October 23, 2013 Edition

Valerie Castro

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

  1. House approves P2.268T budget for 2014

    The House of Representatives on Tuesday, October 22, approved on 3rd and final reading the proposed P2.268 trillion budget for 2014, an amount that is the same as what Malacañang proposed. The national budget passed the Lower House with a 219-22 vote. It will now be transmitted to the Senate for deliberation. Deliberations on the proposed 2014 budget were conducted at the height of scandals regarding the alleged misuse of billions worth of lawmakers’ funds. House members have reached a consensus to realign their controversial P25.2-billion Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to 6 line agencies. The House, however, retained lump sum appropriations for the Office of the President, including the calamity fund. Under the House version of the budget, the top 3 largest allocations will go to the Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. Classes resume in Bohol on Nov 5, Cebu stabilizes

    DESTRUCTION. A classroom in Loon, Bohol. Photo by Franz Lopez/Rappler

    Classes in quake-hit Bohol will resume on Tuesday, November 5, Governor Edgar Chatto announced. The province is the hardest hit of the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that rocked Central Visayas a week ago, October 15. In Cebu, classes in public schools will resume on Monday, November 4. School administrators will make their own announcements for classes in private schools, but localized suspensions have been made. The Department of Education (DepEd) told Rappler on Sunday that initial reports showed 37 damaged schools in Region 6 and 866 damaged schools in Region 7. Meanwhile, Cebu has “stabilized” following the strong quake that shook the island. Cebu now serves as one of the staging points for relief goods to enter the province of Bohol, which is now under a state of calamity. Cebu was also declared under a state of calamity immediately following the quake. Resources are being poured into the towns of Loon, Maribojoc, and Antiquera — the hardest hit among Bohol’s municipalities.

    Read the full story on Rappler here and here.

  3. Why “Ma’am Arlene” thrives in the judiciary

    Rappler’s Editor-at-large Marites Dañguilan Vitug writes about why people who curry favor with judges roam freely within the halls of justice. The Supreme Court is currently investigating reports of a Janet Napoles-type of political operator, dubbed “Ma’am Arlene” by the media. Vitug says there is a real Ma’am Arlene – identified as Arlene Angeles Lerma – but “she is merely the face of a culture in the judiciary that fosters corruptions. Vitug goes on to write, “Some judges are impervious to their code of ethics and forget that they are arbiters of conflicts and, at all times, should be seen as impartial. They socialize with lobbyists, accept gifts, play golf with lawyers and litigants.”

    Read the full Thought Leaders piece on Rappler.

  4. India: Patience pays when dealing with China

    PH'S PARTNER. Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario meets with Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid at the DFA on Oct 18. Photo by Noel Celis/AFP

    Regional power India on Tuesday, October 22, advised the Philippines to keep its cool in dealing with China even after Manila took Beijing to an international tribunal. “My advice is, patience does pay,” Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid said in an open forum after a lecture at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in Pasay City. Khurshid said the Philippines and China, like other countries, can “ring-fence the difficulties but continue working in areas where there is potential for convergence and growth.” “When you’re dealing with China, you have to be patient. It is important because it’s an old civilization. We are an old civilization. We have learned to work with patience in a steady pace that is acceptable to both. And I think every country needs to do this,” Khurshid explained. The foreign minister on Tuesday delivered a lecture titled, “The Shaping of India’s Foreign Policy,” to inaugurate the Rizal-Nehru Memorial Lecture Series at the DFA. He made an official visit to the Philippines from Monday, October 21, to Tuesday, for talks on bilateral cooperation.

    Read the full story n Rappler.

  5. Leaders at internet governance forum concerned over US surveillance

    Leaders from various sectors gathered in Bali, Indonesia to talk about Internet Governance, expressing their concern over the breadth and depth of the US spy program. About 1,500 delegates are in the island to talk about the role of the Internet for development. During the opening session leaders from the United Nations, European Parliament, civil society and business all express concern that mass surveillance may threaten efforts to protect a free, open and secure Internet. They say this endangers basic freedoms like privacy and freedom of expression. But representatives of the US government say they are taking the concerns seriously and the reports must not be used to justify moves for a centralized control of the Internet by some governments.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Apple launches new iPad Air, iPad Mini

    NEW IPADS. Apple shows off two new iPads in its October keynote

    Apple unveiled a refreshed lineup of tablets at its “we’ve got a lot more to cover” event in San Francisco Tuesday, October 22 (October 23 Philippine time). The iPad Air is an updated version of the original 9.7-inch iPad. The new model adapts the form factor of last year’s iPad mini, with a smaller bezel and diamond cut chamfered edges. At 1 pound, Apple is calling it the “lightest full sized tablet in the world.” The iPad Air is available in silver and space gray and starts shipping in select markets (not including the Philippines) on November 1, 2013. The 16GB WiFi-only model is priced at $499 and goes up to $929 for the 128GB WiFI + Cellular model. A much requested feature, Apple finally brought the Retina screen to the iPad mini. The new iPad mini with Retina display fits 3.1 million pixels (2048 x 1536) into its 7.9-inch screen. If you’re counting that’s about 326 pixels per inch. The iPad mini with Retina display starts at $399 (US) for the 16GB WiFi only base model and goes up to $829 for the 128GB WiFi + Cellular models.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. LTFRB, Police on the lookout for malicious cab drivers

    The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has teamed up with the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) to address cases involving taxi drivers “drugging” female passengers. In a press release on Tuesday, October 22, the LTFRB has received reports of taxi drivers using a “special spray” that would make female passengers dizzy and numb, in order to take advantage of them. A complaint received by NCRPO indicated that one female passenger almost passed out due to a strong gaseous odor, apparently from a solution sprayed by the driver inside the taxi. Her decision to ask the driver to pull over the nearest gas station saved her from falling prey to the cab driver. LTFRB chairman Winston Ginez said that the agency and NCRPO will invite taxi cab operators in a public hearing to discuss the situation.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. PLDT, Globe say no to SIM registration

    SIM REGISTRATION. About 90% of the estimated 100 million mobile phone users in the Philippines are prepaid, or unregistered, subscribers. File photo by AFP

    Telco giants PLDT and Globe are opposing a proposal to require the registration of mobile phone SIM cards, citing the “administrative nightmare” of implementing this on over 100 million local subscriber identity modules (SIM). In a position paper to the House of Representatives, rivals Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) and Globe Telecom Inc., as well as other members of the Philippine Chamber of Telecommunications Operators (PCTO), said they are against the SIM Card Registration Act as proposed under House Bill Nos. 525, 858, 1519, 2444, 2588, and 2624. These bills were filed following a cellphone-triggered bombing that killed 8 people in Cagayan de Oro last July. PCTO had said then that SIM registration is unpractical and ineffective solution against crime since there is no reliable ID system in the Philippines, Salalima stressed.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Repair of NAIA radar affects almost 100 flights

    Thousands of passengers would be affected by the 2-day maintenance repair of the radar system in Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the country’s main gateway. Almost 100 flights of domestic carriers Philippine Airlines (PAL), PAL Express and Cebu Pacific have been cancelled or rescheduled due to these safety measures. In separate statements, legacy carrier PAL said 51 of its and its unit PAL Express’ local and international flights are affected by the upgrade of the airport facility, while budget carrier Cebu Pacific said 44 flights will have to be cancelled. The Gokongwei-led airline also said it will have to adjust the time of two of its flights. The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Caap) said airlines — both local and foreign — need to reduce their operation as the NAIA radar system undergoes a 30-hour maintenance and upgrade works starting 1am of October 23 until October 24.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. First online Islamic sex shop opens in Turkey

    'HALAL.' The homepage of the

    An online Islamic sex shop selling condoms, massage oils and perfumes has been launched in Turkey, becoming the first of its kind in the predominantly Muslim country. The “Halal Sex Shop” website presents its products as being “entirely safe,” and in compliance with Islamic norms. Internet users who enter the site find two different links directing them to separate sections for male and female products. Other sections of the website are designed to discuss sex in the context of Islam under various headings: “Oral sex according to Islam”, “Sex manners in Islam” and “Sexual life in Islam.” Turkey does have so-called “erotic shops” in its streets, however Islamic conservative Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested last year they rename themselves “love shops.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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