Good day. Here are the stories for The Manila Times for Tuesday, September 20, 2022.

READ: Marcos to pitch PH to world leaders

PRESIDENT Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said he wants to meet with United States President Joe Biden and other heads of state who will attend the 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to strengthen alliances and attract more investments to the Philippines. Marcos arrived in New Jersey on Sunday (Monday in Manila) for his weeklong state visit to the US. Speaking before a group of Filipinos in New Jersey who welcomed him, the President said he was eager to hold "bilateral or multilateral" talks with the leaders of other nations on the sideline of the General Assembly meeting. Marcos said he also looks forward to a one-on-one with Biden.

READ: Marcos to OFWs: Invest in PH

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In the same speech, Marcos urged overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to support tourism and invest in the country to "help bring the Philippines to heights it has not reached before. Speaking before the members of the Filipino community at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the President acknowledged OFWs for their sacrifices and contribution to the economy during the coronavirus pandemic.

READ: Britain, world bid farewell to Queen Elizabeth 2nd

Britain said farewell to Queen Elizabeth 2nd on Monday at a state funeral attended by world leaders, before a historic last ceremonial journey through the streets of London packed with sorrowful mourners. Huge crowds gathered in near silence to watch as the queen's flag-draped coffin, topped with the Imperial State Crown, her orb and scepter, was carried slowly to a gun carriage from parliament's Westminster Hall where it had lain in state since Wednesday. To the tune of pipes and drums, the gun carriage — used at every state funeral since Queen Victoria's in 1901 — was then drawn by 142 junior enlisted sailors in the Royal Navy to Westminster Abbey.

READ: 14,000 new Covid cases, but daily average down

THE Department of Health (DoH) reported on Monday that 14,707 new Covid-19 cases were recorded from September 12 to 18. The daily average of new cases of 2,101 is 4 percent lower than the previous week. The DoH also reported 7 new severe and critical cases or 0.05 percent of new cases.

READ: 46% of Filipinos believe their life will improve

NEARLY half of Filipinos surveyed by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) in June 2022 were optimistic that their quality of life would improve in the next year. At 46 percent, the number of optimists increased by 9 percent compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, 4 percent of respondents believed that their quality of life would worsen (pessimists), 3 percent lower than last year. The SWS said 40 percent of respondents believed that their life would stay the same. The net optimism for June 2022 was +42, classified by SWS as excellent, with a significant increase of 12 points from June 2021's nationwide net optimism.

BUSINESS: $572-M BoP deficit posted in August

Over to business, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Monday said the country's overall balance of payments (BoP) position posted a deficit of $572 million in August 2022. The BoP deficit in August brought the cumulative level for January-August 2022 to a $5.5-billion deficit, higher than the $253-million deficit recorded in the same period a year ago.

SPORTS: Blazers gun for third straight win

Topping sports, College of Saint Benilde and Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) look to sustain their respective winning streaks as they face separate foes today, September 20, in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 98 men's basketball at the FilOil EcoOil Centre. The league-leading Blazers (2-0) take on the fifth seed University of Perpetual Help System Dalta Altas (1-1) in the first game at 12 p.m., while the fourth-running Pirates (2-1) face the cellar-dwelling host Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) Generals (0-3) at 3 p.m.

READ: Opinion and editorial

Antonio Contreras and Yen Makabenta are today's front page columnists. Contreras discusses sacrificing for those who serve, while Makabenta blames "climate panic" as a result of the energy crisis.

Today's editorial celebrates celebrates the 43rd year of the Manila International Book Fair. Read the full version in the paper's opinion section or listen to the Voice of the Times.

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On behalf of The Manila Times, this is Aric John Sy Cua reporting.