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Duterte, Moon Jae-in to sign several agreements in Busan meeting

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Published November 19, 2019, 6:26 PM

By Genalyn Kabiling

The Philippines and South Korea are expected to forge cooperative agreements on education, fisheries, social security and tourism next week, according to South Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Han Dong-man.

The agreements seeking to enhance bilateral relations will be sealed following the meeting between President Duterte and South Korean President Moon Jae-in on the sidelines of a regional summit, the ambassador said.

President Rodrigo Duterte, left, speaks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in  (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon. Pool / MB FILE PHOTO)

President Duterte is expected to visit Busan, South Korea to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-Korea commemorative summit from November 25 to 26.

“This is the second meeting between President Moon Jae-in and President Duterte

Read More Duterte, Moon Jae-in to sign several agreements in Busan meeting

Photo Credit: Manila Bulletin

US defense chief Esper agrees it’s time to take another look at defense pact with PH

in Latest News

 

MANILA, Philippines — The United States has expressed willingness to take another look at a decades-old defense pact with the Philippines to clarify Washington’s commitment to defend Manila against “any armed attack” in the volatile South China Sea.

 

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who is in town to reaffirm defense ties between the United States and the Philippines, said he welcomed a proposal by his Philippine counterpart, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, to revisit the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT).

 

“It’s always good to look at these things from time to time, review and clarify and strengthen it based on changes in the environment and wo…

Keep on reading: US defense chief Esper agrees it’s time to take another look at defense pact with PH

No word yet on next PNP chief

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PNP spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac. (File photo)

MANILA — The selection of the country’s next top cop was not tackled during the command conference with President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Tuesday.

In a press briefing in Camp Crame, PNP spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said the police force can still function despite having only an officer-in-charge, Lt. Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa.

Banac said Gamboa has the power to order the dismissal, recruitment, and reshuffling of police officials as mandated by the National Police Commission (Napolcom).

He, however, said the PNP needs a permanent chief next year as Gamboa, being only an OIC, cannot approve the disbursement of funds for projects and procurement of equipment.

Inaasahan natin na may pangangailangan tayo pagpasok ng January 2020, kinakailangan natin ng permanent chief PNP (We expect that we have needs comes January 2020, we need a permanent chief PNP),” Banac told reporters in a press briefing held at Camp Crame.

Banac explained that by January, the PNP would procure new equipment and the signature of a permanent head is needed for this measure to push through.

Subalit kung hindi gagawin ng pangulo ay wala namang problema wala pa naman tayong nakikitang problema so far (But if the President has no pick for the PNP chief yet, no problem for us, we don’t see any problem],” Banac said.

Earlier, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the President should not be rushed into choosing a new PNP chief because it is his job to review the selection thoroughly.

Panelo, meanwhile, praised Gamboa for doing a good job as PNP officer-in-charge.

He said the PNP should allow the President to decide on who will take over the leadership of national police.

Currently, Gamboa is one of the top candidates to replace Albayalde as PNP chief.

The other contenders for the post are Lt. Gen. Camilo Cascolan, deputy chief for operations and Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, former Metro Manila police director and now heads the directorial staff.

Late last month, Duterte admitted that he is having difficulty in selecting an “appropriate guy” who will take over as new PNP chief.

Duterte said he wanted his next PNP chief to be both competent and honest. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

NCMB in charge of Regent Foods, workers mediation: DOLE

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Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III. (File photo)

MANILA — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Tuesday said the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) is trying to patch things up between the workers and management of snack food maker, Regent Foods Corporation (RFC).

“In the meantime, our NCMB is mediating since there is an existing union. The 10 people who are complaining. So that is the issue,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in an interview.

At the same time, Bello said a labor case that was filed by the management is pending before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC).

“There is a case pending before the NLRC. The management complaint to NLRC,” he said.

Bello said it is up for the NLRC to resolve the case.

“Yes. Especially the mediation. The management, I was informed they were offered to pay for their separation pay but they don’t like it. They want to continue. So that is being negotiated,” Bello said.

He added that they did not assume jurisdiction over the case since there was no strike.

“There was no notice for strike. Since they are only 10 of them, and there are about 500 employees who are members of a union. There is an existing union there,” Bello said.

Early this month, several workers were slapped with charges after the violent dispersal of the picket line at the RFC compound in Pasig City.

Meanwhile, labor groups criticized the decision of the snack maker company to move out of the city.

“It is regrettable that RFC management decided to relocate their business just because the city mayor decided and did the right thing by supporting the oppressed workers and condemning injustice,” said Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) spokesperson Allan Tanjusay in a statement.

Tanjusay was referring to Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto’s act of defending the company’s workers, who were arrested after the violent dispersal on November 9.

“The decision to relocate for these reasons is a sign of immaturity. We dissuade them from doing so because it’s not the right thing to do. I hope they think otherwise and rethink. There are positive ways forward than relocating their business,” he added.

Sotto also earlier asked RFC to drop the charges against its workers. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

Building of PAL, PNB offices in Pasay City gets bomb threat

in News

Published November 19, 2019, 6:03 PM

By Dhel Nazario

A bomb threat was sent to the PNB Bldg. in Pasay City on Tuesday afternoon, sending employees rushing out of their offices.

Among the offices located in the building are those of Philippine Airlines and Philippine National Bank.

Pasay City Police Chief Col. Bernard Yang said that members of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) and the Explosive Ordnance Division (EOD) units were immediately dispatched to the area after they received the report.

They are currently conducting paneling at the area, according to Yang.

Police Lt. Col. Deanry Francisco said that they initially received a report at around 2:30 p.m.

He told Manila Bulletin that a duty guard received a telephone call threatening to blow up the whole

Read More Building of PAL, PNB offices in Pasay City gets bomb threat

Photo Credit: Manila Bulletin

Typhoon Ramon ‘almost stationary’; LPA off E. Samar now TD Sarah

in Latest News

MANILA, Philippines — Typhoon Ramon was “almost stationary” Tuesday afternoon ahead of its projected landfall over the Babuyan Islands as the low-pressure area (LPA) off Eastern Samar develops into Tropical Depression Sarah, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said.

In its 5 p.m. weather bulletin, the state weather bureau said Ramon was last seen 120 kilometers East of Calayan, Cagayan with maximum sustained winds of 120 km/h near the eye and gustiness of up to 165 km/h.

“Movement (is) almost stationary,” Pagasa stressed.

Ramon is expected to make landfall over the Babuyan Group of Islands between Tuesday ev…

Keep on reading: Typhoon Ramon ‘almost stationary’; LPA off E. Samar now TD Sarah

Panelo says he can also speak on foreign policy

in Latest News

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Tuesday pointed out that there is nothing wrong with him speaking about the government’s foreign policy.

 

Panelo issued this statement as he denied therewere conflicting statements between himand Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.
 

“Contrary to what some senators claim, there has never been any inconsistency between the functions of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson (OPS) as regards matters on Philippine foreign policy,” Panelo said in a statement.
 

Sen. Panfilo Lacson said in a Senate hearing Tuesday that Panelo has been iss…

Keep on reading: Panelo says he can also speak on foreign policy

Recto warns delay in nat’l ID rollout due to budget woes

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Senator Ralph Recto 

MANILA — Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto on Tuesday warned that the lack of funding for the National ID project could affect its early stage of implementation and eventually derail its rollout.

Recto said there is zero funding for the project in the “programmed portion” of the proposed national budget for 2020, while PHP2.4 billion is provided in the “unprogrammed appropriation” which is a tentative allocation dependent if new loans or revenues can be raised.

Recto, however, said even if the PHP2.4 billion will materialize, it is only about 42 percent of what is needed to meet the project’s objectives and deliverables next year.

“So instead of 14 million Filipinos, less than half, or 6.3 million, will be registered in 2020. And this will trigger a domino effect that will lay in shambles the project’s timetable. The original plan is to enroll 14 million in 2020; 52 million in 2021, including 5 million overseas Filipinos; and 44 million local residents plus 5 million overseas Filipinos in 2022,” Recto said.

“The tunnel-end vision is to register 110 million Filipino citizens and resident aliens and 10 million Filipinos abroad in what is officially called the PhilSys (Philippine Identification System) by 2022,” he added.

The senator said 4.3 million registrants must be processed every month by the 5,000 registration kits placed in mobile and fixed registration centers to meet this deadline.

He noted that the budget lack could affect the early stage of implementation which could affect the future registration quotas.

“The 2020 scheduled procurement lays the foundation of the project. Without this, the project is crippled, the rollout derailed, its future jeopardized,” he added.

He said the ID project is needed to prevent leakages and fraud in the implementation of various multibillion-peso social programs such as the Pantawind Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps, the Universal Health Care, and the senior pension. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

LRT-1 mobile app launched for commuters, local tourists

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LRT TRAIN APP. The ikotMNL mobile app for riders of the LRT-1 features real-time train arrivals and departures, fare information, crowd information in all stations of the LRT-1, and many others. During its launch on Tuesday (Nov. 19, 2019), LRMC Communications and Customer Relations head Jacqueline Gorospe said the app also promotes local tourism by featuring hotspots along the LRT-1 route. (PNA photo by Raymond dela Cruz)

MANILA — The Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC) on Tuesday officially launched the ikotMNL mobile app for passengers of the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1) — the country’s first one-stop app for train commuters and tourists alike.

The app, available for both iOS and Android devices, features real-time train arrivals and departures, fare information, crowd information in all stations of the LRT-1, safety reminders, passenger advisories, news and announcements, a chatbox for customer concerns, and a feedback form to help the LRMC improve train service and passenger experience.

LRMC Communications and Customer Relations head Jacqueline Gorospe, president and CEO Juan Alfonso, and Information Management and Technology head Randy Sac pose for a photo during the launch of the ikotMNL mobile app at the Islas Pinas food hall in Pasay City on Tuesday (Nov. 19). (Photo by Raymond Carl Dela Cruz)

During its launch in Pasay City, LRMC president and chief executive officer (CEO) Juan Alfonso said that aside from physical improvements of the LRT-1 such as the recent expansion of EDSA Station and ongoing construction of the LRT-1 Cavite extension project, digital solutions to make travel easier for commuters is also a priority of the private rail transport concessionaire.

“We aim to bring transport convenience closer to passengers and be their partner in traveling through Manila,” Alfonso said.

Aside from serving as an information hub for commuters, LRMC Communications and Customer Relations head, Jacqueline Gorospe said the ikotMNL app also promotes local tourism by featuring tourist spots, local restaurants, “food trip” or hangout spots, shopping malls and thrift markets in areas along the LRT-1 route.

“Basically, it encourages everyone to rediscover Manila, visit the nearby tourist spots,” Gorospe said.

The mobile app is also set to be upgraded through a planned partnership between LRMC and beep card for a QR code fare system, as well as tie-ups with merchants to turn the ikotMNL app into a transport, tourism, and lifestyle app in one package.

“We’ve spent a considerable amount of time and effort into making the ikotMNL app the best it can be and this early, we already have more features in mind to add to the app,” Gorospe said.

During the event, the official also announced a partnership with both telecommunications giants Globe Telecom and Smart Communications for the provision of free WiFi services in all 20 stations of the LRT-1 which are already available, with plans to also roll out free WiFi services aboard all LRT-1 trains.

Alfonso also said four new trains for the LRT-1 would arrive by the third quarter of next year.

In October, the LRMC announced that the right-of-way acquisition for the LRT-1 Cavite extension project was almost complete and was on-track for partial operability by end of 2021.

Within the same month, the concessionaire began expansion works of LRT-1’s EDSA Station, one of the rail line’s busiest stations due to its connection with the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3), as part of the Cavite extension project. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

Gov’t urged to monitor retail prices of chicken, egg

in News

MANILA – A senator on Tuesday called on the government to strictly monitor the retail prices of egg and chicken, given the steep rise in their prices in Metro Manila.

Senator Imee Marcos said the cost of small eggs reached more than PHP6 apiece, with a tray of 30 pieces priced at PHP180 and up instead of the suggested retail price of PHP150.

“There’s no reason for the rise in egg prices because the Philippine Egg Board itself was shocked to find out an increase way above the suggested retail price of PHP5 each, despite steady supply and farmgate prices,” Marcos said.

“This may be an introductory shock, for now, considering it’s not yet December,” Marcos added.

Marcos, meanwhile, noted that the retail prices of chicken increased from last month’s PHP160 to PHP180 a kilo, while wholesale prices were just at PHP123 to PHP128 only.

She said prices of chicken are now pegged at PHP190 to PHP200 a kilo.

“Yes, the cost of chicken feed has gone up and chicken production dipped in some parts of Luzon. But the Department of Agriculture has already said the consumption of pork is going back to normal, so chicken prices should not be that steep,” Marcos said. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

PH dollar reserve piling up as BOP records surplus of $163M

in Latest News

Except for the month of June this year, the Philippines has been earning more dollars than it has been spending since November 2018 courtesy of remittances from Filipinos abroad and some foreign investments.

 

This combination led to a large balance of payment surplus by end of October 2019, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

 

BSP data showed that overall balance of payment had a surplus of $163 million in October 2019 compared to a $458 million deficit in the same month last year.

 

In a statement, the BSP said this reflected increases in net foreign currency deposits and BSP income from investments abroad.

 

Payments made on…

Keep on reading: PH dollar reserve piling up as BOP records surplus of $163M

Camel, cow, donkey found roaming together along Kansas road

in Latest News

GODDARD, Kan. — Authorities discovered a camel, a cow and a donkey roaming together along a Kansas road in a grouping reminiscent of a Midwestern Christmas Nativity scene.

The Goddard Police Department asked for help Sunday in locating the owners of the “three friends traveling together (towards a Northern star).”

Police said in a Facebook post that if they couldn’t find the owners, they would be “halfway toward a live Nativity this Christmas season.”

https://www.facebook.com/GoddardPoliceDepartment/photos/a.1532067436832650/2659808440725205/?type=3&__xts__%5B0%5D=68.ARAESB-emxCOsb7nGq0b_Sn7-g9jDEN5E8GkYQWJja2_oRbwLU6WSDpn6eoxPcSBfGffZvp2UPFLty1NxXvkrtoKMKYwkxgWv1YVfDX…

Keep on reading: Camel, cow, donkey found roaming together along Kansas road

Man shoots neighbors dead for stealing his Wi-Fi

in Latest News

A man in Pakistan murdered a father and son living next door for using his Wi-Fi without his consent.

The man who was named Qasim by the police was arrested for murder today, Nov. 19 as per Samaa TV.

Qasim lives in Shah Latif Town, Karachi, according to the report. Apparently, the culprit shot Haris, who is a student of the University of Karachi, and his father for leeching off his internet connection.

The suspect confessed his crime to the police. Cha Lino/JB

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Keep on reading: Man shoots neighbors dead for stealing his Wi-Fi

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