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Top Asian News at 7:00 p.m. GMT

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 19:02
HAEMI, South Korea (AP) — Pope Francis made his strongest gesture yet to reach out to China on Sunday, saying he wants to improve relations and insisting that the Catholic Church isn't coming in as a "conqueror" but is rather a partner in dialogue. Francis outlined his priorities for the Catholic Church in Asia during a meeting of about 80 of the region's bishops, urging them to engage with people of different cultures empathetically.

Canon reports brisk printer, camera sales

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 15:41
Despite the popularity of smartphones and the rise in paperless solutions, sales of digital cameras and printers are on the rise, according to Canon  Marketing Philippines Inc. In fact, Canon Philippines President and CEO Lim Kok Hin said  they sold more digital cameras and printers for the first quarter of 2014 than during the same period last year. “Is the camera business being diluted because of smartphones, clearly no,” Lim told business reporters. The same is true with printers, Lim said. Despite the adoption of paperless solutions, households and businesses continue to patronize printing solutions.

How 3D design solutions complement PH’s manufacturing growth

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 15:41
Autodesk Philippines recently hosted one of its industry conferences, “Autodesk Solutions Day,” in Manila. During the day-long event, the global technology company showcased its 3D design solutions for the various industries it covers: architecture, engineering and construction (AEC), and manufacturing. Autodesk maintains that 3D design solutions, through Digital Prototyping, can effectively complement the steadily growing manufacturing industry in the Philippines.

Why MRT is like Disneyland

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 15:41
What is the similarity between Manila’s MRT and Disneyland?  (Hint: It must be more fun in the PH.  Answer at bottom.) The best and the minimum service that the government must provide its citizens is a mass transit system that is fast, safe, sure, and affordable. To keep it affordable while maintaining the high standard of service, government must necessarily provide generous subsidy.

PH Youth Olympians outclassed

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 15:41
Swimmer Roxanne Yu and triathlete Vicky Deldio gave their best for the Philippines but couldn’t leave a mark in the second Youth Olympic Games. Yu, a scholar at the British International School in Phuket, was fourth in the qualifying heats of the girls’ 100-meter backstroke at the Nanjing Olympic Center Natatorium. After the five heats involving 33 swimmers, Yu ranked 26th. It was my best time in the event and I’m happy with that,” said the former student of the Immaculate Concepcion Academy in San Juan.

Filling in the language gap

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 15:41
When Lexcode opened its multilingual hub in 2010, the translation community consisted of a handful of language centers that employed tutors as translators. The company’s Filipino and Korean founders uncovered a whole market needing so much more. Banking on its decade of localization expertise in the South Korean capital, Lexcode has made professional translation accessible in the Philippines—having an office at the heart of Makati, providing free consultations, and offering certified translation with proofreading. It earned the trust of embassies, expatriates, and aspiring or returning OFWs with documents for translation, usually from English to other languages.

Housing program benefits indigent families in Davao

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 15:40
A housing project here benefitted 30 families – mostly with differently-abled heads or members, street dwellers whose shanties were demolished, and a victim of super-typhoon “Yolanda” from the Visayas. The turnover of the newly built houses to the beneficiaries was conducted at the Los Amigos here, which was led by City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Berjaya Group Philippines country head Paul Soo, and Art Milan of AboitizPower. “Nalipay ko kay makabalay na gyud mi (I’m happy because now we have a house),” said Analy Atimana, 46, and a mother of three children, one of the beneficiaries of the project.

Visayas Newsbits for August 18, 2014

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 15:40
PROVINCIAL POLICE BAGS MAJOR AWARDSCebu City (PNA) – The Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) bagged two major unit category awards during the 113th Police Service Anniversary held recently at the Police Regional Office (PRO-7) headquarters in Camp Sergio Osmena here. CPPO dominated the awarding ceremony police unit with the most number of firearms seized and notable accomplishments in the campaign against illegal drugs. ...

Miners oppose ‘no go’ mining zone

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 15:40
ing scheme, some players in the mining sector are still opposed over the imposition of “no go zones” for mining activities in specific areas in the country. Guillermo Luz, private sector representative to the Economic Cluster of the Cabinet, told reporters at the Futuristics Society forum in Makati on Friday that the Minerals Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) will meet on Friday, August 22, to thresh out some kinks in the proposed new mining bill. “The most contentious is still the revenue sharing,” Luz said citing the industry’s opposition but hastened to add that it is not the only issue. These laws are embedded in the environmental laws, like the integrated protected areas, he said.

UC collection proposed for ‘emergency powers’

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 15:40
If the Malampaya fund could not be used for the proposed emergency powers for President Aquino to resolve the power crisis, the next in mind for the advocates will be a pass-on of the subsidy via the universal charge (UC) to be collected by the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM). According to Management of the Philippines (MAP) energy committee chairman Ernesto B. Pantangco, the UC pass-on is one of the options being explored. Nevertheless, it will be up to Congress to determine where the budget will be coming from once Section 71 or the “power crisis provision” of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) will be invoked.

Jungolfers win 4 titles in US events

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 15:40
Team Philippines made its biggest haul with four titles in the recent Veritas World Junior Golf Championships held in various courses in Los Angeles, California. Harmie Nicole Constantino, Carlo Jano Corpus, Annyka Chanel Cayabyab, and Andrew Chua topped their respective divisions in impressive fashion against their tough foreign foes. Constantino led the 1-2-3 finish of the PH team in the girls 13 years old division with a 14-stroke victory to highlight the PH campaign supported by the Junior Golf Foundation of the Philippines. ...

Pinoy firm expands from Asia to Africa

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 15:40
A Filipino-owned network marketing firm with business operations in Hong Kong, Indonesia and all over the Philippines is also eyeing expansion into the continental North America and Australia but suddenly finds itself in Africa where it is warmly welcomed in Ghana. “That means dollar remittances to the Philippines will virtually come, not only from networking OFWs (overseas Filipinos worldwide), but also from Asians and other foreign nationals like the Americans, Australians and even Africans with Pinoy uplines,” said chief executive officer Susan Barlin of Forever Rich Philippines Inc. after setting up an office in Ghana’s capital city of Accra just recently. Barlin had been to Ghana two years ago to introduce Laminine, a breakthrough natural and functional food supplement exclusively being marketed in the Philippines by Forever Rich for US nutraceutical giant LifePharm.

Transfer Palparan to AFP jail – Trillanes

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 15:40
Senator Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV yesterday urged the government to consider transferring retired major general Jovito Palparan to an Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) detention facility to ensure his safety. Trillanes, who chairs the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, inspected last Saturday Palparan’s detention facility at the National Bureau of Investigation and checked on his condition. “We were informed of the existing threats to the life of General Palparan.

Caregiver looks forward to ASEAN 2015

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 15:40
For the first six months of 2014 there are 371,097 available jobs for Filipinos who wants to work abroad. Theresa C. Trinidad hopes one day to catch one of these job orders for herself. Trinidad is a qualified patient care assistant. With her caregiver training, she has a strong fighting chance of landing an overseas job in her location of choice, currently that is in Canada.

Body integrating tourism events promotion pushed

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 15:40
A top Hotel, Resorts, and Restaurants Association of Cebu (HRRAC) official is pushing for the creation of a body that would promote Cebu tourism and branding programs in an integrated manner “Cebu’s booming tourism sector needs a single body that will make an inventory of all the things the province has to offer and to monitor how these are being promoted and developed, and even bid for events to be hosted in Cebu,” said HRRAC President Cenelyn Manguilimotan. In a recent interview, Manguilimotan said having a single body to monitor tourism developments in Cebu will ensure efforts are integrated and coordinated, rather than a scattered approach that is currently done by each local government unit (LGU). As an example, she noted that only Lapu-Lapu City seems aggressive in promoting sports tourism when there are also ideal places in Cebu that could also host adventure sports events.

Housing for the homeless

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 15:40
[caption id="attachment_175103" align="aligncenter" width="576"] Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte (4th from left); together with Berjaya Group Philippines Country Head Paul Soo (5th from left); His Excellency Abdula Sawawi Tahir (right), Consul-General of the Malaysian Consulate; and Art Milan (left) of AboitizPower, led the symbolic key turnover to the two beneficiaries of the Berjaya GK Village in Tugbok, Davao City, on Saturday. (Alexander D. Lopez)[/caption]

About time the BSP charter is amended (3)

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 15:40
In two previous articles we started identifying key proposed amendments to the 21- year-old Bangko Sentral Charter (RA 7653) and the rationale for such amendments. We stated that the proposed amendments, submitted by no less than House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. (co-authored by Rep. Nelson P. Collantes) and Senate President Franklin M. Drilon, seek to further strengthen the Bangko Sentral’s 1.) Monetary Stability Function 2.) Financial Stability Function and 3.) Corporate and Financial Viability. These proposals seek to improve  the formulation of monetary policy, the implementation of monetary policy and the credibility of monetary policy. Just to recap, monetary policy is the collective term which refers to measures and actions adopted by the BSP  to influence not only the level of money supply  but also the timing, the cost, and availability  of money and credit.

Mighty doubts cigar stamp tax

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 15:40
Bulacan-based Mighty Corp. is lukewarm on the implementation of stamp tax on cigarettes that seeks to address the tobacco industry’s problem on illicit trade. Oscar P. Barrientos, Mighty executive vice-president, said the Internal Revenue Stamps Integrated System (IRSIS) project may not prosper in capturing illicit cigarette trade in the country like what happened in the 1980s. According to Barrientos, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) had cigarette stamp tax during martial law years, but the government decided to stop its implementation due to the proliferation of counterfeit stickers.

Lucio Co raises PBCom stake to almost 50%

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 15:40
Retail magnate Lucio Co now owns almost 50 percent of the expanded capital of Philippine Bank of Communications (PBCom) after sealing a deal to buy an additional 12.3 percent from Roberto V. Ongpin’s ISM Communications Corporation for P1.95 billion. In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, ISM Communications said its board of directors has accepted the offer of Co, through VFC Land Resources, Inc., to buy ISM’s 59.24 million PBCom shares at P33.00 per share. PBCom had earlier allowed Co’s P.G. Holdings, Inc. to subscribe to 181.08 million PBCom common shares.

Army tags BIFF members as bandits, terrorists

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 15:40
Cotabato City – Military authorities here now consider the members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) as bandits and terrorists after the leaders of the group publicly admitted that they support the international terrorist organization ISIS in Iraq. ISIS stands for Independent State of Iraq and Syria, which has been terrorizing Iraqis and other nationals who refused to join them. According to Colonel Dickson Hermoso, speaking for the Philippine Army’s 6th Infantry Division, the BIFF has no legitimate revolutionary ideology but plain and simple banditry and terrorism. ...