PHNO WORLD HEADLINE NEWS WEEKEND

PH NOW TOP SOURCE OF IMMIGRANTS TO CANADA 

JAN 3 ---HELPINGHOUSE.CA PHOTO --DALY CITY, CALIFORNIA, The Philippines last year surpassed China and India as Canada’s top source country for new immigrants. According to the latest data from the government, approximately 30,000 Filipinos became permanent residents last year, while 47,000 visitor visas were issued to Filipinos. There are currently an estimated 650,000 Canadian residents who originated from the Philippines. Some experts would argue that that figure is in fact much higher, reported Immigration.ca. There are many reasons that Canada has become an attractive destination for Filipino citizens seeking opportunities. The labor shortages, combined with the high quality of life are attracting record numbers. Filipinos bring much to the table for Canadian employers as well. Most citizens are quite adept at speaking English, one of the biggest challenges faced by many newcomers to the country. They are also known for working hard and being adaptable to Canadian life. Many choose to settle in smaller urban and rural centers, as opposed to the majority of newcomers who head to Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: Baguio, Metro Manila temperatures to drop further

JAN 3 ---PHOTO: Fog descends over Baguio City as seen from Benguet Province's Kennon Road in 2012. Daniel Go/CC BY-NC MANILA, Philippines — Baguio City and Metro Manila will be cooler in the next days of the new year as trade winds of the northeast monsoon reach their peak. PAGASA weather forecaster Jori Loiz said in a radio interview that a temperature of 11 degrees Celsius was recorded in Baguio, the country's summer capital, around 2 a.m. on Saturday. Metro Manila, meanwhile, experienced a rather cool morning of 20-degree temperature at 5 a.m., Loiz said. The meteorologist said that the effects of the northeast monsoon or Amihan will be most felt in January. "Talagang halos 'yung tail-end natin ay mas bumaba pa ang epekto, ibig sabihin niyan mas lumalakas pa 'yung Amihan natin, so asahan talaga na bababa pa 'yung temperatures natin," he said in a dzMM interview on Saturday. The weather agency at 8 a.m. on Saturday issued a heavy rainfall or "yellow" warning due to the tail-end of a cold front over the southern portions of Samar and Leyte. A yellow warning indicates possible flooding in low-lying areas as well as landslides in mountainous areas. Eastern Visayas, Caraga and Davao region will experience cloudy skies with light to moderate rains and thunderstorms. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: Higher MRT-LRT fares start today 

The new fare scheme for the MRT-3, which takes effect today, is posted at a station in Cubao, Quezon City. JOVEN CAGANDE MANILA, Philippines - Commuters taking the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT) in Metro Manila will have to pay more beginning today. Despite opposition from commuters and various groups, the management of the MRT and the LRT Lines 1 and 2 will implement the fare increase today. Copies of the updated fare table were posted at MRT and LRT stations yesterday. “Yes, it will push through,” Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) spokesman Michael Arthur Sagcal said in a text message, referring to the fare adjustment. Last Dec. 20, the DOTC issued Department Order No 2014-014 setting the new fares for the country’s three major mass transport systems in the metropolis starting Jan. 4. The proposed fare hike was revived when President Aquino stated in his 4th State of the Nation Address in July last year that it was about time to pursue the fare increase. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: MRT stalls a day before train fare hike 

JAN 3 ---On the eve of a fare hike, the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) stalled past 6 p.m. on Saturday due to a defective train. This even as the MRT and the Light Rail Transit will implement a fare increase tomorrow, January 4. Beginning Sunday, LRT and MRT fares will increase by 50 to 87 percent, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported. The Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) announced that the new base fare would be P11. An additional P1 will be implemented per kilometer. End-to-end fare at MRT 3 will increase from P15 to P28. Those at LRT 1 will move up from P20 to P30 for single-journey tickets and to P29 for stored-value cards. The fare at LRT 2 will be P24 for stored-value cards and P25 for single-journey tickets from the current P15. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT...

ALSO: MRT train stalls on New Year’s Day due to damaged tracks

PHOTO: Irked commuters could not do anything but leave the Santolan station after an MRT train stalled as it approached the Ortigas station due to damaged tracks. Photo by Aries Joseph Hegina / INQUIRER.net MANILA, Philippines– New year, same old problems. Three days before the scheduled implementation of a fare hike on Jan. 4, a Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3 train plying southbound stalled for five minutes as it approached the Ortigas station Thursday afternoon due to broken tracks at 4:35 p.m. The driver of the train said that the train would be diverted back to Santolan station “for safety” reasons. “May nadetect po na damaged tracks. Kailangan pong bumalik sa Santolan station for safety,” the driver said. (We detected damaged tracks. The train needs to return to Santolan station for safety.) The train was brought back to Santolan station at 4:50 p.m., the passengers obviously irked as they descended the train. After the train had arrived at the station, MRT personnel said that passengers could still use their single-journey tickets three days after the incident. Northbound and southbound MRT operations from Shaw Boulevard station to North Avenue station have also been suspended. THIS IS THE FULL REPROT.

ALSO: Groups set protests versus fare increase 

TRAIN commuters and at least two labor groups are set to stage protests against the train fare increase that the Aquino administration is set to impose today (Jan. 4) purportedly to modernize and improve services at Metro Manila’s two train lines. Members of the Riles Laan sa Sambayanan (Riles) Network were busy on Saturday seeking asking other train commuters to protest the increase by clapping their hands inside train stations on Sunday and on Monday when they will ask the court to stop the fare hike. At least two labor groups, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines and the Partido ng Manggagawa, said they will join protests while Riles Network and the party-list group Bayan Muna file petitions before the Supreme Court to stop the increase on Monday. But the Department of Transportation and Communications only ignored the protests with its spokesman virtually challenging them to try to stop the fare increase. CONTINUE READING...

ALSO BLOG 'Happy' COMMENTARY: Ways to make people happy 

by Efren L. Danao --PRESIDENT BS Aquino The Last, I mean Third, and his Cabinet members were discussing while on a plane how to make the Filipino people happy. Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said he could throw a sack of imported rice out of the plane and make a family happy. Social Welfare Sec. Dinky Soliman said she could throw out of the plane several boxes of donated relief goods and make hundreds happy. Budget Secretary Butch Abad said he could throw millions of pesos of government funds out of the plane and make thousands happy. President BS Aquino The Last, I mean The Third, joined in. “I could throw all three of you out of the plane make millions of Filipinos happy!” Now, here comes the National Transformation Council (NTC) saying, in effect, that if it’s the President who gets thrown out of the plane, the entire Philippines will be happy. CONTINUE READING AND,
A very happy Christmas to all, from PHNO! :-)


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

PH now top source of immigrants to Canada


HELPINGHOUSE.CA PHOTO

DALY CITY, CALIFORNIA, JANUARY 5, 2015 (INQURER)  The Philippines last year surpassed China and India as Canada’s top source country for new immigrants.

According to the latest data from the government, approximately 30,000 Filipinos became permanent residents last year, while 47,000 visitor visas were issued to Filipinos.

There are currently an estimated 650,000 Canadian residents who originated from the Philippines. Some experts would argue that that figure is in fact much higher, reported Immigration.ca.

There are many reasons that Canada has become an attractive destination for Filipino citizens seeking opportunities. The labor shortages, combined with the high quality of life are attracting record numbers.

Filipinos bring much to the table for Canadian employers as well. Most citizens are quite adept at speaking English, one of the biggest challenges faced by many newcomers to the country.

They are also known for working hard and being adaptable to Canadian life. Many choose to settle in smaller urban and rural centers, as opposed to the majority of newcomers who head to Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver.

“[Filipinos] are committed to being citizens, to being volunteers, to being public minded,” says Immigration Minister Chris Alexander. “People like them because they take up challenges beyond just working and finding a place to live.”

Employers in Canada have increasingly been importing temporary workers from the Philippines for years now, and many of those workers are able to apply for permanent residency within two years of arriving in Canada.

Despite recent controversy over temporary foreign workers, Minister Alexander says that his government is committed to helping employers find the labor they so desperately need – particularly in the booming Prairie provinces.

The government has been working to improve the temporary program so that worker’s rights are ensured and those who are most needed are able to come and build a life for themselves and their families in Canada.


FROM PHILSTAR

Baguio, Metro Manila temperatures to drop further (philstar.com) | Updated January 3, 2015 - 9:56am 4 281 googleplus0 0


Fog descends over Baguio City as seen from Benguet Province's Kennon Road in 2012. Daniel Go/CC BY-NC

MANILA, Philippines — Baguio City and Metro Manila will be cooler in the next days of the new year as trade winds of the northeast monsoon reach their peak.

PAGASA weather forecaster Jori Loiz said in a radio interview that a temperature of 11 degrees Celsius was recorded in Baguio, the country's summer capital, around 2 a.m. on Saturday.

Metro Manila, meanwhile, experienced a rather cool morning of 20-degree temperature at 5 a.m., Loiz said.

The meteorologist said that the effects of the northeast monsoon or Amihan will be most felt in January.

"Talagang halos 'yung tail-end natin ay mas bumaba pa ang epekto, ibig sabihin niyan mas lumalakas pa 'yung Amihan natin, so asahan talaga na bababa pa 'yung temperatures natin," he said in a dzMM interview on Saturday.

The weather agency at 8 a.m. on Saturday issued a heavy rainfall or "yellow" warning due to the tail-end of a cold front over the southern portions of Samar and Leyte. A yellow warning indicates possible flooding in low-lying areas as well as landslides in mountainous areas.

Eastern Visayas, Caraga and Davao region will experience cloudy skies with light to moderate rains and thunderstorms.

Cagayan Valley, Cordillera, Bicol region and CALABARZON will have cloudy skies with light rains, as Metro Manila and the rest of the Luzon will be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated light rains.

The rest of the country will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rains or thunderstorms.

Light sea vessels are also cautioned against moderate to strong winds blowing from the northeast causing moderate to rough seas in the whole archipelago.


FROM PHILSTAR

Higher MRT-LRT fares start today By Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 4, 2015 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


The new fare scheme for the MRT-3, which takes effect today, is posted at a station in Cubao, Quezon City. JOVEN CAGANDE

MANILA, Philippines - Commuters taking the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT) in Metro Manila will have to pay more beginning today.

Despite opposition from commuters and various groups, the management of the MRT and the LRT Lines 1 and 2 will implement the fare increase today.

Copies of the updated fare table were posted at MRT and LRT stations yesterday.

“Yes, it will push through,” Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) spokesman Michael Arthur Sagcal said in a text message, referring to the fare adjustment.

Last Dec. 20, the DOTC issued Department Order No 2014-014 setting the new fares for the country’s three major mass transport systems in the metropolis starting Jan. 4.

The DOTC has decided to adopt a uniform distance-based fare scheme for MRT-3 as well as for LRT-1 and LRT-2 pursuant to the Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan.

The Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) board approved a formula in May 2011 in which a fixed rate of P11 base fare plus P1 per kilometer would be charged to MRT and LRT passengers.

The proposed fare hike was revived when President Aquino stated in his 4th State of the Nation Address in July last year that it was about time to pursue the fare increase.

Based on the new matrices, end-to-end trips on LRT-1 (Baclaran to Roosevelt) and LRT-2 (Recto to Santolan) will increase from P20 to P30 and P15 to P25, respectively.

End-to-end trips on MRT-3 (North Avenue to Taft Avenue), meanwhile, will increase from P15 to P28.

The government last raised fares for LRT-1 to P15 in 2003 while fares of LRT-2 have remained unchanged.

Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya earlier said MRT and LRT fares would definitely be raised but only after the Christmas season.

“It’s a tough decision, but it had to be made. It’s been several years since an increase was proposed. While 2015 will see increased fares, it will also see marked improvements in our LRT and MRT services,” Abaya earlier said in a statement.

Since government subsidizes around 60 percent of the cost for each LRT-1 and LRT-2 passenger and around 75 percent for each MRT-3 passenger, Abaya said an estimated P2 billion would be freed up for development projects and relief operations in other parts of the country.

“I’m referring to the vast majority of Filipinos outside of Metro Manila – those in other parts of Luzon, in the Visayas and in Mindanao, most especially those whose lives have been severely affected by typhoons and calamities. They will be the real beneficiaries of a more equitable distribution of these savings,” he said.

The projected savings is equivalent to 8,240 classrooms, 82 kilometers worth of farm-to-market roads or 11,440 hectares’ worth of irrigated farmlands.

He pointed out that the government would continue to shell out around P10 billion per year to subsidize the operations of MRT and LRT.

The MRT and LRT fare hike comes amid the rollback in the minimum jeepney fare to P7.50 from P8.50. The Land Transportation Regulatory and Franchising Board is studying petitions for fare cuts for buses, UV Express and taxis on the back of declining oil prices in the world market.

TRO, protests

Groups opposed to the fare hike are set to contest it before the Supreme Court tomorrow. They also vowed to launch protest actions beginning today.

To file for petition for temporary restraining order are the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, Train Riders Network (TREN), Riles Laan sa Sambayanan Network, Anakbayan, Kilusang Mayo Uno, National Center for Commuter’s Safety and Protection and some concerned individuals.

“There are technicalities and requirements that the DOTC failed to comply with in announcing the fare hike,” TREN spokesman James Relativo said.

He stressed that the DOTC is not a regulatory body, and that the latter did not hold a public consultation before deciding on the P11 plus P1 per kilometer fare increase formula. TREN had earlier called for the resignation of Abaya.

“We have seen and tested this time and time again – the fare increase wouldn’t ensure better services,” Relativo said.

“The mass railway system’s direction of privatization has incurred so much debt that the chunk of government subsidy is actually going to the private sector and not to actual maintenance,” he added.

Congress allotted P1.2 billion under the 2014 supplemental budget and another P9 billion in the 2015 national budget for the repair and rehabilitation of the MRT.

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan secretary general Renato Reyes said protest actions would be launched beginning today at selected LRT and MRT stations, including at MRT’s North EDSA station and LRT’s Recto and Monumento stations.

In a text message, Reyes called the fare hike “unjust and illegal.”

He said Abaya is not authorized to order a fare hike. “He has no authority to exercise quasi-judicial functions similar to those vested in LTFRB, which approves fares (for jeeps, buses, and taxis),” Reyes said.

“The fare hike is supposedly based on two documents – the LRTA board resolution and the ‘recommendations’ by the MRT3 office, both of which were never published nor presented during any of the public consultations,” he said.

“There was grave abuse of discretion and utter lack of transparency on the part of the DOTC,” he added. – With Janvic Mateo, Aie Balagtas See


FROM THE INQUIRER

MRT train stalls on New Year’s Day due to damaged tracks Aries Joseph Hegina @inquirerdotnet INQUIRER.net 5:16 PM | Thursday, January 1st, 2015


Irked commuters could not do anything but leave the Santolan station after an MRT train stalled as it approached the Ortigas station due to damaged tracks. Photo by Aries Joseph Hegina / INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines– New year, same old problems. Three days before the scheduled implementation of a fare hike on Jan. 4, a Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3 train plying southbound stalled for five minutes as it approached the Ortigas station Thursday afternoon due to broken tracks at 4:35 p.m.

The driver of the train said that the train would be diverted back to Santolan station “for safety” reasons.

“May nadetect po na damaged tracks. Kailangan pong bumalik sa Santolan station for safety,” the driver said.

(We detected damaged tracks. The train needs to return to Santolan station for safety.)

The train was brought back to Santolan station at 4:50 p.m., the passengers obviously irked as they descended the train.

After the train had arrived at the station, MRT personnel said that passengers could still use their single-journey tickets three days after the incident.

Northbound and southbound MRT operations from Shaw Boulevard station to North Avenue station have also been suspended.


FROM THE INQUIRER

MRT stalls a day before train fare hike Marc Jayson Cayabyab @MJcayabyabINQ INQUIRER.net 6:44 PM | Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

MANILA, Philippines—On the eve of a fare hike, the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) stalled past 6 p.m. on Saturday due to a defective train.

This even as the MRT and the Light Rail Transit will implement a fare increase tomorrow, January 4.

Beginning Sunday, LRT and MRT fares will increase by 50 to 87 percent, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.

The Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) announced that the new base fare would be P11. An additional P1 will be implemented per kilometer.

End-to-end fare at MRT 3 will increase from P15 to P28.

Those at LRT 1 will move up from P20 to P30 for single-journey tickets and to P29 for stored-value cards. The fare at LRT 2 will be P24 for stored-value cards and P25 for single-journey tickets from the current P15.


FROM THE MANILA STANDARD

Groups set protests versus fare increase By Sara Susanne D. Fabunan, Vito Barcelo | Jan. 04, 2015 at 12:01am

TRAIN commuters and at least two labor groups are set to stage protests against the train fare increase that the Aquino administration is set to impose today (Jan. 4) purportedly to modernize and improve services at Metro Manila’s two train lines.

Members of the Riles Laan sa Sambayanan (Riles) Network were busy on Saturday seeking asking other train commuters to protest the increase by clapping their hands inside train stations on Sunday and on Monday when they will ask the court to stop the fare hike.

At least two labor groups, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines and the Partido ng Manggagawa, said they will join protests while Riles Network and the party-list group Bayan Muna file petitions before the Supreme Court to stop the increase on Monday.

But the Department of Transportation and Communications only ignored the protests with its spokesman virtually challenging them to try to stop the fare increase.

“We respect their freedom to file cases and express themselves,” said DOTC spokesperson Migs Sagcal.

“However, we will not let these actions prevent us from modernizing and improving our services, especially for those who rely on our rail systems for access to jobs and education,” he said.

Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares earlier expressed suspicion the DOTC purposely scheduled the increase on a Sunday to head off any protest.

“There are no courts, and Congress is not in session, and most people have a hangover from the New Year,” said Colmenares, who said no holiday could shut down street protests as was done on three previous attempts to raise train fares.

The DOTC announced last December that train fares would be raised on both the MRT and the Light Rail Transit, along Taft and Aurora Avenues, with an increased base fare of P11 and P1 per additional kilometer starting Jan. 4.

Based on the new fares, an end-to-end trip on the MRT-3 will rise from P15 to P28, on the LRT-1 from P20 to P30 and LRT-2 from P15 to P25.

But Colmenares questioned the need for a fare increase when the government has already allotted P2 billion for its rehabilitation.

Riles Network convenor Sammy Malunes said the DOTC should stop lying and explain where the proceeds of the planned fare increase will go when service remains poor amid several incidents of technical glitches in its operations.


BLOG COMMENTARY :-) and a Merry Christmas smile to all from PHNO

Ways to make people happy Written by Efren L. Danao Saturday, 06 December 2014 11:37 f


And a very happy Christmas to all, from PHNO!

By Efren Danao at PAGBABAGONAWALANGGULO.COM

PRESIDENT BS Aquino The Last, I mean Third, and his Cabinet members were discussing while on a plane how to make the Filipino people happy.


AQUINO, ALCALA, ABAD

Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said he could throw a sack of imported rice out of the plane and make a family happy.

Social Welfare Sec. Dinky Soliman said she could throw out of the plane several boxes of donated relief goods and make hundreds happy.


SOLIMAN, AQUINO

Budget Secretary Butch Abad said he could throw millions of pesos of government funds out of the plane and make thousands happy.

President BS Aquino The Last, I mean The Third, joined in. “I could throw all three of you out of the plane make millions of Filipinos happy!”

Now, here comes the National Transformation Council (NTC) saying, in effect, that if it’s the President who gets thrown out of the plane, the entire Philippines will be happy.

This joke is gaining currency. I guess if we can’t make BS Aquino fire under-performing and highly controversial members of his “student council Cabinet,” as revered statesman Joker Arroyo describes it, we can just joke about it.

Hey, why is it that I have this sneaky feeling the Aquino administration believes the joke is on us?

Whether we like him or not, he’ll be in place until June 30, 2016 – unless he gets thrown out or is forced to resign, which the NTC wants to happen.

* * *

Even as its demands for reforms and the firing of a number of his Cabinet members have gone unheeded by Malacañang, the NTC continues its clarion call to create a bandwagon that could lead to the formation of a new government before 2016. One of our more eminent columnists, ex-Sen. Kit Tatad, described the Aquino administration as the “most corrupt” in history.

Kit, a prime mover of the NTC, cited the trillion-peso Priority Development Assistance Fund and Disbursement Acceleration Program scams as main examples of the administration’s abuse of public funds.

Well, the President has gone stone deaf to the voices of his supposed bosses. He could hear only echoes of his own. Why, he wouldn’t even listen to the sound advice of Health Secretary Enrique Ona to cut down on his smoking for his own good! It wasn’t in retaliation for this unwelcome and unsolicited advice that BS Aquino canned Ona.

The President’s mouthpieces have given a lot of reasons why he continues smoking even if he has signed laws stressing its health hazards. One said BS Aquino develops severe headache whenever he thinks about the problems of the state and that only by smoking will this headache be relieved. Should we pity him for having coughing fits then, the result of “relieving” his “severe headache about problems of the state?

The increase in the excise tax on cigarettes by 700 percent could discourage the poor from smoking but the heir of a hacienda that remains undistributed to farmers could afford an increase even a thousand fold. I have many young farmer-relatives in Lupao, Nueva Ecija who continue smoking despite the hefty price increase in the cost of their bad habit. They must have been influenced by the example set by the man in Malacañang.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not taking BS Aquino to task for smoking incessantly. He may remain an unrepentant and relentless smoker for all I care. He’s already an adult and he can decide by himself on this issue. However, it’s only when his decisions affect not only himself but also the entire nation that others should take notice.

Speaking of smoking, I just read a news report quoting the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as saying cigarette smoking among US adults last year touched its lowest record on record. The agencies said about 17.8 percent of adults smoked cigarettes in 2013, down from 20.9 percent in 2005 and 42.4 percent in 1965. They attributed the new record drop spurred to higher prices, smoke-free policies and anti-smoking campaigns. Obviously, higher prices, smoke-free policies and anti-smoking campaigns would not work on our “Man of Steel” despite his coughing fits.

* * *

BS Aquino The Last, I mean The Third. and his acolytes say he’s treading the “tuwid na daan” but oddly enough, he can’t walk straight.

In fact, he waddles like a duck. Or is it like a lame duck?

Say, did you notice that the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un walks the same way? Look closely at video footages of the dictator who couldn’t stand criticism and who ascended to his high position because of the death of a parent and you’ll see what I mean.

Oops, our resident grammarian Joe Carillo might call my attention to the unclear antecedent of the word “dictator.”


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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