3 weather systems to dampen most of PH

The trough of a low-pressure area (LPA), the shear line affecting the eastern section of the Visayas, and the northeast monsoon or ‘amihan’ affecting Luzon will continue to bring scattered rains or isolated rain showers across the country, the weather bureau said Saturday.

In its 4 a.m. bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the LPA was last spotted at 605 km. east of Guiuan, Eastern Samar.

The trough of the LPA and the shear line will bring scattered rain showers and thunderstorms over the Visayas, Northern Mindanao, Caraga, and Davao Region, it said.

On the other hand, the northeast monsoon will bring cloudy skies with light rains over Cagayan Valley, Apayao, and the Bicol Region.

Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated light rains, also due to the northeast monsoon.

Meanwhile, the rest of Mindanao will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms d
ue to localized thunderstorms, PAGASA said.

Strong winds and rough seas will be felt over Luzon and the eastern sections of the Visayas and Mindanao, while the rest of the archipelago will experience light to moderate wind speeds and slight to moderate seas.

The temperature in Metro Manila will range from 23°C to 32°C; Baguio City, 15°C to 25°C; Laoag City, 25°C to 33°C; Legazpi City, 25°C to 31°C; Metro Cebu, 25°C to 30°C; Puerto Princesa City, 26°C to 32°C; and Metro Davao, 25°C to 31°C.

Source: Philippines News Agency

P300-M farm machinery from Japan to boost PH sugar production

The sugar industry sees a boost in production with the support of 800 million yen (about PHP300 million) worth of farm machinery donated by the Japanese government for the benefit small sugarcane farmers in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

The donation, which is under the Japan Non-Project Grant Aid, was received by Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. and Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) Administrator Pablo Luis Azcona from the Embassy of Japan’s Agriculture Attaché Jumpei Tachikawa, during the ceremonial turnover held at the SRA office grounds here on Saturday.

‘I’m glad to see the SRA steer the sugarcane industry in the right direction with its productivity programs, but there is more to do beyond immediate concerns here in Negros. We look forward to the programs and collaborations such as this that allow us to tackle the challenges head-on,’ Laurel said.

The donated farm machinery included 80 tractors (641.52 million yen), 48 sugar planters (38.32 million yen), five power harrows (11.04 mil
lion yen), and 48 lateral flail mowers (108.96 million yen).

‘I’d like to express my gratitude to Mr. Jumpei Tachikawa, the first secretary and agriculture attaché at the Japanese Embassy, who has been instrumental in the success of this program,’ Laurel said, adding that ‘modernizing Philippine agriculture is key to meeting the President’s (Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.) and the public’s expectations of more affordable and accessible food items.’

Laurel said the Philippines’ partnership with the Japanese government helps the national government address such concerns through modernization and mechanization.

‘Our two nations are bound by common interests. Our trading partnership, which brings greater prosperity and opportunity to citizens of both our countries, has grown dramatically in recent years,’ he added.

Azcona said the donation of the Japanese government is a ‘very generous gift’ to the sugar industry.

‘This is a big help since we are moving forward to be globally competitive. The farmers need to go mec
hanized,’ he said.

Most of the 80 tractors will be turned over to sugarcane areas in the Visayas, mainly in Negros Occidental, the country’s top sugar-producing province.

The tractors and other farm equipment will be consigned to farmer-cooperatives for a fee that is proportional to the cost of maintenance and upkeep.

Sugarcane planter Exequiel Marañon of the Sagay City-based Option Multi-Purpose Cooperative, one of the beneficiaries, said the tractors would benefit small farmers, or those tilling farms five hectares and below, during land preparation.

‘It will decrease the cost of land preparation since some mill district development councils plan to reduce the rental of tractors by 40 to 50 percent. With this, we hope that we can have a very good production by next year,’ he added.

Source: Philippines News Agency

PBBM: APEC must step up efforts vs. poverty, inequality

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) members must intensify their efforts to create more jobs and address poverty and inequality in the region, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said on Saturday (PH time).

In his response to the recorded interview with the APEC secretariat on the last day of the three-day summit in San Francisco, California, Marcos said the Philippines remains a committed partner of the regional bloc and will continue to contribute to the region’s agenda.

‘This year’s agenda has appropriately focused on the cross-cutting themes of sustainability, inclusivity, and resilience. It is assuring that APEC economies are cooperating to utilize policy tools at our disposal,’ Marcos said.

‘We need to accelerate efforts to address structural and policy issues with the view of enabling rapid economic recovery and growth in a sustained manner that creates jobs, draws people into the mainstream economy, and reduces poverty and inequality,’ he added.

Marcos emphasized that APEC remains one of t
he prime platforms of the Philippines to engage with economies in the Asia-Pacific region.

He said the Philippines has the tools, platforms, and mechanisms in APEC to address present and future challenges.

‘In line with the APEC Putrajaya Vision of 2040, our ultimate goal is to achieve a peaceful, prosperous Asia-Pacific region where we live, and where the benefits accrue to Filipinos,’ he said.

‘As member economies of APEC, we have a responsibility to continue nurturing this potential and respond to immediate and imminent challenges.’

Marcos said he and his fellow APEC leaders had a discussion on how the Philippines can achieve food and energy security, as well as the economic inclusion and participation of micro, small and medium enterprises in the digital economy.

He discussed with member economies the bid for full digitalization, including the opportunities and challenges it could bring to workforces and the economic empowerment of women, indigenous people and other sectors whose economic potential r
emains to be unlocked.

The APEC members, Marcos said, also touched on efforts on sustainable development and addressing climate change.

To achieve the Philippine government’s economic objectives, Marcos stressed the importance of leveraging APEC’s core strengths and values in the Asia-Pacific.

Marcos said the regional bloc should also enhance its long-running partnership with the private sector and be in lockstep with the APEC Business Advisory Council.

Source: Philippines News Agency

San Beda survives Jose Rizal to boost NCAA semifinal bid

San Beda University defeated Jose Rizal University, 74-69, to remain in the hunt for a semifinal berth in the NCAA Season 99 men’s basketball tournament at Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City on Saturday.

Yukien Andrada scored 14 of his 18 points in the second half to lead the Red Lions, who notched their second straight win and 10th victory overall in 16 outings.

San Beda gained a share of third place with College of Saint Benilde.

Twelve of Andrada’s points were from the three-point line.

Jomel Puno also contributed 13 points and eight rebounds; Jacob Cortez chipped in 12 points, four rebounds and four assists; and James Payosing added 12 points and 11 rebounds.

The Heavy Bombers slid to fourth after suffering their seventh loss against 10 wins.

JL Delos Santos and Shawn Argente led Jose Rizal with 15 points each, while Joshua Guiab and Ry Dela Rosa contributed 10 points apiece.

Mapua University (14-3) and Lyceum (12-4) are already in the Final Four, with the former already assured of the twice-t
o-beat incentive.

Source: Philippines News Agency

Bacojo, Arca hurdle round 5 in world youth chess tourney

Filipino FIDE Masters Mark Jay Bacojo and Christian Gian Karlo Arca won their fifth-round matches at the FIDE World Youth Chess Championships at Pala Dean Martin Centro Congressi in Montesilvano, Italy Friday.

Bacojo stunned French International Master Timothe Razafindratsima in 26 moves of the Sicilian Defense, Alapin Variation to claim his fourth victory against one loss.

He jumped to sixth place from 13th in the Boys’ Under-18 and will face Russian Grandmaster Volodar Murzin in the next round.

Arca also moved to sixth place from 19th in the Boys’ U-14 following his victory over Uzbekistan’s Miraziz Kuziev in 60 moves of the London System Opening, Jobava Variation.

Arca, who now has 4.0 points (3 wins, 2 draws), will next meet Norwegian Isak Vinh Brattgjerd.

In the Girls’ U-18, Woman National Master Franchesca Largo settled for a draw with Polish WFM Martyna Starosta after 107 moves of the Slav Defense and climbed to 10th from 17th place.

Largo, who has earned 3.5 points (3 wins, 1 draw, 1 loss), wil
l take on Moldovian WFM Ana Petricenco in the sixth round.

In the Girls’ U1-4 category, Woman National Master Bonjoure Fille Suyamin beat Czech Republic’s Amalie Zadrapova in 58 moves of the King’s Indian Defense to notch her third win. Her next opponent is Mexican Guadalupe Montano Vicente.

Jirah Floravie Cutiyog drew with Norwegian Oda Kofoed Skramstad in 74 moves of the King’s Indian Defense to also earn 3.0 points. She will face American Jolie Huang in the next round.

Anica Shey, who trounced Moldovian Ecaterina Comarnitcaia to earn 2.5 points, will tackle Romanian Alexia Andries while Maureinn Lepaopao, who has one point, will battle Austrian Lena Antenreiter.

In the Girls’ U-16 class, Woman National Master Kaye Lalaine Regidor defeated American Rowan Soraya Field to gain 3.0 points. She will square off with Romanian Woman Candidate Master Lia-Alexandra Maria in the next round.

In other results, Mark Gabriel Usman downed Havir Adhya of Portugal and Charly Jhon Yamson lost to Swiss Lionel Gut in the
Boys’ U-14, while National Master Oscar Joseph Cantela bowed to American Rohan Padhye in the Boys’ U-16 class. All three Filipinos have 2.0 points.

In the sixth round, Usman will face Swedish Melvin Ral Lustig; Yamson will meet Georgian Giorgi Chanturia; and Cantela will take on Swedish FM Adrian Soderstrom.

Meanwhile, Mongolian GM Bayarsaikhan Gundavaa scored 9.0 points to rule the side event Blitz competition.

Bacojo and Arca tied for 5th to 10th places with Oleksandr Vasnynda (Ukraine), IM Davit Zarkua (Georgia), FM Filip Magold (Norway) and GM Ognjen Cvitan (Croatia).

The Philippine team, coached by Arena Grandmaster Marlon Bernardino Jr., Woman FIDE Master Shania Mae Mendoza and Ederwin Estavillo, is supported by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation.

Source: Philippines News Agency

DTI explores AI power to transform Philippine economy

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Alfredo Pascual met with the Silicon Valley Technology companies and investors to discuss potential partnerships in harnessing artificial intelligence (AI) technology, particularly in upskilling Filipino workers.

During the meeting on Nov. 15, Pascual chief highlighted programs and initiatives undertaken by the Philippine government to support the advancement of AI technology.

‘Fostering a future-ready workforce is a collaborative effort that should be undertaken by both public and private stakeholders. Since these digitalization efforts demand a shared responsibility, it is imperative that an alliance be formed that capitalizes on the strengths of both sectors. As the government employs a whole-of-society approach, we urge our partners from the local and global industry to work with us in ensuring an inclusive economic development,’ Pascual said in a news release on Saturday.

He presented the Philippines’ implementati
on of the AI roadmap, which is expected to drive innovation, create new products and upskill the country’s workforce.

He emphasized that the country’s AI policies and technologies will augment labor rather than replace it, leading to increased hiring and the emergence of new tasks.

Further, Pascual stressed that AI has the potential to promote inclusive, resilient, and sustainable industrial development in the Philippines.

Pascual also reported that the Philippines is positioning itself as a “Center of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence,” with over 50 tech startups using AI and 83 percent of Southeast Asian countries actively developing AI strategies.

In addition, he emphasized that the country’s National AI Strategy is focused on improving the lives of the population, boosting enterprise productivity, and enhancing economic competitiveness.

The DTI chief presented four strategic dimensions for the implementation of this National AI strategy — digitalization and infrastructure; workforce developmen
t; regulation; and research and development (R and D).

The strategies are expected to drive the country’s robust economic growth and expansion as they will enable industries to keep up with the demands of the fast-changing technology.

Further, he cited that this strategy is aimed at maintaining local industries’ regional and global competitiveness, identifying key areas for investment in R and D and technology, R and D collaboration, preparing the workforce for emerging jobs, and attracting major industries to create jobs in the Philippines.

The roundtable meeting was co-organized by the DTI with Thomas Pompidou, David DeWalt of NightDragon, and Manny Maceda of Bain and Company.

Source: Philippines News Agency