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Doublespeak blurs our position on SCS

Was President Duterte informing the United Nations merely for the record, or to lay the basis for an action plan, on the 2016 arbitral award in favor of the Philippines vs China affirming his country’s sovereign rights in its maritime areas under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea?.....»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarSep 28th, 2020

Carmen Tan named LT Group vice chair

LT Group Inc. has appointed Carmen Tan as its vice chairman, a year after restoring the position previously held by taipan Lucio Tan’s brother Harry......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated News18 hr. 27 min. ago

Megawide: Our credit position is good enough for Carbon Market dev’t

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Megawide Construction Corp., the conglomerate wooing Cebu City for the development of the Carbon Market, claims they have good credit to engage in a massive development such as the modernization of the said public market. This was the response of Louie Ferrer, President of Megawide, to the statement of Lawyer Winston […] The post Megawide: Our credit position is good enough for Carbon Market dev’t appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 23rd, 2020

Stay home or go on vacation? Senators want clarity on gov’t policy

MANILA, Philippines — Senators have requested the executive branch to clarify its position on restrictions in terms of the public’s movement amid the pandemic. “May we be clarified about the position of the government if they are encouraging people to stay at home, or are they really inviting people to go on vacation and sight-seeing […] The post Stay home or go on vacation? Senators want clarity on gov’t policy appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 23rd, 2020

What Korina Sanchez-Roxas wants to teach young girls about money

Popular broadcaster Korina Sanchez-Roxas is successful, sweet and independent – especially when it comes to money. During a media conference for her show “Rated Korina” held in Quezon City recently, Korina revealed that she never asked money from her husband former Senator Mar Roxas II. “Hindi ako humihingi ng pera sa asawa ko. So ang luho ko sa akin lang,” said Korina. “Pero may anak kami so hati kami. Kung gusto niyang abonohan ng buo puwede rin. Hindi na ako umaalma roon. Pero hindi ako humihingi.” Korina said that her being a breadwinner in the family when she was younger taught her how to value money. “Pero inaabutan niya ako pag nag bi-byahe kami. Natuto na rin akong tanggapin iyon pero dati tinatanggihan ko ‘yan. Kasi siguro naging breadwinner ako sa amin, ate kasi ako eh. Hindi ako sanay tumanggap. Ako yung taga-bigay,” she said. When asked if she gives money to her husband, Korina laughed and said: Oo naman. Abonado ako madalas.” Korina said she wanted to teach her daughter Pilar the importance of earning money for herself when she grows up. “I choose that. Ako iyong tumatanggi (sa pagtanggap ng money). Gusto ko ipamana iyan kay Pilar na kailangan ang babae, kumikita. Kailangan kumita ka para hindi ka nadidiktihan. “Okay lang naman iyong collaboration. Iba yung dinidiktahan ka. I can hold myself. I don’t bother him much. Ma-regalo naman siya. Wala na nga akong hinihingi so siyempre may regalo dapat,” said Korina as she smiled. Asked if the gifts she received were expensive, Korina said: “Hindi naman mayasdo. Pinagmamalaki ni Mar ‘yun. Hindi siya maluho. Ang relo pa rin niya ay Timex hanggang ngayon”. Korina said that they do not go out of town that much these days for their bonding moments because they already have children. “Hindi na kami masyado makalarga dahil sa mga bagets. Gusto na nga niya dalhin sa bundok o turuan mag-swimming (ang mga bata) pero ayoko muna hindi puwede. Ako ang masusunod. Pag seven years na yan, ayon sa batas,” the award-winning broadcaster said. Korina Sanchez-Roxas When asked about plans to have more children in the future, Korina said in jest: “Saka na natin pag usapan ‘yan. Working mom ako.” Korina said that she misses her kids – Pepe and Pilar – when she goes taping for several days. “Masakit yung anak mo na hindi mo nahahawakan from afar. Magki-kiss kami may salamin. Araw-araw ako naka Face Time, 2-3 times a day. Ayoko naman makalimutan nila ako. Si Pepe sa garden pa lang sumisigaw na siya ng ‘mama, mama!’ Alam na nila ang mga pangalan ng tao sa bahay. Pati tagaluto sa kusina kilala nila,” she said. “Ilongga ang anak ko! Si Jess, si Jiss. Si Pepe, Pipi! Sabi niya ‘ako man, ako man!’ Gusto ko ituro sa anak ko you have to make the most of your time. You don’t just watch TV the whole day,” she said. Produced by BrightLigt Productions, Korina said that she is excited for her journey on TV5. “Sa show ko ‘Rated Korina,’ walang editorializing. Kung manonood ka, ang mangyayari is mamamangha ka, matutuwa ka. There will be some issues but nothing political. Marami namang gumagawa ng ibang programa nun. Sasawsaw pa ba tayo dun? Four stories every week.” Rated Korina, a news magazine and lifestyle show, will be launched on Saturday, Oct. 24, on TV5, 4-5 p.m. Korina brushed aside competitions with other networks, saying this is not the right time to tear each other down. “If aint broke, why will you fix it? Kami nga iyong ginagaya di ba? The more the merrier. Magkakaibigan naman kami lahat niyan. Kino-congratulate ko pa nga ‘yung iba diyan pag-nananalo. Ang ganda nga ng position ni Sir Albee (Benitez), ‘ zero-network war.’ Now is not the time to tear each other down. The signs of the times, it’s teaching us that there’s something wrong in what we’re doing so ayan! Mag re-boot kayo. Siguro concentrate na lang in doing good,” she said. Korina also denied reports that she will be appointed to an executive position on TV5. “No! Kung gusto ko man humawak ng mga departamento, nuon pa sana ‘yan sa ABS-CBN. Nag-pioneer naman ako diyan di ba? I’m director level pero never ako nagkaroon ng tauhan. Kasi I would like to be on-cam. Maybe later on,” she said. But Korina said that she’s not closing her doors for any opporunities in the news department. “Later on siguro. Hindi naman mawawala iyan. Pag-isipan natin. Nasisiraan na ako ng ulo sa trabaho ko sa ‘Rated: Korina.’ Ako rin ang line producer. Pati ulam ng mga tao, iniisip ko.” Korina also shared some secrets for success in the broadcasting industry. “The glamor part is 10 percent. Ninety percent is hardwork. Kung papasok ka sa news, paano ka aangat? Hard work talaga ‘yan. Noon, doon ako natutulog sa kotse ko sa ABS-CBN. Sa weekend ako parating andun. Inuupuan ko editing ko kahit hindi kailangan. In anything you do, you need to work well. Kahit nag-gigisa ka lang ng sibuyas, you have to do it well. Just do it well at hindi ka mawawalan.”.....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2020

What will it take for the economy to recover?

The second panel member, former BSP deputy governor Diwa Guinigundo agreed that at the beginning of the pandemic, the country was in a position of strength, with strong macroeconomic fundamentals, and an efficient economy......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 21st, 2020

Korea& rsquo;s Hynix buying Intel& rsquo;s flash memory chip business

Seoul, South Korea—The world’s second-largest chipmaker, South Korea’s SK Hynix, announced a record $9-billion deal Tuesday to buy Intel’s flash memory chip operation as it seeks to bolster its position against rival behemoth Samsung Electronics......»»

Category: financeSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 20th, 2020

What spokespersons do

THE VIEW FROM RIZAL Dr. Jun Ynares An apparent “word war” recently erupted between the science community of the University of the Philippines (UP) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The tussle seems to have been triggered by what the DENR spokesperson described as a criticism from the UP scientists, particularly those who are part of the UP Marine Science Institute (UP MSI). The institute, according to its website, is UP’s “coordinating base for marine research.” Its mandate is to “pursue research, teaching and extension work” related to marine life in the large bodies of water in the country. The spokesperson of the DENR was visibly angry when he fired verbal shots against UP’s science community at a televised media conference last week. The DENR spokesperson labeled the UP scientists “bayaran” which roughly translates in English as “mercenaries” or “whore.” The televised rant was apparently triggered by what the spokesperson said was the criticism by UP scientists against the DENR’s “white sand” project for the Manila Bay shore. The project, it will be recalled, involved the use of so-called “dolomite” – the residue derived from crushing rocks and stones and which visually resembles white sand. Media described the DENR spokesperson’s action as “lashing out” against the UP experts, saying the latter have no right to air their criticism. He accused the scientists of having received some P500 million from the government and delivering nothing but consultation services. According to media, the DENR spokesperson called the UP scientists “blood-suckers.” In reporting the rant by the DENR spokesperson, media used the headline “DENR slams UP scientists.” This led to confusion among media consumers like us. Wasn’t it the DENR spokesperson who “slammed” UP scientists and not DENR per se? Why should the rant dished out by a spokesperson be attributed to the entire department? To explain the role of a spokesperson and the nature of that job, we turned to international training consultant and fellow Antipoleño Archie Inlong. Archie served as spokesperson for three major agencies – the erstwhile Department of Transportation and Communication, and the two Presidential Task Forces which rebuilt the areas affected by major disasters, the earthquake of 1990 and the subsequent eruptions of Mt. Pinatubo. “There are three important tasks that the spokesperson of a government agency performs,” he told us. “These are, first, to provide relevant information and instructions; second, to issue clarification when needed; and, third, to give assurances to the public on behalf of the organization he represents,” Archie explained. “Occasionally, the spokesperson also shares the point of view of the head of the agency, the latter’s prognosis, and position on certain issues,” he added. “There are items outside of what the spokesperson may safely say to the public, and these include rants, insults, accusations,” he continued. “When these come out of the spokesperson’s mouth,” the public interprets them as the official statement of the entire organization and its head,” he pointed out. This should explain why media now interprets the “mercenary/whore” label given by the DENR spokesperson to the scientists of UP as a “slam” coming from the DENR itself. “The spokesperson is a mouthpiece, that’s all,” Archie added. “We, spokespersons, must be good mouthpieces,” he said. Does that mean that a spokesperson is not entitled to express his own opinion, his own views, his own sentiment? This was his answer: “No, his job is to speak on behalf of the organization and its head, period.” “That disclaimer used by some spokespersons that the comment he or she made ‘is just my own opinion’ does not work,” Archie explained. “Outside of his role as the mouthpiece of the organization, the spokesperson has no personality and his words would carry no weight,” he added. So, does that mean we have to interpret the labels “mercenary” and “whore” given to UP scientists as having come from the DENR secretary himself, I asked. This was the answer I got. “Unless and until the head of agency disowns the statement, that would be the case.” Lesson learned: what the spokesperson says is the official stand of the organization and its head. That means the spokesperson job is something that must be taken seriously and must be handled with utmost prudence and care. Words have power. Particularly those that come from a spokesperson’s mouth......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 18th, 2020

Addressing mental health amid a pandemic

BETTER DAYS Senator Sonny Angara Mental health has historically been a difficult subject to talk about in Philippine society. Many of us, no doubt, have our own stories, personal or otherwise, of how difficult it is to seek help. In fact, in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, an August, 2020, analysis of many studies on the matter confirmed that the low utilization of mental health services among Filipinos could be attributed in part to the stigma associated with mental health issues, with resilience and self-reliance becoming possible alternate coping strategies. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has made mental health an even bigger issue. The quarantine, the economic effects of the pandemic, and the anxieties brought about by the virus’ unpredictability have had a negative effect on the mental health of many Filipinos. Although we as a country are consistently rated to be in the Top 5 of a global optimism index, according to the DOH, the calls for help have been increasing. According to the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH), their helpline received about 400 calls monthly from May, 2019, to February, 2020. That’s an average of 13 to 15 calls daily. By March, 672 calls were serviced, and this grew steadily in the following months, until there were 1,034 calls in July – and 440 for the half of August. These double the monthly average from March to August to 876 calls, or 32 to 37 calls daily. Many government and private mental health services are available for people who are seeking help or just someone to talk to. Aside from the NCMH crisis hotline, the Natasha Goulbourn Foundation has confidential crisis lines and a referral system to partnered psychologists. The foundation is also a hub for prevention, recognition, and treatment of depression. The Philippine Mental Health Association also offers similar services, and universities like UST, UP Diliman, and Ateneo de Manila have their own mental health service organizations. Some, like Ateneo’s Center for Family Ministries have affordable or negotiable fees. Online resources like the Silakbo.Ph website have listings for many other mental health service providers outside of the NCR. In fact, many organizations have already partnered with the Department of Health (DOH); perhaps more of them should be invited to the table to plan new policies, projects, and initiatives that will address the growing number of mental health cases. The DOH is also encouraging people to learn more about general mental health through free e-learning courses translated into Filipino.  The source material is from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) QualityRights initiative, which is a global project that aims to help participants improve their own mental health, learn how to support their loved ones and communities, and gain knowledge and skills to tackle mental health issues. Clearly, we need to reassess and adapt to the fact that more Filipinos are now looking for mental health services and treatments. This is why I am seeking to amend Republic Act 11036, the Mental Health Act, particularly its existing chapter on “Rights of Service Users and Other Stakeholders.” Our proposed amendment seek to give health service users the right to immediately receive compensation benefits and special financial assistance they are entitled to under law, should they sustain temporary or permanent mental disability in the line of duty or by reason of a person’s office or position. This is an important amendment, as the Mental Health Act requires that PhilHealth provide insurance packages to patients with mental health conditions, and that access to medicines is ensured. With the observation of World Mental Health Day last October 10, it is important to remember the DOH’s theme for this year, “Mental Health for All: Unifying Voices for Greater Investment and Access.”  This theme encourages that we open conversations on the various challenges that our mental health care system faces every day, such as social stigma and limited funding. In fact, the simple act of marking the day itself is important. It shows those who are suffering that we see them, and care for them. It tells others who are hiding their issues that it is perfectly normal to seek help. And most of all, it encourages the whole world to stand in solidarity in recognition of the need for all of society to help those with mental health issues. E-mail: sensonnyangara@yahoo.com| Facebook, Twitter & Instagram: @sonnyangara Senator Sonny Angara has been in public service for 16 years—9 years as Representative of the Lone District of Aurora, and 7 as Senator. He has authored and sponsored more than 200 laws.  He is currently serving his second term in the Senate. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 18th, 2020

Rights groups slam MMDA spox for ‘drama serye’ remark on detained activist

Human rights groups slammed Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Spokesperson Celine Pialago following her “drama serye” remarks at detained activist Reina Mae Nasino who recently buried her three-month-old daughter River.  Kapatid, a support group for families and friends of political prisoners, said those who downgrade what happened to the political prisoner are only trying to “cover the government’s gross violation of human rights.”  “The story of Reina Mae Nasino and her 3-month-old child who died last week is not ‘drama-serye.’ It is a real story that exposed the countless injustices committed by the government,” it said in a statement released on Sunday.  “MMDA Chair Danny Lim, a former political prisoner himself, should have long shown the door to his spokesperson. It should be obvious by now that sensitivity cannot be taught nor proper manners and right conduct if one is empty-headed,” it added. Meanwhile, National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) President Edre Olalia was more restrained, saying they would “do the same thing if she was in Ina’s position and circumstance. “To start with, we will never ever wish this horrible tragedy and injustice to visit the Asec, her mother, her daughters, her sisters and her aunts,” he said in a Facebook post. Despite having nothing to do with traffic, Pialago felt the need to “use her voice as a Filipino” to share her two cents on Nasino’s case. “Hindi lahat ng inang nakakulong ay nakapunta sa libing ng kanyang anak. Kaya yung mga sumisimpatya kay Reina Mae Nasino, pag aralan niyo mabuti ang dahilan bakit siya nakulong at kilalanin niyong mabuti kung sino siya sa lipunan (Not all jailed mothers get to visit their children’s funeral. So all of those who sympathize with Reina Mae Nasino, study well why she was imprisoned and know who she is and what her role is in society),” she said in a Facebook post on Sunday morning. “Masyado ninyong ginagawang pang drama serye sa hapon ang paghihinagpis niya. Tigilan niyo (You are trying to make her grief like an afternoon drama serye. Stop it)!” she added. Nasino was five months pregnant with River when she was arrested in November 2019 for allegedly being found with firearms and explosives at the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan Manila Office in Tondo, Manila. Her lawyers have insisted that the pieces of evidence were planted and that the charges filed against her are trumped-up. She gave birth to River on July 1 at the Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Medical Hospital on July 1. She and her baby were returned to the Manila City Jail 48 hours later. Before this, she filed a motion before the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) to allow her to breastfeed her daughter for a year at the hospital or a prison nursery.  But Manila RTC Branch 20 Judge Marivic Balisi-Umali denied this, saying that the jail has “very limited resources” for the care of her child.  Nasino was also among 22 elderly and medically-compromised detainees who filed a motion for their compassionate release amid the pandemic on April 8 before the Supreme Court. But months later, the High Court ruled that the trial courts will be the ones to decide on their temporary release. On August 13, the activist-mother was ordered to turn her child over to her relatives.  River was admitted at the Philippine General Hospital for fever and diarrhea on September 24. She was placed in the intensive care unit on October 9 where she died a few hours later.  A few hours before her daughter died, Nasino filed a very urgent motion for furlough so she can be with her child in her dying moments. On October 13, Manila RTC Branch 47 Judge Paulino Gallegos granted her three full days from October 14 to 16 to be by her daughter’s side during the wake and burial.  But the next day, he cut Nasino’ furlough down to only six hours from 1 to 4 p.m. on October 14 and 16 after receiving opposition from the Manila City Jail. The Manila City Jail cited lack of personnel, health concerns, and a guideline stating that detainees can only be at their loved ones’ burial and wake for a maximum of three hours. For both the wake and the funeral, Nasino was clad in a full set of personal protective equipment, handcuffed, and flanked by numerous uniformed personnel.  Tensions rose during the wake after her escorts tried to pull her away twice before her time was up, eventually escorting her out with 20 minutes to spare before 4 p.m. On October 16, Marites Asis, Nasino’s mother, had to kneel and beg in front of the police to allow them to hold funeral at 11:30 a.m. The cops wanted to delay it until 1 p.m. Police also sped off with River’s hearse to the Manila North Cemetery, leaving her family behind and thwarting activists’ plan to conduct a caravan around the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals before burying her at the cemetery. Nasino’s counsels at NUPL earlier said that they will file charges against those involved in the activist’s treatment during her daughter’s wake and burial. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 18th, 2020

Team PH on a roll in Asian online chess

GM Banjo Barcenilla and IM Paulo Bersamina (File photo) The Philippines swept its last three round games including upset victories over top two seeds India and Kazakhstan for the No. 2 seeding in the knockout quarterfinals of the Asian Nations Online Chess Cup 2020 on Sunday. The Filipinos slew the top-seeded Indians, who were the 2020 FIDE Online Olympiad co-champions with the Russians, and then brought down the second-ranked Kazakhs via identical 2.5-1-5 scores in the seventh and eighth rounds. The Agilas then capped a perfect day with a 3-1 thrashing of Kyrgyzstan in the ninth and final round to finish second with 14 match points. The PH men’s team was actually tied with Mongolia with the same match points and first tiebreak scores (24-24) but the Nationals beat the Mongolians, 2.5-1.5, in the fifth round in the deciding tiebreak for the No. 2 seeding. The PH team drew a familiar foe in No. 7 Kazakhstan on Friday in a format where each team will play two matches and one “Armageddon” blitz game in case of a tie. The other quarterfinal pairings pit No. 1 Iran against No. 8 Singapore, No. 3 Mongolia versus No. 6 India, and No. 4 Australia against No. 5 India. Against Kyrgyzstan, Grandmaster Banjo Barcenilla and International Masters Paulo Bersamina and Haridas Pascua blasted IM Mikhail Markov, IM Asyl Abdyjapar and Ruslan Sezdebekov on boards two to four, while GM Mark Paragua blew another drawish game and succumbed to IM Semetey Tologontegin on top board. Against Kazakhstan, Bersamina and Pascua came through with the decisive triumphs while Barcenilla salvaged a draw out of a losing position. Versus India, it was Barcenilla who shone the brightest with a smashing triumph over GM Surya Shekhar Ganguly on board two while Paragua, Bersamina and Pascua fought to draws. The Lady Agilas, meanwhile, seek to hang on to the lead as they battle the heavily favored Indians in the seventh round Monday......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 18th, 2020

Velasco offers olive branch to Cayetano

Choice of deputy speaker or committee head SPEAKER Lord Allan Velasco is considering offering the deputy speakership to his rival and predecessor, Taguig-Pateros First District Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano. “He’s (Cayetano) the former speaker, and I truly believe that he deserves the position,” Velasco told reporters after the passage of the P4.5-trillion 2021 national budget […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsOct 18th, 2020

Speaker offers post to Cayetano

Speaker Lord Allan Velasco has extended a reconciliatory hand to his predecessor and rival Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano, offering him a leadership position as deputy speaker......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 17th, 2020

Cayetano loses another post

Booted out as Speaker, Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano was stripped of another position Friday, this time as the caretaker of the First District of Camarines Sur......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 17th, 2020

Go urges BFP to push modernization efforts

Senator Christopher ‘’Bong’’ Go on Friday urged the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) to continue its efforts to modernize and enhance its ranks by acquiring more fire trucks and equipment especially for the  remote areas in the country. Sen. Bong Go (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) Go issued the statement after attending yesterday the ceremonial turnover at the Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City of the recently procured equipment of the BFP, including 84 units of 1,000 gallons capacity fire trucks, five units of aerial ladder, and three units of rescue trucks to be distributed by BFP to various local government units around the country.  “All over the country po ito ipapamahagi. Natutuwa po ako dahil ang gusto naman po natin ay mabigyan ng sapat na kagamitan laban sa sunog ang mga iba’t ibang lugar — hopefully sa lahat ng sulok po ng bansa ay handa po tayo,” Go said. (These will be distributed all over the country. I am happy because we want to give the appropriate fire-fighting equipment to different parts of the country.)    Go said there are many municipalities that have no financial capabilities to buy such an equipment. “Hopefully, patuloy pa ang pag-acquire nila ng mga panibagong equipment. Kinausap ko rin po si Dir. Embang na ikonsidera rin nila ‘yung mga maliliit na fire trucks na puwedeng pumasok sa mga liblib o masisikip na lugar kasi doon po madalas nagkakasunog,” Go said, referring to BFP Chief Jose Embang, Jr. (Hopefully, their acquisition of fire-fighting equipment will continue. I told Director Embang that BFP should consider buying small fire trucks that can enter narrow roads and congested areas where fires usually originate from.) Last February 11, 2020, Go joined President Duterte in witnessing the turnover of 74 fire trucks. The Senator also continues to provide aid to fire victims in different parts of the country.  “Mahirap po mawalan ng bahay at kagamitan dahil sa sunog at iba pang sakuna. Kaya po patuloy akong nagbibigay ng tulong sa mga biktima at nag-iiwan ng ngiti sa oras ng kanilang pagdadalamhati,” Go said. (It is hard to lose a house and personal belongings due to fires. That is why I continue to extend help to fire victims and give them a reason to smile during a time of grief.) “Bilang isang Senador at public servant, patuloy po akong magseserbisyo, lalo na sa mga mahihirap at nangangailangan na apektado ng krisis tulad ng sunog. Kasabay nito ay pagsisikapan ko bilang mambabatas na mas palakasin pa ang ating fire prevention and protection measures,” he added. (As a senator and a public servant, I continue to be of service, particularly to victims of crises like fires. As a lawmaker, I continue to help to strengthen our fire prevention and protection measures.)     As vice-chairman of the Senate Committee on Peace and Order and as a main advocate of fire protection modernization initiatives, one of Go’s priority bills is Senate Bill 204 which is now consolidated under Committee Report No. 111, otherwise known as BFP Modernization Act of 2020.  The measure is currently undergoing the period of interpellation in the Senate. The bill aims to ensure the hiring of more personnel, acquisition of modern fire equipment, and the conduct of training for firefighters of the BFP.  The bill will also empower local communities in preventing fire incidents by mandating the BFP to conduct monthly fire prevention campaigns and information drives in all local government units (LGUs), especially in vulnerable areas.  Go said President Duterte fully supports the modernization efforts of the BFP. “Ang sabi ng Pangulo, sabihin mo sa kanila huwag na nila ako unahin, ‘yung kagamitan ng mga sundalo at kapulisan at bumbero ang unahin natin,” he said. (The President said the equipment of soldiers, policemen, and firemen should come first.) During the event, Go expressed his and Duterte’s full support for the country’s fire personnel, citing the government’s recent effort to increase the salaries and promote the welfare of the military and uniformed personnel.  “Full support po kami sa inyo. Unang-una po, ‘yung pangako niya pagkaupo pa lang niya bilang Pangulo, tinupad niya agad ang pangako niya,” Go said, referring to the increase in salaries provided to uniformed personnel, including firefighters. (We give our full support to you. The President fulfills his promises when he took over the presidency in 2016.) Go also said that he supports the President’s position of arming BFP personnel so they can help in the fight against criminality.  “We are currently studying this added measure of arming firefighters. Nabanggit na rin ito ng Pangulo. Makakatulong din sila sa paglaban ng kriminalidad at para rin maproteksyunan ang kanilang mga sarili. Pati sa kampanya laban sa droga, makakatulong din sila,” Go said. (This was mentioned by the President. They can help fight criminality and also protect themselves. They can also help in containing the spread of dangerous drugs.)    In addition to fire trucks and other modern equipment, Go also said that he is coordinating with BFP officials, government finance managers, and concerned agencies on how to also provide additional ambulance units to the BFP.  He said that providing ambulances will make the BFP more responsive in fulfilling its mandate and will be useful, especially in times of national emergencies given that their personnel are well-trained frontliners.  “Kapag mayroon nang vaccine kontra COVID-19, pwede pong tumulong ang BFP para mabakunahan ang mga tao. Nagtutulungan po lahat ng ating uniformed personnel, mula military, pulis, bumbero, at iba pa para maprotektahan ang kapakanan ng ating mga kababayan,” Go explained. (Our firemen can also help in the vaccination of our countrymen to fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Our uniformed personnel, from the military, policemen, firemen and others can help in protecting the interests of Filipinos.)  Go thanked officials for their efforts to modernize the BFP and for their continuing service, especially during the pandemic, specifically Department of the Interior and Local Government officials led by Secretary Eduardo Año and BFP officials led by Embang, Jr.  Go also acknowledged local officials and district representatives who were present, including Congressman Onyx Crisologo of the 1st District of Quezon City, Congresswoman Angel Amante-Matba of the 2nd District of Agusan del Norte, Mayor Marcy Teodoro of Marikina City, and Mayor Judy Amante of Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte and thanked them for their support to the national government in the bayanihan efforts to overcome the pandemic.  “Dahil mahirap ang panahon ngayon, we have to adjust to the new normal pero konting tiis lang po. Alam kong hirap po kayo. Kami ni Pangulong Duterte, hindi kami nawawalan ng pag-asa, magtulungan lang po tayo. Sino pa ba ang magtutulungan kundi tayong kapwa Pilipino,” he said, (Because times are hard, we have to adjust to the new normal. Please bear with us. I know you are suffering. I and President Go have not lost hope. We should help one another.).....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 16th, 2020

Electronics sector seeks own incentives

THE Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Foundation Inc. (Seipi) on Tuesday backed the Philippine Economic Zone Authority’s (PEZA) proposal to create a separate set of incentives for export and domestic firms in the proposed second package of tax reforms. “Seipi supports PEZA’s position to retain the current incentives and separate the incentives for […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsOct 15th, 2020

PHL takes '19 slot in Covid world tally

While we were not looking, the Philippines (334,770 cases) overtook Turkey (330,753) the other day to move up from #20 to #19 position in the global tally of COVID-19 cases, and has stayed No. 1 in the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 11th, 2020

Spoelstra cites Alapag as Asian coaches make mark

MANILA, Philippines — Erik Spoelstra is the only NBA head coach of Asian descent when he took over the position for the Miami Heat in 2008. Spoelstra has come so far since starting as a video coordinator for the Heat in 1995. He has guided Miami to back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013 before steering […] The post Spoelstra cites Alapag as Asian coaches make mark appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 11th, 2020

DTI eyes AI roadmap rollout

The Department of Trade and Industry plans to start next year the implementation of the roadmap that will position the country as an artificial intelligence powerhouse......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 10th, 2020

Beep card and Internet woes

On the Beep card fiasco I spoke out recently on the chaos caused by the mandatory use of the “Beep card” for consumers riding the public buses under the “no-card no-ride”policy. It was as if the riding consumers were being required to purchase a Beep card at “gunpoint” or forget about riding the bus. This chaotic scenario could have been avoided had the regulators done its work mindfully by first consulting with the stakeholders (“who”), drafting the new policy (“what”) and once agreed upon, by ensuring wide dissemination of the changes – the Implementing Guidelines. Where did “complete staff work” go? Or are the consumers just being given an example of doublespeak?  What happened this week was consumers were confronted with the “no- card no-ride”signs on the buses and were required to pay for a ride plus the cost of the card, something they did not need to do before. For those who did pay the extra cost, they then had to find out that the policy was “suspended,” although no refunds were being offered.There was also the spectacle of the agency head announcing that the cards were free, contradicting the policy his agency had just announced and implemented. The card providers then said they were not about to waive their right to be paid. In another statement, a regulator functionary reasoned that it had nothing to do with the fine print on the contract for the cards since they were only responsible for “policy.” This violates the consumer’s right to be informed. The agency should have studied the sector most affected by the shift to cashless transaction – the consumer who must rely on public transportation because he has no alternative and  the same consumer who must make every peso count and who cannot afford any extra expense. This consumer deserves earnest and timely information from government on why he has to pay an additional amount and how it will benefit him, and for the consumers who did pay the additional cost of the card, they should enjoy a swift refund.  The lesson that we consumers learned in the Beep card fiasco is always to be aware and conscious of our consumer rights and to speak up when these rights are threatened or belittled. We should always be vigilant consumers about our rights lest we find these rights trodden again. On Internet speed Like every other consumers, I have problems with Internet speed. I pay my bills and fees  on time ,  however,  I  believe I should only pay for the speed that I receive  and I did not think I was getting what I paid for under my plan. Therefore, I conducted my own speed test and sought redress  from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC). I was able to get a refund and am paying now for the plan that is nearest to the speed I am getting. Consumers should exercise their right to seek redress for bad Internet speed.  Consumers should be reimbursed for speed that is not delivered. In this time of the pandemic, profiteering should not be tolerated in any form. I call upon the NTC to take the lead by issuing implementing guidelines on refund for both prepaid and postpaid plans. Consumers should also ask for faster response on consumer complaints. The complaints of Messrs.   Foronda and Platon posted in the Laban Konsyumer emails should be resolved faster. Hopefully, the reported 1,171 new cell tower permits should alleviate consumer woes in the near future. In the meantime however, if you are not getting value for the service you paid for, your option is to downgrade your plan to correspond to the speed you are getting and claim a refund of excess fees paid. You can submit your complaint online at www.ntc.gov.ph. Atty. Vic Dimagiba is President of Laban Konsyumer Inc. Email: labankonsyumer@gmail.com.....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 9th, 2020

As COVID-19 ravages the Philippines, a bible thumper insults our intelligence

RJ Nieto We have been made too aware of the speakership catfight in the House of Representatives. On one side is Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano who, last year, agreed to a term sharing deal that entails his voluntary resignation this month. On the other side, the PDP-Laban Lord Allan Velasco, head of the House’s biggest political party. If Cayetano just complied with the term-sharing agreement that he himself insisted on having, then the nation could have moved on and returned its focus on the COVID-19 pandemic that has been ravaging the erstwhile flourishing Philippine economy. But that was not the case: after getting a taste of his lucrative position for 15 months, Cayetano didn’t want to let go. In mid-September, Cayetano said he should remain as the speaker as he claims to enjoy majority support. Days later, his camp even went a step further when Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte accused Velasco of planning to delay the passage of the crucial 2021 National Budget. President Rodrigo Duterte, acting as head of the Kilusang Pagbabago Coalition, mediated the rift when he called for a meeting with Cayetano and Velasco. There are various versions of what happened during the meeting, but what’s clear is that both sides agreed to a vote on the speakership on October 14th. At this point, minus the speakership drama, pretty much everything else in the House, especially the 2021 budget deliberations, was going quite smoothly . At this point, the Cayetano-Velasco catfight was still a purely political skirmish. But things took a turn for the worse during the October 7 House session. While the budget debates were still ongoing, Cayetano abruptly declared the end of debates. He then moved to suspend House sessions until mid-November, effectively cancelling the October 14th vote for speaker. Cayetano’s move squarely violated Section 16(5), Article VI, of the Constitution, which forbids the House from adjourning for more than three days without the Senate’s nod. The term he used — “suspension” — is just semantic acrobatics for adjournment. Cayetano’s move effectively delayed the transmission to the Senate of the budget’s House version from October 14 to mid-November at the earliest. For the sake of holding onto power, he escalated the purely political skirmish into a full-blown national crisis. If Cayetano and his allies did not want a speakership change because his replacement will just delay the budget, then why did he delay the budget himself? The COVID-19 pandemic is creating a New Normal, and we need a national budget that takes this New Normal into account. However, the speaker’s latest political stunt risks the reenactment of the previous national budget, a budget that was written before COVID-19 ravaged us. How can the nation address the rampaging pandemic without a national budget that recognizes COVID-19 as a national disaster? We need more IT infrastructure funding as more Filipinos engage in e-commerce and as schools shift to online learning. We need more healthcare funding as Filipinos continue to get infected with this virus. We need more fiscal support for ailing businesses as thousands have gone bankrupt after the economy ground to a halt. But all of these may not happen because of what Cayetano did. He can bicker with anyone as much as he wants, but he should not sacrifice the welfare of this nation for the sake of his ambitions. Cayetano loves to quote the Bible every chance he gets, but it appears that the Bible he reads excludes all the verses that mention greed. I know for a fact that politicians want power. Running for office, after all, is inherently a quest to gain power. But power is sought not for power’s sake. Power is just a means to towards an end, and that end should be public welfare. Too bad for us earthlings, Cayetano may not share the same view of power. And even if he does, his notion of power is a warped, twisted version that serves his aspirations more than those of the Filipino people. And despite what he’s done, he has the gall to insult our intelligence by claiming that he has the nation’s best interests in mind. If there’s anything we can learn from Cayetano, that would be new and more creative ways to cringe. Alan Peter Cayetano’s latest stunt suggests that while Alan Peter Cayetano may still love this country, Alan Peter Cayetano happens to love Alan Peter Cayetano more. For comments and reactions, please email TP@ThinkingPinoy.net or visit Facebook.com/TheThinkingPinoy.....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 9th, 2020