national news

Toyota owners, celeb drivers race this weekend at the Vios Autocross Challenge

April 26, 2019

Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) brings back waku-doki this year with a bigger and better motorsports program, the Vios Racing Festival. Gear up for heart-racing fun as the country’s number one automotive brand starts the festival this summer with the Vios Autocross Challenge this coming April 28, 2019 (Sunday), 9:00 AM at Block 16, Mall of Asia open grounds.     Admission is free, so everyone is invited to come and support their favorite celebrity racers Gerald Anderson, Daniel Matsunaga, Chie Filomeno, Gretchen Ho, Aubrey Miles, Troy Montero, and Fabio Ide as they compete at the autocross tracks with other racers.     And in one of the Vios Racing Festival’s many twists, Toyota owners can now get the chance to be official racers at the Vios Autocross Challenge. Interested Toyota owners may visit www.facebook.com/ToyotaMotorPhilippines to participate in an online game that will determine who gets the chance to be a racer for the weekend. What exactly is the Vios Autocross Challenge?     “Toyota wants to make racing an accessible sport for the ordinary Filipino by providing an extraordinary opportunity to get themselves started, fueled by their passion for motorsports,” said Mr. Satoru Suzuki, President of TMP.     The Vios Autocross Challenge is a new addition to the standard circuit racing format. It is a timed competition wherein drivers navigate through an obstacle course one at a time, aiming to finish the track within the shortest lap time possible.     This new format will be more amateur-friendly than a standard circuit race, where all participants are simultaneously racing against each other. The adrenaline factor is retained through several mechanics which highlight driving precision: for example, every pylon hit adds 2 seconds on top of the racer’s final lap time.     In order to promote a more inclusive racing scene that fosters friendly competition, drivers from different backgrounds are invited: celebrities, social media influencers, car club members, new Vios owners, motoring journalists, and now even loyal Toyota patrons. How can I join the Vios Autocross Challenge?     The online promo on Facebook is open to all Toyota owners—regardless of model and year—that can drive a Manual Transmission vehicle. Toyota Motor Philippines will be lending out race-ready Vios units during the event day to at least 5 lucky participants with the best captioned entries.     The official Facebook post can be accessed through this link: http://bit.ly/2GBCmVM     Chosen entries will be announced via Facebook. Toyota representatives will contact the winners for further participation instructions.     For more updates on Toyota events and promos, visit TMP’s official website at www.toyota.com.ph and follow the official Facebook page.     The Toyota Vios Racing Festival is held in cooperation with Bridgestone; supported by Petron, Motul, and Rota; and other sponsors Brembo, Denso, AVT, 3M, OMP, and Tuason Racing.

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Ex-Cabinet members seek more rainwater harvesting

March 29, 2019

MANILA -- Two former Cabinet officials are advocating more investments in rainwater harvesting nationwide to increase supply of water for agriculture and other uses while addressing disasters like flooding.     The Philippines annually receives about 2,400 mm of rainfall -- one of the world's highest and which can be stored for such purposes, former agriculture secretary Dr. William Dar and ex-environment chief Dr. Elisea Gozun said.    "We need to immediately consider rainwater harvesting as a major strategy not only for agriculture but for household uses also," Dar said.     Gozun, meanwhile, said the government should encourage the public to store available water for future use, especially in agriculture.     The call was made after the water supply shortage in parts of Metro Manila and Rizal province due to El Niño or prolong dry spell.     Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) Administrator Dr. Vicente Malano said the Philippines has excessive rainfall but most of this goes to the seas.     "We use less than 10 percent of rainfall," he said in a recent press conference in Quezon City for PAGASA's annual National and World Meteorological Day celebration, urging all sectors to conserve water.     Data that Dar recently presented at the World Water Day summit in Quezon City indicated the exigency to tap rainwater harvesting as a means to increase water supply nationwide.     Agriculture alone already accounts for some 80 percent of water usage in the country, the data showed.     The projected 2025 water demand in agriculture may surge to a high 72,973 million cubic meters (MCM), the data showed.     The data also indicated that the 2011-2016 average expansion of national irrigation systems in the country was about only 1.4 percent.     Estimated high 2025 water demand for domestic and municipal users (8,573 MCM) as well as industrial uses (4,997 MCM) further elevated need for increasing water supply nationwide, the data showed.     Despite having an abundant rainfall, Dar said the country's rainwater harvest rate is only about 4.0 percent.     India's harvest rate is around 60 percent even if the annual rainfall there is about 700 mm, he noted.     He said rainwater harvesting was among measures that authorities had identified for helping mitigate the impacts of the strong 1997-1998 El Niño.     "Until now, however, there's low investment in rainwater harvesting," he said.     The Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) has been developing small-scale irrigation projects like small water-impounding facilities so agricultural areas can have supplemental water supply.     These projects also help control floods while catering to fishery and livestock production as well, the BSWM said.     Gozun, meanwhile, recommended the construction of more small water impounding facilities in the country to increase water supply and mitigate flooding in low-lying areas.      Rainfall need not always end up as floods since such facilities can store rain, she said.     She noted that mitigating flooding through massive rainwater harvesting will help reduce crop destruction and top soil erosion.     Building impounding facilities in uplands will maximize agricultural production, Gozun said.     "There's more than 20 million people living in uplands -- they'll have water if we do that," she said. (PNA)

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Gov’t task force demolishes defiant Boracay resort

March 29, 2019

The government’s inter-agency task force on Tuesday destroyed a Boracay resort which failed to heed orders to self-demolish for violating the 30-meter easement rule, according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).     The DENR-led Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) carried out the demolition work of structures belonging to Boracay Plaza Beach Resort after the final 15-day ultimatum given to establishments encroaching on the shoreline easement zone had expired.     All other establishments responded positively to the ultimatum issued by BIATF, except for Boracay Plaza, which is owned by a certain Anita Aguirre. The resort has structures built on approximately 1,000 square meters of land within the easement zone.     BIATF chair and DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu announced the ultimatum during the meeting of the task force held on February 28.     “Erring establishments had already been given more than enough time to shape up since the closure,” Cimatu said.     “It would be unfair to those who voluntarily demolished and complied with the easement rule if we will not enforce the law to those who did not,” he added.     Aside from violating the easement rule, Boracay Plaza was also found to be operating without the required permits.     Boracay Plaza had been issued three orders to vacate and self-demolish its structure since April 26 last year when the island was ordered closed for six months to pave the way for much-needed rehabilitation. The owner defied all three orders.    The demolition team was supervised by BIATF management group manager and DENR Director NatividadBernadino, Aklan provincial police chief Senior Supt. Lope Manlapaz, Malay Acting Mayor Abram Sualog, representatives from the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Department of Tourism, and DENR lawyers.     Bernardino reported that nine other establishments that had been given the same 15-day ultimatum on March 4 had already either partially or completely demolished their structures.     These were the Blue Lilly Hotel, Calveston International Inc., Exclusive Dawn VIP Boracay Resort, Little Prairie Inn, New Wave Divers, Steve’s Cliff/Boracay Terraces Resort, True Homes, Watercolors Dive shop, and Willy’s Rock Resort.     All 10 establishments, including Boracay Plaza, were the last remaining structures along the White Beach to be demolished, making the area fully compliant to the 30-meter beach easement law.

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Sikat ka Higala

March 29, 2019

The Philippine Army celebrates its 122 years of Heroism Serving the People, Securing the land. Much has happened through years. Having a military family from my Grandfather, to my father and 8 uncles.     Growing up discipline was a priority. Writing and interviewing rebel returnees, soldiers who have been abducted, soldiers who are tortured, almost left for dead and sometimes executed  has often given me the inspiration to tell their stories. Knowing the urgency in a never ending quest the government has offered its hand through the years and over and over again rejected.     The intensity of the rebellion has caused so much chaos, claimed so many lives, drained the strength and energy of our troops but still pursuing peace. One foot to the grave one foot to battle. Some have accused me of a propangandist of the AFP but my question is why would I support the terrorrists? They have harmed innocent people, extorted the poor ,confiscated their livelihood, have bomb equipments for infracture, shut electricity, destroyed water systems, burn bridges and etc.    The atrocities have cause the nation shaken and what are they fighting for their own ideology thats clearly concerns only the interest of power and control. The Philippine army have build back lives of those that have returned in the arms of the government, has significantly neutralized 3,554 Communist party of the Philippines-New People Army Terrorist (CNT) Most of the surrenderees came from the areas where community support Teams are immersed. They have discovered 136 CPP NPA hideouts. Have cleared 85 conflict affected areas.    The 4ID has been spearheading transformation with good governance and strategy management among PAMUS as it was the first to be conferred Institutionalized Status with the Gold Trailblazer Award. I belive in the AFPs efforts in neutralizing the atrocities wherever. I applaude the AFP and its determination in attaining peace through out our country.     Evil conquers when good men do nothing. At the celebration today BGEN Tyne Banas the Assistant Division Commander of the 4ID have expressed its sentiment to call for peace and encouraging the rebels to return their trust to our government I salute the AFP I salute our brave Soldiers. I salute the 4ID.

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Cebu Pacific commences new routes from Clark hub

November 9, 2018

Flight 5J 985 is scheduled to depart from Clark to Davao daily at 145pm, with estimated arrival at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao at 340pm. The return flight, 5J 986, is scheduled to depart Davao at 410pm, with Estimate Time of Arrival at the Clark International Airport at 605pm.   Meanwhile, the direct Cebu Pacific service between Clark and Tagbilaran, Bohol will begin operating on December 15. Flight 5J 613, bound for Tagbilaran, is scheduled to depart Clark at 955am daily and arrive at 1120am. The return flight, 5J 614, is set to depart Tagbilaran at 1150am, and arrive Clark at 115pm.   Cebu Pacific will continue to expand its footprint at the Clark International Airport. By end-2018, CEB would have boosted frequency by 75% year-on-year, bringing the total number of flights in and out of Clark to 3,711 by end-2018, representing 620,540 seats.   Cebu Pacific utilizes its fleet of Airbus aircraft for flights in and out of its Clark hub. The CEB fleet is comprised of 36 Airbus A320, five Airbus A321CEO (Current Engine Option), and eight Airbus A330.   Cebu Pacific started commercial flights out of the Clark airport in 2006, and it has served as its North and Central Luzon hub for the past ten years.   “Since our maiden Clark-Cebu route in 2006, we have never stopped operating in Clark and we have never left Clark. We have consistently maintained our presence in Clark, taking a measured pace of expansion. Through the years, Clark has proven its viability as a gateway to North and Central Luzon. We remain committed to being a partner in the development of the Clark Economic Zone though ramping-up our air connectivity,” said Jomar Rodriguez, Vice President for Safety and Quality at Cebu Pacific.   Aside from Davao, Cebu Pacific flies twice daily between Clark and Cebu, as well as between Clark and Hong Kong; and daily to and from Singapore and Macau.   Cebu Pacific has maintained leadership in the domestic market with 37 destinations, 76 routes and over 2,130 weekly flights. CEB also flies to 26 international destinations, with over 32 routes spanning Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and USA. Aside from its Clark and Davao hubs, Cebu Pacific operates flights out of five other strategically placed hubs in the Philippines: Manila, Kalibo, Iloilo, Cebu and Cagayan de Oro (Laguindingan).

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Region X Joins Celebration of the 29th National Statistics Month

October 16, 2018

The Regional Statistics Committee X (RSC X) has lined up a series of activities for the 29th NSM celebration this October.  This year’s celebration is anchored on the theme, “Exploring Philippine Wonders in Numbers: Statistics towards Sustainable Tourism Development.”   It underscores the relevance of the statistics in achieving a sustainable development and progressive tourism growth for our country and emphasizes the need for statistics to identify potential tourism havens and areas which require intervention. The NSM celebration in the region kicked off with the motorcade around the city on   02 October 2018 participated by RSC X member agencies, other regional line agencies and local government units. The motorcade ended in LimketkaiCenter for the formal Opening Ceremony which was hosted by the Department of Tourism X. One of the highlights of the Opening Ceremony were the messages delivered by    NEDA X Director Mae Ester T. Guiamadel, RSC X Chairperson and City Mayor Oscar S. Moreno. Mayor Moreno emphasizes the importance of statistics in determining the region’s competitiveness --how does the region fare as compared with other regions in the country in terms of governance and economy? Mr. Jonathan Gesta of the Department of Tourism X also presented tourism statistics of Region X.  The Inter-Agency Statistical Exhibit was also opened for public viewing in the mall from October 2 to 5, 2018. The exhibits showcased statistics related to tourism from the BangkoSentralngPilipinas – CDO Branch, Department of Tourism X, Department of Environment and Natural Resources X, Department of Public Works and Highways X, Philippine Statistics Authority X and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority X.  The Department of Tourism X, in coordination with the Commission on Higher Education X and Philippine Statistics Authority X, also conducted the Inter-College Tourism Statistics Quiz Bowl in the afternoon of October 2. Winners of the said quiz bowl were from Capitol University, Xavier University and Cagayan de Oro College-PHINMA as first, second and third placers, respectively.   Other NSM activities lined up for the month-long celebration symposia, data dissemination forum, statistical trainings,  statistics quiz, poster making contests, stat trivia, information and education campaign activities such as media interviews, information dissemination in schools and universities and hanging of NSM streamers. The culminating activities for the 29th NSM celebration in Region X is the conduct of the 2017 National Demographic and Health Survey Regional Data Dissemination Forum by the PSA X and the conduct of the Financial Literacy Seminar on Savings and Budgeting by the BangkoSentralngPilipinas on October 29, 2018, The NSM is celebrated annually for the purpose of promoting, enhancing and instilling nationwide awareness and appreciation of the importance and value of statistics and at the same time ensuring the support of the public in improving and enhancing the quality and standards of statistics in the country. It was first observed in 1990 pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 647, Declaring the Month of October of Every Year as the National Statistics Month.

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