‘Helen’ Makes Landfall In Isabela

Tropical storm “Helen” (international name: Kai-tak) made landfall in Isabela before dawn Wednesday, a PAGASA forecaster said. PAGASA forecaster Gener Quitlong, in an interview over radio dzMM, said Helen made landfall in Palanan, Isabela at 1 a.m. Isabela officials had already carried out a preemptive evacuation in anticipation of the storm.

The province is also under threat of flooding as the Magat dam was already at 189.72 meters, which is only 0.28 meter short its spilling level of 190 meters. The dam was releasing 321 cubic meters per second of water as of 4 a.m., PAGASA said

Meanwhile, Quitlong said Helen is now crossing over Kalinga and Apayao, and is expected to exit the Philippine landmass in Ilocos Norte between 4 and 6 p.m. today.

The storm will then head towards southern China and exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Friday morning. As of 5 a.m., PAGASA said Helen was located 60 kilometers south southeast of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan. The storm was still packing winds of 85 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center with gustiness of up to 100 kph. It was moving west northwest at 17 kph.

Storm warning signal number 2 remains hoisted over the following areas:

Cagayan

Babuyan Group of Islands

Calayan Group of Islands

Batanes Group of Islands

Isabela

Northern Aurora

Quirino

Nueva Vizcaya

Benguet

Ifugao

Mt. Province

Ilocos Sur

Apayao

Kalinga

Ilocos Norte

Abra

Meanwhile, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Tarlac, La Union and the rest of Aurora remain under storm warning signal number 1.

Preschool to high school classes are automatically suspended in areas under signal number 2, while classes in preschool are automatically suspended in areas under signal number 1. “Residents living in low-lying and mountainous areas under public storm warning signal #2 and #1 are alerted against possible flashfloods and landslides,” PAGASA said.

“Likewise, those living in coastal areas under public storm warning #2 are alerted against big waves or storm surges generated by this tropical storm,” it added.

PAGASA said moderate to heavy rains (7.5 -12 millimeters per hour) were being experienced over Mindoro, Batangas, Laguna, Cavite and Metro Manila; and intermittent light to moderate rains (2.5 – 7.5 mm/hr) over central Luzon and the rest of southern Luzon.

The rains over central and southern Luzon, and Visayas, especially the western section, were due to the enhanced southwest monsoon, Quitlong said.

UBS – PH Remains In Sweet Spot For Investments

The Philippines remains in a sweet spot with a lot of room for investment and economic activities, the Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) said in its latest report. “The lack of excess suggests the Philippine economy is still in a sweet spot. Easy monetary policy settings and rich asset valuations can encourage excesses in domestic credit and investment activity, but these have yet to show up in a meaningful way,” UBS said in a report released last week following the 25-basis points reduction in key policy rates by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

On Thursday, the BSP reduced the overnight borrowing rate to a low of 3.75 percent and the lending rate to 5.75 percent on concerns over global growth risks. UBS raised the question as to whether it was necessary for monetary authorities to raise rates. It said that easing monetary policy may branch credit but this has yet to be seen. UBS also said the Philippine economy is not immune to the global external risks such as the crisis in the euro zone.

“At the same time, the Philippine economy is not immune to global headwinds. In the context of international risks to the Philippine economy and low inflation, a reasonable case for policy easing can and has been made by the BSP,” UBS said. It said that earlier BSP monetary policy should be good for asset prices.

UBS said it expects the policy rate to be at 3.75 percent for the overnight borrowing rate and the peso at 42 to the dollar by yearend.

The inflation rate dipped to 2.8 percent in June from 2.9 percent in May, according to latest data from the National Statistics Office. The June inflation brought year-to-date inflation at three percent, falling at the lower end of the central bank’s three to five percent target for 2012.

Officers To South China Sea Garrison Were Appointed By China

The defence ministry announced the appointments Thursday, the China Daily said, two days after China said it had established the city of Sansha on an island in the area, along with the military garrison. China has appointed military officers at a newly-established garrison in the South China Sea, state media reported Friday, the country’s latest step to bolster claims to disputed islands in the area.

Appointed were Senior Colonel Cai Xihong as the garrison’s commander and Senior Colonel Liao Chaoyi as its political commissar, China Daily reported, quoting ministry spokesman Yang Yujun.

Yang said that the garrison has responsibility for defence mobilisation, guarding the city and disaster relief, among other functions.

However, he added that a separate maritime garrison under the Chinese navy was responsible for maritime defence and military combat, appearing to suggest that the Sansha garrison would not have such responsibilities.

“Whether a military establishment has combat forces or not depends on its military tasks,” he said, according to China Daily.

Vietnam and the Philippines condemned China’s decision earlier this week to set up the garrison, with Hanoi on Tuesday filing a formal protest and Manila lodging a complaint with China’s ambassador.

Yang said how China deploys its military within its own borders is irrelevant to other countries, China Daily said.

The city of Sansha lies on the island of Yongxing in the disputed Paracel Islands. The region is also north of the Spratly Islands, which are also subject to rival claims.

China says it owns much of the South China Sea, though Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Brunei and Malaysia each claim portions of it.

The dispute has simmered for decades, though tensions have risen markedly recently as China has moved to more strongly assert its territorial claims.

The Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN) at a summit earlier this month failed for the first time in 45 years to issue a joint statement, as members were unable to agree how to refer to China’s behaviour in the disputed waters.

China says it is acting within its rights, though its moves have raised alarm bells in the region and beyond.

Beijing is also involved in a separate dispute with Japan over islands in the East China Sea.

China is seen as unlikely to alter its stance, despite growing international criticism.

“China will certainly continue reinforcing its political and military control over Sansha as it has drawn lessons from maritime disputes in the past,” Zhang Zhexin, a US studies expert with the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, was quoted by China Daily as saying.

PRC released the Board Passers of the Latest Real Estate Broker Licensure Examination this year

From abs-cbnNews

The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) announced Friday that 3,185 out of 4,762 passed the Real Estate Broker Licensure Examination.

The examination was given by the Board of Real Estate Service in Manila, Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao and Ilo-Ilo last March 2011.

The results were released in five (5) days after the last of examination, the PRC said.

Registration for the issuance of Professional Identification Card (ID) and Certificate of Registaration will start on Thursday, April 7, 2011 until April 14, 2011.

Those who will register are required to bring the following:

Duly accomplished Oath Form or Panunumpa ng Propesyonal

  • · Current Community Tax Certificate (cedula)
  • · 2 pieces passport size picture (colored with white background and complete nametag)
  • · 1 piece 1×1 picture (colored with white background and complete nametag)
  • · 2 sets of metered documentary stamps and,
  • · 1 short brown envelope with name and profession; and to pay the Initial Registration Fee of 600 and Annual Registration Fee of P450 for 2011-2014.

Succesful examinees should personally register and sign in the Roster of Registered Professionals.

The oathtaking ceremony of the sucessful examinees in the said examination will be held before the Board on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 1:00 in the afternoon at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City.

Tickets for the Oathtaking will be available from April 7, 2011 to April 25, 2011.

To see the successful examinees who garnered the 10 highest rank, CLICK HERE!

CLICK HERE to View the Full List of Real Estate Broker Licensure Examination Passers.

From abs-cbnNEWS

VP Binay: named as the Most Trusted Government Official

BY: KRIS JOHN ENCOMIENDA

In the latest trust and approval survey conducted by PulseAsia, revealed that the most appreciated and well-trusted government official is Vice President Jejomar Binay overtaking President Noynoy Aquino, having 83% trust rate from the 78% registered last October as compared to Pnoy’s rate of 74% as of this month, decreased from the 78% registered last October, according to ABS-CBN.

The survey is conducted February 24 to March 6, 2011 were: the diplomatic row between the Philippines and Taiwan over the deportation of 14 Taiwanese nationals to China; the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the EDSA Revolution; and the evacuation of Filipinos in Libya amidst the ongoing civil unrest in the country; the execution of three convicted Filipino for drug trafficking in China that is supposed to happen on February 20 and 21 but is put on hold because of Binay’ humanitarian visit to Beijing, China.

Joey Salgado, Binay’s spokesman, said the Pulse Asia survey encourages the vice-president to work even harder.

“VP Binay is grateful for the people’s support. It encourages him to work harder for our people. The VP knows that our country is facing so many challenges and he asks that we all work together to face these challenges and help President Noynoy move our country forward,” he said.

Other developing stories at the time the survey was a total of 1,200 representative adults participated in the survey. It has a ± 3% error margin at the 95% confidence level.

source: GMANews, ABS-CBNnews