You plan to move to the Philippines? Wollen Sie auf den Philippinen leben?

There are REALLY TONS of websites telling us how, why, maybe why not and when you'll be able to move to the Philippines. I only love to tell and explain some things "between the lines". Enjoy reading, be informed, have fun and be entertained too!

Ja, es gibt tonnenweise Webseiten, die Ihnen sagen wie, warum, vielleicht warum nicht und wann Sie am besten auf die Philippinen auswandern koennten. Ich moechte Ihnen in Zukunft "zwischen den Zeilen" einige zusaetzlichen Dinge berichten und erzaehlen. Viel Spass beim Lesen und Gute Unterhaltung!


German Language Course in Davao City/Deutschsprachkurs in Davao City,

Sie muessen auf den Philippinen DEUTSCH lernen? You have to learn the German language in the Philippines? Sie wohnen in Davao oder irgendwo in Mindanao? Do you reside in Davao City or somewhere else in Mindanao?

Mein Deutschkurs als Professor am Institute of Languages (Fremdspracheninstitut) an der University of Southeastern Philippines in Davao besteht bereits mehr als sechs Jahren und bietet die fundierte Ausbildung, die benoetigt wird, um das A1/A2 Examen beim Goethe Institut in Manila bestehen zu koennen. Das Goethe Institut Manila und USEP haben bereits vor Jahren ein Memorandum of Understanding unterzeichnet. Das Institute of Language ist seit Jahren eine spezielle Einrichtung unter der Aufsicht des Universitaetspraesidenten Dr. Perfecto Alibino. Es unterrichten nur Professoren, deren Qualifikation nachgewiesen werden konnten. CHED - Commission on Higher Education befindet sich in unmittelbarer Naehe auf dem USEP-Campus. Alle Kurs-Teilnehmer erhalten ein Universitaets-Zertifikat mit Abschlussnote. Dies ist wichtig fuer eine Visaerteilung! - My German Language Course at the University of Southeastern Philippines in Davao City as Professor (since more than six years now!) provides you with the requested education. You will be able to pass the A1/A2-exam at the Goethe Institute in Manila. Several years ago already, the Goethe Institut and USEP signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The "Institute of Language" is a special project since many years being supported directly by the Office of the President Dr. Alibin Perfecto. Only qualified professors are being able to teach different languages. CHED - Commission on Higher Education is located at the USEP campus. Language Course Students will be receiving an university certificate with average grade at the end of the course. This certification is important for a visa application!

Rufen Sie an: DAVAO 082 - 227 1761. Please call DAVAO 082 - 227 1761. ODER/OR 0915 - 2199002.

GERMAN LANGUAGE COURSES A1 and A2: 120 hours with following schedule: Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 to 11 am and Fridays from 8 to 10 am.

Deutsche Sprache Kurse A1 und A2: 120 Stunden - Unterrichtsstunden: montags, dienstags und mittwochs von 9 bis 11 Uhr und freitags von 8 bis 10 Uhr.

FOR MORE INFO (ESPECIALLY DIFFERENT LANGUAGES COURSES) / FUER MEHR INFORMATIONEN (SPEZIELL BETREFFEND VERSCHIEDENER SPRACHKURSANGEBOTE) BESUCHEN SIE BITTEPLEASE FEEL FREE TO VISIT http://www.usep.edu.ph AND THEN CLICK "ACADEMICS" - "DELIVERY SYSTEMS - INSTITUTE OF LANGUAGES or http://www.usep.edu.ph/Campuses/Obrero/Offices/IL or follow us in Facebook or Twitter.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Alert 3 on Mount Mayon

LEGAZPI CITY -- The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) raised Mayon Volcano’s alert status to Alert Level 3 at 10 p.m. Monday.
Phivolcs resident volcanologist Ed Laguerta said this means that magma is at the crater and that hazardous eruption is possible within weeks.
“It is recommended that the six-kilometer (km) radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) around the volcano and the seven-kilometer Extended Danger Zone (EDZ) on the southeastern flank be enforced due to the danger of rock falls, landslides and sudden explosions or dome collapse that may generate hazardous volcanic flows," he said.
Laguerta said the agency's seismic network recorded 32 volcanic earthquakes and 72 rock fall events during the past 24-hour observation period.
He added that Intensity III (bright) crater glow was visible Monday night, although rain clouds prevented visual observation of the crater during the day.
“The rolling incandescent rockfall within the uppermost reaches of the Bonga Gully last night indicates that the summit lava dome is breaching the crater in its southeastern side," the volcanologist said, saying that sulfur dioxide (SO2) flux was measured at an average of 611 tons/day on September 2.
Ground deformation data showed inflationary changes in the edifice from February based on precise leveling surveys on the third week of August, and edifice inflation from January 2012 baselines based on continuous tilt measurement.

Albay Governor Joey Salceda has ordered the forced evacuation of at least 10,000 affected residents and the no-human activity order withing the six-kilometer PDZ.
Based on the latest aerial survey and after the raising of Alert 2, authorities noted the entry of about 300 residents within the area although they had been evacuated already.
“There are residents who took advantage of the temporary lull in the volcano’s activity since its eruption in 2009,” Salceda noted.
Since Alert 2 was raised on August 15, the province has been training officials in affected municipalities and barangays.
These local government units (LGUs) are the cities of Legazpi, Tabaco and Ligao, and the towns of Guniobatan, Camalig, Daraga, Sto. Domingo and Malilipot.
Salceda also ordered these LGUs to conduct emergency meetings for the evacuation of the villagers within the six-km PDZ to eight-km EDZ.
“We will enforce the cluster approach in the management of the evacuation camps, like what we organized and trained for such event in 2009,” he did.
The Albay governor said he recommended to the Department of Education (DepEd) to come up already with emergency plans for the affected schools and students.
Salceda said that during disasters, the rights of the evacuees are superior to the rights of schoolchildren as guidance.
“The province-owned permanent evacuation centers in Gogon, Daraga nd Guinobatan can no longer be used as classrooms starting today,” he said. “Moreover, there may be a need to use more schools to accommodate the evacuees from the 6km-8km EDZ.”
He instructed the DepEd to institute measures to minimize disruption of learning, instruction and schooling for those affected barangays and host schools.
“Those living in the area southeast of Mayon are advised to prepare moist cloths to cover their faces and noses in preparation for the ash falls,” Salceda said.
He ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, Provincial Engineering Office and other members of the emergency team to ensure the availability of vehicles for evacuation and other activities needing transport and dispatch these to the Provincial Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC) Operation Center for immediate dispatch in case of need.
The PDRRMC, Albay Provincial Safety and Emergency Management Office, and the mayors of the affected cities and municipalities will have an emergency meeting at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday.
In response to the Mayon Level 3 alert, the Guinobatan DRRMC has evacuted 28 families (120 persons) living within the six-kilometer PDZ in Barangay Muladbucad Grande Monday night, according to Mayor Gemma Ongjoco. (PNA)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Stranded Passengers in Bicol Due to Rough Seas

By , |Inquirer South Luzon    


Bernardo Alejandro, Office of Civil Defense director in the Bicol region, said that as of noon Sunday, the stranded passengers included 431 at the port of Tabaco City and 137 in Pio Duran, both in Albay; 56 at Bulan Port and 58 at Pilar Port, both in Sorsogon; 11 at the Virac port and seven in San Andres Port, both  in Catanduanes; 19 at the Pasacao Port; and 11 at Guijalo, both in Camarines  Norte. 

Also stranded in these ports were 78 cargo trucks, 15 sea vessels and 3 motorized banca. 

Seaman First Danilo Gerona of the Philippine Coast Guard in Bicol (PCG 5),  said these passengers and vessels were stranded since Saturday after the  Coast Guard issued a gale warning for fishing boats, small sea craft and  larger sea vessels traveling along the seaboards of Visayas and the eastern  seaboard of Southern Luzon and Mindanao.
There was no report of missing fishermen as of Sunday, in Bicol, Gerona added. 

nd-province of Catanduanes, were provided with meals since Saturday by  the provincial government of Albay, said Alejandro. 

All flights in Legazpi City were meanwhile canceled Sunday due to low visibility but those at the Naga City Airport, which was suspended earlier  in the day, resumed at 11 a.m., said Alejandro. 

In Catanduanes, health and disaster authorities were placed on alert as the province, where storm signal number 1 has been hoisted Saturday, was  battered by tropical storm Luis. A detour bridge at the village of Hicming  in the capital town of Virac was destroyed at the storm on Saturday,  isolating six villages. 

Meanwhile, Senior Supt. Marlo Meneses, chief of the Albay police, said additional policemen were deployed at the Tabaco port to beef up security as the number of stranded passengers continued to rise. 

The storm warning signal over Catanduanes has been lowered but gale warning  was still enforced in this area, which means sailing and fishing remained  prohibited, based on the 11 a.m bulletin of Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Family-focused CINE EUROPA tours 9 Philippine Cities

The 17th edition of the annual Cine Europa, which begins on Thursday and runs until Sept. 21, showcases 23 movies from 17 countries with a theme focused on the varied cinematic interpretations of contemporary European families.

According to Delegation of the European Union (EU) to the Philippines political counselor Julian Vassallo, instead of the festival's usual three-city roadshow this time it will go on a tour of nine cities around the country.

After the Manila leg from Sept. 11 to 21, the festival will move on to Baguio (Sept. 23 to 28), Iloilo (Sept. 30 to Oct. 5), Cebu (Oct. 10 to 12), Leyte (Oct. 16 to 19), Tacloban (Oct. 21 to 26), Davao (Oct. 28 to Nov. 2), Zamboanga (Nov. 4 to 9) and Cagayan de Oro (Nov. 13-16).

In a message, EU Ambassador to the Philippines Guy Ledoux said “events on the ground”—the three-week attack on Zamboanga City by followers of Nur Misuari—prevented them from taking the festival to Zamboanga last year, “but we are confident we will succeed this time around.”

“For the first time, we will screen our movies for audiences in Zamboanga as well as Baybay, Leyte and even Tacloban, where we especially hope to attract those displaced by Typhoon Haiyan,” Vassallo said.

“Going to as many cities as possible is very important to the European cultural group, which is keen to reach the four corners of the Philippines. The fact that the Philippines has 7,107 islands doesn't help, but we are doing our best,” he added, strongly alluding to the logistical and technical demands of screening in nine cities with varied theater facilities suitable for a film festival.

The changing family

Vassallo said the European family has changed dramatically, both in demographics and composition.

“Far fewer children means much smaller families. With often both parents working, the dynamics at home have changed. Add to that the number of single-parent families and the number of marriages that break down, and you have a very different picture of the European family from just 50 or 60 years ago,” he said.

However, the senior EU diplomat said that to conclude from this that present European families are weakened and disintegrating is premature and wrong.

“Some of these movies we are presenting tell a different story. They illustrate that while in some senses European families have changed beyond recognition, relationships can be as strong as ever, maybe even stronger,” he said.

“Fewer children means more time for individual attention. There is today a much clearer appreciation and demand for quality time with our children. And when was the last time you heard a parent repeat that horrible old mantra that children should be seen but not heard?” he added.

 
 
 
Lectures

The festival will have an educational section aimed at encouraging young people to consider a career in cinema and to expose Filipino filmmakers to the opportunities for collaboration with their European counterparts.

The section will feature the screening of three recognized Filipino cinematic jewels, to be accompanied by lectures.

On Sept. 12, Filipino film producer and educator Alemberg Ang will moderate a lecture-forum on film appreciation, to be followed by the showing of Maryo de los Reyes' FAMAS award-winning “Magnifico” (2003) at 2 p.m. and Auraeus Solito's Cinemalaya award-winning “Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros” (2005).

On Sept. 20, a group of cultural officers from Spain, Italy, and France will hold a forum with Filipino filmmakers, to be followed by the 3:30 p.m. screening of Lav Diaz's “Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan.”

“Norte” won the Pardo d’Oro at this year's Locarno International Film Festival and the Best Film award at Serbia's Pancevo International Film Fest.

The three films were chosen to point out the similarities between families in the Philippines and European countries.

The educational forums will be held in Shangri-La Plaza in Mandaluyong City, then at the University of San Carlos in Cebu on Oct. 10.

The 2014 Cine Europa formally opens on Sept. 11 with the 8 p.m. invitational screening of Romania’s “Pozitia Copilului” (Child’s Rose) at Cinema 2 of the Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza.

Running from September to November this year, Cine Europa is one of the country's longest film festivals, if not the longest.

Participating countries this year are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Norway, and Switzerland.

Admission to Cine Europa 17 is free for all screenings in all locations during the festival. Film details may be extracted from eeas.europa.eu/delegations/philippines.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

El Nido - World-Class Tourist Destination in The Philippines

El Nido is a world-class tourist destination located on the northern part of Palawan. Known for its breathtaking beaches and viewing spots for the most amazing sunsets, El Nido often falls on the list of “I-wish-I-could-afford-that” vacation plans that gets forgotten.

But what if we told you that you can tour this paradise for only 5,000 pesos? Sounds too good to be true? Start reviewing your El Nido bucket list as ‘Biyahe ni Drew’ offers you this rare sulit-package itinerary for your very own slice of heaven on earth!

Getting There
Excluded from the 5,000-peso budget is the airfare ---which you can avail at discounted rates during off seasons. Round trip flights between Manila and El Nido take about an hour and cost around P 12,000 per head. This is not bad considering the comfort and relatively shorter travel time.

But if you’re tight on your budget but not on your precious hours, you may opt to fly to Puerto Princesa and then take a six to seven hour drive from there. Airfare from Manila to Puerto Princesa will cost you around P 7,000. The best bit about this option: you don’t need to worry about spending more to get to El Nido because the transfer is included in the 5,000-peso budget. Hooray!


Activity no. 1: Island Hopping
Things to bring: shades, sunblock, and lots of stamina

Many islands comprise the paradise that is El Nido. One group, popular because of its proximity to the town proper, is included if you avail of a tour package. Aboard a motor boat, visit the islands of Small and Big Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, and Paglugaban.

Kayaking, swimming, and snorkeling are just some of the most common activities in the islands. For no extra charge, you may pretend to be an Indian chieftain atop a kayak, swim in clear waters ala-Michael Phelps, or go see the little fishies in their natural habitat. Nothing beats viewing nature up close, eh?




Because nature in its most virginal form is the islands’ main attraction, a trip to The Cathedral is something you should not miss. The Cathedral is a glorious rock formation inside a cave similar to the high ceiling of a cathedral. (Warning: Bats and swallows are part of the tour.)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Philippines Gets Another Rating Upgrade


MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines has been awarded another investment grade rating, this time from Korean firm National Information and Credit Evaluation Ratings Inc. (NICE).

The credit rating raised the country’s long-term, foreign currency rating by a notch to BBB- with a positive outlook, which means further upgrade may be awarded in the short term.

“The rating upgrade reflects improved fiscal profile and growth potential, robust stability in the financial market and the external sector, and the government’s continuing efforts to improve governance and infrastructure,” NICE said in a statement.

The firm stressed that key factors considered for the rating included the strong economic growth of 7.2 percent achieved in 2013 although this is forecast to slow to six percent this year. NICE noted that the deceleration will be on the back of a “normal economic adjustment” as the growth momentum is seen being sustained.

The credit rating agency also pointed out the stability of Philippine financial markets despite global sell-offs of emerging market assets since May last year.

NICE said domestic markets are less vulnerable due to the country’s strong current account position and abundant liquidity levels.

“About the issue of real estate market overheating, which emerges due to the expansion of the construction industry and the rise in real estate prices, NICE expects it is under manageable level until now and the authorities are willing and able to contain it,” the debt watcher said.

NICE further said that the rating will be further supported if the country generates more investments as a result of improvements in its governance and infrastructure.

Rating constraints, meanwhile, include an overheating economy or when asset bubbles are formed especially in the real estate sector, NICE said.

Government officials yesterday said the credit rating upgrade reflects the economic gains the country is enjoying following structural reforms earlier put in place.

“As far as the BSP (Bangko Sentral ng PIlipinas) is concerned, the latest investment grade is another acknowledgement of efforts to maintain an inflation environment and a financial system conducive for business and supportive of sustainable growth,” Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. said.

Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said “this vote of confidence acknowledges efforts to ensure the country is able to sustain improvements in the economy over the long haul.”

The Philippines enjoys investment grade ratings from the three biggest global debt watchers, Moody’s Investors Service, Fitch Ratings, and Standard & Poor’s.

S&P in May awarded the country a BBB rating, a notch above the minimum investment grade of BBB-, with a stable outlook. Fitch ratings, meanwhile, affirmed the country’s BBB- rating in March with a stable outlook.

Moody’s in October last year gave the country an investment grade rating of Baa3 with a positive outlook.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Advisory From the Bureau of Immigration

The ALIEN REGISTRATION DIVISION (ARD) reminds all registered aliens as follows:

1. Incomplete and/or improperty accomplished registrations forms shall be dismissed;
2. To register and secure the ACR I-Card only through authorized persons;
3. To report, in writing, changes in informations (e.g. civil status, citizenship, address and the like) IN ORDER TO AVOID SANCTIONS, INCLUDING IMPRISONMENT FOR NOT MORE THAN SIX MONTHS;
4. To pay the ANNUAL RREPORT FEE within the first 60 days of each year, unless exempted by law;
5. To renew ACR I-Cards at least three months in advance of pre-schedulded travels;
6. To check printed data on the ACR I-Card and promptly report errors and/or discrepancies;
7. To avoid false statements, misrepresentation and fraud in any immigration matter under pain of VISA CANCELLATION/FORFEITURE and/or deportation;
8. To secure REGULAR/PAPER-BASED EMIGRATION CLEARANCE CERTIFICATION (ECC) 72 hours before departure for the following:

a) Holders of Temporary Visitor's/Tourist (9a) Visa, who STAYED FOR MORE THAN SIX MONTHS;
b) Immigrants and Non-immigrants with DOWNGRADED OR EXPIRED VISAS except (a);
c) Immigrants and Non-immigrants with valid visas, who are leaving for a good except (a);
d) PHILIPPINE BORN temporary visitors, who are leaving FOR THE FIRST TIME;
e) FOREIGN NATIONALS with ORDER TO LEAVE; and
f) FOREIGN SEAFARERS, with BI-approved discharged, who stayed for more than 30 days.
9. All ACR I-Card holders, not included above, who are TEMPORARILY leaving the country may pay ECC RP/SRC fees at airports.

For queries, please contact (632) 465 2400 local 205 (ARD), email xinfo@immigration.gov.ph and binoc_immigration@hotmail.ph or visit the socal media accounts, officialbureauofimmigration on Facebook and @immigrationPH on Twitter.

Men Don't Cry? in Cagayan de Oro Times Lifestyle Weekly


Friday, August 29, 2014

Top Ten Countries for Expat Retirement - including The Philippines

By Liza Bailey, Manager at Interexpat Pte. Ltd.
 
As an expat, when it comes to chossing a country for retirement, some countries are more suited than others, and while these countries are great in terms of the basic criteria for choosing a country for expat retirement like easy setup for QROPS, a low cost of living and a safe environment, etc., that does not mean that they are also dull and out of date.
 
Retirement countries should also be vibrant and energetic enough to keep retirees busy, with just the right amount of comfort. Retire in style in the world’s top 10 countries for expat retirement.
 
 
1. Panama
 
Panama tops the charts on retirement countries for U.S. citizens because of its laid back atmosphere, perfect beaches, 1st world economy, the U.S. Dollar used as national currency, and also because it’s conveniently close to the United States. Additionally, the Panamanian government also made a lot of effort to make the collection of pension and visas easier for expat retirees.
 
2. Portugal
 
If Panama is a haven for U.S. citizens, then Portugal is the go-to country for European expat retirees. Buying property in Portugal is cheaper than most European countries, and obtaining it as a foreigner is not a hassle. Above all, Portugal also has one of the biggest expat communities in Europe.
 
3. Malaysia
 
If you want to see and experience different ways of living in your golden years, then Malaysia is the best expat retirement country for you. Malaysia has a low-cost of living, so you can be able to rent or buy prime properties for a really cheap price. This country is a melting pot of Asian culture, which can be exciting, as you can meet and experience different kinds of people and culture in almost every neighbourhood. The Malaysian government also has a special program for expats and especially expat retirees called “Malaysia, my second home” to make visas and pensions much easier to process.
 
4. Ecuador
 
Ecuador is one of the most understated countries in South America. This wonderful country has fantastic scenery and friendly and welcoming communities. This is a country filled with new adventures and opportunities, as well as a very low-cost of living. Retired expats can live in Ecuador comfortably and still be able to experience many new things.
 
5. Spain
 
1st world lifestyle and environment, low-cost of living, pleasant expat communities and a very beautiful country with a rich historical and cultural heritage; these are just some of the few good reasons why Spain is a good choice for expat retirees. When in Spain, you can also travel through different parts of the country and get to experience a myriad of cultural experiences, find cheap property for rent or sale and enjoy your golden years in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
 
6. Thailand
 
One of the best countries in Asia for expat retirees, Thailand offers one of the cheapest costs of living in the world, where pensioners can live very comfortably and enjoy the best things that this country has to offer. The country also has an expanding expat community with very friendly locals and a beautiful relaxing environment— starting a new life in Thailand can easily be a dream come true.
 
7. Costa Rica
 
Costa Rica is a famous destination for expat retirees. The country has a special “Pensionados” program that entitles retired expats with social security, health care, and an easy access to pensions. Aside from the specialized programs, Costa Rica is also one of the most scenic places in the world. Their locals are very friendly and accommodating and the cost of living is very low. Costa Rica offer island living with 1st world accommodations and specialized retirement programs, this country is definitely one of the best retirement hotspots in the world.
 
8. Malta
 
Malta is another good choice for expat retirement in Europe. This country is one of safest countries in the world with a very low crime rate. Malta also has one of the best weather in the world with over 3,100 hours of sunshine every year. Though the cost of living might not be as low as countries in Asia or South America, you can still be able to live a good and comfortable life on a pension in this country.
 
9. The Philippines
 
Majestic scenery, friendly English speaking locals, low-cost of living, and a wide range of services and opportunities for retirees who want more than to just sit, relax and enjoy the scenery. This beautiful archipelago is rife with business opportunities and different exciting experiences in every region. Enjoy the best of tropical living and many other opportunities available in The Philippines.
 
10. New Zealand
 
New Zealand is not only an emerging destination for young expats; it’s also a great place for expat retirees. The country offers good and healthy food, accommodating locals, and a very calm and cool lifestyle. Though the cost of living is a bit high, you can be sure to have top of the line healthcare, services and amenities. The country also has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. Live luxuriously in style in this scenic country.

(C) 2014 by LinkedIn, ExpatPhilippines Group
 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

More Rain in The Philippines


rainfall warning system

MANILA, Philippines–Light to moderate rains are expected to continue Tuesday in most parts of Luzon due to the low pressure area (LPA) that developed over the weekend off Eastern Samar, the weather bureau said. 

As of 4 a.m. Tuesday, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) spotted the LPA at 45 kilometers southwest of Daet, Camarines Norte.
Pagasa said Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Bicol Region and the provinces of Mindoro, Marinduque, Pangasinan and Romblon will have cloudy skies with light to moderate rainshowers and thunderstorms during the day.
Pagasa moreover raised the yellow rainfall warning, or heavy rainfall warning, in Metro Manila, Rizal, Laguna, Cavite, Bulacan, Pampanga, portions of Quezon and Nueva Ecija as of 5 a.m. Tuesday.
Classes suspended in 4 universities 
 
University of Santo Tomas, University of the East Manila, University of the East Caloocan and Perpetual Help College Manila suspended their classes due to anticipated floods.
Pagasa advised residents and local disaster councils to be alert, take all necessary precautions and monitor updates on the weather disturbance.
Senior weather forecaster Buddy Javier said the LPA was not expected to develop into a tropical cyclone.

By Bong Lozada, INQUIRER.net; and Dona Z. Pazzibugan, PDI 
 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Philippines' Protesters

Thousands of people including activists and clergy gathered at the Philippine capital's main park on Monday (Aug 25) in a rally to denounce the "pork barrel" system which they blame for spreading corruption. 

The crowd, which included nuns, priests and lawyers, was significantly smaller than a similar rally over the same issue last year which observers said drew at least 250,000. That rally, called through a vigorous social media campaign, had captured the outrage following reports of a scam involving tens of millions of dollars from the "pork barrel" funds of congressmen.

Such allocations are supposed to pay for the pet projects of legislators but large amounts were allegedly syphoned off. Three powerful senators have already been jailed over the controversy.

Influential Manila archbishop Cardinal Luis Tagle praised those taking part in the "march against pork" in a statement posted on a church social media site. "I extend my greetings and solidarity. Thank you for making democracy alive and active. Thank you for advancing decency in public life," the senior church leader said.

Peachy Bretana, an official of the Scrap Pork Network which was one of the organisers, told ABS-CBN television the issue was non-partisan. "This is not about parties. This definitely is not anti-administration. This is pro-people," she said.

But many of the protesters at the rally used the issue to attack President Benigno Aquino, whom they accused of abetting the pork barrel system and of seeking a second term despite being limited by law to only one term. "No to pork barrel. No to term extension," the placards read as protesters carried effigies of Aquino.

Aquino, who was elected in 2010 on an anti-corruption platform, has seen his approval ratings dip amid accusations that his allies are among the beneficiaries of the pork barrel system. The president did not directly address his critics. But speaking at an event at the military cemetery, he called on the public "to remain vigilant against those who seek to sow doubt and lies" and spread "baseless accusations".

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