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VOL. XXXIII • NO. 32 • 3 SECTIONS 16 PAGES • P18 • THURSDAY, MARCH 14, 2019 • •

TO THE RESCUE. While Manila Water consumers in the country’s metropolis are experiencing hours interruption in their water service, with thousands of households experiencing little or no water, Air Force authorities have said they are ready to assist Agriculture officials in the latter’s cloud seeding efforts at mitigating effects of water shortage in many areas while the Philippine Red Cross has fielded six water tankers to attend to hospital needs.

Water supply woes worsen

Solons told to end budget impasse for PH sake Manila Water sets service cuts; PRC deploys tankers to hospitals

By Nat Mariano, Julito G. Rada, Macon Ramos-Araneta and Maricel V. Cruz

A MEETING Tuesday night at the Palace failed to break a budget impasse between the Senate and the House of Representatives, sparking an appeal from the executive department for Congress to settle their differences and pass an appropriations law that would better the lives of

Filipinos. Senate President Vicente Sotto III said that on Tuesday night, President Rodrigo Duterte had told him he would not sign a bill that the senator did not. Sotto said it seemed that the House “appeared to have acquiesced” to Senator Panfilo Lacson’s proposal to revert to the ratified version of the budget bill, but said there was no confirmation of this. Next page

House to Senate: Why scrap scholars’ funding? MILLIONS of scholars are in danger of losing their scholarships if the Senate would insist on keeping the lump sum appropriations it wants to keep in the 2019 budget. This was revealed today by House Deputy Speaker Dante Marcoleta who said that while the Senate is accusing

them of making realignments in the budget after ratification, it is the Senate that should be asked where it put multi-billon projects of President Rodrigo Duterte. In a press conference, Marcoleta said the Senate had realigned P74 billion in the budget by removing key government programs of the Duterte adminis-

tration including removing the funding allocation for the National Greening Program, TESDA scholarships, right of way projects of the DPWH and other foreign assisted projects. “Actually, you should ask the Senate. For example, out of the P74 billion that Next page

By Nat Mariano and Macon Ramos-Araneta


ANILA Water said Wednesday its customers will continue to experience six- to 20-hour service interruptions as the water level in La Mesa Dam continues to drop. “Some areas will experience up to 20 hours a day without water,” Dittie Galang, a spokesperson for Manila Water, said in Filipino on radio dzMM. “They will have water for only four hours, but we can guarantee that within those four hours, they will have water coming through their faucets.” “Most of our barangays will experience 10 to 11 hours of water service in-

terruption, but some will have no water for only six hours.” Galang said the water concessionaire is working on a scheme that would have scheduled service interruptions spread out over the entire east zone of Metro Manila. Some 52,000 households in Manila Water’s east zone have had little or no water for the last week, with interruptions occurring unannounced. Next page

Bangsamoro TC chief passes away

Rebellion raps vs. Marawi dad

By Nash B. Maulana

MARAWI City Vice Mayor Arafat Salic was arrested yesterday on rebellion charges in connection with the 2017 siege. “Salic is included in the Office of the Martial Law Administrator Arrest Order dated Sept. 4, 2017 for rebellion case,” said Col. Romeo Brawner, commander of the 103rd Infantry Brigade. His brother, former Marawi Mayor Fajad Salic, was also nabbed in 2017 for rebellion in line with the arrest order issued by Defense Secretary and martial law administrator Delfin Lorenzana. The vice mayor was arrested at the Marawi City Hall. He underwent custodial debriefing and medical check-up before he was turned over to the Philippine National Police.

COTABATO CITY—He was preparing to lead the newly minted Bangsamoro government, but Ghazali Jaafar spent most of his life as a revolutionary. That life came to an end early Wednesday at a hospital in Davao City, weeks after he underwent a heart bypass operation. His body was buried after the noon Muslim prayer at his farm in Pigcalagan, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao. fro Observers had noticed that Jaafar, vice chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, seemed pale and weak during the recent plebiscites to ratify the Bangsamoro Organic Law on Jan. 22 and Feb. 6, which paved the way for the creation of a Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Veteran broadcast journalist Melo Acuna and wife Jonah Acuna fondly remember Jaafar as being thoughtful to friends, occasionally sending them the spicy palapa, pulverized chilly fried in grated coconut meat. Next page

SUSPECTS’ SHADOWS. Law enforcement authorities are closing in on three suspects tagged in the monstrous murder Monday of 16-year-old church collector Christine Lee Silawan of Lapu Lapu City, while local government officials and police have offered P1.6 million in exchange for information on the identity and whereabouts of the teener’s killers.

P1.6-m bounty up on arrest of Cebu girl’s killer CEBU CITY―A P1.6-million cash reward awaits anyone who can give information that will lead to the arrest of the killers of 16-year-old church collector Christine Lee Silawan. President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday evening expressed outrage over the gruesome murder. “These sons of whores killed someone

and skinned her face,” the President said, stressing his “revulsion” over the murder, which has triggered calls for the restoration of the death penalty. Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza on Wednesday offered P1 million in exchange for information on the identity and whereabouts of Silawan’s killers. • Silawan died of multiple stab wounds,

and experts later found that several of her internal organs were missing. • The Justice department on Wednesday ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to help solve Silawan’s murder. “We’ll let the local police take the lead. If they have difficulties, I’ll ask the NBI to come in,” Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra told reporters. Next page

Vice Mayor Arafat Salic

Vienna best city in quality survey

Lechon among 100 best dishes

PARIS—Vienna has been named the city with the best quality of life for a 10th consecutive year in a survey published Wednesday. The Austrian capital was one of

ROASTED suckling pig or lechon, deep-fried pork trotters or knuckles and kare kare, with a thick savory peanut sauce, have been identified in Taste Atlas’ 2019 list of 100 best Next page dishes worldwide.

Next page

Cardinal gets six-year jail sentence for sexual abuse NEWS A2




Misuari must face raps—Sandigan By Maricel V. Cruz


HE Sandiganbayan has rejected the motion to dismiss the graft charges against Moro National Liberation Front founding chairman Nur Misuari over the alleged irregularities in the purchase of P77.26 million worth of “ghost textbooks” when he was governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

In a resolution dated March 8, the anti-graft court’s Third Division found probable cause against Misuari and ruled to proceed with the trial of Misuari on two counts each of graft and misuse of public funds. “The court must stress that a comprehensive consideration of the merits

of the prosecution’s evidence and the defense’s arguments, as to the alleged weakness thereof, is premature at this point and better left to trial on the merits,” the Sandiganbayan said. Misuari is accused of graft and misuse of funds for allegedly conspiring with his co-accused to give “unwar-

ranted benefits, advantage and privilege” to three private companies. The Ombudsman found that “no such materials were delivered” by MBJ Learning Tools, CPR Publishing, and White Orchids Printing and Publishing House. But Misuari claims he could not be held liable for a transaction that pushed through when he was no longer ARMM governor. Misuari said the payments to CPR Publishing took place in July 2004, MBJ Learning in December 2003, and to White Orchids in July 2004 and September 2005, all of which were covered by the incumbency of former ARMM

governor Parouk Hussin. Misuari said his term ended on Sept. 30, 2001, and that the issue of conspiracy was “non-existent.” He said he was detained in Malaysia from December 2001 to January 2002 and for six years in the Philippines from 2002 to 2008. He said he was detained at the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force Training Center in Santa. Rosa, Laguna, when the three private companies were paid. Late last month, the Sandiganbayan’s Third Division entered a not-guilty plea on behalf of Misuari after he refused to enter a plea during his arraignment.

Rappler execs Cardinal gets 6-year prison term for sexual abuse face another criminal case By Rey E. Requejo AFTER being indicted for tax evasion and cyber libel, the executives of the online news outfit Rappler could be facing another criminal case: violating the Philippines’ anti-dummy laws. This came after the Pasig City prosecutor’s office concluded its preliminary investigation on the complaint filed by the National Bureau of Investigation against Rappler last year. Justice department officials said the case had been submitted for resolution. But the details of the case were not made available so as not to preempt the coming decision of the investigating prosecutor whether to dismiss the NBI complaint or file a case in court. The department had ordered the NBI to investigate the possible violations of Commonwealth Act No. 108, or the Anti-Dummy Law, after the foreign ownership of Rappler was discovered. That law prohibits foreigners from intervening in any “nationalized activity” such as the operation of a media company, which should have 100-percent Filipino control under the 1987 Constitution. Violators could face imprisonment for five to 15 years.

Solons... From A1

House leaders on Wednesday did not address the events of Tuesday’s meeting, but reverted to attacking the Senate and Lacson again. “The President wanted to resolve the impasse. He opened the dialogue by saying he will not sign the budget if I do not sign it,” Sotto told reporters in a group message. “After some words from both sides, Senator Lacson suggested that the House recall the enrolled copy they sent and revert back to the bicam report that both houses approved. The President and members of the executive department concurred,” Sotto added. Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said the President asked lawmakers to pass the budget “so that the programs of government can continue.” Zubiri said the Senate proposal was just to pass the ratified version of the 2019 budget, while the House insisted on the line-by-line itemization and not lump sum appropriations. “We still met while the President had left but there’s still no consensus, unfortunately,” Zubiri said. Present during the meeting were Senate finance committee chairperson Loren Legarda, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, and Senator Gregorio Honasan.

Vienna... From A1

eight European cities in the top 10 in the survey by Mercer, a human-resources consultancy. In second place was Zurich, followed in joint third place by Munich, Vancouver and Auckland, New Zealand. Duesseldorf in Germany took sixthfollowed by Frankfurt, Copenhagen, Geneva and Basel. London was ranked 41st and Paris was 39th, although the study, carried out between September and November 2018, did not take into account France’s ‘yellow vest’ anti-government protests. The survey, designed as a tool to help international organizations determine salary levels for expatriate employees, is based on 39 criteria. AFP

MELBOURNE—Disgraced Australian Cardinal George Pell was on Wednesday sentenced to six years in prison for the “brazen” sexual abuse of two choirboys, in what the judge lambasted as a “grave” abuse of power. The former Vatican number three— who managed church finances and helped elect two popes—was sentenced in a Melbourne court on five counts, including oral rape and molestation of boys in 1996-1997. Judge Peter Kidd, his remarks broad-

cast live on television, said the 77-yearold was guilty of “appalling offending” and “breathtakingly arrogant” attacks that took advantage of his position of authority over the boys, then aged 13. Kidd said the cardinal, with his “significant history of cardiac problems,” would be eligible for parole in late 2022, but acknowledged he “may not live to be released from prison.” Wearing a black shirt without his usual white clerical collar, Pell sat largely impassively, hands interlaced on

his lap, as Kidd graphically described his “brazen and forceful sexual attack on the two victims.” He stood as a sentence well short of the maximum 50 years was set by Kidd, who cited Pell’s “otherwise blameless life.” “You have effectively reformed,” Kidd said, noting the 22 years since the abuse. “You are not a risk to the community.” Pell signed the sex offenders’ register before leaving the court in handcuffs for an undetermined facility. AFP


was delayed by problems in the contractor’s design. At the Palace, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said an executive order would “address the fragmentation in the water sector by providing the framework for an integrated and coordinated effort in planning and implementing the programs and projects to address all issues in the water sector.” “The Duterte administration knows that these issues have to be addressed and we know the fundamental challenges involved. Our priority now is to provide the President with a way to resolve these issues, and we should be threshing out the details in the next few days,” Nograles said. “The components include water supply, sewerage, and sanitation, irrigation, flood management, watershed management, financing, policy formulation, and coordination. Obviously, we need a whole-of-government approach to water, and that is on the agenda in the next CAS [Cabinet Assistance System] meeting,” Nograles added. At the same time, the Philippine Air Force said it was ready to assist the Department of Agriculture in its cloud seeding efforts aimed at mitigating the effects of water shortage in many areas. Maj. Aristides Galang, PAF spokesperson, said talks with the DA are now under way. Galang added that before seeding can

be done, seedable clouds must be located in the area scheduled for the operation. The Senate committee on public services, chaired by Senator Grace Poe, is set to conduct a hearing on the water crisis on March 19. “We will call for the hearing as part of the committee’s oversight functions over the country’s utilities. What we are seeing now is not normal and something that our households and farmers do not deserve,” Poe said. The hearing will gather officials of concerned agencies, heads of water concessionaires, regulators and other concerned stakeholders to discuss the crisis and come up with solutions to ease the impact of the supply shortage. Senator Juan Edgardo Angara said it was unusual that only Manila Water, serving the east zone of Metro Manila, suffered supply problems, unlike Maynilad Water Services, which serves the west zone. “One service provider is saying there is a problem, the other says [there is] none. That is something, I think, the regulators should investigate,” Angara said. Poe earlier pushed for the passage of a bill that seeks to establish a single agency that would be in charge of sustainable water management and sanitation. She said the proposed Water Regulatory Act aims to rationalize and streamline the functions of various state agencies in terms of water regulation. With PNA

fice a P100,000 reward, and another P500,000 from a foreigner from Leyte. Obon, however, said his office had yet to receive the foreigner’s offer, a Don Davis, an American national whom reports said was willing to contribute half a million pesos for the arrest of Silawan’s killers. “We have not received any communication from him,” Obon said. On Tuesday, the city police office was the first to offer a reward of P100,000. Meanwhile, experts from the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory in Central Visayas on Wednesday said they found out that the tongue, trachea and esophagus of Silawan were missing. PNP Crime Laboratory-7 regional director Benjamin Lara said the girl’s right ear was also missing and the tis-

sue surrounding her neck and face were also removed. The girl suffered 20 stab wounds and around 10 defense or parrying wounds. Obon said the autopsy report showed that the victim was not raped as her vagina had no lacerations. He said tracker teams were now hunting three suspects. Silawan was found dead at a vacant lot in Sitio Mahayahay, Barangay Bankal, Lapu-Lapu City on Monday morning, with her face skinned, her skull exposed and her body left naked from the waist down. The close-circuit television footage the police gathered, as well as the testimony of a deaf-mute, helped probers zero in on three people who might be behind Silawan’s killing. PNA

From A1

“Under the new scheme, there will be a specific time, and the interruptions will not be concentrated only in one area. The entire east zone will be hit, with no water, or low water pressure at certain hours of the day,” she said. She admitted the company’s move to reduce water pressure in some service areas failed. Meanwhile, Senator Richard Gordon, chairman of the Philippine Red Cross, said six water tankers would be sent to hospitals in areas affected by the water shortage. “We are ready to address the needs of the hospitals because we have water tankers that are capable of filling up a high-pressure water system,” Gordon said in a statement. Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System administrator Reynaldo Velasco said his agency has identified deep wells that can be activated to deliver 100 million liters of water a day to help with the shortage. Manila Water chief operating officer Geodino Carpio said an extra 50 MLD will come from the company’s treatment plant in Cardona, Rizal, which is expected to be operational later this month. Carpio said the Cardona plant was supposed to go online in December, but

P1.6-m... From A1

He declined to comment on the calls to reintroduce capital punishment following Silawan’s killing. Radaza said the city government’s decision to give a reward to any informant was aimed at obtaining additional information that could speed up the resolution of the case. She said the police were “instructed to resolve the case at the soonest possible time.” Lapu-Lapu City Police Chief Lemuel Obon said the total cash reward was now P1.6 million after the Police Regional Office 7 in Central Visayas advisory council committed to his of-

Bangsamoro... From A1

In early February 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte named Jaafar as the chairman of the Expanded Bangsamoro Transition Commission, which then included members and officials of the MILF, as well as other sector-representatives, to help Congress draft a Bangsamoro law. On Feb. 22, 2019, Jaafar was one of the presidential appointees to the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, as speaker of the BTA Interim Parliament. Jaafar was Datukan Abo or Toks to his media peers and friends. His radio listeners in the late 1960’s fondly recall Toks by his broadcast signature, “Sinumagad a Lanun a Minukit a

Lechon.. From A1

The three dishes join other world favorites like Japan’s sushi, Thailand’s pad thai, and Singapore’s chili crabs. Taste Atlas is European-based and can be accessed online which previously was looking for content writers for gastronomy-related articles and able to communicate with people from the food industry. Taste Atlas describes itself as a “world food atlas that nurtures the culture of the local and traditional.

Langkuno” (Literally: Bygones and Glorious Past). Shortly after the Jabidah Massacre on March 18, 1968, Abo went underground, trained abroad and later worked for Suara Malaysia (Voice of Malaysia), a British Broadcasting Corp. affiliate regional station, which granted a bloc airtime slot for Mindanao Muslim expatriates in Sabah, Malaysia. Abo’s talent was further honed in 1973 when, along with fellow Mindanaoan, Nahdin Jubaira from Sulu, Mus Sema, Ustadz Abuhuraira, Mina Mohammad and Akmad Bayam, he was trained by the BBC-Voice of Malaysia as its pool of regional talents and anchor persons. They were then members of the Moro National Liberation Front, prior to the 1976 Tripoli Agreement. With Nat Mariano, Macon Ramos-Araneta and PNA The idea is to inform and motivate travelers to taste the best local food and beverages wherever they travel.” Hitting a line on the Filipino lechon, Taste Atlas said: “The slowly-roasted suckling pig is usually stuffed with lemongrass, tamarind, garlic, onions, and chives, and is then roasted on a large bamboo spit over an open fire. “It is traditionally served whole on a platter, at celebrations and festive events such as weddings and Christmas.” On the kare-kare, Taste Atlas notes how bagoong—boggoong for those in northern Luzon north of Manila—is “often served on the side in order to enhance the flavors of dish.”

Ballot printing on track, says poll body By Vito Barcelo THE Commission on Elections on Wednesday said almost 46 percent of the nearly 64 million ballots for the May 13 midterm elections had been printed, assuring voters the printing of ballots was on track. Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said the Comelec was now printing more than a million per day, adding the National Printing Office was scheduled to add another printer. At present, 28,887,821 ballots or 45.38 percent had been printed. There are 61,843,750 registered voters for the May 13 polls, but more than 1.1 million ballots will be printed for use in the Final Testing and Sealing process, while the rest are demonstration ballots allotted for vote-counting machine roadshow and demonstration purposes. Jimenez also said the poll body had completed printing 1.7 million overseas absentee voters’ ballots last Feb. 16. The voting for overseas voters will begin on April 13, a month ahead of election day in the country. Meanwhile, Comelec said candidates and political parties would have to pay a fine for submission of incomplete Statements of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCEs) in the May 13 polls. With PNA

Priests urged to show proof of allegations By Nat Mariano AS MORE Catholic priests came out to expose the supposed death threats against them, Malacañang on Wednesday urged the clergymen to prove their accusations rather than blame the government. Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the “burden lies on them,” adding it was “elementary in law that the one who alleges must prove.” “Since the priests are the ones accusing the government or the President as being behind those death threats, it stands to reason that they have to prove their accusation. The burden of proof lies on them,” Panelo said in a statement. “Our position is that they bring their concern officially to any law enforcement agency so that the latter may conduct an investigation, and at the same time secure their safety.” Panelo made his statement following the admission of priests Albert Alejo, Flavie Villanueva and Robert Reyes in a press conference on Monday that they had received death threats from unidentified people. Alejo said the threats were serious. The priests, who have been vocal against the Duterte administration’s war on drugs, said they were hesitant to seek protection from the police amid the allegation of extrajudicial killings. But they were considering seeking court protection. “We’re not safe now,” Reyes said. “After this, the death threats may become real.” The priests showed copies of the text messages they had received harassing Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas and Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David.

House... From A1

they realigned, they took P2.5 billion from the National Greening Program. That program has disappeared except for a particular province, and I would not tell you [which],” Marcoleta said in Filipino. “Some P3 billion was taken from the TESDA scholarships. What will you do with the rebel returnees and the out-of-school youth and the rehabilitated drug addicts? They removed P11 billion from the DPWH for right of way acquisition. So what will happen to the Build, Build, Build program?” If anyone realigned funds, he said, it was the Senate because it removed budget allocations of those key government programs and transferred them to other unspecified programs. The House members merely identified and itemized the projects that had already been covered by a lump sum allocation in the bicameral-approved budget, he said. He said this was all right as long as the aggregate numbers were not altered or modified. He added that when the House members asked their Senate counterparts to point out an unconstitutional act, they failed to answer. “Find a provision in the Constitution that we vio-






Administrator Reynaldo Velasco (left) and Dr. Hak Soo Lee, president of the Asia Water Council, during a news conference at the Makati Diamond Residences, where they discuss problems and solutions as regards the region’s water issues and the current water problem in Metro Manila.

Diana Noche

University studes for passage of proposed Safe Spaces Act By Rio N. Araja

STUDENT leaders from four big universities on Wednesday came forward to unite to urge the passage of the proposed Safe Spaces Act into law. At a news conference in Quezon City, Akbayan party-list nominee Gio Tiongson said “universities are institutions of learning, and not institutions of lurking, stalking or catcalling.” He said Akbayan was serious in its advocacy to ensure that schools were safe from any sexual harassment of their students. “School heads must be penalized for culpability not to implement the law,” he noted. Pat Nicdao, University of the Philippines-Diliman councilor, the Anti-Sexual Harassment Law of 1995 was already obsolete. “The law is already 24 years old. When this was passed, there are no social media and no cellphone cameras yet. The culture and status of the women, and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender were then different from today’s,” he added.

DU30 signs measure for jobs free access By Nat Mariano


RESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has signed a law seeking to provide free access to technical-vocational education to qualified beneficiaries.

Duterte signed Republic Act 11230 or the “Tulong Trabaho Act” on Feb. 22. A copy of which was only released by the Palace on Wednesday. According to the document, the new legislation aims to “strengthen the qualifications of the Filipino workforce to meet the challenges of the rapidly evolving workplaces and work structures.” It also seeks to “provide for more innovative approaches to Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) linked to the requirement of the industry to primarily address unemployment and job skill mismatch,” the RA read. It also facilitates the access to TVET and encourages the participation of industry and communities in competencies formation and upgrading towards a more Filipino workforce. Aside from having the mentioned objectives, the new law also mandates the establishment of the Tulong-Trabaho Fund, which shall provide qualified

recipients access to TVET programs through the full payment of the selected programs’ training fees and additional financial assistance such as transportation allowance and laboratory fees. Technical Education and Skills Development Authority will then be tasked to administer the fund. Under the new law, access to the said fund shall be made accessible to any unemployed person who is at least 15 years old, and not in education and not in training, or employed workers who intend to develop and expand their current skills and trainings. Meanwhile, existing workers in enterprise-based companies or industries currently trained by their employers shall be excluded from the law’s coverage. To qualify, industry organizations recognized by TESDA seeking funding for training programs shall submit a list of trainees who have requested assistance from the Tulong-Trabaho Fund to the TESDA regional directors.




USS Blue Ridge staff to participate in cultural exchange after port call USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) and 7th Fleet staff arrived in Manila Wednesday for the US flagship’s first-call on Philippine port since 2016. The US Embassy in Manila said the Blue Ridge and 7th Fleet, team had “long-standing ties with the Philippines and this port visit offers opportunities to reconnect after several years away.” Vice Adm. Phillip Sawyer, commander of the US 7th Fleet, said the crew would continue the tradition of participating in community service and cultural exchange events ashore, including multiple 7th Fleet band engagements and community relations events. “Our nations are long-standing allies and our navies have worked together for generations,” said Vice Adm. Sawyer. Sawyer said: “Our visit to Manila strengthens the bonds between our navies and our shared commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.” Blue Ridge commanding officer Capt. Eric Anduze has been slated to meet

with Philippine Navy officials and an eventual tour of the flagship to explain the ship’s mission and goals. Filipino-American sailors onboard will have a chance to reconnect with their heritage during the port visit—among them, Seaman Charmaine Dalusung, who will see the country she was born in for the first time since she left as a child. “We are very proud to be back in Manila after a long absence,” Anduze said. He said: “The Philippines has been an ally of our country for many years, and being able to show our appreciation for that friendship is something we always look forward to. Continuing to foster and maintain our deep relationships here is paramount to what we do in 7th Fleet.” During the visit, 7th Fleet and Blue Ridge sailors will spend time with local veterans, sharing stories and camaraderie with each other at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center. With Nash Maulana

Prosecutors to charge Falcis By Joel E. Zurbano THE City Prosecutors Office of Taguig has ordered the filing of estafa charges against embattled businessman and publicist Nicardo Falcis II for the alleged misuse of a credit card issued to him by Cristina C. Aquino Productions Inc. Falcis was former project manager of actress and TV host Kris Aquino, who filed the criminal case against the former. Aquino filed charges of Estafa through Misappropriation and Conversion, and violation of Access Devices Regulation Act against Falcis. “The Taguig-OCP found the statements of Ms Kris Aquino as credible and the evidence she adduced as sufficient to establish a prima facie case that Nicko Falcis misappropriated and converted the corporate credit card entrusted to him for his own personal expenses,” Aquino’s legal counsel in the Divina Law firm said in a statement. Aquino’s lawyers said the prosecu-

tors office noted the check personally delivered by Falcis to Aquino was an admission of guilt. “The truth has finally come out and we are hopeful that all the other cases filed against Nicko Falcis will reach the courts and he will be held accountable for his crimes,” the Divina Law firm stated. Falcis’ camp said the decision issued by the prosecutors office was unjust. “We believe this is an unjust decision. Moreover, last November 2018, we filed a Motion for Inhibition and to Refer the Case to the Department of Justice because of certain circumstances that have led us to lose faith and confidence in the impartiality of the Office of the City Prosecutor of Taguig City. The same was not acted upon and its denial was incorporated in the Resolution of the Office of the City Prosecutor of Taguig City,” said Regi Ponferada, lawyer of Falcis.





Turning the tables on the employees IF THE allegations against Eastern Samar Acting Governor Marcelo Ferdinand Picardal are proven to be true, he could easily qualify as one of the worst government officials this country was most unfortunate to have. Imagine reassigning government employees hundreds of kilometers away from their residences, the financial implications of which may cost these em-

Imagine being transferred to a workplace more than 100 kilometers from your home. ployees thousands of pesos more in ad additional expenses for transportation. Among those reassigned included an employee who had just reported back to work after delivering baby through Caesarian section, and was transferred from Felipe Abrigo Memorial Hospital, Guiuan to Taft District Hospital, some 120 kilometers away from her residence. Thus, she has to take a 240-kilometer ride each day to and from work via a public utility jeepney, to the detriment of her fragile condition. The only crime these employees committed was that they were supposedly identified in one way or another with Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone, who will be slugging it out with Picardal for the province’s gubernatorial post this coming May.

Adelle Chua, Editor


But even granting that these employees are really sympathetic to Evardone, would that justify punishing them just because of their political preferences? Picardal should remember these employees, whoever they support, cannot do anything detrimental or beneficial for his candidacy as they are prohibited from campaigning for any political candidate. They are government employees. It’s a good thing, however, that these employees have mustered enough courage to turn the table against Picardal. Nineteen provincial employees whom Picardal had reassigned unjustly—Yolanda Obon, Arriane Faye Cabel, Dalisay Cecista, Ruel Cadiz, Imelda NoNorombaba, Grace Lalosa, Ofelia No rombaba, Alex Nebril, Ana Ballete, Cesar Dadison, Elisa Dado, Gil Patricio Dado, Helen Cadalin, Cirilo Quinsayas, Rowel Moscosa, Gwendolina Gunda, Vivian Lavado, Ariel Evardone, Norodom Victor Pinarok—have filed 19 counts of violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act or Republic Act “vindic3019, Section 3 (e) against the “vindic tive” acting governor. The employees claim Picardal issued individual Detail Orders reassigning them indefinitely to stations far from their homes and original place of work, about four days before the Commission on Elections’ ban on transfer of government employees took effect on Jan. 14, 2019. With most of them in the rank-andfile with minimal salaries, complainants allege that their transfers to hospitals some 40 to 190 kilometers away from their respective homes and original work stations, caused them not only geographic dislocation but also financial dislocation ranging from P25,000 to


Watered-down excuses

T IS becoming increasingly apparent that the Manila Water Co. Inc., one of two concessionaires servicing Metro Manila and the nearby provinces, has not been forthcoming about the service interruptions suffered by its 6 million customers. On Tuesday, the company said it had no choice but to “severely reduce” water distribution in view of the low water level at La Mesa Dam, which in turn was caused by the dry spell brought about by the El Niño phenomenon. Geodino Carpio, chief operating officer for MWCI operations, said because of a shortage of raw water supply at La Mesa Dam, the company felt compelled to impose service interruptions in several parts of its service areas in the east zone of Metro Manila and Rizal as well. The company issued a statement after its customers complained about unannounced service interruptions—with no word about how long these would last. But the weather bureau and the water administrator are puzzled by Manila Water’s initial claim, because La Mesa Dam is only a reserve source of water, as both

water concessionaires are supposed to draw water from the Angat Dam, which has not reached its critical level. Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System Administrator Reynaldo Velasco told CNN Philippines he believes Manila Water has always been drawing some water from La Mesa Dam, and not Angat. “I told them that's supposed to be [a] reserve, but they have been drawing water. That's why it's now… low," Velasco told CNN. Now we have learned that Manila Water may have already drawn its allocation of 1,600 million liters per day (MLD) from the Angat Dam, which provides about 96 percent of Metro Manila’s water supply requirement. Because demand has gone up to an average of 1,740 MLD, the company has been filling its deficit from the La Mesa Dam.

Manila Water’s West Zone counterpart, Maynilad Water Services Inc., which has an allocation of 2,400 MLD from Angat, has not reported a similar supply problem and has even agreed to help Manila Water. Upon the request of the MWSS, Maynilad said it would supply 50 million liters of water per day to Manila Water starting in April to ease its shortage. But this is just a drop in the bucket, and Manila Water customers are expected to keep suffering a shortage until the rains come, perhaps in three months. Amid all this disruption, Manila Water’s initial explanation that its woes were caused by the El Niño seems to be oversimplification, at best. Its customers do not need watered-down excuses and deserve to know the real score. How long will the supply shortage last, and what is the company doing specifically to alleviate this problem in the short term, and more importantly, solve it for next year and the years after that. We trust it will be a better plan than simply wait for the rains.

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Review: Daily journey through inferno POP GOES THE WORLD JENNY ORTUOSTE A PHOTO essay by Eloisa Lopez published in The Guardian last March 8 threw into high resolution clarity the hellish nightmare that is a commute through the metro. Entitled “Manila’s commutes from hell,” the essay followed several workers as they traveled from their homes to their jobs in the city at dawn. The piece cited a 2015 survey by GPS-based navigation app Waze as having found that “Manila had the world’s worst traffic congestion, partly due to a trebling of annual car sales from a decade ago.” And according to the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the “daily loss of business in Manila because of traffic woes has risen to P3.5 billion in 2017 from P2.4 billion in 2012.” President Rodrigo Duterte recently said that the only problem he has been unable to fix the traffic situation in Manila. He doesn’t sound optimistic about getting it done at all. I’ve written about this before, most recently last January 17 about the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange. It was supposed to be a transportation hub linking Cavite and Batangas to Manila, but commuters “complain that there are few, if any, vehicles waiting for them” at PITX. They often wait “three or four hours more before being able to ride, arriving home at 10:00 or 11:00 at night, many after working an eight-hour day.” The government is building more compensatory infrastructure such as roads and a subway system, but the construction projects are also contributing to the traffic snarl. Dan Brown was right when he called the city “the gates of hell” in his novel ‘Inferno’ in 2013. It has only gotten worse since then. Quality of life is poor for many in the metro and developing cities of the country, not only because the traffic itself but the air pollution that comes with it, hence the popularity of face masks to filter out smoke and particle-laden air.

As the government works on improving infrastructure, what other solutions can managers in the public and private sectors consider? (Not all would apply to front-line employees.) 1. Allow work-from-home. The recently-signed Telecommuting Act institutionalizes work-from-home for the private sector, but not for government, which considers its employees as unruly children who require constant supervision. While there are indeed ‘pasaway’ and ‘abusado’ workers, most are responsible adults who understand what outcomes are expected of them. Allow

What can be done about the hellish Metro Manila commute? A lot, apparently.

work-from-home also for government workers whose jobs are based on output, not presence, as would be the case for front-line employees. 2. Adopt flexi-time. The vagaries of traffic make it inevitable that schedules cannot always be met. Do away with the concept of ‘tardiness’ and let employees clock in when they arrive, and clock out when they complete their hours for the day, within the compass of the business’s hours. 3. Consider a four-day workweek. This has already been adopted by the Senate and the House of Representatives, and the wheels of the country’s administration have not shuddered to a grinding halt just because no one’s there to receive documents on a Friday. Properly executed, this option can help a company save on electricity and other utilities. 4. Decongest the city by establishing companies and government agencies elsewhere. Ayala Corporation is already doing this with their Vermosa mega-development in Cavite that incorporates a central business district. Turn to A5

An argument for parliament IF THERE is one thing I like about President Duterte, it is that he comes up with laughable and ridiculous statements every now and then. A columnist always finds these worth writing about. For example, there are his comments about women that always draw flak from women’s rights groups. There is also his fixation on the Catholic clergy. Human rights groups say the President is a misogynist. Recall that during his campaign, he announced at a rally

New People’s Army should be shot at the genitals. The President says all these are in exercise of his right to free expression. They are all a joke. Having a single body Yes every citizen enjoys that freedom of lawmakers will help us of expression, including the President. prevent the ugly bickering But not at the expense of other people! Mr. Duterte is a lawyer and as such that is happening now he would know that such freedoms are not absolute. As a journalist, I am aware between the Senate and I can write about anything I wish—but the House. also not at the expense of others. The President may not be sued for libel, but he cannot just denigrate anyone. Worse, he cannot just tell people to that he wanted to be the first in line to kill bishops and priests because he is the rape an Australian missionary. Later, he said female members of the President. As for women, Mr. Duterte

Turn to A5

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Opinion Wise advice DURING the visit of the venerable Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohammad, he warned the Philippines against allowing unrestricted numbers of foreigners into the country and then allowing them to work illegally. He said this could disturb not only the country’s domestic stability but create other social problems as well. Mahathir also warned the country about the dangers of incurring too much debt from one country. We do not know what prompted him to issue such statements, but it was wise advice and our government leaders should heed the suggestion. The good Prime Minister knows what he is talking about. One of the first things he did as prime minister was to cancel all the big-ticket projects that was going to be financed by China. One of the problems of Malaysia in the recent past was race relations between the three major ethnic groups that make up the Malaysian population. The predominant Malay group, the Chinese and the Indians. Although we do not read about tensions between the groups anymore, it does not mean that there is none and everything have been solved. Perhaps the Malaysian government has been able to put some policies in place that mitigated the problem. Maybe a balance has been achieved promoting harmonious relations among the different races. Prime Minister Mahathir who is already 93 led his country for more than 20 years to be what it is today—a prosperous country that is getting even richer. Who would have thought that at 93 he could still come back to reclaim the Prime Ministership? He said that he would only be a transitional Prime Minister and that eventually, the helm will pass on to his now-political ally Anwar Ibrahim. Immediately after the statement of the Malaysian Prime Minister, the De-

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Government should look at their clients and consider this option. For example, a certain agency is still based in Makati although the the majority of its clients are now, because of changes in the industry, based in Cavite and Batangas. In fact, many of Manila’s employees live in the southern and northern provinces because they cannot afford the cost of housing in the metro. 5. Timed schedules and designated stops for public transportation. More efficient and organized public transportation would encourage some from using their cars. Also, the habit of many public utility vehicles of stopping wherever, even the middle of the road, to let passengers on and off not only contributes to traffic snarls but is also unsafe, particularly for disabled persons, the elderly, children, and pregnant women.

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P130,000 aggregate daily fares alone for about one year. The employees allege the government has been prejudiced by such transfers as the quality of public service has actually worsened, not improved, by Picardal’s detail orders. One of the complainants, Dr. Obon, was the Chief of Hospital of Oras District Hospital when she was transferred to Felipe Abrigo Memorial Hospital (FAMH) in Guiuan, Eastern Samar, some 186 kilometers away. However, as of today, FAMH reportedly has an incumbent Chief of Hospital other than Dr. Obon, while Oras Hospital has had no full-fledged Chief of Hospital since Dr. Obon left. Furthermore, despite the lack of nurses in Oras District Hospital, one nurse, Ofelia Norombaba, was moved to Albino Duran hospital in Balangiga, Eastern Samar, 180 kilometers from Oras hospital, depriving it of necessary nursing staff. Also Helen Cadalin and Cirilo Quinsayas, both originally assigned at the Provincial Capitol, were transferred to hospital to perform functions lesser and incompatible with their job descriptions as Provincial Development staff and Legal Assistant, respectively. All other complainants allege that they were made to perform tasks lesser and incompatible with their original work assignment.

partment of Labor issued new guidelines on how foreigners could legally work here. One is that work permits should be procured at Philippines consulates or embassies where the prospective foreign worker is coming from. The issuance of a work permit here will henceforth be prohibited. Part of the problem is of course the fact that Chinese citizens can enter to the Philippines visa free. This is because we want to encourage tourism— but many of these Chinese visitors lose themselves among the population acquiring Christian names like Peter, George or Henry. Before you know it, they are here to stay.

Our government leaders should heed Mahathir’s suggestion.

The only reason why we know that they are not Filipinos is that they do not speak a word of English or Filipino. Whether this new Labor regulation will solve the problem of foreigners working here illegally remains to be seen. It would greatly help if the President would be the one to issue a statement. There is such a doctrine in foreign affairs called the doctrine of reciprocity. It means that if a country requires Filipinos to get a visa to visit that country, the Philippines must also require the citizens of that country a visa to enter our country. But it seems that we have opened our borders to almost everyone in the name of tourism without studying its implication on our national security interests. Right now, there are many foreigners who are embedded with terrorist organizations in Mindanao, conducting training to would be Filipino guerrilla fighters. Maybe the country should be more careful and not be so open. Yes, tourists do bring revenues but in a country such as ours, there are unintended consequences that can threaten our country’s security.

*** When PCpl Marlo Quibete was apprehended selling shabu, his commander, PMajor General Guillermo Eleazar reacted in a manner that was criticized by some quarters because his outburst was caught on TV and made it to the evening news. General Eleazar eventually apologized for his spontaneous behavior which is very understandable. The President, Secretary of DILG and his immediate boss General Oscar Albayalde are all backing him up. Was it all right for General Eleazar to have acted the way he did or could he have handled the situation in a more circumspect way? That single act of Cpl Quibete negated weeks if not months of good police deeds. It is therefore quite understandable to see Eleazar reacting the way he did. Still, it was something that we would expect more from a Sergeant or a young officer who is fresh in the service than an officer of high stature such as ElEl eazar. Reaching such an exalted rank also demands something of a concon trolled behavior especially in public. One must always try to control one’s emotions to avoid the negative consequences of such outbursts. A question that has to be asked is why Quibete was allowed to stay in the service. From his record, he is clearly a misfit in the PNP right from the start. Even as a recruit, he was already a problem. He went AWOL or absent without official leave and was in fact already dismissed from the service only to be reinstated. How did that happen? I hope Quibete is not a symptom of a much bigger problem in the PNP. If he is, then there is a much bigger problem in the hands of Eleazar and Albayalde. Right now, the PNP is in a huge fight to convince the public that the PNP is their protector. People like Quibete simply make it harder for the people to trust their Police. This is why Eleazar’s actions were so understandable. Ever since he took over the helm of the National Capital Region Police, his style has been hands-on and always in the front lines. He has been trying his best and so far, he has done quite a good job.

6. Encourage biking and walking. I challenge the authorities to institute bike/pedestrian lanes except on highways and they might be surprised by just how many people will use them. Heat and rain a problem? Our intrepid fabricators can make canopies for bikes. Many commuters are already using electric people scooters on main roads like Buendia and Ayala Avenues. The bonus of this idea? A healthier people and less air pollution. Some urban planners insist that living in the metro makes it better for the growth of the city, and for employees to access their workplaces, they should live near them. That’s an elitist argument. The majority of employees cannot afford the condos that are being built left and right, at P4 million and more per unit. There is no quality of life in that scenario, where people live in cramped boxes high up in the sky, vulnerable to

fire, earthquakes, and faults in construction, without access to fresh air or space for gardens, hobbies, and pets. Lawmakers and the managers of government and private offices have it within their power to make life better for their employees. I’m calling on the Senate, House of Representatives, the Civil Service Commission, the Department of Budget and Management, and the Office of the President to consider beneficial work arrangements not just for private but also for government workers. It’s to everyone’s advantage— happier workers are more productive workers. It only takes common sense, political will, funding, research and information, and genuine compassion to get things done and bring a stop to the ‘commutes from hell.’

Twelve of the 19 complaints are health workers under the Magna Carta for Health Workers (Republic Act No. 7305), while the others are originally assigned to various offices in the Provincial Capitol in Borongan City. To show manifest partiality, the employees allege that their transfers were politically motivated, having been singled out in the transfer for being suspected supporters of Evardone. And to show evident bad faith and gross inexcusable negligence, complainants allege that Picardal, without checking the physical state and wellbeing of the transferred employees, he reassigned Arriane Faye Cabel, a laundry woman of FAMH who is still recovering from a Caesarian operation, to a smaller hospital some 120 kilometers away. Picardal also reassigned a senior citizen, Ana Ballete, to a distant location. Section 9 of RA 3019 punishes a public official committing any of the unlawful acts within the ambit Sections 3 (e) with imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than ten years, including perpetual disqualification from public office. Also, three provincial employees in Eastern Samar have filed administrative charges against Picardal, over their alleged illegal transfer or reassignment to other hospitals in the province. Ma Carrol Alvarez, Glenda Cabaguing and Richard Ballete, all assigned to Oras District Hospital in Oras town,

filed a complaint against Picardal for grave misconduct and grave abuse of of authority under the Local Government Code, Administrative and Civil Service laws. Picardal allegedly transferred from Oras Alvarez and Cabaguing to Eastern Samar Provincial Hospital in Borongan City, which is 86 kilometers away, while Ballete was reassigned to Quinapondan Community Hospital, about 170 kilometers away. The complainants allege that their transfer “due to demand and exigency of public service” is baseless and unfounded as they were made to perform tasks foreign to their original job descriptions, including menial jobs, at their new stations. “If there was actual demand for us to be reassigned, then why is it that we are not performing duties and functions that are necessary and essential to the services being offered by these hospitals?” the complainants asked the Ombudsman. The complainants said they were singled out in the transfer as a form or political harassment and oppression for, just like the other 19 employees, allegedly being Evardone’s supporters. We only pray the cases filed by these employees be immediately acted upon and resolved the soonest possible time. Their sufferings are only being prolonged each day they have to travel hundreds of kilometers daily just to report for work. Picardal has to be made accountable for all these.

Life spent in traffic is not living, it’s existence. / FB and Twitter: @DrJennyO



Two elements needed for Venezuelan Opposition victory into Venezuela of donated food and medicines have combined to make life hell for the hapless citizens of that oil-rich country. During the early 1980s all Filipinos bore the brunt of the punitive economic actions FOR several centuries the only taken by the international commuthings that the Philippines and Ven- nity against the Marcos dictatorezuela had in common were their ship, including the highest inflation common Spanish-colony heritage rates experienced by this country in and the fact that they were both the post-World War II era. The situation in Venezuela gets members of the world Roman Catholic community. In recent times a more tense and volatile by the day. third similarity has materialized: With the backing of the US and the widespread civil unrest aimed at European Union, Maduro’s rival in removing from office an individual the 2018 presidential election, Juan who over the years had abused the Guaido, has proclaimed himself powers of the presidency and con- Venezuela’s de facto president. And verted Venezuela—the Spanish last week the National Assembly, at conquistadores were reminded of Guaido’s behest, has declared a state Venice—from a wobbly democracy of national emergency in the wake to a virtual dictatorship. That indi- of continuing power blackouts that Guaido and vidual is, as the his supportsupport world knows ers claim are now, Nicolas How similar are the being engiengi Maduro, who neered by the rose to Venezu- situations in Venezuela Maduro govgov ela’s presidency ernment. upon the death and 1980s Philippines? Ve n e z u of the flamboyela’s agony ant ex-paracontinues, trooper Hugo and the world watches with utmost Chavez. Venezuela today is a replica sympathy and full support. With of the Philippines during the two every day that passes, the once-vigand a half years following the as- orous Venezuelan economy sinks sassination of Opposition leader deeper into debt and the nation’s Benigno Aquino Jr. from exile. people go hungrier and more misLike the Philippines of those days, erable. Today the same questions are Venezuela is an international pariah. Outraged by his series of anti- being asked about the Venezudemocracy actions—curtailment of elan situation as they were being constitutionally guaranteed civilian asked about this country and its freedom, rigging of National As- mid-1980s political ferment. How sembly elections, packing of Ven- long will Venezuela remain as it is ezuela’s Supreme Court with his today? And what will it take to reallies and coddling of the military move Nicolas Maduro from power and the police—Nicolas Maduro is and restore Venezuela to its prethe object of endless protests on the Maduro times? The approach to the answers to streets of Venezuela’s cities, espethese questions is to ask what elecially the capital, Caracas. During the days following Au- ments are missing from the presgust 21, 1983 rallies in Metro Ma- ent Venezuelan situation. Looking nila and this country’s other major back at this country’s anti-Marcos cities were almost a daily occurrence effort, two things stand out as missas the parliamentarians of the street ing elements. One is the existence sought to achieve what the members of a Roman Catholic prelate with of the padlocked legislature were no the stature and activism of the late longer able to do. Today’s Venezu- Jaime Cardinal Sin; there appears elan rallies and protests hogged the to be no one in Venezuela’s Roworld’s newspaper headlines and man Catholic hierarchy to even apevening news programs, like this proximate Cardinal Sin in stature. country’s anti-dictatorship activities The other missing element is the defection from the Maduro camp of did three decades ago. Like the citizenry—especially a high-rank military officer, preferthe poor citizens—of the Philip- ably the chief of staff of the Venpines then, today’s ordinary Ven- ezuelan armed forces; thus far there ezuelans are bearing the brunt of appears to be no early prospect of one individual’s increasingly des- that, notwithstanding Guaido’s ferperate desire to cling to power. The vent supplications. Absent those two elements— crippling sanctions imposed by the US and other countries, the trade and without a truly dramatic event, embargoes, the inflationary impact like a high-profile assassination, of the near-collapse of the national the world appears to be doomed to currency—the bolivar—and, more merely read and view reports of the recently, the Maduro government’s Venezuelan opposition’s oust-Madinhumane refusal to allow the entry uro efforts for some time to come.

An argument... From A4

making them the richest Filipino family. As many people know, Iñigo Zobel and sister, the Jaime Zobel siblings and others should also be in that list. We know too well that there are many Chinese-Filipinos lurking in the shadows. In Forbes Park, for example, a businessman has at least 10 houses in Dasma village. They have escaped the attention of Forbes Magazine—and of the Bureau of Internal Revenue. *** I got mixed reactions from friends about my piece about the strongman Ferdinand Marcos who is almost always remembered for the evils of martial law. I wrote that we should also remember him for the good things he did for our country. For example, there are thousands of legal issuances covering every phase of human life. They are still in effect today. Some friends called me to say they did not know that Marcos had made such a great number of issuances. I cannot dispute what martial law did to the people, but let us also remember the good things. All I wanted to say was that Marcos is definitely assured of a place in Philippine history. Justice Manuel “Lolong” Lazaro, president of the Philippine Constitutional Association, said the legal issuances showed Marcos’ vision and foresight. *** A special envoy to China is an envoy of the Philippines, not of China. Thus, when he says Filipinos are incompetent, he must be fired.

should show them some real respect. *** The Senate and the House of Representatives are still bickering about the 2019 national budget. This is the best argument for the restructuring of our political system from a two-chamber body into a single one, like a parliament. What is happening in Congress is just unfortunate. The Senate accuses the House of “insertions” to the tune of billions of pesos, and the House is saying the same of the Senate. Honesty, they remind me of little kids. The fear is that if by this week the national budget is not submitted to the President for his signature, we might have to do with a reenacted budget. This could result in the failure of the Build, Build, Build infrastructure program and the failure to achieve the targeted gross domestic product. The bickering is not funny and we are certainly not laughing. If we must restructure our political system, let us all forget federalism which is a leap into the unknown. Let us settle for a parliamentary system with one big body in charge of legislation. *** The Forbes Magazine listing of the world’s richest Filipinos listed the children of the late Henry Sy Sr. separately. This is a big disservice to them. Forbes listed them as Hans Sy ($2.4 billion), Herbert Sy ($2.4 billion), Harley Sy ($2.2 billion), Henry Sy Jr. ($2.2 billion), Tessie Sy Coson ($2.2 billion) and Elizabeth Sy ($1.9 billion) from number 8 to 13. But the Sy family would have an accumulated wealth of $14.51 billion—




‘More OFWs infected with HIV’ By Vito Barcelo


N OVERSEAS Filipino workers party-list solon on Wednesday expressed alarm over the rising number of OFWs afflicted with the human immunodeficiency virus after 90 OFWS were diagnosed with the deadly disease in January, up 33 percent from 68 in the same month last year.

In a statement, ACTS-OFW Rep. Aniceto Bertiz III said the January case brought to 6,345 the cumulative number of OFWs found living with HIV since the government began passive surveillance of the virus in 1984. OFWs now comprise 10 percent of the 63,278 confirmed cases listed in the National HIV/AIDS Registry as of January, according to Bertiz.

Of the 6,345 OFWs in the registry, 86 percent, or 5,471, were male with a median age of 32 years. The 874 female OFWs in the registry had a median age of 34 years. Of the male OFW cases, 72 percent were found infected via sexual contact among MSM, or men who have sex with men (2,283 from male-to-male sex and 1,651 from sex with both males and females).

HIV causes AIDS, or the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, which destroys the human body’s natural ability to fight off all kinds of infections. Though the condition still does not have any known cure, antiretroviral therapy has been known to slow down the virus. Bertiz is counting on the Department of Labor and Employment to deliver “highly improved support” to the growing number of OFWs living with HIV, as mandated by the new AIDS Prevention and Control Law that took effect Jan. 25. Section 37 of the new law compels the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, together with other agencies, to develop a program to provide stigma-free comprehensive reinte-

gration, care and support for OFWs with HIV, Bertiz said. “Under the law, the economic, social and medical support is to be extended to all OFWs, regardless of employment status and stage in the migration process,” Bertiz said. Section 17 of the law also requires all overseas-bound Filipino workers as well as Philippine government staff for foreign posting to undergo a seminar on the causes, manner of prevention, and impact of HIV and AIDS, prior to certification for deployment or assignment, Bertiz said. “The preventive education seminar is to be provided for free and at no cost to OFWs or to the staff concerned,” Bertiz said.

IN BRIEF Boeing 737 Max 8 'airworthy'—CAB THE Civil Aeronautics Board considers the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft airworthy, citing that the accidents involving this type of aircraft are still under investigation. “[There are] no conclusive findings yet on the real reason for the accidents involving B737 Max 8. Nonetheless, we assume that the aircraft used by foreign carriers are certified airworthy,” CAB chief legal officer Wyrlou Samodio told the Philippine News Agency on Wednesday. He explained that CAB assumes the B737 Max 8 is airworthy because it has a certification that it can be used. This, however, can be disputed once the investigation is completed, he said. Samodio added that for carriers utilizing the B737 Max 8, “prudence in the exercise of their prerogative to utilize such kind of aircraft is expected.” The executive noted that since the accidents are still under investigation, CAB cannot really say that this aircraft model should not be used.

MWSS, Korean firm to help in Bay rehab THE Philippine government’s campaign to rehabilitate Manila Bay gets a boost with the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System and South Korea’s Daegu Metropolitan City teaming up to address the problem of wastewater treatment. MWSS Administrator Reynaldo V. Velasco will meet with the official delegation of the Water & Energy Division of Daegu on March 14 at the Makati Diamond Residences who will be attending the Asia Water Council Board of Council meeting in Manila. MWSS is hosting the event with its concessionaires Manila Water, Maynilad and Luzon Clean Water Development Corporation. Invited to the meeting with Daegu delegation are top officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Metro Development Authority, and congressional leaders from both houses of Congress.

FIERY OLYMPICS. Firemen showcases their skills in the proper use of fire extinguishers during the 5th national Fire Olympics at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila, March 13 Wednesday. Norman Cruz

NFA helps 274K families with Tagpuan rice EVEN after the signing of the Rice Tariffication Law (RA 11203) last Feb. 14 which revises the mandate of the National Food Authority in the stabilization of the market price of rice, the agency continues to bring affordable rice to remote areas and poor communities nationwide. According to NFA OIC-Administrator Tomas R. Escarez, the agency continues to conduct its Tagpuan Rice Response Delivery program, started in June 2018, to bring rice to far-flung barangays and urban poor areas, on top of those served by NFA’s accredited retailers. “The main target beneficiaries of

Tagpuan are indigenous communities and urban poor areas who do not have easy access to government-subsidized rice. Tagpuan programs conducted by our NFA branches directly bring rice to these communities through mobile stores and it is done nationwide in almost every province,” Escarez said. “Based on our data, from January to February this year, NFA had already conducted 1,024 Tagpuan activities and were able to sell 32,712 bags of rice to 274,091 beneficiaries at P27.00 per kilogram,” he added. Although the rice tariffication law became effective last March 5, Escarez said the NFA will still implement this

BACK HOME. Arthur Soria Taleno, one of seven crew members of M/T Levante who were detained in Libya for almost two years over alleged oil smuggling, hugs his children shortly upon his arrival at the NAIA Terminal 3 on Tuesday evening (March 12). Taleno and the other six were cleared of charges against them and released last February. They were accompanied by Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers Affairs Abdullah Mamao who flew to Libya upon the instruction of President Rodrigo R. Duterte to thank the Libyan government personally and bring the Filipino workers home. PNA

Solon says no to sports stadium at QMC A LEADER of the House of Representatives on Wednesday thumbed down the plan to build a coliseum in the Quezon Memorial Circle, citing the havoc that this would create on the natural parks and historic value of the circle. Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo chairman of the House special committee on Metro Manila Development Committee, said the idea of Quezon City Rep. Vincent Crisologo be appropriate for such a huge edifice. “The place would not be appropriate. It would compromise the beauty of the place as serene and tranquil,” Castelo said. Crisologo, who is running for Quezon City mayor, earlier said he plans to build an auditorium at the QMC as he sees it a big place fit for an auditorium. While cities like Manila, Caloocan, San Juan and Makati have their own large sports auditoriums and basketball stadiums, Crisologo said Quezon City does not have one. “My plan is to build [an] auditorium there. Quezon City is the only city with no air-airconditioned as well as multi-purpose hall that can be used as basketball court. Others have it already,” Crisologo said. Maricel V. Cruz

program until its imported rice stocks are exhausted. “Hopefully, when the Implementing Rules of the new law is approved, it will still allow the NFA to sell affordable, good quality rice to the poor. More than 10-million poor Filipinos rely on NFA rice for their daily consumption. Our customers say NFA rice at P27/kg is comparable to the P38-P42/kg commercial rice sold in the market,” Escarez said. Last year, the NFA also conducted 4,161 Tagpuan activities and sold 250,251 bags to more than 2.24-million beneficiaries in just six months since the Tagpuan program was started.

Atienza to file bill on rainwater catchment facilities By Maricel V. Cruz AN OPPOSITION lawmaker on Wednesday said he will file a bill that makes it mandatory for all building owners, both private and government, as well as households around the country to provide their own rainwater catchment facilities. “We now need to take seriously the threat of a water-less Philippines or face the dire consequences. We warned about this four years ago and it is now happening,” senior deputy minority leader and Buhay Party-list Rep. Lito Atienza said. “We urgently need a law requiring all building owners, both government and private, as well as households to put up their own rainwater catchment facilities, so that all the water gathered in these facilities can be reused such as for washing clothes, washing cars, dishwashing, flushing toilets and watering plants. We don’t need freshwater for these. Now that we are once again facing the real danger of losing our water supply, we should and we must start saving water and promote the more prudent use

of one of our country’s most valuable resources. We have to be very deliberate and conscious about water use,” Atienza said. Atienza said it takes years to address our growing population’s needs for freshwater. This cannot be done overnight, he added. The party-list lawmaker also said he finds it ironic that even though the country is an archipelago surrounded by bodies of water, we continue to experience intermittent periods of dwindling water supply especially during the summer months. “All these rainwater is actually a blessing that unfortunately just goes to waste without being collected and utilized. We do not even consider saving it and using it properly. At the same time, we have at least 144 billion cubic meters of freshwater supply not being utilized wisely. Of this, only an estimated 2425 billion cubic meters are being used properly every year. And the rest goes to waste,” Atienza added. Atienza, who previously served as Environment secretary, renewed his warning that freshwater would soon become a very rare commodity for the world.

DOLE slams fake news; says UAE not deporting OFWs THE Department of Labor and Employment assured overseas Filipino workers in the United Arab Emirates that no deportation will happen following news circulating online that the Middle Eastern country will deport all foreign workers starting April 2019. According to a news report from Arabia Today, foreign workers in 35 job categories who are over the age of 40 will be terminated and deported to give opportunity to UAE nationals, especially the young graduates, and solve the country’s unemployment crisis. But Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the report was not true although it has already caused confusion and anxiety to a number of deployed workers in the UAE. According to the report, among the occupations to be vacated by foreign workers are pharmacist, medical secretary, administrative clerk, human resource officer, receptionist, treasurer, librarian, security guard, purchasing manager, debt collector, cashier, tour guide, among others. Labor Attaché Alejandro Padaen of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Abu Dhabi also said that the news is not true. Padaen said Dr. Omar Abulrahman Salem Alnuami, Assistant Secretary for Communication and International Relations of the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation told him the story is “fake news.” Another emirate official, Asmaa Alamadani, the executive director of MOHRE’s International Bilateral Relations Department, spoke to Labor Attaché Felicitas Bay of POLO Dubai, who assured her that the news is “not true at all.” The article also circulated in other Gulf Cooperation Council countries like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Oman. Vito Barcelo

Review PH’s Surveillance Program—Erin OPPOSITION senatorial candidate Lorenzo ‘Erin’ Tañada urged the Department of the Interior and Local Government to review the P20 billion “Safe Philippines” surveillance program, citing numerous red flags including fiscal, privacy, and national security concerns. “While I welcome any initiative intended to make the country safer, I think this project should undergo greater public scrutiny. CCTV cameras are nothing new, but this is surveillance on a massive scale; an initial 12,000 surveillance camera will be installed by Huawei in Metro Manila and Davao. The same Huawei that is mandated by Chinese law to collaborate with the Chinese government in intelligence gathering. The same Huawei that has been banned by the United States from supplying equipment for critical telecommunications infrastructure,” Tañada said. The former Deputy Speaker warned that even without the national security issues embedded in the surveillance network of Safe Philippines, the Chinese loan funding the project might be onerous and highly disadvantageous to the Philippines. “I think the Duterte administration should practice the Executive Order on Freedom of Information that he put into effect in 2016, by releasing all agreements related to the Chinafunded infrastructure projects signed last year. This will go a long way towards easing the fears of the public that the Philippines might be falling into a ‘debt trap.’ If the projects are fair and above board, then the Palace shouldn’t have a problem with releasing the documents.” Tañada also said that the loan agreement for the Safe Philippines project might contain the same objectionable provisions found in the agreement for the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project, the contents of which were leaked to the media last month. “Baka ‘yung objectionable provisions sa Chico River project nandito din. ‘Yung mataas na interest rate; ‘yung requirement na gumamit ng Chinese contractors at workers; at lalo na ‘yung provision na nagsasabing pwedeng angkinin ng China ang patrimonial property ng Pilipinas kung hindi tayo makapagbayad,” he added.




The Monthly Payments shall be paid to the Seller on a monthly basis in accordance with the following formula:

Republic of the Philippines ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION San Miguel Avenue, Pasig City

paid by CLPC are subject to adjustments based on various indices. 27. The components of the Operation and Maintenance Fees representing foreign currency-denominated costs are adjusted based on the foreign exchange rate and the appropriate foreign price indices; those representing local costs are adjusted based on local price indices. The Actual Fuel Costs vary based on the applicable fuel cost index.



ERC CASE NO. 2018-113 RC



Applicants may be served with notices, orders and other processes of the Honorable Commission through their respective undersigned counsel.


Section 45(b) of Republic Act No. 9136, or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001, provides that the distribution utilities may enter into bilateral power supply contracts subject to review by the Honorable Commission. In connection with this, ERC Resolution No.2, Series of 2015 provides that the distribution utilities and generation companies jointly file with the Honorable Commission their respective power supply agreements.

Fixed Operation and Maintenance

28. Financial Model. A copy of MPC’s financial model for the tariff is attached in the application. As discussed below, the financial model is the subject of a motion for confidential treatment of information.

VOMF = Fee

Variable Operation and Maintenance



Actual Fuel Cost



Start - Up Costs



Value - Added Tax, other applicable taxes and government impositions, if any

29. Rate Implication. An analysis was conducted to determine the impact of the implementation of the ESA on CLPC’s generation costs, a copy of which is attached in the said Application. The following table shows the indicative rate impact: Estimated Generation Charge* (Year 2018, Php/kWh)

Where: CRF


Statement of Facts Among the declared State policies of Republic Act No. 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2008 (“EPIRA”) as enumerated in Section 2 thereof, is ensuring the quality, reliability, security and affordability of the supply of electric power. CLPC shares in the realization of this State policy.


As part of its thrust to provide a more resilient sourcing of the power needs of its customers, CLPC deemed it prudent to have an alternative source of power from suppliers that are willing and capable of supplying power to CLPC on an as needed, or non-firm, basis.



Thus, CLPC sought competitive offers for the non-firm supply of up to 5 MW of capacity from prospective suppliers. After the second round of the competitive selection process, two winning bidders emerged, and CLPC awarded and signed two non-firm supply contracts with the winning bidders, one of which is MPC. Thus, this instant Joint Application for the approval of the non-firm Energy Supply Agreement (”ESA”) between MPC and CLPC. Overview of the 103 MW MPC Power Station


The Generation Facilities. MPC shall supply power under the ESA from its bunker C-fired diesel power station with a total net generating capacity of 103 MW, located in Sitio Mapalad, Barangay Dalipuga, Iligan City, Province of Lanao del Norte (the “MPC Power Station”). A description of the technical and economic characteristics of the Power Station is attached in the Application.

10. The specific fuel oil consumption (“SFOC”) rate of the Power Station shall not be greater than 0.2464 kg/kWh at site condition of 32 deg. C ambient temperature. The SFOC is based on a bunker C fuel oil density of 0.9855 kilogram/liter. A copy of a certification on the Power Station’s SFOC rate is attached in the Application. 11. Project Cost. A summary of the costs of the project as of March 2014 is attached to the application and for reference, a comparison between the said project cost and earlier project cost totals used to compute the tariff is attached also attached in the said application. 12. Operating Expenses A breakdown of the projected operating expenses is attached is attached to the application and for reference, a comparison between MPC’s updated and previous projected fixed operating expenses is likewise attached in the said application. 13. Debt Equity Ratio. The project was funded through loans and equity, with a debt-equity ratio of 68:32. For the costs of an additional unit brought back to the MPC Power Station, the debt-equity ratio is 70:30. 14. Computation of Weighted Average Cost of Capital (“WACC”), Annual Interest. The nominal pre-tax Weighted Average Cost of Capital (“WACC”) of the project is 12.38%. MPC’s actual interest cost is 6.5% p.a. A copy of the computation of the WACC and the relevant loan agreement reflecting the interest rate are attached in the said Application.



Utilization Factor of 28.71%



kWh delivered during the Billing Month

Annex N O P Q R S T U V W X Y

1.2. Fixed Operation & Maintenance Fee (FOMF) The Fixed Operation & Maintenance Fee (FOMF) covers the operating and maintenance costs of the MPC Power Station. It shall be computed according to the following formula:

16. Environmental Compliance Requirements. The Office of the President of the Republic of the Philippines previously approved the exemption of the MPC Power Station from the requirement of an environmental compliance certificate. Nevertheless, the MPC Power Plant will be operated responsibly in accordance with good utility practice and in accordance with all relevant laws and regulations, including environmental laws. Copies of documents evidencing such exemption are attached in the said Application. 17. DOE Certification. The Department of Energy (“DOE”) has certified that the capacity of the MPC Power Plant is consistent with the DOE’s Power Development Plan. A copy of the said certification is attached in the said Application.


Fixed O&M Fee, in Pesos



Utilization Factor of 28.71%



kWh delivered during the Billing Month



Consumer Price Index for Metropolitan Manila Area (National Capital Region), all items published by NEDA/NSO for the period of price determination



Consumer Price Index for Metropolitan Manila Area (National Capital Region), all items published by NEDA/NSO for June 2010 (at 115.9,2006 = 100)



Wholesale Price Index for Mineral Fuels, Lubricants and Related Materials for the Philippines as published by NEDA/NSO for the period of price determination

19. Contract Period. The ESA provides for a Contract Period of three (3) years from Operations Effective Date as defined in the ESA. The ESA also stipulates that any time during the Contract Period, the Parties may enter into good faith negotiations to extend the Contract Period under the same terms and conditions of the ESA. 20. Maximum Contract Demand and Supply of Energy. The Maximum Contract Demand refers to the maximum quantity (in kilowatts) that CLPC may nominate and draw per Interval as defined in the ESA. Beginning on Operations Effective Date, MPC shall deliver, on an as-available basis and as-needed by CLPC, the quantities nominated by CLPC up to 5,000 kW (whether from the capacity of the power plants owned or operated by MPC, any of its Affiliates or any third party supplier) to CLPC at the Delivery Point. 21. Adjustments to Maximum Contract Demand. At any time during the Contract Period, CLPC may send a written request to increase the maximum Contract Demand no later than sixty (60) Days prior to the date of effectivity of such proposed increase, which shall be without prejudice to the right of MPC to waive the sixty (60) Day notice period. MPC may, at its sole option, approve the request to increase the Maximum Contract Demand, and the energy quantities attributable to the additional Maximum Contract Demand shall be paid for by CLPC at the Contract Price. CLPC may also request an adjustment to the Maximum Contract Demand in respect of a particular Billing Period by delivery of written notice thereof at least (30) Days before the date on which such adjustment is proposed to take effect, which shall be without prejudice to the right MPC to waive the thirty (30) Day notice period, setting out the reasons therefore and providing all documents necessary to support the request. Any such request shall be subject to approval by MPC in its sole discretion (which approval shall not be unreasonably withheld), and the energy quantities attributable to the additional Maximum Contract Demand shall be paid for by CLPC at the Contract Price. 22. Monthly Payments. MPC shall deliver to CLPC a Billing Statement setting out the Electricity Fees due on account of Contract Energy delivered during each Billing Period on or before the seventh (7th) Day of the Payment Month. If MPC sourced any capacity and/or energy from another supplier during any particular Billing period, the Billing Statement(s) shall (a) set out the quantities of capacity and/or energy sourced from such other suppliers and the amount due thereon, (b) identify the account or accounts to which amounts payable to it may be paid, (c) identify value-added taxes due on all capacity and/or energy sourced and delivered, if any, and (d) have attached thereto copies of invoices, statements, or other acceptable substitutes issued by the relevant supplier in respect of any capacity and/or energy sourced and delivered by such supplier. 23. Penalties. If CLPC fails to pay the Electricity Fee or any other amounts payable by it under the ESA in full on the due date, it shall pay a penalty of one percent (1%) per month (a fraction of a month to be considered one month) based on the amount due, from the date when such payment is due until the date such amount is received in full by MPC. In the event that any charges due from MPC are not credited or paid in accordance with Section 8.1.1 of the ESA, MPC shall be liable to pay interest one percent (1%) per month (a fraction of a month to be considered one month) based on the unpaid charges, from the date when such amount is due until the date it is received in full by CLPC.

Monthly Payments

33. In accordance with Section 1, Rule 4 of this Honorable Commission’s Rules of Practice and Procedure (“ERC Rules”), Applicant MPC respectfully moves that the financial model be treated as confidential information for the following reasons:

33.2. In the case Air Philippines Corporation vs. Pennswell Inc, 1 the Supreme Court defined “trade secret” as follows: “A trade secret is defined as a plan or process, tool, mechanism or compound known only to its owner and those of his employees to whom it is necessary to confide it. The definition also extends to a secret formula or process not patented, but known only to certain individuals using it in compounding some article of trade having commercial value.


Euro - Peso Exchange Rate for the period of price determination as published by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas



Euro - Peso Exchange Rate for June 2010 (at P56.5910 / lEuro) as published by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas



Finland Producers’ Price Index for Manufacturing for the period price determination as published in the International Financial Statistics of IMF



Finland Producers’ Price Index for Manufacturing for June 2010 (at 99.97) as published in the International Financial Statistics of IMF

A trade secret may consist of any formula, pattern, device, or compilation of information that (1) is used in one’s business; and (2) gives the employer an opportunity to obtain advantage over competitors who do not possess the information. Generally, a trade secret is a process or device intended for continuous operation of the business, for example, a machine or formula, but can be a price list or catalogue or specialized customer list. It is indubitable that trade secrets constitute proprietary rights.” 34. Also, the financial model was prepared and developed for the exclusive use of MPC, and is designed for the specific use of the company in its power generation business. Consequently, should the financial model be disclosed to the public, they could easily be copied or used by MPC’s competitors or other entities engaged in the power business for their own benefit, and to the prejudice of MPC. Thus, the commercial value of the model will be diminished significantly. 35. Given the foregoing, the financial model qualifies as “confidential information” as defined under Section 2, Rule 4 of the ERC Rules.

1.3. Variable Operation & Maintenance Fee (VOMF)

36. In accordance with Section 1 (b), Rule 4 of the ERC Rules, an electronic copy of the financial model is contained in a compact disc and submitted in a sealed envelope marked with the word “Confidential.”

The Variable Operation and Maintenance Fee (VOMF) covers the cost of the use of, among other items, chemicals, lubricants and spare parts, that are directly related to the generation of the MPC Power Station. It shall be computed according to the following formula:

37. Further, all parties furnished copies of the present Application are not furnished copies of the model subject the present motion. 38. In accordance with Sections 3 and 4, Rule 4 of the ERC Rules, Applicant MPC reserves the right to use the financial model and its contents as evidence, and respectfully moves for the issuance of a Protective Order. ALLEGATIONS IN SUPPORT OF THE PRAYER FOR PROVISIONAL AUTHORITY


39. As earlier intimated, the non-firm ESA is a mode proposed by CLPC to provide a more resilient sourcing of the power needs of its customers.



Variable O&M Fee, in Pesos



Variable O&M Fee Rate of Php 0.17/kWh



kWh delivered during the Billing Month



Consumer Price Index for Metropolitan Manila Area (National Capital Region), all items published by NEDA/NSO for the period of price determination



Consumer Price Index for Metropolitan Manila Area (National Capital Region), all items published by NEDA/NSO for June 2010 (115.9, 2006 = 100)



Euro - Peso Exchange Rate for the period of price determination as published by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas



Euro - Peso Exchange Rate for June 2010 (at P56.5910 /1 Euro) as published by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas



Finland Producers’ Price Index for Manufacturing for the period of price determination as published in the International Financial Statistics of IMF



Finland Producers’ Price Index for Manufacturing for June 2010 (at 99.97) as published in the International Financial Statistics of IMF



Wholesale Price Index for Mineral Fuels, Lubricants and Related Materials for the Philippines as published by NEDA/NSO for the period of price determination



Wholesale Price Index for Mineral Fuels, Lubricants and Related Materials for the Philippines as published by NEDA/NSO for June 2010 (at 518.2).

40. In the event that there is a sudden need for CLPC to source power for its customers for reasons such as short term demand growth or temporary unavailability of supply from other suppliers to meet demand, CLPC may call on the non-firm supply from MPC under the ESA. 41. The grant of a provisional authority will allow CLPC to immediately draw power under the ESA when needed by CLPC’s customers. Thus, the immediate approval of the ESA will ultimately redound to the benefit of CLPC’s customers in terms of continuous, reliable, efficient and affordable power supply. The Judicial Affidavit of Mr. Anthony Bueno is attached in the Application in support of the motion for provisional approval.

1.4. Actual Fuel Cost (AFC) The Actual Fuel Cost (AFC) is the fee paid to the Seller as payment for the procurement and delivery of the fuel oil (Diesel) used in the operation of the MPC Power Station. The Actual Fuel Cost shall be computed as follows:

42. Applicants pray that the Commission: (1) issue an Order declaring the financial model attached in the Application as confidential information within the purview of Rule 4 of the ERC Rules, as well as directing that the same be treated with confidentiality and be protected from public disclosure; (2) issue the corresponding Protective Order in accordance with Section 2 and 4 of the said Rule 4; (3) Pending trial on the merits, provisionally approve the ESA, including all the rates, fees and charges set out therein; and (4)After trial on the merits, approve with finality the ESA, including all the rates, fees and charges set out therein. On 07 January 2019, the Commission issued an Order and a Notice of Public Hearing setting the application for determination of compliance with the jurisdictional requirements, expository presentation, pre-trial conference, and presentation of evidence on 27 February 2019 at CLPC’s Main Office, Sinsuat Avenue, Cotabato City. On 01 February 2019, applicant CLPC filed a Motion to Change Venue and Reset Hearing with Entry of Appearance, praying that the venue of hearing be transferred from CLPC’s Main Office, Sinsuat Avenue, Cotabato City to the Commission’s Field Office in Davao City, in view of the heightened security alert in and around the area of Cotabato City and the date of hearing be reset to a later date. Finding the said Motion meritorious, the same is hereby GRANTED. Accordingly, the instant application is hereby set anew for determination of compliance with the jurisdictional requirements, expository presentation, Pre-trial Conference, and presentation of evidence on 27 March 2019 (Wednesday) two o’clock in the afternoon (2:00 P.M.), at ERC Mindanao Field Office, Mintrade Building, Monteverde Avenue cor. Sales St. Davao City. All persons who have an interest in the subject matter of the instant case may become a party by filing with the Commission a verified Petition to Intervene at least five (5) days prior to the initial hearing and subject to the requirements under Rule 9 of the 2006 ERC Rules of Practice and Procedure, indicating therein the docket number and title of the case and stating the following:

AFC = FC x EC x ED


The petitioner’s name and address;


The nature of petitioner’s interest in the subject matter of the proceeding and the way and manner in which such interest is affected by the issues involved in the proceeding; and


A statement of the relief desired.

Where: AFC


Actual Fuel Cost, in Pesos



Fuel Cost, The average MOPS of Bunker C Fuel Oil/Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) deliveries during the period of price determination in Peso/liter



kWh delivered during the Billing Month

All other persons who may want their views known to the Commission with respect to the subject matter of the case may file their Opposition or Comment thereon at any stage of the proceeding before Applicants rest their case, subject to the requirements under Rule 9 of the 2006 ERC Rules of Practice and Procedure. No particular form of Opposition or Comment is required, but the document, letter, or writing should contain the following: 1) The name and address of such person; 2) A concise statement of the Opposition or Comment; and

1.5. Start-Up Costs (SC) The Buyer, on a pro rata basis of the capacity of the MPC Power Station allocated to the Buyer, shall pay the Seller Start - Up Costs for the cost of starting up the MPC Power Station after a period of shutdown due to any reason attributable to all the buyers of the Seller. The Start-Up Costs shall be computed based on the prevailing price of diesel fuel at the time of the Start Up and paid in accordance with the following: SC = (No. of Cold Start ups x 600 liters x price of Diesel per liter) + (No. of Warm Start ups x 300 liters x price of Diesel per liter)

Electricity Fees


Document CLPC’s Articles of Incorporation (AOI) CLPC’s By-Laws CLPC’s General Information Sheet (GIS) and Ownership Structure Map MPC’s Securities and Exchange Commission Certificate of Registration MPC’s Articles of Incorporation MPC’ By-Laws of MPC MPC’s General Information Sheet MPC’s Audited Financial Statements Diagram showing MPC’s affiliates and/or subsidiaries CLPC’s Demand Side Management Programs PSALM Certification CLPC’s Supply and Demand Scenario and Average Dailv Load Curves

33.1. The financial model qualifies as a “trade secret” as contemplated under existing jurisprudence.


Schedule 7.2 Rates Schedule

The Buyer shall make the following payments to the Seller in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement:


32. The financial model discloses the basis for the tariff under the ESA. It includes all the formulas and calculations as well as the assumptions and values considered therein.

Wholesale Price Index for Mineral Fuels, Lubricants and Related Materials for the Philippines as published by NEDA/NSO for June 2010 (at 518.2,1998=100)

25. Electricity Fees. Electricity Fees refers to the total amount of charges due from CLPC in respect of all energy supplied during a Billing Period, computed in accordance with Schedule 7.2 of the ESA. Schedule 7.2 of the ESA is provided below. The term “Customer” or “Buyer” refer to CLPC, while “Supplier” or “Seller” refer to MPC.

The Electricity Fees are exclusive of applicable Value Added Tax (“VAT”), which shall be for the account of Customer and shall be reflected in the Invoice to be issued to Customer. For the avoidance of doubt, the value-added tax that shall be remitted by Customer to supplier is the amount as actually collected by Customer from its customers.


31. As mentioned above, the financial model attached is hereby submitted under a motion to treat information confidential (“Motion”) .


24. Taxes, Fees and Costs. Save as otherwise provided in the ESA, each Party shall be liable for such taxes, fees, costs and expenses that each may incur on account of the performance of its obligations hereunder, including legal and professional fees, if any. CLPC shall be liable for payment of the Universal Charge, it being understood that the imposition of the Universal Charge pursuant to the provisions of EPIRA shall not be an event of Force Majeure.





18. Certificate of Compliance. This Honorable Commission has issued the necessary Certificate of Compliance for the Power Station. A copy of the said certification is attached in the said application. Salient Terms and Conditions of the ESA


Annex Document Z CLPC’s Distribution Development Plan Summaries AA and series Invitations to Submit Proposal for the Supply of Power and Bidding Terms of Reference, published on 5 March 2017 and 17 March 2017 BB and series Letter proposals from bidders CC and series CLPC BAC Evaluation Reports dated 15 March 2017 and 29 March 2017 DD CLPC Board Resolution confirming approval of Evaluation Report EE CLPC Notice of Award to MPC dated 3 April 2017 FF and series Matrix of Competitive Selection Process GG Certification (Conduct of Competitive Selection Process) HH Energy Supply Agreement (ESA) between MPC and CLPC II Write-up on Other Documentary Requirements


15. Fuel Supply. In order to ensure the supply of fuel for the operations of the MPC Power Station, MPC solicited offers from reputable suppliers in the area, and has contracted with the supplier which offered the best terms. A discussion of the fuel procurement process and a copy of the fuel supply agreement are attached in the said Application.

With MPC (non-firm)

30. The following documents are likewise attached as annexes hereof, to support the instant application:

Capital Recovery Fee, in Pesos

Nature of the Joint Application


Without MPC (non-firm)

* Assumptions: - MPC is projected to enter on May 2018 - Power Cost used is based on ERC approved rate per supplier - MPC will cater the forecasted demand growth and shortfall of PSALM in 2018 and thereafter


CLPC is a domestic corporation duly organized and existing under and by virtue of the laws of the Republic of the Philippines with office address at Sinsuat Avenue, Cotabato City. It is a duly authorized distribution utility of electric power to the end-users in City of Cotabato, and portions of the Municipalities of Sultan Kudarat, and Datu Odin Sinsuat, both in the province of Maguindanao, pursuant to its franchise under Republic Act No. 10637. MPC is a generation company duly organized and existing under and by virtue of the laws of the Republic of the Philippines, with principal office address at 4th Floor, Alphaland Southgate Tower, 2258 Pasong Tamo Extension corner EDSA, Makati City.

Capital Recovery Fees


CRF shall be computed as follows:

In their Application, CLPC and MPC alleged, among others, the following:




1.1. Capital Recovery Fee (CRF)

Notice is hereby given that on 29 November 2018, Cotabato Light & Power Company (CLPC) and Mapalad Power Corporation (MPC) filed an Application dated 04 October 2018, seeking the approval of their Non-Firm Energy Supply Agreement, with prayer for the issuance of provisional authority.




Type of Start - Up

Liters of Diesel Fuel

Cold Start - up (more than 10 hours of shutdown)


Warm Start - up (less than 10 hoursof shutdown)


3) The grounds relied upon. All such persons who wish to have a copy of the Application may request from Applicants that they be furnished with the same, prior to the date of the initial hearing. Applicants are hereby directed to furnish all those making such request with copies of the Application and its attachments, subject to the reimbursement of reasonable photocopying costs. Any such person may likewise examine the Application and other pertinent records filed with the Commission during the standard office hours. WITNESS, the Honorable Chairperson, AGNES VST DEVANADERA and the Honorable Commissioners CATHERINE P. MACEDA and PAUL CHRISTIAN M. CERVANTES, Energy Regulatory Commission, this 18th day of February 2019 in Pasig City.

JOSEFINA PATRICIA A. MAGPALE-ASIRIT Oversight Commissioner for Legal

Value Added Tax The relative Value Added Taxes (“VAT”) of the above fee payments 12% shall be computed as follows: VAT = (CRF + FOMF + VOMF + AFC + SC) X 0.12 For reference, a sample computation of the monthly payment is contained in Schedule 7.2 of the ESA.

26. Basis for indexation. As indicated in the formulas above, the monthly fees to be


G. R. No. 172835, 13 December 2007. (MS-MAR. 7 & 14, 2019)


Riera U. Mallari, Editor Reuel Vidal, Assistant Editor



Orchard takes home PAL Founders title

Members of the Orchard Golf and Country Club display their Founders’ Division trophy during the awards rites of the 72nd Philippine Airlines Interclub golf team championships.

IN BRIEF F2 wants to tighten grip on PSL 2nd spot Games Today (Filoil Flying V Centre) 2:00 p.m. -- PLDT vs Foton 4:15 p.m. – Cignal HD vs Generika-Ayala 7:00 p.m. – United VC vs F2 Logistics

F2 LOGISTICS seeks to tighten its hold on the second spot when it tackles dangerous United VC in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix today at the Filoil Flying V Centre. Action starts at 7 p.m., with the Cargo Movers looking for their seventh win that will put them one game behind undefeated Petron in this prestigious women’s club league that has ESPN5 and 5Plus as broadcast partners. Meanwhile, Foton tries to crawl out of the basement when it tangles with PLDT Home Fibr at 2 p.m. while Cignal and GenerikaAyala collide for a crucial win in the 4:15 p.m. second game of this tourney bankrolled by Asics, Mueller, Mikasa, Senoh, Team Rebel Sports, Bizooku, UCPB Gen, Cocolife, Hotel Sogo and Data Project. After racing to six straight wins, the Cargo Movers suffered a minor hump when they bowed to the Blaze Spikers in their very first meeting this year; 25-23, 14-25, 22-25, 18-25. But that setback is already a thing of the past as the Cargo Movers, behind the impressive performance of seasoned reinforcement Lindsay Stalzer, quickly gathered themselves and pulled off a very convincing 25-20, 25-21, 25-19 win over PLDT to shit down the first round of the preliminaries on a sizzling note.

PH riders to join Red Bull qualifier FILIPINO riders are set to battle on the pump track on March 23 as The Bike Playground hosts the 2019 Red Bull Pump Track World Championship Philippine Qualifier. The event is the second leg of the 25-stop world tour for the prestigious global tilt. The top four riders of this event are qualified to represent the Philippines at the world final later this year. Each qualifier will begin with timed runs from which the top 32 riders will advance to the knockout heats. The Bike Playground qualifier will use the time trial format. The Philippine Qualifier, held through the partnership of Red Bull, pump track designer and builder Velosolutions, premier developer Ortigas & Company, and The Bike Playground, is giving local biking greats the chance to battle it out against Olympic BMX racers, MTB world champions, and some of the leading talents in the worldwide biking community. The event also coincides with The Bike Playground’s celebration of its second year. The track, which opened in March 2017, is the first asphalt pump track in the country. It is housed in a 36x21-meter warehouse making it conducive to runs even during the rainy season.

DanceSports holds 1st quarter ranking tilt THE DanceSport Council of the Philippines, Inc. will host the 2019 DSCPI 1st quarter competition and selection for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games dance athletes at the Ballroom Hall of Valle Verde Country Club, Pasig City on Saturday. DSCPI President Becky Garcia said 400 participants all over the Philippines will compete in the ranking and selection competition backed by the Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, Flawless, Dance Results Philippines, Like-FM 105.9, Studio AK, Muebles Italiano, The Greenery Bulacan and Caruso Ristorante Italiano. The World DanceSport Federation licensed adjudicators are Foo Yoong Chen “Vivian” of Malaysia, Valeriy Gulay of Russia, Yoshikazu Inazawa of Japan, Marcel Keijzer of Netherlands, Jae Ho Kim of South Korea, Hong Thi Nguyen “Kathy” of Vietnam, Lubos Novotny of Czech Republic, Galina Gulay of Russia, Jun-De Jiang, Sheng-Wei Lin “Boris” of Taiwan and Karl Olivier Alba of Canada.

Hotshots crush Dyip for 3rd PBA triumph By Jeric Lopez


IDING its recent momentum, Magnolia fired from all cylinders to methodically rout inconsistent Columbian Dyip, 109-83, for its second straight win, pumping life into its quarterfinals bid in the 2019 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last night. Ian Sangalang led the Hotshots’ charge, scoring 16 points to go with six rebounds. As Magnolia listed its first winning streak of the season, it improved to 3-4 to move up to seventh place, while Columbian fell to eighth, slipping to a 4-6 card. The Dyip only has a game left in its schedule and it needs to rack up a win to give itself a fair chance of staying in the top eight. Still riding the momentum of its last game, Magnolia was able to

muscle its way to an early doubledigit lead, carving a 22-12 headway at the end of one. Peter June Simon’s basket off a onehander capped off a 7-0 Hotshots’ run and stretched the distance further to 17 points, 29-12, at the 9:44 mark of the second, giving Magnolia full control. At the half, the Hotshots settled once again for a 10-point spread, 48-38. Magnolia then closed out the third strongly, outscoring the Dyip by 14 points in the last eight minutes of the third to break the game wide

open for good. The Hotshots were already ahead by 18, 75-57, entering the final quarter. The final 12 minutes were all about adding insult to injury as Magnolia kept hammering Columbian until the final buzzer. Despite several attempted rallies, the Dyip was unable to seriously threaten the Hotshots all game long. The scores: Magnolia 109—Sangalang 16, Barroca 14, Dela Rosa 12, Ramos 10, Jalalon 9, Brondial 9, Pascual 8, Reavis 7, Melton 6, Lee 6, Simon 5, Gamalinda 4, Herndon 3, Abundo 0, Calisaan 0. Columbian 83—McCarthy 19, Perez 14, Corpuz 12, Camson 9, Khobuntin 6, Faundo 5, Calvo 5, Reyes 4, Gabriel 4, Cahilig 4, Agovida 1, Escoto 0, Cabrera 0, Celda 0. Quarters: 22-12, 48-38, 75-57, 109-83.

Superal recovers in time to regain golf lead


PRINCESS Superal blew a huge lead with a shaky backside start but finished with flourish, birdying the last four holes as she battled back from three down to regain a one-shot lead over Thai Thanutra Boonraksasat with a 69 after two rounds of the ICTSI Manila Southwoods Ladies Championship in Carmona, Cavite yesterday. Superal found her touch off the mound late in another scorching day at the Legends course then bucked tough pin placements to spike her big comeback with four straight putts inside 10 feet for a 33-36, staving off three Thai rivals all set to foil the ace Filipina shotmaker’s drive for the crown in the P1.5 million event serving as the sixth leg of the 2018-19 Ladies Philippine Golf Tour circuit. “I just couldn’t hit it good off the tee in the early going and some of my approach shots were off until I regained my touch and rhythm at the finish,” said Superal, who sparked

hopes of a three-day assault of the bunker-laden layout with a bogeyfree 64 Tuesday. But she stumbled with a bogey on No. 10 and though she rolled in a 20-footer for birdie on No. 14, she struggled from there, dropping another stroke on No. 2 and falling off the leaderboard as Boonraksasat, taking advantage of an early tee start, recovered from a bogey on No. 2 with five birdies in the next seven holes then added two more at the back to finish with a 66 and wrest the lead at 10-under 134. Superal’s fiery finish, however, shoved the reigning LPGT Order of Merit champion back on top at 133 with Chonlada Chayanun joining the title chase with a 135 after a 67. Multi-titled Yupaporn Kawinpakorn made it a three-player threat for Thailand as the Pradera Verde leg winner last December birdied three of the last six at the front for a 69 to stay in the mix at 136.

THE Orchard Golf and Country Club took home the Founders division at the close of the 72nd Philippine Airlines Interclub golf team championships over the weekend in Cebu City. Orchard actually finished second behind Cebu Country Club, but was elevated to first after the Carmona-based squad won the overall title. Zachary Castro and Gabriel Matthew Macalagium led Orchard in the final day at Cebu Country Club with 35 and 34 points, respectively. Orchard closed out with 129 for 482, 24 points ahead of Forest Hills. Valley settled for third place with 439. In the Aviator class, Club Filipino de Cebu leaned on the final day 35 points of Baltaire Balanguan to beat Alta Vista, 409-393. Third spot went to Rancho Palos Verde Team 1 with 390. Mactan Island captured Sportswriter with 342 followed by Camp John Hay 339 and Camp Evangelista 323. The Friendship title was won by Davao City Golf with 306 with South Cotabato and Iligan finishing second and third with 288 and 259, respectively. Meanwhile, Jolo Magcalayo of Tagaytay Highlands won the individual title with 73 points, one ahead of Bayani Garcia of Cebu Country Club. This year’s Interclub is sponsored by Radio Mindanao Network, Asian Air Safari, and Vanguard Radio Network. Also extending support are ABS-CBN Global Ltd. (The Filipino Channel), Rolls Royce, Primax Broadcasting Network, UM Broadcasting Network (Mindanao), Fox Sports, Cignal TV, GECAS, Boeing, Lufthansa Technik AG, Manila Standard, Marco Polo Plaza Cebu, Dusit Thani Manila, and Casino Filipino. Official hotel is Quest Hotel Conference Center Cebu.

Teenagers reign in Vermosa Sports Hub Aquathlon TEENAGERS Richard Anson Navo and Eunice Ulat reigned over 400 participants by clocking the fastest times of their respective genders in the Vermosa Sports Hub Aquathlon 1 held March 10 at the Vermosa Sports Hub in Imus, Cavite. Navo finished the standard distance 500-meter swim and 5-kilometer run event in 28 minutes and 27 seconds, placing first in the the15-17 age group. Fellow age-grouper Irienold Reig Jr., came in at 29:03 for the 2nd fastest time. Don Velasco of the 30-34 age group followed 52 seconds later to round off the top three male finishers. Eunice Richard Ulat went head to head with Erika Nicole Burgos in the 15-17 female age group, sprinting to the finish of the standard distance in 34:10, just 16 seconds ahead of Burgos. The girls were joined by Celma Hitalia of the 50-above age group coming in as the third fastest female in 36:40. In the relay category, siblings Janelle and Jacob Blanch put in a fast finish time of 30:17. Younger and first-time multisport athletes took advantage of the Vermosa aquathlon’s petite distance—a 300-meter swim and 3-km run—to test their mettle. Among the inspiring performances in this category came from two expectant moms, six-month pregnant Aimee Lagman and Nadine Bettina Almario, four months on the way. For Diana Zamudio, 2nd place in her age group marked a sweet return to racing following a horrible freak accident nearly a year ago.

Go For Gold PH skateboarding to hold regional championships THE 2019 Go For Gold Philippines Skateboarding Regional Championships will embark on a quest to discover the most talented Filipino skaters in the country. Monty Mendigoria, president of the Skateboarding and Roller Sports Association of the Philippines Inc., announced in a press conference on Wednesday that the regional championships would kick off with the Luzon leg on March 2324 at Robinsons Mall, Novaliches. The best from the Visayas region will show up in Cebu City on April 6-7 where Asian Games gold medalist Margielyn Didal is expected to inspire the national team aspirants right in her hometown. “We feel that Margie and the skateboarding team will become our bright lights in the 2020 Olympics, and hopefully they can bring home our first Olympic gold medal,’’ said Go For Gold godfather Jeremy Go. The National SEA Games qualifier is scheduled Aug. 24-25 in Sta. Rosa, Laguna after the most promising skaters from the south take

centerstage in the Mindanao leg on May 25-26 in General Santos City. Aside from targeting majority of the eight gold medals at stake in skateboarding in the SEA Games that the Philippines is hosting on Nov. 30-Dec. 11 in Clark, the national skaters are also training their sights on the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. “We will look for the best skaters in the regionals,’’ said Mendigoria, president of the Skateboarding and Roller Sports Association of the Philippines Inc. “The top three participants from the regionals will get the chance to prove their worth in the national SEA Games qualifying championship,’’ added Mendigoria, whose team found a very supportive godfather in Go For Gold Philippines. Mendigoria has also organized a skateboarding judges seminar and accreditation examination where 12 new judges and referees were accredited under the tutelage of Asian Extreme Sports Federation technical director Warren Stuart.

Skateboarding chief Monty Mendigoria (right) presents a limited edition skateboard to sports patron and Go For Gold Philippines head Jeremy Go.


First Gen’s ‘18 profit jumped 51% to $243m

FIRST Gen Corp., a member of Lopez Group, reported a net income of $243 million (P12.8 billion) in 2018, up 51 percent from $161 million in 2017, due mainly to the strong contribution of the company’s natural gas business. “2018 was an exceptional year for First Gen as we concretized value from the sizable investment made for the modern 420 megawatt San Gabriel natural gas-fired power plant. This was made in anticipation of the market’s increased electricity demand and the need for new cost-competitive power supply to the grid,” said First Gen president and chief operating officer Francis Giles Puno. First Gen’s natural gas business delivered recurring earnings of $186 million (P9.7 billion) from $120 million (P6 billion) in the previous year. “The 1,500 MW Santa Rita and San Lorenzo natural gas-fired plants continued their reliable performance incorporating the technical upgrades we have invested in over the years that effectively reduced the power rates to consumers,” Puno said. Alena Mae S. Flores


Finance downplays investment decline

THE Department of Finance downplayed the 4.4-percent decline in net foreign direct investments last year, saying it is just “temporary” but admitted there must be vital reforms to lure more foreign investors in the country. “The FDI decline in the Philippines in 2018 mirrors the global FDI decline during the past two years. In 2017, it dropped 6.5 percent to $1.9 trillion. In the first half of 2018, it dropped by a heftier 44 percent to just $432 billion,” the DoF said in an economic bulletin released Wednesday. The DoF said the decline was due to slowdown in the world economy brought about by US-China trade war and Brexit. Citing a World Bank study, the DoF said foreign capital should be attracted to enhance more competition and efficiency in the economy. “The drop in 2018 FDI is just a temporary phenomenon brought about by the uncertain world economic environment. FDI flows will recover when world conditions are better. Meanwhile, the Philippines should implement reforms for a better investment environment,” the DoF said. Julito G. Rada

Car sales rose 0.6% to 26,327 units in February By Othel V. Campos

VEHICLE sales rose slightly in February following a 15-percent decline in January, data from the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. and the Truck Manufacturers Association show. The two industry groups said their members sold 26,327 vehicles in February, up 0.6 percent from 26,176 units delivered a year ago. Passenger car sales grew 3.4 percent in February to 8,471 units from 8,192 units a year ago, while light commercial vehicle sales went down 0.7 percent to 17,856 units from 17,984 units. Data showed that on a month-onmonth basis, car sales fell 2.1 percent in February from 26,888 units delivered in January 2019. Sales in the first two months of 2019 went down 8 percent to 53,215 units from 57,821 units in the same period last year. Passenger car sales in the twomonth period declined 5.7 percent to 16,958 units from 17,982 units a year ago while commercial vehicle sales went down 9 percent to 35,257 units from 39,839 units. Among commercial vehicles, Asian utility vehicles posted the sharpest drop of 58.9 percent to 4,637 units from 11,274 units, followed by trucks and buses (category V) which went down 43.3 percent to 191 from 337 units. Other commercial vehicles showed improved sales during the period. THURSDAY, MARCH 14, 2019


PLDT bares plan to borrow P28b from local banks By Darwin G. Amojelar

PSBank approves capital hike to P6b

PHILIPPINE Savings Bank, the thrift banking arm of the Metrobank Group, is increasing its authorized capital stock from P4.25 billion to P6 billion to fund business expansion and sustain growth momentum. The bank said in a disclosure to the stock exchange Wednesday its board of directors has approved the increase in the capital stock in a meeting Tuesday. The board in the same meeting approved the issuance of up to P40 billion in peso-denominated bonds in multiple tranches. PSBank has just completed an P8billion stock rights offering on Jan. 11, 2019. The offer to eligible shareholders of 142,856,925 common shares was priced at P56 per share. The rights shares were listed with the Philippine Stock Exchange on Jan. 18, 2019. The P8-billion offer was taken up entirely by the bank’s existing shareholders, with support seen across the shareholder base. The bank said the capital-raising exercise would enable it to sustain its loan growth momentum, supporting its expected asset growth primarily on consumer loans. PSBank in 2018 posted a flat net income of P2.7 billion. Julito G. Rada

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

LARGEST FOOD SHOW. Led by the Department of Trade and Industry through the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions, 25 Filipino producers and manufacturers showcase the country’s top halal-certified food selections and bag over $83 million of export sales from 1,163 foreign buyers in the Gulfood at Sheikh Rashid Hall, Dubai World Trade Centre, United Arab Emirates on Feb. 17 to 21. Participating in the event are (from left) Trixie Fernandez, international business executive of Monde Nissin Corp.; Trade Undersecretary Abdulgani Macatoman, Isaac Chun and Jhasper Reganit of Monde Nissin, Ambassador to UAE Hjayceelyn Quintana, Ambassador to Bahrain Alfonso Ver, Mark Santos of Monde Nissin and commercial attache to Dubai Charmaine Yalong.

Mandaluyong court stops More from taking over Peco By Alena Mae S. Flores


HE Mandaluyong Regional Trial Court issued a 20day temporary restraining order preventing More Electric Power Corp. from expropriating and taking over the distribution assets of Panay Electric Co. Mandaluyong RTC Branch 209 judge Monique Quisumbing-Ignacio said facts showed “there is no other ordinary, speedy and adequate remedy to prevent the infliction of irreparable injury to Peco except through the issuance of the TRO.” The court directed Peco to file within five days from the issuance of the decision dated March 12 to post a P5-

million bond. It enjoined More from enforcing, implementing and exercising any rights and obligations under Republic Act No. 11212, which granted the company a franchise to establish, operate and maintain a distribution system in Iloilo. The court said the TRO also covered the commencement of the expropriation proceedings against Peco under the assailed provisions, takeover by More of Peco’s distribution assets and issuance by the Department of Energy and the Energy Regulatory Commission of the certificate of public convenience and necessity, provisional authority to operate or any other permits to More. “Petitioner Peco was able to establish that the implementation or enforcement of Sections 10 and 17 of RA 11212 will materially and substantially invade its rights to equal protection under the law, due process and against unlawful taking of property, since respondent More, by invoking Sections 10 and 17 of RA 11212, can easily take away, under the

guise of eminent domain, petitioner Peco’s distribution assets.” The court set the hearing for the conversion of the TRO into a writ of preliminary injunction on April 2, 2019 at 8:30 a.m. More’s franchise under RA 11212 took effect on March 6, 2019, the same day that Peco filed an application for a TRO. “This unexpected development only serves to bolster the urgency of issuing a TRO considering that Section 10 of RA 11212 authorizes respondent More to take immediate possession of petition Peco’s distribution assets after filing of expropriation proceedings, due notice and deposit of the assessed value of the assets in question,” the court said. The court said that More’s CPCN was scheduled for hearing on March 27, 2019 and if granted, “this will give rise to a situation where two companies are operating in the same franchise area since Peco was transitory to operate for two more years under RA 11212.”

Economic managers downgrade 2019 growth target By Julito G. Rada THE interagency Development Budget Coordination Committee on Wednesday downgraded the 2019 growth target to a range of 6 percent to 7 percent from the previous estimate of 7 percent to 8 percent, because of the delay in the approval of the national budget and external risks including the lingering trade war between the US and China. It also reduced the 2020 growth target to a range of 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent from 7 percent to 8 percent, but retained the target for 2021 to 2022 to a band of 7 percent to 8 percent. Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said in a briefing late Wednesday afternoon the DBCC factored in the delay in the approval of

the national budget, assuming the delay would last until April this year. “We also considered the onset of El Niño phenomenon, although we expect a mild one,” Pernia said. Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the DBCC also considered the continuing trade war between the US and China. “Trade wars between our trading partners will impact our own grown possibilities,” Dominguez said. Dominguez said the budget impasse would affect the creation of more jobs that could possibly emanate from the infrastructure projects. He said this would affect the people in general. “We don’t get to spend what we planned to. The early part of the year is the best period to do the construction

of these projects. The delay in budget approval will delay the infrastructure program,” Dominguez said. Economic managers urged Congress to transmit the 2019 national budget soon so that the government could sustain its investments on development priorities. “The longer the budget impasse lasts, the larger the adverse effect to the economy and its people,” they said. The National Economic and Development Authority said a reenacted budget for the entire year could pull down economic growth to 4.2 percent, the slowest since 2011. Neda estimates showed that a reenacted budget until April 2019 would bring down full-year GDP growth to 6.1 percent to 6.3 percent.

PLDT Inc. plans to borrow up to P28 billion from local banks this year to refinance maturing debt and partly fund the 2019 capital expenditures, a top executive said Wednesday. PLDT chief financial officer Anabelle Chua said the country’s largest telecom company was looking at borrowing between P27 billion and P28 billion this year from local banks. “It would be spread over the year for refinancing and capex,” she said. About $391 million worth of PLDT debt is expected to mature this year. The company allocated P78.4 billion for 2019 capital expenditures, higher by nearly P20 billion from last year’s P58.5 billion. The aggressive roll-out is intended to further push the already significant network advantage of PLDT and Smart and support an active campaign for more revenues. PLDT said that by end-2018, the coverage of its fiber-powered network passed 6.3 million homes, up by 57 percent from the 2017 level. Its total capacity reached 2.6 million ports with about one million ports available for sale. PLDT added nearly 70,000 kilometers of fiber cables, expanding its total fiber network to more than 244,000 kilometers. It said that on mobile business, the objective was to build on Smart’s LTE advantage and prepare for the arrival of 5G. Smart increased the number of its LTE base stations by over 86 percent to about 16,200 as of end-2018. It also increased its 3G base stations by more than 17 percent to about 11,500. The massive deployment enabled Smart to meet its commitment to the National Telecommunications Commission to provide mobile broadband in at least 90 percent of Philippine cities and municipalities. PLDT earlier reported a 44-percent increase in net income in 2018 to P19.2 billion from P13.3 billion in 2017. Consolidated core income went down 5 percent to P26.2 billion, as the accelerated depreciation cost arising from PLDT’s aggressive network transformation programs offset gains from PLDT’s loss of control of Voyager and from the sale of Rocket Internet shares. PLDT said that excluding Voyager operations, core income rose 3 percent to P24.4 billion Consolidated revenues, net of interconnection costs, rose 5 percent to P194.4 billion in 2018, excluding P1.1 billion of revenues from Voyager Innovations. Combined revenues from main businesses―home, enterprise and consumer individual―rose 9 percent year-on-year to P137.4 billion.

Ayala Corp.’s income increases 5% to P31.8b By Jenniffer B. Austria CONGLOMERATE Ayala Corp. said Wednesday net income increased 5 percent in 2018 to P31.8 billion from a year ago on strong earnings of core businesses despite the higher borrowing costs. Ayala said in a disclosure to the stock exchange the equity earnings contribution from its business units reached P39.4 billion in 2018, up 10 percent year-on-year. This was led by the strong double-digit growth in equity earnings of Ayala Land, Globe Telecom and AC Energy. The conglomerate said borrowing costs increased as the group funded its investments with new debt, moderating its net profits during the period. “The aggressive growth strategy that we embarked on over a decade ago has been unprecedented for the Ayala group. Over the past 10 years, we spent close to P200 billion in capital expenditure at the parent level alone to support the investment programs of our various business

units, including our new growth platforms in power, industrial technologies, infrastructure, education and healthcare,” Ayala president and chief operating officer Fernando Zobel de Ayala said. “Our profitability has also improved steadily over the past 10 years, growing at a compounded annual rate of 15 percent,” he said. Aside from its real estate, banking, water and telecom businesses, Ayala’s power generation unit AC Energy also delivered positive results for the company. AC Energy’s net earnings expanded 16 percent in 2018 to P4.1 billion, driven by its domestic thermal and renewable assets as well as higher contribution from its Indonesian investments. The strong performance and higher equity stake in GNPower Mariveles, strong wind regime and fresh contribution of its greenfield offshore project, the 75-megawatt Sidrap wind farm in Indonesia and the full-year recognition of SD Geothermal boosted AC Energy’s performance during the year.

CEBU PACIFIC’S INITIATIVES. Cebu Pacific is pushing forward with initiatives to reduce the impact of its operations on the environment. Foremost of these is the carrier’s investment in 32 brand-new fuel-efficient Airbus A321neo aircraft which has demonstrated a remarkable reduction in fuel burn per seat. Speaking at the Routes Asia conference in Cebu, Cebu Pacific vice president for marketing and distribution Candice Iyog (right) said the carrier has placed an ‘ecoplane’ seal on its first A321neo aircraft to highlight its commitment to reduce its carbon footprint. With Iyog are (from left) Siargao Tourism Operations Association president Abe Tolentino and Tourism Undersecretary Art Boncato Jr.




Stocks gain; Metrobank advances T he stock market rose Wednesday in mixed trading after investors turned cautious after the release of a government report Tuesday showing weak exports in January.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index added 18.61 points, or 0.2 percent, to 7,766.15 on a value turnover of P5.1 billion. Losers, however, beat gainers, 101 to 82, with 60 issues unchanged. The trade deficit widened to $3.76 billion in January from $3.16 billion a year ago, as imports rebounded while exports continued to decline, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority show. Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co., the

second-biggest lender in terms of assets, climbed 3.8 percent to P78.90. SM Prime Holdings Inc., the largest integrated property developer, gained 2.6 percent to P37.65. Universal Robina Corp., the biggest snack food maker, rose 2.6 percent to P144.80, but parent JG Summit Holdings Inc. fell 2.8 percent to P63.20. The rest of Asian markets retreated Wednesday after two days of gains but the pound enjoyed a slight uptick after the previous day’s sharp losses as British officials looked to ease concerns about the possible impact of a no-deal Brexit. The sterling saw wild fluctuations Tuesday as it hit a near two-year high on news Prime Minister Theresa May had won a last-minute revision to her agreement with the European Union. But it then tanked to a three-week low as it was tossed out by MPs at Westmin-

ster later in the day. The decision means lawmakers will vote Wednesday on whether to leave the EU on March 29 without an economic agreement—which is expected to fail— then Thursday on whether to extend the deadline. The news from London added to selling pressure on Asian equity markets, which had enjoyed a bounce Monday and Tuesday from last week’s battering, with investors still on edge over the state of the global economy. Tokyo ended one percent lower, while Shanghai fell 1.1 percent and Hong Kong lost 0.4 percent. Seoul shed 0.4 percent, Sydney gave up 0.2 percent and Singapore was off 0.8 percent. Wellington also retreated, though Taipei, Mumbai and Jakarta were slightly higher. In a bid to ease concerns about the financial impact on the economy if MPs

vote later in the day to leave with no agreement, officials in London said they will slash tariffs on 87 percent of imports, and will not apply customs checks on the border with Ireland. However, there remains a lot of uncertainty, with some observers suggesting the latest developments put the country a step closer to another referendum, while others say it could make a divorce without an agreement more likely. “My tuppence is that parliament has, in their own mind, seized control of the Brexit process and will duly ask and likely get an extension to the 29 March exit date,” said OANDA senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley. “The breathing space granted will be used by whomever to renegotiate a more palatable Brexit deal for the UK. Except nobody has asked the Europeans yet. A short-term gain may yet belie long-term pain.” With AFP











58.1 85.1 2.3 133 1.37 27.55 18.2 12.22 4.47 1.46 0.46 76.5 0.96 13.86 22.6 61.3 184 58.8 26.5 167 1,805 60.55

58.1 87.15 2.3 133 1.37 27.6 18.2 12.28 4.5 1.47 0.46 78.9 0.98 14 22.6 61.6 185 58.8 26.5 168 1,805 61.25

58.1 85.1 2.27 132 1.34 27.45 18.2 12.2 4.47 1.46 0.46 76.5 0.95 13.86 22 60.95 184 58 26.3 166 1,805 60.55

FINANCIALS 58.1 10 86.65 686,380 2.3 7,000 132.8 1,419,930 1.34 30,000 27.55 50,100 18.2 700 12.22 168,500 4.5 51,000 1.47 48,000 0.46 10,000 78.9 2,067,550 0.96 368,000 14 155,400 22 2,000 61.1 420,570 185 2,680 58 1,000 26.5 33,200 167 255,510 1,805 60 61.25 12,850

581 59,457,829.50 15,950 188,258,570 40,470 1,379,365 12,740 2,059,280 228,690 70,280 4,600 161,716,496 355,040 2,169,606 44,600 25,758,598 495,727 58,709 879,080 42,642,098 108,300 784,451.50

21,287,484.50 -5,295,425 -721,410 -648,676 42,442,231 -387,287 295,979 49,980 -672,520 -11,278,488 -167,616.50


35.1 15 1.03 1.42 0.243 2.66 15.5 29.05 16.5 40.55 1.91 6.25 6.1 11.32 15.78 8.8 7.5 1.65 21.45 73.7 27.5 2.63 9.6 12.7 1.63 315.6 4.2 10.98 27 12 20 375.6 0.2 1.38 6.63 9 1.33 11.98 49.6 5.85 4.79 1.84 1.3 12.28 109 6.42 0.13 1.01 141.2 2.62 1.64 1.35

35.45 15 1.04 1.42 0.244 2.7 15.7 29.5 16.5 41 1.91 6.25 6.29 11.32 15.78 8.85 7.55 1.65 21.75 74 27.5 2.73 9.65 12.96 1.75 318 4.2 11.08 27 12.02 20 378.2 0.201 1.42 6.75 9.31 1.34 12 49.6 5.86 4.79 1.86 1.3 12.4 109 6.42 0.13 1.05 144.8 2.62 1.65 1.35

35.1 14.1 1.01 1.42 0.234 2.58 15.5 29 16.2 40.55 1.91 5.89 6.1 11.24 15.6 8.72 7.5 1.65 21.05 73.7 27.35 2.45 9.6 12.7 1.63 315 4.15 10.52 26.5 11.9 19.8 371 0.2 1.38 6.52 9 1.32 11.78 48.7 5.85 4.79 1.82 1.3 12.28 105.9 6.37 0.129 1 141.2 2.54 1.63 1.29

INDUSTRIAL 35.45 2,840,300 14.1 417,700 1.01 1,670,000 1.42 640,000 0.243 940,000 2.62 6,872,000 15.5 389,000 29.5 55,800 16.48 900 41 12,000 1.91 10,000 5.89 500 6.29 2,300 11.28 564,500 15.76 172,500 8.78 536,100 7.55 267,000 1.65 3,000 21.5 2,955,300 73.8 66,850 27.5 100,900 2.45 35,381,000 9.6 2,701,000 12.86 98,400 1.7 313,000 316.4 364,290 4.15 111,000 11.06 19,700 27 838,800 11.98 2,306,100 19.86 230,600 378.2 102,590 0.201 100,000 1.4 3,902,000 6.7 6,324,000 9 10,300 1.33 2,960,000 12 131,400 49 351,300 5.85 20,000 4.79 1,000 1.86 18,000 1.3 81,000 12.4 25,700 107.4 1,359,630 6.4 78,400 0.129 550,000 1.01 587,000 144.8 526,130 2.55 25,000 1.64 562,000 1.31 5,895,000

100,131,730 6,081,702 1,699,050 908,800 224,050 18,116,660 6,032,352 1,642,730 14,816 491,955 19,100 3,084 14,429 6,370,646 2,713,428 4,704,705 2,002,909 4,950 63,085,560 4,936,929.50 2,773,400 91,328,420 25,931,192 1,261,150 532,460 115,340,046 463,700 211,960 22,389,120 27,621,018 4,584,640 38,513,986 20,040 5,474,200 42,100,187 92,741 3,933,200 1,562,372 17,222,555 117,010 4,790 32,960 105,300 318,492 145,739,921 501,169 70,970 589,280 75,103,384 63,880 923,140 7,728,670

15,081,155 441,364 25,750 1,311,160 259,720 -135,675 491,955.00 19,100 -4,599,804 -90,698 1,503,794 -1,409,503 -26,640,530 1,167,652 2,748,650 5,548,430 8,911,402 -118,466 8,167,236 5,270 -3,487,930 -22,564,688 2,412,728 6,437,858 20,040 1,134,020 16,140,040 -1,525,510 30,628 -3,070,675 -117,010 -13,000 0 55,550,713 64,500 -8,080 18,543,354 22,950 -164,350 -9,500


0.78 57.6 15 0.74 6.5 20.75 1.41 1.43 930 7.5 11.2 14.8 0.24 985 6.13 64.45 4.8 0.56 5.09 16.42 0.56 4.94 0.04 1.23 2.99 2.69 171.2 2.37 927.5 0.75 1.35 450 274.2 0.24 0.355

0.78 59.25 15.08 0.76 6.88 20.75 1.47 1.43 930 7.55 11.24 14.84 0.25 995 6.13 65 4.8 0.57 5.25 16.58 0.57 4.97 0.04 1.23 3.13 2.69 175.9 2.37 940.5 0.75 1.36 450 282.4 0.244 0.355

0.75 57.6 14.7 0.74 6.46 20.05 1.39 1.4 918 7.42 11.12 14.2 0.236 974.5 6.13 62.4 4.8 0.55 5.05 16.32 0.56 4.89 0.039 1.21 2.98 2.69 171.2 2.36 926 0.75 1.34 449 268 0.24 0.33

HOLDING FIRMS 0.76 7,082,000 58.95 2,226,770 14.98 5,764,300 0.76 34,000 6.5 147,100 20.5 24,400 1.4 9,548,000 1.41 1,013,000 920 282,450 7.5 587,700 11.2 5,897,600 14.62 2,112,500 0.25 250,000 993.5 71,230 6.13 2,000 63.2 3,931,130 4.8 5,000 0.57 53,000 5.12 942,400 16.52 7,674,000 0.57 129,000 4.94 9,304,000 0.04 10,000,000 1.21 13,000 3.12 7,704,000 2.69 6,000 172.4 1,167,710 2.37 31,000 931 185,490 0.75 30,000 1.36 16,000 449 270 282 11,510 0.243 370,000 0.335 60,860,000


11.98 0.78 1.87 0.92 42.8 2.4 4.21 6.6 0.49 0.92 0.92 0.24 0.405 10.16 20.3 0.5 0.13 1.52 1.24 5.45 0.39 0.45 1.87 0.45 2.85 43.05 23.65

12.16 0.79 1.87 0.93 43 2.4 4.3 6.75 0.5 0.93 0.93 0.245 0.41 10.36 21.3 0.51 0.13 1.54 1.24 5.48 0.395 0.46 2.05 0.45 2.85 43.05 23.7

11.98 0.78 1.87 0.89 42.6 2.36 4.21 6.6 0.49 0.88 0.91 0.24 0.405 10.08 20.3 0.5 0.13 1.5 1.23 5.35 0.385 0.45 1.87 0.44 2.85 43.05 23.1








2.01 3.14 37.1 1.59 7 0.8 7.2

2.06 3.14 37.75 1.59 7.12 0.8 7.3

2.01 3.1 37 1.56 7 0.8 7.19

2.05 3.1 37.65 1.59 7.08 0.8 7.22

270,000 277,000 8,928,100 483,000 278,200 2,000 2,551,100

552,680 863,780 333,566,440 760,560 1,963,394 1,600 18,410,816

-15,838,360 -99,592 -9,510,306


12.16 21.3 0.425 0.046 2.82 11.8 0.077 81.7 5.9 7.1 14.6 1,905 5.7 373.2 2.97 1.92 116.9 7.12 0.129 5.28 3.15 15.26 3.32 0.89 19.94 0.62 4.7 3 1.9 2.84 9.21 10.48 4.94 132.1 2.79 1,116 0.9 1.2 47.65 85.1 8.34 2.4 0.72 0.43 5.62 0.66 15.76

12.28 21.3 0.43 0.046 2.87 12 0.081 83 5.9 7.3 14.7 1,905 5.72 379.8 3 1.92 119.8 7.12 0.13 5.47 3.27 15.26 3.32 0.91 20.05 0.62 4.86 3 2.02 2.9 9.21 10.48 5 134 2.79 1,119 0.91 1.23 48 87 8.79 2.4 0.72 0.435 5.62 0.68 15.76

11.84 20.5 0.425 0.043 2.7 11.8 0.077 81.25 5.75 6.98 14.22 1,851 5.65 373.2 2.94 1.92 116.8 7.12 0.127 5.27 3.15 15.26 3.3 0.89 19.32 0.58 4.7 2.98 1.9 2.8 9.19 10.2 4.94 130 2.73 1,102 0.89 1.13 47.05 85.1 8.34 2.35 0.7 0.42 5.6 0.66 15.58

SERVICES 12.28 20.8 0.43 0.046 2.79 11.9 0.079 81.85 5.82 7.3 14.26 1,851 5.69 377.8 2.98 1.92 118.3 7.12 0.13 5.41 3.27 15.26 3.3 0.9 19.42 0.61 4.86 3 1.99 2.86 9.2 10.36 5 134 2.74 1,119 0.89 1.19 48 87 8.79 2.36 0.71 0.42 5.6 0.67 15.64

35,900 190,600 610,000 8,500,000 572,000 4,165,000 427,220,000 307,800 473,000 158,200 190,500 44,120 380,500 2,860 687,000 2,000 1,570,750 15,000 4,750,000 2,774,000 4,000 800 511,000 711,000 876,100 2,186,000 21,000 392,000 73,000 727,000 2,200 20,100 17,000 62,170 1,453,000 74,370 6,485,000 43,707,000 255,300 1,052,850 85,100 7,974,000 1,624,000 18,640,000 154,500 855,000 3,737,600

434,124 3,956,240 260,250 372,000 1,581,650 49,593,408 33,851,030 25,120,059.50 2,749,723 1,136,380 2,739,822 82,179,420 2,165,197 1,073,930 2,036,800 3,840 185,830,110 106,800 606,580 14,877,982 12,720 12,208 1,686,530 633,990 17,325,668 1,302,200 98,860 1,174,720 139,500 2,064,060 20,236 208,592 84,880 8,212,229 4,001,190 82,898,010 5,815,330 51,753,380 12,107,840 90,628,439.5 ( 737,719 18,819,540 1,141,070 7,923,250 865,494 572,910 58,494,948

7,200 -305,000 -19,570 8,724,008 -341,880 -19,030,238 -1,458 -17,027,795 -32,940 53,054,672 1,596 23,150 1,641,584 14,950 379,020 -20,236 -62,600 -1,386,440 6,417,785 500,210 127,820 -2,552,445 43,296,486.5) 8,921,940 154,660 -12,750 -21,266 -36,800 46,503,732


0.0021 1.45 2.91 13.58 1.2 1.11 2.27 0.295 8 1.48 0.247 0.122 0.128 0.0084 1.11 2.73 1.07 0.62 0.93 0.012 0.012 0.012 3.2 3.93 14.06 20.15 0.0072

0.0022 1.47 2.91 13.58 1.2 1.11 2.28 0.295 8 1.49 0.255 0.123 0.128 0.0084 1.13 2.73 1.08 0.63 0.94 0.013 0.012 0.013 3.2 4.01 14.42 20.25 0.0072

0.0021 1.45 2.9 13.02 1.18 1.11 2.26 0.295 7.8 1.48 0.244 0.12 0.128 0.0084 1.11 2.65 1.01 0.59 0.92 0.012 0.012 0.011 3.16 3.93 13.9 19.86 0.0072

MINING & OIL 0.0021 54,000,000 1.46 1,362,000 2.9 39,000 13.5 2,600 1.2 112,000 1.11 6,000 2.26 460,000 0.295 140,000 8 10,800 1.49 331,000 0.249 3,360,000 0.123 2,210,000 0.128 20,000 0.0084 2,000,000 1.12 161,000 2.67 749,000 1.05 616,000 0.62 142,000 0.94 82,000 0.013 1,500,000 0.012 100,500,000 0.011 324,100,000 3.16 29,000 3.95 466,000 14.12 684,800 19.9 3,289,200 0.0072 5,000,000

113,600 1,980,680 113,220 34,224 134,270 6,660 1,042,630 41,300 84,457 490,360 826,000 266,950 2,560 16,800 180,430 2,002,840 627,520 85,150 76,410 18,200 1,206,000 3,888,600 91,750 1,839,970 9,665,492 65,542,270 23 36,000

-148,870 -5,800 -111,870 -201,940 -45,508 ,619,588.9999 -


20.2 100 98 102 450.2 480 5.59 900 900 0.98 980 973 75.1 76.7 72.5 73.45 74.75 73.7 72.5 72

20.2 100 98 102 450.2 480 5.65 900 900 0.99 980 973 75.1 77.1 72.5 73.45 74.75 73.7 72.5 72

20 100 96.5 102 450.2 480 5.5 900 900 0.98 980 971 75.1 76.7 72.5 73.45 74.6 73.6 71.95 72

PREFERRED 20 143,200 100 10,000 97 11,000 102 290 450.2 300 480 100 5.5 182,600 900 50 900 50 0.98 150,000 980 90 971 1,000 75.1 140 77 15,930 72.5 4,400 73.45 5,000 74.6 53,500 73.6 4,000 72 49,900 72 29,490

2,868,740 1,000,000 1,069,785 29,580 135,060 48,000 1,006,944 45,000 45,000 147,500 88,200 972,200 10,514 1,223,653 319,000 367,250 3,995,204 294,430 3,594,335 2,123,280





WARRANTS 1.89 20,000



5.09 1.36

5.15 1.38

4.9 1.33

5.04 1.35






PROPERTY 12.02 0.79 1.87 0.91 42.85 2.36 4.25 6.75 0.495 0.88 0.93 0.24 0.405 10.36 21.05 0.51 0.13 1.52 1.23 5.41 0.395 0.46 1.92 0.45 2.85 43.05 23.7

1,569,800 520,000 124,000 1,088,000 8,636,800 675,000 293,000 82,000 6,490,000 227,000 25,000 1,800,000 390,000 2,178,200 266,900 146,000 40,000 15,091,000 1,425,000 11,299,000 9,800,000 90,000 11,731,000 420,000 52,000 400 980,100

5,384,410 131,010,124 86,037,228 25,180 956,105 495,045 13,508,930 1,426,950 259,918,785 4,404,238 65,935,744(24 30,838,894 59,490 70,419,345 12,260 248,218,711.50 24,000 29,450 4,839,246 126,521,046 73,330 45,840,230 399,700 15,920 23,713,010 16,140 202,349,738 73,370 172,593,880 22,500 21,540 121,250 3,210,570 89,160 20,586,600

-431,200 11,171,877.50 19,377,966 202,135 40,600 56,400 -128,357,925 934,294 ,626,994.0004) -7,283,386 8,948,820 -12,401,521 -2,007,868 63,289,496 513,330 -248,750 23,189,985 -114,743,250 -1,154,078 27,400

18,916,002 406,470 231,880 983,960 370,005,925 1,603,480 1,245,490 544,363 3,214,800 202,450 23,130 432,050 159,450 22,449,378 5,580,555 73,970 5,200 22,922,910 1,759,230 61,234,750 3,822,200 40,700 23,100,580 188,350 148,200 17,220 23,113,890

-6,094,460 19,500 -149,600 -53,100 -126,102,615 -61,660 -663,000 -64,350 -64,800 -28,450 4,132,400 766,615 -4,862,270 14,600,403 -78,000 1,041,210 -266,875




10.3 0.99


10.3 0.99







145,067,345 92,332,264







10.3 0.99


247,300 5,990,000

EXCHANGE TRADED FUNDS 115.3 14,460 10.3 0.99


1,870 700

-180,475 49,000 88,200 22,110 1,489,880 -

1,237,968 8,086,970

10,040 141,050



19,261 693


VALUE 1,764.80 (UP) 15.39 486,550,928.45 FINANCIAL INDUSTRIAL 11,617.51 (UP) 96.10 854,186,276.88 HOLDING FIRMS 7,695.11 (DOWN) 55.05 1,760,094,357.88 PROPERTY 3,918.31 (UP) 35.74 SERVICES 1,568.57 (DOWN) 0.03 1,094,498,069.30 MINING & OIL 7,947.36 (DOWN) 3.11 839,530,998.58 PSEI 7,766.15 (UP) 18.61 90,440,457.848 All Shares Index 4,800.67 (UP) 4.87 5,136,291,305.74 Gainers: 82; Losers: 101; Unchanged: 60; Total: 243

FDC eyeing offering to fund group’s expansion By Jenniffer B. Austria FILINVEST Development Corp., the holding company of the Gotianun family, is planning an equity offering to raise fresh funds to finance the expansion of core and new business ventures. FDC said in a disclosure to the stock exchange its board approved the equity offering that might involve rights offering or public offering of shares. The company, which has investments in real estate, banking, sugar milling, power generation and infrastructure sectors, has not finalized the terms and conditions of the offering, including the number of shares to be sold and the price. The company has yet to appoint underwriters, lead managers, arrangers, global coordinators and stabilization agent for the equity offering. FDC chief finance officer Nelson Bona said in a mobile message the company would use the proceeds from the planned share sale “to finance the growth of various operating units of Filinvest Group.” “We will announce use of proceeds soon together with other details,” Bona said. Share price of FDC hit a new 52week high at P14.84 per share before closing at P14.70 Wednesday following the disclosure. The share price of FDC has been on the upward trend since November last year. In January, North Luzon Airport Consortium, comprising of FDC, JG Summit Holdings Inc., Philippine Airport Ground Support Solutions Inc. and Changi Airport Philippines (I) Pte. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Changi Airports International, won the operations and maintenance contract of the Clark International Airport. NLAC received the notice of award for the project, dubbed a hybrid Public Private Partnership project with a 25year concession from the Bases Conversion Development Authority. The consortium has committed to spend about P6 billion to fit out the new terminal with a capacity to serve eight million passengers a year, doubling the current output of the existing terminal.

PAL extends seat sale promo until March 17 By Darwin G. Amojelar PHILIPPINE Airlines said it extended its seat sale promo with an additional one million seats up for grabs due to insistent public demand. The airline owned by tycoon Lucio Tan said the seat sale promo would be extended until March 17 from the original March 10 schedule. With the additional one million seats, the seat sale will enable more travel aficionados to avail of the best buys of as low as P78 for domestic and as low as U$78 for international routes. Passengers can book until March 17. The sale travel period runs from March 16 to December 31, 2019. “PAL, the Philippines’ only 4-star full service airline, encourages Filipinos to fly the way they deserve and discover all the perks of flying with a world-class legacy carrier at surprisingly affordable fares,” said PAL vice president for marketing Ria Domingo. PAL flies to 43 international and 35 domestic destinations using 95 aircraft, one of the youngest fleets in the industry within an average age of just five years. Earlier, PAL Holdings posted a net loss ofP3.29 billion in January to September last year from P2.31 billion year-on-year. Total revenues in the nine-month period reached P112.07 billion, up 16 percent from P96.58 billion on year. Expenses increased 17 percent to P115.30 billion from P98.56 billion in 2017, led by higher jet fuel prices, aircraft lease charges and flight frequencies. Flying operations expenses increased 26.9 percent to P63.26 billion from P49.84 billion a year ago. The company said jet fuel expenses climbed 36.1 percent in the nine-month period as the average price per barrel of aviation fuel soared from $73.92 in 2017 to $92.80 in 2018.




British MPs resoundingly reject Brexit deal for a second time

BARRED IN HONG KONG. A control tower (top) is seen past passenger planes at Hong Kong’s international airport on March 13, 2019. Hong Kong on March 13 barred Boeing 737 MAX airliners from its airspace, the latest in a series of government bans worldwide in the wake of a deadly plane crash in Ethiopia. AFP

LONDON―British MPs resoundingly rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal for a second time on Tuesday, plunging the country into further uncertainty just 17 days before it is due to split from the European Union. The House of Commons voted 391242 against the divorce deal, even after May secured further guarantees from Brussels over its most controversial elements. The move risks unleashing economic chaos, as Britain is scheduled to end ties with its biggest trade partner after 46 years on March 29, no matter what. Appearing before MPs in a voice half-breaking due to a cold, May defiantly vowed to fight on, saying she “profoundly” rejected the outcome. “The deal we’ve negotiated is the best and indeed the only deal,” she told the hushed chamber moments after the vote. May promised to allow MPs to vote on a “no deal” option on Wednesday and, if that is rejected as expected, to decide on Thursday whether to ask the EU to delay Brexit.

She said parliament faced “unenviable choices” if it voted for an extension, including revoking Brexit, holding a second referendum or leaving with another deal. However, euroskeptics believe the current deal is so bad that it is worth the risk of leaving with no plan. The latest vote comes two years after Britain set the clock ticking on its departure from the EU following a highly divisive referendum in 2016. Michel Barnier, the EU chief Brexit negotiator, said Brussels had nothing more to offer and must now brace for the possibility of a messy divorce. “The EU has done everything it can to help get the Withdrawal Agreement over the line,” Barnier tweeted. “The impasse can only be solved in the #UK. Our ‘no-deal’ preparations are now more important than ever before.” But a spokeswoman for European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said EU members would consider a “reasoned request” for a Brexit delay. AFP

US says no basis to ground Boeing jets


ASHINGTON―The United States said there is “no basis” to ground the Boeing 737 MAX airplanes, after a second deadly crash involving the model in less than five months prompted governments worldwide to ban the aircraft.

Despite the aviation giant’s assurances that the plane is safe and reliable, the European Union, Britain and India joined China and other countries grounding the plane or banning it from their airspace as they await the results of the investigation into the crash. But the US has so far refused to take

similar action against the American aerospace giant’s best-selling workhorse aircraft. “Thus far, our review shows no systemic performance issues and provides no basis to order grounding the aircraft,” Federal Aviation Administration chief Daniel Elwell said in a statement on Tuesday. A new Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX 8 went down minutes into a flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi on Sunday, killing all 157 people on board. That followed the October crash of a new Lion Air jet of the same model in Indonesia, which killed 189 people shortly after takeoff from Jakarta. The widening actions against the aircraft puts pressure on Boeing―the world’s biggest plane manufacturer―

to prove the MAX planes are safe, and the company has said it is rolling out flight software updates by April that could address issues with a faulty sensor. The full extent of the impact of the aircraft bans on international travel routes was unclear. There are about 350 MAX 8 planes in service around the world. Air Canada, for example, announced it was canceling flights to London following Britain’s decision to ban the aircraft. The EU aviation safety agency also closed European airspace to all MAX planes. It noted that the “exact causes” of the Lion Air crash were still being investigated. “At this early stage of the related in-

vestigation, it cannot be excluded that similar causes may have contributed to both events,” the agency added. India joined the list of countries to ban the jet, a day after saying it had imposed additional interim safety requirements for ground engineers and crew for the aircraft. New Zealand has also temporarily banned the aircraft from its airspace. Turkish Airlines, one of the largest carriers in the world, said it was suspending use of its 12 MAX aircraft from Wednesday, until “uncertainty” was clarified. Low-cost airline Norwegian Air Shuttle, South Korea’s Eastar Jet and South Africa’s Comair also said they would halt flights. US President Donald Trump weighed

Republic of the Philippines Department of Environment and Natural Resources MINES AND GEOSCIENCES BUREAU


North Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City. Philippines Tel. No. (+632) 928-8642/928-8937 Fax No. (+632) 920-1635 E-mail:

Floods kill 66 in Mozambique MAPUTO―At least 66 people have been killed and 141,000 affected after heavy rain deluged central and northern Mozambique, the government has said as it appealed for funds to manage the crisis. “The government has decreed a red alert due to the continuing rains and the approach of the tropical cyclone Idai, expected to reach the country between Thursday to Friday,” said cabinet spokeswoman Ana Comoana. She spoke to reporters late Tuesday after a meeting of the Council of Ministers held in Maputo to discuss the deadly flooding. The floods in one of Africa’s poorest countries have already destroyed 5,756 homes, affecting 15,467 households and 141,325 people. There are 111 people with injuries, 18 hospitals destroyed, 938 classrooms destroyed and 9,763 students affected. More than 168,000 hectares of crops were also destroyed, the government spokeswoman added. Authorities have ordered the compulsory evacuation of people living in flood-prone areas. “Sixteen accommodation centers have been opened in the provinces of Zambezia and Tete to accommodate the displaced,” Comoana said. “The government needs 1.1 billion meticais ($16 million) to assist 80,000 families affected by the rain”. Mozambique is prone to cyclones, floods and droughts, and the floods in 2000 claimed at least 800 lives while more than 100 were killed in 2015. AFP

ICC asked to probe journalist murders MEXICO CITY―Reporters Without Borders said Tuesday it had asked the International Criminal Court to investigate the murders of 102 journalists in Mexico from 2012 to 2018, calling the rash of killings a crime against humanity. Another 14 journalists have gone missing in the same period, the media-rights group said. It urged the Hague-based court, which handles the most serious international crimes, to investigate the killings and kidnappings as a targeted campaign against the press. “These crimes against humanity... (constitute) a generalized and systematic attack on a civilian population: journalists,” the secretary general of Reporters Without Borders, Christophe Deloire, told a news conference. He accused authorities of “evident complicity” in the killings under the two presidents in question, Felipe Calderon (2006-2012) and Enrique Pena Nieto (2012-2018). Reporters Without Borders and Mexican rights group Propuesta Civica, which are jointly pushing the ICC to act, said they would ask Mexico’s new President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to file a case before the court. Only the court’s member states, prosecutor or the United Nations Security Council can bring cases before the ICC. Mexican officials are “very positive” about the initiative, and Lopez Obrador is open to the idea, said Emmanuel Colombie, Latin America representative for Reporters Without Borders. AFP

in with a blistering tweet on Tuesday: “Airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly.” “Pilot are no longer needed, but rather computer scientists from MIT,” he wrote, referring to the prestigious university. Trump later spoke by telephone to Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, who assured him the aircraft is safe, an industry source told AFP. US carriers have so far appeared to maintain confidence in Boeing, which has been ordered by the FAA to make changes to flight systems and pilot training procedures. The move was not enough to reassure the UK Civil Aviation Authority, which said it was banning the planes from UK airspace “as a precautionary measure.” AFP

BID-BAC-01 INVITATION TO APPLY FOR ELIGIBILITY AND TO BID One (1) Lot Transmission and Distribution Lines ITB No. 2019-03-020 P.R. No. 2018-12-1272 1.

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau, through the General Appropriations Act (GAA) for CY 2018 intends to apply the sum corresponding to the Approved Budget for the Contract (ABC) amounting to Seventeen Million Pesos (PhP17,000,000.00), for the supply and delivery of One (1) Lot Rehabilitation and Replacement of Service Entrance and Feeder Line for MGB Buildings including Multipurpose Building; Rehabilitation of Power House in provision of relocation of the Main Transformer. Bids received in excess of the ABC shall be automatically rejected at bid opening.


The Mines and Geosciences Bureau, now invites bids for Rehabilitation and Replacement of Service Entrance and Feeder Line for MGB Buildings including Multipurpose Building; Rehabilitation of Power House in provision of relocation of the Main Transformer. Completion of the Works is required One Hundred Fifty (150) calendar days. Bidders should have completed a contract similar to the Project. The description of an eligible bidder is contained in the Bidding Documents, particularly, in Section II. Instructions to Bidders.


Bidding will be conducted through open competitive bidding procedures using non-discretionary “pass/fail” criterion as specified in the 2016 Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 9184 (RA 9184), otherwise known as the “Government Procurement Reform Act.”

PREMIERE. Cara Delevingne (2nd L), Derek Blasberg (2nd R), and Suki Waterhouse (R) attend the

Bidding is restricted to Filipino citizens/sole proprietorships, cooperatives, and partnerships or organizations with at least Seventy Five percent (75%) interest or outstanding capital stock belonging to citizens of the Philippines.

Times Square Edition Premiere on March 12, 2019, in New York City. AFP

Manafort returns to court for further sentencing WASHINGTON―US President Donald Trump’s former campaign chief Paul Manafort, sentenced to 47 months in prison last week for tax and bank fraud, returns to court on Wednesday to find out whether he faces even more jail time. Manafort, who turns 70 on April 1, is to appear before Judge Amy Berman Jackson in a federal court in Washington for sentencing on two conspiracy charges to which he has pleaded guilty. The veteran Republican political consultant and lobbyist faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison for each count. Jackson can decide whether any sentence she imposes runs concurrently with Manafort’s current sentence or is tacked on to the end. Manafort’s case is the highest-profile one yet stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. He is one of a half-dozen former Trump associates and senior aides charged by Mueller, although none of them have been accused so far of direct collusion with Moscow to get Trump elected to the White House. Manafort was convicted by a jury in August of five counts of filing false income tax returns, two counts of bank fraud and one count of failing to report a foreign bank account. His conviction was a stunning downfall for a man who also worked on the White House bids of three Republican presidents—Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush—and party

hopeful Bob Dole. The charges were not connected to Manafort’s role in the Trump campaign, which he headed for two months in 2016, but were related to lucrative consulting work he did for Russian-backed Ukrainian politicians from 2004 to 2014. Prosecutors alleged that Manafort used offshore bank accounts to hide more than $55 million he earned working for the Ukrainians. The money was used to support a lavish lifestyle which included purchases of luxury homes and cars, antique rugs, and expensive clothes, including an $18,500 python jacket. Manafort was sentenced to 47 months in prison last week by US District Judge T.S. Ellis -- a jail term that was well below the federal sentencing guidelines of 19 to 24 years and was criticized by many as too lenient. Ellis described the guidelines as “excessive” and said Manafort had led an “otherwise blameless life” before being convicted of tax and bank fraud. Jackson may not prove to be as forgiving. She sent Manafort to jail last year after he was accused of tampering with witnesses, one of the two conspiracy charges to which he has pleaded guilty. And it was Jackson who ruled that Manafort had breached a plea agreement reached with the special counsel’s office by lying repeatedly to investigators. AFP


Interested bidders may obtain further information from Mines and Geosciences Bureau Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) Office, North Avenue Diliman Quezon City and inspect the Bidding Documents from 9:00am to 3:00pm.


A complete set of Bidding Documents may be acquired by interested bidders on March 12-29, 2019 from Mines and Geosciences Bureau, office of the Bids and Awards Committee, North Avenue, Diliman Quezon City and upon payment of the applicable fee for the Bidding Documents, pursuant to the latest Guidelines issued by the GPPB, in the amount of Twenty Five Thousand Pesos [PhP25,000.00]. It may also be downloaded free of charge from the website of the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS) and the website of the Procuring Entity, provided that bidders shall pay the applicable fee for the Bidding Documents not later than the submission of their bids.


The Mines and Geosciences Bureau will hold a Pre-Bid Conference on March 19, 2019 at 10:00am at the office of the Bids and Awards Committee, Mines and Geosciences Bureau, North Avenue, Diliman Quezon City, which shall be open to prospective bidders.


Bids must be duly received by the BAC Secretariat at the address below on or before April 1, 2019 at 9:30am. All bids must be accompanied by a bid security in any of the acceptable forms and in the amount stated in ITB Clause 18. Bid opening shall be on April 1, 2019 at 10:00am at at the office of the Bids and Awards Committee, Mines and Geosciences Bureau, North Avenue, Diliman Quezon City, Bids will be opened in the presence of the bidders’ representatives who choose to attend at the address below. Late bids shall not be accepted.


The Mines and Geosciences Bureau reserves the right to reject any and all bids, declare a failure of bidding, or not award the contract at any time prior to contract award in accordance with Section 41 of RA 9184 and its IRR, without thereby incurring any liability to the affected bidder or bidders. For further information, please refer to: HANZ C. BERNARDO Head, BAC Secretariat Bids and Awards Committee North Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City Telephone No. 667-6700 loc. 125 E-mail: Website: (SGD) Engr. RODOLFO L. VELASCO, JR. Chairperson

(MS-MAR. 14, 2019)



Jimbo Owen Gulle, Editor



Mangudadatu chides rival on ‘rewriting history’ By Nash B. Maulana COTABATO CITY—Maguindanao Governor Esmael Mangudadatu has accused his political rival and cousin in-law of rewriting history when she openly said that an “incident on 23 November 2009 killed the Ampatuan family” instead of members of their own clan among 58 massacre fatalities that day. Mayor Marriam Sangki Mangudadatu of Datu Abdullah Sangki, Maguindanao is running for governor of the province against the incumbent’s brother, Mayor Freddie Mangudadatu of Mangudadatu town. On Wednesday, the governor posted on social media a video of the mayor speaking onstage, telling her audience in Ampatuan town to “be aware of the November 23, 2009 incident” that they (leaders of that town) “are now allied with one who killed the Ampatuan family.” “She is rewriting history if she recalls it [the incident] that way,” Governor Mangudadatu said. The governor, who is no longer eligible to run after his current third term, said he was in the company of his Provincial Team in a medical mission in Ampatuan town when he was shown a video of the mayor’s public engagement in another barangay. In the local Maguindanaon dialect, the transcript of the mayor’s line in her speech stated: “Mimaman tanu ka kanu timpu na 2009 Nov. 23, entain i minimatay sa pamilya Ampatuan. Namba i kinadtampil nu saguna,imaman kanu ka niya den ba a timpo a kapembago na inged tanu endu kapamagayun tanu.” In his Facebook post, Governor Mangudadatu did not say he felt being alluded thereto, but offered this English translation of the mayor’s vernacular quote: “Let us be aware on 2009 Nov. 23, who killed the Ampatuan family, he is your ally now. Beware because today marks the beginning of reform of our society and our unity.”

Barangay Sucat resident Consuelo Ferrera (seated left) receives the P100,000 cash incentive from the City Government of Muntinlupa through its Office of Senior Citizen Affairs. Mayor Jaime Fresnedi (seated right) and other local officials visited Ferrera and delivered the financial assistance last Wednesday. Senior residents receive social services from the city, free passes on cinema houses, and free parking fees in commercial establishments within Muntinlupa.


‘Only Pagcor can regulate gaming’


HE Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. on Wednesday maintained that local government units do not have the authority to regulate games of chance in their areas.

Instead, this function is a mandate of Pagcor by virtue of its charter in Presidential Decree 1869, it said in a statement. The state firm was reacting to Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte’s pronouncements that the city council will pass an ordinance that will regulate the operation of games of chance within QC’s territorial jurisdiction. Part of this planned gaming regulatory ordinance, Pagcor noted, is the collection of an entry fee to limit the locals’ access to the soon-to-rise Solaire casino, which will be built by Bloomberry Resorts Corp. on a 1.57 hectare land in Quezon City’s Ayala Vertis North complex. “We would like to reiterate that with regard to regulation of gaming in LGUs, Presidential Decree Number 771 ‘re-

vokes the authority of LGUs to issue license permit or any form of franchise to operate, maintain and establish forms of gambling,’” the state firm said. In addition, Pagcor noted that Opinion Number 91 s. 1998 of the Department of Justice stated that the phrase “national government” was interpreted in the law as “no other than the national government agencies which have been vested with the authority to issue permits or franchises, maintain and establish the gaming activities mentioned therein.” Opinion 91 also mentioned that Pagcor was established to enable the government to regulate and centralize through an appropriate institution all games of chance authorized by existing franchise or permitted by law. The Office of the President, as early

as 1996, issued a memorandum stating that “only the national government has the power to issue licenses or permits for the operation of gambling, since the power of LGUs to regulate gambling through the grant of franchise, license or permit was withdrawn by PD 771 as early as 1975,” the state firm noted. “The provisions in the law are clear. Pagcor is vested the authority to ensure that proper regulations are in place so as not to endanger the interests of the country—including cities and LGUs,” it said. If the local government of Quezon City abhors gambling—so as to create measures that are beyond its powers – Pagcor said it should not have issued Bloomberry Resorts Corp. a Letter of No Objection and Resolution of No Objection when the casino firm was completing documentary requirements for the application of a provisional license. Obtaining consent of the local government authority that has territorial

Seniors decry benefits payout in Malabon

IN BRIEF PNP stands firm on Panopio relocation DESPITE possible displacement of students due to residence relocation, the Philippine National Police has stood firm on moving over 200 enlisted personnel and their families out of Camp Panopio Hospital in Cubao. In an interview, District 4 Councilor Ivy Xenia Lagman said the PNP has rejected the plea of the 37-member Quezon City council to postpone the relocation of the affected police officers to a resettlement site project of the National Housing Authority in Antipolo City, Rizal province. “The PNP sent us a letter saying ‘we are very sorry we cannot accommodate your request,’” Lagman told the Manila Standard. “As far as I know, they [police] are now readying to vacate the place,” she said. The council had approved City Resolution No. 7686, requesting the PNP to delay the relocation so that affected schoolchildren would be able to finish the current school year. Rio N. Araja

Navotas artists aid Bahay Pag-asa kids GUHIT Pinas-Navotas recently chose the Navotas Bahay Pag-asa to be the recipient of its first ever art exhibit for a cause. The exhibit, which is being held at the Navotas City Hall lobby, features works of 20 local artists, including Councilor Ethel Joy Arriola-Mejia. It seeks to raise funds to provide children in conflict with the law staying at Bahay Pag-asa with art materials and learning sessions. Mayor John Rey Tiangco expressed appreciation to Guhit Pinas-Navotas for undertaking a noble cause. “This project serves to inspire us in the city government to continue supporting our local artists. We hope you will continue to bless others with the beauty of your creations,” he said. Jun David

jurisdiction over the area chosen as site for any of Pagcor’s operations was stipulated in Republic Act 9487 when the state firm’s corporate life was extended by 25 years, renewable for another 25 years. Meanwhile, on the collection of entry fees as a means to “look after the welfare of the people,” Pagcor said a study published in UNLV Gaming Research & Review Journal shows that imposing the “entry fee policy” will drive away recreational gamblers but will make problem gamblers less price-sensitive. “Hence, it will result to significantly lower gaming revenues but will not address the addiction of problem gamblers,” the state firm said. To address problem gambling, Pagcor has advocated the Code of Practice for Responsible Gaming, which is being adopted by all Pagcor-operated and licensed entities—to minimize the potential harm of gambling to the individual and the community.

By Macon Ramos-Araneta

LAGUNA’S EGGS. Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos touts the duck eggs locally known as “Itlog ni Kuya” made by producers in the

town of Victoria, Laguna during a campaign caravan of the Hugpong ng Pagbabago party under Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte last week. The senatorial hopeful noted that his father, the late President Ferdinand Marcos, ordered the creation of the Culture and Arts center at the nearby University of the Philippines campus in Los Baños and the hydropower plant at Kaliraya Lake in Lumban, Laguna. Roy Tomandao

Manicad: Time to take radical steps to solve El Niño

BROADCAST journalist Jiggy Manicad, who is seeking a Senate seat in the May 13 midterm elections, is urging the government to take “radical steps” now that the El Niño phenomenon is wreaking havoc on the country’s water supply, particularly for the agricultural sector. Manicad also urged city residents, particularly those living in Metro Manila, to conserve water amid the ongo-

ing water supply problem in the region. He warned that the farming sector would lose billions of pesos if immediate measures are not taken to mitigate the effects of the dry spell. “We are an agricultural nation. We depend on agriculture for food but the looming water crisis is taking its toll on our farms and livestock,” Manicad says. Citing records from the Philippine

Statistics Authority, the multi-awarded journalist noted that only 57 percent of irrigable land or 1.73 million hectares are irrigated, with the rest of the country’s farmlands dependent on rain. “Where our irrigation system gets water—the dams—are getting dry. This could mean a crisis if we don’t mitigate the effects of the El Niño,” Manicad says.

SENIORS in Malabon have bewailed the apparent politicizing of their benefits, which included cash grants and social pension. They complained that the distribution of their benefits have been disorganized after its implementation was transferred to the Office of Vice Mayor Jeannie Sandoval. “We seniors are really pitiful,” lamented Corazon Viardo, as she recalled how her fellow senior citizens suffered long hours of waiting in a congested covered court just to get the assistance that is due them. At least 10 seniors were reportedly taken to hospitals after they passed out while waiting in line for their Unconditional Cash Transfer payout in September. Many other elders experienced hunger, heat and exhaustion, Viardo noted. The Standard could not reach Sandoval or the city government for comment at press time. Senior citizen benefits, including social pension, were usually distributed in the open amphitheater near the city hall, she said.

Cement firm brings smiles to Naga CEMENT manufacturer CEMEX Holdings Philippines continues to support the war against dental diseases when it recently joined the Department of Health’s “Isang Milyong Sipilyo” program held in the City of Naga, Cebu. The annual program aims to give away a total of one million toothbrushes to elementary school students nationwide. The DOH has always promoted the importance of brushing one’s teeth and leads in the observation of the Philippine Dental Health Month every February. This year, CEMEX, through its social development arm CEMEX Philippines Foundation, is again working

hand in hand with the DOH and the Naga City Dental Health Office in the promotion of good dental hygiene. CEMEX recently distributed more than 6,500 dental kits across 10 public elementary schools in Naga. Likewise, the students were given lectures on proper dental hygiene, with the goal of making dental care a part of the children’s daily lives. “We’ve helped promote dental healthcare at the City of Naga since 1994 because it is an essential component of overall health, quality of life, and wellbeing,” explained Chito Maniago, CHP Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Director and CEMEX Philippines Foundation executive director.

CEMEX puts the smiles back on children’s faces during the ‘Isang Milyong Sipilyo’ (One Million Toothbrushes) event held recently at Pangdan Elementary School in Naga City, Cebu.


Bernadette Lunas, Issue Editor @manilastandardlife @MStandardLIFE



Talent camp



kids’ gifts


OTHERS do know best; and when a young artist’s mom saw her child’s talent, she immediately looked for a way to nurture it.

At two years old, Worth Lodriga’s motor skills were way advanced for his age that his art could be mistaken for a five year old’s. His mother noticed this innate gift when she was teaching him to read and write. She took a quick break and left him to play on his own, and when she returned, she saw her son doodling on the whiteboard. “I was amazed because I hadn’t seen a two-year-old boy who could draw a

joining the talent camp, Lodriga participated in and won several international competitions, including the Frogs Are Green International Art Contest 2016 in New Jersey, where he was pitted against 1,441 entries globally; the 2017 Airtime Watertime International Flotation Suit Design Contest in Santa Barbara, California; the 7-Star Artist Award at the Junior Picasso International Art Contest in India; and the 2017 Student Mars Art Contest in Colora-

NURTURED TALENT. Young artist Worth Lodriga explored his visual art talent during his time at Promil Four’s i-Shine Talent Camp. Artist Award for Music. His gift and passion for music earned him several accolades as a composer, musical director, conductor, and accompanist. Born into a family of artists, Alejandro is an accomplished journalist, TV show host, and designer. Meanwhile, Escay is an art therapist and co-founder and head teaching artist at Masterpiece Movement, a creative, wholehearted and transformative multi-arts movement which aims to spark hearts, shift views, and stretch ways of being through creativity and the multi-arts. This season, i-Shine introduces two new camps: Theater and Ballet.

To help bring out participants’ talent in acting is veteran theater actor Audie Gemora. With a three-decade-old career that has seen him playing all kinds of roles, Gemora has been lauded as the “King of Philippine Musical Theatre.” Lisa Macuja-Elizalde handles the Ballet Camp. The prima ballerina started taking lessons at 8 years old. She was the first foreigner to join Russia’s Kirov Ballet and was the first artist-in-residence of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Go to www.promilnurturethegift. for more information. Photos from Worth Lodriga/Facebook

Show some love to wooden furniture ‘Rainforest’ by Worth Lodriga

human being in 3D,” she shared. That was the moment she thought of enrolling her son in Promil Four’s iShine Talent Camp. Lodriga joined Promil Four’s iShine Talent Camp 4, formerly known as Promil Pre-School’s i-Shine Talent Camp, when he was four years old. During his time at the camp, he explored drawing details, painting, and other arts and crafts activities. “I enjoyed the experience a lot because I learned how to widen my imagination and make better art,” he said. This exposure helped pave the way for his professional career as an artist. After

‘Sikap at Tiyaga’ by Worth Lodriga

do, USA., where his piece “Where No Man Has Gone Before” won first place. His latest recognition was the 10th Ani ng Dangal Awards for the Visual Arts category in 2018 where he was honored for garnering international awards from the previous year. In this year’s edition of the talent camp, six of the country’s best and most recognized mentors have been commissioned to guide and nurture kids’ gifts through meaningful and memorable talent camps across Metro Manila, Cebu, Davao, and Batangas. Promil Four i-Shine Talent Camp 7 presents teachers Robert Alejandro and Kara Escay for the Art Camp, Maestro Ryan

Cayabyab for the Music Camp, Georcelle Dapat-Sy for the Dance Camp, Audie Gemora for the Theatre Camp, and Lisa Macuja-Elizalde for the Ballet Camp. Dapat-Sy, the brains behind the country’s premier dance company GForce, has mentored many young dancers, as well as countless artists. Teacher Georcelle, who believes that anyone can learn to dance, continues to share her knowledge and skills through mentoring kids in the i-Shine Talent Camp. Warmly known as Mr. C, Cayabyab has proven to be a true musical genius as he received the highest national honor for Filipino artists, the National

Worth’s mom supports and nurtures his talents.

Woodshine utilizes a special liquid emulsion with a wax-based formula that creates a natural barrier on the surface of wooden furniture.

LOOKING for something to help extend the life and protect your wooden furniture? Jardine Distribution, Inc.’s Woodshine Furniture Polish protects wooden benches, tables, chairs, desks, and cabinets from dirt, smudges, and light surface scratches, allowing these to remain as fine and delicate as the first day they were acquired. Bearing the heritage of Superbrandrecognized timber expert Solignum, Woodshine is formulated to preserve the natural beauty of wooden furniture. It is a special liquid emulsion with a wax-based formula that has anti-static property. This creates a natural barrier that repels dust particles and grime, prevents smudges and light scratches, and even removes coffee and water stains. Woodshine has no strong and irritating odor—only mild lemon scent. In addition, it can be applied on all varnished, laminated, and treated

wooden furniture. It can also be used on other common surfaces like leather, vinyl, and stainless tabletops. Since Woodshine has no anti-termite property, JDI recommends the use of Solignum wood preservative before painting and finishing to protect the timber from the infestation of termites, wood borers, and fungi. Woodshine comes in 150ml and 330ml aerosol cans, and available at Rustan’s Supermarket, Marketplace, Shopwise, Robinsons Builders, and Wilcon Depot stores nationwide.

Preserve the family’s well-loved wooden furniture pieces and the lasting memories associated with them.




New condo rises in Sucat T

OP-OF-MIND property developer Amaia Land Corp. launches Isabela, Amaia Steps’ sixth and newest midrise condo in Sucat, Parañaque.

Isabela’s launch follows the success of Amaia Steps Sucat’s first five buildings in the area—Aria, Blanca, Clara, Esperanza, and Fidela—with 89 percent of their units sold, 69 percent of which have been turned over. Amaia Steps Sucat Isabela will offer prospective homeowners a total of 210 spacious and well-designed residential units, ranging from 24 to 42 square meters. Isabela’s vehicle owners may likewise avail of a total of 35 secure parking slots for their convenience. The new condo’s future residents are assured of the comforts and convenience of suburban living, including recreational facilities such as a swimming pool for refreshing afternoon or evening dips; a half-size basketball court where the community’s young-

Amaia Steps Sucat Isabela offers 210 spacious residential units and 35 parking slots.

The midrise condominium property in Brgy. San Antonio enjoys close proximity to commercial establishments such as SM City Sucat.

sters can shoot some hoops; a function room that may be used for celebrations and other activities with friends and family; and a courtyard for enjoying the morning sun. Located on Dr. A. Santos Avenue in Brgy. San Antonio, the contemporary-inspired midrise residential project is near commercial estab-

lishments like SM City Sucat, Puregold, and Santana Grove. Further, Amaia Steps Sucat Isabela is a mere 20-minute drive from the Makati Central Business District via Skyway and may be accessed through the South Luzon Expressway’s Sucat exit, from the West Service Road, and from the NAIA Road. Transport hubs that offer

jeeps and shuttle services are likewise located in the area. “In 2019, Amaia Land sustains its momentum of providing high quality yet affordable housing options to Filipino families and professionals. Attesting to this commitment is the launch of Amaia Steps Isabela, our newest building in Sucat,” says Kristel Manalo of Amaia Land.

5 things that worry Filipino moms SHE looks like she’s got it. And she does. But what other people don’t realize is that there are things mothers worry about on a daily basis. Lamoiyan Corporation’s Licealiz Head Lice Treatment shampoo reached out to mommy bloggers to find out the biggest concerns Filipino moms may have today.

The tribulations of motherhood

Being a mom is definitely not a walk in the park. Mommy Iris of the online blog Pinay Ads shares that as a firsttime mom, she is worried about how to do everything properly. She says, “My worry is if I can do it (motherhood), especially as there are no books to guide us. You can’t really learn it properly until the baby arrives.” Both she and Mommy Gracie of Tipid Mommy agree that research is a good way to overcome this. “It helps a lot to read online articles, learn from experienced moms and from mom friends, both online and offline,” shares Mommy Gracie.

Raising well-rounded kids

All moms want their children to grow up as model citizens. Mommy Donna of Everyday Adventures wants her son Jayden to learn the value of excellence.

Celebration at the garden of Patio Victoria Intramuros. Many mothers worry about doing everything properly and raising well-rounded and respectful children.

how he would do. But as she saw how much he flourished in his learning environment, she felt a little more at ease. As for Mommy Iris, whose daughter Sammy is three years old, she shares that finding the balance between learning and play is important. “At our house, when we Academic pressures The first day of school is not just play, there’s still learning,” she shares. nerve-wracking for the kids, but for the Interacting with other kids parents as well. For Mommy Gracie, the As children grow older, the more they first time her son Zee entered school, she and her husband were worried about feel inclined to play outside, explore, and meet other kids. Sometimes, these interactions affect the children’s character, which is why Mommy Adae of Adae to Remember worries that her daughter Abby will meet kids who could be a bad influence to her. She says that a way to overcome this is to talk to the kids and tell them right away that what they are saying or doing is wrong. This is a sentiment that Mommy Reylen of Made it Through Mum also resonates with, especially if she feels that her kids will imitate children who disrespect their parents. “But I’m not that scared,” she admits. “Here in our household, they know how to respect others.” “I know that I myself am a hardworking person, so I want him to grow up the same way,” she emphasizes. She also wants him to learn how to treat people kindly and be gentle to all kinds of people.

Patio Victoria Intramuros celebrates 18th anniversary POPULAR wedding, debut, birthday, and other events venue Patio Victoria in Intramuros, Manila celebrates 18 years of bringing elegant and memorable celebrations. Patio Victoria offers affordable allin packages with a menu that features classic and mouth-watering dishes. It

has two gardens: The Sofia Garden and The Diana Garden. Each can accommodate at least 350 persons, while its air-conditioned ballroom can accommodate 250 guests. Email and or call (02) 526-1953 or 523-6940 for inquiries.


Health risks

A Filipino mommy blogger says that finding the right balance between learning and play is important.

Like any mother, Mommy Mhaan of the blog Mommy Rockin’ in Style is always worried that her son Cloud is not getting the sufficient health resources he needs. When kids go out to play, the chances for exposure to various diseases increase. She is afraid that Cloud will get injured or contract diseases like dengue, flu, or head lice. “I’m doing my best, but sickness is inevitable,” she laments. She says that it is important to use the right products and take the right steps to easily reduce the health risks that children are exposed to. Head lice is one of the many unforeseen health risks that can affect children. Licealiz Head Lice Treatment Shampoo eliminates both head lice and mothers’ worries. It is recommended to use Licealiz Head Lice Treatment Shampoo twice a week for two weeks for treatment of head lice.

2 non-profit orgs team up for fundraising project THE Philippine Missionari Della Fondazione Di Carita Inc. (Philmissionari) and Habitat for Humanity Philippines have recently signed a memorandum of agreement for a joint endeavor which aims to raise funds for programs that aid select disadvantaged communities in the country. “Habitat’s achievements in uplifting the lives of families through housing and community development match our values of service and social change,” said Philmissionari president and co-founder Judith Tan. Philmissionari focuses on service, social change, and the provision of aid, access, and opportunities for poor communities. The foundation currently has programs on support and volunteerism, education, livelihood and employment, health, nutrition and feeding, and emergency relief. Present at the MOA signing are (seated, from left) Habitat for Humanity Philippines communications director Jamie Sugay, chief operating officer Lili Fuentes, Philmissionari founder and chairman Charles Pontier Sr., president and co-founder Judith Tan, co-founder and operations and outreach Archie Tan, (standing) Habitat for Humanity Philippines resource development manager Stephanie Arellano, and Philmissionari’s Dexter Crudo.


Asia’s Next Top Model runner-up joins Careline F




RESH from her stint in Asia’s Next Top Model (ANTM) Cycle 6, where she finished in the top three, Adela Mae Marshall is set to conquer the beauty world as the newest face of Careline, the trendy and edgy cosmetics line of Ever Bilena for Filipina youth.

“It is so exciting. Careline is a brand that I am very familiar with. I am so happy to be working with a very popular brand that has been helping women my age to express themselves through makeup,” Adela on being the newest endorser of the brand. Recalling her days in the popular reality television series she said, “It was a very stressful environment. I was always nervous, so I needed to learn to discipline myself. I realized I should not rely on other people to make me look good, that it is my responsibility also.” On her skin-care routine, she shares that being diligent in washing your face and removing your makeup is important in maintaining a good complexion. The young model also believes that a healthy lifestyle through exercise and drinking a lot of water is essential to having a healthy, clear skin. As for her favorite makeup products, Adela prefers products that can multi-task so she can use it in different ways. “I am quite oily so I always need to have a powder, it doesn’t necessary to be colored it just need to blot the oil. And because I am really pale I like to keep a blush and a lipstick but if I have a small bag, I want something that can double up which is why the Careline Multisticks, especially the Rose Multistick, are perfect.” Although she may portray different personalities in her career, she wants to be remembered by one thing - to be yourself. Adela is lucky to have Careline by her side. For more information, visit Careline website,, and Facebook page, CarelineCosmetics and Instagram www.

Pageant personalities grace derm clinic opening BEAUTY queens Princess Ramos, Camille “Cj” Hirro, and Sharmaine Magdasoc, and male pageant winner Gil Wagas, graced the opening Avignon Laser Dermatology in Bonifacio Global City. The newly-opened derm clinic is a modern day aesthetic clinic, a cozy and friendly place that offers only the best treatments by experienced professionals. Customers can have full privacy and security while confiding their aesthetic problems and concerns, a personalized approach between patient and doctor to achieve quick and amazing results. Avignon’s top signature services include the BTL Exilis Elite, an awardwinning technology that delivers radiofrequency energy to precisely target, tighten and tone your superficial or deep troubled area, from head to toe.

INTERNATIONAL ‘Wonder Woman’urges calm in Israeli civil rights fight Newest Careline ambassador Adela Marshall wears Careline Matte Liquid Lipstick in ‘In Bloom’ shade.

Voting begins for ‘Asia’s Got Talent’ semi-finals AFTER five exciting Judges’ Auditions episodes, the power now lies in your hands. The top 24 acts are now through to the semifinals and you decide who to vote through to perform at Marina Bay Sands Singapore for the Grand Finals Show. To vote, tune in to Asia’s Got Talent every Thursday at 8:30 p.m., and wait for the hosts to announce that voting is open, then

go to Facebook and Google to start supporting your favorite acts. In each semi-final episode, eight acts will perform. At the end of each episode, the act that impresses the judges the most will win the Judges’ Pick and head to the Grand Final directly. The seven remaining acts will be up for voting, and the two acts with the most votes after the voting period closes will head to the Grand Final. The voting period will be open for four days from Thursday evening, when the hosts announce that voting is open, to the following Sunday at 11:59 p.m. Google Search Voting Fans can vote for their favorite act by searching for “Asia’s Got Talent Vote” on Google. Simply click on the photo of the act you would like to vote for, use the slider to determine how many votes you want to allocate to the acts and click ‘Submit Votes’. You can allocate up to 10 votes per day on Google Search Vote. Facebook Messenger Voting Fans can vote via Facebook Messenger by clicking ‘Send Message’ button on the Asia’s Got Talent Facebook page, or look up “Asia’s Got Talent” on Facebook Messenger. Click “Get Started” and you will see a photo carousel of the acts eligible for voting. Scroll through the carousel until you see your favorite act, then click to vote. You may repeat the process up to a maximum of 10 votes per day of the voting period. For more details on voting, visit

CROSSWORD PUZZLE Thursday, March 14, 2019

ACROSS 1 Unduly severe 6 Large vases 10 Distinctive atmosphere 14 Fill with happiness 15 Ms. Dunaway of filmdom 16 Voucher 17 Visibly frightened 18 Leer 19 Type of ranch 20 Gymnast’s stickum 21 Bellies 23 Take into custody 25 Technical sch. 26 Portable beds 29 Plays bumpercars 31 Metal joint 36 Kimono sash 37 Give a darn 38 Felt hat 39 Get stuck (2 wds.) 41 Lawmaker 42 Repair a boot 43 Superman’s girlfriend 44 Swindle 45 Fall flower 46 Zest 47 Electrical units 48 Heavy string

50 Essence 52 Harasses 56 Rental contract 60 Where Keokuk is 61 Malevolent 62 Innsbruck locale 63 Yukon hauler 64 Barcelona boy 65 Lordly 66 Tree growth 67 Gray-green shrub 68 Delight in DOWN 1 Get an earful 2 In addition 3 Bleacher shouts 4 Mugs 5 Auburn tint 6 Pilots’ sightings 7 Joplin musical genre 8 Some hose 9 Gives the appearance of 10 Heavy-metal band 11 “No dice!” (hyph.) 12 Unloads 13 Wolfed 22 Sparta rival 24 Oater action 26 Hooded snake 27 Woodwinds

BTL Exilis Elite is ideal for anyone looking for preventive maintenance or more dramatic cosmetic improvement. Each session of treatment of a specific body part takes only 15 to 30 minutes, in a relaxing lying-down position, a procedure described like having a sensation comparable to that of a painfree, hot stone massage. Some patients have reported seeing visible results after only one treatment and typically continue to improve over the next few months. Avignon also provides the Revlite SI Angel White Laser whitening services for face, neck, Panda eyes, under arms, belt area, Inguinal, elbows and knees. The clinic is located at 101 Ground Floor, Fort Victoria Condo, 4th Ave & 23rd St., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City. (Eton Concepcion / Photo by Lito Caleon)

28 Close-fitting 30 Comic-strip prince 32 Eddie Cantor’s wife 33 Mountain pass 34 Newlywed 35 Holds down a job 37 Strong-arm 38 Dissemble 40 Fiddle-de- — 41 Favorite — 43 Dipping 46 Odd facts 47 Complied

49 Roast cookers 51 Violet lead-in 52 Machete’s cousin 53 Flock members 54 Pops 55 — gin fizz 57 Medea sailed on her 58 Go sky-high 59 “Vogue” rival 60 Doctrine

HOLLYWOOD star Gal Gadot has leapt to defend a fellow actress who was chided by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for challenging his party’s treatment of Arab citizens. Netanyahu and his Likud party have been accused of using scare tactics and demonizing Israel’s Arab population ahead of April 9 elections in a bid to motivate their right-wing base. “Love your neighbor as yourself,” Israeli-born Gadot wrote on Instagram late Sunday after popular Israeli model and television actress Rotem Sela received online abuse from the public and a personal reprimand from Netanyahu. “This isn’t a matter of right or left. Jew or Arab. Secular or religious. It’s a matter of dialogue, of dialogue for peace and security and of our tolerance of one towards the other,” the Wonder Woman star posted. Sela fired off an angry Instagram post late Saturday after watching right-wing firebrand culture minister Miri Regev on television. Regev stated the Likud’s line, warning voters in the April election not to choose its main opponents because if elected it would form an alliance with Israeli Arab parties in parliament—a highly unlikely scenario. “When the hell will someone in this government convey to the public that Israel is a state of all its citizens and that all people were created equal? Even the Arabs—believe it or not—are human beings, and the Druze and the gays, by the way, and the lesbians and—shock— leftists,” Sela wrote. Netanyahu answered with an Instagram message of his own, addressed to “Dear Rotem.” “Israel is not a state of all its citizens. According to the basic nationality law we passed, Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people—and only it,” he wrote referring to a deeply controversial law passed last year declaring Israel the nation-state of the Jewish people and downgrading Arabic’s status as an official language. Israeli Arabs make up around 17.5 percent of the population but would be extremely unlikely to be part of any coalition government after elections. Netanyahu has continually warned that his opponents will receive the support of Arab parties and that they will make significant concessions to the Palestinians. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, himself a former Likud lawmaker, took a swipe at the politicians on Monday. “Lately, when political thinking is turning all reason on its head, we hear entirely unacceptable remarks about Arab citizens of Israel,” he said in a speech marking 40 years since Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty. AFP

Nickie Wang, Issue Editor




The lead cast of 'Ulan' Nadine Lustre, Carlo Aquino, Marco Gumabao, child actor Elia Ilano, with director Irene Villamor.

‘Ulan’ launched as HOOQ’s  first original production in PH Nadine with director Irene Villamor and actor Marco Gumabao at the red carpet premiere of the filmed produced and presented by HOOQ and Viva Films.

HOOQ, the largest Video-on-Demand service in Southeast Asia, has announced its first foray into Filipino originals with Ulan, a romantic drama starring this generation biggest and brightest stars in Filipino cinema—Nadine Lustre and Carlo Aquino. Ulan is HOOQ’s first Original Movie from the Philippines, in partnership with one of the country’s most renowned and respected production companies, Viva Films. Speaking about the film, started playing in all major cinemas nationwide yesterday, March 13, Jennifer Batty, Chief Content Officer of HOOQ said, “This is a significant milestone for HOOQ and HOOG Originals. We are continuing with our promise to bring the very best content from the most promising and talented actors, scriptwriters and directors in the Philippines and across Southeast Asia.” “Ulan is already one of the most highly anticipated titles of the year and the first of many more HOOQ Original Movies to come. To partner with Viva on our first HOOQ Original film is super exciting. Viva is a powerhouse here and we look forward to doing more with them in the future,” Batty added. Nadine Lustre, one of the country’s most promising actors, takes on a more challenging role as she embarks on a unique and mysterious tale of love. She plays Maya, a woman fascinated with rain and has the ability to see and interact with mythical (half-horse, half-humanlike) creatures called “tikbalang.” The part of Maya in Ulan marks a breakout for Nadine as she pairs with Carlo Aquino showcasing her depth and versatility as a leading lady. Carlo, on the other hand, plays Peter, a volunteer for a non-government organization and Maya’s

love interest wants to unearth the mysteries behind Maya’s fascination with rain. Sheila Paul, Country Manager of HOOQ Philippines, said, “The Philippines has an abundance of talented filmmakers that are really pushing the boundaries of the medium—in terms of storytelling, format, and style. We see great promise in the market and will continue to invest in original content in the Philippines and across Southeast Asia.” She said further, “Not only do we want to support local content creators, we also want to encourage them to challenge conventions and develop engaging, highquality Filipino content that we can all be proud of.” Ulan is the fourth feature film from highly regarded Filipino director, Irene Villamor, who continues to make waves in the local film industry with her unique style. Irene’s vision of an unconventional love story with a supernatural twist has all the makings of a future classic. Irene is the same filmmaker behind Sid & Aya, Camp Sawi, and Meet at St. Gallen. HOOQ’s extensive library of Filipino movies and shows include Irene’s complete catalogue of films as well as Nadine’s hits Never Not Love You, This Time, Diary Ng Panget, and On the Wings of Love, and blockbusters Sisterakas, and Beauty and the Bestie. Customers can simply download the HOOQ app from Apple Store or Google Play, sign up or log in, to access HOOQ’s extensive library of Hollywood and Asian hits. Smart users can enjoy a 30-day free trial. Globe mobile users can enjoy a 45day free trial, and Globe broadband users can enjoy six months of free trial. Find out more and sign up today for a complimentary trial at

For Kuh so loved the Word seats reserved prior to IT IS an understateshowtime. These celebment that pop balrities are poised to help ladeer Kuh Ledesma the renowned diva deintends to spread her YUGEL liver a “very enjoyable” spirituality to as many LOSORATA show with “thoughtpeople as possible. provoking portions.” That she will do a starKuh, who revealed studded birthday concert at the Mall of Asia Arena is proof that guest-actress Maricel Laxa is set of her goal to “draw people closer to to talk about responsible parenting, shared, “I tell my friends not to wait God.” Titled Mar3ch:16 The Promise, this till they’re down and out. They have to Saturday’s event, scheduled to begin seek Him now so that when challenges by 7:30 p.m., is described as a pop and and trials come, you’ve got your foot on gospel concert, with all proceeds to be a strong foundation.” Completing the night’s roster are handed to a foundation called Holy Bible Giver, an NGO that organizes heal- seasoned acts Eddie Mesa, Ray-An ing conferences and provides bibles in Fuentes, and Gina Alajar, along with depressed areas, especially in public upstarts Perkins Twins, and Tim Pavischools. The show title is obviously no. When asked to relate her train of taken from the famous bible verse John 3:16 that began with “For God so loved thought to the election fever, she raised, “Mahalaga ang ating boto for it can the world...” For her, it is no accident that her birth- save lives. Kaawa-awa naman ang maday falls on the 16th of March and she hihirap. Some people’s endless desire has become a renewed Christian push- for wealth has led to selfish lives, thinking her message through her sphere of ing of only themselves.” Hinting that her show, her own coninfluence in the music industry. “I am so burdened with news of in- cept and a production by Headline creased depression and suicide, fami- Concepts International, won’t be lacklies breaking up, and children turning ing with meaningful spiels directed to drugs to find relief from emotional at the young and guiding adult, Kuh trauma,” stated Kuh whose daughter pounced on the matter of bullying: “If we criticize people, that’s not Isabella will join her to perform on from the Lord. Dapat ang sistage. nasabi natin ay encourThe list of bible-believer aging words. Words are guests, including marquee alive and active and they names Sarah Geronimo, can kill the soul. I know Daniel Padilla, Erik Sansomeone who grew up tos, Alex Gonzaga, and branded ‘good for nothChristian Bautista, ing’ and lagi siyang hishould help bring in the rap na hirap.” crowd at this gathering For sure, Kuh’s where teachers and stuMar3ch:16 The Promdents are ise concert is one free to loaded with uplifting watch words and inspiraprotional music. vided (For tickets please that call 09202868895.) they bring I D s a n d OPM diva Kuh have Ledesma their



CROWD of screaming fans greeted Nadine Lustre when she arrived at TriNoma Mall Cinema for the red carpet premiere of Ulan, a coming-of-age romantic drama that sees the multimedia star on a solo trail. A number of JaDine fans waited for hours to stake out a spot near the red carpet on Monday evening to also have a closer look at the stars who would grace the event. Nadine walked the red carpet with director Irene Villamor and co-star Marco Gumabao. Her main leading man, Carlo Aquino, was not present at the premiere night. James Reid, who was accompanied by his good friend and fellow Viva artist Sam Concepcion, was among the guests who supported Nadine’s first big screen project for 2019. In Ulan, Nadine takes on the demanding role of Maya, the young woman alternately fascinated and fearful of rainfall. Maya grew up believing that the rain, in its various forms, has a massive effect on her life. She remains fearful that rainstorms can result in tragedy and yet is eagerly expectant of the romantic emotions that can come with a sweet kiss under the raindrops. In one of the scenes, Maya’s teacher gave her a scientific explanation for rain—starting from evaporation until clouds are formed and become heavy causing precipitation. But Maya believes that rain is not always just water pouring down in steady drops from the sky. It was under such rain that Maya’s grandmother found true love. It was raining when she first kissed the man who became her husband and Maya’s grandfather. S ometimes rain can come with fearsome thunder and lightning and dangerous winds at sea. That is just like the rain that took the lives of Maya’s parents while on board a ship on their way home. The rain took her parents away. She never saw them again. Rain can also do strange things like suddenly invade a sunny day. A battle ensues. The red-hot sun shining with all its might to stop the raging waters coming out of the dark clouds. Maya’s grandmother told her that that is the rain that signifies heaven’s

Scenes from the movie with leading men Carlo Aquino and Marco Gumabao

disapproval. Tikbalangs are getting married and that is why the sun is shining and it is raining at the same time. A nighttime creature from folklore, the tikbalang is a tall, thin humanoid with the head and long extremities of a horse and the body of a human. It is believed to inhabit the forests and mountains. Maya grew up alternately excited or fearful of the rain and stalked by storms and tikbalangs. The rain also became the reason for her failures and unhappiness. The kiss she did not get under the rain.

The love she lost one rainy day. till, S she continued to wait. Hopefully, the rain which has been her close companion from childhood will bring her one true love. A Viva Films presentation, Ulan, which stars also stars AJ Muhlach, Joseph Elizalde, Ella Illano, Andrea del Rosario, Leo Martinez, William Martinez, Kylie Versoza, Angelo Bayani, Limer Veloso, and Perla Bautista, now screens in commercial cinemas nationwide.

Profile for Manila Standard

Manila Standard - 2019 March 14 - Thursday  

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

Manila Standard - 2019 March 14 - Thursday  

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