President Marcos mentions economic growth of 7% for the Philippines this year

Not so long after Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno stated that the Philippine economy is expected to grow by around 6.5% this year, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos stated a figure of 7% economic growth for 2023, according to a news article by the Philippine News Agency (PNA). GMA Network and the Philippine Daily Inquirer each had similar news stories.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the PNA article. Some parts in boldface…

During the Country Strategy Dialogue at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, Marcos presented the current state of the Philippine economy and the opportunities that are expected to be unlocked.

Marcos, in his opening remarks, cited that while the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) forecast for the 2023 global economic growth is only 2.7 percent, the Philippines projects that its economy would grow by at least 7 percent this year.

The IMF’s latest projection is slower than the 3.2 percent posted last year and shows a significant decrease from the 6 percent recorded in 2021.

“Our strong macroeconomic fundamentals, fiscal discipline, and structural reforms instituted over the years have enabled us to withstand the negative shocks caused by the pandemic and succeeding economic downturns and map a route toward a strong recovery,” he said.

Marcos said the Philippines remains focused on sustaining the country’s economic recovery, as well as promoting a local environment that would help businesses maximize their competitiveness and facilitate their entry into the global market.

He added that the Philippines’ development plan puts together coherent strategic measures to address the current energy and food crises, allowing the country to hasten its economic and social recovery toward inclusive and resilient development.

Addressing challenges – In his speech, Marcos also emphasized the need for the world economies to implement sufficient welfare measures to cushion the impact of elevated inflationary pressures, especially on the most affected and vulnerable sectors.

“We have seen inflation accelerating globally in recent months. While protectionist policies may be appealing in the short term, there will ultimately be no winners,” he said.

“We support the call for all governments to unwind any trade restrictions and reinforce our commitment to the World Trade Organization (WTO) reform.”

Marcos also renewed the Philippines’ support for the timely and effective delivery of pragmatic outcomes to address the current geopolitical risks, adding that economies should try to find a common ground to settle critical global issues.

He likewise emphasized the importance of economic and technical cooperation to assist the development of smaller economies and enable their participation, including the small businesses and economic segments with untapped potential, in the global economy.

Marcos said it is also vital to address the current social vulnerabilities, noting that education, skills development, and lifelong learning would help enhance the employability of workers.

Government interventions and public-private partnerships (PPPs), he said, must be strengthened to improve access to employment opportunities, adding that health systems and social protection must also be enhanced to abate and mitigate present and future risks.

Digitalization – Marcos also acknowledged the need to pursue heightened collaboration to realize economic and social transformation.

He believed that his bid for digital transformation is a “key driver for long-term economic growth.”

“The government also recognizes the importance of digitalization as a key driver for long-term economic growth and as a tool for economic recovery,” Marcos said, adding that he would put a premium on the participation of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the digital economy.

More details are available for reading in the PNA’s news article.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this recent development? Do you believe that the Philippines can achieve 7% economic growth this year?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

Philippine government sees economy growing around 6.5% for 2023

Even though HSBC and the World Bank revealed their own 2023 economic growth forecasts for the Philippines to be below 6%, the national government still sees the economy growing around 6.5% this year, according to a recent Manila Bulletin news report.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Manila Bulletin news report. Some parts in boldface…

The Philippine government expects a strong full-year gross domestic product (GDP) growth for 2022, most likely much faster than its growth target of 6.5 to 7.5 percent, Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Benjamin Diokno said here on Jan. 16 (Switzerland time).

Diokno said this during a Monday luncheon hosted for President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Philippine chief executive officers (CEOs) in Davos, Switzerland.

In addition, Diokno said the Philippine economy is seen to “grow by around 6.5 percent this year” due to the expected slowdown of the global economy.

“And that’s still one of the highest, if not the highest, growth projection in the Asia-Pacific Region,” he said.

According to Diokno, the country’s bustling manufacturing sector, record-low unemployment, and stable and resilient banking system can alleviate buffers against external headwinds, all indicating a resilient economy.

Further, opening economic sectors to foreign equity, improving the ease of doing business, and allowing modern transformative industries to take root and grow will sustain the economy.

At the same time, the Finance chief said the Marcos government has created a more competitive and enabling environment through public-private partnership (PPP) to expand further the Build, Better, More infrastructure agenda of the administration.

Diokno said this would further boost investments on top of the government’s goal to spend at least five to six percent of GDP on infrastructure, stressing all these form the backbone for the rapid and sustained growth of the Philippines.

But because of the current challenges, he said the Philippines is taking the first steps toward launching the Maharlika Investment Fund, the country’s first-ever sovereign wealth fund that will support the goals set by the administration in the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this new development? Do you believe that the Philippines’ economic fundamentals are strong enough to keep the economy growing around 6.5% this year? Do you think that the tourism industry alone will be a major driving force of economic growth and earning foreign currency? Apart from the announced Maharlika Investment Fund (sovereign wealth fund) new economic initiatives do you want to see from President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. If you want to support my website, please consider making a donation. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/.

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

Marcos reiterates vow to upgrade Philippine transport system

Recently, Philippine President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., reiterated his vow to improve the transport system of the entire nation which can benefit many people who need to travel, according to a Philippine News Agency (PNA) news article. This is similar to what his predecessor declared before.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the PNA article. Some parts in boldface…

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Monday reiterated his vow to continue upgrading the country’s transport system to relieve commuters of their daily ordeal due to traffic congestion.

We will continue to invest and improve our transportation system as well as pursue more projects in the years to come so that Filipinos can gain greater access to places of work, commerce, recreation, and other vital areas,” Marcos said in his speech during the launch of the Metro Manila Subway Project’s (MMSP) tunnel boring machine (TBM) at its depot in Barangay Ugong, Valenzuela City.

Having an effective and efficient transportation system will have multiplier effects on employment, the economy, our society, it will bring comfort, convenience, an easier life for all,” he added.

Marcos said developments on the country’s first subway system in the country allow Filipinos to look forward to “better days” as it would also spur economic development and job creation.

He thanked both the public and private sectors for working to ensure the realization of what he described as an “ambitious” endeavor.

In particular, he expressed gratitude to the Japanese government and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for being active partners in the fulfillment of the Philippine infrastructure program.

According to Marcos, the Philippines would not have fulfilled its many infrastructure projects without the assistance of JICA.

This tunnel boring machine highlights Japan’s expertise and technology and trailblazing contributions in the modern world and thus I am confident that they will help us shape our railway infrastructure and keep them at par with the highest international standards,” he said.

He acknowledged the joint venture of Filipino and Japanese companies for working with the Philippine government on the Metro Manila Subway Projects Contract Package 101 and expressed hope it would be completed on time.

“I hope that both of you and the DOTR will not waiver on your commitment to finish the contract package by the end of 2027 to ensure that Filipinos will get to enjoy the project at the soonest possible time,” he said.

Marcos likewise sought their continued patience, trust, and support, especially as big-ticket projects take years to complete.

“…Let the launching of this tunnel boring machine become a testament to this administration’s commitment to continue to projects of the previous administration and more importantly build better more,” he added.

He also described the launch of the TBM as “a very apt beginning” for a year with renewed vigor and commitment to his administration’s mission to improve the lives of Filipinos.

“We also gain inspiration from the selfless individuals who constantly strive to turn our vision for the transportation sector into a grand reality,” he said.

The PHP488.48 billion Metro Manila subway will stretch for about 33 kilometers across seven cities, from Valenzuela City to Pasay City, and will be able to serve over 519,000 passengers daily once completed.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this recent development? Do you believe that the Metro Manila subway will make local travel more efficient? What new infrastructure projects do you think the country needs right now?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

Philippines attracted 2.65 million international arrivals and over P200 billion in tourism revenues in 2022

With the year 2022 officially over, the Department of Tourism (DOT) officially confirmed that the Philippines attracted 2.65 million tourist arrivals (exceeding the target of 1.7 million) and over P200 billion in tourism revenues were generated for the year, according to a news article by the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the PNA article. Some parts in boldface…

The holidays delivered further gains for the Philippine tourism industry as it breached its 1.7-million target with 2.65 million international arrivals as of the end of 2022.

The arrivals translated to PHP208.96 billion or USD3.68 billion in tourism revenues, a whopping 2,465.75-percent increase from 2021, according to a news release on Monday.

Based on the monitoring of the Department of Tourism (DOT) from the time the country reopened its borders to all travelers in February until Dec. 31, 2022 arrivals peaked in December as more Filipinos and tourists alike opted to spend the Christmas and New Year vacations in the Philippines.

Of the total 2.65 million international arrivals last year, 628,445 were returning Filipinos while the bulk of 2.02 million tourists were from top markets United States (505,089), South Korea (428,014), Australia (137,974), Canada (121,413), the United Kingdom (101,034), Japan (99,557), Singapore (53,448), India (51,542), Malaysia (46,805) and China (39,627).

The year just ended likewise generated an estimated 5.23 million tourism-related jobs, 11,989 DOT-accredited tourism enterprises as of Dec. 29, 2022 and 25,770 tourism stakeholders who were trained.

DOT Secretary Christina Frasco was elated over the achievements of the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., just six months into office.

She said the tourism sector’s growth clearly showed the hard work of the entire industry in order to recover from the unprecedented crisis brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Moments of great difficulty are also moments of great opportunity. In the past, we have overcome a global pandemic and survived various calamities. The Philippine tourism industry has managed to exceed expectations and our tourism partners and frontliners continue to offer the best of Filipino grace and hospitality to the world,” Frasco said in a statement.

“We welcome 2023 with gratitude and excitement for Philippine tourism to bounce back stronger than ever. We shall welcome with warmth and that distinct Filipino smile visitors from all over the world as they visit our award-winning beaches, experience the richness of our culture, and enjoy our world-renowned Filipino brand of service excellence,” she added.

Frasco is hopeful that the DOT will surpass its targets anew in 2023.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this recent development about the Philippines tourism? If you are managing a business, did your business benefit somehow from the arrival of foreign tourists and/or Filipinos who arrived from overseas? Do you think the DOT will be able to achieve its targets for 2023?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

Philippines aiming to attract 4.8 million foreign visitors and generate $5.8 billion tourism revenue in 2023

With the economic recovery from COVID-19 still continuing and the year coming to an end, the Department of Tourism (DOT) revealed its targets for foreign visitors and tourism revenue in 2023, according to a report by the Philippine News Agency (PNA). For the newcomers reading this, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., declared already that it is time for the to return to pre-pandemic life and having a strong tourism sector is a crucial part of the post-pandemic strategy. It has also been several months since the Philippines opened its borders to

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the PNA article. Some parts in boldface…

The Philippines eyes to double its tourism revenues and reach at least 4.8 million in foreign visitor arrivals in 2023.

Department of Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco Friday revealed the projections as she presented the efforts of the agency to expedite tourism’s recovery.

Frasco said DOT seeks to attract 4.8 million visitors and generate at least USD5.8 billion in revenue.

Latest data showed that the Philippines has already breached its 1.7 million arrivals target for 2022, hitting over 2.46 million tourists and PHP149 billion in receipts.

With the administration’s focus on tourism and the various measures implemented to ease travel, Frasco is optimistic Manila could even surpass the pre-pandemic tourism figures before 2025.

DOT’s initial forecast indicated that Manila will not reach more than 8 million tourists until after 2025, a projection Frasco described as “alarming”.

[T]o me, that was an alarming projection in a sense that 2025 is so far off for us to obtain our pre-pandemic levels until after 2025 and that really forced us to take an inward look as to how we can expedite the recovery,” she told reporters.

“Having set out policies under the Marcos administration, precisely to serve the more aggressive approach towards tourism recovery, we’re seeing now that we have been able to breach the previous projection as well as the high projection (for this year),” she added.

Aside from constructing rest areas and improving connectivity for inbound tourists, Frasco presented more initiatives DOT sets to undertake in the next few months.

These include showcasing the country as a top cruise destination by 2023, coordinating with the relevant office to ease visa processing, and strengthening the promotion of Mindanao — especially for halal tourism.

Frasco also said DOT and the Department of National Defense are soon to sign a Memorandum of Agreement to obtain necessary data to determine the “most ideal areas to begin the process of reopening Mindanao.”

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this recent development about the Philippines and its tourism plans for 2023? Do you think it is doable for the Philippines to attract 4.8 million foreign visitors by the end of 2023? What do you think the DOT should do when it comes to emphasizing tourism through conventions and special events? Do you think the DOT is doing enough with getting involved with sports tourism, medical tourism, food tourism, and the like?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

President Marcos reaches out to France for strategic partnership on nuclear energy

As you should know by now, I personally favor the use of nuclear power as a key source of abundant energy for the entire Philippines (read my posts by clicking here and here). Nuclear power can produce very high amounts of energy required to power the economy and society and there is no way that solar and wind power could achieve that. Nuclear energy is the answer for the energy requirements of the Philippines and I am really glad that President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., reached out to French President Emmanuel Macron and specifically sought nuclear energy partnership during their high-level talk recently in Thailand, as reported by the Philippine Star.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Philippine Star news article. Some parts in boldface…

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said he sought a partnership with France on nuclear energy during a bilateral meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron at the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Thailand.

I’m very confident that it will be a strong partnership simply because they have up to 67 percent of their power production is from nuclear energy so they are very, very used to it,” Marcos said, according to a release from Malacañang.

Marcos said he wanted to talk to Macron about energy because of France’s use of nuclear power, a controversial energy source that the Philippine president had long advocated for.

On the campaign trail, Marcos said the Philippines should look into reviving the 621-megawatt Bataan Nuclear Power Plant — a venture by his despot father and namesake which was mothballed in 1986 because of safety concerns.

During his first State of the Nation Address, Marcos reiterated his determination to adopt nuclear power, saying “it is time to re-examine our strategy towards building nuclear power plants.

For some added insight into the Marcos-Macron meeting, watch the videos below…

In my honest opinion, it is high-time for the Philippines to move forward with enhancing the entire national power grid by using nuclear power. To invest tons of money on wind and solar power will only produce minimal new energy and the fact remains that the said two types of energy are unreliable. On the social aspect of nuclear energy, I encourage my fellow Filipinos reading this to stop being fearful about anything nuclear and pay close attention to the latest in nuclear power technology, specifically with small modular reactors (SMRs). Learn about them by clicking here and here.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this recent development about the Philippines reaching out to France for a nuclear power partnership? Are you glad that President Marcos specifically sought partnership during his bilateral talk with the President of France?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

Philippine economy grew 7.6% in the 3rd quarter

You may not feel it but the economy of the Philippines grew by 7.6% in the 3rd quarter this year according to the recent announcement published by the Philippine News Agency (PNA). This is very encouraging news following the recent report of the falling unemployment in the country. Indeed, the nation continues to rise after suffering from the COVID-19 crisis’ downturn.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the PNA news article. Some parts in boldface…

The Philippine economy grew at a faster rate in the third quarter of the year at 7.6 percent, higher than the revised gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the second quarter at 7.5 percent, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported Thursday.

In a press conference, PSA Undersecretary Dennis Mapa said this is the sixth consecutive quarter that the economy recorded expansion.

The country’s GDP growth from July to September 2022 is also higher than the 7-percent increase in the same period in 2021.

The third quarter’s GDP exceeded the median analyst forecast of 6.3 percent,” National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said.

Balisacan said the average GDP growth for the first nine months of the year stood at 7.7 percent.

“With this, we are on track to achieving the government’s growth target of 6.5 to 7.5 percent for 2022. Given the latest GDP outturn, our economy needs to grow by 3.3 to 6.9 percent in the fourth quarter,” he said.

The PSA reported that all major industries improved their performance in the third quarter of 2022 compared to the same period last year, with agriculture, forestry and fishing growing by 2.2 percent; industry, rose to 5.8 percent; and services, up by 9.1 percent.

Services contributed 5.8 percentage points to the 7.6 percent GDP growth in the third quarter, followed by industry which shared 1.6 percentage points, and agriculture, forestry and fishing at 0.2 percentage points.

By industry, wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles contributed 1.9 percentage points to the GDP growth in July to September period, followed by financial and insurance services at 0.77 percentage points and construction at 0.76 percentage points.

Compared to last year, the sector of accommodation and food service activities expanded by 40.6 percent, which is the largest across industries. Transportation and storage also improved by 24.3 percent and construction increased by 12.2 percent.

This economic performance largely benefitted from the further easing of mobility, including the resumption of face-to-face classes, which boosted consumption among Filipinos,” Balisacan said.

The NEDA chief added that the relaxation of borders and simplifying travel protocols supported the recovery and growth of local tourism and other sectors.

In terms of spending, household final consumption expenditure is the largest contributor to GDP in the previous quarter at 5.9 percentage points, exceeding the share of construction at 1.5 percent percentage points, durable equipment at 0.7 percentage points, and government final consumption expenditure at 0.1 percentage points.

In relation to the above news, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. recently visited Cambodia and there he invited the nation’s business leaders to invest in the Philippines. Posted below is an excerpt from the report of GMA Network news. Some parts in boldface…

“We would like to invite at the very least, for you, to have a look at the opportunities that are available. And finally I suppose at some point, since we are not so far away, to come and we will explain to you exactly what we have done and why we have done it and where we have arrived in that process of transforming the economy,” Marcos told business leaders during a roundtable meeting.

“I do not talk about recovery of the economy, I talk about transformation of the economy because the new economy is going to be different from everything that we did in 2019. And so this is what we are looking forward to and I hope to see you all in the Philippines soon,” he added.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this recent announcement about the state of the Philippine economy? Do you look forward to a more prosperous year in 2023? Are you planning to open a new business soon? If you are an investor, are you confident about investing in the stock market and in companies?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

I Love Israel: Israel formally turns over Ground Based Air Defense System (GBADS) to the Philippines

The State of Israel formally turned over the Ground Based Air Defense System (GBADS) to the Philippines in a special ceremony held in Pampanga with the presence of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. (also Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines), and Israeli Ambassador Ilan Flus, the Embassy announced via their official Facebook page.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the social media post. Some parts in boldface…

President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr., Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and Israeli Ambassador Ilan Fluss led the turnover ceremony of Israel’s Ground Based Air Defense System (GBADS) to the Philippines on November 8 in Pampanga.

GBADS is a mobile land-based medium range air defense missile system. It is projected to protect vital military installations, critical government facilities, and the cities and towns of the Philippines.

In his turnover speech, Ambassador Fluss said that GBADS is among the finest and most advanced air defense systems in the world, which only a few countries were able to procure. He added that he is proud that Israel is supplying technologies and systems that make a difference in the fight against terror and in stabilizing peace and security in the Philippines.

The turnover of the GBADS systems proves that Israel is a reliable and intimate ally of the Philippines by supplying quality strategic defense systems to the Philippines.

“Mr. President, before I end my message, let me express again the friendship, commitment, and willingness of myself and the Israeli government to continue and expand even more this very close and intimate collaboration between our two countries. Not only in the defense sector but also in areas such as food security, innovation, digitalization, disaster preparedness and other efforts of your administrations. This is what good friends are all about,” Ambassador Fluss emphasized in his speech.

In relation to the above announcement, you can watch the turnover ceremony at https://www.facebook.com/piopaf/videos/1720797291636827/

For the newcomers reading this, this latest development is connected with the contract for acquisition signed by the Department of National Defense (DND) in 2019 with the Israel Ministry of Defense (Israel-IMOD) and the manufacturer, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems (RADS). We Filipinos should be thankful to the Lord that Israel-Philippines ties continue to grow and result in cooperation and understanding with each other. The Philippines itself played a major role decades ago by providing safe haven for Jewish refugees. The GBADS from Israel will improve the nation’s defense for sure. That being said, we are grateful to Israel and its people. In addition, we who follow Jesus must always bless the Jewish people in accordance to what God declared in Genesis 12:1-3 in the Holy Bible. Posted below for you are scriptures from the New King James Version (NKJV) and The Message (MSG) translation.

Now the Lord had said to Abram:

“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.

I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.

I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Genesis 12:1-3 (NKJV)

God told Abram: “Leave your country, your family, and your father’s home for a land that I will show you.

I’ll make you a great nation
and bless you.
I’ll make you famous;
you’ll be a blessing.
I’ll bless those who bless you;
those who curse you I’ll curse.
All the families of the Earth
will be blessed through you.”

Genesis 12:1-3 (MSG)

If you truly believe in Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God the Heavenly Father wholeheartedly and you continue to be faithful (not religious), you should be aware that Christians are meant to stand united with Israel no matter what. You can do your part supporting Israel by donating to Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Do not forget to read the Holy Bible, then pray in tongues to the Lord in the privacy of your room with the door shut.

Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! Always stand in support of Israel, love the Jewish people and pray for the peace of Jerusalem!

In ending this I Love Israel piece, posted below are Israel-related videos for your viewing pleasure and enlightenment.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

COVID-19 Crisis: President Marcos declares it is time to return to pre-pandemic life

Life in the Philippines continues to move back to normal even though new COVID-19 cases are being recorded in the thousands daily in recent times. Still, it is notable that many millions of Filipinos have gotten fully vaccinated or boosted for COVID-19 (note: around 3.5 million received their 1st booster shots recently) and even though the past summer saw lots of election campaign events that had many, many political supporters gathered in high numbers, no new outbreak of COVID-19 happened. There is also the growing confidence about organizing events that attract customers, sports participants and spectators and more.

In relation to what I stated above, it is significant that President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., declared to the people it is time to return to pre-pandemic life which the Philippine News Agency (PNA) reported. Take note that under Marcos, the use of face masks outdoors is now optional.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the PNA news article. Some parts in boldface…

President Ferdinand R. Marcos on Sunday enjoined Filipinos to get back to their normal lives before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, stressing that it is crucial to show the world that the Philippines is slowly getting back on its feet.

It is a good thing to remind people that the pandemic may have been difficult, the pandemic really put us through the wringer. But we are back,” Marcos said in a speech in Bacolod City during a luncheon just before he graced the culminating activity of the 43rd MassKara Festival.

The pandemic is fading away. We are learning to manage it and now it is time for us to all go back to work, to all go back to our normal lives, to remind ourselves of all the opportunities that were before us before the pandemic…It is time for us to go back to all of those endeavors that we were undertaking before Covid hit,” he added.

Marcos said the MassKara Festival signaled not just the opening of Bacolod City to tourists, but also the entire country.

“It is time for us to go back and exercise once again, show once again the Filipino resilience, the Filipino resourcefulness, the Filipino industry, the Filipino talent, ipakita naman natin sa buong mundo dahil nagbubukas ang mundo, dahil nagbubukas ang Pilipinas, ito ngayon ang MassKara Festival ay isang pagdiriwang hindi lamang sa pagbubukas ng Bacolod kung hindi sa buong Pilipinas (let us show the world because the Philippines is now open, this is the MassKara festival which is a celebration of the opening of Bacolod but of the entire Philippines),” he said.

Despite the festival being borne out of “a very sad period in the history of Bacolod”, the President said it also symbolizes Filipinos’ “reemergence from a crisis.”

“..That is what we celebrate today and that is what we see that people are feeling and that is the feeling that we want to continue to encourage within our people because that is what’s going to lead us to success,” he said.

Marcos also congratulated Bacolod City Mayor Albee Benitez and event organizers for a successful holding of the festival.

Founded in October 1980 by the late Bacolod City Mayor Jose “Digoy” Montalvo Jr., the MassKara Festival was first held following two major tragedies that befell Negrenses– the collapse of sugar prices in the international market and the sinking of the Negros Navigation ship M/V Don Juan.

During the sugar crisis, artists thought of promoting mask-making as an alternative source of income for the locals.

Montalvo likewise suggested holding a mask festival to lift the spirits of the locals after the maritime accident that killed his wife, two daughters, and hundreds of Bacolod residents.

MassKara is derived from the words “mass” meaning “many” and “kara” meaning “faces,” thus calling it the Festival of Many Faces.

This year’s festival will be the first face-to-face event after two years of being suspended due to the pandemic.

The MassKara festival’s revival is significant not only with the people of Bacolod City and the province of Negros Occidental but for the nation as well. Here in the Alabang area of Muntinlupa City, the Megarahe Sale and the COPIX both attracted lots of people who searched and bought items. Still in Alabang, it was recently announced by Zonta Club of Alabang that they will be reviving their popular Christmas Carnivale Bazaar on November 25, 2022 at the Filinvest Tent. I myself attended that bazaar back in 2017 and 2018 at the said venue and it is really encouraging that it will be revived next month. These are just a few of the many signs that the Philippines is recovering from the pandemic and can move forward and progress more. Pre-pandemic economic strength will be regained eventually.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this recent development? Do you feel encouraged by the statement of President Marcos that the pandemic is fading away and that the country can more forward more?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

Reinvigorating tourism in the Philippines

In what is a clear move to reinvigorate tourism all over the Philippines in line with recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, the administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. announced a series of moves to achieve their goals and this includes the new project titled “Philippine Experience”, according to two separate news articles (click here and here) published by the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the PNA news article about President Marcos’ speech. Some parts in boldface…

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Monday underscored the need for tourism industry players and stakeholders to come up with “fresh” and “new” ideas to entice more tourists to travel to the Philippines and revive what he described as one of the “key players” in the nation’s progress.

Marcos made this remark as he lauded the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) ongoing efforts to consult with regional tourism offices about ways to support the tourism industry’s recovery dubbed as “listening tours.”

“Following the pandemic, we need fresh and innovative ideas to bring back the imagination and the confidence of our people—from here and abroad—so they will be encouraged to explore the best destinations that the country can offer,” he said in his speech during the Philippine Tourism Industry Convergence Reception (PTICR) at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

He described the DOT’s listening tours as an “imaginative tool” that helps the government see the perspective of those who are on the ground and understand their experiences and situations.

“The avenues you have opened for all regions will be instrumental not only in formulating the best policies, but also in determining better practices and the best projects for the industry,” he added.

Marcos said the government will remain committed to ensuring that the inputs acquired from the DOT’s listening tours will be “optimized” for the benefit of the tourism sector.

“We want one of the key players in our nation’s progress to be buzzing once again with life again—stronger than ever—so that they will be able to keep up with these fast moving times,” he added.

He also praised DOT Secretary Christina Frasco for keeping his administration on their toes by having a clear vision of her plans for the tourism sector.

“She keeps us on our toes. She has always kept a very very clear idea in her mind of what we are trying to achieve. She has brought passion and energy that certainly that we’re going to need. But it is passion and energy that gives us confidence that we will succeed,” Marcos said.

He said Frasco’s strategy of empowering local government units (LGUs) was a no-brainer given her experience as a former mayor of Liloan municipality in Cebu.

As part of efforts to boost the tourism sector, Marcos reiterated the importance of further developing existing travel destinations and developing new ones.

He also underscored the need to ensure that these destinations are accessible through improved tourism infrastructure.

Marcos said the PTICR provides the perfect opportunity to pursue initiatives for greater tourism connectivity and convenience.

“It is my hope that this reception will foster meaningful discourse and yield concrete plans that we can immediately put into action,” he said.

Greatest asset

Meanwhile, Marcos expressed confidence in using the country’s “greatest asset” to revive the tourism sector to what it was prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“…The greatest asset that we have in the PH are the 107 million Filipinos who are a young, well-trained workforce who are as kind of people, who are as hospitable of people, as gracious of people as you will find anywhere in the world,” he said.

He said he believed that Filipinos will be crucial in “reintroducing” the Philippines to the world.

“I am confident because I have said this many many times that there is no warmer, more poignant sight than the smile of a Filipino and that is something that we can introduce to the world,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Frasco emphasized the “Philippine Experience” during the same event President Marcos attended. Posted below is an excerpt with some parts in boldface…

The program called the Philippine Experience would involve the development of caravans featuring culture, heritage, and arts unique to each region.

Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco said it would draw inspiration from Suroy-Suroy Sugbo, a Cebuano initiative that sought to promote Cebu towns and cities’ products and give tourists a chance to discover underrated destinations.

Giving industry stakeholders a glimpse of the program, Tourism directors from the Cordilleras down to Mindanao showcased the colors, festivals and “living traditions” that could be experienced in their regions.

“Our goal is to equalize opportunities across the regions and support the preservation of the country’s cultural heritage and artistic resources,” Frasco said during the Philippine Tourism Industry Convergence Reception at SMX Convention Center in Pasay City on Monday.

“Through these experiential travel modules, we hope to introduce the very essence of our nation more deeply to our tourists and instill a sense of pride and patriotism among the Filipino people through greater appreciation of our country’s inheritance and legacy,” she added.

The Philippine Experience is part of the list of programs that DOT is implementing in the coming months to help the sector recover from the effects of the pandemic and position the Philippines as a primary tourism destination in Asia.

As seen in the above content from two of PNA’s news articles, the national government just made clear its focus on reinvigorating Philippine tourism which has the potential to create new job opportunities, open up channels between tourism business players and other businesses, and generate the much-needed economic activities around the nation. Having worked and lived in Cebu province myself, I am not surprised that the DOT took inspiration from the Suroy-Suroy Sugbo tourism program which was very active during my Cebu years.

Apart from the collective efforts of the tourism business players, the event organizers, the national government and other local government units, we Filipinos can also take part in promoting the nation as a tourist destination that can be enjoyed. I personally am fond of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone as a vacation destination and to those of you planning to go there, make sure you visit Gourmet Garage Subic and Xtremely Xpresso Café for your meals. Subic Bay also has lots of nice hotels to stay in as well as shopping places. If you are looking for a sports event to join in at Subic Bay, then you should register online for the 2023 National Age Group Triathlon event there set for January 2023.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this recent development? Do you feel encouraged to travel around the country and enjoy the tourist destinations?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673