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Showing posts with label Philippine News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Philippine News. Show all posts

Heavy rain causes mass flooding, work and school closures in NCR

Posted on 24 July 2024 No comments
Passengers of this bus that got submerged in floowaters in Tatalon, QC wait for help (DZRH photo)

Heavy rainfall since Tuesday night and throughout today, Wednesday, caused massive flooding across various parts of Metro Manila and northern provinces.

A state of calamity has been declared in the National Capital Region as a result of the extensive flooding in the region, caused by the southwest monsoon or “habagat” and Tropical Cyclone Carina (named Gaemi outside the Philippines).

The heavy rain prompted the government to close all schools and offices in Metro Manila at 5am today. As of the latest bulletin, three cities have decided to extend the closure order for the entire day tomorrow.

Pindutin para sa detalye

About 80 flights were cancelled due to the inclement weather, including all those bound for Taiwan, where Carina is headed.

As of 10:30am, the third alarm was raised for Marikina River, after the water level there reached 18.3 meters, and as of the latest information, has now breached the 20-meter level. This meant the "forced evacuation" of residents living near low-lying areas.

The various dams across Luzon, including La Mesa Dam in Quezon City and Ipo and Angat dams in Bulacan, are under continuing surveillance as their water levels continue to rise.

Pump boats are used to transport residents in barangay Tullahan in Marikina

With the declaration of the state of calamity in Metro Manila, all affected local governments will be able to access additional funds for calamity response and impose a price freeze on basic goods. 

According to President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. the government has prepositioned P2.88b in calamity fund that can be used for relief operations. About 4,500 government personnel are also on standby to help in search, rescue and retrieval operations.

Basahin ang detalye!

In an emergency meeting called this morning in Malacanang, all concerned government agencies were ordered to provide “swift assistance” to all those affected by the widespread flooding.

President Marcos during a morning meeting with key officials on disaster response 

Quezon City, the country’s largest city, is among those heavily hit by the floods,  with 22,000 evacuees being moved to 154 evacuation centers and temporary shelters in churches and covered courts.

So far, 30 roads in Quezon City are impassable, while 80 out of its 143 barangays are affected by flooding, QC Mayor Joy Belmonte said.

Navotas is also badly hit, with about 80 percent of its territory already submerged in floods.

Only Pasig, Makati and Taguig have been left largely unscathed, but their respective mayors extended support for the calamity declaration, saying they realized it would help provide speedy help to those affected in other cities.

Meanwhile, 4 other towns in Oriental Mindoro, Cotabato and Davao Occidental have also placed their respective jurisdictions under a state of calamity due to Typhoon Carina.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has been tapped to help evacuate affected residents who have reportedly refused to leave their homes despite being in low-lying areas and danger zones.

As early as 5am Wednesday, the red rainfall alert was raised over Metro Manila, and remained enforced throughout the day. The alert which indicated associated hazard due to serious flooding, also covered Rizal, Bataan, Bulacan, Pampanga and Zambales provinces.

The orange warning was issued for Tarlac, the heavy rainfall is threatening to cause serious flooding, while the Yellow warning was raised for Cavite, Batangas, Laguna, Nueva Ecija and Quezon(General Nakar, Infanta, Real, Mauban, Sampaloc) where flooding can be expected in some areas.

Raging floodwaters caused this bridge in Naga to collapse

Light to moderate with occasional heavy rains were forecast for Quezon(Candelaria, Dolores, San Antonio, Sariaya, Tiaong, Tayabas, Lucban, Lucena, Pagbilao, Agdangan, Alabat, Atimonan, Buenavista, Burdeos, Calauag, Catanauan, General Luna, Guinayangan, Gumaca, Jomalig, Lopez, Macalelon, Mulanay, Padre Burgos, Panukulan, Patnanungan, Perez, Pitogo, Plaridel, Polillo, Quezon, San Andres, San Francisco, San Narciso, Tagkawayan, Unisan) which may persist within 3 hours.

Meanwhile, Typhoon Carina is expected to continue to bring stormy weather and gale-force winds in the northernmost island of Batanes where the Tropical Cyclone Signal No 2 has been hoisted.

T1 is in force over the Babuyan Islands, the northern portion of mainland Cagayan (Claveria, Santa Praxedes, Sanchez-Mira, Pamplona, Abulug, Ballesteros, Aparri, Camalaniugan, Buguey, Santa Teresita, Santa Ana, and Gonzaga), and the northern portion of Ilocos Norte (Burgos, Bangui, Pagudpud, Dumalneg, and Adams).

Strong winds will prevail in all these areas, with heavy rain also forecast for  Babuyan islands.

Separately, the "habagat" is forecast to bring monsoon rains over the Ilocos Region, Zambales, Bataan, Abra, Benguet, and Occidental Mindoro, and occasional rains over Metro Manila, the rest of the Cordillera region, Cavite, Batangas, Tarlac, Pampanga, Bulacan, Rizal, and Laguna.

It will also cause heavy to intense rainfall over various localities in the western portion of Luzon until Friday.

Monsoon rain is also expected over Western Visayas, Negros Island Region, and the rest of Luzon, and isolated rain showers over the rest of the country.


OEC integrated into enhanced e-Travel, Customs says

Posted on 12 July 2024 No comments
The enhanced e-Travel is meant to ease airport queues and make traveling stress-free

Traveling in and out of the Philippines has never been easier, even for overseas Filipino workers.

In a news release issued Thursday, the Bureau of Customs said it has partnered with various government departments to launch an enhanced version of the eTravel system which will result in a single QR code being used by travelers in dealing with different government agencies.

This includes the code taking the place of the overseas employment certificate which all OFWs are required to secure from the DMW and produce at the airport to be able to leave the country for their workplace abroad.

However, no date was mentioned as to when the simplified e-Travel system will take effect, or details as to whether an OFW can register directly with the e-Travel platform instead of the DMW app or website.


According to the BOC press release, the single QR code can be used as clearance not just with the DMW but also for the Bureau of Customs, Bureau of Immigration, Quarantine,  and Tourism.

It was made possible through the cooperation between the government agencies and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

"This allows for a more seamless clearance process, minimizing wait times, and reducing the need for multiple forms and checkpoints," the BOC stated.


The improved system not only benefits those who are traveling by plane, but also those who enter and leave the country at seaports and cruise terminals.

Earlier, the E-travel pass incorporated the customs baggage and currency declaration form.

The BOC added that the system "advances inter-agency coordination by enabling real-time data sharing and enhancing the monitoring of travel flows."

"This improved data integration supports national security measures and aids in public health risk management by ensuring timely and accurate information for all relevant authorities," the office said.

The e-Travel system was first launched by the DICT in December 2022 to make traveling in and out of the country a lot easier and faster, and ease airport congestion.

Travelers need only to fill out the e-Travel form online within three days of arriving or leaving the Philippines to comply with the requirements for border control, health surveillance and data analysis.

To secure the e-Travel pass and QR code for free, sign up here:

Pindutin dito para sa iha pang mga detalye

Business ideas for OFWs: Innovative food products get recognition

Posted on 02 June 2024 No comments


Slow: Health drink from coconut sap

Coconut flowers, when cut before they develop into coconuts, secrete sap that has for centuries been collected by farmers in the Philippines and turned into tuba, a sweet, mildly alcoholic drink.

But what if the sap is canned right after being collected from the tree?

The result is the Power of SLOW Coconut Flower Sap, developed by Lionheart Farms Philippines Corporation, targeting the export market with a refreshing health drink perfect as an alternative to sugary drinks.

In the case of Destileria Barako Corporation, it added ube, a root crop best known as flavoring for ice cream, to vodka distilled from fermented sugarcane juice. It packaged the drink in a fancy bottle and marketed Ube Cream Liqueur in selected stores such as Kultura in SM Malls.

Long lines at its free taste tests indicate its potential for success

Ube Cream Liqueur

These products are two of the nine winners of the 2024 Katha Awards for Food, a yearly project of the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) , the export promotions arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), to champion Philippine food excellence.

The winners were announced as part of the IFEX Philippines 2024 held earlier this month at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.


CITEM Deputy Executive Director and Officer in Charge Ma. Lourdes Mediran said: “Katha Awards has been a hallmark of Philippine creativity through the recognition of fresh and innovative food products and applications. It seeks to inspire courage among food entrepreneurs to explore galleries of flavors and work on new, untried idea.”

“Out of 79 products submitted for evaluation, 21 made it to the final screening and only nine (9) emerged as the creme dela creme, meticulously selected by luminaries who are all well-respected within the food community,” Mediran said.

Katha Award winners and CITEM officials

The Board of Judges for this year’s Katha Awards for Food was led by former Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary, former CITEM President and now President of International School of Sustainable Tourism, Dr. Mina Gabor. Joining her were Anna Marie Ozaeta, co-founder of the Philippine Culinary Heritage; Ferdinand Cabo Chanpongco, Food Industry Consultant; and Millie Dizon, senior vice president for marketing of SM Retail.

Here is the list of winners of the 2024 Katha Awards for Food:



The Power of SLOW Coconut Flower Sap by Lionheart Farms Philippines Corporation: A refreshing coconut flower beverage perfect as an alternative to sugary drinks.

Ube Cream Liqueur by Destileria Barako Corporation: An innovative fusion of sugar cane vodka and Filipino ube.

Ready-to-eat Savories and Home Meal Replacements

Bean Appetit Monggo with Squash in Coconut Milk and Dilis by Bestfriend Goodies: A convenient and ready-to-eat, Halal-certified monggo dish made special with squash, coconut milk, and anchovies.

Meat, Poultry and Dairy Products

Real Bacon Crisps by Baken Philippines, Inc.:Original, crispy, and smoky bacon strips made with hundred percent real pork.

Fruits and Vegetables, Seaweeds, and Plant-based Meat Alternatives

Buenas Dried Vegetables by Gem Foods International, Inc.: Seasonal leafy vegetables processed in dry format, ready to use for soup, dish, or tea.

Bakery Products and Confectionery

Handcrafted Chocolate Treats by Theo and Philo Chocolate Factory, Inc.: Ready-to-eat and handcrafted chocolate, made with real coconut and natural ingredients.

Cereals and Cereal Products

Doña Maria Brown Rice Puffs Series by SL Agritech Corporation: Crunchy, tasty, and nutritious oven-baked puff snacks made from Doña Maria Brown Rice.

Food Ingredients, Condiments, and Sweeteners

Maharlika Pure Calamansi Extract by One Vizcaya by Gulf Pacific Integrated Exports, Inc.: Pure calamansi extract conveniently packed in sachets for any time use.

Fish and Other Seafood Products

Northbay Deli Classic Salmon Smoked in Oil by Kai Anya Foods International Corporation: Ready-to-eat salmon belly strips in soya oil mixed with choice spices.

Here is the list of finalists:

The Locale Farm Strawberry Tea by Northern Roots SG Group, Inc. by The Legacy Farmers Agriculture Cooperative

Sabroso 100% Pure Cacao with Coconut Milk and Sugar by Sabroso Chocolate Manufacturing

OSH! Oh So Healthy Get Nutty (Nuts N’ Crisps Mix) by Innovative Packaging Industry Corporation

Stips Chips Salted Egg Cassava Chips by Happy Eats Corporation

unMEAT Meatballs in Spaghetti Sauce by Century Pacific Food, Inc.

unMEAT Luncheon Meat Hot & Spicy by Century Pacific Food, Inc.

Hab Eat Calamansi Extract Powder by PFP (Pautricia Food Processing) Corporation

Wangsil Radish Cubed Kimchi by Daebak Korean Food Trading

Hueza Crisps by Hueza Bakery

Daily Apple Chocolate-Coated Candied Roselle Flower by Herbanext Laboratories, Inc.

Sarap Pinoy Ginataang Bilo-Bilo by Grand Alphatech International Corporation

Coco Natura Premium Coco Syrup by Los Ricos Compania Corporation

Buenas Creamy Halo-Halo Series by Gem Foods International, Inc.

Buenas Gourmet Bagoong Tomato Flavor by Gem Foods International, Inc.

Grand Kim Sardines in Curry Sauce by ZC E & L Corporation 


5 Filipinos among passengers of Singapore Airlines that hit 'severe turbulence'

Posted on 22 May 2024 No comments


Photo supplied by the carrier shows how the plane looked after the severe turbulence

Five Filipinos were among 229 people aboard a Singapore Air flight from London that was diverted to Bangkok yesterday after experiencing “severe turbulence” while on air, leading to the death of one passenger.

A statement issued by the airline late Tuesday said a total of 18 crew and 211 passengers, including five Filipinos, were aboard the stricken airline. 

Singapore Airlines, in a statement late Tuesday, confirmed one passenger had died and 18 other individuals had been hospitalized, but gave no details about their identities or condition.


"Another 12 were being treated in hospitals. The remaining passengers and crew were being examined and given treatment, where necessary, at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok," the airline merely said.

Other reports identified the fatality as 73-year-old British national named Geoffrey Kitchen, who had worked with the Thornbury Musical Theatre Group, and most recently served as its director. 

Mr Kitchen was travelling with his wife when he died on board the Boeing 777-300ER plane, which was forced to make an emergency landing in Bangkok en route to Singapore from London at 3:45 local time on Tuesday.

A spokesman for Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport has been quoted as saying that the British victim suffered a suspected heart attack on the aircraft. 

He added that seven people are fighting for their lives in hospital, and dozens others were injured.

Here's a video from Reuters taken shortly after the stricken plane landed in Bangkok:

"Singapore Airlines offers its deepest condolences to the family of the deceased. We deeply apologise for the traumatic experience that our passengers and crew members suffered on this flight. We are providing all necessary assistance during this difficult time," the airline said.

"We are working with our colleagues and the local authorities in Thailand to provide the necessary assistance. A Singapore Airlines team is on its way to Bangkok to provide any additional assistance needed," it added.

The airline said the flight encountered “sudden extreme turbulence” over Myanmar’s Irrawaddy Basin at 37,000 feet about 10 hours after departure and the pilot declared a medical emergency, with flight tracking data showing the plane plummeted 6,000 feet in about three minutes.

Relatives seeking information may call the Singapore Airlines hotlines at +65 6542 3311 (Singapore), 1800-845-313 (Australia), and 080-0066-8194 (the United Kingdom).


Customs, currency declaration now in e-travel

Posted on 10 May 2024 No comments


The e-travel pass and customs clearance must be secured 72 hours before departure or arrival in Phl

From today, all passengers travelling to the Philippines may fill in the forms for customs and currency declaration using the e-travel application system ( or through the eGovPH app 72 hours before arriving or departing from the Philippines.

The e-Travel customs system will be implemented at the following Philippine international airports:


• Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Metro Manila, all terminals)

• Mactan-Cebu International Airport (Metro Cebu);

• Francisco Bangoy International Airport (Metro Davao);


• Kalibo International Airport (Aklan);

• Caticlan International Airport (Aklan);

• Puerto Princesa International Airport (Palawan);

• Bohol International Airport (Bohol);

• Clark International Airport (Pampanga); and

• Laoag International Aiport (Ilocos Norte).

The paper customs declaration may still be used for now 

After filling out the designated Customs Baggage Declaration Form and the Currency Declaration Form the QR code that is generated is automatically forwarded to Philippine customs officials for clearance.

As of now paper forms of the CBDF and CDF are still available at the named airports for passengers who fail to use the e-Travel system before arrival or departure.


Senate to hold inquiry on illegal recruitment cases

Posted on 28 January 2024 No comments


Tulfo will lead the inquiry into the illegal recruitment cases   (File)

The Senate committee on migrant workers is set to hold a hearing on “massive illegal recruitment schemes,” including those allegedly perpetrated by groups controlled by former Cebu City councilor Prisca Nina Mabatid.

The Senate hearing, set for 10am on Jan. 30, will be presided over by Committee chair Raffy Tulfo, along with member Risa Hontiveros. It will be held at the same time as the bill on OFWs financial literacy enhancement authored by Senator Tulfo.

Among those invited to give testimony is Joanna Concepcion, chairperson of Migrante International, who plans to bring along complainants in Hong Kong and the Philippines  against Mabatid and her company, Opportunities Abroad (OA).


Also expected to take part are victims of the human trafficking syndicates who were enticed to go to Thailand for supposedly high-paying jobs, but ended up working as crypto scammers in Myanmar and other neighboring countries.

About 200 Filipinos, including those working in Hong Kong and other places abroad, as well as regular jobseekers in several towns across the Philippines, have filed complaints against Mabatid’s group with the Department of Migrant Workers and the National Bureau of Investigation starting in June last year.

The new wave of complaints came after about 20 overseas Filipino workers in Hong Kong sought help from the police and the Philippine Consulate in June last year after paying about Php132,000 each to Mabatid who reportedly convinced them to apply for student visas to Canada.

Flyers posted on FB announced the 'orientation'' by Mabatid in HK on 2 days last year

Despite being promised in February 2023 that they could acquire the visa in just three months, the complainants said no one among them managed to get anywhere near being admitted to a school in Canada, despite completing the long list of requirements sent to them as a pre-requisite by OA staff.

A number of them also asked the OA handlers assigned to them via email if they could already avail of the P1million “show money” promised them by Mabatid to kick-start their applications, but they were told they needed to provide the “alibi” or proof showing that the money in the bank was theirs.

Hearing that Mabatid would return to Hong Kong in June to conduct another “orientation seminar” for the promised visa scheme, some of the complainants called the police for help in accosting her at the venue to demand a refund. She promised to give back their money the following Sunday at the Consulate, but she did not show up.

After they filed complaints, about five OFWs in HK received letters from a lawyer representing OA, threatening them with a lawsuit, saying they signed agreements barring them from seeking a refund for whatever reason.


Hearing about their complaints, dozens of Filipinos from across the country also came out to complain against the same group, who also offered help in obtaining student visas to Canada for no less than P100,000 in processing fees, but were also left holding an empty bag.

According to the complainants, a big number of whom were from Cebu and Davao, they were enticed to sign up for the offer because the recruiters were helped by their local government units and the PESO (Public Employment Service Office) in their localities.

DWC OIC Hans J. Cacdac said as early as August last year during a meeting with Migrante and the complainants that he had already endorsed the case to the NBI, but no other developments have been forthcoming.


Separately, Senator Tulfo held a three-hour online meeting in December with the complainants and other individuals and groups helping them, and promised a full Senate inquiry.

He also asked the Department of Justice to look into the possibility of issuing hold departure orders against Mabatid and other alleged illegal recruiters so they could be stopped from recruiting more OFWs.


PHL’s prime property developer woos HK investors

Posted on 11 November 2023 No comments
Ayala's Rex Mendoza (left) says now is the time to buy a prime property in Metro Manila

Close on the heels of Manila being named as the hottest market worldwide for prime residential properties, executives of the Philippines’ biggest property developer, Ayala Land Inc., came to Hong Kong to tell would-be investors why they should head for the country now.

“This is a call for you to make that investment now,” said Rex Mendoza, a director of Ayala Land, during a talk on Thursday night at Novotel in Wan Chai.


Mendoza was speaking to a group of Ayala agents and local residents who had expressed interest in buying property in the Philippines, in the wake of a report by property consultancy Knight Frank which showed that prices of prime properties in Manila gained 21.2 percent in the past year.

This put the Philippine capital on top of the list of major cities abroad in terms of price appreciation for the third quarter of the year, outperforming Dubai, where the average yield was 15.9 percent, and Shanghai, with 10.4 percent.

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Hong Kong with its overheated market fell to the 36th slot, from the 35th place in the previous quarter.

Mendoza said that given the Philippines’ strong fundamentals, investors are likely to gain even more if they put their money in the country. As it is, the Philippines is already among the world’s fastest growing economies, and is even forecast by HSBC to become the 16th largest economy by 2050.

Even in the worst of times such as the pandemic, property prices in the Philippines did not plunge, said Mendoza. 

“As long as the Philippines manages to address its problems with infrastructure it should do even better,” he added.


Right now, he said several major infrastructure projects being carried out in the Philippines have already cut down travel times in many places, including the highways linking the regions of Bicol to Ilocos, and another, between Bataan in the north to Cavite in the south.

Why invest in properties, Mendoza asks with this slide

There are other factors that augur well for keeping the economy robust, such as the country’s booming tourism sector, the ever-reliable remittances from overseas Filipino workers that should bring in $37.5 billion this year, and a nearly equal yield of $35 billion from the business product outsourcing (BPO) industry.


In addition, said Mendoza, the Philippines is in a demographic “sweet spot” because of its young population, meaning those aged 15 years old and below comprise 30% of the total number of residents while those aged 65 years old and above make up less than 15%.

In comparison, many other places in Asia have a rapidly ageing population, leading to lower productivity. In Japan and Hong Kong for example, the number of elderly residents comprise about a third of the total population.


To earn the promised return, however, one needs to invest in Philippine properties that cost around HK$5 million, such as two new developments unveiled by Ronald Galura for Alveo, Ayala’s second most expensive brand.

The introductory price for a three-bedroom condominium measuring between 124 and 126 square feet in Astela in Circuit Makati and Lattice in Parklinks, Pasig City could set a person back by $5.5 million and $4.96 million respectively.

But considering that a small one-bedroom flat in a not-so prestigious address in Hong Kong could already cost this much, it is likely there would be quite a number of takers here, especially among those keen to make a profit after the havoc wrought by the pandemic.


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