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10 MARCH 2023



Leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives on Thursday launched the eCongress—a digital platform that will strengthen and streamline the coordination and partnership between the chambers of Congress—at the National Museum.

Through a concurrent resolution, both chambers established the eCongress, describing it as an “integrated and secure digital legislative management system.”

“If the pandemic taught us anything, it is that we can and must take advantage of digital technologies to make our respective legislative proceedings much easier and much more efficient,” said Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri.

“We had to transform ourselves. We cannot be a Congress that is trapped in amber, archaic, and irrelevant. We have to be dynamic, forward-looking, and forward-moving. That is the only way we can be genuinely responsive to our people’s needs,” Zubiri added.

The leaders of both chambers signed the memorandum of agreement for the management of the eCongress website.

The integrated digital legislative management system Congress is establishing will encourage citizen participation in lawmaking, Speaker Martin G. Romualdez said.

Thus said the Speaker in his message delivered by former President-turned Senior Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of Pampanga.

The message was read during the launch of the digital platform attended by Zubiri, Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva, House Majority Leader Manuel Jose Dalipe, Senators Loren Legarda and Joseph Victor Ejercito, and Reps. Tobias Tiangco and Joboy Aquino, House Secretary General Reginald S. Velasco, and Senate Sec. Renato N. Bantug Jr.

Romualdez said President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., in his first State of the Nation Address last July, brought up the need to digitize, harmonize and share government records across departments and agencies.

“In response to this call, the House of Representatives, along with the Senate, now jointly establish and maintain an integrated and secure digital legislative management system for the Congress of the Philippines,” he said.

Romualdez said eCongress represents the “synergy” between the Senate and the House in their common aspiration to digitize their processes, services, and records, and share information.

“E-Congress will also provide updates on the status of bills, and resolutions and report legislative undertakings to inform the public and encourage citizen participation,” he said.





MANILA - The Philippines booked a total of $634 million net inflows from foreign direct investments in December 2022, lower by 76.2 percent than the $2.7 billion in the same comparable period, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said on Friday.

Higher inflation and the global economic slowdown affected investor sentiments, the central bank said in a statement.

"The decline in FDI during the reference month was due largely to base effect, particularly given the significantly larger net placements of equity capital in December 2021," it said.

Bulk of the equity capital placements was from Singapore, Germany and Japan and channeled mostly to manufacturing and real estate, the BSP said.

For the full year, FDI net inflows reached $9.2 billion in 2022, lower by 23.2 percent compared to the $12 billion recorded in 2021, data showed.

The BSP said the net inflow decrease in 2022 was due to the extended global slowdown and high inflation "which adversely affected investor decisions."





MANILA — All 6 people on board a Cessna plane that went missing in mountainous Isabela province in January died, authorities said Thursday, as they announced the discovery of the aircraft's wreckage after more than a month of grueling search.

Constante Foronda, head of the Isabela Incident Management Team (IMT), said all 5 passengers and the pilot of the Cessna 206 plane died in the crash.

"There were no survivors," he said. "We delayed this briefing until all the relatives of the passengers and the pilot have been informed."

A search team found the plane within the 20-kilometer radius of the Maconacon airport, its supposed destination on Jan. 24, the Isabela IMT said.

The plane had taken off from Cauayan airport on a route that would have taken it across the Sierra Madre mountain range, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) earlier said.

The plane failed to respond half an hour after it was supposed to land, the industry regulator said.

Rescuers in Isabela estimate it would take up to 3 days to recover and bring down the remains of the passengers and the pilot, a local disaster official said.

Chavez said the plane was discovered at around 11 a.m. Thursday by a composite team from neighboring Maconacon guided by a member of the Dumagat tribe from Divilacan.

The bodies were immediately identified because the team knew the passengers.

The team will encounter challenges that could delay the retrieval of the bodies, Foronda said.

"Walang established path doon sa lugar na ‘yon, especially mayroon silang dala-dalang labi ng pasahero at piloto kaya matatagalan ang kanilang pagbaba."

The discovery of the missing Cessna plane in Isabela came more than a week after a medical evacuation flight with 5 persons aboard went missing on its way to Palawan.

Possible debris from the aircraft was reportedly found, while those aboard remained missing.

On Feb. 18, a Cessna 340 plane carrying 4 people, including 2 Australians, crashed on the active Mayon volcano. All 4 died.

The CAAP earlier said that all Cessna planes in the Philippines passed government requirements before they were allowed to fly.





MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker has filed a bill seeking to amend the law that created the Board of Claims under the supervision of the Department of Justice, to ensure that victims of unjust imprisonment and violent crimes would receive increased compensation.

Rep. Mikee Romero of 1-Pacman party-list filed House Bill 7307, which seeks to amend Republic Act 7309, the law that created the Board of Claims.

“One of the disturbing problems in the area of justice and human rights is the implementation of the constitutional provision against the deprivation of life, liberty and property without due process of law,” Romero said in a statement.

He said persons have been accused and imprisoned for crimes they did not commit, only to be subsequently acquitted.

“A judicial way of filing a claim for compensation may be too long. Congress opted for an administrative procedure of filing the claims by creating the Board of Claims,” Romero said.

The Board of Claims grants compensation to victims of unjust imprisonment and violent crimes following an acquittal by the trial court for supposed offenses for which they have been wrongfully charged, according to the lawmaker.

Romero, who chairs the House committee on poverty alleviation, said under his proposed bill, victims of unjust imprisonment could claim up to P5,000 per month of incarceration from the current P1,000. The compensation should not exceed P300,000.





MANILA — The damage from the oil spill in Oriental Mindoro is "extensive" and will be felt for decades, an environmental group warned Thursday.

The motor tanker Princess Empress, which was carrying 800,000 liters of industrial fuel oil, sank near the Verde Island Passage — one of the most biodiverse marine habitats in the planet.

"With this tragedy that has happened, the damage that it will cost to this ecologically sensitive area would be felt for decades," lawyer Rose-Liza Eisma-Osorio, legal and policy director of Oceana Philippines, told ANC's "Headstart".

Mangroves, seagrasses, and corals will take years to recover from the tragedy, she added.

The government's target of cleaning up the spillage in less than 4 months is "unrealistic," Oceana Philippines said.

"I think the realistic would be 6 months to a year," Osorio said, adding that sunken oil will settle in substrate sediments.

President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. on Wednesday said he hoped cleanup efforts in Oriental Mindoro would be finished in less than 4 months, similar to the 2006 cleanup of the Guimaras oil spill.





MANILA — Authorities are not excluding Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. from the investigation into the killing of his political rival Governor Roel Degamo, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin "Boying" Remulla said on Thursday.

“We’re investigating everybody who may have something to do with what has been happening in Negros Oriental, we are not exempting anybody,” Remulla said.

Degamo and eight others were killed when at least 6 gunmen armed with rifles and wearing military-style uniforms opened fire in the governor's home in Pamplona municipality on Saturday. Seventeen people were also wounded in the attack.

Teves on Monday said he received information that he would be pinned down for Degamo's assassination. He said he and his clan had nothing to do with the killing.

The lawmaker's brother, Pryde Henry Teves, was unseated by Degamo after the Supreme Court declared him last month the rightful winner of the contest for the Negros Oriental governorship.

The police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) on Tuesday filed murder complaints against Rep. Teves and several others for the death of three people in 2019.

Remulla said "there will be more cases filed about past incidents that were dismissed before, that were not attended to before, but would not constitute double jeopardy on the part of the accused."

"So this is not just about 9 murders, there may be more, more cases to be investigated. Besides even the ones, the three cases brought by Atty. Baligod here on Tuesday, there are more cases na kailangan tingnan natin (to be looked into),” he said.

Teves, who is in the United States for a personal trip as of writing, was expected to return to the Philippines after this travel clearance from the House of Representatives expired Thursday.





MANILA — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is eyeing transition programs for its discharged personnel who have "dangerous" skills that could be used for crimes, an official said on Friday, after 3 former soldiers were tagged in the killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo.

Three of the alleged gunmen in Degamo's slay include a former sergeant who was discharged after he “went amok” and took absences without leave, another ex-sergeant allegedly involved in illegal drugs, and a former corporal accused of “misbehavior before the enemy.”

"We have taught these people the skill that is very dangerous if used in crimes or in lawlessness. So I think it is also our responsibility to make sure this skill sets that they have learned will not be used against our own people," AFP Spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar said of discharged soldiers.

"These personnel have forgotten that the very reason of our existence in the Armed Forces of the Philippines is to protect our people. And therefore, we have to make sure that this remains with them even after the service," he told ANC.

The military will review its transition and assistance program for former personnel, Aguilar said.

“This program is intended for the retiring personnel. Now, the Philippine Army is thinking of including those who will be separated from the service because of the cases they are facing,” he told ANC.

Former Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff and retired General Dionisio Santiago has said that some soldiers allegedly become hitmen after being dismissed from services due to the lack of pension.









MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has lined up several initiatives to spur the growth of the country’s creative industries.

At the Philippine Creatives Industries Summit, Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual said the DTI would launch various programs and projects under the banner “Malikhaing Pinoy” or Creative Philippines, in a bid to start the implementation of the Philippine Creative Industries Development Act (PCIDA).

“Malikhaing Pinoy is our holistic approach to addressing the constraints and barriers to the growth of the creative industries. It is a flagship initiative well-informed by the various sector-specific industry studies and roadmaps carried out by the DTI with support from our champions in Congress,” Pascual said.

“These research studies have identified the industries’ most binding constraints, which our proposed projects and programs will address,”he said.

Pascual emphasized the need to conduct robust industry studies in many creative sub-sectors.

“We also need to address the deficiencies in statistical data on the actual contribution of the creative industries to employment, trade, and the economy at large,” he said.

To allow us to measure the creative industries’ economic contributions accurately, the DTI chief said they would continue working with the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) and the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) to establish a well-defined and reliable statistical system through the Creative Industries Satellite Account.

In addition, Pascual said they are on track with work on industry studies and roadmaps for the creative sub-sectors of architecture and landscapes, e-Sports, fashion and textile, furniture and fixtures, gifts, decors, housewares, graphic design, and jewelry.





MANILA, Philippines —  The Department of Education (DepEd) yesterday reminded public schools to conduct unannounced fire and earthquake drills every first and third week of the month.

Private schools, community learning centers as well as state universities and colleges offering basic education were also asked to adopt the policy.

The DepEd issued the directive as the country observes Fire Prevention Month this March.

“Together, let us keep our learners, personnel and schools safe from fires, earthquakes and other calamities through effective preparation and simulation exercises,” the agency said.

Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte has issued a department order mandating the conduct of unannounced fire and earthquake drills in public schools.

“Emergencies and calamities may strike anywhere, any time. Thus, having an effective preparedness plan is the key in preventing disasters and saving lives,” Duterte said.

“Accordingly, local drills and simulation exercises are preventive measures that familiarize escape routes and reinforce proper actions in the occurrence of a calamity. Frequent practice of these drills and exercises would eventually turn these actions into automatic reflexes that would manifest during an actual calamity,” she added.

The DepEd also directed public schools in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal to create disaster plans in anticipation  of a magnitude-7 earthquake.





MANILA — The total COVID-19 vaccine wastage in the Philippines is estimated to hit over 50 million by end of March, the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed Thursday, citing the supposed hesitancy of Filipinos to be inoculated.

During a Senate Blue Ribbon committee hearing, DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said around 44 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been wasted.

"As of our current inventories, our wastage is 17.5 percent, the quantities would be 44 million doses plus," Vergeire said.

According to panel chairperson Sen. Francis Tolentino's computation, another 6 million doses of vaccines are also set to expire this month, projecting a total of 50.74 million vaccine wastage by end of March.

Vergeire confirmed Tolentino's report.

"I confirm that these would be the amount if we already include those to expire by end of March," Vergeire said.

The health official added that nearly 7 million doses of vaccines are currently "quarantined" pending the manufacturers' approval for them to be used past the expiration date.

"We have around 6.9 million doses which are currently quarantined as we define it since we are still awaiting from the manufacturers and FDA if these can be allowed to have extension of the shelf life," Vergeire said.

Tolentino said that vaccine wastage would continue to hound the government if the DOH fails to address public hesitancy.

"We are doing all things possible now so we can intervene and be able to ramp up again the vaccination," Vergeire told Tolentino.

Since the pandemic started almost 3 years ago, the country has tallied 4,077,302 coronavirus infections, of which some 66,176 resulted in deaths.





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MANILA, Philippines — Enrique Razon-led MORE Electric and Power Corp. is set to boost Iloilo City’s power capacity and reliability with the completion of a new substation.

MORE Power, Iloilo City’s electric distribution utility, said it has energized its 30/36 megavolt amperes New Megaworld Substation located in the Iloilo Business Park, the company’s first permanent substation project since taking over operations in February 2020.

The completion of the New Megaworld Substation will allow MORE Power to provide a more stable and reliable power supply to its customers in Iloilo City.

“The energization of the substation marks a significant milestone for MORE Power, in fulfilling its mandate of providing reliable and cost-efficient electric power distribution service to Iloilo City,” Castro said.

“We are fully committed to the upgrading of the power infrastructures here to meet the needs of our customers and support the economic growth of the city,” he said.








Amazon Prime Video has released the official trailer of “Walang KaParis,” the reunion movie of Empoy Marquez and Alessandra De Rossi.

Produced by Spring Films and Viva Films, “Walang KaParis” also brings together the breakout tandem with their “Kita Kita” director Sigrid Andrea Bernardo.

The film’s title literally means “no match” or “beyond compare,” and is a play on Paris where the story is set.

It tells the story of Jojo (Marquez), a Filipino artist in Paris, who has had many lovers, but not one of them could fill the chasm in his life occupied by the mysterious muse of his paintings.

Then comes a day when a woman named Marie (De Rossi) walks up to him and claims to be the subject in his paintings.

“Walang KaParis” will be streaming on Amazon Prime Video on March 23 in 240 countries and territories.





FOREX $1 = P 55.24





The ability to see beauty is the beginning of our moral sensibility. What we believe is beautiful we will not wantonly destroy. - Reverend Sean Parker Dennison


Comments (0)

Hi Jenna! I made a new design, and i wanted to show it to you.
It's quite clean and it's inspired from Bulkit.
Oh really??! I want to see that.
FYI it was done in less than a day.
Great to hear it. Just send me the PSD files so i can have a look at it.
And if you have a prototype, you can also send me the link to it.

Hey Jenna, what's up?
Iam coming to LA tomorrow. Interested in having lunch?
Hey mate, it's been a while. Sure I would love to.
Ok. Let's say i pick you up at 12:30 at work, works?
Yup, that works great.
And yeah, don't forget to bring some of my favourite cheese cake.
No worries

Hello Jenna, did you read my proposal?
Didn't hear from you since i sent it.
Hello Milly, Iam really sorry, Iam so busy recently, but i had the time to read it.
And what did you think about it?
Actually it's quite good, there might be some small changes but overall it's great.
I think that i can give it to my boss at this stage.
Crossing fingers then