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UN Special Rapporteur Dr. Tidball-Binz visits PH for 3 days as forensic expert

   Dr. MorrisTidball-Binz United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings Dr. Morris Tidball-Binz will be in the Philippines starting Monday, Feb. 6, for a three-day visit. But Dr. Tidball-Binz’s visit will be not be in his official capacity as UN Special Rapporteur but as an expert in forensic pathology “to help capacitate our current doctors,” Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin C. Remulla said. Remulla said that Tidball-Binz will “pave the way for forensic pathologists and enhance their practice to achieve international standard practices” as well as help the Philippines “identify the intricacies of wrongful death tragedies.” “We need more capable doctors in our country to assist our law enforcement agencies in their work. This is an enormous step towards that goal,” he said. “I invited Dr. Tidball-Binz because his [...]

February 6th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

House bill seeks longer paternity leave

PHILIPPINES— A bill filed at the House of Representatives seeks to increase the number of days that the law grants for paternity leave. House Bill (HB) 4430, filed on September 5 last year by Quezon City Fourth District Rep. Marvin Rillo, will increase the period of paternity leave with pay from seven days to 30 days. It also expands the coverage of the Paternity Leave Act (Republic Act 8187) to include "unmarried fathers who cohabit with the mother without legal impediment to marry." RA 11210, or the "Expanded Maternity Leave Law," allows female workers to allocate up to seven days of their maternity leave benefits to the child's father, whether or not he is married to her. Under HB 4430, a child's father who is legally married to and [...]

February 6th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Lakas-CMD elects new officers

Sara Duterte, Vice President of the Republic of The Philippines. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO The political party Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) elected its new set of national officers on Friday. The holding of the election was contained in a resolution approved by party members and confirmed by incumbent officers led by House Speaker Martin Romualdez and Vice President Sara Duterte. Romualdez and Duterte reassumed the positions of president and chairman, respectively. The installation of the new officers "will strengthen and reinvigorate our party in support of the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and his Agenda for Prosperity and socioeconomic roadmap," Romualdez said in a statement Sunday. "We hope to further grow our membership with new recruits who share our ideals, programs and goals, and aspirations for our people and our [...]

February 6th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

China expresses strong dissatisfaction after the US shot down suspected spy balloon

China accused the United States of "seriously violating international practice" after it shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon on Feb 5, 2023. (Photo: Brian Branch via AP) SHANGHAI—  Beijing on Sunday (Feb 5) blasted the Pentagon's decision to shoot down an alleged Chinese spy balloon spotted flying over North America, accusing the United States of "clearly overreacting and seriously violating international practice". "China expresses strong dissatisfaction and protests against the use of force by the United States to attack the unmanned civilian airship," Beijing's foreign ministry said in a statement, adding that it would "reserve the right to make further necessary responses". The craft spent several days flying over North America, ratcheting up tensions between Washington and Beijing, before it was brought down by a missile shot from [...]

February 6th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

NEDA: 206 PBBM flagship projects up for vetting

GOV'T PROGRAMS. National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon speaks at the Saturday News Forum in Quezon City Feb. 4, 2023. She discussed the programs that the government could undertake until 2028 through various schemes such as public-private partnership, grants, and government allocation. (PNA photo by Robert Oswald P. Alfiler)         MANILA – The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is vetting a total of 206 major projects and is expected to come up with a final list by the end of the first quarter, a ranking official said Saturday. NEDA Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon said this initial 206 are only the administration’s “flagship projects” included in a much longer list of about 3,000 more programs that span up until 2028. In the Saturday News Forum at the [...]

February 6th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Japan says it has addressed Filipino comfort women’s concerns

Japan said concerns being raised by the Filipino “comfort women” have been addressed by its government, including recognition of the Imperial Japanese Army’s atrocities and reparation claims. In a statement, the Japanese Embassy in Manila made remarks on the various calls made by the surviving Filipino comfort women—or those who were sent to sexual slavery by the Japanese military during World War II—before Tokyo was due to present its human rights report for the Fourth Cycle of the United Nations’ Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights. According to the embassy, the Japanese government already expressed in 1993 “sincere apologies and remorse, recognizing this issue was severely injured the honor and dignity of a large number of women.” “The Government has since expressed its sincere apologies and remorse to the [...]

February 3rd, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Framework for waste-to-energy technologies pushed

MANILA – Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri has filed a bill seeking to establish a national energy policy and regulatory framework for facilities using waste-to-energy (WTE) technologies that would address solid waste management problems, and provide an alternative source of energy. In his Senate Bill (SB) 1746, or the “Waste to Energy Act,” Zubiri noted that as the country develops, the population increases rapidly along with more improvements in our way of life, increasing the volume of waste created. Citing the assessment of the Environment and Management Bureau, the country is projected to generate 92 million tons of waste from 2022 to 2025. “Unfortunately, our solid waste disposal system is yet to keep up with the continuously increasing amount of household and domestic wastes that we produce. This bill [...]

February 3rd, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

NEDA approves 6 more ‘high-impact’ projects

HIGH-IMPACT PROJECTS. National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) director general and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan (right) announces more NEDA-approved projects during the Palace press briefing on Friday (Feb. 3, 2023). The NEDA board has approved seven "high-impact" projects to attain the Marcos administration’s social and economic transformation goal. (PNA photo by Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos)   MANILA – Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan on Friday said the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board has approved six other key projects, including the proposal to raise the fund for the rehabilitation of Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3).   This, after the NEDA Board, chaired by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., gave its greenlight to the seven projects. On Thursday, Malacañang already announced that the first public-private partnership (PPP) project [...]

February 3rd, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH gives US more access to bases

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. welcomes US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin 3rd at Malacañang on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023. PPA Pool The United States and the Philippines announced a deal Thursday to give US troops access to four more local military bases. The agreement to expand cooperation in "strategic areas of the country" was made during a visit by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin 3rd. It comes as the countries seek to repair ties that were fractured in recent years — previous president Rodrigo Duterte favored China over the US, but the new administration of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has been keen to reverse that. Beijing's growing assertiveness on Taiwan and its building of bases in the disputed South China Sea have also given fresh impetus to Washington and Manila to [...]

February 3rd, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

PBBM gives DepEd a year to revise K to 12 curriculum

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. gave the Department of Education a year to complete its review of the K to 12 curriculum, DepEd spokesman Michael Poa said in a television interview. “The President gave us a timeline of around a year to finish the review,” Poa told CNN Philippines’ The Source. He said the review for the curriculum for kinder to Grade 10 has been concluded while the review for the senior high school grades has just started. “We are trying to decongest our curriculum to focus on the essential subjects and the basics, like math, reading, science,” he said. “We want to really look at literacy in a way that we’ll be able to inculcate not just foundational literacy but also functional literacy,” Poa added. Vice President and Education [...]

February 2nd, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Austin in PH to discuss bigger US presence

Mindanao landing US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin 3rd visits the Western Mindanao Command at Camp Don Basilio Navarro in Zamboanga City on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023. Photo courtesy of WestMinCom   US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was in the Philippines Wednesday for talks about deploying US forces and weapons in more Philippine military camps to ramp up deterrence against China's increasingly aggressive actions toward Taiwan and in the disputed South China Sea. Austin flew Tuesday night to Manila from South Korea, where he met his counterpart. Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) commander Lt. Gen. Roy Galido, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Andres Centino, and Philippine Navy Flag Officer in Command Vice Admiral Toribio Adaci Jr. welcomed Austin in Mindanao. The officials discussed the continued support [...]

February 2nd, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Garlic price also shoots up

PHILIPPINES— While consumers are still grappling with the high prices of onions, the retail price of local garlic has increased to P400 per kilo even if there was no shortage of the pungent bulbs. "We don't have a shortage of garlic. We have a small supply of local garlic, a small supply as the preference of our consumers is the big [imported] garlic," Department of Agriculture (DA) deputy spokesman Rex Extoperez told The Manila Times. He said that the country is only producing four percent of its garlic requirement. "I visited Occidental Mindoro and I found out that many garlic farmers shifted to onions as consumers prefer imported garlic," he added. Estoperez said the Philippine weather is not conducive to planting garlic. "Some farmers in Occidental Mindoro tried to [...]

February 2nd, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

7 pacts to be inked during Marcos trip to Japan next week

  MANILA, Philippines — At least seven agreements covering various areas of cooperation will be signed between the Philippines and Japan during President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s official working visit to Tokyo next week, a Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) official said on Wednesday. In a press briefing in Malacañang, DFA Assistant Secretary for Asian and Pacific Affairs Neal Imperial said the trip, scheduled from Feb. 8 to Feb. 12, will include a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and an audience with Emperor Naruhito. “The DFA considers the President’s visit to Japan as consequential. Japan is the first country with which the Philippines has forged a strategic partnership and is only one of two strategic partners of the Philippines, the other one being Vietnam,” he added. Japan, according [...]

February 2nd, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Taiwan activates defenses vs China army operations

DEFENSE DRILL Taiwanese Mirage 2000 fighter jets taxi along a runway during a drill at an air base in the city of Hsinchu, northwestern Taiwan on Jan. 11, 2023. AP FILE PHOTO     TAIPEI— Taiwan scrambled fighter jets, put its navy on alert, and activated missile systems in response to nearby operations of 34 Chinese military aircraft and nine warships that are part of Beijing's strategy to unsettle and intimidate the self-governing island. The large-scale Chinese deployment comes as Beijing increases preparations for a potential blockade or outright attack on Taiwan that has stirred major concerns among military leaders in the United States, the East Asian island democracy's key ally. In a memo last month, US Air Force Gen. Mike Minihan instructed officers to be prepared for a US-China [...]

February 1st, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘P5M for removal from BI blacklist’

An anti-crime watchdog on Tuesday bared reports of a new modus involving online offers for the removal from the Bureau of Immigration’s (BI) blacklist in exchange for as much as P5 million. “We received reports of advertisements offering to lift immigration blacklist for a fee of P1 million to P5 million were circulating in Chinese social media platforms,” Movement for Restoration of Peace and Order (MRPO) Chairperson Ka Kuen Chua said during a hearing of the Senate Public Order and Dangerous Drugs Committee yesterday. “These kinds of anomalies in the Bureau of Immigration must be investigated and those responsible must be removed from service,” Chua said. Chua said based on the information they have gathered, illegal safehouses and slave labor dens were “under the protection of authorities.” “There are [...]

February 1st, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Inflation in Jan. seen to heat up further to 8.3%

Inflation in January 2023 likely accelerated to as high as 8.3 percent from the 14-year high of 8.1 percent in December on the back of higher prices of electricity, fuel and food items, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said Tuesday. In a statement, BSP projected the January 2023 inflation to settle within the range of 7.5 to 8.3 percent. “Upward price pressures for the month are expected to emanate from higher electricity rates, approved water rate rebasing, higher domestic petroleum prices, uptick in the prices of key food items, and the annual increase in sin taxes,” it said. The BSP, however, said Filipinos might have found relief last month from lower LPG prices and the strengthening of the Philippine peso. The BSP said it is prepared to “adjust its [...]

February 1st, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

CHED seen obstructing PH education progress

The Manila Times Chairman Emeritus Dr. Dante A. Ang Photo by Mike Alquinto     The Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) is the stumbling block to quality education in the country, The Manila Times Chairman Emeritus Dante A. Ang said on Tuesday. In an economic forum conducted by this paper in partnership with Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Ang spelled out some underlying issues that the education and other sectors need to address. He said that CHEd has been lacking in terms of supervising and providing quality education in all state colleges and universities. "Quality education is expensive. If we want quality education, we must invest in faculty training, quality facilities and equipment," Ang pointed out. Moreover, he reiterated that CHEd is of the mistaken notion that "it [...]

February 1st, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Rex Gatchalian gets DSWD post

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. administers the oath of office to Valenzuela 1st District Rep. Rex Gatchalian at Malacañan Palace in Manila on Tuesday. Screengrab from the Presidential Communications Office President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has named Valenzuela City First District Rep. Rexlon "Rex" Gatchalian as the new secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). Gatchalian took his oath of office before Marcos in Malacañang on Tuesday, January 31, the Presidential Communications Operations Office said. He was accompanied by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, Interior Secretary Benjamin "Benhur" Abalos Jr., and Special Assistant to the President Antonio Lagdameo Jr. during the oath-taking ceremony. Gatchalian replaced Erwin Tulfo, who left his post last December after his appointment was bypassed twice by the Commission on Appointments over his libel [...]

February 1st, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos to meet US defense chief this week – envoy

Metro Manila, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will meet with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin when he visits Manila this week, Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez confirmed on Tuesday. "It is really more of getting to know each other. It is an ongoing relationship that we have with the United States. As President Marcos pointed out — it is evolving," the ambassador said in a press briefing. Romualdez added that Austin has also requested a meeting with his Filipino counterpart, Carlito Galvez Jr. He said Austin's visit aims to reinforce key agreements between Manila and Washington — including the Mutual Defense Treaty, the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement or EDCA, and the Visiting Forces Agreement. 'Unwavering commitment' Austin's trip comes amid ongoing tensions between the Philippines and China in [...]

February 1st, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins: ‘Still a very challenging time’ for Auckland

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins. File photo Photo: RNZ / Nick Monro Prime Minister Chris Hipkins says Auckland is still facing much uncertainty, with more heavy rain forecast for the city. Further downpours overnight led to five more rescues of people trapped by floodwaters and landslips, and a significant landslip in Titirangi. Chris Hipkins said Auckland has a big clean-up ahead from the torrential rain that began on Friday causing unprecedented flooding around the city. "And then of course we've got the uncertainty of what the weather's going to do over the next few days still ahead of us ... so it's still a very challenging time for Auckland." There has been criticism of Auckland mayor Wayne Brown's initial response as the emergency unfolded, but Hipkins would not be drawn [...]

January 30th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Germany’s Scholz denounces ‘bidding war’ over jets for Ukraine

Chancellor’s comments follow repeated requests by Ukrainian politicians for fighter aircraft after battle tanks were pledged for the war against Russia. Ukraine officials have urged Germany to provide its Tornado fighter jets [File: Katia Christodoulou/EPA] Chancellor Olaf Scholz has again pushed back against demands in Germany and from Ukrainian officials for fighter jets to repel Russia’s invasion, urging Western nations not to join a “bidding war” for sophisticated weapons. Last week, Germany announced it will deliver its Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine after weeks of pressure from NATO and European Union allies. “The fact we’ve only just made a decision [on sending tanks] and already the next debate [fighter jets] is firing up in Germany – that just seems frivolous and undermines people’s trust in government decisions,” said [...]

January 30th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

COVID-19 no longer public health emergency, says DOH adviser

INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO   MANILA — COVID-19 is no longer a public health emergency although it remains a global concern, going by the assessment of Dr. Rontgene Solante, an infectious disease expert and adviser to the Department of Health (DOH). Solante, chair of San Lazaro Hospital’s adult infectious diseases and tropical medicine unit and a member of the DOH vaccine expert panel, said he believed that the world was no longer in an emergency situation because there were several tools, mainly vaccines, to combat COVID-19. “We have all these interventions now compared to three years ago. We have a lot of these antiviral agents that can really prevent severe infections,” he said in a television interview. He added that there was no reason for the World Health Organization (WHO) to [...]

January 30th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Bayan opposes US defense chief’s visit to Philippines

In a statement, Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes said his group views the EDCA’s implementation as “the return of US bases in our country, a means to allow the indefinite stationing of US troops in the Philippines.” STAR / File   MANILA, Philippines — Activist group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan has expressed its opposition to the upcoming visit of US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and plans to implement the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) in the Philippines. In a statement, Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes said his group views the EDCA’s implementation as “the return of US bases in our country, a means to allow the indefinite stationing of US troops in the Philippines.” “This is a throwback to the Cold War era where countries like the Philippines were used for US [...]

January 30th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Philippines willing to deport alleged robbery ringleader to Japan

MANILA— The Philippines is willing to deport Yuki Watanabe, alias "Luffy," a suspected mastermind behind a string of robberies in Japan who is now in detention in the Southeast Asian country, once a local case against him is cleared, officials said. A Philippine government source had earlier told Kyodo News that the local case against Watanabe complicated the possible handover. As Japan and the Philippines do not have an extradition treaty, that case must first be cleared before he can be deported. Watanabe has been charged with violating a law on violence against women and children, according to a local court. An investigative source said that Watanabe maybe hopes the case will be a "way to avoid" being sent back to Japan. It was not clear when the case [...]

January 30th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Over 500 women in Japan used overseas sperm bank as demand grows

TOKYO— More than 500 women in Japan made use of a major Denmark-based sperm bank in the roughly three and half years through last October, a recent report by the company showed, highlighting growing domestic demand for the service. Cryos International, the world's largest sperm bank with around 1,000 registered donors, has sold sperm to single women, sexual minorities and women with infertile husbands in Japan since officially launching local consultation services in March 2019. Supplied photo shows Hiromi Ito, the head of Cryos International's Japan operations, at an academic conference on fertility treatments in Kobe, western Japan, in November 2019. (Kyodo)   With only around 150 clients in Japan tallied in November 2020, recipients have jumped more than three-fold in the roughly two years to October 2022. A [...]

January 30th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Bill allows President to stop PhilHealth premium hikes

A bill filed at the House of Representatives seeks to empower the president to suspend the increase in premiums of direct contributors of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth). House Bill 6772 was filed by Speaker Martin Romuldez, House Majority Leader Manuel Jose "Mannix" Dalipe, Senior Deputy Majority Leader and Ilocos Norte First District Rep. Ferdinand Alexander Marcos, and Tingog Representatives Yedda Marie Romualdez and Jude Acidre. The bill seeks to amend Section 10 of Republic Act 11223 (the Universal Health Care Act), which provides the schedule of the premium rate increase. If the bill is passed into law, the president "may, upon the recommendation of the PhilHealth Board, suspend and adjust the period of implementation of the scheduled increase of premium rates during national emergencies or calamities, or [...]

January 30th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Tulfo bats for total deployment ban in Kuwait

Metro Manila, Philippines– Following the gruesome death of a Filipina domestic helper in Kuwait last week, Senator Raffy Tulfo on Saturday proposed a total labor deployment ban in the Gulf state. Tulfo wants to gradually pull out overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Kuwait and send them instead to work in places where they are properly compensated and treated with respect, like Guam. “Guam is a new market for OFWs currently needing thousands of skilled workers. In fact, Guam, a United States Territory, reportedly prefers to hire more Filipino workers,” he said in a statement. Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Secretary Susan Ople earlier dismissed calls for a deployment ban, saying it might hurt international relations with other countries. “If you impose a deployment ban, you are sending a message [...]

January 30th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

U.S. four-star general warns of war with China in 2025

Crew members signal to a F/A-18E Super Hornet fighter jet preparing to take off for a routine flight on board the U.S. USS Nimitz aircraft carrier during a routine deployment to the South China Sea, Mid-Sea, January 27, 2023. REUTERS/Joseph Campbell/File Photo WASHINGTON- A four-star U.S. Air Force general said in a memo that his gut told him the United States would fight China in the next two years, comments that Pentagon officials said were not consistent with American military assessments. "I hope I am wrong," General Mike Minihan, who heads the Air Mobility Command, wrote to the leadership of its roughly 110,000 members. "My gut tells me will fight in 2025." The letter was dated Feb. 1 but had been sent out on Friday. The general's views do [...]

January 29th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

P9.49M worth of ‘smuggled’ onions seized in Zamboanga City

Agents of the Bureau of Customs seized P9.49 million of onions believed to have been smuggled into the country through the waters of Zamboanga City. In a statement, the BOC said the confiscation was based on two separate operations in Barangay Labuan on Jan. 22 and in Barangay Cawit the following day. The Jan. 22 operation involved motorized wooden watercraft marked as TIMZZAN. The vessel contained 1,624 mesh bags of imported fresh red onions, amounting to P2,598,400. The second operation involved 4,308 mesh bags of imported fresh red onions worth P6,892,800 in a jungkong-type cargo watercraft marked as MJ MARISSA. The BOC said eized onions have no Sanitary and Phytosanitary Import Clearance from the Department of Agriculture (DA)-Bureau of Plant Industry which is in violation of the Customs Modernization [...]

January 29th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Solon taps LGU help to combat illiteracy

MANILA – A recent education summit in Baguio City revealed that only four out of 10 students in Grades 4 to 7 aged 9 to 12 can properly read or write in English, based on the results of tests done from 2021 to 2022. BATTLE VS. ILLITERACY. Quezon City Public Library staff Rosalie Teologo reads stories to children in Kamuning, Quezon City in this undated photo. A World Bank study released in June 2022 said learning poverty has increased by a third in low- and middle-income countries, with an estimated 70 percent of 10-year-olds unable to understand a simple written text. (PNA photo by Robert Oswald P. Alfiler)     The same tests showed that less than half of learners from Grades 3 to 7 aged 8 to 9 could [...]

January 29th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos OKs VAT Refund Program for foreign tourists

VAT REFUND PROGRAM. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. meets with members of the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) Tourism Sector Group at Malacañan Palace on Jan. 26, 2023. During their meeting, Marcos approved the Value-Added Tax (VAT) Refund Program for foreign tourists by 2024 to boost tourist arrivals in the country. (Photo courtesy of Bongbong Marcos Facebook page)   MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has approved the Value-Added Tax (VAT) Refund Program for foreign tourists by 2024 to boost tourist arrivals in the country. In a news release on Sunday, the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) announced that Marcos approved the VAT Refund Program following the “Quick Wins” recommendations of the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) Tourism Sector Group. Marcos also approved the PSAC recommendation to roll out [...]

January 29th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos Jr.: PH may continue to file diplomatic protests vs China if WPS incursions continue

This photo taken during an aerial patrol by the AFP Western Command in the West Philippine Sea on November 23, 2022 shows 12 Chinese fishing vessels around the eastern part of Sabina Shoal. Maj. Cherryl Tindog, AFP Western Command/handout/file MANILA, PHILIPPINES — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Monday said the Philippines may continue to file diplomatic protests against China if incursions and alleged harassment of Filipino fishermen in the West Philippine Sea continue despite a verbal agreement with Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier this month. While Marcos and Xi met in Beijing in the first week of January, the Filipino leader noted that the 2 countries “haven’t come to that compromise yet” with regard to issues surrounding the disputed waters. “If the timing of what we refer to as [...]

January 23rd, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Imported onions start to arrive

Big bulbs A vendor shows off big onions from an undisclosed origin at the Marikina City Public Market on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. Photo by John Orven Verdote   The first shipments of imported onions have arrived as part of the government's strategy to bring down the bulbs' soaring prices. Agriculture deputy spokesman Rex Estoperez told The Manila Times on Monday that 5,000 metric tons (MT) of onions are being unloaded in select ports in the country. The onion shipments will be limited to the ports of Manila, Subic, Cebu, Davao and Cagayan de Oro City. Estoperez said the importation negates the efforts of the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives to delay the onion shipments. The bloc had filed House Joint Resolution 18 calling on the Marcos [...]

January 23rd, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

DepEd to launch a ‘new call to action’ to resolve issues in PH basic education

As it prepares to present the current state of the country’s basic education, the Department of Education (DepEd) is set to launch a “new call to action” to address the challenges faced by schools, teachers, and learners. (Photo from DepEd Facebook page)   In a statement issued Monday, Jan. 23, DepEd said that it will “launch a new call to action for all Filipinos” anchored on Basic Education Report (BER) 2023 to be conducted by the end of this month. “It’s really to give the public an idea of the steps that this administration will take and also the direction of this administration towards resolving issues in basic education,” DepEd Spokesperson Michael Poa said. DepEd is set to conduct BER on Jan. 30. It will be delivered by Vice [...]

January 23rd, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Justice vowed for OFW slain in Kuwait

Migrant Workers Secretary Susan “Toots” Ople. File Photo   The Department of Migrant Workers (DWM) has vowed justice for the overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who was slain in Kuwait. Migrant Workers Secretary Susan "Toots" Ople said she has spoken with the family of Jullebee Ranara and extended the department's and her condolences. The Kuwaiti media has reported that the burned remains of the 35-year-old Ranara were found in the desert Sunday night. Ople said her agency is waiting for the official report on the incident from Kuwaiti authorities. "The DMW is closely monitoring developments on this case alongside the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) in working with Kuwaiti authorities," the official said in a statement on Monday. "Secretary Ople and the entire DMW condemns this heinous crime and urges [...]

January 23rd, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos: No plan to privatize anything

(FILE PHOTO) Metro Manila, Philippines— President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said the government has no plans to privatize "anything," especially the country’s airports. "We have no plans of privatizing anything, rather the opposite," Marcos said on Monday at a media briefing. In December, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said the administration was pursuing the privatization of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. However, Marcos said the transport chief may have misspoken. "You cannot privatize an airport, to begin with. A private firm cannot own the airport," Marcos clarified. Marcos said that during their trip to New York, they met the group that was running Gatwick Airport in the United Kingdom and asked if they could come to the country to help with the NAIA. "They were here last week to look at the [...]

January 23rd, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

France gripped by strikes, protests against pension reform

A protestor holds a placard which reads as ‘retirement before arthritis’ during a rally in Lyon, south-eastern France on January 19, 2023, as workers go on strike over the French President’s plan to raise the legal retirement age from 62 to 64. – A day of strikes and protests kicked off in France on January 19, set to disrupt transport and schooling across the country in a trial for the government as workers oppose a deeply unpopular pensions overhaul. (Photo by OLIVIER CHASSIGNOLE / AFP)   PARIS, France — More than a million people marched in France on Thursday to protest pension reforms, with some demonstrators clashing with police in Paris, as strikes disrupted public transport, schools and much of the civil service. The interior ministry put the total [...]

January 20th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Gov’t urged to give more support to small salt farmers

MANILA — Government should provide more support to the country's small salt farmers, the Philippine Association of Salt Industry Networks said Friday. Gerard Khonghun, the group's president, told ANC's Rundown that while there were some salt producers that went out of their way to upgrade their technology for iodization, some small salt producers could not catch up to changes. "It's not just technology or equipment or training, it also involves some change in distribution. Since it costs more you would have to have the consumer want to buy more expensive salt so that they could get proper iodine in their salt," he said. "I think this is where we need more support for the small salt farmers." The salt iodization law, passed in 1995, mandated the addition of iodine [...]

January 20th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Salceda: Onion prices to go down to P50 a kilo

MANILA (UPDATED) — Consumers and businesses can soon find relief from skyrocketing prices of onions as the cost of the produce is expected to fall to P50 a kilo, a lawmaker predicted Friday. "'Yung 600 [pesos per kilo] na 'yan... it will fall to 50 pesos, it's natural price," Rep. Joey Salceda, chairperson of House committee on ways and means, told ANC's Headstart. "Everything will normalize. You can cut all my 5 fingers if it doesn't go back 50 pesos," he said. The price of onions even reached P700 per kilo in some public markets in Metro Manila during the holiday season. Salceda said anew that cartels were mainly behind the high prices of onion in the country. "Pagpasok dito, may mga mafia who has in control of the [...]

January 20th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Galvez says rumblings within military merely ‘tampo’ over new law on fixed terms

Metro Manila, Philippines — Defense Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said more than anything else, the “rumblings” within the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are just feelings of “tampo” from soldiers who are unhappy over the new law on fixed three-year terms for top officials. The Department of National Defense (DND) clarified this in a statement on Friday, three days after Galvez admitted in a Senate hearing that there are rumblings within the military. “We are listening to the concerns of our men and women in the AFP, who are understandably anxious over the perceived uncertainty in their careers under the new law,” the DND quoted Galvez as saying. Republic Act No. 11709, or the Act Strengthening Professionalism in the AFP, which took effect in July last year, aims to [...]

January 20th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Jacinda Ardern resigns as New Zealand’s prime minister

PM says she doesn’t have ‘enough in the tank’ to stand for reelection in October. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern with fellow MPs after announcing her resignation | Kerry Marshall/Getty Images New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will resign from the top job “no later” than February 7, she announced on Thursday at a press conference at her party’s annual caucus meeting, saying she didn’t have “enough in the tank” to continue. Ardern, who became the youngest female head of government when she was elected prime minister in 2017 aged 37, confirmed New Zealanders will head to the polls for a national election on October 14 this year, and that she would not stand for reelection. “It’s time,” Ardern said on Thursday of her plans to step down as prime [...]

January 20th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Egg supply down

A worker at the Marikina Public market sorts out trays off eggs on Friday, Jan. 13, 2023. Egg sellers said the high price of feeds and bird flu have caused a shortage in supply of eggs which, in turn, jacked up market prices. PHOTO BY MIKE DE JUAN   (UPDATE) THE bird flu outbreak in Luzon, coupled with the high cost of feeds, has been blamed for the shortage of eggs that causes prices to soar. The bird flu led to the culling of 7 million chickens, drastically cutting egg production, the Philippine Egg Board said. In an interview with The Manila Times, Batangas Egg Producers Association (BEPA) President Dr. Jesus Medina admitted that egg production and prices were affected by the avian influenza outbreak. "There is [shortage of [...]

January 19th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH won’t concede territorial claims in SCS: PBBM

MANILA – The Philippines will not relinquish its territorial claims in the hotly-contested South China Sea (SCS), President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. maintained on Tuesday (Zurich time). In an interview with Bloomberg on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Marcos emphasized that pursuing diplomatic talks with China to settle the maritime dispute is not tantamount to abandoning the Philippines' claims to the SCS. "We cannot concede any of the territorial claims that are being made against our established territory. That is the red line," Marcos said. "That is something that will not move. It's something that we cannot cross because it's a very slippery road from there," he added. This, as Marcos admitted that breaking the stalemate between the Philippines and China was "difficult" because [...]

January 19th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos Explains New Appointments Amid Destabilization Rumors

President Marcos said Gen. Andres Centino’s reinstatement as Armed Forces of the Philippines chief was meant to “rationalize” the seniority in the military. President Marcos departs from Villamor Airbase in Pasay City on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023 to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Photo by KJ Rosales, The Philippine STAR   ON BOARD PR 001 – President Marcos explained his surprising decision to reinstate Gen. Andres Centino as chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), revealing that the move was meant to address some concerns and lift the morale of military officers. Earlier this month, Centino took his oath as military chief, replacing Lt. Gen. Bartolome Bacarro, who had succeeded him last August. Rumors of a military destabilization plot swirled following the unusual change [...]

January 19th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Climate activist Greta Thunberg detained by police in Germany at coal mine protest

Climate activist Greta Thunberg has been detained by German police at a protest over the expansion of a coal mine in the west German village of Lützerath. This is the second time Thunberg has been detained at the site, police spokesperson Christof Hüls told CNN Tuesday. She was part of a large group of protesters that broke through a police barrier and encroached on a coal pit, which authorities have not been able to secure entirely, Hüls said. After the group advanced on the coal pit, police were concerned that the “masses of protesters” could set the ground in motion after it had been softened by rainfall during the last few days. Officers intervened, removing people from the “danger area” and detaining them, one of whom was Thunberg, according [...]

January 17th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Shear line to bring rains over Metro Manila, parts of Luzon: PAGASA

MANILA -- A shear line over the eastern sections of Southern Luzon and Visayas will bring rains to parts of Luzon on Wednesday, according to state weather bureau PAGASA. In its latest 24-hour public weather forecast, PAGASA said cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms are possible over Metro Manila, CALABARZON, Bicol Region, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, and Aurora due to the shear line. Flooding or landslides due to moderate to heavy rains are likely in these areas, said state meteorologists. Meanwhile, Apayao and Cagayan Valley may have cloudy skies with rains due to the northeast monsoon or amihan. The rest of Luzon will also be affected by the amihan on Wednesday, PAGASA noted. The rest of the country, meanwhile, may face partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers [...]

January 17th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Philippines mangrove loss ‘second worst’ in Southeast Asia: UP scientists

A fisherman rides his canoe at the Wawa River in Nasugbu, Batangas on June 20, 2020, as other boats are tied to mangroves along the stream bank. Domcar C. Lagto, ABS-CBN News/File   MANILA — The Philippines suffered the "second worst" loss of mangroves in Southeast Asia over a 2-decade period, scientists from the University of the Philippines said. Philippine mangroves saw a 10.5 percent decline between 1990 and 2010, researchers said in their review of 335 studies, said to be the first of its kind in Southeast Asia. The disaster-prone Philippines "is surpassed only by Myanmar, which suffered a 27.6 percent loss between 2000 and 2014," according to the study by UP PhD Biology student Maria Elisa Gerona-Daga and Institute of Biology Associate Professor Dr. Severino Salmo III. [...]

January 17th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

VP Duterte seeks closer PH-China ties based on ‘mutual respect’

Despite territorial conflicts between the Philippines and China, Vice President Sara Duterte is hopeful that both countries will enjoy “closer” bilateral ties based on “mutual trust and mutual respect.” VP Sara Duterte delivers a message to the Chinese Embassy in Manila’s celebration of the Chinese New Year on Monday, Jan. 16, 2023. (Photo from Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian via Facebook)   During her Chinese New Year video message to the Chinese Embassy in Manila’s celebration on Monday, Jan. 16, the official took note of what the New Year and the recent state visit of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. meant for the countries’ relationship. “With the President’s successful and substantive state visit to China earlier this month, I look forward to having closer bilateral ties between the Philippines and [...]

January 17th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Vietnamese president resigns amid corruption scandals

ISTANBUL -- Vietnam’s President Nguyen Xuan Phuc stepped down on Tuesday, taking responsibility for alleged violations committed by his ministers with regard to Covid-19 response management.                     Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc   The ministers were found to have “committed violations in connection with Covid-19 test kits and repatriation flights,” according to the Vietnam News website. Phuc stepped down after the 13th-tenure Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam decided Tuesday “to relieve Nguyen Xuan Phuc of all duties, including the presidency, Politburo, and Party Central Committee membership, and chairman of the National Defense and Security Council for the 2021-26 term.” Acknowledging that Phuc made “many efforts in leading the national Covid-19 response and achieved important accomplishments,” the party said: [...]

January 17th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos: Asia-Pacific countries can prosper without them ‘taking sides’

ZURICH, Switzerland — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has called on Asia-Pacific countries to start charting their own destiny far from the intense geopolitical rivalry in the region. President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. (Malacañang photo)   Marcos said this during a luncheon hosted for him and Filipino business leaders by the economic team in Davos. The President is in Switzerland for the 2023 World Economic Forum (WEF). In his speech, President Marcos said Asia-Pacific countries face pressure to take sides due to intense geopolitical tension in the region. However, he said the region should not embrace the Cold War mentality, which dictates that they must choose sides. The Cold War forced countries to choose whether to be under the Soviet Union or the United States spheres of influence. “I [...]

January 17th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

7 PH biz tycoons in Davos to support PBBM

ZURICH, Switzerland — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s participation in the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) has gotten the backing of seven of the country’s most prominent businessmen, Malacañang said. Aboitiz President and CEO Sabin Aboitiz speaks at the luncheon with President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos and other Filipino business leaders in Davos, Switzerland. Marcos is in Switzerland for the 2023 World Economic Forum. (Malacañang photo) In a statement, Communications Secretary Cheloy Garafil said the following business tycoons joined the President and his official delegation in Davos: Sabin Aboitiz (Aboitiz) Kevin Andrew Tan (Alliance Global) Jaime Zobel de Ayala (Ayala Group) Lance Gokongwei (JG Summit Holdings) Ramon Ang (San Miguel Corp.) Teresita Sy-Coson (SM Investments) Enrique Razon (International Container Terminal) President Marcos and his official delegation, composed of government officials [...]

January 17th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

6 cold storage facilities to be built in onion-producing regions

MANILA – The Department of Agriculture (DA) will build six cold storage facilities in four onion-producing regions starting this year in support of local farmers.                              (PNA photo by Joey O. Razon)      Each facility with a capacity of 20,000 bags will cost up to PHP40 million and will rise in the Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon and Mimaropa regions. “Tayuan po ng mga storage facility nang sa gayon during peak season ngharvest, malagyan na. Hindi po sagot ang importation. Napakalaking potensyal po ng lugar namin (Let’s build storage facilities so that during peak harvest season, we can utilize it. Importation is not the answer. Our place has a big potential),” San Jose, Occidental Mindoro agriculturist Romel [...]

January 17th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Unrest in military appeased ‘for now’

FROM THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN Former Defense secretary Norberto Gonzales (center) talks to Manila Times Chairman and CEO Dante ‘Klink’ Ang 2nd (right) and columnist and former senator Francisco ‘Kit’ Tatad (left) on Monday, Jan. 16, 2023, on the recent controversial appointments by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., especially in the return of Gen. Andres Centino as Armed Forces chief, and its possible impact on the establishment and the government. In the foreground are reporters Kristina Maralit and Franco Barona. PHOTO BY J. GERARD SEGUIA   THE naming of a new Defense chief and National Security Adviser (NSA) by President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. may have quelled the growing unrest within the military "for now," but other crucial matters require further attention, a former defense official said. Norberto Gonzales, who [...]

January 17th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Lower tax, higher salary under TRAIN law

MANILA – Middle-income earners will have lower income taxes this year and thus, higher take-home pay, under Republic Act No 10963 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.                                (PNA photo by Rico H. Borja)     Taxpayers earning more than PHP250,000 a year but not over PHP8 million will be subject to lower income tax rates ranging from 15 percent to 30 percent, from the previous 20 percent to 32 percent. Those with annual taxable income of PHP250,000 or below will continue to be exempt from paying income taxes. “Inaasahan natin na lalo pang lalakas ang domestic consumption na may malaking kontribusyon sa paglago ng ating ekonomiya. Dahil sa pinababang buwis, mas [...]

January 17th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Diokno introduces PH sovereign fund to economic leaders in Switzerland

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 17) — Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno on Tuesday presented to economic leaders in Switzerland the Marcos administration’s plan to establish a sovereign fund “to support the goals set” for the Philippines. According to Malacañang, Diokno told attendees of the luncheon gathering in Davos, Switzerland that the Philippines is taking its first steps toward launching the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF). “The fund, which will be established in keeping with the highest standards of accountability and sound fiscal management, aims to diversify the country’s financial portfolio,” the Finance chief said. Diokno also said he looks forward to discussing the proposed MIF during the World Economic Forum (WEF). “May the next few days bring forth more intensive collaboration and cooperation towards genuine economic transformation," he added. President [...]

January 17th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

BBM off to Davos for World Economic Forum

DAVOS AND DSWD Economist Ramon Orosa (left) talks about the importance of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s participation in the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this coming week. Department of Social Welfare and Development Officer in Charge Eduardo Punay discusses the agency’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) as part of the administration’s poverty reduction strategy, cash assistance or ayuda to the disadvantaged, educational assistance to poor students, relief operations in natural disasters, and livelihood generation activities for the marginalized at the Dapo Restaurant in Quezon City on Saturday, Jan. 14 2023. PHOTO BY JOHN ORVEN VERDOTE   PRESIDENT Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. will present the Philippines' economic performance and his administration's priorities when he joins other world leaders in the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Switzerland next week. Marcos, [...]

January 14th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Año is new National Security Adviser

MANILA — President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has appointed Eduardo Año as the new National Security Adviser (NSA), Malacañang announced on Saturday.      NEW CHIEF. Eduardo Año (center), accompanied by his wife, Jean, is sworn in as the new National Security Adviser by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. at Malacañang Palace in Manila on Saturday (Jan. 14, 2023). Año, the former Secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government of the Duterte administration, replaced Clarita Carlos who transferred to the Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department of the House of Representatives. (PCO photo)   Presidential Communications Office Secretary Cheloy Garafil confirmed Año’s appointment after the oath-taking at the Palace on Saturday. “Former DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government) Secretary Eduardo Año took his oath [...]

January 14th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Gov’t studying China’s proposal to tie up with PH fishing villages

National Security Adviser Clarita Carlos said on Friday that the government was looking into China’s proposed partnership with Filipino fishing villages. “We are strengthening people-to-people exchanges. China is proposing a partnership between fishing villages, and we are looking into it,” she said in Filipino in a televised briefing. Carlos said the discussions between President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing went well as the dialogue on West Philippine Sea issues continued. The Philippines had filed multiple diplomatic protests over China’s alleged harassment of Filipino fishermen in the West Philippine Sea. Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian, for his part, said the South China Sea can become “a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation” as long as Beijing and the Philippines find a “common ground” in resolving disputes. [...]

January 14th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Roque to SolGen: Appeal SC decision on joint exploration deal

Metro Manila, Philippines— The Office of the Solicitor General should file a 'convincing' appeal on the Supreme Court decision that invalidated the joint maritime exploration in the West Philippine Sea, a former Malacañang official said on Friday. Harry Roque, former presidential spokesperson and founder of the Center for International Law, said the high court decision over the Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU) between the Philippines, China, and Vietnam in 2005 could potentially worsen disputes in the West Philippine Sea. "That decision is wrong, it simply is wrong. You do not apply the Constitution to one area which is described as forming part of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)," said Roque in a speech during a media event organized [...]

January 14th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Japan to release treated Fukushima water this year

DEADLY LIQUID This file picture, taken on March 5, 2022, shows an employee conducting a tritium measurement on a sample of contaminated water at the Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima prefecture. Japan plans to start releasing more than a million tons of treated water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean this year, a top government spokesman said on Friday, Jan. 13, 2023. AFP PHOTO   TOKYO—  Japan plans to start releasing more than a million tons of treated water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean this year, a top government spokesman said Friday. The plan has been endorsed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), but the government will wait for "a comprehensive report" [...]

January 14th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Abalos: 95% of top cops have submitted courtesy resignation, still waiting for remaining 50 officers

Metro Manila, Philippines— Around 95% of top officers of the Philippine National Police (PNP) have submitted their courtesy resignation, Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos said Friday. In a briefing, the PNP said this translates to 904 of the 954 full colonels and generals expected to tender their resignation in a bid to cleanse their ranks of illegal drug links. “Wala pa naman sinasabi,” Abalos said when asked about the possible reason of the remaining 50 police officials who have not yet submitted their courtesy resignation. “Kasi ‘yong iba diyan mga magre-retire na, alam mo ‘yong mga one month to retire may mga gano’n e,” he explained. [Translation: They have not yet said why. There are those that are nearing their retirement, there are cases that they have one month left before [...]

January 14th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

VP Sara to discuss challenges, action plans in education report

MANILA – Vice President and Education secretary Sara Duterte will present to the public the challenges and target action plan for the Basic Education Report (BER) on Jan. 30, according to the Department of Education (DepEd).                                                  (PNA file photo)     In an interview, DepEd spokesperson Michael Poa stressed the education chief's presentation intends to uphold transparency and inclusivity for stakeholders across all sectors, particularly in the disclosure of educational status in the Philippines. "Ang daming challenges ng basic education. Iisa-isahin natin. Ilalahad natin kung ano po yung challenges ng basic education. Aside from that, syempre nalatag natin yung challenges, ang department ay maglalatag ng [...]

January 14th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Review of K to 12 curriculum still ongoing: DepEd

The review of the K to 12 curriculum is still ongoing, the Department of Education (DepEd) on Wednesday, Jan. 11, said. DepEd / MB Visual Content Group   In a Viber message, DepEd Spokesperson Michael Poa told reporters that the “review is still ongoing” for the K to 12 basic education curriculum. DepEd, in a statement dated Jan. 10, said that the is set to conduct the Basic Education Report 2023 (BER) on Jan. 30, 2023. “The BER 2023 aims to present the state of basic education in the country, and the plans and initiatives of the Department to fulfill its mandate,” DepEd said. DepEd added that also intends to “provide a broad report about the basic education sector” which will include updates on the ongoing review of the [...]

January 12th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Next food concern: DA sets price watch on eggs

                     FOR CLOSE MONITORING | The Department of Agriculture is reactivating a price monitoring committee and tapping several advisory groups in the poultry sector to focus on the demand-and-supply situation in the egg industry. (Photo by GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE / Philippine Daily Inquirer) MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Another important food commodity is adding to price woes that the Marcos administration must now grapple with: eggs, which are a key source of protein for many Filipinos. Based on the price monitoring report of the Department of Agriculture (DA), the selling price for a single, medium-sized egg in markets in Metro Manila ranges from as low as P6.90 to as high as P8.70 as of Wednesday, higher than the price range of P5 [...]

January 12th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Cost-of-living crisis biggest global risk: Davos study

Pedestrians on their way to work, cross London Bridge in central London on October 12, 2022. – Britain’s economy unexpectedly shrank in August after slender growth the previous month, hit by the cost-of-living crisis and rocketing energy bills, official data showed Wednesday. (Photo by CARLOS JASSO / AFP)   London, United Kingdom— The cost-of-living crisis will be the biggest global risk over the next two years, a survey by the World Economic Forum warned Wednesday ahead of its Davos meeting next week. Global inflation remains at sky-high levels after energy and food costs rocketed last year following the invasion of agricultural powerhouse Ukraine by major oil and gas producer Russia. Supply constraints caused by the Covid pandemic have also contributed to decades-high consumer prices. “Conflict and geo-economic tensions have triggered [...]

January 12th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

LRT-1, LRT-2 fare hike looms after LTFRB approves petition

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board has approved proposed fare increases in both the LRT-1 and the LRT-2. According to Joseph Morong's exclusive report on "24 Oras", the LTFRB okayed the additional P2.29 boarding fare and 21 centavos for every kilometer on both LRT lines. Fare between the Roosevelt and Balintawak stations on LRT-2 will be P15 for those using stored value cards or P20 for those using single journey tickets. Fare between Recto to Legarda stations on LRT-1 will be P12 for stored value card users or P15 for single journey ticket users, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista needs to approve the fare increases for them to be in effect. “Sang-ayon naman po kami doon sa P2 na increase nila. We also checked on the needs of the [...]

January 12th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

SC declares illegal the joint SCS oil survey by PH, China, Vietnam

The Supreme Court on Tuesday declared as unconstitutional the 2005 Tripartite Agreement for Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU) among China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC), Vietnam Oil and Gas Corp. (PETROVIETNAM), and the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) covering 142,886 square kilometers in the South China Sea. Voting 12-2 with one associate justice abstaining, the SC resolved to declare JMSU as unconstitutional “for allowing wholly-owned foreign corporations to participate in the exploration of the country’s natural resources without observing the safeguards provided in Section 2, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution.” The en banc decision penned by Associate Justice Samuel H. Gaerlan was not immediately available, but the SC Public Information Office released the summary of the ruling. This came a day after the Department of Energy said it [...]

January 12th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Ukraine says PH yet to respond to proposed Marcos-Zelensky talks

Metro Manila, Philippines — The Ukrainian government on Wednesday said it has been waiting for the Philippines' response to its proposed phone conversation between the presidents of the two countries. In a press briefing, the Ukrainian Embassy in Malaysia, which also has jurisdiction in the Philippines, said a formal request was made in June last year for a phone meeting between President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, but Manila has yet to reply. "We are requesting for a phone call with the president of Ukraine and at that time we haven't got a reply from the presidential office yet. No response yet, we have been following it up regularly, twice a month," said Denys Mykhailiuk, Chargé d'affaires of the Ukrainian Embassy. Ukraine said it hopes both sides can [...]

January 11th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

DILG: 60% of PNP officials submitted courtesy resignations

At least 60% or more than 500 high-ranking police officials have submitted their courtesy resignations as part of the internal cleansing in the Philippine National Police (PNP), Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos said Monday. “Right now, I would like to thank those who have already given their resignations. We’re nearing 60 percent,” Abalos said in an interview on CNN Philippines. “Marami po kaming nare-receive na magagandang comments dito talagang yung mga support from the regional commanders, different services na lalabas at lalabas din ito. I would like to thank you, lahat po ng taong sumasama sa panawagang ito,” he added. Last week, the Interior Secretary appealed to all PNP full colonels and generals to submit their courtesy resignation as part of the government's efforts to rid the police force of [...]

January 10th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

1,000 Filipino nurses affected by strike vs. 2 New York City hospitals

Filipino nurses join others in a strike on Monday, January 9, 2023, after the management of two hospitals in New York City - the Montefiore Medical Center and Mount Sinai Hospital - and the New York State Nurses Association had a deadlock in negotiation regarding staffing implementation. DAVE LLAVANES JR.   NEW YORK CITY - Around 1,000 Filipino nurses were affected by a strike conducted by nurses from two hospitals in New York City. More than 7,000 nurses at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx and Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan staged the strike after the management of the two hospitals and the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) did not come to an agreement regarding additional staffing. The nurses conducted the strike starting at 6 a.m. Monday, affecting the [...]

January 10th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

P11-M project seen to boost Mt. Province coffee production

BAGUIO CITY, PHILIPPINES— The Department of Agriculture (DA) has approved a PHP11.12 million project for a coffee consolidation enterprise in Mountain Province that is expected to further boost its production of the high-value commodity. AMONG THE BEST. The Cordillera Administrative Region produces one of the best coffee in the country based on coffee cupping competitions farmer-growers attended. The Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rural Development Project had been supporting endeavors aimed at improving the quality of the products like the recently approved coffee enterprise of a cooperative in Mountain Province where a provision for a processing facility, equipment, capital for consolidation, and transport for hauling was recently approved. (PNA file photo by Liza T. Agoot)     “Our farmers in the Cordillera do not have hectares of land to plant coffee on [...]

January 10th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

PNP chief sees no AFP ‘destabilization’ plot

Metro Manila, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Rodolfo Azurin Jr. is convinced that there is no destabilization plot in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). “As far as the destabilization is concerned, I don’t think there is one,” Azurin said in a press briefing Monday. The police chief also clarified that the AFP B150 helicopter shown hovering over Camp Crame in a photo was only undergoing a regular maintenance check-up. “I also talked to the newly installed chief of staff Sir Andres Centino last night, and he gave the assurance that the PNP and the AFP will work hand-in-hand in ensuring that the Marcos administration will be very stable,” he added. ‘Fake memo’ Over the weekend, a memorandum signed by Lt. Col. Dexter Ominga – a [...]

January 10th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos visit to test ‘how truthful’ China is to pledges – analysts

This handout photograph released by the Office of the Press Secretary and taken on Jan. 4, 2023, shows China’s President Xi Jinping (left) and Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr reviewing an honor guard during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of People in Beijing. (Photo from the Office of the Press Secretary via Agence France-Presse)   MANILA, PHILIPPINES — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s three-day state visit to China last week would “test the waters and examine how truthful China can be on its words and promises,” according to analysts. According to Marcos, his visit generated $22 billion in investment pledges, “some of [which] have already started.” The Philippines and China also entered into 14 bilateral agreements on such areas as agriculture, tourism, energy, and maritime security. The president in [...]

January 10th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

90% of people in China province infected

Patients with Covid-19 coronavirus rest in a hallway at Fengyang People's Hospital in Fengyang County in east China's Anhui Province on January 5, 2023. Noel Celis / AFP   BEIJING, CHINA— Almost 90 percent of people in China's third most populous province have now been infected with Covid-19, a top official said Monday, as the country battles an unprecedented surge in cases. Kan Quancheng, director of the health commission for central Henan province, said that "as of January 6, 2023, the province's Covid infection rate is 89.0 percent." With a population of 99.4 million, the figures suggest about 88.5 million people in Henan may now have been infected. Visits to fever clinics peaked on December 19, Kan said, "after which it showed a continuous downward trend." China is battling a [...]

January 10th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Metro Manila Subway construction begins

SUBWAY LAUNCHING President Marcos leads the launching of the 33-kilometer Metro Manila Subway Project in Valenzuela City on Monday. —MARIANNE BERMUDEZ   MANILA, PHILIPPINES  — The tunnel works for the first contract package (CP) of the 33-kilometer Metro Manila Subway Project (MMSP) started on Monday, following the launching of the tunnel boring machine (TBM) at its depot in Valenzuela City. “Today’s start of tunneling work signifies a point of no return. We are going full speed ahead to complete the country’s first subway,” Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said during the launching ceremony. CP 101 includes the construction of a depot in Valenzuela City, Quezon Highway (QH) station, Tandang Sora (TS) station and North Avenue (NA) station. It was awarded in 2019 to the joint venture of Shimizu Corp., Fujita Corp., Takenaka [...]

January 10th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Galvez accepts appointment as Defense secretary

Metro Manila, Philippines— President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has named presidential peace adviser Carlito Galvez Jr. as the new head of the Department of National Defense (DND). A statement from Presidential Communications Office OIC Cheloy Garafil on Monday confirmed that Sr. Usec. Jose Faustino Jr. has resigned from his post, and that Marcos offered Galvez the DND position. The Palace did not give a reason for Faustino's resignation. "It is with deep regret that the President has accepted the resignation of DND OIC Sr. Usec. Jose Faustino Jr. The President has offered the position of DND Secretary to Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. and he has accepted,” the statement read. Faustino, who served as chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines [...]

January 10th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Unemployed Filipinos reach 2.18M in November

Metro Manila , Philippines — The number of jobless Filipinos hit 2.18 million in November, a decrease from the 2.24 million estimated a month prior, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Friday. This is equivalent to a national unemployment rate of 4.2%. Businesses were expected to hire seasonal workers during the fourth quarter as it is their strongest period amid the holiday spending. Higher prices, however, still haunted Filipino consumers, with the inflation rate spiking to 8% in November.  

January 6th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Durian, PH fruits’ entry into China to help cut trade gap

NEW MARKET The Davao region, the country’s main source of durian, has reason to cheer, according to the President. —INQUIRER FILE PHOTO   BEIJING—It may well be one of the most tangible results of President Marcos’ state visit to China—and it “stinks.” China has pledged to import durian, along with a host of other tropical fruits, from the Philippines as part of efforts to narrow the wide trade deficit between the two countries, Mr. Marcos said. Manila and Beijing have been finalizing the rules and regulations for the importation of Philippine fruits, notably including the pungent-smelling but tasty durian, “to balance the trade situation that we have,” the President said. “There has been created what we are now calling the ‘Durian Protocol’ because they are opening their trade to [...]

January 6th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos’ China visit reaps $22.8B in investment pledges

Metro Manila, Philippines - President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. announced on Thursday that his meetings with Chinese businessmen during his trip to Beijing yielded a total of $22.8 billion (over ₱1.2 trillion) in investment pledges. "There has been an overwhelming response from the Chinese business community on the investment and trade opportunities in our economy," Marcos said during his arrival speech in Manila after his Jan. 3 to 5 state visit to China. "When realized, these investments will support our country's economic recovery efforts and create more jobs for Filipinos," he added. According to the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS), the commitments include $13.76 billion for renewable energy, $7.32 billion for electric vehicle and mineral processing, and $1.72 billion for agribusiness. On renewable energy, the OPS noted that interest is [...]

January 6th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos, PH delegation unscathed from China visit

No one from the Philippine delegation tested positive for Covid-19 as they returned from Covid-stricken China on Thursday, Jan. 5. President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. (Noel Pabalate) Around 200 Filipinos, who were part of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr’s state visit to China, were able to return to the country unscathed over Covid-19 threat in the foreign land. This was according to the antigen test results of the entire delegation upon arriving at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City, Malacañang said. All members of the Philippine delegation were tested for Covid on Wednesday night before departing Beijing the next day. The delegation was also required to present a negative RT-PCR test before departing the Philippines onboard the presidential plane PR 001. Upon arrival on Jan. 3 in Beijing, [...]

January 6th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

84% of Filipinos believe PH should work with US to defend WPS – survey

Eighty-four percent of Filipinos believe that the current administration should team up with the United States (US) in strengthening security cooperation to defend the country’s national sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea, results of the latest survey of Pulse Asia revealed on Thursday, Jan. 5. President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. (Noel Pabalate)   Pulse Asia President Ronald Holmes released the survey results during a forum organized by Stratbase ADR Institute and the United States Embassy. The survey was conducted on November 27 to December 1, 2022, and was commissioned by Stratbase. According to the pollster, aside from the US, 52 percent of Filipinos also believe that the administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. should also work with Japan, 25 percent with Australia, 24 percent with the United Kingdom, [...]

January 6th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Foreigners now banned from buying homes in Canada

GETTY IMAGES Canada's largest cities - Toronto and Vancouver - rank among the most unaffordable housing markets in the world A two-year ban on some foreigners buying homes in Canada has come into effect. The ban aims to help ease one of the most unaffordable housing markets in the world. As of this summer, the average home price in Canada is C$777,200 ($568,000; £473,700) - more than 11 times the median household income after taxes. Some have been critical of the ban, saying it is unclear what impact it will have on Canada's housing market. Non-Canadian residents make up less than 6% of homeowners in Ontario and British Columbia, where national statistics indicate home prices are the highest. As of 1 January, the ban prohibits people who are not [...]

January 4th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

European weather: Winter heat records smashed all over continent

EPA Spain has seen unseasonably warm weather over the Christmas period   Temperatures for January have reached an all-time high in a number of nations across Europe. National records have fallen in eight countries - and regional records in another three. Warsaw, Poland, saw 18.9C (66F) on Sunday while Bilbao, Spain, was 25.1C - more than 10C above average. The mild European weather comes as North America faces more severe storms, days after a deadly winter cold snap left more than 60 dead. Heavy snow and freezing rain have been forecast for parts of the northern Midwest while severe thunderstorms and tornadoes are expected in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. But on the European side of the Atlantic, the weather has been balmy for many places at the start [...]

January 4th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Some Chinese travelers positive for COVID, placed in isolation

A few travelers from China tested positive for COVID-19 and were now in isolation, the director of the Bureau of Quarantine said Tuesday, but he added that only the partially vaccinated or unvaccinated were tested upon entering the country. “Many Chinese have arrived, but we only require antigen tests for those who were partially vaccinated,” said the bureau’s director, Roberto Salvador Jr., speaking in Filipino to GMA News. Salvador did not say how many had tested positive but said there were only a few of them. Foreign travelers who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are required to present a negative test result from an antigen or RT-PCR test before traveling or upon arrival in the Philippines. Unlike a growing number of countries, the Philippines has not imposed stricter [...]

January 4th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH debt still at record high in November at ₱13.64T

Metro Manila, Philippines — The Philippines got some relief from the strengthening of the peso against the US dollar, as the national debt only slightly rose in November to hit ₱13.64 trillion. However, the country's debt remained at a record high level, increasing by 0.02% or ₱3.15 billion from October, the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) said Tuesday. The latest data also showed an increase of ₱1.92 trillion, or a 16.33% hike, from 2021's debt pile. The majority of the outstanding obligations were still raised from local sources. Domestic debt increased by 0.78% to ₱9.43 trillion. Loans from foreign sources, on the other hand, were slashed by 1.62% to ₱4.22 trillion, mainly owing to the ₱106.98 billion impact of the peso appreciation. According to the bureau, the local unit gained [...]

January 4th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos: PH-China ties entering ‘new chapter’

                    RANGE OF ISSUES | President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and first lady Liza Araneta-Marcos board the plane to Beijing on Tuesday afternoon for his three-day state visit to China. (Photo by MARIANNE BERMUDEZ / Philippine Daily Inquirer)   MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. flew to China on Tuesday for a three-day state visit, as he seeks to open what he called Manila’s “new chapter” with Beijing even amid lingering tensions due to political and security issues in the West Philippine Sea. In a speech before boarding his flight at Villamor Air Base, the president said he was looking forward to discussing “political-security issues of a bilateral and regional nature” with Chinese President Xi Jinping. “The issues between our [...]

January 4th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

President suspends PhilHealth premium rate hike, income ceiling

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Monday ordered the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) to suspend the increase of its premium rate and income ceiling for the calendar year 2023, the Palace announced on the eve of Mr. Marcos’ trip to China. This was confirmed by the Office of the Press Secretary and the Office of the Executive Secretary. The memorandum, signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, refers to the “scheduled increase of the premium rate from 4 percent to 4.5 percent, and income ceiling from P80,000 to P90,000 for CY (Calendar Year) 2023 under Section 10 of Republic Act No. 11223.” “In light of the prevailing socio-economic challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to provide financial relief to our countrymen amidst these difficult times, please be informed [...]

January 3rd, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

PBBM off to China for three-day trip, sea issues up in talks with Xi Jinping

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is set to raise important issues affecting bilateral ties between the Philippines and China—including maritime concerns in the West Philippine Sea—as he leaves at 1 p.m. today (Tuesday) for a three-day state visit to Beijing. Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Mr. Marcos, who will have a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, will also witness the signing of 14 bilateral agreements on trade and investments, agriculture, renewable energy, infrastructure, development cooperation, and people-to-people ties. “We do not wish to preempt or second guess what the president will say, but the president will raise important issues affecting our bilateral relations… The president has said the maritime issues don’t define the totality of our relationship with China, but he acknowledges the importance of [...]

January 3rd, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Trough of LPA brings rain in Visayas, Mindanao, Palawan

The low pressure area (LPA) that is in the boundary but still outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) may enter the country but has a less chance to develop into a tropical depression. This is according to weather specialist Obet Padrina of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) who told The Manila Times that its trough is affecting many areas in Visayas and Mindanao, as well as Palawan. "There is still that possibility that the LPA may enter PAR but it is less likely to develop into a tropical depression. In fact, it has a bigger chance of dissipating in [the] coming days," Badrina said. The state-run weather agency said Metro Manila, Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), Cagayan Valley, Aurora, and Bicol Region [...]

January 3rd, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Australia helicopter collision: Four dead in mid-air incident over Gold Coast

Four people have died after a mid-air collision between two helicopters near Sea World on Australia's Gold Coast. Queensland Police say initial investigations suggest the crash happened as one aircraft was taking off and the other was landing. Those who died were travelling in the same helicopter. Three other passengers are in a critical condition. Two UK citizens were among those killed in the crash, a foreign office spokesperson told the BBC. They added that officials were supporting the families of the two victims - who have not been named - and would remain "in contact with the local authorities". Five of the six people on the other aircraft, which made an emergency landing, suffered minor injuries. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the country had been left shocked by [...]

January 3rd, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Third of world in recession this year, IMF head warns

REUTERS/International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva A third of the global economy will be in recession this year, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned. Kristalina Georgieva said 2023 will be "tougher" than last year as the US, EU and China see their economies slow. It comes as the war in Ukraine, rising prices, higher interest rates and the spread of Covid in China weigh on the global economy. In October the IMF cut its global economic growth outlook for 2023. "We expect one third of the world economy to be in recession," Ms Georgieva said on the CBS news programme Face the Nation. "Even countries that are not in recession, it would feel like recession for hundreds of millions of people," she added. The [...]

January 2nd, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Researchers hope to build New Zealand’s biofuel industry

A Rotorua company is hoping to end the country's reliance on fossil fuels. (file picture) Photo: 123RF New Zealand could be making its own biofuel within the next five years. Scion, a Rotorua-based research institute, hopes to end the country's reliance on imported fossil fuels by establishing a bio-energy industry here. Integrated bio-energy portfolio leader Paul Bennett said his team had already made significant progress. "We're looking at ways of converting [organic materials] into useful energy products, whether they're solids, liquids, or gaseous. "We are able to produce liquids from wood, and those liquids are getting closer and closer to the sort of fuels that are used in the market at the moment." Scion's wood-based aviation fuel was its most promising product, and would likely be the first to [...]

January 2nd, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Gov’t to update PH energy plan, including nuclear power use — Palace

Metro Manila, Philippines — The Marcos administration is eyeing to expand the country’s energy sources by updating the Philippine Energy Plan with the use of nuclear power as one of its priorities, Malacañang said on Sunday. The Office of the Press Secretary (OPS) said the Department of Energy (DOE) will be the agency responsible for updating the Philippine Energy Plan to guide the Nuclear Energy Program Implementing Organization (NEPIO) and the Nuclear Energy Program Inter-Agency Committee (NEP-IAC). “The use of nuclear power is also an important part of the energy mix that the DOE is eyeing,” the OPS said in a statement. Marcos has been vocal about his interest in revisiting policies on nuclear energy use and in building nuclear power plants in the country. During the last quarter [...]

January 2nd, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

LIST: Canceled flights due to NAIA air traffic system woes, January 2

Here are affected flights on Monday, January 2 This page will be updated as advisories come in. MANILA, Philippines – Hundreds of flights have been affected since Sunday, January 1, when technical issues hounded the air traffic management system of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines. Philippine airport officials announced the cancellation of the following flights as of 9:30 am, Monday, January 2: International Cebu Pacific 5J 845 Manila-Dubai 5J 760 Jakarta-Manila 5J 502 Kula Lumpur-Manila 5J 804 Singapore-Manila Domestic Cebu Pacific 5J 885 Manila-Cotabato 5J 504 Manila-Tuguegarao 5J 891 Manila-Caticlan 5J 625 Manila-Puerto Princesa 5J 6055 Caticlan-Manila 5J 447 Manila-Iloilo 5J 381 Manila-Cagayan de Oro 5J 473 Manila-Bacolod 5J 963 Manila-Davao 5J 785 Manila-Butuan 5J 627 Manila-Dumaguete 5J 451/452 Manila-Iloilo-Manila 5J 383/384 Manila-Cagayan de Oro-Manila 5J 561/562 [...]

January 2nd, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

What you need to know about Marcos’ state visit to China

From ‘durian diplomacy' to the latest issues in the West Philippine Sea, here’s what you need to know about the Philippine president’s first state visit outside Southeast Asia MANILA, Philippines – Despite concerns over the renewed spread of COVID-19 in China, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will push through with his state visit to the regional economic giant from January 3 to 5, 2023. “May mga pagbisita talaga na hindi natin puwede i-postpone (There are some visits that we cannot postpone),” Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Assistant Secretary Nathaniel Imperial told media during a briefing on Thursday, December 29. The importance and urgency of the trip is understandable. According to Imperial, the visit will “set the tone of bilateral relations between the next five to six years.” Why [...]

January 2nd, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos Jr. rings in New Year with unity call: ‘Bayanihan’ will keep us going

                          FROM FILE PHOTOS   MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Sunday urged Filipinos to “embody the true meaning of solidarity” in 2023 as he stressed that the spirit of “bayanihan” will keep the nation going amid all challenges. In his New Year message, Marcos said he “[joins] the entire Filipino nation with hope and optimism in welcoming the New Year.” “As we reflect on the events that transpired in the previous year, I hope that we will draw strength and inspiration from what truly binds us together–our genuine love for our fellow Filipinos and country,” he said. Marcos pointed out that “this is the essence of our call for unity and the impetus for [...]

January 1st, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Australian government announces mandatory Covid-19 testing for China travellers

Travellers from China will be required to prove a negative Covid-19 test prior to visiting Australia. Photo: HECTOR RETAMAL / AFP   From 5 January, travellers from China to Australia will be required to have a negative pre-departure Covid-19 test, and New Zealand says it is now assessing the health risks. China has seen skyrocketing Covid case numbers, and a range of other countries including the United Kingdom, the United States and France have also imposed testing requirements. NZ government duty minister Stuart Nash said tonight that New Zealand is currently assessing the situation. "I've been informed today that Australia has announced pre-departure testing for travellers arriving from China. This measure is being taken in response to the rapidly unfolding situation in China. "New Zealand has a public health [...]

January 1st, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Putin says in New Year message West is using Ukraine to destroy Russia

FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a news conference in Minsk, Belarus December 19, 2022. Sputnik/Pavel Bednyakov/Kremlin via REUTERS/   Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday (Dec 31) his country would never give in to the West's attempts to use Ukraine as a tool to destroy Russia. In a New Year's video message broadcast on Russian state TV, Putin said Russia was fighting in Ukraine to protect its "motherland" and to secure "true independence" for its people. In a nine-minute message - the longest New Year's address of his two-decade rule - Putin accused the West of lying to Russia and of provoking Moscow to launch what it calls a "special military operation" in Ukraine. "For years, Western elites hypocritically assured us of their peaceful intentions," he [...]

January 1st, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

More nations wary of China Covid threat

BEIJING: Spain, South Korea and Israel on Friday joined nations imposing Covid tests on travelers from China after Beijing dropped foreign travel curbs despite surging cases. Despite its hospitals and morgues being overwhelmed — and international concern over the low official figures on infections and deaths there — China insisted Friday that it had been transparent in sharing its Covid-19 data. THREAT TO ELDERLY Medical workers help a 101-year-old Covid-19 patient surnamed Li as she leaves the Guangdong Second Provincial General Hospital in Guangzhou, south China’s Guangdong Province, on Nov. 26, 2022. XINHUA PHOTO On Wednesday, a senior US health official said Beijing had provided only limited data to global databases about variants circulating in China, and its testing and reporting on new cases had diminished. On Thursday, the [...]

January 1st, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Sara to Filipinos: Aim higher in 2023

Vice President Sara Duterte. PHOTO BY JOHN RYAN BALDEMOR   Vice President Sara Duterte called on Filipinos to march on and aim for a better life in 2023. "With our deep faith in the Almighty and humble determination to aim higher, let us look forward to a more prosperous 2023 filled with dynamic opportunities for inclusive and lasting growth where no one is left behind," the Vice President said in her New Year's message. Duterte said 2023 marks a new and promising season of growth for every Filipino across diverse sectors and segments of society. "Let us unwaveringly embody our collective resolve and fortitude to begin anew amid the difficulties this past year may have brought our social, economic, and civic pursuits," she said. Duterte added that the country's [...]

January 1st, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH must be wary of Covid-19 surge in China: solon

MANILA – Now that President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said he is open to imposing additional restrictions on travelers from China following a new surge of severe Covid-19 cases, a senator said the situation must be treated seriously. PRECAUTION. A medical worker takes a swab sample from a child for nucleic acid test in Liangjiang New District, Chongqing, China on Aug. 24, 2022. China will cancel nucleic acid tests for international arrivals starting Jan. 8, 2023 whle those with with an abnormal health status declaration or fever symptoms will receive an antigen test. (Xinhua/Huang Wei)   Business as usual is not an option, according to Senator Risa Hontiveros on Friday. In a statement, she suggested that the Inter-Agency Task Force study and review restrictions now that there is an [...]

December 31st, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Oil prices seen to jump in first week of 2023

Metro Manila, Philippines— The first week of 2023 will likely be met with another round of fuel price hikes. According to a Unioil forecast on Saturday, diesel will increase by ₱2.30 to ₱2.50 per liter while gasoline will go up around ₱2.50 to ₱2.70 per liter in the week of Jan. 3 to Jan. 9. Pump prices also increased in the past Christmas week. The Department of Energy's latest oil price monitor as of Dec. 28 reported a net year-to-date increase of P14.90/liter for gasoline, P27.30/liter for diesel, and P21.30/liter for kerosene. This story will be updated.  

December 31st, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Trump tax returns show China bank account as six years of records released

Returns date from 2015 to 2020 and span nearly 6,000 pages as former president rails against effort by ‘radical left Democrats’ Donald and Melania Trump arrive for a speech at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida.Photograph: Andrew Harnik/AP Six years of Donald Trump’s tax returns were made public by a congressional committee on Friday, ending the former president’s long-running effort to break precedent and keep them secret. The documents, dating from 2015 to 2020, offer insights into the complex finances and foreign bank accounts of a man who was accused of abusing the presidency for personal profit and who has already announced another bid for the White House. A House of Representatives report released earlier this month analyzed the documents and showed Trump and his wife Melania paid no federal [...]

December 31st, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Close watch on Chinese arrivals

Quaratine protocols intensify amid dramatic surge of COVID in China Health officials on Friday said they would intensify quarantine protocols in handling travelers from China as COVID-19 cases there continue to surge. In a statement, the Department of Health (DOH) said it has ordered the Bureau of Quarantine to heighten surveillance of all respiratory symptoms in travelers coming from China. Infected and symptomatic passengers should be reported during arrival, it said. The DOH issued the statement after President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. suggested requiring travelers from China to be tested for COVID-19. The DOH said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) was discussing last night the guidelines on border control for travelers from China. “The IATF will discuss on the guidelines on how to [...]

December 31st, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH eyes to boost trade with China

Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual. PHOTO BY JOHN RYAN BALDE The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) aims to enhance the country's bilateral trade with China. President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s state visit to China early next year is a recognition that it is an important trading and investment partner of the Philippines, Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual said in a statement. Despite soaring Covid-19 cases in China, the President will still push through with his state visit to Beijing next week, from January 3 to 5. The state visit is upon the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping. "The visit will pave the way for further strengthening of our trade and investment relations, particularly as we work to recover from the pandemic and position the Philippines as a regional hub [...]

December 31st, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

SWS: 95% of Filipinos entering 2023 with hope

Metro Manila, Philippines— With 2023 just around the corner, a large majority of Filipinos, or 95%, are entering the new year "with hope rather than fear," according to a poll released by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) on Friday. "This is two points above the 93% recorded in 2021 and similar to the pre-COVID 96% in 2019," said SWS. Only 5% of respondents dread the incoming year - down two points from the 7% logged in 2020 and 2021. The poll also showed 74% of Filipinos said they will change for the better next year, while 20% said they will stay the same. The remaining 6% had no answer. The survey was conducted from Dec. 10 to 14 among 1,200 adults - 300 each from Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, the [...]

December 31st, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

NAIA privatization to push through

Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). File Photo The government will push through with the privatization of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista has announced. "We have worked with the Asian Development Bank for the preparation of the terms of reference for the privatization of the Manila International Airport," Bautista said during a briefing Wednesday. He said he hopes the terms of reference (TOR) will be ready by the first quarter of 2023 "so we can entertain proposals from interested parties." Included in the TOR is the rehabilitation of NAIA, which Bautista acknowledges is overdue. One of the improvements is to allow public utility vehicles to service passengers, especially in Terminal 3, which caters to domestic flights. Bautista said there are areas that can be redeveloped, [...]

December 30th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Inflation in Dec. may go up as high as 8.6%—BSP

PHILIPPINES— Inflation in December 2022 likely accelerated to a high of 8.6 percent from 8 percent a month ago due to higher food prices and power rates, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said Thursday. In a statement, BSP projected this month’s inflation rate to settle within a range of 7.8 to 8.6 percent. “Upward price pressures for the month are expected to emanate from higher electricity rates, an uptick in the prices of agricultural commodities, elevated meat and fish products, and higher LPG prices. Meanwhile, the reduction in petroleum and rice prices as well as the peso appreciation could contribute to easing price pressures for the month,” it said. The BSP said it is closely monitoring the emerging price developments to enable timely intervention that could help prevent [...]

December 30th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Protection for Kalayaan Group’s seas pushed

Kalayaan Island Group The passage of a measure in the House of Representatives that seeks to declare the waters around the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) and Scarborough Shoal as a marine protected area will be a boon for Filipino fishermen in the area. The benefits from the enactment of House Bill (HB) 6373 were explained by Palawan Third District Rep. Edward Hagedorn in an interview with The Manila Times. Hagedorn said there will be more fish as long as spawning and breeding sites, which are located within three nautical miles of the Kalayaan and Scarborough Shoal, are safeguarded. "Former Justice Antonio Carpio's experience in marine science enabled him to assist me in conceptualizing the bill," he said. Hagedorn said he shares Carpio's advocacy "to maintain and preserve Philippine territorial [...]

December 30th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Over 10 bilateral agreements eyed between PH, China during Marcos’ state visit – DFA

Metro Manila, Philippines– Over 10 bilateral agreements are expected to be signed during President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s state visit to China on Jan. 3-5, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) bared during a Malacañang media briefing Thursday. “During the state visit, about 10 to 14 bilateral agreements are expected to be signed in the areas of trade and investment, agriculture, renewable energy, infrastructure, development cooperation, people-to-people ties, and maritime security cooperation,” DFA Assistant Secretary for Asian and Pacific Affairs Neal Imperial said, adding that fostering economic cooperation is one of the primary goals of the trip. Marcos is expected to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang, and Li Zhanshu, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China. The DFA gave a rundown [...]

December 30th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Bongbong Marcos vows to expand internet services to remote areas

President Ferdinand “Bongbong Marcos, Jr. | PHOTO: official facebook page of the Office of the President   President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has reiterated his administration’s commitment to put up the Broadband ng Masa (BBM) and Free Wi-Fi for All Programs in far-flung areas for the country’s progress in terms of technological advancements.The President was the surprise guest at the online “kamustahan” (meet-and-greet) for BBM program recipients that the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) hosted on Christmas Eve. In the excerpts of the Zoom videoconference that the Palace released on Monday and Tuesday, Mr. Marcos said he decided to be a “gate-crasher” at the event to see for himself how the DICT was implementing the BBM program.“Our new connection is good, many places already have internet and [...]

December 28th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

LPA to bring rain showers over Palawan, Visayas, 4 other regions

A low pressure area (LPA) located east of Surigao del Sur will bring rain showers over Palawan, Visayas, and four other areas on Wednesday, PAGASA said in its weather forecast. At 3 a.m., the LPA was estimated to be located at 475 km east of the municipality of Hinatuan. "'Yung low pressure area ay medyo malapit na po sa Mindanao. Kasalukuyang nasa dagat pa ito. Bumaba ang tsansa na maging bagyo ito pero hindi natin inaalis ang posibilidad na maging bagyo ito dahil nasa dagat pa ito," PAGASA weather specialist Aldczar Aurelio said in an interview on GMA Integrated News' Unang Balita. (The low pressure area is near Mindanao. Currently it is still at sea. Its chance of becoming a tropical depression is low but we are not ruling out [...]

December 28th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos names Usec. Punay as DSWD officer-in-charge

Malacañang confirms the appointment of DSWD Undersecretary Eduardo Punay as officer-in-charge of the agency, adding an announcement will soon be made regarding Secretary Erwin Tulfo, who was twice bypassed by the Commission on Appointments. (Photo from Edu Punay Facebook page)   Metro Manila, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has appointed Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Undersecretary Eduardo Punay as officer-in-charge (OIC) of the agency, Malacañang confirmed on Tuesday. Office of the Press Secretary OIC Cheloy Garafil confirmed the development, which came several days after DSWD Secretary Erwin Tulfo’s designation was bypassed for the second time by the Commission on Appointments (CA). The CA deferred Tulfo's appointment due to his four libel convictions as a columnist and questions over his citizenship after he served in the United States [...]

December 28th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Medical company researching whether single vaccine can prevent both Covid-19 and flu

  Getty Picture Alliance NEW ZEALAND—A Wellington medical company is researching a combined flu and Covid-19 vaccine. P3 Research is looking for people aged between 50 and 80 years old to take part in the clinical trial, which is investigating whether a single vaccine can effectively prevent both illnesses. The company conducts research on behalf of a range of pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer and AstraZeneca - two major Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers. Covid-19 and influenza were among the more common viruses leading to severe illness and hospitalisation in older adults, P3 Research said, and currently individual vaccinations provided the best protection against each disease. As well as the age requirement, it was looking for participants who were in good health, and were fully vaccinated against Covid-19 (with or without the [...]

December 27th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Putin bans Russian oil exports to countries that impose price cap

President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday delivered Russia’s long-awaited response to a Western price cap, signing a decree that bans the supply of crude oil and oil products from Feb. 1 for five months to nations that impose the cap. The Group of Seven major powers, the European Union and Australia agreed this month to a $60-per-barrel price cap on Russian seaborne crude oil effective from Dec. 5 over Moscow’s “special military operation” in Ukraine. The decree, published on a government portal and the Kremlin website, was presented as a direct response to “actions that are unfriendly and contradictory to international law by the United States and foreign states and international organizations joining them.” “Deliveries of Russian oil and oil products to foreign entities and individuals are banned, on the [...]

December 27th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Taiwan to extend military conscription to one year, citing threat from China

Beijing has been ramping up pressure on the island it claims as its own, prompting Taiwan officials to increase compulsory service from four months starting in 2024.   TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan will extend compulsory military service to one year from four months starting in 2024 due to the rising threat the democratically governed island faces from its giant neighbor China, President Tsai Ing-wen said on Tuesday. The move, which had been well-flagged ahead of time, comes as China ramps up military, diplomatic and economic pressure on Taiwan to assert its sovereignty claims, including almost daily Chinese air force missions near the island over the past three years. Tsai, speaking after a national security council meeting of senior security officials, said Taiwan wanted peace but needed to be able [...]

December 27th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Retail price of onions soars to P520 per kilo

An official of the Department of Agriculture (DA) on Tuesday said that the retail price of red onions reached P520 per kilo amid tight supply. During the Laging Handa briefing, Agriculture deputy spokesman Rex Estoperes reiterated that the DA has no plan to import as the harvest is expected to start in January 2023. "This morning, we went to the markets. The retail price of small [red] onions is P480 [per kilo], very small in size while those that are bigger cost P520 [per kilo]. When I asked the vendor if consumers still buy despite the price. She said there are some who still buy despite the high cost," Estoperez said. Farmers in Tarlac have started to harvest, but the farm gate price of red onions remains high at [...]

December 27th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid in China: People rush to book travel as borders finally reopen

EPA-EFE/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK Chinese people have rushed to book overseas travel after Beijing announced it would reopen its borders next month. Passport applications for Chinese citizens wishing to travel internationally will resume from 8 January, the immigration administration said. It follows an announcement on Monday that ended almost three years of strict quarantine rules for arrivals. Travel sites have since reported a spike in traffic. But Chinese tourists will not have unfettered access to all countries. Japan - one of the most popular destinations for Chinese travellers - has announced that all travellers from China must show a negative Covid test on arrival, or quarantine for seven days, because of the surge in cases there. India has also said travellers from China (as well as some other countries) must show a [...]

December 27th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Most parts of PH to still experience rains due to shear line, northeast monsoon

Weather satellite image from Pagasa’s website MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Rain will continue to pour over most parts of the Philippines on Monday due to the shear line and the northeast monsoon, locally known as amihan. According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), the shear line is the convergence of cold and warm winds. “Nakakaranas po ng maulan na panahon sa malaking bahagi ng Kabisayaan, sa ilang lalawigan ng Mindanao at kasama na rin ang lalawigan ng Palawan. ‘Yan po ay dulot ng shear line,” Pagasa weather specialist Aldczar Aurelio said during the public weather forecast. (A huge part of Visayas, some provinces in Mindanao, and Palawan are experiencing rainy weather. That’s due to the shear line.) “Nakakaranas po ng malamig na simoy ng hangin na [...]

December 26th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

P8.6-B assistance up for informal sector workers

PHILIPPINES— The Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) has distributed more than P8-billion worth of emergency employment and cash assistance that benefited almost 2 million informal sector workers who were badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as calamities that hit the country. In DoLE's year-end report, Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma said the aid was released under the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (Tupad), a community-based aid that provides emergency employment to displaced, underemployed and seasonal workers. Tupad funded the emergency employment provided to 1.971 million informal sector workers whose source of income were wiped out due to the effects of the pandemic. The Tupad program provides workers in the informal sector a 10-day emergency employment, but not exceeding 30-day depending on the work to be performed, [...]

December 26th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

PAL to resume regular flights to China in Jan 2023

Philippine Airlines (PAL) is set to resume regular flights to mainland China next month after suspending the route for nearly three years due to pandemic-induced border restrictions. In a recent statement, the flag carrier said passengers could book Manila-Xiamen flights starting Jan. 13, 2023. The Lucio Tan-led airline will open the route with one flight per week operating every Friday. But frequencies are expected to increase over time with further easing of mobility restrictions. “The reopening of our Manila-Xiamen service is a happy development as we welcome the new year, and a good start for the restoration of our flights to and from the Chinese mainland. [PAL] is continuously working toward flying back to more cities in China, with our goal of operating the largest network of flights between [...]

December 25th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

US blizzard kills 18, leaves hundreds of thousands without power

At least 18 die from exposure and car crashes as fierce storm brings rain and snow across much of the US. A fierce winter storm has knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses across the United States and left at least 18 people dead due to exposure and car crashes on icy roads. The “bomb cyclone” storm, one of the most powerful in decades, also forced the cancellation of more than 3,000 US flights on Saturday, stranding thousands of travellers who were making last-minute dashes for Christmas. (Al Jazeera) The storm, now in its third straight day, was nearly unprecedented in its scope, stretching from the Great Lakes near Canada to the Rio Grande along the border with Mexico. The plummeting temperatures brought the coldest [...]

December 25th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Floods displace thousands in E. Samar, N. Mindanao on Christmas Eve

Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental, Philippines —Thousands of families in Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental were forced to seek refuge in evacuation centers because of floods on Christmas Eve. Gingoog City Administrator Enrique Guevarra said in a phone interview that incessant rains on Dec. 24 caused floods which submerged 16 out of 79 barangays in waters up to four feet high, prompting local authorities to evacuate residents. The local government said 6,615 families or more than 33 thousand individuals were affected by the floods. Guevarra said they did not expect the intensity of the rains. Intermittent rains are still being experienced as of Sunday. Gingoog City has requested assistance from the Regional Office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Cagayan de Oro City for those affected by the floods. [...]

December 25th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Philippines eyes $40 billion worth of assistance, loans in 2023

The Philippine government on Sunday unveiled plans to secure nearly $40-billion worth of assistance and loans from development partners and bilateral lenders next year, with the running debt stock at a fresh record high as of end-October. According to the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS), the government is set to secure $19.1-billion worth of official development assistance (ODA) in 2023, following the $85.5-million worth of grants and technical assistance implemented this year. The administration also eyes $9.2-billion worth of loans from multilateral development partners, and $9.8 billion in loans from bilateral lenders in the coming year. Latest data available from the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) shows that the outstanding debt stock stood at P13.64 trillion as of end-October, up by 0.92% or P123.92 billion from the end-September [...]

December 25th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Lower income tax rates to take effect in 2023

Metro Manila, Philippines — People who earn purely through compensation may anticipate higher take-home pay next year, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) announced on Friday. Those earning up to ₱250,000 are still exempt from paying personal income tax, while those earning from ₱251,000 to ₱8,000,000 will have lower tax rates ranging from 15% to 30% by 2023. "With the said reduction in the annual income tax rates, individuals earning purely compensation Income will have lower withholding tax deductions from their monthly salary, thereby increasing their take-home pay," said BIR chief Romeo D. Lumagui, Jr. However, those earning over ₱8,000,000 will have a 35% increase of tax rate from the previous 32%. Under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, the tax rate adjustment will take effect on [...]

December 25th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

China stages ‘strike drills’ around Taiwan, citing provocation

China has conducted unprecedented military drills around Taiwan following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to the island. (File photo: AFP/Hector Retamal)   BEIJING— China's military said it had conducted "strike drills" in the sea and airspace around Taiwan on Sunday (Dec 25) in response to unspecified "provocation" from the democratically-governed island and the United States. Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory, has complained of repeated Chinese military activity nearby over the past three years or so as Beijing seeks to pressure Taipei to accept Chinese sovereignty. China staged war games around Taiwan in August following a visit to Taipei by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and on Saturday it condemned the United States for a new defence authorisation law that boosts military assistance for Taiwan. In [...]

December 25th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Zhejiang province in China has 1 million daily COVID-19 cases, expected to double

  People register to collect medicine donated by merchants and residents for free at a public service center in Tonglu, in China's eastern Zhejiang province on Dec 23, 2022. AFP/STR BEIJING—  China's Zhejiang, a big industrial province near Shanghai, is battling around a million new daily COVID-19 infections, a number expected to double in the days ahead, the provincial government said on Sunday (Dec 25).   Despite a record surge of cases nationwide, China reported no COVID-19 deaths on the mainland for the five days through Saturday, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said on Sunday. Citizens and experts have called for more accurate data as infections surgedafter Beijing made sweeping changes to a zero-COVID policy that had put hundreds of millions of its citizens under relentless lockdowns [...]

December 25th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos’ 5 foreign trips yield $23.6B in investment pledges

Metro Manila, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s state visits have generated $23.6 billion in investment pledges, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) reported on Friday. The pledges were made during his visits to Indonesia, Singapore, United States, Cambodia, and Thailand this year. According to DTI’s year-end report, the numbers show that the administration is “aggressively” attracting more foreign businesses to come to the Philippines. The recent report excludes Marcos’ Belgium trip, where officials said he lured around ₱9.8 billion worth of investment pledges. Marcos is set to visit China in early January 2023. During his press briefings, the President has been vocal in his call to continue oil and gas exploration in West Philippine Sea (WPS) amid the territorial dispute with China. In 2016, an international arbitral [...]

December 24th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Kiwi fugitive pornographer on FBI’s most wanted list arrested in Spain

The FBI is offering more than $15,000 for information that will lead to the location and arrest of a fugitive New Zealand man accused of sex trafficking and producing child pornography. Photo: FBI   Spanish police have arrested a child pornographer who is one of the FBI's 10 most wanted fugitives. New Zealander Michael James Pratt, 40, had been sentenced to life in prison for child pornography, sexual exploitation and sexual assault in the United States. It is understood he was staying at a hotel in Madrid under a false identity. Police said he was involved in the audiovisual production of pornography, recruiting underage girls and young women through deception between 2012 and 2019. He earned more than $17 million with those activities. Only 57 criminals on the FBI's [...]

December 24th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Power rate hike looms as Malampaya shuts down in Feb 2023

Metro Manila, Philippines — Coupled with the continuous rise in commodity prices, Filipino consumers might have to brace for potential electricity rate increases by early next year as the Malampaya gas production facility will undergo a 15-day maintenance shutdown in February. In a briefing on Friday, Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla said the Malampaya facility has a scheduled downtime for maintenance works on Feb. 4 to 18, 2023. The Malampaya field, which supplies 40% of Luzon's power needs, is located off the coast of Palawan and is near the West Philippine Sea, an area believed to be rich in oil deposits. "During this period, the supply temporarily stops and power plants needs to switch to alternative sources of fuel," Lotilla said. While shifting to alternative fuels may trigger higher costs, [...]

December 23rd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Go pledges continued support for cancer patients

Sen. Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go   SEN. Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, reiterated his commitment to support more cancer patients as he continues to push for government programs and measures to help ease their burden as they overcome their medical condition. On Tuesday, December 20, Go and former president Rodrigo Duterte visited Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) in Davao City where they personally provided assistance to cancer patients getting treatment at SPMC's Children's Cancer Institute and House of Hope. "To the patients, do not lose hope. There's the Lord, and He loves us. It is important that you get well. My wish for all is a merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year ahead of us. I hope that we [...]

December 23rd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

DA improves ties with Japan for agri value chain

IMPROVING VALUE CHAIN. Agriculture Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban (left) signs discussion amendment for the Market Driven Enhancement of the Vegetable Value Chain in the Philippines (MVC2), withJapan International Cooperation Agency Chief Representative to the Philippines Sakamoto Takema on Friday (Dec. 23, 2022). The leaders hoped the move would help improve the country's agricultural value chain, beneficial for farmers and consumers. (Photo courtesy: Department of Agriculture) MANILA – The Department of Agriculture (DA) signed Friday the Minutes of the Meeting to Amend the Records of Discussion for the technical cooperation project with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Both parties signed the modified project, particularly for the Market Driven Enhancement of the Vegetable Value Chain in the Philippines (MVC2), which was started earlier in 2022. During the meeting, DA Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban said [...]

December 23rd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

PBBM OKs grant of gratuity pay to COS, JO gov’t workers

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has ordered the grant of gratuity pay for contract of service (COS) and job order (JO) workers in government for fiscal year 2022. Marcos on Friday inked Administrative Order (AO) 3, authorizing the release of a one-time gratuity pay not exceeding PHP5,000 for all government personnel working under COS and JO schemes. AO 3 covers all workers whose services are directly engaged through COS and JO by national government agencies (NGAs), state universities and colleges (SUCs), government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) and local water districts. Based on the latest order, COS and JO workers who have rendered a total or an aggregate of at least four months of actual satisfactory performance of service, as stipulated in their respective contracts, as of Dec. [...]

December 23rd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

LPA, ‘amihan’ may continue to bring rains over parts of PH

The low pressure area (LPA) and northeast monsoon or “amihan” may continue to bring rains over some parts of the country, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said in its 4 p.m. forecast on Wednesday, Dec. 21. Cloudy skies with rains brought by amihan are expected in Cagayan Valley and Apayao while Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with light rains. The state weather bureau warned of possible flash floods or landslides in low-lying areas caused by moderate to at times heavy rains. Meanwhile, cloudy skies with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms are expected to prevail in eastern Visayas and Caraga due to the LPA. The rest of the country may expect partly cloudy to cloudy skies with [...]

December 21st, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

PBBM orders importation of over 64 MT of refined sugar amid high inflation

President Marcos has ordered the importation of more than 64 metric tons of refined sugar in a bid to stabilize the price of sugar in the country. In a memorandum order dated Dec. 20, Department of Agriculture Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban ordered the convening of the department’s Minimum Access Volume Advisory Council to expedite the importation of 64,050 metric tons of refined sugar. The memorandum was issued to Jocelyn A. Salvador, executive director of the Minimum Access Volume (MAV) Secretariat. The memorandum cited the Latest Summary Inflation Report Consumer Price Index for November this year that was released early this month as the basis for the importation. “Based on the latest Summary Inflation Report Consumer Price Index (2018=100): November 22 released on Dec. 6, 2022, the annual increment for [...]

December 21st, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Japan’s dairy farming industry struggling amid rising costs and production cuts

A dairy facility in Kamishihoro, Hokkaido. A growing number of dairy farmers are quitting the business as they struggle to deal with higher feed prices and milk production cuts. | KYODO Japanese dairy farmers are in an increasingly tough situation, hit hard by rising production costs blamed partly on higher prices of formula feed for milk cows since Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Also battered by production cuts for raw milk after past oversupply, a growing number of dairy farmers are quitting the business. An industry organization in Hokkaido, one of the biggest production areas for dairy goods in Japan, has decided to cut production for 2023, stoking concerns over impacts on local dairy farmers. According to data from the agriculture ministry, the number of dairy producers across the nation [...]

December 21st, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos vetoes 3 budget items

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. Photo from Office of the Press Secretary President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. vetoed three provisions in the P5.268-trillion 2023 national budget, Malacañang said on Wednesday. One of the vetoed provisions is the use by the Department of Education of the revolving fund of DepEd TV. DepEd TV served as the agency's platform for multimedia classes at the height of the coronavirus pandemic when learning shifted strictly online. It also aired quick tips, updating students on Covid-19 safety protocols. Marcos said there is no law authorizing the agency to establish a revolving fund for the said purpose. "DepEd TV is not a business-type activity of the DepEd, which may be considered within the contemplation of the General Provision on Revolving Funds in the FY (Fiscal [...]

December 21st, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

US to provide Patriot missile system to Ukraine

A Patriot air defence system fires a missile during an exercise in Taiwan in 2006. (Photo: AFP/Sam Yeh)   WASHINGTON—  The United States said on Wednesday (Dec 21) it would provide Ukraine with the advanced Patriot air defence system to help counter Moscow's relentless aerial attacks. The system is part of US$1.85 billion in assistance unveiled in parallel with a visit to Washington by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, his first trip outside the country since Russia invaded in February. The announcement is a significant victory for Kyiv, which had repeatedly pushed Washington for the Patriot system, and a strong sign of US support for Ukraine. "Today's assistance for the first time includes the Patriot Air Defence System, capable of bringing down cruise missiles, short-range ballistic missiles, and aircraft at [...]

December 21st, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Breast cancer breakthrough: NZ-led research finds way to reduce risk without surgery

In New Zealand, around one in every 250 women inherits one of the mutations looked at in the study. Photo: 123RF   A global study led by the University of Otago has discovered a gene that, when modified, could reduce the risk of breast cancer. Finding the new gene also opens the door to developing a drug that reduces the risk of cancer. The research involved 26,000 women known to have the BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 mutations of the breast cancer genes, the largest study of its kind. "The discovery came after looking at thousands of women around the world," said associate professor Logan Walker, who led the study. "It allowed us to look at genetic changes; these genetic changes pointed us in a direction where we could see that [...]

December 21st, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Ukraine’s Zelenskyy plans US visit; first trip abroad since war began

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hands out awards during his visit in the eastern frontline city of Bakhmut - he is now expected to head to the United States. (Photo: AFP/UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE/Handout)   WASHINGTON— Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy plans to visit Washington on Wednesday (Dec 21) for a possible meeting with Joe Biden and an address to Congress, United States media reported - his first trip abroad since Russia invaded in February. The potential White House meeting could feature an expected announcement from Biden of a new arms package for Kyiv including Patriot missiles, according to the reports. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi meanwhile told members of Congress in a letter on Tuesday that they should be in attendance the following night. "Please be present for a very special [...]

December 21st, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

BSP chief: Strong dollar period is over

Metro Manila, Philippines— As the peso continued to come off its record lows to stay within the ₱55-per-dollar range, a weak local currency stoking inflation has become less of a headache for Philippine monetary authorities, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Felipe Medalla said on Tuesday. Five days before Christmas, the peso extended its rally to close Tuesday's trading at ₱55.24 per dollar, its best finish in four-and-a-half months or since Aug. 5, according to data from the spot currency market. That's a far cry from the record low ₱59-per-dollar it hit last October. "The worst is over for the strong dollar," Medalla told reporters in a briefing held on Tuesday. Higher US interest rates to combat inflation have propelled the dollar in recent months as investors sought safe haven [...]

December 21st, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Corn complex to rise in Region 2

CITY OF ILAGAN, PHILIPPINES— The Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 2 (DA-RFO2) and the city government here had agreed to establish an I-Corn Complex worth P196.7 million. The agreement was reached after a consultation meeting led by DA Region 2 Executive Director Narciso Edillo, Regional Technical Director for Operations and Extension Roberto Busania, Corn Program Regional Coordinator Paul Vincent Balao and Ilagan City Agriculturist Moises Alamo. Edillo said the DA will provide P107 million while the city government of Ilagan will provide P89.7 million for the said complex. It will serve as a one-stop agri-commercial center. "The I-Corn Complex will serve corn farmers not only those from the City of Ilagan but also Isabela and the Cagayan Valley," he said, adding that this will solve problems in corn production, [...]

December 21st, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Chinese embassy hits US for ‘driving a wedge’ between China, PH

Metro Manila, Philippines — The Chinese Embassy in Manila on Tuesday accused the United States of trying to "stir up troubles and drive a wedge" between China and the Philippines. "The US keeps meddling in the South China Sea disputes and trying to drive wedges between countries in the region, creating tensions and harming regional peace and stability," the embassy said. The remark came after the US State Department issued a statement calling on China to "respect the international law of the sea in the South China Sea, as reflected in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and its legal obligations pursuant to the 2016 arbitral ruling." The Chinese Embassy condemned the US statement, claiming that the South China Sea situation has remained stable due to [...]

December 21st, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

All Nation Seminary celebrates its 28th Ministers Fire Summit

General Bishop Herbert R. Gadian, of Jesus For All Nations proudly announced the successful celebration of the 28th Ministers Fire Summit held at the De Luxe Hotel last December 5, 2022 in Cagayan de Oro City. The highlights of the celebration is the recognition and awarding of Degree by All Nations Seminary , an education department of the Jesus For All Nations & Network International which operates very differently from any traditional seminaries. Dr. Herbert R. Gadian,DD General Bishop of Jesus For All Nations Network, Intl said that the professors and teachers of the seminary are those pastors and teachers in their respective churches. While the students are the members who are willing to know more of the ministry of Jesus Christ , people who have the calling from [...]

December 16th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Twitter’s suspension of journalists draws global backlash

Critics say the episode is evidence that Twitter’s new billionaire owner is eliminating speech and users that he personally dislikes. Twitter boss Elon Musk appeared briefly in a Twitter Spaces audio chat hosted by journalists, which quickly turned into a contentious discussion before being abruptly cut off [File: Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Reuters] Twitter’s unprecedented suspension of at least five journalists over claims they revealed the real-time location of owner Elon Musk has drawn swift backlash from government officials, advocacy groups and journalism organisations across the globe. Officials from France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United Nations and the European Union condemned the suspensions, with some saying the platform was jeopardising press freedom. The episode, which one well-known security researcher labelled the “Thursday Night Massacre“, is being regarded by critics as new [...]

December 16th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos signs ₱5.268-T nat’l budget for 2023

Metro Manila, Philippines— President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. signed on Friday the ₱5.268-trillion government budget for 2023, the first full one-year spending plan under his administration. Marcos approved the 2023 General Appropriations Bill during a ceremonial signing in Malacañang. This came less than two weeks after Congress ratified the proposed spending plan. The 2023 budget, which is 4.9% higher than this year's, seeks to support the current administration's goal of economic transformation, with the infrastructure and education sectors securing the largest shares. In his speech, Marcos attributed the swift passage of the proposed budget to the "full" support of the legislature. "We did it in record time, that's a significant achievement," he said. Marcos also said the legislature "has been very cooperative" as the Philippines implements structural changes, which he [...]

December 16th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH needs to import 3M MT of rice to address looming shortage

INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/EDWIN BACASMAS The Philippines will have to import as much as 3.4 million metric tons (MT) of rice next year to meet the anticipated shortage of the staple. “We will need to import between 3 [million MT] [and] 3.4 million [MT] of rice next year to end up with a 90-day carryover stock by year end of 2023,” said the Federation of Free Farmers (FFF) in a report by its chair Leonardo Montemayor. Based on its projections, the ending stock is pegged at negative 427,000 MT by the end of the third quarter of 2023. “By year end, it will be a measly 321,000 tons, good for only nine days,” it said. “As early as July 2023, there will already be upward pressure on prices, because the [...]

December 16th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

P31.5M meat products from China seized

Photo from Bureau of Customs The Department of Agriculture (DA) said at least P31.5 million smuggled frozen meat products from China were confiscated at the Manila International Container Port (MICP). Agriculture Assistant Secretary for Inspectorate and Enforcement James Layug said that his office received information on Dec. 13, 2022, on the suspicious shipment at the MICP. Layug said based on the inspection of the members of the DA and the Bureau of Customs, the three forty-footer container vans contained banned frozen pork and chicken products but were declared as frozen prawn balls. The products were registered under the name of Victory JM Enterprise. "This may be considered as technical smuggling under the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016 (Republic Act 10845)," Layug said. The products were registered under the name [...]

December 16th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

New Zealand paying premium for big-ticket projects

Transmission Gully. (Source: 1News) Budget blowouts and lengthy delays have become part and parcel of just about any large-scale project in Aotearoa, and a new report out today confirmed the country's approach to big builds is inefficient and expensive. The research by the Infrastructure Commission Te Waihanga compared how New Zealand's infrastructure costs stacked up against other high-income countries.   It showed the cost to build railway stations, power lines, wind farms and hospitals were on par. But while this country's construction workers were paid less, big-ticket items like motorways, tunnels and underground rail came at a premium. The commission's director of economics, Peter Nunns, said that was partly because equipment, land and construction materials were pricier here. But he said it was made worse with poor planning. "We [...]

December 16th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Malaysia campsite landslide kills at least 21, including children

At least 21 people were killed in the landslide in Selangor state, Malaysia as they slept in their tents at an unlicensed campsite. Photo: AFP   A landslide killed at least 21 people, including children, while they slept in their tents at an unlicensed campsite in Malaysia on Friday, officials say. Search teams are continuing to scour thick mud and downed trees for survivors. The landslide in Selangor state bordering the capital, Kuala Lumpur, occurred before 3am local time, tearing down a hillside into an organic farm that officials said was operating the campsite illegally. Among the victims were five children and 12 women, according to the fire and rescue department. The disaster struck about 50km north of Kuala Lumpur in Batang Kali, just outside the popular hilltop area [...]

December 16th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

36K learners, teachers to receive school supplies: DepEd

  PARTNERSHIP FOR RECOVERY. Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte lauds the move of the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Foundation on Friday (Dec. 16, 2022), as it turned over school supplies and printing resources to the Department of Education. Duterte noted that the BPI's partnership with the DepEd helps the sector to push for the learning recovery. (Screengrab)                               MANILA – Around 35,000 learners and more than a thousand teachers are expected to benefit from the school supplies donation of the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Foundation, according to the Department of Education (DepEd) on Friday. In a video message, Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte lauded the BPI Foundation’s initiative [...]

December 16th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos OKs national development plan for 2023-2028

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Friday approved the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028 which aims to bolster deep economic and social transformation in order to reinvigorate job creation and accelerate poverty reduction.         President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (center) (Courtesy of OPS)   "I'm happy to announce that today, at the NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority) board meeting, we approved the Philippine Development Plan for 2023 to 2028 and this sets out the framework of the development plan for the Philippines and we have included all of the priority areas," President Marcos said in his message. Marcos called on government agencies to employ a whole-of-nation approach in the implementation of the PDP 2023-2028 and steer toward the "same direction." "This will facilitate the [...]

December 16th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos asks EU to help PH, other countries vulnerable to climate change

Metro Manila, Philippines  — President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. on Tuesday asked European Union (EU) leaders and businessmen to help vulnerable countries like the Philippines cope with the effects of climate change. Marcos stressed that the Philippines is "regarded as probably one of the most, if not the most, vulnerable countries in the world to the effects of climate change.” "Since that seems to be the case and that is what we are facing in the Philippines, we are very much in need of the assistance of Europe, of all the first world countries, and to be able to adjust our economy, our communities to the onset of the effects of climate change," he said during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-European Union (ASEAN-EU) working luncheon in Belgium. The chief executive [...]

December 14th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘Last chance’: Marcos orders new body on seafarer issues

PINOY CHEERS IN BRUSSELS  | President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., joined on stage by some Cabinet members, Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Speaker Martin Romualdez, and first lady Liza Araneta-Marcos, addresses members of the Filipino community at the Events Lounge in Brussels on Monday. The president is in the Belgian capital for the Asean-European Union Commemorative Summit. (RTVM Screen GRAB)   BRUSSELS — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Tuesday ordered the creation of an advisory council not only to avert possible job losses of some 50,000 Filipino seafarers in European Union (EU) vessels due to the Philippines’ deficiencies in local training and education but also to address other concerns of about 600,000 Filipino seafarers worldwide. The president issued the directive during his meeting with international maritime employers and various shipowners here. [...]

December 14th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Biden signs into law same-sex marriage bill, 10 years after his famous Sunday show answer on the issue

US President Joe Biden signed into law Tuesday landmark new federal protections for same-sex and interracial couples, capping both a personal and national evolution on an issue that's enjoyed growing acceptance over the past decade. Biden signed the Respect for Marriage Act before thousands of invited guests on the South Lawn at an event the White House said reflected the importance of the moment. "Marriage is a simple proposition. Who do you love? And will you be loyal to that person you love?" the president asked from the South Lawn. "It's not more complicated than that." Biden said the law he was about to sign recognizes that "everyone should have the right to answer those questions for themselves without the government interference," and secures the federal "protections that come [...]

December 14th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

China faces ‘tough’ zero-COVID exit, says WHO

A woman wearing a mask exits a subway station in Beijing, China on Dec 13, 2022. (Photo: AP/Andy Wong)   GENEVA: China is facing a "very tough" time as it dismantles its rigid "zero-COVID" policy and allows people to live with the virus, posing challenges preparing hospitals and ensuring people are sufficiently protected, the World Health Organization (WHO) said. Beijing abruptly dropped its zero-tolerance stance last week after protests against its COVID-19 lockdowns. The shift, welcomed by many inside the country, has also stoked concerns that infections could spike. Asked about the policy changes, WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris told a Geneva press briefing on Tuesday (Dec 13) that China faced a "very tough and difficult time". "It's always very difficult for any country coming out of a situation where [...]

December 14th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Japan to join U.S. efforts to tighten chip exports to China

A technician checks on a stack of wafers at the Applied Materials facility in Santa Clara, California. | BLOOMBERG Japan and the Netherlands have agreed in principle to join the U.S. in tightening controls over the export of advanced chipmaking machinery to China, according to people familiar with the matter, a potentially debilitating blow to Beijing’s technology ambitions. The two countries are likely to announce in the coming weeks that they’ll adopt at least some of the sweeping measures the U.S. rolled out in October to restrict the sale of advanced semiconductor manufacturing equipment, according to the people, who asked not to be named because they are not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. The Biden administration has said the measures are aimed at preventing Beijing’s military from [...]

December 14th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

U.S. makes nuclear fusion breakthrough in quest for clean energy

Washington— A U.S. national laboratory has achieved a major breakthrough in nuclear fusion technology by producing more energy than was used to derive it, the government said Tuesday, raising hopes for its potential as a clean power source. Fusion energy is produced when light atomic nuclei are merged to form a heavier nucleus. Fusion powers the sun, and scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California have sought for decades to induce fusion in a lab setting using lasers. Noting that it is the first time such a net energy gain has been achieved in a laboratory anywhere in the world, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said, "(Fusion) ignition allows us to replicate for the first time certain conditions that are found only in the stars and the sun." [...]

December 13th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

New Zealand imposes lifetime ban on youth buying cigarettes

A man sits while smoking in the city of Auckland, New Zealand on Dec. 9, 2021. AP FILE PHOTO WELLINGTON: New Zealand on Tuesday passed into law a unique plan to phase out tobacco smoking by imposing a lifetime ban on young people buying cigarettes. The law states that tobacco can't ever be sold to anybody born on or after Jan. 1, 2009. It means the minimum age for buying cigarettes will keep going up and up. In theory, somebody trying to buy a pack of cigarettes 50 years from now would need an ID to show they were at least 63 years old. But health authorities hope smoking will fade away well before then. They have a stated goal of making New Zealand smoke-free by 2025. The new [...]

December 13th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Harness skills, gain micro-credentials: TESDA

MANILA – An official of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) on Tuesday urged the public, especially the workers, to harness their skills and gain micro-credentials. "Our countrymen, especially the overseas Filipino workers, need to enhance the skills and knowledge that they gained. Through micro-credentialing, as well as partnership with various industries, we could expand the skills of the people," TESDA Deputy Director General Aniceto Bertiz III said at a public briefing. He noted that TESDA has been offering many courses, including ladderized program and three-year diploma courses on electrical engineering and agricultural technologies. "After finishing the three-year course, they could receive a minimum of 21 NCs (national certificates) and they are job ready. We are also coordinating with other countries. We recently had a talk with [...]

December 13th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Financial illiteracy slows PH insurance growth

INSURANCE TALKS (Clockwise from upper left) The Manila Times editor Dafort Villaseran, Pru Life UK Chairman Imelda ‘Ida’ Tiongson, Allianz PNB Life Chief Marketing Officer Gino Riola, Times editor Conrad Cariño, and Insurance Commission Deputy Commissioner Ferdinand ‘Bong’ Florendo during the forum ‘Insurance Truth and Consequence’ held on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022. TMT SCREENGRAB Poor financial literacy among Filipinos has slowed the growth of the Philippine insurance industry, an official of the Insurance Commission (IC) said on Tuesday. During the The Manila Times forum "Insurance Truth and Consequence," IC Deputy Commissioner Ferdinand George "Bong" Florendo, citing a report on Sept. 9, 2022, which cited a World Bank report, said the Philippines lags behind its Southeast Asian neighbors in terms of financial literacy. The Philippines had a 25 percent rating, [...]

December 13th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Expect rise in vegetable prices as Christmas approaches

  HEALTHY OPTIONS. A consumer chooses from a vegetable stall inside the Sta. Monica Market in Novaliches, Quezon City in this undated photo. The Department of Agriculture said prices are expected to increase as Christmas approaches. (PNA photo by Oliver Marquez)   MANILA – The prices of vegetables are expected to increase less than two weeks before Christmas, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA). In a Laging Handa public briefing on Tuesday, DA deputy spokesperson Rex Estoperez said they have received information that prices of some vegetables have gone up, which he said is a normal occurrence during the Holidays. “Mayroon kaming impormasyon na iyong atin pong mga gulay, galing doon sa northern area, nagtaasan din, lalung-lalo na sa panahog natin sa pansit. Pero base doon sa informationnatin, [...]

December 13th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Canada to increase military presence in Indo-Pacific region including West Philippine Sea

In a virtual town hall hosted by Filipino Canadian Member of Parliament Rechie Valdez, Canadian officials gave members of the Filipino community a broad outline of the country’s new Indo-Pacific strategy. This aims to invest $2.3 billion over the next five years in what is seen as the world's next fastest growing region. Along with increased trade with the 40 Indo-Pacific countries, Canada also plans to beef up its military presence in the region and invest in cyber security. Minister of International Development, Harjit Sarjjan, spoke about 'Operation Projection'. "That's an operation for the military to have naval presence within the region consistently. And what this strategy does is actually even increase our presence. So [National Defence] Minister [Anita] Anand will be authorizing greater ships within the region," Sarjjan [...]

December 11th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

TD “Rosal” maintains strength as it moves over the Philippine Sea east of Aurora

Tropical Depression “Rosal” has continued to maintain its strength as it moved over the Philippine Sea east of Aurora. The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said so far, the center of the tropical depression was estimated 330 kilometers east of Casiguran. It is packing maximum sustained winds of up to 45 kph and a gustiness of up to 35 kph. It is moving north northeastward at 20 kph. According to PAGASA, light to moderate with at times heavy rains are expected over Mimaropa. In the next 24 hours, the surge of the northeast monsoon partly enhanced by the tropical depression may bring occasional gusts over Batanes and Babuyan Islands, and a strong breeze to near-gale strength over Ilocos Norte, the northern and eastern portions of Cagayan, eastern [...]

December 11th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Baguio to launch project ECHO to help breast cancer patients and kin

BAGUIO CITY— Aimed at addressing breast cancer and improving the health care outcomes of its constituents, the city government will formally launch Project Extension for Community Health Outcomes (ECHO) on Wednesday, December 21, at City Hall spearheaded by the City Health Services Office (CHSO). CHSO deputy head Dr. Celia Flor Brillantes said the city will affirm its steadfast commitment to delivering quality, affordable and accessible medical, health and wellness care to its community members by collaborating with Roche Philippines Inc. and the Philippine Society of Medical Oncology. Project ECHO is a unique learning model founded by Dr. Sanjeev Arora at the University of New Mexico where participants engage in a virtual community with their peers where they share support, guidance and feedback. "As a result, our collective understanding of how [...]

December 11th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Coco waste materials open livelihood opportunity

INNOVATIVE CRAFT. Jeeff De Asis (center), a coco craft maker holds his "hantic" or red ant coconut lampshade that won the Most Innovative Product during the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Antique's Panublion Heritage Fair in Iloilo City on Nov.20, 2022. Also in the photo are Acting Provincial Director Lynna Joy Cardinal and Trade and Industry Development Specialist Wilson Alian.  (PNA photo courtesy of DTI Antique)                           SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique – A craft maker has found a living through making use of coco waste materials. Jeeff De Asis, a coco craft maker from Barangay Carit-an in the municipality of Patnongon shared on Friday how he began his journey of producing crafts out of coconut [...]

December 11th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Agro-solar power farm to rise in General Santos

A 150-megawatt (MW) agrovoltaic solar power plant, touted as a "pioneering" renewable energy project in the country, will be built by a foreign-backed homegrown company in General Santos City.Yan Amante, president and chief executive officer of Embrace Nature Power 1 Corp. (ENPC-1), said they are preparing for the construction of a solar farm and power plant in a 120-hectare property spanning portions of Conel and Mabuhay villages.Amante said they are investing around $285 million or roughly P16 billion in the project, which is set to break ground in the third week of January."We will be employing 1,500 workers for the construction phase, which will be completed in 12 months," Amante said in her presentation to the city council last Tuesday.She added that ENPC-1, which is based in Purok Guadalupe [...]

December 10th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

PBBM opens Malacañang to supporters

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. gave his supporters an early Christmas gift on Saturday: A meeting at Malacañang Palace. THANK YOU. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. welcomes his supporters at Malacañang Palace in Manila on Saturday (Dec. 10, 2022). In a Facebook post, he thanked them for their continued trust and confidence in him. (Courtesy of BBM official Facebook)   Marcos shared in his official Facebook page several photos taken during the meet and greet event. “Maagang regalo ang hatid sa atin ngayong Pasko nang ating makasama muli ang ilan sa ating mga taga-suporta ngayong araw (Meeting some of my supporters today is an early gift this Christmas),” he said. Marcos expressed gratitude for their continued trust and confidence in him. He hopes that with the help [...]

December 10th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Inflation, wages among Filipinos’ top concerns

A shopper looks at canned goods inside a supermarket in Manila on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority inflation jumped from 7.7% to 8% in November 2022, the highest recorded since the 9.1% in November 2008. The PSA attributed the spike to the high prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages, which rose to 10% in November from 9.4% in October. PHOTO BY MIKE ALQUINTO CONTROLLING inflation, improving wages, and access to affordable food are the top three major concerns the government of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. must address, according to a survey by OCTA Research. In OCTA's non-commissioned survey conducted from October 23 to 27, 57 percent of respondents said the Marcos administration should focus on controlling the rise in prices of basic goods and [...]

December 9th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Apple workers in Australia plan Christmas strike

A customer stands underneath an illuminated Apple logo as he looks out the window of the Apple store located in central Sydney, Australia,. REUTERS/David Gray/File photo SYDNEY  – Hundreds of Apple workers in Australia are preparing to go on a strike ahead of Christmas to demand better working conditions and wages, union leaders and staff said, a move likely to hurt the iPhone maker’s sales and services in the country. The less than two-day strike by about 200 of Apple’s roughly 4,000 employees in Australia comes as the U.S. tech giant faces disruptions due to worker unrest in its main iPhone plant in China. Members of Australia’s Retail and Fast Food Workers Union (RAFFWU) are asking Apple Inc for fixed rosters, known hours of work, weekends of two consecutive [...]

December 9th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Bill seeks 13th month pay for contractual workers

Workers at the construction site.PHOTO BY JOHN RYAN BALDEMOR A bill that seeks to grant 13th month pay to contractual and job order personnel in the government has been filed at the House of Representatives. "For the benefit of job order and contractual personnel working in the government amid the rising prices, approval of this measure is immediately sought," Las Piñas City Rep. Camille Villar said in filing House Bill 6541. The bill covers those who have "completed at least one contract (minimum of three months) with the government before July 1 of the current fiscal year, prior to the granting of the 13th-month pay." "The minimum amount of the 13th-month pay for contractual and job order personnel shall not be less than one-half of the monthly salary by [...]

December 9th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH remains hotspot for child sexual exploitation – UN rapporteur, DOJ chief

Metro Manila, Philippines— The country remains a “source and destination” for various forms of child abuse, especially sexual exploitation, a United Nations special rapporteur disclosed on Thursday. Mama Fatima Singhateh, UN Special Rapporteur on the Sale and Sexual Exploitation of Children, recognized the efforts by the Philippine government to address sexual abuse and exploitation on children. However, she noted that more should be done to protect the children in the country. “The Philippines has made noteworthy efforts to improve the policy, legal and institutional framework in view of protecting children against the many forms of sexual abuse and exploitation and sale of children,” said Singhateh during a presentation of her preliminary findings. “The Philippines remains a source and destination country for child trafficking, sale, sexual abuse, forced marriage, among [...]

December 9th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

China, Saudi Arabia cement ties with deals including Huawei

Chinese President Xi Jinping hails ‘new era’ in relationship with Gulf as he meets Saudi crown prince, king. Saudi King Salman meets Chinese President Xi Jinping in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on December 8, 2022 [Saudi Press Agency/Handout via REUTERS] Chinese President Xi Jinping and Saudi King Salman have signed a series of strategic deals, including one involving Chinese tech giant Huawei, as part of a visit expected to bolster political and economic ties. Xi’s three-day visit to the kingdom includes Arab and Gulf summits and is being closely watched by the United States as Washington’s relations with Riyadh are at a low point. On Thursday, Xi and King Salman signed a “comprehensive strategic partnership agreement” after he was escorted to Yamamah Palace by the Saudi Royal Guard, who were [...]

December 9th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Iranian forces shooting at faces and genitals of female protesters, medics say

Exclusive: Men and women coming in with shotgun wounds to different parts of bodies, doctors say A protest in Tehran days after the death of Mahsa Amini. One medic said he treated a woman ‘deliberately’ shot in the genitals and thighs. Photograph: Social media/Rex/Shutterstock Iranian security forces are targeting women at anti-regime protests with shotgun fire to their faces, breasts and genitals, according to interviews with medics across the country. Doctors and nurses – treating demonstrators in secret to avoid arrest – said they first observed the practice after noticing that women often arrived with different wounds to men, who more commonly had shotgun pellets in their legs, buttocks and backs. While an internet blackout has hidden much of the bloody crackdown on protesters, photos provided by medics to [...]

December 9th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

PM Jacinda Ardern says China has become ‘more assertive’

Reflecting on her five years as New Zealand's leader, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said China has undoubtedly become more assertive in the region over that time but cautioned that building relationships with small Pacific nations shouldn't become a game of one-upmanship. PM Jacinda Ardern and China's President Xi Jinping at APEC. (Source: 1News) In a joint interview with The Associated Press and the Australian Associated Press, Ardern said China has changed in recent years under President Xi Jinping. "I think if I stand back and look at the region as a whole and some of the changes that we’ve seen within our region, you do see a more assertive China," Ardern said. "And look, there'll be a whole host of reasons for that. Their integration into the regional economy, [...]

December 9th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

US aims for ‘top line’ deal on aid to three Pacific island countries

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Micronesia's President David Panuelo, Palau President Surangel Whipps and Marshall Islands President David Kabua. Photo: AFP/Sarah Silbiger   The United States hopes to reach agreement on "top line" numbers for assistance to three Pacific island countries by the year's end, a State Department official told Reuters, part of negotiations critical to shoring up US strategic interests in a region courted by China. The Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and Palau are sovereign nations that agreed Compacts of Free Association, or COFAs, in the 1980s, under which the United States retained responsibility for their defence and exclusive access to huge swaths of the Pacific. COFA provisions will expire in 2023 for the Marshall Islands and FSM, and in 2024 for Palau [...]

December 9th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Bali hotels won’t ask for proof of marriage under new criminal code: Tourism chief

Premarital sex and cohabitation will become criminal offences in three years' time. Tourists enjoy Bali's beach on Aug 21, 2022. (Photo: CNA/Kiki Siregar) JAKARTA: Bali’s tourism chief Tjokorda Bagus Pemayun said that foreigners should not be deterred from visiting the island after the Indonesian parliament passed a Bill criminalising premarital sex and cohabitation.  Under the new criminal code passed on Tuesday (Dec 6), people who have sex outside of marriage or cohabit can be reported to the police. However, those who break the law can only be reported to the authorities by their parents, spouses or their children. Taking effect in three years' time, the punishment for premarital sex would be a maximum of one year in jail or a fine of 10 million rupiah (US$640). For cohabitation, the [...]

December 9th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

LAMP expand on agri project partners

Dr. Fritz Cobrado, Director of the nongovernmental organization LAMP Foundation International, said during a group discussion among their participants that the LAMP’s thrust is on agriculture emphazing their capability to extend their assistance to farmers. Dr. Cobrado explained further that organic farming, also known as ecological farming, is an agricultural system that uses fertilizers of organic origin such as compost manure, green manure, and bone meal and places emphasis on techniques such as crop rotation and companion planting. Shown on this photo are Bishop Fritz Cobrado, Director of LAMP Foundation International and some participants, on their way to Lanao, Misamis Occ. Pagadian & Lapuyan Zamboanga del Sur to conduct ocular inspection, empowerment, coaching and mentoring to LAMP Scholars in different schools and various farming projects. LAMP - Operation ABBA [...]

December 9th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Putin acknowledges Russia’s war in Ukraine could be a long one

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during the 19th Annual Meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club in Moscow, Russia, on October 27, 2022. Sputnik/Mikhail Metzel/Pool via REUTERS LONDON/KYIV — Russian President Vladimir Putin has acknowledged that his army could be fighting in Ukraine for a long time, but for now there will be no second call-up of soldiers. Putin has rarely spoken about the duration of a war that he began more than nine months ago but told loyalists in a televised meeting on Wednesday it could go on for some time yet. “This can be a long process,” he said. Russia has been forced into a series of significant retreats in the face of Ukrainian counter-offensives, waged with increasing stocks of Western weaponry, in the east and [...]

December 8th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH must provide ‘enabling environment’ for digital economy — VP Duterte

Vice President Sara Duterte on Wednesday, Dec. 7, recognized the need for the government to provide an “enabling environment” where digital economy will thrive to open opportunities for Filipinos to participate in the digital economy. Vice President Sara Duterte (Photo from Chinese Embassy in Manila)   In a recorded speech for the National Cybersecurity Talent Framework Analysis Report by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Better Access and Connectivity (BEACON), the official thanked both agencies “for implementing various initiatives to improve the digital ecosystem of the Philippines.” “Our counterpart efforts shall be focused on providing for the enabling environment for digital infrastructure to become efficient, reliable, and facilitative of a thriving digital economy,” she said. “We shall look into policy reforms and consider risk-based cyber-protection planning [...]

December 8th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Ardern weighs spending priorities and Cabinet line-up ahead of election year

Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone   A newly prioritised spending plan and fresh ministerial line-up are part of Labour's plan to reset the political landscape for the start of 2023 - election year. The political headwinds are significant: a cost-of-living crisis only set to worsen; waning support for the governing party and its high profile leader; the murky dynamics of disinformation and social disunity swirling below. "You're right to characterise it as a challenging year," says Jacinda Ardern, settling into a chair looking out over the sunny backyard at Premier House in a suitably festive red Juliette Hogan trouser suit. It's a sharp contrast to the year the prime minister is here to reflect on, and the troubling times New Zealanders are warned to expect over the next few years. "I'm also reminded [...]

December 8th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos confident there won’t be recession in PH

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said Thursday that despite rising inflation, he is optimistic that the Philippines would not experience recession because of the continuous drop in the country’s unemployment rate.            Pres. Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.      Marcos acknowledged that inflation in the country hit a 14-year high of 8 percent in November but pointed out that the jobless rate in October eased to 4.5 percent, its lowest record since the same period in 2019. “Ang balita na tumaas ang inflation rate na hanggang 8 percent last November. Mayroon naman kasabay na mas magandang balita na bumaba ang unemployment rate sa four-and-a-half percent mula sa 5 percent (The news is that inflation rate increased to 8 percent last November. But it [...]

December 8th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos to attend APEC summit next year in US, envoy says

Metro Manila, Philippines— President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders’ meeting in the United States in November 2023, the Philippine ambassador to the US said on Thursday. "President Marcos will be coming in November for the APEC meeting in the West Coast. I am confirming that President Marcos will be attending together with all the leaders who have been invited to APEC," Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez told CNN Philippines. Romualdez said Marcos is expected to meet with American business groups to discuss possible investments in the country. By then, Romualdez said the government would be “ready to show the economic reforms and economic programs” to entice investors. The summit will be held on the week of Nov. 12 in San Francisco, California, US [...]

December 8th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Indonesia passes criminal code banning sex outside marriage

GETTY IMAGES/ There were protests against the new code on Monday Indonesia's parliament has approved a new criminal code that bans anyone in the country from having extramarital sex and restricts political freedoms. Sex outside marriage will carry a jail term of up to a year under the new laws, which take effect in three years. The raft of changes come after a rise in religious conservatism in the Muslim-majority country. Critics see the laws as a "disaster" for human rights, and a potential blow to tourism and investment. Several groups of mainly young people protested against the legislation outside parliament in Jakarta this week. It is expected the new laws will be challenged in court. They apply equally to locals and to foreigners living in Indonesia, or visiting holiday [...]

December 7th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

China’s Xi visiting Saudi Arabia amid bid to boost economy

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during a memorial for the late former Chinese President Jiang Zemin, who passed away on Nov 30 at the age of 96, held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Tuesday, Dec 6, 2022. (File Photo: Pang Xinglei/Xinhua via AP)   BEIJING: Chinese leader Xi Jinping is attending a pair of regional summits in Saudi Arabia this week amid efforts to kick-start economic growth weighed down by strict anti-COVID-19 measures. The Foreign Ministry said Wednesday (Dec 7) that Xi will attend the inaugural China-Arab States Summit and a meeting with leaders of the six nations that make up the Gulf Cooperation Council in the Saudi capital of Riyadh. His state visit to Saudi [...]

December 7th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

China announces nationwide loosening of COVID-19 restrictions

BEIJING: China announced Wednesday (Dec 7) a nationwide loosening of COVID-19 restrictions following protests against the hardline strategy that grew into calls for greater political freedoms. Under the new guidelines, some asymptomatic and mild cases of COVID-19 can now quarantine at home, ending a requirement that all positive cases be isolated in centralised government facilities. Most of the cases are asymptomatic infections and mild cases, with no special treatment required, the National Health Commission (NHC) said in a statement. "Asymptomatic persons and mild cases can be isolated at home while strengthening health monitoring, and they can transfer to designated hospitals for treatment in a timely manner if their condition worsens," the NHC added. The frequency and scope of PCR testing will also be reduced, the National Health Commission (NHC) said. Mandatory [...]

December 7th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

DOH denies hand, foot, and mouth disease outbreak

(FILE PHOTO) Metro Manila, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) said there was no declaration of an outbreak of the hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) in the National Capital Region after posts circulated online about a possible outbreak in certain areas in the region, particularly in Sta. Mesa, Manila. The DOH recorded 155 cases of HFMD in Metro Manila from October to December, mostly among children aged 11 years old and below. "Wala po tayong dinedeklarang outbreak para sa hand, foot, and mouth disease. Hindi po siya nangyari nang isahan lang, nangyari siya over a span of two to three months. Dito saNCR (National Capital Region) we are seeing an increase in cases pero wala pang trigger or wala pa tayong enough basis for our local governments to [...]

December 7th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Stats NZ confirms drop in household climate emissions during 2020 Covid lockdown

A car-free Auckland motorway on the first day of a Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020. Photo: RNZ / Dan Cook New data confirms the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions in 2020 caused a drop in household climate emissions. Stats NZ information shows the amount of greenhouse gas pollution from peoples' consumption and lifestyle choices was lower because people were forced to leave the car in the garage. The carbon footprint of households decreased by 6.3 percent in 2020 - with a full quarter of that (26 percent) from lower transport emissions. Of that, pollution caused by making and getting fuel to New Zealand, as well as from peoples' personal flights, public transport and taxis trips nearly halved dropping by 43 percent. The change saw transport, usually the largest share of household [...]

December 7th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

BuCor execs face plunder charges

BUREAU of Corrections Officer in Charge Gregorio Catapang Jr.. File Photo BUREAU of Corrections Officer in Charge Gregorio Catapang Jr. vowed to file plunder charges against BuCor officials involved in the release of funds for the upgrading of prison facilities. Catapang said he discovered that 95 percent of the budget for the modernization of three of BuCor's seven prisons and penal farms have been released, but only 60 percent of the projects have been completed. Aside from the Iwahig and Davao prisons, BuCor's other operating units include the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City, Abuyog Penal Colony in Leyte, Correctional Institute for Women in Mandaluyong City, Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm in Occidental Mindoro, and San Ramon Prison and Penal Farm in Zamboanga City. Each of the prison [...]

December 7th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Phivolcs: Taal Volcano registers small phreatomagmatic burst in last 24 hours

MANILA, Philippines — A small phreatomagmatic burst was recorded in Taal Volcano in the last 24 hours, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said Wednesday. In its monitoring from 5 a.m. Tuesday to 5 a.m. on Wednesday, Phivolcs said the phreatomagmatic burst recorded in Taal lasted for a minute. The volcano also exhibited a weak emission of plumes reaching up to 600 tall that drifted to the southwest. Phivolcs said 2,115 tonnes of sulfur dioxide were also released from the volcano on Tuesday, December 5. Slight inflation was also observed on the Taal Volcano Island and Western Taal Caldera, while deflation was seen on Eastern Taal Caldera. Alert Level 1 was placed over Taal Volcano, meaning there is “low-level unrest.” Under Alert Level 1, entry to Taal [...]

December 7th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH jobless tally eases to 2.24M in October; underemployment rate also down

Metro Manila, Philippines — The number of jobless Filipinos fell to 2.24 million in October, with the unemployment rate dipping to its lowest in two years, data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Wednesday showed. The PSA said the national unemployment rate that month was at 4.5%, down from 5% in September when the estimated unemployment tally was 2.5 million. This is the country’s lowest percentage of Filipinos out of work since October 2019, PSA chief Dennis Mapa said in a press briefing. “Last quarter kasi, medyo marami tayong mga economic activities because of the holiday season, so expected naman ito na bumaba ‘yung ating unemployment rate, nasa 4.5% na lang. And we hope that this will continue,” Mapa explained. [Translation: Last quarter, there were a lot of [...]

December 7th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

PBBM, VP Sara, Cabinet officials get ‘high’ approval, trust ratings in survey

Vice President Sara Duterte (left) and President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (right) (OVP)   President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Vice President Sara Duterte, and current Cabinet officials received “high” approval and trust ratings in a nationwide survey conducted by non-government organization RP-Mission and Development Foundation, Inc. (RPMD). The results of the “Boses ng Bayan” survey released on Monday, Dec. 5, showed that 83 percent of respondents were satisfied with President Marcos’ job performance, while 81 percent expressed approval of Vice President Duterte, who is also the Secretary of the Department of Education. Likewise, both President Marcos and Vice President Duterte received a high trust rating of 87 percent. The independent and non-commissioned survey was conducted from Nov. 27 to Dec. 2 with 5,000 adult respondents nationwide. RPMD noted that the performance [...]

December 6th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Violent protests in Greece after Romany boy shot by police

About 1,500 people take part in protest march in Thessaloniki with teenager in critical condition Fires burning on road outside hospital in Thessaloniki on Monday. Photograph: Dimitris Tosidis/AP Violent protests have broken out in Greece’s second-largest city over the police shooting of a Romany teenager after he allegedly filled his vehicle at a fuel station and drove off without paying. The 16-year-old boy was being treated at a Thessaloniki hospital where he was in critical condition. The officer who allegedly shot him in the head was arrested and suspended from duty, police in the northern city said. About 1,500 people took part in a protest march organised by leftwing and anarchist groups in central Thessaloniki on Monday night. Some smashed shops and threw molotov cocktails at police, who responded [...]

December 6th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

New Zealand opens inquiry into Covid response

DOING THEIR DUTY Technicians in protective gear take samples at a community coronavirus testing center in the city of Auckland, northern New Zealand on Dec. 28, 2021. NEW ZEALAND HERALD FILE PHOTO VIA AP WELLINGTON— New Zealand is launching a wide-ranging inquiry into whether it made the right decisions in battling the coronavirus, and how it can better prepare for future pandemics. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday that Covid-19 had posed the greatest threat to the nation's health and economy since World War 2. Now is an appropriate time to examine the government's response with the highest level of independent inquiry, she added. Among the questions will be whether New Zealand took the right approach initially by imposing strict lockdowns and border quarantine restrictions in order to try [...]

December 6th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Bong Go vows to help more Filipinos

Sen. Christopher Lawrence 'Bong' Go. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO SEN. Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go said his high trust rating will serve as his inspiration to further help Filipinos. Based on the Tugon ng Masa (TNM) 2022 fourth quarter survey by OCTA Research, Go posted a 74 percent overall trust rating in October 2022, which is 24 percent higher compared to his December 2021 rating of 50 percent. The senator, in a statement on Monday, said he welcomes his higher trust and satisfaction ratings. He thanked Filipinos for allowing him to serve them and reaffirmed his commitment to continue helping more vulnerable sectors nationwide. "Bisyo ko ang magserbisyo. At naniniwala ako na ang serbisyo sa tao ay serbisyo sa Diyos (My vice is to serve. I believe that the service to people [...]

December 5th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Auckland Airport travel warning due to job vacancies

More than 500 airport system roles have been filled after a job fair at Auckland Airport in July this year. In a statement, the airport said while it's pleased 17% of the roles have been filled, 1600 remain vacant. As a result travellers may experience longer wait times when flying this summer, the airport said. The fair involved around 4000 job seekers connecting with 30 major airport employers who had around 3000 jobs on offer at the time. The vacant roles are across several departments including cabin crew, security, warranted government officers, retail assistants, chefs, baristas, and cleaners, Auckland Airport chief executive Carrie Hurihanganui said. “These are all crucial roles that help keep the airport ecosystem running smoothly. Travel has rebounded strongly after the borders re-opened and these businesses [...]

December 5th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Congress ratifies ₱5.268-T nat’l budget for 2023

Metro Manila, Philippines— Both houses of Congress on Monday gave the green light to the bicameral conference committee report on the ₱5.268-trillion national budget for 2023. The budget measure is now up for signing into law by the President. The final version, ratified separately by the Senate and the lower chamber, restored several controversial provisions, including the Department of Education’s (DepEd) ₱150-million confidential fund (CIF) and the ₱10-billion funding for the government’s anti-communist task force. The amended appropriations also included the ₱12-billion increase for the budget of the House of Representatives, giving it a total allocation of ₱28.8 billion for next year. According to Senate finance panel chairperson Sonny Angara, the increased House budget included funding for the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) program, fuel subsidies for public transportation vehicle [...]

December 5th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

At least 27 killed in Colombia landslide: President

Aerial view of a landslide that engulfed a bus and other vehicles, killing 27 people in northwest Colombia. (Photo: AFP/Stringer)   BOGOTA: At least 27 people were killed when a landslide engulfed a road in northwest Colombia, trapping people in a bus and other vehicles, said President Gustavo Petro on Monday (Dec 5). "It is with sadness that I must announce that, so far, 27 people, including three minors, have lost their lives in the tragedy" that struck on Sunday in a remote area of the Pueblo Rico municipality, Petro wrote on Twitter. On Sunday evening, the president reported three dead, as dozens of rescue workers searched for survivors. One survivor said the driver of the bus managed to dodge the worst of the landslide. "Part of it was [...]

December 5th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

DBM chief to private sector: Help us advance public service

           Amenah Pangandaman (PNA file photo)   MANILA – Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman on Thursday called on the private sector to help the government in improving public services to fast-track the country's economic recovery. Pangandaman made the call in a video message delivered to the Public Sector Quality and Productivity Improvement Forum (PSQPIF) organized by the Development Academy of the Philippines. "Today’s event is anchored on the Government Quality Management Program which aims to ensure citizen satisfaction through government-wide quality improvement and building capacities across public sector organizations. In other words, it is designed to steer the bureaucracy towards a more ‘citizen-centered service delivery’," she said in her keynote speech. "I want my message to revolve around the main stakeholders that will help us advance [...]

December 5th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Russia rejects $60 oil price cap, warns of response

Ukraine’s Western allies approve oil price cap to starve Russia of revenues as Kyiv pushes for a lower cap as the war continues. Under Friday's agreements, insurance companies and other firms needed to ship oil would only be able to deal with Russian crude if the oil is priced at or below the cap [File: Gaetano Adriano Pulvirenti/AP Photo] Russia has rejected a $60 price cap on its oil set by Ukraine’s Western allies and warned of a response as President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said it was “quite comfortable” for Moscow amid a push from Kyiv for a lower cap. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Saturday that Russia would not accept the price ceiling, adding that it needed to analyse the situation before deciding on a specific response. The [...]

December 4th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

New Malaysian Cabinet led by Anwar Ibrahim sworn in at the national palace

Malaysia's Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim (right) poses with Deputy Prime Ministers Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (centre) and Fadillah Yusof (left) after the swearing-in ceremony of the newly appointed cabinet ministers at the National Palace in Kuala Lumpur, on Dec 3, 2022. (Photo: AFP/Pool/HASNOOR HUSSAIN) KUALA LUMPUR: The new Malaysian Cabinet led by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim was sworn in on Saturday afternoon (Dec 3). The Cabinet line-up includes two deputy prime ministers - Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Gabungan Parti Sarawak’s (GPS) Fadillah Yusof. Mr Anwar also holds the finance portfolio, while Mr Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz of BN is the new trade minister. Speaking to reporters after taking his oath of office, Mr Ahmad Zahid called on all sides to set aside their political differences so that the new unity government [...]

December 4th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Renewables best option for cheap energy in Mindanao

POWER SOURCES | The placid Lake Lanao before the Marawi siege in 2017, has been a cheap source of energy in Mindanao through the Agus hydropower plants. (Photo by ERWIN MASCARIÑAS) (Last of two parts) DAVAO CITY, Davao del Sur, Philippines — Assistant Secretary Romeo Montenegro, deputy executive director of the Mindanao Development Authority (Minda), loves to remember the time, not so long ago, when electricity rates in Mindanao hovered at P6 per kilowatt-hour, the lowest in the country. This was when hydroelectricity generated from the waters of Agus and Pulangi rivers made up the bulk of the region’s energy supply. The Agus and Pulangi plants had a combined installed capacity of 1,001.1 megawatts. Pulangi IV in Maramag town, Bukidnon, has three generating units at 85 MW each, while [...]

December 4th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos eyes skills upgrade for OFWs

‘ONE’ WORKSHOP Migrant Workers Secretary Susan ‘Toots’ Ople announces on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, that the department for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) will convene its first strategic planning workshop, titled ‘We A.C.T. As One,’ with all labor attaches in Tagaytay City from December 12 to December 15. PHOTO BY BENEDICT ABAYGAR JR. PRESIDENT Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Saturday pushed for better welfare of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) as he expressed hope that working abroad would eventually become "a choice rather than a necessity." In his message during Go Negosyo's Kabayan Awards 2022 in Pasay City, Marcos promised better support and training for OFWs to ensure their skills are at par with global standards. "As President, I assure you that the national government will continuously work to ensure the [...]

December 4th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

DepEd to include ‘peace building’ in curriculum, hold ‘mandatory toothbrush drill’

Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte speaks to reporters in San Pedro City, Laguna on Dec. 1, 2022. Arra Perez, ABS-CBN News   LAGUNA - The Department of Education (DepEd) is working to include "peace building" in the K to 12 curriculum, according to Vice President and Education Sec. Sara Duterte on Thursday. Duterte said this will be dubbed as the "National Culture of Peace". "Ginagawa pa namin siya ngayon. And once we are ready, iko-consult muna namin sa aming mga partners and stakeholders. And then once it's ready, ipresenta namin sa lahat," she said in a chance interview during the Christmas tree lighting ceremony in San Pedro City. The official previously mentioned in a TV interview that the move will help solve insurgency problems and the alleged [...]

December 4th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Turkish president says will ‘definitely’ complete 30-km-deep security corridor

ANKARA—President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday said Türkiye will complete the 30-kilometer-deep (18.6-mile) security strip along its southern border. Speaking at a meeting in southern Sanliurfa province, Erdogan said that attacks will not deter the country from its determined stance on securing its southern border. "We will definitely complete the 30-kilometer-deep security corridor that we are establishing along our southern borders, attacks will not dampen our resolve," he said. Since 2016, Türkiye has launched a trio of successful anti-terror operations across its border in northern Syria to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and enable the peaceful settlement of residents: Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018), and Peace Spring (2019). The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the European Union, and the US, and is [...]

December 4th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

China says ‘Europe bleeding’ but US ‘made fortune’ out of Ukraine crisis

Foreign Ministry spokesman says Washington introduced Inflation Reduction Act 'for own interests, ignoring impact on other countries'   ISTANBUL China on Friday accused Washington of benefitting from the crisis in Ukraine as Europe suffers from sky rocketing inflation and energy crisis in winter. “The US has made a fortune in the Ukraine crisis, while Europe is bleeding and paying for higher energy prices due to inflation,” said Zhao Lijian, spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry. He was commenting on the US Inflation Reduction Act, legislation signed in August for urgent investments to lower prescription drug costs, health care costs, and energy costs. Zhao said the US introduced the law “for its own interests while ignoring the impact on other countries, including its so-called allies and partners.” “This is another example [...]

December 4th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Govt hospital to rise in Limay, Bataan

LIMAY, Bataan: A groundbreaking ceremony was held here on Friday, December 2, for the building of a P400-million government hospital. Hausland Group President Willy Tan donated 2,000 square meters of lot at Seabreeze in Barangay St. Francis 2 for the hospital. His son, lawyer Ryan Tan, attended the groundbreaking on his behalf. Gov. Jose Enrique "Joet" Garcia 3rd said the hospital is a realization of a project he started when he was still a congressman of the second district of Bataan. He authored House Bill 8759, or an "Act establishing in the municipality of Limay in Bataan, a general hospital to be known as the Limay General Hospital." Second District Rep. Albert Garcia, the former Bataan governor, said that in about a year, the Limay hospital will be serving [...]

December 3rd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Elon Musk releases Twitter files on Hunter Biden ‘scandal’

           Twitter file photo     HOUSTON, United States – Twitter CEO Elon Musk promoted a series of tweets Friday that revealed old files that old management buried or blocked involving Hunter Biden’s laptop scandal story during the 2020 US presidential election. In a lengthy thread, independent journalist Matt Taibbi said he received "thousands of internal documents" from Twitter sources pointing to the suppression of the Biden laptop story on Twitter in which the company controversially blocked people from tweeting and direct-messaging about the story. "Twitter took extraordinary steps to suppress the story, removing links and posting warnings that it may be ‘unsafe.’ They even blocked its transmission via direct message, a tool hitherto reserved for extreme cases, e.g. child pornography," Taibbi tweeted. A 2020 [...]

December 3rd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

₱30M worth of ‘smuggled’ onions seized – DA

Metro Manila, Philippines— Authorities have intercepted some ₱30 million worth of yellow onions "smuggled" into the country, the Department of Agriculture (DA) disclosed on Saturday. The sacks of the produce — pegged at 100,000 kilograms — were discovered in four large container vans earlier this week, the DA said in a statement. The items were declared as packages of bread and pastries. “The discrepancy in the import documents of said shipments presupposes that it did not undergo any food safety regulations,” the department said. “This poses a great risk to our consumers.” The DA did not mention where the operation took place, but noted it was carried out with other agencies including the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG). It said it will submit a recommendation to [...]

December 3rd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Pentagon unveils first strategic bomber in over 30 years to counter China

The nuclear-capable B-21 Raider is set to become a key component in US’s effort to match the Asian country’s military build-up The B-21 Raider is a new high-tech strategic bomber developed for the US air force.Photograph: Us Air Force/Reuters The Pentagon unveiled its first new strategic bomber in more than 30 years on Friday, a nuclear-capable bat-wing plane that will become a central component of the US effort to counter China’s military build-up when it enters service around 2027. Almost every aspect of the B-21 Raider is classified, but in a tightly-controlled unveiling at the Air Force’s Plant 42 in Palmdale, California, currently home of Lockheed-Martin’s legendary Skunk Works, the new strategic plane was briefly shown to the public. “This isn’t just another airplane,” Lloyd Austin, the defence secretary, [...]

December 3rd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

PBBM leads Christmas tree lighting, parol-making awarding rites

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Saturday led the traditional Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the Kalayaan Grounds of Malacañan Palace, kicking off the Yuletide season. CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Saturday (Dec. 3, 2022) leads the traditional Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the Kalayaan Grounds in Malacañan Palace. (Screenshot from Radio Television Malacañang)      "I’m very happy to have been able to do this [Christmas] Tree Lighting and it really is a different feeling," Marcos said in his speech. "And so with the lighting of the tree, it is official. The official Christmas season has begun," he added. This is the first time Marcos led the annual lighting of Christmas tree at the Palace. Ecstatic over the switch-on ceremony, Marcos said the occasion gives Filipinos [...]

December 3rd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

US signals shift to slower interest rate increases

REUTERS The head of the US central bank has said authorities may start to ease up on interest rate hikes as soon as this month, after racing to raise borrowing costs earlier this year. The Federal Reserve has made four hefty 0.75 percentage point rises since June in a bid to curb inflation, which is the rate at which consumer prices rise. Fed chairman Jerome Powell said "it makes sense" to slow down to assess the impact of the moves. Markets soared following the comments. In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped more than 2%, while the S&P 500 surged 3% and the Nasdaq jumped 4.41%. The dollar fell, while other global exchanges also jumped. The US has been driving a global shift, as central banks raise [...]

December 1st, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Japan court upholds ban on same-sex marriage but raises rights issue

GETTY IMAGES/Same-sex marriage campaigners welcomed the ruling despite the ban being upheld A Tokyo court has upheld a ban on same-sex marriage in Japan, but also said that the ban was a violation of human rights. The compensation case was brought by four couples who claimed the law was discriminatory. Japan is currently the only G7 nation that does not recognise same-sex marriage. Campaigners have welcomed the ruling as an indication to the government that it needs to change the law. "This is actually a fairly positive ruling," said Nobuhito Sawasaki, one of the lawyers involved in the case. "While marriage remains between a man and a woman..., (the court) also said that the current situation with no legal protections for same-sex families is not good, suggesting something must [...]

December 1st, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

US Senate staff members visit De Lima at PNP Custodial Center

VISIT TO DE LIMA. Staff members of US Senator Dick Durbin and the US Embassy visit undergo security procedures during their visit to detained former senator Leila de Lima at the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame on Thursday (Dec. 1, 2022). The visit began at 9:40 a.m. and ended at 10:20 a.m. (Photo courtesy of PNP)   MANILA, PHILIPPINES  – Staff members of an American senator on Thursday visited former Senator Leila de Lima in her quarters at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center. In a press statement, the PNP Public Information Office said de Lima, a person under PNP custody, was visited by Chris Homan, senior adviser on national security and foreign policy of US Democrat Senator Dick Durbin, and three others assisted by US Embassy [...]

December 1st, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Hontiveros: Nuclear energy a magnet for terrorist groups

FILE PHOTO Metro Manila, Philippines— The use of nuclear energy in the Philippines may put the country in danger of terrorist groups, Senator Risa Hontiveros said on Wednesday. “Radioactive waste will be a target, a magnet for the so-called nuclear terroristic groups that are scouting around the world for these wastes, or even just the raw nuclear energy to use in the production of nuclear weapons,” Hontiveros told CNN Philippines’ The Source. She also said that nuclear energy in the country “would be taking steps backward into the past, not forward into a sustainable and peaceful future for the world.” In an earlier statement, Hontiveros maintained that safety issues surrounding nuclear energy, including the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) remain unanswered. "Radioactive waste will outlive not just all of [...]

December 1st, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos backs creation of Maharlika Wealth Fund — Diokno

Metro Manila, Philippines— The creation of the sovereign wealth fund has secured the green light from President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., according to the country's finance chief. During the Kapihan sa Manila Bay Forum on Wednesday, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the proposed Maharlika Wealth Fund (MWF), with seed money of over ₱200 billion to jumpstart the incorporation, has been "an imprimatur of the president." The official also said the MWF is being prepared by an inter-agency working group composed of the Department of Finance, the Department of Budget and Management, the National Economic and Development Authority, and government financial institutions. Earlier this week, House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and senior deputy majority leader and Ilocos Norte Rep. Sandro Marcos filed a bill seeking the establishment of a sovereign [...]

December 1st, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

China softens tone on COVID-19 severity after protests

Barriers form a security checkpoint in the Haizhu district in Guangzhou in southern China's Guangdong province on Nov 11, 2022. (AP Photo)   BEIJING: China is softening its tone on the severity of COVID-19 and easing some coronavirus restrictions even as its daily case toll hovers near records, after anger over the world's toughest curbs morphed into protests across the country. Several cities in the world's second-largest economy, while still reporting infections, are breaking with past practice by lifting district lockdowns and allowing businesses to reopen. In making those announcements, health authorities did not mention the protests, which ranged from candle-lit vigils in Beijing to clashes with the police on the streets of Guangzhou on Tuesday (Nov 29) and at an iPhone factory in Zhengzhou last week. The demonstrations [...]

December 1st, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos wants PH-China joint exploration to proceed

President Ferdinand "Bongbong"Marcos Jr. on Thursday said the Philippine government will find "other ways" for the joint exploration with China in the area of the West Philippine Sea to proceed if the government-to-government (G2G) talks would not work.Speaking to reporters in Quezon City, Marcos said that the oil exploration is just a "small thing" for China but something important for the Philippines. The West Philippine Sea, which is a part of the South China Sea, is also being claimed by Beijing. The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in 2016 upheld the Philippines' claim and dismissed China's argument that the territory belonged to them by virtue of the historical "nine-dash line"."I think there might be other ways para hindi gawing (so that it doesn't become) G2G or I don't know. [...]

December 1st, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Former Chinese president Jiang Zemin passes away

In this file photo taken on April 6, 1992 shows General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party Jiang Zemin in Beijing. AFP PHOTO (UPDATE) BEIJING: Former president Jiang Zemin, who led China out of isolation after the army crushed the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests in 1989 and supported economic reforms that led to a decade of explosive growth, died Wednesday. He was 96. Jiang died of leukemia and multiple organ failure in Shanghai, where he was a former mayor and Communist Party secretary, state TV and the official Xinhua News Agency reported. A surprise choice to lead a divided Communist Party after the 1989 turmoil, Jiang saw China through history-making changes including a revival of market-oriented reforms, the return of Hong Kong from British rule in 1997 and Beijing's [...]

December 1st, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Davao City celebrates November Organic Month Fest

          Davao City Mayor Sebastian Z. Duterte Davao City Mayor Sebastian Z. Duterte graced the celebration of Organic Month which was held recently at the Rizal Park and recognized the efforts done by the Davao City Agriculture's Office in the preparations that made the event a success . Mayor Duterte in his message expressed his Office strong support in promoting Organic farming to the farmers in the 182 Barangays in Davao City as it is health-friendly and safe alternative to genetically modified organisms. It is also much more ethical choice than industry farm products. Councilor Marissa Abella, Davao City Council Committee on Food and Agriculture chair, urged small organic farmers to form cooperatives. This way, they can be certified under the Participatory Guarantee System (PGS). [...]

November 28th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos backs assistance project for 350,000 fisherfolk — Palace

Metro Manila, CNN Philippines— The Philippine Fisheries and Coastal Resiliency (FishCoRe) Project has received support from President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., according to the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS). In a statement over the weekend, the OPS said that FishCoRe, which was created to address the issues in the fisheries sector, ensure food security, and reduce poverty incidence, is expected to benefit 354,905 registered fisherfolk in 24 provinces. “President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., who also heads the Department of Agriculture (DA), is fully supportive of the project as this will ‘benefit the poorest of the poor’ among the fisherfolk in 24 provinces,” the OPS said. The OPS added that Marcos on Thursday gave his support to the project during his meeting with officials from the National Economic and [...]

November 28th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

LPG prices may go up in December, fuel price rollbacks may continue – DOE

Metro Manila, Philippines— The prices of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) products may increase by December, but the price cuts in other fuel products could continue, the Department of Energy (DOE) said. DOE Oil Industry Management Bureau director Rino Abad said the possible price hike in LPG products is due to the expected global demand. “Itong November, December, ito po yung pressure months dahil dito po ang buildup ng inventory dahil gumagamit ang northern hemisphere countries ng LPG for heating requirements sa winter period,” Abad told CNN Philippines in an interview. “Ito ay gagamitin dire-diretso, January, February, March ng next year, so inaasahan natin na tataas.” [Translation: The months of November and December are considered as the pressure months because inventories pile up as northern hemisphere countries use LPG for heating [...]

November 28th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen quits as party chair after local elections

REUTERS/ President Tsai Ing-wen said she took responsibility for her party's poor showing in Saturday's local elections Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen has resigned as head of the governing Democratic Progressive Party after its poor showing in local elections. The opposition Kuomintang (KMT) won several major races on Saturday, including in the capital Taipei. The vote has drawn global attention as Taiwan becomes a bigger geopolitical flashpoint between China and the US. President Tsai had framed the election as a vote for democracy amid rising tensions with China. "The election results were not as expected... I should shoulder all the responsibility and I resign as DPP chairwoman immediately," Ms Tsai, who will continue as president of the self-ruled island, told reporters. The elections for local councils and city mayors theoretically have [...]

November 28th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Coffee farming to be barred at Mt. Apo

MAJESTIC | Mt. Apo seen from Sitio Bagong Silang, Barangay Managa, Bansalan, Davao del Sur on Jan. 28, 2020. (Photo by ORLANDO DINOY)   DAVAO CITY, Davao del Sur, Philippines — The government plans to strictly implement the law that will put a stop to farming and other disruptive human activities within the protected area of Mt. Apo, the country’s highest peak. Shirley Uy, protected area supervisor of the Mount Apo Natural Park in Cotabato province, admitted that farming activities, particularly coffee growing, had already encroached into the protected mountain range for years, although some of the farmers were already in the area even before the passing in 2003 of Republic Act No. 9237, the law that declared it as protected, defining its boundaries. Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Secretary [...]

November 28th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

PNP warns public vs crypto scam

(UPDATED) THE Philippine National Police-Anti Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) warned the public not to fall prey to scammers who offer fake crypto investments. PNP-ACG director BGen. Joel Doria said online scammers are working double time to "rob people of their money with only a few days before Christmas and employees starting to receive their Christmas bonuses." Doria said the police received reports that fraudsters have been enticing potential victims by offering "fake" crypto investments. Potential investors are asked to download an app which when installed will require them to cash in their investments in digital wallets listed in the application. In the dashboard, account holders will be able to see the amount of money they have invested and the high interest their money has earned over time. As investors begin [...]

November 28th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Shanghai protesters, police jostle as anger over China’s COVID curbs mounts

Students take part in a protest against COVID-19 curbs at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China seen in this still image taken from a video released Nov. 27, 2022, and obtained by REUTERS.   SHANGHAI/BEIJING — Hundreds of demonstrators in Shanghai shouted and jostled with police on Sunday evening as protests over China’s stringent COVID restrictions flared for a third day following a deadly factory fire in the country’s far west. The wave of civil disobedience, which has spread to other cities including Beijing, is unprecedented in mainland China since President Xi Jinping assumed power a decade ago and comes amid mounting frustration over his signature zero-COVID policy. China has spent nearly three years living with some of the strictest COVID curbs in the world. The fire in the city [...]

November 28th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Create natl maritime agenda, BBM urged

MARITIME TALK The Manila Times Chairman and CEO Dante ‘Klink’ Ang 2nd interviews maritime expert Brenda Pimentel on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022. PHOTO BY J. GERARD SEGUIA THE Philippines is an archipelagic country with a good seafaring status, but it lacks a national maritime agenda, Brenda Pimentel, former regional coordinator of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in East Asia, said. She urged President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. to create a maritime agenda that will align industry objectives and support his administration's plan to develop infrastructure. "If we have a national maritime agenda, all the agencies will have to align with these objectives. They will not just develop their own policy independent of others. Everything will then fall into place," Pimentel said in an interview on Saturday with SMNI News [...]

November 28th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

DBM releases P69M to fund commercialization of copra meal

MANILA – The Department of Budget and Management has approved the release of around PHP69 million to fund the commercialization of protein-enriched copra meal (PECM) in order to cushion the impact of soaring feed raw materials which, in turn, would help consumers. According to a statement on Friday, Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman said the agency approved the release of PHP69.699 million to support the Protein-Enriched Copra Meal (PECM) Commercialization Project under the National Livestock Program of the Department of Agriculture (DA) on Nov. 17. The project aims to commercialize the use of PECM as a locally available feed ingredient that can substitute imported soybean for the benefit of Filipino swine and poultry raisers. “In line with President R. Marcos Jr.’s instruction to put prime importance to agriculture, we [...]

November 26th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Gov’t launches new drug war campaign

        Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos   Law enforcement agencies will have to take a step back under the Marcos administration’s new anti-illegal drugs campaign that focuses on demand reduction and drug user rehabilitation, instead of the killing of drug users, Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos said on Friday. President Marcos is expected to lead on Saturday the Metro Manila launch of the “Buhay Ingatan, Droga’y Ayawan” (Bida, or Take Care of Life, Reject Drugs) program at Quezon City Memorial Circle in Quezon City, while regional launches will be held in Cebu City, Cagayan de Oro City and Davao City. According to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Bida is a nationwide anti-illegal drugs advocacy program involving local governments, national government agencies and other key [...]

November 26th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Manila’s public transit fifth worst globally — study

Metro Manila, Philippines— Public transportation in the country's capital is among the worst in the world, according to an international study. The 2022 public transit sub-index is part of the Urban Mobility Readiness Index (UMRI) 2022 created by US-based think tank Oliver Wyman Forum and the University of California, Berkeley. Manila ranked 56th out of 60 selected global cities, or fifth worst globally, ahead of Johannesburg (South Africa), Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), Nairobi (Kenya), and Jeddah (Saudi Arabia). The study measured cities on "public transit density, efficiency, and utilization rate and the extent to which they can adapt to address competition from emerging mobility services." Manila only scored 31.9% while the global average was at 51.7%. "Several modes of transportation are available in Manila, including jeepneys and some metro lines. Linkages [...]

November 26th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

China bares new lunar missions

NEW EXPLORATION GOALS Photo taken by the rover Yutu-2 (Jade Rabbit-2) on Jan. 11, 2019, shows the lander of the Chang’e-4 probe. The China National Space Administration (CNSA) on Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022, revealed the international payloads that will piggyback on the Chang’e-6 lunar exploration mission, and announced another call for international payload proposals for the Chang’e-7 mission. XINHUA/CNSA HAIKOU, China— The China National Space Administration (CNSA) on Thursday revealed the international payloads that will piggyback on the Chang'e-6 lunar exploration mission, and announced another call for international payload proposals for the Chang'e-7 mission. The CNSA has announced that it will carry scientific instruments from France, Italy and the European Space Agency/Sweden on the Chang'e-6 mission's lander, and a Pakistani payload on the orbiter. At present, these four international payloads [...]

November 26th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Cacao National Congress held in Davao City

DAVAO— The Cacao National Congress was held on November 24-25, 2022 at the SMX Convention Center in SM Lanang Premier, Davao City . This year’s Congress bannered the theme "Cacao is Gold," which united the registered 70 exhibitors and 1,800 participants from all over the Philippines to work out and strategize creative suggestion and expectation in the country's growing cacao industry. The exhibitors, both from the government and private sectors showcased their products. Moreover, the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) under the Department of Agriculture showcased the latest technologies for cacao growing, post-harvest, and making cacao products. At the same time, the National Cacao Congress had the culmination of the Philippine Cacao Quality Awards 2022 wherein the Davao Region submitted entries with the top 10 best cacao [...]

November 26th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Senate approves P5.268-trillion budget for 2023 on final reading

The Senate on Wednesday approved on third and final reading the General Appropriations Bill containing the P5.268-trillion national budget for 2023. With 21 affirmative votes, no negative votes and no abstention, the budget measure was approved barely a week after the chamber ended debates and interpellation on the proposed appropriations for government agencies. The Senate version adopted the realignment of at least P152 million worth of confidential funds of various government agencies to their maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE). The confidential funds that were realigned to MOOE are: P100 million from the Department of Education P5 million in the Department of Foreign Affairs P19.2 million in the Department of Justice P2 million in the Department of Social Welfare and Development. P6 million in other executive offices P20 million [...]

November 23rd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Suspect held after Chinese nationals killed at US cannabis farm

CBS A suspect has been held in the killings of four Chinese nationals on Sunday at a rural marijuana farm in the US state of Oklahoma, investigators say. Wu Chen, 45, was arrested on Tuesday 1,500 miles (2,400km) away in Florida, said law enforcement officials. The bodies were found after police received a call of a hostage situation near the town of Hennessey, 55 miles north of Oklahoma City. Oklahoma allows medical cannabis. The farm has an active legal license. Police say the suspect entered a building on the marijuana operation's property at 17:45 local time (23:45 GMT) on Sunday, when there were "several employees" inside. He remained "inside that building for a significant amount of time before the executions began", the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said. The [...]

November 23rd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Ukraine war: Blackouts across Ukraine amid wave of Russian strikes

GETTY IMAGES Fire and rescue workers attend a building hit by a missile in central Kyiv President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russia of "crimes against humanity" after a bombardment caused blackouts across Ukraine. At least six civilians were killed in the barrage, and officials were forced to shut down three nuclear reactors due to power outages. Neighbouring Moldova also experienced blackouts, but it was not directly hit. With winter setting in, Moscow has stepped up strikes on Ukraine's energy infrastructure. Officials say Russia's missile strikes on energy stations has caused "colossal" damage and left more than half of the country's power grid in need of repair. Addressing an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council in New York, Mr Zelensky said the latest strikes had forced "millions of people [...]

November 23rd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Sara underscores vital role of libraries, librarians

MANILA– Vice President Sara Duterte emphasized Wednesday the crucial role of librarians and access to public libraries in the country to address learning loss and insurgency. CRUCIAL ROLE Vice President Sara Duterte delivers her speech before the Philippine Librarians Association, Inc. (PLAI), the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and the National Library of the Philippines as they celebrate the Annual National Congress 2022 on Wednesday (November 23, 2022) in Iloilo. Duterte discussed the crucial role of librarians and access to public libraries in addressing post-pandemic learning loss and several societal challenges. (Photo courtesy: Office of the Vice President)     “Our librarians in the Philippines will always have a friend in the Office of the Vice President because I believe in your contribution to our education. Not just to [...]

November 23rd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Diabetes top cause of peripheral neuropathy: health experts

MANILA – Diabetes mellitus is the leading cause of peripheral neuropathy, a condition characterized by damage of nerves outside the brain and spinal cord, worldwide. NEUROPATHY. Central Manchester University Teaching Hospital consultant physician and professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine Dr. Rayaz Malik (center) during the “Winning the Fight Against Neuropathy in Diabetic Patients” forum on Nov. 10, 2022. Malik said peripheral neuropathy, a condition characterized by damage of nerves outside the brain and spinal cord, is highly underdiagnosed in South-East Asia and the Middle East due to a lack of consensus guidance on routine screening and diagnostic pathways. (Photo courtesy of P&G Health)     During the “Winning the Fight Against Neuropathy in Diabetic Patients” forum on Nov. 10, Central Manchester University Teaching Hospital consultant physician Dr. [...]

November 23rd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Cost of living: New Zealand steps up fight against soaring prices

REUTERS New Zealand's central bank has stepped up its fight against soaring prices, raising its key interest rate to the highest level in over 13 years. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) increased its key rate of interest by 0.75 percentage points to 4.25%. That was the biggest rise since the rate, known as the official cash rate, was introduced in 1999. It comes after the country's annual inflation rate stood at 7.2% in the three months to the end of September. Like much of the rest of the world, New Zealand has seen the cost of living rise sharply as the global economy emerges from the pandemic and the war in Ukraine has pushed up the cost of fuel and food. The RBNZ's updated forecasts also pointed [...]

November 23rd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Workers protest at China iPhone plant

TAKE THE TEST Workers line up to get tested for the coronavirus at the Foxconn factory in the city of Wuhan, in China’s central Hubei province — where the first Covid-19 infection was reported in late 2019 — on Aug. 5, 2021. AP FILE PHOTO BEIJING: Employees at the world's biggest Apple iPhone factory have been beaten and detained in protests over contract disputes amid anti-coronavirus controls, according to employees and videos posted on social media on Wednesday. Videos on Chinese social media that said they were filmed at the facility in the central city of Zhengzhou showed thousands of people in masks facing rows of police in white protective suits with plastic riot shields. One person was hit in the head with a club and another was taken [...]

November 23rd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Harris in PH to negotiate more EDCA sites – Tatad

FAREWELL: US Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Douglas Emhoff wave as they depart Puerto Princesa on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. The couple left for Yokota Air Base in Japan. AFP PHOTO FORMER senator Francisco "Kit" Tatad said negotiation for five more Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) sites in the Philippines was the "highlight" of the visit of United States Vice President Kamala Harris to the country. Tatad, in a forum organized by the Integrated Development Studies Institute (IDSI), shared the view of fellow speakers professors Butch Valdez and Harry Roque that EDCA "is unconstitutional." "We now have Vice President Harris with us. I don't believe we should overstate the importance of this visit," said Tatad, who writes a column for The Manila Times. He said Harris "perhaps [...]

November 23rd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

DAR fine-tunes policies to benefit farmers, land beneficiaries

MANILA – The Marcos administration's directive to immediately respond to the needs and uplift the lives of agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) will be more achievable once the Department of Agrarian Reform fine-tunes its policy guidelines.             (PNA file photo)     In a message sent to the Philippine News Agency on Tuesday, Secretary Conrado Estrella III said DAR is scheduled to finalize the new policy issuances in order to “improve the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), meet its performance targets and be responsive to the needs of the ARBs, landowners and the indigenous peoples (IPs).” Estrella said the DAR Policy Review and Formation Committee (PRFC) makes a yearly revisit and revision of existing policies and guidelines. “Ito ay ginagawa upang linawin ang [...]

November 23rd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Study group formed to review 1951 MDT with US —NSA Carlos

National Security Adviser Secretary Clarita Carlos on Tuesday said a study group has been formed to review the country's 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) with the United States. Interviewed on Dobol B TV, Carlos said the study group is composed of the National Security Council (NSC), the Department of National Defense (DND), and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), “Binigyan na kami ng directive ng Presidente. Ako ang magle-lead noon.The NSC, the DND, and the DFA nag-form na kami ng study group para talagang malinaw ito at ma-review,” she said. (The President already gave us a directive. I will lead this. The NSC, the DND, and the DFA, we already formed a study group that will clarify and review the MDT.) According to Carlos, there is no automaticity under [...]

November 23rd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Former executive secretary expelled from party

Former executive secretary Victor Rodriguez. TMT FILE PHOTO FORMER Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez has been expelled from the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) for "party disloyalty" and "acts inimical to the party." The party's decision stemmed from a complaint filed before the PFP leadership by Jammal "Bong" Amin, PFP regional chairman for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), Al-Rasheed Sakkalahul (PFP BARMM regional president), and Edifar "Papay" Ladjhali (PFP BARMM regional executive vice president) alleging that Rodriguez has violated the party's platform of the government of fixing the government and making the country "crime-free, drug-free, corruption-free, insurgency-free and poverty-free." Rodriguez was the chief of staff and spokesman for Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. during his presidential campaign. The complaint enumerated several instances when he purportedly used his influence [...]

November 22nd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH govt rejects UN proposal to allow divorce, abortion

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla during a press briefing at the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday, October 18, 2022. PHOTO BY: RENE H. DILAN (UPDATE) THE Philippines has rejected outright the recommendation of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to legalize same-sex marriage, as well as to allow abortion and divorce. Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said such recommendations of other UN member-states during last week's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva are "not acceptable." "It's a matter of policy whether we accept it or not and I think we know as a country, we are not ready for that," Remulla said in a press briefing on Monday. "Culturally, our values may conflict with many of the values that they (Western countries) want to impose upon us. [...]

November 22nd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

China: US interaction with ‘regional countries’ shouldn’t damage others’ interests

US Vice President Kamala Harris speaks aboard the BRP Teresa Magbanua in Puerto Princesa, Palawan on Nov. 22, 2022. PTV video   Amid US Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to the Philippines, China on Tuesday said that the United States' interactions with countries in the region should not be “damaging” to the interests of other countries. “We are not against the US’ interaction with regional countries. But it should be good for regional peace and stability and not damaging to other countries’ interests,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said, according to a tweet by the Chinese Embassy. Harris, the first woman to become US vice president, arrived in the Philippines over the weekend—marking her first visit to Washington’s oldest ally in Asia. She paid separate courtesy calls on [...]

November 22nd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Harris: PH-US relationship based on commitment to economic prosperity, security

Metro Manila, Philippines— President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. met with US Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday, with both leaders praising the long-standing relationship between the two countries. "The basis of our relationship is multifaceted. Our relationship is based on mutual commitment to the economic prosperity of the region and our respective nations," Harris said at their meeting in Malacañang. Harris said the relationship of both countries is "long and enduring" and remains strong for many reasons, among them the people-to-people ties. In her meeting with Marcos, Harris said there would be more conversations concerning the economy during her visit. "We will talk more on what that means in terms of the opportunities that are presented through our mutual concern about the climate crisis and what we might do [...]

November 22nd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

NSA Carlos recommends filing of note verbale vs. China

MANILA – National Security Adviser (NSA) Clarita Carlos said Tuesday she has recommended to President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. the filing of a note verbale against China following reports that the Chinese Coast Guard interfered with the efforts of a Philippine naval station team to recover an unidentified floating object spotted near Pag-asa Island.                   National Security Adviser Clarita Carlos (File photo)     "Siguro 'yung pwedeng i-disclose sapublic 'yung dati nating ginagawa, mag-note verbale tayo sa China (Perhaps what I can disclose to the public is what we have always done before and that is to file a note verbale against China),” Carlos, who also serves as the chair of the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS), said [...]

November 22nd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos on PH food security: increase rice production

President Ferdinand BBM Marcos Jr. said he is taking on the helm of the Department of Agriculture for the time being so he can properly address the country’s food security that is threatened by the global crisis in Russia-Eukraine war, gas fuel erratic prices and the Covid-19 pandemic.                           President Ferdinand Marcos In keeping with his promise to make the Philippines attain a higher level of food security, President Ferdinand BBM Marcos is eyeing a higher output for palay (unmilled rice) for 2023, or a new record of 20.24 million metric tons (MT) through a higher budget for the existing Rice Program to complement the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund implementation. President Marcos concurrent DA Secretary said, to increase the nation's [...]

November 19th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH rejoining ICC unlikely, says Remulla

FILE PHOTO: Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla. (Senate PRIB) The Philippines rejoining the International Criminal Court (ICC) looks far-fetched despite a recommendation made by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) during the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the country earlier this week. Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla, who led Manila’s delegation to the UNHRC meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, said on Friday that such a move must first be discussed with the Senate, which ratifies treaties, and former President Rodrigo Duterte. It was Duterte who ordered officials to pull the country out of the Rome Statute, the treaty that created the ICC. ‘We are not Sudan’ Remulla indicated that it was unlikely that the Philippines would go back. “Because, as far as we are concerned, we are not [...]

November 19th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

APEC summit: Frank exchange of views important, Jacinda Ardern tells China’s President Xi Jinping

Jacinda Ardern has met with Xi Jinping in Bangkok. Photo: POOL / Thomas Manch   Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has wound up a face to face meeting with China's President Xi Jinping in which Xi said China saw New Zealand as an "important partner and friend". The meeting in a hotel on the sidelines of the Apec summit in Bangkok was scheduled for 20 minutes, but went for longer. In his translated opening comments, President Xi also said he thanked Ardern for her statements that New Zealand had an independent foreign policy, and said the China-NZ relationship had delivered benefits to both countries. "You have said on multiple occasions that New Zealand is committed to an independent foreign policy and that China - New Zealand relations are one of [...]

November 19th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos-Xi meeting dials down sea row

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and Chinese President Xi Jinping met for the first time on 17 November 2022 on the sidelines of the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting in Bangkok. It was their first face-to-face meeting after a phone call on 18 May 2022. Photo from OPS PRESIDENT Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and Chinese President Xi Jinping avoided any mention of the arbitral tribunal ruling on the South China Sea that favored the Philippines when they sat down for a bilateral meeting Thursday. Instead, the two leaders agreed to settle disputes between their countries through "friendly consultations." The meeting was held on the sidelines of the 29th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand. "On the South China Sea, the two sides must stick to friendly consultation [...]

November 19th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘PH one of weakest military capability in region’

This file photo taken on May 14, 2019 shows a Philippines' coast guard ship (R) sailing past a Chinese coast guard ship during a joint search and rescue exercise between the Philippines and US coast guards near Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea. - The Scarborough Shoal fishing ground, tapped by generations of Filipino fishermen, is one of many potential flashpoints for military conflict over the South China Sea. China and Taiwan both claim sovereignty over almost the entire sea, while the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei have competing claims to parts of it. (Photo by Ted ALJIBE / AFP) (UPDATE) THE military capability of the Philippines can be considered as one of the weakest in the region, Department of National Defense (DND) Officer in Charge Senior Undersecretary [...]

November 19th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

US Vice President to discuss illegal fishing with Palaweños

US Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff (L) depart Joint Base Andrews en route to Thailand for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit on November 16, 2022. Haiyun Jiang / POOL / AFP United States Vice President Kamala Harris will discuss with Palawan residents the impact of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing on their livelihoods. Harris will also meet with young Filipino women to talk about "empowering women and girls," a senior US administration official said in a background briefing on Wednesday. Harris will arrive Sunday night after attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) summit in Bangkok, Thailand. The first woman US vice president will meet with President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and Vice President Sara Duterte separately on Monday. On Tuesday, Harris will travel [...]

November 18th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

NASA prepares for third attempt at Artemis lunar rocket launch

NASA's new moon rocket sits on Launch Pad 39-B on Nov 14, 2022, in Cape Canaveral, Florida. (Photo: AP/John Raoux)   CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida: Ground teams at Kennedy Space Center prepared on Tuesday (Nov 14) for a third try at launching NASA's towering, next-generation moon rocket, the debut flight of the United States space agency's Artemis lunar program, 50 years after Apollo's last moon mission. The 32-story tall Space Launch System (SLS) rocket was due to blast off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 1.04am EST (2pm, Singapore time) on Wednesday to send its Orion capsule on a 25-day voyage around the moon and back without astronauts aboard. NASA flight-readiness crews were eager for success after 10 weeks beset by engineering difficulties, two hurricanes and two trips from the spacecraft's [...]

November 16th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos flies to Thailand for APEC meet

PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. Contributed Photo (UPDATE) President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. will lead the Philippine delegation to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Thailand, where he will push for measures on food and energy security as well as climate change adaptation. Marcos, who will leave for Bangkok on Wednesday, November 16, will join his fellow heads of state for the annual APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting from November 16 to 19. He will also attend other related summits where he is expected to discuss plans and priorities of the Philippines in terms of trade, investment and post-pandemic economic recovery. The President will also have at least six bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the APEC Summit. It will be the first in-person APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting since [...]

November 16th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos: PH, ASEAN partners experience food shortage, rising prices

Metro Manila, Philippines — President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia revealed that the Philippines is not the only Southeast Asian country experiencing food shortage and rising prices of fuel and other commodities. “What I learned in having attended this ASEAN Summit is that marami talagangcommonalities ang bawat bansa [the countries have many commonalities],” Marcos told reporters in Phnom Penh. “That actually is a good thing because nag-a-agree kami na ito ‘yung mga talagang problema, ito ‘yung mga dapat unahin natin [we agree that these are the problems, that these are our priorities]. And it’s common. It’s price of food, the price of energy, the supply side problems,” he added. Marcos said other leaders spoke about their respective [...]

November 14th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

New Zealand government announces upgrade to ASEAN trade deal

The Government has today announced an upgrade to the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement, which will see New Zealand strengthen its ties with one of its largest trading partners. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern listens to a speech during the ASEAN-East Asia Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. (Source: Associated Press)   The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) region is made up of 10 member countries, including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines. The conclusion to the negotiations, launched in September 2020, was announced by leaders from ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand today at the opening of the ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. “As the world feels the impact of global economic pressures, the importance of securing high-quality, modern free trade agreements [...]

November 14th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Six dead, 81 injured in suspected terrorist bomb attack in Istanbul

Members of the crime scene investigation police work as Turkish policemen secure the area after a strong explosion of unknown origin shook the busy shopping street of Istiklal in Istanbul, on Nov 13, 2022. (Photo: AFP/Yasin AKGUL) ISTANBUL: Six people were killed and 81 others wounded on Sunday (Nov 13) when an explosion rocked a busy pedestrian street in central Istanbul in what Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan called a bomb attack that "smells like terrorism". Hundreds of people fled the historic Istiklal Avenue after the blast, as ambulances and police raced in. The area, in the Beyoglu district of Turkey's largest city, had been crowded as usual at the weekend with shoppers, tourists and families. Video footage obtained by Reuters showed the moment the explosion occurred at 4.13pm, sending [...]

November 14th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

PBBM pushes PH bid for UN Security Council seat

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia—President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is campaigning for the candidature of the Philippines in the United Nations Security Council, which is responsible for the maintenance of world’s peace and security. In his intervention at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-United States Summit, the President pushed to become part of the 15-member council as he believed the Philippine experience “in building peace and forging new paths of cooperation, will be of additional help to the Security Council.” “At this point, allow me to request the US’ support for the Philippines’ candidature, as the ASEAN candidate, to the UN Security Council for the term 2027-2028,” Marcos said. “You may rest assured of the Philippines’ committed effort to enrich the work of the Security Council,” he added. Photo courtesy of [...]

November 14th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos touches base with US and China

MARCOS SPEAKS AT ASEAN SUMMIT President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. maintains that the South China Sea must remain ‘a sea of peace, security, stability and prosperity.’ Speaking at the 17th East Asian Summit in Cambodia on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022, the President also called for the ‘denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,’ support for advancing women’s economic empowerment, increased energy cooperation, promoting volunteerism, addressing climate change and improving food security. PHOTO FROM THE OFFICE OF THE PRESS SECRETARY   President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. used the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia as a platform to touch base with geopolitical rivals China and the United States. The President met with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on the sidelines of the Asean Plus Three Summit on Saturday, and [...]

November 14th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

NEDA confident Philippine economy will hit 6.5%-7.5% target this year

After a stronger-than-expected third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) on Friday expressed optimism that the economy would hit the government’s target growth band for the entire year. “Malakas po ang aming kumpyansa na we will really be attaining ‘yung [target],” NEDA Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon said during state-run PTV’s public briefing. (We are strongly confident that we will really be attaining this target.) The Marcos administration set a target band of 6.5% to 7.5% GDP growth for 2022. As of the third quarter of 2022, the country’s GDP —the total value of goods and services produced in a specific period— grew by 7.6%, faster than the upwardly adjusted 7.5% GDP growth seen in the second quarter of the year. Edillon echoed Socioeconomic Planning [...]

November 11th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

PM Jacinda Ardern hopes to drive regional consensus at Asian summits

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern believes New Zealand has a global reputation for fair-mindedness, which it can bring to bear at the summits. Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern hopes to use New Zealand's good international standing to drive consensus and lower regional tensions in two Asian summits she's attending in the coming week. Ardern will attend the East Asia Summit in Cambodia and APEC Summit Thailand, with regional security, climate change, and trade issues likely to be high on the agendas. She said geopolitical and other tensions had increased in the region with the Ukraine war, Myanmar's internal conflict, and China's more assertive foreign policy raising the political temperature. "These are opportunities for New Zealand to recommit to forums that drive consensus that drive dialogue over [...]

November 11th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Ukraine war: Celebrations as Kyiv takes back key city Kherson

Ukrainian soldiers have been welcomed into Kherson by jubilant residents, after Russia said it had fully withdrawn from the key southern city. Video showed locals on the streets, flying Ukraine's national flag and chanting as Kyiv's troops arrived. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Kherson was "our city". Kherson was the only regional capital taken by Russia after February's invasion. The retreat has been seen as one of its biggest setbacks of the war. Moscow said 30,000 personnel had been taken out of the area - as well as around 5,000 pieces of military hardware, weaponry and other assets. An evening update from the Ukrainian side said troops had pushed as far forwards as the western bank of the Dnipro river. Images emerged on Friday showing that the main river [...]

November 11th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

DepEd calls for water system check in W. Visayas schools

CHECK THE WATER SYSTEM. Department of Education 6 (Western Visayas) Director Ramir Uytico says the regional medical officer will be engaging counterparts in the schools' division offices to check their water system to protect learners from acute gastroenteritis, during a virtual press conference on Friday (Nov. 11, 2022). He said the check would be regionwide as protection against acute gastroenteritis. (Photo screengrab from virtual press conference)                               ILOILO CITY – The Department of Education (DepEd) 6 (Western Visayas) has directed the 21 schools' divisions in the region to check their schools’ water systems to ensure their safety amid recorded cases of acute gastroenteritis in Iloilo. DepEd-6 Director Ramir Uytico, in a virtual press conference on Friday, [...]

November 11th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos to visit China in January next year

Metro Manila, Philippines — President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. will meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in January next year, the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS) confirmed on Friday. The OPS said Marcos will be in China for a state visit from January 3 to 5 or 6. Malacañang already said as early as July that Marcos will meet the Chinese leader soon, but no date was given then. Marcos earlier met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi where they discussed ways to strengthen ties between the two nations amid tensions in the South China Sea. Marcos has previously stated he will talk to China with a "firm voice" but also echoed his predecessor's that Manila cannot afford to go to war against Beijing. In 2016, an international tribunal [...]

November 11th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Global economic crisis strangling progress for poor, warns U.N. development chief

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt – Decades of development progress are at risk as economies are pushed backward by climate change losses, the COVID-19 economic fallout, a growing cost-of-living crisis, and soaring debt and inflation, the U.N. development chief said at COP27 in Egypt. “We essentially document a regression – and regression that is virtually universal across the board,” said Achim Steiner, who leads the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Progress toward the globally agreed Sustainable Development Goals – which include ending poverty and hunger and are due to be achieved by 2030 – is sliding, he said, with some countries finding themselves back where they were in 2016. The economic pain is making it harder for many governments to find the funding needed to roll out clean energy and tackle climate change – something that would have been easier when interest rates were still low, Steiner said in [...]

November 11th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Singapore passes law against ‘harmful’ social media content

The law tightens regulation of social media in the city-state, where rights groups have accused the government of using legislation to stifle free expression. FILE PHOTO SINGAPORE - Singapore passed legislation on Wednesday empowering authorities to order social media platforms Facebook, TikTok and others to remove "egregious content" such as those promoting self-harm, sexual exploitation, terrorism and hate. The law tightens regulation of social media in the city-state, where rights groups have accused the government of using legislation to stifle free expression. Social media firms face a fine of up to Sg$1.0 million ($715,000) if they fail to comply. Singapore passed a law against online falsehoods in 2019, which the government said was aimed at fighting disinformation but which political activists and tech giants criticized as restrictive. The new [...]

November 10th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

More Kiwis missing school than kids in other countries

The Education Review Office launched an investigation into why New Zealand is falling behind other countries in school attendance rates. Forty percent of parents are comfortable with their child missing more than a week of school a term. (Source: 1News)   It found that although Covid-19 badly disrupted attendance, there were serious issues even before the pandemic. "Between 2015 and 2019, the percent of learners regularly attending school dropped from 70% to 58%," head of ERO's education evaluation centre Ruth Shinoda said. This put New Zealand far behind countries like Australia at 73% and the UK at 87%. Forty per cent of New Zealand parents are comfortable with their child attending irregularly, missing more than a week of school a term. This rate of irregular attendance would equate to [...]

November 10th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Labor coalition presses for legislated wage hike

STOCK IMAGE A broad alliance of labor groups on Wednesday urged Congress to pass a law raising the salaries of the country’s more than four million minimum wage earners who continue to grapple with rising prices of food and other basic commodities. While it welcomed the wage review order from the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole), the Nagkaisa Labor Coalition said Congress should take action as well because it “holds the power to legislate wage hikes and better employment programs.” It added that this should be the government’s response, especially when “the national objective is not only about mitigating the impacts of inflation… but most importantly, on raising the standard of living of the working class.” Another labor group, Partido Manggagawa, lobbied for Congress to legislate a P100 [...]

November 10th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos, DoE execs tackle energy security

PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. met with top officials of the Department of Energy (DoE) and other agencies related to the sector to tackle ways the government can ensure the country’s energy security. Contributed Photo   President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. met with top officials of the Department of Energy (DoE) and other agencies related to the sector to tackle ways the government can ensure the country's energy security, Malacañang said Wednesday. They tackled "immediate and medium-term plans for energy development and power supply in the country," the Office of the President (OP) said in a Facebook post. Marcos has pushed the use of renewable energy that will also step up the country's efforts in combating climate change. The DoE informed the President that it is preparing for the [...]

November 10th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Control of U.S. Congress still unclear amid tight midterm races

WASHINGTON— The results of the U.S. midterm elections were not yet clear enough Wednesday to know which party will control Congress from January, although local media continues to bet on the Republicans retaking the House of Representatives by a narrower margin than expected. Control of the Senate has come down to a few races, with Democrats scoring a crucial win in Pennsylvania by flipping a seat previously held by a Republican. Georgia, another key state, is heading to a runoff slated for Dec. 6, according to U.S. media. The extremely tight race in the House came as a surprise, as the Democratic Party was seen as facing strong headwinds due to voter frustration with high inflation and the sagging popularity of President Joe Biden. While the midterms usually serve [...]

November 10th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Japan and U.S. consider ‘two-plus-two’ security talks in January

Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi would attend the "two-plus-two talks" alongside Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada and their U.S. counterparts Antony Blinken and Lloyd Austin. | KYODO Japan and the United States are considering holding “two-plus-two” security talks between their foreign and defense ministers soon, possibly in January, diplomatic sources said Wednesday, with the allies facing greater security challenges from China, North Korea and Russia. The first talks being held in that format between the two nations in about a year would follow a planned revision to Japan’s National Security Strategy by the end of the year. The nation’s long-term security and diplomacy policy guidelines are slated to be updated along with two other key defense documents. With U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration releasing its first National Security Strategy last month, [...]

November 10th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Bill creating more MARINA extension offices hurdles House panel

MANILA – The House Committee on Transportation on Wednesday approved a bill seeking to create additional Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) offices in Regions 2 (Cagayan Valley), 3 (Central Luzon) and 4-B (Mimaropa).   The bill aims to bring effective and efficient services closer to the people, particularly the Filipino seafarers, MARINO Party-List Representative Sandro Gonzales said. "Many of our Filipino seafarers struggle when it comes to processing their MARINA documents because they do not have easy access to its offices," Gonzalez said. Gonzales, author of the bill, added that it is the reason why creation of these extension offices are deemed necessary – to save time for travel, transportation costs, and to secure a more convenient way to avail of maritime services. He said regional offices would help MARINA [...]

November 10th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos expected to meet with leaders of France, Canada on ASEAN sidelines

Metro Manila, Philippines— President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. announced he is looking forward to bilateral meetings with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of the 40th and 41st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summits and Related Summits in Cambodia. “I’m looking forward to the bilaterals because, again, iba ‘yung usapan kapag face-to-face [discussions are different when done face-to-face],” the President said in his interview with reporters onboard flight PR 001. “I’ve never met with him (Trudeau), so I suppose it’s just going to be an introductory one,” Marcos added. On the other hand, Marcos said he has spoken to Macron twice and added that their discussions can “move forward on the details of the things that [Macron is] thinking about.” “Remember [...]

November 10th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

PBBM to raise SCS issue with Xi

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Wednesday expressed his intent to discuss the South China Sea (SCS) issue with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the 40th and 41st Association of Southeast Asian (ASEAN) Summit and Related Summits in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.                             President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. In a media interview after departing Manila, Marcos emphasized the importance of finding ways to settle the long-standing territorial disputes in SCS between the Philippines and other littoral states which include China. Marcos said it is “impossible” for him not to mention the SCS issue with Xi when he is given the chance to hold a meeting with his counterpart. “Those kinds of discussions, [...]

November 10th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

COP27: What you need to know about UN climate summit

Photo: MOHAMED ABDEL HAMID/AFP   World leaders have gathered in Egypt to bring to the forefront global climate-related issues at the UN climate summit in Egypt. The two-week 27th United Nations Conference of Parties, or COP27, will host discussions for commitments by governments to tackle climate change. The Pacific Islands Forum has declared a climate emergency and demand real action from world leaders. Here's everything you need to know about COP27. How did the COP meetings begin? In 1995, the United Nations got parties (countries) together to address the rising climate-related issues, particularly the warming of the planet due to human activities, mainly from burning fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), global temperatures have risen 1.1C and are [...]

November 9th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Four envoys visit VP Duterte

Ahmed Shehabeldin of Egypt   Four ambassadors made courtesy calls on Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte on Monday to discuss continued relations while also exploring future cooperation between the Philippines and their respective countries. They were F.M. Borhan Uddin of Bangladesh, Ahmed Shehabeldin of Egypt, Ilan Fluss of Israel and Hae Kyong Yu of Australia. Uddin briefed Duterte on recent developments in Bangladesh's economy, trade and investments, and education sector, while also highlighting the historic relationship between the country and the Philippines, one of the first countries to recognize their independence in 1971. Meanwhile, Duterte told Shehabeldin about the challenges confronting the Philippine education sector and its future direction. The Egyptian envoy told Duterte his recommendations, particularly on the importance of information technology, to address the issue [...]

November 9th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Free seeds for Cordillera urban folks to boost urban agri

FREE SEEDS. The Department of Agriculture in the Cordillera Administrative Region is urging residents in urban areas to engage in backyard or survival gardening to provide nutritious and fresh vegetables for their families that can even be sold in an urban setting much like in this 2020 photo of a rooftop garden in Baguio City. The department has launched the Green Revolution 2.0 program that aims to encourage residents to adopt the urban gardening technologies with available free seeds at the DA offices. (PNA photo from the FB of PIO-Baguio)                 BAGUIO CITY – The Department of Agriculture in the Cordillera Administrative Region (DA-CAR) is urging residents in the region to avail of free seeds to grow their own food at home [...]

November 7th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Biden, Trump push for bets ahead of polls

UP WHERE WE BELONG United States President Joe Biden speaks about the economy at technology company ViaSat in Carlsbad, California on Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. AFP PHOTO   PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania— They have been shadowboxing at separate campaign stops across the United States for weeks, but the leaders of the Democratic and Republican parties find themselves on the same battlefield on Saturday as they make closing pitches in Pennsylvania for next week's midterm elections. US President Joe Biden will rally alongside his old boss Barack Obama as the Democrats deploy their big guns to build the energy they hope would spread nationwide and reverse the late rightward shift in polling. And in a split-screen preview of a potential rematch of the 2020 presidential contest, the midwestern state is also playing host [...]

November 5th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos to hold talks with leaders of Cambodia, South Korea during ASEAN summits

Metro Manila, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. is expected to hold bilateral meetings with leaders of Cambodia and South Korea on the sidelines of the 40th and 41st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summits in Phnom Penh, Cambodia next week. Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Nathaniel Imperial said Marcos will meet with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen. "So far, we're still finalizing the bilateral meetings that will be conducted by the President. But I think it would be safe to say that the first one will be with the host government, with Cambodia," Imperial said in a Palace briefing. "As a matter of courtesy, it will be their first meeting as the new president of the Philippines," he added. Imperial said Marcos will also discuss a host of issues with [...]

November 5th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Malaysia deports 387 Filipinos

ZAMBOANGA CITY— A Philippine vessel carrying nearly 400 Filipinos who were arrested on various charges in Sabah, Malaysia arrived here on Friday. Most of those deported by the Malaysian government were illegal entrants to Sabah, a wealthy state being claimed by the Sultanate of Sulu. Social workers said among those deported were eight children. The Department of Social Welfare and Development said 387 arrived Friday night and were taken to a shelter until they were all processed and sent home to their respective places of origin. Last month, Malaysia also deported 355 Filipinos, according to Capt. Benzar Mukarram of the Zamboanga City Maritime Police. In September, Kuala Lumpur deported 750 illegal Filipino immigrants arrested in various places in Sabah as Malaysia continues to fight off rightful financial claims of the [...]

November 5th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

China says it will not waver in its ‘dynamic-clearing’ COVID-19 strategy

A woman has her throat swabbed for a COVID-19 test at a coronavirus testing site in Beijing. (File photo: AP/Mark Schiefelbein)   BEIJING—  China will "unswervingly" stick to its zero-COVID policy and persevere with its "dynamic-clearing" approach to COVID-19 cases as soon as they emerge, health officials said on Saturday (Nov 5). China is the last major economy wedded to a strategy of extinguishing outbreaks as they emerge, imposing snap lockdowns, mass testing and lengthy quarantines despite the widespread disruption to businesses and international supply chains. Stock markets climbed on Friday in part on unsubstantiated rumours that Beijing was poised to announce significant changes to the policy or even lay out a path towards a full reopening. But authorities poured cold water on the speculation, with National Health Commission (NHC) spokesperson Mi [...]

November 5th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

US flies supersonic bomber in show of force against North Korea

At least one B-1B aircraft participated in joint US-South Korea air force exercise, Seoul says, noting North Korea again fired 4 ballistic missiles. Vigilant Storm drills - involving about 240 warplanes - have triggered an angry reaction from North Korea [File: River Bruce/US Air Force via Reuters]   The United States flew a supersonic bomber over ally South Korea as part of an enormous combined aerial exercise involving hundreds of warplanes in a show of force meant to intimidate North Korea over its barrage of ballistic missile tests this week. At least one B-1B bomber participated on the last day of a joint US-South Korea air force exercise that wrapped up on Saturday, South Korea’s defence ministry said. South Korea’s military also said North Korea fired four short-range ballistic [...]

November 5th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Agri losses due to Paeng now at P3.16B

An aerial view of the flooded rice fields in Antique in the aftermath of Severe Tropical Storm Paeng. (PNA file photo)                      MANILA – The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Saturday reported that damage and losses due to Severe Tropical Storm Paeng now stood at PHP3.16 billion affecting 83,704 farmers and fishers. The volume of production loss was recorded at 197,811 metric tons (MT) planted to 84,677 hectares of farmlands in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Central Mindanao, and Soccsksargen regions. Affected commodities include rice, corn, high-value crops, fisheries, livestock and poultry. Damage has also been incurred in agricultural infrastructures, machinery and equipment. The DA has already distributed PHP1.74 [...]

November 5th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marshall Islands confirms membership in Pacific Forum

The impassioned plea for regional unity by Marshall Islands President David Kabua, shown speaking to the graduation in May of the College of the Marshall Islands, led to the Marshall Islands parliament formally endorsing membership in the Pacific Islands Forum. Photo: Chewy C. Lin   The Marshall Islands ended two years of being at the centre of controversy over the possible break up of the Pacific's premier regional organisation when its parliament adopted resolutions reaffirming its membership in the Pacific Islands Forum. The Nitijela (parliament) passed two resolutions in tandem late last month. One rescinds a 2021 resolution that supported ending Marshall Islands membership in the Forum, and a second one reaffirming its membership in the Forum as "vital and essential" to its foreign policy and regional cooperation. These [...]

November 5th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH resumes deployment of OFWs to Saudi Arabia

Department of Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople. Senate PRIB   The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) will resume on Nov. 7 the processing of new employment contracts for Saudi Arabia-bound overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) after the suspension of deployment due to the pandemic and welfare concerns. Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople said the OFWs to be deployed to Saudi Arabia, especially domestic workers, would benefit from the negotiated new employment contract “that ensures greater workers’ protection.” In 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, a total of 189,826 new hired OFWs were deployed to Saudi Arabia. They consisted of 37,278 domestic workers and cleaners and 152,548 construction workers and other skilled workers. “We will know by Monday and the week and months ahead, the number of proposed employment contracts to [...]

November 5th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH to join call for climate change consensus at COP27 in Egypt

MANILA – The Philippine government vowed to support host Egypt in its efforts to revitalize international consensus on the climate crisis during the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change which opens at Sharm el-Sheikh City on Sunday.             (Courtesy of UN)   Environment Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga leads the Philippine delegation at the conference slated November 6 to 18. Loyzaga said the Philippines would continue calling on developed countries to step up to obligations and "deliver without delay on their commitments on climate finance, technology transfer and capacity building." The Philippines expects the conference to set the stage for "transparent, accessible, predictable and efficient climate finance.” "The Philippine delegation will assert the country’s call for bolder [...]

November 5th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Wearing a mask in classrooms will be optional – DepEd

MANILA, Philippines — Wearing a mask in classrooms will be optional, the Department of Education (DepEd) announced on Tuesday, just a day before the full implementation of in-person classes. “DepEd will follow [Executive Order] 7 and will issue an amendatory DO [DepEd order],” DepEd spokesperson Michael Tan Poa told INQUIRER.net in a text message. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signed the executive order on Oct. 28, which lifted the mandatory use of face masks indoors. A month earlier, Marcos also lifted the mandatory use of face masks outdoors. Full face-to-face classes will start on Wednesday, Nov. 2, in accordance with DO 34 series of 2022, which mandates five days of in-person classes weekly. The order also barred blended or distance learning beyond Oct. 31. Despite the optional use of face [...]

November 2nd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Tokyo begins recognition of same-sex partnerships

Mamiko Moda (left) and her partner Satoko Nagamura with their son hold a same-sex partnership certificate at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building on Tuesday. | AFP-JIJI Tokyo’s same-sex partnership system came into effect Tuesday, allowing sexual minority couples in the capital to be treated in the same manner as married heterosexual couples in areas such as housing, health care and child-rearing. However, same-sex marriage is prohibited nationwide, meaning various other legal protections only afforded to heterosexual married couples remain unavailable. Still, the Tokyo Partnership Oath System, despite its limitations, has been lauded by many in the LGBTQ community as a step toward achieving equal rights for sexual minorities in Japan. “As a 41-year old sexual minority and Tokyo resident, it’s a joy to have my presence finally acknowledged practically [...]

November 2nd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos calls for better disaster response

PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. together with other officials during the situational briefing at Kampilan Clubhouse, Camp BGen Gonzalo H. Siongco, 6ID PA, Awang Dos, Maguindanao Del Norte. (PHOTO CREDIT: OFFICE OF THE PRESS SECRETARY)   President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Tuesday urged local government units (LGUs) and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to have closer coordination and have more joint projects for the easier facilitation of government aid in times of disasters and calamities. "I think that is something that we can improve on, the coordination between the LGUs and BARMM. And then the procedures. I know that you are just drawing up your procedures now. But you can see why this is important," the Chief Executive said during the situation briefing with BARMM [...]

November 2nd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘Paeng’ leaves ₱1.33B in agriculture losses

Metro Manila, Philippines — Severe Tropical Storm Paeng ravaged agricultural lands across eight regions in the country, with damage estimated at ₱1.33 billion, the Department of Agriculture (DA) reported on Monday. According to its latest data, the DA said agricultural damage and losses were reported in the Cordillera Administrative Region, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol region, Western Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, and Soccsksargen. Paeng reportedly affected 64,607 hectares of land, 66,963 metric tons of volume of production loss, and 53,849 farmers and fisherfolk. The rice sector took almost all of the hit of Paeng as the tropical cyclone affected 63,930 hectares of land, with an estimated cost of damage and loss at ₱1.23 billion. The country also lost around ₱60 million worth of high value crops and ₱5.59 million worth of [...]

November 2nd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos at ground zero: Tree cutting to blame for landslides

RELIEF | President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. leads the distribution of relief assistance to Paeng victims taking shelter at Broce Central Elementary School of Peace at Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao province, on Tuesday. (Photo from Malacañang) MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Monday said trees should be planted in the denuded uplands of the two Maguindanao provinces to prevent a repeat of last week’s deadly landslides after seeing for himself what environmentalists for years had been warning the government on what would happen not only in Mindanao but also in other parts of the country. Marcos, accompanied by Maguindanao del Sur Gov. Bai Mariam Sangki-Mangudadatu, flew over the areas devastated by the landslides and flash floods that followed heavy rains brought by Severe Tropical Storm Paeng (international name: [...]

November 2nd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

India bridge collapse: Death toll rises to 141, many still missing

At least 141 people died when a pedestrian suspension bridge collapsed in India's western state of Gujarat. A local official said most of those who had died were women, children or elderly. The bridge in Morbi had been reopened just a week ago after repairs. There was overcrowding on the bridge at the time as people celebrated the Diwali festival, officials said. The 230m (754ft) bridge on the Machchu river was built during British rule in the 19th Century. The death toll is expected to rise further. Police, military and disaster response teams were deployed and the rescue effort is continuing. More than 177 people have been rescued so far, officials said. "Many children were enjoying holidays for Diwali and they came here as tourists," an eyewitness called Sukram [...]

October 31st, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH, Georgia discuss expanding ties

DFA Undersecretary Ma. Theresa P. Lazaro (left) meets with Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Khvtisiashvili (right) for the 2nd PH-GE Political Consultations held on 27 October 2022 in Manila. (DFA-OPCD Photo) The Philippines and Georgia reaffirmed their commitment to enhance bilateral relations at the 2nd Philippines-Georgia Political Consultations held on October 27 in Manila. Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Ma. Theresa Lazaro led the Philippine delegation, while Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Khvtisiashvili headed the Georgian delegation Highlighting commonalities between the two countries, Lazaro underscored that both countries are providers of seafarers. She proposed maritime cooperation with focus on seafarers' certificate recognition and exchange of information between maritime authorities and institutions. "As an archipelagic country, maritime cooperation is very important for us. The Philippines and Georgia can benefit from people-to-people exchanges between [...]

October 31st, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Paeng death toll climbs to 98 — NDRRMC

An aerial shot shows residents wading through a flooded rice field at a village in Tuguegarao, Cagayan province, north of Manila on October 30, 2022, a day after Tropical Storm Paeng whipped many parts of the country. (AFP)   MANILA, Philippines – The wrath of tropical storm Paeng (international name: Nalgae) has resulted in 98 reported deaths, so far,  the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said on Monday. In its 6 a.m. situational repor, the NDRRMC said only 58 of these deaths have been confirmed – 53 in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Barmm), three in Western Visayas, and two in Soccsksargen (Cotabato, Saranggani, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat). Meanwhile, the agency noted that the 40 casualties, which have yet to be validated, were logged [...]

October 31st, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

World food supplies at risk as Russia withdraws from Black Sea deal

SINGAPORE – Russia’s weekend backtrack from a U.N.-brokered deal to export Black Sea grains is likely to hit shipments to import-dependent countries, deepening a global food crisis and sparking gains in prices. Hundreds of thousands of tons of wheat booked for delivery to Africa and the Middle East are at risk following Russia’s withdrawal, while Ukrainian corn exports to Europe will take a hit, two Singapore-based traders said. Russia on Saturday suspended participation in the U.N. grain deal for an “indefinite term”, after what it said was a major Ukrainian drone attack on its Black Sea fleet in Crimea. “If I have to replace a vessel which was due to come from Ukraine, what are the options? Not much really,” said one Singapore-based grains trader who supplies wheat to [...]

October 31st, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Itaewon crowd crush death toll now 154, including 26 foreigners

A person is on his knees near Itaewon Station in Seoul on Oct. 31, 2022, in mourning of the deadly Itaewon crowd crush two days ago. (Yonhap photo)       SEOUL – The death toll from the Halloween crowd crush in Seoul has risen to 154, including 26 foreigners, officials said Monday, as the country mourned the deadliest tragedy in years and tried to cope with the aftermath. The death toll could rise further, as 33 others remain in serious condition, according to officials at the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters. A total of 116 others sustained minor injuries, they said. All but one of the fatalities have been identified, officials said. The 26 foreign victims include five from Iran, four each from China and Russia, two [...]

October 31st, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Alcohol law reform plans signalled by NZ government

Photo: 123RF   Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the government will tackle alcohol law reform, to curb alcohol marketing and sponsorship, but will take time to do it right and won't be rushed. It has signalled plans to tackle the issue in March. On the other hand, swifter changes are on the cards for communities to have more control over the sale of alcohol in their areas, with a new amendment expected to the law to remove liquor companies' and supermarkets' avenues for appealing local alcohol policies. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told Morning Report that current levels of alcohol marketing in New Zealand do not sit well with her, and many other politicians felt the same way. Communities had faced difficulties battling issues such as electronic billboards outside schools, [...]

October 31st, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

US B-52 bombers to head to Australia as tensions with China grow

A US B-52 bomber is escorted by two F-15 fighter aircraft during a fly-over at a sports game in Louisiana, in 2021. B-52s can deliver long-range strikes of both nuclear and conventional weapons. Photo: AFP/ Jonathan Bachman   The United States is preparing to deploy up to six nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to northern Australia, a provocative move experts say is aimed squarely at China. An investigation by ABC's Four Corners revealed Washington has plans to build dedicated facilities for the giant aircraft at Tindal air base, south of Darwin. The US has drawn up detailed plans for what it calls a "squadron operations facility" for use during the Northern Territory dry season, an adjoining maintenance centre and a parking area for "six B-52s". Becca Wasser from the Centre for [...]

October 31st, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Donation drives launched for Paeng victims

Workers protect themselves from rain while riding atop a garbage truck in Quezon City, on October 29, 2022. Rolex dela Pena, EPA-EFE Non-governmental organizations launched their respective donation drives to aid victims of tropical storm Paeng, which devastated a large part of the country since Friday. Caritas Manila sought food packs, wash kits, bedding materials, shelter repair kits. Interested donors may contact 8562-0020 to 25 with locals 118, 139, 135, or 0917-595-5083.   Angat Buhay also posted a call for donation on social media. Besides cash, the group welcomed blankets, ready-to-eat food, rice, bottled water, sanitary kits, and face masks and rubbing alcohol.    

October 30th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Cavite evacuates over 2,100 residents

GENERAL TRIAS CITY, Cavite— Around 2,179 individuals or 585 families in five cities and eight towns in the province of Cavite were forced to evacuation areas in their respective localities, Saturday, October 30, because of the severe flooding brought by Typhoon "Paeng," according to the report of the Provincial Disaster Risks Reduction and Management Office.

October 30th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Watch out for PH core inflation, 2nd-round effects: IMF exec

MANILA – Core inflation and second-round effects are major economic factors to watch out for in the Philippines, an executive of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said. RISKS TO INFLATION. Core inflation and second-round effects are factors that should be monitored closely vis-a-vis the Philippines' inflation rate, an executive of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Friday (Oct. 28, 2022). However, domestic growth is seen to remain solid with a print of about 6.5 percent this year but is projected to slow down to 5 percent next year. (PNA file photo)   In a hybrid briefing on Friday for the release of the lender’s Regional Economic Outlook (REO), Shanaka Peiris, Division Chief of Regional Studies of the IMF’s Asia and Pacific Department, noted that the rate of price increases [...]

October 29th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Cholera overwhelms Haiti as cases, deaths spike amid crisis

Thousands of people across Haiti are becoming sick with cholera as medical staff struggle to care for them despite dwindling supplies of fuel and water A girl suffering from cholera symptoms is helped by her father upon arrival at a clinic run by Doctors Without Borders in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. For the first time in three years, people in Haiti have been dying of cholera, raising concerns about a potentially fast-spreading scenario and reviving memories of an epidemic that killed nearly 10,000 people a decade ago. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa) The Associated Press PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- The sun shone down on Stanley Joliva as medical staff at an open-air clinic hovered around him, pumping air into his lungs and giving him chest compressions until he died. Nearby, his [...]

October 29th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘Paeng’ leaves ’16 of 17 regions at high risk’

GRIM TASK Rescuers dig among mud and stones near a river as they try to retrieve the bodies of victims of a landslide in Kusiong village in Datu Odin Sinsuat in the southern Philippines’ Maguindanao province on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022. Severe Tropical Storm ‘Paeng’ whipped the Philippines after unleashing flash floods and landslides that officials said left at least 45 people dead. AFP PHOTO PRESIDENT Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. is considering placing the Philippines under a one-year state of calamity due to the effects of Severe Tropical Storm "Paeng" (international name: "Nalgae") which left "16 of 17 regions at "high risk." In his meeting with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and other government officials on Saturday, the President said he would study the recommendation, [...]

October 29th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

At least 149 killed in crowd crush during Halloween festivities in Seoul

Officials say 150 more injured, with many being treated for cardiac arrest, after surge in South Korean capital Rescue workers and firefighters at the scene of the crush in Seoul. Photograph: Lee Ji-eun/AP At least 149 people have been killed and at least 150 more injured after being crushed by a large crowd pushing forward on a narrow street during Halloween festivities in the South Korean capital Seoul, officials have said. Choi Cheon-sik, an official from the National Fire Agency, said dozens were being treated for injuries at hospitals and that the death toll could grow after the crush in the leisure district of Itaewon on Saturday night. Officials say it was believed that the people were crushed to death after a large crowd began pushing forward in a [...]

October 29th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

US Vice President Harris to visit PH in November

(FILE PHOTO) Metro Manila, Philippines — US Vice President Kamala Harris is set to visit the country next month, the White House announced on Saturday. It will take place after her trip to Bangkok, Thailand to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Meeting on Nov. 18 and 19, a statement posted on the White House website said. Harris' visit "will re-affirm and strengthen the U.S.-Philippines Alliance and underscore the breadth of our cooperation as friends, partners, and allies," said the statement from Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. "In the Philippines, she will meet with government leaders and civil society representatives," the statement also said, adding that Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff will also travel with the Vice President to Manila. No further details of the trip have been provided. Of the [...]

October 29th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Death toll from ‘Paeng’ climbs to 72 – NDRRMC

LIFELINE In this handout photo obtained from Regional Maritime Unit 12 - Sultan Kudarat Maritime Police Station Facebook page, rescuers help residents evacuate in Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat on Friday, Oct.28, 2022, due to heavy rains resulting in floods brought by Tropical Storm 'Paeng' (international name: Nalgae). At least 31 people were reported killed as heavy rain lashed the southern Philippines, with some residents stranded on rooftops, a disaster official said. PHOTO BY AFP The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said on Saturday that it has received reports of at least 72 fatalities and 14 missing in Maguindanao and Region 12 (SOCCSKSARGEN) due to flooding and landslides brought about by the heavy rains spawned by Severe Tropical Storm "Paeng". Also, the NDRRMC said that a total of [...]

October 29th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Paeng cuts deadly path; Bangsamoro worst hit

HEAVY DAMAGE DOWN SOUTH A landslide triggered by heavy rains in Parang town, Maguindanao, on Friday shows the almost nationwide extent of the damage wrought by Tropical Storm “Paeng,” (international name: Nalgae) whose fury may yet be fully felt this weekend in other parts of the country. Photo provided by the Philippine Marines. —AFP   Tropical Storm Paeng (international name: Nalgae) drenched most parts of the country on Friday and among the worst-hit by heavy rains was the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) where dozens of people died in floods and landslides. The French news agency, Agence France-Presse, (AFP) quoted an official civil defense report saying that 67 had died by late Friday, more than the 42 earlier reported by officials. In Capiz province, the provincial Office [...]

October 28th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Death toll from Philippine flash floods rises to 67 — official tally

Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) rescuers evacuate residents from their flooded homes due to a tropical storm, locally named Paeng, in Maguindanao province, Philippines, October 28, 2022. Philippine Coast Guard/Handout via REUTERS   COTABATO - Landslides and flooding in the southern Philippines killed at least 67 people on Friday, according to an official tally, with rescuers racing to save residents of a mountain village that was buried in mud. The village of Kusiong accounted for many of the 50 deaths in the area around Datu Odin Sinsuat town, after heavy overnight rain unleashed floods mixed with mud, rocks and fallen trees that buried the community, the area's civil defense office said in a statement. Similar avalanches also struck villages in the nearby towns of Datu Blah Sinsuat and Upi, which [...]

October 28th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH senators seek more trade opportunities in France

SEN. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go. Contributed Photo SEN. Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go and other members of the Philippine Senate delegation in France met with the country's businessmen and private sector leaders to discuss potential opportunities and areas of economic cooperation on the second official day of their parliamentary visit to the European country. On Wednesday, October 26, Go, with Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, had a meeting with energy and transportation sector leaders to explore possible opportunities for investments in the Philippines. The senator said that the meetings also serve to provide an opportunity to discuss potential avenues of collaboration between the Philippines and France in key industries. "It is my hope that through these discussions, we will be able to identify potential areas in which the Philippines and [...]

October 28th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Suicide risk increases among NZ doctors

CRUSHING PRESSURE This file photo shows medical workers taking part in training for treating Covid-19 patients at a comprehensive hospital in Auckland, New Zealand on April 3, 2020. NEW ZEALAND MINISTRY OF HEALTH/HANDOUT VIA XINHUA WELLINGTON— Burnout, depression and anxiety are increasingly common among New Zealand doctors, which impair their ability to perform at home and at work, a common contributor to suicide risk, the New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) said on Friday. Burnout has been documented to affect 45 percent in a consultant survey in one New Zealand hospital prior to Covid-19, and this is likely to have increased with the present frustrating work environment caused by the pandemic, according to an editorial by researchers of the University of Otago, published in the New Zealand Medical Journal. Overseas [...]

October 28th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Obesity highest among Filipino and Japanese Americans – study

Hiro Mejia (L), a patient in the metabolic syndrome clinic, is helped up by Michael Witten, director of the Wellness Center at the annual run/walk for patients and their friends and families at The Children’s Hospital in Aurora, Colorado June 5, 2010. REUTERS/Rick Wilking   Obesity rates among Filipino and Japanese Americans were the highest among Asian Americans, according to researchers from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Filipino obesity rate is at 28.7% and for Japanese, 26.7%, rates close to the 29.4% rate among whites but still lower than the 39.7% rate of obesity among Blacks. Researchers for the study, published in Annals of Internal Medicine on Oct. 4, adjusted the findings of the U.S. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, which surveyed 70,000 Asian [...]

October 28th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Paeng makes landfall in Camarines Sur; Signal No. 3 remains over two areas

On the forecast track, the center of PAENG will traverse the Bicol Peninsula until this noon before crossing the CALABARZON-Metro Manila-southern Central Luzon area this early afternoon through tomorrow early morning. SCREENSHOT   Severe Tropical Storm Paeng crosses the southern tip of Catanduanes and makes landfall in Camarines Sur as Signal No. 3 remains over two areas, according to the latest Tropical Cyclone Update posted by PAGASA. The recent landfalls are: Virac, Catanduanes at 1:10 a.m. and Caramoan, Camarines Sur at 1:40 a.m. The center of Severe Tropical Storm Paeng was estimated based on all available data including those from Daet and Baler Doppler Weather Radars in the vicinity of Siruma, Camarines Sur packing maximum sustained winds of 95 kilometers per hour near the center, gustiness of up to [...]

October 28th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

PBBM inks EO allowing voluntary wearing of face masks indoors

  MANILA – President Ferdinand Marcos on Friday signed an executive order (EO) allowing the voluntary wearing of face masks in indoor settings.            (File photo) Under EO 7, the wearing of face masks in indoor and outdoor settings shall be voluntary except in healthcare facilities, medical transport, and public transportation by land, air, or sea. The liberalization of the face mask mandate has been recommended by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) through its Resolution 3 (s. 2022). Mask-wearing is still encouraged for the elderly, individuals with comorbidities, immunocompromised persons, pregnant women, unvaccinated individuals, and symptomatic individuals, according to the EO. "A policy of voluntary wearing of face masks in both indoor and outdoor settings is a positive [...]

October 28th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

PHIVOLCS issues lahar advisory for Mayon Volcano due to Paeng rains

Due to the expected heavy to intense and at times torrential rain from Tropical Storm Paeng, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology issued a lahar advisory for Mayon Volcano. The PHIVOLCS warned that Paeng's rains could generate volcanic sediment flows or lahars, muddy streamflows, or muddy run-offs in rivers and drainage areas of Mayon. Communities in pre-determined zones of lahar and related hazards on the volcano were thus urged to be vigilant. "Prolonged and heavy rainfall may generate non-eruption lahars along river/stream channels draining the Mayon edifice," the PHIVOLCS said in a Facebook advisory. "Potential lahars and sediment laden streamflows may occur along the Miisi, Binaan, Anoling, Quirangay, Maninila, Masarawag, Muladbucad, Nasisi, Mabinit, Matan-ag, and Basud, Bantayan Channels in Albay Province." The PHIVOLCS added that Mayon lahars could [...]

October 28th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Tropical Storm Paeng intensifies; Signal No. 2 in Metro Manila, 23 other areas

MANILA, Philippines — Tropical Storm Paeng (international name: Nalgae) slightly intensified as it continues to move west-northwestward and has prompted state meteorologists to raise Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) Number 2 in several parts of Luzon and the Visayas, including Metro Manila.    The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), in its 5:00 p.m. update, reported that Paeng’s new forecast track slightly dipped south, which means it may now hit the Bicol region and Quezon province. Pagasa added that Paeng was last spotted some 180 kilometers east of Catarman, Northern Samar, packing maximum sustained winds of 85 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 105 kph. It is forecast to cross Camarines Sur at around 2:00 a.m. Saturday. Pagasa expects Paeng to [...]

October 28th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Henry Sy Jr., Elon Musk team up for PH satellite internet

SpaceX founder and Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks on a screen during the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, June 29, 2021. (File photo by NACHO DOCE / Reuters)   MANILA, Philippines — Billionaire Henry Sy Jr. is launching a nationwide satellite broadband service through a pioneering venture with American tech mogul Elon Musk. Data Lake Inc., led by Sy and company chair Anthony Almeda, recently sealed an agreement with Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX), owner of Starlink broadband satellite. This makes Data Lake the first Starlink integrator in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. “The Philippines is an archipelago, and connecting our country to the wider world often requires extensive infrastructure,” said Almeda. Sy is the eldest son of the late taipan Henry Sy Sr., founder of [...]

October 27th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Woman arrested after attack on Jacinda Ardern’s office in Auckland

A hole was smashed in the office door and a large knife was found on the footpath near the New Zealand prime minister’s office, local media report A woman has been arrested after New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern’s office in Auckland was damaged in an attack on Thursday. Photograph: Steven Saphore/AFP/Getty Images A woman has been arrested in relation to an attack on the Auckland office of Jacinda Ardern while the New Zealand prime minister is away visiting Antarctica, local media reported. Police said the 57-year-old was arrested at a Coatesville house and was taken into custody, according to news outlet Stuff. On Thursday morning, police and fire officers attended Ardern’s electorate office in the central suburb of Morningside. Stuff reported a man was seen smashing a hole [...]

October 27th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

House panel OKs bill on dev’t of sustainable cities

MANILA, PHILIPPINES  – A measure providing for the development of sustainable cities and communities in the country hurdled committee level at the House of Representatives.   During the hearing on Wednesday, the House Committee on Housing and Urban Development approved the committee report on House Bill 71, or the proposed Sustainable Cities and Communities Act, which aims to fulfill the promise of economic and social inclusion of urbanization. Committee chair Jose Francisco Benitez, author of the bill, said urbanization provides resources and opportunities for employment, livelihood, services and innovation, driving rural-urban migration. Benitez said the proposed law would improve, bolster and strengthen the urban development and planning function of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development and the offices within the local government units (LGUs). “So that the [...]

October 27th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

US to give $70M cash aid to PH military to boost defense cooperation agreement

LET'S SHAKE ON IT Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo and US Ambassador MaryKay Carlson shake hands at the Mangove Forum on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022. Carlson disclosed that the US will give $70 million cash aid to the Philippine military spread over two years for infrastructure improvement, especially on the proposed expansion of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). PHOTO BY J. GERARD SEGUIA THE United States government is poised to give a $70 million cash aid to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spread over two years for infrastructure improvements, US Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson bared on Wednesday. The American envoy made the disclosure during the Mangrove Forum hosted by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), saying the financial assistance is mostly meant for [...]

October 27th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

More coffee farmers’ coops eyed in Sulu

ZAMBOANGA CITY, PHILIPPINES— Gov. Sakur Tan has urged local coffee farmers to form or join cooperatives and strengthen the industry by maintaining the high quality of their products. Tan, who met recently with members of the Federation of Sulu Coffee Producers Cooperative (FSCPC), said he would help them mechanize the farming process to speed up production from planting to harvesting to distribution, especially now that the province is exporting Arabica and Robusta coffee beans to Japan. A provincial government photo shows Sulu Gov. Sakur Tan reading a report by the Federation of Sulu Coffee Producers Cooperative. Sulu’s Arabica and Robusta, popularly known as ‘Kahawa Sug’ is now being exported to Japan. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO   "We want to strengthen the local coffee industry by improving quality, increasing productivity, and training more [...]

October 26th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos: Govt on top of quake situation

This handout photo taken on October 26, 2022, courtesy from the Facebook page of parish priest Christian Edward Padua, shows a damaged church of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente in La Paz town, Abra province, north of Manila, a day after a 6.4-magnitude quake struck the province October 25. (Photo by Handout / Christian Edward Padua / AFP) (Update) PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Wednesday assured the public that the government is on top of the situation following the 6.4 magnitude earthquake that jolted Abra and nearby provinces late Tuesday. Speaking to reporters, the President said the government is focused on assisting affected individuals by providing them with food and temporary shelter. Citing reports he received, families are asking for tents as they fear for their safety due to possible [...]

October 26th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

OCTA: Metro Manila COVID-19 cases on downward trend

Metro Manila, Philippines —The OCTA Research Group said Wednesday that COVID-19 cases in the National Capital Region (NCR) are declining, with several indicators showing a downward trend. “New COVID-19 cases in the NCR have been decreasing since October 1, when the NCR had 1,719 new cases based on DOH data,” OCTA Research fellow Guido David said in a tweet. He noted that the region’s 7-day average of new infections decreased from 807 during the Oct. 12 to 18 period to 491 during the Oct. 19 to 25 period. Also, NCR’s one-week growth rate further declined to -39% from -7%. Metro Manila’s reproduction number -- or the number of people who can catch the virus from an infected person -- also decreased from 0.98 as of Oct. 15 to 0.74 [...]

October 26th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Churches must help guide youth vs addiction, violence: VP Sara

44 YEARS. Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte greets members of the Jesus is Lord Church as they celebrate their 44th anniversary on Wednesday (Oct. 26, 2022). Duterte said she was barely five months old when Brother Eddie Villanueva established the JIL church. (Photo courtesy: Office of the Vice President) MDM09-1026 Churches must help guide youth vs. addiction, violence: VP Sara MANILA – Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte urged Church leaders on Wednesday to help the government in leading the youth to the "right path". In her speech during the celebration of the Jesus is Lord (JIL) church anniversary, Duterte stressed the need for a joint effort, considering the vulnerability of the youth against harmful influences. "I call upon the Church to help us guide our [...]

October 26th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Food security crucial to economic recovery – Go

SEN. Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go said that food security is crucial for the country to achieve inclusive economic recovery as he urged authorities to address other issues besetting the agriculture sector. "For me, whether President Marcos will stay as head of DA or he will appoint a full-fledged secretary, what is important is that we immediately provide a solution to the issue of soaring prices of farm products, lower farm gate prices and agricultural smuggling. Smuggling should stop," he said. "The most important issue now is food security. It's essential to our full and inclusive economic recovery. And we should immediately address the continuing price increases," he added. Go stressed that ordinary Filipinos, not smugglers, should reap the benefits of agriculture the most. He urged authorities to prioritize the [...]

October 25th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

New PM Rishi Sunak pledges to fix Britain’s many problems

New British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak waves in front of No. 10 Downing St. in London on Tuesday. | REUTERS LONDON/TOKYO – Rishi Sunak said on Tuesday he was not daunted by the scale of the challenge as he became Britain’s third prime minister in two months, pledging to restore trust, rebuild confidence and lead the country through an economic crisis. The 42-year-old former hedge fund boss, who has only been in elected politics for seven years, has been tasked with bringing an end to the infighting and feuding at Westminster that has horrified investors and alarmed international allies. “I fully appreciate how hard things are,” he said outside the prime minister’s residence at Downing Street where he shunned the normal tradition of standing with his family and political [...]

October 25th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

15 education-related bills get Senate panel nod

SEN. Francis “Chiz” Escudero. File Photo SEN. Francis "Chiz" Escudero, chairman of the Senate Committee on Higher, Technical and Vocational Education, presided over a hybrid hearing on various education-related measures on Tuesday. Of the 21 bills tackled, 15 measures were approved by the panel including House Bill (HB) 5001 or "Free College Examination Act" and Senate Bill (SB) 975 or the "Student Loan Payment Moratorium During Disasters and Emergencies Act." Meanwhile, five proposals seeking the establishment of campuses in various areas were provisionally approved by the panel pending the submission of corresponding documents and comments showing approval of the respective college and university boards. However, the panel referred SB 1349, an act mandating the institutionalization of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program in public and private tertiary level [...]

October 25th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Palace: Marcos wants renewed focus on general public health as diseases increase

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Tuesday called for a renewed focus on general public health concerns amid the increase in the number of diseases apart from COVID-19 in the country. According to the Office of the Press Secretary, Marcos made the call during his meeting with World Health Organization director general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who gave him a courtesy call. “During their meeting, Marcos emphasized the necessity of finding a balance between the economy and people's safety during the meeting, citing the effectiveness of the government's COVID-19 vaccine campaign,” the OPS said. “The President also called for a renewed focus on general public health concerns as cases of other diseases increase,” it added. The President issued the remark following the rising cases of diseases in the country [...]

October 25th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Ex-US Embassy officer pleads guilty in US to engaging in illicit sexual conduct in Philippines

A 63-year-old former officer of the US Embassy in Manila has pleaded guilty to engaging in illicit sexual conduct in the Philippines, the US Department of Justice has said. The US DOJ said Dean Cheves, who worked at the US Embassy in the Philippines from 2017 to 2022, is scheduled to be sentenced in January 2023. He is facing a maximum penalty of up to 30 years of imprisonment for each count against him. Citing court documents, the US DOJ said Cheves paid a minor to produce and send him sexually explicit images from December 2020 to March 2021. It said that Cheves in February 2021 engaged in sex acts on two separate occasions with another minor whom he met online, using his government-issued cell phone to film himself. [...]

October 25th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Taiwan: No yielding to China’s aggression

TAIPEI: Taiwan won't back down in the face of "aggressive threats" from China, the self-ruling island's leader Tsai Ing-wen said on Tuesday, comparing growing pressure from Beijing to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. DEFIANT DELIVERY Taiwan’s leader Tsai Ing-wen delivers a speech during the 11th Global Assembly of World Movement for Democracy in the capital Taipei on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022. AP PHOTO   Her comments came days after the conclusion of the twice-a-decade congress of China's ruling Communist Party, during which it upped its long-standing threat to annex the island it considers its own territory by force, if necessary. The party added a line in its constitution on "resolutely opposing and deterring" Taiwan's independence and "resolutely implementing the policy of 'one country, two systems,'" the formula by which it [...]

October 25th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

DepEd, DOH urged to issue clearer COVID-19 ventilation policies

PHILIPPINES— A group of teachers, parents and students called on the Department of Education (DepEd) and Department of Health (DOH) on Monday to release better ventilation guidelines for the safe implementation of the five-day in-person classes in public schools starting November 2. Aral Pilipinas specifically called on the departments to issue evidence-based guidelines to improve the airflow in schools, considering that the coronavirus is an airborne disease. The group said that measures should be adopted considering the class size, room size, and class duration, among others. “Ito ay simpleng solusyon at napakalaki ng benepisyo o maitutulong para una, magtuloy-tuloy ang pagpasok ng mga bata sa eskwelahan dahil maiiwasan ‘yung transmission with improved ventilation. Tulad ng isinusulong ng Aral Pilipinas Coalition na magkaron ng tool katulad ng Safe Schools Calculator [...]

October 24th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Australia’s No. 1 health insurer warns more patient data stolen in hack

FILE PHOTO: A woman walks past a branch of the Australian health insurer Medibank Private in Sydney October 20, 2014. REUTERS/David Gray   Australia's biggest health insurer Medibank Private Ltd said it expected the number of customers affected by a massive data breach to grow, after it discovered policy records of a further 1,000 customers had been stolen.   Medibank, which provides coverage to one-sixth of Australians, said last week an unidentified person had shown the company stolen personal information of a 100 customers, including medical diagnoses and procedures. On Tuesday, the company said it had received more files from the criminal, showing information including personal and health claims data of more patients as well as files with some Medibank and international student customer data. "Given the complexity of [...]

October 24th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

BFAR, sardines makers agree to help fishers, ensure stable supply

FISHERIES DEAL. Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Officer-in-Charge Demosthenes Escoto (2nd from left) holds a signed memorandum of agreement with Canned Sardines Association of the Philippines president Benjamin Sy (2nd from right) on Monday (Oct. 24, 2022). The partnership between the government and the private sector aims to help fishers and maintain a sufficient supply of canned sardines in the market. (PNA photo by Ben Briones)     MANILA – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) signed Monday a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Canned Sardines Association of the Philippines (CSAP) to help local fishers and ensure a stable supply of canned sardines. This came after BFAR's consultation meeting with stakeholders, where several concerns were raised, including the looming canned sardines shortage. At a press [...]

October 24th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

FDA warns vs ‘toxic’ cough syrups

Food and Drug Administration The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) on Monday echoed an earlier warning by the World Health Organization (WHO) against four "substandard" cough syrups for children. The WHO tagged the cough syrups manufactured by India-based Maiden Pharmaceutical Ltd. under the brands Promethazine Oral Solution, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup and Magrip N Cold Syrup as unsafe for consumption because they contain "toxic ingredients." The warning was issued following the death of 66 children in the West African country of Gambia last September. In its advisory, the FDA said the four brands contain diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol which are considered as contaminants and toxic to humans. Consumption "may result in abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, inability to pass urine, headache, altered mental state and [...]

October 24th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Japan, Australia ink security accord amid Beijing’s rise

FURRY FRIENDS Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida pose with koalas during their visit to Kings Park in the city of Perth, western Australia on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022. AFP PHOTO PERTH, AUSTRALIA—  Japan and Australia on Saturday agreed to share sensitive intelligence and deepen their defense cooperation by signing a security pact in an apparent move to counter China's military ascent. Prime ministers Fumio Kishida and Anthony Albanese inked the accord in the western Australian city of Perth, revamping a dusty 15-year-old accord drafted when terrorism and weapons proliferation were the overriding concerns. Under the deal, the countries' defense forces will train together in northern Australia and "expand and strengthen cooperation across defense, intelligence sharing" and a raft of other areas, Australian officials [...]

October 23rd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos to Pinoys: It’s time to return to pre-pandemic life

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos on Sunday enjoined Filipinos to get back to their normal lives before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, stressing that it is crucial to show the world that the Philippines is slowly getting back on its feet. “It is a good thing to remind people that the pandemic may have been difficult, the pandemic really put us through the wringer. But we are back,” Marcos said in a speech in Bacolod City during a luncheon just before he graced the culminating activity of the 43rd MassKara Festival.   “The pandemic is fading away. We are learning to manage it and now it is time for us to all go back to work, to all go back to our normal lives, to remind ourselves of all [...]

October 23rd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Boris Johnson will run for UK leadership, minister claims

Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt are believed to be contesting the British prime minister race. Photo: AFP   Boris Johnson will enter the race to replace Liz Truss as British prime minister, Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton Harris told Sky News, saying the former leader had enough support from lawmakers to pass the 100-vote threshold. Asked if Johnson would run, Heaton Harris said: "Yes, I think so." "We do have the numbers... that's not an issue." Johnson and top competitor Rishi Sunak have reportedly held talks as they edge closer to the deadline for nominations in the contest to replace Liz Truss. Two separate sources told the BBC the meeting took place, but the Times newspaper reported this morning that the men did not strike a deal. [...]

October 23rd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Jacinda Ardern to visit Antarctica this week

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Photo: POOL/ NZME Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will visit Antarctica this week to see first-hand the critical research undertaken by New Zealanders on the ice. The visit, scheduled from Tuesday to Friday, marks the 65th anniversary of Scott Base - New Zealand's Antarctic home - and the first full season of Antarctic research after two years of Covid-19 disruption. Ardern is a well-known Antarctic history buff, with explorer Ernest Shackleton one of her personal heroes. "Antarctica is part of New Zealand's heritage and future and we're committed to its protection as a natural reserve for peace, science and co-operation," Ardern said in a statement. "Globally significant research is carried out by New Zealanders there, and New Zealand is invested in that long-term and essential research [...]

October 23rd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

China’s Xi secures historic third term in office, unveils new top party officials

China's President Xi Jinping walks with members of the Chinese Communist Party's new Politburo Standing Committee, as they meet the media in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Oct 23, 2022. (Photo: WANG Zhao / AFP)     BEIJING: Xi Jinping secured a historic third term as China's leader on Sunday (Oct 23) and promoted some of his closest Communist Party allies, cementing his position as the nation's most powerful leader since Mao Zedong. The Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party elected Xi as its general secretary for another five-year term, Xinhua reported, tilting the country decisively back towards one-man rule after decades of power-sharing among its elite. "I wish to thank the whole party sincerely for the trust you have placed in us," Xi told [...]

October 23rd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

HK resident barred from hiring Filipinos after assaulting maid

Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople says the assaulted domestic worker has a new employer and is “doing well.”  (INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO)   MANILA, Philippines — A Hong Kong resident who was sentenced to jail for assaulting a Filipino maid will be barred from hiring domestic helpers from the Philippines for life, Migrant Workers Secretary Toots Ople said on Tuesday. Chow Ching-yee, 65, recently pleaded to a count of common assault against Ruby Funa Caman. Chow slapped Caman and pulled her hair pulled for refusing her order to massage her hands, the South China Morning Post reported on Monday. “I have instructed [Undersecretary] Bernard Olalia who is in charge of adjudication to ban HK employer Chow Ching-yee and her entire household from hiring a Filipino domestic worker for life,” Ople [...]

October 19th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

China-Taiwan: Beijing speeding up plans for unification, Blinken says

GETTY IMAGES Mr. Blinken was speaking at Stanford University in California on Tuesday   China is pursuing unification with Taiwan "on a much faster timeline" than previously expected, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said. Beijing had decided the status quo was no longer acceptable, he said. In Sunday's speech opening the Communist party Congress in Beijing, President Xi Jinping refused to rule out using force to unify with Taiwan. China sees the self-ruled island as a part of its territory, but Taiwan sees itself as distinct from the mainland. Last month US President Joe Biden said US forces would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese attack - despite the official US policy of ambiguity on the issue. Speaking at an event at Stanford University on [...]

October 19th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Canadian province sets mass hiring of PH health workers

INQUIRER FILE PHOTO MANILA, Philippines — Canada’s Saskatchewan province is seeking “to hire hundreds of health-care workers from the Philippines over the next two years.” The move is part of Saskatchewan’s “plan to recruit, train, incentivize and retain more health-care workers to strengthen the provincial healthcare system,” the Canadian Embassy on Tuesday said in a statement on Facebook. “We want to spread the word to health-care workers in the Philippines that our province is a place of great opportunity,” the embassy’s post quoted Saskatchewan’s Minister of Health Paul Merriman as saying. He said full-time jobs will be offered to “registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, continuing care assistants, and medical laboratory assistants.” “We would love to welcome into our friendly Saskatchewan communities healthcare workers from the Philippines who are interested [...]

October 19th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

France wants to explore PH waters in exchange for submarines

ISTANBUL – France has offered the Philippines two submarines in exchange for permission to explore the Southeast Asian nation’s “sovereign waters,” according to reports on Tuesday. “France offered to build two diesel-electric-powered submarines for the Philippines based on the design and standard of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in exchange for allowing it to explore the Philippines’ vast sovereign waters,” Filipino news website Rappler reported. The proposal came as the Philippines mulls continued modernization of its armed forces. However, Philippines Defense Officer-in-Charge Jose Faustino Jr. said such an offer was cumbersome. “The offer wasn’t as easy as it looked because the Philippines and France have no mutual defense agreement. It has to go through a constitutional process. We cannot just do that,” Faustino said, during a visit to Mati [...]

October 18th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Offshore investors see New Zealand as attractive option – survey

A survey of 91 international investors found 70 percent expected mergers and acquisitions activity in New Zealand to increase over the next 12 months. Photo: RNZ / Simon Rogers   Offshore investors are "overwhelmingly positive" towards investment in New Zealand with environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors key to their decision making. A report by the law firm Simpson Grierson, which surveyed 91 international investors, showed all of them were considering investing in Aotearoa in the next five years. It found 70 percent expected mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in New Zealand to increase over the next 12 months, and three-quarters said ESG factors had become more important than ever. "These results are a real testament to New Zealand's ability to develop great businesses and to the stable nature [...]

October 18th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Russian military jet crashes in south west, at least four dead

An Su-34 aircraft from the military airfield of the Southern Military District, the ministry said. (Photo: AFP/Amer Almohibany)   MOSCOW— A Russian military plane crashed on Monday (Oct 17) into a residential area of Yeysk, a town in southwestern Russia near the border with Ukraine, news agencies reported, citing the defence ministry. At least four people were killed in the incident and 25 have been taken to hospital, local authorities said on Telegram. The resulting fire that engulfed a nine-storey residential building has been contained and is almost extinguished, regional governor Veniamin Kondratyev said on Telegram. Oksana, a local resident who declined to give her last name, said the area had been cordoned off. "There could be an explosion. Everything is burning inside. There is smoke," she told AFP. [...]

October 18th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

NZ Covid-19 response: Vaccine mandates, MIQ and lockdowns set to be scrapped

The government plans to introduce new pandemic legislation to handle future events, Chris Hipkins says. Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone The government is winding down some of its Covid-19 powers, saying they're no longer justified. Vaccine mandates, managed isolation and lockdowns will all be scrapped, leaving only a handful of public health measures. Also ending on Thursday is the requirement for travellers flying to New Zealand by air having to complete the online New Zealand Traveller Declaration. However, the seven-day case isolation period and mask-wearing requirements for visitors in some healthcare settings will remain for the time being as cases and hospitalisations tick up. "Today is a significant milestone," the acting Minister for Covid-19 Response, Chris Hipkins, said in a statement. "The government has been clear that the measures [...]

October 18th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos raises need for water department

Metro Manila, Philippines— President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Monday renewed his push to establish a separate government body to manage the country’s water resources. In his meeting with top officials of Isabela province, Marcos reiterated his call to create the Department of Water Resources that will address the issues surrounding the "critical" fresh water supply. “Water is too important. Supply, our freshwater supply, is generally going down, and irrigation is not as widespread as it should be,” the President said. “The problem is too large that we need to have a team of experts directing the 20 different concerned agencies under one roof to ensure that they would manage our water resources efficiently,” he added Marcos also said the government would probe the country's "precarious" freshwater supply condition, [...]

October 18th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

China delays key economic data releases amid Communist party congress

Highly unusual delay comes as experts forecast slowing growth in world’s second largest economy in part due to zero-Covid policy China has postponed the release of closely-watched economic data as it holds a major meeting of Communist party leaders. Photograph: VCG/Getty Images China has said it will delay the release of economic growth figures, which had been due to be published as the country’s leadership gathers for a key meeting set to hand president Xi Jinping a historic third term in office. The announcement came one day before analysts had expected Beijing to publish some of its weakest quarterly growth figures since 2020 with the economy hobbled by Covid-19 restrictions and a real estate crisis. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Monday the release of growth figures [...]

October 18th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19: NZ facing triple threat with new variants – expert

Microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles has urged people to continue taking measures against Covid-19, warning New Zealand is now in the same boat as the rest of the world and facing more mutations of the virus. It comes after new Omicron variant BQ1.1 was detected in New Zealand for the first time last week. "While we don't have the traffic light system any more, we have a lot of tools at our disposal," Wiles told Breakfast this morning. "It's really not something that we should be complacent about." Wiles explained BQ1.1 is just one of many new mutations the world is facing, saying "there are a bunch of them". "Essentially, because there are so many infections around the world, the virus is continuing to evolve and it's picking up more and [...]

October 18th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

NZ Inflation down slightly to 7.2%

Inflation has fallen marginally to 7.2%. Many economists predict the central bank will hike the rate for an eighth straight time. (Source: Breakfast)   The latest consumer price index (CPI) figures were released on Tuesday by Stats NZ, and as forecast, the rate has fallen from July's 32-year high of 7.3%. The main driver for the 7.2 percent annual inflation to the September 2022 quarter was housing and household utilities due to rising prices for construction, rentals for housing, and local authority rates, Stats NZ said. Earlier this month, the Reserve Bank lifted the official cash rate to 3.5%. CPI rose 2.2% in the September quarter. Vegetable prices rose 24% in the last quarter, petrol prices went up 19% in the past year, while diesel was up 72%. "This [...]

October 18th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

DA vows nutritious, affordable food for Filipinos

MANILA – The Department of Agriculture (DA) promised not just adequate supply, but also nutritious and affordable food for Filipinos, as the country joined the celebration of World Food Day on Monday. In a statement, the DA said it renews its commitment to ensuring every Filipino will have access to “safe and nutritious food.” “This year’s theme: “Leave NO ONE behind. Better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life” promote worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure healthy diets for all, leaving no one behind. Through this campaign, we renew our commitment to take part in actions,” the DA statement read. The Office of the Press Secretary (OPS) earlier reiterated President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s goal to provide [...]

October 18th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

NZ Govt to reopen skilled migrant and parent visa categories

The Government has announced it's reopening the skilled migrant and parent visa categories. The arrivals area at Auckland Airport. (Source: Getty)   Immigration Minister Michael Wood announced the changes before members of the business and migrant community in Auckland today. He says it's part of plans reconnecting New Zealanders to the world. "As the world recovers from Covid-19, labour shortages continue to be a global symptom," Wood said. “We are listening closely to the concerns of businesses, many of whom have approval to hire migrants but are finding it difficult to recruit internationally in a constrained labour market." Wood said today's changes, which will "work in tandem with the immigration changes already made", is expected to help ease labour shortages and "ensure a competitive edge to attract talent to [...]

October 12th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH Govt allocates P12B for rice buffer program

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on Tuesday doubled the allocated funds for the National Food Authority (NFA) buffer stocking program to ensure sufficient supply of the staple food in times of crisis. The budget for the program was raised from P7 billion in 2022 to P12 billion in 2023. Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman underscored the importance of ensuring food affordability, especially rice as the staple food for Filipinos, by increasing the budgetary allocation for the buffer stocking program. "This is also our strategic plan for food security in times of crisis since our country is prone to natural calamities," Pangandaman said. The increased budget allocation for the Buffer Stocking Program is in line with the Marcos administration's 8-point Socioeconomic Agenda, with food security as one of the [...]

October 12th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Immigration NZ enlists ‘cyber mercenaries’ banned from Facebook to covertly collect data

Cobwebs is among seven foreign companies accused by tech giant Meta of setting up fake accounts to spy on almost 50,000 people, including journalists, human rights activists, politicians. Photo: 123RF This is the first of two stories looking at surveillance firm Cobwebs Technologies' work for the New Zealand government. The government is working with an Israeli-born surveillance firm named among a group of "cyber mercenaries" and kicked off Facebook for spying on people. It is keeping most of the operations with Cobwebs Technologies secret, but they include Immigration NZ. Cobwebs is among seven foreign companies accused in late 2021 by tech giant Meta of setting up fake accounts to spy on almost 50,000 people, including journalists, human rights activists, politicians and others in more than 100 countries. Meta, formerly [...]

October 12th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Biden signals rethink over Saudi ties amid anger at cuts in oil output

Moves by Opec+ to reduce production seen as siding with Putin over the US just as midterms loom Joe Biden with Mohammed bin Salman during a visit to Saudi Arabia in July. Photograph: Bandar Algaloud/Reuters   The Biden administration has said it is ready to consider tough new measures against Saudi Arabia after its decision last week to side with Vladimir Putin and cut oil production. Observers said the move signalled a dramatic abandonment of the US president’s recent attempts to seek a rapprochement with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and casts doubt over the future of the US-Saudi security relationship. “The president believes that we should review the bilateral relationship with Saudi Arabia and take a look to see if that relationship is where it needs to be [...]

October 12th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘Govt to defend Pinoy fishing rights in WPS’

Filipino fishermen were spotted over Bajo de Masinloc during the aerial surveillance of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG). Photo from Philippine Coast Guard The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday said the government will "consistently protect and promote" fishing rights of Filipinos in the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea, in both Philippine territorial waters and in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The Spratly Islands in the South China Sea (SCS) — believed to be rich in oil and mineral deposits — are claimed in whole or in part by China, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam and the Philippines. "This should be the priority over the interest of other coastal states or SCS claimants," the DFA said through its spokesman Ma. Teresita Daza. Daza said the United Nations [...]

October 12th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Zelenskiy asks G7 for monitoring of Ukraine’s border with Belarus

Ukrainian president also asks for more air defence systems after new wave of Russian missile strikes   Ukrainian emergency services battle a fire following missile attacks on Zaporizhzhia.Photograph: State Emergency Service Of Ukrai/EPAUkraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has asked G7 leaders to supply more air defence systems and for an international monitoring mission on the Belarusian border, as Russia continued to attack key infrastructure in Ukraine with a new wave of missile strikes on Tuesday.   Zelenskiy’s comments came amid warnings from the UN and some Natocountries that Moscow may be committing a war crime with its continuing deadly blitz on civilian targets. Warning that the Russian president “still has room for further escalation”, Zelenskiy added that the prompt supply of more air defence systems would accelerate the end of [...]

October 12th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Chinese Embassy: PH on tourist blacklist is ‘misinformation’

Metro Manila, Philippines— The Chinese Embassy late Tuesday denied Senate President Migz Zubiri’s earlier announcement that the country is on the tourist blacklist of China. “The report of ‘tourist blacklist’ is misinformation. China has not placed the Philippines on its blacklist for tourism,” the Chinese embassy said in a statement sent to reporters. The embassy released the statement after Zubiri quoted Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian saying that the country was on a blacklist because of issues hounding Philippine offshore gaming operations (POGOs). "Because of the problem of POGO, the Philippines now is blacklisted and tourists now are discouraged to go to the Philippines," Zubiri on the same day told a Senate hearing, citing information from a meeting with the ambassador. The Chinese Ambassador also later on [...]

October 12th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

9 of 10 Filipinos consider fake news a problem

INQUIRER.net stock images MANILA, Philippines — Close to 90 percent of adult Filipinos believe fake news is a problem, a sentiment reflected nationwide and across all socioeconomic classes, according to a recent Pulse Asia Research survey that also pointed to social media “influencers” and journalists as the top culprits. The Sept. 17-21 survey released on Tuesday said a majority (58 percent) of Filipinos nationwide see bloggers and vloggers—the social media influencers—as responsible for “spreading false information” about government and politics. They were followed by journalists (40 percent), national politicians (37 percent), local politicians (30 percent), leaders of civic or nongovernmental organizations (15 percent), businessmen (11 percent) and academics (4 percent). For a media scholar, the survey indicated that the Philippine press had “trust issues and credibility issues” at a [...]

October 12th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

OVP lists Sara Duterte’s achievements in first 100 days

Vice President Sara Duterte has provided medical and burial assistance, free rides, and school supplies in her first 100 days in office, among her achievements, her office says. DANNY PATA/File photo   The Office of Vice President Sara Duterte on Saturday listed their accomplishments in the first 100 days of the Marcos administration. In a statement, the OVP said it has processed a total of P134,376,764.95 in the medical and burial assistance program since Sara assumed office on July 1. Of the said amount, a total of P124,579,964.95 and P9,796,800 have already been processed for medical aid and burial assistance, respectively. A total of 13,315 recipients were served in all seven OVP satellite offices and OVP main office as of October 5. The OVP said the medical and burial [...]

October 11th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘We are just starting’: VP Sara’s ‘First 100 days of Firsts’

MANDALUYONG CITY -- Vice President Sara Duterte has made several “historic firsts” in just 100 days following her assumption of office. These firsts, she said, “would not only significantly change the way Filipinos look at the Office of the Vice President — but most importantly — would strengthen its mandate and enable the Office to serve more and more Filipinos across the country.” Duterte, in a 14-minute video report released in time for her first 100 days in office, said that for the first time in the history of the Office of the Vice Philippines (OVP), satellite offices were established in key areas across the country. Another first was the establishment of the Disaster Operations Center and the planned permanent residence for future Vice Presidents of the Philippines. The [...]

October 11th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Bongbong Marcos signs SIM Card Registration Act

MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Monday signed the SIM Card Registration Act, the first law he signed as the country’s chief executive. The SIM Card Registration Act, Republic Act No. 11934, highlights the following: Before selling SIM cards, telco companies and direct sellers are required to ask for a valid identification document. Registering a SIM card with false or fictitious information, using fictitious identities, or carrying out fraudulent activities will be subject to appropriate penalties. In case of a subpoena or court order, telcos must give out SIM card owners’ full names and addresses. People with SIM cards already need to register with telcos within a certain time frame. SIM cards will be deactivated if you don’t. Subscriber SIM cards must be kept on file [...]

October 11th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos, De Lima talk on detention facility transfer offer — lawyer

Metro Manila, Philippines — President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. personally asked former Sen. Leila de Lima her preferred detention options after the hostage-taking inside a facility at the national police headquarters, her legal counsel said Monday. Filibon Tacardon told CNN Philippines Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos called the president on Sunday. Abalos was at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City to visit De Lima after the incident, and this was when the conversation took place. "Nakapag-usap si Senator Leila de Lima at si President Marcos over the phone kung saan naikuwento ni Senator de Lima ang nangyari at ang sabi nga ni President Marcos (was), 'Tell me what you want,' sabi nga niya. Pagkatapos non, nag-alok na si Secretary Abalos ngpossibility ng transfer. Kaya lang at [...]

October 10th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

India facing a pandemic of antibiotics-resistant superbugs

  At the 1,000-bed not-for-profit Kasturba Hospital in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, doctors are grappling with a rash of antibiotic-resistant "superbug infections". MANSI THAPLIYAL The emergence of a multidrug-resistant pathogen which attacks the lungs of patients in critical care is worrying doctors   This happens when bacteria change over time and become resistant to drugs that are supposed to defeat them and cure the infections they cause. Such resistance directly caused 1.27 million deaths worldwide in 2019, according to The Lancet, a medical journal. Antibiotics - which are considered to be the first line of defence against severe infections - did not work on most of these cases. India is one of the countries worst hit by what doctors call "antimicrobial resistance" - antibiotic-resistant neonatal infections alone [...]

October 10th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH Army reaffirms ties with Aussie counterpart, 3 others

MANILA – The Philippine Army (PA) reinforced its professional ties with its Australian Army counterpart along with three other Armies during the International Land Defence Exposition in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia held from Oct. 4 to 6. PA chief Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. met with Australian Army chief Lt. Gen. Simon Stuart to reaffirm ties between the two ground forces. "Lt. Gen. Brawner and Lt. Gen. Stuart discussed sustaining and strengthening the partnership of both armies, particularly the conduct of bilateral training exercises aimed at enhancing interoperability and bolstering collective resolve, teamwork, mutual learning," Army spokesperson Col. Xerxes Trinidad said in a statement over the weekend. Three agreements underpin the Philippine-Australia bilateral defense ties—the 1995 Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperative Defense Activities; the Philippines-Australia Status of Visiting Forces Agreement; [...]

October 10th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH, US to have 496 defense, security engagements in 2023

MANILA – The Philippines and the United States will have 496 defense and security engagements in 2023 as the world's coronavirus situation continues to improve.            (File photo)   "For CY 2023 - 496 (274 MDB(Mutual Defense Board) and 222 SEB (Security Engagement Board)," Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Lt. Gen. Bartolome Vicente Bacarro said in a message to reporters Sunday. This is bigger than this year's 461 defense and security engagements, which can be broken down into 214 MDB and 247 SEB. Bacarro said the 461 engagements posted for 2022 is also significantly higher than the 353 in 2021 which can be broken down into 197 MBD and 156 SEB. The AFP chief attributed the relatively low number of US military engagements [...]

October 10th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

NIA vows to boost PH irrigation vs. hunger, poverty

  WATER IS LIFE. Irrigation Administrator Benny Antiporda joins the Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty Kumustahan National Performance Review Workshop on Monday (Oct. 10, 2022). In his speech, Antiporda underscored the value of water in everyone's lives, hence their vow to boost the irrigation sector, with an aim to help address hunger and poverty in the country. (Photo courtesy: NIA)       MANILA – The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) vowed Monday to further boost the country’s irrigation against hunger and poverty. In the hybrid event, NIA chief Benny Antiporda underscored how vital water is in the lives of Filipinos, particularly in relation to the government’s efforts on the Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP). “Life starts with us, in water. The food starts from water, without [...]

October 10th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Russia launches biggest air strikes since start of Ukraine war

A heavily damaged building in Kyiv after Russian missile strikes on Monday. Photo: AFP / Sergei Supinsky Russia rained cruise missiles on busy Ukrainian cities, knocking out power and heat in its most widespread air attacks since the start of the war. Missiles tore into busy intersections, parks and tourist sites in the centre of the capital Kyiv on Monday. Explosions were also reported in Lviv, Ternopil and Zhytomyr in western Ukraine, Dnipro and Kremenchuk in central Ukraine, Zaporizhzhia in the south and Kharkiv in the east. Ukrainian officials said at least 11 people were killed and scores injured, with swathes of the country left without power. Thousands of residents raced to bomb shelters as air raid sirens rang out through the day. The barrage of dozens of cruise [...]

October 10th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Mixed reaction to election of Wayne Brown as new Auckland mayor: ‘There was a very strong negative vote’

Auckland mayoral incumbent Wayne Brown and his wife Toni talking to a supporter. Photo: RNZ / Lucy Xia   The city has spoken - or 30 percent of it has - and Wayne Brown has been voted the next mayor of Auckland. Brown claimed the win with a staggering 54,000 votes over nearest rival, the Labour-endorsed Efeso Collins. Auckland City Council said Brown was leading the race with 144,619 votes ahead of Collins by 54,808 votes. The progress results reflect about 90 percent of the votes. The 76-year-old former North Shore mayor takes the chains from Phil Goff, who is resigning after two terms in office. Sitting on the centre right, Brown ran a campaign based on financial responsibility and accountability, making a particular target of Auckland Transport. His [...]

October 9th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Massive blast cripples parts of Crimea-Russia bridge, in blow to Putin’s war effort

 In a major blow for Russian President Vladimir Putin, a huge explosion has severely damaged the only bridge connecting the annexed Crimean peninsula with the Russian mainland, paralyzing a key supply route for Moscow's faltering war in Ukraine. The blast early Saturday caused parts of the Kerch Strait road and rail bridge -- opened by Putin himself in 2018 -- to collapse, images and video from the scene showed. At least three people were killed in the explosion, Russian officials said, citing preliminary information. The exact cause of the blast at Europe's longest bridge is yet to be confirmed. Russian officials said a truck exploded, causing Crimea-bound sections of the road part of the bridge to collapse. A subsequent fire engulfed a train of fuel tanks on a separate, [...]

October 9th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos: Clear policy agenda over 6 years

THROUGH THE BARRICADE Policemen block rallyists from marching to the Mendiola Peace Arch in Manila to mark the first 100 days of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s administration on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022. Marcos and running mate Sara Duterte won by a landslide in the May 2022 elections on a platform of unity. PHOTO BY RENE H. DILAN IN his first 100 days as president, Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. believes that he has successfully laid out a clear policy agenda for his six-year term in office that focuses on health, fiscal management and turning the long-neglected agricultural sector into an engine of growth. The Philippines is currently beset with numerous challenges, from rising inflation to worrying levels of public debt and a bruised peso, but Marcos, who won the presidency [...]

October 9th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Let’s protect our forest – DENR

TUGUEGARAO CITY: The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 2 has appealed to the public to protect the woodlands following the recent forest fire in Bugatay, Peñablanca, Cagayan. In a media interview on Friday, Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan of DENR-Cagayan Valley said, according to the investigation report, there were no traces of kaingin or forest clearing found within the area. "The fire was possibly due to a thrown cigarette butt in the area," she claimed. The investigation spearheaded by the PENR Sub-Office of Cagayan revealed that the incident took place within the National Greening Program forest plantation of Bugatay Upland Farmers Association (BUFA) in Peñablanca town. Over 20,000 narra, tuai and tindalo indigenous species planted in 12 hectares and the 2.5 hectares adjacent grasslands were [...]

October 9th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Mourners for slain toddlers gather at Thai temple

MOURNING IN THE MORNING A mother speaks to her child through the coffin, a victim of Thursday’s day care massacre inside Wat Rat Samakee temple in the town of Uthai Sawan, northeastern Thailand on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022. AP PHOTO UTHAI SAWAN, Thailand: Grief-stricken families prayed on Saturday morning at a Buddhist temple filled with children's keepsakes, flowers and photos of the smiling toddlers who were slain as they napped on blankets at a day care center in northeastern Thailand. Coffins containing the 36 killed, 24 of them children and most of them preschoolers, were released on Friday and placed inside Wat Rat Samakee and two other temples in the town nestled among rice paddies in one of Thailand's poorest regions. Several mourners stayed at Wat Rat Samakee overnight [...]

October 9th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Indian workers rescued from digital job scams in Southeast Asia

Minister says 130 Indians who were forced to work in cyber- scams in Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia have been freed. Indian workers rescued after they were lured by agents to fake job opportunities in the information technology sector in Thailand arrive at the airport in Chennai, India, on Wednesday, October 5, 2022 [Ministry of External Affairs via AP] India’s government says it has rescued about 130 Indians who were forced to work in Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia after they were lured by agents who had offered well-paying job opportunities in the information technology sector that turned out to be fake. Arindam Bagchi, the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson, said on Friday the rescued Indian workers had been held captive and forced to commit cyber-fraud for companies engaged in digital [...]

October 9th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

China lashes out at latest US export controls on chips

American and Chinese flags at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Feb 2, 2022, in Zhangjiakou, China. (File photo: AP/Kiichiro Sato)   BEIJING: China on Saturday (Oct 8) criticised the latest decision by the United States to tighten export controls that would make it harder for China to obtain and manufacture advanced computing chips, calling it a violation of international economic and trade rules that will “isolate and backfire” on the US.   “Out of the need to maintain its sci-tech hegemony, the US abuses export control measures to maliciously block and suppress Chinese companies,” said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning. “It will not only damage the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies, but also affect American companies’ interests,” she said. Mao also said that the US “weaponisation and politicisation” [...]

October 8th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Firefighters continue to battle bushfire near Queenstown

Firefighters have returned to battle a massive bushfire on the slopes of Mt Crichton today. One of six helicopters working to contain the fire burning in steep terrain on Mt Crichton. (Source: Supplied / FENZ) Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) said six helicopters and seven ground crews are on the scene today. FENZ Incident Controller Mark Mawhinney said weather conditions had been favourable overnight, but winds are set to pick up throughout the day. "Firefighting efforts are concentrating on containing the fire to the 25 Mile Creek catchment and creating a blacked out perimeter, to reduce the risk of a breakout later in the day," Mawhinney said. Most of the damage has been on Mt Creighton Station with approximately 200 hectares of manuka and tussock grassland burnt. Fire [...]

October 8th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

More than 200 pilot whales euthanised after stranding on Chatham Islands

It is difficult to stage whale rescues in Chatham Islands due to the waters shark population and the low number of people there (file picture). Photo: Sam Wild   More than 200 pilot whales that stranded on the Chatham Islands yesterday have died or had to be put euthanised. Project Jonah said it was heartbroken to hear of the mass stranding. The Chatham Islands is known for great white sharks, remote beaches, and a resident population of less than 800 people, making it challenging to deal with strandings, Project Jonah said in a social media post. Project Jonah said those factors meant refloating the whales that were still alive was not an option.

October 8th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH cholera cases on the rise, death toll reaches 32

Metro Manila, Philippines— Cholera cases in the Philippines rose to 3,681 as of Sept. 17, a more than twofold increase from the same period last year, Department of Health (DOH) data released Friday showed. The death toll also reached 32, with one new fatality recorded. The DOH reported 340 new cases from Aug. 21 to Sept. 17, mostly from Eastern Visayas (276), Central Luzon (20), and Western Visayas (15). The regions of Central Luzon, Western and Eastern Visayas, and Zamboanga Peninsula have exceeded the epidemic threshold, meaning there are more cases this year compared to the same period in 2021. Cholera is a water-borne disease acquired by drinking water or eating food contaminated with cholera bacteria. It can cause acute watery diarrhea with severe dehydration, which could lead to death [...]

October 7th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos must face key issues ‘head-on’

PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. Contributed PRESIDENT Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. must "battle head-on" urgent national concerns, as he marks his first 100 days in office, a political analyst said Friday. Dr. Froilan Calilung, who teaches political science at the University of Santo Tomas, made the observation after the Marcos administration earned favorable ratings on 11 of the 13 key issues facing the country in the latest Pulse Asia survey. Speaking during a public briefing, Calilung said that overall, the President "did well" in his first three months, getting low marks only in tackling inflation, unemployment and low wages. The survey results showed "a very good indication as to what and how the people would actually try to see his leadership as of the moment," he said. "I would [...]

October 7th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

World Bank sees weak growth in 2023 for eastern Europe, central Asia

FILE PHOTO: A participant stands near a logo of World Bank at the International Monetary Fund - World Bank Annual Meeting 2018 in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, October 12, 2018. REUTERS/Johannes P. Christo/File Photo   WASHINGTON—  The World Bank said on Tuesday (Oct 4) that countries in eastern Europe and Central Asia will return to weak growth in 2023, but warned that a cut-off of Russian energy to the European Union would tip them into recession next year. In updated economic forecasts, the World Bank said collective GDP in its Europe and Central Asia region was now expected to contract 0.2 per cent in 2022 and grow by 0.3 per cent in 2023 due to spillover effects from Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The 2022 forecast is a marked improvement [...]

October 5th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Nobel Prize in Physics awarded to three scientists

Secretary General of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences Hans Ellegren and members of the Nobel Committee for Physics, Eva Olsson and Thors Hans Hansson, announce the winners of the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics [Jonas Ekstromer/TT News Agency via Reuters] Alain Aspect of France, John Clauser of the United States and Austria’s Anton Zeilinger have won the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics for “experiments with entangled photons, establishing the violation of Bell inequalities and pioneering quantum information science”, the award-giving body said on Tuesday. Their discoveries have significant applications, for example, in the field of encryption. “Quantum information science is a vibrant and rapidly developing field,” said Eva Olsson, a member of the Nobel committee. “It has broad and potential implications in areas such as secure information transfer, [...]

October 5th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Japan orders Russian consul to leave in tit-for-tat response

Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi announces the deportation of Russian consuls at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tokyo in Tuesday. | KYODO Japan on Tuesday ordered a Russian consul based in northern Japan to leave the country within six days, Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said, in retaliation for Moscow's expulsion of a Japanese diplomat last month. Hayashi told reporters that his ministry declared the consul at the Russian Consulate General in Sapporo persona non grata after Russia's Federal Security Service detained a Japanese consul in Vladivostok for a few hours for alleged espionage and expelled him from the country. Japan says the consul, Tatsunori Motoki, who returned home last week after being declared persona non grata by the Russian Foreign Ministry, had not committed any illegal act. Hayashi has [...]

October 5th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Philippines’ measles, rubella cases now 153% higher year-on-year at 450

A total of 450 measles and rubella cases were recorded from January 1 to September 17, 2022, which was 153% higher than those recorded during the same period last year, the Department of Health (DOH) said Wednesday. Based on the DOH’s national measles and rubella data as of September 17, there were only 178 cases logged from January 1 to September 17, 2021. Cumulatively, most of the measles and rubella cases this year or 16% were reported in Calabarzon at 70. It was followed by Central Visayas with 61 cases (14%), and the National Capital Region (NCR) with 47 cases (10%). From August 21 to September 17, 2022 alone, 68 measles and rubella cases were reported, most of which from Calabarzon with 16 cases or 24%. This was followed [...]

October 5th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Iranian schoolgirls take up battle cry as protests continue

As country mourns teenager killed in demonstrations, video shows how female-led protests have spread to the classroom An image from social media which is claimed to show Iranian schoolchildren expressing dissatisfaction towards the country's leadership. Photograph: Twitter High school girls have become the latest Iranians to join anti-government protests in large numbers, as the country mourned a teenager killed in the first days of protests. Nika Shahkarami, who lived in Tehran and would have turned 17 on Sunday, vanished in September. Her family found her body in a detention centre’s morgue 10 days later, BBC Persian reported. On Tuesday, President Ebrahim Raisi called for unity against the protests even as they continued to grow, bringing together Iranians across ethnic and class divides, despite the government crackdown. He repeated the [...]

October 5th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH inflation rises to 6.9% in September

Metro Manila— Inflation sped to 6.9% in September from 6.3% in August with food and energy costs mainly driving the increase in commodity prices, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said Wednesday. The recent rate is faster than the 4.2% print logged in the same month last year and falls within the 6.6-7.4% range seen by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) for September. Year-to-date inflation now stands at 5.1%, still above the central bank’s 2-4% target band for 2022. The BSP said the increase in electricity rates and prices of key food items, along with the peso’s weak performance, may have driven inflation in September.  

October 5th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

US defence chief Austin sees no ‘imminent invasion’ of Taiwan by China

A Chinese military jet flies over Pingtan island, one of China's closest points to Taiwan, on Aug 6, 2022. PHOTO: AFP WASHINGTON - United States Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Sunday that he sees no imminent invasion of Taiwan by China, but said China was trying to establish a "new normal" with its military activities around the island. A visit to Taiwan early in August by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi enraged China, which subsequently launched military drills near the island. These drills have continued, although on a much reduced scale. "I don't see an imminent invasion," Mr Austin said in an interview broadcast on CNN. "What we do see is China moving to establish what we would call a new normal. Increased activity - we saw [...]

October 3rd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Australia says nuclear submarine plan on track to be unveiled in early 2023

Defence Minister Richard Marles said Australia is seeking to "minimise and plug any capability gap". PHOTO: AFP CANBERRA - Australia is on track to make an announcement "in the first part of next year", on the path to acquiring nuclear-powered submarines under its project with the United States and Britain, said Defence Minister Richard Marles. "You don't build a nuclear-powered submarine quickly, and so the question of when we would be able to have the first submarine in the water is one that is very pertinent to us," Mr Marles said on Saturday at a joint news conference with US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin after talks in Honolulu. Australia, Britain and the US announced a security agreement known as Aukus on Sept 15, 2021, pledging to cooperate more closely [...]

October 3rd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

DepEd promotes scholarship opportunities for Filipino students, youth

(Photo from DepEd Philippines Facebook page) On its Facebook page, DepEd posted announcements for scholarships that Filipino learners can apply for such as the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program and the “Iskolar ni Juan.” DepEd said that the YES Program in the Philippines is now accepting applications for program cycle 2023-2024. The YES program is a “cultural exchange program” funded by the United States (US) Department of State through the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. This, DepEd said, provides “scholarships for high school students to spend up to one academic year” in the US. Established in October 2002, YES Program recognizes the importance of youth exchange as a “key component” to building bridges between citizens of the US and countries around the world —- particularly those [...]

October 3rd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

PBBM reinforced talks, encouraged investments in 2nd trip to SG

MANILA – President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. returned to Singapore over the weekend to reinforce talks during his recent state visit there and encouraged anew investments in the country, a Palace official said Monday. REAFFIRMING TIES. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (center) poses for a photo opportunity with Singaporean Foreign Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan (left) and Singaporean Manpower Minister Tan See Leng (2nd from left) on the sidelines of the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday (Oct. 2, 2022). Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said Marcos' second trip to the city-state was aimed at reinforcing talks and encouraging investments following his recent state visit in September. (Photo courtesy of Singaporean Manpower Minister Tan See Leng)     Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles, in her official Facebook page, shared a screenshot of [...]

October 3rd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Online cryptocurrency exchange Binance registers in New Zealand

Binance's existing customers will now access its marketplace through the New Zealand platform, where they can trade cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens. File image Photo: 123RF   The world's largest online cryptocurrency exchange has launched a New Zealand version of its marketplace to help shape future industry regulation. Binance, which is ranked the largest exchange of its kind in the world, has registered as a financial services provider with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Local investors could already access Binance before it registered, and the decision meant the company would have to comply with local regulations. Binance NZ will join an external disputes resolution scheme, carry out customer due-diligence, adhere to local anti-money laundering rules and share customer information with the tax department. General manager Ben Rose told [...]

October 3rd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Ukraine war: NZ Government mulling imposing wider sanctions on Russia

While expulsion of Russian diplomats is "not off the table", Jacinda Ardern says it removes the chance for direct dialogue. Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone   The government is considering how to further tighten restrictions on exports and imports to Russia. The Russian ambassador will be called in again to hear New Zealand's opposition to the country's latest actions in Ukraine. On Friday Russian President Vladimir Putin proclaimed the annexation of four regions of Ukraine, during a pomp-filled Kremlin ceremony, promising Moscow would triumph in its "special military operation" against Kyiv. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said New Zealand does not recognise these illegal attempts to change Ukraine's borders, and the referenda in Russian-held Ukrainian territories were a sham. Ardern told Morning Report the government was primarily looking at further [...]

October 3rd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

PBBM, FFCCCII tackle economic recovery plans

BOOSTING THE ECONOMY. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (right) meets with members of the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII) at Malacañan Palace in Manila on Friday (Sept. 30, 2022) to discuss ways to speed up the country’s economic recovery from the pandemic. During the meeting, the FFCCCII pitched to Marcos its ideas to realize the administration’s bid to revitalize and transform the economy. (Photo from PBBM’s official Facebook page) MANILA – President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Friday discussed with a group of Filipino-Chinese business leaders the goals and initiatives to fast-track the recovery of the Philippine economy amid the prevailing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic. In a Facebook post on Saturday, Marcos shared that he met with the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of [...]

October 2nd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Dozens killed in stampede at Indonesia football match, police say

Police fire tear gas after fans invade pitch in East Java, triggering a stampede that killed more than 100 people. This picture taken on October 1, 2022 shows security personnel (lower) on the pitch at Kanjuruhan stadium in Malang, East Java [AFP]   Indonesian police say at least 129 people have been killed and dozens injured after a crowd stampede during a riot at a football match in the province of East Java. In a statement on Sunday, police said supporters of Arema FC stormed the pitch at a stadium in the eastern city of Malang after their team lost 3-2 to Persebaya Surabaya on Saturday night. Police said they tried to persuade fans to return to the stands and fired tear gas to control “riots” after two officers [...]

October 2nd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Russia’s consulate in New York vandalized in apparent protest

The Russian consulate in New York after it was vandalized with spray paint on 30 September.Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images The Russian consulate in New York has been vandalized with red spray paint, in an apparent protest against Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.   Officers said they responded to an emergency call just after 1.30am on Friday reporting that paint had been sprayed across the facade of the consulate on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. A police spokesperson said the investigation is ongoing into the potential “bias incident” and no arrests have been made. Rosie Morse, a retiree who lives in the neighborhood near the consulate, said the spray paint “looks like artwork”. “But the meaning is to express our feeling about Putin, and I can’t say that I don’t agree,” [...]

October 2nd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

PDP Laban elects new officers

                         Photo from PDP Laban Facebook page PDP Laban elected new set of officers during their 40th Anniversary Celebration and National Assembly on Thursday (September 29,2022). Former President Rodrigo Duterte, the party’s chairman, administered the oath of office. The newly elected officers are: • Vice chairman: Alfonso Cusi • President: Palawan 2nd District Rep. Jose Alvarez • Executive Vice President: Sen. Robin Padilla • VP for NCR: Rep. Edwin Olivarez • VP for Luzon: Sen. Francis Tolentino • VP for Visayas: Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama • VP for Mindanao: Sen. Bato dela Rosa • Secretary General: Atty. Melvin Matibag • Treasurer: Deputy Speaker Rep. Dong Gonzales • Auditor: Bong Go •Membership Committee Chairperson – Astra Pimentel •Legal [...]

September 30th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

US, Philippine defense chiefs discuss strengthening MDT commitments

Top defense officials of the Philippines and the United States on Friday (Manila time) discussed strengthening their commitments to the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) between the two countries. The discussion took place during a meeting between US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III and Philippine Defense officer-in-charge Jose Faustino Jr. at the US Indo-Pacific Command in Honolulu, Hawaii. “We discussed several priority areas for the alliance including strengthening our MDT commitments and enhancing maritime cooperation, and building on our mutual defense posture, and improving interoperability and information sharing,” Austin said in a press conference. Under the MDT, the two countries agreed that an armed attack in the Pacific Area on either the Philippines or the US would be dangerous and that they would act to meet the common dangers in [...]

September 30th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Typhoon Karding farm damage to jack up rice, vegetable prices: Department of Agriculture

Karding has wiped out P2.02 billion worth of agricultural produce, with the rice sector accounting for nearly 82 per cent of the recorded damage. UNDER WATER Vast tracts of farms are submerged by flood in this photo taken during President Marcos’ aerial inspection of provinces ravaged by Supertyphoon “Karding.” —KJ ROSALES/PPA POOL   MANILA — Consumers should brace for an increase of as much as 20 percent in the retail prices of rice and vegetables after Super Typhoon “Karding” (international name: Noru) wreaked havoc on the country’s farm sector, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said on Thursday. Agriculture Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban said they were expecting a spike of 15 to 20 percent in prices of food items because the rice-producing region of Central Luzon suffered the brunt of [...]

September 30th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Australia ends Covid isolation rule as it moves beyond ’emergency phase’

GETTY IMAGES Australia had some of the world's longest and strictest lockdowns Australia has said it will end mandatory Covid isolation requirements from next month. Currently anyone who tests positive to the virus must isolate for five days, but that will end from 14 October. At times nicknamed "Fortress Australia", the country has had some of the strictest restrictions in the world since the pandemic began. Australia's chief medical officer, Paul Kelly, said the "emergency phase" of its response was probably over. But Prof Kelly said the decision "does not in any way suggest that the pandemic is finished". Mandatory isolation had been one of the few restrictions remaining. Australia continues to record about 5,500 virus cases each day, official figures show. It is one of the world's most [...]

September 30th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

PLA praises joint military exercises in Russia

In this undated photo, Senior Colonel Tan Kefei, spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense, addresses a press conference. (PHOTO / MINISTRY OF NATIONAL DEFENCE, CHINA)   BEIJING – The People’s Liberation Army has “fully exercised its ability to carry out overseas military operations” through its participation in the Russian-organized Vostok-2022 (East-2022) military drills, a Defense Ministry spokesman said on Thursday. The PLA has “made full use of an unfamiliar complex environment” and meticulously organized fully functional forces, including command, combat and support, in accordance with various demands, said Senior Colonel Tan Kefei, a spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense. “The army has carefully organized cross-border delivery, combat planning and field operation support, comprehensively enhancing its ability to conduct military action overseas,” he added. The PLA has “made [...]

September 30th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Vladimir Putin recognises independence of two Ukraine regions

Policemen walk at Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Thursday on Sep 29, 2022. (Photo: AP/Alexander Zemlianichenko)     MOSCOW— Russian President Vladimir Putin has recognised the independence of Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions, according to presidential decrees issued late Thursday (Sep 29), on the eve of Russia finalising their annexation. "I order the recognition of the state sovereignty and independence" of the regions of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson, located in southern Ukraine, Putin said in the decrees, as Russia prepares to formalise the annexation of the two regions, along with Donetsk and Lugansk on Friday. Moscow has said it will annex four occupied regions of Ukraine at a grand ceremony in the Kremlin on Friday. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the annexation of the areas would be formalised [...]

September 30th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

US makes Pacific Islands pledge in bid to counter China

CHIP SOMODEVILLA It is the first time that Pacific leaders have been invited for an in-person summit The US has struck a partnership agreement with Pacific island nations amid concern in Washington over growing Chinese influence. It also announced $810m (£725m) in financial support and said it would recognise Niue and Cook Islands as sovereign states. Fourteen nations signed the deal including the Solomon Islands, after reports said its leader would not sign. The region has strategic importance as the gateway to Asia from the Pacific. Its location and its need for assistance, particularly to help it deal with the impact of climate change, has triggered a battle for influence - with China keen on playing a prominent role. In June Beijing proposed a sweeping trade and security deal [...]

September 30th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Kiwi dollar falling on ‘capital drain’ back to the US, says Adrian Orr

The New Zealand dollar has dropped to its lowest level compared to the US dollar since 2009. The New Zealand dollar was trading at just over 56 US cents and 87 Australian cents on Tuesday morning, having fallen in value by 19% against both currencies over the past year. Although there has been a gradual downward drift over the year, that accelerated during the past few days. Essentially this means importing from the US is now much more expensive than it was. Travelling overseas is also very pricey. But he appeared to indicate the risk of higher imported inflation would not throw New Zealand’s monetary policy off course, describing its own cycle of monetary policy tightening as “well advanced” and “very mature”. Speaking at an event hosted by the [...]

September 26th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

China’s Communist Party has elected delegates for congress

China's President Xi Jinping gives a speech following a swearing-in ceremony to inaugurate the city's new leader and government in Hong Kong on July 1, 2022, on the 25th anniversary of the city's handover from Britain to China. (AFP/Selim CHTAYTI )   China's Communist Party said Sunday that it had elected all the delegates attending a key political meeting starting October 16, where President Xi Jinping is expected to secure an unprecedented third term. The twice-in-a-decade conclave will also see a shuffle of personnel on the party's powerful decision-making body, the 25-member Politburo. "Each electoral unit across the country convened a party congress or party representative meeting and elected 2,296 delegates to the 20th Party Congress," state broadcaster CCTV said. The delegates must adhere to Xi's political ideology in addition [...]

September 26th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

NASA spacecraft to hit asteroid in planetary defence test

In world’s first attempt to change the motion of an asteroid, scientists hope the method can prevent collisions with Earth. NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft will hit the asteroid Dimorphos about 11 million kilometres from Earth on Monday evening [Steve Gribben/Johns Hopkins APL/NASA via AP A NASA spacecraft is scheduled to slam into an asteroid, in an unprecedented test designed to prevent potentially devastating collisions with Earth. NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft will hit the asteroid Dimorphos about 11 million kilometres from Earth on Monday, attempting to slightly alter its trajectory in a test of the world’s first planetary defence system. “This is a challenging test, and this is why we’re taking these first steps now to develop this technology before we need it,” Nancy [...]

September 26th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Rise in PH working-age population boom

Workers are seen inside a construction site along Roxas and Macapagal Boulevards in Pasay City, on 4 June 2022. (PHOTO: MIKE ALQUINTO) THE Commission on Population and Development (PopCom) highlighted the important role of a robust working-age population in achieving socioeconomic development through a state of demographic dividend, with the 64 percent ratio of working-age Filipinos in 2020. The PopCom referenced the latest Philippine Statistics Authority's Labor Force Survey, which indicates a continued rise in the employment rate at 94.8 percent in July 2022, estimated at 47.39 million employed people, compared to the 41.67 million in the same period in 2021. During the seventh edition of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific-Committee on Social Development earlier this month, PopCom Officer in Charge Executive [...]

September 26th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Philippines’ number of new COVID-19 cases in a week up 22%

COVID-19 cases in the country have increased anew after a period of decline, with 17,891 infections recorded from September 19 to 25, 2022—22% higher than those logged the previous week. According to the DOH’s weekly case bulletin, the cases recorded in the past week climbed up from the 14,707 new infections logged the week prior, September 12 to 18. The daily case average for the recent week also increased to 2,556 from last week’s 2,101. OCTA Research said Monday that the new COVID-19 infections in the National Capital Region (NCR) recorded on Sunday surpassed the peak of new cases in August, as most indicators were seen increasing. A total of 242 additional verified COVID-19-related deaths were also belatedly reported in the past week. These deaths were reported from April [...]

September 26th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Putin grants Russian citizenship to US whistleblower Snowden

File photo. Edward Snowden in Moscow in 2015. Photo: AFP President Vladimir Putin granted Russian citizenship to former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, nine years after he exposed the scale of secret surveillance operations by the National Security Agency (NSA). Snowden, 39, fled the United States and was given asylum in Russia after leaking secret files in 2013 that revealed vast domestic and international surveillance operations carried out by the NSA, where he worked. US authorities have for years wanted him returned to the United States to face a criminal trial on espionage charges. There was no immediate reaction from Snowden, whose name appeared without Kremlin comment in a Putin decree conferring citizenship on a list of 72 foreign-born individuals. The news prompted some Russians to jokingly ask whether [...]

September 26th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Vietnam prepares for arrival of Super Typhoon Noru

Along with other central localities, Quảng Ngãi Province’s authorities are calling fishing vessels to return to shore as the super typhoon Noru is heading towards Việt Nam with expected landfall on Wednesday. Local border guards are helping fishermen secure their boats. Viet Nam News/Asia News Network HANOI — Vietnam’s northern and central provinces have been told to prepare for super typhoon Noru, which is heading in a northwest direction with wind speeds of up to 183km per hour. The typhoon is set to become the fourth to hit the country in 2022. The typhoon hit Luzon Island in the Philippines on Sunday, with wind speeds of 167-183km per hour, according to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting. By 10am on Monday, it will be about 740km off the Hoàng [...]

September 26th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

APPEC: Vitol expects Russian fuel to come to Asia and Mideast

FILE PHOTO: Vitol CEO Russell Hardy speaks during the 20th Asia Oil & Gas Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia June 24, 2019. REUTERS/Lai Seng Sin   SINGAPORE— Russian fuel is expected to come to Asia and the Middle East, while fuels produced there are expected to flow to the West, Vitol's Chief Executive Officer Russell Hardy said on Monday. More than a million barrels per day of U.S. crude is expected to go to Europe to fill the gap in Russian supplies, he told a forum at the 38th Annual Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference (APPEC) 2022 conference, adding that Russian commodities would need to find a home in places outside the United Kingdom, United States and European Union. "It's going to go further and longer distances and find different [...]

September 26th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

US, South Korea begin naval drills after North’s missile test

South Korea's hawkish President Yoon Suk-yeol, who took office in May, has vowed to beef up joint military exercises with the United States (Photo: AFP/handout)   SEOUL— South Korea and the United States began their first combined naval exercise near the peninsula in five years on Monday (Sep 26), a day after Pyongyang conducted a ballistic missile launch. Washington is Seoul's key security ally and stations about 28,500 troops in South Korea to protect it from the nuclear-armed North. South Korea's hawkish President Yoon Suk-yeol, who took office in May, has vowed to beef up joint military exercises with the United States, after years of failed diplomacy with North Korea under his predecessor. "This exercise was prepared to demonstrate the strong will of the South Korea-US alliance to respond [...]

September 26th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

PBBM wants generators deployed; dams’ water release controlled

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. (Photo courtesy of PBBM's official Facebook page)   MANILA – President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Monday directed the Department of Energy (DOE) to deploy more generators with fuel to areas in Nueva Ecija and Aurora that have limited power supply in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Karding.   In a situation briefing with top government officials at the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) headquarters in Quezon City, DOE Secretary Raphael Lotilla bared that aside from Nueva Ecija and Aurora, other provinces facing power supply problems are Tarlac, Zambales, Pampanga, and Quezon. Lotilla said although main generation plants were spared from the typhoon, several areas remain partially affected by power supply issues. Marcos, for his part, acknowledged that it will take [...]

September 26th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Iran protests Western stance on mass protests over Mahsa Amini’s death

A pro-government rally in Tehran. Photo: AFP Iran summoned the British and Norwegian ambassadors over what it called interference and hostile media coverage of the nationwide unrest triggered by the death of a woman detained by morality police. Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian also criticised US support for "rioters" - the label Tehran has used for many who have joined the protests which have swept the country, prompting a security crackdown and curbs on internet and phones. Demonstrations which erupted more than a week ago at the funeral of a 22-year-old Kurdish woman named Mahsa Amini, who died in detention after being arrested by police enforcing the Islamic Republic's strict restrictions on women's dress, have turned into the biggest protests in years. Clashes continued between security forces and protesters in [...]

September 26th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH Govt to airlift food, generators to typhoon-hit areas

The government has mobilized to send food and generators to areas hammered by Super Typhoon Karding, President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said on Monday. "Presently what we are organizing is the airlift for food materials, food packs, water into Polillo because they said it's really down. It was the first hit," the President said. Marcos, who attended a situation briefing at the Office of Civil Defense in Camp Aguinaldo, ordered the deployment of generators to the provinces of Aurora and Nueva Ecija. "Since we've already identified that the whole of Nueva Ecija and the whole of Aurora have no power, then we need to send them power," he said. After the briefing, the President conducted an aerial survey of areas hit by "Karding." The fly-by included Bulacan, Nueva Ecija [...]

September 26th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

US warns of catastrophic consequences if Russia uses nuclear weapons in Ukraine

Ukrainian service members ride atop an armoured fighting vehicles, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kharkiv region, Ukraine, on Sep 24, 2022. (Photo: REUTERS/Oleksandr Ratushniak)   KYIV— The United States warned on Sunday (Sep 25) of "catastrophic consequences" if Moscow were to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, after Russia's foreign minister said regions holding widely-criticised referendumswould get full protection if annexed by Moscow. Votes in four eastern Ukrainian regions, aimed at annexing territory Russia has taken by force, were staged for a third day on Sunday. The Russian parliament could move to formalise the annexation within days. By incorporating the areas of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia into Russia, Moscow could portray efforts to retake them as attacks on Russia itself, a warning to Kyiv and its Western allies. [...]

September 26th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

5 areas in PH under Signal 5 as Karding endangers the Polillo Islands

Five areas were placed under Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) No. 5 on Sunday afternoon as Super Typhoon Karding maintained its strength while endangering the Polillo Islands, PAGASA said in its 2 p.m. severe weather bulletin. The areas under Signal 5 were: Polillo Islands; the extreme northern portion of Quezon (the northern and central portions of General Nakar, the northeastern portion of Infanta); the extreme southern portion of Aurora (Dingalan); the eastern portion of Bulacan (Doña Remedios Trinidad, Norzagaray) and; the extreme southeastern portion of Nueva Ecija (the southeastern portion of General Tinio). These areas could experience very strong winds of more than 185 km/h in at least 12 hours. These winds were an extreme threat to life and property, PAGASA warned. Areas under TCWS No. 4, meanwhile, were: [...]

September 25th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Japan eyes hiking defense spending to ¥40 trillion over five years

Ground Self-Defense Force personnel take part in a joint exercise with U.S. Army soldiers at a maneuvering ground in Yamato, Kumamoto Prefecture, on Aug. 28. | KYODO Japan is considering sharply increasing its defense spending to more than ¥40 trillion ($279 billion) over the next five years, government officials have said. The amount compares with the ¥27.47 trillion in total specified as defense costs for five years through fiscal 2023 in the country’s Medium Term Defense Program, the officials said Saturday. The plan reflects Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s pledge to “fundamentally reinforce” the country’s defense capabilities in the face of China’s military expansion and North Korea’s rapid nuclear and missile development. Senior government officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the five-year plan presenting the total amount of [...]

September 25th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Tasmanian crews start hauling carcasses of stranded whales out to sea

About 200 pilot whales to be given at-sea burials in very deep water as no surviving animals remain on Ocean Beach The number of crews working on the rescue and removal of the stranded pilot whales will be scaled back over the next few days. Photograph: Glenn Nicholls/AFP/Getty Images Crews are expected to start hauling the carcasses of about 200 dead whales out to sea after a mass stranding on Tasmania’s west coast. The pod of about 230 pilot whales became stranded on Ocean Beach, west of Strahan, on Wednesday, with a smaller number stranded in nearby Macquarie Harbour. It was almost two years to the day and in the same location as Australia’s biggest ever whale stranding event, when 470 pilot whales were stranded and 380 died in [...]

September 25th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Switzerland to destroy 10 million doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 jab

Moderna announced that it has begun clinical trials of a booster dose of vaccine designed specifically to combat the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. (Photo: AFP/Frederic J Brown)   GENEVA: Switzerland will need to destroy 10.3 million doses of Moderna's vaccine against COVID-19, after they expired this week, the health ministry said on Saturday (Sep 24).   The ministry said it had no choice but to eliminate the jabs after the doses expired last Wednesday, according to Keystone-ATS. It told the news agency that 2.5 million of the doses were being stored at a Swiss army logistics base and 7.8 million were in an external storage depot in Belgium. The ministry confirmed an initial report on Swiss news site Beobachter, which estimated that the doses set for destruction were [...]

September 25th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Bongbong Marcos back in PH after successful US trip

Philippine President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. addresses the General assembly at the United Nations on September 20, 2022 in New York City. (Getty Images via AFP) NEW YORK CITY, United States — After a successful trip in the United States, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is back in the country. The aircraft carrying the President and the Philippine delegation arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 at 6:09 a.m. Marcos Jr. concluded his six-day working visit in New York on Friday, Sept. 23, calling his trip to the US “successful.” He said he was also “satisfied” and “happy” with the results of the trip. Marcos said he and the Philippine delegation achieved what it sought to do in the trip, which was to meet with several American [...]

September 25th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

CIA museum: Inside the world’s most top secret museum

Photo: AFP / Saul Loeb   It is the perhaps the most unusual - and exclusive - museum in the world, filled with artefacts that have shaped history but its doors are firmly shut to the public. It is the only place a visitor can see the gun found with Osama bin Laden when he was killed, next to Saddam Hussein's leather jacket. Welcome to the CIA's secret in-house museum. Located inside the US intelligence agency's headquarters in Langley, Virginia, the collection has just been renovated to mark the agency's 75th anniversary. A small group of journalists, including the BBC, were given exclusive access, although with a security escort constantly at their side. Among the 600 artefacts on display are kind of cold war spy gadgets you might expect [...]

September 25th, 2022|Categories: Lifestyle & Entertainment, News|0 Comments

Focus on drug lords, not small fry – President Marcos

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (File photo from Malacañang) NEW YORK CITY — Changing the “focus” of the fight against illegal drugs, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said he had told the Philippine National Police that he was “not interested” in small-time drug pushers and instructed officials to put more effort into going after big-time narcotics suppliers and distributors. Marcos said on Friday that he gave the order during a meeting with top PNP officials after he took office on June 30, succeeding Rodrigo Duterte, whose brutal war on drugs is under investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor. “It is certainly my view that enforcement, which has been the part of the drug war that has been most vigorously pursued by President [Rodrigo] Duterte, only gets you so far. [...]

September 25th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Bongbong Marcos, Japan PM Kishida reinforce PH – Japan ties in New York meeting

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (PH media delegation pool)    NEW YORK CITY — On the fourth day of his working visit here, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Wednesday (Thursday Manila time) met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida for the first time on the sidelines of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly. Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to reinforce ties and strengthen cooperation, discussing how the two nations saw growth and deepened cooperation in addressing their security and defense priorities. In particular, Marcos and Kishida tackled maritime security, maritime domain awareness, maritime law enforcement capacities, and peace in Mindanao. “During their meeting, the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to reinforce ties and [...]

September 22nd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Biden, Philippines’ Marcos discuss tensions in South China Sea

Philippine Marines fold a Philippine national flag during a flag retreat at the BRP Sierra Madre, a marooned transport ship in the disputed Second Thomas Shoal, part of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, on Mar 29, 2014. (Photo: Reuters/Erik De Castro) NEW YORK—  US President Joe Biden and his Philippine counterpart, Ferdinand Marcos, underscored their support for freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea on Thursday (Sep 22), in response to China's efforts to exert its influence there. Biden and Marcos held their first face-to-face talks on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. Marcos, son of the late Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, took power in June. "The leaders discussed the situation in the South China Sea and underscored their support for [...]

September 22nd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Expelling Russian ambassador ‘least meaningful’ diplomatic option – Ardern

Jacinda Ardern at the UN in New York on 20 September 2022. File photo. Photo: RNZ / Craig McCulloch   Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has downplayed the likelihood of the Russian ambassador being expelled. Russian President Vladimir Putin sparked fresh outrage this week, making more veiled threats of nuclear war, and sharing plans to hold referendums on whether occupied regions of Ukraine should become part of Russia. A decision on whether to expel Russian ambassador Georgy Zuev has been under active consideration by the government, with any such move likely to result in New Zealand ambassador Sarah Walsh getting the boot from Moscow. Speaking to media in New York, Ardern said sanctions against Russian oligarchs and support for the Ukrainian war efforts were more important. She said all options, [...]

September 22nd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

EU boss says trade deal with NZ a ‘gold standard’ for future agreements

The EU's July trade deal with New Zealand is comprehensive and a wonderful agreement, Bernd Lange says. Photo: European Parliament   The chair of the European Parliament's International Trade committee is confident the process of ratifying the trade deal with New Zealand will be simple. New Zealand secured an historic free trade agreement with the European Union in July 2022, which would remove tariffs on 91 percent of NZ exports, once signed. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen announce the agreement in Brussels. Photo: Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP   But some in New Zealand have warned ratification will not be easy and will require a significant amount of political lobbying. New Zealand's chief negotiator Vangelis Vitalis has pointed to groups in Europe, like [...]

September 22nd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Sri Lanka: Inflation rate jumps to 70.2% in August

GETTY IMAGES Sri Lanka's annual inflation rate surged to more than 70% in August as it struggles with its worst economic crisis in over seven decades. Official data also showed food prices rose by 84.6% compared to a year ago. The South Asian nation of 22m people was plunged into financial and political chaos this year as it faced a shortage of foreign currencies. The country has been unable to afford key imports - including fuel, fertiliser and medicine. Last month, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka said it expected inflation to ease, as the country's economy slowed, after peaking at about 70%. Official figures released last week showed that the economy had contracted by 8.4% in the three months to the end of August. Before the pandemic, Sri [...]

September 22nd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos tackles govt priorities with US-ASEAN biz leaders, ex-UK PM Blair

Metro Manila, Philippines — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. tackled his administration’s priorities in separate meetings with business leaders and a former United Kingdom prime minister championing globalization during his working visit to the United States. In a Facebook post late Wednesday, Radio Television Malacañang (RTVM) said Marcos attended a business dialogue with the US-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Business Council and the US Chamber of Commerce. “The President discusses the Philippines’ priorities as conveyed in his national statement during the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) High-Level General Debate, and the bilateral economic and investment agenda of the Philippine Government,” said RTVM in its post. On early Thursday, the chief executive confirmed in an Instagram post his meeting with ex-UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, [...]

September 22nd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Strong quake rattles top of South and lower North Islands

More than 44,000 people registered with GeoNet as having felt the 5.8 quake in the 15 mins after it hit. (The darker marks show the location of people who reported stronger shaking). Photo: Supplied/ GeoNet A strong 5.8 earthquake has rattled the top of the South Island, and lower North Island tonight. GeoNet said the quake was centred about 30 km north-east of French Pass, at the north end of Tasman Bay It hit at 9.07pm, and was about 51km deep. In the 15 minutes following the earthquake more than 44,000 people registered on the GeoNet website that they had felt the shaking. The highest group of respondents in that time, 8145 people, said it felt like moderate shaking - which GeoNet described as an earthquake strong enough to [...]

September 22nd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Three quarters of fish in southern NZ contain microplastics – study

Photo: AFP An University of Otago study has found three-quarters of wild fish in New Zealand are filled with tiny plastics. Packaging, clothes, and discarded fishing nets are some of the likely sources of record-high microplastics that fish have swallowed. Researcher Isabella Clere told Morning Report that for an isolated island nation with a small population - the numbers are horrifying. Ingesting microplastics was not only bad for the fish but also for the people who ate them, she said. "Nanoplastics and plastic chemicals may transfer from the gastro-intestinal tract and stomach into the muscle tissue which is what we're eating." Understanding how these microplastics get into the seas around New Zealand was complicated, she said. "New Zealand like many other small island countries has a very complex oceanographic [...]

September 22nd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘Abolish the monarchy’ protests held on Australian day of mourning for Queen

Thousands have marched in protest at colonisation, including in Sydney. Photo: Anadolu Agency / Getty Images Crowds have gathered across Australia for 'abolish the monarchy' protests on the country's national day of mourning for Queen Elizabeth II. Many of the rallies were coordinated by Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance, which said in a statement it stood "against racist colonial imperialism and its ongoing effects on us as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples". "While they mourn the Queen, we mourn everything her regime stole from us: our children, our land, our loved one's lives, our sacred sites, our histories," the organisation said. Organisers listed their demands as the return of land "to the rightful sovereign owners", an end to Indigenous deaths in custody, and truth, accountability and justice. An [...]

September 22nd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Japan storm: Millions told to evacuate as Typhoon Nanmadol makes landfall

REUTERS One of the biggest typhoons ever to strike Japan has made landfall on the southern island of Kyushu. Typhoon Nanmadol has brought winds of at least 180 km/h (112mph) and some areas could see 500mm (20 inches) of rainfall over Sunday and Monday. At least four million people have been told to evacuate their homes. Extensive flooding and landslides are expected, while bullet train services, ferries, and hundreds of flights have been cancelled. The typhoon made landfall near the city of Kagoshima, on the southern tip of Kyushu, on Sunday morning. Kyushu is the southernmost of the four islands that make up the main body of Japan and has a population of more than 13 million people. Authorities had issued a "special alert" for the island, the first [...]

September 19th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Pakistan floods put pressure on faltering economy

GETTY IMAGES Many households in the affected areas rely on crops and livestock to make a living The calls are growing louder. Pakistan desperately needs help after its worst floods in years, and it needs it fast. "This climate calamity couldn't have come at a worse time, when Pakistan's economy was already struggling with a balance of payments crisis, rising debt, and soaring inflation," Maleeha Lodhi, former Pakistan ambassador to the UN and the UK, told the BBC. If the country doesn't get debt relief, she added, the economy risks "tanking". Catastrophic rain linked to climate change has submerged large parts of the country, killing nearly 1,500 people and affecting roughly 33 million people. Homes, roads, railways, crops, livestock and livelihoods have been washed away in the extreme weather [...]

September 19th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Biden again says US would defend Taiwan if China attacks

EPA/Taiwan carried out military exercises earlier this month US President Joe Biden has again said the US would defend Taiwan in the event of an attack by China. Asked in a CBS interview if US troops would defend the island, Mr Biden said: "Yes, if in fact, there was an unprecedented attack". The remarks prompted the White House to clarify that US policy had not changed. Washington has long maintained a stance of "strategic ambiguity" - it does not commit to defending Taiwan, but also does not rule out the option. Taiwan is a self-ruled island off the coast of eastern China that Beijing claims as part of its territory. Washington has always walked a diplomatic tightrope over the issue. On the one hand it adheres to the One [...]

September 19th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

NZ to observe nationwide minute of silence for the Queen

Aotearoa will observe a national minute of silence in honour of Queen Elizabeth II at 2pm on Monday 26 September. The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard with the Imperial State Crown placed on top, is carried on a horse-drawn gun carriage of the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery. (Source: Associated Press) Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today that the minute's silence will take place at the start of New Zealand's state memorial service. The memorial is being held on Monday 26 September, a one-off public holiday to mark the passing of the Queen. "The minute’s silence is a way for people, wherever they might be in New Zealand, to stand together to mark an extraordinary 70 years of service," Ardern said. "We know in [...]

September 19th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘You just get on with it’: Jacinda Ardern says Queen gave her ‘best advice’ on being a new mum and leader

New Zealand PM said she sought the Queen’s advice as one of the few women to have combined leadership with motherhood Queen Elizabeth II greets New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, in 2018. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA Jacinda Ardern says the Queen gave her the best advice she got on combining the duties of leading a country and being a new mother: “Just get on with it.” New Zealand’s prime minister, who is in London to attend the Queen’s funeral, said her first meeting with Queen Elizabeth II was in 2018, when she had recently been elected prime minister and was pregnant with her daughter, Neve. Ardern is one of just a handful of world leaders who have been pregnant and had a child while holding office, and said she [...]

September 19th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Britain and the world prepare to say last farewell to Queen Elizabeth

Photo: AFP Britain, world leaders and royalty from across the globe will on Monday, UK time, bid a final farewell to Queen Elizabeth, the last towering figure of her era, at a state funeral of inimitable pageantry. At 6.30am (5.30pm NZ time), an official lying-in-state period ends after four days in which hundreds of thousands have queued to file past the casket of Britain's longest-reigning monarch at London's historic Westminster Hall. They, like many across the globe including US President Joe Biden, had wanted to pay tribute to the 96-year-old who had spent seven decades on the British throne. "You were fortunate to have had her for 70 years," Biden said. "We all were." Shortly before 11am (10pm NZ time), the oak coffin, covered in the Royal Standard flag [...]