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

Unemployment in the Philippines falls down further, the lowest in more than two years

As the Philippines continues to keep on recovering from the damage of COVID-19, the national authorities reported that unemployment in the country fell down further achieving a 2-year low, according to a news article published by the Philippine News Agency (PNA). This is really good news because economic growth and continued employment are very essential right now. It should also be stated that immunity from COVID-19 is better now that many millions of Filipinos have gotten vaccinated and/or boosted.

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

Unemployment rate in September 2022 stood at 5 percent, the lowest in more than two years, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported Tuesday.

In a press conference, PSA chief and national statistician Undersecretary Dennis Mapa said the number of unemployed Filipinos in September fell to 2.5 million, or 183,000 lower than the 2.68 million citizens with no jobs the previous month.

The number of jobless Filipinos during the month was also lower by 1.78 million from 4.28 million unemployed a year ago.

“This means 50 out of 1,000 individuals in the labor force have no job,” Mapa said in Filipino.

On the other hand, employment rate in September 2022 was at 95 percent, which translates to 47.58 million Filipinos who have jobs.

This is higher than the August 2022 employment rate of 94.7 percent, and also higher than the September 2021 rate of 91.1 percent.

He identified sectors with largest month-on-month increase in employment. These include manufacturing, up by 780,000 jobs; education, up by 159,000 jobs; public administration and defense, compulsory social security, up by 128,000 jobs; transportation and storage, up by 56,000 jobs; and real estate activities, up by 13,000 jobs.

Meanwhile, underemployment rate also increased to 15.4 percent in September this year from 14.7 percent in its previous month. This means 296,000 more employed Filipinos want to have additional hours of work in their present job or an additional job.

Despite challenges concerning inflation, Mapa is optimistic that the country will sustain unemployment rate near the 5-percent level for the remaining months of the year.

He added the average unemployment rate for this year is close to the pre-pandemic level, which is at 5.1 percent in 2019.

Mapa said the average unemployment rate for the first nine months of the year stood at 5.8 percent.

The above article ended stating that the Philippines had an unemployment rate of 17.6% in April 2020 or shortly after the first COVID-19 lockdown. For the year 2020, the average unemployment rate was at 10.4%

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this recent announcement about the state of unemployment in the country? Do you feel confident that 2023 will be a better economic year and that more of the unemployed will be able to find new jobs?

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

New Manila International Airport construction in full swing

There is simply no stopping the improvement and expansion of infrastructure here in the Philippines. Infrastructure is indeed essential not only for the travel-related purposes of people but also for the growth of the national economy. In a recent development, the construction of the New Manila International Airport located in Bulacan province is now in full swing, according to a news article published by the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

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

The construction of the New Manila International Airport in Bulacan, some 35 kilometers north of Metro Manila, is in full swing, with Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime Bautista leading the inspection over the weekend.

In a news release issued Monday, the DOTr said Bautista was joined by San Miguel Corporation (SMC) president and CEO Ramon Ang and other transport officials during the inspection in the town of Bulakan.

Bautista assured stakeholders of the new international airport that the gateway will soon be open for business. Operations at the new gateway are targeted to start in 2027.

Land development works are now being done at the airport’s 1,693-hectare site.

Works on the PHP735-billion airport officially started on Sept. 18, 2019, when the government, through the DOTr, signed a concession agreement with San Miguel Aerocity Inc. (SMAI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of San Miguel Holdings Corp., and the infrastructure arm of SMC.

The DOTr and the SMAI are working together to make sure that the project complies with environmental protection requirements, particularly flood mitigation, considering the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) which was conducted prior to the commencement of works at the airport site.

Once built, the new international airport will be fully owned by the government under a “build-operate-transfer” program.

Once operational, the new gateway will not only help decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) as the capital’s main gateway, but will also be a “game changer” and catalyst of economic growth in Central Luzon. Phase 1 of the airport will have a capacity of 35 million passengers per annum, is expected generate more than 1 million jobs, and rake-in increased foreign direct investments and higher exports.

Under the 50-year concession agreement, SMAI will undertake the financing, design, construction, supply, completion, testing, commissioning, and operation and maintenance of the new international gateway.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to the ongoing construction of the New Manila International Airport? Do you believe that such an ambitious project will benefit Bulacan province economically? Do you think the upcoming airport will succeed in decongesting the current airports in Metro Manila? Can you imagine yourself traveling all the way from Muntinlupa City to the New Manila International Airport in Bulacan to catch a flight or pick up someone who is arriving?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I Love Israel: Israel confirms support for Ilocos Region’s mango farmers

The Philippines has very delicious mangoes which can be availed in their basic fruit forms as well as other forms such as dried mango snacks, candies, juices and shakes. For mangoes to remain available for domestic and overseas consumption, the farming and production of the fruits must be maintained in good conditions in the long run and this is where the State of Israel comes in.

This past September, the State of Israel confirmed its support for farmers in the Ilocos Region as Ambassador Ilan Fluss formally visited the province of Ilocos Norte and stated they are looking forward to more cooperation specifically on mangoes, as reported by the Philippine News Agency (PNA). To say the least, mango farmers in the Ilocos Region need Israel’s expertise as they have been dealing with problems for some time now. The Ilocos Region itself is a major source of mangoes here in the Philippines.

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

The Israel government has vowed to assist Ilocos farmers to boost their productivity by sharing their innovative solutions to modern agriculture.

In his first visit to Ilocos Norte province, Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines Ilan Fluss said one of the big areas they are looking at for stronger support and longer cooperation is battling emerging diseases in mangoes and other promising crops in the region by tapping mango experts from Israel.

“We have lots of expertise in the approach. See what we can offer if I can identify good experts that can come and help in identifying the disease and solution which is not always on more and more pesticides but try different approaches to look into it and come back to the governor,” he said.

As a junior diplomat to the Philippines back in the 90s, Fluss recalled that the Israel government had introduced a training program in Guimaras then to help in exporting its mangoes to Japan.

Since 2012, the mango industry in the province has been suffering from low yield due to erratic weather patterns and disease infestation.

Ricardo Tolentino, president of the Mango Growers Association in Ilocos Norte, said a lot of mango growers continue to suffer losses due to the El Niño or the prolonged dry spell and the oversupply from other mango-producing provinces that drove prices down.

As a high-value commercial crop in the province, the Ilocos Norte government has been helping farmers rehabilitate their fruit-bearing trees and apply organic conditioners to give time for the soil to “heal.”

Grafted mango seedlings, organic fertilizers, and fruit-fly attractants are, likewise, being distributed to farmers to help boost the industry.

Based on the quarterly bulletin report of the Philippine Statistics Authority from April to June 2022, the Philippines’ mango production decreased by 3.8 percent, from 556,820 metric tons in the same quarter of 2021 to 535,430 metric tons this period.

The above article ended stating that the Ilocos Region contributed 22.5% to the total production and was the top mango producer during the 2nd quarter with more than 120 metric tons registered.

Be thankful to the Lord for this recent development of the strong ties between the Philippines and Israel. Israel itself is a world leader on agriculture and their assistance for mango farmers in Ilocos Norte comes at a very crucial time as the entire Philippines  continues to gradually recover economically and socially from the COVID-19 crisis. What is at stake here are livelihood, food production, food supply and the maintenance of mangoes in the country. Mangoes are a major product of export of the Philippines and we should be thankful to the State of Israel for their attention and support.

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

Reinvigorating tourism in the Philippines

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Greatest asset

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alleged gunman behind October 3 Las Piñas City killing of radio broadcaster Lapid surrenders to local authorities

Finally! The alleged gunman behind the October 3 killing of radio broadcaster Percy Lapid (note: for references click here and here) turned himself in to the local authorities and was presented to the media with the presence of Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) secretary Benhur Abalos and others, according to a news article by the Philippine News Agency (PNA). Apart from that, there were some very disturbing details revealed and the one who surrendered was part of a team that worked in the October 3 killing.

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

The alleged gunman in the killing of veteran radio host Percival Mabasa, more popularly known as Percy Lapid, has surrendered to authorities, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. said on Tuesday.

“Ngayong umagang ‘to, gusto ko lang i-kumpirma na nasa kustodiya na ng PNP (Philippine National Police) itong suspek na ang pangalan ay Joel Estorial. Siya ay of course taga-Quezon City (This morning, I would like to confirm that the PNP has custody of the suspect identified as Joel Estorial, He is of course a resident of Quezon City),” Abalos told reporters in a press conference at the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Camp Crame.

Abalos said Estorial, 38, a resident of Quezon City, turned himself in to the police on Monday “out of fear for his personal safety” after his photo was released last week and a PHP6.5-million bounty was placed on his head.

Estorial revealed that there are six of them involved in the murder of Lapid and they were promised a sum of PHP550,000.

He also surrendered the firearm he used to gun down Lapid at about 8:30 p.m. on October 3 at the gate of BF Resort along Aria Street, Barangay Talon 2, Las Piñas City.

“Ang tanong ng publiko, totoo kayang sumuko yan or he’s just a fall guy? Hindi po, siya talaga. Hindi niya lang inamin because the gun itself matched the slug, nag-match ang ballistics. ‘Yung mga damit (na suot niya nung nakuhanan siya ng CCTV) na pinunit punit niya nandoon pa rin (he presented to the police) (The public may be asking, did he really surrender or he’s just a fall guy? No, it’s really him, he didn’t just admit it because the gun itself matched the slug, the ballistics matched. The clothes (that he was wearing when he was caught on CCTV) that he tore apart are still there (he presented to the police),” said Abalos.

Abalos said Estorial issued an extrajudicial confession where he also named his cohorts identified as brothers Edmon and Israel Dimaculangan and a certain Orly, who are all still at large.

Meanwhile, the two other suspects who were not identified are “from the New Bilibid Prison”.

Abalos said police are still identifying the mastermind of the crime as well as the motive.

Wearing a bulletproof helmet and vest, Estorial faced the members of the media and apologized to the family of the victim.

“Sana po mapatawad ako nila. Hindi ko naman kagustuhan yun. Nadala lang ako (I hope they can forgive me. I had no intention. I was just carried away),” he said.

Estorial said the order to kill Lapid came from someone inside the New Bilibid Prison.

Estorial narrated that he was with “Orly” a resident of Batangas, during the incident while the Dimaculangan brothers, on the other hand, were on another motorcycle.

“Kasi ‘yung ano usapan, kung sino ang matapat doon kay Percy po, siya ang babaril eh nagkataon natapat sa akin, sabi naman po kapag hindi ko binaril, ako ang papatayin kaya binaril ko na po si Percy (What was discussed was whoever is nearest to Percy, they will shoot him. It just so happened that he was near our team, I said if I will not shoot him, they will kill me, so I shot Percy),” Estorial said.

When asked by Abalos as to who threatened him, Estorial said: “Si Orly (It’s Orly).”

Estorial said the PHP550,000 was split six ways, with him getting PHP140,000 deposited to his account.

For added insight, watch the GMA News videos below.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this development? Who do you think could be the mastermind behind the killing of the radio broadcaster? Do you believe the police will be able to figure out all the details and find the answers behind everything?

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

Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections moved to October 2023

It is official! In case you missed out on the news, the next Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections will take place not this year but on October 2023 as President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., signed the law of election postponement, the Philippine News Agency (PNA) reported. The Barangay and SK polls were originally scheduled to take place this December.

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

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has signed a law postponing the December 2022 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections.

Republic Act (RA) No. 11935, signed by Marcos on Oct. 10, postpones the Barangay and SK elections on Dec. 5 this year to the last Monday of October 2023.

There shall be synchronized Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections, which shall be held on the last Monday of October 2023 and every three years thereafter,” the law reads.

Under RA 11935, the term of office of the Barangay and SK officials will commence at noon of Nov. 30 following their election.

Until their successors shall have been duly elected and qualified, all incumbent Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan officials shall remain in office, unless sooner removed or suspended,” it added.

Barangay and SK officials who are ex officio members of the Sangguniang Bayan, Sangguniang Panlungsod, or Sangguniang Panlalawigan will continue to serve as such members in the Sanggunian concerned until the next Barangay and SK elections unless removed.

The amount necessary for the implementation of RA 11935 will be taken from the appropriations of the Commission on Elections under the General Appropriations Act and/or supplementary appropriations.

“If any portion or provision of this Act is declared unconstitutional, the remainder of this Act or any provisions not affected thereby shall remain in force and effect,” RA 11935 reads.

All other laws, acts, presidential decrees, executive orders, issuances, presidential proclamations, rules and regulations which are contrary to and inconsistent with any provision of RA (11935) are repealed, amended, or modified accordingly.

RA 11935 is a consolidation of House Bill No. 4673 and Senate Bill No. 1306, which was passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate of the Philippines on Sept. 28, 2022.

Last month, Comelec Chairperson George Garcia said they are considering moving the dates of filing the certificates of candidacy (COC) for the 2022 Barangay SK elections pending the decision on proposals to postpone it.

The COC filing for the 2022 Barangay and SK elections was initially set from Oct. 6 to 13.

Comelec will comply

In a statement on Wednesday, Garcia said Comelec will comply with the law postponing the BSKE.

“As I have said before, the Comelec shall comply with the law. I have conveyed the Comelec position with regard to postponement of the BSKE to the legislature and the President and I trust that such position was duly noted and considered,” he said.

“With this law, the legislative and the executive departments have seen fit to postpone the Barangay and SK Elections (BSKE) to October of 2023,” he added.

For added insight, posted below are digital copies of Republic Act Number 11935.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this recent development? Were you eager to vote for your barangay and/or SK officials this year? For you, does the postponement of the polls to October 2023 make sense?

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

Gamer arrested by PNP Anti-Cybercrime team

There is a need for us to behave ourselves and watch out backs not only in the real world but also online. I say this because the Philippine News Agency (PNA) recently reported the news of a gamer who got arrested by the Anti-Cybercrime team of the Philippine National Police (PNP) for violating key parts of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. The arrest happened in Quezon City.

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

A man was arrested for sexually exploiting a 14-year-old girl whom he met while playing an online game, the Philippine National Police – Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) reported on Friday.

In a statement, ACG chief Brig. Gen. Joel Doria said 35-year-old suspect Estelito Gibaga Jr. was nabbed by members of the Quezon City District Anti-Cybercrime Team (QCDACT) inside a motel located at West Point Street, E. Rodriguez Avenue on Thursday.

Based on the report submitted by QCDACT officer in charge Lt. Michael Bernardo, Gibaga met the victim, a Grade 9 student, in a public chat of an online game where both of them were players.

After a series of conversations, they shifted the conversation to “Snap Chat” and Facebook Messenger wherein they subsequently had a “virtual” romantic relationship.

During this time, the suspect allegedly sent the victim obscene photos of “himself” and asked the victim to do the same.

Bernardo said on September 6, the mother of the victim saw her daughter chatting with the suspect in the middle of the night.

When she saw the exchange of conversations between the two, she was shocked and confronted her daughter. This was when the minor admitted to her that she is being lured by the suspect into doing obscene things.

Bernardo said on September 16, the victim and her mother appeared at the office of QCDACT to lodge a complaint against the suspect, which resulted in the planning of an entrapment operation to catch him.

On Thursday, the mother and the victim reported back to QCDACT and informed the office that the suspect and the minor would meet up to watch a movie at a mall.

This prompted the Anti-Cybercrime Team to prepare an entrapment operation.

When the suspect and the victim met at the Gateway entrance, they went to McDonald’s to take out snacks and headed to Guess Hotel. After entering the room, we lost no time in apprehending the suspect,” Bernardo said.

Doria, meanwhile, advised parents to keep a tight watch on the online activities of their children.

“Sexual predators are everywhere, even on online games,” he said.

The above article ended stating that the suspect will be charged for violating the following provisions of Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012: Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act, the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009, and Article 286 (Grave Coercion).

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this recent development? Are you convinced that there are a lot of sexual predators and undesirable elements among the many users of the Internet and social media?

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

Gang of kidnappers busted; one of the victims was abducted in Barangay BF Homes, Parañaque

A gang of kidnappers whose members were described as transgendered people got busted by the personnel of Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) as a result of a joint operation with the Anti-Kidnapping Group of the Philippine National Police (PNP), the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) and some military personnel, according to a Philippine News Agency (PNA) news report. The gang referred to as Warla had victimized more than ten people (including one victim in Barangay BF Homes, Parañaque  City according to a Philippine Star news report) and they collected millions of Pesos worth of ransom money for the purpose of sex reassignment surgery (AKA sex change) for themselves.

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

Members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) dismantled a kidnapping syndicate whose members are transgenders.

In a press briefing at Camp Crame, Quezon City on Tuesday, CIDG director Brig. Gen. Ronald Lee identified the suspects as Francis Villa, Lawrenza Lingo, Johnas Belonio, Bernard Torres and Mark Joseph Pelonio, all members of the “Warla” kidnapping group.

They were nabbed in a joint operation with the PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group, National Capital Region Police Office and military troops on Oct. 1.

Lee said the modus of the group is to lure victims from dating apps and sites to meet up with their good-looking members.

Once abducted, the victims are brought to their safehouse and the suspects demand money from them in exchange for their release.

After receiving the ransom, the suspects drop off the victims in random places around Metro Manila.

The group is said to be operating in the southern part of Metro Manila, specifically in Parañaque, Pasay, Taguig, and Makati and has victimized around 14 persons.

They were able to collect total ransom money amounting to PHP4.2 million which will be used for their sex reassignment surgery or “sex change”.

Lee said the group was made known to the police after Taiwanese victim Michael Lee was rescued on Sept. 7 in Parañaque City, after he was abducted on Sept. 3.

The kidnapping group demanded a sum of money from the victim’s friends in exchange for his freedom. The victim’s friends were able to send money to five different digital wallets reaching a total of PHP308,000.

“For the longest time that I have been in anti-kidnapping operations, this is the first time we have encountered this group of transgenders who have already victimized 14 people. We are still backtracking to find out who they are and fortunately, Michael Lee complained and sought the help of the Taiwan police so that was the breakthrough in this case,” Lee said in Filipino.

Lee said the kidnapping group is led by a certain Mikey Ebol, a.k.a Mike Collado Ebol, who is now hiding.

After trailing transactions of the group, the police located four other suspects who had already surrendered — Dewie Shaine Collado Garcia, Charlemagne Olunan Vargas and Christian Paredes.

In their statements, they said the SIM (subscriber identity module) cards they owned were bought by Ebol.

During the investigation, Lee said the group was formed in 2018.

Col. Hansel Marantan, CIDG National Capital Region field unit director, said the name of the group was coined from the gay lingo “warlalu” which means “let’s get it on, let’s go to war”.

They will post themselves as beautiful women on Facebook to lure their prey. And that’s it, once the victims are kidnapped, they will start negotiations like asking for PHP500,000 and the span of negotiations is very short. It takes only about three to four days and they use GCash as an avenue for the collection of money which is very hard to trace,” he added.

Further probe revealed that the group is involved in the illegal sale of firearms.

The PNP-AKG filed kidnapping charges against Ebol and his cohorts before the Department of Justice on Sept. 12.

Meanwhile, continuous manhunt operations are being conducted to track the whereabouts of Ebol, and his other members Lexi Villanueva, Jaine Martinez, Hector Magallanes a.k.a. “Yanyan”, Erwin Flores a.k.a. “Marga”, and Matthew San Diego.

As mentioned earlier, one of the victims was abducted in Parañaque City – specifically in Barangay BF Homes – on September 3 before getting rescued a few days later. The Philippine Star noted this in its own report. Posted below is an excerpt from the report. Some parts in boldface…

Three of the suspects – Dewie Shaine Garcia, Charlemagne Vargas and Christian Paredes – surrendered to police after they were found to be connected to the kidnapping of 58-year-old Taiwanese businessman Michael Lee in Barangay BF Homes, Parañaque on Sept. 3. He was rescued last Sept. 7.

Unfortunately, the Philippine Star report did not specify where exactly in Barangay BF Homes did the kidnapping happen. Right now the local authorities and their investigators are trying to figure out what exactly happened and what resources the kidnappers had.

This newest development should serve as a warning to all those who use dating sites or dating apps. There is the need to be cautious when interacting with someone through an online dating source. It is bad enough that there are lots of scammers here in the Philippines who try to lure people through text messaging and social media to get their money.

For added insight, watch the following news videos below…

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about these new developments? Are you concerned that you may have interacted with kidnappers pretending to be attractive individuals on dating sites or dating apps? Do these events make you afraid of online dating? Do you think your local community could be easily infiltrated by kidnap-for-ransom gang members?

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