2nd group of Israeli, foreign hostages handed over to Red Cross

The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) said in a statement late Saturday that it had handed over the second group of Israeli and foreign hostages to the Red Cross.

A total of 17 hostages, including 13 Israelis and four Thais, have crossed into Egypt and are on their way to Israel, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) wrote in a post on its X account.

The 17 people are the second group of hostages to be sent back to Israel in exchange for Palestinian prisoners.

The exchange was scheduled to take place around 4 p.m. local time Saturday, but was delayed for several hours after Hamas accused Israel of failing to meet the terms in a four-day humanitarian cease-fire agreement, which was agreed upon by the two sides on Wednesday after more than six weeks of bloody conflict.

Source: Philippines News Agency

17K kids receive early Christmas gift from First Couple

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos brought joy to more than 17,000 children from select shelters and orphan care centers across the country during simultaneous gift-giving events on Sunday.

In a statement, MalacaƱang said the First Couple welcomed more than 1,000 children to the MalacaƱang grounds in Manila for the ‘Balik Sigla, Bigay Saya’ day.

Elsewhere in more than 250 locations nationwide, the gift distribution was organized through the partnership of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) with private support groups of President Marcos that included Jollibee and San Miguel Corporation.

There are 1,120 children in the National Capital Region (NCR) who received the early Christmas gifts; 449 in Cebu; 600 in Davao; and over 14,867 children in other satellite centers nationwide.

In his speech, the President recalled his fondest childhood Christmas memories.

‘Alam niyo noong kasing tanda ko lang kayo, maliit din ako noon, ‘yung tatay ko siya ang preside
nte rito. Kaya bawat Pasko, ganito ang aming ginagawa dito (You know when I was your age, I was also small then, my father was the president here. So every Christmas this is what we do here),’ Marcos said.

Marcos also thanked the guardians and the parents of the children, whom he said should be most loved as they are the future of the nation.

‘At alam naman natin — we all know that Christmas is really about the children. And we always have a merry Christmas when the children have a good Christmas. Na makita natin ang inyong mga ngiti, na kayo naman ay ‘pag sinabing merry Christmas ay may kabuluhan (We all know that Christmas is really about the children. And we always have a merry Christmas when the children have a good Christmas. That we can see your smiles, that you can say it’s a meaningful Christmas),’ Marcos said.

Source: Philippines News Agency

DSWD chief assures continued assistance to Mindanao quake victims

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian on Sunday led the provision of disaster assistance to displaced individuals affected by the 6.8 magnitude earthquake in the municipalities of Malapatan and Glan, Sarangani province.

Gatchalian assured the continued assistance to the victims during a meeting with local government officials led by Sarangani Governor Rogelio Pacquiao.

‘Napagkasunduan namin na hanggang sa kakailanganin ng mga local government unit ng suporta sa food packs, tuloy-tuloy yan (We have agreed that as long as the local government units need support in food packs, this will continue),’ the DSWD chief said.

He assured an unhampered delivery of aid through the department’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program while other provisions will be completed by the DSWD Field Office on or before Dec. 15.

Also at the meeting, officials discussed how the government could help those whose homes were destroyed during the Nov. 17 earthquake that hi
t several parts of Mindanao.

Aside from AICS, the agency would provide financial support through the Emergency Cash Transfer (ECT) program beginning January next year.

Following the meeting, Gatchalian led the distribution of AICS payout to 1,000 beneficiaries in the municipality of Malapatan and 600 beneficiaries in Glan.

Families with totally damaged houses received PHP10,000 each, while those with partially damaged houses were given PHP5,000 each.

Aside from financial assistance, the DSWD Field Office Soccsksargen (South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos City) distributed two family food packs and a kitchen kit to each of the beneficiaries.

To date, the agency has already provided more than PHP39 million worth of assistance to the affected families, consisting of more than PHP18 million worth of food and non-food items and more than PHP20 million in financial assistance in the Davao and Soccsksargen regions.

Source: Philippines News Agency

DSWD chief assures continued assistance to Mindanao quake victims

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian on Sunday led the provision of disaster assistance to displaced individuals affected by the 6.8 magnitude earthquake in the municipalities of Malapatan and Glan, Sarangani province.

Gatchalian assured the continued assistance to the victims during a meeting with local government officials led by Sarangani Governor Rogelio Pacquiao.

‘Napagkasunduan namin na hanggang sa kakailanganin ng mga local government unit ng suporta sa food packs, tuloy-tuloy yan (We have agreed that as long as the local government units need support in food packs, this will continue),’ the DSWD chief said.

He assured an unhampered delivery of aid through the department’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program while other provisions will be completed by the DSWD Field Office on or before Dec. 15.

Also at the meeting, officials discussed how the government could help those whose homes were destroyed during the Nov. 17 earthquake that hi
t several parts of Mindanao.

Aside from AICS, the agency would provide financial support through the Emergency Cash Transfer (ECT) program beginning January next year.

Following the meeting, Gatchalian led the distribution of AICS payout to 1,000 beneficiaries in the municipality of Malapatan and 600 beneficiaries in Glan.

Families with totally damaged houses received PHP10,000 each, while those with partially damaged houses were given PHP5,000 each.

Aside from financial assistance, the DSWD Field Office Soccsksargen (South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos City) distributed two family food packs and a kitchen kit to each of the beneficiaries.

To date, the agency has already provided more than PHP39 million worth of assistance to the affected families, consisting of more than PHP18 million worth of food and non-food items and more than PHP20 million in financial assistance in the Davao and Soccsksargen regions.

Source: Philippines News Agency

Australian Mileham, PH’s Burgos win Asia Duathlon titles

Australian Samuel Mileham topped the men’s elite category of the 2023 Asia Triathlon Duathlon Championships at New Clark City Sports Complex here Sunday.

The 25-year-old native of Perth finished the 10K (run)-40K (bike)-5K (run) race in 1 hour, 53 minutes and 7 seconds.

“I’m lucky to be given the opportunity to join this competition and I’m happy I won,” said the 6-foot-1 Mileham, who finished second behind Uzbekistan’s Ayan Beisenbayev during the 2022 edition of the tournament in Bahrain.

Bahrain’s Moussa Karich settled for the silver medal with a time of 1:54:49, improving on his fourth-place finish last year.

“This is my first tournament after my injury so I’m satisfied with my performance,” Karich said, referring to her previous back problem.

Mileham and Karich are setting their sights on the 2024 World Triathlon Multisport Championship scheduled Aug. 15 to 25 in Townsville, a coastal city in northeastern Queensland, Australia.

“Yes, it would be nice to win again,” Mileham, a duathlete for 13 years
now, said.

Mileham’s teammate, Matt Smith, grabbed the bronze medal in 1:55:19.

Cambodian Mickael Chaumond (1:55:37) and Japanese Fumiya Tanaka (1:55:47), ranked fourth and fifth, respectively.

Philippine team members Raymund Torio and John Chicano also made it to the top 10 of the tournament organized by the Triathlon Philippines (TriPhil) headed by Ramon Marchan.

Torio (1:56:05) placed sixth, while the two-time Southeast Asian Games champion Chicano (1:56:46) was 10th among 22 entries.

“I’m glad because God gave me the chance to be the No. 1 Filipino finisher in this race,” said the 35-year-old Torio, who was born and raised in Lingayen, Pangasinan.

Seyed Mohammad Hosseini (Iran) clocked 1:56:30 for seventh place, Saud Alzaabi (United Arab Emirates) was eighth in 1:56:36, and Edward Langdon (Australia) ninth in 1:56:37.

Meanwhile, the Philippines had a 1-2 finish in the women’s elite category.

Erika Burgos bagged the gold medal in 2:17:48 while Merry Joy Trupa took the silver in 2:18:55.

Indonesian
s Maharani Azhri Wahyuningtyas (2:21:30), Zahra Bulan (2:23:28), and Eva Desiana (2:24:25) placed third, fourth, and fifth, respectively.

Iranian Hadis Nasr Azadani (2:36:48) was sixth and Filipino Bea Quiambao (2:40:04) was seventh.

Source: Philippines News Agency