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North Korea poised to test submarine-launched ballistic missile—think tank

in Latest News

SEOUL — North Korea appears to be weighing the timing to test a submarine-launched ballistic missile as part of the aggression it threatened to stage last month, a think tank that is part of Seoul’s Defense Ministry said Wednesday.

“With an SLBM launch, Pyongyang could deliver strongest shockwaves it intends to the international community, while shunning the risk of being seen as defying the UN Security Council resolutions,” the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses said in a report.

The resolutions denouncing the North’s weapons of mass destruction program so far have not specifically touched on SLBMs, it explained.

The North would rely on a method attractive enough to lur…

Keep on reading: North Korea poised to test submarine-launched ballistic missile—think tank

Farmer finds broken ATM at bottom of pond

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A farmer has found a broken ATM at the bottom of his pond while doing maintenance work on his land in Nebraska in the United States.
Wynn Hall found the machine on July 3 while draining the pond to clean it, as per CBS-affiliate KOLN last Monday, July 6. He uses the pond to pump water out of his fields.
Hall then noted that the machine was located at the deepest part of the pond, prompting him to wonder how it got there. He also explained that he initially thought it was a refrigerator or another household appliance.
He eventually realized it was an ATM after zooming in on it and snapping a photo. According to the report, pictures of the machine showed that it was broken apart and e…

Keep on reading: Farmer finds broken ATM at bottom of pond

Trump says open to third summit with Kim—report

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SEOUL — US President Donald Trump said he is open for another summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, despite the North repeatedly denying any interest in it.

In a media interview on Tuesday (Washington time), Trump said: “I understand they want to meet and we would certainly do that.

“I would do it if I thought it was going to be helpful,” he was quoted as saying in a multiple US media outlets.

The comment came as his top envoy on North Korean affairs, US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun, reiterated in Seoul Washington’s resolve to restart dialogue with the communist regime.

“When Chairman Kim (Jong-un) appoints a counterpart to me, who is prepared and emp…

Keep on reading: Trump says open to third summit with Kim—report

Navy, IT firm ink pact to boost reserve units' cyber capability

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BOOSTING CYBER CAPABILITY. Navy flag-officer-in-command, Vice Adm. Giovanni Carlo Bacordo (right), and Synetcom Philippines Inc. president and CEO Dennis Luyahan (left), sign a memorandum of agreement (MOA) in a ceremony at the Navy headquarters in Manila on Wednesday (July 8, 2020). Under the agreement, the IT firm will assist the Navy’s reserve units in boosting its cyber capability. (Photo courtesy of Naval Public Affairs Office)

MANILA – The Philippine Navy (PN) and an information technology (IT) firm on Wednesday signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) aimed at boosting the cyber-capability of the Philippine Navy Affiliated Reserve Units (PNARUs).

Navy chief, Vice Adm. Giovanni Carlo Bacordo, and Synetcom Philippines Inc. (SPI) president and chief executive officer Dennis Luyahan signed the MOA in the presence of key officials from both entities at the PN headquarters, Naval Station Jose Andrada, Roxas Boulevard, Manila.

In a statement, Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas, PN public affairs office chief, said the MOA will be eventually endorsed for the approval of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

Bacordo, meanwhile, called the MOA with SPI “very timely”.

“The Navy has been developing and improving our Reservist Utilization Plan in the Conflict Continuum, something I think is very relevant as we increase our operational readiness during peace time and our warfighting readiness during crisis,” he added.

He also lauded SPI for volunteering in military service “without expecting anything in return” and described it as “a true act of service.”

SPI is a privately owned company engaged in the distribution of IT products and several information and communications technology (ICT) systems, which provide technical expertise and design other solutions that can complement in developing a robust cyber-capability.

With its technical expertise on information and communications technology, SPI will be a significant addition to the current efforts of the PN in building up its cyber-warfare capability. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

Galvez cites strategies for 2nd phase of gov't plan vs. Covid-19

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Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr. and National Task Force (NTF) on Covid-19 chief implementer. (file photo)

MANILA – National Task Force (NTF) Covid-19 chief implementer Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. cited public participation and strengthening the capacity of national and local governments to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) as the government implements the second phase of the National Action Plan (NAP) against the disease.

Galvez, also the presidential peace adviser, said the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Covid-19 has approved Thursday the three imperatives of the NAP, which include compliance of the public, unity of efforts, and the capacity of the national government and local governments units (LGUs) to manage the health crisis in the country.

The first imperative, he said, is the people’s compliance and vigilance to the minimum health standard.

“One of the major imperatives of the NAP is the changing people’s mindset that the success of our campaign is basically anchored on the people’s support and active participation and vigilance to strictly observe and promote the minimum health standards and disease prevention,” Galvez said during President Rodrigo Duterte’s public address aired early morning Wednesday.

He said public support and participation are essential to the government efforts and preventive measures to contain the dreaded Covid-19.

“We have to concentrate on prevention since prevention will not only save more lives but (will) also save our critical resources. Hindi na tayo sir kailangan magkaroon ng extensive na healthcare once na we have been able to prevent it (We no longer need to put up extensive healthcare, sir, once we are able to prevent it),” he said.

Galvez also cited the importance of blended efforts and unity between the national government and the local leaders to contain local transmission and further spread of the disease.

“We have seen that (in) the areas with the unity of command and unity of effort, we were able to manage and contain the spread of Covid-19,” said Galvez, noting that the National Capital Region (NCR), Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Ilocos Region (Region I), Cagayan Valley (Region 2), Davao City in Davao Region (Region 11), and Caraga (Region 13) are the areas which were able to manage the Covid-19 in their communities.

“Unity of effort and collective leadership are key to our success. Our local leaders should be with us together with the private sector. So iyon po ang kailangan po natin (that’s what we need)”, he added.

Galvez also cited the need of the national government and the LGUs to address and manage Covid-19 cases to reduce the number of fatality rates and minimize deaths in the country.

Galvez reported that an average of 11 deaths have been recorded from June 1 to 30, while an average of six deaths from July 1 to 6.

If we address the rate of death, we can open our economy. Iyon po ang pinaka-ultimate objective po natin (It is our ultimate objective) that we have to manage death like the other countries like Vietnam and also Israel that (they) were able to address death,” he said. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

Antique villages urged to establish quarantine facilities

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FIGHT VS COVID-19. Antique Governor Rhodora Cadiao urges barangay chairpersons to assist the provincial government by putting up their own barangay isolation facilities for locally stranded individuals (LSIs) and repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), during their meeting at the Binirayan Gymnasium in San Jose de Buenavista on Tuesday (July 7, 2020). To date, 1,407 returning LSIs and repatriated OFWs in the province are under quarantine. (PNA photo by Annabel Consuelo J. Petinglay)

(For posting-PSS7)

Antique villages urged to establish quarantine facilities

SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique – Barangays in this province were urged to establish their own quarantine facilities to help municipal governments accommodate returning residents.

Antique Governor Rhodora Cadiao made the call through the 18 Liga ng mga Barangay presidents on Tuesday, hoping that all chairmen of their 590 villages will continue to assist the provincial government by establishing local isolation facilities.

“It would still take time (before) we could have the vaccine against Covid-19 and that we still have locally stranded individuals (LSIs) coming home from other places. So it would be best that there will be barangay isolation facilities for them,” she said during their meeting held at the Binirayan gymnasium here.

The barangay isolation facilities will serve as quarantine areas for LSIs and overseas Filipino workers for 14 days.

Currently, all isolation facilities of the province’s 18 towns are owned by the Department of Education (DepEd). LGUs are only allowed the use of schools as isolation facilities until July 15.

In preparation, other towns have converted their municipal gym or municipal-owned buildings as isolation centers.

The town of Laua-an will make use of the unoccupied housing project of the National Housing Authority (NHA) as an isolation center.

The barangay isolation facilities will cater to their LSIs and OFWs who could no longer be accommodated at the municipal government’s isolation facilities.

Deo Cortejo, who represented the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Antique provincial office during the meeting, said the role of barangay captains is not only to establish isolation facilities but to manage it with the help of their Barangay Health Emergency Response Team (BHERT).

“The BHERT will have to monitor twice every day the body temperature of the person under quarantine,” he said, adding that early detection of Covid-19 signs and symptoms is important.

Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) information officer Irene Dulduco, in a follow-up interview on Wednesday, said Antique has 553 repatriated OFWs; 1,134 LSIs from Manila, and 868 sugar migrants from Negros Occidental.

Dulduco said that 1,407 of these returning residents are under quarantine while 615 are in school isolation facilities.

As of Tuesday, Antique has 18 Covid-19 recoveries, two active cases, and no death. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

DFA reports 74 new COVID-19 cases among Filipinos abroad; 13 deaths in Middle East

in Latest News

MANILA, Philippines — The total number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases among overseas Filipinos climbed to 8,762 after the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported 74 new infections on Wednesday.

According to the DFA, the majority of the new cases were reported in the Middle East.

Of the total number of cases, the DFA said 2,935 remain under treatment while 5,237 patients have recovered or been discharged from the hospital, including 19 new recoveries in Asia and the Pacific region, Europe, and Middle East.

The DFA also recorded 13 new fatalities in the Middle East, bringing the death toll to 59.

“With the resumption of international flight operations at NAIA Te…

Keep on reading: DFA reports 74 new COVID-19 cases among Filipinos abroad; 13 deaths in Middle East

Economic team sees signs of recovery

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ECONOMIC and finance officials on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, said the Philippines is starting to recover from what they described as the “toughest economic crisis” to hit the nation.

However, second quarter gross domestic product (GDP) performance is still expected to be worse than the first quarter, considering that the economy was almost at a standstill during the implementation of complete lockdowns in key cities across the country in April and May.

Philippine GDP, or the sum of goods and services produced in the country, fell by 0.2 percent in the first quarter, the first contraction since the 1998 Asian financial crisis.

In a virtual forum ahead of President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) on July 27, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said in his presentation that “signs of recovery are emerging”.

He cited Bureau of Customs (BoC) revenues that surpassed the collection target for June and an uptick in manufacturing output.

“Despite the effects of Covid-19 on the overall trading environment, the BoC was able to surpass last month’s collection target by 4.4 percent,” he said. The Covid-19, or coronavirus disease 2019, pandemic has caused a global economic slump.

Department of Finance (DOF) Assistant Secretary Antonio Lambino II, , in a press conference following the forum, said the BoC collected P42.54 billion in June, exceeding by 4.4 percent the P40.74-billion target for the month.

Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua, in the same press conference, agreed that the monthly data that they have been collating were starting to show improvements.

Aside from the increase in BoC collection, the production manufacturing index also improved to “more normal territories in June”.

Chua said the economy still contracted in May, but there was an improvement from the “deepest contraction in April”.

“All of this are being factored. We are also seeing a significant part of the economy actually loosening up from the quarantine,” he said.

“These are, I think, important elements to suggest that the economy is starting to recover,” he added.

How fast the economy will rebound to positive territory is dependent on the implementation of a recovery program and the citizenry’s cooperation in maintaining the minimum health standards, Chua said.

Dominguez also cited the manufacturing uptick in his presentation.

He noted that overall manufacturing capacity utilization increased to 73.4 percent in May compared to 71.2 percent in April.

Dominguez said government initiatives such as providing loans for start-up businesses may help the country cope with the effects of the Covid-19 crisis.

He reported that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Small Business Corporation (SB Corp.) provided P1 billion to businesses affected by the lockdown.

As of July 6, loans that totalled to P14.2 million have already been released to 183 borrowers.

“Health and livelihood is not a binary choice. We must protect lives in ways that do not prevent us from earning a living,” he said.

Overall revenue collections in the first half of 2020, however, declined by 16 percent to 1.2 trillion.

“Given the economic situation, we expect to collect significantly less taxes than we projected to raise at the start of the year,” Dominguez said.

“Our debt deficit to GDP (gross domestic product) ratio will likely more than double as tax collections drop even as the government spends more to beef up our healthcare system and to provide relief to families, workers and other sectors hardest hit by the Covid pandemic,” he added.

President Rodrigo Duterte placed Metro Manila under community quarantine on March 15.

Two days later, the quarantine was expanded to include the entire Luzon and escalated to an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), which suspended all public transport systems, shut down businesses except the essential establishments and required most of the population to stay at home. More than half of the Philippine population is in Luzon.

The lockdown caused unemployment to spike to 17.7 percent, but also allowed the government to buy time to expand testing capacity, acquire more personal protective equipment (PPE) and boost health system capacity to treat Covid-19 patients.

Citing estimates by the University of the Philippines Covid-19 Pandemic Response Team and the epidemiological models of the Fassster Project, Dominguez said the lockdowns prevented 1.3 to 3.5 million infections as of June 27.

Restrictions were eased in June, with Metro Manila shifting to a general community quarantine (GCQ), allowing public transport to gradually resume operations at a limited capacity and some non-essential businesses to reopen also at a limited capacity.

As of Wednesday, Chua said about 75 percent of the economy has reopened while 50 to 60 percent of public transport has resumed.

The economic team is pushing for the further reopening of three regional economies that contribute up to 70 percent of GDP. These are Metro Manila (or National Capital Region), Calabarzon and Central Luzon.

President Duterte, however, is not keen on fully opening the economy yet. (Marites Villamor-Ilano and Jove Moya/SunStar Philippines)

Man in stolen car crashes into woman also in stolen car; both arrested

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A man who was fleeing from the police using a stolen car crashed into a woman, who turned out to also be driving a stolen car in Oregon, United States. They both got arrested.

Police got into a car chase with 27-year-old Randy Lee Cooper last Sunday, July 6 in the city of Newberg, as per Fox-affiliate KPTV on the same day.

Authorities said they were able to locate the car thief, right after he was reported stealing a Toyota Land Cruiser, because he went through town.

In an attempt to escape, Cooper raced to downtown Newberg only to crash into another stolen vehicle, then occupied by 25-year-old Kristin Nicole Begue.

An intoxicated Begue was occupying a Buick Regal, which …

Keep on reading: Man in stolen car crashes into woman also in stolen car; both arrested

Brazil to become testing ground for coronavirus vaccine

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Brazil may be struggling in its battle against the coronavirus, but it is on the cutting edge of vaccine development with large-scale trials and the production of millions of doses on the horizon.

COVID-19 is spreading rapidly across the Latin American nation — a situation underlined when President Jair Bolsonaro tested positive on Tuesday — creating the necessary conditions for testing a vaccine’s efficiency.

Brazil, which is the primary global producer for yellow fever vaccines, is renowned for its expertise in vaccines, which it produces on a large scale in public institutes.

The leaders for two of the most advanced vaccine projects — one from Oxford University, in par…

Keep on reading: Brazil to become testing ground for coronavirus vaccine

Russia tells US to ‘mind own business’ over media freedom

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MOSCOW, Russia — Moscow has angrily told the US embassy to “mind your own business” after Washington’s diplomatic mission raised concern about curbs on media freedom in Russia.

Rebecca Ross, the spokeswoman for the US embassy, on Tuesday expressed concern about a clampdown on journalists in Russia.

“Watching arrest after arrest of Russian journalists — it’s starting to look like a concerted campaign against #MediaFreedom,” she tweeted.

“Mind your own business,” the Russian foreign ministry tweeted late Tuesday.

Earlier that day the FSB security agency, the successor to the Soviet-era KGB, arrested a respected former journalist, Ivan Safronov, 30, on suspicion of state …

Keep on reading: Russia tells US to ‘mind own business’ over media freedom

PCCI to give award to fallen medical front-liners due to Covid-19

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MANILA – Medical health workers who died of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) while performing their duties will be conferred with posthumous awards by the country’s largest business organization, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI).

In a statement Wednesday, the conferment of the posthumous award to fallen medical professionals while fighting the Covid-19 pandemic is part of the Gawad Bayaning Kalusugan initiated by PCCI, Association of Allied Health Organizations of the Nation (AAHON) and the Health Educationalist, Advocates and Leaders Philippines (HEAL Phils).

“We continue the war against Covid-19 but we also take time to express our gratitude to our front-liners who risk their lives to save others. This is an honor for the business community to be able to support in our own small way in honor of our front-liners,” PCCI President Benedicto Yujuico said.

Gawad Bayaning Kalusugan pays tribute to healthcare professionals and front-liners in charge of the management of Covid-19 patients.

There will be two categories for the award — individual awards and team awards. It will also be across the country, picking awardees from Luzon, Visayas-Mindanao; and the National Capital Region; and across the Covid-19 admitting hospitals with categories Level 1, 2, and 3.

“Individual and team winners will receive PHP50,000 each and a custom-designed trophy by Papal-awarded Ecclesiastical Artist Willy Layug,” PCCI said.

The awarding ceremony will be on November 26, 2020 during the 46th Philippine Business Conference and Expo. 

As of July 2, Department of Health data show that 3,422 health workers were infected by Covid-19. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

Remains of 44 OFWs from Saudi Arabia to arrive on July 10

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Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III. (File photo)

MANILA – The first batch of the remains of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to be repatriated from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is set to arrive on Friday, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) announced on Wednesday.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the schedule of the arrival of the bodies of Filipino workers will be at 9:15 a.m. of July 10.

“We are bringing home 44 OFWs, 19 of which died of Covid-19 while the rest died of natural causes,” Bello said in a virtual press conference.

Bello said while they would like to repatriate more OFWs’ remains, the charter flight can only accommodate a limited number of bodies.

“The Philippine Airlines (PAL) charter flight can only accommodate 44 bodies the repatriation is continuing until we bring them all home,” he added.

A total of 274 bodies of deceased OFWs are awaiting repatriation to the Philippines.

“We will see to it that we will bring them home because they deserve to be buried in their homeland after all they are our modern-day heroes,” he said.

Meanwhile, another batch consisting of 44 bodies will arrive early next week.

“Actually, they will leave on Sunday and will arrive here on Monday,” Bello said.

He added that they have coordinated with 15 crematoriums where the remains will be brought as soon as these arrive in the country.

Last week, Riyadh has extended the deadline for Manila to repatriate the remains of the OFWs, otherwise, they will be buried in the kingdom. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

ECQ imposed in mining firm premises in Surigao Norte

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RAPID TEST.  Some 114 employees of Taganito HPAL Nickel Corporation in Claver, Surigao del Norte underwent Rapid Antibody Test on Wednesday (July 8, 2020) where all tested negative. The border of the mining company is placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) on July 8 until July 21 after eight of its workers, particularly at the Nikkeru Plant Maintenance Solution, Inc. (NPMSI) were tested positive for Covid-19. (Photo grabbed from the municipality of Claver Facebook page

BUTUAN CITY – The local government unit (LGU) of Claver in the province of Surigao del Norte has imposed a 14-day Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) on the premises of a mining company following the confirmation of positive cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) among personnel of the firm.

In an Executive Order (EO) issued on Monday (July 6), Claver town Mayor Georgia Gokiangkee said the ECQ at the site of Nikkeru Plant Maintenance Solution, Inc. (NPMSI) of the Taganito HPAL Nickel Corporation takes effect starting Wednesday (July 8) until July 21, 2020.

Last June 22, the Department of Health in the Caraga Region (DOH-13) confirmed eight Covid-19 positive cases among the workers at the NPMSI.

“Intensified contract tracing was done by a THPAL physician in coordination with LGU-Claver on June 24 and initial Rapid Antibody Testing was likewise performed to persons with close contacts with the eight confirmed cases,” Gokiangkee said in the Order.

Gokiangkee added that the decision to put the THPAL under ECQ is contained in an agreement between the LGU and the company, stating that the borders of THPAL will be closed during the 14-day period allowing only skeletal workforce in order not to hamper the operations of the company.

During the period, disinfection will be conducted in all areas inside the compound of the mining firm, including its barracks in Barangay Hayanggabon.

Contact tracing will also continue during the period to be conducted by the company and the LGU of Claver.

The skeletal workforce, while under the 14-day ECQ, shall observe the minimum protocol standards such as the wearing of facemask and the observance of physical distancing.

The order said mass gathering inside the premises of the mining firm is strictly prohibited.

“No minor, senior citizens, pregnant women, sick and immunocompromised within the area can go out of from their temporary quarantine facility or dwelling except to go to the hospital, medical or allied medical institutions,” Gokiangkee said.

She added that transit to and from THPAL or anywhere within the area covered by the ECQ shall be regulated.

The Order also said that THPAL shall formulate its in-house policy on travels within its premises in close coordination with LGU-Claver.

On Wednesday, a total of 114 employees of THPAL have undergone mandatory rapid tests where all turned negative.

As of July 7, the province of Surigao del Norte has 58 confirmed Covid-19 cases, including the eight cases in Surigao City. (PNA)  

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

Stocks recover, peso ends sideways vs. USD

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MANILA – The Philippine main equities index regained its footing Wednesday while the peso ended sideways against the US dollar as investors continue to be wary of the rising coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) worldwide.

After a two-day slide, the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose by 0.29 percent, or 18.10 points, to 6,285.50 points.

All Shares also ended on a positive note after rising by 0.16 percent, or 5.92 points, to 3,683.75 points.

However, most of the sectoral gauges slipped except for Holding Firms, which rose by 1.20 percent, and Services, 0.67 percent.

Mining and Oil posted the highest drop with 1.17 percent and was trailed by Industrial, 1.00 percent; Property, 0.74 percent; and Financials, 0.39 percent.

Volume totaled 2.4 billion shares amounting to PHP8.7 billion.

Losers surpassed gainers at 106 to 82, while 44 shares were unchanged.

“Investor traded most of the session on the red before bargain hunters picked up some key index names as investors grew wary of the economic, public health, and policy responses to the coronavirus pandemic,” Luis Limlingan, Regina Capital Development Corporation head of sales, said.

Limlingan said appetite for equities weakened initially due to the White House’s stand that the next round of stimulus package will amount to only USD1 trillion or less.

He added Federal Reserve’s officials’ statement that the rising cases of infection bring additional challenges further disadvantaged trading for the day.

Meanwhile, the peso ended the day at 49.47 to a US dollar from 49.54 a day ago.

It opened the day weaker at 49.54 from 49.35 Tuesday.

It traded between 49.63 and 49.46, bringing the day’s average to 49.55.

Volume totaled to USD760.73 million, lower than the USD1.1 billion a day ago. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

Fire hits UPLB DTRI building

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SAN PEDRO CITY —- Fire hit a building inside the University of the Philippines Los Baos (UPLB) campus in Laguna on Wednesday afternoon.

Initial reports from UPLB employees said the fire hit the Dairy Training and Research Institute (DTRI) building and possibly damaged a laboratory inside.

The DTRI is a popular institution on the campus, especially for its processed products like fresh milk and cheese.

In a phone interview, Fire Officer 1 Jinkee Rabang of the Los Baos fire station said the fire started around 3 p.m. and reached a second alarm before it was put “under control” past 4 pm.

The university public relations office has yet to release details, with the fire still on…

Keep on reading: Fire hits UPLB DTRI building

DILG orders 5 Cebu City village chiefs, council members to explain constituents’ quarantine violations

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CEBU CITY —- The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has ordered five village chiefs here and their respective council members to explain why they should not be charged for allegedly failing to stop some of their constituents from violating certain quarantine measures.

DILG-7 Director Leocadio Trovela said the concerned barangay officials have 48 hours from receipt of the order to respond.

Among those ordered to explain were captains Catalina Cabardo of Barangay Basak Pardo, Harry Eran of Cogon Pardo, Lourdes Ramirez of Sto. Nio, Clifford Jude Nial of San Nicolas Proper, and Michael Gacasan of Guadalupe.

The show-cause orders were served by the DILG-7 legal team…

Keep on reading: DILG orders 5 Cebu City village chiefs, council members to explain constituents’ quarantine violations

Duterte’s comms team prodded to study ‘effectiveness’ of late-night address

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MANILA, Philippines — Senator Nancy Binay on Wednesday said President Rodrigo Duterte’s communications team could look for ways to review the effectiveness of his taped late-night messages and improve its delivery.

“Baka kailangan nilang pag-aralan or review-hin kung nagiging effective ba itong current way na ginagawa ni Presidente. I think they have all the tools to check kung effective ba at kung ano ‘yung dapat i-improve pagdating dito sa taped messages ni Presidente,” Binay told reporters in an online media interview.

(Maybe they need to study or review if the current way the President is addressing the people is effective. I think they have all the tools to check if it’s eff…

Keep on reading: Duterte’s comms team prodded to study ‘effectiveness’ of late-night address

2 areas in San Juan placed under ECQ due to number of COVID-19 cases

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MANILA, Philippines — Two areas in San Juan City were placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) due to the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases, the local government said Wednesday.

In a statement, the local government of San Juan said that portions of C. Santos Street in Barangay Balong Bato and J. Eustaquio Street in Barangay Progresso were declared as critical zones and were placed under ECQ from July 7 to July 22.

According to the LGU, C. Santos Street in Barangay Balong Bato has seven positive COVID-19 patients, while J. Eustaquio Street in Barangay Progresso has six positive COVID-19 individuals.

“We want to make sure we contain the virus a…

Keep on reading: 2 areas in San Juan placed under ECQ due to number of COVID-19 cases

Magalong says no breach of health protocols in Baguio visit of Piolo Pascual, Joyce Bernal

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BAGUIO CITY —- Mayor Benjamin Magalong on Wednesday said no health protocols were breached when the team of actor Piolo Pascual and film director Joyce Bernal visited the city recently.

In a statement, Magalong said Pascual, Bernal, and their crew were not given special treatment as the team was “made to wait in line and had to follow all the protocols set in place.”

The group tried to shoot video materials for the State of the Nation Address of President Duterte but were denied entry into Sagada town in Mountain Province on Sunday and Banaue town in Ifugao on Monday.

But Bernal and her companions were allowed to briefly visit the Kiangan National Shrine, also in Ifugao. The g…

Keep on reading: Magalong says no breach of health protocols in Baguio visit of Piolo Pascual, Joyce Bernal

Here’s why Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil would like to meet Cong. Rodante Marcoleta and his wife

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You might be wondering why reel and real life couple Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil are looking forward to meeting congressman Rodante Marcoleta and his wife.

The couple must have learned of when Cong. Marcoleta admitted that his wife is an avid viewer of their now-defunct TV series “Make It With You”. Cong. Marcoleta’s admission came last Monday during the hearing for the ABS-CBN franchise.

“Hi congressman Marcoleta,” Soberano initially greeted in a short video uploaded by her manager Ogie Diaz today, July 8, in his official Facebook account. The video has also been shared by the official ABS-CBN News Twitter account.

“Hello po. Magandang araw po sa inyo congressman. Gusto lang …

Keep on reading: Here’s why Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil would like to meet Cong. Rodante Marcoleta and his wife

German prosecutors close probe of 1980 Oktoberfest bombing

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BERLIN — German prosecutors said Wednesday that they have closed their investigation into a deadly far-right attack on Munich’s Oktoberfest in 1980, more than five years after they revived the probe in hopes that new testimony might point to previously unknown co-conspirators.


Thirteen people were killed, including three children, and more than 200 wounded when a bomb exploded at the Oktoberfest on the evening of Sept. 26, 1980. The dead included the attacker, student Gundolf Koehler, a supporter of a banned far-right group.


The investigation was closed in 1982. But in December 2014, the federal prosecutor’s office said it was…

Keep on reading: German prosecutors close probe of 1980 Oktoberfest bombing

Law professor of Duterte dies in Bohol

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TAGBILARAN CITY —- A bar topnotcher and law professor of President Duterte passed away here on Wednesday, July 8.

Victor De La Serna died at the Holy Name University Medical Center in Tagbilaran City at 3:55 a.m.

He was 78.

His family did not reveal the cause of death but a close family friend said the veteran lawyer died of cardiac arrest.

De La Serna graduated from the San Beda University’s College of Law in 1965 and ranked first in the Bar Examinations in the same year, making him Bohol’s first Bar topnotcher.

He became a law professor at San Beda College and was one of the admired professors of President Duterte.

Dela Serna also served as a delegate to the 197…

Keep on reading: Law professor of Duterte dies in Bohol

Let’s go all-out digital, DILG urges LGUs

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MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday encouraged local government units to use online platforms in government and business transactions to reduce transmission of the coronavirus disease.

“The millions working from home, the students looking forward to on-line learning, and the workers who depend on the digital economy are all expecting the government to address the gaps in our internet infrastructure. We, therefore, encourage all LGUs to beef up their digital platforms in their communities as we move towards the new normal,” Interior Secretary Eduardo Ao said in a statement.

Ao also asked LGUs to start partnerships…

Keep on reading: Let’s go all-out digital, DILG urges LGUs

2 proponents in talks with gov’t on NAIA rehab project, says Dominguez

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MANILA, Philippines — Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III on Wednesday bared that the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is in talks with two proponents to possibly replace the consortium to upgrade the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

“I got a copy of the letter of the NAIA consortium saying the current economic situation is such that they are not confident they can finance the project, that they cannot together push through with it,” Dominguez said in a pre-State of the Nation Address forum.

“However, let me say, I understand the DOTr under Secretary [Arthur] Tugade as well as Vince Dizon who heads the infrastructure projects are in conversation with two more pote…

Keep on reading: 2 proponents in talks with gov’t on NAIA rehab project, says Dominguez

Bicol IATF to enforce stricter protocols on returning LSIs

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Google map of Bicol Region

LEGAZPI CITY – The Bicol Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) will impose more stringent protocols on receiving returning locally stranded individuals (LSI) due to an increase in confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

On Tuesday, the Department of Health (DOH) in Bicol recorded 24 new cases of Covid-19, the highest number logged in a single day.

Several of those who tested positive were LSIs and passengers of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) Bicol Express special train tapped for the government’s “Hatid Tulong” program.

The PNR’s train trips have accommodated some 373 Bicolanos in three batches, according to the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) regional office.

Amber Mirandilla, PMS-Bicol acting regional director, said of the total number of train passengers that arrived, 32 tested positive for coronavirus.

Mirandilla said before the LSIs were allowed to board the train at the PNR Tutuban terminal, they underwent rapid diagnostic test (RDT) while the train coaches were disinfected.

She said all LSIs also underwent another RDT upon their arrival at their respective drop-off points but some of them were found positive of Covid-19.

Before the LSIs are allowed to return home, they are still required to undergo screening and quarantine by the receiving local government units.

The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases recorded in Bicol Region is now 190.

The “Hatid Tulong” program is a joint undertaking of the PMS, PNR, Office of Civil Defense and the national government. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

San Carlos City records 5th Covid-19 case

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SAN CARLOS CITY, Pangasinan – A 22-year-old male resident of Barangay San Juan here is the city’s fifth coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) case. 

In a statement on Tuesday, the City Information Office said the patient traveled to Metro Manila and had close contact with his board mate who was Covid-19-positive.

Before arriving in his residence here, he went through reverse transcription – polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing wherein the result came back positive on July 7.

“After he was swab tested, he immediately went home on board his motorcycle and went straight to the Pangasinan Provincial Hospital where he was immediately admitted and isolated on July 4,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, city officials are investigating reports that the patient allegedly returned to the city before July 4.

“Details of the findings and resolve would be posted immediately once it is consolidated and verified,” it said.

A contact tracing team was quickly dispatched by the city government upon receiving information that the patient was positive for Covid-19.

All individuals who will be identified to have had direct exposure or close contact with the patient are required to undergo strict home quarantine and will also be scheduled for RT-PCR testing to be administered by the Provincial Health Office.

Meanwhile, all other four Covid-19 confirmed cases in San Carlos City have recovered. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

Zamora extends closure of San Juan market as more workers got COVID-19

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MANILA, Philippines — San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora announced on Wednesday that the temporary closure of the Agora Market is extended to July 15 after it was found that more vendors and workers have tested positive for the coronavirus.

In a statement, Zamora said that the temporary closure of the market is extended until July 15, after 23 of the 614 results from swab tests of market vendors and workers came out positive for SARS-COV-2.

Those who tested positive, Zamora said, are all asymptomatic and are currently being isolated while getting medical treatment.

The close contacts of those who tested positive have also been tested and are in quarantine, t…

Keep on reading: Zamora extends closure of San Juan market as more workers got COVID-19

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