Philippines thread: news only, no discussion

Discussion in 'Members' Club Room' started by zgx09t, Sep 8, 2019.

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  1. zgx09t
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    The Philippine Peso's Rally Is Rapidly Unraveling

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/philippine-pesos-rally-rapidly-unraveling-000000998.html

    (Bloomberg) -- The Philippine peso’s rally in the first half of the year is rapidly unwinding as rising global trade-war fears and faltering economic growth pummel the currency. Further losses may be in store.

    The currency slumped from near an 18-month high in August as overseas investors sold local stocks and the central bank cut interest rates for the second time this year and said more is to come. The peso may weaken another 4% by year-end given the prospect of further escalation in U.S.-China trade tensions, according to ING Bank NV.

    “I’m not positive on the peso,” said Nicholas Mapa, a senior economist at ING in Manila, who previously worked at the central bank. “Starting in August, the peso faced a weakening bias largely due to the protracted sell-down of Philippine stocks by foreign players.” Traders have every reason to seek a haven until the narrative improves, he said.

    The peso has dropped 2.1% from its July 31 high of 50.81 per dollar, halting a 2.5% rally during June and July that made it the best-performing Asian emerging currency after the Thai baht. It will probably extend declines to 54.10 by year-end, ING’s Mapa said. The currency was at 51.91 on Thursday.

    The ratcheting up of trade tensions saw overseas funds offload a net $226 million of Philippine equities last month, after they had invested a net $488 million through the first seven months of the year.

    The sputtering local economy is also weighing on the currency. GDP growth unexpectedly slowed to a four-year low of 5.5% last quarter, the government said Aug. 8, leading the central bank to cut interest rates by a quarter-percentage point to 4.25% the same day. The economy was hampered by a four-month delay in approving the budget, resulting in a setback to President Rodrigo Duterte’s plans to revive growth through infrastructure spending.
     
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    Slave to sachets: How poverty worsens the plastics crisis in the Philippines
    Karen Lema

    8 Min Read

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-...stics-crisis-in-the-philippines-idUSKCN1VO0G3
    MANILA (Reuters) - Armed with gloves, rubber boots and a rake, “Mangrove Warrior” Willer Gualva, 68, comes to Freedom Island in the Philippines almost every day to stop it being engulfed by trash.

    No one lives on the island, yet each morning its shores are covered in garbage, much of it single-use sachets of shampoo, toothpaste, detergent and coffee that are carried out to sea by the rivers of overcrowded Manila.

    “We collect mostly plastics here and the number one type are sachets,” said Gualva, one of 17 people employed by the environment agency to help preserve the island and its forest. The agency, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), calls them “Mangrove Warriors”, and pays them slightly above $8 per day.

    Five days of coastal cleanup on the Manila Bay island last month yielded a total of 16,000 kg of trash, DENR data showed, the bulk of it plastics, including the sachets made of aluminum and blends of plastics.

    These packets give some of the poorest people in Asia access to everyday household essentials. For the multinationals that manufacture them, it’s a way to increase sales by targeting customers who cannot afford bigger quantities.

    Such sachets are sold in most developing countries but the number consumed in the Philippines is staggering - 163 million pieces a day, according to a recent study by environment group The Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA).

    That’s almost 60 billion sachets a year, or enough to cover 130,000 soccer fields.

    In Manila’s slum areas which are inaccessible to garbage trucks, sachets and other waste are thrown in estuaries or dumped on the street, and end up clogging drains and waterways.

    “Money is hard to come by, so I only buy sachets,” said Lisa Jorillo, 42, a mother of four who lives in a slum in Manila’s Tondo area, behind a beach blanketed by trash.

    “It’s likely the garbage will still be there when my son grows up,” Jorillo said, referring to her four-year-old.

    The Philippines’ law on solid waste is poorly enforced and the country doesn’t regulate packaging manufacturing. The country is ranked third in the world for failing to deal with its plastics, according to a 2015 study by the University of Georgia, which said 81 percent of plastics waste in the country was mismanaged.

    GRAPHIC: When plastic is not fantastic - here
    SACHETS FOR THE POOR

    About 14 million people live in Metro Manila, one of Asia’s teeming mega-cities. Overall, the Philippines has a population of 107 million people, and one-fifth of them live below the national poverty line, described by the statistics agency as monthly consumption of less than $241 per person.

    Jorillo’s family earns about 2,500 pesos ($48) a week from the construction work that her husband does, and she and her family buy about 80 sachets of coffee, toothpaste and shampoo each month.

    In sea-facing Manila, much of the trash ends up in the sea. The Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and China account for 60 percent of the world’s marine plastic, or 8 million tonnes annually, according to the Ocean Conservancy non-profit.

    Environmentalists say the main culprits aren’t governments or consumers, but the multinationals that churn out plastic packaging.

    “They have money to do research that will remove the problematic packaging,” said Sonia Mendoza, head of the Mother Earth Foundation, which promotes waste reduction. She said refilling stations could be one way to reduce the use of single-use sachets.

    The environmental group GAIA studied non-recyclable waste collected in Philippine cleanups and found that 60 percent of it came from just 10 companies, led by Nestle (NESN.S), Unilever (ULVR.L) and Procter & Gamble (PG.N).

    Nestle declined to disclose the volume of sachets it produced or sold in the Philippines.
    FIGHTING MALNUTRITION

    Nestle said it was committed to finding ways to keep plastics out of oceans through plastic collection and recycling programs, but added that sachets prevented leakage of micro-nutrients essential to addressing malnutrition, especially among children.

    Unilever did not say how many sachets it produces in the Philippines, but said its global plastic packaging production is 610,000 tonnes annually.

    The figure, Unilever said, includes “flexible packaging formats” used by 1 million micro-businesses in the Philippines. Nestle and Unilever’s target is for 100% of their packaging to be recyclable or reusable by 2025 worldwide.

    Unilever said it has a community-based sachet recovery program in the Philippines where collected sachets are converted to school chairs and cement pavers. It also pilot ran shampoo and conditioner refilling stations this year, which it plans to scale up.

    P&G referred questions to the industry group Philippine Alliance for Recycling and Materials Sustainability (PARMS) or the government’s National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC).

    The Philippines government does not have a clear strategy to tackle its plastics crisis.

    In an e-mail response to Reuters, the DENR said it was in discussions with all manufacturers to identify ways to manage waste. It provided no details.

    Elsewhere in the region, Indonesia has a law requiring producers to manage non-biodegradable packaging and the tourist island of Bali bans single-use plastics.

    Thailand is between now and 2025 introducing bans on seven types of plastics most commonly found in the ocean, like bottle cap seals, disposable bags, cups and straws.

    Vietnam hopes to raise taxes on plastic bags and its prime minister has urged shops to stop using non-recyclable plastics in cities by 2021, and countrywide by 2025.

    ECO-BRICKS

    The Philippines industry group PARMS, which includes Unilever, P&G and Nestle among its members, is building a 25 million pesos ($475,000) facility that aims to turn sachets into plastic blocks and eco-bricks.

    But Von Hernandez, global coordinator for the Break Free From Plastic movement, calls that “greenwashing” - or only trying to appear more environmentally friendly.

    “They are not really changing the true nature of their business,” Hernandez said of the multinationals. “The plastics industry is slated to grow exponentially, especially by 2030. The bulk of that is going to packaging and you can bet this is going to end up in sachets.”

    Crispian Lao, president of PARMS, said every effort, even those which “may be perceived as small and insignificant”, helps address the problem.
    Slideshow (21 Images)

    Lao said sachets were a necessity for lower income groups, but added the industry is exploring other delivery formats and packaging alternatives.

    Cynthia Villar, a senator, says she is pushing for a radical re-write of an existing waste law to force firms to collect, recycle and dispose of all single-use plastics they produce.

    “They always say they’re willing to do it. But it’s a different story altogether whether they’ll do it, so we have to embody it in a law so they’ll all follow,” Villar told Reuters.
     
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    Philippines Supreme Court upholds ban on same-sex marriage

    By Julie Zaugg, CNN

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/04/asia/philippines-gay-marriage-intl-hnk/index.html

    Updated 7:27 AM ET, Wed September 4, 2019
    A couple hold hands wrapped in a rainbow flag during a pride march in Marikina City, east of Manila on June 30, 2018.

    (CNN)The Philippines' highest court has dismissed a petition to allow same-sex marriage, ruling that the applicant doesn't have a partner and therefore can't claim to be a victim of existing laws.
    Jesus Falcis, a 33-year-old radio show anchor and attorney, sought to declare Articles 1 and 2 of the Family Code unconstitutional. These provisions limit marriage to a union between a man and a woman.
    "I am out since the age of 15 and I suffered from discrimination throughout my school years, so I felt the need to advocate for LGBT rights," said Falcis, who filed the application in 2015. "I decided to use the tool of litigation, because it has been successful in other countries -- such as the United States -- to have gay marriage legalized."
    But the court dismissed his petition Tuesday due to "lack of standing" and for "failing to raise an actual, justiciable controversy," according to a summary of the court ruling.

    This is what Pride celebrations look like around the world
    This is what Pride celebrations look like around the world

    This is what Pride celebrations look like around the world 01:25
    "I don't have a partner and therefore can't be considered as having suffered from the consequences of a law which bans gay marriage," Falcis explained.
    The court also held Falcis and his co-counsels liable for indirect contempt, accusing them of using constitutional litigation for propaganda purposes.
    Falcis described the decision as "disheartening." In an attempt to avoid having his case dismissed on technicalities, he added a gay and a lesbian couple to his petition in 2016. "They had both previously tried and failed to have their marriage recognized and therefore constituted actual cases, but the court chose to ignore them and to focus on me instead," he said.
    The court did however acknowledge that the 1987 Constitution "does not define or restrict marriage on the basis of sex, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression," the court summary said.

    It also recognized the long history of discrimination and marginalization faced by the LGBT community and called on Congress to address the recognition of same-sex unions.
    An anti-discrimination law, called the SOGIE bill, is currently under review in parliament.
     
  4. Jura
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    Updated as of Sep 04 2019 02:57 PM
    Locsin: PH has protested Chinese incursions in West PH Sea 60 times under Duterte https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/09/04...ursions-in-west-ph-sea-60-times-under-duterte
    related to what's at https://www.sinodefenceforum.com/so...es-for-other-nations-not-china.t7302/page-220
    & https://www.sinodefenceforum.com/so...es-for-other-nations-not-china.t7302/page-221
     
    #4 Jura, Sep 10, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masinloc
    Seven Chinese nationals arrested for illegal dredging in Zambales https://cnnphilippines.com/news/2019/9/12/immigration-panelo-chinese-dredging-zambales.html
     
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    US warship runs another FONOP near Paracel Islands https://www.navytimes.com/news/your...ship-runs-another-fonop-near-paracel-islands/
    :

     
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    'The face of defeat': S. China Sea scholar urges PH to raise arbitral win before UN https://news.abs-cbn.com/spotlight/...olar-urges-ph-to-raise-arbitral-win-before-un
    Updated as of Sep 22 2019 01:31 PM
     
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