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Marcos to the Bangsamoro: show the world the May 2025 polls will be peaceful and credible 

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 09 February) – “Giving the vote to the people to choose their leaders is the logical succession, evolution, to the grant of self-rule to your land,” President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said as he urged Bangsamoro leaders to “show the world” that the first election of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim […].....»»

Category: newsSource: mindanews mindanewsFeb 12th, 2024

PBBM wants agenda to address global challenges as he signs UNSDCF

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. called for a "transformative agenda" to address global challenges and bridge divides as he signed a new United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework on Tuesday. The UNSDCF is a five-year plan to guide the UN's development activities in the Philippines from 2024 to 2028. It is aligned with the Philippine government's eight-point socio-economic agenda, the Philippine Development Plan, and Ambisyon Natin. In his speech at the signing ceremony in Malacañan, Marcos said that the UNSDCF is "oriented to support Philippine government policies and priorities embodied in the eight-point socio-economic agenda, the Philippine development plan, and Ambisyon Natin." He added that the UNSDCF "enjoins us and agencies in the government's determined pursuit of the highest aspirations of our people." Marcos said that the Philippines looks forward to "vigorous engagements and key issues that bear on the future of our communities, including food security, education, climate action, decent work, digital transformation, and disaster risk reduction." He also invited new approaches to help promote innovation driven by climate-smart and sustainable growth at all levels. Marcos said that the Philippines is also fostering access to green financing, lasting peace, and better public services across the archipelago. "With the UN delivering as one fully cognizant of the Philippine needs and context and the voices of its partners including civil society, our partnership can be a catalyst for the accomplishment of our shared goals in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development," he said. Marcos also noted that the UNSDCF is among the first of its kind under the reformed UN development system. "Our collaboration will showcase the best and finest the UN development system can offer the world with programs that provide solutions and a far-reaching impact and provide good models of co-ownership, transparency, and accountability," he said. Marcos said that the UNSDCF brings with it not only the legacies of the Philippines' constructive and long-standing engagement with the UN, but also signifies the country's role in shaping more inclusive and effective multilateral institutions that embrace and bring tangible results to all. He added that the UNSDCF also acknowledges how the Philippines' best practices and experience can help the achievement of the SDG agenda elsewhere through South-South cooperation platforms. Marcos said that the UN recognizes that peacebuilding milestones in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao offer valuable insight for peacemaking across the world. He added that the Philippines' advocacies in the Indo-Pacific and in the global arena for the rule of law and a peaceful settlement of disputes also provide opportunities for a more substantive engagement with the UN. "These noble aspects of the UNSDCF show how our partnership has evolved. It is now infused with a more mature-looking synergy of efforts serving the interests of both the Philippines and the United Nations as we work for a safer and more prosperous world," Marcos said. He added that it is "truly fitting that we embark on this new journey together as we celebrate the founding of the UN 78 years ago." "This daunting and profound enterprise of making our collaboration deliver meaningful change and transformation on the ground lies before us," Marcos said. "I look forward to hearing many more success stories in the Philippines-UN partnership under this cooperation framework," Marcos added......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 24th, 2023

China still intractable

On the seventh anniversary of the Philippines’ historic 12 July 2016 arbitration victory in which the Permanent Court of Arbitration or PCA in The Hague that voided China’s sweeping claims, including over the West Philippine Sea which covers the exclusive economic zone stretching 200 nautical miles from Philippine shores, the words of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. strike an uplifting chord in the hearts of all patriotic Filipinos. “I will not preside over any process that will abandon even one square inch of territory of the Republic of the Philippines to any foreign power,” he said with conviction to thunderous applause as he stood before members of Congress in joint session for his first SONA on 25 July 2022. The words of the President serve as the title to the microsite recently launched by the Department of Foreign Affairs, which marks the seventh year of Manila’s victory against China at the PCA. That victory, the DFA said on the site, “authoritatively ruled that the claim of historic rights to resources within the sea areas falling within the ‘nine-dash’ line had no basis in law and is without any legal effect.” Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo describes the site as a central resource of information regarding the award and its contribution to the rule of law and peaceful settlement of disputes through the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea or UNCLOS and international law. China, ironically, was among the first to ratify UNCLOS in 1992. Said Manalo, “Anniversaries remind us of the trajectory we have taken as a nation and as a people. In the decision (by the Philippine government, under then President Benigno C. Aquino III) to file an arbitration case, the Philippines opted to take the path of principle, the rule of law, and the peaceful settlement of disputes. The Tribunal’s decision affirmed the correctness of that course of action.” It took three years from the Philippines’ filing of its case against China until 12 July 2016 for the PCA to issue its ruling that crushed China’s claims over the SCS, including its nine-dash line, denouncing the encroachment in and harassment by armed Chinese maritime elements of Filipino fishermen in the WPS. China has long argued that its claim over the South China Sea is historical in nature, with Chinese scholars and analysts contending that islands in the South China Sea were first discovered by China’s Han dynasty over two millennia ago. In his book Asia’s Cauldron, US scholar and strategist Robert D. Kaplan says that between the 10th and 14th centuries, during the Song and Yuan dynasties, many official and unofficial Chinese accounts show the South China Sea to be within China’s national boundaries. He, however, argued that this “historical rights” argument has been challenged on several fronts. First, there is scant proof that China had controlled the South China Sea after the mid-17th century. “Indeed, after a burst of seafaring exploration during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), China’s emperors largely shut their empire off from the seas,” said Chinese marine geographer Wang Ying who contends that, consequently, there is scarce cartographic proof of China’s rights over the SCS. While the nine-dash line concept has been around since 1947, Chinese maps — for the longest time — hardly gave it any prominence. This changed in 2009 when a map marking the nine-dash line was included in the documents submitted by China to the UN during a dispute with Vietnam. Today, Chinese passports are emblazoned with a map with nine dashes through the South China Sea as well as a 10th dash that counts Taiwan as part of Chinese territory. Still, there exists vagueness over what China’s nine-dash line implies. Wang says the dash lines mean that “the ocean, islands, and reefs all belong to China and that China has sovereign right over them. But it’s discontinuous, meaning other countries can pass through the lines freely.” Notwithstanding the ambiguities over its nine-dash line concept and the quashing by the PCA of its claim over the SCS, China, to this day, refuses to recognize the 2016 arbitral ruling even as nations, including the US, Germany, Canada, Japan, Australia, and the European Union have expressed strong support for the landmark decision that recognized Philippine sovereign rights over its EEZ in the WPS. For the US, the 2016 ruling of the tribunal constituted under UNCLOS is “final and legally binding.” The EU called the ruling a “significant milestone” and a “useful basis for the peaceful resolution of disputes…” even as Canadian Ambassador David Hartman said, “We have always been strong in our position; we have been an active vocal proponent on the enforcement of it, encouraging all parties involved to respect  the ruling.” Speaking for President Marcos, DFA Secretary Manalo welcomed “the growing number of partners that have expressed support for the Award. We are honored that the Award stands as a beacon whose guiding light serves all nations. It is a settled landmark and a definitive contribution to the progressive development of international law. It is ours, as much as it is the world’s.” A world, that is, that an obdurate China doesn’t seem to want to be part of nor care for unless it can be bent to its will. The post China still intractable appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 14th, 2023

Govt. to boost agri, fishery sectors

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Wednesday underscored the need to address the systemic issues plaguing Philippine agriculture for years due to the longstanding neglect of this sector. During his speech at the 70th anniversary of the Federation of Free Farmers (FFF) in Quezon City, Marcos Jr said the welfare of farmers and fisherfolk has been forgotten for decades, dating back to the inception of agricultural reform during his father and namesake's tenure. "We have a significant amount of work ahead of us because we need to fix the entire agricultural system that has been neglected for a long time, perhaps since the start of agricultural reform, during (the late President Ferdinand Marcos Sr.'s) time," Marcos Jr. said. "Now, many changes have occurred, the world has changed, and it has revolved several times. Therefore, we need to examine the needs of our farmers and fishermen to improve their lives because we often hear that we need to increase our yield, improve our harvest, and our productivity," he added. The latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that agricultural production in the country decreased by 1.3 percent during the year's second quarter. The figures unveiled by the PSA showed that the production value in agriculture and fisheries, calculated at constant 2018 prices, totaled P427.69 billion, a decline from the P433.10 billion recorded during the same period the previous year. Minimum wages for agricultural laborers in the Philippines vary by region, ranging from P306 in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao to P573 in the National Capital Region. These wage rates, determined by tripartite boards, differ based on the specific region. “But let's not forget that the livelihood of our farmers and fishermen should also be taken care of and improved because that is our goal for all our farmers and fishermen,” Marcos said. Marcos emphasized the pressing need for his administration to boost the agricultural sector, with more than P92 billion set aside for upcoming agri-fisheries projects next year. Additionally, the Department of Agriculture has allotted P4.73 billion to improve large-scale agriculture and fishery mechanization and modernization, aiming to decrease post-harvest losses and cost-effectively enhance farmers' yields. However, the President underlined the enormity of the task ahead and called upon the public for their support and collaboration. "So, this is a massive task. That's why we need your help because the government alone cannot do all of this. We need your diligence, we need your advice because you are the ones facing the problems in agriculture that we are going through now,” Marcos said. “Rest assured, your government is here to do everything in its power to assist our farmers in producing a bountiful harvest, catching enough fish for our fellow citizens, and selling these products at prices affordable to our people,” Marcos added. The post Govt. to boost agri, fishery sectors appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 25th, 2023

Pacquiao’s gambling gambit

Former Senator Manny Pacquiao found himself in the 10th to 13th position in a 30 September to 4 October survey for the upcoming 2025 national elections. As he is eligible to run again for senator, he appears determined to do so after completing a six-year tenure in the Upper Chamber. Pacquiao’s political ambitions were dealt a blow in the 2022 presidential elections, a predictable outcome given the overwhelming popularity of Bongbong Marcos at the time. However, if there’s one thing Pacquiao is known for, apart from being one of the greatest Filipino athletes, it’s his penchant for taking high risks and gambling with his future. It’s evident that gambling has permeated his public image by endorsing various betting platforms. Post-2022 elections, the boxing legend became associated with M88 Mansion, a company that boasts the “largest and most diversified collection of sports betting offers, casino slot games, table games, and live dealer casino games” on its Facebook page. In light of Pacquiao’s uncertain chances of returning to public service in 2025 it raises the question of whether he inadvertently promotes the erosion of Filipino morals and values by aligning himself with gambling firms and their owners. He has allowed his name and image to be featured prominently in online casino and betting ads. Whether he explicitly authorized such usage is unclear, but what is apparent is that he has aligned himself with this vice, a paradox given his Christian identity. Proverbs 13:11 warns, “Wealth won quickly dwindles away, but gathered little by little, it grows.” Pacquiao still has an opportunity to reverse this image within the two years leading up to the 2025 polls. He can choose to dissolve his partnership with Mansion and distance himself from gambling and even POGO firms. Additionally, he can demonstrate honor by disassociating himself from casinos and any activities that dehumanize Filipinos and harm families. If he secures re-election while maintaining associations with gambling companies, it’s expected that he will prioritize their interests. Pacquiao has been instrumental in passing more than 20 laws since 2010, many of which have been commendable and beneficial to the country. However, unless he takes corrective action soon, Pacquiao risks succumbing to the influence of gambling magnates and submitting to their interests, potentially overshadowing his legislative accomplishments......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 24th, 2023

Phl Army deploys troops in BARMM ahead of Barangay, SK elections

The Philippine Army said it has deployed almost a thousand personnel to augment the security operations in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao during the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections on 30 October. These soldiers will be stationed and are expected to render security duties during BSKE in the BARMM’s six provinces, including  Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao del Norte, Maguindanao del Sur, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi. Philippine Army spokesperson Col. Xerxes Trinidad said the Philippine Air Force fetched the soldiers from various units located in Luzon and Mindanao and transported them to their respective deployment areas. Trinidad said government security forces are mandated to provide security to the Commission on Elections personnel, poll deputies, and other government staff performing election-related duties. They are likewise tasked to ensure the availability of transportation assets, communications systems, and other equipment that could be used by the commission in conducting the elections, he added. “Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. Roy M. Galido in his earlier guidance, underscored the significant responsibilities of the Army troops in the coming polls: To practice the right of suffrage as well as to ensure the safe, orderly, and peaceful conduct of elections,” Trinidad underscored. Galido’s guidance also includes intensified security efforts, in collaboration with the Philippine National Police and other government security forces in the BARMM. The PNP-BARMM has listed 249 villages across the region that have been classified by the police as “areas of grave concern,” or under “code red” for the approaching BSKE. The post Phl Army deploys troops in BARMM ahead of Barangay, SK elections appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 23rd, 2023

Digitalization call exempts none

The call for digitalization is real and businesses including micro-enterprises must respond to the challenge, Ferdinand “Perry” Ferrer, who is chairperson of the committee on Digital Innovation and Science and Technology of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said. The country is falling quite behind in the digitalization race as most of its neighbors made significant advances through the collaboration of their governments and the private sector. He said that the country’s neighbors have fully embraced digitalization since the global pandemic hit. In an interview with the Daily Tribune’s online show Straight Talk, Ferrer said only half of Philippine businesses have embraced financial technologies and the digital economy. “Half of the Philippines are still not connected. I believe the numbers are 50 to 52 percent of the nation, are still not connected to the Internet, are underserved or have spotty connections,” Ferrer lamented. Connection to the digital world is considered the answer to financial inclusion if only gadgets and strong connections are provided. “That is where we believe that the Philippines has a significant opportunity to drive economic activity once we connect these entities and these businesses. Imagine the opportunities that neophyte businesses would have once they’re connected to the Internet,” he said. Ferrer said a huge opportunity, not just locally but globally, is presented to new business owners if they will use the Internet to promote their brands and services. “We are happy that President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. had stressed, even in his last State of the Nation Address, that digitalization and connectivity are his priorities, and we support that 100 percent,” according to Ferrer. When he spoke at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, Marcos also stressed his belief that digital transformation would allow the Philippines and other small nations to keep abreast of a changing world. “Our governance structures must keep up. The world is ready for a transformation. It is up to us as leaders of our nations, to move and shape that transformation,” stated Marcos. “Technologies are rapidly transforming human life and experience. We still barely understand how these transformations are unfolding and where they are leading,” he continued. Marcos added that employing emerging technologies could solve many of the country’s problems but could also disrupt the political and social order.   Satellite connectivity steps in Ferrer said in support of full connectivity, the PCCI has launched a project to connect far-flung areas to the Internet through satellite. The first phase of the project called Proof of Concept, or POC, will entail the setting up of the Internet via satellite in six geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas, divided equally among the three main islands of Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao. The second phase will seek to push the government to have its satellite to connect the entire country to the Internet. “The Department of ICT is open to looking at all technologies, with the intent to cascade Internet connectivity throughout the Philippines. We have been talking with new players in satellite space. Instead of rushing in, we are incorporating these companies to be part of the POC,” he said. The post Digitalization call exempts none appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2023

Mindanao police, military cooperating to ensure peaceful barangay, SK polls

Top Army officials in Mindanao assured to flex all measures needed to forestall any failure of elections in troubled towns in the Bangsamoro region and in central Mindanao......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2023

Approvals drop

Double-digit drops were seen in the trust and approval ratings of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and Vice President Sara Duterte, as published by Pulse Asia. These numbers may have been normal for certain officials of past administrations, but for Marcos and Duterte, these figures could be unsettling. We must be reminded that our top officials were elected by the majority of the voting public in a virtual landslide against their competition. Further, this steep decline was not realized by our previous populist president. Thus, this should be taken seriously by our leaders. President Marcos Jr. downplayed the decline, saying he was “not surprised” by it. He correctly pointed out that among the reasons for the drop would be the government’s failure to lower the price of rice — a campaign promise often repeated. Another reason could be his concurrent holding of the Agriculture Secretary position, which is a delicate Cabinet post since it relates directly to bringing food to the table of every Filipino. Rice matters in the Filipino household. The United States Department of Agriculture reported that the Philippines is now the world’s top rice importer, overtaking China. According to its report titled “Grain: World Markets and Trade,” the USDA projected that the Philippines would reach 3.8 million metric tons of rice imports for the marketing year 2023-2024, compared to China’s decreased projection of 3.5 million MT. This is a sad statistic, considering the Philippines used to be known as a leading rice producer, even the go-to country for our neighbors to learn about rice production. Our Banaue Rice Terraces is a heritage and tourist site that may very well belong in a museum since rice irrigation may be a thing of the past. Food security was a campaign promise that should be endeavored to be achieved. There is no rice crisis because of the incessant importation of rice by prominent businessmen, but it has become difficult to encourage other investors to put their capital into rice farming. The government should provide the answer by incentivizing farmers and businesses to invest in rice farming, but all this is easier said than done. As for our Vice President, her ratings drop should be related to the controversial confidential and intelligence funds she defended heavily in the budget hearings. I cannot fathom a worthy explanation for why the Office of the Vice President and the Department of Education should have P650 million in these funds without proper accounting and explanation. As for the reported realignment of these funds by the House of Representatives to agencies tasked with the protection of our national sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea, we are still waiting to see if this will happen after it hurdles the Senate and is later signed by the President. The ratings drop may be ignored, but it’s continuing cannot be risked. The ratings can be expected to rise, especially if the surveys are taken during the Christmas season when the Filipino nation becomes forgiving. The leadership should take concrete action on how to cause an uptick, such as by providing concrete solutions to the promises made during the campaign. If something can be learned from former President Rodrigo Duterte, it would help to be very visible locally to show your genuine and sincere compassion and empathy for your countrymen. But as I have written before, it is unfair to compare two leaders with varying styles. Let’s trust our President, and he has the privilege of time to make a huge turnaround. For comments, email him at darren.dejesus@gmail.com. The post Approvals drop appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 5th, 2023

No torpedoing submarine plan

Mere days had passed after the Department of National Defense signaled a reboot of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Modernization Program when France and South Korea came knocking on the door to offer to develop our submarine force. For an archipelagic country like the Philippines, the versatility and stealthiness of submarines make them ideal for a variety of missions, including intelligence gathering, deterrence, and actual combat. They can, likewise, protect valuable maritime assets and patrol sea lanes without being seen. If the Philippines’ plan to acquire submarines comes to fruition, it will send a strong message to the international community that it is committed to defending its sovereignty and maritime rights, which are currently being violated with impunity by China in the West Philippine Sea. Last 14 September, French Ambassador-designate Marie Fontanel-Lassalle paid Defense Secretary Gilberto C. Teodoro Jr. an introductory call to reiterate her country’s support for a credible defensive posture by the Philippines in the Indo-Pacific region. According to reports on the meeting between the envoy and Teodoro, an offer by French defense manufacturer Naval Group to fill the Philippines’ shopping list for two to three submarines had been refreshed, including building a base for the modest fleet in Subic Bay. The Philippine Navy had previously announced that Subic Bay would be its preferred location for the submarines that the Philippines has been planning to acquire since the Ramos presidency, a push that was put on hold by the Asian financial crisis in 1997. As early as 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic put everything on hold, Filipino naval and defense officials had reviewed and found worthy of consideration the Scorpene diesel-electric submarine manufactured by France’s Naval Group. France, however, would have to fight it out with other bidders like Spain and South Korea, with the latter stepping up its push to supply the vessels that operate primarily under water. Last week, executives from South Korean shipbuilder Hanwha Ocean were in Manila to make a formal pitch for their newest Jang Bogo-III submarine. The Korean offer, like France’s, was a mere update, at the center of which is a 77-meter, 2,800-ton diesel-electric submarine with a beam of 9.7 meters. It boasts the latest propulsion system and lithium-ion battery technology that would allow it to operate longer. Of course, acquiring submarines is not a cheap proposition. However, it is a necessary investment for the Philippines’ national security. Experts have maintained that, in the long run, it will be cheaper to build a submarine force than to maintain a large surface fleet. As Teodoro moves for the “re-horizoning” of the AFP Modernization Program, the Marcos administration may want to start from scratch any negotiations for military equipment that had been made during the two previous administrations. That is as it should be as the Philippines must choose the best updated and re-priced proposals from several countries. As the submarine acquisition will demand a huge capital outlay, it is a must that the country shops wisely, not necessarily for the cheapest, but for what would fill its strategic and defensive needs. The acquisition process should be fully transparent and fair as it would involve taxpayer money, if not more foreign loans. The acquisition of submarines — just like the purchase of planes, ships and tanks — by the Philippines would also necessitate investments in training and infrastructure to support the new force. With increasing challenges from China in the West Philippine Sea, the Philippines is being compelled by exigencies to put into motion Horizon 3 of the AFP Modernization Program to bolster its external defense capabilities. There would be those who would oppose more military expenditures, but the Philippines, located as it is in one of the most problematic areas of the world, must be wise to prepare for its security. With the jets and surface ships that the country had procured under Horizons 1 and 2, having a few submarines is the logical next stop for a country of over 7,000 islands surrounded by water. Any decision on which submarines to acquire should be based on a thorough assessment of each proposal’s technical capabilities, cost effectiveness, and the long-term benefits they offer to the Philippine Navy. Transparency in the acquisition process is paramount to ensure that the chosen submarines meet the country’s defense needs while adhering to its budgetary constraints. The post No torpedoing submarine plan appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 25th, 2023

Trump says his problem with Biden is competence, not age

Joe Biden, America's oldest president, received support from an unexpected ally over his age: Donald Trump said the Democrat was "not too old" to seek a second term, while quickly adding: "I think he's incompetent." The former president's comments, made in an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press" to be aired Sunday, come as America faces a profound debate over the aging of its political class, a major factor ahead of the 2024 elections -- when Biden will be just shy of 82 and Trump himself 78. Polls show that while the age gap between the two men is small, Americans worry more about Biden's age, with one survey finding that three in four people doubt his ability to last a second term. That Trump ended his own term in office as the second-oldest president ever (Ronald Reagan was 77 at the end of his term) presents the real estate magnate with a challenge, however, in repeatedly portraying Biden as too "sleepy" to do the job. But that hasn't stopped the Republican, who would be 82 at the end of a second term, from trying to thread that needle. "Some of the greatest world leaders have been in their 80s," he told NBC. "I'm not anywhere very near 80, by the way. "And Biden's not too old," Trump added. "But I think he's incompetent, and that's a bigger problem." Biden, who overcame a stuttering problem as a youth, has often been mocked for his verbal stumbles. But he remains trim, physically active, does not drink and is often seen riding his bicycle during weekends at his Delaware home. Democrats say he also fares well on the competency front, having overseen the passage of major legislation, including a massive infrastructure bill, the largest gun-safety bill in decades, and the Build Back Better social spending program. Biden has also been active on the global stage. Indeed, during his just-ended trip to Vietnam -- which analysts say was staged partly to highlight his vigor -- that country's 79-year-old Communist leader smilingly complimented Biden on his relative youth. Trump, for his part, has gotten mostly positive marks during annual physicals -- though he has been classed as overweight and does no exercise other than golf. Like Biden, he does not drink. Trump, too, has had his share of bizarre verbal moments, mangled pronunciations and physical stumbles. But in the NBC interview, he said his own age does not concern him, noting that his parents had long lives. "So genetically, that's a good thing." His insistence on his own competency was ridiculed during the 2020 presidential campaign when Trump said he had scored an "amazing" result on what he said was a test of mental acuity. He said he had to remember, in order, these words: "Person, woman, man, camera, TV." His proud and repeated recitation of those five words was ridiculed by political rivals and went viral on social media. Still, in an apparent reference to that test made in the NBC interview, Trump said, "I aced it. I got everything right." The post Trump says his problem with Biden is competence, not age appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 16th, 2023

Puerto Galera’s luxury retreat beckons with new farm-to-table initiative

Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro — In the middle of the Philippines lies a resort called Infinity, and its luxuriousness has just found the perfect tandem in sustainability. The Infinity Resort in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, has been known for a long time as an opulent haven amid the beauty of nature. With its beautiful natural surroundings and dedication to being good to the environment, Infinity Resort continues to charm both tourists and people who care about the environment. [caption id="attachment_185058" align="aligncenter" width="525"] An opulent haven amid the beauty of nature.[/caption]   A quiet haven Mindoro Island is a beautiful place, and Infinity Resort is a peaceful spot to get away from the busy city life. Its location is perfect for relaxing and recharging because it is surrounded by lush grass and water that is as clear as glass. What makes Infinity Resort stand out is that it is always working to protect the environment. This resort is not only a sign of wealth, but also a good example of how to take care of the environment. Here’s a better look at what makes Infinity Resort stand out:   Farm-to-table excellence: The “degrowth demand” program at Infinity Resort sets a new bar for farm-to-table food. Fresh veggies, herbs and fruits are grown in places on the resort’s property that weren’t being used before. This makes sure that guests get the freshest and most tasty food while reducing the amount of carbon dioxide that comes from transporting food.   Conservation of the local ecosystem: The Infinity Resort helps protect and preserve the local ecosystem by growing native plants and keeping the natural variety of its grounds. The lodge is more appealing because it works well with nature.   The resort gives guided tours of its gardens, which teach guests about how to farm in a sustainable way and how important it is to get food from responsible sources. These tours teach people how to be more eco-friendly in their own lives.   Sign of luxury and sense of duty Luxury and duty also go together at Infinity Resort. Its commitment to taking care of the environment improves the overall guest experience and shows that sustainability and luxury can live together in harmony. Even though the Infinity Resort in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, is always changing, it stays true to its core values of luxury and caring for the environment. Its “degrowth demand” program shows that it cares about both its guests and the environment, and it sets a good example for the hospitality business. Travelers are looking for immersive experiences that show off the beauty of our world. The Infinity Resort is a shining example of how luxury and sustainability can go hand in hand. It is a beautiful place to get away from it all in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro. The post Puerto Galera’s luxury retreat beckons with new farm-to-table initiative appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 16th, 2023

Trump says his problem with Biden is competence, not age

Joe Biden, America's oldest president, received support from an unexpected ally over his age: Donald Trump said the Democrat was "not too old" to seek a second term, while quickly adding: "I think he's incompetent." The former president's comments, made in an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press" to be aired Sunday, come as America faces a profound debate over the aging of its political class, a major factor ahead of the 2024 elections -- when Biden will be just shy of 82 and Trump himself 78. Polls show that while the age gap between the two men is small, Americans worry more about Biden's age, with one survey finding that three in four people doubt his ability to last a second term. That Trump ended his own term in office as the second-oldest president ever (Ronald Reagan was 77 at the end of his term) presents the real estate magnate with a challenge, however, in repeatedly portraying Biden as too "sleepy" to do the job. But that hasn't stopped the Republican, who would be 82 at the end of a second term, from trying to thread that needle. "Some of the greatest world leaders have been in their 80s," he told NBC. "I'm not anywhere very near 80, by the way. "And Biden's not too old," Trump added. "But I think he's incompetent, and that's a bigger problem." Biden, who overcame a stuttering problem as a youth, has often been mocked for his verbal stumbles. But he remains trim, physically active, does not drink and is often seen riding his bicycle during weekends at his Delaware home. Democrats say he also fares well on the competency front, having overseen the passage of major legislation, including a massive infrastructure bill, the largest gun-safety bill in decades, and the Build Back Better social spending program. Biden has also been active on the global stage. Indeed, during his just-ended trip to Vietnam -- which analysts say was staged partly to highlight his vigor -- that country's 79-year-old Communist leader smilingly complimented Biden on his relative youth. Trump, for his part, has gotten mostly positive marks during annual physicals -- though he has been classed as overweight and does no exercise other than golf. Like Biden, he does not drink. Trump, too, has had his share of bizarre verbal moments, mangled pronunciations and physical stumbles. But in the NBC interview, he said his own age does not concern him, noting that his parents had long lives. "So genetically, that's a good thing." His insistence on his own competency was ridiculed during the 2020 presidential campaign when Trump said he had scored an "amazing" result on what he said was a test of mental acuity. He said he had to remember, in order, these words: "Person, woman, man, camera, TV." His proud and repeated recitation of those five words was ridiculed by political rivals and went viral on social media. Still, in an apparent reference to that test made in the NBC interview, Trump said, "I aced it. I got everything right." The post Trump says his problem with Biden is competence, not age appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 16th, 2023

Teodoro gets CA nod

The Commission on Appointments on Wednesday approved the ad interim appointment of Gilberto “Gibo” Teodoro Jr. as secretary of the Department of National Defense. Prior to his confirmation, the 12-member House contingent of the powerful CA spared Teodoro from questioning as a “courtesy” to the Defense chief who previously worked as Tarlac's 1st district representative. “The 12-member House of Representatives contingent will no longer ask questions regarding the nominee being a former member of Congress for three consecutive terms in the 11th, 12th, and 13th Congress,” said Camarines Sur 2nd District Rep. LRay Villafuerte, the majority leader of the CA. Villafuerte added that the House contingent “has no doubt regarding the fitness and integrity of the nominee”. He appealed to their counterpart, the Senate to accord the same courtesy to Teodoro. From the 12-member Senate contingent, only Senator Risa Hontiveros asked questions to Teodoro. Hontiveros questioned Teodoro about his plans for the DND, now under his watch for the second time. He held the same position under the administration of then-President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo at the age of 43, the youngest ever appointee to the agency. Responding to the lawmaker’s query, Teodoro admitted that there has been a “shift in the evolution” from his first stint in the DND. He noted that he is now focusing on “straddling the balance between maintaining internal security and with an emphasis definitely given what is happening to the outside environment.” “We are strengthening our defense posture. We are gradually enhancing the capabilities of the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines),” he said. The Defense chief said he is also working on “leveraging” the country’s alliance with other nations to strengthen the country’s capability to protect itself from external threats. By doing so, he noted that he would try to introduce “management solutions to managerial problems, and not military solutions to managerial problems.” “That is the transformation that we are trying to make. We are also deeply restrategizing what we intend to do at least in the next five years in order not only to make the defense department more responsive to the outside and internal environments but also to make more efficient our use of resources, and to use information technology to the highest extent possible,” he added. Teodoro also underscored the importance of strengthening the country’s capability to respond to external strength and not just rely on diplomacy. “[T]he intensity of the need to focus on protecting our sovereignty, our sovereign rights, in the exclusive economic zone and other jurisdictions of the country become more paramount now, as the whole world is in a raise for resources,” he said. “We could not afford to be laidback here. We should be cognizant of it because we can and principally use diplomacy, however, if diplomacy is not backed up by a strong spinal cord, then we will just be stymied by a greater force,” he added. He made the remarks amid the increasing tension between the Philippines and China in the West Philippine Sea. China claims the vast South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea. On 12 July 2016, the Philippines won its arbitral case against China in the Permanent Court of Arbitration – a landmark decision that China continues to reject. Teodoro said the Defense Department wishes the concentrate on not only guarding the islands of the archipelago and its internal waters but also on securing “peaceful, unimpeded, and unobstructed exploitation, and exploration of our sovereign rights over the 200 nautical mile EEZ of the republic and in all areas of the Philippines, to secure our baselines.” Last June, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. announced Teodoro’s appointment as the new DND secretary, replacing Carlito Galvez Jr. who led the agency for five months. Aside from Teodoro, the CA also approved the promotion of 11 generals and senior officers of the AFP. Jose Jesus Luntok, Ramon Flores, Dennis Pacis, Nasser Lidasan, Benedict Balaba, Steve Crespillo, Arvin Lagamon, Ivan Papera, Lloyd Cabacuñgan, and Fernando Ventura secured CA’s approval for their rank of Brigadier General. Peter Jempsun de Guzman’s rank of Commodore was also approved. The post Teodoro gets CA nod appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 13th, 2023

BBM: Our calm, kind, gentle President

The most challenging thing is to write an essay about the country’s President who is celebrating his birthday. I should probably go back to the years when he was the “crush ng bayan.” From London, he would come home for vacation and would be met at the airport by his doting parents, with his mother kissing him on the forehead. He was very fashionable, from his haircut to his clothes and, well, he was the epitome of “cuteness” as cute could be. He did not sport long hippie hair but had bangs and his lips were well-pronounced. His mom took pride in his looks. “Kamukha ko (he looks like me),” she would say. Bongbong grew into the Oxford student who would come home and occasionally appear on television. I recall in 1973, he and his friends danced the latest craze on live television. He was, by then, oozing with appeal, his shy and boyish smile adding to the enigma that comes with being the president’s son. Many years later, I saw him when he and his sister Irene graced the opening of a project in Isabela. I am trying to remember if it was for natural gas or the largest dam in Asia. But he was there on the stage set up at the Cauayan airport, looking fresh and friendly, although he was smiling at everyone and no one in particular. I stood alone, away from the other welcomers, and somehow got him to look at me. I looked at him like I was telling him I know you or we know each other, and he stared back, smiling too, looking like he was wondering if he might have seen me before somewhere. It was one of my tricks. [caption id="attachment_183135" align="aligncenter" width="525"] The President has a long way to go, but that’s no reason for him to relax and wait for things to happen. | Photograph courtesy of BBM FB[/caption] Much would be said of the young gentleman, of his not being who he was supposed to be because he had died somewhere. Also, that he had killed someone who had called his father a dictator. Bongbong Marcos, for better or worse, was the fodder for both favorable and malicious talk. He became governor of Ilocos Norte in the mid-1980s when he took over from his aunt, Elizabeth Keon. At the same time, he wore the military uniform of the officer rank bestowed on him by his father, the President. Moving fast forward, Bongbong Marcos became a congressman and a senator, ran for vice president, and lost. Sometime after he caught Covid-19. After he had lost the vice-presidential contest and was protesting its result, he appeared on Daily Tribune’s online show, Spotlight. I remember only a little, not because he or his remarks were forgettable, but I blame my old age for not remembering. But I recall a pleasant interview, for he was relaxed and calm, and while he seemed occupied by his electoral protest, he was at the same time accepting of it. It was the Marcoses’ turn to be cheated, people said. The next presidential election had him and Leni Robredo, along with others, slugging it out. And while everyone had taken to microphones to condemn and attack him and his father, martial law and the dictatorship, he remained silent. He chose not to participate in the debates, leaving it to his supporters and fans to fight back for him. One UP professor who may have been unbiased took a liking to him, like an older woman in love for the first time, gushing over the assets of a fine, young, sexy gentleman. But that was not unexpected. Bongbong Marcos, after all, was the “crush ng bayan” from the time he was a teenager. Today, he is the President of the Philippines. I was talking with one youthful matron who possesses both beauty and wisdom and whose family was best known to be in the opposition against the Marcoses. She said that when President Rodrigo Duterte began his term, she gave him a chance to prove himself because he had been elected. As her gauge for the success of a presidency had much to do with how the stock market fared, she was disappointed because stocks dived very low to the depths. She gave RRD a failing mark. When BBM became President, she also gave him a “chance.” She told me, “I have yet to see what will happen next because he has just finished his first year, and it is too early to know how well or evil he has done. The people elected him, he is now the President, so let’s give him a chance.” The woman’s statement, I believe, more or less sums up the general feeling of the Filipino people. Here is one President perceived to be good and kind, and one who is not to be feared compared to his father or even his daring and feisty elder sister. One would hear, “Matatakot kayo pag si Imee ang presidente (You would be afraid if Imee were president),” which is people’s way of saying what they feel and think about the Marcos siblings. So, we have a kind President who has had to deal with all kinds of issues and problems: Typhoons, the pandemic, and now the rice shortage. I have always been a BBM fan (after all, he was “crush ng bayan” in our youth), and even if he had not become a statesman in the tradition of many of our top legislators, one thinks of him as a pleasant guy who plays it cool and is lovable. Now comes a wife who is perceived to be running the show. All because, like it or not, she has the educational credentials; she proved herself in the Big Apple; and as her husband himself would tell one and all, she has excellent organizational abilities. She ran the campaign, many would assume, although she much preferred to keep to the sidelines. Like it or not, Liza Marcos, the First Lady, is a potent mover in this administration. Her many worthy projects in the creative industry, health care, education, and environment, along with her brand of diplomatic maneuvering using Filipiniana fashion as a vehicle for international friendship, bode well for this administration. We got two leaders for one vote, and we are better off as a nation. To the President’s credit, he recognizes the role his wife plays in his administration, and that speaks of a man secure in his position as the head of his family. Regarding cronyism, BBM has his friends in the business sector, top men and women, titans and tycoons, czars and magnates, who accompany him on his travels abroad. One of them described their roles as similar to those of club guest relations officers — entertaining guests and clients. We are told that they talk with their counterparts on the international scene, wherever the presidential itinerary takes them. Hence, the public does not see the usual kind of cronies who are there for what they could take. These friends want to help because if this administration succeeds and the economy improves, the Filipino people, including the business sector, will live better lives. The greatest challenge to BBM, everyone perceives, is the conflict with China over the West Philippine Sea. In this regard, BBM has proved to be wise, circumspect and decisive. He has the backing of the international community and his people. We hope he will pass the test, because if he passes it we are all together the victors. BBM deserves our prayers and hopes for the best of his administration. If he succeeds, and we hope he does, we will rise as a people. The President has a long way to go, but that’s no reason for him to relax and wait for things to happen. There are some things that people feel he should handle with steel gloves, akin to his father’s style, and that is up for him to decide. A kind and gentle President may be all we need to make this nation great again, and there’s Bongbong Marcos to take on the role and fulfill the promise of a happy, progressive, and peaceful country and people. BBM is not only the best-looking President, but the kindest and, of late, the most eloquent, as he is proving himself to be. He is also the coolest. The post BBM: Our calm, kind, gentle President appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 12th, 2023

BRP Sierra Madre resupplied amid new CCG harassment

China attempted anew to block a Philippine resupply mission to the latter’s permanent outpost in the West Philippine Sea, the BRP Sierra Madre at Ayungin Shoal. The Armed Forces of the Philippines confirmed this yesterday, saying that Chinese ships conducted dangerous maneuvers against Philippine vessels conducting a third rotation and logistics run to the Sierra Madre. Nonetheless, the AFP Western Command and the Philippine Coast Guard successfully delivered fresh troops and supplies to the World War 2-era ship, according to the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS). AFP spokesperson, Col. Medel Aguilar, said the government will remain firm in asserting the country’s sovereign rights and jurisdiction over Ayungin Shoal, it being part of its exclusive economic zone. “The unprofessional acts and dangerous maneuvers conducted by the China Coast Guard and its maritime militia will never prevail over our conduct of legal and legitimate operations that support a rules-based international order,” he added.   Nansha Islands China defended its attempt to intercept the Philippine vessels by saying the two replenishment ships and two PCG vessels entered waters adjacent to Ren’ai Reef in its so-called Nansha Islands. It claimed the PCG and AFP boats entered the area “without the permission of the Chinese government.” “The China Coast Guard strictly warned the Philippine vessels in accordance with the law, tracked and monitored the vessels all the way and effectively regulated them,” CCG spokesperson Gan Yu said in an interview. Yun averred that Beijing has “indisputable sovereignty” over the Nansha Islands, including Ren’ai Reef and its adjacent waters, and firmly opposes the illegal transportation of construction materials by the Philippines to the grounded warship. “The China Coast Guard will continue to carry out law enforcement activities in the sea areas under China’s jurisdiction according to the law,” Yu said. Yu’s comments earned a rebuke from the NTF-WPS, describing the CCG actions as illegal, aggressive, and destabilizing. It may be remembered that the CCG used a water cannon against a Sierra Madre resupply mission earlier. “We reiterate and reemphasize that these operations are pursuant to our government’s legitimate exercise of its administrative functions and jurisdiction over the West Philippine Sea, firmly anchored on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the final and binding 2016 Arbitral Award,” the NTF-WPS said.   Humanitarian mission Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said the Senate is “constantly monitoring” developments in the WPS. “This is a humanitarian resupply mission. Only barbarians at the gate will delight in seeing soldiers on a peaceful mission denied food,” he said. “As long as the law and truth are on our side, illegal barriers to what is ours will continue to be pierced — by the sharp tip of world opinion that upholds our cause as just,” he added. He said the Senate is ready to assist the AFP and the PCG through their budgets for the coming fiscal year “with the aim of developing a credible self-defense posture that will allow them to continue protecting our country and our people.” The post BRP Sierra Madre resupplied amid new CCG harassment appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 8th, 2023

ASEAN summit ‘productive’, biz meetings net $22M investment pledges: Marcos

JAKARTA, Indonesia – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said that the 43rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit demonstrated the commitment of countries in the region to regional cooperation and multilateralism. In his latest YouTube vlog on Thursday, Marcos said that the summit was a productive one, and that he was able to promote and highlight key interests of ASEAN. He said these interests include food and energy security, security, migrant workers protection, climate change, and digital transformation. "I was able to participate in 12-leaders level meetings, including with Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United States and the United Nations," Marcos said. "In these meetings, I promoted and highlighted key interests of ASEAN, such as food and energy, security, migrant workers protection, climate change and digital transformation --- issues that are of strategic importance to the Philippines," he added. Marcos also said that he had a productive meeting with the President of the World Bank Group, where they discussed ways to strengthen cooperation in areas such as climate change adaptation and mitigation, and sustainable development. On the sidelines of the summit, Marcos met with top executives of select Indonesian companies who are looking at the Philippines to expand their presence further. He said that these meetings resulted in $22 million in investment commitments in areas crucial for the Philippines' economic recovery efforts, such as agriculture and the digital economy. Marcos also witnessed the signing of the Philippine-Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which he said would strengthen the Philippines' bilateral trade and investment relations with South Korea. "The FTA will generate jobs and contribute to the Philippine value proposition as an ideal regional hub for smart, sustainable investment," Marcos said. Marcos reiterated that the Philippines will chair the ASEAN in 2026 instead of 2027. He said that the Philippines stepped up to this role to ensure the continuity of its progress towards a people-oriented, people-centered, inclusive, and resilient ASEAN community. He also thanked and congratulated Indonesian President Joko Widodo for "his very able stewardship" as chair of ASEAN this year and for making ASEAN as important as it ever has been. "I also thank them for the very warm hospitality of the Philippine delegation, And I look forward to able leadership of Lao PDR when they host the ASEAN in 2025," he said.   The post ASEAN summit ‘productive’, biz meetings net $22M investment pledges: Marcos appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 7th, 2023

PBBM concerned over militarization of South China Sea, cites UNCLOS

  JAKARTA, Indonesia - President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. called on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its partners to harness their shared interests and rally them into taking joint action to address the complex challenges facing the world today. In his intervention at the 18th East Asia Summit (EAS) here on Thursday, Marcos said that the world is facing a number of serious challenges, including the intensification of geopolitical tensions, food and energy insecurity, and the acceleration of the climate crisis. "These challenges are interconnected and require a comprehensive and coordinated response," Marcos Jr. said. "We must not allow these challenges to divide us. Instead, we must come together and work together to find solutions," he added. Marcos Jr. stressed the importance of ASEAN Centrality and universal multilateralism in addressing these challenges. He said that ASEAN must continue to play a leading role in regional cooperation, and that all countries must work together to uphold the rules-based international order. On the issue of the South China Sea, Marcos Jr. reiterated the Philippines' commitment to the peaceful resolution of disputes. He called on all parties to exercise self-restraint and refrain from unilateral and assertive activities that would increase tensions in the region. Marcos Jr. also reiterated his concern over the militarization of the South China Sea and the illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the area. He also called anew for the early conclusion of an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) that is in accordance with international law. "The Philippines remains committed to defending our sovereignty, our sovereign rights, and the maritime jurisdiction in accordance with UNCLOS," Marcos Jr. said. In his intervention, Marcos Jr. also touched on other issues, such as the need to promote economic recovery, address climate change, and combat terrorism. He said that ASEAN and its partners must work together to build a more peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable future for the region and the world. The East Asia Summit is made up of 18 countries, including ten ASEAN Member States (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam) and Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, and the United States of America. The post PBBM concerned over militarization of South China Sea, cites UNCLOS appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 7th, 2023

Tesla, Chinese EV brands jostle for limelight at German fair

One of the world's biggest auto shows opens in Munich on Monday, with Tesla ending a 10-year absence to jostle for the spotlight with Chinese rivals as the race for electric dominance heats up. Chancellor Olaf Scholz will officially inaugurate the IAA mobility show, held in Germany every two years, on Tuesday. But Monday's press preview will already give carmakers a chance to show off some of the new models that will be hitting the road soon. The industry-wide shift towards electric vehicles will be front and center at this week's fair, with Chinese carmakers out in force as they eye the European market. US electric car pioneer Tesla, owned by Elon Musk, will return to the IAA for the first time since 2013 and is expected to unveil a revamped version of its mass-market Model 3. That Tesla, usually a holdout at such events, is coming to Munich shows it is taking the growing competition seriously, said Jan Burgard from the Berylls automotive consulting group. "The electric car market with its many new players will be divvied up over the next few years and people want to know: who is offering what?" Burgard told the Handelsblatt financial daily. Having captured an increasingly large part of the prized Chinese market, Chinese upstarts are now hoping to win over European customers with cheaper electric cars. Chinese manufacturers are starting "their assault on Europe with the IAA", said industry analyst Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer from the Center Automotive Research in Germany. Muted European presence Chinese groups benefit from lower production costs, allowing them to offer cut-throat prices at a time when entry-level EVs are still a rarity, said industry expert Eric Kirstetter from the Roland Berger consulting firm. "The only thing they don't have is brand credibility," Kirstetter said. "They will create their brand universe by stepping up their marketing investments more than others, including through trade fairs," he added. In all, 41 percent of exhibitors at the industry fair have their headquarters in China, including brands such as BYD and Leapmotor. Contrary to the Asian onslaught, participation from European carmakers at the IAA will be muted. Germany's homegrown champions Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes-Benz will be joined by Renault from France, but the 14-brand Stellantis Group will only be represented by Opel. BMW presented its "Neue Klasse" (New Class) generation of electric cars in Munich on Saturday, a series of six vehicles that will be manufactured from 2025. BMW and fellow European carmakers are investing heavily in the switch towards zero-emission driving as the European Union aims to end the sale of polluting engines by 2035. The historic transition however comes at a challenging time. While the supply chain problems caused by the pandemic years have eased, surging energy prices in the wake of Russia's war in Ukraine and a weaker global economy are weighing on European manufacturers. Although car sales in the European Union have steadily improved over the last 12 months, they remain around 20 percent below their pre-coronavirus levels as inflation and higher interest rates dampen appetites for new vehicles. Some 700,000 visitors are expected to attend this week's IAA. Climate groups have vowed to stage protests during the fair, including acts of "civil disobedience" aimed at disrupting the IAA. The post Tesla, Chinese EV brands jostle for limelight at German fair appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 4th, 2023

Road rage

Those with sharp memories and local crime story buffs will never forget three road rage cases that hogged print and broadcast news headlines toward the end of the 20th century and into the millennium. These high-profile cases involving detainees Inocencio Gonzales, Rolito Go, and Jason Ivler ended in their conviction and sentencing to long prison terms, with their names forever etched in the annals of heinous crimes recorded in the country. A brief refresher. On 2 July 1991, a De La Salle University engineering student was driving on a one-way street in San Juan City, Metro Manila, when he ran into construction firm executive Rolito Go, plying the road from the opposite direction. After a brief altercation, Go shot Eldon Maguan in the head, who died in the aftermath. Go served 25 years in prison before he was released. Seven years later, in the middle of a heated argument over a parking slot, real estate developer Inocencio Gonzales Jr. lost his cool, which led to the fatal shooting of a pregnant woman and the wounding of two younger children with her and her husband at the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City on 21 October 1998. Gonzalez was meted a 14-year prison term. In 2009, a nephew of music celebrity Freddie Aguilar, Jason Ivler, shot dead a son of former Malacañang official Renato Ebarle Sr. after a tiff on a Quezon City road. An earlier road incident in 2004 that snuffed the life of another Malacañang official, Nestor Ponce, also pointed to Ivler as the accused in Ponce’s death. A Quezon City court found Ivler guilty of the murder of Renato Ebarle Jr. and sentenced him to 40 years in jail. There are no available statistics on road rage incidents in the Philippines, but observers have noted an alarming increase in recent years. But in the United States, statistics show 413 people were hurt in road rage shootings in 2022, or a 135 percent increase from 2018. US traffic experts say confrontational driving is more often the case that could be caused by traffic conditions, inconsiderate motorists, and high stress levels among motorists with ages ranging from 19 to 39. Not too long ago, two road rage incidents that have gained public attention because of social media posts that had gone viral involved men in uniform. In the viral video of an incident in Quezon City, Wilfredo Gonzales, a policeman dismissed from the service for grave misconduct in 2018, was shown brandishing a gun and threatening a cyclist in a traffic row. Even more controversial was a press conference conducted by the QC police days later that suggested they were “lawyering” for Gonzales, a former QC policeman. The PNP has no mandate to host such a press conference, it was later learned. In a separate incident, a Pasay City policeman, SSgt. Marsan Dolipas was also shown in a video post holding down an armed Angelito Velasquez Rencio, who said he was an Intelligence agent, after a traffic dispute in Makati City when the latter allegedly sideswiped the policeman. Both incidents prompted the usual calls for an investigation. Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri and Senator Rafael Tulfo have called for a Senate probe into the escalation of road rage cases in the country. It is interesting to note that even President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. filed Senate 2923 when he was still a senator back in 2011. The bill “hopes to once and for all stomp rood rage as on unnecessary and reprehensible evil, and define such as a circumstance that could aggravate, or even qualify, on offense occasioned by it. The incidents involve public order and safety, particularly “road sharing,” a concept that they said is often ignored or alien to many Filipino motorists, added the senators. For his part, Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos, whose jurisdiction includes the control of the PNP, said: “For the sake of a peaceful and orderly society, we cannot allow a culture of impunity. We cannot allow bullies to intimidate people with deadly weapons. There must be consequences here.” Still, the incidents persist. Behavioral scientists attribute road rage to several reasons: A need to control other drivers who violate their space, unchecked anger or aggression, huge egos, or a need to be dominant. Others think the rise in incidents lately came about by the advent of Covid-19 when stress levels reached abnormally unreachable heights caused by depression, the loss of jobs or loved ones to the pandemic, and the inability to cope with such. Solutions have been suggested. Push for continuing driver anger management education. Discard the “it’s the other driver’s fault” excuse. Don’t allow anyone to push your “rage buttons” by staying calm and collected when an altercation appears to be headed your way. Yield to others. These may be easier said than done, but why not take the chance? As an anger management expert said: Realize road rage is ridiculous, life-threatening, and not something you have to participate in — ever. And you can arrive at your destination safe and sure. The post Road rage appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 3rd, 2023

Heaven, NAIA mess, easy way out

Dear Editor,   Who wants the Ninoy Aquino International Airport or NAIA to remain one of the worst airports in the world? Nobody. But who sells or disowns his child just because the child is problematic? Nobody either, except the loveless and crazy. The Marcos Jr. administration has just formally kicked off the sale of NAIA to the private sector. But for unknown, real/deeper sense and repercussion, what does this mean? Letting one’s knee touch the canvas during a boxing matchup means surrender. Alas, this is exactly what the government tries to do in pushing its knee hard to the floor. Or in doggedly pushing to privatize the “helplessly” beleaguered NAIA. It is the way to “solve” the mess at the country’s premiere airport, or so they thought. But what is the use of government if it can’t compete with the private sector in efficiency, governance, and modernization? What can private people do that public officials can’t, with all the yearly budget (in trillions of pesos) at their disposal? Cryptic. Hindi ba gobyerno pa nga ang dapat magpakita ng pinakamagaling, pinakamoderno at pinakamagandang halimbawa para sa lahat sa bansa (Shouldn’t the government be the one to show the best, most modern and best example for everyone in the country) to serve as a standard/benchmark for excellence? If a government can’t set the right example for everyone, then how can its people expect something good to come out of it? There is more than meets the eye to all these NAIA brouhahas/shenanigans. The main challenge lies in our officials’ capability, effectiveness, and wisdom in solving the ongoing issues at NAIA. What sane reason does the Department of Transportation and Communication (or Malacañang) have to privatize NAIA? Are they admitting that the private sector or business people are better off than them in the area of managing and administering? If that’s the case, then Filipinos would do well to have these private people take over every single office in the government. Or could there be something behind the “privatization” move that only those behind are aware of? Given the ever-escalating prices of rice and other agricultural/local products, the needless importations, the unabated smuggling, and the hoarding that causes artificial shortages of rice, sugar, salt, onion, meat products, etc., in the market, would it be bad to suggest that we privatize the Department of Agriculture, following the government’s touted line of thinking in wanting to privatize NAIA? Easy, lazy way out. Time to break the cycle, this vicious cycle of “privatization,” lest Filipinos someday find the entire country privatized “wisely”. Easy, lazy way out. I had a wonderful experience of government efficiency on 30 August 2023, when I went to the central office of the Philippine Statistics Authority along East Avenue to get an authenticated birth certificate. I thought I wouldn’t be able to do my purpose anymore because I came very late due to the rain and heavy traffic. But I got the surprise of my life, having found the PSA staff (including the guards) very accommodating and friendly, quick to respond. The processing of papers was highly systematic, cogent, instantaneous, and ingenious. The counters and machines, and the whole big, wide people area were well arranged and ventilated. Admirable. I arrived at 4:30 pm and I left at 4:50 p.m., with my authenticated birth certificate. Wonderful. No delays, hassles or inconvenience. And no exaggeration. For the first time, I felt like I was in heaven — inside a government office, unbelievably. True to its motto, the PSA is “Solid. Responsive. World-class.” You can do it (Philippians 4:13) at NAIA and elsewhere, dear government. But do away with privatization.   Reni M. Valenzuela renivalenzuelaletters@yahoo.com The post Heaven, NAIA mess, easy way out appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 2nd, 2023