Good day. Here are the stories for The Manila Times for Sunday, March 10, 2024.

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READ: China discovers 100M tons of oil reserve in SCS

CHINA'S national oil giant China National Offshore Oil Corp. made an oilfield discovery with a volume of 100 million tons in the eastern South China Sea, the company announced on Friday. The new reserve was found in the Kaiping South Oilfield, 300 kilometers off the coast of Guangdong province in the south of the country. Through continued exploration, the proved in-place volume of the Kaiping South Oilfield reached 102 million tons of oil equivalent. The exploratory well has been tested to produce an average of approximately 7,680 barrels of crude oil and 0.52 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.

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READ: Experts warn against 'empty promise' of 'Bagong Pilipinas'

PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s "Bagong Pilipinas" (New Philippines) will remain an "empty promise" if he doesn't adhere to the rule of law and implement new policies that would change the lives of Filipinos, according to analysts on Saturday. "Bagong Pilipinas," as contained under Memorandum Circular 24 series of 2023, is based on Executive Order 14 series of 2023 or the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028, with an "overarching theme" of the administration's brand of governance and leadership that call for "deep and fundamental transformations in all sectors of society and government." During a broadcast of the "B.B.C. World Questions: Philippines" program organized by the British Broadcasting Corp.'s World Service Radio aired on Saturday, Akbayan Citizens Action Party President Rafaela David said it remained to be seen whether or not there would be a "New Philippines," as she continued to see similar problems that the country had experienced during the past administration.

READ: PH needs to bolster maritime, air capabilities, analysts say

THE Philippines must strengthen its maritime and air capabilities to defend and protect its territory from the threat of foreign invasion, an analyst said on Saturday. De La Salle University professor Renato de Castro even suggested that the Marcos administration should now focus on external threats, particularly China's provocative actions toward the Philippines in the latter's waters. Professor Jay Batongbacal, director of the University of the Philippines Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea, meanwhile, said the government must take an unconventional approach to defend the country's territory. Batongbacal said the "big" challenge for the Marcos Jr. administration is that Philippine waters and maritime natural resources "are being taken actively" by China.

READ: First lady headlines women's summit

FIRST Lady Marie Louise "Liza" Araneta-Marcos on Saturday graced Go Negosyo's Women Entrepreneurship Summit 2024 to celebrate women's achievements and contributions to society and to the economy. The first lady was joined by Go Negosyo founder Jose Ma. "Joey" Concepcion 3rd, United States Ambassador MaryKay Carlson, Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual and thousands of women entrepreneurs during the annual event held at the Ayala Malls Manila Bay in Parañaque City.

READ: Yulo settles for bronze in World Cup series

CARLOS Yulo captured a bronze medal in the floor exercise event of the 2024 F.I.G. Men's Artistic Gymnastics World Cup series Baku leg in Azerbaijan on Saturday afternoon, March 9 (Manila time). The Filipino gymnast scored 14.366 points on a difficulty level of 6.3 and an execution of 8.066 points. Yulo, the 2019 floor exercise and 2021 vault gold medalist in the World Championships, finished behind gold winner Yahor Sharamkou of Belarus and silver medalist Minami Kazuki of Japan. Sharamkou notched 14.933 points built on a difficulty level of 6.4 and an execution score of 8.533.

SPORTS: Petecio reaches QF in Olympic qualifiers

OLYMPIC silver medalist Nesthy Petecio secured a spot in the quarterfinals of the 1st World Olympic Boxing Qualifiers in Busto Arsizio, Italy, on Friday (Saturday in Manila). At the Round of 16 of the women's 57-kilogram division, Petecio defeated Nancy Canan Tas of Germany via unanimous decision (5-0). Petecio's quarterfinal opponent will be Maud van der Toorn of the Netherlands, who defeated Jenifer Fernande of Spain (5-0).

BUSINESS: DoF seeks to boost employment quality

Over to business, the Department of Finance on Friday cited the government strategies that will boost the quantity and quality of employment. In a statement, the D.o.F. said the Growth-Enhancing Actions and Resolutions (Gears) plan will ensure that the country is on track to achieve a growth-enhancing fiscal consolidation, which will in turn foster an environment that is conducive to employment-generating investments. Under the Gears plan, the D.o.F. will act fast on investments through the swift implementation of pro-business reforms, improvements in the regulatory regime, reduction in the cost of doing business and addressing constraints. These include pushing for amendments to the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (Create) Act to further address investor concerns, tailor-fit incentives and attract more strategic investments into the country.

READ: Opinion and editorial

Marlen Ronquillo is today's front page columnist, as he asks if the current roster of senators can repeat the 1991 "vote of defiance".

Today's editorial looks into House Bill 9349 or the Absolute Divorce Act. Read the full version in the paper's opinion section or listen to the Voice of the Times.

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