Use, sale of firecrackers closely watched in Bicol

PH banking system resilient amid external concerns

MANILA -- The Philippine banking system has remained fundamentally strong despite having its share of challenges over the years, and 2018 proved to be no exception.Its resiliency has been time-proven and has been cited by several rating agencies, as well as research firms, as among the strongest globally.Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Go…

2 NPAs die in Agusan-Bukidnon border clash

MALAYBALAY, Bukidnon -- Two communist rebels died following an encounter with government troops along the boundary of Agusan del Sur and Bukidnon provinces on Monday (Dec. 31), a military official said.

Lt. Col. Ronald Illana, commander of the Army's 8th Infantry Battalion (8IB), said the firefight erupted after the troops belonging to the 8IB…

Duque cautions parents on kids’ use of firecrackers

Quiapo procession attracts millennials

MANILA -- Young Filipinos participated in the thanksgiving procession at the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, also known as Quiapo Church, on Sunday or exactly a week before the annual celebration of the feast of the Black Nazarene on Jan. 9, 2019.According to Msgr. Hernando “Ding” Coronel, rector of the Quiapo Church, many Filipino youth or …

2 killed, 28 hurt in Cotabato City mall blast

COTABATO CITY [UPDATE]-- A powerful blast that ripped into the facade of a mall here killed two persons and wounded scores of others around 2 p.m. Monday (December 31), police said.

The bomb, believed to be from an improvised explosive device (IED), went off in front of the South Seas Mall along the busy Don Rufino Alonzo Avenue, where people are …

Tagle to faithful on New Year: ‘Serve, so there will be peace’

MANILA — Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle on Monday urged the people to serve as they welcome the first day of the new year.“Let us bring back the true meaning of service in our families, in schools, in business, in government, in the Church, everywhere,” he said in his New Year message posted on Facebook.The Cardinal said there will …

CPP-NPA failed due to lack of credibility: national artist

MANILA — The Communist Party of the Philippines - New People's Army (CPP-NPA) has failed to attract the masses with its ideology due to its lack of credibility and blindness of reality, National Artist F. Sionil Jose said.In an opinion column published by Jose in the Philippine Star and in his online blog, he said this lack of touch on reality…

Private sector workers must get double pay on Jan. 1: DOLE

MANILA -- Private sector workers reporting for work on Tuesday, January 1, 2019, New Year’s Day, will receive at least double of their salary for the day, according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III reminds employers to observe the proper payment of wages for employees for the said day, which is a…

Illegal firecracker vendor wounded in Bulacan raid

BOCAUE, Bulacan-- A 50-year-old vendor was shot and injured during a police raid against illegal firecracker sellers in Barangay Binang 1st in this town Sunday afternoon.Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna identified the suspect as Blandino Cao, a resident of Sitio Bihunan in the said barangay, who is also said to be an illegal fi…

8 fireworks-related injuries reported, 71% lower than in 2017

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan -- The Department of Health (DOH) here has reported eight cases of fireworks-related injuries (FWRIs) in Cagayan Valley as of 6 a.m. yesterday, Dec. 31.The DOH Epidemiology Bureau said data showed a 71 percent drop or 20 cases lower in the number of FWRIs cases compared to last year of 28 cases in the same period.In its pr…

QC hailed as top Manila Bay 'clean up' performer

Makati nagbabala laban sa bawal na paputok

MAKATI CITY, Disyembre 31 (PIA) -- Muling nagbabala ang pamahalaang lungsod dito laban sa paggamit ng mga ipinagbabawal na paputok na maaaring nakalusot sa merkado ilang oras bago natin salubungin ang bagong taon.Sa mga post ng Makati sa official webpage at social media accounts nito, sinabi nitong mahigpit na ipinagbabawal ang mga sumusunod na pa…

DILG CapDev Ace awardee honored

DILG-NCR steps closer to ISO Certification

Bicol disaster execs blame climate change for deadly landslides

LEGAZPI CITY -- The head of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Bicol is blaming climate change for the disaster that recently struck the region, where 57 people died in landslides and flooding spawned by the low-pressure area (LPA) that has caused heavy rains here in the past two days.“Zero-casualty is our constant goal, but there are situations…

NPA hit squad leader captured in Agusan Norte

SURIGAO CITY -- Authorities captured a New People's Army (NPA) leader allegedly involved in several high-profile killings in Agusan provinces, an Army official said Sunday.

Lt. Roel Maglalang, civil-military operations officer of the Army's 23rd Infantry Brigade, identified the NPA leader as Joaquin Madrinian, who was captured by a team of…

Residential real estate up 4.4% year-on-year in Q3: BSP

MANILA -- Residential real estate prices were higher by 4.4 percent year-on-year in Q3 2018 as the Residential Real Estate Price Index (RREPI) increased to 116.5 from 111.6 for the same quarter a year ago, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) revealed in a statement over the weekend.Year-on-year (YoY) prices of townhouses, condominium units, and …

Biz groups optimistic as 2018 ends on stable note

MANILA -- Entrepreneurs have every reason to be optimistic about business prospects next year after the country's economy ended 2018 in much better shape, business leaders told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).International Chamber of Commerce Philippines (ICCP) founder and chairman Francis Chua said the economy faced headwinds in the early pa…

Blast rocks front of Cotabato mall, dozens wounded

COTABATO CITY – At least a dozen people, including a four-year-old girl, were injured following an explosion in front of South Seas Mall along Don Rufino Alonzo Street here shortly before 2 p.m. Monday.Supt. Romeo Galgo Jr., city police deputy director, said probers are still trying to determine if the blast was caused by an improvised explosive d…

Davao Region on track for P15-B investments

DAVAO CITY – Davao Region is on track to corner at least PHP15 billion in investments in 2018 despite martial law jitters, an official of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.

Region 11 has already captured investment projects worth PHP14.8 billion as of January to November this year, DTI-11 Assistant Regional Director Edwin Banquerigo …

NoCot town's 'Lambat Bitag' nets 149 vehicles

KIDAPAWAN CITY -- The implementation of “Oplan Lambat Bitag” in Kabacan, North Cotabato this year has been successful with 149 vehicles impounded for various violations.

Chief Insp. Realan Mamon, Kabacan town police chief, said most of the vehicles were impounded due to the absence of license to drive by motorists and the lack or expired motor veh…

Zambo cops ordered to strictly enforce firecracker ban

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The Zamboanga City Police Office (ZCPO) has been tasked to ensure the strict enforcement of the firecracker ban ordinance for the New Year revelry in this city.

Ordinance 431-- also known as the Firecracker Ban Ordinance of 2014 -- prohibits the use, sale, possession, distribution, storage, and manufacture of firecrackers and oth…

Drive vs. smuggling, tax evasion shifts to high gear in 2018

MANILA -- The government continued to intensify its campaign against smuggling and tax evasion through the combined efforts of the Bureaus of Customs (BOC) and of Internal Revenue (BIR) in 2018.On the watch of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, the BIR spearheaded several raids on warehouses storing counterfeit cigarette brands, while the BOC…

9 more fireworks-related injuries reported before New Year's Eve

MANILA -- The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday reported nine more fireworks-related injuries (FWRIs) in Central Luzon, Ilocos, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas and Zamboanga Peninsula.The FWRIs were recorded by 60 sentinel hospitals from 6 a.m. on Sunday until 5:59 a.m. on Monday. Six cases were recorded in Western Visayas whi…

DOH pushes for public health improvement in 2018

3 men survive vehicular crash in Maguindanao

COTABATO CITY – Although they have to spend their New Year’s Eve in the hospital, three men remain thankful for cheating death when they jumped off their wayward truck which fell into a 90-foot deep cliff in Maguindanao Sunday.“At least we are alive,” truck driver Bobby Menez, 40, of Lebak, Sultan Kudarat, said in his bed Monday at a government ho…

City folks share Rizal’s patriotism in Miss Universe 2018 win

CALAMBA CITY, Laguna -- This city, which takes national pride at being the birthplace of Dr. Jose P. Rizal, reflected on Sunday’s 122nd commemorative rites of the hero’s martyrdom as it also lauded reigning Miss Universe 2018 and the fourth Miss Philippines to win the crown, Catriona Gray, for demonstrating in the world stage an embodiment of patr…

DOJ asks Olongapo court to convict 4 Chinese for making drugs

MANILA -- State lawyers have asked the Olongapo City court to partially reconsider its ruling against four Chinese nationals convicted of drug possession charges but cleared in the charges of making shabu on a fishing boat converted into a drug lab off Subic.In an 11 page partial motion for reconsideration dated December 27, Department of Justice …

Bersamin calls on court workers to improve judiciary in 2019

MANILA -- Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin on Monday urged court employees to work for significant improvements in the judiciary in the coming year."The new year signified a new beginning that we must fuse with a genuine effort for reformation and improvement for ourselves, our families, our work and our country. We in the judiciary are obliged t…

Grab users spent average of P7K for rides in 2018

MANILA -- Customers of ridesharing firm, Grab, spent an average of PHP7,000 in fares for their trips in 2018.This, as the company has traveled more than 920 million kilometers reaching destinations across the country this year.“Our most engaged users -- the top 5 percent -- spent an average of P4HP5,000 and did around eight times more trips than t…

9 ARMM towns under ‘areas of grave concern’ for 2019 polls

COTABATO CITY -- Police authorities in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao have listed nine towns in the region, where violence are likely to happen in the upcoming 2019 elections.Chief Supt. Graciano Mijares, ARMM police director, identified the towns - which the police have recommended to be placed under “hot spot” areas in the coming elect…

Manhunt on vs. killers of cop in Sultan Kudarat

ISULAN, Sultan Kudarat -- Police personnel and elements of the Philippine Marines in Lebak, Sultan Kudarat intensified the manhunt against suspected drug personalities, who were believed to be behind the murder of a police officer on Saturday, December 29.Police Officer 3 Jeffrey Manalo, an intelligence operative of the Lebak municipal police offi…

Metro Manila records 5 indiscriminate firing, 9 firecracker cases

MANILA — Five indiscriminate firing and nine firecracker incidents were reported in Metro Manila from December 21 up to 5 a.m. on New Year’s Eve, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) head Police Director Guillermo Eleazar said on Monday (December 31).NCRPO covers the Manila Police District (MPD), Quezon City Police District (QCPD), Northe…

2018 a good year for PNP: Albayalde

MANILA — Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said the year 2018 proved to be a year of both great challenge and success for the PNP.“The greatest achievement of the year is best quantified in real numbers in terms of continuing significant decline of crime incidents, swift solution of most sensational cases and …

 'Uniting' people through Mimaropa festivities

AFP welcomes New Year with resolve and hopes of peace

MANILA --- The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is welcoming 2019 by showing its resolve to serve and protect the Filipino nation and with hopes that enduring peace and development would finally come to the country, AFP chief-of-staff Lt. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal said Monday."Truly, 2018 has been a successful year for the Armed Forces as w…

ASG bandits release son of mayor in Zamboanga del Norte

ZAMBOANGA CITY - The Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits have released the son of a town mayor they kidnapped over a year ago in the province of Zamboanga del Norte, the police said.The Sulu Provincial Police Office said that Jed Quimbo, 28, the son of Mayor Eddie Quimbo of Labason, Zamboanga del Norte, was released around 4 p.m. Sunday in Barangay Anu…

Agri damage from ‘Usman’ now at P195-M

MANILA - - Damages and losses to agriculture due to Tropical Depression “Usman” (now a low pressure area) has reached PHP195.36 million as of 5 p.m. Sunday, according to the Department of Agriculture.The DA's Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DA-DRRM) Operation Center said that some PHP177.41 million in damage was recorded for palay crop…

NDRRMC validating reports of 61 fatalities due to 'Usman'

MANILA --- The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), through its Management of the Dead and the Missing (MDM) Cluster, is now validating reports that the inclement weather caused by Tropical Depression "Usman" has caused 61 fatalities in Regions V and VIII.This was bared by NDRRMC executive director Ricardo Ja…

'Usman' now LPA, but northeast monsoon affects Luzon

MANILA—While typhoon “Usman” weakened into a low pressure area ( LPA) on Sunday, the northeast monsoon continues to affect Luzon consistently for days now since last week.The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the regions of Ilocos, Cordillera, Cagayan Valley, Southern and Central Luzon will …

Banner stories of Manila's leading newspapers, Mon. Dec. 31, 2018

INQUIRER -- New Year whammy: fuel taxes going upMANILA BULLETIN -- 37 dead as 'Usman' batters Bicol, SamarPHILIPPINE STAR -- Usman death toll hits 57MANILA TIMES -- 'Usman' death toll climbs to 56MANILA STANDARD -- Floods, landslides kill 51
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Mayor attributes Dumaguete’s 2018 gains to unity

DUMAGUETE CITY -- Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo has cited numerous gains in 2018 of Dumaguete City, the provincial capital of Negros Oriental, in various fields that he attributed to the unity of city officials and the support of his constituents.“We have a lot of things to be thankful for. Most of all, we thank the Lord for a united city council (…