todays top stories

Typhoon Ulysses in Misor

November 10, 2020

Some residents spend their time Tuesday afternoon at a Boulevard in Balingasag in Misamis Oriental despite stormy weather brought about by Tropical typhoon Ulysses while fishermen keep their fishing boats safe. Photo by Gerry Lee Gorit

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LTFRB-10 eyes opening of Oro-Davao route

November 10, 2020

CAGAYAN de Oro City--Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Regional Director Allan Guro of Northern Mindanao yesterday eyed the opening of Cagayan de Oro-Davao route. Guro said that he is set to present his proposal to the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (RITF) to open the inter-regional route to balance the local economy in the neo-normal. He said even local chief executives are asking for the opening of inter-regional routes. With this, Guro said buses from the Rural Transit Mindanao, Inc. (RTMI) will soon be allowed to ply the Oro-Davao and other routes. Although no drivers and even operators have been reported inflicted with the Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), he said buses plying the Cagayan de Oro-Davao route should be P2P or, point-to-point. "Meaning, buses will not be allowed to stop to pick up a passenger," Guro explained. Guro said a bus should be allowed to travel only if it will strictly follow health protocols not only the wearing of face mask and face shield but the disinfection of vehicle. Drag racing Meanwhile, Guro warned drivers against engaging in drag racing. "Bawal yan," said Guro in an interview as he urged the public to help his agency stop such illicit practice of drivers in public transportation. "You can take video and submit them to LTFRB and even to the Land Transportation Office (LTO) if the car is a privately-owned vehicle," Guro said. He said the penalty if caught in drag racing includes P5,000 for first offense; P10,000 for second offense; amd P15,00 for the third offense plus a 30-day suspension of franchise.

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Investor protecion week: SEC calls on public to join fight vs scams

November 9, 2020

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is rallying the public to join the fight against investment scams, as it spearheads the first Investor Protection Week from November 9 to 13.   The Commission will celebrate Investor Protection Week to promote investor education amid the rising number of unauthorized investment-taking activities, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.   This year, the SEC has issued advisories against more than 100 groups and individuals soliciting investments without the necessary license, almost double the total number for the whole of 2019.     The Commission has likewise issued cease and desist orders and revocation orders against entities engaging in fraudulent investment schemes, including Boss Network, Forsage and Fast Track Worldwide, Inc.   The SEC has charged 32 individuals in seven cases for violations of Republic Act No. 8799, or The Securities Regulation Code, and in two cases for violations of Republic Act No. 10175, or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.   Section 8 of the Securities Regulation Code provides that securities shall not be sold or offered for sale or distributed within the Philippines, without a registration statement duly filed with and approved by the SEC.   Ponzi and pyramid schemes are among the most common types of investment fraud in the country, according to the SEC.   In a Ponzi scheme, scammers guarantee ridiculously high returns to attract more investors. They pay the promised profits to earlier investors using the money placed by newer members.   Meanwhile, pyramid schemes require members to recruit people into the group in exchange for fees. As in Ponzi schemes, they rely on new members’ contributions to pay out the promised returns to older investors.   Such schemes often deliver payouts at the start to please investors and encourage them to invite more people to join. To create a semblance of legitimacy, scammers tout products or services, which are either overpriced, worthless or inexistent. As part of its efforts to educate the investing public and keep them falling prey to investment scams, the Commission advocated for the institution of Investor Protection Week. On November 15, 2019, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte issued Proclamation No. 846, declaring the second week of November of every year as such.   The Investor Protection Week follows the celebration of World Investor Week, a global campaign promoted by the International Organization of Securities Commissions and held in October.   “Our fight against investment scams is anchored on the public’s awareness and empowerment to spot, avoid and expose investment scams,” SEC Chairperson Emilio B. Aquino said.   “While we remain relentless in unmasking and busting investment scams, we also encourage the public to always check with SEC before entertaining any investment opportunity, especially when they are too good to be true.”   To expand the reach of its investor education programs, the Commission gathered organizations from the public and private sectors alike to form the SEC Campaign Network, which will be formally launched on November 9.   The Commission will also launch The SEC Academy, an online learning resource center developed in collaboration with the Commission on Higher Education and the Department of Education.   The SEC Academy will offer courses and learning modules for students and educators, as well as aspiring entrepreneurs and those looking to invest in securities, among others.   On November 11, the SEC will hold a webinar for high school and college students on doing business and investing safely in the Philippines. The webinar will be live-streamed on Facebook.   The Commission, together with The Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc., will also hold a corporate governance forum on November 12.   The SEC will close Investor Protection Week by recognizing its partners in promoting ease of doing business, capital market development and investor protection, as it celebrates its 84th Anniversary on November 13. (PR)

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Wealthy Korean Businessman Turns Samyang Vendor in The Philippines

November 8, 2020

CASINO ADDICTION * Says he lost P300 Million to casino * Sold all his buildings, hotel and apartments METRO MANILA, Philippines - A former wealthy korean businessman who became bankrupt due to lavish spending in casinos is now a Samyang vendor in Las Piñas, Manila, Philippines. Mr Chang as he introduced himself to friends and Samyang buyers, was exclusively interviwed by The Hungry Syrian Wanderer Basel on what happened to his life, and why he became poor again after tasting the life of a wealthy businessman with over P300 Million business properties, solid and liquid assets. "I lost my money to casino," Twenty years ago I am a rich man. I have buildings, hotels, and 35 apartments. But they were all gone now after I sold them one by one when I was addicted to casinos back then, Mr Chang revealed to Basel, who made an exclusive interview.   HOW DID BASEL MEET THE POOR SAMYANG KOREAN VENDOR? Basel said in his YouTube vlog that a lot of Filipinos from his and Facebook pages provided him information about a poor Korean Samyang vendor in Las Piñas, who became poor after losing his 300 Million worth business empire about twenty years ago. The 76-year Korean was still very active when interviewed by the Hungry Syrian wanderer and he even danced the very famous Gangnam dance craze. The old man was game and even wowed the crowd who were watching him being interviewed by Basil. While on their way to the old man's rented apartment, Mr Chang toured to Basel his very small space, and it was too messy. Mr Chang also showed his remaining money put under his bed. It was, more or less, P400 left. LESSON TO LEARN: 1. When you still have plenty of blessings, don't forget to put some in the bank and invest the remaining part of it so that it will help you go on with your chosen life. 2. Don't waste time, not just because you're still young, but because time-wasted cannot be saved anymore. 3. Wealth will vanish but you're attitude towards life should remain your best investment. 4. Don't gamble in vasino. It will only destroy your life. Better still focused with your children and grand children 5. Do not even make your life miserable by frequenting in casinos.  6. There are syndicates in most casinos who will victimize old time men who just want to enjoy. So beware!      ---- About JOEL CALAMBA ESCOL, MDN Online Editor Please visit my YouTube Channel      

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Finding first Christian church in Camiguin could change island’s history

November 8, 2020

The history of the Catholic church in this island province may have to be rewritten once the ruins of its first Christian church and fortress is found. In a soon to be published book, The Untold Stories of Camiguin Island, Social and Cultural Anthropologist Dr. Andrés Narros Lluch, contends that the existing chronology of the Catholic Church’s history as currently exhibited in the old church ruins in Catarman is misleading, since it does not match with the Cosas Notables of the Augustinian Recollects manuscripts.    Libro de Cosas Notables, Parroquia de Sagay, Isla de Camiguin, Provincia de Misamis   According to the Cosas Notables manuscripts, the Punta Pasil church and fortress was built in 1622, and for almost two centuries was the religious and political center of the island. In his paper Surfacing the untold stories of Camiguin Island,  co-authored with the late Dr. Erlinda Burton and published in Vol. XXXIX of the Xavier University’s Kinaadman Journal, Lluch explains: According to the Cosas Notables de Catarman of Calisto Gaspar, the first Recollect Fathers started to build the first church, convent, and Cota in 1622, and worked hard to convince the natives to settle down around the church. In their account, the priests were able to convert the very same year six hundred “souls”. It is mentioned that they converted almost the entire population of the Island.  However, if we follow W.H. Scott’s estimations, there may have been around one thousand people living in the island at that time. Therefore, the four hundred remaining may be inhabitants but not converts to the faith following the priest’s words, calling them the remontados.   Punta Pasil (By Melissa Abuga-a)   The building structures (church and convent), which were constructed out of corals and lime, served not only as a religious temple but as a fortress as well to protect the people from the pirates’ raids. The strength, thickness and size of the walls, plus the “loving words” of the priest from the sacred book, built the perceptions among the locals that the new but totalitarian Christian God offered them a good deal of protection.” However, sometime between 1797 and 1804, the Church and Convent of Punta Pasil was burned down by the remontados unhappy with the tax system introduced by the friars. In the fire, not only the buildings and the relics were lost, but all manuscripts of the Recollect Fathers from 1622.   Guiob Church Ruins   “It was only in 1806 when Father Juan Martin del Rosario began the building of what is known today the Old Church of Catarman (Guiob). However, current nameplates and booklets of Camiguin history date this to 1622. Therefore, they silence the almost two centuries of history of Punta Pasil,” Lluch emphasized. Once the ruins of the Punta Pasil church and fortress are located, Lluch believes it would correct the chronology of the Catholic Church’s history in the island. The Kilaha Foundation, UP Department of Archeology and the Submarine Division of the National Museum have been advocating to the local government of Camiguin the need to explore the area of Punta Pasil in order to find the first Christian Church and fortress from where the island was converted into Christianity, Lluch added.   Sunken Cemetery at Catarman (RMB)   The Kilaha Foundation was co-founded by Lluch in 2015 to document and support local culture and identity, as well as preserve the fascinating biodiversity of Camiguin. “We believe it’s important to properly document the landmarks of Camiguin Christian history, especially because the deep Christian beliefs and faith of current Camiguinons,” Lluch stressed. “We hope the publication of the book helps to go beyond and start explorations not only in Punta Pasil, but as well in Guinsiliban and in the highlands of Sagay.”   “Archival findings are the best first building blocks for further archaeological explorations. In this regard, we therefore believe that the first steps has been taken already,” he noted. The archival research findings have been published in the previously cited paper Surfacing the untold stories of Camiguin Island which details the archival findings and advocate for further archeological explorations under water (in Punta Pasil and Guinsiliban) and inland (in highland Sagay). Lluch earned his PhD in Social and Cultural Anthropology from the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED). He has done field work as an aid worker and social researcher in Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Central America, South America, East Africa, and Europe for twenty years.   Andrés Narros Lluch   He belonged to the Southeast Asia Department at the School of Oriental and African Studies (2011–2012), was guest researcher in the Department of Anthropology at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and associate researcher in the Department of Anthropology at the University of the Philippines Manila (2012–2014). He is currently an affiliated researcher at Research Institute of Mindanao Culture (RIMCU) at Xavier University (Ateneo de Cagayan). Lluch has previously published the book La comedia de la cooperación internacional: historias etnográficas del desarrollo en la isla de Camiguín (Catarata, 2016) and currently alternates between Spain and Brussels, where he works at ODS as Senior Evaluator. La comedia de la cooperacion internacional

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AIA Philam Life: Protecting Filipinos in just 20 minutes

November 8, 2020

In today’s busy, fast-paced and ever-changing world, we tend to pack our schedule to fit everything we need to do in a day. Everything has to be done rapidly, giving birth to quickie versions of everything like 5-minute workouts and 30-minute meals. For the life insurance industry, this can be a major challenge as it usually takes several days at least for applications to be processed. Add to that the difficulty of social distancing restrictions, then you really have a problem.          Fortunately, AIA Philam Life, the country's premiere life insurance company, has adapted to this lifestyle and now has a platform that can provide customers a way to protect themselves and their families under the same time it takes to buy coffee and finish it before it gets cold—all within the comforts of their own home.      “The pandemic served as the catalyst that pushed us to beef up our digital capabilities quickly. As soon as the physical distancing measures were put in place, we knew we had to respond with speed and ended up launching the enhanced digital selling platform (the precursor of coffee closing), our Facebook Messenger chatbot, claims and policy requests online via email, among others, within two months of the quarantine. Some of these were already in development and the situation forced us to be ready to launch as soon as possible,” shared Kelvin Ang, AIA Philam Life Chief Executive Officer.                      “When we did this event last year, we were happy to announce the completion of our customers’ digital journey with us. This year, the focus is how to further improve and streamline our processes to ensure that our customers have the best experience with us. And with a customer-centric approach to these efforts, fulfilling our mission of racing against risk and helping more Filipinos live Healthier, Longer, and Better Lives becomes faster and so much easier,” he added.                  Faster way to get protected          In the past, a traditional life insurance policy application can take almost a month or so to wind its way through the application procedure which involves physically meeting with a financial advisor, submitting a lot of paperwork and exchanging printed proposals, before it gets to the tedious underwriting process, and paying your bill. AIA Philam Life's Coffee Closing Project simplified this into a three-step, 20-minute process which includes e-Submission and e-Signature where the client can review all the information they provided and acknowledge the agreement, e-Payment where the customer pays via debit or credit card, and Auto Underwrite which finalizes their insurance policy. All of this can be done through AIA Philam Life’s iPad-based interactive Point- of-Sale (iPoS) tool and a secure link provided by the financial advisor.                      At the heart of Coffee Closing is Fusion, the first AI (artificial intelligence)-powered and award- winning digital underwriting platform in the industry which helps validate insurance applications in a faster, more reliable, and accurate manner.                  Fusion has been proven to process 3,000 life insurance applications per second and 60,000 times faster than the traditional manual underwriting procedure. By transcending rule-based automation and using superior cognitive automation, the system learns patterns from analyzing a hundred years’ worth of AIA customer data to bring a century’s worth of knowledge into the present.              “Since 2012, we’ve been continuously upgrading and improving our digital platforms to make sure that our people are equipped with best in class tools that can enable them to provide a seamless experience to our customers,” said Margarita Lopez, AIA Philam Life Chief Operations Officer. “And to make sure that we are not making assumptions on what is important for them , we involved our customers at the very heart of our design, reimagining what we could do to address what matters to them. The result is a completely delightful digital experience for customers and for our financial advisors alike,” she shares.              AIA Philam Life will continue to strengthen its digital capability as the company announced digitalization as one of its strategic imperatives. “Technology, Data and Analytics will be the driving force that will enable our plans moving forward. AIA Philam Life intends to be at the forefront and lead in digitalization for the life insurance industry,” said AIA Philam Life Chief Technology Officer Emmanuel Mendoza.    

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