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Philippines is not a dumping ground: Inquirer

Straits Times Asian News - 27 min 17 sec ago
January 27, 2021 11:50 AM

The paper says that advocates point to loopholes in the laws that have made the country "wide open" to both illegal and "legitimised" waste trade.
Categories: Asian News

Umno's civil war: The Star columnist

Straits Times Asian News - 37 min 17 sec ago
January 27, 2021 11:40 AM

The writer says there is a big question about whether Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi will buckle under pressure from rebellious Umno divisions and step down.
Categories: Asian News

Coronavirus: Indonesia’s Jokowi gets second Sinovac dose; South Korea scrambles to contain outbreaks

SCMP Asian News - 42 min 17 sec ago
Indonesian President Joko Widodo received his second dosage of the Covid-19 vaccine made by Sinovac Biotech Ltd., one day after the country registered more than 1 million infections.Nearly 250,000 health care workers have been given the first shot since the programme started two weeks ago. The government is aiming for the number to increase to between 900,000 and 1 million daily, Widodo – who is also known as Jokowi – said in a statement on Wednesday.Are anti-vaxxers winning as India, Indonesia…
Categories: Asian News

Security tightened in India's New Delhi after protesters stormed city

Straits Times Asian News - 42 min 41 sec ago
January 27, 2021 11:34 AM

By Wednesday (Jan 27) most demonstrators had returned to protest sites on the outskirts of the city.
Categories: Asian News

South Korea reports big jump in Covid-19 cases on outbreaks in Christian schools

Straits Times Asian News - 1 hour 4 min ago
January 27, 2021 11:13 AM

A total of 297 Covid-19 cases had been traced to six churches and mission schools run by a Christian organisation.
Categories: Asian News

Ched assures easy, safe disbursement of stipend to students

Cebu Sun.Star - 1 hour 11 min ago

Following the recent launch of the Landbank Mastercard Prepaid Card (LMPC), 25,161 Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) grantees from 135 higher education institutions in Central Visayas for the first semester of the academic year 2020-2021 will be able to “easily and safely” receive their stipend despite the pandemic, said the Commission on Higher Education (Ched).

Ched, through its attached agency, Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (Unifast), in partnership with the Landbank of the Philippines, launched on Jan. 15 the LMPC for beneficiaries of the TES program.

According to Ched Chairperson J. Prospero E. De Vera III, the LMPC is intended to address the challenge of disbursing financial assistance to more than 700,000 TES and Tulong Dunong Program grantees nationwide during the pandemic.

Features

Aside from disbursing stipend to students under the TES program, the LMPC can also be used as a payment card anywhere in the world where Mastercard is accepted, such as ATMs, point of sale, and e-commerce or online.

Other features of the LMPC include no required maintaining balance, reloadable for free via the Link.BizPortal, transfer and cash out funds through Landbank branches and agent banking partners nationwide, among others.

During the virtual launch of the LMPC, Landbank President Cecilia Borromeo assured that students will receive their TES stipend in a “timely, safe, and convenient manner.”

Member-agencies of the Unifast board expressed full support of the initiative. These member-agencies include the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations, Association of Local Colleges and Universities, and Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges.

In a video message, President Rodrigo Duterte reminded students of their obligation to use education to improve themselves so that they can contribute to their families, communities, and the country.

Testing

In December 2020, Ched 7 pilot-tested the LMPC through 50 TES grantees from Cebu Technology University (CTU).

CTU student and TES grantee Marc Janssen Aquino said that having an LMPC card is a good idea because of how the public is discouraged from going outside their houses due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

He said that the LMPC is easy-to-use and convenient. He applied online and only took him five minutes to redeem the card.

Aquino is among the student-beneficiaries in Central Visayas where P645.59 million worth of TES stipend needs to be disbursed to its TES grantees for the first semester of the academic year 2020-2021. (SunStar Cebu/From PR)

Categories: Philippines News

SMC's Skyway Stage 3: A major boost to RP's economic recovery

Cebu Sun.Star - 1 hour 22 min ago

When everything was at a standstill, San Miguel Corporation (SMC) pushed through and built the country's game-changing infrastructure, Skyway Stage 3, one of the largest and most ambitious infrastructure projects to date that provides a seamless link between North and South Luzon and eases Metro Manila traffic.

Skyway Stage 3 elevated accessibility of goods and services during a tumultuous time in the Philippine economy as it grappled with the effects of the pandemic.

The 18-kilometer elevated expressway extending Skyway 1 and 2 from Buendia all the way to the North Luzon Expressway provided hope to millions of Filipinos under the collaborative leadership of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and SMC President Ramon Ang by spurring the economic recovery in the country.

On Jan. 14, 2021, Duterte and his economic team led the formal opening of the new Skyway Stage 3 expressway, which was built and funded by SMC. It is seen to provide a major boost to the country’s post-pandemic recovery.

“Because of the strong leadership of President Duterte, and with the help of his hands-on cabinet secretaries and economic team, we were able to finally resolve right-of-way issues and complete Skyway 3,” Ang said. “This is a game-changer for our economy, especially now that we are still dealing with the pandemic. By providing seamless access between north and south, we also unlock the true potential of our provinces,” Ang added.

Skyway Stage 3 has eight access points that traverse and connect Metro Manila’s most populous cities—Makati, Manila, San Juan and Quezon City. It will cut travel time from South Luzon Expressway at Susana Heights in Muntinlupa to Balintawak toll plaza of the Northern Luzon Expressway to just 30 minutes.

Since its soft opening on Dec. 29, 2020—free to the public until Feb. 1—some 71,000 vehicles per day have been passing through Skyway 3, using only the four lanes initially opened.

“At full capacity, with seven lanes available, Skyway can easily handle 50 percent of Edsa traffic, or 200,000 vehicles per day. Together with the existing Skyway 1 and 2, the Skyway system now has 38 kilometers of elevated expressway with 36 on- and off-ramp access points. This will greatly contribute to decongesting Metro Manila traffic,” Ang said.

To fast-track construction, SMC purchased all the properties along the project’s right-of-way, in order to meet the owners’ requirements. The company also funded the reconstruction of three bridges—the San Juan Bridge, Concordia Bridge and Sevilla Bridge.

Meanwhile, Ang said work has also started for the construction of the Manila International Airport project in Bulacan province, a sustainable solution to decongesting air traffic congestion in the country.

Touted as the single-largest investment in the Philippines, the airport project will connect to major thoroughfares in the metropolis. It will have four-parallel runways and modern, world-class facilities.

Ang set the opening date of the massive airport project for 2025. Two major expressways connecting to the airport will also open by 2023.

Categories: Philippines News

In Singapore, foreign buying of private apartments drops to 17-year low

SCMP Asian News - 1 hour 36 min ago
Foreigners snapping up private apartments in Singapore declined to a 17-year low in 2020 as travel restrictions and lockdowns in various countries deterred them from coming to the city state.Purchases of units fell to 742 last year, according to Singapore-based real estate consultancy firms ERA Realty Network and OrangeTee & Tie Pte. That is the lowest since 2003, when non-permanent residents bought 671 units, based on an analysis of government data as of Tuesday that takes into account new,…
Categories: Asian News

Australia set for 10th day of no local Covid-19 cases

Straits Times Asian News - 1 hour 47 min ago
January 27, 2021 10:29 AM

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklien announced coronavirus restrictions would be eased from Friday.
Categories: Asian News

Goldman Sachs boss gets $10m pay cut for 1MDB scandal

BBC Asia News - 2 hours 4 min ago
David Solomon is being punished for the bank's involvement in the fraudulent Malaysian investment fund.
Categories: Asian News

HSBC defends China policy in UK lawmaker questioning

Straits Times Asian News - 2 hours 16 min ago
January 27, 2021 10:00 AM

HSBC's decision was driven purely by the need to comply with local laws.
Categories: Asian News

Philippine province cancels award for China Communications' $13 billion airport project

Straits Times Asian News - 2 hours 24 min ago
January 27, 2021 9:52 AM

The project was to upgrade Sangley airport in Cavite province.
Categories: Asian News

Employers told to comply with minimum wage law

Cebu Sun.Star - 2 hours 51 min ago

EMPLOYERS in Central Visayas who have not yet complied with the existing minimum wage order since its effectivity early last year are mandated to conform with it and pay their employees salary differential.

Workers in the region whose employers did not conform to the prescribed minimum wage rates under Wage Order No. ROVII-22 are expected to get paid with their salary differential starting Jan. 5, 2020.

“Workers who were not paid with the correct daily wage based on the new minimum wage rates applicable in their area starting Jan. 5, 2020 should be able to receive the difference between their existing wage rates received and that of the new wage rates based on Wage Order No. VII-22,” said Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) 7 Regional Director Salome O. Siaton.

Wage order

Under Wage Order No. VII-22, non-agricultural workers in Class A cities and municipalities or the Expanded Metro Cebu Area should be paid P404 per day. Establishments in these areas employing less than 10 workers should be paying workers P394 daily.

Those working under Class B or in the cities not falling under Class A Category should be receiving P366 daily wage and establishments with less than 10 workers should be paying them P361 per day.

Class C municipalities or those municipalities not under Class A Category should have workers paid P356 per day and the workers rendering work in establishments with less than 10 individuals should receive P351.00 daily.

“Establishments in all provinces of Central Visayas should be able to check whether or not they have followed the provisions of the wage order. If they failed to comply with the minimum wage rates applicable in their respective areas, they should now start looking into the salary differential that they must be paying their workers,” Siaton said.

According to RTWPB 7 where Siaton also sits as chairperson, all employers should have followed the provisions of the wage order, which became fully implementable effective Jan. 5, 2020, in all provinces of Central Visayas, including Bohol.

A moratorium or a temporary suspension on the implementation of Wage Order No. ROVII-22 in Bohol was petitioned or filed by the Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry last year, while the rest of the provinces in Region 7 already implemented the wage order.

Addressing the issue, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, who chairs the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC), said that RTWPBs and the NWPC don’t have the authority to defer or postpone the implementation of a wage order.

Anniversary

The RTWPB takes charge of wage-fixing and wage rate review and minimum wage determination. According to Siaton, within 60 days prior to the anniversary of the wage order, the Board may start the process of minimum wage determination.

“Due to the pandemic, the Board was not able to start the process, which was supposed to take place late last year. But since the anniversary of the wage order has already lapsed since Jan. 5, 2021, the Board will now look into revisiting and reviewing the existing wage rates applicable in the different provinces in Central Visayas,” Siaton said.

Based on the NWPC Guidelines No. 03, Series of 2020 or the Omnibus Rules on Minimum Wage Determination, the wage board may begin determining the applicable wage rates through (a) motu propio by the board or when it initiates actions or inquiry to determine whether or not a wage order shall be issued and (b) by virtue of a petition.

Before any review is done, Siaton said that it is important to determine whether or not establishments have followed the rules of the existing wage order. (SunStar Cebu/From PR)

Categories: Philippines News

China reports lowest daily rise in Covid-19 cases in more than 2 weeks

Straits Times Asian News - 2 hours 53 min ago
January 27, 2021 9:24 AM

Seventy-five new confirmed cases were reported on Jan 26.
Categories: Asian News

In Vietnam, air pollution a bigger daily threat than Covid-19, as smog envelops Hanoi

SCMP Asian News - 3 hours 17 min ago
Every day, Nguyen Thi Nham Thin sits at a busy traffic intersection in the Vietnamese capital. She is one of thousands of vendors selling food and drinks who make up Hanoi’s bustling street life. But this constant exposure to the fumes comes at a cost. Hanoi, a city of 8 million, has around 7 million vehicles. “I’d inhale about seven to eight hours of dust every day, but you know, even xe om [motorbike taxi drivers] and [other] street vendors would too. It is unavoidable,” the 69-year-old…
Categories: Asian News

Dave Yu, Kib Montalbo to grace Bida BEST Live

Cebu Sun.Star - 3 hours 55 min ago

Former National University and Ateneo de Cebu star Dave Wilson Yu and current TNT guard Kib Montalbo will be the guests of the BEST Center's Bida BEST Live backed by Milo this Saturday.

The two hoop stalwarts will talk about their unique experiences growing up including their stints in the BEST Center tournaments, which helped their rise up the basketball ladder.

Although Yu is currently no longer active in the basketball scene, he currently cherishing life as a civil engineer after he passed the May 2019 Civil Engineering licensure exam.

Montalbo on the other hand, is part of the TNT Tropang Giga’s backcourt rotation.

The BEST Center's Bida BEST Live will air live on Saturday at 7:30 pm on the Facebook page of the BEST Center Sports Inc. It will be hosted by former national team member Julie Amos and Popoy Navarro, the son of the late great Cebuano sportsman, Rico Navarro. (JNP)

Categories: Philippines News

Hong Kong's first Covid-19 lockdown exposes deep-rooted inequality

Straits Times Asian News - 4 hours 17 min ago
January 27, 2021 7:59 AM

The neighbourhood of Jordan is home to some of the city's highest concentrations of tenements.
Categories: Asian News

India's unusual Covid-19 vaccine problem: Plenty of shots, but few takers

Straits Times Asian News - 4 hours 54 min ago
January 27, 2021 7:23 AM

As of Monday (Jan 25), only about 56 per cent of people eligible to get the shot have stepped forward to get it.
Categories: Asian News

Hong Kong lifts second lockdown in Kowloon for Covid-19 tests

Straits Times Asian News - 5 hours 26 min ago
January 27, 2021 6:50 AM

The government tested about 330 people and found one confirmed coronavirus case. 
Categories: Asian News

1 million cases in Indonesia

Straits Times Asian News - 7 hours 17 min ago
January 27, 2021 5:00 AM

Indonesia yesterday passed a grim landmark with one million coronavirus infections, with the country's hospitals pushed to the brink to take in patients.
Categories: Asian News

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