Hidilyn Diaz wins the first-ever Olympic gold medal for the Philippines!

By the time you are reading this, you should be aware that what was once impossible for the Philippines became a tremendous breakthrough – national weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz (her official Twitter and Instagram) defeated her Chinese competitor in the Tokyo Olympics women’s 55 Kg. weightlifting competition and won for the Philippines its first-ever Olympic gold medal the other night. The mainstream media of the Philippines went full blast with their coverage of the pioneering achievement.

The Manila Bulletin front page.
The hard copy of the Manila times.

That being said, we Filipinos should praise and thank our Heavenly Father for anointing Diaz to win the often-elusive Olympic gold medal for the Filipino people. Her victory is a clear reminder that with God, nothing is impossible. The Olympic gold victory is pioneering for Diaz and also marks the beginning of a new age in the history of the Philippines even as it remains struggling with the COVID-19 crisis. Before checking on the official news story, watch first these three relevant videos.

And now we can proceed with the official story of the Philippine News Agency (PNA), the excerpt of which is posted below. Some parts in boldface…

After 97 years, the elusive Olympic gold has finally been taken by the Philippines.

Hidilyn Diaz became the first Filipino athlete to win it all in an Olympic event after winning the women’s 55-kg. weightlifting competition at the Tokyo International Forum in Japan on Monday night.

Diaz, the 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist, prevailed in a neck and neck showdown with China’s Liao Qiuyun in the clean-and-jerk lift as their battle for the gold went down the wire.

Finishing tied with Diaz in the snatch with a 97-kg. maximum lift, Liao lifted 126 kg. in her final lift, forcing Diaz to go for 127 to steal the top spot from Liao.

Diaz, however, smoothly cleared the 127-kg. lift to win it all, also setting an Olympic record in the process.

Her 224-kg. total is also an Olympic record.

I don’t know what to say. It’s a dream come true. I just want to say that we Filipinos are strong. We Filipinos can compete here at the Olympics. We can do it,” a high-spirited Diaz was quoted as saying by Xinhuanet.

The 30-year-old Diaz gave advice to younger Filipino athletes to “please dream high.”

“That’s how I started. I dreamed high and finally, I was able to do it,” she added.

Liao admitted that she was surprised by Diaz’s improvement.

“I feel good today. I can lift 123kg at most due to injuries, and never thought of a successful 126kg lift. I didn’t expect her strength like this,” Liao said.

China’s coach Zhang Guozheng echoed Liao’s thoughts.

“I didn’t expect such a situation,” he said. “Liao has gone all out, so it’s not a huge pity for her to lose the gold medal. It’s just because we did not expect our opponent (Diaz) to be so strong.”

Diaz has also assured herself of a total of PHP33 million from various people who pledged monetary rewards to the gold medal winners.

Zulfiya Chinshanlo of Kazakhstan claimed the bronze with a total of 213 kg. lifted.

Muattar Nabieva of Uzbekistan, despite setting the Olympic record for the snatch with a 98-kg. lift, missed out on the podium as she could only clear 114 in the C&J for a total of 212.

Malacañang joined the entire nation in celebrating the country’s first-ever Olympic gold medal since it joined the most prestigious quadrennial event in 1924.

As you can see in the above PNA story, the first-ever Olympic gold medal won for the Philippines is tremendous and the good news is that, as of this writing, there are still opportunities for other Filipino athletes competing at the Tokyo Olympics to win more medals (even gold) and help lift the nation in the medal rankings. Going back to Hidilyn Diaz (who was born in Zamboanga City in 1991), her pioneering achievement will earn her tremendous (and deserving) financial rewards from both the government and private sector. Check out the respective reports of the Manila Bulletin, GMA News and Nikkei Asia. To nobody’s surprise, a big welcome-back-home for her is being prepared.

Unsurprisingly, a lot of people around the Philippines, notably public officials who enjoy the automatic mainstream media magnification, expressed their admiration for Diaz and congratulated her. Among the many acknowledgements and congratulatory messages for Diaz expressed by lots of people and organizations (both domestic and foreign), Planetshakers Church in Australia and the Embassy of Israel in the Philippines posted their congratulatory messages for her via their official their respective Facebook pages yesterday. Look at the screenshots below.

Facebook post by Planetshakers.
Post of the Embassy of Israel in the Philippines via Facebook.

Hours after her victory, Diaz posted a picture of herself and the Olympic gold medal on her Instagram as a picture story post. She thanked the people for their prayers.

National fame and Olympic achievement aside, Hidilyn Diaz’s gold medal achievement shows that nothing is impossible with God. Learn from the holy scriptures below…

Jesus looked at them and replied, “With people it is impossible, but not with God—God makes all things possible!”

Mark 10:27 (TPT)

Not one promise from God is empty of power. Nothing is impossible with God!

Luke 1:37 (TPT)

I am convinced that my God will fully satisfy every need you have, for I have seen the abundant riches of glory revealed to me through Jesus Christ!

Philippians 4:19 (TPT)

I know what it means to lack, and I know what it means to experience overwhelming abundance. For I’m trained in the secret of overcoming all things, whether in fullness or in hunger. And I find that the strength of Christ’s explosive power infuses me to conquer every difficulty.

Philippians 4:12-13 (TPT)

To our Lord is all the glory and let us praise and thank Him so much for anointing Hidilyn Diaz who not only won the Philippines’ first-ever Olympic gold medal but also all the many medals and honors she achieved in other international events as the representative of the Philippines. She truly deserves the financial rewards and the inevitable long-lasting fame that comes with being the nation’s first-ever Olympic gold medalist. Still you must always remember that worship is only for the Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Never let idolatry dominate you for it is not only unholy, not only foolish but also will separate you from the Lord.

Let me ask you readers: How much of an impact did Hidilyn Diaz’s Olympic gold medal victory have on you as a citizen of the Philippines? Did you ever doubt she would win the gold medal in the Olympics? Does her gold medal victory inspire you to improve yourself?

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

In closing this article, posted below is a performance of the great Hillsong worship song King of King by Melody Hwang.

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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. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

I Love Israel: Israel’s medical experts on a mission here in the Philippines

I am very delighted to learn that the State of Israel continues to provide much-needed assistance to the Filipinos with regards to the COVID-19 crisis. To be specific, the Philippine News Agency (PNA) reported that another group of medical experts from Israel arrived here in the Philippines recently to take a look at the local response to the pandemic and to enlighten local officials and frontliners. To be clear, this is a follow-up to the previous Israeli health experts who arrived this past June for very similar matters.

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

Another group of Israeli medical experts arrived in Manila on Monday to observe the country’s pandemic response and share their best practices in treating coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patients.

They were the second group of Israeli experts to arrive in the country following the initial team who visited Manila last June to offer advice on ways to implement a successful vaccine rollout.

The four-member team is composed of infectious diseases and Covid-19 specialist Dr. Guy Choshen; Shira Peleg, head nurse and nursing manager at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center’s Emergency Department; Eyad Jeries, trauma coordinator at Galilee Medical Center; and Chaim Markos Rafalowski, disaster management coordinator at Magen David Adom.

The Department of Health (DOH) said the four will visit hospitals and hold a dialogue with the country’s pandemic response cluster from July 27 to 31 to share their local clinical guidelines for Covid-19, infection control protocols, hospital management, and other practices.

“They are all part of the treatment of Covid-19 in Israel so I’d like to welcome them all and we do hope that they can share with us their best practices in Tel Aviv so we can actually beat this Covid-19 pandemic as fast as we can,” Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega said in a speech at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Director Maria Soledad Antonio of DOH-Bureau of International Health Cooperation said the country particularly looks forward to knowing how Israel was able to achieve a low coronavirus mortality rate.

“Baka mamaya may makuha pa tayo sa kanila na mas mai-improve ‘yong kaso lalo na ngayon. At present naman pinapalakas natin ang health system natin (We might get more information from them on ways to improve our situation now in terms of treating patients. But at present, we continue to boost our health system),” she told reporters.

“Sila ay mga batikan sa pag-handle ng pandemya, sila ang nauuna, one of the countries na nauuna (It’s a fact that they are one of the best in handling the crisis, they are one of the leading countries on this),” she added.

Chosen, meanwhile, was elated to visit Manila, seeing this exchange as a great example of strong cooperation between the two nations.

“I think it’s not a common practice in the last year of pandemia to see a coalition of friends, of colleagues, holding hands together, sharing information and trying to solve problems together in contrary to what you usually see, you see nations fight each other. And this is a great example of cooperation between Israel and the Philippines. Hopefully, there would be more in the future,” he said in his arrival speech.

From this point on, the local officials, frontliners and others should pay close attention to what Israel’s medical experts say, point out and emphasize. Organizing vaccination (and the storage for the vaccines), isolating infected patients and assigning the frontliners on each and every location is indeed very challenging due to the archipelago of the Philippines. If there are any major breakthroughs that will happen during the current mission of the Israeli medical experts, I’ll share them here.

For the newcomers reading this, here are some videos to help you know Israel better…

The latest exchange between Israel and the Philippines is a reflection of the stronger ties between the two nations. We should all be thankful to our Lord for making this happen.

Before I end this, here are two holy scriptures for you all…

Jesus looked at them and replied, “With people it is impossible, but not with God—God makes all things possible!”

Mark 10:27 (TPT)

Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.

Genesis 18:14 (NKJV)

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!

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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. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

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: GCQ in NCR and 4 provinces stricter until July 31

You must have heard the news this past weekend. In case you missed the news, the general community quarantine (GCQ) status in the National Capital Region (NCR) plus four provinces has gotten stricter since July 23 and this new adjustment will last until the end of this month. At the same time, children are to keep staying indoors. The national authorities confirmed it.

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

The quarantine status in Metro Manila and four other provinces has been upgraded to stricter general community quarantine (GCQ) “with heightened restrictions,” Malacañang announced on Friday.

This, after President Rodrigo Duterte approved the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases’ (IATF-EID) recommendation to place Metro Manila, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Davao de Oro, and Davao del Norte under a more restrictive GCQ from July 23 to 31.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, also acting as IATF-EID spokesperson, said Metro Manila must follow the health and quarantine protocols for areas under GCQ “with heightened restrictions.

“The same IATF rules would be observed when NCR was previously under GCQ with heightened restrictions,” Roque said in a press statement.

Metro Manila, which was placed under GCQ “with some restrictions” from July 1 to 15, was initially put under regular GCQ from July 16 to 31.

On the other hand, Davao de Oro and Davao del Norte were originally under a more restrictive modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), while Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur were supposed to be under modified GCQ (MGCQ) until the end of July.

Duterte, meantime, agreed to downgrade the quarantine classification in Davao del Sur to GCQ from MECQ, Roque said.

“Davao del Sur, which is previously MECQ, is placed under GCQ starting July 23, 2021 until July 31, 2021,” he said.

No outdoor activities for kids

Now that Metro Manila, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Davao de Oro, and Davao del Norte are under GCQ “with heightened restrictions,” children aged five and above can no longer stay outdoors, Roque said.

“As these areas will be placed under GCQ with heightened restrictions, children five years old and above will not be allowed to go to outdoor areas, as provided for under IATF Resolution No. 125,” he said.

Under IATF-EID Resolution 125 issued on July 8, children as young as five years old can go outdoors despite the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, so long as they are residing in areas placed under GCQ and MGCQ.

Children can only go to outdoor spaces like parks, playgrounds, beaches, biking, and hiking trails, outdoor tourist sites, and attractions as may be defined by the Department of Tourism, including on outdoor non-contact sports courts and venues, and al-fresco dining establishments, according to the resolution.

Apart from the stricter GCQ, there is also an adjustment on the Metro Manila curfew hours which has taken effect already. The new curfew hours are now 10PM to 4AM.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this news? Do you believe that the spreading Delta variant here in the Philippines is a factor behind the move to a stricter GCQ?

If you are a parent, what do you think about the national authorities’ decision to keep children indoors?

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. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

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

Motorist charged for cursing and hitting police officers in Muntinlupa City

We sure live in a very divided world. Way over there in America, the hate-driven, terrorist-loving (click here and here), racist Marxist movement Black Lives Matter (BLM) hate the police so much they are actually empowering criminals, endangering the innocent and tearing down their society. No matter what the BLM and its fanatics shout about, the police will always be essential.

On police matters right here in the Philippines, a news report published by the Philippine News Agency (PNA) caught my attention as something happened within the jurisdiction of Muntinlupa City and the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) issued a statement about it. As of this writing, this news has been publicized by local media outlets.

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

The man who assaulted police officers and traffic enforcers in Muntinlupa will face various charges, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said on Friday.

In a statement, Eleazar said the suspect identified as Franz Luke Orbos will face criminal charges, including alarm and scandal, resistance and disobedience to a person in authority or agents, and direct assault.

In a viral video, Orbos was seen shouting and cursing at law enforcers who apprehended him as his parked vehicle blocked traffic along Susana Heights Road in Barangay Tunasan.

He remained uncooperative and resistant even after he was handcuffed. He was allegedly under the influence of alcohol during the incident.

Meanwhile, Eleazar commended the police officers for calmly dealing with Orbos’ rowdy behavior.

And below is a news video from News5.

This past Saturday, the Manila Bulletin reported that the motorist has been released from detention as ordered by the prosecutor of Muntinlupa City. A preliminary investigation has been set for July 30, 2021.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this news? Are you always respectful towards police officers?

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. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

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: GCQ with some restrictions in Metro Manila in effect

Effective today, Metro Manila is officially under general community quarantine (GCQ) status and the additional restrictions that were previously in place have been lifted. This in turn makes it a more relaxed GCQ in the metropolis in relation to what was previously declared.

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

The additional restrictions in Metro Manila amid the general community quarantine (GCQ) status have been lifted, Malacañang announced on Thursday.

This developed after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), in a meeting held Wednesday, decided to recommend to President Rodrigo Duterte the further easing of restrictions in Metro Manila.

Metro Manila will be placed under the more relaxed GCQ starting July 16, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, who also serves as IATF-EID spokesperson, said in a video message.

Metro Manila was initially placed under GCQ “with some restrictions” from July 1 to 15.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a Metro Manila resident or if you own a business within Metro Manila, do you feel more confident about the so-called more relaxed GCQ status? Do you think that the current number of vaccinated Metro Manila residents was a factor with the lasted decision?

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. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

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

Skyway Stage 3 adjustments related to toll collection snags

Were you among the many motorists who got stuck in traffic along the Skyway as a result of snags related to toll collection payments (formally started on July 12, 2021), lack of load for payments and lack of radio frequency identification (RFID) stickers on the vehicles?

Well, you definitely are not alone and the Skyway system operator issued a press statement very recently and they will work harder to make things more convenient for those traveling along Skyway Stage 3. To put things in perspective, posted below is the statement published through the Philippine News Agency (PNA). Some parts in boldface…

Skyway O&M, operator of the Skyway system and a unit under San Miguel Corporation’s (SMC) SMC Infrastructure, expects more seamless movement along the new Skyway Stage 3 with the implementation of new measures to avoid congestion on access and exit points following the first day of toll collection on the elevated expressway.

These measures resulted in faster throughput of vehicles even at high-volume toll plazas just a day later.

“It’s unfortunate that many motorists were caught in traffic last Monday. We apologize for the inconvenience. While this was not totally unexpected on the first day of toll collection, for our part, we know we have to do better. Hopefully, with the measures we put in place, traffic conditions will continue to improve and normalize,” SMC president Ramon S. Ang said in a statement Wednesday.

Ang said that traffic throughput at toll plazas slowed down Monday primarily due to vehicles with insufficient load, as well as those availing of free radio frequency identification (RFID) sticker installation and re-loading onsite.

“Our Skyway teams are always on the ground, and we monitor our expressways via cameras 24/7. If there’s any issue, we can respond and make corrective measures very quickly,” he added.

Among the measures Skyway has since implemented are: deployment of more personnel for traffic management, toll collection, and Autosweep RFID sticker installation; opening of more lanes for Autosweep RFID installation and reloading; and installation of more signs to guide motorists who are unfamiliar with the expressway, its toll plazas, and the start of toll collection.

Motorists with no RFID stickers, who insist on paying in cash, or have insufficient balance are asked to exit the toll booth and park on the side so as not to inconvenience existing ETC users. They are given the option to have RFID tags installed or reloaded, or pay in cash.

Vehicles with no RFID or have insufficient balance are directed to Del Monte Toll Plaza B coming from Balintawak where they can have their RFID tags installed or reloaded.

Skyway O&M reported that traffic throughput at toll plazas was significantly better starting Tuesday, or the second day of toll collection.

For instance, traffic queues at the Buendia southbound exit, which only has two lanes and where there was significant buildup Monday, was considerably shorter at only up to 200 meters. This was observed only during rush hour starting at 8 am.

While the vast majority of motorists utilized electronic toll collection, a small percentage, or 4 percent, consisting of cash-paying motorists and users with insufficient load, slowed down transaction times at toll plazas.

The additional measures implemented have since addressed these issues, bringing about a smoother traffic flow.

Skyway 3 was soft-opened last December and has provided the public free unlimited use for nearly seven months, with SMC’s foregone revenues reaching PHP3 billion.

The Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) had just recently issued a notice to start collecting toll to Skyway 3.

“Before, if you were stuck on NLEX or Quezon City and you were headed to Alabang or Makati, or vice-versa, motorists simply had no choice but to endure two to three hours of traffic. Today, with Skyway Stage 3, motorists can opt to use it for convenience and faster travel times. With more vehicles diverted to Skyway 3, there will be less congestion on Edsa, C-5, and other major thoroughfares, resulting in improved travel on our public roads,” Ang said.

SMC and TRB worked together to arrive at toll rates that are much lower than the original toll fee matrix, particularly for vehicles traveling shorter distances.

Apart from foregoing revenues for seven months, SMC had also deferred recovery of a significant portion of the right-of-way costs for the project in consideration of the economic impacts of the pandemic.

With Skyway Stage 3 now operating 24/7, SMC said that Autosweep sites along the elevated expressway are also open 24/7.

“I would like to request our motorists who have not yet availed of their free RFID stickers to please do so, and make sure they are activated with sufficient credit. This measure, which was pushed by (the) government last year, is for everybody’s safety and also for your convenience,” Ang said.

He said using RFID will ensure they have better, safer, and faster trips on the expressways.

“Also, as a reminder, please be conscious of which toll lanes you are using. Do not use ETC- only lanes if you have insufficient balance, as there are penalties that come with this. If you have insufficient balance, please use the assigned lanes for RFID installation or reloading. Most of all, please always show courtesy towards fellow motorists and tollways workers,” he added.

Site locations that offer RFID installation and reloading are from the south, Zobel northbound (After Entry), Quirino northbound exit, Nagtahan northbound exit, Quezon Ave. northbound entry, and Del Monte northbound toll plaza; and from the north, Del Monte southbound toll plaza, Quezon Ave. southbound entry and Plaza Dilao southbound entry.

And here are related news videos from rival networks GMA and ABS-CBN…

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Are you satisfied with what the Skyway operator stated and the adjustments they made? When it comes to traveling from south of Metro Manila to the north, are you willing to endure the heavy traffic along EDSA just to save money now that toll collections are in effect on Skyway Stage 3? What was it like to drive from South Metro Manila all the way to the NLEX via Skyway Stage 3 during toll collection?

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. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

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: Foreign direct investments spiked in April 2021 in connection to CREATE Law, economic reopening and other factors

It’s been months since the last time I wrote about the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises act otherwise referred to as the CREATE Law. For the newcomers reading this, the CREATE Law was designed to cut down corporate income tax which should lead to the creation of new jobs and the attraction of investment in mind. The said law is really crucial in this COVID-19 crisis we are all still living with.

Recently, the Philippine News Agency (PNA) published an article stating that a huge rise of foreign direct investments (FDIs) in the country was realized this past April and the CREATE Law was one of the factors behind it.

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

An economist has attributed the rise of foreign direct investments (FDIs) in the country in April 2021 to the implementation of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) law and the opening of the economy.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Monday reported the 114.4-percent year-on-year jump of net FDI inflows to USD679 million last April from USD317 million in the same period last year.

In a report, Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) chief economist Michael Ricafort said lower interest rates and lower cost of some inputs like real estate property and leases are plus factors that enticed higher FDIs.

Some foreign investors may have started to come in view of the progress made on the CREATE law, which was finally signed on March 26, 2021 and reduces corporate income tax rates to 25 percent for large corporations (from 30 percent) retroactive July 1, 2020, thereby narrowing the gap with the tax rates in other Asean/Asian countries, and also provides greater certainty on investment incentives, thereby helping attract more FDIs and making some foreign investors on the sidelines in recent months/years to become more decisive and finally bring in more FDIs into the country,” he said.

Ricafort said positive credit rating actions on the Philippines, which even got its first-ever A-level credit rating, A-, from the Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR) in June 2020, also boosted investors’ sentiment on the domestic economy.

The positive credit rating actions, he said, “reflect improved international investor confidence in the country, manifesting the country’s improved economic fundamentals, as well as the country’s attractive demographics.”

These factors are, however, expected to be countered by the still high number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases, aggravated by new variants that are reported to be more contagious.

Ricafort believes that higher government spending, especially on infrastructure, and the accommodative monetary policy by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) are seen to further support the rise in net FDIs.

The above article is indeed filled with good news that our nation badly needs, especially since there are still many millions more people around the country who have yet to get vaccinated and the fact that lots of businesses are still struggling. In recent times, patients under the A4 category have been gradually vaccinated for COVID-19 and that is a very good thing because it under that very category where the nation’s laborers are listed. There are still lots of unemployed workers out there who badly need vaccines and jobs, and it does not help that certain local government units (LGUs) had to temporarily suspend their local vaccination operations due to a lack of supply of vaccines. There are supposed to be around 13 million doses of vaccines to come into the Philippines this month, and so far some of that have arrived (click here, here and here).

More on economics, apart from the rise of FDIs last April, it was reported that the local demand for office space nationwide grew by 38% rising from 122,000 square meters (sqm) in the first quarter of 2021 to 169,00 sqm. in the second quarter. It was described to be the strongest office demand since the start of the pandemic.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Does the recent news about the sharp rise of FDIs in our country make you confident about your economic prospects? How much do you know about the CREATE Law and what further positive effects it can generate for the country? If you have been unemployed, how long have you been out of work?

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. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

I Love Israel: Exchange of scientists between Israel and the Philippines confirmed

As I was browsing the latest and most relevant news at the Philippine News Agency (PNA) recently, I spotted the latest development about Israel-Philippines ties and it is about the exchange of scientists. Very recently, Israeli health experts provided valuable advise to Philippine authorities on dealing with COVID-19.

For me, this is significant because I observed that Israel itself has made lots of advances in the field of science and this was confirmed by the Bloomberg Innovation Index wherein Israel finished as the fifth most innovative country in the world for the year 2019. Israel also has its high-tech industries and excels in green science or agriculture feeding the world along the way.

To put things in perspective about the Israel-Philippines exchange of scientists, posted below is an excerpt from the PNA article. Some parts in boldface…

Israel and the Philippines will be sending scientists to each other’s countries as part of capacity building and trainings, an official of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said on Tuesday.

“The specifics such as the number of the experts, duration and date of the visit will still have to be further discussed. While we want to proceed with the activity as soon as possible, we also need to consider the current situation, including travel advisories both in the Philippines and Israel,” DOST Assistant Secretary for International Cooperation Leah Buendia told the Philippine News Agency.

She said the Filipino experts going to Israel will be trained on drip irrigation, medicinal chemistry, Israel’s drug discovery, and artificial intelligence (AI).

On the other hand, the Israeli scientists going to the Philippines will meet with Filipino researchers.

“One of the agreements during the (Philippines-Israel joint committee meeting on science and technology) is to conduct a workshop which will serve as a platform for Filipino and Israeli experts to discuss their works, and identify potential collaboration. During the meeting, our Israeli counterparts said that they want to visit the Philippines,” she said.

DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said the meeting with Israel’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) chief scientist, Avi Domb, and other officials of both agencies was held virtually last June 30.

He said they talked about the potential joint initiatives to be implemented on the identified priority areas that include agriculture (water management); AI (robotics); and health (biomedical engineering and drug discovery).

The discussed priorities were guided by the memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Scientific Cooperation signed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during his official visit to Israel in 2018, he added.

Israel is a valuable partner for us. It is part of our 20 priority partners for STI (science, technology, innovation) international cooperation, recognizing their strengths in STI and considering the pronouncements of engaging with non-traditional partners,” Buendia said.

She added that the DOST officials are happy that they finally had the meeting to lay out their plans for the collaboration.

De la Peña earlier reported that capacity building activities include scholarships, visiting professors, and trainings.

The conduct of joint conferences to discuss the respective researches and projects of experts shall also be expected, eyeing the development of AI applications for government/public service and emergency response, among others.

And here are some videos to help you know Israel better…

The latest exchange between Israel and the Philippines regarding scientists is a reflection of the stronger ties between the two nations. We Filipinos should be grateful to the State of Israel, no matter what happens and no matter who are leading as national authorities both here and there. We Filipinos can also give back by supporting Israel in more ways than one. We can pray for Israelites and provide varied support for them (note: refer to the Christians United for Israel reference near the very end of this article below) knowing that there are still terrorists (sponsored by Iran) and other forces of evil that are obsessed in destroying Israel.

Before I end this, here is a holy scripture for you all…

Now, this is what Yahweh says:

    “Listen, Jacob, to the One who created you,

    Israel, to the one who shaped who you are.

    Do not fear,

    for I, your Kinsman-Redeemer, will rescue you.

    I have called you by name, and you are mine.

  When you pass through the deep, stormy sea,

    you can count on me to be there with you.

    When you pass through raging rivers,

    You will not drown.

    When you walk through persecution like fiery flames,

    you will not be burned;

    the flames will not harm you,

  for I am your Savior, Yahweh, your mighty God,

    the Holy One of Israel!

    I give up Egypt as the price to set you free,

    Cush and Seba in exchange to bring you back.

  Since you are cherished and precious in my eyes,

    and because I love you dearly and want to honor you,

    I willingly give up nations in exchange for you—

    a man to save your life.

  I am with you now, even close to you,

    so never yield to fear.

    I will bring your children from the east;

    from the west I will gather you.

  I will say to the north, ‘Hand them over!’

    and to the south, ‘Don’t hold them back!’

    Bring me my sons from far away,

    my daughters from the ends of the earth!

  Bring me everyone who is called by my name,

    the ones I created to experience my glory.

    I myself formed them to be who they are

    and made them for my glory.”

Isaiah 43:1-7 (TPT)

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!

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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. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

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: 11.7 million people vaccinated nationwide

Close to twelve million people here in the Philippines have been vaccinated successfully according to the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 when it issued a statement two days ago through the Philippine News Agency (PNA). To be more specific, the official count of vaccinated individuals all over the Philippines was at 11,708,029 people.

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

A total of 11,708,029 individuals have been vaccinated against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the Philippines, the National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19 said on Monday.

The latest NTF data shows a total of 8,839,124 individuals have received their first dose while 2,868,905 others have completed their two doses of Covid-19 vaccine as of July 4.

In the past 18 weeks of the national vaccination program, the government has reached a record high of 1,778,989 doses being administered.

The average daily vaccination rate in the last seven days is at 254,141 doses, with 1,197 average number of active reporting vaccination sites.

The NTF reported that 1,714,313 health care workers have already received their first shot of the Covid-19 vaccine while 1,156,220 are fully vaccinated.

Some 2,524,204 senior citizens under A2 category of priority groups, 2,993,197 persons with comorbidity (A3), and 1,350,979 essential sector (A4) and 256,431 indigents (A5) have received their first dose.

On the other hand, some 788,630 of A2, 897,719 of A3, 26,109 of A4, and 227 of A5 are now fully vaccinated against the disease.

Looking at the above official statistics, it is notable that more than a million healthcare workers have been fully vaccinated (two doses). There is still a long way to go before the number of fully vaccinated A4 patients (note: the workers) before reaching the million-mark. A4 patients are essential in the Philippines’ economic revival and business owners need a healthy and immune (against COVID-19) work force to make economic progress happen.

When it comes to South Metro Manila, almost a quarter-million people in Las Piñas City have been vaccinated successfully while 39% of Muntinlupa’s target population have been vaccinated. Parañaque City, meanwhile, had to temporarily halt first-dose vaccination.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Do you believe the national authorities and the local government units (LGUs) are doing enough to get more people here in the Philippines vaccinated? Are there still people in your local community who continue to be defiant and completely avoid getting vaccinated? Do you believe that the secured 13 million COVID-19 vaccines will arrive on time here in the Philippines?

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. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

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: No hospitalization, deaths recorded after full vaccination according to FDA

Were you fully vaccinated for COVID-19 with two doses already? There is something worth paying attention to related to health and immunity towards COVID-19, particularly on what happens once a person successfully got two doses. I’m talking about the local Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which declared that there were no hospitalizations and no deaths related to COVID-19 recorded after more than two weeks of getting the 2nd dose.

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

Out of the 8.4 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines administered as of June 20, no hospitalization and deaths due to Covid-19 were observed after more than 14 days of getting the second dose and only 0.6 percent reported reactions, the Food and Drug Administration said.

Preliminary data presented by FDA Director General Eric Domingo showed that some Covid-19 infections occurring after vaccination were recorded after more than 14 days from the second inoculation but all were mild cases.

In a news release, the FDA said Sinovac, with 1.6 million individuals completing the two doses, recorded 33 infections. AstraZeneca with 428,000 individuals vaccinated with the full dose, recorded one infection.

Pfizer had one infection after 82,800 individuals were vaccinated with two doses. There were no recorded infections in Sputnik V among the 14,000 individuals who received the full dose.

The performance of Covid-19 vaccines in the country, as initially reported by the FDA, supports the results of the clinical trials and real-world data reported by several countries that vaccines prevent hospitalization and deaths.

Health experts locally and abroad have reiterated the importance of getting vaccinated as an additional layer of protection against Covid-19.

Among the common reactions after vaccination included increased blood pressure, pain in the injection site, headache, fever, dizziness, rashes, and respiratory symptoms. No local events of blood clotting and myocarditis were reported.

“To date, the evidence gathered from all causality assessments has concluded that all serious reactions reported were unrelated to the Covid-19 vaccine. We reiterate that vaccines with emergency use authorization are safe and effective against Covid-19 and the benefits of using them outweigh the risks,” Domingo said.

The Department of Health and the FDA emphasized the importance of completing the required two doses, as maximum protection sets in two weeks after getting the second dose.

“Gaya ng ating nakita sa mga clinical trial, kapag tayo ay nakakompleto ng 2 dose ng bakuna ay walang naospital at walang namatay dahil sa Covid-19 matapos ang 14 araw (The clinical trials show that when we have completed the required two doses, no one gets hospitalized or die from Covid-19 after 14 days). Vaccines do protect us from getting severe Covid-19 and prevent hospitalization and death. We urge everyone to get vaccinated when it is their turn to protect themselves and their families against Covid-19,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.

While the preliminary report shows that chances of hospitalization and death are reduced, fully vaccinated individuals may still get infected with Covid-19 and therefore may still infect others, especially those who have not received their vaccines yet.

So there you have it! The FDA and local health officials found that being fully vaccinated (2 doses) for COVID-19 is really helpful in the sense that you become more protected from the coronavirus, although not necessarily 100% protected. By analyzing the risks and the high costs of medical care today, it is more preferrable to avoid hospitalization for COVID-19 and this alone should motivate the unvaccinated to get registered and vaccinated.

Getting fully vaccinated also enable people – especially the unemployed – to get back to work and become part of the economic recovery effort. In fact, COVID-19 vaccination was cited in the ease of national unemployment for the month of May. Here is an excerpt from another PNA article. Some parts in boldface…

The economic managers added that 1.5 million jobs were created between April and May this year.

“Following the trend of recovery from the previous months, total employment remains above pre-Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) levels with a net job creation of 2.2 million since January 2020,” they said.

They are also optimistic that the National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS) and the faster rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination program will support the government’s target to grow the economy by 6 to 7 percent this year.

Some 829,662 economic front-liners under the A4 priority group have received their first dose of Covid-19 jab since the list was expanded last May 27.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Have you been vaccinated with two doses for COVID-19? What was the brand of vaccine you got injected with? Do you believe that the Food and Drug Administration conducted their research properly?

As far as employment is concerned, do you consider COVID-19 vaccination essential?

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. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com