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BALITANG MARINO DAILY NEWS for September 3, 2020

HEADLINES

CDC tells states: Be ready to distribute vaccines on Nov. 1

Pandemic ‘drying up’ innovation funds: UN

Carnival’s AIDA Cruises Delays Restart Two Months to November

Livestock Carrier with 43 Crew Feared Lost in Typhoon off Japan

Australia Bans Two More Ships as it Enforces Rules for Crew Welfare

Filipinos now owe P9.1 trillion and counting

PH records 2,218 new COVID cases, bringing total to 226,400

House OKs bill declaring Sept. 11 ‘President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos Day’

Lorenzana sees flattening of curve this month

House to allow social media in budget talks

Duterte calls for openness, deeper solidarity in fight vs terrorism

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle sign Netflix deal

Venice Film Festival opens despite pandemic

KC recalls relationship with Piolo: ‘It was very real for me’

Neymar, 2 other PSG players test positive for COVID-19 — source

Pressed for time, PBA not keen on PH Cup format change

PFL welcomes Maharlika club

FULL NEWSPAPER

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

CDC tells states: Be ready to distribute vaccines on Nov. 1

PROVIDENCE, R.I., September 3 —— The federal government has told states to prepare for a coronavirus vaccine to be ready to distribute by Nov. 1. The timeline raised concern among public health experts about an “October surprise” — a vaccine approval driven by political considerations ahead of a presidential election, rather than science. In a letter to governors dated Aug. 27, Robert Redfield, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said states “in the near future” will receive permit applications from McKesson Corp., which has contracted with CDC to distribute vaccines to places including state and local health departments and hospitals.

“CDC urgently requests your assistance in expediting applications for these distribution facilities and, if necessary, asks that you consider waiving requirements that would prevent these facilities from becoming fully operational by November 1, 2020,” Redfield wrote. He wrote that any waivers will not compromise the safety or effectiveness of the vaccine. The Associated Press obtained the letter, which was first reported by McClatchy. Redfield told Yahoo Finance that officials were preparing “for what I anticipate will be reality, is that there’ll be one or more vaccines available for us in November, December.”

James S. Blumenstock, a senior vice president at the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, said the CDC was offering “an aggressive but necessary timetable” but that public health agencies were mobilizing to prepare detailed plans. Several vaccine and public health experts pointed out that final stage trials of experimental vaccines are still recruiting, and are at best halfway through that process. The vaccines are two doses, and each is given a month apart. Several experts told the AP they did not understand how there could be adequate data on whether the vaccines work and are safe before Nov. 1.

“Being ready is reasonable. Cutting short phase 3 trials before you get the information you need isn’t,” said Dr. Paul Offit, a Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia immunization expert who sits on the FDA’s vaccine advisory committee. Peter Hotez, dean of Baylor University’s tropical medicine school, said he was “very concerned” about whether the Food and Drug Administration would use an emergency use authorization to approve a vaccine before knowing whether it works and is safe. “It gives the appearance of a stunt rather than an expression of public health concern,” Hotez said.

Michael Osterholm, a University of Minnesota infectious disease expert, said he was concerned about an “October surprise” with a vaccine being rushed through ahead of the election. “The public health community wants a safe and effective vaccine as much as anybody could want it,” Osterholm said. “But the data have to be clear and compelling, that the vaccine is effective and that it’s safe.” He said there was a “credibility gap” between doctors and the FDA about how rigorous products are being evaluated during the pandemic.

Some states on Wednesday said they were working on next steps while still awaiting details from CDC. New Mexico Human Service Secretary David Scrase said the state was preparing to administer coronavirus vaccines on a limited basis starting in November to health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities. The broad public vaccine roll-out is slated for January. He said current vaccine provider networks are robust and adequate for the COVID-19 effort.

Regarding the timing of the CDC request to expedite or waive permits for distribution centers to open Nov. 1, Scrase said, “I can’t tell you about the political motivations on that.” A spokesman for Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee said the state was reviewing its next steps. “News of a vaccine is encouraging and a testament to the power of American innovation,” said the spokesman, Gillum Ferguson.

Source: inquirer.net

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Pandemic ‘drying up’ innovation funds: UN

September 3 —— The coronavirus pandemic is expected to take a heavy toll on funding for innovation and may well accelerate the shift in research towards Asia, the United Nations said Wednesday. “The great risk… is that innovation expenditures and the means to finance innovation will spiral downwards as the global economy grinds to something of a halt,” Francis Gurry, the head of the UN’s World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), told reporters in a virtual briefing. He said no figures were available yet on the impact the pandemic was having on research and development spending, but there were clear indications that “money to fund innovation is drying up around the world.”

The impact will be felt very unevenly, he said. Fresh start-ups and start-up companies requiring long-term research and development investment, or based in developing countries, were likely to suffer the worst. “This is not a very good scene at all,” Gurry said. He called on governments to broaden their support, urging them to recognize that innovative and new ideas will be vital to exiting the pandemic and recovering through the post-Covid-19 era.

Gurry’s comments came as the UN agency published its annual ranking of the world’s most innovative countries, with Switzerland topping the list for the 10th year running. But the data in the Global Innovation Index 2020, which WIPO compiles along with Cornell University and the INSEAD business school, was gathered before the onset of the pandemic.

‘Eastward shift’

“We see that prior to the Covid-19 pandemic hitting, innovation and IP were flourishing,” Gurry said, pointing out that global research and development spending in 2018 rose by 5.2 percent, far outperforming growth in global GDP. The ranking closely resembled recent years’ findings, with Sweden, the United States, Britain and the Netherlands following Switzerland as the most innovative nations.

But while the data shows stability at the top, WIPO said it also clearly indicates that “a gradual eastward shift in the locus of innovation” is under way, with a group of Asian economies advancing up the rankings. China, India, the Philippines and Vietnam have made the most progress on the index in recent years, with all four now among the top 50, it said. China, which is the only middle-income economy among the top 30, is now in 14th place.

Gurry acknowledged that it was difficult to know how the coronavirus crisis would impact innovation in different countries and regions. But he said the pandemic overall appeared to be spurring an “acceleration of trends that were pre-existing”, such as for instance, the virtualization of economic activities. “I would dare to make the very hesitant prediction that one of the trends that may be accelerated by the pandemic is indeed the movement towards Asia.”

Source: mb.com.ph

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MARITIME NEWS

Carnival’s AIDA Cruises Delays Restart Two Months to November

September 3 —— Citing ongoing travel restrictions related to the coronavirus, Germany’s AIDA Cruises announced that it is again delaying its resumption of service for an additional two months. Marketed primarily to German-speaking countries, the division of Carnival Corporation had been targeted as the corporation’s first brand to resume service. Carnival’s Costa Cruises, however, plans to resume cruises inside Italy in September. AIDA originally announced plans to resume service at the beginning of August with three ships sailing on short cruises in and around Germany. Saying that it was still working with its flag state, Italy, to obtain permissions, AIDA late delayed its restart to early September and scaled it back to two ships.

“AIDA Cruises has come to the conclusion that, despite its careful preparations, the conditions for a safe and responsible restart are not yet in place,” the line said in announcing the cancelation of additional cruises. Pointing to Norway’s recent decision to close its waters to international cruise ships as well restrictions from Denmark and the Baltic states and travel warnings issued by the Federal Republic of Germany, all the short voyages scheduled for September on the AIDAblu from Kiel and the AIDAperla from Hamburg, as well as all voyages up to and including October 31, 2020, are now canceled. “Even though it is currently not possible for cruise ships to call at Norway, which is so important for our voyages to the north, we are confident that the first AIDA ships from Germany will be able to travel to Northern Europe again at the beginning of 2021,” said Felix Eichhorn, president of AIDA Cruises.

In addition, AIDA said it was updating its fall and winter 2020-2021 program to provide its guests and sales partners additional time to plan and book vacations for a safe and enjoyable return to cruise holidays. AIDA is now planning a November 2020 restart with its ship the AIDAmar sailing on November 1 for a seven-day cruise in the Canary Islands. The AIDAmar will start and end its cruises in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria. In addition, the new schedule calls for the AIDAperla to resume cruising the following week sailing from both Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Beyond the Canary Islands, AIDA also announced seven-day Western Mediterranean cruises on the AIDAstella starting on December 12 from Palma, Mallorca. They are also planning cruises aboard the AIDAprima sailing from Dubai (United Arab Emirates) starting December 11 and Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) starting December 15.

The company said that it was in close contact with the responsible authorities and airlines to prepare for the restart of its voyages in November and December. AIDA also noted that all other voyages planned for the fall and winter season of 2020 and 2021 in the Western Mediterranean, the Azores, Cape Verde Islands, and Northern Europe will not take place. It also canceled all its long-distance cruises including to the Caribbean, Southern Africa, Southeast Asia, the Orient, and the Indian Ocean into 2021.

Source: maritime-executive.com

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Livestock Carrier with 43 Crew Feared Lost in Typhoon off Japan

September 3 —— A Panamanian-flagged livestock carrier with a crew of 43 is feared lost southwest of Japan after encountering a typhoon moving across the region. Japan’s Coast Guard reported receiving a distress call and later finding one seafarer in the ocean with a life jacket and an empty lifeboat. No additional signals were received from the vessel after the first distress call.  The search for the missing vessel believed to be the Gulf Livestock 1 was conducted all day on Wednesday, September 2 local time. Four coast guard vessels and airplanes are reportedly conducting the search-and-rescue operation. It, however, was suspended until daylight Thursday local time.

Before calling off the search the Japan Defense Ministry reported that they had located one person apparently in the ocean in the area of the last known position of the vessel. Media in Japan are saying that the Coast Guard reported it was a male Filipino crew member and that he was in non-life-threatening condition. In addition, an empty inflatable life raft was reportedly spotted but it is unclear if it was from the Gulf Livestock 1. The Coast Guard reported that it had received a distress call at approximately 1:45 a.m. September 2 that was believed to be coming from the 8,372 DWT Gulf Livestock 1 operated by Gulf Navigation Holding, headquartered in Dubai, UAE. The vessel, which was reported to be 185 km west of Amami-Oshima Island, which is located southwest of Japan. It was carrying a crew of 43, including two Australians, two New Zealanders, and 39 Filipinos, as well as a cargo of 5,800 cattle.

The vessel’s last known position in the East China Sea would place it in proximity to Typhoon Maysak. The Coast Guard reports that bad weather with strong winds and torrential rain took place in the area. At 2 a.m. on September 2, the storm was reported to be at category 3 with winds at 115 mph. The Gulf Livestock 1 had departed Napier, New Zealand on August 14 bound for Tangshan, China. She was reported to be sailing at a speed of 8 knots due to arrive in China on September 4. The 440-foot vessel was built in 2002 in Germany first operating as a cargo ship named Maersk Waterford and Dana Hollandia. In 2012, she was converted to a livestock carrier operating under the name Rahmeh. In April 2019 during a livestock voyage from Australia to China, she was renamed Gulf Livestock 1.

Source: maritime-executive.com

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Australia Bans Two More Ships as it Enforces Rules for Crew Welfare

September 3 —— The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) continued its strict enforcement of rules seeking to ensure the welfare of seafarers announcing that it has banned to additional vessels. This comes after AMSA announced several other actions in the past few months and an ongoing inspection effort on all container ships calling in Australian ports. After being detained in the port of Newcastle, Australia for a month, the Hong Kong-flagged bulk carrier Unison Jasper has now been banned from Australian ports for six months. The year-old, 37,000 DWT bulk carrier was detained on July 25 for breaches to the Maritime Labor Convention. According to AMSA, they have found several sets of wage accounts and multiple conflicting seafarer employment agreements as well as insufficient quantity and variety of food on board and an ineffective complaints procedure.

On July 31, 2020, AMSA reported that 11 crew members exercised their right to leave the ship and entered into quarantine arrangements in Sydney so they could be repatriated to their own country. The ship remained under detention in Newcastle because there were not enough crew onboard to sail the ship safely. The operator, Unison Marine Corporation arranged for a replacement crew which arrived from overseas and then the vessel was permitted to depart Australia. AMSA’s General Manager Operations Allan Schwartz said the lengthy detention of the ship had no doubt been an extremely costly exercise in non-compliance for the ship’s operator. The decision to ban the Unison Jasper he said was the result of a combination of factors and systemic failings by the operator, and the ship resulting in serious breaches of the Maritime Labor Convention. “We are sending a simple message to operators: Pay your crew properly, treat them respectfully, and comply with the requirements of the Maritime Labor Convention or you will not be welcome in Australia. We do not tolerate this in Australian waters and Unison Jasper is now the fifth ship in the last 12 months to be banned by AMSA for failing to pay seafarers their wages in full and on time.”

This came just a day after AMSA also announced that the 18,000 DWT Hong Kong-flagged cargo ship BBC Rio, was also being banned from Australian ports for three months due to what AMSA called serious and repeated safety and pollution prevention related failures. The ship was detained on August 18, 2020 in Bunbury, Western Australia according to AMSA after a routine inspection revealed 20 deficiencies. Those deficiencies ranged from serious electrical hazards, faulty fuel oil leak alarms, defective forepeak tank head, a defective bridge window, a broken sewage treatment plant and significant oil accumulation in the engine room.

According to Schwartz AMSA had also previously detained a sister ship, the BBC Rainbow, on February 12, 2020 for similar failures relating to safety and pollution prevention. “The operator was issued with a formal letter warning that should BBC Rainbow or another ship in its fleet be caught with serious deficiencies in Australian waters again, that it may attract more serious regulatory action,” said Schwartz. “Fast forward six months and here we are with BBC Rio in a similar sub-standard condition, placing the safety of the seafarers on board the ship and Australia’s marine environment at risk.” The BBC Rio rectified the most serious safety deficiencies according to AMSA while detained in Bunbury and was permitted to offload its remaining cargo in Adelaide, South Australia as scheduled to avoid any disruption to cargo operations.

Source: maritime-executive.com

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PHILIPPINE NEWS

Filipinos now owe P9.1 trillion and counting

September 3 —— The national government’s debt increased by P110.1 billion last month, bringing the total obligations of all Filipinos to P9.164 trillion as of July this year, data from the Bureau of the Treasury showed. As the Duterte administration continues to borrow amid the coronavirus pandemic, the national government’s outstanding debt further inched up in July from P9.054 trillion in June and rose by 17 percent year-on-year from P7.804 trillion.

According to the Treasury, the government debt has already added P1.432 trillion since the start of the year, reflecting an 18.5 percent increase. Of the total outstanding debt stock, 68.3 percent are held by locally based financial institutions, while the remaining 31.7 percent were sourced from foreign creditors. At end-July, local debt amounted to P6.256 trillion, higher by 19 percent compared with P5.25 trillion last year.

On the other hand, foreign debt stock rose by 14 percent to P2.907 trillion in July from P2.553 trillion in the same month in 2019. In 2020, the Duterte administration expects the outstanding debt will hit more than P10 trillion.

Source: mb.com.ph

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PH records 2,218 new COVID cases, bringing total to 226,400

September 3 —— The Department of Health reported Wednesday that the country now has more than 226,000 COVID-19 cases after 2,200 new infections were recorded. The latest DoH case bulletin showed that the country now has 226,440 COVID cases, with 2,218 new and 64,207 active cases. Metro Manila registered the highest number of new cases at 1,163, followed by Laguna with 112, Cebu with 107, Iloilo with 82, and Negros Occidental with 81.

“There were 42 duplicates that were removed from the total case count. Of these, 10 recovered cases and one has been removed,” the DoH noted. Twenty-seven more patients were reported to have died, raising the COVID death toll to 3,623. The DoH said 609 new patients have recovered, bringing the number of recoveries to 158,610. “As of Aug. 31, ang ating case doubling time is 10.8 days. This means, it takes 10 days para magdoble ang ating kaso dito sa ating bansa,” said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

“The longer the case doubling time, the slower the spread of the infection or transmission and this is better for us,” she added. Vergeire noted that they saw an improvement in the country’s mortality doubling time. “The mortality doubling time has improved from 0.96 days in March to 8.29 in June, and now, we have 14.67 days,” she said. “Ibig sabihin, it takes about 15 days bago mag doble ang number of new deaths dito sa ating bansa. The higher the number, as we have said, the better,” she noted.

There are now 113 COVID-19 licensed laboratories nationwide that have tested 2,494,931 individuals so far.

Source: mb.com.ph

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House OKs bill declaring Sept. 11 ‘President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos Day’

MANILA, Philippines, September 3 —— The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved on final reading the bill declaring September 11 a special nonworking holiday in Ilocos Norte to commemorate the birth anniversary of former President Ferdinand Marcos. With 197 affirmative votes, 9 negative, and one abstention, the lower chamber approved House Bill No. 7137 declaring September 11 as “President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos Day” in Ilocos Norte.

The bill was authored by Ilocos Norte 1st District Rep. Ria Fariñas, Ilocos Norte 2nd District Rep. Angelo Marcos Barba, and Probinsyano Ako Rep. Rudys Caesar Fariñas. In 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte, through a proclamation, declared September 11 as a Special Non-Working Day in Ilocos Norte to mark Marcos’ birth anniversary. Proclamation 310 stated that the Ilocano community would be given the opportunity to commemorate “his life and contributions to national development as World War II veteran, distinguished legislator, and former president.”

The remains of the former president were laid to rest at the Libingan ng mga Bayani on November 18, 2016, after the Supreme Court allowed its burial at the Heroes’ Cemetery despite strong opposition from critics and human rights groups.

Source: inquirer.net

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Lorenzana sees flattening of curve this month

MANILA, Philippines, September 3 —— Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, chair of the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19, is confident that the flattening of the curve will finally be achieved within the month. Such can be done with the help of every Filipino who should follow all health protocols aimed at putting an end to the pandemic, Lorenzana said.

“Yes, we can. What will we do to achieve it? Strictly implement the health protocols and follow the campaign plan developed by the NTF,” Lorenzana told journalists yesterday. He said the key is to abide by or follow the acronym PDITR, which stands for protect, detect, isolate, treat and reintegrate. Lorenzana said such system contains step-by-step processes that should be implemented at work, at home and even when travelling to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“The NTF has disseminated this to the businesses, Regional Task Forces and LGUs (local government units),” he said, when asked on the prediction of University of the Philippines researchers that the curve may finally flatten this month. “If everyone follows this plan, we will not only flatten the curve but bring it down,” Lorenzana said. Meanwhile, newly installed Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Camilo Pancratius Cascolan vowed yesterday to punish police officers who are violating quarantine protocols.

Being implementors of government policies, police officers should serve as examples by following the rules themselves, Cascolan said. “I will see to it that everybody who imposes or implements the law should be disciplined and should follow the law they are implementing,” he said. He issued the statement in response to a query on the controversy generated by the “mañanita” or birthday serenade for National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas in May. Sinas drew flak after photographs of the activity surfaced as Metro Manila was under strict community quarantine.

The PNP Internal Affairs Service has filed charges against Sinas and other police officials for violating health protocols. Former PNP chief Archie Francisco Gamboa did not fire Sinas despite calls for him to do so. Gamboa said it was difficult to replace Sinas who was leading the implementation of quarantine measures in Metro Manila.

Cascolan did not say if he would replace Sinas, but mentioned that he would impose a revamp in the PNP. He promised to improve the PNP’s image during his two-month tenure as its chief. Among his initiatives are holding regular seminars for police personnel and evaluation of their performance. “We will enhance our internal cleansing,” he said.

Source: philstar.com

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House to allow social media in budget talks

MANILA, Philippines, September 3 —— Netizens can now join deliberations on the P4.5-trillion national budget for 2021 when the House of Representatives starts its hearings tomorrow, in the spirit of transparency, Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said. “We are the House of the People. We will be discussing the people’s money so people should have a voice. They should be able to give us their opinion, tell us what they want us to prioritize and witness the process firsthand,” Cayetano  told reporters yesterday.

The Taguig congressman said the House leadership would allow the direct participation of the people, which he called a testament of “transparency and accountability to its constituents.” Cayetano said Congress is taking advantage of the increased use of social media during the COVID-19 pandemic to invite people to join the discussions not just as an audience, but as direct participants. He also believes the move can help “counter misinformation prevalent on social media.”

The House appropriations committee will start scrutinizing the spending measure that the Department of Budget and Management, through Secretary Wendel Avisado, has submitted for approval. “We will scrutinize this budget in light of the government’s promise to have this budget felt by our people,” panel chairman Rep. Eric Go Yap said. “Today is a symbol where we will buckle down to work as public servants.”

The House economic team also wants an increase in the proposed P4.5-trillion national budget by about half a trillion pesos. Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero said resident economists of the chamber have proposed that the 2021 budget be increased to P5 trillion to fund crucial measures for economic recovery of the nation from the recession caused by the coronavirus disease pandemic.

“Our economic team in Congress, after studying our shrinking economy this 2020, thinks that another P500 to P600 billion is needed to save businesses in the country. This will give enough lifeline for the business sector to survive and give employment,” the economist-lawmaker said. The 1-Pacman representative explained that the proposed budget would be enough only to cover administrative or overhead costs of the whole executive, legislative and judicial branches of government for maintenance and other operating expenses and personnel services as well as government projects next year.

Source: philstar.com

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Duterte calls for openness, deeper solidarity in fight vs terrorism

September 3 —— President Duterte has called on nations to be more united to overcome the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in fighting the lawless elements that are taking advantage of the vulnerability of every country caused by the health crisis. In a statement, the Office of the President (OP) said Duterte made the remarks during the 2020 Aqaba Process Virtual Meeting on COVID-19 Response hosted by His Majesty King Abdullah II of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on Wednesday.

During the two-hour virtual meeting, the OP said President Duterte called for “more openness, deeper solidarity, and stronger cooperation among nations” to facilitate economic recovery and effectively combat terrorism and violent extremism. The President shared how the Philippines is dealing with the pandemic and its effects as he noted that no country was spared by the crisis.

“For the first time, all of humanity fear the exact same invisible menace,” he said. “Our urgent common response was to close down borders and impose limits to mobility and trade. The repercussions, as we are seeing now, are grim and far-reaching. We have economies in recession, institutions in crisis, and societies in state of uncertainty,” he added. Duterte told his fellow leaders that even if the Philippines was busy navigating itself out of the pandemic, it continues to confront the threat of terrorism. He said that local terrorist groups like the Abu Sayyaf Group, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, and the New People’s Army of the Communist Party of the Philippines are exploiting the situation to serve their nefarious ends.

“Now, more than ever, our resolve is stronger:  We will not let up in our fight against terrorism,” he said. “We will not allow COVID-19 to bring our people to their knees,” he added. The President likewise urged his fellow leaders to “honor those who have fallen to the invisible enemy that is the pandemic and the scourge of terrorism” by committing to “enduring partnership and cooperation”.

Working with international partners

Meanwhile, President Duterte said the Philippines will intensify cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the United Nations, and other international partners, including Jordan. “The key to shared prosperity is the free movement of goods, capital, and services, complemented with appropriate social safety nets,” he said.

“This is why we in ASEAN are drawing up a comprehensive recovery plan anchored on strengthening economic cooperation and supply chain connectivity,” he added. The OP said President Duterte likewise called on fellow leaders to seize the historic opportunity presented by the COVID-19 crisis. “Build a new order: one that is more secure, just, and humane – where there is no room for the barbarity of terrorists and extremist forces. And one that is fair, equal, and sustainable – where progress and prosperity are enjoyed by all,” Duterte said.

Duterte also thanked King Abdullah II for the timely convening of the meeting, as it gave Aqaba partners the opportunity to recommit to enhanced cooperation in pursuit of shared objectives. The 2020 Aqaba Process Meeting gathered leaders and heads of international organizations for an exchange of views on strengthening international cooperation in light of the increased vulnerability of many countries to radicalization and violent extremism resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: mb.com.ph

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ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle sign Netflix deal

September 3 —— Prince Harry and Meghan Markle officially launched their new Hollywood careers Wednesday, signing a deal with Netflix to produce “impactful” films and series for the streaming giant. The couple – who quit the British royal family and moved to California this year – already have multiple projects in development, although former Suits star Markle has no plans to return to acting. “Through our work with diverse communities and their environments, to shining a light on people and causes around the world, our focus will be on creating content that informs but also gives hope,” the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said in a statement to AFP. “As new parents, making inspirational family programming is also important to us, as is powerful storytelling through a truthful and relatable lens.”

A nature documentary series and an animated series focused on inspiring women are among the first projects, which the couple said aim to “share impactful content that unlocks action.” No financial terms were disclosed, but the deal is reported to be multi-year and exclusive to Netflix. The pair recently moved into a new family home in affluent Santa Barbara, after a stint in nearby Los Angeles saw them become embroiled in a legal battle with paparazzi over photos taken of their son Archie. Their new neighbors include powerful entertainment industry figures including Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres.

The couple’s ambitions to produce in Hollywood had long been rumored, with reports of meetings taking place in recent weeks with Disney, Apple, and NBCUniversal. Harry recently appeared in Paralympics documentary film Rising Phoenix, while Markle narrated a wildlife documentary for Disney. Specific details of other projects have not yet been released, but the couple is expected to produce scripted series and feature films as well as children’s programming. Markle and Harry have spoken of their desire “to do something of meaning, to do something that matters,” in California, where they are launching a wide-ranging non-profit organization named Archewell.

Their Netflix project is expected to focus on the same issues as Archewell. The couple have worked with a charity to hand out meals to chronically ill people in Los Angeles, and Markle – whose mother is black – spoke out in June after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed African American killed in police custody. The deal is a coup for Netflix, which is the world’s largest streaming platform with more than 190 million subscribers, but has lost key content as traditional studios launched their own rival platforms.

Source: rappler.com/entertainment

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Venice Film Festival opens despite pandemic

September 3 —— The Venice Film Festival opens on Wednesday, September 2, with strict safety measures in place for the industry’s first international competition since the coronavirus hit, with 18 films vying to grab the top prize and help movie buffs forget the pandemic for a while. At Wednesday’s opening film, Lacci by Italian director Daniele Luchetti, the theatre was just half full with journalists, whose temperatures were taken before being allowed inside.

On the eve of the annual high-profile competition on the Lido, dozens of red safety signs were unloaded and installed throughout the venue attested to the peculiarity of this year’s event.  “Anti-COVID-19 rules of conduct,” read the bright, vertical signs. “Wear a face mask. Keep a safe distance. Wash your hands.” The sound of drills pierced the warm beach-front air as workers went about their last-minute preparations and journalists – all in masks – wandered the freshly laid red carpet, their festival badges suspended from their necks. “This year in Venice, they’ve confused the festival with the Carnival. We’re at a masked ball,” one Italian journalist quipped to his colleagues.

One exception was Festival Director Alberto Barbera, tanned and mask-free, as he gave interviews on the red carpet about the importance of this year’s festival. “I’m excited and I’m a little bit anxious,” acknowledged Barbera, neatly turned out in a pressed blue suit despite the heat. In May, Barbera made the high-stakes decision to go ahead with La Mostra – now in its 77th year – despite film festivals around the world opting to cancel, including Venice’s French rival, the Cannes Film Festival. “We feel a responsibility to be the first. We knew Venice will be sort of a test for everyone,” he said.

For the past few months across the globe, most film production remained on hold, and movie theatres dark due to the coronavirus.   About 6,000 people are expected to turn out this year – about half the festival’s usual number – as border restrictions around the globe have limited the ability of many to travel.  Most of Hollywood’s A-list will be no-shows, with Australian actress Cate Blanchett supplying this year’s star power as president of the jury. “It’s a festival without stars because Hollywood is still in lockdown,” Barbera told AFP. “Will there be less glamour? Yes. Will there be fewer stars on the red carpet? Certainly. “But there will be so many good films, 65 from 50 different countries, a sign of the richness and variety of contemporary cinema.”

Source: rappler.com/entertainment

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KC recalls relationship with Piolo: ‘It was very real for me’

MANILA, Philippines, September 3 —— For KC Concepcion, the relationship she had with Piolo Pascual was “very real” that it was her “first announced relationship.” In an interview over Instagram Live with entertainment writer G3 San Diego on Monday, the singer-actress looked back on her love affair with Pascual and how she regrets that their relationship had to end. “It was very real for me. That was my first announced relationship,” Concepcion said. “People know naman it was very real for me, and I was so young and naive. It was announced publicly so that’s why it also had to be announced publicly,” she added.

In 2009, the two worked together for ABS-CBN teleserye “Lovers in Paris.” And in October 2010, Pascual confirmed that he and Concepcion were together. According to Concepcion, Pascual courted her – on and off – for a couple of years. But Concepcion admitted that even before she got to work with “Papa P,” she remembered saying something about the actor to director Joyce Bernal. “There was a time he (Piolo) visited on set when I was doing my movie with Chard,” Concepcion said, referring to her “For the First Time” co-star Richard Gutierrez. That flick was directed by Bernal. “Parang siyang (Piolo) may halo. I remember that. Parang siyang may halo, parang siyang may light.”

However, some good things never last as some would say that during a November 2011 interview with “The Buzz” Concepcion confirmed that she and Pascual had parted ways. Did she ever regret doing the interview? “I regret that we had to end,” she replied. “I think that in any relationship, you really had faith in it, right? And you go into it not thinking that you want to end it, you go thinking that you want it.” “So I think more than the interview, I mean on a personal level, you just regret that you have to end.” Asked subsequently what she learned from her relationship with Pascual, Concepcion said: “We all go through things in life, whatever you go through, you will bring into the relationship that you have.” “You have to make peace with the things that you went through before, before you go into a relationship. Kasi kung hindi, bitbit mo ‘yun.” she also said.

Source: entertainment.inquirer.net

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SPORTS NEWS

Neymar, 2 other PSG players test positive for COVID-19 — source

September 3 —— Three Paris Saint-Germain players have tested positive for coronavirus, the French club announced on Wednesday, in a setback to their preparations for the scheduled start of their Ligue 1 campaign next week. Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar, the world’s most expensive footballer, Argentinian teammates Angel Di Maria and Leandro Paredes have tested positive for COVID-19, sources told AFP on Wednesday.

French sports daily L’Equipe also reported the players in question were Neymar, ADi Maria and Paredes, but PSG did not reveal any names. “Three Paris Saint-Germain players have confirmed positive Sars CoV2 tests and are subject to the appropriate health protocol,” PSG said in a statement.  “All of the players and coaching staff will continue to undergo tests in the coming days.” The French champions, who last month lost the Champions League final to Bayern Munich, had already said on Monday that two unnamed players had reported back with coronavirus symptoms following a holiday.

The three were among several PSG stars who travelled to the Spanish Mediterranean island of Ibiza last week for a holiday in the aftermath of their Champions League campaign, mixing with friends and family after spending the previous weeks isolated in a secure bubble with teammates in Portugal. That was after the controversial decision was taken to postpone a league game away at Lens, initially scheduled for last Saturday, in order to give the PSG squad a break after their Champions League ‘Final Eight’ exertions.

The match at Lens has been rescheduled for next Thursday, September 10, with PSG due to entertain Marseille three days later. Strict French league rules stipulate that collective team training sessions must be cancelled if a club has at least four positive tests over an eight-day period, with match postponements possible. The cases raise questions about why the French league decided to postpone PSG’s match in Lens, only for so many of their players to travel abroad on holiday during a pandemic.

The postponement was granted in order to give PSG players a rest after their European run, despite France’s richest club having only played five competitive games in six months. The last French season was ended early, with 10 rounds of matches unplayed, because of the health crisis, and the start of the new French season has already been impacted. In recent weeks, several Ligue 1 clubs have reported positive tests, including Strasbourg, Lyon, Marseille, Rennes, Nantes and Montpellier. Marseille’s game against Saint-Etienne on August 21, which was set to be the season opener, was postponed.

Source: mb.com.ph

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Pressed for time, PBA not keen on PH Cup format change

MANILA, Philippines, September 3 —— Despite facing time constraints, the PBA is not keen on tweaking the format of the Philippine Cup if the planned season resumption pushes through. Instead, the league will likely compress the schedule and ramp up the number of games per week to fit the ideal timetable. “I don’t think we’re going to change the format. It will be the same, although, we may have to increase the number of game days to four or five times a week or double or triple header per day,” PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said in Filipino. Another possibility is to reduce the finals and semifinals to just a best-of-five series from the usual race-to-four. “We have been analyzing those things which we’re going to discuss with the Board of Governors.”

Marcial said he had initially thought of cutting the number of games of each team, but he ultimately decided going that route would be unfair for the team owners whose ballclubs need the exposure more than ever with the PBA on hiatus since March. “If you’re the team owner and you’re paying the salary of the whole team but the team only gets to play five games, I don’t think it’s worth it,” Marcial said. “I don’t want that to happen to our teams. It’s better if we’re able to play more games and not just have a short and quick tournament. The teams definitely want more exposure.”

Source: sports.inquirer.net

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PFL welcomes Maharlika club

MANILA, Philippines, September 3 —— Maharlika FC, a club co-founded by former Filipino international Anton Del Rosario, was granted a provisional license by the Philippine Football Federation, paving the way for its entry in the fourth season of the Philippines Football League, which is targeting its kickoff next month.

Del Rosario, who also founded the successful 7s Football League, will be leading the newest club in the league not just as an owner but as one of the most reliable players of coach Roxy Dorlas. “You can guarantee that Maharlika FC will be a club that will create something for the people,” said Del Rosario, whose club has signed former national team stalwarts Jerry Barbaso, Simon Greatwich and Misagh Bahadoran, former Loyola Meralco defender Joaco Cañas and Daniel Matsunaga. “We do have a very good lineup of players willing to play for the team.”

Del Rosario said the club will also put emphasis on youth development in an effort to provide more opportunities for players aspiring to be part of the Azkals. Maharlika FC’s entry ensures that the PFL will have a six-team cast for the planned restart to the 2020 season, which is the minimum requirement set by the AFC for national leagues. Also seeing action in the PFL are Kaya FC-Iloilo, Mendiola FC 1991, Stallion Laguna FC, and United City FC whose application for change of club name from Ceres Negros FC was granted by PFF, and invited team Azkals Development Team.

In a meeting last Tuesday, the PFF Club Licensing First Instance Body also slapped a 90-day suspension on Global FC for its failure to settle its overdue payables to staff and players. Global FC was also directed to demonstrate within 90 days to resolve the issue of financial obligations. “Failure of the club to do so will lead to the revocation of Global FC’s PFF license for PFL season 2020 and ineligibility to compete in the league or apply for a renewal of club license,” the PFF FIB decision read.

Source: sports.inquirer.net

MOT, New Capesize shipbuilding for 1st time in 14 yrs

For Japanese largest steel mill, Delivery in 2020

 

Mitsubishi Ore Transport Co., LTD (President Hiroyuki Nakamura) ordered a Japanese shipbuilder to build 200,000-dwt new Capesize bulker. MOT will put the vessel on the long-term contract with a Japanese customer after its delivery in 2020. On delivery basis, this newbuilding project is the first time for MOT in these 14 years. The company was established as an industrial carrier responsible for transporting iron ore from Chile’s Atacama Mine to Yawata Steel Works (now Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation). Presently putting their focus on managing a various type of vessel, MOT decided to replace self-operating iron ore carrier which symbolizes the company name, “Ore Transport”.

 

“SANTA LUCIA”, which is 177,000-dwt and has been put into the long term contract for the same customer, is succeeded by this new built ship, and in MOT fleet it becomes the largest vessel the owner ever had. The vessel will be equipped with Scrubber (exhaust gas purifier) in accordance with SOx emission control which is in effect from 2020.

 

Mitsubishi Ore Transport Co., Ltd. was established in 1959 by the six companies of the Mitsubishi Group as an industrial carrier responsible for transporting iron ore from Chile’s Atacama Mine to Yawata Steel Works (now Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation). Recently the company has four shareholders: Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha, Mitsubishi Corporation, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. and The Tokyo Marine and Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd. Mr. Nakamura says, “In the beginning of the establishment, as a Mitsubishi group company MOT had the definite principle to support Japanese main industry by backing up the largest national steel company. After Atacama Mine had been closed, we have had set our focus on ship management business as a result that our forerunner searched for our business model as a shipping company. This shipbuilding project has the great significance on our company as the project enables us to continue our ore transport business which started at the same time from the establishment”.

 

Presently MOT fleets have 23 vessels including MOT-managing and co-ownership vessels. While Panamax bulkers account for 11 in 23, the following types of another eleven vessels are parts of our project vessels: Pure Car carrier, Wood chip carrier, and Coal carrier for power companies. Project vessels are chartered in long-term contract to the shareholders. On the other hands, Panamax bulkers are on average in less than one- year charter contract to European grain major, power and steel companies.

 

Foreign credible charterers have regularly chartered the Panamax bulkers. Before, the charter period was mid-term, but it has become shorter because of the stagnated dry-bulk market, forcing MOT to endure severe profit. With that being said, the market has gradually improved, and freight revenue per vessels per day is on average $1,500 higher than the estimate in this fiscal year, according to Mr. Nakamura. Now he thinks to change the present contracts to the longer ones in the right time.

 

MOT has worked on reviewing its business portfolio; it plans to increase the portion of Project vessels from the present 50 % to 80% of its entire fleet while decreasing the number of Panamax bulkers. The company has already decided to sell two of them. Conversely, it purchased Pure car Carrier the last year. This reflects the president’s idea to create the fleet that is not affected by the dry-market. It comes with reducing the amount of vessels exposed by the market. Mr. Nakamura says that we undertake the transportation for not only main Japanese customers but also excellent and closely-related foreign customers. He adds that we MOT strive for “multi-industrial carrier” making its utmost effort for multiple main customers. For the moment, the company aims for more growth by rearranging its fleet structure.

 

At the same time, MOT never underestimates the crew training program. The total number of crew is now about over 600; 20 of Japanese seafarers including land-based worker and about 600 of Filipino seafarers from MBM. One year ago the company started for Filipino crews the project called “Y-Project”; two Filipino experienced captains chosen as trainers give seminars to the compatriot crews when they are on vacation. Targeting the Japanese crews, on the other hand, the project named “J-Project” will be kicked off to make smooth the communication between Japanese and Filipino seafarers. Mr. Nakamura thinks “these steady efforts lead to maintain and improve our operation quality, contributing to the good reputation from foreign charterers for our ship-management”.

 

Now nine Super Intendents are working in MOT office: five Japanese and four Filipino. As a development program, Filipino Super Intendents that grew up in MOT vessels are expected to experience the work in both MOT and MBM office.

“We all MOT staff work on making envelops for the Japan braille library which is the library for people visually impairments and print disabilities. Those envelopes are made from sea-charts that have got unused as the digitalization goes on”, President Hiroyuki Nakamura says. Mitsubishi Ore Transport Co., LTD is committed to volunteer activities in connection with CSR. Sea-chart envelop have got good reputation for its design, and MOT staff usually make about forty to fifty envelops per one month. Mr Nakamura adds, “Companies should keep in mind social contributions while pursuing profit. We all do our best to make a good company culture that we perform what we can do for others”.

Our Services

MOT-BARKO MANILA, INC. CORPORATE MANAGEMENT PLAN
From November 2010 to present, MBM deployed over 900 seafarers on board 23 vessels comprising of the following types: 2 Pure Car Carrier, 18 Bulk Carriers, and 3 Wood Chip/Cargo Ships that added real value to seafarers, customers and other stakeholders. This is undoubtedly due to combine efforts and hard works of all involved, in principle therefore as a manning agent we will;

  1. Devote every managerial effort to become more efficient and profitable.
  2. Continue to employ competent and fully certified seafarers for our customer in order to gain excellent standing with both local and foreign governments, maritime unions, training institution, P & I Correspondent and the likes.
  3. Control the manning process systematically; be flexible and proactive in fulfilling both seafarers and customers’ requirements, presenting innovative solutions wherever possible.
  4. Keep excellent market knowledge and ability to respond quickly to any changes in order to provide a sustainable service to customers.
  5. Become a market preference in terms of high quality service.

Our Mission

  1. Maintain pools of highly qualified, motivated and dedicated seafarers who fulfill the demanding requirements in safeguarding the safety of ship and the environment.
  2. Lifetime Profession- Develop training and education program that involves many initiatives geared towards ensuring that personnel starting their employment with MBM are given every opportunity to progress their career through the ranks and via shore-based employment.
  3. Provide a decent and stable working environment so that both seafarers and shore staff can contribute to the best of their abilities.
  4. Transparency and Honesty- Be fair and have corporate financial activities comply with rule of law.

2012 CAR CARRIER OF THE YEAR AWARD

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We are please to announce that 10 vessels have demonstrated excellence in safety, delay-free, and bunkering-saving operations and have thus been selected to receive the Car Carrier of the Year Award for 2012

The M/V Santa Lucia saved human lives.

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The M/V Santa Lucia, an 180,000-ton bulk carrier we operate with 22 Pilipino crew, saved human lives.
In the early hours of March 16, while sailing in the Molucca Sea, Indonesia, on a voyage from Japan to Australia, the ship received a distress call from an Indonesian fishing boat.
The M/V Santa Lucia proceeded to the site and rescued all 15 crew members from the boat. All the rescued crew were safe and sound and handed over to Indonesia’s coast guard in the afternoon of the same day.