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VOL. XXXII • NO. 4 • 3 SECTIONS 16 PAGES • P18 • THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2018 • •

Kuwait slams PH ban Gulf nation: Duterte move an escalation

WINTER OLYMPIC DEBUT. In this file photo taken on Aug. 6, 2016, Tonga’s Brisbane-born flag-bearer Pita Taufatofua leads his delegation during the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Maracana Stadium. At the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, the 34-year-old has become a social media sensation again wearing just a traditional ta’ovala mat round his waist. AFP

By Vito Barcelo, Maricel V. Cruz and Macon Ramos-Araneta


UWAIT’S foreign minister on Tuesday night condemned what he called an escalation by Manila after the Philippines expanded a ban on its nationals working in Kuwait.

Manila on Monday announced a “total ban” on new employment in Kuwait, including Filipinos who had already obtained employment permits but had not yet left for the Gulf country. The measure came after President Rodrigo Duterte angrily lashed out at Kuwait over reports of Filipino workers suffering abuse and exploitation. “This escalation will not serve the relationship between Kuwait and the Philippines,” Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Sabah told reporters in Ku-

wait City. “We condemn the statements of the Philippine president, especially since we are in contact with the Philippines at the highest level to fully explain the state of the Filipino workforce in Kuwait,” he said. Duterte on Friday brandished photos purporting to show a Filipina maid found in a freezer, saying she had been “roasted like a pig.” He also alleged Arab employers routinely raped their Filipina workers, forced

them to work 21 hours each day and fed them scraps. He asked Kuwait: “Is there something wrong with your culture? Is there something wrong with your values?” Authorities say 252,000 Filipinos work in Kuwait, many as maids. They are among over two million employed in the region, whose remittances are a lifeline to the Philippine economy. Domestic workers in Kuwait are not covered by ordinary labor legislation. Human Rights Watch and other rights groups have documented widespread abuses, including non-payment of wages, long working hours with no rest days, physical and sexual assault, and no clear channels for redress. The Department of Foreign Affairs said Monday authorities were repatriating 10,000 overstaying Filipinos from Next page


Manalo named special envoy PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Iglesia Ni Cristo executive minister Eduardo Manalo as his Special Envoy for Overseas Filipino Concerns, Malacañang announced Wednesday. The appointment paper of the influential religious leader was signed by the President last Feb. 13 and released by the Palace on Wednesday. He will serve as the President’s special envoy from Jan. 30, 2018 to Jan. 29, 2019. The President also appointed Herman Jumilla as undersecretary of the Department of Budget and Management, replacing Gertrudo de Leon who was fired last October due to corruption allegations, Malacañang said. Jumilla’s appointment papers were signed Feb.12. Apart from Manalo and Jumilla, Duterte also appointed new prosecutors and officials of the Department of the Interior and Local Government. Vito Barcelo


Follow the government’s reproductive health program. There are pills for free, but don’t use condom because those are not pleasurable. —President Rodrigo Duterte likening the use of condom to eating candy in a wrapper

Manila bucks China naming of Benham features By Vito Barcelo and Macon R. Araneta THE Philippines will protest China’s decision to name five undersea features in Philippine Rise (Benham Rise), saying it will not recognize the move approved by an international organization, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said. “We object and do not recognize the Chinese names given to some undersea features in the Philippine Rise,” Roque said in a statement. In 2014, China submitted names for consideration by the International Hydrographic Organization, an intergovernmental organization which aims to ensure the world’s waters are surveyed and charted. The IHO approved one name in 2016, the other four in 2017 and these are the Jinghao and Tianbao seamounts 70 nautical miles east of Cagayan province, the Haidonquing Seamount further east, and the Jujiu Seamount and Cuiqiao Hill, which form the central peaks of the undersea geological province. The presidential spokesman said that the Philippine embassy in Beijing has already raised the country’s concern to China. “They are likewise considering a Next page

Rebellion raps poised on Maute son’s widow By Rey E. Requejo REACHING OUT. President Rodrigo Duterte interacts Monday with returning overseas Filipino workers from Kuwait who availed themselves of the government’s amnesty program who were all welcomed by the Chief Executive on arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City. Malacañang Photo

Police vow less violent war on illegal drugs POLICE said Wednesday they have adopted special measures, including body cameras, to reduce violence in antinarcotics operations as the International Criminal Court investigates allegations of thousands of extrajudicial killings in President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war. Five days after the ICC launched a preliminary examination of the alleged murders, authorities said the number of

suspects shot dead by law enforcement personnel had risen to more than 4,000. Critics allege Duterte, who has vowed to kill tens of thousands of criminals to rid Philippine society of drugs, is goading police to murder suspects through inflammatory statements. “We are confident that this time, policeintensive operations against illegal drugs will be carried out with greater efficien-

Year of the Dog bad for Trump

cy and with less violent confrontations between law enforcers and offenders,” Philippine National Police spokesman John Bulalacao said. While the campaign is not expected to be entirely “bloodless,” the government has adopted certain measures—including more training and body cameras—to minimize bloodshed, Bulalacao told a news conference. Next page

THE Department of Justice has submitted for resolution the criminal complaint filed by Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines against the wife of one of the slain leaders of the Maute terrorist group. This came after Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong, who heads the DoJ Task Force Marawi, concluded the preliminary investigation on Wednesday on the rebellion complaint filed by Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and the AFP-The Judge Advocate General against Otto’s wife Najiya Dilangalen Karon-Maute, widow of Mohammad Maute, who died in a battle with government forces in Marawi City. Ong said Najiya did not file a counter-affidavit against the rebellion complaint after the complainants failed to submit additional Next page

By Elaine Yu HONG KONG—As the Chinese zodiac switches into the Year of the Dog later this week, Hong Kong feng shui experts predict anything but a walk in the park for global leaders. Born in another dog year, 1946, United States President Donald Trump faces a run of bad luck, according to soothsayers, as his zodiac animal clashes with 2018’s canine theme. Feng shui—literally meaning “wind-water”—is influential in many parts of Asia, where people adjust their lives and carefully position items such as a cup of wine or pieces of crystal in offices and homes to maximize their luck and wealth. The philosophy says that all events are dictated by the varying balances in the five elements that make up the universe: metal, wood, water, fire and earth. WANG CAI. Popular name for a dog, which means ‘prosperous wealth’ and is the 11th of all zodiac animals. In Binondo, Manila, on Trump’s birth date makes him a “fire Wednesday, more than 30 dogs wearing traditional Cheon Sam costumes gather at a fashion show for pets and mark the Year of the Next page Wood Dog with a dragon dance at the Lucky Chinatown Walk in celebration of Chinese New Year. Norman Cruz




Kuwait... From A1 Kuwait, taking advantage of an amnesty program arranged with the Kuwaiti government. Officials added they were eyeing China and Russia as “alternative markets” for overseas workers. The Department of Labor and Employment on Wednesday issued guidelines governing the total deployment ban that exempted workers returning from vacation so they could finish their contracts. The ban covers all types of workers being deployed for the first time for overseas employment in Kuwait, without distinction as to skill, profession or type of work. “The major concern of the President is safety and the welfare of our [workers]. The ban is our way to send a strong message to the government of Kuwait and other Arab countries that the protection and security of our OFWs is foremost in our policy,” said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III. The department earlier suspended the processing and issuance of overseas employment certificates to all Kuwaitbound workers following the deaths of seven Filipino workers there. He added that some 2,000 more workers in Kuwait have already applied for amnesty and are ready to be repatriated. The President ordered them repatriated within 72 hours. As of Feb. 8, 2018, a total of 1,124 Filipino workers in Kuwait were issued travel documents stamped with exit visas while 800 are now scheduled to return home. Aside from financial and livelihood assistance, President Duterte said the government is also willing to give land to repatriated overseas Filipino workers from Kuwait, who are interested in agriculture. In his speech at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1, the President told newly arrived overseas Filipinos not to lose hope because his administration is ready to assist them. “We are here to see to it that every Filipino is treated decently,” he said. Duterte said the government is willing to give land to those who are interested in agriculture, adding that the Department of Labor and Employment also has livelihood program for returning workers. Underscoring the necessity and urgency to act now to protect Filipino workers, the President said the government has enough resources to cover their needs as they return. The President said the government could also look for other markets for Filipino workers. China, for example, was opening up for Filipino workers, particularly English teachers. Japan is also another Asian destination for Filipino workers, particularly caregivers and nurses, given its aging society, he said. At the same time, the President said that to create more jobs locally, he is beefing up efforts to encourage foreign businesses to come to the Philippines. He thanked the country’s major airlines, Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific, for offering their planes to repatriate workers from Kuwait. “I’d like to just say to Mr. Lucio Tan and the Gokongwei family, Lance, on behalf of our countrymen—salamat po and I will remember you for all time,” the President said. The minority bloc in the House of Representatives on Wednesday backed the decision to ban the deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait. “The Minority condemns the inhumane treatment of foreign employers towards Filipino migrant workers, all over the world. Filipinos are one of the world’s most preferred workers because we are skilled, hardworking, dedicated, and competitive,” said House minority leader and Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez at a news conference. “But the painful truth is that they look down and mistreat many of our countrymen who work abroad.” But he also said the deployment ban might trigger a surge in the illegal recruitment of workers. Senator Sherwin Gatchalian called on the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration to come up with a comprehensive plan to reintegrate more than 10,000 workers who are expected to be repatriated from Kuwait. “As the government agency primarily tasked to the safeguard the welfare of OFWs, the OWWA needs to be proactive in steering the government’s efforts to reintegrate these repatriated workers into Philippine society,” Gatchalian said. The Department of Foreign Affairs said 116 Filipino workers who were granted amnesty for overstaying in Kuwait arrived in Manila this week. With Sara Susanne D. Fabunan and AFP

Year... From A1

dog,” but 2018 is an “earth dog” year, a mismatch of elements. The fire in Trump’s own birth chart will foment and affect his health, says feng shui master Thierry Chow, while his words—the fire element also represents speech—may bring about “real problems” and tangible consequences. “The elements are too much fire and too much earth, so that’s going to be causing him imbalance in his fortune,” Chow told A FP. Chow uses the “flying star” system to

House sees okay of BBL, Cha-Cha by end of 2018 By Maricel V. Cruz


HE leadership of the House of Representatives will pass the proposed shift to a parliamentary form of government as well as the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law before the yearend.

“We have to finish it before 2019. I think that is already a long time; that is already a conservative estimate,” Alvarez told a news conference Wednesday. Alvarez said the House would have to wait for the proposed amendments to be submitted by the 25-man Consultative Commission even as lawmakers would have to study it together with the own proposed amendments crafted by the House committee on constitutional amendments. “We will also wait for their [Consultative Commission] input so we will be able to cover all and consider all inputs,” said Alvarez. President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed former Chief Justice Reynato Puno as

head of the consultative committee that will review the 1987 Constitution. The President also appointed 18 members of the 25-man committee, including former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel Jr., retired Supreme Court justices Antonio Eduardo Nachura and Bienvenido Reyes, and former Kalinga Rep. Laurence Wacnang. Alvarez said Duterte would still lead the government during the transition period since his term would end in 2022. “We cannot violate that contract, we cannot terminate that contract by amending the Constitution,” he said. Rep. Luis Raymond Villafuerte of Camarines Sur, one of the proponents

Energy commissioners draw flak By Rey E. Requejo CIVIL society groups belonging to the Power for People Coalition, or P4P, on Wednesday slammed the Court of Appeals for stopping the suspension of four commissioners of the Energy Regulatory Commission who were suspended by the Office of the Ombudsman for allegedly giving undue advantage to Manila Electric Co. last December. “The CA cited ‘grave and irreparable injury’ to the four suspended commissioners as a reason for issuing a TRO in their favor. These ERC commissioners were found to have colluded with Meralco to ensure their ‘sweetheart deals’ with sister coal generation companies pushed through,” Sanlakas secretary-general Aaron Pedrosa, convenor of the P4P Coalition, said in a statement. “What about the grave and irreparable injury to Meralco’s 19 million customers who will suffer because of the coal-fired power plants they approved?” Commissioners Alfredo Non, Gloria Victoria Yap-Taruc, Josefina Patricia

Asirit, and Geronimo Sta. Ana were suspended by the Ombudsman in December after exempting Meralco and other firms from the competitive selection process, which mandates that all power supply agreements be covered by public bidding. Pedrosa, who also filed the case against the commissioners, said lifting the suspension would enable them to decide in favor of the questionable power supply agreements. “This 60-day TRO may cost consumers and citizens at least 20 years of dirtier and costlier energy from coal,” he said. “If new or interim ERC commissioners are needed to replace the suspended ones, then Malacañang could easily appoint them. Why should those who were suspended because of anomalous activities be allowed to continue serving?" said Cris Palabay, who belongs to Save the Beauty of La Union, a group resisting the efforts of Global Luzon Energy Development Corp. to build two 335-megawatt coal-fired power generating facility in Luna, La Union.

LENTEN RITES. Catholic faithful have their forehead marked with cross in Christian observance of Ash Wednesday, the start of Lenten season after Mass at Baclaran's Redemptorist Church. Norman Cruz

Duterte suspended police participation in the crackdown twice last year due to controversial killings that led to a public backlash against his anti-narcotics campaign. Bulalacao said police adopted the extra safeguards in December last year after Duterte authorized the force to rejoin his drug war. The ICC’s initial inquiry is designed to help prosecutors determine if there is enough evidence of crimes that fall into its jurisdiction. It could lead to a full probe and eventually charges. The mass-murder complaint filed at the ICC by a Filipino lawyer last year alleges around 8,000 extrajudicial killings, while human rights groups estimate the actual toll is now more than 12,000, some of them assassinated by suspected vigilantes. Activists allege police break down doors in slums and kill defenseless people, then plant guns and drugs on the

bodies. Authorities are also accused of hiring assassins. Duterte says he has not given any illegal orders to police, and that it is his constitutional duty to protect citizens. While police claim the suspects killed had all resisted arrest and opened fire first, leaving them no option but to use deadly force. The President also said last week he was outside the ICC’s jurisdiction and told its chief prosecutor not to proceed, warning: “You will get your comeuppance.” Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency spokesman Derrick Carreon told the news conference Wednesday that police killed 4,021 drug suspects between July 1, 2016—Duterte’s first day in office— and Feb. 8 this year. In the three weeks since the last official body count was announced, 34 suspects were killed. Bulalacao said authorities were investigating an additional 1,749 homicide cases that the police suspect are “drugrelated.” AFP

make her predictions based on constellation positions, foreseeing more tensions between the US and North Korea, which is afflicted by the most malevolent number five star. She also warned of the risk of crossed wires between Trump and China on the thorny issues of trade and the economy. “The seventh star is falling onto the east side—the star affects communication, it causes gossip and misunderstanding,” says Chow. ‘Duty and loyalty’ Feng shui runs through life in Hong Kong, with many people seeking advice from masters before making important

life decisions, from picking a wedding date to choosing a new home. Major companies also employ their own feng shui consultants to dictate interior designs and give investment advice. Each year, brokerage firm CLSA comes out with its own Feng Shui Index, predicting what the next 12 months holds for the business world. In 2018, it divined that the internet, utilities and technology sectors would perform with flying colours. All are categorized as “fire-related” industries, and will do particularly well between May and July, feng shui experts said. AFP

Police... From A1

of federalism in the House, called for a national information campaign that will educate the public on the advantages and benefits of the federal system. “The information campaign on federalism should start early this year so that the government would have enough time to educate the people about how this progressive form of government would be most beneficial for them, in terms of spreading the country’s economic gains to the countryside and raising rural incomes,” Villafuerte said. This developed as Alvarez set his own timetable for the passage of the proposed BBL in March. “The discussions on BBL continue. If I will have my way, I would have it approved before Congress goes on break in March to show that the House performs its legislative duty; and have it submitted to the slow chamber [Senate],” said Alvarez, one of the principal authors of the BBL at the Lower House.

Manila... From A1

recommendation to officially notify the chairman of the International Hydrographic Organization—Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans [IHO-IOC GEBCO] SubCommittee on Undersea Feature Names [SCUFN],” Roque said. The Philippines is not a member of the SCUFN, which is composed of 12 members, he said. “China’s proposals to rename some undersea features in the Philippine were submitted to SCUFN during its meetings in Brazil on Oct. 12-16, 2015 and Sept. 19-23, 2017,” but the Philippines was not informed,” Roque said. A maritime law expert Jay Batongbacal, director of the Univesity of the Philippines Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea, said China’s proposed names were approved in 2017. China successfully named four undersea mountains and a hill within the country’s extended continental shelf in Benham Rise, where the country has sole right over resources. He said Chinese navy ships conducted surveys in the country’s waters since 2004, but it was not clear if the research was covered by a permit from the Department of Foreign Affairs. The Philippine Rise is an undersea plateau 135 miles off the coast of Aurora province. Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and JV Ejercito Wednesday called on the government to file a diplomatic protest against China. “That’s clear that our country is being deceived. They asked permission from out country to conduct research and then, they did that,” Trillanes said. Trillanes said a diplomatic protest was largely symbolic. “This is really a question of legality that we have to clear it with the UN since the UN is the entity that declared the extended continental shelf as lart of [our territory], “ he said. Ejercito said China was bullying the Philippines. “We have to exhaust all diplomatic means, if possible legal and diplomatic means to fight for our territories, fight for our sovereignty,” he said, adding that the country should not always be helpless against China. Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV said Benham Rise is clearly Philippine territory and its features are not for China to name. Senator Panfilo Lacson earlier raised an alarm over the reported naming of the five features in the Philippine territory. With AFP

Rebellion... From A1

evidence, which could back their complaint. “So it’s their turn now to submit a counter affidavit. [But] they decided not to file because we have initial finding on the inquest level of insufficiency of evidence. So this case is now submitted to (sic) decision,” Ong said, noting they already ruled that the case was not inquestable. “The offense was committed several months before the arrest of the lady. At the time the lady was arrested, she was not committing any offense, she was not about to commit any offense, she has not just committed an offense. So it is not inquestable,” Ong explained. Ong said the DoJ panel had given the complainant sufficient time to submit additional evidence, but failed to do so. “They were duly notified, but they are not present today. So we will rule,” the investigating fiscal stressed. Najiya was arrested on Jan. 23, 2018 in Cotabato City. The complaint was based on the testimony of a certain Martino Elyana who was abducted in Padian, Marawi City. Elyana said he saw Najiya and her husband Mohammadhayan “Otto” Maute bringing food to members of the group at the Bato Mosque in June 2017. Elyana said he managed to escape the Maute lair in July 2017.

Boracay gets six months to fix problem, Cimatu says ENVIRONMENT Secretary Roy Cimatu on Wednesday reminded the local officials of Malay, Aklan, of their “shared responsibility” to enforce environmental laws in the world-famous Boracay Island. Tasked by President Rodrigo Duterte to fix the environmental problems in Boracay in six months, he said the local government unit of Malay must share with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources the responsibility of enforcing environmental protection and conservation laws. “The local government of Malay has direct jurisdiction and supervision over Boracay,” Cimatu said. “It is the primary government unit responsible for ensuring that all laws, environmental or otherwise, are executed and followed.” In other developments: • Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo said Wednesday he fully supports Duterte’s six-month deadline to the Environment and Interior Departments of Environment and Natural Resources to fix the pollution problem on Boracay Island. “The massive cleanup of Boracay is a bitter pill that we have to swallow if we are to collectively save and sustain Boracay," Teo said. • Three senators have also joined the call to save Boracay. “We have to get our acts together,” said Senator Juan Edgardo Angara as he noted that Boracay attracts two million tourists every year and brings in more than P50 billion in annual revenue. Senator Nancy Binay urged the Environment department and the municipality of Malay, Aklan, to organize citizens’ teams that will watch Boracay. “They will serve as the eyes and ears and periodically check that the President’s list of things to do is done,” she said. Senator Win Gatchalian said Boracay was the problem of the local government and the provincial government “since they have regulatory power.” Cimatu said he was expecting the local government of Aklan to give its all-out support for the Environment Department and other concerned agencies to meet the deadline set by the President for cleaning up Boracay. “Just like students who are told to pass their papers, finished or not finished, on a set deadline, the same will be for us in the DENR. We have to put an end to this huge Boracay problem in six months,” Cimatu said. Rio N. Araja, Sarah Susanne D. Fabunan, Othel V. Campos and Macon Ramos-Araneta

Transgender solon now AFP reservist By Francisco Tuyay

THE Defense Department on Valentine’s Day swore in the country’s first transgender lawmaker into the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ reserve force. Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman took his oath before Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and was given the rank of lieutenant colonel of the Philippine Army Reserve Force. Armed Forces Chief Rey Leonardo Guerrero and other officials from the three branches of the military witnessed Roman’s oath-taking at the Defense Department’s Hall of Flags. Before his entry to the reserve force, Roman filed an application expressing his willingness to join the military, which was approved. He is an advocate of the revival of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps for grades 11 and 12. Roman expressed support for the corps during last year’s ROTC Corps Commanders’ Summit and Senior Reservist Commanders’ Conference in Camp Aguinaldo. He thanked the AFP for allowing people like him, a representative from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community, to apply for the Philippine Army Reserve Corps. He will now have to report to the Army corps to fulfill his duties and responsibilities in the reserve force. Roman will also be participating in various military activities, including potential deployment in times of war and humanitarian missions. “War and disaster do not recognize gender, they affect everybody and everyone must defend and serve our communities,” Roman said. Aside from Roman, two other lawmakers―Reps. Edwin Marino Ongchuan of Northern Samar and Divina Grace Yu of Zamboanga del Sur’s First District also took their oath as lieutenant colonels In the Army’s Reserve Force.




ASG strikes again, kidnaps DPWH-ARMM engineer By Francisco Tuyay AFTER months of lull, the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group struck anew as it forcibly abducted an engineer of the Department of Public Works and Highway. The latest kidnap victim was identified as engineer Enrico Nee, assigned at the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao DPWH 1st District Engineering Office in Sulu. Brig, Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of Joint Task Force Sulu, reported that Nee was taken at gunpoint by an undetermined number of armed men believed to be ASG bandits on board a black and red Tamaraw-type jeep at about 7:45 a.m. Wednesday. Sobejana said the victim was waiting for a tricycle some 20 meters away from his residence when an unidentified person, one of the occupants of the suspects’ vehicle, approached and forcibly took him. Reports said the bandits fled towards the direction of Barangay Anuling, Patikul, Sulu. “The incident may be part of the express kidnapping of the ASG to get ransom payment and sustain their terror activities,” Sobejana said. Shortly after the incident, the JTF Sulu alerted all its checkpoints to intercept the suspects and safely recover the victim, even as a “massive rescue efforts are also undertaken by the JTF and police units in Sulu.” Hours later, military units patrolling at the perimeter of the kidnapping incident, recovered the getaway vehicle of the suspects and tracked a potential escape route. “We will not stop our rescue efforts until all kidnap victims are recovered safely. We also involved local government units [LGUs] in our campaign against all forms of terrorism here in the province of Sulu,” Sobejana said.

Sereno nothing to do with dismissal order vs Garcia —CJ lawyer THE camp of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has said that the chief magistrate has nothing to do with the Ombudsman’s dismissal order against Cebu Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia. Jojo Lacanilao, Sereno’s laywer and spokesperson, rejected Garcia’s remark that her dismissal was connected to her “active” participation in the impeachment proceeding against the Chief Justice. He also called Garcia’s claim as “bereft of truth and wisdom.” “To set the record straight, the Chief Justice has nothing to do with the Ombudsman’s decision,” he said. “It is unfortunate that Rep. Garcia is using the ongoing impeachment hearing as an excuse, albeit shallow, for her dismissal from government service and perpetual disqualification from public office rather than check the laws of the land on graft and corruption,” he added. Garcia, the House deputy speaker, is part of the House justice committee which had been conducting hearing sessions to determine if there is probable cause in the impeachment complaint of lawyer Lorenzo Gadon against the Chief Justice.

COMMEMORATIVE BOOK. Officials and guests (from left) Ramoncito Fernandez, president and CEO of Maynila; Melandrew Velasco, publisher and author of MWSS Commemorative Book; Edgar Dona, SMC Holdings head for Operations; Reynaldo Velasco, MWSS administrator; former President Fidel V. Ramos; DPWH-Secretary Mark Villar; Franklin de Monteverde, MWSS chairman and Ferdinand dela Cruz, president and CEO of Manila Water, attend the launching of the MWSS Commemorative Book entitled ‘From Carriedo to Balara: Celebrating 140 Years of MWSS and Ensuring Water Security’ at the MWSS Multi-Purpose Hall, Katipunan in Quezon City. Manny Palmero

No more auction of smuggled goods—Duterte THERE will be no more auction of smuggled goods. The ban on auction of misdeclared and undeclared goods will be enforced immediately after President Rodrigo Duterte issued the order on Wednesday. The President’s new order followed the destruction of smuggled luxury cars and ‘supercars’ in the ports of Manila, Cebu and Davao last week. “So I said from now on, there will be no auction on smuggled goods. It will be destroyed once the period of redeeming it [ends] and I will take note of those people who are there,” Duterte said in a speech during the oath-taking of his appointees in Malacañang. Duterte said he will be enforcing the ban since personnel of the Bureau of Customs seem to be in cahoots with smugglers. The President said smuggled goods usually ends up in the hands of smugglers, who use fictitious consignee names. “The import, the consignee is fictitious. Then the corrupt office there in the Customs, the auction section and after a while, while they are being parked inside the warehouses, if the time comes for government to make the accounting, they would conduct the auction and sell it to the people who really, in the first place, were responsible [for] importing them. This insanity has to stop,” he said. Following the destruction of smuggled luxury cars last week, Duterte said he would prefer that scrap metal from the crushed cars be given to junk shops instead of the luxury vehicles being purchased by smugglers in auctions. This followed his announcement on Feb. 1 that smuggled luxury vehicles will be destroyed instead of putting them up for auction. He alleged that some importers allowed the vehicles to be seized so they could buy them later at cheaper prices instead of having to pay taxes when they are auctioned off.

DANCE OF THE DRAGON. Dragon dance team performs at the Lucky Chinatown Walk in Binondo, Manila in celebration of the Chinese New Year. Norman Cruz

Inter-agency body set to probe rice ‘shortage’ By Macon Ramos-Araneta


GRICULTURE Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said on Wednesday that the government has formed an inter-agency body that would investigate the purchase and distribution of rice by the National Food Authority, even as he assured that the country has enough supply of the staple, Piñol stressed that he was not accusing the NFA of irregularities but added that the supply chain could be abused by traders, some of whom mix government-subsidized rice with commercial rice. According to DA Undersecretary Ariel Cayanan, it was actually Bangko Sentral Deputy Gov. Diwa Guinigundo, a member of the inter-agency NFA Council, who proposed to audit the “acquisition, down to the distribution” of the grain by the NFA. “We are talking here of food and food is a national security issue,” Piñol said, adding that if it was to him, he would not allow traders and middle men to “control” the supply chain. “Where does the problem lie? Bakit hindi maramdaman ng publiko ang saganang ani ng Pilipino [Why can’t the public feel the bountiful harvest of Filipinos]? The food supply chain, from the farm to the market, has always been controlled by traders and middle men,” he said.

Piñol said he “commends” the NFA Council’s decision to audit the NFA, the state-run grains authority that is also part of the council. Pinol said that as of the moment, the Philippines is roughly 96-percent selfsufficient in rice. The DA chief said that the government is rushing the importation of 250,000 metric tons of rice to replenish the NFA’s buffer, which had dwindled to two days’ worth. But Piñol said that farmers produced 19.4 million metric tons of palay in 2017, enough to meet the estimated 11.2 million metric tons in demand. “By mathematical computation, the supply of the production of palay is already above and beyond the national requirement. But we are not declaring rice sufficiency yet,” he told reporters

FDA to file charges vs Belo Medical Group staff THE Belo Medical Group and some of its employees are facing administrative and criminal charges for their alleged refusal to have their pharmacy inspected and for selling 11 cosmetic and drug products not registered with the Food and Drug Administration. FDA Director General Nela Charade G. Puno said some of the skin-care firm’s employees face contempt or obstruction of justice charges for their refusal to allow FDA agents to inspect their clinic and pharmacy. “The Belo Medical Group’s pharmacy is under DFA’s jurisdiction and we have legal authority to enter and inspect it, in reasonable hours and manner, by our inspectors. They can be cited for contempt or obstruction of justice for their refusal,” she said. The FDA earlier ordered the BMG to stop selling 11 of its unregistered skin care products after FDA operatives conducted surveillance and test-buy operations in its clinic in Alabang in Muntinlupa City last Friday. Puno cited Article 2, Section 2 (t) of the FDA’s general powers, functions and duties which states that FDA agents can “enter at reasonable hours, any factory, warehouse, or establishment in which health products are manufactured, processed, packed, or held, for introduction into domestic commerce, or are held after such introduction, or to enter any vehicle used to transport or hold such health products

Vicki Belo

in domestic commerce; and to inspect, in a reasonable manner, such factory, warehouse, establishment, or vehicle and all pertinent equipment, finished or unfinished materials, containers, and labeling therein.” Retired Police Gen. Allen Bantolo, chief of the DFA’s Regulatory Enforcement Unit, identified the cosmetic and drug products which the DFA prohibited the BMG from selling as follows: ZO Medical by Zein Obagi; MD Glycogent Exfoliation Accelerator 10 percent concentration; ZO Medical by Zein Obagi Foamacleanse Gentle Foaming Cleanser for all types; ZO Medical by Zein Obagi Oclipse Sunscreen/ Primer SPF 30 Protection; Belo Illuminating Cream Alpha Arbutin+Liquorice; and Belo Prescriptives Keralyt 2 Cream. Macon Ramos Araneta

in a hastily-called press conference. Meanwhile, Senator Grace Poe on Wednesday admitted that she was surprised that the country is experiencing a critically low supply of affordable rice despite the record-breaking surplus in the supply of the staple. “It is downright bewildering to allegedly have a record-breaking surplus in rice supply on one hand and experience a low inventory of rice in the warehouses of NFA on the other hand and thereby needing to import rice,” said Poe in filing a resolution to launch an investigation on the long-standing claims that there exists a syndicate inside the NFA that manipulate rice data. Poe filed Senate Resolution No. 623 directing the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food chaired by Senator Cynthia Villar to investigate the purported shortage of affordable rice that is driving up prices of commercial rice sold in the markets. Poe, who earlier said there had been widespread speculations about alleged syndicate in the NFA for decades, filed the measure as she wanted the impending Senate inquiry to determine the veracity of “persistent allegations” of a mafia, syndicate or “rice cartel” in the government’s rice procurement and importation program. She said this was necessary in order to put an end to their illegal and corrupt practices and ensure the availability of the staple food.

Toxics watch group okays lead-free lucky dog figurines THE EcoWaste Coalition, a non-profit watch group on toxic chemicals, lauded local craftmakers for the apparent shift to lead-free paints for decorating doginspired figurines in celebration of the Chinese New Year of the Earth Dog. According to the group’s latest screening of painted lucky dog figurines using a handheld X-Ray Fluorescence analyzer, eight of the 12 samples bought from street vendors in Quiapo, Manila for P25 to P250 each were found to contain no detectable lead. The other four samples had lead levels ranging from 205, 395, 795 and 6,578 parts per million (ppm) exceeding the regulatory limit of 90 ppm for lead in paint. “While not all samples were negative for lead, we recognize the obvious switch to lead-free decorative paints by local craft makers, many of which are small-sized enterprises. This is a good indicator of the efforts by commercial paint consumers to fit with the nation’s progressive shift to paints without added lead,” said Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition. “We hope that by 2019, the year of the Earth Pig, all lucky pig figurines on sale will be solely decorated with lead-free paints,” he added. In 2016, the year of the Fire Monkey, lead content up to 7,800 ppm was detected in brightly colored lucky monkey figurines, while in 2017, the year of the Fire Rooster, lead up to 5,032 ppm was detected in lucky rooster figurines.




Adelle Chua, Editor


Couples make Valentine’s Day deposit in ‘Love Bank’ By Laszlo Juhasz IN A small medieval Slovak town, couples are getting ready on Valentine’s Day to make a “deposit” about their romance in a place dedicated to love stories. The “Love Bank” is the main attraction of an exhibition commemorating the world’s longest love poem, “Marina” by Slovak poet Andrej Sladkovic. Written in 1844, the 2,900-line long poem tells the tale of the doomed love between the poet and Maria Pischlova. They were star-crossed lovers but unlike Romeo and Juliet their tragic romance is a true story. Marina’s parents shunned the poor poet and forced her to marry a wealthy gingerbread maker. The house where Marina lived in the former silver mining town of Banska Stiavnica is now known as the “Epicenter of Love” and features an interactive exhibition inspired by the poem, including a “love-o-meter” measuring the strength of a couple’s affection. “Our visitors say they are amazed by how a part of history and a poem that was on their elementary school compulsory reading list has been turned into a hands-on experience,” said Katarina Javorska, spokeswoman for the NGO running the exhibition. 100,000 boxes For many couples, it’s the “Love Bank” that attracts them to the site where they can store and preserve mementos of their romance. A long tunnel in the basement of the house has been turned into a vault with exactly 100,000 tiny drawers, one for each letter, gap, and punctuation mark of the original, 174-year-old manuscript of “Marina”. Lovers can only make “deposits” a few times a year—the next date is Valentine’s Day. “My fiancee and I will come back in a couple of days and hide the cinema tickets from our first date here,” 24-year-old Dominika Hrabusova told AFP. Another couple, Jan and Anna have brought their seven-monthold baby son along. “This is our fourth or fifth visit to Banska Stiavnica, before we got married we used to come more often,” said 38-year-old Jan. “The town is a jewel box itself, I am impressed by how clever and inventive this exhibition is,” he adds, lauding the charm of Banska Stiavnica, listed as a Unesco World Heritage site in 1993. ‘Register of Love’ As visitors to the exhibition pass through rooms combining modern design and 500-year-old rafters, a truly Potteresque experience awaits them: four “paintings” —large flat-screen TVs—on the wall suddenly come alive and act out scenes from the life of the poet and Marina. In another room, one can flip through the pages of the “Register of Love”, weighing 53 kilograms (117 pounds) and consisting of 3,200 pages that will be gradually filled with notes from lovers who visit the former dwelling of the poet’s muse. The designers of the exhibition eye turning the “Epicenter of Love” into a major attraction, a sort of place of pilgrimage for lovers from across the globe. “Some say it’s a bold and ambitious plan. But if millions are willing to make the trip to Verona to see the balcony of the imaginary couple of Romeo and Juliet, I believe many will come to the Epicenter of Love to relive a real love story,” Javorska said. AFP


To be taken seriously

ALACAÑANG tried to play down the public’s reaction to President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement that he once ordered soldiers to shoot female members of the New People’s Army in the genitals. “I have been saying again and again, do not take the President literally but take him seriously,” Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said. Roque attempted to provide context to the President’s words—Mr. Duterte was just so angry at the insurgents for betraying his trust and for causing the breakdown of peace talks with the government. The spokesman also insisted the President had always shown a priority for the welfare of women. By now we know better than to take Mr. Duterte’s words at face value. Fifteen months of listening to his rambling and ranting, to his combative and incendiary statements, have taught us that a literal sense interpretation of what he says is energy-sapping, time-consuming and practically useless. Were we not once


admonished by Roque’s predecessor to use our creative imagination, whatever that is, every time he speaks? Unfortunately, we have also seen that his speech patterns have offered convenient cover from the fallout of his utterances. The result is some sort of impunity—Mr. Duterte can get away with saying anything because his underlings can always explain away what he “actually” means. But the man must be reminded it is not always the what but the how of someone’s words that lend them, or strip them of, credibility. If the President wants to focus on the real task of governing and rally critical—not unthinking— support, he must do away with controversial statements that unnecessarily inflame and polarize the people. Any president must have good intentions, but Mr. Duterte’s words paint him as an unhinged villain—something we trust must be far from the truth. It would not be a good day for the nation when the people start knowing better than to take the President seriously

Will Teo be the exception? DO NOT take the President literally, but take him seriously, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said on President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to the military to shoot female members of the New People’s Army in the genitals. Mr. Duterte also said he would sell his soul to the devil just to make the lives of overseas Filipino workers more comfortable. By now, we should be used to the chief executive’s hyperbole. And, my gulay, the people seem to love his style. I would even say this is why he is so popular. The problem however is that some Filipinos like to take the jokes as the President’s way of showing his exasperation. I have been a journalist for 70 years and covered 10 presidents. I don’t mind President Duterte’s making jokes out of serious matters. To each his own style. Santa Banana, President Duterte must also realize that there are still many Filipinos who would want him to consider their feelings and sentiments. *** Following the President’s guidelines on foreign trips of public officials, Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon Teo’s trips are now public. According to records, there were instances when Teo brought her make-up artist, utility clerk and other staff to the UAE, Italy, United Kingdom, Japan, United States and Canada.

Imagine bringing your make-up artist, clerk and driver to your trips.

Patriarchy at the Palace Roque further failed at damage control (if that’s what he was attempting) by adding, “You know, sometimes, these feminists are really a bit OA

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte’s “shoot them in the vagina” remark is another in his consistent pattern of misogynistic language that reinforces anti-women attitudes in society. Presidential Spokesman lawyer Harry Roque made matters worse by saying: “You should know the President by now… Do not take [him] literally but take him seriously.” That doesn’t even make sense because it’s contradictory.

President at all—he’s making it worse by silencing female critics of the President’s sexism. By calling them “OA,” Roque is trivializing their concerns and ideas. By trivializing them, he is saying their words are not serious enough for public discourse, in effect silencing them. We will not be silenced because the No, it’s not funny. No, safety and wellbeing of our entire sex we won’t laugh. are on the line. Our culture and its values are on the line. The shape and direction of our country’s growth are on the line. [overacting]. I mean, that’s funny. To order troops to shoot women in Come on, just laugh.” the vagina is to target women in a very No, it’s not funny. No, we won’t particular manner. Even if Duterte laugh. Roque is really not helping the Turn to A5

I do not begrudge Teo her trips. It’s her business to sell the Philippines to foreigners. But to bring her make-up artist, clerk and drivers at government expense? I now wonder how the President would apply his policy on foreign trips with Teo. He has fired others for their excesses. What about her? Teo says she is now focused on promoting domestic tourism. But would that excuse her for bringing messengers, bookkeepers and drivers at our expense? I think she should be made to answer for all these. She seems to be a favorite of Malacañang. I wonder whether Mr. Duterte can prove otherwise. *** I think it is funny that retired Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide and former Commission on Elections Chairman Christian Monsod are leading a group of activists preventing the amendment of the 1987 Constitution. They claim it is the best Charter ever. These people are out of touch with reality. How can it be perfect when there is now a quarrel between the House of Representatives and the Senate on how they would vote in a constituent assembly. If the Constitution were perfect, all would be clear as day. The framers of that Charter—including Davide and Monsod—were contemplating a parliamentary system of government in unicameral form. And then, there is that provision on the party-list system. We know how flawed that is – look at our party-list representatives now! These infirmities are just two of the worst. *** The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has found 51 establishments in Boracay as polluters. They violate the Clean Water Act by refusing to connect their drainage

Turn to A5

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BEFORE man-made climate change kicked in—and well before “Day Zero” in Cape Town, where taps may run dry in early May—the global water crisis was upon us. Freshwater resources around the world were already badly stressed before heat-trapping carbon emissions from fossil fuels began to warm Earth’s surface and affect rainfall. Many major rivers—diverted, dammed, over-exploited—no longer reach the sea. Aquifers millennia in the making are being sucked dry. Pollution in many forms is tainting water above ground and below. Cape Town, where the drought was declared a “national disaster” on Tuesday, was not especially beset by any of these problems. Indeed, in 2014 the half-dozen reservoirs that served the South African city’s four million people brimmed with rainwater. But that was before a record-breaking, three-year, once-every-three-centuries drought reduced them to a quarter capacity or less. Today, Capetonians are restricted to 50 litres a day (13.2 US gallons)—less than runs down the drain when the average American takes a shower. Climate scientists foretold trouble, but it arrived ahead of schedule, said Helen Zille, premier of the Western Cape province. “Climate change was to have hit us in 2025,” she told a local news outlet. “The South Africa Weather Services have told me that their models don’t work any more.” Worldwide, the water crises hydra has been quietly growing for decades. Since 2015, the World Economic Forum’s annual Global Risk Report has consistently ranked “water crises” as among the global threats with the greatest potential impact—above natural disasters, mass migration and cyberattacks. Borrowed time “Across the densely-populated IndoGangetic Plain”—home to more than 600-million people in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh—“groundwater is being pumped out at an unsustainable and terrifying rate,” said Graham Cogley, a professor emeritus at Trent University in Ontario Canada. More than half the water in the same basin is undrinkable and unusable for irrigation due to elevated salt and arsenic levels, according to a recent study. Groundwater provides drinking water to at least half of humanity, and accounts for more than 40 percent of water used for irrigation. But underground aquifers do not fill up swiftly, as a reservoir does after a heavy rain. Their spongy rock can take centuries to fully recharge, which makes them a non-renewable resource on a human timescale. As a result, many of the world’s regions have passed the threshold that Peter Gleick, president-emeritus of the Pacific Institute and author of “The World’s Water,” has called “peak water”. “Today people live in places where we are effectively using all the available renewable water, or, even worse, living on borrowed time by overpumping non-renewable ground water,” he told A FP. Exhausted groundwater supplies also

Will... From A4

and sewage system to the pipeline of the local government. DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu has given these establishments five days to comply with the law. If they don’t, they would be closed down. I agree this is the only way to make these erring businesses comply. *** There is something I find difficult to understand about the rice shortage in the country. The government claims it is the fault of the rice hoarders. When supply from the National Food Authority started getting scarce in some regions, the NFA and Cabinet Secretary Jun Evasco (head of the NFA Council) claimed that the country had enough rice supply. When this happened, it was harvest season. Now, government is importing rice from Vietnam and Thailand to avert a shortage. My question is this—why didn’t Evasco and the NFA foresee this alleged shortage when they should have been on top of the situation at the outset? They kept on assuring us that we have enough rice for 35 days. So why are we importing this much, then? Yes, there are always rice hoarders who take advantage of the situation to make money. But this is only possible when people in government fail to do their job well.

cause land to subside, and allow—in coastal regions—saltwater to seep into the water table. Dozens of mega-cities, rich and poor, are sinking: Jakarta, Mexico City, Tokyo and dozens of cities in China, including Tianjin, Beijing and Shanghai have all dropped by a couple of metres over the last century. “Half a billion people in the world face severe scarcity all year round,” said Arjen Hoekstra, a water management expert at Twente University in the Netherlands. More than one in three live in India, with another 73 million in Pakistan, 27 million in Egypt, 20 million in Mexico, 20 million in Saudi Arabia and 18 million in war-torn Yemen, he calculated in a recent study. Enter climate change “Global warming comes on top of all this,” said Hoekstra. For each degree of global warming, about seven percent of the world’s population—half-a-billion people—will have 20 percent less freshwater, the UN’s climate science panel has concluded. By 2030, the world will face a 40-percent water deficit if climate change continues unchecked. Glaciers in the Himalayas and Andes upon which half-a-billion people depend are rapidly retreating. At the same time, global water demand is projected to increase 55 percent by mid-century, mainly driven by the growth of cities in developing countries. For Gleick, global warming is already a threat multiplier. So far, Earth’s surface temperature has risen by one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit), and the odds of meeting the UN goal of capping the rise at “well under” 2 C lengthen each year. Global warming alters wind and humidity, in turn affecting rainfall patterns. “Climate changes caused by humans are driving changes in our water resources and demands,” Gleick told AFP. “As climate change worsens, impacts on water resources will also worsen.” The prospect of empty water pipes haunts other urban areas in climate hot spots. California has just emerged from a five-year drought, the worst on record. In 2014-15, Sao Paulo’s 12 million souls came close to its own “Day Zero”. Beijing, New Delhi, Mexico City and Las Vegas are among other cities that have been facing “huge water supply risks for more than a decade”, noted Hoekstra. When climate change really kicks in, large swathes of Africa—the Sahel, along with its southern and western regions—will be especially vulnerable. Currently, only five percent of the continent’s agriculture is irrigated, leaving its population highly vulnerable to shifting weather patterns. Two-thirds of Africans could be living under water stress within a decade, according to the World Water Council. For Cape Town, drought conditions may be a taste of things to come. “Our new normal, at least when it comes to rainfall, is that the chance of dry years increases as we go forward toward the end of the century, and the chance of wet years decreases,” said Piotr Wolski, a hydro-climatologist at the University of Cape Town who had compiled data going back more than a century. AFP *** Santa Banana, after the International Criminal Court came out with the decision of its prosecutor that it would pursue a preliminary investigation on President Duterte amid the war against drugs, the ICC Facebook page was swarmed by supporters of the President. These Duterte supporters, often called trolls, attacked the ICC by resorting to nonsequitur arguments. I wonder how these trolls can be controlled. They contribute to a lot of misunderstanding and create enemies where there should be none. *** Now they tell us that the Office of the Ombudsman did not find enough evidence to support the plunder case filed by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV against President Duterte in May 2016. Solicitor General Jose Calida announced that the probe had been terminated last November. This was reportedly conveyed to him in a letter from Overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Arthur Carandang, who handled the probe after Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales inhibited herself. I have at least two questions. Why was this fact not made earlier? This was exactly why Malacanang was after Carandang. Second, what happens now to the President’s order for Carandang to step down? If the public were informed earlier, a lot of misunderstanding could have been avoided, Why Morales did not inform the President that the plunder case against him had been terminated is something she must explain.


‘Ang mga bayani ng Kuwait‘

For global water crisis, climate may be the last straw By Marlowe Hood


OVERSIGHT DANILO SUAREZ LAST week, the body of a murdered overseas Filipino worker in Kuwait was discovered in a freezer. This is a grim reminder of the risks our OFWs take when they decide to live abroad. There were reports of suicides committed by OFWs from Kuwait, particularly domestic helpers, allegedly due to the abuses of their foreign employers. There are seven ongoing investigations on recent deaths of Filipino workers in Kuwait. It breaks my heart to learn about the tragic plight of our OFWs, not just in Kuwait, but all over the world According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, there are over 250,000 OFWs in Kuwait—170,000 of these are domestic helpers. There are around 10,800 “undocumented” Filipino workers there, who are mostly domestic helpers. On Monday, Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III issued Administrative Order

No. 54, which ordered the total ban of deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait. What I fear is that illegal recruiters will take advantage of the total ban, given the continuing demand for labor in Kuwait. Therefore, concerned government agencies should be more aggressive in monitoring the implementa-

Filipinos are one of the most preferred workers all over the world.

tion of the ban to ensure the protection of our OFWs. The House Minority suggests that a joint task force be formed by the concerned agencies such as the DoLE, POEA, DFA, DoJ, and PNP to monitor the exit of Filipinos bound for Kuwait, and other transit countries to

Kuwait, conduct surveillance operations, gather intelligence reports with regard to illegal recruitment and deployment activities, and file criminal charges against offenders. Filipinos are one of the most preferred workers all over the world. This comes to me at no surprise because Filipinos are skilled, hardworking, dedicated, and competitive. Therefore, Filipino workers, regardless of the nature of their jobs, deserve fair treatment from their employers, whether locally or abroad. I will ensure that our present body of laws protect the safety and welfare of OFWs. The OFW industry continues to be the top contributor to our country’s gross domestic product. OFW remittances amounted to P28 billion in 2016, and this amount continues to increase year after year. If only for their contribution to our country’s economy, we should stand with them, and protest against the atrocities committed against them abroad, Masakit at mahirap ang mawalay sa pamilya upang maghanapbuhay sa ibang bayan. Kaya’t saludo ako sa inyo, mga bagong bayani!

Modern slavery DUTY CALLS FLORENCIO FIANZA THE problem of our overseas Filipino workers being abused by their employers is nothing new. It has been going on ever since we started to send our womenfolk to work as domestic helpers to more prosperous Arab countries in the Middle East. Government responses to such incidents, however, have been inconsistent. This is perhaps because the government does not like to rattle a program that brings much-needed foreign currency to the country. But the cost, as we can see, is much too high. Our national pride takes a hit, not to mention the social cost to families that are separated. The most common response is to bring home the victims and the few cases that were filed were rarely successful. The case of Joanna Dimafelis whose dismembered body was reportedly kept in refrigerator in an abandoned apartment for about a year is only one of several cases involving our OFWs committing suicide because they could no longer stand their abusive employers. Dimafelis however, was reportedly killed by her employers before they fled to Lebanon. Here, we are only talking of reported cases. There must be many more cases of sexual abuse that go unreported because the victims are too ashamed to go public. Finally, President Duterte issued a strongly worded statement and ordered the Department of Labor to repatriate close to 2,200 OFWs in Kuwait who have been wanting to come home. It is about time the government reviewed its policy of labor deployment abroad. Successive governments have always wanted to do this but up to now, have failed to do so. There was a time when there was even talk of abolishing altogether the deployment of domestic helpers and concentrate on higher skilled labour but up to now, this has not happened. Most of the women deployed to the Middle

Patriarchy... From A4

directed his remark against a specific group—the “amazon” rebels—for their illegal actions, by reducing them to their vaginas he dehumanized them, and that dehumanization condones and encourages mindsets that tolerate violence against all women, because all women have vaginas. His are dangerous words. Another of Duterte’s remarks reinforces the stigma against another vulnerable group, the LGBTQ. In August 2016, he called US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg “gay” for his statement on Duterte’s comment on the rape of Australian missionary Jacqueline Hamill in 1989—“Dapat ang mayor [Duterte himself] ang nauna.” Goldberg had said “statements by anyone anywhere that either degrade women or trivialize issues so serious as rape or murder are not ones that we condone.” By using the adjective “gay” as an insult, Duterte reinforces negative so-

East are still domestic helpers. Why we keep on sending our women to work as domestics to countries that treat their own women as second-class citizens is beyond me. In Saudi Arabia for instance, Saudi women will only be allowed to drive a vehicle this year. Is the money being sent home by our domestic OFWs enough to compensate for the loss of honor and dignity of Filipino women and this country? The Middle East is the wrong place to send our women to work as domestic helpers. Labor laws in many of these countries are not extensive enough to protect our citizens working there. Take the case of Qatar which was chosen to host the World Cup in 2022. Amidst all the construction of all the facilities, the

Stop sending our women to work as domestics abroad.

laborers coming from various Asian countries are not being treated and paid properly. There was also the case of a Filipina domestic worker who was kept as a virtual slave in Jordan for nine years. She was paid only three months out of the nine years that she was kept in the house. She escaped and tried to file a case but the case dragged on until she was deported back to the Philippines. Multiply this a thousand fold and that gives us an idea of the magnitude of the problem. Yet, we continue to send our citizens to these countries to become potential slaves thereby contributing to the propagation of slavery that still goes on around the world today. Yes, slavery, that scourge of humanity, is still alive and flourishing around the world in one shape and form. One would think that in the 21st century, slavery would have been completely eradicated. Unfortunately, this is not the case. cio-cultural attitudes towards a group that has suffered more than enough persecution already. Note that the President has not been known to make a sexist remark directed against men. On the contrary, in true phallocentric style, he once referred to his own genitalia as the justification for his womanizing: “I was separated from my wife. I’m not impotent. What am I supposed to do? Let this [his penis] hang forever? When I take Viagra, it stands up.” He said this in April 2016 when he addressed the Makati Business Club and Management Association of the Philippines prior to the elections. As early as then, a couple of his allies suggested that he watch his words. In October 2016, a few months into Duterte’s presidency, Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas said that he should “not speak anymore… Just buckle down to work, I think it would be better.” Senator Richard Gordon said the president“must not be heard saying bad words.” Fariñas and Gordon, however, did not say this in the context of any sexist remarks of the President, but in

According to one Australian NGO, Walk Free, there are roughly 30-million people around the world that are considered slaves. The most number are in the India where there are about 14-million people that are considered modern day slaves. The following are considered a form of slavery: Domestic servitude, sex trafficking, forced labor, bonded labor, child labor and forced marriage. When our women who work as domestic helpers are forced to surrender their passports, that can be considered as forced servitude. What is so shocking is the buying and selling of humans as shown in a recent CNN program. There was a video of people bidding for humans in Libya. The economy of the country is growing which means that we must have many labor opportunities here that should entice our women to stay and work here instead of leaving to go to other countries that are admittedly more prosperous but do not have enough laws that can guarantee the protection they deserve from abusive employers. When we read many of these gutwrenching stories of our women suffering abuse and torture from their employers, I often wonder what exactly motivates them to leave their families and take their chances in faraway lands with cultures so unknown to them. Poverty is of course the most common answer. But is the money earned really enough to give up everything here? Often, the promised amount is not what the worker receives but much less. These workers will also have to pay the debts they incurred, plus other fees being demanded by unscrupulous recruiters which will probably take a year or more to pay before the OFW begins to see the fruits of her or his labour. Good if the domestic helper happens to be employed by a decent family, if not, then pity that person. The solution to the problem is to stop sending our women to work as domestics abroad. If we send our women to China and Russia, we will only be transferring the problem because these two countries are not necessarily better. response to his knee-jerk reactions to criticism for his remarks comparing his bloody war on drugs to the Holocaust and his insults to then-US President Barack Obama, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, and the European Union for their concerns on the extrajudicial killings. I have yet to hear any male allies of the President chide him for his antiwomen remarks. The President’s language is phallogocentric and his attitudes misogynistic, but he is a product of his time and place. However, it must be said that these kind of remarks not only cause offense but also instill fear for the safety of women. To fail to call him out for this is to do the people, and also Duterte himself, a disservice. Dismantling the patriarchal structures of our society will take time and much effort. What Duterte’s latest remark has done is to show us exactly what needs to be changed. Dr. Ortuoste is a writer and communication consultant. FB: @DrJennyO, Twitter: @jennyortuoste




Decongest airports in 45 days or lose franchises By Maricel V. Cruz


PEAKER Pantaleon Alvarez on Wednesday directed Manila International Airport Authority officials to get their operations in order within 45 days and warned airlines to comply with government rules or face possible cancellation of their franchises.

At a congressional hearing conducted by the House committee on transportation, Alvarez lambasted the cost-cutting practice of airlines, particularly budget carrier Cebu Pacific, that he said allowed them to enjoy huge profits at the expense of the passengers, as well as their failure to provide appropriate refunds to passengers who failed to board their flights. Alvarez said MIAA must take appropriate steps to decongest passenger and air traffic, and that MIAA general manager Eddie Monreal has 45 days to implement the directive. He took note of the country’s mixed use of airports, as airports designed for domestic traffic also handle international flights, while airports designed for international flights also take in domestic flights. “That shouldn’t happen. We should do what’s right. If an airport’s [built for] domestic [use, it should be] domestic. If it’s lacking [in space for airlines or passengers], so be it. Move some of the flights to Clark [airport in

Pampanga],” the Speaker said. Responding to Alvarez, Lance Gokongwei, Cebu Pacific Inc. president, said it might take at least a year for his airline to comply with the directive. “Respectfully sir, given the way we sell tickets one year in advance and the time it requires to move all our people and [do] the ground preparations, I think these drastic steps may take over a year of planning,” Gokongwei said. But Alvarez insisted on the 45-day deadline and urged the committee to form an oversight body to evaluate what would be accomplished at the end of the deadline. “Because if we don’t start this now, nothing will happen. If we do it now, maybe we can finish something,” he said. Alvarez said the main concern of airport authorities should be the safety, comfort and convenience of the riding public. He noted there is a big difference in the design between a domestic and an international airport.

“Domestic terminals have no provision for immigration, so when international flights arrive at [Terminal 2, the lines are so long. Terminal 3 was designed with provision for immigration, but [the booths] are not being used because domestic [flights are using it],” Alvarez noted. He also raised the idea of moving more flights to Clark International Airport, which would ease the congestion at Naia. “So, for example, if you can’t accommodate [a flight] anymore, deny them, stop them. That way we lessen the traffic even on the runways. Because no matter how we build terminals, if the runway cannot accommodate [planes], it’s useless. Perhaps we should reduce the flights now,” Alvarez said. The Speaker said his directive was not to threat anybody but “to promote the safety, comfort and convenience of the public.” “You know the reason why I also invited the chairman of the [House] franchise committee? Because those who don’t want to follow the government’s rules and regulations, we can always cancel your respective franchises. And we are not joking. We are not threatening anybody. We are serious in promoting the safety, comfort and convenience of the public,” he said.

RISING UP. Thousands of students and faculty take part in the 'One Billion Rising' worldwide campaign to end violence against women during the Valentine's Day celebration at Saint Scholastica's College in Manila. Norman Cruz

Solon questions Cam’s integrity, tells PCSO execs, ‘One must go’ HOUSE Minority Leader Representative Danilo Suarez has reminded former jueteng bagman-turned-whistleblower Sandra Cam that she should be careful in accusing anybody, especially a person whose integrity is beyond reproach. “There was one philosopher who once said, ‘Freedom to shout/speak doesn’t necessarily mean you can shout fire at movie house on a Saturday night,’” the lawmaker from Quezon province said during a hearing on Wednesday, addressing the chairman of the House Committee on Government and Public Accountability. “What it means is, once you accuse a person, it stays. If you accuse General Balutan that ‘You are corrupt,’ the media will pick it up. But how long will it take General Balutan to clear to the public consumption that he is not corrupt?” he added. At the same time, Suarez urged the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office top executives to work together as a team and sort out their problems. Suarez said that if animosities continue between the PCSO officials and Cam, he suggested that “one has to go.” “I suggest that… mend. As what the President said, fix your problems. Work together. There’s no room for disagreement in an office that is in-charge of charity. Then if you cannot work together, then one must go, and maybe this

3 CEB Dipolog flights canned as plane stalls 'CON-COM' OATH. Officials and members of the consultative committee take their oath of office before President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during a ceremony at Malacañan Palace on Tuesday. Presidential Photo

Remains of Pinay killed in Taiwan quake arrive By Joel E. Zurbano THE remains of caregiver Melody Castro, who was among those killed during the magnitude 6.4-quake in Taiwan last week, arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Wednesday morning. Officials of the Manila International Airport Authority said the body of 28-year-old Castro was brought back to the Philippines via China Air. The remains will be stored at the Pair Cargo warehouse of the airport before boarding a flight scheduled today, Feb. 15, to Tuguegarao. Reports showed that Castro’s body was found under the rubble of the Yun Men Tsui Ti Building, two days after the quake. Castro worked as a caregiver for six years for a Japanese family—63-year-old woman Sumin Okubo, her 68-year-old husband, who is disabled from a stroke, and mute younger brother—in Hualien County. Her cousin Mishelle Rosales, 33, said Castro’s remains were transported on a plane from Taipei to Manila and are expected to arrive Thursday in Tuguegarao City, the capital of Cagayan province. Dr. Gary Song-Huann Lin of Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office, who was at the Naia when the remains of Castro arrived, said they will give P2 million to her family as a sign of goodwill because the caregiver “is a good worker and dedicated to her job.” Ricky Beltran, Manila Economic and Cultural Office liaison and spokesperson, said the Philippine government will also assist the family, including transporting the remains to Cagayan and other possible assistance.

‘Resilient housing’ program for disaster survivors pushed A HOUSE leader on Wednesday called on the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council to put up a Resilient Housing and Human Resettlements program for disaster survivors. Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte sought the HUDCC's formulation of the National Framework for Resilient Human Settlements, as most of the survivors of super typhoon “Yolanda” in 2013 have remained in makeshift tents and substandard bunkhouses with no access to potable water and electricity. “At least 30 more destructive tropical cyclones have rocked the country since Super Typhoon “Yolanda,” but

complete rehabilitation of survivors remains elusive,” Villafuerte, vice chairman of the House committee on local government, said. The lawmaker’s ideas were contained in House Bill 6040 or the proposed Resilient Housing and Human Settlements Act, which seeks to institute a national framework on resilient housing and human settlements. The framework, he said, shall serve as the basis for measures or mechanisms for post-disaster housing and resiliency planning, to protect vulnerable communities from the adverse effects of climate change and disasters. Maricel V. Cruz

AUTHORITIES on Wednesday ordered the closure of the Dipolog Airport runway after a Cebu Pacific aircraft encountered technical problems upon landing there. The closure resulted in the cancellation of three flights of Cebu Pacific and its sister airline CebGo to and from Dipolog—5J 703 (Manila-Dipolog), 5J 704 (Dipolog-Manila) and DG 6604 (Dipolog-Cebu). CEB officials said CebGo flight DG 6603 (Cebu-Dipolog), with 60 passengers on board, developed technical difficulties upon landing at the airport around 12:15 p.m. “The pilots detected unusual vibrations from the nose landing gear of the aircraft during the landing roll out. As a safety precaution, the aircraft stopped on the runway where all passengers were deplaned from the runway, and then guided to the terminal building,” CEB management said in a statement. All the passengers were safe, the airline said. “Consequently, the runway of the Dipolog airport is now closed since the aircraft cannot be moved until a maintenance team arrives onsite and further assessment is conducted,” it added. The airline assured that additional flights will be mounted on Thursday, Feb. 15, to ferry delayed passengers. “Affected passengers will be offered accommodation if needed and will be informed regarding their new flight schedule shortly,” it added. Joel E. Zurbano

House approves creation of Housing department THE chairperson of the House committee on housing on urban development has welcomed the plenary approval of a bill that calls for the creation of the Department of Human Settlement and Urban Development. Negros Occidental Rep. Alfredo Benitez, the panel chairperson, expressed hope that House Bill 6775 will soon get enacted, as this proposes the creation of a new government department tasked with consolidating the functions of all housing and urban development agencies, particularly the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council and the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board. On Tuesday night, the House passed the bill on third and final reading by a 193-6 vote. The bill was among the priority legislation of the Duterte administration. Meanwhile, socialized housing solutions provider Base believes that sustainable

housing technologies can help augment the needs of the industry towards addressing the country’s 5.8-million housing backlog. “Roughly just three years after introducing this technology here, we’ve already seen how it’s improved the lives of every farmer, family and partner who make up Base’s value chain, particularly of those whose main problem is something as basic as shelter,” said Maricen Jalandoni, general manager of Base Bahay, as she discussed the group’s proprietary Cement Bamboo Frame technology. Base is known for their use of CBF to build sustainable and resilient homes, particularly for communities and families living in disaster-prone and high density urban areas. Since 2014, Base has been sharing the CBF technology with partner agencies in the socialized housing sector. Together, they build homes for vulnerable communities, particu-

larly those living along danger zones and families with limited access to housing loans. To date, Base has built close to 400 CBFreinforced homes across the country with more in the pipeline with help from its existing and prospective partners. Benitez, who sponsored the bill on the floor, said HB 6775 mandates the DHSUD to be a single point of accountability for housing policies and projects, and make way for “a unified direction and consolidated efforts to make decent housing affordable and accessible to every Filipino family.” “We are grateful for our colleagues who have supported this measure and for the President for also including this measure in his priority bills for the 17th Congress. We are very fortunate that the administration recognizes the importance of providing decent and affordable shelters to our fellow Filipinos,” Benitez said.

body can come up with a recommendation in finding out who is right and who is wrong,” he said. PCSO was in the limelight shortly after Cam was appointed member of the lottery agency’s board by President Rodrigo Duterte, after she accused her fellow directors of throwing a “lavish” Christmas party. But the President has already dismissed Cam’s bickering. “No less than the President [has already] cleared PCSO on this issue. His words were, ‘It’s OK for them to spend, they have helped a lot [of people].’ I think that’s the exact words of the President. Considering PCSO is under the Office of the President, no less than the head of office [the President] technically says, there’s nothing wrong with it,” explained Suarez. "It’s nothing to me. As long as the money gets used to buy canned goods and clothing, they will be used. Food will be eaten, clothes will be worn," Duterte said in a mix of Filipino and Cebuano in a speech for the launching of the “Malasakit Program” for Visayas Monday in Cebu City. The PCSO earned a record high collection of P52.9 billion in lottery games, compared to P39.5 billion in 2016. For the agency’s Christmas party, the Department of Budget and Management had approved a budget of P14 million, but the actual expense was only P6.4 million.

Private sector workers to get extra pay for Feb. 16 duty PRIVATE sector employees who will report to work on Friday, which was declared as special non-working holiday in the celebration of Chinese New Year, are entitled to receive additional 30 percent of their daily rate on the first eight hours of work for that day. President Rodrigo Duterte had issued Proclamation No. 269, declaring Feb. 16 as special (non-working day), as the Chinese community ushers in the Spring Festival and the Year of the Dog in their lunar calendar. “For work done during the special day, he/she shall be paid an additional 30 percent of his/her daily rate on the first eight hours of work [(Daily rate x 130 percent) + COLA],” the Department of Labor and Employment said in Labor Advisory No. 03. The DoLE also noted that the “no work, no pay” principle will apply on Friday. “If the employee did not work, the no “work, no pay” principle shall apply unless there is favorable company policy, practice or collective bargaining agreement [CBA] granting payment on a special day,” it added. For those who worked more than eight hours (overtime work), the employee shall be paid an additional 30 percent of his/her hourly rate on said day (Hourly rate of the basic daily wage x 130 percent x 130 percent x number of hours worked). If the employee went to work during the special day that also falls on his/her rest day, he/she will be getting an additional 50 percent of his/her daily rate on the first eight hours of work [(Daily rate x 150 percent) + COLA]. For work done more than eight hours (overtime work) during a special day that also falls on his/ her rest day, he/she shall be paid an additional 30 percent of his/ her hourly rate on said day (Hourly rate of the basic daily wage x 150 percent x 130 percent x number of hours worked). PNA








Muntinlupa, Caloocan win

Iloilo, Roxas dominate net meet in Capiz ILOILO and Roxas City completely dominated the recent 4th leg of the 2018 Cebuana Lhuillier Age-Group Tennis Championship Series held in Dumalag, Capiz. The Iloilo-based netters ruled 6 of the 9 singles’ competitions, while Roxas went home with the remaining 3 individual titles in the tournament that attracted close to a hundred entries. Althea Rose Martirez led the charge for Iloilo by winning both the girls’ 14-under and 16-under crowns against separate opponents. She began crushing local bet Angelique Faye Quimpo, 8-1, in the finals of the 14-under, then swept aside Iloilo’s Avril Andrea Suace, 8-3, in the finals of the 16-under tourney also backed by Dunlop Sports Philippines. Other winners for Iloilo were boys’ 18-under champion John Paul Caspe, who beat another local bet Justin Mart Alba, 8-3, in the deciding match; Jeff Jimenea, who ruled the boys’ 12-under with a solid 8-3 victory over Roxas City’s Derrick Jann Guillano; girls’ 12-under champion Naomi Angelie Bolanos, who brushed aside Arianne Frances Lozada, 8-2; and Dave Octaviano, who swept Lourinne Jallorina, 4-1, 4-0, in the championship match of the 10-under unisex category “The result in this leg is an indication that Iloilo is emerging as a tennis center in the Visayas, together with Roxas City. It is also good that we are seeing new names, who emerged as winners,” said Jean Henri Lhuillier, President/CEO of Cebuana Lhuillier Group, which is sponsoring the nation-wide 12-year-old grassroots tennis developmental program. Roxas City lorded it over in the boys’ 14- and 16-under, where Drixcynn Jann Guillano matched Martirez’ s feat as he ruled both categories, disposing of Iloilo’s Nichel Nowlakha, 8-5, in the 14-under finals, but struggled against the same opponent in the 16-under championship match before pulling it off with an 8-7 win.

11th Prima Pasta Badminton set SIX days of badminton extravaganza are expected to draw thousands of participants this month when the 11th Prima Pasta Badminton Championships happens on Feb. 16, 17, 18, 23, 24 and 25 at the Powersmash Badminton Court in Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City. On its 11th year of providing annual quality badminton competitions, the tournament presented by Smart is inviting all levels of players to join the competition sanctioned by the Philippine Badminton Association and affiliated with the Philippine National Ranking System. “Last year was a decade of great badminton competition, where we witnessed the country’s best badminton players compete. And for this year, we are expecting the defending champions to defend their crown in their respective events,” said Prima Pasta organizing chairman Alex Lim. Women’s singles open defending champion Sarah Joy Barredo is expected to return to defend her title. The tournament, sponsored by Babolat and SMART Communications through the MVP Sports Foundation, will include the following events: Men’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles from Open class, to Levels A to G, while Open Class and Levels B to F will be available in the Women’s Doubles. The Open singles will be available only in the men’s and women’s category.

Jordan Clarkson #8 and LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrate during the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. AFP

James scores 37 as Cavs whip Thunder, 120-112 CYAN MAGENTA YELLOW BLACK


OS ANGELES— LeBron James scored 17 of his 37 points in the third quarter as the new-look Cleveland Cavaliers outgunned the Oklahoma City Thunder 120-112 on Tuesday night.

Cleveland held strong in the third quarter then took command in the fourth to post their second consecutive win since trading for George Hill, Rodney Hood, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance. “We came in with a great game plan and we executed,” said James. They are 4-0 in their last four contests and Tuesday’s performance was a huge improvement from their last game against the Thunder. J.R. Smith added 18 points and drained six three pointers for the Cavaliers, who lost to the Thunder 148-124 on Jan. 20 with a very different roster. Cleveland have also scored at least 120 points in four consecutive games for the

first time in franchise history. James said the new players are starting to fit in and he hopes the team doesn’t lose its momentum because of the all-star break. “We continue to help each other out even when it doesn’t look like it is going great for us. We figure it out on the fly. The worst thing right now is us going into this break,” he said of the mid-season break, which begins on Friday. The game marked the return of Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony to the Thunder lineup. They both missed the last two games with ankle injuries. Paul George scored 25 points and Anthony had 24 in the loss. Steven Adams added 22 points and 17 rebounds and Westbrook finished with 21 points. James scored 14 points in the first five minutes of the third quarter, including two three-pointers, to give Cleveland a 78-68 lead. The Thunder responded with an 8-0 run to get back into the game but the Cavaliers led 91-87 heading into the final quarter. The Cavaliers also led 62-57 at halftime as James had 16 points, four rebounds and

Smart, Cignal vow to make impact SISTER teams Smart Prepaid and Cignal vow to make strong impacts when they march to the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga Grand Prix firing off Saturday at the Ynares Sports Center. Smart is tipped to go all out to come up with an impressive finish in this tourney bankrolled by Asics, Mikasa, Senoh, Grand Sport and UCPB Gen, with ESPN5 as official broadcast partner despite being formed near the league’s opening date. Seasoned mentor Ronald Dulay will be at the helm together with a pair of former members of the Cuban national team in Gyselle De La Caridad Silva and Lisbet Arredondo Reyes. Silva was part of the Cuban squad that campaigned in the FIVB Women’s World Championship in Japan in 2010 and in the Pan American Games in Mexico in 2011. She also has significant experience in elite

club leagues in Turkey, Azerbaijan and China. On the same note, Reyes also saw action for Cuba in the World Championship before playing in club teams in Indonesia and Spain. “We may not be as star-studded as the other teams, but I can assure that we will play hard from start to finish,” said Dulay, adding that veteran liberos Sha Torres and Tin Agno will fill the backline while Jeanie Delos Reyes, Genie Sabas, Florence Madulid, Hezzy Acuna and Janet Serafica round up the roster. Also tipped to pull off some surprises in this battle that will formally kick off on Feb. 24 at the Sta. Rosa City Sports Complex are the HD Spikers. Despite losing some key players like Honey Royse Tubino, Maica Morada, Paneng Mercado, Chie Saet and the injured Jovelyn Gonzaga and Janine Marciano, Cignal still remains a solid force in the league.

petition for the withdrawal of its license to operate to the Securities and Exchange Commission after March 31, 2018. (MS-FEB. 8,15 & 22, 2018)

Republic of the Philippines Province of Ilocos Sur Local Government Unit Santiago Ilocos Sur Invitation to Bid



6/49 00-00-00-00-00-00 P0.0 M+ 6/42 00-00-00-00-00-00 P0.0 M+ 6 DIGITS 00-00-00-00-00-00 3 DIGITS 00-00-00 2 EZ2 00-00 Notice to the Public SeedWorks International Pvt. Ltd. Philippine Representative Office with address at 1775 Gov. San Luis Rd., Puypuy, Bay, Laguna will file its petition for the withdrawal of its license to operate to the Securities and Exchange Commission after March 31, 2018. (MS-FEB. 8,15 & 22, 2018)

Republic of the Philippines Province of Ilocos Sur Local Government Unit

Champ’s League on ABS-CBN S+A

VALENTINE’S week is going to be hotter for football lovers as ABS-CBN S+A airs five assists in the first half. LIVE the UEFA Champions League Round Elsewhere, DeMar DeRozan poured in of 16 match between French powerhouse Para team-high 27 points, while Kyle Lowry is Saint-Germain and defending UCL chamadded 22 as the Toronto Raptors survived pions Real Madrid on Thursday at 3:40 a.m., a late rally from the Miami Heat to win featuring the showdown between superstars their sixth straight game. Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo. The Raptors improved to 40-16 on the It will be full of fireworks as Ronaldo, season and increased their lead over the Karim Benzema, and Gareth Bale, in their Boston Celtics to one game for the top spot quest for a record 13th UCL title, look to stop the French side and display their might in the Eastern Conference. in the league again. Standing in the way of Home cooking the Los Blancos are Edinson Cavani, KylIt was another case of solid home ian Mbappe, and former Barcelona star cooking for the Raptors who have only Neymar, who is rumored to be transferring lost four games at home all season. They to Real Madrid in the future. The first leg also equalled a season high with their of their match up will be held in Spain at sixth straight win at home. Santiago Bernabeu this Thursday, followed Goran Dragic led the Heat with 28 points, by the second leg on March 7. including 16 points in the third quarter. Meanwhile, on Saturday, Barcelona Dwyane Wade picked up a doublelooks to tighten its grip on the top spot of double with 10 points and 11 assists off the La Liga table when it takes on Eibar the bench. It was his third game since LIVE on S+A at 11 pm. returning to the club in a trade with the With Argentinian superstar Leo Messi and Cavaliers on Thursday. Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez up front, it In Minneapolis, James Harden had 34 will be a major surprise for the Azulgrana to points, 12 assists and six rebounds, and drop the match to andthe givePublic a sliver of hope to the Notice the Houston Rockets beat the MinnesotaSeedWorks likes ofInternational Valencia, Sevilla, Madrid, Pvt. and Ltd.Real Philippine who are jockeying positionat and a shot Timberwolves 126-108 for their ninthRepresentative Office withfor address 1775 San Luis Rd.,the Puypuy, Laguna willside. file its closing gap withBay, the Catalunian straight victory. AFP

Thai leads Ardina, Korean by a stroke THAI Pavarisa Yoktuan emerged from the shadows of her more illustrious compatriots to seize early control in the ICTSI Splendido Ladies Classic, shooting a three-under 69 and wresting a one-stroke lead over Dottie Ardina and Korean amateur Kim Hee Ji at the Splendido Taal Golf Club yesterday. Yoktuan rode on a three-birdie binge from No. 9 and gunned down two more on Nos. 6 and 15 to negate her bogey mishaps on Nos. 8 and 13 and put her title bid in motion after an LPGT (Ladies Philippine Golf Tour)-best third place finish in last week’s ICTSI Eagle Ridge Ladies Invitational won by Chihiro Ikeda in a playoff. Ardina actually looked headed for an explosive start and the early lead but the many-time LPGT winner blew a fourunder card with bogeys on Nos. 16 and 18, dropping her instead to joint second at 70 with Kim, who also squandered an impressive 34 start with a shaky finish marred by a bogey on the last hole. Another Thai bet, Thanuttra Boonraksasat bounced back from an opening hole bogey with three birdies in a fourhole stretch from No. 10 but dropped a stroke on No. 14 and settled for a 71 for solo fourth in the fourth leg of this year’s circuit sponsored by ICTSI and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments,Inc., which drew 39 players. Kanyalak Preedasuttijit and Chatprapa Siriprakob, also of Thailand, carded identical 73s while reigning LPGT Order of Merit winner Pauline del Rosario groped for form coming off a successful stint in the chilly China LPGA Tour Qualifying last week.

BALANGA, Bataan—Muntinlupa and Caloocan scored similar hard-fought wins in the MPBL-Anta Rajah Cup late Tuesday at the People’s Center Capitol Gymnasium here. The Cagers, backed by Angelis Resort, outlasted preseason champions Bulacan Kuyas-Ligo Sardines, 75-71, and gave head coach Aldrin Morante a fitting birthday gift. It was the third straight road victory for the Cagers after dropping their opening game at home. Not to be outdone were the Longrichbacked Caloocan Supremos, who pulled off a 76-69 win over the Bataan Defenders in the tournament organized by Sen. Manny Pacquiao with former PBA MVP Kenneth Duremdes as commissioner. Caloocan pulled it through despite missing coach John Kallos, who was suspended for a game after his outburst in his team’s previous game against the Muntinlupa Cagers-Angelis Resort. Mar Villahermosa, a veteran PBA D-League campaigner, delivered a backbreaking triple in the closing minutes of the game and the rest of the Supremos were able to hang on to pick up their first victory after losing their first three games. The packed venue went wild after local hero Gary David completed a threepoint play off Allan Enriquez that gave them a 68-67 lead.

The Municipality of Santiago, Ilocos Sur through the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC), invites contractors registered with and classified by the Philippine contractors Accreditation Boards (PCAB) to apply for eligibility and if found eligible to bid for the hereunder contract: 1. Name of Project : Construction of Santiago Farmers Hall Location : Santiago, Ilocos Sur Brief Description : Construction Appoved Budget for the Contract (ABC) : 30,000,000.00 Source of Fund : RA 7171 Contract Duration : 120 CD Cost of Bid Documents : 25,000.00 2. Name of Project : Concreting of Farm to Market Road @ Caburao - Dan-ar - Butol Location : Santiago, Ilocos Sur Brief Description : Rapair/Rehabilitation Appoved Budget for the Contract (ABC) : 20,000,000.00 Source of Fund : RA 7171 Contract Duration : 100 CD Cost of Bid Documents : 25,000.00 The BAC will conduct the procurement process in accordance with the Revised IRR of RA 9184. Bids received in excess of the BAC shall be automatically rejected at the opening of bid. To bid for this contract, a contractor must submit a Letter of Intent (LOI), purchase bid documents and must meet the following major criteria a) prior registration with Local Government Unit-Santiago, Ilocos Sur (b) Filipino Citizen of 75% Filipinoowned partnership, corporation, cooperative, or joint venture, (c) with PCAB License applicable to the type and cost of this contract, (d) completion of a similar contract costing at least 50% of ABC within a period of 10 years, and (e) Net Financial Contracting capacity at least equal to ABC, or a credit line Commitment at least equal to 10% of ABC. The BAC will use non-discretionary pass/fail criteria in the eligibility check and preliminary examinations of bids. Unregistered contractors, however, shall submit their applications to the Local Government Unit-Santiago, Ilocos, Sur before the deadline for the receipt of LOI. The Local Government Unit-Santiago, Ilocos, Sur will only process contractors’ applications for registration, with complete requirements and issue the Contractor’s Certificate of Registration (CRC). The schedule of BAC activities is as follows: BAC Activities Schedule 1. Advertisement/Posting of Invitation to bid/Request for 15-Feb-18 Expression of Interest 2. Issuance of Bid Documents Feb. 15 to March 7, 2018 3. Pre-Bid Conference Feb.23, 2018@ 10:00 AM 4. Receipt of Bids/Opening of Bids

March 7, 2018 @ 10:00 AM

BAC will issue hard copies of Bidding Documents at Local Government UnitSantiago, Ilocos, Sur, upon payment of a non-refundable fee as stated. The PreBid Conference shall be open only to interested parties who have purchased the Bidding Documents. Bids must accompanied by a bid security, in the amount and acceptable form, as stated in Section 27.2 of the Revised IRR. Mailed intends shall not be entertained Prospective bidders shall submit their duly accomplished forms as specified in the Bidding Documents (BD’s) in two (2) separate sealed bid envelopes to the BAC Chairman. The first envelope shall contain the technical component of the bid, which shall include a copy of the CRC. The second envelope shall contain the financial component of the bid. Contract will be awarded to the Lowest Calculated Responsive Bid as determined in the bid evaluation and the post-qualification. The Local Government Unit-Santiago, Ilocos, Surreserves the right to accept or reject any or all bid and to annul the bidding process anytime before Contract Award, without incurring any liability to the affected bidder/s. Approved by: (Sgd). NESTOR C. PERALTA JR. BAC Chairman (MS-FEB. 15, 2018)


Riera U. Mallari, Editor Reuel Vidal, Assistant Editor




Guido Van der Valk, many times a contender but never a winner in his long stint on the local circuit, flashed solid driving and iron shots and superb putting

Tiger Cubs book last seat in semis Game Saturday (Blue Eagle gym) 10 a.m. UST vs FEU (stepladder semis)

By Peter Atencio THE University of Santo Tomas Tiger Cubs got big baskets from CJ Cansino and a crucial defensive stop from Rayjhun Baquial as they beat the Adamson Baby Falcons, 73-72, in overtime yesterday at the Blue Eagle gym in Quezon City. Their heroics during their fourth seed playoff encounter handed the Tigers the fourth seeding in the stepladder semifinals of the 80th University Athletic Association of the Philippines junior basketball tournament. The 18-year-old Cansino proved why he deserves to be an MVP awardee after he shot 8 of his 24-point output in the extra five minutes. His driving shot past Adam Doria in the last 1:13 allowed the Tiger Cubs to take a five-point cushion in the remaining time, 73-68. Adamson refused to give up and remained close off baskets from Joem Sabandal’s putback and Didat Hanapi’s inside attack, 72-73. Baquial, who had seven points, then missed two charity attempts in the last 8.6 seconds for the Tiger Cubs, and they could have stayed out of trouble afterwards. The Baby Falcons tried to score a final basket off Andrey Doria, who could not find an opening at the right corner. Hanapi then made a penetration with Baquial blocking his view. But his basket was not counted when it found its mark after time ran out on him. “Kumbaga sa karayom, dumaan ang paa nila sa butas ng karayom. They made it past the first step. The boys deserve this win,” said UST coach Christopher Cantonjos. The Tiger Cubs, who drew 15 points from Kobe Palencia, will next meet the defending champion Far Eastern University Baby Tamaraws at the start of the stepladder semis on Saturday. John Lina shot 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Tiger Cubs, who are back in the Final Four after five seasons.

Meralco nips Phoenix to keep hopes alive By Jeric Lopez


FTER squandering its huge double-digit lead early, Meralco woke up in the nick of time to finish strong in the clutch, edging Phoenix, 92-90, to keep its hopes alive for the next round in the homestretch of the 2018 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup elimination round last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Cliff Hodge and Garvo Lanete teamed up to lead Meralco’s charge. Lanete scored a game-high 24 points, including four triples, while Hodge had 17 markers. A key 9-1 run down the stretch following an 81-all deadlock allowed Meralco to seize control and have a 90-84 lead with less than three minutes left after two free throws from Anjo Caram. While the Bolts remained in the driver’s seat in the closing moments, the Fuel Masters were right in their tailend to give themselves a chance in the final minutes as Meralco’s lead

was trimmed to only two, 92-90, with 21 seconds remaining after a split from the line from Jaypee Mendoza. After forcing a turnover, Phoenix had a final chance to send the game to overtime or steal a win, but Jeff Chan’s potential game-winning triple at the top of the key was off as time expired, enabling Meralco to heave a sigh of relief. Meralco snapped its three-game losing streak and improved to 3-6, still in 11th place. More importantly, it remained in the hunt for a berth in the quarterfinals despite its current stand. Phoenix dropped to 4-5 as it is still

yet to find the consistency that it is looking for. Playing with a lot of desperation, the Bolts came out of the gates like a house on fire. They blasted the Fuel Masters with a torrid opening quarter attack to seize a huge 16-point cushion, 29-13, right away after the first 10 minutes of the contest. Hodge and Lanete combined for 30 points in the first half to lead Meralco as Phoenix had no success in containing their duo. At the half, Meralco was still ahead comfortably, 54-40. However, Phoenix roared back strong in the third, inching to within just a single point, 60-61, halfway the quarter after a 20-7 run to start the second half. It completed its comeback by eventually taking the lead, 75-70, into the fourth period. But the Bolts answered with a swift 5-0 run to start the fourth and tie the game at 75-all heading into the last 10 minutes before proving steadier when it mattered.

Filipina netters 5th in Fed Cup


THE Philippines finished fifth place after it swamped Oman, 3-0, in the fifth to eighth playoff semifinal of the Fed Cup Asia/Oceania Zone Group 2 competition at the Bahrain Tennis Federation hard courts last Friday. Marian Jade Capadocia led the way after she clobbered Aisha Suleimani, 6-1, 6-0, in the first singles. Then, Khim Iglupas prevailed over Maryam Al Balushi, 6-2, 6-1, in the second singles to hand the Filipinas a 2-0 lead. Anna Clarice Patrimonio and FilipinoGerman Katharina Lehnert clinched the tie for the Philippines when they stopped Suleimani and Balushi, 6-1, 6-0, in the doubles. The Philippines had a chance to return

to Group 1. But they missed the opportunity after finishing only second to Singapore at the end of the Pool B round-robin first round. The Philippines was then relegated to Group 2 after losing all four of its ties in the Group 1 competition held in Astana, Kazakhstan last year. They now have a 2-0 record in their head-to-head record with Oman. The last time they met, the Philippines won, 2-1, in their first-round meeting in Shenzhen, China six years ago. Team Philippines banked on the experience of Patrimonio, Lehnert and Iglupas, who last played together in the 2017 SEA Games held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Peter Atencio

Topless Tongan: Don’t crash into a tree PYEONGCHANG, South Korea—Topless Tongan flag-bearer Pita Taufatofua makes his Winter Olympic debut on Friday in cross-country skiing, and it’s fair to say that he’s aiming low. “First step, finish before they turn the lights off, that’s number one. Don’t ski into a tree, that’s number two.” The 34-year-old became a social media sensation when he appeared at the Rio 2016 Olympics opening ceremony with his shirt off, his torso glistening in oil and wearing just a traditional ta’ovala mat round his waist. He then repeated the trick at last Friday’s opening ceremony in Pyeongchang —even as temperatures dipped well below zero—brandishing the Tongan flag like a spear and becoming an online hit all over again. After Rio, where he lost in the first

round, Taufatofua turned to crosscountry skiing, even though he has only spent 12 weeks on the snow grappling with the hugely demanding discipline. Brisbane-born but fiercely proud of his Tongan heritage, Taufatofua said Wednesday that he was not joking in hoping he can at least finish the Olympic event without suffering a major mishap—such as losing a ski. “It sounds a bit like a joke, but I’ll tell you, when your spirit says you always finish a race and you lose a ski in the first lap of six, you question your spirit sometimes.” Speaking at a packed press conference in Pyeongchang, Taufatofua, a social worker who helps children when not trying out new Olympic sports, added: “I hope I give my best performance and I improve on the me of yesterday. AFP

Tonga’s flagbearer Pita Taufatofua leads his country’s delegation during the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Pyeongchang Stadium. AFP

Dutchman upstages local aces with 4-under STA. ROSA, Laguna—Dutch Guido Van der Valk bucked the wind, a strong field and a twostroke penalty for hitting a wrong ball as he put in an impressive four-under 68 to grab a two-shot lead over Keanu Jahns at the start of The Country Club Invitational at the windy TCC course here yesterday. Van der Valk, many times a contender but never a winner in his long stint on the local circuit, flashed solid driving and iron shots and superb putting, birdying all but one of the four par-5s and added three more, including the difficult par-4 18th that highlighted his 34-34 card in blustery condition. He completely outplayed the long-hitting Orlan Sumcad in their duel and outshone the rest of the 14 other pairs that included the cream of the local pro crop and three other foreign aces vying in the P5 million event kicking off this year’s Philippine Golf Tour, the Ladies PGT and PGT Asia. “I played really good, almost,” said Van der Valk, ruing his double-bogey from a two-stroke penalty after accidentally hitting Sumcad’s ball from almost the same spot as his for his approach shot on the par-4 No. 15. He made a re-hit and two-putted for 6. But he made up for the miscue with that big birdie finish for a two-shot cushion that, however, could vanish in an instant given the condition at the Tom Weiskoph-designed layout with three rounds left in the P5 million event put up by ICTSI president and chairman Ricky Razon in 2003 to honor the memory of his father and ICTSI founder Don Pocholo. “The last birdie was just a perfect way to end the day. In fact, any birdie is important, especially on a very demanding course as TCC,” said Van der Valk, who placed second to Elmer Salvador in the Philippine Open at Mt. Malarayat in 2009 and last won in 2011 on the Asian Development Tour. Jahns, a Fil-German and one of the country’s rising young stars, rode on a three-birdie feat in a five-hole stretch from No. 8 then likewise birdied the 18th to more than make up for his bogeys on Nos. 13 and 16 and put himself in early contention in the blueribbon event organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments Inc.

Barnachea eyes historic 3rd Ronda title SANTY Barnachea will try to defy father time as he guns for a historic third title when he spearheads newcomer Team Franzia in the Ronda Pilipinas 2018 presented by LBC slated March 3 to 18, starting from Vigan City and ending at Filinvest, Alabang. The 41-year-old Barnachea needed to qualify in the first of two Ronda qualifying races in Tarlac City last year to complete his return after a two-year absence and didn’t hide his plan of winning a third crown after topping the inaugural race in 2011 and repeating as champion in 2015. “I want to show them that I’m not yet done and I will prove that, just like our sponsor Franzia wine, we get better in time,” said Barnachea in Filipino. Barnachea will be backstopped by Leonel Dimaano, Jonggo Tabayoyong, Beejay Nojara, Kim Kenneth Krog, Dennis Gabaldon, Alshyrnel Amiladjid and Mervin Corpuz at Team Franzia, which will make its debut in the eighth edition of the country’s biggest cycling race. “I have a young and very energetic team and we are optimistic of our chances,” said Barnachea. Barnachea, however, knows he is up against a tough field that includes twotime champion Jan Paul Morales of Navy-Standard Insurance, George Oconer of Go for Gold, CCN Superteam’s Irish Valenzuela, Army-Bicycology Shop’s Cris Joven and Team Bike Xtreme’s Jaybop Pagananawon. “I’m expecting this race as the toughest for me because I will face younger, stronger opponents. But I hope to make up for it by relying on my experience,” he said. Barnachea is currently tied with Morales as the most titled in Ronda history with two apiece Valenzuela (2012), Mark Galedo (2013) and Reimon Lapaza (2014) as the other winners in this race presented by LBC and supported by MVP Sports Foundation, CCN, Petron,, 3Q Sports Event Management, Inc., Boy Kanin, Franzia, Standard Insurance, Bike Xtreme, SH+, Guerciotti, Prolite, Green Planet, Maynilad, NLEX Cycling, Lightwater, LBC Foundation and PhilCycling. A cool P1 million will be at stake in this 12-stage race that will be jumpstarted by the 40-kilometer Vigan criterium Stage One on March 3 and the 155.4km ViganPagudpud Stage Two the next day.

IN BRIEF BSP closes down Surigao rural bank THE Monetary Board, the policy-making body of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, closed the financially-ailing Rural Bank of Loreto (Surigao del Norte) Inc., the first lender shut down this year. The board directed state-run Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. as receiver to proceed with the takeover and liquidation of the bank. PDIC took over the bank on Feb.14, 2018. Rural Bank of Loreto is a four-unit rural bank with head office in Purok 1, Barangay San Juan, San Jose, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte. Its three other banking offices are located in Cagdianao, Libjo (Albor), and Loreto, all in Dinagat Islands. Latest available records show Rural Bank of Loreto had 2,264 deposit accounts with total deposit liabilities of P5.95 million that as of Dec. 31, 201. Julito G. Rada


PH eyeing rice farming in Papua THE Philippine government is working out a bilateral agreement that will allow Filipino companies to plant rice to about a hundred hectares of land in Papua New Guinea to support the Agriculture Department’s rice sufficiency program. Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol said the agreement was being completed after meeting twice with his counterpart, who was in the Philippines Wednesday for an official state visit. “Our target for the next five years is for Filipino farmers to plant to over 1 million hectares in PNG for paddy fields that will be developed by Filipino companies,” he said at the sidelines of a rice situationer briefing in Quezon City. The deal is a government-to-government arrangement where the Agriculture Department will help with the diplomatic and documentary processing of any Filipino company interested to cultivate paddy rice in PNG. Othel V. Campos

Globe introduces new technology GLOBE Telecom Inc. has launched a gamechanging technology that will help enterprises in the Philippines to expand and expand their business. The new technology called Software-Defined Wide Area Network is being pioneered in the Philippines by Globe Business, the information and communications technology arm of Globe. It is designed to allow local enterprises drive rapid growth and achieve international competitiveness as well as bring Globe closer to realizing first world connectivity in the country. “We continue to modernize and expand our corporate data network, ensuring that it is future-ready to offer businesses the services and solutions they need even in remote areas in the country,” Globe chief technology and information officer Gil Genio, said. Darwin G. Amojelar

PHILIPPINE Airlines asked the approval of Civil Aeronautics Board for to collect fuel surcharge on all destinations to offset the costlier jet fuel prices. “We have filed a petition for a fuel surcharge, but it’s being acted by CAB. There will be some hearings. I hope that they can act on it as soon as possible,” PAL president and chief operating officer Jaime Bautista said. He said PAL filed the petition to impose fuel surcharge as early as December 2017.



By Julito G. Rada

PAL’S 4-STAR CERTIFICATION. Philippine Airlines presents to media the 4-Star Certification plaque awarded by Skytrax on Feb. 8 in Singapore and the detailed plans for 2018 to sustain the 4-Star rating. Shown are PAL chairman and chief executive Dr. Lucio Tan (second from left) and PAL president and chief operating officer Jaime Bautista (third from right) holding the plaque, flanked by (from left) PAL Express president Bonifacio Sam, PAL executive vice president Stewart Lim and PAL chief customer experience officer Jessica Abaya.

Govt challenges arbitral decision on Maynilad rate By Jenniffer B. Austria


he Philippine government asked the High Court of Singapore to dismiss the 2017 arbitral award allowing Maynilad Water Services Inc. to collect higher tariff. Metro Pacific Investments Corp., an investor in Maynilad, said in a disclosure to the stock exchange unit Maynilad received an email from the Singapore counsel of the Philippine government about an application the government filed with the High Court of Singapore to set aside the first partial award dated July 24, 2017. The three-member arbitral tribunal of the International Chamber of Commerce ruled in favor of Maynilad in July last year. The tribunal

PAL seeks nod to collect fuel surcharge on all destinations By Darwin G. Amojelar

Peso sinks to 52.12 vs US dollar

BSP hikes weekly auction to P110b BANGKO Sentral ng Pilipinas raised to P110 billion from P80 billion the total volume of term deposits in the next auction on Feb. 21 due to strong demand for both short- and longterm instruments. Data showed the seven-day deposits worth P40 billion would be increased to P50 billion, while 14-day deposits would be raised to P40 billion from P20 billion. The 28-day instruments amounting to P20 billion will remain. The P80-billion term deposits offered by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas on Wednesday remained highly oversubscribed. Data showed the seven-day deposits worth P40 billion lured total bids of P65.36 billion, while the 14-day P20-billion instruments attracted P45.46 billion. The P20 billion worth of month-long deposits, meanwhile, attracted total bids of P39.9 billion. Julito G. Rada

Ray S. Eñano, Editor Roderick T. dela Cruz, Assistant Editor

A fuel surcharge is a temporary relief granted to airlines to help them recover losses incurred from higher jet fuel prices. Fuel accounts for about 50 percent of an airline’s operating cost per passenger, and is the second-highest expense next to labor. Bautista said Hong Kong and the US allowed airlines to impose fuel surcharge. The CAB suspended the imposition of fuel surcharge in all domestic and international flights in 2015 because of lower jet fuel prices. “We hope CAB considers our petition favorably,” Bautista said.

ordered the government through the Department of Finance to reimburse Maynilad the amount of P3.42 billion for losses from March 11, 2015 to Aug. 31, 2016 because of the delayed implementation of its rebased water rates. The arbitral court also ruled that Maynilad was entitled to recover from the government its losses from Sept. 1, 2016 onwards. Metro Pacific said the Philippine government’s decision to challenge

the 2017 arbitral ruling was baseless. “While it has yet to be served copies of the summons and the ‘setting aside’ application, Maynilad is confident that there are no valid and meritorious grounds to challenge or set aside the arbitral award, and that the Republic’s latest efforts to frustrate and stonewall the enforcement of the arbitral award will fail,” Metro Pacific said. “Maynilad has already engaged Singapore counsel to ensure that the Republic’s baseless application is disposed of expeditiously,” it said. Maynilad earlier said it would coordinate and cooperate with the government in finding the most efficient way to implement the judgment. Maynilad is the water concessionaire for the west zone of Metro Manila.

THE peso fell to a new 11-year low against the US dollar Wednesday amid high corporate demand for the greenback and concerns over the widening trade deficit and the ban on workers deployment to Kuwait. The peso lost P0.14 Wednesday to close at 52.12 a dollar, its weakest level in more than 11 years since it settled at 52.165 a dollar on July 21, 2006. Volume turnover reached $939.9 million, lower than $1.023 billion on Tuesday. Emilio Neri Jr., the lead economist of Bank of the Philippine Islands, said earlier the dollar “remained well-bid with corporates securing the greenback.” “I also think that there are lingering concerns on Middle East remittances falling after the Kuwait decision and trade gap widening further in 2018,” Neri said. The Philippine Statistics Authority said last week the country’s balance of trade in goods deficit widened 63 percent to a record $4.02 billion in December 2017 from $2.47 billion a year ago on surging imports and lower exports. Data showed that total exports in December dropped 4.9 percent to $4.72 billion from $4.97 billion in December 2016, its first decline since November 2016. Imports increased 17.6 percent to $8.74 billion from $7.43 billion a year earlier. The country’s balance of trade in goods deficit also widened to $29.786 billion in the whole of 2017 from $26.702-billion deficit in 2016. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. downplayed the weakness of the peso, saying the “economy is actually in very good shape.” “Just too much fretting about isolated issues. We should not lose the big picture,” Espenilla said in a statement. Espenilla said earlier the local currency would remain resilient, supported by the country’s solid macroeconomic fundamentals. He said the peso was not expected to melt down because the underlying economic fundamentals of the economy were healthy. The peso hit an all-time low of 56.45 a dollar in August 2004.

Ayala Land’s 2017 profit jumped 21% to P25.3b PROPERTY developer Ayala Land Inc. said Wednesday net income jumped 21 percent in 2017 to P25.3 billion from a year ago, on aggressive rollout of development and leasing projects. Ayala Land said revenues grew 14 percent last year to P142.3 billion, as property sales rose 13 percent to P122 billion while leasing revenues increased 10 percent to P31 billion. “We are pleased with our 2017 business results. All major product lines posted strong growth, with property sales coming in at the higher end of our estimates and leasing income increasing in line with our planned asset build up. Further, we continue to expand our estates and land bank around the country -

putting us in a good position to continue to benefit from the strong performance of our economy,” said Ayala Land president and chief executive Bernard Vincent Dy. Ayala Land launched P88.8 billion worth of residential and office projects in 2017. The property giant said 2017 was a landmark year for the company as it completed the most number of projects which helped expand its leasing capability. The company opened five malls last year with a combined gross leasable area of 189,000 square meters, bringing the company’s shopping center GLA to 1.8 million sqm.

Revenues from the malls reached P17.7 billion, or 10 percent higher than in 2016. The group completed six office buildings with GLA of 185,000 sqm, boosting the company’s office leasing space to 1.02 million sqm in 2017. Revenues from office leasing amounted to P6.7 billion in 2017, or 12 percent higher than in 2016. Ayala Land also opened six new hotels and resorts facilities, including Seda Vertis North with 438 rooms, the largest hotel under its own Filipino-branded hotel chain. Revenues from its tourism-focused business reached P6.6 billion, up 12 percent from 2016. Jenniffer B. Austria

SM Prime opening new mall in Cavite SM Prime Holdings Inc. said it will open to the public SM Center Imus in Cavite province on Friday, its first shopping mall launching in 2018. SM Prime said SM Center Imus, its fifth SM mall in the bustling province, has 13,000 square meters in gross floor area. “The opening of SM Center Imus marks another milestone for SM Prime. This mall is located right at the heart of Imus City to provide more convenience to the residents as well as guests of this historic city,” SM Prime president Jeffrey Lim said. The new mall-destination will have anchor tenants such as SM Supermarket, SM Appliance Center, ACE Hardware, Miniso, Watsons and BDO. SM Center Imus will open with 90 percent of space lease awarded. It will have unique features such as the Indoor Town Plaza, a venue for concert and sporting events; 24/7 tenants such as full-service clinic, pharmacy and well-

ness spa that are open to serve mallgoers any time of the day, seven days a week; and the Small-Medium Enterprises Popular Local Concept, where top favorite local brands will be made available for everyone’s enjoyment and satisfaction. The new mall located along NIA Road, Barangay Bukandala in Imus is expected to boost the presence of SM brand in Cavite along with the five SM malls in Cavite province including SM City Bacoor, SM City Dasmariñas, SM City Molino, SM City Rosario and SM City Trece Martires. SM Prime is set to open at least eight new malls this year to achieve its target of 75 malls by 2018. Aside from SM Center Imus, SM Prime is expected to open SM City Legaspi, SM City Urdaneta, SM City Telabastagan, SM City Ormoc, SM Center Dagupan, SM Moonwalk Paranaque and SM Center Cabuyao. Jenniffer B. Austria

SM Prime Holdings Inc., one of the leading integrated property companies in Southeast Asia, continues to reach further cities of the bustling province of Cavite with the opening of its new mall, SM Center Imus on Feb. 16. Set to provide 13,000 square meters in gross floor area, the new mall-destination opens with the company’s well-loved brands including SM Supermarket, SM Appliance Center, ACE Hardware, Miniso, Watsons and BDO.




Stocks rise; Bloomberry, Now surge


HE stock market rose slightly Wednesday, but most other Asian markets were mixed as nervous investors await the release of key US inflation data fearing fresh volatility.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index added 27.97 points, or 0.3 percent, to 8,598.11 on a value turnover of P8.9 billion. Losers, however, beat gainers, 124 to 85, with 50 issues unchanged. Now Corp., which is bidding to become the third major telecommunications company, jumped 49.1 percent to P15.30, while major property developer Ayala Land Inc. climbed 3.2 percent to P45.10. Casino operator Bloomberry Resorts Corp. gained 3.8 percent to P13.80, while rival Melco Resorts and Entertainment (Philippines Corp.) advanced 4.5 percent to P8.83. Tokyo, meanwhile, fell to an-

other four-month trough as the yen strengthened against the dollar, at one point hitting a 15-month high, while investors were unimpressed by data showing Japan’s economy grew at a weaker-than-expected rate in the last quarter of 2017. While Hong Kong and Seoul clocked up healthy rises following a positive lead from Wall Street, uncertainty continues across trading floors after last week’s torment. The Nikkei closed 0.4 percent down as exporters were hit by the yen, which briefly hit 106.85 to the dollar, a level last seen since Donald Trump’s election win in November 2016.

“Given the recent stock market slump, risk aversion has grown, which prompted safe-haven buying of the yen,” Shinichiro Kadota, senior fx strategist at Barclays Securities, told AFP. “The dollar’s fall through the 108yen mark and then 107-yen mark invited even more yen buying,” he said, adding that investors were likely to “stick to yen buying unless their confidence recovers”. Hong Kong was up two percent, building on the 1.3 percent rise Tuesday, though it had lost more than nine percent over the previous week. Seoul gained more than one percent. Shanghai pared early losses to close 0.4 percent up, Singapore was flat, Sydney eased 0.3 percent, Wellington dropped 0.8 percent and Jakarta edged up 0.1 percent

But the focus is on the release of US inflation, which could inflame or defuse anxiety about the Federal Reserve’s timetable for lifting interest rates. Rising US Treasury yields, consumer prices and wages, combined with a strong run-up in equities in recent months, have combined to spark this month’s retreat—wiping trillions off global equities as the era of cheap borrowing comes to an end. “It certainly feels like the proverbial calm before the storm and rightly so as there plenty of reasons to be cautious,” said Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trading at OANDA. However, he pointed out that US investors had pushed Wall Street higher for three straight days “despite the fresh memories of last week’s market carnage in the wake of an inflationary uptick in wage growth.” AFP




FINANCIALS 3.9 525,000 59.7 7,610 119 2,027,740 3.67 16,000 153 763,090 1.88 283,000 36.25 242,000 15.5 130,800 27.95 681,500 8.55 7,000 0.68 1,000 1.64 31,000 925 370 0.56 474,000 97 1,162,280 1.69 9,870,000 13.24 6,800 56.95 88,780 237 1,780 86.1 1,040 48.25 297,200 247.2 152,190 1,880 5 90 43,720 1.2 267,000

2,089,250 453,517.50 240,966,582 58,740 116,239,466 534,780 8,768,675 2,015,590 19,096,130 59,850 680 51,070 351,500 260,850 113,002,045 16,864,170 86,926 5,079,018 422,110 89,484 14,410,225 37,615,474 9,400 3,942,612.50 320,440

447,000 -2,334,884 -40,715,986 75,220 -654,205 170,230 49,149,205 268,850 -1,521,401.50 8,251,965 -841,950 -1,171,027 -

39.35 12.76 0.58 1.28 18.12 0.214 120 4 15.3 160.5 52.2 18.8 56.15 1.95 5.36 10.74 11.3 14.46 10.72 7.44 5.55 1.74 15.6 61.7 29 10.04 20.25 1.84 275 4.06 3.06 19.26 27.25 17.5 18.3 320 0.191 8.15 2.66 4.65 9.25 5.9 8 1.53 12.68 56.75 5.8 613.5 4.9 2.1 3.8 1.89 16.1 5.45 0.131 1.02 155.1 2.72 1.85 1.28

INDUSTRIAL 39.45 1,452,600 12.94 1,288,300 0.61 1,342,000 1.29 1,998,000 18.5 26,900 0.215 1,790,000 120 70 4.06 5,337,000 15.32 916,200 160.8 160 52.85 449,520 19.1 12,500 56.15 3,940 2 495,000 5.6 34,700 10.74 23,900 11.6 1,865,700 14.48 360,100 11.04 1,862,900 7.45 386,000 5.6 1,003,800 1.75 442,000 15.9 654,300 61.75 87,880 29 72,000 10.04 45,900 20.4 1,085,700 2.3 36,349,000 278 1,491,080 4.14 90,000 3.1 45,000 20.7 1,700 27.4 2,981,900 17.52 363,800 18.5 3,283,400 323 273,180 0.192 890,000 8.77 40,000 2.8 10,514,000 4.74 248,000 9.37 790,100 5.9 160,200 8 131,300 1.54 510,000 12.68 11,159,900 56.8 668,510 5.95 249,100 628 45,270 4.9 519,000 3 50,312,000 4.21 3,015,000 2.68 28,668,000 16.36 500,100 5.47 154,900 0.132 1,220,000 1.02 483,000 156.1 1,704,110 2.8 68,000 1.88 4,467,000 1.38 24,263,000

57,404,230 16,617,484 792,360 2,562,330 495,708 385,130 8,518 21,656,940 14,038,250 25,704 23,762,098 240,296 227,129 979,220 194,336 257,814 21,436,770 5,221,832 20,531,250 2,891,177 5,595,872 773,930 10,286,134 5,427,284.50 2,092,950 461,698 22,290,815 82,581,030 414,579,614 366,330 138,910 33,016 81,909,980 6,372,162 60,665,224 87,887,350 170,840 328,893 29,409,260 1,169,260 7,367,491 960,786 1,077,175 786,260 142,834,624 38,102,353.50 1,456,191 28,216,920 2,543,100 105,907,840 13,463,350 70,938,170 8,121,456 844,810 164,460 496,400 265,467,676 193,450 8,414,760 34,589,790

-23,289,170 2,787,126 116,000.00 2,518 987,330 1,086,278 982,118 50,000 -66,980 1,869,558 2,843,116 -13,174,428 726,048 -1,494,873 310,874 -2,180,961 40,400 -3,762,645 -5,004,530.00 -203,459,556 31,200 -1,561,865 -697,040.00 8,213,544.00 -2,422,694 107,460 1,626,740 47,000 754,933 -250,581 20,020 -63,965,676 -23,984,495 6,037,800 137,200 -51,900 39,890 -50,190 1,911,010 17,510 -111,550,804 -23,030 -521,800 214,060.00

0.305 75 15.3 1.09 6.99 0.74 0.74 1,040 7.5 14 7.59 4.56 1,311 7.27 74.6 5 5.39 0.7 5.41 22.8 6.15 0.04 1.2 3.63 142.3 2.56 993 0.76 1.63 279 0.24 0.181 0.19

0.295 72.1 14.8 1.02 6.9 0.66 0.67 1,025 7.22 13.52 7.58 4.56 1,290 7.22 73.2 5 5.38 0.68 5.27 22.25 5.55 0.038 1.17 3.25 135.5 2.56 971 0.76 1.61 277 0.236 0.18 0.19

HOLDING FIRMS 0.295 260,000 75 1,861,650 15.16 11,525,200 1.04 1,398,000 6.99 22,500 0.67 64,988,000 0.67 15,660,000 1,040 184,145 7.5 553,500 14 1,227,100 7.58 7,500 4.56 2,000 1,300 86,945 7.22 1,100 74.5 1,765,320 5 2,800 5.38 3,000 0.7 827,000 5.37 377,000 22.8 729,700 5.6 79,031,000 0.04 28,400,000 1.2 184,000 3.37 25,676,000 141.2 308,350 2.56 4,000 993 326,890 0.76 2,000 1.61 524,000 278 1,090 0.237 810,000 0.18 420,000 0.19 80,000

78,100 138,126,027 173,553,352 1,465,890 155,475 44,621,670 10,953,560 190,402,410 4,031,199 17,038,642 56,857 9,120 113,077,730 7,952 131,137,691 14,000 16,155 568,010 2,019,838 16,483,500 457,551,480 1,092,500 216,930 88,821,610 42,878,876 10,240 321,986,445 1,520 845,730 302,532 193,870 75,650 15,200

2,424,297.50 -81,821,052 650 -138,000 1,817,090 -35,530,990 829,357 6,348,978 -47,226,975 -96,081,792.50 967,952 -5,152,775 -165,715,267 53,700 -1,484,250 3,038,146 -110,577,430 22,264 -2,400 52,200 -

7.18 0.96 18.22 2.18 0.89 45.2 3.7 4.6 5.84 0.445 1.13 1.1 0.243 0.53 36.5 0.64 0.138 1.84 1.35 0.73 4.29 4.91 0.34 0.315 0.54 4.11

6.1 0.92 16.52 2.12 0.86 43.1 3.64 4.4 5.5 0.44 1.13 1.06 0.235 0.47 35.6 0.63 0.136 1.8 1.32 0.7 4.29 4.85 0.325 0.305 0.51 3.78

106,675,304 6,278,290 2,716,310 263,620 4,876,310 563,858,980 1,999,020 11,971,510 256,362 4,800,650 4,520 519,340 6,970,690 9,736,800 8,243,255 404,060 24,750 11,601,470 3,794,550 617,800 4,290 191,698,320 17,444,950 740,650 1,929,720 6,697,770

6,045 -9,400 -9,110 86,000 116,953,060 630,430 1,261,660 128,618 -1,320,950 397,330 1,450 620,965 -348,160 7,270,450 -840,840 4,936,300 29,700 -3,050 -10,400 537,160







4.09 59.55 120 3.67 150 1.91 36.25 15.6 28.3 8.55 0.68 1.65 970 0.56 98.1 1.7 12.54 58 239.6 85.4 49.5 249 1,880 91 1.22

4.15 59.7 120 3.68 153 1.91 36.4 15.6 28.3 8.55 0.68 1.66 970 0.57 98.4 1.79 13.28 58 239.6 86.1 49.5 249.2 1,880 91 1.22

3.82 59.25 117.7 3.67 148.4 1.85 35.9 15.3 27.9 8.55 0.68 1.64 925 0.54 96.9 1.65 12.54 56.95 235 85.4 48.2 244 1,880 89.9 1.2


39.75 13 0.61 1.28 18.5 0.216 125.9 4 15.3 160.5 53.3 18.8 59 2.03 5.6 11.18 11.5 14.6 10.72 7.76 5.55 1.88 15.92 61.7 29.3 10.08 20.25 1.92 281.6 4.08 3.12 19.38 27.3 17.58 18.78 320 0.192 8.26 2.7 4.78 9.3 6.3 8.26 1.55 12.92 57.75 5.95 633 4.9 2.1 3.8 1.89 16.3 5.45 0.14 1.05 155.9 2.72 1.89 1.32

39.9 13 0.61 1.29 18.86 0.216 125.9 4.1 15.4 160.8 53.3 19.9 61 2.03 5.61 11.18 11.6 14.6 11.58 7.76 5.6 1.88 15.92 62 29.8 10.1 20.95 2.59 283 4.14 3.13 20.7 27.95 17.58 18.8 323 0.194 8.77 2.84 4.78 9.37 6.4 8.3 1.55 12.92 57.75 5.95 649 4.9 3 5.2 2.77 16.36 5.47 0.14 1.05 156.2 2.85 1.9 1.51


0.305 73.9 15.3 1.06 6.99 0.7 0.72 1,030 7.31 13.52 7.58 4.56 1,291 7.27 74.45 5 5.39 0.69 5.29 22.6 6.15 0.039 1.18 3.59 142.3 2.56 985 0.76 1.61 279 0.24 0.18 0.19


6.3 0.94 18.22 2.12 0.88 43.7 3.7 4.6 5.84 0.445 1.13 1.06 0.24 0.47 36 0.64 0.137 1.82 1.33 0.72 4.29 4.9 0.335 0.305 0.54 3.87











35 21 1.95 3.22 36.15 1.01 17.64 0.81 6.5

35 21 2 3.23 36.25 1.01 18.32 0.84 6.55

35 20.5 1.94 3.22 35.8 1 17.02 0.81 6.21

35 20.65 2 3.22 36.1 1 18 0.84 6.55

1,000 887,300 316,000 62,000 6,075,300 1,167,000 423,000 81,000 6,811,700

35,000 18,273,815 618,530 199,880 219,119,145 1,168,500 7,416,806 65,880 43,906,242

-1,684,110 144,820 41,990 -51,746,760 -8,424,205


18.02 32.3 1.31 0.435 0.052 11.62 13.28 0.068 100.1 8.7 9 8.3 2.6 60.8 1,790 6.2 169.5 5.87 3.08 109.9 12.82 8.31 0.139 1.57 3.52 14.9 3.91 1.07 25.3 0.55 4.51 8.4 3.44 17.06 10.6 10.04 11.3 2.8 105 6.66 1,530 1.21 0.34 50.3 95.25 6.19 2.9 1.38 0.65 3.64 0.98 10.92

18.5 32.3 1.32 0.45 0.054 11.62 13.98 0.068 102 8.7 9 8.36 2.61 60.8 1,800 6.2 170 5.95 3.12 110 13.1 8.31 0.14 1.57 3.63 14.9 3.91 1.1 26 0.56 4.7 8.83 3.44 19 15.38 10.06 12.48 2.98 110 6.7 1,560 1.22 0.35 51 95.9 6.3 2.95 1.48 0.66 3.64 0.98 11.28

18 31.75 1.31 0.43 0.05 11.62 13 0.066 100 8.7 8.8 8.3 2.54 55.2 1,721 6.14 161 5.67 2.9 108.2 12.82 8.29 0.137 1.53 3.25 14.5 3.84 1.03 24.85 0.52 4.42 8.4 3.41 17.06 10.3 10.04 11.3 2.8 105 6.49 1,518 1.21 0.335 50 94.1 6 2.87 1.38 0.56 3.52 0.94 10.62

SERVICES 18.1 31.75 1.32 0.45 0.052 11.62 13.8 0.067 102 8.7 8.85 8.35 2.54 55.9 1,800 6.15 168.5 5.69 2.95 110 13.1 8.31 0.138 1.53 3.59 14.5 3.85 1.03 25.5 0.52 4.7 8.83 3.41 18.7 15.3 10.06 11.58 2.98 110 6.55 1,555 1.22 0.35 50.95 95.6 6.01 2.88 1.48 0.57 3.57 0.95 11

52,100 32,400 119,000 1,830,000 119,440,000 100 13,413,700 10,310,000 166,380 10,000 1,743,000 100,000 97,000 311,660 27,050 400,800 138,770 8,091,600 221,000 377,870 1,100 20,000 9,490,000 2,703,000 424,000 3,700 1,320,000 693,000 2,267,300 239,000 617,000 12,624,800 648,000 9,800 142,722,900 16,200 196,900 55,000 11,230 2,598,100 137,050 1,998,000 1,200,000 1,656,100 406,210 1,252,900 783,000 17,082,000 176,458,000 689,000 9,135,000 5,851,100

942,188 1,036,235 156,030 795,750 6,226,290 1,162 183,894,568 683,000 16,690,185 87,000 15,421,746 832,120 249,450 17,683,543 48,282,545 2,467,006 23,089,317 47,084,704 675,360 41,526,161 14,270 166,050 1,311,180 4,166,020 1,483,120 54,840 5,102,240 730,600 57,701,000 131,160 2,764,410 109,517,768 2,215,490 176,720 1,940,689,576 162,670 2,358,232 155,080 1,227,050 16,963,755 213,009,800 2,422,570 416,550 83,548,072 38,767,445 7,732,986 2,261,360 24,369,290 107,239,750 2,461,820 8,724,690 64,283,766

57,952 -43,730 66,235,738 3,407,231 2,160,714.00 58,100 -114,560 -805,135 -1,695 1,186,069 -18,753,259 47,120 -29,800 -2,334,330 4,149,485 58,470 22,205,690 -30,780 -6,533,622 17,340 1,055,775 -59,442 60,747,465 -341,310 -7,905,580 -14,360,959.50 187,350 16,190,660 621,670 103,060 -152,640 30,236,624


0.0023 1.51 4.9 12.1 1.84 1.69 1.66 0.315 7.36 2.51 0.193 0.146 0.154 0.0091 1.49 6.4 1.4 0.445 0.86 0.012 0.012 0.011 2.03 6.38 8.92 35.7 0.007

0.0024 1.51 4.9 13 1.84 1.69 1.75 0.325 7.65 2.51 0.196 0.149 0.155 0.0092 1.54 6.41 1.4 0.445 0.87 0.012 0.012 0.012 2.04 6.4 9.28 36.4 0.0071

0.0022 1.48 4.9 12.1 1.71 1.69 1.66 0.31 7.32 2.46 0.192 0.146 0.153 0.009 1.4 6.32 1.34 0.44 0.85 0.012 0.012 0.011 2.03 6.38 8.75 35.3 0.007

MINING & OIL 0.0024 368,000,000 1.49 8,469,000 4.9 141,000 13 1,200 1.8 9,000 1.69 6,000 1.74 5,071,000 0.315 950,000 7.39 18,100 2.47 2,633,000 0.196 200,000 0.147 2,140,000 0.153 920,000 0.0092 19,000,000 1.5 1,039,000 6.4 1,283,600 1.37 146,000 0.44 130,000 0.86 312,000 0.012 107,400,000 0.012 1,000,000 0.011 8,400,000 2.04 67,000 6.39 150,300 8.82 6,055,800 36.4 790,000 0.0071 7,000,000

856,500 12,676,130 690,900 15,490 15,630 10,140 8,636,280 297,300 134,036 6,525,720 38,700 313,290 141,900 173,000 1,498,450 8,160,927 200,180 57,400 267,950 1,288,800 12,000 93,900 136,350 959,076 54,453,782 28,471,185 49,200

-16,100 1,087,620 -14,700 -97,960 475,800 4,350 1,469,314 2,550 66,990.00 1,268,783 -1,698,665.00 -


32.05 518 108 103.8 107.9 112 6 1,003 101.3 1.04 108 1,041 998 114 1.96 77.2 81.3 77 78.1 78.1

32.1 518 108 103.8 107.9 112 6.1 1,018 101.9 1.04 108 1,041 1,000 114 1.96 77.2 81.3 77 78.1 78.1

31.5 518 108 103.8 107.9 112 6 1,002 101.3 1.04 105.5 1,041 998 114 1.95 77 81 76.85 77.6 78

PREFERRED 31.55 29,500 518 120 108 34,000 103.8 21,310 107.9 10 112 5,000 6.09 17,300 1,018 4,185 101.3 31,300 1.04 9,000 105.5 6,500 1,041 2,000 1,000 170 114 50 1.95 15,000 77 1,030 81 13,550 77 40,450 77.8 1,090 78 15,070

936,160 62,160 3,672,000 2,211,978 1,079 560,000 105,009 4,250,300 3,172,220 9,360 685,920 2,082,000 169,800 5,700 29,350 79,476 1,100,490 3,112,740 84,605 1,175,498.50

87,090.00 56,980 -3,672,000 65,709 -2,041,090 -





WARRANTS 2.3 983,000



29,568,386 19,600 8,700,730 10,701,850

587,139 245,040 -4,263,270






PROPERTY 6.95 0.95 17.14 2.15 0.86 45.1 3.66 4.54 5.8 0.445 1.13 1.09 0.241 0.495 36.5 0.63 0.138 1.82 1.32 0.71 4.29 4.9 0.33 0.305 0.52 3.98

15,269,900 6,714,000 155,600 123,000 5,603,000 12,596,600 546,000 2,695,000 45,300 10,870,000 4,000 489,000 29,320,000 19,330,000 230,100 632,000 180,000 6,390,000 2,859,000 868,000 1,000 39,144,000 52,840,000 2,410,000 3,681,000 1,701,000


5.99 2.8 4.75 3.93

6.37 2.8 4.8 3.95

5.65 2.8 4.2 3.71

























6.2 2.8 4.21 3.75


4,900,900 7,000 1,956,000 2,829,000

EXCHANGE TRADED FUNDS 129.5 4,140 10.2



VALUE 2,211.13 (up) 5.12 693,164,349.40 FINANCIAL INDUSTRIAL 11,396.87 (down) 0.76 1,818,483,477.31 HOLDING FIRMS 8,709.17 (up) 0.39 1,767,769,102.009 PROPERTY 3,916.20 (up) 47.60 1,719.21 (up) 12.30 1,309,478,346.785 SERVICES MINING & OIL 11,498.04 (up) 101.27 3,154,544,675.191 PSEI 8,598.11 (up) 27.97 126,227,096.2514 All Shares Index 5,072.80 (up) 19.59 8,919,241.728.33 Gainers: 85; Losers: 124; Unchanged: 50; Total: 259

DoubleDragon acquires Iloilo land as part of hubs chain By Jenniffer B. Austria DOUBLEDRAGON Properties Corp. acquired a 3.9-hectare property in Iloilo that will serve as the second site for a planned chain of industrial hubs across the country. DoubleDragon said in a disclosure to the stock exchange CentralHub-Iloilo would have a capacity of 22,000 square meters of leasable space once fully developed. The property firm is currently constructing CentralHub-Tarlac, which sits on a 6.2-hectare lot within Luisita Industrial Park in Tarlac, with a capacity of 32,000 square meters of leasable space once fully developed. The two industrial hubs combined will contribute approximately 54,000 square meters or 5.4 hectares of leasable industrial space. “We believe the industrial leasing segment presents significant growth opportunities for DoubleDragon as the current market supply is very traditional and fragmented,” DoubleDragon chairman Edgar Sia II said. “As a new player in an already mature real estate industry which has been dominated by large established players for decades, we are focused in segments within the real estate space where we still have an opportunity to organically dominate, such as industrial leasing, provincial community mall leasing and hospitality,” he said. “Other than the e-commerce businesses that will soon require facilities such as CentralHub, there are also a lot of synergies within our ecosystem since both our affiliates and the tenants of our CityMalls are the natural users of warehouse facilities as they continue expand their business to capture the growing consumer base of the Philippines. CentralHub is envisioned to become the leading provider of industrial warehouses in the Philippines through the development of its first eight CentralHub sites by 2020. The planned eight CentralHub sites will have a total land area of 100 hectares.

Probe Calata insider trading, SEC prodded THE Shareholders’ Association of the Philippines Inc., a group that promotes and protects the rights of minority stockholders, asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate directors, officers and other staff of Calata Corp. for possible insider trading violations. SharePHIL said in a letter to the SEC that Calata. which is engaged in the distribution and retailing of agrochemical products, feeds, fertilizers, veterinary medicines and seeds, failed to timely disclose it suffered a P126million casualty loss caused by a typhoon in the fourth quarter of 2016 as required by the Securities Regulation Code. “The casualty loss appears to have been disclosed only in Calata’s audited financial statements for 2016 dated April 26, 2017 and was posted in the disclosure system EDGE of the PSE only on May 2, 2017. During this period, persons connected with Calata’s management appeared to have unloaded their shareholdings unto the investing public,” SharePHIL said. SharePHIL claimed that Calata president and chief executive Joseph Calata sold 108.602 million Calata shares worth P277.383 million from November 29, 2016 to March 16, 2017 . SharePHIL said the non-disclosure, along with the subsequent actions of concerned Calata officers in unloading their shares, required serious inquiry by the SEC in order to protect the interest of minority stockholders and the investing public and maintain investor trust in the capital market. SharePHIL president Francis Lim said the casualty loss, which Calata itself categorically recognized as a “severe damage,” was a material development for the company because its “revenue comes primarily from the sale of agricultural products” and as such was a material information. “We trust that after its investigation, the SEC will take appropriate actions as may be warranted against those whom it will find responsible,” Lim noted. Jenniffer B. Austria



Porn star who had an affair with Trump paid $130,000 WASHINGTON―President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer told the New York Times Tuesday he paid $130,000 of his own money to a porn star who once said she had an affair with Trump. The long-time Trump attorney, Michael Cohen, said he was not reimbursed for the payment to the actress, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford and who goes by the stage name of Stormy Daniels, the Times reported. Cohen told the newspaper the payment was legal but declined to give details such as why he made it or if Trump was aware of the payment at the time. “Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford, and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly,” Cohen said, according to the Times. “The payment to Ms. Clifford was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone.” US media reports have said the payment was made one month before the November 2016 election to keep the liaison quiet. Trump was a private citizen when the 2006 sexual encounter with Clifford allegedly took place. He was married at the time and his wife Melania had given birth to their son less than four months earlier. The payment was first reported last month by the Wall Street Journal. Cohen’s statement to the Times marked the first time he acknowledged a role in what he termed a “private transaction.” Trump, through his lawyers, and Clifford, 38, have both denied anything ever went on between them. But last month the celebrity magazine In Touch published a 2011 interview with Clifford in which she expounds at length and in detail on their relationship and what she described as their “textbook generic” sex. In that interview, Clifford said she met Trump at a celebrity golf tournament in 2006 and had a sexual encounter with him then. She said she spoke with Trump on the phone or saw him in person for about a year. The In Touch interview, which had not been published before, was conducted before Clifford’s alleged signing of a secrecy agreement in October 2016. AFP



Guam relaxed amid nuke standoff A NDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE―When North Korea last year bragged of plans to lob a salvo of ballistic missiles toward Guam, THE residents of this relaxed American island in the western Pacific didn’t seem too worried.

Months later, and with tensions still high, they remain sanguine. “We know that if anything was to happen, there would be a lot of efforts to keep us safe and make sure we aren’t hit by anything,” says Blake Bristol, manager of Mosa’s Joint diner in the capital Hagatna. “We are just going to hang out and enjoy the time that we have. If it happens, it happens―that’s how it is.” Though Guam is US territory and home to more than 160,000 people, few Americans give the island much thought―and even fewer will ever visit. But it briefly came to prominence last year amid a flurry of North Korea weapons tests. In a moment of red-hot tension after two intercontinental ballistic missile launches

by Pyongyang―which prompted President Donald Trump to vow “fire and fury” in response―the North said it was considering sending missiles toward Guam. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un hasn’t followed through, but officials insist they could have stopped the threat― and residents are just getting on with their lives. “The general populace feels like they under the protection of the US government,” says another local, Vincent Terlaje. Residents have good reason to be calm―dozens of radars dot the tropical island’s clifftops and nearby fields, scanning for signals and potential threats. Guam hosts a sophisticated anti-missile system, known as Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, which is designed to fire

interceptors into an incoming intermedi- hosted at least one of the US military’s ate-range rocket and pulverize the target. three types of heavy bomber, part of the “There is no better defended place “continuous bomber presence” mission to be than Guam,” Navy Lieutenant Ian that enables the Pentagon to stage war McConnaughey boasts as he shows re- games with regional allies―and which porters around Andersen Air Force Base, one day could be sent into action against a sprawling facility carved from the is- North Korea. land’s dense tropical brush. Officials like to talk about Guam’s McConnaughey is one of more than importance for “projecting power” deep 7,000 US military personnel stationed on into the Pacific, where rivals are trying Guam, which juts out of the world’s deep- to write a narrative that Trump and his est ocean and is part of the remote Mari- “America First” agenda mean the US no ana Islands chain. longer cares about its Pacific presence. Though it is located some 3,400 kiloGeneral Joe Dunford―the chairman meters southeast of North Korea, Guam of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who recently in some ways represents a front line in visited the island with a group of journalAmerica’s standoff with Pyongyang. ists―and other US officials vehemently It is part of the military’s gigantic Pa- disagree with that assertion. AFP cific Command, a Republic of the Philippines Philippine Rural Development Project r e g i o n Invitation to Bid for the spanning Improvement/Rehabilitation of NRJ-Gamis-Banuar-Dumabel-Cabugao-Eden-Burgosalmost half PRJ Burgos-Gomez-Calaocan Farm to Market Road Identification No. PRDP-IB-RO02-QUI-001-000-000-2014 the globe. Loan No. 8421-PH E v e r since 2004, February 15, 2018 Guam has 1. The Government of the Philippines (GoP) has received a Loan from the World Bank towards the cost of Philippine Rural Development Program and it intends to apply part of the proceeds of this Loan to payments under the contract for the Improvement/Rehabilitation of NRJ-Gamis-Banuar-Dumabel-Cabugao-EdenBurgos-PRJ Burgos-Gomez-Calaocan Farm to Market Road/ PRDP-IB-R002QUI-001-000-000-2014.


The Provincial Government of Quirino, implementing partner of the Department of Agriculture, now invites bids for the Improvement/Rehabilitation of NRJ -GamisBanuar-Dumabel - Cabugao - Eden - Burgos - PRJ Burgos-Gomez-Calaocan Farm to Market Road. Completion of the Works is required by 291 calendar days. Bidders should have completed, within the last five (5) years, a contract similar to the Project. The description of an eligible bidder is contained in the Bidding Documents, particularly, in Section II. Instructions to Bidders.


Bidding will be conducted in accordance with relevant procedures for open competitive bidding as specified in the IRR of RA 9184 (R.A. 9184), with some amendments, as stated in these bidding documents and is open to all bidders from eligible source countries as defined in the applicable procurement guidelines of the World Bank. The contract shall be awarded to the Lowest Calculated Responsive Bidder (LCRB) who was determined as such during post-qualification. The Estimated Project Cost for this project is One Hundred Eighteen Million Six Hundred Fifty-Nine Thousand Pesos (PhP118,659,000.00).


Interested bidders may obtain further information from the Bids and Awards Committee of the Province of Quirino and inspect the Bidding Documents at the address given below and also at the PRDP Regional Project Support Office II with address at DA RFO II, Capitol Hills, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan and at the PRDP Project Support Office Luzon A with address at Capitol Compound, Sto. Niño City of San Fernando, Pampanga from 8:00am to 5:00pm, Mondays to Fridays.






4. 5.

6. 7.

A complete set of Bidding Documents may be purchased by interested Bidders starting February 15, 2018 from the address below and upon payment of a non-refundable fee for the bidding documents in the amount of Five Thousand Pesos (PhP5,000.00). It may also be downloaded free of charge from the website of the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS) and the PRDP website (http://www.daprdp. net) provided that bidders shall pay the non-refundable fee for the Bidding Documents not later than the submission of their bids. As part of the transparency measures being instituted by the Department of Agriculture (DA) the bidders can virtually visit the site of the above-described subproject at http:// where geotagged base photographs on 50 meter interval and track are viewable. The DA, however, requires that all potential contractors who will be awarded contract under the project shall have undergone geotagging training provided by the PRDP Project Support Office.


The Provincial Government of Quirino will hold a Pre-Bid Conference on March 1, 2018 at10:00AM at the Special Projects Unit Conference Hall, 2nd Floor, Capitol Commercial Bldg., Capitol Hills, Cabarroguis, Quirino which shall be open to all interested parties.


Bids must be duly received by the BAC Secretariat at the address below on or before March 20, 2018, 10:00 A.M. All bids must be accompanied by a Bid Securing Declaration.



NEW YORK FASHION WEEK. Actors Margot Robbie, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern and Kyle MacLachlan attend the Calvin Klein Collection front row during New York Fashion Week at the New York Stock Exchange on February 13, 2018 in New York City. AFP

of support from friends, neighbors and critics of US President Donald Trump’s immigration policies. Jamal, 55, has lived in the United States for 30 years, overstaying his second visa in 2011. Without a relatively speedy path to citizenship, he had been granted a commonly-employed administrative delay that allowed him to remain in the country and legally work. But immigration authorities could deport him at any time. He suddenly was arrested three weeks ago while taking his daughter to school. An immigration judge issued a stay of his deportation last week, but lifted the order Monday. In response, immigration authorities

put Jamal on a flight to Bangla- criminals. “Is the goal to rip a dad apart desh. Then, an immigration appeals from the family of US-born citicourt granted another stay mid- zens?” Jamal’s brother Syed Husflight, and Jamal was kept on US sein Jamal asked at a news conference late Monday. soil during a layover in Hawaii. Republic of the Philippines Rural Development “Any Project decent human being “We are awaitingPhilippine an update Invitation to Bid for the from his case worker on what the would not say ‘Yes, that is the Improvement/Rehabilitation of NRJ-Gamis-Banuar-Dumabel-Cabugao-Eden-Burgosthing to do.’” decision is with the new stay in right PRJ Burgos-Gomez-Calaocan Farm to Market Road Identification No. PRDP-IB-RO02-QUI-001-000-000-2014 Hundreds of people have writplace, if he will be moved or not Loan No. 8421-PH and, if so, where,” Sharma-Craw- ten letters urging immigration officials to halt Jamal’s deportation. ford said. February 15, 2018 An online fund-raising campaign Jamal’s supporters emphasize 1. The Government of the Philippines (GoP) has received a Loan from the World has Development raised nearly $70,000 an that he hastowards committed crimes Rural Bank the cost no of Philippine Program and it and intends to apply part of the proceeds of this Loan to payments under the contract for the online petition has gathered alduring the time he has lived inoftheNRJ-Gamis-Banuar-Dumabel-Cabugao-EdenImprovement/Rehabilitation Burgos-PRJ Farm 100,000 to Market signatures. Road/ PRDP-IB-R002United States. Burgos-Gomez-Calaocan most QUI-001-000-000-2014. Representative Emanuel CleavThey say his case is an example The Provincial Government of Quirino, implementing partner of the Department of er, a Democrat to whom of2. how the recent US bids immigraAgriculture, now invites for the Improvement/Rehabilitation of NRJ Jamal’s -Gamis- Cabugao - Eden - PRJ Burgos-Gomez-Calaocan supporters appealed for help,Farm said tion Banuar-Dumabel crackdown has swept up- Burgos to Market Road. Completion of the Works is required by 291 calendar days. Bidders should have completed, within the last fivethe (5) years, contract to the Project. case awas an similar example of the law-abiding immigrants, despite The description of an eligible bidder is contained in the Bidding Documents, particularly, Trump’s initial promiseto that de- country’s “broken and unfair imin Section II. Instructions Bidders. migration system.”forAFP portations target dangerous 3. Biddingwould will be conducted in accordance with relevant procedures open competitive bidding as specified in the IRR of RA 9184 (R.A. 9184), with some amendments, as stated in these bidding documents and is open to all bidders from eligible source countries as defined in the applicable procurement guidelines of the World Bank. The contract shall be awarded to the Lowest Calculated Responsive Bidder (LCRB) who was determined as such during post-qualification. The Estimated Project Cost for this project is One Hundred Eighteen Million Six Hundred Fifty-Nine Thousand Pesos (PhP118,659,000.00).

Infrastructure program will produce huge trade deficits

The Provincial Government of Quirino reserves the right to accept or reject any bid, to annul the bidding process, and to reject all bids at any time prior to contract award, without thereby incurring any liability to the affected bidder or bidders.


For further information, please refer to: The BAC Secretariat Bids and Awards Committee Office of the BAC, Capitol Hills Cabarroguis, Quirino

program alongside economic growth, demand imports will Duterte’s term” – is Bidders gathering 5. for A complete set of BiddingPresident Documents may be purchased by interested starting 15, 2018 from the address below and upon payment of a non-refundable fee remain robust in the near February term …. The speed, sucking in billions of pesos’ worth for the bidding documents in the amount of Five Thousand Pesos (PhP5,000.00). sustained wider (goods trade) deficit is not of heavy equipment, machinery and raw It may also be downloaded free of charge from the website of the Philippine Government good but is transitory and manageable.” The System materials, but thePRDP exports side of the Electronic Procurement (PhilGEPS) and the website (http://www.daprdp. provided that bidders shall pay the non-refundable fee for the Bidding Documents not transition period obviously net) includes 2018 equation is embarking on, or is still engaged later than the submission of their bids. because NEDA has stated Asthat it expects in information-gathering, research, linkagepart of the transparency measures being instituted by the Department of Agriculture the current-account deficit to to $700 establishment kindred activities (DA)rise the bidders can virtually visit the site of and the above-described subproject atthat http:// where geotagged base photographs on 50 meter interval and track are million. should in who the willlast few viewable. The DA, however, requireshave that all been potentialdone contractors be awarded contract the project shall haveThis undergone geotagging training provided by the And what strategy does the under Duterte decades. is truly a formula for trade, PRDP Project Support Office. administration – more specifically, DTI and fiscal and monetary disasters. 6. The Provincial Government of Quirino will hold a Pre-Bid Conference on March 1, 2018 NEDA – have for producing a successful SinceUnitthe DTI and clearly have at10:00AM at the Special Projects Conference Hall, NEDA 2 Floor, Capitol Commercial Bldg., Capitol Hills,to Cabarroguis, Quirino formula which shall for be open to all interested parties. transition from massive trade deficits no realistic restoring stability to 7. Again, Bids must be duly received by the BACexternal Secretariat trade, at the address belowrecourse on or before growing trade surpluses? here is Philippine the only March 20, 2018, 10:00 A.M. All bids must be accompanied by a Bid Securing Declaration. the NEDA chief. “We need to effectively for a government that values economic Bids will be opened on March 20, 2018 at10:00AM at the Special Projects Unit respond to market trends Conference and consumer stability to slowBldg, down theHills, inflow of Hall, 2nd Floor, CapitolisCommercial Capitol Cabaroguis, will be opened in the presence the bidders’ choose preferences worldwide toQuirino. driveBids more imports. That ofwill not representatives be popularwhowith to attend at the address below. Late bids shall not be accepted. demand for Philippine-made products … by President Duterte, who is fixated on his 8. The Provincial Government of Quirino reserves the right to accept or reject any bid, gathering timely and relevant information “golden program. to annul the bidding process, and toage rejectof allinfrastructure” bids at any time prior to contract award, without thereby incurring anyUnder liability tothe the affected bidder or bidders. on emerging demands in potential markets circumstances, the people of (and) intensified market research andinformation, tighter please this refer country will have to fasten their seat 9. For further to: linkages with businesses, mallsTheand shopping belts. They are in for a bumpy externalBAC Secretariat and increase Awards Committee centers abroad, (which) wouldBids help trade ride in the next few years. Last year’s Office of the BAC, Capitol Hills Cabarroguis, Quirino massive deficit is likely to be the first in a the visibility of Philippine export products.” The Build, Build, Build train – “75 series of such bad outturns. (SGD) DENCIO PAGDILAO BAC Chairman flagship, game-changing projects, with E-mail:

2. 3.

(MS-FEB. 15, 2018)

2nd Floor Malong Building, Capitol Compound Lingayen, Pangasinan Tel. No. (075) 632-7840 Website@biddingandawards.pangasinan, E-mail address:




4. 5.

6. 7.




(MS-FEB. 15, 2018)




The massive deficit in this country’s 2017 merchandise trade, which caused the current account of the balance of payments (BOP) to swing from a $600 million surplus in 2016 to a $100 million deficit last year, is very worrisome. But what is even more worrisome is the reaction of the nation’s external trade policymakers – the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) – to that bad outcome. The DTI-NEDA reaction has been an explanation of how the massive excess of imports over exports came to be. The appropriate reaction should have been a combination of explanation and strategy: an explanation for the huge merchandise trade deficit coupled with a strategy for correcting the imbalance and then going on to produce a surplus. This is how NEDA Director General (and concurrent Secretary for Socio-Economic Planning) Ernesto Pernia has explained the massive 2017 merchandise trade deficit. “(A) s the Duterte administration embarks on its ambitious Build, Build, Build infrastructure

Interested bidders may obtain further information from the Bids and Awards Committee of the Province of Quirino and inspect the Bidding Documents at the address given below and also at the PRDP Regional Project Support Office II with address at DA RFO II, Capitol Hills, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan and at the PRDP Project Support Office Luzon A with address at Capitol Compound, Sto. Niño City of San Fernando, Pampanga from 8:00am 5:00pm, Mondays to Fridays. expectations of tosustained about half targeted to be completed within


INVITATION TO BID for Completion of Training Center-II Solicitation No. PANG-2018-0107 The Province of Pangasinan, through the Community Development Fund - 20181 intends to apply the sum of Fifteen Million Nine Hundred Seventy-Nine Thousand Three Hundred Eleven Pesos (P15,979,311.00) being the Approved Budget for the Contract (ABC) to payments under the contract for Completion of Training Center II at Capitol Complex, Lingayen, Pangasinan. Bids received in excess of the ABC shall be automatically rejected at bid opening. The Province of Pangasinan now invites bids for Completion of Training Center II.2 Completion of the Works is required Two Hundred Forty-Six (246) Calendar Days. Bidders should have completed, within ten (10) years from the date of submission and receipt of bids, a contract similar to the Project. The description of an eligible bidder is contained in the Bidding Documents, particularly, in Section II. Instructions to Bidders. Bidding will be conducted through open competitive bidding procedures using nondiscretionary pass/fail criterion as specified in the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 9184 (RA 9184), otherwise known as the “Government Procurement Reform Act”. Bidding is restricted to Filipino citizens/sole proprietorships, partnerships, or organizations with at least seventy five percent (75%) interest or outstanding capital stock belonging to citizens of the Philippines. Interested bidders may obtain further information from Province of Pangasinan and inspect the Bidding Documents at the address given below from February 9, 2018 – March 2, 2018; 8:00am to 5:00pm. A complete set of Bidding Documents may be acquired by interested bidders on February 9, 2018 – March 2, 2018; 8:00am to 5:00pm at the BAC Office, 2nd Floor Malong Building, Capitol Compound, Lingayen, Pangasinan and upon payment of the applicable fee for the Bidding Documents, pursuant to the latest Guidelines issued by the GPPB, in the amount of Sixteen Thousand Pesos (P16,000.00) It may also be downloaded free of charge from the website of the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS) and the website of the Procuring Entity, provided that bidders shall pay the fee for the Bidding Documents not later that the submission of their bids. The Province of Panagsinan will hold a Pre-Bid Conference on February 19, 2018; 10:00am at BAC office, 2nd Floor Malong Building, Capitol Compound, Lingayen, Pangasinan, which shall be open to all interested parties. Bids must be duly received by the BAC Secretariat at the address below on or before March 2, 2018; 10:00am. All bids must be accompanied by a bid security in any of the acceptable forms and in the amount stated in ITB Clause 18. Bids opening shall be on March 2, 2018; 10:00am at Conference Room 2nd Floor Malong Building, Capitol Compound, Lingayen, Pangasinan will be opened in the presence of the bidders’ representatives who choose to attend at the address below. Late bids shall not be accepted. The Province of Pangasinan reserves the right to reject any and all bids, declare a failure of bidding, or not award the contract at any time prior to contract award in accordance with Section 41 of RA 9184 and its IRR, without thereby incurring any liability to the affected bidder or bidders. For further information, please refer to: HILARIA J. CLAVERIA Provincial Budget Officer BAC Chairman Provincial Budget Office Finance Building, Capitol Compound Lingayen, Pnagsinan 075 5426574 EDWIN B. MENDOZA Supervising Admin. Officer BAC Secretariat BAC Office 2nd Floor Malong Building, Capitol Compound Lingayen, Pangasinan 075 6327840 (SGD.) HILARIA J. CLAVERIA Provincial Budget Officer BAC Chairman


2. 3.

4. 5. 6.

In the case of National Government Agencies, the General Appropriations Act and/or continuing appropriations; in the case of GOCCs, GFIs, and SUCs, the Corporate Budget for the contract approved by the governing Boards; in the case of LGUs, the Budget for the contract approved by the respective Sanggunian. (Section 5(a), R.A. 9184) A brief description of the scope of Works should be provided, including quantities, location of project, and other information necessary to enable potential bidders to decide whether or not to respond to the invitation. In the case of National Government Agencies, the General Appropriations Act and/or continuing appropriations; in the case of GOCCs, GFIs, and SUCs, the Corporate Budget for the contract approved by the governing Boards; in the case of LGUs, the Budget for the contract approved by the respective Sanggunian. (Section 5(a), R.A. 9184) Ibid. A brief description of the scope of Works should be provided, including quantities, location of project, and other information necessary to enable potential bidders to decide whether or not to respond to the invitation. May be deleted in case the ABC is less than One Million Pesos (PhP1,000,000) where the Procuring Entity may not hold a pre-bid conference. (MS-FEB. 15, 2018)


T i T C C a T C B r c B d ( R B w c I i M A F M t t I E p s T 1 P B M a B M p b T a a l F H P B P F L 0

E S B B 2 L 0

Bids will be opened on March 20, 2018 at10:00AM at the Special Projects Unit Conference Hall, 2nd Floor, Capitol Commercial Bldg, Capitol Hills, Cabaroguis, Quirino. Bids will be opened in the presence of the bidders’ representatives who choose to attend at the address below. Late bids shall not be accepted.

US teacher’s deportation postponed at midflight CHICAGO―The fate of a foreign-born teacher was in limbo Tuesday after his deportation from the United States was temporarily stopped while his flight was en route to his native Bangladesh. Syed Ahmed Jamal, a chemistry teacher based in Lawrence, Kansas, was taken off the flight during a layover in Hawaii―the result of a dizzying chain of events that culminated in a last-minute stay of his deportation. “Not much new development today. Syed is still in the Honolulu Federal Detention Center,” Jamal’s attorney Rekha SharmaCrawford said Tuesday. A father of three US citizen children and a beloved member of his community, Jamal’s case has led to a massive outpouring




4. 5. 6.

In the SUC respe A brie poten In the SUC respe Ibid. A brie poten May


Jimbo Owen Gulle, Editor


thursday, february 15, 2018

LocaL government units

Valenzuela City honors top biz, employers in annual awards

Joy reaffirms bid for mayor, sees ‘change opportunity’

By Jun David

By Rio N. Araja

IN CElEBRATIoN of the 20th Charter Day of Valenzuela, the city government recognized its partners for development in the Annual Top Taxpayers and Top Job Providers Night on Wednesday at the Valenzuela City People’s Park Amphitheater. The city’s Top Taxpayers will be awarded in four categories based on their capitalization. large Scale Business Category is for companies that have a capital of above P100 million, including Manila Electric Co., SM Prime Holdings Inc., Maynilad Water Services Inc., San Miguel Foods Inc., and Manila North Tollways Corp. Medium Scale is for firms with capital of more than P15 million up to P100 million, including Peerless Products Manufacturing Corp., Unicorn Metal Corp., Mayer Steel Pipe Corp., Tiger Machinery and Industrial Corp., and Maxima Steel Corp. Small Scale, with P3 million to P15 million in capital, includes We Enterprises and Contractors, Inc.; Suncrest Foods Inc., Fiberline Industries, Inc.; Bulacan Integrated Wood Industries; and Mega Masterlink Fabricator and Electrical. Micro Scale, with P3 million capital or less, includes Innovative Packaging Industry Corp.; Uni Elements Enterprises; Contract Packaging Corp. of the Phils.; Powertrunking System Inc.; and J. Simeon Construction.

REAFFIRMING her desire to run for mayor in 2019, Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte on Wednesday said she wants to become an “agent of change.” If elected mayor, she vowed to bring about more change in the city government, saying being a city mayor would give her the opportunity to provide “the perfect position wherein I can enact greater change.” “They say that if you want change to happen, it’s really in the local level,” the vice mayor pointed out. “I want to be an effective agent of change.” Belmonte, daughter of former mayor and now District 4 Rep. Feliciano Belmonte Jr., was elected vice mayor in 2010. She said it is “a natural progression” for her to run for the next higher post. “I think in the past seven and a half years, I have gotten a firm grasp of the problems of our city. I think that’s a definite advantage I have over other candidates who are considering running for the mayoralty post,” she said. “I know and have become wellversed with the problems unique to the city,” the vice mayor added. She pledged to improve internal governance and pursue greater transparency in the city government. “I think it is important that the government is seen to be open, truthful, and accountable, to build trust with the people,” the vice mayor noted. As the presiding officer of the city council, the younger Belmonte has pushed for legislations to benefit the city’s constituents, and implemented programs on health, poverty, women and children’s welfare, and peace and order, particularly community-based drug rehabilitation and treatment program.

In BrIef Vizcaya OFWs, kin form cooperative BAYoMBoNG, Nueva Vizcaya— Former overseas Foreign Workers and their relatives here have formed a cooperative to help displaced and repatriated colleagues in the country. The Nueva Vizcaya oFW Credit Cooperative was formed due to the present situation of returning oFWs and the exodus of other oFWs from Kuwait. Based in Barangay Vista Alegre here, the NVoFWCC was already formally accredited by the Cooperative Development Authority. “We now have 200 applicants from our province alone, but we can expand our membership recruitment in the country,” said Cristina Gauan, interim chairman of the NVoFWCC Board of Directors. She said the co-op’s programs and services will be formally launched on March 8 at the provincial capitol in this town to cater to the needs of repatriated, displaced and distressed oFWs and their families.

GOT HITCHED. A newlywed couple ride their bridal tricycle

after the mass wedding rites and Valentine’s Day Mass at El Palacio Hotel grounds in Barangay San Rafael IV in Noveleta, Cavite on Wednesday. Forty-one couples exchanged kisses and ‘I Do’s’, including Richelle and Restituto Bongcayo Jr., as Noveleta Mayor Dino Reyes Chua (inset right) presided over the ceremonies.

8 LGUs get P147-m share from SBMA

By Butch Gunio


UBIC BAY FREEPoRT—The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority has released a total of P147 million in revenue shares to eight local governments adjacent to the Freeport.

SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma said the revenue shares will help finance development projects in health, education, peace and order, and livelihood programs so the contiguous communities can keep pace with developments in the Subic Bay Freeport and Special Economic Zone. Based on SBMA records, olongapo City received the highest share with P34.35 million, followed by the municipality of Subic in Zambales with P22.46 million and Dinalupihan, Bataan with P18.32 million. other Zambales towns that received the SBMA funds were Castillejos with P13.69 million, San Marcelino with P17.66 million, and San Antonio with P12.65 million.

Morong and Hermosa towns in Bataan received P12.79 million and P15.31 million, respectively. The shares were personally received from Eisma by Mayors Rolen Paulino of olongapo, Jay Khonghun of Subic, Jose Angelo Dominguez of Castillejos, Elvis Soria of San Marcelino, Estela Antipolo of San Antonio, and Joseph Inton of Hermosa. Eisma said the P147.22 million distributed last week represented lGU shares for the second half of 2017. The amount was 6.96 percent lower than the P150.46 million distributed for the same period last year. “SBMA is continuously working on every possible means to attract more investors to create more jobs and increase the

lGU shares,” Eisma said during the turnover at the SBMA head office last Friday. However, she urged the lGUs to help the SBMA develop estates in their respective areas and to start planning for the extension of the Freeport’s fencedin areas, because the freeport is already running out of space to meet the requirements of newer and bigger investors. “If we could no longer accept new investors, the lGU shares from SBMA would not improve further, and, worse, could even diminish,” she noted. “We have to find ways to extend the Freeport area, so that we could grow and develop more businesses and create more livelihood opportunities for residents,” Eisma added. locators and investors operating within the Subic Bay Freeport remit to the SBMA 5 percent of their gross income. Three percent of that goes to the national treasury, while two percent is distributed by the SBMA among the eight neighboring lGUs.

Navotas needs ship welders NAVoTAS City’s best-equipped ship welders now need to be trained with the help of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. Navotas City Mayor John Rey Tiangco said the current deficit for welder fitters for shipping companies in the city is “great.” Tiangco and Vice Mayor Clint Geronimo recently led the groundbreaking of Tesda’s fourth and largest skill training center on C3 Road, Barangay North Bay Boulevard South. In addition to shield metal arc welding, courses at the center include students’ automotive servicing, electronic product assembly and servicing, electrical installation and maintenance, refrigerator and air-con servicing, contact center servicing, animation and visual graphics, and carpentry. Jun David

MISS PARAñAQUE. Maria Isabel D. Alvez of Barangay San Isidro (center) is crowned Miss Binibining Parañaque 2018 in glittering ceremonies

at the city’s multi-purpose gym, with Mayor Edwin Olivarez (left) and his wife Janet offering her a congratulatory bouquet on stage. Tricia May Pelaez of Barangay Marcelo Green came in second, Barangay San Martin de Porres bet Beatrice Marie Fernandez finished third, Maria Christine Joy Ortiz of Barangay Vitalez was fourth and Liezel Asioche of Barangay wound up fifth.

Mayor Oscar leads Caloocan cityhood bash CAlooCAN Mayor oscar Malapitan will lead city government employees in a Thanksgiving Mass in front of the new city hall building on Thursday. The event is in line with Caloocan’s month-long 56th cityhood celebration. Malapitan said more developmental works are in the offing for the city’s welfare. on Valentine’s Day, more than 700 pairs of couples tied the knot in a mass wedding held at the Caloocan City Sports Complex in Bagumbong. In preparation for the Chinese New Year countdown on Friday, motorists were requested to avoid the Bonifacio Monument area to give way to a concert and fireworks display. on Feb. 16, the city government will honor its outstanding citizens and investors in simple rites dubbed “oCA Night” to be held at the Complex Park at 5 p.m. other events to take place are the Tiburin Race on Feb. 18; Miss Caloocan pre-pageant on Feb. 19; and mega job fairs on Feb. 20 and March 8. Meanwhile, the recent “Passport on Wheels” program was carried out successfully by the city’s civil registry department in coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs. Another passport processing is expected to take place in April. Jun David

DENR says 8 Central Luzon wetlands are being overrun By Romeo Dizon

NEW WARD. Raul C. Pagdanganan (left), president and CEO of Delos Santos Medical Center, joined (from left) Health Secretary Francisco Duque; Augie Palisoc, Jr., president and CEO, Metro Pacific Hospital Group; Dr. Nilo delos Santos, Medical director and Chief Medical Officer, DLSMC; and Dr. Efren delos Santos, DLSMC Director, during the inauguration of the hospital’s Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory on Wednesday. Lino Santos

SAN FERNANDo, Pampanga—The eight wetland areas in Central luzon are in danger of being overrun by human activities, prompting government authorities to call for active public support and vigilance in protecting them. Francisco Milla Jr., regional director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Central luzon, stressed that wetlands are very important to the ecosystem, providing benefits both for humans and animals alike, thus his call for their sustainable

protection and conservation. “Wetlands provide benefits to local communities, including freshwater supply, biodiversity, flood control, ground water recharging, and climate change mitigation,” he said. At the same time, they also serve as sanctuaries for migratory birds because of their rich flora and fauna, Milla said. The wetlands are now being degraded because of human activities, with some being converted into rice fields and others for duck raising. overgrown grass, plastic waste and other pollutants result in the declining annual visit of fowls in

the areas from october to March each year, the DENR noted. During the migratory period, different birds from Siberia and elsewhere fly annually to the 32,000-hectare Candaba swamp to hibernate. In a 2008 report, about 17,000 migratory birds visited the area, in contrast to just a thousand this year based on the record of the DENR office here. “It this reason we launched a sustainable protection and clean-up drive to protect the wetlands against degradation in cooperation with the public,” Milla said.


bernadette Lunas, Issue Editor @manilastandardlife


@MstandardLIfe thursday, february 15, 2018


PLAY has never been this rewarding LET’S PLAY. The newly opened PLAY at Okada Manila is a family-friendly and educational indoor fun facility for children. Text and photos by Mae Gianina Cabalida-Pascual


Oung children nowadays already have a strong desire for discovery. Age 1 or 2 has now become a prime period for toddlers to start learning the basics, which makes it utterly important for parents to allow them to explore and experience things first-hand through play.

Confining kids at home with television and gadgets could curb their development leading to possible onset of delay in speech, social, and motor skills. It is through play that children learn more about themselves, build self-worth, and learn to socialize. Drawing, doodling, or playing with dough or dolls, for example, encourage children to become more creative and express themselves more freely. Letting them build their own structures using blocks, shapes, and puzzles, on the other hand, help them organize things and develop their logical thinking. Allowing them to interact with other kids through free play improves their social and motor skills while also enhancing their strength and immunity. With this in mind, Okada Manila has taken a step further in building a purposeful environment for families as they promote a holistic development for kids of all ages through its latest inclusive and multifunctional entertainment and leisure facility, PLAY at Okada Manila. PLAY which stands for “Purposeful Learning and Activities for the Young” is a family-friendly indoor fun facility where child’s play is elevated to an engaging and enriching experience, says Ivaylo Ivanov, vice president for Hotel Operations. PLAY provides children aged 1 to 16 a fun place where they can enjoy multifunctional free play or coach-led sessions in eight different “neighborhoods.” The Wizard’s Den is an interactive video game space where kids use gestures to defeat mythical creatures. Mini Steps & Mini Me is a dedicated play and learning space for children aged 0 to 3 years old. Little Town is a purpose-built area that allows children engage in hands-on play in a banking, postal, school, grocery, and home environment where they gain valuable information and practical experience of every day grown-up life.

PLAY lets children play in a banking, postal, school, grocery, and home environments.

Allowing children to interact with others through free play help them improve their social and motor skills.

Little Park, a two-level playground and maze, is where toddlers can spend their limitless energy and test their physical strength. Sports Zone is an active zone with artificial grass court for sports games. Janguru is a multi-level playground and maze for kids over 110 centimeters. The Stage is where kids can unleash their inner performer and cultivate their singing, dancing, acting, and public speaking skills. Finally, My Party Place is a gaming and events space that can host birthday parties, corporate events, team-building activities, or any special occasion. The facility also offers complimentary pocket activities and programmed classes throughout the day. Affordable coach-assisted programs to enhance and strengthen the child’s developmental, academic, social, creative, and physical well-being are also available. PLAY’s dedicated learning programs, which are designed to address the developmental needs of children, include: (1) Colors and Creations,

an arts and crafts program designed to develop creativity and imagination through detailing, color coordination, and artistic impression, as well as work behavior like sitting tolerance, focus, and concentration; (2) Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, a program aimed at enhancing the child’s de development as they explore the world around them. This also includes ses sessions for caregivers to stay updated and improve their communication, child-minding, and domestic engi engineering skills, as well as one-onone sessions on specific academic tutorial (e.g., math, science, and reading) and special needs ther therapy (i.e., occupational therapy, speech therapy, and physical therapy); (3) Music and Movement, meanwhile, helps harness ment and showcase the natural talent of kids through group sessions focused on dance, music, and the performing arts; and (4) Life Skills, where kids are trained on practical matters, such as social graces, good housekeeping, creative writing skills, anti-bullying, natural remedies, aro aromatherapy, and personal nutrition. The facility can accommodate up to 300 guests at a given time. Its other features include child-friendly comfort rooms, an emergency response team composed of first-aid qualified PLAY coaches and marshals, a snack bar, a kiddie gift shop, and over 30 closedcircuit television (CCTV) cameras to ensure kids have all the fun they want within a convenient, safe, and secure environment. The management team is led by certified expert coaches and licensed teachers trained to provide guests the highest standard of care and fun learning. “We know for a fact that allowing children to play, explore, and interact with other children, either in a free or structured manner, rewards them with a lot more beyond just a few moments of fun,” says Vikki Aquino, director of Spa, Fitness and Recreation. “That’s basically the idea we had for PLAY. We want to have a space where they can learn, grow, and understand more of the world around them, all while having fun and simply being the kids that they are.” Visit to know more about PLAY.

Business owners are switching to LED lights because of its low cost features

LED lamps consume less energy without sacrificing quality illumination

How switching to LED lights can reduce home expenses OVeR the years, LeD lighting has been the choice of many home and business unit owners—for many good reasons. Light-emitting diodes (LeD) lamps and luminaires have been proven to consume at least 50 percent less energy than older types of lighting fixtures. In addition, LeD can operate longer than older types of lamps. They typically last twice as long as fluorescent lamps and eight times longer than incandescent bulbs. For owners of businesses and homes in the Philippines, what this means is the potential to save more in terms of operational costs. even with lower power requirements, LeD lights are still able to produce great illumination, with brightness that can rival or even exceed the best that older fixture types can offer. Further, the quality of light they produce remain the same throughout their lifetime. These qualities help ensure that LeDs remain operational at optimal

capacity from first day to last, decreasing the costs associated with maintenance and the need for fixture replacements, among others. But to get the most out of this lighting type, it’s best to invest in good quality LeD lights. World leading professional and architectural lighting solutions company Feilo Sylvania recently launched its range of products in the Philippines. The Hungary-based business is a globally trusted company, awarded by several industry bodies for its innovation and top-notch quality. “Feilo Sylvania is excited to formally launch its products here in the Philippines,” said Feilo Sylvania Philippines country manager Vince Adorable. “We believe that the Philippines is an exciting market to be in especially now that we are seeing phenomenal growth in the country’s real estate and construction industries.” Feilo Sylvania’s products are now available at lighting distributors and hardware stores nationwide.



thursday, february 15, 2018

Beko refrigerators feature technologies that ensure food stays fresh for longer

Proper meat handling is vital in preventing food poisnoning; wash hands before and after handling raw meat products.

Meat mistakes that could cost your family’s health


o matter how much time you spend picking out good ingredients and choosing healthy food options, there still are common practices that you do in the kitchen that could be endangering your family’s health. according to Dr. robert H. Lo, owner and chief executive of red Dragon Farms (the company behind Fresh options meatshop), food poisoning can happen when meat products contaminated by salmonella and e.coli are not properly processed or cooked. “Because the National meat Inspection Services performs such tight inspections on local and imported meats from the slaughterhouse to the final retail outlets, the incidence of contaminated meat in the Philippine market remains relatively low,” said Lo, with a caveat that food poisoning mostly occurs at home, where cooking is done. It is important to note that most bacteria can be easily killed via proper cooking. However, if the meat is not properly handled, there’s a chance of cross-contamination, which is when harmful bacteria or allergens spread to food from other food, surfaces, hands, or equipment. Here are some common practices that are dangerous to your family’s health: Defrosting in running water. this exposes meat to any bacteria in the water and gives the microorganisms enough time and ideal condition to establish themselves. Instead, defrost meat at least overnight in an airtight

Tips in choosing refrigerator for your home tHe days of boring, old-fashioned refrigerators are gone. today, manufacturers are constantly innovating technologies that make them more attuned to the needs of buyers. But with the many brands available, how can you be sure that you are making the right choice? according to Dyeun Zapanta, Sales and marketing head of Beko Philippines, households still put great value on the quality of the food that they eat. that is why your fridge must have all the right features to help you store your food items in the best way possible. If you’re considering buying a refrigerator for the first time, or want to upgrade your fridge, here are a few things to consider:

Type and size

Make sure to use different utensils for raw meat and any ccoked food

bag or container in the refrigerator. You can also microwave your meat on your microwave’s defrost setting. Believing that freezing kills off harmful bacteria. Freezing does not kill bacteria, it just stops it from multiplying. If you defrost previously frozen meat, it becomes vulnerable to pathogens. Washing meat in water before cooking. again, you are exposing meat to the bacteria in water. Not cooking food all the way through. Serving undercooked meat, especially chicken, is particularly dan-

gerous. If you didn’t destroy all the bacteria present in the meat, you have now given it one of the best environments for it to grow as the food sits on the counter, cooling. to prevent this, always cook meat all the way through, at least 75ºC at the center of its thickest part. Using the same utensils on cooked and raw meat. We usually use the same dishes, forks, or tongs when handling cooked and raw meat. this is a definite no-no. Use different utensils and make sure what touches raw meat never touches any cooked food that’s meant to be served.

refrigerators are usually the biggest appliance that you’ll have in your kitchen so it pays to plan the space well. there are two general classifications of refrigerators: Static (Direct Cool) and No Frost. Static refrigerators form ice build-up on freezer wall which is the source of cold temperature while No Frost allows you the full usage of the freezer space since it uses cold air to cool or freeze your food inside. For families that buy more of the frozen items like meats and poultry products, freezer space is very critical. Big freezer space allows you to store bulky frozen items over an extended period. Big fridge space, on the other hand, are ideal for those who store fresh fruits, vegetables, dairies, and drinks. there are also different types of refrigerators to choose from based on freezer location. Some of the

examples are Single Door, two Door top Freezer, two Door Bottom Freezer, Side-by-Side, and Bar Fridges, among others.

Cooling system

Some refrigerators use the manual or Semi-automatic Defrost technology. If you choose the manual defrost system, you will need to defrost at least once or twice a week to clean and clear the compartments of ice build-up. meanwhile, with the Frost Free technology, the fridge defrosts itself automatically. It uses sensors to automatically activate the heater to melt ice build-up at the back of the freezer walls, which block the air vents. Beko refrigerators are best in its class as the brand developed the NeoFrost+ technology. this innovative technology uses powerful active Dual Cooling systems. It has a separate fan and evaporator on freezer and fridge compartment, which allows two times faster cooling. the NeoFrost+ technology’s active Dual Cooling System keeps humidity up to 90 percent in the fridge section as well as prevents odor transfer between the compartments. moreover, it keeps the fruits and vegetables fresh and crisp better because of its active Blue Light technology.

Energy efficiency

Finally, make sure that you get the most of your refrigerators by referring to its energy efficiency factor ratings. Higher the eeF rating means lower electricity it consumes. For instance, Beko refrigerator model rDNt230I20VP has 325 eeF rating consuming only 0.77kW per 24 hours of usage.

Roomful of Learners is an enrichment and intervention center that helps children become more receptive students

Intervention center helps children learn better PareNtS of children struggling to learn in school have a partner in roomful of Learners. roomful of Learners is an enrichment and intervention center that helps children become well and more receptive learners in their respective schools. With 20 years of practical experience in General education, Special education,

and Child Psychology, the center helps children unlock their full potential by knowing them individually and working with their unique learning style. the center shifts the focus from specific school tasks to actual skills, such as decoding, comprehension, and writing. “We give parents free assessment to help them understand the academic

needs of their struggling child, explain objectively what is happening and give recommendations on how to address the problem,” said Pia alpapara-Pulido, teacher and owner of roomful of Learners. “our goal is to help parents raise thriving kids and perform with confidence that goes beyond the classroom.”

Determine whether you need more freezer space or fridge compartments in choosing a refrigerator



Simply Red... From C4

Sebastian Catsro (left) and Mikoy Morales in a scene from the indie film, '4 Days'


Pride and love in ‘4 DAYS’

INE Lokal continues its offering on all kinds of love this month with the 4 Days, an LGBT romantic drama directed by award-winning film director Adolf Alix Jr. and featuring Mikoy Morales and Sebastian Castro.

4 Days tells the story of two college friends who slowly realize they mean more to each other than either had initially realized. The film joins Derek and Mark in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day over the course of a few years- charting the blossoming of a friendship in to something much more enduring as time goes on - and challenging both to question who they thought they were and who they truly want to me.

“We are glad that Cine Lokal gave us the opportunity to have our film screened again. We shot the film two years ago, and when we initially premiered, people were asking if the movie would be extended in the cinemas. So, this gives us another chance to share this story with the audience,” the directed told the press during a press event held at Cinemateque Center Manila. Painting a moving picture of how an

abiding friendship can sometimes lead to love - and how we sometimes have to wrestle with our own demons to find their true self, 4 Days is achingly romantic and delicate. 4 Days is this week’s Cine Lokal feature and is available in cinemas at SM Mall of Asia, Megamall, North Edsa, Fairview, Southmall, Bacoor, Sta. Mesa and Bacoor at 1:00 p.m.,3:30 p.m., 6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m..

RK Bagatsing always treats every project he gets as his big break but playing the role of Mayor Arnaldo Ardiente-Torillo in ABS-CBN’s hit primetime series Wildflower, he admits, is the biggest so far in his career. “Who would have thought that I will end up acting with Maja (Salvador), Aiko (Melendez), and Tirso (Cruz III), and can also be called ‘pogi’ like Joseph (Marco) and Vin (Abrenica)?” he quipped. “A few years ago, I was just going around Makati, going from one rejection to another in VTRs and auditions hoping I could land just one TVC or film project to make ends meet. That’s why I am super grateful to the show,” he added. Just like avid viewers who embraced his character, RK would definitely miss playing his role as Arnaldo and most especially, the people he worked with every day. “I will miss Arnaldo because he taught me a lot of things. Because of him, I learned to follow my instincts and get out of my comfort zones. But of course, Arnaldo wouldn’t be Arnaldo without the characters surrounding him. From my director to my co-actors, I will definitely miss all of them more than I will miss playing Arnaldo,” RK shared. He may already said goodbye to the show but the lesson he learned from being part of the top rating drama will forever remain. “I learned to relax and not put pressure on myself because it only leads to being a failure. Somewhere along the road, I learned to let go and follow the process. I realized that mistakes and disappointments are part of our lives and it only shows that you have tried. As long as I do my best and come in prepared, even if I commit mistakes, I know that things will be okay. These are the tools I’m bringing with me as I move-on to my next projects,” he stated. *** Xeleb creates sequel to successful FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano mobile game series under partnership with ABSCBN. Coming from the trending success of the first FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano mobile game, which has garnered over 1million downloads, Xeleb continues with its strong partnership with local TV network ABS-CBN to release a much-awaited sequel – FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano: Rescue Mission.

Kapuso stars... From C4

'Contessa' stars Lauren Young, Glaiza de Castro, and Jak Roberto pose with the crowd after a successful Kapuso Mall Show in Iloilo.

CROSSWORD PUZZLE Thursday, February 15, 2018

ACROSS 1 Complain 5 Pursue 10 Symbol of Ireland 14 Kind of sax 15 Halos 16 Caspian Sea tributary 17 Wynter or Carvey 18 Open, as a bottle 19 Puerto — 20 Glossy paints 22 Got on the plane 24 Kind 25 Ms. Thurman of “Pulp Fiction” 26 Certain hut 30 Continent connector 34 Hoodlum 35 Talk on and on 37 Cloy 38 Woosnam of golf 39 Website 40 Ms. Hagen 41 Hockey disk 43 Food on a skewer 45 Maintain 46 More glossy 48 Complains 50 Formerly known as

51 Wool cap 52 Scrap 56 Larry, Curly and Moe 60 Wagon part 61 Stand for Van Gogh 63 Quick bite 64 Solidify 65 Throw into a panic 66 Infinitesimal amount 67 Unreturnable tennis serves 68 Slightly tinted 69 Father of Seth DOWN 1 Commanded 2 Enthusiastic liveliness 3 Volcano in Sicily 4 Fizzing 5 Sealed a tub 6 Attila’s subjects 7 Curved line 8 Swedish auto 9 Take up, as a cause 10 Cheers 11 Like the Gobi 12 The Tour de France, for one 13 Grind away 21 Raised railways 23 Lb. or tsp. 26 Little swabs

(hyph.) 27 Self-mover’s rental (hyph.) 28 Pound division 29 Straighter 30 Gold filling 31 Purple hue 32 Out-and-out 33 Scorches 36 Sun, poetically 42 Doghouses 43 Most gung-ho 44 Fought 45 Smelling salts 47 Type of parrot

49 Former Chinese leader 52 Rani’s husband 53 Corp. biggie 54 Mme.’s daughter 55 Baja fast food 56 Desiccated 57 Tasty 58 This, to Pedro 59 Bogus 62 — Antonio Spurs

The following week, the Kapuso Network delighted its loyal viewers in Iloilo when it celebrated the Dinagyang Festival with various events from Jan. 26 to 28. Ruru bannered the Kapuso Fiesta in Robinsons Place Iloilo last Jan. 26 with his Sherlock Jr. co-stars Janine Gutierrez and Andre Paras. The next day (Jan. 27), Ilonggos who flocked to the Festive Walk Megaworld experienced an early Valentine treat when Kambal, Karibal’s Miguel and Bianca treated them to a Kapuso Mall Show. Taste Buddies and All-Star Videoke host Solenn Heussaff also participated in the Dinagyang Festival celebrations, throwing a party for the crowd gathered during her Kapuso Meet and Greet in SM City Iloilo. Capping off the Kapuso Dinagyang activities this year was the Kapuso Mall Show courtesy of the stars of the upcoming Afternoon Prime program Contessa. Actress Glaiza de Castro,

RK Bagatsing reflects on his big break as one of the lead stars in 'Wildflower'

SPO2 Ricardo “Cardo” Dalisay (Coco Martin) returns in a levelbased, action cover-and-shoot game that has loyal fans of the Kapamilya top-rating prime-time series ducking from bullets and beating the baddies. The special mission? To help Cardo defeat evil enemy syndicates and rescue innocent civilians that are caught in the middle of the dangerous crossfire. Exciting rewards and mystery boxes await those who successfully complete missions, game levels, and additional tasks! “We are very excited to have worked with ABS-CBN to produce FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano: Rescue Mission”, explains Vanessa Barrameda, general manager of Xeleb. “The first mobile game was very successful - having trended on social media and reaching over 1,000,000 downloads. Without a doubt, Ang Probinsyano fans will enjoy this action-packed sequel, too.” FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano: Rescue Mission is available on Google Play and the W00T Android App Market. For more information, please visit or @XelebGames on social media.

who is set to play Contessa in the series, was warmly received by the throng of Ilonggos who gathered in SM City Iloilo last Jan. 28. Joining Glaiza were her costars Lauren Young and Jak Roberto. “We are overwhelmed by the tremendous support we received during the various shows we mounted last January. We know how awfully busy Sinulog and Dinagyang Festivals could be, but our Kapusong Cebuanos and Ilonggos showed us how much they fully support their favorite Kapuso artists. For this, we are very grateful,” says GMA Regional TV Vice President and Head Oliver Amoroso. “And this is only the beginning of a wonderful year for our loyal Kapuso viewers. Watch out for more events in the coming months ahead. These are all for you, because you continue to keep GMA 7 the number one network nationwide,” he ends. To know more about the Network’s regional events, follow GMA on Facebook at gmanetwork and GMA Regional TV at and on Twitter and Instagram via @ GMARegionalTV.

Nickie Wang, Issue Editor



Making the impossible possible ISAH V. RED

FORMER screen sweethearts and real life couple Gabby Concepcion and Sharon Cuneta are back on the screen. Not in a movie or TV series but in a TV commercial for a fast food brand. And everyone thought it was an impossible deal to make after the couple failed to agree to star in a movie that could herald their comeback as a screen couple. Twenty five years since they last starred together, the iconic tandem of Sharon Cuneta and Gabby Concepcion– one of the most enduring love teams that defined the colorful, idyllic ‘80s—finally makes its much-awaited grand comeback in McDonald’s latest commercial! The TVC, which highlights McDonald’s Best Tasting Chicken McDo and World Famous Fries pairing, was carefully crafted to take audiences down memory lane as they recall the happy memories of a tambalan that remains unmatched in the hearts of many. Set to one of Sharon’s hit songs “Kumusta Ka”, we see the two chancing upon each other in a McDonald’s store and enjoying a quiet meal together—their first after a very long time. Days before the official launch, the tandem surprised everyone with unexpected engagement on social media. From following each other on Instagram, posting several throwback photos, and teasing fans that “this is only the beginning”—these definitely got people, even their daughter and other celebrities, talking about the reunion project. Fans went crazy on social media and expressed how ecstatic they are for the comeback project of their idols. As one netizen shared “McDo lang pala ang sagot sa reunion ng Sharon-Gabby!” “Chicken McDo with Fries. Yummy,” says Gabby on his recent Instagram post. The much-loved combination of McDonald’s Best Tasting Chicken and World Famous Fries prove that it is indeed a perfect tandem that mirrors the enduring strength of #ShaGab. The power couple shares the excitement of fans over the release of the TVC and is thankful for the opportunity to work together once again. Perfect combinations are hard to come by, but Sharon and Gabby show that just like the Chicken McDo and Fries, some tandems endure the test of time. Watch the latest ShaGab commercial on McDonald’s YouTube Channel. Continued on C3

A screengrab of the now viral commercial featuring the former couple.


Sharon Cuneta and Gabby Concepcion having a great time while taping the latest TVC for a popular fast food chain.

ON THE RED CARPET. The former VJ hosting the previous red carpet event of the Academy Awards.


amp up this year’s Sinulog, Dinagyang Festivals

Live Oscars

experience with


Asian poster boy and HBO Asia's social media crew Utt Panichkul will deliver live Oscars red carpet updates on March 5.

Miguel Tanfelix and Bianca Umali did not disappoint their fans who came for the loveteam's Kapuso Mall Show.

KAPUSONG Cebuanos and Ilonggos experienced spectacular celebrations of this year’s Sinulog and Dinagyang Festivals when GMA Network, through its regional arm GMA Regional TV, brought some of today’s hottest artists for a series of shows in January. In Cebu, no less than Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez-Alcasid led the biggest names in the entertainment industry that joined the colorful annual Sinulog Festival. Meanwhile, actress Lovi Poe and actor Dennis Trillo headlined the Kapuso Mall Show and Kapuso Fiesta on Jan. 19 at the Gaisano Island Mall Mactan and The Terraces in Ayala Center Cebu, respectively. The two actors star in the romcom series The One That Got Away. Joining Lovi and Dennis were the lead stars of Kambal, Karibal Miguel Tanfelix and Bianca Umali who both spread kilig to their Cebuano fans. Present as well during the Kapuso Mall Show was Sherlock Jr.’s Ruru Madrid with his co-star Matt Evans Evans. The following day, Jan. 20, Cebuanos filled the Waterfront Hotel and Casino to watch the launch of 3 Stars, 1 Heart featuring the powerhouse trio of Asia’s Songbird Regine VelasquezAlcasid, balladeer Bautista, and Christian Bautista pop sweetheart Julie Anne San Jose. The ground-breaking concert series was a collaboration of GMA RTV with GMA Entertainment Content Group (ECG). This year’s Sinulog Grand Parade was made special with the participation of the rest of the stars of The One That Got Away. Actress/TV host Rhian Ramos and Max Collins together with Dorschner, Migo Adecer, Ivan Dorschner and Jason Abalos boarded the Kapuso Float on Jan. 21. GMA Cebu also aired a live coverage of the Sinulog Grand Parade that day. The “Pit Senyor: The Balitang Bisdak Special Live Coverage” was hosted by Balitang Bisdak anchors Alan Domingo and Quibod-Castro, together Cecile Quibod-Castro with Balitang Bisdak’s Bisdak roster of correspondents Chona Carreon, Lou Ann Mae Rondina, and Nikko Sereno. Continued on C3


ORMER VJ and currently HBO Asia’s social media crew Utt Panichkul will be on the star-studded 2018 Oscars red carpet to interview Hollywood’s elite and deliver celebrity moments to HBO Asia’s social media platforms.

On his Instagram account, the ThaiAmerican host and actor expressed his excitement hosting the Oscars red carpet event. He uploaded a video invite and a photo that he captioned, “Oscar ready.” Panichkul is best remembered as the face of MTV Asia and is also the poster boy of numerous fashion and lifestyle products in Asia. In addition, he is also an established actor with appearances in over a dozen dramas in Thailand and Singapore. For the biggest film event in Hollywood, Panichkul will share exclusive photos and

Oscars® red carpet moments including video interviews with celebrities, behind-the-scene pictures from the red carpet and heartfelt celebrity shout outs. These will be available on the network’s social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Oscars® fans who hunger for more than just watching the ceremony on their television on HBO can concurrently view exclusive online content on HBO Asia’s dedicated Oscars website, which will feature an exclusive webcast of the starstudded ceremony including backstage interviews with the winners as they come

Valentine’s weekend with OPM acoustic artist CITY of Dreams Manila celebrates love and romance with Valentine’s weekend performances of OPM acoustic artist Nyoy Volante at the main gaming floor’s CenterPlay bar tomorrow, Feb. 16. Premier OPM artist Nyoy Volante has been captivating audiences in the Philippines and beyond since the early days of his career nearly 20 years ago. He is best known for hit songs “Nasaan”, “More Than You’ll Ever Know”, “You’re My You”, among many others. He is also a thespian at heart and has appeared in musicals such as “Kinky Boots”, “Jersey Boys”, and “Rent.” Nyoy will be the highlight of CenterPlay’s Friday night show which starts at 6pm with in-house artists Hello Caesar, Paula Bianca, Pop Culture, and First Attractions. Table reservations starts at P1,000 consumable of food and beverage. Meanwhile, Korean DJ Rushin’ Justin a.k.a. Dong Ho will continue the celebration as he performs on Feb. 17 at Chaos Night Club. DJ Rushin’ Justin or Dong Ho will set Chaos stage on fire with his signature tracks such as “Rock & High”, “Over The Skyline”, and “Blue”. He was an actor for various television shows and movies in South Korea; and vocalist of the popular K-Pop group U-Kiss before he broke into Asia’s EDM scene in 2014. He has garnered a new following with his progressive tunes, injected with

sultry and ethereal female vocals, gradually build up into a pulsating and adrenalinpumping rush, sending waves of electrifying energy onto the dance floor. As evidenced in his collaboration with Korean producers RHeat and Zaydro for his three current tracks – “Rock & High,” “Over The Skyline,” and “Blue” – Rushin’ Justin‘s musical prowess is undeniable, and the DJ shows no signs of stopping as he continues to perform in topnotch clubs and music festivals in and around South Korea and Asia. K-Pop and partygoers can catch Rushin’ Justin’s live performance at Chaos with no door charge. Resident DJs Brandon Jon and MK Thompson will frontline the event. Doors open at 10 p.m. . For table reservations, Chaos Manila guests can call +63 917 886 3678 or e-mail; and CenterPlay patrons can call 800 8080 or email; or visit

off stage after accepting their awards, clips showcasing major moments of the Oscars ceremony, and raw feed from the Academy’s Thank You Cam. For the fourth year in succession HBO Asia delivers the ultimate Oscars® experience ‘live’ and exclusive across multiple screens on TV and connected mobile devices on HBO Asia’s network of channels and online platforms. On March 5, The 90th Academy Awards® will stream ‘live’ on HBO GO and will also be broadcast ‘live’ and exclusively on HBO starting with the Oscars® Red Carpet ‘Live’ from 7:30 a.m. followed by The 90th Academy Awards® ‘Live’ at 9 a.m.. Both programs will encore that same night on HBO at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m., respectively. Exclusive Oscars® web content will also be available on HBO Asia’s dedicated Oscars® website (www.

Acoustic artist Nyoy Volante

Manila Standard - 2018 February 15 - Thursday  

The digital edition of Manila Standard: A nationally circulated newspaper published daily in the Philippines since February 1987.

Manila Standard - 2018 February 15 - Thursday  

The digital edition of Manila Standard: A nationally circulated newspaper published daily in the Philippines since February 1987.