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Saturday, September 18, 2021

VSmart Launches New Features for SY 2021-2022


Wazzup Pilipinas!?

VSmart recently launched three new features that make VSmart, the company’s flagship product for education and technology, more relevant and responsive to the needs of school managers, teachers, and students in the new now of education. These new features—VSmart Digital Library, VSmart Analytics, VSmart Games—are solutions that further help schools to succeed in this era of flexible and hybrid learning. 

VSmart Digital Library is an online library where students and teachers can access e-books, learning resources, and lesson supplements. Students and teachers can simply log in and indulge in reading class modules, textbooks, children’s story books, and reference materials. VSmart Digital Library also gives teachers an opportunity to teach students how to search, analyze, and utilize digital resources which is a crucial skill for 21st-century learning.

VSmart Analytics helps users access and analyze data in a snap. School administrators can now view and analyze engagements between teachers and students in different subject areas. Teachers can now measure students’ progress per available competencies. Teachers can view overall screen time and activity logs of students, and track the overall class performance and learning progress. Students and parents can now monitor their learning progress.



VSmart Games takes VSmart users to a new level of gamified learning. Each game is age-appropriate to their intended players, and is anchored to the pedagogical skills that hone mastery in different subjects the game is linked to.

These new features will be available this school year 2021-2022 to all users of VSmart. Interested schools may email marketing@vibalgroup.com for a VSmart presentation and training.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Gordon says no country deserves Duterte's leadership


Wazzup Pilipinas!?

It's the 7th hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on the government's use of COVID-19 funds. Sen. Richard Gordon hits back at President Duterte: This is not an inquisition of sorts na pinapalabas ng Pangulo ng Pilipinas na binubully natin ang mga testigo. 

Gordon accuses Duterte of lawyering for officials involved in the alleged anomalies in the DOH's procurement.

Gordon also disputes Duterte claim that members of his Cabinet are not involved in corruption.

In refusing to be cowed by Duterte's remarks, Gordon recalls the President cursing at the Pope and ordering police and military to "kill, kill, kill". He also says that "nobody talks to [Duterte] in international conferences" due to his reputation.

Gordon calls Duterte "Attorney Duterte" for lawyering for Michael Yang for being investigated on the Pharmally deal. 

Gordon must not give up his quest for truth in the Pharmally scandal in terms of serving the common good. The law and jurisprudence is on his side. He must do so with fullness of courage, objectivity and political will. 

"Wala pa naman po kaming hinuhusga. TIla baga lumalabas natataranta ang Pangulo. Bakit kailangang kayo ang kailangang magtanggol, Mr. President?" 

Nung nagsimula ang Blue Ribbon binigwasan naman niyo po kami rito sa Senado. ''Wag kayong makinig diyan, walang mapapala diyan sa imbestigasyon na 'yan.' Bakit sa umpisa pa lang nagtatago na kayo?

Ayaw niyong pakinggan ng tao ang imbestigasyon ng COA, ayaw niyong pakinggan ng tao ang imbestigasyon ng Senado. Napapaso po ba kayo?

Kaya hindi sila makasagot, ang tagasagot nila ngayon si Atty. Duterte. Nag-aabogado po si Atty. Duterte ngayon, hindi na siya pangulo ng Pilipinas.

Nagtataka lang ang marami, bakit kayo ang nagtatanggol dito kay Lao na naging kasama niyo sa kampanya. Totoo, sinabi niyo may utang na loob kayo. Pero 'wag naman ho ang utang na loob ay hindi pinapalitan ang katiwalian.

Di niyo po ako mapipikon kasi ako totoo ang ginagawa ko. Iwas kayo ng iwas para sa mga tao niyong nagpapasasa.

No country deserves that kind of leadership. No country deserves your leadership. 

Mahirap kayong tangkilin Mr. President because you do not act like a president. Today, I tell you you are not a president the Filipino people can respect.

Nobody talks to you in international conferences because nauna 'yung reputation niyo na mapagmura, mapusok at talagang sinasabi niyo 'Kill, Kill, Kill.'

Tigilan na natin 'to, Mr. President. 'Wag niyo na ipagtanggol 'yan. Hayaan niyong matapos ito, payag na ko sabihin niyo walang overpricing. Sa pananaw niyong walang overpricing, I will say simple lang: may fraud, may waste, may abuse.

Huwag nang sagutin pa ni Senator Gordon si Duterte. He must stop answering Duterte. He must continue the inquiry in aid of legislation sa Pharmally for the sake of truth and in terms of passing a remedial legislation to reform further the Procurement Law for it to be a catalyst in furthering good governance. Kasi kapag sinasagot pa, what would be implied is yung mga atake pa ni Duterte against him is working. Kaya it is better na huwag nang sagutin so that the attacks will not work and para magmukhang ewan si Duterte sa kakabira sa kanya.




How Netizens Intervened the Media to Counteract its Standards of Feminine Beauty


Wazzup Pilipinas!?

People have been constantly adjusting to the changes since it has been more than a year since the Philippines has been in mandatory quarantines. These changes include new working and studying arrangements, purchasing habits, hobbies and interests, among others. Because of this, even the way people take care of themselves at home has shifted.
 
The pandemic has changed beauty standards in many ways, with some people incorporating so-called ‘life hacks’ to make self-care and maintenance easier for people. Other brands have had their products change their main ingredients to promote sustainability amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Popular Philippine dermatological company Belo Medical Group released an advertisement on August 11, aiming to promote self-care with their brand. The ad was presented with a woman watching the news on the couch, getting stressed out. The ad, dubbed as the Pandemic Effect, has since been taken down after attracting flak online. Netizens criticised the ad for being tone-deaf and insensitive despite being in a pandemic, and the hashtags #PandemicEffect and #BoycottBelo trended.


Body Shaming is Out. Body Positivity is In.
In the advertisement, the woman is seen to develop acne, gain weight, and grow ridiculously long body hair overtime in the ad. As the short film by GIGIL Advertising Group nears the end, it flashed a call-to-action, saying: "Tough times call for beautiful measures." This prompted responses from Filipino women encouraging each other to be comfortable in their skin despite all the negativity and challenges brought by the pandemic.
 
“The advertisement of The Belo Medical Group #PandemicEffect campaign just proved that social media users have a big impact on how a brand or entity should effectively communicate with its consumers. It is vital to track the sentiment of conversations, allowing the brand to take action before a bad experience goes viral,” Tina Laceda, Insights Analyst, Philippines, said.

Shocking Reality

Although negative response to this campaign was prominent, this study found out that some netizens did not find the ad offensive and insensitive. This group believed that Belo and GIGIL, somehow, managed to show the reality of life. They also noted that it helped raise awareness on certain issues concerning one’s health.

Looking into the response towards this ad, the reaction from the digital public was varied. However, despite the diversity in reactions, there will always be outliers that will pop out which can be highlighted to advance one’s communication objectives. This is why brands need to find the needle in the haystack by wading through their social buzz where valuable insights can be mined.
Note that having a lot of engagement on social media might seem like a success. However, a high volume of mentions is only a positive sign when it’s accompanied by positive sentiment. Given this, understanding your audience’s sentiment is important. How they feel about your brand provides you with the context necessary to evaluate your marketing and communications strategy.

“Sorry” as the Marketing Strategy
Companies hit by a crisis of misconduct typically issue a public apology to minimize reputational damage, negative word-of-mouth, and declining sales. Brands should be quick to apologize, whether it is for a social media gaffe or a much larger issue. However, the manner in how they do it is equally crucial.

Following the backlash, GIGIL released a short and simple apology, owning up to its mistake. Interestingly, this worked for GIGIL as netizens noted they see true remorse and a genuine willingness to improve moving forward.

At times, releasing a public apology may not be enough. Brands should go beyond their effort and understand how their message is perceived by the digital public. Apology efficacy varies according to the audience, brand, and message factors, hence exploring how consumers process a corporate apology on social media is vital in crisis communication.

“Marketing for any brand today has become all about staying relevant and updated. Keeping abreast of the latest trends in the digital sphere is important as it will help in designing purpose-driven campaigns that resonate with the target audience. To add, this will help brands stay ahead of the curve and capitalize on emerging trends even before they go mainstream.” Gladys Ruiz, Insights Analyst, Philippines commented.

NCR under Alert Level 4, Film and AV Shoot Allowed to Operate with Max of 50 People Onsite


Wazzup Pilipinas!?

Following the Inter-Agency Task Force’s (IATF) COVID-19 Alert Levels System, Metro Manila is currently placed under Alert Level 4 from September 16 until 30. The new quarantine scheme of granular lockdown aims to curb the COVID-19 cases while allowing economic activities.

Under the Alert Levels System, film and audiovisual production shoots are allowed to operate with a maximum of 50 persons at any time and are subject to the same restrictions and protocols of the DTI-DOLE-DOH Joint Administrative Order (JAO) No. 2021-0001.

Production activities are also reminded to follow strict implementation of Minimum Public Health Standards and avoidance of the three (3) Cs: 1.) Closed Spaces 2.) Crowded Places 3.) Close-Contact Settings.

“Despite the limitations caused by COVID-19 pandemic, we are still able to continue production under the community quarantine guidelines. With that in mind, we should always practice strict adherence to the safety protocols set by the government,” said Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño.

FDCP’s Safe Filming Program encourages all film and audiovisual productions to abide by the government’s prescribed safety and health protocols amid the pandemic. For more assistance with transitioning to the new normal, productions may register with the Safe Filming Program.

To know more about the safety and health protocols for production shoots and audiovisual activities in community quarantine areas, read the DTI-DOLE-DOH JAO 2021-0001 at http://bit.ly/OmnibusGuidelinesNFVPforCovid19 or visit www.safefilming.ph.

Seven Seas Splendor Commences Inaugural Season from Southampton, England


Wazzup Pilipinas!?


Regent Seven Seas Cruises began its first voyage in just under 18 months on 11 September, 2021, with new ship Seven Seas Splendor cruising from Southampton, England. Sailing with the cruise line’s enhanced SailSAFE Health and Safety Programme - which includes 100% vaccination of both guests and crew - the voyage is believed to be the first to carry international travellers on a United Kingdom cruise since the voluntary industry-wide pause in operations began in March 2020.

The cruise line has marked the occasion by creating a return to sailing video, featuring many of the beloved Seven Seas Splendor crew.

“This cruise represents yet another huge step forward as we return to luxury travel. I am so excited for our guests who have waited patiently, and for our crew and team members across our global offices who have worked so hard to get to this moment,” said Jason Montague, president and CEO, Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “The Regent family is finally reunited, and we are delighted to provide our guests with the unrivalled Regent experience with every luxury included, while sailing the world, once more.”

Helmed by Captain Diego Michelozzi, the inaugural sailing circles the United Kingdom with ports of call including Edinburgh, Scotland; Belfast, Northern Ireland; and Liverpool, England. The ship returns to Southampton on 22 September, cruising into the new Horizon Cruise terminal, before sailing a 14-night voyage to Barcelona, Spain visiting Bordeaux, France and Lisbon, Portugal, among other destinations. Seven Seas Splendor then spends October and November exploring the Mediterranean before crossing the Atlantic for a season in the Caribbean.

The next ship in The World’s Most Luxurious Fleet to resume sailing will be Seven Seas Explorer on 15 October, 2021, from Trieste, Italy. Seven Seas Mariner will resume sailing on 18 December, 2021, from Miami, Florida, as will Seven Seas Navigator on 6 January, 2022. Finally, Seven Seas Voyager will return on 15 February, 2022 from Barcelona, Spain.



International Luxury Travellers Enjoy an Unrivalled Experience Once Again

Luxury travellers from the United States, United Kingdom and Europe are on board Seven Seas Splendor’s inaugural sailing with a number of them being loyal Seven Seas Society members, including Commodores, guests who have sailed with Regent Seven Seas Cruises for over 2,000 nights.


Multi-Layered SailSAFE Health & Safety Program

During its voluntary suspension of sailings, Regent Seven Seas Cruises built upon its existing comprehensive health and safety protocols by establishing the SailSAFE health and safety program, a robust and science-backed strategy that creates multiple layers of protection against COVID-19. The programme was developed with guidance from a team of public health and scientific experts including the SailSAFE Global Health and Wellness Council.

By visiting RSSC.com/HealthSafetyProtocols, guests and travel partners can see an overview of current requirements to sail - such as all guests and crew being fully vaccinated at least two weeks prior to departure - which the cruise line believes will provide a uniquely safe and healthy cruise experience. These and other requirements will be in place until a time when the protocols can be confidently adjusted, and Regent will constantly monitor the global health environment to protect the safety and security of guests, crew and communities visited.

For more information, please visit RSSC.com, call Singapore 800-616-7097 / Hong Kong and rest of Asia +852 2165 6020 or contact a professional travel advisor.


It’s 100 Days ‘til Christmas and it’s all about caring and giving at SM Supermalls




Wazzup Pilipinas!

The past years have always had us counting down to the most wonderful time of the year when the ‘ber’ months roll in; Christmas carols fill the air, dazzling tree lights dot the streets, shopping for gifts becomes a sport, and everyone else goes on a diet to make way for Christmas feasts.

This year may not be as festive as previous years, but it will most certainly be more meaningful. SM showed us the most uplifting way to best celebrate the season with “100 Days of Caring”; featuring 100 days of spreading love, thoughtfulness, and care for one another and for the communities surrounding our favorite SM malls. The virtual event showcasing the pledges happened Thursday, Sept 16, 2021 over FB Live and WatchSM on YouTube.



“100 days of Caring”. To kickstart the Christmas countdown, SM pledged to donate to over 10,000 beneficiaries, namely communities in need, hardworking SM employees, medical frontliners and dedicated delivery partners, among others. Some of the beneficiaries and their partner malls are as follows:
SM North EDSA is giving 100 pairs of World Balance rubber shoes to seniors from Graces Home for the Elderly in Quezon City.
SM Megamall, The Podium, and SM Center Pasig chose delivery partners who will be recipients of 100 raincoats and rain boots.
From SM Mall of Asia, 100 sets of care packages like face masks, face shields, Ensure milk, vitamins, supplements, and more, will be handed over to senior citizens within the community.
SM Southmall chose SOS Children’s Villages as to receive various story and educational books.
Metro Manila and Rizal malls chose several orphanages, namely: Associacion De Damas Filipinas, Bahay Aruga, White Cross Orphanage, and The Little Children’s Home to receive 100 toys and essential goods each, especially prepared by SM City Manila, SM City San Lazaro, SM City Sta. Mesa, SM City Taytay and SM Center Angono.
In North Luzon, 100 Aeta families from Zambales and Tarlac will be given grocery packs by SM City Olongapo Downtown, SM City Olongapo Central, and SM City Tarlac; fishermen in Pangasinan will be handed with fishing supplies by SM City Rosales, SM City Urdaneta Central, and SM Center Dagupan; while select tricycle and jeepney drivers in Bulacan will be given 100 pairs of shoes by SM City Marilao, SM City Baliwag, and SM Center Pulilan.
SM City Bacoor will give 100 brail books to the Deaf & Blind Foundation Philippines.
In the Visayas, SM City Cebu will bring smiles to kids of Kythe Foundation with 100 toys; while SM City Iloilo will give 100 25kg sacks of rice to healthcare and peace & order frontliners. SM City Puerto Princesa on the other hand, will have 100 grocery bags to displaced tourism personnel.
SM City Davao and SM Lanang Premier will be handing out 100 farming tools to local farmers; while SM City Butuan will be giving 100 Fiesta Food Packs to Por Cristo Foundation, Inc.

‘Gift’ for your mental health. Aside from our physical health being at risk during a pandemic, our mental health is also affected due to the stress and anxiety these times bring. And since SM believes in the value of taking care of our mental health, Dr Gia Sison, MD DPCOM gave a ‘Call to Share’ talk during the virtual launch. Dr Gia Sison is a mental health advocate and co-founder of PH Leader Livestrong Foundation. Her talk centered on how to cope during this stressful time and still find hope in a better tomorrow.

100 voices that care. If there’s one thing that binds us all Filipinos together, it’s our passion and love for music. While we may not be allowed to have big gatherings this year, SM entertained the audience with the performance of the 3 Divas – Rahda, Frenchie and Bituin Escalante; later on joined by 100 artists, singers, and SM employees and stakeholders who came together to sing during the virtual launch on Sept 16.

We may be in the middle of a pandemic, times may be tough, and many of us may be physically apart, but let’s not forget what this season truly means. To view the event, go to WatchSM on YouTube.


Prevent Harry Roque to be part of ILC, Sign the #COCBlockHarryRoque petition


Wazzup Pilipinas!?

The Concerned Online Citizens released its opposition to the Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque's nomination to the ILC on Thursday night. They emailed letters to the body and to other representatives to the UN to block Roque's nomination. 

Bloggers, influencers, artists and content creators led by Concerned Online Citizens  tonight joined the opposition Harry Roque's nomination to the ILC. They emailed nearly 200 member-states of the UN to oppose the nomination of Harry Roque to the International Law Commission.

https://www.change.org/p/united-nations-cocblockharryroque-reject-harry-roque-as-ilc-nominee


Please prevent a Philippine government official who is a Duterte apologist from continuing to be a fake human rights lawyer.

Let us not allow a big-time human rights violator to be a part of Internal Law Commission.

No to Harry Roque's appointment to ILC. He is the ruthless and more obnoxious goebbels of the Philippines. Duterte is the second coming of Marcos and Hitler combined. 

Maki-isa sa pag #COCBlockHarryRoque tutulan ang kanyang nominasyon sa International Law Commission.

https://www.change.org/p/united-nations-cocblockharryroque-reject-harry-roque-as-ilc-nominee

 

Concerned Online Citizens started this petition to United Nations:

"We, the Concerned Online Citizens composed mostly of petitioners in a suit filed against the Philippine government’s terrorism law before the Supreme Court, write to you to oppose the nomination of Herminio Harry Roque to the International Law Commission.

The Philippines has many lawyers specializing on human rights, public interest law, international humanitarian law and international law who are more knowledgeable and more qualified than Mr. Roque to be a member of the ILC. Unfortunately, they are all busy defending journalists, activists, widows, orphans, dissenters, peace negotiators and their own lives from the wrath of President Rodrigo Duterte and his presidential spokesperson Mr. Roque. 

Many of the 65 lawyers slain in the line of duty under Mr. Duterte’s watch are arguably more qualified than Mr. Roque. They brilliantly and courageously practiced human rights and international law; Mr. Duterte and Mr. Roque violate and tamper with those laws. 

Since his first appointment and in his current reappointment as presidential spokesperson, Mr. Roque has publicly spoken against freedom of expression, press freedom, due process and other fundamental rights guaranteed by the Philippine Constitution and international laws.

Mr. Roque has been an avowed and unapologetic defender of extrajudicial killings that have been brought before the International Criminal Court. He gaslights victims and families of extrajudicial killings with regularity and with relish. 

Mr. Roque has transmogrified from a former champion of the ICC into an attack dog against the ICC and cheerleader of Mr. Duterte’s decision to withdraw the Philippines from the ICC to evade being held to account for extrajudicial killings. 

Mr. Roque is a leading purveyor of disinformation and misinformation in the Philippines in his official capacity and in his own social media accounts. Factcheckers and watchdogs have repeatedly called him out. 

Mr. Roque cannot hide behind his freedom of expression. What he says or does as presidential spokesperson with rank of secretary has the force of presidential policy. Everyone has rights, yes, but not everyone is a presidential spokesperson or secretary. 

When Mr. Duterte and Mr. Roque finally leave office, they would most certainly be held accountable for their offenses and crimes against Philippine and international law. We don’t wish to see Mr. Roque use the ILC as a platform to promote and defend himself and his principal in future litigation. 

We reiterate: We oppose Mr. Roque’s nomination, and ask you to save the ILC from the embarrassment of having someone like Mr. Roque as a member." 

Respectfully yours,


Tonyo Cruz

Dr. Gia Sison

Jover Laurio

Thysz Estrada

Rob Cham

Albert Raqueno

Lean Porquia

Mark Averilla

Jhay Rocas

Mark Geronimo

Tarantadong Kalbo

Dr. Jai Cabajar

Chino Singson

Sassa Gurl

Professional Heckler

Aling Marie

Mong Palatino

Dean Rodel Taton

Ross Del Rosario

https://www.change.org/p/united-nations-cocblockharryroque-reject-harry-roque-as-ilc-nominee

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Radisson Bhopal opens its doors to guests in the city of lakes


Wazzup Pilipinas!?

Radisson, an upscale hotel brand today announced the opening of Radisson Bhopal in the capital city of Madhya Pradesh. Situated in the heart of the city, the hotel is conveniently located within a 40-minute driving distance from Raja Bhoj International Airport and 10 minutes from Habibganj Railway Station. The hotel spans across 4,500 sqm and provides an ideal stay for both leisure and business travelers visiting the city. Radisson Bhopal also provides easy access to tourist attractions like Sanchi Stupa, Upper Lake, Van Vihar Wildlife Sanctuary and Bhimbeteka Caves.

“We are delighted to strengthen our footprint in Madhya Pradesh with the opening of Radisson Bhopal. It is a welcome addition to our existing portfolio in the state where we also have hotels located in Indore, Gwalior and Khajuraho. Being a smart city, Bhopal is poised to emerge as a strong economic and investment hub for multiple sectors in the years to come,” said Zubin Saxena, Managing Director and Vice President Operations, South Asia, Radisson Hotel Group.

Radisson Bhopal features 104 uniquely designed and spacious rooms and suites - Superior Room, Executive Room, Junior Suite, Deluxe Suite and Executive Suite equipped with facilities like work desks, free high-speed Wi-Fi and in-room entertainment. The rooms and public areas of the hotel derive their design inspiration from Madhya Pradesh’s Gond art. The signature wall mural located in the hotel’s lobby is a personification of the state’s folklores and was brought alive by local artisans over more than 200 man hours.






The hotel boasts over 3,900 sqm of event and meeting space with seven indoor venues and two outdoor venues offering stunning, 360-degree views of the city. Indoor venues include Grand Ballroom 1, Grand Ballroom 2, Nurture, Nirvana, Review, Refresh and Renew, that can host up to 1,200 pax while outdoor venues include Grand Terrace and Infinity Terrace, that can host up to 1,400 pax. All meeting and event spaces come equipped with modern audio-visual technology, making them ideal for hosting corporate conferences, weddings, and other social occasions.

“It gives us immense pleasure to partner with Radisson Hotel Group to deliver a memorable experience to travelers. The Group’s operational expertise and brand reputation will help us in setting a new benchmark for hospitality in this part of the country. We look forward to welcoming guests in this beautiful city of lakes,” said Mr. Adarsh Malhotra, Managing Partner, Shiva Infrastructures.

The hotel offers an array of dining options catering to all tastes including - Fusion Café, the world cuisine restaurant that offers delicacies from Italy, Mediterranean, South-East Asia and India; Just Baked, an all-day patisserie that serves a variety of baked goods, designer cakes, gourmet sandwiches, and hand-rolled pralines; Urzza Lounge Bar, presenting a wide range of innovative cocktails, local and international beers, and wines from around the world; and Wok Thai, a Pan-Asian restaurant with exotic flavors of Thai, Indonesian, Japanese and Chinese cuisines.

Saurabh Thakur, General Manager, Radisson Bhopal said, “It gives me great pleasure to welcome guests to Radisson Bhopal. With the hotel’s ideal location and our commitment to our Yes I Can! service philosophy, we are confident of delivering memorable stays to guests. Radisson Bhopal is a perfect getaway for guests looking for an all-inclusive hospitality experience in the city.”

The hotel also features a full-service fitness center and rooftop swimming pool overlooking the city.

With the health and safety of guests and team members as its top priority, Radisson Bhopal is implementing the Radisson Hotels Safety Protocol program. The in-depth cleanliness and disinfection protocols were developed in partnership with SGS, the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company, and are designed to ensure guest safety and peace of mind from check-in to check-out.

Akbayan Youth, Center for Youth Advocacy and Networking, and First Time Voters Network gave out free alcohol spray bottles to youth registrants


Wazzup Pilipinas!?

With two weeks left before the deadline to register, Akbayan Youth, Center for Youth Advocacy and Networking (CYAN), and First Time Voters Network (FTVN) gave out alcohol spray bottles to youth registrants lining up outside COMELEC QC to urge first time voters to join the call for the extension of voters' registration.

"We are proud of our fellow youth who are braving the pandemic and are lining up to get registered every day. With these alcohol spray bottles, we wish for them to stay safe but we also want this to serve as a reminder to COMELEC that voters are safer when we extend the registration," Gladys Milioga, First Time Voters Network convenor said.

"We are hearing reports of unbearable long lines and of people lining up as early as 3AM outside COMELEC. These are potential health risks that can be mitigated if COMELEC finally decides to extend voters registration," Alyannah Lagasca of Center for Youth Advocacy and Networking said.

After the Senate resolution supporting calls to extend the registration, the youth groups want COMELEC to declare the extension weeks before the deadline on September 30.

"Wala nang excuse ang Comelec not to extend the registration. Lahat nananawagan na nang extension: House of Representatives, Senate, media, youth and student groups and other sectors. All concerns were fully deliberated and considered. Lahat nag-aagree na kaya ang ligtas na extension at ito ay nararapat," Justine Balane, Secretary General of Akbayan Youth said.

The spray bottles contained calls like: "Stay safe and Extend!", "Safe na safe sa voters reg extension!" and "Kapit lang! Ipapaextend din natin to!" (Hang tight! Let's call for extension!)



DOTr's P151.34 Billion 2022 budget gets approval of the House Committee on Appropriations


Wazzup Pilipinas!?

The budget proposal of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) advances to the Plenary for deliberations following the approval of the House Committee on Appropriations during its budget briefing on 15 September 2021.Wazzup Pilipinas!?

The DOTr's proposed budget for 2022 is P151.34 billion. Of this amount, P150.763 billion needs to be included in the 2022 General Appropriations Act, while P579.8 million are already covered by existing appropriations previously authorized by Congress.

DOTr Secretary Art Tugade was joined by other department officials to explain before the Committee the budget proposals of each attached agency and corporation, and present a review of the agency’s performance over the past five years.

During the briefing, DOTr Undersecretary for Finance Giovanni Lopez explained that the proposed 2022 budget of the DOTr will be allocated for the following: Personnel Services (P16.75 billion), Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (P16. 86 billion), Financial Expenses (P7.88 million), and Capital Outlays (P117.13 billion).

Infrastructure Projects get a share of 88% out of the total Capital Outlays budget, with the Railway Sector getting the biggest chunk of 98% of the total infrastructure budget for 2022.

Meanwhile, the Service Contracting initiative emerged as a prominent topic during the deliberations. Several lawmakers expressed their manifestations and support for the implementation of the program, which gives weekly payouts to drivers according to the number of trips they completed per week, and allows the operation of ‘Libreng Sakay’ for medical frontliners and essential workers amid the pandemic.

To note, the DOTr requested from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) a total of P10 billion to fund the Service Contracting Program. However, the proposed fund was not included in the National Expenditure Program (NEP) for 2022.

“‘Yung Service Contracting, hindi lang ‘ho makikinabang dito yung konduktor, ‘yung drayber, ‘yung tsuper – buong ekonomiya ‘ho ang makikinabang dyan dahil kailangan ‘yan sa pagpasok ng trabaho, sa pagpunta ng palengke, sa eskwelahan,” Secretary Art Tugade pointed out.

Recognizing the crucial contribution of the Service Contracting program to critically-impacted transport stakeholders amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Samar 1st District Representative Edgar Mary Sarmiento who is also the chairman of the House Committee on Transportation, appealed to his fellow lawmakers to reevaluate proposed Service Contracting budget and for it to be included in 2022 NEP.

“From the Chairman on Committee on Transportation, I would strongly manifest that we, the Committee, will assist the budget and provide Service Contracting the amount of no less than P3 billion for the 2022 budget," Rep. Sarmiento said.

Meanwhile, several lawmakers also expressed equal support and positive manifestations during the briefing of the DOTr’s 2022 budget. They underscored the various accomplishments of the DOTr in terms of the implementation of transformational initiatives and the building and rehabilitation of much-needed transport infrastructures all over the country.

“Kaya nagpapasalamat ako sa ating matalino, magaling, maasikaso, masipag na Secretary sa magandang mga maitulong niya sa ating distrito,” Ilocos Sur 1st District Rep. and Deputy Speaker Deogracias Victor Savellano said.

“Gusto ko lang ipaalam sa ating lahat na nakikinig dito ngayon na ‘yung Salomague Port po ay maganda ang nagawa ni Secretary Tugade doon – na nakadaong ‘ho ang dalawang malalaking cruise ships na maraming nangangarap na dumaong sa kani-kanilang lugar. Pero sa ginawa ni Secretary doon, hindi na lang dream kung hindi ay nagkatotoo ‘ho,” Cong. Savellano added.

“Alam niyo ‘ho noong panahon ng pandemya, nakikita ko na malaki ang tulong ng DOTr. Isinaalang-alang nila ang personal na kapakanan to make sure na ma-deliver nila at matulungan ang taumbayan. Naalala ko – March 14, [2020] noong first na nag-lockdown. Marami pong mga OFWs na sa airport, seaport at sa lahat ng mga areas na kung saan puwedeng delikado ang buhay nila. Hindi po nanaig ang takot – isang text lang kay Secretary Art, natulungan nila tayo para po sa pagpapadala ng mga health essentials sa Iloilo City,” Iloilo City Lone District Rep. Jam Baronda shared.

Wrapping up the 4-hour deliberations, Zamboanga City 2nd District Rep. and House Appropriations Committee Vice Chair Manuel Jose Dalipe adjourned the briefing stating that the Committee will support the passage of the DOTr’s 2022 budget.

"Like a true valedictorian, delivering his valedictory address splendidly in this Committee on Appropriations, we admire the hard work and determination of the Secretary of Department of Transportation through his stewardship of leading under the Duterte administration, the programs and projects, which spur development in this country,” Congressman Dalipe said.

"Vice Chair Joet Garcia, with this, we truly support the budget of the Department of Transportation,” Dalipe concluded.

5.5 Million Learners with Disabilities at risk of falling behind in education; Parents write President Duterte for immediate approval of the Inclusive Education Bill


Wazzup Pilipinas!?

As School Year 2021-2022 opens this week, parents of children with disabilities wrote letters to President Duterte and government officials to call for the immediate approval of the Bicameral Committee version of the Inclusive Education (IEBill for Learners with Disabilities. 
 

Even before the pandemic, 5.5 million Filipino learners with disabilities already have limited access to quality and inclusive education, and are now at greater risk of falling behind in education.  
 

The policy brief “A Disability-Inclusive Response to COVID-19” by the United Nations Sustainable Development Group, cited that the top concern of children with disabilities are accessing education (51.8%) and child development services (50.7%). 
 

In a letter, *Jenny, mother of a child with disability from Paranaque, urged President Duterte to pass the IE Bill to ensure that all children can learn. According to her, while all children have the right to education, not all children have enough resources and capacity to do so, but the IE bill can address the gaps.  
 

Dear President Duterte, 

 

Isa po akong ina ng batang may kapansanan, nais po sana naming hilingin na maisabatas ang IE bill para po maging pantay-pantay ang pag-aaral ng lahat ng mga bata, may kapansanan man o wala. Makakatulong po ito para sa tulad naming nagpapalaki ng mga batang may disability. 

 

Mararanasan po ng aming mga anak na hindi maikumpara sa mga batang "normal." Lahat po ng bata ay may karapatang mag-aral, ngunit ang iba po ay walang sapat na kakayanan. At sa tulong po ng IE bill ay mararanasan po nilang makapag aral. 

 

Salamat po. 

 

The IE Bill seeks to provide learners with disabilities access to public and private schools, support services and capacity building to students, their families/ caregivers, and teachers, including the establishment of Inclusive Learning Resource Centers (ILRC) that will serve as knowledge hubs. 
 

*Nita, mother of a child with disability, shared in her letter the importance of inclusive education and support for parents to learn sign language and other skills enhancement trainings in supporting the needs of their children. She went on to say that the IE bill will help realize the rights of those with disabilities to live happily and free from discrimination and bullying against them.  

 

Dear Mam/ Sir,  

 

Ako po si Nita. Ako po ay sumulat na sana'y matugunan po ang pangangailangan ng aming mga anak lalo na sa pag-aaral nila. Sana’y mga training or seminar din po para mas lalong matuto kami sa pag-aaral ng sign language upang magkaintindihan po kami ng aming anak. Sumasang-ayon din po ako sa IE bill para mas makatulong sa mga taong may kapansanan upang may karapatan din silang habang nabubuhay at may karapatan silang sumaya at di na sila nilalait o binu-bully ng iba. Salamat po sa mga bumubuo ng Save the Children. God bless po! 

 

Through the IE bill, learners with disabilities who have not had early childhood and basic education services will also receive support through the Child Find System which will identify and facilitate their inclusion in learning programs while their parents will be provided with a support system to ensure that they can confidently aid their children’s welfare and learning at home. 
 

 “Our inclusive education Kabataang Aralin sa Lahat Ibahagi (KASALI) project has seen the long-lasting positive impact it can make if the parents, school, and community are provided with enough skills in supporting children with disabilities, and through the IE bill this can also be achieved for the millions of Filipino children with disabilities,” said Save the Children Philippines Basic Education Advisor Sierra Mae Paraan.  
 

The IE Bill, which is advocated by Save the Children Philippines and partners, was approved on 3rd Reading in the House of Representatives in December 2020 and in the Senate last May 2021. 

Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino 5 Kicks Off with Youth, Regional Shorts Competition


Wazzup Pilipinas!?

The much awaited annual flagship program of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP) puts the spotlight on short films this year as it kicks off its fifth edition with free screenings from the 25 finalists from Sine Kabataan Short Film Competition and Sine Isla: LuzViMinda Short Film Competition on September 17 to 26 on the FDCP Channel.

PPP 5, with the theme “Bagong SineMula,” highlights the narratives of the regional filmmakers and the youth with Sine Isla and Sine Kabataan, respectively. It features ten (10) entries from Sine Kabataan, a platform that provides an opportunity for aspiring young filmmakers to expose their fresh talents, and fifteen (15) finalists from Sine Isla: LuzViMinda, a new short film competition that provides support and recognition to regional filmmakers.

On September 15, PPP 5 held its virtual Opening Ceremony to launch the Sine Kabataan and Sine Isla: LuzViMinda screenings on the FDCP Channel and introduced the filmmakers of both competitions. From September 17 to 26, the 25 short films will be available to stream on the FDCP Channel. Furthermore, to give the participating filmmakers and audiences a platform to discuss the short films and gain deeper insights, Talkbacks with Sine Kabataan and Sine Isla: LuzViMinda filmmakers will be held on September 24 and 25, followed by the awarding of the winners during the Closing Program of the Philippine Film Industry Month on September 30.

“The agency, through its annual PPP, showcases a variety of stories from filmmakers all over the country. This year, we are introducing unique voices from carefully curated short films from the agency’s programs. We hope to inspire the audience and ask for their support as FDCP highlights films by the youth and regional filmmakers in this first leg of the program,” said FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño.

Sine Kabataan is a platform that encourages the youth to develop their creativity and originality in storytelling while touching on pertinent issues in society. In its 4th edition, for the first time, FDCP chose ten (10) projects in development and awarded them with a production grant. These projects underwent intensive labs to elevate their works until

the final films were produced. The finalists are set to debut on the FDCP Channel for PPP 5.

Through the chosen 15 short films by the selection committee and esteemed jury, Sine Isla: LuzViMinda, a nationwide short film competition, aims to attain a more inclusive Philippine Cinema by highlighting narratives from regional filmmakers. 

 

PPP 5 Free Screenings from September 17 to 26:

          

Sine Kabataan Finalists

 

      “Abot Kamay Ang Langit” by Brian Spencer B. Reyes

      “Ang Alamat ng Prinsipe at Mandirigma” by Jacob Mikhail U. Collado

      “Ang Balay ni Conrad” by Ardinian Jaq Sanque

      “Ang Bunga sa Tiyan ni Adam” by Ella Louise B. Salomon

      “Jeremy Supot” by James Allen Fajardo

      “Jombi” by Angela Francesca V. Andres

      “Love in the Ungodly Hour” by Bradley Jason Pantajo

      “Mga Ulap Tayong Nagiging Ulan” by Demetrio E. Celestino III

      “Reconnected” by Judd Bradley Avelino

      “Si Jet at ang Dark Lord ng Dol Gurskul” by Terence Giourdan Gonzalves

 

Sine Isla: LuzViMinda Finalists

 

      “Ang Meron sa Wala” by Arby Laraño and Christine Laraño

      “Forever” by Domingo I. Molina

      “Gulis” by Kyle Jumayne Francisco

      “Halawod” by Anna Katrina Velez Tejero

      “Maglabay Ra In Sakit” by Mijan Jumalon

      “Mga Bag-ong Nawong (sang Damgo kag Katingalahan)” by Mark Raymund Garcia

      “Oppa-wikan” by Tracy Tang and Hanz Florentino

      “Palabas” by Arjanmar H. Rebeta

      “Replay” by Franky Arrocena

      “Singil” by Maria Graciella Musa

      “Sumasaiyo” by Jermaine Tulbo

      "Tarang” by Arvin Belarmino

      "The Man Who Isn't There and Other Stories of Longing” by Trishtan Perez

      "Urihi Nga Luha” by Niño Maldecir and Rodjie Tabigo-on

 

      "You Are Here” by Neo Bryce Largo

 

The PPP 5: Sine Kabataan and Sine Isla: LuzViMinda is part of the celebration of the Philippine Film Industry Month this September.

Spending Time in Solenad

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

Enjoying Your Options in Solenad

Are you looking to enjoy a classic day of retail therapy and excitement in general? If your response to that is yes, then it may be time for you to learn all that you can about a place that's called Ayala Malls Solenad in Santa Rosa, Philippines. Solenad is a bustling shopping mall that's ideal for folks who like being able to easily and rapidly walk from point A to point B. It isn't just a place that's ideal for people who want to be able to shop for products of all kinds, either. It also is a place that's optimal for hungry foodies. It doesn't matter if you're looking to buy stylish clothing pieces for friends and family members. It doesn't matter if you're looking to satisfy your appetite at a top-notch restaurant, either. Solenad can without a doubt accommodate any and all of your wishes.



How You Can Spend Time in Solenad

Are you wondering what to do in Solenad? You never have to think too long about what to do in Solenad, luckily enough. The shopping spot can satisfy all sorts of requests and desires. If you simply feel like basking in the sun's pampering glow, this mall can come to your rescue. If you want to give your restless youngster a day of thrills, it can still come to your rescue. Solenad is a big destination among people of all different age categories. Children are definitely no exception. It has plenty of lush green scenery that can delight folks who want to connect with nature for a little while. Since it's basically a sanctuary for greenery, it gives visitors the opportunity to take part in all kinds of rewarding outdoor activities. Solenad is open to the public for visits on a daily basis. It's even open on weekends.


Arcade Joy

Arcades have been beloved destinations for many decades at this point. Thankfully, Solenad offers visitors the gift of an arcade that can give them hours and hours of challenges and beyond. It features activities and games of all sorts. It's a striking store that has ample lighting on its side. Since it's illuminated well, it can put visitors in positive spirits in no time. It has a plenitude of arcade games that cover all of the bases. It has features that are suitable for children regardless of how little or how big they may be. Parents can find out about deals and packages that are suitable for their children and their playtime aims.



Karaoke is an activity that has captivated people all around the globe for ages now. People who want to showcase their singing abilities to the others in their lives can revel in the wonders of classic karaoke at Solenad. Karaoke can also be a ball for people who are in the mood to dance and move their bodies around.

Photo booths, finally, are welcome additions for individuals who want to be able to document their memorable Solenad adventures.

Exciting Ways to Decorate a Purse

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

There are so many shop bags for women in Singapore but our focus will be on women purse. There are many different ways to decorate a purse in Singapore. It all depends on what your style is and where you plan to take it. The easiest way to spice up your bag is with some paint. However, if you are looking for something more traditional, there are plenty of options as well. In this blog post, we will cover five thrilling ideas that will help you pick the perfect decoration for any occasion in Singapore.



Add Initials

Turn a suede purse into an elegant clutch by adding your initials, or even better - the initials of a special someone. You can find embroidery lettering at any fabric store or in shop bags for women, and it is so easy to stitch onto this leather accessory with needle and thread. In addition, a great way to jazz up this piece of leather is with nail polish. Paint your initials in a fun color that matches the purse, and it is as simple as that. Make sure the colors are similar so you do not end up looking like a Christmas tree.


Pin the Purse


Pick out some fun pins from local craft stores that you like and pin them on the outside of your purse. This is a great way to accessorize this piece in style, and you can use it as a conversation starter in Singapore. Make sure that you are only using pins from craft stores; otherwise, the glue might not hold up with all of your movement.
Paint the Purse

If you want to paint your dressy bag but do not want to ruin it, there is a way around that. All you need is some fabric paint and an old t-shirt. Cut up the shirt into thin strips and dip them in the paint. Then, place them on your bag with clothespins for drying. The color will be more vibrant than using cloth or paper towels since these materials soak up all the paint. Moreover, it feels more like an art project than a chore when using your clothes.



Sewing it Up

You can sew many different fabrics( found in shop bags for women in Singapore) onto a clutch, like lace or polka dot fabric. Pick out some coordinating thread and stitch it onto the front pocket for an even more custom look. Additionally, you do not have to spend too much money to make your bag look expensive. Use some felt to sew a custom design onto the front of your purse, like stars or arrows. Alternatively, you can Sew on an embellished brooch from one side of the bag to another, and you'll have double the amount for where to pin pins.


Jewel or Add Sequins

Add some sequins or other types of jewels to the outside with a hot glue gun, and you will be able to make your clutch shimmer. However, if you do not want something that will add weight, try adding string around the edges for decoration. The same can also work on an evening purse as well by tying it in.

Final Thoughts

This blog post has covered five different ways to decorate a purse. There are so many options out there, and it is up to you, which one is the best fit. These ideas make for great DIY projects that will help your handbag be more unique than ever before.

International Criminal Court backs probe into Philippines' 'war on drugs'


Wazzup Pilipinas!?

Pre-trial Chamber of International Criminal Court granted its ex-prosecutor Fatou Bensouda's request to conduct probe in relation to crimes against humanity allegedly committed in the PHL between November 2011 and March 16, 2019 in the context of 'war on drugs'.  

The so-called 'war on drugs' campaign cannot be seen as a legitimate law enforcement operation, and the killings neither as legitimate nor as mere excesses in an otherwise legitimate operation. 

Rather, the available material indicates, to the required standard, that a widespread and systematic attack against the civilian population took place pursuant to or in furtherance of a State policy, within the meaning of Article 7(1) and (2)(a) of the Statute.

The ICC pre-trial chamber has opened the crucial investigation into the Philippine war on drugs, the court's pre-trial chamber announced on September 15. 

The investigation covers not only Duterte's war on drugs but also alleged Davao Death Squad killings from 2011 to 2016. 

ICC pre-trial chamber: "The systematic character of the attack against the civilian population, on the other hand, is discernible at this stage on the basis of the same considerations as expressed just above with respect to the policy requirement." 

"In the assessment of the Chamber, there exists information sufficiently linking the killings in the Davao area in 2011-2016 to the relevant facts of the so-called ‘war on drugs’ campaign as discussed above."

ICC pre-trial chamber says it is not necessary at this stage to scrutinize the Davao Death Squad killings, "what is important for the present decision is that..it appears that the killings in the Davao area show a certain pattern and may constitute crimes against humanity..."

"In conclusion, the Chamber finds that it has been sufficiently established for the purpose of an authorisation to investigate that the contextual elements of crimes against humanity under Article 7 of the Statute have been met." 


The long arms of justice catch up with Duterte.

The Supreme Court in a 15-0 decision announced that the PH withdrawal from the ICC shall not discharge Duterte from any ICC criminal proceedings. 

Now the Pre-Trial of Duterte begins. 

It's about time Duterte gets into a corner where nobody hears his rants or bullying. No more.

Duterte is, apparently guilty of murdering suspected drug dealers and traders, with emphasis on suspected, which is why he will be charged with crimes against humanity. And may he suffer the same fate as Milosevic.

Decade long impunity hopefully coming to an end. And if he can be charged of incompetence also, that’ll be sweet.

Many thanks ICC, the  EJK's victims and their families have been longing for justice. Filipinos will rejoice when the mastermind murderer Duterte is finally convicted as GUILTY of the crimes against humanity.

Very good news! Duts, pina-plantsa na ang kaso mo. Nakahanda na ba ang wheel chair? Long have we waited for this time of reckoning!

Long live Duterte to face his crimes against humanity! Bago siya makulong, ibalik muna lahat ng nakulimbat sa kaban ng bayan. Buksan ang SALN at lahat ng bank accounts niyan at ng kanyang gabinete at mga appointed crooks seated in government.r

This is one of the price he pays for telling the United States of America to get out of his country.

Ang puno kapag naputulan ng malaking ugat, utay-utay nalalagas ang mga dahon at sanga. wait and see!

Parang nakakatakot ang susunod na kabanata. And it is guaranteed gripping! Are we just going to sit and watch! Duterte will definitely retaliate and it will all be unjustly.

The war on drugs and sex is stupid, people will pay for both regardless of its morals. regulate it, makes it safer for both parties and generates income.

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