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Residents in Marawi's most-affected area can now go home

August 14, 2019

MARAWI City--Marawi residents are now allowed to go back to their areas inside the most affected area provided they will comply all the requirements set by the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) and the local government unit (LGU). In a press briefing on Wednesday, August 14, Housing Secretary and TFBM Chairman Eduardo Del Rosario said that residents in sectors 1, 2 and 3 inside the most affected area can start constructing and or repairing their structures as soon as their building permit applications will be approved. Del Rosario said residents of sector 1 were allowed to go back since July while those who are of sectors 2 and 3 can now start processing their requirements at the city hall. There are 6,435 structures affected during the five-month war against the Dawlah Islamiya in 2017 and out of it are 4,000 housing and commercial establishments advised to be removed because those are no longer safe to be rehabilitated and or repaired. Eighty percent of the owners of these structures have given consent to the government, through the National Housing Authority (NHA), for their structures to be demolished and at the end of October, this year, the demolition and debris clearing will be finished. “Yung 20%, sila na ang magpapatanggal sa kanilang mga nasirang mga bahay. They will secure a permit from the local government and if given, then they will be allowed to demolish. They will not be given building permit unless proven na yung kanilang structures ay hindi na compromise. Kung yun ay compromised at hindi na safe, they will not be given a permit to repair,” Del Rosario said. The owners will spend the demolition and debris management cost, not the government according to Del Rosario and that they will construct their structures in accordance with the building code. Challenges The TFBM said that what made the demolition and clearing slow is the refusal of some owners to allow the government demolish their house because of sentimental value. Some also have their ancestors buried at the back or inside the premises of their compound or house. Marawi Mayor Majul Gandamra also said approving applications for building permit is not easy because there are “overlapping claims” of one structure or area. To resolve their problem, these claimants are being referred to proper court for resolution. Vertical projects to start this year In the last quarter of this year, the vertical management works will start as the concerned agencies are now on its procurement process. Vertical works include installation of power, water and telecommunication lines, construction of schools, market, convention center, hospital and other government facilities. Del Rosario said there are about 20 vertical projects to be implemented by respective implementing agencies. “One they are ready and the budget is available, they can start the construction on the last quarter of the year, just in time for the completion of the debris management. Maybe 75% of the total will start their construction within the year and the remaining 25% will start the construction on the first quarter of 2020,” Del Rosario said. The local government of Marawi is the first agency to submit their pre-procurement documents that will implement five projects like construction of barangay hall, the grand central and Padian market, promenade, museum and the peace memorial.

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Ayala Corp. to go cashless with GCash

August 13, 2019

AYALA Corporation (Ayala), one of the oldest and largest conglomerates in the Philippines, has adopted GCash's Powerpay+ disbursement platform to disburse incentives to its employees at the parent company. Powerpay+ is a bundled funds disbursement facility that allows companies to pay out salaries, commissions and allowances more conveniently and securely to people by crediting funds directly to employees’ GCash accounts. It provides the flexibility to disburse scheduled or recurring payouts and is easily accessible via mobile phone. GCash is operated by Mynt, a partnership among Globe Telecom, Ayala Corporation and Ant Financial. “Digital payments within the group was a natural move for us at Ayala. As a 185-year-old company, we are taking advantage of a new digital format that gives our employees ease, convenience, and security. We used to give gift cheques, which later became electronic gift cheques, so the move to e-wallets was a logical next step for us following the increasingly digitally savvy lifestyle of our employees and GCash’s recent exponential growth as the country’s leading mobile wallet,” said John Phillip Orbeta, Ayala’s Chief Human Resources Officer and Corporate Resources Group Head. Mynt CEO Anthony Thomas also emphasized the added security and convenience that are innate to e-wallets. He says that with a digital format, "you have a trail, you have the ability to send out money for any purpose. Payroll is one, but incentives, reimbursements, agent commissions—all these needs are taken care of through an enterprise interface which allows you to pay instantly, and even small amounts, making it very efficient.” Like the rest of GCash’s 20 million users, Ayala employees have been using the platform to accomplish daily tasks like buying prepaid load, paying bills online, booking movie tickets, sending money to other GCash accounts and traditional bank accounts, and transacting with over 50,000 QR-enabled merchant partners nationwide. GCash also offers GSave, which gives the highest savings rate in the country and requires no minimum balance, and GCredit, which uses alternative credit scoring models to provide microloans. Orbeta says that using the Powerpay+ platform will simply take their Ayala employees’ GCash use to another level. At Ayala’s 2019 Annual Stockholders’ Meeting last April, Ayala Chairman and CEO Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala said the company is undergoing a massive transformation to ramp up the digitalization of its companies, as this was key to propelling the company into the future. Zobel emphasized that the corporation, with business interests in real estate, banking, telecommunications, water, power, infrastructure, industrial technologies, health care, and education, has started "to participate in digital businesses that we believe are disruptive. These investments are designed to complement our group’s traditional brick-and-mortar operations, future-proof our existing portfolio, and broaden the digital experience of Filipinos." "We spend significant time studying other markets that are in the advanced stages of digital maturity and we have teams constantly looking at emerging trends and technologies," Zobel added. "Absorbing and learning from these experiences, we have become more deliberate in our own digital transformation journey and have elevated it into a group-wide strategic agenda." Aside from enjoying the benefits of going digital, Thomas said GCash users also contribute to Philippine environmental sustainability efforts through GCash Forest, a feature within the app that computes how transactions done via GCash help the environment. The app computes one's carbon credits, which upon hitting a predetermined target will require GCash to plant a tree at the Ipo Watershed, the biggest source of water for Metro Manila.

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John Lloyd Cruz hints showbiz comeback, says Director Cathy Molina-Garcia

August 10, 2019

METRO MANILA (National Entertainment news digital) - Philippine show business top director Cathy Molina-Garcia said the other day that John Lloyd Cruz wants a showbiz comeback, reportedly after his rumored break up with actress Ellen Adarna.   Molina, over "Tonight With Boy Abunda" said John Lloyd Cruz has contacted her and hinted of going back to the showbiz industry, where he became a multi-millionaire after he rise to stardom many years ago.  The lady director said “He called me po before I started this movie.” She was apparently referring to “Hello, Love, Goodbye,” the new movie of Kathryn Bernardo who is paired with GMA's gem Alden Richards. “In fact may kinalaman sa ‘Ano to, ano tong naririnig ko, ano daw ‘tong magreretire ka na?’ Hindi! Sabi ko hindi yan totoo!’ Sabi niya sa’kin,” Molina said. "Pagbalik ko na lang, pagbalik ko magkita tayo, gawa tayo pelikula  pagbalik mo. So I am looking forward,” was John Lloyd's last statements over the phone, Molina-Garcia added. ON MOLINA-GARCIA'S RUMORED RETIREMENT But Molina clarified on TWBA she is not retiring yet and cleared she was only taking a break. But in 2017 there were rumors the director planned of retiring in 2019. "Let’s not call it retirement, A break” Molina clarified to her fans ang the Philippine entertainment. Molina said right now she has directed a movie with Piolo Pascual, then after Piolo's there will be two more movies she'll be directing. “After this movie I’m scheduled to do, dapat isa na lang po with Piolo [Pascual] but then mahal ko ang kompanya, mahal ko ang paggawa ng pelikula. So pumayag pa po ako ng another one after this. So after this movie, I have two more,” she pointed out. Asked by Boy Abunda if one of the two movies already include that of John Lloyd Cruz's comeback movie, Molina said she has not talked with anybody yet about John Lloyd's comeback to Philippine cinema. “Sana, but hindi pa po napag-uusapan,” was the lady director's quick answer when pushed by Boy Abunda.  Meanwhile, John Lloyd Cruz took an "indefinite leave of absence" from show business in 2017 after she reportedly married then famous actress Ellen Adarna. Cruz's love affair with Adarna started way back on their TV sitcom "Home Sweetie Home" when Adarna was added as one of the mainstays of the TV sitcom. Adarna then got pregnant and the Philippine entertainment was shocked with the sudden turn of events - with their idol John Lloyd surprisingly announcing his leaving showbiz to start a private life with Adarna. ###

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A traveler’s passion: Spreading the gospel of agriculture to the young

August 6, 2019

THERE is a new passion driving the 8th edition of Cebu Pacific’s iconic Juan for Fun backpacking adventure! In this all-new Juan for Fun 2019, Cebu Pacific chose five enthusiastic and passion-driven travelers out of thousands of nominees to go on a week-long backpacking trip in search of destinations and activities. Participants will journey around the Philippines – visiting new places, trying unique activities, and unlocking memorable travel milestones to enrich their personal passions and stories many young travelers are driven by their hobbies and advocacies when exploring destinations. Among them is 23-year old Dariel Vallez, a recent agriculture graduate of the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines in Claveria, Misamis Oriental. Claveria is the largest among the 23 towns of Misamis Oriental and makes up one-third of the total land area of the province. The local economy is mainly agricultural, mostly crop production, freshwater aquaculture, livestock and poultry production. Crops mostly consist of vegetables such as tomato and bell pepper, corn, root crops, coffee, and rice.  The town is the seat of the premier agriculture school of the entire province, the USTP- Claveria, (formerly Misamis Oriental State College of Agriculture and Technology or MOSCAT). The son of a farmer, Dariel wants to travel where he could appreciate how food is produced and reaches the table – to promote agriculture as a vocation for the youth. For Juan For Fun 2019 he and his companions: classmate Lea Encabo and younger sister Jolina Vallez traveled to Clark and Bacolod. “I want to share with the young that farming is great, and without it we will not have anything to eat. What we wear comes from agriculture, and even our medicines come from agriculture. So if everyone is not interested in agriculture, what will happen to farming in the Philippines if no one is left to farm?” Dariel said. Claveria-born and raised, the young advocate was a Philip Morris scholar but doesn’t plant tobacco. “Since my elementary days, I already saw my parents farming corn, bell pepper and chili pepper. I have noted how our farmers are getting older, many already retired, but many of them did not share or transmit to the younger generation the love and passion for farming,” he noted. As a consequence, Dariel notes most of today’s youth are no longer interested in agriculture and don’t want to get themselves dirty tilling the earth. “We need to undertake some initiatives to encourage the youth to convince them that like other professions you can also earn good money from agriculture.” Fortunately, Dariel was taught by his parents from an early age to farm the traditional way, since the children helped around the farm. Armed with his B.S. in Agriculture degree, the farming advocate aims to leverage his Major in Agriculture Education to share to future students what he learned from school and his travels. “Learning is more meaningful and effective when it is based on personal experience, so if I can do it, they can do it as well, if not better,” Dariel stressed. To further drive home learning is best learned by doing, he aims to continue farming in a lot which was recently acquired by his family to grow some crops productively. Most of all, Dariel aims to make the most of his learnings from his travel to Israel where he and his classmate, childhood friend, neighbor and fellow aggie graduate, and now fellow JFF travel companion Lea undertook their on-the-job training, “Another of our reasons to travel is to immerse ourselves in different cultures since the Philippines has very diverse peoples and cultures, with diverse foods and dishes,” shared Lea. “I want to learn life skills and lessons from other places I travel to, which I can share with my neighbors and town mates when I get back,” she added. Dariel’s younger sister and JFF travel companion Jolina aims to follow in her Manong’s footsteps and also take up agriculture in USTP-Claveria seeing how it helped expand Jariel’s learnings and life skills.  For their JFF Journey to Clark and Bacolod, Jolina aims to further bolster her self confidence and try what I have not yet tried, and share with others the life skills and learnings she learned from this journey. With inspiration from these three Juan for Fun travelers, the future of agriculture in Claveria, Misamis Oriental appears to be in good hands.

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Rep. Juiette Uy asks Duterte to certify HB 3461 as 'urgent'

August 6, 2019

THE Mindanaoan lady solon who has been relentless in her campaign against imported garbage has refiled her bill banning both the import and export of wastes of whatever kind. She is hoping President Rodrigo Duterte will certify her bill as urgent. "I will also file other bills on plastic waste, waste redemption, waste recovery, and the proper management of our water and aquatic resources. This is an all-out war on waste because we want our country to be beautiful and prosperous," said Misamis Oriental second district Rep. Juliette T. Uy. "I am requesting the House leadership to ask President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to certify HB 3461 as urgent. I am open to improvements of the bill. We can work out the details during the committee hearings," Rep. Uy added. She also ask the Bureau of Customs (BOC) anew to make sure imported garbage does not arrive at any of the country's international seaports aside from the Port of Tagoloan. In the bill, Uy wants the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Finance and the Department of Transportation to jointly establish an Environmental Protection Desk in every port of entry and exit in the country to be manned 24 hours and seven days a week by competent and adequately trained personnel. "Imported cargoes declared as waste or misdeclared to conceal the true waste cargo or smuggled into the country shall not be offloaded from any transport vessel and shall be immediately ordered by port authorities to depart from the port and return the illegal cargo to its port of origin, with all costs borne by the shipper," Uy pointed out. She said the bill draws lessons learned from the House investigation on the Verde Soko imported garbage sent to Misamis Oriental from South Korea. The bill seeks to make it illegal for any person, groups of persons, business, corporate entity, or government office to import or export any form and whatever amount of waste, processed waste materials, waste by-products whether organic or inorganic and in whatever form whether solid, liquid, liquefied, gaseous, or mixture of substances. Uy said she included appropriate enforcement measures in the bill. "The Department of Transportation, in coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Bureau of Customs, and Maritime Industry Authority, shall take control off the seized vessel, hire the services of competent and properly certified officers and crew, and return the seized vessel to the port of origin of the contraband waste cargo," Uy said, citing salient features of the bill. "Transport vessels which refuse to comply with the lawful orders of port authorities to immediately depart and not to offload the imported contraband waste cargo shall be seized and all its officers, crew, and contraband shipment consignee shall be immediately arrested for violations," she added. Uy further said, "the shipper of the imported contraband waste cargo shall be immediately permanently banned from shipping or causing the transport of any cargo to the Philippines." The bill provides that the freight forwarder and shipper of contraband waste cargo meant for export shall be immediately ordered and compelled to return the shipment to its shipper. Non-compliance shall result in the immediate ban of the freight forwarder from entry into any port of the country.

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Strong tornado displaces dozens of families, destroys school building, mosque in Lanao del Sur town

August 5, 2019

ILIGAN City--Dozens of families were displaced and are now living with their relatives after a strong tornado hit a residential area in Barangay Proper, Marogong town in Lanao del Sur, around 4in the afternoon on Saturday (July 3). Saripada Pacasum Jr., head of Lanao del Sur Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), said the incident damaged 15 houses, three small buildings, a school building of Sultan Abdulmadid Maruhom Memorial High School (AMMHS), a mosque and a Madrasah. The area is around 200 meters away from the municipal hall. Pacasum said two students of AMMHS were wounded he identified as Saima Victory and Jawad Camlon and were brought to a hospital in nearby Malabang town. The 35th Marine Company of the 5th Marine Battalion Landing Team, that responded to the area brought two students, identified as Nurhada Ameraol and Nurmalia Maruhom, to the same hospital. The MBLT5 has taken over a military camp in Malabang town, formerly occupied by 6th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army, and continue to secure several areas in Lanao del Sur, including Marogong. Chua said until Sunday, residents are still seeing some small tornadoes in the area.

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