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Pacquiao seeks probe of Rice Tarrification Law, RCEF

Boxing icon and Sen. Manny Pacquiao has sought a Senate inquiry into the implementation of the Rice Tarrification Law, particularly the utilization of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF). Senator Manny Pacquiao(EPA/JOSEPH VIDAL / PRIB / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) In a resolution, Pacquiao said the purpose of Republic Act (RA) 11203, also known as the Rice Tariffication Law, is to ensure food security and to make the country’s agriculture sector viable, efficient, and globally competitive. President Duterte signed RA 11203 on Feb. 14, 2019. ‘’But after more than a year of its implementation, we have yet to fully account for the utilization of the RCEF,’’ Pacquiao stressed. Pacquiao said that before the implementation of RA 11203, the farm gate price of palay averaged P21.39 per kilo but when imported rice started flooding the market, it instantly dropped to P17.88 per kilo. Recent accounts from farmers disclosed that in Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Sorsogon, Tarlac, and Laguna, the farm gate price is P7 up to P10 per kilo. Pacquiao said RA 11203 has provided the framework for the establishment of the RCEF which was set up to improve rice farmers’ competitiveness and income amid liberalization of the Philippine rice trade policy that lifted quantitative restrictions on rice imports and replaced it with tariffs, among others. The RCEF or the Rice Fund has a P10-billion annual appropriation for the next six years which will be drawn from taxes generated from rice import tariffs. The Department of Finance (DoF) and the Bureau of Customs (BoC) which are the lead agencies responsible for the collection of the import tariffs must account for the volume of rice imports since the lifting of the quantitative restriction on rice imports, the amount of tariffs collected, and the amount allocated to the RCEF, Pacquiao pointed out. The Department of Agriculture (DA) which is primarily tasked to manage the RCEF must provide a complete and detailed report on the disbursement and the utilization of the fund which was supposed to cushion the impact of rice import liberalization to the Filipino farmers, he added......»»

Source: Mb.com.ph Mb.com.phCategory: NewsOct 24th, 2020Related News

Group airs concern over armed men in protected area

Conservation group Masungi Georeserve Foundation has expressed alarm over the presence of armed men who have constructed a fence in a restoration project area in the Upper Marikina River Basin Protected Landscape in Rizal. The foundation, which is managing the restoration and conservation of the site in Baras, Rizal, found out about the illegal activity last Friday as they were on their way “to reinforce the station of our rangers, who have been bravely protecting this area from rampant illegal logging.” “The site is part the Upper Marikina River Basin Protected Landscape under Presidential Proclamation 296, which can never be any person or any company’s private property, as it is a protected area and wildlife sanctuary. It has been protected by various laws since 1904 as a critical watershed,” the conservation group explained. “As the authorized manager of the site, we asked for their title or permit, but they could not present any. We likewise gave our contacts so they can submit these, to no avail,” it said. The Masungi Georeserve explained that without a title, there is simply no ownership, as well as deals of so-called “rights” and tax declarations are not proofs of ownership, especially in protected forestland, it added. The group appealed to President Duterte to put a stop to the rampant land speculation and trafficking in Masungi, and all other forests and watersheds in the country. “They have suffered way too long and our collective future from floods, landslides, water loss, and climate change is kept hostage,” it stressed. The group said it has already sent letters to its implementation partners Department of Environment and Natural Resources, National Bureau of Investigation, local government of Baras, and Barangay Pinugay “to help quash the repeated violations, and abuse and neglect of our forests.”.....»»

Source: Mb.com.ph Mb.com.phCategory: NewsOct 24th, 2020Related News

Dev’t program for Filipino teachers in Cambodia launched

To help more than 1,000 Filipinos working as teachers in Cambodia, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Philippine Embassy in Phnom Penh have launched a development program to enhance their competencies and ensure high salaries. CHED Chairman J. Prospero de Vera III and Chargé d’Affaires Myca Magnolia signed last Friday a Memorandum of Cooperation to introduce the “Developing Global Filipino Teachers” program which aims to equip, capacitate, and enhance competencies of the 1,152 Filipino teachers in Cambodia. According to De Vera, the embassy alerted the commission last year on the plight of these Filipinos working as teachers in Cambodia as the majority of them are not licensed to teach due to lack of proper credentials. The CHED partnered with some universities, including St. Paul University, Cebu Normal University, and the Philippine Normal University, which are centers of excellence in teacher education, for the realization of professionalization of some of the OFWs who are not licensed professional teachers. “We cannot emphasize the importance of higher education in playing a critical role in the development of our citizens here and abroad. This memorandum of cooperation produces better collaboration and easier grasp of the problem at hand,” De Vera said. “The solution is now within our reach, thanks to the Developing Global Filipino Teachers program,” he added. Under the memorandum, those who are qualified for the program include professionals who are not graduates of the teacher education program who intend to take the Philippine Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET); in-service teachers who want to enhance their competencies and their impact in the classroom and beyond to understand global issues; graduates of education program but have not passed the Philippine LET; and those Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). “This program is one of the manifestations of the Filipino ‘bayanihan’ spirit driving the Philippine higher education during this COVID-19 crisis. We grappled with the pandemic individually but we will conquer it together as one,” the CHED chief added......»»

Source: Mb.com.ph Mb.com.phCategory: NewsOct 24th, 2020Related News

Improved right-of-way acquisition key to timely Skyway 3 completion — Villar

Improved acquisition of road right-of-way was among the key reasons behind the recent completion of the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3, Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar said Saturday. Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar (MARK VILLAR FACEBOOK / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) In a statement, Villar commended the department’s task force responsible in speeding up the road right-of-way (RROW) acquisition for the elevated expressway that links the southern and northern parts of Metro Manila. “We are now on the final stage of the Skyway Stage 3 Project that will link the southern and northern portions of Metro Manila by connecting SLEX and NLEX before the end of 2020. This would not be possible if not for the commitment of our DPWH ROW Task Force who have worked relentlessly with concessionaire CITRA Central Expressway Corporation (CCEC) to speed up delivery of needed ROW,” Villar said.  Right-of-way acquisition, the secretary stressed, is the most common cause of project delay, especially under public-private partnership. This prompted the creation of a task force for each flagship program and decentralization of ROW operations under Department Order No. 65, series of 2017.  According to Villar, prior to the issuance of DO 65, “ROW acquisition for the Skyway Stage 3 was sluggish at 8.64 percent, even though it had been 35 months since it commenced in 2015.” The improved system, he said, allowed them to acquire 95 percent of ROW in two years and seven months. It is instrumental in facilitating the ROW acquisition, particularly on the issue of National Grid Corporation (NGCP) and Meralco on the removal and relocation of their respective facilities, the secretary said.  As of September 2020, 40 out of the scheduled 47 service utilities of NGCP had been completely removed/relocated, five ongoing, and two for expropriation.  Out of the 1,312 Meralco utilities affected, 1,090 were completely removed or relocated, 24 ongoing, and 198 not to be relocated anymore, while 95.0 percent site possession had been delivered.  “We recognize the need to speed-up ROW acquisition for the timely realization of our Build, Build, Build program and with our formed ROW task forces, the public can expect more big-ticket projects to be completed in the coming months and years,” Villar said.  He bared that a fifth segment had been introduced at the north end of the project from Balintawak Cloverleaf at Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA). This will connect to the North Luzon Expressway Footbridge to avoid traffic congestion along A. Bonifacio Street and EDSA......»»

Source: Mb.com.ph Mb.com.phCategory: NewsOct 24th, 2020Related News

Belmonte backs renaming of Roosevelt Ave. after FPJ

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte backed on Saturday Senate President Vicente Sotto III’s suggestion to rename Roosevelt Ave. after Fernando Poe Jr. (FPJ) Ave. in honor of his contributions to the Filipino movie industry. The local government said Belmonte asked the city council to pass a resolution urging Congress to pass a measure renaming Roosevelt Avenue. Senator Lito Lapid earlier suggested to rename Del Monte Ave. after the late actor, but Sotto suggested to change Roosevelt Ave. instead because “it’s where FPJ grew up because it was their ancestral home.” For Belmonte, “it is but right and proper to honor the late Fernando Poe Junior for his invaluable contribution to the city and our culture.” “At the same time, we also recognize the historical and religious significance of the area. We are hoping this issue will be resolved judiciously,” the local chief executive said.    “The Senate President’s suggestion to rename Roosevelt Avenue after the late action king more popularly known as FPJ is a welcome development and a win-win solution for everyone concerned,” she added. “We thank the Senate President for sharing his wisdom and for providing us with a situation that is acceptable to everybody,” she added. In his 46 years as an actor, FPJ starred in around 300 action films earning him the monicker “Da King” of Philippine movies. Almost two years after his death on December 14, 2004 at age 65, FPJ was declared National Artist for film by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.  But Poe’s wife, actress Susan Roces refused to accept the posthumous award during a conferment ceremony at Malacañang in June 2006.   Poe and Arroyo contested the Presidency in 2004. In 2012, President Benigno S. Aquino III issued another presidential proclamation —Proclamation No. 435 affirming FPJ’s National Artist stature......»»

Source: Mb.com.ph Mb.com.phCategory: NewsOct 24th, 2020Related News

AREIT buys P5.1-B office mall

AREIT Inc., the real estate investment trust sponsored by Ayala Land Inc., has acquired a mall and office development in Pasig City from the real estate giant for P5.1 billion.                 In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, AREIT said it is buying The 30th, a 76,000 square meter commercial development located along Meralco Avenue in Pasig City. “The asset will increase AREIT’s portfolio to 246,000 square meters of GLA from 170,000 square meters and will contribute to its net income and dividends in 2021,” AREIT said. The 30th is a commercial development that was planned and developed by Ayala Land and completed in 2017. The office building is fully occupied predominantly by BPO companies. The 30th includes an amenity retail podium which will be operated and leased by Ayala Land from AREIT. Simultaneous to the acquisition of the building by AREIT, ALI will assign the long-term land lease to AREIT. AREIT wil lease office spaces to tenants, and the retail podium to Ayala Land under a fixed lease as operator of the retail spaces. The acquisition will be funded through debt. It will be a cash purchase with the installment schedule to be agreed by the parties. Currently, AREIT has no debt thereby allowing it to acquire assets that are yeld accretive through leverage. “This demonstrates AREIT’s ability to grow its portfolio and add value to its shareholders while its Sponsor, Ayala Land, Inc. can recycle the capital for its real estate projects in the Philippines,” AREIT said......»»

Source: Mb.com.ph Mb.com.phCategory: NewsOct 24th, 2020Related News

Why public can’t access SALN of magistrates

Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta defended the High Tribunal’s restriction of public access to the Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALNs) of magistrates. Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Diosdado M. Peralta (FACEBOOK / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) “We cannot release the SALN because there are matters there that are confidential in nature,” Peralta said during an online press briefing. The Chief Justice said that the SALN contains information like the addresses of judges and their family members which could be used by parties in influencing the decision-making of cases. “You can just imagine ‘yung mga judges na nagdecide ng cases against somebody (What might happen to judges who decided on cases against somebody),” he said. Because of this, Peralta said the SC has implemented guidelines which restricts public access to SALNs of magistrates. “We came up with the guidelines that we can only release ‘yung summary,” the Chief Justice said. Last September, the SC denied the requests of the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) and lawyer Lorenzo “Larry” Gadon for copies of the SALN of SC Associate Justice Marvic Leonen. Gadon has filed a letter of appeal to the SC insisting that it should release Leonen’s SALN since the magistrate has allegedly skipped the filing of SALNs when Leonen was still teaching at the University of the Philippines (UP). In a letter addressed to SC Clerk of Court Edgardo Aricheta, Gadon said “the right of any citizen for access on SALNs is clearly provided under the law.” “With due respect to the Supreme Court, the denial only invites suspicion among the public that the Supreme Court is hiding something in so far as the SALNs of AJ Marvic Leonen are concerned and that it cannot also escape public suspicion that the Supreme Court is giving AJ Marvic Leonen a special treatment and protection which I hope is not true,” the lawyer warned. Gadon pointed out “there is no lawful nor valid reason why my request for the certified copies of the SALNs of AJ Marvic Leonen cannot be granted.” “The Supreme Court granted the same request in the case of Atty. Maria Lourdes Sereno hence it should be granted in the instant request for SALNs of AJ Marvic Leonen,” he reminded. Prior to Sereno’s ouster in 2018 as chief justice, Gadon was able to secure from the High Tribunal copies of her SALNs. Sereno was ousted as Chief Justice in 2018 after the SC granted the quo warranto petition of the OSG which sought to invalidate her appointment at the High Tribunal over violations in skipping the filing of her SALNs when she was still a law professor at the University of the Philippines (UP). “If Atty. Lourdes Sereno was ousted from the Supreme Court due to lack of integrity as exemplified by her non-filing of SALNs in UP for many years, then there is no reason why the same standard should not be applied to Associate Justice Marvic Leonen,” said Gadon who also alleged that Leonen had skipped in the filing of SALNs when he was still a UP law professor......»»

Source: Mb.com.ph Mb.com.phCategory: NewsOct 24th, 2020Related News

Pagdanganan in second place after a 67

Bianca Pagdanganan (Gregory Shamus / Getty Images / AFP) Filipino golfer Bianca Pagdanganan fired a five-under par 67 for a tie for second place and just one shot off the lead through two rounds of action in the LPGA Drive On Championship Friday at the Reynolds Lake Oconee in Greensboro, Georgia. The 22-year-old tour rookie, who shot a first round 68 and was a joint sixth following the first round, mixed his rounds with birdies on 2, 5, 6, 11, 12 and 18 to go with a solitary bogey on 8 for a two-day total of 135. A gold medalist in the Asian Games in 2018 and in the Southeast Asian Games here last year, Pagdanganan is at joint 135 with world No. 5 Daniella Kang, who shot a 70 after opening round 65. The two are a shot behind American Ally McDonald, who has a total of 34 after her 68 in the $1.3 million event Pagdanganan is hoping to win her first LPGA title in six starts. She placed joint ninth in the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in Pennsylvania two weeks ago – a feat that earned her a spot in December’s U.S. Women’s Open at Champions in Houston. Former world No. 1 and two-time major winner Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand remains in contention with a 136 after a 69 for solo fourth. Swede Pernilla Lindberg, another former champion, had a 69 for a three-way tie at fifth at 137 with Australia’s Katherine Kirk and Englishwoman Mel Reid, who shot a 65 and 68, respectively......»»

Source: Mb.com.ph Mb.com.phCategory: NewsOct 24th, 2020Related News

Duterte asked to act on slow disbursement of aid for seniors

President Duterte has been urged to step in on the supposed slow disbursement of financial assistance to senior citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic. Senior Citizen partylist Rep. Rodolfo “Ompong” Ordanes brought to the attention of the Chief Executive the “continuous troubles” hounding the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s implementation and disbursement of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) , Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT), and Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens. “To date, we continually receive reports from thousands of our senior citizens all around the Philippines on how the DSWD fails to timely disburse the monetary aid that our government promised to them,” he said in his letter to Duterte dated Oct. 21. He laments that some of the senior citizens have perished before receiving a single centavo from the monetary aid due them. “This slow implementation and disbursement of the DSWD of critical monetary aid for our senior citizens clearly runs contrary to the directive of Your Excellency for the government to do whatever it takes to protect the welfare of our almost 10 million vulnerable senior citizens,” he said. “Thus, we humbly seek the assistance of Your Excellency in requesting that the DSWD fast-track the implementation and disbursement of the monetary aid for our senior citizens,” Ordanes said. During the House of Representatives’ plenary deliberations on the proposed P171-billion budget of the DSWD for 2021 last Oct. 13, it was relayed that some 1.404 million senior citizens have benefited from the national government’s SAP. In a virtual press briefing last week, over 2.9 million indigent senior citizens have received their social pension worth about P8.7 billion. The number is almost 83 percent of the 3.5 million indigent elderly targeted to receive the government stipend. During his 58th birth anniversary last Oct. 15, DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista led the distribution of social pension worth P2.178 million to around 726 indigent senior citizens in Dinalupihan, Bataan. Republic Act No. 9994 or the “Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010” provides that seniors qualified to receive social pension are those who are frail, sickly, or with disability; without any pension from other government agencies; and without a permanent source of income or source of financial assistance and compensation to support their basic needs. However, the DSWD said those senior citizens who are not included in the list, but are eligible, can still appeal to the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA), their local governments, and the nearest Field Office, which has jurisdiction over their areas, for assessment......»»

Source: Mb.com.ph Mb.com.phCategory: NewsOct 24th, 2020Related News

Germany virus death toll passes 10,000: health institute

Germany has suffered more than 10,000 Covid-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to official data published Saturday.  People wear face protecting masks on October 22, 2020 downtown Munich, amid the novel coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP) A total of 10,003 deaths have been recorded by the Robert Koch Institute, a federal government agency, with 418,005 infections recorded nationwide. Of those, 14,714 were diagnosed in the last 24 hours — a daily record. Robert Koch Institute president Lothar Wieler said Germany was facing a “very serious” situation and asked the population to adhere to social distancing measures. Germany was spared during the first wave of coronavirus infections that hit Europe in spring but is now suffering a sharp increase in cases along with the rest of the continent. Authorities have tightened measures against the pandemic including the adoption of a public assembly ban. Chancellor Angela Merkel last weekend asked the country to reduce their social contact and stay home as much as possible. “What winter will be, what our Christmas will be, will be decided in the days and weeks to come,” she had warned......»»

Source: Mb.com.ph Mb.com.phCategory: NewsOct 24th, 2020Related News

Davao region posts 92 new COVID-19 cases

DAVAO CITY – The number of active coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in Davao region has reached over 1,000 after the Department of Health (DOH) Davao Center for Health Development reported 92 new cases on Friday, October 23. Based on the COVID-10 Regional Case Bulletin, the region now has 1,012 active cases. “Of these new cases, 76 are from Davao City, six are from Davao del Norte, five are from Davao del Sur, two are from Davao de Oro, two are from Davao Oriental, and one from Davao Occidental,” the DOH said. On Thursday, eight children were among the 107 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The youngest was a one-year-old girl from Barangay Panacan here. The DOH also reported five deaths on Friday. Four of these were from Davao City, and one from Davao del Norte. Meanwhile, 62 recoveries were reported bringing to 3,306 the total number of recorded recoveries. The DOH said the recoveries included 38 patients from Davao City, 10 from Davao del Norte, nine from Davao del Sur, three from Davao de Oro, and two from Davao Oriental. Davao City currently has the most number of active cases with 750. The city has also recorded a total of 3,002 COVID-19 cases, 2,121 recoveries and 131 deaths. Davao City Vice Mayor Sebastian Duterte signed on Thursday, October 22, Executive Order No. 56, which ordered the adoption of other alternative work arrangements in public and private offices until December 31. The EO noted that there was a “surge of cases in Davao City because of the innumerable allowed essential activities during the Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ). “Several offices and establishments have seen a clustering of cases spreading the infection to the household of the employees,” it said. “There is a need for massive reduction of individuals inside offices and establishments to ensure that overcrowding, mass gathering and socialization are continuously prohibited,” it added. Among the alternative work arrangements proposed were skeleton workforce, work-from-home and staggered working hours......»»

Source: Mb.com.ph Mb.com.phCategory: NewsOct 24th, 2020Related News

Pump prices on slight rollback next week

            Just in time for the start of the Christmas traffic build-up, motorists can enjoy a slight relief in their pockets next week as pump prices will be on rollback of P0.10 to P0.20 per liter for gasoline; and P0.25 to P0.35 per liter for diesel. MB file photo. (Mark Balmores)             Kerosene prices will also be reduced by P0.15 to P0.25 per liter, based on the calculation of the oil companies as hinged on the Mean of Platts Singapore (MOPS).             Next week’s adjustments will break the cycle of mixed up-and-down movements in pump prices which featured prominently in the domestic oil market in recent weeks.             In a monitoring report of the Department of Energy (DOE), it indicated that the year-to-date adjustments in oil prices hover at a net decrease of P4.67 per liter for gasoline; P10.01 per liter for diesel; and P13.44 per liter for kerosene.             Pump prices in the Philippines are influenced by two major factors: the swing in oil prices in the world market; and the fluctuations in the peso-dollar exchange rate.             According to the energy department, the demand recovery for oil in Asia will continue to track “bumpy roads” across products, with longer pace of rebound anticipated for the aviation sector.             It added that refinery runs in the region may scale up by the fourth quarter of this year, but price lifts may take longer to be concretized – and the assumption is for it happening through 2021.             Primarily for gasoline, it was noted that demand may still weaken because of the resurgence of Covid-19 infections, which may then lower winter driving activities especially in Europe......»»

Source: Mb.com.ph Mb.com.phCategory: NewsOct 24th, 2020Related News

Mayor Gatchalian urges youth: Don’t just rant, take action

Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian expressed the belief that “community involvement” these days is important, particularly for the youth, in order to make a change. Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian (FACEBOOK / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) For Gatchalian, instead of ranting on social media, people “must get involved” and “must engage” their community through various means — being a youth leader, joining non-government organizations or get active in school — as they are at a stage where they “can actually be heard.” “The important thing is that you take that step. Wag kayong puro rant lang (Don’t just rant). You have to remember, walang nasosolve sa pagrarant mo (Nothing gets solved by your rants). This is a bold statement: being heard is one thing, but doing something about it is another thing,” the mayor said in an interview over Radio Pilipinas’ Youth for Truth program Wednesday night. While Gatchalian recognized that holding or joining rallies is exercising freedom of expression, he said, there still “must be a call to action. And the call to action is get involve in your communities. “Yung mag rally sa kalsada, yung mga ibang sector, okay (Holding rallies on the streets by different sectors is okay). That’s expression of yourself.  But what did that achieve in the end?” he asked. Gatchalian is calling on the youth not to lose hope because they can make a change. “Don’t get frustrated and wag kayong bibitaw. Wag yung bahala na or kasi pagod na ako (Don’t lose hope. Don’t say, ‘come what may’ or ‘I’m tired),” he said. In fact, Gatchalian, who grew up in a family of businessmen said their frustrations prompted them to run for government office. “Bakit kami pumasok sa larangan na ito? Kasi pagod na kami mag complain. Noong negosyante kami, diba complain kami ng complain. Yung basura, hindi nakokolekta. Yung kalsada, hindi naaayos. Sabi namin, wag ka nang magcomplain. Kung gusto mo maging bahagi ng solusyon, lumahok ka sa proseso. Tumakbo ka, pag nanalo ka, baguhin mo (Why did we join politics? Because we’re tired of complaining. When we were still full-time businessmen, we kept on complaining. The garbage is not being collected.  Dilapidated roads are not being fixed. So we told ourselves to stop complaining. If we would want to be part of the change, then join the process. We should run for office, and if we win, change the system),” the local chief executive said......»»

Source: Mb.com.ph Mb.com.phCategory: NewsOct 24th, 2020Related News

DSWD aids 150 LSIs

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has provided more than P300,000 in financial assistance to over 150 locally stranded individuals (LSIs) in Metro Manila under the government’s “Hatid Tulong” program. In a statement, the DSWD said a P2,000 pre-departure financial assistance has been extended to around 154 LSIs during the third leg of the Hatid Tulong Grand Send-Off last Oct. 19 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Complex, Pasay City. The assistance given to LSIs who returned to Regions 8 (Eastern Visayas), 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula), 10 (Northern Mindanao), 11 (Davao), and 12 (Socsargen) totaled P 308,000, it said. The DSWD said aside from the cash assistance, it also provided Family Food Packs (FFPs), sleeping kits, and hygiene kits to the LSIs. “After receiving assistance, the LSIs were transferred to Pier 13 where they were transported to their respective regions through the help of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG),” it said. It noted that upon their arrival in their e hometowns, the LSIs are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine to ensure that they are COVID-free. Hatid Tulong is the government’s assistance initiative that seeks to transport back those who were stranded in Metro Manila during the coronavirus lockdown to their provinces. The DSWD noted that the initiative is being led by the Presidential Management Staff and has been implemented in compliance with the health protocols and guidelines to control the spread of COVID-19. Other government agencies that are also involved in the initiative were the Philippine Army (PA), Department of Health (DoH), Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE), Department of Transportation (DOTr), and Department of Agriculture (DA), it said......»»

Source: Mb.com.ph Mb.com.phCategory: NewsOct 24th, 2020Related News

Save the Children launches fund-raising drive Sunday

Believing that education will empower children, especially those who are in need, to look forward to a better future, a child rights group will launch “eSave Natin ang Pasko,” an online fund-raising campaign to support their learning needs Sunday. “This online fundraising campaign encourages everyone to unite in saving the Christmas spirit through a series of joyous and meaningful activities to provide joy and hope to children,” the group said. “Even if classes are conducted through distance learning or will resume via face-to-face, millions of children will still need our support as they continue to be deprived of their right to education since their families do not have the means to support their learning needs,” said SCP Chief Executive Officer Atty. Alberto Muyot. Muyot, a former Department of Education (DepEd) Undersecretary, said that education empowers children, especially those in dire situations. “Supporting their learning needs will save their lives and their future,” he added. When classes formally opened last Oct. 5 amid the COVID-19 situation in the country, SCP said that millions of students, especially in public schools, have been experiencing major challenges such as the lack of access to learning materials and Internet connection. To help the students who struggle to learn from home, SCP said that the proceeds of the Christmas fundraising campaign will support the learning needs of children in poor households in Metro Manila, typhoon-stricken places in Eastern Visayas, and the conflict-affected areas in Mindanao. “It will also support children with disabilities, those from indigenous communities and from hard to reach areas,” SCP added. SCP said that e-Save Natin ang Pasko also promotes the importance of a nurturing home through the “Mapagkalingang Tahanan” advocacy where every member of the family, especially children, receives the support they need so they learn, survive, and are protected. The “Mapagkalingang Tahanan” emphasizes the critical role of parents, guardians, and caregivers in the continued learning of children and aims to provide them the knowledge and skills to facilitate their children’s learning......»»

Source: Mb.com.ph Mb.com.phCategory: NewsOct 24th, 2020Related News

Wright dedicates performance to baby boy, OFWs

Matthew Wright (PBA Images) ANGELES CITY–Phoenix guard Matthew Wright dedicated his fiery performance against Magnolia on Friday to his son Sonny who just celebrated his first birthday. Wright waxed hot with 23 points, pouring eight of those in the Fuel Masters’ blistering 22-0 run in the fourth quarter that kindled their 91-84 comeback win over the Hotshots at the Smart 5G-powered AUF Sports Arena. The Gilas Pilipinas stalwart also collected seven rebounds, four assists and two steals in almost 46 minutes of play without a single turnover as Phoenix arrested a two-game skid to improve to 3-2.  “The first birthday is always very special and I hate to see that I cried just thinking about it. The only way I can make this better was to dedicate my performance to him,” said Wright, whose family resides in the United States.  “I’m sure he’s watching but I don’t know if he understood what I was saying (in the TV interview). But when he gets older, hopefully he’ll look back and he’ll forgive me for not being in his pictures on his first birthday,” he added. The Fil-Canadian sniper said that missing special family occasions is part of the sacrifice that the 350-man delegation has to make in order to ensure the success of the Philippine Cup bubble. “Everybody’s going through it so you just have to suck it up.” The 6-foot-3 cager said he was even reminded of the bigger undertaking that the overseas Filipino workers have to do for their families. “It’s an amazing sacrifice and it’s so hard to be away from your family. And we’re only doing it for a couple of months so we got to man up.” “I was just thinking about them today.” .....»»

Source: Mb.com.ph Mb.com.phCategory: NewsOct 24th, 2020Related News

Duterte urged to allow seniors up to 70 to go out

Alarmed that three out of 10 Filipino elderly suffer from depression, Senior Citizen partylist Rep. Rodolfo “Ompong” Ordanes has appealed to President Duterte to include senior citizens up to 70-years-old in the list of persons who can go out. The lawmaker sought the expansion of the coverage of the lifting of age-based stay-at-home restrictions and other benefits as provided by Resolution No. 79-2020 issued by Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF). Under the IATF resolution, those aged 15 to 65 are allowed to go out. “Mr. President, I respectfully recommend that the coverage of the lifting of age-based stay-at-home restrictions and other benefits provided by IATF Resolution No. 79-2020 be expanded to include senior citizens up to the age of 70-years-old, instead of the proposed age of up to 65-years-old,” Ordanes said in a letter to President Duterte dated Oct. 21. “It is this representative’s humble opinion that expanding the coverage of IATF Resolution No. 79 to include senior citizens up to the age of 70-years-old will help alleviate the social and economic difficulties that our 2.5 million senior citizens face due to COVID-19,” he explained. He expressed hope that his request be granted by Duterte by December. Ordanes noted that studies show that there is minimal risk in expanding the coverage of the IATF resolution, given the global decline of case fatality rates among the elderly. There is a minimal difference between the Infection Fatality Rates of those within the age of 65 and those within the age of 70, he said. “If the coverage of the resolution is expanded, 2.5 million of our senior citizens will be lifted out of depression which three out of 10 of our elderly suffer from today, as they will be allowed to engage again in social activities and be taken out of social isolation,” Ordanes said. He said by expanding the coverage of the IATF resolution, the government is economically empowering the elderly up to 70 years , as they are allowed to participate again in economic activities. “Mr. President, an expansion of the coverage of the IATF Resolution No. 79-2020 will pose minute differences from the overall risk that our senior citizen population is facing due to COVID-19. Comparatively, once the coverage is expanded, 2.5 million of our senior citizens will enjoy economic and social upliftment in their lives and welfare,” he said. “Thus, I respectfully ask for your consideration in increasing the exemptions to stay-at-home restrictions imposed on senior citizens up to the age of 70-years-old.”.....»»

Source: Mb.com.ph Mb.com.phCategory: NewsOct 24th, 2020Related News

Galapagos sees record rise in penguins, flightless cormorants

The population of Galapagos penguins and flightless cormorants, two species endemic to the islands, has seen a record increase, study results released Friday showed. Handout file photo taken on October 26, 2018 and released by the Charles Darwin Foundation showing a Galapagos penguin standing in Isabela Island, in Galapagos archipelago, Ecuador.(Charles Darwin Foundation / AFP) The Galapagos penguin is one of the smallest species of penguins in the world, measuring up to 35 centimeters, and the cormorants on the islands are the only type to have lost their ability to fly — but they have developed diving skills. “The number of cormorants has reached a record number, according to historical data dating back to 1977, while the number of penguins is at the highest since 2006,” said a statement from the Galapagos National Park, which carried out the census. The population of Galapagos penguins, the only ones living on the Earth’s equator, increased from 1,451 in 2019 to 1,940 in 2020, it added. Flightless cormorant numbers increased from 1,914 to 2,220 over the same period. The study was carried out by the park and the Charles Darwin Foundation in September with the main colonies present on the Isabela and Fernandina islands and on the Marielas islets, to the west of the archipelago classified as a natural heritage site. Paulo Proano, Ecuadorian minister of environment and water, said the census results reflect the “good state of health of the population” of birds in the archipelago, located some 1,000 kilometers (625 miles) off the Ecuadorian coast, according to the park. The park said the presence of the La Nina climatic phenomenon, which helps to provide more food for the birds, has contributed to the increase in their populations. Another factor was the coronavirus pandemic, which has limited disturbances to nesting areas because of the drop in tourism, the park added. The islands, which served as a natural laboratory for the English scientist Charles Darwin for his theory of the evolution of species, takes its name from the giant tortoises that live there......»»

Source: Mb.com.ph Mb.com.phCategory: NewsOct 24th, 2020Related News

Execration survives nail-biting series against Cignal Ultra to take first semis spot

Photo from Execration’s Facebook page Execration averted disaster against Cignal Ultra, pulling off a 3-2 escape to advance to the semifinals in the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Pro League-Philippines (MPL-PH) Season 6 on Thursday night.  Jaylord “Hate” Gonzales’ Helcurt ran riot in the deciding Game 5 to carry the top-seeded Execration past the hard-fighting Warriors.  The Billy “Z4pnu” Alfonso-coached team will face the winner between Smart Omega and Blacklist International which are squaring off as of writing time.  Cignal wound up at the 5th-8th place and got $1,500 (P72,800).  Cignal drew first blood in the best-of-five series as it came through with a 31-minute come-from-behind victory.  The double core setup of Jaymark “Hadess” Lazaro’s Ling and Vail “tsujin” Alejo’s Wanwan sparked the comeback for the squad in red.  Execration retaliated hard to take the next two games, with Patrick James “E2MAX” Caidic’s Selena and Benedict “Bennyqt” Gonzales’ Roger leading the charge in Game 2.  A “Chak Mamba” play was witnessed in Game 3 as Joshua “Ch4knu” Mangilog on his Jawhead threw DJ “ImbaDeejay” Astibe’s Pharsa to the Lord pit to deny a base defense.  That allowed Hate’s Roger and Jeff “S4gitnu” Subang’s Uranus to finish off the game in the 15th minute.  However, Cignal–the second season champion–refused to go down without a fight, hammering out another comeback victory in Game 4 behind the triple threat of Hadess’ Ling, tsujin’s Angela and Jhones “RHEA” De Leon’s Leomord that powered the Warriors.  But then Hate on his Helcurt did not want to disappoint Execration’s legion of fans, taking charge of the squad’s demolition job in Game 5.  Armed with Blade of Despair, Endless Battle and Demon Hunter Sword, Hate ripped Cignal one-by-one as he racked up nine kills and five assists against three deaths. .....»»

Source: Mb.com.ph Mb.com.phCategory: NewsOct 22nd, 2020Related News

Bautista thanks IOM, USAID for IT equipment

Social Welfare and Development Secretary Rolando Bautista thanked  the International Organization for Migration and the United States Agency for International Development for exemplifying the bayahinan spirit and for helping the government strengthen its disaster preparedness and response. Sec. Rolando Bautista He expressed the agency’s “profound gratitude” to the IOM for donating around 21 Distance Learning Information Technology (IT) equipment worth P3.3 million to the DSWD.  “We are very elated to know that our development partners such as IOM are also exemplifying the same bayanihan spirit as they extend a helping hand to the Filipino people. Today, we express the agency’s profound gratitude to the IOM for their donation comprising of Distance Learning Information Technology  equipment,” he said in his speech today at the DSWD Auditorium. Bautista received the IT equipment, which is funded by the USAID through IOM. “This donation will go a long way in intensifying the DSWD’s disaster preparedness and response activities, specifically with the new IT equipment,” he said. “The Department will be able to implement high quality and effective distance learning activities and ensure that our field office staff , local government units and other partners-stakeholders stay current with the new policies and guidelines in disaster response operations.” He cited that despite the continuous impacts of COVID-19 on public health, economic, social, political and organizational dimensions, the DSWD is undertaking concerted efforts in delivering social safety nets to the Filipino people.  “While, the Department has been relentless in the  implementation of these programs aimed at helping out the most affected sectors, it is particularly important that our personnel are properly equipped with the necessary resources to effectively deliver the needed services during disasters,” Bautista said.  Joining Bautista in receiving the IT equipment was DSWD Undersecretary Felicisimo C. Budiongan.   IOM Philippines Country Office Program Manager Troy Dooley, IOM Philippines Country Office National Program Coordinator Conrad Navidad, USAID Deputy Mission Director Patrick Wesner, and USAID Regional Advisor Joe Curry graced the event. .....»»

Source: Mb.com.ph Mb.com.phCategory: NewsOct 22nd, 2020Related News