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Philippines News

IATF issues new testing, quarantine protocols for arriving passengers

Philippines Star - 1 hour 13 min ago
The new testing and quarantine protocols covers all passengers regardless of origin and will take effect on February 1.
Categories: Philippines News

Rep. PJ Garcia opposes renaming Mactan airport

Cebu Sun.Star - 1 hour 19 min ago

DEPUTY Speaker Pablo John Garcia manifested on January 27, 2021 to the House Committee on Transportation’s initial deliberation of the bill renaming Mactan Cebu International Airport to Lapu-Lapu International Airport. Representative Paz Radaza of Lapu-Lapu City filed the bill in 2020.

Below is Garcia's full statement in opposition to House Bill (HB) 18, HB 2222 and HB 5375 renaming the Mactan Cebu International Airport.

Mr. Chairman and Honorable Members of the Committee on Transportation:

With due respect to the authors of the bills under consideration, whom I hold in the highest esteem, I must manifest my opposition to the proposals to rename Mactan Cebu International Airport for the following reasons:

1. There is no compelling reason to change the name of Mactan Cebu International Airport. The name itself is not objectionable; it is perfectly descriptive of the geographic fact that the airport is on the island of Mactan in the province of Cebu.

2. From the time it was built in 1956 as an air base, its conversion as a civilian airport in the mid-1960s, to the present, it has always been named Mactan and generations of Cebuanos for whom the airport was built have always known it as Mactan, and have never thought it needed to be changed for any reason. Changing its name would erase more than 50 years of history.

3. Not just history, but name and brand recognition. Even before the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority gained its charter in 1990, airport officials have spent resources, time and effort to market the airport as Mactan Cebu International Airport. Since 2014, when airport operations were awarded to private concessionaire GMR Megawide Airport Corporation, tens of millions of pesos in marketing and advertising money, and unquantifiable resources, time and effort have doubtless been invested and expended to market the airport as Mactan Cebu. Much of that will go down the drain if we changed the name—if we change the brand—of Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority. Should we really be doing that now, as our economy struggles to recover in this pandemic, and we see the region relying upon tourism as key economic driver? Do we spend millions again marketing a new name and brand, when these resources could be better put to use elsewhere in our recovery?

4. If the intention is to honor Lapu-Lapu the hero, I believe that the supreme recognition had already been given our first national hero when the town of Opon was named Lapu-lapu City in 1961. There is no higher recognition than that, naming a premier and first-class city after you. Besides, the name Mactan is inextricably linked with the heroism of Lapulapu so that there is really no compelling need for the renaming. If the intention is to merely to emphasize that the airport in is in Lapu-Lapu City, I believe there is no compelling reason to do that because: (a) Mactan Airbase (which became Mactan Airport) was already known as Mactan even when Lapu-Lapu City was still known as Opon; (b) Mactan as an island predated Lapu-Lapu City; (c) Mactan as an island that hosts the airport is not limited to Lapu-Lapu City, but includes the Municipality of Cordova.

5. Mactan, Cebu as a place-name is rich in historical and cultural meaning and association. It is the site of this archipelago’s first known resistance against colonial rule. There is a reason why Lapu-Lapu City’s colorful festival—certainly one of the best in the country—is known as “Kadaugan sa Mactan” and not “Kadaugan sa Lapu-Lapu”. The reason is the rich history that the name Mactan evokes in the Cebuano people.

6. The name of the country’s second busiest airport should not be changed without consulting the people, the organizations, the sectors that not only have a stake in the airport but also contribute, daily, by their patronage of the airport, to Mactan Cebu International Airport’s viability and future. Therefore, we should hear from the locators of the Mactan Export Processing Zone whether they would want to lose the advantage of having its name associated with an airport nearby. We should hear from the tourism sector not only in Cebu but in the whole Visayas, who have contributed greatly to the marketing of the brand Mactan Cebu International Airport. We should hear from the millions of people of the City of Cebu, and the 44 municipalities and 6 component cities of the Province of Cebu, who, after all, co-own the airport with the people of Lapu-Lapu City, whether the airport, which they have historically, consistently, and endearingly called “Mactan”, should be changed at all; and whether we should change it now, as we struggle to pick up the broken pieces of our lives and livelihoods without knowing when this pandemic will end.

Thank You, Mr. Chairman.

Categories: Philippines News

Ex-UP lecturer denies AFP graphic quoting him as claiming UP majority agrees with accord abrogation

Philippines Star - 1 hour 35 min ago
Speaking in an interview aired over ANC's "Headstart", Castillo denied making such a statement, saying: "If there is a categorical claim that I said there is a silent majority, then that is wrong because I don’t have basis for saying so."
Categories: Philippines News

UP-DND accord perpetuates martial law image- Esperon

Philippines Times - 1 hour 36 min ago

DAVAO CITY, Jan. 26 (PIA)- The University of the Philippines-Department of National Defense accord perpetuates the martial law image of military and police, which is already outdated, opined Nation

Categories: Philippines News

DPWH improves Aritao-Quirino road

Philippines Times - 1 hour 36 min ago

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya, Jan. 26 (PIA) - The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has already completed the Aritao-Quirino Road.

Engineer Glen Miguel, DPWH south district chief sai

Categories: Philippines News

Metro Manila LGUs ready for COVID-19 Vaccination Program

Philippines Times - 1 hour 36 min ago

PASIG CITY, Jan. 27 (PIA) -- All 17 mayors of Metro Manila are ready for the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) today said.

MMDA General Manage

Categories: Philippines News

Ched assures easy, safe disbursement of stipend to students

Cebu Sun.Star - 2 hours 8 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.


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.


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 - 2 hours 19 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

LIVE: Senate hearing on charter change

Philippines Star - 3 hours 24 min ago
Watch the Senate hearing LIVE, which will start at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021.
Categories: Philippines News

5ID supports UP-DND pact ending

Philippines Times - 3 hours 36 min ago

CITY OF ILAGAN, Isabela, Jan. 25 (PIA) - The 5th Infantry Division, Philippine Army (5ID, PA) based in Gamu town has expressed its support to the decision of the Department of National Defense (DND

Categories: Philippines News

NTF-ELCAC to tap filmmaking vs communist recruitment

Philippines Times - 3 hours 36 min ago

DAVAO CITY, Jan 25 (PIA)- The National Task Force-Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) is tapping filmmaking as means to educated young citizens on the true nature of the communist ins

Categories: Philippines News

DOLE-XI awards P150,000 to Talaingod farmers' groups

Philippines Times - 3 hours 36 min ago

DAVAO DEL NORTE, Jan. 21 (PIA) - The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Region XI has turned over two checks worth P100,000 and P50,000 to 'Uraya High Valued Crops Farmers Association' of Ta

Categories: Philippines News

Employers told to comply with minimum wage law

Cebu Sun.Star - 3 hours 48 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.


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

Pasig Mayor Vico among the TOYM 2020 honorees

Philippines Times - 4 hours 36 min ago

PASIG CITY, Jan. 27 (PIA) -- Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto has been named as one of the honorees in 'The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) of 2020.'

The city's local chief executive was cited as 202

Categories: Philippines News

Dave Yu, Kib Montalbo to grace Bida BEST Live

Cebu Sun.Star - 4 hours 52 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

NTF-BCDA conducts aggressive community testing in Bontoc

Philippines Times - 10 hours 36 min ago

BONTOC, Mountain Province, Jan. 26(PIA)--Bontoc residents voluntarily submit themselves to be swabbed for RT-PCR testing in the Aggressive Community Testing (ACT) being conducted by the National Ta

Categories: Philippines News

Cimatu to barangay captains: Step up or back to square one

Cebu Freeman - 13 hours 14 min ago
Secretary Roy Cimatu has challenged barangay captains in Cebu City to step up and arrest the current rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in the city – or go back to square one.
Categories: Philippines News

Cebu City starts ‘exploratory visits’ to COVID-19 vaccine storage facilities

Cebu Freeman - 13 hours 14 min ago
While the national government has yet to finalize COVID-19 vaccine allocations, the Cebu City government, through its vaccine board and other concerned parties, has started “exploratory visits” to cold storage facilities as part its preparations.
Categories: Philippines News

Mayor Labella’s returnto work surprises Rama

Cebu Freeman - 13 hours 14 min ago
Cebu City Vice Mayor Michael Rama said he was surprised to learn that Mayor Edgardo Labella has chosen to report back for work when the latter told him Saturday of an extended leave.
Categories: Philippines News

LGUs given more time to clear roads

Cebu Freeman - 13 hours 14 min ago
To give local government units more time to prepare for their COVID-19 vaccination plan, the Department of Interior and Local Government has again extended the road clearing operations until next month.
Categories: Philippines News


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