Good day. Here are the stories for The Manila Times for Friday, June 28, 2024.

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READ: BBM: PH must do more than protest

PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said Thursday the Philippines needs to do more than protest Beijing's "illegal actions" in the South China Sea. Chinese coast guard personnel wielding knives, sticks and an axe surrounded and boarded three Filipino navy boats last week, video showed, foiling what Manila said was a resupply mission to troops manning a grounded warship, the BRP Sierra Madre, on Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the 2024 National Employment Summit at The Manila Hotel, Marcos said the latest aggression at the Ayungin Shoal was not an armed attack as there was no gunfire.

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READ: Marcos hopes to name new DepEd chief soon

Marcos said he hopes to name a new secretary of the Department of Education (DepEd) soon, following the resignation of Vice President Sara Duterte. In an interview on the sidelines of the National Employment Summit held at the Manila Hotel, Marcos said the government has to carry on, despite the departure of Duterte as DepEd chief and also as vice chairman of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac).

READ: Prints of Alice Guo, Guo Hua Ping match

SEN. Risa Hontiveros on Thursday said the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has confirmed that the fingerprints of Bamban, Tarlac Mayor Alice Guo and Guo Hua Ping, a Chinese businesswoman, match. During the resumption of the Senate inquiry on human trafficking inside the illegal Philippine offshore gaming operator (POGO) hub in Tarlac, Hontiveros raised the possibility that the mayor assumed the identity of the "real" Alice Leal Guo.

READ: Govt to create 3 million jobs by 2028 – Marcos

PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Thursday said his administration plans to create 3 million jobs for Filipinos by the end of his term. The President issued the statement as he attended the 2024 National Employment Summit in Manila to kick off the creation of the "Trabaho Para sa Bayan" (TPB) Plan. In his speech, Marcos called on the labor sector to vigorously implement the plan for the TPB, a 10-year roadmap for greater employment generation and recovery.

BUSINESS: Govt targets revised

Headlining business, economic managers on Thursday approved revisions to the country's medium-term macroeconomic assumptions and fiscal program, including a weaker peso outlook for this year and a higher 2025 national government budget. The growth target for this year was kept at 6.0-7.0 percent, as were those for 2025 (6.5-7.5 percent) and 2026-2028 (6.5-8.0 percent). The inflation outlook, however, was narrowed to 3.0-4.0 percent for 2024 from 2.0-4.0 percent previously. The rate is still seen hitting 2.0-4.0 percent in 2025 up to 2028.

SPORTS: Cebu City ensures safety of Palaro athletes

Over to sports, leaving no stone unturned to ensure the safety and security of the more than 12,000 participants for the Palarong Pambansa who are expected to arrive here next week, the city government of Cebu held a bomb explosion simulation exercise at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC). The exercise that took place on Wednesday was led by the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CCDRRMO). Other various government agencies were also involved to provide security for the delegates in the multi-sports event scheduled from July 6 to 17. During the drill, members of the Philippine National Police's Explosives and Ordnance Division simulated a bomb explosion, resulting in numerous mock injuries. Government rescue teams, including those from the Department of Health, City Health Department, Joint Task Group of the Armed Forces of the PhilippinesVisayas Command, Bureau of Fire Protection, and the Philippine Red Cross, actively participated in the drill.

READ: Opinion and editorial

Rigoberto Tiglao and Francisco Tatad are today's front page columnists. Tiglao weighs in on the recent incidents at the Ayungin Shoal, while Tatad asks if Vice President Sara Duterte can reinvent herself.

Today's editorial welcomes the Kuwaiti government's decision to allow Filipinos to be deployed in the Middle Eastern country. Read the full version in the paper's opinion section or listen to the Voice of the Times.

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