MANILA, Philippines — Pope Francis celebrated the Simbang Gabi Christmas novena at St. Peter’s Basilica—the first time that a pope presided over the Filipino tradition in Vatican City. In a mass Sunday afternoon (10:30 p.m. Manila time), Pope Francis expressed his appreciation to the Filipino community gathered at the global center of the Roman Catholic Church. I encourage you to increase opportunities for meeting to share your cultural and spiritual wealth, while at the same time allowing yourselves to be enriched by the experiences of other,” Pope Francis said. Simbang Gabi has already been held at St. Peter’s Basilica but it was the first time that a pope presided over the celebration. Together, we are all called to proclaim the Gospel, the good news of salvation, in all languages, so as to reach as many people as possible,” Pope Francis said.
December 16, 2019 03:11 UTC
PH petroleum demand, import surge 0 SHARES Share it! Based on the DOE data, demand for petroleum products reached 87.790 million barrels in the first half this year versus 83.977 million barrels in the same period last year. Demand for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) had grown by a slower pace of 2.8 percent. In terms of imports, the country’s petroleum product importation surged by 19.5 percent in the first half this year to 57.497 million barrels from the year-ago level of 48.129 million barrels. Gasoline imports had also been higher by 19.6 percent to 11.182 million barrels from 9.353 million barrels; while LPG had also been up by 17.9 percent to 8.221 million barrels from 6.972 million barrels.
December 16, 2019 02:37 UTC
HONG KONG – Police fired tear gas against protesters in Hong Kong before meetings Monday between the territory’s leader and Communist Party officials in Beijing, ending a lull in what have become regular clashes between riot squads and demonstrators. Police said they fired the choking gas after unrest erupted Sunday night in the Mongkok district of Kowloon. Video footage showed truncheon-wielding riot officers squirting pepper spray at a man in a group of journalists and ganging up to beat and manhandle him. The violence and scattered confrontations in shopping malls earlier Sunday, where police also squirted pepper spray and made several arrests, ended what had been a lull of a couple of weeks in clashes between police and protesters. The uptick in tension came as Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam was in Beijing on Monday to brief President Xi Jinping on the situation in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.
December 16, 2019 02:03 UTC
US envoy: N. Korea comments ‘hostile and unnecessary’ 0 SHARES Share it! Share TweetBy Agence France-PresseThe top US representative in talks with North Korea on Monday slammed Pyongyang’s demands as hostile and unnecessary as its end-of-year deadline approaches but held open the door for fresh negotiations. Biegun added that the US was “fully aware of the strong potential for North Korea to conduct a major provocation in the days ahead”. “To say the least, such an action will be most unhelpful in achieving lasting peace on the Korean peninsula,” he added. Directly addressing “our counterparts in North Korea”, he went on: “It is time for us to do our jobs.
December 16, 2019 02:03 UTC
BOI sets deadline of inputs for MVDP review 0 SHARES Share it! Share TweetBy BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILATThe Board of Investments (BOI) has given car companies on or before December 20 this year to submit their inputs for consideration in the overhauling of the old Motor Vehicle Development Program (MVDP). While the existing MVDP only covers car assemblers, the proposed new MVDP will enhance participation of parts makers in the assembly. This is the reason that BOI is planning to allow a phased CKD assembly as a prequalification for participation in the new MVDP. But there will be a liberalized CKD assembly process, meaning participants can do CKD on a phased or staged process.
Over reliance on technology vs cyber threats warned 0 SHARES Share it! Organizations have spent billions of dollars on technology that promises to keep cyber threats at bay. Businesses need cyber security and privacy-related skillsets to help map out their data and understand their regulatory requirements—particularly in a cloud environment. They also need cyber technology skills around the technologies they are using. The response reflects the overall approach to digital risks in both ASEAN (66%) and global (67%).
Pag-IBIG Fund launches online portal 0 SHARES Share it! Share TweetBy Chino S. LeycoThe Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund) has launched an online portal allowing its members to access the agency’s services using the Internet. With just a smartphone and an Internet connection, our members can now do their transactions with Pag-IBIG Fund online, anytime, wherever they are,” Moti said. Virtual Pag-IBIG Access Pag-IBIG Fund members can create an account in three ways. The Pag-IBIG Fund International Operations has also set up an activation process specially designed for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).
MANILA, Philippines — The Light Rail Transit 2 (LRT-2) announced Monday its shortened operating hours on December 24 and 31., 2019. TAKE NOTE: The LRT-2 System will reduce its operating hours on Dec. 24 & Dec. 31, 2019 in anticipation of a significant decline in ridership and to allow our station/security personnel to celebrate Christmas & New Year's Eve with their families. #LRT2HolidaySched pic.twitter.com/BMNwTZ4Llr — LRT2 (@OfficialLRTA) December 16, 2019The last commercial trip from Cubao Station (westbound) and Recto Station (eastbound) will leave at 8 p.m. on December 24. ADVERTISEMENTOn December 31, the last trips from both stations will depart at 7:30 p.m. GSGRead NextLATEST STORIESMOST READ
December 16, 2019 01:41 UTC
LRT 2 to shorten operating hours on Dec. 24 and 31 0 SHARES Share it! The LRT2 said it will reduce its operating hours on December 24 and December 31 in anticipation of a significant decline in ridership on these dates. It added that this is also to allow their station and security personnel to celebrate these holidays with their families. The last trips from Cubao station in Quezon City (westbound) and Recto station in Manila City (eastbound) will be up to 8 p.m. only on December 24. While on December 31, the last trains will leave the two stations at 7:30 p.m.
December 16, 2019 01:41 UTC
MANILA, Philippines — The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) on Monday reported that 257 contract packages have been completed, in response to the Commission on Audit’s (COA) report flagging P20-billion worth of delayed projects. ADVERTISEMENTIn a statement, NIA corrected the figures and said the 299 projects were actually 292 contract packages representing 134 projects. NIA reported that 257 out of the 292 contract packages have been completed as of November 2019. “As an update on the status, as of November 15, 2019, 257 contract packages were completed, 11 ongoing, 1 suspended, 5 mutually terminated, and 11 blacklisted,” the NIA said. “It is informed that there are multi-year big ticket projects included in the report.
December 16, 2019 01:30 UTC
MANILA, Philippines — The police officer who was critically wounded in a shootout with suspected robbers in Sta. Gen. Debold Sinas, acting director of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO). ADVERTISEMENT“In the strongest sense, the NCRPO condemns another killing of our dear comrade,” he said in a statement on Monday. READ: 2 robbers killed, cop hurt in Manila shootoutsSinas said the slain police officer “died with honor and integrity of having accomplished the mission of neutralizing one notorious robbery suspect.”“He is NCRPO’s police hero,” Sinas added. ADVERTISEMENTSinas said the NCRPO will shoulder all hospital and funeral expenses of the slain officer.
December 16, 2019 01:07 UTC
SYDNEY, Australia— Australia's biggest city is facing a "public health emergency" over the bushfire smoke that has choked Sydney for weeks, leading doctors warned Monday after hospitals reported a dramatic spike in casualty department visits. "The air pollution in NSW is a public health emergency," the Climate and Health Alliance said. The Climate and Health Alliance called on the government to take urgent action to curb emissions, saying climate change is worsening bushfires that are having "devastating impacts on human health". "The air pollution events resulting from bushfires will become more and more frequent and are a result of climate change," it said. "Our governments must act quickly to rapidly and deeply reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which we know are driving climate change."
December 16, 2019 01:07 UTC
PARIS, France — Low- and middle-income countries risk seeing their development progress slashed by the double-edged sword of obesity and undernutrition, both caused by a lack of access to affordable healthy food, a report in The Lancet warned Monday. This “double burden of malnutrition”, or DBM, affects more than a third of some 130 countries classed as low-and middle-income, the report in the medical journal said. The report, compiled in collaboration with the World Health Organization, said being overweight can no longer be considered a rich country problem, nor undernourishment a preserve of the poor. Sometimes DBM is even measured in a single child — a combination of overweight and stunted development due to lacking nutrients. To report blamed “very rapid changes in the diets and food systems” of most low-to middle-income countries, with fresh markets increasingly making way for takeaway food retailers.
December 16, 2019 00:33 UTC
Related Stories New Zealand volcano still too dangerous to remove bodiesAll four victims named on Monday were Australian -- Jessica Richards, 20, Jason David Griffiths, 33, Martin Berend Hollander, 48, and Kristine Elizabeth Langford , 45. New Zealand will pause for a minute's silence at 2:11pm (0111 GMT) -- precisely a week since the eruption -- in tribute to those affected. Two land searches of the volcano carried out by special forces troops in protective gear have failed to find any sign of the missing people. Bush was confident all the dead currently being examined by forensic specialists would eventually be identified and their bodies returned to grieving families. Many of those affected were passengers on the cruise liner Ovation of the Seas, which berthed in Sydney early Monday."
December 16, 2019 00:22 UTC
MANILA, Philippines — The easterlies or wind from the east will bring cloudy skies with rain showers and thunderstorms in Midnanao, the state weather bureau said Monday. ADVERTISEMENTThe Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) warned residents of possible flash floods or landslides. Meanwhile, the northeast monsoon or “amihan” continues to prevail over Luzon, bringing cloudy skies with light rains to Cordillera Administrative Region, Cagayan Valley, and the provinces of Aurora and Quezon. Ilocos Region and the rest of Central Luzon will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated light rains caused by the northeast monsoon, Pagasa said. Metro Manila and the rest of the country, on the other hand, will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers due to localized thunderstorms.
December 16, 2019 00:00 UTC