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UC launches DREAM Loan Program to help undocumented students
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California DREAM Loan Program

California DREAM Loan Program

More than 3,000 undocumented undergraduate students will have access to a system-wide student loan program for the first time as the University of California implements the California DREAM Loan Program it sponsored, UC President Janet Napolitano announced last Friday.

The financial aid offices of UC’s nine undergraduate campuses will be reaching out to undocumented AB 540 undergraduates with offers of loan assistance through the program, now available for the 2015-2016 academic year. Under Assembly Bill 540, qualifying undocumented students are charged resident fees and exempted from out-of-state supplemental tuition.

“By reducing barriers and expanding access to higher education for undocumented students, the University of California is investing not only in the future of these students, but also in the future of our state and nation,” said Napolitano.

The DREAM loan program, proposed by Napolitano in 2014, was authorized that same year when the Legislature passed SB 1210, authored by state Sen. Ricardo Lara. Funding was not made available until this academic year.

The initial $5 million for the California DREAM Program, equally funded by the University of California and state general funds appropriated to UC, will be distributed according to need across campuses.

“The DREAM loan program will grow our college-educated workforce and make good on the promise that a college degree is possible for all hard-working, qualified California students regardless of their immigration status,” Lara said.

Under current law, undocumented students who graduate from a California high school and meet the California DREAM Act requirements are eligible for state and university aid.

Their undocumented status, however, disqualifies them from receiving federal aid, which severely limits their access to student loans. In addition, they have difficulty accessing private loans.

“This new program will reduce that gap,” said Napolitano. “It will help even the playing field for undocumented students struggling to make ends meet.”

Some campuses have eased the financial burden on undocumented students with case-by-case loans from the institution, but the DREAM program provides assistance across the UC system.

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Pia thinks Liza Soberano could be Miss Universe
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Liza Soberano (MNS Photo)

Liza Soberano (MNS Photo)

Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach believes Kapamilya star Liza Soberano would make a good beauty queen.

Wurtzbach made this remark during a Twitter question and answer where she was asked who among the local celebrities could become Miss Universe.

“I can think of a lot. But if I had to pick one.. Liza Soberano. She’s beautiful,” she answered.

Wurtzbach’s response sent Soberano’s followers abuzz, with most of them saying the beauty queen has great taste.

-- Miss Universe 2015 Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach mingles with the crown before paying a courtesy call on President Benigno S. Aquino III in Malacañang Palace.(MNS photo)

— Miss Universe 2015 Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach mingles with the crown before paying a courtesy call on President Benigno S. Aquino III in Malacañang Palace.(MNS photo)

Soberano, who is the lead actress in the upcoming ABS-CBN series “Dolce Amore,” is one of the first Filipino celebrities who congratulated Wurtzbach when she won Miss Universe last December.

Both of them are part of the Star Magic family. (MNS)

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Aquino: Cash transfer program worth every peso
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President Benigno S. Aquino III converses with His Eminence Charles Maung Bo, Papal Legate and Archbishop of Yangon and the Pontifical delegation during a courtesy call in Malacanang Monday (February 1). The Papal Legate and his delegation is in Manila after the successful celebration of International Eucharist in Cebu. (MNS photo)

President Benigno S. Aquino III converses with His Eminence Charles Maung Bo, Papal Legate and Archbishop of Yangon and the Pontifical delegation during a courtesy call in Malacanang Monday (February 1). The Papal Legate and his delegation is in Manila after the successful celebration of International Eucharist in Cebu. (MNS photo)

MANILA  (Mabuhay) – President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday defended the multi-billion peso budget allocated for the government’s conditional cash transfer (CCT) program, saying every peso spent for over 7.7 million Filipinos already lifted out of poverty is “worth it.”

“Merong mga nagsasabi na imbestigahan daw ang Pantawid Pamilya at napakalaki ng gastusin, palagay ko naman na tayong mas nakararami at bukas ang pag-i-isip, sasabihin na yung naitalang 7.7 million Filipinos na nakaalpas na sa kahirapan sa tulong ng 4Ps, talagang sulit ang bawat pisong inilaan natin sa programa,” Aquino said.

The President made the statement during the 65th anniversary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), which implements the said flagship anti-poverty program of the government.

The government increased the 2016 budget for the CCT, or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), to P62.7 billion to cover 4.6 million households.

The government’s official web portal defines the 4Ps as “a human development measure of the national government that provides conditional cash grants to the poorest of the poor, to improve the health, nutrition, and the education of children aged 0-18.”

The program is patterned after the CCT schemes in Latin American and African countries, which the government said have lifted millions of people around the world from poverty.

Aquino said the CCT’s success will further extend to the youth after the government broadened the program’s coverage to include high school students from indigent families.

Also at the anniversary, the President announced a P10,000 “milestone” bonus for employees of the DSWD.

Aquino also touted the transformation of the DSWD’s image to an agency perceived to be ready and prepared to respond to calamities.

“Kapag sinabing DSWD, ang agad nang maiisip: handang-handa at alisto. Kababalita pa lang na may paparating na bagyo, automatic na ang prepositioning ng ayuda. Nariyan ang buong ahensiya, kumpleto ang datos, para makapaghanda nang tama at maayos,” he said.

But Aquino admitted that the disaster response of the government is far from perfect, citing the Yolanda tragedy in 2013 wherein prepositioned goods were ransacked in warehouses, and first responders in local communities were also affected by the typhoon.

“Ito po, inaaral natin, kasama ng iba pang puwedeng maisaayos, para higit pang mapabuti ang serbisyo sa ating mga Boss,” he said.

The President was also all praises for Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman, who he said was on call “25 hours” a day, eight days a week, without overtime pay and incentive bonus.  (MNS)

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If elected, Duterte wants to end crime, corruption in three to six months
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Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte holds a sub-machinegun as admirers take a selfie with him during the 23rd Defense and Sporting Arms Show at SM Megamall on Wednesday. In his speech, Duterte again espoused his idea of governance despite being non-committal to running for the presidency. (MNS photo)

Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte holds a sub-machinegun as admirers take a selfie with him during the 23rd Defense and Sporting Arms Show at SM Megamall on Wednesday. In his speech, Duterte again espoused his idea of governance despite being non-committal to running for the presidency. (MNS photo)

MANILA  (Mabuhay) – Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte claimed that he could end crime and corruption in the country within three to six months if he is elected president in the May 2016 polls.

In a radio interview, Duterte said he may not be the “nicest” presidential candidate but he can deliver what he promised: to rid the country of crime and corruption.

“Sinasabi ko sa taongbayan, kung gusto niyo ng malinis ang bunganga, very civil, very courteous, doon na kayo,” Duterte said.

“Pero kung gusto niyo naman ‘yung nagmumura pero tinutupad ang pangako, I will deliver. In three to six months, I will stop drugs and criminality,” he said.

Asked by Enriquez how it was possible to stop drugs and criminality within months after assuming office, Duterte said, “Sabi nila imposible, pero posible.”

Duterte said if you have been into the presidency for one week and no one believes in you or follows your order, “Bumitiw ka na.”

One of the criticisms being hurled at Duterte is that in Davao, crime persists.

“Meron pero hindi ganoon karami,” Duterte said, explaining that his detractors include on their list “minor” crimes such as smoking in public, urinating in public, and speeding.

Duterte said his rule in Davao is simple: “Ano ang batas?”

For those who do good, Duterte said they have his support. But for those who disobey the law, “Pasensiya na. Kulong,” he said.

During the interview, Duterte said his strategy for solving criminality is simple: He will use the police and the military to hunt down criminals.

He said he will order law enforcers to shoot when they feel that their lives are in danger.

However, he said he will never order extrajudicial killings or the killing of a person by governmental authorities without the sanction of a legal process.

“Pabayaan mong lumaban,” Duterte said. However, the police or the military should not allow criminals to get the better of them.

“If you think that your life is in jeopardy, ang buhay mo nasa delikado na, shoot,” he said. (MNS)

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Comelec has power to cancel Poe’s COC for president: Guanzon
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The camp of Senator Grace Poe asked the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday (Dec. 28, 2015) to stop the decision of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) that disqualified her to run in the 2016 presidential polls. Poe, through her legal counsel, Atty. George Garcia (in left photo), filed the petition for certiorari and urgent motion for the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the Comelec decision. One of the two petitions filed by Poe's camp challenged the Comelec First Division ruling while the second petition assailed the Comelec Second Division ruling. Poe's camp also asked the SC to issue a status quo ante order (SQAO) against the Comelec ruling in order that the name of Poe would still be included in the ballot for the 2016 elections. Photo at right shows Poe's supporters urging the Comelec to allow the lady senator to run for president in the May 2016 polls. (MNS photo)

The camp of Senator Grace Poe asked the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday (Dec. 28, 2015) to stop the decision of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) that disqualified her to run in the 2016 presidential polls. Poe, through her legal counsel, Atty. George Garcia (in left photo), filed the petition for certiorari and urgent motion for the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the Comelec decision. One of the two petitions filed by Poe’s camp challenged the Comelec First Division ruling while the second petition assailed the Comelec Second Division ruling. Poe’s camp also asked the SC to issue a status quo ante order (SQAO) against the Comelec ruling in order that the name of Poe would still be included in the ballot for the 2016 elections. Photo at right shows Poe’s supporters urging the Comelec to allow the lady senator to run for president in the May 2016 polls. (MNS photo)

MANILA  (Mabuhay) – The Commission on Elections started its arguments before the Supreme Court on Tuesday, stressing its jurisdiction to cancel the certificate of candidacy for president of Senator Grace Poe.

Commissioner Rowena Guanzon opened the Comelec’s case with the poll body’s power to cancel Poe’s COC after the senator’s camp argued over the past two weeks that it was beyond the Comelec to disqualify the senator from the presidential elections in May.

“The Comelec has jurisdiction to cancel the certificate of candidacy of the petitioner in this case under its constitutional mandate or broad powers to administer and enforce all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of the elections,” Guanzon told the Supreme Court.

“We enforced according to the evidence Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code. The Supreme Court has recognized the jurisdiction of Comelec to cancel certificates of candidacy in the cases of Ongsiako-Reyes versus Comelec and the case of Gonzales versus Comelec,” she added.

Poe is questioning before the SC the Comelec’s twin decisions canceling her COC for president for alleged material misrepresentation as regards her questioned citizenship and alleged lack of residency.

Tuesday marked the first time the Comelec presented its case before the SC.

The first two hearings before the high tribunal saw Poe’s legal counsel, Attorney Alexander Poblador, present her case before the SC.(MNS)

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Duterte claims Mar Roxas had a breakdown during Yolanda
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President Benigno S. Aquino III, with Liberal Party Presidential bet Mar Roxas, flashes the Laban “L” sign along with the members and officers of the Liberal Party during the Liberal Party (LP) Joint National Directorate and National Executive Council (NECO) Meeting at the LP Headquarters in Balay, Cubao, Quezon City on Wednesday (September 30). (MNS photo)

President Benigno S. Aquino III, with Liberal Party Presidential bet Mar Roxas, flashes the Laban “L” sign along with the members and officers of the Liberal Party during the Liberal Party (LP) Joint National Directorate and National Executive Council (NECO) Meeting at the LP Headquarters in Balay, Cubao, Quezon City on Wednesday (September 30). (MNS photo)

MANILA  (Mabuhay) – Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte alleged that his fellow presidential candidate Mar Roxas, former Interior Secretary, had a breakdown after Typhoon Yolanda devasted Tacloban in 2013.

Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) is considered the most powerful storm in history ever to make landfall. Yolanda, which hit the country on November 8, 2013, affected over 1.4 million families and killed around 6,300 people.

In a radio interview, Duterte claimed that he had witnessed how Roxas dealt with the situation in Tacloban, the most heavily damaged area in the country.

“Mar Roxas got the scare of his life during Yolanda,” Duterte said.

“I was there on Day 2. Si Mar nagka-breakdown,” Duterte alleged.

“I was there. I was talking to him. Nag-mo-monologue siya,” he said. “He was not acting like a person who was in charge of a disaster (relief operation), giving commands or critical orders.”

He said there were dead people lying on the streets. “Pagpasok ko pa lang, sabi ko pakitanggal ‘yung tatlong pulis diyan nangangamoy na, ‘yung pulis na patay, the carcass if you want to call it,” Duterte recounted.

He said he did not see the Navy and there was a lack of basic necessities including bottled water.

“I was there with my ‘911’ – 10 doctors and 10 nurses,” Duterte said. (MNS)

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Hormones make weight loss harder for women than men, study finds
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Current obesity medication can reduce women's appetite but may not tap into brain signals regulating energy expenditure and physical activity. ©gilaxia/Istock.com

Current obesity medication can reduce women’s appetite but may not tap into brain signals regulating energy expenditure and physical activity.
©gilaxia/Istock.com

(Relaxnews) – A new study has found that men and women might not be on equal ground when it comes to losing weight. Researchers at the Universities of Aberdeen and Cambridge in the UK, and Michigan in the USA have pinpointed the behavior of certain hormones, produced in the brain, which could make weight loss more difficult for women.

World Health Organization data shows that there are more obese women than men worldwide, with up to twice as many obese women than men in some parts of the world.

Dr Lora Heisler and colleagues from the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health sought to understand why women put on weight more easily than men and why they find weight loss more of a challenge. While the scientists succeeded in making obese, sedentary male mice lose weight, the same effect couldn’t be replicated in female mice.

“What we have discovered is that the part of the brain that has a significant influence on how we use the calories that we eat is wired differently in males and females,” explains Dr Luk Burke.

More precisely, the hormones responsible for regulating appetite, physical activity, energy expenditure and weight loss produced in this part of the brain — called pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) peptides — have been found to behave differently in men and women.

The researchers were able to modulate the appetite of female mice using these hormones, which curb the need for food, but saw no effect on energy expenditure or physical activity. In other words, current obesity medication targeting POMC peptides can reduce the women’s appetite but may not tap into brain signals regulating energy expenditure and physical activity. This could explain why women gain weight more easily and have more difficulty losing it.

The team hopes that their findings, published in the Molecular Metabolism journal, will lead to the development of new treatments. Previously, a patient’s sex hasn’t been taken into account when considering appropriate treatments for obesity, which affects one in four adults in the UK.

The World Health Organization estimates that 1.4 billion adults over the age of 20 are overweight worldwide.

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