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Philippines News

Some gov't posts in Executive branch declared vacant

Philippines Times - Fri, 2022-07-01 20:51

MANILA - Malacanang has declared vacant some of the government posts and items under the Executive department.

Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez, by authority of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., signed Memorandum Circular (MC) 1 on Thursday, declaring vacancy in certain positions in the dep

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UAAP stars banner PH team to Asian Women's volleyball tourney

Philippines Times - Fri, 2022-07-01 20:49

MANILA - Players from the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) will comprise most of the team that will compete in the Asian Women's Volleyball Cup to be held in the Philippines on August 21 to 28.

National team coach Jorge De Brito named the 22-woman pool, 20 of which ar

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New, old leaders take oath of office

Cebu Sun.Star - Fri, 2022-07-01 20:42
Here are some highlights of the oath-taking ceremonies organized by incoming officials in Cebu just before they formally assumed office on July 1, 2022:

NEW LAPU REP. Lapu-Lapu City Lone District Rep. Maria Cynthia “Cindi” Chan (center) says her oath of office before Regional Trial Court Lapu-Lapu City Executive Judge Joseph Stephen Ignacio during the city’s oathtaking ceremony at the Jpark Resort & Waterpark in Barangay Maribago on Monday, June 27, 2022. Chan’s bible bearer is Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan. CEBU CITY’s MAIN MEN. Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama (rightmost) shakes the hand of new Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia after the latter took his oath during the city’s oath-taking ceremony on Thursday, June 30, 2022. Beside Garcia is his wife, Julienne; followed by his mother, Ninette; his father, former Cebu City Mayor Alvin Garcia; and his brother, Jerald.

GOVERNOR FOR FIFTH TIME. Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia (center) takes her oath before Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Geraldine Faith Econg during One Cebu Party’s mass oath-taking ceremony in Cebu City on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, having received the mandate to serve a fifth term as governor. With Garcia are her siblings, children and in-laws.

HOUSE REPS. Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia (center) poses for a photo with Cebu’s congressional and party-list representatives before One Cebu’s mass oath-taking ceremony in Cebu City on Tuesday, June 28. 2022. With Garcia are (front row, from left) her brother and Deputy Speaker Pablo John Garcia (Cebu, Third), Rep. Emmarie Ouano-Dizon (Mandaue City), Rep. Janice Salimbangon (Cebu, Fourth), Rep. Rhea Mae Aquino-Gullas (Cebu, First); (back row, from left) Ako Bisdak Party-list Rep. Sonny Lagon, Rep. Daphne Lagon (Cebu, Sixth) and Rep. Peter John Calderon (Cebu, Seventh).

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Cebu City solons seek monorail, port infra, Mega Cebu authority

Cebu Sun.Star - Fri, 2022-07-01 20:41
ON THEIR first day in the 19th Congress, Cebu City’s two solons filed bills to establish the Mega Cebu Development Authority (MCDA).

North District Rep. Rachel Marguerite “Cutie” del Mar and South District Rep. Eduardo Rama told SunStar Cebu Friday, July 1, 2022, that they had filed separate measures for the creation of the MCDA.

According to Rama, he had not seen the version of del Mar, but he would coordinate with her so the bill would be enacted into law.

Rama’s and del Mar’s bills have the same title, “An act creating the Mega Cebu Development Authority, prescribing its functions and duties, and providing funds therefore.”

Rama said he would also file a bill to create additional legislative districts in Cebu City, but the congressman said he would provide the details once the bill was pushed.

Meanwhile, del Mar also filed 12 bills that focused on the mass transport system, infrastructure, freedom of information, and barangay affairs.

Del Mar’s House Bill (HB) 82 aims to “strengthen the right of citizens to information held by the government,” while HB 139 provides for “the venue of the criminal and civil action in libel cases against community journalists, publications or broadcast stations.”

The congresswoman will also push for the construction of a light or metro rail transport system or monorail transport system in Cebu City as stipulated in her HBs 134 and 135.

Through HB 140, del Mar also seeks the construction of a circumferential road from Cebu City’s north district to the south district.

Del Mar also filed HB 136 that seeks to provide for the “construction of skyway overpass and tunnel underpass under the three most congested road sections in the first district of Cebu City.”

Other bills del Mar filed were HB 128, which would allow and regulate the use of motorcycles as public utility vehicles; HB 141, which would convert four barangay road sections into national roads; and HB 138, which would “provide for the establishment and construction by the Cebu Port Authority of an additional international container terminal.”

For barangay affairs, del Mar’s HB 82 aims to establish the magna carta for barangays, while HB 133 provides amendments to certain sections of the law which postponed the 2020 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.

The congresswoman will also push for the renaming of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority and the Mactan-Cebu International Airport to Lapu-Lapu City International Airport through her HB 137.
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'Domeng' intensifies but not directly affecting PH

Philippines Times - Fri, 2022-07-01 20:23

MANILA - Although Tropical Storm Domeng has intensified, it does not have a direct effect on the country, according to the weather bureau on Friday afternoon.

In an update sent before 6 p.m., the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Dome

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Incoming DBM chief extends condolences to Andaya family

Philippines Times - Fri, 2022-07-01 20:22

MANILA - Incoming Budget and Management Secretary Amenah Pangandaman on Friday extended her condolences to the family of the late Budget Chief and Camarines Sur Representative Rolando Andaya Jr.

In a statement, she said Andaya, 53, was "dedicated to serving the Filipino people" and "is known

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Int'l group cites Iloilo City's urban housing dev't

Philippines Times - Fri, 2022-07-01 20:21

ILOILO CITY - Iloilo City's participatory approach to addressing issues on urban housing is among the five finalists in the 2021-2022 World Resources Institute (WRI) Ross Center Prize for Cities from among the 260 applications from 155 cities in 65 countries.

Iloilo City joined four other fin

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Editorial: United Cebu City

Cebu Sun.Star - Fri, 2022-07-01 20:15
As he wants Cebu City to achieve a “Singapore-like” progress, Mayor Michael Rama somewhat has extended a laurel of peace to his political opponents when he called for unity.

This as the mayor, now on his third non-consecutive term, said in his inaugural speech on Thursday, June 30, 2022, that he was aiming to transform the city to become “clean, green, orderly and disciplined.”

Sounds like Singapore indeed.

Attaining a Singapore-like status could be done if Cebu City is united, which could mean no more obstruction at the City Council if Rama’s administration and his allies propose certain projects that they deem beneficial for the residents.

Rama’s call certainly echoed that campaign battlecry of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

As for Singapore, the city-state was struggling in the 1960s with “limited resources, a small domestic market, and high unemployment. Living standards were low, with most residents living in crowded, unsanitary slums,” according to a 2016 World Bank article. But now, the city-state is a different picture: it is a success story–a “result of an innovative and carefully executed vision that looks at all aspects of urban development in a cohesive way. Singaporean leaders and urban planners have integrated land use, housing, transport, and natural resources management into one coherent, long-term strategy so they can work in sync and reinforce each other.”

The Singaporean economic miracle was engineered by Lee Kuan Yew, the city-state’s first prime minister, serving between 1959 and 1990.

A 1988 essay by American environmental scientist Donella Meadows is titled “Singapore leads the good life under a benevolent dictator.” The “benevolent dictator” is, of course, Prime Minister Lee, who died in 2015. Meadows, also an educator, wrote: “Singapore just doesn’t fit the world’s categories. It’s a dictatorship with free speech, no fear, and no corruption. It’s an economy that uses capitalist means to attain socialist ends. Singapore University scholars call it a “meritocratic, elitist, Confucianist, bureaucratic state.”

Some of the details shared by Meadows in her essay were about workers being required by Singapore to save 25 percent of their salaries. “Their employers match that amount (after the recession of 1985, the employers’ share was cut to 10 percent). The workers can claim the money only after the age of 55. This enormous forced savings rate is one of the secrets of Singapore’s incredible economic growth. The money goes into a Central Provident Fund, with which the government builds roads, schools, hospitals, and especially housing.”

Rama’s talk about achieving Singapore-like status was full of optimism. He said it is not far-fetched as President Marcos Jr., Vice President Sara Duterte and the incoming leaders of Congress are all his allies.

The mayor’s aim is noble. Residents must support his administration’s projects as long as they can benefit from them but they must not be content with dole outs. Residents must demand projects and services that can bring good to them in the long term.

The mayor must also be reminded that uniting for Cebu City’s progress does not mean the City Council must act like a rubber-stamp body for his projects. Councilor Nestor Archival is right when he said the opposition councilors would support Rama’s programs that they see as beneficial for their constituency; however, he said the opposition councilors will continue serving as fiscalizers—they will continue to check if the programs carry disadvantages to the city and its people.

To reach Rama’s Singapore-like dream, the city does need the voices of fiscalizers in the City Council and all city leaders must put the public interest above themselves—they must heed Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, who said they must be faithful to God and people. No hidden agendas.
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Tell it to SunStar: Stop vegetable smuggling

Cebu Sun.Star - Fri, 2022-07-01 20:14
As vegetable smuggling in the country worsened, the Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women has joined the broadening call of food producers and consumers demanding President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to decisively end it, lay down a concrete solution and hammer smugglers or economic saboteurs with the full force of the law.

Last March at the Senate hearing, it was exposed that high-ranking government officials and politicians were involved in smuggling vegetables from China, reaching a value of P539 million.

The peasant women group said that this resulted in the loss of livelihood and bankruptcy of many farmers, particularly from the Cordillera region, Nueva Ecija and Occidental Mindoro.

Moreover, as Marcos Jr. who appointed himself as agriculture secretary and who has friendly relations with China, the peasant women group stressed that being vigilant will be a major task of the Filipino producers and consumers.

Amihan said in a statement that aside from holding the smugglers accountable and stopping the smuggling, the vegetable farmers should be provided product subsidies including the farm inputs, post-harvest facilities, and others. Even before the pandemic, vegetable farmers decried the rotting of tons of vegetables due to low farm gate prices. Moreover, the burden of transportation costs due to the high prices of gasoline put them in a disadvantageous position.

Based on the minutes of the Senate hearing, due to the smuggling of vegetables, the farmers suffered, such as Benguet farmers losing 20-40 percent of their orders from 2021 to the present, and an estimated value of P2.5 million per day; depressed farm gate price of carrots to P7 per kilo from the usual P95 per kilo, amid its cost is P25 per kilo; in March, Nueva Ecija and Occidental Mindoro farmers threw away their onion harvest due to low farm gate prices at P30 per kilo. They said that on carrots and onions alone, China was the established origin as it produced 47 percent and around 30 percent of the global production, respectively.
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Laguesma back at DOLE, seeks dialogues with labor groups

Philippines Times - Fri, 2022-07-01 20:11

MANILA - Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will conduct meetings with employers' groups in the coming days to discuss their concerns.

On Friday, he received the DOLE flag and the Labor and Employment Plan 2022-2028 from his predecessor, Silvestre B

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Young guns power Erco to 3rd place

Cebu Sun.Star - Fri, 2022-07-01 20:03
ERCO-Bro FC finished third place in the San Carlos City Negros Football League Charter Day Invitational Football Men’s Open after a 3-2 win over Club De Los Hermanos De Futbol (CDLH) in the battle-for-third match on July 2, 2022 at the San Julio Realty Inc. Football Grounds in San Carlos City.

John Clyde Vitualla scored in the 22nd, followed by Kiann Partosa in the 50th and Pomeroy Veloso in the 75th.

Erco-Bro FC finished as the third seed after the elimination round with seven points from from two wins, a draw and two losses.

CDLH finished as the top seed with 10 points and was followed by San Carlos City Negros FC as the second seed with eight points and Nofa (Abante Negrense) as the fourth seed with six points.

Erco-Bro FC lost to San Carlos City Negros FC, 3-1, in the semifinals, while Nofa upset CDLH, 3-0, in the other semifinals match.

Erco-Bro FC is mentored by coach Marjo Allado along with Garry Garciano. The team is composed of Vitualla, Partosa, Veloso, Joseph Kei Ceniza, Alberca Reymart Cubon, Jose Antonio Salazar, Peter John Quillo, Jeremy Laro, Paul Vincent Mapula, Rafael Angelo Gorre, Glen Thomas Ramos, Friedrich Mercader, Agustin Rafael Roa, Yuan Reña, Dietre Dakay, Christian Paez, Churchill Jubac, Deomar Caruscay and Julian Cabatingan.
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Megawide sees improvement in MCIA’s international traffic

Cebu Sun.Star - Fri, 2022-07-01 20:01
INTERNATIONAL passenger traffic is expected to increase at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) as travel restrictions further ease, Megawide Construction Corp. said on Friday, July 1, 2022.

“In the airport segment, the company is expecting a boost in international numbers at MCIA, particularly with the opening of the thrice-weekly Cebu-Istanbul route via Turkish Airlines and the return of the daily Cebu-Dubai route via Emirates,” Megawide, the Filipino private operator of the airport together with India’s GMR Group, said in a statement.

The firm said the continuing recovery at MCIA “is punctuated by the recent dismissal of the Anti-Dummy Law case” filed against directors of Megawide’s airport subsidiary, GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC).

The company officially received the omnibus order last June 27, explaining that the dismissal of the case was necessitated by the enactment of Republic Act 11659 or the Public Service Act, which was signed into law last March 21, 2022, which clearly excluded airport operations and maintenance from the definition of a public utility.

This therefore removed the applicability of the nationality restriction to GMCAC.

In the first four months of 2022, the country’s second busiest airport recorded a 134 percent increase in passenger traffic, owing to the recovery in air travel.

Official data showed MCIA accommodated a total of 656,130 domestic and international passengers from January to April this year.

This was a huge increase from 280,759 total passengers it recorded in the same period last year.

During the four-month period, MCIA posted a 139 percent increase in domestic passenger traffic to 595,037 and 89 percent rise in international passenger traffic to 61,093.

Meanwhile, Megawide also reported it is also proceeding with Phase 1 of its revitalization of Cebu’s 100-year-old Carbon District under a 50-year joint venture with the Cebu City Government, as the prototype for its urban renewal concept.

“Despite our losses, we stayed true to our values and our pursuit of inclusive development through infrastructure. The journey has not been easy, and we thank you for keeping us going through 2021 towards our vision of A First-World Philippines,” Megawide chief executive Edgar Saavedra said.
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PH total debt slightly declines to P12.50 trillion in May

Cebu Sun.Star - Fri, 2022-07-01 19:50
THE Philippine government’s total outstanding debt settled at P12.50 trillion as of the end of May, 2.1 percent lower compared to the previous month, the Bureau of Treasury (BTr) reported Friday.

BTr said the decrease was due to the repayment of provisional advances from the central bank.

Out of the total debt stock, 30.7 percent was sourced externally while 69.3 percent were domestic borrowings, it said.

Official data showed domestic debt for the month stood at P8.67 trillion, which is 3 percent lower compared to the April figure.

External debt was at P3.83 trillion, 0.1 percent higher than the previous month.

“The increment in external debt was attributed to the impact of local and foreign currency fluctuations against the USD,” the BTr said.

The peso has been depreciating the past week, its weakest in years, breaching the P55 level to the dollar in recent trading days.
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TNT clips Terrafirma to win 5th straight game

Philippines Times - Fri, 2022-07-01 19:49

MANILA - TNT handed Terrafirma its second straight beating on Friday after scoring a 114-86 win in their Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup game at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

TNT hinted at a blowout early on after a 31-14 lead at the end of the first quarter but Terrafirma resp

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Ladrada, Tesoro try luck abroad

Cebu Sun.Star - Fri, 2022-07-01 19:49
PINOY prospects Lorenz Ladrada and Jestine Tesoro are seeing action oversees on July 2, 2022.

Ladrada faces Dana Coolwell in an eight-rounder at the Gold Coast Convention Centre in Broadbeach, Queensland, Australia; Ladrada is fighting for the first time abroad and gunning for his second straight win.

The 25-year-old Ladrada, who once trained at the now-defunct ALA Gym, is looking for his second straight win. He is off a unanimous decision win over Jason Buenaobra in Parañaque City last Dec. 4, 2021.

Coolwell is looking to bounce back after suffering a split decision loss to Ender Luces last April 13 in Queensland. Ladrada is 11-2-1 with three knockouts, while Coolwell is 7-2 with five knockouts.

On the other hand, Tesoro takes on former amateur standout Kenji Fujita in a six-round fight at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan.

Tesoro is coming off a huge majority decision win over veteran Lorence Rosas last March 12 in Parañaque City.

Fujita made his successful pro debut last March 25 in Tokyo with a sixth-round technical knockout of Motosuke Kimura.

Fujita is one of Japan’s top bantamweights in the amatuer ranks, wherein he racked up over 150 wins. Tesoro is 6-3 with two knockouts, while Fujita is 1-0 with a knockout.
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IBF Champion Cuarto defends belt in Mexico

Cebu Sun.Star - Fri, 2022-07-01 19:49
International Boxing Federation (IBF) minimumweight champion Rene Mark Cuarto makes his second world title defense on July 2, 2022 against Mexican challenger Daniel Valladares in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

Both Cuarto and Valladares tipped the scales at the minimumweight limit of 105 pounds during the weigh-in on July 1.

The 25-year-old Cuarto will be defending his belt for the first time overseas after fighting his two previous world title fights in the Philippines against his nemesis Pedro Taduran.

Cuarto dethroned Taduran of the IBF belt with a unanimous decision in 2021 in General Santos City. The two had a rematch early this year and Cuarto won via a sixth-round technical decision in Digos City, Davao del Sur.

Meanwhile, Valladares dropped down from light flyweight to minimumweight to challenge Cuarto.

Valladares, rated No. 3 by the IBF, won his last three contests.

He stopped unheralded Abraham Gonzalez in the fourth round and former youth champion Julian Yedras in the third. He also beat Jose Javier Torres via unanimous decision.

Valladares, who hasn’t fought for close to a year, challenged Taduran for the same belt in 2020. The fight ended with a draw.

Valladares has also fought and beaten Pinoy pugs, with the likes of former world champion Merlito Sabillo and world-ranked Christian Araneta.

Cuarto is 20-2-2 with 11 knockouts, while the 28-year-old Valladares is 25-3-1 with 15 knockouts. He is one of the last two current world champions of the Philippines after Johnriel Casimero and Nonito Donaire Jr. lost their world titles this year. World Boxing Council featherweight king Mark Magsayo is the only other remaining Filipino world champion. He’s set to defend his title on July 9 against former world champion Rey Vargas in San Antonio, Texas.
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Governor suspends quarrying in Albay

Philippines Times - Fri, 2022-07-01 19:40

LEGAZPI CITY - Governor Noel E. Rosal on his first day in office on Friday signed Executive Order (EO) No. 1 for the temporary suspension of quarry operations in Albay Province.

Rosal in an interview said Section 138, Paragraph 2 of the Local Government Code of 1991 states "the permit to extr

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Sagada reopens natural caves for trekking

Philippines Times - Fri, 2022-07-01 19:37

SAGADA, Mt. Province - "Revenge tourists" or travelers whose trips have been held back by lockdowns due to the pandemic can finally marvel anew at the splendor of Sagada's famous natural caves after the town swung open its doors.

Municipal tourism officer Maria Teresa Abad on Friday urged

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Free rides in Baguio extended until July 15

Philippines Times - Fri, 2022-07-01 19:25

BAGUIO CITY - Commuters here will still be able to enjoy free rides in public utility vehicles after the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) extended its "Libreng Sakay" program until July 15.

In an advisory on Friday, the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) said t

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PBBM sees stronger, more effective Air Force under his watch

Philippines Times - Fri, 2022-07-01 19:25

MANILA - President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. guaranteed Friday his administration's resolve to make the Philippine Air Force (PAF) "stronger, bigger, and effective" under his watch.

Marcos gave the assurance at the celebration of the PAF's 75th founding anniversary at Clark Air Base in

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