HEADLINES: Marcos wants reforms vs ‘rampant’ smuggling | 15 January 2023
Good day. Here are the stories for Manila Times for Sunday 15 January 2023.
Marcos wants reforms versus “inhibiting” smuggling
PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. ordered major reforms in the bureaucracy to curb “inhibitory” smuggling because “the systems in place are not working,” Malacañang said Saturday. At the same time, Marcos wants to lower logistics costs and ensure ease of doing business as his administration works to boost investment and business activity in the country, presidential communications secretary Chelo Garafil said. Garafil said Marcos gave the order during a meeting of the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) where he argued that the current system fails to address the pressing problems, especially the “rampant” smuggling in the country.
31 police officers will undergo further screening
THE National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said 31 policemen will undergo screening in connection with the ongoing efforts of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to purge the ranks of lawmen involved in the illegal drug trade. Earlier, 12 of the 43 policemen summoned by the NCRPO for initial screening contested their inclusion in the drug watch list prepared by the agency’s counter-intelligence unit. NCRPO spokesman Col. Dexter Versola said the policemen were called by NCRPO acting regional director MGen. Jonnel Estomo at the NCRPO headquarters in Camp Bagong Diwa for a chance to clear their names.
BBM goes to Davos for the World Economic Forum
PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. will present the Philippines’ economic performance and the administration’s priorities when he joins other world leaders at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Switzerland next week. Marcos, together with the members of his official delegation, will leave Manila today, Sunday, for the summit that will be held in Davos from January 16 to 20. During the visit, Malacañang press briefer Daphne Oseña Paez said Marcos will seize the opportunity to highlight the Philippine government’s readiness to put a premium on key areas, such as food and energy security, digitization and climate action. Paez said the president is also optimistic about attracting more investment, promoting favorable trade, addressing inequality and providing accessible social services.
Año replaces Carlos as security advisor
PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has named former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Eduardo Año as its new national security adviser, Malacañang announced Saturday. Año, who served as Secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) during the Duterte administration, replaced Professor Clarita Carlos, who resigned from the post to join the Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department (CPBRD) of the House of Representatives .
DA exec, group squabbles over onion root
A RANKING Department of Agriculture (DA) official and farmers’ group leader engaged in a radio spat on Saturday over the importation of onions to offset the skyrocketing price of the product in the country. Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (Sinag) President Rosendo So said that during a meeting with President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. with government officials and stakeholders in October 2022, the importation of 15,000 tonnes of garlic was recommended by no less than the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) to address the shortage of supply. DA deputy spokesman Rex Estoperez said no imports were made in December due to the proliferation of contraband onions in the market. He noted that the P250 per kilo suggested retail price (SRP) recommended by farmer groups did not help reduce the cost of onions in the markets. Estoperez added that the decision to import 21,060 MT of bulbs came after a report by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) that said the high prices of onions contributed to the high inflation rate.
DSWD NCR official Facebook page hacked
THE official Facebook page of the National Capital Region office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD NCR) has been hacked. After a post on Friday providing infographics about the Sustainable Livelihood program, the Facebook page later showed random videos. It is not yet clear who took over the page overnight as three videos had appeared on the office’s Facebook page.
To wear or not to wear face masks, that is the question
A Department of Health (DoH) official reiterated that individuals should assess the risks before considering whether or not to wear their masks again, amid the presence of highly contagious sub-variants of the Covid-19 Omicron variant. Dr Alethea de Guzman, director of the DoH Epidemiology Bureau, said at a press conference on Friday that with the prevalence of Omicron and its sub-variants in the country, people should subscribe to their “personal risk assessment” before considering whether or not to use. wear the mask in high-risk environments. Currently, the country’s most prevalent Omicron sublineage based on the number of samples sequenced is the BA.5 subvariant, which also includes the BQ.1 and BF.7 sublineages, with 12,658 samples sequenced. Then follow the subvariants BA.2.3.20, XBB, XBC and BA.4. On Friday, the DoH announced that four of the eight Filipinos who tested positive from China were only subjected to genomic sequencing by the Philippine Genome Center. Three of them had BF.7 and one had the BA.5.2 subvariants of BA.5.
PEZA, JEC present PH initiatives to investors
Moving on to business, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), together with the Philippine-Switzerland Joint Economic Commission (JEC), presented to investors the Philippines’ sustainability action and reporting initiatives for export-oriented industries. In a meeting with various stakeholders and businesses, PEZA officer Tereso Panga shared that one of the milestones last year was that PEZA had built a partnership with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) through a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed in March 2022.
Gin Kings, Dragons contest Commissioner’s Cup crown
Top sports, the stage is set as Barangay Ginebra and Bay Area go for all the bullets in what could go down in PBA history as a battle of wits and guts as both teams battle for the 2022-23 Commissioner’s Cup championship in Game 7 on Sunday at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan. The largest indoor stadium, which boasts a capacity of 55,000, is expected to be packed with a proGinebra crowd, hoping that their favorite team can put on a show and put an emphatic end to the title series filled with drama and excitement. Game time is at 17.45. With three extra days to rest and recover their tired and fatigued bodies, both teams are expected to enter the sudden death match refreshed and ready for the ultimate title chase. Ginebra veteran LA Tenorio, who suffered an abdominal strain during the first half of Game 5, will lead the charge after a few extra days of rest. Same with big man Japeth Aguilar, who according to team physical therapist Aspi Calagopi has overcome his gastrointestinal issues that plagued the high-leaping big man early in the title run.
Opinion and editorial
Marlen Ronquillo is today’s cover columnist, when he discusses the situation in the House of Representatives.
Today’s editorial calls on President Marcos to appoint a full-time Secretary of Agriculture. Read the full version in the newspaper’s opinion section or listen to Voice of the Times.
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To Manila Timesthis is Paulo Dimaapi.