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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Governor Cuomo Announces Special "Subway Reads" Promotion to Celebrate Wi-Fi In More than 175 Stations

MTA, Transit Wireless and Penguin Random House Partnership Enables Subway Riders to Access Five Free E-Short Stories and Extensive Samples from 175 E-Books from Penguin Random House;Promotion Celebrates Milestone of 175 Connected Underground Stations; All 278 Underground Subway Stations to be Connected by December

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has partnered with Transit Wireless and Penguin Random House to launch "Subway Reads," a special eight-week long joint promotion celebrating the installation of free wireless connectivity in more than 175 underground subway stations. The promotion will provide customers with access to five free e-shorts, as well as extensive samples from full-length books, to enjoy while on the subway.

"New York's transportation network must continue adapting to the changing needs of its ridership and a key part of that is delivering the amenities that have become essential components of everyday life, "Governor Cuomo said. "Bringing Wi-Fi into underground stations helps riders stay connected throughout their commute, allowing them to check in with friends or family and access news or entertainment. We've made tremendous progress in modernizing the system and Subway Reads is a fun way to introduce riders to the new Wi-Fi experience."‎

Subway Reads builds on Governor Cuomo's mandate for the MTA to accelerate the introduction of Wi-Fi to all 278 underground subway stations by the end of 2016. Recently added stations include the first six Wi-Fi activated stations in Brooklyn and Downtown Manhattan; you can find the latest Wi-Fi-enabled stations using the newly designed Transit Wireless WiFi™coverage map.

Customers who visit one of the more than 175 underground subway stations will be able to log into the free Transit Wireless Wi-Fiand access two different categories of content:

Free e-Shorts
As part of "Subway Reads," Penguin Random House created a special platform to offer subway customers free access to five full length e-shorts, including High Heat, a Jack Reacher novella by Lee Child; F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic short story, The Diamond As Big As The Ritz3 Truths and A Lie, a short story by Lisa Gardner; The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe; and At the Reunion Buffet by Alexander McCall Smith.

Samples of Full Length Books & "Read Time" 
Subway customers will also be able to access extensive excerpts from 175 Penguin Random House publications. While selections come from a wide range of authors from all over the world, Penguin Random House included as many titles by New Yorkers – or about New York – as possible. As a result, selections include poetry by essential New York poets Walt Whitman and Billy Collins, former poet laureate of the United States, acclaimed works of fiction and nonfiction including Beloved by Toni Morrison, Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, Let The Great World Spin by Colum McCann, Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem, Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben, and Open City by Teju Cole, as well as Spanish-language titles such as Manuscrito Encontrado en Accra by Paulo Coelho, Así es Como la Pierdes by Junot Díaz, and El cuaderno de Maya by Isabel Allende.

In order to optimize the reading experience for commuters, Penguin Random House also has created a special feature for the book excerpts called 'read time' that enables customers to sort the short stories and samples by the amount of time it would take the average reader to complete them. A commuter who expects to spend half an hour on the train could, for example, click "30 minutes" on the Penguin Random House page, and be given a list of stories or samples that would take that long to read.

MTA customers will also be able to purchase the e-books in the promotion directly from various retailers with the click of a button and the MTA will receive a revenue share for any books actually sold.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Filipino American Democratic Club of New York Choose Gigi Li for State Assembly

Aries DeLa Cruz, president FilAm Democratic Club of NY with Gigi Li, candidate for State Assembly

Filipino Americans are proud to endorse Gigi Li’s campaign for State Assembly. Gigi is a lifelong community advocate with deep roots in the district, and has already made history as the first Asian American to serve as chair of a community board in New York City. As part of her distinguished and long-term record of public service, Gigi strengthened her community’s engagement with civic and political life, delivered quality services to children and working families, especially those overcoming domestic violence, and helped businesses to recover and rebuild after Superstorm Sandy.
Asian Americans and indeed all communities in the 65th Assembly District need a leader who will work hard to keep our families together. Gigi Li knows our communities, shares our values, and has always been by our side, fighting for the same issues we face every day: passing the DREAM Act so that we can receive world-class college education, offering driver's licenses to immigrant New Yorkers to bring us out of the shadows, and making sure our most vulnerable members of our community have access to affordable housing, as well as the services and support our elderly family members need to thrive in Lower Manhattan.

Filipino Americans look forward to working with Gigi Li to bring her message and plan to the voters of Lower Manhattan, and to help send Gigi Li to the New York State Assembly. Not only is Gigi the smart choice, she is the right choice for our community.

Please Join A Day of Action in Support of Gigi Li
On Saturday, September 10, 2016, the Asian American community and our allies will be volunteering all day to secure victory for Gigi Li's campaign for State Assembly. Email us at info@filamdems.orgto RSVP or check out the event on Facebook. Be sure to invite all your friends.
Other Ways to Support Gigi Li
If you cannot attend anytime on Saturday, September 10, please consider volunteering anytime between now and September 13, or making a donation right now.

Statement | H. E. Archbishop Bernardito Auza at the Security Council Open Debate On Children And Armed Conflict

New York - H. E. Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN, gave an intervention during the United Nations Security Council Open Debate on “Children and Armed Conflict.”
In its statement, the Holy See echoed the Report of the UN Secretary General detailing the growing scale and severity of human rights violations against children in armed conflict: children used as soldiers, suicide bombers, sex slaves and disposable intelligence gatherers. Schools and hospitals have been attacked as a strategy of war. The Holy See has partnered with the UN to oppose the use of children as combatants, denounce other forms of violence against children in armed conflict and to care for child victims. Such violence against children, it said, must awaken consciences and lead to a change of heart. The solution to the plight of children caught in armed conflict will involve, it added, finding ways to reintegrate child victims back into their own communities, including overcoming prejudices against children born of rape in conflict and against women and girl rape victims. The Holy See called on the Security Council to implement stronger measures for the protection of children in armed conflict and to ensure that UN peacekeepers strictly adhere to all laws and measures meant to protect children.
The statement, delivered in Arabic by the Chargé d’Affaires of the Mission, Msgr. Simon Kassas, can be found here.

Philippine Consulate General New York, Closed Monday Aug 29 and Sept 5

Please be advised that the Philippine Consulate General New York, will be closed Monday August 29 in observance of National Heroes Day in the Philippines & Monday September 5 in observance of Labor Day in the US. 

For emergencies, call the duty officer mobile phone number at (912) 294 0196.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Classic Film “Biyaya ng Lupa” featured at the Opening Night of the 2016 Sinehan sa Summer

Special thanks to Mike de Leon, LVN Pictures, Inc. and the Film Development Council of the Philippines.

New York -- The 2016 Sinehan sa Summer kicked off with a 1959 restored LVN Picture’s film “Biyaya ng Lupa” on 9 August 2016 at the Kalayaan Hall of the Philippine Center. LVN Pictures, through the assistance of the Film Development Council of the Philippines, gave permission at no cost to screen the film.

At the opening night. (photo: Lambert Parong/ Kababayan Media)
More than 70 guests from the Filipino community and mainstream New York attended the opening night, which was co-sponsored by Handang Tumulong Foundation, Inc. and UP Alumni Association in America, Inc.

Delighted with the story, the viewers stayed during the Talk Back session and discussed how the film brings into its plot the resilient and durable family values of Filipino families and the strong support of the local community in times of ordeals.

BIYAYA NG LUPA” is a 1959 film produced by LVN Pictures directed by Manuel Silos. It was a Golden Bear Best Picture nominee at the 10th Berlin International Film Festival held in 1960. It was also shown in Tokyo during the Asian film Festival where Leroy Salvador bagged the Best Supporting Actor. The film won Best Picture and Best Story from the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) in the same year. Celso Al. Carunungan, an award winning Filipino writer, novelist and scriptwriter both in Filipino and English languages, wrote the story of the film. He is also the author of Like a Big Brave Man, which was published in New York in 1960 and a production consultant for the 1982 American movie The Year of the Living Dangerously.

ConGen Mario De Leon. (photo: Lambert Parong/ Kababayan Media)
Consul General Mario de Leon, Jr, who formally opened the Sinehan sa Summer 2016, recalled that Sinehan sa Summer was originally conceived in 2008 as an educational tool on Philippine historical figures and events. He said it continually evolved and was re-programmed in 2011 when the Consulate introduced classic, indie and short films in the line-up making it a five-night event.

“Today, it affords movie aficionados in New York to catch a glimpse of Philippine history, culture and values as well as current social and political issues as seen through the lens of both the well-established and the up-and-coming film makers, whether for the film studios or the indie film circles”, said the Consul General.

Sinehan sa Summer 2016 will also offer two indie films, namely SUNDALONG KANIN and TOTO which is scheduled to be shown on 23 August and 6 September, respectively. SUNDALONG KANIN is a 2014 Audience Choice Award of Cinemalaya’s Philippine Independent Film Festival and 2015 Best Feature Film Global Award of the International Film Festival Manhattan (IFMM). TOTO, is a 2016 Audience Choice Award at the Asian American International Film Festival (AIFF), and a 2015 winner of 4 awards including Special Jury Prize and Best Director of the Metro Manila Film Festival and 2015 Best Actor and Best Foreign Film at the 19th LA Comedy Festival.

Post screening discussion with festival curators Gil Quito, Fiel Zabat & Paolo Biting.(photo: Lambert Parong/ Kababayan Media) 

A line-up of 5 Cinemalaya short films will be screened during the two Short Films Nights. The Cultural Center of the Philippines granted permission to the Sinehan to show these 2012 and 2015 Cinemalaya films.

This year, 11 Filipino community organizations co-sponsored each Tuesday night of Sinehan sa Summer namely: Handang Tumulong Foundation, Inc. (HTFI), UP Alumni Association of America, Inc (UPAAA), Pilipino American Unity for Progress, Inc. (UniPro), JCI Philippine-New York, Assumption Alumni Association, Ateneo Alumni Association, La Salle Alumni Association, Philippine-American Communities Executive Council, Inc (PACEC) and Association of Filipino Teachers in America (AFTA).

Sinehan sa Summer, a flagship project of the Philippine Consulate in partnership with New York based film experts including Gil Quito, Fiel Zabat, Paolo Bitanga and Manila- based Vincent Nebrida, will continue to run every Tuesday from 9 August to 6 September 2016 at 6:30 P.M. Admission is free.

Film Enthusiasts Photo Op. Evening Sponsors, Film Committee members and Friends with Deputy Consul General Kira Danganan-Azucena (back 7th from L) Cultural officer Olive Osias-Magpile(front 2nd from R) photo: Lambert Parong/ Kababayan Media

Asia 21 Announces 2016 Class of Young Leaders

Two Pinays Selected for International Leadership Program

NEW YORK— Asia 21, the preeminent network of young leaders from across the Asia-Pacific, recently announced its 2016 class. Comprised of 32 rising professionals from 24 countries representing the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, this year’s class is a remarkable group focused on shaping a brighter future for the Asia-Pacific region.
“Asia Society was founded six decades ago by John D. Rockefeller 3rd to create an institution that would build bridges between the U.S. and Asia. He saw the potential of Asia when few did — and that vision has proved prescient,” said Asia Society President and CEO Josette Sheeran. “Today, Asia 21 embodies Rockefeller’s legacy by connecting the brightest minds in Asia and in the United States — bridge builders in their own right — to confront the most vexing challenges facing the region today."
The 2016 class was selected through a highly competitive process based on outstanding achievement, commitment to public service, and a proven ability to make the world a better place. Among the new Asia 21 Young Leaders are Ankit Agarwal (India), a social entrepreneur attempting to curb toxic runoff into the river Ganges by collecting floral waste from the temples; Kongngy Hav (Cambodia), founder of a social venture tackling chronic shelter shortages through the production of affordable and eco-friendly bricks; Sylvia Kim (Canada), a lawyer advocating for the human rights of North Koreans; Catlin Ishihara Powers (U.S.), a social entrepreneur helping households in developing countries meet their everyday energy needs by using solar power; Magdalena Seol (Republic of Korea), a key player in her country’s climate change and low-carbon economic development agendas; and Gede Robi Supriyanto (Indonesia), a rock musician, activist, and farmer who teaches organic farming throughout Southeast Asia. A full list is included below.
Now in its 11th year, Asia 21, named for the need to cultivate a new generation of leaders for the 21st century, has become a robust network of more than 800 young leaders from 30 nations. The network’s alumni are proven leaders representing a variety of professional backgrounds and serve as mentors and potential collaborators. Alumni include political figures (Philippines Senator Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV, Malaysia Minister for Youth and Sports Khairy Jamaluddin, former USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah); media personalities (NDTV journalist Barkha Dutt, Herald Corporation Chairman Ryan Hong, Moby Group Chairman Saad Mohseni); award-winning filmmakers (Maziar BahariNitin DasSharmeen Obaid-Chinoy); and private sector executives (Saratoga Investment President Sandiaga Uno, YTL Singapore Executive Director Ruth Yeoh; Bank of America Merrill Lynch Head of Global Equities Distribution Soofian Zuberi).
Members of the 2016 class and select Asia 21 alumni will gather at the Asia 21 Summit this December in Seoul, which hosted the inaugural Asia 21 convening in 2006. The young leaders will share best practices in leadership and develop group public service projects.
At the summit, the class will also collectively select a partner organization whose work benefits underprivileged social and economic groups and communities in the Asia-Pacific region, as part of the Asia 21 Action Lab. This new initiative is developed in partnership with the Ek Disha Foundation, a U.S.-based nonprofit founded by Asia 21 alumnus Rick Pal that funds, mentors, and supports high impact humanitarian projects. The selected organization will receive a US$10,000 grant provided by the Ek Disha Foundation, as well as continued support from the 2016 class and access to the Asia 21 network for program development.
The members of the Class of 2016 are:
  • Anoka P. Abeyrathne (Sri Lanka), co-founder and director,
  • Basanta Adhikari (Nepal), founding chairperson, Bikalpa-an Alternative
  • Ankit Agarwal (India), founder and chief executive officer, Helpusgreen
  • Ravi Agrawal (U.K./ India), New Delhi bureau chief, CNN International
  • Maysam Ali (Lebanon), deputy director, Stevens Initiatives at Aspen Institute
  • Faisal Almarzooqi (UAE), assistant professor in chemical and environmental engineering, Masdar Institute
  • Qasim Aslam (Pakistan), founder, The History Project
  • Mitrah Elizabeth Avini (Iran), founder, United Voices
  • Avinesh Singh Bhar (Malaysia), assistant professor of internal medicine, Mercer University
  • Arnold Chan (Hong Kong), founder and chief executive officer, Teach4HK
  • Clarissa Delgado (Philippines), co-founder and chief executive officer, Teach for the Philippines
  • Ronak D. Desai (U.S.), counsel, U.S. Congress
  • Madiha Gul (Pakistan), co-founder and creative director, Mishermayl Productions
  • Mohit Gupta (India), global strategic pricing lead, Cargill, Inc.
  • Kongngy Hav (Cambodia), founding director, My Dream Home
  • Sylvia Kim (Canada), regional director, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles
  • Kwok Jia Chuan (Singapore), assistant director for sector strategy and planning, Ministry of Social and Family Development
  • Je-Wook Lee (Republic of Korea), president and publisher, The Jeonnam Ilbo
  • Liu Bin (China), co-founder and vice chairman, Hua Jing Society
  • Nanxi Liu (U.S./China), co-founder and chief executive officer, Enplug, Inc.
  • Maria Lukyanova (Russia), head of country office in Tunisia, U.N. World Food Programme
  • Anna Meloto-Wilk (Philippines), co-founder and president, Human Heart Nature
  • Abdullah Oskay (Turkey), founder, Hayat Sende Youth Academy Association
  • Catlin Ishihara Powers (U.S.), co-founder and chief executive officer, One Earth Designs
  • Anita Ghazi Rahman (Bangladesh), founder and partner, The Legal Circle
  • Maiwand Rahyab (Afghanistan), executive director, Afghanistan Institute for Civil Society
  • Phalgun Raju (U.S./India), founder and chief executive officer, Morph Ventures and
  • Magdalena Seol (Republic of Korea), founder and managing director, Global Development Advisors
  • Gede Robi Supriyanto (Indonesia), musician, activist, writer, and director, Akarumput
  • Shuyin Tang (Australia), principal, Unitus Impact
  • Yusumasa Yamamoto (Japan), angel investor, Green Capital Management
  • Mimi Zou (Australia), assistant director, Center for Rights and Justice, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Asia 21 Action Lab is generously supported by the Ek Disha Foundation 

Mayor Bill de Blasio, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Congressman Jose E. Serrano and State Senator Adriano Espaillat Update New Yorkers on Zika Efforts

City committed $21 million for robust plan to protect New Yorkers from Zika; Mosquito-dense areas treated citywide; 3,400 at-risk women tested in New York City. Mayor calls on Congress to approve $1.9 billion emergency funding package to keep Americans safe

NEW YORK––Mayor Bill de Blasio was recently joined by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Congressman Jose E. Serrano, State Senator and Democratic nominee for NY-13 Adriano Espaillat, State Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh, and Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett to update New Yorkers on the City’s ongoing efforts to combat the Zika virus and call on the federal government to increase funding to New York to continue to combat the Zika virus.
To date, New York City has invested $21 million over three years to enhance mosquito surveillance and control, increase testing and build greater public awareness around the virus. Since the announcement of the City’s Zika Action Plan in April, over 3,400 at-risk pregnant women have been tested, with 49 pregnant women testing positive and one baby born with microcephaly due to Zika.
“New York City is deeply proud of our aggressive and comprehensive Zika response,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Though the mosquito carrying Zika has not been identified here, nearly a quarter of all positive cases in the continental United States are in New York. As a global city, we must continue to act aggressively with the full support of our federal government, and we hope the other cities will adhere to this model.”
“Zika is a national public health crisis, and like any crisis, it requires support from the federal government for municipalities like New York City to sustain ongoing response and planning efforts,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “In the absence of federal funding, the Mayor’s unparalleled commitment to protect New Yorkers from the Zika virus has allowed the Health Department to expand its mosquito control efforts and enhance its testing capacity at the City’s Public Health Laboratory. These are critical in the fight against the Zika virus, but we need Congress to act.”
Most people testing positive for Zika in New York City acquired the infection from mosquito bites incurred while travelling to Zika-affected areas (with a small minority – four – associated with sexual transmission). Though the mosquito most associated with Zika has not been found in the city, a related mosquito that is a potential carrier has. The Health Department has to-date completed mosquito treatments in every borough, totaling 79 community sprays, with tomorrow’s scheduled event marking the City’s fifth pesticide spraying in a mosquito-dense area.
Due to increasing nationwide concern, New York City recently expanded the criteria for Zika testing, from anyone who recently traveled to a Zika-affected region, to now anyone over the age five who has three or more symptoms associated with Zika. These symptoms include fever, a widespread skin rash, joint pain or conjunctivitis. Though Zika presents with mild symptoms in most people, pregnant women, women seeking to become pregnant and their partners are warned not to travel to Zika-affected areas. Those who have should use condoms or abstain from sexual intercourse for the duration of their pregnancy.
“Although public health experts do not expect that the United States mainland will see the kind of widespread outbreaks that are happening in Brazil or Puerto Rico, that does not mean we can sit by complacently and hope for the best,” saidCongresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney. “We cannot afford to play politics with the health of the American people. It is time for Congressional leadership to act – and act responsibly. We must put adequate resources toward combating this virus to develop a vaccine and enable states to take precautions like the ones that have been implemented here in New York City by Mayor de Blasio and the dedicated team over at New York City Health. ”
“To date, Congressional Republicans have abdicated their solemn responsibility to allocate sufficient resources for dealing with the spread of Zika. This disease is a threat to all Americans, to New Yorkers and has already been impacting Puerto Rico. Congress needs to act responsibly and swiftly to address this public health threat,” said Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez
"As a Senior Member of the Appropriations Committee appointed to the Zika Conference Committee, I am fighting to fully fund the President’s request for $1.9 billion in emergency funding to address the Zika crisis. Republicans in Congress have failed the American people by preventing an adequate funding bill from being debated and passed. Congress can and must do more to provide adequate levels of funding to ensure this virus does not spread further. It’s time Congress take the lead as we did during other natural disasters and public health crises,” said Congressman José E. Serrano.
“Zika is a serious threat to public health, and it is imperative that our city has the resources it needs to protect every New Yorker,” said State Senator Adriano Espaillat. “New York City has done a tremendous job in educating New Yorkers and preparing a robust vision to maintain the health and well-being of the public. With greater federal support, we could expand prevention efforts and move closer to a vaccine.”
"Under the de Blasio administration, this Department of Health has done a truly extraordinary job of protecting New Yorkers from potential health threats," said Council Member Corey Johnson, Chair of the Committee on Health. "This was true of managing the Ebola outbreak, this was true of Legionnaires, and it is true of the current threat posed by Zika. New Yorkers should follow the wisdom of DOHMH's advice and share its important safety tips with friends and family. Maintaining public health requires our citizenship to be equipped with the best information, and under the Department of Health's stellar leadership, I know we will manage this threat."
Throughout the summer, the Health Department has continued an aggressive campaign focused on reminding pregnant New Yorkers and their partners to avoid traveling to Zika-affected areas. The latest Center for Disease Control (CDC) review noted 483 positive cases of Zika in New York City. It remains critical to keep infections down, yet without appropriate federal funding, many jurisdictions lack the necessary resources to do so. Because of this, the Obama Administration recently committed $81 million in part to develop a vaccine to combat Zika, following Congressional failure to approve new funding.
As New York City continues to implement our Zika Action Plan, increased funding will be necessary to sustain a long-term response that includes research and vaccine development, as well as continuing emergency-preparedness planning. Mayor de Blasio has appealed to U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to support the $1.9 billion emergency funding package that will combat this crisis and keep millions of Americans safe.
Mayor de Blasio’s letter to the U.S. House of Representatives can be found here. offers ‘Sinehan’ viewers in New York free Filipino movie to watch online

NEW, the first exclusive Filipino-movie streaming site, is offering a free movie priced at $5.99 for those who are attending the free Sinehan sa Summer weekly film screenings at the Philippine Consulate until September 6.
The Sinehan sa Summer film festival continues its tradition of showing rare classics and other hard-to-find Filipino films, many of which are not commercially available, whether in DVD format or as a theatrical release in the United States. For those who cannot make it to the screenings, you can still sign up at and get a free movie by emailing us at    
Although its movies are only available only online, Cinetropa is still encouraging people to come to the Consulate as the film screenings there cannot replace the experience of being with fellow Filipino film lovers and hearing the post-screening discussions of the films with Filipino directors, writers and other film aficionados.  

On September 1 at 6:30 pm,  “Heneral Luna” is also being screened at the Consulate with a special behind-the-scenes feature.
Cinetropa is sponsoring the screening of “Heneral Luna,”  currently the most successful Filipino independent film in the Philippines, in commemoration of National Heroes’ Day on August 29. The historical action epic is also streaming on for only $6.99.
Set during the Philippine–American war, the epic film recounts the heroic yet tragic story of General Antonio Luna, commander of the Philippine Revolutionary Army and its most brilliant Filipino general, who faced an enemy more treacherous than any foreign colonizer: his own countrymen.
Cinetropa will be adding more titles soon to its pay-per-view site. Movies are priced from $3.99 to $6.99 in the United States. Unlike illegal streaming sites out there, Cinetropa is backed by independent producers and was especially created to give Filipino films more exposure for their films on a global scale, either for Filipinos or those discovering or exploring Filipino films.
For those who would like to avail of the free-movie promo, which is valid until September 6, please sign up via Facebook or your email at Cinetropa will be at the Consulate every screening for those who wish to get their promo code there. Or email us at and let us know you reside in the tri-state area.

Governor Cuomo Announces $2.1 Million In Funding To Screen Children For Developmental Delays And Promote Maternal Well-Being

Western New York and Long Island Projects Will Serve as Blueprint for Statewide Model

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced $2.1 million to increase developmental skills among children and decrease maternal depression in the Western New York and Long Island regions. The Council on Children and Families will partner with the New York State Department of Health and local agencies on the projects to ultimately develop a statewide model for screening children earlier for developmental delays and their mothers for depression and to provide needed services sooner to promote long-term success. 

“All of New York's children deserve the opportunity to reach their full potential,” Governor Cuomo said. “These programs help level the field by detecting problems and providing services for more children at an early age. This action brings us one step closer to a stronger and more just New York for all.”

The five-year Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Impact grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration will help New York State decrease health inequities and put all New York children on a path to success through projects in Western New York and Long Island. The New York State Council of Children and Families and the Department of Health projects have a two-pronged goal: to screen children sooner for developmental delays and to provide maternal depression screenings in pediatric, family health and early childhood and education settings. 

In Nassau County, the state partners will work with a pediatrician’s group to screen babies and toddlers for developmental delays and disabilities and, when needed, connect them with services to help them develop fundamental skills, such as talking, walking and interacting with others. Erie and Niagara Counties will work with early childhood providers to improve child development screening rates and increase the number of referrals to services for children with developmental delays. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children be screened for developmental delays and disabilities at nine, 18, 24 and 30 months of age. In Erie and Niagara Counties, only about 40-percent of children receive standardized screenings for developmental delays and only one in five with an identified developmental delay actually receives services. In Nassau County, fewer than 30-percent of physicians routinely screen children for developmental delays. As part of this project, the Council on Children and Families and its partners will create the blueprint for a statewide model to provide early screenings and services. Early interventions are proven to promote the well-being of children and reduce their need for services later in life. 

Council on Children and Families Executive Director Deborah Benson said, “Only two of every 10 children in New York State receive a developmental screening and minority children are screened at even lower rates. With this project, we will work to improve the rate of developmental screenings and access to services so that all children get an equal start in life.” 

The second part of the project will focus on maternal depression, which affects approximately 13-percent of all mothers in New York State. Maternal depression can have a negative impact on family functioning and child development, but maternal depression is highly treatable, especially if caught early. Under this grant, the Council on Children and Families will work to better educate mothers about depression and connect them with needed services to help them be more effective parents.

About The Council on Children and Families

The Council on Children and Families coordinates New York State health, education and human services systems as a means to provide more effective systems of care for children and families. Follow the Council on Facebook and Twitter @nysccf, and bookmark its website,

The Council works with its 12 member agencies to coordinate the New York State health, education, and human service systems to provide more effective systems of care for children and families. Members of the Council include the Department of Health, the Department of Labor, the Division of Criminal Justice Services, the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, the Office of Children and Family Services, the Office of Mental Health, the Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs, the Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives, the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, the Office for the Aging, and the State Education Department

PH Consul General Seeks Support for Filipino WWII Veterans Gold Medal Award During Call On Representative Lee Zeldin (R-NY-1st)

Representative Zeldin listens intently to Consul General De Leon’s updates on Senate bill 1555 that was recently passed supporting the award of Congressional Gold Medal to Filipino veterans while H.R. 2737, the House version, is pending.  Consul General De Leon said that the community is actively involved in this project which is spearheaded by the Philippine embassy in Washington DC

Long Island, New York – In a bid to encourage support for the Award of the Congressional Gold Medal for Filipino World War II Veterans (CGM), Consul General Mario L. De Leon, Jr. met with Representative Lee Zeldin (NY-R) at his district office in Patchogue, Long Island, NY.     

During the meeting, Consul General De Leon conveyed that the US Senate recently passed its version of the bill (S.1555) last July while the Congressional bill, H.R. 2737, is pending with Congress awaiting the required number of co-sponsors.  The objective of the CGM is to give due recognition to Filipino WWII veterans who fought with valor and courage alongside the US Armed Forces in the Pacific theatre, but were denied the appropriate recognition.  Other veteran minorities like the Tuskegee Airmen, Japanese Nisei, Puerto Ricans and Navajo Indians have been awarded the CGM, except the Philippines, he added.

In his reply, Representative Zeldin expressed confidence that his office is supportive of this bill, adding that his support for this bill in recognition of the bravery of Filipino WWII veterans should be “simple and straightforward.”  However, his support for the bill, like any other bill, would undergo a process starting with a recommendation from his legislative director, he added.       

Consul General De Leon said that Filipino-Americans comprise the second largest ethnic group in the United States with about four million Filipinos.  About 400,000 or 10 percent live in the Consulate General’s jurisdiction.  According to the latest US Census, there are about 3,000 Filipinos residing in the First Congressional district of Long Island.

Representative Zeldin praised local Filipino organizations that are actively engaged in civic and community affairs in Long Island.  In fact, he had been invited to and attended a number of salo-salo by Tanglaw, a popular Filipino organization in Long Island, he added. 

Consul General De Leon took the opportunity to personally invite Representative Zeldin to the US-PH Friendship Caucus based in the US Congress which serves as platform for US Representatives who are interested in the Philippines and wish to engage and participate in various fora committed to growing PH-US bilateral relations.  

A member of the House Committees on Foreign Affairs and Veterans Affairs as well as Transportation, Rep. Zeldin was given updates on the recent Arbitral decision in the Hague last July involving claimant-countries in the South China Sea.    

As part of Post’s political diplomacy efforts, Consul General De Leon regularly conducts outreach to US elected officials in his jurisdiction to encourage support for legislation close to Philippine interests, and convey developments relative to US-PH bilateral relations, including regional security in Asia-Pacific, the Philippines and US being treaty allies.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Mayor de Blasio Urges New Yorkers to Take Steps to Protect Themselves During the Excessive Heat This Weekend

Cooling centers remain open with extended hours Friday through Sunday; to find the nearest cooling center, call 311 or visit

NEW YORK—With the heat index expected to rise above 100 degrees through the weekend, Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday urged New Yorkers to take precautions to protect themselves and help others who may be at increased risk from the heat, including vulnerable individuals such as seniors and those with chronic health problems. 
“The extreme heat our city will experience in the coming days is dangerous, and can be fatal, especially for vulnerable populations like seniors and people with chronic medical conditions,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I encourage every New Yorker to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves during this extended period of intense heat. We are reminding all New Yorkers to use air conditioning or get to a cooling center, drink lots of water, and check in on your family, friends, and neighbors.”
The National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory through 8:00 AM Saturday. An Excessive Heat Watch will then take effect from 8:00AM Saturday through 10:00 PM Sunday. Heat index values on Saturday and Sunday are forecast to be around 105 degrees. New Yorkers should use air conditioning to stay cool, go to a place that has air conditioning if it is not available at home, drink water at regular intervals, and limit strenuous activity, especially during the hottest parts of the day.
To help New Yorkers beat the heat, New York City cooling centers will remain open Friday through Sunday, and will operate with extended hours. Cooling centers are air conditioned facilities, such as libraries, community centers, senior centers and NYCHA facilities that are open to the public during heat emergencies. To find the nearest cooling center – including accessible facilities – call 311 (TTY: 212-504-4115) or visit NYC Emergency Management’s Cooling Center Finder at
  • The Department of Homeless Services has issued a Code Red Alert and has enhanced outreach. Single adults can present to any shelter to seek refuge from the heat. Transportation is also available to cooling centers via DHS outreach teams, which are checking on vulnerable, at-risk clients with greater frequency.
  • The Fire Department has hydrant spray caps available for any adult 18 years or older at a fire house upon request.
  • The Department for the Aging has opened senior centers as cooling centers, and home care agencies are on the lookout for clients who may need assistance. Case management agencies are also calling to check on home-bound seniors.
  • NYC Water-on-the-Go fountains are available across all five boroughs. Schedules can be found here.
  • An Excavation Safety Alert has been issued through Monday, August 15, at 7:00 AM. Contractors are strongly encouraged to implement enhanced protective measures before digging.
Mayor de Blasio urges New Yorkers to take the following precautions to beat the heat this weekend:
  • A small but crucial gesture can help ensure that we all have a safe and healthy summer: Get to know your neighbors, and contact neighbors and relatives – in person or by phone – at least twice a day during heat waves.
  • Pay special attention to the elderly, the very young, and anyone with a pre-existing medical condition. New Yorkers should check in on older neighbors who may be isolated from friends and family.
  • Air conditioning is the best way to keep cool when it is hot outside, but some people do not have an air conditioner or do not turn it on when they need it. Encourage them to use air conditioning. Help them get to an air-conditioned place if they cannot stay cool at home. Make sure they are drinking enough water.
  • Stay out of the sun and avoid extreme temperature changes.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Drink fluids, particularly water, even if you do not feel thirsty. Your body needs water to keep cool. Those on fluid-restricted diets or taking diuretics should first consult their physician.
  • Water is the safest liquid to drink during heat emergencies. Avoid beverages containing alcohol and/or caffeine.
  • Eat small, frequent meals.
  • Avoid strenuous activity, especially during the sun’s peak hours: 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning between 4:00 AM and 7:00 AM.
  • If possible, go to an air-conditioned building for several hours during the hottest parts of the day.
  • Cool down with a cool bath or shower.
  • Participate in activities that will keep you cool, such as going to the movies, shopping at a mall, or swimming at a pool or beach.
  • Cover all exposed skin with an SPF sunscreen (15 or above) and wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face and head.
  • Never leave your children or pets in the car.
Heat illness is serious. Prolonged exposure to the heat can be harmful and potentially fatal. The added stress caused by heat can also aggravate heart or lung disease even without symptoms of heat illness. The risk for getting sick during a heat wave is increased for people who:
  • Do not have or do not use air conditioning
  • Are age 65 or older
  • Have chronic medical or mental health conditions
  • Take certain medications, which can disrupt the regulation of body temperature
  • Are confined to their beds, have trouble with being mobile, or are unable to leave their homes
  • Are overweight
  • Consume alcohol or illegal drugs
Know the warning signs of heat stress. If you or someone you know feels weak or faint, go to a cool place and drink water. If there is no improvement, call a doctor or 911.
Call 911 immediately if you have, or someone you know has:
  • Hot dry skin OR cold clammy skin
  • Trouble breathing
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Confusion, disorientation, or dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Avoid dehydration: Pets can dehydrate quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water.
  • Exercise early and late: When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Your pet’s body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn.
  • Know when your pet is in danger: Symptoms of overheating in pets include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor, or even collapse. Animals with flat faces like Pugs and Persian cats are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. They should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible. 
  • Never leave a pet inside of a parked car on a hot day. Even with the windows open, extreme temperatures inside a parked can could quickly lead to fatal heat stroke for your pet.
  • Keep cats safe by installing screens in your windows. Unscreened windows pose a real danger to cats, who fall out of them often during summer months. 
  • Prepare with your pet: Pet food, water, medications and supplies should always be included in your emergency preparedness plans and “go bags.”
The improper opening of fire hydrants wastes 1,000 gallons of water per minute, causes flooding on city streets, and can lower water pressure to dangerous levels and hamper the ability of FDNY to fight fire safely and quickly.
Properly used “spray caps” reduce hydrant output to a safe 25 gallons per minute while still providing relief from the heat. To obtain a spray cap, an adult 18 years or older with proper identification can go to his or her local firehouse and request one.
During periods of intense electrical usage, such as on hot, humid days, it is important to conserve energy as much as possible to avoid brownouts and other electrical disruptions. While diminishing your power usage may seem like an inconvenience, your cooperation will help to ensure that utilities are able to continue to provide uninterrupted electrical service to you and your neighbors.
  • Set air conditioners at 78 degrees Fahrenheit. A 75º F setting uses 18 percent more electricity and a 72º F setting uses 39 percent more electricity. This setting allows for sufficient cooling while still conserving electrical power.
  • Use an air conditioner only when home. If you want to cool your room before you arrive home, use a timer to have it come on no more than one-half hour before you arrive.
  • For more information on coping with the heat, visit: or view NYC Emergency Management’s Beat the Heat video here. The video is also available in both English and Spanish.

Statement | H. E. Archbishop Bernardito Auza, At the High Level Thematic Debate On Human Rights

New York - Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN, recently gave an intervention during the UN High-Level thematic debate entitled UN@70 — Human rights at the center of the global agenda.
In his statement, Archbishop Auza noted the role the United Nations has played since its founding in protecting and promoting human rights through international human rights covenants and the establishment of international human rights norms. Such achievements cannot be taken for granted, he said, but must be received, solidified and built upon by every generation. He called attention to the way human dignity and rights are being denied, suppressed and violated today in war, human trafficking, the persecution of religious and ethic minorities, abortion and euthanasia and so many forms of unjust discrimination. He also underlined three threats to human dignity and rights: the failure to appreciate that fundamental human rights come not from the State but from one’s innate human dignity; the invention of what Pope Francis calls “false rights” that dilute and undercut genuine human rights; and allowing human rights talk to remain rhetorical rather than speaking and fulfilling the corresponding duties to each genuine right. As the UN celebrates 70 years, he says it’s an occasion “to defend those whose right are being violated; to place human rights, the human dignity on which they’re based, and the responsibilities corresponding to them on a more secure footing; and to work to create the circumstances in which they may be effectively transmitted to future generations.”
His statement can be found here.