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VOL. XXXIII • NO. 101 • 4 SECTIONS 16 PAGES • P18 • SUNDAY, MAY 26, 2019 • •



TRICOLORS UP. More than two weeks to the celebration of Philippine Independence, the country's national colors dot the Aguinaldo Highway in Dasmarinas, Cavite ahead of the June 12 anniversary, observed nationwide from Tawi-Tawi to Batanes. The national flag was displayed for the first time on June 12, 1898. PNA


missioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero assisted by six deputy commissioners and an assistant commisRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte signed sioner, who supervises the Internal the appointment papers of three new Administration Group, Revenue Collection Monitoring Group, Asdeputy commissioners to the Bureau of sessment and Operations CoordiCustom, one of them a former port district nation Group, Intelligence Group, collector who was fired by former Customs Enforcement Group, Management Information System and Technolcommissioner Isidro Lapeña over the alleged ogy Group and Post Clearance Ausmuggling of illegal drugs inside magnetic dit Group. Earlier reports said one of the lifters worth billions of pesos. new deputy commissioners, The new Customs deputy com- pointments were signed March Baquiran, was former Manila International Container Port district missioners were Raniel Ramiro, 6, 2019, according to the Palace. Vener Sia Baquiran and Donato Their appointment completes collector, linked to the smuggling Belmonte San Juan whose ap- the leadership rung with ComTurn to A2


Commissioner Rey Guerrero

PDEA AUCTIONS OFF SHABU TO ENTRAP 'USERS' By Joel E. Zurbano and Vito Barcelo AUTHORITIES used the process of auctioning off abandoned shipment at the Bureau of Customs to locate the warehouse and identify the possible recipients or owners of the P1.9

billion worth of shabu earlier seized at a warehouse in Malabon City. On Friday, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency director general Aaron Aquino led officials of PDEA and other law enforcement agencies in presenting the seized 146 kilos found at the warehouse

of Goldwin Commercial. The contraband was part of a three 20-foot container van shipment of 51,000 kilos of tapioca starch from Cambodia exported by HKSTC Trading Co. Ltd. abandoned at the Manila International Container Port in North Harbor.

PDEA operatives identified the suspects on Balitanghali, heard nationwide, as Lu Jun, Zuo Sheng Li, Li Yu, and Ye Ling. Two of them allegedly used fake passports while one of them failed to present any documentation. Turn to A2

8 SUSPECTS IN FAG RAID FACE RAPS EIGHT Chinese nationals arrested during a raid in Bulacan on May 16 risk facing charges of serious illegal detention, human trafficking, and violation of intellectual property code for allegedly operating an illegal cigarette factory, official sources said Saturday. GMA's Balitanghali's report, beamed nationwide, said agents from the National Bureau of Investigation also found inside the facility in Marilao town a re-packing machine and several bogus tax stamps. The police director of the province, Col. Chito Bersaluna, said the joint NBI-police raid was done at the Green Miles Compound in Marilao's Barangay Patubig, where law enforcement authorities confiscated up to P6 billion worth of fake cigarettes. Bersaluna told reporters the raiders nabbed the still unidentified Chinese believed to be the employers of 87 workers allegedly held and forced to manufactgure fake cigarettes. Turn to A2

CLARIFICATION THE Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System clarified on Saturday that it was MWSS chairman Franklin Demonteverde who was replaced by Ricardo Morales, a retired general who hails from Davao City. The MWSS administrator, Reynaldo Velasco, also a retired general, keeps his post, contrary to reports made by several newspapers.

BIKOY'S BLUES AIN'T OVER; CHARGES LOOM By Maricel V. Cruz DAVAO City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said Saturday her husband Manases Carpio could not forgive Peter Joemel Advincula, alias Bikoy, for linking him to the illegal drug trade and mulled filing charges against him but did not say when. At the same time, one of the congressmen tagged by Bikoy, a confessed “whistleblower” in an alleged plot to oust President Rodrigo Duterte, on Saturday said his group would pursue filing charges against Advincula. Rep. Gary Alejano of Magdalo told reporters that while he would rather ignore Advincula, the administration might take advantage of his group's silence and use Advincula in filing cases against Magdalo and its members. "They can make us busy with Bikoy to forget everything [fiscalizing] isn't it? If they use the legal process then they will make (us) busy answering charges," Alejano said. "If you have been diverted to that situation, then you will forget the important issues. That is the purpose of the diversion... keep us on the defensive, make us work on the accusations of this Bikoy and forget everything," he said. Turn to A2

FREED ON BAIL. Peter Joemel Advincula, also known as Bikoy, who claimed to be the hooded narrator in a controversial series of anti-Duterte videos, is released Saturday from Camp Crame, a day after posting bail. Authorities say they see no reason to monitor his movements. Manny Palmero



SUNDAY, MAY 26, 2019

RODY: JOKE ON WOMEN UNINTENDED By Nat Mariano PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte, trying to ward off criticisms of feminists on his remarks Thursday that women were just made out of God’s second thoughts, explained on Saturday his perceived “misogynist” remarks were “unintentional.” In his speech at the thanksgiving party prepared by Senator-elect Christopher Go on Thursday night, the President said feminists were always lashing out against him for making women one of his many favorite topics for quips. “These feminists are always complaining about my mouth. I’m used to it and that’s the culture I grew up with. The joke is always on the women,” Duterte said in Davao City. A mysogynist is a person who dislikes, despises, or is strongly prejudiced against women, usually a man who believes that men are much better than women. Duterte added he did not intend to derogate women for he highly respects the females in his kin such as his mother, Soledad, and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio. “When I said, and it’s really true, that there were a lot of beautiful women here. And told them I would come back for them tomorrow. They [women’s rights groups] were angry about it afterwards,” he said. “If you don’t want to hear it, then don’t listen to me… But those jokes were not intentional. It is there planted in the genetics of men because we have been doing it since,” he added. According to the President, in one of his usually amusing remarks, said in his hometown he once talked to God about women in his dream and asked God “to tell the truth” behind his plan to create women. “I told God, ‘You know God, I am heavily criticized because of my actions… But what were you thinking [when you made women]. Tell me the truth.’ If God really favored women, then He should have created them first,” he recalled.


From A1

of shabu in 2018 which was discovered inside magnetic lifters. Baquiran was also charged by the National Bureau of Investigation for violation of Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, dereliction of duty and administrative complaints. The charges stemmed from Baquiran’s failure to file charges against the consignees, importers and brokers of the drug-tainted magnetic lifters that slipped past Customs. President Duterte also replaced Lapeña and 50 others over alleged drugs in magnetic lifters. Prior to their recent appointment, former Brig. Gen. Ramiro served as the acting head of the Customs' Intelligence Group, while San Juan was the deputy commissioner for the Customs' Internal Administration Group. San Juan was a retired lieutenant general who headed the Philippine Military Academy before his stint at the BOC. Meanwhile, President Duterte described the Food and Drug Administration as a gold mine for corruption that led to the sacking of former Food and Drug Administration director-general Nela Charade Puno. Malacañang last week announced Puno’s termination, citing the President's "continuing mandate to eradicate graft and corruption" as grounds for her removal. In defending his decision to remove Puno from her post, Duterte said that he would not tolerate corruption in his government, even if officials in question were his friends. The ex-FDA director is the wife of former Road Board executive director Rodolfo “Dody” Puno. The President criticized the Punos for being wise when they offered him some help in the past. Duterte admitted he was not aware that the DFA was a gold mine for corruption. Duterte said he received numerous complaints against Puno and wasted no time in making the decision to dismiss the FDA chief. Puno's dismissal from her post was "in line with the President’s continuing mandate to eradicate graft and corruption, and to ensure that public officials and employees conduct themselves in a manner worthy of public trust, according to the Palace.



HOENIX Petroleum Philippines cut the price of gasoline by P0.35 per liter effective 6 a.m. Sunday to reflect the movement of oil prices in the world market.

“Phoenix Petroleum Philippines will decrease the prices of gasoline by P0.35 per liter and diesel by P0.45 per liter effective 6 a.m. of 26 May 2019,” the company said. Phoenix implemented the price cut ahead of its competitors, who usually adjust prices every Tuesday.

Unioil Philippines also announced the consumers should expect “fuel prices to go down next week.” “Diesel should go down by P0.50 and gasoline should go down by P0.40,” Unioil said. The Philippines imports over 90

percent of its oil requirements. Analysts attributed the rollback to the continuing United StatesChina trade conflict, which could dampen demand. The ample US crude stockpile also affected world oil prices. On May 21, local oil firms raised the price of gasoline and diesel by P0.90 per liter and P0.80 per liter, respectively. They also raised the price of kerosene by P0.75 per liter. Oil prices went up last week amid a threat of tightening oil supplies, led by geopolitical issues in the Gulf. Oil prices also rose after top exporter Saudi Arabia said

explosive-laden drones launched by a Yemeni-armed movement aligned to Iran had attacked facilities belonging to state oil company Aramco. According to the Department of Energy, year-to-date adjustments stand at a net increase of P7.55 per liter for gasoline, P6.20 per liter for diesel and P4.60 per liter for kerosene. DOE data showed that gasoline sells from P46.15 to P63.16 per liter in Metro Manila, and diesel is sold from P46.04 to P59.70 per liter. Pump prices vary depending on the brand, location of the station, and market forces.

PALACE TO TRILLANES: GOOD LUCK, GOOD RIDDANCE By Vito Barcelo THE Palace on Saturday bid farewell to outspoken outgoing Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, a staunch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, and wished him luck as the former military officer faces the possibility of being jailed when his immunity from arrest expires along with his term in June. Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo issued the statement after supposed “Ang Totoong Narcolist” video fabricator Peter Joemel Advincula, alias “Bikoy,” retracted his previous statements and pointed to Trillanes and the Liberal Party as behind the videos linking the President and the Duterte family to the illegal drug trade. “Trillanes should brace himself with the prospect of being jailed

BIKOY'S BLUES... From A1 In a series of videos titled "Ang Totoong Narco-list," Bikoy claimed drug money was funneled into the bank accounts of Duterte-Carpio's husband, her brother Paolo, and Senator-elect Christopher Go. In a related development: • Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate on Saturday dismissed Advincula as a mere decoy to divert public attention from pressing issues. "The problem with Bikoy, his actions could be a decoy to divert public attention from gut issues," Zarate said. "Bikoy is a decoy," the lawmaker added. Zarate also said Advincula could be similarly situated to sacked Police Colonel Eduardo Acierto who he said surfaced to divert public attention on issues affecting the public. Acierto earlier claimed former Special Assistant to the President

PDEA... From A1 Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo assured the public the government would “never allow our country to be flooded with prohibited drugs by the merchants of death and destruction.” He said the Duterte administration would not rest until the last drug apparatus was destroyed and the last drug pusher was sent to jail. Combined elements of PDEA, the Bureau of Customs, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, and the Bureau of Customs raided the Goldwin Commercial Warehouse in Malabon and found 146 kilos of shabu concealed in 114 bags of aluminum pallets which came from Cambodia. Manila International Container Port District Collector lawyer Erastus Sandino Austria said the BOC recovered the abandoned shipment in March and on April 22 put it up for auction. The PDEA and the BOC said they were expecting that a drug syndicate would bid for it, but the Goldwin Commercial Warehouse in Malabon emerged as the highest bidder, which explains why the P1.9-billion drug haul was recovered in the city. But PDEA stressed no evidence

anew for alleged attempts to topple the Duterte administration,” Panelo said. "While many will wish Mr. Trillanes good riddance as he is about to leave the hallowed halls of the Senate at the end of June of this year, we will instead wish him luck as he faces another prospect of being placed behind bars again as the self-confessed black propagandist [Advincula] turns against his master, even as his victims look forward to seeing the Senate, or better yet the government, without the cantankerously obnoxious coup plotter," Panelo said. Trillanes has denied Advincula’s claim, saying the allegations were “another ploy of the administration to harass the opposition.” However, Panelo said: “Trillanes should address Advincula’s accu-

sations, which is a serious allegation pointing to him as the mastermind and in conspiracy with certain political leaders identified with the opposition of the unlawful plot to topple the Duterte administration.” The spokesman said Duterte “remains standing as the nation’s most beloved and trusted leader” while Trillanes continues to “spew his poisonous invectives” against the President. “We recall that Mr. Trillanes was all praises for the videos which were intended to incite sedition against the duly-constituted and people-elected President, even arrogantly wishing that he was part of such a felony, and then suddenly after being ratted as the creator of the sinister plot pronounces that he knows nothing about the

and now Senator-elect Go and former Bureau of Corrections chief and now Senator-elect Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa were allegedly protecting the drug syndicate of former presidential economic adviser Michael Yang. "For example, there are so many issues hounding the conduct of the last elections that should be looked into. And yet Bikoy suddenly surfaced, the issue on problems in relation to the elections die down. The public attention was obviously diverted," Zarate said. Zarate pointed out that Advincula should be ignored and that the focus must be on the main issues of the day—election problems. The lawmaker said the public should be wary against individuals like Bikoy, adding "People can be vulnerable to bombardment of such malinformation." On Thursday, Advincula said the videos were "orchestrated lies" concocted by Senator Antonio

Trillanes IV and the opposition and he was promised P500,000 to produce the videos. He apologized to the Dutertes for creating the videos. Alejano said the opposition had yet to decide on the legal actions to take against Advincula. "I am inclined not to give importance to Bikoy. For me it is clear that he is lying," Alejano said. "But the filing of charges is still one of the considerations we are looking into," he added. Advincula claimed he was the hooded man in the video series called "Ang Totoong Narco list" where he accused members of the First Family and Go of receiving drug money. Advincula, however, retracted his statement and pointed to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and allies of the Liberal Party as the masterminds of the alleged oust-Duterte plot. On Saturday, Advincula was reported to have left Camp Crame after he posted bail.

linked the owners of the warehouse to the drug trade. For his part, Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said the bureau was committed to strengthening its intelligence and enforcement capabilities. “We have equipped our Customs officers with the proper tools to identify illegal drugs including the proper intelligence-sharing agreements with government authorities,” Guerrero said. Aquino said after their successful anti-drug operation in Dasmariñas, Cavite last Feb. 13, his agency and the Armed Forces of the Philippines conducted a forensic investigation on the mobile phones of the arrested suspects Alexander Jun Wah Ting Lee and Patrick John Gankee. “During the forensic investigations, we learned that their group is expecting a shipment of illegal drugs concealed in tapioca starch consigned to Goroyam Trading,” said Aquino. The PDEA immediately coordinated with the Bureau of Customs to locate the shipment, which was found abandoned at the Manila International Container Port on March 5. It was learned the shipment was forfeited in favor of the government last March 1, 2019 after the consignee

same,” Panelo said. He said that before the 2016 elections, Trillanes made an issue about the "fictitious bank account" containing over P200 million supposedly belonging to Duterte. "He deviously released this black propaganda a week before the presidential elections, almost identical to the time frame of the release of the recent videos of Bikoy before the midterm national elections. The two black propagandas are eerily similar as to the timing of their release," Panelo said. "History keeps repeating itself. In Mr. Trillanes' case, first as a tragedy and second as a farce. This describes well the case of the outgoing senator," he said. “Mr. Trillanes’ greater service to the nation is his mandatory exit from the Senate," Panelo added.

8FromSUSPECTS... A1 There was no immediately available statement from the suspects. The NBI agents said the 87—all from Mindanao—had been sent home to their provinces. According to the sources, the joint raid was conducted after authorities received information from one of the workers who managed to escape that workers were being detained and forced to work. Police officials said many of the workers—the exact number was not disclosed—had been under forced labor already for five months. Sources said the raiders found inside the warehouse finished and unfinished cigarette products, including machines being used to manufature cigarettes.

failed to file an import entry with the Bureau of Customs and abandoned it. MICP officials said they had received an intelligence information from PDEA that a shipment of tapioca starch consigned to Goroyam Trading might contain illegal drugs. “We take all reports of alleged existence of drugs seriously. That is why we immediately reviewed the shipments that passed through MICP and even subsequent shipments which arrived at the port after we received the intelligence report,” said Austria. Through this method, Customs agents were able to identify a shipment that fits the profile of the suspected drug importation that might have arrived in the country last Jan. 27, 2019 from Cambodia. The authorities searched the abandoned shipment and discovered it indeed contained illegal drugs concealed in the aluminum pallets. But instead of immediately seizing the illegal shipment, they decided to allow the shipment to be auctioned off, hoping to draw out possible members of the drug syndicates who might be interested in bidding on the drug shipment. During the public auction on April 22, 2019, Goldwin Commercial submitted the highest bid and won the bidding on the three containers of

tapioca starch. The authorities then conducted a background check on the winning bidder to determine if it had connections with illegal drug syndicates, but there was no evidence showing the proprietors of Goldwin were involved in any drug syndicate or smuggling activities. When the shipment was claimed by Goldwin on May 22, 2019, combined elements from PDEA, Customs AFP, the Coast Guard and the National Police immediately conducted the next day a special operation and swooped down on the firm’s warehouse in Malabon where they discovered the hidden drugs in the pallets. During the joint operation, the authorities discovered that illegal drugs were inserted in 30 aluminum pallets where the tonner bags containing the tapioca starch were placed. Each of the pallets had five hollow bars across each frame, of which three to four of the hollow bars per pallet contained the illegal drugs. “This seizure of illegal drugs is both connected to PDEA’s Dasmariñas, Cavite operation last Feb. 13 with seizure of 36 kilos of shabu worth P244 million and the Tanza, Cavite operation last Feb. 3 wherein 274 kilos of shabu worth P1.9 billion was seized,” said Aquino.

News GUNS GALORE. Kids are mesmerized at the sight of various highpowered guns on display at the Special Action Force‘s 36th founding anniversary exhibit showcasing its capability and skills held at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City on May 25, 2019. Norman Cruz



LECTION candidates have gained a one-day reprieve from the deadline for filing of their respective Statements of Contributions and Expenditures.

The Commission on Elections said the SOCEs may be filed on June 13, since the 30-day deadline falls on a holiday, Independence Day (June 12).

“Under the law, all candidates and electoral parties are required to submit [their] SOCE within 30 days after the elections. However, considering that the last day of filing of SOCE is June 12, 2019, which is a holiday, SOCE can still be submitted on the following day [June 13],” Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said. Jimenez, however, made it clear that the

submission of SOCEs via registered mail, courier or messenger services “shall not be accepted.” The Comelec reminded all candidates of the recent midterm elections to submit three copies of SOCE, which should be in Excel format. “[The] SOCE is required to be submitted despite that: Candidate was not elected; the campaign was self-funded; no expenditures were incurred; candidate did not pursue or continue the campaign; and candidate withdrew his candidacy unless it was withdrawn officially before the start of election campaign. [Feb. 12 for senators and March 29 for local candidates],” the Comelec added. The poll body also said winning candidates may still file their SOCEs beyond the deadline, but have to pay a penalty for late filing.

FAKE VINEGAR: DOH CHECKING 300 BRANDS AS MANY as 300 local and imported vinegar brands sold in the domestic market are being checked if these condiments use banned ingredients, a health official said Saturday. The testing began weeks after the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute found that 80 percent of vinegar brands sold in the country are not made from natural ingredients. The Health department is prioritizing the testing of local brands and initial results are due next week, Health Undersecretary Rolando Domingo said. He refused to identify the brands. Synthetic acetic aci is not allowed in the country, he said. The Department of Science and

Technology and the Food and Drug Administration earlier conducted separate studies to check the ingredients used in vinegar and other condiments. “Condiments usually undergo the process of fermentation, and the raw materials must come from fruits and other natural products,” Raymond Sucgang, section head of the PNRI Nuclear Analytical Techniques Applications Section, earlier said. “One can only imagine all the impurities and residues from the petroleum byproducts, which can be the source of various degenerative diseases,” he said. Brands of soy sauce, fish sauce and ketchup would also be tested in the succeeding weeks, the agencies earlier said.

‘HOTEL-RESTO WORKERS DESERVE FULL AMOUNT OF SERVICE FEES’ By Maricel V. Cruz A PRO-ADMINISTRATION lawmaker on Saturday vouched for the immediate approval by the House of Representatives of the bill mandating establishments to give 100 percent of the service charges they collect from customers to qualified workers. Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel said 430,000 hotel and restaurant workers will benefit from the bill if it were enacted into law. “We will push for an amendment to the Labor Code provision that currently sets aside for covered workers only 85 percent of the service charges collected by hotels and restaurants,” Pimentel said. At present, Article 96 of the Labor Code provides that: “All service charges collected by hotels, restaurants and similar establishments shall be distributed at the rate of eighty-five percent (85 percent) for all covered employees and fifteen percent (15 percent) for management. The share of the employees shall be equally distributed among them. In case the service charge is abolished, the share of the covered employees shall be considered integrated in their wages.” “It is only fair for hotel and restaurant employees to get 100 percent of the collections

from service charges, whether these are included by the establishment in the customer’s tab, or freely given by the patron on top of the guest check,” Pimentel said. The country has a total of 27,028 hotels and restaurants in the formal sector that employ a combined 433,260 workers, Pimentel said, citing the Philippine Statistics Authority’s latest Annual Survey of Business and Industry. He said “The employees are the ones directly providing the generous service to hotel and restaurant patrons, so the workers deserve the extra earnings.” Pimentel said his proposal, once enacted, would give meaning to the mandates of the Constitution for the State to provide full protection to labor, afford workers a living wage, and advance their welfare in recognition of their role as a primary social economic force. Pimentel also wants to impose a punitive fine of up to P100,000 per violation on employers who fail to promptly remit to their workers their full share of the service charges. Without any penalty in the existing law, Pimentel said many hotels and restaurants that collect service charges as part of the customer’s tab are not complying with their obligation to give workers their 85-percent share.

“SOCE filed beyond the deadline shall not be accepted except from those who won the elections. Until the submission of SOCE, the winning candidate shall not assume office. (Sec. 14 or Republic Act 7166). Provided, however, the winning candidate shall submit SOCE within six months from the date of proclamation without prejudice to payment of administrative penalty for late filing [Sec. 13 and Sec. 16 of Comelec Resolution No. 10505],” the statement said. “Failure to file SOCE may result [in] imposition of administrative sanctions against candidates and electoral parties,” it added. Section 14 of RA 7166 imposes a fine ranging from P1,000 to P10,000. The Comelec said SOCE forms can be downloaded from its website. PNA


SUNDAY, MAY 26, 2019

HIV INFECTED 91 OFWS IN MARCH AT LEAST 91 overseas Filipino workers were newly diagnosed as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive in March, up 14 percent from 80 in the same month in 2018, ACTSOFW said over the weekend. “The March cases brought to 6,524 the cumulative number of OFWs found living with HIV since the government began passive surveillance of the virus in 1984,” said ACTS-OFW Rep. Aniceto Bertiz III. OFWs now comprise 10 percent of the 65,463 confirmed cases listed in the National HIV/AIDS Registry as of March, according to Bertiz. The OFWs in the registry worked abroad within the past five years, either on land or at sea, when they were diagnosed HIV-positive, Bertiz said. Many of the OFWs in the registry were from Metro Manila (2,110 cases, or 32 percent); the Calabarzon (1,139 cases, or 17 percent); and Central Luzon (761 cases, or 12 percent). Of the 6,524 OFWs in the registry, 86 percent, or 5,635, were male with the median age of 32 years. The 889 female OFWs in the registry had a median age of 34 years. Of the male OFW cases, 72 percent were found infected via sexual contact among MSM, or men who have sex with men (2,372 from maleto-male sex and 1,699 from sex with both males and females). HIV causes AIDS, or the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, which destroys the human body’s natural ability to fight off all kinds of infections. Though the condition still does not have any known cure, antiretroviral therapy has been known to slow down the virus. Bertiz is counting on the Department of Labor and Employment to deliver “highly improved support” to the growing number of OFWs living with HIV, as mandated by the new AIDS Prevention and Control Law that took effect earlier this year. Section 37 of the new law obligates the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, together with other agencies, to develop a program to provide stigma-free comprehensive reintegration, care and support for OFWs with HIV, Bertiz said.


SUNDAY, MAY 26, 2019




USAN, South Korea—The Philippine Navy is planning to acquire 25 to 30 warships of various types within the next five to 10 years as part of its efforts to augment its fleet.

“We have plans to acquire 25 to 30 in the next five to 10 years. [This] includes corvettes, OPVs [offshore patrol vessels], and even submarines,” PN flag officer-in-command Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad told reporters shortly after the keel-laying ceremony for the second missile frigate, BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151), at Dock 4 of Hyundai Heavy Industries’ shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea on Thursday. The BRP Antonio Luna is the sister ship of the BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150), the PN’s missile frigate, which was formally launched in the same facility also on Thursday.

and ship missiles, along with sensors and surveillance systems capable of detecting and neutralizing air, surface, and sub-surface threats. The BRP Jose Rizal is also equipped Empedrad said these projects with Hanwha Systems’ Naval Shield are open to all shipbuilding firms combat management system (CMS), with naval construction capabilities which integrates all shipboard senworldwide. sors and weapons and decides on the “I think there is a need to beef up ideal way to deal with any incoming the PN because we have vast maritime threat. (territories) and we need to protect it,” It can also detect and track about the PN chief said. 4,000 targets and is used in various The BRP Jose Rizal, which is sched- configurations by the Republic of Korea uled for delivery in 2020, and the Navy, the Royal Malaysian Navy, and the BRP Antonio Luna, which will be Indonesian Navy. delivered in 2021, will be armed with Hanwha Systems also developed an Oto Melara 76mm Super Rapid a tactical data link system for the two main gun, an Aselsan SMASH 30mm ships called “Link P,” which will be excluremote-controlled secondary cannon, sively used by the two missile frigates. anti-submarine torpedoes and anti-air This was bared by Hanwha Systems

Overseas Business Support manager Samsoo Kim after a tour of their facility early this week. He added that it can communicate with other similar tactical data link systems and has a 32-digit key code encryption to ensure data security. “There is 32-digit key code for encrypting (‘Link P’) and we will give this freedom (to the PN) to change the key code. Normally the password has 10 digits. Hacking of this password takes a million years. That’s the theory. Thirty-two digits is a very long password (the) PH Navy can randomly put in this system,” Kim said. The Philippines and HHI signed a P16-billion contract for two missilearmed frigates. A total of P2 billion was also set aside for its weapon systems and munition in October 2016. PNA

GMA EYES TASK FORCE TO ASSIST TOURISTS By Maricel V. Cruz SPEAKER Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has sought to heighten measures for tourists in House Bill 8981 or the proposed “Tourist Protection and Assistance Act” that was approved on third and final reading last week. Arroyo’s bill proposes an intergovernmental task force to be known as the “Tourist Protection and Assistance Task Force.” It shall be responsible in instituting and facilitating measures for the protection and assistance of tourists, both domestic and foreign, during their travel around the country. In the bill’s explanatory note, Arroyo stressed the need for the government to adopt and implement an integrated approach in tourism development to realize its full potential as an important economic tool necessary for national development. “The tourism industry has been branded as an ‘engine of economic growth’ given its capacity to boost and jumpstart any economy especially countries like the Philippines,” she said. The Speaker said the tourism industry is a consistent source of foreign exchange earnings and employment opportunities and also promotes international goodwill. “At the same time, it highlights and makes known to the international community of the rich and colorful socio-cultural life of the Filipinos,” Arroyo said. Among the duties of the proposed Tourist Protection and Assistance Task Force are the adoption of uniform standards on signage for use throughout the Philippines to facilitate travel in the country and provision of directional signages in tourism facilities and destinations, including airports, seaports, land border crossings, highways, and bus, train, and other public transit locations.


Volunteers from Telus International Philippines join students and school workers in refurbishing classrooms at Victorino Mapa High School in Sta. Mesa, Manila on Saturday. The Department of Education’s annual ‘Brigada Eskwela’ is proof of an effective partnership between the government and public and private sectors, Telus said in a statement. Ey Acasio


DON’T be surprised if a dog sniffs your luggage inside the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Sniffing dogs are now seen roaming the airport terminals to detect contaminated or unsafe meat inside the luggage of arriving air travelers. On Thursday, the Bureau of Animal Industry initially deployed three canines at the airport as part of a dry run activity in connection with a new policy to be enforced soon. BAI director Dr. Ronnie Domingo said there is no specific date yet for its formal deployment at the airport. The Department of Agriculture recently announced it is going to deploy 15 trained dogs to detect meat in all international airports this month to prevent the entry of products contaminated with African Swine Fever. Domingo said they are going to ask passengers or appeal to them to surrender the meat they would be bringing in into the country, or face penalties. If caught, violators of the meat quarantine protocol will pay fines of P50,000 up to P200,000. Imported meat products will be allowed in the country if the importers have secured Phyto-Sanitary Permit from the port of origin, otherwise the meat will be confiscated and will be condemned. The prohibitions extended to bringing in plant and animal products without Sanitary and PhytoSanitary Permits. In September and October last year, cases of pork meat products contamination have been recorded in Korea and Japan through dumplings and hotdog products. Joel E. Zurbano


IN FULL BLOOM. Around 35 Japanese Sakura or cherry blossom trees donated by the Japanese Embassy last June 2016 have thrived in the highland climate of Paoay, Atok, Benguet, says caretaker Pj Haight (pictured), whose family shared the land for which the Sakura trees were planted three years ago. Atok’s high elevation and year-round cool temperature has been conducive to cherry blossom trees. Contributed Photo

OVER 1M ‘TAMBAY’ NABBED IN 12 MONTHS By Joel E. Zurbano THE number of apprehensions against individuals violating local ordinances in Metro Manila has passed the onemillion mark since the police began the campaign against “tambay” or street loiterers in June 2018. In its latest accomplishment report released on Saturday, the National Capital Region Police Office stated that the five command districts in Metro Manila apprehended a total of 1,050,238 individuals. Most of those arrested violated local ordinance that prohibits smoking in public places and conveyances, the NCRPO said, as police made 242,669 apprehensions. A total of 64,163 minors were also apprehended for violating the curfew

ordinance from the period of June 2018 to May 25, 2019, while more than 55,500 individuals were arrested for being half naked and 48,644 others for drinking on streets and public places. Quezon City topped the list of cities in Metro Manila with the highest number of individuals arrested. The Quezon City Police (Central Police District) made 587,536 (55.94%) apprehensions, followed by Eastern Police District (Pasig, Marikina, San Juan and Mandaluyong) with 215,253, and the Northern Police District (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela) saw 102,662 apprehensions. The Manila Police District arrested 85,486 individuals, while the Southern Police District caught 59,301 in the cities of Pasay, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Taguig and Muntin-

lupa, and the town of Pateros. However, of the total apprehensions, only 153,306 individuals were charged in court, while 199,433 others were fined. NCRPO director Guillermo Eleazar said street bystanders “would not be picked up by the police as long as they follow local ordinances on loitering.” President Rodrigo Duterte initiated the campaign in 2018, ordering the police to go against street loiterers or “tambay” to ensure a peaceful community, especially at night. But the Chief Executive reminded the police they should arrest only those violating municipal or city ordinances like urinating and drinking in public places, being half-naked, making loud noises, and minors violating curfew, among others.

KORONADAL CITY—Environment officials and coastal residents have set free an Olive Ridley sea turtle off to high seas from the coast of Sarangani Bay on Thursday. Resident Nena Tabaya Ebba said she found and saved the turtle after it was caught in a fishnet in the coastal Barangay Burias in Glan town, Sarangani Province. Executive Director Nilo Tamoria of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Region 12 said the sea turtle (scientific name Lepidochelys olivacea) was released at 7 a.m. to live normally in the natural ocean habitats of sea turtles. Ebba said they had attempted to release the sea turtle, but it kept coming back ashore—close enough to be spotted by her family dwelling in the coastal village. Sending it off finally, Tamoria was joined by midlevel environment executives—Glan Sarangani CENR officer Abdul Cariga and Technical Service Division Chief, Dr. Rosalinda B. Cortez—and local residents when the turtle, estimated to be less than a year old, was finally set free from the shoreline of Sarangani. Tamoria said he had ordered the release of the turtle on learning that it had been in captivity for the last eight months.

‘BIGGER, BETTER’ PIÑA FESTIVAL SET By Ronald O. Reyes ORMOC CITY—Mayor Richard Gomez said they are ready for a “better, bigger, and brighter” Piña Festival and fiesta celebration starting June 1 to 29. “ There are a lot of people working together for our fiesta. Everyone involved wants the celebration to be more exciting,” said Gomez, as he invited the public to visit Ormoc and be part of its celebration. “The Piña Festival also seeks to promote, not only Ormoc’s very own sweet queen pineapple but also its people’s strong personality that overcomes challenges and obstacles they face, from personal problems to calamities and disasters,” added the actor-turned-mayor, who won a

second term after being reelected in the May 13 polls. Gomez said they have allocated P22 million for the fiesta, with other funds to be augmented by their sponsors for this year’s month-long festivity. “The city spends money to make our people happy, increase economic activities, and ensure that businesses are alive,” Gomez told reporters. City councilor Gregorio Yrastorza III, committee executive co-chairman, urged the public to get ready for the “exciting days ahead” as they unveiled the various activities for the 422nd fiesta celebration in honor of its patron Sts. Peter and Paul on June 29. “We’ve been preparing for this,” Yrastorza said.

“This celebration is something we are always proud of,” added Stephanie Diane Chu, resource generation chairwoman. “Mayor Gomez levels us to other cities. This is a collective effort of volunteers and participants,” said Chu, while thanking their corporate and private sponsors. Assisting the socio-civic activities are business groups like the Rotary Club of Ormoc Bay through its president Apple Anido Alagon. One of the major fiesta events will be the Parade of Lights on the evening of June 15. The parade, with its theme “Storyland”, will feature luminescent vehicular floats and lighted costumes that will pass through the city’s major thoroughfares.


SUNDAY, MAY 26, 2019


Adelle Chua, Editor





HE Canadian government this week said it would take back, at its own expense, some 100 containers, weighing around 2,500 tons, of household waste and used adult diapers that a private Canadian company had shipped here in 2013 and 2014. This was in response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s act of recalling the Philippine ambassador to Canada after Canada failed to meet the May 15 deadline Mr. Duterte had set for it to take back its trash. “Canada values its deep and longstanding relationship with the Philippines and has been

working closely with Filipino authorities to find a solution that is mutually acceptable,” said Catherine McKenna, the Canadian minister of environment and climate change, reported the New York Times. She added that a Canadian company had already been awarded a contract to repatriate the trash. We will see just how that relationship is valued, not by such lofty—if belated— assurances but by concrete, decisive and swift action. A similar situation took place in Cagayan de Oro City last year, where some 5,177 metric tons of waste from South Korea was illegally imported by a Cebu-based company. The Finance Department said Seoul had promised to shoulder the cost of the trash’s return to its origin. Meanwhile, environment watch group EcoWaste Coalition has raised the alarm over the entry of mixed plastic wastes from Hong Kong,

and has requested the Chinese government to look into the matter. It’s a practice that rankles because nations should ideally deal with their own trash and not ship them to another country, with its own sovereignty and sensibilities. Garbage is exactly that—and it is not even as if we have a dearth of waste materials we need to dispose of responsibly and adequately. An adage goes: “One man’s garbage is another one’s treasure.” In this case, however, it’s patently false. What nerve countries that send us their trash have. What shamelessness on the part of local companies who import them display. President Duterte’s tough stance on other nations’ garbage finding their way to our ports is warranted and necessary. It’s an affront to Filipinos, and we must not take the insult deed sitting down.

QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM FOR GOVERNANCE EVEN as we deplore the awful running of some government agencies and their abysmal delivery of front-line services to the people, methods and techniques exist that can help improve their governance and administration, and that of any organization whether public or private. One of these methods is the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001 Quality Management System. The adoption of a QMS in all agencies and departments of the executive branch of government, as well as in all government-owned and –controlled corporations and government financial institutions, is directed by Executive Order 605, s. 2007, which also requires that all QMS be ISO certified. As for other branches of government, state colleges and universities are “enjoined” and the judiciary, legislature, local government units, and constitutional offices are “encouraged” to establish their QMS. EO 605 was issued by then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who was the first technocrat head of state, but she was unable to institute technocracy all across the board during that time. Her EO 605 was a significant step towards ensuring that people in the executive branch, from decision-makers to support staff, are held to international standards in their work performance. Technocrats value this method so highly that during the Aquino administration, the establishment and maintenance of a QMS was tied to an agency’s incentive system, in that without a QMS, government entities cannot avail of the performance-based bonus or PBB. I am now helping a small national government agency establish their QMS. For technical assistance, we reached out to the Development Academy of the

Only 25 percent of government agencies are ISO-certified. Why the low compliance? Philippines, which conducts QMS trainings for government agencies. Our small NGA was fortunate enough to have been selected as a beneficiary agency of the DAP and the Government Quality Management Program, which saved us from having to pay the tuition fees. Through this project, agencies with low budgets can still avail of technical assistance for their QMS. The QMS is aligned with the ISO 9001:2015 standard, “which ensures the consistency of products and services through quality processes,” as EO 605 puts it. A DAP consultant said that to date, only 25 percent of government agencies are ISO certified. But it has been twelve years since EO 605; why the low compliance? One reason is that some government agencies anticipate that ‘going ISO’ will involve a lot of work that they don’t want to do. This is true; aligning processes with the ISO standard means extra work for the personnel involved, work on top of their regular jobs that they still have to perform. It means stress, late nights, rushing to and fro, and general ngaragan. But nothing worth having comes easy, as the saying goes. As a prominent strategic planning consultant told me, for the

organizations that take the plunge, there is one generation that is the ‘sacrificial lamb,’ the batch of personnel that take on the responsibility and make the short-term sacrifices not only for themselves but for those who come after them, and for the agency’s future. As with many other endeavors, it’s starting out that’s difficult. After obtaining ISO certification, it’s only a matter of maintenance and improvement—easy! What should an organization starting its QMS journey need to know? It’s important to form a group that will be the Core Team and another that will be the Secretariat. The former includes top management, senior and middle management, the planning officer, and other relevant persons—the thinkers and writers. The latter group will bear the brunt of the grunt work—booking the training venues, reproducing and distributing materials, making sure ‘homework’ is submitted on time, gathering everyone for trainings and meetings, and more. There should be a mix here of doers, thinkers, and writers. There is going to be a tremendous amount of writing, particularly when it comes time to write the organization’s quality manual. All processes under the scope of certification will need to be scrutinized, adjusted, and streamlined into their best versions that will deliver the highest quality goods or services to the customers or stakeholders. In case the agency lacks sufficiently trained or skilled manpower, it’s time to review the human resource plans and processes for training. The hiring criteria might need to be overhauled as well. I’d advise looking for people with technical skills, because there are many in government who are not tech-savvy, as in

By Rob Lever THE staggering figure of more than three billion fake accounts blocked by Facebook over a six-month period highlights the challenges faced by social networks in curbing automated accounts, or bots, and other nefarious efforts to manipulate the platforms. Here are four key questions on fake accounts: How did so many fake accounts crop up? Facebook said this week it “disabled” 1.2 billion fake accounts in the last three months of 2018 and 2.19 billion in the first quarter of 2019. Most fake social media accounts are “bots,” created by automated programs to post certain kinds of information—a violation of Facebook’s terms of service and part of an effort to manipulate social conversations. Sophisticated actors can create millions of accounts using the same program. Facebook said its artificial intelligence detects most of these efforts and disables the accounts before they can post on the platform. Still, it acknowledges that around five percent of the more than two billion active Facebook accounts are probably fake. What’s the harm from fake accounts? Fake accounts may be used to amplify the popularity or dislike of a person or movement, thus distorting users’ views of true public sentiment. Bots played a disproportionate role in spreading misinformation on social media ahead of the 2016 US election, according to researchers. Malicious actors have been using these kinds of fake accounts to sow distrust and social division in many parts of the world, in some cases fomenting violence against groups or individuals. Bots “don’t just manipulate the conversation, they build groups and bridge groups,” said Carnegie Mellon University computer scientist Kathleen Carley, who has researched social media bots. “They can make people in one group believe they think the same thing as people in another group, and in doing so they build echo chambers.” Facebook says its artificial intelligence tools can identify and block fake accounts as they are being created—and thus before they can post misinformation. “These systems use a combination of signals such as patterns of using suspicious email addresses, suspicious actions, or other signals previously associated with other fake accounts we’ve removed,” said Facebook analytics vice president Alex Schultz in a blog post. Does Facebook have the control of the situation? The figures from Facebook’s transparency report suggests Facebook is acting aggressively on fake accounts, said Onur Varol, a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Complex Network Research at Northeastern University. “Three billion is a big number—it shows they don’t want to miss any fake accounts. But they are willing to take a risk” of disabling some legitimate accounts, Varol said. Legitimate users may be inconvenienced, but can generally get their accounts reinstated, the researcher noted. “My feeling is that Facebook is making serious efforts” to combat fake accounts, he added. But new bots are becoming more sophisticated and harder to detect, because they can use language nearly as well as humans, according to Carley. “Facebook may have solved yesterday’s battle but the nature of these things is changing so rapidly they may not be getting the new ones,” she said. Varol agreed, noting that “there are bots that understand natural language and can respond to people, and that’s why it’s important to keep research going.” Should I worry about bots and fake accounts? Many users can’t tell the difference between a real and fake account, researchers say. Facebook and Twitter have been stepping up efforts to identify and weed out bogus accounts, and some public tools like Botometer developed by Varol and other researchers can help determine the likelihood of fake Twitter accounts and followers. “If you use Facebook to communicate with family and friends you should not worry much,” said Filippo Menczer, a computer scientist who researches social media at Indiana University. “If you use it to access news and share that with friends, you should be careful.” Menczer said many Facebook users pay little attention to the source of material and may end up sharing false or misleading information. “Everyone thinks they cannot be manipulated but we are all vulnerable,” he said. Along with bots, humans represent a key element in the misinformation chain, researchers say. “Most false information is not coming from bots,” Carley said. “Most of it comes from blogs and the bots rebroadcast it” to amplify the misinformation. Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook is seeking to eliminate the financial incentives of fake accounts. “A lot of the harmful content we see, including misinformation, are in fact commercially motivated,” Zuckerberg told reporters. “So one of the best tactics is removing incentives to create fake accounts upstream, which limits content made downstream.” AFP

POP GOES THE WORLD JENNY ORTUOSTE they can’t even use a laptop or software like Excel (but they’re a whiz on Facebook and othe social media!). As a result, they are not pulling their weight, and a lot of the tasks they should be doing have to be farmed out to better skilled employees—an unfair situation. However, the strategic planning consultant told me, “Hire mainly for attitude, not so much skills. Skills can be taught, but it is very difficult to change attitude.” Shun the whiners, the pessimists, the negative thinkers, the gossipers. Choose those who can work well in teams, have integrity, passion, and a desire for excellence, and those who have malasakit for the agency and country. Before embarking on establishing a QMS, have an agency-wide strategic planning session first to determine or refresh the organization’s vision, mission, values, strategic objectives, and societal impact. All these shall be required in the QMS (they are included in the QMS Manual). To all the NGAs, GOCCs, and GFIs undergoing QMS training and gunning for certification, good luck to all of you and thank you for taking this step to ensure that you are delivering quality services to the people. May other uncertified government agencies soon follow suit, and may those who haven’t undergone full scope certification do so soon, so that the people may be assured of quality processes and performance in all aspects of those agencies’ operations. Good governance and management is results-based and quality-oriented. FB and Twitter: @DrJennyO

Rolando G. Estabillo Publisher ManilaStandard

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SUNDAY, MAY 26, 2019

29 INMATES KILLED IN VENEZUELA JAIL CLASHES CARACAS, Venezuela—At least 29 prisoners were killed and 19 police wounded in clashes at a jail in western Venezuela Friday, authorities said. The incident at the police station jail in the town of Acarigua, in Portuguesa state, occurred when police special forces (FAES) tried to stop a “massive prison break” which resulted in the deaths of 29 inmates, according to Portuguesa public security secretary Oscar Valero. The prisoners received the officers with “a hail of gunfire” while detonating three grenades, which injured 19 police, Valero told reporters. The Una Ventana a la Libertad NGO, which defends prisoner rights, gave a preliminary toll of 25 dead. NGO director Carlos Nieto said the clashes broke out when the FAES attempted to rescue visitors who had been taken hostage Thursday by the “pran”—the leader of the inmates—at the jail. “This morning (authorities) sent the FAES and there was a clash. The detainees had weapons, they shot at the police. Apparently they also detonated two grenades,” Nieto told AFP. The inmates’ leader, Wilfredo Ramos, was one of those killed, according to an internal police report. The report, quoted by the NGO, said several officers were wounded by “shrapnel and explosives.” The prisons ministry did not comment on the incident, saying police station jails are not under its control. A video shared on social media shows an inmate—believed to be Ramos—with his face partly covered while brandishing a pistol and what appears to be grenades, and threatening two women. AFP

TRUMP, ABE BURNISH TIES OVER GOLF AND STEAK TOKYO—US President Donald Trump arrives in Japan on Saturday for a four-day trip likely to be dominated by warm words and friendly images, but light on substantive progress over trade. Japanese and US officials hail as “unprecedented” the relationship between Trump and his “golf buddy,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and the pair will again find time for a round to cement their diplomatic bromance. The official centerpiece is Trump’s meeting on Monday with Japan’s new Emperor Naruhito, who only ascended the Chrysanthemum Throne at the beginning of the month following his father’s historic abdication for health reasons. “With all the countries of the world, I’m the guest of honour at the biggest event that they’ve had in over 200 years,” said Trump before his departure. But the visual highlight is more likely to be Trump’s visit on Sunday to the final day of the summer “basho” or sumo tournament where he is expected to present the cup to the winner. Trump’s appearance at the hallowed sumo hall has presented a logistical, security and protocol nightmare, ranging from where he sits to how he should be protected if the crowd start throwing pillows – as tradition dictates when a Grand Champion (yokozuna) falls. The leaders will play golf before going to the sumo and then repair with their wives to a restaurant in Tokyo’s Roppongi entertainment district, where the menu features skewers of prime sirloin beef at 5,184 yen ($47) for two. AFP

Cesar Barrioquinto, Editor / Jimbo Gulle, Issue Editor



ASHINGTON—A US federal judge dealt a blow Friday to President Donald Trump’s signature wall project, issuing a temporary injunction against using Defense Department funds to pay for barriers on the border with Mexico.

BORDERLESS MUSIC. File photo shows Mexican traditional musicians from Oaxaca State playing music and dancing on the beach at Playas de Tijuana near a section of the US-Mexico border fence on April 29. AFP

RACE TO REPLACE MAY LEAVES BREXIT IN LIMBO LONDON—Contenders to succeed Theresa May as Britain’s prime minister prepared to launch their leadership campaigns on Saturday, leaving Brexit shrouded in uncertainty. A tearful May announced her resignation on Friday, leaving the Brexit process for exiting the European Union in limbo and raising the risk of Britain crashing out of the bloc in a few months. May’s statement inevitably triggered the starting gun on a two-month contest to replace her. May will step down as Conservative leader on June 7 but will stay on as prime minister until party members have chosen her successor, which will happen by July 20. Britain’s EU departure date is currently fixed for October 31, although any new leader could ask for a further delay. Conservative Party leadership contests are typically bloodthirsty affairs, with plot twists and betrayals. Former foreign secretary Boris Johnson is the bookmakers’ odds-on favorite, ahead of former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab. Both have embraced the prospect of a no-deal Brexit. But whoever takes over from May will like her face the same razor-thin majority in parliament, an EU with no intention of changing the divorce

offer that MPs have rejected three times, and proponents both for and against Brexit who will never compromise. Main opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said whoever wins the contest should call an immediate general election. That too would be a risky move, with the newlyformed, single-issue Brexit Party set to triumph in the European Parliament elections when the results become clear on Monday. Deep regret In an emotional address outside her Downing Street Office on Friday, May ended a dramatic three-year tenure of near-constant crisis over Brexit. May, who took charge in the aftermath of the 2016 Brexit referendum, was forced out following a Conservative mutiny over her ill-fated strategy to end Britain’s near five-decade membership of the EU. “It is and will always remain a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit,” said May. “I will shortly leave the job that it has been the honor of my life to hold. I do so with no ill-will, but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love,” she said, her voice breaking and close to tears. AFP

Trump declared an emergency in a bid to bypass Congress to obtain money for border wall construction after a standoff over funding for the project led to the longest government shutdown in US history. About 20 states, including Democratic strongholds New York and California, along with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), environmental groups and border communities are involved in suits that claim the emergency declaration violates the constitution. Trump administration officials “are enjoined from taking any action to construct a border barrier in the areas defendants have identified as Yuma Sector Project 1 and El Paso Sector Project 1 using funds reprogrammed by DoD,” Judge Haywood Gilliam ordered, referring to the Department of Defense. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan approved the diversion of funds from the department’s counter-narcotics budget for ultimate use in the construction of barriers in those areas – a move that was in turn funded by the diversion of $1 billion from army personnel funds, according to Gilliam’s order. The judge granted the preliminary injunction because plaintiffs are likely to show that Trump administration officials “exceeded their statutory authority, and that irreparable harm will result from those actions.” ‘Unlawful power grabs’ “Congress’s ‘absolute’ control over federal expenditures—even when that control may frustrate the desires of the Executive Branch regarding initiatives it views as important—is not a bug in our constitutional system,” Gilliam wrote. “It is a feature of that system, and an essential one.” The case—which was brought by plaintiffs including the Sierra Club environmental group—names Trump as well as Shanahan, acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin as defendants. “We applaud the court’s decision to protect our Constitution, communities, and the environment today,” Sierra Club managing attorney Gloria Smith said in a statement. “We’ve seen the damage that the everexpanding border wall has inflicted on communities and the environment for decades. Walls divide neighborhoods, worsen dangerous flooding, destroy lands and wildlife, and waste resources that should instead be used on the infrastructure these communities truly need,” Smith said. “Yet again, the American people have had to look to our courts for a check on President Trump’s unlawful power grabs.” Trump made the construction of a wall to stem illegal immigration from Latin America central to his successful 2016 campaign for the presidency. But despite saying Mexico would pay for the barrier, he has had to ask Congress for money to make the project happen, and the tug-of-war over funding for the barrier caused a record 35-day federal government shutdown beginning on December 22, 2018. AFP


THROWBACK. In this May 18, 1969 image obtained from NASA, Apollo 10 Commander Tom Stafford, heading to the Kennedy Space Center launch pad, pats the nose of a stuffed Snoopy held by Jamye Flowers. AFP

AS EARTH grew ever smaller below his spacecraft, Apollo 10 commander Tom Stafford made an unusual request to mission control. The year was 1969, and his vessel was the first to be equipped with a color camera, which was beaming live images to an awestruck global audience. “I was feeling real high,” recalled Stafford, who is now 88 and the last surviving member of the crew. “I said: ‘Think you could call over to London and tell the president of the Flat Earth Society that he’s wrong?’” It was a light moment during a mission of paramount importance: 50 years ago this week, Apollo 10 set off to finalize the preparations for Apollo 11’s lunar landing. The mission’s objectives included an eight-hour orbit in a lunar module that Stafford flew down to within nine miles

(14 kilometers) of the Moon’s surface. Apollo 10 paved the way for Neil Armstrong’s “giant leap for mankind” two months later—a historic milestone and a colossal geopolitical win for the United States at the height of the Cold War. But Stafford, a US Air Force test pilot who was among the first astronauts recruited for the newly formed National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), almost wasn’t part of the mission, after a close call a few years earlier. Snoopy to the Moon Perhaps Stafford’s finest hour would be the Apollo 10 mission from May 1826, 1969. It became synonymous with Snoopy and Charlie Brown in the minds of the public, because the three-man crew named their lunar and command mod-

ules after the iconic cartoon characters. “NASA developed a relationship with Charles Schulz, who drew Peanuts,” he explained. The names were said to have caused some consternation among NASA management, which felt they lacked sufficient gravitas – accordingly, “Eagle” and “Columbia” were chosen for Apollo 11. The Apollo 10 crew could have been chosen to land on the Moon, but for the fact that NASA had not shaved enough weight off their lander at the time, added Stafford. Of course, they couldn’t actually see it until they were upon it, because it was eclipsed by the Earth on their trajectory. “Kind of a buggy feeling – you’re going somewhere you couldn’t see,” he said with a laugh. AFP



SUNDAY, MAY 26, 2019

RAISE A CUP. German Chancellor Angela Merkel drinks coffee as she attends a "coffee table" event hosted by the German President to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Constitution (Grundgesetz) in the garden of the presidential Bellevue Palace in Berlin on Thursday. AFP

BIG HAUL. Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director Gen. Aaron N. Aquino and NCRPO Chief Police Major Gen. Guillermo Eleazar joins Bureau of Customs officials in presenting the 146 kilos of shabu concealed in 114 bags inside aluminum pallets worth P1.9 billion during a press conference at the PDEA heaadquarters in Quezon City.. Manny Palmero


DOCTOR IS OUT. A patient sits on her bed protected by a net at a preoperative ward during a doctors' strike at a public hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Tuesday. Intern doctors in Haiti are on strike to protest several months of delays in the payment of their salaries. AFP

PRISTINE VIEW. Tall coconut trees blend with the cleaner waters of Boracay Island under the clear, blue sky, which tourists and residents alike enjoy during the summer vacation. Angelica Villanueva

BUSKER'S LIFE. A Filipina with a passion for music clips a note to her guitar case to collect donations from passersby pleased with her performances. The woman, after being fed up with her job, is now busking — and earning more than her old job per day — along the bridge of the LRT Carriedo station in Manila. Sonny Espiritu

QUIET AT DUSK. A couple unwinds on the white sand beach while gazing at the sunset on Boracay Island. Angelica Villanueva


SUNDAY, MAY 26, 2019

Riera U. Mallari, Editor


WHAT FEMALE ATHLETES NEED FOR TOP SPORTS PERFORMANCE By Dr. Dana Ryan, Director Sport Performance and Education, Herbalife Nutrition


VERY single body is created unique and I am happy to see that society is beginning to embrace that fact and is moving towards a more bodypositive culture. This shift is also impacting the sports realm. All athletes—including women—have different body types that require unique nutritional needs. Overcoming the cultural stereotype that women in sports should be skinny is important, not only from an ethical point of view but also from a nutritional one. Female athletes have particular nutrition needs, and it’s important to address them properly. 3 Essential Tips for Female Athletes 1. Avoid caloric restriction Athletes spend great amounts of energy training and they need proper nutrition to fuel their workout and to recover after it. If athletes consume fewer calories than the ones they burn through exercise, it will affect their performance and overall health. This is especially important for female athletes: if they restrict their caloric intake too much, it might lead to what is known as the Female Athlete Triad. In the Female Athlete Triad, we see low energy availability that can lead to other health issues, such as low bone mineral density and menstrual function disorders. 2. Taking adequate protein Sometimes, female athletes skimp on protein intake for fear of getting big, bulky muscles. However, just consuming enough protein won’t lead to that. Unless women specifically train to bulk up, they will develop lean, strong muscles, but that still requires adequate protein. For maximum benefit, female athletes should consume between 20 to 40 grams of high-quality protein within 30 to 45 minutes after a workout. A post-workout shake is a convenient way to get that protein in. It can be made from dairy (whey or casein) protein or from plant- based sources like soy. 3. Staying Properly Hydrated During a vigorous workout, female athletes should drink lots of fluids with  added electrolytes and carbohydrates. Electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, are lost through sweat and carbohydrates supply muscles with the glucose required to maintain peak performance. Women in Sports: Inspiration and Strength At Herbalife Nutrition I support both male and female sponsored athletes around the world by creating personalized nutrition and sports performance programs based on their goals and unique needs. The female athletes I work with are strong, empowered women who thrive by supporting each other.

Nick Baldwin


Overcoming the cultural stereotype that women in sports should be skinny is important, not only from an ethical point of view but also from a nutritional one.

Take Heather Jackson, who just made the top five on Ironman  70.3 Oceanside and is such an inspiration: she really embodies what it means to be an athlete, a female, and a leader. It’s inspiring to see how these female athletes interact with each other: they challenge and treat each other with a mix of respect and kindness, which I think is an example of the strength of women, especially females in sport. Beyond Pink Bottles: Sports Nutrition for Women Both consumers and the industry are starting to realize that you can’t just make a container pink or a smaller size and then brand it a female product. While the majority of sports nutrition is the same for men and women, we lack adequate research on female sports nutrition. When I was doing my dissertation, I was advised not to use young women as subjects because of menstrual cycles, hormone fluc-

tuations, and the variations these may represent in long-term research. Since this is a common approach, most sports nutrition studies end up focusing on male subjects and male athletes. However, the industry is finding ways to work around it. Yes, it’s more challenging, but it is necessary if we aim to really understand the particular needs of female athletes. There are important questions that are finally being addressed. Finding Your Inner Athlete What I love is that sports nutrition is not limited to the elite or professional athletes. The work our independent distributors do with their customers mirrors what I do with professional athletes. We work on the same principles: a personalized approach to success. We help people to figure out what their goal is, determining the right path to achieve it, and then support them throughout the process.

SAN LAZARO LEISURE PARK HOSTS TRIPLE CROWN 1ST LEG MANILA Jockey Club, the premier horse racing club in the Philippines, will host the 1st leg of the Philippine Racing Commission’s Triple Crown today (Sunday) at San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite. The Triple Crown is the ultimate test for 3-year old island born thoroughbred horses in a race distance of 1,600 meters. Unbeaten horse Obra Maestra of Leonardo “Sandy” Javier Jr. is the early favorite to win the race, but will face its toughest competition to date as the 3 year old filly will be challenged by other champion horses led by C and H Enterprises’Real Gold, who masterfully bested 11 other contenders in the recently concluded 2019 PHILTOBO Gintong Lahi Graduate Stakes Race last May 5, 2019.

Stakes race winners My Shelltex (Antonio Tan Jr.), Westeros (Juan Miguel D. Yulo) and My Jopay (Moises B. Villaseñor) all have their eyes on the crown and tested campaigners Boss Emong (Edward Vincent Diokno), JAYZ (SC Stockfarm, Inc.) and Toyforthebigboy (Alfredo Santos) are out to prove their supremacy in this blue ribbon event. “We are very excited with the upcoming 1st leg of the Triple Crown because of the caliber of the local horses participating in this year’s event with the eventual winner setting the pace for 2019. The horse that wins will not only earn its place in history, but will set the bar for the succeeding legs in the following months. We wish all the runners the best of luck!” said Andrew Sanchez, Philracom chairman.

A total of P3,000,000 will be given to the winners of the race plus trophies to the winning owner, trainer, jockey and breeder. As a runner-up to the Triple Crown, the 1st leg of the Philracom’s Hopeful Stakes Race highlights 12 outstanding local horses in Best Regards, Dugong Bughaw, Gepnits, Gil’s Magic, Harapin ang Bukas, Kentucky Rain, Mood Swing, Phenomenal, Shanghai Noon, The Accountant, Two Timer and Turns Gold. Winner takes home his share of P1 million. Race distance is 1,600 meters. Rounding up the Philacom races is the 1st leg of the Locally Bred Stakes Race featuring a full gate of fourteen runners namely coupled runners Always Ready and Sure Win, Caludia’s

Pride, Coup d’ Etat, Electrify, Iikot Lang, Mona’s Mark, Oktubre Katorse, Ready Set Go, Serafina, Silab, Sultanov, Trust Worthy and Weather Lang. Total prize of P500,000 will be given to the winners of this 1,600 meter distance race. Manila Jockey Club will also feature additional trophy races for the event. Added prizes will be given plus trophies to the winning owners. “It’s definitely going to be a blockbuster weekend for the entire fandom of horse racing in the Philippines! This weekend’s races will be the proving ground for some of today’s up-andcoming stars. We are going to witness Philippine horse racing at its finest,” said Atty. Alfonso G. Reyno III, president and CEO of Manila Jockey Club.

SUNG PULLS AWAY, BAYRON SIZZLES BUT WAVERS TAIWANESE Sung Mao-Chang outduelled Thai Tawit Polthai and young compatriot Tseng Tzu Hao in the early going then fended off Hung Chien Yao’s hot charge to shoot a second straight 66 and pull away by five after three rounds of the TPGA Open at the Ching Chuan Kang Golf Club in Taichung, Taiwan yesterday. Sung, who surged ahead by two over Polthai and Tseng after completion of 36-hole play marred by weather delay in the first round, threatened to pull away from the pack with a 33 start then kept his assault of the flat, tricky layout with superb shotmaking, iron play and putting to close out with another 33 and stay comfortably ahead at 201. “I played very well, long game and irons were okay,” said Sung, who buried birdies from an average of five feet and buried his rivals deep with his 15-under aggregate. “I’ll just play relaxed and in tempo tomorrow (today). Won’t think too much,” added the current No. 4 in the PGA of Taiwan (TPGA) Order of Merit rankings. With a huge lead and good form, Sung won’t have to worry much about everything as Hung stumbled at the finish and settled for a 67 and a 206 after pulling within two with a birdie-eagle feat from No. 12. Thai veteran WIsut Artjanawat also shot a 67 to

Sung Mao-Chang moves 18 holes away from becoming the first Taiwanese winner of the PGT Asia.

move to solo third at 207 while Polthai failed to match Sung’s fiery start and settled for a 35 en route to a 71 and a 208 with compatriot Donlapatchai Niyomchon grabbing some of the spotlight as he aced the 229-yard No. 3 on his way to a 68 and a 209 for fifth.

It was Niyomchon’s fifth hole-in-one feat in a nineyear pro career and his latest ace netted him $1,000. Tseng, impressive with an opening 66 who stayed within striking distance of Sung with a 71 Friday, cracked when the going got tough, groping for a 38 and limping with a 74 to tumble to joint 11th at 211, now 10 shots behind in the event where 24 of those who made the top 60 were from the PGT Asia, underscoring the level of play on the region’s emerging circuit put up by ICTSI and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. Jay Bayron, who barely made it to the weekend play with a 72-73, battled from way down at joint 48th to as high as 22nd with three birdies in pin-length distance at the back. But the lone Filipino entry failed to sustain his charge, overshooting No. 1 for his first bogey then dropping two shots on the short 335-yard par-4 No. 6 on a wayward drive and a poor chip shot. He birdied the seventh from five feet to salvage a 72 and a 216 for joint 35th in the event serving as the third leg of TPGA and second stop of the third second of PGT Asia. “I was doing very well at the back but made some mistakes on my approach shots at the front,” rued Bayron, who also flubbed makeable birdies chances in the last two holes.

SEYCHELLES’ Nick Baldwin, who ruled the first-ever full IRONMAN last year, returns to Subic this week, aiming for another endurance feat in the Century Tuna IRONMAN 70.3 Subic Bay presented by Big Boss Cement firing off Sunday (June 2). But though the upcoming 1.9km swim-90km bike-21km run event will be just half of the punishing 3.8km180km-42km race the last time out, Baldwin still expects a tougher outing given the depth of the competiing field in the centerpiece pro division. It includes former 70.3 world champion Tim Reed and multi-titled Sam Betten along with fellow Australians Tim Van Berkel and Conor McKay with Colombia’s Rodrigo Acevedo and Oli Stenning of Great Britain boosting the cast in the men’s division of the event organized by Sunrise Events, Inc. Meanwhile, the Big Boss Cement beach clean up today (Sunday) at Boardwalk kicks off a series of activities culminating in the CT IRONMAN 70.3 on Sunday. The two-hour public service will also be held on June 3. Also on tap at 8:30 a.m. today is the Sun Life Bike Out for cycling and fitness enthusiasts with a series of activities also lined up for the week leading to Saturday’s Alaska Fortified IronKids swim-run at the WOW Recreation and Activity Center. For details, visit or the Facebook page Century Tuna IRONMAN 70.3 Subic Bay and @im703subicbay on Instagram and Twitter. Official event hashtags are #CenturyTunaIM703 #im703subicbay.

ZOLETA CHASES 2 PPS CROWNS AT SOUTHWOODS GABY Zoleta resumes her campaign in the national junior circuit, bannering the girls’ 16-and-under cast in the PPSPEPP Manila Southwoods age-group tennis tournament which gets going today (Sunday) at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club courts in Carmona, Cavite. The rising star from Lucena City is also vying in the tougher 18-U play, gaining the No. 2 seeding next to Francesca Cruz with Julia Ignacio and Margaud Rosales, Kaye Emana, Carol Galvez and Carylle Alonte also tipped to crowd the favorites in the Group I tournament presented by Dunlop. Close to 200 entries are clashing for top honors in nine categories in singles play with five titles up for grabs in the doubles of the five-day tournament serving as part of the country’s biggest and long-running talent search put up by Palawan Pawnshop headed by president/ CEO Bobby Castro. Red Ante, Miguel Castillo, Santino Dee and Ryan Velandres headline the boys’ 18-U roster with JT Bernardo, John Prince Lim, Andrei Alvarez and Castillo expected to dispute the 16-U diadem in the tournament sanctioned by Unified Tennis Philippines made up of PPS-PEPP, Cebuana Lhuillier, Wilson, Toby’s, Dunlop, Slazenger and B-Meg. Bernardo also looms as the player to beat in 14-U side which drew the likes of Andre Coladilla and youngsters John Prince Lim and France Dilao while Melody Dizon, Mika Emana, Carrilyn Pesengco and Sandra Apostol leading the title chase in the girls’ section.


SUNDAY, MAY 26, 2019


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

Philippine Life Insurance Association president Hans Loozekoot


THE NEXT BIG STARTUP T HE future of Philippine startups looks bright with the Philippines national ranking up by 16 positions, according to the recently released StartupBlink Ecosystem Ranking Report.

To continue this momentum, QBO Innovation Hub, the Philippines’ first public-private sector initiative which aims to connect, transform and empower Filipino startups, holds the Startup Roadshow starting this May. The roadshow aims to inspire innovators and enable communities throughout the country through sessions on startup business concepts and tools, ideation, design thinking, business model canvas and local ecosystem mapping. Facilitated by highly experienced QBO members and startup founders, the workshops are designed to be fun and engaging to spark the participants’ creativity as they kickoff their star tup journey. The event a l s o fe at u re s p a n e l d i s c u s s i o n s and networking opportunities for those wanting to connect with fellow tech leaders. “ The local startup ecosystem continues to grow due to sustained confidence in the country’s economy, technological advancements, and newlyintroduced regulations such as the ‘Innovative Startup Act’ which seeks to promote ease of doing business in the Philippines,” says Katrina Chan, director of QBO Innovation Hub. “While it’s all helpful in creating a healthy business environment for Filipino entrepreneurs, there are more opportunities to bring cutting-edge ideas to life,” she says. This is the second time that QBO Innovation Hub is holding the roadshow across major cities

in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. In 2018, 13 cities and over 1,300 participants joined the first run of the roadshow. Government organizations signed partnerships with QBO to contribute to countr yside development efforts. The Department of Information and Communications Technology was among the first to get on board, sponsoring programs in seven cities last year. QBO hopes to make this year’s roadshow bigger through the support of more partners, communities and business owners. Interested partners who want to bring the workshop to their respective communities, schools or cities can host an introductory workshop using QBO’s set module. Partners wanting to learn specific skills or learn more about certain topics can have custom-made workshops as well. “We saw the impact of last year’s roadshow in answering what most aspiring startup founders want to know: ‘Where do we start?’ We want to help them figure out the answer,” says Chan. “We’d also like for more partners to come on board with us to help discover the next wave of homegrown startups that will put our country on the global innovation map. Who knows? The next big thing may be in your school, your community, or your city,” she says. QBO (‘ku-bo’) is an innovation hub or a platform for the startup community to collaborate, develop talent, and grow. It provides star tups with suppor t and resources through events and capacity building programs as well as focused interventions designed to improve access to markets, knowledge, capital and talent. QBO is the country’s first public-private initiative for startups, created through a partnership between IdeaSpace, J.P. Morgan, Department of Science and Technology and Department of Trade and Industry. Spurred on by the vision of Filipinos startups changing the world, QBO’s mission is to create a globally competitive startup ecosystem in the Philippines.

THE Philippine Life Insurance Association named Hans Loozekoot as the new president of the association. Loozekoot is currently the president and chief executive of Troo, the life insurance joint venture of Ageas and EastWest Bank. He succeeds Dr. Olaf Kliesow, who will be moving to Munich, Germany for his new Allianz posting. Almost 25 years ago, Loozekoot joined Ageas, a listed international insurance group with headquarters in Belgium. For the last 12 years, Hans Loozekoot has worked in Asia. “Hans will bring his international experience to the PLIA,” said PLIA general manager George Mina. Over the years, Loozekoot has held various senior management positions in the domains of sales, finance and strategy across different businesses of Ageas. In 2007, he moved to Hong Kong as director of finance and reporting of Ageas in Asia. Two years later, he was assigned to India as chief financial officer of IDBI Federal Life Insurance. After three years, he returned to Hong Kong to take up the posting as managing director for strategy and M&A and as a member of the management committee of Ageas Asia before coming to the Philippines in 2015. “It’s an honor to be elected as president of PLIA,” Loozekoot said. “I’m excited to work with other PLIA member companies, the Insurance Commissioner and other stakeholders to further strengthen the life insurance industry,” he said. Loozekoot is a Dutch national and holds a degree in Economics. He is also a fellow of the Institute of Corporate Directors in the Philippines.

PALAWAN EXPRESS SUPPORTS UP FIGHTING MAROONS PALAWAN Express Pera Padala, the leading domestic money remittance company, has signed an agreement with UP Fighting Maroons providing support to the official men’s basketball team of the University of the Philippines, the lone public school in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines. This will boost UP Fighting Maroons’ campaign in the UAAP Season 82. Palawan Express Pera Padala owners, Bobby and Angelita Castro and their five children are all UP alumni and working for the company. They signed a memorandum of agreement on May 14 with Nowhere To Go But UP Foundation, a volunteer group supporting UP’s varsity programs. Attending the MOA signing ceremony at UP’s Quezon Hall are (first row, from left) Lilian Castro-Selda,

Palawan vice president for finance and control; Bobby Castro, Palawan president and chief executive; Agaton Teodoro Uvero, UP Fighting Maroons team manager; and Dolriech Perasol, lead team coach. With them are (second row, from left) Miej De Dios, UPMBT marketing head; Karlo Castro, Palawan executive vice president and chief operating officer; Lisalou Castro-Sabado, vice president for new products and services; Angelita Castro, executive vice president and vice chairman; Korina Castro-Fernando, vice president for human resources; Roberto Ben Castro, vice president for marketing and corporate facilities; Prof. Francis Carlos Diaz, dean of UP’s College of Human Kinetics; and Cocoy Mercado, representative of Nowhere To Go But UP Foundation.



SUNDAY, MAY 26, 2019



THE Bistro Group, a leader in the casual dining industry for over two decades, announces new restaurant openings to tap a wider market. Recently launched was TGIFridays 26th branch at the Island Central Mall, the newest lifestyle hub in Mactan, Cebu. Also opening this year at the Evia Lifestyle Center in Las Piñas are Italianni’s (May 23); Red Lobster (May 23); Modern Shanghai (first week of June) and Texas Roadhouse (third quarter of 2019). Texas Roadhouse will open at Robinsons Midtown on May 23. The newly-developed Ayala North Exchange at the heart of Makati’s commercial business district will seeWatami Japanese Casual Restaurant (May 24) and Italianni’s (first week of June) opening its doors to discerning food lovers. “We believe that there is strength in numbers, along with brand equity that’s attached to these brands. There is a huge market waiting to be tapped in many places in the country that inspires us to embark on an aggressive expansion to bring our concepts closer to more and more Filipinos who love good food and Bistro’s quality service,” says Lisa Ronquillo, vice president for marketing of The Bistro Group. O ver the years, the company has successfully managed a diverse portfolio of 13 local and international restaurant concepts including Italiannis, Village Tavern, Denny’s, Texas Roadhouse, Buffalo Wild Wings, Red Lobster, and recently, Hard Rock Café Manila. Also under its portfolio are Asian concepts are Fish & Co., Watami, Baker & Cook, Modern Shanghai and Bulgogi Brothers. The Bistro Group will have a total of 90 stores nationwide by the end of the year.


FILIPINOS can now pay over 1,000 types of bills and perform other financial transactions practically anywhere using the new version of the Bayad Center App. Bayad Center, in partnership with leading software solutions firm, MultiSys, has recently launched the payment app in a bid to make digital financial services even more accessible and promote cashless payments for consumers to make payments easily and securely via their mobile phones. CIS Bayad Center Inc. president and chief executive Manny Tuason said the new version of the app offers a more convenient way of settling one’s obligations. “Together with MultiSys, we are able to transform our bills payment app into a nextgeneration payment app where anyone can pay not only their bills but even their government contributions, loan payments, professional license fees, even traffic violation tickets, in the comfort of their homes,” Tuason said. The new version of the Bayad Center App introduces additional features such as sending and receiving of mobile load and fund, payments via QR code, plus additional security features like fingerprint scanning, 4-digit MPIN, and one-time PIN (OTP) verification. Tuason said the collaboration with MultiSys would continue as the app would add new services combining the different ride-hailing, food and parcel delivery, lodging and vehicle rental and even travel booking apps, into one lifestyle super app. The Bayad Center App is now available both on the App Store for iOS users and Google Play Store for Android users.


BAYER said 2018 was another year of robust growth for its pharmaceuticals division in the Asia-Pacific region. The company said the region’s sales grew 7.3 percent in 2017 to over 5.2 billion euros, with many of the region’s markets delivering strong growth rates in 2018 including Australia (7 percent), South Korea (7 percent), Taiwan (9 percent), China (16 percent), the Philippines (20 percent) and Indonesia (22 percent). This marked the eighth consecutive year of growth for Bayer Pharmaceuticals’ sales in the Asia/Pacific since 2011. The region contributed more than 30 percent to the division’s global sales and continued to be the fastest growing reporting region for Bayer’s Pharmaceutical business. “Our strong performance year after year speaks to the strong demand for our innovative medicines as they deliver significant benefits to patients battling serious diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and eye diseases related to aging and diabetes. We will continue to bring new and better treatments to patients in the region and build more collaboration with external partners here,” said Bayer Pharmaceuticals Division Asia/Pacific senior vice president and head of commercial operations Claus Zieler. In 2018, Bayer’s key products such as oral anticoagulant medicine, eye medicine and oral cancer treatment continued to be well received by doctors and patients in Asia/Pacific. By the end of 2018, nearly 48 million packs of oral anticoagulant medicine have been delivered to patients in Asia/Pacific for blood clot prevention and treatment in several indications across the venous and arterial thromboembolic space and about 3.5 million doses of eye medicine have been administered to patients in Asia/Pacific for treatment of several retinal disorders including wet age-related macular degeneration and diabetic macular edema since launch.

A GREEK cardiologist and top harm reduction expert asked the Philippine government to regulate, and not ban, the use of electronic cigarettes to help smokers quit the habit and save them from premature death. Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos, a researcher at Onassis Cardiac Surgery Centre in Athens, says other countries are in fact lifting the ban on vaping—the act of inhaling and exhaling the vapor produced by an electronic cigarette which is a battery-operated device that vaporizes a flavored liquid made of nicotine, propylene glycol, glycerine and flavorings. “The trend today is to lift the ban, not to implement the ban,” says Farsalinos who managed to quit a 36-year habit of smoking by switching to e-cigarettes seven years ago. “Switzerland and Belgium used to ban nicotine-containing products but now they have lifted the ban. New Zealand is now actively encouraging the use of e-cigarettes and they are changing the legislation. The same is happening in Canada, which is the only country in the world where the e-cigarette packaging is going to have an encouragement label that this product is less harmful than


LDT Enterprise, the B2B arm of the country’s leading ICT and digital services provider, powers Delex Pharma International Inc. to serve clients better and help grow their businesses.

Through its partnership with PLDT, DPI hopes to improve the access to healthcare of critically-ill patients by enabling hospital sales representatives with the capacity to tap medical providers and the pharmaceutical group’s network of health professionals and practitioners—even when working remotely. “Since the start, we’ve always advocated for excellence in customer ser vice and I personally want to thank PLDT for catering to our requirements. This strengthened partnership is a reflection of our faith in PLDT being able to continue their provision of such excellent service,” said J de Ruyter Oroceo, chief executive and chairman of the board of Delex Pharma

International Inc. of the collaboration with PLDT. With their hospital sales representatives empowered by PLDT Enterprise’s communication solutions, the pharmaceutical company will be able to improve their reach and inch closer to their target of a billion peso revenue in the next five years. PLDT Alpha assistant vice president and head of corporate relationship management Luigi Casas said” “As we continue our partnership, we at PLDT Enterprise thank you for the trust in being able to grow together through your technological advancement. For us, it’s really about adding value to your business and enabling you to reach your goals, objectives and mission,” “We hope that these solutions allow you to not only improve your communication abilities, but every aspect of your everyday business as well,” Casas said. PLDT Alpha head and first vice president Vic Tria also shared his sentiments on the partnership, saying, “We share in Delex’ mission of building the nation through an improved healthcare sector. Our chairman and CEO Manuel Pangilinan likes to say

that we are in the business of nation-building and we see no better way of serving our people than by elevating one of the most crucial sectors of our nation—the healthcare sector.” Delex is a Filipino-owned and managed pharmaceutical and medical device company— with enhanced communication capabilities through connectivity and device plans powered by Smart Bro. Established in August 2009, the medical device company is focused on the marketing of hospital and critical care products—specializing in the intensive care setting of hospitals such as ICUs, emergency rooms and operating theaters. Most recently, the IQVIA December 2018 Report ranked DPI as among the top five national companies in the healthcare sector. Having forged an extensive network of medical specialists composed of doctors, hospital administrators, pharmacists and a roster of global partners, DPI remains steadfast in its commitment to provide greater access to high-quality yet costeffective medicines to Filipino patients across healthcare institutions nationwide.

TELEPERFORMANCE, PUP ASSESS STUDENTS’ READINESS FOR BPO CAREER TELEPERFORMANCE, the global leader in outsourced omnichannel customer experience management, bolstered its support for the Philippine outsourcing industry and academe linkages as it sponsored a study on senior high school students’ readiness for business process outsourcing careers. The research initiative was conducted by the Polytechnic University of the Philippines College of Business Administration, in partnership with the IT & Business Process Association of the Philippines. It looked into the factors that influence graduating students’ desire to enter the information technology and business process management workforce. The study was conducted in the private and public senior high schools and state universities and colleges in the National Capital Region, with systematically selected respondents composed of 1,200 Grade 12 senior high school students. Around 60 percent of the respondents were female, 40 percent male between 16 and 21 years old. The study was conducted under the supervision of PUP academic leaders Raquel Ramos, Marcial Mojica, Cindy Fetalvero-Soliman, Mecmack Nartea and Roy Angelo Pobre, together with IBPAP industry-academe linkages lead Zoe Diaz De Rivera. With the full implementation of the K-12 educational system in the Philippines, industries are looking to create opportunities and enable the SHS graduates to enter the workforce. The study provides insights on what can be done to positively influence the SHS graduating students to consider starting their careers in the IT-BPM industry. In support of the government’s drive to provide quality employment to Filipinos, Teleperformance works with IBPAP and other industry associations to determine potential sources of human capital for available jobs and ascertain training needs and engagement platforms to sustain the growth momentum of one of the Philippine economy’s largest contributors.

Teleperformance Philippines communications and marketing team with partners from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines and IT-Business Process Association of the Philippines.

“As an industry leader, we believe it is important for us to support academic research because this gives us robust data from where we can base our strategies to continue enabling the workforce of the future,” said Teleperformance Philippines senior vice president for human capital resource management Jeffrey Johnson. “We are honored to have partnered with PUP and IBPAP in this initiative, which provides valuable insights on student talent capability. The needs of the IT-BPM industry are changing and understanding the behaviors and choices of our senior high school students through this study will help organizations support their learning and development journey,” said Teleperformance Philippines senior director for communications and

marketing Marilyn Ventenilla. “Teleperformance is one of the biggest industry players in the country, and we value their strong support in identifying career prospects and talent development opportunities for the youth,” Zoe Diaz De Rivera of IBPAP said. Teleperformance has 300,000 employees across nearly 80 countries who support billions of connections annually in 265 languages and enhance the customer experience with every interaction. In the Philippines, Teleperformance employs around 44,000 people and operates over 30,000 workstations in 21 business sites located across Metro Manila, Antipolo, Baguio, Bacolod, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro and Davao.

GREEK EXPERT ASKS PH TO REGULATE, NOT BAN, E-CIGARETTES smoking,” he says in an interview in Makati City where he spoke during the 50th Annual Convention and Scientific Meeting of Asia Pacific Society of Cardiology 2019 Congress. Farsalinos advised countries to look at the European example. “Europe is the only region in the world with a comprehensive and fully implemented regulation on e-cigarettes for the past three years since 2016. This could be a good starting point for every country in the world to use this as a basis and adjust the regulation based on their local, unique characteristics,” he says. He says among countries, the UK has the strongest support for electronic cigarettes. “The problem comes from the lack of regulation. In countries where you don’t have any regulation, you don’t have any control. We fully support the need for regulation because all consumer products are regulated. We want smokers to use them [e-cigarettes] in an effort to quit smoking,” he says. The Philippine government reportedly considers imposing a ban on e-cigarettes.

“It does not make sense at all. It communicates a very misleading message to the population. Basically, they are actively discouraging smokers from trying this alternative effort to quit. They create a mistrust on the product,” says Farsalinos. “It is a decision out of fear for the unknown,” says Farsalinos. Fortunately, he says the scientific community has already gained a large body of evidence on e-cigarettes over the years. “The duty of the politician is to ask for advice from people who have been involved over the years in this field of research,” he says. Farsalinos says that based on voluminous studies, the use of e-cigarettes is substantially less harmful than burning tobacco which releases carcinogens like formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and acrolein. Public Health England reported in 2015 that e-cigarettes are 95-percent less harmful than smoking, as the harmful chemicals present in cigarette smoke are either not in EC vapor or only found at much lower levels. Farsalinos warns that a ban on e-cigarettes

will only create an underground industry that is not regulated and without quality standards. It will also exacerbate the problem of smoking which is ironically allowed, he says. Heneage Mitchell of consumer advocacy group Fact Asia Consultants Ltd. says regulation is also needed “to restrict the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, so they cannot buy it.” Farsalinos agrees, saying e-cigarettes should be promoted only to existing smokers to help them quit the harmful habit. Harm reduction advocates explain that people die from tar, or the byproduct of burning cigarettes, and not from nicotine. The World Health Organization says smoking kills more than 7 million people each year, making the tobacco epidemic one of the biggest public health threats. WHO, however, does not endorse vaping. “WHO itself predicted that premature deaths from smoking would increase to 8 million annually and in the whole 21st Century we are going to have 1 billion premature deaths because

of smoking,” says Farsalinos. Farsalinos says with proper regulation and quality standards, e-cigarettes are much less risky to humans because they contain food-grade and pharmaceutical-grade products. He says nicotine is not the culprit, because even WHO allows the use of nicotine gums and nicotine patches as a tool to quit smoking. He describes e-cigarettes and heat-not-burn tobacco as a group of harm reduction products that will improve and reduce the risks of diseases among smokers. “It is a choice that has a direct effect on their health,” he says. “In 1986, WHO made a declaration that clearly mentioned that people all over the world should have proper and balanced information and should be provided all the tools available to improve their health,”says Farsalinos, adding that e-cigarettes proved effective in making smokers quit the vice. “In my opinion, by depriving the smokers of the choice of less harmful alternative while the governments all over the world allow the sale of cigarettes which is the most lethal product, I think we have a problem there,” he says. Roderick T. dela Cruz

Tech & Gadgets


portunities to allow people to give and give back to the communities,” Thomas said.

Platform for green agenda

Proponents of GCash and its partners are shown during the launching of GCash for Good.


CASH, operated by Globe Fintech Innovations Inc. (Mynt), introduces today the GCash for Good, its corporate social responsibility arm, to further develop the GCash app into a more socially relevant and sustainable platform that will help address issues across different levels of society. GCash is well-equipped to become a springboard for donations to non-government organizations that champion various advocacies, thanks to its scale and innovative digital platform. With GCash for Good, GCash users can use the GCash app to donate to various groups to create an impact on society. This allows GCash to be a more inclusive and open platform

that will help create better opportunities for millions of Filipinos. “We have always strived to build a better financial ecosystem in the Philippines and as a socially responsible corporate citizen, we want to leverage on our strength as a digital platform to help others create a better country moving forward,” Mynt President Anthony Thomas said.

Platform for generosity

GCash is mindful that people now prefer to donate online, as this removes the hassle of having to go through long queues and processes, giving them more time to focus on their daily lives. According to a study by Global Trends in Giving, 54 percent of individuals prefer to donate online, while the total volume of donations made online grew by a strong 12.1 percent in 2017. Along with this, various researches show a growing trend in micro-dona-

tions and crowdfunding, with sited like Patreon and Kofi gaining massive support. According to Tech’s Good, microdonations range between $0.25 and $10. This kind of donations, albeit small at a time, can make a huge difference once added up. With innovative mobile money technology like GCash, people who want to do good are now empowered with a more efficient experience. GCash for Good aims to create a community where doing good and giving back is open to all. Any amount will create huge opportunities for organizations that forward different issues. With GCash for Good, users will also have direct access to where their donations go. It showcases a more transparent ad user-friendly interface for anyone to access. “Our purpose for creating GCash for Good lies in our ardent desire to encourage generosity among Filipinos. We want to create more op-

For its initial launch, GCash for Good has partnered with Bantay Kalikasan, Haribon Foundation, World Wildlife Fund for Nature, and the Forest Foundation Philippines. Through its e-money platform GCash, Mynt aims to develop financial sustainability mechanisms that would strengthen biodiversity conservation efforts for these partner organizations. It also plans to proactively join campaign that call for a ban on waste imports, deforestation and waste incineration. Together with these organizations, GCash is pushing for a greener Philippines, recognizing the huge impact that the environment has in the daily lives of Filipinos. “We have a shared vision of creating a lasting, long-term positive impact on the environment. With joined hands, we promise to be strong government partners in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations,’ Thomas said. GCash for Good is talking to other NGOs to push other pressing issues into the limelight with the hopes of generating more support for the fight for a better Philippines.

Platform for Volunteerism

Aside from this, GCash for Good aims to create a space for Mynt employees to practice their advocacies and become partners for the change that it envisions. “We want to be able to make a difference, and we recognize that doing good is not a one-man job. We believe that we should be working together for the better. With GCash for Good, we’re making change accessible and easier for everyone,” Thomas said.

LATEST NOKIA SMARTPHONES NOW IN ANDROID RECOMMENDED PROGRAMME HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, recently announced that it now offers the largest and mostdiverse range of “best-in-business” smartphones on Android™ with the addition of three new devices. The Nokia 9 PureView, Nokia 4.2 and Nokia 3.2 (3/32GB) join 11 other Nokia smartphones that have been validated as part of the Android Enterprise Recommended programme, which offers great enterprise user experience in devices that have evolved for diverse business needs. The Android Enterprise Recommended programme gives business customers confidence that smartphones validated by the programme have been approved by Google to meet objective business standards. These standards include an elevated set of specifications for hardware, software, deployment into company IT systems, security updates and user experience. The programme sets a benchmark for strong user experience in a variety of enterprise use cases, enabling businesses to make easier and smarter choices for their smartphone selections. According to a recent market research by HMD Global, 98 percent of interviewed enterprises in EU5 (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom) say the Android Enterprise Recommended

There are now 14 Nokia smartphones in the Android Enterprise Recommended programme—more than any other brand

programme impacts their choice of devices, with more than 50 percent saying that they choose only Android Enterprise Recommended smartphones. Following the announcement of the three new Nokia smartphones at the Mobile World Congress 2019, HMD Global is pleased to announce that all three are now Android Enterprise Recommended. These include: • Nokia 9 PureView—the world’s first smartphone with a unique five-camera array • Nokia 4.2—brings cutting-edge design, a dedicated Google Assistant button1 and AI experiences in imaging to a more accessible tier • Nokia 3.2—offers an industry-leading dis-

play with two-day battery life2 and allows users to explore the power of voice with the dedicated Google Assistant button1 “The development of our Android Enterprise Recommended smartphone offering has followed a path defined by the needs of businesses for secure, long-lasting devices that engage and excite a diverse range of users. Our enterprise-grade smartphones now power secure smartphone mobility for more than 50 organisations around the world. We’ve earned our pedigree supplying smartphones for leading European enterprises that are seeking devices that evolve with their needs and get better with time,” said Andrej Sonkin, GM Enterprise Business, HMD Global. Security, experience and evolution designed for the enterprise Harnessing the power of Android One, Nokia smartphones deliver a seamless experience, free from bloatware and with only a small curated set of pre-installed apps. Paired with the premium design and trusted build quality that can be expected of a Nokia phone, the portfolio also delivers superior engineering for every business budget.


SUNDAY, MAY 26, 2019

GAME OF THRONES: EPISODE 3 TOP TARGET FOR CYBER THREATS THE eighth and final season of Game of Thrones saw a spike in related cybercriminal activity, according to Kaspersky Lab researchers. The premiere of each episode was accompanied by a long tail of attacks targeting users who were trying to download the newly released episode. Instead of getting the latest episode, fans received malware disguised behind the name of the show. Some episodes proved significantly more toxic than others, with the third episode triggering the highest number of detected attempts to attack users, reaching 3,000 attacks a day at its peak. Experts expect the release of the concluding episode to attract further attacks from scammers as malware distributors start offering potential viewers access to the complete season. Overall, after tracking associated malicious activity through the entire eighth season, Kaspersky lab researchers have found that the average daily number of attacks on users that involved malware disguised as an episode of Game of Thrones, was around 300-400. This number jumped to around 1,200 for the three to four days following the release of each new episode: a three to four-fold increase in malicious activity. Another attack vector associated with Game of Thrones is streaming-websites that invite users to watch newly released Game of Thrones episodes for free, but which are actually designed to extract sensitive data from users. Typically, the online-player icon shows a scene from the TV show and redirects the victim to a registration page, later asking for bank card details with the CVC/CVV-code, claiming it is only for validation purposes. Researchers have pointed out the similarities between this scheme and recent scams surrounding the latest Avengers movie. “We see shared TTPs (tactics, techniques and procedures) across the phishing websites where scammers try to steal users’ details by promising a pirated movie before its official premiere. We believe there is a certain group of threat actors that methodically hunts fans of popular movies and TV productions, adjusting schemes dynamically according to pop-cultural happenings,” said Tatyana Sidorina, security researcher at Kaspersky Lab. To avoid falling victim to scammers: Avoid questionable websites, especially the ones that distribute pirated content. Don’t enter any information—especially credit card details—on a website you have no reason to trust. Do not use the same password for different web pages. Use a password manager instead. Use reliable antivirus software with protection from online scams and phishing. Learn more about Game of Thrones scams on Kaspersky Daily

EASTERN COMMUNICATIONS PARTNERS WITH DOSarrest EASTERN Communications, one of the country’s premier telecommunications companies, has partnered with Canadabased cybersecurity solutions provider DOSarrest Internet Security to help Filipino businesses combat cyberattacks for more efficient and secure operations. DOSarrest has been mitigating Distributed Denial of Service or DDoS attacks for a global customer base with its leading-edge cloud-based DDoS protection since 2007, protecting millions of websites for over 11 years and bringing home accolades like Security Product of the Year in the UK Cloud Awards 2014. “As part of our ‘High Tech’ promise to our customers, we’re expanding our product portfolio to meet their increasingly varied digital needs. Aside from our reliable data and voice services, we’re venturing into cyber security and cloud services provided by global innovation leaders,” shared Eastern Communications Co-Coordinator Atty. Aileen Regio. As it enters the Philippine market, DOSarrest partners with Eastern Communications to provide better cloud-based Internet security services in the country,

effectively equipping companies with cutting-edge cyber security technology. Enterprise level cyberattack solutions In today’s business environment, companies are at risk of cyberattacks from a variety of threat landscapes, with DDoS being one of the most popular. A DDoS attack is when illegitimate Internet traffic is sent to a network or website in an effort to flood a network’s infrastructure and/or exhaust a server’s resources. The result is that legitimate websites visitors’ requests cannot be fulfilled by the overwhelmed network or webserver. DOSarrest is widely known for their DDoS Protection product, which can prevent even the most sophisticated DDoS attacks. DOSarrest employs a three-layered approach which even includes a Web Application Firewall (WAF). With company websites being constantly updated and application add-ons are added and removed, this can inadvertently expose a website to cyber threats. DOSarrest’s WAF can prevent these risks, allowing clients to easily block any Layer 7 threat like cross-site forgery, cross-site scripting, among others. DOSarrest also offers a Data Center De-

Eastern Communications seals partnership with global cybersecurity firm DOSarrest (From left) Eastern Communications Sales Head Michael Castañeda, Product and Innovation Head Edsel Paglinawan, and Co-Coordinators Ramon Aesquivel and Atty. Aileen Regio as they seal their partnership with DOSarrest CEO Mark Teolis and Chief Technology Officer Jag Bains.

fender (DCD), developed specifically to protect network infrastructure and can continuously monitor volumetric traffic anomalies every few seconds. Along with these flagship products include Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP), Website Vulnerability Test Optimi-

zation (VTO) and Cyber Attack Preparation Platform (CAPP). Website Performance Optimization As more and more business is done online, companies need to enhance their website performance to meet the sophisticated demands of their visitors. Aside

from protecting a business’ assets from cyberthreats, DOSarrest is also here to help companies offer an improved digital experience for their website users. Their Content Delivery Network (CDN) creates a better user experience as it generates faster loading of a website, which saves companies money yet increases performance at the same time. Companies can also spread out website resource requirements across 2 or more servers through Geo Load Balancing Service. This helps hosts accommodate thousands of visitors per day and checks on client’s servers to maintain 100% uptime. For businesses that are geographically load balancing websites, it also pays to monitor the website activity. A company website may appear fine when viewing from a vantage point but it does not mean it’s also completely available in other parts of the world. DOSarrest’s External Monitoring Service has eight sensors globally distributed which can track multiple websites at glance, compare performance for all sensors real-time, set alerts and calculates uptime.


TECH & Gadgets SUNDAY, MAY 26, 2019 Riera U. Mallari, Editor



OR businesses, reliability is one of the most important things to consider. You need to have confidence that everything runs smoothly lest simple issues become bigger problems in the future. Especially for food and retail, you have to take the necessary steps and put processes in place that will ensure a smooth operation. When you cut corners, you lose money in the long run. What most budding entrepreneurs don’t realize is that the use of commercial refrigerators are one of the facets of business you have control over. No matter how big or small your operation, keeping your product at the appropriate temperature prevents waste, protects taste, and guarantees quality. LG’s new line of commercial refrigerators have the starting businessman in mind. The 8.0 cubic feet (cu.ft.). top freezer GR-N222SQCN and the 7.0 cu.ft. single door GR-C331SLZB are small commercial refrigerators that give you the best value for money. Its manageable size is perfect for karinderias, sari-sari stores, and other similar SMEs. It’s close to the same size of regular household refrigerators, but has the power needed for commercial use. It’s fitted-out with LG’s tried-andtested inverter compressor technology, reducing electricity consumption by a wide margin. Both models come with LG’s Negosyo Warranty, giving you peace of mind over your investment. What benefits does having a commercial refrigerator have over a Residential one? When you use a regular fridge for commercial purposes, it becomes inefficient. You lose money with energy consumption and chances of food spoilage gets higher. Residential refrigerators are designed specifically with the use and consumption of an average family in mind. Commercial ones, on the other hand, are built with a vastly bigger capacity, more shelves, and a constant temperature throughout. This means that even if you fill the refrigerator to capacity, it won’t have any problems keeping cool or drawing too much power. LG’s GR-N222SQCN 8CF Top Freezer is powered by the combination of two of LG’s innovations in

HP Odyssey Backpack

GET READY FOR SCHOOL WITH HP PRINTER, HP ODYSSEY BACKPACK refrigerator technology: Linear Cooling™ and Door Cooling+™. With Linear Cooling™, the temperature is always steady and even, guaranteeing food remains fresh. Door Cooling+™ on the other hand directs air in the door area to the front of the fridge and the door basket area with the use of air vents. This cools items stored in the door area 35% faster than other fridges without this technology. One of the biggest benefits of the GRN222SQCN is the absence of the need to manually defrost. Intensive circulation of cool air eliminates moisture from both the freezer and refrigerator compartment, preventing the accumulation of frost on the food and ice on interior walls while also keeping power consumption low. Another feature is the presence of the Moist Balancer Crisper, which has a lattice structure that retains evaporated moisture from vegetables, allowing them to stay fresher for longer.

LG’s GR-C331SLZB 7CF Single Door is a refrigerator that adapts to your needs. It has a large capacity and a big vegetable box, giving you all the space you need. This model uses high density insulation technology which creates more usable storage space even with the same exterior as previous iterations. The vegetable box’s capacity is 15.9L, 33% more than conventional fridge boxes at 12L. It also has the Moist Balancer Crisper, which maintains the optimum moisture level in the vegetable drawers, thereby keeping vegetables fresh and lengthening its shelf life. For ease of use, the LG GR-C331SLZB is semiauto defrost. All you need to do is to press a button and the defrosting process begins. After 2 hours, you’ll faced with a pristine fridge ready for cleaning. Design wise, this model has convenience and luxury in mind. It sports a gorgeous curved platinum finish, and an ergonomic pocket handle.

VIVO PAIRS LIMITED-EDITION V15 BLOSSOM PINK WITH BENEFIT COSMETICS VIVO has announced its partnership with premium cosmetic brand, Benefit, for a special make-up kit to be released together with the limitededition Vivo V15 Blossom Pink. The Vivo x Benefit kit will come in a pretty pink box that will include the V15 Blossom Pink, as well as two Benefit box o’ powders- Dandelion Twinkle Blush and the Gold Rush Blush. With the Vivo x Benefit Kit, achieving blooming selfies can be done in a snap. Vivo smartphone holders can just swipe on their favorite Benefit box o’ powders to get that pop of color in their cheeks and let the Vivo V15’s 32MP Elevating Selfie Camera do its magic. As part of their partnership, Vivo will launch two fabulous promos. Starting May 18, Vivo and Benefit fans will get the chance to win the limited edition Vivo x Benefit kit by simply following @ vivo_philippines and @benefitph on Instagram and following the

instructions on the official promo mechanics posts. There’s an even more glamorous promo exclusive to all V15 Blossom Pink Buyers! Starting May 25, those who have already purchased the V15 Blossom Pink can also get the chance to win P5000 worth of Benefit products by uploading a creative photo of the limitededition Vivo smartphone on Instagram, and tagging @vivo_philippines and @benefitph.

Level up your selfie game with a fresh new look with the Vivo x Benefit kit! Visit the Vivo Philippines Facebook and Instagram pages to find out more about the upcoming promo. For more information on the limited edition Vivo V15 Blossom Pink, visit 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. In recent years, Vivo has taken frequent efforts in the sports field and is committed to promoting the mutual penetration of the brand’s diverse fields and diversifying its brand image. Vivo Philippines announced its partnership with the NBA by the end of 2018. Currently, Vivo has over two hundred million users enjoying its mobile products and services around the wor ld. Vivo is present in 18 markets globally and features offline retail stores in over 1,000 cities worldwide. In the Philippines, Vivo is the top3 smartphone brand in terms of market share with 1.5 million users nationwide.

THERE'S nothing like giving your child the most exciting reasons to start another school year. And HP is helping you do just that, with its back-to-school promo! You can get a free HP Odyssey backpack for every purchase of any participating HP Ink Tank, DeskJet Ink Advantage, and LaserJet printers from any authorized HP resellers nationwide. The 15.6” bag will enable your kid to comfortably bring all the things he needs at school, including assignments, charts and reports, colored pictures, projects, and research materials, all conveniently printed using the family’s HP printer. The participating HP printers include the DeskJet Ink Advantage 2135, 2676, 2677, 3775, 3776, 3777, 3835, 5075, and 5275 all-inone printers, the HP Ink Tank 315 and 415 wireless all-inone printers, and the HP LaserJet Pro M15a and M15w wireless printer, and the MFP M28a and M28w wireless multi-function printers. Hurry and buy any of the participating HP all-in-one and multi-function printers to get your free backpack. Promo is until July 31, 2019 only. See promo flyers for more details. Per DTI-FTEB Permit No. 8219, series of 2019. Get a free HP Odyssey Backpack when you buy any of the selected HP Ink Tank, DeskJet Ink Advantage and LaserJet printers.


Ayala Foundation and Microsoft Philippines recently launched CodeIT, a digital education project which aims to equip underserved Filipino youth with basic technology and computer science training. Present in the event were (L-R) Romualdo Katigbak, Chief Finance Officer, Ayala Foundation Inc; Joanna O. Duarte, Senior Director, Ayala Foundation Inc.; Vivien V. Reyes, Chief Information Officer, Ayala Foundation Inc.; Jaime Zobel de Ayala, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Ayala Corporation and Co-Chairman, Ayala Foundation, Inc.; Andres Ortola, Country General Manager, Microsoft Philippines; Hong Nhi Le, Philanthropies Lead for South East Asia; Atty. Raul Cortez, Legal and Corporate Affairs Director, Microsoft Philippines; Jan Philippe Tanchi, Human Resource Director, Microsoft Philippines; and Christian Lim, Chief Operating Officer, Microsoft Philippines

IN THE future, students will face a job market vastly different from the one that we have right now. In fact, studies show that 65% of current students will be applying for jobs that do not yet exist, many of which are in the everexpanding field of digital technology. This is why digital education plays an increasingly crucial role among the youth, and there is a need to bridge the digital divide as it continues to widen. To help address this gap, Ayala Foundation has recently partnered with Microsoft Philippines to launch its latest digital education project called CodeIT. This initiative aims to provide underserved Filipino youth access to technology and computer

science training, in order to equip them with the right skills and prepare them for the workplace of tomorrow. Together with the Department of Education, CodeIT strives to make an impact in the lives of at least 4,000 students and 120 teachers from public elementary schools nationwide. The project is composed of a twopronged strategy that starts with a ‘train the trainers’ approach—lead teachers are trained, who in turn tap partner schools and impart programming knowledge to new teachers. CodeIT trainers are also provided with close mentoring and resources throughout the program. CodeIT is complemented by computer science lessons integrated into

grades 3–6 classes, as well as computer science after-hour programs to sustain engagement among students. Apart from learning how to use coding platforms, the students also get to develop skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, logical reasoning, creativity, and innovation. “Ayala Foundation actively supports the continuing growth and development of our teachers and students in the public school sector,” said Ayala Foundation President Ruel Maranan. “Through digital education brought by CodeIT, we are equipping our students and teachers with the necessary tools and skills that will prepare them for the challenges of tomorrow.”

Destinations D1

SUNDAY, MAY 26, 2019

Bernadette Lunas, Issue Editor




This Australian city boasts varied attractions and distinct experiences.

WHAT TO DO W IN MELBOURNE ITH more local airlines offering direct flights to Melbourne, Australia, more and more Filipinos are getting a chance to explore this bustling urban hub, with all its varied attractions.

Get lost in the city’s network of laneways

Melbourne is known for its coffee culture that’s as vibrant as the graffiti on its streets. But there’s a whole lot more in store in the city. To fully experience its cozy, laid-back vibe, online travel agent Agoda highlights some of the must-sees and must-dos in Victoria’s capital.

Art spills out of museums in Melbourne what with its sophisticated urban art in the form of graffiti on Hosier Lane, Duckboard Place, Centre Place, and ACDC Lane (named after the legendary Aussie rock band), near Flinders Street station. Tourists can feast their eyes on and take lots of photos of this colorful and dynamic street art as they browse away from shopping on Russell Street.

Graffiti line the walls of Hosier Lane and ACDC Lane, among others.

Where to stay: Collins Hotel is a great location when exploring both street art and the beautiful Carlton Gardens area which houses the Melbourne Museum.


THE BEST HOTEL DEALS ONLINE THE best hotel deals are just around the corner, all it takes to book one is a lot of patience and a dash of good sense. Since establishing in the Philippines in 2018, OYO, South Asia’s largest tech-driven hotel chain, has been providing travelers with great experience through affordable yet quality accommodation. To help vacationers and “staycationers” score the best deals online, it shares the following tips and reminders.

Perk up with and learn how to make a great cuppa or two

381 Cremorne Apartments is a stone's throw away from Melbourne's sporting attractions.

Experience a whole new world of sporting

Melbourne was also once dubbed the world’s sporting capital, and the Melbourne Cricket Ground stands at its heart. It’s the largest stadium in Australia and the 10th largest stadium in the world. Aside from hosting cricket matches and serving as the home of the Melbourne Cricket Club, it also serves as the stage for Australian football. Just a stone’s throw away is Melbourne Park, where one can witness the Aussie Open live and in the flesh.

Even during downtime, Melbourne provides a certain kind of attraction: people watching while enjoying a cup of joe from hundreds of coffee shops (not the usual big chain brands) scattered throughout the city. The love for coffee is not unique to Melbourne, but the Melburnians’ eagerness and enthusiasm to educate those who are open to learn more about the art of bean roasting is Coffee is a big thing in Melbourne. something every(Photo by Nathan Dumlao) one should experience. Visit the many quaint and cozy cafes around the Brunswick, Collingwood, Carlton, and South Melbourne neighborhoods, to name a few.

Where to stay: Book accommodations at the 381 Cremorne ApartWhere to stay: Stay at the Turnkey Accommodation in the North Melments which is close to all the action. The Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit bourne area so you won’t have to go too far to get your morning cafis just an 11-minute drive away from it as well. feine fix served with a little extra love, Turn to D2

Make a list and set a budget before looking at options.

Make a list and set a budget

A vacation experience depends, to a certain extent, on the accommodation and one’s budget. No one wants to reach their bucket list destination only to find out they have an insanely priced accommodation or have booked a place far from being the most ideal hotel. Creating a list of hotel options allows one to filter better the hotels that suit their needs and preferences. This means vacationers must do their homework and start looking early enough to get the best possible deals. Check out potential accommodations in the destination. Select hotels based on location, price and amenities.


THE Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), founded in 1951, is the biggest tourism organization in the world. It is internationally acclaimed as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism around the globe. It counts within its ranks 95 government, state, and city tourism bodies; 25 international airlines and airports; 108 hospitality organizations; 72 educational institutions; and hundreds of travel industry companies from all over the world. Thousands of travel industry professionals belong to the 36 local PATA Chapters worldwide, which is why the Annual Summit is always a well-attended event. When the Philippines won the bid to host this year’s

The photo booth at the conference venue is a colorful mock-up of our country’s iconic transportation vehicle, the jeepney.

It was a sold-out summit, with some summit, our Department of Tourism chose Cebu City as the venue. As a participants arriving Cebu several true-blue Cebuano, I couldn’t be hap- days before the event to give themselves more time to see and experipier and more proud!

ence my city’s offerings, its environs, and the neighboring attractions. Officers from PATA Headquarters who attended the event were all praise for the preparations that our Department of Tourism made for this all-important gathering of the travel industry’s dynamic professionals from all over the world. Kudos to our Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat and her team who left no stone unturned to make every participant agree that, indeed, “It’s More Fun In The Philippines.” It also helped that the event venue was the Radisson Blu, the only hotel in the city which has all the conference facilities needed by such a high-profile international tourism industry gathering. The service was seamless and the food earned a lot of positive feedback from such an extensive mixture of VIPs with varying culinary preferences. The technical facilities of the hotel is definitely world-class and to have something like Turn to D2

OYO One Liberty

Check reviews

A deal may seem great at first glance but it is always best to check. If it’s too good to be true, it might not be true. Verify information before clicking the book button, as some hotels may offer what seem to be hot deals at first but are actually packages with hidden extra charges. Do not rely solely on data and pictures posted on the hotel’s website. One great way to find out if a hotel is the right one is to read the customer reviews. Make sure to visit the review section of a hotel both on its website and social media accounts. The best way to verify hotel amenities and services is the feedback from previous guests. Turn to D2



SUNDAY, MAY 26, 2019


From D1


this in my home city is certainly a source of pride and joy! The conference featured opinion leaders from both public and private sectors. Obviously, the “star of the show” was the co-founder of Airbnb, Nathan Blecharczyk, who was mobbed by conference delegates who wanted to invite him to give a talk also in their respective countries, and by those who just wanted to take a selfie with him, as I did. Also in the event were leaders of five Tourism Boards and other influencers in the tourism industry of the Asia Pacific region.

Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat receives the Plaque of Appreciation from PATA chief executive officer Mario Hardy for hosting this year’s summit.

Although the main topic of the conference was Sustainable Tourism, there were many other interesting topics tackled by several industry leaders: State of the World Economy, The Current and Future State of Travel and Tourism in the Asia Pacific Region, Navigating the Numbers, Travelling the Unknown to Find Yourself, Accessible Tourism for All, Destination Management in Times of Uncertainty, The Power of Data and Insights for Responsible Development, and The Future of Sustainable Destination Branding.

The Sarangani Bay (SarBay) Festival, regarded as the country's biggest beach party, features an assortment of water sports, including jet ski race.


OR beach bums, an exciting summer is made of sun, sea, and sand.

YOUR WEEKEND CHUCKLE HOSPITAL’S LETTER: Dear Mr. Jones, We are pleased to inform you that the biopsy of the redness on your private organ showed it was not cancerous. It was lipstick. We deeply regret the amputation.

Personally, what I learned from the two-day event were these solid facts: The world economy has been slowing down since 2018 and will continue on to 2020. Global growth and the center of economic supremacy is moving back to Asia. Airbnb and the like are here to stay, and the accommodations industry will continue to experience changes. One should never trust data without understanding their source or the context they were presented. I also learned that, to engage the community in preserving its culture, we must involve the locals and offer them value. Public and private partnerships are very important for responsible tourism. Accessible travel should consider all groups of disabilities. Urbanization will continue to drive emerging markets. Protectionism trend is attributed to those who feel they have not benefitted from globalization. Marketing the destination should be refocused to managing the destination. It was indeed a well-spent weekend in my home city. Not only did I get to visit my family, I also had the chance to show off to my colleagues from around the world why it is “The Queen City of the South.” As a homegrown Cebuano and chairman of the PATA Philippines Chapter, I am glad, and very proud to have been given the task of delivering the farewell speech on the summit’s closing gala dinner.

Aside from exciting competitions, SarBay emphasizes environmental awareness among festival-goers with beach cleanups, ban on plastics, and educational activities.

Down south at Gumasa White Beach in Glan, Sarangani province, local folks have been reinventing these magical key words for the past 12 years into “sun, sea, and sounds” with its own unique beach experience during Sarangani Bay (SarBay) Festival. SarBay is regarded as the country’s biggest beach party which lured some 150,000 merry-makers last year in the so-called “Boracay of Mindanao.” Set on May 30 to June 1, this year’s edition of the summer fest themed “Neon Summer” will sizzle once more with the rock scene’s top bands and DJs, a powerhouse lineup of musical artists, and an assortment of water sports and fitness activities. According to Sarangani Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon, this year’s SarBay Fest will continue to celebrate the innovations the beach event has undergone over the past decade, most notably its advocacy for sustainable tourism and family-oriented recreation. He noted that, as in previous years, SarBay will emphasize environmental awareness among partygoers with round-the-clock beach cleanups, ban on plastics, segments on educational activities, and the “scubasuero” underwater cleanup of volunteer scuba divers. “As a sign of our commitment to environmental protection, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan passed Resolution No. 2019-9028 encouraging all beach-goers and hotel owners not to use

single-use plastic and styrofoam materials on the celebration of this year’s Sarangani Bay Festival,” the governor said. The three-day extravaganza kicks off with the San Miguel Night featuring Rocksteddy band, and DJs Kouta Kutsuma and Cupcakes. The party will continue on the second night with the Bay Bodies ‘19 pageant, DJ Battle, and the Talk ‘N Text party featuring 6Cyclemind, DJ Marc Marasigan, and DJ Kat. Curtains fall down with the Globe party series featuring Ben & Ben band, and DJs Tom Taus and Carlo Atendido on June 1. Sporting events include the 15-km Swim Across the Bay relay, Asia’s most extreme swimming event, SarBay Strongman, beach volleyball and football, skim boarding, frisbee, jet ski race, bancathon, mountain bike, skim boarding, and frisbee tournaments. Adding sizzle to the fest are fringe events such as Zumba sessions with the Legendz, drum beating competition, fire dancing exhibitions, body painting, and family sand sculpture contests. Solon said that SarBay Fest will put the spotlight on the tourism gems of Sarangani, the top destination of Soccsksargen Region in 2018, with 1,689,348 foreign and local visitors based on Department of Tourism Region 12 statistics. It is a consistent recipient of the Best Tourism Event Award from the Association of Tourism Officers in the Philippines.

For feedback, I’m at


From D1

Contact the hotel and check on hidden charges

You’ve done your due diligence but there are still steps to ensure unwanted surprises are avoided. Before hitting the book button, contact the hotel directly and discuss the details posted online. Some hotels include only the base accommodation cost on their online quote and then add additional fees upon check-out. Doing so also allows direct negotiation with the hotel staff to customize the booking to your requirements.

Take advantage of technology

Browsing sites one by one to check what they offer can be time-consuming. To secure a good deal, get immediate notifications from a site or an app. This saves vacationers from the long and hassling process of looking up hotels by getting the job done faster while notching bigger discounts. Further, some hotels have apps that give point credits when users refer a friend to book as well. These points can be converted into discounts or even actual currency. OYO’s mobile app enables customers to search for the nearest OYO hotel, book with ease and be notified immediately of any ongoing discounts. Photos of the accommodations and their list of facilities are also displayed on the app so that travelers will be sure to book a room that’s exCheck the hotel's website and social media accounts to know more about their offers. actly to their liking.

Spend a relaxing night at Yering Gorge Cottages.


From D1

Bonus: Sample wines and take a hot air balloon ride over the Yarra Valley

fered by this sprawling expanse of lush greenery and vineyards.

Where to stay: While there, make a reservation The Yarra Valley is technically outside of at the Yering Gorge Cottages for the night, and Melbourne, but at just an hour’s drive away, it would be a shame to pass up the opportunity who knows? You might even get to encounter to check out the views and taste the flavors of- the majestic ’roos of the Land Down Under.


SUNDAY, MAY 26, 2019


Nickie Wang, Issue Editor

Rap and hip hop group ALLMO$T leads the list of ‘most discovered artist’ on Spotify Philippines.




WITH DARREN AND MORISSETTE Darren Espanto and Morissette pose for photographs with the ‘magic lamp’ after performing their rendition of ‘A Whole New World’ live at SM The Block on Thursday.

By Nickie Wang


INGERS Darren Espanto and Morissette Amon were not born yet when the Disney song “A Whole New World,” originally sang by Lea Salonga and Brad Kane, dominated the airwaves. The original version, which can safely be counted as a pop classic, was a song from Disney’s 1992 animated feature film  Aladdin. It garnered an Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 65th Academy Awards and won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year at the 36th Annual Grammys, the first and so far only Disney song to win in the category. Since 1992, the song has been revived by popular artist almost a dozen times including the Philippine version by Jose Mari Chan and Lea Salonga in 1993, Nick Lachey  and ex-wifeJessica Simpson  in 2004, and  Peter Andre  and wife  Katie Price in 2006. To carry on the tradition of bringing the classic song to a new generation of music fans, Darren and Morissette were chosen by Disney to record their own version of the Aladdin theme song. The pair recently performed the song live at SM North EDSA and in the Wish 107.5 Bus at MOA By The Bay. “ This is a classic. Everyone knows this song. I guess the challenge was to make your own rendition and at the same time, not to lose the magic of the song. We both watched the movie just to really internalize  na parang kami mismo si  Jasmine and Aladdin,”

shared Morissette during an interview after their performance at SM The Block where “The Magic of Aladdin” exhibit. “This is such a big thing for both of us and it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” she continued adding that doing her own rendition of the song inspired her to do another Disney classic. Meanwhile, Darren believes that being handpicked by Walt Disney to cover the song will serve as a chance to showcase Pinoy talents on the world stage once again. “It’s such a big thing for both of us and it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’m very happy that we’re given all these amazing opportunities so that we can show our talent internationally, in other countries,” Darren said. “The song can be streamed online, and they should watch out for the music video that we will be releasing soon,” he added. Disney’s Aladdin premiered nationwide on Wednesday. Meanwhile, “The Magic of Aladdin” exhibit, which features the streets of Agrabah, the mystery-filled “Cave of Wonders,” the magic lamp, and the Sultan’s Palace, is on view and can be experienced until May 31 at SM The Block Atrium. 

Darren and Morisette take the audience to ‘A Whole New World’ as they perform the Disney song before an adoring crowd.

INSPIRATIONAL ANTHOLOGY FEATURES RECOVERING DRUG ADDICT TODAY, weekly inspirational anthology Stories for the Soul  highlights the heart-tugging story of a reformed man whose complicated past continues to haunt his life and reputation. The episode entitled “Bad Sam” is a modern take on the well-known Parable of the Good Samaritan from the greatest book known to man, the Holy Bible.   It tells the story of Sam played by  Jeric Gonzales, a recovering drug addict who returns to his community after receiving treatment in a rehabilitation center. Amidst his efforts to change and start anew, Sam is still subjected to public scrutiny and

This Band rises as the second ‘most discovered’ local artist on Spotify. MUSIC streaming giant Spotify has launched a new playlist based on the listening trends of music fans across the country. Called “The Philippines Discovers,” the tracks featured in this playlist reflect the most discovered artists of the Philippines. Spotify powers an average of 11 billion artist discoveries each month. Our listeners are beyond curious and vastly open to expanding their taste in music and on Spotify, fans can discover their next favorite in a world full of new artists, songs and genres to explore. Just ask any Spotify user (between 18 and 24 years old); we’ve recently uncovered that listeners in this age group have a unique and somewhat unexpected taste for discovery. “As the world’s most popular music streaming subscription service with more than 50 million tracks, both free listeners and subscribers are discovering more thanks to a truly personalized experience. Customized and curated playlists such as Discover Weekly and Tatak Pinoy help fans find the music they love as well as the ability to discover new favorites along the way,” says  Jan-Paul Jeffrey,  Head of Marketing, SEA, Spotify. In Asia, Gen Z fans are bopping away to the hottest K-Pop music and some of K-Pop’s latest rookie bands ITZYand Spotify’s Early Noise 2019 feature Tomorrow X Together - can be found within the most discovered artist list across Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Thailand. In the Philippines, more than 85 percent of artists being discovered on Spotify in this list are OPM artists, particularly local favorites. In fact, a lot of classic bands from the late ‘90s, such as Eraserheads and Parokya Ni Edgar, to the early 2000s, such as  Silent Sanctuary, Hale, and Callalily, are still being discovered on Spotify. The top 10 most discovered artists in the Philippines who have been discovered (played for the first time) by 18 to 24 year-olds in the past 60 days are  ALLMO$T, This Band, JM de Guzman, Army Mallare, I Belong to the Zoo,  December Avenue, ITZY, juan karlos, Ben&Ben, and Silent Sanctuary.

prejudices. Sam gets the chance of a lifetime when a returning OFW is held up and stabbed by unidentified robbers. Will this incident finally absolve Sam of his tainted reputation or will the selfrighteous people in his community hold him accountable once again?  Joining Jeric in this episode are Rita Daniela  as Ellen,  Phytos Ramirez  as Daniel,  Tom Olivar  as Kap. Roger, and Lilet as Claring. Hosted by  Sen. Manny Pacquiao, witness Sam’s battle as a recovering drug addict in Stories for the Soul today, after Dear Uge, on GMA.

Jeric Gonzales as a reformed man in ‘Stories for the Soul.’

JM de Guzman is the ‘most discovered’ solo artist on Spotify Philippines.


SUNDAY, MAY 26, 2019 Desiree Carlos, Editor




ATS do get stressed.

They can also get sick due to stress and anxiety. Stress can manifest in various ways, including illnesses such as cystitis and inappropriate elimination, said Lorie Huston, DVM, in “10 Tips for Creating a Stress-Free Environment for Your Cat (Helping Cure Your Cat’s Amxiety)” in PetMD. “If your cat’s behavior changes suddenly in any way, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. He or she can rule out any underlying medical issues as well as make suggestions to help lower your cat's stress level, “ Huston said. To prevent stress in cats, here are some tips from Huston: 1. Provide the right litter box. All cats need a litter box. But providing one is not enough. You have to provide the right size, consider the location and check the cat sand you will use. Cats prefer unscented cat sand. Most of the fragrance used in cat sands are chemical-based and can be bad for your cat. They also need a litter box that is big enough for them to use. “In a multi-cat household, there should be at least one litter box for each cat plus one extra. Litter boxes must be kept clean. They should

be large enough for your cat to fit comfortably in the box and the boxes should be placed in quiet areas of the home where your cat will not be disturbed while using them,“ Huston said. 2. Provide quality cat food. Ask your veterinarian for high quality, complete and balanced food to keep your cat healthy. “Most cats prefer to graze and should be fed small quantities several times daily. This can be made more difficult in a multi-cat home. Cats in a multi-cat household should be fed measured amounts and not free fed, to protect them from becoming overweight,“ Huston said. “You may also need to provide more than one feeding station if you have a cat that guards the dish or bullies the other cats at meal-times. A cat that has to worry about defending himself from another cat while eating may become stressed and anxious, and may not eat adequately as a result, “ Huston added. 3. Always provide water. Observe your cat as some cats do not drink enough water. This may lead to stress, dehydration, and a kidney problem, among others. You can give a little amount of canned food to provide some of your cat’s water requirement. Some cats also like drinking from a flowing water supply. You

Mia, a seven-month old tricolor kitten, is as curious as any kitten her age. She and her brothers Borhap and Gali love to play in the garage. They were abandoned beside the road-- the busy Commonwealth avenue in Quezon City-- when they were days old. They were rescued by Tani Benedito of Save Animals of Love and Light (Save ALL Inc.), a registered animal welfare group.

Angel loves to lounge on chairs and tables in the terrace, his territory.

can set up a water fountain or open a faucet while you are playing with your cat. Huston suggested that separate water stations be made available in a multi-cat household. 4. Cats love perches. Cats enjoy elevated areas as this will allow them to survey their surroundings and see any approaching danger (like an antagonistic feline housemate), Huston said. “There are many forms of cat perches, including cat trees, cat shelving, or other objects on which your cat can climb or jump. Consider placing a cat bed, blanket, or towel on the perch for your cat’s comfort. Placing a perch near a window will allow your cat to survey the outdoors, which many cats find entertaining. Again, there should be ample perches for all cats in the home. If you have multiple cats, don’t expect them to share, “ Huston said. 5. Provide scratching posts or areas. Your cat’s health and well-being improve if they can scratch surfaces. “Deny your cat a scratching post or scratching area and you deny your cat the ability to mark his territory as he prefers. This, in turn, may result in stress and even anxiety. Your cat may even choose his own scratching area—like your furniture or carpeting—which will annoy you and create a more stressful environment for your cat, “ Huston said. Huston added: “Provide your cat with both vertical and horizontal scratching surfaces. Make sure there is at least one scratching post/surface for each cat in your home. Additional scratching surfaces cannot do any harm and may be appreciated.” 6. Provide hiding places.

Your cat needs a private place to retreat to so he can feel safe when overwhelmed or threatened. A hiding place can be a box or a carrier where your cat can seek shelter. In a multi-cat household, you can block the sight between cats by putting up a solid barrier, specially if you have a bully or an aggressive cat. 7. Play with your cat often. Your cat’s mind is stimulated and stress is reduced if not eliminated when he exercises and plays. You can experiment with different kinds of toys. “Some cats prefer toys with feathers that mimic a bird, while others prefer those that more closely resemble a mouse or small rodent. Laser pointers can be entertaining for some cats as well, “ Huston said. Play with your cat at least 20-30 minutes a couple of times daily. 8. Set aside a cuddle time. Cats enjoy their owners’ attention. “Spending some time with your cat on a daily basis, whether it is cuddling or some other activity, can also be a great stress reducer for most cats. This time will also allow you the time to observe your cat’s behavior for any changes, “ Huston said. 9. Do not make sudden changes in your cat’s environment. Cats typically do not like change. Changes can actually stress them out. Please keep changes to a minimum and your cat’s daily routine constant to prevent or alleviate stress and anxiety. “Consult your veterinarian to see if pheromone products, which work chemically to relieve stress and calm anxiety, would benefit your cat,” Huston said. DC

Khali, white and brown shih tzu, has been missing since May 20. He is from Barangay Lumil, Silang, Cavite. Please contact the owner through these cell numbers: 09565217205 and 09777544388. `

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 and put My Furry Bestie as subject.

MOLLY, a one-and-a-half-year-old female shih tzu, is very special to owner Graciaz Amatorio and is treated as the youngest member of their family. “When we go out, we bring her with us. When we sleep, she sleeps beside us. That is how special she is to us,” says Graciaz. She will cry if we do not bring her with us. She also jumps out of joy when we arrive from work, Graciaz adds. “When we play hide and seek, she is always the ‘taya’ or the one who has to look for us. She will really look for us! She will not stop until she finds us,“ Graciaz shares. “When we’d go out without her, we’d discuss first what food she will eat while we are away. We also always make sure we have “pasalubong’ or a gift for her when we get home. We love her very much, “ says Graciaz. In the photo is Traves, the human baby of Graciaz.

Summer when she was rescued by Migs.

Summer today, after one month of tender loving care.

MISSING PETS THERE have been so many PET TALES dogs posted as missing or lost BY DESIREE CARLOS this year. I know how it feels to lose a dog. A rescued dog was once lost when the dog got out of an adopter’s house. We looked for the dog by going around the neighborhood almost everyday, putting almost 300 posters with the dog’s photo, our contact number, and a monetary reward on electric posts and trees using packing tape (never use a staple wire when posting on trees please), answered all calls and text messages, and went to the area where the dog was reportedly sighted even during unholy hours. After 14 days, we were able to get back Richie, a dog rescued from the illness-ridden Cainta pound in 2014. He is now almost 19 years old. Since I know how it feels to lose a dog, the anxiety that comes with hoping and not knowing if the dog is eating or not, or if the dog is safe or not, I will share posters of missing dogs in this space every now and then to help in the hope that this will help the owner find his or her pet. If you recognize some of the dogs posted here, please contact the owners through the contact numbers provided. Thank you and bless you. I do pray and claim all missing pets are safe and will be reunited with their owners soon.


SUMMER, now two months, was a tiny, scraggly white kitten when owner Migs Almendral saw her about to cross the street. “Summer was so small and looked really scared that I decided to pick her up and carry her home. She adjusted well to her new home,” Migs says. Migs adds: “ Feisty and frisky, she knows when to be assertive at mealtime when she has to share food with her furry brothers and sisters.” “Summer loves snuggling during naptime and playing with anything,” shares Migs. “From a skinny and dirty-looking kitten, she has now bloomed after a month of tender loving care,” Migs says proudly.

Cloud was last seen at the Caltex gas station along Aurora avenue, Project 4, Quezon City. Please message the owner through cell number 09294395172 . The post on Cloud was shared in the Save ALL: The public Forum page last Thursday.

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 May 26 - Sunday  

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

Manila Standard - 2019 May 26 - Sunday  

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