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Philippines News

Lakers officially hire Darvin Ham as new head coach

Philippines Times - Tue, 2022-06-07 19:18

ANKARA - The Los Angeles Lakers has officially announced the hiring of Darvin Ham as their new head coach.

Ham, 48, was formally introduced by the Lakers at a press conference at UCLA Health Training Center on Monday.

The 28th coach in Los Angeles Lakers history, Ham previously worked a

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Go tells Robles: 'See Mindanao for yourself'

Philippines Times - Tue, 2022-06-07 19:18

BANAYBANAY, Davao Oriental - Senator Christopher Lawrence Go urged journalist Raissa Robles Tuesday to visit Mindanao so that she "can see it for yourself and be the judge."

Go issued the invitation following Robles' demeaning and inaccurate statements about Mindanao, suggesting that the ent

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Bonifacio Monument Circle closed on Independence Day

Philippines Times - Tue, 2022-06-07 19:17

MANILA - The Bonifacio Monument Circle and adjacent roads in Caloocan City will be closed to motorists beginning midnight of June 12 for the commemoration of the 124th Anniversary of the Proclamation of the Philippine Independence.

In a traffic advisory on Tuesday, the Metropolitan Manila Dev

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DA urges UN to ensure open Agri trade amid inflation

Philippines Times - Tue, 2022-06-07 19:15

MANILA - Following earlier warnings of the "looming global food crisis" as well as the continuing global inflation, the Department of Agriculture (DA) on Tuesdayurged the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (UN-FAO) to push for sustained worldwide market trades for agricultural produc

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DA urges UN to ensure unhampered movement of agri products

Philippines Times - Tue, 2022-06-07 19:15

MANILA - Following earlier warnings on a "looming global food crisis" as well as the continuing global inflation, the Department of Agriculture (DA) on Tuesdayurged the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (UN-FAO) to push for sustained worldwide market trades for agricultural products

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2K fugitives, 15 criminal gang members nabbed in Bicol

Philippines Times - Tue, 2022-06-07 19:13

LEGAZPI CITY - The Police Regional Office in Bicol (PRO5) reported on Tuesday the arrest of 2,249 wanted persons and 15 criminal gang members from January to May this year as part of its intensified anti-criminality campaign.

In a statement, Brig. Gen. Mario Reyes, PRO5 director, said they st

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Vaccine security crucial in new normal

Philippines Times - Tue, 2022-06-07 18:54

MANILA - A lawmaker on Tuesday said vaccine security must be the government's new priority and the next step in the country's coronavirus disease (Covid-19) response to achieve an Alert Level zero classification.

In a statement, BHW Party-list Angelica Natasha Co said the country should pursu

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Contractor in Pasig City told to pay P9-M tax deficiency

Philippines Times - Tue, 2022-06-07 18:52

MANILA - The Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) denied the petition of an independent contracting firm questioning the deficiency tax sought by the local government of Pasig City"for lack of merit".

The CTA Second Divisionturned down the petition filed by Service Resources Inc. after it was issued a

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P400-B needed to achieve P20 per kilo rice: solon

Philippines Times - Tue, 2022-06-07 18:51

MANILA - A party-list lawmaker on Tuesday said it is possible to achieve President-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong' Marcos Jr.'s campaign promise to slash prices of rice to as low as PHP20 per kilo if appropriate and timely measures are immediately put in place.

Magsasaka Partylist Representative A

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Cebu City solons look to create 3 more congressional districts

Cebu Sun.Star - Tue, 2022-06-07 18:47
DESPITE coming from opposing political parties, Cebu City's two incoming representatives vowed to work together to bring more progress as they begin their terms on June 30, 2022.

North District Representative-elect Rachel Marguerite "Cutie" del Mar and South District Representative-elect Eduardo "Edu" Rama said their plans include creating additional congressional districts, as well as lobbying for higher salaries for teachers and nurses to improve the country's education and health system.

The two bared their plans on Tuesday, June 7, at MyTV Cebu's Openline News Forum at the Casino Españo in Cebu City.

Del Mar ran under the Bando Osmeña–Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) party, while Rama, an incumbent councilor, is part of the administration's Partido Barug-PDP Laban.

Among the projects that the two legislators agreed to work on are the creation of additional congressional districts in the city and the prohibition of online sabong (cockfighting).

Del Mar said she wanted to mimic the traits of her late father, congressman Raul del Mar, who was known to have no enemies.

"Once you are in position, you work together, and yes, I have no problem working with whoever has been elected," said del Mar.

Rama also said he saw no problem with working with del Mar, since the congresswoman's late father was Rama's wedding godfather.

More districts

Both Rama and del Mar believe that adding more districts, to the city's two congressional districts, will be beneficial for the Cebuanos.

Cebu City has 80 barangays, of which 46 are currently part of the north district and 34 are part of the south district.

Rama said that during their caucus in the city council, both the administration and opposition councilors agreed that it is now time to add more districts.

According to Rama, the city's population already meets one of the qualifications for creating additional legislative districts in the city.

Section 5 (3) Article VI of the 1987 Philippine Constitution stipulates that each city with a population of at least 250,000 persons, should have at least one representative in Congress.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, Cebu City had a population of 964,169 in 2020.

Days before the election on May 9, Mayor Michael Rama also mentioned that he wanted to redistrict the city from two to five congressional districts.

Del Mar said establishing more districts would mean more funding for programs and projects.

Rama, the incoming congressman, said additional districts would also mean more representation of Cebuanos' voices in Congress's lower chamber.

"That would be an advantage for the Cebuanos. That is one of the priorities we are looking at," said Rama.

Online sabong

The two legislators also said online sabong or cockfighting should not be brought back due to its negative impacts on the community.

Rama said online sabong establishments in the city were not properly regulated and were too blatant for the children to see.

"First, when it was approved, most of us in the city council did not really understand what it was. What we wanted to do was at least help some of the industries. But after seeing what happened, it turned out to be too bad," Rama said in a mixture of Cebuano and English.

Del Mar said online sabong had only made the poor poorer and it is now better to get rid of it since it can be abused easily.

"The poor only get poorer. Everybody goes into gambling. They gamble and they think they can earn more when in actuality, the minute you gamble, you are ready to lose what you gamble, and I am against it," said del Mar.

Teachers, nurses

The two solons also agreed that the salary grade assigned to teachers should be raised to encourage them in doing their jobs and to allow government to attract better qualified applicants.

"A lot of people have come to me and said, ‘Our teachers have the English proficiency level of a Grade 3 student’ and we need to change that," said del Mar.

Del Mar added that increasing the salary of a Teacher 1 from salary grade 11 to salary grade 14 will "attract more teachers" to join the country's education sector.

Rama also lamented that the current salary of teachers in the country is far lower than the salaries of teachers in neighboring countries in the Southeast Asian region.

Del Mar also proposed that all students be given a tablet computer so they will no longer have to carry heavy books to school.


Rama also wants to increase the salary of nurses in the country, especially those working in private hospitals.

Rama said there are adequate medical facilities in the city, but the problem is the shortage of nurses in the hospitals.

"I had this bad experience even before the (Covid-19) pandemic. A relative of mine went from hospital to hospital. At that time, I kept on wondering why they kept on turning us down. Later, I found out that there was a shortage of nurses," said Rama.

On the part of del Mar, she vowed to continue what her father, the late Raul del Mar, started in providing medical and burial assistance that has already helped more than 140,000 constituents.

Legislative agenda

According to del Mar, there are 16 House Bills already lined up to be filed in the House of Representatives.

Del Mar said most of the bills came from her late father, who died in office in November 2020.

Rama added that he would also want to focus on projects that would involve agriculture and livelihood.

Rama is a neophyte in the House of Representatives, while del Mar would be a second-time representative, having won a seat in the House in 2010.

Del Mar said she wanted to become a member of the committee on disaster resilience, tourism and legislative franchise.

Rama wished to become a member of the committees on health, education, agriculture, livelihood, housing and environment. (with CTL)
Categories: Philippines News

Espinoza: Billions gone with wind?

Cebu Sun.Star - Tue, 2022-06-07 18:47
What happened to the Pharmally pharmaceutical scandal? The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee’s investigation to bring in the truth on the P10 billion worth of contracts of Pharmally with the government for the needed supplies during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021 was nada. This after the committee failed to get the required 11 signatures of the senators to endorse the 113-page draft report to the plenary for approval.

The Pharmally executives and the government officials must now be laughing to their heart’s content and the alleged plundered billions just vanished into thin air.

It was reported that only Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto, Senate Minority Leader Frank Drilon, Senators Leila de Lima, Risa Hontiveros, Ping Lacson, Manny Pacquiao, Kiko Pangilinan and Koko Pimentel signed the report. Those who refused to sign were Senate Majority Leader Migz Zubiri, Senators Sonny Angara, Pia Cayetano, Sherwin Gatchalian, Bong Go, Lito Lapid, Imee Marcos, Grace Poe, Bong Revilla, Francis Tolentino and Cynthia Villar.

The Blue Ribbon Committee report recommended the filing of plunder, graft and other criminal charges against Health Secretary Francisco Duque, former Budget Undersecretary Christopher Lao, Overall Deputy Ombudsman Rex Warren Liong, Chinese businessman Michael Yang and Pharmally executives. The report also stated that after President Duterte’s term, charges must be considered against him for “betrayal of public trust.”

Four senators openly said they did not sign the report because of the inclusion of President Duterte in the report. They are Majority Floor Leader Migz Zubiri, and Senators Sherwin Gatchalian, Sonny Angara and Imee Marcos. These senators would simply not sign that committee report that might indict the President after his term for some reasons or another because, maybe, they owed some favor to the Chief Executive.

President Duterte personally endorsed Senator Zubiri in the last elections and he’s been reelected. According to Zubiri, he would have signed the committee report if the name of President Duterte hadn’t been included.

Senator Imee Marcos’ stand is very understandable because her brother, President-elect BBM, is the running mate of Vice President-elect Sara Duterte even if she said that the committee report went “above and beyond evidence.”

Senator Marcos was quoted as saying: “We were a little bit surprised, if I have to say it politely, that it included the President and encompassed breach of trust and other allegations that had not really been discussed or had been shown by the evidence presented so.”

Conversely, the critics of Sen. Dick Gordon, chairman of the Blue Ribbon Committee, who had a word war with President Duterte on this Pharmally scandal, could surmise that the inclusion of President Duterte in the report is a retaliation.

Gordon, in his last privilege speech, told the senators that they “cannot shirk from our responsibilities” by refusing to sign the draft report. “The Senate’s full disclosure of the Pharmally plunder controversy achieves closure for our people. I am doing this as a chairman in a quandary. I respect my fellow members. I do not try to antagonize them or badmouth them. I respect the Filipino people,” he said.

In short, it’s the inclusion of President Duterte in the committee report that, perhaps, provides the gateway to freedom for the Pharmally executives and the involved government officials and the billions plundered are now gone with the wind. But this goes to show that the four branches of our government are still not independent of each other even when our Constitution says so.

Excluding President Duterte, would the administration of President-elect BBM go after the responsible government officials and Pharamally executives in this scandal? Doubting Thomases don’t think so.
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DOST helps Lanao del Norte town's disaster mitigation

Philippines Times - Tue, 2022-06-07 18:46
MANILA -- The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in Lanao del Norte is assisting in the disaster mitigation efforts of the municipality of Bacolod, providing technical support and funding to procure automatic rain gauges (ARGs) and a water level monitoring station (WLMS).
Categories: Philippines News

DOST helps Lanao del Norte town's disaster mitigation

Philippines Times - Tue, 2022-06-07 18:46
MANILA -- The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in Lanao del Norte is assisting in the disaster mitigation efforts of the municipality of Bacolod, providing technical support and funding to procure automatic rain gauges (ARGs) and a water level monitoring station (WLMS).
Categories: Philippines News

DOE bats for oil deregulation law review

Philippines Times - Tue, 2022-06-07 18:45
MANILA - The Department of Energy (DOE) will ask the 19th Congress to prioritize the review of the oil deregulation law as the agency aims to ease petroleum prices.During the Laging Handa public briefing Tuesday, DOE Undersecretary Gerardo Erguiza Jr. said the agency wants t
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DOH, LGUs not giving up as Ifugao, Benguet log low vax rate

Philippines Times - Tue, 2022-06-07 18:43

BAGUIO CITY - Health authorities here continue toreach out to unvaccinated individuals, especially in Benguet and Ifugao which have registered low vaccination rates,to convince themtogetjabbed against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19)

Dr. Amelita Pangilinan, assistant regional directo
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Climate change mitigation crucial to socioeconomic planning: NEDA

Philippines Times - Tue, 2022-06-07 18:41
MANILA - Climate change adaptation and mitigation need to be placed at the heart of socioeconomic planning for the country to achieve its 2040 vision of eradicating extreme poverty, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said Tuesday."Addressing the triple pl
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Carvajal: The real thing

Cebu Sun.Star - Tue, 2022-06-07 18:41
In a genuine party-list system, the electorate votes for parties or, more precisely, for the political, economic and cultural programs they distinctly stand for. In this system, voters do not vote for the personal qualities of individual candidates but for party philosophies and programs of government.

Thus, if a party wins the presidency, the candidate for president listed by that party becomes president. In Congress, if a party gets, say, two-thirds of total votes cast, it gets to fill two-thirds of all the contested seats with members in the party’s list of candidates.

The beauty of a party-list system is it gives all sectors proportionate representation in government. But for this to happen it is essential that all sectors are given a fair chance to form and operate a party. This is done with the government providing a budget for the formation and basic operation of parties after they get certified as public institutions by complying with strict legal requirements.

The most important of these is a precisely defined ideology or social philosophy that subsumes its socio-economic programs. With it goes a required education program of its members on party ideology and code of discipline (a third requirement). A fourth requirement is a minimum number of card-carrying bona fide members.

Last but not the least is the convention. To be listed as a party candidate for any position, a member must be voted as an official party candidate by fellow party members in a party convention.

Because of a strict certification program, no more than two or three parties are usually certified as public institutions. Thus, during elections you only have to count the votes of three parties. You don’t need a computer and you can count openly and in public. The ballots are also small and inexpensive. Most of it is occupied by a summary of the contending parties’ respective programs of government.

The rich still have the advantage of having more funds to add to the basic budget from the government. But in this system, the marginalized sector has at least some seed funds to build and operate a party. Unlike today when, left to their own devices, they are completely unable to do so.

Most important of all, this system’s required educational program helps to bring the marginalized sector towards political maturity and frees them of their dependence on the dictates of their economic and political patrons.

But make no mistake about it, this will not happen under the present system. Oligarchs, our exclusive rulers, subscribe to one and the same neo-liberal ideology that does not call for change but, on the contrary, for the maintenance of elitism in government.

The party-list system is an educational and truly representative system of electing government officials. If we must have it, and we should, we might as well have the real thing, not the mockery of a party-list system.
Categories: Philippines News

Barangay health workers tapped as promotion officers

Philippines Times - Tue, 2022-06-07 18:35

LAOAG CITY -To carry out a more comprehensive coverage in the implementation of healthcare programs among residents, over 3,500 barangay health workers (BHWs) in Ilocos Norte will now be utilized as health promotion officers in their respective communities.

This came following the Ilocos Nort

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C. Luzon offering over 12K jobs, trainings, livelihood grants

Philippines Times - Tue, 2022-06-07 18:30

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga - Over 12,000 jobs await applicants in Central Luzon under this year's "Trabaho, Negosyo at Kabuhayan" (TNK) Job and Business Fair, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) regional office here said on Tuesday.

This is in line with the celebration of the 12

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PhilHealth-9 bares increase in claims for dengue coverage

Philippines Times - Tue, 2022-06-07 18:21

ZAMBOANGA CITY - The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation-Zamboanga Peninsula (PhilHealth-9) has recorded an increase in claims for their dengue coverage here.

Dr. Jacobo Maria Mendoza, the PhilHealth-9 benefits administration section head, said Tuesday 466 availed of the dengue package f

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