Rice tariff collection hits P13 B, tops full-year goal—DOF

Despite declining volumes amid the global economic slump, revenues from rice imports surpassed the government’s full-year target in the first nine-months of the year, the Department of Finance (DOF) said. In a statement, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said the Bureau of Customs collected P13.08 billion in rice duties from January to September, above the P10 billion target for the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) for 2020. Dominguez said the above RCEP target collection was owing to the Customs’ improved valuation system, which raised the rice tariff from P18,178…

On India-US agenda, a plan to share defence intel from Ladakh to South China Sea

The 3rd two plus two ministerial meeting next week will see both India and the United States consolidating the military-to-military relationship between the two democracies to move towards institutionalised intelligence-sharing agreement and go beyond tri-services exercises into unmanned, space and underwater platform domains, people familiar with the matter said. On October 26-27, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will meet US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Mark Esper in national capital Delhi for the third round of the top strategic dialogue agreed by…

DSWD has distributed P83.6 B SAP subsidies

News / National / DSWD has distributed P83.6 B SAP subsidies DSWD has distributed P83.6 B SAP subsidies More than P83.6 billion worth of emergency cash subsidies have been disbursed to more than 13.98  family-beneficiaries of the second wave of aid under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP), the Department of Social Welfare and Development reported. The DSWD said as of October 21, 8 p.m., it has distributed over P83. 6 billion SAP 2 funds to around 13, 982, 425 low-income households.  The number of served beneficiaries is 98 percent of…

U.S. Navy’s Hammerhead Mine Aims To Tip Balance In South China Sea

The U.S. Navy took a step towards a new style of warfare this week with a request for proposals for its new Hammerhead Program. The Navy is looking for contractors to supply a mine which can be placed covertly on the sea bed by a robot submarine; when Hammerhead’s sensors spot a target, it fires an encapsulated homing torpedo. Hammerhead procurement is being fast-tracked, under both a Navy Maritime Accelerated Acquisition initiative and an Acquisition Rapid Prototyping Program. The mine is needed urgently because it forms a key part of…

‘Muscle Man’ powers Alaska over Rain or Shine

PBA Images Streaking Alaska handed Rain or Shine its first loss Thursday night after escaping with an 89-88 win in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center in Angeles City, Pampanga. Vic Manuel flashed his pre-pandemic form when it mattered, hitting 10 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter as the Aces rallied from being down 75-68 midway in the period before enduring excruciating moments in the end to pick up their third straight victory after a 0-2 start. Jeron Teng had 13…

Defense Minister Reynolds affirms Australia’s commitment to maritime security in South China Sea

Visiting Australian Defense Minister Linda Reynolds affirmed Thursday her country’s commitment to upholding maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region, including in the volatile South China, during her first visit to the Philippines amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (AFP / MANILA BULLETIN) In a statement, the Embassy of Australia in the Philippines said Reynolds conveyed this message to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana during their face-to-face meeting to discuss respective COVID-19 responses and the shared commitment of Australia and the Philippines to regional security and stability.  During discussions, the top Australian defense also…

Zamboanga City leads cast in second leg of Chooks 3×3

Alvin Pasaol and the rest of the Zamboanga City-Family’s Brand Sardines squad are out to prove their first leg triumph is no fluke. (Photo from Chooks 3×3) Zamboanga City-Family’s Brand Sardines is out to continue its dominance while Nueva Ecija won’t be having Juan Gomez de Liano on Friday in the second leg of the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 President’s Cup at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna. The team of Joshua Munzon, Alvin Pasaol, Troy Rike and Santi Santillan is aiming to repeat its conquest of the inaugural leg…

Submerged optimism in the South China Sea: Inquirer columnist, Asia News & Top Stories

MANILA (PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – On the morning it was announced that the President had lifted the moratorium on oil exploration in the West Philippine Sea, the shares of PXP Energy went up nearly 50 per cent. Forum Energy, a PXP subsidiary, has a pending project in Recto Bank. The suspension of oil exploration was imposed in 2014 and formalised in March 2015, because, as Forum Energy stated at the time, “the Philippine Department of Energy has granted a force majeure on Service Contract 72 (SC 72) because…

Hontiveros calls out General Parlade for ‘harassing’ lady celebrities

Senator Risa Hontiveros, a human rights advocate, today warned Lt. General Antonio Parlade Jr. that she would make his life difficult when he returns to the bicameral Commission on Appointments (CA) for confirmation of any appointment to a higher rank at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). Sen. Risa Hontiveros(Senate of the Philippines / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) The lady legislator made the vow after Parlade allegedly ‘’threatened’’ and ‘’harassed’’ entertainment celebrity Liza Soberano and 2018 Miss Universe Catriona Gray for reportedly supporting Gabriela and other rights groups…

Dragon’s deployment of coercive economic measures to prop-up its position

More than any other country, China has experimented with the employment of economic levers in coercive ways. China’s use of its growing economic footprint to pursue political, military, and diplomatic goals is worrisome as its ulterior objective is the establishment of hegemony in the region. The measures may also have long-term effects in deterring and shaping countries’ foreign policy interests that go well beyond the short-term economic costs. China is aggressively deploying loans, financial aid, infrastructure projects, trade and other economic measures as instruments of foreign policy for asserting its…