Aug 312015
By: Maricar B. Brizuela, September 1st, 2015 06:06 AM

While the nation marked National Heroes Day on Monday, about 500 people from various sectors massed outside the Chinese consulate in Makati City and condemned China’s “territorial aggression.”

Led by former National Security Adviser Roilo Golez and businesswoman Loida Nicolas Lewis of the group US Pinoys for Good Governance, the demonstrators called their gathering a “Global Day of Prayer for Peace and Victory in the West Philippine Sea.”

They were joined by members of Movement and Alliance to Resist China’s Aggression (Marcha) composed of groups like Jesus Is Lord Church, Intercessors of the Philippines, Christian Men’s Ministry of the Philippines and Knights of Columbus.

They occupied a stretch of Makati from Tordesillas Street to Nicanor Garcia (Reposo), braving the heat of the late-morning sun, and carried banners reading, “No to China’s Bullying, Yes to the Rule of Law.”

The demonstration ended with a candle-lighting ceremony symbolizing, they said, the Filipinos’ hope for a peaceful resolution of the West Philippine Sea conflict.

In his message, Golez said the United Nations arbitral tribunal would soon “decide the question of jurisdiction” in the arbitration case filed by the Philippines challenging China’s claim on parts of the South China Sea claimed by Manila.

Golez said this would be a very important decision since it would create an impact on Philippine territory, national security and natural resources.

Warship vs worship

“We should continue to pray for our case,” Golez said. “I talked with international lawyers and they expressed confidence that the merits of our case are really strong.”

In any confrontation, Filipinos should remember that while China had a warship, the Philippines “has worship,” Lewis said.

Quoting the psalm, Lewis said the Filipinos “will see the goodness of the Lord.”

“Have you not seen how the Lord is working His mighty power? Last month, China’s market fell 40 percent and lost trillions of dollars in value,” she added.

Lewis said that if China would only agree, the Philippines would be willing to split 60-40 the wealth from the West Philippine Sea, with the bigger percentage going to Filipinos.

“But they want it all,” Lewis said. “We cannot let them steal our wealth.”

Marcha said there were also simultaneous prayers for peace in New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Paris.

“We encourage Filipinos around the country and the world to organize similar rallies,” said Marcha secretary general Eufemio Agbayani III.

The group said it would continue to fight through various means “Chinese territorial, economic, political and social aggression in our country.”

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Aug 312015
Magsaysay awardees urge others to be instruments of change

Philippine Daily Inquirer By: Tarra Quismundo, September 1st, 2015 06:05 AM PRESIDENT Aquino with Ramon Magsaysay 2015 awardees, from left , Kommaly Chantavong of Laos, Liga Fernando-Amilbangsa of the Philippines, Anshu Gupta of India, Sanjiv Chaturvedi of India and Kyaw Thu of Myanmar. RICHARD A. REYES Hailed as “modern-day heroes” on National Heroes Day, this year’s winners of the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Awards on Monday called for greater collective action on the world’s most troubling issues, from cultural preservation and children’s rights to growing poverty and oppressive governance. Each giving their response to the honor accorded them in the name of the well-admired late Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay, Laos’ Kommaly Chanthavong, Myanmar’s Kyaw Thu, India’s Anshu Gupta and Sanjiv Chaturvedi and the Philippines’ Ligaya Fernando-Amilbangsa said the award provided them fresh inspiration for their efforts, as they encouraged others to become instruments of change. Gupta, who founded an organization that revolutionized the idea of giving clothes to the poor in India, hoped his innovation would find its way to other parts of the world. “I hope that when the celebrations around this year’s awards are over, there will be some people out there—from the governments, academia, development sector, research organizations, policy makers, opinion leaders and decision makers—who will see this work as a possibility which can turn the tide on the colossal waste we are all facing,” Gupta told his audience, which included President Aquino. Myanmar actor Kyaw Thu appealed for genuine reforms in his country long wracked by civil Read More …

Aug 312015

The Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) has decided and Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) companies have accepted that they will be paying regular corporate income tax on the sale of scrap material. This change in interpretation came about after the CTA in division issued its decision in the case of Nidec Copal Philippines Corp. (Nidec), a PEZA-registered enterprise, and which was affirmed by the CTA en banc in 2008. Prior to this case, the BIR has been ruling that income from sale of scrap arising from the registered activity is subject to the same tax regime as the registered activity.

Aug 312015
‘Binibining Promised Land’ screens at UK art institute U.S. Bureau/U.K. Correspondent By: Melissa Legarda Alcantara, September 1st, 2015 02:13 AM Filipina OFW contestant in Binibining Pilipinas Israel, from the film “Binibining Promised Land.” FILM CLIP LONDON — A long excerpt from Turkish director Köken Ergun’s short film, “Binibining Promised Land” (2010), which features an interview with Marylou Sulit Muga, a Filipina caregiver based in Israel, screened at a contemporary art film exhibition Wednesday, August 26 at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in Central London. Ergun’s original documentary, which runs 37 minutes, explores the lives of predominantly female Filipino caregivers based in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Haifa. Opening with shots from a lively Binibining Pilipinas Israel competition, the film tells of OFWs enduring poor working and living conditions but emphasizes the positive social lives they lead in spite of their restricted circumstances. Israel-based OFW Marylou Sulit Muga in “Binibing Promised Land” by Kôken Ergun. FILM CLIP Muga, who cares for an elderly Israeli woman in Tel Aviv, discusses her loneliness at being in a foreign country and thanks the community spirit of her fellow OFWs for alleviating her sadness. “To the Filipino people, everywhere you go, we are one big family,” says Muga. “Filipinos [are] the most resilient and happiest in the world.” Although Muga gets only three single hours of free time every week, she remains grateful for the chance to see her friends and to write articles for the Filipino-Israeli magazine, Pinoy na Babasahin. “There [are] handsome dollars here in Israel,” says Muga. Curator Anna Miyoung Kim Read More …

Aug 312015
1 in 8 California high school students has dropped out since 2010 U.S. Bureau September 1st, 2015 02:12 AM PALO ALTO, California — Of the California students who entered high school in 2010, 12 percent, or one in every eight, dropped out before graduation, according to the most recent figures available on of the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health. Twelve percent is high, but dropout rates among students from some racial/ethnic backgrounds are even higher. Rates among African American and American Indian students are nearly double the state average—at about 20 percent, or one in five students, according to 2014 data. Latino and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander students, as well as English learners, youth in foster care and special education students, also have high rates of non-completion. Research shows that students who drop out of high school are more likely to struggle with employment, live in poverty, have poor health and engage in criminal activity than those with higher education levels. Society also faces associated costs in terms of increased spending on public assistance and lower tax revenues. In California, students dropping out of high school cost the state an estimated $46 billion annually. Students don’t finish high school for a variety of reasons. Risk factors include behavioral problems, suspension and course failure. Underlying causes for these factors may be related to chronic health or mental health conditions, poverty and other issues. Children at risk of poor educational outcomes can be identified early and supported to stay engaged in school. School-based health services can address student health issues and promote Read More …

Aug 312015
King James gives back

Shooting star: NBA superstar LeBron James regales thousands of Filipino fans at the MOA Arena as he turns the last two minutes of the Nike Rise exhibition game into a dunk fest of his shooting brilliance. If you have 23.4 million followers on Twitter, 12.4 million followers on Instagram, and 22 million likes on Facebook or an aggregate social media following of almost 58 million like NBA superstar LeBron James, then you command a huge influence fit for a king. Enough influence to be the second in income earnings, especially through his endorsements. Enough likes to make him the number one basketball player in terms of social media domination. LeBron, perhaps the greatest basketball player of this generation, has a fiercely commanding control of the hard court. You see the intensity not only in his decisive moves but  also in the cold steel focus of his eyes.  Fiercely competitive, he fights another battle for poor children off the hard court. He is fighting to give them an opportunity to be trained, be mentored, to rise amid obstacles and shine. Before he left for Asia, LeBron announced that he would be providing scholarships to thousands of indigent children in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. In China and the Philippines, he mentored and inspired young street ballers selected via a reality basketball camp fully sponsored by Nike called Rise. LeBron’s deadly combination of speed and size makes him the most gifted pound-for-pound athlete in the world. His athleticism and skills, combined with Read More …