Thursday, August 3, 2017

Duterte signed “Free Tuition Fee law” for all State Universities and Colleges- ₱100 billion Budget

“Free Tuition Fee law”  in the Philippines
[Free Tertiary Education] Free Tuition fee law in the Philippines

Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Law for bottom 20% poor but deserving Filipino students

- Free tuition fee for all state colleges and universities
- Free Library access
- Free  ID
- Free laboratory access

President Duterte has signed into law the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act which grants free tuition to all state universities and colleges (SUCs) in the country.

This despite the suggestion of a veto by Budget Secretary Ben Diokno as the government cannot afford to shoulder its cost estimated to be around ₱100 billion.

During the Mindanao Hour press briefing Friday morning, Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra said that the President signed the bill Thursday night.

“The enrolled bill came to the Office of the President nearly 30 days ago and during that period, there had been a lot of discussions and study about the bill because of its heavy budgetary implication” he explained.

Guevarra said that free tertiary education in SUCs is a very strong pillar or cornerstone of Duterte’s social development policy and that the President was still trying to figure out the best possible solution regarding the bill.

“So we weighed everything and came to the conclusion that the long-term benefits that will be derived from a well-developed tertiary education on the part of the citizenry will definitely outweigh any short-term budgetary challenges,” he said.

The Palace official also said that whether or not economic managers are for the passing of the bill, the more important thing now is to find the budgetary allocation for the program.

“Everyone, including the economic managers, will have to focus their attention on funding for this program because this will have to be implemented soon,” Guevarra said, adding that the SUC law will be implemented on the next school year.

Since the government has already submitted the proposed 2018 national budget to Congress, Guevarra said that certain adjustments can still be made so allocation for the law can be made.

“That is really the principal responsibility of Congress when they deliberate on the budget. Right now, I have nothing very specific to say about which projects or which programs or which agency’s proposed budget might be affected,” he said.

“If Congress is really serious in finding the appropriate funding for this free tuition program, they will have to find the necessary sources for this particular program,” he added.

Guevarra also addressed the estimate of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) that ₱ 100 billion would be needed to implement the SUC law.

“The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) thinks otherwise. The ₱ 100-billion estimate of the DBM seems to be on the very high side because that is on the basis on the assumption that all aspects of the free tuition bill will be implemented all at the same time,” he said.

The CHED estimated that ₱ 34.1 billion would be needed for the implementation of the law.

According to Guevarra, the government would only have to spend on the mandatory provisions of the bill which includes tuition and miscellaneous fees which would need around ₱ 16 billion.

Education System in the Philippines
Diagram of educational system in the Philippines - wes.org

The related educational expenses like books and boarding would be shouldered for “deserving 20 percent” by the CHED’s Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST) program.

“As far as I know those are the only mandatory provisions of the bill for now – the free tuition and other fees. Other fees would refer to something like library fees, ID fees, laboratory fees, and stuff like that,” Guevarra explained.

“Now as to the subsidy for related educational expenses, that is something to be processed by the UniFAST board which is supposed to have a system of priority,” he said, adding that the fund and system under the UniFAST are yet to be established.

Null
Grade scaling for the educational system in the Philippines vs USA Education System - wes.org

“In other words, ‘yung mga talagang nangangailangan, the bottom 20 percent, will be prioritized in terms of subsidy for educational-related expenses,” he added.

The UniFAST rationalizes the allocation, utilization and client-targeting of government resources and improves access to quality higher and technical education for those who need it.

It also serves as the ultimate national human resource development mechanism and strategy that will direct beneficiaries to priority courses needed for economic growth and development. - By Argyll Cyrus Geducos from Manila Bulletin

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Is the Philippines raising the next Football Hero like Paulino Alcántara?


Paulino Alcántara vs Leonel Messi
Filipino Football Hero Paulino Alcántara's record in football remain unbroken by Lionel Messi more appearances. Photo: Pinterest.com

When will the Philippines find their new Paulino Alcántara?

When will the Philippines find their new Paulino Alcántara? The half-Filipino, half Spanish football hero that set records at FC Barcelona that only Lionel Messi can break.

The Iloilo-born net breaker set goal scoring record in FC Barcelona with 369 goals in 357 games that stood for many years before he was overtaken by Leonel Messi on 16 March 2014.

His record as the youngest player to ever score for FC Barcelona in an official match at the age of 15 is still yet to be broken.

With the influx of half Filipinos in the Philippine National teams, and the newly formed Profesional Football League (PFL), there is a feeling that Alcántara will be found. However, the truth is that the new Alcantara will not be found abroad.

At this period of time, world-class Filipinos playing abroad will surely not be ready to represent the motherland because of the competitive edge and of course the financial reward they will have playing oversea.

David Alaba, for example, is a world-class player currently playing for Bayern Munich and Austria National Team. He holds Austria’s record as the youngest player to play for their senior national team, debuting for them in 2009 as a 17-year-old. His mother is a Filipina while his father is a Nigerian.

 Paulino Alcántara's Ful name, Birth Date, Place
Filipino Football Hero Paulino Alcántara's Ful name, Birth Date, Place and career. Photo: Soccergaming.com

The Philippines for sure will find the new Alcantara at home as football authorities have started to pay more attention to youth development.

The two summer youth football leagues (YFL and NCR) are over but were there new possible Alcántara scouted for the country’s development center during this period?

I read on Four Four Two about Shane Clemente, a young talented Filipino footballer who has already experienced Wembley and Old Trafford at the age of 12 saying:

“I want to play at FC Barcelona because that’s where Alcantara played” ” “He was known for breaking the net and I’m going to be known for breaking the net and the goalpost”.

This is one of the many talented young players at home that should be in the development center under the watchful eye of the Philippines Football Federation and I look forward to meeting this young talent to discuss how far he has gone with his football development. Read more at ROAR

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

PHOTOS: US First Lady Melania Trump Wears $2,595 Filipino Designer Gown Amid Islamic State Turmoil in Philippines

 US First Lady Melania Trump Wears $2,595 Filipino Designer Gown
First Lady Melania Trump stepped out with her husband, President Donald Trump, to attend the Ford’s Theatre Gala in Washington, D.C. Sunday evening wearing a gown made by a Filipino designer Photo: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

USA First Lady Melania Trump Wears $2,595 Dollars Filipino Designer Gown of  Monique Lhuillier thats looks million price at an event to honor President Abraham Lincoln

First Lady Melania Trump stepped out with her husband, President Donald Trump, to attend the Ford’s Theatre Gala in Washington, D.C. Sunday evening wearing a gown made by a Filipino designer as Islamic State militants continue to wage a large-scale, murderous campaign to establish a Caliphate in the south Philippines.

For their first high-society gathering — at an event to honor President Abraham Lincoln — Melania chose a blush-toned slinky gown by Filipino designer Monique Lhuillier. The dress retails at $2,595.

Melania paired the cap-sleeved dress with matching silk charmeuse, blush-colored Manolo Blahnik pointed-toe pumps and her iconic tousled hair, draping around her face.

 US First Lady Melania Trump Wears $2,595 Filipino Designer Gown
Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

 US First Lady Melania Trump Wears $2,595 Filipino Designer Gown
Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

The fashion choice was unique for the former model First Lady, as she rarely wears Monique Lhuillier designs, usually opting for American designers Michael Kors or Ralph Lauren, as well as her favorite Italian brand, Dolce & Gabbana.

 US First Lady Melania Trump Wears $2,595 Filipino Designer Gown
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

Whether direct or indirect, the gown may have been a nod to the Philippines, which has suffered in recent weeks as ISIS extremists have gone on a murderous rampage in the south of the country. Eyewitnesses from the besieged city of Marawi have described how Islamic State terrorists have recruited children as young as 13 years old to carry out executions, as previously reported by Breitbart News’s Frances Martel.

Last month, terrorist fighters from the ISIS-affiliated Maute group freed roughly 100 terrorists from Mindanao prisons before raising the Islamic State flag over the city. Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte — who resides on the island of Mindanao, where Marawi is located — has declared a 60-day period of martial law in response to the ongoing crisis.

Last week, an attack at a Philippines casino left 36 people dead from smoke inhalation after a gunman set fire to the building. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, but the perpetrator, 42-year-old Jessie Carlos, was later reported to have been a gambling addict who was heavily in debt. read more at Breitbart

Monday, June 5, 2017

Philippine Marines Seized ₱79 Million ISIS Terrorism Funding in Cash and Checks in Marawi City

Null
After the inventory, the money and checks were turned over to the Joint Task Force Marawi for safekeeping.Photo: CNN Philippines

 ₱27 million-worth of checks bears the issuing bank and the bank account owner could answer who funded the terrorism.

Terrorism Funding in the Philippines

The Philippine Marines recovered ₱52 million in cash in a house in Marawi City.

During a clearing operation near Mapandi Bridge on Monday afternoon, the Marines discovered the money and ₱27 million-worth of checks.

The Marines reported the house was an abandoned machine gun position of the armed terror group Maute.

After the inventory, the money and checks were turned over to the Joint Task Force Marawi for safekeeping.

The Maute group has been battling government troops since May 23 in Marawi City, reportedly to protect the "emir" or leader of ISIS in the Philippines, Isnilon Hapilon, who is believed to be in the area.

Hapilon is allegedly working with the Maute group to establish a "wilayat," or caliphate of ISIS in Lanao del Sur.

The ongoing violence in Marawi forced President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law and suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus over the entire Mindanao region on May 23.

Checks a Key - Who funded Terrorism in in the Philippines?

The recovered ₱52 million in cash in a house in Marawi City where the abandoned machine gun position of the armed terror group Maute found could not tell who give the cash and who funded the terrorism in the Philippines but the ₱27 million-worth of checks bears the issuing bank and the bank account owner could answer who funded the terrorism.

Philippine Banking system is strictly following the high standard requirements through the mandate of the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Law that protect every account holder  for their privacy and safety.

With the existing Martial law in the entire island of Mindanao, in which the Military has full jurisdiction in the place where the checks was discovered, the issuing bank and the account holder at this point would be disclosed easily with lesser interference from any government agency to protect the privacy of the account holder.

Who is the account holder and who funded the terrorism in the Philippines?

With report from CNN Philippines.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Global Research Pointed: USA, Loida Lewis and Liberal party behind the ISIS attack in the Philippines

 Global Research Pointed: USA, Loida Lewis and Liberal party behind the ISIS attack in the Philippines
GlobalReaseach.ca pointed out who are behind the Islamist terrorist attack in Marawi City in Southern Philippines

In the article written by Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago, USA, he pointed that Washington, Loida Lewis and the Liberal Opposition party in the Philippines are behind the IS attack in Marawi a step to oust Duterte

Why is ISIS Operating in the Philippines?

In response to violence allegedly instigated by ISIS in the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao, imposed military rule, and threatened to extend it nationwide to defeat the threat.

What’s going on? Why did ISIS begin operating in the Philippines? Weeks after taking office in mid-2016, Duterte blasted Western imperial Middle East policies, saying the Obama administration and Britain “destroyed the (region)…forc(ing) their way into Iraq and kill(ing) Saddam.”

“Look at Iraq now. Look what happened to Libya. Look what happened to Syria.”

He blasted former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for failing to act responsibly against what’s gone on for years – on the phony pretext of humanitarian intervention and democracy building.

He called Obama a “son-of-a-bitch” for his unaccountable actions – no way to make friends in Washington, especially if his geopolitical agenda conflicts with US aims.

Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte meeting with Russian President Putin
Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte meeting with Russian President Putin. Duterte cuts short trip to Russia after declaring martial law in southern Philippines due to Islamist terrorism attack in Marawi City. Photo: Japanese Times

On the day he declared martial law, he met with Vladimir Putin in Moscow for discussions on future military and economic cooperation.

He seeks improved economic and military ties with China. Ahead of visiting Beijing last October, he said

“only China…can help us,” adding:

“All that I would need to do is just to talk and get a firm handshake from the officials and say that we are Filipinos and we are ready to cooperate with you, to help us in building our economy and building our country.”

“If we can have the things you have given to other countries by the way of assistance, we’d also like to be a part of it and to be a part of the greater plans of China about the whole of Asia, particularly Southeast Asia.”

He promised to cool tensions over South China Sea disputes.

“There is no sense fighting over a body of water,” he said.

“We want to talk about friendship (with Beijing). We want to talk about cooperation, and most of all, we want to talk about business. War would lead us to nowhere.”

He announced no further joint military exercises with America, saying he’s open to holding them with China and Russia.

Shifting away from longstanding US ties doesn’t go down well in Washington. Are efforts by ISIS to establish a Philippines foothold part of an anti-Duterte Trump administration or CIA plot independent of his authority?

Null
Philippine President Rodeigo Roa Duterte meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping cooling down the tension in South China Sea and promised cooperation, progress, peace and stability of the Asian Region.

According to a June 2 Duran.com report, retired Philippine military official Abe Purugganan claims ISIS violence in Mindanao is part of an opposition Liberal Party plan to undermine Duterte and oust him from office – citing information from a party whistleblower.

Below are the comments The Duran posted, saying:

“There is a lot of noises and chatters flooding the cyberspace, you got to use your discernment to filter all these information.”

“LETS PLAY FIRE WITH FIRE,” explaining “(t)hese are the exact words stated by Loida Lewis and her fellow oligarchs on a meeting months ago with Liberal Party members abroad,” adding:

Their plan is to use ISIS or ISIS-connected terrorists to instigate violence and chaos in Mindanao, wanting Duterte’s government destabilized and ousted.

If the information reported is accurate, it explains what’s now going on, likely to worsen, perhaps spread to other parts of the country.

Last week, Duterte said

“if I cannot confront (ISIS terrorists threatening the country), I will resign. “If I am incompetent and incapable of keeping order in this country, let me step down and give the job to somebody else.”

If US dirty hands are behind the ISIS insurgency, he’s got a long struggle ahead, trying to overcome the attack on him and perhaps Philippine sovereignty.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

The original source of this article is Global Research
Copyright © Stephen Lendman, Global Research, 2017

Monday, May 29, 2017

IS dead bodies recovered in Marawi includes European, Saudi, Yemeni, Indian, Malaysian & Indonesian

Blood stains the roadside as civilians view unidentified bodies believed to have been executed and dumped in a ditch by militants
Blood stains the roadside as civilians view unidentified bodies believed to have been executed and dumped in a ditch by militants.  Photo: Getty Images

Islamic State fears grow as foreign fighters among bodies in Philippines

Foreign IS fighters were among the militants who besieged a southern Philippines city, intensifying fears that Islamic State is gaining a foothold in South-east Asia.

Bodies found in Islamic City of Marawi, 830 kilometers south of Manila, after almost a week of fighting include Malaysians, Indonesians, Saudis, an Indian, Yemeni and Chechen an eastern European citizen, according to Rohan Gunaratna, a terrorism expert from the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.

The Mindanao Island of the Philippines is now Islamic State's epicentre in the region, he said.

Zachary Abuza, another expert on terrorism in South-east Asia, said that while there is no evidence that Islamic State has sent significant support to a dozen militant Islamist groups operating in the southern Philippines, "increasingly South-east Asians are being drawn to Mindanao".

Australia and other nations in the region are so worried about the threat of homegrown IS militants returning from battlefields in Iraq and Syria that they have convened a summit in August to co-ordinate the threat.

Hundreds of battle-hardened fighters are expected to return to the region as IS loses ground in the Middle East.

Pray for Marawi
#PrayForMarawi hashtag trending at social media right after the Maute Islamist group Attack Marawi City, the only Islamic City in the Philippines

Attorney-General George Brandis told a Senate committee earlier in May that the return of the fighters is "the issue which is of greatest concern to heads of government and homeland security ministers in the region when it comes to counter-terrorism".

The Philippines, which has in the past downplayed the threat from IS, has confirmed that foreign fighters have played a key role in the siege of the Islamci City of Marawi that has so far left more than 100 people dead and dozens wounded.

"What's happening in Mindanao is no longer rebellion of Filipino citizens. It has transmogrified into invasion by foreign terrorists who heeded the clarion call of the Islamic State to go to the Philippines if they find difficulty in going to Iraq and Syria," said Philippine Solicitor-General Jose Calida.

The militants flew black Islamic State flags during their rampage of the city.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte last week imposed martial law, giving security forces sweeping powers, while warning of the threat of "contamination" by IS in his island nation of 100 million people.

Dr. Gunaratna said IS has provided groups in the southern Philippines with propaganda, some foreign fighters and some financial transfers but not huge amounts of money.

"They are moving very slowly but very steadily," he said. "They are not in a hurry."

Professor Abuza, who has written a book about militant Islam in the region, said that while media attention has been on kidnappings and beheadings by the extremist Abu Sayyaf group, the bigger threat is to regional trade and commerce.

He pointed out that between March 2016 and April this year there were 19 separate sea attacks and hostage takings, resulting in the capture of 70 sailors and fishermen from six countries.

Professor Abuza said Abu Sayyaf is likely to continue to prioritize sea kidnappings, which involve low risk and high reward.

"Tug boats and fishing trawlers are very slow moving and undermanned. They are easy prey," he said.

The August summit is likely to decide on greater law enforcement cooperation and intelligence-sharing across the region.

Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines signed an agreement nine months ago for joint patrols in the Sulu Sea, but they have not begun. Read more at The Sydney Morning Herald

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Philippines Rejects EU $278 Million USD Remote Control Fund Loan Grant

Philippines rejected EUROPEAN UNION $278 Million USD Remote Control Fund Loan Grant
Philippines rejected EUROPEAN UNION $278 Million USD Remote Control Fund Loan Grant for 2017

Philippines Rejects European grants

The Philippines will no longer accept grants from the European Union, the EU delegation to Manila said Thursday, following repeated tirades from President Rodrigo Duterte over its criticism of his deadly drug war.

"The Philippine government has informed us that they (will) no longer accept new EU grants," the delegation said in a brief statement.

The decision will affect grants worth 250 million euros ($278 million), according to Franz Jessen, the EU's ambassador to Manila.

Philippine government officials did not immediately comment, with the finance department saying a statement would be issued later on Thursday.

Duterte, 72, has repeatedly criticised European lawmakers and the EU for condemning his drug war, which has claimed thousands of lives and led to warnings from critics of a crime against humanity.

In comments last year, he used vulgar language and raised his middle finger in a response to a European parliament statement expressing concern over the killings.

The German government also expressed concern after Duterte last year drew parallels between his drug war and Nazi Germany leader Adolf Hitler's Holocaust.

"Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now there are three million drug addicts (in the Philippines). I'd be happy to slaughter them," Duterte said, underestimating the number of people killed in the Holocaust.

Duterte later apologised for the Hitler reference but said he was "emphatic" about wanting to kill addicts.

Duterte easily won presidential elections last year after promising to end crime by killing tens of thousands of drug traffickers and addicts.

Police have reported killing about 2,700 people since Duterte took office at the end of June and immediately launched his war on drugs.

Unknown assailants have killed more than 1,800 others, while about 5,700 other violent deaths are under investigation, according to police data.

Partly in response to American criticism of the drug war, Duterte has also loosened the Philippines' ties with traditional ally the United States.

He has instead embraced China, which has supported his drug war and sought to deepen economic ties by providing billions of dollars worth of investments and aid to the Philippines.

Duterte, a self-described socialist, has also forged warmer relations with Russia, and will travel to Moscow next week to meet President Vladimir Putin.

Read more at Sources: AP & SBS  

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Philippines remain unbeaten on Day 3 of SEABA Championship 2017

12 Phuoc Thang Le (VIE) - Myanmar v Vietnam, 2017 SEABA Men Championship (PHI), Manila - Smart Araneta Coliseum
12 Phuoc Thang Le (VIE) - Myanmar v Vietnam, 2017 SEABA Men Championship (PHI), Manila - Smart Araneta Coliseum, Manila(Philippines), 14 May 2017

SEABA CHAMPIONSHIP 2017 RESULTS:

  • Indonesia beat Thailand, 60-59
  • Vietnam beat Myanmar, 77-44
  • Philippines beat Malaysia, 106-51

MANILA (SEABA Championship 2017) - Indonesia had to scrape by Thailand even as Vietnam and the Philippines routed their respective foes during Day 3 at the SEABA Championship 2017 in Manila.

The day's opening game proved to be a down-the-wire thriller, but it eventually went Indonesia's way as they outlasted Thailand, 60-59. In a game that featured multiple ties and lead changes, it was Mario Wuysang who came up huge in the endgame to hit the marginal basket. This happened after Sorot Sunthonsiri gave Thailand their last taste of the lead, 59-58. Moments after, Wuysang brought the ball to the left corner and drilled the game-winning bucket. In the game's final sequence, Indonesia forced Thai playmaker Nattakarn Muangboon into a crucial turnover that all but sealed their fate.

The loss wasted a big game from Chitchai Ananti, who scored 24 points and grabbed 5 rebounds. Indonesia, meanwhile, were led by Sandy Kurniawan, who hit 5 three-pointers on his way to 17 points. He got ample support from Dodo Sitepu, who registered 9 points, 6 rebounds and 1 blocked shot. The Indons moved up to 3-0, while the Thais absorbed their first defeat of the tournament.

In the second game, Vietnam notched their first win of the competition at Myanmar's expense, 77-44. Nguyen Van Hung dazzled for the victors with 22 points on 11-of-18 field goal shooting, while Tran Vu Linh added 18 points. Vietnam dominated the interior in this contest, winning the rebound battle, 53-35, and outscoring Myanmar around the basket, 60-24.

Myanmar led very briefly at the start of the game, but once Vietnam got into a groove, they never let go of the advantage. Aung Wana paced Myanmar with 21 points on the back of 2 three-pointers.

To close out the evening, the Philippines recorded another lopsided result, routing Malaysia, 106-51. Malaysia actually scored the first two points of the game, but it was all Gilas Pilipinas after that. The home team built a 19-point lead after the first quarter and never looked back.

VIDEO: Philippines vs Malaysia

Malaysia just had no answer for the Filipinos' superior size and skill. The winners were +21 in rebounding and +13 in assists. Gilas Pilipinas also forced 18 Malaysia turnovers, which they turned into 19 points. Andray Blatche and Troy Rosario each scored 13 points for the Philippines, while Terrence Romeo and Matthew Wright added a dozen points apiece as their team moves into a tie for first place with Indonesia at 3-0.

Most of coach Goh Cheng Huat's wards had a very challenging time trying to score against the bigger Filipinos. Heng Yee Tong and Ting Chun Hong led the losing side with 12 and 10 points respectively. Malaysia drop to the bottom of the team standings with zero wins in three games.

Gilas Pilipinas will take a breather on Day 4 before they return to action on Day 5 opposite Thailand, who take on Myanmar tomorrow. Neighbors Singapore and Malaysia play each other in the second game of Day 4 right before Indonesia are tested by Vietnam in the nightcap. read more at FIBA

Philippines Making Great Progresses in Health Care for 92% Insurance- WHO

Philippine Health Insurance

Philippine Health Insurance coverage through PhilHealth riseup  to 92% to all Filipinos in 2017

PHILIPPINE HEALTH INSURANCE

The Philippines is chalking up improvements in the health-care sector, the World Health Organization (WHO) said, while pointing out that challenges remain for the country.

Dr Shin Young-soo, Regional Director for the Western Pacific of WHO, said statistics indicate that Filipinos now are living longer lives than before and this is largely due to collaborative efforts of the government, development partners and stakeholders.

“The Philippines has so many health achievements to celebrate: people born today can expect to live for more than 70 years. Innovative taxation schemes have pushed back unhealthy behaviors and tripled the health budget. More than 92 per cent of all Filipinos now benefit from national health insurance,” Dr Shin said.

Health care in the country has grown by leaps and bounds with more people getting access to medical maintenance services. In 1995, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) was established. Its mandate is to provide health insurance coverage to all Filipinos.

As of 2014, 14.7 million families have been enrolled into the system through a full National Government subsidy.

But while the Philippines is making improvements in providing health-care coverage to more Filipinos, challenges remain for the country.

“The Philippines is a fast-growing economy undergoing profound societal transformation. However, with growth and changing lifestyles come challenges of non-communicable diseases,” Dr Shin said,

Health conditions linked to poverty remain. Some 30 per cent of Filipino children are malnourished and around 30 per cent of the population lack regular access to essential medicines.

“While health insurance coverage is high, out-of-pocket payments remain high, accounting for more than half of the country’s total health expenditure,” she said.

Dr Shin said the challenge for the country is how to sustain current achievements in health care will be the “heart of WHO’s work in the country in the next five years.”

WHO and the Philippines Department of Health (DOH) launched the Country Cooperation Strategy (CCS), a mechanism which defines WHO’s strategic framework and aligns it with national health policies and programs.

The focus of the WHO CCS 2017—2022 are five unique strategic priorities that include saving lives by ensuring full access to life-saving interventions, promoting the well-being of people by empowering them to lead healthy lives, protection from disasters and mitigating its effects on peoples’ health, optimization of health architecture and maintaining its integrity and use of platforms for health and support health in all settings, policies and sectors.

“In the coming six years, we look forward to continuing to work together as partners in health [care] for the more than 100 million people of the Philippines and the 1.9 billion people of the Western Pacific Region,” Shin concluded.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Philippines Newly Acquired First High-Tech Ambulance Hospital Ship for the Red Cross- Commissioned

MV Amazing Grace
The Philippine Red Cross’ first and only humanitarian ship, formerly a ferry owned by the Mat-Su Borough, will be used as a marine ambulance and disaster response vessel. (Philippine Red Cross via Facebook)

Troubled Mat-Su ferry gets a new name in the Philippines, leaving its checkered past behind

The former Mat-Su ferry known as Susitna has a new name: M/V Amazing Grace and recently commissioned in the Philippines.

That's the name bestowed upon the ferry after a naming contest conducted by the ferry's new owner, the Philippine Red Cross.

The organization revealed the name at a press conference Monday in Manila attended by Red Cross dignitaries from several countries including Japan, Germany and the United States. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday christened what Red Cross calls the country's first and only humanitarian ship to be used as a marine ambulance and disaster response vessel.

The 198-foot vessel started its life as a U.S. Navy prototype acquired in 2011 by the Matanuska-Susitna Borough after the late U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens wedged an earmark into a Department of Defense spending bill.

Commissioning of MV amazing Grace Ship hospital
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, center, on Tuesday christened what Red Cross calls the country’s first and only humanitarian ship to be used as a marine ambulance and disaster response vessel. (Philippine Red Cross via Facebook)

The Susitna was transformed from a beach-landing barge with some ice-breaking abilities to a ferry at a Ward Cove shipyard. A $12.3 million federal grant paid for design, engineering and a $4 million ferry terminal at the borough port on Point MacKenzie.

But the high-tech vessel never left the dock, thanks to a combination of funding and political shortcomings.

The borough finally sold the ferry to the Philippine Red Cross last year at a loss: $1.75 million instead of the $6 million borough officials had originally sought.

Officials here liked to call the Susitna the borough's "free" ferry. It wasn't. A combination of grant matching fees, maintenance and repair costs tallied more than $10 million. The Federal Transit Administration in 2013 demanded Mat-Su repay the $12 million grant, but that has yet to be resolved.

The borough is still negotiating with the Federal Transit Administration to lower the grant repayment, borough manager John Moosey said this week. Read more at ADN


Friday, May 5, 2017

UN Rapporteur Agnes Callamard Speeh Makes her Incompetent for Concluding Philippines War on Drug based on hearsay

UN Rapporteur Agnes Callamard Acting as Big Bully in the Philippines

Callamard acting as local Opposition Political Party leader in the Philippines

United Nations Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard’s early Friday Wikipedia information described her as highly paid consultant of the Philippines' opposition “Liberal Party” as she concluded her speeches without proper investigation but just taken the reports that were provided most from the liberal party groups who opposes the war on drugs in the Philippines.

Invited by the government to investigate the issue on EJK last September 2016 but refused to come and instead make a surprise visit to the Philippines to utter her conclusion against the Philippines War on Drugs without conducting a ground investigation to confirm the allegations.

Callarmard surprise visit to the Philippines is acting like a leader of the local political party to destroy the image of Duterte based on hearsays.

Malacanang on Calamard Surprise Visit

United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions Agnes Callamard is now in no position to launch an independent study on the spate of drug-related killings in the country after she talked against the war on drugs at a forum in Quezon City, a Malacañang official said on Friday.

Chief presidential legal counsel Sec. Salvador Panelo told reporters Friday that Callamard already made a conclusion based on news reports, some videos, opinions of critics, and hearsays.

“First, how did she know that that’s the way the drug operations are being conducted? What’s the basis?” Panelo said.

“She just cannot come here and read newspaper reports and hear the talks of some critics and watch some videos and make a conclusion that there is something wrong the way this government is doing its job,” he added.

Panelo said that how Callamard arrived at her conclusion was more important than the circumstances of her visit in the Philippines—whether it was on her own or through an invitation.

“What I’m questioning is the basis of her conclusion, which is based on hearsay and some reports coming from whoever and from wherever. It’s not an independent study. It’s not an objective study. It’s just a conclusion on the basis of things that she heard,” Panelo said.

But Panelo indicated that the Philippine government’s invitation to Callamard was already pointless when she already made her mind on the war on drugs.

“Alangan naman pilitin siya kung ayaw niya eh. Not only that, you know, the fact alone that she already made conclusions, I don’t think she would be competent enough or objective enough to undertake any study. She already made a conclusion, on the basis of hearsay and reports and whatever,” Panelo said.

“She was saying she read reports, she saw some videos, and on the basis of that, she made a conclusion that the operation against the drug menace in this country is wrong. How can she make that kind of conclusion when she only read the reports of some people and saw some videos?" he added.

"She has to make an independent probe or investigation on what’s happening in this country. This is precisely why the President invited her to come over. But she never responded to that," Panelo said.

While Callamard earlier said that the terms the Philippine government presented for her visit were against their Code of Conduct, Panelo said it was only fair that President Rodrigo Duterte would be able to question her conclusion.

"What the President just wanted to say after the investigation is, ‘Tell us, what’s the basis of your investigation?’ What’s wrong with asking someone making an investigation, ‘This is our conclusion.’ Then the President, ‘How did you make that conclusion? Who are the people you asked? How did you come about?’" Panelo said.

"I don’t think that’s unfair. That’s a very fair response from someone who has been investigated," he added.

International Court of Justice (ICC) whom claimed to have the authority for extrajudicial killings cases around the world has been labeled as International Caucasian Justice by the African nations for its failure to file cases on Western and European countries that committed thousands extrajudicial killings while acting as superior in issuing verdicts to the African countries as mass murderer in a form of bullying  the small and poor countries.

Several African nations have left and vacated their seats at the United Nations for distrust and integrity issues of the UN for its unfair and selective justice in issuing verdicts.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

88 Meters Korean Anti-Submarine Warship Offered to the Philippines for ₱5,000 Pesos Each a real deal?

Korean Pohang-Class Anti-Submarine Warship “Chungju PCC-762” Offered to Philippine Navy
Korean Pohang-Class Anti-Submarine Warship “Chungju PCC-762” Offered to Philippine Navy for $100 USD

88 Meters Korean Anti-Submarine Warship Cheaper than a Smart Phone: Philippines to buy three for ₱5,000 Pesos Each a real deal?

Korean Pohang-Class Anti-Submarine “Chungju PCC-762” which launched on 30th June 1984, commissioned on 1987 and was decommissioned on 27th December 2016 after 29 years of service in protecting Korean waters has been offered to the Philippine Navy by the Korean Government.

South Korea will transfer an ageing Pohang-class anti-submarine warship to the Philippines this year in return for just $US100 (₱ 5,000.00), boosting its capability to patrol vast maritime borders.
The 88.3 meters corvette type warship has a 1,200 tones displacement, speed of 32 knots (59 km/h), and capacity of 95 crews.

It could be fitted with armaments such as 2 x MM-38 Exocet, 1 OTO melara 76 mm/62 compact cannon, 2 x Emerlec 30 mm cannons, 4 x harpoon missiles, 2 x Nobong 40mm/70 twin cannons, 3 x Mark 32 triple torpedo tubes with 6 chung sang Eoes and 12 x mark 9 depth charges.

South Korea, next to USA for being the largest source of Philippine military hardware, from fighter jets, and patrol ships to armored vehicles and army trucks.

USA has provided almost the same armament to the Philippines in 2013 but unlike the Pohang Anti-submarine warship which cost the Philippines only $100 USD, the Hamilton Class cutters from the USA cost the Philippine government a hefty $10 Million US Dollars.

Philippines received ten FA-50 light fighters from Seoul and two more will be delivered next month to complete the 12 aircraft, 18 billion peso deal.

The Philippines has expressed interest to acquire six more similar planes.

"We are hoping to receive the vessel within the year," defense spokesman Arsenio Andolong said of the warship.

"The transfer will be in the form of a donation. We will pay a token $US100, but the corvette will still undergo refurbishment."

He said he has no idea how much the Philippines would need to spend to repair and restore the warship.

Andolong said the Philippines may acquire up to three such warships, which Seoul is replacing with newer and faster vessels.

"This may be an old ship but it will definitely enhance our capability to patrol our waters and perform counter-terrorism measures," he added.

South Korea has donated a lot of military hardware to the Philippines and has expressed gratitude for Manila's role in the 1950-53 Korean War.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Russia Warship in the Philippines for Joint Exercise; Draft for Defense Agreement for Duterte Visit may 25

Dream Meaning OF WEARING BLUE OR PURPLE
Naval Group of Russia's Pacific Fleet Makes Port Call in Philippines' Manila for 4 days- First Joint Excercise

Philippines – Russia First Joint Exercise

Russian Warship arrived in the Philippines on Thursday for joint exercises as part of a drive for new security ties under President Rodrigo Duterte's revamped foreign policy of courting the traditional foes of Manila's top ally, Washington.

The guided-missile cruiser Varyag, accompanied by the fuel tanker ship, Pechenge, are on a four-day goodwill visit to the Philippines, the second port call by Russian warships in three months.

The move is part of what Duterte describes as a pursuit of a constitutionally mandated "independent foreign policy". He has made no secret of his grudge against the United States and has made befriending Russia and China the priority of his diversification drive.

Captain Lued Lincuna, director of the Philippine navy's public affairs, said the Philippines hoped to learn from the Russians during training activities and a demonstration of advanced equipment and weapons systems.

The schedule includes training and sports activities with the flagship vessel of the Russian Pacific fleet, plus a Russian concert in a park.

Video: Naval Group of Russia's Pacific Fleet Makes Port Call in Philippines' Manila for 4 days- First Joint Excercise

Philippines – Russia Defense Agreement

Russian commander Captain Alexsei Ulyanenko said the port call would make a "significant contribution" to strengthening relations and maintaining stability in the region.

Moscow wants to help Manila combat extremism and piracy, stepping up cooperation and training in areas where the Philippines has traditionally worked closely with its former colonial master the United States.

The relationship is expected to develop further next month when Duterte and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin witness the signing of defense agreements in Moscow.

When Duterte met Putin for the first time last year, the Philippine leader spoke at length about what he called U.S. "hypocrisy".

Duterte has instructed his defense minister to look into how the Philippines could acquire modern military equipment from Russia, like drones, night-vision gear, sniper rifles, and even helicopters.

Duterte to visit Russia on May 25

President Rodrigo Duterte will be visiting Russia on May 25.

During his speech at the induction of newly elected officers of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc., Duterte said Armed Forces of the Philippines Central Command chief Army Major General Oscar Lactao will be joining him.

"So I'm going there with Lactao, May 25," Duterte said. "[Sabi ko sa kanya,] Maganda rin ang mga Russian. Iyon lang man ang puntahan mo. Usap kami ni Putin."

[Translation: I told Lactao, "Russians are also beautiful. At least go with me for that." Putin and I will talk.]

He also reiterated Russia's commitment to helping the Philippines.

"Sabi pa ng Russia [said], "We will have everything you need, just come here,"" he added.

Improved Philippine-Russian relations

Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovaev told CNN Philippines' "The Source" in January that Duterte's visit to Russia is a "milestone" in the ties between the two nations.

"Both the Russian and Philippine side, we need to prepare substantial and solid package of bilateral agreements on cooperation in different fields, and we are now taking necessary efforts," Khovaev said.

He also said Russian companies are willing to explore Philippine markets. He urged Philippine companies to reciprocate and explore the Russian market as well.

"We are ready to cooperate in industries of transport, energy… including the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, telecommunications, agriculture, and many other fields. Both sides have a lot to offer," Khovaev said.

Economic, military agreements in the works

Economic ties between Manila and Moscow are at their infancy.

Russia has not had any foreign direct investment in the Philippines since 1999, central bank data showed.

Russia accounted for $43 million (around ₱2.17 billion) in overseas remittances last year, but it was only 0.2 percent of the total $26.9 billion (around ₱1.35 trillion) sent home by Filipinos from all over the world.

In addition, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said Russia committed to importing up to $2.5 billion (around ₱126 billion) worth of Philippine fruits, grains and vegetables in 2017.

Imports by Russia from the Philippines stand at $46 million (around ₱2.32 billion), according to government trade statistics.

Beyond economic links, the Philippines is also eyeing military cooperation with Russia. Defense officials have said they were looking into possible joint exercises and weapons deals with the Kremlin.

Building trust

In addition, Khovaev said he is optimistic that Filipinos would trust Russia more as the two countries build bridges.

"It's time for Filipinos to discover Russia, and vice-versa… and I have a strong belief, we'll trust each other." he said.

In a non-commissioned survey released by Pulse Asia on January 12, 38 percent of Filipinos trust Russia, while 58 percent do not.

These figures are far behind that of the United States, which has a 76 percent trust rating.

"It's a good result if we take into account so many decades of Hollywood-style Russian propaganda in your country," he said, in apparent reference to prevailing perceptions of Russia as "communist" when it was formerly known as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

The Philippines has long been known as an ally of the U.S., even after it was colonized by the superpower from 1898 to 1946..With reports from Channel News Asia and CNN Philippines

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

DuterteNomics Unveiled First Subway in The Philippines, Completion of 4 railways in 2022 New Airports, Seaports, Railways, Roads & Bridges

Null
Slide presented at the "Dutertenomics" forum on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 where President Rodrigo Duterte's top officials introduced planned construction projects. DOTr/Released

DuterteNomics blueprint unveiled the build, build, and build for the “golden age of infrastructure,” in the Philippines.

  • ₱227 Billion - First Subway in the Philippines for Quezon City to Taguig City a 25 kilometer underground railway system to finished year 2024
  • ₱225-million PNR North Rail systems, 100-kilometer Tutuban - Clark to be completed in 2021
  • ₱55.478-Billion – First Mindanao Railway (Circumferential) project, a 2,000 kilometer railway to finished 2021
  • PNR South Rail that would connect Manila with Calamba and Los Baños in Laguna, and the Bicol region to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2021
  • Manila International Airport – Quezon City – Clark International Airport Bullet train system interconnecting the first Subway in QC to finished before 2021
  • ₱23.3 billion North Luzon Expressway-South Luzon Expressway connector road, which starts from C3 Road in Caloocan through Manila, crossing Espana towards PUP, Sta. Mesa connecting Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3.
  • The completion of the SLEX-NLEX connector road, projected to take place in 2020, is expected to reduce vehicle congestion along EDSA, C5 Road and other major thoroughfares, and cut the travel time between NLEX and SLEX to 15-20 minutes from more than an hour.

First Metro subway's first phase to link Quezon City, Taguig

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said at a forum on Tuesday that the subway system, pegged at an initial ₱227 million for the central section, will pass Mandaluyong City and Pasig City.

The transport system, the first subway project the country will undertake, is foreseen to accommodate around 300,000 commuters daily, Tugade said.

The proposed subway stems from an ongoing Japan International Cooperation Agency's feasibility study, which will be subject to the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte and his officials. The study is expected to be completed in July this year.

The Japanese agency's proposal aiming to ease road congestion includes an expansion of the subway to start from San Jose del Monte in Bulacan to Dasmariñas City in Cavite to be completed by 2024.

Economic, Development  Blueprint

President Rodrigo Duterte's economic managers made the announcements at an event hosted by the Department of Finance and the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) at the Conrad Hotel, Pasay City.

According to the PCOO, DuterteNomics includes the current administration's main governance and fiscal policies, comprehensive big-ticket infrastructure programs and upgraded social services targeted to accelerate growth. The economic and development blueprint also aims to transform the Philippines into a "high middle-income economy" by 2022.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said the economic and development plan is anchored on the 10-point socioeconomic agenda of the Duterte administration that focuses on "the production of a progressive tax reform package and measures designed to bring about increased competitiveness, accelerated infrastructure spending, and improved social amelioration and development programs."

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, in a keynote speech, said the Philippines had trailed behind other countries with good economy, but stressed that it is about time to rebuild the country’s competitiveness by pushing for programs such as tax reform package and infrastructure projects. "An investment-led growth pattern creates job and opens more economic opportunities for our people," he said. "We must build a truly inclusive economy. To do so, our economy should be investment-led, creating new jobs and opening opportunities for all." 

Dominguez said the government is also looking forward to what has been called a "demographic sweet spot," as the populations of some of the more mature economies in Asia begin to age. He said that the administration has to invest in the Filipino youth.

Ongoing projects are being implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) that are either locally funded, with Official Development Assistance (ODA), or through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects, the following: 

  1. Mandaluyong Main Drainage Project (Phase II)
  2. Central Luzon Link Expressway, Phase I,
  3. Tarlac-Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija; Integrated Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation Measures in the Low Lying Areas of Pampanga Bay
  4. Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (Binalonan-Rosario Section)
  5. Flood Risk Management Project (FRIMP) in Cagayan de Oro River
  6. Sen. Gil Puyat Ave.-Paseo De Roxas / Makati Ave. Vehicle Underpass Project
  7. Bonifacio Global City-Ortigas Center Link Road Project
  8. UP-Miriam-Ateneo Viaduct along C-5/ Katipunan
  9. Metro Manila Priority Bridges Seismic Improvement Project (Guadalupe Bridge and Lambingan Bridge
  10. Widening/Improvement of Gen. Luis St.-Kaybiga-Polo-Novaliches
  11. Cavite-Laguna Expressway
  12. NLEX-SLEX Connector Road
  13. Metro Manila Interchange Construction Project VI
  14. Davao City By-Pass Construction Project (South Section (Road) and Center Section (Tunnel)
  15. Panguil Bay Bridge, and Phase 1 of the Metro Manila Flood Management Project


PPP awarded projects
  1. Integrated Transport System (ITS) Project
  2. South Terminal
  3. Integrated Transport System (ITS) Project
  4. Southwest Terminal
  5. LRT Line 1 Cavite Extension and Operations and Maintenance
  6. Contactless Automatic Fare Collection System
  7. Mactan Cebu International Airport Project
  8. MRT Line 7


PPP projects that are either undergoing or about to undergo bidding
  1. The Development, Operations and Maintenance of Bacolod-Silay, Davao, Iloilo, Laguindingan and New Bohol (Panglao) Airports;
  2. LRT Line 2 Operations and Maintenance;
  3. Road Transport Information Technology Infrastructure (Phase II);
  4. LRT Line 6;
  5. Philippine National Railways – South Line (previously, the North-South Railway Project – South Line);
  6. NAIA Development

The DOTr, through a combination of ODA and PPP, is implementing and developing a total of 23 rail projects which will greatly expand the country’s rail system from the current 77 kilometers to over 1,750 Km.

The 10 ongoing rail projects includes the following:
  1. PNR North (Manila-Malolos),
  2. PNR South Commuter PPP Project (Manila-Los Banos),
  3. PNR South Long Haul PPP Project (Los Banos-Legaspi,Matnog,Batangas Port),
  4. Line 1 Cavite Extension PPP Project (Baclaran-Niog),
  5. Automated Fare Collection System PPP Project (Beep Card),
  6. Line 2 O&M PPP Project,
  7. Line 2 East Extension (Santolan-Masinag),
  8. Line 2 West Extension (Recto-Pier 4),
  9. Line 6 PPP Project (Niog-Dasmarinas),
  10. Line 7 PPP Project (San Jose Del Monte-North EDSA).

Rail projects are being developed by DOTr
  1. Mindanao Railway (Circumferential),
  2. Cebu Railway (5 lines),
  3. Panay Railway,
  4. Line 4 (Taytay-Manila) PPP Project,
  5. Line 5 (Pasay-Makati-Taguig) PPP Project,
  6. Line 8 (Quezon City-Manila) PPP Project,
  7. PNR North Phase 2 (Malolos-Clark),
  8. Mega Manila Subway Project,
  9. Subic-Clark Railway


DOTr 3 Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems:
  1. Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)
  2. The Quezon Avenue Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)
  3. The Central Corridor (EDSA) Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).


Other DPWH projects:
  1. Panay-Guimaras-Negros Link Project
  2. EDSA-Taft Flyover
  3. Central Luzon Link Expressway, Phase II
  4. Cabanatuan-San Jose, Nueva Ecija
  5. Flood Protection Works in the Marikina River including Retarding Basin
  6. Dalton Pass East Alignment Alternative Road Project

FUNDING FOR THESE PROJECTS

The government is spending 5.3 percent of the country’s gross domestic product in 2017 to finance the building, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said. This will be raised to 7.1 percent by 2022.

This is higher than the 2.6 percent annual average of the past six administrations in the last 50 years, he said.

“In the decades when we neglected our infrastructure, we lost out on competitiveness,” Dominguez said.

“This is the time to move decisively. Fortunately we have a leader capable of much audacity.”

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the government under Duterte would spend P8.4 trillion for infrastructure.

A government portal (www.build.gov.ph) was also launched to help the public guard the infrastructure projects against corruption.

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the website would be regularly updated to reflect the progress of every project.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Duterte Ordered Military Plant Flags in 10 Islands, Upgrade runway in Spratly, rename Benham to RIDGE

Duterte Ordered Military Plant Flags in 10 Islands, Upgrade runway in Spratly
Spratly Islands in the West Philippines Sea, Province of Palawan

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the military to occupy and fortify all Philippine-held islands in the West Philippine Sea (South  China Sea)  to assert the country’s claims amid what he says is a race to control territory in the area.

“We tried to be friends with everybody but we have to maintain our jurisdiction now, at least the areas under our control,” he said during a visit to a military camp in western Palawan province.

Duterte said he has ordered the armed forces to occupy and place Philippine flags on all islands, reefs and shoals controlled by the Philippines.

“There are about nine or 10 islands there, we have to fortify,” he said. “I must build bunkers there or houses and provisions for habitation.”

Duterte said he may visit one of the islands, Pag-asa, to plant a Philippine flag on Independence Day. He said money has been budgeted to repair the runway on Pag-asa, home to a small fishing community and Filipino troops.

Since taking office in June, Duterte has worked to mend ties with China that were strained under his predecessor over the territorial disputes.

President Duterte, who on the campaign trail joked that would jet ski to a Chinese man-made island in the South China Sea to reinforce Manila's claim, said he may visit a Philippine-controlled island to raise the national flag.

Duterte's plan is unlikely to sit well with China, which lays claim to almost all the South China Sea, despite a fast-warming relationship between the two sides in recent months.

The Philippines occupies nine "features", or islands and reefs, in the South China Sea, including a World War II-vintage transport ship which ran aground on Second Thomas Shoal in the late 1990s.

Duterte told reporters he would visit the island of Thitu, the largest of the Philippine-controlled Spratly Islands, and build a barracks for servicemen operating in the area.

"In the coming Independence Day, I may go to Pagasa island to raise the flag there," Duterte told reporters, using the local name for Thitu.

The Philippines marks 119th year of independence from more than three centuries of Spanish rule on June 12.

Thitu is close to Subi Reef, one of seven man-made islands in the Spratlys that China is accused of militarising with surface-to-air missiles, among other armaments.

Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan also have claims in the strategic waters.

Duterte's comment made at a military base on Palawan island, near the disputed waters, came two days after Manila's acting foreign minister said China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations had made progress on a framework for a code of conduct in the South China Sea.

Duterte announced his "separation" from the United States in October, declaring he had realigned with China as the two agreed to resolve their South China Sea dispute through talks.

His efforts to engage China, months after a tribunal in the Hague ruled that Beijing did not have historic rights to the South China Sea, marks an astonishing reversal in foreign policy since he took office on June 30.

Last month, Defence Minister Delfin Lorenzana said the military would strengthen its facilities in the Spratlys, building a new port, paving an existing rough airstrip and repairing other structures.

Chinese coast guard vessels prevented a Philippine nationalist group from planting a Filipino flag on a rocky outcrop in another part of the South China Sea in June.

Duterte said last month it was pointless trying to challenge China's fortification of its man-made islands and ridiculed the media for referring to his comment that he would jet ski to one Beijing's reclaimed reefs.

"We cannot stop them because they are building it with their mind fixed that they own the place. China will go to war," he said. "People want me to jet ski. These fools believed me."

An impeachment complaint has been filed against him that cites, among other things, his alleged failure to protest China’s territorial expansion in the South China Sea.

Rival claimants, including the Philippines and Vietnam, have expressed alarm over Beijing’s building of artificial islands in the disputed region.

“It looks like there’s a race to grab islands,” Duterte said. “What is ours now, we should get and make a strong point that it is ours.”

Benham Rise to "Philippine Ridge"

President Duterte Renaming
President Duterte Renaming "Benham Rise" to "Philippine Ridge"

Duterte also said that he will rename Benham Rise — a potentially resource-rich undersea region off the country’s northeast coast — the Philippine Ridge.

Benham Rise is on the opposite side of the Philippines from the area at dispute in the South China Sea. The U.N. Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf confirmed in 2012 that Benham Rise is part of the extended continental shelf of the Philippines.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has said that Chinese survey ships were seen crisscrossing the Benham Rise area last year resulting the Philippines to protest such incident.

China recently said that they respect and recognized the Sovereign Rights of the Philippines over the Benham Rise and is not contesting it.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

China, Japan, Korea, Russia compete for $2 Billion Nuclear Plant, LNG Philippines Gas project

Russia Floating Nuclear Power Plant Technology
Russia Floating Nuclear Power Plant Technology. illustration: popsci.com

China, Japan compete for $2bn Philippine gas project


China and Japan are competing for a $2-billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in the Philippines, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi told the Nikkei Asian Review.

Over 20 companies from eight countries have proposed partnerships with state-owned Philippine National Oil Corp. for an LNG receiving terminal at the southern part of Luzon Island. Cusi said his team is still reviewing funding and technology options.

"We are talking to China [and] Japan," he said. "We are looking at which can offer the best in terms of funding. It's too early to say who is more advanced -- there are so many things to look into."

Countries that offer the best financing options usually pick their own domestic contractors. Cusi said Tokyo Gas, Osaka Gas, and a number of Chinese state-owned and private companies have shown interest.

Cusi is vice chairman of President Rodrigo Duterte's PDP-Laban party. He has traveled to Beijing and Tokyo this year to solicit energy investments for the Philippines, which runs into alerts and price spikes for electricity whenever the country's lone LNG facility undergoes maintenance.

Cusi said he plans to travel to South Korea and Russia, and does not favor any particular power-generating technology. He said Malampaya, the only source of natural gas in the Philippines, is expected to be exhausted by 2024. The gas field operated by a consortium led by Royal Dutch Shell provides 40-45% of Luzon island's power requirements. Luzon accounts for two-thirds of gross domestic product in the Philippines.

The proposed terminal could import LNG from other countries while alternate Philippine resources are being developed. These include gas fields in the South China Sea in dispute with China. The terminal's plant will initially generate around 200 megawatts, but can expand to 800MW. Cusi hopes to find an investor this year.

Duterte is targeting total household electrification before he leaves office in 2022. As of December, over 90% of households had access to energy. Cusi also said he is studying the possibility of activating a $2 billion nuclear power plant on the Bataan peninsula. The project, initiated under President Ferdinand Marcos in the 1970s but never activated, is located near an earthquake fault line.

Sulu Province of Southern Philippines could have the first ever operating 100 MW Nuclear Power Plant this year according to the report (see here) - Nikkei Asian Review

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Duterte early lead in “TIME: No. 1 Most Influential Person in the Universe” VOTE NOW! For his Crown

Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte takes early lead in TIME 100 pol Most inflential person in the universe
Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte takes early lead in TIME 100 poll.

The TIME 100— annual list of the most influential people in the world—features a number of leading artists, politicians, lawmakers, scientists and leaders of tech and business. Although TIME's editors will choose the final list of honorees, we want readers to share their choices with us as well.

Did football player Colin Kaepernick or Oscar-winning filmmaker Barry Jenkins strike you as most influential this year? What about the Women's March co-chairs, Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory, Carmen Perez and Bob Bland? Or perhaps Steve Bannon or Kellyanne Conway, close advisers to President Donald Trump?

How about the Philippine' most popular President and  illegal drugs buster Hero "Rodrigo Roa Duterte"? will you cast your vote for him?

Cast your vote below. Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. E.T. on April 16, 2017, and the winner of the reader poll will be announced immediately after. This year's official TIME 100 list will be announced April 20.

VOTE HERE!

If you want Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to be crowned as Time 2017 most influential person in the Universe then give him an unrivalled VOTE just him alone. But if you want others to compete his crown then vote the others as well as his challenger. To vote click “YES” for approval and “NO” for disapproval or if you don’t like the candidate to be crowned as most influential person. Click START POOL


Your vote counts! just vote accroding to what your heart's says.

See Who Is Winning the 2017 TIME 100 Poll here 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

2 TC-90 Japanese Jet be Transferred to the Philippines March 27 To Patrol Maritime Territory

TC-90 Japanese Jet be Transferred to the Philippines
2 of 5 leased Super King Air Beechcraft trainer jet left Japan's Tokushima Air Base Arriving the Philippines March 27

Two of the Five Leased T-C90 Japanese aircraft will be officially transferred to the Philippine Navy next week in a boost for Manila’s limited capabilities and an indicator of the significance of the bilateral defense relationship.

T-C90 Trainer jet is developed by Beechcraft Super King Air and is comprises of number of twin-turboprop models that have been divided into two families; the Model 90 and 100 series developed in the 1960s are known as King Airs, while the later T-tail Model 200 and 300 series were originally marketed as Super King Airs, with "Super" being dropped by Beechcraft in 1996.

The King Air was the first aircraft in its class and has been in continuous production since 1964. It has outsold all of its turboprop competitors combined. It now faces competition from jet aircraft such as the Embraer Phenom 100, Honda HA-420 HondaJet and Cessna Citation Mustang; as well as from newer turboprop aircraft including the Piaggio P180 Avanti, and single-engine Piper Malibu Meridian, Pilatus PC-12, and Socata TBM.

According to the Japan Ministry of Defense’s Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Agency (ATLA), two Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) TC-90 training aircraft will be officially transferred to the Philippine Navy on March 27. In a confirmation on Monday, the agency said that the aircraft would leave on Tokushima Air Base on March 23, with an arrival ceremony to be held at Naval Base Heracleo Alano in Sangley Point, Cavite City.

It had also come shortly after both sides had inked a landmark defense equipment and technology agreement, which was just the fourth Tokyo had signed with any country. As I have pointed out before, though attention tends to be overly focused on the Philippines’ relationship with its treaty ally, the United States, Japan is another of the key security partners that Manila has been cultivating. Thus far, signs are that this is set to continue under Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, despite discontinuities in other dimensions of foreign policy

Philippine officials have publicly admitted that the TC-90s would be a much-needed capability boost for the military, which remains one of Asia’s weakest. The planes have around twice the range of the existing Norman-Britten BN-2 Islander fleet, which the navy uses for patrol, surveillance, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and rapid assessment missions. They are also much faster. The aircraft can also be fitted with additional equipment such as basic surface and air surveillance radar that would make it useful on the South China Sea front.

The TC-90s will be used to augment the existing Norman-Britten BN-2 Islander fleet, which the Navy uses in patrol, surveillance and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) and rapid assessment missions.

Last November, two Philippine Navy pilots and six air crews left for Japan to start their TC-90 flight training.

The Department of National Defense (DND) earlier announced that the Philippines will re-equip the TC-90s as Japan has stripped them of some equipment, including their surveillance systems.

The country will pay Japan $7,000 USD each for the first four aircraft yearly and only $200 USD for the fifth, for total of $28,200 USD as stipulated in its lease agreement.

The 5 TC-90 Beechcraft Super King Air which would be transferred to the Philippines for lease agreement are part of the active 40 TC-90 Trainer Jet in Japan leaving 35 active in the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) asset inventory.

The DND added it is also looking at the possibility of using the TC-90 for 20 years while the military is upgrading its equipment.

The TC-90, which is part of the Beechcraft King Air aircraft family, was offered by Japan shortly after the Agreement Concerning the Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology was finalized Feb. 29 last year.

The TC-90’s patrol range is double that of a small Philippine aircraft, which only has a maximum range of 300 km.

Monday, March 20, 2017

In 18 Century- Europe Invaded China, 21 Century Asks Free Druglords in Philippines: Duterte SO ANGRY on EU's Requests: Give Shabu to Addicts, FREE the Drug Lords Selling Drugs

Opium War in Asia - Britain invaded China for arresting the druglords from selling Opium drugs, products of Britain
Opium War in Asia - Britain invaded China for arresting the druglords from selling Opium drugs, products of Britain. Photo: Nationalinterest.org


The War That Made Asia: How the Opium War Crushed China


European countries First Illegal Drug Trafficking to China led to “The Opium War, China’s Defeat”
In 1839, England went to war with China because it was upset that Chinese officials had shut down its drug trafficking racket and confiscated its dope.

Stating the historical record so plainly is shocking — but it’s true, and the consequences of that act are still being felt today.

The Qing Dynasty, founded by Manchurian clans in 1644, expanded China’s borders to their farthest reach, conquering Tibet, Taiwan and the Uighur Empire. However, the Qing then turned inward and isolationist, refusing to accept Western ambassadors because they were unwilling to proclaim the Qing Dynasty as supreme above their own heads of state.

Foreigners — even on trade ships — were prohibited entry into Chinese territory.

The exception to the rule was in Canton, the southeastern region centered on modern-day Guangdong Province, which adjoins Hong Kong and Macao. Foreigners were allowed to trade in the Thirteen Factories district in the city of Guangzhou, with payments made exclusively in silver.

The British gave the East India Company a monopoly on trade with China, and soon ships based in colonial India were vigorously exchanging silver for tea and porcelain. But the British had a limited supply of silver.

More War, More Opium:


Imperialism was on the upswing by the mid-1800s. France muscled into the treaty port business as well in 1843. The British soon wanted even more concessions from China — unrestricted trade at any port, embassies in Beijing and an end to bans on selling opium in the Chinese mainland.

One tactic the British used to further their influence was registering the ships of Chinese traders they dealt with as British ships.

The pretext for the second Opium War is comical in its absurdity. In October 1856, Chinese authorities seized a former pirate ship, the Arrow, with a Chinese crew and with an expired British registration. The captain told British authorities that the Chinese police had taken down the flag of a British ship.

The British demanded the Chinese governor release the crew. When only nine of the 14 returned, the British began a bombardment of the Chinese forts around Canton and eventually blasted open the city walls…. Read more at Nationalinterest.org


hilippine President Rodrigo Duterte has described European lawmakers as

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has described European lawmakers as "crazies" in a salty-tongued rebuttal to criticism of his deadly drug war, while vowing again that all traffickers will be killed. PHOTO: REUTERS


Duterte to EU: Stop meddling in Philippine affairs 


President Rodrigo Duterte once again hit back at the European Union (EU) for meddling with the issues of the Philippines.

"Why are you trying to impose on us?" he said in a speech Sunday at a meeting with the Filipino community in Myanmar, where he was on a two-day official visit.

"Why won't you mind your own business," he added.

Duterte's statements come after the European Parliament on Friday issued a joint resolution calling for the release of Senator Leila De Lima, who was arrested on February 24 on drug charges.

The President also responded to the body's suggestion that the ongoing drug war must go hand-in-hand with measures for prevention and detoxification, including the opening of new rehabilitation centers.

"This EU Parliament, prinopose nila lahat na lang na addicts, bigyan nalang," Duterte said. "Kung shabu, bigyan ng shabu. Kung cocaine, bigyan ka ng cocaine. Magpunta ka lang sa center."

[Translation: This EU Parliament is proposing that we just give drugs to addicts. If they're addicted to shabu, we should give them shabu. If they're addicted to cocaine, we should give them cocaine. They just need to go to the center.]

The government has moved into the second phase of its war on drugs by shifting towards reforming drug dependents by building more rehabilitation centers, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in October 2016.

Duterte and the EU


Duterte has chastised the EU since it criticized the war on drugs he launched in July 2016.

In September 2016, he challenged the United Nations and EU lawyers to come to the Philippines to prove their claims of alleged extrajudicial killings related to the drug war.

The President said he should be given the opportunity to be heard by them.

"In keeping with the time-honored principle of the right to be heard, matapos nila akong tanungin, tatanungin ko sila. Iisa-isahin ko sila," he said. "Manood kayo. Tignan niyo kung paano ko lampasuhin yang mga yawa na 'yan."

[Translation: In keeping with the time-honored principle of the right to be heard, I will ask them. Each one of them. You watch. Watch me discredit those idiots.]

In October 2016, Duterte challenged the United States and the EU to pull out their aid to the Philippines.

"If you think it is high time for you guys to withdraw your assistance, go ahead," he said. "We will not beg for it," Duterte said.

Meanwhile, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said at the ASEAN Economic Ministers' EU Trade Consultations earlier this month that the Philippines's human-rights record — from the war on drugs to the proposed reimposition of the death penalty — could be a sticking point in free-trade agreements between Philippines and the EU.

"The European Parliament and member-states have some concerns about this development," she said."We are discussing this with our partners in the Philippines."

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said if the EU doesn't budge on its allegations of alleged extrajudicial killings, the Philippines would not be swayed by conditions imposed on it by international bodies.

"If this drug war, the death penalty, are the best ways to respond to criminality, then that is what we must pursue," Lopez said. - With reports from The National Interest and CNN Philippines

LEARN FOREX TRADING AND GET RICH

Investment Recommendation: Bitcoin Investments

Live trading with Bitcoin through ETORO Trading platform would allow you to grow your $100 to $1,000 Dollars or more in just a day. Just learn how to trade and enjoy the windfall of profits. Take note, Bitcoin is more expensive than Gold now.


Where to buy Bitcoins?

For Philippine customers: You could buy Bitcoin Online at Coins.ph
For outside the Philippines customers  may buy Bitcoins online at Coinbase.com