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ASIAN DEVPT BANK (ADB) BACKS PH ECONOMIC AGENDA
[RELATED: Palace - Duterte trips to 12 nations cost P277M, earn $5.85B investment]


FEBRUARY 22 -President Duterte is welcomed by Asian Development Bank president Takehiko Nakao during the ADB’s 50th anniversary celebration at its headquarters in Mandaluyong City yesterday. Nakao committed the ADB’s support for the President’s socio-economic agenda. KRIZJOHN ROSALES The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is strongly committed to supporting the 10-point socioeconomic agenda set out by the Duterte administration. ADB president Takehiko Nakao said the ADB has helped improve the lives of people since the bank was established in 1966. He also cited the support from the Philippines as host country, and from partners within and outside the region. ADB started operating in Manila on Dec. 19, 1966 with 31 members. READ MORE...RELATED,
Palace: Duterte trips to 12 nations cost P277M, earn $5.85B investment ...

ALSO: BUSINESS MATTERS - Dear Mr. President Mayor


FEBRUARY 25 -Mr. Peter Angelo V. Perfecto - Executive Director, Makati Business Club Dear Mr. President Mayor, there are millions of your fellow Filipinos that believed and hoped in the promise of the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution. I recall very clearly that the mass action on Edsa was joined by similar mass actions all over the country, including Davao. We hold very close to our hearts the aspirations of food and freedom, jobs and justice for all. Many of your leaders have often told us that you have a big heart for the downtrodden and those left behind. We do, too. The Catholic Church does, too, as does the Commission on Human Rights. But, yes, we are not perfect; the bishops and priests certainly aren’t; the CHR’s Chito Gascon is definitely not. And we know that you aren’t perfect, too. And that is why we continue to support you, and continue to engage with your leaders and supporters. Dear Mr. President Mayor, you rule a nation divided. We need you to help unite us so that together, in a world of growing uncertainty and pessimism, we can build a nation that is solid, strong and hopeful, for our children. Peter Angelo V. Perfecto, Executive Director of the Makati Business Club and Vice President of Integrity Initiative Inc. READ FROM THE BEGINNING...

ALSO: The wine that will make President Duterte curse
[RELATED: Remembering history through art]


FEBRUARY 27 -Presidential wine? Chateau Du Tertre is a Grand Cru Classe Margaux.
Wondering what wine to give the President of the Philippines? Try Chateau Du Tertre, a Margaux grand cru classe from Bordeaux. I can only imagine the number of bottles the President might have received by now of this label that sounds so similar to his name. Note though that while the spelling is close to “Duterte,” the pronunciation is more like “daughter” in the French-Bisaya accent, as in “my du-ter Sara.” Or just imagine the late Senator Ernesto Herrera saying “my daughter (my doo-ter),” then add a soft T in the end.  The Commanderie de Bordeaux, an international organization of wine lovers founded in Bordeaux, France, with chapters in major cities of the world, now including Manila, featured Chateau Du Tertre at a gathering of commandeurs (and their commanders, aka wives) just last week at the Provençal restaurant Mireio in Raffles Makati. READ MORE...RELATED,
Remembering history through art...

ALSO:
By Boo Chanco - Pinoys in America
[RELATED By Babe Romualdez: Trump order - Undocumented Filipinos close to deportation]


FEBRUARY 22 -PHOTO COURTESY OF GMA NEWS appended here by PHNO
The Trump administration’s drive to flush out and deport so called illegal immigrants has started to spark fear among Filipinos, according to a report from Los Angeles by ABS-CBN News reporter Steve Angeles. While no Filipino has so far been picked up in raids by US immigration officials, volunteers working at the Pilipino Workers Center — which advocates for undocumented Filipinos — told Angeles the fear is real in the Filipino community. It does not help that President Duterte has said he would not “lift a finger” to help Filipinos in America who would be affected. Filipino community leaders told the ABS-CBN reporter they felt bad about President Duterte’s position. They contrasted it with Mexico’s more sympathetic reaction to help their citizens who find themselves in trouble with US immigration. Filipino “green card” holders or legal immigrants, as well as Filipinos with tourist or other visas, should not have problems at US airports. The controversial Trump order stopped by the courts does not include the Philippines among the seven countries covered by the travel ban. READ MORE...RELATED, Trump order: Undocumented Filipinos close to deportation...

ALSO: BSP stance different from US Fed, we do not necessarily have to move in sync w/ it –Tetangco[RELATED: Rody approves economic blueprint for Phl to be an upper-middle income country by 2022]


FEBRUARY 24 -BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said authorities also take into consideration the actions taken by the US Federal Reserve in deciding on the country’s monetary policy stance. File photo
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reiterated yesterday the country’s monetary policy stance would not move in synch with the US after Federal Reserve policymakers hinted they could raise interest rates again “fairly soon.” BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said authorities also take into consideration the actions taken by the US Federal Reserve in deciding on the country’s monetary policy stance. “As is our practice, we include new information from Fed signals in our scenario building,” he said in a text message. Tetangco said the BSP looks into the potential impact on financial market since this segment is the most reactive to the US Fed decisions in the near term. READ MORE... RELATED, Rody approves economic blueprint for Phl to be an upper-middle income country by 2022...

ALSO: CIVIL AVIATION (CAAP) reopens Surigao airport


FEBRUARY 24 -
Fourteen days after it was closed to all airlines due to massive damages, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) yesterday officially reopened the Surigao airport for commercial operations. In its notice to airmen (Notam) CO161/17, CAAP said all airlines operating at the airport can resume operations effective 6 a.m. yesterday. Eric Apolonio, head of the agency’s media communications and spokesman, said it took two weeks for the agency to repair the damages incurred by the airport as they were scattered in it’s almost 2,000-meter runaway. “By total, the runway length is 1,700 meters,” the spokesman told the Daily Tribune in an interview. READ MORE...


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ADB backs Phl economic agenda  


FEBRUARY 22 -President Duterte is welcomed by Asian Development Bank president Takehiko Nakao during the ADB’s 50th anniversary celebration at its headquarters in Mandaluyong City yesterday. Nakao committed the ADB’s support for the President’s socio-economic agenda. KRIZJOHN ROSALES

MANILA, FEBRUARY 27, 2017 (PHILSTAR) By Alexis Romero and Christina Mendez February 22, 2017 - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is strongly committed to supporting the 10-point socioeconomic agenda set out by the Duterte administration.

ADB president Takehiko Nakao said the ADB has helped improve the lives of people since the bank was established in 1966.

He also cited the support from the Philippines as host country, and from partners within and outside the region.

ADB started operating in Manila on Dec. 19, 1966 with 31 members.

READ MORE...

According to Nakao, the Philippine capital has proven to be a good base for ADB’s headquarters because ADB is closer to its developing member countries.

The ADB benefited from the hospitality of the Philippine government and people, and can draw on a strong pool of English-speaking professionals, he added.

The ADB has provided $16 billion in loans and grants to the government and about $1 billion in loans and equity investments to private companies.

In the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda in 2013, ADB provided $900 million for rebuilding the affected areas.

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RELATED FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK

Palace: Duterte trips to 12 nations cost P277M, earn $5.85B investment  Published February 21, 2017 2:09pm By TRISHA MACAS


ABELLA

 Malacañang on Tuesday said that the foreign trips of President Rodrigo Duterte cost P277 million, but earned the Philippines at least US$5.85 billion in foreign investments and at least 350,000 job opportunities.

"The President made a total of seven foreign trips, visiting a total of 12 countries since he took office. These visits incurred about P277 million in expenses which included airfare and others," Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a briefing.

Duterte in 2016 visited Laos, Indonesia, Vietnam, Brunei, China, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Peru, New Zealand, Cambodia, and Singapore. Abella, however, pointed out that the China trip yielded around US$4 billion in investments and 100,000 jobs through 20 agreements. He added that the visit to Japan produced investment commitment estimated at US$1.85 billion and is expected to generate around 250,000 jobs and five government-to-government agreements. — MDM, GMA News


INQUIRER

BUSINESS MATTERS - Dear Mr. President Mayor By: Peter Angelo V. Perfecto - @inquirerdotnetPhilippine Daily Inquirer / 12:18 AM February 25, 2017


Mr. Peter Angelo V. Perfecto - Executive Director, Makati Business Club

Today we mark the 31st anniversary of a truly historic and peaceful People Power Revolution that earned global recognition and awe. It was a genuine revolution because it was the single event that completed a people’s long journey back to democracy from a dictatorship.

It brought down a failed political system and its failed promises. It became the start of the building and rebuilding of institutions that found solid foundations in a new Constitution that gave power back to the people, put in place safeguards that said “never again” to martial law, and provided a framework for social justice and peace.

This week I spoke with some students at Ateneo de Manila University about my experience in this continuing journey of our people toward what Ka Pepe Diokno called “a nation for our children,” with food and freedom, jobs and justice for all. I was amazed how many of them were just hungry for the truth denied them by history books that play down martial law, and a social media community where history is systematically being revised, making the 1970s appear as golden years.

Alberto “Bertie” Lim, one of the stalwarts of the brave and bold Manindigan of Edsa I, joined me in speaking with the students. We simply shared our stories of living at the frontline of protest against a political behemoth—myself just a student then, and Bertie a man of business.

We talked of how our journey back to democracy began with an awakening in 1983, when Ninoy Aquino was brutally murdered by “Stormtroopers of the Empire” or “Death Eaters of He-Who-Must-not-be-Named.”

We talked of courage rekindled by the sacrifice of a man and the fear in our hearts that was always there nonetheless. We remembered with pride and joy the moment when the rebels multiplied, with small mutinies here and there, at one point taking with them the gunships that could have mowed down the peaceful protesters chanting “Tama na, sobra na!”

We tried to express to them our euphoria and collective sigh of relief when, finally, the Emperor fled, even though we knew he had taken so much from us, and in that final moment of flight took away even more from an already impoverished nation.

The moderator asked: What was it like to gain the country back? Holding back tears, I replied that it was precisely because of the sacrifice of many to gain back our country and the heavy toll in the lives of those who truly loved our country that, today, I weep that we may be losing her yet again.

Dear Mr. President Mayor, there are millions of your fellow Filipinos that believed and hoped in the promise of the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution. I recall very clearly that the mass action on Edsa was joined by similar mass actions all over the country, including Davao. We hold very close to our hearts the aspirations of food and freedom, jobs and justice for all. Many of your leaders have often told us that you have a big heart for the downtrodden and those left behind. We do, too. The Catholic Church does, too, as does the Commission on Human Rights. But, yes, we are not perfect; the bishops and priests certainly aren’t; the CHR’s Chito Gascon is definitely not. And we know that you aren’t perfect, too. And that is why we continue to support you, and continue to engage with your leaders and supporters.

Dear Mr. President Mayor, your good lieutenants can confirm this. I continue to support your 0+10-point economic agenda, where zero is addressing criminality, illegal drugs, and other security threats. I have difficulties with portions of point zero, but I am part of efforts to get business and the Church to contribute genuine programs to rehabilitate drug addicts. I have also not wavered in the furtherance of the Integrity Initiative to get business to do its part to stop corruption.

Dear Mr. President Mayor, you rule a nation divided. We need you to help unite us so that together, in a world of growing uncertainty and pessimism, we can build a nation that is solid, strong and hopeful, for our children.

Peter Angelo V. Perfecto is executive director of the Makati Business Club and vice president of Integrity Initiative Inc.


INQUIRER

The wine that will make President Duterte curse By: Margaux Salcedo - @inquirerdotnetPhilippine Daily Inquirer / 12:30 AM February 26, 2017


Presidential wine? Chateau Du Tertre is a Grand Cru Classe Margaux.

Wondering what wine to give the President of the Philippines? Try Chateau Du Tertre, a Margaux grand cru classe from Bordeaux.

I can only imagine the number of bottles the President might have received by now of this label that sounds so similar to his name. Note though that while the spelling is close to “Duterte,” the pronunciation is more like “daughter” in the French-Bisaya accent, as in “my du-ter Sara.” Or just imagine the late Senator Ernesto Herrera saying “my daughter (my doo-ter),” then add a soft T in the end.

The Commanderie de Bordeaux, an international organization of wine lovers founded in Bordeaux, France, with chapters in major cities of the world, now including Manila, featured Chateau Du Tertre at a gathering of commandeurs (and their commanders, aka wives) just last week at the Provençal restaurant Mireio in Raffles Makati.

READ MORE...

To explain the intricacies of the wine and the various vintages in detail was no other than Chateau Du Tertre’s director general Alexander van Beek, who flew in all the way from Bordeaux.

After being introduced by Commanderie de Bordeaux’s Le Maitre (the Master) and founding commandeur Aurelio “Gigi” Montinola, van Beek shared this most interesting trivia: The chef at Chateau Du Tertre is Filipino and when the 2015 vintage was launched last year, he felt elated because he is a supporter of the President.

Making sipsip to the President notwithstanding, Chateau Du Tertre turned out to be, in fact, a good wine.

We had the pleasure of sampling the 2009 vintage, an excellent year in Bordeaux, which was easy to appreciate with its soft texture and good nose. There was also a hint of spiciness in the end and van Beek explained this was due to the higher content of Cabernet Franc generally found in blends for Chateau Du Tertre.

This was compared to a 2009 Chateau Giscours (Chateau Giscours is located beside Chateau Du Tertre. It is owned by a Dutch family—Eric and Louise Albada Jelgersma—who also purchased Chateau Du Tertre in 1995).

The Giscours, it turned out, was the more “intellectual” wine.

Compared to the easygoing Du Tertre, the Giscours is appreciated more for its complexity and depth. So the intellectual commandeurs—Montinola, Globe’s Ernest Cu and finance wizard Jaime Panganiban—were all more drawn to the Giscours. Proof that the gentlemen know their wines: the Giscours is a Third Growth Margaux (Troisièmes Crus) while the Du Tertre is a Fifth Growth (Cinquièmes Crus) in the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855, a ranking of the most important wines in Bordeaux that, while created in 1855 under the Emperor Napoleon III, is recognized and observed to this day.

Van Beek also made the commandeurs try the 2000 Du Tertre and the 1999 Giscours. The 2000 Du Tertre had the same definitive bouquet and spice notes that hit the roof of your mouth but, by virtue of vintage and maturity, it was more creamy and tannined than the 2009. Leading US wine critic Robert Parker has gone so far as to say that the 2000 “is the finest Du Tertre since their 1979,” with its “layers of concentrated blackberry fruit intertwined with damp earth, mushroom, and sweet, toasty barrique smells … ripe tannin, medium to full body, layered texture, and concentrated, impressively endowed finish.”

I imagine the President—if you give this to him as a gift—might smile at the description “impressively endowed.”

The 1999 Giscours, unfortunately, is not for sale. It is a special vintage that can only be appreciated if you go to Bordeaux and visit Chateau Giscours. But it is a truly premium wine with a beautiful balance, complex yet refined, and character that makes you pay attention.

Van Beek explained that 1999 was not as exceptional a year as 2000 so it is often overlooked compared to the millennium vintage. But for the Giscours, the 1999 is regarded as a “shadow vintage” because it is a wine with perfect harmony, a wine that exemplifies the beauty of Margaux, and through which one might understand what Margaux is all about.

With the ’99 Giscours, van Beek explained you would see the wine come to life.

“Wine is the only living organism created by nature, nurtured by man, put in a bottle … then when you open the bottle, this wine is alive,” he expounded. “There is no other product that has that, that we can consume.”

And so the commandeurs cheered and toasted and laughed and celebrated as the night went on, their joie de vivre awakened by the wines.

No cursing, though, in spite of the dawn of inebriation. Maybe guests consumed more of the intellectual Giscours than the impressively endowed Du Tertre!

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RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Remembering history through art By: Tina Arceo-Dumlao - Business Features Editor / @tinaarceodumlaoPhilippine Daily Inquirer / 01:30 AM February 26, 2017


Yellow Fever, Angel Cacnio, mixed media on canvas, 6 x 12 ft, 2014, from SiningSaysay: Philippine History in Art

The formidable power of fine art to stir memories and prompt deep reflection is not lost on the Araneta Group of companies.

This is why the J. Amado Araneta Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of the Araneta group, has committed to support SiningSaysay: Philippine History in Art—a milestone exhibit at Gateway Gallery that depicts key moments in Philippine history in 30 large historic and thematic paintings. The exhibit is the result of a five-year collaboration among the University of the Philippines, UP Alumni Association and the Araneta Center.

This year, in time for the 31st anniversary of the People Power revolution, art meets technology with the launch of the digital interface that uses augmented reality to recount Philippine history and make it more interesting to an increasingly digital-savvy generation, particularly the youth.

For the initial phase, 10 paintings from the collection “come to life” on Wi-Fi-enabled digital devices like mobile phones and tablets using the Layar app that can be downloaded for free. Users will then be able to scan the selected paintings on their device to watch the video and hear the narration on chapters of Philippine history.

The videos are accurate historical accounts of events depicted in the paintings. Each video lasts roughly three minutes, with the whole tour lasting about 30 minutes. This launch is just the first phase of an even bigger project to make all 30 paintings in the collection of the Gateway Gallery AR-enabled.


Nichole Manalo, Miss Globe 2016 third runner-up, tries the AR feature during Gateway Gallery’s ‘SiningLakbay: History in Augmented Reality’ launch on Feb 22.

Gateway Gallery opened on Nov. 21, 2014. Its long-term exhibit, “SiningSaysay: Philippine History in Art,” opened to the public on Feb. 18, 2015.

The SiningSaysay artists are: Junyee, Benjie Cabangis, Randy Solon, Bim Bacaltos, Jonal Salvosa, Ding Hidalgo; brothers Simkin and Vincent de Pio with their father Gig de Pio; Janice Young, Aileen Lanuza, Romy Mananquil, Don Artificio, Grace Alfonso, Norman Dreo, Cris Cruz, Romy Carlos, Norly Meimban, Julius Samson, Michael Velasco, Neil Doloricon, Adi Baen-Santos, Ben Infante, Angel Cacnio, Grandier Bella, Dennis Dasco, and the late Abdulmari Asia Imao, National Artist for Visual Arts.

In over two years of operations, the Gallery has grown its art collection to 50 artworks donated by various artists. Attendance has also risen to an average of 200 visitors a day.

Located at the 5th level of the Gateway Tower at the Araneta Center, Gateway Gallery is free to the public and is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

According to Jorge L. Araneta, Chair of the Araneta Group, the continuing commitment to SiningSaysay: Philippine History in Art is part of the Araneta group’s thrust to contribute to nation building.

By keeping history fresh in the minds of Filipinos, it is hoped that the lessons of the past will be taken to heart and used as the foundation on which to build a brighter future for the Philippines.


PHILSTAR

Pinoys in America DEMAND AND SUPPLY By Boo Chanco (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 22, 2017 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


PHOTO COURTESY OF GMA NEWS appended here by PHNO.

The Trump administration’s drive to flush out and deport so called illegal immigrants has started to spark fear among Filipinos, according to a report from Los Angeles by ABS-CBN News reporter Steve Angeles.

While no Filipino has so far been picked up in raids by US immigration officials, volunteers working at the Pilipino Workers Center — which advocates for undocumented Filipinos — told Angeles the fear is real in the Filipino community.


BY BOO CHANCO

It does not help that President Duterte has said he would not “lift a finger” to help Filipinos in America who would be affected. Filipino community leaders told the ABS-CBN reporter they felt bad about President Duterte’s position. They contrasted it with Mexico’s more sympathetic reaction to help their citizens who find themselves in trouble with US immigration.

Filipino “green card” holders or legal immigrants, as well as Filipinos with tourist or other visas, should not have problems at US airports. The controversial Trump order stopped by the courts does not include the Philippines among the seven countries covered by the travel ban.

READ MORE...

There are, however, those who think it is only a matter of time before Filipinos start getting closer scrutiny. The increased activity of ISIS affiliated groups in the south, including much publicized kidnapping and beheading of Western victims, is giving our country unwanted international notoriety.

According to an analysis by CNN, more than 2.73 million non-immigrant and immigrant visas were issued by the US State Department to citizens of countries that were either labeled “terrorist safe havens” (the category of the Philippines), “state sponsors of terror,” “nations where terror networks are based and operate” or “countries with active terror cells.”

Of the 2.73 million visas issued, more than 235,000 were issued to Filipinos, the second highest number among those on the list. These people are on top of the 3.4 million Filipino immigrants already living in the US in 2013, according to the 2010 US census.

Many of us consider America a second home. Many Filipinos have relatives there. Cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco on the West Coast, New York on the East Coast and Chicago in the MidWest can make us feel like we never left home.

Indeed, Manila does not seem so far away on the other side of the vast Pacific Ocean because stateside Pinoys can follow the latest Senate hearings aired live on The Filipino Channel or TFC. They can also watch a somewhat sanitized version of TV Patrol, minus most of the gory police stories. The Pinoy community is so large that ABS-CBN has a newscast specially designed for them, Balitang America.

It is easy for a Filipino in America to forget he is in a foreign land.

Everything we miss from the home country can be bought in Asian or Filipino stores, including the dried fish or “tuyo.” One of my US-born grandsons loves his “stinky fish” for breakfast on weekends. We also brought adobo, Jollibee and Gerry’s Grill there.

We assimilate well. Indeed, many Filipinos forget their US citizenship papers do not change the color of their skin. A blue passport does not change the shape of their nose. Yet, many start acting and thinking like they have become white Americans and look down on their fellow Pinoys, Hispanics and African Americans.

In many cases, our kababayans brought bad habits with them to the US. “Crab” mentality, for instance, is alive and well among US Pinoys.

Our lack of unity is evident in many of our Filipino- American communities.

I have been told that many Filipino associations break up because two or more people feel they should be its president. Filipino associations along regional lines are also prevalent.

HATE TYPES

Ted Laguatan, a veteran Filipino lawyer in San Francisco, describes the appalling situation of how “some Filipinos, who are legally here - are so willing to denounce and demonize out of status fellow Filipinos who work so hard and send regular remittances to their families in the Philippines. These hateful selfish types are the kind who sometimes even report to ICE out of status Filipinos. Shades of the hooded ‘makapilis’ during the Japanese times in WW II.”

Ted continues: “…some Filipinos and others in the first immigrant group who acquired their immigrant visas relatively easily expect everybody else to come to the United States like them. They express so much antipathy for those who are here illegally.

“They support harsh immigration laws and policies and even wish out of status fellow Filipinos and undocumented others to be deported. They demonize undocumented immigrants falsely, accusing them of taking jobs from US citizens or receiving welfare funds (which is not true as the undocumented are not qualified for these funds). They show no compassion for their fellow human beings.

“Filipinos who are in unlawful status often work hard at different jobs and are able to provide food, shelter, health care and education to their families back in the Philippines with their regular remittances. They also contribute so much to the Philippine economy. They deserve much respect, admiration and support.”

I share the view of Ted that the Philippine government should be more committed to helping them. While many Philippine embassy and consulate personnel are well meaning, they cannot provide the needed competent expert legal advice on immigration matters.

We ought to take the stance of the Mexicans who retain expert counsel to help their citizens. After all, the T-N-Ts are part of the Filipino diaspora or overseas Pinoys who send home much needed foreign exchange for their families that benefit the country’s economy as well.

We constantly laugh at the T-N-Ts, forgetting they are kababayans who brave the unknown to give their families a better life they can’t get by staying home. They are modern day heroes to their families and to the nation.

The hands-off attitude of President Duterte is unfortunate. Just because they are in the US rather than in the Middle East, they are also overseas Pinoys who help boost our economy and deserve the nation’s gratitude and help. American-based Pinoys account for a third of OFW remittances.

The statement of the Department of Labor urging the T-N-Ts to just go home and they will receive assistance from the government is nothing but a press release. Of course the T-N-Ts know government cannot deliver on the promise. That’s why they became T-N-Ts to begin with.

For as long as our economy is unable to address our high level of unemployment and underemployment, our people will seek greener pastures wherever they can find it. Helping them is not necessarily condoning their illegal act. As Filipinos, they have the right to seek the assistance of their government if they get into trouble. It is also in the Philippine culture to help kababayans in need.

Post Valentine joke

A cockroach’s last words to a man who wanted to kill it: “Go ahead and kill me, you coward. You’re just jealous because I can scare your wife and you cannot!!!”

Boo Chanco’s e-mail address is bchanco@gmail.com . Follow him on Twitter @boochanco

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Trump order: Undocumented Filipinos close to deportation SPYBITS By Babe G. Romualdez (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 23, 2017 - 12:00am 1 1 googleplus0 0


By Babe G. Romualdez

Undeterred by the legal setback it suffered when a Federal Appeals Court put on hold the executive order banning immigration from seven predominantly-Muslim countries, the administration of US President Donald Trump is preparing new orders that would intensify the crackdown on undocumented aliens in the United States.

Trump had hinted about a new version of the travel ban he issued earlier, and a pair of memos already outlined plans directing immigration officers to deport illegals who have engaged in “willful representation” and abused the benefits extended by the US government. New policies are being put into place to “stem illegal immigration and facilitate the detection, apprehension, detention and removal of aliens who have no lawful basis to enter or remain in the United States.

Officials of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said 10,000 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents would be hired in addition to 5,000 Customs and Border Protection agents, while other reports said the Trump government is also planning to deploy 100,000 of the US National Guard to help in the apprehension efforts on a nationwide scale.

The soon-to-be-issued revised order gives immigration agents broader powers to expedite removals or deportations without going through court proceedings, and key targets are those who have been in the US for less than two years. More detention centers will also be put up to hold those who will be caught by immigration agents.

Sources said the upcoming immigration order would enable local enforcement authorities, such as policemen and sheriffs’ deputies to “perform the functions of an immigration officer” such as the conduct of “investigation, apprehension and detention,” with unconfirmed reports claiming that more than 10 million undocumented immigrants are being targeted for deportation, and these include not only those charged with crimes or have been convicted, but also those who are perceived to be dangerous. During the administration of Barack Obama, some 2.8 million were deported, but majority were convicted felons and violent offenders.

Officials supportive of Trump say the government is merely doing what Congress and the office of the President has mandated them — and that is to enforce the laws of the United States — albeit more aggressively this time. The move is also supported by some Republicans who say poor enforcement has resulted in the massive entry of undocumented aliens in the US. One bright spot, however, is the continuation of Obama’s DACA or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program wherein children — known as DREAMers — who were brought illegally into the US would be protected from deportation.


In this Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, photo released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement shows foreign nationals being arrested this week during a targeted enforcement operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) aimed at immigration fugitives, re-entrants and at-large criminal aliens in Los Angeles. Immigrant advocates on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, decried a series of arrests that federal deportation agents said aimed to round up criminals in Southern California but they believe mark a shift in enforcement under the Trump administration. (Charles Reed/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via AP) FROM THE WASHINGTON POST FILE

Last week, ICE agents conducted sweeping raids in several areas that include Los Angeles — believed to have one of the biggest populations of undocumented immigrants that include Filipinos. Much earlier, sources in Washington informed us that some 310,000 Filipinos are in the DHS list of individuals up for deportation, but the number could go as high as 800,000.

While several organizations, including churches, have been extending assistance to Filipinos who are illegally staying in the US, some opportunists take advantage of the predicament of undocumented Pinoys by posing as “immigration experts” promising to help legalize their status — at very high cost, sometimes reaching $40,000.

In fact, there was this incident about a Filipino lawyer who kept charging for legal as well as documentation and processing fees for TNTs (tago ng tago which is a term for undocumented Filipinos) when in fact, he had no license to practice in the US. One of the victims who finally figured that he was being taken for a ride — after paying thousands of dollars — waited for the lawyer and gave him such a beating that left the lawyer almost crippled.

Actually, government agencies like the Department of Labor and Employment have already advised undocumented Filipinos to come home before the assumption of Trump as president due to the latter’s campaign promise to crack down on illegals. Those who have been overstaying must also be advised that if they voluntarily leave the US, they will have an opportunity to apply for another visa at a later time. However, if they insist on illegally staying in the US and end up getting deported, they might not be able to reapply or even if they do, it would be after a very, very long time.

The Trump immigration ban has also resulted in the spillover of undocumented individuals crossing the US border into Canada, with photographs showing dozens of individuals walking towards the province of Manitoba already circulating on the Internet. In fact, reports from the royal Canadian Mounted Police say they have observed a noticeable increase in the number of people crossing illegally to Canada.

These include a group of Somalians who illegally entered the US via Mexico, and then braved the deadly cold winter to get into Canada — almost losing their fingers in the process due to frostbite. A couple of men from Ghana however were not as fortunate because the doctors had to cut their fingers and took skin from their thighs to repair the other areas that were burned from frostbite. For these undocumented aliens, no sacrifice is big enough just to get out of the desperate circumstances they are in right now. As they say, desperate times call for desperate measures.


PHILSTAR

BSP stance different from US Fed – Tetangco By Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 24, 2017 - 12:00am 10 5 googleplus0 0


BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said authorities also take into consideration the actions taken by the US Federal Reserve in deciding on the country’s monetary policy stance. File photo

MANILA, Philippines - The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reiterated yesterday the country’s monetary policy stance would not move in synch with the US after Federal Reserve policymakers hinted they could raise interest rates again “fairly soon.”

BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said authorities also take into consideration the actions taken by the US Federal Reserve in deciding on the country’s monetary policy stance.

“As is our practice, we include new information from Fed signals in our scenario building,” he said in a text message.

Tetangco said the BSP looks into the potential impact on financial market since this segment is the most reactive to the US Fed decisions in the near term.

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He said monetary authorities also assess the impact on banks portfolios especially the interest rate sensitive bank balance sheet account as well as the banks’ capacities to lend to productive sector of the economy.

“In other words, it’s not a linear analysis, not a one to one correspondence. This is why we have always said that, while we are mindful of the Fed, we do not necessarily have to move in sync with it,” Tetangco said.

The US central bank voted to keep interest rates unchanged last month, but Federal policy makers said it may be appropriate to raise interest rates again “fairly soon.”

US Fed chair Janet Yellen also said last week that waiting too long to raise interest rates again would be “unwise.”

The US Fed raise benchmark rates by 25 basis points last December, its second in a decade, as part of moves to normalize interest rates.

It also hinted of possible three rate increases instead of only two this year as robust readings on the economy have bolstered the confidence of Federal Reserve policymakers.

BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo said it is important for the US Fed to take action at this time or as early as March due to volatilities in the global financial markets.

“It is important that the US Fed takes action at this time since there is a lot of uncertainty in the market,” he said.

The next rate-setting meeting of the US Fed is on March 14 and 15 while the second rate-setting meeting for the year of the BSP is scheduled on March 23.

“A lot of these uncertainties will not really disappear but will be minimized and that is good for the global markets,” he said.

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RELATED FROM THE MANILA STANDARD

Duterte approves economic blueprint for Philippines to be an upper-middle income country by 2022 posted February 21, 2017 at 08:38 pm by Julito G. Rada


IT’S THE ECONOMY. President Rodrigo Duterte is flanked by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea (left) and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez II while presiding over the first meeting Monday of the National Economic and Development Authority Board in Malacañang.

The National Economic and Development Authority board headed by President Rodrigo Duterte approved Tuesday a six-year economic blueprint which aims to make the Philippines an upper-middle income country by 2022.

Neda said in a statement its board officially approved the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 at Malacañang Palace. PDP is the first medium-term plan to be anchored on a national long-term vision, or AmBisyon Natin 2040, which represents the collective vision and aspirations of Filipinos for themselves and for the country.

“We want the Philippines to be an upper-middle income country by 2022. With the right policies and with mutual trust between government and the citizenry, this is very possible,” Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said.

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“By the end of 2022, Filipinos will be closer to achieving their long-term aspirations. Through this PDP, the current administration will lay a solid foundation for inclusive growth, a high-trust society, and a globally-competitive knowledge economy by grounding its development thrusts on Malasakit, Pagbabago, and Patuloy na Pag-unlad,” Pernia said during his presentation at the Neda board meeting.

The plan contains seven main parts, which include an overview of the economy, development challenges that lie ahead, and development strategies thoroughly articulated through chapters on Enhancing the Social Fabric, Inequality-Reducing Transformation, Increasing Growth Potential, Enabling and Supportive Economic Environment and Foundations for Inclusive and Sustainable Development.

Under the plan, the government aims to boost gross domestic product growth to a range of 7 percent to 8 percent in the medium term. Growth is also expected to be more inclusive, where overall poverty rate is targeted to decline from 21.6 percent to 14 percent, and poverty incidence in rural areas to decrease from 30 percent in 2015 to 20 percent in 2022.

The government also wants to reduce unemployment rate from the current 5.5 percent to 3 percent to 5 percent by 2022. Included among the targets are higher trust in government and society, more resilient individuals and communities and a greater drive for innovation.

The PDP 2017-2022 espouses a National Spatial Strategy, recognizing that population, geography and cities are engines of economic growth.

The NSS was adopted to identify specific strategies and policies in order to decongest Metro Manila, connect rural areas to key growth areas, and to improve linkages between settlements for higher resilience against natural disasters.

It also gives special attention to overseas Filipino workers and their families. It identifies strategies and policies to protect the rights of overseas Filipinos, improve their quality of life and integrate them into the country’s development.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said that “the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 is ‘close to a masterpiece,’ and is unlike any other medium-term development plan I have read.”

Neda said it would draft an executive order that mandates all government agencies to align respective programs, projects and activities with the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022.

Topics: National Economic and Development Authority , NEDA , President Rodrigo Duterte , economic blueprint


TRIBUNE

CAAP reopens Surigao airport Written by Ed Velasco Friday, 24 February 2017 00:00



Fourteen days after it was closed to all airlines due to massive damages, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) yesterday officially reopened the Surigao airport for commercial operations.

In its notice to airmen (Notam) CO161/17, CAAP said all airlines operating at the airport can resume operations effective 6 a.m. yesterday.

Eric Apolonio, head of the agency’s media communications and spokesman, said it took two weeks for the agency to repair the damages incurred by the airport as they were scattered in it’s almost 2,000-meter runaway.

“By total, the runway length is 1,700 meters,” the spokesman told the Daily Tribune in an interview.

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Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade together with DoTr Asssistant Secretary Leah Quiambao, Uundersecretary Artemio Tuazon and CAAP officials flew in yesterday at Surigao airport to inspect the partially renovated runway and check on the progress of repairs of the damaged airport terminal complex.

CAAP deputy director general for operations Manuel Antonio “Skee” Tamayo said a 1000-meter length out of the 1,700-meter runway was declared usable and safe for aircraft operations.

Currently, PalExpress and Cebu Pacific are operating on the airport using turbo propeller aircraft type like Q4 and ATRs.

Tamayo said coring tests on the runway and sub surface soil exploration survey were conducted by DPWH-Caraga and CAAP technical team since Feb. 15,2017.

He said that a 24/7 repairs and rehabilitation are on effect. Tamayo added that by estimate, it would take four months to complete the renovation of the terminal and nine months to fully restore the 1,700-meter runway.

Surigao Airport was declared close for operations last Feb. 11, 2017 after a strong earthquake with 6.7 magnitude hit Surigao del Norte, partially damaging the runway.


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