MTVN’s top stories in the past 24 hrs…

MTVN’s top stories in the past 24 hrs…

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, millions of Filipinos depend on government dole outs or “ayudas”

Result of the latest survey from the Social Weather Station was very much expected and understandable.

It said that majority of the Filipinos or 62 percent out of the 1,500 or so individuals interviewed claimed to have “felt their life worsened, while only 14 percent were convinced that their life got better this year.”

That’s understandable.

We simply have to charge it to the coronavirus pandemic, which, in the Philippines and the world over, displaced millions of jobs and business opportunities.

And that’s understandably understandable and to that effect, and perhaps, so as not to paint a grim picture for the coming Year of the Ox, Malacanang gave out right away an assurance that lives of Filipinos will improve in 2021.

Here it goes along with other MTVN’s choice cuts of news in the past 24 hours:

Compiled by Fitzgerald Cecilio

Palace assures Filipinos of improved lives in 2021

MANILA – Malacañang expressed confidence on Wednesday that Filipinos’ lives will improve in 2021, despite the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis that ravaged the Philippine economy.

In a press statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the government’s “Ingat Buhay para sa Hanapbuhay (Protect Life for Livelihood)” campaign would help reboot the country’s economy and allow Filipinos to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Ingat buhay para sa hanapbuhay (Protect life for livelihood) will continue to be our direction in 2021 with the opening of more industries to revitalize our economy and stimulate growth for the betterment of the lives of our people next year and beyond,” Roque said.

Roque’s statement came after the Nov. 21 to 25 survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) found that many Filipinos believe their quality of life got worse in the past 12 months.

The SWS poll revealed that 62 percent of Filipinos felt their life worsened, while only 14 percent were convinced that their life got better this year.

DA-PhilRice produces PH’s 1st high temp-tolerant rice varieties

The Philippines will soon have a rice that can withstand heat after the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice) announced that it is set to release the first high temperature-tolerant rice varieties following its approval from the National Cooperative Test (NCT).

The new rice varieties, which will be named NSIC Rc 600 and Rc 602, will be approved and registered by the National Seed Industry Council for commercial use.

Dr. Norvie Manigbas and Dr. Nenita Desamero, the lead breeders of NSIC Rc 600 and Rc 602, respectively, said in a statement on Wednesday that the varieties are products of 10 years of breeding in response to the threat of less rice production due to the rising temperature.

Manigbas said studies show that the temperature in the country is increasing, and high temperature causes sterility in rice.

Studies have projected temperature in most parts of the country will be higher than 35 degrees Celsius in the next 25 years, and may reach up to 40 degrees Celsius in the next 50 years, he said.

“When the temperature hits 35 degrees Celsius and above, the fertility of rice plant starts to decrease. Thus, the need to develop high temperature-tolerant rice varieties,” the rice breeder said.

The team collaborated with Japan’s National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences as studying rice crop response to the elevated temperature needed for both conventional and high-end technologies.

14 city gov’t workers busted for partying, Sara issues warning

DAVAO CITY – Mayor Sara Duterte has issued a stern warning against City Hall employees who violate the prohibition on holding Christmas parties and the liquor ban, which are part of the city’s measures to stem the rising cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

“A stern warning and reminder to all offices not to conduct parties,” she said in a statement Tuesday evening after the apprehension of 14 employees of the Davao City Engineer’s Office who were caught drinking inside the Motor Pool compound in Barangay Maa that afternoon.

Mayor Sara reimposed the ban on the drinking and selling of liquor and other alcoholic beverages on November 2, which will last until December 31.

The city government has also banned Christmas parties and other non-essential gatherings and activities.

“Heads of offices should remind their personnel every day to give honor (by following protocols) to their fellow employees who are hard at work on the Covid-19 front lines,” she said.

Agri losses due to ‘Vicky’ climb to P129-M

MANILA – The Department of Agriculture (DA) has recorded a total of PHP129.76 million losses incurred due to Tropical Storm Vicky in various agricultural areas.

On Wednesday, DA announced the typhoon has affected 16,761 farmers and fisherfolk. At least 21,008 hectares of agricultural areas and 1,202 metric tons (MT) of production was lost.

“The affected commodities include rice, corn, high-value crops, livestock and fisheries in Cagayan Valley, Davao and Caraga regions. The increase in values is attributed to the additional reports from Davao and Caraga regions,” the DA said in its report.

The DA continues to provide appropriate interventions to the affected farmers to help them kick-off with their recovery.

Rice, corn, and vegetable seed reserves and drugs and biologics for livestock and poultry from DA Regional Field Offices are being distributed.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) have also been giving out fingerlings and fisheries paraphernalia.

5 nabbed in Zamboanga anti-drug ops

ZAMBOANGA CITY–A mechanic and four others were arrested while some PHP61,800 illegal drugs were seized in separate anti-drug operations in the region, an official said Wednesday.

Capt. Edwin Duco, Police Regional Office-9 (PRO-9) information officer, identified one of the suspects as 32-year-old Mark Frederick Bagaan. He was arrested in a buy-bust around 8 p.m. Tuesday in Barangay Tumaga here.

Duco said Bagaan yielded some PHP4,000 worth of suspected shabu and PHP500 marked money.

He identified the other suspects as Martin Joseph Coladilla, 31; Maria Kristabelle Pandih, 32; Michael Olbinar, 35; and Akmad Abubakar, 35.

Duco said Coladilla and Pandih were arrested in possession of some PHP50,000 worth of suspected shabu, a motorcycle, and PHP500 in a buy-bust around 10:20 p.m. Tuesday in Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte.

Olbinar yielded some PHP6,800 worth of suspected shabu and PHP1,000 marked money when arrested in a buy-bust around 2:50 p.m. Tuesday in Purok 2, Barangay Poblacion, Mahayag, Zamboanga del Sur.

BOI approvals nearly hit P1-T for 2020

MANILA – The Board of Investments (BOI) has approved PHP905 billion worth of projects as of December 18, Trade Undersecretary and BOI managing head Ceferino Rodolfo said Tuesday night.

In a media interview, Rodolfo said the Board of Directors of the investment promotion agency will have their last meeting for the year next week and is expected to add investment approvals before 2020 ends.

He added about PHP68 billion of projects were endorsed to the BOI for approval.

However, even with more investment approvals next week, total registered investments with the BOI fall short of its PHP1-trillion target for this year.

Last month, Trade Secretary and BOI chairman Ramon Lopez said the investment promotion agency eyes to close the year with PHP1-trillion investment approvals amid the challenging business and investment climate due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

Filipino mixed martial artist named Brave’s Fighter of the Year

MANILA – Filipino mixed martial arts star Rolando Dy has been named Fighter of the Year by Brave Combat Federation (CF) as announced on Wednesday.

 The Bahrain-based promotion awarded the 29-year-old fighter with the achievement after scoring two consecutive matches on short notice just as it resumed action amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

 Dy first stunned Maciek Gierszewski via a split decision at Brave CF 42 last September.

“I just showed in the fight last September that I am not a one-dimensional fighter. I was able to strike, grapple, take, and defend his best shots, and dictate the tempo from start to finish,” he recalled.

“They say I am only a striker. That fight only proved that I am a complete fighter.”

He then defeated 2019 Breakout Fighter of the Year John Brewin at Brave CF 44 through a unanimous decision.

Now fighting as a lightweight, Dy, the son of boxing legend Rolando Navarette, is in a position to challenge Amin Ayoub for his championship belt, and a victory would make Dy the second active Filipino Brave champ after bantamweight king Stephen Loman.

“Anytime, anywhere, I am ready to suit up and fight. Just give me the time and date. I promise you that I’ll be there,” he said. (AI/MTVN)

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