COVID-19 Crisis: President Marcos says the economy of the Philippines will go beyond pre-pandemic level

Things are looking bleak economically. Recently the Philippine Peso reached another record low to the United States Dollar on the foreign exchange market. The local stock market lost a lot of points as well. Regardless, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos stated that the economy of the Philippines will not just recover but grow higher than what was achieved before the COVID-19 crisis affected everyone, according to a Philippine News Agency (PNA) article.

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

The Philippine economy will go beyond its pre-pandemic growth, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said Friday (Manila time), as he confidently talked about progress amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

During his meeting with members of Asia Society at The Carlyle Hotel in New York City, Marcos said his administration has laid out measures that will help reinvigorate the economy.

We don’t want to just catch up. We want to go beyond that. We have no interest in going back to pre-pandemic levels. What we are interested in is to flourish further and to position the Philippines in such a way that we can take full advantage of the new economies and the new industries that have come to light,” Marcos said in his speech.

Sustained cooperation and collaboration with the private sector and other governments would lead to the realization of his administration’s bid to make the Philippines a new and transformed country, the President said.

He said the Philippines is a “viable and smart” investment destination, given its macroeconomic fundamentals, enabling policies, and human capital.

“They recognize the Philippines, our country, for its business-friendly policies, a very competent workforce, and a network of economic zones,” he said. “These are interesting times and there are many things to accomplish. The far-reaching ill-effects of the pandemic compel us to reinvigorate our economies in a spirit of sustained cooperation and collaboration.”

Marcos noted that the Philippine economy expanded by 5.7 percent in 2021 and 7.8 percent in the first half of 2021 because of government spending, household consumption, and investments reinforced by consumer and business confidence.

He also cited “investor-friendly” laws that seek to “leverage game-changing reforms.”

Marcos told the group about the “young, educated, hardworking, and English-speaking” Philippine workforce that is globally competitive.

He expressed hope to get more investments for his administration’s priority sectors, which include agriculture; nuclear energy; health systems; information technology and business process management; digital connectivity; and manufacturing, including the critical sectors of semiconductors, green metals, and electric vehicles.

We must use public and private resources effectively to encourage the expansion of trade, investment, technology transfers, all to accelerate our development,” Marcos said.

Despite the challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the global economic crisis, Marcos said the Philippines remains on track to “graduate to upper middle-income-country status” by 2023 and become a “high-income country” by 2040.

With steady investments in infrastructure, agriculture, food security, public health, education, and other social services, we seek to become a high-income country, with zero extreme poverty by the year 2040,” he said.

“Certainly, the world continues to be faced by enormous challenges, but I am confident in the future because I have 110 million reasons for being so. Such is my faith in the Filipino people and the relationship we hold with the United States and our other allies and partners and friends,” Marcos added.

Asia Society is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that works to build bridges of understanding between the East and West.

Let me end this by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this latest development? Are you eager to see the socio-economic plans of the Marcos administration to be implemented as soon as possible so that the national economy will be reinvigorated? Do you think that the pandemic  may have opened up new opportunities for business innovations and e-commerce to transpire nationwide?

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 athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/.

Muntinlupa City releases P2.26 million zero-interest loans to local entrepreneurs

In the progressive City of Muntinlupa, more than P2 million worth of zero-interest loans were released by the City Government to more than a hundred local entrepreneurs who collectively handle MSMEs (micro-small-medium sized enterprises), according to a Manila Bulletin news report.

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

A total of 103 owners of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Muntinlupa received P2.26 million zero-interest loans from the city government on Friday, Sept. 9.

The office of the Joint Resources Financing Program held the orientation and release of loans to batches 140 and 142 of the beneficiaries of the Tulong Negosyo at the Ayala Malls South Park.

One of them is Maria Dolores Noble, a “sari-sari” store owner and “adobong mani” manufacturer from Barangay Buli who got a P150,000 loan under the program.

Tulong Negosyo caters to MSMEs and provides micro-finance assistance ranging from P2,000 up to P150,000 depending on the business capital ceiling and payment record of beneficiaries.

The program aims to provide additional capital for business expansion for aspiring and established business owners in Muntinlupa, the first LGU to introduce a micro-financing program.

The Joint Resources Financing Program thanked Mayor Ruffy Biazon for his continued support in helping the growth of small businesses in Muntinlupa.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a Muntinlupa City resident, what is your reaction to this development? If you are running a micro, small or medium-sized enterprise, do you intend to avail of a zero-interest loan from the City Government?

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

Get ready for the “Build, Better, More” infrastructure program

If there is something highly significant done by the previous administration under former Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte that a lot of people will benefit from, it would be the “Build Build Build” infrastructure program which was designed to grow the economy, reduce poverty and solve congestion. This resulted in expansion and improvements through projects on roads, bridges, highways, airports and also water resources. For more on the impact of “Build Build Build”, click here and here.

Of course, the 6-year term of Duterte was ultimately insufficient to complete all the projects of the program (note: the incomplete ones are still continuing) and now we have a new leader with President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., who specifically mentioned infrastructure during his State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Yesterday, it was reported by the Manila Bulletin that a new infrastructure program under the Marcos administration has officially been announced as “Build, Better, More”. Other than the name, there are notable details listed which will give people a clear idea about what to expect about the continued development of Philippine infrastructure.

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

“Build, Better, More”–or BBM for short–is officially a program of the Marcos administration, and the executive branch is asking P1.196 trillion from Congress in order to fund it next year.

Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Amenah Pangandaman acknowledged during a press conference with House reporters Monday, Aug. 22 that the BBM program was an “expansion” of the previous Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure modernization initiative.

BBM is also the initials of the incumbent President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

The BBM program was listed as a “spending priority” on the DBM’s briefer on the 2023 National Expenditure Program (NEP), which the agency submitted to the House of Representatives Monday.

A total of P1.196 trillion has been allocated for the government’s 2023 infrastructure programs,” read a statement from DBM, referring to the budget being sought from lawmakers.

“The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will receive [a] P718.4-[billion] budget in 2023, while the Department of Transportation will receive P167.1 [billion] in 2023–an increase by 120.4 percent for its P75.8-[billion] budget in 2022, which covers the augmented funding requirements for various foreign assisted railway projects,” it stated.

Pangandaman said during the presser that BBM includes “convergence programs with Department of Tourism, Department of Education, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Trade and Industry”.

“Related po doon sa Build, Better, More program natin (Related to our Build, Better, More program), which is an expansion of the Build, Build, Build program are programs po under the DOTr,” the DBM chief noted.

Among the major transportation infrastructure projects that will be implemented include the North-South Commuter Railway (costing P75.1 billion), Metro Manila Subway Project (P26.3 billion), and Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1 Cavite Extension Project (P2.7 billion).

Also linked to the BBM program are more specific infrastructure initiatives such as the Network Development Program (P140.4 billion), Asset Preservation Program (P88.5 billion), and Bridge Program (P38 billion).

Pangandaman said that the Network Development Program’s purpose is to “expand the connectivity and road systems across the country”. On the other hand, the Asset Preservation Program involves “maintenance, rehabilitation, and reconstruction”.

“We also have the Bridge Program po, [the] construction and maintenance and repair of bridges,” she added.

In his State of the Nation Address (SONA) last July 25, Marcos said, “The backbone of an economy is its infrastructure. The infrastructure program of the Duterte administration must not only continue but, whenever possible, be expanded. We shall confidently build on this firm foundation established by my predecessor. As it is in building an edifice, we must keep the momentum and aspire to Build Better More.”

The 2023 NEP, which is the precursor of the General Appropriations Bill (GAB) or proposed national budget, will be scrutinized first in the House of Representatives. It will eventually endorse to the Senate its GAB after they approve it on third and final reading.

Regardless of who is in-charge in the national government, I personally favor the widespread, massive development of infrastructure projects around the country. In my honest opinion, improved and expanded infrastructure will pave way for better economic growth covering vast sectors like industry, commerce, tourism, real estate, agriculture and more. The past Build, Build, Build and the new Build, Better, More are clearly more than just about solving traffic congestion. The Marcos administration now has the task of implementing the new infrastructure program which will not only improve infrastructure but also create new jobs.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this recent development? Are you glad that President Marcos and his administration are focused on continuing the momentum of massive infrastructure development that his predecessor started? What kind infrastructure projects would you want the nation government to start working on?

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

P220 million worth of hoarded sugar seized in three raids

The Philippines has a big problem with regards to sugar which unsurprisingly sparked a wave of news. The three leading softdrinks makers made a joint statement about the declining supply of sugar in the country while stores and local food joints claimed they are affected by the sugar shortage. The local bakers have been affected as well.

There is, however, good news here. Recently agents of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) conducted raids which resulted in the seizure of several sacks of hoarded sugar estimated to be worth more than P200 million, according to a BusinessWorld report. Make no mistake, the government is working to solve the sugar problem.

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

CUSTOMS agents seized 44,000 sacks of hoarded sugar worth P220 million in separate raids north of Manila, the capital on Wednesday and Thursday as part of a crackdown amid rising sugar prices and tight supply.

The agents and police raided two warehouses in Bulacan province and another in Pampanga on orders of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., who is also Agriculture secretary, the Bureau of Customs (BoC) said in a statement.

“The BoC’s Pampanga sugar warehouse raid may very well serve as a warning to unscrupulous traders who are currently hoarding their stocks of sugar in order to profit from the current artificial sugar shortage situation,” Executive Secretary Victor D. Rodriguez said in a separate statement.

The government might visit more warehouses in the coming days, Press Secretary Trixie-Cruz Angeles told a news briefing.

Mr. Rodriguez earlier said the government was investigating reports that certain traders were pushing the imports of 300,000 metric tons of sugar so they could use it as a cover to release hoarded sugar, which they have not sold for fear of lowering prices.

The Sugar Regulatory Administration had authorized the imports, which Mr. Marcos later rejected. Three of the officials who signed the order have quit their jobs.

“Reports reaching the Office of the Executive Secretary said such massive importation of sugar could result in windfall profits for the traders of at least P300 million with a portion of the amount earmarked as lobby money,” Mr. Rodriguez said.

The Customs bureau is investigating reports that the Pampanga warehouse had long been smuggling sugar from Thailand, repacking and then selling it as local sugar, the presidential palace said.

Like the Pampanga warehouse, the two warehouses in Bulacan were also suspected of storing smuggled goods.

The agents also found imported corn starch from China, sacks of imported flour, plastic products, oil in plastic barrels, motorcycle parts and wheels of different brands, helmets, LED TVs and paints inside the Pampanga warehouse.

Authorities have given the warehouse owners 15 days to present import documents, the palace said.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this recent development? Is your household or your business somehow affected by the ongoing sugar problem? How much did you pay for a kilogram of sugar recently compared to six months ago? Did you notice any sugar-related products like softdrinks, candy, ice cream and coffee lacking in supply in the local groceries and convenience stores? Was there a local coffee shop that failed to serve you a specific drink or food item because of a lack of sugar?

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

I Love Israel: Israel and the Philippines celebrate 65 years of friendship and diplomatic ties

Since August 9 of 1957, Israel and the Philippines had been friends and the diplomatic ties between them prospered through the decades. In 2018, then President Rodrigo Duterte and a contingent of officials visited Israel. There, then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Duterte. During the COVID-19 crisis, Israel assisted the Philippines in varied such as having Filipinos in Israel vaccinated and by also sending their health experts to the Philippines.

A lot more happened between the two nations which I blogged about – Israel’s assistance to typhoon victims here in the Philippines, travelers from Israel welcomed to visit the country without a visa, the batch of Filipino hotel workers deployed to Israel, the establishment of the Joint Economic Cooperation (JEC), and the launch of a cyber security school in the Philippines to name some.

Indeed, the ties between the Philippines and Israel are essential. The celebration of 65 years of diplomatic ties between the two nations is real and the Manila Bulletin reported about it recently.

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

The Philippines and Israel are celebrating their 65th year of diplomatic relationship this year.

On August 9, 1957, the two nations started fostering their relations, with Israel providing capacity building programs for Filipinos in the agriculture sector.

Israel has been providing assistance to Filipinos in advanced farming practices and data-driven agricultural management systems, as part of the Philippines’ campaign to stabilize the price of commodities and strengthen long-term food security.

As of 2021, the Philippines and Israel recorded a total of $354,349,790 in trade, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

Israel also exported $268,096,401 worth of products to the Philippines, DFA added.

In July, Israel Ambassador to the Philippines Ilan Fluss met with Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles of the new Marcos administration to discuss possible collaboration and ways to strengthen the embassy’s connection with the Office of the Press Secretary in sharing the initiatives and partnerships between Israel and the Philippines.

Fluss said Israel’s expertise in cybersecurity, digital diplomacy, and media tech could be deployed for faster and more comprehensive delivery of news and information in the remote areas in the Philippines.

Responding to President Marcos’ first State of the Nation Address, Fluss also said Israel is looking forward to achieving the chief executives’ vision, “especially in the fields of agriculture, innovation & technology, and more.”

Be thankful to the Lord as Israel-Philippines ties continue to create opportunities, prosperity and new forms of friendship between the Filipinos and the Israelites. Keep on praying to Him to have the two nations to rise high and stand out among all nations of this very divided world we live in. Pray to Him that no enemy will ever succeed while opposing Israel and the Philippines. The evil ones will be exposed and will fall down in due time.

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, love the Jewish people and pray for the peace of Jerusalem. 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!

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 athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

President Marcos on nuclear power plants in the Philippines

Last March, I highlighted an article published by the Philippine News Agency (PNA) related to nuclear power for the Philippines. Personally, I favor the use of nuclear power and the construction of nuclear power plants in the Philippines not just because it will provide clean and abundant energy but also because technologies and other means related to it all have advanced through the years. 

That being said, it was good that our new President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., mentioned nuclear power during the recent State of the Nation Address (SONA) specifically referring to the nation’s strategy towards building new nuclear power plants.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the GMA News report. Some parts in boldface…

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. again expressed his desire to adopt nuclear energy as part of the country’s power mix, but said the government’s strategy has to be rethought.

I believe it is time to re-examine our strategy towards building nuclear power plants in the Philippines,” Marcos said in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday.

Marcos, however, did not mention the revival of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP), a project during his late father Ferdinand Marcos Sr.’s regime which has been mothballed for more than three decades.

In 1976, Marcos Sr. ordered the construction of the $2.3-billion BNPP, but it was shelved after three years due to safety concerns.

The Duterte administration had pegged the cost of reviving the BNPP at around $1 billion.

The President, instead, said that “there have been new technologies developed that allow smaller scale modular nuclear plants and other derivations thereof.

In October 2019, Russian State Nuclear Energy Corp. (Rosatom) Overseas JSC and the Department of Energy (DOE) signed a memorandum of intent on cooperation to conduct a pre-feasibility study on the construction in the Philippines of nuclear power plants based on small modular reactor (SMR) technology.

Nevertheless, Marcos said the Philippines will comply with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) regulations for nuclear power plants “as they have been strengthened after Fukushima.

The President said that public-private partnerships will play a role in realizing the goal of adopting nuclear power.

In the Philippine Senate, there is already support for President Marcos’ plan. Posted below is an excerpt from the Philippine News Agency article. Some parts in boldface…

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said Tuesday he will fully support the plan of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to explore the country’s potentials on nuclear energy as a cheap and reliable source.

Marcos said in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday that if the country wants to attract investors, both local and foreign, energy-level production must be increased.

“Why not? We are one of the few countries that have not looked at the nuclear option in Southeast Asia. The countries that are developing nuclear power in Asia — Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, even Singapore, are looking at the nuclear option, smaller nuclear power plants, and even Myanmar. We’re already left behind,” Zubiri said in an interview with a news channel.

Despite being a renewable energy advocate, as evidenced by the Renewable Energy Act which he authored, Zubiri admitted that there are not enough efforts to produce the energy requirement the country needs over the next six years.

If you want to have an 8-percent GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth rate, we better have an energy sector that is robust, that can deliver the power the different industries need to be able to power other programs and projects,” he said.

A nuclear power plant, Zubiri said, might take six years to develop starting from its infancy, but can deliver thousands of megawatts from a single plant.

He said the facility must be built right, strong enough to withstand calamities, and away from earthquake faults.

Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda, a known environmentalist, said she is open to exploring the possibility of nuclear energy but it must be considered “clean energy”.

“I may not be an expert in nuclear energy. I am open to hearing discussions and consultations with various stakeholders and experts in science on nuclear energy. I have read that nuclear energy is said to be clean. However, what about the nuclear waste? I am interested to know how it will be handled. At the same time, the safety measures,” she said.

Senator Francis Tolentino is likewise in favor of nuclear energy, which he learned has zero emission.

Meanwhile, the government of France is willing to help the Philippines on nuclear power development. France itself has been a major nuclear power player and therefore their willingness to share their expertise is significant for Filipinos. Posted below is an excerpt from the PNA article. Some parts in boldface…

The French government is keen to help the Philippines develop its nuclear power program as the Marcos administration looks for other reliable sources of energy.

French Ambassador Michèle Boccoz said the embassy has met with some of the Cabinet members and nuclear power was listed among the key areas Paris and Manila could cooperate on.

“(T)here’s obviously an interest. As I said, we have an experience and expertise in many different sectors of renewable energy, including the nuclear sector,” Boccoz said at a reception in Makati City on Tuesday.

She said working on small modular reactors is “probably much more realistic” than reviving the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant.

“I think that this is a thing of the past because the technologies have evolved so much that it wouldn’t really make sense to work to build this kind of project and it’s probably too big and it probably needs too much of the grid to be operational,” she added.

“So having a sort of more modular systems is probably much more realistic and also in terms of the terrain here and the systemic risks and others. These are much smaller units that can be much more easily protected.”

Boccoz, meanwhile, clarified that talks are still in the “very early stages” as Manila has to put in place a framework first.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about the renewed national interest about nuclear power? Are the climate change extremists and modern day Leftists still lying to you that nuclear power is bad while unreliable energy forms like solar and wind power are better? Are you willing to give nuclear power in the Philippines a chance?

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 athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/.

I Love Israel: Cyber Security school formally launched in the Philippines

Cyber security collaboration between Israel and the Philippines will only grow stronger as a brand new cyber security school was formally launched in the Southeast Asian nation, according to an article by the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

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

The first globally-accredited cyber school was launched in Manila Wednesday, bringing in Israeli cyber security education to the Philippines.

The CybersCool Defcon will offer programs based on modules developed by Tel Aviv-based ThriveDX Saas, a company founded by Roy Zur, who previously spearheaded the design and training of elite Israeli Cyber and Intelligence Units.

This is the first globally-accredited cyber school in the Philippines and the idea is really to bring the skill of the people. And this is not only about security, but it’s also related to anything today because everything at the end of the day is related to cybersecurity,” CybersCool Defcon founder Tatoo Amsili told reporters during the launch.

Amsili said they are also in talks with different agencies to discuss possible training programs for government personnel. This as he noted that government agencies must not solely rely on a third-party service provider.

Any department actually goes online today and (they) really need to have their own people they cannot be depending on third party in the software hardware. It’s not enough we need later on people to take over and to manage it,” he said.

CybersCool Defcon has six training programs, including the “Zero to Hero” Cybersecurity Bootcamp, which will open in August 2022.

Brig. Gen. Rami Efrati, founding member and former head of the Israel National Cyber Bureau-Civilian Sector, said its establishment alone conveys a message that “Israel is ready to share its knowledge in cybersecurity”.

Cyber is not only cyber attacks, I am speaking also about cyber terrorism. Because if somebody’s trying to affect the population and the government by doing illegal things, we have to stop it immediately,” he said in an interview.

“So the Israelis, as much as I know as my experience are ready to share this information together with you. This school is one way only,” he added.

Israel Ambassador to the Philippines Ilan Fluss, meanwhile, sees the school’s launch as a “strong foundation” for further cybersecurity collaboration between the two nations.

“This sector is very vibrant in Israel and very proactive so it’s really bringing the sector to the Philippines and trying to localize it. And that’s exactly the vision of the embassy and I see this as a model,” he said.

In today’s fully connected world, cyber security is essential and it is a great development that an institution that will provide training on cyber security will be opening soon in the Philippines. This will be crucial not only for the government units all over the Philippines – including the barangay units – but also for private sector members and employers. The institution can also help our nation come up with brand new cyber security experts among the many Filipinos living locally. Apart from being a solid developer on cyber security, Israel itself also has a credible track record of business innovation and technology development that Filipinos can learn from. Truly this latest development is a blessing from the Lord

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, love the Jewish people and pray for the peace of Jerusalem. 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 and pray for President Marcos and all the other government officials who recently took office. Pray also for Israel constantly.

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 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 athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/.

I Love Israel: Israel’s OurCrowd and Philippine investment firm establish partnership

If you are looking for breakthroughs within Israel-Philippine ties related to business or economics, be delighted over the news that an Israeli firm partnered with a local firm that will create opportunities for growth with regards to investing, according to a Manila Standard news report.

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

OurCrowd, Israel’s most active venture platform, and Einhorn Resources Inc, a Philippine investment firm, today announced a partnership that will provide Einhorn clients direct access to OurCrowd’s exclusive investments and mentorships to facilitate growth of Philippine startups.

The partnership was signed in Tel Aviv, Israel, between Dan Bennett, OurCrowd’s General Partner & Managing Director of Australia and Asia, and Jean Henri Lhuillier, Einhorn Resources Inc. CEO.

This new partnership is an exciting opportunity to extend our pipeline into the vibrant investment community in the Philippines and to help nurture its startup ecosystem,” said Dan Bennett. “Einhorn Resources’ deep knowledge of the Philippine investment landscape will be instrumental to bringing our top-tier technology talent to that part of the world.

“Not only are we raising money for these opportunities both in Israel, the US and beyond, but this is an important opportunity for corporates and family offices to invest from the Philippines and to attract technology that will benefit their core business.” 

This collaboration, the first of its kind in the Philippines, provides Einhorn clients direct access to one of the world’s leading online venture platforms. OurWorld currently has $1.9 billion in commitments and has deployed capital to more than 347 portfolio companies and 39 funds in five continents. It also has 200,000 registered members from 195 countries which it allows to participate in vetted and early-stage firms and funds.

Currently, plans are being made to set up a regional incubator that will give growth opportunities to Philippine startups looking for Israeli tech expertise.

We are excited to work with OurCrowd to pave the way for stronger ties for investment opportunities, traditional companies and tech solution collaborations,” said Jean Henri Lhuillier. “The partnership aims to open the funnel to a Philippine network of investors who can choose relevant companies to invest in as well as customize an online portfolio.”

Indeed, the OurCrowd-Einhorn partnership is a very welcome development and its impact will be felt in the years to come. Both the Philippines and Israel endured hardships related to the COVID-19 crisis over the past few years but there are efforts to not only recover economically and socially, but also emerge stronger from the pandemic. The economy of the Philippines is growing but more opportunities related to investing are needed and this is where the OurCrowd-Einhorn partnership comes in. To the local entrepreneurs reading this, please pay close attention to the above excerpt and start considering looking to Israel for opportunities and innovations in business. This partnership is truly a blessing from the Lord for both Israel and the Philippines! 

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, love the Jewish people and pray for the peace of Jerusalem. 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 and pray for President Marcos and all the other government officials who recently took office. Pray also for Israel constantly.

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 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 athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/.

Armed robbers who targeted online sellers got arrested by the police

If you are selling products online and if you value your personal safety as well as your own business, you might want to refrain from meeting your customers in person (note: meet-ups) as a group of armed helmet-wearing robbers victimized an online seller at its business venue before getting arrested by the police, according to a GMA Network news report.

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

Police officers in Pasig City arrested on weekend five armed robbers who were preying on online sellers across eastern Metro Manila.

According to Emil Sumangil’s report on “24 Oras” on Monday, authorities nabbed James Sy Natividad and three others after their leader, Jonard Bernardio, revealed their whereabouts.

Caught on CCTV, the suspects were seen breaking into a store and beating sales agents before stealing money and valuable items. One of the suspects was also seen pointing a gun at the victim.

Police Lieutenant Jaylord Estillore, chief of Station Investigation and Detective Management of Pasig Police, said the armed robbers were dubbed “Jonard Bernarbio Robbery-Holdup Group.”

“Mag-order online and then pagdating doon sa meet-up area doon nila bibiktimahin yung kanilang mga target,” Estillore said.

(They will order online and then when they arrive at the meet-up area, they will prey on their victims.)

Police Lieutenant Resel Guevearra, spokesperson of Pasig Police, reminded the public to be cautious with their transactions.

“I-validate po natin ang ating mga ka-transaction as much as possible doon tayo makipagtransact sa maraming tao,” Guevearra said.

(Let’s validate who we transact with. As much as possible, we should have transact in crowded places.)

Now here is the related news video about the same story. Watch the video and pay close attention…

As you can see in the above news excerpt and video, doing a “meet-up” even in a business venue with CCTV cameras recording is still risky to do. The suspects were seen wearing helmets which means they anticipated the place had CCTV cameras and knew how to hide their faces. It is indeed a good thing not only for the victims but also for the city that the police were able to stop and arrest them.

As I am writing this, it remains to be seen if this type of crime could have happened around the nation while remaining unreported.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this new development? Do you think that online sellers with business venues should hire security guards to prevent the armed robbers (among those who ordered online) from taking over? When you sell online, do you insist on meeting your customers personally or do you prefer sending the products to them via courier? What is the one thing about customer meet-ups do you like the most when selling online?

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 as well as 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

Alabang Hills Village Saturday Market (AHV Saturday Market) has returned

This past Saturday, I took the opportunity to visit Alabang Hills Village for the return of the AHV Saturday Market which was held at the Sports Pavilion. The Alabang Hills Village Association (AHVA) announced the Saturday market return on July 15 or just the day before it happened. Take note that the association also said that the AHV Saturday Market will be held every Saturday (from July 16 onwards unless otherwise advised) from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM.

The Sports Pavilion inside Alabang Hills where the AHV Saturday Market was held at on July 16, 2022.

There, I saw two sellers catering to some customers who were carefully choosing from the variety of fresh vegetables, meat, seafood and fish on display. To support the vegetable seller, I bought green tomatoes. Those who missed out on last Saturday’s AHV Saturday Market, there will be another one this Saturday and so on.

Fresh vegetables on display.
Some fresh meat, chicken, seafood and fish on display.

In their official announcement, the AHVA stated that local residents may also join in to feature their home-cooked meals, fresh produce, novelty products and other items.

Residents who might be interested to join the AHV Saturday Market, to sell goods and make some additional money while also connecting with customers, are encouraged to call the AHVA’s administration office at landline numbers 88509631 or 88508254 local 106 and ask for Mark Granada. They can also visit the administration office from Monday to Friday, 8AM to 5PM, and Saturday from 8AM to 12PM.

Meanwhile, the AHVA is accepting and processing applications from non-resident motorists for their brand new vehicular stickers. Also, the new 2-year AHVA vehicular stickers for non-resident motorists are available and I finally got my 2-year AHVA sticker last week. In case you are wondering, the 2-year AHVA sticker for non-resident motorists is priced at P3,600.

For further inquiries, visit https://alabanghillsvillage.com/. To all the non-resident motorists who enter Alabang Hills Village, always remember to follow their rules and speed limits wherever you go. Be respectful to the village and the AHVA.

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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