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BALITANG MARINO DAILY NEWS for October 19, 2022

$2.6 billion pledged in global push to wipe out polio but more needed

Floods leave thousands stranded in Australia

EU policymakers urged to raise climate ambition in the FuelEU Maritime and EU ETS

Ships Race to Export Ukraine’s Gain as Talks Begin to Continue Program

DNV to support transition to sustainable future with new partnership

Marcos declares October 31 as a special non-working holiday

One Health Pass changed to eArrival card – DOH

Ph detects 81 Omicron XBB subvariant, 193 XBC variant

Marcos: PH’s inflation forecast ‘better’ than other countries

DOH to ramp up vaccination drive vs measles

Ph approves Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 6 to 17

Gerald’s brother Ken Anderson wins in New York film festival

Karla Estrada is new Mrs. Universe Philippines Advocate Queen

Sponge Cola to mark 20th anniversary with Canada tour, local showcase

Valdez delivers in the clutch as Creamline holds off Petro Gazz in 4

Jordan Clarkson stays with Utah, takes over starting spot from Mitchell

June Mar Fajardo ruled out of Gilas campaign in November window

FULL NEWSPAPER

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

$2.6 billion pledged in global push to wipe out polio but more needed

GENEVA, Switzerland, October 19 —— A global five-year plan to eradicate polio received pledges of some $2.6 billion, but nearly double the amount is needed to complete the task, the World Health Organization said.

While welcoming the generous pledges, the United Nations’ health agency stressed there was still some way to go to eliminate the crippling and potentially fatal viral disease by 2026. It pointed to an upsurge in cases detected this year, including in countries long considered to be free of the highly contagious and often paralyzing virus, which mainly affects children under the age of five.

“The new detections of polio this year in previously polio-free countries are a stark reminder that if we do not deliver our goal of ending polio everywhere, it may resurge globally,” WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. “We must remember the significant challenges we have overcome to get this far against polio, stay the course and finish the job once and for all.” In all, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) — a public–private partnership that counts WHO among its main partners — says it needs $4.8 billion for its 2022-2026 strategy to overcome the final hurdles to eliminating the disease.

During the World Health Summit in Berlin — the first major opportunity to pledge support — countries and organizations confirmed they would cover a significant chunk of the funding needs. Nearly half the amount came from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has said it will pitch in $1.2 billion. Rotary International has pledged $150 million, the United States $114 million and Germany $72 million. “No place is safe until polio has been eradicated everywhere,” said German Economic Cooperation and Development Minister Svenja Schulze. “As long as the virus still exists somewhere in the world, it can spread.” A massive global effort has in recent decades come close to wiping out polio.

Cases have decreased by 99 percent since 1988, when the disease was endemic in 125 countries and 350,000 cases were recorded worldwide. The wild version of the virus now exists only in Afghanistan and Pakistan, though Malawi and Mozambique also detected imported wild polio cases in 2022. And a type of vaccine that contains small amounts of weakened but live polio still causes occasional outbreaks elsewhere, as it has recently in the United States and Britain.

Oral polio vaccine replicates in the gut and can be passed to others through fecal-contaminated water — meaning it will not hurt the child who has been vaccinated but could infect their neighbors in places where immunization levels are low.

Source: mb.com.ph

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Floods leave thousands stranded in Australia

SYDNEY, October 19 —— Flooding across south-east Australia has led to mass evacuations and raised concerns about the country’s food supplies as it experiences the damaging effects of a third consecutive La Nina event.

As rain continued across the south-east region, authorities warned that 34,000 homes in the state of Victoria could be flooded or isolated. Flooding is also affecting the states of New South Wales and Tasmania, after the south-east region was hit last week by more than a month’s worth of average rainfall. The bouts of heavy rain in recent years have meant that grounds are already drenched, so further downpours can cause almost immediate flooding and overflows of rivers and waterways.

Visiting affected areas in New South Wales, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Australia was facing “dangerous times” from heavy deluges that are affecting roads, farms and infrastructure. He warned residents to heed warnings from authorities to evacuate before being stranded by floodwaters. “We are living in very dangerous times in the days and weeks ahead,” he told reporters. “Essentially, a single drop of rain has nowhere else to go except stay on the surface because of the flooding that has occurred over a period of time.”

In Victoria, the floods are already believed to have caused damage worth hundreds of millions of dollars to homes, farms and businesses. More than 100 Australian Defense Force troops have been dispatched to the state to support evacuations and sandbagging. The flooding has affected parts of Melbourne, Australia’s second most populous city, and left towns in northern Victoria stranded. As inland rivers reached record highs, nearby communities have been desperately building sandbag walls to try to avoid or minimize the flooding. In some towns, residents have used boats and kayaks to make their way through flooded roads.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews announced an A$351 million (S$313 million) package to support emergency housing and to assist with the clean-up effort, including A$165 million for urgent transport needs such as fixing potholes and rebuilding bridges. “There isn’t a second to waste as we begin recovery in flood-affected communities, whether it’s support for households, clean-ups or local roads,” he said in a statement. But further rain and severe thunderstorms are expected to occur over much of eastern and south-eastern Australia later this week. The Bureau of Meteorology said that some areas will receive as much as 100mm of rain. “Unfortunately, particularly in New South Wales and Victoria, we have a long way to go in terms of flooding and it’s too hard to say at this stage when it will finally end,” a senior meteorologist at the bureau, Mr. Dean Narramore, told ABC News.

The floods have caused heavy damage to some of the nation’s most productive farmland and have led to losses of livestock and wheat, barley, fruit and vegetables. Authorities warned that prices of groceries and staples such as milk – which are already high due to soaring inflation – will further increase. “We need to brace ourselves for the impact of these natural disasters on the cost of living,” Treasurer Jim Chalmers told reporters. “We are talking here about some of the best growing and producing country in Australia.”

Australia has rarely experienced three consecutive La Nina events, though this is believed to have occurred in 1954-57, 1973–1976 and 1998–2001. In the country, La Nina events increase the chances of extra rain in spring and summer. Experts believe the current La Nina event could peak in November and be over by early 2023. But the coming weeks of further rain could be grim, especially as many regions in eastern Australia have already been flooded in the past year and have little capacity to absorb more water. Unfortunately, there is still a chance that there could be a fourth La Nina next year.

“We’ve had La Nina three years in a row, so a fourth time in a row is less common,” climate researcher Agus Santoso from the University of New South Wales told the 7News website. “But it’s not impossible. At this stage, we cannot predict that far ahead.”

Source: inquirer.net

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MARITIME NEWS

EU policymakers urged to raise climate ambition in the FuelEU Maritime and EU ETS

October 19 —— While the European Parliament gears up to vote on the FuelEU Maritime on Wednesday as the ‘Fit for 55’ package of legislative proposals enters its final stage; EU policymakers are being called to raise climate ambitions in the proposals. Signatories of the Getting to Zero Coalition said that in this way the production and use of zero-emission fuels made from net-zero energy sources which include green and blue hydrogen, ammonia, methanol, and sustainable biofuels can be incentivized. “Incentivizing the production and use of zero emission fuels this decade is critical if our ambition of having a global maritime industry run solely on net-zero emission fuels by 2050 is to be achieved. This 2050 ambition is shared by more than 240 shipping stakeholders that have signed the Getting to Zero Coalition’s Call to Action for Shipping Decarbonization as well as many countries and other organizations. But having a bold 2050 ambition is not enough. We need clear, short-term targets and the concrete actions that will take us there,” the coalition signatories said.

The coalition urged the European Parliament to consider creating incentives for the uptake of renewable fuels, by inter alia, including a sub-target and a multiplier for these renewable fuels as proposed by the EU Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism. Furthermore, it was proposed to increase the carbon intensity reduction targets in FuelEU Maritime complemented by corresponding supportive mechanisms to allow the maritime value chain to make the transition.

Finally, FuelEU Maritime should be strongly connected to EU ETS by ensuring that the zero-rating principle for renewable fuels use is extended to shipping. Further, it is absolutely critical for the implementation of FuelEU Maritime that revenue raised from shipping in EU ETS is reinvested to catalyze shipping decarbonization. “When reinvesting ETS revenue, the EU Commission and Member States should explore the use of Contracts for Difference, an effective subsidy scheme that has already been proven in the offshore wind sector. A recent study for the Getting to Zero Coalition showed that we can reach five percent scalable zero emission fuels by 2030 in Europe by using around 15-20 percent of the shipping based ETS revenue,” the coalition members said.

European maritime actors are leading the way towards shipping’s full decarbonization, which has many co-benefits for Europe like job creation, innovation, global competitiveness, cleaner air, and energy security. At least 114 Europe-focused pilot projects for shipping are currently taking place, more than 60 European banks have signed up for the zero-emission banking initiatives, including the Poseidon Principles and the Net-Zero Banking Alliance, and 10 European countries have committed to developing green maritime corridors in the coming years under the Clydebank Declaration.

Nevertheless, the right incentivizing policies are crucial to unlocking investments, deployment, and scale-up of the technologies. Here the Fit for 55 package – especially FuelEU Maritime and ETS for shipping – can help address the fundamental price gap between fossil fuels and scalable zero-emissions fuels, which includes renewable fuels of non-biological origin (RFNBOs). Closing this price gap will incentivize production, distribution, and use of scalable zero emission fuels at scale, the coalition urges.

As explained, adopting ambitious EU policy will also send an important signal to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and its members that it should set an ambition of zero emission shipping by 2050 in line with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C degree temperature goal when revising the IMO’s GHG Strategy next year. “We agree and welcome the call for raising the climate ambition in the EU fit for 55 package and especially during the current Fuel EU Maritime deliberations, however, we do so from an energy perspective rather than a fuel centric one. Wind propulsion is a vital component + operational and vessel optimization with the remaining energy requirement covered by eco fuels is a winning combination and one that can be adopted at scale, quickly. There should always be a level playing field where it comes to regulation promoting energy sources, whether they require extensive infrastructure build out, such as in the case of alternative fuels derived from wind and other renewables or by harnessing the wind directly,” Gavin Allwright, Secretary at International Windship Association, said commenting on the calls.

Source: offshore-energy.biz

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Ships Race to Export Ukraine’s Gain as Talks Begin to Continue Program

October 19 —— With Russia having increased its attacks in recent days on the infrastructure and civilian targets in Ukraine, fears are growing that Russia could also move to block an extension of the grain deal that is permitting ships to export gains from three Ukrainian ports. The agreement brokered by the United Nations with the assistance of Turkey began in late July and lasts for 120 days.

Emphasizing the importance of maintaining the exports, UN officials have begun the delicate talks to extend and possibly expand the export agreement. On Sunday, October 16, Ukraine’s Minister of Infrastructure, Oleksandr Kubrakov, meet with Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar at the Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul along with representatives of the United Nations. The negotiations are aimed at the implementation of the grain initiative and its continuation after November 22.

Since the first vessel departed Ukraine on August 1, a total of 719 voyages have been cleared after inspections in Turkey. Data from the UN indicates that 365 inbound voyages to the three Ukrainian ports have been cleared as of October 18 with 354 outbound voyages completed. More than 7.8 million metric tons of grain have been exported primarily consisting of corn and wheat. Smaller quantities of sunflower products, soybeans, and barley were also exported. The UN had cited the urgent need to get the products to poorer nations and those facing famine. However, of the 354 outbound voyages, only five chartered ships have transported exports for the World Food Program. A total of 150,000 metric tons of wheat was purchased and sent to Ethiopia, Yemen, Djibouti, Afghanistan, and Somalia.

The small percentage of the exports going to this program is one of the complaints Russia continues to express about the effort saying that it was told this would be one of the primary uses for the Ukrainian grain. In an interview with Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Reuters reports it was told that Russia has sent a letter to the UN listing its concerns and reiterating that the agreement needs to equally permit Russian exports of grain and fertilizer. Russia has threatened on several occasions to withdraw from the agreement and now says if its concerns are not addressed it might not agree to an extension of the exports.

Fearing that the program might be suspended, Ukraine is taking steps to further increase exports and the shipping community has been rushing to get ships cleared for the Black Sea crossing. Bloomberg is reporting that currently there are 131 vessels awaiting inspections and clearance to proceed to Ukraine. Ukrainian minister Kubrakov reports that he raised concerns with the Turkish and UN officials during his meeting about the backlog of vessels. “The Ukrainian side has also emphasized the importance of the process of ship inspection being sped up by the Joint Coordination Center,” the ministry reported after the meeting. “This would allow for a significant increase in the volume of grain exports to the countries of Africa, Asia, and Europe and prevents the formation of inspection queues.”

Steps are also being taken to increase the capabilities for the exports using other routes in case the Black Sea ports are again closed. Since early in the conflict Ukraine has been using the Danube to move smaller quantities of grain. Hungary reports that it invested nearly $100 million into Europe’s largest land-based container terminal telling Reuters that it is aiming to increase shipments of Ukrainian grains to Adriatic ports. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told a news conference that their terminal would eventually be able to handle 15,000 to 20,000 tons of grain per month.

Despite the current challenges, Ukraine reports that so far in October it has been able to export more than two million tons of grain. The Ministry of Infrastructure said that the volumes are nearly equal to 2021 and it remains hopeful that an agreement can be reached to continue the exports.

Source: maritime-executive.com

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DNV to support transition to sustainable future with new partnership

October 19 —— Classification society DNV has joined a group of mission-driven companies as part of a European Fund to accelerate the push towards net zero. The fund has been launched by Energy Impact Partners (EIP), a global venture capital firm supporting the transition to a sustainable future. The fund is structured to enable EIP to locally partner with European entrepreneurs and support their growth with a combination of capital and commercial support through EIP’s coalition of industrial firms.

Specifically, EIP has €390 million ($383 million) to deploy in European investments to accelerate the growth of innovative technologies which have the potential to drive the transition towards net zero. “This is an important strategic partnership for DNV alongside other organizations that are committed to accelerating the energy transition,” Lucy Craig, Director of Growth, Innovation and Digital, Energy Systems at DNV, said. Craig added that DNV aims to provide start-ups with insight into this highly dynamic field. Furthermore, the classification society will collaborate with its partners in EIP in investigating new topics within the energy sector.

The arrangement also provides scope for DNV to expand its American operation through EIP’s established presence in North America. Contributions to the fund are drawn from a broad set of institutional investors, impact investors and corporates in a range of industries, including energy, utilities, technology and infrastructure and transport, according to EIP.

“We are very happy to have DNV as a member of EIP’s coalition. DNV and EIP are very aligned in our mission to advance clean technologies. It is great to build on DNV’s strong brand and expertise,” said Matthias Dill, CEO and Managing Partner of EIP Europe.

“DNV is committed to a strategy for growth in Energy Systems, as well as across the sector in other facets where DNV is active, including Maritime, Business Assurance, Cyber Security and ESG. Across the business, we are helping accelerate the innovations tackling climate change,” Kaare Helle, Ventures Director at DNV, added.

Recently, DNV warned the heightened focus on energy security and the rising cost of energy is reinforcing the difference in decarbonization speed between Europe and the rest of the world. In its sixth edition of Energy Transition Outlook, the classification society highlighted that inflationary pressures and supply chain disruption pose a short-term challenge to renewable growth.

Europe, which can be regarded as the leader of the energy transition, will double down on renewables and energy efficiency to increase its energy independence, with European gas consumption predicted to fall dramatically as a result of the war in Ukraine. On the other hand, lower-income countries, where cost is the main driver of energy policy, are predicted to see a different trend. High energy and food prices are reversing the coal-to-gas switch and putting a dampener on decarbonization investments, DNV concluded.

Source: offshore-energy.biz

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PHILIPPINE NEWS

Marcos declares October 31 as a special non-working holiday

MANILA, Philippines, October 19 —— President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has declared October 31, 2022, as a special non-working holiday.

This was announced by Office of the Press Secretary officer-in-charge Cheloy Garafil, saying the President has already signed the proclamation for it.

“Gusto ko lang i-announce today that the President has already signed the proclamation declaring October 31 as a special non-working holiday,” she said in a Palace briefing. “Para na rin mas marami tayong time kasama ang ating pamilya at para ma-promote na rin ang ating local tourism,” she added.

Source: inquirer.net

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One Health Pass changed to eArrival card – DOH

October 19 —— The Department of Health (DOH) announced that the One Health Pass (OHP) has been changed to a new electronic arrival (eArrival) card after several complaints from travelers were received.

This was the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), said DOH Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire. Vergeire said that the OHP is requesting too much data from travelers. Also, travelers are not allowed to board the plane if they do not upload their OHP. The Health official said that the eArrival card is way more convenient for travelers.

“Kakaunting datos nalang ang nakalagay diyan. Wala na pong masyadong hinihingi na requirements. Pangalawa, kung hindi mo ma upload yan, meron tayong special lane sa ating mga airports kung saan pagdating mo, ia-assist ka nila, doon ka magu-upload, at doon mo makukuha ang eArrival card mo,” said Vergeire. Vergeire said that the objective of the OHP is also the same with the eArrival card. “Hindi po nawala ang objective ng One Health Pass with this transition to the eArrival card. Kung ano mang datos ang kailangan natin prior to this na nasa One Health Pass, kinukuha pa rin natin— two major details: the travel details and the profile of the individual which includes the vaccination status,” she said.

Recently, the DOH asked the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) to review the details concerning the OHP. Senator Nancy Binay also called for the lifting of the OHP amid “mounting complaints from travelers over the inconvenience of the screening system.” Binay asked the agencies concerned to “look into simplifying the processes that visitors have to undergo as the tourism industry looks to recover from the pandemic.” She added that several “overseas Filipino workers have been complaining that the process of verifying the OHP has led to long lines in the country’s airports.”

Source: mb.com.ph

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Ph detects 81 Omicron XBB subvariant, 193 XBC variant

Metro Manila, October 19 —— The Philippines has detected 81 cases of the new COVID-19 Omicron XBB subvariant and 193 cases of the XBC variant, the Department of Health (DOH) announced.

At a press briefing, DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said the 81 cases of XBB were detected in Western Visayas and Davao Region. Seventy of these cases have already recovered, eight are still undergoing isolation, while the status of the three others are still being verified. None of them died, according to Vergeire.

Citing preliminary studies, DOH earlier said that the XBB sublineage “shows higher immune evasion ability than BA.5.” It is also under the Omicron subvariants under monitoring by the World Health Organization (WHO), along with BA.5, BA.2.75, BJ.1, BA.4.6, and BA.2.3.20. Vergeire explained that the Omicron XBB subvariant has been causing the COVID-19 spikes in Singapore and other countries. “Mula po sa Singapore Ministry of Health, wala pa pong sapat na ebidensya ang magpapatunay na nagdudulot ng mas malubhang sakit ang panibagong subvariant na ito,” she said. Citing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, she added that the XBB could result in symptoms similar to that caused by other original COVID-19 variants such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, body ache, headaches, loss of taste and smell, sore throat, runny nose, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Meanwhile, the country also recorded 193 cases of the XBC variant in 11 regions—-Cagayan Valley, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Davao Region, Soccsksargen, Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Caraga, Bangsamoro Region, and the National Capital Region (NCR). Of this number, five people died, Vergeire said. There were 176 infected individuals also recovered, three are still undergoing isolation, while the outcomes of others are still being identified.  Vergeire said the XBC is a “variant under monitoring and investigation” as classified by the United Kingdom Health Security Agency. “Sinasabi na recombinant ng Delta at BA.2 variant ang XBC variant. Katulad ng XBB variant, hindi pa kumpleto ang ebidensya at walang ebidensya pa rin na tumutukoy na mas malubhang sakit ang maidudulot nito,” she added.

She also said the DOH is still verifying if these cases of the XBB and XBC were detected among local or foreign travelers. “Sa ngayon, ayaw pa nating makapag-deklara kung ito ay community transmission kasi wala pa tayong sapat na ebidensya,” she said. “What we can say right now, because there are this number of XBB and XBC, it’s part of the locally transmitted variants already in the country,” she added. Vergeire said the DOH, along with other government agencies, continues to implement the four-door strategy against COVID-19.

The country recorded 15,314 new COVID-19 infections from October 10 to 16, 2022—a 7% higher than the 14,333 cases logged from the previous week. Despite the detection of the XBB subvariant and XBC variant, Vergeire said the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases does not yet see any indications yet to tighten its border restrictions anew from travelers. “Sa ngayon, wala hong indikasyon para tayo ay maghigpit. Katulad ng lagi nating sinasabi, the life cycle of a virus, kasama na po diyan ‘yung mutations and the production of new variants,” she said.

She emphasized that the country already has “safeguards” considering the high number of Filipinos fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the behavior of wearing of face masks, and that healthcare systems are prepared in case there will be an increase in infections. “Hindi po tayo pwedeng nagbubukas at nagsasara, nagbubukas, nagsasara ng ating mga borders ngayong panahon at sitwasyon natin ngayon two years after or going through this pandemic. Kailangan, we should all live with the virus at marunong tayo mag-adapt kung ano man ang sitwasyon,” Vergeire added.

Currently, 73.4 million Filipinos are fully vaccinated against and 20.3 million of them have received their first booster dose. In February, the IATF already relaxed the travel restrictions, allowing the entry of foreigners in the Philippines for business and tourism purposes under certain conditions. Among the requirements for foreign nationals before entering the country is full vaccination against COVID-19, except for minors below 12 years old traveling with their fully vaccinated foreign parents.

Source: gmanetwork.com

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Marcos: PH’s inflation forecast ‘better’ than other countries

MANILA, Philippines, October 19 —— President Marcos believes the overall inflation forecast for the Philippines is still better than other countries, allaying concerns over soaring inflation rates.

“We may have to defend the peso in the coming months, but the overall forecast is that we are still doing better than other countries in terms of inflation, though economic developments are still anticipated,” Marcos said in a Twitter post. The Asian Development Bank (ADB), in its Asian Development Outlook 2022 update, expects inflation in the country at 5.3 percent in 2022 and 4.3 percent in 2023.

In Southeast Asia, the ADB forecasts 2022 inflation in Lao People’s Democratic Republic to grow by 17 percent, Myanmar at 16 percent, and Timor-Leste at 7.4 percent. Meanwhile, the regional development bank expects the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) to grow 6.5 percent in 2022 and 6.3 percent in 2023. Marcos convened his economic team recently to determine and formulate the administration’s economic policy directions for the rest of the year until the first quarter of 2023. They had discussed issues affecting the country such as inflation, interest rates, and foreign exchange. He said they were able to establish policy directions for the rest of the year and first quarter of next year following the meeting.

Included in the economic team are the secretaries of finance, trade, budget, public works and highways, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) chief and the head of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

Source: mb.com.ph

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DOH to ramp up vaccination drive vs measles

MANILA, Philippines, October 19 —— The Department of Health (DOH) is planning to intensify the government’s immunization program in the coming months and reach as many children as possible amid the threat of a measles outbreak.

Health Undersecretary and officer in charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said this means enhancing the government’s school-based immunization drive for elementary students. “We will continue to hold school-based immunization that are being done regularly… for those in Grades 1 to 7,” Vergeire said in a press briefing recently, adding that the DOH met with its implementing units to strengthen routine immunization.

Since classes opened in August, the department has been holding COVID-19 vaccination activities in both public and private schools and has included parents of schoolchildren who have not been inoculated or have not had their booster shots. Vergeire said the department is also looking to hold community-based vaccination come March 2023. “We will go to the communities come March so we can reach more children less than 5 years old needing the vaccines,” said Vergeire.

Earlier, the DOH reported that all 17 regions in the country are considered to be at high risk for the measles outbreak by 2023 if the vaccination coverage of children does not improve. The Philippines was flagged by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) since three million children nationwide remained unvaccinated against measles, said Vergeire. Dr. Alethea de Guzman, DOH Epidemiology Bureau director, said a measles outbreak in the country usually occurs every four to five years, with the last two measles outbreaks in 2014 and in 2018-2019.

An outbreak was declared in Metro Manila and other regions at that time. “This is why we are projecting an impending outbreak possibly in the next year or two if we fail to increase our vaccination coverage,” De Guzman said in a separate press briefing recently. The DOH official encouraged parents to have their kids vaccinated against measles. “We remind everybody that getting vaccinated is a way to prevent and avoid the spread of non-COVID diseases like measles,” she said, noting the low immunization rate seen among children over the recent years.

As of the latest DOH data, there had been 489 measles cases reported from Jan. 1 to Oct. 1. This is 167 percent higher than the 306 cases recorded during the same period last year.

Source: inquirer.net

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Ph approves Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 6 to 17

MANILA, October 19 —— Children ages 6 to 17 can now receive the COVID-19 vaccine produced by Chinese biopharmaceutical firm Sinovac, the Department of Health announced.

According to DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire, the agency has approved CoronaVac as primary series for 6 to 17-year-olds as an alternative for mRNA vaccines. This is based on the recommendation of the Health Technology Assessment Council, an independent advisory body of the DOH, she added. “Ang mga tagubilin hinggil sa pag-apruba nito ay na-issue na natin kahapon through a department memorandum at maaari na po itong umpisahan ang implementasyon,” Vergeire said in a press briefing.

Sinovac’s vaccine uses an inactivated form of the virus to induce an antibody response against COVID-19. Meanwhile, Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines use messenger RNA created in a laboratory to teach cells how to make spike protein, which triggers immune response.  In May, the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 6 to 11. The state regulator earlier approved Pfizer’s coronavirus jab for emergency use of children 5 years old and above.

Latest DOH data showed some 15.2 million children and adolescents have so far been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Of the figure, almost 10 million are 12 to 17-year-olds, while around 5.2 million are children ages 5 to 11, the agency said.

Source: news.abs-cbn.com

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ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

Gerald’s brother Ken Anderson wins in New York film festival

MANILA, October 19 —— Ken Anderson, Gerald Anderson’s younger brother, is carving his own name in the entertainment industry as a filmmaker.

Anderson not only made a short film, he also recently won an award in an international film festival in New York.  On Instagram, he proudly share that his movie “Okay Lng Ako” was recognized as Best Short Film at the International Film Festival Manhattan 2022. The film is about a Filipina OFW in the United States and features Sheena McBride, Brigitte McBride, and Samuel Light.

“First of all, what an honor to win this award. I wanna say thank you to everyone involved in the Manhattan International Film Festival. I wanna say thank you for allowing filmmakers like me to showcase their art to the world,” he said in an Instagram post. “At the end of the day, I’m just a kid from Mindanao with a dream… On to the next project,” he added.  Anderson made his directorial debut in 2019 with the horror film “Lola.”

Source: news.abs-cbn.com

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Karla Estrada is new Mrs. Universe Philippines Advocate Queen

October 19 —— Actress Karla Estrada has recently been named as Mrs. Universe Philippines Advocate Queen.  And she couldn’t be more thankful about it.

On Facebook, she shared behind-the-scenes photos of her coronation.  In the caption, she thanked the organizers of Mrs. Universe Philippines for choosing her. “Thank you very much… I am super grateful!,” she said. “Cheers to all the queen mothers out there!” Many of her fans and colleagues in showbiz extended congratulatory messages including Cristina Gonzales, Donita Rose added and Candy Pangilinan.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Universe Philippines also shared the post. “You’re welcome and Congratulations to our Mrs. Universe Philippines FDN Advocate Queen Karla Estrada,” their caption read.

Source: mb.com.ph

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Sponge Cola to mark 20th anniversary with Canada tour, local showcase

MANILA, Philippines, October 19 —— Rock band Sponge Cola will be celebrating its 20th anniversary with a tour around several cities in Canada before heading back home for a special anniversary showcase.

The band consisting of frontman Yael Yuzon, guitarist Armo Armovit, bassist Gosh Dilay and drummer Tedmark Cruz have had sold-out shows in Canada since 2016 and are excited to be heading back for a special occasion. “Canada has always been one of our favorite places to perform at, eat great food and see our friends abroad,” said Yuzon in a statement. “We are very excited to return and reunite with our kababayans again.” Sponge Cola will be performing hits like “Bitiw,” “Tuliro,” “Tambay,” “Tuloy Pa Rin” and the concert’s titular track “Jeepney” as well as new songs such as “Kung Ako Ang Pumiling Tapusin Ito” and “Alamat.”

The Original Pinoy Music (OPM) band will begin their tour with back-to-back-to-back shows in Calgary, Red Deer and Lethbridge from November 4 to 6, followed by concerts in Regina and Saskatoon on November 11 and 12, respectively.  The Toronto stop on November 18 will feature Filipino rappers Gloc-9 and Shanti Dope. The former has collaborated with Sponge Cola on “Anting-Anting” with Denise Barbacena. More stops in Canada will be announced in the coming days, as well as tour dates for the United States in early 2023.

Before heading to the US, Sponge Cola will stage a special anniversary showcase “Bottoms Up!” show at the PETA Theater on December 14, with direction by the band’s frequent concert director Paolo Valenciano. Valenciano teased that “Bottoms Up!” will be tapping the band’s individual theater backgrounds, and before the year ends, Sponge Cola will be releasing a brand new album.

Source: philstar.com

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SPORTS NEWS

Valdez delivers in the clutch as Creamline holds off Petro Gazz in 4

October 19 —— Creamline bucked a collapse in the second set to overcome Petro Gazz, 25-19, 16-25, 25-18, 27-25, to cap Tuesday’s double-header of the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference, Tuesday at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.

Petro Gazz reached match point twice, but errors from Lindsey Vander Weide and Jonah Sabete, plus an off-the-block hit by Alyssa Valdez gave the Cool Smashers the win. “Syempre number one ‘yung basic errors kapag mga crucial kasi ‘di na pwedeng magbigay ng points sa kabila so kung makapuntos sila dapat sariling sikap nila ‘yung magiging points nila,” said Creamline coach Sherwin Meneses on the all-important fourth. “Yung break lang napunta sa amin nung fourth set kasi two-point lead na sila nun, ‘di naman bumitaw yung mga players.”

Yeliz Basa dropped a monster 28-point night on 24 attacks, two blocks, and two service aces. Valdez added another triple-double with 14 points, 22 digs, and 15 excellent receptions. Jema Galanza chipped in 13 points as well in the victory. The Cool Smashers used an 8-2 surge to break away and take the first set but the Angels had a run of their own in the second, a 12-2 blast to equalize, 25-16. Then it was the turn of Creamline again in the third frame, with Valdez, Basa, Tots Carlos, and Kyle Negrito taking turns in an 8-3 run, 25-18.

The two-time defending champions remained unbeaten at 2-0, knotted with Chery Tiggo atop the leaderboard, while the Angels slipped to 1-1. Vander Weide paced the Angels with 28 points, while MJ Phillips had 16 points. Both squads will return on the taraflex come Saturday at the Santa Rosa Sports Complex in Laguna. Petro Gazz will open the day against Akari at 2:30 pm, while the Cool Smashers clash with Cignal at 5:30 pm.

Source: tiebreakertimes.com

Editor’s note:

In the other game, F2 Logistics demolished UAI-Army, 25-17, 25-21, 25-16, at PhilSports Arena on Tuesday. The Cargo Movers were led by import, Lindsey Stalzer with 24 points, all but one on kills, Kim Kianna Dy contributed eight points, with rookie Ivy Lacsina and the veteran Aby Maraño adding seven and five points, respectively.

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Jordan Clarkson stays with Utah, takes over starting spot from Mitchell

NEW JERSEY, October 19 —— Despite persistent trade rumors, Filipino-American guard Jordan Clarkson remained with the rebuilding Utah Jazz to start the new NBA season.

The 30-year-old guard has a big fan in the Utah organization, and it is no less than the Jazz owner Ryan Smith. The Los Angeles Lakers tried to get Clarkson back, but the Jazz made it clear that Smith had no intentions of letting him go, according to The Athletic. The Phoenix Suns also reportedly inquired about Clarkson in a possible swap with former Jazz Jae Crowder, per Yahoo! Sports.

Clarkson is expected to start and fill the shooting guard spot left by Donovan Mitchell, who was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Clarkson played that role in the preseason to mixed results. He averaged 12.3 points in 23.2 minutes but only shot 37 percent from the field. Last season, he shot 42% from the field in 79 games as Utah’s sixth man. His efficiency took a hit against opposing starting units in the preseason. Clarkson, however, found other ways to help the team by adding 3.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists.

Before the training camp, Clarkson wasn’t sure about his future with the Jazz after the team traded away their franchise cornerstones Mitchell and Rudy Gobert and veteran sharpshooter Bojan Bogdanovic. “Whatever direction management, owners, and the team are trying to go, I’m ready for it,” Clarkson said. “I’m just trying to win and take whatever team it is to the next level to hopefully win a championship one day,” Clarkson added. “That’s my outlook on it.”

He was one of Utah’s veteran players who were believed to be on the trade block until the report about Smith’s plans for him came out earlier this month. While the Jazz were tearing down their roster in the offseason, Clarkson tuned out the noise by suiting up for the Philippines in the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. Clarkson averaged 25.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists in two games, including his first-ever game in his mother’s homeland. With a starting role, Clarkson could approximate those gaudy numbers with the Jazz. “If I’m here in Utah, I want to win,” Clarkson said. “I want to strive for the playoffs, try to put a team together that could win something.”

Clarkson should be in for a rude awakening, as winning is far from the Jazz’s goals this season. Utah posted a 1-3 record in the preseason, losing by an average of 17.7 points. It’s a portent of things to come. With three first-round picks, the Jazz have their eyes on next year’s draft headlined by generational talent Victor Wembanyama.

Clarkson and the Jazz open what could be a long, agonizing season for them at home against the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday (Thursday Manila time).

Source: philstar.com

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June Mar Fajardo ruled out of Gilas campaign in November window

October 19 —— JUNE Mar Fajardo’s throat injury rules him out not only from San Miguel’s campaign in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup eliminations but also from Gilas Pilipinas’ stint in the fourth window of the Fiba Basketball World Cup Asia qualifiers.

Fajardo is out for the next four weeks for San Miguel after undergoing surgery in his throat for an injury caused by an inadvertent elbow by Rain or Shine import Steve Taylor Jr. His recovery period also runs in the middle of Gilas Pilipinas’ final preparation for the November window of the Fiba qualifiers. Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes responded with an affirmative when asked if Fajardo will be out for the games against Jordan on November 10 and Saudi Arabia on November 13. Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) executive director and spokesperson Sonny Barrios also said Fajardo won’t make it in time for the fourth window. “He will still be out by November 10,” said Barrios.

Until the injury, Fajardo has been joining Gilas Pilipinas’ Monday practices in preparation for the fourth window as San Miguel was one of the three PBA teams that committed to make their players available for the two qualifying matches.

The injury derails Fajardo’s return to Gilas Pilipinas after seeing action in the 2021 Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi last May. Though he played for Gilas in Hanoi, the six-time PBA MVP hasn’t played in the ongoing Asia qualifiers leading up to the 2023 Fiba Basketball World Cup to be hosted by the Philippines. The 6-foot-10 Fajardo though is expected to be one of the prime candidates to join Gilas Pilipinas in the World Cup, his third if he earns the spot.

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.