News

Home/News
News2020-07-20T11:21:08+00:00

PBBM sees sustained peace, stability in SCS via PH-US-Japan alliance

STRONG PH-US TIES. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (center, left panel) meets with United States Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III (center, right panel) at the Pentagon in Washington DC on Saturday (April 13, 2024, Manila time). During his meeting with Austin, Marcos emphasized the Philippines’ strong relations with the US. (Photo from PBBM’s official Facebook page)     MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. expressed optimism on Saturday (Manila time) that the Philippines’ trilateral alliance with the United States (US) and Japan would usher in sustained peace and stability in the South China Sea (SCS). During his meeting with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III at the Pentagon in Washington DC, Marcos said the result of his historic trilateral summit with US President Joe Biden and Japan Prime [...]

April 13th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Phivolcs reports five phreatic eruptions at Taal Volcano

One of the four discrete phreatic or steam-driven eruption events, observed between 9:45 a.m. and 3:22 p.m. through the Taal Volcano Network (TVN) at the VTMC (Main Crater) observation station on April 12, 2024.     MANILA, Philippines — Taal Volcano in Batangas exhibited increased volcanic activity with five phreatic eruptions occurring within a 24-hour period, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs). In its latest bulletin, Phivolcs reported that between 12 a.m. Friday and 12 a.m. Saturday, Taal experienced five phreatic eruptions, with one event lasting for 13 minutes. A phreatic eruption, according to Phivolcs, is a steam-driven explosion that occurs when water, either below the ground or on the surface, is heated by magma, lava, hot rocks, or fresh volcanic deposits. During the same monitoring [...]

April 13th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Dangerous heat index forecast in 9 areas

MANILA – The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) warned of dangerous heat index levels in nine areas across the country on Saturday. Based on the weather bureau’s 5 p.m. forecast on Friday, the following areas may have a heat index ranging from 42°C to 45°C on Saturday: Laoag, Ilocos Norte – 42°C Dagupan City, Pangasinan – 45°C Aparri, Cagayan – 44°C Tuguegarao, Cagayan – 42°C Puerto Princesa City, Palawan – 42°C Aborlan, Palawan – 42°C Masbate City, Masbate – 42°C CBPSUA-Pili, Camarines Sur – 42°C Catarman, Northern Samar – 42°C PAGASA said heat index is what the temperature feels like to the human body when relative humidity is combined with the air temperature. The weather bureau advised the public to limit the time spent outdoors, especially [...]

April 13th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Malaria cases surge by 90% in 2023 – DOH

MALARIA MOSQUITO. Malaria cases nationwide increased by 90 percent in 2023, according to Department of Health - Disease Intervention and Prevention Bureau medical officer Kim Patrick Tejano during a press briefing on Friday (April 12, 2024). Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites transmitted through bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes on people. (PNA file photo)     MANILA – Malaria cases in the country almost doubled in 2023 and the Department of Health (DOH) believes that climate change contributed to the uptick. Latest data from the DOH Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) showed that about 6,248 cases were recorded in 2023 or 90 percent higher than the 3,245 cases posted in 2022. Of these cases, 11 deaths were reported and still under investigation. "While the cases [...]

April 13th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Fuel prices to rise anew as Gaza boils

The Department of Energy warned of another round of oil price hike next week by as much as P1 per liter due to the ongoing geopolitical conflict in the Gaza Strip. This will be the fourth consecutive weekly increase for gasoline and the second weekly increase for diesel and kerosene. The DOE estimates the increase at P0.80 to P1 per liter for diesel and P0.85 to P1 per liter for kerosene. Prices of gasoline may remain steady or go up by P0.20 per liter. ”Another round of increase is expected next week as a result of an intensified geopolitical concerns in Gaza Strip wherein Israeli’s airstrikes killed 3 sons of a Hamas leader. However, inventory build up of crude and fuels in the US tempered the oil price increase.(These [...]

April 13th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

2 killed in Navy chopper crash in Cavite – AFP

This photo provided by Police Regional Office 4A shows the Philippine Navy helicopter that crashed near Cavite City Public Market on Thursday morning, April 11, 2024. Two pilots were killed in the incident, according to the military. | PHOTO: Police Regional Office 4A     PAMPANGA, Philippines — A Philippine Navy (PN) helicopter crashed near Cavite City Public Market on Thursday morning, killing two pilots, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said. “A PN Robinson R22 trainer helicopter conducted an emergency landing this morning in the vicinity near of Cavite City Public Market,” AFP spokesperson Col. Francel Margareth Padilla told reporters in a Viber message. “The two navy aviators were rushed to the hospital for medical treatment but succumbed to their injuries,” she said. Padilla said families of [...]

April 11th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

DepEd Urged: Revert To Old School Calendar ASAP

The Department of Education eyes the full return to the old academic calendar in 2026, when classes would open in June. Additional electric fans have been set up inside a classroom of the Rafael Palma Elementary School in Manila on April 1, 2024, to keep students cool in the hot weather. Photo by Edd Gumban, The Philippine STAR The Department of Education (DepEd) must speed up the return to the old academic calendar amid widespread suspension of onsite classes due to extreme heat, teachers group Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) reiterated on Friday, April 5. In an interview with ABS-CBN News, TDC national chairman Benjo Basas said the reversion to the old academic calendar – where classes run from June to March and school break from April to May – seemed [...]

April 11th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Peace, security top Tri-Summit agenda

OFF TO WASHINGTON. President Marcos waves to well wishers before departing for Washington, D.C., where he will join US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida for the first Philippines-US-Japan Trilateral Summit. PPA POOL US, Japan, PH to assure freedom of navigation in WPS President Marcos on Wednesday flew to the United States to participate in a landmark trilateral meeting with the United States and Japan, which would also iron out the agreement between the three nations regarding peace and security in the West Philippine Sea. “This is essentially an agreement between the United States, Japan, and the Philippines on cooperation in terms of maintaining security and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. That is the essence of it,” the President told reporters before leaving [...]

April 11th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘No backing down from challenges’—PBBM

Marcos heads to Washington for tri-summit As the nation marked the Day of Valor, President Marcos on Tuesday said the Philippines “must not back down from challenges that seek to threaten its peace, honor, and very existence.” Marcos made the statement during the 82nd Commemoration of the Araw ng Kagitingan at the Mt. Samat Shrine in Pilar, Bataan, where he called on Filipinos to stand against oppression amid current challenges that threaten the country within its territory. The Day of Valor commemorates the heroism and sacrifice of Filipinos who fought in the Battle of Bataan during World War II. Meanwhile, the President is set to fly to Washington today (Wednesday) to participate in the historic trilateral leaders’ summit between the Philippines, Japan, and the United States. Mr. Marcos will [...]

April 10th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos hopes for unity amid diversity in Eid’l Fitr message

    President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (File Photo)     MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Wednesday called for unity amid Filipinos’ diversity in beliefs and philosophies as he joined Muslims here and abroad in the celebration of Eid’l Fitr or the Festival of Breaking the Fast. In his written message released by the Office of the President, Marcos emphasized the festival's significance for the spiritual renewal of Muslims after Ramadan's month-long observance of prayer, sacrifice, and penance. “Truly, the Festival of Breaking the Fast marks not only the culmination of Ramadan, but also the rededication of one’s journey towards a more disciplined, dignified, and gracious life,” Marcos said. “As you take to heart the insights from your devotion, may you become shining examples of humility, [...]

April 10th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

US, PH jet fighters in drills over Luzon

AIR Force pilots from the Philippines and the United States are set to conduct maneuvers over a wide area of Luzon during the Cope Thunder-Philippines military exercise that began Monday at the Basa Air Base in Floridablanca, Pampanga. Air Force Public Affairs chief Col. Consuelo Castillo said that at least 12 US F-16 supersonic multi-role fighter aircraft and four FA-50s from the Philippines would participate in the reconnaissance and training maneuvers. A Philippine Air Force (PAF) C-130J cargo aircraft will join the drills. The first iteration of Cope Thunder this year, taking place in the Northern Luzon Intensive Military Training Area, Basa Air Base and Benito N. Ebuen Air Base, involves about 700 airmen and will last until April 19. Castillo said the exercise would focus on expert exchanges, [...]

April 10th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Dangerous heat index forecast in 8 areas — PAGASA

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration warned of dangerous heat index levels ranging from 42°C to 44°C in eight areas on Wednesday. Based on the weather bureau’s 5 p.m. forecast on Tuesday, the following areas are: Dagupan City, Pangasinan – 44°C Bacnotan, La Union – 42°C San Jose, Occidental Mindoro – 42°C Puerto Princesa City, Palawan – 43°C Aborlan, Palawan – 43°C Roxas City, Capiz – 42°C Guiuan, Eastern Samar – 42°C Cotabato City, Maguindanao – 42°C Heat index is what the temperature feels like to the human body when relative humidity is combined with the air temperature. The state weather bureau advised the public to limit the time spent outdoors, especially at noon, and drink plenty of water. Use umbrellas or wear hats and sleeved clothing [...]

April 10th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

AFP: Future multilateral drills depend on PH allies’ nod

MARITIME COOPERATION. The missile frigate BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151) is one of the three Philippine Navy ships that participated in the April 7, 2024 multilateral maritime cooperative activity of the Philippines, the US, Japan, and Australia in the West Philippine Sea. The AFP on Wednesday (April 10, 2024) said the holding of future multilateral drills between Manila and its allies would depend on the approval of these nations’ respective governments. (Photo courtesy of the AFP)     MANILA – The conduct of future multilateral maritime drills between the Philippines and its allies will depend on the approval of the governments of these nations, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said Wednesday. "Conducting MMCA (multilateral maritime cooperative activity) with allied countries in the coming days is feasible, provided that [...]

April 10th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Inflation rises to 3.7% in March 2024 as food, transport get more expensive

(1st UPDATE) It is the second month in a row that inflation has risen since being on a downtrend for four straight months   Manila, Philippines – The Philippines’ inflation rate rose to 3.7% in March, driven by higher food prices and transportation costs for the month. The 3.7% rate reported by the Philippine Statistics Authority on Friday, April 5, is higher than February’s 3.4%, but lower than the 7.6% recorded in March 2023. The 3.7% rate for March is near the top end of the government’s 2% to 4% target range for inflation. It also means that the inflation rate has risen for the second month in a row since being on a downtrend for four straight months March’s inflation rate was primarily driven by food and non-alcoholic [...]

April 6th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Create heat risk action plan for workers, firms urged

SIZZLING. A worker does fencing work at the Alabang station of the Philippine National Railways on April 4, 2024. Companies are urged to adopt measures to mitigate the impact of sweltering temperatures on workers. (PNA photo by Yancy Lim)     MANILA – A labor group on Friday urged companies to create a "heat risk action plan" in workplaces as the country continues to grapple with sizzling temperatures. In a statement, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) called on employers to come up with policies and practices that will protect the health and well-being of workers from heat exhaustion. "It is our shared moral responsibility, not only of workers who toil day in and day out not only at work but also in commuting to and from [...]

April 6th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

PBBM: PH will respond to actual sea situation

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Photo from PBBM's Official FB Page ‘They can’t cover our eyes, pretend nothing happened’ President Marcos said the Philippines needs to “respond to the actual situation on the ground” in the West Philippine Sea even as it does not seek conflict with any other country. “They cannot cover our eyes and pretend that nothing happened,” Mr. Marcos told newly appointed Japanese Ambassador to the PhilippinesEndo Kazuya during the latter’s presentation of credentials in Malacañang. He said as a matter of foreign policy and geopolitics, the most important thing is to find a way to keep the West Philippine Sea at peace. “That is what the Philippines will always work for,” the President said. Mr. Marcos is set to participate in a historic trilateral cooperation meeting [...]

April 6th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

CPD: Family planning key to achieving demographic dividend

                                                          (Photo courtesy of Commission on Population and Development)   MANILA – The Commission on Population and Development (CPD) on Friday urged Filipino couples to observe and be educated about family planning despite the recorded drop of fertility rate in the country in the past few years, especially during the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic. "Our prescription in the Commission on Population and Development is still family planning. The importance of planning when, where, how many ang gusto mong maging anak para makamit mo yung (children you want to have and achieve your) aspirations as a family," CPD Knowledge Management and [...]

April 6th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH to hold joint naval drills with US, Japan, Australia

(FILES) Philippine and Australian soldiers march in formation while a US marines V-22 Osprey hovers above during military exercise Alon (wave), a joint amphibious landing drill held at a naval base in San Antonio town in Zambales province, north of Manila on August 25, 2023. The Philippines will hold joint naval drills with the United States, Japan and Australia, two diplomatic sources told AFP on April 4, 2024, as the four countries deepen military ties to counter China’s expanding influence in the Asia-Pacific region. (Photo by TED ALJIBE / AFP)     Manila, Philippines — The Philippines will hold joint naval drills with the United States, Japan and Australia, two diplomatic sources told AFP Thursday, as the four countries deepen military ties to counter China’s expanding influence in the [...]

April 6th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Conserve water, public urged as heat, lack of rain drain dams

The government on Tuesday urged the public — especially Metro Manila residents — to conserve water as dam levels continue to drop due to the impact of the El Niño phenomenon and the dry season. El Niño Task Force spokesman, Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Joey Villarama, said that while Metro Manila was not yet experiencing a water crisis, the water level of Angat Dam, which supplies more than 90 percent of Metro Manila's potable water needs, could drop further because of increased consumption, lack of rainfall and evaporation due to the heat "For now, we don't see that there will be a problem or that the Angat Dam will drop below the critical level of 180 meters, but as the temperature gets warmer, the household consumption increases, and of [...]

April 3rd, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

DOH reports 49 pertussis deaths, assures continuous monitoring

MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) continues to monitor cases of pertussis or whooping cough in the Philippines, as it logged a total of 49 deaths since the beginning of this year. As of March 23, the DOH has recorded at least 862 cases, most of whom are from Mimaropa (187), Metro Manila (158), Central Luzon (132), Central Visayas (121), and Western Visayas (72). Of the total pertussis cases, 79 percent were under 5 years old. At least 66 percent of these young children were either unvaccinated or did not know their vaccination history. Adults aged 20 and older account for only 4 percent of cases, the DOH said. "The DOH is cautious in interpreting trends as the number of cases may still change as there may be [...]

April 3rd, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

PBBM vows aid for affected Filipinos in quake-hit Taiwan

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (File Photo)     MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. extended his sympathies to the people of Taiwan after it was hit by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake early Wednesday. In a statement posted on social media, Marcos also assured assistance to all the Filipinos currently in Taiwan. “Our hearts are with the people of Taiwan as they endure the aftermath of today's powerful earthquake,” Marcos said. “Rest assured, our Department of Migrant Workers is diligently ensuring the safety of the 159,480 Filipinos currently residing in Taiwan. We stand ready to assist and support our fellow Filipinos in Taiwan in any way possible during this difficult period,” he added. Taiwan was hit by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake past 7 a.m., the strongest [...]

April 3rd, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Nine dead, 900 injured in most powerful Taiwan quake in 25 years

  This photo taken by Taiwan's Central News Agency (CNA) on April 3, 2024 shows emergency workers assisting a survivor after he was rescued from a damaged building in New Taipei City, after a major earthquake hit Taiwan's east. A major 7.4-magnitude earthquake hit Taiwan's east on Wednesday morning, prompting tsunami warnings for the self-ruled island as well as parts of southern Japan and the Philippines. (Photo by CNA/AFP)     At least nine people were killed and more than 900 injured Wednesday by a powerful earthquake in Taiwan that damaged dozens of buildings and prompted tsunami warnings that extended to Japan and the Philippines before being lifted. Dozens of people were believed safe but unreachable in areas cut off by massive landslides triggered by the quake—many in tunnels [...]

April 3rd, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Backpackers of the Philippines conducts outreach program in Pag-asa Island

  Backpackers of the Philippines conducted an outreach program to the residents of Pag-asa Island in Kalayaan, Palawan on March 26 to 30, 2024. Zcheeko Zacarias, one of the group's administrators, said that they had been planning the outreach program for two years, and they deemed this year as the right moment to execute it. "Seeing the genuine smiles on the faces of the people makes our efforts worth it. Although I had many chances to visit the island in past years, I decided that it would be best to bring our group and conduct the outreach together," Zacarias said. During the program, the group donated medicines, organized a feeding program, conducted storytelling sessions, distributed gifts, and arranged games for the children. They also provided programs for [...]

April 3rd, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

VP Sara vows prompt action on voucher issue

Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio     Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte has assured immediate action on the alleged discrepancies in the voucher program under the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE). Duterte made the response in an ambush interview on the sidelines of her engagements in Cambodia as the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) President on Thursday. Duterte mentioned establishing the Government Assistance and Subsidies Office (GASO) to look into the reported discrepancies in the billing issued by the private schools. “First of all, we are not issuing payments, we’re holding the payments,” she said. “Second, if it’s already paid and we see that it’s ineligible, either there’s a mistake or problem in the billing, we are asking for a refund [...]

March 22nd, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Murder suspect Teves arrested in East Timor

Former Negros Oriental 3rd District congressman Arnolfo "Arnie" Teves Jr. (Photo courtesy of House of Representatives)     MANILA – The Department of Justice (DOJ) confirmed before midnight Thursday the arrest of ousted Negros Oriental 3rd District congressman and designated terrorist Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr. in Dili, East Timor. The DOJ news release posted on Facebook said Teves was nabbed at the Top Golf Driving Range and Bar around 4 p.m. Thursday. Teves is facing multiple murder charges in connection with the killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo and nine others in March 2023, and three others in 2019. "We already confirmed that the mastermind of my husband's murder has finally been captured by Timor Leste police. Words cannot express how it feels to finally see the man [...]

March 22nd, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

PCG condemns fresh Chinese intimidation in West Philippine Sea

Filipino marine scientists on Pagasa Island’s Cay 2. (Photo courtesy of the Philippine Coast Guard)     MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Friday criticized China for employing what it described as “intimidation tactics” against Filipino scientists conducting research in the West Philippine Sea. Commodore Jay Tarriela, PCG spokesperson for the West Philippine Sea, said Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) ships BRP Datu Sanday (MMOV 3002) and BRP Pagbuaya (MMOV 3003) were deployed Thursday to Pagasa Island Cay 1 and Cay 2, respectively. Carrying marine scientists, the two ships departed from Pagasa Island port at 10 a.m. and arrived at Cay 1 and 2 at 10:28 a.m.However, before arriving at Pagasa’s Cay 2, Tarriela said the MMOV 3003 experienced “dangerous maneuvers” from a China Coast [...]

March 22nd, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

DENR: All illegal structures in Chocolate Hills must be removed

Chocolate Hills (Photo grabbed from Department of Tourism Facebook page)     MANILA – Environment Secretary Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga said Friday all illegal structures built in the iconic Chocolate Hills in Bohol, which has been declared a protected area, must be removed. Loyzaga said this in an interview over a radio program after an aerial inspection she conducted with Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benhur Abalos. She said that aside from the Captain’s Peak Garden and Resort, which has gone viral on social media and received negative comments from netizens, they discovered similar structures illegally built within the protected area. “Sa palagay ko, sa nakita ko, yes po, kailangan, ito yung ginagawa namin ngayon, ang tawag namin ay mitigation approach sa mga gawaing ganito (From what [...]

March 22nd, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘Strong, mature’ El Niño now in country; Damages now hitting P1.3 b — gov’t

    The damage to agriculture due to the dry spell induced by the El Niño has reached P1.31 billion mark, according to the Task Force El Niño. Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) said it was considering reducing the water pressure of concessionaires in Metro Manila due to the continuous decline of water levels in Angat Dam. The Department of Agriculture (DA) has also made the same observation, saying El Niño has caused at least P1.31 billion worth of agricultural damage as of mid-March Task force spokesman Joey Villarama said the country was still experiencing “strong and mature” El Niño. Villarama pointed out, however, that this year’s damage caused by the drought was less than previous figures. “We are anticipating that we have seen [...]

March 18th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Creation of ‘Forward Operating Bases’ to protect WPS pushed anew

  MANILA - Senator Francis Tolentino on Monday reiterated his call for the creation of a "forward operating bases (FOB)" in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) and Benham or Philippine Rise amid the continued tension between the Philippines and China over the disputed waters. Tolentino made the call nine months after he filed Senate Bill (SB) No. 654 or An Act Institutionalizing the Philippine Navy Forward Operating Bases in line with the Philippine Navy Strategic Basing Plan 2040. The FOB, he said, is smaller than a main naval and operating base and would not require the same budgetary allocation as a regular naval base. Tolentino said FOB would only serve as an outpost strategically located near the WPS and the Philippine Rise. “SB No. 654 identified strategic [...]

March 18th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Huge boost to production expected under Salt Industry Development law

INDUSTRY BOOST. Workers harvest salt at Borlongan Aqua Salt Farm in Barangay Banog Norte, Bani, Pangasinan in this photo taken April 29, 2023. The Department of Agriculture on Monday (March 18, 2024) said the passage of Republic Act 11985 or the Philippine Salt Industry Development Act will boost local production and income of salt farmers. (PNA photo by Joey O. Razon)     MANILA – The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Monday said the passage of Republic Act No. 11985 or the Philippine Salt Industry Development Act poses favorable benefits to farmers amid efforts to boost local production. Among the key areas in the priority regions for implementation are Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Western Visayas and Zamboanga Peninsula. DA Assistant Secretary Arnel de Mesa said the law enables [...]

March 18th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

McDonald’s to hire elderly, PWDs of Manila

    MANILA – Senior citizens and persons with disability (PWDs) of Manila will soon have a chance to work at McDonald's, an American fast-food chain. The city government of Manila entered into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the personnel provider of McDonald’s for the implementation of a program that would provide jobs for senior citizens and PWDs. The agreement was signed last March 12 by Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna and J&F Food Corporation Training Consultant Sofia Loriega, with Vice Mayor Yul Servo Nieto and Secretary to the Mayor Atty. Marlon Lacson as witnesses, and Manila's public employment service office head Fernan Bermejo in attendance. In a statement on Monday, Lacuna said the program aims to re-integrate the senior citizens and PWDs as "productive members of [...]

March 18th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

PBBM meeting Blinken amid incursions in WPS

As Marcos downplays Xi orders for China to prepare troops BERLIN—President Marcos said he will meet with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in Manila on Tuesday (March 19) as part of efforts to strengthen bilateral cooperation amid the ongoing incursions of China in the West Philippine Sea. “The first item I will be seeing [is a] meeting with Secretary Anthony Blinken on Tuesday,” Mr. Marcos told reporters in an interview before leaving for Prague Wednesday evening. Mr. Marcos arrived at the capital of the Czech Republic, the second leg of his Central Europe tour, at 6:25 p.m. Prague time (1:25 a.m. in Manila). The President also shrugged off Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent order to his troops to prepare for conflicts in the East and South [...]

March 16th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos signs new law for online passport applications in Philippines

File photo shows a man holding a Philippine passport. The STAR / Edd Gumban, File   Manila, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has approved the "New Philippine Passport Act," designed to modernize passport application processes nationwide. The law aims to greatly improve accessibility and streamline procedures, especially benefiting senior citizens, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), and individuals with special needs or exceptional circumstances, according to the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) on Friday. The recently enacted law, signed on March 11, replaced Republic Act No. 8239, also known as the Passport Act of 1996. "The new passport law now authorizes DFA to provide offsite and mobile passport services in areas outside of the consular offices and foreign service posts (FSPs)," the PCO said. "The DFA is also mandated by the new law to arrange accommodations for [...]

March 16th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

1,500 exhibitors show innovation in construction, design industries

Hundreds of exhibitors in construction and design sector are joining the WORLDBEX 2024 from March 14 to March 17 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila and SMX Convention Center.     About 1,500 local and international exhibitors are showcasing the latest innovation in construction and design sectors during the Philippine World Building and Construction Exposition. The exhibit, organized by Worldbex Services International (WSI), started on March 14 and will run until March 17 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila and SMX Convention Center. WSI founding chairman Joseph Ang said this year’s theme “Drawn to Ascendency” encapsulates the collective journey of WORLDBEX towards progress and innovation in the word of building and design. “WORDLBEX has become the cornerstone of innovation and collaboration within the industry. As we explore [...]

March 16th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

DOH warns public vs. red tide in 6 Visayas, Mindanao areas

  MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) on Saturday warned the public against consuming shellfish from six areas in the Visayas and Mindanao due to paralytic shellfish poison or toxic red tide. The DOH and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) said the advisory covers all types of shellfish, including mussels or tahong, oysters, clams, and alamang sourced from the coastal waters of Milagros in Masbate; Dauis and Tagbilaran City in Bohol; Dumanquillas Bay in Zamboanga del Sur; San Pedro Bay in Samar; Matarinao Bay in Eastern Samar; and San Benito in Surigao del Norte. "Bring patients with symptoms after eating unsafe shellfish to the nearest emergency room immediately. Prevention is the best: do not eat tahong, talaba, halaan, other shellfish, and alamang from [...]

March 16th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH eyes pharma-medical device ecozones within 2024

                                                                 (File photo)     MANILA — The Philippines is eyeing to launch the pharmaceutical-medical device (pharma-dev) economic zones within 2024, with four locations across the country already under consideration. At the Saturday News Forum in Quezon City, Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Director General Tereso Panga said PEZA is now in the site selection stage. “So, nasa site selection kami, establishment ng criteria. Mayroon sa Laguna, mayroon Bulacan, mayroon Tarlac, mayroon din sa Cebu (We’re now in site selection, establishment of criteria. There’s Laguna, Bulacan, Tarlac, and Cebu),” he said. In a separate interview, Panga said PEZA [...]

March 16th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Nothing ‘legally wrong’ in Rody as KOJC administrator — lawyer

The former President, in a press conference in Davao City late Saturday evening, says only ‘stupid people’ would believe the claim that he is involved in any destabilization plot. Screengrabs from ANC, Facebook live     There is nothing ‘legally wrong’ in the appointment of former President Rodrigo Duterte as administrator of Pastor Apollo Quiboloy’s Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC) properties. In a phone interview Sunday, lawyer Ferdinand Topacio told Manila Standard that Duterte is now a “private person, a lawyer, and a member of the Bar in good standing.” On the other hand, he said KOJC is a juridical entity and a corporation sole, owned and occupied by a single person who appointed the former President, Topacio said He said almost all religious groups are corporation soles—or an [...]

March 11th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Senate OKs Real Property Valuation and Assessment Reform Act on final reading

The Senate has approved on third and final reading Senate Bill No. 2386 or the proposed Real Property Valuation and Assessment Reform Act (RPVARA). With 23 affirmative votes, zero negative votes and zero abstentions, SB 2386 was approved by the Senate during its plenary session on Monday, March 11. The bill is another priority legislation of the Marcos administration Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said the enactment of the bill into law will provide a respite for taxpayers of real property tax as it sets a two-year amnesty on interests and penalties for taxpayers with unpaid real property tax. “Waiving the payment of interests, penalties, and surcharges on unpaid or delinquent real property taxes through the amnesty component of RPVARA would encourage tax compliance later on and significantly enhance the government’s [...]

March 11th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Comelec, Miru Systems sign contract for 2025 elections

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) and South Korean company Miru Systems officially signed on Monday the P17.99 billion contract for the procurement of a new automated election system (AES) for the 2025 National and Local Elections. The agreement covers 110,000 new automated counting machines; 104,345 ballot boxes; 2,200 consolidation and canvassing system (CCS) laptops and printers; ballot papers for 73.8 million voters; and ballot printing and ballot verification services. The awarding of the Full Automation System with Transparency Audit/Count (FASTrAC) project came more than two weeks after Comelec announced that it awarded the contract to Miru, the lone bidder for the project. Comelec Chairman George Garcia and Commissioner Rey Bulay led the signing with Miru President Chung Jin Bok. The election body noted that its joint venture with the South Korean [...]

March 11th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Imee calls for restraint, more dialogues on WPS row

MISMATCH. A Philippine Coast Guard escort vessel (foreground) is blasted with water cannon by the Chinese Coast Guard during the rotation and reprovisioning of troops for BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal on March 5, 2024. In a radio interview Monday (March 11), Senator Imee Marcos on called for restraint and more dialogues amid tensions in the West Philippine Sea. (Photo courtesy of AFP Facebook)     MANILA – Senator Imee Marcos on Monday emphasized the importance of upholding independent foreign policy through restraint and more dialogues amid tensions in the West Philippine Sea (WPS). In a radio interview, the presidential sister said no one should bring up or discuss war and conflict. "Huwag tayo masyadong maanghang magsalita kung puros daldal lang. Eh mainam, tiisin natin kahit nakakapikon at [...]

March 11th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

FFCCCII launches coffee table book celebrating Filipino-Chinese heritage

Coffee table book. The Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FFCCCII) launches its first coffee table book entitled ‘Dugong Tsinoy, Pusong Pinoy’ in Binondo, Manila. Leading the ceremonial turnover of the book are (from left) FFCCCII vice president Jeffrey Ng, book editor AA Patawaran, FFCCCII president Dr. Cecilio Pedro and FFCCCII board member and public information and media committee chairman Wilson Lee Flores. The book highlights the contributions of FFCCCII and the Tsinoy community across various domains including trade, philanthropy, commerce, charities, economy, education, volunteerism by Filipino Chinese Volunteer Fire Brigades, calamity relief efforts and socio-economic reforms.     The Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FFCCCII) launched its first coffee table book entitled “Dugong Tsinoy, Pusong Pinoy” on March 8 [...]

March 11th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

E-bike ban on major NCR roads starts April 15 – MMDA

GET OFF FROM NATIONAL ROAD. An electronic tricycle (e-trike) traverses Recto Avenue in Manila on Feb. 29, 2024. Starting April 15, e-trikes, e-bikes, and other electric motor vehicles are banned on major roads across the National Capital Region. (PNA photo by Yancy Lim)     MANILA – The ban on e-bikes on major roads in the National Capital Region (NCR) will start on April 15, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said Monday. "Walang bago dito. I-eenforce na po ng MMDA ang prohibitions na ito dahil marami na tayo nakikitang insidente ng aksidente, paglabag sa mga traffic rules and regulations at 'di na po natin aantayin na dumami pa at lumala pa ang sitwasyon bago tayo kumilos (There is nothing new in this regulation. The MMDA will enforce the [...]

March 11th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Standard Insurance joins DENR’s ‘Adopt-an-Estero’ program in Cavite

  NAIC, Cavite—Standard Insurance, one of the leading insurers in the country, joined the “Adopt-an-Estero/Waterbody” program of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). “We are dedicated to the adoption of the rivers, actively advocating for their cleanliness and preservation. Our efforts will be directed towards enhancing the rivers’ health and ensuring the sustainability of their surrounding ecosystems,” said Standard Insurance Co. Inc. chairman Ernesto Echauz Adopt-an-Estero/Waterbody is one of DENR’s priority programs being implemented nationwide through the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB). Private company partners commit to enhancing the environment of the waterway they’ve chosen to adopt under the program. This involves various initiatives such as routine cleanup endeavors, dredging, educational campaigns, community engagement efforts and training sessions for relevant stakeholders. Standard Insurance adopted the Kay-Alamang [...]

March 8th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Metro Manila Subway on track for 2029 partial ops

MANILA – The first contract package (CP101) of the Metro Manila Subway Project (MMSP) is 40 percent complete and is on track for partial operations by 2029, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said Thursday. In a press conference following a site visit and launch of tunnel boring machine (TBM) 4 at the MMSP’s North Avenue Station, DOTr Secretary Jaime Bautista said the project’s on-time completion would mostly depend on resolving right-of-way (ROW) issues. To date, he said some properties where stations are located are owned by private individuals, in addition to a Department of Education (DepEd) building that cannot be demolished due to its status as a heritage site. “Meron din issues like property owners na ayaw nila 'yung MMSP dumaan sa ilalim ng kanilang property (There are also [...]

March 8th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Palawan tourism expected to sustain growth this year — business chamber

Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce Palawan Chapter chairman Pan Ming Yuan     PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan—Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce Palawan Chapter chairman Pan Ming Yuan expects tourism in this province to sustain its growth this year as the economy continuously recovers from the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. International visitor arrivals in the Philippines reached 5.45 million in 2023, which surpassed the target of 4.8 million set by the Department of Tourism. “Hotels and beach resorts are very good investments in the province,” said Pan, who is also the chairman of Filipino-Chinese Amity Club in Palawan Pan expressed hope the government would provide more assistance for the promotion of tourism such as the construction of roads and bridges to reach the remote tourism sites and providing lower water [...]

March 8th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Research council assures support for Filipino inventions

Filipino scientists (Photo courtesy of Department of Science and Technology)     MANILA – The National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) on Thursday said it supports the discoveries and inventions of Filipino scientists nationwide. “In fact, sa kasalukuyan, ang pinopondohan namin ay ‘yung basic research. Pagdating sa application, may iba’t ibang ahensiya sa pamahalaan na iyan ang trabaho (currently, we fund the basic research. When it comes to application, there are different government agencies taking care of that),” NRCP Executive Director Dr. Bernardo Sepeda said in a Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon interview over PTV4. He noted that the Department of Science and Technology conducts and funds research. “Upang, halimbawa, ang DILG [Department of the Interior and Local Government], ang DICT [Department of Information and Technology] o kaya even ang [...]

March 8th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

BDO to discontinue old banking app for iOS users on March 12

BDO Unibank Inc., the largest lender in the Philippines owned by the Sy family, said Friday it will discontinue its old banking app for Apple/iOS users starting March 12, 2024. The bank said in an advisory Apple/iOS users should download and switch to its new app for better access to the bank’s services. The new app has more upgraded features compared to the old one, it said It will allow users view and manage all their BDO accounts in an all-new interface. The app will automatically display all the active personal accounts of the users. BDO said it created a FAQ page to address user inquiries, which include steps to reset password, retrieve username and registration. BDO is a comprehensive universal bank in the Philippines that offers [...]

March 8th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

US court unseals arrest warrants for Quiboloy

STILL WANTED. This file photo shows the ‘Wanted’ poster issued by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation last year for Kingdom of Jesus Christ church founder Apollo Quiboloy, who is facing sex trafficking and other charges in a California court.     A California judge has ordered the unsealing of the arrest warrants against Kingdom of Jesus Christ church founder Apollo Quiboloy and his co-accused, bringing the case a step closer toward extraditing the pastor, who is wanted by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, a New York-based lawyer said. Central District of California Judge Terry Hatter Jr. ordered the unsealing of the arrest warrants issued against Quiboloy and threeother accused for charges of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking by force, fraud, coercion, sex trafficking of [...]

March 8th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH to continue WPS operations

OPERATIONS in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) will continue despite increasing harassment from China Coast Guard (CCG) vessels and their maritime militia, the chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Command said Thursday. "Our operations in the WPS will continue, along with our patrols and along with the exercise of our sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction," Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos said in Filipino, saying that the troops were "undeterred" and would not yield Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Westerm Command Chief, speaks during an interview with the media at a port in Palawan on March 6, 2024. The Philippines said on March 5 that China Coast Guard vessels caused two collisions with Philippine boats and water cannoned one of them, leaving four [...]

March 8th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

2 Filipino seafarers killed in Houthi attack

(UPDATE) THE government on Thursday confirmed the death of two Filipino seafarers in a missile attack Wednesday by Houthi rebels on their ship in the Red Sea. The attack set the Liberian-owned, Barbados-flagged ship True Confidence ablaze, about 50 nautical miles or 93 kilometers off the coast of Yemen's port of Aden. "We in the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) sincerely extend our deepest condolences to the family and kin of our slain, heroic seafarers. For reasons of privacy, we are withholding their names and identities," the DMW said in a statement RESCUE This handout photograph taken on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, and released by the Indian Navy shows the rescue operation of crew members of a Barbados-flagged bulk carrier by the Indian Navy after an attack by Yemen’s [...]

March 8th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Jobless Filipinos at 9.4 million in December 2023 —SWS

The number of jobless Filipinos increased to 9.4 million in December 2023 from 7.9 million in September 2023, according to the survey of Social Weather Stations (SWS) The national survey conducted from December 8 to 11 last year said the 9.4 million unemployed represent 19.5% of the adult labor force. The figure was 2.6 points higher than the 16.9% jobless in September 2023. SWS defines the labor force as adults (18 years and above) presently with a job, and those looking for a job. According to the survey firm, the jobless consist of those who voluntarily left their old jobs; are seeking jobs for the first time; or lost their jobs due to economic circumstances beyond their control. The December 2023 survey also found the labor force participation rate at [...]

March 6th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

House committee okays Charter change resolution

MANILA, Philippines- The House of Representatives' Committee of the Whole on Wednesday approved Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) 7 which seeks to amend certain economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution. The resolution was approved after the committee deliberations which started on March 4, 2024 and which were attended by resource persons. Like the RBH 6 filed at the Senate, RBH 7 covered Article XII (Section 11), Article XIV (paragraph 2 of Section 4), and Article XVI (paragraph 2 of Section 11). Both resolutions seek to add the words "unless otherwise provided by law" to these provisions. They also seek to add the word "basic" before the words "educational institutions" in the first sentence of paragraph 2, Section 4 of Article XIV. An approved committee report would have to be [...]

March 6th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

China rejects PH diplomatic protest, says actions in WPS will continue

  China spurned the diplomatic protest filed by the Philippines, in connection with its recent actions in the West Philippine Sea, warning that it would continue despite Manila’s complaint arising from the latest China Coast Guard (CCG) cannon attack and dangerous maneuvers against Philippine vessels. The Chinese embassy in Manila said it found nothing wrong when CCG blocked the path of a Philippine vessel and attacked the latter with a water cannon. The blockade led to a collision, which CCG described as just “mild” as well as the injury of four Filipino crew. China made the statement after Chinese Embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission Zhou Zhiyong was summoned on Tuesday to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to shed light on the latest actions by the CCG in the [...]

March 6th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

DOH opens 1st urgent care, ambulatory service center in PH

BUCAS CENTER. Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa (left) leads the inauguration of the first Bagong Urgent Care and Ambulatory Service (BUCAS) center in the Philippines in Sto. Tomas, Pampanga on Wednesday (March 6, 2024). He said the BUCAS center was inspired by the concept of the LAB For All project, headed by First Lady Atty. Marie Louise “Liza” Araneta Marcos. (Photo courtesy of the Department of Health)     MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday opened the first Bagong Urgent Care and Ambulatory Service (BUCAS) center in the Philippines in Sto. Tomas, Pampanga. “The DOH was inspired by the concept of the LAB For All project, headed by First Lady Atty. Marie Louise “Liza” Araneta Marcos. We want to institutionalize the LAB For All concept through BUCAS [...]

March 6th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

China says US using Philippines as ‘pawn’ in South China Sea

This photo taken on March 5, 2024 shows a vessel identified by the Philippine Coast Guard as “Chinese maritime militia” during sunrise in the disputed South China Sea. The Philippines said on March 5 that China Coast Guard vessels caused two collisions with Philippine boats and water cannoned one of them, leaving four crew injured during a resupply mission in the South China Sea. AFP       BEIJING — China on Wednesday accused the United States of using the Philippines as a “pawn” in the South China Sea, as hostilities between the two Asian nations escalate over their territorial dispute in the region. “China urges the United States not to use the Philippines as a pawn to stir up trouble in the South China Sea. The Philippines should [...]

March 6th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Government’s borrowings increased to P2.2 trillion last year

President Marcos took out slightly more loans last year to finance the government's operations and projects. Based on the Bureau of the Treasury's data, the national government's gross borrowings increased by 1.4 percent to P2.193 trillion between January and December 2023 from P2.163 trillion in the previous year. However, the actual borrowings were 0.6 percent lower than the administration's full-year target of P2.206 trillion The Treasury report indicated that the increase was mainly due to higher foreign financing despite decreased borrowings from local banks. Total domestic market financing dropped by 0.5 percent, or P9 billion, to reach P1.634 trillion in 2023, from P1.643 trillion in 2022. This is also below the P1.653 trillion target. The majority of local borrowings, making up 71.9 percent, were in the form of fixed-rate [...]

March 4th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

DBM injects P176 million into DOST initiatives for scholars, health research

The Department of Management (DBM) has recently approved fresh funding to bolster the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) health research and development initiative. Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman said the DBM has given the green light for the release of P179.9 billion to the DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD). This funding is earmarked to support the implementation of DOST-PCHRD’s grants-in-aid program, Pangadaman said in a statement on Sunday, March 3. Specifically, the allocated budget will be utilized for research and development, capacity building, financial assistance for researchers, organization of forums and conventions, provision of stipends for scholars, and offering financial support to State Universities and Colleges (SUCs). “Investing in health research translates to investing in a healthier and more resilient future for our nation. With [...]

March 4th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Gabriela ushers in Women’s Month with protest rally

THE Gabriela Women's Party kicked off the celebration of Women's Month with a protest rally against rising power rates and the proposal to amend the Constitution, especially for poor Filipino women. Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas said the government continues to push for charter change amid increasing water and electricity rates. STARTING THEM YOUNG The youth sector of the Gabriela Women’s Group leads an anti-charter change protest on Mendiola in Manila, on Friday, March 1, 2024, at the start of Women’s Month. PHOTO BY J. GERARD SEGUIA     Brosas said Filipino families are struggling to cope with increasing expenses, which would intensify if the government continued with its plan to open the economy to 100-percent foreign ownership. The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) recently raised its rates by P0.5738 per [...]

March 1st, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

First storm likely to hit PH in March, to be named ‘Aghon’

Manila, Philippines- The first storm would likely enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) this March and would be named "Aghon," the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said on Friday. Weather specialist Benison Estareja said the northeast monsoon or "amihan" will bring light rains over Northern Luzon while the easterlies will affect the rest of the country. Pagasa said in its 5 a.m. advisory that amihan will affect Ilocos Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, Cagayan, Isabela and Aurora where partly cloudy to overcast skies would prevail. Metro Manila and the rest of the country, meanwhile, would likely experience isolated rain showers or thunderstorms due to the easterlies and localized thunderstorms, it added.    

March 1st, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

China: PH-Australia pact destabilizes region

(UPDATE) HOURS after the Philippines and Australia signed an agreement to enhance maritime cooperation, China issued a warning against actions that undermine the stability of the Indo-Pacific region. The agreement is one of three signed during President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s visit to Australia last Wednesday. The two others involve cyber and critical technology and effective competition policies. Malacañang said the maritime pact aims at building up civil-military cooperation and promoting international law and a rules-based order in the region. Mao Ning, deputy director of the China Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Information Department. AFP Photo   In a statement shared by the Chinese embassy in Manila on Thursday night, Mao Ning, deputy director of the China Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Information Department, said the South China Sea "is generally stable. [...]

March 1st, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘PH on the frontline of battle for peace’

AUSSIE ADDRESS. President Marcos addresses the Australian House of Representatives at the Parliament House in Canberra on Thursday. AFP with PPO Pool     Canberra—President Marcos told Australia’s parliament the Philippines was on the “frontline” of a battle for regional peace Thursday as he urged Canberra to join forces in facing the threats that disrupt peace, stability, and the rule of law. With Beijing’s warships loitering in waters off the Philippines’ coast, Mr. Marcos told Australian lawmakers he will remain firm in defending the country’s sovereignty, despite “formidable” challenges. “I shall never tire of repeating the declaration that I made from thefirst day that I took office: I will not allow any attempt by anyforeign power to take even one square inch of our sovereign territory,” Mr. Marcos said. [...]

March 1st, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos signs into law Tatak Pinoy Act, Expanded Centenarians Act

President Marcos has signed two landmark laws that aim to honor two key sectors of society and promote their rights and development — the Tatak Pinoy (Proudly Filipino) Act and the Expanded Centenarians Act. President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. (RTVM screenshot) Marcos signed the two measures in a ceremony in Malacañan on Monday, Feb. 26. He was initially set to sign three laws, but Communications Secretary Cheloy Garafil said the Magna Carta for Filipino Seafarers Act was still "under further review." "It's my honor to sign into law two bills which do not only honor two key sectors of society but mandate measures that protect their rights and promote their development," he said in his speech. "Each of these laws encapsulates the merits that the Bagong Pilipinas upholds to [...]

February 26th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Entire House Tackles Economic Cha-Cha Today

The committee will be convened to expedite discussions on the Resolution of Both Houses 7 or the House version of economic Cha-cha or Charter change, according to Senior Deputy Speaker Aurelio Gonzales Jr Various groups march towards EDSA on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024, to commemorate the 38th anniversary of the people power revolution and oppose moves to amend the Constitution. Photo by Jesse Bustos, The Philippine STAR     The House of Representatives will convene today, Feb. 26, the committee of the whole to deliberate on the proposed economic Charter change. The committee will be convened to expedite discussions on the Resolution of Both Houses 7 or the House version of economic Cha-cha, according to Senior Deputy Speaker Aurelio Gonzales Jr. “The conversion of the House into a committee [...]

February 26th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Low-key series of events mark People Power

A front view of the Edsa Shrine’s calm facade, taken an hour before scheduled protests on February 25, 2024, at the historic site for the commemoration of the 38th People Power anniversary. (Photo by ZEUS LEGASPI / INQUIRER.net       Manila, Philippines — While President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. may not have declared Feb. 25 a holiday, this did not prevent groups, including some government agencies, from commemorating the 38th anniversary of the first People Power Revolution that saw millions of people gathered for four days on Edsa, leading to the ouster of his father and namesake, and the restoration of democracy in the country. But unlike in previous years, no prominent personalities were at the traditional flag-raising and wreath-laying rites held in the morning by the National Historical [...]

February 26th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Ex-Pres Duterte urges against Cha-cha favoring present admin

Former President Rodrigo Duterte over the weekend urged against amending the 1987 Constitution to favor the current administration, Unang Balita reported on Monday. In a prayer rally in Cebu, Duterte said the six-year term for the president is already enough. "Huwag baguhin ang Konstitusyon pabor sa kasalukuyang nakaupo at maghahangad pa ng karagdagang termino. Kumportable na tayo sa anim na taon. One term, let us stick to that," Duterte said in his native dialect. (Don't amend the Constitution to favor the president who would want an additional term. We are already comfortable with six years. One term, let us stick to that.) Duterte reportedly added that he is in favor of amending the economic provisions of the current Constitution or even changes in the term of the president as [...]

February 26th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Bill to compel installation of rain collection systems

MANILA – Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers on Sunday called for the approval of a bill he filed more than a year ago seeking mandatory installation of rainwater collection systems (RCS) in new residential and commercial buildings, particularly in urban or densely-populated areas. With the advent of the El Niño, the lawmaker from Mindanao is calling for the passage of House Bill (HB) No. 4837 mandating the installation of RCS, primarily to promote sufficient water supply during the extreme dry weather phenomenon and to reduce flooding in urban areas in times of La Niña. “The global extreme weather conditions apparently due to climate change prompted the idea of calling for the mandatory RCS installation in all residential, commercial and institutional buildings that would be built in the future,” [...]

February 26th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Teodoro explores defense collaboration with UK, Vietnam

Manila, Philippines- Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. explored defense and security collaborations with the United Kingdom and Vietnam amid security challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, particularly in the South China Sea. Teodoro met separately with the UK's Trade Envoy to the Philippines, Richard Graham, and Vietnam's Ambassador to the Philippines Lai Thai Binh in Camp Aguinaldo on Friday to discuss defense and security matters Defense Spokesman Director Arsenio Andolong said Teodoro and Graham expressed interest in joint ventures with British investors and other forms of cooperation to support the modernization program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. He said that Graham echoed the UK's desire for closer defense ties with the Philippines. "He reaffirmed the UK's commitment to collaborating with allies and partners under the Protect, Align, and [...]

February 26th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

FDA okays VAT exemption of 22 more vital drugs

Photo from the Facebook account of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)     Manila, Philippines — Twenty-two more medicines for different diseases have been endorsed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for exemption from the value-added tax (VAT) to make them more accessible to consumers. Under FDA Advisory No. 2024-0329, signed by Director General Samuel Zacate, the regulatory body endorsed to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) the inclusion of 14 drugs for cancer, four drugs for hypertension, and four drugs for mental illness in the list of medicines exempt from the 12-percent VAT. The advisory was dated February 15 but was released on the FDA website only on Monday. The cancer medicines to be exempted from VAT are the following Sonidegib (as phosphate) 200 milligram (mg) [...]

February 22nd, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

World Bank: Emerging economies must grow ‘much faster’ to repay debt

The multilateral lender's latest warning comes as international bond sales from emerging market governments hit an all-time record of $47 billion in January, led by less risky emerging economies such as Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Romania. LONDON, United Kingdom - The World Bank warned that high borrowing costs have "changed dramatically" the need for developing nations to boost sluggish economic growth. The multilateral lender's latest warning comes as international bond sales from emerging market governments hit an all-time record of $47 billion in January, led by less risky emerging economies such as Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Romania. However, some riskier issuers have started to tap markets at higher rates. Kenya recently paid more than 10% on a new international bond - the threshold above which experts often consider borrowing unaffordable. "When it [...]

February 22nd, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Oil rises 1% on signs of tightening supplies

FILE PHOTO: A flare burns excess natural gas in the Permian Basin in Loving County, Texas, U.S. November 23, 2019. Picture taken November 23, 2019. REUTERS/Angus Mordant//File Photo     NEW YORK — Oil prices rose 1% on Wednesday as geopolitical tensions raged on in the Middle East and traders assessed signs of near-term supply tightness. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures (WTI) rose 87 cents, or 1.1%, to settle at $77.91 a barrel, while Brent crude rose 69 cents, or 0.8%, to $83.03 a barrel. Oil contracts tied to near-term deliveries have been trading at their steepest premium to later-dated contracts in multiple months, a market structure known as backwardation and considered a sign of a tightly supplied market. Timespreads are showing markets tightening, UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo [...]

February 22nd, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH, US launch P1.6-B higher education skills upgrade program

The Philippines and the US have launched a P1.6 billion program, first announced by leaders of both states​ in May 2023, to help ​Philippine higher education graduates become more globally competitive. ​L​ed by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the ​five-year US-Philippines Partnership for Skills, Innovation, and Lifelong Learning (UPSKILL) ​program was rolled out on Tuesday, Feb. 20, to strengthen innovation, workforce development, and entrepreneurship in Philippine colleges and universities. ​According to the US Embassy in Manila, the program will bring together U​S universities​, Philippine government agencies ​that are engaged in human capital development​, and private sector partners to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in higher education institutions​. ​That will be done through faculty and staff training, curriculum improvements, and increasing community outreach and technology transfer​, the embassy said. [...]

February 21st, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

DepEd resets end of school year to May, opening July

Manila, Philippines-  The Department of Education moved the end of school year 2023-2024 to May 31, 2024, paving the way for the gradual return to the old school calendar. The directive under Department Order 003 series of 2024 signed by Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte also set the date of the school break from June 1 to July 26, 2024. It was set initially on June 14 School Year 2024-2025 is set to begin on July 29, 2024 and end on May 16, 2025. Education Undersecretary Michael Wesley Poa said the department order was their way of gradually shifting the school calendar without compromising the number of school days of learners. "You can see that our school calendar will gradually shift back to the usual April to [...]

February 21st, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Comelec distributes withdrawal forms for People’s Initiative

The Commission on Elections has approved the distribution of “withdrawal forms” to registered voters who wish to remove their signatures from the people’s initiative petition to change the 1987 Constitution.   In a memo, the poll body said the withdrawal form was adopted during a referendum on Feb. 14. Comelec in its memo also directed its Education and Information Department to disseminate the information “while clarifying that the acceptance of withdrawal forms shall not be construed as formal action by the Commission on the signature sheets/petition for People’s Initiative.” Among the details asked for in the withdrawal form are the person’s name, address, precinct number, and reason for taking back their signature to the PI petition. Last month, the Comelec suspended all proceedings concerning the people’s initiative [...]

February 18th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos to PCG, BFAR: Stay put in disputed waters

(UPDATE) PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. ordered the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to continue its rotational deployment of ships in the West Philippine Sea in a move that "does not intend to provoke anybody" but will merely ensure that Filipino fishers are protected against China's harassment and incursions. The President's order comes as Chinese vessels moved to block access to Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal on Saturday morning as Philippine ships conducted another Rotation and Resupply (RoRe) mission to Filipino troops stationed on board BRP Sierra Madre This photo taken on February 15, 2024 shows Filipino fishermen aboard their wooden boats queueing for free fuel beside the Philippine Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) ship BRP Datu Tamblot (L) as a Chinese coast guard ship (background R) monitors near the [...]

February 18th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Most Filipino adults ‘not satisfied’ with how Marcos admin handles inflation, poverty — OCTA

Most Filipino adults expressed discontent with how the current administration manages inflation and reduces the existing poverty in the country. Photo courtesy of OCTA Research The OCTA Research on Saturday, Feb. 17, said the majority of adult Filipinos were "dissatisfied" with how the national government takes steps to help alleviate the lives of those in the lower sector of the economy. "A significant majority of adult Filipinos are dissatisfied with the national government’s performance in managing inflation (only 14% satisfaction) and reducing poverty in the country (only 6% satisfaction)," OCTA said. It also said "more" adult Filipinos are "dissatisfied" with the national government’s efforts in controlling the prices of basic goods or managing inflation at 75 percent; reducing poverty at 46 percent; ensuring food security or access to affordable [...]

February 18th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘China fishers used cyanide to destroy Bajo de Masinloc’

DANGEROUS MOVES. This photo taken on Feb. 15, 2024 shows an aerial view of a China Coast Guard vessel (upper) and China Coast Guard personnel on a rubber boat at Bajo de Masinloc. AFP     PH accuses Chinese boats of ‘dangerous’ actions Chinese fishers have been using cyanide in Bajo de Masinloc to intentionally destroy the traditional fishing grounds of Filipinos, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources chief information officer Nazario Briguera said. Briguera said parts of the resource-rich area has been destroyed. The Philippines also accused Chinese coast guard ships of “dangerous” maneuvers after they repeatedly blocked a Filipino vessel delivering supplies to fishermen at Bajo de Masinloc, also known as Scarborough Shoal, on Thursday and Friday. Bajo de Masinloc has been a flashpoint between the countries [...]

February 18th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH to continue Scarborough deployment; denies ‘provocation’

MANILA – The Philippine government said Saturday it will continue its “rotational deployment” to the Scarborough Shoal or Bajo de Masinloc (BDM) to support Filipinos fishing in the area. The statement came as it presented its initial deployment report, detailing how the operation was a “success” despite the Chinese Coast Guard and maritime militia vessels’ dangerous maneuvers and shadowing activities to prevent government ships from engaging with the Filipino fisherfolk. “Sa kabila po ng mga hamon, matagumpay po ang ginawang paglalayag ng BRP Tamblot at ang mga gawain nito ay ayon po sa isinasaad ng ating batas at sumasakop na pandaigdigang batas katulad po ng UNCLOS (Despite the challenges, the deployment of the BRP Tamblot and its mission was a success and were all in line with domestic and [...]

February 18th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

DFA: No change in WPS policy; PH to defend sovereign rights

Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo (PNA photo by Avito Dalan)     MANILA – Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo on Thursday said there is no new directive to soften actions in asserting the country’s sovereign rights over the West Philippine Sea (WPS). In a media forum in Manila, the Filipino top diplomat said the Philippines has always and will maintain a policy to manage disputes diplomatically and peacefully while firmly defending its maritime rights over the area. “So, our position has not changed, it remains the same. I think that's how we will proceed in whatever future discussions we have,” he said. Manalo said the government would also sustain a policy of transparency in the WPS, noting that the country's actions have been consistently “hinged on international [...]

February 16th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

DepEd awaits World Bank study to determine due benefits for teachers

Department of Education spokesperson Undersecretary Michael Poa (PNA file photo)     MANILA – The Department of Education (DepEd) on Thursday said it is awaiting the result of a World Bank (WB) study to assess ideal benefits for public school teachers. “We are expecting preliminary results from the World Bank in a few weeks. They are just requesting additional data from DepEd which we are now processing,” DepEd spokesperson Undersecretary Michael Poa told reporters in a Viber message. Poa's remarks came after progressive lawmakers in the House of Representatives filed House Bill 9920 on Tuesday, seeking to increase the entry-level salary of public school teachers to PHP50,000. He mentioned working with the WB to commission the study last year, even before the filing of the said proposal. Poa said [...]

February 16th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Gov’t agencies, LGUs begin talks on regulating use of e-bikes

    TALKS ON E-BIKES. Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) acting chair Don Artes (right), Land Transportation Office (LTO) Chief Assistant Secretary Vigor Mendoza II, and several other national and local government officials attend the discussions on having a unified regulation towards the use of e-bikes and other unregistered electronic vehicles nationwide, at the MMDA head office in Pasig City on Thursday (Feb. 15, 2024). Artes said the regulation is meant to control the proliferation of e-vehicles that have often been marketed by vendors as not requiring registration or license to operate. (Photo courtesy of MMDA)     MANILA – Several national government agencies and local government units (LGU) on Thursday began discussions on regulating the use of e-bikes and other unregistered electronic vehicles (e-vehicles) nationwide. The [...]

February 16th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

PhilHealth vows to enhance benefit package, services

MANILA – The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) on Wednesday committed to enhance their services and patients’ benefit package. PhilHealth president and CEO Emmanuel Ledesma Jr. made the commitment during the hearing of the House health committee in response to the call of Speaker Martin Romualdez to expand the state-run health insurer's benefit packages for its members. “We are one we are one with Speaker Martin when he says we have to aggressively and continuously increase the case packages of PhilHealth across the board,” Ledesma said Ledesma said as part of PhilHealth's mandate, they would increase the benefit packages to make it easier for Filipinos to avail of healthcare services. He added that it would be better for the country and its healthcare system if Filipinos could enjoy significantly [...]

February 15th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Coalition vs Charter change launched

A NUMBER of religious and civic organizations on Wednesday formed a coalition against attempts to amend the 1987 Constitution. The Koalisyon Laban sa Cha-cha (Coalition against Charter change) said revising the Constitution will not solve the country's problems, as claimed by its proponents. Among its founding members were Sen. Ana Theresia "Risa" Hontiveros, Kidapawan Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, Bishop Jonel Milan of the K4Philippines Intercessors Movement, Caritas Manila Executive Secretary Fr. Antonio Labiao, Ging Quintos-Deles of the Buhay ang EDSA Campaign Network, Minnie Anne Mata-Calub of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP), Josua Mata of Nagkaisa Labor Coalition, and members of Akbayan youth Religious and various group's launch ed Wednesday, February 14 at Knight's of Columbus, a coalition against a renewed push for Charter Change(Cha-Cha) which [...]

February 15th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Japan, IOM launch $2.58-M project to rehab Mindanao ‘peace stations’

PEACE MISSION. International Organization for Migration (IOM) Philippines Chief of Mission Tristan Burnett (2nd from left) and Japanese Ambassador yoo the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko shake hands during the launch of the project “Enhancing and Sustaining Peace and Security Mechanisms in Mindanao" at the Dusit Thani, Makati City on Wednesday (Feb. 14, 2024). The Japanese government allotted USD2.58 million (PHP141.9 million) for the project that will rehabilitate four peace and security stations in Mindanao as a way to sustain the peace efforts in the region. (PNA photo by Robert Oswald P. Alfiler)       MANILA – The Japanese government is funding a USD2.58 million (PHP141.9 million) project that will rehabilitate four peace and security stations in Mindanao as a way to sustain the peace efforts in the region. The [...]

February 15th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

NDRRMC: P738M infrastructure damage in Mindanao floods, landslides

In this handout photo from the Eastern Mindanao Command, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) taken on February 7, 2024 and received on February 8, 2024, shows responders conduct search and rescue operations in Maco, Davao de Oro. Handout / Armed Forces of the Philippines' Eastern Mindanao Command     Manila, Philippines — Flooding and landslides in Mindanao caused around P738.6 million in infrastructure damage, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said Sunday. According to the latest report from the NDRRMC, infrastructure damage in Caraga and Davao region was estimated at P473 million and 265.6 million, respectively. Relentless downpours triggered floods and landslides that damaged approximately 1,344 houses across Northern Mindanao, Davao Region, and Caraga. The NDRRMC reported that over 1.38 million people in the southern Philippines [...]

February 12th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Southern seaports closely guarded vs human trafficking — BI

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has assured that it is watching closely the country’s southern international seaports against human trafficking. “Traffickers might think that there is less regulation in our southern ports, hence attempts to send out trafficking victims there,” BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco said. “However, the IACAT’s (Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking) presence remains strong there, ensuring that victims are intercepted before departure,” he pointed out Last Jan. 22, Tansingco said immigration officers intercepted at the Zamboanga International Seaport (ZIS) three Filipinos who posed as tourists but were discovered to be human trafficking victims. Citing reports from the BI’s Immigration Border Protection and Enforcement Section (I-PROBES), Tansingco said the women were prevented from boarding a vessel bound to Sandakan, Malaysia after immigration officers found inconsistencies in their documents. The [...]

February 12th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Labor groups laud move for P100 daily wage hike

LABOR groups lauded the Senate move toward a legislated nationwide P100 daily minimum wage increase as a step forward in fulfilling workers' long-standing clamor for a uniform minimum wage system throughout the country. "This Senate action renews hope among workers and their unions for a standardized wage increase across the country, paving the way for the potential establishment of a singular national minimum wage in the coming days. It highlights a pivotal concern within our present economic structure," the joint statement of Nagkaisa Labor Coalition (Nagkaisa) and Federation of Free Workers (FFW) said A standardized wage structure, according to the labor groups, should be put in place as workers all over the country have the same needs regardless of their regional locations. Also, the labor groups pointed out that [...]

February 12th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

More than half of Filipinos ‘very happy’ with love life

LOVE BY THE NUMBERS. This graph by the Social Weather Stations shows the trends in romance among Filipinos through the decades.       More than half of respondents polled by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) said they were “very happy with their love life,” with the rest saying they “could be happier” or they had no love life. The noncommissioned survey conducted in December last year among 1,200 adults nationwide was released on Feb. 11 ahead of Valentine’s Day on Wednesday. SWS said the respondents were asked which of these phrases “describes your love life”—“very happy,” “could be happier” and “no love life.” “Fifty-eight percent of Filipinos were very happy with their love life, 23 percent could be happier, and 19 percent have no love life,” the polling [...]

February 12th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH commits to further efforts vs tobacco use

The Philippines has assured the international community that it will continue to undertake efforts against tobacco use in the country. Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Hubert Dominic Guevara stated that the Philippines will continue to engage constructive dialogues, collaboration and share its experiences with fellow Parties of the Conference to overcome various challenges in realizing the goals of the Convention in terms of tobacco control. Guevara said President Marcos has underscored the importance of a tailored, multi-sectoral approach to the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) implementation. Guevara, whose speech was delivered by Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Assistant Secretary for Digital Media and Communications Patricia Kayle Martin in Panama, said the Philippines welcomes the positive strides that parties have made, but also acknowledged the remaining challenges. [...]

February 12th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Duterte: Secession a legal process, doesn’t mean going to war

Former President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday insisted that there was nothing illegal with his proposal for Mindanao to secede from the Philippines. In an interview with Atty. Salvador Panelo, Duterte said his proposal to secede doesn't mean going to war. "[My proposal] is a legal process that will be brought to the United Nations [akin to that of] Timor Leste," Duterte said. "They thought if you want to secede, it's going to be a war. No. We are going to do it the legal way," he added Told that secession was against the 1987 Constitution, Duterte said, "It is not against the Constitution. It is outside the Constitution. Mag-secede ka nga e." "It is based on the right of a free will of determination of the people," Duterte said. [...]

February 9th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

South Korean ‘fugitive’ arrested in Marinduque — BI

A fugitive South Korean wanted in his country for alleged telecommunications fraud and illegal drugs trafficking has been arrested in Marinduque, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said on Friday, Feb. 9. Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco identified the foreigner as Sim Dongwoo, 43, who was caught last Tuesday, Feb. 6, by operatives of BI’s Fugitive Search Unit (BI-FSU) in Buenavista, Marinduque. “We will deport Sim Dongwoo immediately so he could face trial for the crimes he allegedly committed,” Tansingco said. "Sim was already included in our blacklist and perpetually banned from re-entering the Philippines," he said. He also said that Sim was arrested pursuant to the summary deportation order issued by the BI board of commissioners over three years ago. Based on information received from the International Criminal Police Organization [...]

February 9th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Sec Remulla reiterates: ICC has no jurisdiction over PH

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin C. Remulla on Friday, Feb. 9, reiterated that the International Criminal Court (ICC) has no jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute any person in the Philippines. “Our nation, as a sovereign entity, possesses the inherent right to determine our own legal framework and address internal matters without any interference from external bodies,” Remulla said. He reminded that the  Philippines has already withdrawn as a part of the Rome Statute that created the ICC and the withdrawal took effect in 2019 “The country’s withdrawal from the ICC clearly showcases our unwavering commitment to upholding national sovereignty and preserving the integrity of our justice system,” he pointed out. “We have consistently demonstrated our preparedness, willingness, and capability to thoroughly investigate and prosecute crimes committed within our jurisdiction, ensuring [...]

February 9th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Teodoro, German leader discuss defense requirements in WPS

Manila, Philippines - Leaders from Germany and Czech Republic on Thursday discussed with Defense Secretary c Jr. the Armed Forces of the Philippines' (AFP) defense requirements in dealing with the challenges to the country's maritime domain. Secretary Teodoro first met German Federal Parliament member Dr. Johann Wadephul at his office where the two discussed common security challenges affecting both countries, including the West Philippine Sea (WPS), said DND spokesperson Director Arsenio Andolong in a statement on Friday. Andolong said that Teodoro laid down the Philippine defense capability development priorities, highlighting area denial, maritime domain awareness, air defense, and cybersecurity in the AFP modernization program. Under the modernization program Horizon-3, the AFP intends to acquire more naval ships, attack aircraft, a submarine and other sophisticated armaments to boost defense and [...]

February 9th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Safety concerns, high costs stall nuclear power progress

Safety concerns and high development costs are stumping nuclear power development in Asia, with new facilities unlikely to come online in the next decade, according to an international think tank. The Fitch Group, through its unit BMI, said in a report that nuclear power generation in the region would be limited to “a handful of markets,” particularly China, India, South Korea and Bangladesh. While nuclear power capacity in Asia is expected to grow to 185.8 gigawatts by 2033, BMI said the growth would only be driven by developments in China, which will account for 78 percent of the total projection. India will contribute 11 percent, while South Korea and Bangladesh will account for the remaining 11 percent. “The sentiment in Asia remains relatively against nuclear power reactors, reflected by [...]

February 6th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

PNP organizational reforms bill hurdles Senate

MANILA – The bill institutionalizing new organizational reforms in the Philippine National Police (PNP) is one step closer to becoming a law after it was unanimously approved by the Senate on Monday. Voting 23 in favor, zero against and zero abstentions, the chamber passed Senate Bill (SB) 2449, which seeks to amend Republic Act (RA) 6975 or the Department of the Interior and Local Government Act of 1990 and RA 8551 or the PNP Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998 Senator Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa, a former PNP chief and the sponsor of the bill, thanked his colleagues and those who have helped in crafting the measure. "After all these years, finally, the PNP organizational reforms we sought to introduce are being materialized. They are beginning to see the [...]

February 6th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Popcom ‘deeply concerned’ about rise in teen pregnancies

INQUIRER FILE PHOTO The Commission on Population and Development (CPD) has raised the alarm on the considerable rise in teen pregnancies, as it called on lawmakers to pass a law that would help address the problem. Citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), CPD, also known as Popcom, noted that a total of 3,135 adolescent girls younger than 15 years old gave birth in 2022—a 35.13 percent increase from the 2,320 recorded in 2021. “Although live births from adolescent girls, 14 years old and below, [are] just 0.22 percent of total live births recorded, CPD is still deeply concerned about the increase in adolescent pregnancy, especially among our very young girls,” CPD executive director Lisa Grace Bersales said in a statement on Monday. Registered live births by adolescent [...]

February 6th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

No rush to amend Charter – Zubiri

SENATE President Juan Miguel "Migz" Zubiri said Monday the senators would not set a deadline for amending economic provisions of the Constitution. Zubiri assured the public the Senate would carefully deliberate the amendment proposals and come out with "the best possible outcome for the people." "We must discuss this [proposed revisions] with all members of society, not just our learned luminaries here, as well as different sectors that will be affected by the most amendments of our Constitution," he said IT STARTS Senate President Juan Miguel ‘Migz’ Zubiri listens to Sen. Juan Edgardo ‘Sonny’ Angara during the hearing on Monday, Feb. 5, 2024, on Resolution of Both Houses 6, which seeks to limit Charter amendments to economic provisions. PHOTO BY J. GERARD SEGUIA   The Senate Subcommittee on Constitutional [...]

February 6th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

DOTr allocates P14B, gets int’l financial support for PH airports modernization

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has allocated around P14 billion to rehabilitate and modernize as many regional airports, particularly those with access to major tourist spots of the country. DOTr Secretary Jaime J. Bautista said the fund will come from the 2024 national budget and will be reinforced with airport development projects under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) scheme with financial support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank. The P14 billion budget allocation covers improvements of the Catbalogan, Tacloban, Laoag, Puerto Princesa, Kalibo, lloilo, and 16 other airports nationwide. On the other hand, those which will be covered by the PPP are airports in Bohol, Siargao, Bacolod-Silay, Davao, and Iloilo. “Our goal is to make the Philippine archipelago more connected and [...]

February 6th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH inks 5-year rice importation deal with Vietnam

(INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / EDWIN BACASMAS)     Manila, Philippines – The Philippines will import up to 2 million metric tons of rice from Vietnam yearly for five years. The Presidential Communication Office (PCO) said that Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. and his Vietnamese counterpart signed the five-year trade memorandum of understanding (MOU) during President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr.’s trip to Vietnam. “Under the MOU, Vietnam agreed on a five-year trade commitment to supply, through its private sector, white rice to Philippine private sector, amounting to 1.5 million to 2 million metric tons per year at a competitive and affordable price,” said the PCO in a statement on Tuesday Laurel announced the prospective agreement in a Palace briefing earlier in January. The PCO said that [...]

February 1st, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

VP Sara denies hand in Oplan Tokhang in Davao City

Vice President Sara Duterte on Thursday denied orchestrating "Oplan Tokhang" in Davao City during her term as mayor as accused by former Davao policeman Arturo Lascañas. In a video message, Duterte said her name is being dragged into the issue so that she will be included in the investigation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on the extrajudicial killings being linked to her father, former President Rodrigo Duterte. “Bago ang script na ito. Sa mga taon na nagsilbi ako bilang vice mayor at mayor ng Davao City, ni minsan ay hindi naugnay ang aking pangalan sa isyung ito,” Vice President Duterte said. “Maliban sa tiyempo, malinaw na sadyang pinilit lang na maidugtong ang pangalan ko sa isyung ito para ako maging akusado sa ICC,” she added. (This is a [...]

February 1st, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Rody calls for Mindanao to secede via sign campaign

Former President Rodrigo Duterte     Former President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday night called for Mindanao to secede from the Philippines through a process based on a signature campaign that would be presented to the United Nations. At a news conference in Davao City, Duterte said it was Davao Del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez who first pushed for the secession. “It’s not a rebellion; it’s not sedition,” Duterte said. “There’s a process, I think, before the UN wherein you would gather signatures from all sorts of Mindanao verified under oath in the presence of so many people [to] decide that we want a separate [state],” Duterte said. “If you want to do it in Luzon and the Visayas, too, that’s up to you,” he added in Filipino. Duterte has [...]

February 1st, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘ASEAN members can pursue bilateral sea Code of Conduct’

TOAST TO VIETNAM. President Marcos offers a toast to Vietnamese President Vo Van Thuong and First Lady Phan Thi Thanh Tam during the state banquet in his honor at the International Convention Center in Hanoi, Vietnam on Tuesday night. The Philippines signed a five-year deal with Vietnam to ensure a steady supply of affordable rice to the country as global prices of the staple continue to surge. PPA POOL     President Marcos raised the possibility of pursuing a separate bilateral code of conduct in the South China Sea with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). “What I was saying before about having an agreement, if we cannot finish the code of conduct with ASEAN and China, I said let us make it bilateral first with [...]

February 1st, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

LPG prices up effective Feb. 1

Fuel firms on Thursday announced an upward adjustment in the retail prices of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). In an advisory, Petron said it hiked its household LPG price by P0.95 per kilogram, effective 12 a.m. on February 1. The adjustment is equivalent to about a P10 increase in the price of a typical 11-kilogram LPG cylinder. “This reflects the international contract price of LPG for the month of February,” Petron said. Solane, likewise, said it increased its LPG price by P0.91 per kilogram —translating to around P10 hike for an 11-kilogram LPG tank. The adjustment took effect on February 1 at 8 a.m. This is the second consecutive month of hikes in LPG prices since the beginning of the year, when a P3.40 per kilogram increase was implemented for the [...]

February 1st, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Farmers, fishers say ‘Bagong Pilipinas’ offers no solutions to their problems

Fishermen arrive to unload their catch for the day at a fish port in Paranaque, Metro Manila on July 12, 2023. AFP / Jam Sta. Rosa MANILA, Philippines — Peasant groups denounced Sunday the so-called “Bagong Pilipinas” (New Philippines) movement of the Marcos Jr. administration, saying this fails to address the root causes of their struggles and offers no real solutions to the country’s problems. The government will hold a rally this afternoon at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila to launch the “Bagong Pilipinas” branding, which started in 2023. The Philippine Information Agency called the event a “historic gathering” that “aims to ignite hope and inspire participation in building a better Philippines through collective action.” But for Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA), the administration’s rebranding will not [...]

January 29th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

President leads ‘Bagong Pilipinas’ kick-off rally in Manila

CALL FOR TRANSFORMATION.  President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos lead the launching of "Bagong Pilipinas" at Quirino Grandstand in Manila on Sunday (Jan. 28, 2024) attended by more than 400,000 people. The President said "Bagong Pilipinas" is a call for the transformation of our idea of being a Filipino, of our economy, governance, and society. (PNA photo by Avito Dalan)       MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Sunday said the "Bagong Pilipinas" (New Philippines) is a new approach to governance that will benefit all Filipinos. "Bagong Pilipinas is not a political game plan that caters to a privileged few. It is a master plan for genuine development that benefits all people," Marcos said in his speech during the "Bagong Pilipinas" kick-off rally held [...]

January 29th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

VP Duterte attends Davao prayer rally after Bagong Pilipinas rally in Manila

Vice President Sara Duterte attends the Bagong Pilipinas rally on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2024. (Photo by GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE / Philippine Daily Inquirer)   Manila, Philippines — Vice President Sara Duterte arrived at the Hakbang ng Maisug Prayer Rally on Sunday evening, hours after she briefly appeared at the “Bagong Pilipinas” kick-off rally at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila. As seen in a Facebook Live on the official page of former President Rodrigo Duterte, the vice president graced the Davao City event and expressed her gratitude to their supporters there. In an earlier post, the vice president said she would attend both events. “My fellow Filipinos, I will attend the Bagong Pilipinas Kickoff Rally at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila. The DepEd is also pushing for the 8-point Socioeconomic [...]

January 29th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

ASEAN to call out SCS tensions

ASEAN foreign ministers are expected to issue a statement expressing deep concern over the growing tension in the South China Sea, saying it threatens the safety of people, after their two-day meeting in Laos starting on Sunday. During the two days of meetings, the top diplomats from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are expected to discuss the South China Sea disputes, the Myanmar crisis, the North Korean threats, and the wars in Ukraine and Israel. While the foreign ministers will avoid mentioning the series alarming incidents between the Chinese and Philippine coast guards last year,they will express concern how the territorial face-offs were putting the safety of people in peril. The statement will likely be issued by the Laotian chair on behalf of the ASEAN ministers on [...]

January 29th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

SMNI suspension suppression of press freedom – Roque

FORMER palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said the cease-and-desist order issued to Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI) is an "outright suppression of the press freedom." "What they did to us is an outright suppression of the freedom of the press and the freedom of expression. No doubts about it," Roque said at the "Business and Politics" program hosted by The Manila Times Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dante "Klink" Ang 2nd. Swara Sug Media Corp., the mother company of SMNI, was first docked a 30-day preventive suspension order on Dec. 21, 2023, for alleged franchise violations. Former palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. PHOTO BY MIKE ALQUINTO   On January 22, the NTC issued another suspension order against SMNI after receiving reports the media company was "still operating" in certain [...]

January 29th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Duterte, allies lead anti-Charter change forum, prayer rally in Davao

NO TO CHA_CHA. Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio speaks at the Davao prayer rally against Charter change organized by allies and officials who served under her father, former President Rodrigo Duterte, on Sunday night, hours after her brother, Davao City Mayor Basti Duterte, called on President Marcos to resign.     Local government officials and supporters of former President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday gathered to attend a leaders’ forum in Davao City ahead of a prayer rally against the signature campaign to push for Charter change. At the forum, Davao City Mayor Sebastian Duterte expressed his frustration with President Marcos and the government, saying in closing in Cebuano: “If you don’t show love and aspiration for the country, better resign.” Duterte told supporters at the “Hakbang ng Maisug” forum he [...]

January 29th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

800 Filipino deportees arrive from Sabah

SECOND BATCH | About 800 Filipinos who had just arrived from Sabah await transport to a facility of the Department of Social Welfare and Development. (Photo from the Zamboanga Peninsula Police Region Office)     ZAMBOANGA CITY, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines — Some 800 deportees from Sabah arrived here on Thursday aboard a commercial vessel, social welfare officials said. This is the second batch of deportation this year as part of Malaysia’s continuing crackdown against illegal immigrants. Although the crackdown has been regularly done by Malaysian immigration authorities, these activities became intense following its legal dispute with the heirs of the Sultanate of Sulu starting in 2019. The sultanate’s heirs secured a $14.9 billion award from a French arbitration court pertaining to Sabah, over which they lay a proprietary [...]

January 28th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

DOLE: No work, no pay on Chinese New Year

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Saturday said the “no work, no pay” policy will be implemented during the Chinese New Year holidays on Feb. 9 and 10, which have been both declared as special non-working days. In Labor Advisory 01, series of 2024, the DOLE also advised employers to pay their employees the correct remuneration on those days. “On a special (non-working) day, ‘no work, no pay’ will be implemented unless the company has a policy or collective bargaining agreement that gives salary for that day,” it said in a statement posted on social media. The department explained that an employee who works on a special (non-working) day will be paid an additional 30 percent of his/her daily wage for the first eight hours of his [...]

January 28th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH rolls out governance brand

Bagong Pilipinas: Better govt services, big-ticket projects More than 200,000 people were expected to join today’s inaugural rally of “Bagong Pilipinas” governance brand led by President Marcos at the Quirino Grandstand, the Presidential Communications Office said on Saturday. PCO Undersecretary Gerald Baria said “big and long-term” projects will be rolled out by February, adding that “Bagong Pilipinas” is more than just a branding but a commitment to improve the lot of Filipinos “We will pursue big projects because these really benefit the people…This is like a declaration of commitment from the Philippine bureaucracy to elevate government services to reach our goal of Bagong Pilipinas,” Baria said. A coalition of businessmen, civic leaders and employers have likewise committed to support the initiative aimed at shoring up the economy. Led by [...]

January 28th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos to bring up maritime issues during Vietnam state visit next week

Photo from PBBM's Official FB Page     President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is expected to discuss maritime and regional issues with Vietnam during his state visit there next week, a Department of Foreign Affairs official said Friday. This developed as some 50 Chinese vessels were spotted near Ayungin Shoal ahead of the rotation and resupply mission of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to BRP Sierra Madre, an American security analyst said. In a Palace briefing, DFA Assistant Secretary Aileen Mendiola-Rau said the President would start a discussion on various regional and international issues with Vietnamese leaders during his state visit from Jan. 29 to 30 “If it’s on the MOU (memorandum of understanding) between the (Philippine and Vietnamese) Coast Guard, it’s a simple agreement on how both coast [...]

January 27th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

DepEd deloads teachers of administrative tasks

Manila, Philippines: The Department of Education (DepEd) removed certain administrative tasks of teachers, as part of Vice President Sara Duterte's Matatag education agenda. According to Department Order 002-2024 issued on Friday and signed by Duterte, administrative tasks, such as personnel administration, property and physical facilities custodianship, general administrative support, financial management, records management, and program management are now removed from the workload of teachers "without prejudice to the teacher ancillary tasks as defined by other DepEd issuances, "Accordingly, School Heads and non-teaching personnel shall have the sole responsibility to perform the administrative tasks [that were enumerated]," the order read. "School division offices may cluster deployed non-teaching personnel in accordance with the deployment parameters of the Bureau of Human Resources and Organizational Development or hire contract of service or job [...]

January 27th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Hefty oil price hike next week: P2.10/l for gas

Consumers can expect pump prices to go up again next week, with gasoline expected to rise by as much as P2.10 per liter to reflect the movement of prices in the world market for oil. Industry sources said that based on the four-day trading of the Mean of Platts Singapore, the pricing benchmark used by oil importers, domestic pump prices will increase by P1.95 to P2.10 per liter for gasoline, P0.65 to P0.85 per liter for diesel and P0.20 to P0.30 per liter for kerosene starting Jan. 30, 2024 Department of Energy director for the Oil Industry Management Bureau Rodela Romero confirmed the impending oil price hike and attributed it to several international oil market developments. Romero said the reduction in the US crude stockpile, the issuance of a [...]

January 27th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Imee Marcos convinced Romualdez’ office behind people’s initiative

Metro Manila, Philippines– Senator Imee Marcos believes the office of House Speaker Martin Romualdez is behind the funding and timeline planning of the people’s initiative to amend the 1987 Constitution. Asked by reporters in a Friday press conference if she was convinced Romualdez was behind the signature campaign, she said: “Definitely, yung opisina niya yung nag-alok ng ₱20 million kada distrito, definitely nanggaling sa kanila yung very attenuated timeline na July 9 tapos na ang lahat.” [Translation: His office is the one that provided ₱20 million for each district, it also came up with the timeline which sought to conclude the initiative by July 9. “So definitely, that derived from his office with very clear numbers identifying the staff members and attorneys involved,” she added. Sen. Ronald Dela Rosa [...]

January 27th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

VP Duterte declares she’ll run again for office ‘in the next elections’

Vice President Sara Duterte —Photo from Inday Sara Duterte/Facebook     Manila, Philippines — Vice President Sara Duterte has declared she will run for office again “in the next elections.” Duterte revealed her political plan during a flag-raising ceremony in Barangay Bago Gallera, Davao City on Monday. “Narinig ko na sinabi ng aking kapatid, si Mayor Baste (Sebastian Duterte), at ng aking mas matandang kapatid, si Congressman Pulong (Paolo Duterte), na hindi sila tatakbo. Baka hindi sila tatakbo sa susunod na eleksyon, kaya’t narito ako sa inyong harap dahil mangangampanya ako sa inyo dahil tatakbo ako sa susunod na eleksyon,” Duterte said in a speech in Bisaya. (I heard that my sibling, Mayor Baste, and my elder sibling, Congressman Pulong, mentioned that they won’t run. Maybe they won’t run in the [...]

January 24th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Bill for ‘self-reliant’ PH defense posture gets final House nod

(MANILA BULLETIN/ Mark Balmores)     The proposed Philippine Self-Reliant Defense Posture Program--one of four remaining bills on the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) list--has been overwhelmingly approved on third and final reading by the House of Representatives. Embodied in House Bill (HB) No. 9713, the measure was passed during plenary session Tuesday, Jan. 23, or just the second session day of the year. The measure, which aims to boost the country’s national defense industry, garnered 194 affirmative votes during nominal voting. Only three House members voted in the negative, while there were zero abstentions. The three remaining LEDAC measures out of the list of 57 are the bill proposing amendments to the Electric Power Industry Reform Act, which is under technical working group finalization; and Budget Modernization Bill [...]

January 24th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Palace creates new offices for intel agency

  President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. ordered the creation of a new office under the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) that will cover counterintelligence, cyber intelligence, and countering weapons of mass destruction in a bid to “adapt to the evolving threats to national security.” “There is a need to reorganize the NICA to ensure a more vigorous intelligence collection, intensify internal and external coordination, and prepare intelligence and security assessments and estimates using data analytics to ensure national security and promote the national interest,” Mr. Marcos said in Executive Order (EO) No. 54 The EO establishes an Office of the Deputy Director General (ODGG) for Cyber and Emerging Threats under NICA. “Cyber threats—that is really an emerging problem. We need to coordinate with our foreign and domestic counterparts for this,” [...]

January 24th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

LTO chief eyeing registration of all electronic bikes due to accidents

Land Transportation Office chief Vigor Mendoza     The Land Transportation Office (LTO) said it is considering the mandatory registration of all kinds of electronic bikes or e-bikes. LTO chief Vigor Mendoza, quoted by Unang Balita, said this was due to the high number of accidents involving e-bikes “If the vehicle is running less than 25 kilometers per hour, you don’t have to register it with the LTO, although we’d like to deviate from that thinking,” Mendoza said. From January to November last year, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) recorded 556 accidents related to e-bikes in the National Capital Region (NCR). At present, e-bike drivers are not required to have a license. Mendoza said the LTO is coming up with a proposal that e-bikes should be registered regardless [...]

January 24th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Senate releases manifesto vs ‘sinister’ people’s initiative

  Metro Manila, Philippines— All of the country’s senators issued a manifesto on Tuesday rejecting the push for Charter change via people’s initiative as they warned of a no-election scenario and amendments that are seen to “erode the nation as we know it.” The manifesto signed by all 24 lawmakers at the upper chamber said senators respect and recognize the people’s right to demand changes in the 1987 Constitution, but warned against "any sinister and underhanded attempt to change the Constitution by exploiting our democratic process under the guise of a people's initiative. “This so-called ‘people's’ initiative (PI) proposes only one change: in acting as a constituent assembly, the Senate and the House shall vote jointly. While it seems simple, the goal is apparent -- to make it easier [...]

January 24th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos: ICC a threat to PH sovereignty

Metro Manila, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said the national government will "not lift a finger" to assist the International Criminal Court (ICC), calling the tribunal a threat to sovereignty. "Let me say this for the 100th time, I do not recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC in the Philippines. I consider it as a threat to our sovereignty, therefore, the Philippine government will not lift a finger to help any investigation the ICC conducts," Marcos told reporters on Tuesday. "However, as ordinary people, they can come and visit the Philippines pero hindi kami tutulong sa kanila [but we will not help them]. In fact, binabantayan namin sila [we're keeping an eye on them]," the president said when asked if the ICC agents were already in the country. [...]

January 24th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

DepEd to push for enhancing youth engagement, fostering peace in IDE 2024

For this year’s celebration of the International Day of Education (IDE), the Department of Education (DepEd) will highlight the urgent need to improve the engagement of Filipino youth in education. (DepEd file photo)  Observed annually on Jan. 24, the IDE aims to underscore the important role of education in peace and development. In a Facebook post, DepEd announced that its External Partnerships Service-International Cooperation Office (EPS-ICO) will spearhead the celebration of IDE 2024 through a forum. With the theme “Education in the Transformative Times: Making Early Grade Learning Contribute to Lasting Peace,” DepEd said the “IDE 2024 Forum is a call for action to bring individuals, civil society, and policymakers to take solid steps towards ensuring that primary and secondary education is given to children, as well as improving [...]

January 21st, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

PBBM expands aid plan for street dwellers

DSWD seeks to double beneficiaries to 5,000 this year President Marcos ordered the expansion of the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s “Pag-abot” Program to ensure the effective delivery of services to disadvantaged and vulnerable street dwellers. “The Pag-abot Program is hereby institutionalized as a platform for an enhanced and unified delivery of services to vulnerable and disadvantaged children, individuals, and families in street situations, through provision of social safety nets and protection against risks brought about by poverty,” Mr. Marcos said in Executive Order No. 52 According to data released by DSWD Undersecretary Edu Punay, the Pag-abot program was able to take 1,722 people out of the streets of Metro Manila from June to December 2023 out of 2,695 profiled individuals. Punay told Manila Standard the agency is [...]

January 21st, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Holy Mass kicks off Sinulog Festival

Cebu City: A Holy Mass kicked off the 2024 Sinulog Grand Parade Celebration held at the South Road Properties. The Sinulog Festival is an annual cultural and religious event celebrated on the third Sunday of January in Cebu City that serves as the focal point of the Philippines' observance of the feast of Santo Niño or the Child Jesus The Santo Niño de Cebu is the oldest Christian artifact in the Philippines, given to Rajah Humabon (baptized as Carlos) and his wife and principal consort, Hara Humamay (baptized as Juana), by Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 in recognition of their Christian baptism. Photo by Moises Cruz       The much awaited 17 contingents will participate in the grand parade this afternoon. For the Sinulog-based category these are: 1. Abellana [...]

January 21st, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Another oil price hike seen next week

Metro Manila, Philippines — Another increase in pump prices is expected next week, according to a forecast by Unioil Petroleum Philippines Inc. on Saturday. Unioil said gasoline may cost 90 centavos to ₱1.10 per liter more, while diesel may go up by 70 to 90 centavos per liter. The price adjustments are expected from Jan. 23 to 29, it addedThe Department of Energy's Jan. 16 data showed that the price movements have resulted in a year-to-date increase of 30 centavos per liter for gasoline, 60 centavos per liter for diesel, and a decrease of 40 centavos per liter for kerosene.  

January 21st, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Metro Manila Traffic Ranked Worst In The World – 2023 Study

Metro Manila traffic is the worst in the world for a metropolitan area, according to a 2023 study. Photo: Philippine News Agency     This study is by TomTom Traffic, a povider of detailed traffic information. It revealed that in 2023, the average travel time in Metro Manila was 25 minutes and 30 seconds per 10 kilometers, marking an additional 50 seconds from the 2022 recorded data of 24 minutes and 50 seconds. With a congestion level of 52 percent and an average speed of only 19 kph during rush hours, commuters in Metro Manila lose an average of 117 hours per year due to traffic. Following Metro Manila’s traffic congestion are Lima (Peru) with an average travel time of 24 minutes and 20 seconds per 10 km, and [...]

January 19th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Jinggoy Estrada cleared of plunder, guilty of bribery

Metro Manila, Philippines — While the Sandiganbayan acquitted Senator Jinggoy Estrada of plunder in the multimillion-peso scandal involving discretionary funds for pet projects of lawmakers, the court found him guilty of direct and indirect bribery The anti-graft court handed down its verdict on Friday, almost a decade after the case was filed in June 2014. During an ambush interview after hearing the court's decision, Estrada said he was "elated" as he was exonerated from the major case slapped against him. "I'm not guilty of anything. I did not steal any money," Estrada told reporters. Two state witnesses, including an employee of businesswoman and alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles, implicated Estrada in the controversy. Napoles herself is serving time over the scam. The senator was accused of [...]

January 19th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

China, Philippines seek better communication, management of conflicts in South China Sea

National flags are placed outside a room where Philippine Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez and China's Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng address reporters after their meeting in Beijing, China, January 23, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights, opens new tab BEIJING/MANILA- China and the Philippines agreed to improve maritime communication and to properly manage conflicts and differences through friendly talks in regards to issues around the South China Sea, their foreign ministries said in a statement. China Assistant Foreign Minister Nong Rong and Philippines Foreign Ministry undersecretary Theresa Lazaro held a frank and in-depth exchange of views on the situation while co-chairing the eighth meeting of the China-Philippines Bilateral Consultation Mechanism on the South China Sea in Shanghai, according to statements released by the Chinese and Philippine foreign ministries. In [...]

January 18th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Manibela: We will not abandon drivers of unconsolidated PUVs

A jeepney driver gestures as he takes part in a protest against the jeepney modernisation plan in Manila on January 16, 2024. Philippine jeepney drivers staged a noisy protest in the capital Manila on January 16 over the government's plan to phase out the smoke-belching vehicles nationwide and replace them with modern mini-buses. (Photo by JAM STA ROSA / AFP)       Manibela on Wednesday vowed to storm the Land Transportation Office (LTO), and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRAB) should the agencies apprehend operators and drivers of unconsolidated franchises that continue to operate after the Jan. 31 consolidation deadline. Manibela president Mar Valbuena said: “We really do not know what will happen on Feb. 1. It is beyond our control if they still ply the streets [...]

January 18th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Rice may hit P60/kilo, group says; DA pushes P1.3t for harvest tools

  Prices of regular-milled rice could reach P60 per kilo, the watchdog group Bantay Bigas warned Wednesday as it urged the government to monitor the prices of the staple. Bantay Bigas spokesperson Cathy Estavillo said prices of regular-milled rice in large markets in the National Capital Region now range from P54-P55 per kilo “In other markets, P60 is already their cheapest (for well-milled). The premium varieties range from P65 to P68. But the P54 is already a heavy burden on the pockets of our kababayan,” she said in a radio interview. “Prices can increase even more given that we are facing an El Niño phenomenon,” Estavillo added. She appealed to the government to ensure that the price of regular-milled rice does not hit P60 per kilo. For his part, [...]

January 18th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

400 cities, municipalities received signed people’s initiative forms for Cha-cha – Comelec

Metro Manila, Philippines— Some 400 cities and towns nationwide have already received as of Wednesday signed forms seeking amendments to the 1987 Constitution under a people's initiative, the Commision on Elections (Comelec) said. “Actually po hindi lang po sa Mandaue…Ngayong araw na ito, apat na daan na siyudad at munisipyo sa buong bansa ang nakatanggap na ng mga signature forms at signature pages,” Comelec Chairman George Garcia told CNN Philippines’ Newsroom Ngayon. [Translation: Actually po, not just in Mandaue…As of this day, 400 cities and municipalities in the country have already received the signature forms and signature pages. He said the Comelec is currently trying to classify the submitted forms according to district. “Dahil premature po at this point eh, [kung 'yan] ay kabilang sa isang distrito o ilang [...]

January 18th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

P450 billion unprogrammed funds challenged before SC

In a 27-page petition for certiorari and prohibition, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman and co-petitioners Camarines Sur Rep. Gabriel Bordado Jr. and Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman argued that increasing the original amount of unprogrammed funds is prohibited under Section 25.1, Article 6 of the Constitution. Philstar.com / EC Toledo       Manila, Philippines — Minority lawmakers are asking the Supreme Court to nullify the P449.5 billion in unprogrammed allocation in the national budget, saying the amount was way above the P289.1 billion originally proposed, making it unconstitutional. In a 27-page petition for certiorari and prohibition, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman and co-petitioners Camarines Sur Rep. Gabriel Bordado Jr. and Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman argued that increasing the original amount of unprogrammed funds is prohibited under Section 25.1, Article 6 of [...]

January 17th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Canada issues travel advisory for PH over crime, terrorism, civil unrest

The Canadian government is advising its citizens who will travel to the Philippines to exercise a high degree of caution due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, and kidnapping in some areas. In its advisory dated January 10, the Canadian government told its citizens to “avoid all travel” in the following areas in the Philippines Basilan Sulu Tawi-Tawi Lanao del Sur Maguindanao Bukidnon Camiguin Lanao del Norte Misamis Occidental Misamis Oriental Cotabato Sarangani South Cotabato Zamboanga del Norte Zamboanga del Sur Zamboanga Sibugay Sultan Kudarat With the “avoid all travel’ category, Canadians should not travel to these areas as their personal safety and security are at great risk. Citizens who are already in the area were advised to leave. Meanwhile, Canadians are also advised to “avoid non-essential travel” to the [...]

January 17th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

DepEd, SM Supermalls mull partnership on K-12 students’ immersion

Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte met with officials of SM Supermalls to discuss the possibility of the retail chain giant offering an immersion program and employment for graduates of the country’s K to 12 program   Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte (center) tackles the possible partnership of the Department of Education (DepEd) and SM Supermalls on the immersion of K to 12 students. (Photo from Inday Sara Duterte/Facebook)     In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Jan. 17, the Vice President shared photos of her recent meeting with SM Supermalls executives, headed by Hannah Sy, at the Office of the Vice President (OVP) in Mandaluyong City and expressed gratitude for the company’s plan to support K-12 graduates. “Napag-usapan din namin ang posibling partnership ng Department [...]

January 17th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Taiwan’s multiple-entry visas now open for OFWs

Taiwan has allowed multiple visa entry for foreign workers, including overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) based there According to a report by the Migrant Workers Office in Kaohsiung, the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) said that more than 150,000 OFWs could apply for these visas. MECO said that the multiple-entry individual visa allows the holder to travel to a country more than once and as often as preferred throughout the validity of the visa.MECO reminded OFWs who will leave Taiwan for vacation to inform their manpower agencies at least three weeks before their scheduled departure so that their resident certificate could be processed and be given the multiple-entry visa. — VDV, GMA Integrated News  

January 17th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

LAWMAKERS TO HIGH COURT: ‘Void P449.5B excess funds’

SEVERAL members of the House of Representatives minority bloc filed a petition before the Supreme Court questioning the constitutionality of the P449.5-billion unprogrammed funds in the 2024 budget. In a petition for certiorari and prohibition filed on Monday, Rep. Edcel Lagman (Albay 1st District), Rep. Mujiv Hataman (Basilan Lone District), and Rep. Gabriel Bordado (Camarines Sur 3rd District) said the unprogrammed funds allocated by Congress constitute a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of congressional jurisdiction They claimed that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. only proposed a ceiling of P281.908 billion for unprogrammed appropriations in the 2024 National Expenditure Program (NEP) and that the constitution prohibits Congress from exceeding the ceiling of the appropriations proposed by the President. "[Th]e unprogrammed appropriations are used as a sanctuary for [...]

January 17th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

China tells Marcos: Don’t ‘play with fire’ over Taiwan issue

Metro Manila, Philippines — China warned President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. not to “play with fire” after his congratulatory remarks to Taiwan's President-elect and pro-sovereignty leader Lai Ching-te. “We would like to make it clear to the Philippines that it should refrain from playing with fire on the Taiwan question,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said in a press conference Tuesday. The Chinese official also urged the Philippines to “stop the wrong words and deeds” regarding Taiwan-related issues as it may send the wrong signal to the separatists forces of Taiwan For Mao Ning, Marcos’ move violated Philippines’ political commitments to China and interfered into China’s internal affairs. Earlier that day, the spokesperson also said they have summoned Philippine Ambassador to Beijing Jaime FlorCruz on Tuesday for an explanation [...]

January 17th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

UN special rep for freedom set to visit country

FOR FREEDOM. A group of media practitioners, artists, and press freedom and freedom of expression advocates hold placards during a press conference. The group shares issues on attacks on freedom of expression and opinion in the country in time for the official visit of Irene Khan, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression. Manny Palmero       United Nations Special Rapporteur (UNSR) freedom of opinion and expression Irene Khan is set to make an official visit to the Philippines from Jan. 23 to Feb. 2. According to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights website, Khan will examine, in the spirit of cooperation and dialogue, the situation of the rights to freedom of opinion and expression in the country The UNSR [...]

January 17th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

2025 budget eyed at ₱6.2 trillion – DBM chief

Metro Manila, Philippines– Next year’s National Expenditure Program (NEP) is being eyed at around ₱6.2 trillion, Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said Wednesday. This is an increase of about ₱432 billion compared to the 2024 General Appropriations Act (GAA) worth ₱5.768 trillion. “We’ll review the numbers again but as of now it’s ₱6.2 trillion,” Pangandaman said, referring to the interagency Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC). It is composed of the DBM, the Department of Finance, the National Economic and Development Authority, the Office of the President, and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Asked about the 2025 NEP priorities, Pangandaman said that it would be similar to the 2024 budget with a focus on health, education, and the administration’s infrastructure initiative dubbed Build Better More. She [...]

January 17th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

DepEd issues guidelines for Catch Up Fridays

Teachers watch their students walk along a corridor after a short break at the start of classes at a school in Quezon City, suburban Manila on August 22, 2022 as millions of children in the Philippines returned to school as the academic year started on August 22, with many taking their seats in classrooms for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic hit. AFP / Ted Aljibe     Manila, Philippines — The Department of Education has released the guidelines for the implementation of its “Catch Up Fridays” learning intervention program, which will be officially rolled out in public schools nationwide starting January 12. DepEd Memorandum 001 s. 2024 states that the “Catch Up Fridays” program will dedicate half of every Friday to reading and the other half to values, [...]

January 13th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Imee Marcos reveals timeline for alleged plan to push for cha-cha via people’s initiative

Metro Manila, Philippines — Senator Imee Marcos revealed receiving a detailed timeline about the alleged plan to push to amend the 1987 Constitution, which even included the specific date when the Commission on Elections (Comelec) will prepare for a plebiscite. Speaking to CNN Philippines’ The Source on Friday, Marcos said she initially received an unknown text before Christmas Day detailing a timeline for “Project PI.” “It was fairly detailed, Project PI ang tawag. Timeline, major activities 15 December to 3 January prepare petition, print proposition, signature sheets. Detalyado sya hanggang darating sa February, pag dumating sa February 12 hanggang sa 10 March verify signatures, 11 March and so on,” she said. [Translation: It was fairly detailed, it's called Project PI. Timeline, major activities on 15 December to 3 January [...]

January 13th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Castro’s grave threats complaint vs. Duterte junked

Metro Manila, Philippines – The Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office has junked ACT-Teachers Rep. France Castro’s grave threats complaint against former President Rodrigo Duterte for lack of sufficient evidence. Castro accused Duterte of threatening to kill her based on statements he made during two airings of his show “Gikan sa Masa” broadcast on the controversial Sonshine Media Network International. Duterte denied Castro’s accusations and was a no-show in both preliminary investigations over the case. He said his statements did not demonstrate actus reus, the actual utterance of threat, and mens rea, or intent to be taken seriously. He also said the lawmaker’s complaint was made for propaganda purposes by staunch critics of his administration. In a resolution obtained by CNN Philippines, prosecutors wrote: “This Office finds the evidence insufficient to indict [...]

January 13th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Transformation of DND, AFP will go on—Teodoro

                Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro   DEFENSE Secretary Gilberto Teodoro, Jr. on Friday said transformation of the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will be sustain throughout 2024. Teodoro issued the statement as he led the traditional joint New Year’s Call of the DND) and the AFP in Camp Aguinaldo, marking the start of the working year In his message, Teodoro said that transforming the whole defense department, with its civilian bureaus and the AFP, will carry on in the new year. “We thank the whole defense family for the cooperation that they have shown last year in the midst of our attempts to transform our organization into a new defense organization with new skills, [...]

January 13th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH, Indonesia discussed South China Sea developments — Marcos

Photo by Anna Felicia Bajo/GMA Integrated News President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and Indonesian President Joko Widodo met on Wednesday and discussed a range of regional issues, including developments in the South China Sea and closer cooperation among member states of the Southeast Asian bloc. In a joint press statement in Malacañang after the two leaders' bilateral meeting, Marcos said they had a fruitful and honest discussion about events in the South China Sea, saying that they both stood by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. ''President Widodo and I had a fruitful and honest discussion on regional events of mutual interest such as the developments in South China Sea and ASEAN cooperation and initiative,'' Marcos said. ''And speaking of ASEAN, as founding members [...]

January 10th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Traslacion draws 6 million devotees after 3-year hiatus

Metro Manila, Philippines—  The number of devotees participating in the Feast of the Black Nazarene reached more than six million, as the tradition returned after a three-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The image of the Black Nazarene left the Quirino Grandstand at Rizal Park around 4:45 a.m. on Tuesday and reached the Quiapo Church after nearly 15 hours at 7:44 p.m., making it the shortest Traslacion or grand procession recorded in the recent years. The previous record was in 2016 when the procession took around 16 hours due to an early start and shorter route. But the procession in 2012 remains the longest in history after the image of the Black Nazarene took 22 hours to arrive at the church. Based on the accumulative count from midnight [...]

January 10th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH growth seen slowing this year

PHILIPPINE growth will likely slow this year but remain one of the highest among the Asean-6 economies that include Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand, DBS Bank Ltd. said. In a January outlook for the six Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) countries, the Singaporean multinational forecast Philippine gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 5.3 percent for 2024, short of the government's target of 6.5-7.5 percent and moderating from the expected 5.8 percent for last year Full-year GDP results will be released at the end of this month. As of end-October, growth remained below target at 5.5 percent. "[T]he Philippines will stand out with slower 2024 expansion, dampened by the lagged impact of high interest rates, following the most aggressive monetary tightening cycle in the region," DBS said. GDP [...]

January 10th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

US, Chinese military officers resume talks as agreed by Biden and Xi

In this photo proved by the Defense Department, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for China, Taiwan, and Mongolia Michael Chase hosts delegates from China for the annual U.S.-PRC Defense Policy Coordination Talks at the Pentagon on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024. U.S. and Chinese military officers have resumed talks that were frozen after former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in 2022. It’s a development U.S. officials have said is key to keeping the growing competition between the two great powers from turning into direct conflict. (Petty Officer 1st Class Alexander Kubitza/U.S. Navy via A.P.)       WASHINGTON — U.S. and Chinese military officers have resumed talks frozen after former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in the summer of 2022, a development U.S. officials have said is key [...]

January 10th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Meralco hikes power rate in January

Customers of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) should expect higher electricity bills this month after the power distributor hiked its household power rate amid higher generation costs. In an advisory, Meralco said it adjusted its rate by 8.46 centavos per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for January, bringing the overall overall rate for a typical household to P11.3430 per kWh from P11.2584 per kWh in December. The upward adjustment could translate to an increment of P17 in this month’s bill of a residential customer consuming 200 kWh. Meralco attributed the rate increase to higher generation charge, which inched up by 11.36 centavos to P6.6468 per kWh from P6.5332 per kWh last month, “owing to higher cost of power from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) and Independent Power Producers (IPPs).” In particular, WESM [...]

January 10th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Rep. Duterte junks PI for Cha-cha

DAVAO CITY – Rep. Paolo Z. Duterte here has disagreed with the People’s Initiative for constitutional amendments. In a statement on Tuesday night, January 9, Duterte said that someone informed him that PBA party-list Rep. Margarita “Migs” Nograles is spearheading the PI in this city. “This so-called People’s Initiative for Charter change (Cha-cha) is nothing but pure PI,” Duterte said There has been a resurgence in the push for Cha-cha in the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to modify the Constitution’s perceived “restrictive” economic provisions. Cha-cha includes political and legal procedures for modifying clauses in the 1987 Constitution. Article 17 of the 1987 Constitution states that amendments cannot occur within five years of its ratification nor more frequently than once every five years after that. The Constitution [...]

January 10th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

BIR waives annual registration fee for business taxpayers

This photo shows a picture of people lining up at the Bureau of Internal Revenue in Manila to file their income tax returns. The STAR / File photo   Manila, Philippines — The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) announced on Tuesday that it has scrapped its annual registration fee (ARF) paid by business taxpayers. According to an advisory signed by BIR Commissioner Romeo Lumagui on January 8, business taxpayers are no longer required to pay the P500 ARF starting January 22. The BIR said the change complies with the Republic Act No. 11976 or the "Ease of Paying Taxes Act,” signed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on January 5. The Ease of Paying Taxes Act has simplified the tax payment process, enabling taxpayers to file their tax returns electronically [...]

January 10th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH, Indonesia tackle South China Sea, Myanmar, Gaza in ministerial meet

(Photo from DFA Secretary Enrique Manalo's Twitter account)       Metro Manila, Philippines— The Philippines and Indonesia agreed to strengthen cooperation to address common challenges and global concerns at the 7th Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) held in Manila on Tuesday. Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi spearheaded the JCBC ahead of the arrival of Indonesian President Joko Widodo for his three-day official visit to Manila. The last JCBC meeting between Philippine and Indonesian foreign ministers was held in 2014 In a post-meeting statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs said that the JCBC serves as the primary dialogue mechanism between the Philippines and Indonesia to review accomplishments on mutual collaboration initiatives. Participants in the JCBC discussed the progress of the Philippine-Indonesia Plan [...]

January 10th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Philippines, US conduct 2nd joint maritime patrol in West Philippine Sea

This photo shows a sailing U.S. Pacific Fleet. US Navy Manila,  Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced on Wednesday their second maritime cooperative activity with the United States Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) in the West Philippine Sea. According to an official statement from the AFP, this joint operation will involve a range of strategic exercises. They will conduct passing exercises, communication checks, cross-deck exercises, joint patrols, Officer of the Watch maneuvers, and fixed-wing flight operations in conjunction with USINDOPACOM. "The 2nd maritime cooperative activity marks a significant leap in our alliance and interoperability with the United States. It also demonstrates our progress in defense capabilities and development as a world-class armed force, as we carry out our mandate to protect the people and the state," AFP [...]

January 4th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Pimentel to petition SC to nix P450b in unprogrammed funds

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III     Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III said he would file a petition before the Supreme Court this week to challenge as unconstitutional the additional P450 billion in unprogrammed funds in the 2024 national budget. “The target is this week, but of course, it depends on the lawyers’ readiness,” Pimentel said about the timing of his petition. He also said he has been talking to a member of the House of Representatives who wants to join him in filing a case Earlier, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said he agreed with Pimentel on the “fatal defects” brought about by the unprogrammed funds, but the senator said it wasn’t Lagman he was talking to. Pimentel said the budget ran afoul of the Constitution on [...]

January 4th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH debt hit ₱14.5T in November 2023

Metro Manila, Philippines - The country’s debt has skyrocketed to ₱14.51 trillion as of November 2023, which is 0.19% higher than the ₱14.35 trillion logged in October 2023. In a statement, the Bureau of the Treasury said the rise was “primarily due to the net issuance of domestic securities. Of the total borrowings, 30.91% were sourced externally while 69.09% were from local sources. The country’s domestic debt stood at ₱10.02 trillion, which is 1.3% higher than the October figure of ₱9.79 trillion “due to the net issuance of government securities.” Meanwhile, the November foreign debt dipped to ₱4.48 trillion, or 2.06% lower than October’s ₱4.56 trillion, because of net repayment of foreign loans and favorable foreign exchange movements. Year-on-year, the country’s total debt ballooned by ₱864.56 billion.    

January 4th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

China, US announce military patrols in disputed South China Sea

This aerial photo shows part of the Subi Reef and Chinese vessels identified by the Philippines as "maritime militia" near Thitu Island in the disputed South China Sea on December 1, 2023. (Photo by JAM STA ROSA / AFP)       Beijing and Washington both announced military deployments in the South China Sea on Wednesday, following heightened tensions between China and the Philippines in the disputed waterway. China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Southern Theater Command said it had “organised naval and air forces to conduct routine patrols” in the sea from January 3 to 4. The United States meanwhile announced that a carrier strike group led by the USS Carl Vinson was conducting two days of drills with the Philippine Navy “The US Navy regularly conducts exercises like [...]

January 4th, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Phivolcs: No tsunami threat to Philippines from Japan quake

No tsunami threat to the Philippines has been detected following a massive earthquakethat hit central Japan and its western coast on Monday afternoon, Phivolcs said. In an advisory, the monitoring agency said that the 7.4 quake struck at 3:10 p.m. Philippines time (4:10 p.m. Japan time) near Honshu's west coast. According to Japanese public broadcaster NHK, the quake triggered waves of around 1 meter along parts of the Sea of Japan coast with a larger wave expected. The Japan Meteorological Agency, which measured a preliminary magnitude of 7.6, issued tsunami warnings for the coastal prefectures of Ishikawa, Niigata and Toyama. Russia also issued tsunami warnings in its far eastern cities of Vladivostok and Nakhodka. — BM, GMA News  

January 1st, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Major Japan quake prompts tsunami warning, residents told to run

TOKYO: A powerful 7.5 earthquake hit central Japan on Monday, the USGS said, prompting tsunami warnings and authorities to urge people in the area to move to higher ground. "All residents must evacuate immediately to higher ground," national broadcaster NHK said after the quake hit the Noto region in Ishikawa prefecture around 4:10 p.m. (0710 GMT) Hazardous tsunami waves were possible within 300 kilometers (190 miles) of the quake's epicenter along the Japan coast, the Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said. A tsunami of 1.2 meters was confirmed to have arrived in Wajima city in Ishikawa prefecture. But a much higher tsunami of five meters was expected to arrive in Noto in the same region, the Japan Meterological Agency (JMA) said. The JMA said the Noto region, on the [...]

January 1st, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

China warns PH against building permanent structure on Ayungin Shoal

Metro Manila, Philippines — Beijing has warned it will not sit idly by should Manila push through with its plan to build a permanent civilian structure on Ayungin Shoal, a disputed feature in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) which has seen heightened tensions between both sides this year. Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning told the press on Friday that such a “major move” by the Philippines would “severely infringe” on China’s sovereignty and would prompt the latter to take resolute measures. “Ren’ai Jiao is an uninhabited shoal,” Mao said, referring to the name China uses for Ayungin. “According to the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea signed by China and ASEAN countries, parties should keep Ren’ai Jiao uninhabited and facility-free. The official was citing [...]

January 1st, 2024|Categories: News|0 Comments

Manalo, Blinken discuss stronger PH-US ties, tension in SCS

Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo and US Secretary of State  Anthony Blinken talked on the phone on Thursday and discussed strengthening cooperation between the Philippines and the US in the New Year 2024. The call came in the wake of a series of statements by China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs claiming that the Philippines committed provocative actions in the West Philippine Sea "Secretary Blinken underscored the United States’ ironclad commitments to the Philippines under our Mutual Defense Treaty," the readout read. "Secretary Blinken and Secretary Manalo also exchanged ideas on how to reinforce U.S.-Philippines cooperation in the coming year, building on President Marcos’s official working visit to Washington, D.C., this past May," it added. "Secretary Manalo reaffirmed the Philippines’ abiding interest to protect its sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction, [...]

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

Go cites importance of Regional Speciality Center Law to close gaps in health services

                          Senator Christopher Go     Senator Christopher Go said the newly-signed Republic Act No. 11959 or the Regional Specialty Centers Law will bridge the gaps in Philippine healthcare services. Go, in a statement, emphasized the need for the law, stating, “As the principal sponsor and one of the authors of the measure together with no less than Senate President Migz Zubiri, I have long recognized the need to bring specialized medical services to more poor and indigent Filipino patients, most of them living outside Metro Manila where most, if not all, of our national specialty centers are found. Go is the principal sponsor and one of the authors of the law which was recently signed by [...]

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

Quiapo Church bares Black Nazarene route on Traslacion 2024

The Quiapo Church on Thursday bared the route for the 2024 Black Nazarene Traslacion procession on January 9. For the year’s celebration of the Feast of the Black Nazarene, the church will use the same route for the grand procession in 2020. The 400-year-old image will take the following route: From Quirino Grandstand Right to Katigbak Drive (left side) Right to Padre Burgos St. through Finance Road Straight to Ayala Bridge Left to Palanca St. Right to Quezon Boulevard Right to Arlegui Street Right to Fraternal Street Right to Vergara Street Left to Duque de Alba Street Left to Castillejos Street Left to Farnecio Street Right to Arlegui Street Left to Nepomuceno Street Left to Conception Aguila Street Right to Carcer Street Right to Hidalgo through Plaza del Carmen [...]

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

BIR slaps 1% withholding tax on online merchants

In its latest revenue regulation, the BIR is imposing a withholding tax on gross remittances made by electronic marketplace operators and digital financial service providers to sellers or merchants for goods and services sold or paid through the former’s platform and facility. STAR / File     Manila, Philippines — The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has officially imposed a one percent withholding tax on online platform providers as part of government efforts to tap digital transactions for economic growth. In its latest revenue regulation, the BIR is imposing a withholding tax on gross remittances made by electronic marketplace operators and digital financial service providers to sellers or merchants for goods and services sold or paid through the former’s platform and facility. In April this year, the BIR had [...]

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

Poll: Pro-admin sentiment drops to 46% in Q3

There has been a “noteworthy shift” in pro-administration sentiment among Filipinos, which has declined from 50 percent in the third quarter of 2022 to 46 percent in the same period in 2023, the Pahayag End of Year survey showed. PUBLiCUS Asia Inc., which conducted the non-commissioned survey and released the results Thursday, also said anti-administration sentiment remained “stable” at 18%, while those adopting a neutral stance increased from 30% to 36% during the same period Economic concerns, including price inflation, joblessness, low wages, and a perceived lack of productivity, emerge as driving factors behind the changing political landscape, the survey said. These issues, left unaddressed by the administration, have prompted a notable migration of pro-administration voters toward neutrality, PUBLiCUS Asia said. In regional breakdowns, the National Capital Region (NCR) [...]

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

LTFRB sets conditions allowing unconsolidated PUV operators to ply roads until end-January 2024

Metro Manila, Philippines— The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has issued new guidelines regarding the implementation of the public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program with only three days left for the consolidation deadline. Under Memorandum Circular no. 2023-052, "unconsolidated individual operators in routes with less than 60% consolidated NAU (number of authorized units) shall be allowed to operate until 31 January 2024." The LTFRB Board will issue a list of routes with less than 60% consolidated NAU, the order read. PUV operators in routes with no consolidated transport entities will also be allowed to ply roads until the end of January 2024. The LTFRB said its board and Regional Franchising Regulatory Offices will issue show cause orders during the period to the unconsolidated individual operators in compliance [...]

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

DOTr Gets 4 Proposals For P170.6-B NAIA Rehab

The winning bidder for the project will be given a concession period of 15 years, extendable by 10 years, to operate and maintain Ninoy Aquino International Airport and expand its passenger capacity to 62 million yearly, from 32 million at present The Philippine STAR file photo shows the façade of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has received four proposals for the P170.6-billion privatization of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). Bidders Manila International Airport Consortium (MIAC), Asian Airport Consortium, GMR Airports Consortium and San Miguel Corp. (SMC) SAP & Co. Consortium are affiliated with some of the most prominent conglomerates in the country. MIAC is composed of Aboitiz InfraCapital, AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp., Alliance Global’s Infracorp Development Inc., Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corp., Filinvest Development [...]

December 28th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

500,000 MT rice arriving from India, Taiwan

Workers store sacks of local premium rice at a rice mill warehouse in Bocaue, Bulacan on September 8, 2023. STAR / Michael Varcas   Manila, Philippines —  Nearly 500,000 metric tons of rice from Taiwan and India will arrive beginning this month until February 2024, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said yesterday. This is in preparation for the possible impact of the El Niño phenomenon on palay production. “We received reports that around 100,000 tons of imported rice have already arrived in the country. This is part of the 495,000 MT committed by import permit holders to (Agriculture) Secretary (Francisco) Tiu Laurel,” DA Undersecretary Roger Navarro said in a statement yesterday Meanwhile, a total of 20,000 bags – equivalent to 1,000 MT – delivered before Christmas Day constituted the [...]

December 28th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

DILG urges strict enforcement of fireworks ban

People watch fireworks illuminate the sky at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, Metro Manila on December 22, 2023. AFP / Jam Sta. Rosa Manila, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) called on cities and municipalities to strictly enforce their respective ordinances prohibiting the use of harmful fireworks to ensure safe New Year festivities. Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos issued the call Wednesday as the number of fireworks-related injuries reached 75 just days before New Year's Eve. According to the DILG, at least 1,210 local government units (LGUs) have ordinances in place banning the use of harmful firecrackers "Make sure that these ordinances are enforced. Let's put teeth into these ordinances against dangerous fireworks," Abalos said in Filipino. "These policies are meaningless if we do not [...]

December 28th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Ex-president top Senate bet in 2025

FORMER president Rodrigo Duterte is the top choice for senator in the 2025 midterm elections, a survey conducted by Publicus Asia Inc. showed. The polling firm said its Pahayag End of Year voting disposition survey showed that the former president got the "vote" of 48 percent of the respondents and an "impressive" trust rating of 59 percent Following closely is Anti-Crime and Terrorism Community Involvement and Support party-list Rep. Erwin Tulfo, who secured a 44 percent voting predisposition and a parallel 44 percent trust rating. Dr. Willie Ong, the former vice presidential candidate and cardiologist, secured a substantial 43 percent voting predisposition and a commendable 50 percent trust rating. "Notably, Erwin Tulfo experienced a drop in support in Mindanao, sliding from 50 percent to 44 percent," the polling firm [...]

December 28th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Holiday hopes drop, but 92% see much better 2024 — Pulse Asia

  Manila, Philippines — While the number of Filipinos who expect their holiday celebrations in 2023 to be more prosperous than last year declined, an overwhelming majority remain confident that life in 2024 will be much better, according to a recent survey from Pulse Asia. Reports released by Pulse Asia on Friday showed that only 30 percent of respondents believe they would be having better celebrations in 2023 compared to 2022 — down from the 43 percent registered in November 2022. This accounts for a 13-point drop. Belief in better celebrations for 2023 decreased the most in Visayas, from 66 percent in 2022 to 42 percent in 2023 (-24 points), followed by Mindanao (from 46 percent to 31 percent), National Capital Region (NCR) (from 32 percent to 18 percent), [...]

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

No merry Christmas: Hefty oil price hike seen next week

Department of Energy (DOE) Oil Industry Management Bureau assistant director Rodela Romero said results of four-day trading showed potential increases of over P1 per liter for diesel, gasoline and kerosene next week. Philstar.com / Irra Lising,file     Manila, Philippines — Hefty price increases at the pumps await motorists for the final week of 2023. Department of Energy (DOE) Oil Industry Management Bureau assistant director Rodela Romero said results of four-day trading showed potential increases of over P1 per liter for diesel, gasoline and kerosene next week. Specifically, prices of gasoline and diesel are both expected to rise by P1.40 to P1.60 per liter, while that of kerosene could go up by P1.60 to P1.80 per liter Romero said these come as oil prices surge amid growing avoidance of [...]

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

PH, U.S. in discussion for possible F-16 fighter jets procurement

Metro Manila, Philippines – Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez has revealed that there are 'open discussions' on Manila’s possible procurement of F-16 fighter jets from Washington. The diplomat said that should the deal push through, it would be a big boost to the country's air defense capabilities. Security officials earlier said the Philippines is trying to build up defense capability, play catch up by modernizing its armed forces, and establish robust presence in the country's exclusive economic zone particularly in the West Philippine Sea where there is simmering maritime row with China. "Yung F-16 matagal na nating gusto yan ang ating Air Force hinihintay na nila," said Romualdez in an interview with CNN Philippines on Friday.. [Translation: Our Air Force has been wanting the F-16 fighter [...]

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

Vice President Sara reiterates stand vs ‘traitors’ CPP-NPA-NDF

                        Vice President Sara Duterte                         Inday Sara Duterte / Facebook page     Manila, Philippines — Vice President Sara Duterte has again spoken strongly against the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), its armed component New People’s Army (NPA) as well as its political wing the National Democratic Front (NDF) following the death of a soldier in Batangas. In a video message posted on her official Facebook account Thursday night, Duterte described the CPP, NPA and NDF as “traitor,” “deceiving,” and “violent” enemies who wreak havoc in communities. “We wholeheartedly recognize and honor the bravery, heroism and service of Sgt. Jernell Ramillano,” Duterte said in Filipino [...]

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

Govt’s Charter change plans questioned

Manila, Philippines -The Liberal Party (LP) of the Philippines questioned government plans to amend the 1987 Constitution, saying this would cost the people "time and money." "This will take away resources that could otherwise be used to address rising commodity prices, the education crisis, and new environmental and health threats," the LP said in a statement on Tuesday. "It can also be asked: Is the Constitution to blame on why investors are not approaching us?" they added. "When we open foreign ownership of businesses, are our infrastructures, manpower, and institutions ready for those changes?" They also ask if it is really just the economic provisions that needed to be amended in the Constitution and said the "cha-cha" should not be used to increase the country's bureaucracy. "When the amendment [...]

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

Online scams top list of 2023 cybercrimes

In a statement, PLDT president and CEO Alfredo Panlilio said the telco company supports the passage of House Bill (HB) 7393 and Senate Bill (SB) 2039 seeking to imprison and penalize money mules. BW / File Manila, Philippines — More than half of cybercrimes documented this year were online scams, data from the police Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) showed. Based on the data, 19,884 cybercrimes were recorded from Jan. 1 to Dec. 7 this year, of which 11,071 cases or 55.67 percent represented online scams. A far second is illegal access in relation to Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Law, which has 3,181 cases or 15.99 percent There were 1,536 computer-related identity theft cases, which comprised 7.72 percent of the total cybercrimes documented. Online libel is at 6.74 [...]

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

Economy, inflation are Pinoys’ top concerns — survey

Metro Manila, Philippines — Economic concerns are still the biggest worry of Filipinos, according to an end-of-year survey by Publicus Asia Inc. The independent and non-commissioned "PAHAYAG" survey conducted from Nov. 29 to Dec. 4 showed economy and inflation are the top concerns on the macroscale for the majority 15% of respondents. Earlier this month, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported that the inflation rate continued its slowdown, dropping to 4.1% in November from 4.9% the month before. This brings the average inflation from January to November to 6.2%, still outside the government's target range of 2% to 4%. Publicus Asia said corruption and poverty are the next top concerns for Filipinos at 12% and 9%, respectively. "Notably, Corruption is least concerning to those with No Formal Education at 5%, while [...]

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

Marcos: ‘Paradigm shift’ needed in diplomatic efforts with China on WPS row

    Metro Manila, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said the Philippines needs a "paradigm shift" in how it deals with China's aggressions in the West Philippine Sea as current diplomatic efforts with Beijing are going "in a poor direction. According to the Presidential Communications Office (PCO), Marcos told Japanese media over the weekend that China's continued disregard of the Philippines' "traditional" diplomatic methods calls for a new approach. "Well, to this point, we have resorted to the traditional methods of diplomacy where, should there be an incident, we send note verbal. Our embassy will send a démarche to the Foreign Affairs (Ministry) office in Beijing, but we have been doing this for many years now, with very little progress," Marcos said. "We have to do [...]

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

OVP gets ISO-recertification; two satellite offices also certified

The Office of the Vice President (OVP) on Monday, Dec. 18, announced that it has received recertification from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Certification 9001:2015, proving that its management system is at par with international standards. (Office of the Vice President/Facebook)     In a Facebook post, the OVP said that the office underwent audit sessions last Dec. 6 for the ISO 9001:2015 recertification. Aside from the OVP recertification for the next three years, the OVP Satellite Offices in Davao and Panay and Negros Islands also got certified for the first time. “Ang ISO certification ay iginagawad sa mga organisasyong nagpapamalas ng kakayahan sa pagbibigay serbisyo na may magandang kalidad at sumusunod sa mga batas at regulasyon ng pamahalaan (The ISO certification is given to organizations that showed [...]

December 18th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Proposed PH-Japan military access deal seen to help maintain peace in West PH Sea — Marcos

Metro Manila, Philippines -President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said the proposed Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA) between the Philippines and Japan will help keep the peace in the West Philippine Sea as China continues to escalate tensions in the disputed waters. During his bilateral meeting with Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, the chief executive said the RAA will boost maritime cooperation between the two countries, and facilitate the procedures and set guidelines when Philippine forces visit Japan for training and joint exercises, and vice versa. "That is something that I believe is very, very significant and that it will bring to us greater capacity to maintain the peace in [the South China Sea],” Marcos said in his preliminary remarks during his talk with Kishida on the sidelines of the 50th Commemorative [...]

December 18th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘Kabayan’ makes landfall over Concepcion, Davao Oriental

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said tropical storm Kabayan (international name: Jelawat) made landfall over Concepcion, Davao Oriental at 9:30 a.m., Monday, Dec. 18. PAGASA said in its 8 a.m. bulletin that Kabayan is expected to traverse the rough terrain of Mindanao and emerge over the Sulu Sea between Monday afternoon and evening. Kabayan will then travel south of the Cagayancillo Islands across the Sulu Sea By Tuesday morning or afternoon, Dec. 19, the tropical storm is expected to make another landfall over central or southern Palawan as a tropical depression. It will then re-emerge over the West Philippine Sea. Between Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, Dec. 20, Kabayan may pass close to or over the Kalayaan Islands. As of 8 a.m., tropical cyclone wind [...]

December 18th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH trade deficit widened in October as exports fell sharply

Manila, Philippines -The Philippines posted a bigger trade deficit in October compared with a year ago on the back of a sharp contraction in exports while imports recorded a milder decline. The trade gap widened by 26 percent to $4.17 billion in October from $3.3 billion in the same month last year, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported Tuesday. The latest reading was also larger than the $3.58 billion trade gap in September. A trade deficit happens when the country’s import bill is larger than its export sales. Exports plummeted 17.5 percent year-on-year to $6.36 billion during the month, with electronic products registering the steepest decline. The decline in imports was slower at 4.4 percent to $10.54 billion in October. According to the PSA, total external trade declined by [...]

December 18th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

DepEd to distribute P18,000 pay starting Tuesday

FILE PHOTO: Teacher Ann Mariel Foronda guides a kindergarten pupil in writing his name at Pinyahan Elementary School in Quezon City during the resumption of full in-person classes for public schools on November 2, 2022. INQUIRER/NIÑO JESUS ORBETA       Manila, Philippines – Qualified employees of the Department of Education (DepEd), including around 900,000 public school teachers, will each receive a special recognition incentive (SRI) of P18,000 starting Tuesday. In a memorandum dated Dec. 15, DepEd said schools division offices would begin processing the additional benefit on Monday, with distribution to follow the next day. The incentive to be given out in cash is in compliance with the Office of the President’s Administrative Order No. 12 which authorizes the “release of a one-time SRI at a uniform rate [...]

December 18th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

LPA may enter PAR within 24 hours — PAGASA

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) on Saturday, Dec. 16, said the Low Pressure Area (LPA) being monitored outside the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) may enter the country within 24 hours In PAGASA's 4 a.m. live broadcast, weather specialist Obet Badrina said the LPA was seen 1,225 kilometers east of Southeastern Mindanao. Badrina added that PAGASA is not ruling out the possibility for the LPA to develop into a tropical cyclone. "Whether or not the LPA may develop into a tropical cyclone, starting tomorrow, it may still bring rains particularly in the eastern portion of Visayas and Mindanao," said Badrina. Meanwhile, the northeast monsoon or "amihan" may still bring isolated light rains in Ilocos Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, and Cagayan Valley where partly cloudy to [...]

December 16th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

12 days of transport strikes set; PISTON, Manibela to join forces

TRANSPORT JUSTICE. Representatives of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice, PISTON, Sanlakas, Oriang, Kilusang Mayo Uno, Freedom from Debt Coalition, Move as One, and the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino stand to dramatize their demands to scrap the PUV Modernization Program in a press conference Friday in Quezon City. Manny Palmero     Transport groups PISTON and Manibela on Friday announced they would give the public “12 days of strikes” for Christmas, with plans to launch another transport holiday from Dec. 18 to 29 to protest the government’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) The announcement comes on the second day of a two-day transport strike by PISTON, and with traffic in Metro Manila and nearby areas expected to worsen amid the Christmas holiday rush. “Today is just the start [...]

December 16th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

DepEd starts hauling math, science items from logistics firm

“Sometime in the first week of December 2023, the DepEd was in receipt of a letter from Transpac suddenly informing DepEd that it may now haul the goods stored in its warehouses,” the statement read. STAR / File Manila, Philippines — The Department of Education’s regional and division offices have started hauling the learning resources from its previous logistics provider, Transpac Cargo Logistics, “for distribution to public schools nationwide,” DepEd said in a statement issued yesterday. “Sometime in the first week of December 2023, the DepEd was in receipt of a letter from Transpac suddenly informing DepEd that it may now haul the goods stored in its warehouses,” the statement read. “Therefore, our regional and division offices have immediately started hauling the goods. The DepEd aims to completely haul [...]

December 16th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

DOTr to study rehabilitating traditional jeeps instead of buying new units

Metro Manila, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Friday said it gave a commitment to its stakeholders to study rehabilitating traditional jeepneys instead of requiring them to buy new units as part of the public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program. Speaking to CNN Philippines’ The Source, DOTr Undersecretary Timothy John Batan said this was one of the concerns raised by Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (PISTON) during the group’s dialogue with government officials on Thursday amid its two-day strike. “There were additional things that need to be further studied such as for example whether traditional jeepneys can be rehabilitated for purposes of complying with the standard step under the PUV modernization program and we of course gave our assurance that those additional concerns… [...]

December 16th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

ADB approves $2.1-B loan financing for Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge project

The Philippine government’s P175-billion Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge is now closer to fruition after the project has secured loan financing from Manila-based multilateral lender Asian Development Bank (ADB). As early as July, the project implementer Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said it is eyeing to secure funding from the ADB to bankroll the Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge. In a statement on Tuesday, the ADB said it approved financing of up to $2.1 billion for the construction of the 32.15-kilometer bridge that would connect the provinces of Bataan and Cavite across Manila Bay. The lender said the bridge project will be bankrolled through a multi-tranche financing facility, the first tranche of which will amount to $650 million. The Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge project is one of the Marcos administration’s flagship infrastructure [...]

December 13th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Badoy, Celiz walk free from House detention

Metro Manila , Philippines — SMNI hosts Lorraine Badoy and Jeffrey "Ka Eric" Celiz will be celebrating Christmas and New Year with their families after a House panel agreed to release them from detention. Citing humanitarian grounds, the House Legislative Franchises Committee unanimously voted during a closed-door hearing on Tuesday to release the two hosts from Batasang Pambansa They were freed Tuesday night after undergoing a medical exam. Parañaque Rep. Gus Tambunting, the committee chairman, clarified that the development has nothing to do with the writ of habeas corpus petitions filed by the spouses of the two hosts before the Supreme Court. "Sila po ay papalayain for humanitarian reasons dahil Kapaskuhan. May sulat naman tayo galing kay Ka Eric na sila ay humihingi ng paumanhin sa kanilang ginawa," Tambunting said. [...]

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

DepEd launches framework meant to equalize public, private schools

    THE Department of Education (DepEd) on Tuesday launched a framework designed to decongest public schools and equalize the level of teaching between the public and private schools. Meanwhile, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said public schools can learn from private schools, adding that students’ good performance is attributable to the high level of support the teachers gave them. “One of the most important reasons why we did not regress during the pandemic is because of our teachers. That’s a very important factor,” he said The structure, dubbed Public-Private Education Complementarity Framework, was rolled out  during the 2023 Private Education National Conference which sought to promote coherence in the development of a mixed education system in the country. Vice President and concurrent Education Secretary Sara Duterte said every [...]

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

NSC: New national WPS strategy months in the making given various agencies involved

  Metro Manila, Philippines — The National Security Council (NSC) said on Tuesday it took months before it was able to finalize with other agencies involved the new strategy that the country will implement in protecting its sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea (WPS). “It’s the entire government bureaucracy who’s involved… It took some time and given that we have regular ROREs (rotation and resupply), there’s always something that crops up so we make adjustments to the national strategy. Now that things have become very clear we are now preparing to make this presentation,” NSC Assistant Director General Jonathan Malaya told CNN Philippines’ The Source During a briefing on Monday, Malaya said the government made a new national game plan on the WPS to reflect “some [...]

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

OCTA survey: Filipinos ‘most satisfied’ with gov’t response to quality education, infrastructure

(Arnold Quizol / Manila Bulletin) Majority of Filipinos are satisfied with the national government’s performance in providing quality education and infrastructure, based on the OCTA Research survey conducted from Sept. 30 to Oct. 4. The results of the 3rd Quarter 2023 Tugon ng Masa survey, released on Monday, Dec. 11, showed that Filipinos are satisfied with the government’s provision of quality primary and secondary education (72 percent) and quality tertiary and technical or vocational education (71 percent). Most Filipinos also approved of the government’s construction of public infrastructure (71 percent) The government also received majority ratings for protecting the welfare of overseas Filipino workers (69 percent) and providing quality and affordable healthcare (69 percent), as well as responding to natural disasters (68 percent) and defending Philippine territory (64 percent). [...]

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

Transport groups to hold another strike

TRANSPORT groups led by the Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston) will hold another nationwide strike this week to protest the government's December 31 deadline for franchise consolidation. In a press briefing on Monday, Piston announced that the strike will be from December 14-15. It said transport organizations based in Central Luzon and Southern Tagalog will join the strike. The group said it would extend the strike if the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) does not change some of the provisions of Department of Transportation (DoTr) Order 2017-011 and lift the deadline for consolidation. The group said the mandatory franchise consolidation would lead to a phaseout of traditional jeepneys which will automatically take away the livelihood of drivers and operators. Drivers and operators [...]

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

Only Philippines has legitimate right over West Philippine Sea – Marcos

A video of the recent incident in Second Thomas Shoal is shown during a press conference about the recent Chinese aggression and harassment in Scarborough Shoal and Second Thomas Shoal in the disputed South China Sea, in Manila on December 11, 2023. The Philippines said it had summoned China's envoy on December 11 and flagged the possibility of expelling him following the most tense confrontations between the countries' vessels in years at flashpoint reefs in the disputed South China Sea. AFP / Earvin Perias DFA summons Chinese envoy MANILA, Philippines — Only Filipinos have the “legitimate right” to operate anywhere in the West Philippine Sea, President Marcos has asserted, stressing that the country would remain steadfast in the defense of its sovereignty amid China’s continued “dangerous actions against our [...]

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

‘Pinoys dissatisfied with gov’t efforts vs. inflation’

    THERE was general dissatisfaction with the government’s handling of inflation and controlling prices of basic goods, a recent independent opinion survey showed. According to the non-commissioned study by the OCTA Research conducted on September 30 to October 4 this year, only 14 percent were satisfied with how the national government controlled inflation and reined in prices of consumer goods. Curiously however, 29 percent said they were contented with the government’s efforts to fight poverty, while 34 percent gave the thumbs up approval on hunger reduction. On non-economic issues, bigger number of the people indicated that the government was doing alright. Forty-three percent believed that the national government was on the right track in the fight against graft and corruption, 46 percent favored efforts to reduce [...]

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

‘He has done nothing’: Zubiri wants Chinese envoy sent home after multiple water cannon incidents

Metro Manila, Philippines – Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri on Sunday urged President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to send China’s ambassador home, saying he has "done nothing" amid incidents where Chinese ships repeatedly fired water cannons at Philippine vessels. "I urge President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. to send the current Chinese Ambassador home. He has done nothing to address the continued attacks of his government on our troops and on our people," Zubiri said in a statement. This comes after the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported on Sunday morning that a commissioned vessel on a resupply mission to Ayungin Shoal sustained "serious engine damage" after it was blasted with water cannon by the China Coast Guard (CCG) On Saturday, Chinese ships repeatedly fired water cannons at Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic [...]

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

AFP brass at Ayungin Shoal: ‘West Philippine Sea, atin ‘to!’

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. last November told Chinese officials to uphold international law, and follow the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea regarding areas of the South China Sea.—RF, GMA Integrated News     Top officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Sunday reiterated ownership of the West Philippine Sea, on board the BRP Sierra Madre which was ran aground along the Ayungin Shoal. “West Philippine Sea, atin ‘to (this is ours)!” exclaimed AFP Chief of Staff, General Romeo Brawner Jr. and Western Command commander, Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos, and the military detachment stationed on the BRP Sierra Madre (LT-57) as seen on videos on GMA’s “24 Oras Weekend” on Sunday This comes after the top officials personally witnessed China [...]

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

Price of regular-milled rice may hit P60/K—Bantay Bigas

  Prices of regular-milled rice may reach up to P60 per kilogram amid rising prices in the international market, rice price watchdog Bantay Bigas said. Bantay Bigas spokesperson Cathy Estavillo said prices of regular-milled rice in some markets in Metro Manila now ranged from P52 to P54 per kilogram Even in rice-producing Aurora province, Estavillo said rice sells for P52 per kilogram. “That is the sad reality. And Christmas is just around the corner,” she said in a radio interview. “It is really scary. It might really hit P60 per kilo since the only solution of the government now is to import,” she added. Agriculture group Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura chairman Rosendo So said rice prices in other countries are also rising, which may affect local rice [...]

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

Sara thanks Pinoys for trust in DepEd

Vice President Sara Duterte thanked Filipinos for their continued support for the Department of Education (DepEd). She expressed her gratitude after an OCTA Research Tugon ng Masa nationwide survey showed the department as the most trusted and top-performing government agency in the third quarter of 2023. Vice President Sara Duterte poses with students and Education officials during the culmination of the observance of National Children’s Month on Nov. 27,2023.     "Taos-puso po akong nagpapasalamat sa mamamayang Pilipino para sa patuloy na tiwala at suportang ibinibigay ninyo sa DepEd (I give my heartfelt thanks to the Filipino public for their continued trust in and support for the DepEd)," the VP said. She said the result of the poll was an honor for the department and credited the achievement to [...]

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

PH, China vessels collide off Ayungin

WATER CANNONED, TOWED. This handout photo taken and released on Dec. 10 by the Philippine Coast Guard shows the M/L Kalayaan being towed after a Chinese coast guard ship unleashed its water cannon onto the vessel (inset), during a mission to deliver provisions at Second Thomas Shoal in disputed waters of the South China Sea. AFP Water cannons fired at supply ships anew A Philippine boat and a Chinese Coast Guard ship collided near a hotly contested reef on Sunday, with both countries trading blame for the latest confrontation in the disputed South China Sea. Chinese ships also used water cannons on two supply boats and a Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) vessel during a resupply mission to a tiny garrison on Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal in the Spratly Islands, [...]

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

LPA, tropical cyclones may enter PAR in Dec

Manila, Philippines- A low pressure area (LPA) and six other weather systems are likely to affect the country, along with one or two tropical cyclones that may enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) within the month, the state-run weather agency said on Friday. This northeast monsoon, locally known as "amihan," is bringing overcast skies with light rains only in areas in Batanes and Babuyan Islands, according to weather specialist Robert Badrina of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) PHOTO FROM DOST PAGASA     The easterlies, meanwhile, are affecting Metro Manila and the rest of the country where isolated rain showers or thunderstorms may prevail, especially in the afternoon or at night. "We could expect another generally-fair weather. In fact, based on reports from our various [...]

December 9th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Go files bill for MedTech practice upgrade

In a bid to align the Philippine medical technology sector with global standards, Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go filed on Tuesday a bill aimed at enhancing the existing framework governing the practice of medical technology in the country. Senate Bill (SB) 2503, also known as the "Philippine Medical Technology Act of 2023," seeks to update several decades-old laws, specifically Republic Act 5527 and 6138 and Presidential Decrees 498 and 1534. Go, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, said that the current laws, dating back over half a century, might need to be updated to reflect the advancements and requirements of modern medical technology. "The landscape in medical technology education and profession has significantly evolved," said Go, emphasizing the need for a legal framework that keeps pace with [...]

December 9th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Pag-IBIG: ‘Long overdue’ contribution hike to be implemented in January 2024

The Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-IBIG Fund is all set to implement the deferred increase in members’ contribution starting January 2024. To recall, Pag-IBIG postponed the premium hike to next year in consideration of the “continuing effects of the pandemic to both the business community and our members. ”In a chance interview, Pag-IBIG CEO Marilene Acosta said, “Tuloy na (it’s a go).” “We are just waiting for PBBM’s (President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.)… not his approval because the Board approved it already. We just informed PBBM,” Acosta said, noting that Pag-IBIG Fund sent a memorandum to the President in the last week of November. The Pag-IBIG Fund chief said so far there has been no opposition from Malacañang concerning the planned members’ contribution hike. “I think it’s good to go. [...]

December 9th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Civilian group heads to Palawan for ‘Christmas convoy’ to WPS

Metro Manila, Philippines — More than 40 volunteers departed Manila for Palawan Friday morning for their planned three-day Christmas convoy to the disputed West Philippine Sea. Civilian group Atin Ito said the first batch of volunteers includes youth and student leaders, and fisherfolk representatives. "Loaded with essential donations and supplies, the group set sail for El Nido, Palawan, aboard a 150-capacity civilian marine vessel," it said in a statement Based on the photos forwarded to the media on Friday, a sculpture of a saint was seen as one of the things being carried on the ship. In El Nido, the group will be joined by 100 fishers, with 40 boats participating in the civilian convoy. The convoy, which aims to deliver Christmas gifts and supplies to Filipino troops assigned [...]

December 9th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Spirit of Christmas: DepEd leads nationwide tree-planting initiative

As a "Christmas gift" to all Filipino children and future generations, the Department of Education (DepEd) on Wednesday, Dec. 6, led the simultaneous conduct of a nationwide tree-planting activity. (Photo courtesy of DepEd)  Dubbed “236,000 Trees – A Christmas Gift for the Children,” the project was participated in by public schools and field offices nationwide. DepEd Undersecretary and Chief of Staff Michael Wesley T. Poa, National Capital Region (NCR) Director Jocelyn Andaya, and Pasig Representative Roman Romulo led the main program conducted in Pasig Central Elementary School. (Photo courtesy of DepEd)  Officials, teachers, and learners of DepEd likewise joined the program in their respective areas. DepEd said the said project was participated by approximately 47,678 public schools. As stated in DepEd Memorandum No. 69, series of 2023, Vice President [...]

December 7th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH Coast Guard eyes fleet base in Subic

Manila, Philippines - The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) is working toward the establishment of a fleet base in Subic, Zambales. PCG Commandant Admiral Ronnie Gil Gavan said they were currently identifying possible locations of port facilities that can accommodate bigger ships. "On the issue of a port facility for these bigger ships, we are working toward the establishment of our fleet base in Subic," Gavan said in an interview.. "And we are also looking at other areas" within Manila Bay, Gavan said. The PCG announced this as the country continues to face Chinese incursions into its territorial waters in the West Philippines Sea. Aside from a new Coast Guard fleet base, Gavan said they were also beefing up their personnel, with 4,000 recruited this year and another 4,000 expected next [...]

December 7th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

South Korea starts building ship for Philippine Navy

Keel laying for the Philippine Navy Corvette No. 1. dfa.gov.ph     Manila, Philippines — South Korea is ready to partner with the Armed Forces of the Philippines for its modernization, and a shipyard in that country has started building the Philippine Navy’s first Corvette. Philippine Navy chief Toribio Adaci Jr. visited the HD Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyard in Ulsan City for the keel-laying ceremony of Navy Corvette No. 1 and the steel cutting for Navy Corvette No. 2, the Philippine embassy in Seoul reported yesterday. The ceremony formally marks the beginning of the shipbuilding process In Manila, South Korean Ambassador Lee Sang-hwa said his government is trying to take on a stronger role and responsibility in upholding and enhancing a rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond. [...]

December 7th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

ADB approves $450 million loan for Philippines healthcare program

This August 2007 file photo shows the facade of Asian Development Bank in Pasig City. (Eugene Alvin Villar/Wikimedia Commons) MANILA — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $450 million loan for the Philippines to fund its universal healthcare program, the multilateral lender said in a statement on Wednesday. The loan will help “the Philippines strengthen health policy reforms and further improve Filipinos’ access to medicines and health services”, the ADB said. — Reporting by Mikhail Flores

December 7th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Imee Marcos agrees with VP Duterte’s stand on amnesty, peace talks

Metro Manila, Philippines — Senator Imee Marcos agreed with Vice President Sara Duterte urging the government to reconsider granting amnesty and reviving peace talks with communist groups. "Yes. That's the short answer," Marcos told reporters on Wednesday. "I'll give a statement when I'm ready," she added. Duterte, who's also vice chairperson of the government's anti-communist task force, made it clear on Monday that she does not agree with the new peace efforts with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Before her statement, there had been speculations about a rumored crack with her UniTeam alliance led by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., after the House of Representatives stripped her of ₱650 million in confidential funds under the proposed 2024 national budget. But for the president's sister, the two top [...]

December 7th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

DOH confirms 4 cases of ‘walking pneumonia’

Metro Manila, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) confirmed there are four cases of "walking pneumonia" in the country. "As of November 25, 2023, there are a total of four confirmed cases of Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection among reported Influenza-like Illness (ILI) cases. These cases have been reported in the previous morbidity weeks 3, 30, 37, and 38, with one case each," the DOH said at a briefing. The World Health Organization (WHO) describes Mycoplasma pneumoniae as a common bacterial infection that typically affects younger children. It is treated by antibiotics, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The DOH added walking pneumonia is not a new pathogen and has been previously detected among other cases "This is not a notifiable disease globally. The DOH can scan but we [...]

December 7th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

PISA: Philippines 5 to 6 years behind

A father and his children wearing face masks walk on a pedestrian overpass to school during the opening of classes at a school in Quezon City, suburban Manila on August 22, 2022 as millions of children in the Philippines returned to school as the academic year started on August 22, with many taking their seats in classrooms for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic hit. AFP / Ted Aljibe     Manila, Philippines — The dismal performance of the Philippines in the 2022 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) indicates that students in the country are five to six years behind in learning competencies, according to the Department of Education (DepEd) “If we follow the computation (of PISA) with caveats, based on the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation [...]

December 7th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

ISIS claims deadly blast at Catholic mass in southern Philippines

ISIS has claimed responsibility for a deadly explosion that ripped through a Catholic mass service at a university gym in the southern Philippines on Sunday. At least four people were killed and dozens of others were injured in the blast at the Mindanao State University in Marawi City, according to authorities. In a communique, ISIS said its fighters “detonated an explosive device on a large gathering of Christian disbelievers in Marawi City,” according to the SITE Intelligence Group, a counterterrorism threat intelligence organization that tracks the online activity of extremist groups. Photos of the scene showed soldiers and emergency workers standing among debris in the gym. A section of the seating area was blown up, chairs strewn across the floor. Lanao del Sur province Gov. Mamintal Adiong Jr., told [...]

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

DOTr eyes MRT-3 fare hike in 2024

Metro Manila, Philippines— Commuters taking the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) may pay more by the end of the second quarter next year, nine years after the last fare hike, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said Monday. The end-to-end fare of ₱28 from North Avenue to Taft Avenue stations may be adjusted to ₱34 and the minimum fare of ₱13 will increase to ₱16 if regulators approve the petition, Jorjette Aquino, DOTr MRT-3 officer-in-charge and assistant secretary for railways, said in a public briefing. Aquino said the train operator has yet to refile a notarized petition after the regulators disapproved the fare hike request, while approving the LRT Manila Light Rail Transit System fare adjustment in July. "Ang aming nire-request ay additional ₱2.29 boarding fare, at 21 centavos [...]

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

VP Sara tells Marcos peace talk with NDFP is ‘an agreement with the devil’

                       Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Sara Duterte   Manila, Philippines — In a rare move, Vice President Sara Duterte publicly disagreed with President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., calling moves to make peace with National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) “an agreement with the devil.” She also criticized Marcos’ efforts to grant pardons to captured rebel groups through several proclamations. “Mr. President, the government’s statement with the NDFP in Oslo was an agreement with the devil,” said Duterte during the 5th Anniversary of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac). Duterte argued past experiences indicated NDFP has no sincerity when it comes to peace and that the rebels will only betray government and the public. “Mr. [...]

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

House OKs bill on legal aid to OFWs

The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a bill expanding the scope of legal aid extended to overseas Filipinos and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). A total of 246 lawmakers voted to approve House Bill (HB) 9035, a measure expanding the use of the Legal Assistance Fund (LAF) and the Agarang Kalinga at Saklolo Para sa mga OFWs na Nangangailangan (AKSYON) Fund to be managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), respectively. “Our overseas Filipinos are our modern-day heroes. Their immeasurable contributions to our country, their families, and communities merit the utmost protection from the government. This measure aims to do just that: protect them at all stages of the legal proceedings, from investigation to trial proper and [...]

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

DepEd most trusted govt agency – OCTA

The Department of Education is the most trusted and best-performing government agency, a survey conducted by OCTA Research showed. In its Third Quarter Tugon ng Masa survey held from September 30 to October 4, DepEd got a 79 percent trust rating, followed by the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) at 75 percent, the Department of Health (DoH) at 74 percent, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, 73 percent The DepEd got its highest trust rating in the Visayas and Mindanao — 88 percent — while its lowest is in Balanced Luzon at 70 percent. It also had the highest trust rating among socio-economic class D and E at 80 percent and 78 percent, respectively, while the lowest was [...]

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

Philippines’ budget deficit at $622 million in October

                       A worker counts dollars at a money changer (Reuters) MANILA — The Philippine government posted a 34.4 billion pesos ($621.95 million) budget deficit  in October, the Bureau of the Treasury said on Wednesday. The deficit was narrower than the previous month’s 250.9 billion pesos gap and brought the year-to-date budget deficit to 1.018 trillion pesos   Reporting by Mikhail Flores and Karen Lema; Editing by Martin Petty  

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

Marcos signs ‘Caregiver Welfare Act’ into law

Metro Manila, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signed into law Republic Act 11965 or the Caregiver Welfare Act to protect the rights and welfare of the sector, the Presidential Communications Office announced on Friday. According to the law signed by Marcos on Nov. 23, the working hours of caregivers in the Philippines will be based on their employment contract. It also mandates overtime pay for work beyond eight hours daily. Caregivers who have rendered at least one month of service are also entitled to 13th month pay. They will be entitled to benefits such as Social Security System contributions, PhilHealth, and Pag-Ibig. It also gives caregivers the option to terminate their employment contract any time before expiration if they suffer physical, verbal, emotional abuse or inhumane treatment at the [...]

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

UN chief to COP28: Break ‘deadly cycle’ of global warming

UNITED NATIONS: The head of the United Nations on Monday urged world leaders to take decisive action to tackle ever-worsening climate change when they gather at the 28th UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in the city of Dubai, United Arab Emirates starting this week. "We are trapped in a deadly cycle," UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said. "The solutions are well known. Leaders must act to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, protect people from climate chaos, and end the fossil fuel age." United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivers remarks during a Security Council open debate on the maintenance of international peace and security at the UN headquarters in New York City on Nov. 20, 2023. AFP PHOTO Guterres spoke ahead of the summit, where 70,000 people are [...]

November 28th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

BI warns vs jobs in Myanmar

THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) reiterated its warning to Filipino workers against accepting high-paying job offers in Myanmar and other neighboring Asian countries. Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco issued the warning on Monday after four more Filipinos returned from Myanmar where they fell victim to illegal recruitment The victims, whose names were withheld for their protection, arrived in Manila from Yangon via a Thai Airways flight on November 21. "The best way to avoid these sad experiences is for you to go through the legal process that migrant workers should follow in applying for overseas jobs," Tansingco said. He said the experience of the repatriates should serve as a warning to other Filipinos that they should not be lured by promises of high-paying jobs from strangers and foreigners who will [...]

November 28th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH to import 21,000 MT of onions in December – DA

Metro Manila, Philippines — The Philippines is importing 21,000 metric tons of onions that are scheduled for delivery in December, the head of the Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Plant Industry said on Monday. DA-BPI Director Gerald Glenn Panganiban told reporters that the imports of the bulbs should boost supply, easing the pressure on prices in the run-up to the Christmas holidays. "Medyo tumataas na siya, siguro P10, P20. But dahil kino-complement natin dahil halos paubos na stocks natin o baka hindi pa nailalabas, we are complementing it with the importation na sapat for the month," Panganiban said. [Translation: It's getting a little higher, maybe P10, P20. But because our stocks are almost down or maybe they haven't been released yet, we are complementing it with the importation that [...]

November 28th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Public schools to plant 236,000 trees nationwide

In a Nov. 17 memorandum, Duterte said that 47,678 public schools would be in asynchronous mode for the tree-planting activity, in which one school would plant at least five trees.  Inday Sara Duterte / Facebook page     Manila, Philippines — Public schools in the Philippines will plant 236,000 trees on Dec. 6 as part of the Department of Education (DepEd)’s Christmas project, according to Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte. In a Nov. 17 memorandum, Duterte said that 47,678 public schools would be in asynchronous mode for the tree-planting activity, in which one school would plant at least five trees. Duterte said the trees should be planted within school grounds but if space is scarce, schools may find alternatives in local parks, marine protected areas or any [...]

November 28th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Gov’t gives go-ahead to Christmas convoy to WPS

Philippine Navy warships BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (PS15) and BRP Jose Rizal (FF150), along with the USS Gabriel Gifford (LCS 10) conduct tactical maneuvers in the West Philippine Sea. (Photo from the Armed Forces of the Philippines)       Manila, Philippines — A civilian group that earlier failed to get the government’s approval to bring Christmas presents and provisions to soldiers in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) can now finally proceed with its plan. But it was not clear whether the National Task Force on the West Philippine Sea has also allowed the Atin Ito coalition to stop over at BRP Sierra Madre, the grounded vessel that serves as a military outpost at Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal. According to the group, the task force has “agreed” to its [...]

November 28th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

VP Sara respects but disagrees with Marcos on possible return to ICC

Metro Manila, Philippines— Vice President Sara Duterte said she respects President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s decision to consider proposals for the Philippines to rejoin the International Criminal Court (ICC). “We should respect the position of the president being the chief architect of foreign policy so ‘yun dapat ang position nating lahat [that should be the position of all of us],” Duterte, who also serves as Education chief, told reporters on Monday at the sidelines of a National Children’s Month event. Meanwhile, the vice president maintained her stance against cooperating with the ICC in its probe into alleged abuses that occurred throughout her father's anti-illegal drugs campaign. “Pero [but] we will continue to reach out to the Department of Justice regarding our position on this matter,” Duterte said. Last week, the [...]

November 28th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘Is House using the ICC to silence the Dutertes?’: Bato dela Rosa says people are asking

Sen. Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa (Senate PRIB Photo)   Is the House of Representatives using the International Criminal Court (ICC) to silence Vice President Sara Duterte and her father, former president Rodrigo Duterte? Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa said this is what people are asking after the Lower House presented a resolution urging President Marcos to work with the ICC in the investigation into the alleged brutal war on drugs launched by the administration of former president Rodrigo Duterte. Dela Rosa, who was the chief implementer of the Duterte’s campaign against illegal drug said he believes some members in the House “are being encouraged to file” probably to “silence the Dutertes” noting that it took them one and a half years before they decided to do so. “The timing [...]

November 26th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Duterte: DepEd To Prioritize Last Mile Schools

Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte said the DepEd has allotted a separate budget for last mile schools in the provinces, apart from the budget for construction of classrooms in regular schools. Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte delivers a speech during her visit to Dororian National High School, a last mile school in Gigmoto, Catanduanes, on Nov. 23, 2023. OVP photo The Department of Education will prioritize the hiring of additional teachers and the construction of more classrooms in last mile schools or LMS, Vice President and concurrent DepEd Secretary Sara Duterte said. LMS are schools located in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas. Duterte said the DepEd has allotted a separate budget for LMS in the provinces, apart from the budget for construction of classrooms in [...]

November 26th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Sara distributes gift packs in Pangasinan

BINALONAN, Pangasinan: Vice President Sara Duterte urged residents in this eastern Pangasinan town on Saturday, November 25, to rally behind the government to achieve peace and progress in the communities SMILE : Vice President Sara Duterte gamely takes a group selfie with residents of Binalonan, Pangasinan, where she distributed gift packs on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023. PHOTO BY GABRIEL CARDINOZA "I urge everyone to support the government, the newly elected barangay officials, our local government here in Binalonan and Pangasinan province," said Duterte, who was here for a gift-giving activity. Some 1,500 residents from the different villages here received gift packs. Speaking in Filipino, Duterte said that the unity of the people leads to a peaceful and orderly community. "And what we want is a peaceful life, where we [...]

November 26th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Philippines, Australia kick off joint air, sea patrols

JOINT NAVAL EXERCISE. The third day of the joint naval exercise called Samasama ’23 between the Philippines and the United States involved training on multiple shipboard operations including communications check and maritime domain exercise prior to the conduct of a visit, board, search and seizure drill by a combined boarding force from Philippine Navy’s BRP Lolinato To-ong (PG902) and the U.S. Navy. The BRP Antonio Luna FF151 - PF and USS Dewey (DDG 105) performed Replenishment at Sea Approaches with supply ship. USNS Wally Schirra       The Philippines and Australia started joint air and sea patrols as they seek to deepen their defense cooperation to counter China’s assertiveness in the region. The “maritime cooperative activity” came days after the United States held a similar exercise with the [...]

November 26th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

SWS: More Filipinos feel quality of life declining

A man pushes a trolley along a market in Manila on May 11, 2023. AFP / Jam Sta. Rosa     Manila, Philippines — The number of Filipinos who reported a decline in their quality of life over the past year has increased in the latest survey by the Social Weather Stations. Results of the September 28 to October 1 survey showed that 30% of 1,200 adults said that their quality of life had worsened, compared to 22% in the previous poll conducted in June and July. Twenty-eight percent of respondents saw an improvement in their quality of life, while 41% said it remained the same, from 33% and 45%, respectively, in the previous survey. The latest survey resulted in a “net gainer” score of -2, classified by the [...]

November 26th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Over 1 million affected by rain due to shear line, LPA — NDRRMC

This handout photo taken on November 21, 2023 and received from the Philippine Coast Guard on November 22 shows coast guard personnel evacuating a sick resident from a flooded home due to heavy rains at a village in Catarman town, Northern Samar, central Philippines. Handout / Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) / AFP     Manila, Philippines — More than one million individuals were affected by the low pressure area and the shear line that triggered floods and landslides, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said Sunday. A total of 254,160 families from Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol region, Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao, and Caraga were affected by the shear line—a weather system formed when cold and warm winds converge—and a dissipated LPA. Over 81,110 people were displaced, [...]

November 26th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

IBM to train Filipinos on AI

Technology giant International Business Machines (IBM) has committed to train two million individuals in artificial intelligence (AI), mostly from under-represented communities through collaborations with the government and other universities. In a recent interview with The Manila Times, IBM Philippines President and country general manager Aileen Judan-Jiao said they intend to help under-represented communities, especially with many jobs going to be replaced by AI. The training will be done through IBM's SkillsBuild platform, a free education program that aims to help adult learners, high school and university students, and faculty to develop new skills and access career opportunities. SkillsBuild is an online platform that can be accessed anywhere through any device and offers 1,000 courses in 20 languages on AI, cybersecurity, data analysis, cloud computing and many other technical disciplines. [...]

November 26th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Gov’t urged: Use int’l ties for captive seafarers’ release

CAPTURED SHIP The Galaxy Leader, a cargo ship seized by Yemen’s Houthi rebels on Nov. 20, is shown two days later docked at a port on the Red Sea in the Yemeni province of Hodeida and flying Palestinian and Yemeni flags. The Bahamas-flagged, British-owned vessel operated by a Japanese firmbut with links to an Israeli businessman, was headed from Turkey to India when it was seized along with its 25-member crew, 17 of them Filipinos. The rebel group said the capture was in retaliation for Israel’s war against Hamas, sparked by the Oct. 7 attack of the Palestinian militants who killed 1,200 people and took around 240 hostages, according to Israeli officials. —AFP     Lawmakers urged the government on Thursday to seek help from the international community and [...]

November 24th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

China accuses PH of ‘stirring up trouble’ with foreign forces in SCS

Metro Manila, Philippines — China's Ministry of National Defense (MOD) has accused the Philippines of enlisting foreign forces to patrol the South China Sea and stirring up trouble in the region. "Since November 21, the Chinese People's Liberation Army Southern Theater Command Navy ship Yuncheng has conducted routine patrols in the South China Sea," the MOD said in a statement issued Thursday. "During this period, the Philippines enlisted foreign forces to patrol the South China Sea, stir up trouble, and hype up regional peace and stability, violating the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea." "The theater troops maintain a high degree of vigilance, resolutely defend national sovereignty, security and maritime rights and interests, and resolutely safeguard peace and stability in the South China [...]

November 24th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Dengue, flu-like cases up

These are in Cagayan Valley, Bicol and Central Visayas, where upticks in cases were logged from Oct. 1 to Nov. 11. Pixabay     Manila, Philippines — Three regions have reported an increase in dengue cases, the Department of Health (DOH) reported yesterday. These are in Cagayan Valley, Bicol and Central Visayas, where upticks in cases were logged from Oct. 1 to Nov. 11 The DOH said it recorded 179,444 dengue cases nationwide as of Nov. 11. It said dengue cases dropped by 10.96 percent or from 12,169 to 10,835 in the past two weeks. The DOH recorded 614 dengue deaths, a case fatality rate of 0.34 percent The department stressed the need to closely monitor the situation, saying cases may further increase due to late reports. Meanwhile, cases [...]

November 24th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

WHO wants data on outbreak of respiratory disease in China

BEIJING: The World Health Organization has asked China for more data on respiratory illnesses spreading in the north of the country, urging people to take steps to reduce the risk of infection. Northern China has reported an increase in "influenza-like illness" since mid-October when compared to the same period in the previous three years, the WHO said Children and their parents wait at an outpatient area at a children hospital in Beijing on November 23, 2023. The World Health Organization has asked on November 23, 2023, China for more data on a respiratory illness spreading in the north of the country, urging people to take steps to reduce the risk of infection. China has reported an increase in "influenza-like illness" since mid-October when compared to the same period in [...]

November 24th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Senate ends plenary debates on P5.768-T 2024 national budget

The Senate on early Tuesday morning ended the plenary deliberations on the proposed P5.768 trillion national budget for 2024. The session ended at 4:50 a.m. Tuesday. Among the highlights of the Senate plenary deliberations are the dropping of the Office of the Vice President and the Department of Education's proposed confidential funds for 2024 Other agencies that also dropped their request for controversial funds were the Department of Finance (DOF) and Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). Meanwhile, the confidential funds of the Office of the Ombudsman and the Department of Justice (DOJ) were decreased. The Senate deliberated on the 2024 spending plan for nine days. After the debates, the Senate finance committee, chaired by Senator Sonny Angara, will introduce amendments to the General Appropriations Bill (GAB). It [...]

November 21st, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Phivolcs allays fears of stronger quake due to sand fissures in Sarangani town

Manila, Philippines: THE Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Tuesday allayed fears of a possible stronger earthquake following the discovery of sand fissures or splitting in a town in Sarangani province where the November 17 magnitude 6.8 tremor occurred. "The people especially in the province (Sarangani) must not worry about this sand fissuring because it is a natural occurrence especially in an area where a strong earthquake took place," Phivolcs director Teresito "Toto" Bacolcol told The Manila Times via Viber. Bacolcol said that the sand fissures found in Barangay Padidu in the municipality of Glan, also in the same province, were produced by liquefaction. "Liquefaction usually happens in sandy areas near rivers and coastlines," he said. "This happens when during strong ground shaking, sand particles settle down [...]

November 21st, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Malaysian, 11 Pinoys caught ‘renting out’ 50,000 SIM cards

Arrested stock photo. Philstar.com / Jovannie Lambayan, file     Manila, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation has arrested a Malaysian and 11 Filipinos for allegedly “renting out” SIM cards with verified GCash accounts, the NBI announced yesterday. In a series of operations in Quezon City, Manila and Parañaque from Nov. 9 to 10, the NBI’s Anti-Organized and Transnational Crime Division arrested Lau Wen Xiang and 11 Filipinos. Aside from the 50,000 SIM cards, the bureau also confiscated 13 desktop computers, 40 GSM modems or text blasters, 57 cell phones and a laptop. The operations started with information about people on Facebook looking for GCash account holders with a P500,000 limit who are willing to have their accounts rented. Account holders were offered P2,000 as payment and an [...]

November 21st, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Go renews call for disaster resilience department

In an interview after the groundbreaking of a Super Health Center in Caraga, Davao Oriental on Saturday, Go renewed his advocacy for the creation of a Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR). Voltaire F. Domingo / Senate Photo       Manila, Philippines — In the wake of the magnitude 6.8 earthquake that struck parts of Southern Mindanao last Friday resulting in a significant loss of life and property, Sen. Bong Go has emphasized the need for a proactive approach to disaster management in the Philippines. In an interview after the groundbreaking of a Super Health Center in Caraga, Davao Oriental on Saturday, Go renewed his advocacy for the creation of a Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR). “I will not lose hope. Maybe, at the proper time, we will be [...]

November 21st, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Philippines population may reach 115 million by yearend

Families spend quality time at Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City on June 4, 2023. STAR / Jesse Bustos     Manila, Philippines — The Philippines’ population may reach 115 million by the end of the year, the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) said yesterday. “The Philippines, based on the 2020 census, has recorded 109 million Filipinos, and it is estimated that it will reach around 115 million by the end of 2023,” CPD deputy executive director Lolito Tacardon said in an interview with “Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon” program over government-run PTV. The number is based on the country’s population growth rate of 1.6 percent annually, according to Tacardon. The Philippines is now 13th among the most populous countries in the world. “Meanwhile, in the Asia-Pacific region, the Philippines [...]

November 21st, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Sandiganbayan orders transfer of property from Marcos alleged crony to lumber workers

Metro Manila, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan has issued a writ of execution on a previous ruling that declared the employees of Lianga Bay Logging Co., Inc. (LBLCI) as rightful owners of the majority of the company’s shareholdings. In a resolution signed on Nov. 7, the anti-graft court’s 5th division said its July 18, 2023 decision is final and executory without any appeal or pleading by the defendant. “Let therefore, a Writ of Execution issue to enforce the Resolution promulgated on July 18, 2023,” the court said. A writ of execution is a court order that begins the transfer of assets following a judgment. The Sandiganbayan in July 2023 ruled in favor of the Diatagon Labor Federation (DLF), a union based in Mindanao, in its claim to 60% of LBLCI. [...]

November 21st, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

DepEd to dedicate Fridays to reading starting 2024

Grade 7 students of Araullo High School along United Nations Avenue in Manila line up during school opening dry run. The STAR / Edd Gumban     Manila, Philippines — All schools will be required to hold whole-day reading programs every Friday starting January as part of the Department of Education’s newest initiative to boost students’ literacy, Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte announced on Tuesday. The DepEd secretary said that the department’s curriculum and teaching strand is currently crafting a policy that will guide schools in implementing “catch-up Fridays” beginning January 12. “This means that on Fridays, our sole focus will be on teaching children to read,” said Duterte, who made the announcement during DepEd’s culminating activity for the National Reading Month Under the “catch-up Fridays” program, [...]

November 21st, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Imee: Comelec probing ‘meeting’ of 2022 presidential bet’s camp, Smartmatic head

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is investigating the allegation that the camp of a 2022 presidential candidate had met with the president of Smartmatic, the poll service provider during the last national and local elections. Senator Imee Marcos disclosed this during the Senate plenary deliberations on the Comelec's proposed 2024 budget upon the inquiry of Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III. "There have been allegations that a certain camp of a certain candidate met with the owner of Smartmatic during the election period of 2022. Has this report reached the Comelec and [has] the Comelec investigated this report?" Pimentel asked. He pointed out that meetings between interested political camps with poll service providers should be prohibited. Marcos, in response, said the reported meeting "was also studied by the [...]

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

Pinoy Fishers To Sail Back To Panatag Shoal

Tropical Fish Gatherer Association president Joeffrey Elad expressed hope that talks between President Marcos and Chinese President Xi Jinping will benefit fishermen currently experiencing bullying from Chinese ships A 300-meter-long floating barrier is installed by China to prevent Filipino fishermen from entering Panatag or Scarborough Shoal in the West Philippine Sea. Inset shows a Philippine fishing boat being shadowed by the Chinese Coast Guard near resource-rich fishing ground on Sept. 22, 2023. Photos by Michael Varcas, The Philippine STAR Filipino fisherfolk will sail again to Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal to determine if the supposed meeting between President Marcos and Chinese President Xi Jinping in San Francisco, California over the weekend will result in an improved situation in the area amid the harassment of Chinese coast guard and militia, according to [...]

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

Marcos: VP Duterte does not deserve impeachment

(FILE PHOTO)   Metro Manila, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. rejected any talk of Vice President Sara Duterte's ouster, saying he does not want her out and she doesn’t deserve to be impeached. “Binabantayan namin nang mabuti [We are monitoring that closely] because we don’t want her to be impeached. We don’t want her to—she does not deserve to be impeached. So, we will make sure that this is something that we will pay very close attention to,” President Marcos said at a briefing with the media in Hawaii on Monday (PH time). Marcos added impeachment calls against government officials were not new. “So, I guess, a continuing evolution of that thinking na basta ayaw namin diyan, tanggalin natin, i-impeach natin. Well, meron naman sigurong dahilan kung hindi lang [...]

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

Bongbong Marcos: PH needs US, allies amid rising tension in West PH Sea

                 President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. speaks at the Daniel Inouye Asia Pacific for Security Studies in Hawaii, on November 19, 2023. Screenshot of RTVM streaming     Honolulu, Hawaii — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Sunday (US time) said the Philippines needs the United States and other allies amid “heightening tension” in the West Philippine Sea, as he reiterated his vow not to give up an inch of the country’s territory. Speaking at the Daniel Inouye Asia Pacific for Security Studies here, the President cited the “critical role” of the US-Philippine alliance. “The United States is our, I would say, our oldest and most traditional partner and that has been in various forms, ongoing over a hundred years. And I think it [...]

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

Bong Go pushes for enhanced 2024 DOH budget, with focus on grassroots health services and health worker support

During the plenary debates for the 2024 budget of the Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday, November 15, Senator Christopher "Bong" Go, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and vice chair of the Senate Finance Committee, emphasized the significance of the agency's budget for the nation's post-pandemic recovery. "I want to underscore the importance of the 2024 budget of the DOH in our path towards recovery," stressed Go, underscoring that now is a critical time to invest in the healthcare system to meet emerging challenges. Go inquired about the specifics of DOH's budget request, to understand the additional funding sought and the prioritization of various health programs. Senator Pia Cayetano, senior vice chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance, responded that the Senate increased the DOH budget by [...]

November 18th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Rice retail price up P6/kilo from last month

Farm workers check on their crops, spray organic pesticides, and remove unwanted weeds at a rice field in Tanay, Rizal on September 19, 2023. Ernie Penaredondo / The Philippine STAR     Manila, Philippines — Retail prices of rice have increased by at least P6 per kilo compared to the prevailing price a month ago as cost of the grains continued its uptrend, according to data from the Department of Agriculture (DA). Based on latest price monitoring of the DA in Metro Manila markets, local regular milled rice is sold to as high as P51 per kilo compared to P45 on Oct. 16, or P6 per kilo difference; local well-milled rice at P54 per kilo from a previous price of P48; local premium rice at P62 per kilo compared [...]

November 18th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH, US sign nuclear cooperation deal for more secure energy source

Metro Manila, Philippines — The Philippines and the United States on Friday signed a historic civil nuclear cooperation deal, which is seen to help with the country's energy security by laying the legal basis for the transfer of nuclear equipment and material from the US to Manila. The two countries signed the “123 Agreement,” or the Philippines-United States Agreement for Cooperation Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in San Francisco after less than a year of negotiations. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said the inking of the deal is another milestone “towards a more energy secure and green Philippines,” as he sees nuclear energy becoming part of the country’s energy mix by 2032 “We would be more than happy to pursue this path with the [...]

November 18th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

President Marcos to meet with China’s Xi

This handout photograph released by Philippine's Office of the Press Secretary and taken on January 4, 2023, shows Philippine's President Ferdinand Marcos Jr (2L) shaking hands with China's President Xi Jinping (2R) during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of People in Beijing. Philippines's Office of the Press Secretary / AFP Leaders aim to bring down sea tension SAN FRANCISCO — President Marcos said he wants to “bring down the temperature” in the West Philippine Sea, as he meets here today with Chinese President Xi Jinping amid rising cases of Chinese aggression in Philippine waters that risk escalating into full-scale hostilities. In a video statement, Marcos cited the need to discuss ways to prevent the escalation of tensions in the West Philippine Sea.He said the matter would be [...]

November 18th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Pimentel flags insufficient NFA rice buffer stock

Metro Manila, Philippines — Senate Minority Leader Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel on Wednesday questioned the National Food Authority (NFA) over the country's insufficient rice buffer stock. "I heard wala tayong buffer stock, isn't that the function of the NFA?" Pimentel said during Wednesday's deliberations on the Department of Agriculture's proposed budget for next year. The NFA did not specify the current buffer stock, but admitted it was not compliant with the 9-day amount mandated by law. Aside from maintaining sufficient rice buffer stocks sourced solely from local farmers, the agency must also be capable of managing the country's buffer stock within the next ten years. https://nfa.gov.ph/transparency/mandate-functions-name-of-official In response, NFA's Roderick Bioco argued that prices of palay are "too high" during planting season. He further explained that they already increased their [...]

November 16th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

DBM releases P70 billion bonus, cash gifts for state workers

Google Street View image shows the exterior of the Department of Budget and Management central office in Manila. Google Map Manila, Philippines — The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has started releasing nearly P70 billion in bonuses and cash gifts for government workers. Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said qualified state personnel started receiving their yearend and cash gift bonuses yesterday in time for the Christmas season. Data showed that P45.3 billion have been earmarked for the yearend bonuses of qualified civilian personnel and another P15.2 billion for the military and uniformed personnel (MUP) in various government agencies Another P8.9 billion was appropriated for cash gifts under this year’s budget for the over 1.7 million civilian workers and MUP. This year’s bonuses and cash gifts are higher by six [...]

November 16th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos arrives in San Francisco for APEC Summit

  President Ferdinand Marcos arrived at the San Francisco International Airport in California at 5:06 p.m. (9:06 a.m. Manila) with First Lady Atty. Louise Araneta-Marcos and the Philippine delegation for the 30th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting and related activities. Upon his arrival at San Francisco International Airport, President Marcos received a warm welcome from city government officials. This visit marks his third trip to the United States since taking office on June 30, 2022 Before the APEC Summit began, President Marcos met with the Filipino community at the San Francisco Conference Center. During the event, he presented the government’s initiatives and programs aimed at improving the lives and ensuring the welfare of Filipinos, including those working abroad. In his statement ahead of the APEC [...]

November 16th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

PCG: Biggest China fleet spotted near Ayungin Shoal

FILE PHOTO: Philippine Coast Guard’s air patrol spots Chinese vessels in the waters around Ayungin Shoal, following the February 6, 2023, laser “attack” on a PCG vessel in the area. Philippine Daily Inquirer/Niño Jesus Orbeta     Manila, Philippines — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Saturday said it has monitored a fleet of 38 Chinese vessels – the biggest so far – within the vicinity of Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal. PCG spokesperson for the West Philippine Sea Commodore Jay Tarriela disclosed that they spotted China’s fleet during the latest resupply mission for the BRP Sierra Madre on Friday, November 10, when the China Coast Guard (CCG) also drenched a military-commissioned boat using the water cannon. “As to the number of Chinese vessels who are present within the vicinity [...]

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

Bong Go bats for continuous support for Filipino healthcare workers

Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go (Voltaire F. Domingo/Senate PRIB)     Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, has emphasized the critical need for ample government support for Filipino healthcare workers. He reminded the Department of Budget and Management, Department of Health, and other concerned agencies to ensure that allowances and benefits due to qualified HCWs are released in accordance with the law. During the Senate plenary session on Wednesday, November 8, Go questioned the delayed disbursement of the health emergency allowance and underscored its significance in providing immediate financial relief to healthcare frontliners “We passed Republic Act 11712 which grants continuing benefits and allowances to public and private healthcare workers during public health emergencies, like COVID-19. Last July, the state of public [...]

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

DILG chief, several lawmakers join Marcos’ Partido Federal ng Pilipinas

Metro Manila, Philippines — Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos and nine members of the House of Representatives have been sworn in as new members of the political party that brought Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to the presidency. Among those joining Abalos at the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) are 4th District Representative Richard Gomez, his wife Ormoc City Mayor Lucy Marie Torres-Gomez, and Senator Raffy Tulfo's son Congressman Ralph Tulfo. Marcos, the national chairman of the PFP, attended their oath-taking on Friday The other lawmakers who joined the president's party are: - Maria Jamina Katherin (Laguna, 4th District) - Francisco Benitez (Negros Occidental, 3rd District) - Marlyn Primicias-Agabas (Pangasinan, 6th District) -Florida Robes (San Jose Del Monte City) - Leody Tarriela (Occidental Mindoro) - Linabelle Ruth Villarica (4th District, Bulacan)   [...]

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

Revised Maharlika IRR expands powers of board, President and lowers qualifications for top officers

                  (FILE PHOTO)   Metro Manila, Philippines— Malacañang on Saturday released the revised implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) Act, which expands the powers of its board of directors and the President, and lowers the qualifications for the Maharlika Investment Corporation’s (MIC) top officials. The IRR, which is published on the website of the Official Gazette, showed changes to several sections in Rule VI which covers the governance of the MIF. Changes in Section 30 of the IRR now allows the President to either reject or accept recommendations made by the advisory body for nominees to fill the positions of president and chief executive officer (PCEO), regular, and independent directors of the MIC "In the interest [...]

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

More intelligence funds sought after latest Ayungin water cannon incident

This photo taken on Nov. 10, 2023 shows China coast guard personnel sailing aluminum hulled boats at Second Thomas Shoal in the disputed South China Sea. AFP / Jam Sta Rosa Manila, Philippines — Lawmakers are urging Congress to promptly approve increased funding for agencies responsible for safeguarding the West Philippine Sea, especially in the wake of China's recent provocative actions China Coast Guard vessel 5203 reportedly blasted a boat carrying provisions to Filipino soldiers stationed at the BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal last Friday, endangering lives in the process. "This incident should push Congress to finally approve a higher budget for the intelligence funds for agencies that defend our territories. When our frontliners in the West Philippine Sea become stronger, so will our national security," said Sen. [...]

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

China wants to mass-produce robots by 2025

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) issued an advisory for the mass production of humanoid robots by 2025. The country aims to secure the safe and effective supply of essential components for mass-producing androids. More importantly, it aims to lead a reliable industrial robot supply chain by 2027. Technology seems to be progressing faster than ever after the pandemic. Its end gave rise to the AI revolution sparked by OpenAI’s ChatGPT. However, the United States’ neighbor from the other side of the world wants to lead innovation in hardware instead of software. China’s ambitions to lead robotics globally may significantly transform our world soon. This article will discuss China’s robotics ambitions for the coming years. Later, I will cover the country’s other robot breakthroughs. On November 3, [...]

November 9th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Gaza becoming a ‘graveyard for children,’ UN chief warns as calls for ceasefire intensify

Gaza is “becoming a graveyard for children,” the United Nations chief warned on Monday as the death toll rises and calls grow around the world for a ceasefire, one month into Israel’s assault on Hamas - the militant group that runs the enclave. “The nightmare in Gaza is more than a humanitarian crisis. It is a crisis of humanity,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres told reporters in New York, adding that the need for a ceasefire is becoming “more urgent with every passing hour. “The parties to the conflict – and, indeed, the international community – face an immediate and fundamental responsibility: to stop this inhuman collective suffering and dramatically expand humanitarian aid to Gaza,” he said. His comments come four weeks after Israel declared war on Hamas, following the [...]

November 9th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Go files bill on freelance work

SEN. Christopher "Bong" Go on Wednesday reiterated his commitment to support freelance workers as the Philippines secured its place as one of the top global remote work hubs. Thus, Go filed Senate Bill (SB) 2107, or the "Freelance Workers Protection Act," that seeks to establish safeguards and incentives for freelance workers, emphasizing the importance of acknowledging their rights and guaranteeing fair compensation for their services Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go. Senate PRIB "In a world marked by unprecedented changes brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic and other global crises, the way we work and where we work have evolved significantly. The rise of remote work is fast becoming a hub for freelance workers," said Go, a member of the Senate Committee on Labor. "Remote work has opened up opportunities for [...]

November 9th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Jobless Pinoys hit 2.26M in September

Metro Manila, Philippines— The number of Filipinos with no work went up in September due to lack of available jobs and elevated inflation, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed Wednesday. In a briefing, National Statistician Dennis Mapa reported that those without jobs reached 2.26 million, up from August’s 2.21 million. This translates to a national unemployment rate of 4.5% The labor force participation during the period also dropped to 49.93 million from August’s 50.29 million, which the official contributed to schooling and the limited availability of jobs in the market. Mapa said this was reflected in unemployment data. “They are looking for work pero there’s no available. Bad weather contributed, but not that large. They’re waiting for rehire or job recall,” he said. Asked if the higher [...]

November 9th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH farm output down anew in Q3

FARM output contracted further in the third quarter (Q3) as livestock and poultry gains failed to offset a decline in crops and fisheries, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported on Wednesday. The value of agricultural and fisheries production fell by 0.3 percent in July to September, reversing from the 1.6-percent growth posted in the same period last year but narrowing from the 1.2-percent drop posted three months earlier At constant 2018 prices, production for the period amounted to P412.41 billion from the year-earlier P413.6 billion. Year to date, farm output remained positive with growth at 0.2 percent. This was down slightly, however, from the January-September 2022 uptick of 0.3 percent. Fisheries production, which accounted for 14.2 percent of total third-quarter output, posted a 6.1-percent drop to P58.72 billion. Thirteen of [...]

November 9th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH, US Marines in ‘Kamandag’ drills

  Some 2,600 Philippine and US Marines will join this year’s edition of the “Kaagapay ng mga Mandirigma ng Dagat” (Kamandag) exercises that aim to enhance the interoperability of both forces. Philippine Marine Corps deputy commandant and “Kamandag” exercise director Brig. Gen. Jimmy Larida said about 1,732 Filipino Marines and some 902 US troops would participate in the exercises from Nov. 9 to 17 Also taking part in the exercises are 57 personnel of the South Korea Marine Corps and 50 personnel of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force. South Korean and Japanese troops only joined as observers in the 2022 iteration of “Kamandag.” Eight personnel from the United Kingdom will observe the annual exercise for the first time. As this developed, a recent Pulse Asia survey commissioned by international [...]

November 8th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Onion retail prices up by P30/kilo

Based on the DA’s latest monitoring, the retail prices of local red onions ranged between P80 and P220 per kilo; imported red onions, between P125 and P140 per kilo; local white onions, between P100 and P160 per kilo; and imported white onions between P80 and P200 per kilo. STAR / File     MANILA, Philippines — The retail price of onions has increased by P30 per kilo, setting the price to as high as P220 per kilo in Metro Manila markets compared to the prevailing prices a week ago, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA). Based on the DA’s latest monitoring, the retail prices of local red onions ranged between P80 and P220 per kilo; imported red onions, between P125 and P140 per kilo; local white onions, between [...]

November 8th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Gonzales, 2 other ex-PDP-Laban solons join Lakas-CMD

Metro Manila, Philippines — Senior Deputy Speaker Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales forged an alliance with Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) along with two other lawmakers from Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban). Gonzales was joined by fellow Pampanga Rep. Carmelo Lazatin and Siquijor Rep. Zaldy Villa in uniting with the 77-member Lakas-CMD, whose president is House Speaker Martin Romualdez. “We are very honored to welcome Senior Deputy Speaker Dong, Cong. Jon and Cong. Zaldy to our party,” Romualdez said in a statement on Wednesday The senior deputy speaker on Monday resigned from PDP-Laban over the remarks made by the political party’s chairperson, former president Rodrigo Duterte, against the lower chamber. In a TV interview in October, Duterte accused the lower chamber of corruption, even calling it the “most rotten institution” in [...]

November 8th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Masinloc fishermen ‘hungry and angry’ with China sail a giant buoy effigy

  Masinloc, Zambales – A group of fishermen here released on Monday morning a giant buoy effigy at the island of San Salvador to convey their anger and hunger to China as a result of their continued harassment and aggression at Scarborough Shoal. In a statement after the release of the buoy, the Association of Masinloc Fishermen shared the event that transpired – the release of the giant buoy with the inscription “Atin Ang Pinas” (The Philippines is Ours) as a sign of the fishermen’s claim of their source of livelihood According to Richard Pascual, village councilor and incoming barangay captain of the island of San Salvador, the island is dependent on the bounty of the ocean. Food, employment, brought about by their simple life in the [...]

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

House leader resigns from PDP-Laban, then calls out Duterte for ‘rotten institution’ tirade

House Senior Deputy Speaker Aurelio "Dong" Gonzales Jr., (left) former president Rodrigo Duterte (PPAB, Malacañang photo)     Senior Deputy Speaker Pampanga 3rd district Rep. Aurelio "Dong" Gonzales Jr. has named his party-mate, former president Rodrigo Duterte, as the one who has assailed the integrity of the House of Representatives. But just before doing so, Gonzales resigned from his party, the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban). He was the erstwhile party treasurer. This took place on the plenary floor Monday, Nov. 6 during a meeting of the Committee of the Whole, which involved all 227 House members present at that time. In a cordial exchange with independent minority solon Albay 1st district Rep. Edcel Lagman, Gonzales admitted to "feeling bad" when a certain personality called the House as [...]

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

Prices of agricultural products seen to go up during holidays

  Despite assurances from the government that prices of commodities will remain stable, agriculture stakeholders forecast spikes in the cost of basic agricultural products like chicken and rice. Grains Retailers’ Confederation (GRECON) national spokesperson  Orly Manuntag said there is an impending P2 to P3 increase per kilo of local rice, owing to the increase in the buying price of palay. “We expect this by mid-November. It might be an increase of P2 to P3 pesos kilo of rice in the market. Usually during the holiday season, our prices are stable and steady, however, we noticed that the increase in the buying price of palay is driving rice prices,” Manuntag said. According to him, the buying price of palay by the National Food Authority (NFA) has increase form [...]

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

New agri chief: ₱20/kg rice price not possible today

Metro Manila, Philippines— The newly appointed agriculture chief is still not seeing the realization of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s campaign promise of ₱20 per kilogram of rice price within the near future as modernizing the sector will take “a little time. Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. on Monday said that reducing the commodity’s price is an aspiration but he noted that the global market is facing a 15-year high in rice prices. He also said there are more “complicated” world problems that would make it difficult to achieve the target, such as climate change, El Niño, and if there would be other wars in other parts of the globe. “Today, that is not possible,” Laurel said of Marcos’ rice price goal. “We are getting ready [...]

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

Senate eyes ratifying proposed PH-Japan military access deal in 2024

Metro Manila, Philippines — The Senate on Monday said it hopes to approve the proposed Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA) between the Philippines and Japan next year. “We are looking at a timeline of a year, less than a year siguro (maybe). Maybe by the first half of next year they can take this to the Senate and we can already ratify,” Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri told CNN Philippines’ The Source During Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's visit to the Philippines last week, he and President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. disclosed that Manila and Tokyo have started negotiating for the establishment of an RAA. This will be similar to the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) that will allow troops of one country to freely visit another temporarily. Some groups have protested [...]

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

66 provinces, 9 cities prone to tsunamis – Phivolcs

Metro Manila, Philippines — More than half of the country's provinces and nine cities in the National Capital Region are prone to tsunamis, according to state seismologists. "We have 66 out of 82 provinces in the country that face various tsunami risks," Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology Director Teresito Bacolcol told CNN Philippines' The Final Word on Friday. Bacolcol said these are low-lying provinces along the eastern seaboard facing the Philippine Sea. He added that coastal provinces bordering the West Philippine Sea are also vulnerable to local tsunamis from earthquakes coming from the Manila, Negros, and Sulu trenches. Aside from the 66 provinces, Bacolcol said nine cities in Metro Manila are also included. These are - Caloocan - Las Piñas - Manila - Makati - Malabon - Navotas [...]

November 5th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

No Destabilization Plot, Just ‘Passionate’ Officers – NSA

Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. also denied saying that there is a plot to destabilize the government, saying his statement was “taken out of context.” File photo taken by The Philippine STAR’s Michael Varcas shows President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. leading the change of command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines from Gen. Andres Centino to Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City on July 21, 2023. There is no plot to destabilize the government, although there are “passionate” debates among retired military officers on the policies of the Marcos administration, National Security Adviser Eduardo Año said on Saturday, Nov. 4. Reports quoted Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. as saying earlier that he had heard [...]

November 5th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH, Japan ink ₱570-M deal for maritime defense, disaster response

Metro Manila, Philippines — Japan is giving the Philippines ₱235 million for its maritime security, and another ₱334 million for disaster response in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao or BARMM. The deals were signed after President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. met Friday with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who's on an official two-day visit in Manila. The Presidential Communications Office said the military aid—signed through Japan's Official Security Assistance or OSA—is intended to boost the efforts of the Department of National Defense "by securing coastal radars for the Armed Forces of the Philippines to enhance their maritime domain awareness and security." Meanwhile, the agreement to mitigate the impact of flooding aggravated by climate change in the Bangsamoro region was signed under Non-Project Grant Aid or NPGA "Today, key [...]

November 5th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

House realigns P64.5-B budget to DA

The House of Representatives has realigned the biggest amount of budget increase to the Department of Agriculture (DA) with P64.5 billion under its approved version of the proposed P5.768 trillion budget for 2024. Based on the list of amendments released by the office of Speaker Martin Romualdez of Leyte, the P64.5 billion increase to the DA budget is broken down to: frican swine fever vaccines (P1.5 billion) Rice subsidy for agri business and marketing services (P20 billion) Solar-driven pump irrigation (P15 billion) National irrigation system/communal irrigation system (NIS/CIS)(P25 billion) Massive planting/replanting program purchase of coconut seednuts and fertilization (P2 billion) Construction of fishery and post harvest facilities in Palawan and Kalayaan Group of Islands (P1 billion) The Health Department ranked second in terms of increases with P43.9 billion for [...]

November 5th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘No need for PH allies to join resupply trips’

THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said there is no need for its allies, including the United States, to escort Philippine vessels delivering provisions to Filipino soldiers stationed on Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal amid the growing number of maritime confrontations between China and Manila. "Our RoRe (rotation and resupply) mission is for us to undertake," said AFP spokesman Col. Medel Aguilar in a briefing on Thursday This aerial photograph taken from a military aircraft shows the dilapidated Sierra Madre ship of the Philippine Navy anchored near Ayungin shoal (Second Thomas Shoal) with Philippine soldiers on-board to secure the perimeter in the Spratly group of islands in the South China Sea, west of Palawan, on May 11, 2015. AFP PHOTO / POOL / RITCHIE B. TONGO     RoRe [...]

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

New Zealand Navy ship here on 3-day visit

The Philippines has an unusual visitor from New Zealand—the naval vessel HMNZS Aotearoa – which dropped anchors for three days in Manila staring October 30 as part of its effort to “strengthen longstanding maritime and diplomatic ties between the two maritime countries.” Aotearoa is part of New Zealand’s Defence Force (NZDF)’s largest naval deployment to the Indo-Pacific. “This three-day ship visit is a testament to the enduring friendship and cooperation shared between New Zealand and the Philippines and signifies New Zealand’s commitment to promoting peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region,” the New Zealand Embassy in the Philippines said in a statement Aotearoa’s port call built on the maritime alliance between the two countries, which was bolstered in November 2021 when foreign ministry officials of both sides met to [...]

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

Oil price rollback seen; Meralco rates may go up

File photo of gasoline refill. The STAR / File     Manila, Philippines — Pump prices could see a rollback next week, potentially ending three straight weeks of price hikes for gasoline. “Based on the four-day trading, we will be expecting another round of rollback on prices of petroleum products,” Department of Energy (DOE) Oil Industry Management Bureau assistant director Rodela Romero said. Romero said the estimated amount of adjustments could be a possible decrease of P0.40 to P0.60 per liter for gasoline, P1 to P1.30 per liter for diesel and P0.80 to P1.05 per liter for kerosene An oil industry source, on the other hand, estimated potential price reductions ranging from P1.20 to P1.30 per liter for diesel and a possible decline of between P0.60 and P0.70 per [...]

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

US vows continued presence in West Philippine Sea

The US Navy assault ship USS America (LHA 6) docks at Pier 15 in Manila on August 27, 2023. STAR / Edd Gumban     Manila, Philippines — The United States Navy will maintain its presence in the Indo-Pacific Region amid China’s “destabilizing” actions in the South China Sea (SCS) and the West Philippine Sea (WPS). This was according to Capt. Claudine Caluori, Mission Commander of the US Navy’s Pacific Partnership 2023, when asked by reporters at a virtual briefing if the US would be doing more to help the Philippine Coast Guard and the Philippine Navy deal with Chinese harassment in the West Philippine Sea. “While I cannot comment directly on US response, again I will say that the US will continue to fly, sail and operate safely [...]

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

PH, Japan begin talks for VFA-like agreement

Metro Manila, Philippines – The Philippines and Japan have opened negotiations for the establishment of a Reciprocal Access Agreement between troops of the two nations, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida disclosed on Friday. The RAA is similar to a Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), which allows troops from one country to freely visit another temporarily Japan currently shares RAAs with Australia and the United Kingdom, while the Philippines has a VFA with the United States and a Status of Visiting Forces Agreement with Australia. “I also would like to recall our commitment to work on a framework for our Status of Visiting Forces or proposed Reciprocal Access Agreement with Japan," Marcos said during the presentation of agreements between the two countries. "We are cognizant of the benefits [...]

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

Electricity rates surge on ‘early Christmas’ demand

MANILA  -The early Christmas season frenzy in the Philippines triggered higher average prices in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market in the first two weeks of October, the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (Iemop) said over the weekend. According to Iemop, the average spot market prices in the Luzon grid soared P7.58 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) from only P4.87 per kWh in September as the approaching Christmas season pulled up consumer demand—an increase of 55 percent. Data from Iemop show that the average demand in Luzon in the first half of October went up to 9,638 megawatts (MW) from 9,377 MW the previous month.  

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

Japanese PM Kishida, wife to visit PH for stronger ties

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (REUTERS)     MANILA, Philippines — Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and wife Yuko are set to visit the Philippines later this week to forge stronger ties with Manila. The couple will be arriving at Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Friday at 3 p.m. for a two-day visit. Kishida is set to have a meeting with President Marcos on Friday and a visit to the House of Representatives on Saturday. Presidential Communications Secretary Cheloy Velicaria Garafil said Mr. Marcos and Kishida would hold a bilateral meeting to discuss security issues in the face of growing tensions between Manila and Beijing in the South China Sea, among other areas of mutual concerns such as political, people-to-people ties, economic and development cooperation.Garafil said the two leaders [...]

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

Duterte: Collaborations to boost semicon industry

                                                   Vice President Sara Z. Duterte     Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Z. Duterte said that the growth of the country’s semiconductor industry could be enhanced via collaboration between industry stakeholders and educational institutions. In a social media post on Tuesday, Duterte suggested that educational institutions could enhance their curriculum by collaborating with industry experts and stakeholders to ensure that they are always a step ahead of the evolving needs of the industry “By incorporating emerging technologies, industry-specific skills, and practical training opportunities, education can equip students with the relevant knowledge and skills needed to excel in the field by the time they [...]

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

LPG price to go up by P5.50 per 11-kilo tank

Workers arrange LPG tanks that are sold along Kamias Road in Quezon City, July 7, 2023. The Department of Energy (DOE) is now strictly implementing all LPG sellers to secure a License to Operate (LTO) before they can continue selling LPG products. The LTO is mandated under Republic Act No. 11592 or the LPG Industry Regulation Act of 2021. The LTO is a requirement for all LPG sellers, regardless of their size or the volume of LPG they sell. It is intended to ensure the safety of LPG consumers by ensuring that LPG sellers are properly licensed and that they are following the necessary safety standards..MANNY PALMERO     Oil companies will increase the price of cooking gas or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) by P0.45 to P0.50 per kilo [...]

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

Filipinos flock to cemeteries for All Saints’ Day

Metro Manila, Philippines — Despite the drizzle, thousands of Filipinos start arriving in cemeteries Wednesday morning to remember their dead on All Saints’ Day. In the Manila North and Manila South cemeteries alone, there were already visitors at around 4 a.m., an hour before gates opened at 5 a.m. There were also those who camped out at the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City. Thousands of passengers even caught last-minute trips a few hours before Nov. 1. Cemetery authorities have said they are ready for the influx of large crowds this Undas. The number is expected to reach 80,000 at the Manila North Cemetery and 300,000 at the Manila South Cemetery. Those heading to these cemeteries were reminded visiting hours will only be until 5 p.m. but they can [...]

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

1-week BSKE transition sought

Comelec chairperson George Garcia     The Commission on Elections (Comelec) wants a one-week transition period for the proclaimed winners of the 2023 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) before they assume office. Comelec chairman George Garcia said Monday night this was the commission’s position in the wake of the recent Supreme Court decision that found the postponement of the BSKE to October 30, 2023 unconstitutional “The Supreme Court said the start of term of office of those who will win the 2023 BKSE should start January 1, 2023, but that date has long passed,” Garcia said. “That means if they win and get proclaimed tonight, they should assume office tomorrow (Tuesday),” he added. Election boards started canvassing votes at around 8 p.m. last night and the Comelec expected [...]

October 31st, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

TikTok, Snapchat and others sign pledge to tackle AI-generated child sex abuse images

Britain announces the joint statement - which also lists the United States, German and Australian governments among its 27 signatories - in the run up to a global summit hosted by the UK on AI safety this week     LONDON, United Kingdom – Tech firms including TikTok, Snapchat and Stability AI have signed a joint statement pledging to work together to counter child sex abuse images generated by artificial intelligence. Britain announced the joint statement – which also listed the United States, German and Australian governments among its 27 signatories – at an event on Monday being held in the run up to a global summit hosted by the UK on AI safety this week. “We resolve to sustain the dialogue and technical innovation around tackling child sexual abuse in the age [...]

October 31st, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH, Netherlands to boost trade, investment ties

STRONGER PH-NETHERLANDS PACT. Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo and Foreign Affairs Minister of The Netherlands Hanke Bruin Slot sign a memorandum of understanding during Slot’s official visit to the Philippines. The two officials discussed bilateral relations and exchanged views on other regional matters of mutual concern. Avito Dalan     The Philippines and the Netherlands have forged an agreement to boost trade and investment relations to complement an already strong partnership on defense. Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo and Dutch Foreign Minister Hanke Bruins Slot on Monday pushed to designate a focal point to carry out both countries’ understanding of economic and technical cooperation Slot came to Manila for a bilateral talk with her Filipino counterpart, the first to be taken by a Dutch foreign minister in [...]

October 31st, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Farmers’ group laments lack of action vs onion hoarders

A market vendor shows the size comparison of the onion bought from local farmers and a giant onion that came from an undisclosed origin at the Marikina City Public Market on January 23, 2023. STAR / Jesse Bustos     Manila, Philippines — Farmers’ group Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura yesterday lamented the Office of the Ombudsman’s order to file charges against Department of Agriculture (DA) Assistant Secretary Kristine Evangelista, but excluding hoarders who profited from excessive onion prices last year “It is very unfortunate that Assistant Secretary Evangelista was first to be charged while… those already identified by the marathon hearings of Congress that hoarded and profited from excessive onion prices last year up to early this year remain untouched,” SINAG executive director Jayson Cainglet said. “The government officials [...]

October 31st, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Potato price rises, but to normalize with harvest – DA

Stock image of potatoes. Image by Couleur from Pixabay     Manila, Philippines — The price of potatoes has risen, but is expected to normalize because of the harvest, which is seen to augment the supply of the root crop, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said yesterday. Agriculture Assistant Secretary Arnel de Mesa linked the higher prices of potatoes and other crops to recent typhoons that entered and hit the Philippines. “This (increase in the price of potatoes) may be attributed to the typhoons that hit the country during the months of July and August,” De Mesa said in a statement released by the Presidential Communications Office He added that the DA is looking into the situation, but is expecting the price to normalize because of the incoming supply. [...]

October 31st, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

DFA chief defends PH abstention from UN resolution calling for Israel-Hamas ‘humanitarian truce’

(FILE PHOTO)     Metro Manila, Philippines— Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo explained why the Philippines abstained from voting in a United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution calling for "immediate, durable, and sustained humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities” between Israel and militant group Hamas In a media briefing on Monday, Manalo said the proposed resolution did not include the terrorist attacks last Oct. 7. "There was one issue that was not reflected and that was the mention of the terrorist attacks on October 7 where in our case, four Filipinos were confirmed to have been killed during the attacks," he said. Manalo explained the Philippine government felt that it was important for the resolution to include the terrorist acts since Filipinos were killed and two more [...]

October 31st, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Further expansion of PhilHealth coverage pushed

  Manila, Philippines — A lawmaker urged the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) to implement a 20 percent increase in its benefits coverage. In a statement on Sunday, AGRI party-list Rep. Wilbert Lee cited inflation as one of the reasons why PhilHealth must apply the said increase. Lee made the call during the 1st National Credit Surety Fund Cooperative Congress held in Cebu City last Tuesday, where he also thanked PhilHealth for listening to their appeal to increase the coverage of several benefit packages for its members, which include high-risk pneumonia and ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke.“Pero imbes na mga piling sakit lang ang dagdagan ng suporta ng PhilHealth, dapat magkaroon ng pagtaas sa lahat ng sinasagot nitong bayarin sa pagpapa-ospital ng mga miyembro,” he said. (But instead of increasing [...]

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

SLEX, MCX hike toll fees starting Nov. 3

South Luzon Expressway (Photo courtesy of SMC SLEX Inc.) MANILA – The toll fees at the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and the Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway (MCX) will increase starting Nov. 3, the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) said. In an advisory, the TRB said the toll increases in both expressways would be implemented in two tranches, this year and next year, "to protect the general welfare, curb existing inflationary situation and to mitigate the impact of the toll rate adjustments". For SLEX, this is the first periodic toll rate adjustment for SLEX since 2011, following the petitions for an increase last 2012 and 2014. Motorists traveling from Alabang to Calamba will pay an additional PHP10 for Class 1, PHP20 for Class 2 and PHP30 for Class 3. Those traveling from Calamba [...]

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

DENR to set up research station on Pag-asa Island

Metro Manila, Philippines — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is studying plans to set up a marine research station on Pag-asa Island in the remote town of Kalayaan in Palawan. Following her visit to the island, Environment Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga said the department and its partner groups discussed plans "to expand research and monitoring" on Pag-asa Island and nearby areas Loyzaga and a research team visited the research station of University of the Philippines-Marine Science Institute (UP-MSI) on the island to check the crushed corals littered on the beach. "This further facilitated our discussion on the partnership between the DENR Biodiversity Management Bureau and UP-MSI in establishing a DENR marine research station on Pag-asa Island," Loyzaga said in a statement. During her stay, Loyzaga met [...]

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

Ex-president Duterte leads bets for Senate

DESPITE his pronouncement that he has retired from politics, former president Rodrigo Duterte is the top choice as candidate for the Senate in a survey by the Publishers Association of the Philippines Inc. (PAPI). The poll was conducted in select villages nationwide from October 2 to 8. Next to Duterte is former senator and boxing icon Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao, followed by Sagip Party-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta. Incumbent senators Maria Imelda Josefa "Imee" Marcos and Christopher "Bong" Go were in fourth and fifth spots, followed by former Senate leader Vicente "Tito" Sotto 3rd, ACT-CIS Party-list Rep. Erwin Tulfo. Sitting Senators Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr., Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa and Manuel "Lito" Lapid occupied the 8th to 10th slots, respectively In 11th to 20th place are Sen. Pilar Juliana "Pia" Cayetano, [...]

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

Time to vote: All systems go for BSKE

An employee of the Quezon City Comelec office carries a ballot box for distribution to the 4th, 5th and 6th districts of the city yesterday ahead of the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections. A total 550 jeepneys were hired by the Quezon City government alongside the 170 city-owned vehicles to provide transport during the distribution and retrieval of ballot boxes and election paraphernalia as well as shuttle teachers, poll clerks and relevant personnel. /Jesse Bustos 50,000 cops to ensure peaceful, orderly polls MANILA, Philippines — All roads lead to polling precincts today with the scheduled barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE) pushing through nationwide. Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman George Garcia said the poll body is 100 percent ready for the conduct of elections, including in barangays declared as [...]

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

Can new law help tackle Philippines’ teen pregnancy emergency?

MANILA - A new bill that could be a game changer in the battle against teen pregnancies in the Philippines is inching through Congress with activists hoping it could galvanise a wider campaign to tackle this "national social emergency". The Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Bill, which was passed by the House in September and has now moved to the Senate, aims to expand access to sexual and reproductive health services, like contraception, in this mainly Catholic country where early pregnancies, even among girls as young as 10, are rife and where the age of consent was only raised from 12 to 16 last year. The Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development, one of the groups campaigning for the bill, said it was only two steps away from a vote [...]

October 27th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH, US to ‘redouble’ bilateral coordination following China collision incident

The Philippines and the United States on Friday agreed to "redouble" bilateral coordination following the recent collisions incident involving Philippine and Chinese vessels in the West Philippine Sea. In a joint statement, Philippine Defense chief Gilberto Teodoro Jr. and his United States counterpart Lloyd J. Austin III said they discussed in a phone call China’s “dangerous and unlawful maneuvers” that led to the October 22 collisions. “The Secretaries reaffirmed that the Mutual Defense Treaty extends to both countries’ public vessels, aircraft, and armed forces—to include the Coast Guard—anywhere in the Pacific to include the South China Sea,” the readout of their discussion said “Both Secretaries committed to redouble efforts to strengthen bilateral coordination, interoperability, and support for the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” they added. Teodoro [...]

October 27th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Palace: Oct. 31, Nov. 3 won’t be declared holidays

Metro Manila, Philippines – The Palace on Thursday said that Oct. 31 and Nov. 3 would not be declared as holidays before the Undas long weekend. Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin said that the plan of declaring Nov. 3 as a holiday is “fake news.” Non-working holidays All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day fall on Wednesday, Nov. 1, and Thursday, Nov. 2, respectively. The Palace declared Monday, Oct. 30 as a non-working holiday to make way for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections.    

October 27th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Japan eyes more big-ticket PH investments

Japan has pledged it will continue its investments in the Philippines' big-ticket projects as its ambassador in Manila noted the growing interests of Japanese investors in the country. Speaking at the Philippine Business Conference and Expo at the Manila Hotel, Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko said there is room for the Philippines and Japan's partnership "to grow even further" considering that both countries have "very strong, solid economic ties." In fact, he said, the presence of different chambers at the event on Thursday proved that there is "a big vote of confidence on the Philippine economy, and the region In his speech, the envoy noted the two "potent tools for success" of the Philippines-Japan economic relations. They are: accelerating investments and creating innovation. On accelerating investments, Kazuhiko [...]

October 27th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

DBM allots P101 B for nat’l health insurance

Over P100 billion will be spent on the government’s national health insurance Program next year, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said Friday, Oct. 27. Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman said a total of P101.51 billion budget will be allocated to the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) in 2024,an increase of P1.28 billion from the previous budget. This amount will accommodate the expansion of beneficiaries and double the annual premium rate for persons with disabilities from P2,400 to P5,000 “Given the lessons from the pandemic, the Fiscal Year 2024 proposed budget will continue to strengthen primary healthcare facilities in the country, including medical assistance amounting to P22.26 billion to 1.31 million indigent and financially incapacitated patients who are unable to afford nor access quality healthcare services,” Pangandaman said. [...]

October 27th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

US Pentagon says Chinese jet came within 3 metres of bomber

Crew members signal to a F/A-18E Super Hornet fighter jet preparing to take off for a routine flight on board the US USS Nimitz aircraft carrier during a routine deployment to the South China Sea, Mid-Sea, on Jan 27, 2023. (Photo: REUTERS/Joseph Campbell)     The US military on Thursday (Oct 26) said a Chinese jet came dangerously close to a US bomber earlier this week over the South China Sea, part of what Washington has said is increasingly risky behaviour by Chinese military aircraft. The US military said that on Tuesday a Chinese J-11 jet came within 3m of the B-52 aircraft "During the night time intercept, the PRC (People's Republic of China) pilot flew in an unsafe and unprofessional manner, demonstrated poor airmanship by closing with uncontrolled [...]

October 27th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Taiwan reports 15 Chinese air force planes in its air defence zone

Airplane is seen in front of Chinese and Taiwanese flags in this illustration, August 6, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights TAIPEI - Taiwan's defence ministry said that it had detected 15 Chinese air force planes entering Taiwan's air defence zone on Thursday morning, including fighter jets and drones, accompanying Chinese warships carrying out "combat readiness patrols" and drills. Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory, has repeatedly complained over the past four years of Chinese military activity around the island. Reporting by Ben Blanchard Editing by Shri Navaratnam

October 27th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH ranks near bottom among East Asia, Pacific countries with weakest rule of law

Metro Manila, Philippines — The Philippines is still among the East Asia and Pacific countries with the weakest rule of law, ranking 13 out of 15 in the region, the World Justice Project (WJP) reported. According to the Rule of Law Index 2023, the Philippines fell three positions from 2022, placing 100 out of 142 countries worldwide. The independent and multidisciplinary organization added that the country had an overall score of 0.46, a 0.1 decrease from last year's ranking In 2021, the Philippines scored 0.46 and 0.47 in 2020, a notable change from its 0.53 score in 2015. New Zealand (8th globally) topped the region at 0.83 while Cambodia (141 globally) had the lowest score of 0.31. Data also showed that Denmark had the strongest rule of law across [...]

October 27th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH to file case vs. China over alleged coral harvesting in WPS

(FILE PHOTO)     Metro Manila, Philippines — The Philippine government will file an environmental case against China over the alleged massive coral harvesting in the West Philippine Sea early next year, according to Justice Secretary Boying Remulla. Remulla on Thursday met with former Supreme Court justice and former Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza, international environmental law expert Antonio Oposa, and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) spokesperson for West Philippine Sea Commodore Jay Tarriela to discuss the potential case against China "We were encouraged to pursue what we think is a good case," Remulla said. "Kasi ang apektado naman nito hindi lang yung bansa natin, ang apektado dito is yung buong mundo. Yung sinisira nila na pinapanganakan ng isda, hindi na babalik. Eh kung diyan manggagaling ang gamot sana." [Translation: We were [...]

October 27th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

US, Australia oppose ‘destab actions’ in SCS

THE United States and Australia opposed "destabilizing actions" in the South China Sea (SCS), including the disruption of routine Philippines maritime operations around Second Thomas (Ayungin) Shoal in the West Philippine Sea (WPS). US President Joe Biden and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) mentioned the Philippines in a joint statement which touched on various topics, including their concern on peace and stability in the region. U.S. President Joe Biden and Prime Minister of Australia Anthony Albanese toast before the start of the state dinner to the White House on October 25, 2023 in Washington, DC. President Biden and the first lady are hosting Prime Minister Albanese and his partner Jodie Haydon for a state dinner. Tasos Katopodis/Gettyimages/AFP     Biden and Albanese inaugurated a [...]

October 27th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

AFP ensures peaceful, orderly Oct. 30 polls

READY FOR POLLS. AFP deputy chief of staff Lt. Gen. Charlton Sean Gaerlan, delivers AFP chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr.'s message during the simultaneous multi-agency send-off and turnover ceremony of government forces for BSKE duty on Monday (Oct. 23, 2023) in Camp Crame, Quezon City. Brawner also urged task force members to leave behind political affiliations and personal interests as they aim to create an environment where every Filipino can exercise their right to vote without fear and restriction.(Photo courtesy of the AFP)     MANILA – Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. on Monday said the military is determined to ensure that peace and order would prevail in the Oct. 30 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) “The AFP stands together with our [...]

October 24th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

59 Filipinos in Lebanon request for repatriation

Metro Manila, Philippines— Almost 60 Filipinos in Lebanon said they want to return home amid the escalating tensions between Israel and Islamist group Hezbollah, the Philippine embassy said on Monday. The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Saturday placed the Middle Eastern country under Alert Level 3 due to the ongoing conflict there. This started after Palestinian militants fired shots from Lebanon, after Hamas launched a large-scale attack against Israel on Oct. 7. “On Sunday morning when we held our meeting with the FiIipino community leaders, we already received 59 applications,” Philippine ambassador to Lebanon Raymond Balatbat told CNN Philippines’ The Source. Of that number, the ambassador said three were from southern Lebanon where most of the exchange of fire between the Israeli forces and Lebanon-based militants has taken [...]

October 24th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

BI warns of fake eTravel websites that charge fees

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Monday urged the public to report fraudulent websites claiming to operate as electronic travel or eTravel sites “There are complaints received through socmed (social media) channels. (The public must) immediately report to CICC (Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center),” BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval told said in a Viber message, following reports of fake eTravel sites requiring charges from travelers. “The eTravel service is free of charge. Any website using the eTravel name and logo is fake and is a scam,” the BI said in an advisory. Sandoval warned that those behind the illicit scheme may face charges for violation of the Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, in relation to computer-related fraud. The public may send their complaints online via [...]

October 24th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Israel promises ‘unrelenting attacks’ on Hamas; US, Obama urge caution

The Palestinian health ministry says the Gaza death toll in two weeks of air strikes had topped 5,000   Israel’s military said it was preparing for “unrelenting attacks” to dismantle Hamas while former US President Barack Obama warned that “any Israeli military strategy that ignores the human costs could ultimately backfire.” The Palestinian health ministry said the Gaza death toll in two weeks of air strikes had topped 5,000. Israel pounded hundreds of targets in Gaza from the air on Monday, October 23, as its soldiers fought Hamas militants during raids into the besieged Palestinian strip where civilians are trapped in harrowing conditions. Hamas on Monday said it had freed two Israeli women among the more than 200 hostages taken during its Oct. 7 rampage in southern Israel in which the Islamist group [...]

October 24th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Philippines files protest vs China; envoy no-show at DFA

Chinese coast guard ships (L and R) corral a Philippine civilian boat chartered by the Philippine navy to deliver supplies to Philippine navy ship BRP Sierra Madre in the disputed South China Sea, on August 22, 2023. The Philippines accused a Chinese coastguard vessel of colliding on October 22, 2023 with a Philippine resupply boat as it travelled to a tiny garrison in the disputed South China Sea. AFP / Ted Aljibe     MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has lodged a diplomatic protest against China over last Sunday’s “dangerous blocking maneuvers” by its ships that led to one of them “slightly” colliding with a Philippine vessel carrying supplies and provisions for troops stationed on BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoa Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ma. Teresita Daza [...]

October 24th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

DFA disassociates itself from Locsin’s tweet

THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Monday "disassociated" itself from the view of Philippine Ambassador to the United Kingdom Teodoro Locsin Jr. with regard to the Israel-Hamas war. Philippine Ambassador to the United Kingdom Teodoro Locsin Jr. File Photo     Locsin recently wrote on X (formerly Twitter), "That's why Palestinian children should be killed; they might grow up to become as gullible as innocent Palestinians letting Hamas launch rockets at Israel; not that they could stop them but that's no excuse." The DFA said that the post "was made in his strictly personal capacity." Locsin, a former DFA secretary, has deleted the controversial post. "I immediately deleted my sarcastic response to a tweet as I realized it could be misconstrued and retweeted to incite," he said. "My [...]

October 24th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos calls command conference on West Philippine Sea

President Marcos convenes a special command conference of national security and defense clusters at Malacañang yesterday, ordering the Philippine Coast Guard to conduct an investigation into China’s recent harassment of Philippine vessels in the West Philippine Sea. Top inset shows Navy chief Vice Admiral Toribio Adaci giving updates during a press briefing on the collision involving Chinese and Philippine vessels. MANILA, Philippines — President Marcos convened yesterday his security and defense officials for a command conference at Malacañang where they discussed the disruption by the Chinese of a resupply mission to the BRP Sierra Madre, wherein one of its ships slightly hit a Philippine Coast Guard vessel during a “dangerous and provocative” maneuver At the command conference, Marcos was reported to have expressed very serious concern about the incident [...]

October 24th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

SRA mulls SRP, warehouse inspection amid refined sugar overprice

A retailer arranges packs of sugars in Pandacan, Manila on January 18, 2023. Ernie Penaredondo     MANILA, Philippines — The government is considering imposing a suggested retail price (SRP) and warehouse inspections as retail prices of refined sugar remained overpriced despite the downward trend in the farmgate price of raw sweeteners, Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) administrator Pablo Azcona said yesterday In a radio interview, Azcona said the SRA is considering the imposition of an SRP as white sugar is sold as high as P110 per kilo compared to the P55 per kilo of farmgate raw sugar. “Our last target for the farmgate price of brown sugar is at P60 (per kilo) and for our consumer, it should be P85 (per kilo) for refined sugar. At present, the farmgate price [...]

October 22nd, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

DFA: Alert Level 3 raised in Lebanon

Metro Manila, Philippines —The Philippines has placed Lebanon under Alert Level 3 as border tensions increased between Israel and Islamist group Hezbollah, the Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Eduardo de Vega said Saturday. This means that Filipinos are urged to leave Lebanon. De Vega earlier said the Philippine Embassy in Beirut will advise Filipinos there about the voluntary repatriation progra "We are doing this because the situation is rather tense and we already have seen it years ago in 2006 when we had to repatriate Filipinos from Lebanon," he told CNN Philippines’ The Final Word on Friday. There has been an ongoing exchange of fire between the Israeli forces and Lebanon-based militants, which led to the death of some Israeli soldiers and Hezbollah fighters. The conflict between the two [...]

October 22nd, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Kuwait deployment ban to end – Marcos

President Marcos chats with Kuwait Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah (left), who requested a short bilateral meeting at the sidelines of the Asean-GCC Summit in Saudi Arabia to discuss labor relations between the two countries. At right, the President meets with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, prime minister of Saudi Arabia, continuing the long-standing 54-year relationship between the two nations. Below, President Marcos, Speaker Martin Romualdez and members of the Cabinet join OFWs after addressing the Filipino community at the InterContinental Hotel in Riyadh late Friday night. MANILA, Philippines — President Marcos said the ban on the deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait would end “At that very quick, very short meeting, we agreed to continue to discuss some of the obstacles in our [...]

October 22nd, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Oil prices seen to go up next week

Metro Manila, Philippines— Oil firms are expected to hike prices of petroleum products next week. In its forecast issued Saturday, Unioil said diesel will cost ₱1.30 to ₱1.50 more per liter, while the price of gasoline will go up by ₱0.90 to ₱1.10 per liter. Fuel companies usually announce the price movements every Monday for implementation the next day. Data from the Department of Energy showed that price adjustments already resulted in a year-to-date per-liter increase of ₱12.80 for gasoline, ₱10.40 for diesel, and ₱4.99 for kerosene.

October 22nd, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos abolishes NorthRail

PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. abolished the North Luzon Railways Corporation (NorthRail) as the government-owned firm is "no longer achieving the objectives and purpose for which it was designed and created." The President, through Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, issued on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023 Memorandum Order 17, containing the abolition of NorthRail. In his order, the President said the Governance Commission for Government-owned and -controlled Corporations (GCG) determined that Northrail was "not producing desired outcomes," "no longer achieving the objectives and purpose for which it was designed and created," and "is not cost efficient and does not generate the level of social, physical and economic returns vis-a-vis the resource inputs. Northrail, registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission in 1995, was created as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bases [...]

October 22nd, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Enforce genuine land reform, groups urge President Marcos

Farmers and members of militant groups stage a rally along Chino Roces Bridge in Manila yesterday to press for genuine land reform. Yesterday was the 51st anniversary of the signing of Presidential Decree 27 by Ferdinand Marcos Sr., which was replaced by Corazon Aquino’s comprehensive agrarian reform program law. / Edd gumban     MANILA, Philippines — Around 500 farmers and members of militant groups staged a rally yesterday to call on the Marcos administration to enforce genuine land reform. Members of Anakpawis, Migrante, Gabriela, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), Tanggol Magsasaka, Pamalakaya and Courage marched to Mendiola from the Mabuhay Rotonda at the boundary of Quezon City and Manila yesterday morning, according to the Manila Police District The protesters carried banners and placards urging the [...]

October 21st, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

PAGASA announces onset of ‘amihan’ season

Metro Manila, Philippines – The state weather bureau on Friday announced the onset of the northeast monsoon season, known as “amihan,” which will bring wind and cold temperature surges in October to March. A week earlier, the bureau announced the end of ‘habagat,’ or the southwest monsoon season which brought warm, moist winds to the western portion of the country from May to September. “In recent days, strong northeasterly winds have prevailed over Northern Luzon due to the strengthening of the high-pressure system over Siberia,” the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said. “Moreover, gradual cooling of the surface air temperature over the northeastern part of Luzon and increasing mean sea level pressure have been observed," it said. "These meteorological patterns indicate the onset of the northeast monsoon [...]

October 21st, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

2023 Barangay, SK polls: Step-by-step guide to voting, do’s and don’ts

INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO     MANILA, Philippines—In over a week, millions of Filipinos will again exercise their right to vote and choose leaders that will lead their communities in the long-delayed Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Elections. On October 30, over 93 million registered voters will cast votes for the barangay and SK polls, a crucial event that will determine the future of local communities across the country. The village and youth elections, as mandated by law, are supposed to take place every three years, but delays and postponements have resulted in officials holding office for up to five years. The last barangay and SK elections took place in May 2018. The next election was supposedly set for May 2020 but was moved to December 2022 after then-President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic [...]

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

Marcos says Maharlika not on hold, will be operational before yearend

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Thursday said the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) will be operational before the year ends despite his recent order to suspend its implementation. “The concept of the Maharlika Fund as a sovereign fund or an investment fund — the concept remains a good one and we are still committed to having it operational before the end of the year,” the President said in a speech before departing for a summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia “I was a bit alarmed by the news reports early this morning that I read in the newspapers that we have put the Maharlika Fund on hold. Quite the contrary,” the President said. “The organization of the Maharlika Fund proceeds at a pace. And what I have done though is that [...]

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

Entrepreneurship pushed as high school subject

VICE President Sara Duterte and Go Negosyo founder Jose Ma. "Joey" Concepcion 3rd are exploring ways of incorporating entrepreneurship as a subject in senior high school. In a meeting last October 17, Concepcion discussed with Duterte, who is also the Secretary of the Department of Education (DepEd), ways in which entrepreneurship skills may be taught to students. One avenue is to have veteran and established entrepreneurs join Go Negosyo roadshows and teach the students at their schools Vice President Sara Duterte and Go Negosyo founder Jose Ma. ‘Joey’ Concepcion 3rd CONTRIBUTED PHOTO     Another is for students to observe actual mentoring with active and aspiring entrepreneurs. A third option is teaching students entrepreneurship through the help of private companies, specifically those in the agriculture sector. "Our idea is [...]

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

Gavan is the Philippine Coast Guard’s new commandant

Metro Manila, Philippines — Admiral Ronnie Gil Latorilla Gavan was sworn in on Thursday as the new commandant of the Philippine Coast Guard. Gavan, who served as the PCG's Deputy Commandant for Administration, was also promoted from vice admiral to admiral when he took his oath before Transporation Secretary Jaime Bautista. He formally replaced Admiral Artemio Abu, who retired after 35 years of service, during the change of command ceremony at the PCG headquarters in Manila. Bautista lauded Abu for steering the country away from "any deterioration in the volatile situation at the West Philippine Sea" and expressed trust that Gavan would do the same. Bautista highlighted Gavan's introduction of the "Angels of the Sea," a group of female radio operators, to diffuse tension during sea conflict. In his speech, [...]

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

Marcos: Deals with Saudi Arabia worth $120M to benefit thousands of Filipinos

Metro Manila, Philippines— Thousands of Filipinos are expected to benefit from agreements with Saudi Arabia worth $120 million, according to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. "The agreements that will be signed today are set to benefit more than 15,000 Filipinos in training and employment opportunities across a wide range of professions in the construction industry," Marcos said in a roundtable meeting with the Saudi Ministry of Investment on Thursday". I hope that this meeting has served as an excellent platform for building greater and closer partnerships between the Philippines and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," the president added. Marcos said Saudi Arabia is "home" to about a million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), as well as the largest community of Filipino professionals in industries like engineering, architecture, and healthcare. "I also [...]

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

Marcos off to Saudi Arabia for 1st ASEAN-Gulf Cooperation Council Summit

INFO (1st UPDATE) President Marcos will attend the one-day ASEAN-Gulf Cooperation Council Summit in Riyadh on Friday, October 20     MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. left Manila on Thursday, October 19, to attend the inaugural summit between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Saudi Arabia. This will be a short visit for the Chief Executive, who will fly back to Manila after the one-day event concludes on Friday night, October 20. “This Summit will serve as an important platform for the Philippines to highlight the need for cooperation in energy and food security, logistics, supply chains, digital [transformation], the free flow of goods, people, and services, as well as the enhancement and protection of the rights, of course, [...]

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

3 weather systems bring rain, thunderstorms in Luzon

THREE weather systems - the northeasterly surface wind flow, shear line and localized thunderstorms - are affecting most parts of Luzon, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said Thursday. Weather specialist Patrick del Mundo said that the shear line, where the cold and hot air converge, will bring overcast skies with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms in Quezon, Rizal, Laguna and Camarines Norte PHOTO From DOST PAGASA Meanwhile, the northeasterly surface wind flow or the wind coming from the north-east that brings mild temperatures, is affecting Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Apayao, Kalinga and Aurora where cloudy skies with rains will prevail, Pagasa said in its 5 a.m. advisory. Metro Manila and the rest of the country will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers [...]

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

Campaign for Barangay, SK polls starts today

Fewer residents queue to register for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in December 2022 at the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) office in Quezon City on July 8, 2022. The STAR / Miguel De Guzman   MANILA, Philippines — The campaign period for the Barangay and Sangguiniang Kabataan elections (BSKE) officially begins on Thursday, October 19. According to the Commission on Elections, a total of 672,016 positions are to be decided for this year's election. A total of 294,007 slots are for members of Sangguiniang Barangay, while 42,001 are for barangay captains. The same number applies to Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) aspirants. There are a total of 1,414,487 aspirants in the BSKE. For barangay captain, 96,962 slots will be filled; 731,682 for members of Sangguiniang Barangay; 92,774 aspirants for SK [...]

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

Musk’s X begins charging new users in Philippines, New Zealand

New users who sign up on the web version of X will now be required to pay an annual fee of P42.51 if they want to post content or interact with other users. STAR / File MANILA, Philippines — The social media site X, formerly known as Twitter, announced on Oct. 17 that it has begun charging new users in the Philippines and New Zealand to use basic features under its “Not a Bot” subscription method New users who sign up on the web version of X will now be required to pay an annual fee of P42.51 if they want to post content or interact with other users. The Elon Musk-owned platform said its “Not a Bot” subscription method should “bolster” existing efforts to reduce spam and “manipulation [...]

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

PH builds more ships to boost WPS patrol

THE Philippines will build more patrol vessels to further enhance the country's presence in the West Philippine Sea (WPS), President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said on Tuesday, amid China's continued aggression in the disputed waters. In a chance interview on the sidelines of the 122nd anniversary of the Philippine Coast Guard, the President said the PCG was expecting around 40 more vessels to be made in Cebu. PCG’s 122nd President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. salutes during the 122nd anniversary of the Philippine Coast Guard in Port Area, Manila, on Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023. Photo by Rene Dilan     "So we are continuing with the upgrading of the equipment, the training, and the capabilities of all our people, especially the Coast Guard, not only because they are on the frontline in [...]

October 18th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

VP Duterte calls for stop to ‘politicking’ after issues on confidential funds

Metro Manila, CNN Philippines — Vice President Sara Duterte told her critics Wednesday that this is not the right time for “politicking” as Filipinos struggle with rising commodity prices, coupled with the potential impact of the ongoing wars in the Middle East and Europe on the local economy. After a panel from the House of Representatives dropped the confidential funds for several agencies, including the Office of the Vice President (OVP) and the Department of Education (DepEd) which she also leads, Duterte issued a statement thanking her supporters for backing her leadership. Duterte said she understands the “disappointment and anger” her supporters felt amid recent developments involving her proposed 2024 budget for both the OVP and DepEd. The official requested for ₱500 million for the OVP and ₱150 million for [...]

October 18th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

16 OFWs return home from Israel

This picture taken on Oct. 11, 2023 shows an aerial view of buildings destroyed by Israeli air strikes in the Jabalia camp for Palestinian refugees in Gaza City. Israel declared war on Hamas on October 8 following a shock land, air and sea assault by the Gaza-based Islamists. The death toll from the shock cross-border assault by Hamas militants rose to 1,200, making it the deadliest attack in the country's 75-year history, while Gaza officials reported more than 900 people killed as Israel pounded the territory with air strikes. AFP / Yahya Hassouna MANILA, Philippines — The first batch of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Israel has returned safely to the Philippines. According to the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), 16 OFWs and a baby were repatriated on Wednesday, [...]

October 18th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Manila Bay reclamation projects seen to make P24 trillion in investments

The Manila Bay reclamation projects which President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. ordered suspended are expected to generate over P24 trillion in investments, the Philippine Reclamation Authority has said. In a presentation before the House Committee on Ways and Means on Monday, PRA Assistant General Manager Joseph John Literal said the direct investments on the vertical development side is expected to reach P23 trillion. Vertical development is expected to generate another P1.95 trillion for horizontal development. “P24 trillion, Sayang ito. Payagan na lang natin, basta tapusin nila in five years. We can align this to socialized housing,” Salceda said. (It would be such a waste to do nothing on that P24 trillion. We should allow this to proceed, as long as they finish the project within five years.) “A suspension [...]

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

Putin visits China, will meet Xi in show of no-limits partnership

Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023. REUTERS/Wu Hong/Pool/File Photo     BEIJING - Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Beijing on Tuesday to meet with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on a widely watched trip aimed at showcasing the deep mutual trust and "no-limits" partnership between China and its giant neighbor. Putin and his entourage flew into the Beijing Capital International Airport on Tuesday morning, according to Reuters video footage, in the Kremlin chief's first official trip outside of the former Soviet Union this year. Putin has traveled little abroad since the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for him in March, accusing him of illegally deporting children from Ukraine. Putin visited Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet republic, [...]

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

Opening of Egypt border for Pinoys in Gaza ‘could be any day now’ —DFA

The opening of the border in Egypt for the exit of Filipinos from Gaza amid Israel-Hamas war “could be any day now,” the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Tuesday, citing an Israeli official Interviewed on Unang Balita, DFA Undersecretary Eduardo de Vega said Israeli and Egyptian authorities are still coordinating on the matter. “Nakikipag-ugnayan pa rin ang Israelis at Egyptians paano itong prosesong ito kasi ayaw din nilang lumabas iyong Hamas, lumabas ng Gaza at pumasok ng Egypt,” De Vega said. (The Israelis and Egyptians are still coordinating on the process because they do not want Hamas to leave Gaza and enter Egypt.) “Isang problema po iyan. So inaayos pa nila 'yung border arrangements. Pero tignan natin ito kasi sabi ng Israeli ambassador, it could be any day [...]

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

DTI eyes national warehouse database amid agri smuggling, hoarding

Metro Manila, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) intends to establish a registry of warehouses across the country for better monitoring under a three-year plan amid the ongoing issue on agricultural smuggling and hoarding. Speaking to CNN Philippines’ The Source on Monday, DTI Sec. Alfredo Pascual said the government currently has no database of warehouses. This problem makes data collection more time consuming, he added Pascual said to address this, the DTI proposed a Three-Year Food Logistics Action Agenda to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., which the chief executive has approved. Under this, a warehouse registry will be developed. “Part of the Three-Year Food Logistics Action Agenda that we developed is the establishment of a warehouse registry so at the national level we know where the warehouses [...]

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

Hamas tried to infiltrate Philippines in 2018, 2022 – NSC

Rescue teams search for victims in the wreckage of a bus that exploded in Jerusalem on February 25, 1996. At least 23 Israelis were killed and more than 50 injured in the explosion, in the attack claimed by the Hamas. AFP / Menahem Kahana     MANILA, Philippines — Two alleged operatives of the Hamas militant group now at war with Israel were in the Philippines and attempted to operate and ally themselves with local extremists in 2018 and 2022, according to the National Security Council. NSC assistant director general Jonathan Malaya said one was a bomb expert who was arrested and deported five years ago“We saw there was intent by Hamas to launch activities in the Philippines. In fact, in 2018, there was a Hamas bomb maker that [...]

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

DA expects rice supply to be stable in Q1 2024

The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Saturday said the supply of rice in the country will be stable in the first quarter of 2024 DA spokesperson Arnel de Mesa said the peak of harvest for the wet season has already started this October, according to a Super Radyo DZBB report by Luisito Santos. The national stock inventory of rice is expected to last up to 77 days and up to 94 days at the end of the harvest this November, de Mesa added. Thus, the national stock inventory of rice is expected to reach up to 2.4 million metric tons at the end of the third quarter of 2024, which will last for about 60 to 90 days. The DA also expects the supply of rice to increase due [...]

October 15th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Transport strike starts Monday

Abalos: 95% of transport groups to continue operations despite Monday strike Metro Manila, Philippines – Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos on Sunday said 95% of transport groups will not participate in the transport strike on Monday, assuring that no transportation paralysis would occur. Transport group Manibela called for the strike amid the allegations of corruption in Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB). President Ferdiand Marcos Jr. ordered the suspension of LTFRB Chairman Teofilo Guadiz III last week, but Manibela is bent on pushing through with the protest. “Ninety-five percent ng lahat ng transport groups ay kasama natin at sila ay hindi dadalo. Number two, nakaagapay ang kapulisan. Number three, may magandang plano rito. Ang central monitoring team will be MMDA (Metropolitan Manila Development Authority),” Abalos said during a meeting with [...]

October 15th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘Walang Gutom 2027: Food Stamp Program’ launched as flagship project

File photo of people lining up for food.  The STAR / KJ Rosales, File photo     MANILA, Philippines — The Presidential Communications Office (PCO) announced on Sunday that the government's food stamp program has been officially recognized as a flagship initiative. Malacañang issued Executive Order (EO) No. 44, formally introducing the "Walang Gutom 2027: Food Stamp Program" as a flagship project of the national government. The EO, signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin on Thursday, designated the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as the primary government agency responsible for executing and overseeing the food stamp program “The DSWD shall undertake the necessary steps for the successful implementation and expansion of the Food Stamp Program including, but not limited to, the identification of eligible beneficiaries and collaboration with [...]

October 15th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH, Canada ink agreement vs ‘dark vessels’

THE Philippines signed an agreement with Canada that will allow Manila to access for free Ottawa's satellite-based technology to detect dark vessels or ships that turn off their location transmitter often to engage in illegal fishing. The Canadian Embassy in Manila on Saturday said the two states signed the deal during the 6th Canada-Philippines Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation meeting in Canada on Oct. 13, 2023 "Canada and the Philippines held bilateral talks in Ottawa this week. (They) signed an agreement to deploy Canada's Dark Vessel Detection program to enhance Philippine maritime domain awareness," Colin Townson, Canadian Embassy head of political affairs office, said in a statement. Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines David Hartman told reporters last month that Canada is prepared to deploy the system once the agreement [...]

October 15th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Israel warns of new phase in war against Hamas, as Gaza civilians flee and Israeli troops gather near border

 A new phase in Israel’s deadly war against Hamas is coming, Israeli forces said, warning that the past week of crippling airstrikes in Gaza could soon be followed by “significant ground operations.” Israeli troops and military equipment have massed at the border with Gaza as Israel prepares to ramp up its response to a deadly October 7 attack by the Islamist militant group Hamas, which controls the enclave. Warplanes continued to blast Gaza over the weekend, as civilians fled southward, following evacuation instructions by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Several United Nations agencies have warned that mass evacuation under such siege conditions will lead to disaster, and that the most vulnerable Gazans, including the elderly and pregnant, may not be able to relocate at all. For days, Israel has [...]

October 15th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH net external exposure rises to P2.3 T

Philippines’ net external liability position increased by 14.5 percent quarter-on-quarter to P2.3 trillion as of end-March this year from P2 trillion in end-December due to the government’s higher net indebtedness, based on central bank data. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in a report said that besides the higher net external liability position of the general government, the lower net external asset position of the other depository corporations (ODCs) contributed to the higher external exposures. The report is based on the latest Balance Sheet Approach (BSA) statistics of the BSP which indicated that by sector, the general government as of end-March is the largest net debtor in the country The BSP said the government’s net financial liability position widened by 3.8 percent quarter-on-quarter to P8.5 trillion in the first [...]

October 15th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Philippines orders mandatory repatriation of Filipinos in Gaza

Mourners gather by the bodies of a man and a child who were killed in Israeli air strikes outside the morgue of al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on October 12, 2023 as raging battles between Israel and the Hamas movement continue for the sixth consecutive day. Thousands of people, both Israeli and Palestinians have died since October 7, 2023, after Palestinian Hamas militants based in the Gaza Strip, entered southern Israel in a surprise attack leading Israel to declare war on Hamas in Gaza on October 8. AFP / Mohammed Abed     MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs has ordered the mandatory repatriation and evacuation of Filipinos in Gaza after the Israel military announced that it is planning a coordinated offensive into the Palestinian territory by [...]

October 15th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

China backs PH action vs citizens in online gambling

THE Chinese Embassy in Manila reaffirmed its support for China-Philippine law enforcement cooperation, a day after 36 of its citizens were deported for their involvement in illegal Philippine offshore gaming operations (POGOs). "The Embassy will continue its support of China-Philippine law enforcement cooperation to safeguard social, economic, and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries," the Chinese Embassy said in a statement posted on its Viber account on Saturday, October 14 Prior to being deported on Friday, the 36 Chinese were arrested in Pasay City in August. The Chinese Embassy said that on August 1, a raid led by the Philippine Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (Paocc) was conducted on Rivendell Global Gaming Corp. Upon request from the Paocc, the Chinese Embassy in Manila verified the identity of the Chinese as [...]

October 15th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) on Firday confirmed that the systems of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) were hacked “Dito sa DOST, we confirm na mukhang breaches nga ito. Initial report is that there are some experts' data, [personal identifiable information] ng mga experts,” DICT Undersecretary Jeffrey Ian Dy told Dobol B TV. (For DOST, we confirm possible breaches. Initial report is that there are some experts' data involved) “Meron din kasing report sa PNP, pero iyan ay sobrang luma naman iyan so kumbaga hina-hype lang nila pero lumang tugtugin na rin iyon,” added Dy. (There is also a report in PNP but that is so old. Hackers are just hyping it.) While the data breach is “dangerous” [...]

October 13th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Philippines to declare Hamas as terrorist group —Año

The Anti-Terrorism Council will push for the designation of Hamas as a terrorist group following its attack on Israel, National Security Adviser Secretary Eduardo Año said on Friday “In solidarity with the people of Israel, we will push for the designation of Hamas as a terrorist organization under RA 11479 as a priority agenda of the Anti-Terrorism Council,” Año said in a statement. He said his office “strongly condemns the terrorist assault by Hamas against the State and People of Israel and offer our condolences to the families and loved ones of those who have perished.” He called the Hamas attack a “deadly and barbaric terrorist assault” on Israel. Because the attack was supposedly targeting civilians, Año said Israel has the right to defend and protect itself from Hamas. [...]

October 13th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Diokno: China’s slowdown affects PH exports

Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno admitted that China's economic slowdown would have a minor impact on the Philippines. At the ASEAN Roundtable in Marrakech, Morocco, the government's chief economic manager said that China's economic slowdown would have an impact on Philippine exports. However, Diokno pointed out that the negative effects on exports could be partially mitigated by the strong demand from the substantial domestic market “The Philippines is expected to be less affected by China’s slower economic growth given that the potential slowdown in exports could be partially mitigated by the demand from our large domestic market,” Diokno said. In July, China ranked as the Philippines' fourth largest export trading partner, accounting for 12.3 percent or $758.22 million of the total for that month. Leading multilateral lenders, including the [...]

October 13th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Magnitude 5 earthquake jolts Calaca, Batangas

The epicenter of said rumbling was recorded southwest of Calaca, Batangas at around 8:24 a.m. and had tectonic origins. Released / Phivolcs     MANILA, Philippines (Updated 9:53 a.m.) — A strong magnitude 5 earthquake hit the province of Batangas on Friday morning, with state seismologists from Phivolcs fearing both damages and aftershocks. The epicenter of the rumbling was recorded southwest of Calaca, Batangas at around 8:24 a.m. and had tectonic origins Intensity V (strong) Lemery, Batangas Intensity IV (moderately strong) Cuenca, Bauan, Sta. Teresita, and San Luis, Batangas Tagaytay City, Cavite; Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila Intensity III (weak) Laurel, Batangas City, Batangas Tagaytay City, Cavite; Dolores, Quezon Intensity II (sightly felt) Talisay, and Rosario, Batangas; Magallanes, Cavite Boac, Marinduque City of Las Pinas, City of Pasay, Metro Manila Puerto Galera, Oriental [...]

October 13th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Filipina nurse chose to stay with elderly ward as Hamas attacked Israel – diplomat

THE story of a Filipina nurse who died with her elderly ward after she refused to leave her even after Hamas militants attacked Israel has been posted on X (formerly Twitter) by some Israelis in a tribute to her courage in the face of death. Identified as Angeline, the Filipina could have escaped but chose to stay by her patient who was called "Nira" on Kibbutz Kfar, according to the posts Israeli troops search the scene of a Palestinian militant attack in the Israeli kibbutz of Kfar Aza on the border with the Gaza Strip on October 11, 2023. Thousands have died and the toll continues to climb dramatically five days after Palestinian militants launched a surprise attack on Israel, which has responded with a massive bombardment of Gaza. [...]

October 13th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Gov’t working to bring home remains of Pinoys killed in Israel-Hamas war

Metro Manila, Philippines — Authorities are working on bringing home the remains of the two Filipinos who were killed in the attack on Israel by the Hamas militants, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said. “We are not sure if the families prefer to have them here but the process is ongoing,” DFA Undersecretary Eduardo de Vega told CNN Philippines’ The Source on Thursday The Philippine Embassy in Israel confirmed on Wednesday that two Filipinos were killed in the ongoing war between the Jewish state and Hamas. In a briefing on Thursday afternoon, Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) officer-in-charge Hans Cacdac said the identities of the Filipinos would not be disclosed per families’ request. One of the fatalities was caregiver Paul Vincent Castelvi, 42, from Pampanga. His father Nick [...]

October 13th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH beefs up naval presence in WPS

(UPDATE) THE Philippines has deployed another warship to the West Philippine Sea (WPS) to build up its presence in the volatile waters in the face of increasingly aggressive incursions by Chinese vessels. The Davao del Sur, a Tarlac-class landing platform, will join the Antonio Luna, a guided missile frigate, in patrolling the waterway BRP Davao del Sur (LD-602). Photo from Official Page of the Philippine Navy     The Western Command (Wescom) said three warships stationed in Palawan have orders to stop foreign ships from conducting illegal activities in the WPS such as collecting corals and other marine resources. Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. underscored the need to project a strong naval presence in the WPS. Brawner said there were no [...]

October 13th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Meralco raises rates for October

Metro Manila, Philippines— Customers of Manila Electric Company (Meralco) will pay 40 centavos per kilowatt-hour (kWh) more this month, the power distributor announced on Wednesday. The adjustment brought the overall charge to ₱11.8198 per kWh from September's ₱11.3997 per kWh. It is equivalent to an increase of ₱84 for residential customers consuming 200 kWh Meralco pointed to higher generation charge for October, which went up by 30 centavos to ₱7.1267 per kWh from ₱6.8252 per kWh, in particular higher costs from independent power producers (IPPs) and power supply agreements (PSA). The utility company said charges from IPPs increased by 46 centavos to reflect higher cost of fuel utilized by First Gas plants. "Persisting supply restriction of the Malampaya natural gas field compelled the 1,000 MW First Gas-Sta. Rita and [...]

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

DMW: 23 Filipinos lined up for repatriation, pending Israeli gov’t approval

Metro Manila, Philippines — At least 23 Filipinos in Israel are waiting for approval from Israeli authorities to exit the Middle Eastern country and return to the Philippines, according to the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW). "Meron tayong nakalap na listahan ng 23 na inihahanay natin for repatriation subject to the approval of the proper Israeli authorities," DMW officer-in-charge Hans Leo Cacdac told the House committee on overseas workers affairs on Wednesday. "Kasi halimbawa, ang Ben Gurion International Airport, limited ang operation ngayon so kailangan may pagpapaalam. [Translation: We have a list of 23 Filipinos we are lining up for repatriation subject to the approval of the proper Israeli authorities because for example, the Ben Gurion International Airport, the operation is limited now so there needs to be permission.] [...]

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

Israel PM says ‘every Hamas member is a dead man’

JERUSALEM, Undefined - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday vowed to keep fighting Hamas, saying that every member of the Palestinian militant group was "a dead man". Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu     In his statement, Netanyahu for the first time clearly expressed Israel's intention to "destroy" Hamas following its surprise attack on Saturday. "Hamas is Daesh (Islamic State group) and we will crush them and destroy them as the world has destroyed Daesh," he said in a brief televised statement, the first delivered jointly with his war cabinet. Defence Minister Yoav Gallant added "we will wipe Hamas off the face of the earth". Netanyahu earlier temporarily settled his political differences and set up an emergency government including centrist former defence minister Benny Gantz for the duration of [...]

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

Senate swiftly approves OP’s proposed ₱10.7-B budget for 2024

Metro Manila, CNN Philippines — The Senate finance committee on Wednesday approved the proposed ₱10.7-billion budget of the Office of the President (OP) in just 20 minutes. "There [are] no callings that means I think they have a vote of confidence in your budget, so we will favorably endorse your budget for plenary consideration," Senator Sonny Angara said during the deliberations Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, who presented the OP's budget, said its department believes the proposed allocation would be enough for the president to meet the demands as head of government. "We crafted this budget within the parameters and processes set by the DBM from which we sought no special treatment," Bersamin said. Amante Liberato, the deputy executive secretary for finance and administration of the OP, said the proposed [...]

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

LOOK: Ombudsman asks Congress to reduce its confidential, intel funds from P51M to P1M

Ombudsman Samuel Martires has formally asked the Senate and the House of Representatives to significantly decrease the P51-million confidential and intelligence funds (CIF) allocated to his office to P1-million under the proposed 2024 national budget.     “Consistent with my earlier pronouncement before your committee, I would like to officially request that notwithstanding its investigative functions, that the Office of the Ombudsman be appropriated the amount of P1-million for its confidential and intelligence fund (CIF) in FYs 2024 and 2025 or until the end of my term of office as Ombudsman,” Martires said. Martires said the same in his letter to Ako Bicol Party-list Rep. Elizady Co. head of the House Committee on Appropriations. A copy of his letter was also sent to House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and [...]

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

Ex-Pres. Duterte says he will demand a gov’t audit if Romualdez runs for president

Former president Rodrigo Duterte has declared if House Speaker Martin Romualdez decides to run for President, he would demand that an audit be made of how the fourth highest ranking official has spent public funds. (From left) Former president Rodrigo Duterte and House Speaker Martin Romualdez (Photos from Malacañang, Speaker’s office)     In an interview on SMNI on late Tuesday night, Oct. 10, the former chief executive revealed that Romualdez, a first cousin of President Marcos and the former campaign manager of Vice President Sara Duterte, wanted to run as president. However, he also alleged that Congress was “the most rotten institution” in the country, and that the public needs to demand a liquidation report to see how its members spent taxpayers’ money. “Walang limit ‘yun ano nila [...]

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

Sara tackles education, security with Turkish envoy

VICE President Sara Duterte discussed education and security with Turkish Ambassador Niyazi Evren Akyol when he paid her a courtesy call at her office in Mandaluyong City on Monday Vice President Sara Duterte receives Turkish Ambassador Niyazi Evren Akyol in her office on Monday, October 9. PHOTO FROM OVP COMMUNICATIONS In her Facebook page Tuesday, Duterte said that Turkey is offering scholarship privileges to Filipino students. It also offered to help in the Mindanao peace process through the Independent Decommissioning Body. She also shared her sympathy to the victims of the terrorist attack in Ankara last October 1, while Akyol thanked the Filipino people who offered prayers to those affected in the violence. "Our unity is proof of both countries' concern and friendship that won't be destroyed by challenges [...]

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

6 countries join PH in sea exercises

WARSHIPS from six countries joined the Philippine Navy in training maneuvers off the coast of Luzon in a show of solidarity and cooperation. The exercise, Samasama (Together) 2023, highlights the commitment of the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Canada and Australia to support an ally, the Philippines, Lt. Kim Paulo Lopez, director for Naval for South Public Affairs Office, said Philippine Navy Jose Rizal-class frigate, BRP Antonio Luna FF151 - PF, together with foreign #Navy counterparts carried out Division Tactics (DIVTACS) and Publication Exercise (PUBEX) among others during the first day of Exercise Samasama 2023 Sea Phase in the Naval Forces Southern Luzon area of operations. Photo from Philippine Navy     Vice Admiral Carl Thomas, commander of the US 7th Fleet, said the exercise allows participating [...]

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

QC is wealthiest city for 3rd straight year – COA

(FILE PHOTO)   Metro Manila, Philippines — Quezon City emerged as the wealthiest local government unit in the country in 2022, according to data from the Commission on Audit (COA). Based on COA’s 2022 Annual Financial Report (AFR) for LGUs, Quezon City retained the top spot among the richest cities for the third straight year, even though its reported assets dropped by around ₱8 billion to ₱443.4 billion last year from ₱451 billion in 2021. Makati City was second richest with total assets amounting to P239.4 billion, followed by the City of Manila in the third spot with ₱77.5 billion. Meanwhile, Mandaue City in Cebu province overtook Cebu City by almost ₱4 billion. In 2021, Cebu City, the capital of the province, was richer than Mandaue by around ₱300 million. [...]

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

Local pork supply to fall short by yearend

Vendors sell fresh poultry and agricultural products at a public market in Lingayen, Pangasinan on September 30, 2023. STAR / Cesar Ramirez     MANILA, Philippines — Local pork supply is projected to fall short in the fourth quarter of the year due to the expected surge in demand during the holiday season, requiring importation of the commodity to ensure adequate supply and stable prices, an official of the Department of Agriculture (DA) said yesterday. The agency is projecting a supply shortfall on local pork of up to 10 days, DA Assistant Secretary and spokesman Arnel de Mesa told journalists yesterday “The supply situation can be addressed by importation during the last quarter when demand for pork is high,” De Mesa said. “The shortage only covers local supply. That’s [...]

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

DFA: 2 Filipinos killed in Israel-Hamas war

Metro Manila, Philippines — Two Filipinos have been killed as the war between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas rages on, Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo said. Manalo confirmed this development in a social media post Wednesday. “The Philippines condemns the killing of two Filipino nationals and all other acts of terrorism and violence as a result of Hamas actions against Israel,” he said. Manalo said the Philippine government was committed to cooperate with other nations for the “long-lasting resolution to the conflict, in accordance with pertinent UN Security Council Resolutions and the general principles of international law.” The official also assured Filipino nationals currently entangled in the rising conflict that the national government would provide assistance. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. also expressed grief over the deaths. “My heart [...]

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

Oil firms announce huge rollback of pump prices

PHILIPPINE oil companies announced a huge rollback in prices of petroleum products starting on Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2023. Shell Philippines and Seaoil Philippines Inc. said they will slash gasoline prices by P3.05 per liter, diesel by P2.45 per liter and kerosene by P3 per liter. The Department of Energy-Oil Industry Management Bureau (DOE-OIMB) said in a Viber message that the big rollback was due to high interest rates and a strong dollar. Based on the DOE's Oil Monitor Report oil companies rolled back prices of petroleum products on October 3 -- P2 per liter for gasoline, P0.50 per liter for kerosene but increased diesel by P0.40 per liter.      

October 9th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Afghanistan earthquake has killed more than 2,400, Taliban say

People are seen among the ruins of dwellings after earthquakes in Herat province, Afghanistan.Photograph: Xinhua/Shutterstock The death toll from a series of earthquakes in western Afghanistan has risen sharply to more than 2,400 people, according to the Taliban government, as rescuers searched for survivors among the ruins of razed villages. A government spokesperson said that more than 10,000 had been injured,. “Many more people are still under the rubble” he told the Guardian. Saturday’s magnitude-6.3 quake – followed by eight strong aftershocks – jolted hard-to-reach areas 19 miles (30km) from the provincial capital of Herat, toppling rural homes and sending panicked city dwellers into the streets “Twelve villages in Zindah Jan and six in Ghoryan district are completely reduced to rubble. We expect the death toll will rise and [...]

October 9th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

7 of 10 Filipinos back reinstatement of ROTC – survey

Students attend their Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) training on January 28, 2023. Ernie Penaredondo   MANILA, Philippines — More than 70 percent of the population, or seven out of 10 people, support the move to reinstate the mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program, a nationwide online survey conducted by research and analytics firm Capstone-Intel Corp. found. The survey conducted from Sept. 25-30 aimed to gather insights on the controversial issue and assess the knowledge and perceptions of Filipino adults on the topic “This favorable perception towards ROTC is evident across various age groups, with individuals aged 25-34 exhibiting the highest level of support at 77 percent. This is closely followed by the age bracket of 35 to 44, with a support rate of 73 percent, and individuals [...]

October 9th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

PCG: Oil tanker in West Philippine Sea collision now in Singapore

Handout photo taken on Tuesday and released by the Philippine Coast Guard yesterday shows personnel retrieving the body of one of three Filipino fishermen who died in Infanta, Pangasinan after their boat was rammed by a foreign oil tanker near Panatag or Scarborough Shoal. AFP     MANILA, Philippines — The crude oil tanker that collided with a fishing boat in Pangasinan and resulted in the death of three Filipino fishermen is now in Singapore, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) spokesperson Rear Admiral Armand Balilo said yesterday. Balilo added that the Port State Control (PSC) in Singapore would give way to the maritime officials in Marshall Islands, where MT Pacific Anna is registered and sailing under its flag, to conduct the investigation. An investigation will determine if MT Pacific Anna [...]

October 9th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Israel warns of ‘long, difficult war’ vs. Hamas

Jerusalem, Undefined­­—Israeli forces battled holdout Hamas fighters and pounded targets in the Gaza Strip on Sunday as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned of a “long and difficult” war ahead after the Palestinian militants launched a massive surprise attack. The Hamas attack came half a century after the outbreak of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, stunning Israel and sparking bitter recriminations inside the country on what was widely seen as an enormous intelligence failure Gun fights raged in towns and on highways as the Israeli army deployed tens of thousands of forces to secure southern desert regions near the coastal enclave, aiming to rescue Israeli hostages and then evacuate the entire region within 24 hours. “We’ll reach each and every community till we kill every terrorist in Israel,” vowed military spokesman [...]

October 9th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

P1 provisional jeepney fare hike starts

A jeepney conductor in Philcoa, Quezon City holds signage showing the new PUJ fare, an increase of P1 to the minimum fare, which took effect yesterday. Jesse Bustos     MANILA, Philippines — The P1 provisional fare increase will provide at least P200 additional earnings for drivers of public utility jeepneys after it took effect yesterday, transport group Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON) said. PISTON national president Mody Floranda added that drivers do not need to secure a new fare matrix as the increase is just temporary. “The drivers just need to post an announcement that the minimum is already P13 so that the passengers are aware,” Floranda said The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) approved a provisional increase of P1 for both [...]

October 9th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘Foreign aircraft expected in WPS resupply missions’

The Armed Forces of the Philippines on Saturday said the continued presence of foreign aircraft could be expected in future resupply missions in the West Philippine Sea. “We can expect that because I think that is also important,” AFP spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar said in a television interview. A foreign aircraft from an unknown country was spotted monitoring the Ayungin Shoal during the resupply mission of the military and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Wednesday last week. “What they are providing us is a view from above so that, as I’ve said, we will know what is happening on the ground. That is very important in the formulation of strategies, campaigns, or operational plans that will be effective only in providing additional capability, which we don’t have yet,” Aguilar [...]

October 9th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Israel, Gaza reel as death toll soars above 1,100 in war with Hamas

Fire and smoke rise above buildings in Gaza City during an Israeli air strike on October 8, 2023. AFP / Mahmud Hams     SDEROT, Israel — Israel, reeling from the deadliest attack on its territory, declared war on Hamas Sunday as the conflict's death toll surged above 1,100 after the Palestinian militant group launched a surprise assault from Gaza. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu steeled the nation for a "long and difficult" war a day after Hamas fired a barrage of thousands of rockets at Israel and sent a wave of fighters who gunned down civilians and took at least 100 hostages. More than 700 Israelis have been killed since Hamas launched its large-scale attack, according to the latest toll from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on Monday -- [...]

October 9th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

95% of Filipinos spend more on food, but half of population is eating less

Manila, Philippines — A new Pulse Asia survey released on Thursday revealed that while 95 percent of Filipinos have increased their spending on food, more than half of the population has started eating less. The new survey revealed that compared to 89 percent in September 2022, food is now 95 percent of households’ expenditures within the past three months. “At the same time that nearly all adults (95 percent) report spending more on food in the previous quarter, a small majority of the adult population (53 percent) say they consumed less food in the same period,” said Pulse Asia. Among locations, Mindanao was noted to have reduced its food consumption the most at 65 percent, with Balance Luzon following at 56 percent. Meanwhile, 56 percent of Balance Luzon and [...]

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

Romualdez denies politicking after House removes Sara Duterte’s confidential fund

INFO 'That's a bit too much speculation,' Romualdez says, reacting to theories that the House's removal of Duterte's confidential fund is an early infighting move related to the 2028 presidential elections MANILA, Philippines – Speaker Martin Romualdez brushed aside suspicions that the House of Representatives’ decision to strip Vice President Sara Duterte of her confidential funds for 2024 was politically motivated.In a rare press conference on Thursday, October 5, Romualdez said observers who see the move as an early political maneuvering by him ahead of the 2028 elections are “reading too much into it.” “That’s a bit too much speculation,” Romualdez insisted. “Under the circumstances, we felt it would be best that [the funds] be realigned to agencies and departments or areas we consider a priority.” Romualdez even borrowed [...]

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

Philippine-held features in WPS need P9B for development, security —AFP chief

The Armed Forces of the Philippines needs P9 billion for the development and security of the features the country occupies in the West Philippine Sea, chief of staff General Romeo Brawner Jr. said on Thursday. “There are a lot of estimates... but it is at P9 billion for the development of our islands. I hope it will be included," Brawner told reporters after his visit to Pag-asa Island with Speaker Martin Romualdez and leaders of the House of Representatives. “The name of the game in the West Philippine Sea is effective presence. Ibig sabihin kung sino ang nandiyan, siya ay may control ng area na naroon," he added. (It means whoever is present in the area has control.) "We still have a lot of things to do, a lot [...]

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

VP Duterte defends confidential funds: ‘It should not be constrained by time’

Metro Manila, CNN Philippines— Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte defended her agencies' use of confidential and intelligence funds (CIFs), saying ensuring the country's peace and order should not be constrained by time. "It matters not whether it takes one day or one year of spending; what truly matters is the safety and security of our people," she said during the 122nd police service anniversary of the Police Regional Office 13 in Butuan City on WednesdayThe Office of the Vice President (OVP) was heavily criticized by various groups, lawmakers, and the public after Marikina Rep. Stella Quimbo revealed that its ₱125 million CIFs were spent in a span of 11 days. But for Duterte, CIFs will provide necessary resources to address unforeseen challenges – whether it be combating [...]

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

Medusa hackers release stolen PhilHealth data

Hackers have started exposing some of the data retrieved from ransomware attack against the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. after a ransom of $300,000 to unlock the data was not paid. Manila, Philippines — Filipinos should brace for a barrage of online scams in the coming days after hackers who stole data from state-run Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) have leaked members’ information to online – and possibly criminal – groups. Reports coming from dark web informants showed that documents stolen from PhilHealth were publicized in online marketplaces like Telegram starting yesterday. Deep Web Konek, a group dedicated to publishing activities in the dark web, shared a screenshot showing large packets of files containing alleged information on PhilHealth members As such, the group warned that PhilHealth members should be vigilant [...]

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

Boat ramming accidental – PCG

(UPDATE) THE Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) clarified on Thursday that the ramming of a boat last Monday that killed three Filipino fishermen did not happen in Bajo de Masinloc or Scarborough Shoal, as earlier reported, and that it was an accident. "We would like to clarify that this happened in the waters of Pangasinan and not in the immediate vicinity of Bajo de Masinloc. I would like to correct the statement that we issued earlier," PCG spokesman Commodore Jay Tarriela said in an interview Tarriela said the incident happened 180 nautical miles off Agno, Pangasinan. "This is closer to Pangasinan compared to Bajo de Masinloc," he said. "Based on the statements made by the Filipino fishermen, the area was very dark due to the adverse weather conditions at that [...]

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

New LPA outside PAR likely to develop into tropical depression — Pagasa

A new low pressure area (LPA) is brewing outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) which may enter the country over the weekend, the state-run weather agency said on Friday. Weather specialist Aldczar Aurelio of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said the weather disturbance was last spotted some 1, 950 kilometers east of Southeastern Luzon (outside PAR) PHOTO FROM DOST PAGASA   "We are closely monitoring this LPA which has a chance to enter PAR over the weekend," Aurelio said. Meanwhile, Typhoon "Koinu," ("Jenny" in the Philippines) continues to enhance the southwest monsoon, locally known as "habagat," even after leaving the country, according to the Pagasa forecaster The trough of Jenny still affects areas in Ilocos Norte, Batanes and Babuyan Islands, the state weather bureau [...]

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

Soaring food prices push inflation to 6.1% after rice prices climb to 14 year-high

At a briefing yesterday, National Statistician Dennis Mapa said headline inflation, or the rate of change in average prices of goods and services typically purchased by consumers, rose to 5.3 percent in August from 4.7 percent in July. Philstar.com / Irra Lising     Manila, Philippines (Updated 2:42 p.m.) — The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that the inflation rate for September 2023 climbed to 6.1%, primarily driven by sharp rises in food prices, especially rice, and the constant increase in transportation costs due to surging fuel prices. The inflation, which measures how much prices for everyday goods and services are going up, was faster last month than the 5.3% recorded in August but slightly lower than the 6.9% print in September 2022. Rice prices in September surged by 17.9% — higher than [...]

October 5th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

PCG: Foreign vessel that rammed PH boat off Bajo de Masinloc violated protocols

Metro Manila, Philippines — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Pangasinan on Thursday said the foreign vessel that rammed a Filipino boat and killed three fishermen near Bajo de Masinloc in the West Philippine Sea on Oct. 2 violated two international regulations. “It is mandated by convention na kung ano ‘yung pinakamalapit na barko, regardless kung sila ‘yung nakasagasa o hindi nakasagasa, sila ‘yung unang magreresponde at ire-rescue itong mga distressed persons sa pangyayari. Ito lang ‘yung initial na nakikita natin na violation nung barko,” PCG Pangasinan station commander Alex Corpuz told CNN Philippines’ The Source [Translation: It is mandated by convention that whatever ship is nearest, regardless of whether it was the one who rammed or not, it must be the first to respond and rescue distressed persons. This [...]

October 5th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Senators eye realignment of DA’s ₱50-M confidential funds

Metro Manila, Philippines – Senators are considering the realignment of ₱50 million in confidential funds allotted to the Department of Agriculture (DA) under the 2024 National Expenditure Program (NEP). Upon questioning by Sen. Raffy Tulfo during the DA budget hearing on Thursday, agriculture officials told the Senate finance panel that the DA was allotted ₱50 million in confidential funds for surveillance against anti-smuggling operations and law enforcement “Nung lumabas ‘yung NEP [When the NEP came out], they (Department of Budget and Management) allocated ₱50 million confidential funds to be dedicated to surveillance operations for anti-smuggling operations,” DA Asec. James Layug said. Perplexed, Tulfo pointed out that surveillance of agricultural smugglers and law enforcement fell under the mandate of the Bureau of Customs, the Philippine National Police, and the Department of [...]

October 5th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos lifts rice price cap

Rice dealers display rice and their prices at New York Street, Cubao, Quezon City on April 16, 2023. STAR / Michael Varcas     Manila, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has announced the immediate removal of the price ceiling on rice after about a month since its imposition. In a press conference on Wednesday, Marcos said that “as of today,” the government is “lifting the price caps on rice, both for the regular-milled rice and the well-milled rice.” This comes after the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Trade and Industry presented "positive" indicators to Marcos on Tuesday reportedly showing the effectiveness of the price cap, which was implemented on September 5 to arrest surging rice prices Executive Order No. 39 had imposed a P41 per kilogram [...]

October 5th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

3 Pinoy fishers killed in boat ramming incident

Handout photo taken on Tuesday and released by the Philippine Coast Guard yesterday shows personnel retrieving the body of one of three Filipino fishermen who died in Infanta, Pangasinan after their boat was rammed by a foreign oil tanker near Panatag or Scarborough Shoal. AFP   Manila, Philippines — Three Filipino fishermen were killed while 11 others were injured when a foreign crude oil tanker rammed a mother fishing boat moored some 85 nautical miles off Panatag Shoal before dawn last Monday, according to authorities. In a report sent to the media yesterday, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) identified the three fatalities as FFB Dearyn captain Dexter Laudencia, 47, and his crewmen Romeo Mejeco, 38, and Benedicto Olandria, 62, all from Barangay Calapandayan in Subic, Zambales The three reportedly [...]

October 5th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos vows justice for 3 dead fishermen

(UPDATE) PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Wednesday vowed to hold accountable those behind the death of three Filipino fishermen off Bajo de Masinloc (Scarborough Shoal) in the disputed West Philippine Sea. The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said at 4:20 a.m. on Monday, Pacific Anna, a crude oil tanker bearing the flag of the Marshall Islands, rammed into FFB Dearyn while it was moored to an anchored fish float 85 nautical miles northwest of Bajo de Masinloc TRAGEDY The body of one of the three Filipino fishermen is transported to Barangay Cato, Infanta, Pangasinan on Tuesday Oct. 3, 2023. Photo courtesy of Philippine Coast Guard Eleven crew members of the vessel survived using eight service boats. The survivors transported the deceased to Barangay Cato in Infanta, Pangasinan. "We are deeply [...]

October 5th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Philippines’ ODA loan, grants portfolio reach $32.40B in 2022 —NEDA

The total amount of official development assistance (ODA) loans and grants received by the Philippines grew in 2022, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) reported on Tuesday. In its 2022 ODA Portfolio Review report, the socioeconomic planning agency said the country’s ODA portfolio reached $32.40 billion, up by 0.50% from $32.24 billion in 2021. The total ODA received by the Philippines last year consisted of 106 loans, which amounted to $30.20 billion; and 320 grants, which totaled $2.20 billion. In a statement, the NEDA said the 2022 ODA portfolio “reflected the government’s initiative to sustain a continuous rollout of programs aimed at addressing the socioeconomic scarring brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, while also seeking to secure assistance for enabling social and economic transformation beyond the pandemic.” The $32.40-billion [...]

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

Nobel prize for medicine goes to COVID-19 vaccine researchers

Healthcare workers get vaccinated against COVID-19 during the launch of the bivalent Pfizer vaccine at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan on June 22, 2023. STAR / Michael Varcas   STOCKHOLM – Katalin Kariko and Drew Weissman won the Nobel Medicine Prize on Monday for work on messenger RNA (mRNA) technology that paved the way for the groundbreaking COVID-19 vaccines. The pair, who had been tipped as favorites, “contributed to the unprecedented rate of vaccine development during one of the greatest threats to human health in modern times,” the jury said. The World Health Organization declared COVID a pandemic in March 2020 and the mRNA vaccines were approved for use in December that year Billions of doses have been injected around the world since then. Together with other [...]

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

PH launches bid for seat in Intl Maritime Organization Council

The Philippines, highlighting its maritime credentials, has launched its candidacy for a seat in the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Council for term 2024-2025. The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), in a statement on Monday, said the country has been producing "competent maritime professionals" and is "one of the largest" shipbuilding countries in the world. Department of Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista (PNA photo by Joey Razon)     Elections for the IMO Council will be held during the 33rd Session of the IMO Assembly from November 27 to December 6 in London, United Kingdom. The Department of Transportation said over 385,000 Filipino seafarers were deployed in 2022. The DFA co-hosted with the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) a diplomatic reception last September 26 to launch the country' s bid for the [...]

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

Importation hurting local poultry industry, says DA

Importation in recent years has led to huge opportunity losses for the local poultry industry, as the Department of Agriculture (DA) aims to reverse these losses and give the country better food security, an official said over the weekend. At the recent Poultry Forum 2023, Agriculture Undersecretary Deogracias Victor B. Savellano echoed President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s call to raise local livestock and poultry production by five times within the next five years He noted that chicken meat importation has been rising consistently over the last 15 years, from 45.772 million kilos in 2008, 67.264 million in 2009, 101.957 million in 2010, 127.227 million in 2011, to 411.069 million last year. United Broilers and Raisers Association (UBRA) chairman Gregorio San Diego also said during the same forum that importation has [...]

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

NASECORE says graft case vs. Arroyo is solid

(FILE PHOTO)   Metro Manila, Philippines — The group suing former president and incumbent Pampanga 2nd district Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo over an alleged misuse of the Malampaya fund almost one-and-a-half decades ago said it has built a solid case against the lawmaker. Pete Ilagan, president of consumer group National Association of Electricity Consumers for Reforms Inc. (NASECORE), said in an interview on Monday that the complaint may appear like it's resurrecting old arguments from a 2013 case that was dismissed by the Office of the Ombudsman, but this fresh pleading involves a bigger sum – ₱38.807 billion in royalties – that was not tackled in the 2013 graft case which covered only ₱900 million. Central to the argument was whether or not that multi-billion Malampaya fund was used as [...]

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

Philippines, US begin annual drills in disputed South China Sea

This handout photo taken on May 19, 2017 and received from the US Navy on May 25, 2017 shows the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey (L) preparing for a replenishment-at-sea with the Henry J. Kaiser-class fleet replenishment oiler USNS Pecos (R) in the South China Sea. The US warship USS Dewey sailed near a reef claimed by Beijing in the South China Sea on May 25, 2017, a US official said, the first such operation by US President Donald Trump's administration in the disputed waterway. The Chinese government charged later on May 25 that the US warship had entered its waters in the South China Sea "without permission", prompting China's navy to warn the vessel to leave. Kryzentia Weiermann / US Navy / AFP     Manila, Philippines  [...]

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

PH debt rises to ₱14.35T on weakening peso

Metro Manila, Philippines — The Philippines’ outstanding debt went up again in August as the peso continued to depreciate against the dollar, the Bureau of the Treasury said Monday. In a statement, the agency said debt stock reached ₱14.35 trillion as of August, up by 0.7% or ₱105.28 billion from the prior month. “[It] was primarily due to the peso depreciating from 54.834 to 56.651 against the US dollar over the reference period,” the treasury said. Year-on-year, the debt ballooned by more than ₱1.32 trillion The majority or 68.2% of the borrowings were from local sources. Data showed that domestic debt stood at ₱9.79 trillion, a slight dip from a month ago “due to large retail bond maturities.” External debt, on the other hand, climbed by 2.9% to ₱4.56 trillion [...]

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

‘Jenny’ maintains strength; Batanes under Signal No. 2

Satellite image shows Typhoon Jenny (Koinu) on October 3, 2023. RAMBB     Manila, Philippines — Batanes remained under Wind Signal No. 2, with Typhoon Jenny (international name: Koinu) maintaining its intensity over the Philippine Sea, the state weather agency said Tuesday morning. Jenny was last spotted 350 kilometers east of Basco in Batanes, with peak winds of 165 km per hour near the center and gusts of up to 205 kph. It was moving west northwest at 15 kph. PAGASA issued Signal No. 2 for Batanes, indicating the potential for minor to moderate effects from strong gale-force winds. Meanwhile, the following areas were placed under Signal No. 1: Cagayan including Babuyan Islands Northern and eastern portions of Isabela (Maconacon, Divilacan, Palanan, Santa Maria, San Pablo, Tumauini, Cabagan, Ilagan [...]

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

S weaponized global information space – China

China, through its foreign ministry, on Sunday claimed that it was the United States that "invented" how to weaponize the global information space. The spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs made the remark in reaction to the US State Department report claiming that China invested billions of dollars to "spread disinformation globally. The report said that China seeks to reshape the global information environment to its advantage. Beijing has "invested billions of dollars to construct a global information ecosystem that promotes its propaganda and facilitates censorship and the spread of disinformation," the same report read. The US Department of State (DoS) report "is in itself disinformation as it misrepresents facts and truth," the MoFA said in a statement shared by the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines. "The relevant [...]

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

‘Pass-through’ fees suspension to lower prices of goods

Rina Papa, vice president of the Alliance of Concerned Truck Owners and Organizations (ACTOO), said the suspension of fees for the use of national and other roads not constructed or funded by LGUs would benefit the public as it would mean less cost in the transport of goods. Philstar.com / Irra Lising   Manila, Philippines — Consumers should expect a decrease in prices of basic commodities after President Marcos ordered local government units (LGUs) to stop collecting “pass-through” fees from motor vehicles transporting goods or merchandise, a truckers group said on Saturday Rina Papa, vice president of the Alliance of Concerned Truck Owners and Organizations (ACTOO), said the suspension of fees for the use of national and other roads not constructed or funded by LGUs would benefit the public [...]

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

China debuts its first overwater high-speed train

China’s rail ambitions just keep growing. The latest addition to the country’s portfolio is a 277-kilometer (172-mile) high-speed train line along the southeastern coast, connecting the cities of Zhangzhou, Xiamen and Fuzhou, all three of which are in Fujian province. The maximum speed of the trains along this route is 350 kilometers (218 miles) per hour, according to China Railway, the state railway operator The first train on this line debuted on Thursday, September 28, departing from Fuzhou, the province’s capital, at 9:15 a.m. The new railway currently has 84 bridges and 29 tunnels, plus 20 km (12 miles) of track that goes over the sea, making it the country’s first over-water bullet train. China Railway says that it used intelligent robots and environmentally friendly corrosion-resistant steel to build [...]

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

Gibo plans reserve forces revamp

Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro on Saturday expressed his intention to revise the current reserve forces paradigm structure of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). In a radio dzBB report, Teodoro said the AFP’s current design might not be able to withstand the looming threats against the country. With the ongoing tension in the Philippines’ territorial waters, citizens might need to take up arms to protect the country from unknown incoming threats, Teodoro added. AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. welcomed Teodoro’s plan to revise the armed forces’ structure. “Well, we welcome that revision because we see that the problems our country is facing now are really different from the problems we faced before,” said Brawner at the sidelines of the 44th National Reservist Week Culminating Activity [...]

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

Watersheds in Philippines are ‘in a state of crisis’ — report

This photo taken on November 24, 2022 shows a general view of the mountains as seen from the Masungi Georeserve in Baras.  AFP/Jam Sta. Rosa     Manila, Philippines — Watersheds in the Philippines are facing a dire crisis as over half of these vital basins remain unprotected from destructive activities such as large-scale mining and infrastructure development, a legal and policy research institution said Watersheds are vital for managing water resources, providing habitats for various species, and controlling floods, droughts and extreme climate events. Data from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources showed that around 6.8 million hectares of watershed areas were assessed as vulnerable to deforestation, biodiversity loss, erosion, floods, landslides and water pollution, while 14.2 million hectares were identified as critical for the national irrigation [...]

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

Gov’t to release ₱5K cash aid to rice farmers amid El Niño

  Metro Manila, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has approved the release of a ₱5,000 subsidy to small-scale rice farmers – from a fund totaling ₱12.7 billion – to help them amid El Niño and other agricultural challenges, Malacañang said on Saturday. The Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said Marcos gave his go signal on Thursday, a move that would aid around 2.3 million beneficiaries of the Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RFFA) program. “[This would] help them cope with the increasing cost of production and sustain their productivity even in the face of challenges like the coming El Niño [phenomenon],” said Marcos, who is also Agriculture secretary. RFFA beneficiaries are farmers tilling below two hectares of land. The PCO said they include members of farm cooperatives associations, irrigators associations, agrarian [...]

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

BSP sees inflation rate to settle within 5.3%-6.1% in September

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is expecting the inflation rate to continue its uptrend in September. In its month-ahead forecast released Friday, the BSP said it projects this month’s inflation to clock in within the range of 5.3% to 6.1%. The lower-end of the forecast range is the same level seen in August at 5.3% “Higher prices of fuel, electricity, and key agricultural commodities, as well as the peso depreciation are the primary sources of upward price pressures in September,” the central bank said. “Meanwhile, lower rice and meat prices could contribute to downward price pressures for the month,” it said. The BSP, following a Monetary Policy meeting on September 21, hiked its inflation outlook for 2023 to 58% from its previous forecast of 5.3%, and to 3.5% [...]

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

Guardians of WPS to get VP Duterte’s secret funds – House

Rep. Elizaldy Co | PHOTO: Official facebook page of Rep. Elizaldy Co   Manila, Philippines — The House of Representatives will realign part of the P650 million in confidential funds for 2024 requested by Vice President Sara Duterte, who also heads the Department of Education, to agencies protecting the country’s interest in the West Philippine Sea (WPS). Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Elizaldy Co, the chair of the House appropriations committee, made the announcement on Wednesday, amid mounting criticism of the allocation of large secret funds to offices with no mandate for national security. The leaders of top political blocs in the chamber also separately called for the reallocation of the hard-to-audit funds to agencies with surveillance or intelligence-gathering requirements. “We will realign the confidential funds of various civilian agencies. [...]

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

Jenny now a tropical storm, may enhance Habagat

Tropical Depression Jenny has intensified into a tropical storm (international name: Koinu) and may enhance the Southwest Monsoon (Habagat), PAGASA said in its forecast on Saturday. At 4 a.m., the center of Jenny was estimated to be located at 1,145 km east of Central Luzon. Jenny has maximum sustained winds of 65 km/h near its center, gustiness of up to 80 km/h, and central pressure of 1000 hPa. The tropical storm is moving westward at 15 km/h From its center, strong to gale-force winds are extending outwards up to 330 km. PAGASA said it has not raised any tropical cyclone wind signals (TCWS) at this time. "Tropical Storm JENNY is not directly affecting the country at this time. However, due to the proximity of the track forecast to Extreme [...]

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

PH, EU against use of force in South China Sea

THE Philippines and the European Union urged countries with conflicting claims in the South China Sea to refrain from using force that fuels uncertainty in the region. They expressed serious concern over actions that endanger peace, security, and stability, and the rules-based international order, including recent incidents in the Philippines' exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the appeal was made during the meeting of the first subcommittee on maritime cooperation under the Philippine-European Union partnership and cooperation agreement in Brussels, Belgium, on Wednesday, September 27 Screengrab from Video released by the Philippine Coast Guard shows one of its vessels being fired on by a Chinese water cannon in the disputed South China Sea on August 5. AFP Photo   The next meeting will take [...]

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

All regions to see wage hikes before year ends—DOLE

All regions will see an increase in daily minimum wages before the year ends, the Department of Labor and Employment said Friday. Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma said the increases are being carefully reviewed and considered by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards (RTWPBs) Laguesma said the wage boards are conducting public hearings in three regions, which will be followed by wage deliberations and the issuance of wage orders. Recently, the National Capital Region wage board granted a P40 increase for minimum workers in Metro Manila. This brought the daily minimum wage in the region from P57 to P610 for the non-agriculture sector and from P533 to P573 for the agriculture sector, service and retail establishments employing 15 or less workers, and manufacturing establishments regularly employing less than 10 [...]

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

Marcos speaks up on China’s barrier: ‘We are not looking for trouble’

President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. | PHOTOS: PCO and PCG   Manila, Philippines — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Friday stressed his commitment to continue to protect the Philippine territories following China’s installation of floating barriers in the West Philippine Sea. Marcos finally broke his silence about the issue on the floating barrier installed by Chinese vessels that surfaced last Sunday. The Philippine Coast Guard has removed the barriers on the orders of the Commander in Chief. “Hindi tayo naghahanap ng gulo,” the President stressed in an ambush interview with media in Surigao “Basta gagawin  natin, patuloy nating ipagtatanggol ang Pilipinas, ang maritime territory ng Pilipinas, ang mga karapatan ng mga fishermen natin namangisda doon sa mga areas kung saan sila nangigisda daan-daang taon na,” he said. (We [...]

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

Magna Carta for Filipino Seafarers approved

The Senate on Wednesday approved on third and final reading the Magna Carta for Filipino Seafarers with 14 affirmative votes, no abstention and no negative vote, in time for the celebration of the National Maritime Week. The measure aims to uphold the welfare of Filipino seafarers by mandating decent working and living conditions, standardizing terms and conditions of employment, regulating manning agencies, and incentivizing maritime stakeholders, among others. "I would like to thank my colleagues for their support for this measure, especially Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri who has been supportive of this bill from day one," said Sen. Rafael "Raffy" Tulfo, principal sponsor and one of the authors of Senate Bill 2221. Sen. Rafael “Raffy” Tulfo. Photo from Senate "I am equally thankful to the seafarers and their [...]

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

Support for Marcos administration slips

Sentiments favorable to the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. have slipped, while sentiments opposed to the Marcos administration have risen, a survey conducted by Publicus Asia found. In Publicus' third-quarter survey, the results of which were released recently, 43 percent of respondents expressed pro-administration sentiments, down from 48 percent in the second-quarter survey President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Photo from PCO     In a statement issued Thursday, the polling firm said the decrease indicated "that fewer individuals are aligned with the current administration as well as its priorities compared to the previous quarter." Anti-administration sentiments grew from 18 percent in the first quarter to 23 percent in the third quarter. The shift indicates that a "greater number of respondents" are opposed to or dissatisfied with the administration's leadership, [...]

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

China warns Philippines not to ‘stir up trouble’ over Scarborough

This satellite photo shows the damage on coral reefs in the Scarborough Shoal due to Chinese fishermen's harvesting of giant clams. AMTI, file     Manila, Philippines — Beijing warned Manila on Tuesday not to "stir up trouble" after the Philippine Coast Guard said it removed a floating barrier at a disputed reef that was allegedly deployed by China to block Filipino fishermen from the area. Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea has long been a source of tension between the countries. China seized the ring of reefs from the Philippines in 2012 and has since deployed patrol boats. The latest spat was sparked by a 300-metre (328-yard) floating barrier that was found across the entrance of the shoal last week during a routine Philippine government resupply mission to fishermen [...]

September 27th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos thumbs down proposal to reduce imported rice tariff

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Tuesday rejected the proposed tariff reduction on imported rice being pushed by his economic managers. “We decided with the agriculture and economic managers that it was not the right time to lower the tariff rates because the projection of world rice prices is that it will go down. So, this is not the right time to lower tariffs. Tariffs are generally lowered when the price is going up,” he said. His made the announcement shortly after a sectoral meeting in Malacañang on Tuesday where the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) presented updates on the proposed tariff reduction. Earlier in the day, Senator Imee Marcos joined rallyists opposing the proposed zero tariff on imported rice as she expressed confidence that her brother would not [...]

September 27th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

DFA says removal of China’s barrier ‘consistent’ with PH position

Metro Manila, Philippines — Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Enrique Manalo said the removal of a floating barrier installed by China in a disputed shoal was "consistent" with the position of the government on the West Philippine Sea. "Technically, we have a right to practice our sovereignty and our sovereign rights. So, it would have been consistent with our position but we're still waiting for the full report," he said in a chance interview on Tuesday. Speaking to lawmakers later that day, Manalo also said the government plans to file a diplomatic protest over the matter “Once we get confirmation sa Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), we, of course, will issue a protest to the Chinese Embassy here and we will cite the reasons why,” he said during a Senate [...]

September 27th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

House political leaders to reallocate intel, confidential funds to security agencies

Metro Manila, Philippines — Leaders of political parties in the House of Representatives have decided to realign confidential and intelligence funds to agencies tasked to ensure national security, days after China illegally put up a floating barrier in the West Philippine Sea (WPS). In a joint statement released on Wednesday, the lawmakers said they view China's latest action in the disputed waters "with serious concern. They said not only did the floating barrier endanger Filipino fishermen and halt their livelihood, but it also triggered more conflict. "We extend our collective support to the Philippine Coast Guard's (PCG) swift and diplomatic actions in removing the barriers at Scarborough Shoal. We commend their dedication to safeguarding our nation's interests and standing up for the rights of our Filipino fishermen," the joint statement [...]

September 27th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Recycling plastic not enough, warns UN body

WITH the production of plastic on the rise worldwide and creating ever more pollution, the UN environment chief warned that humanity cannot just recycle its way out of the mess, and she called for a total rethink about the way we use plastics. "There are different sort of onramps to the highway to solutions. But I think everybody recognizes that the status quo is just not an option," said Inger Andersen, director of the UN Environment Program, in an interview Thursday with AFP on the sidelines of the General Assembly in New York Inger Andersen, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme, speaks during an interview at UN headquarters in New York City on September 21, 2023. As plastic production increases, polluting the [...]

September 25th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

More farmers’ groups join calls to remove Diokno, Balisacan

Farm workers check on their crops, spray organic pesticides, and remove unwanted weeds at a rice field in Tanay, Rizal on September 19, 2023. Ernie Penaredondo / The Philippine STAR     Manila, Philippines — More farmers’ groups joined the calls for President Marcos to remove Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan over their alleged preferential treatment on importation by moving to bring down tariffs on rice and other imported agricultural products. At least 20 more peasant organizations signed the petition to replace Diokno and Balisacan, after six groups initiated the campaign to axe the two members of the economic team. Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) chairman Rosendo So vowed that more protest actions will be held in front of the Department of Finance building [...]

September 25th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Sandbar near Pag-asa Island found full of dead, crushed corals

A sandbar near Pag-asa Island was found to be full of dead and crushed corals, which experts say is a common procedure done by China before it starts reclamation activities. As reported by Joseph Morong on GMA’s “24 Oras Weekend” on Sunday, Sandy Cay 2 was found to have been covered with piles of dead and crushed corals almost as high as a human—compared with Sandy Cay 1, where the sand is still uncovered. Sandy Cay 2 is one of four sandbars near Pag-asa Island in the town of Kalayaan, located in the West Philippine Sea. It is also said to be blocked by vessels of the China Coast Guard and Chinese maritime militia vessels. Prior to entering the area, a ship of the China Coast Guard also attempted [...]

September 25th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

PhilHealth hackers demand $300,000 – DICT

Philhealth is the country's national health insurance system. The STAR / File     Manila, Philippines — After the Medusa ransomware infected the systems of state health insurer Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) on Sept. 22, cyberhackers have demanded $300,000 or approximately P16 million, according to the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) “They have already made a demand for $300,000 for them to do two things: One is to delete the data that they captured, and two, is so they would give us the key so we can decrypt the data that they encrypted,” DICT Undersecretary Jeffrey Ian Dy told The STAR yesterday. The stolen data from PhilHealth has been posted on the dark web, he added. The National Computer Emergency Response Team of the DICT Cybersecurity [...]

September 25th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

DepEd pilot tests MATATAG curriculum in Malabon

Metro Manila, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) on Monday started the pilot implementation of the MATATAG K-10 program in Tinajeros National High School in Malabon City. The recalibrated program will be implemented in Grade 7 in the school, which comprises 19 sections with a total of 681 students. Present during the event were DepEd Undersecretary Gina Gonong, DepEd Malabon Superintendent Dr. Cecille Carandang, and Malabon City Mayor Jeannie Sandoval. Aside from Tinajeros National High School, four other schools from Malabon are part of the initial run of the decongested curriculum. These are Damapalit Integrated School, Santiago Syjuco Memorial School, Muzon Elementary School, and Santiago Syjuco Memorial Integrated Secondary School. Speaking to reporters after the flag ceremony, Sandoval said the selection of five pilot schools was "very challenging," [...]

September 25th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

China walls in Scarborough

Sets 300-m floating barrier to keep Filipino fishermen out of shoal Philippine officials and lawmakers on Sunday denounced China’s installation of a floating barrier in the southeast portion of Bajo de Masinloc (Scarborough) Shoal, which prevents Filipino fishermen from entering the area to catch fish. The floating barrier, with an estimated length of 300 meters, was discovered by personnel of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) onboard the BRP Datu Bankaw, which conducted a maritime patrol mission on Friday, Sept. 22 in the vicinity of the shoal. Three Chinese Coast Guard boats and a Chinese maritime militia service boat installed the floating barrier upon the arrival of the BFAR vessel, the PCG said in a statement. Filipino fishermen note that the [...]

September 25th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos certifies as urgent bill imposing tougher penalties vs agri economic sabotage

A rice farmer works in a paddy field in Pulilan, Bulacan province on August 19, 2023. AFP / Earvin Perias     Manila, Philippines — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has certified a measure imposing stiff penalties for agricultural economic sabotage as urgent, which expedites the bill’s passage in the Senate. Senate Bill 2432 seeks to repeal Republic Act 10845, also known as the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016. Sen. Cynthia Villar, who chairs the committee on agriculture, food and agrarian reform, has criticized the existing law as a “failure” due to the Bureau of Customs recording zero convictions over seven years The bill defines economic sabotage as an activity that “disrupts the economic by creating artificial shortage, promoting excessive importation, manipulating prices and supply, evading payment or underpayment [...]

September 21st, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

VP Sara meets with South Korea education minister in Seoul

Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte on Thursday, September 21, 2023 meets with South Korean officials led by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education Ju-ho Lee in Seoul to discuss education-related topics. Duterte is in South Korea to attend the Global Education and Innovation Summit where she is one of the keynote speakers. IAN CRUZ/GMA Integrated News     Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte on Thursday met with Republic of Korea Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education Ju-ho Lee in Seoul, South Korea to discuss education-related mattersDuterte said it was an opportunity to learn about the education system of different countries, considering that she serves as the concurrent secretary of the Philippines’ Department of Education (DepEd), and the president of the Southeast Asian Ministers [...]

September 21st, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

South Korean shipbuilder offers submarines to Philippine Navy

Hanwha Ocean, a South Korean shipbuilding and offshore company, plans to participate in the Philippine Navy’s modernization efforts, focusing on submarines, high-speed crafts, and large landing ships. The company proposed an advanced underwater solution, the Jangbogo-III PN Submarine, as part of its Submarine Acquisition Project for the Philippine Navy The submarine is built upon the success of the Korean Navy’s Jangbogo-III submarines and offers unparalleled operational capability with the latest propulsion system, Sound Navigation and Ranging and Combat Management System, and Lithium-ion Battery Technology. Admiral (ret) Steve SK Jeong, Head of International Business of Hanhwa Ocean, former ROKN Submarine Force Commander, said the proposal will not only enhance the Philippines’ defense capability but also provide lifetime support for the Submarine Force of the Philippine Navy. He said this signifies [...]

September 21st, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos called for civilian-led approach to Ayungin Shoal, NTF-WPS says

This photo taken on August 22, 2023 shows Chinese coast guard ships (L and R) corralling a Philippine civilian boat chartered by the Philippine navy to deliver supplies to Philippine navy ship BRP Sierra Madre in the disputed South China Sea. AFP / Ted Aljibe     Manila, Philippines — The National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea said that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has called for a "civilianized" approach to managing the situation at Ayungin Shoal. Jonathan Malaya, spokesperson for the NTF-WPS, explained in an interview with ANC how to respond to the presence of China Coast Guard and maritime militia vessels near Ayungin. "That is a decision that has to be made by higher authorities because we want to keep the tension low in the WPS," [...]

September 21st, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

DepEd learning tools get budget hike

BUDGET Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said Monday that the Department of Education's (DepEd) learning materials and education facilities got a major boost in the proposed 2024 national budget BUDGET Secretary Amenah Pangandaman. File Photo     DepEd's Basic Education Facilities Program was given a significant 44-percent increase in the 2024 National Expenditure Program (NEP), amounting to P33.755 billion compared to its P23.417 billion allocation in 2023. "Through revitalized education, I aspire to provide every Filipino with a fighting chance to manage life's uncertainties so they can choose to achieve their full potential," Pangandaman said in a statement. The said program will focus on nine areas, including the construction of 7,879 new classrooms and technical vocational laboratories; the repair and rehabilitation of 10,050 classrooms; the procurement of 21,557 sets of school [...]

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

Marcos sets new palay prices

The National Food Authority (NFA) Council chaired by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Monday set a new price range for buying palay in order to improve the income of farmers in the country. In a video message, the President said he called for a meeting with the NFA Council to discuss the price of palay, and it was decided that the buying price for dry palay would be P23 from P19 and for wet, P19 from P16. He said the move aimed to improve farmers' income and ensure sufficient supply of the staple. "We needed to look into the wet and dry palay because the situation changed," Marcos said. "So, they will now start earning. We also have a price cap to control the rice prices," he added. The [...]

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

China’s foreign minister holds talks with Russia’s Lavrov in Moscow

China’s foreign minister has held talks with his Russian counterpart in Moscow as the two countries inch closer amid fraying ties with the West over the Ukraine war and the militarisation of the Pacific. Wang Yi opened his talks with Sergey Lavrov by hailing “strategic cooperation” between the two countries and their shared commitment to a “multipolar world” and a “more just world order” “China and Russia, as leading global powers and permanent members of the UN Security Council, bear special responsibility for maintaining global strategic stability and global development,” Wang said. The Moscow trip comes days after Wang held talks with United States President Joe Biden’s National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan in Malta. Sino-US ties have deteriorated in recent years over issues ranging from trade to the Chinese [...]

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

Oil prices rise on supply deficit concerns

Oil prices rose in early trade on Tuesday for the fourth consecutive session, as weak shale output in the U.S. spurred further concerns about a supply deficit stemming from extended production cuts by Saudi Arabia and Russia. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 90 cents, or 1 percent, to $92.38, by 0018 GMT, just under a 10-month high reached on Monday, while global oil benchmark Brent crude futures rose 27 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $94.70 a barrel Prices have gained for three consecutive weeks. U.S. oil output from top shale-producing regions is on track to fall to 9.393 million barrels per day (bpd) in October, the lowest level since May 2023, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Monday. It will have fallen for three months in a row. Those estimates come [...]

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

Taiwan to set up bases in PH for academic exchange

The Taiwanese government is set to establish ten overseas bases, with the Philippines being the primary location, as part of its study and work program to boost the region’s workforce. The Ministry of Education plans to invest 5.2 billion New Taiwan dollars (P9.3 million) from 2024 to 2028 to promote international student enrollment and stay in Taiwan Dr. Lee Tien-Shang, President of Kun-Shan University (KSU), announced the plans to establish overseas bases in Manila, Cebu, and Iloilo, among other locations. The bases will serve as platforms for academic and industry-academia exchange and collaboration between Taiwan and the Philippines. Each location will promote high-quality Mandarin, cultural experiences, and preparatory courses, with the aim of deepening the international educational exchange and cooperation between universities in both countries. KSU will establish new [...]

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

SC asked to declare unconstitutional Maharlika Investment Fund Act

The Supreme Court (SC) was asked on Monday, Sept. 18, to declare unconstitutional the Maharlika Investment Fund Act of 2023 under Republic Act No. 11954 that was signed into law by President Marcos last July 18 to be managed by the Maharlika Investment Corporation (MIC) which now has a seed capital of P150 billion. In a petition, the SC was also asked to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) or preliminary injunction or status quo ante order (SQAO) to stop immediately the implementation of RA 11954, and to conduct oral arguments. The petition was filed by Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, former congressman and Bayan Muna Chairman Neri Javier Colmenares, and former Bayan Muna congressmen Carlos Isagani Zarate and Ferdinand Gaite Named respondents in the petition were Executive Secretary [...]

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

Cops arrest 11 Chinese over alleged trafficking

The Southern Police District arrested 11 Chinese nationals in Paranaque City over alleged involvement in human trafficking. The police operation took place at Unit 1811, 18th Floor, SoleMare Parksuites in Barangay Baclaran following the issuance of a search warrant issued by Executive Judge Jaime Guray of the Regional Trial Court, Parañaque City. One of the suspects was identified as Lin Shengjie, also known as “Boss Lin or Lin Wei,” 32, who faces complaints for violation of Republic Act 10591 and RA 9208. His accomplice, Xiao Ji, alias “Boss Kee” is currently at large and is now the subject of a manhunt operation. Those arrested also include Chinese nationals identified only by their aliases Weichao, Liulizhang, Honghualiang, Luyzhenggang, Zhangmingpeng, Pengke, Dengchaofan, Cai Deqiang, and Chujunyi, and their 48-year-old Filipino cohort [...]

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

Poll: Fewer Pinoys optimistic economy will improve

Shoppers flock to Divisoria for last-minute school supplies shopping on August 26, 2023. STAR / Ernie Penaredondo     Manila, Philippines — Less than a majority of Filipinos now think that the Philippine economy will improve within the year, a survey conducted by OCTA Research showed. Results of the July 22 to 26 survey released yesterday found that 46 percent of the respondents believed that the economy would be better in six months. Some 43 percent said it would remain the same, while six percent said it would worsen. Another six percent said they do not know Compared to a similar survey conducted in March, optimism in the Philippine economy dropped by four points from 50 percent. Pessimism stayed at six percent. In October 2022, those who believed that [...]

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

Gov’t inflation targets no longer feasible — ECOP

Employers expressed strong doubt that the targeted year-end inflation rate of four percent can still be achieved, saying a 5.6 percent rate is more likely given the rising cost of prices in the local market. Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr., president of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), issued his projection during the “Pandesal Forum” on Friday, Sept. 15, which gathered business leaders from other business groups such as the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FFCCCII), to discuss their opposition on the pending wage hike bill in the Senate. “Yung inflation target natin na four percent sana by end of the year di na mangyayari yun baka 5.6 percent siguro. Next year, yung target natin na [...]

September 18th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Maharlika Fund gets P25 billion from DBP

The planned operationalization of the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) before the end of the year became closer to fruition after it received fresh funding from state-owned Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) In a text message to GMA News Online on Friday, DBP president and CEO Michael de Jesus confirmed that the lender remitted to the Bureau of Treasury (BTr) its mandatory contribution for the initial capital of the MIF —the country’s very first sovereign wealth fund. “Yes, we remitted P25 [billion] to BTR today,” de Jesus said. The DBP chief’s announcement came on the heels of Land Bank of the Philippines’s announcement that it remitted to Treasury its mandated P50-billion contribution to the Maharlika Investment Corporation (MIC), pursuant to the Republic Act No. 11954, which created the MIF. [...]

September 18th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Underwater surveys show reef damage in Rozul Reef, Escoda Shoal — Coast Guard

Screengrab from Philippine Coast Guard shows damage to marine environment and coral reef. Screengrab from Philippine Coast Guard Manila, Philippines — The Philippine Coast Guard said Monday that its surveys have revealed “extensive” damage to the marine environment and coral reefs in areas frequented by Chinese maritime militias in the West Philippine Sea. Commodore Jay Tarriela, PCG spokesperson for West Philippine Sea matters, said that the underwater surveys of the seabeds in Rozul (Iroquois) Reef and Escoda (Sabina) Shoal showed that the marine ecosystem there “appeared lifeless, with minimal to no signs of life.”Surveys conducted in Escoda Shoal also spotted visible discoloration of its seabed, which indicates that “deliberate activities may have been undertaken to modify the natural topography of its underwater terrain.” Tarriela added that the presence of [...]

September 18th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Gasoline, diesel, kerosene prices up by at least P2/liter Tuesday

Oil firms are set to implement a major hike in pump prices of petroleum products on Tuesday, marking the tenth straight week of upward movement for gasoline and 11th for both diesel and kerosene In separate advisories, Chevron Philippines Inc. (Caltex) and Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. said they will hike prices per liter of gasoline by P2.00, diesel by P2.50, and kerosene by P2.00. Cleanfuel will implement the same changes, excluding kerosene which it does not carry. The adjustment will take effect at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, September 19, except for Caltex, which will hike prices at 12:01 a.m., and Cleanfuel at 4:01 p.m. the same day. Other firms have yet to make similar announcements for the week.    

September 18th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Rice products worth ₱40M seized in raids — BOC

Metro Manila, Philippines — Authorities have seized smuggled rice products worth ₱40 million in two separate operations in Las Piñas and Bacoor, Cavite, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) reported Sunday. The rice products came from Vietnam, Thailand, and China, the BOC said. The owner was found to be selling a 25-kilo sack of rice from Vietnam at ₱1,320, or over ₱52 per kilo, exceeding the prescribed price ceiling President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. earlier ordered a nationwide price ceiling which capped the price of regular milled rice at ₱41 per kilogram and well-milled rice at ₱45 per kilogram. “Prior to this inspection, an extensive investigation, surveillance, and test purchases were carried out,” the BOC said in a statement. Authorities also granted the owner of the warehouse 15 days to submit documents, [...]

September 18th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Taiwan detects 103 Chinese warplanes around island

Taipei, Taiwan – More than 100 Chinese warplanes and nine navy ships were detected around Taiwan, authorities in Taipei said Monday, describing the number as a “recent high”. Beijing claims Taiwan as its own territory to be seized one day, by force if necessary, and has ramped up diplomatic and military pressure in recent years as relations have soured. “Between the morning of September 17th to 18th, the Ministry of National Defence had detected a total of 103 Chinese aircraft which was a recent high and has posed severe challenges to the security across the Taiwan Strait and in the region,” it said in a statement. Beijing’s “continued military harassment can easily lead to a sharp spike in tension and worsen regional security,” the ministry said, as it called [...]

September 18th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH external debt climbs to $117.9B as of end-June

Metro Manila, Philippines— The country’s foreign debt went up by 9.5% at the end of June, one year after President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. assumed office. Based on preliminary data, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said late Friday that external debt reached $117.9 billion, higher than the $107.7 billion level in June 2022 The central bank attributed the increase to the $7.9 billion in net availments, and the change in the scope to include non-residents’ holdings of Peso-denominated debt securities issued onshore. “Meanwhile, the transfer of Philippine debt papers issued offshore from non-residents to residents of $1.3 billion and negative FX revaluation of $295 million partially tempered the year-on-year increase in the debt stock,” it added. However, the latest figure reflected a decrease of 0.8% from the $118.8 billion [...]

September 18th, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Comelec to BSKE candidates: No socmed posting until campaign period

Candidates for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) are strictly prohibited from promoting themselves on social media until the campaign period starts, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said. Comelec Chairperson George Garcia reminded candidates about Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code, which prohibits election campaigns or partisan political activity outside the designated period Under Comelec Resolution 10905, campaigning is not allowed between September 3 and October 18, 2023. The campaign period is from October 19 to 28. "Once nag-file ka ng certificate of candidacy, ikaw ay kandidato na. Bawal ang pag-post, bawal ang pangangamay, bawal ang pag-iikot, bawal ang pamimigay ng kung anu-ano dahil ikaw ay kandidato na," Garcia said in the latest episode of "The Mangahas Interviews.'' “At the same time, kung mayroon kang social media [...]

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

Marcos: PH has shown it will not give up territory

Metro Manila, Philippines — The Philippines has made clear it will not give up any of its territory despite having a relatively small force compared to "others we encounter in the West Philippine Sea (WPS)," President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said in a speech before members of the military on Friday. Speaking at the Western Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Palawan, Marcos saluted troops for "holding the line. "In comparison doon sa mga ibang nakakatagpo natin doon sa WPS ay kahit na maliit lang ang naihaharap natin na puwersa ay maganda naman ang nagiging resulta," the commander-in-chief said. "Dahil kahit papaano ay nagagawa natin na nagiging maliwanag, hindi lamang sa Pilipinas, kung hindi sa buong mundo na tayo ay di tayo papayag na kukunin sa [...]

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

Philippines losing over P100 billion yearly due to cancer

Stock photo of a peso money bill. Philstar.com / Jovannie Lambayan     Manila, Philippines — The country is losing over P100 billion yearly due to cancer, a health economist said. Dr. Val Ulep, a senior research fellow at the Philippine Institute for Development Studies, cited a recent study they published showing that the economic cost of cancer would reach around P110 billion annually, or around one percent of the country’s gross domestic product. “When you look at the total economic cost in the Philippines, out of that P110 billion, around P40 billion refers to the medical cost such as hospital expenses, and the rest, P70 billion, is the indirect cost,” Ulep said at the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum on Wednesday He explained that indirect cost covers their [...]

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

Pulse Asia: 4 in 10 dissatisfied with senior high school program

Only 41 percent of Filipinos are satisfied with the senior high school program, a Pulse Asia survey commissioned by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian showed. Of the 1,200 respondents surveyed nationwide, over four in 10 or 42% were dissatisfied with the senior high school program under the K-to-12 curriculum, the poll noted Gatchalian said the survey reflects the Department of Education program’s failure to make graduates college-ready and work-ready. The DepEd, however, said it has created the National Task Force to review the implementation of the SHS program, and that the Bureau of Curriculum Development has also started its review of the senior high curriculum following the revision of the K-to-10 curriculum into the recently launched Matatag system. According to a 2020 discussion paper by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies [...]

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

Rice price ceiling to take effect on September 5

Rice prices in Baguio City increase on Aug. 10, 2023 due to a problem in supply caused by Typhoon Egay and the continuous rains in Benguet. The STAR / Andy Zapata Jr., File photo     Manila, Philippines — The price cap on rice in the Philippines will take effect on Tuesday, September 5, according to the Office of the Executive Secretary (OES). Executive Order 39, signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin on August 31, sets a price limit of P41 per kilogram for regular milled rice and P45 per kilogram for well-milled riceRice is essential for a population of 110 million in the Philippines. However, the country cannot produce sufficient rice for its needs, consistently ranking among the world's leading rice importers. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has given [...]

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

Kalayaan optimistic of tourism boost after ‘expedition tours’ launch

File photo shows tourists wearing masks by the beach. STAR / File     Manila, Philippines — Fancy exploring Philippine territory in the disputed West Philippine Sea as a tourist? For a year now, the municipal government of Kalayaan in Palawan has been offering week-long tours that attract travelers who seek adventure and long to see natural wonders – and has since boosted its local tourism. Among the first batch of tourists who visited the archipelago last April was 30-year-old Julie Ann Lope Lope shared with The STAR that she did not hesitate to join after a friend saw the tour on Facebook and recommended it to her. Onboard an expedition yacht where she and other tourists spent the night during the week-long excursion, the trip from the port of Buliluyan [...]

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

Zubiri says Senate ‘laser-focused’ on legislated wage hike, pushes passage before year-end

Metro Manila, Philippines — Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri on Thursday said he wants the Senate to pass the proposed ₱150 across-the-board wage increase before year-end or by December, adding senators are "laser-focused" on its passage. "The cost of living has increased all over the country and they need that decent wage para makabuhay sila nang disente, kaya itutulak talaga namin 'yan [so they will have decent living. That's why we will push for it]," Zubiri told reporters. "We are laser-focused on that," he added. "Marami lang issue na dumarating [It's just that many issues are surfacing]. We will take it up to the floor and pass it as a shared advocacy of the Senate." Last March, Zubiri filed Senate Bill 2002, or the Across-the-Board Wage Increase Act of [...]

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

Hanna to exit Philippines; monsoon rain to continue

Typhoon Hanna was monitored at 375 kms east northeast of Itbayat, Batanes and was moving northwestward at 20 kilometers per hour, carrying maximum sustained winds of 140 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 170 kph. PAGASA MANILA, Philippines — Heavy rains are forecast to continue in the next few days due to the southwest monsoon, even as Typhoon Hanna (international name Haikui) could exit the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) by tomorrow, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) Typhoon Hanna was monitored at 375 kms east northeast of Itbayat, Batanes and was moving northwestward at 20 kilometers per hour, carrying maximum sustained winds of 140 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 170 kph. Hanna will make landfall over [...]

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

Petron hiking LPG price by P6.65/kg, others to follow

Petron Corp. said Thursday it is increasing its liquefied petroleum gas or cooking gas prices by P6.65 per kilogram, or P73.15 per 11-kg tank, effective today to reflect the higher contract price of LPG in the world market. Petron said it will also increase the price of auto LPG by P3.70 per liter (VAT-inclusive) by 12:01 a.m. on Sept. 1 The country’s lone refiner said in its advisory the price hikes reflect the international contract price of LPG for the month of September. Other LPG retailers are also expected to adjust prices. The price increase is higher than the forecasted P2 to P5 per kg by industry players last week. Sources concurred with the probable hike, which would translate to P22 to P55 per kg increase for every 11-kilo [...]

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

Rains to continue as three weather systems enhance southwest monsoon – PAGASA

Metro Manila, Philippines — Rains are expected to continue over the weekend as three weather disturbances enhance the southwest monsoon or habagat, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Friday. “Itong si bagyong Saola (formerly Goring), Severe Tropical Storm Hanna, at isa pang severe tropical storm sa malayong parte ng ating Pacific Ocean ay nageehance po ng habagat o southwest monsoon lalo na dito sa malaking bahagi ng Luzon," PAGASA weather specialist Benison Estareja said in a 5 a.m. briefing [Translation: Typhoon Saola, Severe Tropical Storm Hanna, and another severe tropical storm at the far part of the Pacific Ocean are enhancing the southwest monsoon especially in most parts of Luzon.] In the next three days, Estareja said monsoon rains are expected over the Ilocos Region, Abra, [...]

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

Marcos to join ASEAN Summit in Indonesia

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. approves the Department of Trade and Industry’s Three-year Food Logistics Action Agenda aimed at revolutionizing the country’s food distribution system, reducing transport and logistics costs, and ensuring food supply chain efficiency. Presidential Communications Office     Manila, Philippines — President Marcos is traveling to Jakarta next week to join the 43rd Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) Summit and related summits, where Manila is expected to push for statements on Beijing’s aggressive actions in the West Philippine Sea Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Assistant Secretary Daniel Espiritu said Marcos would continue to promote a rules-based international order, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), especially in the South China Sea, during the summit set on Sept. 5 to 7. [...]

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

PH rejects, protests China’s expanded 10-dash line in South China Sea

  Metro Manila, Philippines — The Philippines filed a protest against China’s issuance of the 2023 version of its standard map showing its extended claim in the South China Sea. Department of Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Daniel Espiritu confirmed in a Thursday briefing that Manila filed a diplomatic protest regarding the issue. Beijing released this week its updated standard map showing 10 dashes that form a U shape, claiming nearly the entire South China Sea as part of its territory. The area overlaps with the exclusive economic zones (EEZ) of the Philippines as well as those of Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam, and Indonesia In a statement on Thursday, the DFA said “[t]his latest attempt to legitimize China’s purported sovereignty and jurisdiction over Philippine features and maritime zones has no basis under [...]

August 31st, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

Law establishing specialty health centers nationwide signed

This March 8, 2020 photo shows the Manila Center for Infectious Disease Control located on the 10th floor of the Sta. Ana Hospital in Manila. The STAR / Edd Gumban   Manila, Philippines — President Marcos has signed into law a measure mandating the establishment of specialty centers in Department of Health (DOH)-run hospitals and in government-owned or controlled corporation (GOCC) hospitals in the country. Signed on Aug. 24, Republic Act (RA) 11959 or the “Regional Specialty Centers Act” aims to ensure accessible and affordable health care services for all Filipinos. Under the law, the DOH is designated to establish specialty centers in its hospitals in every region and in GOCC specialty hospitals, prioritizing cancer care, cardiovascular care, lung care, renal care and kidney transplant, brain and spine care, [...]

August 31st, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

P92.49 billion SSS premiums unremitted in 2022

Manila, Philippines — The Commission on Audit (COA) revealed that over P92.49 billion worth of premium collections to the Social Security System (SSS) were not remitted by 466,881 employers from all over the country last year. COA’s audit report indicated that SSS was only able to collect P2.48 billion, or less than three percent, of the P94.97-billion target as of the end of 2022. The COA added that the National Capital Region posted the lowest collection percentage at P383.78 million out of the target of P64.67 billion (0.59 percent), followed by the rest of Luzon at P747.59 million out of P22.33 billion (3.35 percent). The Visayas’ collection percentage was at P305.54 million out of P6.48 billion (4.72 percent) and Mindanao at P405.8 million out of P7.33 billion (7.42 percent). [...]

August 31st, 2023|Categories: News|0 Comments

VP Sara, Viscom launch mobile e-learning hub in Cebu

E-LEARNING HUB. Vice President Sara Duterte delivers her speech during the launching of the mobile e-learning hub project of the Visayas Command and 3rd Civil Relations Group (3CRG) at the DepEd Ecotech Center Pavilion in Sudlon, Lahug in Cebu City on Tuesday (Aug. 29, 2023). The facility, a modified trailer truck with 20-foot container van equipped with 20 laptop computers, printers, Smart TV and in