Good news! The newest Iconic Bridge in PH donated by China to open this week! Directly connecting 400-year old Intramuros with Binondo, the world's oldest Chinatown. This is the second bridge donated and already delivered by China worth over 5 billion pesos, generating jobs and livelihood for countless Filipinos and helping speed up PH recovery and progress! Share more positive news!

With global developments such as the Russia-Ukraine Crisis, the Indonesian coal export ban, and the Malampaya gas field depletion, the energy sector is struggling to keep afloat. Mix in the monopolistic nature of the Philippine Distribution Utilities, and there’s a recipe for disaster.

The Pandesal Forum was an opportunity for heavyweights in the government and the energy sector to discuss the problems of Philippine power.

IN the early hours of February 24, the Russian military launched an offensive against Ukraine and started the worst military conflict in Europe since the end of World War 2. The war is one of the most anticipated, and yet it is also one of the most unexpected at the same time.

Pre-pandemic, the country's state of education was already beset with a multitude of issues and concerns such as overcrowded classrooms, unattractive compensation packages for educators and poor public education infrastructure quality. As a further indication of the state of our education, the Philippines ranked lowest out of 79 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) Program for International Student Assessment in 2018.

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only claimed the lives of so many Filipinos but also taken away work and earning opportunities for many willing and able workers due to forced closures brought about by periodic lockdowns. In August 2021, the unemployment rate rose to 8.1% or equivalent to about 3.9 million jobless Filipinos as the country went back to implementing harsh lockdowns due to the rapid transmission of the Delta variant.

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdowns across many parts of the Philippines exacerbated poverty levels in the country as poverty incidence in 2020 rose to 20% of the population or equivalent to about 22 million poor Filipinos (from pre-pandemic figures of about 17.7 million in 2018). The loss of jobs by over 8.7 million Filipinos in April 2020 is also considered a major contributing factor to the sharp increase in poverty incidence. Based on studies by the Philippine Disaster and Resilience Foundation, about 70% of businesses were forced to closed due to the implemented restrictions.

MUCH has been done at the feet of political campaigns. In order to win, branding and positioning are tools of the craft that have often used to capture the imagination of the voters. The 2016 elections taught us why authenticity was important because with it, candidates became close to the voters by being themselves; less luster and brilliance but appearing or sounding like voters gave candidates the chance to open the door and leave it ajar as the campaign progressed. Problems have croppped up when candidates positioned themselves according to some preconceived packaging so that the brand could shine or be made better. But fitting it to the candidate is the challenge. That is why some would rather be presented as is with less retouching and just plain persona. That is one of the strategies of PRRD that will have an influence in May 2022: who is authentic?

In their October 16 press release, The Social Security System (SSS) has approved over P1.923 billion loans under its enhanced Pension Loan Program (PLP) from January to August 2021, benefitting 43,424 retirement pensioners. Read the full press release here:

THERE is a difference between being good and being the best, and the Nobel Prize has been arguably the most prestigious award in the world. Meant to be for "those who, during the preceding year, have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind," according to Alfred Nobel's will, it has been tarnishing its reputation in the Peace Prize category to the extent that it is increasingly looked down on by much of the world.