Vietnam Airlines join sustainable aviation fuel club

Vietnam Airlines operated its first Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)-powered flight from Singapore to Hanoi on May 27, becoming the first Vietnamese airline to use alternative fuels. SAF is made from sustainably sourced renewable waste and residues such as used cooking oil and animal fat waste. It is a proven solution reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80% over the fuel’s life cycle, compared to using fossil jet fuel. Over the past time, the airline has carried out various measures to cut carbon dioxide emissions such as using new-generation aircraft, optimising its flight network, and keeping close tabs on fuel consumption and emissions. Thanks to the efforts, it was able to slash nearly 70,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2023, or 50% higher than the previous year.

DA extends cash aid to Northern Samar rice farmers

TACLOBAN CITY: The Department of Agriculture has extended cash assistance to more than 4,000 farmers in Northern Samar province under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund – Rice Farmers’ Financial Assistance (RCEF-RFFA) Program.

Recipients are farmers from 19 towns of Northern Samar, who got PHP5,000 each.

DA Eastern Visayas Regional Executive Director Andrew Orais said in an interview Wednesday the department held a distribution caravan of over PHP20 million cash aid in Northern Samar on May 15 to 17 and May 22-24, 2024.

Beneficiaries are from the towns of Catarman, Lope De Vega, San Jose, Bobo, Mapanas, – Gamay, Lapinig, Laoang, Capul, Biri, San Antonio, San Isidro, Victoria, Allen, Lavezares, Rosario, Mondragon, San Roque, Pambujan, and Las Navas.

‘We have been encouraging farmer recipients to put to good use the said support as they cope with rising production costs and sustain productivity,’ Orais said.

The RCEF-RFFA provides a PHP5,000 financial assistance to Registry System for Basic Sectors
in Agriculture-registered rice farmers tilling rice areas below two hectares.

This assistance is sourced from the additional funds received by the DA through the tariffs generated under Republic Act 11203, the Rice Tariffication Law.

The tariff automatically appropriates PHP5 billion for the provision of farm machinery and equipment, PHP3 billion for certified inbred seeds, PHP1 billion for credit, and PHP1 billion for training and extension, or a total of PHP10 billion.

The Rice Tariffication Law approved in February 2019 removed quantitative restrictions on rice imports and replaced them with a 35 percent import tariff.

Source: Philippines News Agency

LandBank, DSWD partner to deliver crisis aid

MANILA: Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) have signed an agreement for the faster delivery of financial relief to Filipinos affected by crisis.

In a statement on Wednesday, LandBank said the memorandum of agreement (MOA) signed on May 21, at the DSWD Central Office in Quezon City, aims to facilitate the efficient and timely delivery of financial relief to crisis-affected Filipinos especially those in remote areas.

LandBank said it will serve as the DSWD’s disbursement partner and will engage financial service providers to facilitate the payouts for the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program.

The set-up allows beneficiaries to seek and receive financial aid without the need to travel to DSWD regional offices.

The pilot implementation will cover beneficiaries in the National Capital Region, Cagayan, Central Luzon, and Calabarzon.

The AICS program supports the recovery of those suffering from unexpected life events or cr
ises by providing assistance for medical, burial, transportation, food, educational, financial or other essential needs.

‘Through our partnership, we look to ensure the swift and timely delivery of financial aid to vulnerable individuals and families suffering from unforeseen life events or crises, including those beneficiaries in far-flung areas,’ LandBank president and CEO Lynette Ortiz said.

Source: Philippines News Agency

DepEd Antique discourages money bouquets during graduation rite

SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA: Graduation and moving up ceremonies must be simple, even as parents are discouraged from giving money bouquets and garlands, said an official of the Department of Education Schools Division Office of Antique province on Wednesday.

‘As the 537 public elementary and secondary schools in Antique hold their graduation ceremonies starting today, the principals and school heads are reminded to keep their ceremonies as simple as possible,’ said Eric Cortejo, DepED Antique Schools Management Monitoring and Evaluation Education Program Specialist II in an interview.

He said the same reminder goes to the 69 private schools in Antique also having graduation ceremonies.

‘Parents, if possible, are also being told to refrain from giving their children money garlands or bouquets to their graduating children,’ he said.

Simplicity is encouraged even if graduation and recognition ceremonies are forms of celebration after all the sacrifices parents had to endure in sending their children to school, h
e added.

Cortejo made this request after he observed parents giving money bouquets and garlands to their children during a recognition ceremony on Wednesday.

He said that not all can afford to do the same, so it would be better if parents refrain from doing it to avoid any issues.

Cortejo added that schools are advised not to have special numbers that will entail learners to spend on expensive or extravagant costumes.

Contributions for food, stage decorations, and other expenses during the graduation are also not allowed except if these are made voluntarily by parents.

Around 35,278 learners from Grade 12, Grade 10, and Grade 6 are joining the completion and moving up ceremonies this school year 2023-2024.

Source: Philippines News Agency

China threat vs. ‘trespassers’ an escalation of WPS tensions -Marcos

MANILA: President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. once again sounded the alarm over China’s new policy to detain alleged ‘trespassers’ in the South China Sea, including those overlapping in the West Philippine Sea (WPS), saying that the move was ‘an escalation’ of tensions in the disputed area.

In a press briefing with members of the media on the sidelines of his state visit to Brunei on Wednesday, Marcos described China’s threat as a worrisome development.

‘The new policy of threatening to detain our own citizens, that is different. That is an escalation of the situation. So, yes, it is now very worrisome,’ Marcos said.

The President made the remarks when asked to react on China’s four-month fishing ban in the South China Sea, including parts of the WPS.

He said China’s self-imposed fishing ban is ‘just an extension of their claim.”

In a media interview last May 19, Marcos called China’s policy against perceived “trespassers” as “unacceptable,” and vowed that the Philippines will take “whatever measures” to pro
tect Filipinos.

China reportedly empowered its own Coast Guard to detain for up to 60 days without trial foreign trespassers who will cross what it claims are its borders.

This followed the successful conduct of the Atin To Coalition civilian convoy to Scarborough Shoal.

The WPS is part of the vast South China Sea, which Beijing claims entirely as its own.

However, in 2016, the Philippines won a landmark international arbitration case against China, invalidating its ambitious claim over South China Sea- a ruling that Beijing vehemently disregarded.

Ensuring peace

Despite China’s continued aggression in the WPS that includes the use of water cannons, military-grade laser and barriers, the Philippines, Marcos said, is exhausting all remedies to peacefully resolve the issue.

He said there are some sort of a middle ground with China to ensure peace and stability in the area.

‘Yes, of course, there are,’ Marcos said when asked if there are meetings or backchannel efforts to resolve WPS issues.

‘I’ve said
it many times. You should try everything. You don’t know what effort is going to be successful. So, as any point of contact that I can establish, I will use it. And at every level, at the leaders’ level, at the ministerial, sub-ministerial, private.’

‘As long as it gives us, brings us progress in terms of resolving these [issues]. And you know, first of all, number one, to stop the aggressive actions such as water-cannoning and lasers and barrier putting etcetera. And secondly, allowing our fishermen to fish. Let’s start with that,’ he said.

Source: Philippines News Agency

Inflation-hit residents in Dinagat Island get DSWD cash aid

BUTUAN CITY: At least 414 residents from seven towns in Dinagat Islands benefited through a PHP1.2 million payout under the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program on Wednesday afternoon.

Each beneficiary, currently experiencing financial difficulties due to high inflation, received PHP3,000 in cash assistance.

“The AICS assistance will provide our residents the immediate relief from financial burdens and difficulties due to inflation,” Governor Nilo Demerey, Jr. said in a message to the Philippine News Agency on Wednesday.

Demerey said the beneficiaries are expected to use the support to purchase food, clothing, and other basic necessities for their families.

Marven Ponce, a beneficiary from Barangay Sering, Basilisa town, acknowledged the DSWD and the provincial government for the help.

“The needs of my family are ensured with the AICS assistance as we experience difficulties now,” Ponce said in the vernacular in an interview on

Another beneficiary, Hazel Homoc of Barangay Santiago, Loreto town, described the government’s AICS assistance as “timely,” as her family needs immediate intervention.

Demerey said the provincial government, in partnership with the concerned agencies, will continue providing immediate assistance to the people of the island province.

Source: Philippines News Agency