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Where a Philippine passport means a visa-free visit

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine passport holders can travel to 63 countries without visa, according to the 2018 Henley Passport Index......»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarJan 11th, 2018

LIST: 63 countries where Filipinos can travel visa-free

By Aika Rey/rappler.com – Are you looking for the next country to visit in 2018? Good news: Philippine passport holders can now travel to 63 countries and territories visa-free! This makes the Philippines rank 72nd out of 199 passports according to Henley and Partners’ latest Visa Restrictions Index for Read more ».....»»

Category: newsSource:  thepinoyRelated NewsJan 17th, 2018

LIST: 63 countries where Filipinos can travel visa-free

MANILA, Philippines – Are you looking for the next country to visit in 2018? Good news: Philippine passport holders can now travel to 63 countries and territories visa-free! This makes the Philippines rank 72nd out of 199 passports according to  Henley and Partners' latest Visa Restrictions Index for 2018  – an improvement from last year's 75th rank. In a press briefing, Presidential ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 13th, 2018

Visa-free entry to Korea for Filipinos, but …

  Filipinos can visit South Korea without visa until April next year if they enter through the airport near the venue of the Winter Olympics, state-run Yonhap news agency said.   The South Korean government has also provided Indonesia and Vietnam visa-free privileges to visitors if they enter the country through the YangYang airport near Pyeongchang, which is hosting the games.   There are no direct commercial flights from the Philippines to YangYang Airport: Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines only have trips to Busan and Incheon.   The South Korean government has also waived the $15 per person visa fee for Chinese tourists up until the end ...Keep on reading: Visa-free entry to Korea for Filipinos, but ….....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 9th, 2017

Duterte urged to continue peace talks with rebels

DAVAO CITY – Farmers fighting for genuine land reform have appealed on Sunday to President Rodrigo Duterte to continue the peace talks with communist rebels after he scrapped the negotiations following the spate of deadly attacks by insurgents in southern Philippines. Duterte’s decision to abandon the negotiations with communist leaders came on Saturday barely a day after he terminated the government’s unilateral ceasefire with New People’s Army rebels who also ended earlier its own truce. Since then, at least 4 soldiers had been killed by rebels in separate attacks and three more are being held prisoners in the troubled region. The rebels demanded the release of some 400 political prisoners &'' mostly NPA fighters and their leaders – languishing in jails across the country, but Duterte flatly rejected the demand, saying, a peace accord must be signed first before he could grant amnesty to political prisoners, although he had ordered the release from prison at least 21 senior rebel leaders to join the peace talks. Duterte said he cannot free all political prisoners and claimed that such action may trigger unrest in the police and military. Peace talks and land reform  But Joseph Canlas, chairman of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, one of the biggest farmers’ organizations in the country, said the continuation of peace negotiations is in the best interest of farmers, who are pressing for genuine land reform, land distribution and real change under the Duterte administration. “Farmers want the peace negotiations to continue. We want the peace talks to help address the problem of land monopoly, landlessness of farmers, unemployment and to realize the equitable distribution of social wealth,” Canlas said. “The peace negotiation is a separate and distinct track of struggle to press for significant pro-people reforms. While the New People’s Army and President Duterte announced the termination of the unilateral interim ceasefires, it should not hinder the continuation of the talks that is gaining relevant developments with regard to discussions on the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms, particularly agrarian reform and rural development,” he added. Canlas said based on the reported outcome of third round of the peace talks in Rome recently, the government, in principle, acquiesced to free land distribution to farmers and farm workers and that alone is a milestone with regard to pushing for socio-economic reforms and enough grounds to continue the talks. Pedro Arnado, leader of the farmers’ group in southern Mindanao, also urged Duterte not to abandon the peace talks, saying, the resumption of war with rebels may spark a series of illegal arrest and human rights violations, and even extrajudicial killings of civilians by government soldiers. “We call for the continuation of the peace talks and compliance to the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Law to avoid rights violations of civilians,” said Arnado, who noted that at least 20 farmers and national minorities were killed during the ceasefire period. “For us farmers, a just peace means food for our families, education for our children and recognition of our right to the land we till.” Arnado said while the ultimate goal of the peace talks is to resolve the armed conflict and achieve cessation of hostilities, that wouldn’t be possible at this period when there are conflicting social classes and interests. “Big land estates, haciendas and landholdings remain intact and under the control of a few landlord families. That is in contrast with the situation of millions of tillers,” Arnado said, adding, Duterte should realize that people in the countryside are supporting and even joining the armed revolution because of the systemic and chronic crisis that is worsened by the government’s failure to address the most basic problems in rural areas. “Historically, it is the peasant masses that have made the ultimate sacrifices to achieve peace. Buhay na ang ibinuwis ng mga magsasaka para sa lupa at kapayapaan. The cost of peace is too expensive, farmers have paid it with their lives,” Arnado said. Cancel passport of communist negotiators Duterte also threatened to cancel the passports of the representatives National Democratic Front of the Philippines &'' the political wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the NPA &'' who make up the peace panel negotiating with the government, saying, “they are in the wanted list, so I will alert the International Police to arrest them where they are because they are in wanted list. I'll cancel their passports.” “They can return, all of them. For those released by the government, they should, on their own volition, return here and go back to prison. Or else I will be forced to, I am alerting all the intelligence community to keep track of where they are now,” Duterte said. “Iyon na-release temporarily to talk with us in Oslo, they should come back and submit themselves to the jurisdiction of the government because they are still in prison. Walang pardon, walang amnesty, wala lahat.” Blame Duterte, AFP The NPA blamed Duterte for the breakdown of the talks and accused the military of sabotaging the peace negotiations, saying, security forces encroached and attacked rebel territories in Mindanao, and murdered innocent civilians suspected of supporting the communist group. “To conceal their own ceasefire violation, the spin doctors of the Armed Forces of the Philippines concocted yet another storyline of an anti-criminality operation to assist the Philippine National Police in going after lawless elements such as their botched combat operations in Makilala and Matalam [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsFeb 5th, 2017

Filipinos may visit Hainan, China visa-free

Filipinos may visit Hainan, China visa-free.....»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  pepRelated NewsApr 21st, 2018

UAAP Volleyball: Bernadeth Pons: Probinsyana with a Superstar Soul

In a time where gadgets have pretty much taken over the lives of majority of the world’s population, Bernadeth Pons prefers to keep things simple. Instead of swiping her phone for the latest news on Twitter or organizing her feed on Instagram, FEU’s Team Captain and graduate of Financial Management would rather spend time inside the athlete’s dormitory to sleep. While that sounds boring, the 21-year old Pons reasons that she needs all the energy she can get to complete her Master’s degree in Business Administration and perform at the highest level in her final season in the UAAP. The 5’7” open spiker is currently the fourth best scorer in the league averaging 15.2 points per match. She is also ranked third in both digging and receiving. Because of her all-around brilliance, there is a fairly good amount of fans on social media who have been campaigning for Pons to be named MVP of Season 80. But, of course, Pons is oblivious to that. In fact, she didn’t even know that she was included in the 34-player wish list of new National Team Head Coach Ramil de Jesus. It took a text message from her younger sister, Melody, who lives in their hometown of Talisay, Negros Occidental for Pons to learn about the development. “Ha? Saan galing yan?” was her honest reply. To Pons, playing for the national team goes beyond her wildest dreams. And while she feels very much honored to have her name considered for a spot, Pons says her current focus is with FEU. After all, it was the school that provided her with a means to fulfill her goals and make her parents proud. From Softball to Volleyball Pons was born in Malolos, Bulacan where her father, Roberto and mother, Maryjen met. A year after her birth, the family moved to Talisay where Roberto started playing baseball recreationally. When his eldest daughter grew big enough to play, she also took a liking to the sport. Pons would even join the boys play catch during her elementary days at Efigenio-Enrica Lizares Memorial School. Unfortunately, there was no softball team for Pons to try-out for. That’s when her classmate, Allen Joy Esponilia invited her to try-out for the volleyball team. “Nung una, sobrang hirap kasi wala talaga akong alam eh. Kahit dig, dig lang, kung saan-saan pumupunta. Nahihiya ako sa ka-partner ko kasi syempre, alam na niya yung basics ng volleyball. Naiiyak na nga ako kasi palagi nalang tumatalsik,” recalled Pons, who was 10 years old at the time. But, the challenge of excelling at a sport where she had no background in challenged the young Pons. Eventually, she learned how to dig up powerful spikes and became a libero. In the fifth grade, she experienced her first major competition by participating in the Palarong Pambansa held in Palawan and representing Region 6 – Western Visayas where she teamed up with Kim Gequillana and Ayel Estraňero. It was the first of five Palarong Pambansa events she would participate in. In those competitions, Pons played against numerous future UAAP stars like Jia Morado, Desiree Cheng, Majoy Baron, Jhoana Maraguinot and a powerhouse Region 7 – Central Visayas squad that featured Sisi Rondina, Dimdim Pacres, Rica Rivera and CJ Saga. Leap of Faith As she got older, Pons began developing her spiking prowess and caught the eye of the legendary Roger Gorayeb, who wanted to bring her to San Sebastian College-Recoletos. But, she was reluctant to leave home. “Wala akong idea about life dito sa Manila. So, hindi ko alam kung tutuloy ba ako or hindi. Dumating sa point na nag-decide kami ng Papa ko na doon nalang sa amin ako mag college,” explained Pons. During her final year in high school in 2013, then FEU Head Coach Shaq delos Santos went to the Regional Meet in Roxas City, Capiz to recruit the reluctant Pons. Delos Santos was persistent in convincing her to come and be a part of his plan to revive the volleyball program of the university. The free education, food and accessibility to the training facilities finally convinced Pons to take a leap of faith.   “Naisip ko, pag doon ako sa probinsya, mamamasahe ako every day, mabigat din sa parents ko. So, yun talaga yung sabi ko, ‘O-oo na ako’. Nag-decide ako na mag go-go na ako sa Maynila,” recalled Pons. For someone who never imagined leaving her hometown, Pons didn’t have any trouble making her mark in the UAAP as she immediately led the Lady Tamaraws in scoring (11.8 points per match) as a rookie. She would become FEU’s leading scorer in each of her UAAP stints which includes Final Four appearances in the past three seasons. Last Stretch Now that Pons is approaching the last stretch of her collegiate career and with FEU in a good position to attain a twice-to-beat advantage in the post-season for the first time since 2009, she is more focused than ever on the task at hand. Should the Lady Tamaraws beat NU in their last elimination round game on Sunday and if Ateneo loses to La Salle, FEU will enter the Final Four as the number two ranked team. But, Pons knows it won’t be easy as the Lady Bulldogs will be out for redemption. “Kami kasi yung unang tumalo sa kanila sa first round. So, palagi namin rine-remind yung bawat isa na yung NU, pipilitin nilang bumawi sa atin. Tapos sila, nothing to lose kasi kahit ano mangyari, number four na sila. Eh tayo, may hinahabol tayo na number two. Hindi puwedeng magpabaya tayo kasi NU pa rin yan. Lalaban at lalaban yan,” shared Pons. It’s been a decade since FEU last won the UAAP Women’s Volleyball title. While Pons has already achieved her initial goal of earning a college degree, she still has that burning desire to give back to the school that gave her the opportunity to help her family and leave a lasting legacy in the process. “Gusto ko maalala nila ako bilang isa sa mga nakapagbalik ng crown sa FEU. Sobrang tagal nang nawala ang FEU sa championship. Yun yung gusto namin ibalik ulit,” declared Pons. All Pons ever wanted was to ease the burden on her parents by graduating from school. The game of volleyball has given her a means to accomplish that and so much more. She’s become one of the UAAP’s brightest stars and may wear the colors of the Philippine flag one day. But, no matter what happens, she will always be that same humble girl from Talisay, inspiring countless others like her to be brave and go for great. Catch Bernadeth Pons and the FEU Tamaraws take on the NU Bulldogs on April 15, Sunday, 12 noon LIVE on S+A, S+A HD, Liga, Liga HD and via livestream......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 15th, 2018

STAR HOTSHOT: Rafi Reavis will be forever relevant

It was early in 2017 when Rafi Reavis proved that he's still relevant. More than just relevant, in fact. In Game 2 of the Manila Clasico semifinals featuring Ginebra and Star, Reavis was the "star" for the Hotshots in the clutch, grabbing two crucial offensive rebounds in the last 20 seconds to deny the Gin Kings any chance of a "Never Say Die" comeback. With seven seconds to go in the ball game, the then 39-year-old Rafi calmly made two pressure-packed free throws and Star took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7. "I got a lot left in the tank, man. A lot left," Reavis said then. He was right. STAR BOY Literally a week after his heroics against Ginebra in Game 2 of last year's series, Reavis played his best game in a long, long time in Game 5. Rafi dropped 17 points and 13 rebounds, leading the Hotshots to a crucial 3-2 lead. While Star ended up losing in seven games, that was perhaps Reavis' best performance in the last four or five years, including the current year were having right now. And yet even then, the veteran forward was the least surprised. It's as if he knew. He's going to be relevant in the league until he decides he's done. "I'm not surprised at all. That's me," Reavis said in 2017. "That's the way I play. That's what I'm always trying to do, just be a leader, trying to do what's needed. The only thing that matters is the W. However that comes, I'll go with it," he added. ALL I DO IS WIN It's kinda cool for Rafi Reavis to say that he'll go with winning, regardless of how his team gets there. Over the course of his current 16-year PBA career, Reavis has done a lot of winning. Seriously, a lot. Rafi has 10 PBA championships and up until the 2017 Commissioner's Cup, he was the winningest active player in the league. He's won with different teams as well. Reavis picked up his first pair of titles with the old Coca-Cola Tigers before winning another two with Brgy. Ginebra. When he landed at Purefoods, Reavis would win six more championships, including the Grand Slam in 2014. Simply put, Rafi Reavis is an asset to any team. A valuable asset. He's done all that winning in a way only he knows how. "Defense. Defense wins championships," Reavis said. "I don't care about the glamour, the points, the fame. I don't need that,  that's not what gets me paid. Being part of a team that was winning a championship, that's all I care about. I'm team first and I'm all about the big goal, the big picture," he added. PLASTIKMAN Rafi's Twitter handle is @Plastikman. If it sounds familiar, it's almost a play on the local comics superhero "Lastikman" which is a character is most definitely based from Marvel's Mister Fantastic. Fifteen years ago in 2003, "Bossing" Vic Sotto gave the character life in a movie and while this useless rambling doesn't necessarily say and mean that Rafi was inspired by it and put his own twist to the name, it does make some sense. Reavis has some pretty long arms and legs, which come in handy while he's trying to defend the paint. His physical gifts and his brilliant mind make him the basketball player that he is. A player relevant to this day. "He's very smart, ang taas ng basketball IQ niya. Plus the fact na ano siya, hindi siya nagpapabaya. Yung katawan niya, inaalagaan niya talaga," Chito Victolero said of Reavis. Victolero was teammates with Rafi in the old MBA and he was the second overall pick in the 2002 Draft. Now he's Reavis' head coach with Magnolia. "He won a lot of championships and he knows what to do. Siguro mas beterano pa siya sakin in terms of dun sa loob ng court eh. I trust him very much and alam ko kung ano yung ginagawa niya," Victolero added. Sticking with the superhero theme, Reavis wants to add something to his list of achievements that's outside of winning championships. Plastikman wants to outlast the Rock in the PBA. "I'm trying to take care of myself and that guy, he's amazing," 40-year-old Reavis said of 45-year-old Asi Taulava, NLEX's center and the 2003 PBA Most Valuable Player that is still going strong as well. "I think he just had a birthday recently and it's going to make it a little harder for me but I can do it. I'm having fun. And I think as long as I play for a guy like coach Chito, I can meet that goal," he added. BREAKING RECORDS Rafi Reavis was the league's winningest active player up until the 2017 Commissioner's Cup. When San Miguel Beer won last year's mid-season prize, Yancy De Ocampo joined Reavis at the top with 10 titles. Yancy was the no. 1 pick in 2002 and Rafi was second. San Miguel and Magnolia are currently locked in a heated Finals for the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup and either De Ocampo or Reavis will take over as the winnigest active player in less than two weeks time. "None of that really means anything to me," Reavis said, doubling down on his team-first mentality. "I think it will probably mean something when I'm all said and done and my career is over with, but I'm still an active player. I have a duty to perform. It's all great and it's all glory but at the end of the day it doesn't really mean anything," he added. ALL I WANT TO DO IS KEEP WINNING It was in early 2017 when Rafi Reavis made it known that he still has a lot left in his tank. Fast forward to 2018 in Game 1 of the Philippine Cup Finals against San Miguel and Reavis practically won the Purefoods franchise yet another Finals game. With the Hotshots holding on to a two-point lead with 2.2 seconds, Reavis disrupted San Miguel's final offensive possession basically by himself to make sure Magnolia completed a comeback from 20 points down. Rafi first tipped the inbound pass to foil the Beermen's first option for June Mar Fajardo and after Arwind Santos picked the ball up to shoot a game-tying jumper, Reavis was there too to block the shot. Rafi Reavis has won a lot but he wants to keep winning. "We're still  active so we're still out there trying to get one more," he said.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 29th, 2018

PH Embassy team services thousands of Filipinos in Caribbean

WASHINGTON, D.C. --A three-leg visit by a Philippine Embassy team to the Caribbean territories of Turks and Caicos Islands, Cayman Islands, and the Bahamas from February 24 to March 5 delivered passport and other consular services toFilipinosin these places.   A total of 1,676 consular services were rendered during the consular outreach mission. Over 92 percent of this total was for passport-related services. In addition, 1,085 eligible voters were registered for overseas absentee voting. There are an estimated 8,000 Filipinos in these islands, most of whom are employed in the medical, pharmaceutical, finance, and hospitality industries, as well in the households of...Keep on reading: PH Embassy team services thousands of Filipinos in Caribbean.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMar 9th, 2018

‘Freedom and Crime’ by Jun Ledesma

Letters From Davao:  AM NOT SURPRISED when some quarters are exploiting to the hilt the order of the Securities and Exchange Commission to shut down the operations of Rappler.The bannered story warns of the muzzling of the press. Rappler itself, quoting Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque, wrote that if Duterte wants to close the media establishment they could have just sent the military. Of course it is the usual Rappler’s furtive way of saying it which is very characteristic of this media outfit.  But this is not about press freedom. It is about media ownership which, under Philippine laws, should be 100% owned by Filipinos. For years since the inception of Rappler, the impression was that it is fully owned by Pinoys. There are Filipinos  with extra money to spare who invested money in Rappler in the hope that they can support an independent media outfit. As every body knew, the big media establishments are tools used by the wealthy and famous to protect their interest from political predators but they end up using the muscle of the press to either promote or destroy politicians and their adversaries.  Not until SEC ordered the closure of Rappler that it came out in the open that  the notorious ON OMIDYAR had wormed its way in and into the heart and brain of Rappler. The characters behind these outfits are shrewd but not wise enough their own disclosures in their PDRs gave them away. The Philippine Deposit Receipts which Rappler through its holding company issued explicitly granted ON OMIDYAR to have a say in the operations and business of Rappler.  Ma. Ressa’s attention was called by SEC on this critical item but it appears that she was not paying attention or might have thought she can deal with the problem anyway.  Looks like she sat on the problem that even the  members of the 5-man Commission who, except for one,  are all appointees of ex-Pres. Noynoy Aquino have reach a point of decision.  As the story unravels, again it showed that there was an attempt to correct the provisions in the PDRs by submitting ON OMIDYAR’s waiver on its right to intrude into the conduct of business of Rappler. Again Rappler showed its cavalier attitude, it submitted the waiver document which was not even notarized.  Obviously even the Aquino-controlled SEC cannot take the lackadaisical attention of Ma. Ressa. It revoked the SEC registration of Rappler.  Even as it had been axed, Ressa and Pia Ranada fought back, the later calling Pres. Rodrigo Duterte names as if they reign supreme and they alone know what freedom of the press means. To add to her dramatics Pia intoned  that she is prepared to go to prison for exercising her rights of free expression. She forgot that It was Duterte who, early in his presidency signed an EO on Freedom of Information.  Ressa and Ranada wailed their press freedom had been curtailed. But such is not the case. Every word that they say saw print and broadcasted in nearly 2,000 media outlets in the Philippines and not counting the social media. The revocation of Rappler’s permit is not about freedom of the press but its violation of the constitution which succinctly underlines that media establishment must be 100% Filipino owned.   In hindsight the Duterte government was even too kind to Rappler even as it was the leading media organization that demonize Duterte in every turn. I had seriously doubted its overtures that brag it stands for truth and fairness. During the senate hearing on extra-judicial killing allegedly carried out by the Davao Death Squad which Sen. Leila De Lima and Sen. Antonio Trillanes claimed was organized by Duterte, Rappler simply swallowed what witnesses Matobato and Lascanas said.  In 2009 when as CHR Chair De Lima conducted a probe on EJK the number of victims she alleged then was less than 300. The probe lasted for months with nary a piece of evidence was found to indict Mayor Duterte. She pursued her quest to pin Digong when she became Justice Secretary but again she failed. When she became senator she became even more aggressive she placed a bungling Matobato in the witness stand. But Matobato was flawless in his delivery when he was interviewed by Time Magazine. It was unmistakable he was reading from an idiot’s card. He proudly state that as member of DDS he killed and buried more than 200 persons in an abandoned quarry. Yet he cannot find the grave of his victims.     When it was the turn of Lascanas to testify in the senate inquiry, he casually said that they buried more than 2,000 EJK victims in the same quarry.  Between the two perjured witness they  confessed to the  killing of over 2,200 victims of EJK which they buried, they said, in the abandoned quarry. It is simply a classic fantasy. A manslaughter of such magnitude cannot escape notice especially when that narrow piece of land is just about four kilometers from city hall and so adjacent to a number of housing subdivisions. Nevertheless, if they were so sure then why cannot they find a single piece of viable evidence.   In all these occasions Rappler gave the hearings liberal space and took the testimonies of the witnesses as the biblical truths. Both Rappler and Time Magazine adopted exactly the same flawed statistics which in their recent count had reached 13,000 EJK victims. I am based in Davao and frankly I am amazed […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsJan 27th, 2018

Palace Welcomes Higher PH Ranking in World’s Most Powerful Passports

Malacañang on Saturday welcomed the country’s climb in the latest Henley and Partners Passport Index, which ranks all of the world’s passports according to the number of countries their holders can travel to visa-free. The Philippines rose three notches higher to 72nd place in 2018 from 75th last year, according to Henley and Partners, a […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsJan 15th, 2018

2017: A banner year for the Senate

2017 was a banner year for the 101 year-old Philippine Senate. The upper chamber saw the passage of landmark laws that would benefit generations of Filipinos, among them the Free Tuition Law, the Philippine Passport Law, and the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act. However, certain sectors, including the opposition, claim that TRAIN would [...] The post 2017: A banner year for the Senate appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsDec 31st, 2017

Iwas Paputok also means a fire-free New Year celebration – BFP

MANILA, Philippines — To intensify fire safety awareness campaign of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), the Manila Fire District launched "Oplan Iwas Paputok" in Tondo, Manila on Saturday, December 30. BFP, together with Philippine National Police, Department of Health and local government units joint effort to promote a fire-free holiday in ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsDec 30th, 2017

144-hour visa-free stays expanded in China

Nationals from 53 countries with eligible travel identification and reserved tickets with a fixed date to a third country or regionwithin 144 hoursare eligible for the new visa-free entry period. They include the United States, Australia and the Republic of Korea.   "The new policy extends the visa-free stay for travelers who want to visit the three regions, allowing foreigners sufficient time for a short visit for travel, business meetings or visiting friends and family. It will boost the tourism industry," said Zhu Lei, deputy head of Beijing's port of entry office.   Beijing and Tianjin previously allowed a 72-hour visa-free stay. The 72-hour stay has been allowe...Keep on reading: 144-hour visa-free stays expanded in China.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 29th, 2017

Poundit.com Announces 50 Days of Happiness Gadget Sale

Poundit.com, the Philippines’ leading online gadget and accessories retailer, has announced the 50 Days of Happiness sale for the holiday season. In this promo, buyers can get discounts as big as 50% on some of today’s hottest consumer electronic products.  From November 8th to December 25th, one gadget will be put on sale for 24 hours. Shoppers can expect significant markdowns on products from their favorite brands including LG, Lenovo, Bowers & Wilkins and many more.  Shoppers who’ve been waiting for great deals on smartphones, tablets, headsets, cameras and other items will be delighted to see Poundit’s products on sale. The LG X Screen, the Lenovo A7000 Plus, and the Apple MacBook Pro are just some of the products that Poundit will be putting on sale.  Poundit has close partnerships with top consumer electronics manufacturers and their authorized distributors in the Philippines. This means that shoppers are guaranteed item authenticity and full aftersales support.  The retailer is also holding its Give 100, Get 1,000 promo where shoppers can get PhP 1,000 off any purchase when they refer at least 10 people to shop at Poundit. Referred shoppers, on the other hand, will also get a PhP 100 discount for purchases of PhP 1,000 or more.  The 50 Days of Happiness promo is valid while supplies last. For more information on exciting deals, visit Poundit’s Deals section.  Poundit is an e-commerce site for electronics & accessories where customers can shop risk free, enjoy price savings, and experience unparalleled customer service. From smartphones, tablets, cameras, laptops, desktops, headphones, speakers, gaming, and even accessories – Poundit has it all. It’s aiming to build the most customer-centric electronics e-commerce site in the region. Starting in the Philippines, it’s the only online destination in the country that sells legitimate, authentic, and authorized electronic products from the top tech brands. 5,120 total views, 5,120 views today.....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsNov 27th, 2017

Report: South Korea to grant Pinoys visa-free entry for Winter Games

MANILA, Philippines — A  Korean news agency last week announced that South Korea will temporarily allow tourists from the Philippines to visit without a visa Source link link: Report: South Korea to grant Pinoys visa-free entry for Winter Games.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsNov 9th, 2017

Marawi war victims unite, threaten to launch ‘holy war’

&'160; MARAWI CITY – A shadowy group calling itself the “Meranaw Victims Movement” has threatened to launch its own jihad or holy war if a set of demands, among them government compensation for the destruction of Marawi and the victims of war between security forces and local IS militants in the besieged city in southern Philippines. Speaking in Arabic, the group &'' comprising about 3 dozen masked gunmen &'' released a 14-minute video and statement on social media and stated the following demands: First, we would like to ask our kinsfolk from among the so-called ISIS/Maute Group to leave Marawi City at once and free their hostages, Muslims and Christians alike; Second, we would like to ask the Philippine Government, especially President Rodrigo Duterte, the following – to allow the civilians to return to their homes in areas in Marawi City that were already cleared by the military; stop the aerial bombings of Marawi City if only to salvage houses or buildings that may not have been destroyed yet; stop the abuses of some military and police personnel at checkpoints and accord respect to civilians, especially the women. And ease the access to and from Marawi City, especially the roads through the village of Maliwanag so that people in the 1st District of Lanao del Sur would have better and convenient road access; secure the remains of civilians so they may not be mixed with the garbage in the process of military clearing operations and so that they may be given proper burial even if only skeletons are left of them; to provide immediate appropriate material and financial support to all wounded civilian victims similar to the support being provided by the government to wounded military and police personnel; compensate for the damaged houses and buildings, wasted goods and merchandise of civilians and provide for their livelihood as well. And to rebuild or rehabilitate the mosques and madrasahs and other destroyed structures that represented the Meranao culture and heritage; importantly, the government should not make any hint that it would occupy the land of the Meranaws on the basis of military reservation, instead it should help legitimate owners to have their respective land titles; and for the military and police personnel to avoid occupying mosques and madrasahs. It also demanded from local politicians to account for all the relevant government funds such as the Calamity Fund and all other assistance and donations, and ensure transparent and equitable implementation or spending of the same. And has urged the rebel group Moro Islamic Liberation Front to support its demands by ensuring that these reach all those concerned. The Meranaw Victims Movement strongly denied that locals &'' whom the government and authorities blamed for allowing militants to build up forces and occupy the city &'' condone the violence and said it is willing to face off with IS fighters in an effort to drive out the gunmen. It also blamed local leaders as responsible for failing to prevent the IS attacks. “First, we did not conform with the using of Marawi City as sanctuary neither did we approve of what some of our kinsfolk who claimed to be ISIS/Maute Group did which ignited the war in Marawi City that has brought about grave sufferings to the Meranaw people. Second, we deem unacceptable the actions of the Government that caused the displacement of tens of thousands and deaths of several civilians due to the aerial bombings and use of heavy armaments in Marawi City which are among those prohibited under International Humanitarian Law.” “Third, we hold our local leaders, past and present alike, responsible for failing to prevent the ISIS/Maute Group from carrying out their plan since they were fully aware of the group’s presence in the city prior to the siege, and for literally forsaking the civilians like orphans in the midst of great danger during the onset of the siege on May 23, 2017. Fourth, we are dismayed with the MILF since, until now, nothing was heard of them, let alone have they made a categorical position on the current Marawi crisis,” it said. If all the demands are not met, the group said it will take actions not only against IS militants, but the Duterte government as well. “To our ISIS/Maute Group kinsfolk, if you would not heed our call, we would be compelled to face you because by then you no longer care for the welfare of the people and you did not only fail to realize but have violated the essence of Jihad in Islam. To the Government, this will be the last time that we will ask in relation to previous demands of various sectors of the Meranaw society, and that if the foregoing demands will fall to deaf ears, likewise, we will be compelled to fight for our rights that have been trampled upon and that Jihad becomes our legitimate recourse.” “To our leaders, should we find out that you defraud or corrupt the assistance and support intended for the evacuees, we will unrelentingly pursue until we take them for the people in whatever means possible. To the MILF, take note that the demand for the approval of the BBL becomes irrelevant if the key area where it should be implemented would no longer be in the hands of the Meranaw, and that by then the support of the people of Lanao becomes weak in time that [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsSep 20th, 2017

Economy: FPI sees corn sweetener imports as spur for domestic sugar sector

THE Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI) said that it is open to the tariff-free importation of sweetener high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) as a means of stimulating the competitiveness of the sugar industry, as long as users purchase equivalent amounts from cane sugar producers......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsMay 24th, 2017

Group seeks e-passport probe

MANILA, Philippines - Arguing that the country’s e-passports are too expensive, the Philippine Association of Free Labor Unions (PAFLU) has asked Congress to.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 26th, 2017

Canadian woman en route to Vermont spa denied entry to U.S., told she needs immigrant visa – CBC News

A Canadian woman travelling on a Canadian passport says she was turned away at the U.S. border and told she needed a valid immigrant visa to enter the country. Manpreet Kooner, 30, is a Canadian citizen who was born to Indian parents in Canada and raised here. She now lives in Montreal's LaSalle borough with her fiancé and works in a science lab at a local college. She told CBC she was on her way from Montreal to a spa in Vermont for a day trip with two friends, who are both white, Sunday afternoon. They never made it. Kooner said she was held at the border for six hours before being turned away. At one point, she said, a border agent told her: &'8220;'I know you may feel like you've been Trumped,'&'8221; an apparent reference to U.S. President Donald Trump. Trump's January executive order barring citizens from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the country was later blocked in U.S. courts, but has touched off legal battles and confusion around the world. Kooner was told to apply for the visa at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa. She went to the embassy Monday morning but was told they couldn't help her, and that she would need to talk to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. &'8220;I'm speechless,&'8221; she said. &'8220;There are no answers.&'8221; In a statement, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) said it does not discuss individual cases, but that those who present themselves at ports of entry must prove they fulfill admission requirements, and that admission to the U.S. is at the discretion of the border officers. The statement also says CBP adopted a policy in 2014 that &'8220;prohibits the consideration of race or ethnicity in law enforcement, investigation, and screening activities, in all but the most exceptional circumstances.&'8221; Kooner's story is the latest in a string of recent tales involving Canadian travellers scrutinized or turned away by U.S. border agents. Last month, for instance, a woman from the Montreal suburb of Brossard said she was denied entry after being fingerprinted, photographed and questioned in detail about her religion and her views on Trump. Kooner was reluctant to attribute her situation to racism, but said friends who have reached out to her say that could be the case. &'8220;People have said we need to take that into account here, because unfortunately, yeah, my skin colour is brown,&'8221; she said. Kooner said this summer, her mother was turned away at the border as well, but wasn't told why. Kooner said she was told her mother's issues wouldn't impact her. She first had trouble getting into the U.S. last December, before Trump took office. She was with friends and her fiancé when her car was pulled over for what she was told was a random check, she said. She was made to fill out a number of forms, but was eventually told there was a problem with the computer system and they should return the next morning. When they went back, she was let through without any problems. She said that when she tried to cross Sunday, at Highgate Springs, Vt., an agent checked her passport and said they needed to ask her additional questions. The agent mentioned that she had been stopped in December and asked why she was trying to go through again, Kooner said. She said she told them she's a Canadian citizen, has no criminal record and, before December, never had any issues crossing the border. She also said she was fingerprinted and photographed, and signed a form to withdraw her application for entry to the United States. Though she was told there are no flags on her file, a border agent advised her not to fly to the U.S. without a visa, Kooner said. The reference to Trump came as the agent was explaining the reasons why she was refused entry, she said. The border agent couldn't say what kind of visa she would need, only that she would have to visit the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa to get one. Kooner said that's when she started to cry. CBC News spoke to Kooner's friend Alexandra Adam, who was one of the two women on the trip with her. Adam caught the end of the conversation between Kooner and the border agent and confirmed Kooner was told she likely wouldn't be allowed into the U.S. without a visa. Adam said she was not present when the agent allegedly made the Trump comment. A U.S. Embassy official said most travellers from Canada and Bermuda generally do not need visas for tourism and visits. Canadians who are intending to immigrate or those planning to marry a U.S. citizen are among those who do need visas. Kooner does not fall under either category. U.S. immigration lawyer Leslie Holman said it doesn't appear that there's a reason Kooner would need a visa to get into the country. &'8220;Even if someone has a visa, the ultimate decision as to whether they can enter the United States rests when you seek admissibility, at the time of entry,&'8221; she said. A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs told CBC News the common category of visa that is used for short term, non-immigrant travel to the United States – including tourism and business – is the B1/B2 visa. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, an average of 1.2 million people a day try to enter the U.S. at all crossings. Of those, an average of between 300 and 500 are denied entry for various reasons. Kooner has spent more than $1,000 on tickets to attend a musical festival in Miami at the end of the month, and planned to return to that city in May for [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsMar 7th, 2017

second woman held over death of Kim Jong-nam – The Guardian

Malaysian police have detained a second woman in connection with the apparent assassination of Kim Jong-nam, the half brother of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. The Malaysian inspector general said in a statement that the suspect had been identified as Siti Aishah, an Indonesian national. Her birthday was given as 11 February 1992, and place of birth as Serang, Indonesia. It is not clear if her passport was genuine. The statement said she had been positively identified from CCTV footage at Kuala Lumpur international airport and was alone when she was apprehended in the early hours of Thursday. Channel News Asia quoted a police source as saying that a Malaysian man had also been arrested on Thursday in connection with Kim’s death. The confirmed arrest of a second suspect follows the detention on Wednesday of 28-year-old woman, whose Vietnamese passport bore the name Doan Thi Huong. She too had been positively identified from CCTV footage and was alone at the time of her arrest, the inspector general said. Still photos from the video, confirmed as authentic by police, showed a woman in a skirt and long-sleeved white T-shirt with “LOL” emblazoned across the front. Malaysian police have reportedly been granted permission to remand both women in custody for seven days. Police are also seeking “a few” other suspects in connection with the killing of Kim Jong-nam, apparently carried out with a fast-acting poison, as he prepared to board a flight from Kuala Lumpur to his home in Macau on Monday morning. “We are looking for more suspects,” Selangor state police chief Abdul Samah Mat said, but declined to say how many were being sought, or their nationalities. Intelligence officials in South Korea have said they suspect Kim’s killing was carried out by people working on behalf of the North Korean regime. There is mounting speculation that his death was ordered by Kim Jong-un, possibly as retribution for criticisms his elder brother made against his leadership in interviews with the Japanese journalist, Yoji Gomi, in 2012. As Malaysian authorities searched for other suspects in a case that has focused attention on the apparent lengths to which North Korea will go to ensure the regime’s stability. Malaysian media cited unnamed sources as saying that North Korean officials had spent hours trying to persuade Malaysia not to conduct an autopsy and for Kim’s body be handed over to Pyongyang. Malaysia refused the request, since North Korea did not submit a formal protest, according to Abdul Samah Mat, a senior Malaysian police official. No decision has yet been taken on whether the body will eventually be handed over to the North. While Pyongyang has made no official comment on Kim’s death, it has not attempted to conceal its interest in his fate. On Wednesday, it sent a black Jaguar car with diplomatic number plates and flags to the mortuary at Kuala Lumpur hospital, where an autopsy was conducted on Wednesday evening. It was not immediately clear if or when the autopsy results would be made public. Kim, who was 45, fell ill after apparently being attacked from behind with a chemical spray, and died in an ambulance on the way to hospital. At the time of his death he was carrying a North Korean passport that gave his name as Kim Chol, born in Pyongyang on 10 June 1970. His death has parked speculation about the possible involvement of Kim Jong-un, whose five-year rule of North Korea has been marked by purges and executions of people perceived as a threat to his leadership. The highest-profile victim of Kim’s “reign of terror” was his uncle, Jang Song-thaek, who was executed on treason charges in late 2013. Jang, once considered his nephew’s most trusted adviser, was also believed to have been close to Kim Jong-nam, whom he had helped raise. Kim Jong-nam attempted to lead an unremarkable life with his family in Macau, according to exchanges with Gomi. “Because I was educated in the west, I was able to enjoy freedom from early age and I still love being free,” he told Gomi, whose book on Kim was published in 2012. “The reason I visit Macau so often is because it’s the most free and liberal place near China, where my family lives.” Kim Byung-kee, a South Korean MP, said intelligence services had told him Kim Jong-un professed to “hate” his half brother, whom he feared could one day play a role in the overthrow of his regime. The spy agency’s has also made unverified claims that North Korea had spent five years attempting to kill Kim Jong-nam. They cited a “genuine” attempt in 2012 after he had described his brother as ”just a nominal figure”, and lambasted the county’s hereditary transfer of power as a “joke to the outside world”. “The Kim Jong-un regime will not last long,” he told Gomi. “Without reforms, North Korea will collapse, and when such changes take place, the regime will collapse.” A terrified Kim is reported to have written to Kim Kong-un after the 2012 assassination attempt in which he pleaded with his brother to assure his safety and that of his family. The letter said: “I hope you cancel the order for the punishment of me and my family. We have nowhere to go, nowhere to hide, and we know that the only way to escape is committing suicide.” Kim Jong-nam may have succeeded his father, Kim [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsFeb 16th, 2017