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Bicam OKs 2015 budget, supplement

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 00:00

The P2.606-trillion budget for next year hurdled the bicameral conference committee yesterday as the House of Representatives, voting 183-12 with no abstentions, also approved the proposed P22.5-billion supplemental budget. The Senate ratified the budget program including special provisions barring the use of lump sum appropriations for farm-to-market roads by the Department of Agriculture. Senate finance committee chairman Sen. Francis Escudero outlined the special provisions in a speech before the plenary yesterday on the joint explanation of the bicameral conference report on the 2015 national budget.

South African is Miss World

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 00:00

Miss South Africa, 22-year-old Rolene Strauss, was crowned Miss World 2014 at the contest’s glitzy final in London on Sunday, with an estimated billion viewers watching on television around the globe. Miss Hungary, Edina Kulcsar, was judged the runner-up and Miss United States, Elizabeth Safrit, came third in the 64th annual competition, contested by women from 121 countries. Medical student Strauss clasped her hands together in surprise and was crowned by the outgoing Miss World, Megan Young of the Philippines, to huge cheers in the ExCeL exhibition center.

Top Asian News at 11:30 p.m. GMT

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 23:32
SYDNEY (AP) — The deadly siege began in the most incongruous of ways, on a sunny Monday morning inside a cheerful cafe in the heart of Australia's largest city. An Iranian-born gunman burst in, took 17 people hostage, and forced some to hold a flag with an Islamic declaration of faith above the shop window's festive inscription of "Merry Christmas." It ended after midnight with a barrage of gunfire that left two hostages and the gunman dead, four others wounded, and a nation that has long prided itself on its peace rocked to its core.

Global study ranks PH 15th largest exporter of illegal capital

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 22:59

By YVONNE T. CHUA THE Philippines and three other ASEAN members count among the top 20 developing countries in the world identified as the biggest exporters of illicit capital over the last decade, according to a global report. The report, released worldwide Monday (Tuesday in Manila) by Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a Washington D.C.-based research

US Marine charged in Filipino transgender slaying

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 22:30

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine government prosecutors charged a U.S. Marine with murder Monday in the killing of a Filipino, saying the suspect acknowledged attacking the victim after he found out she was a transgender woman.

Statue unveiling delayed in Guam village

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 22:26
HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — Officials in a Guam village postponed the unveiling of a statue of a Filipino revolution hero after residents protested.

Global study ranks PH 15th largest exporter of illegal capital

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 21:03

The report, released worldwide Monday (Tuesday in Manila) by Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a Washington D.C.-based research and advisory organization, ranked the Philippines 15th largest in average illicit financial flows between 2003 and 2012. An average $9.439 billion dollars illicitly left the Philippines every year over the period primarily because of trade misinvoicing, a problem that besets many developing and emerging economics, according to GFI. The report, titled “Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries: 2003-2012,” said crime, corruption and tax evasion, among other causes, drained developing countries of a record $991.2 billion in 2012 alone.

Asian stocks slump, Tokyo leads losses

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 17:49

Asian markets fell on Monday as oil remained near five-year lows, while investors in Japan shrugged off Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's decisive re-election and focused instead on the faltering economy.

Pascua stuns Russian GM

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 17:35
International Master Haridas Pascua shocked Russian Grandmaster Anton Demchenko yesterday to share the second round lead with seven others in the PSC-Puregold International Chess Challenge at Celebrity Sports Plaza in Quezon City.The win over the second-seeded Demchenko gave Pascua, who downed Roger Sarip in the first round, 2.0 points, the same total of GMs Ivan Popov of Russia, Levan Pantsulaia of Georgia, Avetik Grigoryan of Armenia, John Paul Gomez, Darwin Laylo and Julio Catalino Sadorra of the Philippines, and IM Barlo Nadera, who shocked countryman GM Oliver Barbosa. ...

Cebu-based conglomerate to expand business overseas

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 17:35
Cebu City, Cebu – The Cebu-based Aboitiz Group’s holding and investment management company, Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV), buoyed by vibrant prospects of ASEAN regional economic integration, has signified its readiness to expand its businesses on a global landscape.“We are pursuing exciting opportunities leading up to ASEAN community integration,” said Xavier Aboitiz, AEV chief human resource and quality officer.In a recent media gathering, Aboitiz revealed the company's plans to open an extension office in Indonesia next year. It also recently acquired an aqua feeds company in Vietnam. ...

Luzon Newsbits for December 16, 2014

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 17:35
BICOL CMO BESTNaga City, Camarines Sur — The 9th Infantry Division’s Civil Military Operations Battalion (CMO) based in Camp Francisco Canuto, Barangay Sagurong, Pili, this province has been cited the best among the rest by the Philippine Army. The CMO, headed by Lieutenant Colonel Joselito Pastrana, was cited for its work in environmental protection, disaster risk reduction, and emergency response. (Ruel Saldico)GRANNY MURDEREDSan Carlos City, Pangasinan — A 78-year-old grandmother living alone in her house in Barangay Agdao, here, was found dead yesterday morning. ...

Visayas Newsbits for December 16, 2014

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 17:35
FOREIGNERS ASKED TO REGISTER UNDER NEW PROGRAM Tacloban City, Leyte (PNA) – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) office here is asking foreigners in Region VII to register with the government under its new alien registration project (ARP). Launched in October, the project runs till September 2015. It is designed to register all foreigners, capture their biometric data and issue them a special security registration number. BI Tacloban acting alien control officer Marianna Hazel M. Badallo said the program is designed to account for all foreigners in the country. ...

Gov’t troops capture top NPA commander in Southern Philippines

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 17:35
Camp Bancasi, Butuan City – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) announced on Monday the arrest of an alleged top commander of the New People’s Army (NPA), armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).In a press statement sent to the Manila Bulletin, Public Affairs Officer (PAO) of the 10th Infantry (Agila) Division Lt. Vergel Lacambra, identified the insurgent as Jordan Donillo, alias Noli or Estong.He was arrested on the strength of several warrants of arrest for double murder and multiple frustrated murder.The suspect also had a R2. ...

Peaceful Guimaras signals bullish growth

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 17:35
Jordan, Guimaras – The Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) expects to see bullish growth on the island province of Guimaras, with the disappearance of leftist terrorist threats here.For the 301st Infantry Brigade (301 IB) of 3ID, the absence of elements belonging to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing New People’s Army (NPA) will bring more socio-economic, agro-industrial and infrastructure development activities into the island province. ...

Army, rebels clash anew in Davao Oriental

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 17:35
Davao City – Elements of the 28th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army figured in two separate encounters with communist New People’s Army (NPA) rebels on Sunday in the area of San Isidro in Lupon town, Davao Oriental, authorities reported.First Lt. Alexandre Caballes, Civil Military Operations (CMO) commander of 28th IB, said the first encounter took place at around 11a.m. in Sitio Pangyan in Barangay San Isidro, Lupon that lasted for twenty minutes. ...

PNP declares Bagac drug-free

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 17:35
Camp Tolentino, Bataan — While other towns struggle to rid the communities of “shabu tiangge” or “drugs flea markets,” Bagac town was declared drug-free yesterday by the Police Provincial Office (PPO).Senior Superintendent Rhodel Sermonia, Bataan PPO director, reported to Governor Abet Garcia that the whole town now enjoys a drug-free environment thanks to the honest-to-goodness anti-drugs drive of the town’s chief of police, Senior Inspector Jansky Jaafar. ...

6 soldiers wounded in IED attack in Agusan

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 17:35
Camp Bancasi, Butuan City – Six Army soldiers were wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED’s), allegedly planted by communist insurgents, exploded Sunday a barangay road in the outskirts of La Paz town, in Agusan del Sur province, a report reaching this city stated Monday.Identities of the wounded Army soldiers, who all belonged to 26th IB, were temporarily withheld pending notification to their respective next of kin.They were immediately brought to an undisclosed hospital here for medical treatment.The bomb attack happened at 4:30 a.m. ...

Home for the holidays

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 17:35
The Philippines has a reputation for the lengthiest celebration of Christmas, and this is because Filipino families enjoy sprucing up their homes with holiday decorations and hosting festive gatherings. This spirit is much alive even in the busy metropolis, especially in charming suburban-like neighborhoods such as Woodsville Residences.This nine-hectare townhouse enclave from Robinsons Residences is nestled in Southern Metro Manila, providing peace and privacy amid wide, open spaces — all without compromising the accessibility and convenience of living in the city. ...

Centuria Medical Makati set to open in 2015

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 17:35
Bullish on the prospects of medical tourism and the outpatient health care industry in the Philippines, Century Properties Group, Inc. said it has started unit turnovers this month at Centuria Medical Makati – its 28-story outpatient medical-IT facility at Century City in Kalayaan Avenue, Makati – in time for its 2015 opening.The USD$70-million medical facility has close to 700 medical suites for physicians of different outpatient medical practices. Inclusive in the 700 units are over 7,000-sqm that Century will retain for its own leasing portfolio. ...

Report: Project NOAH develops storm surge simulation maps

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 17:35
When Corazon Soliman was picking her way through the wreckage and bodies left by Super-typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines last year, a thought kept occurring to her. “Why didn’t we use the term ‘tsunami’?” the country’s social welfare secretary said.The Philippines’ disaster planning officials had a pretty good idea of what was coming their way the strongest storm ever to make landfall. They knew that storm surges propelled by winds of up to 315 kilometers per hour could sweep across low-lying areas and pose a significant threat to life and property. ...