US to compensate Philippines for coral reef damage

Manila - The US will pay the Philippines 87 million pesos (USD 1.9 million) for damage caused by a US Navy minesweeper that ran aground on a protected coral reef last year, an official said today.

Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario told a legislative hearing that the US had agreed to pay the compensation.

The minesweeper USS Guardian ran aground in the Tubbataha National Marine Park in January last year and was removed two months later after being dismantled and lifted piece by piece by a crane to prevent more damage to the reef.

Golfer Thaworn ready for World Manila Masters

Thaworn-WiratchantManila, Nov 10 : Reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit champion Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand is ready to put up a commanding performance at next week's inaugural Resorts World Manila Masters.

Thaworn, who sealed his 16th unprecedented Asian Tour title in Chinese Taipei in September, will be up against a strong line-up expected to ignite fireworks at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club from Nov 14-17.

Takehiko Nakao elected ADB president

Takehiko-NakaoManila, April 26 : The Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced Friday that Takehiko Nakao has been unanimously elected as president by its Board of Governors.

Nakao, 57, is Japan's former vice minister of finance for international affairs. He will assume office as the Manila-based lender's ninth president April 28, reported Xinhua.

He will finish the unexpired term of his predecessor Haruhiko Kuroda which ends Nov 23, 2016. Kuroda resigned as ADB president in March following his nomination as governor of the Bank of Japan.

Philippines earn AFC Challenge Cup spot

AFC-Challenge-CupManila, March 27 : The Philippines defeated Turkmenistan 1-0 to earn a spot in next year's Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup in the Maldives.

The country's most popular footballer Phil Younghusband scored in the 67th minute with a right-footed shot as the home side secured the top spot in Group E of the qualifiers by winning all three matches, reports Xinhua.

The Philippines earned their second straight appearance in the Challenge Cup alongside Turkmenistan, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Palestine, Bangladesh and host Maldives.

QBE planning to offshore 700 jobs to the Philippines

QBE planning to offshore 700 jobs to the PhilippinesInsurance sector, QBE might be planning to offshore several hundreds of jobs as parts of its plans to simplify and standardise its operations and maintain a competitive position in the market.

According to the Finance Sector Union (FSU), the insurance company might offshore 700 jobs from New South Wales to the Philippines.  The offshoring will include 46 workers compensation claims officers from the country. Some suggest that the predictions from the FSU are not correct and the offshoring would be much smaller.

Nine killed in Philippine shooting spree

s/shooting-rampagManila, Jan 4 : At least nine people, including two children, were killed and 11 others injured when a man went on a shooting rampage in a Philippine village, police said Friday.

Police identified the suspect as Ronald Bae who shot his neighbours in Tabon 1 village in Cavite province, Xinhua reported.

The victims included the shooter's granddaughter, said a senior police official.

Google launches its Google Free Zone pilot program in Philippines

Google launches its Google Free Zone pilot program in PhilippinesOn Thursday, Internet search giant Google launched its new Google Free Zone pilot program in Manila, the Philippines, to enable the users of even the most basic of Internet-capable handsets to gain access to some of the smartphone-like functions.

Nokia launches four new handsets in the Philippines

Nokia launches four new handsets in the PhilippinesHandset major, Nokia has announced the launch of its four new mobile handsets including the Nokia 700 and Nokia 701 smartphones, the Nokia 500 and Nokia 101 in the Philippines.

The Nokia 700 and Nokia 701 smartphones are powered by the company’s latest Symbian Belle OS and offers various innovating functionality. The new OS powered both devices with single-tap NFC Technology sharing and pairing. The company also offers a personal user interface as well as a more powerful mobile Web browsing.

PH remains free from bird flu — DoH

avian-influenzaThe Philippines continues to keep itself devoid of the Avian Influenza or Bird Flu as the health authorities have made their security measures stronger against the possible entry of the virus through air and sea ports.

The Task Force on Avian Influenza has been re-activated by the Department of Health (DoH). The Force consists of experts from the Bureau of Quarantine, Department of Agriculture, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and also the Philippine Coast Guard.

Philippines drenched by tropical storm Conson was downgraded to a tropical storm late Tuesday after making landfall in the Philippines, Weather forecasters have said.

According to forecasters, the storm still has sustained top winds of 59 mph and is generating heavy rains capable of causing flash floods and landslides as it plows across Central and Southern Luzon during the night.

The center of Conson was near Infanta, Quezon, Tuesday and moving west toward Luzon, The Philippine Daily Inquirer has said.

Philippines Elections on its way

Philippines Elections on its wayIt's the result time after three months of election campaign at Philippines. The results for national and local elections are to be out today. The voters have already decided who is going to be the president, vice-president. The other 17,000 positions have also been sealed in the poll box.

Philippines have implemented the electronic voting machines for first time in the country. The people and the politicians are eagerly waiting to know the results. There are two main contenders for the presidents are Benigno Aquino and Joseph Estrada.

Troubled Philippine vote preceded by Violence

Troubled Philippine vote preceded by ViolenceObservers have said that violence flared prior to Monday's national election in the Philippines, as officials considered delaying it because of voting system problems.

The New York Times has reported that an explosion in a southern village killed one person and injured three, and five other persons died in election-related incidents in two other provinces.

The newspaper further reported that the country's Commission on Elections said it would put nine areas of the country under its direct control.

80 years old widow of former Philippine dictator to run for Parliament

80 years old widow of former Philippine dictator to run for ParliamentWidow of longtime Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Imelda Marcos, has announced another run for elective office at the age of 80.

The Daily Telegraph has reported that Marcos plans to run for a seat in the lower house of Parliament, joining a field of 18,000 candidates for 287 seats. One of her goals for re-entering politics is to restore her late husband to the honor he deserves, she said.

A strong earthquake of 6.0-magnitude hit Philippines

A strong earthquake of 6.0-magnitude hit PhilippinesOfficials have informed that a 6.0-magnitude earthquake rattled Manila and nearby areas in the northern Philippines on Thursday.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer has reported that no reports of damage had been received several hours after the quake. Buildings on Lubang Island in Mindoro, near the epicenter, were still being inspected, said Glenn Rabonza, executive director of the Natural Disaster Coordinating Council.

The quake struck at 1:29 p. m. local time, the U. S. Geological Survey had earlier reported. 80 miles southwest of Manila was the epicenter of earthquake.

Militant attack kills at least 11 in Philippines

Militant attack kills at least 11 in PhilippinesAuthorities in the Philippines said that at least 11 people have been killed in an attack on a village in Mindanao that may have been work of a militant group.

Military officials said on Sunday that at least three of the victims in the Saturday attack were children. The New York Times reported on Sunday that Lt. Steffani Cacho, a spokeswoman for the army, said the attack might have been an act of retaliation by Abu Sayyaf, following the killing and arrest of some members of the group in police and military operations during the past two weeks.

Four dead, 21 missing in new Philippine ferry sinking

Four dead, 21 missing in new Philippine ferry sinkingManila, Dec 27 - At least four people were killed and 21 missing in a new passenger ferry sinking in the Philippines, the coast guard and Red Cross said Sunday.

The MV Baleno 9 sank late Saturday off Batangas City, 85 km south of Manila. Nearby ships rescued 63 people from the water, the coast guard said.

The accident occurred just days after a wooden-hulled passenger ferry collided with a fishing boat and sank off Cavite province on Christmas Eve, leaving three people dead and 24 missing.

Thousands spend Christmas away from home and rumbling volcano

Thousands spend Christmas away from home and rumbling volcano  Manila, Dec 25 : Nearly 50,000 people Friday celebrated Christmas in cramped evacuation centres amid persistent rumblings of a volcano in the eastern Philippines.

The evacuees were given food packages by the government and non-government organisations to celebrate the holiday away from home and the restive Mayon Volcano in Albay province, 360 km south-east of Manila.

Philippine passenger vessel sinks

Philippine passenger vessel sinksManila, Dec 24 - At least 27 people were missing as a wooden-hulled passenger vessel sank Thursday in the Philippines after colliding with a fishing boat, the coast guard said.

Forty-six people were rescued from the waters around Limbones Island off Cavite province, just south of Manila, where the accident took place before dawn.

The coast guard said the MV Catalyn B was carrying 14 crew members and 59 passengers when it left Manila on Wednesday evening for Lubang Island, 150 km southwest of the capital. (dpa)

ADB upgrades forecast for Asia, predicts India growth at 7 percent

ADB upgrades forecast for Asia, predicts India growth at 7 percentManila, Dec 15 - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said Tuesday it has upgraded its economic growth forecast for developing countries in Asia due to the better-than-expected performance of many economies in the region, with India projected to grow seven percent this year and next year.

The bank also increased its economic growth forecast for South Asia to 6.4 percent in 2009 and 2010.

Two killed, 31 escape in jailbreak in Philippines

Two killed, 31 escape in jailbreak in PhilippinesManila, Dec 13 - Suspected Muslim rebels Sunday attacked a jail in the southern Philippines, freeing 31 prisoners in a pre-dawn raid that left two people dead, officials said.

The escaped detainees included Muslim separatist rebels accused of beheading 10 of 14 Marines killed in an ambush in July 2007.

About 30 gunmen broke the concrete wall of the jail in Sumagdang district in Isabela City, Basilan province, 900 km south of Manila, before dawn Sunday.

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