US to adopt Canada’s points-based system?

Of course, one can hope for a miracle, especially after presidential daughter Ivanka Trump was caught on camera casting glances at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau–hence the desire to compete with Canada on an immigration selection system that is points-based. 2) The US has a right, and duty, to maintain and secure its borders, to keep our country safe and prosperous. 3) While the US welcomes newcomers to the United States, they must follow the law; in essence, they must love America and its values. Canada’s point systemIn addition to having a points-based system, Canada also has announced its intention to increase the number of immigrants to be accepted: up to 300,000 for this year. As Ninoy said, “di ka nag-iisa.”The 45th President of the United States is swirling around like a turumpo or spinning top.

February 19, 2017 17:11 UTC

Getting lost in translation in the fight vs corruption

Fighting corruption and criminality is not simply saying that you’re against it, that you abhor it. Recognizing that corruption has reached “disgusting” levels and lamenting that almost half of the government’s budget is wasted to corruption will not solve the problem. Republic Act 6713, of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees; and4. Presidential Decree 46, making it unlawful for public officials and employees to receive, and for private persons to give, gifts on any occasion, including Christmas. Each of the 1.4 million or so public servants, from the lowest-ranked to the President, should have these provisions and prohibitions in mind so they don’t get lost in translation.

February 19, 2017 17:11 UTC

Weak states like ours impotent to regulate mining

When many of these folded up because of the government-declared moratorium on new logging permits, the mining firms have become the NPA’s biggest moneymaker. What “selective logging” was to loggers is now “responsible mining” for mining firms. Very bad casesThere are several very bad cases that indisputably demonstrate that because we have a weak state, it will be impossible to regulate the mining industry. Third, a number of mining firms have violated the Constitution’s 40 percent limit on foreign ownership. Such a quirk of fate for a weak state to have an island of strength in Secretary Lopez.

February 19, 2017 17:11 UTC

Is a militant opposition about to be born?

What the spokesman obviously wanted to say was that DU30’s rest was not “disease-related,” but since no one had suggested it, there was no need to point it out. From the protest groups, a potent forceThe absence of a political opposition has been a boon to the President while being a grave injury to the nation. But a mass-based Catholic-oriented opposition may be emerging from the nationwide protest movement against the extra-judicial drug killings. From Davao City, Fr. No to the Death Penalty!” From all these, I could sense a potent opposition about to be born among militant Christian patriots; after the city graffiti, the warm bodies and feet of marchers could follow soon.

February 19, 2017 17:11 UTC

Irresponsible mining and the sword of Damocles

The sword of Damocles has been hanging over the heads of those irresponsible mining corporations, whose primary motive is greed and power at the expense of Mother Nature and the Filipino people, ever since they started extracting mineral deposits on Philippine soil. Jobs will be lost, as well as government revenues from mining, and the bottom line of mining corporations will definitely be wiped out. The political and economic research group, IBON Foundation, has refuted the economic benefits of large-scale mining as claimed by the industry. “The annual average share of mining revenues to total government revenues in 2009-2012 was only 1.18 percent. What has been lost in this controversy is the fact that 12 other mining operations run by big mining corporations made it through the hurdle set by the DENR mining audit that, in the first place, elicited the closure and suspension orders.

February 19, 2017 17:03 UTC

Weaning off oil, Scottish islands eye renewable future

LERWICK, United Kingdom: Strong winds and stormy seas have helped turn the Shetland Islands in the North Atlantic into a European renewable energy giant, producing more power than it knows what to do with. Harnessing the seaThe oil industry in Shetland began in the 1970s with the development of the North Sea fields. Oil giant Shell has announced plans to decommission the field but new discoveries west of Shetland could give a boost to the industry. Around 10 percent of the islands’ electricity is generated from renewables and wind and tidal generators are only licensed to produce up to that limit. “You will always need hydrocarbons to power your jumbo jet, for example, but you shouldn’t be making electricity with hydrocarbons,” he said.

February 19, 2017 16:35 UTC

Beverage industry rejects proposed 10% tax on sweetened drinks

THE Beverage Industry Association of the Philippines (BIAP) has objected to the proposed bill imposing a 10-percent tax per liter of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), saying implementing the legislation if passed would actually run counter to its declared goals. This as the House Ways and Means committee said it wants to adopt HB 292 as part of the tax reform plan. BIAP said that research findings show that compared to consumers in other countries, Filipinos are not over-consuming SSBs. The association also said that obesity Is caused by many other things aside from consuming too much sugar. As a result, 39,000 direct and indirect jobs might be affected, and a 1.5-percent increase in unemployment is anticipated.

February 19, 2017 16:35 UTC

Anti-coal protest sparks rare Thai junta climbdown

BANGKOK: Thailand’s military government on Sunday shelved plans to build a coal-fired power station in a popular beach region, a rare success for demonstrators in a country where the right to protest has been severely curbed. But some Krabi residents were alarmed at the decision to push ahead with the power station. The junta says the power plant is desperately needed to combat energy shortages in the south. Thailand’s southern beach regions are a comparatively wealthy part of the country but suck up significant energy resources. They fear a coal-fired power station could ruin the environment in a country where safety standards are poor and corruption is rampant.

February 19, 2017 16:34 UTC

PH to remain attractive to US BPO firms – Megaworld

THE Philippines will still attract US business process outsourcing (BPO) firms despite US President Donald Trump’s protectionist stance because BPO firms locating here and the US leader’s rhetoric are not necessarily contradictory to each other, a property sector executive said. Jericho Go, senior vice president of Megaworld Corp., said the Philippines will still see a large presence of US BPO firms because international BPO firms see their Philippine operations as “complementing” their whole business while allowing them large savings and value for money ventures due to the quality workers they get here. Megaworld is a leading developer of office towers in the country with about 99 percent occupancy rate in its office buildings, mostly from the BPO sector. Go said that like the US, the Philippines also wants to bring back its workers to the country by offering them quality jobs such as the ones offered by BPO firms. Even if the savings derived from the cheaper labor cost here is reduced, depending on how much the Trump administration taxes US firms locating outside the US, American firms opening BPO offices still stand to make substantial cost savings, according to Go.

February 19, 2017 16:34 UTC

Award-winning Taiwan compact scooter now in PH

A Taiwan-made compact scooter that features automatic folding and unfolding with one touch on a remote control is now available in the country at selected SM Malls. Heartway Medical Products Co., Ltd., maker of the S21 Easy Move compact scooter, won the silver award in the 2017 Taiwan Excellence Awards with the new scooter. The scooter is powered by a 9.7 Ah lithium battery with a light weight of 19kg, while its weight carrying capacity is 115 kg. The S21 Easy Move compact scooter has a LED headlight, height adjustable tiller, and a dual- hand, two-way throttle control. The scooter, which is European CE Certified (EN 12184), is available in the Philippines through its dealer Far East Medical, and can be purchased at SM Megamall, SM North Annex, and SM Mall of Asia.

February 19, 2017 16:34 UTC

Vivotek introduces new surveillance cameras

TAIPEI, TAIWAN: Vivotek, a global IP surveillance provider, introduced a new surveillance camera with extreme weather support on Monday. It also has 30x optical zoom and an IR up to 250 meters, which makes the subject more visible, even in the dark, Vivotek said. Vivotek also introduced a new stereo network camera for retail solutions, the SC8131, which can provide accurate traffic analysis. Vivotek surveillance cameras keep and analyze their captured object through the Vivotek VAST software, the professional video and central management software designed for managing all Vivotek IP (internet protocol) surveillance products. “We not only provide surveillance, the information we have collected is important in the IoT [Internet of Things] system.

February 19, 2017 16:34 UTC

Taiwan EDM maker looking to invest in PH

CHING Hung Machinery & Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (CHMER), a Taiwanese maker of electrical discharge machines (EDMs), said it is looking to invest in the Philippine market. The next country we are looking to is the Philippines,” CHMER president Wuu-Shyong Wang told The Manila Times on Friday. According to Wang, he has high expectations on the current Philippine president to help improve the country’s economy. “I have high expectations with President Duterte that he will help in [growing]your country’s economy. When we see it growing, that is the right time for us to join your market,” Wang explained.

February 19, 2017 16:34 UTC

PH leaps 12 notches in economic freedom index

Beats global average in Heritage Foundation 2017 surveyThe Philippines jumped 12 notches in a worldwide index of economic freedom, propelled by sustained economic growth amid a challenging global environment, US-based think tank Heritage Foundation found in its latest annual global survey. The 2017 Index of Economic Freedom (IEF) Heritage Foundation showed the Philippines moved up to the 58th spot from 70th in the 2016 survey. The country’s economic freedom scored 65.6, advancing 2.5 points from the previous year’s score, the IEF, which covers 186 countries, said. The think-tank said these gains are due to the country’s “notable successes in fiscal policy, government spending and monetary stability.”Heritage Foundation measures economic freedom based on 12 quantitative and qualitative factors, grouped into four broad categories, or pillars, of economic freedom: rule of law (property rights, government integrity, judicial effectiveness); government size (government spending, tax burden, fiscal health); regulatory efficiency (business freedom, labor freedom, monetary freedom); and open markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom). Calls for deeper reformsThe think tank, however, called for deeper reforms in the areas of business freedom, investment freedom and the rule of law.

February 19, 2017 16:34 UTC

BSP eases rules on liquidity metrics of large PH banks

THE central bank has relaxed the rules on liquidity metrics ahead of the framework on Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) that commercial universal banks must adopt and adhere to starting next year. The LCR data is expected to provide regulators and the banks themselves a better gauge of the liquidity standing of covered institutions,” the BSP said. According to Moody’s, the stable outlook was primarily based on stable funding and liquidity. “We expect banks to continue to prize stable deposits and term funding ahead of Basel III LCR requirements that will be phased in over 2018-2019,” according to Fitch. Sustained economic development and further improvement in system regulation and risk management could strengthen banks’ overall credit profiles if they maintain their existing healthy financial metrics and balance-sheet strengths, it said.

February 19, 2017 16:34 UTC

MICC unit to review operations of closed mines

A technical working group created under the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) is set to meet today, Monday, to fulfill its mandate to review the operations of 28 mining sites closed or suspended by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). They will decide what to do,” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd, who co-chairs the MICC, told reporters over the weekend. Earlier, the MICC affirmed the primacy of both “procedural and substantive” due process in the final resolution of DENR’s series of actions on existing mineral production sharing agreements (MPSAs). Substantive due process means that there are valid grounds in law to support the cancellation. MICC Resolution 6, which was signed by both Lopez and Dominguez, stressed that both the DENR and the Council “recognize the requirements of due process in the applicable mining laws, rules and regulations.”

February 19, 2017 16:34 UTC

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