January 6, 2015 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Pope Francis to go around Luneta to greet crowds

    Rizal Park or Luneta will be open to the public on January 18 from 6 am to 1 pm only prior to the Mass scheduled at 3:30 pm. Pope Francis, however, as he typically does, will go around to greet and bless the crowds. “He wants to meet everyone and bless everyone, because that will be the only chance for him [to do so],” Fr Rufino Sescon Jr, executive secretary of the papal visit, said. About 1.2 million people are expected to be at the Luneta but the number could swell up to 5 million.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. DFA: Include West PH Sea in curriculum

    Filipinos should learn about the country’s marine resources and what better way than appreciating them through the school curriculum for elementary and high school? Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Charles Jose said the Department of Foreign Affairs is proposing to harness education and information to complement its legal strategy against China, which has proclaimed its “indisputable sovereignty” over the South China Sea. It will be up to the education department to develop the concept, according to Jose, but the plan is to have the West Philippine Sea incorporated in geography and history subjects.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. Search for AirAsia crash victims expands

    Recovery teams scouring waters to find bodies and wreckage from AirAsia Flight 8501 have expanded their search. As of Monday, January 5, only 34 bodies out of 162 passengers on board the plane have been recovered from the disaster scene. Flight 8501 crashed during a storm on December 28 while it was en route to Singapore from Surabaya in Indonesia. Rescue officials were hopeful for a break in weather conditions to send divers down to the seabed again.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. PH is next int’l training hub for Airbus SAS

    Airbus SAS, the French manufacturer of the largest passenger aircraft, is setting up a training center in the country. This could make the Philippines an international site for Airbus training as the aircraft maker grows its fleet in the Asia Pacific region, William Hotchkiss, director-general of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines said. At present, Airbus SAS has training centers in Toulouse in southwestern France, Miami, Hmaburg, Beijing, and Bangalore.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Feast of Black Nazarene ‘dry run’ for papal visit

    Friday’s Feast of the Black Nazarene will serve as Manila’s dry run for security and crowd control during the visit of Pope Francis. Local government and Church officials said they would be able to test capabilities and security plans, as well as evaluate and improve lapses. About 12 million people are expected to participate in the annual religious gathering where devotees join a procession of the Black Nazarene.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. PH navy warships get boost with missile systems

    Photo by Carmela Fonbuena/Rappler

    Two of the Philippine navy’s most capable warships will be equipped with missile systems to improve defense capabilities against maritime intruders. The BRP Gregorio del Pilar and BRP Ramon Alcaraz, acquired from the US Coast Guard, are currently deployed to patrol the West Philippine Sea. They have a 25-millimeter Oto Melara cannon and sail in tandem with brand new naval choppers. Navy spokesman Colonel Edgard Arevalo said the missile systems will elevate the navy’s capability and patrol reach.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Pinoy victims of Vietnam ship mishap headed home

    The Department of Foreign Affairs is working on the repatriation of Filipino sailors on board the ill-fated Bahamian ship, Bulk Jupiter, which sank on Friday, January 2, close to Vietnam. Only one survived, cook Angelito Capindo Rojas, and two other bodies have been found. The search for the 16 other sailors continues amid bad weather. Carrying 46,400 metric tons of bauxite, the Bahamian ship had an all-Filipino 19-member crew. It left Malaysia and was headed to China.

    Read the full story on Rappler.  

  8. SC asked to stop MRT-LRT fare hike

    Petitioners asked the Supreme Court to block the Metro Rail Transit and Light Rail Transit fare hike that took effect Sunday, January 4. Consisting of former government officials, private individuals and leftist groups, the petitioners want the High Court to issue a temporary restraining order against the increase, which they described as “arbitrary, unjustified, excessive, irregular and invalid.” MRT rates ranged from P15 to P18, while for LRT-1, the maximum single journey fare increased to P30. For LRT-2, fare is up to P25. Malacañang defended the increase, saying it is the right thing to do as government subsidy for the MRT and LRT can be used to fund new projects in other provinces.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    A related story on the Palace’s defense of the fare hike is also on Rappler.

  9. New MRT chief is Pisay grad

    Roman Buenafe, a mechanical engineer and a graduate of engineering from the University of the Philippines, will be the new general manager of the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3). Like Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, he is a graduate of the Philippine Science High School. Buenafe took his oath Monday morning, January 5. He takes over management of the MRT-3 which traverses EDSA and has been beset by problems ranging from glitches to badly-needed infrastructure upgrades and outdated systems.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Tablets, smartphones give kids less sleep – study

    A US study published in the journal Pediatrics said school kids who have access to smartphones and tablets sleep less than children who don’t have them at night. They got nearly 21 fewer minutes of sleep per night and were likely to feel sleep deprived. Those with a TV got 18 fewer minutes of sleep. “These findings caution against unrestricted screen access in children’s bedrooms,” the study said.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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