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Pinay seeks financial damages from BI over missed flight

A Filipina traveler who missed her flight due to a lengthy interview with an immigration officer has asked the Bureau of Immigration for financial damages......»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarMar 18th, 2023

PCCI: Use QR code for added travel needs

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry suggested to the government on Sunday to create a digital platform for first-time travelers to prevent missed flights and airport congestion as officials plan to implement stricter immigration rules as a deterrent to human trafficking starting 3 September. In a phone interview with the Daily Tribune, PCCI president George Barcelon said the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking and appropriate government agencies should consider a QR code-based mechanism to obtain and verify data on first-time travelers faster. “There are 15,000 outbound flights daily and our airport systems are still inefficient. Airports are also not big enough to hold people in line for inspections and questioning by officials under the new policies,” Barcelon said. “The new policies are an additional layer of bureaucracy which we should avoid for an overall efficient travel experience,” he added. IACAT said first-time passengers include tourists, overseas Filipino workers or OFWs, and digital nomads.   Tourists affected For tourists, IACAT may require their confirmed return or roundtrip tickets, proof of hotel booking, proof of financial capacity or source of income, proof of employment and other equivalent documents. For OFWs, officials may ask for their OFW Clearance issued by the Department of Migrant Workers, employment visa or work permit, and employment contract. However, for frequent travelers like business people, IACAT Undersecretary-in-Charge Nicholas Ty said they will be asked to present only the basic documents such as passports and plane tickets. However, Barcelon said the government should first conduct consultations with travelers to minimize disruption in flight services and create effective anti-trafficking measures. “They will be requiring additional documents. What would happen if first-time passengers forgot these documents? How can they fly as they may have to deal with matters abroad that are urgent or time-sensitive?” he said. Barcelon stressed there should be clear guidelines first on how the passengers and airport authorities will address such scenarios before implementing the new rules beginning 3 September. While Barcelon agreed with the government that human trafficking is a serious problem, he said the authorities should also instead intensify their intelligence activities so they can identify and detain suspects immediately for verification outside airports. “Out of 5 million human trafficking suspects, 3,000 have been arrested. It’s a serious problem but policies should not make things difficult for all passengers,” he said. “The government should tap technologies to prevent human trafficking and invest heavily in them,” he explained. The Bureau of Immigration said it recorded around 6,000 suspected victims of human trafficking, illegal recruitment, and misrepresentation from January to February this year alone. However, BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval said only 0.6 percent were removed from the plane for further investigations related to those cases.   The post PCCI: Use QR code for added travel needs appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 28th, 2023

Settled doctrines on sexual harassment (3)

Sexual harassment engenders three-fold liability: Criminal, to address the wrong committed against society; civil, to address the private wrong against the offended party; and administrative, to protect the public service. Criminal liability for sexual harassment notwithstanding, the offended party may pursue a separate civil action. Aside from the actual perpetrator, the employer or the head of office or institution may also be impleaded in an independent action for damages. They would be solidarily liable for damages if they did not take immediate action on a sexual harassment complaint. Unlike in a criminal action where the penalty is a fine, imprisonment, or both, the penalty in an administrative action is, at most, dismissal from the service. This is because an administrative action seeks to protect the public service by imposing administrative sanctions on the erring public officer. In prosecuting an offender for sexual harassment, the intent is immaterial. The mere commission is sufficient to warrant a conviction. The threshold is whether an act violates and/or threatens the personal space and physical safety of another person, regardless of the motive for committing the act. Guided by the foregoing, let’s take a quick look at actual cases of sexual harassment decided by the Supreme Court. In the case of Escandor v. People (G.R. No. 211962, 6 July 2020), the complainant testified to several acts of sexual harassment, including the respondent’s acts of grabbing her hand, kissing her, engaging in improper conversations, touching her thigh, giving her gifts, telling her that “she was the kind of girl he really wants,” asking her out on dates, and sending her text messages telling her that he missed her, that she looked beautiful, and that he loved her. The complainant stated that these acts made her feel disrespected, humiliated, cheap, uneasy, and frightened. She also could not concentrate on her work, could not sleep, and found herself “staring into empty space.” Without any doubt, the Supreme Court held that the respondent’s acts resulted in an intimidating, hostile, and offensive environment for the complainant, thereby making him guilty of sexual harassment. In another case (A.C. No. 5900, 10 April 2019), a professor was charged for allegedly unwanted sexual advances or innuendos against his students. One of his students recounted that in one of her class recitations, she sought clarification of a question propounded to her, saying, “Sir, come again?” The professor retorted, “What? You want me to come again? I have not come the first time and don’t you know that it took me five minutes to come, and you want me to come again?” In his defense, the professor said the joke was intended for himself and that in fact, the students had laughed at the joke. In ruling against the professor, the Supreme Court stated that the professor’s remarks could not be categorized as an innocent joke meant only to lighten the mood of the class. It was readily apparent that the remark was tasteless, vulgar, and crude and had no place in an academic setting. It was not clever wordplay or a mere statement with a sexual innuendo as its intended meaning was obviously discernible. The professor’s attempt at humor failed miserably as his words clearly referred to himself needing five minutes to ejaculate again. The professor’s statements made the student uncomfortable and embarrassed her in front of her classmates as it went beyond an innocent joke and was instead a gross graphic and insensitive remark. Thus, the Supreme Court ruled that the professor abused the power and authority he possessed over the students. His sexually laced conduct had created a hostile and offensive environment that deeply prejudiced his students. In what was supposed to be a safe place for them to learn and develop, they were instead subjected to unwarranted sexual advances. In another case, however, the Supreme Court clarified that casual gestures of friendship and camaraderie, done during festive or special occasions, and with other people present do not constitute sexual harassment. In Aquino v. Acosta [429 Phil. 498 (2002)], the Supreme Court ruled that the act of greeting a person with a kiss on the cheek, in “beso-beso” fashion, was not shown to have been carried out with lustful and lascivious desire or was motivated by malice or ill motive. The Court explained that pecks on the cheeks should be understood in the context of having been done on the occasion of some festivities, as busses on cheeks were simply friendly and innocent, bereft of malice and lewd design. Ultimately, therefore, it is a matter of respecting each other’s boundaries and creating safe spaces for everyone. For more of Dean Nilo Divina’s legal tidbits, please visit www.divinalaw.com. For comments and questions, please send an email to cabdo@divinalaw.com. The post Settled doctrines on sexual harassment (3) appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 17th, 2023

End callous practice

Airlines’ practice of excessive overbooking, as proven in previous seat sales with huge discounts that resulted in passengers being bumped off, carries stiff penalties if the aggrieved party is persistent enough. The Mandaue City regional trial court recently provided the precedent for complaints from the army of disgruntled flyers when it ordered Cebu Pacific Air to pay P500,000 in damages to Cebu 6th District provincial board member Glenn Soco who was bumped off his scheduled flight from Manila to Cebu. Mandaue City RTC Branch 55 Presiding Judge Ferdinand Rafanan ordered Cebu Pacific to pay moral damages of P200,000, exemplary damages of P200,000, and P100,000 in attorneys and litigation expenses. The catch for Soco is that it took 12 years before he received just compensation for his ordeal, which is a stretch that entailed legal expenses that many Filipinos cannot afford. The compensation may even be short of the amount spent to keep track of the case, including the lawyer’s fees. Soco’s case, however, will greatly contribute to halting the excesses of airline firms through the indiscriminate denial of the service promised to their clients. He sued the airline for “breach of the obligation to transport him,” which he claimed had caused him inconvenience, serious anxiety, physical suffering, and sleepless nights. In Soco’s recounting, he said that on 14 April 2011, he booked a Cebu-Manila roundtrip ticket on Flight 5J 574 going to Manila on 15 April 2011, and on Flight 5J 553 on 16 April 2011, at 10:10 a.m. for his return flight to Cebu. The local executive said his ticket for the flight was confirmed. For his return flight, he arrived at NAIA Terminal 3 and got in the queue for departing passengers. He showed his ticket to one of the ground crew to get his seat number, according to the particulars of the 13-page court decision dated 20 June 2023. Soco, however, was informed by the ground crew that he could not be accommodated on the flight and when he asked for an explanation when he got to the head of the line, the Cebu Pacific personnel could not provide a definite response. Passengers behind him were “egging him to step aside” so they could continue with the queue, according to the court ruling. The scene turned chaotic and caused Soco humiliation, “and he was allegedly able to capture it on his cellphone camera,” the court said. Due to the rebooking, Soco missed his board meetings as the owner of Mandaue Integrated Manpower Services Inc., Coffee Dream Company, and Powerline Human Resources Management Inc. A Cebu Pacific Air guest service manager was quoted in the court ruling as having confirmed that Soco was not able to board. The reason given was that “the system of the defendant airline showed full capacity and he could no longer be accommodated on the flight.” “In situations like this, the standard policy of the defendant airline is to look for other passengers who are willing to volunteer their seats in lieu of other passengers with confirmed tickets who could no longer be accommodated. Otherwise, the passenger will be offered an option to either take the subsequent flight or be given a refund,” the court said. Civil Aeronautics Board Economic Regulation 7 recognizes the practice of airline companies of overbooking that does not exceed 10 percent of the aircraft’s seating capacity. While overbooking is a globally accepted practice,  senators in a recent public hearing said systematic delays and cancellations are unacceptable, as well as the lack of appropriate mitigation services and crisis management personnel from the airlines who are supposed to handle complaints. What passengers get for their tribulation is more suffering from the complicated rebooking or refund procedure. The height of insensitivity of airlines is making customers talk to chatbots instead of customer service representatives to make their complaints. They can spend for robots but inconvenienced passengers are given chips and bottled water.   The post End callous practice appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 12th, 2023

Gov’t must crack whip

A full and extensive audit of the electricity backbone’s operations will have to be undertaken and thereafter made public amid the recurring power shortfalls that hound an increasing number of regions. National Grid Corp. of the Philippines blamed unscheduled shutdowns of major power plants for the shortfall consistent with its argument that the lack of supply should be addressed. The Department of Energy, nonetheless, reported after an investigation of the 8 May red alert that the tripping of the Bolo-Masinloc 230kV Line 2 caused the system to fail. Panay’s electricity woes that happened a week before were found to have been the result of the absence of a backup system which is referred to as N-1 in the jargon of the power industry. The Luzon problem was also the result of the questionable redundancy that NGCP claims to have but which energy experts disputed since rotational brownouts, which N-1 seeks to avert, happened on that fateful day. The consequences of delays in resolving the frequent outages are enormous, counted in terms of opportunity losses. According to energy experts in a forum organized by the state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies or PIDS, a five-hour power outage in the Philippines costs the economy some P556 million in losses. The experts said if the frequent power failures are not resolved, the growth momentum will be affected by missed output. The energy sector continues to face problems such as insufficient power supply, congested transmission lines, and recurring damages from disasters, the energy experts indicated. Based on the measurement called the value of lost load, the cost of an outage is about P20.65 per kilowatt hour and for every five hours of electricity interruption, 500 megawatts are missed which translates to P556 million in economic losses. “It’s a hefty amount to lose for a developing country,” a representative of the Philippine Independent Power Producers Association Inc. explained. Another gauge that determines the acceptable number of hours of power interruption, known as loss of load expectation, places the average power outage at 10 days a year for the country compared to Singapore’s one hour in 10 years. PIPPA also identified transmission line issues. “From Luzon to Visayas and vice versa, the lines are utterly congested, which if removed, a vast improvement and a decrease in power interruptions is expected,” a PIPPA official indicated. The problems in the electricity grid are compounded by NGCP’s refusal to acknowledge its shortcomings. For instance, in the recent Luzon outage, NGCP claimed that while “there were grid incidents” these “by themselves ought not to have caused the effects seen.” Its spokesperson pointed out that “before the occurrence of the faults, unplanned outages of plants and the deration of other plants contributed to the situation.” In layman’s terms, the power plants failed to meet the electricity demand which led to the tripping of the NGCP-operated system which was the opposite of the DoE findings that the transmission line failed, forcing power generators to shut down. Only an earnest review of the entire power system, from the power plant to the transmission backbone until the electricity is distributed to each household will the extent of the problems of the power service unfold. NGCP said it welcomes an audit but it attaches several terms for the conduct of such a review. Since it is the subject of the assessment, NGCP should allow the government a free hand for the review. The state, which still owns the electricity grid, should not allow the tenant to interfere since under review is the efficiency or the lack of it in handling a vital public property. The post Gov’t must crack whip appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 21st, 2023

Senate creates TWG on anti-financial scams bill

The Senate has created a technical working group) to fine-tune the provisions of the proposed Anti-Financial Account Scamming Act which seeks to protect the transacting public from digital fraud......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 17th, 2024

Group seeks suspension of PhilHealth premium hike

With the financial difficulties that workers continue to face, the labor group Federation of Free Workers is seeking suspension of the increase in premiums for the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. or PhilHealth this year......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 15th, 2024

CA affirms dismissal of civil suit vs BI execs

The Court of Appeals has upheld the ruling issued by a lower court dismissing the suit for civil damages filed by businessman Robert Sobrepeña against Bureau of Immigration officials involved in his offloading from a flight to San Francisco, California in 2013......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 26th, 2023

CEB, UFG vow OFWs support

Cebu Pacific on Saturday, 28 October 2023  announced that it has entered into a partnership with United Filipino Global, a non-government organisation that helps Filipino migrant workers, to collaborate on projects aimed at improving the welfare of overseas filipino workers. CEB and UFG on 27 October 2023  signed a memorandum of understanding  indicating the provision of free flights for chosen OFW beneficiaries and support for OFW kids’ scholarships. In the event of natural disasters, emergencies, or life-threatening circumstances, the airline will also organise special flights to deliver humanitarian aid and transport to affected OFWs. In addition, CEB will organize informational campaigns to update OFWs on safe and responsible air travel procedures. Internship programs The airline will also provide financial assistance to OFW families so they may be able to send their kids to internship programs for to become future flight attendants and crew members. CEB chief marketing and customer experience officer Candice Iyog said that Cebu Pacific looks forward to this partnership with UFG with the objective of assisting OFWs. The partnership of CEB with UFG is a testament to the airline’s commitment to uplifting the lives of OFWs by connecting them to a wide international network and offering the quickest way back to the Philippines. UFG president Gemma Sotto said that with this collaboration, they are “praying” that their upcoming programs will be felt and received. CEB has already mounted several flights in recent years to provide free transport to distressed OFWs back to the Philippines. In 2021 alone, CEB repatriated over 11,000 Filipinos from Dubai and the Middle East affected by Covid-19 lockdowns through a series of Bayanihan flights. The airline currently flies to 35 domestic and 25 international destinations spanning across Asia, Australia and the Middle East. The post CEB, UFG vow OFWs support appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 28th, 2023

LGUs’ classification, revenue basis codified

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has signed into law a bill classifying local government units based on their revenues to establish a basis for their separate financial allocations and other forms of assistance. Republic Act 11964 seeks to institutionalize the automatic income classification of LGUs as a “more responsive approach” to support the local economy and “enable LGUs to realize their full economic potential.” “In line with this, the State recognizes the need to determine the financial capability and fiscal position of local government units,” the new law read in a statement released on Friday. The government determines the level of administrative and statutory help, financial grants, and other forms of support to be given to an LGU on the LGU revenue classification system. Likewise, the revenue categorization of LGUs is used to ascertain its financial capacity to carry out projects and programs, as well as how it would carry out administrative orders on allowances and salary regulations. The first general income reclassification would take place six months after RA 11964 goes into force, and afterward, every three years, Malacañang said. According to the law, municipalities are divided into five classes based on their annual average regular income for three fiscal years before the LGU’s general income is reclassified. The classifications of municipality based on annual average income are as follows: first class: P200,000,000; second class: P160,000,000 to P200,000,00; third class: P130,000,000 to P160,000,00; fourth class: P90,000,000 to P130,000,000; and fifth class: less than P90,000,000. This will determine the “LGU capability to undertake development programs and projects” and the overall yearly supplemental appropriation for personal services for all units. Compensation adjustments for LGU employees will also be predicated on classification following the “Salary Standardization Law of 2019.” The classification also includes the following: Minimum wages for domestic workers, bases for the creation of new local government units (LGUs), the number of elective members in Sangguniang Panlalawigan and Sangguniang Bayan, free patent titles for residential land, government service insurance system coverage for LGU properties, and the maximum percentage of agricultural land area that can be reclassified and used. On January 1st of the year following the Finance Secretary’s release of the income classification table, the provinces, cities, and municipalities will undergo their first income reclassification. Within three months of the law’s enactment, the Department of Finance will draft the rules and regulations that will carry out its provisions in collaboration with the Department of Budget and Management and after consulting with the local government leagues. The post LGUs’ classification, revenue basis codified appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 27th, 2023

Meta quarterly profit jumps but it sees volatility in ad market

Meta on Wednesday reported that its quarterly profit more than doubled from last year's figure as it looks ahead at a volatile ad market and lawsuits accusing it of profiting from "children's pain." "Meta earnings looked pretty good," said independent tech analyst Rob Enderle. "They have clearly cut back on the bleeding surrounding their metaverse efforts and the company appears to be on a more even keel right now." The tech giant said it made a profit of $11.6 billion as ad revenue climbed 23 percent to $34 billion when compared to the same period a year earlier. "We had a good quarter for our community and business," said Meta chief executive Mark Zuckerberg. The number of people using Facebook monthly rose slightly to 3.05 billion in a year-over-year comparison while monthly active users of Meta's "family" of apps was 3.96 billion a 7 percent increase from the same quarter in 2022, the company reported. Meta said it had trimmed costs, with layoffs and other belt-tightening measures started last year providing "greater efficiency." Meta had suffered a rough 2022 amid a souring economic climate and Apple's data privacy changes, which allowed users to block ad targeting, the pillar of Meta's business. Meta's vow of austerity on spending brought an unprecedented round of cost-cutting that saw the company lay off tens of thousands of workers since last November. Meta shares, which closed the formal trading day down, fell more than three percent further in after-hours trades to $289.50. Chief financial officer Susan Li said during an earnings call that Meta is seeing "volatility" in an ad market that started to soften when the conflict between Israel and Hamas began. "It's hard for us to attribute demand softness directly to any specific geopolitical event," Li said. "We have seen broader demand softness follow other regional conflicts in the past, such as in the Ukraine war, so this is something that we're continuing to monitor." Lawsuit peril Analyst Enderle maintained that Meta is at risk from lawsuits poised to damage its image and its wallet. Dozens of US states this week accused Meta of profiting "from children's pain," damaging their mental health and misleading people about the safety of its platforms. "In seeking to maximize its financial gains, Meta has repeatedly misled the public about the substantial dangers of its Social Media Platforms," argued a joint lawsuit filed in federal court in California. The states accused Meta of exploiting young users by creating a business model designed to maximize time they spend on the platform despite harm to their health. In total more than 40 states are suing Meta, though some opted to file in local courts rather than join in the federal case. Meta said the states were singling it out unfairly instead of working with social media companies to develop universal standards for the whole industry. "This landmark lawsuit could herald a seismic shift in how social media platforms approach product features and user engagement," said Insider Intelligence principal analyst Jeremy Goldman. "That said, even as tech stocks face uncertainty, Meta's consistent performance cements its leadership in the digital realm." Meanwhile, the European Union is seeking details on measures Meta has taken to stop the spread of "illegal content and disinformation" in light of the conflict between Israel and Hamas. The AI race The tech giant is putting artificial intelligence into digital assistants and smart glasses as it seeks to gain lost ground in the AI race. "I'm proud of the work our teams have done to advance AI and mixed reality with the launch of Quest 3, Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses, and our AI studio," Zuckerberg said in the earnings release. The second-generation Meta Ray-Ban smart glasses made in a partnership with EssilorLuxottica have a starting price of $299. "Smart glasses are the ideal form factor for you to let AI assistants see what you're seeing and hear what you're hearing," Zuckerberg said. Meta has taken a more cautious approach than its rivals Microsoft, OpenAI, and Google to push out AI products, prioritizing small steps and making its in-house models available to developers and researchers. "The majority of the world's population will have their first experience of generative artificial intelligence with us," Meta chief technology officer Andrew "Boz" Bosworth told AFP in a recent interview. Meta recently unveiled AI-infused chatbots with personalities, along with tools for creating images or written content using spoken prompts. The post Meta quarterly profit jumps but it sees volatility in ad market appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 26th, 2023

Caregiver scarred, scared by Hamas attack

An overseas Filipino worker, one of 18 who flew home from Israel on Friday, said he remained unsure whether to return to the country should its conflict with Hamas subside or be resolved peacefully. Elmer Puno, a 43-year-old caregiver from Pampanga, said his employer in Israel called him up before he left for the Philippines, urging him to return when things settle down. Puno said his experience during the attack by Hamas militants on Israel on 7 October had left him emotionally scarred and traumatized. “My employer called me and said that when the situation goes back to normal, if I still want to come back, I can. But I said to myself that I cannot decide yet because of what I encountered in Israel,” Puno said. He said he still has two years left of his four-year contract but decided to resign for his safety and his family’s concerns. “My salary is pretty good. In our currency, that is P70,000 a month, tax-free,” he said. “When I heard the sirens, I ran to a bomb shelter. I was talking to my wife, who also heard the sirens and bombing.” “She was so scared. She asked me to urgently go home. My children said that I should go home, so when there was an opportunity for repatriation, I didn’t think twice about asking the government to repatriate us,” he said. Of the 18 repatriates from Israel, one was left behind in Abu Dhabi due to elevated blood pressure. Puno and his fellow OFWs arrived at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 on Etihad Airlines flight EY 424. The 18 OFWs received P105,000 each in direct financial assistance from various government agencies, and they are entitled to livelihood training to start a business. The post Caregiver scarred, scared by Hamas attack appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 21st, 2023

90 OFWs repatriated from Saudi

A total of 90 Filipinos — 87 overseas workers and three children — arrived from Saudi Arabia past noon on Saturday, disembarking from Philippine Airlines flight PR 655 at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3. The repatriates were among the overseas Filipino workers who had sought the government’s help to return home following issues with their stay in the oil-rich nation. More OFWs will be repatriated from Saudi Arabia once issues with the processing of their papers are resolved, Department of Migrant Workers spokesperson Toby Nebrida said. “Others were not able to join due to delays in the administrative processing of their papers, but they will follow as soon as this is done and be home in the next few days,” Nebrida said. The DMW’s Migrant Office in Riyadh has provided $200 to each of the repatriates, who also stand to receive additional financial assistance and medical checkups, referral services, and psychosocial evaluations. The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, or OWWA, will provide hotel accommodations and transportation to the repatriates who will go back to their provinces. The post 90 OFWs repatriated from Saudi appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 21st, 2023

Suit charges crypto firms with billion-dollar fraud

New York's attorney general on Thursday filed a lawsuit accusing cryptocurrency firms Gemini and Genesis with fraud that wound up costing investors more than a billion dollars. Gemini Trust Company, created by twin brothers Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss of early Facebook fame, misled investors about the risk of putting money into a program that involved loans that at one point were concentrated in Sam Bankman-Fried’s Alameda research trading firm, according to the suit. "Investors around the country lost more than a billion dollars because they were fed blatant lies that their money would be safe and grow if they invested it in Gemini Earn," New York attorney General Letitia James said in a release. Gemini offered people the chance to lend cryptocurrencies in exchange for high returns via a Gemini Earn program, according to the suit. Those loans included some to digital currency services platform Genesis, which in turn lent cryptocurrency to other players in the industry. But the bankrupcy of Bankman-Fried's Alameda Research and its FTX platform last year triggered panic in the market. Bankman-Fried is currently on trial in New York, facing fraud charges of his own. Unable to honor massive withdrawal requests, Genesis filed for bankruptcy in January. "Gemini hid the risks of investing with Genesis and Genesis lied to the public about its losses," James said. According to documents published at that time, Gemini loans to Genesis tallied some $765 million. Gemini was founded by the Winklevoss twins, who were made famous by the film "The Social Network" about the birth of Facebook. In a post at X, formerly known as Twitter, Gemini contended that the lawsuit confirms that the exchange and its users were "victims of a massive fraud and systematically lied to" by Genesis. "Blaming a victim for being defrauded and lied to makes no sense and we look forward to defending ourselves against this inconsistent position," Gemini said in the post. James accused Gemini of deceiving more than 230,000 investors. Her lawsuit also argues that former Genesis chief executive Soichiro Moro and Genesis parent company DCG with trying to conceal the massive losses. The litigation seeks to have Gemini, Genesis and DCG banned from New York's financial investment industry and pay restitution to investors who lost money. DCG defended itself in a post at X, saying it did nothing illegal. "I am shocked by the baseless allegations in the attorney general's complaint and intend to fight these claims in court," DCG founder and chief executive Barry Silbert said in the post. The post Suit charges crypto firms with billion-dollar fraud appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 19th, 2023

Bong Go to DTI: More livelihood opportunities for poor

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go expressed his support for the proposed budget for the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and its attached agencies during the Senate Finance sub-committee hearing on Tuesday, 3 October. He however appealed to the concerned agencies of government, particularly DTI, to address rising prices of commodities, mitigate the impact of inflation, and provide more livelihood opportunities for the poor to help them recover from the pandemic and other recent crises. “Bigyan po ninyo ng mas maraming oportunidad na makabangon ang mga mahihirap. Ang maayos na kabuhayan ang isa sa mga magiging susi sa pagginhawa ng pamumuhay ng bawat pamilyang Pilipino,” he explained. “Trabaho po ng DTI na bantayan rin ang mga presyo ng bilihin lalo na ngayon na lumalala ang inflation. Bagamat hindi natin kontrolado ang global factors na nagdudulot nito, sikapin dapat ng gobyerno na pagaanin ang hirap na dinadala ng ating mga kababayang pinakanangangailangan,” he appealed. Go’s stance comes in the wake of the recent Pulse Asia survey, conducted from 10 to 14 September, which showed that poverty and inflation were identified as two of the most pressing concerns. It is for this reason that the senator has urged the government to prioritize the creation of better job opportunities as a crucial step towards alleviating the suffering of the people and stabilizing the country's economy. “Nais kong iparating ang aking suporta para sa proposed budget at mga programa ng DTI. Ang DTI ay may malaking papel sa pagpapalago ng ating ekonomiya at pagpapabuti ng kalagayan ng ating mga negosyante at manggagawa,” said Go. Through Senator Mark Villar who presided over the budget hearing, Go manifested his support for DTI as it plays a pivotal role in shaping the economic landscape of the country, considering that it is responsible for crafting and implementing policies, programs, and projects that promote a competitive and innovative business environment. “Sa pagtugon sa mga hamon ng kasalukuyang panahon, napakahalaga na maglaan tayo ng sapat na pondo para sa DTI upang maipagpatuloy nila ang kanilang mahalagang mga proyekto at programa. Sa tulong ng mga programa ng DTI, mas mapapaunlad natin ang sektor ng negosyo sa bansa at mas magkakaroon tayo ng mas maraming pagkakataon para sa trabaho at kabuhayan,” he added. Moreover, Go said that the department is entrusted with the vital task of supporting micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that constitute the backbone of the Philippine economy. These businesses are crucial in generating employment and driving economic growth. Go highlighted Republic Act No. 11960, or the One Town, One Product (OTOP) Philippines Act. Authored and co-sponsored by Go, the OTOP Philippines Program is a government-led initiative that allows each town or city in the country to capitalize on a unique product or service that embodies its identity, culture, and traditions. “Sa tulong ng batas na ito, ating pinapalakas ang mga lokal na negosyo sa bawat bayan at siyudad sa bansa. Ipinapaabot natin sa kanila ang suporta na kinakailangan nila upang mapanatili ang kanilang operasyon at maabot ang mas malawak na merkado,” Go said, adding that by leveraging local resources, the program not only invigorates economic activities but also fosters cultural preservation. Meanwhile, Go also co-sponsored Senate Bill No. (SBN) 2021, which aims to institutionalize the Shared Service Facilities (SSF) project under DTI. The proposed measure seeks to amend RA 6977 or the Magna Carta for Small Enterprises as amended by RA 9501, also known as the Magna Carta for MSMEs. If enacted, the SSF program would offer more cost-effective solutions to MSMEs by providing access to shared facilities and services that will help them improve the quality and productivity of their products, including equipment, tools, and machinery that they can use to upgrade their production processes that are typically expensive for individual MSMEs. During the previous administration, Go advocated for the Pangkabuhayan sa Pagbangon at Ginhawa (PPG) program which seeks to aid micro, small, and medium enterprises in crises and provide livelihood opportunities to more Filipinos. “Sa programang ito, tuturuan ang mga benepisyaryo na magnegosyo at bibigyan ng suporta para palaguin ito. Masarap sa pakiramdam kapag pinaghirapan at pinagpawisan ang iyong negosyo, napalago ito, at naiuwi sa pamilya ang kinita mula dito,” he said. He continues to support the implementation of the program to help more Filipinos in need of government support amid trying times. Last year, Go successfully appealed for the budget allocation for the PPG program during the deliberations on the 2023 budget of the DTI. “Marami pong nawalan ng trabaho, maraming nagsara na negosyo dahil po sa pandemya kaya naman napakahalagang maipagpatuloy ang programang ito,” he said. “Isa itong paraan upang maipakita natin ang ating malasakit sa mga Pilipinong apektado ng iba't ibang krisis, mula sa nakaraang pandemya hanggang sa mga kasalukuyang kalamidad, at mabigyan sila ng bagong pag-asa na magkaroon ng maayos na kabuhayan,” he added. Furthermore, Senator Go filed SBN 420, which aims to establish the Rural Employment Assistance Program (REAP) that will be operated under the purview of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). The primary objective of this proposed program is to offer temporary employment opportunities to individuals experiencing economic hardships, poverty, displacement, or seasonal unemployment. By creating such opportunities, REAP can assist those affected in achieving financial stability during challenging periods. The post Bong Go to DTI: More livelihood opportunities for poor appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 6th, 2023

SBG rallies support for Filipino athletes in 19th Asian Games

Senator Bong Go, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Sports, recently expressed his full support for Filipino athletes participating in the ongoing 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou City, China. "Suportahan natin ang mga kababayan nating sumasabak sa kasalukuyang 19th Asian Games sa Hangzhou City, China," he said in a statement upon arriving in China to show his personal support to the Philippine delegation. “Bilang chair ng Senate Committee on Sports, taus-puso kong pinupuri at pinasasalamatan ang mga manlalaro nating ibinibigay ang lahat para itaas ang bandera ng Pilipinas sa ginaganap na kompetisyon. Manalo man o matalo, ang importante ay magkaisa tayo para sa ating mga atletang Pilipino!” added the senator. "Our unity is the best form of moral support to inspire our competing athletes to give their best. Let us all rally behind them as they continue to bring glory to our country. Laban Pilipinas! Ipakita natin ang puso ng Pilipino na lumalaban hanggang dulo!" he said. As of 2 October, the Philippines has won one gold, one silver, and eight bronze medals at the Games so far. The country's lone gold medal was won by Ernest John Obiena in Athletics, specifically in the men's pole vault event. Arnel Mandal added a silver medal to the tally in the men's 56kg wushu competition. The bronze medalists include Patrick King Perez in Taekwondo's men's individual poomsae, Jones Llabres Inso in Wushu's men's taijiquan/taijijian all-around, Gideon Fred Padua in wushu's men's 60kg, and Clemente Tabugara Jr in wushu's men's 65kg. In Tennis, Alexandra Eala secured a bronze in Women's singles and another bronze in Mixed doubles alongside Francis Casey Alcantara. Eleven Ando also captured bronze in the women's weightlifting 64kg division. Rounding out the bronze medalists is Patrick Bren Coo in Cycling BMX racing for Men. Go, vice chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance, has strongly advocated for increased funding for sports programs under the Philippine Sports Commission, particularly in support of athletes competing in international competitions this year. "During the budget deliberation last year, ang ipinasa po na budget ng PSC more or less about P200 million. Ako po mismo sa Senado bilang inyong chairman po ng Committee on Sports and as vice chair ng Committee on Finance, isinulong ko talaga na madagdagan po ng P1 billion po ang pondo ng Philippine Sports Commission," he said. This move secured financial support for athletes participating in international competitions, including the 2023 Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia and the current Asian Games in China. He disclosed an allocation of P50 million through the PSC for the Asian Games, along with P30 million specifically for Asian para-games. To promote greater inclusivity and equality in sports, Go also proposed Senate Bill No. 2116, which aims to amend Republic Act No. 10699, also known as the National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act. The bill seeks to provide enhanced financial incentives and benefits for para-athletes who represent the Philippines in international competitions. He emphasized the need for increased incentives for para-athletes, stating, "Sana po’y ma-increase naman rin po ang kanilang incentives na natatanggap dahil ‘yung honor po na dala nila sa ating bayan, pareho naman po ‘yong gold, silver, bronze at pinaghirapan rin po nila." In line with his advocacy for grassroots sports development, Go also championed the National Academy of Sports, a fully operational institution located in New Clark City in Tarlac which was enacted into law that he authored and co-sponsored. Go is also prioritizing the institutionalization of the Philippine National Games as a platform to scout and recruit athletes for the national pool. He filed SBN 423, or the proposed PNG Act, which seeks to create a nationwide platform for athletes, particularly the youth, to display their abilities. The Asian Games is being held from 23 September to 8 October. The event was originally scheduled for 2022 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The post SBG rallies support for Filipino athletes in 19th Asian Games appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 3rd, 2023

Tesla sued after Black workers called ‘monkey’

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a lawsuit against Tesla for alleged racism at its Silicon Valley car plant. Black workers at Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California, have routinely endured stereotyping, racial insults and hostility since at least 2015, according to the suit filed on Thursday. Tesla also retaliated against Black workers who opposed such abuse, according to the lawsuit. “The racial misconduct was frequent, ongoing, inappropriate, unwelcome and occurred across all shifts, departments and positions,” the commission said. The commission said Black workers routinely endured racist slurs including variations of the “N-word,” along with “monkey” and “boy.” Racist graffiti at the plant included swastikas, nooses and threats, according to the suit. Some of the graffiti was allegedly on vehicles rolling off the production line. Black Tesla workers who complained of racist treatment found themselves switched to undesirable duties or shifts, written up unjustly or even discharged, the lawsuit maintained. Tesla supervisors and managers witnessed racial abuses but did not intervene, and Tesla failed to take steps to address the misconduct, according to the suit. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages along with compensation for wronged Black workers and an order that Tesla curb racism at the factory. WITH AFP The post Tesla sued after Black workers called ‘monkey’ appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 30th, 2023

Boss of Chinese property giant Evergrande being held by police: report

The billionaire boss of beleaguered Chinese property developer Evergrande is being held by police, Bloomberg reported Wednesday, as the debt-ridden company continues to grapple with severe financial troubles. Xu Jiayin, who is also known as Hui Ka Yan in Cantonese, was taken away by authorities earlier this month and is now being held, according to anonymous sources cited by Bloomberg. He is being held under "residential surveillance", the report said, which does not mean he has been arrested or charged with a crime. Evergrande's enormous debt has contributed to the country's deepening property market crisis, raising fears of a global spillover. The company's property arm this week missed a key debt payment due, and Chinese financial website Caixin reported that former executives at the firm had been detained. The post Boss of Chinese property giant Evergrande being held by police: report appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 27th, 2023

Bong Go aids Alangalang displaced workers

In a coordinated effort with Mayor Lovely Yu, Senator Christopher "Bong" Go provided additional assistance to disadvantaged workers in Alangalang, Leyte on Sunday, 24 September. This initiative is part of his broader efforts to help expedite economic recovery in far-flung communities through the provision of more livelihood opportunities. During the relief operation at the Alangalang covered court, Go’s team provided masks, vitamins, shirts, and snacks to 457 affected workers. Select recipients also received shoes, watches, mobile phones, and balls for basketball and volleyball. Meanwhile, the beneficiaries also qualified for livelihood support from the Department of Labor and Employment’s program for disadvantaged and displaced workers. “Nais kong magpadala ng taos-pusong pasasalamat sa DOLE. Sila ay nagbibigay ng oportunidad at pag-asa sa mga manggagawang Pilipino na nawalan ng trabaho o kabuhayan dahil sa mga pagsubok na hinaharap natin. Sa pamamagitan ng programa nila, marami sa ating mga kababayan ang nabigyan ng pagkakataon na magkaroon ng pansamantalang trabaho at kumita ng maayos para sa kanilang pamilya,” Go stressed in a video message. In his commitment to promoting economic recovery, Go has underscored the significance of safeguarding the welfare of all sectors, with particular attention to those residing in rural areas. He introduced Senate Bill No. 420 which seeks to institutionalize a framework for offering temporary employment to eligible members of underprivileged households in rural regions. These individuals would be engaged in unskilled manual labor for a specified period. Under the proposed legislation, the Rural Employment Assistance Program (REAP) would be established within DOLE. REAP's primary goal is to furnish temporary job prospects to individuals who meet the criteria of being economically disadvantaged, impoverished, displaced, or seasonal workers. Milagros Salazar, the President of Liga ng mga Barangay of Alangalang, expressed her deepest gratitude to Go for his support and assistance. "Pinapaabot po namin ang pasasalamat kay Senator Bong Go sa lahat-lahat ng ibinigay sa amin dito sa LGU ng Alang-Alang. Ang mga services na binigay sa amin sa health, sa financial, at sa sports ay hindi matatawaran. Hindi matapos-tapos ang pag-aabot sa amin ng pasasalamat sa aming pinakamamahal na senador," said Salazar. The senator likewise encouraged those with health concerns to seek the assistance of any of the 159 Malasakit Centers nationwide, five of which are established in the province. The Malasakit Center brings all relevant agencies under one roof, such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, to ensure poor and indigent patients can conveniently access medical assistance programs to cover their hospital-related expenses. A Malasakit Center has been opened at the New Western Leyte Provincial Hospital in Baybay City, Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) in Tacloban City, Ormoc District Hospital in Ormoc City, and Leyte Provincial Hospital and Governor Benjamin T. Romualdez General Hospital and Schistosomiasis Center (GBTRGHSC) in Palo. In an effort to enhance healthcare services within the province, Go who is an adopted son of Leyte province, also sponsored and successfully pushed for the passage of Republic Act No. 11567, increasing the bed capacity of EVRMC. Furthermore, he was instrumental in the enactment of RA 11566, converting the Schistosomiasis Control and Research Hospital into the GBTRGHSC. Meanwhile, he also mentioned that there will be Super Health Centers to be established in Hilongos and Baybay City. Through the collective efforts of DOH, LGUs and fellow lawmakers, sufficient funds had been allocated for 307 Super Health Centers in 2022 and 322 in 2023. DOH, the lead implementing agency, identifies the strategic areas where they will be constructed. Super Health Centers offer basic health services, including database management, out-patient, birthing, isolation, diagnostic (laboratory: x-ray, ultrasound), pharmacy, and ambulatory surgical unit. Other available services in Super Health Centers are eye, ear, nose, and throat (EENT) service; oncology centers; physical therapy and rehabilitation centers; and telemedicine. Go also highlighted RA 11959, also known as the Regional Specialty Centers Act, which he principally sponsored and is one of the authors in the Senate. The Regional Specialty Centers Act plays a pivotal role in the healthcare legislative agenda of the Marcos administration, as detailed in the Philippine Development Plan 2023 to 2028. The said law mandates the establishment of Regional Specialty Centers within existing DOH regional hospitals. “Huwag po kayong mawawalan ng pag-asa. Patuloy nating haharapin ang mga pagsubok na ito ng magkakasama. Kasama ninyo ang buong sambayanan na nagmamalasakit sa inyong kalagayan. Magtulungan tayo, at sa tulong ng Diyos, malalampasan natin ang mga pagsubok na ito,” he ended. Go, vice chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance, also supported the construction of multipurpose buildings in Alangalang, Babatngon, Carigara, Dagami, Isabel, Jaro, La Paz, Leyte, and Tolosa; construction of the Merida Community Hospital; construction of flood control structures in Alangalang, Javier, Tanauan and Tolosa; and acquisition of dump trucks for the local governments of Isabel and Villaba, among others. The post Bong Go aids Alangalang displaced workers appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 27th, 2023

Big fuss over .02%

The Philippine Stock Exchange index is considered the gauge of the activity in the equities market and, by extension, of the economy since the direction of the line graph indicates the country’s financial health. The index tracks the price movements of a basket of select companies listed on the bourse, representing various sectors of the economy. Investors and market participants use the PSE index as a reference to evaluate the performance of their investment portfolios and make informed investment decisions. The daily movement of the index influences investor confidence and sentiment. Increased investor confidence can stimulate trading activity, attract foreign investments, and encourage local companies to raise capital through initial public offerings or secondary floats. A strong and stable PSE Index can enhance the stock market’s perception as an attractive investment destination. This could attract foreign capital inflows, increase liquidity, and contribute to developing the local capital market. Thus, the impending exit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp., or MPIC, and Aboitiz Power Corp., or APC, from the Philippine Stock Exchange index seems a bit off as both companies are major players in the country’s growth story. Replacing APC and MPIC in the exclusive blue chips club are tycoon Enrique Razon Jr.’s Bloomberry Resorts and the Po family’s Century Pacific Food. The revamp takes effect on Tuesday, 26 September. MPIC is stepping out of the index after its public float dropped to 2.78 percent as part of its program to delist by October. APC’s exclusion from the benchmark was decided on, however, after it missed by a few decimal points of the 20 percent float rule for stocks to be retained in the PSEi. The company purchased 11.4 million shares as part of its buyback program that brought the public float level to below 20 percent, the level required to stay in the PSEi. Based on APC’s report to the market, stocks owned by the public are 19.98 percent of the total listed shares of 7.35 billion. Listed companies are required to have a 10-percent public float, but the elite index members are given a more arduous 20-percent public ownership condition. APC is off by .02 percent. APC’s buyback activities increased non-public scrips to 5.886 billion, bringing the total number of publicly owned shares to 1.47 billion. “Aboitiz Power’s current public ownership levels far exceed the 10-percent minimum public ownership level required for it to remain listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange,” an APC statement to the PSE said. “Even with this stock buyback program, there is no intention to delist from the PSE, but merely to reward our existing shareholders with a larger share of a brighter future,” APC added. The PSEi must accurately reflect the stock market’s overall performance and, in the bigger picture, the economy’s strength. Its composition should go beyond the mere technical criteria to allow a more representative indicator of the daily activity of the market. APC accounts for one out of every five megawatts, or MW, of installed capacity in the country and has some 1,000 MW of renewable energy capacity in the pipeline. In the first half of the year, the company reported a P17.8-billion net income, 79 percent higher than the P10 billion recorded in the same period a year ago. In the second quarter, the company’s net income reached P10.3 billion, 46 percent higher than the P7 billion profit a year ago. The decision to remove a key bourse participant, which also has among the most active shares, is like benching your star player because he forgot to bring a matching pair of socks. The post Big fuss over .02% appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 21st, 2023

Anti-agricultural economic sabotage bill marked as urgent

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has certified as urgent a measure defining the crime of agricultural economic sabotage, providing penalties, and also creating an anti-agricultural economic sabotage council. The President approved Senate Bill No. 2432 as urgent earlier this week through a letter addressed to Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri. In the letter to Zubiri, Marcos said there is a need to facilitate the passage of SB No. 2432, "especially now that the country is beset by rising prices and shortages in agricultural products, partly due to the nefarious acts of smuggling, hoarding, profiteering, and cartel." The bill repeals Republic Act No. 10845, or the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016, and seeks to promote the productivity of the agriculture sector and protect farmers and fisherfolk from unscrupulous traders and importers and ensure reasonable and affordable prices of agricultural and fishery products for consumers. The bill also imposes severe sanctions on the nefarious acts of smuggling, hoarding, profiteering, and cartel of agricultural and fishery products, including a penalty of life imprisonment and a fine thrice the value of the agricultural and fishery products subject of the crime as economic sabotage. Any government officer or employee found to be an accomplice in the commission of the crime shall "suffer the additional penalties of perpetual disqualification from holding public office, exercising the right to vote, from participating in any public election, and forfeiture of employment monetary and financial benefits," the bill read. When the offender is a juridical person, criminal liability shall be attached to all officers who participated in the decision that led to the commission of the crime, with a penalty of perpetual absolute disqualification to engage in any business involving importation, transportation, storage, and warehousing, and domestic trade of agricultural and fishery products. Government authorities also have the right to confiscate the agricultural and fishery products that are subject to the prohibited acts and the properties used in the commission of the crime of agricultural economic sabotage, such as, but not limited to, vehicles, vessels, aircraft, storage areas, warehouses, boxes, cases, trunks, and other containers of whatever character used as a receptacle of agricultural and fishery products. The proposed measure is among the expanded Common Legislative Agenda discussed during the 3rd LEDAC Meeting. The bill is now pending in the period of interpellations in the Senate, while a Technical Working Group is currently finalizing the version of the House of Representatives. The post Anti-agricultural economic sabotage bill marked as urgent appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 21st, 2023