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Updated: 19 min 44 sec ago

Dole waiting for URC to submit safety reports before lifting stoppage order

Mon, 2022-06-13 10:29
THE stoppage order issued by the Department of Labor and Employment in Central Visayas (Dole 7) against the Universal Robina Corporation's (URC) sugar pulverizing department in Mandaue City will only be lifted once the company complies with the mandated Occupational Safety and Health Standards (OSHS).

Marites Mercado, Dole Tri-City field office chief, told SunStar Cebu on Sunday, June 12, 2022, that they are now waiting for the company to submit the requirements proving that they have already complied with the OSHS guidelines.

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If the company can prove that they have already addressed the danger in its workplace, then we would recommend the lifting of stoppage order, she said.

Meanwhile, Mercado reiterated that the investigation conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation and the Mandaue City Police Office on the incident is separate from the Dole's scope.

To recall, Dole issued a stoppage order against the URC's Sugar Pulverizer Machine Operations after they found in their investigation that the interlock safety device of the machine was defective.

The defective interlock safety device allegedly caused the death of one of their factory workers, Stephen Corilla.

Corilla died on June 2 afternoon while cleaning the company's pulverizing machine after it "accidentally" turned on while he was inside it. (HIC, TPT)

Categories: Philippines News

Japeth Aguilar sinks clutch jumper as Ginebra survives Blackwater

Mon, 2022-06-13 10:03
BARANGAY Ginebra showed nerves of steel as they overcame a valiant stand by Blackwater to prevail, 85-82, in the PBA Season 47 Philippine Cup on Sunday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

Reigning league MVP Scottie Thompson and Japeth Aguilar rescued Ginebra from the jaws of defeat as they scored crucial points in crunchtime to give the Kings a victorious debut this season.

The Bossing looked poised to pull off the monumental upset as they led, 82-79, after a left-handed layup and a tough jumper by Joshua Torralba with 1:05 to go in the match. But Thompson got fouled and made two free-throws to trim the deficit to just one, 81-82, with 55 seconds left.

Blackwater had several chances to extend their lead but JV Casio missed a triple while Baser Amer threw an errant pass with 25 seconds to go to give possession back to Ginebra.

The Kings then took advantage as Aguilar rose up and canned a midrange jumper to shove Ginebra in front, 83-82, with eight ticks left.

Amer then doomed Blackwater’s final offensive as he dribbled the ball off his foot and out of bounds.

“We knew we had a battle in place, but I think it even ended up harder than we thought,” said Ginebra head coach Tim Cone after the game.

Christian Standhardinger had 21 points, seven rebounds, and four assists while Aguilar added 15 markers, and six boards. Thompson narrowly missed out on a triple-double with 14 points, 16 rebounds, and nine assists.

Former Cesafi MVP and Gilas guard Rey Anthony Suerte scored 15 points to lead the way for Blackwater.
Categories: Philippines News

TNT claims second straight title in PBA 3x3 Third Conference

Mon, 2022-06-13 09:58
THE TNT Tropang Giga captured their second straight leg title after downing the Terrafirma Dyip, 21-15, in Leg 4 of the PBA 3x3 Third Conference on Sunday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

The Tropang Giga leaned on another fiery shooting from Almond Vosotros and the valuable contributions of Samboy De Leon, Lervin Flores, and Ping Exciminiano to overpower first time finalist Terrafirma Dyip, and annex their third leg crown in this conference.

TNT likewise became only the second team to win back-to-back leg championships after Limitless App during the first conference.

“Hats off to my players. I couldn’t emphasize that enough kasi three championships in four legs,” said winning coach Mau Belen. “Really, everyone just wants to win.”

The Tropang Giga won the top purse of P100,000, bringing their total prize pot to P300,000 for the conference alone.

Vosotros finished with nine points and had six rebounds, De Leon with five including the deuce that clinched the championship, while Flores and Exciminiano accounted for the rest of TNT’s output.

TNT ironically, lost its first game in pool play against Barangay Ginebra, 21-15, but bounced back with two straight wins over Master Sardines (22-12), and Pioneer Pro Tibay (21-14) to advance in the knockout stage.

The Tropang Giga then took their game a notch higher in the playoffs by outplaying Meralco in the quarterfinals, 21-14, and later eliminated San Miguel in the semis, 16-10, to reach the championship round.

Terrafirma took the runner-up honor worth P50,000 for the team’s best finish in the half-court game.

The Dyip edged Cavitex in the quarterfinals, 22-20, and went on to survive Limitless App in a closely-fought semis, 21-17, to arrange the finals showdown with the Tropang Giga.

San Miguel downed Limitless App, 21-17, to take home P30,000 in the battle for third place.
Categories: Philippines News

DOLE distributes livelihood grants to residents in Sawang Calero

Mon, 2022-06-13 09:15
MORE than P5 million in livelihood grants were distributed to the families of former child laborers in Barangay Sawang Calero, Cebu City in line with the celebration of World Day Against Child Labor (WDACL) that also coincided with the Philippine Independence Day on Sunday, June 12, 2022.

Marites Mercado, DOLE Tri-city field office chief, told SunStar Cebu that the activity is celebrated annually by the agency.

However, the Department of Labor and Employment postponed its celebration of WDACL for two years due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

The event was held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the San Nicolas Gym in Barangay Pasil, Cebu City.

It was participated in by around 181 former child laborers from Sawang Calero and their families.

The program was filled with activities that the participants enjoyed, such as storytelling for children, raffles and games, and a feeding program.

Meanwhile, the P5,429,787 worth of livelihood grants will be distributed equally among the 181 child laborers by their barangay officials.

Mercado said the livelihood grant is part of the DOLE’s Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (Dileep), which mainly targets the parents of child laborers.

Under Dileep, parents of the child laborers are given assistance in the form of cash or Negosyso sa Kariton or Nego-Kart (a project for ambulant vendors in major cities of the country) and starter kits that they can use for their livelihood.

The DOLE believes this will help remove children from working at a young age to help their parents sustain their family’s needs.

Beneficiaries from Sawang Calero were the second to receive the livelihood aid this year.

The first one was given to child laborers and their families in Barangay Alang-Alang in Mandaue City on Labor Day, May 1.

Mercado, however, said they still could not identify their next beneficiaries.

The DOLE is still in the profiling process for its next batch of recipients for livelihood assistance, she added.

Mercado said DOLE launched the event in 2002 as an advocacy to stop child labor and reduce its cases in the country.

Categories: Philippines News

Dole distributes livelihood grants to Sawang Calero residents as it marks World Day Against Child Labor

Mon, 2022-06-13 09:15
MORE than P5 million livelihood grants were distributed to the families of child laborers in Barangay Sawang Calero, Cebu City in line with the celebration of World Day Against Child Labor (WDACL) that also coincided with the Philippine Independence Day on Sunday, June 12, 2022.

Marites Mercado, Dole Tri-city field office chief, told SunStar Cebu that the activity is celebrated annually by the agency.

However, it was postponed for two years due to the Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

The event was held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the San Nicolas Gym in Barangay Pasil, Cebu City.

It was participated by around 181 child laborers from Sawang Calero and their families.

The program was filled with activities that the participants enjoyed, such as storytelling for children, raffles and games, and a feeding program.

Meanwhile, the P5,429,787 worth of livelihood grants will be distributed equally among the 181 child laborers by their barangay officials.

Mercado said the livelihood grant is part of Dole's Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP), which mainly targets the parents of child laborers.

Under DILEEP, parents of the child laborers are given assistance in the form of cash or Negokart and starter kits that they can use for their livelihood.

Dole believes this will help remove children from working at a young age to help their parents sustain their family's needs.

Beneficiaries from Sawang Calero were the second to receive the livelihood aid this year.

The first one was given to child laborers and their families in Barangay Alang-Alang in Mandaue City on Labor Day, May 1.

Mercado, howewer, said they still could not identify their next beneficiaries.

Dole is still in the profiling process for its next batch of recipients for the livelihood assistance, she added.

Mercado said that Dole launched the event in 2002 as an advocacy to stop child labor and lessen its cases in the country. (HIC, TPT)

Categories: Philippines News

San Miguel nabs early lead in standings with 100-92 win over NLEX

Mon, 2022-06-13 09:12
THE San Miguel Beermen won their second game in a row with a 100-92 victory over the NLEX Road Warriors in the PBA Season 47 Philippine Cup on Friday afternoon at the Ynares Center.

The win propper San Miguel atop the standings with a 2-0 card. CJ Perez filled the stat-sheet up with 19 points, six rebounds, five assists, and three steals as San Miguel came all the way back from a 12-point deficit to steal the win.

Marcio Lassiter added 18 markers, going 4-of-8 from rainbow country in a game where he reached a personal milestone of 1,000 three-pointers.

Power forward Vic Manuel came off the bench and added 14 points, while Chris Ross chipped in 13. Six-time league MVP June Mar Fajardo was held down to just nine points but he grabbed 14 rebounds.

NLEX was within striking distance, 83-86, after a bucket by Calvin Oftana with less than six minutes remaining. However, Fajardo canned two free-throws while Perez shot in a jumper and a free-throw to give San Miguel a 91-83 lead.

A Justin Chua jumper pulled the Road Warriors to within six but the Beermen just had too much firepower as they pulled away late to nab the victory.

Don Trollano had 21 points for NLEX, which dropped to 1-1. Oftana had 16, while Chua finished with 12. Kevin Alas and JR Quinahan produced 10 points each.
Categories: Philippines News

Lapu-Lapu vice mayor: Not yet time to stop use of face masks in public spaces

Sun, 2022-06-12 22:01
LAPU-LAPU City Vice Mayor Celedonio “Celsi” Sitoy is not keen on making the wearing of face masks outdoors optional.

While he and Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan have yet to talk on the matter, Sitoy believed that it is not yet time to drop the mandatory use of face masks in public places.

“Sayo ra ang paghunong nato og gamit sa atong (It’s too early to stop the use of) face masks,” he said on Sunday, June 12, 2022.

The vice mayor issued the statement four days after Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia issued Executive Order (EO) No. 16 that makes the wearing of face masks in open and well-ventilated spaces in the province optional but it still mandates the mandatory wearing of masks in closed and air-conditioned places. The order does not cover the highly urbanized cities of Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue and Cebu.

Sitoy, a doctor, said he has reservations on making the use of face masks optional in open spaces, citing the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic is not yet over, as more variants have recently been detected in the country.

Sitoy admitted that it is fine to do away with face masks in open spaces, but he said that there is still a possibility of transmission of the virus.

The reelected Vice Mayor said the city is still following the policy of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Under Garcia’s EO No. 16, persons with Covid-19 symptoms would also still be required to wear a mask at all times when they leave their homes.

Cebu Province is the first local government to impose such a protocol while the entire country, as ordered by the IATF and President Rodrigo Duterte himself, continues to adhere to the mandatory face mask rule amid the prevailing pandemic.

Garcia issued the executive order even though Cebu Province remains on Alert Level 2 until June 15, except for Talisay City, and the towns of Alcoy, Borbon, Oslob, Pilar, Santander and Tudela, which are under the less restrictive Alert Level 1.
Categories: Philippines News

Carillo: Cebu City Hall to pay for checkups of poor residents showing dengue symptoms

Sun, 2022-06-12 21:25
THE Cebu City Government will shoulder the medical bills of individuals who cannot afford to pay for checkups as recorded dengue cases in the city in the first five months of 2022 have already breached the 1,000 mark.

Gerardo Carillo, chairman of the Cebu City Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Council (CCDRRMC), told SunStar Cebu Sunday, June 12, 2022, that the city will set up a hotline number that residents can call immediately for assistance if they feel someone is at risk of dengue.

“If someone has a fever and they doubt it is dengue, they can call us and we will facilitate the admission to the nearest hospital for checkup,” said Carillo, a lawyer.

Carillo added that the City Government will shoulder the expenses to ease the fear of the residents over the medical bills that they might incur.

Based on the data released by the Cebu City Health Department (CCHD), the city had recorded 1,033 dengue cases as of June 10.

At least 17 individuals have already died from the mosquito-borne disease.

Carillo also mentioned that he had a meeting with representatives from different hospitals on creating a dedicated lane for individuals suspected to have the dengue fever.

According to Carillo, a fast lane for patients suspected to have dengue fever has already been opened at the Cebu City Medical Center.

Carillo said they are closely monitoring the number of cases in the city to mitigate the effects and prevent it from being declared an outbreak.

According to CCHD officials, possible symptoms of dengue are fever, body malaise, abdominal pain, vomiting, and in severe cases, bleeding.

In recent interviews, CCHD head Dr. Jeffrey Ibones said the rise of dengue cases in the city can be attributed to the persistent rains brought about by different weather phenomena like Typhoon Odette (Rai) in December 2021 and Tropical Depression Agaton (Megi) in April 2022.

The CCHD has identified 11 barangays that are considered at high risk for dengue infection because of the high number of cases in their area.

These are Barangays Guadalupe, Lahug, Poblacion Pardo, Inayawan, Mambaling, Kamputhaw, Punta Princesa, Talamban, Quiot Pardo, Capitol Site, and Tisa.

Carillo urged the barangay officials to continue their search and destruction of the potential breeding grounds of the mosquitos.

All barangays in the city were also instructed to create a Dengue Committee that will be tasked to sustain the cleanup drives within their respective jurisdictions, Carillo added.
Categories: Philippines News

PRO-Central Visayas to continue apprehending face mask violators

Sun, 2022-06-12 21:02
AFTER the controversial Executive Order (EO) No. 16 issued by Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia making the wearing of face masks non-mandatory in open spaces in the province, the Police Regional Office (PRO)-Central Visayas issued an order asking local police and the public to follow the directives set by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

The DILG earlier did not recognize the EO of Garcia, which ordered police to continue to “confront, apprehend, and arrest” all violators of minimum public health standards (MPHS).

Police Brigadier General Roque Eduardo Vega, regional director of PRO-Central Visayas, said they will continue to apprehend those who will violate the rules of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

Lieutenant Colonel Engelbert Soriano, provincial director of the Cebu Province Police Office (CPPO), earlier issued a statement that they will abide by what is in the law.

He said since EO 16 remains a law in the Province of Cebu, they will comply with it unless there is a dispute with another agency.

“The PNP (Philippine National Police) is mandated to enforce the law. Hence, Cebu PPO will support whatever is legal and supported by existing laws. EO 16 of Cebu signed by Hon. Governor Gwendolyn F. Garcia remains the law as far as Cebu Province is concerned and we recognize that, unless it is later on invalidated by proper authority," Soriano said.

Vega, however, said they will follow the order of DILG Secretary Eduardo Año that still mandates Cebuanos to wear a face mask throughout Central Visayas.

The regional top cop said he has already called on the CPPO chief along with city and provincial police office directors to follow the order of their head office.

“In compliance with the DILG directives, PRO-7 continues to remind the public to observe the minimum public health standards, which includes the mandatory wearing of face masks in public places as set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases guidelines,” Vega said.
Categories: Philippines News

CIDG 7 arrests 12 persons for selling giant clam shells worth P36M

Sun, 2022-06-12 21:01
AN ESTIMATED P36 million worth of giant clam shells has been seized by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Central Visayas (CIDG 7) in Barangay Tapilon, Daanbantayan town, in Cebu province.

Caught were 12 individuals involved in the unlawful sale of clams, including Liloan-based businesswoman Carla Czarina Cañazares Camacho, 41. The CIDG operatives confiscated 133 large shells that weighed 3,000 kilos.

Personnel from the 300th Air Intelligence Security Wing of the Philippine Air Force (PAF), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources 7’s Fishery Law Enforcement Group and the Philippine Coast Guard also joined in the operation.

Camacho allegedly sold a kilo of giant clam shells at P12,000.

Aside from Camacho, the CIDG 7 also arrested Camacho’s companions Caryl Yanong, Gilbert Monterde Jr., Genesis Diamos, Federick Beloria, Cham Diamos, Freddie Beloria, Esteban Natural Jr., Elier Cañete, Alex Baslan, Clodualdo Petere Jr., and Salvador Camino Jr. They will be charged for violating Republic Act (RA) 8550, also known as the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 as amended by RA 10654.
Categories: Philippines News

City Hall to reblock areas in Punta Princesa hit by fire

Sun, 2022-06-12 20:58
THE Cebu City Government will implement a reblocking in the area in Barangay Punta Princesa that was hit by the fire that broke out in Barangay Punta Princesa on Saturday, June 11, 2022.

Gerardo Carillo, chairman of the Cebu City Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Council, told SunStar Cebu Sunday, June 12, that aside from extending the necessary relief assistance, the City’s priority now is to reblock the site.

Carillo said the responders had a hard time putting out the fire since the pathways were narrow and the access to the interior portion was very


“That was the reason the fire spread because firefighters cannot access the area,” said Carillo in a mix of Cebuano and English.

He assured that the fire victims can still rebuild their houses in the same spot but there will now be wider pathways for improved access in times of emergencies.

Carillo further said that around 3,300 individuals are now being sheltered in different evacuation sites in the barangay.

The massive fire has affected five sitios in the barangay and based on the initial report by the Cebu City Fire Office, the fire started in Sitio Tuburan at 5:53 p.m. Saturday.
Categories: Philippines News

MCPO holds heritage tour to commemorate Philippine Independence, promote city tourism sites

Sun, 2022-06-12 20:54
TO COMMEMORATE the Philippine Independence, the Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO) held a one-day heritage tour on Friday, June 10, 2022.

This was meant to make people, specifically the youth, be aware of the history of Philippine Independence and the heroic deeds of the Filipino patriots who took part in the fight against the Spanish Empire.

The Philippines celebrated its 124th Independence Day on June 12, 2022.

Last Friday’s activity was held by the MCPO with the help from the Mandaue Investment Promotions and Tourism Action Center (Miptac).

Aside from promoting Philippine history, Maj. Hugo Reo Ipong, acting chief of MCPO’s City Community Affairs Development Unit, said they also aimed at educating people about Mandaue City’s heritage culture and promoting the city’s tourism sites.

The tour covered the city’s well-known heritage sites such as the Bantayan sa Hari in Barangay Looc, and the National Shrine and Parish of St. Joseph and the Mandaue City Plaza in Barangay Centro.

The event, which ran from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., was participated by about 100 individuals from the police, youth organizations, faith-based groups, and city tourism personnel.

This was the second heritage tour organized by the MCPO as the first one was done during the Day of Valor this year, celebrated last April 9.

Maria Loreen Lugo-Arguedo, Miptac tourism operation officer, said they are thankful to the MCPO for helping in promoting Mandaue City’s tourism.

Despite the city not having typical tourist destinations such as white sand beaches, Mandaue can boast of its manufacturing industries and entertainment hubs.
Categories: Philippines News

Thank you, Cebuano athletes

Sun, 2022-06-12 20:35
CEBUANO medalists in the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games were welcomed by the Cebu City Government and the Cebu City Sports Commission (CCSC) with a Grand Homecoming at the City Wing Atrium, SM Seaside City Cebu on Saturday afternoon, June 11, 2022.

The 31st edition of the sporting conclave was held in Hanoi, Vietnam this year where Team Philippines finished fourth place overall with 52 gold medals, 70 silvers and 105 bronzes.

Present in the homecoming were Cebu’s pride Pearl Cañeda, Wilbert Aunzo, Elreen Ando, Lois Kaye Go, Alexis Sy, Raven Alcoseba and Kim Remolino.

Cebuano stars June Mar Fajardo, Cherry Rondina, Rubilen Amit, Rheyjey Ortouste, Roger Pogoy and Angelo Marquez were also feted but were not able to attend the activity.

In a recorded message, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez and commissioner Ramon Fernandez congratulated the Cebuano athletes for bringing honor to the country in the recent SEA Games.

Fernandez hopes that the next City administration can continue to work with the CCSC for the development of athletes and grassroots programs.

Also present during the homecoming event were CCSC chairman John Pages, former CCSC chairman Edward Hayco and the Cebu Dancesport Team C.
Categories: Philippines News

Culibao outpoints Choi in UFC 257

Sun, 2022-06-12 20:34
FIL-Aussie Joshua “Kuya” Culibao logged his second straight win in the Octagon after walking away with a split decision win over South Korean Seung Woo Choi at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore on Sunday, June 12, 2022.

Choi dictated the fight early on with his busier work rate. However, Culibao slowly gained momentum and knocked down Choi in the opening round. Culibao once again knocked down Choi in the second round and controlled the fight.

Choi stole the third round as he took Culibao to the ground and attempted a rear-naked choke but to no avail.

Culibao improved to 10-1, while Choi fell to 10-5.

Culibao has both Filipino parents that moved to Australia.

Meanwhile, Fil-Chinese Ramona Pascual suffered a unanimous decision loss to Joselyne Edwards in the UFC 257 opener. Edwards won on all three judges’ scorecards with scores of 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28.

Pascual dropped to 6-4, while improved to 11-4.

Like Culibao, Pascual has both Filipino parents that migrated to Hong Kong.

On the other hand, Pinoy fighters Wallen Del Rosario and John Adajar lost their respective fights in the “Road to UFC” show in Singapore last week.

Del Rosario (8-2) failed to earn a UFC contract after losing to Chinese veteran Qui Lun (15-8) via unanimous decision in the quarterfinals of the flyweight tournament last Thursday.

Lun got the nod of all three judges with identical scores of 30-27 on all three scorecards.

Adajar (6-2) was submitted by South Korean Han Seul Kim (13-4) in the opening round of their welterweight contest last Friday.

Kim caught Adajar, the URCC welterweight champion, with a triangle armbar and forced him to submit at the 4:37 mark.
Categories: Philippines News

Pump prices of Diesel, Gasoline to surge anew

Sun, 2022-06-12 19:42
MOTORISTS could see another round of big-time hikes in fuel prices this coming week, based on oil industry projections, as global oil prices continue to soar due to the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

In its fuel price forecast for June 14 to 20 trading week, Unioil said the price per liter of diesel may surge by P4.30 to P4.50 while gasoline prices may go up by P1.50 to P1.60 per liter.

This means diesel would have logged around P10 increase in the last two weeks after recording a P6 per liter increase last Tuesday.

Kerosene is also projected to go up by P4.75 to P5 per liter.

The oil embargo has been cited anew as the reason for the continued rise in oil prices, as European countries refuse to import oil from Russia, amid the conflict with Ukraine.

The lockdowns in China are continuing to loosen up, which play a major factor as well in increasing prices.

Oil companies usually announce fuel price adjustments every Monday, to be implemented on the following day.

On June 7, fuel firms hiked gasoline prices by P2.70 per liter and diesel by P6.55 per liter, bringing the year-to-date adjustments to stand at a net increase of P26.55 per liter for gasoline and P36.85 per liter for diesel.

Categories: Philippines News

Targeted subsidies, full school reopening to help bring back employment, Neda says

Sun, 2022-06-12 19:41
TRAGETED subsidies and the full resumption of face-to-face schooling will help bring back employment in the hardest-hit sectors, the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) said.

The Philippine Statistics Authority reported today that the country’s unemployment rate decreased from 5.8 percent in March 2022 to 5.7 percent in April 2022, the lowest since the start of the pandemic. Underemployment also declined from 15.8 percent to 14 percent in the same period.

However, fewer Filipinos participated in the labor force due to supply chain disruptions brought about by the Russia-Ukraine conflict and seasonal factors in agriculture, among others. The labor force participation rate declined from 65.4 percent to 63.4 percent, translating to a net employment loss of 1.3 million between March and April.

Of the 1.3 million net employment loss, 1.1 million were from agriculture while 0.5 million were from services. This was slightly tempered by 0.3 million employment generated in the industry sector.

“Higher oil prices and seasonal factors have impacted workers in the transport and agriculture sectors, respectively, and hindered some from going to work. To address this, the government will urgently distribute targeted subsidies to the hardest-hit sectors to cushion higher prices,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua said.

The government is rolling out targeted subsidies amounting to P6.1 billion for the transport and agriculture sectors. This consists of P5 billion worth of fuel vouchers to qualified public utility vehicle drivers and operators who will each receive a P6,500 fuel subsidy under the Pantawid Pasada program. Meanwhile, 1.1 billion pesos will be distributed as fuel discounts to farmers and fisherfolk.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board also approved the one-peso provisional fare increase for public utility jeepneys in the National Capital Region, Region 3, and Region 4A to address increasing fuel prices.

Chua added that the Civil Service Commission has allowed government offices to adopt flexible work arrangements, such as four-day work weeks, to help employees save on fuel costs.

Despite external risks, overall employment remains at 3.1 million above the pre-pandemic level as around 80 percent of the economy has been placed under Alert Level 1.

However, Chua reiterated that the country cannot reap the full benefits of alert level 1 without the full resumption of face-to-face classes. This is among the strategies cited in Executive Order No. 166, which adopts the Economic Development Cluster’s 10-point-policy agenda to accelerate and sustain economic recovery.

Without the full resumption of face-to-face classes, businesses that cater to students remain closed or operate at reduced capacity. In addition, one-fourth of parents cannot go to work as they need to support and manage their children’s online schooling, thus limiting the income generation of some households.

“The Philippine economy has recovered to its pre-pandemic gross domestic product level this year. We must now focus on accelerating our growth by strengthening our domestic economy and investing in the education and development of our children. This will help secure better employment opportunities for future generations,” Chua said. (PR)

Categories: Philippines News

Editorial: Root out homophobia

Sun, 2022-06-12 18:24
The most fragile thing in the world is a sense of self.

On June 28, 1969, the police raided and arrested homosexual patrons and employees at the Stonewall Inn in New York City.

According to, homosexuality was equated with sodomy during the 1950s-1960s. Forty-nine of the 50 states in the U.S. criminalized homosexuality.

Homosexuals were charged with heavy fines and faced imprisonment and punishment. The police arrested crossdressers for wearing gender-inappropriate clothing since “masquerading” as a member of the opposite sex was a crime in New York City then.

Social injustice, discrimination, and hatred permeated the culture. The Mafia, which owned the Stonewall Inn, blackmailed clients by threatening to “out” and expose their homosexuality to family and employees, reported

The New York police, which was bribed by the Mafia, still raided from time to time the Stonewall Inn and other gay bars in the city for the illegal solicitation of homosexual behavior, according to

On the evening of June 28, 1969, members of the New York City lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgender (LBGT) community fought back against a team of undercover police that raided the Stonewall Inn, forcing the officers to take refuge inside the bar, which was then torched by the protesters.

What followed were days of riots in New York City, later spreading to other cities where the LBGT communities resisted the discrimination and harassment by the police, business owners, and the press, whose homophobic bias ranged from outright indifference to acts of homophobia to editorial condemnation of “the forces of faggotry” attacking social conventions and order, reported

A year after the Stonewall Inn riots, New York activists mobilized and conducted the first Gay Pride march, drawing participants that covered 15 city blocks. The activism to promote the rights and welfare of all marginalized genders later caught up in other countries.

Fifty-two years after the first New York City march, Pride Month in June continues to be essential to spread awareness and awaken consciousness about inclusive recognition and respect for all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions (Sogie).

Last June 8, Janille Rose Gultiano posted on the social media Facebook that she observed how a mother scolded her son for nearly making them miss the last seat in a bus offering free rides.

Gultiano wrote that the irate mother shouted at her son, about 13 years old, “Boang jud ka! Di ka magsilbi og pinaspasay kay hinhin kaayo ka! (Your stupid effeminate ways keep you from catching up).”

The netizen said that the bus driver allowed the mother and son to squeeze in the bus, and other passengers moved to give them space.

She described the effect of the public shaming on the boy who followed his mother but gazed back at the crowd “with tearful eyes.”

Although triggered by a vicious cycle of violence and resistance, Pride Month agitates for non-judgmental acceptance and mutual co-existence, fighting the sexual and social marginalization associated with gender stereotyping.

Gultiano expresses it best in her social media post, which supports diversity and challenges traditional constructions of identity: “I pray for the child’s strength amidst rejection and discrimination. I hope he won’t grow up feeling like a stranger in his own skin. I hope his home won’t turn into an echo chamber continuously bombarding his head with masculine ideals affecting his self-worth. I pray the world will be kinder to him. I pray we are all loved regardless of who we are or who we choose to be.”
Categories: Philippines News

Bernaldez suffers another loss in US

Sun, 2022-06-12 18:15
MARK Bernaldez had another career setback after suffering an eighth-round technical knockout loss to Mexican Oscar Duarte on Sunday, June 12, 2022, at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.

Duarte started out strong and used his long reach to his advantage. He wobbled Bernaldez a bit with a right hook-left hook combination in the opening round.

The 28-year-old Bernaldez displayed quick footwork and used the ring really well to spark his offense but Duarte successfully defended his attacks.

Duarte started to batter Bernaldez with his vicious combinations in the fourth round.

The 26-year-old Duarte landed a right straight that stunned Bernaldez momentarily in the eighth round. He followed it up with some heavy blows that forced referee Gerard White to stop the fight at the 2:05 mark.

Bernaldez suffered his second straight defeat and dropped to 23-6 with 17 knockouts.

Duarte logged his eighth straight win and improved to 23-1-1 with 18 knockouts.

Categories: Philippines News

Avante: The USC Safad Annual Design Awards 2022 (Conclusion)

Sun, 2022-06-12 16:58
A residence is indeed the most “basic” type of building that pops up when thinking about architecture, perhaps due to the fact that shelter is among the top essentials for man. That is why it is very important for architects to be sensitive to the activities, needs and even the personalities of their prospective building users for them to conceptualize and realize the best design for a building and planning of its spaces.

Early this semester, the second year architecture students of the University of San Carlos (USC) designed interesting rest houses, programmed for a family of five in a mountainous location south of Cebu. The top student designers also had their works recognized in the USC School of Architecture, Fine Arts and Design (Safad) Awards, done recently in a virtual platform.

Houses with a View. Building with the environment became the guiding philosophy of Rolaine Pearl Valiente, gold awardee for the sophomore category. She felt satisfaction from her “Slab House” since it fitted well to the slopes of their project site.

“I enjoyed doing the layout and experimenting on contrasts such as how the structure turned out to look light and floating even though the material used is mostly concrete. A mix between privacy and openness is also present,” she confided. Consultations with mentors, she said, were also vital in helping shape her design.

Better layout strategies was also employed by silver awardee Lou Henrick Tomross Cabanero in his “Maison A Deux Etages” (Two-Storey House), resulting into dynamic roof design and efficient zoning of spaces that also adapted to the entry of natural light and ventilation.

“I also considered the building’s accessibility with the presence of two roads at both ends of the lot as well as the functionality of each space to fit the user activities,” said the future architect, who also dabbles into pottery and coffee-making as recreational diversions. He reveals that the award was something new to him noting that he was quite carefree during his high school and senior high days. This serves as a motivation for him to always do his best. “I do not settle for the bare minimum,” he added.

A balance of work and play was also the key to getting through the design plate for bronze winner Seth Aubin Brice Alatraca. In his design, he had to research brutalism and tropical design to justify the building form. “Architecture is really dramatic and sophisticated, but it’s fun,” said Brice, who also teaches dance. He admitted, though that what he envisioned for his design was not achieved to “the full extent” but acknowledged that he had learned valuable lessons.

However, houses are not the only forms of “built environments” that architects are capable of designing. The third year architecture students ventured into different non-residential building types, including their plate for a “Proposed Senior High School Building.”

Learning Environments. “As a part of a wider network of buildings within the USC, the design follows the surrounding buildings’ direct visual connection to nature allowing for a more positive learning environment. It encourages more interactions between users with its wide hallways, social spaces and atriums. This makes for a brighter and airier environment, taking advantage of natural daylighting and cross-ventilation where circulation and public spaces are open with views to the surrounding landscapes,” explained gold awardee, Faith Ann Go.

Bronze awardee Rachelle Joy Tan came up with three schemes during her initial studies in solving the design problem.

“I wasn’t sure of how to arrange the structure without cutting big chunks of the site in order for the structure to sit flat and to not cover any of the detention ponds,” she revealed, “I was able to overcome these problems by designing three smaller structures sitting on different levels of the site all connected by bridges and ramps.” A similar approach was made by silver awardee Jean Golisao, where she made sure that the natural flow of the water and the airspace above the ponds are unobstructed making the building mass is wrapped around the pond creating a wide green atrium.

Going through the meticulous design process, these students picked up a lot of useful lessons moving forward. “We must opt for architectural solutions which will create the least negative environmental impact. In designing structures built on sloping terrain, the designers must minimize any disturbance made in the natural stability of the slope to prevent natural disasters,” said Jean, “the designers must not forget that it is our role to be good stewards of our environment.” With these students always striving for excellence in their craft, the future indeed looks bright for architecture and design here in Cebu.

Categories: Philippines News

DOH mulls imposition of uniform MPHS to prevent Covid-19 resurgence

Sun, 2022-06-12 14:35
THE Department of Health (DOH) urged local government units (LGUs) to impose a uniform protocol to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

"Kailangan lahat ng local governments, lahat tayo, iisa lang ang protocol na susundin natin. Kailangan sabay-sabay tayo and magtulong-tulong so that lahat tayo mapupunta tayo at maaatin ang new normal na sinasabi natin," DOH undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a Laging Handa public briefing on Saturday, June 11, 2022.

(We need all local governments, all of us, we all should have one protocol to follow. We need to work together so that we can all go to the new normal.)

Vergeire made the statement following the executive order issued by Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia, on June 9, lifting the mandatory wearing of face masks in the province, particularly in open and well-ventilated areas.

Vergeire cited the situation in other countries where Covid-19 cases shoot up after removing the mandatory wearing of face-masks policy.

She said the government should wait until the cases in the country become manageable before considering the lifting of the face-mask rule.

"Kaya ang rekomendasyon ng ating eksperto ay huwag na muna, atin po munang ituloy ang pagsusuot ng face mask," she said.

(So our expert's recommendation is not to do it first, let's continue wearing the face mask.)

"Darating tayo diyan, we take it one day at a time... darating tayo sa time na mawawala ang face masks but we need to manage the cases muna sa ngayon,” she added.

(We will get there, we will take it one day at a time... we will reach a time when face masks won't be necessary, but we need to manage the cases first for now.)

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said they do not recognize Garcia’s order, urging policemen to arrest those who will follow the order instead of the order of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

Garcia, however, maintained that local chief officials have rights to decide on their own.

Quirino Governor Dakila Carlo Cua said they are also planning to issue an order similar to Garcia’s.

He said they are already confiding with the health experts with consideration to the Covid-19 status of their province.

While Cua recognized the local autonomy, he said the order of the national government should be highly considered. (SunStar Philippines)
Categories: Philippines News