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No service fees on Globe/TM load and promo loans extended until May 28

May 10, 2020

As the country continues to face the challenges brought by COVID-19, Globe remains committed in meeting the demands for strong data connection and continuous connectivity for users who cannot leave their homes and are struggling financially due to the effects of the pandemic.     To help Mobile Prepaid and TM customers stay connected, informed and  #SafeAtHome, Globe is extending its waived service fees for its Globe load and promo loans until May 28, 2020. With this, customers can continue to conveniently borrow load and subscribe to promos from the security and safety of their homes, without worrying about additional costs.     Globe loans is an emergency service that allows Globe Prepaid and TM customers to continue using Globe services even without sufficient load. Eligible customers can avail loan products from P5 to P50 in the form of load and promo. Prepaid customers can also loan 5MB of data for P5 or 3 texts to Globe/TM + 1 load for P4. On their next top up, only the borrowed amount will be automatically collected (i.e. the standard service fees are waived).     To check which available load promos, loan plans, or emergency text or data services you can subscribe to, customers can simply dial *143# on their mobile phones and check “LOANS” in the menu for Globe Prepaid users, and “UTANG” for TM subscribers. Meanwhile, customers who still see a service fee in the menu description upon visiting *143# will receive a confirmation text from Globe notifying them that the service fee has been waived after availing the loan or promo.     Learn more about how this and other Globe services help you stay connected, informed and #SafeAtHome via globe.com.ph/stay-safe-at-home.html.  

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Tribute to Frontliners - Int’l Nurses Day 2020

May 4, 2020

Across  Asia, Europe and North America, hotels and even property developers are transforming their silent but intense appreciation to all frontliners by lighting up their buildings with symbols and emojis.     Millions of front line employees from various specters of professions had so bravely rendered hours of chores each day, risking their lives to serve us or to save lives since the COVID-19 alarm sounded late last year. Thousands had succumbed while serving and saving us.     Leading the frontliners in this critical period are nurses and doctors. We salute them as much as we salute our supermarket cashiers and baggers, bank tellers, airline crews and staff, hotel teams, street cleaners, Inter Agency Task Force (IATF) teams manning the check points, security guards, delivery boys etc... the list goes on.     To the nurses, there is a special recognition and honor that uncannily happens to their profession this year. They will be commemorating the 200th birth anniversary of the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale on May 12, 2020.  Florence Nightingale was the English lass from a well off family who heeded the call from the Lord to serve the sick. The gallantry, dedication, and virtue of this Lady with the Lamp will hold a special meaning this month around the globe as we struggle combating COVID19 and and caring for the infected. Florence Nightingale died in 1910 at the age of 90.     It is our fervent prayer that we could all honor our nurses and doctors to orderlies; counter staff to roomboys; social welfare teams to policemen; barangay tanods to security guards; our religious leaders of all faiths and all others in the front lines in these difficult and challenging times.     On May 12, 2020, we hope to pay homage to the Lady with the Lamp and our current unsung heroes in this pandemic by lighting our properties with a ‘heart’ to show appreciation, support, and solidarity. Send out a ‘heart message’ to your friends and family who are in the frontlines or dedicate songs to them on the radio. We hope you could participate in this simple yet meaningful gesture of giving our hearts to the men and women who are keeping us safe and healthy.      Thank you and happy Sunday

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Healty home-works from SM home

May 4, 2020

With most of us homebound these days, it's the best time to start good health habits by preparing nutritious meals for the family, and creating a wellness based lifestyle whose benefits we will enjoy beyond the quarantine. It's also the best time to rediscover the simple joys of life and of doing things together.       SM Home, the one-stop shop for all of your home essentials, shares with us some healthy home-works from UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization in maintaining a healthy lifestyle:     1. Prepare a Weekly Meal Plan and make a shopping list of items you need before you go to the store for your routine shopping. Create the list from the meal plan and include back up ingredients on your list in case your first choice is out of stock. Limit the list on buying the essentials.     2. Stock up on nutrition-packed food such as whole grains, breads, and fresh fruits and vegetables; and staples like sauces, milk, eggs, spices and condiments. Fresh products should be consumed first. Frozen fruits and vegetables as well as canned vegetables and fruits are good alternatives as these have a longer shelf life.     3. Build up a stock of healthy snacks for your children - yogurt, nuts, cheese, chopped or dried fruits, boiled eggs and more. Stock them up in a stackable glass container to seal freshness and label them.     4. Continue to practice Food Hygiene and Safety. Wash fruits and vegetables under running water and dry it with vegetable spinner; use separate chopping boards for meat and seafood as you prepare the meal; and don’t forget to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds before and after preparing your meal.     5. Drink water regularly and stay hydrated by drinking 6-8 glasses a day to boost your immune system.     6. Make cooking and eating together a family habit. Kids can help wash and sort the ingredients and set the table before the meal. This creates a healthy routine and fun bonding with the whole family. Also practice mindful eating and stay away from processed food.        Enjoy healthy home-works and memorable meals together with home essentials from SM Home. These are available at the smhome.com.ph and shoppers can now place their order online through the thesmtore.com and ShopSM app. For more info and updates, follow them at SM Home at the SM Store in Instagram or visit thesmstore.com website.     Please see below the photo captions:     1.       Prepare hearty meals with this bake dish known for its oven to table convenience.     2.       Make your kitchen workspace clutter-free and maximize the area by putting commonly-used utensils within your reach.     3.       Stay home and create a new dining experience in the living room with your favorite family dish.

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The Chinese are Coming (Again)!

May 4, 2020

Undoubtedly, one of the most affected trade during the COVID19 pandemic in the country has to be the tourism industry. Airports closed, hotels closed, shopping malls closed, retail shops closed, spas closed, casinos closed, restaurants closed, themed and water parks closed — the list goes on.     In the center of this catastrophe, lies on all important but vexatious segment of the Philippines’ tourist market — the Chinese. For being number 2 in terms of tourist arrivals — next to the Koreans — in 2019, the 1.74 million visitors was expected to overtake the Koreans and hit the 2 million mark this year if not for the COVID19. More than one fifth or 21% of our arrivals of 8.26 million in 2019 are             Chinese and combine them with the Koreans, we are locked down (pun intended) with 45% visitors just from these two North Asian countries.      The Chinese are such formidable but yet obnoxious (not all, of course) travelers and big spenders that they are contributing so heavily to our ASEAN neighbors’ tourist trade as well. In 2019, eleven million of them visited Thailand ringing up the cash register with a boggling $17B. In Singapore, 3.6 million Chinese spent $3.2B. Cambodia - oh, so reliant on them - attracted 2.4 million Chinese (38% of 5.3 arrivals) with $4.35B in tourist receipts contributing 12.7% to the country’s GDP. Malaysia recorded 3.26 million Chinese out of total arrivals of 20.1 million; In 2019 Vietnam, inspite of a strained hostile relationship, still welcomed 5.81 million of their next door neighbors, up by a hefty 16.2% over 2018 while Indonesia with gem destinations like Bali and Borobudur attracted over 2 million. Further afield, the more affluent Chinese also flooded (another pun intended) the canals of Italy by contributing 6 million tourists to the country’s total arrival of 62.9 million in 2019. In Australia just 1.4 million China men and women spent $11.9 B and contributed 26% to the total tourist expenditure. Ah, these are the ones Secretary Berna Puyat and our industry leaders are wishing for. One cynic in Venice complained that with 6 million undisciplined and unhygienic Chinese roaming THE CHINESE ARE THE CHINESE ARE COMING COMING! (AGAIN?)! along the canals of Venice, no wonder the water level has risen and the town flooded. Ah, the price one has to pay. Shockingly there are videos of our Chinese mga kapatid (brethen) spitting and defecating along the Venetian streets and mistaking the Grande Canale for a Roman bath with wife giving him a body scrub!! Remember the proverb : When in Rome, do what the Romans do! Watching an Aljeereza documentary on Chinese tourists reinforces and validates my perception of Chinese tourists. To us with a Western culture, they are loudmouthed, uncouth, unhygienic, rude, boisterous and aggressive. On the other side of the coin, America is probably the only country that registered a dip in Chinese tourist arrivals. From an all time high of 3.17 million arrivals in 2017, it fell to 2.84 million in 2019 and yet Donald Trump claims that he and Xi Jinping are great friends. He’s a great guy; you can trust him. I like him. He likes me. I think; you can ask him. Put under the microscopic lab test for virus, behavioral sciences and sheer curiosity, what sort of a specie do we have here arriving at our airports by the thousands each day? This satire speaks volumes, gushing out of the mouths of our tourism stakeholders, who for one reason or other are not writing this column. Just what sort of Chinese tourist do we need? Yes, I know the filthy rich. That’s the problem, you see. They are rich and “filthy” at the same time. This lock down has created an ideal opportunity to set new parameters to target a new gene of Chinese tourists. Can we, for the love of Binondo, propose the following: 1. Due to the COVID19 pandemic, all tourists and POGO personnel from China must possess a valid health certificate from a Philippine or World Health Organization recognized health authority or institution based in China before boarding flight to Philippines. 2. All tourists and POGO personnel and accompanying spouses from China should have a valid and recognized medical insurance policy before entering the country with a Philippine medical institution covering any form of illness — from testing, treatment and hospitalization up to cadaver repatriation (batteries not included!) — if unavoidable. 3. All tourists and POGO personnel must be adorned with a smart tracer chip to detect their movements within the country with built-in video capabilities. Those on honeymoon are exempted; just produce recent marriage certificate authenticated by the Chinese Peoples Liberation Party chief. 4. For incoming tourists, minimum stay in DOT accredited hotels and resorts must be five and a half days.Why half day? Hotels charge a full day rate for your half day, you understand. No extension request to be entertained. 5. All hotel, tours, meal rates and airfares prior to COVID19 will no longer be honored. Guys, please, please. This is the time to raise your rates. Believe me these Chinese can pay big bucks. You see them make a beeline dash to the nearest Chanel, Louis Vitton, Burberry, Jimmy Choo and Mang Inasal stores from your hotel as soon as they check in. With the exception of the last store, they will probably be spending at least $5,000.00 in every store. And your room costs a miserable $65.00 a night? Come on. 6. How to justify the hike in rates, you may ask? Simple, or else you have no business to be in the travel business. Look around at some of your PHILTOA members. Ha! Follow scrupulously what our Inter Agency Task Force (IATF) has been lambasting us for weeks and months. a) Social Distancing. Now that you can’t sit patrons and passengers close to each other, you have to charge double or triple. One airline seat for the price of two. Same thing in restaurants - eat on one table, pay the price for two tables. Tagaytay tour? That will cost you a fortune. You see we have to close the whole island for you. Only two tourists allowed a day but I tell you its great this time of year. If you are lucky, the volcano will erupt. b) Wear Mask. Wash Hands. Use Sanitizers. Disinfectants. “Sus, who is going to pay for all this?” my hotel manager friend asked. Your guess is your guest! No more discounts for rooms please. Besides, hotels probably have to reconfigure their rooms to twins; possibly installing dividers to separate the wife from the husband or putting a mattress in the bathtub. And can you imagine the redesigning of personnel uniforms for 600 staff in all departments? Who is going to pay for all this? Your guess is your guest. c) Observe curfew. From 10 pm to 6 am the following morning, all hotel rooms, restaurants, bars, spas, karaoke joints, casinos, and toilets will be on total locked down. No one will be allowed to leave. The last three will be on overdrive. Before you step out, please do not forget to pick up your copy of Philippine Star or Daily Inquirer. If you are wearing yellow for the day, you will be handed the Inquirer; you will not have a choice. All others will receive the Philippine Star. By enforcing the curfew and the free newspaper, guess who will have to pay for this? d) Observe Quarantine. Produce a 14 day package in all hotels and resorts. Arrive Manila, check in hotel and avail of full board in-room service packages. Sorry, no Mang Inasal or Joilibee deliveries allowed unless your stay is in the SEA Games Village in New Clark City or a 2Go vessel in the Port area in Manila. Long staying guests, oh my. All of the above should allow us to revoke, rescind, recall, replace, repeal, refute, rebuff, reject and revise old unprofitable practices and contracted rates (reason? Force Majeure!) when dealing with the Chinese or any other nationality for that matter. Do not fret about losing the market. China without a siopao and siomai doubt loves us and will not leave the Philippines. Take for instance, the Spratly and Paracel islands. They are here to stay for a long time. I wonder if our new neighbor, Mayor Wuy You-kum of the Spratlys will invite me for dim sum soon. If they do, remind me to bring a dozen of Mang Inasal’s PM2 and a copy of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the International Tribunal Ruling as a home owners’ association dos and dont’s and as a neighborhood map. Caviteños will soon be welcoming their new neighbors too at Sangley. Domestic flights by Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines may soon start operating between Sangley and Sprately since we are so good friends. - so say both our Presidents. The future looks bright. For the coming winter (flu season), would you believe over half the population around 600 million Chinese will need summer homes from November 2020 to February of March of 2021? They need the hot summer heat which only the ASEAN countries, Bahamas, and the Southern Hemisphere can offer. The sun and the heat, according to Donald Trump, will eradicate the COVID19 virus. He said it, we did not.  

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AboitizPower ER 1-94 remittances boost Davao City’s fight vs. COVID-19

May 4, 2020

Aboitiz Power Corporation (AboitizPower) continues to spread positive energy in Mindanao as the company has recently remitted its share of Energy Regulations 1-94 (ER 1-94) Program funds to the government of Davao City in support of its efforts to combat the effects of COVID-19.     Davao City is one of the host beneficiaries of AboitizPower generation units Hedcor and Therma South, Inc. (TSI). Through ER 1-94, these two AboitizPower units have now remitted P14 million to the city’s local government.     As the Department of Energy (DOE) also prepares to remit its share of funds through the program, the local government of Davao City is slated to receive a grand total of P26 million.     In a statement, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio expressed her profound gratitude to AboitizPower on behalf of the city.     “This funding relief couldn’t have come at a more opportune time when resources are badly needed by local governments to battle COVID-19. We thank DOE, as well as Hedcor and Therma South of AboitizPower for making this proactive move and providing us with additional resources to help step up our anti-COVID campaign,” she said.     On April 6, the DOE issued Department Circular 2020-004-00080, dictating that the ER 1-94 funds received by host communities of power generation companies may now be used in full for efforts towards managing the effects of COVID-19.     AboitizPower has since shown its full support for its beneficiaries nationwide, as local government units throughout the country continue their battle against the new coronavirus. About half a billion pesos worth of ER 1-94 funds are currently available for AboitizPower’s host LGUs across Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao for their COVID-19 response efforts.     The ER 1-94 Program is a policy under the DOE Act of 1992 and the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA), which stipulates that host communities receive one centavo share for every kilowatt-hour (P0.01/kWh) generated by power plants operating in its area.     With COVID-19 greatly affecting our communities and livelihood, AboitizPower remains steadfast in its commitment to extending every possible form of assistance where it is needed.

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Lolong Magallanes: Green warrior

May 4, 2020

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 02 May) — Friends, loved ones, confreres have come to grips with reality upon hearing the demise of Sustines “Lolong” Magallanes last Friday.     A valiant environmentalist and exemplary development worker, Longskie to close friends, left behind 30 years of service to the community and the environment.     An agriculturist educated at Xavier University, Longskie worked as a pesticide salesman in the 1980s, until industrial pollution hit home in barangay Tablon in 1990. He organized the Lihok Katawhan Batok Polusyon (LKBP) to protest the pollution coming from the Cagayan Corn Products, Inc. (CCPI)., a corn starch factory.     The LKBP also exposed dumping of untreated waste from the Nestle plant in the same barangay.     Later he teamed up with Orlando R. Ravanera, executive director of the NGO Centre for Alternative Rural Technology, Inc. (CART) who was organizing the environmental watchdog Task Force Macajalar (TFM).     Life then was organizing farmers and fisherfolk for sustainable livelihood and environmental rehabilitation by day and going after illegal logging, illegal fishing and industrial pollution at night.     As a result of the advocacies of the LKBP and TFM, the Department. of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) became strict in requiring industrial plants to have waste treatment facilities. Among those compelled were the Del Monte cannery in Bugo, Nestle plant in Tablon and the CCPC also in Tablon.     Even with the installation of the waste treatment plants by the industries, it was still a cat-and-mouse game as the waters of Umalag River would sometimes smell coffee and the air in Tablon smelled rotten egg.     There was a time Tablon was called Barangay Baho. And each time this happens DENR technicians are called to do water sampling. If they failed to respond, it is war or they better prepare come Earth Day as their compound in Barangay Macabalan would surely be barricaded.     In 1993, responding to the calls of then Father Leds of Xavier University (Archbishop Antonio Ledesma), the TFM made its first Awit Barikada Kontra Logging at the highway fronting the Mannresa complex of the university.     It was three tense-filled nights as farmers, fisherfolk, students and NGO workers threw their bodies on the path of logging trucks. At one time, a truck hurdled past the barricades, the Bombo Patrol with the late Bombo Martirez gave chase, it overshot the curve near Pryce Plaza, the security guard of Bombo heroically pumped his shotgun on the wheels of logging truck, recalled lawyer Ed Cuaresma, current president of the Integrated Bar of the Philpipines Misamis Oriental chapter in his Facebook post honoring Magallanes.  Cuaresma was then a college student. Longskie, by then was the secretary general of TFM and a program officer at CART. “We did not have salaries as anti-logging barricaders and deputized environment officers, we have to earn our bread as community organizers, project managers implementing livelihood projects in upland and coastal communities” said Renante “Stan” Salcedo, who documented this work in his book The Field Worker published by Amazon in 2019. As a result of the first anti-logging barricade, the Timber License Agreements (TLA) of Vicmar Devt. Corporation and Timber Industries of the Philippines, Inc. (TIPI) were no longer renewed by the DENR. The anti-logging struggle became protracted when Vicmar and TIPI resumed large scale logging in 1996, with permits like Industrial Forest Management Agreement (IFMA), this time from the DENR-ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao). This time, the rape of the Cagayan de Oro and Lake Lanao watershed was massive with over 5,000 hectares of natural, dipterocarp forests razed to the ground purportedly for a palm oil plantation to be funded by an investment from Malaysia, a so called peace grant following the signing of the GRP-MNLF Peace Accord. The logging barricades became intermittent until the year 2000 and spread to Wao in Lanao del Sur, in Maramag and Malaybalay City in Bukidnon. The area razed supposedly for palm oil is now a mix of wasteland, vegetables and banana plantations at the lower slopes of the Kalatungan and Kitanglad mountain In all this, Longskie was in the heat of the battle, whether manning the barricades, running after illegal loggers, illegal fishers and industrial polluters. Longskie was an excellent mobilizer of people. TFM’s core became a band of brothers. This included the likes  of journalists Froilan Gallardo, Cong Corrales and Stephen Capillas, retired city environment officer Edwin Dael, retired air force serviceman Abel Idusma, mountaineer Geronimo Garcia, former DENR director Raoul Geollegue, lawyer Jong Dumlao, Salcedo and the brothers Ravanera – Orlando who is now chairman of the Cooperative Development Authority, Atty. Maning and Roel, vice president for social affairs of Xavier University. Of course the list cannot be complete without Msgr. Antonio Ledesma, SJ and staff of CART, a diverse group of community organizers and activists. Among the dire warnings of TFM was an Ormoc-like disaster because of forest denudation and unsustainable farming in the watersheds of Cagayan de Oro and the Lanaos. It surreally came on Dec. 16 and 17, 2011. Longskie had worked as senior community organizer for the Fisheries Resource Management Project (FRMP) from 2000 to 2005 in Butuan Bay. At this time TFM was campaigning against the Mindanao coal-fired power plant, warning about dire climate change impacts. As a development worker for CART, he also managed sustainable agriculture projects in the uplands of Cagayan de Oro. He was also instrumental in organizing tenant farmers of the over 200-hectare Carpo-Rufino estate which was successfully distributed under agrarian reform despite threats of violence from the land owners in 1997. In 2010, Longskie joined the Xavier Science Foundation, where he worked until his demise as Manager of the XU Lands Program. At age 62, Longskie retained his good looks described by many as ruggedly handsome to millennials and baby boomers alike. His positive demeanor — his shirt and tattered denims — did not show his struggles with cardiovascular disease for over five years and battle with prostate cancer. Not a socmed adapter, he recently asked a friend to publish on Facebook his rant against the senseless cutting of trees for road widening projects. He remained defiant against environmental destruction until his body could no longer take any beating 8 minutes past 8 o’clock of May 1, 2020. But his indomitable spirit lives on. Longskie is survived by wife Delicia Barros-Magallanes, son Engr. Ken Magallanes and daughter Krishna Magallanes, a sophomore medical student. (BenCyrus G. Ellorin was spokesperson of the Task Force Macajalar and was a program officer of CART, Inc.).

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