Best Christmas gift for our soldiers, cops

INTROSPECTIVE By Tony Katigbak

I am glad that President Duterte is fulfilling his campaign promise and raising the standard pay of our soldiers and policemen, many of whom have lost their lives or been injured in the line of duty. After all, with the rising cost of living, it has become extremely difficult for our soldiers and cops to make ends meet and support their families.

The House of Representatives, on the second reading, passed the House Joint Resolution No. 18 which will modify the base pay of over 300,000 military and uniformed policemen in the country by roughly 100%. This increase shows how the government recognizes the importance of these men and women in uniform when it comes to keeping our country safe while they themselves are being exposed to dangerous environments and situations.

Honestly, it is heartening to see these dedicated soldiers and policemen getting their well-deserved recognition. I have noticed that several fundraising drives this holiday season are aiming to raise funds for the families of those who fought bravely in Marawi. I wrote last week about the generous grant from San Miguel Corp. and this week I’ve been seeing even private citizens unite and try to pool together gifts such as toys, books, clothes and more for the children the fallen have left behind.

Hopefully this will continue on and the soldiers who go into battle to keep us safe are given their proper due. The increase is set to take effect in January 2018 and I believe it’s the best Christmas present the government – and the country – can give to those who protect our freedom. They fight so that we don’t and it’s time to show them that we appreciate their efforts.

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The American Heart Association has recently come out with new guidelines for high blood pressure and BP management. According to the AHA the new high blood pressure is 130/80. Previously, that could still be considered normal with high blood pressure being 140/90, but now they say at 130 it is already a yellow warning light on cardiovascular health.

This new claim was made after doctors noticed the complications can occur in these lower numbers too. This is the first time that treatment guidelines have been updated in over 15 years and it makes sense that some things might have changed in that amount of time. Additionally, it’s important to take into consideration the world that we are currently living in too.

Stress levels are at an all time high, people are sleeping properly, they are over worked, exhausted, and many times don’t have time to eat right. People are having heart attacks sooner and now someone in their thirties could just as easily be diagnosed with high blood pressure than someone in their forties or fifties.

The AHA though clarified that you don’t necessarily have to be drinking medicine with a BP of 130/80 but you should already be on alert and trying to decrease your blood pressure naturally by eating well, drinking lots of water, and living a healthy lifestyle. This way, any further complications or heart problems can be easily avoided. This is actually good advice for all of us – prevention is so much better than cure.

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Mailbox: I’d like to extend my apologies to Mr. Roberto Espineli of White Plains Quezon City, who wrote me an interesting letter about the serious traffic problem in the Q.C. area. As I don’t go to the Philippine Star office regularly (I can work remotely and online), I only recently came across his mail in my letterbox. I agree with him that traffic woes are worsening and we all need to call attention to areas that need to be worked on.

Here is his message which I am publishing in full: The attention finally being given by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in the widening of Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City is most laudable.

The project includes a 720 meter section in front of UP Diliman, the 5.85 km. section of Batasan-San Mateo road and the 1.146 km. section within the MWSS property. The total budget amounts to P55M and is scheduled for completion in time before the 2017 holiday rush.

This almost completes the construction/improvement of Katipunan Avenue, which is actually C-5, and runs parallel to EDSA making it equally vital Metropolitan Manila thoroughfare. C-5 is a 52-year project-in-the-making, which has undergone piecemeal construction and improvement.

How about the remaining 1.4km. section of Katipunan Avenue in White Plains Subdivision where traffic congestion has become just as insufferable? This would complete the Katipunan widening program and serve as a concrete step towards the Duterte Administration’s determination to alleviate the serious traffic problem of EDSA. Why was this not included in the program? (End).

Personally, I believe that traffic is not limited to one thoroughfare alone. Metro Manila is not made on a grid and areas such as the one in front of White Plains need to be addressed as well if we want to maintain a steady traffic flow. This is just one of several areas not immediately along the main streets that should be fixed and improved as well. If we can address all the bottleneck and potential traffic causing areas, I believe we can finally start to see an improvement in our Metro Manila carmageddon situation.

 

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