BOC, PDEA tie up with Fujian anti-narcotics agency vs drug smuggling

TWO Philippine agencies have tied up with China’s Fujian Provincial Drug Law Enforcement Agency to stop drug smuggling into the country, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said Wednesday.

Officials of the BOC and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) met with the representatives of the Fujian Provincial Drug Law Enforcement Agency on Tuesday.MORE

Palace approves retroactive P1,000 SSS pension hike

Memorandum from the executive secretary.

MALACAÑANG signed Wednesday, February 22, a memorandum giving a green light for the release of the P1,000 increase in the monthly pension of Social Security System (SSS) members.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, who signed the memorandum, informed SSS Chairperson Amado Valdez and SSS President Emmanuel Dooc that the Malacañang approved the proposed increase in the benefit of qualified SSS pensioners and beneficiaries, retroactive from January this year.MORE

Pope demands protection for migrants

ROME. Pope Francis delivers his speech during his visit at the Roma Tre University in Rome, Friday, Feb. 17, 2017. Pope Francis says the phenomenon of migration doesn’t pose a danger to Europe’s culture but rather a challenge for societies to grow. (AP)

Pope Francis is calling for humanitarian corridors to protect refugees fleeing their homelands and denouncing the “populist rhetoric” that is closing doors in their faces.

In a speech Tuesday to an international forum on migration and peace, Francis also demanded justice and redress for migrants and the poor who have been exploited by the wealthy. He said the world can no longer sustain “unacceptable economic inequality” that destroys the planet and forces people to leave their homes.MORE

Bello: Protect and promote rights of migrant workers

THE Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III encouraged his fellow labor ministers in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to create measures or initiatives that will protect and promote the rights of migrant workers.

During the opening of the Asean Labor Ministers’ Retreat on Monday, February 20, Bello acknowledged the importance of Asean migrant workers for the better relationship of the Asean countries. It is therefore important, according to him, that they implement meaningful instruments for the workers.MORE

Bo’s Coffee to cap 1st quarter with 100 branches

Brew of choice. A barista shows guests where Bo’s Coffee beans are sourced. (SunStar Foto/Allan Cuizon)

HOMEGROWN coffee chain Bo’s Coffee has unveiled plans to open nine more outlets to close the first quarter of this year with 100 branches across the country.

The coffee chain founded by Cebuano Steve Benitez soft-opened its 91st branch in the Philippines and 31st outlet in Cebu at Island Central Mall in Lapu-Lapu City yesterday.MORE

500 families get bags of blessing

Gift-giving. A resident receives a bag of goods from Metrobank Foundation’s Bags of Blessing during the distribution held in Mambaling Sports Complex in Cebu City. (Contributed Foto)

AT least 500 Listahanan identified-poor families in Cebu City received the Metrobank Foundation’s Bags of Blessing during the Chinese New Year celebration last month.

The Bags of Blessing project is a nationwide gift-giving program of the foundation where 10,000 bags filled with grocery items worth P1,000 was distributed to 10,000 poorest families listed in the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Listahanan but are not beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.MORE

Communist Party of China donates $400,000 to build school

DAVAO. Students of Bolton Elementary School wave both the Philippine and Chinese flag as they welcome the Chinese dignitaries Tuesday, Feb. 21, headed by H.E Song Tao Minister of the International Department of Communist Party of China, at Bolton Elementary School gymnasium. The dignitaries donated $400,000 to the school to construct facilities and another $200,000 to build water facilities in rural areas in Davao City. (Macky Lim)

THE Communist Party of China (CPC), through the China Foundation of Development, donated USD400,000 for the construction of Bolton Elementary School, Davao City.

International Department Minister of CPC, Song Tao during his speech before the 18th City Council Tuesday, February 21, said they came to the Philippines in behalf of the CPC of China to foster friendship and partnership in Davao and in Philippines.MORE

FinanceAsia picks BSP Gov. Tetangco

BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. was conferred the 2016 Outstanding Achievement Award by FinanceAsia, a Hong Kong-based publication that covers investment banking, capital markets, and strategic corporate finance in Asia Pacific.

FinanceAsia annually recognizes the region’s most significant transactions, the financial institutions that advised on them ,as well as outstanding individuals in the field of finance.MORE

PAL, Cebu Pacific announces flight cancellations

THE Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific have announced the cancellation of flights due to the maintenance shutdown of the Tagaytay radar from March 6 to March 11.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) issued a notice to airmen enforcing a temporary shutdown of the Tagaytay radar for maintenance and upgrade.MORE

A man for others

CAGAYAN DE ORO. Gimar Reyes with the head of the Student Activities and Leadership Development at Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan, Richel Petalcurin (left) and his mother Mariza Reyes during the TOSP National Awarding (right) (Contributed photo)

AT AGE twenty, Gimar Alingig Reyes embodies selflessness in his pursuit to serve others through teaching. Even at a young age, Reyes has already reached out to others to fulfill his advocacy of providing education especially to the underprivileged in the country.

A graduate of Bachelor of Elementary Education at Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan, Reyes already has a passionate thirst for teaching.MORE

Gone to Guangzhou

CHINA. The Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall. (Contributed Photo)

THE Chinese New Year celebration has left some hangover feels on me that I began browsing through my photo archives of my travels around China.

The five cities in mainland China that I have gone to, not counting the autonomous territories of Hong Kong and Macau, were all interesting places that left me with great memories and experiences. The first Chinese city I was able to set foot in was Guangzhou, which was a big surprise to me.MORE

PAL linking more domestic destinations

CEBU. At the PAL press conference in Cebu – Harry Inoferio, SAVP for Sales Philippines; Eric Tan, Special Asst. to the SVP-Commercial Group; and Reyani Romano, Area Head-Visayas Sales. (Jinggoy I. Salvador)

THE flag carrier is feeding our wanderlust and giving us more reasons to pack our bags and hop on the next plane to our bucket listed destinations.

In 2016, Philippine Airlines launched four new international flights (Kuwait, Jeddah, Doha, Saipan), opened new routes (Cebu-Singapore, Cebu-Los Angeles, Manila-Taipei-Osaka, Cebu-Caticlan-Calrk) and increased flight frequencies (Manila-Los Angeles—twice daily; Manila-Toronto—three to four times weekly; Manila-Beijing—four to six times weekly; and Manila-Vancouver—seven to ten times weekly).MORE

Danes looking to invest in CEBU

Offering solutions. Danish ambassador to the Philippines Jan Top Christensen speaks to Cebuano business leaders. (SunStar Photo/Amper Campaña)

MARKED by strong economic activities in the recent years, Cebu is starting to get attention from the people of Denmark.

This is according to Denmark Ambassador Jan Top Christensen, who spoke to local business leaders Wednesday.MORE

Mactan in need of more hotel rooms

THE continuing boom in Philippine tourism finds Mactan Island in need of new hotel rooms or it will lose guests to other local destinations, a hotelier warned.

“With the overexcitement about the Philippines now, the five to six major hotels in Mactan is not enough to welcome the whole world,” said Harold Rainfroy, general manager of Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu, at the sidelines of the launching of Vanille Salèe menu last Wednesday, which will be offered from Feb. 21 to Mar. 21.MORE