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Welcome to Sun.Star Blogs and Specials, a section where you can find updates on current events and hottest issues of the day. This section contains several micro-sites that were designed to cover certain topics and issues, such as corruption in the government, developments in the Aquino administration, updates on Cebu’s grandest festival – the Sinulog, schedule of fights and the life of Filipino boxing champ Manny Pacquiao, and even a section for Filipinos abroad, among others. Each of these micro-sites is interactive and has videos, photos, maps and graphics. Browse through the sites featured in this section, and know more about what’s inside Sun.Star.
News, Events From The Blog
- Good Earth
October 21st, 2014Good Earth 0 Comments

CEBU – How do you recycle discarded tarpaulins? The students from the University of the Philippines Cebu showcased on Saturday woven tribal costumes made of tarpaulins and these designs ruled the runway. The University of the Philippines Cebu emerged as champion in the 2014 Green Fashion Revolution, an intercollegiate environmental fashion show held at SM

- Good Earth
September 29th, 2014Good Earth 0 Comments

THE Oh My Gulay! – Tanim sa Kinabukasan has signed a memorandum of agreement at the Department of Education in Pasig City on Wednesday, September 24, to formalize the program’s third year anniversary. The program aims to solve malnutrition among public school children in the Philippines through a nationwide school gardening program by teaching kids

- Good Earth
September 27th, 2014Good Earth 0 Comments

Erwin M. Mascariñas I’VE always been a huge enthusiast when it comes to wild life photography although it has always been very hard for me since I could only afford a lens with much limited range. So it came as a delight after I heard of a village in the town of Jasaan in Misamis

- Good Earth
September 23rd, 2014Good Earth 0 Comments

GLOBE Telecom is embarking on a mobile recycling program in the Philippines called Project 1 Phone to create awareness on proper e-waste disposal and to promote sustainability. The program aims to address the electronic devices disposed worldwide every year which cause toxic metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and beryllium released into the air and

- Good Earth
September 5th, 2014Good Earth 0 Comments

GLOBE Telecom is supporting a project that aims to intensify the protection of sharks in Monad Shoal, Malapascua Island. Majestic thresher sharks and white tip sharks are among the major attractions of Malapascua, a small island off Cebu’s northern tip, which constantly evokes interest among scuba divers from all over the world. Project Shark Shelter,

- Technology blog
August 19th, 2014Technology blog 0 Comments

SINGAPORE — CloudFX Group, one of Asia’s most innovative technology companies as voted by CIO Asia, has launched CloudSelect, the industry’s most advanced, innovative open standards-based Cloud Services Brokerage platform. CloudSelect represents the first of its kind in the high growth Cloud services management category of Cloud Service Brokering. At launch, CloudSelect will offer over […]

- Philippine Festivals
August 12th, 2014Philippine Festivals 0 Comments

A contingent dance in honor of the sea during the 14th Dinagat Festival last Sunday. Formerly called the Bakasi Festival, Cordovanhons are proud of their fishing heritiage and they show it through the Dinagat Festival, held every August. The celebration is also in honor of the town’s patron Señor San Roque.  (Alan Tangcawan photo)

- Philippine Festivals
August 11th, 2014Philippine Festivals 0 Comments

“I AM happy when I get good grades and become an honor student, when my mommy and daddy don’t fight and when I go to the park and have fun with my friends.”

With this answer, Little Miss Kagayan 2014 Kim Katryl Labor of Barangay Kauswagan outshone the other equally beautiful girls when they were asked “what makes them happy.”

The seven-year-old Kim has been crowned Little Miss Kagayan 2014 on Saturday night, August 9, 2014. Continue reading–>

- Philippine Festivals
August 9th, 2014Philippine Festivals 0 Comments

Clad in their ethnic costumes, 11 contestants hand-picked by their tribes for this year’s Hiyas sa Kadayawan were presented during yesterday’s flag raising ceremony at the Davao City Hall on Monday. The candidates represent the 11 indigenous and Islamized tribes of Mindanao who have made Davao City their home: Ata, Maguindanao, Tagabawa Bagobo, Kalagan, Bagobo K’lata, Sama, Matigsalug, Tausug, Obu Manuvu, Maranao, and Iranun. (Seth delos Reyes)

More photos here: http://www.sunstar.com.ph/gallery

- admin
July 28th, 2014admin 0 Comments

BELOW are highlights of President Benigno Aquino III’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) delivered at the Batasang Pambansa on Monday, July 28, 2014.


Aquino concludes Sona

He ended his Sona at 5:34 p.m. The session was adjourned two minutes after.

Aquino’s Sona this year received 86 applauses.

Appeal to Bosses

Aquino appealed to his “bosses” to continue the change and transformation that his administration has started.

“Buong-buo ang tiwala ko, nasa eksena man ako o wala, tutungo ang Pilipino sa tama niyang kalalagyan.”

Good men

Aquino mentioned government officials, religious leaders, military and artists like Ogie Alcasid when he cited their good deeds and urged them to continue what they’re doing. He made special mention of Vice President Jejomar Binay, who despite their political differences, had been with him and his family for a long time.

Worth fighting for

President Aquino quoted his father when he said toward the end of his speech: “The Filipino is worth dying for.”

He added these lines: “The Filipino is worth living for… The Filipino is worth fighting for.”

His sister, celebrity Kris Aquino, was seen on TV crying.

Reminder to people, appeal

Aquino reminded the Filipino people to continue the reforms started by his administration, citing he only has one Sona left to deliver. Aquino’s term will end in 2016.

He also asked the public to continue to support him, as he vowed that he will never turn his back on them because doing so would mean turning his back on his parents, Ninoy Aquino and former President Corazon Aquino. He turned emotional when he made this appeal.

Aquino on critics

Filipinos are now on their way to progress despite criticisms. With unity, we will succeed, Aquino said.

DAP suspension

Aquino said the administration has to look for other funds for the government’s anti-crime campaign with the suspension of Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). He asked Congress to pass a resolution that will clarify concepts in the budget.

Solving crimes

Aquino promised to work hard to achieve justice for victims of crimes, including Cebuano businessman Richard King, Mayor Ernesto Balolong, and car racer Enzo Pastor. Suspects in their murder were arrested by the police.

Reforms in Customs

The Bureau of Customs has been reformed, with the appointment of new commissioners and deputy commissioners. Aquino cited an increase in cash collections with the reforms being done within BOC.

Bangsamoro Basic Law

The government signed a peace deal with the MILF, but Aquino said the signing was just the start of a long process. He said the draft Bangsamoro law should be acceptable to all, thus it should pass scrutiny.

His administration targets to pass the law before the end of 2014 so as not to delay the peace process. He asked Congress for understanding.

Power shortage

The government is trying to solve power shortage in the country, with solutions being readied to address the shortage comes summers 2015. Aquino acknowledged that the El Nino is a threat to hydropower producers.

Rice smuggling

Government has been investigating officials who have links to rice smugglers.

Arrest of CPP-NPA rebels

Aquino cited in his Sona the arrest of CPP-NPA leaders Benito Tiamzon and his wife. Praised the military and police for the arrest and claimed the communist movement is declining.

Yolanda rehab master plan

Aquino said it takes one year for relief operations to be done and for rehabilitation to start, but in just eight months, the UN declared that the Philippines is already in the rehabilitation stage.

The rehabilitation plans for Cebu, Iloilo, Samar, Eastern Samar, Leyte and Tacloban City were approved, and that the Department of Budget and Management is tasked to release at least P96 billion for these areas.

Aquino called on Congress to help implement the rehabilitation plans.

Thank you, donors

Aquino thanked other countries, as well as non-government organizations and communities from all over the world for assisting the Philippines after Typhoon Yolanda.

He also thanked the Cabinet members who played roles in the rescue and rehabilitation of Yolanda victims, including Cesar Purisima, Joel Villanueva, Joseph Abaya, Voltaire Gazmin, Mar Roxas and Dinky Soliman.

Disasters: Typhoon Yolanda

By Christmas 2013, power had been restored in all municipalities affected by Typhoon Yolanda, the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines in 2013. About 1.7 million families were affected by the typhoon, while 44 provinces were hit. In these places, infrastructure and public utilities were down.

Aquino called for an extraordinary cooperation to help Filipinos affected by the typhoon get back on their feet.

Disasters: Bohol-Cebu quake

Power in Tagbilaran City, Bohol was restored a week after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake, which occurred on October 15, 2013. One in every 25 critical bridges in Bohol were rehabilitated. The DILG has funded rehabilitation of public markets, water systems, town halls, and other infrastructures that were destroyed or damaged by the tremor.

Disasters: Zamboanga siege

Aquino thanked the military and police for showing their courage and sacrifices during the Zamboanga siege in September 2013, saying more than 100 civilians were saved.

Housing aid worth P2.57 billion was released to the National Housing Authority and DPWH for the Zamboanga siege victims.

AFP/PNP Modernization

The government has bought equipment, ships, and helicopters for the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Two fighter jets will be delivered in 2015. Radar system and other equipment will also be purchased to modernize the military.

On the part of the Philippine National Police, the one to one police to pistol ration has been achieved by the current administration.

Labor reforms

Out of the 115 notices of strike filed in 2013, only one pushed through. Aquino said the government targets a zero strike in 2014.

PPP/Infrastructure Projects

Seven Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects worth P62.6 billion was awarded by the Aquino administration, exceeding the 6 PPPs approved by the three previous administrations.

Aquino vows to award more PPP projects, and he praised the Public Works department headed by Secretary Rogelio Singson for achieving the agency’s targets of building 12,184 kilometers of roads and bridges and for curbing corruption.

The government’s budget for infrastructure has “more than doubled” from P200.3 billion in 2011 to P404.3 billion in 2014.


Poverty incidence was reduced to 24.9 percent in the first quarter of 2013, from the 27.9 percent in the same period in 2012 because of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program for the poorest of the poor.

The CCT has been expanded to include children aged up to 11 years old.

Aviation Safety Standards

The European Union now allows the Philippine Airlines to fly to Europe, allowing Filipinos direct access to London from Manila. The Cebu Pacific Airline was also allowed to fly to EU in 2014.

The Philippines has also expanded airline operations in the United States after safety concerns on the local aviation industry were lifted in 2013. With this, more flights will bring in more investors and tourists in the country, said Aquino.

Economic Growth/Credit Rating

Aquino said the Philippine economy is on the upswing, backed by credit rating upgrades, favorable assessment from international aviation experts and larger spending on infrastructure.

“Our economy and our country are indeed taking off, and we are already realizing even greater aspirations,” he said.

Three international credit rating agencies — Moody’s, Fitch Group and Standard and Poor’s — gave the Philippines investment grade ratings in 2013, opening more investments for the country.

The Philippines tax collection also increased from P1.039 trillion in 2010 to P1.536 trillion in 2013.

DAP Benefits

The DAP, says Aquino, infused P1.6 billion for the training-for-work scholarship program of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda), benefiting 223,615 individuals. Of this number, 66 percent representing 146,731 graduates landed jobs.

The government invested P7,155 in each scholar.

“This is good governance: The right intentions, practices, and results. Everyone wins,” he said. “We worked hard to accumulate the funds government has today, which is why we will not tolerate wasting it.”

Aquino’s arrival in Batasan

President Benigno Aquino III arrives at the Batasang Pambansa around 3:30 p.m. Monday. He entered the session hall and was welcomed by the lawmakers and guests around 3:56 p.m. before the Congress joint session was called to order. He started his Sona, his fifth since he assumed office in 2010, at 4:02 p.m.



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