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MWSS: WATER WOES SOLVED IN 150 DAYS HOSPITALS TAKE A HIT AMID WATER CRISIS MANILA has been hit by its worst water shortage in years, leaving bucket-bearing families to wait hours to fill up from tanker trucks and some hospitals to turn away less urgent cases. Taps are dry from four to 20 hours per day in the homes of about half of the Philippine capital’s roughly 12 million people due to rolling outages driven by a dearth of rain and inadequate infrastructure. “I have learned to take a bath using only seven pitchers of water,” Ricardo Bergado told AFP as he lined up with his buckets. “I even save the bath water to flush our toilet.” Turn to A2

PUMP PRICE SWINGS HIGH AT P1.40/LITER By Alena Mae S. Flores CONSUMERS have to brace for another big-time oil price hike next week of as much as P1.40 per liter, the six consecutive weekly oil price increase. “Expect fuel prices to go up next week. Diesel should go up by P0.30 to P0.40 per liter and gasoline should go up by P1.30 to P1.40 per liter,” Unioil Philippines said in its advisory. Year-to-date adjustments stand at a net increase of P4.65 per liter for gasoline, P.435 per liter for diesel and P3.05 per liter for kerosene. Turn to A2

HILARITY IN THE HEAT.

Children rollick by a showering fountain at Plaza San Lorenzo Ruiz in Manila’s Binondo district as the weather in the capital city jabbed the population with 32 degrees Celsius temperature and 65 percent humidity as many Metro Manilans, lurching from a startling low water supply, pray for rain. Ey Acasio

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DOJ ASKED TO PROBE NAIA UNIT THE Bureau of Immigration has asked the Department of Justice to conduct an investigation against nine members of the BI-Travel Control and Enforcement Unit assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport for allegedly conniving with human trafficking syndicate victimizing Filipino jobseekers wanting to work abroad. The move was made after the Department of Foreign Affairs complains on the rising number of undocumented Filipino workers in the Middle East who managed to slip out of the NAIA with fictitious travel documents. Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente requested Justice Secretary Menardo Guevara to probe the 9 BITCEU who allegedly connived with human trafficking syndicate to allow Filipino workers to leave the NAIA even without proper working visas. The BI, however, declined to name the nine TCEU officers pending the outcome of the investigation. “They will, however, be afforded due process during the investigation. But we will make sure they cannot influence the investigation,” according to the BI. The Office of the Commissioner will provide the names of the TCEU officers who might be involved in the racket at the NAIA so that the DOJ can begin its formal investigation. According to the DFA, there are hundreds of undocumented Filipino workers in the Middle East, but they are having difficulty determining their exact number because usually enter the Middle East countries using tourist visas. Trafficking syndicates have allegedly been luring victims by offering to shoulder their travel to the Middle East, most of them to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia where high-paying jobs are supposedly waiting for them. Vito Barcelo

By Maricel V. Cruz

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HE Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System said Saturday it would solve the water shortage in some parts of Metro Manila and Rizal in 150 days or around five months in compliance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s “marching order.” “We will comply with the marching orders of President Rodrigo Duterte to solve the water shortage in 150 days and the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System together with its concessionaires—Manila Water, Maynilad and Bulacan Bulk Water will do [their] best to meet [the President’s] expectations,” MWSS Administrator Reynaldo Velasco said in a statement. Velasco’s statement followed his earlier clarification that “there’s no such thing as 150 days” worth of water from Angat Dam. Duterte earlier ordered 150 days’ worth of water to be released to supply water to those affected by the water shortage. “We perfectly understand the presidential order to immediately resolve the problem to ease the burden of the consuming public,” Velasco said. Turn to A2

COUNCIL’S CROSSROADS. The Philippines hosts this year’s Asia Water Council, with problems and solutions to the region’s water issues, which include the water crisis since last week in Metro Manila, on the delegates’ clipboards. Held at the Makati Diamond Residences with (from left) MWSS Administrator Reynaldo Velasco, Dr. Yongdeok Cho and Ferdinand dela Cruz, president and CEO of Manila Water Company. twitter.com/ MlaStandard

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FLOWER POWER. A flower farmer in Bahong, La Trinidad goes about his daily farm chores tending to his rose garden. Bahong, La Trinidad is unscathed by the El Niño phenomenon while other parts of the country are hit hard with the dry spells that comes with the weather phenomenon. (Inset) Sunflowers bloom at the Ayala Triangle Gardens in Makati City, welcoming the start of the summer season with their bright yellow colors. Dave Leprozo and Diana Noche

PALACE REJECTS VILLARIN’S TAKE ON ‘NARCO-LIST’ By Vito Barcelo

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ALACAÑANG on Saturday described as “pure nonsense” in dismissing the assertion of Rep. Tom Villarin that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s action of releasing the list of narco-politicians “could constitute an impeachable offense for culpable violation of the Constitution.” “For the legal education of Rep. Vilalrin, the appropriate charges have already been filed against the personalities contained in the list before the Office of the Ombudsman affording them their right to due process and an opportunity to clear their names before competent authorities,” Panelo said in a statement. “The opposition party-list congressman is quick to respond to an issue of unfamiliar terrain to a non-lawyer like him,” he added. According to Panelo, reading the names of the personalities in the narcolist can be compared to releasing the names of criminal suspects, adding that charges have actually been filed against them. “The release of their names is nothing more than a release of the names of criminal suspects. Such act cannot be considered a legal transgression, and even more so, an impeachable offense,” he added. The Palace spokesman said that President Duterte has the duty to protect the nation and releasing the narco-list was one way of doing it. He added that not doing so would have been an impeachable offense. “The drug menace has evolved into a national security problem as it threatens to destroy the very foundation of society. The President as head of the state is constitutionally commanded to serve and protect the nation,” he said. “Individual rights are subordinate to the state’s right to protect itself from its enemies that seek to destroy it. The people’s right to safety prevails over the individual rights of persons piercing and destroying the security net that protects the citizenry,” he added. Panelo said it is the failure of the President to perform his constitutional duty of serving and protecting the people that makes him liable to impeachment for such omission is culpable violation of the Constitution and a betrayal of the public trust. The President earlier released the names of 46 local officials involved in the illegal drug trade. The list included the names of 33 mayors, eight vice mayors, three congressmen, a board member, and a former mayor. The Department of the Interior and Local Government has filed administrative cases against the said officials on March 14, 2019, at the Office of the Ombudsman, according to the President. With PNA

YOUNGER BETS LEAD POLL IN NCR—SURVEY

By Joel E. Zurbano

YOUNGER and incumbent leaders remain top choices for Metro Manila voters this coming May elections based on a latest survey conducted by RP-Mission and Development Foundation Inc. Abigail Binay of Makati City (71 percent), Joy Belmonte of Quezon City (75 percent), Imelda Calixto-Rubiano of Pasay City (67 percent), Lino Cayetano of Taguig City (73 percent) and Robert Eusebio of Pasig City (69 percent) will most likely win in the mayoralty race in the May 13 midterm polls based on the non-commissioned survey conducted on March 1-10, 2019. The survey, covering 3,500 registered voters in the National Capital Region, also showed that former Manila vice mayor Isko Moreno is the leading candidate for mayor in the city with 42 percent. Moreno’s rivals incumbent Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada got 30 percent while former mayor Alfredo Lim posted a voter preference of 20 percent. In Makati City, incumbent Mayor Abigal Binay still enjoys a strong lead of 71 percent against her brother, Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay who posted a 27 percent rating. Their father former Vice President Jejomar Binay is also running

to represent the city’s first district in the House of Representatives. Former Taguig City congressman and film director Lino Edgardo Cayetano is the leading candidate for mayor in the city with 73 percent as against the 20 percent of his rival Taguig-Pateros Rep. Arnel Cerafica. Cayetano is the brother-in-law of incumbent Mayor Laarni Cayetano, who is on her third and final term as city chief executive. Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte remains as the top choice for mayor with 75 percent over Rep. Vincent“Bingbong”Crisologo with 24 percent while former congressman Chuck Mathay received only one percent. Incumbent Pasig City Mayor Roberto “Bobby” Eusebio is also way ahead at 65 percent compared to Vico Sotto, son of“Bossing”Vic Sotto and actress Coney Reyes, who got 27 percent voter’s preference. Congressman Toby Tiangco, who is running for Navotas mayor, is up by 58 percent against his rival Dan Ang who posted 24 percent. Imelda Calixto-Rubiano, who is on her third and last term as incumbent Pasay City representative and sister of incumbent Mayor Antonino Calixto, is the leading mayoralty candidate in city with 67 percent.

NOGRALES URGES LGUS TO REACTIVATE THEIR LIAC C A B I N E T S ecretar y K ar lo Nograles on Saturday urged Leyte mayors to reactivate their local inter-agency committees to ensure the successful turnover of “Yolanda” resettlement housing projects that remained unfinished over five years after Typhoon Yolanda struck the area in November 2013. Speaking to 42 mayors at the National Economic and Development Authority Region 8 Office in the Government Center in Palo, Leyte, the Palace official said that data showed that a substantial number of houses for affected

families were unfinished while there were completed housing projects had yet to be occupied. “We have to address this by reactivating the LIACs. If the LIACs are active, major milestones have been observed.This includes submission of a complete list of beneficiaries, monitor the status of construction of housing units, facilitate the actual transfer of beneficiaries, and come up with occupancy rules and regulations,” explained Nograles, who as Cabinet Secretary is Chair of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Unified Implementation and Monitoring of Rehabilitation and

Recovery Programs in the Yolanda Corridor (IATF-Yolanda), a task force formed in August 2017 by virtue of Administrative Order No. 5. “We are appealing to local government units for active support and participation because only through LIACs that we can effectively implement housing program. Through this committee, they can generate issues and concerns, report to us, and address these needs through national government agencies with the help of local governments,” said the Cabinet official, who also visited Tanauaun to check permanent

houses built by the National Housing Authority. The resettlement site here with 361 families, has been tagged as a model for adopting the“township concept”. Nograles revealed that based on the report of NHA on the Yolanda Permanent Housing Program, as of February 2019, of the 205,128 housing units in the Yolanda corridor, 56,140 are in Region VIII. Of the 56,140 Region VIII housing units, 29,531 housing units are fully completed, with 18,183 units already occupied and 11,348 units ready for occupancy.

Karlo Nograles

US REPORT ON PH HUMAN RIGHTS‘BALANCED’ —PALACE THE US State Department’s recent 2018 Human Rights Report on the Philippines is objective and balanced as it cited developments in the government’s campaign against illegal drugs, Malacañang said Saturday. “The level of objectivity and balance of the 44-page US State Department’s 2018 Human Rights Report on the Philippines reflects the US government’s appreciation of the Duterte administration’s governance agenda anchored on fighting corruption, criminality and illegal drugs,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement. Panelo said while detractors and critics of the administration are focusing on the negative aspects of the report, the assessment showed that the US respects the deeper challenges confronting the government. “While the political opposition and detractors of the President, including some of those in the mainstream media, would dwell on what they consider as negative observations and milk the same for their political purposes, we prefer to see the glass half-full and focus on the positive aspects of the report. We urge the public to read the report in its entirety that they may not be deceived by intended negative and false commentaries,” he said. “The report mentions the developments in the Duterte administration’s anti-drug campaign. Its assessment is respectful of the government’s deeper challenges, e.g. deaths of many law enforcement officers during operations, even as accountability of those from the same ranks is guaranteed through investigations of any actions taken outside the rule of law,”he added. Panelo said the Palace notes that there may be accounts of abuse on the part of its law enforcers but reiterated the Philippine government’s adherence and commitment to human rights. He assured that these cases are isolated and are being addressed and those responsible will be made accountable. PNA

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PH JOINS GLOBAL OUTRAGE OVER NZ ATTACKS

SENATORS DARED: BE TRANSPARENT

By Vito Barcelo THE Philippine government on Saturday condemned the mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand that killed and injured scores of innocent civilians—describing the killings as “reprehensible act.” In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Philippines joined all peace-loving nations and peoples around the world in condemning, in the strongest terms, this assault on the faithful in places of worship. “This reprehensible act has no place in a civilized world. The Philippines rebukes all efforts to sow terror and fear between and among peoples,” Panelo said. The Palace also urged the public to remain steadfast and be united in this time of grief and outrage. “There has to be a universal unified action as well as a conscious and determined effort to neutralize and demolish any attempt at destabilizing the order in societies and the tranquility of their citizens and secure the safety of lives and properties of the inhabitants of the globe,” Panelo said. “We cannot allow ourselves to be held hostage by fear and intimidation sown by terrorists and psychologically challenged persons and live in an endangered environment. With unity in action against the enemies of the states, we shall prevail,” he added. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives in this tragic incident, and we pray for strength and speedy recovery of those who were injured,” Panelo said. Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Affairs has been instructed to monitor closely the situation and determine the condition of Filipino nationals in the area.

PUMP PRICE...

From A1

Last March 12, the oil companies raised the price of gasoline by P0.90 per liter but did not adjust diesel and kerosene prices. Diesel is currently sold from P41.40 to P50.63 per liter while gasoline is sold from P45.24 to P60.89 per liter. Kerosene is sold from P44.90 to P53.45 per liter. Oil prices vary depending on the brand, location and market forces. World oil prices have remained on the uptrend, supported by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries-led supply cuts and US sanctions against exporters Venezuela and Iran, according to the latest monitoring of the Department of Energy. Oil price gains, however, were capped by falling stock markets and renewed concerns over demand growth. Oil prices were also pressured by concerns surrounding Europe’s economy although US crude supply remains strong, surging US production. US crude oil production was at a record 12.1 million bpd last week. Meanwhile, DOE noted that the Asian gasoline market continued to rally on strengthened fundamentals. Demand from Malaysia and Indonesia remained strong.

MWSS:...

From A1

“In line with his order, the MWSS, through the approval of the Natural Water Resources Board [NWRB], has actually added 2 cm to the 46 cm released daily from [the] Angat-Ipo-La Mesa water systems, which can only accommodate 4,000 million liters daily,” he noted. Angat Dam supplies Metro Manila with 4,000 million liters of water per day. The concession agreements gave Manila Water an allocation of 1,600 MLD for its 6 million consumers, and Maynilad with 2,400 MLD for its 9 million consumers. That is a total 4,000 MLD, divided into 40 percent and 60 percent, respectively, which is based on the actual volume that Angat can give with the existing infrastructure involving aqueducts and pipeline systems. Velasco said Manila Water was getting its allocation of 1,600 MLD but its requirement was now pegged at 1,750 MLD due to the increase in demand, consumption and population growth. “The present problem could have been averted had Manila Water’s 100 MLD Cardona Treatment Plant had been operational since December 2018,” he said. In the previous months, Velasco said, Manila Water has been sourcing its deficit water from La Mesa Dam but due to the lack of rains caused by the El Niño or dry spell,

By Maricel V. Cruz

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HE chairman of the House of Representatives’ committee on appropriations on Saturday expressed hope senators would exercise transparency over the bicameral conference committee-ratified 2019 national budget. “I am still hopeful that the senators will have a change of heart. Line-item budgeting is our response to the people’s demand for transparency and accountability in the national budget. Lump-sum funds are more prone to corruption and violate many tenets of transparent expenditure of public funds,” said Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya, Jr., the panel’s chairman. Andaya said itemizing the lump sums-filled ratified version of the 2019 national budget was the lawmakers’ answer to the call for transparency and accountability in the appropriations bill.

“Line-item budgeting is our response to the people’s demand for transparency and accountability in the national budget,” he said. Senator Panfilo Lacson, meanwhile, maintained the Senate would not adopt the version of the ratified budget bill with itemizations from the House of Representatives. With this, Andaya reminded the Senate that both chambers of Congress had until May to complete the task of enacting the General Appropriations Act for 2019. “Both chambers will resume legislative session on May 20 until June 7. That is our last chance to pass the

HOSPITALS... From A1 Meanwhile, the Philippine Red Cross said it was continuing to deliver water supply to affected hospitals through its eight water tankers capable of filling up a high-pressure water system. As of noon Saturday, PRC said it had distributed a total 770,000 liters of water to affected hospitals: Rizal Medical Center-498,000 liters; Quirino Memorial Medical Center-96,000 liters; National Kidney and Transplant Institute-114,000 liters; East Avenue Medical Center-10,000 liters; Mandaluyong City Medical Center-10,000 liters; National Center for Mental Health-20,000 liters. The PRC said it also distributed 12,000 liters of water to the Philippine Health Office and 10,000 liters to residents of Barangay Highway Hills in Mandaluyong City. Five portable toilets were also set up at the Rizal Medical Center. PRC Chairman Senator Richard Gordon said he recognized the need to prioritize the water demand in hospitals. Long queues at hydrants and limited volunteers for crowd control, however, have hampered their augmentation of tankers in residential areas. The shortages started hitting late last week, with some areas in eastern Manila seeing the supplies of water into their homes being completely cut off. However, Manila Water Company, one of the capital’s two suppliers, said it would now use rolling cut offs spread across the city to share the pain more evenly. Jerry cans and buckets were flying off

La Mesa Dam was depleted. The MWSS has directed Manila Water to activate and operationalize its Cardona, Rizal treatment plant, enough to provide an additional 100 MLD to its consumers. Manila Water president Ferdinand dela Cruz on Saturday announced that the Cardona Treatment Plant was now energized with an initial 24 MLD and would be fully-operational with 50 MLD by the end of this month. “We wish to assure the President that MWSS is doing its best to solve the water shortage problem and we are putting to task Manila Water to give us a definitive timeline of solving their distribution and operations systems to bring back to normal level the water supply to ease the suffering of the consuming public,” Velasco said. He also reiterated that short- and longterm solutions for Metro Manila’s water supply demand were now in place and on pace, under the Duterte administration to provide sufficient water to supply the future needs of the 20 million residents in the metropolis and nearby provinces serviced by its three concessionaires in the next 10 to 15 years. “Admittedly, we are on a catch-up mode as far as water supply source is concerned since our main source, which is the Angat Dam that supplies 96 percent of water to Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite and Rizal, was built in 1967 and no major water source has been built since then, except for some water supply projects from Laguna Lake by both Maynilad and

national budget,” he said. “I am still hopeful that the senators will have a change of heart,” Andaya added. Andaya also reiterated the position of the House leaderahip led by Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo against a reenacted budget. “The House of Representatives is against a reenacted budget at this point. I hope the Senate shares this sentiment,” Andaya said. He also said the House should not be faulted for the delay in the enactment of the money measure. “The House of Representatives has done its duty. Your district representatives have approved the national budget for 2019 in accordance with all the agreements forged with senators during the bicameral conference committee meetings,” Andaya said. Andaya added: “The enrolled copy of the 2019 General Appropriations Bill has been signed by the Speaker and the Secretary General of the House of Representatives.

store shelves and landing in lines where families were spending hours waiting for deliveries by truck. “Instead of doing important things, our time is consumed now by making sure we have enough water,” Bergado, a 57-year-old audio-technician, told AFP. At least five public hospitals in the capital have started getting supplemental supplies from water tankers, as shortages had led at least one to limit admissions. “This is the worst [water shortage] we have experienced. It almost happened last year but we were saved by heavy rains brought by storms,” Dittie Galang, Manila Water communications manager, told AFP. The disruption could last until July when monsoon rains are typically in full swing and would replenish regional reservoirs, one of which is at a two-decade low. Better known for flooding from its frequent typhoons, the Philippines is experiencing a dry spell that led to reserves being severely depleted. At the same time, the ageing pipelines and dams that provide Manila’s water have not kept pace with the growth of the mega-city, which has roughly doubled its population since 1985. The government has admitted that the problem of growing demand for water has long been forecast but they failed to address it due to delays in projects that would expand capacity. “We need an alternative water source and we need it yesterday,” Patrick Ty, chief of Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, told ABS-CBN television, aired nationwide. Among the main projects in the pipeline is the construction of $355-million Kaliwa Dam, a Chinese-funded project that met resistance from indigenous peoples and church leaders for its feared effects on communities. AFP

Manila Water,” Velasco said. He said it was only over the past two years under the Duterte administration that serious efforts have been put in place to push for major water flagship projects, such as the 600-MLD Kaliwa Dam, 500 MLD from Wawa Dam, 800 MLD to be sourced from unutilized water from Angat-Norzagaray, 350 MLD from Bayabas Dam, as well as 500 MLD from Laguna Lake. Meanwhile, Velasco clarified that the so-called “bypass” had been open all along, following a viral post on social media involving MWSS chief regulator Patrick Ty and a netizen. According to MWSS, the bypass was opened regularly, particularly because the La Mesa Dam level was low. Most, if not all, of Manila Water’s 1600 MLD now probably was going through the bypass. Last year, Manila Water and Maynilad had issues regarding the bypass that resulted in MWSS mediating between the two concessionaires after Maynilad complained that it was getting less than 60 percent, causing its Bagbag Reservoir’s level to fall, and affecting its service area. Contrary to perceptions, Velasco said, the 60-40 split was not maintained throughout the day. “Maynilad produces more at night because it has the Bagbag reservoir to fill up and use during the day. While Manila Water produces more during the daytime. It is the Common Purpose Facilities that controls

“It has been transmitted to the Senate for the signature of the Senate President. A copy of the enrolled bill was also sent to Malacanang and the Department of Budget and Management for their information and so that they will have a proper appreciation of the issues at hand based on an official document and not from uninformed innuendoes.” He said Congress had until May to enact the proposed P3.757-trillion national budget for this year. “If the Senate is indeed serious in enacting a General Appropriations Act for 2019, we have until May this year to complete our task. Both chambers will resume legislative session on May 20 until June 7. That is our last chance to pass the national budget,” Andaya said. Congress adjourned its session last Feb. 10 to give way to the election campaign period for the midterm polls on May 13. It will resume seasion on May 20.

ANGAT DAM, a lifeline for Metro Manila in times of water shortage, has reached a water level of 199.25 meters, safely beyond the 180-meter critical level as of March 15, 2019, according to the National Water Resources Board. File photo by Angelica Carballo

the bypass that regulates this sharing,” he noted. Meanwhile, a party-list lawmaker called on the Department of Agriculture to provide emergency aid to farmers heavily hit by drought.  Party-list Rep. Ariel Casilao of Anakpawis said that so far, the government had estimated the damage wrought by the drought at P1.2 billion worth of crops in nine provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao major islands. The Agriculture department earlier announced that about 22 provinces were expected to be affected by drought, including Palawan, Ilocos Sur and La Union. “While the government is receiving reports of areas where farmers are grossly decapacitated on saving their crops, the urgent concern at present is for them to be assisted, alleviated with government aid. Otherwise, they will certainly fall into unrecoverable bankruptcy and consequently, our local food supply and sufficiency will decline,” Casilao said. He said regional chapters of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas reported that farmers in the provinces were in dire need of food and cash assistance and irrigation services to salvage crops which are not totally destroyed. Government agencies and local governments reported damages in Cotabato at P362 million on rice, P269 million on corn crops; Kidapawan at P53 million; Maguindanao at P47 million on rice, P54 million

on corn; Zamboanga provinces at P79 million; Davao del Sur at P55 million; Misamis Oriental at P7 million; Pagadian City at P102 million and P23 million on high-value crops and seaweeds; in Negros Oriental at P6.1 million; and Region IV-B Mimaropa on 3,000 hectares of cropland. “We believe the damage could not be this worse, if the Free Irrigation Services Act were fully implemented, we intend to know if these lands should have been saved by free irrigation,” Casilao said. Republic Act 10969 or the Free Irrigation Services Act was enacted on Feb. 2 last year but is yet to be implemented as its implementing rules and regulations is yet to be finalized, after more than a year, he lamented. “The Rice Liberalization Act has overran the Free Irrigation Act, and now the farmers are hammered by the drought, that neoliberals will use to their argument that local agriculture is a lost cause and the government’s token measures and downplaying of damages are reeking of its adoption of liberalization or non-intervention dogma,”he said. The lawmaker said that the value of damaged crops is of serious level as it represented the lost potential incomes of farmers and wealth that could have circulated to the local economy. “The government is mandated to reparate the affected sectors, otherwise, all sectors in the country will be, from enduring low supply of food to high levels of prices,” he said. With PNA


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JAPAN NEEDS 60,000 CAREGIVERS—POEA

OME 60,000 caregivers are needed in Japan, according to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration. POEA Administrator Bernard Olalia said private recruitment agencies will be processing the employment of qualified foreign workers under the new specialized skilled worker visa of Japan starting April 1. He added the new visa will have two classifications: one for semiskilled workers such as caregivers, with a five-year contract, and one for highly-skilled workers that will have the chance to acquire an immigrant status after contract, also for five years. Olalia said the workers are wanted in health institutions in the host country. “Mostly in elderly care institutions since they have many senior citizens,” he said in a television interview. Olalia also reminded the applicants to wait for their advice regarding the new visa since it is only set to be signed on March 19. The POEA also warned the public not to fall for recruitment agencies that are claiming that they are accepting applicants for the new visa. Meanwhile, Olalia said Japan is also in need of 300 foreign workers for different sectors. Among the job vacancies are in the food service industry, construction, agriculture, manufacture of food and beverage, accommodation industry, building cleaning management, machine parts and tooling, industrial machinery, fisheries and aquaculture, electric, electronics and information, aviation industry, automobile repair and maintenance, shipbuilding and ship machinery. Olalia noted that while construction is included on the list, the deployment of workers in the said sector will be limited since the infrastructure program in the country will also need laborers. “We will be coming out with a regulation limiting the deployment of construction workers,” he added. PNA

ENTERPRISING. Amid the water shortage in Metro Manila, these men found a way to cash in on the crisis by selling container drums for P1,300 each. Sonny Espiritu

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PNP WARNS AGAINST CREDIT CARD THEFT ANEW By Joel E. Zurbano POLICE on Saturday warned the public anew on credit card theft as enterprising criminals continue operating in various posh hotel resorts and casino in Metro Manila. This after four members of a syndicate, believed to be responsible for using stolen credit cards and skimming devices, have been busted by elements of the National Capital Region Police Office. NCRPO operatives initially arrested 37-year-old Czarynah Datu who was caught in possession of a credit card used in fraudulent transaction at Resorts World Manila in Pasay City. Datu’s arrest was made after Martin Ramon Aragon, Fraud Management Unit Investigation Team of Banco de Oro Unibank Inc., lodged a complaint on March 13, saying the credit card under the name of one Jasmine Reymundo found in the suspect’s possession was used fraudulently. Several identification cards, including two government ID’s also under the name of Reymundo, and a fake Philippine passport, were also seized from Datu’s possession. “The suspect admitted the crime and further revealed the source of credit cards by leading the authorities to the whereabouts of her cohorts,” said NCRPO chief Guillermo Eleazar. Police follow-up operations conducted in Sampaloc, Manila and West Triangle in Quezon City resulted in the apprehension of Datu’s cohorts, identified as Paul Cabalza, 45; Eduardo Nera Jr., 41; and Teresita Caranglan, 61. Recovered from the suspects in separate police operations were several bank credit and debit cards under the name of various individuals, including Korean and Chinese nationals; visa cards; mobile gadgets; Louis Vuitton booklets; and skimming devices used in fraudulent transactions. Authorities warned the public that criminals can also easily capture credit and debit card information with small devices called skimmers. NCRPO deputy director for operations Chief Supt. Crizaldo Nieves reminded the public to be alert whenever their credit cards are being swiped in restaurants or in any establishments. The suspects are now detained at the NCRPO detention facility in Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Tagug City.

BILL AIMS TO PROTECT YOUNG PREGNANT WOMEN By Maricel V. Cruz YOUNG pregnant women, especially those belonging to the marginalized sector, shall soon be provided with maternity care services in the home. The House of Representatives’ Committee on Women and Gender Equality approved House Bill No. 5768, which proposes the establishment of a maternal and infant health home visiting program. Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Maximo Rodriguez, principal author of the bill, said through this program, eligible individuals shall receive maternal and childhealth services such as instruction and counseling regarding future health care for the woman and her child; nutrition counsel-

ing; counseling and education concerning all aspects of prenatal care, childbirth and motherhood; general family counseling, including child and family development; and medical care or referral for medical care for the woman and her child. Individuals who are eligible to receive maternal and infant care services are pregnant women who are not more than 21 years old, or families with an infant up to the age of one, belonging to the low-income bracket. Rodriguez noted that one of the most far-reaching social problems in the country is pregnancy among unmarried teenagers. He said this is generally prevalent among women aged 15 to 24 who come from the low-in-

come bracket. Rodriguez said their pregnancies are often considered unwanted or untimely since it is at this stage where they are supposed to be enjoying their lives. “Hence, maturity and preparedness required of every parent are oftentimes wanting,” Rodriguez said. The bill mandates the Health Secretary to require health centers to designate an appropriate health professional or a qualified non-professional acting under the supervision of a health care professional to deliver maternal and child-health services in the homes of eligible individuals. It also prohibits any maternal and child health service which advocates, promotes or encourages abortion.

GREENLIGHT. Senator Nancy Binay signs the plan of the proposed new Senate building to be constructed in Bonifacio Global City.

(MS-MAR. 15,16 & 17, 2019)

CYAN MAGENTA YELLOW BLACK


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SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2019

News

mst.daydesk@gmail.com

DOJ ASKED TO PROBE NAIA UNIT THE Bureau of Immigration has asked the Department of Justice to conduct an investigation against nine members of the BI-Travel Control and Enforcement Unit assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport for allegedly conniving with human trafficking syndicate victimizing Filipino jobseekers wanting to work abroad. The move was made after the Department of Foreign Affairs complains on the rising number of undocumented Filipino workers in the Middle East who managed to slip out of the NAIA with fictitious travel documents. Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente requested Justice Secretary Menardo Guevara to probe the 9 BITCEU who allegedly connived with human trafficking syndicate to allow Filipino workers to leave the NAIA even without proper working visas. The BI, however, declined to name the nine TCEU officers pending the outcome of the investigation. “They will, however, be afforded due process during the investigation. But we will make sure they cannot influence the investigation,” according to the BI. The Office of the Commissioner will provide the names of the TCEU officers who might be involved in the racket at the NAIA so that the DOJ can begin its formal investigation. According to the DFA, there are hundreds of undocumented Filipino workers in the Middle East, but they are having difficulty determining their exact number because usually enter the Middle East countries using tourist visas. Trafficking syndicates have allegedly been luring victims by offering to shoulder their travel to the Middle East, most of them to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia where high-paying jobs are supposedly waiting for them. Vito Barcelo

FLOWER POWER. A flower farmer in Bahong, La Trinidad goes about his daily farm chores tending to his rose garden. Bahong, La Trinidad is unscathed by the El Niño phenomenon while other parts of the country are hit hard with the dry spells that comes with the weather phenomenon. (Inset) Sunflowers bloom at the Ayala Triangle Gardens in Makati City, welcoming the start of the summer season with their bright yellow colors. Dave Leprozo and Diana Noche

PALACE REJECTS VILLARIN’S TAKE ON ‘NARCO-LIST’ By Vito Barcelo

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ALACAÑANG on Saturday described as “pure nonsense” in dismissing the assertion of Rep. Tom Villarin that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s action of releasing the list of narco-politicians “could constitute an impeachable offense for culpable violation of the Constitution.” “For the legal education of Rep. Vilalrin, the appropriate charges have already been filed against the personalities contained in the list before the Office of the Ombudsman affording them their right to due process and an opportunity to clear their names before competent authorities,” Panelo said in a statement. “The opposition party-list congressman is quick to respond to an issue of unfamiliar terrain to a non-lawyer like him,” he added. According to Panelo, reading the names of the personalities in the narcolist can be compared to releasing the names of criminal suspects, adding that charges have actually been filed against them. “The release of their names is nothing more than a release of the names of criminal suspects. Such act cannot be considered a legal transgression, and even more so, an impeachable offense,” he added. The Palace spokesman said that President Duterte has the duty to protect the nation and releasing the narco-list was one way of doing it. He added that not doing so would have been an impeachable offense. “The drug menace has evolved into a national security problem as it threatens to destroy the very foundation of society. The President as head of the state is constitutionally commanded to serve and protect the nation,” he said. “Individual rights are subordinate to the state’s right to protect itself from its enemies that seek to destroy it. The people’s right to safety prevails over the individual rights of persons piercing and destroying the security net that protects the citizenry,” he added. Panelo said it is the failure of the President to perform his constitutional duty of serving and protecting the people that makes him liable to impeachment for such omission is culpable violation of the Constitution and a betrayal of the public trust. The President earlier released the names of 46 local officials involved in the illegal drug trade. The list included the names of 33 mayors, eight vice mayors, three congressmen, a board member, and a former mayor. The Department of the Interior and Local Government has filed administrative cases against the said officials on March 14, 2019, at the Office of the Ombudsman, according to the President. With PNA

YOUNGER BETS LEAD POLL IN NCR—SURVEY

By Joel E. Zurbano

YOUNGER and incumbent leaders remain top choices for Metro Manila voters this coming May elections based on a latest survey conducted by RP-Mission and Development Foundation Inc. Abigail Binay of Makati City (71 percent), Joy Belmonte of Quezon City (75 percent), Imelda Calixto-Rubiano of Pasay City (67 percent), Lino Cayetano of Taguig City (73 percent) and Robert Eusebio of Pasig City (69 percent) will most likely win in the mayoralty race in the May 13 midterm polls based on the non-commissioned survey conducted on March 1-10, 2019. The survey, covering 3,500 registered voters in the National Capital Region, also showed that former Manila vice mayor Isko Moreno is the leading candidate for mayor in the city with 42 percent. Moreno’s rivals incumbent Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada got 30 percent while former mayor Alfredo Lim posted a voter preference of 20 percent. In Makati City, incumbent Mayor Abigal Binay still enjoys a strong lead of 71 percent against her brother, Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay who posted a 27 percent rating. Their father former Vice President Jejomar Binay is also running

to represent the city’s first district in the House of Representatives. Former Taguig City congressman and film director Lino Edgardo Cayetano is the leading candidate for mayor in the city with 73 percent as against the 20 percent of his rival Taguig-Pateros Rep. Arnel Cerafica. Cayetano is the brother-in-law of incumbent Mayor Laarni Cayetano, who is on her third and final term as city chief executive. Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte remains as the top choice for mayor with 75 percent over Rep. Vincent“Bingbong”Crisologo with 24 percent while former congressman Chuck Mathay received only one percent. Incumbent Pasig City Mayor Roberto “Bobby” Eusebio is also way ahead at 65 percent compared to Vico Sotto, son of“Bossing”Vic Sotto and actress Coney Reyes, who got 27 percent voter’s preference. Congressman Toby Tiangco, who is running for Navotas mayor, is up by 58 percent against his rival Dan Ang who posted 24 percent. Imelda Calixto-Rubiano, who is on her third and last term as incumbent Pasay City representative and sister of incumbent Mayor Antonino Calixto, is the leading mayoralty candidate in city with 67 percent.

NOGRALES URGES LGUS TO REACTIVATE THEIR LIAC C A B I N E T S ecretar y K arlo Nograles on Saturday urged Leyte mayors to reactivate their local inter-agency committees to ensure the successful turnover of “Yolanda” resettlement housing projects that remained unfinished over five years after Typhoon Yolanda struck the area in November 2013. Speaking to 42 mayors at the National Economic and Development Authority Region 8 Office in the Government Center in Palo, Leyte, the Palace official said that data showed that a substantial number of houses for affected

families were unfinished while there were completed housing projects had yet to be occupied. “We have to address this by reactivating the LIACs. If the LIACs are active, major milestones have been observed.This includes submission of a complete list of beneficiaries, monitor the status of construction of housing units, facilitate the actual transfer of beneficiaries, and come up with occupancy rules and regulations,” explained Nograles, who as Cabinet Secretary is Chair of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Unified Implementation and Monitoring of Rehabilitation and

Recovery Programs in the Yolanda Corridor (IATF-Yolanda), a task force formed in August 2017 by virtue of Administrative Order No. 5. “We are appealing to local government units for active support and participation because only through LIACs that we can effectively implement housing program. Through this committee, they can generate issues and concerns, report to us, and address these needs through national government agencies with the help of local governments,” said the Cabinet official, who also visited Tanauaun to check permanent

houses built by the National Housing Authority. The resettlement site here with 361 families, has been tagged as a model for adopting the“township concept”. Nograles revealed that based on the report of NHA on the Yolanda Permanent Housing Program, as of February 2019, of the 205,128 housing units in the Yolanda corridor, 56,140 are in Region VIII. Of the 56,140 Region VIII housing units, 29,531 housing units are fully completed, with 18,183 units already occupied and 11,348 units ready for occupancy.

Karlo Nograles

US REPORT ON PH HUMAN RIGHTS‘BALANCED’ —PALACE THE US State Department’s recent 2018 Human Rights Report on the Philippines is objective and balanced as it cited developments in the government’s campaign against illegal drugs, Malacañang said Saturday. “The level of objectivity and balance of the 44-page US State Department’s 2018 Human Rights Report on the Philippines reflects the US government’s appreciation of the Duterte administration’s governance agenda anchored on fighting corruption, criminality and illegal drugs,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement. Panelo said while detractors and critics of the administration are focusing on the negative aspects of the report, the assessment showed that the US respects the deeper challenges confronting the government. “While the political opposition and detractors of the President, including some of those in the mainstream media, would dwell on what they consider as negative observations and milk the same for their political purposes, we prefer to see the glass half-full and focus on the positive aspects of the report. We urge the public to read the report in its entirety that they may not be deceived by intended negative and false commentaries,” he said. “The report mentions the developments in the Duterte administration’s anti-drug campaign. Its assessment is respectful of the government’s deeper challenges, e.g. deaths of many law enforcement officers during operations, even as accountability of those from the same ranks is guaranteed through investigations of any actions taken outside the rule of law,”he added. Panelo said the Palace notes that there may be accounts of abuse on the part of its law enforcers but reiterated the Philippine government’s adherence and commitment to human rights. He assured that these cases are isolated and are being addressed and those responsible will be made accountable. PNA


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SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2019

Opinion

Adelle Chua, Editor mst.daydesk@gmail.com

EDITORIAL

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HERE was a time when Metro Manila was told repeatedly to make every drop of water count. That catchword has come under sharp focus in the last fortnight, after thousands of households in Metro Manila and the outlying towns began to wobble from water woes, not helped any by the dry spell from the El Niño phenomenon which unofficially ushered in the scorching heat of summer. Sans decent warning, Manila Water, the sole provider of water and wastewater services to more than six million people in the East Zone of the metropolis, cut the water supply in at least six cities in the national capital and seven towns in adjacent Rizal province. What has taken the situation literally down the bottoms of the dams—the main sources of Metro

BUOYANCY

Manila’s water supply are the Angat, Ipo and La Mesa—is that these are reported drying up to rather low levels because of the absence of rain. The water from these dams eventually is processed by the La Mesa and Balara Treatment Plants, which convert the water from a raw state to clean and potable water. On Thursday, officials watching the dam situation said La Mesa, built in 1929 and can hold up to 50.5 million cubic meters in a 27-square-kilometer area in Quezon City, had plunged to its lowest level in 21 years at 68.74 meters as of March 14, a spinechilling layout from 68.75 meters in 1998. The Philippine Air Force itself has confirmed it will begin cloud seeding operations, with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council releasing P18.3 million to the Department of Agriculture’s regional officers to address the El Niño phenomenon. But the National Irrigation Administration has

SOUNDS OF SCIENCE PECIER DECIERDO

WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM THE GLOBAL SCHOOL STRIKE FOR CLIMATE

raised some injunction that cloud seeding, where substances like salt are dumped onto targetted clouds to induce rainfall, should be the last resort in addressing drought which, according to the weather bureau, would affect 33 provinces by the end of May. The 33 are among the 42 that will go through a dry spell up to end of March following the large-scale ocean-atmosphere climate interaction linked to a periodic warming in sea surface temperatures across the central and east-central Equatorial Pacific. In the metropolis and nearby towns, meanwhile, residents remain guardedly zestful, given their optimistic culture. But the last drop from their faucet might just be the unappeasable mallet for their culture of tolerance and good humor. As the 20th century English-American poet W.H. Auden, known for his “Funeral Blues,” had said: “Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.”

LAST March 15, students from around the world participated in a global school strike demanding bold action on climate change. According to estimates by 350.org, more than 1 million students from over 2000 locations in 125 countries participated in the strike. In the Philippines, hundreds of students and supporters gathered in at least 9 locations to show solidarity with the global strike. The students who participated in the strike are on firm scientific ground. Climate change poses a threat to their future. In fact, it already poses a threat to their present. Sharp reductions in carbon emissions are needed to ensure a livable future. One of the main inspirations for the movement, 16-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg, was recently nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Last year, Thunberg protested alone in front of the Swedish parliament. This week she was joined by more than a million students. “The students who are striking in cities, towns and villages around the world are uniting behind the science,” she writes in The Guardian. “We are only asking that our leaders do the same.” One of the Filipino students who participated in the global strike was Krishna Ariola. She joined Youth for Climate Hope in a silent protest at the Fountain of Justice in Bacolod City to call for climate action. “Climate change used to be just a lesson in science class, today we are experiencing its effects firsthand,” she said. “But we can’t be paralyzed by fear. That’s why we choose to act.” Meanwhile, about 150 students from Apu Palamguwan Cultural Education Center in Bukidnon held a 12-kilometer march on mountain terrain to join the global call. High school student Vanessa Flores, who joined the march, talked about the impact of climate change on her community. “It’s not easy to live with an unpredictable climate that affects our crop yield,” she said. “It affects the food security of our family.” Last year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a special report summarizing the extent of the climate crisis and laid down various pathways to prevent catastrophe. According to the report, which was based on hundreds of independent and reputable scientific studies, climate change will reach catastrophic levels if everything goes on as they are. “Business as usual,” as this path is often described. Using a mountain of evidence, the report shows that if we fail to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and instead allow it to reach 2 degrees, the world will be a much more dangerous place for future generations. The report shows that the difference between a warming of 1.5 degrees and 2 degrees is literally a matter of life and death for millions of people. (The current level of warming is around 1 degree Celsius.) How do we limit warming to 1.5 degrees? According to the report, the world’s carbon emissions must be reduced to almost half by 2030, and to net zero by 2050. With 11 years to go before 2030, we are nowhere near this target. This explains the urgency in the students’ calls. Kyle Anne Villariza, a student from Miag-ao, Iloilo, helped organize an event in solidarity with the global movement out of this sense of urgency. “I am joining the climate strike because I believe that the call for climate action has long been overdue,” she says. “This is to show that I will stand together with the youth of tomorrow.” Many top climate scientists have expressed support for the students participating in the worldwide climate strike. In an open letter published in Scientific American, climate scientists Peter Kalmus, Kate Marvel, Michael Mann, Katharine Hayhoe, and Kim Cobb declared their support. They write, “Our scientific understanding of the currently observed and projected future climate impacts clearly calls for the transformation of our energy systems and our society at all scales and across all sectors in order to rapidly decarbonize our economy.” “Ignoring the problem will not make it go away,” the scientists write. “Students’ demand for bold, urgent action are fully supported by the best available science. They need our support, but more than that, they need all of us to act. Their future depends on it; and so does ours.” With the climate strike movement going global, world leaders are already feeling the heat. “My generation has failed to respond properly to the dramatic challenge of climate change,” writes UN secretary general Antonio Guterres in response to the school strikes. “This is deeply felt by young people. No wonder they are angry.” The students are striking because they have learned one of the most valuable lesson of all —if we want to live safely, we must act in accordance with the science. It’s time for the rest of us to act on it.

THE PHILIPPINES WAS RIGHT TO LEAVE THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT By Dr. David Hoile THREE cheers for President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to withdraw the Philippines from the International Criminal Court (ICC). While controversial, it was clearly the correct thing to have done. The scandal-ridden Court’s reputation has been irretrievably damaged by its corruption, racism, blatant double-standards, serious judicial irregularities and sheer incompetence as a legal body. The pursuit of justice in the face of wrongdoing—especially crimes against humanity and war crimes – is at the heart of human values and the International Criminal Court was embraced by many when it was established in 2002 for precisely that reason. Many Asians and Africans supported establishing the ICC, believing that it would be a court that would dispense justice without fear or favor. The ICC has spent the past 18 years, however, revealing itself to be a deeplyflawed, politicized and professionally inept institution that has badly eroded whatever faith there may have been in the concept of international criminal justice. The reality is that the self-styled International Criminal Court is neither international nor a real court. Even avid fans of the ICC warned of “serious flaws”, “ambiguities and dilemmas” and “fault lines” in its creation. While it claims to be the world’s court this is not the case. Its members represent just over one quarter of the world’s population: Pivotal states such as China, Russia, the United States and India are just some of the many countries that have remained outside of the Court’s ju-

risdiction. Almost all of the BRICS nations are not members. A real court is only as credible as its independence. Far from being independent and impartial, the ICC’s own statute grants special prosecutorial rights of referral and deferral to the world’s most politicised body, the UN Security Council—and by default to its five permanent members (three of which are not even ICC members). Political interference in the legal process was thus made part of the Court from its inception. The Court is also inextricably tied to the European Union which provides up to 70 percent of its funding. The online ICC watchdog @ICCWatch has described the ICC as a “very well funded European NGO masquerading as a ‘court’”. The EU is additionally guilty of blatant political and economic blackmail in tying aid for developing countries to ICC membership. The expression “he who pays the piper calls the tune” could not be more appropriate. Given its budget is dependent upon European states, the ICC has ignored any alleged human rights abuses by its European or NATO state funders or human rights abuses by western client states. The ICC has been made aware of 1.17 million alleged war crimes in ICC Afghanistan. Any alleged war crimes, regardless of who committed them, can be pursued as Afghanistan is an ICC member state. Despite a 10-year “investigation” of these allegations, the ICC has so far declined to act. It has chosen instead to focus almost exclusively on Africa and Africans. The ICC is self-evidently a racist court. From over 11,000 complaints about alleged crimes in over 139 countries on several continents, the ICC has only ever “indicted” Africans. If the American or British or Filipino legal system chose only to arrest and try black

people, while ignoring crimes by any other racial group—as the ICC has done—it would be quite rightly be seen as racist. Putting the ICC’s racism and selectivity aside, the ICC has also proved itself manifestly unfit for purpose as a legal institution. Its proceedings thus far have often been questionable where not simply farcical. Its judges—some of whom have never been lawyers, let alone judges—are the result of corrupt FIFA-esque votetrading amongst member states. Far from securing the best legal minds in the world this produces mediocrity. Some “judges” had never set foot in a courtroom before their “appointment”. At least one elected “judge” had neither law degree nor legal experience but her country had contributed handsomely to the ICC budget. Why should the excellent Filipino judicial system be overridden by European “human rights” activists posing as judges? The Court has produced prosecution witnesses who recanted their testimony the moment they got into the witness box, admitting that they were coached by nongovernmental organisations as to what false statements to make. Dozens of other “witnesses” have similarly disavowed their “evidence”. The ICC has had to admit that its star witnesses were “thoroughly unreliable and incredible”. And then there has been crass prosecutorial misconduct, including, for example, the hiding of hundreds of items of exculpatory evidence from the defence, which should have ended any fair trial because they compromised the integrity of any legal process (but didn’t). Simply put, the Court and its prosecutors have been making things up as they go along and getting away with it. The ICC claims to be “economical” and to bring “swift justice”, yet it has consumed

more than two billion Euros resulting in three questionable convictions in trials often lasting several years. Both former President Laurent Gbagbo of the Ivory Coast and former Vice-President Jean-Pierre Bemba of the Democratic Republic of Congo were falsely imprisoned at the ICC for 10 years without evidence to convict before being freed. The ICC claims to be victim-centred yet Human Rights Watch has publicly criticised the ICC’s ambivalence towards victim communities. The ICC claims to be fighting impunity, yet it has granted de jure immunity to the United States and afforded de facto immunity and impunity to NATO member states and several serial abusers of human rights who happen to be friends of the European Union. The ICC should be seen more as part of the western human-rights industry than a real court. It does not have Asia’s welfare at heart, only the furtherance of Western, and especially European, foreign policy and its own bureaucratic imperative—to exist, to employ more Europeans and North Americans and where possible to continue to increase its budget—all at the expense of the ideal of justice. Twenty years ago the United States clearly warned that the ICC might become a travesty of justice open to political influence. One US Supreme Court justice described the ICC as a kangaroo court. All this and much worse has come to pass at the ICC. President Duterte has made the right call. About the Author : Dr. David Hoile is the director of InternationalJusticeMatters.org. He is the author of Justice Denied: The Reality of the International Criminal Court and The International Criminal Court: Europe’s Guantánamo Bay? (available at www.africaresearchcentre.eu).

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World

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SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2019 mst.daydesk@gmail.com

Cesar Barrioquinto, Editor / Jimbo Gulle, Issue Editor

DEMOCRATS BUILD 2020 WAR CHESTS, $1 AT A TIME WASHINGTON—The 2020 presidential election is still 20 months away, but one campaign battle is already raging: the fight for America’s small-dollar contributions. With all 12 major Democratic White House candidates shunning donations from corporations and political action committees, or PACs, they have turned their collective eye toward individual voters, who are showing increasing willingness to open their pocketbooks and play a larger role in the political process. All signs point to an avalanche of personal contributions in the 2020 election cycle as individuals invest more of their own cash in candidates, as polls show voters are overwhelmingly fed up with dark money and corporate influence in politics. “The money in politics is corrupting. It controls everything,” Senator Kirsten Gillibrand told voters in Des Moines, Iowa, last month after announcing her presidential bid. “You have to get money out of politics. And that’s why, as a very small first step, I’m not taking corporate PAC money.” Instead she and others, armed with massive voter databases culled from social media and other contacts thanks to improving technology, are sending out millions of fundraising emails seeking contributions to fund their exhausting ground operations —“even just a dollar,” pleaded one such message from Democrat Cory Booker. Bernie Sanders, the liberal senator who made campaign finance reform a central pillar of his rebellious 2016 presidential campaign, entered the 2020 race in February with a bang, raising $5.9 million in the first 24 hours from more than 220,000 individuals across all 50 states. The average donation was $27. AFP

VENEZUELA FREES GERMAN JOURNALIST CARACAS, Venezuela—German journalist Billy Six, detained by Venezuelan intelligence services four months ago, was freed Friday in Caracas – but must report to the court every 15 days, an NGO confirmed. Six was arrested in northern Falcon state for allegedly photographing President Nicolas Maduro “very closely,” according to free speech NGO Espacio Publico. “German journalist Billy Six is freed ... they are imposing interim measures of presentation every 15 days and prohibition to speak to the media about his case. We demand full freedom,” the group said on Twitter. Six went on hunger strike in December, before lifting it pending diplomatic efforts, according to the German embassy. He then published a letter claiming he had been denied the right to defense and that he had not received the results of medical testing after suffering from dengue fever in late October. He was in the country to investigate drug trafficking, smuggling and human trafficking—and the exodus of Venezuelans forced to migrate due to economic crisis. AFP

CHINA BIDS FOR 2023 ASIAN CUP SHANGHAI—China has formally submitted a bid to host the 2023 Asian Cup, state media said, another sign of the country’s determination to eventually stage a football World Cup. China has hosted the Asian Cup once before, in 2004, but its latest attempt is significant because of President Xi Jinping’s stated desire for the country to hold a World Cup. The World Cup tournaments for 2030 or 2034 have regularly been mooted as the most likely that China will go for. Staging the 2023 Asian Cup would help prepare China for a World Cup, but it faces stiff competition from South Korea. Having the Asian Cup again on Chinese soil will “promote the popularization and development of football” in the country, Xinhua news agency said. China reached the quarter-finals of the Asian Cup in the UAE at the start of this year, before going down 3-0 to Iran. Fabio Cannavaro was named Marcello Lippi’s successor as coach of the national team on Friday. AFP

A message is seen as residents pay their respects by placing flowers for the victims of the mosques attacks in Christchurch on March 16, 2019. AFP

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NZ MOSQUE ATTACK SUSPECT CHARGED

HRISTCHURCH, New Zealand—A right-wing extremist who filmed himself rampaging through two mosques in the quiet New Zealand city of Christchurch killing 49 worshippers appeared in court on a murder charge Saturday.

Australian-born 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant appeared in the dock wearing handcuffs and a white prison shirt, sitting impassively as the judge read a single murder charge against him. A raft of further charges are expected. The former fitness instructor and self-professed fascist occasionally turned to look at media present in court during the brief hearing that was held behind closed doors for security reasons. He did not request bail and was taken into custody until his next court appearance scheduled for April 5.

Forty-two people are still being treated in hospital for injuries, including a four-year-old child, after an attack thought to be the deadliest directed against Muslims in the West in modern times. Outside the court, guarded by heavily armed police in body armour, the sons of 71-year-old Afghan man Daoud Nabi demanded justice. “It’s outrageous, the feeling is outrageous,” he said. “It’s beyond imagination.” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Saturday the victims were from across the Muslim world, with Turkey, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia among the countries rendering consular assistance. One Saudi citizen was killed and another wounded, according to Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya television news channel. At least two Jordanians were among the dead, according to that country’s foreign minister, while Pakistan foreign ministry spokesman Mohammed Faisal said five citizens of his country were missing. Ardern described the spree killing as a terrorist attack and said the shooter – who was not on any watchlist and did not have a criminal

record – had legally purchased the two semiautomatic weapons, two shotguns and leveraction gun he used. “The offender was in possession of a gun license” obtained in November 2017, and he started purchasing the weapons the following month, she said. “While work is being done as to the chain of events that led to both the holding of this gun license, and the possession of these weapons, I can tell you one thing right now—our gun laws will change,” she vowed. The suspect documented his radicalization and two years of preparations in a lengthy, meandering and conspiracy filled far-right “manifesto.” He live-streamed footage of himself going room-to-room, victim-to-victim, shooting the wounded from close range as they struggled to crawl away in the main Christchurch mosque. Two other people remain in custody, although their link to the attack is unknown. A third person who was earlier arrested was said to be a member of the public with a firearm who was trying to help. AFP

ORDINARY WHITE MAN? SUSPECT’S PROFILE EMERGES

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand— A one-time gym trainer from rural Australia who became steeped in neo-fascist ideology during travels in Europe, Brenton Tarrant described himself as an “ordinary white man”—until he became anything but ordinary. The gunman behind the massacre of 49 people in two New Zealand mosques flashed a white power sign during a brief court appearance Saturday, but he was not on any terrorist watch-list and appeared to have no criminal history. Tarrant, 28, grew up in the small town of Grafton in northern New South Wales, where he graduated high school before earning some fitness qualifications and going on to find work at a local gym in 2009.

The gym’s owner, Tracey Gray, described him as a hard-working trainer but said he appeared to have been changed by his travels in Europe and Asia—which social media posts suggested included trips as far afield as Pakistan and North Korea. “I think something must have changed in him during the years he spent traveling overseas,” Gray told national broadcaster ABC. “Somewhere along the lines, experiences or a group have got a hold of him,” she said. Gray’s speculation was backed up by a rambling, hate-filled, manifesto Tarrant posted to social media ahead of the Christchurch killings. In the 74-page screed, he says

he first began considering an attack in April and May of 2017 while travelling in France and elsewhere in Western Europe. He mentions being shocked at the “invasion” of French cities by immigrants and his “despair” at the French presidential vote that year which saw pro-European centrist Emmanuel Macron defeat his farright opponent Marine Le Pen. In a brief biographical sketch included in his manifesto, Tarrant describes himself as “just a ordinary white man... born in Australia to a working class, low income family.” His childhood was “regular” and, he insisted, issue-free. He “barely” achieved a passing grade in school and had no interest in pursuing higher education.

According to media reports, his father died of cancer in 2010 and gym owner Gray said she believed he had a mother and sister still living in Grafton. Two modified semi-automatic weapons—reportedly AR-15s— two shotguns and a lever-action gun were used in Friday’s deadly rampage, and photos of the weaponry with distinctive writing on them were posted on social media days before. Scrawled in English and several Eastern European languages were the names of numerous historical military figures—many of them Europeans involved in fighting the Ottoman forces in the 15th and 16th centuries. A few took part in the Crusades, centuries earlier. AFP

DEFIANT TRUMP VETOES REBUKE ON BORDER EMERGENCY FUNDS

WASHINGTON—Donald Trump signed the first veto of his presidency Friday, overriding congressional opposition to secure emergency funds to build more walls on the US-Mexico border. Trump declared in the Oval Office that he was “proud” to sign the veto. It came after he suffered an embarrassing defeat on Thursday when senators, including fellow Republicans, voted to terminate his declaration of an emergency on the Mexican border. Surrounded by law enforcement officials, senior aides and people who have lost loved ones to cross-border crime, Trump said the veto reaffirming his power to get the funds without Congress was to “defend the safety of all Americans.” “The mass incursion of illegal aliens... has to end,” he said. “People

hate the word ‘invasion’ but that’s what it is... Our immigration system is stretched beyond the breaking point.” Trump’s emergency declaration allows him to secure funding for construction of border walls after he failed to get authorization from Congress. Opponents, who accuse Trump of executive overreach and over-hyping the problem on the border, could now use court challenges to halt the emergency measure. Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic speaker of the House of Representatives and a leader in the fight to prevent Trump’s wall plans, called Trump’s action a “lawless power grab.” “The president has chosen to continue to defy the Constitution, the Congress and the will of the American people,” she said in a statement. AFP

US President Donald Trump displays his veto in response to the congressional rebuke on border emergency at the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on March 15, 2019. AFP


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SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2019 mst.daydesk@gmail.com

REMEMBRANCE. Well-wishers light 49 candles as they pay respects to victims outside the hospital in Christchurch on March 16, 2019, after a shooting incident at two mosques in the city the previous day. A right-wing extremist who filmed himself rampaging through two mosques in the quiet New Zealand city of Christchurch killed 49 worshippers. AFP

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK

FREE MAN. Marawi City Vice Mayor Arafat Salic, who was arrested on allegations of rebellion in connection with the 2017 Marawi siege, was released Friday after the Department of Justice ruled that inquest in cases of warrantless arrests can only be done if the suspect is caught in the act of committing a crime. Norman Cruz

TOO BIG A HEADACHE FOR SOMEONE TOO YOUNG. A young boy gathers water in Barangka, Mandaluyong. Manila has been hit by its worst water shortage in years, leaving bucket-bearing families to wait hours for a fill up from tanker trucks and some hospitals to turn away less urgent cases. AFP

SHOULDER-TO-SHOULDER. The USS Blue Ridge arrived in Manila Bay for a visit to the Philippine capital on March 13, 2019. The US 7th Fleet flagship conducted a cooperative deployment with the Philippine Navy. AFP

NO PLANET-B. Youth hold signs as they take part in a demonstration against climate change on March 15, 2019 in Paris. The worldwide youth protests were inspired by a Swedish teen activist who camped out in front of parliament in Stockholm last year to demand action from world leaders on global warming. AFP


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SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2019

Riera U. Mallari, Editor sports_mstandard@yahoo.com

Sports

FINDING SISTERHOOD IN A MALE-DOMINATED SPORT

N A sport largely identified with men, a team of young girls from the Immaculate Concepcion Academy has formed a sisterhood that goes beyond winning games. The ICA team has been training under the Xavier Football Club every Wednesday, Saturday, and, if needed, on Sunday as well. Their school doesn’t have a field, but that didn’t stop these girls—whose ages range from 11 to 16 years old—from pursuing the sport they love. While they got into football in different ways—some had family members, who were already in the sport while others were enrolled by their moms—the girls share the same passion for it. “When I started football, I just fell in love with it,” says 15-year-old Traci Lim. Getting into the sport wasn’t as easy though. It’s not that the girls didn’t have the skill to stand out. Far from it. It’s more because football is still not seen by some people as a sport that women can excel at. “I think we’ve all had our fair share of experiences but one that has affected me is when my teacher asked me what sport I played and when I said football, she asked, ‘Isn’t that a man’s sport?’ I didn’t see it as an insult; I used it as an inspiration to prove her wrong and do better,” goalkeeper Darryle Tangco said. Teammate Iya Pantoja added: “There are times where some people look down on women who play football like they think we don’t have the capability or skill, but there’s always that time, at the end of the day, where you can prove that you have the set of skills and you have the heart to compete and play in the sport.” Like many young football players, Iya dreams of making it to the national team. “That would be really nice, to be able to play on the national team, but my main goal would be to get a scholarship through football, so I can get in to a good school and become a doctor,” she says. Iya, along with her sister Adrianna, are members of the ICA team. “We were toddlers when we already started playing football. And then, we tried a bunch of other sports but then; we think football was the one we stayed longest in. I didn’t see why a girl couldn’t play the sport?” Adrianna said. Their mother, Bernadette, who was a student athlete back in the day, was the one who encouraged her daughters to get into sports. “Having played football back in college, I am so glad that I now get to share the experience with

Self-confessed soccer mom Bernadette Pantoja (third from left) with her equally sports-minded girls (left to right) Iya, Adrianna, and Daniella.

my daughters. Football is a tie that binds our family. I will never trade the countless weekends spent under the sun watching them play. For as long as they are willing, I will never grow tired of cheering for them. I will always be proud to be called a soccer mom,” she said. The team has even found a staunch supporter in Allianz, a global insurance company that runs one of the most successful international football camps through a partnership with FC Bayern Munich. One of the pillars of the company’s corporate social responsibilit y program is social inclusion, which it tackles through sports and sustainability projects. With a company such as Allianz on their side, it was enough to boost the morale of the girls. Dealing with discrimination is just one of the lessons that the girls have learned from playing football. “I also learned self-discipline, perseverance, hard work, and balance. These things are important even when you’re outside of the field,” says Iya. They have learned the value of reliability. “For example, when you’re running on the field for 45 minutes and you just want to stop because you’re tired, you can’t just do that. Your team needs you,” Iya adds. Her mom, Bernadette, points out, “The discipline, dedication, commitment and perseverance learned through this sport will continue to

teach them to become more well rounded, relational, agile, determined and strong. These things are important aspects they need to learn to succeed in life.” In overcoming both the physical and emotional challenges that come with a sport, the girls are blessed to have the staunch support of their family, especially their mothers. Strong women on their own, these “soccer moms” guide their young daughters not just in excelling in the sport that they love most, but in maintaining a life outside of the field as well. “I always tell Alexa that in life, you should have a balance. You should always know when to do things at the right time,” Laura Maclang said. She, like the other moms, are glad that their girls have found a sport that they don’t just love but can learn a lot from as well. “It has helped develop her communication skills, which is very important during the formative years,” she said. Traci’s mom, Ting Lim, noticed that her daughter has learned to manage time and become more disciplined and responsible. She was the first to bring the kids together, nurturing the girls’ love for the game by making sure they train regularly. For the case of Traci, she was lucky to be selected, to be part of a national team training camp. From there, she learned how to manage her time. She became disciplined. She became

more responsible. Laura takes pride in the fact that in playing the sport, the girls have learned to look out for each other. “The team has unity. They take care of each other not only during their time on the field but outside of it as well,” she says. Just as the girls pull each other up during challenging games, their moms are there to listen to their frustrations and guide them in overcoming them. “We always tell her that no one bad performance defines you as a player. The important thing is you come back stronger,” Anya’s mom, Tecel Fuentes, says. Bernadette sums up the bond that their daughters not only share with their teammates, but with their families as well. “Football is a tie that binds our family. I will never trade the countless weekends spent under the sun watching them play. For as long as they are willing, I will never grow tired of cheering for them. I will always be proud to be called a soccer mom,” she said. By playing football, the ICA team has shown that playing sports transcends genders, creates friendships, instills discipline, and, more importantly, fosters strong family bonds.

LHUILLIER FORTIFIES PH SOFTBALL THE 2019 season for softball is off to a good start following the unveiling of the ASAPHIL—Cebuana Lhuillier Invitational Softball Tournament—1st Conference, which kicked off recently in Imus, Cavite. Presented by ASAPHIL President Jean Henri Lhuillier, the tourney, which is being held for the first time, is intended to further strengthen men’s softball in the country. “Our national softball teams —both the men’s and women’s side—are considered the rising stars of Asia. We are known for our agility, speed and most importantly, passion and love for the sport both on and off the field. To keep the momentum going, we have to continuously train our current team and keep their skills sharp and ready for battle,” said Lhuillier. He added: “This is the reason why I thought about having a series of invitational tourneys, beginning with this one in Imus, so that our men’s team will have a venue for training; while also giving the opportunity for notable players of our various local teams to be scouted by ASAPHIL and our national coaches.”   The Blu Boys, one of the stand-out teams during last year’s Asian Men’s Championships in Sarawak, Indonesia, will be competing against each other for the Imus tourney as they raise the flag of their respective mother teams.

ASAPHIL President Jean Henri Lhuillier is shown with the PH Blu Boys during a recent courtesy call.

Participating teams include the Philippine Air Force, Philippine Army, Philippine Navy, PUP, RTU, Imus City Air Force, Dasmariñas City, and the Cabuyao City Transformers. At present, the team is preparing for the Southeast Asian Games which will be held in the Philippines from Nov. 30 to Dec. 9 this year. The tourney, which will run until March 31, is made possible with the support of Imus City Mayor Emmanuel Maliksi and Imus Congressman Alex “AA” Advincula.

AUSSIES SEEK TO RECLAIM 70.3 TITLES FOILED the last time out by unfancied Belgium, Spain, Italy, New Caledonia, rivals, the once mighty Australians go Singapore; all out to regain their once lofty perch South Africa, Japan, the Netherin triathlon ladder as they return for the lands, Sweden, Great Britain, Korean, second Alveo IRONMAN 70.3 Davao Norway, Thailand, Switzerland, Greece, presented by Petron unfolding March Kuwait, New Zealand, Turkey, China, 24 at Azuela Cove. Guam, Mexico, Panama and Taiwan. Tim Reed, a former Asia-Pacific and Assured of the full support of the loworld champion, lost by nearly two cal officials, SEI founder Wilfred Uytengsu minutes to Mauricio Mendez in last sees another successful staging of the year’s inaugural staging of the Davao event, also held in conjunction with event he was expected to dominate Davao’s 82nd anniversary celebrations. coming off a series of victories with the For details, visit the event’s website at talented Aussie all primed up for paywww.ironman.com/davao703. back against the Mexican star. It also serves as the kick off of Sam Betten and Tim Van Berkel proa series of SEI-organized and provide the needed backup for the aces duced events, including the Sun Life from Down Under along with David 5150 Cebu on April 28, the Century Mainwaring, Matt Lewis and Fraser Ironman 70.3 Subic on June 2, the Walsh, all aiming to get a crack at the Penong’s 5150 Davao on July 7, the coveted men’s pro crown in the upRegent Aguila IRONMAN 70.3 Philipcoming 1.9K swim, 90K bike, 21K run pines on Aug. 11, the Black Arrow Exeven organized and conducted by press 5150 Subic on Oct. 27 and the Sunrise Events Inc. Sun Life Cycle PH in November. Dimity Lee Duke, also a former maUshering in the second Alveo IRONny-time winner in local triathlon from MAN is the Sun Life Bike Course Ride Tim Reed Australia now based in Phuket, ThaiOut, the IronKids, the IronGirl, and the land, also aims for the top in the women’s pro side of the event Ironman 70.3 Davao Expo at the Tent today (March 17). along with compatriots Kirra Siedel and Lisa Tyack. Backers of the event are title sponsor Alveo, an AyalaLand But Czech Radka Kahlefeldt is also coming into the event company, presentor Petron, venue hosts Lungsod ng Dabaw, in top shape, ready to defend her crown also against the likes Azuela Cove and the Enderun Tent, bike course partners Davao of regular Phl campaigners Caroline Steffen of Switzerland del Norte, Panabo, Tagum and Carmen, official courier and logisand Guam’s Manami Iijima. tics partner 2Go Express, official swim cap TYR, official energy gel Over 2,200 triathletes have confirmed participation in the GU, official nutrition Vitargo, official eyewear Rudy Project, and event, which features individual and relay competitions, with Aboitiz Power, Davao Light, David’s Salon, Davao Metro Shuttle, bets coming from the United Arab Emirates, Czech Republic, Prudential Guarantee, and media partners ONE Sports on Cignal, Hong Kong, Mexico, Ukraine, India, Malaysia, Qatar, the US, the Philippine Star, Trilife, AsiaTri.com and Finisher Pix.

MOTORSPORTS ACE. PETRON/Federal Tires Brand Ambassador Milo Rivera was recently awarded as the Major Awardee for Motorsports by the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA). The five-time slalom king Rivera, who is also backed by United Auctioneers Inc., Autoperformance Brembo, Eightdecals and Dudshop Race Design, begins his 2019 motorsports season today (Sunday) in the Philippine Autocross Championship Series, where he is the defending champion.


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SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2019

Business

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

FWD LIFE EXPANDS ‘SET KA NA’ INSURANCE S E T K a Na, the low-premium insurance product of pan-Asian insurer FWD Life Insurance Corp., is now available in more than 3,600 TrueMoney centers in the National Capital Region. Launched in November 2018, Set Ka Na is a basic life insurance protection plan that provides annual coverage for death, disability, and accidental death.

InLife ‘Sheroes’ influencers

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PORTRAITS OF INLIFE ‘SHEROES’ INFLUENCERS

NSULAR Life, the first and largest Filipino life insurance company, teamed up with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, to launch a program that is expected to impact the lives of one million Filipino women. Called InLife Sheroes, it will provide risk mitigation solutions throughout their lifetime and educate them on financial management, health and wellbeing.

InLife Sheroes introduced its pioneer class of influencers – Amina Aranaz Aluman, Sherill Quintana and Rose Fres Fausto. They are women of success and substance who made an impact on the lives of others through their craftsmanship, advocacies and persistence. Another InLife Sheroes influencer is the civic group Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation. NWTF has been a catalyst for social change and a fitting advocate for Filipino women. As influencers, they will use their status, expertise, and reach to help more Filipino women gain knowledge and training so they can create a future of financial empowerment. Amina Aranaz Alunan is the creative mind behind the eponymous fashion accessories brand Aranaz and the founder of the country’s first specialized design college, SoFa Design Institute. As a fashion brand, Aranaz has been elevating Filipino artistry and craftsmanship in the international fashion market since 1999. Aranaz craft collections echo the history behind the Filipino brand, and its commitment to promoting local artisans and handmade products. SoFa Design Institute is an organization that empowers young students to pursue their dreams in the creative arena. Established in 2007 as the School of Fashion and the Arts, the institute evolved into a comprehensive design school having included interior design in its academic programs. Amina also sees insurance as another tool to help entrepreneurs like her secure their hard earned capital.

S h e r i l l Q u i nt a n a e m b ra ce s e ve r y opportunity to inspire more women to take charge of their financial well-being. This is her way of giving back to the women entrepreneurs who stood as her mentors when she was establishing Oryspa as a Filipino brand. Oryspa is a pioneering rice bran-based health, beauty and wellness product which started production more than ten years ago. Sherill stumbled upon an ingenious idea to use rice barn locally known as “darak” for health and wellness products which became the brand we know and love today as Oryspa. Today, Oryspa’s essential oils, stress, and pain relief products, bath and body essentials, and baby care line are sold in 58 franchisees and distribution stores here and abroad, and four company-owned outlets nationwide. Investment banker turned full-time homemaker Rose Fres Fausto sharpens and shares her financial skills through her books, website, social media channels, weekly columns, and insightful talks. Anchored on FQ or financial intelligence quotient, Rose’s fqmom.com simplifies the principles of behavioral economics as she tackles financial literacy at the backdrop of family and relationship situations, as well as

women scenarios. Rose notes that despite the crucial importance of personal finance, most people do not have the proper training for it, as manifested in “smart, industrious middle-aged and senior citizens not prepared for their retirement, despite having been gainfully employed during their younger years.” Rose underscores the essential role of an FQ mother – a term she defined as someone who believes in the importance of raising her children with high FQ. Founded in 1984 as a non-government organization with the dreams to help women and contribute to poverty alleviation efforts, Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation now serves almost 400,000 clients. The foundation has 130 branches in Batangas, Laguna, Palawan, Panay, Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Samar and Leyte. In order to improve access to financial and non-financial support for its clients, the foundation primarily provides Grameen based micro-financing and developmental services. The foundation’s two core projects namely Dungganon and Kasanag with direct English translations of noble and light, respectively, help women live decent and manageable lives.

CARMEN’S BEST EMPLOYS DIGITAL TOOLS WHEN it comes to giving the best experience to its customers, Carmen’s Best has been taking leaps and bounds to make patrons get more than just a scoop of their ice cream. Since it first started putting a smile to their customer’s faces through their fun and intriguing flavors in 2011, the homegrown ice cream brand has become a favorite for many. Carmen’s Best has also since distributed their products, made only of fresh milk from their own dairy farm, to over 200 outlets, including airlines (PAL, Delta, and Qantas), coffee shops, grocery stores. It also exports to Singapore. Aside from distributing to these outlets, Carmen’s Best also opened a kiosk at Alabang Town Center in Muntinlupa. For owner Francisco “Paco” Magsaysay, this physical store made him realize that there are still many patrons who do not know their product. “When we first opened our store in Alabang, we found out that there are still a lot of people, who have never tried Carmen’s Best,” said Magsaysay. “So, I said that we need more stores and

embark on retail business.” Last year, Carmen’s Best unveiled its first ice cream parlor in Power Plant Mall in Rockwell, Makati City. According to Paco, this sit-down store, with a counter that looks like a traditional ice-cream cart, was not originally part of their plan. But when a space opened in the new wing of the said mall, he knew that it was the chance for them to reach out to more customers and let them have more than just single-serve cups of their ice cream. They also serve their products in homemade cones. “I want to let as many people taste our products so, we consider this store as our showroom where everyone can try our ice creams flavors,” said Magsaysay. “But of course, running a retail store is different from business-to-business selling of products.” As a hands-on businessman, Magsaysay knew that they need to integrate digital tools to boost the operations of their store, especially with the increasing number of patrons lining up every Turn to C2

“Our partnership with TrueMoney is part of FWD’s goal to reach new and emerging segments, further expanding financial inclusion in the Philippines and supporting our vision to change the way people feel about insurance,” said FWD Life Philippines president and chief executive Peter Grimes. “With our low-cost Set Ka Na insurance being offered in more TrueMoney Centers in NCR, we look forward to promoting financial inclusion among Filipinos—banking the unbanked and covering the uncovered,” he said. “We are delighted to see how our partnership with FWD has progressed since its launch in 2018. After the soft launch in November, we are happy to now offer Set Ka Na to the growing TrueMoney customer base in Metro Manila,” said TrueMoney Philippines chief executive Jacqueline Van Den Ende. “At TrueMoney, we are committed to expanding the suite of affordable financial services available in our stores, most especially in hard-toreach areas in the Philippines. FWD’s Set Ka Na insurance contributes in meeting this mission,” she said. FWD Life Insurance and TrueMoney plan to broaden the product’s reach to eventually make Set Ka Na available in all TrueMoney Centers nationwide by end of 2019. FWD Life Insurance is the first life insurance company licensed by the Insurance Commission of the Philippines under the new Insurance Code. FWD launched its commercial operations in September 2014. By March 2017, FWD Life became the highest-capitalized life insurer in the Philippines with P 2.3 billion in paid-up capitalization. Based on premium income data published by the Insurance Commission, FWD Life now ranks 10th in the insurance industry in terms of weighted new business premiums. In the Philippines, FWD has 14 business hubs located in key cities nationwide with its headquarters in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig. TrueMoney Philippines, which operates under Ascend Monday, is the largest financial technology company in Southeast Asia and a digital finance joint venture of the C.P. Group and Ant Financial. The company has over 70,000 financial services locations in Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. TrueMoney aims to drive financial inclusion across the various countries by offering innovative and affordable financial services to the masses.


Business

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SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2019 business@manilastandard.net

INNOVATION PROPELS LAGUNA DEVELOPER

Amaia Skies’ ready-for-occupancy units are selling out fast, with only a few slots available.

AMAIA SKIES OFFER WORTHY INVESTMENTS IT IS every Filipino family’s dream to have a house that they can call their own. Settling down in a home is an aspiration that takes time and patience—and occasionally, hefty costs—to achieve. But top-of-mind and affordable real estate developer Amaia Land offers hardworking and deserving Filipino families and individuals a way to fast-track the fulfillment of this dream: the Amaia Skies projects. “The rapid increase in the number of aspiring homeowners that opt for Amaia properties attest to Amaia Land’s remarkable commitment in providing affordable and sustainable homes for all,” says Raizel Matibag of Amaia Land. Amaia Skies ready-for-occupancy units are reportedly selling out fast, with just a few slots available at some of their developments. Amaia Skies Cubao Tower 1, located at 5th Ave. corner P. Tuazon Ave. in Barangay Socorro, Cubao, Quezon City, has already sold 1,069 units with only 57 units available. Tower 2, on the other hand, has sold 906 units with the remaining 136 expected to go soon. Existing and prospective residents savor Amaia Skies Cubao’s proximity to bustling Araneta Center with its multitude of shopping, dining and entertainment options. Both towers have a swimming pool and a multi-purpose hall. Amaia Skies Avenida in Manila has sold 1,142 units, with 25 units still available. Homeowners in the high- densit y downtown property enjoy utmost privacy in their large swimming pool, jogging path and children’s play area. Amaia Skies Shaw on Samat Street, Mandaluyong City, has 22 remaining units left, with 1,326 of their units already sold. Like the Avenida tower, the Shaw branch also has a swimming pool and a children’s play area. At Amaia Skies Sta. Mesa, 757 units are already occupied, with 145 units still available to aspiring homeowners. Located at Victorino Mapa St., Sta. Mesa, Manila, the Sta. Mesa project features leisure amenities that include a swimming pool, a kiddie play area and a landscaped garden. “All Amaia Skies projects are close to schools, recreational centers, hospitals, business establishments, as well as transport terminals,” Matibag says. “Major retail outlets and banks, such as Puregold, 7-Eleven, Ministop and BPI have also set up shop at various Amaia Skies branches.” Amaia Land brings the dream of owning affordable and sustainable homes closer to hardworking Filipinos through easy payment options: cash, deferred cash and bank financing.

CARMEN... From C1 day to get their ice cream. Carmen’s Best chose business solutions integrator Genie Technologies Inc. to roll out out a new point of sale system that can help the gourmet ice cream brand not just boost its operations but also deliver the best service to customers. “When we opened our store in Power Plant Mall, we did not anticipate the volume of people who would buy our ice cream and, our previous POS system could not keep up with the volume of customers,” said Magsaysay. “So, I decided to look for a new one that can give us the flexibility we need to adhere to the larger volume of customers.” The project aims to upgrade Carmen’s POS by integrating NCR Aloha POS into their current systems. This solution gives the ice cream parlor the tools it needs to boost sales and increase the pace and accuracy of service. It also eases taking of orders and payments, food preparation, keeping track of inventory, as well as the overall flow of store operations. NCR Aloha POS is also ideal for quick service and fast casual sit-down stores and can be used on fixed POS terminals, built-for-purpose handheld devices and consumer mobile devices. The POS system can even make for a more engaging experience as it enables customers to see the details of their purchase of transaction through a monitor facing them. “Working with GenieTech has helped us boost our efficiency, especially since they helped us tailorfit the POS System to how we want it to work,” said Magsaysay. Mahesh Gopinath, the chief operating officer of GenieTech, said that “our team is more than excited for this project. From our end, we look forward to supporting Carmen’s Best’s vision of putting a smile on everyone’s face.”

Hi+ (Home Info Plus) is a one-stop portal (mobile app) for the company’s homebuyers where they can check their account information from reservation up to move-in phase.

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NNOVATION, disruption and change are not generally associated with the real estate industry but in a digital age where consumers’ expectations are shifting, this is rapidly evolving. The industry must provide a faster, less paper-intensive process and give consumers more control.

When it comes to technological advancements, P.A. Alvarez Properties & Development Corp., the country’s largest developer of affordable housing south of Metro Manila, recognizes that the industry has been quite behind. To be able to compete in a volatile marketplace, the company knows that it has to up its game and looks at how to upgrade its operations to create better customer experiences. “What people are looking for has changed in the last five years as fastpaced technological and social change transform how people live and work. Technology is now playing a critical role in our sector so we started embarking on a digital transformation in our processes and operations to better respond to our stakeholders,” said Reynaldo Ascaño, senior executive vice president of P.A. Properties. In terms of building technology, P.A. Properties now employs several modern techniques like Cast-inPlace technology, where locally supplied ready-mix concrete or site mix mortar, steel reinforcement and plastic formwork are delivered to the construction site, allowing concrete and mortar structures to be produced at the project site. This makes the construction process

more efficient, allowing single-story units to be finished in 25 days while two-story units, in mere 45 days. “ M e e t i n g t h e e ve r - g ro w i n g demand for real estate is hard. But with the advancements in construction techniques, it is now possible to construct projects in less time,” Ascaño said. As it adopts new building techniques, P.A. Properties also set up several customer-friendly innovations including Hi+ (Home Info Plus), a one-stop portal (mobile app) for the company’s home buyers where they can check their account information from reservation up to move-in phase. The app also has a chat support function where buyers can directly channel their concerns and inquiries to a dedicated customer care representative. Gone are the days when buyers need to shuttle back and forth from their homes to the broker’s office in order to reserve units, submit documents, check on the status of construction and pay for monthly amortization. T h e r e ’s a l s o a c e n t r a l i z e d communication tool used to send advice to P.A. Properties customers called eCast (email and SMS notifications) where reminders, announcements or follow-ups can be sent via e-mail and SMS.

With the Virtual Tour App, homebuyers can virtually walk inside the housing units of their choice without leaving their homes or offices.

It also has a Customer Care Hub, an integrated, process-driven service center that allows customers direct access to customer care ambassadors who are best equipped to respond to concerns and inquiries. “P.A. Properties is all about making the Filipinos’ home ownership journey as easy and as painless as possible. Innovation, for us, is more than just a strategic imperative. We are continuously cultivating a culture of innovation across the company, encouraging creativity, lifelong learning, taking calculated risks and openness in everything we do. Only by embracing the spirit of innovation can we truly survive the challenges of a booming real estate industry,” said Ascaño.

For 24 years, Laguna-based P.A. Alvarez has established a name in the competitive Philippine real estate industry by enabling the public to have their dream homes at affordable rates and payment schemes. P. A . P r o p e r t i e s , w i t h a capitalization of P3.3 billion as of October 2018, has already built about 19,000 housing units in Laguna, Batangas, Bulacan, Cavite, Pampanga and Metro Manila and continues to embark on strategic expansion efforts to further build 25 additional housing communities in the next five years to help ease the more than 6 million housing backlog in the Philippines and contribute to the growth of the economy as well.

CEBUANA LHUILLIER CEO SUPPORTS EDUCATION SINCE its establishment, the Cebuana Lhuillier Foundation Inc. has always made education accessible to Filipinos through the donation of classrooms, learning centers, conference rooms and buildings. CLFI has consistently administered povertyalleviation measures to disadvantaged individuals and underserved sectors. Following the “Always Love Schooling”personal philosophy of president and chief executive Jean Henri Lhuillier, a part of CLFI’s education thrust is the implementation of the Alternative Learning System along with initiatives that emphasize further the value of education, nationwide scholarship program, spiritual and social enhancement program and special projects on education. “The foundation has always espoused the company’s and my personal advocacy of continuing the pursuit of learning, I am more than elated to see this advocacy into fruition through the foundation’s many extensive efforts on education,” said Lhuillier. Developed in 2013 in cooperation with the Department of Education, the ALS program aims to provide out-of-school youth and adults with academic, livelihood, spiritual and social education in the elementary and secondary levels. Cebuana Lhuillier’s ALS program further incorporates five functional fields of knowledge known as FILDS or Financial Literacy, ICT Competitiveness, Livelihood, Disaster Resilience

Cebuana Lhuillier president and chief executive Jean Henri Lhuillier

and Sports Development. Since Cebuana Lhuillier advocates financial inclusion among all Filipinos, CLFI puts a premium on equipping ALS students with financial literacy. The ALS program also conducts livelihood trainings in the field of hospitality management for qualified and interested students. The foundation also ensures that its ALS centers have the latest equipment to support the students’ learning. CLFI has provided its centers with laptops, projectors and screens, printers, USBs, and has reproduced modules and reviewers used by the students. To further support its thrust on education, CLFI also donated facilities to leading universities. Among

them is the Ambassador PJ Lhuillier Lecture Room at the University of the Philippines Cesar E.A. Virata School of Business which serves as a classroom for the degree program students and the Ambassador Philippe Jones Lhuillier Conference Room at the De La Salle University in Manila where workshops, meetings, community engagement get-togethers and symposiums are regularly held. The foundation also unveiled the P2 million PUPCLFI E-learning center which features 21 desktop computers and 400 select e-book titles that can be used by Polytechnic University of the Philippines students. In the Visayas region, the foundation helped build the two-story Northern Tacloban City National High School Sports Building which houses six classrooms, including two which are dedicated to ALS classes. In Bais City, Negros Oriental, the Edna Lhuillier Multi-Purpose Hall serves as a library where most of the CLFI scholars and ALS learners conduct research among the numerous book titles available. It is also used for seminars and workshops involving the city’s reformed drug addicts, as well as a hub for senior citizens. CLFI’s ALS learners have already achieved several milestones. These include beating the national average of the Accreditation and Equivalency test for two straight years and producing a learner which has scored 100 percent on the 2014 A&E test.

ODYSSEY FOUNDATION EMPOWERS WOMEN WITH LIVELIHOOD TRAININGS MORE than 3,000 mothers have benefited from different livelihood trainings and seminars initiated by Odyssey Foundation Inc., the corporate social responsibility arm of CDO Foodsphere Inc. Odyssey Foundation, in the commemoration of the National Women’s Month, said that as of Feb. 28, 2019, some 3,051 beneficiaries, mostly mothers of undernourished children in poor communities, graduated from a livelihood assistance program called Gabay Hanapbuhay. Many of them received starter kits from Odyssey Foundation and its partners to continue their small businesses at home and help their families achieve a better life. “Gabay Hanapbuhay is now in its seventh year of operation. It is one of the hallmarks of Odyssey Foundation in keeping its social commitment to help uplift the lives of our brothers and sisters who do not have much in life,” said OFI President Jerome Ong. Gabay Hanapbuhay aims to help the marginalized members of society suffering from inadequate household income and unemployment, resulting in malnutrition among children. It also supports poor parents to attain financial independence through self-help and reduce their reliance on others. It trains beneficiaries on meat processing; cosmetology; soap, diswashing liquid and fabric

conditioner making; fancy jewelry making; basahan making; candle making; water lily weaving; perfume making; beads making; basic massage therapy; and mushroom cultivation. “We believe in the capacity of the people to take an active role towards their own development and success. We will strive to create avenues for them to be productive members of society,” said Ong. Odyssey Foundation has administered has 118 training workshops in 46 impoverished communities across the National Capital Region, Bulacan and Batangas provinces over the past seven years. Gabay Hanapbuhay started on Oct. 8, 2011 in Barangay Maysan, Valenzuela City with 142 female parents as participants. Because of the overwhelming response by community leaders, the program was expanded to different barangays in Valenzuela City, Caloocan City, Malabon City, Quezon City, different Bulacan towns and Malvar, Batangas. Odyssey Foundation implemented its 34th batch of Gabay Hanapbuhay in Barangay Pinalagad Valenzuela City with 90 women participants in February 2019. Odyssey Foundation has 46 community partners in the NCR and the provinces of Bulacan and Batangas. Such partners include the Philippine Business for Social Progress, Truth Foundation Inc., Ang-

Hortaleza Foundation Inc., Valenzuela City Livelihood Development Office, St. Martin of Tours, Parish Church in Bocaue, Bulacan and Dakilang Handog Foundation Inc. “We at Odyssey Foundation shall continuously respond to the needs of communities where we operate our business. Thus, we created social programs and services that will capacitate and empower mothers, fathers and other members of the community,” said Ong. “As the journey continues, our heart will always be committed to serving communities. We are developing new programs and services that will empower and equip the people to achieve their goals in life,” he said.


Tech & Gadgets

M

MARIWASA EMBRACES TECHNOLOGY AT WORLDBEX

ARIWASA is embracing technology in the “Worldbex 2019” at the World Trade Center Convention in Pasay City recently. The Royal Thai Embassy in Manila, in cooperation with Siam Cement Group (SCG) and Mariwasa, launched the logo of a special edition Mariwasa tile, celebrating the 70th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between the Kingdom of Thailand and the Republic of the Philippines. The special edition Mariwasa tile features a commemorative logo, designed for the occasion to represent the warm and close friendship between the two countries and peoples. The logo of the 70th Anniversary, designed by Jamille Aguilar, the third prize winner of Prince Mahidol Award Conference Art Contest 2016, is printed on the special edition tile. Aside from developing products that would leave a mark on their customers, Mariwasa has a plan to revamp its trend of automation and technology and upgrade its manufacturing line to come up with high-definition tiles, donning realistic textures and showcasing distinct designs. To this extent, they created the Mariwasa 4.0 to showcase their new set of products that embody “digital innovation and connectivity” that were made from a new trend of “automation and technology” to satisfy and surpass their customers’ expectations, according to Mariwasa President Jakkrit Suwansilp. Mariwasa 4.0 is its theme to this year’s WORLDBEX, where they launched 106 new tile designs that display timeless, elegant yet natural-looking creations that will cater to every buyer’s unique and preferred tastes. These designs were inspired by three different concepts—Revitality, Technique, and Wanderwall that Mariwasa’s designers created as they explored different places in the country and abroad to discover new ideas and trends, with an influence of contemporary features to incorporate in

Mariwasa tiles with QR codes (left). At right is the logo of a special edition Mariwasa tile, celebrating the 70th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between the Kingdom of Thailand and the Republic of the Philippines.

Mariwasa President Jakkrit Suwansilp

their tiles. Meanwhile, Mariwasa’s special edition tile has a logo that showcases an abstract design featuring iconic animals which are meaningful for the two countries. The National Fish, the Siamese Fighting Fish, is presented for Thailand, while the Philippines is represented by its National Bird, the Philippine Eagle. Both animals present

an aura of beauty, grace, and courage that parallel one another. They are also decked in the respective colors of their National Flags. The wings of the eagle and the tail of the fish also act as hands reaching out to one another. The way they are positioned is in an endless loop, symbolizing unity, and the infinity of strong bond of friendship that is ongoing for 70 years and will continue to grow for the years to come. Under this logo, the Royal Thai Embassy in Manila, in cooperation with the Philippine partners and various Thai government agencies and private sector in the Philippines, will hold commemorative activities throughout the year to promote the bilateral relations in all dimensions and levels to celebrate this auspicious occasion. To bring convenience to their customers and to promote its image, Mariwasa also launched its new face last year with the name “TYLER,” the professional tile installer. Through him, customers can ask their questions and concerns about Mariwasa tiles and even how to properly install them. Tyler will

also give suggestions and recommendations to help address their customers’ problems. “The primary difference of Mariwasa is we take priority on our after-sales service; this is also the reason why we launched Tyler the professional tile installer to communicate better to our customer’s concern. We created Tyler’s hotline and e-mail to answer customer’s queries immediately. To find out more about Mariwasa and the company’s products, customers can visit www.mariwasa.com or follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Customers may also reach the Tyler the “Professional Tile Installer” at Tyler@mariwasa.com or contact him at 717-6901 (loc. 2278) for any technical questions or concerns about Mariwasa’s products and tile installation. “This year we aim to focus more on providing overall solutions to our customer’s needs. Whether inserting more products in our portfolio or thinking ways on improving our after-sales services—at the end of the day we want to make our customer’s happy and satisfied from the product they bought from us,” said Suwansilp.

NO SILVER BULLET FOR CYBER ATTACKS By Paul David L. Gelario AN EXECUTIVE of a renowned security software company admitted that there is “no silver bullet” to combat the increasing prevalence of cyber attacks during a conference at the Holiday Inn in Makati last Mar 13. Symantec Vice President, Asia Pacific & Japan Sales Engineering, Sherif El-Nabawi, stated that this is so as he enumerated the innovative ways cyber criminals nowadays exploit both businesses and consumers. “There is no silver bullet,” El-Nabawi said. Last year alone, more than 70 million records from companies were leaked due to misconfigured s3 buckets in the cloud. “Cloud is the new PC. You’re gonna hear data leakages in the cloud more and more,” he added. Next is the whopping 78 percent increase of supply chain attacks in 2018 due to the malicious PowerShell scripts instigated by hackers. Symantec blocks 115,000 of these PowerShell scripts each month with its three-layer advanced detection methods such as Managed Endpoint Detection and Response service, the improved EDR 4.0 technology, and the AI-powered Targeted Attack Analytics. The Internet of Things devices, according to Sy-

ed cameras a hotspot for cyber criminals. Despite the drastic increase of cyber attacks, he assured that both consumers and businesses alike can implement necessary security measures keep cyber attacks at bay. For businesses, he advised to have a “response readiness plan” in which a company will implement a multi-layered defense system and instigate a cyber attack on the system itself to test its weak spots. “Have a response readiness plan. Test this plan. Do a cyber attack in your organization. Measure the efficiency, capabilities, to utilize latest attacks to be able to run those exercises,” he emphasized. For consumers, he advised to change the default passwords for routers, devices, and update their operating system because it leaves them vulnerable to cyber attacks. “The root of those cyber attacks in the cameras and all that, it was because it’s still on default username and password,” he said. “If windows comes up with a security update don’t get lazy. Click update Symantec Vice President, Asia Pacific & Japan Sales as soon as possible.” Engineering, Sherif El-Nabawi smiles for the camera As a parting advice, he said that both companies beside Symantec’s annual Internet Service Threat and consumers need to back up their files. Report (ISTR) tarpauline. “Back up, back up, back up. Always back up your mantec, remained in high vulnerability (90 percent) files whether on the cloud or on the physical (deskwith infected devices such as routers and connect- top) just in case,” he said.

HP INK ADVANTAGE PRINTER PURCHASE COMES WITH FREE HP EVERYDAY PAPER EVERY parent wants to see their kids’ creativity shine at home and in school. HP can help bring out a child’s imagination and curiosity and put it in paper with DeskJet Ink Advantage printers that produce vibrant and quality printouts. Now, families can explore and celebrate creativity further as every purchase of HP DeskJet Ink Advantage 5075, 5275, 2135, 3635, 2676, 2677, 3775, 3776, 3777, 3779, 3835, 4535, 4675 All-in-One printers or DeskJet Ink Advantage 1115 printer comes bundled with a free ream of HP Everyday Paper. Aside from its reliable print, scan and copy functions, the HP Ink Advantage printers can be accessed wirelessly from virtually any mobile device or tablet using the HP Smart App, making

it more convenient for parents and kids to foster and celebrate creativity. HP Everyday Paper, meanwhile, has ColorLok Technology which helps deliver low levels of paper dust to maximize printer longevity and ensure consistent quality prints. HP Everyday Paper is made of 100% eucalyptus pulp that comes from sustainable forests, making it environmentfriendly. So, what are you waiting for? Buy any of the participating HP DeskJet Ink Advantage printers at authorized HP resellers nationwide to get your free 500 sheets of letter-size HP Everyday Paper! Promo period is until April 30, 2019 only. See posters and print ads for more details. Per DTI-FTEB permit no. 3143, series of 2019.

‘MILLENNIOR’ ... From C4 The video submissions showcased snippets of farm life alongside scenes of active senior citizens doing volunteer work for other seniors at the Magdalena senior citizens affairs office or joining the regular morning Zumba in the Magdalena town plaza. “Magdalena is 75% agricultural, and with my video, I wanted to share to the world just how rich and beautiful our town is,” Samparada added. Cecelia Sy, Department of Agriculture Municipal Agricultural Officer in Magdalena, said that a program leveling up farmers’ tech skills is timely. “We’re currently exploring ways for our farmers to be able to use the Internet to sell their produce, and this program is a good and timely foundation for that,” Sy said. “We also believe that this can also be a way to attract younger farmers and say that farming can also be a ‘techie’ industry.” Herself a casual social media user, Sy said Magdalena’s Millennior vloggers are an inspiration. “Seeing the videos our farmers and seniors uploaded have inspired me to know more about social media myself. I look forward to the other stories our farmers can tell with their smartphones,” she said. The Smart Millenniors program of PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications aims to teach elder Filipinos about technology, particularly about the basics of smartphones, mobile data, social media and video, with the help of youth volunteers. To honor the best Millennior vloggers, Smart also awarded smartphones to the winners of the challenge as special prizes.

C3

SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2019 rumallari@thestandard.com.ph

ASEAN AGENCIES OFFER 360-DEGREE COMMS LEADING ASEAN agencies of the Public Relations Organization International (PROI) Worldwide have teamed up to deliver quality communications solutions that can be carried seamlessly across the region. “The challenge for global companies in the ASEAN region is that each country speaks with its own unique flavor, and reaching each market needs a nuanced approach,” said Doy Roque, head of PROI Worldwide’s partner agency in the Philippines. “This partnership gives global companies access to the collective expertise of the top agencies across all markets to communicate on a regional scale, delivering real business value,” he added. PROI ASEAN is embracing its diversity and taking an integrated approach to connect the region by leveraging each member agency’s unique skill set and on-the-ground local knowledge. The approach will enable clients to build brand awareness, enhance credibility, and drive business growth anywhere in Southeast Asia. Leading agencies within PROI ASEAN include Echo Myanmar Communications (Myanmar), Huntington Communications (Singapore), Imogen Indonesia, M2.0 Communications (Philippines), Midas Communication (Thailand and Vietnam), and Priority Communications (Malaysia). All are top notch reputable agencies in their respective countries, with an average of 15 years in the industry serving a variety of sectors, such as automotive, property, technology, tourism, and retail. “The PROI ASEAN network comes at an opportune time for us to take our service offerings to the next level, working on the strengths of our partners,” said Lena Soh, Vice-Chair of PROI Asia Pacific. PROI ASEAN’s extensive suite of services includes crisis and issues management, reputation management, stakeholder management, social media management, corporate communications, community relations, consumer campaigns, event management, and experiential marketing. With a total of 250 communications experts, the partnership has helped carry wide-reaching, meaningful campaigns across the region’s diverse markets for clients such as PayPal, Shopee, Takeda, Tetra Pak, and Tourism Tasmania. Combined, the network has won numerous accolades from local and international awards associations including Mumbrella Awards, PRWeek Awards, SABRE Awards, and Stevie Awards. Learn more at www.proiasean.com.

HOW AI,...

From C4

risky manufacturing processes, they must work together with humans on several tasks that require human supervision. The next-generation AI-robotics technologies will be designed to work alongside humans and manage safety standards and production performance instead of merely automating repetitive tasks. These robots can be programmed to identify risk to humans as they interact with factory workers. Sensors embedded onto robotic arms can help identify when humans are in close proximity and maneuver accordingly. 4. Going Beyond the Supply Chain: AI makes it possible to adapt and strategize manufacturing processes and production routines based on external factors beyond the shop-floor. Advanced machine learning algorithms can reduce stock forecasting errors and inventory by 50 percent according to the McKinsey research. Robots can be programmed to adapt production scheduling and performance based on real-time analysis of inventory and supply chain constraints. This flexibility is critical to automate lean manufacturing operations that would otherwise require significant changes and efforts on behalf of factory workers. Progressive manufacturing organizations lead the industry with their ability to adapt production capacity and fulfil market demands that change on a continuous basis. With artificial intelligence, systems can analyse market data and robotics performance to make key decisions on demand and supply. As a result, they can always stay ahead of the competition and prepare for abrupt changes in market demands to maximise profitability. How Epson Robotics can help Epson provides a range of compact robots with flexible positioning, and is equipped with intelligent force sensors and vision sensing options—providing factory automation solutions from adjustment to existing lines to embarking on the automation journey.


TECH & Gadgets

C4

I

SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2019 Riera U. Mallari, Editor rumallari@thestandard.com.ph

VIVO V15 PRO AMPS UP WONDER AT WANDERLAND

T WAS a weekend filled with music and magic for festival goers at the Wanderland Music and Arts Fest last March 9 and 10 at the Filinvest Open Grounds. The annual music and arts festival brought an eclectic mix of international indie acts and homegrown indie talents like Two Door Cinema Club, The Kooks, Honne, Masego, Reese Lansangan and Clara Benin. Wanderers also experienced wonder and amazement at the festival’s immersive booths that were perfect for this year’s theme, “Wanderland Magic”. For celebrity wanderers, Darren Espanto, Chie Filomeno, Verniece Enciso, and Klea Pineda, the wonder was heightened with their Vivo V15 Pro smartphones. As great acts perform live on stage, recording it in dazzling quality is made easier with Vivo V15 pro’s triple rear camera which captures more of the moment with its AI Super Wide Angle feature. Attendees can also rewatch the video with a boundless view through the True FullView Display which transports festival goers back to the moment. Every dreamy corner of the Wanderland Festival was Instagram-worthy and the Vivo V15 Pro is the phone for the job with its enhanced cameras that are sure to perform. Snapping selfies with friends is also extra fun with its unique elevating front camera. In the festival scene, attendees may not always be left looking fresh for photos after dancing to their favorite bands and exploring the grounds. Luckily, the Vivo V15 pro features an AI Face Beauty setting that helps everyone look picture perfect. With Wanderland running from day to night, shooting under low light conditions can also be difficult but the Vivo V15 pro also brings the best solutions with its AI Super Night Mode that delivers brilliant photos each time.

Verniece Enciso takes luminous selfies no matter what with the Vivo V15 Pro’s AI Face Beauty Setting

Darren Espanto gets the perfect groufie with wanderbuddies with the Vivo V15 Pro’s 32mp Elevating Front Camera

By the end of Wanderland Weekend, Vivo elevated the countless experiences of these wanderers. Get ready for the wonders of Vivo V15 pro with its launch happening soon! Visit Vivo’s Facebook and Instagram page for more updates. Vivo is a leading global technology company committed to creating trendsetting smart mobile innovations and services. Vivo is devoted to forming a vibrant mobile internet ecosystem, and currently owns and operates an extensive network of research operations, with R&D centers focusing on the development of cutting-edge consumer technologies including 5G, AI, mobile photography and next-generation smartphone design.

PLDT, SMART ADD COLOR TO PANAGBENGA ’19 PLDT and its wireless subsidiary, Smart Communications, made sure that festivalgoers and residents got the best experience at this year’s Panagbenga Festival. The companies committed extensive support to Baguio City as it

recently celebrated its annual flower festival, which drew thousands of locals and foreign visitors. Baguio’s Panagbenga or Flower Festival is a month-long celebration that features parade floats,

A young delegate dons a colorful costume at the Panagbenga Festival grand parade.

street dancing, concerts, and other festivities. Blooms exude more color, music sounds livelier and the fun elevates to a higher level when shared with loved ones. PLDT and Smart made it easy for Baguio residents and tourists to connect with their family and friends through the upgraded fixed and wireless networks across Benguet province. To date, more than half of sites in Benguet already have Long-Term Evolution (LTE), while about a third of these LTE sites are already on LTEAdvanced (LTE-A). In Baguio City, 68 percent of sites are already on LTE, while about half are already on LTE-A. LTE and LTE-A are the best technologies for mobile data. Carrier aggregation, a key feature of LTE-A, allows the combination of two or more radio frequency bands in order to deliver much faster data speeds to mobile phone users. In Baguio City, 3-com-

ponent carrier aggregation (3CC) has already been activated. “Our network expansion efforts in Benguet are part of our nationwide thrust to provide world-class mobile data experience to our subscribers,” said Mario G. Tamayo, PLDT-Smart senior vice president for network planning and engineering. “With our upgraded networks, residents and tourists in Baguio can stay connected with their families here and abroad, share their memorable Panagbenga experience with the rest of the world through photos and videos, and access important online services, like banking and e-commerce,” Tamayo added. As a treat to Panagbenga revelers, PLDT Home Fibr provided free Wi-Fi at the Athletic Bowl and Melvin Jones Grandstand at Burnham Park during the grand float parade, enabling them to share online their festival experiences in real-time.

‘MILLENNIOR’ FARMERS SHARE LIVES ON VIDEO FOR Perpekto Samparada, a rice farmer from Magdalena, Laguna, his farm is his pride and joy. “This is our family’s main source of livelihood,” he says, gesturing to the rice field behind him. “I have dedicated my life to this, and I can say that this is our slice of heaven here on earth.” It used to be that the only ones who could see his farm are those who could make the trip. But after learning how to shoot and upload videos on social media, he can now share the simple joys of farm life to more people through the Internet. Samparada was among the newest graduates of the Smart Millenniors program in Magdalena, where a group of seniors and farmers learned more about smartphones, mobile data, video streaming and social media with the help of youth volunteers from the Farmers Information and Technology Services Center and Laguna State Polytechnic University. To test their skills, the participants took on a special “Millennior Vlogger” challenge, and were asked to share a snippet of their lives on video and upload them on Facebook.

Fellow Millennior Romy Javier also shared a video sneak peek into his usual workday in the rice mill. “I almost did not make it to deadline because my wife got sick,” he shares. “But I really wanted to submit a video, so I asked the volunteers who assisted me during our sessions to also help me with it.” His video showed Javier touring the viewer around the rice mill, lifting heavy sacks and demonstrating how to use the equipment there. Stephanie Viterbo, one of the volunteers who helped Javier with his video, shared that she was proud of their ‘joint project’. “I was inspired by Kuya Romy’s desire to learn and participate in the challenge,” she said. Like Javier, the other participants also turned to their younger family members for help. “I asked my daughter and grandchild to help me, but I was the one who called the shots,” said 73-year-old retired principal Lita Jocson, adding that she specifically requested for some additional scenes to be shot for continuity’s sake. “I’m really happy they took the time to help me make it.” Participant Nida Cariño, president

Magdalena farmer turned vlogger Perpekto Samparada touring his viewers around his farm on video.

of the senior citizens federation in their barangay, also turned to her grandchildren. “This video actually took several takes,” she explained. Mild-mannered and soft-spoken, Cariño said she had to be coached on how to be more energetic on video. “We tried many set-ups— eventually I found that the best way to

do the video is standing up. I also tried to make my voice sound livelier.” “In my more than 20 years as a farmer, this is the first time that my harvest has been seen on the Internet,” said participant Edna Diego. “This wouldn’t have been possible had I not attended this program.” Turn to C3

HOW AI, ROBOTICS TRANSFORM FUTURE FACTORIES IN THE age of Internet and globalization, consumer demands for customised and unique products are pushing manufacturing companies to adopt flexible manufacturing practices. Consider the case of eyewear ecommerce that requires several workers at the production line to build thousands of eyeglass frame variations for customer choices that evolve on a daily basis. A traditional industrial automation system can’t possibly offer the flexibility to meet changing customer demands at scale and speed. Instead of developing standardized products optimized for the masses, factories of the future must leverage intelligent technologies capable of performing tasks that are less predictable and require realtime decision-making capabilities. In fact, smart factories in the Industry 4.0 era should offer mass customisation without compromising manufacturing speed and quality. With advancements in AI, a truly smart factory can realise these capabilities by deploying intelligent robots that can learn and think like their human counterparts and yet safely operate alongside the human workforce. How AI Enables for Smart Factories of Tomorrow 1. Quality Control and Predictive Maintenance: A recent PWC research found that the use of big data analytics and AI adoption for predictive maintenance in manufacturing industries will increase by 38 percent over the next five years. Connected technologies, sensors and robotics enable organisations to understand the performance patterns of assembly line machines and identify potential maintenance issues ahead of schedule or downtime. With this capability, manufacturing companies will no longer need to rely on fixed maintenance schedules. Performing maintenance routines too soon results in wasted labor and undiagnosed machine failures. Performing the maintenance routine too late risks equipment malfunctioning during production and reduces the machine life span. As a result, organizations can avoid unplanned downtimes, improve the performance lifespan of machines and maintain productive manufacturing operations. 2. Intelligent Robotics Collaborating with Humans: Intelligent robots with precision capabilities for performing intricate movements can take over tasks that would be tedious or dangerous for people, to improve productivity and safety in factory operations. Often, this requires close collaboration with both the human workers and the environment. For example, Epson’s vision system can enable robots to “see”, and its algorithm software is able to detect colour and shapes of objects, as well as positioning and orientation of the objects through a camera. In an assembly line, it can auto-calibrate on where to pick, even if the item has fallen or positioned out of place. Combined with Epson’s force sensor which employs Epson’s proprietary piezoelectric quartz sensing technology that is sensitive to minimal force, the robots can perform complex tasks such as precise assembling of delicate components. 3. Safe Workplace: AI and robotics technologies augment workplace safety by replacing humans to perform manufacturing tasks that pose life-threatening risks to factory workers. A recent McKinsey research found that AI-enabled visual inspection can improve defect detection rates by 90 percent compared to the traditional methods of manual inspections. While robots can entirely replace human workers to perform certain Turn to C3


Destinations D1

SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2019

Bernadette Lunas, Issue Editor

manilastandardlife@gmail.com

@manilastandardlife

@MStandardLIFE

TRAVEL

HILTON

BRINGS

MODERN ELEGANCE

IN TRIBUTE OF THESE 4 REMARKABLE WOMEN THE celebration of women continues with this travel bucket list that features destinations that let explorers pay homage to some amazing women pioneers.

TO MANILA

A MUCH-ANTICIPATED RETURN. Hilton brand returns to Manila, adding 357 more rooms to Resorts World Manila. (Inset) From left: Hilton Manila's commercial director Joanne Gomez, Resorts World Manila chief operating officer Stephen Reilly, Hilton Manila general manager Simon McGrath, Alliance Global Group, Inc. chief executive officer Kevin Tan, RWM president and chief executive Kingson Sian, Pasay City Mayor Antonino Calixto, US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, and Department of Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon, Jr. grace the official launch.

By Bernadette Lunas

I

T WAS the perfect timing for Hilton Hotels & Resorts brand to return to Manila 30 years after the brand closed its doors, according to Hilton Manila general manager Simon McGrath. “The [Philippine] economy is bouyant, tourism is generally going in the right direction, and we’re optimistic,” McGrath told the media during the official launch of Hilton Manila, citing the over 7 million tourists the country welcomed in 2018. Hilton Manila finds a new home within the Resorts World Manila complex, adding 357 more rooms to the integrated resort which also houses other international brands such as Holiday Inn Express, Maxims, Marriott, Savoy, Sheraton, and the soon to open Hotel Okura. Since the hotel’s soft opening five months ago, McGrath said they “enjoyed brisk trade better

than we anticipated” partly due to its location within the Newport City. “One of the things we’ve certainly enjoyed very quickly is the connection to [NAIA] Terminal 3 via Runway Manila,” he said. The upscale hotel enjoys a growing business traveler market, but it is currently mostly reliant on local “staycationers”— families and couples. “We’re still establishing that there is again a Hilton in Manila so we’ve been very reliant on local staycation market. ‘Staycationers’ benefit from the different dining establishments here, seamless connection to Resorts World,” explained McGrath.

Vineyard Cave Hotel

Fly high in Cappadocia as a salute to Sabiha Gökçen

The first woman in Turkey to earn a pilot’s license and is also believed to be the world’s first female combat pilot, Sabiha Gökçen, earned the distinction of having one of Istanbul’s airports named after her. Feel the air up high Istanbul—one of the top five 2018 destinations in Europe according to Agoda’s booking data—in a hot air balloon that flies over the majestic landscape of Cappadocia to connect with Gökçen and her love for the skies. Where to stay: Spend the night—or three—at Vineyard Cave Hotel and enjoy a morning coffee with a wonderful view of amazing hot air balloons.

Each guest room features Hilton's signature Serenity bed and four-point en suite bathroom.

He aded, “With this beautiful hotel and facilities, it has become very much the talk of the town.” The hotel features an elegant art deco style, espousing the timeless elegance of the 1920s which are evident in the guest rooms and suites, as well as in public areas.

Hilton Manila is the first hotel in the Philippines to have the Digital Key or keyless entry—an innovative feature that can be accessed exclusively via the Hilton Honors app. Hilton Honors, is the brand’s global award-winning guest-loyalty proTurn to D2

Casitas de Victoria

Embrace the adventurous spirit of Junko Tabei

The executive lounge features indoor and outdoor spaces.

Unwind at Port Bar that offers local, international, and craft beers.

According to an Agoda-commissioned study, trying a new sport is a top bucket list item of Pinays for 2019. Let Junko Tabei, the first woman to reach the top of Mount Everest, inspire you to give mountaineering a try. Experience the thrill of hiking at Mt. Batulao, just two to three hours away from Manila. The dormant volcano promises a stunning panoramic view of Batangas and is perfect for newbie climbers. Where to stay: Book a room at Casitas de Victoria for the perfect respite after a day of trekking. Turn to D2

GETTING READY FOR WELLNESS TOURISM

Health and wellness resort The Farm at San Benito

ACCORDING to globalwellnessinstitute.org, the global wellness economy is a US$4.2 trillion market, representing 5.3 percent of the global economic output, more than enough reason why our country should have a piece of this lucrative pie. Small wonder why my good friend, wellness guru Cory Quirino and her team are putting together their first-ever Health and Wellness Conference and Exposition on April 26-28 at the SMX Convention Center. At the Conrad Manila launch the other day, Cory, who is the executive director for this event, made it clear to all of us in attendance that this event will promote our country as a leading health and wellness destination, for us to get our much deserved share of this rapidly expanding trillion-dollar market.

MERCURY RISING BY BOB ZOZOBRADO

This trailblazing event will also help build and grow the infrastructure needed by this lucrative industry, and make sure that the manpower resources required to support such growth will also be available, thereby delivering us to our goal of becoming a first-rate destination for health and wellness tourists from all over the world.

With the theme, “Journey to a Zestful Life,” the three-day event will gather international partners, industry manufacturers, and suppliers of topof-the-line wellness products, providing a platform for the public to discover the latest global developments in the industry, trends, opportunities for collaboration, and promote local brands and services that can compete internationally. I am happy that Cory has spearheaded this noteworthy project because I know that when she puts her heart and mind into something that she truly believes in, it can only lead to success, no doubt about that. I should know—we used to work together for an international chain hotel several decades ago. She was the Director for Public Relations and I was the Director of Sales, so Turn to D2


Destinations

D2

SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2019 manilastandardlife@gmail.com

GETTING...

From D1

we’ve had many successful collaborative projects in the past. The country already has the basic framework to become a health and wellness destination. As Cory pointed out during the launch, we have internationally accredited hospitals and award-winning wellness resorts and spas where highly trained and English-speaking healthcare and wellness professionals provide world-class service. What make these services even more attractive are the rates which are very competitive when compared to those in the US or Europe, even if the total package includes the airfare and accommodation components. During her speech, Cory mentioned something that struck me, simply because I am a firm believer in it: Our picturesque destinations promote relaxation and healing. On top of all these, our sincere hospitality, compassion, and nurturing nature make us unique, as a people, and give us the best competitive edge in the global arena. I have always told exactly the same thing to friends I meet abroad in the course of my many business and leisure trips. This landmark event will feature talks from top officials from the Department of Tourism, Department of Health, and the Tourism Promotions Board, underscoring our government’s programs for health and wellness tourism. Officials from some of the country’s leading health and wellness facilities such as The Farm at San Benito, Healthway Medical Inc., The Zen Institute, etc., will also be there to share their business insights and strategies.

Wellness advocate Cory Quirino, executive director of the forthcoming Health and Wellness Confex, with ASec. Roberto Alibado of the Department of Tourism, a copresentor of the event.

ANT-SIZE ADVENTURE

The first Ant-Man and The Wasp attraction will open at Hong Kong Disneyland on March 31.

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EROES of all sizes are welcome to Hong Kong Disneyland’s newest Marvel attraction, the Ant-Man and The Wasp: Nano Battle opening on March 31. It will be the world’s first attraction featuring Ant-Man and The Wasp, as well as the first Marvelthemed attraction featuring a female Super Hero as a lead character. The new attraction will send guests on a critical mission with the teeny superhero duo to defend Hong Kong against Hydra’s attack. The adventure begins with a visit to the S.H.I.E.L.D. Science and Technology Pavilion, a newly opened facility at Stark Expo in Tomorrowland. The visit is soon interrupted by Hydra, who has initiated a two-pronged Swarmbot attack in Hong Kong to steal the Arc Reactor atop Stark Tower in Kowloon and a Data Core at S.H.I.E.L.D. pavilion. As he battles Swarmbots in Kowloon, Iron Man calls in Ant-Man and The Wasp to defend the pavilion. But with thousands of bots and only two of them, Ant-Man and The Wasp will need help that's when guests at the pavilion are called into action. Aboard one of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s newest combat vehicles, guests will be shrunk to ant-size in a heroic battle alongside Ant-Man and The Wasp to defeat Zola and his Swarmbots. Director of Ant-Man and The Wasp, Peyton Reed and the movie production team were on board to film the media for the attraction; the movie's stars Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly joined the action by reprising their roles; and Christophe Beck, composer of the AntMan movies, also created the score

for the attraction. The immersive, media-rich storytelling is enhanced by cuttingedge scenic illusion technology and a state-of-the-art gaming system used to create an exhilarating, interactive experience. The newly opened Pavilion Gift shop in Tomorrowland features more than 300 Marvel merchandise items and will introduce 40 exclusive Ant-Man and The Wasp: Nano Battle items. Guests can also take home special mementos commemorating their heroic battle defending the S.H.I.E.L.D. pavilion alongside Marvel Super Heroes. In addition to the opening of the newest Marvel attraction is the return of Carnivale of Stars. From today until June 26, HKDL guests can enjoy new magical experiences featuring favorite Disney friends. Mickey and friends perform in a fun-filled celebration at the Castle Hub Stage. While exquisite landscaping in the hub area and Fantasy Gardens features recreated scenes from beloved Disney stories including Moana, The Lion King, and Bambi. Cookie, Duffy’s new friend, will join the festivities for the first time ever in her new springtime outfit. Guests can also visit The Annex to meet Ralph and Vanellope from Ralph Breaks the Internet, who will be making their first debut at HKDL this spring. Now that’s a springtime adventure for all shapes and sizes.

Exclusive Ant-Man and The Wasp merchandise available at the Pavilion GIfts shop.

Hilton Manila's ballroom can accommodate up to 600 guests.

gram for its brands, consisting of more than 5,300 properties in 106 countries and territories. Members get access to instant benefits such as exclusive member discounts, free standard Wi-Fi connection, and access to the digital key. Each accommodation features Hilton’s signature Serenity bed, a four-point en suite bathroom composed of a vanity area, toilet, and a separate bathtub and shower, and a 55-inch smart LED television, among other amenities.

Listening to the wife is like reading the Terms and Conditions of a website. You understand nothing, still you agree!

TRAVEL... From D1 The Health and Wellness Conference and Expo is a project of Health and Wellness World, an advocacy program that seeks to transform our country into a health and wellness hub, where everyone’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being is given priority. ABS-CBN, Organique, Mestiza, The Zen Institute, The Farm at San Benito, Toledo Medical Companies, Conrad Manila, Oh So Healthy, Healthway Medical Inc., and Manulife have joined hands in making this important event possible. More information is available at the Secretariat at 0915-6467105 or through confex@healthandwellnessworld.com. For feedback, I’m at bobzozobrado@gmail.com.

The guests will help Ant-Man and The Wasp defend the pavilion.

HILTON... From D1

The conference will have an exposition running simultaneously, showcasing health and wellness products and services that visitors can see first-hand and even experience. Organic products will be most attractive for their marked-down prices, and Wellness Travel packages to local and foreign destinations will also be available.

YOUR WEEKEND CHUCKLE

S.H.I.E.L.D Science and Technology Pavilion

Explore the hometown of Filipino suffragette Josefa Llanes Escoda

Josefa Llanes Escoda’s image on the Philippine official banknote is a recognition of her work as a social and civil servant and as an active member of the Philippine suffrage movement. Get to know her better and travel up north to discover the sights and sounds of Escoda’s hometown, Ilocos Norte, where you can visit the famous Paoay Church, windmills of Bangui, and the astonishingly white rock formations of Kapurpurawan. Push your boundaries with thrilling 4x4 rides and sand board along the Paoay sand dunes. Where to stay: Check in at Alta Vista Ilocandia where you can have the whole private Alta Vista Ilocandia villa to yourself.

Stroll alongside Sangdeaun Lek Chailert’s favorite gentle giants

F&B outlets include Masons Lounge + Bar, Hua Ting, Kusina Sea Kitchens, and Port Bar. It also has a fully equipped fitness center, executive lounge, outdoor heated pool and freestyle pool bar, and function rooms. Hilton Manila is operated by Travellers International Hotel Group, Inc., a joint venture between Alliance Global Group, Inc. and Genting Hong Kong Limited. Hilton Manila is located at 1 Newport Boulevard, Newport City, Pasay City. Go to www.hiltonmanila.com or call (02) 2397788 for inquiries and reservations.

While elephant rides have been a popular tourist activity in parts of Asia including her homeland Thailand, Sangdeaun Lek Chailert recognized the mistreatment and abuse that these creatures suffered at the hands of their trainers and keepers. In 1996, Chailert estabDusit Princess Chiang Mai Hotel lished the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai to provide a sanctuary; they have rescued over a hundred elephants since. Take a walk in the park as a volunteer or visitor. The Elephant Nature Park offers one to seven days volunteering projects. Where to stay: Recharge at the Dusit Princess Chiang Mai Hotel at the end of each day, to ensure you’re fully energized when you come to meet the elephants again the next day.


Entertainment

SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2019

EIGHT EXCITING TITLES IN CINEMA ONE ORIGINALS 2019

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ODEL and events host Maureen Montagne will compete against more than 60 representatives from around the world at the 2019 Miss Eco International pageant in Cairo, Egypt where reigning queen Cynthia Thomalla of the Philippines will crown her successor.

FIL-AM FIL-AMBEAUTY BEAUTYGUNS GUNS FOR FORBACK-TO-BACK BACK-TO-BACKVICTORY VICTORYAT AT

MISS ECO INTERNATIONAL Filipino-American Maureen Montagne is a pageant veteran having competed in Miss World America (2017), Miss USA (2015) and Mutya ng Pilipinas (2013). It's her first time to compete on the international stage representing the Philippines.

Twenty-four-year-old Montagne, who was born to a French father and a Filipino mother, grew up in Chandler, Arizona, USA. She was crowned Miss Arizona USA and finished as Top 15 finalist in Miss USA 2015. Montagne moved to the Philippines after graduating with a Marketing degree. She won first runner-up in Miss World America 2017 and emerged the grand winner of Century Tuna Superbods 2018 before bagging the Miss Eco Philippines title at Miss World Philippines 2018. “It’s my first time to compete on the international stage. I’m so excited to finally show what I have, and I’m confident of doing well in the pageant,” said Montagne during the send-off at Novotel Manila in Araneta Center attended by Miss World Philippines 2018 Katarina Rodriguez, Reina Hispanoamericana Filipinas 2018 Alyssa Muhlach Alvarez, and Miss Multinational Philippines 2018 Kimi Mugford with Miss World Philippines National Director Arnold Vegafria. Montagne, who will wear a sultry red evening gown designed by Benj Laquiab for the finals and gowns by Edwin Uy for the preliminary events, has toughened up physically and mentally to prepare for the competition working out via yoga and light cardio, taking brief study of Egypt’s culture as well as brushing up on Q&A skills. She took classes in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical and hip hop, and has been dancing for the past 12 years. She will play the ukulele and sing “Kiss Me” by Sixpense None the Richer at the Talent Competition of the Miss Eco International. Montagne, who is aiming for a back-toback win, will have the luxury of visiting, with the other candidates, top destinations in Egypt including Azha resort in Ain Sokhna, Meraki Resort in Hurghada, Makadi Bay water park, Sahl Hasheesh in Red Sea, culminating in a visit at historical Luxor and a cruise on the Nile River. The 2019 Miss Eco International pageant will be held at Almasa Capital Theater in Cairo on March 29.

CINEMA One Originals announced this year’s finalists which offer more diverse, audacious stories—a vampire thriller, a religious mystery, a romance fantasy, a coming-of-age drama, comedy, action and more—in the much-awaited film festival happening in September this year. Festival director and Cinema One channel head Ronald Arguelles named the following projects as the 15th Cinema One Originals finalists which will be awarded with a P3 million production budget each:   1.  Ascendant by Sherad Anthony Sanchez In the religious drama/mystery film Ascendant, a mysterious death in the convent drives an unpredictable Mother Prioress to investigate three nuns under her care, but she is not looking for justice. The corpse returns to haunt for justice, but haunted back by the ghosts of the nun’s murky pasts. The question is, who is haunting who? 2. Lucid by Natts Jadaone, Victor Villanueva, and Dan Villegas Ann Cruz is a luminous dreamer in romance/fantasy movie Lucid. Her dreams are the exact opposite of her mundane, routinary life. In one of her fabricated dreams, she meets a mysterious man who challenges her to make her dreams more adventurous. As she crosses paths with another lucid dreamer, she realizes her dreams are far more alive than her reality making her question if it is worth staying in there or not. 3. Metamorphosis by J.E. Tiglao The film is a coming-of-age story about Adam, a 14-year-old kid who was born with a secret of having both male and female genitals. 4. O by Kevin Dayrit Maria, a morgue-intern, meets vampire “drug lord” Matilda in O. In this thriller, Matilda forces Maria to become a blood pusher in exchange for her life, selling dried blood sachets to modern-day, harmless vampires. 5. Sila-Sila by Giancarlo Abrahan A 30-year-old man returns to Manila in Sila-Sila and is forced to confront his old life, his old friends, and his ex-boyfriend at their high school reunion where the drama of the past and the present collide.  6. Tayo Muna Habang Hindi Pa Tayo by Denise O’Hara The film is a romance drama. When Alex finds out that Carlo is not ready to commit to a relationship Alex must ask herself if love can survive without any commitment. 7.  Utopia by Dustin Celestino and Dustin Uy This action entry, is about the stories of a videographer, a rookie police officer, and an undercover agent which intertwine in the labyrinth of a violent city’s underbelly. 8. Yours Truly, Shirley by Nigel Santos In this comedy flick Yours Truly, Shirley, a 50-year-old widow believes that the young pop star is the reincarnation of her dead husband. How far would she go to prove herself right? These exciting stories were carefully chosen by the selection committee members—Ronald Arguelles, Black Sheep head Kriz Gazmen, iWant creative manager Nico Hernandez, Rappler film critic Oggs Cruz, and film writers Jinky Laurel and Lilit Reyes—from over 130 entries submitted.  The biggest C1 Originals yet, the festival is part of the 100th  year celebration of the Philippine Cinema and the 25th year celebration of leading cable channel Cinema One. Catch these films in various cinemas in September 2019.

‘KARA MIA’, ‘INAGAW NA BITUIN’ BUZZED-ABOUT WORLDWIDE

'Inagaw Na Bituin' lead cast Kyline Alcantara and Therese Malvar

KAPUSO dramas Kara Mia and Inagaw na Bituin made waves all over social media and were among Social Wit List’s top 10 most-buzzed-about new shows worldwide for February 2019. These shows were the only entries from the Philippines and Southeast Asia that made it to the list.   The Social Wit List is released  by New Yorkbased international media business news website  WorldScreen.com which ranks the top ten most-buzzed-about shows in social media, measured by tweets and posts, during their premiere. In their respective pilot dates last month,  Kara Mia  hit the second spot while  Inagaw na Bituin  ranked sixth among the shows from across the globe.   Kara Mia, a fantasy-drama series headlined by Barbie Forteza and Mika dela Cruz, ranked the second highest which gained at least 29,000 tweets. According to the site, viewers applauded the show’s remarkable special effects, great performance by the

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Nickie Wang, Issue Editor nickie.standard@gmail.com

main actresses, and their representation of Filipino folklore on screen, which were the buzz words that resonated with social media users. Even before its premiere, netizens and viewers were already curious about the series’ unusual premise which generated viral posts online. On the other hand, GMA’s musical-drama Inagaw na Bituin starring Kyline Alcantara and Therese Malvar garnered at least 21,000 tweets with hashtags such as #GreatCast, #InterestingStory, #ExcitingEpisode, and #ALotofSuspense.   These well-loved Kapuso dramas are under the helm of esteemed directors  Dominic Zapata  (Kara Mia) and Mark A. Reyes V (Inagaw Na Bituin).   Other programs in the list were Kuzgun (Turkey), Io sono Mia (Italy), The Four Brasil, El valor dela verdad (Peru), American Soul (USA),  Tek  Yürek (Turkey),  La mejor canción jamás cantada (Spain), and Desus & Mero (USA). 

'Kara Mia' stars Barbie Forteza and Mika dela Cruz


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SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2019

Desiree Carlos, Editor

daycarlos28@yahoo.com

Pets

A MIRACLE PUP, THIS RUNT OF THE LITTER PET TALES

BY DESIREE CARLOS

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

OBODY wanted her.

Because no one wanted to buy or adopt this runt of the litter, she was about to be thrown away like garbage. Karla Asteria and her daughter Camille Magdangal decided to give her a home. They named her Cookie because she had a black patch on one eye. “The dam gave birth numerous times to pups who were sold or given away. Cookie had five siblings. Only Cookie and another one were left. Our neighbor said,’Wala na kasing may gusto. Kung hindi ninyo kukunin, ililigaw na lang namin’,” Karla recalled. “My daughter told me to get the other one. When I bent to get the pup, Cookie stood on two legs, as if she was asking me to carry her. We fell in love with her instantly, “ Karla said. Cookie, then two months old, was already a very sweet dog. But Karla and Camille noticed her four legs were all deformed. “While growing up, we noticed her limbs, all four, has a deformity, but she can walk, run, and jump, and had a healthy appetite, “ Karla said. “At five months old, she suddenly could not stand or walk, and cried in pain all the time. She pooped and urinated where she was. It was like her limbs were paralyzed!” Karla added. From then on, Karla and Camille “would lift her head up for her to eat and drink. We would take her outside to do her business lying down. I was frantic!” During this time, Karla and Camille did not have a job. They relied on online selling which was not that profitable “so we cannot afford to take her to a vet,” Karla said. “Luckily, there is a Facebook pet group where proven home remedies are shared by the admins. They recommended that we give Cookie calcium lactate. I bought it from a feed store, “ Karla said.

CATS, like dogs, do like music. But they do not like shrill, loud sounds. Jane A Kelley in the article “Do Cats Like Music?” in Catster wrote, “Call me a data point of one, but my cats definitely do like music … with certain conditions, of course.” In 2015, Kelley said a study showed cats like music but prefer music that is species-specific. This means that cats prefer songs near to the vibration of purring. “One tune they tested, Cozmo’s Air, ‘has a pulse related to purring of 1380 beats per minute… with melodic sliding frequencies covering 44 percent of the sample.’ Apparently sliding frequencies are found in a variety of cat noises, but they aren’t found in human speech, “ Kelley said. Kelley added: “My research (which includes 40-something years of living with cats, but is not scientific at all) indicates that cats do like people music, but they have a strong preference for certain tones and volumes.” “For example, if I were to play loud, guitar-heavy music, my cats would run for the hills. Cats’ hearing is very sensitive, so when you play music at a high volume, it might be more than irritating for your cat—it could be physically painful. So, for the sake of my cats’ ears (and my neighbors’ peace of mind), I don’t play full-blast punk rock while I’m cleaning my apartment, “ Kelley said.

MY FURRY BESTIE

BODI is now half blind. Bodi, born May 19, 2017, was given to Ianne Meneses Rebulo as a birthday gift by her friend Jenn. Bodi lost his left eye when an adopted dog of Ianne, a Siberian husky named Nickey, was startled upon seeing someone—Bodi—following him on his way to the kitchen. His first instinct was to attack that someone. Ianne said Nickey did not immediately realize it was Bodi. Bodi remains a playful, sweet dog despite the incident, Iaane said. Bodi sometimes sleeps with Ianne and her husband in their room with another dog named Samsam. Bodi also loves being carried and swayed like a baby when they go to their room to sleep. Ianne said Bodi is spoiled. They would put Bodi’s food in a spoon and feed the dog while lying down when the dog doesn’t like the food. But when you kiss him. Bodi will lick your face continuously as if he is saying “thank you” and to tell her he loves very much. Months after losing an eye, Bodi’s platelet count went down due to erlichia But Bodi is a fighter and he survived the illness after a month of medication. Ianne said they continue to monitor his health and they have his good eye (right) checked always. Bodi simply makes them happier every day, Ianne said.

She added: “I also searched the internet for more information, and found out that dried egg shells crushed to a powder is an excellent source of calcium, so I sprinkled them on her meals. After two weeks, of taking calcium and egg shells, combined with sun bathing in the morning and massaging her limbs twice a day, she started to lift her head and to sit.” Then, to our delight, she learned to drag her hind legs, Karla said. “That's when I posted about her. A lady messaged me, and she said she sent my video of

Cookie dragging herself to a good samaritan in Australia. The woman sponsored Cookie’s medical check-up. The vet said Cookie had angular limb deformity caused by severe calcium deficiency,” Karla said. Karla said the sponsor sent meds, toys, food, & treats for Cookie. “In September, 2018, she sent a wheelchair, but Cookie was walking on her own by then, slowly… but she was able to walk short distances, “ Karla said. “We tried out the wheelies but she was afraid of it, so the wheel-

ies was sent to Naga, Cebu later on to a dog who needs it more, “ Karla said. Today, one-year-old Cookie, the runt of the litter, the pup with deformed legs, can now walk, run and jump. When she greets Karla and Camille when they come home, she lies on her back and rolls over. The love of Karla and Camille for the pup and the determination of this pup to get up and walk made Cookie’s complete healing a reality. Miracles do happen.

CATS AND MUSIC

Angel, a cat who brings home kittens thus he is called a kitten rescuer, loves to lounge anywhere. He also likes soft music but hides inside his tent when he hears loud sounds.

Kelley said her observations led her to believe that cats do not like shrill sounds. “This makes sense because when cats make shrill noises, they’re fighting. Who wants to get that adrenaline rushy, fight-or-flight-y response while

Zachi, an orange rescued kitten, roams anywhere but will eventually settle near the main door or the window of the music room where she listens to songs from vinyl records being played by her Tatay.

your person is listening to music?” Kelley said. On the other hand, Kelley noted cats like songs that are “slow and have a droning sound to them.” She gave as examples Krishna Das’s Om Namah Shivaya or Dead Can

Dance’s Song of the Stars. “I think the low drone reminds them of a purr, and it just seems to make my cats visibly relax when I play music that has a low drone as part of its melody. My cats seem to like songs with strong bass. I’m not talking super dubstep-drop MEGA bass, but songs that have a pretty clear bass line. Again, the volume has to be comfortable to kitty ears, or else they’ll flee, no matter how much they like the bass sound, “ Kelley added. Cats also appear to like female voices, “especially when they’re in the alto range and they’re singing mellow songs like Faith & the Muse’s Visions,” Kelley said. Her cat Tara hopped into her lap and sat on her chest while the song was playing. “Of course, cats’ enjoyment of music made for humans could well be because cats are so emotionally connected to their people—and any music that makes their people relax will make them relaxed and happy, too. If that’s the case, then it probably doesn’t matter what genre of music you play, as long as you stay away from shrill noises, harsh brass instruments, and hard-rock guitar riffs, “ Kelley said. Lastly, she said, “So, do you need to buy yourself a bunch of music that’s composed just for cats? Eh, not necessarily. Just choose your music with care, play it at a low volume, and watch your feline friends enjoy!” DC

KIMMIE filled the void in the lives of Zay Ignote Roldan and her husband, Ericson Roldan. Zay had a rocky relationship with her husband before 2014. They were both distraught after Zay underwent surgery for myoma. Because of the surgery, Zay can no longer have a child. They joined Couples for Christ which helped them a lot. But they were still unhappy, she said. On May 10, 2014, Kimmie was born. A member of Couples for Christ gave Kimmie (left in the photo) to them. Since that day, Zay said their married life changed. “Our life, in an instant, changed drastically. We felt happy because having Kimmie is like having a child. “ Zay said. “I am very attached to Kimmie. When she was three weeks old, she would sleep on my chest, “ Zay said. Her husband loved to come home to hug and play with, Zay said. “We gave all our love and attention to Kimmie, specially since Kimmie is sickly, “ Zay said. Zay admitted to always being nervous about KImmie’s physical condition. When she and her husband would talk about the possibility that they might lose Kimmie, they would always cry. Because of this, they decided to get another furbaby. But they assessed first if they still have the time and attention for another dog. Many wanted to give them another dog but Zay said she did not want to just get another dog. She posted her intention to adopt. “By Divine intervention, one day I felt I was ready. I also declared our next baby will be a healthy and playful shih tzu,” she said. “Zian, then six months old, came into our life. We adopted Zian, “ Zay said. For the second time, Zay said she became a “mom” and she is very happy. Editor's note: These stories were compiled by admin Miks Lim of Save Animals of Love and Light (Save ALL), a SEC-registered animal welfare group that helps animals in need, and encourages and promotes responsible pet ownership, adoption of rescued dogs and cats from fosters, shelters and pounds, and spaying and neutering of pets to control animal population in the country, among others.

Profile for Manila Standard

Manila Standard - 2019 March 17 - Sunday  

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

Manila Standard - 2019 March 17 - Sunday  

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