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Updated: 50 min 38 sec ago

Luzon Newsbits for July 22, 2014

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:46
BROWNOUTS PREVAILLaoag City, Ilocos Norte — Brownouts prevail in provinces in Region 1 in what the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) calls a “load curtailment” due to a deficiency in power supply being produced from the generation plants in the Luzon Grid. The NGCP said that as of yesterday, the available power supply was 6,826 megawatts (MW) while the peak demand of power in the Luzon Grid is 7,345 MW. Due to this 519 MW power deficiency, an hour-long power interruption is being implemented in the 1st District of Ilocos Sur, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. ...

Patafa awaits POC okay

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:45
The bid of Philip Juico to take over the presidency of the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association (Patafa) rests in the hands of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC). POC Vice President Joey Romasanta said an expanded board meeting is set to take place at 1 p.m. tomorrow at the Philsports in Pasig and the scheduled Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association (Patafa) general assembly this Friday will be tackled. Juico intends to use the Patafa general assembly as a springboard for an election of a new set of officers but the POC has yet to give it a go-signal owing to some technicalities.

Obiena breaks vault record

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:45
Ernest John “EJ” Obiena eclipsed the 22-year-old national record in the men’s pole vault during the Philippine Track and Field Association (PATAFA) weekly relays over the weekend at the Philsports Complex in Pasig City. According to Philippine Sports Commissioner Jolly Gomez, the 18-year-old Obiena posted 5.01 meters to erase the 5.0-m mark set by Ed Lasquete in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. The Ateneo sophomore has trained for three months under six-time world champion Sergey Bubka of Ukraine in Formia, Italy. He earned a spot at the training camp after clearing the 5. ...

Philippines fails to seize global shrimp market opportunities

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:45
The Philippines has failed to seize big market opportunities  in shrimp with flat production since the 1990s at around 50,000 metric tons (MT) while Thailand and Indonesia are producing around 500,000 MT from about the same level as Philippines’ three decades ago. Failure to supply needed fry, particularly for tiger prawn or sugpo, contributed to a low production in the country in the first quarter of the year. “The share of shrimp in Philippine seafood exports is lowest among Asian producers.” Production of tiger prawn dropped to 9.21 million metric tons (MT) in the first quarter of the year from 9.25 million MT in 2013. In Oriental Mindoro, a drop in production is blamed on lesser growing area and lesser stocking rate along with stunted growth of tiger prawn.

Lucky Me most chosen brand in Philippines

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:45
Kantar Worldpanel, the world leader in consumer knowledge and insights based on consumer panels, recently released its 2013 Brand Footprint report, a global ranking of the most chosen consumer brands. According to their findings, Lucky Me is now the most chosen brand in the Philippines. It moved 12 positions up the country ranking and is one of the Philippines’ top three risers.

Asian fencing tourney slated

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:45
The “Next Generation Fencing Championships” will be held this weekend at the Meralco Multi-Purpose Hall in Pasig City. The two-day tournament is for fencers aged 15 years old and below, with individual and team categories for all three weapons – foil, epee and sabre. Delegates from Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand will vie for supremacy against local bets culled from the UAAP member schools, as well as private institutions such as Xavier School, St. Jude Catholic School, etc. ...

Passengers stranded in Cebu ports due to strong winds

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:45
At least 300 passengers headed for different provinces in the Visayas were stranded in various ports in Cebu after the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) here made a decision to ground at least nine vessels from sailing due to strong winds and huge waves. The strong winds and huge waves were triggered by tropical storm Henry even if the latter did not hit landfall and avoided Cebu, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said.

Muslim execs pin hope on fair Bangsamoro law

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:45
Two Muslim governors expressed confidence that Malacañang and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) can reach a consensus regarding controversial contents of the draft Basic Bangsamoro Law (BBL). The Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the MILF panels met in Malaysia early this month and discussed for four days their respective positions on the draft BBL.

‘Glenda’ damage to coconuts heavy

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:44
A typhoon that pummeled a large part of the Philippines early this week damaged about 13 percent of its coconut trees, the government said, further clouding the already weak prospects for the nation's most valuable agricultural export this year. Typhoon Glenda, which killed at least 54 people in the Philippines, is the strongest storm to hit the Southeast Asian country after Super-Typhoon Yolanda in November last year. ‘Glenda’s strong winds left 1.45 million coconut trees totally felled or crownless, while more than 43 million trees were slightly damaged, the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) said. Just last month, the PCA said a fast-spreading insect infestation had damaged more than 2 million coconut trees in the world's top exporter of coconut oil. Still reeling from damage to about a tenth of its estimated 340 million coconut trees from Yolanda, the country has taken emergency measures to head off the infestation that it fears could severely cripple its coconut exports. ‘Glenda’ crossed the Philippines' major coconut plantations in both the Bicol and Southern Tagalog regions on the main island of Luzon, with more than 1 million trees totally felled or left crownless in the hardest-hit Camarines Sur province alone, the PCA said in a report seen by Reuters.

Casas eyes 2nd win

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:44
Cassius Casas goes for a first back-to-back victory in a long while as he battles almost the same field he upstaged in Iloilo last week in the ICTSI Negros Occidental Classic in Bacolod City which gets going tomorrow. Hopefully, I can do it again this week,” said Casas after outdueling Elmer Salvador to capture the ICTSI Iloilo Golf Challenge crown by one stroke last week. Casas used to dominate the previous local tour but has never been among the consistent top finishers since International Container Terminal Services, Inc. put up the new local circuit in 2009, the victories rarely coming in as new faces emerged and competition became fiercer. He did win the final leg of the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour at Wack Wack last year and annexed The Country Club Invitational crown last February.

Seminar produces new tobacco quality experts

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:44
Thirty people, including 17 from local tobacco manufacturer Mighty (MC) Corporation, have completed a proficiency-training seminar conducted by American experts on tobacco leaf utilization, leaf chemistry and leaf purchases. The seminar, jointly conducted by MC and American Tobacco Associates (TA), Inc., also trained the participants on the US Leaf Standards Grading System for both Burley and flue-cured tobacco that was developed by the US tobacco industry in the early 1900s. ...

Picture health warning won’t affect revenues

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:44
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) expects the recently signed graphic health warning law on cigarettes will not affect the government’s “sin” tax collection due to “tingi” system in selling tobacco products in the country. BIR Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares said that Republic Act No. 10643 or “An Act to Effectively Instill Health Consciousness through Graphic Health Warnings on Tobacco Products” will not drag the government’s above-target excise tax collection performance. “From our perspective, picture health warnings have no impact on tax collections because many smokers in the Philippines are patronizing the ‘tingi’ or per stick retailing which does not carry any picture warning,” Jacinto-Henares said.

MPIC sets P7.8-B profit target in 2014

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:44
Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) has set its profit target to R7.8 billion for this year, expecting across-the-board income growth from its various subsidiaries. Manuel V. Pangilinan said MPIC’s core profit guidance for 2014 is higher than the R7 billion peg set last year since “different percentage increases” are expected from the revenues of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), Maynilad Water Services Inc. (Maynilad), Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) and the Hospital Group. Obviously, there will be different percentage increases,” he told reporters, making special mention to the toll ways business, which he said is “doing very well” despite delays in toll hikes. While Pangilinan refused to comment on the botched plan of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) to acquire 34 percent stake in GMA Network Inc., he disclosed that they are setting its eyes on possible ventures abroad.

Special report: Youth unemployment addresses half of unemployment — DOLE

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:44
Manila, Philippines  (PNA) — Almost half of the country’s unemployment problem is said to be solved if youth unemployment will be addressed, according to the Department Of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Director of Labor Communications Office, Nicon Fameronag in an exclusive interview with the Philippines News Agency. “If we would be able to address our youth unemployment, almost half of the unemployment problem is solved,” Fameronag stressed. Most of them are fresh high school graduates, college graduates and drop-outs. Fameronag even shared that youth unemployment and underemployment face an even worse condition than unemployment as a whole.

Primavera Residences shares award with CDO

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:44
Italpinas Euroasian Design and Eco-Development Corp. (ITPI), an Italian-Filipino company that designs and develops sustainable properties all over the country, recently celebrated its win at the 2014-2015 Asia Pacific Property Awards in Kuala Lumpur with a dinner at the function hall of Primavera Residences, last June 28. Primavera Residences is ITPI’s flagship project in Cagayan de Oro. “When we were constructing Primavera Residences, it was a risk, especially considering that ours is the first condominium development in CDO, but definitely we can say that our risk really paid off,” Nati shared. Nati added that they chose to set up the project in Cagayan de Oro because of the city’s potential for business growth and natural beauty.

The appearance to Mary of Magdala

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:44
JOHN 20:1-2, 11-18 On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.” Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the body of Jesus had been. ...

Meralco, PLDT mull putting underground cables after storms

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:44
Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said they are “seriously” mulling on putting electricity wires and telecommunication cables underground after typhoon Glenda recently caused power outages and network disconnection across Luzon, which had suspended businesses in Metro Manila. Although PLDT has already commenced its multimillion project to install climate-resilient cables underground, Pangilinan said Meralco’s power distribution lines are still overhead, which makes power outages a usual scenario during calamities.

URC acquires New Zealand snack foods firm for US$609 million

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:44
Universal Robina Corporation (URC) is expanding to New Zealand, its first investment and biggest acquisition outside Asia, with the planned purchase of Griffin’s Foods Limited for NZ$700 million (US$609 million). In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, URC said Griffin’s is New Zealand's leading biscuit and snack food company with net sales and EBITDA (earnings before income tax, depreciation and amortization) of NZ$280 million and NZ$78 million, respectively.

Top Asian News at 6:00 p.m. GMT

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:02
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — The leader of the pro-Russian rebels has agreed to hand over both black boxes from Flight 17 to Malaysian investigators who are in Ukraine, Malaysia's prime minister said early Tuesday. Prime Minister Najib Razak also said that as part of an agreement he reached by phone with rebel leader Alexander Borodai on Monday evening, independent international investigators will be given "safe access" to the site where the Malaysia Airlines jet went down in eastern Ukraine en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, killing all 298 people onboard.

Top Asian News at 5:30 p.m. GMT

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 17:32
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — The leader of the pro-Russian rebels has agreed to hand over both black boxes from Flight 17 to Malaysian investigators who are in Ukraine, Malaysia's prime minister said early Tuesday. Prime Minister Najib Razak also said that as part of an agreement he reached by phone with rebel leader Alexander Borodai on Monday evening, independent international investigators will be given "safe access" to the site where the Malaysia Airlines jet went down in eastern Ukraine en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, killing all 298 people onboard.