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Saturday, November 9, 2019 Vol. 15 No. 30
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AS WAR TOURISTS FLOCK TO THE PHL
By Ma. Stella F. Arnaldo Special to the BusinessMirror
HE rich colonial past of the Philippines makes it an ideal destination for World War II veterans and their families, as well as history buffs. “We have been helping promote our war memorials and historical shrines to special interest groups,” said Undersecretary for Tourism Development Benito C. Bengzon Jr. of the Department of Tourism (DOT) in an interview with the BusinessMirror. Battlefield or war tourism, which involves visits to war memorials and similar historical sites, is a segment of heritage tourism. Several research studies indicate the value of heritage tourism at over $1 billion, with the Asia-Pacific region accounting for $327 million, said researcher Carolyn Childs in her paper, “How Culture and Heritage Tourism Boosts More Than A Visitor Economy.” Aside from the Philippines, countries in Asia-Pacific which attract battlefield tourists include
Hawaii (Pearl Harbor), Vietnam (Vietnam War), Japan (Nagasaki and Hiroshima bombings), Guam and Saipan, among others. There are no exact data on how many tourists primarily visit these World War II-era historical sites. “There are a number of Japanese travel agencies that specialize in such packages and regularly bring in tour groups to these destinations [in the Philippines],” said Bengzon. Locally, tour operators providing historical/memorial tours include Friendship Tours and Resorts Corp., Baron Travel Corp., and Attic Tours Philippines Inc. From November 9 to 15, for instance, Friendship Tours will be bringing a group of elderly Japanese on the Nihon Izoku-kai Memorial Tour. The group will be go-
ing to Clark, Laguna, Pampanga, Cebu, Leyte, Baguio and Iloilo to pay homage to their loved ones who died during World War II. Nihon Izoku-kai is the Bereaved Family Association of Japan, and represents the interests of relatives of Japanese veterans of World War II. “As the World War II veterans market is dwindling, we have had to expand the target market base to include their relatives and friends, and history buffs,” he stressed. In 2018, some 200 Japanese visitors arrived in the Philippines for these memorial tours. “Many of them are descendants of Japanese soldiers,” said the tourism official. “The tours are usually very solemn in nature, and heart-warming, with surviving relatives often performing prayer rites on the actual sites where their loved ones are believed to have perished,” Bengzon noted. Aside from Japanese veterans, soldiers who had served in the United States and Australian military during World War II have been coming to the Philippines as well to visit historical sites, shrines and war markers. Most recently they visited the newly inaugurated Battle of Surigao Strait Memorial and Museum in Surigao City, which was unveiled
BROTHERS in Arms sculpture at the Pacific War Memorial, which was built by the US government to honor the Filipino and American soldiers who fought side by side against the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II on Corregidor Island. NUVISAGE | DREAMSTIME.COM
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EXPERIENCING Philippine history and seeing the battle ground of Filipino veterans during World War II is now more compelling and exciting at the Mount Samat Shrine of Valor in Bataan with the introduction of the augmented reality technology in its Underground Museum. By scanning museum QR codes using Eastmart tablets and phones installed with AR mobile app, tourists can view animations and short videos excerpts from the World War II studies. The Eastmart tablets can be rented by tourists before they enter the museum. MT. SAMAT FLAGSHIP TOURISM ENTERPRISE ZONE
‘End of history’? 30 years on, does that idea still hold up?
By Tamer Fakahany
populism took root. All have had a transcendent impact. History, it seemed, didn’t “end.” Today, Fukuyama acknowledges that some developments over the decades have disappointed him. He says his book wasn’t a prediction, but an acknowledgement that many more democracies were coming into existence. Now the world is in a phase he didn’t anticipate. In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Fukuyama took time to reflect on some of what he has seen—and what could still happen.
The Associated Press
ONDON —Months before the Berlin Wall fell on November 9, 1989, with the Soviet stranglehold over the Eastern Bloc crumbling, a young political scientist named Francis Fukuyama made a declaration that quickly became famous. It was, he declared, “the end of history.” dangerous era than the Cold War. The 9/11 attacks happened; the Iraq and Syria wars helped produce the bloody emergence of the Islamic State group and, later, a refugee crisis. The economy tanked in 2008. China became a superpower. Russia resurged. A new
PESO EXCHANGE RATES n US 50.5500
IN this June 10, 1996, file photo, Russian President Boris Yeltsin dances at a rock concert after arriving in Rostov, Russia. AP/ALEXANDER ZEMLIANICHENKO
VAN DER VORM VASTGOED
But the heralded defeat of Communism didn’t usher in a lasting golden age for Western, capitalist-driven liberalism. Far from it. In the decades since, seismic events, movements and global patterns have shaped the 21st century into a splintered, perhaps more
AFTER THE WALL: THE FIRST YEARS
WITH the passage of the decades, Fukuyama says, now “you have a whole generation of people who didn’t experience the Cold War or Communism.” In those initial years after the wall came down, new countries were born and Germany reunified. But Continued on a2
n JAPAN 0.4626 n UK 64.7849 n HK 6.4590 n CHINA 7.2434 n SINGAPORE 37.2540 n AUSTRALIA 34.8744 n EU 55.8476 n SAUDI ARABIA 13.4797
Source: BSP (November 8, 2019 )
A2 Saturday, November 9, 2019
‘End of history’? 30 years on, does that idea still hold up? Continued from a1
wars and conflicts also erupted after the Soviet Union collapsed and postcolonial debt-settling spiked. Some of the 1990s’ bloodiest civil wars—Congo, Liberia—became footnotes to history. Rwanda endured a genocide that killed hundreds of thousands. Yugoslavia, ripped asunder by sustained violence, massacres and displacement, produced far more coverage and even new nations. Western military intervention at the end of the 1990s blunted Serbia’s nationalism and unshackled Kosovo. A weakened Russia was in no position to help its traditional ally in Belgrade. But the global economy was generally strong. Then came 9/11.
THE EARLY 21ST CENTURY: TECTONIC SHIFTS
AL-QAEDA took terror to a neverbefore-seen level that was watched in real-time around the world. In response, the Bush administration invaded Afghanistan and ousted the Taliban, which had hosted Osama bin Laden as he plotted against the West. Eighteen years later, the United States is still there. The Iraq War was based on false intelligence that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, backed by the US when he fought Iran, possessed weapons of mass destruction. Washington pushed a “you’re either with us or against us” global outreach that backfired in some places—most notably in Britain, where then-Prime Minister Tony Blair remains a political outcast to this day for following Bush.
Fukuyama was once aligned with neo-conservatives and supported the Iraq invasion, but later declared his opposition to the war. Now, he says the Iraq war undermined American policy around the world, while the 2008 financial crisis undercut the US claim that it had established a good economic international order. Says Fukuyama: “I think those two events paved the way for a lot of the populist backlash that we’re seeing now.”
POPULISM AND THE CULT OF PERSONALITY
FUKUYAMA says he’s dismayed so many voters could choose divisive populist leaders who lack a formula for governing democratically. A marriage of populism and nationalism is a dominant dynamic now in many places — from Trump’s “America First” to Brexit, from Israel’s refusal to give up settlements in occupied Palestinian territory to India’s accelerated crackdown in disputed Kashmir and Turkey’s recent invasion of Syria. Fukuyama says the populist leader’s playbook typically goes something like this: “I represent you, the people. You are pure and the elites are corrupt, and I need to eliminate them from our political system.” But Fukuyama says he still believes that the checks and balances in democracies’ long-established institutions will continue to work. Populism, he argues, isn’t conducive to good governance—or, necessarily, prosperity. “Launching a trade war…doesn’t seem like a very good idea for continued prosperity,” he says. “It could be that
these types of movements will be self-limiting in the future.”
SYRIA, THE ISLAMIC STATE AND THE GLOBAL REFUGEE CRISIS
THE ruinous civil war in Syria, in its ninth year, began with an uprising against President Bashar Assad as part of the ill-fated 2011 Arab Spring that deposed autocrats but replaced them with more dictatorship, war and chaos. The Syrian conflict brought suffering of a monstrous magnitude: hundreds of thousands killed, millions displaced and the rise of the barbaric Islamic State group, which at one point controlled vast swaths of both Syria and Iraq and carried out terror attacks across Europe. A byproduct of IS’ rise was the global refugee crisis and the flight of persecuted millions on a scale not seen since World War II. To Fukuyama, the rapid rise in migration produced a cultural backlash and an anti-immigrant feeling that was exploited by “a lot of pretty opportunistic politicians who saw this as a big opportunity to mobilize new sources of support for themselves.”
THE RESURGENCE OF RUSSIA
THE road from the dissolution of the Soviet Union to today’s powerful Russia has been messy and not without its initial humiliations for Moscow. Boris Yeltsin’s years in power after Mikhail Gorbachev’s ouster as the last Soviet leader were characterized by a freewheeling approach to the free market which introduced kleptocracy, the selling off of state industries and the era of oligarchs, mafia and defeat in the
IN this November 13, 1989, file photo, East German border guards stand in front of segments of the Berlin Wall, which were removed to open the wall at Potsdamer Platz passage in Berlin. AP/JOHN GAPS III
first Chechnya war. Then, on the stroke of the new millennium, Vladimir Putin came to power as a counterbalance to the Western liberalism he so often rails against. On his watch, a second war with Chechnya killed thousands. Russia invaded Georgia and annexed Crimea from Ukraine after backing Russian separatists. With fresh dominance in its own backyard, Russia began to look further afield, most notably meddling in the US election, which some say helped Trump reach the White House. In 2018, Putin—still in power, still a risk-taker—boasted of the development of new nuclear weapons that have no equivalent in the West. They came, he said, in response to US withdrawal from a Cold War-era treaty banning missile defenses and US efforts to develop a missile defense system. “No one has listened to us,” he said. “You listen to us now.” Fukuyama says of Putin: He “has created a form of Russian nationalism that is dependent on empire, [on] his control of all of the
countries surrounding Russia. He feels that he is basically at war with the West. This is a hangover from Soviet times because that is the world he grew up in.”
CHINA THE SUPERPOWER
CHINA’S authoritarian grip on anything it perceives as its internal affairs, from mass detentions and abuse of Muslims in Xinjiang Province to its no-patience approach to Hong Kong protesters, continues unabated. Beijing’s rise in the last three decades has redrawn the geopolitical map. Its financial clout, its attempts to extend its footprint with its Belt and Road Initiative and unresolved trade issues with the US make it a wildcard more than ever. Fukuyama says China’s increased wealth and power is upending the international system—no matter how that power is used. But, he notes, since Xi Jinping came to power, China has moved in “a much more authoritarian direction.” The new landscape, he says, “has led to the current deterioration of US-China relations. And I’m afraid that’s a situation that is going to persist even if you had a different [US]
administration in power.”
FROM 1989 TO 2019: THE BIG SWEEP
LOOKING back from today, Fukuyama still thinks the Berlin Wall’s fall was, on balance, a huge gain for human freedom. One of the darker historical ironies of the past 30 years—primarily in Europe—has been the shift by once-communist states to the far right, in some cases embracing ideologies not far from fascism. But despite “worries about countries like Hungary and Poland,” Fukuyama believes they are still much better off than under a communist dictatorship. Many people don’t quite understand how being part of the European Union, for example, has afforded them peace and stability that didn’t exist before. Today, Fukuyama looks to other uprisings—protest movements in Hong Kong, Algeria and Sudan, for example—and says he holds out hope for a new moment when history might encounter another crossroads. He calls it the “spirit of 1989.”
History comes alive… Continued from a1
during the 75th commemoration of the battle. The battle has been described as the US Navy’s greatest single triumph in its history. The historical landmark, perched on a ridge with a breathtaking view of Surigao Strait in Punta Bilar, Surigao City, will serve as a major tourist attraction, as well as a special educational destination for the younger generations, said Tourism Assistant Secretary for Minda nao Myra Paz V. Abubakar. “The erection of the Battle of Surigao Strait Memorial and Museum will certainly serve as a beacon to the world to come get a glimpse of the acclaimed greatest sea battle of all time and now a monumental symbol of peace, a truly meaningful tour experience for visitors,” she said in a news statement. The Battle of Surigao Strait is noted for its distinct place in world history as the US naval forces, including ships from the Royal Australian Navy, helped sink Japanese battle ships, paving the way for Gen. Douglas MacArthur and American forces to retake the Philippines by landing in Leyte. The strait, now a protected area, serves as a watery grave for the Japanese battleships Yamashiro and Fuso. In solemn ceremonies, dignitaries and veterans from the US, Australia, Japan and Manila joined local officials and residents in renewing their commitment to world peace. World War II veterans retired Rear Admiral Guy Griffiths and David Mattiske, both 94, from Australia, were recognized during the ceremonies organized by Surigao
City Mayor Ernesto Matugas Jr. It was the fifth time Mattiske’s group visited the Philippines to attend the annual rites in Surigao City and Palo, Leyte. “I look forward to returning to the Philippines with a bigger group and visit the Battle of Surigao Strait Memorial to pay homage to over 4,000 fallen soldiers, mostly Japanese. It is our prayer that there would never be another world war,” said Mattiske. For his part, US Embassy Naval Attaché Col. Brian J. Clark, Commander of the US Navy, said, “The greatest battles in this region serve as the tapestry of naval service. The events that took place in the pristine waters of Surigao Strait remain as relevant as ever as the partnership of nations must face the challenges of keeping open lines of navigation for international trade and uphold the rule of law of the sea.” Other dignitaries who attended the battle’s anniversary were Cmdr. Michinori Fukuda, Assistant Defense Attaché of the Japanese Embassy, and Australia’s Ambassador to the Philippines Steven Robinson. The DOT is beefing up a number of historical sites such as Corregidor Island, Mount Samat Shrine of Valor, and Intramuros in Manila in a bid to attract more visitors from abroad. Its attached agency, the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (Tieza), for one, is eyeing the development of Corregidor Island as a flagship tourism enterprise zone (TEZ). “Tieza shall be responsible for the development of the island’s potential as an international and local tourist destina-
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tion, as well as the maintenance and preservation of war relics on the island,” said the agency in a news statement. The 546-hectare island is under the management of the Corregidor Foundation Inc., an agency under the Department of National Defense, but its Board of Trustees includes the DOT Secretary and the Tieza COO. The Mount Samat Shrine of Valor in Pilar, Bataan, was erected in memory of Filipino and American soldiers who fought in World War II. Corregidor Island, located 48 km from Manila, played a crucial role during the invasion, and later liberation, of the Philippines from the Japanese military forces. Its ruins serve as a memorial to the Filipino, American and Japanese soldiers who lost their lives during World War II. Tieza will also be introducing an augmented reality (AR) app for the Mount Samat Shrine of Valor by next year, changing the historical tour experience at the site by making the exhibits interactive, and allowing maximum involvement of the visitors. The AR system is being developed by Tieza’s Mount Samat Flagship Tourism Enterprise Zone in partnership with the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office and technology-based solution company Eastmart Reality Innovators. “The introduction of the 3D Augmented Reality feature in the Underground Museum made Mount Samat the first historical site and war museum in the country with the AR technology,” said Mount Samat FTEZ Administrator Francis Theodore B. Initorio in a news statement.
www.businessmirror.com.ph Editor: Vittorio V. Vitug
A3 Saturday, November 9, 2019 A3
In her first meeting with ICAD, Leni seeks to rebrand govt’s war vs drugs
“Number 2, I am all for a strong national policy against illegal drugs, and I am all for a vigorous antidrug campaign. Pero having said that, I also feel that we should do things right. Everything that we’re doing should be within the bounds of the rule of law,” she added. Robredo does not see the drugs situation as a “problem of crime only,” wherein the enemy is not the Filipinos. “Our enemy here is drugs. Because drugs is our enemy, we should also look at it not just using the lens of crime, or criminal justice, but also using the lens of health and the fact that addiction is a medical and a sociological problem,” she said. “I am all for evidence-based strategy and approach,” she also said. The vice president told the members of the ICAD that despite their differences, she be-
By Rene Acosta
ICE President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo wanted a new face to the government’s anti-illegal drugs drive, suggesting a possible new tack that would replace “Oplan Tokhang,” which the public has come to know as vicious and bloody since it has resulted in the deaths of thousands of drug suspects. The country’s second-highest leader expressed her preference for a possible rebranding of the new anti-illegal drugs campaign during her meeting on Friday with members of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), which she co-headed with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA). She said that because of the senseless killings accompanying Oplan Tokhang, the campaign has reached a certain level of “no-
toriety” that once you mention tokhang, it connotes a meaning that it was a “war against the poor.” “I think it is incumbent upon us to change that mindset,” the vice president said. Before the meeting went formally, Robredo shared her insights and beliefs on the current state of the country’s illegaldrugs problem. “Number 1, I believe that drug addiction is a serious problem that our country is facing,” she said.
VICE President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo delivers her statement on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, after she has accepted an offer by President Duterte for her to play a lead role in the crackdown against illegal drugs even though she’s been warned it could be a political ploy to destroy her. AP
Navy launches 2nd missile-capable frigate in S. Korea
HE Philippine Navy said that its second brand-new and missile-capable frigate was launched into the sea on Friday during a ceremony held at the shipyard of its contractor, Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), in Bangeojinsunhwan-doro, Ulsan, South Korea. Navy Public Affairs Office chief Lt. Commander Ma. Christina Roxas said the launching of the vessel, BRP Antonio Luna, named after one of the country’s national heroes, completed the two-unit Frigate Acquisition Project of the Navy. The first ship, BRP Jose Rizal, was
launched in May and is currently undergoing harbor trials, which is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2020. Defense and military officials, including Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Noel Clement and Navy Flag Officer in Command Vice Adm. Robert Empedrad, witnessed the launching of the second frigate. The officials were also joined by former Navy chief retired Vice Adm. Ferdinand Golez, commander of Naval Sea Systems Command Rear Adm. Rommel Jason Galang, Naval Inspec-
tor General Commo. Sean Anthony Villa, Philippine Fleet Deputy Commander Commo. Wilfredo Burgonio Jr. and Offshore Combat Force Commander Capt. Karl Decapia. The Navy is expecting the delivery of BRP Jose Rizal, at the earliest, by April or May 2020, and the BRP Antonio Luna, by September or October 2020. Roxas said that both frigates are capable of engaging in the four dimensions of modern warfare: Anti-Air Warfare, Anti-Surface Warfare, AntiSubmarine Warfare and Electronic Warfare.
Both ships are also fully equipped with surface-to-surface missiles, surface-to-air missile and torpedoes. The vessels’ primary gun is 76mm super rapid gun while the secondary gun is a 30mm gun. It also has chaffs and decoys as defense against incoming missile. “The acquisition of these missile frigates will strengthen the Navy’s capability to safeguard our maritime nation and territorial limits. This two missile capable frigates are tangible manifestations and benchmarks of the PN’s vision of becoming a strong and credible by 2020,” Roxas said. Rene Acosta
SC extends Maguindanao massacre ruling deadline
HE Supreme Court has granted the request of the judge handling the Maguindanao massacre case for more time to come up with a decision. Speaking to newsmen on Friday, Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta said the court considered the huge volume of evidence and parties in the case in giving a 30-day extension to Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes. “In the case of Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes...we allowed her to have an extension of one month but as I said motions for extension are the exception rather than the rule and we understand her plight and I hope that she will no longer ask for another extension so that before the end of the year those cases will finally be decided,” Peralta said. Under the Constitution, all trial courts should promulgate their decision within the 90-day period after the case has been submitted for decision. The case has been submitted for decision on August 22, which means the deadline for its promulga-
tion is on November 20, three days before the massacre’s 10th anniversary of the gruesome murders. With the extension, the Quezon City court now has until December 20 to decide the case. “I am frustrated of what happened to the victims but I think Judge Reyes did her best in order to give justice to the victims and also in order to afford the accused the required due process of law under the constitution,” Peralta added. The attack resulted in the death of 58 people, including 32 journalists and media workers, the single worst peace-time incident involving the killing of newsmen. Other victims were family members and supporters of the Ampatuan clan’s political foe, Esmael Mangudadatu. Lawyer Nena Santos, one of the private prosecutors in the case, said there is no problem with the extension given by the High Court. “We have waited for 10 years. The 30 days is a short time to wait,” Santos said in a statement. PNA
Two suspects in Dumaguete broadcaster’s gun slay nabbed
WO suspects in the ambushslay of radio block timer Dindo Generoso in Dumaguete City have been arrested, Philippine National Police (PNP) Officer in Charge Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa said on Friday. The suspects were identified as Teddy Reyes Salaw, 44, a resident of Batinguel, Dumaguete City, and Glenn Corsame, a retired policeman. Gamboa, citing a report from the Police Regional Office 7, said Salaw yielded a .45 caliber pistol. The acting PNP chief commend-
ed Visayas policemen for their swift action that resulted in the arrest of the two. Right after Generoso’s attack by a riding-in-tandem that killed him on the spot, Negros Oriental Provincial Police Office (NOPPO) chief Col. Julian Entoma expedited the investigation and tracked down the assailants. “I’m confirming the arrest of two suspects yesterday [Thursday]. Our tracker teams were quick to act because of the CCTV footages that identified them, their pick up and escape routes and other de-
tails,” Entoma says. Investigators said Corsame is a resident of San Jose Village in Barangay Banilad, Dumaguete City. He was reportedly the driver of motorcycle used in the killing. Generoso, 67, was attacked and killed at around 7:25 a.m. on Thursday while driving his Hyundai Elantra with plate number YKU 946 at Barangay Piapi on his way to his program at the local radio station 96.7 DYEM FM Station. Investigators were continuing to investigate the motive behind
the attack. The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) commended the Negros Oriental police for its swift action that led to the arrest of Salaw and Corsame. “At the same time, the fact that two of the alleged killers are policemen is cause enough for worry and reinforces the findings of informal studies by media organizations that tend to indicate the involvement of state security personnel in many journalists’ murders in the country,” it said in a statement. Rene Acosta
lieved that all of them were working for a common goal, and this is for the campaign against illegal drugs to succeed. “Having said that, I would also like to believe that people expect us to go beyond the differences, and for us to work together,” she said. Robredo said she went to the meeting, hoping to get a clearer view of the overall illegal-drugs problem in the country. “I wanted to know the data, because before today, I did not have access to the kind of data that you had access to. So there’s a lot of questions this afternoon, but my request to [PDEA Director] General [Aaron] Aquino is for all the clusters to brief me on what has transpired during the course of the three years—not three years because ICAD was established in 2017, March 2017—so a little over two years,” she said.
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bright spots, infra spending Tradeline Philippines: Discovering PHL Export to lift PHL trade growth, Neda says products and services at your fingertips T
HE latest World Bank Doing Business 2020 study shows the Philippines jumping 29 spots from 124th to 95th, the biggest mover in Asean and a positive sign toward making it easier to conduct business in the country. Aside from this, the country was also cited in Standard Chartered’s Trade20 Index as one of the top 20 markets with the greatest potential for future trade growth. In line with improving the ease of doing business and providing Philippine exporters the enabling environment to make them more globally competitive, the Department of Trade and Industry’s Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB) launched its business intelligence platform, Tradeline Philippines (www.tradelinephilippines.dti.gov.ph) in 2016. The Web-based portal serves as DTIEMB’s main information and communications technology (ICT) tool in providing its stakeholders with an integrated export information system that provides regular trade statistics reports, market and product information, supplier and buyer databases, and other trade-related information. One of the major components of Tradeline Philippines is the online Business
Matching System (www.businessmatching. dti.gov.ph), a business-to-business (B2B) platform where registered local suppliers and foreign buyers can meet for potential transactions. The searchable supplier and buyer database allows buyers to contact Philippine exporters who can provide products or raw materials that match their requirements. Exporters who register in the site are verified first by DTI-EMB’s product officers to ensure that they are legitimate businesses. A user manual for both buyers and suppliers is also downloadable for easy reference and guide. For those who are looking for trade statistics, Tradeline Philippines has an Interactive Trade Statistics page where you can search for specific export and import figures based on year, products, market
and point of origin, among others. There is also a Quick Stats feature that shows the country’s top trading partners, export markets, export products and exporting provinces. These can be printed or downloaded as a PDF document or spreadsheet for future reference. The site also has Market and Industry Profiles that provides an overview of the country’s export markets and products. Other resources which can be accessed for free are directories of government agencies, trade associations, as well as an interactive director y of Philippine exporters. For the latest trends and updates on the export industry, users can download publications like the Euromonitor Digest, a bimonthly online publication of the EMB, which aims to provide insightful analysis on the reports culled from Euromonitor International’s Business Intelligence Research, and Market Intelligence Digest. Special publications, like the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 20182022 Executive Summary and the Philippine Export Guidebook, are also available for download. Those who are interested in exporting can also check out the list of prohibited and regulated products for exports to avoid unnecessary complications and ensure hassle-free trade with their potential overseas buyers. These are just some of the information available at one’s fingertips in Tradeline Philippines. Visit tradelinephilippines.dti.gov.ph and discover products and services beyond your expectations.
HE government should take advantage of recovering exports to selected markets, while also sustaining the improvement of infrastructure to uplift the trade sector, the National Economic and Development Authority said. The Philippine Statistics Authority has reported that the country’s total trade last September declined by 7.5 percent, as both imports and exports registered lower growth rates. Exports dropped by 2.6 percent in September, dragged by the decline in manufactured goods and mineral products. The positive performance in major markets Japan, China, Korea and Hong Kong failed to offset the slide in earnings from the United States, Asean and the European Union. Meanwhile, imports contracted by 10.5 percent due to steep declines in raw materials and intermediate goods. This brings the three-month moving average growth rate of exports and imports for September to 0.6 percent and -7.8 percent, respectively. “Despite the overall decline in export performance, our export trade to Korea posted doubledigit growth rate for the third consecutive month and exports to Japan showed a significant turnaround from a decline in the previous period,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said in a news statement. “These export bright spots will pave the way for the country’s trade recovery
“Despite the overall decline in export performance, our export trade to Korea posted double-digit growth rate for the third consecutive month and exports to Japan showed a significant turnaround from a decline in the previous period.” —Pernia
over the near term.” Pernia also took note of the persisting US-China trade tensions, which have escalated beyond tariffs, as the US has blacklisted certain companies and imposed visa restrictions on Chinese officials. The far reaching and widespread cost of the trade war also finds its spotlight in the latest IMF World Economic Outlook, which estimates a near standstill in trade growth and a slowdown in growth in nearly 90 percent of the world. “Moreover, the government must sustain faster infrastructure spending in the fourth quarter to achieve the target disbursement performance for the year. The push for high impact and implementable infrastructure projects under the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program is expected to improve transport and logistics, which are crucial in supporting the growth of exports,” Pernia said. He added the importance of the timely passage of the proposed 2020 national budget in sustaining the implementation of constructionrelated projects and activities. PNA
Editor: Angel R. Calso • Saturday, November 9, 2019 A5
The cost of dying Senate working on 5 bills on cash benefits, in the Philippines discounts, nursing homes for senior citizens By Lade Jean Kabagani Philippine News Agency
HERE are a lot of reasons to revel as we get older, but having to ponder about the cost of death isn’t one of them. But everyone dies, and the inevitable question is—are we financially prepared for death in the family? Zooming into the country, how much does it cost to die in the Philippines?
FUNERAL packages include memorial plans with money-back guarantee for those preparing their life’s end and one-time payment for families. Dr. Mildred Vitangcol, chairman of the Board of St. Peter Life Plan Inc., cited the importance of having memorial life plans for Filipinos, especially building relationships without the fear of the concept of death or dying. “It is very important to have a death-care plan. If you don’t have any insurance coverage, or if you are not aware of how difficult it is not to have a plan especially when you lose your loved ones. It’s really an important investment wherein it’s available when the family would need it,” she said. “It will be more expensive for you if you don’t have the life plan,” she said. St. Peter Life Plan Inc. offers services from high-end clients to the poorest of the poor in the Philippines through its Death Care Memorial Plan. “We have a selection of wooden and metal caskets, and low-climate caskets which are also imported from the US and we offer high-end casket for the family that have more budget in their funeral activities,” she said. St. Peter’s, she says, offers the most affordable plan which is at P700 a month, or P38,800 under St. George Plan and the new St. Gregory Plan worth P38,200 or P725 per month, both payable in five years. It also offers top of the line plans like St. John Plan, which comes with a more elegant casket for P300,000 or P5,700 monthly. “We also introduce a money-back guarantee. We are offering a package at the liking of our client. The amount of the product is fixed and will be paid for a five-year span, it’s either paid annually or monthly. Our commitment is to return to the person the money invested,” she added.
There are a number of ways to cut funeral costs. Or if you cannot avail yourself of paying monthly memorial plans, you just have to look for a funeral parlor that offers the best deal of memorial services without breaking your pockets. Renato Mendoza started his funeral parlor called Norsam Memorial Chapels, which has been offering low-cost funeral services to poor Filipinos. Mendoza, who once delivered tombstones to funerals, says he knows how to live with just enough for daily living. “I was once delivering tombstones, and I worked hard for a living until such time that I had my own funeral parlor. All the hard work paid off, and now I am able to help the families of the dead through my funeral,” he said. “We had just started casketmaking. We offer a lowest cost of a funeral at P28,000, and it doesn’t matter how long the funeral activities are, we don’t ask for additional payment,” he said. “The offer includes 50 pieces of coffee, flowers, limitless funeral and death documents,” he added. Now, Mendoza Funeral Homes offers a one-stop shop for poor families who can’t afford to have a memorial life plan. Funeral homes offer packages that include embalming, coffins and wake arrangements. “We offer casket for the middleclass families and provide a casket for the poorest of the poor,” he said.
ANOTHER dying cost to consider is cremation. The cost of the memorial lot depends on the location. The government-run public cemetery offers much cheaper or free, depending on the status of the living family of the dead. That’s what Manila North Cemetery Director Roselle Castaneda explained. “We are doing interviews for the family of the dead and checking an endorsement from DSWD, or from the office of the mayor or the barangay chairman, that we can assess if the family belongs to the poorest of the poor,” she said. “The family has to comply with the death certificate and burial permit, “ she added. The cost of burying the dead may be heavy, but for many Filipinos, this doesn’t matter, so long as their loved ones are provided with a decent burial and funeral. PNA
By Butch Fernandez
HE Senate is working on the early passage of at least five bills aimed to expand the benefits granted to senior citizens, but cautioned against raising undue expectations of a pre-Christmas approval, as the 2020 national budget, and key economic and tax reforms are seen occupying their time in the last two months of the year. Three of these bills were authored by Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., including Senate Bill 295, amending the Centenarians Act of 2016 granting cash gift of P100,000 to Filipino centenarians—a widely celebrated law affirming the State’s accordance of “due respect, appreciation and importance to our citizens who reach the age of 100.” Revilla’s remedial legislation, embodied in SB 295, cited recent statistics showing that many elderly Filipinos do not reach the age of 100. “Hence they are unable to enjoy the benefits of such law,” the senator pointed out, adding that “with the
rising cost of living and health-care expenses, most of our senior citizens find it very difficult to afford basic necessities and have to forego expensive medications and procedures.” To directly address this concern, the senator’s bill aims to amend Republic Act 10868, also known as the Centenarians Act of 2016, by advancing the grant of privileges to elderlies “upon reaching the age of 80, 90 and 100, respectively.” “Through this bill, it is hoped that our elderlies may be able to enjoy such entitlements and to assist in further prolonging their lives beyond a cen-
tury,” Revilla added. As provided in SB 295, Section 2 states that “Filipinos who reach the age of 80, 90 and 100 years shall be honored with a Letter of Felicitation from the President of the Philippines congratulating the celebrant for his/her longevity” and a “Centenarian Cash Gift” in the amount of P100,000 to be distributed as follows: P25,000 upon reaching the age of 80; P25,000 upon reaching the age of 90; and the balance of P50,000 upon reaching the age of 100. Besides the three Revilla-sponsored bills, senators are also deliberating on SB 737, filed by Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, mandating the setting up of a nursing home for senior citizens in every city and province. Another bill, SB 933, by Sen. Grace Poe, mandates a minimum 5-percent discount on the first 150 kilowatts consumption of electricity by senior citizens. It also mandates discounts on their water use.
Senior sectors applaud
VARIOUS groups representing the senior citizens sector expressed their support to Revilla’s proposed amendment to the Centenarians Act of 2016, or RA 10868, “An Act Honoring and Granting Additional Benefits and Privileges to Filipino Centenarians.” During the public hearing of the
Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development jointly with the Committees on Civil Service, Government Reorganization and Professional Regulation, Finance, and Ways and Means chaired by Revilla on Wednesday morning, representatives from various government and private senior citizen groups and organizations lauded the veteran lawmaker’s proposal to divide the distribution of the P100,000 incentive for any Filipino citizen who will reach the age of 100. Upon hearing the proposal, invited panelists representing the Office of Senior Citizen Affairs (OSCA) from various parts of the country said that Revilla’s proposal is timely and appropriate since the number of Filipinos reaching 100 continues to decrease. Meanwhile, guest panelists also pointed out that those who reach 100 no longer appreciate the financial incentive, and let their children or caretakers handle it for them. “Napakagandang batas po ng Centenarians Act dahil napahahalagahan natin ang ating mga nakatatanda nating kababayan na nangangailangan na ngayon ng pagmamahal at pag-agapay. Mas pag-iibayuhin pa natin ang batas na ito kaya iminumungkahi natin na hatiin ang pagbibigay ng financial incentive sa edad na 80 pa lang para mapakinabangan at ma-enjoy nila ito,” Revilla said.
88-year-old man in Iligan City readies own casket By Divina Suson
Philippine News Agency
LIGAN CITY—The senior citizen in Iligan City who prepared his casket at home years ago is now ready to die after his wife, who also prepared hers, died last January. Luciano Tapic, 88, of Barangay Kiwalan, has asked his brother-in-law four years ago to make his casket so that his children would not be burdened “when my time comes.” “I want my children to use this [the coffin] when I die. They can just paint it with any color, even black, it’s fine with me. I will make them dream about me when they do not use it,” Luciano, who is still very active, with a sharp memory and a clear sense of hearing at 88, said in an interview. He related that he asked for some Gmelina wood from his brother, saying it would be for a cabinet. “Because I’m sure he will not give it to me if I told him I’m going to make my casket. When it was done and he saw it, he appreciated [it] and said he would make his, too,” Luciano recalled.
“I AM ready to die,” the 88-year-old Luciano Tapic of Barangay Kiwalan, Iligan City, says as he shows the casket he had prepared four years ago. Tapic’s casket is kept on the second floor of their house. PNA/DIVINA M. SUSON
He got this idea from his wife, Flora, who prepared hers in 2000. Flora’s casket resembled an airplane with protruding “wings” on its sides, while that of Luciano’s is the typical coffin. Flora’s wish, as she told her children, was to be placed in her “plane” casket. She, however, did not want to be buried in it. She
wanted her body to instead be wrapped in white cloth, and for the casket to be placed on top of her tomb as a decoration. She also prepared the burial site on their farm, about 1 kilometer away from their house. But none of Flora’s wishes was fulfilled, as her children brought her another casket and she was
buried in a private cemetery. “She will not know anyway. She is already dead,” said their second child, Aurora Fernandez. Flora’s and Luciano’s caskets are kept on the second floor of their house, beside the room of one of their children, where their grandchildren sleep when they come to visit. Fernandez said they have also prepared for their father’s “time.” One of their siblings bought Luciano a memorial plan but hid it from him until one day, a notice from the company arrived and it was Luciano who received it. “But I will get back to them if they do not use my coffin,” Luciano said. He, however, said it does not matter to him where he will be buried. “For sure, when it’s his time to come, he will be laid beside our mother,” Fernandez said. While there is this belief that those preparing for death would live longer, Luciano insisted that “if it is your time, it’s your time.” Flora and Luciano have six children, 21 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. PNA
Saturday, November 9, 2019 | Editor: Jun Lomibao | email@example.com
GAN BERNAL believes his reputation has been damaged by a spate of recent doping cases in Colombia, but insists his home country is “improving” when it comes to the fight for clean cycling. Bernal hit the headlines in Colombia a couple of weeks ago when comments made in an interview with French newspaper Le Monde were read as a criticism of the Colombian Cycling Federation and its anti-doping efforts. “I would be unable to say if it was one or 100,” Bernal replied when asked how many times he’d been tested in Colombia this year. When it was suggested it would be closer to 100, he said: “I don’t have the figure in my head.” In Colombia, Bernal was widely quoted as saying: “I can’t say if it was one or 100, but it must be closer to one,” which the journalist from Le Monde has attributed to a mistranslation from one publication. Speaking to Cyclingnews last week, Bernal regretted the controversy that has been caused, and insisted his words had been taken out of context. “It seemed I was criticizing the federation, but no, the federation is doing good work,” he said. The past decade has seen a wave of Colombian success on the world stage, with Bernal becoming the first Colombian to win the
Egan Bernal: Reputation of Colombian cyclists affected by doping cases Tour de France this year, but the country has also grappled with the issue of doping. Twenty Colombians are currently banned or provisionally suspended—more than any other nation—and Colombia’s anti-doping laboratory remains closed, having been discredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency in February 2017. This year has seen Tour de France stage winner Jarlinson Pantano test positive for erythropoietin, while Manzana Postobon, a team with a vocal antidoping stance, folded in May after Wilmar Paredes tested positive for EPO and Juan Jose Amador for Boldenone. Alexis Camacho and former Tinkoff-Saxo rider Edward Beltran were the latest to go positive on the domestic circuit last month. Two years ago, the country’s flagship race was marred by a spate of eight positive tests for CERA. “It’s difficult for us. Our image, as Colombians
in general, is being affected by what has happened,” Bernal told Cyclingnews. However, the 22-year-old Team Ineos rider insisted that the country is moving in the right direction and that the national cycling federation is doing all it can to combat doping. “It’s improving, it’s improving. There are still doping cases and positive tests, but not just in Colombia—in a lot of other places, too,” Bernal told Cyclingnews. “If positives are coming out in Colombia, it’s because they’re carrying out anti-doping tests. What more can the federation do? It simply has to carry on testing and riders need to become more aware. “Obviously, it has to improve. We all have to improve at something. I, as a rider, have to improve. The federation has to improve, but everyone has to improve at something, Bernal added.”
Bernal pointed out the financial constraints facing the Colombian authorities, arguing the funds invested at governmental level cannot match Europe’s major cycling and sporting nations. Responding to the stir caused by Bernal’s comments in Le Monde, Mauricio Vargas, the new president of the Colombian Cycling Federation, claimed $300 million has been spent on sending samples to the US and Canada since the closure of the laboratory. “You have to understand that this is Colombia. It’s not a third-world country, but we don’t have the budget of a country like France, Spain or Italy. You cannot compare them,” Bernal said. “Maybe it’s a federation that’s rich in terms of the quality of riders, but testing costs a lot of money. I think they’re doing what they can with the budget they have.” Cyclingnews
CYCLING IN SMOG An Indian cycles wearing a
pollution mask early in the morning amid light smog in New Delhi. The national capital’s air quality dropped to the season’s worst on the morning after the Hindu festival of Diwali, but the situation was still better than the last three years, according to government agencies. AP
SAUDI ARABIA ‘OPENS UP’ THROUGH CYCLING
OUR de France owner ASO has confirmed that it will organize a new category 2.1 stage race in Saudi Arabia in 2020. The five-day Saudi Tour will take place from February 4 to 8 and the route will be centered around the capital city of Riyadh. The event precedes the Tour of Oman (February 11 to 16), ASO’s existing stage race on the Arabian Peninsula. ASO previously organized the Tour of Qatar between 2002 and 2016, and is not the only organizer looking to boost its revenue
stream with races in the region—Giro d’Italia organizer RCS Sport is behind the WorldTour-level UAE Tour, which in 2020 will be held from February 23 to 29. “We are involved in the emergence of a new racing scene in the Middle East, which corresponds to the riders’ demand at the beginning of the year,” said ASO CEO Yann Le Moenner in a statement released. “The creation of the Saudi Tour and its sustainable
installation in the calendar is part of this movement. This new race both represents an exciting organizational challenge, a coherent sporting event for an entire category of riders and a nice opportunity for the television viewers who follow the race to discover new landscapes. This is also for us an occasion to contribute to the development of cycling across the Kingdom.” Saudi Arabia did not send a rider at any level to the 2019 World Championships in Yorkshire. It was illegal for women to cycle in the country until 2013, at which point women were allowed to cycle with limited freedom. Saudi Cycling Federation Sabah Al-Kraidees described the inaugural Saudi Tour as “an honor,” noting that the event would serve to publicize Saudi Arabia as a tourist destination. Saudi Arabia recently began issuing tourist visas after travel to the country was largely limited to pilgrims, business travelers and resident workers. “The Saudi Tour is a great opportunity to publicize the country’s varied territories and historic sites, and to let visitors discover our sense of hospitality,” Al-Kraidees said. “This initiative fits perfectly with the ambition of Saudi Arabia to promote the Kingdom beyond its borders while promoting sport and especially cycling.” The route of the first Saudi Tour has yet to be revealed, though ASO said that the event feature stages in the hills around Riyadh suited to puncheurs, as well as urban circuits. In its statement on Tuesday, ASO suggested that, like the now defunct Tour of Qatar, the race will favor riders with designs on preparing for the Flemish Classics. “On roads often exposed to the wind, the ability to cope with crosswinds will be an important asset for the teams that will look to dominate the race. On the Saudi Tour, the Flemish classic-style riders will be the ones to beat.” The ASO statement also suggested that the Saudi Tour could move to other parts of the country in subsequent editions to provide different terrain. Cyclingnews
U.C.I. GE ON TRA T HE International Cycling Union (UCI) has announced that it could introduce new guidelines for the eligibility of transgender female athletes competing in cycling events beginning in 2020. The guidelines could stipulate a maximum testosterone threshold of 5 nanomoles per liter, which is half of the current maximum threshold of 10 nmol/L for transgender females to be eligible to compete in the women’s category. The new regulations will be discussed internally and are pending approval from UCI Management Committee. The decision was reached following the recent International Meeting on Transgender Eligibility in Competitive Sports in Lausanne, Switzerland, recently. “The Union Cycliste Internationale [UCI] is pleased by the consensus obtained by the working group—of which it is a member alongside other International Federations—which met recently in Lausanne on the theme of transgender athletes’ eligibility in competitive sports,” said the cycling governing body’s statement. “The UCI shares the conclusions reached by the participants, who included representatives of transgender and cisgender athletes. The conclusions notably state that if a Federation decides to use serum testosterone to distinguish between male and female athletes, it should adopt a maximum threshold of 5 nmol/L for eligibility for the female category. “The consensus drawn up by the working group will enable the UCI to take into consideration, in line with the evolution of our society, the wish of concerned athletes to compete, while guaranteeing as far as possible equal chances for participants in women’s competitions.” The International Association of Athletics Federations hosted the meeting on transgender eligibility, which was also attended by representatives of a number of IFs. According to a press release published on the IAAF’s web site, it also heard from a range of invited experts in relevant disciplinary fields and from both cisgender and transgender athletes. In it’s official statement, the UCI has said that the new eligibility requirements for transgender female athletes, including the revised max threshold of serum testosterone of 5 nmol/L, will need to be approved by the UCI Management Committee before it can be published and take effect in 2020. In addition, the UCI’s regulations may include other medical criteria for eligibility to compete within the female category, methods for monitoring the hormonal status of these athletes and criteria for measuring blood hormones. According to the UCI, all such points will be discussed internally before being presented to the UCI Management Committee. The UCI currently follows guidelines of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) 2015 Consensus Meeting on Sex
FILIPPO GANNA will be the cornerstone of the Italian team pursuit squad at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Reassignment and Hyperandrogenism that specified level of testosterone of 10 nmol/L for more than one year before transgender females are permitted to compete in the female category. These guidelines replaced the 2003 Stockholm Consensus on Sex Reassignment in Sports. The IOC confirmed to Cyclingnews that it was present at the consensus meeting in Lausanne but only as an observer and had no formal role in organizing the meeting. The IOC told Cyclingnews that it will be updating the Consensus Meeting on Sex Reassignment and Hyperandrogenism guidelines, too, however, it could not confirm that it will reduce the maximum threshold of serum testosterone from 10 nmol/L to 5 nmol/L, which was agreed upon by the IAAF and the IFs at the recent consensus meeting in Lausanne. “The IOC is working to develop new guidance to help International Federations [IFs] shape sport specific policies and regulations in relation to fairness, safety, inclusivity and nondiscrimination,” a representative from the IOC told Cyclingnews. “The process, led by the IOC Medical and Scientific Commission, is being informed by inputs from the IOC Athletes’ Commission and the IOC Women and Sport Commission, as well as medical, scientific, legal and human-rights experts across relevant fields, and various interested parties, including affected stakeholders, IFs and national governing bodies. “The guidelines are being created in light of legal, medical and scientific developments since 2003 [when the IOC Medical Commission organized its first consensus meeting on these topics], as well as the IOC’s advancement in understanding its responsibilities in regard to respecting human rights.” The IOC reiterated that its transgender guidelines are set up merely as a reference point for IFs and national federations, but that ultimately such governing bodies are encouraged to set guidelines specific to each sport. “These voluntary guidelines will acknowledge the differences that exist between sports, encouraging each IF to find the most suitable mechanisms, policies and approaches, given the particular characteristics and requirements of their sports, to ensure inclusion, nondiscrimination, fairness and safety for all athletes. “Ultimately, the IOC can only issue guidelines as it is the IFs’ remit to decide eligibility rules on a sport, discipline and event-specific basis. Our guidance will be subject to periodic review in order to take account of relevant developments in the area, in consultation with all stakeholders concerned.” In many cases, transgender female athletes must undergo therapy to suppress naturally occurring testosterone in their bodies (by testosterone blocking) to meet the current maximum testosterone threshold of 10 nmol/L. Such individuals must also undergo frequent testosterone checks throughout their careers. The current rules also stipulate that transgender females must declare their gender identity, which cannot be changed for sporting purposes for four years. The UCI and national federations, such as USA
Italian rider Ganna targ after setting individual
TALY’S Filippo Ganna has set his sights on the International Cycling Union (UCI) Hour Record after twice smashing the men’s individual pursuit world record during the Minsk World Cup recently—with the four-minute barrier also now within reach. The 23-year-old Italian set a time of 4:04.252 in qualifying on Sunday morning to beat the mark of 4:05.423 set by the US’s Ashton Lambie. He then broke his own record by clocking a remarkable 4:02.647 in the final. The Team Ineos rider will be the cornerstone of the Italian team pursuit squad at next summer’s Tokyo Olympics and wants to ride a Grand Tour in 2020 to give him the base to build an Hour Record attempt.
“Yeah, I want to go for it. If the Hour Record was just an idea, now it’s an objective,” Ganna told La Gazzetta dello Sport as he savored his new pursuit record and looked to the future. “Before going for it, I need the right endurance, and so I need to ride a Grand Tour. I really want to do it, but it’s up to them,” he added, referring to Team Ineos. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Ganna is likely to ride a Grand Tour in 2020, with the Giro d’Italia his preferred choice, while the Vuelta a España remains another option. Ganna won a bronze medal at the UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire, finishing behind Rohan Dennis and Remco Evenepoel in the rolling 54 km time trial from Northallerton to Harrogate. During his first season with Team Ineos, Ganna enjoyed a solid road campaign, winning the Italian time trial title and stages at Tour La Provence and the BinckBank Tour. He suffered in the cobbled Classics, but worked hard when needed. “Even if someone has tried to put me in a box and say I’m only a track rider, I showed at the World
GETS STRICTER ANSGENDERS
HORMONE testing is the protocol for evaluating high testosterone levels in women with differences of sex development.
Cycling, follow the same policy for UCI-sanctioned licenses and events. In lower levels of competition, however, USA Cycling and other national federations have a separate set of guidelines for non-elite and elitelevel racing. At USA Cycling, elite-level racers must comply with IOC’s transgender guidelines, but those guidelines make up one of five criteria in place for non-elite racers. As Cyclingnews reported last November, USA Cycling’s non-elite criteria used to determine a member’s eligibility in a chosen gender include evidence of one or more of the following: 1) Does the member’s gender in their “everyday life” match his or her racing gender; 2) Has the member obtained civil documents with his or her racing gender identified (i.e., state ID, driver’s license, birth certificate); 3) Attestation of gender identity from a medical professional; 4) Attestation of gender identity from a certified counselor, public official, school administrator, or other academic advisor; and or 5) Compliance with IOC guidelines.
If the UCI Management Committee approves the new max threshold of serum testosterone of 5 nmol/L, these regulations would be applicable to cycling in general, including national governing bodies, such as USA Cycling.
SEMENYA VS. IAAF
THE move to reduce the serum testosterone threshold from 10 nmol/L to 5 nmol/L for transgender females to compete in the female category of sport comes off the back of the highprofile case involving track and field athlete Caster Semenya and the IAAF, which was heard at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in May. Semenya appealed the IAAF’s new regulations that decide the eligibility and legality of females who have higher testosterone levels—due to one of seven differences of sex development (DSD)—to compete certain events in the women’s category of Athletics. The IOC and IAAF refer to females with hyperandrogenism conditions as “intersex” or DSD athletes. It believes that females who have natural testosterone levels higher than the average
healthy female (0.4 nmol/L to 2.0 nmol/L), and closer to the range of healthy male (7.0 nmol/l and 30 nmol/l), and whose androgen receptors can uptake the testosterone, have an unfair advantage over peers in their category. The IAAF moved to restrict the testosterone levels of these individuals to a maximum threshold of 5 nmol/L before they are eligible to compete in events from the 400 meters to the mile. These individuals would have to take medication to reach a reduced testosterone level to be eligible to compete. Even though the CAS ruled in favor of the IAAF, after a lengthy deliberation, it also said that it had “serious concerns” about the application of the new regulations, as reported on BBC Sport. Cyclingnews understands that the new transgender regulations considered in cycling will be different from those applied to DSD athletes in track and field. However, the IAAF’s new regulations for DSD athletes, gave a general idea of the admissibility of eligibility regulations based on maximal plasma testosterone limits for the transgender rules in other sports.
The UCI has supported and adopted the existing IOC’s guidelines, which stipulate a maximum threshold of testosterone of 10 nmol/L, because it believed that the regulations took into account the most recent scientific and medical advancements. However, the scientific and medical studies that were used by the IAAF to determine serum testosterone thresholds have been disputed. In addition, testosterone thresholds are thought to be somewhat arbitrary to some scientists and medical experts. The UCI now supports the IAAFs/IFs consensus to reduce serum testosterone threshold to 5 nmol/L for eligibility of transgender females to compete in the female category of cycling. Pending approval from the UCI Management Committee, new regulations could come in affect as soon as next year. The UCI told Cyclingnews in March, however, that it has not to date considered specific eligibility rules for DSD female athletes for cycling competitions. Cyclingnews
gets Hour Record l pursuit standard Championships that I’m a decent road rider, too,” Ganna pointed out. Ganna is the first Italian to hold the individual pursuit world record since Andrea Collinelli in 1996, with La Gazzetta dello Sport suggesting his record is one of the best Italian performances of the 2019 season behind Alberto Bettiol’s Tour of Flanders victory and Elia Viviani’s European road race title. Viviani suggested that Ganna’s physiology means he was born to be the fastest individual pursuiter in the world. Italian National Coach Marco Villa is convinced that Ganna can go even faster and break the fourminute barrier for the individual pursuit. Lambie’s record of 4:05.423 was achieved at an altitude of more than 2,500 m at the Pan-American Championships in Bolivia, while conditions in Minsk, which lies 280 m above sea level, were not perfect. “If he went to altitude now he’d break through the four-minute wall,” Villa told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “We knew he could do this record because his time of 4:07:456 [set at sea level at the World Championships in Pruszków] was, in calculation, better than the American’s time.” Cyclingnews
Saturday, November 9, 2019
GEORGE BENNETT has been riding with side stitch issues for several years and has been diagnosed with slipping rib syndrome.
EORGE BENNETT (Jumbo-Visma) went under the knife three weeks ago in a bid to finally end a long-suffering condition that has held back his cycling career. The New Zealand rider has been riding with side stitch issues for several years and has been diagnosed with slipping rib syndrome. The condition means that whenever Bennett pushes himself in racing he is often forced to back off due to a stabbing-like pain in his chest. At the recent Rouleur Classic in London, where the Jumbo-Visma rider showcased bike storage brand Velohawk, Bennett showed off the scars from his recent surgery, with two long sets of stitches under his rib cage. “I had a big operation a couple of weeks ago and I hope that will help. I’ve had the side stitch for ages and it slowed me down a lot this year,” he told Cyclingnews. “Every time I go hard I get this stabbing pain in my side. The surgery is pretty drastic measures but I’ve essentially had three ribs removed. That makes it sound worse than it is but each one was around 8 centimeter long and made up of cartilage.” Bennett was discharged from the hospital the day after his surgery but he has not yet regained the health needed to jump back on the bike. However, the 29-year-old is hopeful that he will return to training in the coming weeks. “I’ve had a couple of operations before, some exploratory work all hoping to fix the stitch but we’re optimistic that we’ve now found the fix. I’ve been optimistic a few times and had surgery before but it’s not worked but I almost think that I can ride a bike in a week or so.” The decision to go under the knife was not one Bennett made lightly. “For me, I love cycling and it’s an easy job for me. I don’t struggle to find the passion for it but it’s not sustainable when every time you go hard you feel a knife in your stomach. “We sat down, talked with the family and my girlfriend, and decided that I’m not halfway through my career and that my best years are still ahead of me. I want to be able to make the most of it. If this works it will open up a lot more doors for me. I back off in training not just racing because of this, so we’ll see how this goes.” Assuming Bennett can return to training in the next few weeks, the Kiwi has an important off-season ahead of him. The 2019 campaign
Bennett: I had three ribs removed was far from a disaster for Bennett, with key super-domestique roles for in both the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España. He was instrumental in setting up third place for his team at the Tour and battled through illness at the Vuelta to cement his place as one of the best riders on the team. However, the respected all-rounder failed to win a race, with his best individual performance coming at the Tour of California, where he finished just off the podium in fourth place. With Primož Roglič winning the Vuelta, Steven Kruijswijk claiming third in the Tour de France and Tom Dumoulin joining from Team Sunweb during the winter, Bennett understands that his options might be limited next season. However, if his surgery is a success then he might reach the form that carried him to eighth overall at the 2018 Giro d’Italia. That said, opportunities in Grand Tours will be limited and with the Tour of California off the calendar, he may need to rejig his program if he is to find his own chances. “The loss of California throws a spanner in the works and with the team we have now it’s not up to me,” Bennett said when asked about his targets for next year. “The team will prioritize, as they should with Tom, Primož and Steven, and I don’t see myself as having those opportunities next year. “Maybe Tour Down Under I will, but I have to adapt and if I want a chance on this team now I need to target those races where Steve, Primož and Tom aren’t racing. I won’t get a shot at a Grand Tour. I know that. They deserve that, and I’m a fan of the best guys getting the best support. “I feel like I left this year a bit empty-handed. It wasn’t bad but I’ve been frustrated at times. That might be an exaggeration but at the Tour, for example, I had a really good level and it was great to be part of a team that got third, but there’s still no results chalked up to my name. “It’s the same at the Vuelta. I was sick, crashed a few times but it was still nice to be part of a team that won. That was amazing but I left without having my own breakthrough.” Chances may be hard to come by in 2020, but if Bennett’s surgery goes as planned then it represents a breakthrough in itself.
RUSSELS—A judicial official says former Olympic cycling champion Alexander Vinokourov and fellow rider Alexandr Kolobnev have been cleared of corruption charges in a suspected case of race fixing. The pair faced up to six months in jail after being accused of fixing VINOKOUROV the result of the 2010 LiegeBastogne-Liege race. In a message to The Associated Press, Liege prosecutor’s office Spokesman Catherine Collignon said they were given “the benefit of the doubt.” Both riders had denied accusations that
Vinokourov paid Kolobnev €150,000 to let him win the race. Prosecutors had also requested that Vinokourov pay a fine of €100,000 ($110,000), and Kolobnev faced a fine of €50,000 ($55,000). Vinokourov won the 2006 Spanish Vuelta and four individual stages at the Tour de France between 2003-10. He was given a two-year ban after testing positive for blood doping at the 2007 Tour but came back to win the men’s road race at the 2012 London Olympics. He now serves as team manager for Astana, where he spent much of his professional career.
Riders learn karate, play football and darts before Saitama Crit
YUKIYA ARASHIRO (from left), Lilian Calmejane, Michal Kwiatkowski, Matteo Trentin and Marcel Kittel display their karate skills.
HE eve of the Tour de France Saitama Criterium was marked by the usual spectacle of professional cyclists dipping their toes in Japanese culture, with karate on the menu on Saturday along with—somewhat less traditionally— football darts. After riding with local children in the morning, the riders attended the team presentation in Saitama’s Super Arena in the afternoon, where they were called on stage in front of a crowd of guests and fans. Michal Kwiatkowski, Matteo Trentin, Marcel Kittel, Lilian Calmejane and Yukiya Arashiro then donned white robes for a demonstration of the martial art of karate. After being taken through a couple of the defensive and offensive moves, they all punched through a sheet of polystyrene. “I think I’m ready now for the real brick,” exclaimed Kwiatkowski, to the
crowd’s delight. Next came football darts, a game where you kick a soft football at a giant velcro dartboard. Egan Bernal, Primoz Roglic, Romain Bardet, and Jakob Fuglsang were up against a selection of players from the Urawa Red Diamonds team. With Bardet—socks pulled up over his knees a la Thierry Henry—and Roglic both hitting trebles, the riders beat the footballers at their own game as the Pet Shop Boys’“Go West,” a tune heard on terraces throughout Europe, rang out across the arena. The footballers then tried to beat the riders at their own game, going head to head in a 500-meter sprint on a static bike. An under-saddled Fuglsang and an over-geared Bardet were roundly beaten but Roglic and Bernal showed no mercy and peddled at full pelt to turn it around. Cyclingnews
A8 Saturday, November 9, 2019
Editor: Jun Lomibao | firstname.lastname@example.org
PHL 3x3 team vies in Jakarta tilt
OACH Eric Altamirano will have an early look at one of the potential rosters Gilas Pilipinas 3x3 could utilize for the 2020 Fiba 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament. On Saturday, the quartet of Joshua Munzon, Alvin Pasaol, Santi Santillan and Troy Rike will compete against national teams from four Asian countries in the Jakarta 3x3 International Invitational Challenge 2019. “This will be a good first look on one of the combinations we can use for the OQT,” Altamirano said. “More important, we joined
this short tournament to keep our players sharp before we head into full throttle with our preparation this January.” In the one-day meet organized by Indonesia’s basketball federation PERBASI, the Philippines’s best 3x3 stars will take on Southeast Asian Games-bound squads from Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia—along with Chinese-Taipei. The tournament format is single roundrobin. The top 2 teams at the end of the round will battle it out in the one-game final.
Hernandez storms to 5-shot lead despite 73
COOL SMASHERS EYE TITLE SWEEP THE Cool Smashers go for the clincher in Game Two of the Finals.
ORE than the second straight Philippine Volleyball League Open championship, a fired-up Creamline side will be driven by its desire to set a record that could be tough to match when the Cool Smashers face the embattled PetroGazz Angels in Game Two of the Finals at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan on Saturday. A win away from completing a grand 20-game sweep of the tournament, expect the defending champions to pour it all out in their 6 p.m. clash and outdo themselves to better what was already an impressive performance in the opener of their best-of-three series that saw them dominate the Angels in the opening frame, rally from a huge deficit in the second set before outlasting their Reinforced Conference tormentors in the third to fashion out a 25-14, 25-22, 27-25 victory last Wednesday. Game Three, if necessary, will be played next Wednesday. “This is the Finals. We expect nothing but an all-out game from both sides,” said Alyssa Valdez, who dished out the game expected of her in powering the Cool Smashers to that straightset romp. The former Ateneo superstar blasted in 17 kills and added two aces and drew solid backup from Jema Galanza (15 hits) and Michele Gumabao (10 points) in offense with Risa Sato and Celine Domingo taking care of the middle to
produce five points apiece. Ace playmaker Jia Morado anchored Creamline’s offense with 21 excellent sets, completely dominating PetroGazz counterpart Chie Saet, who made only eight excellent sets as the Cool Smashers also banked on their strong serves to disrupt the Angels’ play patterns. Coming into the title series, the Angels are billed as the league’s best receiving team. But they came up short against a side that boasts of a slew of power hitters and which stepped up on the service plate. “Since Petro Gazz is the No. 1 team in receive, Coach Tai [Bundit] wants us to come up with strong serves,” said Galanza. Though the Cool Smashers scored just three aces out of 75 service attempts, their service game unsettled the flow of the Angels’ offense with middles Jeanette Panaga and Cherry Nunag struggling on their quick plays and finishing with just a combined nine-point output. But for sure, PetroGazz Coach Arnold Laniog and the Angels will come up with key adjustments, particularly in keeping their composure in nerve-wracking situations, including in long exchanges which the Cool Smashers virtually dominated with their counterattacks in Game One. Not just to equalize, but also to keep their own drive for a sweep of the two conference crowns over the same set of rivals.
Ollero rules ’69 Hits Gold golf tourney
LENN OLLERO fired a career-best 64 to emerge as overall champion in the ’69 Hits Gold Golf Tournament recently at the Manila Golf and Country Club in Makati City. Ollero, 60, beat Gie Ejercito, Benny Fulgencio and Manny Gomez in the tournament organized by the Upsilon Sigma Phi batch 1969 as part of its 50th anniversary celebration. The festivity will culminate with a grand bash on Saturday at the Okada Hotel Manila with around 500 guests in attendance. “Actually, this is my first-ever championship. I really prepared for this tournament and played my best,” Ollero said. “This is my best performance in my career.” Ejercito carded a 68 to rule the Founders’ Cup while Fulgencio and Gomez registered identical 69s as runners-up of the tournament which used a modified double-barrel scoring system. Eugene Espantero tallied a 66 to clinch the
President’s trophy, ahead of Deo Ignacio and Dennis Gelacio who carded a 67 and 69. Upsilon Sigma Phi Alumni Association President Martin Romualdez praised the organizers of the event, led by Willie Fernandez and Erdie Malveda, that also raised funds for the annual “Pumapalo Para sa Bayan” golf tournament set on December 2 at the Valley Golf and Country Club in Antipolo City. Romualdez said the proceeds of “Pumapalo” would be used to fund the organization’s other projects like construction of school buildings, playgrounds, anti-dengue drives, livelihood projects, tree-planting activities, feeding programs and medical missions. “We have a regular Upsilonian event, the ‘Pumapalo Para sa Bayan,’ that aims to foster fellowship and camaraderie,” said Romualdez, the Leyte lawmaker and majority floor leader who is also the president of Manila Golf and Country Club.
THE winners, led by overall champion Glenn Ollero (center, standing) are joined by the organizers of the ’69 Hits Gold Golf Tournament.
ET HERNANDEZ put in a gutsy two-over 73 in tough conditions at Riviera’s Langer course yesterday as he upstaged a slew of fancied rivals to post a huge five-stroke lead over Josh Jorge at the start of the Riviera MVP Sports Foundation (MVPSF) Amateur Championship in Silang, Cavite. Hernandez fought back from a one-birdie, three-bogey game at the front with three birdies against a bogey in the first four holes at the back but he failed to sustain his charge to the finish, dropping strokes on Nos. 14 and 16 that somewhat enabled his rivals to come within striking distance after succumbing in a challenging day at the hazard-laden par-71 layout. Jorge never recovered from his two bogeys and a double bogey in the first three holes and limped with a 78 but still took the challenger’s role as Dan Cruz hobbled with a 79 and recent Northern Luzon Regional winner and SEA Games-bound Sean Ramos shot himself in the foot with two 40s for an 80. Joining Ramos at fourth are Paolo Barro, Miguel Ilas and Korean Jung Jaehyun while Kim Tae Soo, also from Korea and Santino Laurel hobbled with identical 81s to fall eight strokes off Hernandez in the 54-hole tournament sponsored by the MVP Sports
NONITO DONAIRE connects to the face of Naoya Inoue. AP
Foundation and backed by PLDT Group, Cignal and Metro Pacific Investments. The rest of the 30 starters lay too far behind with Lee Sang Min and fellow Korean Rho Hyun Ho and Masaichi Otake fumbling with 83s and Robert Manalo and Joachim Yu matched 84s in one of the country’s toughest courses. But the title chase in the women’s side of the annual event organized and conducted by the National Golf Association of the Philippines could head to a down-to-the-wire finish as Korean Kim Seo Yun and Rianne Malixi turned in a pair of 74s to share the lead and Junia Gabasa stood just behind with 76. With Kwon Min Seo carding a 77, Laurea Duque scoring a 78 and Hee Yeon Bang putting in a 79, the battle couldn’t get any tighter with Kim out to get back at Malixi, who foiled her back-toback title drive in the Northern Luzon Regional at Luisita two weeks ago. Malixi, in pursuit of a fourth crown this year, actually took charge with a 35 start but stumbled with three bogeys in a birdie-less backside stint, ending up with a two-over card while Kim which snatching the solo lead with a last-hole bogey for a pair of 37s. But looming large is Gabasa, who stayed within sight of the joint leaders despite a pair of 38s marred by six bogeys against two bogeys.
Clippers fined $50K for Leonard remarks
INOUE BEATS DONAIRE S AITAMA, Japan—Naoya Inoue won a unanimous decision over Nonito Donaire on Thursday in the World Boxing Super Series bantamweight final. Inoue, the IBF world bantamweight champion from Japan, sent Donaire to the canvas in the 11th round at Saitama Super Arena with a body blow to the abdomen. Donaire got back up to finish the round and the bout but couldn’t turn things around. “This fight showed my real strengths and weaknesses,” Inoue said. “After a year of fights, I’m satisfied to win this championship.” The three judges scored the bout 116-111, 117-109, 114-113 in
favor of Inoue, who improved to 19-0 with 16 knockouts. Donaire, who is from the Philippines, dropped to 40-6 with 26 KOs. Donaire opened a cut above Inoue’s right eye with a left hook in the second round. He was in control until the fifth when Inoue landed a right hook to the jaw, stunning the World Boxing Association and World Boxing Council world bantamweight titleholder and seizing momentum. On the undercard, Nordine Oubaali of France (17-0, 12 KOs) defeated Inoue’s younger brother, Takuma Inoue (13-1, three KOs), by unanimous decision to retain his WBC bantamweight title.
OS ANGELES—The National Basketball Association (NBA) fined the Los Angeles Clippers $50,000 on Thursday for statements made by Coach Doc Rivers and others that were “inconsistent” about Kawhi Leonard’s health status. Leonard sat out the Clippers’ 129-124 home loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night, the second time he’s missed the nationally televised front end of a back-to-back this season. He was in the lineup against Portland on Thursday night. The NBA initially confirmed the Clippers were compliant with league rules in deciding to rest Leonard because of a knee injury. It was what Rivers said before the game that triggered the fine. “He feels great,” Rivers said Wednesday. “But he feels great because of what we’ve been doing, and we’re just going to continue to do it. There’s no concern here.” Rivers cited “a lot of minutes” that Leonard racked up last season while leading Toronto to its first NBA championship. “I think Kawhi made a statement that he’s never felt better,” Rivers said. “It’s our job to make sure he stays that way.” Less than 24 hours later, the NBA fined the Clippers for statements, including those by Rivers, that were inconsistent with Leonard’s health while also detailing his knee injury. At the same time, the league reaffirmed the team was in line with NBA rules in sitting Leonard. “The team has reasonably determined that Leonard is suffering from an ongoing injury to the patella tendon in his left knee and has been placed by the team at this time on an injury protocol for back-to-back games,” the league’s statement said. Rivers indicated he was disappointed by the fine. “I think we said it all,” he said Thursday. “I’m not getting into it. What we said, we said.” Thursday’s game was also set to be broadcast nationally. Leonard is averaging career highs in points (29.3), rebounds (7.3), assists (5.7), steals (2.3) and blocks (1.0). He’s averaging 30.5 minutes. AP
Captain becomes player as Woods picks himself
IGER WOODS will have an ear piece, a radio and his golf clubs at the Presidents Cup. Woods created his own slice of history Thursday night by becoming the first Presidents Cup captain to use one of his wild-card selections on himself. He is the second playing captain in the Presidents Cup. Hale Irwin played in the inaugural matches in 1994 when he qualified for the team. He had Paul Azinger, who was recovering from cancer, as one of his assistants. Woods was introduced as captain in March 2018, when he was just returning from a fourth surgery on his lower back. He has won three times since then, including his 15th major when he won the Masters in April. “It’s going to be a lot of work, but something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time,”Woods said. The decision was hardly a surprise. Woods not only is the Masters champion, just two weeks ago he tied the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) Tour record with his 82nd career victory at the Zozo Championship in Japan. Woods said it was that trip—not just the victory, but the
travel—that convinced him he was fully healed from minor knee surgery in August and capable of contributing in Australia. The Presidents Cup is from December 12 to 15 at Royal Melbourne. Woods also selected Tony Finau, who finished just outside the top 8 who qualified; US Open champion Gary Woodland, who is playing on his first US team; and Patrick Reed. Missing from the American team is Phil Mickelson, who had played in every Presidents Cup since the matches began in 1994. Woods also left off Rickie Fowler, who got married and has not played since the Tour Championship; and Kevin Kisner, who is 16-5-3 in match play, including a victory and runner-up in the last two Dell Match Play events. And still to be determined is whether PGA champion Brooks Koepka, the No. 1 player in the world, will be ready to go. Koepka had stem cell treatment in his left knee after the Tour Championship, and that injured the knee while bracing himself after he slipped on a wet piece of cement in the CJ Cup.
Woods said Koepka told him he was rehabbing the knee and that the focus now was on the 12 players who will try to win the Presidents Cup for the eighth straight time. Woods did not say what kind of contingency plan he had if Koepka couldn’t make it. He also left open the option of adding an assistant captain now that he’ll be playing. He currently has Fred Couples, Steve Stricker and Zach Johnson. Woods said those three had strong thoughts on him playing, especially Couples. “Freddie was pretty ardent. ‘You’re on the team, quit being stupid.’ At the time, I haven’t even swung a club,”Woods said. “I got back to him after Japan.” Everyone is required to play in at least one match ahead of the Sunday singles, meaning Woods only has to play twice. He said he could play more depending on what the team needs. The rest of the US team is Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele, Bryson DeChambeau, Justin Thomas, Matt Kuchar, Patrick Cantlay and Webb Simpson. Cantlay, Schauffele and Woodland are the only players who have never competed in a Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup. AP
TIGER WOODS creates his own slice of history by becoming the first Presidents Cup captain to use one of his wild-card selections on himself. AP
Editor: Gerard S. Ramos • email@example.com
Saturday, November 9, 2019 A9
PHOTOS: CDM ENTERTAINMENT AND GIA ALLANA SORIANO
‘Triple threat’ artist visits Manila for the 1st time PRIMETIME
DINNA CHAN VASQUEZ @dinnachanvasquez firstname.lastname@example.org
N the Asian entertainment scene, a “triple threat” is someone who can sing, dance, act and host shows. Korean actor Lee Seung-gi is one such artist. The Vagabond star visited Manila recently as part of his Vagabond Voyage tour. Vagabond Voyage in Manila (2019 Lee Seung Gi Asia Fan Meeting) was held at the New Frontier Theater in Araneta Center, Quezon City. Lee Seung-gi, to those who are not familiar with the name, has appeared in Korean dramas, like Shining Inheritance, My Girlfriend is a Gumiho, The King 2 Hearts and Gu Family Book, all of which are on Netflix.
He has also hosted and appeared in many variety shows, including 1 Night 2 Days, Strong Heart, All The Butlers and Little Forest. Called the “Nation’s Little Brother,” Lee Seung-gi is also a sought-after brand endorser and ambassador. His name and face have graced the campaigns of many brands and products, from milk tea to cars and readyto-wear clothing. To be really honest, and I’m not saying this with the intention of dissing other Korean celebrities and their fans, I went to Vagabond Voyage to cover the CDM Entertainment event but I became a part of Airens, which is what Lee Seunggi’s fans are called. Airen, by the way, is a Mandarin word that means “beloved” or “sweetheart.” This was the first time that the 32-year-old actor came to Manila and they welcomed him with open arms. There were lovely flower topiaries and balloons at the lobby, and many Airens wore matching shirts and headbands that would light up later. For his opening song, Lee Seung-gi sang “Because You’re My Woman,” which was his debut single. The audience, as expected, was overwhelmed with joy. The last four words in the previous sentence accurately
describe how the fans welcomed the actor. The fan meeting had several segments where Lee Seung-gi got to interact with his fans with the help of host Sam Oh and a translator. In one segment, he prepared food for a lucky fan. It was a kimbap with rice, the white of a boiled quail egg, cheese and bits of grapes. The fan proclaimed the dish as “delicious” even if Lee Seung-gi himself said he was sorry she had to eat it. Of course, he also talked about his latest actiondrama Vagabond, which can be streamed via Netflix. In the series, he stars opposite Bae Suzy. The 16-episode series took a year to finish due to the intensity of the action scenes, most of which Lee Seung-gi did himself. “When I first saw the episode, I was really impressed with how everything turned out and I was really proud...but as the show progresses, I promise the quality gets higher so you have a lot to look forward to,” he said. “Thankfully, there weren’t big injuries but it’s an action TV show so there are small cuts and bruises here and there, but it’s actually really OK.” During the “Big Data” segment, Lee Seung-gi discussed the topics “fan meeting,” “Perro” and
“Awards.” Perro, by the way, is his dog. Lee Seung-gi named his dog as Perro because the dog (a boy) was born on November 11, which is known as Pepero Day in South Korea. Pepero Day is an unofficial holiday that is marked by people exchanging boxes of Peperos or biscuit sticks covered in chocolate. Lee Seung-gi said the reception he received from his Filipino fans exceeded his expectations. “I also love interacting with fans, as well, and so far, the interactions I’m getting [from my Filipino fans is] maganda talaga.” Sam Oh told the audience that Lee Seung-gi described Filipino Airens as “No. 1 sa reaction.” The final part of the fan meeting was like a mini concert where Lee Seunggi reminded us why he is called a “triple threat.” I’m happy that Lee Seung-gi appreciated the efforts of his Filipino fans. They really are precious and have stayed loyal to him all these years, with some even going to Korea two years ago to witness his discharge from mandatory military service. I am glad they had this time with him at a venue that’s intimate and allowed for more interaction. ■
The four types of cyber threats Filipinos should know FILIPINOS spend a lot of their time online—be it on their personal computers, tablets or mobile phones. In a digital report released by We Are Social and Hootsuite in January 2019, the Philippines was recognized as the country with the highest number of hours spent on the Internet per day, with an average Internet consumption of 10 hours and two mins. With increased time spent online, the likelihood of experiencing cyber attacks also increases. In the first half of 2018, 10.6 million Web infections were detected in the Philippines, making us among the top 10 most attacked countries in the world. A recent Microsoft and Frost & Sullivan study reveals that with the frequency of attacks today, a large organization is estimated to lose over $7.5 million because of cyber-security threats. More than the monetary damage, these threats can cause emotional distress and even lead to job loss. After analyzing over 6.5 trillion threats from the cloud worldwide, Microsoft shares its Security Intelligence Report, which identifies the top 4 cyber threats Filipinos encounter every day.
TARGETED AD OR MALWARE? IT may look like a coincidence that one is targeted by a product ad right after a quick search on that same product, but this could also mean that the device used might be infected by a cyber threat called malware, or “malicious software.”
Malware is the term used to describe all programs that can disturb, destroy or get access to a computer system without permission. This may come in the form of a file or a code that destroys personal files on one’s computer or within their network. It can cause impaired usability, data loss, intellectual-property theft and monetary loss. According to Microsoft, the Philippines experiences malware 124 percent higher than the global average and 63 percent higher than the AsiaPacific region. With more digital transactions done every day, cyber attackers find more ways to destabilize and attack end-users. Other forms of malware, such as “cryptojacking,” ransomware and drive-by downloads, also join the list as top cyber threats Filipinos should watch out for.
FAST BATTERY DRAIN OR CRYPTOJACKING? CRYPTOCURRENCY is on the rise, but so are the people who mine these digital gold illegally. Investing in Bitcoin, Ethereum or other cryptocurrencies is very enticing with its possible high returns and, when done at the right time, relatively low investment. However, high yield also attracts cybercriminals who find creative ways to bypass security measures. Dubbed cryptojacking, these attacks uses one’s gadgets’ resources to mine cryptocurrency,
with fast battery drain as one of the most obvious indicators. Cryptojacking is too common that even those who are not investing in cryptocurrency can be exposed by simply visiting a web site or downloading mobile games with hidden cryptocurrency mining scripts. In itself, cryptocurrency transactions should be encrypted, anonymous and almost untraceable; however, with cybercriminals looming and snooping, the percentage of illegal cryptocurrency mining incidents surge. In fact, the Philippines has these attacks 114 percent more than the Apac region and 150 percent more than the other parts of the world.
RANSOMWARE SIMILAR to the real-life danger of kidnapping, ransomware poses a threat when confidential data is withheld and only released once a certain amount is paid to the hacker. Ransomware is technically a malware, but this time, an exchange of money is involved before the files are released to the victim. According to experts, ransomware is the easiest type of cyber attack, and it is to no one’s surprise that this is the most common digital threat. The Philippines remains highly susceptible to these attacks, with incidents 36 percent more than the Apac region and 80 percent more than the global.
DRIVE-BY DOWNLOADS DRIVE-BY download is a malware code that is unintentionally installed to a computer or mobile device. It attacks any app, operating system, or trusted Web browser that contains security flaws after undergoing an update. It latches on to trusted things and installs itself once it finds a gateway to the system. With this, an innocent download or doing routine update can easily lead to a cyber attack even if one takes extra caution. Unfortunately, just like malware, cryptojacking and ransomware, the Philippines has more incidents of drive-by downloads than the Apac region by 36 percent and worldwide average by 67 percent. Being online is closely interlaced in most of modern Filipino workers’ lives. With the number of cyber attacks increasing at an alarming rate, understanding the types of threats one can be exposed to is crucial. At the end of the day, the best type of protection is acknowledging the danger beforehand and finding ways to avoid them. Earlier this year, Microsoft and IDC Asia/ Pacific launched a study, called “Understanding Consumer Trust in Digital Services in Asia Pacific,” which revealed that less than half of the consumers in the Philippines trust digital services. With the digital boom in the country, more Filipinos are also becoming aware of the cyber threats that modern technology brings to their everyday lives.
A10 Saturday, November 9, 2019
Twitter pulls back on political ads, but pitfalls await BY RACHEL LERMAN & BARBARA ORTUTAY The Associated Press
AN FRANCISCO—Twitter has announced an end to political campaign and issue ads on its service, calling it an important step in reducing the flow of election-related misinformation. But some of its users might face an unintended consequence or two. Among those potentially affected could be public-interest nonprofits eager to reach an audience larger than their official followers, challengers to incumbent officeholders, and—obviously—political consultants who make a living placing ad buys for their candidates. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said in a series of tweets that paid political messages in the targeted environment that social media enables can be fraught. “While Internet advertising is incredibly powerful and very effective for commercial advertisers, that power brings significant risks to politics, where it can be used to influence votes to affect the lives of millions,” he wrote. Security and privacy researchers and some Democratic politicians hailed Twitter’s decision as an important way to prevent campaigns from feeding streams of misinformation to targeted voters. The move drew a sharp contrast between Twitter and its much larger rival Facebook, which has come under fire in recent months for its policy of not fact-checking political ads. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg shot back quickly, using an earnings conference call to offer an impassioned defense of what he called his company’s deep belief “that political speech is important.” “This is complex stuff. Anyone who says the answer is simple hasn’t thought about the nuances and downstream challenges,” Zuckerberg said. “I don’t think anyone can say that we are not doing what we believe or we haven’t thought hard about these issues.” Google did not have an immediate comment on Twitter’s policy change. Trump’s campaign manager called Twitter’s
FROM left: Andrew Wong, Prudential Corp. Asia chief health officer; Antonio “Jumbing” de Rosas, Prudential Corp. president and CEO; Alain Charles Veloso, partner of Quisumbing Torres corporate and commercial and banking and finance practice; and host Gretchen Ho pose for posterity after the panel discussion on mHealth in Makati City.
change a “very dumb decision” in a statement. “This is yet another attempt to silence conservatives, since Twitter knows President Trump has the most sophisticated online program ever,” campaign manager Brad Parscale said. Political advertising makes up a small sliver of Twitter’s overall revenue. The company does not break out specific figures each quarter, but said political ad spending for the 2018 midterm election was less than $3 million. It reported $824 million in thirdquarter revenue. Candidates spend significantly more purchasing ads on Facebook than on Twitter, company records show. In a semiannual report on enforcing its guidelines, Twitter said that more than 50 percent of the tweets it removes for abuse are now “proactively” flagged using technology such as artificial intelligence rather than needing someone to report problems. That compares with 20 percent a year ago, it said. “Our continued investment in proprietary technology is steadily reducing the burden on people to report to us,” Twitter said. The report, covering the first six months of the year, also said accounts either locked or suspended for violating Twitter’s rules more than doubled from the previous six months. The political advertising issue rose to the forefront earlier this fall when Twitter, along with Facebook and Google, refused to remove a misleading video ad from President Donald Trump’s campaign that targeted Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. In response, Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, another presidential hopeful, ran her own ad on Facebook taking aim at Zuckerberg. The ad falsely claimed that Zuckerberg endorsed Trump for reelection, acknowledging the deliberate falsehood as necessary to make a point. Dorsey said the company is recognizing that advertising on social media offers an unfair level of targeting compared to other mediums. It is not about free expression, he asserted. “This is about paying for reach. And paying to increase the reach of political speech has significant ramifications that today’s democratic infrastructure
may not be prepared to handle,” he tweeted. “It’s worth stepping back in order to address.” Zuckerberg said he has also considered banning political ads, but remains wary of the move’s impact. “It’s hard to define where to draw the line,” he said. “Would we really block ads for important political issues like climate change or women’s empowerment?” A ban on such “issue ads” could limit the ability of such groups to reach wider audiences or disadvantage them in other ways. Ryan Schleeter, a spokesman for the environmental group Greenpeace, said a lot will depend on how Twitter defines “political.” What the group doesn’t want to see, Schleeter said, is major oil companies being able to run misleading ads, while those who confront them are censored. Political challengers will also likely find themselves at a disadvantage, since they don’t generally have the name recognition or money that their opponents do, said Matt Shupe, a Republican political strategist. “If you’re a challenger, advertising allows you to make up that difference,” he said. “It’s very hard to organically grow an audience for a state assemblyman campaign.” Shupe, whose public relations firm has won awards for its use of ads on Facebook, called Twitter’s decision “incredibly dumb.” Twitter said it will make some exceptions, such as allowing ads that encourage voter registration. It will describe those in a detailed policy it plans to release on November 15, and the policy will take effect November 22. Twitter will still allow politicians to freely tweet their thoughts and opinions, which can then be shared and spread. Trump’s Twitter feed in particular is known for often bombastic and controversial tweets that are shared widely. Federal campaigns are expected to spend the majority of their advertising dollars on broadcast and cable channels during the 2020 election, according to advertising research firm Kantar. About 20 percent of their total $6 billion in ad spending are expected to be on digital ads. ■
PHL urged to develop mHealth to improve health care BY RIZAL RAOUL S. REYES THE government must implement regulatory changes in the health sector to enable a wider application of mobile technologies in the health sector in the country, according to a new independent study conducted by a major Philippine law firm commissioned by British life insurer Pru Life UK. “mHealth holds tremendous potentials for improving health care in the Philippines by reducing costs and inefficiencies, improving accessibility and quality, promoting preventive measures, and making treatment more personalized,” Alain Charles Veloso, partner of Quisumbing Torres’s corporate and commercial and banking and finance practice groups, and also head of the capital markets practice group, said in his presentation. The pioneering white paper, titled “Mobile Digital Health in the Philippines,” examines the readiness of the country’s regulatory framework to support mHealth, and proposes solutions on how to integrate mHealth as part of the current reforms in health care in the Philippines. Andrew Wong, Prudential Corp. Asia chief health officer, said major challenges in the health-care sector such as unequal access and high cost of health care, high out-of-pocket spending, and prevalence of chronic conditions have to be tackled to produce a healthy citizenry. “We see that health care is a significant concern in the Philippines. We, however, see an opportunity for the country to leverage mHealth technologies to make health accessible and affordable to all,” he said during the panel discussion. At present, Veloso said mHealth is encountering several barriers to to entry in the country. The white paper identifies these challenges as the lack of clarity on the categorization of certain aspects of mHealth that may be subject to nationality restrictions; regulations on the practice of profession, valueadded services, medical devices, and online sale of medicines; consumer protection, intellectual property; and data privacy issues.
In response, the white paper issued the following recommendations: ■ Formulate rules and regulations that will set concrete and practical tests to determine whether the operator or provider of mHealth platforms or applications is doing business in the Philippines; ■ Clarify foreign equity restrictions to ensure that mHealth operators would not be deemed as engaging in mass media, advertising, or providing value-added services; ■ Introduce clear guidelines that will allow mobile consultation with medical professionals and online dispensing and selling of medicines; ■ Issue a unified and harmonized set of regulations providing for the guidelines for digital health in general and mHealth platforms and applications in particular; ■ Issue specific privacy guidelines covering the organizational, physical, system, and technical
aspects of mHealth applications to reduce their risk of unauthorized use, processing, or access of personal data; ■ Offer tax and other incentives for mHealth operators to introduce the innovation in the Philippines; and ■ Integrate the data gathered and processed by mHealth applications into the health information system mandated under the Universal Health Care Act. Pru Life UK sees mHealth playing an integral role in the development of the country’s healthcare system. The launch of this white paper also considers the timing of the ongoing legislative work on proposed eHealth measures. The health committee at the House of Representatives recently formed a technical working group tasked to consolidate several initiatives filed to develop the country’s electronic system and services.
Why you should try e-payment AFTER all the advances in technology, it’s no surprise that the banking industry has adapted to keep up with progress. Financial institutions have digitized processes and even developed modern, featurepacked apps to make services more accessible to an ever-growing customer base. PSBank (www.psbank.com.ph) is one of these progressive financial institutions. As an industry leader, it continues to sharpen its focus to promote the utilization of electronic channels. The bank’s recently upgraded mobile app, for instance, is designed for effective, safe, real-time banking—offering a full suite of innovative services with easy-to-navigate enhancements and security features that allow its customers to focus on the moments that truly matter. Here are a few reasons you should try out the PSBank Mobile App and its services, and make the switch to e-banking and e-payments today: 1. IT’S QUICK AND EASY. With just a few taps and scrolls on your smartphone, you can transfer funds, pay loans and bills, and perform other on-the-go transactions. Payments are always done in real time, so your banking needs can be settled within minutes. 2. IT ACCEPTS PAYMENT FOR A WIDE RANGE OF SERVICES. The PSBank Mobile App can process payments for multiple services, including utilities, telcos, cable and Internet, travel, credit cards, insurance, schools, and more. Through the app, users can also request for cash using PayMe, an innovation that allows the payment of dues to other users or the requesting of payment from others. 3. IT’S CONVENIENT. You can send money anytime, anywhere. You can send cash to friends and loved ones without ever having to go to a remittance center through PSBank’s PaSend service—now also available in-app. Beneficiaries can secure the funds fast simply by going to any PSBank or Metrobank ATM to withdraw. They don’t even need an account with the bank. 4. IT’S AFFORDABLE. Most of the app’s functions are free—and even its PaSend comes at a much lower cost compared to other remittance services. Each transaction is only P25, to be shouldered by the sender. 5. IT’S SECURE. The PSBank Mobile App offers a Touch ID feature so you can access your account through fingerprint recognition. An in-app, one-time password adds a second layer of protection for users. “Security and ease of use have always been thought to be at odds with each other,” shares PSBank First Vice President and Information Security Head Dan Duplito. “But in PSBank, we believe we found a good balance of the two in our PSBank Mobile App, providing accessibility and ease to our customer’s online banking experience while giving them peace of mind that their accounts are secure with us.”
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Apple TV Plus joins streaming wars, has Oprah but no catalog Duty Free partners with Alipay to attract more Chinese customers BY RODERICK L. ABAD Contributor GOVERNMENT-OWNED Duty Free Philippines (DFP) has partnered again with Alipay to widen its mobile payment platform to include benefits and rewards for customers, especially the Chinese who largely comprise the group of tourists and workers in the country’s growing offshore gaming industry. The expanded partnership with one of China’s biggest online payment channels now includes up to 20-percent discount on selected luxury brands and 40 renminbi rebates for a minimum spend of 800 RMB at Luxe Duty Free in Pasay City and DFP outlets inside the Mactan-Cebu International Airport. DFP began its partnership with Alipay in November 2018 to cater more to Chinese customers and offer the convenience they enjoy at home, as well as its competitive foreign exchange rate. “We target to increase our market share by meeting the needs of our potential customers by making sure that we keep up with innovations and current trends,” said Vicente Pelagio A. Angala, chief operating officer of DFP. “These efforts will enhance DFP’s retail presence to continually contribute to the government’s tourism programs and projects through our revenue share with the Department of Tourism,” he added. Since the mobile payment was introduced late last year, the amount of payments made by Chinese customers through Alipay has grown by about 900 percent. Also, the number of those who shopped at the said outlets has been consistently increasing, with a 64-percent share to the total count of patrons during the first half of 2019. Outbound tourists from China to the Philippines in 2018 reached 1.25 million, up 29 percent from a year earlier. Approximately, there are 130,000 Chinese workers in Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator or Pogo industry, working for around 50 licensed gaming firms that are now operating in the country. Established 32 years ago, DFP is a government-owned and -controlled corporation, providing a duty- and taxfree merchandising system to overseas Filipino workers, repatriates and regular local travelers. Alipay is a third-party mobile and online payment platform founded in China in 2004 by Jack Ma of Alibaba Group. The largest in the world, its users reached 870 million as of the end of March 2018.
BY LYNN ELBER The Associated Press
OS ANGELES—As the streaming wars near a fever pitch and viewers are targeted from every vantage point—Disney Plus has the Marvel and Star Wars brands! HBO Max counters with Game of Thrones and DC superheroes!— Apple TV Plus could be cast as the highly pedigreed and improbable underdog. While the venture counts Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg among its first wave of talent, Apple TV Plus launches on Friday with just a handful of original programs. It also lacks a warehouse of old shows and franchise films that can reliably draw nostalgic viewers and produce spinoffs, such as The Mandalorian for Disney Plus and HBO Max’s newly announced Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon. Zack van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, the former Sony Pictures Television presidents who are heads of worldwide video for Apple, say they are undaunted by the comparisons and optimistic about the streamer’s future. “We are working with some of the most tremendously talented people we’ve ever met working in entertainment today,” Van Amburg said, and he sees them rising to the challenge of building an enterprise in general and for tech giant Apple in particular. “There’s an expression that we use here across the board at Apple: ‘Come to Apple and do the best work of your life.’ That’s actually what we ask of everyone who comes here.” There’s both opportunity and anxiety in being part of such a launch, said Kerry Ehrin, showrunner for the Jennifer Aniston-Reese Witherspoon drama The Morning Show. “It’s a huge amount of pressure, but you can’t really live in that space,” Ehrin said. “You drive yourself crazy...because you start creating for, ‘Oh, is this right, or is that gonna work?’ instead of just creating what you find compelling and entertaining.” Aniston, who’s also a producer for the series, calls it “refreshing and exciting to be a part of something that’s just beginning.... We’re building it all together.” Besides The Morning Show, the service’s starting lineup includes Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard in the futuristic drama See, Hailee Steinfeld in Dickinson, a modern take on poet Emily Dickinson, a book-focused series from Winfrey, and the wildlife documentary The Elephant Queen. Upcoming fare includes Spielberg’s revival of Amazing Stories; additional Winfrey projects; the psychological thriller Servant from M. Night Shyamalan (November 28); drama series Truth Be Told with Octavia Spencer (December 6), and The Banker, a movie starring Anthony Mackie and Samuel
L. Jackson (in theaters in December, streaming in January). A subscription costs $4.99 a month, with usage allowed for up to six family members. Buyers of new Apple devices, such as the iPhone and iPad get the streamer free for a year. Among the competition, Disney Plus (launching November 12) is $6.99 monthly, HBO Max (May 2020) is $14.99 and, among the existing services, it’s as low as $5.99 a month for Hulu, and $8.99 each for Netflix and Amazon Prime Video (which is included with a $119 annual Amazon Prime membership). There are deals to be had. Buyers of new Apple devices get a free year of Apple TV Plus and a sevenday trial is available without charge to all, enticements that mirror those of its competitors. For the new services, free promotions are key to building a subscriber base, while retaining them will be another challenge. To break out from the pack, streamers are touting their wares with carnival barker-like gusto. In a presentation Tuesday for HBO Max, part of AT&Towned WarnerMedia, executives emphasized the hits it will draw from the WarnerMedia library, including the full 10-season run of Friends (which it is retrieving from Netflix), and newly purchased series including South Park.
Van Amburg and Erlicht, who in their long tenure at Sony were involved with some of the shows their competitors stream, including Netflix’s Emmy-winning The Crown, brush away concerns about being library-less. Instead, the executives stress a bonus they’re offering consumers in this dauntingly prolific television age. The Apple TV app, which houses Apple TV Plus and is available on iPhones, iPads and other iOS devices, also functions as a sort of Grand Central Terminal to efficiently access everything streaming, including from competitors (to be paid for accordingly). “We want to make it easy for the user to find all the things that they watch,” Erlicht said. Viewers, especially cord-cutters seeking to escape hefty cable and satellite TV bills, likely will be choosy. A new study found that 70 percent of the 4,816 respondents believe there will be too many streaming services and even more, 80 percent, worry the streaming habit will become too expensive to maintain, according to the findings from TV Time, a movie and TV tracking platform, and United Talent Agency’s data and analytics group, which joined in the study. According to the research firm Magid, consumers are willing to subscribe to an average of four streaming services and pay an average of $42 a month for them. ■
Smart cities in the Philippines: A citizen-centric goal BY EDLER PANLILIO Managing Director, SAP Philippines ALL eyes are set on the developments made in Central Luzon as the first phase of construction of the country’s first “smart city” is now in full swing. This long-sighted planned community, called the New Clark City, is envisioned to cater to the recurring problems of the national capital—congested roads, excessive flooding, high costs of utilities, overcrowding and, more important, the lack of resiliency to natural disasters. This year, the Global Peace Index of the Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP) revealed that the Philippines is one of the most vulnerable to climate change, especially because of its high exposure to natural hazards, such as typhoons, landslides, floods and droughts, as well as its heavy reliance to its climate-sensitive natural resources. Just like the other smart cities across the globe, the New Clark City—and all the digital transformation initiatives of other cities nationwide— provide an opportunity to make not just Metro Manila but also the entire country more resilient to natural calamities.
THE NEED FOR SMARTER CITIES
LAYING THE GROUNDWORK
IN its simplest essence, a smart city is all about providing people a better quality of life by improving a cleaner, healthier and more convenient environment. It integrates information and communication technologies to enhance the quality and performance of urban services, such as energy, transportation and utilities to reduce resource consumption, wastage and overall costs. In the Philippines, where half of the population of over 100 million already reside in urban areas, disaster relief is a relevant pillar in building a smart city. According to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, more tropical cyclones are entering the Philippine Area of Responsibility than anywhere else in the world. An average of 20 TCs enters the region per year, with about eight or nine crossing the country. Among the most devastating typhoons that ever landed in the Philippines is Supertyphoon Yolanda, which hit the country with gusts of up to 235 mph. While we are no stranger to strong typhoons, Yolanda’s onslaught left about 6,300 people dead, 28,689 injured, and 1,061 missing.
FOLLOWING this devastation, preparedness in the face of weather disturbances appeared to have increased, especially with the preevacuation of residents in vulnerable areas that lead to fewer casualties. On the other hand, developing smarter cities is a foremost countermeasure to preparing and withstanding the force of destructive elements. Aside from the New Clark City, Davao, Cebu and even Manila are now laying the groundwork to make their areas smarter and safer. These metropolises, known to have the most population in the country, are agile enough to undergo a faster digital transformation because of sufficient resources. They can even spur the nationwide plan to develop smarter cities.
DISASTER AND RISK RESILIENCY A SMART city is capable of monitoring the environment, such as pollution levels, water runoff, and even sewage system overflows. These things are needed to aid essential functions back and running to keep a city habitable after a disaster. Smart cities also help identify any buildings that are too hazardous or not up to code. And through its systems, initial and preemptive repairs can be done to help the city endure
and recover after the calamity. Another important aspect that smart cities provide is the ability to keep communication lines running in times of natural disasters. It also prevents total blackouts, reducing the probability of mass hysteria and panic.
NOT A THING OF THE FUTURE All these capabilities are not a thing of the future and SAP’s past projects can attest to this, be it for bettering one’s place or for providing security and preparedness. For instance, SAP’s social venture Relief.iO provides an activity planning app easily accessible to any platform for NGO’s planning and collaboration during dire needs. Relief.iO uses a machine learning-based tool that supports the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs with an established Disaster Relief Network for citizens’ aid and speedy recovery of disasterstricken developing countries. With the right utilization of smart technologies, the road to smart cities in the Philippines is not far ahead. As a citizen-centric goal, it will uplift the economic standards, and create a resilient country that provides shelter, as well as better living to Filipinos.
PETER STERN, Apple vice president of services, speaks at the Steve Jobs Theater during an event to announce new products in Cupertino, California. Apple TV Plus launches on Friday for $5 a month with just eight shows and a few more coming soon. Apple will bundle it with sales of new gadgets like the iPhone, Mac and Apple TV. That suggests a market of 40 million customers, said Wedbush analyst Dan Ives. AP
Editor: Gerard S. Ramos • email@example.com
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Women are underrepresented in cyber security A DIVERSE work force brings new talents to an organization, as well as improved business performance. For example, the most diverse enterprises globally achieve 19 percentage points higher revenue from innovation. It makes the idea of gender parity not only an ethical issue but an important factor for business efficiency. To help women succeed in business and progress their careers, there are initiatives in different fields, such as technologies or entrepreneurship. Despite some diversity initiatives, women constitute only 39 percent of the labor force and only 25 percent of management positions worldwide in general. Cyber security, as well as information technology in general, may be considered a maledominated field. This perception could be a barrier for women to enter the industry. According to the 451 Research “Cybersecurity through the Ciso’s eyes: Perspectives on a role” report, commissioned by Kaspersky, 45 percent of Cisos confirmed that women are underrepresented in their department. Nonetheless, only 37 percent of such organizations have, or are going to implement, any formal procedure aimed at attracting more women in their IT security department. The most popular approach to attract women is to train those who have an IT background (80 percent). Almost half of these respondents say that they now provide, or are going to provide, internship programs aimed at female students (42 percent), or are ready to train candidates with little or no qualifications (40 percent). Only 22 percent hire female candidates from other departments within their organizations. The rest (63 percent), said that they are only looking for fully qualified specialists, with no consideration toward gender. However, as 70 percent of Cisos find it difficult to source skilled IT security specialists in different areas, there is a call for Cisos to look for other ways to bridge the talent gap. The research also found that men outnumber women among IT security leaders. Only a fifth (23 percent) of respondents, who answered the question about their gender, stated they are women. Nonetheless, the tenure in the role suggests that the number of women in a security leadership role is growing: 20 percent of female respondents have moved into their position as an IT security leader in the last two years, which is twice as many as the amount of men (10 percent) in this role. “The findings of this survey show the situation in the industry is changing, but it’s far from ideal and we are still lacking strong representation of women. It’s not just a question of finding the perfect ratio of men and women. In the in-depth interviews with Cisos, many of them say that there are not enough female applicants in the pipeline. So, to address the gender gap in cyber security, we should encourage women to choose this career path,” comments Evgeniya Naumova, acting managing director at Kaspersky Europe. Kaspersky is committed to encouraging women in the cybersecurity industry and tackling gender biases. Among its initiatives, the company created an online community, Women in Cybersecurity, aimed at supporting the career growth of women entering the cyber security industry and those already working in the field. Kaspersky partners with Girls in Tech to support Amplify, a start-up competition for women founders for seed funding. The company regularly holds CyberStarts events in the US and Europe, which empowers the next generation of cyber security professionals. One of the event’s key topics is actions to reduce the gender gap in cyber security.
Upgrading your techlife and getting the youth #cyberreadi TECHNIVORE ED UY
F Christmas is the season for kids, the second week of January is for all the geeks and people obsessed with next-generation technology. That’s because that period is usually reserved for the Consumer Electronics Show, or CES—the largest US event for the consumer tech industry. Held in Las Vegas, the CES is where developers usually first showcase their latest technological and electronic innovations, from TVs, virtual reality, mobile devices, cryptocurrency, smart homes, self-driving cars and even new gaming consoles. Come February, its time for the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, where all the big announcements related to the smartphone industry are often made. Here in Asia, the tech media have the COMPUTEX in Taiwan (May), while for gamers there’s the Tokyo Game Show and even our very own ESGS. Consumer tech expos may be among the most popular, but there’s probably a trade show for every type of industry—all of which are organized for the purpose of bringing together related businesses and showcase the best they have to offer. The history of trade shows could be traced all the way back to the ancient bazaars of the Middle East or late medieval Europe. During this period of merchant capitalism, business people simply gathered to display their wares in public places such as the town square. They took time to talk one-on-one with potential buyers and explained why their merchandise were better than others, and negotiated a purchase price (or bartered goods or services) until a mutual agreement was met with potential buyers. These “trade fairs” were the progenitors of the big exhibitions we have today and they continue to evolve thanks to technological advancements and demand for goods from all over the world. Now sellers and buyers come together at events of all sizes and types, from small street fairs to multimillion-dollar shows in huge exhibition venues, with millions more following each and every news item to come from these shows. If you haven’t been to one of these trade shows, you might want to check out the TechLife Expo happening next week, from November 15 to 17, at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City. The three-day expo highlights a future of techintegrated living where digital experience becomes seamless and more accessible to the Filipino audience. Leading brands will showcase their latest products and services to give visitors an enriching customer
experience and amazing deals, including up to 50-percent discount and more on selected items. Among the booths you can visit are GetGo, Logitech G, Logitech, Ultimate Ears, Jaybird, Vivo, Sun Cellular, Ogawa, CaseLogic, JBL, KASE Lens, Growl, Carousell, AGVA, Converge, MW2000, Felta, Taktyl Studios, McDonald’s, Pepero, RC Cola, QuickmealsPH, Foodpanda, and many more. Guests and attendees will also have a chance to broaden their knowledge on various topics to help them appreciate how they can upgrade their lifestyle through technology. Industry thought leaders will be invited to deliver talks to discuss and delve into the topics of cyber security, e-commerce, eSports, robotics, smart homes and wellness. The entrance fee is P50 but you could get a Free Pass simply by pre-registering online via www. techlifeexpo.com. Registered guests will also have a chance to win in the grand raffle. More information is available at www.techlifeexpo.com.
PLDT-SMART CYBER CITY AT the recently concluded Esports and Gaming Summit (ESGS), legions of gaming, eSports and cosplay fans all converged at the SMX Convention Center. Considered as the country’s biggest gaming convention, ESGS was full of exciting experiences for all attendees, such as gaming booths, various merchandise vendors and feature attractions. One of the biggest major attractions at ESGS 2019 was PLDT and Smart’s Cyber City, a massive gaming zone that had so much to offer for subscribers and eSports fans. In Cyber City, gamers tested their Mobile Legends and Dota 2 skills by joining in-booth tournaments and playing PlayStation 4 games. Gamers also had fun hanging out and taking photos in the Cyber City setup, and winning prizes from VR games like Beat Saber and Sniper Elite. Various celebrities and personalities also graced Cyber City, including cosplayers Alodia Gosiengfiao, Myrtle Sarrosa and Dexie Diaz, professional eSports team PLDT-Smart Omega and Evos Lynx, as well as shoutcasters and streamers Pein & Lou, Sh1n Boo, and Manjean. PLDT and Smart have been staunch supporters of the ESGS since its inception in 2014. Fans were also able to play new titles and witness their favorite hardware brands show off their newest developments in the biggest gaming party in the country. Filipino gamers can enjoy gaming in the comfort of their home or on the go. PLDT Home Fibr subscribers enjoy the fastest speeds at home, enabling them to play their favorite online multiplayer games like Dota 2 at full speed while mobile gamers can “Gigafy” their on-the-go gaming experience with Smart Giga Games, which offer up to 2GB plus 1 GB per day of Games AllDay for Mobile Legends, Arena of Valor, Clash Royale, Clash of Clans, and more.
GETTING THE YOUTH #CYBERREADI WE live in an era where we are both consumers and producer of mass media and information.
From Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, to Snapchat, Pinterest and countless others, everyone can easily access these social-media platforms to produce and distribute their content. According to statistics, there are 125 million youths in Southeast Asia with access to the Internet, and that an average of 100MB of data will be created every minute for every person on Earth by 2020. This is the reason the Philippine Information Agency is taking huge steps to safeguard the youth against the dangers in the online world by aggressively pushing for the promotion of its nationwide cyber-wellness campaign. This campaign is part of the Asean-Japan Media and Information Literacy (MIL) for the Youth Project with the PIA partnering with the InfoComm Media Development Authority of Singapore and with funding support from the Japan-Asean Integration Fund (JAIF). At a media briefing held this week, PIA introduced its #cyberREADI campaign—with READI representing the five Asean Core Values: Responsibility, Empathy, Authenticity, Discernment and Integrity. The PIA also released several multimedia materials and resources developed with the help of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication Foundation Inc. These materials are products of an audience analysis on the youth’s level of awareness regarding online safety, using focus group discussions conducted with Filipino youth representatives in different areas in the country. These short videos teach the youth on how to deal with cyberbullying, online gaming, the dangers of online dating, how to avoid online scams, the importance of online privacy, and even Internet addiction. A dedicated web page for the cyber-wellness campaign (cyberreadi.pia.gov.ph) is currently being developed to further spread the cyberREADI advocacy. The focus of cyber-wellness is to help and teach the youth on how to become responsible digital learners, and how to demonstrate respect for self and others, and practice safe and responsible use. It promotes positive peer influence by harnessing technology for collaboration, learning and productivity, as well as advocating positive use of technology for the good of the community. H.E. Kung Phoak, deputy secretary-general for Asean Socio-Cultural Community, stressed that the cyber-wellness campaign is a timely project since digital media has increasingly become the primary source of information among Asean youth. “There is a need to build information resiliency among the youth and protect them from the risk of getting misled by fake news and misinformation. With enhanced media and information literacy, the youth is expected to become smart consumers and responsible producers of online information. Through this project, we hope young people would better understand, inquire, create, communicate and think critically while digitally engaged.” ■
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In the ad material of Notice of filing of Application for Alien Employment Permits published on October 17, 2019, the Name of Ms. Zhong, Qunyin under GATEWAYSOLUTIONS CORP. should have been read as Ms. Zhong, Qunying and not as published. If you have any information / objection to the above mentioned application/s, please communicate with the Regional Director thru Employment Promotion and Workers Welfare (EPWW) Division with Telephone No. 400-6011.
ATTY. SARAH BUENA S. MIRASOL REGIONAL DIRECTOR