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  • 12 mins Manila city gov’t provides food assistance to families of workers with COVID-19 MB
    The Manila City government has provided food assistance to the families of public transportation drivers, public market vendors, and mall employees who tested positive for the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) through its free mass swab testing operations. Manila Mayor Isko Moreno (ALI VICOY / MANILA BULLETIN) Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso announced this after some workers expressed concerns about not being able to support their families as they undergo their 14-day quarantine. This concern could convince others not to get tested for the deadly disease so they could continue to provide for their families, he said. “Tulad ng kompromiso ... more
  • 16 mins UAE pardons 51 OFWs convicted of various crimes MB
    Presidential Adviser for OFW and Muslim Concerns Secretary Abdullah Mamao announced that about 51 overseas Filipino workers  convicted of various offenses in the United Arab Emirates were given pardon following a series of negotiations with UAE officials. (photo via Ariel Fernandez) Secretary Mamao bared this to reporters when he arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3, Tuesday afternoon via Emirates Airline. Mamao said 30 of the former inmates are already back home with their families while 21 are still processing their documents for repatriation.  They have been convicted of various crimes such as adultery, illegal drugs and ... more
  • 22 mins Pandemic might force more children to work –DOLE MB
    With millions of workers displaced by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, an official of the Department of Labor and Employment has expressed concern that the health crisis might force more children to work. “Here comes COVID-19 and we are worried because it is possible that child labor is a negative coping mechanism to the pandemic,” DOLE Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC) Director Ma. Karen Trayvilla said in an online forum Monday. “More children may be forced to work,” she added.  According to Trayvilla, their child labor prevention program still continues as well as the profiling of child ... more
  • 25 mins Senators threaten NEA of no budget if electric posts in newly widened roads are not removed MB
    Senators on Tuesday threatened to defer the budget of the National Electrification Agency (NEA) as they scored the agency for its failure to remove electric posts that are obstructing various roads and posing safety risks to commuters. Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon said the matter is of great public concern—“a matter of safety and better use of public fund.” “Because billions are poured into the widening of our road networks and, yet, these are wasted because there is no effort to remove these public hazards,” Drilon told NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong during the Senate hearing on the budget of ... more
  • 41 mins DSWD helps its wounded personnel in Tawi-Tawi MB
    The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said Tuesday (Oct. 20) it is closely coordinating with the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to ensure that the necessary assistance will be fully extended to their wounded field workers who were attacked by gunmen in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi last week.  DSWD spokesperson Irene Dumlao said through its Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS), the DSWD already extended help to its two program implementors who were attacked by gunmen along the highway of Barangay Lapid-Lapid while on their way home following a five-day payout in the coastal municipality of Panglima ... more
  • 45 mins DPWH: Experts preparing to design 32-km Bataan-Cavite Bridge MB
    Detailed engineering design for the proposed 32-kilometer Bataan-Cavite Interlink bridge project will start in November until January 2022, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) announced Tuesday. (photo via DPWH) This after the department signed the contract agreement of consulting services for the detailed engineering design (DED) of the mega bridge that aims to link Mariveles, Bataan and Naic, Cavite.  Under the contract agreement, the DED will be carried out under a P3.03 billion for 15 months.According to Undersecretary Emil Sadain, the DED will be funded by an additional financing for the Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility (IPIF) under a signed loan agreement ... more
  • 48 mins Australian ambassador exhorts heroes of Leyte Gulf Landing 76 years ago MB
    Drawing from the lessons of World War II, Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Steven J. Robinson on Tuesday highlighted the importance of countries with shared values and friendship to cooperate closely to ensure peace, security, and prosperity in the region. Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Steven J. Robinson In a video message commemorating the 76th anniversary of the Leyte Landing, Robinson paid tribute to all those who took part in the Philippines campaign during WWII, including the 4,000 Australian soldiers who contributed to the success of the military coalition against the Japanese. “The great battle in the Pacific 76 years ago ... more
  • 1 hour LTFRB starts service contracting to benefit jeepney and bus drivers MB
    Some 60,000 public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers will benefit from the net service contracting scheme of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) which is now in the process of implementing the program, an official said on Tuesday. In a virtual briefing on Tuesday, LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III bared the implementing guidelines of the program that will allow drivers and operators of PUVs to enter into transport service contracts with the government to help in easing the impact of the pandemic in the transportation sector. “This program is basically contracting the services of PUV operators to help ... more
  • 1 hour New NCR military chief named MB
    The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) formally installed Brigadier General Marceliano Teofilo as the new commander of the Joint Task Force – National Capital Region (JTF-NCR) on Tuesday. (photo from AFP) General Gilbert Gapay, AFP Chief of Staff, presided over the Change of Command Ceremony held in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City. Teofilo took over from Brig. Gen. Alex Luna, who was earlier designated as the military’s intelligence chief. The Joint Task Force-NCR is assigned to combat terrorism and insurgency, and acts as a support unit to the Philippine National Police in securing peace and order within Metro Manila. ... more
  • 1 hour Storm ‘Pepito’ to cross Northern, Central Luzon tonight MB
    Tropical storm “Pepito” (international name: “Saudel”) is approaching Aurora province and forecast to cross Northern and Central Luzon tonight, Oct. 20, bringing stormy weather along its path through Wednesday, Oct. 21. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) estimated the location of tropical storm “Pepito” at 110 kilometers (km) east of Baler, Aurora around 4 p.m., Tuesday. It is moving west-northwest at 30 kilometers per hour (kph). It could make landfall over Aurora between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m., Tuesday, traverse Luzon landmass, and re-emerge over the West Philippine Sea on Wednesday morning.  Even before its ... more
  • 2 hours Lacson says IRR provision on publication of suspected terrorists’ names may serve a ‘purpose’ MB
    Senator Panfilo Lacson said on Tuesday expressed belief that the publication of suspected terrorists’ names, as provided under the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, has its purpose. Senator Panfilo M. Lacson (CZAR DANCEL / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) Lacson said that while the provision can be subject to questions regarding data privacy, the publication of names can help suspected terrorists prepare for any legal action that may be taken against them.“Wala kasi sa batas yan, sa IRR lumabas ang publication (It’s not part of the law, but the requirement for publication came out ... more
  • 2 hours Castelo urges employers to distribute Xmas bonuses early MB
    Quezon City Rep. Precious Hipolito Castelo on Monday called on private sector employers to make this year’s Christmas celebration happier for the country’s labor force by releasing early their 13th month pay and Christmas bonuses. (JANSEN ROMERO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) Castelo, vice chairperson of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development, said employers need not wait until the December 25 deadline set by law in the distribution of the 13th month pay. “Releasing the bonus or 13th-month pay early will surely ease the financial burden employees and our people have to face every day because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” ... more
  • 2 hours Velasco to go all out for Sara Duterte should she run for the presidency MB
    House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco will go all out for Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte should the presidential daughter declare for the presidency, possibly in January, 2021. Speaker Lord Allan Velasco (Lord Allan Velasco’s Office / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) Velasco, who helped Duterte campaign for the Hugpong ng Pagbabago senatorial candidates last year, told a television interview on Monday that he has the support of the Davao City mayor who played a vital role in the newly-installed speaker’s bid to unseat former speaker and Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano.In the television interview, Velasco acknowledged Duterte’s “big push” ... more
  • 2 hours Concepcion upbeat about possible saliva-based COVID-19 test MB
    Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion is eyeing to support a study that explores the use of saliva specimens for the reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing.  Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) “If that research shows that saliva is as sensitive or even more sensitive than swab testing, then that would be another game-changer,” said Concepcion during a virtual press conference for the Project ARK and Mandaluyong Pooled Testing sponsored by BDO Foundation. To note, Project ARK is private sector campaign for COVID testing led by ... more
  • 2 hours DSWD elated over 4Ps beneficiaries’ inclusion in vaccine priority list MB
    The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) expressed elation Tuesday (Oct. 20) over the inclusion of the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in the Duterte government’s COVID-19 vaccination priority list.  (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) DSWD spokesperson Irene Dumlao said the agency took note of President Duterte’s pronouncement last week that the 4Ps recipients will be the first to receive the coronavirus vaccines, along with the country’s security forces.   “Ang DSWD ay malugod na tinatanggap ang anunsyo ng Malacañang at itong direktiba ng ating mahal na Pangulo ... more
  • 2 hours Middle East still has most number of COVID-infected Filipinos MB
    The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday reported 26 new confirmed COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) cases, 33 new recoveries, and 3 new fatalities among overseas Filipinos. (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) In its daily COVID-19 tally, the DFA said the latest reports of new cases, recoveries, and deaths were from the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, and the Middle East.  The total number of COVID-19 infections involving Filipinos abroad since the outbreak of the pandemic began in February this year is now 11,178.  Of this figure, 3,129 are undergoing treatment, 7,234 have recovered and 815 died due to the disease. ... more
  • 2 hours Grant Anti-Terrorism Council the presumption of regularity — Palace MB
    The Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) should be accorded with the “presumption of regularity” in performing its duty under the new law on fighting terrorism, according to Presidential spokesman Harry Roque. Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (OPS / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) Roque said the council is expected to make decisions such as the designation of individuals and groups as terrorists if there would be “factual and legal basis.” Under the implementing rules and regulations of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, the council is authorized to publish the list of persons and groups designated as terrorists in the Official Gazette ... more
  • 2 hours Nat’l epidemic curve on downward trend, says Duque; only 5 per of active cases are critical, severe MB
    The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the Philippine soared to over 360,000, after the Department of Health (DOH) detected 1,640 new cases.  (JANSEN ROMERO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) The country’s caseload is now at 360,775, of which 43,443 are considered active cases, the DOH said in its case update on Monday. It was reported that 83 percent of the active cases are in mild condition, 11.6 percent are asymptomatic, 3.4 percent are critical, and two percent are severe.  The five areas that recorded high number of new infections are Cavite and Quezon City with 86 cases each, ... more
  • 4 hours 4 missing as 2 motorized pump boats sink off Tawi-Tawi; 11 others rescued MB
    Joint police and Coast Guard personnel have intensified the search and rescue operations for four passengers of a motorized pump boat that capsized off the waters of Simunul in Tawi-Tawi on Oct. 19. (PRO-BAR) Brig. Gen. Samuel Rodriguez, director of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region regional police,  said the rescue operations initially led to the rescue of 11 people on board another motorized pump boat. They were identified as Dalson Kadil, Habil Kadil, Noralyn Kadil, Inang Danial, Delma Abdulgafor, Almasil Abdulgafor, Roman Kadil, Alsimal Abdulgafor, Iradzmal Abdulgafor,  Nursilyn Kadil, and Airin Danial. They were on board the motorized pump boat ... more
  • 4 hours Imminent baby boom due to quarantine a blessing, says Roque MB
    The government considers the imminent baby boom in the country as a “blessing” and not bad news, according to Presidential spokesman Harry Roque.  Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. (YANCY LIM/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) Amid reports about a projected 2.5 million unplanned pregnancies by the end of the year, Roque recognized that the population is the country’s greatest resource. “Bagamat talagang dapat iplano po ang pamilya, hindi naman po bad news na marami rin tayong naging anak (Although there must be family planning, having many children is not bad news). Our greatest resource is still our population,” Roque said during ... more
  • 4 hours Hontiveros: BI officials involved in VUA and pastillas schemes pocketed P40-B MB
    Senator Risa Hontiveros on Tuesday, Oct. 20, expressed her belief that an estimated P40 billion worth of kickbacks were pocketed by Bureau of Immigration (BI) officials who were involved in the Visa-Upon-Arrival (VUA) scheme and the so-called “pastillas” scam.  Sen. Risa Hontiveros (Senate of the Philippines / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) At the continuation of the Senate’s hearing on the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO)-related sex trafficking and prostitution, Hontiveros estimated that the amount purloined by the “masterminds of a notorious business model” is already at P30 billion alone for the “pastillas” scam, based on the arrival data ... more
  • 4 hours AFP confers Presidential medals on 19 Marawi siege heroes MB
    The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has bestowed Presidential medals on 17 soldiers, a military unit, and a civilian doctor who helped in liberating Marawi City from the grip of Daesh-inspired terrorist groups in 2017. General Gilbert Gapay, AFP Chief of Staff, led the presentation and giving of the medals from President Duterte to the awardees in a ceremony held in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City Monday night, coinciding with the third year anniversary of the liberation of Marawi City. Dr. Isabel Cojuangco-Suntay was the lone civilian awardee as she was given the Order of Lapu-Lapu Rank of Magalong.  ... more
  • 4 hours PNP files charges vs. pilot on chopper crash as one of injured passengers dies MB
    Following the death of a police general due to serious injuries in a helicopter crash in March, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said it already filed a case against the pilot of the chopper. Police Major General Jose Maria Victor Ramos, then comptrollership head, died at 12:07 a.m. on Tuesday after more than seven months of fighting for his life.  He was among seven passengers of the helicopter, including then newly appointed PNP Chief General Archie Gamboa, then Intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Mariel Magaway, then PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac and three others who were injured as a ... more
  • 4 hours Pag-IBIG Fund’s home loan restructuring offers longer payment relief for borrowers MB |Biz
    Pag-IBIG Fund is offering up to six months of payment relief, more affordable amortization, and waived penalties under its special restructuring program to help home loan borrowers cope during the pandemic, top executives announced on Monday (Oct. 19). Secretary Eduardo D. del Rosario, who serves as Chairman of the 11-member Pag-IBIG Fund Board of Trustees and head of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development. Secretary Eduardo D. del Rosario, who serves as Chairman of the 11-member Pag-IBIG Fund Board of Trustees and head of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development, said that the agency is ... more
  • 4 hours No reason for employers not to give 13th month pay MB
    There is no reason anymore for employers not to pay their employees their 13th month pay. Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III (ROBINSON NIÑAL JR. / PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) Labor Secretary Silvestte Bello on Tuesday, Oct. 20, bared that rural bankers have expressed willingness to provide soft loans to micro and small business enterprises. “I had a call from the president of the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines […] advising us that all the rural bankers are willing to provide soft loans to all micro and small business enterprises so they can pay the ... more
  • 4 hours Consumer group eyes filing graft charges against FDA MB
    The troubles for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which admitted receiving foreign grants from vested interest groups continue to pile up as stakeholders threaten to file graft charges against the beleaguered agency before the Ombudsman. (FACEBOOK / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) Anton Israel, president of the Nicotine Consumers Union of the Philippines (NCUP) said “if the FDA ignores the views of legitimate and impacted stakeholders and proceeds with the adoption of an administrative order lifted from the playbook of their anti-tobacco patrons, we would be constrained to file an anti-graft case with the Ombudsman.” Clarisse Virgino, the ... more
  • 5 hours Palace tells Marawi residents: ‘Wait for restoration of facilities’ MB
    It is not yet practical to allow all Marawi City residents to freely return to their homes due to lack of power, electricity and shelter in the war-torn area, Malacañang said Tuesday. Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (JOEY DALUMPINES/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) At present, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said only displaced residents living in Marawi’s most affected areas could be allowed to return provided they secure a building or repair permit from the concerned local government unit.  “Allowing all residents to freely return is impractical since there is no water and electricity to speak off and no shelter to ... more
  • 5 hours 2 wanted ASG members arrested MB
    Two suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf group (ASG) wanted for the kidnapping and killing of Jehova’s Witnesses members in 2002 have been arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Metro Manila. NBI Deputy Director Ferdinand Lavin on Tuesday, Oct. 20, identified the two arrested suspected ASG members as Jamar Ibi and Raden Jamil. “They were arrested by virtue of an arrest warrant in two separate operations by our Counter-Terrorism Division (NBI-CTD),” he said during a press conference. NBI-CTD Officer-In-Charge Darcy Binaya said the two are among the accused ASG members facing six counts of non-bailable charges ... more
  • 5 hours LRMC expanding LRT-1 capacity 30%-50% gradually MB |Biz
    The Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC),  private operator and maintenance provider of LRT-1, today (Oct 20) announced it’s adjusting passenger loading capacity to 30 per cent gradually, up to 50 percent later on. To ensure health safety for all, the operator will implement passenger control using the PLPP (passenger limit per platform) strategy, where only a defined number of passengers are allowed to board per station. The move came after  the Department of Transportation (DOTr) issued a directive to gradually increase the maximum passenger capacity of trains. Despite the increase in loading capacity, Filipino commuters are assured of ... more
  • 5 hours LRMC boosts LRT-1 capacity, assures safety of passengers MB
    The Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC) assured the safety of LRT Line 1 passengers as it began to implement increased passenger capacity to support economic recovery. (JANSEN ROMERO / MANILA BULLETIN) The LRT-1 management initially adjusted on Oct. 19 the line’s passenger capacity to 30 percent, which will gradually increase up to 50 percent in line with the directive of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to increase maximum passenger capacity of trains. To assure passenger safety, the LRMC, which is the private operator and maintenance provider of the LRT-1, emphasized the importance of the following “seven commandments” of public ... more
  • 5 hours PNP will have more generals as its ranks are beefed up MB
    The Philippine National Police (PNP) will have more generals in the future as part of the restructuring of the organization amid the increasing number of police officers, a top police official said. For a start, there will be five more three-star generals as the heads of the five Directorates for Integrated Police Operations (DIPOs)—Northern Luzon, Southern Luzon, Visayas, Eastern Mindanao and Western Mindanao— will now be a three-star post, or the rank of Police Lieutenant General. Currently, there are only three three-star ranks in the PNP, being held by the three other most senior members of the PNP Command ... more
  • 5 hours ‘Cayetano Speakership was an 8.5 out of 10,’ says Defensor MB
    With his 15-month Speakership now history, Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano’s performance was given a high rating of 8.5 out of 10 by Anakalusugan Party-List Rep. Mike Defensor. House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano (PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN / FILE PHOTO) Defensor made his assessment of Cayetano’s speakership in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected approximately eight months of Cayetano’s tenure. “Given the limited time [of his Speakership] and the COVID crisis we were confronted with, I think [Cayetano] deserves an 8.5 rating. He was really hard working and had a strategic vision for the House,” said the ... more
  • 5 hours Public vigilance vs. Anti-Terrorism Act urged MB
    A human rights group on Tuesday called for public vigilance after the release of the implementing rules and regulations of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020. (JANSEN ROMERO / MANILA BULLETIN) “Now more than ever, we need to be vigilant on the implementation of one of the most questioned laws in the country,” Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said. The group maintained its dissent against the anti-terror law over concerns it will be used to intimidate and harass dissenters rather than on terrorists. “The IRR merely confirmed the issues raised by the petitioners,” Palabay said. Among which is the law could be prone ... more
  • 5 hours Quarantine facility in Nasipit, Agusan del Norte opens; five more in Caraga under way MB
    A 50-bed isolation facility was recently completed in Nasipit, Agusan Del Norte while five more quarantine facilities are under way in Caraga region, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) announced. The recently-inaugurated quarantine facility, according to Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, will cater to cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the municipality of Nasipit and neighboring towns of Agusan Del Norte. The facility is  separated into two buildings for male and female with four units toilet for male, five units for female, one unit each for persons with disability and a total of 16 bathrooms.   ... more
  • 5 hours Group slams DepEd’s LSA program for excluding needs of marginalized students MB
    A federation of teachers on Tuesday, Oct. 20, criticized the Learning Support Aide (LSAs) program of the Department of Education (DepEd) for not taking into consideration the needs of marginalized students under the distance/blended learning, especially those who belong to the poorest communities and those who lack capable or available adult guidance at home. (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) Following the guidelines released by the agency on the selection and recruitment of LSAs, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines pointed out that its design “will not provide the learning needs of the marginalized students in distance learning,” such as ... more
  • 5 hours PSBank gets triple-A credit rating MB |Biz
    Philippine Saving Bank (PSBank), the consumer and retail bank arm of the Metrobank Group, has been given the highest Issuer Credit Rating of PRS Aaa (corp.), with a Stable Outlook, by the Philippine Rating Services Corporation (PhilRatings).  A company rated PRS Aaa (corp.) has a very strong capacity to meet its financial commitments relative to that of other Philippine corporates. A Stable Outlook means a rating is likely to be maintained or to remain unchanged in the next 12 months.  “The ratings reflect PSBank’s strong market position, its highly-experienced management team, and its sound capitalization and aggressive provisioning which are seen to temper the pandemic’s impact on ... more
  • 5 hours DENR examines 30-hectare mangrove forest in Cavite as potential conservation and management site MB
    About 30 hectares of mangrove forest in Noveleta, Cavite is currently being assessed for the potential establishment of a science-based mangrove conservation and management site. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon), through its Conservation and Development Division (CDD), together with the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) of Cavite, commenced with the assessment of the mangrove area in Brgy. San Rafael IV in the town of Noveleta last Oct. 12. The fieldwork activities are expected to be completed in 13 days. The activity is part of the partnership project ... more
  • 5 hours About 4,000 OFWs stranded in Metro Manila COVID-19 testing delayed due to PhilHealth-Red Cross impasse MB
    At least 4,000 overseas Filipino workers are currently stranded in Metro Manila, the Department of Labor and Employment said Tuesday. (JANSEN ROMERO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III cited the issue involving the Philippine Red Cross and Philhealth as reason for this. The Philippine Red Cross on October 14 announced that it was discontinuing its participation in the testing of specific sectors, whose COVID-19 tests are shouldered by PhilHealth, including arriving OFWs, as the overdue balance of PhilHealth to PRC had already reached nearly P1 billion. “We are now faced with another stranding of ... more
  • 5 hours PCG: Swab test results of returning Filipinos may take 4-5 days MB
    What used to be a 24-hour turnaround of swab test results of returning Filipinos became four to five days longer after pre-processing of samples went back to manual, the Philippine Coast Guard said Tuesday, Oct. 20. (JANSEN ROMERO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) During a televised press briefing, Commodore Armand Balilo, Coast Guard spokesman, explained that from the moment the returning nationals arrive at the airport, they gather data from them manually, which makes the entire pre-processing of swab test samples longer.  “Noong bumalik sa manual operations na katulad nung unang buwan ng lockdown pagdating sa airport imbes ... more
  • 6 hours Hollywood legend Jeff Bridges diagnosed with lymphoma MB |Ent
    WASHINGTON – US film star Jeff Bridges announced Monday that he has been diagnosed with lymphoma, a form of cancer that starts in the body’s infection-fighting cells called lymphocytes. Bridges, 70, who is best known for his role as a tipsy slacker in the Coen brothers’ cult classic “The Big Lebowski,” did not give much detail about his condition. “As the Dude would say.. New S**T has come to light. I have been diagnosed with Lymphoma. Although it is a serious disease, I feel fortunate that I have a great team of doctors and the prognosis is good. I’m ... more
  • 7 hours Globe Launches KonekTayo School Bus WiFi in Manila MB |Tech
    The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the crucial need for connectivity like never before. For underprivileged communities, access to internet connectivity — or the lack thereof — determines whether demands of the new environment, such as distance learning and remote working, will be met by families belonging to these communities. Bringing connectivity to several barangays in Manila, Globe’s KonekTayo School Bus WiFi was launched in Manila with guests: Manila Mayor Isko Moreno (middle);  Ayala Corporation Chairman and CEO and Globe Telecom Chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala (2nd from left); and Globe President and CEO Ernest Cu (rightmost); together with Business Development Head of Ayala ... more
  • 7 hours DTI vows full automation of services in 2021 MB |Biz
    Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez has vowed that micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) doing transactions with the government can expect a fully-automated digital platform with a refined customer service team any time of the day by next year. Lopez issued this commitment at the signing of a memorandum of understanding Monday with the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) and DTI to mainstream IPOPHL’s services and initiatives across DTI services, programs, projects and activities where relevant. This provides more MSMES the opportunity to leverage IPOPHL services, protect their IP assets and build competitiveness. The MOU ... more
  • 8 hours Bayer dangles ‘climate-smart’ incentives to farmers MB |Biz
    Bayer Crop Science (BSC), a company of German multinational pharmaceutical firm Bayer AG, will give incentives to farmers who will adopt “climate-smart” practices in order to reinforce its commitment to nature-friendly and sustainable food systems amid COVID-19 pandemic. Photo Credit: viridis.energy In a statement, BSC recently launched  the Bayer Carbon Initiative, which intends to help farmers generate revenue for adopting specific climate-smart practices. One practice is the use of no-till farming, which has been proven to reduce use and cost for fuel, labor, and equipment. It also improves soil structure, combats erosion as more surface soil is retained, and ... more
  • 8 hours Gabay Guro App Levels Up Future-ready Teachers this Back-to-school Season MB |Tech
    A native of Camarines Norte, Alita Yadao-Babagay is accustomed to going the extra mile to fulfill her duties as a teacher.   Being in the profession for 18 years, she has experienced how it is like to do multiple commutes by land and sea daily to reach her students. She has also done volunteer work before becoming a regular faculty member at Alawihao National High School in Daet.  As the COVID-19 pandemic compels teachers to become more innovative to ensure continuous education amid its many complex challenges, Babagay continues to rise up to challenges for the sake of her students.   She is among the thousands of teachers who ... more
  • 8 hours MUP 2020 candidate admits to being bisexual MB |Ent
    Billie Hakenson, one of the candidates to this year’s Miss Universe Philippines pageant, revealed she is bisexual. “I’m Billie Hakenson, I’m representing Cavite. And I’m a bisexual, and I’m proud to be here,” she was heard saying in a video taken during an interview held in Baguio City, recently. View this post on Instagram I know who I am, I know what I can do. I ... more
  • 8 hours POC Formalizes PESO as the Governing Body of Esports in the Country MB |Tech
    The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) has formalized the accreditation of Philippine Electronic Sports Organization (PESO) as the official National Sports Association for Esports in the Philippines. In a certificate issued on October 9, 2020, the POC declares PESO as an associate member of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) – Philippine Olympic Committee. “As such, PESO is the sole recognized National Sports Association and governing body for the sport of ESPORTS in the Philippines,” the certificate reads. Signed by POC Secretary General Atty. Edwin B. Gastanes, the certificate also bears the names of PESO officials serving a term of two ... more
  • 8 hours UNICEF to stockpile over half a billion syringes to prepare for COVID-19 vaccinations MB
    As the world awaits for the COVID-19 vaccine, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Monday said it will stockpile 520 million syringes in its warehouses to guarantee initial supply and help ensure that syringes arrive in countries before the COVID-19 vaccines. (JANSEN ROMERO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) “Vaccinating the world against COVID-19 will be one of the largest mass undertakings in human history, and we will need to move as quickly as the vaccines can be produced,” UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said in a statement. “In order to move fast later, we must move fast now. ... more
  • 8 hours Pangilinan hails promising research results on effectiveness of VCO as antiviral MB
    Opposition Senator Francis’’Kiko’’ N.  Pangilinan on Tuesday welcomed the promising results of the research on the effectiveness of compounds from virgin coconut oil (VCO) as antiviral agents to prevent or reduce coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections. Senator Francis Pangilinan (Senate of the Philippines / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) Pangilinan said this is good news that will benefit Filipinos who are infected with COVID-19 and also coconut farmers.                                                    New research funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOT) showed that compounds from coconut oil and VCO decreased coronavirus count by 60 to 90 percent at low viral load after six months ... more
  • 8 hours Solons welcome BIR’s guidelines on Bayanihan 2’s tax exempt provisions for medical frontliners MB
    Lawmakers welcomed Tuesday (Oct. 20) the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s issuance of the guidelines on the income tax exemption provisions of the Bayanihan to Recover as One law (Bayanihan 2). (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) Bacolod City lone district Rep. Greg Gasataya, Samar 1st District Edgar Mary Sarmiento, Bataan 1st District Rep. Geraldine Roman, and Nueva Ecija 1st District Rep. Estrellita Suansing took note of the BIR’s publication of its Revenue Regulations No. 29-2020 last Saturday that ensures tax-free special allowances and hazard pay for country’s medical frontliners, while the country remains under a state of national emergency. “I welcome ... more
  • 8 hours CHR condemns rape-slay of six-year-old in Bacolod City MB
    The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has strongly condemned the reported rape and slay of a six-year-old girl in Barangay Estefania, Bacolod City on October 15 and has vowed to conduct an independent probe in order to give justice to the girl’s family. Commission on Human Rights (MANILA BULLETIN) “Mariing kinu-kundena ng CHR ang hindi makatarungang pagpaslang at hinihinalang panghahalay sa isang anim na taong gulang na babae sa Bacolod City (The CHR strongly condemns the unjust murder and suspected rape of a six-year-old girl in Bacolod City),” said Spokesperson Atty. Jacqueline Ann de Guia. “Ipinapaabot ng Komisyon ang ... more
  • 9 hours Gov’t can use Bayanihan assistance fund to subsidize 13th month pay of workers in distressed firms — Villanueva MB
    The government can use the nearly P50-billion funding intended to help COVID-19 pandemic-hit micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) under the Bayanihan to Recover As One Act to subsidize the 13th month pay of workers in distressed companies, Senator Joel Villanueva said on Tuesday. Sen. Joel Villanueva (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN/MANILA BULLETIN) Villanueva, chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor and Employment, said he believes this is possible since under the Bayanihan 2, there is already a P39.47-billion allocation for government financial institutions to help cash-strapped businesses. The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) had earlier ... more
  • 9 hours Duterte willing to go to jail only for ‘correct indictment’ MB
    President Duterte is willing to go to jail only for the “correct indictment” but not for alleged crimes against humanity in his anti-drug crackdown. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte(ALBERTO ALCAIN/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) In his televised public address Monday night, the President said he would take responsibility for the drug war but rejected allegations that his actions constituted crimes against humanity. Duterte, instead, put the blame on the illegal drugs and those involved in the illegal trade for destroying the human race. “Dalhin ninyo ako sa korte para ikulong (Bring me to court to jail me) fine, wala ... more
  • 9 hours The Future of Work is Hybrid MB |Tech
    The pandemic has dramatically changed how people work—and how people feel about going back to their offices. According to a new global survey commissioned by Cisco, 95% of workers are uncomfortable about returning to the office given the current health crisis, 98% expect future meetings will have participants joining from home, 53% of companies are planning to optimize their office footprint, and 96% want intelligent technology to improve work environments.  “As the world carefully begins to move towards a deceleration phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, attention is shifting towards reducing restrictions and resuming normal life,” said Karrie Ilagan, Managing Director of Cisco Philippines. “Cisco is enabling ... more
  • 9 hours Drilon calls for increased 2021 Tourism budget MB
    Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon on Tuesday pressed the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to increase the budget of the Department of Tourism (DOT) for 2021, noting that the pandemic-stricken tourism industry, the second biggest contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), has been receiving insufficient support from the government. Senator Franklin Drilon (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN) “Tourism is the second biggest contributor to the country’s GDP. Instead of rewarding and supporting the DOT and tourism enterprises, our national budget keeps on decreasing its support for the tourism industry,” Drilon said during the ... more
  • 9 hours DSWD extols crucial role of cooperatives in PH economy MB
    The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has cited the crucial role of cooperatives in helping the government improve the economic situation of poor and marginalized groups in the country. Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) (MANILA BULLETIN) In a recent online forum, attended by leaders of cooperatives, Secretary Rolando Bautista took note the valuable contributions of some 26,000 cooperatives to the national economy as the government’s development partners, as they boost country’s economic development.  “Ang mga kooperatiba rin ay tumutulong mabigyan ng sapat na kasanayan at kaalaman sa mga mamamayan, umaagapay sa pag buo ng matatag ... more
  • 9 hours CSC’s Lizada reminds public officials: Whatever you say or do reflects on you and your agency MB
    Civil Service Commission (CSC) Commissioner Atty. Aileen Lizada reminded public officials on Tuesday that whatever they say or do is a reflection of not only themselves but the agencies they represent. Civil Service Commission (CSC) Commissioner Atty. Aileen Lizada (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) Lizada was reacting to Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) spokesperson Celine Pialago’s controversial remarks on the plight of detained activist Reina Mae Nasino whose three-month-old daughter, Baby River, died. “Together with our respective positions in government, there is equally a corresponding duty and responsibility that go with our positions,” Lizada told DZMM Teleradyo. “When people look ... more
  • 9 hours Religious group opposes renaming of Del Monte Avenue to FPJ Avenue MB
    The Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines – Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation Commission (AMRSP-JPICC) has appealed to the country’s senators and government officials to retain the name of Del Monte Avenue in Quezon City. (Google Maps / MANILA BULLETIN) The religious organization issued the appeal even as it expressed opposition to Senate Bill 1822 filed by Senator Lito Lapid which seeks to rename the road to Fernando Poe Jr. Avenue. In a statement dated October 19, the AMRSP said renaming the road Del Monte Avenue to Fernando Poe, Jr, Avenue will “totally obliterate the significance ... more
  • 9 hours PCCI, DOJ Ink MOA on MSME Dispute Resolution MB |Tech
    The National Center for Mediation (NCM), created by eight big business groups with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) – the country’s largest business organization as lead convenor – has signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Department of Justice Office of Alternative Dispute Resolution (DOJ-OADR) solidifying their commitment to jointly develop programs, among them the  LawTech Fund and COVID-19 Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) Scheme, that will help  micro, small and medium enterprises that are involved in disputes due to the economic downturn and disruptions to their operations in settling their disputes at significantly lower cost through  the use of alternative dispute resolution. ... more
  • 10 hours Capture Every Style with the realme 7i on October 21 MB |Tech
    realme Philippines, the top 2 smartphone brand in the country will complete its latest 7 Series with the realme 7i. Designed to be the companion of every Filipino trendsetter and go-getter, the realme 7i sports a new stylish mirror design inspired by nature, a quad-camera set-up headlined by a 64MP sensor, a large display with 90Hz refresh rate, and a large-capacity battery of 5,000mAh with 18W Fast Charge technology. The launch of the new 7 series device will be live-streamed on realme Philippines’ official Facebook page and YouTube Channel on October 21 at 6:00 p.m. Young, artsy Filipinos who have been wanting ... more
  • 10 hours PNP general in chopper crash dies MB
    After more than seven months of battling the effects of the injuries he suffered from a helicopter crash in Laguna, Police Maj. Gen. Jose Maria Victor Ramos died early Tuesday morning. (JANSEN ROMERO / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) The death of Ramos was confirmed by his mistah, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Camilo Pancratius Cascolan. Both Ramos and Cascolan are members of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1986. Ramos was then the head of the PNP’s Directorate for Comptrollership when the helicopter that he and seven other police personnel, including then PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa ... more
  • 10 hours TD ‘Pepito’ brings rains, gusty winds; Signal No. 1 raised in parts of Northern, Central Luzon MB
    Frequent rains, gusty winds, and rough seas loom as tropical depression “Pepito” could make landfall over Aurora or Isabela on Tuesday evening. (PAGASA / MANILA BULLETIN) In the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration’s (PAGASA) severe weather bulletin issued at 8 a.m., Tuesday, Signal No. 1 is hoisted over Isabela, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Abra, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Benguet, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Zambales, Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, Metro Manila, Rizal, northern portion of Quezon province (General Nakar, Infanta, Real) including Polillo Islands, and extreme northern portion of Camarines Norte (Vinzons). It has maintained ... more
  • 11 hours TCS kicks-off goIT Education Program in CAR that will provide vital technology training for students MB |Tech
    Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a leading global IT services, consulting and business solutions organization, recently rolled out its goIT Education Program in the Philippines, particularly in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR). TCS presented the goIT Education Program to the media through a virtual press conference held earlier this week. The education program is a global initiative that aims to help students improve their technology skills, the goIT program in the Philippines hopes to demystify computer science and encourage students to pursue STEM education and become tomorrow’s technology leaders. The program introduces students to design thinking, digital technologies and ... more
  • 11 hours Globe Removes Consumer 3G SIMs Across Distribution Chains MB |Tech
    Globe announced the completion of the removal of consumer 3G SIMs across its retail and distribution chains. The move, which started early last year,  was in line with the company’s goal to shift its customers to 4GLTE/5G-ready SIMs for improved mobile internet experience.    3G or short for third generation technology for mobile brought an important breakthrough in terms of basic mobile internet access two decades ago. However, new and better technologies like 4G LTE have been introduced since then, prompting many telecom companies across the world to stop offering 3G services while others are already in the process of ... more
  • 11 hours Senate tackles local hospital bills that seek to improve PH healthcare system MB
    The Senate health and demography committee tackled yesterday local hospital bills that seek to improve the healthcare system in various parts of the country. (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) During a public hearing conducted yesterday, Senator Christopher ‘’Bong’’ Go, committee chairman, said he recognized the importance of investing in the healthcare system to make it more responsive in the future. Go also called on the government to augment the operations of existing government hospitals and prioritize health infrastructure projects. “Kailangan na kailangan natin ngayon ‘yan, lalong-lalo na po may pandemya para siguradong may sapat na ... more
  • 12 hours Gov’t urged to buy locally manufactured vehicles MB |Biz
    The Philippine Metalworkers Alliance (PMA), a union of automotive, electronics, steel and iron steel workers, has urged the government to mandate agencies to purchase locally manufactured vehicles and raise local component requirement to 100 percent from 40 percent and control entry of imported cars to support the state-sponsored Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) Program to preserve industry jobs. In its “Workers Position on COVID-19 and CARS Program” position paper submitted to the Bureau of Labor Relations of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the PMA stressed their unwavering support to the domestic automotive industry by preserving the objectives ... more
  • 12 hours Mayors oppose proposal on reference point in delineation of municipal waters MB
    Thirty-two mayors from different coastal towns are opposed to the proposal of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to use the coast of the mainland as a reference point in the delineation of municipal waters instead of the farthest offshore island of a town. Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) (MANILA BULLETIN) The mayors from different coastal towns in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao fear that the proposal would intensify commercial fishing in municipal waters. BFAR is proposing to pass an administrative order (AO) on the “Guidelines for Delineating/Delimiting Municipal Waters for Municipalities and Cities with Offshore ... more
  • 12 hours DepEd urged to double check modules following inappropriate content MB
    The Department of Education (DepEd) has been asked anew to double check learning materials distributed under distance learning after students and parents discovered a very “alarming” and “inappropriate content” in one of the Self-Learning Modules distributed by DepEd Region 4-A or Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon).  (MANILA BULLETIN) Alarmed by the malicious content of a passage in their Filipino module, a 17-year-old Grade 11 student in a public school in San Mateo, Rizal sent photos of the module to the Manila Bulletin.  The photos showed a module titled “Komunikasyon at Pananaliksik sa Wika at Kulturang Pilipino” Book ... more
  • 13 hours Noche Buena products manufacturers seek price hikes MB |Biz
    Noche Buena products manufacturers are seeking as much 3 percent increase in their suggested retail prices (SRP) due to increased cost of production. Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez. (ALFRED FRIAS/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO FILE PHOTO) Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said the Noche Buena products manufacturers have requested for SRP adjustments of 1 to 3 percent. Lopez said these producers normally asked for price adjustments around this time of the year to cover for higher cost of production. “The DTI Consumer Protection Group is currently studying the petition,” he said noting that if the price hikes are reasonable, ... more
  • 13 hours SMC rolls out employees’ bicycle program MB |Biz
    San Miguel Corporation (SMC)  is providing its workforce with bicycles as an alternative transport mode amidst continued travel restrictions nationwide. The conglomerate’s program subsidizes bicycles for employees at P2,000 to P3,000 per unit, payable in 12 months, with no interest. San Miguel Corporation (SMC) president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang A surge in demand for bicycles among employees prompted SMC to devise the scheme, according to president  and chief operating Ramon S. Ang. “While we continuously do mass RT-PCR testing of all 70,000 employees and extended workforce to ensure safety in our facilities and offices nationwide, we ... more
  • 13 hours Manulife launches new life, health option MB |Biz
    Manulife Philippines has launched a new product that provides customers the flexibility to select the right critical illness protection for them and enhance the scope of their coverage by adding benefits of their choice. In a statement, Manulife Philippines announced the introduction of its HealthFlex, a life and health insurance option, which the company said “the first and only one in the market.” To ensure family well-being, Manulife Philippines said that HealthFlex also covers customers from age zero to 70. Many Filipinos have recognized the increased importance of staying healthy, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Manulife’s recent ... more
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