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Peso recovers, PSEi hurt by US-China trade issues anew

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MANILA – Philippine peso improved to the greenback Thursday but concerns on the US-China trade discussions hurt the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) anew.

The local currency ended the day at 50.68 from 50.82 a day ago, which a trader pointed to reports about Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell’s positive outlook on the US economy during his testimony at the US Congress.

The trader said Powell’s sentiment boosted investors’ sentiment thus, the impact on the local currency.

The peso opened the day slightly weaker at 50.93 from 50.86 a day ago.

It surged to 50.68 but also touched 50.95, resulting in an average of 50.826.

The volume reached USD1.17 billion, higher than the USD1.46 billion a day ago.

The currency pair is seen to trade between 50.60 and 50.80 on Friday.

On the other hand, the main equities gauge shed 0.17 percent, or 13.76 points, to 7,933.71 points.

All Shares also ended in the red after losing 0.13 percent, or 6.16 points, to 4,757.73 points.

Most of the sectors also lost during the day, led by the Industrial which dropped 1.75 percent, and was followed by the Holding Firms, 0.12 percent; Services, 0.03 percent; and Mining and Oil, 0.02 percent.

Property gained 0.29 percent and Financials by 0.06 percent.

Volume totaled to 655.29 million shares amounting to PHP4.18 billion.

Losers continued to surpass gainers at 107 to 78, while 55 shares were unchanged.

“Net foreign selling pulled down the PSEi below the 8,000 level,” BPI Research said in a report.

Citing news reports, BPI Research said US-China trade talks “have hit a roadblock” since China does not want to give specific figures on its agricultural procurements from the US while US prod China to regulate intellectual property protections and end forced technology transfers. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

Family farming pushed to help ensure food security

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INVEST IN FARMING. Jumer Bueno Marcaida, 27, says family farming saved them some good money. Instead of buying, they grow their own rice and sell part of their harvest for extra income. (PNA photo by Christine Cudis)

MANILA — Filipino families can secure their food consumption without spending over their budget through farming, an expert said Thursday.

“Let us make the nation realize what they can have from family farming, it adds to family resilience, and contributes to national security,” Venarica Papa, Assistant Professor of the College of Social Work and Community Development at the University of the Philippines-Diliman, said in a three-day forum dubbed “Knowledge Learning Market and Policy Engagement” (KLMPE) in Quezon City.

Filipino families can withstand the increasing buying price of food in the market and save if they grow their own food, Papa said.

“It is a good thing to learn how to plant or grow our own food so we will never go hungry,” she added.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) hosted KLMPE 2019, which aims to enhance the awareness of farmers and other people who thrive in the field of agriculture through networking with experts and successful entrepreneurs.

Among them is 27-year-old Jumer Bueno Marcaida, who just became a full-time farmer in 2017.

“My father toils a 0.6-hectare land and we plant the crops we need for personal consumption,” he said.

Marcaida said he observed how their expenses became smaller after they started to seriously take their farming business.

“My sister, who has a family of her own now, would provide for the financial needs on the farm, and she will have her sacks of rice. Obviously, rice is expensive, so, having our own resource of rice, the family really saved a lot,” he added.

Other than growing white rice, the staple food in the country, Marcaida said his family also plants black glutinous rice to sell in the market.

“We also take advantage of the market for people, many look for sticky rice, so we grow and sell it to add to our income,” he added.

Marcaida also said being a member of a farmers’ organization helped him when he was shifting to farming from his former job as an electrician.

“I really want to do a lot of improvements in the farm, start selling our goods with our own brand, and PAKISAMA mobilize that vision for me,” Marcaida said.

Marcaida said PAKISAMA has its own cooperative where members can apply for a loan. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

'National Students' Youth Camp' not gov't-organized: NYC

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MANILA— The National Youth Commission (NYC) on Thursday distanced itself from an upcoming event organized by a certain groups, calling on students’ participation across the country in line with the 2019 National Students Day.

“(There) is a certain group of organization calling for a National Students Day Youth Camp and inviting schools and educational institutions to send participants,” NYC chairperson and chief executive officer Ryan Enriquez said in a letter posted at the youth commission’s official Facebook page.

“The NYC wants to clarify that the said camp is not organized by the NYC nor any other government instrumentalities,” he added.

READ: Think twice before joining National Students’ Youth Camp: Año

In the letter, Enriquez underscored that NYC is the lead agency mandated by RA 11369 to implement activities celebrating the National Students Day in collaboration with the Commission on Higher Education, Department of Education and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

Enriquez noted that “the NYC has a separate event on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019 to celebrate the National Students Day dubbed as Fitfil Youth Against Drugs.”

He said the First National Students’ Day Youth Camp “is not part of it”.

The NYC official said the statement was issued “so as not to create confusion among the students, school authorities and parents as well”.

“Let us have more discernment and to exercise caution when it comes to the safety and welfare of the students,” he said. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

NegOr prepares for 2020 census

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DUMAGUETE CITY – Preparations are underway for the upcoming census of population on households in May 2020 by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), a provincial statistician said.

The provincial census coordinating board chaired by Gov. Roel Degamo was convened Tuesday as initial step for the gathering of important data down to the barangay level.

Provincial statistician Ariel Fortuito underscored the importance of gathering comprehensive data with regard demographics as well as socio-economic profile of every residential house for planning and policy-making of government.

Present during the meeting were representatives of the Department of Education, while Degamo was represented by the assistant provincial administrator, lawyer Froilan Pinili.

Fortuito is asking for cooperation of Negrenses in allowing enumerators’ entry to their respective residences and providing them with real data as to names, age, jobs, and other information because these will be used in the formulation of government plans and programs.

The census also seeks to record housing characteristics of respondents as a non-economic indicator to determine the poorest of the poor among Negrenses, aside from the socio-economic profiles as well as sources of drinking water and for cooking purposes.

Health and sanitation concerns will also be asked by enumerators, Fortuito said.

Public school teachers are mandated by Batas Pambansa Blg. 72 (An act providing for the taking of an integrated census every 10 years beginning in 1980, and for other purposes) as enumerators during the census of population.

The PSA will be hiring additional enumerators for wider coverage all over the province. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

End unrest, restore order in Hong Kong, says China

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ANKARA — China has asked Hong Kong administration to deal strictly with protesters to restore normal life in the global financial hub, said media reports.

Normal life remained hit on third consecutive day on Wednesday in the region as transport services were suspended, an English language news website, Hong Kong Free Press reported.

The South China Morning Post, quoting a statement issued by the Beijing’s liaison office representing Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office (HKMAO), said a harsher crackdown has become a necessity to end unrest and restore order.

“The city is sliding into the abyss of terrorism,” the statement added.

A protester was injured on Monday morning when he was shot at close range by a police officer.

Defying the ban on the use of face masks, students boycotted classes and wore them as a mark of protest.

Lashing out at the protesters, Chief Executive Carrie Lam described them as “extremely selfish” for attempting to paralyze the vibrant business hub.

The Beijing liaison office said it was resolutely supporting the Hong Kong government in adopting every necessary measure to end the unrest and restore order as soon as possible. It asked the administration to arrest criminals and severely punish their violent acts.

The newspaper report said Beijing has asked the Hong Kong administration, police, and judiciary to “decisively adopt all necessary means to forcefully crackdown on various acts of violence and terrorism.”

Hong Kong Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung told the Legislative Council that the wave of clashes — largely at university campuses — was destined to fail.

“Regardless of their demands, violence is not the way and it will not be successful,” he said.

Shun-Wen Wang, an associate professor from Chinese Culture University in Taiwan, said it was not a “One Country – Two Systems” issue.

“It is democratic versus authoritarian or totalitarian issue,” he told Anadolu Agency during a trip to Ankara.

“They (young people) think China is taking over their society and is bringing a different system, which is leading to stress,” Wang said.

Hong Kong is under China since 1998 under “One Country – Two Systems” rule. Beijing controls defense and foreign relations of the region situated at the southernmost boundary of China.

“China wants a prosperous, but not a democratic Hong Kong. They cannot let to have demonstrations, protests that will have cascading effect on other Chinese cities. There will be a chaos and a catastrophe for China and its leaders,” said Vincent W.S. Chen, who is professor from National University of Kaohsiung, Taiwan. (Anadolu)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

DTI mobile app checks substandard Christmas lights

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MOBILE APP. Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-7) Consumer Protection Division chief Ines Cajegas shows to reporters a mobile app that people can use in determining whether the Christmas lights they bought are substandard or not. She said the mobile app will protect consumers against buying uncertified Christmas lights which may pose a fire hazard to households. (PNA photo by Fe Marie Dumaboc)

CEBU CITY – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-7) in Central Visayas on Wednesday said it introduced a mobile app that can be used by consumers in determining substandard Christmas lights in the market.

Trade regulation inspectors are now checking retailers suspected of selling substandard Christmas lights.

Ines Cajegas, chief of the Consumer Protection Division of DTI-7, showed to local media an easy way for consumers to check if the Christmas lights they want to or have purchased passed product standard.

“It is just simple, they just have to download the software application in playstore for android phone, download the ICC verification system. If you have it already, you just have to scan it on the QR code. And it is just for free,” she said.

Cajegas said the system was launched by the Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS) in Manila earlier this year, and was tested as a usable and user-friendly application.

Upon using the Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) verification system, Cajegas said, consumers will know whether a Christmas light passed the product standard or bears an ICC mark once it is verified.

As the Yuletide season draws near, Christmas lights are in demand. The agency has adopted precautionary measures against number of Christmas lights that do not pass standards for safety and durability.

“It is important nga ma-check (it is checked) because it will involve the safety of our consumers. These Christmas lights are one of the favorite decorations every Christmas. So almost everyone buys Christmas lights. The chances are other consumers might just choose the cheaper one,” Cajegas said.

She said some people buy the “3-for-PHP100” Christmas lights which are not certified. With the ICC mobile app, it is already easy, backed up with the physical presence of DTI standard enforcement officers visiting the stores and markets,” she added.

DTI-7 standard enforcement officers conducted a mapping activity last week in areas in the region where Christmas lights are being sold.

Local government units, Cajegas said, are giving them information on retailers that are displaying lights which have not been certified.

The cities of Mandaue and Danao, she said, have requested the DTI-7 to prioritize them in the inspection.

She said substandard Christmas lights will be confiscated.

If retailers of substandard Christmas lights resist during confiscation, a formal charge will be filed and appropriate penalties will be imposed against them.

Cajegas also reminded consumers to inspect the plug and wires of the lighting set and avoid buying lights with brittle and dented parts. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

AllHome nets P746.2-M in 9 months

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MANILA — AllHome Corp., a pioneering one-stop shop home store in the Philippines, booked a record growth of 225 percent in net income for the first nine months of 2019 to PHP746.2 million from PHP229.7 million in the same period last year.

The company said its total revenues also increased by 72 percent to PHP8.2 billion from PHP4.8 billion.

“Allhome continues to deliver solid performance which brings us closer to our full year target. As we have previously mentioned, the home improvement industry in the Philippines is still underpenetrated and we are taking advantage of such by aggressively opening Allhome to more locations across the country,” AllHome chairman Manuel Villar Jr. said in a statement.

Camille Villar, vice chairman of AllHome, said they are “very much on track” with their store expansion program for this year and 2020.

“We aim to at least double our net selling space by end 2020. Expansion is focused on Mega Manila for now, but the longer-term plan is to bring AllHome to the rest of the Philippines,” she said.

For October alone, the company opened three new stores in Alabang, Bulacan, and in Cavite.

To date, it has 30 stores across the country which are mostly in large-mall based format.

AllHome made a debut in the Philippine Stock Exchange via initial public offering (IPO) last October 10, 2019. (PR)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

Ex-Iligan gov’t employee jailed for sex abuse of minor househelp

in Latest News

ILIGAN CITY—Police arrested on Wednesday, Nov. 13 yet, a former member of the Iligan City government’s Civil Security Unit for allegedly raping his househelp who is a minor.

Maj. Allan Abalde, chief of Iligan City Police Station 5, said Ray Baldicantos, 53, resident of Canaway village here, was arrested through a warrant issued by Judge Anisah Aminoding-Umpa of the Iligan City Regional Trial Court Branch 2.

Abalde said the minor househelp had accused Baldicantos of sexually molesting her eight times between July and August this year. Baldicantos is now detained and awaiting the start of trial for a charge of child abuse.
Edited by TSB…

Keep on reading: Ex-Iligan gov’t employee jailed for sex abuse of minor househelp

‘We can do it’: Empowering female students through tech-voc programs

in Latest News

MANILA, Philippines — With her hair braided and a hint of makeup on her face, 20-year-old Leira Gamo would appear like she’s just the same as any ordinary girl.

However, she proved that she can be one of the boys, as she took on mechanical electromechanical technology as her technical vocation course–a road less traveled by most women her age.

With every turn of the screw, Gamo was focused on her craft, and appeared to perfect what she is working on.

Aside from Gamo, there is also 17-year-old Jemicah Vicente Arca, whoalso took up the same course as Gamo.

In her desk, Arca is testing sensors. She makes sure that every time metal is placed near it…

Keep on reading: ‘We can do it’: Empowering female students through tech-voc programs

Drinking bout in quake-weary Digos turns deadly as man killed, assailant jailed

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DIGOS CITY—A construction worker is now being held behind bars after stabbing on Wednesday, Nov. 13, a drinking buddy with whom he had a heated argument.

Armando Baredo, 38, resident of the village of Goma here, was having a drink with Dante Cabanda, 37, and another neighbor, Jeffrey Aranquez, inside a store in the village of Matti before heading home.

But their lively drinking spree turned bitter as Cabanda and Baredo, already drunk, engaged in a heated verbal tussle.

According to Col. Ernesto Castillo, Digos police chief, Cabanda eventually fell asleep, giving a fuming Baredo the chance to attack him.

Baredo, Castillo said, took a knife and stabbed Cabanda in the neck, in…

Keep on reading: Drinking bout in quake-weary Digos turns deadly as man killed, assailant jailed

PNPA director gets promoted to two-star general

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MANILA, Philippines — The director of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) has been promoted to two-star general.


PNP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac announced on Thursday the promotion of Brig. Gen. Chiquito Malayo into the rank of major general.


Four other police officials with the previous rank of colonel were also promoted into brigadier general.


They are Brig. Gen. Matthew Baccay, director of the PNP Legal Service; Brig. Gen Jonnel Estomo, director of the Anti-Kidnapping Group; Brig. Gen. Remus Canieso, deputy regional director for administration (DRDA) of the Police Regional Office 6; and Brig. Gen. Ildebrande Usana,…

Keep on reading: PNPA director gets promoted to two-star general

‘Ramon’ forces 2,000 villagers in 2 Bicol provinces to flee homes

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LEGAZPI CITY — Landslides and flooding unleashed by Typhoon “Ramon” forced out of their homes more than 2,000 villagers in low-lying and mountainous areas in the provinces of Camarines Sur and Albay, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Bicol said.

The villagers took shelter in evacuation sites as Ramon lashed at areas on its path.

The OCD said floods swamped 19 villages in in the towns of Caramoan, Garchitorena, Pasacao, Del Gallego, Canaman, Calabanga, Tinambac, Lagonoy Magarao and Sipocot, all in Camarines Sur, and in Tiwi, Albay.

Claudio Yucot, OCD regional director, said ankle to knee deep waters were reported in these areas while water level in river channels rose by up …

Keep on reading: ‘Ramon’ forces 2,000 villagers in 2 Bicol provinces to flee homes

Zarate thinks PH flooded with smuggled rice

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Published November 14, 2019, 8:55 PM

By Ellson Quismorio

Bayan Muna Party-List Rep. Carlos Zarate believes that an untold amount of smuggled rice has entered the country ever since the Republic Act (RA) 11203 or the Rice Tariffication Law came into effect.

Bayan Muna partylist Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate
(Bayan Muna Partylist / FACEBOOK / MANILA BULLETIN)

Zarate, a Senior Deputy Minority Leader, lamented during a press conference Thursday over how the National Food Authority (NFA) has been stripped of its monitoring powers as far as rice imports are concerned under this new regime of tariffication.

Zarate and his fellow Makabayan solons like to call this the “rice import liberalization” regime since the imposition of tariffs on rice imports did away with the old quantitative restrictions on

Read More Zarate thinks PH flooded with smuggled rice

Photo Credit: Manila Bulletin

Go’s Malasakit Center bill breezes through 2nd reading in Congress

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Published November 14, 2019, 8:50 PM

By Ben Rosario

The House of Representatives has passed on second reading Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go’s pet bill proposing to institutionalize Malasakit Centers in all Department of health hospitals.

House of the Representatives (ALVIN KASIBAN / MANILA BULLETIN / FILE PHOTO)

The Senate version of House Bill 5477 was earlier approved by senators while the Lower Chamber took just at least two hours to pass the measure on second reading on Wednesday night.

A consolidation of at least 18 legislative measures, HB 5477 proposes the institutionalized operation of Malasakit Centers. It provides for nearly P300 million in the budget for payment of personnel services to be provided by 73 one-stop-shop center for indigent Filipinos needing financial assistance for medical expenses.

Read More Go’s Malasakit Center bill breezes through 2nd reading in Congress

Photo Credit: Manila Bulletin

Nograles hails 'Yolanda' housing project in Cebu

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‘YOLANDA’ HOUSING PROJECT. Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles poses with 15 of the 220 beneficiaries of the Olivo Heights NHA-Yolanda Permanent Housing Project in Tabuelan, Cebu after the turnover ceremony of certificates of awards at the National Housing Authority (NHA-7) regional field office in Cebu City on Thursday (Nov. 14, 2019). Nograles praised the Yolanda housing project in Olivo Heights for being a model of all Yolanda housing sites in the country for being 100 percent completed and occupied by the beneficiaries. (PNA photo by Sheriza Mae Uy)

CEBU CITY – Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles on Thursday praised the “Yolanda” permanent resettlement site in Tabuelan town in northern Cebu as the first-ever housing project that is fully finished and occupied.

“We can show to the whole country that Olivo Heights housing in Tabuelan is now the model of all ‘Yolanda’ housing projects in the country as it is 100 percent completed and occupied by the beneficiaries,” Nograles said in his message delivered in Cebuano during the turnover ceremony the National Housing Authority (NHA-7) here.

Nograles, who heads the Yolanda Inter-Agency Task Force, vowed to finish all Yolanda housing projects by 2020, saying the intention of President Rodrigo Duterte is to have all the housing units turned over and occupied by next year.

He said he will see to it that once the housing units are turned over, the permanent resettlement sites are complete with amenities such as water and power connection, as well as facilities for the settlers such as schools, day-care centers and a livelihood center.

Nograles witnessed the turnover of certificates of award to 15 of the 220 beneficiaries of the Olivo Heights NHA-Yolanda Permanent Housing Program.

Constancio Antiniero, district manager of NHA-Cebu District Office, said the awarding was in line with the Nov. 8 commemoration of Super Typhoon Yolanda that hit Western Visayas in 2013.

“Actually, Tabuelan is a recipient of 220 housing units completed last year. Now, the units have been already occupied. But the formal turnover (of the title or certificates) will be conducted very soon, because we are still waiting for the certificate of titles to be released by the Registry of Deeds,” Antiniero told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Around 205 certificates are set to be turned over in the first quarter of next year, he said.

The Tabuelan project is just part of the first 37 housing projects the NHA has allocated for Yolanda victims in Central Visayas, while 24 other housing projects are still in the land development phase and are projected to be finished by 2020, he said.

Antiniero said the housing project consists of a house and lot package which the NHA buys from the developer for PHP290,000 per unit with a 40-square meter floor area.

The beneficiaries cannot sell their house within 20 years after the award.

“What we want to extend to the beneficiaries they have to feel the sense or responsibility of their free house and lot, which when you have to purchase it, it is around a million. Local government units will annotate on the certificate of titles that they (beneficiaries) cannot sell it for the period of 20 years,” Antiniero said. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

Bulacan celebrates 144th birth anniversary of Gen. Del Pilar

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YOUNG HERO. Local officials and folks celebrate the 144th birth anniversary of Gen. Gregorio del Pilar in Plaza del Pilar in Bulakan, Bulacan on Thursday (Nov. 14, 2019). Del Pilar, the young general who fought against Spanish rule, was born on Nov. 14, 1875 in Barangay San Jose, Bulakan, Bulacan. (Photo by Manny Balbin)

BULAKAN, Bulacan — Provincial officials as well as local folks commemorated on Thursday the 144th birth anniversary of the young general of the Philippine Revolutionary Army, Gregorio H. del Pilar.

The event themed “Sa Bagong Bulakan, Sama–samang parangalan. Gregorio del Pilar, Dugong Bayani, Yaman ng Lahi” was led by Governor Daniel Fernando, First District Rep. Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado, and town Mayor Vergel Meneses.

This time, the celebration was held in the more spacious Del Pilar Plaza, in front of the municipal building here where his statue depicting him on a horse is built.

Previous celebrations were held at the birth site of the hero in Barangay San Jose where a monument was built and street dancing by performers from various villages was held.

Del Pilar was born on Nov. 14, 1875 in the said village.

Kabesera, a cultural, heritage and historical group of Bulakan town, has proposed a military group’s participation in honor of the hero, also known as “Heneral Goyo.”

Perfecto Martin, head of Kabesera group, called on the executives of the San Miguel Corporation (SMC), which is building the PHP735-billion New Manila International Airport in the coastal area, to put up a museum for the general as one of the company’s major contributions.

Martin asked the SMC to help in the historical preservation of the del Pilar’s birth place aside from environment, livelihood, security from floods and relocation concerns.

The young del Pilar is the nephew of Marcelo H. del Pilar who also came from this town. The latter’s shrine stands in his birth place in Sitio Cupang, Barangay San Nicolas.

Meanwhile, Fernando called on Bulakenyos especially the students to remember the gallantry of the young hero, who at the age of 20, joined the Philippine revolution against Spanish rule.

“He was the first military governor of the province after the country’s liberation on June 24, 1898. The Spaniards then turned over the province of Bulacan to Gen. del Pilar. The seat of power then was in this town being the then capital,” Fernando said.

The 304th Ready Reserve Infantry Battalion (IB) headed by Commander Lt. Col. Alberto Valenzuela, together with active personnel from 48th IB staged a 21-gun salute in honor of the young general. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

C. Luzon LGUs vow to implement ease of doing business law

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EASE OF DOING BUSINESS. Jay E. Timbreza (left), assistant regional director of the Department of the Interior and Local Government-Region 3 leads the induction of the newly-elected Central Luzon Association of Business Permit and Licensing Officers, Inc. (CLAB) officers during the 3rd Regional Convention of CLAB at Royce Hotel, Clark Freeport Zone on Wednesday (Nov. 13, 2019). The event aims to highlight the role of BPLOs and LEIPOs in the implementation of Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018. (Photo by DILG-Region 3)

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — Local government units (LGUs) in Central Luzon have pledged to fully implement Republic Act 11032 or the “Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018”.

The commitment was made during the 3rd Regional Convention of Central Luzon Business Permit and Licensing Officers (CLAB), Inc. held Wednesday at Royce Hotel, in Clark Freeport Zone.

Lawyer Marco Angelo E. Balleser, executive assistant to the director general of the Anti-Red Tape Authority, asked the CLAB, business permit and licensing officers (BPLOs), and the local economic and investment promotion officers (LEIPOs) of Central Luzon vowed to help the agency in strengthening the Anti-Red Tape Act and promote transparency and give no room for graft and corruption.

“Sumakay po tayo sa tren ng reporma. Pagbutihin at baguhin natin ang serbisyo na inihahatid sa publiko para sa mas masiglang komersyo (Let us ride into the train of reform. Let us do our best and change the services being delivered to the public for more vibrant business),” he said.

This year’s convention carried the theme “RA 11032: Reforming to Create an Enhanced Business Environment and Increased Investment Flows.”

The event was highlighted by the induction of the newly-elected CLAB officers.

CLAB organized the activity to become an avenue among LGUs to share experience, knowledge and expertise towards the promotion of economic development and growth in Central Luzon.

Joseph Garcia, CLAB president, and chief of San Fernando Business Permit and Licensing Division, also asked his fellow public servants to be steadfast in realizing RA 11032.

“Let us continue to provide quality public service and build confidence for the business sector. We can attract investors and increase economic growth thru excellent service delivery,” he said.

Garcia also shared the best practices of the City of San Fernando through the leadership of Mayor Edwin “EdSa” Santiago in delivering efficient and effective services to all Fernandinos.

He said this led to various awards and commendations the city had received, including the Most Business-Friendly Local Government Unit Hall of Fame. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

Van driver arrested for transport of illegal logs from Lanao del Sur

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CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—Police are preparing charges against a suspect caught transporting illegally-cut logs in Bukidnon.

Caught driving a van with at least 8,000 board feet of lauan logs was Albert Arendain, 32, of Kitaokitao town, Bukidnon.

Capt. Patrick Jess Paguirigan, Talakag municipal police chief, said Arendain was the van driver.

Police got a chance to make the arrest after the vehicle carrying the logs broke down. The logs were seized.

Paguiringan said Arendain is now being detained by police pending the filing of charges for violating the Forestry Reform Code.

Arendani, according to Paguiringan, had told investigators he was just hired to transport the logs from L…

Keep on reading: Van driver arrested for transport of illegal logs from Lanao del Sur

US defense chief Esper, who presided over operation to kill Al Baghdadi, visiting PH next week

in Latest News

MANILA, Philippines — US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper will be in town next week to sew back the decades-long alliance between the Philippines and United States in the face of China’s increasing aggression in the Asia Pacific region.

In a statement, the US Department of Defense said Esper would meet with Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to “advance the alliance” and “strengthen security cooperation to uphold international rules and norms.”

Esper was appointed by US President Donald Trump after the resignation of former general Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis. Esper rose to prominence recently after presiding over the US Delta Force operation to get Islamic State leader Al Bag…

Keep on reading: US defense chief Esper, who presided over operation to kill Al Baghdadi, visiting PH next week

SEAG gold medalist’s kid is Baguio's newest wushu sensation

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LIKE FATHER LIKE DAUGHTER. Jherisse Athena O. Calica performs during the Benjamin Magalong Baguio Olympics wushu tournament at the SPED gymnasium here Sunday (Nov. 10, 2019). The seven-year-old daughter of 2011 Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Jerome Calica won gold medal in the tournament. (Photo courtesy of Jearome Calica)

BAGUIO CITY — A seven-year-old daughter of a Southeast Asian Games champion is becoming the newest wushu sensation here after she won gold medal in the Mayor Benjamin Magalong Olympics tournament last November 10.

Despite being the youngest and smallest participant during the weekend games at the SPED gymnasium, Jherisse Athena O. Calica triumphed in San Lu Quan, in the form division of the Chinese martial arts.

The charming pupil from the University of Baguio-Laboratory Elementary School (UB-LES) bested older players in the tournament which was then dominated by World Wushu Championship silver medalist Faith Liana Andaya and Batang Pinoy triple gold medalist Breanna Aleca Dumseng.

Calica’s father, Jerome, was the gold winner (sanda 52 kg) in the 2001 SEA Games and was one of the four wushu players honored by the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) in the same year.

After winning SEA Games gold in sanda, the older Calica shifted to taolu, the finer side of wushu which she taught to her daughter.

“She started playing taolu when she was four years old. I taught her bit by bit,” said the proud father, who missed her daughter’s golden performance as he has to finish the final phase of his preparation for the 2019 SEA Games in Thailand.

“Kasla ay-ayam lang five to 10 minutes kasta (It was just like a play of five to 10 minutes). Seasonal,” he added in his message through Facebook to the Philippine News Agency.

He said Jherisse has actually used taolu for talent portions in school since “she was active in auditions for commercials and modeling then”.

Calica shared videos of his daughter to PNA to show how her daughter started with the sport when she performed in a Chinese New Year celebration in 2018 and 2019.

Then, she started training formally with him after that.

“Nag-regular training isuna kanyak idi summer this year dyay Manila (She started training regularly with me last summer in Manila),” he explained. But his family decided to stay in Baguio where she was enrolled at UB.

He said his daughter later started regular trainings with the Wushu Baguio at the Baguio athletic bowl under coaches Jake Massagan and two-time SEA Games bronze medalist Natasha Laxamana.

The future is bright for the young Calica and will likely follow in the footsteps of his father who, after 18 years, will compete again in the SEA Games as Muay Thai athlete. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

BOC broker rep nabbed for illicit deal at container terminal

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MANILA – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Thursday announced the arrest of a representative of a Bureau of Customs (BOC) broker from a freight forwarding company who allegedly made an under-the-table deal on Wednesday during a sting operation at the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT).

In a media release on Thursday, PCG spokesperson Capt. Armando Balilo said the PCG and BOC operatives caught the suspect inserting cash inside entry documents.

“The PCG-BOC joint entrapment team caught the suspect while inserting PHP240 worth of under-the-table cash inside the entry documents submitted to the Marine Import Division at the BOC,” Balilo said.

The suspect was immediately arrested and brought to the MICT’s Enforcement and Security Service for filing of appropriate charges.

The official said a report on the suspect’s personal information, booking sheet, and medico-legal was also prepared by the MICT.

Following the arrest, the suspect was brought by the PCG-BOC joint entrapment team to the Manila Regional Trial Court Thursday morning for inquest proceedings.

Balilo said the entrapment operation was made in response to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s directive to the PCG to support BOC in protecting the country’s borders, prevent smuggling — especially of illegal drugs — and eradicating corruption in the BOC. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

5 nabbed in raid of alleged drug den in Dagupan

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ALLEGED DRUG DEN. The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Ilocos regional office and the Dagupan City Police Station arrested five persons and seized 12 grams of suspected shabu in an alleged drug den at Barangay Bonuan Gueset, Dagupan City on Wednesday (Nov.13, 2019). The suspected shabu has an estimated market value of PHP81,600. (Photo by Ahikam Pasion)

DAGUPAN CITY — Joint anti-drug operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Ilocos regional office and the Dagupan City Police Station on Wednesday arrested five persons during a raid on an alleged drug den at Purok Pagkakaisa, Barangay Bonuan Gueset here.

PDEA-1 team leader Retchie Camacho said the suspect, Reynalyn Castro, was the subject of the operation.

“She was also the drug den maintainer. Her house has become a one-stop shop for illegal drugs as buyers will then be consuming illegal drugs in her house on-the-spot after purchasing,” Camacho said in an interview.

The suspect, who has been under surveillance for several months despite being a newly-identified drug personality, is considered a high value target, he said.

Operatives, Camacho said, entrapped the suspect in a buy-bust but the other suspects were also there.

Nabbed during the raid were Romelito Robles, Cesario Cuenca, Jeffrey Guerrero, and Fernando Tamayo.

The suspects are drug personalities under the plea bargain agreement, he added.

Authorities also recovered from the alleged drug den suspected shabu, cellular phone, a tricycle, and assorted drug paraphernalia, Camacho said.

“The confiscated suspected shabu costs PHP81,600 according to Dangerous Drugs Board price,” he said.

The suspects are now detained and will face charges for violation of Sections 5, 11, and 12 of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

Quake drill held at Philippine Arena in preparation for SEAG

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QUAKE DRILL. Personnel of the Bulacan Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, Bureau of Fire Protection and Bulacan Police Provincial Office hold an earthquake drill at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan on Thursday (Nov. 14, 2019). This is part of the 4th Quarter National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill and in preparation for the opening of the South East Asian Games on Nov. 30, 2019. (Photo courtesy of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office)

BOCAUE, Bulacan — An earthquake drill was held on Thursday at the Philippine Arena here as part of the 4th Quarter Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill and in preparation for the opening of the South East Asian Games (SEAG).

The SEAG opening ceremony will be staged at the Philippine Arena on Nov. 30 with delegations coming from 11 participating countries.

Some 11,000 athletes will compete in 55 sport disciplines to be held in 44 different venues in Metro Manila, Clark and Subic.

Lt. Col. Rizalino Andaya, Bocaue police chief, said the earthquake drill was participated in by the Bulacan Philippine National Police (PNP) in coordination with disaster risk reduction and management responders and personnel of the Bureau of Fire Protection with ambulances and fire trucks prepositioned in four evacuation areas at the arena’s parking area A, B, D and VIP.

During the scenario, police personnel acted as security details for the evacuation areas and its command post.

Andaya said no untoward incident was reported during the drill.

Mina Ancheta of the Provincial Public Affairs Office of Bulacan said the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council earlier sent a memorandum to its regional, provincial and municipal counterparts about the simultaneous earthquake drill.

Meanwhile, Bro. Martin Francisco of the Sagip Sierra Madre Environmental Society Inc., reiterated his call for the local government units of Bulacan to release to the public the location of the evacuation sites in case a dam-break scenario occurs during or after an earthquake.

He said based on the pronouncement of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), at least 10 villages in Bulacan are near the West Valley Fault Line.

Francisco identified these barangays as San Isidro, Ciudad Real and San Roque in the City of San Jose del Monte; San Lorenzo in Norzagaray town; and Camachin, Kabayunan, Sapang Bulak, Bayabas, Camachile and Pulong Sampalok in Doña Remedios Trinidad town.

He said these areas are geographically near Angat Dam. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

4 die of drowning, 1 missing in Pangasinan

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SAN CARLOS CITY, Pangasinan — Four individuals have been confirmed dead while one other is still missing due to drowning here on Wednesday.

Lt. Col. Garie Noel Pascua, chief of San Carlos City Police Station, identified the dead victims as Jaymark Zuñiga, 10; Jaypee John Lacaba, 12; Sheryl Tismo, 30; and Reymart Peralta, 11. 

Still missing is Dionisio Lacaba, 11.

The incident happened when the group decided to swim along the river in Barangay Salinap.

“Since it was a vacation (holiday) and there were no classes, the victims decided to take a dip. The victims, however, were swept away by strong currents, dragging them to the deep part of the river,” he said.

A bystander saw the incident and immediately called for help but to no avail, he added.

Pascua said the bodies of Zuñiga, Jaypee John Lacaba, and Tismo were recovered and rushed to a nearby hospital but were declared dead on arrival. Peralta’s body was found Thursday in Barangay Salomague, Bugallon.  

He added they are still searching for one missing individual.

“We are still searching for the body and we have already asked the Philippine Coast Guard to hasten the retrieval operations,” he said.

Nov. 13 is a special non-working holiday in Pangasinan in honor of the birthdate of the late Speaker Eugenio Perez. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

Senate inclines to realign P4.5 billion NGP budget to bamboo planting projects

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Published November 14, 2019, 8:37 PM

By Vanne Elaine Terrazola

The Senate is mulling on realigning the P4.5-billion appropriation for next year’s National Greening Program (NGP) to projects increasing bamboo trees in the country.

Senate of the Philippines (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

At least two senators favored on Thursday the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) proposal to increase funds for bamboo-planting programs to rehabilitate denuded forest areas in the Philippines, as well as to fill in for the country’s lumber demand.

At the Senate’s plenary debates on the P26.09-billion proposed DENR budget for 2020 Thursday afternoon, Senator Panfilo Lacson questioned the effectiveness of the government’s forest rehabilitation program, saying that he does not see its output despite annually receiving funds from Congress.

Under the

Read More Senate inclines to realign P4.5 billion NGP budget to bamboo planting projects

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Sen. Marcos tells DTI to strictly implement the SRP policy, impose sanctions on violators

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Published November 14, 2019, 8:29 PM

By Hannah Torregoza

Senator Josefa Imelda “Imee” Marcos on Thursday urged the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to strictly implement the Suggested Retail Price (SRP) of basic necessities and prime commodities especially now that consumers expect prices to increase during the Christmas season.

Senator Imee Marcos (Senator Imee Marcos Official Facebook Page / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Marcos noted that the DTI has been lax in calling out merchandisers and other business owners who have been found violating the country’s trade laws by overpricing goods and basic services.

“Talagang nagtataasan ang presyo kahit ano pang sabihin nilang SRP, eh wala pa akong naririnig na napaparusahan sa SRP (Prices of all goods are really shooting up even though there

Read More Sen. Marcos tells DTI to strictly implement the SRP policy, impose sanctions on violators

Photo Credit: Manila Bulletin

Digos cops clueless on fatal shooting of traffic office worker near police, Army outposts

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DIGOS CITY—Police are still in the dark on the killing on Wednesday, Nov. 13, of a female employee of the Traffic Management Center (TMC) here which took place just a few meters from police and military outposts.

Col. Ernesto Castillo, Digos police chief, said so far what the police know only was that victim Angelica Lazaga, 23, TMC office staffer and resident of Sulop town, Davao del Sur, was gunned down just a few meters from the Satellite Bus Terminal at the village of Aplaya and where a police outpost and command post of soldiers also stood.

Lazaga suffered bullet wounds in the chest and neck that led to her death.

According to police, Lazaga was having lunch with a female…

Keep on reading: Digos cops clueless on fatal shooting of traffic office worker near police, Army outposts

Sen. Leila de Lima wants compassionate parole for terminally-ill inmates

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Published November 14, 2019, 8:15 PM

By Hannah Torregoza

Detained Senator Leila de Lima on Thursday renewed her call for Congress to pass the measure granting “compassionate parole” or medical parole to terminally-ill inmates of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) based on humanitarian grounds.


De Lima, who is currently incarcerated at the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Camp Crame, made the call following recent reports of 29 NBP inmates who died inside the national penitentiary in 17 days.

“While it is admitted that we need to improve our healthcare services, including those in our jails and correctional facilities, we can also look into the policy of granting medical parole to those who truly

Read More Sen. Leila de Lima wants compassionate parole for terminally-ill inmates

Photo Credit: Manila Bulletin

Authorities hold simulation for worst-case scenario on SEA Games

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MANILA, Philippines — Medical teams are all set for the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games following the holding of a simulation to prepare for worst-case scenarios, police said Thursday.

During a dry-run, Lt. Col. Ruby Diangson, a responder for SEA games, said medical teams are deployed in case of accidents for convoys that would escort athletes, technical officials and spectators going to the Philippine Arena and other venues.

Earlier, authorities simulated an incident where a bus driver had a heart attack and responders have to transfer

“Meron tayong mga staging areas na dineploy [We have staging areas that would be deployed] ng emergency preparedness and re…

Keep on reading: Authorities hold simulation for worst-case scenario on SEA Games

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