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It’s only a stopgap measure. The truck holiday is not over. The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Friday extended the operating hours at the Port of Manila and the Manila International Container Port (MICP) to address the backlog brought about by the three-day truck holiday earlier this week. Deliveries, however,…

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Optimism among businessmen polled about the Philippine economy waned in the first quarter, though hope remained that prospects would improve in the next three months, results of the central bank’s latest Business Expectations Survey (BES) show. In a press briefing on Friday, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) announced that…

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WITH power supply in the Mindanao grid already fragile and inadequate, the tripping of the 80-MW Agus I caused an island-wide outage that government said it has already resolved as of early morning on Friday. Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla called an emergency meeting of the power suppliers in Mindanao yesterday…

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Despite the condemnation of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to the organ trafficking said to be commonplace in the country, an official of the Catholic Church backed the government’s campaign supporting massive organ donation. Malolos Bishop Jose Oliveros said that the Church is a supportive institution to…

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The great Jose Rizal, the workhorse carabao, and even the all-time favorite Filipino dish adobo, among others, will finally be bestowed official national symbol status with a legislation expanding the list of national symbols in the country. Rep. Rene Relampagos of Bohol, chairman of the House Committee on Tourism, made…

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UNITED Nations (UN) Special Rep. Margareta Wahlstrom for Disaster Risk Reduction called on government to increase its investments and efforts towards disaster risk management in view of climate change, which she calls a disaster itself. Speaking at the Department of Science and Technology’s Roadmap on Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster…

Business

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Headline inflation accelerated to 1.5 percent in December from 1.1 percent in November in what was the biggest rise in 2015, data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed on Tuesday. The December increase in consumer prices ran below the 2.7 percent inflation recorded in December last year. The latest inflation rate, however, stayed within the…

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Investors spooked by China data, Middle East The peso and the stock market tumbled as the trading year started, tracking a meltdown in Asia following renewed fears over China’s slowdown and rising tensions in the Middle East. The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) lost 1.71 percent or 118.66 points to…

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Headline inflation could have accelerated to 1.5 percent last month due to higher food and fuel prices, among others, the Finance department said on Monday. “Inflation rate for December is forecast to reach 1.5 percent, 0.4 percentage point higher than last month’s 1.1 percent but still lower than the 2.7…

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The government on Monday released at least 90 percent of the 2016 appropriations for all agencies, the Budget department said. In value terms, this is equivalent to P1.49 trillion of the total P1.66 trillion allotted under the P3.002-trillion national budget for this year, the department added. Once approved and in…

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Philippine banks’ exposure to real estate surged by 23.6 percent year on year as of end-September 2015, data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed, with loans accounting for the bulk but also marking a drop with respect to soured transactions. An analyst said the rise in banks’ real…

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THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) is hiring more people this year to strengthen its ranks and improve operations. ERC Commissioner Jose Vicente Salazar said the agency plans to hire 508 more personnel to build up its legal office and address the backlog of pending cases. He said beefing up the…

Regions

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A militant peasants’ organization on Sunday criticized the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) for its bid to subject Hacienda Luisita to a sugar block-farming scheme. The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), in a statement, claimed that the scheme would allow the Cojuangco family to retain control over Hacienda Luisita. Hacienda…

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Government troops arrested a man who was transporting antitank explosives in Davao City, military officials reported on Sunday. Joey Atienza was driving his motorcycle when soldiers intercepted him over the weekend at a checkpoint in the village of Mabuhay in Paquibato district, a known lair of New People’s Army (NPA)…

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Baguio City: The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Cordillera Regional Office, for the second consecutive year, held a summer workshop for the families of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the Baguio-Benguet area. The summer program, focused on the theme, “Strengthening Family Values, Stewardship Formation and Economic Reintegration,” was held in…

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Lawmakers over the weekend called for the immediate arrest of former vice mayor Romeo Borja Jr. of Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija, in the wake of a resolution from the Department of Justice finding probable cause and recommending the filing of charges for 22 counts of rape against the former local government…

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Baguio City: The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (Opapp) has set up a monitoring, evaluation and transparency (MET) mechanism and partnered with several civil society organizations (CSOs) to improve the management and monitoring of the government’s peace and development projects in the Cordillera region. Undersecretary Marie…

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RESPONDING to solve the scarcity of reference books in many of Nueva Vizcaya’s public schools, a non-government organization (NGO) has established child-friendly libraries in four municipalities for more than 3,000 pupils this school year. The Acts of Hope for the Nation (AHON) Foundation, a non-stock, non-profit organization whose main mission…

World

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BENGHAZI: Islamist fighters launched a three-pronged attack Saturday on a key oil region in eastern Libya but were pushed back by pro-government forces, military officials said. The attack came as Islamist militias in the eastern town of Derna say they have formed a new coalition ahead of an expected assault…

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NEW YORK: Thousands of protesters paralyzed parts of New York and Washington on Saturday, stepping up demonstrations across the United States demanding justice for black men killed by white police. The rallies in the US capital, New York, Boston and in several Californian cities were among the largest in a…

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DOHA, QATAR: The United Nations global warming talks have continued past their deadline as negotiators bickered over the content of climate action plans that countries should unveil in the run-up to a key summit in Paris next year. The annual UN climate meetings rarely close on time and the two-week…

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United Kingdom broadcaster Channel 4 revealed recently in an interview that the man behind Shami Witness (derived from al-Sham, the Arabic word for the Levant), the most influential pro-Islamic State (IS) Twitter account followed by foreign jihadists, was an Indian businessman from the city of Bangalore. The man, Mehdi Masroor…

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GENEVA: A China-United States agreement to scrap tariffs on high-tech items that was hailed as a major achievement of President Barack Obama’s November visit to Beijing fell apart on Friday (Saturday in Manila) during negotiations in Geneva because of differences between China and South Korea, diplomats here said. The deal…

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BEIJING: The anti-corruption watchdog of China’s ruling Com- munist Party said on Friday it would send investigators to the country’s parliament for the first time ever, in a demonstration of the party’s dominance over the organs of state. All of China’s governing structures, ranging from the legislature to the government…

Today's Breaking News

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WASHINGTON: The United States has pulled out of all prisons in Afghanistan and no longer holds any detainees, a US official said, as Washington attempts to extricate itself from the war-torn country. The announcement came just a day after the release of a searing Senate report on the brutal US…

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WASHINGTON: A damning report on the United States’ brutal treatment of War on Terror detainees triggered worldwide condemnation and calls for CIA agents and senior officials to face justice. That US interrogators tortured Al-Qaeda suspects in secret jails was known, but a detailed Senate report into the scandal was seized…

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HONG KONG: Bailiffs on Thursday dismantled barricades at Hong Kong’s main protest site after more than two months of pro-democracy rallies that demonstrators say have redefined the city’s vexed relationship with Beijing. Police said they were preparing to move in after the bailiffs to clear the rest of the Admiralty…

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KABUL: A suicide blast claimed by the Taliban killed at least six Afghan soldiers in the suburbs of Kabul Thursday morning, police said. A suicide bomber on foot targeted a bus carrying Afghan troops in Tangi Tarakhil on the outskirts of the capital, Kabul Crime Branch Unit chief General Farid…

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ILOILO CITY: Typhoon ‘Ruby’ (international name Hagupit) entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) last December 4, 2014 with the same trajectory as that of typhoon Yolanda last year. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) with its local counterparts readied their relief programs to swiftly aid those who…

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ZAMBOANGA CITY: The Abu Sayyaf brigands have released a Malaysian-Chinese fish breeder they seized six months ago in Sandakan, Sabah, a military official disclosed here Thursday. Freed was Chan Sai Chuin, 32, also known as Kun Mun Hua (passport name), who was seized in Sandakan, Sabah, formerly known as the…