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Old November 23rd, 2012, 05:27 AM   #1
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Anything Good News

Link to past thread,

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showth...483019&page=51
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Old November 26th, 2012, 07:44 PM   #2
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FORBES? Yes Forbes! always has room to grow, we need to do more to outperform the top ASEAN in the list,.. we can benchmark my, thai, indo on their best practices,..

Top countries to do business: Phl ahead of China, India
By Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 27, 2012 - 12:00am
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MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines placed 87th among 141 countries in the Forbes’ Best Countries for Business List, beating China and India but still behind most of its Southeast Asian neighbors.

The Forbes’ list which ranks countries based on different factors such as trade freedom, monetary freedom, property rights, innovation, technology, red tape, investor protection, corruption, personal freedom, tax burden and market performance showed that the Philippines was a better place for business than China at 96th and India at 97th.

The list showed that Singapore was the fourth best country for business, while Malaysia was 31st.

The list also showed Thailand in the 67th spot and Indonesia on 76th.

The Philippines, meanwhile, was better positioned than Vietnam at 109th place and Cambodia at 112th.

The Philippine ranking was the same as last year during which 130 countries were in the list.
Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1



Out of 11 factors considered in the report, the Philippines’ ranking in five has dropped.

In terms of tax burden, the country’s position dropped 21 places to 110th. In terms of trade freedom, the Philippines saw its ranking fall by seven places to 86th this year.

The country also fell five places to 128th in terms of red tape, while it declined two places to 112th in terms of corruption.

In personal freedom, the Philippines placed 67th compared to last year’s 63rd.

The country, meanwhile, saw its ranking improve in monetary freedom to 61st spot from last year’s 62nd.

The country also improved in terms of innovation to 62nd spot from last year’s 69th.

In terms of investor protection, the country went up three places to 105th, while it jumped 11 notches to 4th place in terms of market performance.

The country’s ranking was unchanged for property rights (84th) and technology (77th).

The 10 best countries for business this year were New Zealand, Denmark, Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Finland and United Kingdom.

The countries at the bottom of this year’s list or those considered the worst for business were Cote d’Ivoire, Yemen, Mauritania, Ethiopia, Haiti, Cameroon, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Chad and Guinea.

http://philstar.com/headlines/2012/1...ad-china-india
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Old November 27th, 2012, 09:20 PM   #3
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Philippine market one of top 3 JP Morgan picks for 2013
Global investment bank JP Morgan has picked the Philippines as one of its three most-favored stock markets for 2013, marking the fourth straight year that the local bourse is expected to outperform most of its regional peers.
“We are still very bullish for 2013,” JP Morgan Securities Philippines Inc. executive director and head of equity research Gilbert Lopez said in a press briefing on Monday. The two other Asian markets seen by JP Morgan as top market picks for next year are Thailand and India, citing favorable demographics as a common denominator with the Philippines.
At the beginning of 2012, JP Morgan’s emerging market and Asian equity strategist Arian Mowat also cited the Philippines as among its most favored markets along with Thailand and Indonesia. This year, he said the Philippines was still on Mowat’s favored list.
Lopez said JP Morgan had an “overweight” rating on Philippine equities for the last four years. An “overweight” rating refers to a recommendation to buy in excess of the prescribed weight in a closely followed index like MSCI Asia ex-Japan, which JP Morgan expects to rise by 15 percent next year.
JP Morgan does not target local indices like the Philippine Stock Exchange index but Lopez said that based on its price targets on monitored stocks, the PSEi might have room to rise by another 20-25 percent from current levels. The company covers 30 Philippine stocks, at least 27 of which are part of the PSEi.
“The reason we like the Philippines is that in a global context, earnings environment is still good,” Lopez said, adding that JP Morgan was expecting average earnings per share in this market to grow at a faster pace of 17 percent next year from about 12 percent this year.
http://business.inquirer.net/95141/p...picks-for-2013
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Old November 28th, 2012, 04:17 AM   #4
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FORBES? Yes Forbes! always has room to grow, we need to do more to outperform the top ASEAN in the list,.. we can benchmark my, thai, indo on their best practices,..

Top countries to do business: Phl ahead of China, India
By Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 27, 2012 - 12:00am
0 0 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines placed 87th among 141 countries in the Forbes’ Best Countries for Business List, beating China and India but still behind most of its Southeast Asian neighbors.

The Forbes’ list which ranks countries based on different factors such as trade freedom, monetary freedom, property rights, innovation, technology, red tape, investor protection, corruption, personal freedom, tax burden and market performance showed that the Philippines was a better place for business than China at 96th and India at 97th.

The list showed that Singapore was the fourth best country for business, while Malaysia was 31st.

The list also showed Thailand in the 67th spot and Indonesia on 76th.

The Philippines, meanwhile, was better positioned than Vietnam at 109th place and Cambodia at 112th.

The Philippine ranking was the same as last year during which 130 countries were in the list.
Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1



Out of 11 factors considered in the report, the Philippines’ ranking in five has dropped.

In terms of tax burden, the country’s position dropped 21 places to 110th. In terms of trade freedom, the Philippines saw its ranking fall by seven places to 86th this year.

The country also fell five places to 128th in terms of red tape, while it declined two places to 112th in terms of corruption.

In personal freedom, the Philippines placed 67th compared to last year’s 63rd.

The country, meanwhile, saw its ranking improve in monetary freedom to 61st spot from last year’s 62nd.

The country also improved in terms of innovation to 62nd spot from last year’s 69th.

In terms of investor protection, the country went up three places to 105th, while it jumped 11 notches to 4th place in terms of market performance.

The country’s ranking was unchanged for property rights (84th) and technology (77th).

The 10 best countries for business this year were New Zealand, Denmark, Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Finland and United Kingdom.

The countries at the bottom of this year’s list or those considered the worst for business were Cote d’Ivoire, Yemen, Mauritania, Ethiopia, Haiti, Cameroon, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Chad and Guinea.

http://philstar.com/headlines/2012/1...ad-china-india
If only we will eliminate the gazillions of red tape, we will be in a better position. The government should rethink the outdated laws
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Old November 28th, 2012, 07:04 AM   #5
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PH's 7.1% econ growth for Q3 fastest in Asean
http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/business/...my-grows-71-q3

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) - The economy's growth accelerated to 7.1% in the third quarter from 3.2% a year ago, exceeding market and government expectations. This was also the fastest growth rate among Southeast Asian countries.

"The beyond expectations third quarter growth was driven by the services sector with the robust performances of transport, storage and communications, financial intermediation and real estate, renting and business activities," National Statistical Coordination Board Secretary General Jose Ramon G. Albert said in a briefing Wednesday.

"On the demand side, increased consumer and govt spending, increased investment in construction and the third consecutive quarter growth in external trade contributed to the highest quarterly growth since the third quarter of 2010," he added.

This brings gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the nine months to September to 6.5%, already above government's target of a 5% to 6% economic expansion this year.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 04:42 PM   #6
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If only we will eliminate the gazillions of red tape, we will be in a better position. The government should rethink the outdated laws
i think we need to automate most if not all government dealings,..
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Old November 28th, 2012, 07:24 PM   #7
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i think we need to automate most if not all government dealings,..
Yep. Also, remove unnecessary procedures. Minsan kasi ang daming ceremonial ek ek ng gobyerno
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Old November 30th, 2012, 05:23 PM   #8
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The Azkals take down Myanmar 2-0. Make the Suzuki Cup Semifinals.

AFF Suzuki Cup Group A Standings: Thailand 9pts, Philippines 6pts, Myanmar 1pt, Vietnam 1pt
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Old December 1st, 2012, 08:24 AM   #9
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Neda board approves P105B worth of projects
THE BOARD of the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda), which is chaired by President Aquino, has approved nine new transportation and infrastructure projects with investments worth P105.85 billion.
The board also approved the time extension of one project, the formulation of an investment program for agrarian reform communities and two Public-Private Partnership projects were approved in principle, subject to further review of costs.
The approved projects were the P2.12-billion Tacloban airport development and the P8.81-billion acquisition of multi-role response vessels (MRRVs) of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC); P8.87-billion Phase I of the Mactan-Cebu international airport (MCIA) new passenger terminal project of the DOTC and MCIA; the P1.72-billion contactless automatic fare collection system (AFCS) also of the DOTC; the P1.16-billion rehabilitation, operation and maintenance of the Angat hydroelectric power plant turbines 4 and 5 through the PPP pro gram of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS); the P1.14-billion Albay West Coast road project of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH); the P13.14-billion school infrastructure project of the Department of Education, the P25.56-billion NLEx-SLEx connector road of the DPWH, and the P43.33-billion Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAx) project also of the DPWH.
The P68.28-million Component “A” of the Convergence on Chain Enhancement for Rural Growth and Empowerment (Project Converge) of the Department of Agrarian Reform was also approved. The Neda board likewise gave the go-ahead to the two-year extension of the World Bank-assisted Mindanao rural development project (MRDP) II, which will cost P7.39 billion. The Department of Agriculture will implement the project.
The Tacloban Airport project, to be implemented from 2013 to 2016, aims to address capacity issues arising from increasing passenger growth. Neda said it was also geared to comply with international standards for operational safety and efficiency through the expansion and improvement of existing landslide and airside facilities, including the construction of a new passenger terminal building.
The MRRVs project will be implemented from 2012 to 2016 and involve the acquisition of 10 units of 40-meter MRRVs. These will be used by the Philippine Coast Guard to strengthen and further develop the coast or watch patrol and search-and-rescue capabilities of the agency.
The MCIA Phase I project involves the construction of a new passenger terminal and renovation of the existing terminal. Its implementation involves a concession period of 20 years, including the construction period. Phase 1 will be from 2014 to 2016.
The AFCS project involves the implementation of a contactless and integrated automatic fare collection system on the existing LRT Lines 1 and 2 and the MRT 3. It intends to replace the magnetic stripe tickets with contactless smartcards and tokens. The AFCS will be implemented from 2013 to 2014.
The AHEPP project of the MWSS, to be implemented from 2013 to 2014, aims to extend the economic life of auxiliary turbines by another 30 years as well as increase energy output and load capacity to 60 percent.
The DPWH project, to be implemented from 2014 to 2016, involves the full reconstruction of a 32-kilometer road, raising of sections located in the selected lower areas of Albay to prevent flooding.
The school infrastructure project, to be implemented from 2013 to 2014, involves the design and construction of 10,679 classrooms in 5,033 public schools (with furniture and toilets) in 14 regions nationwide. Neda said the project has been “approved in principle,” subject to further review of costs.
The NLEx-SLEx connector road, to be implemented from 2013 to 2016, aims to complete the North-South industrial development beltway transport axis by connecting the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) and South Luzon Expressway (SLEx). The project intends to decongest Metro Manila traffic and provide better access to Manila ports.
The CALAX project, to be implemented from 2012 to 2017, involves the financing, design and construction of a new 47.02-kilometer, four-lane expressway from the end of the CAVITEx in Kawit, Cavite, to the Mamplasan Interchange of SLEx in Biñan, Laguna.
http://business.inquirer.net/95909/n...th-of-projects
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Old December 1st, 2012, 08:52 AM   #10
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PH is top choice for ‘offshoring’
Study notes emergence of competing locations
By Doris C. Dumlao | Philippine Daily Inquirer | Friday, November 30th, 2012 | 9:59 pm

THE PHILIPPINES, India and China are the top three global shoring locations for corporations based on the number of jobs created in shared service centers, call centers and technical support centers from 2008 to 2011, according to a new report from global real estate adviser Jones Lang LaSalle.

The Philippines attracted 115 projects during that period, creating more than 72,000 jobs; India attracted 105 projects with 64,370 jobs and China, 56 projects with 25,455 jobs, said the JLL report “Onshore, Nearshore, Offshore: Still Unsure?” released last week.

The other top locations and the number of jobs created were: 4. United Kingdom (22,304); 5. United States (18,594); 6. Brazil (13,964); 7. Poland (13,476); 8. Mexico (11,515); 9. Romania (11,438), and 10. Costa Rica (8,878).

The JLL study said the changing global economic landscape was affecting corporate strategy and location decision-making. “The threat of recession, political uncertainty and rise of global emerging nations are causing international corporations to re-assess their location strategy. Companies are increasingly selecting from three ‘shoring’ options: onshore, offshore and near-shore,” it said.

Commenting on the decision companies faced, Ian Mackenzie, head of solutions development for JLL in Asia Pacific said: “A longer term focus on improving business productivity, operational efficiency and future scalability is now driving corporate real estate decision-making, rather than straight cost-savings in the short term. Corporations are undertaking comprehensive and early initial business case-and-option analysis” in designing their location strategies.

Read More: http://business.inquirer.net/95913/p...for-offshoring
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Old December 2nd, 2012, 08:07 AM   #11
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Fluor Corp eyes more projects in Phl
By Louella D. Desiderio (The Philippine Star) | Updated December 2, 2012 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - Fluor Corp., a firm engaged in engineering and construction management, is looking to participate in more projects in the country, particularly in the areas of power, oil and gas and mining, in line with its goal of growing its business here.

Dan Spinks, vice president and country manager of Fluor Philippines said in an interview the firm is interested in working on other projects in the country in the areas of power, oil and gas and mining as it intends to grow and expand its presence here.

“These are the areas I will be targeting here. These are the areas where I see growth,” he said.

Fluor has completed projects in the country which include Enron Power Corp.’s coal-fired power plant in Batangas and Procter & Gamble’s Cabuyao facility in Laguna.

The firm is currently working on the third phase of the Malampaya gas-to-power project.

Phase 3 involves the design, fabrication and installation of a new depletion compression platform that is linked by a bridge to the existing shallow water platform.
Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1



For the third phase of the project, Fluor is responsible for the engineering and procurement for the new depletion compression platform as well as modifications required on the shallow water platform.

Earlier, the firm entered into a joint venture with Filipino firm AG&P that specializes in modular engineering and fabrication services.

The new entity, AG&P Fluor Joint Venture Company, Inc., is engaged in providing a full range of integrated engineering, fabrication, module assembly and construction services.

Spinks said the firm is also interested in the government’s infrastructure projects under the Public-Private Partnership program but noted that they would want to take part in it with a local partner.

Fluor’s Philippine operations employs 2,248 workers. It started in 1987 with just 57 employees.

The Philippines is the firm’s largest operation in Asia and the third biggest in the world.

As the firm intends and expects its business to grow here, it is looking at hiring more employees.

Spinks said he expects the firm’s total number of employees here to reach close to 3,000 next year.

He also said the firm is aiming to grow its business here given the environment which is conducive to business, opportunities for infrastructure, availability of talent and competitive cost.
http://www.philstar.com/business/201...e-projects-phl
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Old December 2nd, 2012, 04:44 PM   #12
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PetroEnergy Unit Signs Transmission Line Construction Deal With AKELCO

November 29, 2012
PetroGreen Energy Corporation (PGEC), the 100%-owned subsidiary of publicly-listed PetroEnergy Resources Corporation (PERC) entered into a Heads of Agreement (HOA) on 28 November 2012 with Aklan Electric Cooperative, Inc. (AKELCO) for the construction of the transmission line of PGEC’s 50 MW Nabas Wind Power Project. The project, being developed by PGEC under the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Service Contract 2009-09-002, is centered in the municipality of Nabas in Aklan province where AKELCO is the electricity distribution franchise holder.



The HOA was signed by PGEC Vice President (VP) F.G. Delfin Jr. and AKELCO General Manager (GM) Chito R. Peralta and witnessed by Aklan Governor Carlito Marquez and Nabas Mayor Romeo Dalisay. The agreement will eventually lead to a construction contract where PGEC engages AKELCO to erect the single-circuit 69kV overhead interconnection line based on engineering design and transmission line components furnished by PGEC. The signing followed the approval and release on August 2012 of the Nabas system impact study by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) stipulating the connection scheme for Nabas and PGEC’s filing for commerciality declaration of the project with the DOE on September 10, 2012.



PGEC VP Delfin declared, “The interconnection distance between the Nabas wind farm in Barangay Pawa and the NGCP-approved connection point near Unidos, Aklan is less than 10 km. Among several wind projects awaiting commerciality declaration by the DOE, this makes the Nabas project quite likely the one with the shortest transmission line requirement which should translate to faster project construction completion.” AKELCO GM Peralta welcomed the construction and operation of the Nabas project saying that it is consistent with AKELCO’s goals of seeing more generation facilities to be put up in Aklan to increase power supply in the province and for AKELCO to provide services to these power companies. Speaking for the host LGUs, Aklan Governor Marquez stated, “The Nabas project is a testament to the continuing economic growth of Aklan province and Panay island as a whole, which for a long time suffered from underdevelopment. Equally important, the development and operation of Nabas wind power project is consistent with the province’s recent resolution of harnessing renewable energy for new power plants to be erected in the province. We also anticipate that Nabas will further maximize the eco-tourism potential of the province with the wind farm being near Boracay island.”



Subject to the commerciality declaration and MW allocation for the project, PGEC intends to start initial development works in Nabas by 2013 with a mid-2014 target for commercial operations. Along with the commercial start of the 20 MW Maibarara geothermal project in late 2013 and the expected increase in daily oil production from the Etame oilfields in Gabon by 2015, these projects will ensure new and steady revenues for both PGEC and PERC.

http://petroenergy.com.ph/news/petro...l-with-akelco/

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Old December 3rd, 2012, 11:26 AM   #13
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PHL teams bag gold and silver medals at World Robotics Olympiad 2012
The Philippine contingent took home two of the highest awards during the 2012 World Robotics Olympiad held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Nov. 9 to 11.

Over 400 teams from 30 countries all over the globe participated in the contest.

Dr. Yanga Colleges Inc. of Bocaue, Bulacan won the gold medal for the Junior Highschool Open Category with their robot creation "HERO."


Humanoid for Educational Reinforcement Operation (HERO), a teaching assistant robot. Shaira Panela
"HERO" or Humanoid for Educational Reinforcement Operation is a teaching assistant robot inspired by the 2009 CNN Hero of the Year, the Philippines' very own Efren Peñaflorida.

Peñaflorida's "Kariton Rebolusyon" just got upgraded with HERO's humanoid skills and revamped pushcart. Felta News reported, "HERO can mimic facial expressions, he can also play rock, paper, scissors game, he shows dancing robots as visual aids for his students."

HERO is also an English, Science and Math teacher with built-in video lessons. An advocate of the environment, HERO is also able to separate plastic from paper and teach students about recycling.

Following DYCI's lead is Grace Christian College of Quezon City, which bagged a silver medal with their robot set "I-Learn" or Interactive Learning with Exciting and Advanced Robot Navigation.

I-Learn is composed of two main robot sets: Hotshots, for counting and color recognition, and Code Breaker, an interactive game to challenge students' logical reasoning and creative thinking.

Malaysia's Nanny Robot came in third.

Both robots were conceptualized with this year's team, "Robots Connecting People." The criteria for judging include overall value of the project, engineering design, programming, presentation, and teamwork of the presenters.

The two teams were the winners of the Open Category at the 11th Philippine Robotics Olympiad held at SM North Edsa on Sept. 5 and 7.
http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story...-olympiad-2012
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Old December 11th, 2012, 07:38 AM   #14
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Filipina bags award in Best Model of the World 2012
by Rappler.com | Monday | Posted on 12/10/2012 9:14 AM | Updated 12/10/2012 2:23 PM


BEST ASIA MODEL. Joy Marie Gangan at the Miss Tourism World Philippines in Manila last November. Photo by Oscar Kidra Fajamolin Jimenez Jr. posted in his Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines - Filipino model Joy Marie Gangan won Best Asia Model in the Best Model of the World 2012 in Istanbul, Turkey.

1985 Binibining Pilipinas Universe Joyce Burton-Titular broke the news in her blog, Adventures of a Beauty Queen, on December 9.

According to Titular, 18-year-old Joy Gangan is a "farmer girl from the province of Isabela," and that the award she received is given to the "most stunning Asian contestant" in the pageant.

Gangan competed with 50 other models from around the world.

Miss Tourism World Philippines, franchise holders of Best Model of the World, broke the news to Titular.

According to Titular, there is another pageant with a Philippine representative before the much-awaited Miss Universe 2012 on December 20 (Manila) with Janine Tugonon:

Miss Tourism World 2012 in Bangkok on December 15, Sunday.

Meryl Angeline King will represent the Philippines. - Rappler.com

Source: http://www.rappler.com/life-and-styl...the-world-2012
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Old December 18th, 2012, 04:23 PM   #15
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US drops Quiapo from 'notorious markets' list

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MANILA, Philippines – Quiapo has been taken out of the list of “notorious markets” in the world selling pirated CDs and DVDs, according to Washington-based Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR).

Earlier, the USTR dropped from its list five other shopping areas in the Philippines: Greenhills, Divisoria, Makati Cinema Square, Binondo and Baclaran.

As a result, the Philippines has also been stricken off the USTR's 2012 Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets, which identifies "more than 30 Internet and physical markets that exemplify marketplaces that deal in infringing goods and services, facilitating and sustaining global piracy and counterfeiting."

The country had been in the list for the past six years.

Optical Media Board (OMB) Chairman Ronnie Ricketts said a lot of the credit goes to their agency's collaboration with the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHIL), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), local government units, police and even those who sell the pirated CDs and DVDs themselves.

Ricketts said instead of the usual raid which involves guns and goons, he changed the style by actually talking to the vendors and explaining to them the consequences of their actions.

"Pagpapaliwanag ang word diyan. ‘Di na marahas, ‘di na kailangan maglabas ng baril. Nagtaka sila walang baril. Pwede naman eh," he said.
http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/-depth/12...s-markets-list
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Old December 21st, 2012, 03:25 AM   #16
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I hope PH can sustain that....


Meanwhile....

20/12/2012


Elton John Joins Starkey Hearing Foundation On Mission To Philippines, Bringing The Gift Of Hearing To Hundreds Of People In Need



New York, NY (Top40 Charts) Starkey Hearing Foundation wrapped up their second mission to the Philippines last week with help from legendary singer-songwriter, Sir Elton John and David Furnish . John and Furnish joined the Foundation in Manila and helped fit more than 400 hearing aids to children and adults in need, allowing many to hear for the first time in their lives.

In 2004 and 2009, John was the headlining performer at the Foundation's annual So The World May Hear Awards Gala, and he and Furnish have supported Starkey Hearing Foundation's work for several years since then.This was their first opportunity personally participate in a mission and give the gift of hearing.

"We are working to create peace and understanding around the world through the gift of hearing, and it is not possible without all the efforts of our friends and partners," said Bill Austin , Founder of Starkey Hearing Foundation. "We are so honored to have the support of Sir Elton John and David Furnish and that they would take the time to help us deliver this precious gift."

http://top40-charts.com/news/MP3-and...eed/85212.html
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Old December 21st, 2012, 05:05 AM   #17
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Pinoys ranks as one of the happiest people on Earth
by Asian Journal | Thursday | 20 December 2012 10:44 AP


Photo from choosephils.com

Gallup Inc. asked roughly 1,000 people in each of 148 countries the following questions: Did you feel well-respected yesterday? Were you treated with respect all day yesterday? Did you laugh or smile a lot yesterday? Did you learn or do something interesting yesterday? Did you experience the following feelings during a lot of the day yesterday? How about enjoyment?

Here are the 10 the countries where the highest percentage of people answered "yes" to all five questions, and the nine countries with the lowest percentages:

HAPPIEST:
Panama, 85 percent
Paraguay, 85 percent
El Salvador, 84 percent
Venezuela, 84 percent
Trinidad and Tobago, 83 percent
Thailand, 83 percent
Guatemala, 82 percent
Philippines, 82, percent
Ecuador, 81 percent
Costa Rica, 81 percent

SADDEST:
Singapore, 46 percent
Armenia, 49 percent
Iraq, 50 percent
Georgia, 52 percent
Yemen, 52 percent
Serbia, 52 percent
Belarus, 53 percent
Lithuania, 54 percent
Madagascar, 54 percent

Source: http://www.asianjournal.com/dateline...-on-earth.html
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Old December 21st, 2012, 05:26 AM   #18
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World's most positive nations: Phl ranks 8th
By AP | The Philippine Star | Friday | Updated December 21, 2012 | 12:00am

MEXICO CITY – The world’s happiest people aren’t in Qatar, the richest country by most measures. They aren’t in Japan, the nation with the highest life expectancy. Canada, with its chart-topping percentage of college graduates, doesn’t make the top 10 that included the Philippines.

A poll released Wednesday of nearly 150,000 people around the world says seven of the world’s 10 countries with the most upbeat attitudes are in Latin America.

Many of the seven do poorly in traditional measures of well-being, like Guatemala, a country torn by decades of civil war followed by waves of gang-driven criminality that give it one of the highest homicide rates in the world. Guatemala sits just above Iraq on the United Nations’ Human Development Index, a composite of life expectancy, education and per capita income. But it ranks seventh in positive emotions.

“In Guatemala, it’s a culture of friendly people who are always smiling,” said Luz Castillo, a 30-year-old surfing instructor. “Despite all the problems that we’re facing, we’re surrounded by natural beauty that lets us get away from it all.”

Gallup Inc. asked about 1,000 people in each of 148 countries last year if they were well-rested, had been treated with respect, smiled or laughed a lot, learned or did something interesting and felt feelings of enjoyment the previous day.

In Panama and Paraguay, 85 percent of those polled said yes to all five, putting those countries at the top of the list. They were followed closely by El Salvador, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, Thailand, Guatemala, the Philippines, Ecuador and Costa Rica.

The people least likely to report positive emotions lived in Singapore, the wealthy and orderly city-state that ranks among the most developed in the world.

Other wealthy countries also sat surprisingly low on the list. Germany and France tied with the poor African state of Somaliland for 47th place.

Prosperous nations can be deeply unhappy ones. And poverty-stricken ones are often awash in positivity, or at least a close approximation of it.

It’s a paradox with serious implications for a relatively new and controversial field called happiness economics that seeks to improve government performance by adding people’s perceptions of their satisfaction to traditional metrics such as life expectancy, per capita income and graduation rates.

The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan famously measures policies by their impact on a concept called Gross National Happiness.

British Prime Minister David Cameron announced a national well-being program in 2010 as part of a pledge to improve Britons’ lives in the wake of the global recession.

A household survey sent to 200,000 Britons asks questions like “How satisfied are you with your life nowadays?”

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, which unites 34 of the world’s most advanced countries, recently created a Better Life Index allowing the public to compare countries based on quality of life in addition to material well-being.

Some experts say that’s a dangerous path that could allow governments to use positive public perceptions as an excuse to ignore problems.

As an example of the risks, some said, the Gallup poll may have been skewed by a Latin American cultural proclivity to avoid negative statements regardless of how one actually feels.

“My immediate reaction is that this is influenced by cultural biases,” said Eduardo Lora, who studied the statistical measurement of happiness as the former chief economist of the Inter-American Development Bank.

“What the empirical literature says is that some cultures tend to respond to any type of question in a more positive way,” said Lora, a native of Colombia, the 11th most-positive country.

For the nine least positive countries, some were not surprising, like Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan and Haiti. For others at the bottom, Armenia at the second lowest spot, Georgia and Lithuania, misery is something a little more ephemeral.

“Feeling unhappy is part of the national mentality here,” said Agaron Adibekian, a sociologist in the Armenian capital, Yerevan. “Armenians like being mournful; there have been so many upheavals in the nation’s history. The Americans keep their smiles on and avoid sharing their problems with others. And the Armenians feel ashamed about being successful.”

The United States, China, and Swaziland were No. 33 in positive outlook. Latin America’s biggest economies, Mexico and Brazil, sat more than 20 places further down the list.

Jon Clifton, a partner at Gallup, acknowledged the poll partly measured cultures’ overall tendency to express emotions, positive or negative. But he said skeptics shouldn’t undervalue the expression of positive emotion as an important phenomenon in and of itself.

“Those expressions are a reality, and that’s exactly what we’re trying to quantify,” he said. “I think there is higher positive emotionality in these countries.”

Some Latin Americans said the poll hit something fundamental about their countries: a habit of focusing on positives such as friends, family and religion despite daily lives that can be grindingly difficult.

Carlos Martinez sat around a table with 11 fellow construction workers in a Panama City restaurant sharing a breakfast of corn empanadas, fried chicken and coffee before heading to work on one of the hundreds of new buildings that have sprouted during a yearslong economic boom driven in large part by the success of the Panama Canal. The boom has sent unemployment plunging, but also increased traffic and crime.

Martinez pronounced himself unhappy with rising crime but “happy about my family.”

“Overall, I’m happy because this is a country with many natural resources, a country that plays an important role in the world,” he said. “We’re Caribbean people, we’re people who like to celebrate, to eat well and live as well as we can. There are a lot of possibilities here, you just have to sacrifice a little more.”

Singapore sits 32 places higher than Panama on the Human Development Index, but at the opposite end of the happiness list. And things weren’t looking good Wednesday to Richard Low, a 33-year-old businessman in the prosperous Asian metropolis.

“We work like dogs and get paid peanuts. There’s hardly any time for holidays or just to relax in general because you’re always thinking ahead: when the next deadline or meeting is. There is hardly a fair sense of work-life balance here,” he said.

In Paraguay, tied with Panama as the most-positive country while doing far worse than Panama by objective measures, street vendor Maria Solis said tough economic conditions were no reason to despair.

“Life is short and there are no reasons to be sad because even if we were rich, there would still be problems,” she said while selling herbs used for making tea. “We have to laugh at ourselves.”

Source: http://philippinenews.com/index.php?...09-02-23-36-14
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Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are Born Again.” John 3:3 (NIV)
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Old December 21st, 2012, 05:36 AM   #19
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Filipinos can smile even in times of crisis.

We are very resilient as a people.
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Old December 21st, 2012, 06:04 AM   #20
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waiting for the black-hole to come
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