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Former BFAR director added to list of DA usecs

Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. has appointed former Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources director Asis Perez as undersecretary for policy, planning and regulations amid the ongoing major reshuffle at the department......»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarFeb 12th, 2024

More Filipinos now agri, biosystems engineers: DA

The Department of Agriculture is more hopeful for wider farm mechanization and livelier agribusiness industry in the country as more Filipinos have become agricultural and biosystems engineers or ABEs. In an email to the Daily Tribune, DA reported that 12,551 ABEs obtained their licenses this year, more than the 10,909 in 2021. The DA added 615 ABEs took their professional oath last 20 October. “They are not only responsible for the design of machinery and systems, but are also the pioneers of change, custodians of sustainability, and champions of modern, appropriate, and sustainable mechanization technologies and practices,” DA-Bureau of Agricultural and Fisheries Engineering Director Ariodear Rico said. Graduates from Central Bicol State University of Agriculture-Pili achieved a 100 percent passing rate, followed by the University of the Philippines-Los Baños with 92.86 percent in the ABE Licensure Examination in September. Rico said only 33.41 percent of the total 1,841 examinees passed. ABEs play vital role “The country not only needs agricultural facilities, but an adequate and competent workforce, in which ABE professionals, together with operators and technicians, play a vital role,” he said. Rico said the Marcos administration has created agricultural and fisheries development programs and trade partnerships to provide jobs to highly skilled ABEs and help ensure they stay in the country. He said on top of the list is the National Agricultural and Fishery Mechanization Program which aims to ease exchange of knowledge and drive more collaborations among engineers and the government by streamlining all mechanization policies and programs of local government units. Another is the Renewable Energy Program for Agriculture and Fishery Sector which Rico said aims to maximize the use of solar, wind, hydro, biomass and biogas energy. Through these programs, he said ABEs can further reap the economic and intellectual benefits from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement or RCEP. Approved by the Senate in February, this trade deal among the ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, plus China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand allows stronger intellectual property rights, zero to lower tariffs for Philippine exports, and more financing for small and medium businesses. ROI on farm mechanization A study by the Department of Science and Technology showed the return on investment of farm mechanization can grow by at least 238 percent. Despite this, the country has increased its mechanization level to just 2.679 horsepower per hectare (hp/ha) this year from 2.31 hp/ha. Meanwhile, global revenue from fish and seafood is projected to grow by 7 percent annually, according to global market researcher Statista. It adds China has earned the highest at $88 billion revenue this year. The post More Filipinos now agri, biosystems engineers: DA appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 28th, 2023

BFAR extends aid to bereaved families, survivors of Bajao de Masinloc incident

The Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources has extended its condolences and immediate assistance to the families of three fishermen who died in a maritime incident off the waters of Bajo de Masinloc in the West Philippine Sea. DA-BFAR National Director Atty. Demosthenes R. Escoto handed the Bureau’s P20,000 cash assistance and food packages to each bereaved family during his visit to the wake of the three fishermen on Thursday night in Calapandayan, Subic in Zambales. “Buong-pusong nakikiramay po ang BFAR sa inyo,” Director Escoto told them during his visit. “Alam po naming walang kahit anong tulong ang makakatumbas sa buhay ng inyong mga mahal sa buhay, pero nandito po ang aming ahensya para mag-abot ng paunang tulong at makagaan kahit kaunti sa inyong nararamdaman.” Escoto said the Bureau will also provide a scholarship for their children’s college education in Fisheries at any state college or university where they are qualified for admission. This covers tuition, monthly stipend, and thesis allowance until they finish the program. Scholars will also be prioritized by the DA-BFAR for employment. The 11 other survivors of the maritime incident each received P2,000 cash aid and food packs from the Bureau. In addition, the DA-BFAR has committed to assist in repairing the vessel that was damaged during the October 2 incident to help the affected fisherfolk resume their livelihood activities. The Bureau will also provide a brand-new 62-footer fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) fishing boat to the Subic Commercial Operators Fishing Association Inc. to further equip them in fishing. Delma Morados, the association's vice president, received the award on behalf of the group Thursday night. Escoto told the families that additional livelihood packages such as post-harvest training and equipment would be given to them to help them through the Bureau’s regional office in Central Luzon, headed by Region 3 Regional Director Wilfredo M. Cruz. He also honored the sacrifices of the fishermen who perished in the incident — Benidecto V. Olandria, Dexter G. Laudencia, and Romeo L. Mejico Jr. “Malalim po ang respeto namin sa mga mangingisda ng Pilipinas, na itinuturing naming mga bayani at kasangga ng pamahalaan para masigurong may sapat na pagkain sa bansa,” Director Escoto said. “Ayaw po naming makakita ng mga mangingisda na namamatay habang nagsasakripisyo para sa kanilang pamilya at sa bayan kaya ikinalulungkot po namin ang nangyari at kaisa po ninyo kami sa paghahangad ng katotohanan at hustisya,” he added, citing President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s assurance that the government will hold accountable those behind the tragic incident. The post BFAR extends aid to bereaved families, survivors of Bajao de Masinloc incident appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 6th, 2023

Escoto: BFAR’s WPS ops need added funding

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, which has been conducting patrols with the Philippine Coast Guard in the West Philippine Sea, welcomes a proposal to reallocate confidential funds to the bureau. An agency of the Department of Agriculture, the BFAR, through its director, Atty. Demosthenes Escoto, said on Tuesday the added funding would significantly enhance its monitoring and surveillance efforts in the WPS. Escoto said that while the decision rests with Congress, he is grateful to lawmakers for considering the augmentation of BFAR’s funds. “We extend our heartfelt appreciation to the members of Congress advocating for additional funds for the DA-BFAR and other security agencies,” Escoto said. “This initiative would empower our agency to strengthen and enhance our monitoring, control, and surveillance activities in the WPS and other fishing grounds to ensure the sustainable use of our marine resources and safeguard the livelihoods of our fisherfolk,” he added. Utilizing its current assets, BFAR has been actively combating illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing, a persistent threat in Philippine waters, Escoto said. He said the agency employs floating assets to monitor unlawful fishing activities and conduct resupply missions in collaboration with government agencies, particularly the PCG. Supply missions These missions provide essentials such as engine oil, drinking water, and ready-to-eat snacks to Filipino fisherfolk engaged in fishing activities in the WPS. This year, the DA-BFAR also launched the Livelihood Activities to Enhance Fisheries Yields and Economic Gains from the WPS, a livelihood project worth nearly P80 million. The program seeks to provide local fisherfolk with essential tools, knowledge, fishing gear and paraphernalia, and post-harvest training to help them fish more effectively in the WPS and reduce their post-harvest losses. Likewise, the DA-BFAR delivered last June almost P5 million worth of livelihood inputs and capacity-building programs to residents of Pag-asa Island in Kalayaan, Palawan, under the LAYAG-WPS project. The assistance included fiber-reinforced plastic boats, fish aggregating devices, rain catchers, and more. “The DA-BFAR respects the wisdom of our lawmakers in determining the need for budget augmentation,” Escoto said. “Nevertheless, the DA-BFAR remains committed to combating IUU fishing and empowering Filipino fisherfolk with our existing assets and resources.” “We want to ensure that they can fish peacefully, productively, and sustainably in our waters, especially in the WPS, which rightfully belongs to Filipinos,” he added. The post Escoto: BFAR’s WPS ops need added funding appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 3rd, 2023

Confidential fund to boosts BFAR surveillance efforts in WPS

Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Director Atty. Demosthenes Escoto on Tuesday said reallocating confidential funds to the bureau would significantly enhance its monitoring, control, and surveillance efforts in the West Philippine Sea and other fishing grounds across the country. Escoto said that while the decision rests with Congress, he is grateful to lawmakers' consideration of augmenting its funds. "We extend our heartfelt appreciation to the members of Congress advocating additional funds to DA-BFAR and other security agencies," Escoto said. "This initiative would empower our agency to strengthen and enhance our existing monitoring, control, and surveillance activities in the WPS and other fishing grounds to ensure the sustainable use of our marine resources and safeguard the livelihoods of our fisherfolk," he added. Utilizing its current assets and available resources, DA-BFAR has been actively combating illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing, a persistent threat in Philippine waters. The agency employs floating assets to monitor unlawful fishing activities and conducts resupply missions in collaboration with government agencies, particularly the Philippine Coast Guard. These missions provide essentials such as engine oil, drinking water, and ready-to-eat snacks to Filipino fisherfolk engaged in fishing activities in the WPS. This year, the DA-BFAR also launched the Livelihood Activities to Enhance Fisheries Yields and Economic Gains from WPS, a livelihood project worth nearly P80 million. The program seeks to provide local fisherfolk with essential tools, knowledge, fishing gear and paraphernalia, and post-harvest training to help them fish more effectively in the WPS and reduce their post-harvest losses. Last June, the DA-BFAR delivered almost P5 million worth of livelihood inputs and capacity-building programs to residents of Pag-asa Island in Kalayaan, Palawan, under the LAYAG-WPS project. Assistance included Fiber Reinforced Plastic boats, fish aggregating devices, rain catchers, and more. "The DA-BFAR respects the wisdom of our lawmakers in determining the need for budget augmentation," Escoto said. "Nevertheless, the DA-BFAR remains committed to combating IUU fishing and empowering Filipino fisherfolk with our existing assets and resources. We want to ensure they can fish peacefully, productively, and sustainably in our waters, especially in the WPS, which rightfully belongs to Filipinos," he added. The post Confidential fund to boosts BFAR surveillance efforts in WPS appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 3rd, 2023

UN chief convenes ‘no nonsense’ climate summit, without China or US

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is set Wednesday to host a climate meeting marred at its outset by the absence of speakers from the world's top two emitters, China and the United States. Despite increasing extreme weather events and record-shattering global temperatures, greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise and fossil fuel companies reap handsome profits. Guterres has thus billed the "Climate Ambition Summit" as a "no nonsense" forum where leaders or cabinet ministers will announce specific actions that deliver on their commitments under the Paris Agreement. The bar for making the podium was set high, with the UN chief making clear that only leaders who had made concrete plans to achieve net-zero greenhouse emissions would be allowed to speak. After receiving more than 100 applications to take part, the UN finally released a list on Tuesday night of 41 speakers which did not include China, the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan or India. "Tomorrow, I will welcome credible first movers and doers to our Climate Ambition Summit," Guterres said Tuesday. Several major leaders didn't bother making the trip to New York for this year's UN General Assembly, including President Xi Jinping of China and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak from the United Kingdom, who said he was too busy. US President Joe Biden, who addressed the General Assembly on Tuesday, sent his climate envoy John Kerry to the meeting -- though Kerry won't be permitted to speak. "There's no doubt that the absence of so many leaders from the world's biggest economies and emitters will clearly have an impact on the outcomes of the summit," Alden Meyer of climate think tank E3G said. He blamed competing issues -- from the Ukraine conflict to US-China tensions and rising economic uncertainty. "But I think it's also the opposition in many of these countries from the fossil fuel industry and other powerful interests to the kind of transformational changes that are needed," said Meyer. Catherine Abreu, executive director of nonprofit Destination Zero, said it was "perhaps a good-news story that we see Biden not being given a speaking slot at the summit" because the United States is continuing to expand fossil fuel projects even as it makes historic investments in renewables. "I think about this as being a correction from past summits, where leaders have been given the opportunity to take credit for climate leadership on the global stage, while they continue to pursue plans to develop fossil fuels, and continue driving the climate crisis back at home," she added. While the United States won't take the rostrum, California will be represented by Governor Gavin Newsom. From Britain, London Mayor Sadiq Khan will also attend. Growing anger The event is the biggest climate summit in New York since 2019, when Greta Thunberg stunned the world with her "How Dare You" speech before the UN. Anger is building among climate activists, particularly younger people, who turned out in thousands last weekend for the "March to End Fossil Fuels" in New York. Observers are eager however to see what Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and European Union President Ursula von der Leyen say both on their own goals and on financing commitments for the developing world. The failure of advanced economies, responsible for the majority of historic emissions, to honor their promises to the worst affected lower-income nations has long been a sore point in climate talks. There are some bright spots, including the announcement that Colombia and Panama are joining a grouping called the Powering Past Coal Alliance -- particularly notable as Colombia is the world's sixth biggest coal exporter. Wednesday's summit comes weeks ahead of the COP28 climate talks in the United Arab Emirates, where goals include tripling renewable energy by 2030, and ending by 2050 the generation of fossil fuel energy that isn't "abated" by carbon capture technology. The post UN chief convenes ‘no nonsense’ climate summit, without China or US appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 20th, 2023

Pre-historic Tell al-Sultan site added to world heritage list

The United Nations' cultural organization inscribed the pre-historic site of Tell al-Sultan, near the Palestinian city of Jericho in the occupied West Bank, on its World Heritage List Sunday. Tell al-Sultan, which predates Egypt's pyramids, is an oval-shaped tell, or mound, located in the Jordan Valley that contains the prehistoric deposits of human activity. The UNESCO decision, which was posted by the organization on X, formerly Twitter, was taken at its 45th World Heritage Committee meeting held in Riyadh. "The property proposed for nomination is the prehistoric archaeological site of Tell al-Sultan, located outside the antique site of Jericho," UNESCO's assistant director general, Ernesto Ottone, said at the session. The site was inscribed following a three-year candidacy "during which no state party raised any objections", said a diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to the media. "There are no Jewish or Christian remains found at the (Tell al-Sultan) site. It's a place of pre-historic remains," the diplomat told AFP. Israel quit the UN organization in 2019 over accusations it fosters an anti-Israel bias but sent a delegation to this year's meeting in Saudi Arabia. The Palestinian Authority, acknowledged by the United Nations as a non-member observer state, welcomed the listing of the Tell al-Sultan site. Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas said he considered the decision to inscribe Tell al-Sultan "a matter of great importance and evidence of the authenticity and history of the Palestinian people". He vowed that the Palestinian authorities would "continue to preserve this unique site for all humanity", according to a statement from his office. Diverse Palestinian heritage UNESCO's listing shows that the Tell al-Sultan site is "an integral part of the diverse Palestinian heritage of exceptional human value", Palestinian tourism minister Rula Maayah, who was attending the meeting in Riyadh, said in a statement. Given Tell al-Sultan's "importance as the oldest fortified city in the world... it deserves to be a World Heritage Site," she said. "A permanent settlement had emerged here by the 9th to 8th millennium BC due to the fertile soil of the oasis and easy access to water," UNESCO said on its website. UNESCO said the "skulls and statues found on the site" testify to cultic practices among the neolithic population there, while the early bronze age archaeological material shows signs of urban planning. "Vestiges from the middle bronze age reveal the presence of a large Canaanite city-state occupied by a socially complex population," UNESCO added. The Tell al-Sultan site has been under excavation for over a century and is billed as the oldest continuously inhabited settlement on the planet, Palestinian official Wafa news agency reported. It is the fourth Palestinian site to be listed on UNESCO's World Heritage list, alongside the Church of the Nativity and the Old City of Hebron. Israel has occupied the West Bank -- now home to some three million Palestinians -- since the 1967 Six-Day War, when it also seized the Gaza Strip, the densely populated coastal enclave it has since withdrawn from. The Palestinians want these territories for their future state, along with annexed east Jerusalem as its capital. Jericho is one of the oldest inhabited cities on the planet and is a major tourist destination in the Palestinian territories. UNESCO urged for the protection of other archaeological sites in Jericho. "The other archaeological sites located in Jericho, covering among other Jewish and Christian heritage, also have important historical interest and deserve to be preserved as well," said Ottone. Archaeology is a highly political subject in Israel and the Palestinian territories, and some discoveries have been used to justify the territorial claims of each people. The post Pre-historic Tell al-Sultan site added to world heritage list appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 17th, 2023

Making Filipinos proud through our folk dances

The summer that Marielle Benitez-Javellana participated in the performances of the Bayanihan Philippine Dance Company in various barangays of Manila, she was balancing her time between football and folk dance. [caption id="attachment_175404" align="aligncenter" width="841"] Marielle Benitez-Javallana with son Lucho.[/caption]   She had just graduated from De La Salle University where she played for the University Athletic Association of the Philippines. She was also a member of the national women’s football team. Between her graduation and return to the football field, she attended the Philippine Women’s University’s Bayanihan folk dance workshop. This culminated in a class recital at the Folk Arts Theater where she danced “Aray.” As she recalled in her interview with the DAILY TRIBUNE, it was quite a challenge for her to give her equal attention to football and dance. She recounted laughingly, “I would run from one rehearsal to one training. Or from a game to a performance. In the car, I would fix my make-up or change into my costume or my sportswear. “I stayed in dance because I enjoyed the company. We goofed around a lot, and we didn’t care if we fell from a bench, tripped or looked awkward because of our mistakes. We kept trying and we learned how to do the steps correctly.” It was a rite of passage for Marielle and the new Bayanihan applicants because they had to follow the rules, “such as attending rehearsals with our makeup on and our hair pulled up in a bun. They were inculcating in us the standards for which Bayanihan was known and admired.”   Grace and precision While folk dancing may be different from playing football, she somehow found similarities in both. “At first, I felt a little bit awkward because I was a football player and at the same time dancing Itik-Itik, Binasuan and Tinikling. In both, precision and grace are important. Both require commitment and hard work. And in dance, as in football, you perform as a team. You can’t do things by yourself. You have to be in sync with the other team members and be connected with them.” She would have her first international engagement in August that year and, to her delight, it was in Athens where the Olympics were being held. “Just like most athletes, my dream was to be part of the Philippine team in the Olympics. And there I was exactly at the Olympics, but I was not in my athlete’s uniform. Instead, I was in my Filipiniana costume, with my hair teased up. We were the Philippine representatives at the Cultural Olympiad, which took place alongside the Olympic Games. “We had shows at night over the week. One headline said, ‘Philippines bags the gold in the Cultural Olympiad because of Bayanihan.’ I was there mesmerized by all those athletes gathered and there I was, all made up, dancing to Philippine folk music. Still, being there for my country and eliciting thunderous applause made me proud of my country and the Bayanihan.” The rest is, of course, history. She went on to dance in various international performances, festivals and competitions and had been part of many award-winning showcases.   A challenge every day Fast forward to 2023, Marielle is the executive director of the Bayanihan. One would think she has adapted to the rigors of managing a world-class performing arts group and can now take it easy, having become accustomed to running the organization. On the contrary, Marielle clarified, “I think it’s a challenge every day because, number one, I obviously would continue all my mom’s programs but, at the same time, I would also need to move forward. “At the time that she was on top of the administration of the Bayanihan, she had different challenges naman. And I think, what she was able to set and implement will now create more challenges and opportunities for me. What we share is our passion for work and for a cause. Like her, I work passionately and enthusiastically. “If you ask the younger generation now who the Bayanihan is, they wouldn’t know it the same way the older generation knew the prestige of Bayanihan. That is a challenge for me. Without having to put the Bayanihan on TikTok, it is my responsibility to make ourselves visible and relevant without breaking the Bayanihan traditions.” But if it was a top dream for the young women then to join the Bayanihan so they could see the world, today is quite different “since everyone could travel now. What has remained is that certain character that qualifies one to be a member. There is no money in Bayanihan, so one has to have that desire for advocacy to share with the world the best of our country. A Bayanihan member should be capable of taking to heart our mission to promote Philippine culture. It’s a cause. A thing of the heart. That’s why we’re also known as cultural ambassadors.”   Hall of Fame Bayanihan has survived, Marielle explained, “because we always have new trainees. We constantly recruit and we receive applications often. But of course, we also see through the applications. Not just anyone would really be able to last long rehearsals. One has to have that specific attitude and frame of mind that they need to be able to balance school or work and rehearsals. There has to be a certain kind of maturity, which comes from exposure and work ethic that one learns in a working environment. The thing is if you’re working, you cannot just leave for tours and performances so all these factors come into play.” “Right now, we have 30 members — 15 men and 15 women,” Marielle said. “We also brought in new trainees in our annual production Continuum — A Dance Spectrum Through the Years. In the short time that Marielle has assumed the post of executive director, Bayanihan has added to its long list of awards at the same time that it scored new milestones. “Last year, we won our 14th grand prize in Korea so we have been installed into the Hall of Fame. This year we are participating as a guest organization.” “Last year, we were the first Philippine dance group to perform in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Early this year, we were the first Philippine group to perform at the Royal Opera House in Oman, Muscat.”   First face-to-face festival Looking forward, Marielle enumerated future plans including a tour in September that will bring them to Cyprus and Greece, and in October, to Korea. Marielle will also be active as an officer of the Federation of International Dance Festivals, of which her mom was the local chair for Asia. “When I came in as Bayanihan executive director, it was crucial for me to continue what my mom had begun. Fortunately, during the election last October, I was elected as vice chair for Asia.” In December, Bayanihan will finally host its first face-to-face international dance festival. So far, countries that have confirmed their attendance are Austria, Spain, Poland, Korea and Indonesia. They will all perform in week-long productions. Marielle acknowledged the support of her brother Philippine Women’s University president Marco Benitez and the Bayanihan Board of Trustees composed of its chair, Congressman Kiko Benitez; the president, Ambassador Rosario Manalo; and the members, namely, Rosky Balahadia-Hilado, Judith Pantangco, Imelda Trillo, Leni Cabili, Neny Apostol Regino, Chingay Lagdameo, Marilou Mirasol, Rachy Cuna, Marilou Mirasol and Boy Abunda. Of course, behind them too is the PWU chair Vicky Nazareno. Finally, Marielle shared, “We will continue with our mission to research our dances all over the Philippine archipelago and create our distinct Bayanihan adaptations. And, of course, we will strive to continue inculcating in our members the Bayanihan values that I believe make our performing artists stand out — commitment, discipline, perseverance, leadership, teamwork, time management and the ability to balance late-night hours of rehearsals with your work and home responsibilities when you wake up the next day. These practices make us excel as dancers and because we do our best to excel, we proudly represent our country and hopefully make our countrymen proud.” The post Making Filipinos proud through our folk dances appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 25th, 2023

BFAR assures adequate fish supply

Hagonoy, Bulacan — The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Central Luzon assured the public on Sunday that the region has enough supply of fish for this year. During a visit to a bangus farm here, Regional Director Wilfredo Cruz affirmed that the agency is committed to meeting the fish demand for the rest of the year 2023. Cruz, who is also the National Bangus Development Program Focal person, cited that the bangus farmers of Bulacan will greatly contribute to Central Luzon’s fish sufficiency efforts. He cited Khay Kim General Merchandise, a pioneering aquaculture facility in this province, which spans an impressive 752 hectares of productive area, making it one of the largest of its kind in the region. The farm has 1000 to 1500 tubs, with each tub containing an average weight of 40 kilos of bangus, in their daily harvest. “The dedication of the farm to maintaining such a prolific harvest has made it a cornerstone of the region’s fish production industry,” Cruz said. The official added that the farm is constructing new facilities to diversify its operation, including a purpose-built holding area, an ice-making facility, and a state-of-the-art processing area. “These advancements are expected to streamline the farm’s operations, ensuring the quality and freshness of their products,” said Cruz, adding that the farm also plans to construct a showroom, showcasing various bangus products. For the year 2022, Bulacan cemented its position as a powerhouse in milkfish production as it secured a commendable 6th place standing in provincial milkfish production, bolstering its reputation as a key player in the aquaculture sector. The post BFAR assures adequate fish supply appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 20th, 2023

Filipino fiesta fare Chef Reggie’s way

Of the many good things they love about this country, foreign tourists always mention our food as the top three or five of their list, next only to our warm people and our white-sand beaches. Whether these are food sold on the streets, made at home in the simplest to the most sophisticated kitchens, all the way to gourmet offerings of Michelin-cited establishments, they occupy a special place in our visitors’ hearts and palates. One chef of long-standing fame and outstanding reputation is Reggie Aspiras, whose recipes are compiled in a number of best-selling cookbooks. A dear friend of mine, along with the other Aspiras girls, Aida Cristy and Babot, daughters of the late popular couple, Secretary of Tourism Sunshine Joe and his Marian devotee better-half Amparing, a staunch Cabinet lady of the Marcos years circa 1960-1980s, Reggie has been the subject of my features through the years. Being close to each other, we have collaborated on a number of projects highlighting her many accomplishments in the culinary arts. [caption id="attachment_165873" align="aligncenter" width="2560"] Aspiras sisters - Reggie, Aida and Cristy.[/caption] Recently, Chef Reggie prepared and hosted a special Sunday lunch in the Aspiras La Vista home as her contribution to the first Manila Food and Wine Festival, which was founded by Kate Dychangco - Anzani, a passionate food aficionado and wife of famed Italian chef Marco Anzani. According to Reggie, herself a prolific writer-columnist, the festival was “conceived to bring life to the food industry in Cebu after Covid, and it has been adopted by Manila, Ilocos and Davao.” In partnership with the regional offices of the Department of Tourism, this series of regional events aims to establish the Philippines as the emerging premiere culinary destination in Asia. Hence, the event showcases traditional and regional cuisines, local chefs and restaurateurs. “The festival is meant to highlight our food culture; as well as fuel the fire of innovation to elevate our food culture by establishing the Tatak Pinoy food stamping program,” Reggie shared. The first cook in Metro Manila to showcase her culinary specialties in the festival, she came up with an interesting mix of festive dishes to which she added her personal touch, a garnishing here and an indigenous flavoring there, mostly original Ilocano since the Aspiras family comes from the north in La Union. Reggie explained, “Filipino Done My Way, in Reggie’s Kitchen’ is the first of a series of events specially curated for the MFWF. " “Being a staunch believer in the possibilities of Philippine Cuisine, there was no other food to cook but our own, to which, of course, I added some touches. It was a very personal menu, as the dishes were created for a purpose that stem from my roots, a happy memory, which is to simply share the way I cook Pinoy food and how I like to eat.” Taking after her father Sunshine Joe’s inimitable way of promoting the Philippines, which highlighted Philippine crafts, music and dances, Reggie gave her guests, led by Senator Loren Legarda and television personality Korina Sachez Roxas, along with  DoT Undersecretary Verna Buensuceso and DoT Regional Director Jeff Ortega, a sense-surround spectacle featuring dancers who welcomed the guests right from the gate, rondalla music, kiping ornaments hovering over the individual tables, table settings of local handwoven fabrics and fresh tropical flowers. I was honored with a place in the main table, along with Reggie’s sister Aida. All the while, her other sister, Cristy, hopped from table to table to help entertain everyone. [caption id="attachment_165867" align="aligncenter" width="1708"] With fiesta revelers Sen. Loren Legarda and television personality Korina Sanchez Roxas.[/caption] [gallery columns="2" size="full" ids="165871,165868"] Let’s hear it from Chef Reggie who gave us her annotation of the delicious dishes she served us. “For appetizers, I had my rendition of Chicharon Bulaklak, large ruffled flower-like fat that are 250 grams each. To cut through the fat, I served the chicharon with seasoned vinegar and an assortment of achara: radish, corn, chilies and papaya. “I also recreated the Kilawing Hipon with a trio of Mangoes. This was one of the dishes I presented during the Food and Wine Festival in Cebu, paying tribute to their famous mangoes. To the kinilaw I added the famous Cebu dried mangoes, some fresh mangoes and a pickled green mango relish to cap the kinilaw that sat on kaykay (cassava chips from Cebu) or fried fish skins. “Being the Ilocana that I am, bagnet had to figure prominently in my spread, and it did -- in the form of Sisig; drizzled with Sriracha Aioli and crowned with Arugula Ensalada. [caption id="attachment_165870" align="aligncenter" width="2008"] Bagnet Sisig and Arugula salad.[/caption]   “Salad was Fried Chipirones (Baby Squid) on a mixed bed of Pako Ferns and Chef Reggie’s hydroponically grown Salad Greens Mix. It was served with a vinaigrette made from Bugnay Balsamic Vinegar from Ilocos Norte that I turned to a creamy vinaigrette. [caption id="attachment_165869" align="aligncenter" width="1004"] Salad of Fried Chipirones (baby squid) on a bed of Pako ferns, and Chef Reggie's hydroponically grown salad green mix served with vinaigrette from Bugnay Balsamic Vinegar.[/caption]   “Soup was presented in Coconut Shells, where buko juice, chicken, oyster mushrooms and aromatics were left to steam for hours before serving. It was a good way to refresh the palate, before the main course. It made a refreshing start to the meal. “Badjao Lumpia is made of bangus tossed in blue pea-soaked vermicelli. It is presented with sweet garlic vinegar and vegetable confetti “The Seafood Malabon is a spin-off, and my tribute to Aling Nene who, in my opinion, makes the best Pancit Malabon. [caption id="attachment_165875" align="aligncenter" width="641"] Seafood Pancit Malabon, a tribute to Aling Nena.[/caption]   “Pistachio Kare-Kare had with Dried Fruit Bagoong was a dish that I put together for a cooking class that was designed to serve dishes that are new and exciting to Filipino diners here and abroad. And so was Salmon Wrapped in Pechay Leaves Served with Smoked Bacon Laing. [caption id="attachment_165874" align="aligncenter" width="641"] Pistachio kare-kare with dried fruit bagoong.[/caption] “There is no hiding my pride in being 100 percent GI, genuine Ilocana, that is. As such, my Kurobuta lechon was served stuffed with Ilocos Garlic, Ilocos Shallots and Karimbuwaya (a succulent endemic to the north with an innate tartness traditionally used to stuff lechon with). It was paired with seasoned Sukang Iloco inspired by the suka at Dawang’s -- the favorite karinderya of President Bongbong (Marcos). The lechon was accompanied by pandan infused puso, as lechon is enjoyed in Cebu. [caption id="attachment_165872" align="aligncenter" width="641"] Kurobuta lechon stuffed with Ilocos garlic, shallots and Karimbaya (succulent traditionally used as lechon filling).[/caption]   “Of course our Lechon must be served with Dinuguan. In my kitchen I call it Silky Dinardaraan - stirred for hours until the sauce is thick and glistening…just as mom did hers, La Union style- growing up. It is scooped with Okilas -- huge pig skin chicharons -- a delicacy in the north. “For dessert, a warm cronut base held a freshly churned house-made Coconut Cream Ice Cream served with ube coulis, sweetened beans, jackfruit and bananas. “It was a feast cooked from my heart. One that, happily for me and my family, everyone enjoyed.” The post Filipino fiesta fare Chef Reggie’s way appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2023

Render unto Ceasar

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ plenary assembly in 2022 said the Roman Catholic Church will divest from banks and projects that are involved in fossil fuels as part of its contribution to the movement for clean energy. The warning showed the financial muscle through its corporate shares that the bishops can muster to influence the realm of business. In a pastoral letter, the CBCP said it will use its shareholdings in domestic banks to demand policies and plans to “phase out their exposure to coal, fossil gas, and destructive energy in line with the 1.5°C ambition.” “Without clear commitments and policies from these banks to divest from fossil fuels, we commit to withdraw all our resources that are with them not later than 2025, and hold them accountable to their fiduciary duties and moral obligations as climate actors,” read the pastoral letter. In its latest pastoral letter about the “climate emergency” last March, however, the Church bravado has dissipated and instead has been replaced by a warning that it will enforce the “CBCP-initiated non-acceptance policy of donations of whatever kind, from owners or operators and any representative of extractive companies regardless of the scale of operation.” The new position is oceans apart from the earlier encompassing threat to divest from all dirty energy projects and their financiers. Such flip-flops have been the impediment of the Church in exerting its supposed moral guidance in what the Bible says is Caesar’s domain. The Catholic Church is heavily invested in the biggest corporations in the country. In San Miguel Corporation, for instance, the list of its top 100 shareholders shows more than P600 million in investments from Church-affiliated entities. The Archbishop of Manila is currently listed as the fifth largest shareholder in one of the biggest lenders in the country, which is a huge provider of loans to energy projects, with 62 percent of its energy portfolio comprising coal. The bank’s exposure to coal projects is estimated at $444.82 million. The archbishops of archdioceses in Jaro, Iloilo, and Zamboanga are also major stockholders of the bank. The Manila archdiocese is also among the top shareholders in a giant mining firm through shares worth more than P66 million. It also has huge capital as a supplier of construction materials. When the Catholic Church appealed for donations for the renovation of the Manila Cathedral in 2013, top corporation SMC came to its aid with P50 million while Metrobank donated P20 million. In no time at all, the P136-million project was funded. Regarding donations, in 2011, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office named a priest and several Catholic bishops who received sports utility vehicles funded through the agency’s charity fund. The PCSO revelation sparked a Senate investigation and the bishops agreed to surrender the vehicles. A Commission on Audit report said the grant of the five vehicles amounting to P7 million violated the constitutional provision that “no public money or property shall be appropriated, applied or employed directly or indirectly, for the use of, benefit or support to any sect, church, denomination… except when such priest, preacher or dignitary is assigned to the Armed Forces or any penal institution, or government orphanage or leprosarium.” During a Senate investigation on the controversy, PCSO director Aleta Tolentino revealed that a bishop asked for a car as a birthday gift but used the welfare of the poor as an excuse. During the inquiry, Tolentino said, “We are not against the Church. We are just denouncing what happened in the past — corruption of government funds, which is prohibited by the Constitution itself.” “Would the bishops rather that we keep mum or lie about it? Would they want us to just keep quiet about this?” she added. With its heavily compromised state as a result of its financial involvement, the Church has abandoned its role as a conscience of society in the pursuit of uplifting the lives of Filipinos. The post Render unto Ceasar appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJul 29th, 2023

Farmer’s grandson finally receives land title after 45-year struggle

After 45 years the struggle to own the the land the family has been tilling to survive has finally come to an end. On  Friday, 7 July, 2023, at the Fuerte Camarines Sur Sports Complex in Pili, Camarines Sur, Salvador "Buddy" Solmiano Jr., whose father and grandfather Felomino Solmiano died dreaming of owning that farm land, received the electronic land titles (e-titles) from the Department of Agrarian Reform and the Emancipation Patent (EP) for his family's cherished land. The 2.3-hectare land planted with rice, vegetables, and fruits is located in Barangay Telegrafo, Camarines Sur. "Growing up, I witnessed the daily struggles faced by my grandfather’s family in tilling the land. I promised myself that I would carry on their legacy because this land has been feeding our family for decades now," said Mang Buddy, a farmer-fisherman. Mang Buddy's grandfather and father struggled for their land title for nearly 45 years, dealing with a difficult bureaucratic process and enduring multiple setbacks. He was one of the fortunate farmers who met President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. when he came to Camarines Sur on 16 March, his first presidential visit to this province. "While I was waiting for my turn to receive the motorized banca from BFAR (Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources), President Marcos approached me. I am grateful to our President for letting me to speak with him at that moment." Mang Buddy got the President's ear by telling him about his family's stories and concerns. "I conveyed my sentiments to him and was not disappointed. He listened promptly and acted quickly on my plea," he recounted. "The President's prompt intervention paved the way for the issuance of the land title, which I am now holding," he said. Mang Buddy is one of the 1,172 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in Bicol who received their 'e-title' that day. President Marcos signed the New Agrarian Emancipation Act of 2023, which will write off the P57.56 billion debt owed by 610,054 ARBs countrywide. "I'm emotional today because my grandfather and father have both died without seeing their dream of owning the land become a reality. Now that I am close to 63 years old, I am overjoyed because I am one of the thousands of farmers from Bicol and around the country who have witnessed this historic moment,” said Mang Buddy during his acceptance speech at the event. "I have waited for this for a long time, from my grandfather and father, and now the land finally belongs to me, to our family," he added. Mang Buddy envisions a brighter future for himself and his family now that he has possession of the land title. "My heartfelt thanks to President Marcos, and Secretary Conrado M. Estrella III for this land. I now don’t fear the future because I have this land to pass on to my children. This land title symbolizes not only ownership for us [farmers], but also an answered prayer, fulfilled dreams, transformed lives, new hope, and the promise of a bountiful future for our families and our nation," he said. Mang Buddy likewise thanked DAR Regional Director Reuben Theodore C. Sindac, DAR Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officers Renato O. Bequillo, Rodel C. Martirez, Adonis H. Dolanas, and Municipal Agrarian Reform Program Officer Jemma C. Belaro, who stood by his side and provided unwavering support throughout his long struggle. "The land you have given is a gift from God that I will cherish, ensuring that my family's connection to the land continues for many years to come. I swear to improve this land to the best of my ability, with the help of my family and the Divine Creator. Thank you to everyone," Mang Buddy exclaimed. Mang Buddy's victory exemplifies the strength of perseverance and becomes a beacon of hope to other farmers facing similar situations. The post Farmer’s grandson finally receives land title after 45-year struggle appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJul 16th, 2023

DA awaits food stamp scanners

The Department of Agriculture said over the weekend that it is ready to help the Department of Social Welfare and Development carry out the government’s food stamp program. The DA said it is only awaiting the release of the cards and QR-code readers for the Kadiwa stores that will help implement the program. U-Nichols Manalo, DA director for field operation services, told Daily Tribune that the food items will be purchased through cash cards or QR codes. He added that the DSWD has yet to provide DA with the equipment for the point of sale or payment transactions. Likewise, the DSWD has yet to give the DA a specific date for the start of the six-month pilot for the program, which will benefit 3,000 households, Manalo averred. However, Manalo said the food stamp program should start soon or within this year, noting that the government already implemented a similar cash-card program for the victims of typhoon “Odette” in the Visayas and Mindanao in 2021. Aside from the payment devices, DA is also waiting for the list of beneficiaries from the DSWD to prevent redundant food provisions for the poor. “Farmers and fisherfolk are among the poorest of the poor, but we have to cross-check the list from DSWD with our own database to ensure only those who are not yet getting aid from any government agency will be included in the food stamps program,” Manalo said. For example, he said DA has been distributing financial aid to rice and corn farmers already, while another agency provides fuel subsidies to other less privileged groups to ensure they have some money left to spend on their other basic needs. Manalo said DA could also train the food stamp beneficiaries on growing their own food to help them develop life skills. “We can train them to do urban gardening using renewable materials. We can use 100-square-meter lots for the plants under our Urban and Periurban Agriculture Program. Kadiwa is just one of the outlets,” he explained. The DA reported that there are 627 Kadiwa stores nationwide offering cheaper agricultural products, and that it plans to build urban gardens in 42,022 barangays. The Social Weather Stations reported 2.7 million families experienced involuntary hunger in the first quarter of this year, more than the 2.1 million in 2019 or before the pandemic. The post DA awaits food stamp scanners appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 2nd, 2023

PNP reshuffles need Napolcom confirmation

Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. on Tuesday said the latest reorganization of police officials needs confirmation of the National Police Commission and approval of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. “We want to clarify that there is a process that should be followed,” said Abalos, who is also the Napolcom’s chairman, in a statement on Tuesday. Abalos said the list of officials, affected by the revamp, should be submitted to Napolcom for “confirmation.” “Once confirmed by Napolcom, the list will be submitted to the President for his approval,” he added. Under Section 6 of Napolcom Memorandum Circular 2019-001, Abalos said designation to such positions “shall be submitted to the Commission for confirmation prior to the submission of the same to the President for approval.” The memorandum says Napolcom has 30 days, from the receipt of proposed assignments, to review or approve the assignments or designations. If the period expires, such assignments are deemed approved. Upon approval of such assignments, the PNP directorate for personnel and records management will issue the appropriate orders. Abalos said Napolcom’s authority on the matter stems from the 1987 Constitution which provides: “The State shall establish and maintain one police force, which shall be national in scope and civilian in character, to be administered and controlled by a national police commission.”   Abalos said the list of officials, affected by the revamp, should be submitted to Napolcom for ‘confirmation.’   “Civilian control over the police is a hallowed principle of our fundamental law. Rest assured that the Napolcom will carry out its duty to oversee and enhance the administration of the PNP,” Abalos said. PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said there is a scheduled turnover of positions on Tuesday to be held Multi-Purpose Center in Camp Crame in connection with the latest reorganization. “Let us wait for the official announcement kung kailan ire reschedule yung formal assumption of office at a turnover of positions but until such time na meron na schedule, yung mga concerned officers will remain in their current positions po,” Fajardo told reporters when sought for a comment on Tuesday. The eight generals affected by the revamp include National Capital Region Police Office chief Maj. Gen. Edgar Alan Okubo, who was named the new chief of the Directorate for Police Community Relations while Directorate for Intelligence chief Brig. Gen. Jose Melencio Nartatez Jr., is the new acting regional director of the NCRPO. Meanwhile, then DPCR director Maj. Gen. Mario Reyes was designated to head the Directorate for Logistics while Maj. Gen. Jon Arnaldo replaced Nartatez as the new DI chief. Brig. Gen. Ronald Oliver Lee was designated as the new chief of the Directorate for Human Resource and Doctrine Developmen, replacing Arnaldo. Maj. Gen. Eric Noble, director of the PNP Academy, was named the new head of the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management while Brig. Gen. Samuel Nacion will be the acting PNPA director. Brig. Gen. Alan Nazarro from the Directorate of Information and Communication Technology Management was named the acting director of the Highway Patrol Group. The post PNP reshuffles need Napolcom confirmation appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJun 27th, 2023

DENR-BMB holds 25th Philippine Eagle Week celebration

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources observed the 25th Philippine Eagle Week from 4 to 10 June through its Biodiversity Management Bureau. The event was an occasion to look back at the successes in conserving the iconic and critically endangered Philippine eagle during a quarter of a century, but, as DENR Assistant Secretary and concurrent BMB Director Marcial Amaro Jr. said, the celebration was also a reminder that there is more work to be done to ensure the survival and viability of the prized raptor often described as “national treasure.” PEW is celebrated every 4-10 June of each year in accordance with Presidential Proclamation No. 79, series of 1999, to educate the public on the importance and conservation of the country’s national bird , which is considered one of the largest and most powerful among forest raptors in the world. The Philippine eagle (scientific name Pithecophaga jefferyi) is continually being threatened by hunting and loss of habitat. "By conserving our national patrimony and strengthening our advocacies, we are able to improve and harmonize conservation efforts to put forward strategies and to curb the direct and indirect threats to Philippine eagle populations through relevant conservation actions concerning habitat restoration, law enforcement, management of captive and wild populations, research and conservation education,” said Amaro. This year’s PEW theme, “Unity in Action: Achieving success together,” was a call to all Filipinos to protect forest habitats to conserve future generations of Philippine eagles and their territories, and allow new generations to thrive and co-exist with other threatened wildlife. “The habitats conserved locally and protected by communities significantly contribute to environmental stability and security of human well-being, in the looming threats of climate change,” Amaro said. The BMB lined up several activities to celebrate PEW from 6 to 9 June at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center in Quezon City. Philippine Eagle Foundation Executive Director Dennis Salvador and Maestro Fernando Sena, the father of Philippine Art Workshops, were among those who kicked off the four-day celebration. One of the highlights of the event was an art exhibit dubbed “Isang Libong Obra Para Sa Agila,” organized by BMB and PEF in collaboration with the Philippine Fauna Art Society, Buenas Artes Art Facility and Biodiversity Finance Initiative Philippines. It showcased art works depicting the Philippine eagle by Filipino artists, who even paid a registration fee that would be donated for the installation of a water system in a community that helps protect a Philippine eagle habitat in Davao City. There were also art workshops conducted by the Buenas Artes and PhilFAS; an audio-video presentation on Philippine eagle conservation; and an interactive presentation called “Fly Malaya Fly,” which chronicled the love of a mother eagle for her baby eaglet. Special prizes were given to participants whose artworks best illustrated the Philippine eagle. In September last year, DENR Secretary Antonia Loyzaga appealed to lawmakers to prioritize the passage of proposed measures to strengthen Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act during the joint hearing of the Committees on Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change; on Finance; on Sustainable Development Goals, Innovation and Futures Thinking; and on Ways and Means. According to Loyzaga, the support of lawmakers in the amendment of RA 9147 is crucial in advancing collective efforts and initiatives to sustainably manage the country’s wildlife resources. The amendment of RA 9147 is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Targets 13, 14 and 15 (Climate Action, Life Below Water and Life on Land) that call for urgent and significant actions to reduce the degradation of natural habitats and halt the loss of biodiversity, she added. In July 2022, Loyzaga — together with PEF ED Salvador — met with Dr. Robert Kennedy, a renowned ornithologist and pioneer advocate on Philippine eagle research and conservation, for possible collaboration to help save the Philippine eagle. The Philippine eagle is endemic to the Philippines and is the largest forest raptor in the country. Found in the islands of Luzon, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao, the majestic bird has been classified as critically endangered under Department Administrative Order 2019-09 or the Updated National List of Threatened Philippine Fauna and Their Categories, and by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.   The post DENR-BMB holds 25th Philippine Eagle Week celebration appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 13th, 2023

DENR’s Ocean Jam’ kicks off

The Biodiversity Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources held a musical event dubbed “Ocean Jam” on 31 May 2023 to cap off the nationwide celebration of the Month of the Ocean. The event, which was held at the Sawangan Park in Legazpi City, Albay, featured band performances and audio-visual presentations from the BMB, United Nations Ocean Decade, Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and other development partners. This year’s theme, “Sustainably feed the global population,” underscored the critical role of the oceans in ensuring food security for the global population. The theme is aligned with the message of the United Nations Decade of Science for Sustainable Development: “The science we need for the ocean we want.” “It is our sincere hope that through this activity, we can empower and encourage every individual present to make a positive difference in their daily lives,” said DENR  assistant secretary and BMB director Marcial Amaro Jr., adding that the event celebrates “not only the breathtaking beauty of our oceans but also the paramount role they play in sustaining life on our planet.” “By reducing unsustainable products, supporting sustainable fishing practices, and advocating for policies that protect our oceans, each and every one of us can contribute to the conservation of our marine environments,” Amaro said. He added that by working in collaboration with various sectors, “we aim to raise awareness and emphasize the importance of safeguarding our marine ecosystems for future generations.” Winners of the DENR Region V Quiz Bee were a lso announced during the event. Cris Ann Villarante of CENRO San Jacinto, Masbate was declared champion, while Jerome Baloloy of PENRO Albay and Monique Grazielle Joy Leaño of PENRO Sorsogon were named second and third placers, respectively. The Month of the Ocean is celebrated annually during the month of May by virtue of Presidential Proclamation 57, issued in 1998. Under the Proclamation, the DENR and the DA-BFAR shall spearhead the observance of the Month of the Ocean through the conduct of activities that highlight conservation, protection and sustainable management of Philippine coastal and ocean resources. The post DENR’s Ocean Jam’ kicks off appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJun 9th, 2023

EU watchlist excludes Phl

In its fifth year, the Philippines remains excluded from the European Commission’s intellectual property rights watchlist, a biennial publication identifying the priority countries that pose a great level of concern to the IP-laden industries of the European Union. A report released on 17 May, relayed by the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines on Tuesday, mentioned “legal uncertainties and diverging applications of the law, low level of trade secrets protection and enforcements and overall weak IPR enforcement” as the deciding factors of the priority countries. “Our exclusion from the list from 2019 signifies that we remain an attractive investment destination to trade partners. Truly, we have come a long way in maintaining a safe IP climate in tune with global economic standards,” said IPOPHL director general Rowel Barba.   China is ‘priority one’ in the list The EU report stated that China tops the list as the sole country under “priority one” due to the persistence of IP rights violations through piracy and counterfeiting, paired with inconsistent IPR law enforcement and application. While under “priority two,” the EU Commission report has flagged India, particularly for the several constraints on patent protection, and Turkey, generally for their gaps in national IP enforcement. Meanwhile, “priority three” countries consist of Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Thailand, for varying IP protection concerns. Despite the Philippines being delisted from the report, Barba emphasized the importance of “going beyond” the exclusion from global watchlists.   More work needs to be done “Still, we acknowledge that there is much more work needed to be done to ensure a clean and reliable marketplace for IP rights owners across all nations. Since our last mention as a priority three in 2019, we have doubled down our efforts to safeguard our investment attractiveness, a testament to our commitment as a proactive national IP office,” Barba added, with the assurance that they continue efforts to keep counterfeiting and piracy at bay. Last May, IPOPHL successfully facilitated the addition of eight well-known brands to the E-commerce MoU, internationally recognized as one of the best practices to foster trust in online marketplaces. In a recent capacity-building effort with the EU Commission-funded ARISE + Philippines, over 40 representatives of the National Committee for IP Rights, aided by the International Trade Centre, tackled the matter of general IP enforcement and enforcement within the digital environment. Meanwhile, IPOPHL continues to initiate anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy policy campaigns across local government units and the academe to deepen IP rights awareness, especially among public authorities critical in IP enforcement.   Whole-of-nation approach “Our whole-of-nation approach to IP enforcement does not only empower our economic landscape. This also translates to a prosperous and lasting relationship with critical trade partners such as the EU,” Barba remarked. According to the EU Commission, trade in goods in 2022 between the Philippines and the EU amounted to €18.4 billion, while the 2022 bilateral trade in services amounted to €4.7 billion. In 2021, the EU accounted for 7.9 percent of the Philippines’ total trade, making it the Philippines’ fourth-largest trading partner. On the other hand, the Philippines ranks as the EU’s 39th largest foreign investor, making up for 0.4 percent of the EU’s overall trade. The post EU watchlist excludes Phl appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJun 6th, 2023

Ilocos Norte police declare Carasi drug-free

LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte — Carasi has been added to the list of drug-free towns in the home province of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Col. Julius Suriben, Ilocos Norte police director, made the declaration at 9:30 a.m. of 12 May 2023. “All PNP stations and units are declared drug-free workplaces from January to March 2023. The above efforts is in line with INPPO IMPLAN ‘Pagwadan’ — Ensuring and Sustaining Drug-Free Workplaces and Homes,” Suriben said. Faculty, staff and utility workers of three Carasi schools, and community adviser Pastor Julio Amante Ganal participated in the declaration of the schools as drug-free. Witnessing the declaration were Carasi Mayor Robella G. Gaspar, Vice Mayor Wilson T. Bulil-lit and Sangguniang Bayan members, and representatives of the Ilocos Norte office of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency. The declaration was part of the BIDA program of the Department of the Interior and Local Government. The other drug-free towns of Ilocos Norte are Piddig, Dingras, Pagudpud, Paoay, Currimao, Badoc, Nueva Era, Solsona and Marcos. The post Ilocos Norte police declare Carasi drug-free appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 13th, 2023

Leave your devices to Power Mac

Customers can now enjoy the convenience of dropping off their Apple devices that need premium repair or maintenance service at select Power Mac Center or The Loop stores with a minimal shipping fee. Apart from accessibility, customers can trust that their precious devices are in good hands at Mobile Care Service Center—PMC’s Apple Authorized Service Provider — which will be handling all the necessary repair services with its Certified Engineers and exclusive access to genuine parts. The retail drop-off service is available for all Apple users in the Philippines who bought devices from Power Mac Center and other stores, whether in or out of warranty. Mobile Care Service Centers accept iPhone 7 series or later, MacBook Air early 2015 model or later, MacBook Pro 2017 model or later, and iMac 2017 model or later. “By maximizing the nationwide presence of our retail stores, we help more customers reach us faster when they find themselves in need of repair or maintenance services. This is a testament to Power Mac Center’s commitment as the go-to shop for all things Apple in the Philippines. We take pride in being able to provide premium and comprehensive services to all loyal Apple fans,” said Jim Laguio, PMC director for service. Power Mac Center drop-off locations include Luzon branches namely Robinsons Ilocos Norte, SM City Tuguegarao, Robinsons Tuguegarao, Robinsons La Union, SM City Urdaneta Central, SM City Pampanga, Harbor Point, Vista Mall Bataan, SM City Fairview, SM City San Lazaro, SM City Sta. Rosa, SM City San Pablo, SM City Bacoor, SM City Dasmariñas, Fora Mall, SM City Batangas, SM City Lipa, SM City Lucena, SM City Daet, SM City Legazpi, SM City Sorsogon, and SM City Puerto Princesa; SM City Roxas in the Visayas; and Robinsons Iligan in Mindanao. Meanwhile, The Loop drop-off locations are Xentro Mall Vigan, SM City Baguio, SM Center Dagupan, and SM City Calamba for Luzon branches; D’Mall Boracay in the Visayas; and SM City General Santos in Mindanao. New and upcoming stores may also be added in this list in the future. The post Leave your devices to Power Mac appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 12th, 2023

Next cop chief anybody’s guess

Outgoing Philippine National Police chief, General Rodolfo Azurin Jr., said Sunday he’s clueless about who will take over his post when he retires today on his 56th birthday. Azurin told reporters he knows only as much as what he has been reading from news reports but added the National Police Commission has already submitted a shortlist of candidates. “But I’m not aware who are the candidates,” Azurin said regarding the Napolcom list from where President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. may name the 29th PNP chief. The PNP has scheduled a change-of-command and retirement honors ceremony for Azurin at the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City today. The President was yet to announce Azurin’s successor at press time last night. The ceremony will cap Azurin’s stint as chief of the country’s 220,000-strong police force being rocked by allegations that some of its officials and personnel are involved in the illegal drugs trade. In the past week, seven names came about as Azurin’s possible successor, including the deputy chief for administration, P/Lt. Gen. Rhodel Sermonia; and the chief of directorial staff, P/Lt. Gen. Michael John Dubria. The others are P/Maj. Gen. Eliso Cruz, director of the directorate for investigation who is already retiring in June; P/Maj. Gen. Jonnel Estomo, PNP deputy chief for operations; P/Maj. Gen. Edgar Alan Okubo, National Capital Region Police Office chief; and P/Brig. Gen. Romeo Caramat Jr., Criminal Investigation and Detection Group chief. Azurin on Sunday came to the defense of sacked PNP Drug Enforcement Group chief, P/Brig. Gen. Narciso Domingo, as he denied Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos’ claim of a cover-up in the P6.7-billion drug bust in October 2022. Earlier, Azurin lamented that his former deputy for operations, P/Lt. Gen. Benjamin Santos Jr., had been linked to the alleged cover-up just because he asked him to go to the site of the bust in Tondo, Manila. Azurin, however, said he’d let things go where they would lead insofar as the controversial drug operation was concerned, saying he’d spend more time with his family. The post Next cop chief anybody’s guess appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsApr 23rd, 2023

P400M+ income lost due to Mindoro oil spill

Seawater around Oriental Mindoro still showed low-level contaminants or pollycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, while seaweed collected and analyzed from select sites in Catluys, Antique on 9 March showed low-level contaminants or PAH, the Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources reported over the weekend. PAH, according to DA-BFAR, are "harmful to humans and other living organisms, and may accumulate in the flesh of marine organisms over time. Seaweeds and other sessile organism have greater chances of accumulating PAH due to their immobility." Thus, the BFAR is still keeping the fishing ban in oil-spill hit municipalities of Oriental Mindoro, which has accumulated P441.25 million losses in income in 22 fishing days. The agency said the amount came from the more than 26,000 fishermen who have been directly affected by the oil spill as of March 31, based on a daily income of P714. The damage in terms of inputs and produce, fishing gear and paraphernalia, and facilities and equipment was placed at P445,333,928.00. These include: Fisheries Production Losses from MIMAROPA’s Commercial and Municipal Fisheries valued at P14,138,400.00, and damage to 119 metric tons of seaweed production in Western Visayas valued at almost P3 million. The "DA-BFAR detected minimal levels of PAH, including benzo(a)pyrene or B(a)p, from the initial samples collected," BFAR director Demosthenes Escoto said. He added that 86 fish and other marine samples were taken on 10-11 March from seven municipalities in Mindoro (Bongabong, Bulalacao, Gloria, Mansalay, Najuan, Pinamalayan and San Jose) for testing. "These did not show the presence of petroleum-related products," Escoto said. However, from seven seaweed samples collected on 31 March in Caluya, Antique, three showed the presence of petroleum-related products. Some 23 water samples collected from 9 March to 4 April from 10 municipalities of Oriental Mindoro (Bansud, Bongabong, Bulalacao, Calapan, Gloria, Mansalay, Naujan, Pinamalayan, Pola, and Roxas) and Caluya in Antique had minimal levels of oil and grease, within the standard set by the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources. BFAR also said 15 fish samples collected from Oriental Mindoro from March 4 to 10 showed low levels of PAH. Likewise, seaweed taken from Caluya, Antique on March 4 yielded low-level PAH. 'Since the Bureau found low-levels of PAH in seafood samples, it recommended keeping fishing bans in areas concerned while the time-series analyses are still ongoing," BFAR said in its Bulletin No.2 . The Bureau meanwhile, added that a total of P22 million worth of livelihood assistance has been allocated to affected fishing communities. This includes P4.4 million worth of post-harvest technology packages for 10 fisherfolk associations and cooperatives or 689 families. It also includes P12 million worth of fuel subsidy for fisherfolk who had to seek alternative fishing grounds. The BFAR said it is considering providing affected fisherfolk some fiberglass-reinforced plastic boats. As for food and relief goods, the BFAR said it has earmarked P1.5 million for food assistance to 5,689 affected fisherfolk in Mimaropa. Meanwhile, P580,500 has been used to help displaced fishing groups in Western Visayas, the BFAR said. For cleanup operations in Oriental Mindoro, the agency said it deployed P720,945 worth of PPE, ropes and other materials. The MT Princess Empress sank on 28 February off Najuan, Oriental Mindoro while carrying 900,000 liters of industrial fuel. The post P400M+ income lost due to Mindoro oil spill appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsApr 15th, 2023