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Poverty drives more Filipino women into early marriage

Maricel Kuyog wanted to share her story with someone not from her village. She had the chance when a group of humanitarian workers came for a visit. She took them to her house, which was partially damaged by a typhoon that hit the northern Philippines in 2018.
 
The house was relatively bigger than the others in the village, but it was dark and empty. The only place that seemed to be in order was the kitchen.
 








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The courage to survive

He is only 13 years old and we can call him Jaybe. He has no formal education, cannot read or write and is one of hundreds of thousands of lost children of the Philippine slums. His father left the family for another woman and abandoned him with his two brothers and a three-year-old sister, Jinna. 
 








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Philippine bishops call for ecological conversion amid climate crisis

MANILA (CNS): The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) criticised “the continuing destruction of our common home” and called for “ecological conversion” amid “climate emergency” in a nine-page pastoral letter on the environment, released on July 16.
 
CBCPNews said that the first half of the letter offers a reflection on the state of the environment, while the second half recommends concrete ecological actions.
 

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Setting a green example

MANILA (UCAN): According to Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga, in Bataan province, north of the Philippine capital, Manila, the diocese is going green to be more “earth-friendly.”
 
He said that said part of the efforts to care for the environment includes stopping the use of plastic flowers and plastic tarpaulins to decorate churches.
 
“In our cathedral we go green,” the bishop said, adding that parishes are encouraged to use real plants and flowers as decor.
 

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Growing opposition against Philippine dam project

INFANTA (UCAN): Civil society and advocacy groups launched a campaign against construction of the proposed Kaliwa River Dam, south of Philippine capital Manila. 
 
The Stop Kaliwa Dam Network aims to collect 10 million signatures calling for a halt to the project that critics maintain threatens the welfare of tribal communities in Quezon province.
 

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United Nations to probe drug war killings and human rights violations

MANILA (UCAN): The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) voted on July 11 to set up an investigation into killings in the Philippines that have been linked to the government’s war on drugs.
 
The resolution filed by Iceland, was adopted by a vote of 18 countries in favor and 14 against, including China, with 15 abstentions, including Japan.
 
It calls on the UN human rights office to present a comprehensive report on human rights in the Philippines to the council next June.
 

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Philippine authorities order closure of tribal schools

MANILA (UCAN): Education officials in the Philippines ordered the closure of 55 schools catering to the Lumad indigenous in Davao, Mindanao, for allegedly teaching “left-leaning ideologies.”
 
In a June 12 order, the schools, run by the nonprofit Salugpongan Ta’ Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center Inc., were denied permits to operate for the upcoming 2019-20 school year.
 
The suspension was issued upon a recommendation made by national security adviser, Hermogenes Esperon, a retired general.

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Protection for rights and Church groups rejected

MANILA (UCAN): Church and human rights groups in the Philippines condemned a ruling by the Court of Appeals rejecting a petition seeking legal protection from military harassment.
 
The petition calling for writs of amparo (protection) and habeas data (access to information) came from the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP), human rights group, Karapatan, and the women’s organisation, Gabriela.
 

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Philippine bishops tackle green issues at plenary

MANILA (UCAN): The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) took up issues relating to care of the environment during its bi-annual plenary meeting at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Centre from July 6 to 8.
 
“The environment is a big issue that’s why we need to also look at it,” Father Marvin Mejia, secretary-general of the bishops’ conference, explained.
 

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Haiyan recovery efforts in the Philippines a disaster

Ronald Reyes 
 
Thirty-seven-year-old Sarah Dela Peña survived the onslaught of Super Typhoon Haiyan in the central Philippines. Today, she still lives by the sea where thousands of people perished in 2013.
 
She said a relocation site offered by the government to survivors “is equally dangerous and far from our livelihoods.”
 

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