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Deaf or blind to Vietnam’s activities?

Last week I mentioned the report regarding Vietnam facilities and other structures being built within the Philippine territory. I am just wondering how come the government is quiet about the issue. I even suggested that a public forum and press conference be conducted to inform the people and make fellow Filipinos aware of it. A fellow observer even asked me why is it that the Marcos government is silent on such an issue. As I remember right, since President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. took over as the Chief Executive there have been only six diplomatic protests filed against Vietnam compared to the 97 against China. I cannot recall if the protests against Vietnam were in the news but I am afraid the public was never informed about such things. A fellow journalist confirmed that there has been no report of Hanoi’s ambassador to Manila being summoned by the Department of Foreign Affairs to explain the Vietnamese activities in our country’s exclusive economic zone in the West Philippine Sea. The Philippine government has the responsibility to make statements on this matter considering that it is our sovereignty that is at stake. As I said, Vietnam’s activities in the WPS are a threat to our national security and should be dealt with accordingly by Philippine authorities. To give you a picture of how serious this matter is, on 1 August, despite heavy rains a small group of around 50 members of Makabayan Alyansa ng Bansang Anti-War and Anti-Terrorism (Makabansa), who claimed to be concerned citizens, held a protest rally in front of Vietnam’s embassy in Malate, Manila, to show that they are against what the Vietnam government is doing. The protesters called on the Vietnam government to stop the alleged militarization at the WPS and their fishing in the Kalayaan Group of Islands. The militant group through their spokesman, Benny delos Reyes, urged the embassy to respect their demands for amicable ties between the Philippines and Vietnam. For the information of the Philippine government, its department or agency concerned, Vietnam is planning to build “a covert fortification, command fortification, firepower fortification, weapons storage fortification, traffic trench system, trench, and related tactical items” within the Philippine territory. The Vietnamese government is ready to send more people to the land features, where they will set up residence. Perhaps due to the non-reaction of the Philippine government, Vietnam thinks that building military and civilian infrastructure and sending people to live on the islands will prove that those islands, which are in a portion of the WPS, belong to them. Let our government be reminded that Vietnam first took possession of areas within our own territory in 1978. Without knowing it, Vietnam might not only be occupying Philippine territories but already controlling our society. In the Gospel today, Jesus takes some of His friends away from the business of the village and marketplace. He invites them to travel with Him as He makes His way up the mountain. This is not unusual. We know from the Gospels that Jesus often went off by Himself to the mountains to pray. While they were there praying something wild and wonderful happened. Jesus was transfigured; He was changed; His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as light. Imagine how surprised, shocked, and taken aback those with Jesus were. Once composed, Peter uttered the famous words: “Lord, it is wonderful for us to be here.’ But more important than what was said is what they heard: ‘This is My Son, the Beloved, He enjoys My favor, listen to Him.” My regards to Rev. Father Richard Diaz, CICM, the Academic Dean of Maryhill School of Theology, and to Ms. Daisy Arao-arao, MST Registrar, all the faculty, students, and staff of MST who are about to start the Academic Year 2023-2024. The post Deaf or blind to Vietnam’s activities? appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnAug 5th, 2023

Charges filed vs owners of smuggled agri-fishery products from China, Vietnam

The Department of Agriculture Inspectorate and Enforcement Office on Friday said charges have been filed against the owners of P2,310,000 worth of smuggled frozen agri-fishery products from China and Vietnam. DA-IE head Assistant Secretary James A. Layug said violations of Republic Act 10611 or the Food Safety Act of 2013 along with FAO 195 Series of 1999 ("Establishing Rules and Regulations Governing Importation of Fresh/Chilled/Frozen and Fishery Aquatic Products") were slapped against the owners of Belen & Sons Inc. The charges stemmed from a joint anti-smuggling operation and food safety inspection in Navotas City, Cavite last 12 October 2023 conducted by the DA-IE, in partnership with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Navotas Business Permit and Licensing Office, Philippine Fisheries Development Authority and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG). The target was a plugged-in container van detected to have been storing smuggled imported frozen agri-fishery products owned by Belen & Sons Inc. The operation yielded 25 boxes of bonito, 799 boxes of round scad and 1 box of mackerel totaling to 8,250 kilos, estimated to be worth at least P2,310,000. The contraband came from China and Vietnam. The confiscated commodities were brought on hold prior to confiscation and rendering by the BFAR. The Navotas BPLO issued a Notice of Violation and sealed the stall of Belen and Sons Inc. for not having a business permit. Layug encouraged the public to continue to report suspicious activities and coordinate with the Department to help achieve food security in the country. The post Charges filed vs owners of smuggled agri-fishery products from China, Vietnam appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 27th, 2023

Collision or ramming?

When nations compete for dominance, the concepts of fairness and sovereignty often go by the wayside. This weekend’s collision of Philippine vessels with Chinese ships in the West Philippine Sea should serve as a vivid reminder of China’s aggressive expansionism in this crucial maritime region. While troubling, this incident is just part of a larger pattern of Chinese harassment of Philippine vessels within our territorial waters. China once again relied on its victim-blaming strategy, accusing the Philippines of “deliberately stirring up trouble” in an incident that the Philippine Coast Guard allegedly planned. These claims are ridiculous and unfounded, part of China’s long-running endeavor to legitimize its illegal acts in the West Philippine Sea. But regardless of Beijing’s bluster, the Philippines has the right to stand up to a neighborhood bully. Its claim to sovereignty over the West Philippine Sea is firmly rooted in the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s 2016 ruling, which categorically rejected China’s extensive claims over nearly the entire South China Sea, including areas that overlap with the West Philippine Sea. This landmark decision made it evident that China’s historical claims do not hold up under international law, in an area where competing claims by other countries like Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei and Taiwan have sparked geopolitical concerns. Historically, the territorial irritants that have the potential to become full-blown conflicts have centered on fishing rights, oil and gas reserves, and the strategic importance of controlling these waterways. Still, unlike China’s bold territorial expansion and contempt for international jurisprudence, the Philippines’ approach is founded on the rule of law. China’s predilections extend beyond the assertion of spurious territorial claims, as it includes the unauthorized construction of artificial islands in the South China Sea. These man-made islands function as military outposts, providing China with a strategic regional advantage. Such acts are not only illegal, but they also pose a direct threat to regional peace and stability. As the Philippines struggles for its rights, exposing China’s duplicity on a global scale is critical. While China portrays itself as a rational and responsible nation in international crises such as the Russia-Ukraine crisis and the Israel-Hamas conflict, its actions in the South China Sea reflect a different face — that of a regional bully. China cannot preach peace and diplomacy while actively pursuing territorial expansion and disregarding international law when it does not support its aspirations. The collision (or was it an intentional incident of ramming by China of Philippine vessels?) near the Second Thomas Shoal in the Spratly Islands is just the latest chapter in China’s unrelenting pursuit of regional supremacy. Philippine efforts to safeguard its sovereignty and defend international law merit support not only from its neighbors, but also from the world community at large. The West Philippine Sea is more than just a body of water; it represents sovereignty, justice, and the triumph of law over aggression. The Philippines’ resistance to China’s bullying is a fight for the rights of all nations that value international norms, territorial integrity, and conflict resolution through peaceful means. China’s activities in the West Philippine Sea and its disrespect for the verdict of the Permanent Court of Arbitration must be countered by the international community with the position that in the South China Sea, might does not equal right. As we consider the perilous situation in the West Philippine Sea, it’s critical to understand that this is not a one-off occurrence but part of a larger pattern. The Philippines has been subjected to constant harassment by Chinese vessels within its own waters. Filipino fishermen are being harassed, maritime resources (like coral reefs) are being pillaged, and Filipino military troops are being put in danger by Chinese warships that have no business being in Philippine waters. There can never be a repeat of the 2012 Scarborough Shoal standoff, which allowed China to build bases on man-made islands. As it stands resolute against China’s gunboat diplomacy, the Philippines serves as a beacon of hope for all nations confronting unjustified hostility. The Philippines’ dedication to upholding international law, maintaining its sovereignty, and defending its people’s rights is admirable. The post Collision or ramming? appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2023

Vietnam economy grows 5.3% in third quarter

Vietnam's economy grew 5.3 percent on-year in the third quarter, official data showed Friday, though experts warned it was on course to miss an ambitious year-end target. Loan interest rate reductions, an extension of tax payments and increased public investment had a positive impact, the General Statistics Office  said. But analysts warn it will be an uphill battle for the clothing, shoes and electronics manufacturing hub to reach a year-end target of 6.5 percent expansion for 2023. "Vietnam would only reach a year-end economic growth of between 4.5 percent and 4.7 percent, much lower than the government's set target," Rong Viet Stocks Company chief economist Tran Thi Ha My told AFP. "Growth for the fourth quarter is expected to be at around six percent... largely thanks to improved industrial production and exports." According to GSO, a slump in demand hit the country's exports. One of Vietnam's largest shoemakers for brands such as Nike, Adidas and Reebok announced in August it would cut jobs for the third time this year. Vietnam earned nearly $260 billion in the first nine months from exports. The communist state has long been a success story among Asian economies and in 2022, its economy grew eight percent. The Asian Development Bank predicts 5.8 percent growth for Vietnam's year-end figure, "mainly due to weak external demand". "Weak external environment, including from a subdued recovery in the People's Republic of China, has hampered export-led manufacturing, thus shrinking industrial production in Vietnam," the bank’s Vietnam country director Shantanu Chakraborty said this week. "The economy remains resilient, and recovery is expected to pick up in the near term, driven by strong domestic consumption, which is supported by moderate inflation, an acceleration of public investment and improved trade activities." The GSO reported that 776,000 more laborers in Vietnam have found jobs since the beginning of the year, compared with the same period last year. Average monthly income was around $288, nearly seven percent higher, GSO said.     The post Vietnam economy grows 5.3% in third quarter appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 29th, 2023

PCG condemns China-installed floating barrier in southeast part of Bajo de Masinloc

The Philippines has accused the Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) of building a "floating barrier" that forbids Filipinos from fishing in the contested area of the West Philippine Sea. In a statement posted on X (formerly Twitter), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) spokesperson Jay Tarriela said the barrier in part of the Scarborough Shoal prevents Filipino fishing boats from entering the shoal and depriving them of their fishing and livelihood activities. Images from the region, known as Bajo de Masinloc in the Philippines, showed Chinese boats set up and monitored several buoys and barriers arranged and protected by Chinese boats. Tarriela said the PCG and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) personnel found the Chinese boats setting up the 300-meter-long barrier on Friday while on a "routine maritime patrol." "Three CCG's Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs) and Chinese Maritime Militia's service boat installed the floating barrier upon arrival of the BFAR vessel in the vicinity of the shoal. The Filipino fishermen reported that the CCG vessels usually install floating barriers whenever they monitor many Filipino fishermen in the area," Tarriela said. He added that the BFAR vessel observed more than 50 FFBs engaged in fishing activities in the area during the routine maritime patrol. Recognizing the importance of supporting the artisanal or subsistence fishing of these fishermen, Tariella said the BFAR provided them with various grocery items and fuel subsidies to sustain their operations. However, a total of four CCG vessels, namely CCG-3065, CCG-3066, CCG-3105, and CCG-3301, initiated a series of 15 radio challenges in an attempt to drive away the BFAR vessel and FFBs. "The CCG crew alleged that the presence of the BFAR vessel and Filipino fishermen violated international law and the domestic laws of the People's Republic of China (PRC)," Tariella said. "The BFAR vessel responded to each and every radio calls and emphasized that they were carrying out a routine patrol within the territorial sea of BDM," he added. Tariella further mentioned that the CCG vessels maintained a safe distance and moved away upon realizing the presence of media personnel onboard the BFAR vessel. "The PCG will continue to work closely with all concerned government agencies to address these challenges, uphold our maritime rights and protect our maritime domains," Tarriela said. However, the Chinese embassy in Manila has yet to comment on the matter. China claims 90 percent of the South China Sea, which overlaps with the exclusive economic zones of the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia. Beijing annexed the Scarborough Shoal in 2012, forcing Filipino fishermen to travel farther in search of lesser catches. During the period when bilateral ties were significantly improving under then-President Rodrigo Duterte, Beijing allowed Filipino fishermen to return to the uninhabited shoal. However, since Ferdinand Marcos Jr., his successor, gained government last year, tensions have increased once more. The post PCG condemns China-installed floating barrier in southeast part of Bajo de Masinloc appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 24th, 2023

Canada warns India to treat Sikh slaying allegation seriously

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday demanded that India treat with "utmost seriousness" Canada's allegations of New Delhi's possible involvement in the slaying of a Sikh exile, a concern echoed by Washington. Canada's assertion led to reciprocal expulsions of an Indian intelligence official from Canada and a senior Canadian diplomat from New Delhi. "India needs to take this matter with the utmost seriousness. We are doing that, we are not looking to provoke or escalate," Trudeau told reporters. Canada said Monday that there were "credible allegations" that agents linked to New Delhi were responsible for the murder June 18 of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian citizen, in front of a Sikh cultural center in a Vancouver suburb. The government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the leader had "completely rejected" Canada's assertions in the unsolved slaying. "Allegations of Government of India's involvement in any act of violence in Canada are absurd," the foreign ministry said in a statement. Washington, however, joined Ottawa in calling for India to reveal what it knows about the slaying. "We are deeply concerned about the allegations referenced by Prime Minister Trudeau," National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said in a statement. "We remain in regular contact with our Canadian partners. It is critical that Canada’s investigation proceed and the perpetrators be brought to justice." Sikh nationalism  An activist for the creation of a Sikh state known as Khalistan, Nijjar was wanted by Indian authorities for alleged terrorism and conspiracy to commit murder. He had denied those charges, according to the World Sikh Organization of Canada, a nonprofit organization that says it defends the interests of Canadian Sikhs. Relations between Canada and India have been strained in recent months since the assassination of the Sikh leader and demonstrations that followed in Canada. The Indian government accuses Ottawa of turning a blind eye to the activities of radical Sikh nationalists who advocate the creation of an independent Sikh state to be carved out of northern India. British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, who was at the United Nations, said his nation wants India's "full cooperation" with Canada in the probe. Trudeau said the case is "extremely serious" and "has far reaching consequences... for Canada." Trudeau said his government did not rush to judgment in the case and had worked closely with its intelligence agencies. "We wanted to make sure that we had a solid grounding in understanding what was going on and analysis and indeed in facts," he said, adding that Ottawa had "fully shared with the government of India the seriousness... of our preoccupations and indeed conclusions." 'No surprise to Sikhs'  A representative of the World Sikh Organization of Canada, Mukhbir Singh, said his countrymen may have been "shocked" by Trudeau's assertion "but it was no surprise to the Sikh community." "For decades, India has targeted Sikhs in Canada with espionage, disinformation and now murder," he alleged. A Sikh lawyer in the Toronto area, Harkirt Singh Dhadda, said Sikhs want to see "those who pulled the trigger and the ones who plotted this assassination" brought to justice. In a sign of the simmering crisis, Ottawa recently suspended negotiations for a free-trade agreement with India, and last week the minister of trade canceled a trip to the country planned for October. In contrast, the US government's relations with India have steadily been upgraded as Washington views New Delhi as a key ally in countering Chinese influence in the Indo-Pacific region. President Joe Biden rolled out the red carpet in June for Modi, hosting him in only the third state visit of his presidency. The post Canada warns India to treat Sikh slaying allegation seriously appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 19th, 2023

More rice, please

The distribution of confiscated rice to approximately 5,000 underprivileged beneficiaries in the Zamboanga Peninsula on Tuesday, led by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Rex Gatchalian, marked a significant step forward. The 5,000 bags of Jasmine rice, which accounts for approximately 11.8 percent of the total 42,180 bags of imported rice valued at P42 million confiscated by the Bureau of Customs-Port of Zamboanga in a raid on a warehouse in Barangay San Jose Gusu, Zamboanga City on 19 May, effectively addressed the immediate food requirements of some of the most impoverished beneficiaries residing in the municipalities of Tungawan, Sibuco and Zamboanga City. More indigents in the province struggling with food insecurity and lacking access to nutritious meals await the distribution of the remaining 37,180 bags. They, too, want to be assured of sustenance during times of hardship. A matter of concern, however, is the possibility that unscrupulous government officials may repurpose confiscated smuggled rice for their personal gain, instead of utilizing it for the intended public welfare. Over the weeks since August, a total of P940 million worth of smuggled rice was seized by authorities. In three warehouses in Bulacan, P500 million worth of smuggled rice was found. This was not confiscated though. The warehouses were just padlocked, and we are in the dark if charges were filed against the owners. An estimated P40 million worth of smuggled rice from Vietnam, Thailand, and China was seized in Bacoor, Cavite, and Pulang Lupa, Las Piñas, on 14 September. On 18 September, government agents raided warehouses in Tondo, Manila, where P400 million worth of suspected smuggled rice and other imported products were found. Confiscating smuggled goods, such as rice, should allow the government to tackle the illicit trade while ensuring fairness in the distribution of the seized items. We ought to exempt our country from the roster of developing nations because it is where the poor bear a disproportionate burden due to smuggling activities, making it imperative to prioritize their welfare over the interests of greedy traders in cahoots with corrupt officials. By ensuring a fair distribution of nearly a billion pesos worth of confiscated smuggled rice, the national government reduces the demand for illegal markets, discourages ongoing smuggling activities, and encourages legal channels for food distribution. Rather than going uneaten inside sealed warehouses or having them destroyed, distributing them prevents waste and maximizes their value for the benefit of those in need. While distributing them can address immediate food needs, it should only be part of a broader strategy to address poverty, promote sustainable livelihoods, and improve access to education, healthcare, and economic opportunities for disadvantaged populations. In bridging the gap between the haves and have-nots, ensuring that even the most vulnerable members of society have access to basic necessities has taken off in Zamboanga. We keep our right fingers crossed that the distribution of hundreds of thousands of 25-kilo bags of smuggled rice reaches the tables of underprivileged Filipinos to signal genuine public goodwill and trust in authorities. On the left hand, we do the same thing that the government prioritizes efforts to identify and hold corrupt officials involved in smuggling accountable, ensuring that they do not benefit from the distribution of seized rice. The post More rice, please appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 19th, 2023

What’s in a dash?

China last week released a new map that expanded its original 9-dash line territorial claim in the South China Sea with the addition of a 10th dash east of Taiwan. That move by Beijing drew strong condemnation from the Philippines, Malaysia and India, and a statement of concern from the United States. Other nations, especially those with overlapping claims in the South China Sea, can be expected to also vigorously oppose Beijing’s new map which was built on the original claim it first floated in the 1940s. While the Philippines resoundingly won its case against China before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague with a final ruling in 2016, Beijing has refused to be bound by it and now mocks the same with a 10-dash line map. Just to recap, the arbitral court recognized the Philippines’ maritime entitlement in the West Philippine Sea, which overlaps with the South China Sea. At the same time, it declared China’s sovereign claim over nearly the entire SCS legally and historically baseless. The addition of the 10th dash east of Taiwan is troubling because it may be used by Beijing to lay claim to the Pratas Islands, which are claimed not only by Taiwan but also by Vietnam. Located in the northern part of the South China Sea, the Pratas Islands are strategically important because from there one may control access to the Taiwan Strait. Geopolitical experts are warning that China’s new map may be preparatory to Beijing building military bases in the Pratas as it has done in the Mischief, Gaven, Hughes and Cuarteron reefs, just to name a few. Beijing’s control of passage in and out of the Taiwan Strait is simply inconceivable and unacceptable. Without a doubt, the Taiwan Strait is a vital commercial waterway that connects the Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, with an estimated half a million ships passing through it each year. The strait is critical for trade between China, Japan, South Korea, and the US. It is also a major oil and gas shipping route from the Middle East to East Asia. The numbers should give us an idea why China’s 10th dash is being pilloried by nations as inconsistent with international law that guarantees the freedom of navigation. An estimate had put the value of goods transported through the Taiwan Strait at $1.5 trillion in 2022, making it the world’s third busiest strait, after the Strait of Hormuz and the Malacca Strait. China, of course, claims Taiwan as its territory and, in fact, its President, Xi Jinping, has vowed to retake it by force if it comes to that. China has claimed the strait as its internal waters, but the US does not recognize that claim. One possibility looms large on the horizon: That China will use the 10-dash line claim to justify its continued militarization of the South China Sea, leading to heightened tension between it and the rest of the world that fears unwarranted control by Beijing of the Taiwan Strait. It has to be emphasized that both the 9-dash line and 10-dash line claims of China have not been recognized by international law. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, or UNCLOS, which is the main international treaty governing the use of the oceans, does not recognize any country’s right to claim territorial waters beyond its 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone. As China has yet to formally adopt the 10-dash line, however, there’s a need to review how the arbitral court had ruled in favor of the Philippines in 2016 based on three main findings: First, China has not historically exercised exclusive control over the waters within the nine-dash line; second, the line cannot be considered a valid maritime boundary; and third, China’s actions in the South China Sea, including its land reclamation activities, have violated the Philippines’ sovereign rights and its exclusive economic zone. While Beijing may choose to ignore the arbitral ruling, it is nonetheless a strong legal opinion on the matter that could embolden other countries to challenge China’s overreach into their respective territories. China’s actions in the South China Sea are a reminder of its growing assertiveness in the region. Beijing has been steadily militarizing its claims in the South China Sea, and it has also been using its economic power to pressure other countries into accepting its claims. The world must stand firm against China’s aggression and make it clear that nations will not tolerate Beijing’s attempts to bully its neighbors or violate international law. The stakes are high in the South China Sea. The region is home to some of the world’s most important shipping lanes, and it is also rich in natural resources. China cannot be allowed to have its way and put the region in a stranglehold. The post What’s in a dash? appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 4th, 2023

Phl rejects China fishing ban

The Philippine government on Friday, through the Department of Foreign Affairs, rejected the fishing moratorium imposed by China in the South China Sea. In a chance interview, DFA spokesperson Tess Daza said the Philippines will not abide by China’s annual fishing ban. “We do not recognize China’s fishing ban,” she said. “This has been the subject of our diplomatic protests and we will continue to register our formal opposition to it.” The DFA said that imposing a fishing ban in parts of the Philippines’ maritime zones is an “illegal exercise of state authority” by another country. China claims nearly the whole of the South China Sea, including the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone in the West Philippine Sea, which a 2016 arbitral ruling affirmed. “We urge China to take active measures at the port to prevent its fishing fleets from encroaching into our territorial sea and EEZ,” the DFA said. China has been imposing a fishing ban in the South China Sea since 1999 — a move criticized by the Philippines and other claimants in the South China Sea like Malaysia and Taiwan. Earlier this year, China imposed a moratorium on fishing in the South China Sea to purportedly promote sustainable fishing in the resource-rich waters. Vietnam, another claimant state in the South China Sea, called the ban a violation of its sovereignty rights and jurisdiction over the waters. The Philippines has warned China that it is “ready” to “take law enforcement measures against illegal fishing activities in its waters.” The post Phl rejects China fishing ban appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 18th, 2023

Phl rejects China fishing ban

The Philippine government on Friday, through the Department of Foreign Affairs, rejected the fishing moratorium imposed by China in the South China Sea. In a chance interview, DFA spokesperson Tess Daza said the Philippines would not abide by the annual fishing ban of China. “We do not recognize China's fishing ban,” Daza said. “This has been the subject of our diplomatic protests and we will continue to register our formal opposition to it.” The DFA said imposing a fishing ban on the waters part of the Philippines’ maritime zones is an “illegal exercise of state authority”. “We urge China to take active measures at port to prevent its fishing fleets from encroaching into our territorial sea and EEZ (exclusive economic zone),” the agency said. China has been imposing a fishing ban in the South China Sea since 1999 — a move being criticized by the Philippines and other claimants in the South China Sea. Earlier this year, China imposed a moratorium on fishing in the South China Sea to promote sustainable fishing in the resource-rich waters. Vietnam, one of the claimant states in the South China Sea, called the ban a violation of its sovereignty rights and jurisdiction in the said waters. The Philippines also warned China that it is “ready” to “take law enforcement measures on illegal fishing activities in its waters.” The vast South China Sea, which is claimed by the People’s Republic of China, covers the West Philippine Sea, which is also claimed by the Philippines. On 12 July 2016, the Philippines won its arbitral case against China in the Permanent Court of Arbitration — a landmark decision that the People’s Republic of China continues to reject. The post Phl rejects China fishing ban appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 18th, 2023

U.S. must step up too

American analysts have been exploring the possible ways the West Philippine Sea conflict will play out primarily with the       so-called “gray zone” maneuvers by China in the disputed waters in which non-military activities are employed for coercion. The United States Institute of Peace, or USIP, a federal body tasked with promoting conflict resolution and prevention worldwide, is reviewing ways that Washington can play a role in de-escalating the tension in the region. The review was sparked by an act of aggression last week when a Chinese Coast Guard vessel deployed a water cannon to redirect an unarmed Philippine Navy supply boat. China blamed the incident on the Philippine government’s continued defiance of an earlier understanding to ban the delivery of construction materials to the beached BRP Sierra Madre navy vessel at Ayungin Shoal. Tensions have been on the rise since last year on China’s perception that Manila was moving closer to Washington, prompting a more aggressive assertion of its claim over most of the West Philippine Sea. “Given that Washington and Manila have a mutual defense treaty, there is credible concern that an incident like this could trigger a wider US-China conflict,” according to the USIP. Under a new Philippine administration, the formerly conciliatory approach the country had taken in its dispute with China has shifted. Instead, Brian Harding, USIP senior expert for Southeast Asia and Pacific Islands, said President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has highlighted China’s efforts to swarm and intimidate fishing and coast guard vessels to take the bold move of deepening defense ties with the United States, bringing China-Philippines ties to a new low. Ayungin Shoal, the USIP expert said, has long been a likely candidate for the first showdown between the Philippines and China since Beijing took control of Scarborough Shoal in 2012. Former Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio also identified the shoal, in a speech the other day, as one of five possible flashpoints that may lead to a deeper maritime conflict. In 1999, the Philippines intentionally beached a World War II naval vessel on a submerged reef, located within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, and has since maintained a small contingent of Marines on board in extremely austere conditions. As a practical matter, in recent years China has turned a blind eye to the Philippines replenishing supplies for the Marines but has blocked the delivery of materials that could be used to repair the ship. USIP’s Andrew Scobell, a China expert, said the recent aggressive actions of a large China Coast Guard vessel on a tiny Filipino Navy supply boat was merely the latest episode in a decades-long campaign of intimidation and coercion by Beijing. Based on its insisted-on nine-dash line boundaries, Beijing claims the right to restrict access to ships from other countries to the South China Sea. “Many of (China’s) white-hulled ships are far larger, much better equipped, and more intimidating than the gray hull naval vessels possessed by most Southeast Asian states,” USIP said. China has persisted in its well-orchestrated campaign of low-intensity conflict, what is widely called “gray zone” actions, to forcefully advance its claims and aggressively push back against rivals. Carla Freeman, a senior USIP expert on China, said that beyond the effort to persuade and deter China, the US should engage in diplomacy to encourage allies and partners in the region to make clear to Beijing their own concerns about the risks to peace posed by confrontation. Regional allies have already issued statements criticizing China’s behavior, with Tokyo using unusually strong language to condemn China’s conduct, the USIP said. Like the Philippines’ position, the USIP said that Washington’s efforts in support of a binding code of conduct, or CoC, would be key to preventing conflict. The USIP, nonetheless, sees as a major obstacle toward progress in the United States itself since it is limited in its diplomatic capabilities after it failed to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Taking the high road in the simmering conflict, thus, would need both the US and China to review their positions of leadership to keep the stability in the region. The post U.S. must step up too appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 16th, 2023

Heinous crime on high seas

The West Philippine Sea has been a longstanding flashpoint in Southeast Asia due to the competing territorial claims between China and the Philippines. Amid the territorial dispute, a concerning incident occurred when China’s Coast Guard again fired a water cannon at a Philippine vessel on a resupply mission to Ayungin Shoal. Ayungin Shoal, also known as Second Thomas Shoal, is an atoll located in the Spratly Islands chain in the West Philippine Sea. The Philippines claims Ayungin Shoal as part of its exclusive economic zone or EEZ, while China asserts its historical rights over the entire South China Sea, including areas claimed by neighboring countries. This is not the first time the Chinese Coast Guard committed provocative acts against Philippine vessels. Earlier, on March 2021, when the Philippine Coast Guard attempted to deliver supplies and rotate personnel stationed on the grounded BRP Sierra Madre on Ayungin Shoal, the China Coast Guard intercepted the Philippine vessel and used water cannons to deter the resupply mission. The Sierra Madre is a scuttled, rusted Philippine Navy ship that serves as the country’s outpost on Ayungin. The firing of water cannons on Philippine vessels underscores the increasing tension in the West Philippine Sea. Such provocative acts heighten the risk of a clash between the two countries’ naval forces, which would surely lead to further instability in the region. With other claimant states, such as Vietnam and Malaysia, having their own territorial disputes with China, any escalation of hostilities could have far-reaching consequences for regional stability and peace. The latest water cannon incident further strains Philippines-China relations, which have been marred by territorial disputes in the West Philippine Sea for years. The Philippines has consistently sought a peaceful resolution through diplomatic means and in adherence to international law, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea or UNCLOS. However, China’s assertive actions, including the deployment of its Coast Guard and maritime militia in the disputed waters, have challenged these efforts. The incident at Ayungin Shoal adds to the mistrust and animosity between the two countries, making the prospect of diplomatic negotiations more challenging. It also raises concerns among Filipinos about their country’s ability to protect its sovereignty and maritime rights in the face of China’s growing assertiveness in the region. The Ayungin Shoal incident is just one of many incidents that have contributed to the complexities of the West Philippine Sea dispute. China’s expansive claims and island-building activities in the area have raised concerns among other claimant states and the international community. The Permanent Court of Arbitration’s landmark ruling in 2016, which invalidated China’s “nine-dash line” claim and affirmed the Philippines’ sovereign rights within its EEZ, has not deterred China’s actions. China’s militarization of artificial islands and imposition of fishing restrictions further intensified tensions and escalated the territorial dispute. The water cannon incident reflects a broader pattern of behavior, where China uses its military and paramilitary forces to assert dominance and control over contested waters, challenging the norms of international law and UNCLOS. To achieve lasting peace and stability, it is crucial for all parties involved to uphold the principles of international law, including UNCLOS, and engage in diplomatic negotiations in good faith. Moreover, regional and international cooperation is essential to addressing the complexities of the West Philippine Sea dispute and promoting a peaceful resolution that will respect the rights and interests of all claimant states. Only through constructive dialogue and adherence to established norms can the countries in the region find a way to coexist peacefully and ensure the sustainable management of the West Philippine Sea’s resources for the benefit of all stakeholders. **** E-mail: mannyangeles27@gmail.com The post Heinous crime on high seas appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 9th, 2023

Eastern Samar church up in arms vs mining

BORONGAN CITY — Over a thousand parishioners under the Diocese of Borongan marched to the streets for a “Jericho Walk” on Monday morning to air grievances against the continued mining operations in the historic islands of Homonhon and Manicani in the southern town of Guiuan. The prayer rally, led by Borongan Bishop Crispin Varquez, was composed mainly of members of various pastoral organizations from different parishes under the diocese, students of catholic schools, seminarians, nuns and church workers. Fr. James Abella, head of Borongan’s diocesan social action center, said the church is alarmed by the escalating mining activities in the whole Samar Island especially in Guiuan. “It is also our way to call for action to protect the environment and the rights of communities in Homonhon and Manicani,” Abella said. The “Jericho Walk” started at the Borongan Capitol grounds and ended at the Cathedral Parish of the Nativity of Our Lady with a Mass where Varquez was the main presider. In his pastoral message, Varquez said mining operations have worsened the state of poverty due to its impact on marine ecosystems, livelihoods and their health and well-being. Varquez also appealed to the provincial and municipal boards as well as village leaders in affected communities not to endorse mining applications. He also asked the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau to cancel all mining permits in Samar island. “Let us not be blind to the current horrific effects of mining operations on our main islands, islets, radically scarring landscapes and seascapes,” said the bishop. He stressed that instead of mining, the government should promote agri-ecological tourism in these islands, saying that while mining only contributes 1.10 percent to the country’s gross domestic product, tourism’s share is at 5 to 6 percent. The post Eastern Samar church up in arms vs mining appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 9th, 2023

Converge building 3 new data centers for $60M

  Fiber internet service provider Converge ICT Solutions, Inc. is investing $60 million to simultaneously build three new data centers in the country to serve the surge in data requirements. In an interview last week, Converge CEO and Co-Founder Dennis Anthony Uy said each site, which will likely be complete in the next two years, will have a maximum capacity of 1,000 racks. “We will build three data centers this year. We now have a site in Angeles, Pampanga, and Quezon City. Usually, they will have 600 racks per site and expandable to 1,000 and it will be within 18 to 24 months,” Uy said. Converge is currently building a P1-billion data center in Cebu with around 300 racks, which is scheduled to be complete by the third quarter of 2024. Data centers are facilities centralizing an organization's shared information technology operations and equipment to store, process, and disseminate data and applications. Since they house critical assets, data centers are important in sustaining the daily operations of a company. Despite the hefty investment needed for the new facilities, Uy said Converge is not yet planning to hold any fundraising activities. “We don’t have any new fund-raising activity, especially now interest rates are so high. We were just lucky to have secured financial support earlier,” he said. Based on the 2023 First Quarter market report by S&P Global Market Intelligence, the Philippines is poised to book a 13 percent compounded annual growth rate in data center operational space between 2020 to 2025. The positive projection was driven by the recent expansion of hyperscalers and significant interests of global enterprises in the country — placing the Philippines on a competitive footing with Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. The post Converge building 3 new data centers for $60M appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 7th, 2023

Senators blast China’s use of water cannon vs. Philippine vessels in Ayungin Shoal

Senators on Sunday condemned the "excessive and offensive" actions of Chinese Coast Guard vessels against Philippine vessels near the Ayungin Shoal last Friday. Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri called the People’s Republic of China’s actions “reaffirms the merit of the resolution the Senate has unanimously passed.” The incident, which took place on 5 August near the Ayungin Shoal, happened barely a week after the Senate unanimously adopted a resolution denouncing China's intrusion into the West Philippine Sea and its harassment of Filipino fishermen. “Because China contemptuously ignores protests, all the more that we have to rally the world to condemn acts which have no place in a civilized order,” Zubiri said in a statement. In a statement issued on Sunday, the Philippine Coast Guards accused the CCG of using water cannon against its vessels while en route to the Ayungin Shoal for a routine troop rotation and resupply mission. Ayungin Shoal is located 105 nautical miles west of Palawan and is part of the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of the Philippines. In a separate statement, the Armed Forces of the Philippines also condemned China’s latest actions in the WPS, which it described as “excessive and offensive.” Zubiri said China’s actions are “yet again a manifestation of its ‘might vs. right’ treatment of its peaceful neighbors.” “By its actions, it shows diplomatic duplicity, of preaching about amity, but practicing hostile behavior,” he said. “We want to have friendship with you but why is it difficult to love you, China?” Senate Deputy Minority Leader Risa Hontiveros echoed the same sentiments against China, saying China has no right to block the Philippine vessels in its own territory. “The Chinese Coast Guard has absolutely no right to block, let alone water cannon, our supply vessels. They do not have any right to starve Filipinos in the Ayungin Shoal,” Hontiveros said in a separate statement. “China’s repeated provocations are in complete violation of UNCLOS and the 2016 Arbitral Award. I call on our regional neighbors and the broader international community to join the Philippines in condemning this dangerous behavior,” she added. In a bid to strengthen the country’s position in the Ayungin Shoal, the Philippine government permanently supplies its forces there through the BRP Sierra Madre. The BRP Sierra Madre was a World War 2 landing ship tank that was stationed at the Ayungin Shoal since 1999. Hontiveros said she is hoping that the Philippines could soon start joint patrols with other claimant countries in the South China Sea such as Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei. “We need to cooperate with them to halt these aggressive actions of China,” she said. “I am also hoping that the DFA is now formulating steps to raise China’s endless incursions to different international fora.” “The recently adopted Senate resolution 718, with its precision and specific recommendations, is at their disposal,” she added. Senate Resolution 718 urges the Philippine government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs, to “continue asserting” the country’s sovereign rights over its exclusive economic rights. 'Heed Senate’s call' For his part, Senate Deputy Majority Leader Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito called on the national government to heed the Senate’s resolution which contains several recommendations for the executive department. “We cannot let this slip. This is too much already! China is very frustrating! China’s hostile actions towards our Philippine Navy, Philippine Coast Guard, and fishermen are extreme. Our territory, security, and peace are at stake here,” he said in a separate statement. “I urge the national government to heed the Senate's recent resolution on China's aggression and take decisive measures to safeguard our territorial integrity,” he added. Ejercito continued: “These measures will require us to expedite the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and strengthen our defense cooperation program and pacts with our allies.” For Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva, China’s actions against PCG in the WPS require a strong stance from the Philippine government. “This is the reason why the Senate adopted Resolution No. 79 strongly condemning incursions like this,” Villanueva said. “Your Senate is always ready to fight for and protect the country’s sovereignty and sovereign rights.” Like Ejercito, Villanueva reminded the executive department of the newly adopted resolution which contains a guide for the DFA. “We urge the Department of Foreign Affairs to implement the courses of action stipulated in the resolution passed by the Senate to finally put an end into this harassment and bullying by China,” he said. Under the resolution, the DFA is “expected” to continue holding dialogues with the Chinese government to push for recognition and respect of the Philippines' sovereign rights over its EEZ and pursue the formulation of the Code of Conduct for the South China Sea based on international law and the UNCLOS. Should China continue to ignore the country’s efforts, the resolution contains actions the agency must do such as bringing international attention to China's harassment of Filipino fishermen in the Philippine EEZ and its continued violation of the Hague Ruling and the UNCLOS; utilizing international fora to rally multilateral support for the enforcement of the Hague Ruling and raise awareness on the real situation in the West Philippine Sea; and engaging with “like-minded” countries to call on China to respect the Hague Ruling and the UNCLOS. The DFA is also encouraged to file a resolution before the United Nations General Assembly, to call for the cessation of all activities that harass Philippine vessels and violate the Philippines' established rights in the West Philippine Sea; and pursue other diplomatic modes as the agency may deem appropriate and necessary. ‘Sensible plans' For his part, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III urged the PCG to come up with sensible plans to overcome China’s increasingly aggressive actions towards Philippine vessels that are on a re-supply mission to the Ayungin Shoal. “The PCG should overcome the CCG on our re-supply missions. They should come up with sensible plans behind closed doors,” Pimentel said in a separate statement. Asked if the recent actions of China against Philippine vessels could trigger the activation of the mutual defense treaty between the Philippines and the United States, Pimentel said: “Use diplomacy and intelligent tactics.” “The MDT should not be invoked lightly. Use our ‘kokote’ not the MDT,” he added. In a separate statement, the US State Department warned that an armed attack on Philippine public vessels, aircraft, and armed forces—including those of its Coast Guard in South China The post Senators blast China’s use of water cannon vs. Philippine vessels in Ayungin Shoal appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 6th, 2023

Brawner: Joint military exercises with China, Vietnam still possible

The Philippines is considering the possible conduct of joint military exercises with China and Vietnam, according to Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. “Again, we are not closing our possibilities, our prospect according to our President is that we are friends to all, enemies to none,” Brawner said in a radio interview Sunday. Brawner said the country is only exercising its military diplomacy when it comes to entering military-to-military activities with its allies and partners across the globe. “Because really our objective is to prevent war while we are preparing for possible war,” he added. Brawner maintained the AFP will be exploring chances to heighten the country’s military presence in the WPS by massively conducting maritime patrols. “As of present, we are conducting such ourselves, unilateral patrols of the area. But we are exploring all possibilities because we very well know that when it comes to our own national defense, we really cannot do it by ourselves. We really have to depend on our allies, our partners,” Brawner said. He added that the patrolling efforts in the WPS remain “unilateral” to the Philippines. “We are exploring all the possibilities because when it comes to defending our country—we can’t do it alone. We really have to depend on our allies and on our partners,” Brawner said when asked if the Philippines has an existing patrolling arrangement with other countries. Meanwhile, Senator Francis Tolentino said conducting joint disaster relief efforts with China is “more feasible” than a joint maritime patrol amid the country’s territorial claims in the WPS. “To me, what I see as more possible is a joint disaster team, HADR, or Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response,” he said. This amid the Philippines, China, and Vietnam, along with Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Taiwan, shared overlapping territorial claims and sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea—which has an estimated billion barrels of untapped oil and trillion cubic feet of natural gas with a very abundant fishing area. Brawner earlier said that Beijing offered Manila to conduct maritime patrol together. But, he did not provide further details as to how and where the joint military exercise will possibly be conducted between China and the Philippines. He stressed that AFP’s relations with its counterpart in China remain limited to training. Further, Tolentino said there must be a proper document presented should the AFP would consider a joint maritime patrol with China. “Kung magkakaroon ng joint patrol, kasama ang China, dapat po ito maging bahagi ng isang tratado na may concurrence ang Senado (If there will be a joint patrol with China, it should be part of a treaty with the concurrence of the Senate),” he stressed. Senator Risa Hontiveros earlier filed a resolution seeking support from the United Nations General Assembly or UNGA in protecting Philippine sovereignty in WPS. The post Brawner: Joint military exercises with China, Vietnam still possible appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 1st, 2023

Marcos: Gov’t to address taxation issues raised by investors

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. told business leaders that the government will be introducing amendments to the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises or CREATE Act to address the issues on taxation raised by several investors. “We’re working on those issues and... we will be introducing the amendments for the CREATE law to take care of this,” Marcos said at the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Advisory Council or ABAC meeting on Friday, 28 July in Cebu City. Marcos told executives of three major companies in Cebu City, including the Marubeni Corp., Austal Ltd., and Tsuneishi Heavy Industries-Cebu Inc., that the government will be considering whatever amendments the business leaders wish to add. “If you have your own amendments with you, we’d like to see, we will be happy to look at one. I want to hear from everyone what their ideas are, or even just, from your experience in other countries, what has worked for you,” the President said. Among the raised issues were the 12-percent Value Added Tax imposed on indirect exporters supplying goods and services to export-oriented enterprises; non-refund of VAT incurred by the domestic market enterprises or DMEs on their local purchases; tedious documentary requirements, slow process; and the unpredictability of VAT refund claims. Marcos administration noted that the proposed amendments to the CREATE Act and Implementing Rules and Regulations “will allow the sales of indirect exporters to export-oriented enterprises to be subject to VAT zero-rating”—provided such sales are directly and exclusively used in the registered project or activity of the exporters. The proposed amendments also include that DMEs under the five percent gross income tax regime will have the option to register as VAT taxpayers. This will allow DMEs to charge output VAT to domestic customers, or to receive a refund from the Bureau of Internal Revenue. This coincides with the BIR issuing several directives “to streamline the procedures and reduce documentary requirements” for filing and processing VAT refunds. The Marubeni Corp., with 2022 Philippine revenue of P20.7 billion, started overseas activities in Manila in 1909 as a trader of textiles and abaca—with its primary business encompassing infrastructure development, investments in power, water, heavy equipment, healthcare, large-scale import and export of commodities, among others. While Austal Ltd., the world’s largest aluminum shipbuilder, is seeking clarification on the 12-percent VAT exemption on locally built vessels. It operates industry-leading shipyards in Australia, the United States, the Philippines, and Vietnam. Meanwhile, THI, involved in reclamation plans to expand its business in Cebu by expanding its current 32-hectare reclamation at the northern in Buanoy, Balamban, Cebu. THI obtained its reclamation permit in 2008. “I’ll talk to Secretary and I think that they’re undergoing that review process now. Because we have to be very careful,” Marcos said during the meeting with THI officials. Marcos earlier said the economies must “transform” their business activities to help in resolving key challenges and demands affecting the Asia-Pacific region. “Today’s global challenges such as climate change, ocean waste, and pollution, shift to clean energy, smart city agglomeration, they all require the economies the transformation of economic and business activities to ensure that these critical issues are effectively addressed,” he said. The post Marcos: Gov’t to address taxation issues raised by investors appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJul 29th, 2023

Setting out on a journey towards climate goals

In order to build its climate strategy, Cebu Pacific (CEB) established a cooperation with South Pole, which will aid them towards their environmental goals. Leading climate organization South Pole creates the initiatives and solutions required to empower people all around the world to combat climate change. In support of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the International Civil Aviation Organization approved the long-term global aspirational targets of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 in 2022. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced its "Fly Net Zero" promise to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 a year early. "Cebu Pacific supports global aviation’s goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. With South Pole’s guidance and expertise, we will develop a robust plan of action to prioritize interventions for emission hotspots in our operations. This roadmap will consider and fuse together the tangible initiatives that we have already put in place, as well as plans that will contribute towards our aspirations of meeting aviation’s net-zero commitment," said Mike Szucs, Cebu Pacific’s Chief Executive Officer. Szucs added that the engagement with South Pole involves CEB going through the rigorous process of understanding the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated from its operations and setting its near-term and long-term emission reduction pathways. This roadmap will build into CEB’s current decarbonization strategy, which includes its fleet modernization program, fuel efficiency measures, successful integration of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) into its operations, transition to electric vehicles, and tapping renewable energy, among others. "CEB has been monitoring and reporting its Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions since 2018. But as with other companies, Scope 3 emissions are a blind spot for Cebu Pacific, and we recognize the complexities in accounting for these emissions. To set a credible emissions reduction pathway, it is essential to have a comprehensive validation of our material emissions. Hence, we are tapping into South Pole’s climate expertise in this area," said Alex Reyes, Chief Strategy Officer, who also leads sustainability in Cebu Pacific. South Pole will support CEB in scoping its activities to identify the relevant Scope 3 emissions from its entire upstream and downstream value chains. "To drive a sustainable long-term recovery in the aviation industry, we must continue to facilitate global climate action to achieve net zero by 2050... By placing climate at the center of its strategy, we are confident that CEB will make great strides in its climate journey, and we are proud to support CEB in achieving its sustainability goals," said Shruti Singh, South Pole’s Director, Climate Strategies for Asia Pacific. CEB’s climate strategy roadmap that will be developed under the engagement ensures that its emissions reduction pathway is aligned with climate science and with the global temperature targets under the Paris Agreement. The aviation industry, which, according to IATA, is responsible for 2–3% of global emissions, has a crucial role to play in this transition. The post Setting out on a journey towards climate goals appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 25th, 2023

BIR kicks off tax compliance and verification drive

Subic Bay Freeport — The Bureau of Internal Revenue has conducted a Tax Compliance and Verification Drive at the warehouses inside the Subic Bay Gateway Park, Phase II here, leading to the closure of a manufacturing firm here. BIR commissioner Atty. Romeo “Jun” Lumagui Jr. led the inspection on Friday at the warehouse of Onesubic Premier Manufacturing Corporation, a registered manufacturing corporation of Regional District Office 19 of the BIR. Lumagui said that the company is licensed to operate as a manufacturer of cigarettes and has a permit to operate non-tobacco material warehouse. He added that during the inventory taking, the TCVD team discovered that there were no manufacturing machines and no finished cigarette products made by OPMC in the area. The official also said that there were export sales of cigarettes made by OPMC to foreign corporation with bill of lading presented upon inquiry, and that the finished cigarette products involved in OPMC’s export sales per verification were sourced from another manufacturing corporation. Lumagui said that the company is allegedly OPMC’s sister company identified as Hongcim International Corporation, citing that the warehouse is also part of the building where OPMC is leasing. “OPMC is engaged in unregistered activities such as printing cigarette packaging boxes without prior registration with the Large Taxpayer Excise Tax Division of BIR, National Office as prescribed by existing BIR rules and regulation,” said Lumagui. The OPMC declared during an interview with the TCVD team that they do not produce cigarettes, citing that they only produce cigarette boxes in packs and reams, which were sold only in Clark and internationally. “Upon our inspection, we found out through the company’s used manual sales invoice that they have sold packs of finished cigarettes internationally to Vietnam and Cambodia alongside with the sale of empty printed boxes used to pack cigarettes,” the commissioner said. The post BIR kicks off tax compliance and verification drive appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJul 14th, 2023

Italian navy ship ‘Francesco Morosini’ arrives in Manila

The Italian Navy Ship (ITS) "Francesco Morosini” arrived in Manila for a five-day port call. The port visit of the 144-meter multipurpose Italian patrol vessel here, from 7 to 11 July, is part of its five-month naval campaign in the Indo-Pacific region. The Italian ship docking here reinforces the cooperation between Italy and the Philippines in order to promote naval diplomacy along with freedom of navigation, respect for the international law of the sea, and a safe and inclusive Indo-Pacific. In an interview on Saturday, Ambassador to the Philippines Marco Clemente also confirmed that the Philippines and Italy will hold a joint military exercise while the Morosini is docked here. “The exercise in the port of Manila will open a lot of opportunity… This presence of the ship Morosini can make a difference for the future of our bilateral relations,” he said. The “Morisini” mission purposes in the Indo-Pacific area are focused on promoting the international image of the Italian Navy and Italy as a whole but the deployment is actually also supporting marine international research, conducted by two Italian researchers of the Italian Superior Institute of Health, aiming to collect biological and physical samples up to 100 meters depth along her cruise in some parts of the Indo-Pacific basins. “Italy is very much interested in the stability of the region. The Indo-Pacific region is crucial not only for the obvious strategic reason that through this area is where the main bulk of the trade goes through,” Clemente said. He added that stability in the region also means “free trade and stability of the economic situation.” The Italian vessel features a peculiar wave-piercing double bow—an engineering solution optimizing the vessel’s performances in terms of hydrodynamics and maximum attainable speed, with a significant reduction in fuel consumption. Entirely built in Italy at Fincantieri’s Integrated Shipyard, the ITS Morosini is named after the Doge of Venice who successfully commanded the Venetian Republic fleet in the XVII century in numerous naval battles against the Ottoman empire. The ship, a multipurpose off-shore patrol vessel, is designed with enhanced “dual use” features to perform both military tasks (including patrol, logistic transport, and surface combat) and civil protection activities (wide range of containerized/palletized first aid delivery, fresh water, and electricity provider, medical facilities, vertical lift transportation, wideband communications and embarked laboratories, sea pollution barrier, and agents deployment, etc. The combination of new technologies and extensive use of the modularity concept make this unit a cutting-edge engineering solution, a real Italian excellence. Rear Admiral Fabio Gregori, chief of staff of the Italian Navy Fleet, said Italy has been sending its naval fleet to different waters as it pushes for naval diplomacy, and “develop ties and strengthening the cooperation and partners in the region.” Gregori said they intend to “routinely deploy” ships in the Indo-Pacific to strengthen their ties with counterparts in this area. “The Philippines is one of the main strategic partners in this area,” he added, noting that the Morosini has also anchored in Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, and South Korea earlier this year. He, likewise, stressed that Italy is also eyeing to sail to India, Bangladesh, and later on, the Middle East. The Morosini measures 143 meters in length, 16.5 meters in beam, and 8.2 meters in draught, with a range of 5,000 nautical miles (9,300 kilometers) at 15 knots (28 kph). The Morosini is expected to perform a joint passing exercise or PASSEX with a Philippine Navy Ship on 11 July, upon leaving the country. The post Italian navy ship ‘Francesco Morosini’ arrives in Manila appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 8th, 2023

Beyond slogans

The talk of the town remains to be the DoT fiasco where a lackluster slogan, “Love the Philippines”, was unveiled and which appeared to be a safe bet since it brought up similarities to previous slogans, i.e. “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” and “Wow Philippines.” What made things worse for the anticipated, and expensive, commercial was its use of stock footage that featured tourist sites that were not found in the Philippines. We can all admit that this was indeed a shortcoming on the part of the DoT, and Secretary Cristina Frasco has acknowledged this. Certain senators were talking at length about this, even suggesting that the new slogan be scrapped. Secretary Frasco took the high road and stood firm on the “Love the Philippines” slogan, signifying the need to move on from this fiasco, onward to more important matters, such as the implementation of tourism projects and legislation to bring in more tourists. If we compare the tourism revenues of the Philippines to our neighboring countries, we are clearly lagging behind. I was able to visit Thailand recently. From the moment you set foot at the airport, you could see that we are decades behind. The service accorded tourists is topnotch – you have a sense that the locals would not rip you off just because you are a tourist. Instead, you feel that you are a guest in their country, and guests are accorded respect in Thailand. How can the DoT address this? The DoT can identify tourism hotspots and educate the service industry on how to properly treat guests. This is a grassroots-level approach to help improve tourism, instead of an expensive and grandiose advertising campaign that is bound to be changed by the next administration in 2028. Another way the DoT can help is through national and local legislation. By offering incentives to businesses in the tourism sector, more companies would be keen to invest in Philippine tourism and set up businesses in areas that have yet to be capitalized. If you visit Boracay or Cebu, you would see a saturated tourism area, but in places like Siargao Island and San Vicente, Palawan, there may be a need for government to further support the economic development of these high-potential tourist areas. DoT can highlight activities and experiences unique to the Philippines that can be found in almost every corner. Rep. Joey Salceda was correct in pointing out that Mayon Volcano, one of the most picturesque volcanos in the entire world, was not even shown in the advertising campaign of the DoT. I have visited Mayon and it was a treat to walk around it and ride an ATV in the surrounding beautiful landscape. The Philippines can boast of its surfing and dive spots to a global audience. We can offer packages to bring in more surfers and divers who would spend months in the Philippines, longer than the ordinary tourist. As a passionate (not talented) golfer, we can promote golf tourism just like Vietnam and Thailand. Clark, by far, is the best place to promote golf with the presence of an international airport and world-class golfers just minutes away. Tourist areas such as Boracay, Palawan, Siargao and Bohol, would be riddled with golf tourists with spending power, if there were three to four golf courses in these areas. All in all, tourism is more than a slogan. It is the by-product of an entire government policy and ethos to make Filipinos more proactive in bringing in tourists. Perhaps, this is what the DoT and the Filipino public should focus on. *** For comments, email him at darren.dejesus@gmail.com The post Beyond slogans appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 6th, 2023