Tourism Continues To Lift

The Department of Tourism (DOT) is hoping to exceed its forecast 4.5 million tourists this year due to continued increased of number of tourists entering the country that reached 15% gross over the past few months.

It is proudly said by DOT Sec. Ramon Jimenez in the debut held in duty free shop stores at NAIA Terminal 1 yesterday.

Additionally, Korea is still the largest source of tourists who are coming to the Philippines and followed it by the United States and Japan, “But the Asean is the largest already, they are our neighbors.”

Japan To Give 12 Boats to The Philippine Coast Guard

Department of Foreign Affairs said that The Philippines and Japan have agreed to further improve their joint cooperation on “shared regional strategic concerns,” including maritime security. This developed following Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario’s meetings with his Japanese counterpart Koichiro Gemba, and Deputy Prime Minister Katsura Okada during the DFA head’s official visit to Tokyo last week.

In Philippine Daily Inquirer, Del Rosario said that aside from the United States, three other countries – Japan, South Korea and Australia – were helping the Philippines establish a minimum reliable defense posture to complement its diplomatic capacity in dealing with its territorial disputes with China in the West Philippine Sea (South China). He revealed that the Tokyo government would likely provide the Philippine Coast Guard with 12 patrol boats. “They’re considering 10 40-meter boats on official development aid and two larger ones as grants,” said Del Rosario.

The foreign office said “the two ministers engaged in comprehensive discussions reviewing key aspects of relations and affirmed their respective governments’ commitments to advancing the multifaceted bilateral relations on the two countries’ shared values and long history of cooperation.”

DFA added that “Talks centered on the enhancement of political dialogue, economic cooperation, official development assistance, and business-to-business and people-to-people ties, as well as on the furtherance of bilateral cooperation on shared regional strategic concerns, including maritime safety and disaster risk reduction”. However, the foreign office did not provide details about the two officials’ dialogue on maritime security-related matters.

The head of the embassy’s chancery, Minister Shinsuke Shimizu told this paper Tokyo would continue to help the Coast Guard deal with its maritime safety and law enforcement concerns. However, Shimizu clarified “it is of different nature from establishing the minimum credible defense capabilities” of the Philippines. “Nor is it aimed at addressing a specific regional situation,” said the diplomat. He was apparently referring to the Scarborough Shoal dispute between Manila and Beijing. He noted that “since 1990, Japan has been helping the Coast Guard in its capacity-building program.”

Possible Acid Rain today and tomorrow; is so False

BY: KRIS JOHN ENCOMIENDA

Early this morning, unknown information from a chain message via cellular phones just kept circulating in the midst of nuclear explosion issue in Fukumi, Japan.

The message is this “Reminder, 4:30 this afternoon a nuclear power plant explode in Fukimi, Japan, it is said that if ever later or tomorrow rains, don’t go outside without any protection for your skin, use umbrella or rain coat because when you rained, there are tendency that your skin might burn, it can also cause you hair baldness or skin cancer, it’s very dangerous.”

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration or PAGASA answered the unidentified rumor that the story behind text message Japan nuclear blast which occurred on Saturday after a magnitude 9.0 earthquake hit the country the day before, will cause acid rain in the Philippines is not true

Quoted, “The winds from Japan are moving away from us. It’s not true that these winds contain acid rain,” PAGASA forecaster Aldczar Aurelio by radio dzBB today. (“Yong hangin galing sa Japan papalayo kaya ‘di makakarating sa atin. Hindi totoo ang ulan may kasamang acid.”)

Mario Montejo, Secretary of Department of Science and Technology, (DOST) told radio dwIZ today, “There is no immediate threat to the Philippines …We are very optimistic in a few days we can declare no threat to the country.”secretary said.

SOURCES: http://ph.news.yahoo.comGMA News Online

US, China, Japan congratulate P-Noy

MANILA, Philippines — Led by President Barack Obama
who called on his mobile phone, the leaders of the world’s three biggest economies—the United States, China and Japan—welcomed President-elect Benigno Aquino III’s rise to power, pledging to help a leader facing daunting challenges, from rebellions and massive poverty to a crippling budget deficit.

Aquino Thursday told reporters that Obama invited him to visit the United States “at the appropriate time,” solidifying a previous invitation extended by US Ambassador Harry K. Thomas Jr., who said the incoming Philippine leader should take two trips to the United States.

Regarded by many as a political lightweight after an unimpressive stint in Congress, Aquino—who has said he prefers to be called “P-Noy” rather than by his initials BSA—is inheriting a nation grappling with poverty and debilitated by decades-long communist and Moro insurgencies, military unrest, corruption, violent crime and political strife.

“It was a very pleasant conversation,” Aquino said of his phone conversation with Obama on Wednesday night, which lasted for about 20 minutes.

“I won’t say we’re very close since it’s my first time to talk to him [but] I believe he was very sincere in his words that he really wants to foster stronger relations with our country.”

Parents are champions

In a statement, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the Philippines’ successful automated elections “exemplified the vitality of the country’s democratic institutions and should be a point of pride for Filipinos everywhere.”

“The Filipino people now look to President-elect Aquino to carry forward the democratic traditions that his parents did so much to champion,” Clinton said, referring to Aquino’s assassinated father, Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. and his late mother, ex-President Corazon “Cory” Aquino.

Clinton said the United States had long stood with the Philippines as a trusted ally and friend and pledged to support the efforts of the Filipinos to build a secure and prosperous country.

Aquino said the Visiting Forces Agreement—a thorny issue in RP-US relations—was not discussed in his talk with Obama.

‘Very strong relationship’

“(Obama) said we had a very strong relationship. He said he has a personal close friendship with the Filipino community in America, one of the biggest immigration groups there.”

Aquino said he told Obama of his recent meeting with Ambassador Thomas and that when he said the Philippines expected to work well with the envoy he had chosen to send to Manila, “he (Obama) was very pleased with that.”

“The ambassador really exuded that drive to make our relationship much, much stronger. Hopefully, they will really be our partners in addressing the problems in the country,” Aquino said.

“Job generation is our first priority. He (Thomas) said they could set up meeting with business leaders in different areas of America. So much so that we might not be able to handle it with one trip. He was suggesting two trips in a part time frame,” Aquino said.

‘Model of transparency’

Aquino said the Americans were “very eager” to invest in the country but “they want to be sure that they have a reasonable chance” of making profit, “otherwise it would be a useless venture.”

“What was emphasized was their eagerness to invest in the country subject to conditions,” Aquino said.

In a statement on the phone conversation between Obama and Aquino, the White House said the US leader “described the May 10 elections as a model of transparency and positive testament to the strength and vitality of democracy in the Philippines.”

Obama “noted the deep historic and people-to-people ties between the United States and the Philippines and our strong cooperation on security and economic issues in the Asia Pacific region and globally,” the statement said.

The White House said the two leaders agreed to take the cooperation between the two countries to a new level and to meeting at a “mutually convenient” time.

China, Japan, Australia

Chinese President Hu Jintao and Vice President Xi Jinping joined other world leaders in congratulating Aquino and Vice President Jejomar Binay.

Hu said the two countries had maintained frequent exchanges and enhanced mutual trust since the establishment of diplomatic relations 35 years ago.

“Under new historical circumstances, I would like to work with you to carry forward our traditional friendship, expand our mutually beneficial cooperation, advance China-Philippines strategic and cooperative relations to a new level, and make positive contributions to regional peace, stability and development,” Hu said.

Xi said China would be pleased to work with the Aquino administration to carry on the significant progress in China-Philippines relations.

“I would like to work with Your Excellency, proceeding from the fundamental interests of the two peoples, to push forward China-Philippines strategic and cooperative relations in a sound and stable manner, and make joint efforts to promote regional peace, stability and development,” Xi said.

New Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan pledged his country would “do its utmost to cooperate … in efforts toward further stability and progress.”

Alarm at budget deficit

Aquino will take his oath of office on June 30. He has expressed alarm at the ballooning national budget deficit, which he said could surpass $8.7 billion (P400 billion) this year.

Australian Ambassador Rod Smith visited Aquino at Times Street on Thursday and congratulated him on his victory.

Aquino said he looked forward to increasing trade between Australia and the Philippines and also getting inputs from Australia on developing the mining industry without harming the environment.

Lucio Tan firm, Mitsubishi tie up for P100-million environment project

MANILA, Philippines – Absolut Chemicals Inc., the alcohol company of taipan Lucio C. Tan, has partnered up with Mitsubishi Corp. of Japan for a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project at at Absolut’s plant in Lian, Batangas.

Constructed in accordance with the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the Absolut plant has been cited as a model for environmental responsibility.

The project is the Philippines’ first and largest CDM undertaking in the private sector and in the manufacturing industry.

CDM is an arrangement under the Kyoto Protocol whereby industrialized countries with greenhouse gas reduction commitments are allowed to invest in projects that reduce emissions in developing nations as an alternative to more expensive emission reductions in their own countries.

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Pinoy couple back in RP after losing deportation battle in Japan

MANILA, Philippines – The Filipino couple who was deported by Japan for allegedly using fake passports during the early 90′s has arrived in the Philippines.

Radio dzBB’s Lito Laparan reported that the Calderon couple, Arlan, 36, Sarah, 38, arrived on board flight JL 745 from Narita Airport in Japan. They landed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport at 10 p.m Monday evening.

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Remittances up 13% to $16b in 2008

Foreign exchange remittances from Filipino expatriates surged in 2008 despite the global economic crisis.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported that remittances through banks and other official channels reached $16.43 billion last year, up 13.7 percent from $14.45 billion in 2007, when they grew 13.2 percent from the 2006 level.

The major sources of remittances in 2008 were the United States, Saudi Arabia, Canada, UK, Italy, United Arab Emirates, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong.

In December, remittances scaled to $1.40 billion, compared with $1.30 billion in November and with $1.397 billion in December 2007. [Read full article...]

Japan: Hiring of Pinoy nurses continues

The hiring of Filipino nurses and caregivers in Japan will continue despite the country’s worst economic crisis in 35 years.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration allayed fears about the cancellation of the planned hiring, and even said 1000 Filipino nurses and caregivers will be hired over the next two years.

“We will be deploying an initial batch of 200 nurses and 300 caregivers by end of April or early May this year as part of the agreement,” POEA chief Jennifer Manalili said.

Under the agreement between the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Japan International Corp. of Welfare Services (JICWELS), those who qualify for the jobs will undergo a six-month language and culture training in Japan during which they will receive an allowance of $400 or more than P21,000, Manalili said. [Read full article...]

RP nurses can now apply for Japan jobs

MANILA, Philippines—Japan can now start recruiting Filipino nurses and caregivers for training and employment under the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement after Monday afternoon’s signing of a memorandum of understanding providing for that.

A month after the Framework for the Movement of Natural Persons under JPEPA came into force, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Japan International Corporation of Welfare Services (JICWELS) agreed to recruit Filipino nurses as candidate-kangoshi and caregivers as candidate-kaigofukushishi to Japan. The framework came into force on December 11, 2008.

POEA Administrator Jennifer Jardin-Manalili signed for the Philippines, while JICWELS managing director Takashi Tsunoda signed for Japan.

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