Metro Manila Council (MMC) to release official guidelines on firecracker use

The Metro Manila Council (MMC) – a special governing body composed of incumbent mayors of cities of Metropolitan Manila – now has a new leader and as the Christmas holidays are nearing, they will soon release official guidelines regarding the use of firecrackers, the Manila Bulletin reported.

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

San Juan City Mayor and Metro Manila Council (MMC) President Francis Zamora said the MMC is set to release guidelines on the firecracker ban to be implemented in the National Capital Region (NCR) as part of its efforts to minimize the number of injuries caused by the misuse of firecrackers during the new year revelry.

During the joint session of the MMC and the Regional Development Council (RDC) which he co-chairs, Zamora said that the Metro Manila mayors will convene to discuss the guidelines they will implement regarding the firecracker ban which was first imposed by former President Rodrigo Duterte in 2017.

Executive Order no. 28, “Providing For The Regulation and Control of the Use of Firecrackers And Other Pyrotechnic Devices,” bans individuals from using firecrackers or setting up their own fireworks displays, a cultural tradition Filipinos are accustomed to during “events of personal, religious, cultural and national importance,” especially during New Year’s Eve or even the Chinese New Year.

“Magkakaroon ng designated firecracker areas. Ngunit depende din yan sa pagkakasunduan ng mayors kasi each city will have its own designated fireworks area para iwas syempre sa aksidente ngayong bagong taon (There will be designated firecracker areas, but these will depend on what the mayors of each city will agree upon because each city will have its own designated fireworks area to avoid accidents this new year),” Zamora said.

The EO sets forth the criteria that must be complied with before a display of fireworks can qualify such as: it must be conducted on the occasion or as part of a celebration, competition, or similar event held in a venue other than the residence; it is conducted under the supervision of Philippine National Police (PNP) – licensed and trained personnel; and, it has a municipal/city permit that states the date, time and area where the display will be conducted.

In December last year, the PNP released the names and brands of allowed and prohibited firecrackers and pyrotechnics.

In my experience, I often see sellers of firecrackers during the days leading to the New Year whenever I passed by BF Homes in Parañaque and along Tropical Avenue in BF International, Las Piñas. I wonder if they will make a comeback this year as the entire nation continues to recover socially and economically from COVID-19.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this development? Are you in favor of the use of firecrackers? Do you think the authorities are doing the right thing when it comes regulating or banning firecracker use? Do you think that the use of firecrackers pollutes the air too much during New Year’s Eve celebrations? If your household often buys firecrackers during the late stage of the year, how much money is spent each time?

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

COVID-19 Crisis: Department of Health (DOH) and private sector explain wasted vaccines

Do you believe everything the Department of Health (DOH) declared with regards to their handling of COVID-19 here in the Philippines? In recent times, local news organizations published their own reports about something really unfortunate…the expiration of millions of COVID-19 vaccines amounting to an estimated P15.6 billion. Think about that carefully. Many billions of Pesos worth of COVID-19 vaccines wasted! The DOH and the private sector (represented by Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion) separately explained their sides of the huge loss.

So how does the DOH explain the tremendous loss of COVID-19 vaccines? To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the news report of Malaya Business Insight. Some parts in boldface…

THE Department of Health (DOH) yesterday defended the high number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines that have been wasted and has recently become the subject of the ire of some senators.

In a press conference, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said it is not out of the ordinary to have 31.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines wasted if compared to the experiences of other countries.

“It is not just the Philippines that is experiencing this kind of situation in terms of logistics and supplies,” said Vergeire.

We are seeing more and more that the other countries are having this kind of expirations or wastage of vaccines,” she added without elaborating.

The DOH officer-in-charge added that the 31.3 million doses of wasted vaccines is within the threshold set by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The DOH has previously acknowledged that the total vaccine wastage in the country is 12.5 percent of the total 250.38 million doses, or 31.3 million.

“The (WHO) specifically said that because of (the) evolving nature of the pandemic, it (allowed vaccine wastage percentage) is around 25 to 30 percent,” Vergeire said.

The Philippines considers this as being still within that level that is acceptable,” Vergeire said in defense of the 12.5 percent wastage rate.

Last week, Sen. Pia Cayetano revealed that about 31.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were either wasted or not used in the country.

Among the reasons cited for the wastage of vaccines were expiration, short shelf life, damage due to natural disaster as well as damage due to temperature, discoloration, and having particulate or floating matters.

In relation to the tremendous loss of COVID-19 vaccines, Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion explained the private sector’s side as reported by the Manila Bulletin. Posted below is an excerpt with some parts in boldface…

The private sector has no control over the Covid-19 vaccines donated to the government, which included 70 percent of wasted vaccines from the private sector.

This was reiterated by Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion on Tuesday, Nov. 22.

The majority of the wasted Covid-19 vaccines in the Philippines were not under the safekeeping of the private sector,” he said in a statement.

Concepcion shared tallies of its Covid-19 vaccine inventories showing that of the total 23,516,990 doses that the private sector secured through a tripartite agreement with government and the vaccine manufacturers, 9,398,230 doses have expired.

This figure includes the 2,834,495 doses it donated to local governments.

The inventory, however, does not include other private sector initiatives, but Concepcion pointed out that these, too, would be under the custody of the government.

According to Concepcion, the private sector has noted that there have been gaps in the government’s monitoring and reporting of the inventory, especially of the vaccines that it donated as part of the tripartite agreement.

He explained that because Covid-19 vaccines are still under Emergency Use Authorization, only the government can engage in their purchase and administration, including assessing how many more it needed to buy and add to the private sector donations.

The government, he added, also conducts inventory on vaccines nearing their expiry dates so that it can be used first before procuring more.

Among the factors cited by the government as contributing to the wastage of the vaccines were short shelf life and temperature excursion. It also noted from its inventories that some vials were not opened or used at all.

“Private sector has always been proactive in pushing for vaccinations,” said Concepcion. “In fact we were the ones asking the HTAC (Health Technology Assessment Council) to adopt the US FDA guidelines just so we can speed up the booster vaccinations,” he said.

In July, millions of Covid-19 vaccines worth billions of pesos expired just days after second boosters were allowed for adults 50 years and older, and those 18 to 49 years with comorbidities.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this latest series of developments? Do you believe the ways DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire explained the waste of over thirty million COVID-19 vaccines? Do you find the vaccine waste acceptable at all knowing that they are worth over P15 billion? Do you still trust the DOH on how they are handling the COVID-19 situation in the country not to mention how their policies impacted your private lives and livelihood? Do you think it is time for the national government to end the Emergency Use Authorization on COVID-19 vaccines so that vaccination operations will be improved and the reduction of vaccine wastage could happen?

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

Little Officials at Muntinlupa City Hall

In celebration of this year’s edition of Boys and Girls Week, the “Little Officials” composed of students from public and private schools temporarily had a touch of practicing public service at Muntinlupa City Hall, according to a Manila Bulletin news report.

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

Little officials have assumed office at the Muntinlupa City hall in celebration of the 2022 Boys and Girls Week.

The week-long event, from Nov. 7 to 11, will have 204 students from public and private elementary and secondary schools, who will act as little mayors, vice mayors, councilors and department heads.

This year marked the 30th year of Boys and Girls Week celebration at the Muntinlupa City government, a hands-on training and exposure program for kids to experience being public servants.

One of them is Ysabella Renee Rudas, a Grade 6 student from Itaas Elementary School, who became the little mayor.

Mayor Ruffy Biazon said he showed and explained to her the duties of a local chief executive.

“Isa sa mga programa ng Pamahalaang Lungsod ang pagkakaroon ng Little Officials kung saan ini-immerse natin ang mga kabataan sa trabaho sa gobyerno (One of the programs of the city government is to have Little Officials wherein we immerse the youth in government work),” said Biazon.

The Boys and Girls Week offers students the chance to experience being a government official for a day and learn the duties and responsibilities of each office. They are assigned to different offices at the Muntinlupa City hall.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a Muntinlupa City resident, what is your reaction to this recent development? Do you find the Boys and Girls Week celebration in Muntinlupa an educational activity?

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

I Love Israel: New British Prime Minister Sunak is friendly towards Israel

Over there in England, another new British Prime Minister took office as a result of the departure of his predecessor Liz Truss who served for less than two months. The new Prime Minister is now Rishi Sunak who is notable for his public service (recently he was Chancellor of the Exchequer), his ethnicity (England’s first British Asian PM) and his friendship towards Israel. Citing external sources, CBN News recently published a news article pointing out Sunak’s recent statements about Israel’s eternal capital Jerusalem and his opposition against the wicked Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) movement.

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

Most of the world will focus on the economic quagmire facing new British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, as well as the internal Conservative Party tensions which could cut short his time in office at 10 Downing Street.

In Israel, though, Sunak’s earlier statements about Jerusalem and the global Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) movement are the ones making headlines.

The Times of Israel quoted Sunak at a Conservative Friends of Israel gathering two months ago, as saying Jerusalem is “indisputably the historic capital” of Israel and that there is a “very strong case” to be made for moving Britain’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The UK’s youngest prime minister in 200 years also pledged to support a bill in parliament opposing BDS. He wrote in the UK Jewish News, “The Jewish community is right to call out those who seek to damage the only Jewish state in the world.

Sunak, the nation’s first Hindu to hold the top political office, also raised his voice against the dramatic rise in anti-Semitic incidents which began more than a year ago. “This is not an issue to be equivocal about,” he said.

“Everyone across parliament and the country must take a robust position on eliminating antisemitism and I am determined to ensure this scourge on our society is eradicated,” he added.

In an interview with The Jewish Chronicle, Sunak also praised Israel as “a shining beacon of hope.”

While the new prime minister cautioned that a move of the British embassy in Israel would involve “sensitivity,” and perhaps would not be achievable immediately, his statements are reassuring to many Israelis, who have been jostled by the instability in governments around the world, including their own.

Next, watch the YouTube short video below.

For the newcomers reading this, Sunak took office as Prime Minister at a time of tremendous crisis. I’m talking about socio-economic problems going on as well as the internal tension among Sunak’s fellow Conservatives. Being Prime Minister of England means tackling endless problems that could derail the current administration’s efforts to serve the constituents and solve the problems. Sunak’s tenure as PM could end suddenly.

That being said, it is important for people to pray for their leaders and whatever your political views are, I encourage you pray for Prime Minister Sunak so that his administration can achieve solutions to help their people, and so that England’s ties with Israel will grow strong and lead to more cooperation. Pray also that England will be able to officially move its Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem!

Be thankful to the Lord that the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK) is friendly towards Israel and has stated to oppose the evil and destructive BDS movement. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem and always remember to love and bless the Jewish people in accordance to the Lord God! Refer to the holy scriptures posted below…

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!

    “May they be secure who love you!

Peace be within your walls

    and security within your towers!”

Psalm 122:6-7 (ESV)

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!

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

Urban Green Space and Recreational Park in Muntinlupa City inaugurated

In the progressive city of Muntinlupa, a special project referred to as the Urban Green Space and Recreational Park located at the Bayanan Baywalk was jointly inaugurated today by Mayor Ruffy Biazon and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Usec. Carlo Dimayuga III and witnessed by several guests and stakeholders, according to the City Government’s announcement.

A joint inauguration by the City Government of Muntinlupa and the MMDA symbolically led by Mayor Ruffy Biazon and Chairman Usec. Carlo Dimayuga III. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

The project was from both the City Government and the MMDA done in accordance to the “I ♡ Metro Manila (MM)” advocacy where the agency is in contact with various local government units in the National Capital Region for the Adopt -a-Park Project.

Also in accordance to the Urban Re-Greening and Renewal Program of the agency, the new project is the initiative to raise environmental awareness and encourage inclusive and participatory planning among stakeholders to address urban decay through the creation of green public parks and Metro revitalization Manila ecosystem against rapid urbanization.

Mayor Biazon announced that the establishment of the park is part of the 7K Agenda central to his administration. The said agenda consists of Kabuhayan (livelihood), Kalusugan (health), Karunungan (knowledge or education), Kaunlaran (progress), Kapayapaan/Kaayusan (peace and order), Katarungan (justice) and Kalikasan (environment).

The new park is now accessible to the public. There, visitors will find newly planted grass, bollard lights, seats, ramps for persons with disabilities (PWDs), exercise areas, and a colorful playground for children to enjoy.

A very modern looking playground. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

Present during the inauguration ceremony were Councilor Jedi Presnedi, City Engr. Dynadelle Aranda, EnP. Alvin Veron, Acting Head of the City Planning & Development Office, Arch. Don Causapin, head of the City Architect’s Office, Mr. Lorna Misa, head of the Environmental Sanitation Center, Mr. Herminio Dela Cruz, head of the Lake Management Office, Barangay Captain Ador San Pedro of Bayanan and barangay members Kagawad Johnson San Pedro, Kagawad Jojo Solema, Kagawad Ronnie Viconia, and Kagawad Buboy Soliveres. Also present at the was Barangay Administrator Engr. Vic Orellana and Barangay Treasurer Engr. Athan Gutierrez.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a Muntinlupa City resident, what is your reaction to this recent development? Do you find this special project very helpful to the city? Do you plan to visit the Urban Green Space and Recreational Park soon?

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/.

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

Muntinlupa City recognized for its effective programs against illegal drugs

In the progressive city of Muntinlupa, the local campaign against illegal drugs organized by the City Government’s Anti-Drug Abuse Council (ADAC) was recognized by the Department of the Interior and Local Government-National Capital Region (DILG-NCR), the Business Mirror reported. This is the latest recognition Muntinlupa City earned.

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

WITH its relentless effort to keep away its constituents from illegal substance abuse that have nil effects not only to their health and well-being but to their socioeconomic status as well, the City of Muntinlupa has been recognized by the Department of the Interior and Local Government-National Capital Region (DILG-NCR) office for the effective implementation of its programs against illegal drugs.

The DILG-NCR rated the City’s Anti-Drug Abuse Council (ADAC) as “highly functional,” per the result of its recent audit of anti-drug abuse programs among key cities and towns in Metro Manila.

Additionally, it also gave a “functional” rating to Muntinlupa’s Peace and Order Council (POC) for effective implementation of policies and programs for security and order.

Congratulations, Muntinlupa City! Maraming salamat sa lahat ng bumubuo ng ating ADAC at Local POC [Thank you to the people behind our Anti-Drug Abuse Council and local Peace and Order Council], Mayor Rozzano Rufino Biazon said in response to the recent achievements of the local government unit (LGU).

The DILG-NCR audit ran from 2019 to 2021. It covered the implementation of anti-drug programs by LGUs, such as anti-drug interventions for persons who use drugs (PWUDs).

The overall state of PWUDs in Muntinlupa is overseen by the Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Office (DAPCO), which is part of the local ADAC and POC.

DAPCO, which is headed by PCol. Florocito Ragudo (ret.), implemented various programs, including the evaluation and certification of drug-free workplaces and residences and the effective reform and rehabilitation of PWUDs.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a Muntinlupa City resident, what is your reaction to this recent development? Are you convinced that the problem of illegal drugs in the city will continued to be solved by the local authorities?

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/.

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

A Look Back at Harbinger #17 (1993)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Welcome back superhero enthusiasts, 1990s culture enthusiasts and comic book collectors! Today we go back to the early 1990s and explore a part of the Valiant Comics shared universe through the Harbinger monthly series.

In my previous retro review, Sting, Kris and Shatiqua got into trouble upon seeing the traitorous Ax and his powered companions. Their encounter turned into a radically different turn of events when the Harbinger foundation’s armed personnel and Eggbreakers members arrived targeting Ax.    

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Harbinger #17, published in 1993 by Valiant Comics with a story written by Maurice Fontenot and illustrated by Howard Simpson.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins in the past – January 11, 1991 at the Woodville State Mental Institution in Pennsylvania. One of the local doctors leads two formal visitors into the secured room of one of their patients described as a “fascinating subject”. His name is Simon and the visitors turned out to be from the Harbinger foundation. They tell Simon, who is invisible, that the Harbinger foundation was established to help special people like him, help him understand and control his talents, and he will not be alone as the foundation has others like him.

In the present day of December 23, 1992, Faith is flying just above a truck which is slipping out of control along a major bridge in New Jersey. Sting is barely holding on the top of the truck. Being unable to utilize his power to control the situation, Sting instructs Faith to pull the driver out of the truck. Moments after Faith saves the truck driver, the truck itself stops but ended up hitting a vehicle.

As Flamingo uses her power to put out a fire, Kris finds Sting on the side of a car feeling terrible. Sting wonders what is wrong with him as he failed to stop the truck…

Quality

Even though he is already in a relationship with Kris, Sting focused on the blonde lady in the middle of a party.

I want to point out that this is yet another build-up type of story from Fontenot and Simpson, only this time it introduces Simon who is involved with the Harbinger foundation not as a trained Eggbreakers member but rather as a patient still relying on medical and psychological care. Through Simon, you will feel his loneliness, his trouble to fit in with society and his personal pain related to being unwanted. Through him, you will also realize that even though it has lots of resources and experts as employees, the Harbinger foundation is not the ideal replacement for Simon’s father (who rejected him in the first place). That should also remind you readers that government units also can never be your parent nor your guiding light no matter what socialists and Commies say in this age of Joe Biden and the fascist Democrats (read: the Satanic Left). Fontenot’s script here is, unsurprisingly, really strong and Simon’s introduction never felt like a throwaway piece.

Apart from Simon, Sting and his teammates got a lot more of the narrative’s spotlight this time around which is like a breath of fresh air since the previous two issues focused more on Harbinger and the Eggbreakers. Even though they are already dealing with their domestic problems, the primary characters still make efforts to solve problems and help others knowing that they would not be compensated by society.

More on character development, the team leader Sting continues to desire recruiting and helping powered young adults before the organization of Toyo Harada gets them first. This shows his arrogance and delusion as he rejects the reality that he and his team don’t really have the massive resources the Harbinger foundation has when it comes to recruitment and providing the constant needs of recruits. Furthermore, Sting does not even see his current problem (with his super power) as a hindrance at all when facing the Harbinger foundation.

Storywise, this comic book is more balanced with the spotlight on characters on the two sides of the spectrum with Simon being symbolically caught in the middle of the conflict. This is really solid storytelling.

Conclusion

Something’s wrong with Sting.

I like Harbinger #17 (1993) very much. What it lacks in spectacle, it bounces back big time with character development, deep dramatics and introducing a new character who gets connected with both Sting’s team and the Harbinger foundation. This story obviously keep on building up something for a future conflict between the two forces and already I am eager to find out what will happen in the next issue.

Overall, Harbinger #17 (1993) is highly recommended!

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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

COMELEC sets Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections voting period from 7AM to 3PM on December 5, 2022

If the national authorities do not approve any postponement, then the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE) should push through on December 5, 2022 from 7AM to 3PM as set by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), 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…

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has set the voting period during the Dec. 5, 2022 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

In Resolution No. 10831, the Comelec said, the counting and canvassing of votes and proclamation of winning candidates shall immediately take place after the closing of polls.

Unlike in the last May 9 National and Local Elections which was automated, Comelec Acting Spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco said, the BSKE will be manual.

“The difference between NLE and BSKE is the manner. Practically, the personnel involved and equipment are just the same. The difference is the machine and ballot. This is manual,” he said in an interview last month.

The Comelec this week said that the Chairman George Garcia said that the printing of ballots and other election documents for the BSKE will start in September.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this new development? Do you believe that Congress will make moves to postpone this year’s Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections? How interested are you right now to vote in the barangay polls? Do you think your current barangay and SK officials need replacing?

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/.

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

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