

The study concluded that cutting salt intake over a decade would avoid about 5.8 million DALYs every year, at an average per person cost of $1.13 over the 10-year period.

The cost for each year of healthy life gained was roughly the same as what is currently spent on drugs used to prevent cardiovascular disease, they noted.

 

For the first part of the series, click here.

The First Quarter Storm

HAVING won reelection mainly on his own efforts and resources, Marcos had no more big political debts to pay. He was on top of the political situation and could now run the country on his own steam and under his own plans and direction.

But the enormity and complexity of the country’s problems were to color his perceptions, alter his plans, and bedeviled his ambitions.

The most dangerous challenge came from the dissident, subversive and radical elements. 

Five years earlier, Jose Maria Sison organized the New People’s Army in preparation for the armed struggle once the revolutionary situation becomes propitious for confrontations. 

Communist Party operatives infiltrated student and youth organizations. They conducted teach-ins and staged-managed rallies and demonstrations which often ended in violent confrontations. 

The youth and students, disillusioned and disdainful of the government, were now mouthing Maoist slogans, denouncing US imperialism and demanding the resignation of Marcos. They were now listening to more militant creeds and singing then anthems of the revolution.

At a demonstration before Congress, the demonstrators threw stones at President Marcos while he was leaving the Legislative Building shortly after he delivered his State of the Nation address in July, 1971.

In another incident, a large group of students and laborers crashed into the iron gates of Malacañang on a commandeered fire truck. The Presidential Security Guard repulsed the demonstrators but in the ensuing melee, four were killed and scores were wounded.

At about this time, the armory of the Philippine Military Academy in Baguio City was raided by dissident elements, led by Lieutenant Victor Corpus, a renegade army officer.

But the incident which delivered the strongest message that the youth were now polarized against the establishment was when students, led by sons of members of Congress, entered the session hall of the House of Representatives. 

One of them grabbed a microphone from a solon delivering a speech, and delivered his own to the consternation and horror of the gallery and the members of Congress.

Another event that provided Marcos the compelling reason to dig in and to hold on to power, was the bombing of the rally of the candidates of the Liberal Party at Plaza Miranda on August 21, 1971. 

A team of, at that time, unknown operatives, threw two grenades at the platform where the candidates were seated, causing the death of 9 innocent people and the serious wounding of most of the senatorial and local candidates of the Liberal Party. 

Among those who suffered almost fatal injuries were Senators Jovito Salonga, Eva Estrada Kalaw, Eddie Ilarde, Ramon Mitra and mayoralty bet Ramon Bagatsing.

Public condemnation and blame for the bloody incident was heaped on the administration. Marcos strongly denied involvement in the incident and made his indignation felt when he suspended the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.

Years after Marcos was booted out of power, reports on who was responsible for the Plaza Miranda bombing filtered in. 

Senator Salonga and the man who headed the bombing team accused Joma Sison and the leaders of the Communist Party as the people who hatched the despicable mission.

Marcos appealed for calm and sobriety. He called for national unity. 

l on deaf ears..

 While concern over the worsening peace and order situation, leaders of the opposition and various sectors of society were not eager to cooperate with Marcos. They shared with the leftist and radical elements their demand for the resignation of Marcos.

It was also at this time that the Moro National Liberation Front, headed by Nur Misuari, was gaining strength and support from Muslim countries. The regime’s efforts to derail the secessionist movement in Southern Philippines backfired when the Jabiddah caper was exposed.

An equally significant and important event was taking place at this time. The delegates to the Constitutional Convention met in session on June 1, 1972.

Marcos was determined to play a pivotal and leading role in framing the new constitution. 

He wanted the Concon to draft a parliamentary system of government, confident that he can run for president or prime minister, whichever will the fulcrum of power be, and hold on to his position as head of state.

He called on then Speaker Cornelio Villareal to manage the campaign of former President Pablo Garcia for Concon president which was readily accepted. 

Garcia, however, suffered from a heart attack and died a few days before the Concon started its sessions. Marcos favored another former president, Diosdado Macapagal, to succeed Garcia.

Public sentiment was now strongly critical of the Marcos regime. 

Responsibility for the increasing chaos and anarchy was placed squarely on the incumbent leadership.

But Marcos remained calm and seemingly unperturbed. He knew what he has to do if the situation goes out of hand. He kept his potions close to his chest.

As the sound of distant drums become louder and ominous, the revolutionary situation reaching boiling point, and the subversive elements knocking at the gates of Malacañang, he decided to use the only option left for him to remain in power. 

On September 17, 1972, Marcos signed Proclamation 1081 placing the country under martial law which was officially issued two days later.

In his book, Today’s Revolution: Democracy, written before he proclaimed martial law, he noted how countries subverted and overwhelmed by various forms of conspiracies taught one clear lesson:

“A government, especially of developing states, can tolerate subversion or internal conspiracies for power only up to a certain point. When such a point is reached, the illness of subversion or dissension become so widespread that it paralyzes the will not only of the people but also of the political leadership. It immobilizes even the most normal faculties and facilities of defense and protection of the State.”

“The secret of national survival,” he continued, is to mark the point of no return very well, and for the political; leadership to resolve that this point of deterioration should never be reached.

“This I had done as early as 1969 when I watched the growth of subversion in the country.”

What Marcos conveniently ignored the fact that he was the principal target of the protest movement and mainly responsible for the growth of the CPP-NPA.

He simply staged a coup d’état and seized the government itself before others could get near them. 

It was like disrobing his civilian attire to don a military uniform. As commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, he was accountable only to himself since Congress was abolished and the entire bureaucracy was under his thumb and functioning at his whim.

Yet, he admitted:

“I am, to be sure, accountable to history for 21 September 1972 when I signed the proclamation placing the entire Philippines under martial law.

“I say this not to exculpate myself in advance. This is impossible; no man can cheat history.” (To be continued)

“If you don’t understand people – you don’t understand business.” –Simon Sinek

Peace and quiet – especially during holidays – are the main benefits of condominium living in the Central Business District.

 

THE BACK STORY

‘Sleep in heavenly peace’ turned into a holiday nightmare as 2016 came to a close. How infuriating to be suddenly jolted awake due to loud pounding noise in the building. Where in heaven’s name could that terrible racket be coming from? 

A call to the predictably ineffective guard in charge identified the root cause: an arrogant maintenance worker who made it clear – in no uncertain terms – that he had no intentions of stopping the noise disturbance he was causing. 

No apology was given for the inconvenience to residents. Ever so thick-faced, even warnings from the Barangay and CBD patrol were brazenly disregarded. More appalling was his shameless declaration that he had every right to raise his voice at anyone who challenged his decision.

 

COMMON-SENSE INSTRUCTIONS

The ugly scenario could easily have been avoided if the rude worker had been well-informed and educated about community etiquette in condominium living.

As a Customer Service Trainer, I wish to share practical tips for professionals involved in premises administration. It is really quite simple: keep your customers happy. 

Before going on vacation, write a brief Reminder – Checklist of BASIC DO’s and DON’Ts – especially if you have new workers on your team.

1. K.I.S.S. – Keep It Short and Simple.

2. Go direct to the point.

3. Use simple and clear words that leave NO room for misinterpretation by staff: maintenance workers, janitors, guards and personnel-in-charge while you are away.

 

TIPS AND TECHNIQUES

Common sense dictates that basic directives apply to all – residents and building staff – to prevent petty bickering and conflict that arise from unacceptable behavior of ill-mannered individuals.

Here is an example of simple and clear instructions regarding repairs, construction and activities that may cause noise disturbance / nuisance.

• BAWAL: Sundays and Holidays

• PWEDE: Weekdays 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.

 

If you are in the premises administration business, ask for feedback from your customers to understand their sentiments. There is absolutely NO acceptable ALIBI for anyone to have a sense of entitlement to disturb the quiet lifestyle in the building, neighborhood and village.

Condominium dwellers have simple BASIC needs and wants: PEACE AND ORDER. Keep the residents happy by making them feel safe, secure, respected and loved 24 x 7. Hay naku!

Vivien Mangalindan is available for Customer Service Training, Interpersonal Communication Skills Coaching, and Public Speaking Seminars. * She is also a Broadcaster. Be entertained as you get informed every Monday at 3:00 p.m. Tune in to SHOW AND TELL RADIO on DWBL 1242 AM radio - with video LIVE streaming on Facebook and YouTube: Show And Tell Radio. * Read her column online in Facebook: Hay Naku Pinoy. * Do you want your products and services to be featured on her show? Text 0918-521-5400

 

“It makes no sense to talk about rights without also talking about responsibilities.” –Randy Pausch

Have you ever met folks who are so combative about their so-called rights but so ignorant about their responsibilities? Here’s an anecdote about condominium lifestyle and the nuisance that arises when nincompoops move into the building – and bring along their undesirable ABC: Attitude, Behavior and Character.

 

THE BACK STORY

Sensitivity and courtesy towards other dwellers in condominiums are BASIC for harmonious, amicable and cordial co-existence. That should be explained loud and clear by the broker of the new tenant. However, certain thoughtless agents are seemingly just out for a fast buck – without care or concern for other condominium dwellers, particularly Senior Citizens, PWD’s, Pregnant Women and Children.

 

WHAT A NUISANCE 

Let’s take the case of Mr. Dalmasio. Although he managed to rent a unit in a condominium, his true colors are showing. 

• Dragging furniture across the floor at all hours of day and night – Sunday included – he leaves dwellers below his unit in distress from sleep disruption.

• His ‘tribe’ uses the bathroom exhaust fan (common air duct) to get rid of cooking odors. You can just imagine how yucky it is to walk into your bathroom – which used to have the aroma of soap and shampoo – now smelling like your neighbor’s kitchen.

 

TRUE COLORS

1. Doesn’t he know that he is expected to be considerate of his neighbors: the dwellers above, below, beside and across the unit he resides in?

2. Has he no shame when he behaves like ‘home-along-the-riles’ folks?

3. Didn’t his mother teach him basic courtesy and etiquette?

Apparently, the answer to all three questions is: NO.

 

INCONSIDERATE AND IMPOLITE

Complaints were made to Security. Guess what? Repeated calls and warnings from security guard Delfin to Mr. Dalmasio were disregarded and blatantly disrespected.

 

THE INEFFECTIVE GUARD

To make matters worse, guard Delfin called the complainant to ‘share’ the news that the inconsiderate and impolite new tenant would personally ‘go’ to the complainant’s unit. 

Now, that is a definite No-No. What are security guards paid for, if they allow disruptive dwellers to confront others living in the condominium?

 

TIPS AND TECHNIQUES

Tenants have their rights, but with those rights come basic responsibilities. Here are some helpful recommendations to bring some decency and ‘urbanidad’ into the community.

1. Jean (the broker) should do her homework and indoctrinate incoming tenants – in a professional manner – about condominium etiquette.

2. Security guards who do not have the ability to do their job competently should find another career.

 

Let’s live harmoniously by practicing basic condominium etiquette. Hay naku!

Vivien Mangalindan is available for Customer Service Training, Interpersonal Communication Skills Coaching, and Public Speaking Seminars. * She is also a Broadcaster. Be entertained as you get informed every Monday at 3:00 p.m. Tune in to SHOW AND TELL RADIO on DWBL 1242 AM radio - with video LIVE streaming on Facebook and YouTube: Show And Tell Radio. * Read her column online in Facebook: Hay Naku Pinoy. * Do you want your products and services to be featured on her show? Text 0918-521-5400

 

The Sound of Distant Drums 

FORTUITOUS circumstances conspired to make Ferdinand Edralin Marcos president of the Republic of the Philippines.

Let us trace his ascendancy in politics.

President Diosdado Macapagal was set to seek reelection in the presidential polls in 1965. The Nacionalista Party had a formidable array of timbers from whom to choose its candidate against the incumbent.

Among those being eyed and raring to challenge Macapagal were Vice President Emanuel Pelaez, who earlier defected from the administration, Senators Gil Puyat, Arturo Tolentino and Fernando Lopez and Manila Mayor Arsenio Lacson.

Popularly named “Arsenic” for his acid tongue and barbed criticisms, Lacson was national campaign manager for Vice President Macapagal in the 1961 presidential elections against reelectionist Carlos Garcia, his party mate, whom he derided as incompetent and derisively described as “the penumbra of the silhouette” for being dark-skinned.

Shortly after the elections, Lacson distanced himself from Macapagal after securing the appointment of a friend, Jose Diokno, as secretary of justice.

Diokno was to become a principal player in a corruption scandal which rocked the Macapagal administration and shaped the future of top players in the political landscape, including then senate president Ferdinand Marcos, Macapagal’s partymate.

On December 9, 1961, an American, Meinhart Spielman blew the whistle on his fellow American, Harry Stonehill for corrupting high government officials, and evading taxes to advance his business interests. 

A former soldier who saw action in the Philippines, Stonehill decided to remain in the country, married a Filipina, and in less than 120 years, built a business empire through chicanery, bribery, and blandishments. 

Spielman, the whistleblower was president of one of the firms in his conglomerate.

When Diokno was tipped-off on Spielman’s expose, he ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to raid the business establishments of Stonehill.

One of the documents found was a Blue Book which listed the names of high government officials who received bribes from Stonehill. 

The scandal rocked the new administration. In a desperate effort to defuse the crisis, executive secretary Salvador Marino inserted the name of Vice President Pelaez in the Blue Book, claiming later that he did so “merely to borrow his honor.” That outraged Pelaez who immediately broke away from the administration and joined the Nacionalista Party.

What incensed the public and dismayed even his political allies was Macapagal’s decision to deport Stonehill even before Congress and the courts could conduct their investigations.

Congressman Jovito Salonga, chairman of the Good Government committee in the House which was set to conduct an investigation, fumed: “The President can deport Stonehill but he cannot deport the truth.”

Mayor Lacson was snickering in the sidelines over the disaster which hit the Macapagal administration. 

He was by then already training his sights on the Presidency. Asked by a reporter why he turned his back on the man whom he helped become president, Lacson tartly explained that he helped Macapagal to become president but not to be his guardian angel.

Lacson, already perceived as the strongest bet the opposition can pit against Macapagal, died of stroke on April 15, 1962, a month after the Stonehill scandal broke out.

Also watching with keen interest the unfolding backlash on the scandal was senate president Marcos who was promised by Macapagal to be his immediate successor after his term. 

When Macapagal reneged on his promise, Marcos bolted the Liberal Party and joined the opposition. In the Nacionalista Party convention to choose its standard bearer, Marcos edged out Pelaez in the run-off following an inconclusive first balloting where five others participated.

Deserted by the vice president, the senate president, and a number of political leaders, his administration badly damaged by the mishandling of the Harry Stonehill scandal and warding off corruption issues in some of his flagship projects, Macapagal lost to Marcos by only 643,532 votes; in the vice presidential derby, Gerardo Roxas lost to Fernando Lopez by a measly 27,324 votes.

What could have also turned the tide against Macapagal was the ban on the showing of the biographical movie of Marcos, Iginuhit ng Tadhana

This aroused the curiosity of many voters, particularly those who were not yet decided on whom to vote.

But no one could have chosen the worst time to become president than Ferdinand Marcos.

In his inaugural speech, Marcos himself admitted that the country was facing a “crisis of confidence.”

There was basis for the people’s disenchantment with the establishment.

The advent of a new administration no longer offered hope for a better future. The lofty provisions of the Constitution became mere shibboleths.

To them, elections were no longer friendly competitions among honorable men and women. They have become expensive and bitterly-contested. Only those who have the money to finance the costly campaign and buy votes get elected.

The country was facing a bleak and uncertain future when Marcos assumed the highest public position.

The economy was in bad shape. The treasury was empty. Foreign investors were shying away from the country. 

Some of the richest families were siphoning and investing their wealth abroad. Graft and corruption had become pervasive and widespread. Lawlessness and criminality were on the rise. The entire justice system had broken down.

The winter of discontent has set in when Marcos decided to run for reelection.

Hoping that the jinx that no sitting president has won reelection will work, the Liberal Party was confident it can depose its prodigal member, Marcos. 

LP president Cornelio Villareal and Senator Sergio Osmena declared they were ready to bid for the position. 

They agreed to hold a straw balloting to choose who will run against Marcos. Accusing Osmena of having rigged the straw balloting and bitter over his ouster as president of the Liberal Party, Villareal left the ranks of the opposition and supported Marcos. 

His defection was a big blow to Osmena’s candidacy and an unexpected boon to the reelection of Marcos.

With the opposition depleted and short of financial resources to match the logistics of the administration, Marcos handily beat Osmena by over a million votes.

There was subdued rejoicing and guarded expectations over the resounding victory of Marcos. 

The sound of distant drums was getting louder, nearer and ominous. (To be continued)

 

Page 5 of 7

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