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E. SAMAR TOWN ERUPTS IN JOY By Ronald O. Reyes

VOL. XXXII • NO. 304 • 4 SECTIONS 16 PAGES • P18 • SUNDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2018 • www.manilastandard.net • editorial@manilastandard.net

RESIDENTS of Balangiga in Eastern Samar this weekend finally had their three historic bells again after they were taken away from their town’s church 117 years ago. “I am sure that our ancestors are celebrating [with] us here in this remarkable history,” said President Rodrigo Duterte during the formal turnover ceremony at the town public square. According to Duterte, the return of the bells signified “full restoration of our dignity as a Filipino.” But he warned that no one should take credit for the return of the bells except the American and Filipino people “through their fervent prayer.” “Today, we remember our past and look forward at our enduring relationship…We don’t take this friendship for granted,” said Assistant Secretary of US Defense Dr. Philip Felter who represented US Defense Chief James Mattis. Rev. Crispin Varquez, the bishop of the Diocese of Borongan, thanked the American and Philippine government officials who have been working on the return of the bells. “Please be assured that we will return the bells to their original purpose, and care and cherish them for its precious legacy,” said Varquez. Turn to A2

JINGLING BELL. President Rodrigo

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SUNDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2018

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ARROYO-LED HOUSE POSTS GAINS IN 45 SESSION DAYS

By Maricel V. Cruz

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ISSION accomplished. Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in effect said this as the House of Representatives under her leadership passed several legislations that promote President Rodrigo Duterte’s legacy in his first three years in office. With only a few session days left before the 17th Congress ends on June 30, 2019, the Arroyo-led House processed a total of 1,426 measures since the Third Regular Session of the 17th Congress began on July 23, 2018 and adjourned on Dec. 12, 2018 for a Christmas break. This translates to an average of 35 measures processed each day during the 41 session days. At the adjournment on Dec.13, Speaker Arroyo addressed members of the House to congratulate them on their hard work as the House succeeded in processing all the priority measures of President Duterte—a promise Speaker Arroyo made when she was elected to

lead her fellow Representatives. “My concern is not my legacy as Speaker. My concern is to support President Duterte’s legacy in the year that I have as Speaker. And as of yesterday, the House can report with confidence that we have already passed the President’s entire legislative agenda as he announced in his 2018 State of the Nation Address,” Arroyo said. Of the total measures processed, 95 were enacted into law, 16 of which were of national significance and 79 of local import. These include Republic Act 11054, or the “Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao,”a landmark legislation that

was based on House Bill 6475. Also enacted was RA 11148, or the “Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng Mag-Nanay Act” based on HB 5777, which scales up the national and local health and nutrition programs through a strengthened integrated strategy for maternal, neonatal, child health and nutrition in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life. Others are RA 11106 or the “Filipino Sign Language Act” based on HB 7503; RA 11127 or the“National Payments Systems Act” based on HB 5000; RA 11131 or the “Philippine Criminology Act of 2018” based on HB 7191; RA 11055, or the“Philippine Identification System Act” based on HB 6221; RA 11057, or the“Personal Property Security Act”based on HB 6907; RA 11058, “An Act Strengthening Compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Standards” based on HB 64; and RA 11059 or the “Retirement Law of the Office of the Ombudsman” based on HB 6578. Additionally, 39 more measures were transmitted to the President, awaiting his approval for them to be

enacted into laws. The House also ratified a total of 30 bicameral reports during this period. Twenty-six of the reports were of national significance and four were of local import. These include HB 7735 and SB 1998, “Revised Agricultural Tariffication Act;” HB 7402 and SB 1363, “Telecommuting Act”; HB 8239 and SB 1477,“Positive and Nonviolent Discipline of Children Act;” HB 8139 and SB 1431, “Tulong-Trabaho Act; ” HB 5675 and SB 2081, “Simulated Birth Rectification Act;” HB 8636 and SB 1850, “National Integrated Cancer Control Act; ” HB 6617 and SB 1390, “Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Act;” HB 4113 and SB 1305, “Increasing the Maternity Leave to 100 Days”; HB 7652 and SB 1636, “Mobile Number Portability Act; ” HB 8374 and SB 1280, “Revised Corporation Code of the Philippines” and House Joint Resolution 26, which seeks to extend the period of availability of funds intended for victims of Human Rights violations under the Marcos Regime until December 2019.

PHOENIX, SEAOIL LEAD ROLLBACK OF OIL PRICES By Alena Mae S. Flores OIL players Phoenix Petroleum Philippines and Seaoil Philippines lead the latest oil price rollback of as much as P0.30 per liter effective 6 am Saturday to reflect the movement of world oil prices in the domestic market. “Phoenix Petroleum Philippines will decrease the prices of gasoline by P0.15 per liter and diesel by P0.30 per liter effective 6 am of 15 December 2018,” the oil player said. PetroGazz announced it will also cut the same level of prices starting 6 am on Tuesday. Last Dec. 11, the oil companies implemented a P0.40 per liter increase for gasoline but rolled back the price of diesel and kerosene by P0.10 per liter and P0.45 per liter, respectively. Total year-to-date adjustments for gasoline is expected reached a net decrease of P0.20 per liter. Net increase for diesel is expected to be lowered to P1.20 per liter while kerosene’s net increase will now be at P0.78 per liter. World oil prices declined last week due to concerns of oversupply despite moves to cut production. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies including Russia has agreed to cut production by 1.2 million barrels per day beginning Jan. 1. Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi expects world oil prices to maintain its current range of $50 to $60 per barrel by next year although he said any volatilities in the world market will have impact of prices.

LANTERN PARADE. University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City held its yearly Lantern Parade participated by the different departments of the State University. Manny Palmero

NCRPO COPS ON ALERT AS ‘SIMBANG GABI’ STARTS WITH the yearly “Simbang Gabi” set to start at dawn on Sunday, National Capital Region Police District Office Director Guillermo Eleazar has ordered his five district directors to tighten security around churches and residential areas to protect churchgoers and thwart burglars. The five districts covered by the NCRPO are the Manila Police District, Quezon City Police District, Northern Police District, Southern Police District, and Eastern Police District. “The Team NCRPO celebrates this Christmas by intensifying police visibility to ensure there will be peace, order, safety and joy in our midst, every moment of the day,” Eleazar said on Saturday, adding that

his order is in line with the Philippine National Police’s “Ligtas Paskuhan 2018” program. Eleazar said that at the start of the traditional Simbang Gabi, he tasked the five district directors to establish police assistance centers in major churches where the public can ask for immediate police assistance. “For the Simbang Gabi that will start tomorrow (Dec. 16), more than a thousand police officers will be deployed in almost 300 churches to ensure the safety of churchgoers, not to mention the personnel who will be securing the routes and roads leading to and coming from these places of worship,” he said. The NCRPO chief added that patrol

teams assigned to churches will make sure that petty criminals and gangs do not bother the churchgoers. He said patrol teams have been instructed to watch out for snatchers and thieves, as well as troublemakers. “We are fielding about 7,823 NCRPO police officers with the full support of 7,955 force multipliers to oversee the peace and order situation of our metropolis,” Eleazar said. “They will be posted strategically regionwide at places of convergence and vital installations. We will post ‘police assistance hubs’ in all major public markets, malls, churches, airports, LRT and MRT terminals, seaports, and transport terminals,” he added. PNA

LANAO DEL NORTE BUCKS PLEBISCITE DELAY TUBOD, Lanao del Norte—Torn between supporting the Bangsamoro Organic Law and their determination not to cede any of this province’s towns to the new Bangsamoro entity, local officials here rejected the postponement of the plebiscite that would determine the area of the new autonomous government. In a resolution passed Thursday, the Lanao del Norte Provincial Peace and Order Council opposed the decision of the Commission on Elections to hold the BOL plebiscite in the province on Feb. 6 next year and not at the start of the plebiscite period on Jan. 21. Gov. Imelda Quibranza-Dimaporo questioned the Comelec’s basis of holding the plebiscite at a later date, pointing out that other prospective areas of the new Bangsamoro Autnomous Region in Muslim Mindanao will hold their plebiscite on Jan. 21.

“Why not let Lanao del Norte join the plebiscite on Jan. 21 with other provinces like North Cotabato? Why can’t it be done simultaneously?” Dimaporo asked. At least six of the province’s towns are included in the proposed BARMM areas, and Dimaporo is leading the “no” campaign to ensure the municipalities stay with Lanao del Norte. Dimaporo also complained that some groups advocating for a“yes”vote had already campaigned even before the start of the Dec. 7 campaign period. The governor said that the Comelec decision to hold the plebiscite at a later date was meant to give the “yes” vote advocates undue advantage. Dimaporo and her son, Rep. Khalid Dimaporo, maintained that they support BOL but would not want to see Lanao del Norte dismembered for economic and

DIOKNO IN-LAWS LINKED TO PORK

security reasons. “We are against the inclusion for the two main reasons. If these six municipalities are separated from the province, the Internal Revenue Allotment in municipalities and barangays will be reduced. Secondly, the six municipalities are our buffers and protection,” the governor explained. Dimaporo said the provincial government is willing to take the matter to the Supreme Court to resolve the issue. The six Lanao del Norte towns included in the BOL plebiscite are Nunungan, Tangkal, Munai, Pantar, Balo-i and Tagoloan-II town. Residents of these towns had voted to be included in the then Bangsamoro Juridical Entity under the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain, which the Supreme Court ruled as unconstitutional in 2008. PNA

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LIGHT RAIN TO AFFECT MOST PARTS OF LUZON —PAGASA By Joel E. Zurbano THE northeast monsoon affecting Luzon will cause light rain over most parts of the island, the weather bureau said on Saturday. The Cagayan Valley and Cordillera regions, as well as Aurora province, will have cloudy skies with light rain, while Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated light rain, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration. The Bicol region and eastern Visayas will experience cloudy skies with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms due to the tail-end of a cold front affecting the eastern section of southern Luzon. The rest of the country will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers caused by localized thunderstorms. Meanwhile, strong winds will blow over the northern and eastern sections of the country. Coastal waters along these areas will be rough. Elsewhere, winds will be moderate to strong with moderate to rough seas, PAGASA said. As this developed, the Cebu Pacific Air has announced it has canceled a number of domestic flights beginning Saturday (Dec. 15) until Monday (Dec. 17) due to bad weather condition in some parts of the country. CEB’s sister airline CebGo has suspended six Manila flights to and from Legazpi on Saturday. “Due to forecasts of unfavorable weather conditions over the next few days and in the interest of safety, CebGo has canceled the following affected flights today (Dec. 15) until Monday (Dec. 17),”the CEB management said in its advisory Saturday. The canceled Manila-Legazpi flights include DG-6191, DG 6189 and DG 6193 while those LegazpiManila suspended flights were DG-6190, DG-6194 and DG-6192. To accommodate affected passengers, the CEB management will be mounting a daily flight with the following schedule: Manila-Legazpi 5J 327 (Estimated Time of Departure 3:25 pm / Estimated Time of Arrival 4:40 pm) and Legazpi-Manila 5J 328 (ETD 5:10 pm / ETA 6:25 pm). Meanwhile, flights between Legazpi and Cebu (DG-6204 / DG6205) from Saturday until Monday will also be moved to an earlier departure schedule. The affected flights were LegazpiCebu (DG-6205) and Cebu-Legazpi (DG-6204). CEB chief information officer and spokesperson Charo Logarta said passengers on these affected flights from Dec. 15 to Dec. 17 have been notified through the contact information provided upon booking their flights. “Those who booked their flights via a travel agency or any other third party are strongly encouraged to provide their own contact details so the airline can reach them directly for any updates,” she added.

STREET DANCE.

Students from Las Piñas perform a street dance in a competition as colorful lanterns made from recycled materials light up the streets as part of this year’s celebration on the 13th Las Piñas Parol Festival hosted by Senator Cynthia Villar at Villar Sipag Ground along C5 Extension in Las Piñas City. Lino Santos

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By Maricel V. Cruz

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OUSE Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. has said at least four infrastructure projects amounting to P550 million have been traced to have links to the in-laws of Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno. Andaya said in a statement: “We have identified at least four joint ventures between Aremar and CT Leoncio in Sorsogon. “These projects include the P49-million highway improvement for ArumanCasiguran Road; P96-million construction of Barcelona-Casiguran diversion road; P115-million tourism road leading to Bulusan National Park; and the P289-million Daang Maharlika Section in the 1st District of Sorsogon. “These projects alone cost the taxpayers a total of P550 million.” Andaya said the House leadership was able to get hold of evidence showing “links between Diokno’s in-laws and the beneficiaries of the infrastructure

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projects.” He said his committee would conduct the congressional inquiry into the P10-billion 2018 budget allocated by Diokno’s department to Sorsogon. Andaya said Jojo Sicat, the son of Casiguran, Sorsogon Mayor Edwin Hamor, is married to Diokno’s daughter. Mayor Edwin’s wife Ester is Sorsogon vice governor. Andaya, quoting documents they obtained, said Maria Minez Hamor, daughter of Mayor Edwin, owns Aremar Construction Corp. which entered into the above-mentioned four joint ventures with CT Leoncio Construction and Turn to A2

Duterte, his left fist clenched and raised in the air, rings one of three church bells of Balangiga during a ceremony in the sleepy town Saturday, with residents (above) waving placards in the shape of bells in a knockabout celebration in 27°C temperature as the bells looted from its church more than a century ago by vengeful troops, are turned over to the community and allowed to chime again on their home soil. AFP

MIDNIGHT MASS TONIGHT RINGS IN XMAS GAIETY By Honor Blanco Cabie PREDOMINANTLY Christian Philippines, a nation of 106 million multiethnic people, begins tonight the celebrated nine-day Midnight Masses in Aglipayan and Catholic churches from Batanes down to the Christian towns in Mindanao. Christians gather in their respective parishes to celebrate the birth of Jesus, that moment, in the words of Roman Catholic Archbishop Diartmuid Martin “when the God who had existed before all ages took on human flesh for our salvation.” Theologians say God took on human flesh and taught the believers what it meant to be human: the Christmas story getting past “a fascinating fairy tale: a wonderful story of simplicity set in the bleak and austere beauty of a cold winter’s night” nearly 8,800 kms away from this Land of the Morning. Earlier on, Manila Archibishop Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle reminded the Catholic faithful of the true essence of the Midnight Masses, saying these “are expressions of filial devotion that prepare the faithful as they receive Christ in their lives.” The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines also underlined to the young Filipinos that they must “put God in their friendship” because the Midnight Masses were for worship and not for courtship. Turn to A2

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AFP GRATEFUL FOR EXTENSION OF MARTIAL LAW MILITARY authorities are grateful to Congress for granting Malacañang’s request for another extension of Mindanao martial law, saying the emergency would enable the military to maintain pressure against the enemies of the state to finally put an end to threats to peace and order there. AFP spokesman Col. Noel Detoyato told Super Radyo dzBB, in a broadcast beamed nationwide, “We are grateful that [Congress] has heard the voice of the people in Mindanao.” Another 12 months of martial law in Mindanao “would enable the military and the police to sustain and maintain the pressure para magkaroon ng eventual closure sa peace and order problem,” Detoyato told the network. Replying to questions, Detoyato said there would be no additional deployment of troops to Mindanao. He stressed that the emergency had boosted peace and order efforts in Mindanao because it allowed people to obey authorities. For the third time, Congress last Wednesday approved the request of President Rodrigo Duterte to extend again martial law and the suspension of writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao for one more year. With a total 235 affirmative votes, 28 negative votes and one abstention, the Senate and the House of Representatives jointly approved the motion of Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri and House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya to extend martial rule in Mindanao from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2019. A total of 12 senators voted to approve Duterte’s request while five senators voted against it and one abstained.

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FAELDON SON TESTS NEGATIVE FOR DRUG USE

HE son of Bureau of Corrections chief Nicanor Faeldon Sr. was found negative for illegal drugs but the three other men who were arrested with him during Friday’s raid in Naga City failed the test. The urine sample of Nicanor Faeldon Jr. tested free from the presence of “metamphetamine (shabu) and tetrahydrocannabinol (cannabis) metabolites, two both dangerous drugs,” according to the results released by the Camarines Sur Provincial Laboratory Office on Saturday. The laboratory test was signed by Police Senior Insp. Vina Zarina ZaduaConum, a forensic expert. Faeldon Sr. said he knew his son would test negative for drugs, adding he had a good sleep while the investigation was ongoing. “...all along I was more interested

in allowing the investigation process to take its course. I did not want to interfere,” Faeldon said in an interview on Super Radyo dzBB, beamed nationwide. The three other suspects—Russel Lanuzo alias “Bubbles”, 47; Allan Valdez, 44; and Manuel Nebres, 39, all tested positive for “shabu”. Elements of the Naga City Police Drug Enforcement Unit, Regional Police Drug Enforcement Unit, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and Philippine Army served a search warrant against Lanuzo in his house along San Miguel St., Barangay Ma-

bolo, Naga City at about 5 a.m. Friday. Senior Supt. Felix Servita Jr., chief of the Naga City Police, said the raid was conducted after they received intelligence information that Lanuzo had allegedly been maintaining a drug den in his house. The suspects were arrested during the raid and the search around the house yielded seven plastic sachets containing suspected shabu. However, Faeldon Jr. said he had no knowledge of any illegal drug activity in the area. He told police he was only living in Lanuzo’s house with his girlfriend since they were both studying in Naga City. But he explained why his son was there at the house police raided on suspicion that it was a drug den. “As far as his presence there is concerned, I make it clear I transferred him there for his studies in Naga City.” He said his son’s girlfriend was

the eldest daughter of the suspect targeted by the raid. “My assumption is that he was there because his girlfriend is the owner of the house.” The older Faeldon also protested that his son had no vice. “So it will shock me if he turns out positive for drugs. Knowing him, he is very, very quiet.” Moreover, he said his son and his girlfriend had been out of school for four years, and that lately the couple decided to go back to school. Faeldon said he allowed his son to transfer to Naga City last May to continue his studies together with his girlfriend. Asked about his reaction to those who don’t believe in the result of the drug test, Faeldon said, “I know that I am a controversial person...I don’t care what they say. I just allow the process to take its course. I cannot please everybody.” PNA

SUCKLING ROAST PIG.

An unidentified worker in Quezon City’s La Loma district endures the heat from some burning coal while cooking 'lechon' for customers certain to make the queue daily in the run up to Christmas Eve when families prepare a rich midnight dinner that includes suckling roast pig. Norman Cruz

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Trading, said to be an alleged “favored contractor.” Andaya earlier disclosed in a privilege speech that CT Leoncio Construction and Trading bagged 30 infrastructure projects in various districts under the 2018 national budget. He said the said national expenditures also allocated P123 billion for flood control projects or a P50 billion increase from 2017 level. “Just because it was approved by Congress does not erase the fact that it was Secretary Diokno who approved the allocations for Sorsogon and included them in the NEP [National Expenditure Program]. The DBM secretary has the final say on what projects will be submitted to Congress. Implementing agencies can only recommend to him. That is why each year it is the DBM secretary who personally submits it to Congress,” he added. “After trying to hide his scheme with congressional imprimatur, he now goes against the very people he has duped all along,” Andaya said. Andaya maintained that President Rodrigo Duterte had nothing to do with the controversy involving Diokno. Andaya added: “Secretary Diokno must not drag President Duterte into this mess. The President has already spoken. “He has no hand in the identification of infrastructure projects inserted by the DBM in the national budget. “The identification of projects and disbursement of budget allocations is the work of his Cabinet. We in Congress believe that the President is not, in any way, involved in this process.” A total P6 billion has been allotted for Sorsogon in the proposed budget for 2019.

MIDNIGHT MASS... From A1 Aglipayan and Catholic priests—from Gonzaga in Cagayan to Paoay and Pinili in Ilocos Norte down to Muñoz City in Nueva Ecija, Binalonan in Pangasinan to Moncada and Gerona in Tarlac as well as Camalig in Albay and Minglanilla in Cebu – and the other Christian towns in the country—will intone yet once more the significance and message of the Midnight Masses which culminate on the eve of Christmas. There will be those who talk of the simplicity the shepherds displayed, the first to go to Jesus in the manger and encounter, according to Christians, the world’s Redeemer, without even saying “transeamus usque Bethlehem.” At the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, the parish priest Fr. Jaime Padilla has been talking about the Holy Year of Mercy and Compassion, wishing everyone should be able to welcome into their lives the mercy of God that Jesus had given to the faithful. Priests, Aglipayans and Catholics, are one in saying while the Christmas story is

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He lauded the “faith and heroism” of the Balangiga residents who rose against the American forces on Sept. 28, 1901 which is now famously known as “Balangiga Encounter.” “The bells bridge us to God and to one another. They are part and parcel of our daily life in this community, courage, heroism love for freedom and democracy. We owe it to our forebears,”the bishop said. According to Varquez, the arrival of the bells “will help bolster our dignity and socio-economic progress.” “We courageously express our commitment that we will do everything we can that these bells will not be separated from us again. They will remain in this church. Never again, Balangiga, these bells will be taken away from you,” he added. “Many Filipinos of good heart and goodwill work tirelessly for decades for the return of the bells… The bells are home now in Balangiga where they belong.

captivatingly engrossing, there is something, the inroads of technology despite, that makes believers stop and think and realize that life is deeper than Yuletide’s commercialized portrayal. And the cold winds from the Mongolian steppes, which have started to be felt in this tropical country in mid September, have been an apt reminder that before much too long the Church bells would start chiming the Midnight Masses. In some streets of historic San Juan City, particularly Gilmore, Ortigas Avenue, Pinaglabanan and F. Blumentritt, including the square fronting the Agora Public Market, the colors have become a reminder that Yuletide indeed is here. Christmas songs as well have taken the night atmosphere—like the song Joy to the World, whose lyrics were written in 1719 by English hymn writer and theologian Isaac Watts (1674-1748). “Joy to the World, the Lord is come!/ Let earth receive her King;/ Let every heart prepare Him room,/ And Heaven and nature sing,/ And Heaven and nature sing,/ And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.”// Elsewhere in the city, the Tagalog

These bells are yours,” said John Law, deputy chief of mission of the US Embassy in the Philippines. “The return of the bells underscores the enduring friendship of our two countries,” said Law as he acknowledged the American veterans groups who also lobbied for the return of the bells. While he said that the bells “regrettably caught up in the conflict” during the Philippine-American War in 1901, Law said the US and the Philippines had become partners and allies. “Our relationship has withstood difficulty and it flourishes today,” said the US official. “The bells’repatriation underlines deeper appreciation of respect and friendship,” added Romulo Valles, the archbishop of Davao and president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines. Valles then called the turnover ceremony as “a very joyful event.” Meanwhile, Balangiga Mayor Randy Graza expressed his gratitude for the “magnanimity” of those behind the return of the bells. “We know what happened to these bells. For over a century, Balangiga waited. The bond between Balangiga and these bells were never

Christmas song “Pasko Na Naman” is being sung by young boys and girls in front of lantern-decorated houses. ”Pasko na naman, o kay tulin ng araw./ Paskong nagdaan, tila ba kung kailan lang./ Ngayon ay Pasko, dapat pasalamatan./ Ngayon ay Pasko, tayo ay magawitan.”//(It’s Christmas once again, the days roll by fast./ The past Christmas,‘twas like it had just passed by./ Now that it’s Christmas, only proper we give thanks./ Now that it’s Christmas, let’s sing carols.//) As in many other Christian towns of this Southeast Asian republic, discovered for Europe by Ferdinand Magellan on March 16, 1521, San Juan City has its share of lanterns and carols in the runup to the celebration of Midnight Masses. Exotic foods at home after the Midnight Mass or the Misa de Gallo, the mass of the Rooster—following nine successive night masses in Church will enrich plates of Filipino homes. On the front yards of the Catholic churches—like the Santuario del Sto. Cristo in Kabayanan and the St. John the Baptist Church near the City Hall—and the other churches, rice cakes—the native bibingka and other home-made cakes

broken,” said Graza. According to Graza, the dream of his townmates “is now finally turned into a reality.” “The Balangiga bells have returned because of goodwill. The Balangiga bells will not ring again for what it tolled 117 years ago,” the mayor said. “With their return back to the belfry where they once hang, this sad episode in our nation’s history comes to a close,” reiterated Jude Acidre, second nominee of Tingog Sinirangan and whose family roots come from Balangiga. According to Acidre, two of his ancestors were among the Filipino soldiers who were in the Balangiga Encounter. “Both are well-remembered as heroes,” Acidre said. Earlier, Leyte First District Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez filed a House resolution recognizing the heroism and legacy of the “brave sons” of Balangiga. Romualdez called for the recognition and commendation of the “bravery, courage, and sacrifice of the unarmed heroes of Balangiga and the Parish of Saint Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr.”

and steaming cups of chocolate and coffee are sold to those attending the masses. Many say Yuletide in this country— one of only two predominantly Christian countries in Asia, the other being East Timor—is a mixture of Western and native Filipino traditions. Santa Claus, the Christmas tree, sending Christmas cards, and singing carols have all been inherited from the cultures of the West although these have been adapted to fit the nature and character of the Christian Filipino. Perhaps not as many attend the first to the eighth night—or dawn—masses, but the ninth which falls on Christmas Eve, one of the traditions most Filipino families celebrate, is on the main a night without sleep and a continuing celebration sliding right into Christmas Day, when, ironically, dishing out of Christmas carols become already anti-climactic. Some say as Dec. 24 dawns, the last Mass of Simbang Gabi—called Miatinis in many Ilocano towns and Misa de Gallo among Cebuanos in Central Philippines and in Mindanao—is attended by the elderly, those in mid-life and even the young ones.

In many towns, preparation begins for Noche Buena, a family feast that takes place after midnight, where near relatives and close friends are welcome. Plates of rich foods—served often in buffet style—are aplenty on the covered dining table, including, but not limited to, lechon (pan-fried roast pork); karekare (oxtail stew in peanut butter sauce); gupi or igado; mechado; rellenong manok (baked stuffed chicken); pinakbet; crispy pata; pata tim; fried prawns and other sea foods which make a fisherman’s platter; pancit; barbecue; rice; adobo; cakes (Western and native rice cakes), lumpia (spring rolls) and fruits in season. There are also bottles of basi, the fermented sugar cane juice, among the Ilocanos, or tapuy, tuba and lambanog in other regions and even bottles of imported hard drinks. Not far from the Noche Buena table, the lyrics of the song O Holy Night—in some houses the version of Korean So Hyang is listened to—are being wafted: “O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,/ It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth./ Long lay the world in sin and error pining./ Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth…//


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BORACAY GETS P150M FOR CONTINUING REHAB By Maricel V. Cruz

budget next year,” Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza said. Atienza, a senior deputy minority leader, said the fresh funding is meant to establish the HE national government Island Critical Habitat; put into operation has earmarked P150 million Boracay the Boracay Water Quality Management Area; to support Boracay Island’s oversee landfills and materials recovery facilities; continuing environmental monitor water and air quality around the island; and support research on environmental pollution. restoration and to safeguard the “The designated Boracay Island Critical Habitat world-class tourist destination’s covers some 750 hectares of forestland and coastal marine areas,” said Atienza, a former coastal and marine ecosystem, Environment secretary. a party-list lawmaker said on A critical habitat is a specific geographic area that contains features essential to the conservation of Saturday. endangered or threatened species. “Boracay’s endemic species that require special “The fresh funding is a go, even if the government temporarily runs on a reenacted protection and management include flying foxes

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and marine turtles,” Atienza said. He said at least three species of flying foxes inhabit Boracay: the giant golden-crowned flying fox, the giant fruit bat and the small flying fox. “The demarcated critical habitat is mainly in Barangays Balabag and Yapak, where the flying foxes are concentrated,” Atienza said. Balabag and Yapak are two of Boracay’s only three barangays, the third being Manoc-Manoc. The island forms part of the Municipality of Malay in Aklan province. “In the case of marine turtles, they may not produce offspring if their natural habitat gets disturbed by too many people around,” Atienza said. The lawmaker also stressed the need to renew Boracay’s severely eroded coral cover.

ANTI-LOITERING DRIVE NETS 133 ‘TAMBAY,‘ MOSTLY MINORS By Joel E. Zurbano THE government’s campaign against so-called ‘tambay’ or street loiterers resulted in the arrest of 133 individuals, most of them minors, who violated curfew ordinances during separate operations over the weekend in the southern part of Metro Manila. Supt. Jenny Tecson, spokesman of the Southern Police District, said 74 of those apprehended violated the curfew on minors while 53 were caught smoking and drinking in public. She said six other persons were also arrested for being half-naked, littering and urinating in public. Most of the minors were apprehended in the area of Muntinlupa City with 37 numbers of arrested followed by Parañaque City (15) and the cities of Makati (11) and Las Piñas (11).

Parañaque also got the highest number of apprehended persons for drinking in public (22) while Muntinlupa topped the list of police stations with the highest number of individuals caught for smoking in public (17). The SPD and its police stations, in close coordination with the local government units and barangay officials, are conducting the police operations in the cities of Parañaque, Pasay, Taguig, Makati, Las Pinas and Muntinlupa, and the town of Pateros. SPD chief Eliseo Cruz said his district is supporting the government’s campaign initiated by President Rodrigo Duterte to go against idlers to get rid of people loitering in the streets, especially at night. The National Capital Region Police Office reminded police personnel that they should arrest only those who will violate municipal or city ordinances.

RATE HIKE. A kid checks the water meter at Parola in Manila on Dec. 15. The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System has approved an increase in the water rates of Manila Water Co. Inc. and Maynilad Water Services Inc. effective in 2019. Norman Cruz

ECOWASTE CALLS FOR PLASTIC-FREE HOLIDAYS WITH just a few days left before Christmas and New Year, the environmental advocacy group EcoWaste Coalition exhorted the public to do their best to lessen the generation of garbage this festive season. The group drew attention to the nation’s ballooning waste production estimated at over 40,000 tons daily and the need to seriously cut wasting. “The rash of holiday shopping, giftgiving, partying and other festive activities is expected to generate truckloads of garbage like in past celebrations,” said Daniel Alejandre, Zero Waste campaigner of EcoWaste Coalition. “Individual waste generation in Metro Manila estimated at 0.2650 to 1.0032 kg/person/day, for instance, will surely swell with increased consumption and disposal during the extended holidays, especially if discards are not properly sorted at source. We can show Mother Earth some kindness this jolly season by preventing and reducing waste such as single-use plastics,” he added. Considering the plastic pollution crisis that is threatening the world’s oceans, EcoWaste Coalition urged the public to consume and dispose of less plastic during the holidays and beyond. For a plastic-less Christmas and New Year, the group suggested these tips: 1) Bring reusable bags and containers on your trip to the wet market, tiangge, department store or shopping mall; 2) Refrain from buying over packaged products; 3) Avoid disposable cutlery (spoons, forks, knives) and crockery (dishes, plates, cups); 4) Give plastic-free gifts; and 5) Opt for home-made reusable holiday decorations. “Gift-giving need not put a strain on the environment. Please make it a habit to cut your gift wrap waste. Bags, boxes, cards, ribbons, bows and wrappers should be reused or repurposed instead of being burned or dumped,” Alejandre said.

Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the Members of the House of Representatives mourn the passing of a former colleague

HONORABLE GILBERTO M. DUAVIT, SR. Representative, First District, Rizal 9th, 10th and 11th Congress Assemblyman, Interim Batasang Pambansa, Region IV (1978-1984)

on Friday, 14 December 2018 at the age of 84. His remains lie in state at Chapels 1, 2, 3 and 4, Heritage Memorial Park, Bayani Road, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. On Monday, 17 December 2018, a Necrological Service will be held in his honor at the Ynares Center, Antipolo City from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. After which, his remains will be brought to the Social Hall of the Duavit Residence, Binangonan, Rizal, for public viewing, until Wednesday, 19 December 2018. We request the pious readers to pray for the eternal repose of his soul.


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SUNDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2018

mst.daydesk@gmail.com

News

ARROYO-LED HOUSE POSTS GAINS IN 45 SESSION DAYS

By Maricel V. Cruz

M

ISSION accomplished. Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in effect said this as the House of Representatives under her leadership passed several legislations that promote President Rodrigo Duterte’s legacy in his first three years in office. With only a few session days left before the 17th Congress ends on June 30, 2019, the Arroyo-led House processed a total of 1,426 measures since the Third Regular Session of the 17th Congress began on July 23, 2018 and adjourned on Dec. 12, 2018 for a Christmas break. This translates to an average of 35 measures processed each day during the 41 session days. At the adjournment on Dec.13, Speaker Arroyo addressed members of the House to congratulate them on their hard work as the House succeeded in processing all the priority measures of President Duterte—a promise Speaker Arroyo made when she was elected to

lead her fellow Representatives. “My concern is not my legacy as Speaker. My concern is to support President Duterte’s legacy in the year that I have as Speaker. And as of yesterday, the House can report with confidence that we have already passed the President’s entire legislative agenda as he announced in his 2018 State of the Nation Address,” Arroyo said. Of the total measures processed, 95 were enacted into law, 16 of which were of national significance and 79 of local import. These include Republic Act 11054, or the “Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao,”a landmark legislation that

was based on House Bill 6475. Also enacted was RA 11148, or the “Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng Mag-Nanay Act” based on HB 5777, which scales up the national and local health and nutrition programs through a strengthened integrated strategy for maternal, neonatal, child health and nutrition in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life. Others are RA 11106 or the “Filipino Sign Language Act” based on HB 7503; RA 11127 or the“National Payments Systems Act” based on HB 5000; RA 11131 or the “Philippine Criminology Act of 2018” based on HB 7191; RA 11055, or the“Philippine Identification System Act” based on HB 6221; RA 11057, or the“Personal Property Security Act”based on HB 6907; RA 11058, “An Act Strengthening Compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Standards” based on HB 64; and RA 11059 or the “Retirement Law of the Office of the Ombudsman” based on HB 6578. Additionally, 39 more measures were transmitted to the President, awaiting his approval for them to be

enacted into laws. The House also ratified a total of 30 bicameral reports during this period. Twenty-six of the reports were of national significance and four were of local import. These include HB 7735 and SB 1998, “Revised Agricultural Tariffication Act;” HB 7402 and SB 1363, “Telecommuting Act”; HB 8239 and SB 1477,“Positive and Nonviolent Discipline of Children Act;” HB 8139 and SB 1431, “Tulong-Trabaho Act; ” HB 5675 and SB 2081, “Simulated Birth Rectification Act;” HB 8636 and SB 1850, “National Integrated Cancer Control Act; ” HB 6617 and SB 1390, “Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Act;” HB 4113 and SB 1305, “Increasing the Maternity Leave to 100 Days”; HB 7652 and SB 1636, “Mobile Number Portability Act; ” HB 8374 and SB 1280, “Revised Corporation Code of the Philippines” and House Joint Resolution 26, which seeks to extend the period of availability of funds intended for victims of Human Rights violations under the Marcos Regime until December 2019.

PHOENIX, SEAOIL LEAD ROLLBACK OF OIL PRICES By Alena Mae S. Flores OIL players Phoenix Petroleum Philippines and Seaoil Philippines lead the latest oil price rollback of as much as P0.30 per liter effective 6 am Saturday to reflect the movement of world oil prices in the domestic market. “Phoenix Petroleum Philippines will decrease the prices of gasoline by P0.15 per liter and diesel by P0.30 per liter effective 6 am of 15 December 2018,” the oil player said. PetroGazz announced it will also cut the same level of prices starting 6 am on Tuesday. Last Dec. 11, the oil companies implemented a P0.40 per liter increase for gasoline but rolled back the price of diesel and kerosene by P0.10 per liter and P0.45 per liter, respectively. Total year-to-date adjustments for gasoline is expected reached a net decrease of P0.20 per liter. Net increase for diesel is expected to be lowered to P1.20 per liter while kerosene’s net increase will now be at P0.78 per liter. World oil prices declined last week due to concerns of oversupply despite moves to cut production. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies including Russia has agreed to cut production by 1.2 million barrels per day beginning Jan. 1. Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi expects world oil prices to maintain its current range of $50 to $60 per barrel by next year although he said any volatilities in the world market will have impact of prices.

LANTERN PARADE. University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City held its yearly Lantern Parade participated by the different departments of the State University. Manny Palmero

NCRPO COPS ON ALERT AS ‘SIMBANG GABI’ STARTS WITH the yearly “Simbang Gabi” set to start at dawn on Sunday, National Capital Region Police District Office Director Guillermo Eleazar has ordered his five district directors to tighten security around churches and residential areas to protect churchgoers and thwart burglars. The five districts covered by the NCRPO are the Manila Police District, Quezon City Police District, Northern Police District, Southern Police District, and Eastern Police District. “The Team NCRPO celebrates this Christmas by intensifying police visibility to ensure there will be peace, order, safety and joy in our midst, every moment of the day,” Eleazar said on Saturday, adding that

his order is in line with the Philippine National Police’s “Ligtas Paskuhan 2018” program. Eleazar said that at the start of the traditional Simbang Gabi, he tasked the five district directors to establish police assistance centers in major churches where the public can ask for immediate police assistance. “For the Simbang Gabi that will start tomorrow (Dec. 16), more than a thousand police officers will be deployed in almost 300 churches to ensure the safety of churchgoers, not to mention the personnel who will be securing the routes and roads leading to and coming from these places of worship,” he said. The NCRPO chief added that patrol

LANAO DEL NORTE BUCKS PLEBISCITE DELAY TUBOD, Lanao del Norte—Torn between supporting the Bangsamoro Organic Law and their determination not to cede any of this province’s towns to the new Bangsamoro entity, local officials here rejected the postponement of the plebiscite that would determine the area of the new autonomous government. In a resolution passed Thursday, the Lanao del Norte Provincial Peace and Order Council opposed the decision of the Commission on Elections to hold the BOL plebiscite in the province on Feb. 6 next year and not at the start of the plebiscite period on Jan. 21. Gov. Imelda Quibranza-Dimaporo questioned the Comelec’s basis of holding the plebiscite at a later date, pointing out that other prospective areas of the new Bangsamoro Autnomous Region in Muslim Mindanao will hold their plebiscite on Jan. 21.

“Why not let Lanao del Norte join the plebiscite on Jan. 21 with other provinces like North Cotabato? Why can’t it be done simultaneously?” Dimaporo asked. At least six of the province’s towns are included in the proposed BARMM areas, and Dimaporo is leading the “no” campaign to ensure the municipalities stay with Lanao del Norte. Dimaporo also complained that some groups advocating for a“yes”vote had already campaigned even before the start of the Dec. 7 campaign period. The governor said that the Comelec decision to hold the plebiscite at a later date was meant to give the “yes” vote advocates undue advantage. Dimaporo and her son, Rep. Khalid Dimaporo, maintained that they support BOL but would not want to see Lanao del Norte dismembered for economic and

security reasons. “We are against the inclusion for the two main reasons. If these six municipalities are separated from the province, the Internal Revenue Allotment in municipalities and barangays will be reduced. Secondly, the six municipalities are our buffers and protection,” the governor explained. Dimaporo said the provincial government is willing to take the matter to the Supreme Court to resolve the issue. The six Lanao del Norte towns included in the BOL plebiscite are Nunungan, Tangkal, Munai, Pantar, Balo-i and Tagoloan-II town. Residents of these towns had voted to be included in the then Bangsamoro Juridical Entity under the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain, which the Supreme Court ruled as unconstitutional in 2008. PNA

teams assigned to churches will make sure that petty criminals and gangs do not bother the churchgoers. He said patrol teams have been instructed to watch out for snatchers and thieves, as well as troublemakers. “We are fielding about 7,823 NCRPO police officers with the full support of 7,955 force multipliers to oversee the peace and order situation of our metropolis,” Eleazar said. “They will be posted strategically regionwide at places of convergence and vital installations. We will post ‘police assistance hubs’ in all major public markets, malls, churches, airports, LRT and MRT terminals, seaports, and transport terminals,” he added. PNA

LIGHT RAIN TO AFFECT MOST PARTS OF LUZON —PAGASA By Joel E. Zurbano THE northeast monsoon affecting Luzon will cause light rain over most parts of the island, the weather bureau said on Saturday. The Cagayan Valley and Cordillera regions, as well as Aurora province, will have cloudy skies with light rain, while Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated light rain, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration. The Bicol region and eastern Visayas will experience cloudy skies with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms due to the tail-end of a cold front affecting the eastern section of southern Luzon. The rest of the country will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers caused by localized thunderstorms. Meanwhile, strong winds will blow over the northern and eastern sections of the country. Coastal waters along these areas will be rough. Elsewhere, winds will be moderate to strong with moderate to rough seas, PAGASA said. As this developed, the Cebu Pacific Air has announced it has canceled a number of domestic flights beginning Saturday (Dec. 15) until Monday (Dec. 17) due to bad weather condition in some parts of the country. CEB’s sister airline CebGo has suspended six Manila flights to and from Legazpi on Saturday. “Due to forecasts of unfavorable weather conditions over the next few days and in the interest of safety, CebGo has canceled the following affected flights today (Dec. 15) until Monday (Dec. 17),”the CEB management said in its advisory Saturday. The canceled Manila-Legazpi flights include DG-6191, DG 6189 and DG 6193 while those LegazpiManila suspended flights were DG-6190, DG-6194 and DG-6192. To accommodate affected passengers, the CEB management will be mounting a daily flight with the following schedule: Manila-Legazpi 5J 327 (Estimated Time of Departure 3:25 pm / Estimated Time of Arrival 4:40 pm) and Legazpi-Manila 5J 328 (ETD 5:10 pm / ETA 6:25 pm). Meanwhile, flights between Legazpi and Cebu (DG-6204 / DG6205) from Saturday until Monday will also be moved to an earlier departure schedule. The affected flights were LegazpiCebu (DG-6205) and Cebu-Legazpi (DG-6204). CEB chief information officer and spokesperson Charo Logarta said passengers on these affected flights from Dec. 15 to Dec. 17 have been notified through the contact information provided upon booking their flights. “Those who booked their flights via a travel agency or any other third party are strongly encouraged to provide their own contact details so the airline can reach them directly for any updates,” she added.

STREET DANCE.

Students from Las Piñas perform a street dance in a competition as colorful lanterns made from recycled materials light up the streets as part of this year’s celebration on the 13th Las Piñas Parol Festival hosted by Senator Cynthia Villar at Villar Sipag Ground along C5 Extension in Las Piñas City. Lino Santos


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SUNDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2018

Adelle Chua, Editor mst.daydesk@gmail.com

Opinion

EDITORIAL

SOUNDS OF SCIENCE

THEY MAKE THE EQUATION TRUE

W

E TAKE our hats off to the Philippine team which finished first runner-up at the recent 8th International Youth Mathematicians Convention in Lucknow, India.

The team, composed of junior and senior high school students from different schools in Mindanao, Visayas and Luzon, have made their countrymen proud and underscored the hitherto unknown variable and the quotient and made the equation true. That equation is: Filipino math students are highly competitive and a team to beat, given

their discipline and mental sting in this subject which includes the study of topics like quantity, structure, space and change. Before long, these young mathematicians will be seeking and using patterns to formulate new conjectures and will be resolving the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proof. They have on their plates, this early, mathematical structures which are verily good models of real phenomena and, parallel to this, are equipped with mathematical reasoning that can provide insight and predictions about nature. Two sisters—Madelyn Esther Cruz and Margaret Esther Cruz—and Victor Dominic Naraval of team Senior-Philippines A, emerged as the overall first runner-up in the senior division after winning as champion in the team

Pia Wurtzbach (2015). But each time pageant season rolls around, the debate on whether beaucons (beauty contests) advance or retard the feminist cause reignites. Are beauty pageants incompatible with feminism? They promote objectification and body shame. Many, if not all, contestants, have undergone cosmetic surgery, dental and skin treatments, and other invasive and manipulative procedures to bring their appearances closer to the culturally-imposed beauty standard which is Western in its ideals.

Are beauty pageants incompatible with feminism? In the Philippines, contestants who are mixed-race with predominantly Caucasian looks have better chances of winning or placing, favoring those who’ve won the genetics sweepstakes. Overall, African- and Asian-looking candidates, particularly those who are dark-skinned, do not fare well in international pageants, pointing to the racism and lookism that are at the core

THE JOY OF STARGAZING

contest and math quiz, and second runner-up in the relay contest. Apart from the overall first runner-up honor, the 20 students also won 32 other awards in the international math contest participated in by students from the Philippines, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Russia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates. While saluting these math masters, we also acknowledge the inestimable role of the Mathematics Trainers Guild-Philippines, particularly, but not limited to, Dr. Simon Chua, Renard Eric Chua, and Aldwin Sahirul; as well as Executive Director Lilia Habacon of the Philippine Science High School System. They all make us proud.

The Slo-Mo Twirl and Lava Walk AS THE Miss Universe Pageant unfolds today in Bangkok, Thailand, Filipinos are eagerly watching the nation’s candidate Maria Catriona Elisa Magnayon Gray as she competes against the delegates of 93 other countries. In the preliminary events leading up to today’s competition—evening gown, swimsuit—Gray was a standout for her charming smile and fluid facial expressions ranging from sweet and sincere to seductive and sexy. But she captured the world’s attention with her now-signature moves. In the swimsuit walk, wearing a fuchsia-pink bikini, Gray executed a slow spin while quickly whipping her head around, causing an amazingly buoyant hair flip. Fans dubbed this the Slo-Mo Twirl. In the evening gown portion, Gray, her curves accentuated by a beaded flame-colored dress, seemed not so much to walk the runway but rather ooze across it, undulating like lava flowing down a mountain. This move, called the Lava Walk, was another hit. The terms should be copy-righted. Both moves are so popular with viewers that videos are appearing on the internet showing Gray doing them over and over in a loop, as fans dissect each frame of movement and arc of motion. Gray is seeking to be the country’s fourth Miss U titleholder after Gloria Diaz (1969), Margie Moran (1973), and

PECIER DECIERDO

of the events. But the question of being pro- or anti-beaucon is complicated because of other factors that enter into the equation. One is freedom of choice—as some women may decide to burn their bras and eschew makeup, others may choose to enter pageants if they wish. As suffragist Lucy Stone said in 1855, in a statement that cuts both ways: “It is very little to me to have the right to vote, to own property, etcetera, if I may not keep my body, and its uses, in my absolute right.” Another factor to consider is national pride. With little to boost our collective spirits nowadays and much to dampen it, seeing our compatriots triumph on the world stage bearing our flag uplifts and inspires. When it comes to global accomplishments, the majority of Filipinos are concerned with two categories— sports and beauty. Achievers in other fields—science, music, arts—attract less attention. Manny Pacquiao (boxer) and Wurtzbach get more recognition from the person on the street than Reina Reyes (astrophysicist) or Lisa Macuja (globally acclaimed ballerina). This reflects the battle between low-brow and high-brow, between the pop culture of the masses and high culture of the elites. Given this, putting down beaucons can be perceived as being elitist. Pageant contestants, like

I FELL in love with looking up into the night sky at a young age. Now that I am older, and busier, and living in the center of a light-polluted city, I rarely look up into the night sky anymore. But on those rare nights when I get a chance to look up to the stars and planets and moon again, I get the same giddiness I felt when I first looked up to the sky in wonder. Why should you, dear reader, also look up from time to time? There can be as many answers to this question as there are stars we see in the sky, which, by the way, ranges from around 1000 to 5000, depending on your eyesight and the levels if light and air pollution in your observation site. The answer can be practical. Being familiar with the night sky has its uses. The stars have helped humans navigate across oceans and continents for thousands of years. Today many of us have electronic devices such as smartphones that help with navigation. But when these devices run out of battery, familiarity with the night sky comes in handy. I experienced this first hand one time while driving through unfamiliar streets. My phone ran out of battery and there was no one to ask about the directions. To find my way, I just pulled over by the side of the road and looked up to the stars to find my bearings. I felt a pleasant, tingling sensation in participating in a practice our ancestors have used all those nights and moons ago. Aside from being useful with the directions, the sky is also a great time keeping tool. Even today, with our modern time keeping devices and techniques, many of our day to day routines and even special observances and holidays are governed by the cycles of the sky. For example, many people do not know that Holy Week is scheduled according to the phases of the moon. However, stargazing is not just about what is practical and useful. Looking up in wonder is also about the sheer joy of gazing into the cosmos and catching a glimpse, even if it is just a glimpse, of our place in the universe. Stargazing is also for free. When the sky is clear, try to look up some time. Even when you are in the middle of a city, you will still see a few bright stars. You may even see bright planets like Mars, Venus, or Jupiter. The moon, familiar as it is, is also a delight. Observe its waxing and waning. Look for it during the daytime sometimes. Understand why it has been worshipped for thousands of years. Appreciate why its cycles still have an impact on our modern lives. Imagine what those impacts are for people who are still connected to nature, or for the ancients who used it to create their celestial calendar. Enjoy its splendor when it exhibits the phenomenon called earthshine, when it reflects back to us the sunlight we reflect on it. In doing so, we can see both the bright and dark sides at the same time. I never tire of admiring the moon’s beauty during such times. Poets of long ago called it “the old moon in the arms of the new.” However, if you can, look up into the night sky from a dark spot. Put down your phone for a while—look up to the lights in the sky instead of the lights in your hands, for a change. Look for the Milky Way, the faint fuzz of light that is a cloud of stars representing the plane of the galaxy we are part of. Try and see if you can make out the constellations. Watch out for a shooting star. The sky is as connected to culture —to art, religion, literature, history —as it is to science. Understanding it and enjoying it is a common heritage of humanity. We owe it to ourselves as a favor to partake in this heritage. I hope you start looking up to the next clear night sky you get.

POP GOES THE WORLD JENNY ORTUOSTE competitors in other fields, work hard with determination to accomplish personal goals and achieve fame and fortune, albeit within an entrenched patriarchal system that rewards genetic luck and augmented beauty over skills, character, and intelligence. In time this may change as we mature as a people. Certainly we must not raise our daughters to believe that their worth lies in superficial attributes such as appearance. Such an attitude is discriminatory, counter-productive, and demeaning. But the fact is that at the moment Miss U is happening whether we object to pageants or not, and we might as well support our manok. Gray is a strong contender. Missosology on Twitter, which prides itself on having correctly predicted the winner of this year’s Miss World contest (Mexico’s Vanessa Ponce de Leon), held Dec. 8 in China, tweeted two days ago: “Miss Philippines Catriona Gray is Missosology’s Choice for Miss Universe 2018!” May she of the Slo-Mo Twirl© and Lava Walk© bring home the crown! Dr. Ortuoste is rooting for the Pambansang Muning, CAT-riona Gray. FB and Twitter: @DrJennyO

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SUNDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2018 mst.daydesk@gmail.com

TODAY Cesar Barrioquinto, Editor / Jimbo Gulle, Issue Editor

TEXAS JUDGE STRIKES DOWN OBAMACARE WASHINGTON—A federal judge in Texas ruled Friday that the US health care law known as Obamacare is unconstitutional—a ruling that opposition Democrats vowed to appeal. US District Judge Reed O’Connor’s ruling came in a lawsuit filed by several Republican state attorneys general and a governor opposed to the federal government health plan, known officially as the Affordable Care Act. Conservative Republicans have long opposed the plan, signed into law by president Barack Obama in 2010. The case is likely to reach the US Supreme Court, where the five justices in the nine-judge court who voted to uphold Obamacare in a separate case in 2012 are still on the bench. President Donald Trump lost no time in tweeting his opinion on the case. “Wow, but not surprisingly, ObamaCare was just ruled UNCONSTITUTIONAL by a highly respected judge in Texas. Great news for America!” Trump wrote. “As I predicted all along, Obamacare has been struck down as an UNCONSTITUTIONAL disaster!” he said. Trump urged likely Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to “pass a STRONG law that provides GREAT healthcare.” Pelosi and Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer snapped back with angry statements. AFP

AUSSIES RECOGNIZE WEST JERUSALEM AS ISRAEL CAPITAL SYDNEY—Australia now recognizes west Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Saturday, but a contentious embassy shift from Tel Aviv will not occur until a peace settlement is achieved. Canberra became one of just a few governments around the world to follow US President Donald Trump’s lead and recognize the contested city as Israel’s capital, but Morrison also committed to recognising a future state of Palestine with east Jerusalem as its capital. “Australia now recognizes west Jerusalem—being the seat of the Knesset and many of the institutions of government—is the capital of Israel,” Morrison said in a speech in Sydney. Both Israel and the Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital. Most foreign nations avoided moving embassies there to prevent inflaming peace talks on the city’s final status —until Trump unilaterally moved the US embassy there earlier this year. “We look forward to moving our embassy to west Jerusalem when practical, in support of and after final status of determination,” Morrison said, adding that work on a new site for the embassy was under way. In the interim, the prime minister said, Australia would establish a defense and trade office in the west of the holy city. AFP

GRIM LOOK. US

President Donald Trump stares after a meeting with governors-elect in the Cabinet Room of the White House on Thursday in Washington, DC. AFP

K

SIDES WORLDS APART AT UN CLIMATE GAB

ATOWICE, Poland— Marathon talks aimed at charting mankind’s path away from climate catastrophe entered overtime Saturday as nations picked over a plan presented by host Poland that exposed several sources of disagreement.

Negotiators told AFP that the nearly 200 states involved were still far apart on several crunch issues—from how nations report reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, to the levels of help given to countries already hurting from climate change. Ministers at the COP24 talks must agree on a common rule book to make good on promises they made in the landmark 2015 Paris accord, which vowed to limit global temperature rises to “well below” two degrees Celsius (3.6

degrees Fahrenheit). But with the starkest warnings yet from scientists highlighting the need to slash fossil fuel emissions within the coming decades in order to meet the safer cap of 1.5C warming, delegates were urged to act now or condemn at-risk nations to disaster. The summit was meant to wrap up at midnight Saturday but overran into the small hours as areas of dispute emerged, often with different alignments of developed and developing nations straddling each divide. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made his third trip in two weeks to the COP24 in the Polish mining city of Katowice in a bid to push a deal over the line. The draft text included no resolution on how the climate fight will be financed, and developed nations—responsible for the lion’s share of historic greenhouse gas emissions—were accused of seeking to shirk funding promises made in Paris. One veteran observer told AFP that the US, despite President Donald Trump’s intention

Republic of the Phillippines Department of Health National Capital Regional Office VALENZUELA MEDICAL CENTER BIDS AND AWARD COMMITTEE Padrigal St., Karuhatan, Valenzuela City Telefax No. 294-4625 Email addressvmc_bac@yahoo.com INVITATION TO BID PROCUREMENT OF VARIOUS MEDICAL SUPPLIES IT 2 019 ( 1 ST SEMESTER) PUBLIC BIDDING NO, VMC - 2019 - 009

11 DIE AFTER EATING ‘TOXIC’ RICE SERVED AT INDIAN TEMPLE NEW DELHI, India—Eleven people have died after eating rice that had likely been contaminated with a toxic substance at a Hindu temple ceremony, a health official said Saturday. Another 29 people were critically ill and undergoing emergency treatment across various hospitals in Mysore, a city in the state of Karnataka. “11 people have died so far and 93 others are hospitalized. Out of them, 29 are on ventilator support,” said K. H. Prasad, the health officer for Chamraj Nagar district where the temple is located. “It is likely that some toxic substance got mixed with the rice. The samples have been sent for forensic testing,” Prasad told AFP. The patients were being treated for vomiting, diarrhea and respiratory distress, Prasad added. According to the police, devotees had gathered in large numbers at the Kicchukatti Maramma temple for the consecration ceremony on Friday, after which rice was served as a sanctified offering. Murugappa, a devotee who was present at the temple, said they were offered tomato rice and flavored water. “A foul smell was emanating from the food, but those at the head of the queue consumed the food nonetheless,” he was quoted as saying by the NDTV news network. AFP

to withdraw from Paris, was seeking to water down “differentiation”, a bedrock principle of the underlying UN climate Convention. Washington wants countries to contribute to the climate fight based on their current emissions levels, rather than their historic pollution, meaning the US would be less bound to help developing nations green their economies. Mohamed Adow, Christian Aid’s International climate lead, said the US delegation was “like a bad smell” at the summit. “It’s notable that the US is still working to water down negotiations for an agreement that they have said they are going to withdraw from.” The draft text gave short shrift to another red-line issue for poor countries exposed to the ravages brought on by global warming: socalled “loss and damage.” This provision is designed to help nations cope with deadly heatwaves, drought and floods— amplified by climate change—happening today. Another hot-button issue centers on how to avoid the double-counting of reductions in carbon pollution. AFP

DEAF TO CHANGE. High school students demonstrate in Lyon, central eastern France on Thursday, to protest against the different education reforms, including the overhauls and stricter university entrance requirements. AFP

1.

The Valenzuela Medical Center (VMC), through the General Appropriations Act/ Income CY 2019, intends to apply the sum of Philippine Currency: FOURTEEN MILLION SEVEN HUNDRED THIRTY SEVEN THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED FORTY FOUR PESOS ONLY, (PhP14,737,844,00) being the Approved Budget for the Contract (ABC) to payments for the Procurement of Various Medical Supplies CY 2019 (1” Semester) under PB No, VMC - 2019 - 009. Bids received in excess of the ABC shall be automatically rejected at bid opening.

2.

The VMC now invites scaled Bids from eligible Bidders for the procurement ofthe above-captioned package. The description of an eligihle hidder is contained in the Bidding Documents, particularly, in Section II , entitled “Instructions to Bidders”.

3.

Bidding will be conducted through open competitive bidding procedures using a non-discretionary “pass/fail” criterion as specified in the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) 9184, otherwise known as the “Government Procurement Reform Act” and is restricted to Fili pino citizens/sole proprietorshi ps, partnerships, or corporations with at least sixty percent (60%) in terest or outstanding capital stock belonging to citizens of the Philippines, and to citizens or organizations of a country the laws or regulations of which grant similar rights or privileges to Filipino citizens, pursuant to Republic Act No. 5183 and subject to Communwealth Act 138.

4.

Only Bids from Bidders who passed the eligibility check will be opened. The process for the eligibility check is described in Section II of the Bidding Documents entitled, “ITB”. The Bidder with the Lowest Calculated Bid (LCB) shall advance to the post-qualification stage in order to finally determine the responsiveness of the bid submission to the technical and financial requirements of the project. The contract shall then be awarded to the Lowest Calculated And Responsive Bidder (LCRB) who was determined as such during the post-qualification procedurre.

5.

Interested bidders may obtain further information from the VMC and inspect the Bidding Documents at the address given below from 9:00am-11:00am and 2:00pm-4:00pm starting December 15, 2018.

6.

The VMC will hold a Pre-bid Conference for this bidding activity on December 27, 2018, 1:00pm at the Valenzuela Medical Center, Padrigal St., Karuhatan, Valenzuela City. On ly those who have purchased the bidd ing documents shall be allowed to participate in the Pre-Bid Conference. Those who have not purchased the hidding documents may act as ohselvers and submit written queries, subject to the guidelines as stated ill the IRR of RA 9184 A complete set of Bidding Documents may be purchased by interested Bidders from the address below and upon payment of a non-refundable fec in the amount as follows:

DUE PROCESS VOWED FOR HUAWEI BOSS WASHINGTON—The United States and Canada on Friday promised a fair judicial process for a Chinese executive arrested in Vancouver on a US request, as they appealed to Beijing to free two Canadians held in apparent retaliation. Foreign ministers and defense chiefs of the neighbors met in the US capital as Canada increasingly looks like collateral damage in a simmering US-China trade war, with Beijing at the same time working to ease trade tensions with Washington. Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said authorities were acting “scrupulously” in the detention of Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of telecom behemoth Huawei whom Washington wants extradited for allegedly violating US sanctions on Iran. “We all agree that the most important thing we can do is uphold the rule of law, ensure that Ms. Meng’s right to due process is respected and that the current judicial process

in Canada remains apolitical,” she told a joint news conference. Freeland repeatedly said that Canada “is a rule-of-law country” that responded properly to an extradition request. “In Canada, there has been to this point no political interference in this issue at all,” she said. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States was also “respecting the rule of law each step along the way” as it seeks Meng. China, however, has said that Canada and the United States overstepped their authority and that Meng, who was arrested while changing planes in Vancouver, broke no laws. Canada’s fears of repercussions have turned out to be well-founded, as China has since detained two Canadians on suspicion of “harm to national security”—a phrase often used by Beijing when alleging espionage. AFP

ABC to be Bid 500,000 and below More than 500,000 u to 1 Million More than 1 Million up to 5 Million More than 5 Million up to 10 Million More tban 10 Million up to 50 Million

Maximum Cost of Bidding Documents (in Philippine Peso) 500.00 1,000,00 5,000.00 10,000,00 25,000.00

The method of payment wlll be in cash, manager check, bank guarantee or Surety bond. The Bidding Documents shall be received personally by the prospective bidder or his authorized representative. It may also be downloaded free of charge from the website of the Philippine Government Electron ic Procurement System (PhiIGEPS) and the wehsite of the Procuring Entity; Provided, that Bidders shall pay the non -refundable fee for the Bidding Documents not later than the submission of their bids. 8.

Bids and eligibility requirements must he delivered to the address below on or before January 8, 2019, 10:00am, at the VMC BACSecretariats’ Office.

9.

Bid Opening and Eligibility Check will be on January 8, 2019 at 10:00am, Bids will be opened in the presence of the Bidders’ representatives who choose to attend at the address helow. Late su hmission of hids will not be entertained. All hids must he accom panied by a Bid Security in the prescribed form, amuunt and validity period.

10. The Valenzuela Medical Center reserves the right to accept or reject any bid, to annul the bidding process, and to reject all Bids at any time prior to contract award, without thereby incurring any liabi lity to the affected bidder or bidders For further information, please refer to: BACSecretariats’Office Valenzuela Medical Center, Annex Building, 2,·1 Floor, Padrigal St.,ValenzuelaCity Telefax No. 294-4625 (SGD) JOSEPH T. NOCOM, MD, FPOA Chairperson, Bids and Awards Committee (MS-DEC. 16, 2018)


Images

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SUNDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2018 mst.daydesk@gmail.com

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK

SCUBA SANTA. A scuba diver dressed as Santa Claus greets amazed young visitors from inside the fish tank at the Manila Ocean Park, less than a fortnight before Christmas. Norman Cruz

MANILA ICE. A family appreciates the attractions at ICE at Resorts World Manila, which converted its Lumina Walkway at Newport into a quaint winter wonderland, complete with a country cabin, frozen pond, reindeer, penguins, a snowman, and piles of powdery snow. Guests must bring their own winter wear into the display with its freezing temperatures at minus-10 to 15 degrees Celsius. Sonny Espiritu

BELFRY READY. A pedicab driver and a motorcyclist pass by the belfry tower of the church at Balangiga,

Eastern Samar on Friday. This was a day before a ceremony to return three bronze church bells taken by American troops as war trophies over a century ago, which the US returned to the Philippines on Dec. 11 in a bid to turn the page on a difficult chapter between the historical allies. AFP/Ted Aljibe

GIANT ‘BELEN’ Local and foreign tourists take souvenir pictures in front of the Giant Belen display at Rizal Park in Manila on Friday. Lino Santos

BATTLE SCENE. A worker places US and Philippine flags at statues depicting the attack of Filipino rebels on American soldiers during the Philippine-American War in 1901 on display at the town plaza in Balangiga, Eastern Samar on Friday. AFP/Ted Aljibe

NIGHT STROLL. President Rodrigo Duterte is flanked by Senator

Cynthia Villar (left) and former Senate President Manny Villar as they tour the Chief Executive through the Mella Hotel Las Pinas complex ahead of the unveiling of a marker for the Las Piñas Drug Rehabilitation Center at Barangay Daniel Fajardo in Las Piñas City on Friday. Presidential Photo

‘FPJ’ REMEMBERED. Actress Susan Roces places flowers on the

tomb of her husband, Fernando Poe Jr., on the 14th death anniversary of the film legend at his mausoleum at Manila North Cemetery on Friday. Norman Cruz

JUSTICE FOR IMAM. Muslim residents of Quiapo in Manila put up posters denouncing the death of Bedejim Abdullah, an imam at the Philippine Military Academy, on Friday. The Muslim teacher was shot in broad daylight last Dec. 6 at an Islamic school in Baguio City, not far from his PMA base. Norman Cruz


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Riera U. Mallari, Editor sports_mstandard@yahoo.com

Sports

TABAL SETS SIGHTS ON 2020 TOKYO OLYMPICS

By Peter Atencio

M

ARY Joy Tabal is set to join a series of qualifiers that will help her make it to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Tabal’s coach John Philip Duenas said this after she successfully defended her women’s title in the 42nd National MILO Marathon in Laoag City recently. Her first stop will be in Japan, where she will join the Tokyo Marathon on March 5. While there, the 29-year-old Tabal will also prepare for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. “First qualifying race ‘yun for the Olympics. So, doon na rin siya magtetraining para diretso na,” said Duenas. The Cebu City-based Tabal made it to the national team to the 2019 Southeast Asian Games with Rafael Poliquit Jr. when they topped the local women’s and men’s division of the Milo national finals. She played it safe and slow throughout the race and found no challengers when she won a record sixth straight championship in 2:56.31. Darkness and rough terrain forced her to slow down four times to avoid injury. “Disadvantage kasi kapag may area na ‘di kabisado. Kaya slow down siya ng pace,” said Duenas, who also acted as Tabal’s pacer since he also qualified.

Kyles Lao: One of the most intelligent prospects in the draft

Mary Joy Tabal celebrates her sixth Milo Marathon crown.

Tabal just followed open winner Margaret Ngunguna of Kenya take the lead, after she slowed down twice in unlit portions at the 15-km mark along the Paoay sand dunes near Ft. Ilocandia Hotel and Laoag-Paoay Road. Tabal captured her sixth crown after taking it in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. Her clocking was way below the

course record of 2:48 that she set when Tabal first won it five years ago. In beating Christabel Martes, who was second, and third-placing Christine Hallasgo, Tabal has become the winningest female long distance runner in the tournament’s history. Overall, Tabal has overshadowed Arsenia Sagaray, who won the titles in 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996 and 1997.

She and Poliquit took home the top purse of P150,000 each in the men’s and women’s side. Around 12,000 runners from different age groups and race categories hit the streets starting at Laoag Centennial Arena. Of the participants, more than 800 elite runners are qualified for the season’s national finals.

SEPFOURTEEN JOINS ELITE CIRCLE OF RACING GREATS ALTHOUGH it took more than a year to accomplish, 2017 Triple Crown champion Sepfourteen finally conquered the Olympus of local racing as he recently won the prestigious PCSO Presidential Gold Cup and installed himself champion for an unprecedented third straight year. The Gold Cup victory capped a dramatic comeback for the 4-year-old colt, who had to overcome a series of challenges and humbling defeats following his Triple Crown conquest. “Many would have given up after his series of losses this year but we kept our faith in Sepfourteen and he rewarded us with another unforgettable track performance to prove himself worthy to be called a champion,” said owner Oliver “Jojo”Velasquez, who incidentally, was born on Sept. 14. Bred and raised at Velasquez’ Santa Clara Stockfarm in Sto. Tomas, Batangas, Sepfourteen now belongs to an elite club of racing greats who have achieved track supremacy at ages 2,3 and 4, which up until now has only been accomplished by Hagdang Bato from 2011 to 2013. Further, he did one better than Hagdang Bato as Sepfourteen won the PCSO Presidential Gold Cup at 4 following his glorious Triple Crown campaign at 3. Sepfourteen also joins an exclusive circle of Triple Crown champions or sweepers, who have also won the Gold Cup. A list that includes legendary Fair and Square, Skywalker, Time Master, Sun Dancer, Strong Material, Real Top and Hagdang Bato. “This once-in-a-lifetime horse has been the fulfillment of every horse owners’ dream and I am just overwhelmed and extremely grateful that this one-time reject or ugly ducking turned out to be, not only as a beautiful swan, but one which also lays the golden egg,” lightheartedly remarked Velasquez, whose own SC Stockfarm breeding and racing operation has been dominating local racing the past two years. Sepfourteen is a progeny of Regal Boom (AUS), one of the very first imported horses of SC Stock-

Jockey John Alvin Guce raises in arms in jubilation following Sepfourteen’s decisive victory in the recent PCSO Presidential Gold Cup. At right, SC Stockfarm owner Oliver “Jojo” Velasquez (right) and Jockey Alvin Guce are shown posing with their respective trophies during the 2018 PSA Awards.

farm, a well-performed chestnut race mare sired by Kentucky Derby winner Thunder Gulch (USA) out of Noble Deed (NZ), a descendant of the great foundation mare Chelandry (GB). His sire is Grade 1 winning Juvenile Consolidator (USA), son of the renowned sire of sires Storm Cat (USA) out of a stakes winning race mare Good Example (FR), which was imported into the country in 2011 by PHILTOBO President Manny Santos and is currently owned by a syndicate of breeders. Following Sepfourteen’s Gold Cup win Sunday, Velasquez also revealed plans of running him again

in 2019, in hopes of conquering even greater heights. “Our main goal next year would be to repeat as Gold Cup champion, a task that is easier said than done, considering that Sepfourteen has already suffered the effects of wear-and-tear after a grueling 3-year campaign and we are not really sure about the level of next year’s competition. Hopefully he comes out well after this race and we’ll take it one race at a time,”Velasquez explained. Sepfourteen’s P4-million prize in winning the 46th edition of the PCSO Presidential Gold Cup pushed his total track earnings past the P17-million mark, moving him closer to the record career earnings of Hagdang Bato.

LAO READY FOR PBA GAUGING his talents alongside his peers, Kyles Lao believes that he has already made a good account of himself in the two-day 2018 PBA Gatorade Draft Combine. “It was nice to see the immense level of talent in this class and I think I was able to hold my own naman,” the UP guard said after participating at the event held at the Gatorade Hoops Gym in Mandaluyong City. Lao showed how he’s one of the most intelligent prospects in this group, making the top five in the reaction tests as he got 83.33-percentage of hits during the biometrics phase of the Combine. However, data could only speak so much on one’s talent, and the former Xavier standout did show glimpses of what he could do once he played in the Combine’s mini-tournament. The former UAAP Rookie of the Year didn’t shy away from the spotlight in the scrimmages, helping his team finish runner-up to the JP Calvo and CJ Isit-led squad in the Finals. Lao even uncorked 20 points in the semifinals against a team led by Robert Bolick, showing off his fearless slashing and stupendous sniping that hopefully, turned the heads of some of the coaches. “Si Kyles Lao, maganda ang nilalaro niya since Wednesday,” remarked San Miguel coach Leo Austria. For his part, however, Lao is just hoping for the best ahead of the PBA Rookie Draft at Robinson’s Midtown in Ermita, Manila. “Tingin ko naman naipakita ko na lahat ng kaya ko. Sana makuha,” he said.

5-HORSE FIELD VIES IN 3YO OPEN SOME of the brightest three-year-olds will be testing each others’ mettle in the Philippine Racing Commission 3YO Open Challenge Series today at the Saddle and Clubs Leisure Park in Naic, Cavite. The Emmanuel Santos-owned Pride of Laguna, to be ridden jockey JD Juco, leads the cast as it is hoping to earn bragging rights in the five-horse field, which will duel for 2,000 meters. Joining the fray in the 3YO race, which offers a total prize of P1.5 million, are Born in April (JB Cordova) of Jade Bros. Farms and Livestock, Brown Sister (RD Raquel Jr.) of Joy Raymundo, I Love Jane (CP Henson) of Francisco Babon and Viva Morena (Dan Camanero) of Bienvenido Pierre Niles Jr. A top purse of P900,000 awaits the champion of the 3YO race, with the runner-up getting P337,500 and the third and fourth placers, pocketing P187,500 and P75,000, respectively. “Racing fans are in for a treat with these select cast of winners,” said Philracom Chairman

Andrew A. Sanchez. “Some of the industry’s best runners are running and so we can anticipate another exciting show for Filipino racing fans.” Meanwhile, an elite 11-horse cast, led by Disyembreasais and Speedmatic, test their staying power in the 2018 Philippine Racing Commission’s Chairman’s Cup on Sunday Disyembreasais, which pulled off a two-length victory at the 2018 Philracom ‘Lakambini Stakes Race’ only last September, is the prohibitive favorite in the race held in honor of the late Philracom Chairman Benedicto Kalaw Katigbak, “Millenium Transition Chairman,” who was head of the commission from 1998 to 2001. To be ridden again by jockey JB Cordova, the top filly, which is owned by Alfredo Santos, with Edwin M. Vittali and Sandy Javier as trainer and breeder, respectively, will be shooting for the top purse of P1,200,000 from the guaranteed total prize of P2,000,000. Second placer gets P400,000, while

third and fourth placer receive P250,000 and P100,000, respectively, with P70,000 going to the breeder of the winning horse. Fierce competition to Disyembreasais in the long 2,000-meter distance will be provided by the the Hermie Esguerra-owned Speedmatic (jockey FM Raquel), which ruled last year’s Philracom Juvenile Fillies Stakes Races. Others standing in the way of the two favorites are coupled entries Courageous (jockey RM Garcia) and Sheer (Val R. Dilema), both owned by Narciso Morales; Box Office (Jockey Kevin Abobo, owner SC Stockfarm), Critical Moment (JA Guce, Melaine Habla); Doktora (CV Garganta, Juan Miguel Yulo), Goldsmith (RG Fernandez, Cipriano Sison); Smell My Tail (MB Pilapil, Mark Vincent Geron); Super Sonic (JB Guce, Sandy Javier); and The Barrister (MA Alvarez, Daniel Tan). Meanwhile, the racing season concludes with the 3rd leg of the 3YO Open Challenge Series on Dec. 31, also at the Saddle and Clubs Leisure Park in Naic, Cavite.

FIL-AM GOLF. Team captain Jesse Cualing (right) poses with teammates

(from left) Mandy Lustre, Bing Alcantara, president Rey Talatala, Cord Guanco and Jack Punao after Team Alpha Phi Omega Golfers’ Club bagged the Seniors Division Fil-B crown in the 69th Fil-Am golf tournament at Camp John Hay and Baguio Country Club courses recently. The APO team also clinched runner-up honors in the Regular Am-F.


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Business

Ray S. Eñano, Editor / Roderick dela Cruz, Issue Editor business@manilastandard.net

FILIPINOS PROPEL FREELANCE ECONOMY

HE world’s leading freelancing marketplace has its biggest global office in Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City, where 400 Filipinos occupy two floors of the swanky Ecotower Building. While Freelancer Limited is headquartered in Sydney, the Philippine office plays a key role in the global expansion of the Australian company which connects employers and more than 30 million freelancers, according to one of its top executives. “We have seven offices worldwide: Sydney, Manila, Jakarta, London, Buenos Aires, San Francisco and Vancouver. The Manila office is the largest one, even larger than the Sydney headquarters. We have roughly around 400 people here who are customer service professionals, account managers, engineers, product managers, designers and whose average age is 25. They work for the global marketplace. The Manila office is key to us,” Sebastian Siseles, vice president for international operations of Freelancer International Pty. Ltd., says in an interview. “The Philippines is in a strategic position in the world map, because of its good time zone and the people here speak two or three languages including English,” he says. Founded in 2009, Freelancer.com directly employs 550 people around the world who facilitate the transactions of more than 30 million users, including 1.1 million freelancers in the Philippines. The Philippines is also the fourth largest market of Freelancer.com, next to India, the United States and Pakistan. It is changing the way people work, allowing them to work at home for projects assigned by companies and individual employers from different countries, especially the US, India, Australia and the UK. “The platform is growing dramatically. In 2015, we celebrated our 15 million users. Now, we have almost 31 million users. We doubled it in less than three years. It is growing like crazy because of connectivity and millennials joining the work force,” says Siseles, who is from Argentina. Siseles says Freelancer.com is different from other job listing sites because all the transactions happen on the platform, including job postings, the bidding by freelancers, the awarding and the payment. “Once the employer awards a job to a specific freelancer, everything continues to be in our website—from communication, video chat, delivery of the service and the payment for such service. It is made through our website. I would like to call it Internet 3.0 because it offers a different way of working,” he says. Siseles says both companies and freelancers get a lot of benefits from the platform. “For companies, they can access 30 million world-class talents without restrictions of geography, language, boundaries. If you need something now, you can just post it today and tomorrow you can see on your Freelancer account hundreds of offers from people all around the world saying I can do this job for you,” he says. “By freelancing these jobs, the company can focus on its core business. If you are a technology company or a bank, you can leave the website, the logo design, the content of your website to others. For the collateral things, you can just go hire freelancers,” he says. “For sure, you can get more competitive prices. It does not mean you are paying less to freelancers. We are not prejudicing the job market. What we are doing is we put together the employers with the workers without middlemen or intermediaries,” he says. “In terms of freelancers, there is a bunch of benefits. The minimum wage here in the Philippines is between $150 and $200 a month, while our average project or job that can take you from four hours to two days, is $196. Just imagine if you are a great designer and you have a good profile and reputation within our marketplace, you can be doing 10, 15, 20 logo designs for an average of $196 each. You can earn good money,” says Siseles. He says freelancers have the opportunity to access on average 10,000 new job orders a day. “Since we launched our services in 2009 until now, they posted around 14 million jobs with the combined price of $3 billion. This is a huge economy,” he says. “Freelancers have the opportunity to access new jobs and be hired by companies from any other country in the world. Why do you need to be exposed to only one territory? You can be exposed to many others. So if one economy goes down, you still have opportunities because you are exposed to companies in other parts of the world,” he says. Siseles says Freelancer also allows individuals to work at their own pace. “You decide when to work, for whom and from where. You don’t need to go to an office. You can do it from your house, from your garage, from coffee shop, while travelling to Palawan or while you are going around the world,” he says. Siseles believes that on-demand work is the future of the job market. “Forbes magazine said that by 2027, the largest portion of workers will be freelancers. Why is this happening? First is connectivity. People are connecting at a very fast rate. Second, the millennials are joining the workforce. This job market is disrupting the classic way of working, thanks to the millennials. So connectivity and millennials joining the workforce are the two biggest things that are disrupting the job market,” he says. “In Freelancer.com, you can find 1,000 different jobs. If we have to group them, I would say the number one is IT such as website development, app development, programming, etc. No. 2 would be design, and within design you have banner design, logo design, graphic design, industrial design, 3D modelling. The other is marketing and communications such as copywriting, book writing, article writing and Google ads, Facebook ads, Instagram ads, etc.,” he says. “The vast majority of our users are millennials or people between 18 and 37 years old. That’s maybe 70 to 75 percent of our users. Around 70 percent of our users are men. In the past, it was like 90 percent. Fortunately, more women are joining the platform. Now, the percentage is 70 percent,” he says. Siseles says the platform has a good business model. He says while registration is free, Freelancer earns from its share once jobs are awarded.

ABOITIZ GROUP CHIEF EXECUTIVE SHARES RECIPE FOR SUCCESS

Freelancer International Pty. Ltd. vice president for international operations Sebastian Siseles

“We only charge our users once they have success in the platform. In terms of the employer, they will have success when they find the appropriate freelancer and when they award the job. In that moment, we charge them 3 percent of the total amount of the job. For freelancers, once they start working and they get the money, then we charge them 10 percent,” he says. “Freelancers don’t need to do any marketing, they don’t need to pay public transportation for commuting, they don’t need to go out to submit CVs to companies. They just stay at home, connect to the Internet, start looking, get a job, get paid and then they pay as much as 10 percent. We are the cheapest in the market,” he says. “Even NASA [National Aeronautics and Space Administration] in the US is working with us. They are looking for freelancers within our platform and hiring them without the need to go to Florida, Houston or Washington D.C. Freelancers work for NASA from their homes,” he says. Siseles says like other technology companies, Freelancer aims to maintain its market dominance. “We do have competitors, but we bought already 19 of them. The leader takes all. We are growing, and we expect to continue growing at this pace or more. We are expanding to other markets,” he says. He says Freelancer is on expansion and recently acquired Channel 40, an enterprise marketplace connecting freight owners with transport operators. With the acquisition, the company launched Freightlancer.com, a global marketplace for freight, shipping and transportation spanning from complex enterprise haulage to consumer metro deliveries. Siseles says beyond its business model, Freelancer’s mission it to help people around the world. “We are proud of saying we actually change lives. You don’t need to leave your home, you don’t need to leave your country, you don’t need to be away from your family. This is something fantastic.” Roderick T. dela Cruz

AFFORDABLE HOTEL SET TO RISE IN FORT BONIFACIO

By Othel V. Campos

FORT Bonifacio is set to welcome a boutique hotel from property developers C-5 Mansions Development Corp. and Novel Residential Concepts Inc. Both companies signed a memorandum of agreement for the sale and long-term lease arrangement for the new Aspen Hotel project in Taguig City. “Our target with this partnership and project is to offer the best in Filipino hospitality to our local and foreign guests at the hotel, while offering a unique investment opportunity to investors who share in our vision

to ride the continued growth and development of BGC [Bonifacio Global City],” said C-5 Mansions Development Corp. general manager Alfonso Keh Jr. He said the boutique hotel development is a landmark achievement of C-5 Mansions as it complements the vision shared by its founder to create an affordable residential, commercial and hotel complex within BGC close to SM Aura. The partner firms noted a dearth of decent hotels along the long stretch of the main C-5 Road from the South Luzon Expressway side in Taguig City all the way to BGC up to the Quezon City, an observation that pushed for the creation of Aspen Hotel.

Aboitiz Group president and CEO Erramon Aboitiz (center) is conferred the honorary doctorate degree in Management by the Asian Institute of Management. With him are AIM president and dean Dr. Jikyeong Kang and chairman Peter Garrucho.

“Aspen Hotel obviously fills in a big gap in the market and will cater to businessmen, expatriates and Filipino families starting in 2022,” said Novel Residential Concepts president Roberto Alvarez Jr. Aspen Hotel will occupy the 14th to 19th floors of C-5 Mansions’ Ridgewood Towers Premier project, which is now under construction. The hotel will be just a stone-throw-away from the British and Korean embassies. Aspen will be fitted with a private lobby, all-day restaurant and function rooms at the second floor. Other facilities include a lap pool, gym, kiddie playroom, private theater/game room and sky garden.

C-5 Mansions and Novel are offering the hotel project’s 186 units, comprised of 1-bedroom and 2 bedroom suites, to long-term investors starting at about P3.5 million each, inclusive of the unit price, fit-out cost and title transfer and miscellaneous fees. Under the agreement, all units will be automatically fitted out and leased out upon turnover to Novel, which guarantees investors a minimum 6 percent p.a. rental rate, based on the total unit cost, be paid out semiannually. Investors are also set to profit more if the hotel registers high occupancy rates via bonus rates of up to another 6 percent for a total of up to Turn to C2

THE growth of a business like the Aboitiz Group is not solely dependent on numbers nor return on investments. What makes a nearly century-old conglomerate unique and thriving is its conscious decision to put a greater purpose at the core of every action and decision. In Aboitiz’s case, the higher purpose is ensuring that the organization is “driving change for a better world.” This, coupled with its sustainability mindset of “doing well by doing good, always making the right long-term decisions that balance the interests of people, planet, and profit”. “As businessmen, there is no doubt we seek profits and a return on our capital,” says Aboitiz Group chief Erramon Aboitiz. “We, however, are equally guided by a strong sense of purpose that goes beyond just making money,” he says. “Perhaps what makes our jobs more challenging is introducing the ‘AND’. ‘AND’ adds another dimension to why and how we do things. We need to get a reasonable return on our investments ‘AND’ ensure we are driving change for a better world. There is no reason why every action, every decision cannot somehow contribute to this greater purpose,” Aboitiz says, emphasizing the importance of upholding time-honored values that made the company what it is today: integrity, teamwork, innovation, and responsibility. “Today, we consider ourselves a family-led than a familyrun enterprise, with non-family professionals taking on very senior leadership roles. Our unique culture, nurtured and strengthened over generations, is the secret sauce to the Group’s success,” Aboitiz says during his commencement speech at the conferment of his honorary doctorate degree in Management from the Asian Institute of Management in Makati City. Erramon belongs to the fourth generation of family leaders who upholds Aboitiz patriarch Don Ramon’s philosophy of nurturing and strengthening professional excellence. Today, a number of fifth generation Aboitizes are also holding senior and executive positions in the company. Aboitiz also underscored the value of protecting one’s reputation. “Your education and the values you have imbibed from this institute have prepared you well to seize the limitless opportunities ahead. Do the right thing and do the best you can. Like Aboitiz, consider your reputation as your greatest asset—one that you will protect at all cost,” he said. During the AIM’s commencement ceremony, AIM president Dr. Jikyeong Kang and chairman Peter Garrucho led the awarding of distinguished group of individuals recognized for their exemplary contributions to their respective fields.


Business

C2

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2018 business@manilastandard.net

BAYER INTRODUCES FIRST DUAL TRAIT HYBRID RICE IN PH BAYER, the global leader in agriculture, has launched Arize AZ 8433 DT, a dual trait hybrid rice variety with measurably improved tolerance to both Brown Plant Hopper and Bacterial Leaf Blight. Arize AZ 8433 DT is the first available hybrid variety in the Philippines that offers tolerance to both of these harmful pest and bacterial disease. BPH is a re-emerging pest species that has become prevalent in the Philippines particularly in areas of high cropping intensity. It causes hopperburn, which is a visible yellowing and drying of a plant that can damage the crop just a matter of days. In 2017, the Department of Agriculture reported 541 hectares of BPH infestation in Eastern Visayas resulting in P17 million worth of agricultural damage. The new variety offers added protection against BPH by delaying hopperburn, giving farmers ample time to control further damage. Bacterial Leaf Blight on the other hand is a perennial problem that causes wilting of seedlings and yellowing and drying of leaves. Both problems adversely affect crop yields and continue to become a serious threat to the rice industry. “Bayer has been working closely with rice farmers in the Philippines to improve their rice yields and quality through its innovative hybrid seeds, crop protection products, and integrated crop management solutions. With the increasing demands of our growing population and an ever evolving ecosystem, it is vital that we empower these farmers with innovative products and solutions to help improve rice productivity in the country and also to improve the viability and quality of life of our farmers,” said Iiinas Ivan Lao, country commercial lead of Bayer Crop Science.

A

NEW RESTAURANT OPENS TO SERVE HEALTHY MEALS

QUEZON City-based healthy food delivery service which started in April this year found a receptive market and soon expanded rapidly to launch a catering service and a new restaurant. Rodrigo ‘Rad’ Pelayo, a licensed physical therapist and lifestyle coach, teamed up with nutritionists, chefs, doctors and entrepreneurs to open the first restaurant of Healthy Meals PH at the ground floor of MC2 Building along Congressional Ave. in Quezon City. “Do you know that 80 percent of the population right now are consciously managing their weight. But with the busy lifestyle, the traffic, the meetings, we order fast food. Our advocacy is to transition people to a healthy lifestyle,” he says. Pelayo, 39, says Healthy Meals PH is the first in the Philippines to serve complete and balanced food. It started as a gastronomic delivery service, before offering catering and then opening a restaurant just this month. It provides meals with specific calorie count for weight loss, weight gain and keto diet. Pelayo says healthy meals do not have to taste bland. The meals are complete and balanced in the sense that they consist of fruits,

vegetables, protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates, he says. Health Meals PH also offers highprotein meats for muscle-building, meals prepared for diabetic and hypertensive individuals and lunch box for children. “Our meals are not only healthy, but also delectable,” says Pelayo. “Our advocacy at Healthy Meals PH is to help people transition to a healthy lifestyle of eating in the most convenient way,” he says. “I know the market because I’m one of them. I used to weigh around 210 pounds before, with a waistline of 39 inches. Now, it is down to 33 or 34 inches. I’m happy with that,” says Pelayo, who is also into sales and marketing. Pelayo, who lives independently in a Quezon City condominium, thought about Healthy Meals PH one morning because he got tired of ordering fast food but could not find a store that could deliver healthy but delicious meals. “Sometimes, the problem is you

EPSON RECEIVES ECOVADIS GOLD FOR SUSTAINABILITY EPSON has been awarded a gold rating for overall sustainability by independent platform EcoVadis for the second year in succession. The top rating, which reflects Epson’s commitment to achieving the highest possible international CSR standards, also acknowledges Epson as being “outstanding” in both the environment and sustainable procurement categories and highlights its excellent achievement in labor, human rights and ethics. EcoVadis – an independent, trusted and collaborative platform – uses a unique CSR assessment methodology that measures over 50,000 organizations across 190 industry sectors in 150 countries. The process to achieve the ranking included reviewing and assessing Epson in terms of its people, processes and platforms, which resulted in outstanding recognition of its policies, actions and results in both the environment and sustainable procurement, placing Epson in the top 3 percent of companies for overall sustainability. Sustainability is an integral driver of Epson’s innovation and is a key factor in how it works with our partners across the supply chain. The company said it is also committed to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. This commitment to sustainability is reflected in Epson’s product range including inkjet printers, which reduce waste and energy consumption, projectors, and robotics systems, which are all grounded in the proprietary “sho sho sei” or efficient, compact and precision technologies that Epson has refined over the years.

AFFORDABLE... From C1 12 percent return per year. “Given that fixed bank time deposit interest rates are hovering at around 4 percent, we believe that our offering of a guaranteed rate plus our initiative of bonus rates after a strict occupancy auditing process makes Aspen Hotel a strong case for investors to stay way ahead of inflation,” Alvarez said. Aspen Hotel has already pre-sold a good number of units to qualified investors even prior to launch. Meanwhile, developers are optimistic that the assumed daily rate of only P3,500 for a 1-bedroom unit would be a big market draw, as it is competitive with the other hotel properties in the area. The competitive rate is expected to entice businessmen, expatriates and locals to experience Aspen given its strategic location. “While of course the daily rate may change depending on the market conditions once we start operating in 2022, we are confident that our target market will enjoy the premium affordability of Aspen Hotel vis-à-vis other hotel operators in and near BGC,” Alvarez said. Aspen Hotel aims to fill a big gap in the market with booming leisure and business tourism markets. The partner firms are now opening the project to investors who are willing to participate in Aspen Hotel’s development under an automatic hotel lease agreement.

Healthy Meals PH founder Rodrigo Pelayo (left) and Chef Angelo

don’t know what food to order. Sometimes, the food tastes bland. That’s why we developed Healthy Meals PH,” says Pelayo. Pelayo says Healthy Meals PH is different from other health food delivery services because it follows the right approach. “The difference is we are not a dieting company. We are a holistic company that serves complete and balanced meals,” he says. “Your food doesn’t have to be tasteless. It is not a starvation plan, it is a diet plan,” he says. “I am a licensed physical therapist and I have an experience in the pharma industry. That is why I want it holistic and scientific,” he says. Healthy Meals PH has gained following through the Internet, with early customers still ordering their meals every morning from the group to this day. “We have clients who have

been eating Healthy Meals PH for six or seven months already,” says Pelayo. As a delivery service, Healthy Meals PH accepts cash on delivery which is popular among customers. It is heavily active on social media, using chat bot and real persons to answer the queries from customers. “We have a bot and actual persons who respond to the chat. We talk to our clients,” says Pelayo. Chef Angelo, the executive chef of Healthy Meals PH, says they can adjust the meals to the calorie needs of customers. “We follow a holistic approach. Your meal doesn’t have to be complicated. We will prepare the meal for you. Just tell us and we will deliver,” he says. “We are offering you something delicious, affordable, with good quality and it is something that you will find surprising,” he says. Roderick T. dela Cruz

TELCO PROMOTES MARANAO CHILDREN’S LITERACY CAMPAIGN MORE than one year since the conflict in Marawi City ceased, the Maranaos are still trying to heal and rebuild their lives. In aid of this, PLDT Inc. recently turned over more than 4,000 books from the Marawi Storybooks Series to over 35 elementary schools in Marawi City. The series, a collection of four children’s books narrating stories on love, healing, and resilience based on real-life experiences of Marawi siege survivors, is part of the Philippine Business for Social Progress’ children’s literacy campaign iRead4Peace. “The Marawi Storybooks series, particularly the book Lost and Found: A Song of Marawi, is a depiction of our love for our brethren regardless of religion or race. The storybooks will serve as a link between Christian and Bangsamoro learners,” said Department of Education division of Marawi City assistant schools sivision superintendent and Marawi siege survivor Ana Zenaida Unte-Alonto. “The books are a reminder that

what happened in Marawi will never be forgotten. Our generation of learners will know about the story of survival, friendship, resilience, love, and support for each other, Muslims and Christians alike,” she said. “It is a humbling experience to see the strength and resilience of brave Maranaos, especially the children, who have been through a lot at such a young age. We believe that we should all work together to help protect their spirit, as they are the future generation who will restore the City to its former glory,” said PLDT community relations division head Katherine Diaz De Rivera. “Through the Marawi Storybooks Series, PLDT, together with our ever-reliable partner PBSP, is able to provide a platform where they can find a sense of healing, peace, and love,” she said. “We are grateful for the generous support of PLDT, PBSP, and Bookmark to our continued efforts in rebuilding our lives and our beautiful city after

Philippine Business for Social Progress executive director Reynaldo Antonio Laguda (left) and PLDT community relations division head Katherine Diaz De Rivera (second from left) turn over the books to Department of Education – Division of Marawi City superintendent Pharida Sansarona and assistant schools division superintendent and DepEd ARMM deputy focal peerson Ana Zenaida Unte-Alonto, along with some of the principals and students of elementary schools in Marawi City.

the horrors of the Marawi siege,” Unte-Alonto said. Aside from the book donation initiative in Marawi, PLDT is also

actively promoting the books to its employees, partners, and friends to amplify support and sales for the books. ‘

FISHBALL MANUFACTURER NAMED ‘MICROENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR’ AN ENTREPRENEUR’S innate ability to fish deep for innovative ideas to propel his fishball-making business to success earned him the top spot in the 2018 Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards, a program funded by the Citi Foundation and hosted in partnership with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Microfinance Council of the Philippines Inc. The CMA is a signature initiative of the Citi Foundation aimed at generating economic opportunities for low-income people, including youth, around the globe. The awards program provides ent rep reneurs with resources to strengthen their business, including access to networks, capital, tools and training; and enables individuals to create economic sustainability for themselves, their families and their communities. Erwin Ramos, who turns bidbid fish into fishballs and other processed products, was presented the CMA Microentrepreneur of the Year award in ceremonies held at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas complex, Manila. Ramos was joined by other awardees: Maria Elena Estadola, nito handicrafts business owner, regional awardee for

Fishball manufacturer Erwin Ramos (center) receives the 2018 CMA Microentrepreneur of the Year award from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier (left) and Citi Philippines chief executive Aftab Ahmed.

Luzon; Rosario Amoroto, calamansi processing business owner, regional awardee for Visayas; Arnold Viado, balut producer, regional awardee for Mindanao; and Mary Grace Bayalas, midwife and owner of a birthing home, Youth Microentrepreneur of the Year.

The special award for agri microbusiness was given to Estrella Balnao, a coffee farmer and producer; and Romeo Ponio, a corn and vegetable farmer. The Special Award for Community Leadership went to Jessette Oquendo, owner of a pasalubong (souvenir) center for Palawan crafts; while Marisa Ganding, a spa and wellness center owner, received the Special Award for Startup Micro-business. BSP Governor Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr. pointed out that “it is only appropriate that we continue to showcase truly inspiring success stories of our microentrepreneurs.” “Since its creation in 2002, the CMA program has served as a vehicle to encourage other aspiring microentrepreneurs nationwide and to spread the message that through the value and nobility of hard work, anything is possible,” he said. Espenilla said that “our partnership with MCPI and Citi Foundation is a significant contribution to the BSP’s Continuity Plus-Plus Agenda - one aspect of which is ensuring that our financial system is inclusive and leaves no one behind.” “We are honored to recognize and celebrate successful entrepreneurs whose perseverance, determination

and conviction to pursue their dreams serves as an inspiration to others. These outstanding entrepreneurs have made a difference for their families and now serve as catalysts to encourage and motivate other entrepreneurs to follow in their footsteps. Citi Philippines is dedicated to supporting financial inclusion initiatives that help Filipinos achieve financial independence and enable them to make a contribution to their communities,” said Citi Philippines chief executive Aftab Ahmed. In 2011, Ramos, together with his wife Lanie, experimented with the use of bidbid fish—considered a nuisance in bangus fishponds—as base ingredient for fishballs. In time, they ventured into dried fish processing and fish chicharon (crispy skin)-making. An initial loan of P5,000 from Uplift Philippines Inc. helped Ramos launch their own brand, Erwin and Lanie’s Fishball. His production facility in Paombong, Bulacan churns out freshly made fishballs and other products on a daily basis. No part of the bidbid fish goes to waste; even the innards are used as feeds in prawn farms. To this day, Ramos continues to make product innovations while relentlessly marketing his products to clients in person.


CYAN MAGENTA YELLOW BLACK Manila

Standard

Republic of the Phiilippines

3.4 As to the extension of application periods, the Director/OIG of the Licensure Office upon coordination and consultation with the concerned PRB, shall recommend to the Commission appropriate action/s on the request for extension. 3.5 In cases where the deadline for the filing of application falls on a weekend, national/unforeseen holiday/s, force majeure, work suspensions and other analogous causes, the deadline shall automatically be on the next working day.

TODAY Professional Regulation Commission Manila

RESOLUTION NO. 2018 - 1133 Series of 2018 GUIDELINES ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE IN-HOUSE LICENSURE EXAMINATION AND REGISTRATION INFORMATION SYSTEM (LERIS)

WHEREAS, the Commission is likewise mandated under Section 7 (b) of the aforesaid law to perform any and all acts, enter into contracts, make such rules and regulations and issue such other administrative issuances as may be necessary in the execution and implementation of its functions and the improvement of its services.

4.

DONE in the City of Manila this 5th day of Dec, 2018. Done this 23rd day of Nov., 2018 in the City of Manila.

TEOFILO S. PILANDO, JR. Chairman

The guidelines shall provide a uniform procedure in the implementation of the Licensure Examination and Registration Information System (LERIS) in the Central and Regional offices (CO/ROs) of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRe). It will also provide operational standards for all stakeholders. The major components of the LERIS project are: 1) Online Applicalion Syslem’ (OAS); 2) Online Registration (initial/renewal) System’ (ORRS); 3) Electronic Payment and Collection System’ (EPCS). OBJECTIVES

4.3 PROCESSING EXAMINATIONS

These guidelines are primarily designed to achieve the following objectives:

Requirements prior to availment of services

b.

Supporting documents as required by the various Professional Regulatory Laws Creation of user’s profile/account i. ii. iii.

E-mail with password 10 Photo in proper format Personal and educational records

IV. GENERAL GUIDELINES A.

ACCESS CODE. Upon the approval of the Director/Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the Information and Communications Technology Service (ICTS). access codes shall be given to all designated processors (regular or contractual) in the CO/ROs. The Database Management Systems Division (DMSD) shall be responsible in the processing of all access code requests. Access code shall be for the official use of the employee/s whose account name/s and password/s are enrolled in the LERIS.

Any violation hereof shall be a valid ground for the ICTS to cancel the access given. B. PROCEDURES The requesting office shall fill out the LERIS Request Access Form (LRAF) and duly have it signed by: • • • • • 2. 3. 4. C.

2.

3. 4. 5.

V.

Director/DIG of the Licensure Office / Chief/OIC of the Licensure Division for OAS access codes, Director/OIC of the Planning Management and Financial Service (PMFS) for EPCS access codes. Director/OIC of the Regulation Office / Chief/OIC of the Professional Registry Division for ORRS access codes, Director/OIG of the Administrative Service / Chief/DIG of the Cash Division / for EPCS access codes, Regional Director/DIG for all LERIS access codes.

The LRAF shall be sent to the Director/OIC of the ICT Service for approval. Once approved. the request shall be forwarded to the Chief/OIC of the DMSD for appropriate action. The DMSD shall provide access to the requesting office.

ONLINE SCHEDULING/APPOINTMENT SYSTEM (OS/AS) - The automatic setting of mandatory default number of appointment slots shall be done semiannually for each appointment place which is based on the average number of transacting clients per region I offsite center for the last three (3) years. 1.

The Director/OIC of the ICT Service shall be the overall in-charge for the OS/ AS. The Regional Director/OIC shall be allowed to set additional number of appointment slots on top of the default number of appointments. The Director/ OIC of the ICT Service shall also be allowed to make adjustments in setting additional appointment slots as the need arises or upon the directive of the Oversight Commissioner. A “No appointment / No-entry” policy shall be strictly enforced. A “No same-day appointment” policy shall also be strictly implemented except during the last day of application for licensure examinations or until 4:00 P.M. of the same day. The system shall not allow the processing of transactions of those who appear before their appointment date except in cases with justifiable reasons” and subject to the approval of the Regional Director/OIC. For those who appear after their appointment date, they can only be accommodated after all the transactions scheduled for the day are processed.

2.

2.1 To provide the specific and standard procedures to be followed in the application for the various licensure examinations through OAS. 2.2 To enable clients through the OAS to encode personal information and submit applications online; 2.3 To provide clients, through the OAS, the option to choose the date of appointment as to when they could process and complete their transactions in any PRC office, Offsite/Service Centers or One• Stop Service Genters (OSSGOs) nationwide. 2.4 To provide clients, through the OAS, the option to pay their transaction fees through the various payment channels available in the system. 2.5 To streamline and hasten the processing cycle time of all application transactions; 2.6 To provide mechanisms for the proper coordination of the GO/ ROs with regard to document transmittals, requests of applicants for a change of examination venue, proper scheduling of licensure examinations and other issues relative to the system implementation. 3.

OPENING OF APPLICATION PERIOD AND SETTING OF TESTING CENTERS FOR THE VARIOUS LICENSURE EXAMINATIONS 3.1 The Licensure Office shall provide the approved calendar of various licensure examinations which shall include the testing centers, period of application (opening and deadline) and the proposed target of the release date of examination results. 3.2 The Director/OIC of the Licensure Office upon coordination and consultation with the concerned Professional Regulatory Board (PRB), shall recommend to the Commission the inclusion of additional testing center/s that is/are not included in the approved calendar of examinations. 3.3 The Director/OIC of the Licensure Office, upon approval by the Commission shall coordinate wIth the ICT Service for the opening of additional testing center/s in the system.

FOR

• 6.

B.

6.1 Data of registered professionals that are not reflected in the ORRS shall be encoded in the database by the DMSD within two (2) working days or 48 hours upon submission of a duly accomplished and signed Service Request Form (SRF) from the Professional Registry Division or from the regional office. 6.2 For registered professionals with pending cases, the Professional Registry Division of the Central and Regional Offices shall verify the status of the cases with the Legal Service. Upon verification, the Professional Registry Division will submit to the leT Service a duly accomplished and signed Service Request Form (SRF) in order to temporarily remove the tag or to untag the name of the professional in the database to effect the renewal of his/her PIC within 24 hours upon receipt or to update in the database the status of his/her case within the same period . 6.3 For professionals with dual citizenship, the professional shall present an Oath of Allegiance as additional requirement.

LICENSURE

NOTE: The Commission shall issue separate guidelines for the PIC renewal of former Filipino professionals. 7. PROFESSIONAL IDENTIFICATON CARD PRINTING. This includes the inhouse printing in the CO/ROs for initial registration and PIC renewal: 7.1 Directors/OICs (ROs) and/or his/her duly authorized representative shall be given an access code for the printing of PIC. 7.2 For PIC renewal. the PIC shall be printed on the appointment date and place chosen by the professional. 7.3 Releasing of PIC. The releasing officer shall enter in the system the card serial number reflected at the back of the PIC before the PIC is released. 7.4 Upon claiming, the releasing officer shall require the professional or his/ her authorized representative to sign on the signature pad as proof that the 10 had already been claimed. In the case of an authorized representative, the releasing officer shall require the submission of a Special Power of Attorney or an Authorization Letter (if the representative is a registered professional) executed by the professional renewing his/her PIC . 7.5 Any request for editing/correction of data of professionals, shall be done by accomplishing the Service Request Form (SRF) with the approval of the concerned officials before PIC is printed and issued. 7.6 The cost for reprinting of PIC by reason of attaching a wrong picture shall be charged against the assessment officer after he/she has breached the allowable limit on re•work of five (5) IDs/per month. A report shall be forwarded by the Professional Registry Division to the Accounting Division for salary deduction. The cost of consumables for printing of 10 (PVC Card. ink. and others) shall be the basis of the amount to be deducted. C.

ELECTRONIC PAYMENT AND COLLECTION SYSTEM 1.

2.

2.1 To provide 24n services online; 2.2 To provide the clients the option to choose the date of appointment on when to process and complete their transactions in any of the PRC offices, Offsite/Service Centers or One•Stop Service Centers (OSSCOs) nationwide. 2.3 To provide payment options to clients for the prescribed fees of transaction fees various payment channels. 2.4 To streamline the process and its cycle time from the start until the completion of the transaction; 2.5 To reduce the long queues in PRC cashiers in any of the PRC offices, Offsite/Service Centers or OSSCOs nationwide. 3.

This guideline is designed to provide procedures using the online registration and renewal of Professional Identification Card (PIC). This online service includes the following components:

2.

4.

Initial registration for passers Renewal of PI C

5.

IMPORTANT: In the event that the examination applicant fails ta comply with all the requirements during the prescribed period of application, the examination/application fee payment can still be used ONLY until the next examination schedule. Processing and payment of application should be made on or before the deadline. No application shall be accepted after the deadline, Non-appearance during examination shall mean forfeiture of payment. VI. VIOLATIONS AND SANCTIONS A.

B.

PRC OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES The following actions or omissions constitute violations of the prescribed guidelines on the use of LERIS and shall be considered violations of reasonable office rules.

The Director/OIC of the Regulations Office shall be the overall in¬charge of the ORRS . Directors/OICs (ROs) and/or Chief/OIC of the Professional Registry Division (CO) shall be accountable for all transactions involved in the registration of professionals and PIC renewal.

1. 2.

Directors/OICs (ROs) and/or Chief/OIC of the Professional Registry Division is responsible to recommend approval of any entry in the database of registered professionals such as: correction, editing and/or updating of data thereof to the Commissioner in-charge of Systems and Procedures.

3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

4. INITIAL REGISTRATION. The registrant may choose any of the PRC Offices, Service Centers or OSSCOs nationwide where to register and sign in the roll of professionals.

Unauthorized use of Access Code/Account name. Allowing another to use his/her account name/access code without proper authorization and supervision. Releasing of PIC to unauthorized person/s including PRC employees without the required authorization letter. Issuance of PIC without passing or coursing through the system. Releasing of PIC in advance of the scheduled date without proper authority. Correction of data/entry without the approval by the concerned official. Processing of Application/Initial Registration/PIC Renewal manually without expressed authority from the immediate supervisor.

VII. REFERENCES

4.1 Upon online registration and payment of registration fee through any accredited payment channel, the registrant shall present the printed and signed Oath Form (OF), Official Receipt (OR) and other required documentary requirements, as deemed necessary to the Registration Officer.

TRANSACTING CLIENTS In case of fraudulent or misdeclared information or data given by the transacting client using the eServices, the PRC may undertake administrative actions to address the same.

PROCEDURES

PRC OVER-THE-COUNTER PAYMENT 5.1 The client submits reference number to the cashier. 5.2 Upon receipt of the reference number from the client. the Cashier accepts payment of fees in accordance with existing rates and issues Official Receipt (O.R) for the transaction made.

2.1 To provide 2417 services online; 2.2 To provide clients an online service to encode personal information and submit application online; 2.3 To provide clients the option to choose the date of appointment on when to process and complete their transactions in any PRC office, Service Center or OSSCO nationwide; 2.4 To provide options to clients in paying their transaction fees through various payment channels; 2.5 To streamline the process and its cycle time from the start until the completion of the transaction; 2.6 To standardize the procedures for Initial Registration I Renewal of PIC in all ROs (ROs), Offsite/Service Centers and OSSCOs: and 2.7 To provide mechanisms for proper coordination of the CO and ROs with regard to the entry, correction, editing and updating of data of registered professionals. 2.8 To provide mechanisms in order to trace the accountable person for each transaction involved in the processing of initial registration and PIC renewal and the printing/releasing of PIC.

Registrants who failed to attend the mass oath taking ceremony shall take the oath of professional administered by any authorized official of the commission. Successful examinees of SPLE may take the oath of professional administered by authorized official of the Philippine Consulate, they are required to submit a photocopy of passport bearing the name, date of entry and departure from the Philippines, and a Special Power of Attorney authorizing his/her attorney to register on his/her behalf notarized by the Philippine Consul. Pursuant to the provisions of various regulatory laws which require registrants to reach the age of 21 before they may be

ACCREDITED PAYMENT CHANNELS 4.1 Accredited Payment Channels shall be the preferred mode of payment.

OBJECTIVES

PROCEDURES The Administrative Service Director/OIC / Chief/OIC of the Cash Division / shall be the overall in-charge of the EPCS.

This guideline aims to achieve the following objectives:

3.

OBJECTIVES The guidelines aim to achieve the following objectives:

SCOPE

1. 2.

SCOPE The guidelines are designed to provide procedures using the Electronic Payment and Collection System (EPCS).

ONLINE REGISTRATION/ RENEWAL SYSTEM (ORRS) 1.

For PRBs that require Certificate of Good Standings5 (COGS), the Professional shall secure from his/her Accredited Integrated Professional Organization a COGS and shall be required to submit the same in addition to the above requirements. The Professional shall present the printed renewal form, CPD compliance, if available, and COGS, if applicable and the PIC will be issued. If the Professional is not CPO compliant, he/she shall sign the undertakingS portion of the renewal form and will be issued. If the authorized representative is a licensed professional, he/she shall present an authorization letter, printed renewal form, proof of CPO compliance, if available, an old PIC of the renewing professional valid PIC of the representative and COGS, if applicable and the PIC will be issued. If applicant is not CPO compliant, undertaking portion of the renewal form shall be signed by the professional renewing his/ her PIC. If the authorized representative is not a licensed professional, he/she shall present a Special Power of Attorney, printed renewal form, proof of CPO compliance, if available, old PIC of the renewing professional valid 10 of the representative and COGS, if applicable, and PIC will be issued. If not CPO compliant, the professional renewing his/her PIC shall sign the undertaking portion of the renewal form. 5.2 The Registration Officer prints PIC and instructs claimant to sign on the releasing form and/or signature pad .

VERIFICATION OF PROFESSIONAL DATA SUCH AS BUT NOT LIMITED TO A) CHANGE OF STATUS, B) CHANGE OF NAME, C) CHANGE OF DATE OF BIRTH, D) MISSING DATA AND E) WITH PENDING CASE

4.3.6 The Regional Office through its Licensure and Registration Division files all approved applications for future reference and safekeeping until their disposal in accordance with the approved Records Retention and Disposition Schedule.

SCOPE

OBJECTIVES

APPLICATION

For SPLE applicants, the Notice of Admission shall be issued by the SPLE delegation team.

A. ONLINE APPLICATION SYSTEM (OAS)

This guideline applies to all PRC transactions involving application for the licensure examination using the OAS. It covers the entire process for the submission of application, screening of documentary requirements, payment and admission to the licensure examination.

NOTE: Room and School assignments shall be posted two (2) to three (3) days before the examination proper on the PRC website I and in the PRC premises.

SPECIFIC GUIDELINES

1.

4.3.2 The Application Processor shall check the encoded information in the GAS, update and revise the information, if necessary, and affix his/her signature on the space provided for the Application Processor in the application form and indicate the date processed. 4.3.3 The Issuing Officer shall review the Application Form and the completeness of the attached documents. 4.3.4 The Issuing Officer shall validate the accuracy of the name entered in the Application Form, PERRC, and the OR. 4.3.5 After all the requirements have been validated , the Issuing Officer shall print and sign the NOA.

All personnel authorized to access LERIS shall not let any other employees/ persons have his/her access code nor let anyone use his/her account.

1.

PROFESSIONAL IDENTIFICATION CARD RENEWAL. All licensed professionals may renew their Professional Identification Cards (PIC) in any of the PRC offices, Service Centers or OSSCOs nationwide.

• If the name of the applicant does not appear in the list of Graduates. the Applicant shall obtain a notarized Certificate of Graduation from his/her University/College/School duly signed by the Registrar. • For applications with deficiencies and/or incomplete documentary requirements, the Application Processor shall return the documents and advise the applicant to comply and submit the complete documentary requirements. • For First-time applicants, the Application Processor issues and instructs the examinee to properly accomplish the Permanent Examination and Registration Record Card (PERRC). • For Repeaters of the same examination, PERRCs shall be retrieved from the Application Unit’s Vault. If the PERRC is not available, the applicant shall be required to accomplish a new PERRC or the Application Unit shall request the PERRC from the RO where the applicant took his/her last examination. • For applicants with legal and citizenship issues, the Application Processor shall refer the applicant to the Legal Service for legal action. The applicant shall be immediately notified on the action taken by the Legal Service through electronic mail and/or by SMS. • For applications requiring the approval of the Professional Regulatory Board (PRB), the RO shall submit the application and supporting documents to the PRB Secretariat Division for the evaluation and assessment by the concerned PRB. The applicant shall be immediately notified on the action taken by the PRB through electronic mail and/or by SMS.

All professionals whether internationally or locally based , and all licensure examination applicants may avail 24f7 , through the internet, all the online services of the PRC.

a.

OF

In the case of an authorized representative, the concerned professional shall be required to personally appear before the Commission upon entry in the Philippines to sign in the Registry SheeURoll of Professional. The Registration Officer shall issue claim slip to the registrant indicating the date of release of the Certificate of Registration (COR). COR maybe distributed during the mass oath taking ceremonies administered by the PRB.

5.1 Upon application for the renewal of PIC and payment of annual fee and surcharges (if any) through any accredited payment channel, the Professional shall present the printed Application form for Renewal of PIC, Official Receipt (OR), and proof of CPO compliance to the Registration Officer.

4.3.1 The Application Processor shall check the accuracy and completeness of the information provided in the Application Form and all submitted documents comparing it with the information entered in the OAS by the applicant.

To implement a uniform procedure on the use of LERIS; To make our PRe online services available and accessible anytime and anywhere; To provide customer-focused services in terms of integrity, quality, speed, accuracy and convenience through the use of LE RIS; To strengthen the internal audit control system in all frontline offices/divisions; To streamline the cash collection and reporting system.

III. AVAILMENT OF ONLINE SERVICES

2.

5.

4.2.1 Upon online submission of application for any licensure examination and upon payment of examination fee through any accredited payment channel or PRe Cashier, the applicants shall submit to the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLO) the printed and signed Application Form together with photo copies of documentary requirements. 4.2.2 The POLO shall immediately transmit the list and required documents of pre-qualified applicants of the various boards to PRe Central Office. 4.2.3 In the case of the licensure examination for Professional Teachers, the list of pre-qualified applicants for Elementary Level should be separated from those for the Secondary Level. The lisl for the Secondary Level must indicate the Major Subject of Specialization to be taken by the examinee. 4.2.4 Applicants shall submit the printed on-line application forms (signed and with thumb mark affixed) together with the required documents to the POLOs for initial evaluation/ screening.

JOSE Y. CUETO, JR. Commissioner

SCOPE

1.

4.2 FILING OF APPLICATION FOR SPECIAL PROFESSIONAL LICENSURE EXAMINATIONS (SPLEs)

GUIDELINES ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE LERIS (LICENSURE, EXAMINATION AND REGISTRATION INFORMATION SYSTEM)

4. 5.

Repeaters shall submit photocopies of the required documents, Notice of Admission (NOA) or OR of the last examination taken. If these are not available, verification slip shall be obtained from the Archives and Records Division. Other additional documentary requirements required by the respective PRBs (latest NBllpolice clearance, certificate of good moral character, regional trial court clearance) shall be submitted, if applicable. Certificate of completion of refresher courses shall be submitted by examinees who failed two (2) times for CPA licensure examination and three (3) times for Dentist, Medical Technologist, Pharmacist, Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist, and Physician licensure examinations.

This resolution shall take effect immediately upon publication in any newspaper of general circulation in the Official Gazette.

3.

4.1.1 Upon online submission of application for any licensure examination and payment of examination fee through any accredited payment channel , the Applicant shall submit a printed and signed Application Form , Official Receipt (OR) and other required documentary requirements to the Application Processor (AP) for evaluation and verification. 4.1.2 First-time applicants shall be required to present original copies and submit photocopies of the documentary requirements to the Application Processor.

NOW, THEREFORE, premises considered, the Commission RESOLVES, as it is hereby RESOLVED, to issue and promulgate the “Guidelines on the implementation of the in-house LERIS”, hereto attached as Annex A of this Resolution.

The Verification Officer shall retrieve the PERRC for verification purposes, if available. Incomplete documents shall be returned to the registrant, who shall be advised to complete the same.

4.3 The Registration Officer shall print the Registry Sheet with the name, photo, registration/license number and date of registration of the registrants. 4.4 The Registration Officer shall instruct the registrant to validate the information on the Registry Sheet and to affirm by affixing his/her signature and thumb mark.

Examination applicants shall be allowed to apply in any of the PRC offices, including PRC Service/Offsite Centers or OSSCOs nationwide.

WHEREAS, there is a need to effectively implement the in-house LERIS for all these additional online services to provide accessibility to services and information by promoting efficiency, transparency of operation and convenience with a more userfriendly interface by integrating and enhancing the existing systems in the Commission.

1. 2.

PROCEDURES

WHEREAS, LERIS is one of the Mission Critical systems in the Commission’s Information Systems Strategic Plan (ISSP) endorsed by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT):

II.

4.1 FILING OF APPLICATION FOR LICENSURE EXAMINATIONS

WHEREAS, the Commission has long recognized that information and communication technology is a strategic tool in delivering service to its stakeholders and has adopted innovative technology and electronic solutions in the form of In-house licensure Examination and Registration Information System (LERIS).

I.

4.2 The Verification Officer shall receive and review the accomplished Oath Form and supporting documentary requirements submitted by the registrant.

For regional holidays, the Regional Directors/OIGs shall inform and coordinate with the Director/OIG of the licensure Office for the resetting of the deadline. The Director/OIC of the Licensure Office shall coordinate with the ICT Service for the re-opening of the system in accordance with the new schedule of deadline. 3.6 Any extension of application periods not covered by item no. 3.5 shall be subject to the approval of the Commission upon request of the Director/OIC of the Licensure Office and/or Directors/OICs of the RO.

WHEREAS, the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), under Section 7 (a) of Republic Act No. 8981 , known as the “PRC Modernization Act of 2000”, is empowered to administer, implement and enforce the regulatory policies of the national government with respect to the regulation and licensing of the various professions and occupations under its jurisdiction.

YOLANDA D. REYES Commissioner

registered in the profession , registration of a board passer below 21 shall be deferred until he/she reaches the required age of 21 . The RO shall transmit PERRCs of all registered professionals to the Professional Registry Division for safekeeping and digitization purposes.

1. 2. 3. 4. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Online Application Syslem (Step-by-Step Procedure for examinees) Online Registration System (Step-by-Step Procedure for passers) Online Renewal System (Step-by-Step Procedure for registered professionals) Electronic Cash Managemenl System (Step-by-Step Procedure for the transacting public)

IOAS . A web based application system that provides 24/7 services (online/real time) submission of applications for any licensure examination over the internet anytime, anywhere. lORRS - A web based application system that provides 24/7 services (online/real t ime) submission of applications for registration of new passers/successful examinees and PRC 10 card renewal of registered professionals over the internet. EPCS - A web-based payment sys tem that is integrated in the Licensure Examination and Registration Information System (LERIS). The system will interface and updates the LERIS database. Senior Citizen, Pregnant Women, PWDs, OFWs. (Aeronautical Engineers, Agricultural Engineers, Architects, Customs Brokers, Electrical Engineers, Electronics Engineers, Geodetic Engineers, Guidance and Counseling, Interior Designers landscape Architects, librarians, Psychologists, Psychometricians, and Real Estate Services) Real Estate Practitioners cannot avail the Certificate of Undertaking and have to provide the proof of compliance with CPO prior to the Renewal of PIC.

CYAN MAGENTA YELLOW BLACK


C4

TECH & Gadgets SUNDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2018 Riera U. Mallari, Editor rumallari@thestandard.com.ph

BROTHER GTX RAISES BAR IN DIRECT-TO-GARMENT PRINTING B

ROTHER International Philippines Corporation (Brother Phils.) takes conventional direct to garment printing to the next level with its recent introduction in the country of the Brother GTX Machine, touted as the next-generation direct to garment printer.

With its impressive print quality, faster printing speed, versatile use, and durable output, Brother GTX Machine is a boon to small and medium businesses as it will help them earn more with better quality and expanded product lines

With its impressive print quality, faster printing speed, versatile use, and durable output, Brother GTX Machine is a boon to small and medium businesses as it will help them earn more with better quality and expanded product lines, while keeping their maintenance costs and carbon footprint at a minimum. Aspiring entrepreneurs can also take advantage of this best-in-class machine to enter the garments business with impressive product lines. Brother’s latest innovation in garment imaging, the Brother GTX machine brings to life any design with its wider range of colors and amazing clarity made possible by its outstanding ink technology. Moreover, GTX prints at a speed that is faster than ever with its accelerated and advanced print heads, while giving the precision you’ve always wanted at a high-resolution of 1200 dpi X 1200 dpi. GTX also has the largest print area among comparative models, with a maximum print size of 16” x 21”. What’s even better is that it allows printing not just on t-shirts, but other items like tote bags, caps and even sneakers. GTX’s Innobella Textile Inks are also built to last, scoring 4.0 or higher on AATCC wash tests, proving that they are durable and washable. The GTX Machine is also environment friendly with its newly formulated inks being water based, Okeo-Tex Eco-Passport certified, and CPSIA compliant, while the innovative design of its replaceable ink pouches uses less plastic. Get your GTX Machine now at Brother authorized dealers. You may contact Brother Philippines at (02) 581-9869. To know more about Brother’s products and services, log on to Brother Philippines’ website at www.brother.com.ph, like its Facebook page (Facebook.com/BROTHERatyourside), and follow it on Twitter (@BROTHERPhils) and Instagram (@ BrotherPhils).

MIT MESSENGER, BOXCORN SIGN AGREEMENT AT THIS digital age of bills payment and grocery shopping happening online, we subject ourselves to risks of leaking private information on a daily basis. We need to ensure we send out and receive communication via reliable platforms. Good thing, global specialized IT company Stargram Global collaborates with Stargram Philippines in launching mit messenger in the Philippines. The messaging app is expected to compete with currently popular one like Viber, Messenger. and WhatsApp. Mit messenger, which means ‘together’ in German, plans to create a blockchain ecosystem through messenger launches in the Philippines, the world’s largest SNS country. The messaging app is expected to compete with currently popular one like Viber, Messenger, and WhatsApp and will be available on iOs, Android, Windows, and Mac. KMS Global CEO KJ Kim recently

held a launch ceremony for the International Crypto Exchange ‘Boxcorn’ and ‘mit messenger’ at the Conrad Hotel in Manila, Philippines. Boxcorn is expected to simplify the remittance of foreign workers from Filipinos, which are known to be more than 15 million people. In addition to expanding off-line exchanges and transactions in foreign exchange transactions to deal with casinos, which are comparable to those in Macau, Stargram Coin has recently been selected as the key currency. Cryptocurrency exchange, Boxcorn has been approved by Philippine Central Bank and doing its best to be opened in January 2019. Kim signed a memorandum of agreement with Mblockchain.co Chairman Mikle Choi during the event. For more information, visit: www. boxcorn.io and https://www.mitmessenger.com.

KMS Global CEO KJ Kim (left) and Mblockchain.co Chairman Mikle Choi seal their partnership with a handshake.

JBL portable Bluetooth speakers

DRIVE AWAY IN A MINI COOPER WITH JBL GIVE your loved ones the gift of superior sound this holiday season, as JBL offers you more reasons to rejoice this Christmas with its wide-range of gift-worthy audio products and its annual promotion that will allow music-lovers the chance to drive and cruise to 2019 in style, with its Dare to Listen, Dare to Drive year-end campaign. With colorful and innovative products that suit any lifestyle, JBL has positioned itself in the lifestyle of every active, music, and fun-loving Filipino with its signature sound and consumercentric product innovation. From its water-proof portable speakers to sweat-proof headphones, this leading audio equipment brand has given every Filipino a to reason celebrate and run to the beat of their favorite tunes wherever, whenever. As part of its annual thanksgiving for its loyal audiophiles, JBL launched its “Dare To Drive, Dare To Listen” campaign and promotion last Nov. 20, 2018 and will run until Jan. 15, 2019. With every purchase of JBL, Harman Kardon, and AKG products from over 200 participating nationwide stores, musicloving shoppers will get a chance to win one of the thirty-two prizes. Prizes that are up for grabs includes, the newly launched JBL Pary Box 300, JBL Boombox, a 5-Night Genting Dream Cruise to Singapore for Two, and a brandnew orange MINI Cooper 3-Door Hatch. Winners will be drawn on Feb. 19, 2019 at the JBL Harman Office in Quezon City. This Christmas, share the gift of world-class sound and immerse yourself in JBL’s superior sound quality with their cool portable speakers, stylish headphones, and solid sound bars. Amazing prizes await you and the chance to #DareToDrive home the car of your dreams is within your reach. For the complete mechanics, see posters or follow JBL Philippines’ official social media handles on Facebook at JBL Philippines, and Twitter & Instagram: @jblph. JBL, Harman Kardon, and AKG are under HARMAN International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. focused on connected technologies for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets.

MICROSOFT OFFICE, WINDOWS FOR SMBs NOW AVAILABLE ON WeSellIT.ph SMALL and medium-sized businesses can now purchase and download the latest Microsoft Office and Windows products through WeSellIT.ph, a secure Philippine e-commerce website specifically serving SMBs. WeSellIT.ph offers Electronic Software Delivery for perpetual licensing and premium memberships for small businesses that want fast and convenient delivery of popular IT tools. “When entrepreneurs buy laptops or PCs from e-commerce sites, they still need to buy a retail box to install Microsoft Office, which can be a hassle. With ESD, when you purchase a laptop or PC online, the site will send you an email with the product key for your chosen Microsoft product. You don’t have to go to a store personally, you simply click and buy,” emphasized Oliver Co, project manager for WeSellIT.ph. The four featured Microsoft products on WeSellIT.ph include Office Professional 2019, Office Home & Business 2019, Office 365 Business Premium and Windows 10 Professional. Office Professional 2019 for Windows is a one-time-purchase-for-onedevice package that features premium

versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Access and Publisher. Office Home & Business 2019 also includes these baseline apps, and is good for use for 1 PC or Mac device. Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium membership offers special business services apps such as Exchange, Skype for Business, Teams & SharePoint. This package is ideal for agile businesses that run daily operations on multiple devices. Both Office Home & Business 2019 and Office 365 Business Premium come with 1TB OneDrive cloud storage, and chat and phone support from Microsoft-trained experts. Windows 10 Professional offers enterprise grade security, powerful management tools such as single sign on, and enhanced productivity with remote desktop and Cortana. Windows Professional 10 highlights InstantGo1 lets you boot up and resume work quickly, and Microsoft Edge, the all-new browser that lets you type directly on webpages and share your markups with others. The latest Microsoft Office suites come with Inking technology, which allows users to take notes, navigate, draw, doodle and edit with a digital pen. Ink-

ing is especially handy when editing Word docs, designing PowerPoint slides, or doing computations on the go and lets users work efficiently without a keyboard. Another helpful upgrade for entrepreneurs is PowerPoint Designer, which speeds up the time to develop new presentations. When users can insert an image, they are presented with multiple layout options that incorporate the image. This new feature also works with charts and graphs as well. “We at WeSellIT.ph are proud to have been chosen by Microsoft to deliver this novel technology solution to SMBs in the country and with these technologies, help push their productivity and business growth,” Co declared. To access Microsoft products through www.WeSellIT.ph, entrepreneurs need to create an account and follow an add-to-cart system. Payments can be made through Visa, MasterCard, BancNet and other credit card facilities. All orders are served by WeSellIT.ph’s accredited resellers such as CIM Technologies Inc., DLP Enterprises, Maximum Solutions Corporation, Nexus Technologies Inc., Silicon Valley and YipeeYey.

With this Microsoft deal, WeSellIT.ph helps push productivity and business growth of SMBs.


Destinations D1

sunday, december 16, 2018

Bernadette Lunas, Issue Editor

manilastandardlife@gmail.com

@manilastandardlife

@MStandardLIFE

RevisiTinG Cotabato City sTUnninG siGHT. the Sultan Haj Hassanal Bolkiah Mosque, also known as the Grand Mosque of Cotabato, is the largest mosque in the Philippines.

By Ayunan G. Gunting

A

LARGE “Cotabato City” sign in white letters greets visitors passing the intersection of Sinsuat and Notre Dame Avenues. And on a bright sunny day, the colorful houses and buildings behind it evoke a feeling of hope and progress.

this beautification project, inspired by the colorful mural painted on the hillside residences in Barangay Balili in La trinidad, Benguet, was initiated by the city government under Mayor France Cynthia Guani and the Department of tourism Region 12 starting January this year. the design consists of guinakit (Muslim bancas), gongs, and crabs to symbolize the city’s culture and resources, and spreads out to the series of structures at this side of Pedro Colina Hill.

seventh ruler, contributing greatly to its expansion. It encompassed a vast area in Mindanao stretching from what is now Zamboanga to Davao, and Sarangani in the south and up to the province of Misamis under his sphere of influence.

the eruption of Makaturing Volcano in the 18th century, in what is now Lanao del Sur, signaled the weakening of the Maguindanao Sultanate, with the way of life of the inhabitants from Lanao Lake down to Yllana Bay threatened. It eventually collapsed at the end of Spanish colonization. When the Americans came, the Chinese mestizo Datu Piang was made governor of what was then called Moroland, the Empire Province of Cotabato. From 1920 until 1967, it was the provincial capital. It became the administrative center of Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao when Maguindanao became a separate province in

The city’s history

Muslim traders in the early 16th century brought Islam from Sulu and converted many tribal inhabitants in this river delta, where the Rio Grande de Mindanao (Pulangi River) and tamontaka River empties into Yllana Bay. those who refused conversion transferred to the surrounding mountains with the formal establishment of the Sultanate of Maguindanao, and Kota Watu became the capital. For the next 200 years, the sultanate thrived with Sultan Dipatuan Kudarat, the

1973. Since the ‘90s, Cotabato City is part of the SocSarGen region.

A thriving economic center

Cotabato City is known for its thousand hectares of fish ponds producing mud crabs, milkfish, and prawn. It has several industries ranging from manufacturing (furniture) to production (food and food processing). A ride from Awang Airport to the city center used to be a pleasant but short trip. Now, traffic builds up at the intersection of Sinsuat and Gov. Gutierrez Avenues where several commercial establishments, malls, and restaurants are present. In its bid to become a major halal food manufacturing hub in the region, a Class AA slaughter house, the only one in Mindanao, was built in Barangay Kalanganan II. to support this bid, a new seaport is being developed at the foot of timako Hill along the shores of Yllana Bay. If re-elected, Mayor Guaini said she will still prioritize peace and order so that more investments will come in. “In that way, I will be generating more jobs for my people.”

The flavors of Cotabato

the colorful houses and structures atop Pedro Colina Hill serve as the backdrop for the sign spelling out the city.

the food scene in Cotabato is lively and varied. With the influx of national brand malls, comes other national restaurant and fast food franchises. But the local food scene is alive and strong. Turn to D2

Bringing life to a ghostly site Not too long ago, I received an invitation to an Arts Festival in Baguio. Having a lot of time in my hands, thanks to my recent retirement from the academe, I immediately accepted the invitation. Since this Baguio trip was for something I haven’t done before in the City of Pines, naturally, I got excited. of course, I chose to stay at the Manor, as I wanted to be assured of a very relaxing respite from my harried life in the lowlands. on the festival’s opening day, I made sure I’d find the venue right away, as I was told it was quite a distance from the hotel. When I asked the hotel’s concierge for specific directions, I almost fell to the floor when I found out where the event was going to take place. the invitation named the venue as “Dominican Hill and Retreat House” but the concierge explained to me that it is actually the former Diplomat Hotel which, I know, has been featured countless times on tV as a site that is brimming with the paranormal. they showed on tV apparitions of a lady in white, a headless

mercury rising By BoB zozoBrado

soldier, a little boy running all over the place and crying for his mother, etc. of course, it scared the wits out of me With all that on my mind, I wanted to back out of my acceptance of the invitation but, since I was already in Baguio for that purpose, I decided to attend the event. After all, I was sure there would be hordes of guests to keep me company. So there I was, in the chilling and eerie environs of the former Diplomat Hotel, with nary a tinge of fear in me, as I was part of a big crowd celebrating Baguio’s designation by UNESCo as one of the world’s “Creative Cities.”

the ENtACool week-long festival, which the city plans to host yearly, is expected to draw as many tourists as the very popular Panagbenga Flower Festival. My friends from the tourism Promotions Board explained to me that “Enta” is taken from the word “entaku,” which means “let’s go and participate.” “Cool,” of course, refers to the city’s climate. At the venue, the University of Baguio and the University of the Cordilleras presented some entertainment numbers before the Welcome Remarks of Mayor Mauricio Domogan. Messages were also delivered by Baguio Congressman Mark Go, Philippine National Commission for UNESCo secretary general Lila Ramos Shahani, and Baguio Arts and Crafts Collective, Inc. chairperson Adelaida Lim. the festival logo was later unveiled and projected on the walls of the hotel, definitely giving life to a venue that is known by all to be a haunting ground of the dead. the aforementioned VIPs, including my friends, tourism Promotions Board Turn to D2

the once-eerie former Diplomat Hotel has been dramatically transformed into an attractive party venue.


destinations

D2

sunday, december 16, 2018 manilastandardlife@gmail.com

bringing...

From D1

‘tis the season to 'b' jolly

a masterpiece on canvas guarded by a cordillera native.

chief operating officer marie Venus Tan and cultural center of the Philippines chairman margie moran Floirendo, were later gathered together to toast to this landmark event, and to officially cut the ceremonial ribbon. Of course, I wasted no time in going inside the run-down hotel which has been spruced up for the occasion. Inside were beautiful paintings and art installations by various baguio artists, certainly giving justice to the city’s new tag as one of the 180 unescO creative cities in the world. according to unescO, creative cities commit to develop and exchange innovative best practices to promote creative industries, strengthen participation in cultural life, and integrate culture into sustainable urban development policies.

YOUR weekend CHUCkLe Husband 1: Why doesn’t our democratic society permit a man to have two wives? Husband 2: because our laws protect us against cruel and unusual punishment.

according to mayor domogan, the week-long festival also puts the spotlight on the products and services offered by baguio city’s craftsmen, something that has not really been given much recognition in the past. The city even created a website designed to be the platform in promoting the city’s budding artists to the rest of the country and of the world. This focus on the city’s unique culture is certainly a most laudable move, taking into consideration its increasing population of goldsmiths, sculptors, woodcarvers, weavers, and basket-makers. Kudos to the TPb for making this event possible...and for giving the once-chilling and derelict diplomat Hotel a new lease of life as a venue for art exhibits, and other happy and celebratory events.

STAYCATION IN THE SOUTH. b Hotel alabang, located in muntinlupa city, offers a promo perfect for families and friends looking to stay for three days and two nights in a cozy hotel.

T

He bellevue Hotels & resorts’ business hotel brands b Hotel alabang and b Hotel Quezon city offer yuletide surprises to make families feel at home away from home.

Families and friends staying in the south can spend a three-day, two-night stay in b Hotel alabang’s standard room with its Holi-deal promo for P7,777nett from Fridays through mondays ongoing until dec. 20. The promotion is inclusive of daily breakfast for two, P500 worth of credits at Prime café, and a special holiday treat. meanwhile, the Qc property offers stay with b promo valid until dec. 30, inclusive of breakfast for two, and 20 percent discount at Lobby café, Pastry corner, and Johnny’s steak and Grill (with minimum purchase of P1,000). b Hotel alabang celebrates the season with a unique voice-activated christmas tree lighting ceremony. christmas trees at bellevue’s other properties simultaneously lit up as The bellevue manila managing director Patrick chan commanded his virtual assistant, “Light up the trees!” chan said this year’s christmas tree lighting tradition is full of new and delightful surprises,

For feedback, I’m at bobzozobrado@gmail.com.

er limited. Foremost, perhaps is the stunning sultan Haji Hassanal bolkiah mosque in barangay Kalanganan II. Financed by the bruneian sultan, it is the largest mosque First and foremost, maguindanaoan in the Philippines and is also known as the food is almost everywhere. The tasty pas- Grand mosque of cotabato. til, rice topped with shredded chicken adobo then rolled inside a sheet of banana leaf, makes for a good introduction. The kalintubo is sublime: chunky chicken adobo on top of rice then wrapped with banana leaves with a portion of the meat peeking out on top. It’s a popular breakfast, lunch, and dinner fare. desserts, meanwhile, come in the form of dodol, a softer version of the maranao dudul (known as calamay in other parts of the Philippines). It is a sweet and sticky treat often packaged inside folded banana leaf squares. Tinagtag, made from rice flour and sugar is another popular dessert in the city. cotabato city has a number of local restaurants and cafés. For starters, the barbecue joints, especially lively at night near the rizal Park in sinsuat ave., is a must for the budget conscious, what with several grilled meats from various vendors lining the road. babo Katips in Tamontaka is popular for its fried hito (catfish). Hala bira Halal Food along Jose The Old cotabato city Hall museum is a Lim st. for its papaitan and bulalo. repository of the city’s history and culture with its interesting maguindanao-inspired Going around the city although rich in culture and history, the architecture designed by national artist for tourist attractions in cotabato city are rath- architecture Juan arellano in the 1940s. On

revisiting... From D1

in line with the hotel group’s environmental milestones this year. The group also announced its partnership with the World Wide Fund for nature Philippines for the ayoko ng Plastik and Just One campaigns, as the donation box was turned over to WWF Philippines president and chief executive Jose angelito Palma. The campaigns aim to reduce the singleuse plastics in the hotels to help protect the environment. because of its environment-friendly initiatives, The bellevue resort—bohol has a received number of accolades including asean Green Hotel award for 2018-2020, asean mIce Venue award for 2018-2020, Tripadvisor 2018 Top 10 Hotels for Value for money, 2018 Top 25 Hotels in the Philippines, and 2018 Top 25 Hotels for service. Visit www.thebellevue.com or call B Hotel Quezon City at (02) 990-5000 or B Hotel Alabang at (02) 828-8181 for more information. –Mae Gianina Pascual

b Hotel alabang's christmas 'Light up Tree.'

some of b Hotel alabang and b Hotel Quezon city's sumptuous dishes perfect for christmas feasts.

display are the different tribal weaves with samples of the different cloths. There are also archival images of the city and those taken after the earthquake in 1976. The church of the Immaculate concepcion in Tamontaka, or simply,

The original structure was damaged in an earthquake (1976) and got burned in 1994 but was rebuilt in the same year. The People’s Palace, a mix of neo-classic and muslim motifs, with its imposing architecture is a sight to look at! The People's Palace is an imposing architecture that features a mix of neo-classic and muslim motifs.

beautiful architecture has a series of arcades around the structure with muslim motifs especially in the roof. The area is where the Pakarajaan Festival is usually held from april to december. One of only two high elevations in cotabato city, Pedro colina Hill or Pc Hill has a network of underground caves under it. although its possible to visit, the caves are currently being rehabilitated. The sinsuat avenue side of the hill is becoming a point of interest because of the aforementioned colorful houses and structures. also, at the foothill is Tantawan Park where a golden colored sculpture of sultan Kudarat is erected. One can also have a short and cheap massage here.

Where to stay

Tamontaka church was the center of Jesuit evangelization in the late 19th century, and the original structure was built in 1872 along the banks of the Tamontaka river. The edifice has a simple façade.

al nor Hotel and convention center is perhaps the best one in cotabato city right now. It’s along sinsuat ave. within the alnor commercial center. em manor Hotel and convention center is another good alternative. Philippine airlines and cebu Pacific services cotabato city from manila (both airlines), cebu and Zamboanga city (cebu Pacific). Within mindanao, there’s a good network of buses and van transport that can readily connect The Office of the regional Governor visitors to anywhere in the island be it complex, located at the end of Gov. Zamboanga city, cagayan de Oro city, Gutierrez ave. is the administrative com- Gensan, or davao city. pound of the armm within the 32-hectare area. The central building, with its Photos by Estan Cabigas


LizQuen

By Eton Concepcion

T

HE moment of truth has finally arrived for the country’s bet Catriona Gray at the 67th Miss Universe pageant in Bangkok, Thailand. 

Gray is coming into the finals brimming with confidence and determination to bring back the crown since 2015’s title-conquest of Pia Wurtzbach.  As expected, Gray rocked the stage in the preliminary competition in swimsuit and evening gown, and in the national costume show where she paraded in ‘Pintados’ bodysuit and a huge ‘parol’ back piece symbolizing Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, designed by Jearson Dimavivas, Jojo Bragais, and Carlos Buendia.  Gray has consistently stood out in the preliminary events leading to the finals to be held at Impact, Muang Thong Thani in Bangkok, tomorrow at  8 a.m. (Manila Time).  After the preliminary competition where the girls sashayed the Miss Universe stage in their swimsuit ad long gown, we are listing down the girls who are big contenders to the crown:

MayWard

BIGGEST KAPAMILYA STARS GATHER IN CHRISTMAS SPECIAL

1. Miss Philippines Catriona Gray is a 24-year-old FilAustralian model and singer. Tipped to be the strongest candidate in this year’s edition of Miss Universe, Catriona is also the most popular, most followed and most guarded contestant among the more than 90 delegates. 2. Miss South Africa Tamaryn  Green is 23 years old. She attended New Orleans Secondary School in Paarl. The towering dusky beauty is a medical student at the University of Cape Town. 3. Miss Puerto Rico  Kiara Ortega  is a 25-year-old social worker/volunteer. She works for an organization named Centro Inés which provides different educational, recreational and support services for children and seniors to help develop a sense of independence, creativity, and mastery of skills. 4. Miss Colombia  Valeria Morales  is a 20-year-old communications student at Broward University (USA). Given her excellent skills on the runway, Valeria is an owner of a fashion academy back in her hometown. 5. Miss Australia  Francessa Hung  is 24 years old. She has a Hong Kong-Australian father and an Irish-Australian mother. She is a professional model and studying for a Masters in Publishing after completing an undergraduate degree in Arts and Sociology. 6. Miss Venezuela Stephany Gutierrez is one of the youngest delegates at 19 years old. She is a law student at Santa María University located in the  northeastern region of her country. 7. Miss Viet Nam H’Hen Nie is a 26-yearold Business Finance graduate. She used to work on a coffee farm to assist her family’s living when she was young.  8. Miss Canada Marta  Magdalena Stepein, 24, is a student of Biomedical Engineering Technology at St. Clair College and is an applied researcher. She speaks French, Polish, German and English. She is also a professional model. 9. Miss Japan  Yuumi Kato  is 22 years old.

She studied Japanese traditional culture and tea servings. She speaks in Japanese, Chinese, English and Malay languages. Kato works as model, actress and reporter. 10. Miss USA Sarah Rose Summers, 24 years old, is child specialist and cum laude graduate in child development and strategic communication, with a minor degree in business. Summers worked as a certified child life specialist prior to becoming Miss USA. Photo credit: Vogue Thailand Instagram

THE biggest gathering of Kapamilya stars led by Primetime King Coco Martin,  Vice Ganda, Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez, and Kapamilya love teams, lights up TV screens this weekend with its explosive performances as the  Family is Love: The 2018 Christmas Concert  airs on ABSCBN  The first part aired last night after MMK and the second part is telecast tonight after PBB Otso. Coco and  Edu Manzano  throw a must-watch dance showdown with the rest of the  FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano  family, which also gave a lively dance-tribute to the great hits of OPM.  Yen Santos,  Sam Milby, and Yam Concepcion of Halik joined the performance of primetime  teleseryes, along with the cast of upcoming show  The General’s Daughter, led by  Angel Locsin, who was flanked by Paulo Avelino and JC de Vera. Watch out for box office Kapamilya love teams like  Kathryn Bernardo  and  Daniel Padilla,  Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil, and Nadine Lustre  and  James Reid. Also in on the fun are popular tandems such as  Vivoree Esclito  and  CK Carreon, Loisa Andalio and Ronnie Alonte, Kisses Delavin and Donny Pangilinan, Maymay Entrata and Edward Barber, and Julia Barretto and Joshua Garcia. Viewers can also check out the dance showcase of the men of  Los Bastardos  with the hottest rising young actors and actresses of the network.  The cast of 2018 Metro Manila Film Festival movie, Fantastica also joined the festivities. They were led by Richard Gutierrez and Vice Ganda, who also recapped the trending topics of 2018 with  Juliana Parizcova Segovia and Chokoleit.  Meanwhile, world-class Kapamilya singers, led by Regine,  Gary V,  Martin Nievera, Ogie Alcasid, and Sarah Geronimo, gave rousing performances that should not be missed.

GMA CELEBRATES YULETIDE SEASON WITH ‘IPADAMA AND PUSO NG PASKO‘ TODAY (Dec. 16), GMA Network proudly presents an extraordinary holiday offering to its loyal Kapuso viewers via its Christmas spectacle entitled Ipadama ang Puso ng Pasko: The GMA Christmas Special. Showcasing a glamorous assembly of GMA’s constellation of stars in one stage, the TV extravaganza will define the real meaning of Christmas with loads of superior entertainment and fun performances. Join  Jennylyn Mercado, Lovi Poe, Solenn Heussaff, Tom Rodriguez and Alden Richards in a night full of song and dance numbers. Featuring in the Christmas offering are Kapuso stars  Glaiza de Castro, Gabbi Garcia, Sanya Lopez, Andrea Torres, Winwyn Marquez, Mark Herras, Rayver Cruz, Rodjun Cruz, Sef Cadayona, Ruru Madrid, Derrick Monasterio, with celebrity momsKylie Padilla, Katrina Halili, Yasmien Kurdi and Manilyn Reynes. Viewers should also watch out for Kapuso talented stars Barbie Forteza, Jak Roberto, Miguel Tanfelix, Bianca Umali, Kristoffer Martin, Joyce Ching, Kyline Alcantara, Migo Adecer, Kate Valdez, Mikee Quintos, Paul Salas, Mika dela Cruz, Arra San

Tom Rodriguez, Alden Richards, Ai Ai delas Alas, Michael V. and Eugene Domingo

Agustin and Ken Chan. Kapuso singers  Christian Bautista, Julie Anne San Jose, Mark Bautista, Maricris Garcia, Hannah Prescillas,  The Clash  champion  Golden Cañedo  together with The Clash graduates  Garrett Bolden, Josh Adornado, Mirriam Manalo, Anthony Rosaldo, Kyryll Ugdiman, Lyra Micolob, Esterlina Olmedo, Danielle Ozaraga, Mika Gorospe,

Melbelline Caluag join forces in one stage for a worldclass performance. Aside from this, Comedy Concert Queen  Aiai Delas  Alas, award-winning comedian and Dear Uge host  Eugene Domingo  and Kapuso comedy genius  Michael V.  entertain everyone with their comedy stints together with GMA’s highly-talented comedians and performers. Kapuso Primetime Queen Marian Rivera and Cain at Abel’s lead stars  Dingdong Dantes  and  Dennis Trillo deliver inspiring holiday messages together with the cast of Eat Bulaga, Daig Kayo Ng Lola Ko, Daddy’s Gurl, Sunday PinaSaya, iBilib, and Unang Hirit, to name a few. GMA News pillars  Mel Tiangco, Mike Enriquez, Vicky Morales, Arnold Clavio, Howie Severino,  and  Jessica Soho  send everyone joyous yuletide greetings. Viewers will also witness heart-warming stories of individuals who underwent extraordinary hardships in life. Ipadama ang  Puso ng Pasko: The GMA Christmas Special airs tonight at 9:00 on GMA Network. 

KathNiel

DonKiss


D4

sunday, december 16, 2018

Desiree Carlos, Editor

CuenCo:

H

e is one of many stray dogs whose pitiful condition will break any animal lover’s heart.

He was dirty and it was cut, probably pet tales skin and bones due to in an accident. There By desiree carlos living on the streets were days when on his own. Worse, he he tried using his was dragging himself hind legs. The kind along a busy street where dogs can be vet sent a used wheelchair for free but it ran over by a vehicle anytime. didn't fit him so we sent it back so another Dr. Richard Rotor reported seeing dog may use it. i recently called Tahanang Cuenco along Cuenco street, Banawe, Walang Hagdan for a home visit for his exQuezon City last August 29 to Dr. Mark act measurements, “ Anne shared. Ramirez, husband of animal welfare adToday, Cuenco lives with Anne and vocate Anne Gabutina-Ramirez. her family. “My plan to just give this poor pup “Finding a dog house for pets with some food and water turned into a disabilities where they can slide in rescue mission. Thanks to the moral and out wasn't as easy as we thought support of my loving husband, Mark! though,” Anne said. seeing this disabled dog in such a vulMark, an anesthesiologist, decided to nerable state broke my heart. i franti- saw off the door of the pet carrier to cally looked for a cage, took Cuenco off turn it into a dog house for Cuenco. This that busy street and brought him di- was placed under a big roof in the yard. rectly to Pet Bureau for consultation, xAnne recalled: “When Cuenco saw ray, deworming, anti tick and fleas, and his house, i almost felt him saying, a much- needed bath,” said Anne, 49. ‘Thanks, Dad!’" Anne is grateful to Dr. Jerry Howson The floor was also tiled outside the and his staff “who were all so accom- house to fit his special need, so that he modating considering how smelly and won’t get injured when he drags himself. dirty he was.” “i want him to feel loved and my wish is The x-ray showed no fractures. for him to walk again so he can live a nor"They suspect baka sobrang malnour- mal life. i see him looking out from his dog ished, or genetics, or may nerve dam- house in the morning as if singing, ‘What age due to trauma but no fracture per a wonderful world!’” Anne said. xray," Anne said. Cuenco was supposed to be put up for Cuenco was given oral and topical adoption when he is completely well. meds for 15 days and massage therapy. But, Anne said, “i have fallen in love Anne describes Cuenco as a very with this sweet, appreciative baby boy sweet dog who does not complain one and he'll be needing more attention now bit when handled. more than ever. We will continue his mas“You just can't tell if he's happy or not sage therapy. He is no longer up for adopbecause he has no chance to wag his tail. tion. We are keeping him for good!” Anne, Mark and daughter Chloe decided to adopt Cuenco. Anne, who got her love for pets from her father Oscar Gabutina and has been helping in rescues of animals in need for two years now, wishes that someday soon, Cuenco can join family trips to the beach.

daycarlos28@yahoo.com

Cuenco when he was rescued.

A strAy dog’s

resCue And heAling

Pets My Furry Bestie THis corner features pets of animal lovers every week. We hope new owners and those thinking of getting a pet will be encouraged to be responsible “furparents” through these features. We also hope more people will be moved to be kind to animals when they read about the great relationship that can be created between humans and animals. For contributions, please email to daycarlos28@yahoo.com and put My Furry Bestie as subject.

Cuenco finally sleeps, knowing he is already safe. The most heartwarming but also heartbreaking sight is to see a fearful dog finally go to sleep and take a muchneeded rest without fear of being hurt.

Cuenco loves his dog house which his new furdad Mark made for him.

Cuenco can not wag a tail because this was probably cut off in an accident. But he shows he trusts his furmom Anne by following her around. He hardly barks but look, there is a hint of a smile on his face now.

Cuenco loves roaming freely in the family yard and being massaged and touched.

PeACH was given to Kiana de Dios as a gift when her mom left for the United states. “Peach is my seven-year-old furbaby. Peach loves to eat rice with any viand. she loves to cuddle and play with my Mom. she loves to watch people and sleep on her back. sleeping is her past time, “ Kiana says. Kiana adds: “Peach loves us so much and protects us from the bad guys. We love her so much!”

MiCHeLLe is a two-year-old male furball of a cat. “Yes, a male! My dad fell in love with her and asked ‘Michelle’ from the owner of a bike store in Quiapo. Fondly called by such name, he never failed to respond to that name. so from then on, we didn't bother changing it,” owner Grace Bautista Vasquez says. Grace adds: “When my Dad died, i was the one who continued taking care of him.” “He loves to snuggle and asks for ‘scratch’ on the head and eventually falls asleep on my lap. He eats almost anything—from cat food to chicken and fish. Michelle also loves his freedom to roam around the house and neighborhood,” Grace says. “i love him very much. Anyone who messes with my furball, messes with me! “ adds Grace.

A ChristMAs treAt reCipe CHRisTMAs is just a few days away. For our dogs to have a noche buena as well, here is a healthy, natural treat recipe.

Rosemary meatballs Ingredients: • Lean ground pork or beef-1 kilo • Rosemary leaves—fresh leaves or dried leaves (half a teaspoon) • Pumpkin or sweet potato or both (grated)— the amount depends on how many meatballs you want to make. • Apple cider vinegar—half a teaspoon • Cornstarch • Bread crumbs

save ALL admin Niko Gabriel salgado and caretakers prepare rosemary meat balls for dogs.

This rosemary meatball is so yummy for doggies.

3. Once the meat is cooked, switch off the stove, then put the grated pumpkin or sweet What to do: potato. The grated vegetable will get cooked 1. Boil the ground meat. 2. When the meat is almost cooked, put the due to the heat. 4. strain the meat and veggies. (Please keep rosemary leaves.

the broth to give to your babies as a treat too.) 5. Make balls out of the mixture. 6. Roll on the corn starch to keep meat and veggies together. 7. Roll on some bread crumbs. 8. Put in the oven toaster for a few minutes just to make the bread crumbs stick to the meatball. 9. Put in the freezer if you will not give to your pet yet. 10. Prior to giving to your dog, put in the oven toaster to heat the meat ball. DO NOT PUT iN THe MiCROWAVe. it will become soggy. 11. if you have more meatballs, you can serve it in another way by mixing the broth. Rosemary helps dogs fight off allergies and makes the fur shiny. Apple cider vinegar “melts” or “kills” the bad cholesterol in the meat, and "melts" the fat that may have accumulated near or around the heart. DC

Manila Standard - 2018 December 16 - Sunday  

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

Manila Standard - 2018 December 16 - Sunday  

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