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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Philippine economy grew 7.6% in the 3rd quarter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now the Lord had said to Abram:

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

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

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

Genesis 12:1-3 (NKJV)

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

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

Genesis 12:1-3 (MSG)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reinvigorating tourism in the Philippines

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Greatest asset

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I Love Israel: The enduring partnership of Israel and the Philippines discussed

Recently, the Manila Times had a virtual interview with Israel’s Ambassador to the Philippines Ilan Fluss. Content of that interview was published online by the newspaper and it sure contains lots of details about the strong ties between Israel and the Philippines.

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

The Manila Times (TMT): Could you give us an overview of Philippine-Israeli bilateral relations? What is the direction of our bilateral relations?

Ambassador Fluss: I would like first to say that I want to congratulate The Manila Times for its anniversary — 124 years is long, many years. So, congratulations.

Generally speaking, the relations are, I would say, very good and warm. Historically, we always remember 1928, the Philippines giving a safe haven to 1,300 Jewish refugees trying to escape Nazi rule where most countries, not all countries, closed the borders for refugees.

And the Philippines during the time of President [Manuel] Quezon showed the gesture of giving the message of helping those who are in need. And it is something that we appreciate very much.

And the second thing I would mention, which is very important to us historically, is 1947 when the Philippines voted in support of the establishment of the Jewish State of Israel, voted in the United Nations. This gives the foundation for the political foundation for the establishment of the State of Israel.

For this reason, until today, Filipinos do not need a visa to enter Israel and I think this is one of the reasons why we are seeing a really very good flow of people, movement of people between our two countries because it is easier with no visa.

Hopefully, when we see direct flights between our two countries, and I am very optimistic it will happen sometime next year, I think Manila-Tel Aviv will be a very busy line.

First of all, there is always a very good sense of people feeling very comfortable, very interested, very warm to each other I think it comes from similar values — the importance of family, value of family, value of charity, of helping each other, the community, I think these are the issues that we share between our societies, our two countries.

Today, we just had a JCM, the joint committee meeting, which is an annual political meeting between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel and the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) here. We did an overview of the relations.

And generally, things are going well between our two countries — friendly, warm, open discussions.

TMT: In terms of trade and commerce, are there new avenues that we can explore to further enhance our economic cooperation?

Ambassador Fluss: I’ll say my vision as the Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines is to create bridges of innovation and technology between our two countries, which means one side to transfer the knowledge, what we’re doing in Israel.

Because Israel is known as a global hub of innovation. I want to share this experience and to help the Philippines in creating its own system of innovation where you can have local innovation, entrepreneurship. And to support that, I’m working on both government-level and private sector, academia, and also introducing relevant Israeli technologies that can support the development process here in the Philippines.

In this regard, we had a delegation in the Philippines last week of companies in the agricultural sector who came to a big agricultural expo in Davao, which is the “food basket of the Philippines.” We participated there. I was there in Davao last week.

There is a lot of interest in Israeli technologies and this is also part of the vision and one of the main goals of the President (Ferdinand Marcos Jr.) is enhancing agricultural productivity and food security, and we are trying to support these efforts. The State of Israel is a leader in agriculture technologies.

So, for one side the economy and trade, so more business delegations. We are also looking at another delegation coming to the Philippines on the area of water. We are also planning to have an exhibition on Israeli innovation in the Philippines, which will be presented here. We have Israeli experts to talk about Israeli innovations.

During the pandemic two years ago, the Israeli Embassy expanded and we opened a trade and economic office in the embassy which shows Israel is now investing more in promoting the relations between our two countries in this sector.

To read the rest of the interview, I encourage you all to visit https://www.manilatimes.net/2022/10/11/tmt-anniversary/ph-israel-an-enduring-partnership/1861565

Ambassador Fluss confirmed that Israel-Philippines ties are in a really good state not just diplomatically but also socially and economically. This past September, it has been confirmed that the State of Israel will assist farmers in the Ilocos Region by sharing their solutions to modern agriculture which should boost the local productivity. Ambassador Fluss visited the province of Ilocos Norte for the first time and met with the officials there.

Be thankful to the Lord as Israel-Philippines ties continue to grow stronger. As such, I encourage you all to not just read Manila Times’ interview with Ambassador Fluss but also pay close attention to the many details recorded in the interview so you can have a clear view about the state of Israel-Philippines relations. That interview is a blessing from our Lord. Keep on praying to Him to have the two nations rise high strongly and stand out among all nations of this very divided world we live in. Pray to Him that no enemy will ever succeed on opposing Israel and the Philippines. The evil ones will be exposed and will fall down in due time.

If you truly believe in Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God the Heavenly Father wholeheartedly and you continue to be faithful (not religious), you should be aware that Christians are meant to stand united with Israel, love the Jewish people and pray for the peace of Jerusalem. You can do your part supporting Israel by donating to Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Do not forget to read the Holy Bible, then pray in tongues to the Lord in the privacy of your room with the door shut.

Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! Always stand in support of Israel! Israel-Philippines ties are essential!

In ending this I Love Israel piece, posted below are Israel-related videos plus one Philippine news video 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

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

P1.5 million cash reward for those who could provide information behind the October 3 killing of a radio broadcaster in Las Piñas City

Recently, there has been a wave of news and social media buzz over the sudden killing of a notable radio broadcaster that happened in the City of Las Piñas on October 3. In a more recent development, a person-of-interest was made known visually and the cash reward of P1.5 million was announced, according to a GMA Network news report.

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

Police investigators already have a person of interest in the October 3 killing of radio broadcaster Percival Mabasa, or more popularly known as Percy Lapid, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said Friday.

At a press briefing, NCRPO chief Police Brigadier General Jonnel Estomo said the person of interest was captured by CCTV cameras from along Lapid’s routes moments before he was shot dead.

“The Special Investigation Task Force Percy Lapid, with their ongoing follow-up investigation, confirmed to have developed a person of interest in the case as a result of their collection of all available backtrack CCTV footage along the victim’s routes before the incident happened,” Estomo said.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos, who was also in the briefing, presented an enlarged printout of the person of interest, whose identity is still unknown.

Importanteng ma-identify natin ang taong ito [it is important to identify this person],” Abalos said.

Estomo also announced that the reward money being offered to fast-track the resolution of the case has been increased from P500,000 to P1.5 million.

Estomo also said the additional cash reward came from “friends of the victim and concerned citizens.”

“Our very own SILG said that we are offering this reward to anyone who can provide information that will lead to the speedy resolution of this case,” Estomo said, referring to Abalos, who offered the initial P500,000 reward from his own pocket.

Estomo said the police are guaranteeing the safety and security of the informant.

Abalos, meanwhile, expressed confidence that with the reward money and the person’s picture released to the public, the person of interest would be identified soon and that it would be better for him to just surrender.

“Marami nang nakakaalam sa iyo, marami nang magsusumbong. Siguro sumuko ka na. Napakaimportante na sumuko ka na sapagkat pag-isipan mo, ‘yung mga nag-utos sa ‘yo baka may masamang gawin sa ‘yo,” Abalos said, addressing the person on the picture.

(A lot of people already know you and they may reach out to us. So perhaps you should surrender. It’s important that you surrender before whoever ordered you to commit the crime do something bad to you.)

Lapid, host of online broadcast program “Percy Lapid Fire” at DWBL 1242 and columnist for Hataw, was shot dead by two men while on his way home in Barangay Talon Dos, Las Piñas City on the night of October 3.

Malacañang earlier said President Marcos is “concerned” over the killing of Lapid.

Meanwhile, the family of the slain broadcast journalist appealed to Marcos Jr. to lead the investigation into the killing.

Interviewed on Unang Balita, Roy Mabasa, Lapid’s brother, said the President leading the investigation may put a stop to the killing of journalists “once and for all.”

“Nais kong manawagan sa Pangulo na sana ay pangunahan itong imbestigasyon. Dahil bakit ba natin gusto na ang Pangulo ang nasa unahan nito? Para matigil na once and for all ang killings sa mga journalist,” he said.

(I want to appeal to the President to hopefully lead the investigation. Why? So that for once and for all the killing of journalists will stop.)

For added insight, watch the news videos below…

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a Las Piñas City resident, what is your reaction to this recent development? Did the recent killing make you feel uneasy? Are you willing to help the authorities identify and find the person-of-interest so that the case will be resolved?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COVID-19 Crisis: President Marcos approves optional use of face masks outdoors

After much online buzz that was created in reaction to the recommendation by the Inter-Agency Task Force of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., finally approved an executive order (EO) that allows the optional use of face masks outdoors according to an announcement published through the Philippine News Agency (PNA). In other words, what the IATF recommended is quickly becoming a new policy but there are key details that need to be read closely.

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

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has approved an executive order (EO) allowing the voluntary wearing of face masks in outdoor settings, particularly in open spaces and non-crowded outdoor areas with good ventilation.

“Naglabas po tayo today ng Executive Order No. 3 (We have released EO No. 3) allowing voluntary wearing of face masks in outdoor settings and reiterating the continued implementation of minimum public health standards during the state of public health emergency relating to the Covid-19 pandemic,” Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles announced in a Palace press briefing.

She said the EO, signed by the President on Monday, will be effective immediately.

This order shall take effect immediately upon its publication in the OG [Official Gazette] or newspaper of general circulation. Nasa OG na po siya (It has been published in the OG),” she said.

Under the EO, those who have yet to complete their primary Covid-19 vaccination series, senior citizens, and immunocompromised persons are still “highly encouraged” to use face masks.

Cruz-Angeles said physical distancing and other minimum public health standards (MPHS) will also continue to be strictly enforced.

“The voluntary wearing of face masks in open spaces and non-crowded outdoor areas with good ventilation is hereby allowed provided that not fully vaccinated individuals, senior citizens and immunocompromised individuals are highly encouraged to wear their masks and physical distancing will be observed at all times,” she added.

The EO still requires face masks to be worn in indoor, private or public establishments, including in public transportation by land, air or sea and in outdoor settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

“Tuloy pa rin po ang other (We will continue adhering to other) minimum public health standards intended to effectively prevent and minimize the spread of Covid-19 in the country. It shall continue to be implemented consistent with the principles of shared accountability, evidence-based decision making, socio economic equity and rights-based approach,” Cruz-Angeles said.

She said the EO also directs the Department of Health (DOH) to update the MPHS guidelines.

Open to feedback

Cruz-Angeles said the voluntary wearing of face masks will be implemented in phases or stages to gather feedback from health authorities.

We’re doing this in stages, in phases so that we can have feedback on whether or not these new policies are working and how to make them more efficient so that hopefully by the end of the year we might be able to be voluntarily masked indoors as well,” she said.

She said the policy will be reviewed if the voluntary face mask policy would cause an increase in Covid-19 cases.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this new development? Do you believe that the entire Philippines and its many local government units (LGUs) are ready to comply with the new policy approved by President Marcos? If you have not been vaccinated for COVID-19, do you seriously see yourself using face masks extensively in the future? Do you think that the anti-vaccine fanatics will spread fear and distort information related to the new policy that allows the optional use of face masks in outdoor settings? With the way things are right now, have you grown sick and tired of using face masks each time you go outdoors?

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

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

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