Today's Top Stories

  • Wrong information deters smokers from switching to better alternatives

    Wrong information deters smokers from switching to better alternatives

    Advocates of tobacco harm reduction (THR) urged adult smokers to discern the science behind non-combustible alternatives as misleading and false information may push them away from switching to better nicotine alternatives like vapes and heated tobacco products (HTPs). “The perception of harm from vaping is not consistent with the scientific evidence. Local public health experts should take the lead in providing Filipino smokers who cannot or do not want to quit smoking by themselves or with currently-approved methods with accurate scientific information on e-cigarettes and other better nicotine alternatives,” Clarisse Virgino, Philippine representative to the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA) said. Virgino was referring to a study done by Public Health England (PHE), an executive agency of the UK Department of Health and Social Care that found “the proportion [of smokers] who thought vaping was less harmful than cigarettes declined from 45 percent in 2014 to 34 percent in 2019.” These misperceptions, according to the report, are particularly common among smokers who do not vape. “Increasingly incorrect perceptions among the public about the harms of vaping could prevent some smokers using vaping products to quit smoking,” the report said. PHE has been consistent in its stance that “e-cigarettes are around 95 percent safer than combustible cigarettes.”  In its 2020 report, PHE stated that despite reductions in smoking prevalence, smoking remains the biggest single cause of preventable death and disease and a leading cause of health inequalities. The agency posited that “alternative nicotine delivery devices that are less harmful could play a crucial role in reducing this health burden.” The report further stated that “vaping regulated nicotine products has a small fraction of the risks of smoking,” and that smokers should be encouraged to try regulated nicotine vaping products along with smoking cessation medications and behavioral support to greatly increase their chances of successfully stopping smoking. In the Philippines, where more than 16 million individuals smoke with a low quit rate of 4 percent and a smoking related death rate of 88,000 per annum, Virgino suggested that the Department of Health (DOH) “should broaden its tobacco control strategy.”  “Combustion in cigarettes, not nicotine, is what is harmful to the health of smokers. As such, Filipino smokers who would otherwise continue smoking should be encouraged to switch to less harmful nicotine alternatives such as e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products. Doing so would significantly reduce smoking-related sickness and deaths in the country,” she said. Virgino said THR is a public health strategy that aims to provide better alternatives to reduce harms caused by smoking.  “Instead of sticking with the myopic ‘quit or die’ approach of the World Health Organization, the DOH should look at the emerging science and consider adopting THR in the country’s tobacco control strategy,” she said. THR is the key advocacy of CAPHRA—a regional alliance committed to educating, advocating and representing the right of adult alternative nicotine consumers to access and use of products that reduce harm from tobacco use. Its country representatives work with THR experts and advocates from around the world. CAPHRA is an alliance of consumer organizations that aims to educate, advocate and represent the right of adult alternative nicotine consumers to access and use of products that reduce harm from tobacco use.

    June 19, 2021

    READ MORE
  • BOC-10 destroys P75-M cigarettes from China

    BOC-10 destroys P75-M cigarettes from China

    MAKERS of illegally imported cigarettes are resorting to another tactic by making it look like the products they are shipping to the country is locally manufactured by labeling cigarette boxes with “Made in the Philippines,” an officer of the Bureau of Customs-10 (BOC-10) said Wednesday.      This was the revelation of Oliver Valiente, chief of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service in Northern Mindanao, who noticed that several boxes of the imported cigarettes they have intercepted at the Mindanao Container Terminal (MCT) in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental appear to be locally made.      “They want to make it appear that these cigarettes are local,” Valiente said, referring to the PHP75 million worth of cigarettes from China that BOC-10 has destroyed at a facility in Barangay Mantibugao, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon, on Tuesday.      He said the shipment arrived at the MCT in January this year and was declared by the consignee Sixty Nine Enterprises as kitchenware.      “Upon examination, the shipment revealed 135,700 reams of assorted cigarettes,” he said.      Valiente said the cigarettes were destroyed with the use of a road roller and backhoe.      He said the information that a contraband arrived at a local port was relayed to Customs deputy commissioner Teddy Raval.      Most of the sources of information, he said, come from local industries and local counterparts in the Customs organization.      “We adhere to the standing order of (Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero) to remain vigilant in our ports to maintain the influx of smuggled goods. We are maintaining it, day in, day out," Valiente said.      He added that the BOC-10 has so far intercepted three batches of misdeclared imported cigarettes, as he assured that legal action has already been filed against the consignees of the shipment and the brokers who facilitated the goods’ release. (PNA)

    June 18, 2021

    READ MORE
  • Smoke, not nicotine, causes deaths – health expert

    Smoke, not nicotine, causes deaths – health expert

    Inhalation of smoke, not nicotine, is the culprit that causes smoking related deaths and diseases according to a Canadian health expert. “The nicotine itself is not the problem. The global health catastrophe we face is due to the way it’s delivered. In short, for anyone wishing to tackle the global toll of 20,000 lives a day lost due to cigarette smoking, we need to remember just four words: ‘it’s the smoke, stupid’,” Prof. David T. Sweanor, chair of the advisory board of the Centre for Health Law, Policy & Ethics at the University of Ottawa said. He stressed that contrary to popular belief, nicotine is not the substance that causes these deaths. “There have been many decades of research on the health effects of cigarette smoking, and we have known since at least the 1970s that the primary cause of the cancers, heart and lung disease is the repeated inhalation of smoke,” he said.  The professor made the distinction to differentiate the risk profile of non-combustible alternatives (NCAs) like vapes, heated tobacco products (HTPs) and oral products like Sweden’s snus which deliver nicotine without burning tobacco. He said by eliminating combustion or the burning process, these innovative products provide smokers less harmful alternatives to smoking. Sweanor said the human body is simply not designed to inhale smoke. It is the tar from combustion, and not nicotine, that contains carcinogens and toxicants. “We see similar disease patterns in those who cook food over open fires with poor ventilation and in firefighters exposed long-term to smoke inhalation,” he said. He likened nicotine to caffeine, saying it is a psychoactive substance that is addictive and gives assorted benefits to many users. He, however, noted that “by themselves, neither have significant health risks when used at normal dosage levels. But if obtained through a toxic delivery system such as smoking, great injury can be caused.” Sweanor said that making NCAs available to countries such as the Philippines will help millions of smokers reduce their exposure to smoke and illnesses. Mounting evidence from scientific studies around the world confirm that NCAs are significantly less harmful than traditional cigarettes.  According to Public Health England and the Royal College of Physicians, e-cigarettes are at least 95-percent less harmful to humans than combustible tobacco. A February 2019 clinical trial by UK’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) found that e-cigarette was twice as effective as nicotine replacement treatments such as patches and gum at helping smokers quit. NCAs offer a similar ritual and pleasure as cigarettes with less exposure to the dangerous toxins and carcinogens found in tobacco smoke. “We now can get rid of cigarette smoking much as many countries have got rid of various infectious diseases and transitioned consumers away from a broad range of other overly hazardous products.  We can use science, technology and reason to draft regulations that can end cigarette smoking, and thus address the 20,000 daily deaths globally that are caused by that smoking.  We can make public health history no less significant than the eradication of smallpox,” Sweanor said. Citing Japan’s experience, Sweanor said the it reduced cigarettes sales by more than 30% in just over three years following the introduction of HTPs. “Product substitution works and appears to work better than any other strat egy we have used to date in reducing cigarette smoking. We have also seen this impact in Sweden, Norway, Iceland and other countries as well, and with a variety of low-risk non-combustible alternatives to cigarettes,” he said. He noted, however, that many governments can’t keep up with the advances in science and technology.  “They often fail to understand the absolutely enormous differences in risk between different nicotine products and inadvertently protect the cigarette business by seeing low-risk alternatives as a threat rather than an opportunity,” he said. “The combined offering in terms of consumer needs and wants, and the information, availability and pricing of the low-risk alternatives should ensure that the safer choice is an easy choice,” he said. “Viable alternatives to cigarettes can reduce cigarette consumption dramatically. We can seize the opportunity technology now makes available to end the cigarette epidemic,” Sweanor said. 

    June 7, 2021

    READ MORE
  • Kagay-anon aces Arizona high school Class of 2021

    Kagay-anon aces Arizona high school Class of 2021

    A Kagay-anon has graduated first in her high school class with highest honors in Arizona.      Nineteen-year-old Kaye Alexandra Louise Arancon also received six scholarship grants for her college education after topping her class at Ajo Unified School District with a 4.0 GPA.      With the ceremony done last May 26, the Class of 2021 were treated with a motorcade around town, passing by a local firehouse which greeted the entourage with honking horns.      Kaye - who graduated junior high at Gusa Regional Science High School here in Cagayan de Oro City before her family migrated - is proud of her heritage showing her Philippine flag-designed graduation cap.      Ajo Unified School District is a small public school district enrolling 420 students from preschool to 12th grade. All of the students, from PreK to high school, share one campus in the heart of Ajo, Arizona.       The PreK–12 student body is culturally diverse with a population that is 56 percent Latino, 25 percent Native American, 14 percent White and five percent Asian.      The sole mission of the school is to graduate each student college- and career-ready.      The high school currently has a gridiron football team, a volleyball team, a basketball team (both boys and girls), a baseball team (boys), a softball team (girls), a golf team, and track & field. They are known as the Ajo Red Raiders.      A former mining town, Ajo is home to around 3,500 persons including Kaye's family. This area has a large amount of sunshine year round due to its stable descending air and high pressure.      While being a student, Kaye works at a local Chevron outlet and has even received a college scholarship from her employer on top of what she was awarded during her graduation rite.      For now, Kaye enjoys basking in the limelight of her success as she decides on what program to pursue in her college life a few weeks away soon.

    June 2, 2021

    READ MORE

Charter economic reforms to boost private sector role in recovery

June 2, 2021

Corporate

By: , DEPARTMENT of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said the private sector plays a “very crucial” role in the country’s economic growth and recovery amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.      Malaya, in an economic forum on Friday, said amending and removing restrictions in the Constitution will help to facilitate investments from private entities.      “That is why we want to be able to bring foreign capital because our investments and gross capital formation decreased by negative 18.3 percent compared to previous statistics. So while it’s true that the government has an important role to play, private sector investment is very crucial to economic growth,” he said.      In the same forum, Center for Strategy, Enterprise, and Intelligence (CenSEI) executive director Gary Olivar said reforming the economic provisions in the Constitution will also help in attracting foreign investments.      He added that big foreign investors in the country should be seen as partners for growth instead of being competitors.      “Ang pagpasok ng malalaking foreign investors ang siya ngang tutulong sa mga medium and small scale industries. Hindi po sila kakompetensya (The entry of large foreign investors will help the medium and small scale industries. They are not competitors),” said Olivar.      He added that there will be more business partnerships between foreign investors and local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) if the Constitution will ease the entry of foreign investments into the country.      He said most of the foreign investments here are in the manufacturing sector, but the proposed economic reform would enable to attract more foreign capital in important sectors like agriculture.      Moreover, Malaya said the proposed Bayanihan to Arise as One Act (Bayanihan 3), which is currently in deliberation in Congress, would be an economic stimulus package that would provide more assistance to micro-enterprises and SMEs and the local economy.      “I think Bayanihan 3 would be one of the important measures that the government can do. Unfortunately, it might not be enough. We need to ensure greater consumer confidence, we need the private sector… and of course, amending and removing the restrictive economic provisions of the Constitution,” he said. (PNA)

read more

DTI chief says PH exports ‘doing well’ amid pandemic

May 27, 2021

Corporate

By: , DEPARTMENT of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez on Thursday said the country’s export industry is still doing well amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic and prolonged community quarantine measures.      During the Laging Handa public briefing, Lopez said the export revenues in March 2021 showed that the industry is performing well despite headwinds due to the ongoing pandemic.      The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported earlier that export revenues for March this year rose 31.6 percent to $6.68 billion from a 15.8-percent decline in March 2020 at $5.08 billion.      Lopez added that export revenues in March this year is even higher than the pre-pandemic level.      “We can’t say that it’s only positive growth because 2020 was low since this is the beginning of the pandemic. But even versus 2019, we really saw growth on our exports,” he said.      The trade chief attributed the growth of exports to the government’s policy to allow 100 percent operation of companies in export activities.      He added that the electronics sector that accounted for 60 percent of the country’s exports and the information technology and business process outsourcing (IT-BPO), which is one of the top dollar earners for the country, continued to post growth despite local lockdowns as they were allowed to operate at full capacity.      Lopez said electronics industry rose 5 percent while IT-BPO sector grew by 2 percent, although lower than the outlook for each sector at 7 percent and 5 percent, respectively.      “This shows resilience despite the pandemic,” the top trade official said. “I would say (our export industry is) doing well.”      He added that the exports will continue to pick up with the country’s solid economic fundamentals. (PNA)

read more

Upgrade to these Affordable Smartphones at Shopee’s Gadget Zone

May 17, 2021

Corporate

By: , Get a brand-new smartphone from brands such as Oppo, Huawei, Infinix, and Vivo with discounts up to 90% off MANILA- These days, smartphones are pretty much extensions of ourselves. With our phones, we keep in touch with our loved ones, connect with like-minded people, document precious memories, pursue our passions, and more. No wonder, then, that these gadgets go through a lot of wear and tear each day!      If you’re in the market for a brand-new smartphone, check out Shopee’s Gadget Zone. Starting May 14, you can enjoy discounts up to 90% off on smartphone brands such as Oppo, Huawei, Infinix, and Vivo.       Check out our smartphone recommendations for different needs:   For a smooth gaming experience      Enjoy long hours of uninterrupted gaming with Infinix Zero 8. This heavy-duty smartphone is equipped with Helio G90T, 8GB RAM, 180Hz touch sampling rate, and Game Turbo V1.0 for rapid, lag-free gaming. It can also withstand back-to-back gaming sessions without overheating, thanks to its Liquid Cooling Technology. For quality mobile photography      No need to lug around heavy cameras when you’ve got the OPPO A12. Capture all the little details with its 13MP main lens, snap professional-looking portraits with the Portrait Mode’s bokeh effect, preserve natural colors using its Dazzle Color Mode, and take fresh-looking selfies with its AI Beautification feature.   For a productivity-boosting gadget      For an affordable yet capable smartphone for all-around productivity, check out vivo Y1s. View photos and videos in HD+ resolution, enjoy its stable performance with its 2GB RAM and 32GB storage, and complete your tasks without worrying about running out of battery with its 4030mAh capacity. For the best budget-friendly pick      If you’re looking for an entry-level smartphone which can still give you bang for your buck, Huawei Y5 is the gadget for you. This phone offers a vibrant display, battery capacity of 3020 mAh, and a decent 8MP camera, available at one of the most competitive prices in the market.      Starting May 14, check out more deals on electronics from brands such as Xtreme, Tigernu, realme, Mcdodo, Phillips, Anker, Zeus.ph, Sabbat, Eufy, Soundcore, Platinum Karaoke, Instant Pot, Oster, KitchenAid, and ROG Official Store at Shopee’s Gadget Zone. For more information, visit https://shopee.ph/m/gadgetzone.       Don’t forget to top up your ShopeePay for more deals on your gadgets! Use ShopeePay at checkout to enjoy free shipping with a minimum spend of P199 and 8% cashback sitewide with a minimum spend of P1,000.      Download the Shopee app for free via the App Store or Google Play. About Shopee      Shopee is the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia & Taiwan. Shopee connects shoppers, brands, and sellers across Asia and other fast-growing markets, empowering anyone to buy and sell anywhere and at any time.       Shopee offers an easy, secure, and engaging experience that is enjoyed by millions of people daily. It offers a wide product assortment, supported by integrated payments and logistics, as well as popular entertainment features tailored for each market. Shopee is also a key contributor to the region’s digital economy with a firm commitment to helping brands and entrepreneurs succeed in e-commerce.      Shopee is a part of Sea Limited (NYSE:SE), a leading global consumer internet company. In addition to Shopee, Sea’s other core businesses include its digital entertainment arm, Garena, and digital financial services arm, SeaMoney. Sea’s mission is to better the lives of consumers and small businesses with technology.   About Shopee Mall      Shopee Mall is the region’s leading online mall offering one-stop access to a wide range of international and local brands and retailers. Shoppers can enjoy three guarantees delivered by Shopee Mall -- 100% authentic products, free returns and free shipping. With always-on deals, entertainment and a robust loyalty programme, Shopee Mall offers an unparalleled online shopping experience and best value all year round.   About ShopeePay      ShopeePay is an integrated mobile wallet that offers users easy access to digital payment services. Launched in the Philippines in 2019, ShopeePay enables a seamless shopping experience by allowing users to make online payments on Shopee, top-up their wallets, and transfer and withdraw funds.      ShopeePay makes it easier to shop and do business. It provides users with a convenient, secure, and rewarding payment option; it empowers businesses and helps them capture new opportunities.       ShopeePay is part of SeaMoney, the digital financial services arm of Sea Group. A leading digital payments and financial services provider in Southeast Asia, SeaMoney’s mission is to better the lives of individuals and businesses in the region with financial services through technology.

read more

Vehicle sales up amid pandemic

May 17, 2021

Corporate

By: , VEHICLE sales from January to April this year increased by 36.3 percent to 88,155 units from 64,675 units in the same period in 2020, the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and Truck Manufacturers Association reported Tuesday.      Both passenger car and commercial vehicle segments grew double-digit during the period.      Sales of passenger cars went up by 54 percent in the first four months of the year to 27,425 units from 17,812 units in the same period last year.      Growth of commercial vehicle sales was slower at 29.6 percent, selling 60,730 units in January to April this year from 46,863 units in 2020.      Compared to April 2020, joint sales reports of the industry groups improved by a whopping 13,315.8 percent from 133 units to 17,843 units last month.      To recall, the entire Luzon was placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), the most stringent lockdown measure, in April 2020.      However, month-on-month sales recorded a 13.8-percent drop from 20,702 units in March 2020.      CAMPI president Rommel Gutierrez attributed the decline in sales to lower demand amid the reimposition of stricter quarantine measures in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.      “Additionally, tighter bank lending continues to dampen the demand for consumer spending especially for big-ticket items like auto amid the pandemic,” he said.      Gutierrez added the provisional safeguard measure on imported vehicles imposed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) continued to impact prices and demand for automotive vehicles.      The provisional 200-day safeguard duties started on Jan. 20 this year, and it is on its 111th day.      The trade remedy was imposed after an investigation of DTI showed that the increasing number of imported vehicles in the country has injured the local industry.      The government slaps an additional P70,000 per unit for imported passenger cars and P110,000 per unit of outsourced commercial vehicles.      “The additional deposit due to safeguard measures is burdensome in itself to consumers and industry alike,” Gutierrez added. (PNA)

read more

Big banks fail to meet MSME credit quota

June 2, 2021

Banking & Finance

By: , BIG AND thrift banks failed to hit the quota for small business loans required by law in the first three months of 2021, data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed.      Loans extended by these banks to micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) amounted to P448.458 billion in the January to March period or just 5.24% of their total loan portfolio of P8.564 trillion.      This was also 16% lower than the P534.767 billion in loans they extended to the sector in the same period in 2020.      Lenders are mandated by the Republic Act 6977 or the Magna Carta for MSMEs to allocate 10% of their credit portfolio for small businesses to boost the sector — 8% for micro and small enterprises (MSEs) and 2% for medium-sized enterprises.      However, banks have long opted to incur penalties for noncompliance instead of taking on the risks associated with lending to small businesses.      Broken down, MSE loans extended by banks amounted to P174.925 billion in the first quarter, which was just 2.04% of their total loan portfolio and well below the 8% quota.      On the other hand, lending to medium-sized enterprises stood at P273.533 billion in the period, equivalent to 3.19% of these banks’ credit book and beyond the 2% minimum requirement by law.      Based on the type of bank, BSP data showed universal and commercial banks disbursed P113.748 billion in credit to MSEs, equivalent to only 1.47% of their P7.719-trillion loan portfolio.      Meanwhile, their lending to medium-sized enterprises hit P227.447 billion or 2.95% of their loan book.      Thrift banks were also unable to meet the quota for MSE credit as they only extended P31.498% or 4.36% of their P722.079-billion loan portfolio to the sector.      However, these lenders went beyond the credit quota for medium enterprises as their loans to the sector hit P32.027 billion or 4.44% of their portfolio.      Meanwhile, rural and cooperative banks extended loans worth P29.679 billion to MSEs, equivalent to 24.11% of their P123.077-billion credit book, well above the amount required by law. These banks’ lending to medium enterprises hit P14.059 billion or 11.42% of their loan portfolio.      To help prop up the MSME sector during the coronavirus pandemic, the central bank last year allowed banks to count MSME loans as alternative reserve compliance. Loans extended to the sector likewise were also given reduced credit risk weight.      The BSP has also been working with the Japan International Cooperation Agency for a credit risk database project meant to help banks evaluate the creditworthiness of small businesses.

read more

BSP sees May average inflation at 4.4%

June 2, 2021

Banking & Finance

By: , PHILIPPINE monetary officials eye rate of price increases to average at 4.4 percent for May 2021, with the range projected between 4-4.8 percent, driven by higher meat prices.       Aside from higher meat prices, the elevated domestic petroleum prices, as well as uptick in power rates in areas being serviced by the Manila Electric Company (Meralco), are also expected as upside risks to the inflation rate in the fifth month this year, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno told journalists in a Viber message on Monday.      However, Diokno said these factors are seen to be countered by the drop in the prices of rice, vegetables, and fish due to improved supply conditions along with the appreciation of the peso.      “Moving forward, the BSP will remain watchful of economic and financial developments to ensure that the monetary policy stance remains consistent with the BSP’s price stability mandate,” he added.       Last April, inflation was steady at 4.5 percent relative to the previous month’s level.       Average inflation in the first four months this year stood at 4.5 percent, above the government’s 2-4 percent target band until 2024.      Inflation breached the government’s target band last January when it accelerated to 4.2 percent from last December’s 3.5 percent.       Its highest so far this year was in February when it surged to 4.7 percent.       Monetary officials see an elevated inflation rate until the third quarter of this year but the full-year average is expected to be around 3.9 percent. (PNA)

read more

DOF exec cites need to further push for fiscal reforms

May 27, 2021

Banking & Finance

By: , A DEPARTMENT of Finance (DOF) official has cited the need to further push for fiscal reforms, noting its benefits for the government and the people during the pandemic.      In an economic bulletin on Friday, Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran said “the fiscal reforms adopted by the Duterte administration boosted the tax effort to its highest first-quarter level in history”.      “These reforms made the country one of the few emerging economies to maintain investment-grade rating and avoid a credit rating downgrade which would have pushed up interest rates and delayed nascent economic recovery,” he said.      He said the pandemic has increased the need for government to hike expenditures given the need to address the impact of the virus-induced crisis.      Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) data showed that government spending rose by 19.86 percent year-on-year in the first quarter this year to P1.017 trillion.      However, revenues by the national government fell by 8.73 percent during the same period to P696.5 billion.      This resulted in a budget gap of P321.5 billion, up 273.11 percent against the P86.2 billion deficit in end-March 2020.      Amid the drop in revenues, Beltran noted the rise in tax revenues during the same period.      Tax revenues jumped by 7.09 percent year-on-year in March this year to P190.1 billion while it rose by 0.87 percent year-on-year in the first quarter this year.      He attributed the first quarter results to the 0.18 percent year-on-year rise of Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR) collection during the period and the 2.66 percent expansion in collections by the Bureau of Customs (BOC).      He said “other taxes which include motor vehicle taxes and forestry charges also rose by 10.8 percent” but “non-tax revenues declined by 50.6 percent as dividend remittances normalized after last year’s huge dividend remittances from GOCCs (government-owned and controlled corporations) as mandated by Bayanihan to Heal as One Act and Treasury income was reduced by lower interest rates.”      He said that while revenue effort fell by 1.14 percentage points to 16.03 percent from 17.16 percent in the first quarter of 2020 because of non-recurrent revenues, this was offset by the improvement in tax effort.      He said tax effort posted its record-high of 14.41 percent in the first quarter this year after it rose by 0.44 percentage points from 13.96 percent same period last year.      “Robust collections from BIR and BOC were boosted by the implementation of tax reforms,” he said.      He, thus, stressed the need for the government to “continue to adopt fiscal reforms, particularly tax reforms still pending in Congress, to sustain these fiscal gains.”      “Due to fiscal reforms, the country was able to fund the unprecedented fiscal requirements imposed by the pandemic and, at the same time, protect its strong macroeconomic fundamentals,” he added. (PNA)

read more

BSP tightens bank employee screening policies

May 10, 2021

Banking & Finance

By: , THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has adopted a more stringent and risk-focused screening policy for BSP supervised financial institutions (BSFIs) to ensure the banking sector’s integrity and improve operational risk management.      In a virtual briefing Thursday, BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said around 7,500 names are currently in the watchlist of dismissed BSFI employees but clarified that the list does not cover those disqualified to work on banks alone.      With the issuance of Circular No. 1112, or the know-your-employee (KYE) rules, he said it will be hard to predict if there will be 100-percent compliance on the circular, adding “if there continues to be some bad behavior on the part of the workers, it (the list) will continue to increase.”      He said the regulator “subscribes to the principle that the ‘tone of good corporate governance should come from the top’ thus, the KYE rule will not only address fraud and irregularities due to weak operational risk management but also foster confidence in the banking system.      “People are the very heart of every institution, especially in banking which is built on trust. Robust know-your-employee procedures foster a stable banking system by weeding out unprincipled personnel who may cause reputational risk to a bank and the financial system,” he said.      Lawyer Florabelle Santos-Madrid, BSP Financial System Integrity Department director, said the central bank’s watchlist database is updated every time the central bank receives new information from banks regarding disqualification of certain individuals.      She said reports of bank employees’ participation in financial system-related crimes is among the red flags for the issuance of KYE rules.      “One of the primary reasons that we are tightening the rules on KYE is to prevent these cases from happening. So definitely, if there will be bank personnel involved in money laundering cases, that will be a red flag in terms of the robustness of their KYE processes,” she added during the same briefing. (PNA)

read more

SMC to buy 4 million kilos of surplus corn from DA, to utilize its Petron stations as outlets for farm produce

April 26, 2020

Economy

By: , San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is teaming up with the Department of Agriculture (DA) to mass purchase agricultural produce, starting with four million kilos of surplus corn, to provide a lifeline to farmers and help secure the country’s food supply in the midst of COVID-19.     The surplus corn is enough to produce feeds for over 7 million live broilers that can eventually feed 4 million families in one day.     SMC is also in talks with the DA to utilize strategic Petron stations nationwide as outlets for government’s “Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita” rolling store program, to make farm produce such as fruits and vegetables accessible to consumers. The program is the market system project of the DA that links local farmers to consumers to ensure the sale of agricultural produce at reasonable prices.     “Through this program with the Agricultural department, we will be able to keep our farmers afloat as we navigate these uncertain times. At the same time, we also help people stay safe, healthy and nourished by providing them a convenient way to buy fresh fruits and vegetables from our local farmers,” SMC president and COO Ramon S. Ang said.     Petron stations that will be initially tapped as venues for Kadiwa stores are Filinvest, Dasmarinas/Edsa and Katipunan/La Vista. The company said that more gas stations will be added in the coming days. Currently, SMC’s Petron stations also serve as sites for SMC’s Manukang Bayan refrigerated vans, which bring fresh chicken and other refrigerated and canned meats closer to consumers.     He thanked the DA for offering its network of corn and cassava farmers to supply its San Miguel Foods, Inc. with raw materials for continuous food production.     “We thank the DA for helping us identify possible sources of corn and cassava and farmers who are in need of help. By helping them, we will also ensure that we get the needed raw material supplies for our various food products,” he said     Among these are some 25,000 hectares of corn farms in Cagayan, where much of the surplus corn will come from. The company is also looking to the DA to link it with cooperative heads in Tuguegarao for sourcing of cassava.     SMC said it will buy the produce at pre-agreed prices and volume, as part of a long-term partnership.     The company has also reiterated its call to farmers nationwide to supply rice, corn, cassava, sweet potato, coconut oil and other farm products that will be bought at guaranteed prices for the farmers benefit.      Ang emphasized the need to sustain economic activity in the food value chain, which includes agricultural products suppliers, processing, and shipping to retailers.      SMC has assured a stable food supply for at least six months even beyond the ECQ with the 24/7 operation of its food facilities. SMC’s food facilities can produce a daily output of 1.96 million kilograms of fresh meats (poultry, beef, and pork); 524,000 kilograms of processed meats (canned meat, nuggets, and hotdogs); and 2.11 million kilograms of flour/baked goods (flour, biscuits, pandesal, and nutribuns).     It also continues to donate food products, rice, and flour to vulnerable communities in support of the government’s Covid-19 relief efforts.

read more

Food rationing starts in Davao City

March 25, 2020

Economy

By: Che Palicte, PNA, DAVAO CITY – The city government rolled out food rations to some 50,000 families beginning Monday (March 23), as part of the aid package for those affected by the restrictive measures adopted to prevent the spread of the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19).      Mayor Sara Duterte said those who qualify to receive the food rations are the indigents and out-of-work head of a family, contractual workers whose no pay and out-of-work head of a family, self-employed and out-of-work head of a family, and low-income head of family with significant loss or reduction of income.      “To those who are not residents of this city, do not worry because we [mayors in Davao Region] agreed to give food rations in our respective constituents,” Duterte assured.      She added that in order to avail of the relief goods, ration cards are distributed through the City Social Services and Development Office (CSSDO) and the barangay leaders.      “During the distribution of the relief goods, we still have to observe social distancing,” she said, adding that a system will be in place to ensure the smooth distribution of the rations.      Mayor Sara said barangay chairpersons distributing the ration cards are monitored by team leaders consisting of the members of the City Council to ensure that the rationing is properly implemented, as well as to manage the issues in the barangays.      The mayor also called on members of the private sector that are providing relief goods to coordinate with Task Force Davao to avoid crowding or worse, chaos.      "We are prohibiting the private sector from giving relief goods directly to the people because this will cause chaos; this will be disorganized, and this will cause people to gather around," she said.      “Rest assured that your donations will reach the people. We do this to avoid mass gathering,” Duterte added. (PNA)

read more

Go hits irresponsible media accusations

March 25, 2020

Economy

By: , SENATOR BONG GO, in a message yesterday, lashed out at some print media outfits for coming out with a story that criticized his visit to Butuan City last March 14. The news report, he said, was very irresponsible.        “Sa aking pagbisita po sa Butuan City noong March 14, nais ko pong klaruhin muli ang mga pangyayari:       - Totoo na dumaan ako sa isang Evacuation Center para dalawin ang mga nasunugan, magbigay ng tulong, pakinggan ang kanilang mga hinaing, maghanap ng solusyon sa kanilang pang araw-araw na mga problema, at mag-iwan ng ngiti sa oras ng kanilang pagdadalamhati.       - WALANG MASS GATHERING NA SADYANG INORGANISA. Evacuation Center po ang pinuntahan ko. Doon na po sila pansamantalang nakatira bago pa ako dumating. Hindi ko sila sinadya na itipon sa lugar na iyon.       - Sa kooperasyon ng mga pulis at pati na rin ng mga evacuees, ipinaliwanag ko na kahit gusto ko man sila yakapin, kamayan, kamustahin, at lapitan, sinigurado ko na kaming galing Maynila ay NAKA-DISTANSYA sa mga taga Butuan City para rin po sa kaligtasan ng lahat kahit na wala naman kaming sakit. May barriers pa nga pong inilagay.       - Sinigurado ko po na ang tulong at serbisyong ibinigay namin ay sa pamamaraan na HINDI MAKAKASAMA sa kanilang kalusugan at mananatiling ligtas sila sa anumang karamdaman.       - Pinayuhan ko rin ang local officials at national agencies na MADALIIN ANG PAGBIGAY NG TULONG lalo na ng tirahan sa mga nawalan ng bahay dahil paano naman po sila susunod sa “Social Distancing measures” kung wala naman silang ibang matitirhan kundi doon sa evacuation center na kumpol-kumpol sila.       Para sa inyong kaalaman, March 9 nangyari ang sunog sa Butuan City. 444 na pamilya o 2,292 na indibidwal ang apektado at humingi ng tulong sa atin. March 12, nagpa-test kami ni Pangulong Duterte para malaman kung infected kami ng COVID-19. March 13 lumabas ang resulta at sinabing negatibo kami sa sakit at pwede kaming magserbisyo sa publiko. March 15 naman magiging epektibo ang “Community Quarantine” sa Metro Manila base sa inanunsyo ng Pangulo noong March 12 sa kanyang presscon.       Dahil dito, nagdesisyon ako na pumuntang Butuan City ng March 14 — isang araw matapos sinabing negatibo ako sa COVID-19, at isang araw bago ipagbawal ang paglipad mula Maynila — para magpadala ng sarili kong tulong sa mga nasunugan.       Hindi ko matiis na hindi tumulong sa kapwa. Ipinangako ko ito sa taumbayan na kahit saan man, basta kaya ng oras at katawan ko, pupuntahan ko kayo. Hindi ko po makakaya na ipagpaliban o ipagkait sa kanila ang tulong na kanilang hinihingi mula sa atin.       Nagpapasalamat po ako sa mga iba’t ibang ahensya ng gobyerno na sumaklolo sa hinaing ng mga biktima ng sunog at pati na rin sa mga LGUs na nagbigay rin ng tulong. Napaka-importante po ang pagtutulungan ng national government at mga LGUs sa panahon ng sakuna. Isa po ito sa aking prayoridad bilang isang Senador at public servant.       Nagpapasalamat rin ako sa mga artista na sumama sa akin at kusang nagsakripisyo para pasayahin ang ating mga kababayang nangangailangan. Sila Robin Padilla, Philip Salvador, at Victor Neri ay tumugon sa tawag dahil alam nila na sa kanilang sariling paraan ay nabigyan nila ng saya at pag-asa ang kanilang kapwa. Si Robin, tumakas pa ng bahay para iparamdam ang kanyang pagmamalasakit.       Sa mga bumabatikos, tumulong nalang sana kayo. Hindi po nakakain ang inyong batikos. Hindi rin iyan nakakatulong sa mga naghihirap. Dumadagdag rin lang kayo sa problema. Puro dada, wala namang nagawa.       Wala po kaming ibang interes kundi tumulong at alagaan ang kapakanan ng bawat Pilipino. Hindi po kami takot mamatay. As always, I will continue to serve and I will die serving the Filipino people.      Now more than ever, we, as elected officials should do everything we can to be of service to the Filipino people. The government as a whole should still do its job in a manner that will not put the health of others at risk. Hindi pwedeng ipagpaliban ang tulong sa kapwa Pilipino, tuloy-tuloy dapat ang serbisyo.

read more

PH Saves Billions with NGCP's Financing Grid Expansion

November 22, 2019

Economy

By: , As it strives to become the strongest power grid in Southeast Asia, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) has so far invested P151 billion in the Philippines’s aging transmission system. A total of 5,626 transmission structures, 2,472 circuit-kilometers of transmission lines, 18 new substations, 63 upgraded substations, and an additional 15,634 MVA of transformer capacity has been installed in the past 10 years.      Being the country’s sole transmission service provider, NGCP lays the highways where reliable and sustainable power flows from generating plants to distribution utilities, industries, businesses, and households. Tasked with operating, maintaining, and expanding the power grid, NGCP is dedicated to improving the country’s transmission network. Better power transmission for the nation      The company completed 109 projects which include the Lumban-Bay 230kV Transmission Line Project which provided maximum dispatch of power plants from South Luzon to the Load Center; San Esteban – Laoag 230kV Transmission Line Project which accommodated the renewal energy power plants in Northern Luzon; Luzon Voltage Improvement Projects which provided additional MegaVolt Ampere Reactive (MVAR) capacity to improve power quality; Bataan Grid Reinforcement Project which accommodated a 600MW Coal Power Plant in Bataan;  Santiago-Tuguegarao 230kV Transmission line project, ensuring a more reliable and better quality of power transmission services for power consumers in Isabela, Cagayan, Kalinga, Apayao; and the Typhoon Nina Rehabilitation Project which upgraded the wind rating of transmission towers in Bicol region to withstand super typhoon winds of up to 300 kph.      In Mindanao, the company completed, among others, the Balo-i-Villanueva (Kirahon)-Maramag-Bunawan 230kV Transmission Line, the first 230kV transmission line in the region that connects the northern and southern Mindanao; the Aurora-Polanco 138kV Transmission Line which improved the reliability and power quality in Zamboanga del Norte; the Matanao-Culaman (Malita) 230kV Line which accommodated a new generating capacity in the Davao Occidental; the General Santos-Tacurong 138kV Transmission Line which catered the load growth and provided reliable transmission facility in SOCCSKSARGEN region; the Matanao-General Santos 138kV Line which provided N-1 to the existing line; and various substations such as Toril Substation and Opol Substation.            For the Visayas, NGCP energized the submarine portion of the Cebu-Negros-Panay 230kV Backbone Stage 1 which provided an additional transfer capacity between Negros and Panay; the Ormoc-Babatngon 138kV Transmission Line, reinforcing power transmission delivery in the Leyte and Samar provinces; the Southern Panay 138kV Backbone which addressed the load growth in the Panay area; the Calong-Calong-Toledo-Colon-Cebu 138kV Transmission Line, constructed to provide N-1 provision to the existing 138kV transmission corridor in Cebu; and the Bohol 138kV Backbone Line which provided a more stable and reliable transmission network in Bohol. More in the pipeline      NGCP’s Transmission Development Plan (TDP) details these priority projects to improve transmission backbones and alternative transmission corridors, and to develop resiliency policies for power transmission facilities.      The company is set to complete more projects in the coming years, among which are: the 500kV Substation Projects (Taguig and Marilao) and 230kV Substation Projects (Pasay, Navotas, and Antipolo) to cater to the load growth of Metro Manila; the Cebu – Bohol 230kV Interconnection Project to accommodate the load growth and provide reliability of Bohol Island; the Nabas-Caticlan-Boracay Interconnection Project to accommodate the load growth and provide reliability of the Boracay Island; the Visayas Voltage Improvement Project to improve the power quality in Visayas; the Mindanao 230kV backbone project to upgrade the region’s transmission capacity and secure the reliability of power transmission services throughout the island; the Mindanao Substation Upgrading Project to increase the substation capacity and improve power quality; and the Kabacan 138kV Substation Project which will contribute to power reliability in South Western Mindanao area.      An estimated total investment worth P463 billion is programmed for the next ten years. Mindanao-Visayas Interconnection      NGCP is on-track to complete the Mindanao-Visayas Interconnection Project (MVIP), considered as the largest energy infrastructure in the history of the country.       “We are dedicated to completing the MVIP by December 2020 not only because we committed this, but also because interconnection among the three main grids is long overdue. The interconnection of Visayas and Mindanao was first proposed by government in 1984; but it was private entity NGCP which brought the government’s decades old plan from the feasibility stage to the implementation and completion stage,” stated NGCP.      “Our projects, which will be worth PhP188 billion by end of 2019, and those in the pipeline, are meticulously planned by our engineers and updated year after year with careful consideration for the needs of every single area in the country,” NGCP noted.      NGCP is a Filipino-led, privately owned company in charge of operating, maintaining, and developing the country’s power grid, led by majority shareholders Henry Sy, Jr. and Robert Coyiuto, Jr.

read more

Suzuki Introduces New Online Auto Loan Feature

May 18, 2020

Motoring

By: , Suzuki Philippines Inc. (SPH), the pioneer compact car distributor in the country, brings good news to its avid customers and to those looking into purchasing their own automobile with the new Auto Loan feature found on their official website. With this new addition to one of its many available services, getting a new car is now a few clicks away!      SPH just launched a new feature on their website allowing customers to be able to apply for auto loans online. In partnership with banks including Bank of Commerce, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Chinabank Savings, East West Bank, Maybank, PS Bank, RCBC, Robinsons Bank, UCPB, and Yulon Finance, the Auto Loan Feature directs customers to their preferred bank’s website page dedicated for auto loans. Once accomplished by interested patrons, their bank of choice will be able to review and grant them the loans if eligible as they are in operation.      This new online service presented by Suzuki Philippines is an effort to provide ways to serve its customers by being reachable amid the current situation in the country brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision to launch the online Auto Loan service with the help of dependable financial institutions is rooted from the realization that during this time of uncertainty, consumers are longing for a sense of security and reliability, more than just the product itself. SPH believes that their vehicles across different segments may provide this longing by staying committed in championing the Suzuki Way of Life! to the Filipino people and relentlessly finding solutions especially when people are now more than ever, highly concerned about where to tunnel their investments that will prove to be beneficiary to them even after these challenging times.

read more

Kawasaki Joins the Fight Against Covid-19 by Producing Medical Face Shields for Donation

May 18, 2020

Motoring

By: , Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) has begun manufacturing medical face shields and gowns at our Kobe and Harima factories, and has been donating them to medical facilities since the 20th of April.     Up to 500 medical face shields can be made per day using the transparent pattern film used for steel processing, and up to 1,400 medical gowns can be produced per day based on the guidelines by Osaka University Hospital. We have been donating the supplies to Kawasaki Hospital (Kobe City) since 20th April, and plan to supply to other prefectural hospitals as well through the Hyogo Prefecture Hospital Bureau.     KHI would like to express their appreciation for the medical staff who have been devoting themselves on the frontlines. By utilizing their design, production and quality control techniques to efficiently produce medical face shields and gowns for donation to medical institutions, they hope to contribute to the prevention of the spread of COVID-19.     KHI also reaches out to those who have lost loved ones to COVID-19. They sincerely hope that those currently suffering from the virus will recover quickly, and that the spread of COVID-19 will end as soon as possible.

read more

VP Robredo Receives Suzuki Motorcycle Service Units for Healthcare Workers

May 2, 2020

Motoring

By: , Suzuki Philippines, Inc. - one of the country's top motorcycle manufacturers shares help to those fighting the COVID19 battle at the front - the nurses and medical personnel by lending motorcycles as their transport service. This is in partnership with the Office of the Vice President's (OVP) Angat Buhay Program which is a flagship anti-poverty campaign relying on private partnerships in implementing its activities seeking to help people from the marginalized sector and recently to support our frontliners in the fight against COVID19. The units were turned over and received by Vice President Leni Robredo herself on April 23, 2020.  Suzuki lends 10 units of the Raider J Crossover to serve Angat Buhay's Free Dorm for Healthcare Workers hospitals' staff. Two of these - the Teacher's Village Dorm and Holy Family School in Maginhawa; will benefit from this initiative from Suzuki. Tenants of these dorms are working at East Avenue Medical Center, Philippine Children's Medical Center, Philippine Lung Center, National Kidney and Transplant Institute and Philippine Heart Center. The Raider J Crossover is Suzuki's latest bike launched in February and the brand believes that it is the fitting ride for the frontliners, it is efficient and economical. More than that, since social distancing is a top priority nowadays, a solo ride on a motorcycle now provides one of the best means of transportation. "We are one with the whole nation in this fight against COVID19. We hope that these motorcycles help our frontliners in their commute to their respective medical facilities efficiently and safely. We will heal and overcome this together as one team Suzuki," Mr. Akira Utsumi said in a statement. "Thank you so much Suzuki Philippines for lending these units to us. These motorcycles will go a long way in helping our medical dormers," said Vice President Leni Robredo.  

read more

The Ford Ranger: Built To Last During Tough Times

May 2, 2020

Motoring

By: , MANILA, Philippines, 28 April 2020 – In times of uncertainties during natural calamities and pandemic crises, Filipinos are known for their resilience, strength and unwavering toughness even in the most trying times, rising above all odds and challenges.     This is why pickup trucks such as the Ford Ranger have become a popular choice among Filipinos who look for a tough and reliable vehicle for their needs. Built purposeful, the Ford Ranger has a durable design, proven performance, and segment-leading technologies to help get the job done.      Time-tested utilitarian characteristics give the Ford Ranger the ultimate edge as your daily workhorse. Its generous cargo space tied with 1.3 tons maximum payload capacity and impressive 800mm water wading capability with 230mm high ground clearance enable you to carry numerous back-breaking loads while effortlessly carving through obstacles both on and off-road. It features a Tailgate Lift Assist that makes lifting and lowering the tailgate easier when loading and unloading cargo.      A truck bed full of supplies and equipment demands a tremendous amount of power to effectively reach its destination. The Ford Ranger is equipped with the 2.0L Bi-Turbo Diesel engine capable of generating 213PS and 500Nm of torque coupled with 10-speed automatic transmission, delivering more than enough power to move heavy loads while remaining exceptionally fuel-efficient.     The Ford Ranger is also packed with advanced features to ensure maximum safety and convenience for drivers and passengers on-board. With the Autonomous Emergency Braking with pedestrian detection, pedestrians and vehicles near you are detected and alerts you with an audible and visual warning. The Ford Ranger also features Active Park Assist and rearview camera and sensors to ease your worries away during parking.     Enhanced Ranger lineup      At the start of the year, Ford Philippines introduced a series of enhancements to its entire Ford Ranger lineup to give customers more value in their pickup truck without any price increase.     The Ford Ranger XLS and XLT variants now come with a new 8-inch LCD touchscreen radio with Apple Carplay and Android Auto Capability. Perfect for customers with workhorse and utility needs, the Ranger XLS and XLT variants are equipped with a selection of features that combine powerful performance with work-ready capability.     Meanwhile, Ranger Wildtrak 4x2 variants now have a new wheel design and LED headlamps. The Wildtrak 4x4 also has a new wheel design and LED headlamps with the addition of a high-mount USB feature to support various dashcam models. The Ranger Wildtrak combines iconic Ranger design qualities, powerful performance, and advanced technologies to suit work and play needs.      Finally, the Ranger Raptor now comes with a camera-based Autonomous Emergency Braking with pedestrian detection, lane keeping aid, high-mount USB, and LED headlamps, enhancing the Raptor’s driver-assist technologies that make it a high-performance but safe and reliable pickup truck.     The new Ford Ranger FX4 is the latest addition to the Ranger portfolio, boasting of a bold design inside out and features that help widen the appeal of the Ranger among customers seeking for a versatile and capable pickup truck.       To know more about the Ford Ranger, visit www.ford.com.ph/trucks/ranger.

read more

DA-10, Ayala Mall collab for year-round farmers' fair

May 17, 2021

Local

By: , CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY--With the goal of promoting northern Mindanao's agri-fishery products at the same time providing fresh and healthy foods to the locals, the Department of Agriculture (DA)-10 facilitates the 'Alagang Ayala Farmers' Fair' (AAFF) at Centrio Mall, here.      Said exhibit features the agricultural produce and its by-products of nine farmers and fisher cooperatives and associations (FCAs) namely; RJ Agriproducts, Manzano Farm, Northern Mindanao Federation of Dairy Cooperatives, Farmgrown Association of Claveria, NM Foods, Mylin Products, CNQ Agriventures, Kape Mindanaw, and Homegrown Marketing.      DA-10 Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) OIC-Chief Larry E. Paraluman said the trade fair will run for a year starting May 9, of which exhibitors can participate in the trade display free-of-charge for the rental space.      He detailed that said arrangement is Ayala Malls–CdeO Gateway, Corp.’s commitment, as part of their social responsibility to help small enterprises, on top of their regular exhibitors of herbal and ornamental plants.      Since its kickoff activity, Farmgrown shared that among their saleable products in their stall are turmeric powder, banana chips, sautéed shrimp, salted eggs and bottled fresh milk; while for Manzano's Farm are the lemon and mangoes.      AAFF is open every day from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (DA10/PIA10)

read more

Normin hosts leveling session to deepen understanding on GAD

April 21, 2021

Local

By: , CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY--To heighten awareness and reinforce knowledge on gender and development, the Regional Gender and Development Committee (RGADC)-10, a special committee under the Regional Development Council (RDC)-10, held a leveling session, April 6-8, through video conferencing.      “This leveling session is part of the continuing effort of the RGADC-10, in partnership with the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), to equip members with a deeper knowledge and understanding of gender and development, which is included in our work plan for the first semester 2021,” said Dr. Jesus Antonio G. Derijie, DVM, president of the Central Mindanao University and the newly-installed RGADC-10 Chairperson.      Derije furthered that through the active participation of members in virtual lectures, sharing, and workshops/case study analysis, the attendees are expected to gain worthwhile, meaningful, and useful experiences for cascading to their respective agencies/institutions with the goal of advancing the gender and development agenda.      The series of lectures include GAD and Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) as a review of key concepts. It also underscored the history of efforts to alleviate the plight of women and the mainstreaming of GAD. Gender analysis and gender tools, such as the harmonized GAD guidelines on project implementation and management, and monitoring and evaluation Checklist were also incorporated through workshops and case study analysis sessions.      The lecture concluded with the topic GAD planning and budgeting, as well as, the preparation of GAD accomplishment reports of RLAs and LGUs based on the latest issuances of the PCW. Members of the PCW National Pool of GAD Resource Persons, together with PCW senior staff members, served as speakers/resource persons during the leveling session.      The Magna Carta of Women (RA 9710) mandates all government offices, including government-owned and controlled corporations and LGUs to adopt gender mainstreaming as a strategy for implementing the law and attaining its objectives of women empowerment and gender-fair society.       It also mandates planning, budgeting, monitoring, and evaluation for gender and development; the creation and/or strengthening of gender and development focal points; and the generation and maintenance of gender statistics and sex-disaggregated databases to aid in planning, programming, policy formulation, and monitoring and evaluation.       Members of the RGADC-10 from regional line agencies (RLAs), local government units (LGUs), academe, and private sector attended the said session. (NEDA10/PIA10)

read more

Ample power supply assured in Maguindanao during Ramadan

April 19, 2021

Local

By: , COTABATO City - Officials of the Maguindanao Electric Cooperative (Magelco) on Friday assured constituents of the province of a steady power supply for Ramadan.      “No power outages will be experienced as Muslims need it most as they perform Ramadan fasting-related activities,” said Ashary Maongco, Magelco general manager.      Fasting for the annual observance of Ramadan started April 13 and is expected to end on May 11.      Maongco made the assurance after the completion of a major project that improved energy distribution to three adjoining towns of Datu Odin Sinsuat, Upi, and Datu Blah Sinsuat, all in Maguindanao.      On Thursday, the power firm switched on the Capiton-Nuro, Upi 13.2-kilovolt (kV) distribution lines that will stabilize power supplies to the three municipalities.      On the same day, Magelco has started the construction of the 5-megavolt amperes (MVA) power substation dedicated to Upi and Datu Blah towns to prevent recurring power outages.      “This will further improve power supply connections in these areas,” Maongco said, adding power distribution will only be hampered if there are disruptions beyond the cooperative’s control.      He noted that the new distribution lines were an undertaking of Magelco and the Japan International Cooperation Agency.      “Magelco replaced the existing undersized cable wires constructed in the 1970s,” Maongco said.      He said the increasing demand for energy in Datu Blah Sinsuat town prompted Magelco to install three-phase lines to supply power to its business establishments, especially ice plants.      “The conversion needs huge amount from the self-funded rehabilitation of the coop through its good materials management program,” he said.      Magelco is also fast-tracking another milestone project that will be energized this month involving the 50-footer concrete pole 13.2 kV distribution lines from Sultan Kudarat town’s 10MVA power substation in Barangay Simuay to Barangay Sarmiento and Polloc Port, both in Parang town. (PNA)

read more

Subscribe Now!

Receive email updates from Business Week.