Showing posts with label International. Show all posts
Showing posts with label International. Show all posts

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 

Saturday, July 16, 2016

FORBES: The Philippines Should Sue China For $190.08 Billion USD In South China Sea Rent And Damages

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This Monday, May 11, 2015, file photo, taken through a glass window of a military plane, shows China’s alleged on-going reclamation of Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. China’s campaign of island building in the South China Sea might soon quadruple the number of airstrips available to the People’s Liberation Army in the highly contested, environmentally delicate, and strategically vital region. (Ritchie B. Tongo/Pool Photo via AP, File)

The Philippines Should Sue China For $177 Billion In South China Sea Rent And Damages

China owes the Philippines and other countries more than $177 billion in rent and damages for China’s South China Sea fiasco. The Permanent Court of Arbitration found on Tuesday that Mischief Reef is a low-water elevation and within Philippines’ exclusive economic zone. This gives the Philippines’ indisputable legal rights to the reef. But since 1995 when China occupied the reef, China irreparably harmed the reef’s delicate marine ecosystem by dredging and building an artificial island there, including a military garrison and air-strip. By my estimate, China owes the Philippines $12.4 billion in rent and damages for Mischief Reef alone. Considering other Chinese island-building, the country owes the Philippines and other claimant countries more than $177 billion. If China doesn’t want to pay, the Philippines can sue in the courts of the U.S. and other countries where China holds property.

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Billing Computation is a separate computation provided by the PesoReserve.com

Here is how to calculate what China owes. In 2015, the U.S. paid $1.97 million to the Philippines for 0.58 acres of coral reef destroyed when the USS Guardian went aground. That is a key reference point for environmental claims. Rent is even more costly. In 1988, the Philippines demanded $1.2 billion from the U.S. in rent for 6 military bases — $200 million each per year in 1988 dollars. The U.S. refused and got evicted.

By those metrics, the Philippines could sue China for about $4.6 billion of environmental damages to Mischief Reef in 2016 dollars, plus the requirement to pay $7.8 billion in rent. If China refuses to pay the combined $12.4 billion, the Philippines could seek redress in foreign civil courts to attach China’s offshore assets — of which there are plenty.

But China is liable for much more.  China occupied six additional features in 1988 in the Spratley’s claimed by the Philippines, plus Scarborough Shoal in 2012.

The Philippines did not resist because they justifiably feared violence on the part of China. In 1988, Vietnam claims that China killed 64 Vietnamese soldiers who resisted on Johnson South Reef in the Spratley’s. China disputes the claim, but according to historian and BBC reporter Bill Hayton, “Strangely, a propaganda film released by the Chinese Navy in 2009 to celebrate the navy’s 60th anniversary gives more credence to the Vietnamese version. The video, now available on YouTube, was shot from one of the Chinese ships and shows the Vietnamese force standing knee deep in water as the tide rises over the reef. Huge spouts of water then erupt around the Vietnamese troops as the Chinese ships open fire. Within seconds the thin line of men has completely disappeared and 64 lie dead in the water: the machine guns are Chinese and the victims Vietnamese. The Chinese won the battle of Johnson Reef with a turkey shoot.”

China occupied six features within Philippines’ claim in 1988: Hughes Reef, Johnson South Reef, Gaven Reef, Subi Reef, Fiery Cross Reef, and Cuarteron Reef. China has since dredged and built on all these reefs. Based on Philippines’ 1988 demand for rent from the U.S., each of these six features should yield (in 2016 dollars) about $10.3 billion for 29 years of use — a total of $62 billion.

China occupied Scarborough Shoal in 2012, but has not yet built there. There are no known environmental damages to the shoal, but rent for five years should be about $1.8 billion (inclusive of 2012 and 2016).

By my count, and including the $7.8 billion in rent for Mischief Reef, China owes the Philippines about $71.6 billion in rent for occupation of all 8 China-occupied features in the Philippines’ claimed part of the South China Sea.

In addition, the Court found that China destroyed a total of 48 square miles in the South China Sea through illegal dredging and artificial island building. Based on the $1.97 million paid by the U.S. to the Philippines in 2015 for the grounding of the USS Guardian, an international court could levy a $105 billion fine on China for ecological destruction of all 48 square miles, payable to the Philippines and other claimant states.

Should China refuse to pay, the Philippines and other claimants can bring civil suits in the U.S. and any other locations where China holds substantial assets. The total levy on China for rent on Philippine-claimed features, plus ecological damage to the entire South China Sea, should be about $176.6 billion: double Philippines’ annual GDP, and about a third of China’s GDP. That doesn’t include rent payable to other claimants, which should also be paid.

When China vacates its artificial islands in the South China Sea and pays this fine, plus rent to other claimants and any additional payments to the families of those killed, most attentive citizens will consider justice to have been done. Until then the international ruling in favor of the Philippines, as China has said, is just a sheet of paper. - FORBES

I worked in military intelligence for five years, including on nuclear weapons, terrorism, cyber-security, border security, and counter-insurgency. I covered and visited Asia and Europe, and worked in Afghanistan for one and a half years. I have a Ph.D. in Government from Harvard University, and a B.A. and M.A. in international relations from Yale University (Summa cum laude). My company, Corr Analytics, provides political risk analysis to commercial, non-profit, and media clients, and publishes the Journal of Political Risk. I am editing a series on the South China Sea conflict, and have covered and visited Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.

The author is a Forbes contributor. The opinions expressed are those of the writer.

I cover international politics, security and political risk.

Follow me on Twitter @anderscorr. If you have any additional information related to this article, contact me at corr@canalyt.com.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Pantawid Gutom Cash Transfer in the Philippines Lauded by World Bank as world's best

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Conditional cash transfer beneficiaries PHOTO FROM BLOGS.ADB.ORG

PH cash transfer program among world’s best–World Bank

The World Bank gave the country’s conditional cash transfer (CCT) program high marks, saying it was one of the “largest and best-targeted social safety net programs in the world.”

Ruslan Yemstov, World Bank’s leading economist on social protection and labor, presented on Wednesday the results of the bank’s “The State of Social Safety Nets 2015” report which showed that 82 percent of the benefits of the Philippines’ CCT program went to the bottom 40 percent of the population and noted that it was “way superior” to previous social programs.

“The poor and vulnerable in the Philippines benefit from what is today one of the largest and best-targeted social safety net programs in the world,” said Yemstov, who led the team that prepared the WB report, said.

Protecting families

Social safety net programs include cash and in-kind transfers to poor households with the goal of protecting families from the impact of economic shocks, natural disasters, and other crises; ensuring that children grow up healthy, well-fed and stay in school; empowering women and girls, and creating jobs.

According to the World Bank report, more than 1.9 billion people in 136 low- and middle-income countries benefit from social safety net programs.

Across the world, CCT programs account for over 50 percent of social safety net programs, and are being implemented in 64 countries—a dramatic increase from two countries in 1997.

The report also noted that CCT had positive spillover effects on the local economy of target communities. Every dollar transferred to beneficiaries generates income ranging from $1.34 to $2.52 in local communities (“multiplier effects”).

Cash transfers boost school enrollment and attendance, increase live births in safer facilities, improve prenatal and postnatal care, promote regular growth monitoring of children during critically important early ages, and enhance food security, the report said.

In the Philippines, almost 4.5 million households are enrolled in the CCT, or Pantawid Pamilya program, from only 360,000 households in 2008.

“CCT grants account for an average of 11 percent of the income of the poorest recipient households,” noted World Bank Country Director Motoo Konishi.

Keep kids healthy and in school

Evaluation studies, according to Konishi, also show that CCT in the Philippines is delivering on its objectives: keeping poor children healthy and in school.

The program increased prenatal and postnatal care by 10 percentage points and increased the delivery of babies in health facilities by skilled health professionals by 20 percentage points. Children benefited by receiving higher intake of vitamin A and iron supplementation by around 12 percentage points and by increased weight monitoring visits to health facilities by 18 percentage points.

Aleksandra Posarac, program leader of the World Bank in Manila, said the Philippines has developed a system “way superior” to previous ones.

She lauded the government’s information management system, called Listahanan,” that identifies who and where the poor are in the country.

Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman, whose agency is the lead implementor of the social safety net program, said the data base, “in a way, makes it corruption-proof.” - INQUIRER

Monday, September 7, 2015

VIDEO: Pinay X Factor favorites 4th Power grew up in poverty before shooting to stardom got standing Ovation

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The group impressed the judges. image: mirror.co.uk

X Factor favorites 4th Power grew up in poverty before shooting to stardom, their mum reveals

The girl group sparked outrage last week as it was revealed they were professionals, but they have come a long way from their childhood

X Factor favorites 4th Power grew up in poverty before reaching stardom, their mum has revealed.

Filipino sisters Almira, 27, Celena, 19, Mylene, 23, and Irene, 25, wept with joy on the opening show after getting a standing ovation from the new judging panel of Simon Cowell, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Rita Ora and Nick Grimshaw.

Some viewers were livid when the Sunday People last week revealed they were seasoned professionals.

But life has not always been so good. The girls grew up in a poor neighborhood in the city of Santiago with two more siblings, their junk dealer dad Dominador and mum Erlindo.

Revealing the family's struggle, Erlindo said: "We moved from place to place to find a better life. Poverty forced my husband to buy and sell bottles and newspapers in a pushcart.

"I sold Tupperware, beauty products and fashionwear. With our hard work, we sent our five daughters and our son to school."

She revealed how they got their first break by finishing second in a family singing contest while wearing homemade kit.

The group appeared on This Morning

The sisters raised travel money by singing at an arena between cock fights and went on to perform at birthdays, weddings and concerts to help pay for school tuition.

A string of international competitions followed.

The band had told X Factor producers about their extensive experience before being invited to perform for the judges.- Read more at Mirror.co.uk

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Gilas Pilipinas whips Chinese Taipei-B, finishes 2nd in Jones Cup

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image: Inquirer

TAIPEI – Gilas Pilipinas, as expected, rampaged past Chinese Taipei B, 96-67, and secured first runner-up honors at the close of the 2015 Jones Cup invitational basketball tournament at the Xinchuang Gymnasium here Sunday (September 6, 2015).

The Nationals pulled away early and preserved a commanding lead to the finish to end up with a 6-2 win-loss record, a game behind Iran at 7-1.

Gilas Pilipinas pulled off earlier wins over Taipei A (77-69), Spartak-Primorye of Russia (85-71), Japan (75-60), the Wellington Saints of New Zealand (92-88) and USA Select-Overtake (78-74), and suffered losses against South Korea (70-82) and Iran (65-74).

Ahead of the Gilas-Taipei B tiff, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Manny V. Pangilinan prodded the Nationals to finish strong, thanking them for the patriotism they stirred on their proud showing here.

“Best of luck Gilas on your last game. Team has generated a lot of goodwill here,” Pangilinan posted on his Twitter account @iamMVP.

“I’m surprised myself at the level of keen interest, and support, as well as a strong sense of patriotism you guys have stirred,” he also said. “Let’s finish strong today; make this country stand taller and prouder. Cheers. Puso!”

The Nationals obliged, capping a performance that coach Tab Baldwin considered “a big step for FIBA Asia.”

“With all the circumstances, I’m pleased with the second-place finish. It’s respectable,” said Baldwin. “It’s not really want you want, but we take the most of it. And there are many positives.”

“Like Iran, Japan and korea, we came here to get better for FIBA Asia. It’s a very difficult format playing eight games in eight days. I think there were positives out of that, but we suffered fatigue and injuries. Importantly, we’ll take the positives from our Jones Cup experience,” he added.

Without a doubt, the Nationals got improvements in so many aspects, putting some of these in display in their lopsided win over Taipei B.

Gary David took his turn to lead the way with a game-high 22 points spiked by two three-pointers while Jayson Castro, Ranidel de Ocampo and Moala Tautuaa contributed double-digit outputs as the Nationals rolled past the young Taiwanese squad for a fifth podium finish here in the last 11 years.

Tautuaa and Calvin Abueva delivered 12 and eight points, respectively, playing their eighth game in eight days here. The two were the only Gilas players who played here without a day’s rest.

Abueva finally got a rest after hurting his back on a bad fall six minutes and 17 seconds into the game.

Subbing for Abueva, Troy Rosario nailed the two gift shots as Gilas seized the lead at 22-21 before eventually pulling away en route to the win and the second-place finish coming after Gilas II’s title run here in 2012.

It’s Team Phl’s eighth podium finish overall in the Jones Cup after four title conquests and three third-place finishes.

Iran recaptured the Jones Cup crown with a 7-1 record, its lone defeat coming at the hands of the Americans when the Iranians rested 7-foot-2 behemoth Hamed Haddadi.

Haddadi threw his weight against the Filipinos, but Baldwin can count on Andray Blatche to match up with the Iranian giant on their rematch in FIBA Asia.

The 6-foot-10 NBA veteran was to arrive here Sunday night and is to rejoin Gilas in practice in Manila starting Wednesday.

Blatche and the entire pool will have three practice days before plunging back into action in the MVP Cup on Friday to Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. (SB)

The scores:

Gilas 96 – David 22, Castro 15, Tautuaa 12, De Ocampo 10, Abueva 8, Intal 7, Ramos 7, Thoss 6, Rosario 6, Ganuelas-Rosser 3, Norwood 0, Taulava 0.

Taipei B 67 – Chien 18, Hsiao 14, Lin 9, Lee 9, Huang 8, Lee 3, Liu2, Lin CW 2, Chen 2, Chou 0, Cheng 0, Chien 0.

Quarterscores: 24-21, 50-32, 82-52, 96-67 - INQUIRER

Thursday, September 3, 2015

BASCAP and Philippines IP Office to bolster cooperation to stop counterfeiting and piracy

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SINGAPORE: ICC’s Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) and the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that sets the foundation for cooperation on intellectual property protection and enforcement initiatives. The goal of the MOU is to foster increased collaboration on intellectual property rights (IPR) that will benefit Philippines consumers as well as international and local brand owners.

Representing BASCAP, Meena Sayal, Unilever's Director of Global Brand Protection, presented the agreement to Allan Gepty, Director General of IPOPHL, last week at the 5th annual Global IP Forum in Singapore. She said: "The IPOPHL has developed a strong enforcement program. BASCAP's members appreciate these efforts and are keen to support IPOPHL's efforts as demonstrated through the signature of this MOU."

"BASCAP and IPOPHL share a common commitment to step up efforts to protect intellectual property and to guard Philippine consumers from the harms caused by product counterfeiting and copyright piracy. We look forward to working together to find ways to stop the trade in fakes in the Philippines and in the region," said BASCAP Director Jeff Hardy, who signed the agreement. "The Philippines IPO has been a leader in the region and in ASEAN on IP protection and enforcement and we welcome the opportunity to collaborate on future initiatives that will help both our organizations achieve the goal of wiping out the serious problems created by criminals selling and distributing fakes."

BASCAP and IPOPHL share a common commitment to step up efforts to protect intellectual property and to guard Philippine consumers from the harms caused by product counterfeiting and copyright piracy

Mr Gepty said: "The accession of the Philippines to the Madrid Protocol provides brand owners, particularly foreign brands, with one cost-effective way of protecting their intellectual property rights, particularly trademarks. This MOU with BASCAP demonstrates the commitment of the Philippine government to work with stakeholders and ensure enforcement of these rights."

Under the MOU, the organizations agree to share data, materials and best practices and to cooperate on joint programs and projects. BASCAP and IPOPHL are already collaborating on a public awareness campaign in the Philippines using BASCAP's global "Fakes Cost More, I Buy Real" campaign materials. Both organizations expect to identify additional specific projects to be completed over the next 12 months. - ICC

About BASCAP

The drain on businesses and the global economy from counterfeit goods and piracy of intellectual property is of great concern to ICC member companies worldwide. Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) is an ICC initiative that unites the global business community across all product sectors to address issues associated with intellectual property theft and to petition for greater commitments by local, national and international officials in the enforcement and protection of intellectual property rights. Visit: www.iccwbo.org/bascap

About IPOPHL

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) is the primary government agency tasked to administer and implement state policies, laws, rules and regulations in the promotion, protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights. IPOPHL works towards economic, technological, and socio-cultural development by communicating, enabling, and ensuring the effective use of the Intellectual Property System in all levels of society for the creation, protection, utilization, and enforcement of Intellectual Property. Visit: http://www.ipophil.gov.ph/

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Philippines and KR big winners from China's slowdown but Fearing Investors for MARCOS Jr bid for 2016 Presidency

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The Philippines and South Korea are the big winners from China's slowdown

How panicked were investors last week about China's stock market plunge? Enough to treat the Korean peninsula, a place that was teetering on the brink of war, as a safe haven.

Even as policy makers braced for renewed military confrontation between North and South Korea, the won staged a rally.

It may be time to start counting Korea as a developed nation, rather than an emerging market. 

That's made South Korean assets one of the few bright spots in a dark time for emerging markets. On August 24 alone, investors yanked $2.7 trillion out of developing nations, with Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand especially hard hit. It matched the violent September 2008 selloff after Lehman Brothers collapsed.

Back then, Korea was battered so hard that pundits were calling it the "next Iceland" and the "Bear Stearns economy". Now, together with the Philippines, it's one of Asia's only refuges from chaos.

It's not hard to explain why many Asian economies are suffering from China's slowdown. Exporters of commodities, who depended on a humming Chinese market, have especially suffered. But why are there such big outliers among battered emerging markets?

Less like lemmings

The answer is that investors are finally basing their decisions less on herd mentality than nuanced, case-by-case analyses.

"Emerging market investors have become a lot savvier," says economist Frederic Neumann of HSBC in Hong Kong.

"Gone are the days where emerging markets were all lumped into one bucket. Today, countries with stronger fundamentals are able to resist the spread of contagion washing over global financial markets."

Along with South Korea and the Philippines, Neumann notes that even some frontier economies, like Vietnam, "have weathered global financial turmoil with apparent ease".

The common link among the success stories is they've got the basics right since Asia's 1997 financial meltdown. They have healthier financial systems, greater transparency, stronger banks, sober national balance sheets, and reasonable current-account deficits.

Malaysia's reckoning, by contrast, is long overdue.

The ringgit is trading near 17-year lows because scandal-plagued Prime Minister Najib Razak cares more about staying in power than modernising the country's unproductive economy.

Meanwhile, Thailand's military junta is undoing much of the progress Bangkok made since the late 1990s in strengthening the rule of law. And for all its gripes that Indonesia is being unfairly lumped in with Asia's laggards, President Joko Widodo's administration is rapidly losing the trust of investors.

While there's still time to win it back, Widodo's first 315 days in office have been a case study in timidity, drift and lost opportunities.

Korea credible

Korea, by contrast, is on the "more credible side of the spectrum," says economist Marc Chandler of Brown Brothers Harriman.

Even though China's downshift and US interest rate hikes will eventually make a dent, the won was Asia's top performer last week. Its 2.7 percent gain almost matched the drop in the Chinese yuan since August 11.

Meanwhile, Korean bond yields are falling. It turns out that the world's central banks had it right last year when they boosted their Korean debt holdings. In 2014, they made up 45.4 percent of the foreign-held portion of Korea Treasury bonds, up from 41.8 percent a year earlier.

It may be time to start counting Korea as a developed nation, rather than an emerging market. Korea still faces many challenges, not least of which are its rogue family-run conglomerates. But its macroeconomic performance deserves the recognition it's receiving from investors.

The same goes for the Philippines. Since 2010, President Benigno Aquino has steadily improved his nation's debt position (winning investment-grade ratings in the process), attacked graft and drawn in waves of foreign-direct investment.

Last month, reporters asked Philippine central bank governor Amando Tetangco if he's worried about the spectre of economic crisis haunting Asia at the moment.

"There's a herd mentality," he said, "but there'll be differentiation."

So far, he's been proven right. The country formerly derided as the "sick man of Asia" has been standing its ground amid market chaos.

Still risks

Risks abound, of course. While South Korea's economic fundamentals are stable – it's growing at a rate of 2.2 percent with a 3.7 percent jobless rate – its high household debt of $458 billion is a concern.

Manila, for its part, faces an uncertain 2016 election, in which Ferdinand Marcos Jr, son of the dictator who ravaged the nation in the 1970s and 1980s, may make a bid for the presidency. History has shown that emerging markets are often just one bad leader away from relapsing into chaos.

For now, the relative stability washing over Korea and the Philippines underscores that steady leadership and long-term thinking matter. It also shows that global investors are getting better at identifying those factors in Asia. - Bloomberg / The Sydney Morning Herald

#AkoSiDaniel Campaign Aims to Empower Children in the Philippines Through Education

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#AkoSiDaniel Campaign Aims to Empower Children in the Philippines Through Education
As another academic year gets into full swing in many countries in the Northern Hemisphere and some parts of the Southern Hemisphere, so too does an education campaign called #AkoSiDaniel in the Philippines. With the aim of getting 1.2 million primary-age out-of-school children in the country into schools and learning, the cause is making headlines with the support of local and international youth leaders, nonprofit organizations, and celebrities united to bring hope to young Filipinos living in poverty.
Inspired by nine-year old Daniel Cabrera of Cebu and the global Up For School movement, #AkoSiDaniel, meaning "I am Daniel," was launched in July 2015 by The Philippines Foundation in partnership with international initiative A World at School and American crowdfunding company Crowdrise.
A few weeks before, the photo of Daniel studying on a makeshift desk by a McDonald's underneath a lamp post went viral, drawing the attention of online and on-the-ground communities who mobilized to support him and his mother. As a result of their collaboration, they raised over 230,000 Philippine pesos, equivalent to approximately 5,300 U.S. dollars, as well as scholarships that will be financial assistance for his living expenses and schooling.
In the spirit of their crowdfunding project, #AkoSiDaniel is anchored to a digital platform, AkoSiDaniel.org. Through this microsite, people across the world can sign the Up For School Philippines petition and donate to The Philippines Foundation, which will support programs devoted to increasing access to quality education for children in the Philippines.
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At a forum this past May 2015, Min Jeong Kim, Head of the Global Education First Initiative Secretariat, stressed the importance of innovative funding to education. Therefore, partnerships such as AkoSiDaniel.org are imperative for making a positive difference in the lives of youth like Daniel, because, unfortunately, Daniel's plight is only one among many. In the Philippines, poverty, natural disasters, conflict, and shortages in education resources hinder children and their family from pursuing and persisting in school.
These challenges have placed the Philippines on a list of nations yet to achieve United Nations Millennium Development Goal 2, which, in 2000, set a global mission to achieve universal primary education by the end of 2015. Today, there are around 59 million primary-age children who are unable to realize their potential through education. As a result, governments have been mobilizing talent and treasure to set an agenda that will afford their young populations an education.
To this end, the Philippine government released its own framework for action to accelerate and sustain its efforts in expanding access to primary schooling, in time for approval of the Sustainable Development Goals at the upcoming United Nations Summit in late September 2015, which will call for inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all.
With only a month left until the historic conference, #AkoSiDaniel joins the global Up For School coalition bringing hope to children living in difficult conditions, deprived of pencils, books, teachers, and schools. Supporters and strangers alike can join in solidarity by going to AkoSiDaniel.org, signing the petition, donating, and raising awareness among family and friends on social media and in-person. Now is the time to empower current and future generations through education.
Benedict Joson is A World at School Global Youth Ambassador for education supporting The Philippines Foundation and #AkoSiDaniel campaign. - Huffing post

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Philippines is the world's "most social nation" - software Opera Mini

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This file photo shows the Facebook app icon on an iPhone. Facebook remains the most used social media site among American teens ages 13 to 17, according to a 2014 study from Pew Research Center. And, surprisingly, boys visit the site more often than girls. Aided hugely by smartphones and other mobile devices, 71 percent of teens surveyed said they use Facebook, with the same percentage saying they use more than one social network of seven options they were asked about. AP

PH ‘most social nation’–report

The Philippines is the world’s “most social nation” based on social media activity of Internet users, a report by software Opera Mini said on Thursday.

In its State of the Mobile Web Report, the browser software said Internet users in the Philippines have the highest social media activity worldwide.

“The Philippines used to be known as the text messaging capital of the world. Now, with easier Internet access and higher smartphone adoption, our findings indicate that the country has transformed into the most social nation,” the report said.

Opera Mini said social networking sites accounted for 86 percent of page views from its mobile browser users in the Philippines—the highest percentage among 50 countries.

The report attributed the growing social media activity in the country to the popularity of smartphones, saying half of Filipino mobile Web users use smartphones in surfing the Internet.

“With the unstoppable adoption of smartphones, people are spending more time accessing the Web on their mobile devices,” the report said. “The smartphone adoption rate in this country has grown from 41 percent to 55 percent over the past year.”

The browser software ranked Facebook, Google and YouTube as the top three most visited sites in the Philippines. Wikipedia, Yahoo, Twitter, Tumblr and WordPress also cracked the top 10.

The report also noted that local smartphone brands have been catching up with international brands in terms of consumer usage, increasing their share in the mobile phone market in the Philippines.

“A breakdown of the top 100 mobile devices preferred by Opera Mini users shows that Cherry Mobile has overtaken Samsung, with a 27 percent market share. Another local brand, MyPhone, has 8 percent,” it said. “The total market share of these two local smartphone brands is 35 percent, higher than Nokia’s 31 percent.” - INQUIRER

Philippine karate team brings home 4 golds from Thailand Open

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MEDALLISTS. Members of the Philippine team proudly show their medals. Photo courtesy of Reymund Lee Reyes

PH team reaps medals at Thailand Karate Open

The Philippine karatekas, who competed against 600 athletes from 30 other countries, win a total of 4 gold, 8 silver, and 12 bronze medals

PH TEAM. The 50-member delegations pulls off a good performance at the Thailand Karate Open held in Bangkok from July 26-30, 2015. Photo courtesy of Reymund Lee Reyes

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine karatekas reaped medals at the Thailand Karate Open Championship held from July 26 to 30 at the Huamark Indoor Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.

The Philippine karatekas, who competed against 600 athletes from 30 other countries, won a total of 4 gold, 8 silver, and 12 bronze medals.

David Lay of the Karate Development Art and Sports (KDA) said that the competition provided a good exposure for the young atheletes.

It was only the Philippines' second participation in the competition after 2007."Going to play abroad is always educational for these kids. They get a lot of benefits, learning experiences and at the same time, at a tender age, they are given the opportunity to play for the country, one way to teach patriotism to them," Lay said.

The delegation was led by Alejandro Enrico Vasquez, with team manager Raymund Lee Reyes. The head coaches are Ali Parvinfar and David Lay, and the delegation's referees, Rommel Raymund, Jonnie Ocular and Ramon Franco.

The 50-member delegation was composed of karatekas from the Philippine Karate-do Team (Typhoons), KDA, Wado-ryu Club, Japan Shotokan Karate Association, Ryo Shotokan Karate Club, Philippine Karatedo Traditional and Sports Association, Maharlika Karate-do Kai of the Philippines International, and the Advocacy for the Strengthening of Karatedo.

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PH TEAM. The 50-member delegations pulls off a good performance at the Thailand Karate Open held in Bangkok from July 26-30, 2015. Photo courtesy of Reymund Lee Reyes

The medalists are the following:

Gold

·         Chole Bernadette Limson

·         Lance Gabriel Villafane

·         Jaspher Fontillas

·         Mae Soriano

Silver

·         Chole Bernadette Limson

·         Marvin Pinpin

·         Jaime Villegas

·         Czarina Napa

·         Mark Andrei Barrientos

·         Randy Padua

·         Narayana Mesina

·         OJ delos Santos

Bronze

·         John Enrico Vasquez

·         Ivanna Cablao

·         Timothy Yu

·         Lopez River

·         Gian Valencia

·         Chris Kawaen

·         Joco Vasquez

·         Gilbert Arellano

·         Angeligue Aguilar

·         Alexis Nunez

·         Rita Cuadra

·         Joanna Ylanan

source :Rappler.com

Philippines confirmed buying SKR/ Japan made diesel powered Submarine- For the first time

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Philippines is interested in acquiring Diesel submarines based on technology from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force's Soryu-class vessel. image:asia.nikkei.com

Philippines to buy submarines and advanced missile systems for the first time

This will ensure strength in the South China Sea

Manila: For the first time, the Philippines will buy electric and diesel-run submarines, including advanced missile systems, as listed in its $22.11 billion (998 billion pesos or Dh83.166 billion) modernization plan that was approved in July, to ensure its strength against China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Brunei, and Malaysia which have overlapping claims in the South China Sea, sources said.

“The Philippine Navy will buy several submarines and missile systems in the next five years from private manufacturing firms either from South Korea or Japan,” a military source who requested anonymity told Gulf News.

“The ambitious purchase was scheduled after the Philippine economy grew, received good ratings from rating agencies, and allowed borrowing for expensive war materials, but the Philippines could not yet match China’s 26 submarines,” said the same source.

In 2013, the Philippine Navy bought two 1.400 tons Incheon-class frigates (also called Future Frigate experimental or FFX), manufactured by South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries and STX Offshore and Shipbuilding for $400 million (18 billion pesos or Dh1.5 billion); two strategic sealift vessels or floating command centers which can transport three helicopters per vessel, soldiers, and supplies at sea, from Indonesia’s PT PAL (Persero) for $85.7 million (3.86 billion pesos or Dh321.6 million). The new frigates and sealift vessels will arrive in the Philippines at the end of 2015 or early 2016, President Benigno Aquino announced recently.

It is widely reported that the Philippine Navy is manned by three US-made refurbished frigates: BRP Tagbanua; BRP Gregorio del Pilar and BRP Ramon Alcaraz, but Japan’s defense ministry said the Philippine Navy has 80 warships; China, 892; Malaysia, 208; and Vietnam, 94.

The Philippine Coast Guard also bought 10 40-metre-long multi-purpose response vessels (MRRV) from Japan in late 2013 for $184 million (8.09 billion pesos or Dh674.6 million), in a loan forged with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in 2014. They will augment the Coast Guard’s 19 rescue vessels, when they arrive in the Philippines at the end of 2015, sources said.

The Coast Guard secured a $20 million (900 million pesos or Dh75 million) loan from the United States’ Defense Threat Reduction Agency (it has a maritime security project with the US’ Weapons for Mass Destruction Proliferation Prevention Program) for three aerial surveillance radars, two surface sensors and three surveillance planes for the Philippine Coast Guard National Coast Watch Centre in northern Luzon and southwest Philippines.

Recently, the Philippine Air Force bought 12 new FA-50 fighter-trainers made by Korea Aerospace Industries. six Close Air Support Aircraft; seven of 13 AW-109 helicopters; and six of eight Bell-412 combat utility helicopters made by Korea Aerospace Industries. The two fighters will arrive in December 2015 or early 2016, and the rest in 2017.

Japan’s defense ministry said the Philippines has a total of 26 combat aircraft, compared with China’s 2,582 combat aircraft.

The Philippine government also allotted $22 million (1 billion pesos or Dh83.33 million) for the development of three new naval bases that will protect its 36,000 kilometer coastline facing the South China Sea.

In 1995, Congress approved an $8.08 billion (364 billion pesos or Dh30.3 billion) military modernization plan for 15 years. But only 10 per cent of the approved budget was secured by a loan 15 years later, in 2010, the budget department said.

China, Taiwan, and Vietnam claim the whole of the South China Sea and several parts of the oil-rich Spratly Archipelago. Brunei, Malaysia, and the Philippines claim their respective exclusive economic zones in the South China Sea and parts of the Spratly Archipelago. - Gulf News

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

PHOTOS: Philippines challenges China's Claim of West Philippine Sea at UNCLOS Tribunal in The Hague

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Philippines challenges China's Claim of country's exclusive economic zone at UNCLOS Tribunal in The Hague. image: inquirer.net

IN PHOTOS: Philippines challenges China in The Hague

In photos emailed to Rappler, the Permanent Court of Arbitration gives us a glimpse of the closed-door hearings pitting Manila against Beijing

MANILA, Philippines – Behind closed doors, the Philippines recently waged a legal battle against China in The Hague, Netherlands, in a historic case over the disputed West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

The Philippines on Thursday, July 23, is set to submit a new document to The Hague to bolster its case.

While Manila pursues this, a question remains: What exactly happened during hearings from July 7 to 13?

The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague, which serves as the venue for the arbitration proceedings, emailed Rappler high-resolution photos to give us a glimpse of the closed-door hearings.

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China claimed the shores of Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and Japan as their own

The photos show a powerhouse team, led by internationally acclaimed lawyer Paul Reichler, defending the Philippines' case before an equally high-caliber arbitral tribunal in The Hague.

The tribunal said around 60 members joined the Philippine team. (READ: Binay hits Philippine team vs China in The Hague))

Check out these photos from the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague.

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TOP DIPLOMAT. Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario delivers an opening statement. Photo courtesy of PCA

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IN SESSION. Early on, the arbitral tribunal in The Hague decides to hold the hearings behind closed doors. Photo courtesy of PCA

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TOP GOVERNMENT LAWYER. Philippine Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, who serves as agent for his country, delivers a statement. Photo courtesy of PCA

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TEAM OF EXPERTS. The counsel team for the Philippines, including Professor Bernard Oxman, Professor Alan Boyle, and Mr Lawrence Martin, in the closed-door hearings. Photo courtesy of PCA

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HISTORIC CASE. The arbitral tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, listens to the first country that brought China to court over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). Photo courtesy of PCA

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'GIANT SLAYER.' Internationally acclaimed lawyer Paul Reichler, the Philippines' chief counsel, delivers a statement. Photo courtesy of PCA

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REPRESENTING GOVERNMENT. Members of the Philippine delegation, including Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, and Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs Menardo Guevarra. Photo courtesy of PCA

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OBSERVER DELEGATIONS. The tribunal allowed observers from the following countries – Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Japan – to attend the hearings. Photo courtesy of PCA

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HIGH-CALIBER TRIBUNAL. The arbitral tribunal is led by Judge Thomas Mensah (president, C), the first president of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. The high-caliber tribunal also includes the following (L to R): Judge Jean-Pierre Cot, Judge Stanislaw Pawlak, Judge Rüdiger Wolfrum, and Professor Alfred H. A. Soons. Photo courtesy of PCA

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TEAM PHILIPPINES. Representing all 3 branches of Philippine government, the Philippine delegation comes in full force in The Hague. Photo courtesy of PCA

The 5-member tribunal said it "now enters its deliberations" on whether it has the right to hear the Philippines' case. It said it expects to rule on this matter "before the end of the year."

The tribunal said it "is conscious of its duty under the Rules of Procedure to conduct proceedings 'to avoid unnecessary delay and expense and to provide a fair and efficient process.'"

Once the tribunal decides it has jurisdiction over the case, the Philippines can already present the meat of its arguments. (READ: EXPLAINER: Philippines' 5 arguments vs China)

The Philippines said it expects a definitive ruling against China by 2016 – Rappler.com

Singer Chris Brown barred from leaving Philippines amid contract dispute

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Singer Chris Brown is shown at a party on April 10 in Bermuda Dunes, California. image: CNN

Manila, Philippines (CNN)Award-winning U.S. singer Chris Brown has been barred from leaving the Philippines because of a contract dispute, the official Philippines News Agency reported Wednesday.

Brown was stopped Wednesday morning while preparing to depart on a private jet from Manila's international airport on his way to Hong Kong for a concert, the news agency said.

The Philippine Department of Justice said that an order had been issued Tuesday night to stop any attempts by Brown, 26, to leave the country.

Brown performed a concert that evening as planned, but the order was put in place to compel him to pay back money that promoters said was owed to them after he failed to appear for a previous appearance scheduled for last New Year's Eve.

That concert was supposed to take place at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan, north of Manila.

The Bureau of Immigration said Brown and his promoter John Michael Pio Roda were both subject to an immigration lookout bulletin, but they could seek a clearance certificate that could allow them to leave if the Department of Justice consented.

It's not the first time that the chart-topping star has run into trouble with authorities.

A few months after Billboard named him Artist of the Year, Brown assaulted his then-girlfriend Rihanna -- another popular singer -- inside a rented Lamborghini on the eve of the Grammy Awards in February 2009. He pleaded guilty that June to one felony assault count, after which he was put on probation for five years, ordered to serve 180 days of labor-oriented service and made to take a yearlong domestic violence class.

He made a public apology but didn't stay out of trouble. In 2012, he had an altercation with rapper Drake at a New York club. The next year, a woman accused Brown of shoving her at a club in Anaheim, California, bringing an assault and battery claim; he was accused of committing a hit-and-run in Los Angeles; and he was accused of felony assault after an incident outside a W Hotel in Washington.

Those incidents added up, along with a positive marijuana test and prosecutors' claim that Brown didn't finish his court-mandated community labor. He entered rehab in 2013 to "gain insight into his past and recent behavior," his representative said, only to get kicked out of the facility for smashing his mother's car window during a family session, according to his probation officer.

Brown entered another rehab facility, only to leave in 2014. He was then taken into custody by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies after a judge revoked his probation. He was released from jail in June 2014.

Last week, the artist was the apparent victim of crime after armed intruders burst into his Southern California home and locked his aunt in a closet, according to police. - CNN

Journalist Arlene Espiritu reported from Manila and Merieme Arif from Atlanta, while Laura Smith-Spark wrote from London. CNN's Greg Botelho contributed to this report.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

China stock loses $3.2 trillion US Dollars in weeks; Suicide rumor -Economy facing trouble

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A stock investor looks up in a brokerage house in Shanghai. Chinese authorities have launched frantic efforts to shore up plunging stock prices following another 5.7 per cent decline in the country's main market index on Friday. Source: AP

Chinese chaos worse than Greece: Chinese stock market loses $3.2 trillion, authorities inject cash

WHILE the world worries about Greece, there’s an even bigger problem closer to home: China.

A stock market crash there has seen $3.2 trillion wiped from the value of Chinese shares in just three weeks, triggering an emergency response from the government and warnings of “monstrous” public disorder.

And the effects for Australia could be serious, affecting our key commodity exports and sparking the beginning of a period of recession-like conditions.

“State-owned newspapers have used their strongest language yet, telling people ‘not to lose their minds’ and ‘not to bury themselves in horror and anxiety’. [Our] positive measures will take time to produce results,” writes IG Markets.

“If China does not find support today, the disorder could be monstrous.”

In an extraordinary move, the People’s Bank of China has begun lending money to investors to buy shares in the flailing market. The Wall Street Journal reports this “liquidity assistance” will be provided to the regulator-owned China Securities Finance Corp, which will lend the money to brokerages, which will in turn lend to investors.

The dramatic intervention marks the first time funds from the central bank have been directed anywhere other than the banks, signaling serious concern from authorities about the crisis.

At the same time, Chinese authorities are putting a halt to any new stock listings. The market regulator announced on Friday it would limit initial public offerings — which disrupt the rest of the market — in an attempt to curb plunging share prices.

While the exact amount of assistance hasn’t been revealed, the WSJ reports no upper limit has been set.

All short-selling — the practice of betting that stocks will fall — has been banned, and Chinese media has rushed to reassure citizens.

Yesterday, shares in big state companies soared in response to the but many others sank as jittery small investors tried to cut their losses, Associated Press reports. The market benchmark Shanghai Composite closed up 2.4 percent but still was down 27 percent from its June 12 peak.

Experts fear it could turn into a full-blown crash introducing even more uncertainty into global markets as Europe teeters on the edge of a potential euro zone exit by Greece, after Sunday’s controversial referendum.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR AUSTRALIA?

For Australia, the market crash in China is likely to impact earnings on key exports iron ore and coal, further slashing government revenue, while also putting downward pressure on the Australian dollar.

Jordan Eliseo, chief economist with ABC Bullion, said it was important to remember that the amount of wealth Chinese citizens have tied up in the stock market is relatively minor compared with western investors.

Stocks only make up about 8 per cent of household wealth in China, compared with around 20 per cent in developed nations.

“The market crash there is generating headlines, but it’s not going to have the same impact as a comparable crash would in a developed market,” he said.

“What it means for Australia, though, is it’s very clear there are some serious imbalances in the Chinese economy, and the rate of growth they’ve enjoyed in the past is over. There’s no question our export earnings are going to take another hit.”

Mr Eliseo predicts Australia is likely to experience “recession-like” conditions such as negative wage growth for many years to come. “I believe that’s going to be the new norm,” he said.

CRACKDOWN AS PANIC TRIGGERS ‘SUICIDE’ RUMOURS

Underscoring growing jitters amid the three-week sell-off, police in Beijing detained a man on Sunday for allegedly spreading a rumor online that a person jumped to their death in the city’s financial district due to China’s precarious stock markets.

The 29-year-old man detained was identified by the surname Tian, and is a manager at a technology and science company in Beijing, police said in a post on their official microblog.

Police said Tian’s alleged posting of the rumor took place Friday and called on internet users to obey laws and regulations, not to believe and spread rumors, and to cooperate with police.

The state-run Xinhua news agency reported that Tian allegedly posted the rumors with video clips and screenshots Friday afternoon.

The post, which is said to have gone viral, “provoked emotional responses among stock investors who suffered losses over the past weeks”, Xinhua said.

Xinhua added that a police investigation showed that the video in question had been shot on Friday morning in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangsu where a man had jumped to his death. Local police there were investigating that case, Xinhua said.

The original post was unavailable Sunday on China’s tightly controlled social media, where authorities are quick to delete controversial material. - Jews News /  News.com.au

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