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VOL. XXXII • NO. 178 • 4 SECTIONS 16 PAGES • P18 • SUNDAY, AUGUST 12, 2018 • •



HE House of Representatives’ committee on appropriations will suspend effective on Monday deliberations on the proposed 2019 national budget amid the opposition of lawmakers to the cash-based budgeting system of the Department of Budget and Management. “The House will be suspending budget briefings until further notice,” the panel’s chairman, Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles said Saturday. Nograles said the decision to “hold all budget briefings until further notice” was the decision of the House leadership. But Nograles is hopeful Congress’ ongoing clash with the Department of Budget and Management over the 2019 budget would not result in a reenacted budget. Nograles also assured the public that Congress would pass a General Appropriations Act that would benefit the people and consistent with the development agenda of President Rodrigo Duterte. “Our job in Congress is to ensure the passage of a budget that is in line with the vision of the President, a budget that benefits all Filipinos, especially those in the regions. In this cash-based budget of the DBM, the Filipinos, especially probinsyanos, are shortchanged,” said Nograles. Lawmakers crossed party lines to oppose the DBM’s new cashbased budgeting system, which has resulted in across-the-board cuts in the budgets of critical agencies like the Department of Education, the Department of Health, and the Department of Public Works and Highways. The budgets of the said agencies were reduced by P77 billion, P35 billion and P95 billion, respectively. Similarly, House majority leader and Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. voiced concern over the P35-billion budgetary cuts in the Department of Health’s allocation under the proposed 2019 national budget. “There are budgetary cuts in the Health department. It hits a major artery of government service, “ Andaya said, referring to the P35billion cut in the proposed DoH budget, or from P109 billion this year to P74 billion next year. Turn to A2


A piteous sight of vehicles (topmost) along the main highway Epifanio delos Santos Avenue, their headlights on at daytime Saturday with visibility near zero, while personnel from Manila’s Department of Public Service (top) collect garbage heaved by an enraged Manila Bay to the helpless Roxas Boulevard The rains spawned by Tropical Storm ''Karding'' have caused the Lambingan River in Barangay Kamuning, Quezon City (right)—typical of others in the metropolis—to rise Saturday with the speed of sound, threatening residents along its banks. Norman Cruz, Manny Palmero


By Joel E. Zurbano

HEAVY downpour brought floods and traffic logjams on major thoroughfares in the metropolis even after Tropical Storm ''Karding'' left the Philippines on Saturday, the Metro Manila Development Authority said. At the same time, weathermen raised high alert rainfall warning over Metro Manila and the nearby province

of Rizal due to what they called the southwest monsoon while monitoring a tropical depression 1,030 kms west of extreme Northern Luzon, with maximum winds of 55 kph and gusts of up to 75 kph. Motorists and commuters also experienced traffic jam along major streets in the capital, declared as “not passable to light vehicles” where nearly 13 million of the 106 million

DND ORDERS BOMBPROOF CHECKPOINTS By Francisco Tuyay DEFENSE Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has ordered military commanders to make their checkpoints nationwide bombproof, while security authorities continue to chase Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in the marsh-dotted province of Maguindanao. Military sources said rebel fighters had abandoned their comrades in the area due to what they called repeated setbacks from the military onslaught. There are 24 BIFF rebels who have surrendered since Thursday to military

authorities, declaring there are no more reasons for them to fight the government. Six BIFF rebels from the Liguasan March under the faction of Gani Saligan, a notorious rebel in South-Western Liguasan but presently at large, voluntarily surrendered to the Army’s 6th Infantry Division based in Central Mindanao. Among the BIFF fighters to surrender was Dido Malawan, 46, Deputy Brigade Commander of the BIFF’s 2nd Division. As the fighting went on against the BIFF, the 33rd Infantry Battalion and the 1st Mechanized Infantry Battal-

ion continued to assist communities in the completion of the P2-million electrification in collaboration with the Sultan Kudarat Electric Cooperative for the Midpandacan village in Maguindanao. Parallel to it, the Army also refurbished a school abandoned for three years due to perennial fighting among rival clans. “There are no more reasons for us to fight the government. The soldiers have solved our problems such as the Rido, and helped our village see the light through the electrification project,” Malawa declared. Turn to A2

population of the country live. These include the area of Epifanio de los Santos Avenue near the Balintawak station of Light Railway Transit, Edsa-Quezon Avenue Service Road near Centris Commercial Center, and Quezon Avenue - Biak na Bato, all in Quezon City; and Espana Boulevard near Maceda Street and Blumentritt Street, and Rizal Avenue near R. Papa Street in Manila. Turn to A2

ROXAS BLVD A SEA OF TRASH BAD weather has forced organizers of this year’s Manila Bay Cleanup campaign to defer the annual event for the safety of all volunteers who showed up at the venue, the catch basin beside the US Embassy along Roxas Boulevard here Saturday. The announcement to defer coincided with the sight of heaps of garbage strewn on Roxas Boulevard with the unacceptable weather creating giant Turn to A2

MANILA PORT CHIEF SACKED OVER BIG SHABU SHIPMENTS By Vito Barcelo CUSTOMS Commissioner Isidro Lapeña has sacked BoC-Manila International Container Port district collector Vener Baquiran and ordered the investigation of an accredited importer following the discovery of 500 kilos of shabu worth P3.5 billion at the MICP and another in Cavite. “I have ordered the revocation of the accreditation of SMYD Trading. I have

also recommended the relief of the district collector of MICP,” Lapeña told a weekend news briefing. “We will file the appropriate charges against the importer, SMYD trading, and the customs broker that facilitated this shipment,” Lapeña said after the bureau seized the shipment which came from Malaysia last Tuesday. The shabu in Cavite was discovered after the BoC conducted a“backtracking“ Turn to A2




HEED WARNINGS ON FEDERALISM —PANGILINAN PROPONENTS of Charter change in the Duterte administration should heed the warnings made by the government’s own economic team of possible job losses with the shift to a federal form of government, Senator Francis Pangilinan said Saturday. In a statement, Pangilinan said Duterte’s economic managers noted that 95 percent of the 1.46 million employees of the national government will lose their job. “That’s about 1.387 million people, or the equivalent of the combined populations of Pateros, Makati, San Juan, and Mandaluyong in 2015,” he said. “Without even talking about the impact on families, this loss of jobs scenario alone painted by the country’s economic managers is too much a price to pay for Charter change, as proposed,” the senator added, Meanwhile, Rodrigo Duterte’s election as President in 2016 is a clear sign the Filipino people support federalism, a group aligned with the cause said. Dante Liban, national president of the People’s National Movement for Federalism, told radio dzBB that pushing for this change in a system of government under a president other than Duterte “would be impossible.” “In our view, his election is a clear sign of support for his proposal to change the system from a unitary form of government toward a federal system,”said Liban, a former congressman of Quezon City’s 2nd district. The advocacy for a federal form of government has long been a discourse throughout Philippine history, and some Philippine heroes—such as Dr. Jose Rizal and President Emilio Aguinaldo—had advocated for it, Liban said. Discussions on federalism had also emerged in the Visayas, particularly in Negros and Iloilo, before the Treaty of Pari—which transferred the Philippines to American rule from the Spanish—way back in 1898, and in Mindanao as well, said Liban. The decades-long conflict in Mindanao, the underdevelopment of cities in other parts of the country, issues of graft and corruption by public officials, and political dynasties are problems that can be addressed by federalism, he added.


From A1

Also declared “not passable to all types of vehicles” due to knee-deep floods are the areas of Araneta Avenue near Talayan and Victory Avenue; and E. Rodriguez Avenue. MMDA chief information officer Sharon Gentalian said gutter-deep floods also caused the slow movement of vehicles along Commonwealth Avenue near the areas of Tandang Sora, Masaya Street and Mindanao Avenue, and Elliptical Road corner East Avenue, all in Quezon City, and Quirino Avenue in the areas of Plaza Dilao, and Pedro Gil and Guazon Streets in Manila. The MMDA recently came up with a list of flood-prone areas in the National Capital Region that the public should avoid, especially during rush hours and heavy downpour. With about 20 tropical cyclones entering the country every year, the MMDA also reminded the public to heed warnings and take all precautions to protect health and ensure safety during a bad weather condition. Among the MMDA-identified floodprone areas in the metropolis are Rizal Avenue corner Ricardo Papa, Sampaloc and its immediate vicinity, and Quiapo and its immediate vicinity, all in the City of Manila; Makati Diversion Channel, South Superhighway, Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue and its vicinity, all in Makati City; Maysilo Circle—Boni Avenue and its vicinity, Kalentong Street, New Panaderos Street, Shaw Boulevard and Acacia Lane, all in Mandaluyong City; Barangay Doña Imelda, Damayan Lagi, Tatalon and Talayan, all in Quezon City, and the Ninoy Aquino Avenue and its vicinity in Parañaque City. During heavy rains, the agency advised the people to: Stay indoors and keep calm; Monitor TV and radio reports; Keep roads clear for emergency vehicles; Go to the nearest designated evacuation center if your house is in a flood-prone area; Have a flashlight and radio handy, with fresh batteries; and stock up on food, potable water, kerosene, batteries, and first-aid supplies. “In case of flooding, turn off the main sources of electricity, gas and water in your home. Stack furniture above the expected flood level and keep appliances, valuables, chemicals, toxic substances, and garbage beyond the reach of floodwaters,” the MMDA said.


June 28 to 30 this year. Party-list Reps. Carlos Zarate of Bayan Muna, Ariel Casilao of Anakpawis, Arlene Brosas and Emmi de Jesus of Gabriela and Antonio Tinio of ACT Teachers make up the Makabayan Bloc. HR 2065 also provides that the stand-down agreement “shall be declared and announced simultaneously by both parties one week before the agreed date of resumption of the formal talks.” The stand-down “shall be understood to mean temporary cessation of hostilities, in which the contending armed units and personnel of the Parties stay where they are [as is where is], take an active defense mode, and shall not commit any offensive action or operation against combatants and


T LEAST 21 congressmen identified with the Left have filed a resolution asking the administration to resume peace talks with the communist rebels.

The legislators filed the resolution on the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement of the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law on Friday, Aug. 10. House Resolution 2065 calls for the immediate resumption of the peace negotiations between the government and the National Democratic Front based on the signed

agreements on June 8. The Makabayan Bloc in the House of Representatives led the filing of HR 2065, which said that the signed Stand-Down Agreement binds the military, the police, and the New People’s Army from hostilities as “goodwill and confidence-building measures” for the previously agreed resumption of the fifth round of talks which were supposed to be held on

civilians.” The stalled fifth round of peace talks seeks to forge an interim peace agreement that contains key provisions of the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms, general amnesty of political prisoners, and coordinated unilateral ceasefire and would have given the negotiations a boost. They also said that as representatives of the people, members of the House of Representatives are duty bound to express the sentiments and interests of their constituents for the immediate resumption of the stalled peace talks and for the determined effort to find peaceful and just resolution to the armed conflict between government and the NDF.

HOUSE COOL TO SOTTO BILL ON 14TH MONTH PAY By Maricel V. Cruz AT LEAST two congressmen on Saturday said Senate President Vicente Sotto III’s bill granting 14th month pay to employees in the private sector may have a hard time passing in Congress. Reps. Gus Tambunting of Parañaque City and Ben Evardone of Eastern Samar said Sotto’s Senate Bill 2 would meet a cold shoulder from congressmen. Tambunting said legislated wage increases or mandatory benefits and bonuses need to be studied carefully. “There is a need to balance the interests of workers and employers, as well as the broader economy. We need to remember that the Philippines is primarily a ‘service economy,’”

HOUSE... From A1 Andaya said the virtual cancellation of the Health Facilities Enhancement Program, from the 2018 level of P30.3 billion to P100 million next year, accounted for bulk of the cuts. Began during the Aquino administration, HFEP is a multiyear program to improve health facilities such as hospitals and barangay health stations but was recently mired in controversies as regards to alleged irregularities in its implementation. “One downside of the proposed DoH budget cut is the possible displacement of medical professionals under its health deployment program where doctors, nurses, midwives, dentists are sent to rural areas and urban centers with high poverty incidence,” Andaya, former Budget secretary, said. While he expressed reservations over the mulled DoH budget reduction, Andaya praised the hike in the government’s budget for the PhilHealth enrollment of indigent households, from the current P60.6 billion to next year’s P67.4 billion. Next year, the national government will adopt the cash-budgeting sytem that calls for the payment of goods and services on the same year that they were acquired. But with this policy of the DBM, Nograles said instead of “Build, Build,


From A1

waves lapping against the Manila seawall. YouScooper Norly Capanzana showed a clip to GMA News, saying it seemed Manila Bay returned all the trash dumped by people into it or those washed down by the water arteries that emptied into the Bay. “Primarily, the reason to postpone our cleanup activity is for the safety of our volunteers from the present weather condition, as witnessed even by our participants from the Metro Manila Development Authority and the City of Manila. There might be a surge since the waves have begun to seep through the wall,” Catherine Villanueva, Land Bank of the Philippines first vice president for Corporate Affairs, told the Philippine News Agency.

said Tambunting, chairman of the House committee on games and amusements. Evardone said a lot of factors need to be considered to enable private sector employers to give their rank and file employees 14th month pay every year. Other employees, such as those in government, should also get a fair share of pay increases, added the Eastern Samar solon. “I will support it provided it covers all employees,” said Evardone, chairman of the House committee on banks and financial intermediaries, Malacañang earlier said the President would still need to consult with his economic managers to study whether or not to support Sotto’s bill.

SB 2 proposes that 13th month pay shall be given to employees in the private sector not later than June 14, while the 14th month pay shall be given before Dec. 24 of every year. State workers are already entitled to a 14th month pay through a 2017 Budget Circular. Meanwhile, Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte urged national government agencies to get their act together in implementing infrastructure projects in support of President Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” program. Villafuerte, vice chairman of the House committee on appropriations, lamented the low absorptive capacity of certain national government agencies in implementing projects,

Build,”it will now be “Slash, Slash, Slash.” Nograles said the ongoing budget deliberations in the House of Representatives “have opened our eyes to the drawbacks of the proposed cashbased budgeting system.” “This is the complete opposite of the ‘Build, Build, Build’thrust of the Duterte administration. The people expect more infrastructure, more assistance from government. Instead, the budget presented by the DBM is all about ‘Slash, Slash, Slash,’ which would result in fewer of everything: fewer roads, fewer classrooms, fewer government hospital facilities,” said Nograles. Nograles said many of his colleagues in the House were determined to exhort the DBCC “to amend the budget to one that is more attuned to the situation on the ground.” “We will revert to an obligationsbased budget. It is not just us in Congress who have issues with cashbased budgeting; even members of the cabinet who have faced us have issues, too. The requirements of a cash-based budget simply do not reflect the realities of governance,” Nograles added. In separate budget hearings this week, several points were raised with regard to the inapplicability of the new DBM budget scheme. Commission on Higher Education officer-in-charge Prospero de Vera III told lawmakers the cash-based budget system would “severely hamper” the implementation of Republic Act 10931

“We could not even set up because people might get electrocuted. We took into consideration the safety of our volunteers, [our] primary and utmost reason to reschedule the cleanup activity,” Villanueva added. The event is part of the 55th anniversary celebration of the governmentowned bank. Although, the clean-up and the EM Mabuhay ball-making activities have been deferred, Villanueva noted that the other two events, the PET bottle rescue boat-making and ecobrick chairs-making, pushed through. The president of the Manila Bay Sunset Partnership Program Inc. noted that they would use the ecobricks to make chairs that they would turn over to the Manila government. The Ecobrick Program is a lowcost, low-technology and sustainable solution to minimize the use of single-use plastic wastes that pollute the ocean. PNA

as conceded by Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, has affected the allocation for infrastructure projects at the local government level. Under the new cash-based budgeting system, Malacañang submitted a proposed P3.757-trillion budget for 2019, which is slightly lower than this year’s P3.767 trillion. At a recent budget hearing of the House committee on appropriations, chaired by Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles, Diokno said Malacañang’s proposed 2019 cashbased national budget is slightly lower than the previous year’s because it is based on each agency’s absorptive capacity, and the readiness of the projects and programs for implementation.

or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act. De Vera said CHED would encounter problems with the shift to a cashbased budget system as the fiscal year and academic year are not aligned. “We will be severely hampered in implementing RA 10931... first in estimating reimbursements, second in determining which reimbursements will be given, and third in utilizing the budget allocated by Congress.” In another hearing, DPWH Secretary Mark Villar admitted that the shift to a cash-based budgeting would be “challenging” for his agency. Villar said his department had to make adjustments due to the cashbased budgeting system, as it requires disbursements to be made within the fiscal year. “We have to make sure that our timelines are extremely accurate. We have to make sure preparations [for] our projects are all on time… It’s more challenging,”said the former lawmaker. Nograles, a three-term congressman, said that experience has shown that such scenarios, while ideal, were difficult to guarantee. “Many projects do not get completed on time for various valid reasons, like justifiable delays in procurement, legal challenges, fund release problems, and even the weather. We recognize that the DBM wants more spending efficiency, but this can be achieved through other means, without cutting the budget.”


From A1

of the shipment which was consigned to Vecaba Ent. In Malacañang, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said the latest reported drug shipment that had been smuggled in showed that big-time drug lords and smugglers would become more daring as local supply dwindled. In a statement, Roque said, “We view the latest reported foreign drug shipment as a sign that big-time drug manufacturers and smugglers are becoming bolder with a dwindled local supply as they feel the pressure from the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.” “Our authorities are now working with their foreign counterparts to help with the probe, he added. Last Tuesday, authorities intercepted nearly 500 kilograms of suspected shabu at


From A1

The former BIFF rebels brought with them six high-powered firearms including two Rocket Propelled Grenade Launchers (RPG), two Cal 50 sniper rifles, an M14 rifle and one Cal 30 bolt action sniper rifle. Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the 6th Infantry Division, said those who surrendered had realized the futility of their cause after seeing the development projects facilitated by the Armed Forces in General SK Pendatun area. “The surrender of our brothers from the BIFF is a welcome development in our ongoing effort in supporting the peace and development agenda of the government,” Sobejana said. “We would like to transform Liguasan Marsh from a battlefield to an oilfield that would bring economic prosperity for the Moro people and Mindanao region as a whole,” Sobejana added. Nearly 100 BIFF rebels have been killed in the series of fighting with government forces in Maguindanao. Sobejana said the BIFF rebels who returned to the folds of the law would be given P20,000 livelihood assistance through Maguindanao lawmaker Congressman Zaid Mangudadatu, along with a livelihood package from Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu of Maguindanao.

the Port of Manila, after receiving a tip from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Philippine National Police. The shipment was consigned to Vecaba trading that arrived in MICP on June 28 but was abandoned by the consignee. “As a result of our backtracking investigation, it was identified that it was consigned to SMYD Trading, owned by Marina dela Cruz Signapan, with customs broker Katrina Grace Cuasay, with the the shipment declared as magnetic lifter. The shipment passed through the normal procedure. It was tagged red, had been x-rayed and examined, but, as what PDEA had said, the drugs inside it cannot be detected,” he said. He said the BoC was against a very sophisticated, well-funded international syndicate that was operating a largescale drug smuggling business. “This problem is not unique to the Philippines, and even countries with higher capabilities, continue to struggle against these drug cartels,” Lapeña said.



By Joel E. Zurbano


OLICE busted 123 customers, 57 of them foreigners, and 31 workers at a high-end bar in Makati City during Saturday’s dawn undercover raid aimed at the alleged widespread sale of illegal party drugs at the establishment. Joint operatives of the Southern Police District and Makati City police force swooped down on Time Dance and Nightclub located along Makati Avenue in Barangay Poblacion around 4:30 am after one of its employees sold drugs worth P22,500 to an undercover police operative. “During initial search, several pieces of evidence were recovered at the tables, chairs of some of the guests while 31 employees of the said establishment are currently held for investi-

gation,” said SPD spokesman Jenny Tecson, citing the initial report sent by the Makati City police station. “More or less 125 foreign and local guests were invited for questioning and were released later,” she added. Tecson said some of the evidences seized from the establishment were 315 grams of cocaine worth more than P1.5 million, 19 tablets and capsules of ecstasy worth P142,000, a small plastic of sachet with a high-grade marijuana called kush, one .38-cal revolver and five live ammunitions, drug pharaphernalia and the P22,500 marked money used in the buy-bust. “The result of the buy-bust operation showed that when a customer asked for [a drug] the employee will get and provide,” said National Capital Region Police Office director Guillermo Eleazar. Eleazar said other areas of the establishment will be placed under a search warrant to check the vaults where bulk of cocaine is suspectedly being kept.


residents of Smokey Mountain in Tondo, Manila are now assured of a steady supply of low-priced NFA rice as the agency’s Central District Office recently partnered with the barangay unit to open an additional outlet at the barangay center and make the P27/kilogram NFA rice accessible to the residents. Smokey Mountain is a resettlement community composed of 30 tenement buildings housing 5,200 families. The barangay center outlet, called Tagpuan Day Rice Delivery Program, is the third NFA rice outlet in the area, in addition to one located inside the community itself and another at a nearby ‘talipapa’. Norman Cruz

The police are also coordinating with the city’s Business Permit Licensing Office to check on the licenses and permits of the eatablishment. “We have coordinated with the Business and Permit Licensing Office. They will be closing the establishment effectively today,” said Eleazar. The raid came following intelligence reports that employees of the bar allegedly acted as distributors and suppliers and the ones directly selling drugs to its customers, who are mostly foreigners. Among the 31 employees now being held at the Makati City police station are bartenders, waiters, receptionists, bouncers, cashiers and security personnel of the establishment. Authorities said ecstasy is a Class-A drug, which is an artificial stimulant, popular among clubbers. They added those who take the drug can have a rush of energy which makes them alert, excited and happy. Those taking the drug can feel anxious or getting panic attacks, and developing confused episodes, paranoia or even psychosis.


CUSTOMERS can now be assured that prices of more products are more or less within the appropriate price range. This after the Department of Trade and Industry decided to expand the list of products and brands covered by the suggested retail prices. DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said the expanded SRP is aimed at easing the impact of rising prices of basic goods. The SRP is a tool used by the DTI to monitor prices of basic goods and prime commodities to prevent unscrupulous traders from practicing profiteering. “Sa DTI po dinamihan natin ang nako-cover ng SRP natin... Dinamihan natin ang mga produkto na kino-cover ng SRP. Dati ‘yan mga 145 [items]. Ngayon 209 [items] ang kino-cover na natin,” Lopez said in a radio interview. Previously, products covered by SRP include canned goods like luncheon meat, meatloaf, corned beef, condiments like vinegar, soy sauce and patis, soap, candles, batteries, bottled water, sardines,

powdered milk, coffee and other consumer products. Aside from expanding the list of products and brands covered by SRP, the DTI said it will also intensify its price monitoring activities by checking more stores every week. “Dinamihan ang mga tindahan na mino-monitor from 400 to 600 every week,” Lopez added. The government partly blamed profiteers for the increase in prices of goods, saying that these profiteers have taken advantage of the tax reform law. Lopez claimed that only 20 percent of manufactured products have registered price increases while the remaining 80 percent remained steady. “Sa aming pagsu-survey every week, sa manufactured hindi masyadong gumagalaw kasi maraming choices,” Lopez said, noting that competition among different brands helped control price movements. “At minimal 2 percent to 10 percent lang ang ang nagiging increase niyan,” Lopez said.

FIRM OFFERS TO CLEAN UP PASIG RIVER FOR FREE A PRIVATE firm on Saturday expressed intention to clear and clean up the so-called “overly-polluted” Pasig River, free of charge. Filipino entrepreneur and environmentalist Mariano Jose Diaz Villafuerte IV, chief executive officer of Cypherodin Inc. and cryptocurrency Botcoin, said his firm is interested to clean up the 27-kilometer long Pasig River using blockchain distributed ledge platform (DLT). “We first came up with the idea of showcasing how blockchain technology can solve real world problems and clean up the environment specifically, using Boracay Island [a world famous tourist resort island in central Philippines] as an example. How-

ever, the government shut the island down in April, so we looked at the Pasig River instead as the next most important body of water in the country,” Villafuerte said in a statement. He explained how his company plans to install internet of things (IoT) devices on the river and underwater (IOUT) to monitor water quality or tide levels and other relevant data to track and monitor their progress in real time. This will enable them to generate and analyse the data produced that will serve to create the impact they are looking for towards solving the plastic and garbage problem that silts the river. For even more utility, he said Cypherodin would be using drones to

map the plastic using LIDAR on a microscopic level. “We will collect all the data we gather from these IoT and process them so we will have comprehensive information on where the plastics and garbage are coming from, how they are moving, among others. This would allow us to analyze and come up with recommendations on how to best clean up the rivers of this debris,” Villafuerte said. But as part of its holistic approach, Villafuerte said they also plan on launching a massive information drive, particularly to communities along the riverbanks and near the river about the importance of proper garbage disposal and how to protect

the environment. The communities, he said, would be incentivized with Botcoin cryptocurrency for a certain amount of garbage they collected on the river and for not throwing plastics on it. Botcoin is the first digital currency which aims to create a world free of waste and restored to its pristine state. “This would encourage the community also to respect the river because they will be earning something from it,” Villafuerte added. Currently, Cypherodin is looking for collaborators along with government agencies, including the Pasig River Rehabilitation Council to implement the project. Joel E. Zurbano

NO CONFLICT BETWEEN BICAM SC ON COCO LEVY FUND—VILLAR RESPONDING to criticisms after the bicameral conference committee approved last week a bill creating a P100billion levy trust fund, Senator Cynthia Villar said she sees no conflict with the recent Sandiganbayan declaring the coco levy trust fund as state-owned. Under the bicam committee’s proposal, the fund will be used for 25 years for the benefit of 3.5 million coconut farmers. “There is no conflict between the decision of the Sandiganbayan and the provisions of the law that the Congress passed,” Villar, who chairs the Senate committee on agriculture and food, said. “I really do not see any conflicts. All the money in the fund will really go to the coconut farmers. We made sure of that. It is aimed at lifting coconut farmers, who are among the poorest in the country, out of poverty,” the senator said. According to the Sandiganbayan, the

estimated P74 billion worth of assets from the Coconut Industry Investment Fund belong to the government and should be distributed to coconut farmers. In coming out with the new ruling, the Sandiganbayan overturned its 2017 decision calling for more hearings on the civil case involving United Coconut Planters Bank and the Coconut Planters Life Assurance Corp. by granting the government’s motion for reconsideration. In 2014, the SC ruled with finality that 2004 decision of the Sandiganbayan declaring that the government is the owner of the coco levy funds. “The cash and the assets from Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund amounting to about P105 billion will be distributed to coconut farmers at the rate of P5 billion per year until the fund runs out,” Villar said.

IKOT MANILA. Light Rail Manila Corp. president and chief executive Juan Alfonso and Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat led the launching of LRT 1 Ikot Manila which aims to promote tourism in the country with the use of LRT 1 as a means of transportation in roaming the city, before they signed the memorandum of partnership between DoT, LRMC along with Old Manila Walks founder, Ivan Man dy and Kapitbahayan sa Kalye Bautista president and CEO Abigail Kho. Ey Acasio



US NAVY SEARCHES SURIGAO STRAIT FOR MARINE THE US military said it had launched a search and rescue operation after reports said that a Marine may have fallen overboard from an American warship as it sailed through Philippine waters. The US 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit said a member, who was not named, may have gone overboard Thursday morning. Aircraft on board the USS Essex are searching waters off the Sulu Sea and the Surigao Strait while multiple searches are also being made inside the ship itself, the unit said on its social media sites late Friday. The ship was conducting “routine operations in the Sulu Sea” at the time, the California-based unit said. “We remain committed to searching for and finding our marine,” the statement quoted the marine unit’s commander, Colonel Chandler Nelms as saying. “All of our sailors, marines and available assets aboard the USS Essex have been and will continue to be involved in this incredibly important search and rescue operation,” added the search commander, US Navy Captain Gerald Olin. The Philippine Coast Guard are also taking part in what is now an expanded search covering about 3,000 square nautical miles (10,290 square kilometers), it added.

PTFOMS, EGCO EARN PRAISE FROM SENATOR POE THE head of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security on Wednesday reported to the Senate its accomplishments, which he said were achieved despite formidable challenges, such as the lack of resources. In his report to the Senate committee on public information and mass media, Undersecretary Joel Sy Egco, executive director of PTFoMS, said the task force has acted on all cases of threats and violence against media workers group, including 17 monitored and acted upon incidents of killings—four of which were work-related and 13 were not related to work (personal grudges, politics and other reasons beyond media work). The task force also investigated and solved 30 cases of reported threats, he added. Senator Grace Poe commended the PTFoMS for its impressive performance as she vowed to give the task force more teeth by giving it a bigger budget. “Actually, you know Usec. Egco, I would like to commend you. This is a very comprehensive report and I can see your sympathy towards your fellow journalists,” said Poe, chairman of the Senate committee on public information and mass media. She also said she is reviewing proposals to make the PTFoMS an independent Commission on Media Security. PNA

NO WORD YET ON BALANGIGA BELLS —CAYETANO FOREIGN Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said Friday the government has yet to receive word from Washington amid circulating reports that the US defense secretary had announced the return of the Balangiga Bells to the Philippines. “Wala pang official transmission sa amin sa DFA (The Department of Foreign Affairs has still not received any official transmission regarding the bells),” Cayetano said, when asked to confirm the veracity of a viral post on Facebook claiming such. As of posting, the post has more than a hundred shares already. The latest development, he said, was the signing of the US National Defense Authorization Act of 2018, which gives the US defense chief the authority to decide on the bells’ transfer. “Ayokong pangunahan ‘yung official na approval nila pero parang nago-open ‘yung mga pinto, dati sarado. Dati kasi, Congress can block it, ngayon binigay nila ‘yung desisyon sa defense (I don’t want to preempt the official approval but doors that were once closed seem to be opening. In the past, the US Congress could block it but this decision has been given to defense),” Cayetano told reporters in an interview in Taguig City. PNA



Reira U Mallari, Editor



Edward Paul Caunca displays his dunking abilities at a basketball park in London. Inset shows his brother Melvyn Ford displaying his school’s trophy.


ROTHERS Melvyn Ford and Edward Paul Caunca may stand smaller against bigger and heftier teammates and opponents. But the two stood tall in helping their respective teams and were instrumental in the championship in their collegiate cage leagues in London. The diminutive 5’8” point guard of the University of Leicester, junior cager Melvyn Ford played court general in the school’s campaign as it won the title recently in the prestigious British Universities and Colleges Sports, thereby making the Filipino-British cager proud. He gained respect from his “pure-blooded British” teammates with

his Filipino brand of basketball. “Basketball in London is physical, but mine is patterned after the Filipino style, which puts premium on speed, precision and the mental aspect. That’s why I was very effective to the team,” the younger Caunca said. His elder brother Edward Paul is a varsity small forward for his team University of Arts London, but his shooting prowess and perimeter offense were instrumental in his team’s success in the BUCS basketball men’s division. “My teammates are so tall with a 6’7” in ceiling. With my shooting skills, I became part of the marquee players in winning the championship for my team,” said the fresh BSBA graduate, 6’1” Edward Paul.

Both are also playing in commercial cage leagues in London. The two were influenced by their father, Engr. Eduard Caunca, an executive engineer of a multinational power innovation firm in London and owns a commercial cage team named Manila-Grid Zero Power Corp. They are also fully supported by their mother Mely Pataray Caunca, who owns a house maintenance firm London Manila General Services, also in London. The brothers, though, have chosen a different path, making basketball their life as they wish to contribute in the development of basketball back in the Philippines. If a given the opportunity and time, they would love to share their basketball gifts to the Philippines.

SURFING CAPITAL PREPARES FOR TOURISM SURGE By Ram Christian Agustin SIARGAO, a tropical haven surrounded by white sand beaches waiting to be explored, a diverse aquatic wildlife and offering countless world-class left, right and long breaks including the famed Cloud 9, is about to be faced by a booming tourist population brought upon by the closure of Boracay. The teardrop-shaped island hailed as the surfing capital of the country is in its defining stages for development, drawing world pros for international tournaments like the Siargao International Women’s Surfing Cup, sanctioned by the World Surf League for the very first time last May 2017. Cloud 9 in Siargao is one of the best waves known in the local surfing community which features a perfect barreling right hand reef breaking on a very shallow reef and is not recommended for novices. It is a relatively short wave guaranteed to barrel nearly the whole way guarantees satisfaction and is best on mid to high tides. There’s no shortage of challenges for surfers both from the country and outside just like the Pacifico break that stands resolute with its force and speed that can hold large swells without dealing huge crowds in its lineup and Stimpy’s long left break that barrels in a shallow reef. The nights are illuminated by countless bars and

fire dancing beside the island with the 8th best wave globally and classified as a conservation area that is about to adapt Eco-Sep, a septic water management system technology that prevents contamination of wastewater in sewage systems. Investors and businessmen alike have set their eye on developing Siargao, but with a more con-

scious effort to fashion it into a paradise island, a relatively untouched region which has always been part of its charm. If you are keen on investing and acquiring properties in Siargao, please check  or email  for your real estate needs.

STORM SWAMPS TIGER’S CHARGE ST. LOIUS—Tiger Woods ran off three birdies in four holes Friday before thunderstorms halted his fightback and suspended the second round of the 100th PGA Championship with Gary Woodland clinging to a one-stroke lead. A Bellerive Country Club course that had earlier flirted with surrendering the lowest rounds in major golf history was soaked by showers, leaving a tantalyzing prospect for 14-time major champion Woods as half the field of 156 that resumes play Saturday morning. “I felt I was headed in the right direction,” Woods said. “Tomorrow is going to be a long day for a lot of us. The good thing is we’re going to have the greens prepared before we go back out there.” Competition will resume at 7 p.m. (1200 GMT) with about 3 1/2 hours of play to complete before making the cut. Organizers said the third round will be played in threesomes and off the first and 10th tees starting 30 minutes after the second round ends. Woodland fired a four-under par 66 to lead on 10-under 130, one stroke ahead of British Open runner-up Kevin Kisner with twotime US Open champion Brooks Koepka third on 132. Top-ranked Dustin Johnson, South African Charl Schwartzel and Belgium’s Thomas Pieters were on 133. “I feel safe where my game is,” Woodland said. “I’m not too worried with what anyone else is doing out there.” Koepka, Kisner and Schwartzel thrilled the crowd by chasing the all-time record low men’s major score of 62 set by South African Branden Grace in the third round at the 2017 British Open at par-70 Royal Birkdale. AFP

LEBRON MAKES LA HOME DEBUT VS ROCKETS LOS ANGELES—-LeBron James will make his Los Angeles Lakers’ home debut on October 20 against the Houston Rockets at Staples Center arena, the National Basketball Association announced on Friday. The four-time league MVP James, who left the Cleveland Cavaliers last month to sign with the Lakers, and his new teammates travel to Portland on the 18th for their regular season debut contest. The announcement comes two days after the league released their abbreviated schedule for its 73rd season. On Wednesday, the league announced that for the 20th straight year, the Lakers will play on Christmas Day, travelling to face the defending champion Golden State Warriors. James returns to Cleveland for his lone game against the Cavaliers on November 21. The Lakers will play on national television 35 times. James, who signed a four-year, $153 million contract with the Lakers in July, faced the Warriors in each of the past four NBA finals as a member of Cavaliers. The Lakers’ longest road trip of the season is a five-game, 12-day stretch from February 1-12 when the Grammy Awards are held at Staples Center. They’ll play 13 back-to-back sets. AFP

QUIBAN CRUISES TO 5-SHOT BACOLOD ROMP BACOLOD—Justin Quiban recovered with flourish from a frontside meltdown to nail his second career victory, pouncing on a clutch two-shot swing on No. 13 to turn a scary start into a resounding finish in the ICTSI Bacolod Golf Challenge here yesterday. His whopping overnight seven-stroke lead reduced to two at the turn, Quiban steeled himself in the bone-crunching stage to thwart the rallying Jay Bayron with a birdie from close range off a monster drive on No. 13 of the Binitin layout then watched his rival flub a par-putt bid from six feet to rebuild another big cushion. That paved the way for 22-year-old Quiban’s runaway triumph that had earlier looked uncertain after a bogey-marred frontside 37 coupled with Bayron’s solid 32 put the latter within reach

with nine holes to play in the P2.5 million event sponsored by ICTSI. But that proved to be the closest Bayron could get as Quiban regained his touch, bearing and all to prevail, capping his romp with another birdie on No. 15 for a 33 and a 70 and beating Bayron by five on a 16-under 264 total worth P450,000. “I started really slow. After those bogeys, I felt a bit of pressure, especially when a good player like Bayron behind me,” said Quiban, who after a twobirdie, one-bogey effort after five holes, fumbled with three straight bogeys from No. 6, enabling Bayron, who hit three birdies at the front, to pull within two. “It was a good thing I got better at the back,” added Quiban, whose victory came seven months after scoring a breakthrough at Philippine Golf

Tour Asia CAT Open at Luisita and ended a string of mediocre finishes on both the PGT and PGT Asia. In a strange twist of fate in the last nine holes, the young Quiban picked himself up from a harrowing frontside with a big drive off the tee on the par-4 13th, the ball landing 25 feet off the cup. “I bombed it away. I thought that if I make it to the green off the tee, I might turn things around,” said Quiban. He did as Bayron’s conservative approach backfired, missing the green on a a layup shot and flubbing a six-footer for par. “That was it. I was on the move to closing the gap. When I saw the opportunity, I made a charge but just fell short,” rued Bayron, a multi-titled campaigner who ruled the PGTA Southwoods leg last month. He ended up with a 68 and settled for second with a 269 and received P320,000.

Justin Quiban holds his trophy after foiling veteran Jay Bayron and scoring his second career victory in the ICTSI Bacolod Golf Challenge.



Adelle Chua, Editor




By Pak Yiu and Danni Zhu



HE latest feat by the Bureau of Customs is stupefying.

We don’t refer to the more than P50 million worth of smuggled goods that had been destroyed in a condemnation facility. Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña seemed proud of his agency’s destruction of about 500,000 pieces of clothes, shoes, watches and other apparel. It’s a different distinction altogether, enough perhaps to cause Customs officials to hang their heads in shame. It is four container vans of shabu worth over P7 billion that had magically escaped Customs’ watchful eyes and ended up at a warehouse in Cavite. According to the director general of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, Aaron Aquino, his team found four magnetic lifting equipment at a warehouse in General Mariano Alvarez. They were tipped off by a caretaker. Unfortunately by the time the team got there, the containers were empty. Only trained dogs confirmed that drugs had been in the containers. The drugs were no longer there and had made their way to the streets, Aquino said. That’s more trade for the pushers and more substance for the users in a country that

TENDING Life, the book, was launched in late June by the Anti-Death Penalty Task Force—a coalition of 10 organizations that includes the Free Legal Assistance Group, the Coalition Against the Death Penalty, the Episcopal Commission on Prison-Pastoral Care-Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, the Philippine Jesuit Prison Service Foundation, Inc., the Samahan ng mga Pamilya sa Death Row (now called Samahan ng mga Pamilya ng mga Bilanggo), the DNA Analysis Laboratory, Natural Sciences Research Institute, University of the Philippines, the Commission on Human

WHEN Jiang Cheng first tried a bit of concealer during his first year of university in China it gave him self-confidence and he was instantly hooked. Now he is among hundreds of Chinese men sharing beauty tips online and cashing in on the booming male cosmetics industry. “I found that putting on make-up is actually quite easy,” the 24-year-old said as he gently brushed his face with some foundation. “Women may not fully grasp the concept of male make-up. If a girl puts on my makeup, they may not be able to achieve the effect that I really want,” Jiang said. Every weekend, Jiang spends a couple of hours in front of his iPhone at his cozy makeshift studio in Beijing trying on the latest balms and blush for hundreds of live viewers, who can simultaneously buy the products he reviews. “This color is not that outrageous that men can’t wear it safely even in a conservative environment,” he explains to his fans. Online beauty stars form an enormous industry in China, with internet celebrities known as “wang hong” or online stars, blurring the line between entertainment and e-commerce. Companies like Alibaba and have launched live-streaming platforms that allow viewers to purchase on the go while watching videos. And cosmetics brands pay big money for online celebrities, almost always female, to review their new products. But now the market and gender norms are changing, with cosmetics no longer seen as exclusively for women and male celebrities showing that it is okay for men to dab on a bit of blush. Jiang says a firm that manages bloggers pays him around 5,000 yuan ($730) per month to feature products from cosmetics companies. The male beauty market is expected to grow 15.2 percent in the next five years in China compared to an 11 percent global increase over the same period, according to research firm Euromonitor. ‘Little Fresh Meat’ Increasingly, foreign firms like La Mer and Aesop work with video bloggers such as Lan Haoyi, known as Lan Pu Lan online, to promote their products to his nearly 1.4 million followers. The 27-year-old spends up to 10,000 yuan ($1,460) a month on beauty products and says China’s “Little Fresh Meat”—a term referring to young good-looking men—is spearheading this trend. “We’re seeing more men in the media wearing make-up. This will naturally become the norm,” Lan said. Despite what appears to be social progress in many of the country’s cosmopolitan cities, the video blogger says he still receives hate messages and criticism for appearing in smoky red eyeshadow. “’Why would a man look like that? Why does a man need to wear make-up?’ These are some of messages I get,” Lan says, adding he has been called a “sissy” and other slurs. For Jiang, the fear of being ridiculed by his own parents stops him from picking up the make-up brush in front of them. “I don’t want to have conflict with my parents. We don’t see eye to eye, our values and concepts of life are different. “I’m not saying that they don’t think me putting on make-up is bad or what, but they are just unable to accept the daily make-up routine for a man,” he says. Internet strategy But Mo Fei, the executive director for Chetti Rouge, a Chinese cosmetics company targeting men exclusively, says that will change over time. “There will be more and more men who take more care in how they look and the demands will increase. Men in the East are more accepting,” Mo says. He opened Chetti Rouge in 2005 with few products. Now the beauty company sells a wide variety of cosmetics ranging from foundation to lipstick solely for men and has moved the entire business online. “We saw potential in the market very early on,” Mo told AFP, adding that the company expanded to Thailand three years ago. “It might be that men have accepted make-up. For men to browse products in shopping malls, may be for some men a little intimidating, hence the best way for them to buy is online, which is why our sales strategy is mainly on the Internet.” AFP

has declared an all-out war against illegal drugs. Aquino said he had informed Lapeña of their Cavite discovery and that Lapeña had said he would relieve the MICT collector immediately. Documents revealed the four containers were shipments from Taiwan. Incidents such as these make a mockery of the President’s supposedly hard-lined stance against drugs. The Philippine National Police has been trying to execute Mr. Duterte’s wishes, negotiating the thin line between enforcement and alleged violation of human rights. All these zeal counts for nothing if such large shipments continue to come in and flood the local market. Aquino says the syndicates have become more creative over time and are one step ahead of them. This is because the Bureau of Customs, under various leaderships, is just so far behind in the performance of its mandate to ensure only legitimate shipments pass through our borders. This is not the first time that drug shipments worth billions have been allowed in. Small wonder the bureau has maintained its notoriety for incompetence and corruption. We wonder whether the Palace will ever truly decisively act on this seemingly hopeless agency.

TENDING LIFE Rights, NoBox Transitions Foundation Inc., Developmental Legal Advocacy Clinic of the De La Salle University College of Law, and UPParalegal Volunteers Organization. It’s a series of papers on the right to life, all products of a forum on drug policy in the context of this administration’s war on drugs. Fr. Manuel Francisco talks about balancing justice and mercy in the context of the Catholic Church’s teaching on the

death penalty. “Justice entails that individuals be held accountable; nonetheless, mercy demands that they be treated as human beings,” he says. In their paper on the use of forensic science in challenging environments, forensic scientist Maria Corazon de Ungria and lawyer Jose Jose say that despite the existence of three laboratories (DNA Analysis Laboratory

LONG STORY SHORT in UP Diliman, Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory, and the National Bureau of Investigation Crime Laboratory) which have the capability to do forensic work, using forensic DNA as a tool has not yet been made part of routine investigations. There are many applications of the technology—kinship analysis, criminal investigation, disaster victim identification. Ultimately, they say, science should be

ADELLE CHUA “used in the service of Philippine society in respecting, protecting and upholding the fundamental rights of all, regardless of social class or economic status, and in defending human life.” Turn to B4

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CALIFORNIA BLAZE THREATENS AREAS WITH SMOKE TOO LAKE ELSINORE—Authorities battling massive wildfires in large swathes of California issued mandatory evacuation orders and health warnings Friday over the worsening air quality as the flames grew ever closer to populated areas. After almost a month of wildfires, the National Weather Service warned that satellite images showed “widespread smoke” drifting from the fires into western and central Canada before heading back south in the US Northern Plains. The Kaibab National Forest service in neighboring Arizona warned that “wildfires across the West are creating regional haze.” But it was northern California where most air quality alerts were being issued, with warnings of “unhealthy conditions” for vulnerable groups such as the very young and old. The Mendocino Complex, made of two separate blazes, has been declared the most destructive fire in the state’s history. Its largest blaze, the Ranch Fire, was only 53 percent contained compared to 87 percent for its twin River Fire. Further north, the Carr Fire was declared 51 percent under control, after scorching 180,000 acres (73,000 hectares) of land and claiming the lives of three firefighters and five civilians, making it California’s third deadliest fire ever. AFP



STANBUL—The embattled Turkish lira tumbled over 16 percent to new record lows against the dollar as strains with the United States intensified, but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan defiantly proclaimed Turkey would emerge victorious in an “economic war”.


A Yemeni child awaits treatment at a hospital after he was wounded in a reported air strike on the Iran-backed Huthi rebels’ stronghold province of Saada on Thursday. A Saudi-led coalition battling in Yemen said it carried out an attack in the rebel-held north today that the Red Cross said hit a bus carrying children, leaving dozens of people dead or wounded. AFP

Compounding the lira’s agony, President Donald Trump said Friday he had doubled steel and aluminium tariffs on Turkey, noting that relations between the NATO allies were “not very good”. The lira’s plunge on Friday is one of the most serious economic crises that Erdogan has faced since coming to power in 2003 in the wake of a financial crisis in 2001 that brought the economy to near meltdown. “The plunge in the lira which began in May now looks certain to push the Turkish economy into recession and it may well trigger a banking crisis,” said Andrew Kenningham, chief global economist at Capital Economics. The currency turbulence coincides with the most bitter dispute with the United States since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, which so far shows no sign of abating. Fears over contagion even pushed global equity markets lower, with some European banks coming under heavy selling pressure due to their exposure to Turkey. The lira was trading at 6.47 to the dollar at 1900 GMT, a loss on the day of 16.6 percent. Earlier it had fallen as much as 22 percent. “The last time I can remember a currency exploding into a similar acceleration of weakness to what we have seen in the past 24 hours is the Russian ruble crisis that transpired late in 2014,” said Jameel Ahmad, head of currency strategy at FXTM. The tumult also affected Wall Street, which finished the week on a sour note, with the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all finishing down on Friday. But Erdogan, who had remained unusually silent until now as the lira crisis mounted, urged Turks to take matters into their own hands. “If you have dollars, euros or gold under your pillow, go to banks to exchange them for Turkish lira. It is a national fight,” he said. “This will be the response to those who have declared an economic war,” he said, blaming Turkey’s woes on what he described as an “interest rate lobby” seeking to push the country to higher rates. Erdogan had raised eyebrows Thursday when he appeared to invoke divine intervention, saying: “If they have dollars, we have our people, we have our right and we have Allah!”AFP

‘SUICIDAL’ MAN STEALS, CRASHES PLANE IN SEATTLE SAN FRANCISCO—An apparently suicidal mechanic stole an empty passenger plane from the Seattle-Tacoma airport late Friday, took it for a brief flight then crashed it in an incident officials said was unrelated to terrorism. Two military F-15s were scrambled to chase the stolen plane, but local officials said the jets “were not involved in the crash.” Video taken by a bystander showed the passenger airplane making an unlikely upside-down aerial loop, then flying low over Puget Sound before crashing into the sparsely populated Ketron Island in the northwestern US state of Washington. The crash sparked a fire in the dense forest. Flames lit up the night as they spread from the burning wreckage to nearby trees. An airline employee “conducted an unauthorized takeoff ” of an airplane carrying no passengers, then “crashed in south Puget Sound,” Sea-Tac Airport officials said on Twitter. The stolen plane was a twin engine turboprop Q400 airplane belonging to its sister carrier Horizon Air, Alaska Airlines said on Twitter. It normally carries 76 passengers. “This is not a terrorist incident,” Ed Troyer with the Pierce County Sheriff ’s office wrote on Twitter. “Confirmed info... this is a single suicide male. We know who he is. No others involved,” Troyer wrote. AFP

POPULIST ITALY GOVT TO PUT OUT VACCINE ROW ROME—A row is erupting over vaccines in Italy as the country’s new populist government fights to roll back a law that bans children from attending school if they haven’t received a series of jabs. The law, adopted last year by the centre-left government that was booted out of power in March, made it compulsory for children in pre-school education to be vaccinated against 10 diseases, including measles, tetanus and poliomyelitis. Parents who have not vaccinated their children by the time they reach school age (six years old in Italy) face a fine of up to 500 euros. The new administration—formed of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and the nationalist League—is leading the charge against the law. Last week, the upper house Senate approved an amendment proposed by Five Star and the League pushing back enforcement of compulsory vaccination for pre-schoolers to the 2019-20 school year, pending a complete revision of the law after the summer recess. New health minister Giulia Grillo, from Five Star, has drafted a new bill introducing what she calls a “flexible obligation”, giving priority to education on the benefits of vaccines, encourages use of compulsory vaccination only over short periods and instances when the coverage rate is too low. AFP

Cesar Barrioquinto, Editor / Jimbo Gulle, Issue Editor

WEED KILLER TO COST MONSANTO $290M IN RULING SAN FRANCISCO—A California jury ordered chemical giant Monsanto to pay nearly $290 million Friday for failing to warn a dying groundskeeper that its weed killer Roundup might cause cancer. Jurors unanimously found that Monsanto—which vowed to appeal—acted with “malice” and that its weed killers Roundup and the professional grade version RangerPro contributed “substantially” to Dewayne Johnson’s terminal illness. Following eight weeks of trial proceedings, the San Francisco jury

ordered Monsanto to pay $250 million in punitive damages along with compensatory damages and other costs, bringing the total figure to nearly $290 million. Johnson, a California groundskeeper diagnosed in 2014 with nonHodgkin’s lymphoma—a cancer that affects white blood cells—says he repeatedly used a professional form of Roundup while working at a school in Benicia, California. “I want to thank everybody on the jury from the bottom of my heart,” Johnson, 46, said after the verdict.

“I am glad to be here; the cause is way bigger than me. Hopefully this thing will get the attention it needs.” Johnson, who appeared to fight back sobs while the verdict was read, wept openly, as did some jurors, when he met with the panel afterward. The lawsuit built on 2015 findings by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the UN World Health Organization, which classified Roundup’s main ingredient glyphosate as a probable carcinogen, causing the state of California to follow suit. Monsanto vice president Scott Par-

tridge was unimpressed with the results. “The jury got it wrong,” he told reporters outside the courthouse. “We are sympathetic to Mr Johnson and his family,” Monsanto said in a statement, but promised to appeal the ruling and “continue to vigorously defend this product, which has a 40-year history of safe use and continues to be a vital, effective and safe tool for farmers and others.” Johnson’s attorney Brent Wisner said the verdict “shows the evidence is overwhelming” that the product poses danger. AFP


MATARAM, Indonesia—An earthquake on the Indonesian island of Lombok has killed 387 people, authorities said Saturday, adding hundreds of thousands of displaced people were still short of clean water, food and medicine nearly a week on. The shallow 6.9-magnitude quake Sunday levelled tens of thousands of homes, mosques and businesses across Lombok, just one week after another tremor surged through the island and killed 17. “It’s predicted the death toll will continue to grow because there are still victims who are suspected of being buried by landslides and under rubble, and there are victims that have not been recorded and reported to posts,” national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said. The number forced from their homes

in the disaster has soared to 387,000, Nugroho said, with around 13,000 injured. The hardest hit region of Lombok has been in the north, where 334 people have died and nearly 200,000 have been forced from their homes, according to latest official tolls. Two people were also killed by the quake on the neighbouring tourist island of Bali. Nugroho said the emergency response period has been extended another 14 days, which would allow authorities to deal with the “many problems” that still existed in the field. Most of the displaced are sleeping under tents or tarpaulins near their ruined homes or in evacuation shelters, while makeshift medical facilities have been set up to treat the injured. AFP

SHOUTING MATCH. Activists in favor of the legalization of abortion comfort each other outside the National Congress in Buenos Aires, on Thursday after senators rejected the bill to legalize the abortion. Argentine senators voted against legalizing abortion in the homeland of Pope Francis, dashing the hopes of women’s rights groups after the bill was approved by Congress’s lower house in June. AFP





CORN HARVEST. Ears of corn are laid out after their harvest in Barangay Dayap, Calauan, Laguna, one of the sweetest Japanese corn varieties produced in the farm of Ricky Gonzales. Roy Tomandao

VILLAR: ANIMAL PRODUCERS NEED TRAINING TACK THE native animal industry needs to be self-sufficient to meet growing demands and address rising prices of food products, Senator Cynthia A. Villar said Saturday, as she stressed the importance of training programs to the sector. Villar, chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, said trainings will update the skills of farmers and native animal producers and arm them with modern knowhow and technology to improve their production and increase their incomes. ‘It’s a never-ending cycle of trainings, seminars, production, marketing, and planning. There is always room for improvement. You must always be open to learning new things and strategies,” Villar told the 50 participants who attended a two-day training for trainors on native animal production held at the Villar SIPAG Farm School in Las Piñas. The training was offered jointly by the Villar SIPAG Foundation and the Department of Agriculture‘s Bureau of Animal Industry. It was attended by trainors for animal breeders and meat producers from Batangas, Camarines Sur, Bacoor, Dasmariñas, Laguna, Masbate, Las Piñas, Makati, Pasay, Taguig, Quezon and Rizal. Participants were taught Native Animal Development, Native Duck Production and Management, Native Pig Production and Management, Native Chicken Production and Management, and the use of natural feeds and concoctions for native animals. Data from the DA shows meat consumption among Filipinos has incr eased from 15 kilos per person (historical figure as per FAO) to 35 kilos per person per year. However, 65 percent of local livestock continue to be raised in small-scale backyard farms. Villar is the author of Senate Bill No. 144, or the proposed “Philippine Native Animal Development Act of 2016,” which seeks to promote the scientific propagation, processing, utilization and development of native animals.



AVAO CITY—The 11 tribes of Davao City reenacted the barter trade among them before the arrival of the Spanish colonizers in the 1800s during the “Panag-abli and Panagtagbo,” marking the opening of the weeklong activities of the 33rd Kadayawan Festival on Friday. Mayor Inday Sara Z. Duterte led the opening ceremony with the traditional banging of the big gong at the Magsaysay Park at about 6 pm and the food tasting at the Kadayawan Food Hall, where lumad and Moro tribes offered their traditional dishes to the public for free. She called on Dabawenyos to go

out and celebrate Kadayawan, a celebration in honor of the 11 tribes that she said also serves as a reminder for Dabawenyos to go back to their roots and history. In her speech, Mayor Sara said the holding of the Kadayawan would not be possible without the participation of the people, particularly the private sector, which she said has been given wider latitude in hosting the festival. “Go out and celebrate,” she told Dabawenyos. Mayor Sara said the private sector has the biggest share in terms of sponsorship and organization of the festival, which runs until Aug. 19 and has a total budget of P44 million. She also made assurances that the police and army troops are working hard to ensure that no untoward incident would take place during the festival. Festival director Gatchi Gatchalian

said the best way to celebrate Kadayawan is “for families to get together and participate in all activities.” Kadayawan, he said, primarily showcases the culture and traditions of local tribes and reflects the harmonious convergence of all communities. Gatchalian said the public can enjoy regular festival mainstays such as the street dancing, the floral and fruit parade, Hiyas ng Kadayawan, trade fair, and the Farmers Market organized by the Moro tribes. Organizers are also reinventing the Lumad Games, this time allowing visitors to join the games. Other highlights are the Drum Beating Contest, Kadayawan Fashion Accessories Design and Competition, Dragonboat Festival, Songwriting, Kadayawan Ball, and Kosplay featuring the Philippine Eagle and the Tribal Village Walking Tour. PNA

AGAINST AIDS. Taguig Mayor Ma. Laarni Cayetano (third from left) on Friday signed the Paris Declaration to Fast-Track Cities Toward Ending the AIDS Epidemic. Joining the mayor in the event are (from left) Dr. Erlinda Rayos Del Sol, Taguig City Health Officer; Miss Universe Phiippines 2018 Catriona Gray; Actor John Carlo A. Santos, also an HIV Advocacy Ambassador; The Red Whistle country director for UNAIDS Dr. Louie Ocampo; and Rovinin G. Pagtakhan, executive director, Love Yourself, Inc.. The event was held at the Kalayaan Hall of SM Aura in Taguig. Manny Palmero

POE DISTRIBUTES AID FOR BATAAN FLOOD VICTIMS By Butch Gunio BALANGA CITY—Senator Grace Poe distributed relief goods to floodstricken families here on Saturday, noting the love of her father, the late actor Fernando Poe Jr., for the province. “I was not able to get here immediately because of the on and off bad weather. But I tell you once I learned that Bataan was severely affected by typhoon and flooding, I know I have to go here. My late father FPJ loved you very much. How many films he had shot here?”, the senator said in the vernacular to cheering local residents in Barangay Doña Francisca here. The senator was welcomed by local officials led by Rep. Joet Garcia, Vice Gov. Cris Garcia, Mayor Francis Garcia, and Vice Mayor Vianca Venzon-Gozon.

One thousand bags of relief goods were distributed to beneficiaries here, containing rice, noodles and canned products. The senator also distributed relief goods to flood victims in Abucay and Hermosa towns. Dubbed “Ang Panday Bayanihan Relief Distribution,” the event has the senator using personal money and not government fund for the project, said Poe’s digital media head, lawyer Mary Grace C. Panganiban-Mendoza. Bataan is dear to Poe’s late father because he was saved during the infamous Death March by an old woman from Sta. Rosa, Pilar. FPJ hid under the old woman’s skirt, the senator recounted. Mariveles, with its picturesque surrounding and stunning rock formations, was a favorite shooting location for the late actor.

Senator Grace Poe (right) distributes relief goods to flood victims in Balanga City with (from left) Vice Mayor Vianca Venzon-Gozon, Vice Gov. Cris Garcia, Mayor Francis Garcia, and Rep. Joet Garcia. Butch Gunio

THE country’s first batch of 21st Century Learning Environment Model Classrooms in Lipa City, Batangas will be officially unveiled to the public on Monday, Aug. 13. The event will commence by 2 pm at Inosloban-Maraoay National High School, one of the five public schools in Lipa City equipped with a 21st CLEM classroom. This project was headed and implemented by the Department of Science and Technology in Calabarzon and the DoST Science Education Institute. The model classroom was also supported by the Department of Education Schools Division of Lipa City and the Provincial Government of Batangas. The project is monitored by the DoSTPhilippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development. The inauguration will be a celebration of collaborative efforts put together by these agencies in trailblazing a modernized Philippine learning environment. The event will also feature the ceremonial energization and Internet powering through Pipol Konek of INHS. Meanwhile, the inauguration of the 21st CLEM project will be livestreamed to its public school beneficiaries—Lipa City National Science High School, Bolbok National High School, Pinagtongulan National High School and San Celistino National High School.

MONSANTO, CWL SUPPORT ELDERLY LAGUNA WOMEN MONSANTO Philippines recently partnered with the Catholic Women’s League-Immaculate Conception Parish of Los Baños to reach out to the abandoned elderly of Bahay ni Maria in Calamba, Laguna. Monsanto employees, together with the officers and members of Catholic Women’s League, brought cheer to the elderly residents by giving love donations and serenading them with songs. “We exert effort to reach out to marginalized groups such as abandoned elderly and people with disabilities because they are an integral part of our society,” Monsanto’s Corporate Engagement Lead Charina Ocampo said. “We interact on a personal level and not just provide donations because they also have emotional and psychological needs,” she added. The employees, together with the members of CWL-ICP, entertained the residents with a short program and shared a pleasant meal with them. Monsanto also donated hygiene kits, pillows, and sacks of rice to the residents. Sister Queenie, one of the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Fatima who have been taking care of the ‘Lolas’ at Bahay ni Maria, said: “We are indeed thankful to Monsanto Philippines and CWL-ICP for taking their time and effort to visit us and bring joy to our Lolas.” The Catholic Women’s League is a Roman Catholic lay organization whose objectives are to be of moral and religious influence to society in general.

NGCP RESTORES LINES HIT BY ‘JOSIE,’ ‘HABAGAT’ FLOODS POWER transmission operations in Luzon are back to normal as NGCP successfully completed the restoration of lines affected by both Tropical Depression ‘Josie’ and the southwest monsoon or “habagat.” Normalization of the Luzon grid came after NGCP’s Olongapo Substation was fully energized on July 24 at 7:53 pm. Flood waters entered the facility in the late evening of July 22 when a portion of the substation wall broke down due to strong winds and flood water. This prompted NGCP to temporarily shut down the substation to prevent any damage to the system which may cause partial or total blackout in the area. As soon as flooding subsided, NGCP’s engineers and substation personnel began the comprehensive inspection and testing of all critical substation equipment and systems, energizing the substation at 2:15 pm on July 23. Due to prevailing strong rains in the area, the substation once again went on emergency shutdown on July 24 at 12:27 am. NGCP mobilized line crews from all over North Luzon to expedite the assessment of the damage done to the substation, and to run countermeasures to mitigate any subsequent flooding inside the facility, such as sandbagging the perimeter of the destroyed wall.





FRÉDÉRIC Bastiat (1801-1850) was a French classical liberal economist, whom economist Joseph Schumpeter called the “most brilliant economic journalist who ever lived.” He was one of the most eloquent and articulate defenders of personal and economic freedom. According to the Library of Economics and Liberty, Bastiat’s biggest contributions to economics were “his fresh and witty expressions of economic truths,” which “made them so understandable and compelling that the truths became hard to ignore.” I present some of my favorite quotes from the great liberty-loving, influential French economist, which are as relevant today as they were in the mid-1800s. 1. One of Bastiat’s most famous and important writings was “The Candlemakers’ Petition,” which is such a clear and convincing satirical attack

TENDING... From B1 UN Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard reflects on the undermining of equality, dignity and accountability, and says the rejection of human rights is predicated on a rejection of our common humanity. Columbia University psychology professor Carl Hart delves deeper into the effect of drugs on the brain and behavior and dispels commonly-held myths about drug use. John Collins, executive director of the International Drug Policy unit of the London School of Economics, argues how the “war on drugs”has been a globally discredited strategy that could only destroy the legal, political and socio-economic fiber of the nation. Pascal Tanguay, a Canadian expert, talks about the lessons he saw and experienced in Thailand when it dealt with its own drug problem. Evidence from Thailand shows that “the negative consequences far outweigh the minuscule and ephemeral benefits that can

Adelle Chua, Editor


on trade protectionism that it often appears in textbooks on economics and international trade. Here’s an excerpt from that famous 1845 essay: “We [French candlemakers] are suffering from the intolerable competition of a foreign rival, placed, it would seem, in a condition so far superior to ours for the production of light that he absolutely inundates our national market with it at a price fabulously reduced. The moment he shows himself, our trade leaves us—all consumers apply to him; and a branch of native industry, having countless ramifications, is all at once rendered completely stagnant. This rival, who is none other than the sun, wages war mercilessly against us.” “We ask you to pass a law requiring the closing of all windows, skylights, dormer-windows, outside and inside shutters, curtains, blinds; in a word, of all openings, holes, chinks, clefts, and fissures, by or through which the light of the sun has been in use

be achieved.” Finally, Lisa Sanchez, co-founder of the youth-led, Mexico-based Drug Policy and Harm Reduction Programme of Espolea, shares how civil society organizations are recommending policies including alternatives to incarceration, education of service providers and workers toward a human rights approach, and a decriminalization bill releasing thousands of people from prison and directing them to the public health system. ••• And then there is tending life—the philosophy and the practice. FLAG’s Maria Socorro “Cookie” Diokno says she harbors no illusion that she and her colleagues are out to “save the world.” She has been in the cause since 1976, well into the martial law days, and has seen the imposition of the death penalty in 1993 and its abolition in 2006. For example, in the 1990s, FLAG handled 227 death penalty cases, challenging

to enter houses, to the prejudice of the meritorious manufactures with which we flatter ourselves that we have accommodated our country—a country that, in gratitude, ought not to abandon us now to a strife so unequal.” 2. In 1845, as a solution to counteract job losses in some French domestic industries (like textiles) due to free trade, Bastiat proposed to the King of France that he “forbid all loyal subjects to use their right hands.” Bastiat predicted that: “…as soon as all right hands are either cut off or tied down, things will change. Twenty times, thirty times as many embroiderers, pressers and ironers, seamstresses, dressmakers and shirt-makers, will not suffice to meet the national demand. Yes, we may picture a touching scene of prosperity in the dressmaking business. Such bustling about! Such activity! Such animation! Each dress will busy a hundred fingers instead of

convictions before the Supreme Court. In some cases, they lost—and their clients were executed anyway. In other cases they were able to reduce the sentence, or get the case remanded to trial court, or win an outright acquittal. Years hence, FLAG’s stance against the death penalty has not wavered: It violates the fundamental right to life, it is not a deterrent to crime, it is cruel and inhuman, and it is anti-poor. The task force reconvened in 2016 just before President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office. They are now on guard against moves to bring back capital punishment and has been conducting forums on the government’s drug policy. The bill was passed under a Pantaleon Alvarez-led House of Representatives, even as the current Speaker, Gloria Arroyo, is opposed to it. Meanwhile, the bill is pending in the Senate, now headed by Vicente Sotto III who has expressed support for the death penalty even as he has styled himself as pro-life. Another supporter of the proposal to bring

ten. No young woman will any longer be idle. Not only will more young women be employed, but each of them will earn more, for all of them together will be unable to satisfy the demand.” 3. Here’s Bastiat’s famous quote on legal plunder (now frequently referred to as government intervention or “crony capitalism”), from Bastiat’s book, The Law: “Legal plunder can be committed in an infinite number of ways. Thus we have an infinite number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, benefits, subsidies, encouragements, progressive taxation, public schools, guaranteed jobs, guaranteed profits, minimum wages, a right to relief, a right to the tools of labor, free credit, and so on, and so on. All these plans as a whole—with their common aim of legal plunder—constitute socialism.” “But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.” 4. Four days before his death in 1850, Bastiat sent this message to a friend: “Treat all economic questions from the viewpoint of the consumer, for the interests of the consumer are the interests of the human race.” 5. When a new railroad line was proposed from France to Spain, the French town of Bordeaux lobbied for a break in the tracks so that “all goods and passengers [would be] forced to stop at that city,” which would, therefore, be “profitable for boatmen, porters, owners of hotels, etc.” Using the reduction to absurdity argument, Bastiat proposed that if a break in the tracks provided economic benefits and jobs for one town and served the general public interest, then it would be good for breaks in the tracks at dozens and dozens of other French towns, to the absurd point that there would be a railroad composed of a whole series of breaks in the tracks so that it would actually become a “negative railway.” 6. In his famous essay, “What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen,“ Bastiat was one of the first economists to make the very important distinction between the immediate, concentrated, and visible effects of legislation, trade protection, or regulation and the delayed, dispersed, and invisible effects: “In the economic sphere an act, a habit, an institution, a law produces not only one effect, but a series of effects. Of these effects, the first alone is immediate; it appears simultaneously with its cause; it is seen. The other effects emerge only subsequently; they are not seen; we are fortunate if we foresee them.” “There is only one difference between a bad economist and a good one: the bad economist confines himself to the visible effect; the good economist takes into account both the effect that can be seen and those effects that must be foreseen.” “Yet this difference is tremendous; for it almost always happens that when the immediate consequence is favorable, the later consequences are disastrous, and vice versa. Whence

it follows that the bad economist pursues a small present good that will be followed by a great evil to come, while the good economist pursues a great good to come, at the risk of a small present evil.” To illustrate the principle of “what is seen and what is not seen,” Bastiat told a story that became known as the “The Parable of the Broken Window,” which Henry Hazlitt modernized in the 1940s in his book, Economics in One Lesson. Here’s a quick summary: A baker has saved P1,000 to buy a new barong, but then a young hoodlum throws a brick through the shop owner’s window, and the baker now has to spend P1,000 to replace the window and forgo the purchase of the new barong. If one ignored the invisible effects of the broken window, one could then argue that the hoodlum was, in fact, a public benefactor by stimulating business for the window company that now receives P1,000 to replace the window. But instead of the baker having P1,000 for a new barong and a window, he now only has the window and no barong. And the invisible unseen party in the parable is the tailor, who would have benefited P1,000 from selling the baker a new barong but now loses that business. Observers will see the visible new window but will never see the invisible new barong because it will now never be made. Here’s how Bastiat explains the unseen, invisible effects of the shopkeeper spending six francs to replace the broken window: “It is not seen that as our shopkeeper has spent six francs upon one thing, he cannot spend them upon another. It is not seen that if he had not had a window to replace, he would, perhaps, have replaced his old shoes, or added another book to his library. In short, he would have employed his six francs in some way, which this accident has prevented.” 7. “The State [government] is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.” 8. “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society [government], over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.” In sum, Bastiat was truly an economic giant and deserves credit for his many significant and important intellectual contributions to economic thinking, which are as relevant today as they were in France in the mid-1800s when he was writing, including: a) Bastiat was one of the first economists to warn us of the dangers of legal plunder, crony capitalism, and trade protectionism, b) he helped us understand the importance of looking at both the unseen and delayed effects of legislation and regulation in addition to the immediate and visible effects, c) he was one of the most eloquent and articulate defenders of personal and economic freedom who ever lived, d) he was probably the strongest advocate for the consumer in human history, and e) his use of wit, parody, and satire to convey economic wisdom and insights was unparalleled!

back capital punishment is the widely popular boxer-turned-senator Manny Pacquiao, who said God himself approved the death penalty. Still, the task force is embracing a larger perspective of life, an effort bigger than blocking moves to restore the death penalty. It is doing its part with regard to the killings of drug suspects, priests, journalists, local officials, tambays. In her work, Diokno observes how people have become so scared to speak out, much less file cases against those whom they believe had a hand in their loved one’s killing. “Sometimes just to send a threatening message, the killers actually show up at the wake.” She also realizes that the approach they took years ago may not necessarily be enough in today’s context. “Now you have trolls, bashers, bullies online and this gives a new dimension to our work.” What she is worried about is that people are not thinking critically and asking the right questions. “But look at all our heroes. They were smart. We are a nation of smart

people—why did we become lazy? Why are we content with the spoon-fed information that we are receiving?” Now Diokno wants to go against the mentality that it is all right for some people to be killed because “tambay lang yan, or durugista lang yan. We are always so happy when we see a baby...but what if that baby grows into somebody we don’t like the looks of? Or the smell of? Does it make their life less valuable than ours?” As a veteran of the cause, Diokno says she is used to failure. “It does not stop us, though —we do what we do in the best way we can.” She hopes the book will be read by policy makers—legislators, health officials, anti-drug officials. “Who knows? Somebody may just read it, and start thinking for himself or herself and not just accept the information that is being provided.” “If we make a difference in just one person at a time, then that is good enough for us,”she says.




Ray S. Eñano, Editor / Roderick dela Cruz, Issue Editor


young company is disrupting the business process outsourcing industry, as it allows its Filipino employees to work at home and earn a much higher income than the industry average while delivering the best services to US clients.

“We are about growing people and helping companies grow,” says Kate Ringcodan, the 24-year-old co-founder of CrewBloom. CrewBloom, a two-year-old company, connects US clients to highlyskilled BPO professionals in the Philippines. All positions in the company are home-based, which enables CrewBloom to charge clients less and pay its employees more. Base pay is about 50 percent or higher than the industry average, on top of commissions received by those in the sales functions. CrewBloom, which has a core team of 15 plus 30 other employees in different cities in the Philippines reporting to various US clients, is on expansion mode to meet the needs of increasing number of customers, says Ringcodan, who has a degree in Biology from the University of the Philippines. “What makes CrewBloom different from other outsourcing companies is that first, we are home-based. There is no need to commute so it saves you time. You could be with your family. Second is the pay. We provide better wages for our people. Third is the quality of talent. We don’t just accept anyone. We have the best people. For us to support that, we need to be super strict with the screening process. Fourth, we want long-term partnerships with our clients,” she says. “All are home-based. We started and built the company by operating remotely. We use tools and applications to monitor how our employees work,” she says. Ringcodan met CrewBloom founder Brianna Carney through Craigslist in 2014, when the then 28-year-old New Yorker posted an ad to start building her own company in Asia, after working for major US companies such as Carney, who is a frequent traveler and participant in international marathons, was impressed by the high level of English proficiency in the Philippines and the competitive labor cost in the country. “In New York City, they are very costly. I put an ad on CraigsList and met

CrewBloom co-founder Kate Ringcodan

Rebisco president Jonathan Ng


CrewBloom co-founders Brianna Carney and Kate Ringcodan

Kate, my co-founder. She single-handedly proved my hypothesis that there are incredibly sophisticated, instinctual, innovative professionals that work relentlessly in markets far less expensive than the US. We’ve been working together ever since,” says Carney, referring to Ringcodan. “I quickly learned the impact the BPO industry had, in particular in India and the Philippines. During my time in Manila, I met arguably the most capable professionals I had ever met who spoke better English than I did. It was this trip that helped CrewBloom take flight,” says Carney. Carney put Ringcodan in charge of hiring top talents in the Philippines, while she handled client relations in New York and other parts of the US. They established the company on their own, without tapping other investors. The home-based working model has quickly paid off, allowing the cofounders to hire more people and expand within a few months. CrewBloom initially recruited sales people, but client inquiries about other services encouraged Carney and Ringcodan to hire positions in customer service and non-voice roles. “We have around 12 clients who are happy with our services. Our clients are mostly SMEs. But we have recently closed an account with around 700 employees,” says Ringcodan. Carney says CrewBloom serves organizations of all sizes in need of human capital to scale. “We work in industries from pharma to fintech, education to marketing. The common denominator between all of our clients is that they have a proven, replicable formula. They know what works and what doesn’t and are in need of top caliber professionals to scale,” she says. Carney says people usually don’t want to commute to the office and work in uncomfortable environment for less than attractive compensation. “CrewBloom finds the top 2 percent of professionals, allows them to work remotely and connects them with companies they love working for. We started organically,” she says. “We believe that the home is the workplace of the future,” says Carney. Carney says to support the needs of its clients, CrewBloom will launch a portal this quarter to help clients manage, grow and track their teams. “They will be able to oversee performance, alongside evaluating, interviewing and selecting new team members,” she says. The plan, she says, is to continue to improve as the company grows. “Internally there will be a focus on social corporate responsibility, understanding our obligation to better the communities we operate in. There will be a massive focus on product and launching all aspects of our client and contractor portals,” she says. Carney, who was born in Minnesota and took entrepreneurial studies at University of Minnesota, admits that CrewBloom is highly selective with the professionals it accepts, “unlike call centers who are known to accept anyone who can walk and talk.” “Our excitement for the future cannot be measured. We believe the remote model and global workforce will be leveraged at greater scale with the help of CrewBloom. We have aggressive plans for growth in front of us and are excited to exceed our goals,” says Carney, who lives and work in Brooklyn. Ringcodan, on her part, says she loves the fact that CrewBloom is improving the lives of its employees. “Our employees are very happy. They get to work at home, without spending two to three hours in daily commute. They can also watch their children as they grow. And they could earn good money. This also makes us very happy because we are making a difference,” says Ringcodan. Roderick T. dela Cruz

CCA MANILA STRENGTHENS CULINARY PROGRAM YOUNG adults need to be ready to face the challenges of the real world. To meet this need and for them to take hold of their future, quality education—one that arms them the fundamental competency tools needed to connect academic pursuits to successful career opportunities—is a crucial first step. A leading provider of world-class professional culinary arts education, the Center for Culinary Arts, Manila, has been advancing such efforts to hone young chef talents and future food innovators for the past 21 years. CCA Manila has since seen great success, with a number of graduates widely recognized as today’s leading experts and with more rising as key influencers and chef

entrepreneurs both locally and overseas. As the only ISO 14001-certified school that offers the most integrated and comprehensive contemporary culinary training programs, CCA Manila also takes pride in being the first school in Asia accredited by the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation, the accrediting commission of the American Culinary Foundation, a premier organization of professional chefs based in North America. CCA Manila courses provide students with a solid foundation to become disciplined and successful culinar y professionals. Theories and practical kitchen training are complemented with a comprehensive food service management

practicum program. It aims to develop entrepren eur ial an d man ag e m e nt competencies in planning, operation and supervision of an institutional or commercial kitchen. To s t r u c t u re t r a i n i n g p ro g r a m s that will deliver maximum positive o u t c o m e s fo r b o t h a c a d e m i c a n d p r o fe s s i o n a l c a r e e r a d v a n c e m e n t purposes, CCA Manila has nurtured sustainable par tnerships with key institutional leaders over the years. Among these are with the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Canada, Korean Food Foundation in South Korea, and the International Management Institute and International Culinary Institute in Luzern, Switzerland.

WHAT started as a small neighborhood bakeshop in San Juan is now a homegrown snack empire. Buoyed by the triumph of various snack products, Republic Biscuit Corp. or Rebisco has explored other markets where it can bring its successful production and business models, and solidified the company’s reputation for stellar quality and affordability. “As we celebrate our company’s 55th anniversary this year, we want to express our gratitude to generations of Filipinos who have always loved our products and our people who have worked tirelessly to help us achieve milestone after milestone throughout the decades. Rebisco will continue to make deliciously delightful meals for everyone, every day,” said Rebisco president Jonathan Ng. When it comes to Filipino snack time favorites, Rebisco is a household name among families, friends and working professionals. Who doesn’t have fond memories of munching on the creamy goodness of Marie as a child or opening their meal box to find staples such as Rebisco Sandwich, Rebisco Crackers and Hansel? With an extensive portfolio of some of the nation’s most beloved snack products, Rebisco has steadily expanded its portfolio to appeal to the changing preferences of Filipino consumers. Today’s kids and kids-at-heart have a lot more to choose from—biscuits and crackers like Rebisco Sandwich, Hansel, and Combi; cakes and breads like Fudgee Barr and Topps; chocolates and wafers like Choco Mucho, Krimstix, and Superstix; nuts and seeds like Ding Dong and Happy; chips and curls like Funky, Potato Plus, and Pop-O; and candies and gums like Lipps, Chubby, and Judge. As the well-loved snack leader celebrates its 55th anniversary, Rebisco not only looks back on its legacy but more importantly, gears up for bigger plans ahead as it continuously grows its business and expands its market. Th e c o m p a ny ’s i n c re a s i n g l y diversified portfolio reflects Rebisco’s drive toward innovation to meet the Filipino consumer’s changing preferences. One such produc t innovation is the country ’s first commercially pack aged donut, Doowee Donut, which was created for a growing market with a limited snack budget and access to popular donut shops in malls. Another unique product is Mr. Keso, a savory candy filled with a delicious cheese filling that remains to be the first—and only—of its kind in the local market. This sweet-savory treat was named as one of the three Nielsen Southeast Asia’s Breakthrough Innovation Award winners in 2016 for Rebisco’s thoughtful combination of research, marketing, and consumer insight in developing and launching the product.




FIRST SEAFOOD FASTFOOD CHAIN EYES EXPANSION By Nathalie Grace Adalid and Rhosedel Grace Gabac ABOVE Sea Level PH, a young seafood restaurant with seven company-owned branches and over 120 franchisees in Metro Manila, has seen the tremendous growth of its brand through franchising in just a year. “It’s too early to tell, but yes, we are aiming to be the first seafood fastfood chain in the Philippines,” said Above Sea Level franchise manager Mark Vidal. Po l s a n Pa n gi d i a n a n d Wi n n a Baldonado, the restaurant’s co-owners, did not expect Above Sea Level PH to become this big at this point. They are getting a lot of offers and proposals from potential franchisees from the Visayas, Mindanao and even outside the Philippines. “ To name a few countries who are asking if we wanted to try the international market, we have Guam, Canada and Australia,” said Vidal. The story behind the success of the business started when the couple had a kid and thought about trying their luck as overseas Filipino workers in Dubai. “Above Sea Level started in January of 2017 at a food park in The Yard, Pasig. They are underground and then six months after, June of 2017, we started the franchise business and that’s where it all started and the reason why Above Sea Level is now this big,” said Vidal. Two months before the flight of the couple for Dubai, they were hanging out at The Yard when they saw an opportunity to start a business in an empty-space. Because of the owners’ love for food parks and seafood, they decided to change their plan and invested roughly P200,000 of their pocket money in their dream business. “The owners love to eat at food parks, and they love seafood that much,” said Vidal. Six months after they started the business, they consulted some friends about the franchising model. These friends guided them on how to start a franchising business, and the rest is history. Above Sea Level PH is now popular for its giant butterfly squid picture that has gained 250,000 likes for over a week in a Facebook post. With the post, people and franchisees got curious about their restaurant. Above Sea Level PH claims to be the only restaurant offering this type of ‘standing squid’ presentation, firecracker shrimp, bacon-wrapped shrimp and seafood festival. “First of all, competitors can’t imitate our ‘standing squid’ presentation. Second, they can’t steal it and imitate it because our products are registered with the Intellectual Property of the Philippines. And lastly, they can’t beat the taste, and the tenderness of our products because of our secret recipe,” said Vidal. The restaurant became popular not only because of its viral giant butterfly squid picture. Customers even from the Muslim community are coming back because of the food’s taste as well as the budget-friendly prices of the unique products on their menu. The chain is also committed to keep its food free from preservatives. “Our company is different because we take care of our people, and maybe 95 percent of our staff are all relatives from the owners’ both sides,” Vidal said. “If you want a business that can have ROI easily, you should try Above Sea Level. And if you want a stable business, you really should try Above Sea Level,” said Vidal.


TYLE and comfort are among the most important considerations for a footwear purchase. Most of the time, customers put on shoes and walk around to “see how it feels.”

This is the motivating force why a lady from Zamboanga Peninsula came out of her cocoon, unveiling her ingenuity to launch a business of manufacturing sophisticated pairs of shoes—the Mae Valencia Collections. Mae, as her friends are fond of calling her, is the second among her equally talented siblings. She was raised by her loving and hardworking parents—his dad, a tough policeman and her mom, a loving and caring educator. She labels her early life as somewhat average who enjoyed three meals a day, yet happy and contented. While growing, Mae was taught by her hardworking parents to become self-reliant. After completing her elementary and high school education, Mae was sent by her parents to Ateneo De Zamboanga where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accountancy. She worked for several companies and considered herself to be financially stable. It was at work where she met her husband who has been a good provider and who supported her dream to become a lady cobbler. Mae went on to produce elegant shoes containing superb designs (rhinestones, Swarovski crystals) that are stylish and posh enough to compete with international brands. “I had no intention to be in this business but what brought me to this was when I had a very unforgettable experience wearing an expensive pair of stilettos, and also, when I gained weight. It happened one day I was with my husband to attend a gala night. According to a saying, your shoes is the first thing people would notice about you, so my husband purchased for me a very expensive pair of shoes. I was feeling proud because for me it’s a luxury,” Mae recalls. She never expected that the particular moment would be an agonizing night when she experienced what she called “tiis-ganda” moment. “Flaunting the shoes during the party was my intention but it turned out that it’s an excruciating experience for me. I was still inside the car and my feet were already cramping. My feet hurt and I was very unhappy. But of course, we have the famous line ‘tiis-ganda’ so I just endured the pain with my head held high,” she says. Mae became eager to look for answers and decided that she would avoid the same painful experience the next time she wore high-heeled shoes in a party. “Noticing women around, most of them were Americans and a bit heavier than me. I wondered how they could carry themselves gracefully wearing their shoes and looking pain free. I was curious what brand they were wearing. A few hours later, I went to the bathroom and had a retouch. I saw each one of them removing their shoes and they even had a ballet flat with them. And from that moment on, I said to my husband, I needed to go back to the Philippines and become

Mae Valencia establishes a company to make high-heeled fashion shoes

a hero of solving these problems to all women in the world, to provide them comfort while wearing elegant high-heeled shoes,” she says. In 2012, she started searching for answers. “Way back 2012, I had a sandal business already which was more into accessorizing the flip-flops. But for shoes, it started 2015. It was a struggle for me because none at that time offered shoemaking classes. That’s why I had to travel to Carcar [Cebu] and Marikina just to find a supplier who was doing high-fashion shoes,” Mae says. “Why did I choose high fashion? Maybe I am a very optimistic person. I haven’t yet seen a Filipino product or brand that manufactures high-fashion design like the famous Louboutin, Valentino, etc. For me, if they could do it, then we can do it also. Mind you I didn’t know how to sketch nor did I have an idea about shoemaking. But because I’m very optimistic, Mae Valencia Collections came about,” she says. She also had to overcome problems such as finding the right workers. While most shoemakers from Marikina were highly-skilled, many of them were ageing and their skills were not passed on to the young generation. “Raw materials were also a big problem back then and my shoes were a bit pricey because majority of my materials were outsourced internationally. But to solve this, I’m adopting the trend of innovation because right now, Taiwan is the number one producer of shoes in the world. They have all the advance technologies where they can produce 5,000 pairs in a day. So I guess, with that we can be more competitive,” Mae says. Her eagerness and perseverance encouraged her to move from Cebu to Marikina. “I consider myself to be courageous. I’m an expat in Marikina

but I love the suppliers because they have high respect for us newcomers. But of course, it was still a struggle since I could not find a partner where I could do my research and development,” she says. Her quest to form a formidable team paid off, when she met one of Marikina’s pattern makers. “Good thing I found a good pattern maker who helped me form my RD team. I hired one shoemaker and one upper maker. So, from there I never stopped learning 24/7. Eventually I learned how to pattern, design and even answer the problems to all feet-related issues, specially providing orthotic customized shoes, which is now my specialty.” “My initial capital was P200,000 and Mae Valencia Collection’s uniqueness is comfort and perfect fitting because we do foot casting, scanning to get the perfect curvature of your arch. For customized design, it is cheaper and it can be seen anywhere. But what we offer is our special services. With us, our dear clients can walk in a 4-inch stiletto pump shoes pain-free,” she says. On her future business plan, Mae says her goal is to be the number one supplier of comfortable shoes to small-medium enterprises and large companies. Mae is now preparing for the grand launch of Mae Valencia Collections by September this year. “Every business is tough when you are starting. When the time comes that you think your business is failing, don’t give up and continue to chase your dreams,” she says. “I study and do research every day, which has made my business a success. Still, the key ingredient to be successful is to become grateful and let God become the decision maker. I assure you, you’ll see magic!” she says.

NEW YORK CUPCAKES SNEAK THEIR WAY TO FORT BONIFACIO By Rhosedel Grace Gabac NEW York City’s iconic Magnolia Bakery, known for its freshly baked cupcakes that were featured in an episode of the TV series “Sex and the City”, has snuck their way to Southeast Asia with its first branch at One Bonifacio High Street in Taguig City. M Bakery will officially open on Aug. 22 to serve its signature banana pudding, cupcakes, pies and cookies all wrapped around a floral pastel pink and teal package. “With the passion Filipinos have for food – and particularly sweets – we are excited to be bringing Magnolia Bakery’s iconic bakery experience to the Philippines,” Steve Abrams, chief executive of Magnolia Bakery, said. Magnolia Bakery opened its first branch inNYC’s West Village at Bleecker Street in 1996 and soon expanded, first around the US, before proliferating around the globe. “I noticed that many Filipinos would take Magnolia Bakery cupcakes and other baked treats home to their friends and family. We are a country that enjoys our food, and I know that

there will always be room for another great dessert place,” said Stewart Ong, managing partner of Phil Jacobe Ventures Inc., who decided to team up with M Bakery to bring the brand to the Philippines. “With M Bakery, we are committed to sharing the same NYC experience with guests in Manila, making freshly baked desserts by hand in small batches, the live theatre of icing cakes and cupcakes and warm, inviting customer service. We look forward to celebrating life’s sweetest moments with patrons from around the Philippines,” Abrams said. M Bakery features an open kitchen where the sugar-loving customers can see their handmade and carefully designed treats and as an addition, the confectionery would be adding more flavors to their famed banana puddings. The dessert paradise will open at 2 p.m., bringing special treats for the first 100 customers. The first five people in line will get a large banana pudding every month for an entire year while the remaining 95, for a minimum purchase of P500, will get a complimentary small banana pudding.

Magnolia Bakery Chicago production manager Joe

Tech & Gadgets






The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 delivers an experience that helps you work smarter by keeping you operating at the highest levels.

AMSUNG Electronics Co., Ltd. Recently announced the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4, a new 2-in-1 Android tablet designed for people who want to do more on the go—from home to the office and everywhere in between. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 delivers an experience that helps you work smarter by keeping you operating at the highest levels. Paired with a polished modern design, an immersive display, four speakers and enhanced entertainment features, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 is the perfect device for those who need something portable like a tablet and capable like a PC. “At Samsung, we believe tablets play an increasingly important role in making lives easier and improving the mobile experience for everyone,” said DJ Koh, President and CEO of Samsung Electronics. “With the Galaxy Tab S4, we’re introducing a premium tablet, equipped with Samsung DeX that helps consumers perform their absolute best wherever they go. We look forward to providing our customers with a sense of leisure and comfort knowing that this new addition to our ecosystem of connected devices is also packed with features to help them stay entertained.” Productivity with Samsung DeX and S Pen With the Galaxy Tab S4, Samsung is bringing Samsung DeX to the tablet for the first time. When connected to the optional Book Cover Keyboard (sold separately) or launched from the Quick Panel, the Galaxy

Tab S4 powers on Samsung DeX, giving users the option to switch from the Android interface to a desktop experience. With Samsung DeX, you can open multiple desktop-style windows for your Android apps, including the Microsoft Office suite, directly on the Galaxy Tab S4, and re-size them when needed. Drag and drop content between apps and use keyboard shortcuts and commands for efficiency. If more screen is needed, there is also an option to extend Samsung DeX to an external monitor with a compatible HDMI to USB-C multi-port adapter (not included). When connected, the Galaxy Tab S4 can serve as a track pad or a sketch pad, and new this year, the Galaxy Tab S4 can continue to work as a fully functional Android tablet, giving users two screens to accomplish tasks. Whether at the office, at home, or on-the-go, the Galaxy Tab S4 keeps you going with a 7,300mAh battery that provides up to 16 hours of video playback.1 Additionally, with Samsung Knox, Samsung’s defense-grade mobile security platform, customers and companies can ensure critical information is protected at multiple levels of the device. IT managers can also tailor the employee interface to align with business needs. Samsung’s S Pen comes in the box with the Galaxy Tab S4 to satisfy even more productive needs. It offers users a great way to express their creativity and communicate. They can take notes on the fly through the Screen-Off Memo feature, as well as navigate, translate and organize notes through Samsung Notes, and even send personalized texts through Samsung Live Message – all with the S Pen. A Screen Fit for Any Job - or Movie

It’s easier to get more done when you have the right screen. Even the busiest professionals still take time to sit back with a game or movie. Now you can enjoy a more immersive experience on a device you can take anywhere. While similar in size to the Galaxy Tab S3, the Galaxy Tab S4 sports narrower bezels to fit a large 10.5-inch display with Super AMOLED technology, as well as a 16:10 screen ratio with 2560x1600, 287 pixels per inch (PPI) resolution for vivid picture detail and true-to-life visuals. When it comes to audio, the Galaxy Tab S4 also comes with four speakers tuned by AKG and Dolby Atmos® immersive sound technology, which brings entertainment to life through moving audio that flows all around you. With Dolby Atmos®, the Galaxy Tab S4 supports crisper dialogue, enveloping sound fields, maximized loudness without distortion, and consistent playback volume. Enhanced Connectivity to Make Your Life Easier The Galaxy Tab S4 also features new and improved capabilities designed to manage your connected devices and lifestyle. Samsung Flow allows users to manage all of their devices easily by connecting and transferring files, tasks and notifications seamlessly. The SmartThings app2 on the Galaxy Tab S4 makes it easy to monitor and control your smart home devices right from the tablet. Plus, the Galaxy Tab S4’s Daily Board3 allows you to view your favorite photos and everyday information such as the weather, calendar and time in one, easy-to-access place. For more information about the Galaxy Tab S4, visit, news. or com/global/galaxy/galaxy-tab-s4/.


SM Foundation's Tech/Voc scholars

SM Foundation expands its technical/vocational scholarship program for schoolyear 2018 as 80 SM techvoc scholars were welcomed at the MFI Polytechnic Institute where they are pursuing training in various fields of specialization. SM Foundation’s technical-vocational scholarship program gives the scholars the opportunity of a quicker two-year technical-vocational course in areas with great demand in the market. SM tech-voc scholars can pursue specialization in the areas of Food and Beverage, Automobile Mechanic, Fitter Machinist, Electro-Mechanical Technician, Re-

frigeration and Air-conditioning, Small Arc Welding and Electromechanics. They enjoy full tuition subsidy, on the job internship, and referral to industry partners after graduation. The Foundation supports 2,000 tech-voc scholars enrolled in partner schools throughout the country. MFI Polytechnic Institute Inc. is an education service provider of careeroriented and technology-related programs for more than 40 years. It offers over 50 short-term technical courses such as automotive/civil, instrumentation, electrical, mechanical, automotive/refrigeration, and air-conditioning.

SAP expanded its innovation footprint by serving as the “front end” for Asia Pacific Japan customers and partners to accelerate their digital innovation journeys and simultaneously use live technology delivery environment to provide the Intelligent Enterprise. Using the capabilities of SAP Leonardo and Design Thinking, the Internet of Things, Machine Learning, Blockchain, Big Data and Analytics and Data Intelligence will be brought together on the SAP Cloud Platform. “The SAP Leonardo Center in Singapore will showcase the art of the possible in digital innovation and help customers scale quickly, easily, and effectively,” said Scott Russell, President of SAP APJ. The SAP Leonardo Center Singapore aims to shift the business environment of their customers from Digital Transformation into an Intelligent Enterprise which will feature Intelligent Suite, Intelligent Technologies and a digital platform as its 3 key components. “Together with our customers and partners, we aim to leverage the SAP Leonardo Center Singapore as a think tank to drive purpose-led innovation that will ultimately improve the lives of one billion people and deliver the Intelligent Enterprise for over 70,000 customers in APJ by 2022. The Leonardo Center in Singapore will play a key role in realizing our growth strategy and drive customer success in the new Intelligence era,” Russell added. The SAP Leonardo Center Singapore is the latest addition to three Innovation Centers and four SAP Labs in APJ where SAP spent €3,352 million on Research and Development globally in 2017.


From C4

Walvis Corp., Foshan Wanxiang Electronic Technology Co. LTD., Guangzhou Calm Audio Electronic Co. LTD., Commsource Systems and Integrated Solutions, Mega Cellular, New Gold Ring Enterprise, Power Steel Specialist Trading Corp., S2mit Corporation, Shanghai Koenig Advertisement Media Co. LTD., Guangzhou Ruizheng Sound Equipment Co. LTD., Guangzhou Sunray Stage Lighting & Audio Equipment Co. LTD., Guangzhou Taiyue Electronic Co. LTD., Guangzhou Tian Electronic Technology Co. LTD., Nanjing Huamai Technology Co. LTD., Qihe Fuding Digital Technology Co. LTD., Sandy Audio Equipment Co. LTD., Shanghai Ledlord Optoelectronics Co. LTD, Shenzen LS Exhibition Co. LTD., and a lot more. Aside from an exhibit filled with the latest technologies, industry professionals and guests can also partake in seminars and workshops held alongside the event. Updates about the seminar and their registration details will be posted at the event’s official website ( and Facebook page @SystemsIntegrationPH SIP 2018 will be open to all industry professionals and guests on Aug. 16 to 18 from 10 am until 6:30 pm. To get a free 1-day visitor pass for the show, you can register online via visitSIP. For more information, contact the organizers at (02) 893 7973 or follow the show’s Facebook or Instagram page @SystemsIntegrationPH


SORSOGON residents can look forward to better mobile internet experience as PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. rolls out Long Term Evolution and LTE-Advanced across the province. Smart is more than doubling the number of LTEpowered cell sites serving the provincial capital of Sorsogon City, as well as rolling out LTE to key areas around the province like Bulan, Pilar, Castilla, Irosin, Gubat, and Matnog, to name a few. Recent internal tests showed that speeds of up to 40 Mbps in areas like Sorsogon Bay, for example, were achieved using LTE and LTE-A-capable devices. “This accelerated roll-out of LTE and LTE-Advanced is part of our commitment to bring world-class internet service to our customers in all parts of the country,” said Mario G. Tamayo, PLDT and Smart Senior Vice President for Network Planning and Engineering. “Our ramped-up rollout of LTE-A is improving Smart mobile internet speeds in more areas nationwide, including Sorsogon, paving the way for better customer experience, and bolstering businesses, organizations and local governments,” he added. Alongside its network upgrade efforts, Smart is also working with device manufacturers to make more LTE

and LTE-A-capable smartphones and devices available in the market, such as the Huawei P20 series, the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S9, Oppo F5 and Samsung J2 Pro, which are available in the Smart Store. “As shown by the experience of other countries, the network roll-out must be accompanied by the adoption of LTE and LTE-Advanced-capable mobile phones and devices, so that more people can experience the improved network,” Tamayo said. Digital tourism Recently, Smart also signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Sorsogon Provincial Government and InnoPub Media for a digital tourism initiative in the province, which includes the creation of the So Sorsogon travel guide app, and the installation of interactive markers at selected areas to trigger the download of more information about tourism in the province. “With better connectivity, tourists traveling around Sorsogon can share their experiences in the province’s scenic areas while on-the-go, as well as learn more about Sorsogon and its heritage,” Tamayo said. Sorsogon Gov. Robert Lee Rodrigueza said these network upgrades would be a “big boost” to Sorsogon, especially in information dissemination and tourism.

“We have a lot of beautiful tourist destinations to offer, and if we make them accessible to our people to further promote our province, for sure it will be a great help,”he said. “Tourism is a catalyst for economic growth. Tourism equals jobs, livelihood and business opportunities. Certainly it will be a great help to our province,” he added. Elsa Abitria, e-load seller from Punta Waling-Waling in Donsol, Sorsogon, has been selling load since the 1990s. She says her load sales have increased after Smart upgraded the network in their area. “When the signal improved, our sales also improved,”she said, adding that her customers, usually teachers and students, used mobile internet to help with their school work. Fastest networks in PH As a result of network transformation efforts, PLDT and Smart were recently cited for being the country’s fastest fixed and mobile networks for Q1Q2 2018, respectively, by Ookla®, the global leader in internet testing and analysis. Ookla said Smart achieved a Speed ScoreTM of 14.98, with average download speeds of 17.25 Mbps and average upload speeds of 7.65 Mbps, based on 2,118,464 user-initiated tests taken with Speedtest®

on LTE-capable devices, while PLDT achieved a Speed Score of 17.31, with average download speeds of 22.84 Mbps and average upload speeds of 23.45 Mbps. The fixed network award is based on 29,076,090  userinitiated Speedtest nationwide for the same period.


TECH & Gadgets SUNDAY, AUGUST 12, 2018 Riera U. Mallari, Editor



ECURITY will always be a top priority. And the demand for surveillance technology is on the rise as it improves in recent years. This innovative 360-degree surveillance camera, though, is up there with the best of them. The cool part? You can buy it soon on Southeast Asia’s leading e-commerce platform Shopee. The D706 360 Smart Camera has a bevy of features including “Suspicious Object Lock,” which is only one of its many cool aspects that’ll have you picking and setting it up in no time. The compact device you can set on top of almost any surface, is a breeze to install. You can place it on top of a cabinet, next to your living room TV, inside your child’s room, virtually anywhere you want to keep monitored 24/7. It records in 1080p 20fps (1920*1080p) and has a wide-angle Full HD view of 185°, full panorama, rotary visual angle with 360° horizontal and 260° vertical view, so you don’t have to worry of blindspots when patrolling your home, office, or business establishment. The D706 has pan-tilt control and is handactuated with face detection technology as well cry detection for households with kids or infants. Abnormal sound detection and motion detection is also available for added security. The panoramic cruise feature also has customized continuous cruise which you can set to auto cruise while the HD infrared night vision

can reach up to seven to 10 meters. It also has supercharged two-way audio, private mode, video message feature, and can be connected to your smartphone or computer. The 360° panoramic view lets you monitor your home without blind zones while with the vertical/horizontal pan-tilt-zoom lens, you can remotely control the device to see every inch of your home. The Intelligent patrol mode will check customized zones automatically and the built-in patrol mode can watch and record up to 4 hours for your customized surveillance zone. With smart mobile tracking-tech, you’ll be prompted an alert whenever a suspicious or invasive object enters the frame which the camera will auto-track and sent to you in only 5 seconds. And the unique auto “eye-close” feature will not let the camera record without your permission. When you switch off camera in app, the lens will face down automatically.

You can store files via cloud storage or memory card. The cool thing about the cloud storage capability of the camera is that it automatically records and uploads important videos once any image change is detected, even without any local storage device. No need to worry about running out of storage. While the device automatically records whenever you put in a memory card, it refreshes the oldest videos to make room for new ones. But with the cloud storage option, which requires just a little bit extra on your purchase, review cloud videos recorded in the past 7 days or 30 days on your phone. To summarize, the D706 360 Smart Camera has mobile tracking, customized continuous cruise, cry detection, abnormal sound detection, face detection, 1080P High Definition, 360-degree panoramic cruise, HD infrared night vision, two-way audio communication, private mode. What more can you ask for?

HIGH-TECH INNOVATIONS AT SYSTEMS INTEGRATION EXPO MAKE sure you don’t miss out world-class technologies as the tech-savvy experts from the Taiwan External Trade Development Council, Singapore, and China showcase different pavilions packed with their best product offerings. The 12th largest population in the world, and also arguably one of the most tech-savvy around, the Philippines offers a multitude of opportunities for tech companies and investors. For the past decade or so, many of them have been participating at the country’s longest-running trade show for business technologies – Systems Integration Philippines. The show is back for its latest edition set to be held on August 16 to 18 at the SMX Convention Center Manila, Mall of Asia Complex. Those interested to visit may register online for a free 1-day pass: “The Philippines is slowly but surely catching up with the rest of Asia when it comes to attracting

tech brands and investors,” said Patrick Tan, CEO of Global-Link MP Events International. “We have seen this at Systems Integration Philippines over the past couple of years where we had increasing participation from foreign brands. This year, we are even adding a pavilion for Singapore companies alone. It’s a very exciting opportunity for Philippinebased companies who want to see what’s available out there in the market and how these tech can possibly help them do business better.” This year’s Systems Integration Philippines will showcase products from countries like China, Japan, Singapore, Netherlands, USA, UK, and Germany. “We made sure everyone will be highlighted from events, film and entertainment technology; consumer electronics and gadgets; advertising and media tech; IT and telecoms; as well as the educational and training technology,” added Tan. Expect to witness the most advanced equip-

ment and innovative solutions as world renowned tech savvy experts from Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), Singapore and China showcase different pavilions packed with their best product offerings. The event will also feature over 300 local and international brands. Interested visitors can look forward to seeing the latest technologies from: EVI Distribution Inc., Yupangco (Yamaha) Electronics Corp., Big Pix Graphics System, Intellismart Technology, Multistiq, Inc., CE-ANCE Electronic Technology Co., LTD., Enping Zhongpu Electronic Co., LTD., ES Print Media, Gakken Philippines, Philsource Ventures Group, The Brain Computer Corp., Walter Zamora Enterprise, Altima Ads, BCS Systems & Technologies, Digitel (Sun Cellular) PH, Dragon Fireworks, EPSON Philippines Corp., Hoshicare Healthcare, Jaycee Corp., Mediacast Digital, Panvin International Corp., Rich Graphix Brand Inc., Turn to C3

RAMCO, AP CARGO INK PACT By Ernest Caballero and Paul David Gelario AP CARGO, the leading domestic provider of express logistics for air cargo, and other goods, signed a multi-million contract with Ramco Systems to ‘overhaul’ its systems. Ramco, the award-winning provider of enterprise software on cloud, mobile and tablets, is set to install its integrated Logistics platform at AP Cargo which is bundled with next generation Finance and HR, that will benefit more than 1,600 employees, covering more than 500 fleet and helping employees by reducing workloads and generating cost savings. Vincent John S. Villacorte, Vice President of Business operation at AP Cargo said: “Ramco’s unified solution will offer real-time operational visibility and better planning capabilities, enabling us to arrest revenue leakage and boost productivity to drive overall growth. We are excited to work with them.” “We are still at the Stone Age. Running a family business is the hardest part. Being naïve in the digitization, working with millennials, with transgenerational values etcetera,” Villacorte added. “Ramco’s unified solution operational visibility and better planning capability is enabling us to a rise in revenue and whose productivity to thrive overall,” Villacorte added. Belonging in the ‘baby boomer’ generation made Villacorte unreceptive to technological advancement. Until he decided to adhere to the advice of his two boys, saying: “I thought I would always win the battle with the company. So now I would surrender, and give in to the demands that I think the best milestone will be having with Ramco. Thank you, Ramco.” According to Ramco, a person can spend only 20% of his/her time to do a task that adds only 20% value, effectively reducing the time a person spends and frees up more time to concentrate on business. Ramco offers more than simple Logistics, they have an enterprise software with a functionality similar to a comprehensive ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) that can help companies such as AP Cargo to lessen the workload of their employees, which will create an efficient and promising work place for them. Ramco designed various programs such as Talk It, Bot It, Thumb It, Hub It and Prompt It to help ease the workload of the employees of each company that are partnered with them. Ramco may have created programs that can instill an efficient work place, but the most innovative among the programs is the Bot It, wherein employees get to chat with a bot for faster transactions. Although Ramco revealed that the Bot still lacks enough knowledge, they assured that the AI can actually learn through experiences such as conversing with different people. According to them, the technology is at the point where there is enough built-in intelligence to enable bots to offer more complex suggestions to a user as well as to learn additional responses based on past experiences.

PH, ISRAEL COLLABORATE FOR DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION By Nat Mariano IN AN effort to engage common Filipinos in digital transformation and solutions, technological communities from the Philippines and Israel birthed a collaboration and knowledge partnership during the TechUp Pilipinas held recently in Makati City. Blockchain Association of the Philippines and Israeli Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines both led the collaboration, which targets to share the best practices about the financial technology landscape in Israel and how the Philippines can improve its own. BAP President and UnionBank Chairman Justo Ortiz spearheaded the session by encouraging different startups, financial technology companies, and entrepreneurs to learn from one another. Ortiz expressed that he acquired the inspiration from self-regulatory organiza-

tions which “do not choke” the industry. By learning from other principlesbased regulation practices, he believes blockchain companies and other startups can model their own ecosystem in the country. “We have a tendency to play in our own sandbox and test and learn by ourselves. But we know that blockchain and other technology is moving very quickly and we need more innovation rather than less,” he said, highlighting the need for the normal individuals to advance as both technology and the Internet progress. “We need to encourage the community to learn from the best practices happening in other countries and industry players and take inspiration from that,” said Ortiz. GeiserMaclang Marketing Communications Inc. chief marketing and communications officer Amor Maclang moderated a series of talks joined by ICCP president Itamar Gero, Asia Select

chief executive officer and president Gilbert Camasura, Satoshi Citadel Industries co-founder Miguel Cuneta, and the Philippine Association of Digital Commerce and Decentralized Industries and Fintech Advisor to CEZA chairman emeritus Mary Rose Magsaysay. Gero discussed the environment and situation in Israel which allows for innovation and startup culture. According to Gero, Israel, while being located in the oil-rich Middle East, lacked natural resources, resulting in limited opportunities for growth. To address this problem, Israel turned their efforts investing towards their people and focusing on the development of innovative industries. He added that Israel has been dubbed as the Startup Nation - the innovation capital of the world. Also, as per the World Bank, the Jewish country spends 4.27 percent of its growth domestic product on research and the development.

To make the Filipino workforce ready for the advances in technology, Camasura expressed the importance to invest more in people, particularly in tech. Meanwhile, Cuneta discussed how quickly blockchain in the country progress and the opportunities it possesses for Filipinos to be leaders in this field. Magsaysay, on the other hand, talked about how the community is formalizing and coordinating with the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulators for the guidelines of the evolving economic financial tool. She added that she was broadcasting through the radio every week to reach and educate the common people. “We talked about it in Tagalog because we want everybody to appreciate what technology can do,” Magsaysay said, adding that they would need to level up and tell the people that they are now organized.

Blockchain of the Philippines president and Unionbank of the Philippines chairman Justo Ortiz collaborates with Israeli Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines Itamar Gero to share best practices about the financial technology landscape in Israel and how the Philippines can improve its own.

Destinations D1

sunday, august 12, 2018

Bernadette Lunas, Issue Editor


access to hotel perks and privileges


A lovely view from rizal Boulevard.


the best place

to retire in ph?

NegroS oriental’s capital, Dumaguete City, has been named the best place to retire in the Philippines for 2018.

The 12-story Savoy Hotel Manila in Megaworld's Newport City is located across Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.


NeW privilege card offering free accommodations, room discounts, and other hotel perks was launched recently.

Property developer Megaworld Corp. launched last week the Club Access Card, an exclusive privilege membership card packed with perks and discounts that can be used at six existing and 10 soon-to-open Megaworld homegrown hotel brands across the country. The P6,999 one-time membership fee entitles cardholders to discounts on rooms, dining, amenities, and other hotel services for an enen tire year. According to MegaMega world officials, perks and disdis counts are available even during special promotions or holidays like Christmas or Mother’s Day. Included in the card are one com complimentary overnight stay in a stan standard room at any Megaworld hotel, one 50 percent room discount

Belmont Hotel Manila offers 4-star rated services and accommodations.

Dumaguete Belfry, the oldest known belfry in the city.

Six years after giving Makati the same honor, the Philippine retirement Authority awarded Dumaguete the Best retirement Area Deemed as retiree-Friendly or rADAr, the first Visayan city to receive the honor. According to PrA data, Dumaguete scored an average of 87.48 percent, based on criteria set by the United Nations, International Living, World Health organization, and other international organizations.

The Club Access Card comes with perks and discounts on rooms, dining, and other amenities at existing and soon-to-open Megaworld hotels.

voucher at any Megaworld hotel, one 50 percent discount each at richmonde Hotel Iloilo, richmonde

Megaworld Hotels general managers (from left) Mario Justo, Jr. of eastwood richmonde Hotel, Lorenzo Tang of Belmont Hotel Manila and Savoy Hotel Manila, Natalie Lim of richmonde Hotel Iloilo, Jorold Montelibano of richmonde Hotel ortigas, and Adie gallares of Savoy Hotel Boracay led the launch of Club Access

Hotel ortigas, eastwood richmonde Hotel, Belmont Hotel Manila, Savoy Hotel Manila, and Savoy Hotel Boracay; and two complimentary upgrades to the next room category at all participating hotels. Cardholders also get unlimited 20 percent off on “best available rates” in all types of rooms, inclusive of breakfast for two, and 10 percent on promotional rates and special holidays. Participating brands include richmonde Hotel ortigas, eastwood richmonde Hotel, richmonde Hotel Iloilo, Belmont Hotel Manila, Savoy Hotel Manila, and Savoy Hotel Boracay. Also included are the soon-toopen 126-room Twin Lakes Hotel

Tagaytay and 94-room Lucky Chinatown Hotel in Binondo, Manila. In the next three years, eight more homegrown hotels will open and will become part of the program, these include Savoy Hotel Mactan and Belmont Hotel Mactan Newtown, both in Mactan Island, Cebu; Belmont Hotel Boracay and Chancellor Hotel Boracay, both on Boracay island; Kingsford Hotel and grand Westside Hotel in Westside City within the booming entertainment City near Manila Bay; and two more hotels in the Visayas. “Club Access is designed for the quintessential traveler, someone who wants to experience the best Turn to D2

Silliman University is the first Protestant university in the Philippines.

Some of the factors for judging include cost of living, friendliness of locals, climate, healthcare, and peace and order. Mayor Felipe Antonio remollo, who received the award, said the main factor behind the city’s attractiveness to foreign retirees is its people. Turn to D2

tourism’s breath of fresh air mercury rising By BoB zozoBrado

BerNADeTTe Fatima romulo-Puyat describes herself as someone whose perennially heavy workload has forced her to live up to her married name. She also points out that her house is along a street that banners the same “description,” and her office is also along a street that describes the same sleepdeprived condition. She hastens to add that she could allow herself the luxury of sleep for only about two hours a day, especially now that she has taken over the lead of our tourism industry. After she was sworn

Secretary Berna, together with our Bulong Pulungan press group, headed by former Press Secretary Deedee Siytangco.

into office by President Duterte, she hit the ground running, familiarizing herself with the intricacies of the industry, and seeing to it that all transactions and activities entered into by the department were, are, and will be above board. A University of the Philippines graduate with a degree in economics, Secretary

Berna, as she is fondly called, is the second child of former Senator Alberto romulo and his wife, Lovely. The comely new Tourism Secretary started her career as an instructor at the UP School of economics, and served as an undersecretary, for so many years, at the Department of Agriculture prior to her current designation.

I have had quite a number of occasions to chat leisurely with our new Tourism Secretary. My industry friends and I agree that, with her youthful and star-quality looks, she certainly is “easy on the eyes.” She’s always smiling, has a pleasant disposition, and has an attractive persona that is also gung-ho on pushing the industry to be one of the country’s top money-makers—exactly the leader we need. As a recent guest at our weekly Bulong Pulungan, she joyfully announced that, in spite of the closure of Boracay, the most popular beach destination in our country, tourist arrivals increased by 11.35 percent during the first six months of this year, compared to the same period last year. Thanks to social media and the hard work that our tour operators have put in, tourists now enjoy themselves in Cebu, Bohol, and La Union which offer practically the same sun-sea-sand attraction as that of Boracay. Turn to D2

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Fatima romulo-Puyat



sunday, august 12, 2018


From D1

accommodations our hotels can offer in several key destinations like Boracay, tagaytay, and soon, Cebu,” said natalie Lim, general manager of Richmonde Hotel Iloilo. Every stay in a hotel entitles members to exclusive welcome amenities and priority lane “so they don’t need to queue in long lines for check-ins and check-outs,” said Lim. Club access members get to dine for free when accompanied by one paying guest at all food and beverage outlets of participating hotels. Members plus two or more, on the other hand, get 20-30 percent off on total bill. In addition to room and dining perks and discounts, members also get 10 percent off on spa treatments, 20 percent off on annual gym membership fees, 20 percent discount on day pass use of swimming pool, 15 percent off on total food bill for banquets and social events at participating hotels, complimentary non-motorized sports activities for 2 hours at savoy Hotel Boracay, and complimentary wash and press laundry services, among many others. “so far, this is the only hotel privilege card that provides more hotel choices within the Philippines, especially in key tourism areas like Boracay and tagaytay. More than that, this gives our members the reason to patronize hotel brands that are truly Filipino,” said Lim.


From D1

st. Catherine of alexandria Cathedral

dumaguete is known as “the City of gentle of People.” “Tiningnan po namin ang number of retirees na nandito and figures showed that it’s been growing up. a dominating number of our retirees from negros Oriental are living in dumaguete,” said PRa marketing head Mervin Magbuhat. He further noted of more than 300 retirees living in the province, 255 of them live in the city. Magbuhat added, “We interviewed some of retirees here and they said a lot of good things about dumaguete.” dumaguete is referred to as a “university city” because of the four universities and a number of other colleges located in the city. the most popular education institution in the city is silliman university, the first Protestant university in the Philippines.

it’s more Fun in metro manila

TOURING ON TWO WHEELS. the 2.5-hour guided Bambike tour goes through the major historical and cultural sites in Intramuros.


EtRO Manila, daily traffic, pollution, and dense population notwithstanding, is an intriguing and exciting tropical metropolis for many foreign tourists. a melting pot of culture and people coming from different parts of the country, the region is an eclectic destination with colonial-era districts and modern business enclaves. as a proof of its growing popularity, it welcomed 41 international cruise ship port calls last year, which brought in 58,828 passengers. Moreover, the megacity was featured in a 48-hour travelogue by London-based The Independent newspaper, and  was named as  among the world’s 10 FastestEmerging global Cities by The World Post. Cognizant of its tourism gains and potential, local governments and private stakeholders in the national Capital Region are converging for the second Metro Manila tourism Forum on  aug. 30-31  at the Blue Leaf Filipinas in aseana City, Parañaque City.

Local government executives, tourism council officers, and industry frontliners are expected to attend the confab, bearing the theme “City tourism: Rebuilding a Local destination to a global Brand.” department of tourism secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat is the keynote speaker of the event, which is organized by the International school for sustainable tourism, and supported by the dot and the automobile association Philippines. according to Isst president Mina gabor, this year’s forum will focus on redefining city tourism as an international icon by

superstar Virgo welcomed at the Port of Manila

Rizal Boulevard

But aside from students converging to enroll for tertiary education, dumaguete has long been attracting retirees. Forbes magazine in 2014 named the city as one of the Best Places to Retire around the World. Magbuhat said the RadaR award will significantly benefit dumaguete as the Philippines is the most “googled” country in the world when it comes to retirement, with Malaysia and thailand coming close. Magbuhat said Dumagueteños can expect more investors and stakeholders involved in the retirement and tourism industries to flock to the city. an upsurge of foreign retirees is also expected in the next few years as the PRa said it will heavily promote dumaguete as one the most recommended cities in the Philippines for retirees.

tourism's... From D1 although it was a lesson learned the hard way, secretary Berna considers the Boracay “fiasco” as a very important tool in making our countrymen understand the concept of sustainable and Responsible tourism, which she will bat for during her term as secretary. all those communities whose livelihood is anchored on beach destinations are now very careful, seeing to it that these will not fall into the same abyss of neglect that brought about the closure of Boracay. the good news, though, is that all the government agencies involved in Boracay’s rehabilitation are poised to re-open the destination by Oct. 26 this year, an announcement met with applause by everybody. this certainly will redound to surpassing our 7.4 million visitor arrivals target for this year.

Parañaque's sunduan Festival, a street pageant that relates to an old courtship tradition.

not just showcasing the destinations, but also opening economic opportunities for local and international markets. she added the MMtF will integrate tourism in promoting inclusive and sustainable growth, employment and poverty reduction, environmental protection and climate change, cultural values, diversity and heritage, and peace and security.

spicing up the event is a parallel Metro Manila travel Mart which will exhibit the various attractions and packages offered by local government units and private tour operators. the confab will open with the “Empower the Leaders” plenary with Interior and Local government undersecretary austere Panaderos as keynote speaker. the session, which will be attended by key government stakeholders, aims to empower the leaders, engage the people, and establish a culture of unity in governance. the second plenary, “Engage the Culture and Community,” with Clickable Vietnam chief executive officer Jason Lusk as keynote will feature talks on “unity in Community” by Platinum Fireworks president Joel sta. ana, and “Culture, Heritage, arts, Craftsmanship and Entertainment” by Walk this Way tour president Carlos Celdran. the third plenary session is dubbed “City Branding Campaign” with inputs on “social Media ambassadors” by Philippine tourism star awardee anton diaz of Our Awesome Planet.

Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism area

Our country’s tour operators, inEarly this year, the department Fun In the Philippines,” the departspired by the positive developments of tourism also bared its market- ment’s advertising tagline which secat the department of tourism, are ing activities that are designed to retary Berna plans to keep. What is now very busy with their market- bring in more tourists from Israel even more laudable is that, when she ing efforts to lure more visitors to and turkey, two countries that have took over the helm of our industry, the country, especially now that the the potential to send more of their many ad agencies offered to do margovernment has set aside P30.9 bil- nationals our way. keting campaigns for the country, lion for tourism PRO BOnO, which infrastructure. she certainly appreOur asean ciates, considering neighbors are the department’s YOUR weekend CHUCkLe their primary limited budget. a child asked his father, “How were people born?” His father said, target. It is very heart“adam and Eve made babies, then their babies became adults and another warming to see made babies, and so on.” the child then went to his mother, asked country that everybody in the her the same question and she told him, “We were monkeys, then has a big potenindustry now workwe evolved to become like we are now.” the child ran back to his tial to increase ing together with father and said, “you lied to me!” His father replied, “no, your mom its share of our revitalized fervor...a was talking about her side of the family.” tourist arrivals fitting welcome to is India, now our indefatigable that high-level tourism secretary, government who is definitely “a talks between our two countries are this frenzy of activities is an indi- breath of fresh air” to our industry. renegotiating the air service agree- cation of the tourism industry’s seriment, calling for more weekly flights ous commitment to make the whole For feedback, I’m at between Manila and new delhi. world know that, definitely, “It’s More




'Amazing Earth' host Dingdong Dantes




The cast of 'Bakwit Boys' in a behind-the-scenes still for the movie inspired by a real-life experience of its director, John Paul Laxamana.

'Unli Life' with Winwyn Marquez and Vhong Navarro tackles how much one is willing to go great lengths to get back that person he loves the most and what one is willing to do just to preserve it.

A scene from 'Pinay Beauty (She's No White)' with Edgar Allan Guzman, Janus del Prado and Nico Antonio.


IGHT incredible films have been selected by the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) for the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP), a one-week exclusive screening of films in all theaters nationwide.  The 2018 lineup which will be screened from Aug. 15 to 21, offers  a diverse set of films that pushes the envelope of the movie genres that Filipinos grew to love.  This year’s entry are:  Ang Babaeng Allergic Sa Wifi  directed by  Jun Robles Lana  under The IdeaFirst Company;  Bakwit Boys  directed by  Jason Paul Laxamana  under T. Rex Entertainment;  Madilim Ang Gabi  directed by  Adolf  Alix  Jr., under Deus Lux Mea Films;  Pinay Beauty  directed by  Jay Abello  under Quantum Films and Epic Media;  Signal Rock  directed by  Chito Roño  under Cape Signal Rock (CSR) Films PH;  The Day After Valentine’s  directed by Jason Paul Laxamana under Viva Films;  Unli Life  directed by  Miko Livelo  under Regal Entertianment Inc.; and  We Will Not DieTonight  directed by  Richard Somes  under Strawdogs Studio Production. In addition to the main entries, the PPP Special Feature Section will showcase outstanding Filipino independent films that gained numerous awards from prestigious awardgiving bodies as featured in independent local film festivals. Balanginga: Howling Wilderness  directed by  Khavn  (QCinema 2017),  Gusto Kita with all my Hypothalamus  directed by  Dwein Baltazar  (Cine Filipino 2018) ,  High Tide directed by  Tara Illenberger (ToFarm 2017),  Kiko Boksingero  directed by  Thop Nazareno  (Cinemalaya

2017), Paki  directed by  Gian Carlo Abrahan  (Cinemaone Originials 2017) and  Tu Pug Imatuy  directed by  Arnel Barbarona (Sinag Maynila 2017) are all to be screened in SM Mall of Asia, SM Megamall, SM Manila, SM Sta. Mesa, SM North EDSA, SM Fairview, Robinsons Galleria, and Gateway cinemas  along with the PPP’s main entries.  Short films will also be featured in PPP through Sine Kabataan Short Film Competition, which will be paired with the PPP full feature entries.  Proudly presented by Official Ambassador Sine Kabataan, Ice Seguerra, the films include  Alas-Nuebe ng Tanghali  directed by  Enalyn Legaspi,  Anonymous Student Vlog  directed by  Christian Babista,  Bahay-bahayan  directed by  Bryan Spencer Reyes,  Bato Bato Pik  directed by  Ardinian Jaq Sanque  and  Lorys Plaza,  Isang Tula para sa Nawawala  directed by  Rodemille Singh,  Koleksyong Pamalo directed by  Len  Frago,  Masaya Ako  directed by  Daniel Edwin Delgado  and  Tiara Angelia Nicolas, and  Runner  directed by  Levi Jun Miscala. Now on its second year, PPP showcases quality genre films for its audience and FDCP aims to further maximize this time to holistically conduct a series of events and forms of support for Filipino films, from  celebratory fiestas for the public to educational fora and conferences for film industry professionals. 

‘Signal Rock' starring Christian Bables is a story of the people living in an island town where they are confronted by their struggle for relevance in a changing world, forcing them to shift their morals and family values.

The cast of 'Bad Genius,' Thailand's most successful international film.


'Ang Babaeng Allergic sa WiFi' is a young adult romantic that stars Sue Ramirez, Markus Paterson and Jameson Blake.

the industry with a huge concert dubbed OA: Ogie Alcasid 30th Anniversary with the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra happening on Aug. 24 at the Big Dome. Now-solo artist Unique Salonga is officially back on the music scene under the MYX Spotlight. Fans are in for a treat as the former IV of Spades member showcases his new songs throughout the month, just before his upcoming The Grandma Tour concert in September. Watch out as MYX once again invades various campuses in the Metro with the return of MYX Slam Jam. The much awaited campus tour kicks off at the Emilio Aguinaldo College on Aug. 20 (Monday). Catch Celebrity VJ Arci on Pinoy Myx from today until Aug. 18, Mellow Myx on Aug. 19 to 25, and My MYX on Aug. 26 to 31.

CATCH another round of quality entertainment as GMA programs Amazing Earth and Daig Kayo Ng Lola Ko bring surprising and magical adventures today. Dingdong Dantes takes the viewers on jaw-dropping scenes in Amazing Earth featuring Saiga antelopes and their ritual migration in the Eurasian steppe while showing lions learning to live amidst the flooded environment in Southern Africa. Watch how a barn owl swoops down on a harvest mouse that runs for its life in the European meadows and discover the Philippine porcupine.   On the other hand, stars Kylie Padilla, Sanya Lopez and Gabbi Garcia continue their story in Daig Kayo Ng Lola Ko’s episode entitled “Witchikels” as the three witch sisters Winona, Willow and Winslet.   Waleylang’s (Maureen Larrazabal) revelation leaves the three sisters, even their father Willard (Epy Quizon), puzzled. But when they ask her about the truth, she evades all their questions and escapes.   After this, they thought that Willard must be under some sort of enchantment to make him forget about their mother. How will the three sisters be able to search for the truth now that Waleylang is gone?  Don’t miss the one-of-a-kind stories of Amazing Earth and Daig Kayo Ng Lola Ko this tonight after 24 Oras Weekend on GMA Sunday Grande.

‘The Day After Valentine’s,‘ which stars Bela Padilla and JC Santos, is about a girl who tries to mend a guy’s broken heart.

ARCI MUÑOZ WEARS THE MYX VJ HAT MUSIC channel, Myx is in for a fun, edgy vibe as it welcomes Arci Muñoz with her rock star energy as Celebrity VJ for August. The Since I Found You star takes over the music channel as bearer of the hippest music videos and funky tunes, along with her insider knowledge as a musician herself. More Kapamilya viewers will get to see VJ Arci for the whole month, now that Myx can be watched via ABS-CBN TVplus, along with its other new free channels Jeepney TV and O-Shopping and exclusive offerings Asianovela Channel and Movie Central. Meanwhile, OPM hitmaker Ogie Alcasid celebrates with the music channel as he takes on the role of “Myx Headliner.” The renowned singer-songwriter also commemorates his 30th anniversary in


Nickie Wang, Issue Editor

Arci Muñoz is August Myx celebrity VJ

THAILAND’S biggest global thriller to date, Bad Genius, an exhilarating high school exam delinquency-turnedinternational crime, makes its exciting movie premiere on Cinema One today. Chutimon Chuen charoensukying stars as Lynn in Bad Genius, a straight-A high school student who engineers an exams-cheating scheme to earn money, a ruse that eventually involves loot worth millions of baht.  Shot in Thailand and Australia, and based on real-life news of cheating in a college admission test, Bad Genius became the highest-grossing Thai movie last year and the most internationally successful Thai film to date. It also nabbed multiple awards in various international film festivals and won in twelve categories at the 27th Suphannahong National Film Awards.  In a review by Maggie Lee posted in American online magazine Variety. com, she compared the Cinema One Blockbuster Sunday feature to the hit Hollywood flick Ocean’s Eleven. She said, “Dramatizing the clever capers of Thai high school kids who formed an exam-cheating syndicate, Bad Genius deserves full marks for a whip-smart script that makes answering multiplechoice questions as nail-biting and entertaining as Ocean’s Eleven.”  Lee also commended the film’s stars writing, “The young cast burst with energy and have great comic timing. Teen model Chuengcharoensukying makes an eye-catching screen debut.”  Bad Genius airs Cinema One’s Blockbuster Sunday at 7:00 p.m.. Cinema One is available on SKYcable Channel 56, SKYdirect Channel 19, Destiny Cable Analog 37 and Digital 56.


sunday, august 12, 2018

Desiree Carlos, Editor


watcH out for fLutd in cats By Dexter Mercurio, D.V. M


He first sign of feline lower urinary tract disease (FlUTD) is difficulty in urinating.

When an owner sees his/her cat straining while at the litter box, this is a cause for worry. This action is usually mistaken as difficulty in pooping or constipation. It is best to hold your cat, and feel the abdomen. When you feel a hard “ball” in the said area, this is a sign of a distended urinary bladder. Failure to address the issue will soon lead to a multitude of problems such as kidney failure, shock, dehydration, and cardiac arrest due to severe electrolyte imbalance. Urinary bladder rupture may even occur. Predisposing conditions: 1. Male cats 2 .Urinary Tract Infections 3. Multi-cat household 4 . Hereditary 5. Diet 6. Concurrent illness

Treatment: The first thing to do is to help the cat void urine by “unblocking” with a urinary catheter. Sometimes this can be difficult to do when the cat is conscious. A sedative may be given to the cat to help it relax. After the cat is unblocked, a work-up will be done. This includes a set of blood tests, urine test and imaging such as ultrasound and radiographs. The cat will be on intravenous fluid, antibiotics, and urinary catheter for a few days to address the abnormalities. A shot of aniti-inflammatory medicine will be given after the catheter is removed. The cat will then be observed for his/ her ability to void urine. If the cat can pass urine, it is discharged from the hospital.

Surgery will be required if there 5. Your cat exhibits behavioral is a stone or narrowing strictures changes like aggression and irritaof the urethra. tion. The cat will also be maintained 6. Your cat strains to urinate and on a special diet. no urine comes out. Although more expensive, Editor’s note: This article will please ask your vet to recomhopefully help cat owners detect mend a cat food brand that has a problem in their cats and bring no (or less) salt and preservatives their pets to the veterinarian im- in it. mediately. The treatment above Canned or wet food is always preshould be done only by a licensed ferred because it has water which veterinarian and is meant to help they need, but this more expensive. owners understand what their cat You can also cook your cat's food will go through. but ask the vet which ingredients To avoid an advanced stage of can be given to cats. There are food FLUTD, we recommend that you that are toxic to cats. always observe your cats, specially Please note however that while the male ones, and talk to your vet you save on funds when you buy about the best diet for your cats. cheap cat food, you might end Bring your cat to the vet immedi- up spending more funds to pay ately when: for medical bills. Worse, your cat 1. Your cat is crying when urinating. will suffer. 2. You see blood in the urine. 3. Your cat urinates outside the litAbout the author: Dr. Dexter ter box or in unusual or inappropri- Mercurio is the head veterinarate places. ian at Vets in Practice (VIP) in 4. Your cat overgrooms herself or White Plains, Quezon City. He is a licks more often around the perine- graduate of the University of the um, anus or rectum. Philippines.

Very healthy and cute two-month-old puppies for adoption.

p o H s t n o d #adopt THere are so many rescued pups and kittens who need a loving home, and an adopter who will love them and take good care of them for a lifetime, and not just when they are cute. Animal welfare groups and animal welfare advocates rescue pups and kittens, dogs and cats from the streets and the pounds, and from abusive owners. After having the dogs treated, they are put up for adoption. Please adopt a pup, kitten, dog or cat, instead of buying a pet. In this way, you can help a rescued pet and also help rescuers rescue more animals in need.

Very healthy and cute two-month-old puppies for adoption.

Noemi Pitargue, a clinical Massage bodyworker and rehab exercise instructor for 10 years now, has been rescuing animals in need. At the moment, she is looking for loving, lifetime adopters for twomonth old pups in her care. If you can adopt a pup, please contact her in Facebook or through her cell number 09173077016.

The pups for adoption.

Author Dr. Dexter Mercurio checks on Angel, a cat who "rescues" and brings home orphaned kittens. Angel was brought to Doc Dex because he seems to have lost his appetite. It is advised to bring your pet to the vet once you see a change in his/ her behavior.

The author, Doc Dex to owners of pets, does a complete check-up of Angel's face and body, including the gums and teeth. After the physical examination, a blood test is done if the vet sees a need for it to find out more about the condition of the pet.

The requirements are: 1. No caging. 2. Free roaming only. 3. Spay or neuter the pup at the appropriate age. 4. Give an update to Noemi Pitargue every two (2) months. 5. Give complete information on the adopter like real address, and allow home visit or a visit to the place where the puppy will stay even when the puppy has grown up.

How to take care of a rescued or abandoned kitten

By Mitch Canlas-Cordova

Ollie, rescued by Nicole Benedito of Save Animals of love and light (Save All) at 7-10 days old, was first brought to the clinic for a check-up, then bottle-fed at the foster home. She was placed inside a cage beside the cage of mama cat Tigra who gave birth to three kittens. Tigra had to get used to Ollie first before introducing Ollie to her. After a week, Tigra allowed the rescuer to bring in Ollie inside her cage and she started to nurse the young one.

A SUCCeSSFUl rescue of kittens— with or without a mother cat-- entails doing the right thing during the first few weeks. Proper care for kittens, specially for those with no mother and those below three weeks of age, is very critical at this time. If you see a kitten on the street, assess the situation first: 1. Please check if a mother is just nearby moving her kittens to a safe location or is looking for food. If you think the kittens should be rescued, please get the mother also. 2. If the kitten is on the side of the Tigra now nurses Ollie, a rescued kitten. Ollie was bottle-fed for a week beside road, near or in a canal, or can be Tigra's cage before being brought inside Tigra's cage. stepped on, please get the kitten immediately. At home, please do the following: checked for illnesses and treated if >You can put a hot compress (bottle Get a box from the nearby store, put needed before mixing the rescued one with hot water wrapped with a towel the kitten inside, close the top, and 1. Keep the kitten away from older with the other pets. or inside a sock) near the kitten to keep bore holes in the box so that the kitten A visit to the veterinarian first is best. it warm. Make sure you secure the cap can still get some air and not suffocate. pets and your other pets. The resident cats or dogs might hurt so that the hot water will not spill. Keep You have to secure the kitten in such a 2. Keep the kitten with no mother warm. at a safe distance. way that the kitten will not be able to the new “resident.” Also, a rescued kitten must be >Dry the body with a soft cloth. >Change the water inside the bottle jump out while you are transporting it.

when it gets cold. > Kittens without their mother to warm them tend to die because their bodies do not retain heat that well. Thus it is best to put it in a place that is warm. >DO NOT GIVe THe KITTeN A BATH, just wipe with a damp cloth to cleanse (if really dirty) and immediately dry. >You can put a lamp above the cage but make sure it is not directly above the kitten. 3. Giving MIlK is very important. > When feeding a kitten, feed it face down. This is how they nurse from their mama cat, which is the opposite of how you feed human babies. MIlK WIll GO DIreCTlY TO THe lUNGS IF FeD FACING UP. Most kittens are lactose intolerant. You can get kitten milk from the pet store or a clinic and follow instructions on the label. But if it is night time, and the pet stores are closed, give regular milk but dilute it first by adding clean water. The next day, do buy kitten milk from the pet store. To be continued next week.

Manila Standard - 2018 August 12 - Sunday  

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

Manila Standard - 2018 August 12 - Sunday  

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