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Abe ‘to offer P2.3 B in loans’ in talks with Duterte

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe looks set to offer 5 billion yen (USD 48.2 million or P2.3 billion) in loans when he meets with President Rodrigo Duterte next week, bilateral diplomatic sources said Saturday, October 22. The financial support is aimed at helping facilitate agricultural development in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, according to the sources. Duterte, who will make his first visit to Japan on Tuesday, was a longtime mayor of Davao City on the island. The deal will come after Duterte’s four-day visit to China this week underlined the Philippines’ diplomatic shift to move closer to Beijing and away from Washington.

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Many Thais gather to sing royal anthem in honor of late king

BANGKOK  -- A huge crowd of Thais gathered on Saturday outside Bangkok's Grand Palace to sing the royal anthem in honor of late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The scene was which was recorded for a new music video. At about 10:00 p.m. local time, tens of thousands of Thais, all dressed in black, filled Sanam Luang, the public square in front of the Grand Palace, sang the royal anthem, or Sansoen Phra Barami, together for three times with lighting candles in their hands. Pictures of night singing event are circulating on social media and were described by Thai media as "historic". An estimated of more than 150,000 people, also gathered here to sing the song in the afternoon, or from 1:00 p.m to 5:00 p.m.. The revered late king Bhumibol Adulyade passed away on Oct. 13 …

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Govt, NGOs mark lead poisoning prevention week

Government and non-government organizations are observing this year’s International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action with activities geared at minimizing, if not eliminating, preventable sources of human exposure to toxic lead. First held in 2013, the Week of Action, spearheaded by the United Nations Environment Program and the World Health Organization, is supported by partners in the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint, including the US Environmental Protection Agency and IPEN (a civil society network for a toxic-free future). The observance of the Week of Action in the Philippines began Friday at the “Kamayan para sa Kalikasan” Forum organized by the Green Convergence at the Kamayan Restaurant in Mandaluyong City. The forum highlighted the concerted efforts to phase out lead-containing architectural, decorative and household (ADH) paints by Dec 31, 2016, in line with …

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PDEA, China anti-drug agency ink pact on cooperation

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Narcotics Control Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) have formed an alliance to effectively suppress and control drug crimes between the two nations. This was after PDEA Director General Isidro S. Lapeña and Hu Minglang, Director General of Narcotics Control Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China signed an agreement stipulated in the Protocol On Cooperation in Beijing, China last October 20. “Under the Protocol, which will be effective for five years, the two countries agreed to establish and maintain cooperation involving information and data exchange on drug crimes, including an updated list and complete profile (if possible) of drug suspects and status of arrested drug personalities who are citizens …

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PH bags men’s doubles gold at world takraw tournament

The Philippines was crowned men’s doubles champion at the 31st King’s Cup Sepak Takraw World Championships after a stunning victory over 2015 SEA Games gold medalist Myanmar on Friday night in Thailand. The team of Jason Huerte, Rheyjey Ortouste and Mark Gonzales fought gallantly to conquer powerhouse Thailand in the semifinal round, 15-21, 22-20, 21-19, before pulling off a 12-21, 21-19, 21-17 upset over Myanmar in the final of the premier division. The Philippines defeated Singapore, Australia, Chinese Taipei and Indonesia in the elimination round. It was a historic victory for the Philippines, which is the first country to beat world champion Thailand in the prestigious King’s Cup. Last year, the Philippines shared the bronze medal with Myanmar. Thailand won the gold while South Korea got the silver medal. Aside from the men’s doubles …

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FEU comes back from 20 down to beat UP; Adamson downs UE

FEU completed a huge comeback and downed UP, 63-60, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Saturday. The Tamaraws started out very slow and conceding a 20-point advantage to the Fighting Maroons, 28-8, at the end of the first quarter. But they slowly came back and opened a nine-point lead in the fourth. UP tried to avert the collapse, but a crucial turnover down the stretch spelled doom for the team and its Final Four chances. Raymar Jose carried the fight for FEU with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Jett Manuel's solid game of 16 points, eight rebounds, five assists, and three steals came to naught as UP dropped its second straight game after a breakthrough two-handed winning run that put the team to playoff consideration. In the second game, Adamson rode on a solid third quarter …

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Red alert raised in Camiguin Island for Lanzones festival

CAMIGUIN ISLAND -- Police in Camiguin province have declared a “red alert” status for the island’s 37th Lanzones festival. In an interview Saturday, Camiguin Police director, Sr. Supt. Rolando Destura said the weeklong festival starts on Monday and runs until October 29. Destura said all police personnel stationed in Camiguin would be on duty 24/7 for the duration of the festival. “We expect a number of tourists during the Lanzones festival and it is our duty to secure all island visitors,” he said. He said the provincial police has also requested additional police personnel from the regional police command to augment the island’s police force. According to Destura, the red alert status covers incoming passenger vessels, which will be inspected in coordination with the Philippine Coast Guard, the Marines, and the Navy. He said that he …

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PH tourism destinations featured in taxis driving around New Delhi

Taxi cabs in New Delhi helped in promoting the Philippines' beautiful world class tourist destinations, the Department of Foreign Affairs said on Saturday. Philippine Ambassador to India Ma. Teresita C. Daza launched the taxi transit advertising of Philippine tourist destinations at the Embassy grounds on Oct. 10 as part of the Embassy’s continuing tourism promotion efforts in partnership with the Philippine Tourism Marketing Office in New Delhi. One hundred thirty taxis ply the roads of New Delhi, featuring key tourist attractions such as Bohol, Cebu, Davao, and Manila on the taxis’ sides and back. The use of taxi transit advertising is a powerful tool to raise awareness on Philippine tourism and to project the country’s beautiful tourist destinations. The taxis were also equipped with brochures containing five tour packages to famous tourism destinations in …

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Filipino liturgical artist gives Pope Francis another framed artwork

A Filipino liturgical artist personally handed Pope Francis a framed artwork, the third piece given to the head of the Roman Catholic Church, during a visit at the Vatican this week. Brother Jaazeal “Tagoy” Dineros Jakosalem, of the Order of Augustinian Recollects (OAR), gave the Holy Father the art piece "Embracing Mercy” at the Sala Clementina, Vatican City, Rome after a special papal audience granted to the Augustinian Recollects, who participated in the 55th General Chapter on Oct. 20. "Beautiful, I like it. Please pray for me, young man,” said the artist, quoting the Pontiff upon receiving the artwork, in an article posted on the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) news website. The canvass shows Pope Francis embracing the Christ-child, fashioned after the likeness of Alan Kurdi, the 3-year old Syrian …

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Cacao-growing industry set to flourish in Mindanao

Cagayan De Oro City  — Mindanao farmers expect to produce 100,000 metric tons of cacao by 2022 as the global market demand continues to rise, local businessmen said Friday. The visit of President Duterte to China has already produced results – a group of Chinese investors has tapped the Cacao Industry Development Association of Mindanao to help obtain a 10,000-hectare area for development into a cacao plantation. The Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (Oro chamber) said that the 2016-2022 Philippine Cacao Industry Roadmap is well underway in its implementation to meet the ambitious production. The Oro Chamber was one of the stakeholders during the Northern Mindanao Cacao Techno Forum held here Thursday participated in by the local partners in the agriculture and government sectors. During the forum, the Mindanao Development …

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