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MANILA, Philippines - The Ateneo de Manila University and UP President Alfredo Pascual had similarly expressed that the the University of the Philippines (UP) system are finally shifting their "big shift" is due to the upcoming integration of the Association of academic calendars to start in August instead of June, the schools Southeast Asian Nations in 2015 announced Thursday. "[The move is] consistent with the provision of UP’s charter to In a statement on Thursday, Ateneo said that the new be a regional and global university and addresses current calendar will be effective for school year 2015 to 2016 for its Loyola developments in the region and the world," Pascual said in the proschools and professional or graduate schools as approved by its posal. board of trustees on Wednesday. Addressing criticisms, Villarin added that the decision was UP, meanwhile, will immediately start the not made haphazardly as it came from an eight-month study and transition this year after the Board of Regents approved the shift consultations with stakeholders such as faculty members, students Thursday, UP Student Regent Krista Melgarejo said as reported by and parents. the Philippine Collegian. Ateneo noted that the Commission on Higher Education has Flagship campus UP Diliman, however, will keep the same been informed of the impending transition from the original June to calendar "due to opposition registered by sectors," Melgarejo said. March academic year to the new August to May duration. Ateneo University President Jose Ramon Villarin said that the Villarin admitted, however, that the transition would be shift in the academic year is part of the school's effort to adapt to challenging. globalization. "Notwithstanding the broad support of the community, there "Ateneo needs to ensure that our graduates develop a global remain concerns and adjustments to be addressed to ensure a outlook and global competencies so that they can navigate a more smooth transition," the statement said. complex, interconnected world and contribute towards resolving global concerns," Villarin said. Source: The shift will also allow the university to be in sync with 80 Camille Diola (2014, February 6) percent of its educational partners abroad and will facilitate more Philstar.com collaboration between Ateneo and foreign institutions, Villarin http://www.philstar.com/campus/2014/02/06/1287323/ateneoexplained. move-school-opening-august


As PH posts strong growth, foreign investments surge in Jan-Nov MANILA, Philippines – Foreigners are pouring more money into their businesses in the Philippines on the back of the economy's sustained growth.

Equity capital investments of $2.4 billion also offset withdrawals of $1.7 billion, resulting in net inflows of $665 million.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported Monday, February 10 that foreign direct investments registered net inflows of $3.6 billion in January to November 2013, up 36.6% from $2.7 billion in the same period of 2012.

Bulk of the equity capital placements came from Mexico, Japan, US, British Virgin Islands and Singapore. These were channeled mainly to manufacturing; water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation; financial and insurance; real estate; arts, entertainment and recreation activities.

In November alone, FDI inflows surged 54.9% to $286 million from $185 million the previous year. A sign of investor confidence, FDIs refer to capital foreigners invest to set up new or expand existing businesses in the country. Unlike "hot money" or portfolio investments, which go to stocks and bonds and fly in and out of financial markets easily, FDIs are for the long term and they help spur job creation. Foreign investments in debt instruments issued by local companies grew more than fivefold to $2.3 billion, accounting for about two-thirds of FDI for the first 11 months of 2013. "Parent companies abroad were encouraged by the sustained growth of the Philippine economy and thus continued to lend to their local subsidiaries/affiliates to fund existing operations and/or expansion of their businesses in the country," said BSP in a statement.

The Philippines grew by 7.2% in 2013, beating market and government expectations, despite a string of disasters, including Yolanda (Haiyan), the world's deadliest typhoon. Socioeconomic planning chief Arsenio Balisacan said growth was fueled by the services sector, particularly trade, real estate and renting, as well as the robust performance of the manufacturing sector. On the demand side, sustained consumer and government spending, and higher investments were key drivers.

Source: Rappler.com http://www.rappler.com/business/economy-watch/50176-pheconomy-growth-foreign-direct-investments-januarynovember-2013


Syria to participate in 2nd round of peace talks (CNN) -- Syria's government said on Friday that it will participate in a second round of peace talks in Geneva, the state-run SANA news agency reported. “Restoring security and stability to Syria makes it necessary to discuss putting an end to terrorism and violence as stated in Geneva Communique and underlines the need for agreement of both Syrian sides on that for protecting the Syrian citizens and stopping the Syrian bloodshed at the hands of regionally and internationally-backed armed terrorist groups," said Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister Dr. Faisal Mikdad. The talks will build upon the first round of discussions, he said. The Syrian conflict, which has left more than 100,000 people dead and millions more displaced, has raged for nearly three years. Meanwhile, at least 200 people are expected to be evacuated from the besieged city of Homs, according to the Homs governor, SANA reported. The evacuations are due to take place in the neighborhood of Jouret al-Shiah towards al-Mimas area, Homs Gov. Talal al-Barazi said. All necessary arrangements for evacuating civilians, including children, women, wounded and elderly people, in the old Homs neighborhoods were completed, SANA reported. Under the agreement, a cease-fire will go into effect and women, civilians over 55, and children under 15 can choose to leave the Old City if they agree not to take up arms against the government. The first buses carrying 83 evacuees left the Old City on Friday, the local provincial governor said. These civilians received medical checkups and will be transferred to the location of their choice, al-Barazi said. After the first group of evacuations, Syrian troops will clear the way for a U.N. aid convoy packed with food and medicine to enter the area for the first time in more than a year, according to opposition spokesman Abu Rami.

“We have nothing to give the families," he told CNN via Skype from the Old City of Homs. “We are crippled because of the lack of food and medicine, which especially affects the women, children, and the elderly, so for the sake of the public good, we must agree to this cease-fire." According to SANA, the government would provide shelter, food and medical treatment to people who leave the Old City. In addition, the agreement calls for government forces to allow humanitarian assistance to people who remain in the besieged area, SANA reported. Valerie Amos, the U.N. emergency relief coordinator, said the cease-fire agreement would mean essential supplies for about 2,500 people in Homs. “What we're waiting for is a green light to be given by the parties for safe passage," said Farhan Haq, a spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. In Washington, Psaki called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government to follow through on allowing U.N. convoys to enter Homs, adding that “an evacuation is not a substitute for the safe, regular, and unfettered delivery of humanitarian assistance to those in need wherever they are." “We should not be giving credit to a regime just for providing food for a few days to people who are starving, given that's the right moral thing to do, and this is something they should have been doing all along," Psaki said. Asked about concerns that the Syrian regime might be preparing for a final assault on those who remain in Homs once the other civilians depart, Psaki refused to speculate but said it was important for the U.N. convoys to get access to the Old City.

Source: Salma Abdelaziz and Mariano Castillo (2014, February 8) http://edition.cnn.com/2014/02/07/world/meast/syria -civil-war/ index.html?c=intl-homepage-t

Post-It News Online (February)  

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