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Saturday, June 18, 2022

Law Group Warns Food Companies: Eliminate Trans Fat Before FDA Deadline


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“One year left. The food industry must ensure that the food they produce and offer for sale to the public is safe and trans fat-free.”

This is the statement of the law group ImagineLaw today, a year before the deadline for the food industry to remove their processed food products with trans fatty acids (TFA) from the market, as set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) through Circular No. 2021-028 which mandates food manufacturers, producers, and distributors to reformulate their products and shift towards a TFA-free food production by June 18, 2023.

TFA is a toxic food additive that increases the risks of heart disease and other non-communicable diseases (NCD). According to the World Health Organization (WHO), trans fat is unnecessary and causes only health harms. To address the prevalence of NCDs, the WHO urged countries to remove trans fat from the global food supply by 2023.

“Industry compliance is crucial in achieving our goal of a trans fat-free Philippines by 2023. With a year before the deadline, we urge the food industry to act now and remove TFA from their food production,” said Atty. Mary Grace Anne Rosales - Sto. Domingo, ImagineLaw’s project manager.

Beginning June 19, 2023, pre-packed and processed food items with TFA or partially hydrogenated oil (PHO) should not be offered for sale in groceries, convenience stores, and the like. Food producers, distributors, and sellers are mandated to exhaust their existing product stocks with high TFA content and PHO before the said deadline.

They are also required to reformulate and apply for a Certificate of Product Registration (CPR), an accreditation for evaluated products that are proven safe and healthy.

After the transitory period, violation of the Circular’s provisions can result in the disapproval of the establishment’s application, and CPR suspension or cancellation.

The FDA regulations implement the Department of Health (DOH) Administrative Order No. 2021-0039 regulating TFA in processed and pre-packaged food items. The national policy was issued as part of the government’s effort to curb NCDs in the country and join the global effort to eliminate trans fat.

“The government and civil society advocated for measures against the harmful TFA. It is now in the hands of the food industry to join the collective health effort by complying with the FDA regulations on time,” Sto. Domingo emphasized.

CICC opens cybercrime laboratory


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The Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC) unveils the latest and state-of-the-art Digital Forensics Platform and Laboratory (DFPAL). DFPAL will be an important tool of the government’s fight against the rising cybercrimes, especially, Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children (OSAEC). This cybercrime laboratory is located at CICC’s headquarters in Quezon City.

“The opening of DFPAL will allow the CICC to monitor and coordinate with other law enforcement agencies in conducting thorough digital and forensic investigations and assist them in prosecuting cybercriminals nationwide,” says CICC Executive Director Cezar O. Mancao II.

One of the goals of the CICC is to address the problem of OSAEC. “The CICC’s DFPAL was established and operationalized to conduct relentless, coordinated efforts to prevent, disrupt, and possibly stop if not mitigate the issues of OSAEC through the collaborative partnership of local and international stakeholders towards providing a cybersafe environment for children,” says Mancao. “We have acquired a powerful state-of-the-art technology, which will improve the success rates of investigators and policing operations in the ongoing pursuit to identify, apprehend, and convict individuals and networks associated with online child sexual exploitation,” he adds. The DFPAL will be manned by trained and certified professionals from various fields such as information and communications technology, psychology, digital forensics, data analytics, research, and communications that would provide vital support to the operations of the CICC.

The CICC was created by virtue of Republic Act 10175, also known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, for policy coordination among concerned agencies. It is one of the attached agencies of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) tasked to lead the government’s efforts in the fight against cybercrimes, especially those victimizing the most vulnerable segment in society, our children.

The CICC has undertaken several programs, such as Child Online Safeguarding Policy (COSP), Cyber Patrol Program, Batang Barangay Capability Program, and the Cyber Conflict Program, among others. We are also part of the Inter-Agency Council Against Child Pornography (IACACP) and the Inter-Agency Council against Trafficking (IACAT).

“OSAEC is a tragic and growing problem in the Philippines, but it does not need to be a permanent one. We will do everything that we can to protect Filipino children. We have to act now and fight against these monster predators. We need to help each other to protect our netizens, says Mancao.”






Vulnerabilities of children

The COVID-19 pandemic aggravated the problem of online child exploitation involving child pornography and other forms of child online sexual abuse, specifically with children from low-income families. This has strengthened the resolve of the CICC for safer cyberspace. Mancao says, “To support this advocacy, we have child online protection programs and initiatives in partnership with various civil society organizations and many stakeholders.”

He explains that these crimes are borderless. The unprecedented access to the internet through computers and mobile phones has made children the most vulnerable segment to cybercrime. “These technologies are now embedded in their lives, our lives. With the DFPAL, the CICC will be better equipped to fight OSAEC,” adds Mancao.

DFPAL will serve as proof of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s commitment to fighting the threat of OSAEC. “This will serve as the President’s legacy in gathering all the resources of the government to address this threat affecting thousands of families,” adds Mancao. “The opening of this new facility will provide law enforcement agencies with updated data and intelligence that can lead to the arrest and prosecution of these predators.”

To report a cybercrime against children, you can call our helplines, 09666524885, 09206260217, or via email at report@cicc.gov.ph. You may also reach out to our institutional partners, the NBI-Cybercrime Division (nbi.gov.ph or at (877) 624-7707), PNP – Anti-Cybercrime Group (acg.pnp.gov.ph or at 0998 598 8116), and DOJ – Office of Cybercrime ((+632) 523 8482).

Friday, June 17, 2022

Collaboration: A key in creating sustainable agri-enterprises


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Limited market information and market access are two major obstacles to increased smallholder farmers’ income. According to studies, farmers in grassroot communities often lack access to profitable, value-added markets. In the absence of critical supporting functions, such as infrastructure and service provision – farmers struggle to transform their traditional subsistence farms into a feasible commercially oriented production. Buyers, on the other hand, such as wholesalers, find it difficult to get the quantity and quality of produce that they need for processing on a timely basis.

Because of this challenge, SM Foundation collaborated with various government agencies, and engaged various SM business units such as the SM Development Corp. (SMDC), SM Supermalls and SM Markets to ensure that local farmers under the Kabalikat Sa Kabuhayan (KSK) program have venues where they can sell their produce amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

From training KSK participants in practicing sustainable farming technologies via technology transfer and product development, SMFI, together with various SM business units used the power of collaboration to create farm-market linkage - which intends to create a powerful driver of rural poverty reduction.






Team social good

The Good Guys Market is a weekend market set up in SMDC properties to connect small-scale farmers directly with consumers—condo residents. This initiative links around 26,000 small-scale farmers directly with consumers.

Together with SM Supermalls, SMFI launched the Green Lane initiative. Led by the wives of the KSK farmers, the social enterprise offers a wide variety of quality yet affordable indoor and landscape plants which cater to every enthusiast’s preference. In addition, the team also launched the KSK Farmers’ Market Day to provide farmers with market exposure in select SM Malls nationwide.

Meanwhile, SMFI also partnered with SM Markets in creating market for onion farmers. Through the partnership, SMFI was able to establish specialized onion pop-up booths creating a stable market for small scale onion farmers.

Millions of smallholder farmers are seeking ways to improve the productivity of their farms and to improve their market performance. Modern farming technologies, paired with market linkage, such as the SM KSK, plays a vital role in improving the livelihood of small-scale farmers and their families.

SM Foundation’s Kabalikat Sa Kabuhayan (KSK) is SMFI’s Social Good program on sustainable agriculture that intends to uplift the lives of Filipinos in grassroot communities through sustainable agriculture via technology transfer, product development and farm-market linkage. To date, the program has trained more than 28,500 farmers from more than 900 cities/municipalities nationwide.

Working together to serve more communities for a sustainable future




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Climate change is one of the most pressing and defining global issues today. It has become imperative for both the public and private sectors to continue to band together to primarily, safeguard the welfare of the people and to step up to strengthen the resilience of the nation.

The Philippines currently ranks third globally when it comes to climate change vulnerability. In relation to its geographical location, it is more exposed to altering intensities of climate change manifested through erratic weather systems and natural calamities.

The private sector is called upon now more than ever to align with the principles of sustainable development and to take on the same firm stance on environmentally sound practices in its operations.

“I constantly encourage the private sector to work closely with the government. This way, we can be more cohesive in our efforts to make more meaningful progress towards a better and sustainable future. As a private enterprise, SM Prime will continue to do its share in addressing climate change for the benefit of communities,” said Hans T. Sy, SM Prime Holdings Chairman of the Executive Committee.



Water conservation

Sustainability at SM Prime is at the core of its corporate identity. SM Prime has spearheaded sustainable practices as well as set records in pioneering programs to consciously protect the environment and strongly focus on resilience in its developments.

For one, the property conglomerate embarked on a campaign to substantially reduce its water consumption. It pioneered the installation of sewage treatment plants even before the measure was required by way of the Clean Water Act in 2004.

Today, its sewage treatment plants recycle 8.7 million cubic meters of water, lessening its dependence on fresh water sources for air conditioning operations, gardening, water closet flushing and other non-potable uses. SM Prime’s water catchment basins across 20 SM malls can also catch and store almost 79 million liters of water in total every time it rains, or as much as 32 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

By controlling the flow of flood water, surrounding communities have been provided more protection against the devastating effects of floods, alleviating what communities would normally fear when the rains come.



Renewable energy

SM Prime continues to explore ways to promote environmental consciousness in its operations and developments to minimize environmental impact.

In 2014, SM Prime achieved an important milestone in the country with SM City North EDSA becoming then the world’s largest solar-powered mall. Today, SM Prime is adding eleven more malls with solar roof decks.

Showing its firm resolve to advance its sustainability agenda, the company is committed to increase the use of renewable energy by 50% in 2022 across its various business segments, ahead of the national goals to be 35% renewable by 2030.

Through these efforts, SM Prime is committed to provide affordable and clean energy to its tenant-partners, minimizing the carbon footprint emission in its operations.



Collaboration toward resilience

As a key figure in the private sector, Mr. Sy and his dedication to environmental protection continues to serve as a testament to how Philippine businesses can usher positive change toward disaster resilience and risk reduction management in the country.

In 2012, Mr. Sy joined the United Nations Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG) for Disaster Reduction. In 2015, he was also inducted as the first and only Filipino member UNDRR ARISE (Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies) International Board. He currently serves as co-chair in the ARISE-Philippines network and National Resilience Council (NRC) of the Philippines, representing the private sector. He continues to help develop multi-sectoral partnerships in the country to strengthen the ability of corporations, including MSMEs, to prepare and respond to disasters brought about by natural hazards such as earthquake.

“Climate change is looming over our Mother Earth. If we can contribute no matter how little and if I can get everybody to be aware of it, I think we will make an impact. It’s never too late,” said Mr. Sy in a video interview for the 50 Sustainability & Climate Leaders initiative.

Philippine Post Office, UPU announced letter writing contest winners


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The Philippine Postal Corporation (Post Office) recently announced the winners of the 51st Universal Postal Union (UPU) International Letter Writing Competition for Young People, to promote better understanding around the world through the post office.

The first prize winner will represent the country in the worldwide competition to be held in Berne, Switzerland.

This year’s winners are Ms. Loraine C. Evangelista, a student of San Ildefonso National High School, Bulacan– first prize; Ms. Lucia Camila Perez Sta. Ana, of Paref-Woodrose School Inc., Ayala Alabang Village, Muntinlupa City – second prize; and Ms. Sofia Luxel C. Alburo of General Santos City National High School. General Santos City – third prize.

The contest is a yearly event organized by the Philippine Post Office under the auspices of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), which is composed of 192 countries around the world of which the Philippines is an active member. The chosen theme for this year is: “Write a letter to an influential person about why and how to take action on climate change.”.




This year’s judges are National Press Club of the Philippines President Ms. Lydia Bendaña Bueno, MC, PMJF; Mr. Genaro R. Gojo Cruz, Professor of Literature, De La Salle University; Asst. Prof. Joreen T. Rocamora, Ph.D., Director, Office of Public Affairs, University of Santo Tomas and Mr. Romeo B. Parayno, Head Special Events Unit, Department of Education.

The Universal Postal Union (UPU), through the International Bureau, has invited youth ages nine to 15 to join its letter writing competition, to strengthen literacy with one theme, making young people aware of the important role postal services play in our societies.

The contest is designed to develop the young people’s skills in composition and the ability to express their thoughts clearly, to foster their enjoyment of letter-writing and to help strengthen the bonds of international friendship, one of the basic missions of the UPU,” the post office said in a statement.

The first prize winner will be awarded P25,000, the second prize P15,000 and the third prize P10,000 plus corresponding medals, plaques and albums of Philippine stamps.

The awarding ceremony will be held on Oct. 9, coinciding with the worldwide celebration of World Post Day.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

The Super Bowl and Other Big Sporting Events


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The Super Bowl event puts the USA on a figurative pause annually. Fans troop in from all corners of the United States to watch their top two NFL teams battle it out for the Super Bowl title. The Super Bowl is famous for its massive showcasing of sports and the incredible entertainment it provides. Many sports fans root for the Super Bowl because it affords them the unique opportunity to bet on Super Bowl lines. The Super Bowl is arguably the highest-grossing sports event in the United States.

Most estimates of the Super Bowl’s viewership suggest that it garners hundreds of millions of viewers. The actual figures are more than that because the Super Bowl attracts viewers from other parts of the world who equally explore BetUS options while watching the big game.

In every American home, eyes are glued to the TV for the brilliant sports on show, particularly for the half-time show, which has always delivered a brilliant collaboration between sports and arts. People love to watch the Super Bowl, and those in the corridors of America’s power never miss out on it because when they reference the Super Bowl, they tend to endear more people to themselves.

Undoubtedly, the Super Bowl is a big sports event and remains a major attraction for the NFL. The Super Bowl is also beginning to attract massive global audiences with viewership in countries like The Philippines.




Is the Super Bowl the biggest sports event?


You may be wondering what necessitated this question. Many NFL pundits usually regard the Super Bowl as the greatest sports event. All over America’s media, the submission is that the Super Bowl ranks first, and others come after it. This may be true to an extent because the Super Bowl happens annually.

However, several other sports events are known to Filipinos with wider viewership than the Super Bowl. In terms of revenue generated, these sports events equally generate more revenue than the Super Bowl. This does not imply that the Super Bowl is a small sports event, but saying it is the biggest sports event is not true either.

What are some of the biggest sports events?

The Super Bowl has massive appeal in America. Since Americans reside in every nation on earth, its appeal is spreading like wildfire.




Here are some other sports events that have already established global appeals:



The Olympic Games

The Olympic games are another quadrennial event that brings different sports competitions together. The Olympic games are the melting pot for all sports. Every country in the world is duly represented. Likewise, virtually every sport is always on show. Whatever your sports preferences are, the Olympic games definitely have something that will interest you.

Viewership estimates of the Olympic games run into billions because the global appeal of the Olympic games is unprecedented. The Olympic games also accommodate winter games alongside the regular summer Olympic games. There is also a Paralympic version for disabled sportsmen and women. All of these events contribute to the massive viewership of the Olympic games.

Regarding sports, the Olympic games deliver the biggest opportunity to every sports person irrespective of their differences. From water sports to track and field events, the Olympic games create a global showcase for the less popular sports, making it an outstanding sports event for sports fans around the globe.



The FIFA World Cup

The FIFA World Cup is a quadrennial soccer event that brings national soccer teams from 32 countries to compete for four weeks. A total of 64 matches are played in every FIFA World Cup tournament. The FIFA World Cup final, which is the climax of the tournament, attracts viewers from all over the world.

According to FIFA, the last World Cup in Russia in 2018 raked in an estimated 3.572 billion viewers with the final match between France and Croatia estimated to have 1.12 billion viewers. Every FIFA World Cup game rakes in an estimated viewership of over 100 million. It remains one of the biggest sports events that consistently rake in such massive viewership for one month.

The next FIFA World Cup will be held in Qatar by November, and the viewership is projected to surpass the tally achieved in Russia four years ago.




ICC Cricket World Cup

Cricket is another massive sport with a huge following. It is prevalent in England, India, Pakistan, and many parts of Europe. The ICC Cricket World Cup is another quadrennial sports event that brings together national cricket sides to compete for the biggest title in world cricket.

Cricket games are some of the most-watched games that deliver quality sports entertainment to fans for over 6 hours over several days. Cricket is India’s national sport. Given India’s massive population, cricket matches enjoy a vast viewership and following in India.

Indians are also spread across the globe, and their immense passion for the game of cricket makes Cricket World Cup matches one of the biggest sports events in the world.




UEFA Champions League Final

The UEFA Champions League is the biggest prize in European club football, or soccer as it is called in the United States and Australia. Every year from September to May, Europe’s top teams vie to win the big-eared trophy using a home and away format.

The Final, which is the climax of the competition, is usually played on neutral ground between the two best teams in the competition. The UEFA Champions League enjoys massive viewership from everywhere around the world, including America. Many people describe the UEFA Champions League final as soccer’s version of the Super Bowl.



Conclusion

Many pundits who believe that the Super Bowl is the biggest sports event may be right. There are no fixed metrics for determining which sports event is the biggest sports event in the world. The Super Bowl rakes in impressive numbers every year, and these numbers rightly qualify it as one of the biggest sports events in the entire world.






Interesting Facts about Top Nascar Race Tracks


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National Association Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is one of the world’s leading motorsports racing organizers. NASCAR was founded in 1948. Since then, the organization has been a major promoter and organizer of stock-car racing in many parts of North America.

NASCAR sanctions hundreds of races annually, which are held across different race tracks in the US, Canada, Mexico, and some parts of Europe. NASCAR’s commitment to safety practices is unrivaled. In all of its racetracks, including the Ally 400 racetrack that was sanctioned in 2021 for its first cup race, NASCAR ensures that the racetracks are in perfect and safe conditions. The safety requirements for NASCAR drivers are also high with fire retardant suits and HANS devices. NASCAR cars are also equipped with numerous safety details, making NASCAR races one of the best spots to see a no-holds-barred show of driving skills.

Over 1000 NASCAR races across the United States are held in NASCAR’s 39 racetracks. Each NASCAR racetrack has varying lengths and interesting dimensions. The top race tracks have stand-out features and some historical contexts behind them.




What are some of the Top NASCAR Race Tracks?



Martinsville Speedway

Martinsville Speedway is one of NASCAR’s oldest race tracks. Martinsville Speedway was founded in 1947. Two years later, in 1949, it began hosting NASCAR Cup Series races, and has continued to do so now. Martinsville Speedway is NASCAR’s shortest race track, with a length of 0.526 miles. Among NASCAR race tracks, watching tire-screeching races on Martinsville is an interesting adrenaline-laced experience because of the track’s tight corners. As a fan, you cannot get closer to a motorsport experience than you would at Martinsville Speedway. Despite being one of the oldest NASCAR race tracks, Martinsville stands out for its up-to-date facilities contributing to the overall fan experience. Martinsville Speedway hosts several NASCAR races annually.



Daytona Motor Speedway

The 2.5 Miles Daytona Motor Speedway was launched in 1959 at NASCAR’s headquarters in Daytona. This race track hosts the Daytona 500, NASCAR’s Cup Series seasoning opener and one of the most prominent motorsport races known in the US. It also hosts NASCAR Xfinity Series and other sports car events. It has a total capacity of 167 785. Daytona Motor Speedway shares a lot of history with NASCAR. It is remarkable for its many contributions to NASCAR’s success story.




Nashville Superspeedway

The Nashville Superspeedway is also known as the Ally 400 race track. Located in Lebanon, Tennessee, this race track is one of the newest race tracks used to host NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races. Like most NASCAR race tracks, Nashville Superspeedway has a concrete oval D-shaped course, the longest and largest one in NASCAR motor racing. However, it can only hold a capacity of 38,000. The 1.33-mile racetrack requires 300 laps to complete its 399-mile course. It hosted the Ally 400 in June of 2021 after ten long years of not being active in NASCAR races. The next Ally 400 is set to hold on 26th June 2022 to signal the continuity of the first NASCAR Cup Series race to take place on the Nashville Superspeedway since 1984.



Talladega Superspeedway

This racetrack is NASCAR’s biggest oval racetrack. It can hold a spectator capacity of 80 000. With a track length of 2.66 miles, the Talladega Superspeedway was previously called the Alabama International Motor Speedway. Talladega holds some unique NASCAR histories, including the fastest lap record in NASCAR. Many NASCAR drivers have to use restrictor plates when driving on Talladega to prevent their cars from overspeeding.




Richmond Raceway

Richmond Raceway is another short NASCAR racetrack with a D-shaped asphalt course with a length of 0.75 miles. It is also known as Strawberry Hill, and in some circles, it is regarded as America’s premier short track. Richmond Raceway holds about 51,000 motorsports fans, and its course is a great test of a driver’s speed and precision controls. Fans at Richmond are always excited to watch the drivers make the four quick turns during NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.



Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Indianapolis Motor Speedway is also known as The Brickyard. It hosts the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400. It is the NASCAR racetrack with the largest spectator capacity of 257, 325 which can be expanded to 400,000. It also stands out for being the second-largest racetrack in the world. The course is a rectangular, oval track that spans 2.5 miles. Besides NASCAR racing events, Indianapolis Motor Speedway hosts several motorsports events on its expansive course.




Darlington Raceway

This racetrack mimics a perfect oval shape which is why it is famous for its egg shape. With a racetrack of 1.366 miles on an asphalt surface, Darlington Raceway has been hosting NASCAR motor races for over 70 years. Darlington Raceway can hold approximately 47,000 spectators and is often advertised as “A NASCAR Tradition. Darlington Raceway hosts NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and USAC Silver Crown Series. It is also known as “The Lady in Black.” It is called “The Track Too Tough to Tame” by many drivers who have been privileged to drive on its course.




Texas Motor Speedway

Texas is one of the prime locations for motorsports in the US. The Texas Motor Speedway spans a length of 1.44 miles and can hold over 200 thousand spectators. It has a unique shape described as quad-oval and an asphalt surface.




Conclusion

NASCAR has some unique racetracks in motorsports. While their grip over North America is guaranteed, it will be interesting to see how NASCAR can promote motorsports in places like The Philippines. The Philippines has some breathtaking natural terrains that can cite some of the best racetracks in the world. NASCAR is committed to establishing a global presence. Will they come to The Philippines? Only time will tell.

Combining health and fitness with financial wellness




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Head up, runners! This play-to-earn game lets you earn while you move

DISCLAIMER: The statements in this article do not constitute financial advice. PDAX does not guarantee the technical and financial integrity of the digital asset and its ecosystem. Any and all trading involving the digital asset is subject to the user’s risk and discretion and must be done after adequate and in-depth research and analysis.


When it comes to getting fit and achieving overall wellness, running is one of the best and easiest activities you can get into. You only need a pair of running shoes, your legs, and a lot of motivation to get started reaping a plethora of health benefits such as relieving stress, enabling weight loss, strengthening joints, and so much more.

But what if aside from the obvious health rewards, there was an app that can help you monetize your passion for running?

This is exactly what the up-and-coming play-to-earn lifestyle app STEPN offers. It leverages the power of blockchain technology to let players earn while they run or move.



So what is STEPN exactly?

STEPN is a Web3/blockchain-based lifestyle app, which means it incorporates blockchain technology for the decentralized transfer of information and assets. It makes it possible for the game to use non-fungible tokens or NFTs, which are unique tokens that cannot be replicated. For many blockchain-based play-to-earn games such as STEPN, NFTs act as tokens that can later be traded for cryptocurrencies. The game was launched in December 2021.

 
How the app works

To get started, players need to download the STEPN app through the Apple App Store or Google Play to begin playing. After signing up and creating a wallet for the application, users will need to buy an NFT sneaker from the in-app marketplace that fits their activity type: the options are Walk, Run, Jog, or Train. Players can pay for the NFT sneaker using SOL, the native cryptocurrency token of the increasingly popular Solana blockchain. STEPN is also built on the Solana blockchain.

These NFT sneakers are what the STEPN app uses to disburse the player’s earnings. Different sneakers will require different levels of activity, and have different stats for efficiency which determines the rate of earnings. Owning a sneaker NFT will allot a player with 2 Energy points per day, and more energy points can be added once a player owns more than three sneakers, allowing for more run time and consequently, more earnings.

Once a player’s sneakers are set, all they have to do is begin moving. The app’s GPS will track a player’s movement and reward him/her for successfully maintaining the required pace of the type of sneaker they’re wearing.

Depending on the type of sneaker you get, one unit of Energy can earn you varying levels of GST, which is STEPN’s in-game token. A Walk-type sneaker that requires movement of just 1-6 kilometers an hour can earn you up to 4 GST tokens per Energy, while a Runner-type sneaker that requires movement of 8-20 kilometers an hour can earn you up to 6 GST tokens per Energy. As of writing, one GST is worth approximately P30.

STEPN users will also be able to collect another token called GMT in future updates. GMT is the game’s governance token which may be eventually earned by leveling up your NFT sneaker, halving events, and/or random daily distribution. Both GST and GMT can then be traded for other cryptocurrencies such as SOL or even fiat currencies—enabling players to literally earn as they run.



STEPN’s rising popularity

Many in the running world have already acknowledged the game’s potential to change running forever. In April, STEPN even announced it joined forces with global running shoe brand Asics to release a collection of limited edition STEPN Asics sneaker NFTs. The collection gained more than 95,000 participants and subscribed tickets from the STEPN community. The collection’s trading volume even exceeded USD$10 million and maintained a floor price of USD$3,000.

Indeed, STEPN has gained a large amount of attention ever since its launch just last year. The game is credited with presenting a new way for people to get fit while combining the best the worlds of blockchain and NFTs have to offer.

The good news is that it’s easier than ever for Filipinos to begin playing STEPN. For example, SOL is already available on PDAX, the leading homegrown crypto exchange in the Philippines.

Through PDAX, Filipino STEPN players can also easily convert their pesos to SOL and purchase an NFT sneaker. All users need to do is download the app, create an account, and cash-in to begin buying, selling, and trading crypto. The locally-based exchange allows users to cash-in using 7-Eleven/CLiQQ machines, DragonPay, ECPay, GCash, PayMaya, or through online bank transfers. Cash-outs from PDAX are also done through popular outlets such as InstaPay, PayMaya, PESONet, and more. You can download the PDAX app through the Apple App Store and Google Play to purchase the SOL you need.

With STEPN, there’s more incentive than ever to get active and fit. In fact, there already is an active community of Filipino STEPN runners, boasting an ever-expanding number of 4,000+ members in one Facebook group alone.

As STEPN expands in popularity and develops gameplay even further, there’s more incentive than ever to lace up your running shoes and get moving. With the possibility of earning combined with the health benefits that come with running, it’s certainly a win-win for every runner out there.

PLDT Enterprise calls for cybersecurity readiness among PH compani


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PDT Enterprise AVP and Head of Cybersecurity Business Consulting Alexis Bernardino [second to the right] joined the customer panel discussion of the Philippine leg of the 2022 Fortinet Accelerate Asia Tour. He highlighted some key important notes on cybersecurity to help businesses secure their organizations against cyberattacks.

 

PLDT Enterprise, the B2B arm of the country’s largest fully integrated telecommunications provider PLDT, highlighted the significance of cybersecurity readiness amid the dramatic rise of cyberattacks to businesses over the past year.

During the Philippine leg of the 2022 Fortinet Accelerate Asia Tour, PLDT Enterprise AVP and Head of Cybersecurity Business Consulting Alexis Bernardino shared that “in terms of the current cyber security landscape, it is no longer a question of ‘if’ or ‘how’ companies will be breached or attacked but it is a matter of ‘when.’”

According to survey results from cybersecurity firm Sophos last year, 69% of the respondents, composed of businesses in the country, experienced a ransomware attack, or those cyberattacks that encrypt systems in exchange for a ransom.

This was higher compared to the results of the same survey conducted in 2020 where 42% of Philippine firms surveyed reported ransomware incidents.

Likewise, the average ransomware payment made by companies in the country was found to be about $1.6 million last year which was more than double the global average of $812,000. The country’s average in 2020 was already at $820,000.

It also cost Philippine organizations an average of $1.34 million to recover from the attack, ranging from downtime, people time, device cost, and network cost, to lost opportunity, among others.

“Enterprises should operate on an “ASSUMED BREACH MODE”. Anticipate that you have been breached already. That should be the operating mode so that you would always stay vigilant that something might happen and you might be vulnerable to any cyberattack. It is also important to fortify your predictive and responsive capabilities and approach,” Bernardino said.

The PLDT Enterprise executive also added that the partnership between public and private companies is critical to ensuring a safer Philippine cyberspace.

“There should be strong legislation pertaining to cybersecurity so that we can establish a framework and roadmap for the Philippines. The private sector can come in to share their best practices, threat intelligence, and cybersecurity expertise to help the government, which is leading the pack to create a safer and secured Philippine Cyberspace,” he noted.

Moreover, Bernardino raised the issue of the scarcity of cybersecurity talents in the country. He mentioned that there are different approaches to addressing this but the most important consideration is to employ cybersecurity professionals who have “the right mindset, the right attitude and should be trainable in cybersecurity.”

Fortinet Accelerate Asia 2022 Tour is a cybersecurity conference for Fortinet partners and customers, aiming to deliver inspiring and innovative plenary sessions to broaden the delegates’ perspective, allow them to engage their thoughts, and help them improve their security senses.

The tour’s Philippines edition delivers unique insights from Fortinet and industry experts who share their knowledge on the technology trends that will shape the future of cybersecurity.

It features informative talks and breakout sessions, discussing today’s most challenging cybersecurity while providing a fun, comprehensive, and focused event where delegates can network with other peers and experts in the industry.

Bernardino joined other executives from different companies during the event’s customer panel discussion, which was graced by Fortinet Asia Vice President of Marketing and Communications Rashish Pandey, Maynilad Water Services Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer Dr. Francisco Castillo, and Experts Prime IT Services President Joseph Mark R. Aquino.

Each speaker shared insights on how to navigate through various cybersecurity challenges organizations face today.

For more information, visit pldtenterprise.com. #

Regulations Regarding Online Sports Betting in the Philippines






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Are you an enthusiastic online sports bettor who follows the latest POINT SPREADS to increase your winning chances when betting on sports? If you are, then it might be time to take a look at the regulations regarding online sports betting in the Philippines and we’ve got just the guide for you!

The Philippines is undoubtedly one of the few countries in the world where online sports betting is legal. This legal status around sports betting makes it a popular destination for many international bookmakers and online gambling sites.

However, there are still some restrictions in place when it comes to online sports betting in the Philippines. For example, only licensed bookmakers are allowed to operate in the country and all bets must be placed with Philippine Pesos and all winnings must be paid out in the same currency. Additionally, all bettors must be at least 18 years of age.

Despite these restrictions, online sports betting in the Philippines is still a popular activity among many residents. If you’re thinking about placing a bet on your favorite team or athlete, make sure you do your research beforehand and choose a reputable bookmaker by reading our guide below.





New regulations regarding online sports betting in the Philippines

The Philippines has recently enacted new regulations regarding online sports betting. Under the new rules, all operators offering online sports betting services must be licensed and registered with the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR). Moreover, they must also comply with certain technical requirements, such as having a secure website and providing customer support.

The new regulations are designed to protect consumers and ensure that only reputable operators offer online sports betting services in the Philippines. These new regulations will also help to generate revenue for the government through licensing fees and taxes.



How will the new regulations affect online sports bettors in the Philippines?

The new regulations will have a significant impact on online sports bettors in the Philippines. For one, the minimum age for online sports betting will be increased from 18 to 21. This age restriction means that anyone who is under the age of 21 will not be able to place bets on any sporting event.

In addition, all online sports betting websites will be required to obtain a license from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR). This license will cost PHP 500,000 (approximately $10,000).

Let’s not forget that all winnings from online sports betting will be subject to a 5% tax. This tax will be collected by PAGCOR.

These new regulations are likely to have a negative impact on the number of people who participate in online sports betting in the Philippines. We’ll delve deeper into this issue in the remainder of the text.




Who enforces the regulations regarding online sports betting in the Philippines and what happens if you violate them?

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) is the government-owned and controlled corporation that regulates all forms of gambling in the Philippines, including online sports betting. PAGCOR was created in 1976 and is headquartered in Parañaque City.

If a bettor violates the regulations of online sports betting in the Philippines, they may be subject to penalties from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR). These penalties can include fines, suspension of betting privileges, and even imprisonment.



Tips for navigating the new regulatory landscape regarding online sports betting in the Philippines

The Philippines has seen a surge in online sports betting in recent years, with more and more people looking to place bets on their favorite teams and players. However, the regulatory landscape surrounding online sports betting in the Philippines is still somewhat unclear.



Here are some tips for navigating the new regulatory landscape regarding online sports betting in the Philippines:

-First and foremost, make sure that you are only using reputable and licensed online sports betting sites. There are many unlicensed and unregulated sites out there, which could put your money at risk.

-Be aware of the taxes that you will need to pay on your winnings. The Philippine government imposes a 5% tax on all winnings from online sports betting.

-Make sure that you understand the terms and conditions of each bet that you place.
 This will help you avoid any misunderstandings or disputes down the line.

-Keep track of your bets and winnings, so that you can easily report them come tax time. Keeping track of your winnings and bets will also help you keep track of your overall profit or loss from online sports betting.




How to ensure you are complying with the new regulations regarding online sports betting in the Philippines?

The Philippines has recently updated its regulations regarding online sports betting, and it is important to make sure you are compliant with the new rules. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

-You must be at least 21 years old to bet on sports online in the Philippines.
-You must have a valid Philippine passport.
-You must be a resident of the Philippines.
-You must have a valid bank account in the Philippines.
-You must use a Philippine peso-denominated account when betting on sports online.
-You must not bet on behalf of another person.
-You must not bet on behalf of a minor.
-You must not bet on behalf of an organization or entity.
What does the future of the regulatory landscape regarding online sports betting in the Philippines hold?


The future of the regulatory landscape regarding online sports betting in the Philippines is somewhat uncertain. The current laws are quite restrictive, and there has been little movement towards liberalization. However, with the growing popularity of online sports betting, it is possible that the government may eventually loosen up the regulations.

One thing that could boost the popularity of online sports betting is the increasing accessibility of internet and mobile devices. As more and more people gain access to these technologies, it will become easier for them to place bets online.

Another factor that could contribute to the growth of online sports betting is the increasing number of Filipinos who are interested in sports. With more people following and engaging with sports, there will be more potential customers for online betting sites.

Finally, the government's attitude towards online gambling could also have an impact on the future of online sports betting in the Philippines. If the government becomes more supportive of this industry, it could help encourage more people to try out online betting.

We just have to wait and see!

How to Find the Best Casino Betting App in the Philippines






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Are you interested in betting via super-convenient mobile apps? If your answer is “yes” we’ve got you covered! Read our guide below to learn how to find the best casino betting app in the Philippines with the best expert picks by your side!

The Philippines is no stranger to gambling, with many of its citizens enjoying casino games on a regular basis. However, the recent rise in popularity of casino betting apps has taken the country by storm, with more and more people now using their smartphones to place bets on their favorite games.

There’s almost an endless number of reasons why casino betting apps have become so popular in the Philippines, with convenience being one of the main ones. These apps allow users to place bets on their favorite games from anywhere in the world, as long as they have an internet connection. People can now gamble even when they’re on the go, which is perfect for those who lead busy lifestyles.

So, how do we find an app that’s perfect and that will suit all of our needs?




How to find the best casino betting app in the Philippines?

Casino betting apps have become increasingly popular in the Philippines because the bonuses and rewards that many of them offer are quite lucrative. These bonuses can often be used to place free bets or get discounts on future bets, which means that users can save a lot of money in the long run.

So how to ensure you’ve found the perfect app to claim those bonuses? Since there are numerous different casino betting apps available in the Philippines, it can be difficult to know which one is the best. However, there are a few things you can look for to help you make your decision and we’re here to list them all for you.

First, check the app store rating. The store rating will give you an idea of how popular the app is and what other users think of it.

Next, take a look at the reviews. See what people are saying about the app and whether or not they recommend it.

Finally, try out the app yourself. See how easy it is to use and whether or not it offers everything you're looking for in a casino betting app.




How to get the most out of your casino betting app in the Philippines?

If you wish to make sure you get the most out of your casino betting app in the Philippines, there are, in fact, a couple of things you can do. For your first step, make sure you choose an app that is reputable and has a good reputation. Some apps are scams and you want to avoid those.

For your second step, read the terms and conditions of the app before you start using it. Reading the terms and conditions will help you understand how the app works and what you can and cannot do with it.

For your third step, set a spending limit and stick to it. A defined budget will help you avoid overspending and getting into debt.

For your fourth step, use the app to its full potential. Make sure you take advantage of all the features and benefits it has to offer.

And for your last step, don’t forget to have fun! Betting should be enjoyable, so make sure you find an app that allows you to do just that.



The benefits of using a casino betting app in the Philippines

Since casino betting apps are extremely popular in the Philippines, you can only assume there are countless benefits of using them. For one, it is a convenient way to place bets on your favorite casino games. You can do this from anywhere in the world, as long as you have an internet connection.

Another benefit of using a casino betting app is that it offers better odds than most land-based casinos. The feature of better odds with casino betting apps is because online casinos have lower overhead costs, which means they can offer better payouts to their players.

Finally, using a casino betting app also allows you to take advantage of bonuses and promotions offered by online casinos. These bonuses and promotions, as we’ve already mentioned, can help you boost your bankroll and give you a better chance of winning big prizes.



What to look for when choosing a casino betting app in the Philippines?

And now, here’s what to look for when choosing the best casino betting app in the Philippines!

First, make sure that the app is licensed and regulated by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR). Licensing from PAGCOR will ensure that the app is safe and secure to use.

Next, check the app's customer support options. The best apps will offer 24/7 customer support, so you can always get help if you need it.

Third, make sure the app offers a wide range of games. The more games there are to choose from, the more fun you'll have.

Finally, check the app's bonuses and promotions. As you could have already figured out from the section above, the best apps will offer generous bonuses and promotions to keep you coming back for more.



What are the features of a good casino betting app and how to tell if a casino betting app is fraudulent?

There are a few key features to look for in a good casino betting app and we’ll now present them to you with a list

The app should be easy to use and navigate. It should have a clean interface that is simple to understand

The app should offer a wide variety of casino games to choose from. It should also provide users with the ability to place bets on live sporting events

The app should be secure and offer customer support in case there are any issues

And if you wish to make sure the isn’t fraudulent, follow the steps below

Check the reviews. If there are mostly negative reviews or no reviews at all, that's a red flag

Check to see if the app is affiliated with any reputable casinos. If not, that's another red flag

Contact customer support and see how responsive they are. If they're unhelpful or don't seem to know what they're doing, that's a good indication that the app is not legitimate.



What does the future of casino betting apps in the Philippines hold?

The future of casino betting apps in the Philippines is looking quite bright. With the increasing popularity of online gambling, more and more people are turning to casino betting apps to place their bets. This trend is only expected to grow in the coming years, as more and more people get comfortable with using these apps.

So what does the future hold for casino betting apps in the Philippines? It looks like they will continue to grow in popularity, as more and more people discover the many benefits that they offer.










How Modern Technology Has Impacted the Gambling Industry


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Gambling has been around for thousands of years. Previously looked upon somewhat as a taboo, the stigma attached to gambling is fast fading away as more people embrace it. Today, the gambling industry is worth billions of dollars, and it is projected that the value will only continue to increase.

Technological advancement has played and is still playing a significant role in the growth of the gambling industry. The technological space is dynamic, so both old and new online casino establishments have to keep up with the latest technologies to make their services more appealing to customers.

This article will provide a general overview of the impacts of technology on the gambling industry.



Ways Modern Technology Has Impacted the Gambling Industry

Here are just some of the most noteworthy ways in which modern technology has revolutionized the gambling industry:




Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence technology is being utilized in various ways in the gambling industry. They play a part in helping gambling companies improve their services by tracking user behavior and gathering data on customers. AI also moderates many casino games.

Additionally, AI equally helps in the delivery of fast and efficient customer services. Chatbots, which are available on most gambling websites, have been employed in handling customers’ inquiries. Only if a chatbot cannot satisfactorily handle an inquiry, the customer is transferred to a live agent.




Live Streaming

Streaming has become a part of our daily lives. Popular movie streaming apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu most likely ring a bell. As unexpected as it may seem, streaming has found its way into gambling with the introduction of live dealer games —real-time casino games handled by a croupier that can be streamed via a gambling company’s website.

The games are conducted in a casino studio or land-based casino. Some games that are available in live-dealer format include roulette, blackjack, and baccarat. The main reason why live dealer games have become popular is because they offer gamblers the experience of playing in a physical casino without the possible inconvenience of having to go and visit one.




Mobile Gaming

We live in a world where more than 50% of the population own a smartphone or some other mobile device. In contrast, much fewer people have personal computers. Considering these factors, it simply doesn’t make sense for gambling companies to neglect or exclude mobile users.

Most gambling websites are now mobile-friendly. Some gambling companies have even gone a step further and developed their own mobile applications. Supporting mobile gaming promotes inclusivity and allows people to play on the go when they don’t have access to or can’t use their computers.

Cloud gaming is a form of gaming where game data is stored and can be accessed from remote servers. This has eliminated the need to download large game applications or spend a fortune on high-end PCs. Since data is stored in the “cloud,” it can be accessed from anywhere, meaning that you can access and play these games on any device. All you have to do is have access to the internet and log into your account.

Cloud gaming is done online. Therefore, it requires a stable and fast internet connection for an optimal experience. Thankfully, 5G is more than up to the task. 5G is incredibly fast —100x faster than 4G— and can reach an insane download speed of 10GB per second.




Virtual and Augmented Reality

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are technological advancements that are set to revolutionize the gambling industry, as well as the rest of the gaming world. With the aid of a VR headset, players can immerse themselves into a 3D virtual world where they can interact with in-game characters and objects.

This technology is yet to be largely implemented in the gambling industry. However, plans are underway to achieve this. The real-life casino experience that virtual reality offers is something that many punters can’t wait to experience.




More Payment Options

Thanks to technology, gamblers now have a wide range of payment and withdrawal options to choose from. The most frequently used cashless options are debit/credit cards, e-wallets, and third-party services like PayPal.

Many gambling sites accept cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Ethereum, and Ripple. These cryptocurrencies are built on blockchain technology. When it is available as an option, many gamblers prefer to use cryptocurrencies because of their numerous advantages. Cryptocurrency transactions are generally anonymous, faster, and more secure.


Security

The fear of having sensitive and financial information compromised or even stolen discouraged people from making online payments and deposits in the past. However, technologies like SSL and TLS have made it harder for cybercriminals to hack websites and access people’s financial information. In countries where the government regulates gambling, it is usually mandatory for gambling sites to comply with the standard online safety practices.

Unfortunately, threats of security breaches and hacks are not the only thing punters have to worry about. Unscrupulous gambling companies often misuse and resell data collected from their customers. Laws such as the GDPR have been implemented to curb such activities.




High-quality Graphics and Audio

The use of high-definition graphics and 3D in game development has transformed the experience for many punters. Gone are the days of 2-dimensional unrealistic images. Games are much more realistic and visually appealing now.

Audio equally plays a part in providing an immersive gaming experience. Luckily, it has been getting the attention it deserves from developers. For each game, a soundtrack that fits it is carefully composed and integrated. Great audio and high-quality graphics go hand in hand for the best experience.




Conclusion

Modern technology has become the backbone of the gambling industry. According to Statista, the gambling industry is expected to grow from $59 billion in 2022 to $92.9 billion in 2023. There is no doubt that this mega growth will be driven by technology. From all indications, the role of technology in the gambling industry is not ending anytime soon.




Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Qatari ministry of labor report


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Here is the report prepared by the Qatari ministry of labor, including the positive statements, made by the international organizations regarding the position of the migrant workers in the State of Qatar, aiming to reflect the real situation of workers, enjoying the privileges, increasing the minimum wage for all private sector workers, including domestic workers, as well the accommodation provided and the other allowances, besides the insurance and health care.

The testimonies of the international organizations:

ILO, The African trade Union, ITUC-Asia, The European Parliament, Building and Wood Workers International, Marc Taralla MEP, FIFA, Migrant Forum in Ashia, OIOM UN MIGRATION,IDWF, International Trade Union Confederation ITUC, International Transport Workers on the above mentioned regards, refute any allegations, that reflects a negative images of the immigrant workers in the state of Qatar.


ILO Project Office for the State of Qatar

ILO Project Office for the State of Qatar published a report in December 2021 entitled: Progress report on the technical cooperation programme between the Government of Qatar and the ILO, in which it highlighted that:


"In March 2021 QataHs first non-discriminatory minimum wage came into force after a six-month transition period, applying to all workers regardless of their nationality and occupation, including domestic workers. In addition to a minimum monthly basic wage of 1,000 Qatari Riyals (QAR), the Law stipulates that employers must provide decent accommodation and food. or monthly allowances of at least QAR 500 for housing and QAR 300 for food. Between February and September 2021, over 280,000 workers or approximately 13 per cent of the total workforce in the private sector have seen their basic wage increase to the minimum threshold and many more have benefited from the new requirements on allowances."


"The Wage Protection System (WPS) is now able to better detect additional violations. A new version of Salary Information File that employers must submit includes a more detailed breakdown of the wage, including specific fields for allowances and any deductions."


Max Tunon Head of ILO Project Office for the State of Qatar gave a speech on the OSH day, 28 April 2022, in which he said that:

"In Qatar, we've seen a high degree of participation and engagement from all quarters. This is evident from the mix of speakers and participants in the room today. From several ministries and government entities, from major public clients and contractors, from workers' representatives in OSH committees and joint committees, from global unions like the BWI and ITF, from professional associations of safety officers, like IOSH; And importantly. the international partnerships that the Ministry of Labour has cultivated. represented today by the participation of the UKs Health and Safety Executive."



issued a press release on the end of its delegation's mission to Qatar on 21 February 2021, in which it stated:


"Qatar has established several best practice initiatives such as the elimination of exit visas; freedom to change employers, which have led to the progressive reform of the Kafala sponsorship system; instituted a national minimum wage payment that includes accommodation and feeding and those who opt out of company accommodation and feeding provisions have the option of being paid in lieu. The reforms have also delivered improved health and safety requirements in construction sites and anywhere temperature exceeds a certain degree; signing of labour contracts in a designated location (Qatar Visa Centres) before migrant workers' departure to avoid discrepancies upon arrival in Qatar, and the establishment of workers' representative council."


ITUC-Asia issued a press statement on 15 March 2022 entitled: ITUC-Asia Pacific Mission to Qatar. Major advances in labour reform set a solid platform for worker protection beyond 2022, in which it said:


"The mission welcomes the significant advances in the remuneration and working conditions of migrant workers in Qatar and complements the government for its continued commitment. Qatar is by far the regional leader in terms of workers' participation and social dialogue, labour mobility, labour law and international cooperation and transparency."

"The mission, the ITIJC and the ITUC-Asia Pacific would like to thank the government of Qatar for its time and hospitality and commends its openness to frank discussions as part of an ongoing and constructive dialogue and the ILO for facilitating the mission."


The European Parliament press room issued a statement on 17 May 2022 entitled:

Qatar: statement by European Parliament's Human Rights Subcommittee Chair Maria Arena, in which it stated:

"Since 2018. many reforms have been adopted with the impetus of the Qatar National Human Rights committee and the action of the Minister of Labour,

Dr Ali Al Marri. These include the abolition of the Kafala system. workerS mobility. the introduction of the minimum wage. workplace health and safety mechanisms. the creation of a social fund, the establishment of collective bargaining arrangements, and more. These reforms are important, but they need to be correctly implemented, evaluated and followed up. which is why we welcome the International Labour Organisation's engagement as a partner in implementing these reforms.


Dietmar Schäfers, Deputy-President of the Building and Wood Workers' International at OSH Conference also said:

"I also want to acknowledge the rapid progress on legislation and regulation that has been made here in Qatar to achieve fundamental rights and freedoms for migrant workers. This includes important provision on health and safety regulations, and the more recent measures to protect workers from heat stress, extending a ban on outdoor work during the peak heat season and making annual health checks mandatory."


The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security policy's report entitled: 2021 Annual report on human rights and democracy in the world. The report noted that:

"The Qatari NationalHuman Rights Committee has established regular interaction with EU institutions and Qatar invited the EUSR for Human Rights to visit the country."

"The dismantling of the sponsorship/kafala system, a positive step in labour laws reforms: In 2027, Qatar launched robust labour reforms, notably the dismantling of the sponsorship/ kafala system (which grants excessive powers to the employer over the employee) in 2027, and introduced a minimum wage for all workers, including foreign workers representing 88% of the countrys population. With these new reforms, Qatar is the first country in the Arab Gulf region to allow all migrant workers to change jobs before the end of their contracts without first obtaining their employeds consent."


Of course, in the context of the world, I think that Europe is probably is the default. We know that the minimum wage in Qatar is higher than in Romania and Bulgaria. We are not perfect in Europe. I think that the model in Belgium, Germany, France, Netherlands, Sweden and other countries regarding the social protection of workers is important, and I think that going to this model is an evolution where all workers are protected and they can get health care, money, pension when they are retired. It is fundamental. and I think our model is not perfect. I mentioned that we have a lack of workers' rights in Europe, because Europe is 27 countries, with several levels of life. I give you an example: the minimum wage is different in 22 countries. But it is IOx more higher in Luxembourg than in Romania. So there's a huge difference. - Marc Tarabella MEP co-chair of Parliament's Bureau of the Sports Group and ViceChair DARP Delegation for relations with the Arab Peninsula






«We have to acknowledge the important progress that has been achieved in Qatar over the last decade» said FIFA President Gianni Infantino. "Landmark legislative reforms have been introduced and have already brought concrete benefits for hundreds of thousands of migrant workers. «I am pleased to see the strong commitment from the Qatari authorities to ensure the reforms are fully implemented across the labour market, leaving a lasting legacy of the FIFA World Cup long after the event, and benefiting migrant workers in the host country in the long term. Challenges still remain - like in many other countries around the worldbut the progress achieved in the recent past is undeniable, as is the commitment to bring about positive social change."- Gianni Infantino, FIFA President


MIGRANT FORUM

Migrant Forum in Asia

New legislation in #Qqtqr provides greater protection to #workers from heat stress. Prohibited summertime working hours expanded by four weeks and annual health checks for workers introduced.


IOM's mission in Qatar and the National Human Rights Committee of Qatar

QATARNHRC have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 28 June 2021. The aim is to boost coordination in promoting human rights, migrant rights & combatting human trafficking.




MIGRANT FORUM

Migrant Forum in Asia

The Mission of the IOM in Qatar and the Qatar National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) signed a MOU with the aim of enhancing coordination in the field of promoting human rights, the rights of combating human trafficking.



International Domestic Workers Federation IDWF

Encouraging news from Qatar on Oct 17, the Council of Ministers of the state of Qatar announced the endorsement of "new legislation allowing workers to change employers freely"



International Trade Union Confederation ITUC ITUC CSI IGB

The IlO and Government of Qatar have published a new report on health and safety provisions for workers in Qatar demonstrating a new level of openness and transparency in support of workers' rights.


International Transport Worker' Federation (ITF)

Qatar's Ministry of Labor and ITF Global have signed an historic agreement to give transport workers the right to form joint committees and work towards achieving full unions.




International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF)

Good news for transport workers in Qatar-the ITF, @ADLSAQa have run their first forum for 100+ workers informing them about their rights and labour law changes in 2020

International Transport

Worker' Federation (ITF)

The ITF, the @ilo and the government Of Qatar have agreed to work together for the good of all transport workers. "We believe that the government of Qatar is fully committed to workers' rights generally.»

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

#Buhayilog: How to Revive Asia’s Rivers


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“We work all day to clean this river. Do you know that tomorrow, new trash will flow down from the uplands to again cover this riverbank with garbage?” says Junjun Brinola, a River Ranger from Imus in Cavite. “Our job never ends, but it’s okay with us. At least we’ll always have work.”

Like his fellow rangers, Junjun spent years as a basurero or wastepicker before finally landing a job as a government ranger. Now his 14-man team scours the Imus River and other waterways for garbage. But where does all the trash come from?

Project ASEANO, an international initiative to combat river waste, commissioned several studies to trace the sources of plastic pollution in the Imus River in Cavite, a rapidly-growing province south of Manila in the Philippines. Among the contributors of plastic waste are Food Service Enterprises (FSEs) like restaurants, plus households, which generate enormous amounts of garbage, especially from disposable sando-bags and sachets.


 

Understanding Sachet Culture

“Sachets have always been vilified, but they are socio-economic equalizers, allowing less-privileged people to taste and experience what wealthier people regularly consume,” explains Marvi Aguilar, a researcher from DLSU Dasmariñas. A 1.8-gram coffee sachet for instance, costs as little as PHP6, compared to PHP600 for a 300-gram jar of the same coffee. The cost difference makes it an obvious choice for minimum wage earners.

Sachets are most commonly sold in sari-sari stores, ubiquitous Filipino neighborhood stores which sell repacked goods ranging from rice to cigarettes. “Sari-sari stores sell what regular people can easily afford from a day’s wage,” shares Amy Demetillo, a sari-sari store owner from Dasmariñas. “Families can easily budget the available finances of their households because they buy only what they need, even if it’s just enough to cook a single meal.”

Though they generate significant amounts of waste, sari-sari stores help improve the lives of regular people, even becoming a lifeline for those who make next to nothing.

“Sachet culture is ingrained not just in the Philippines, but in many impoverished communities around the world, particularly in developing countries. We can’t just ban them, so a better solution might be to shift to biodegradable sachet packaging,” recommends Dr. Edwin Lineses of DLSU-Dasmariñas.

For used sachets, upcycling can be a solution. “Here in Imus, we have a facility which turns used sachets into handy items like grocery bags, which are durable and waterproof,” says Imus CENRO eco-aid Nerea Defensor.

Another waste contributor is the Food Service Industry (FSI), whose kiosks and restaurants generate enormous amounts of garbage, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, where take-out deliveries became the norm.

Many establishments are doing their part to minimize in-store waste. “We only give straws to our drive-through customers,” shares Lodde Navarro, who works for an international fast-food chain. “Dine-in customers are given metal utensils, plus durable plastic plates and cups. We also ask those who order take-out meals if they really need disposable utensils. These small steps help reduce our contribution of plastic waste.”



 

How Plastic Waste Flows to Sea

The journey of plastic waste from factories to groceries, from households to dumpsites, and from rivers to coastlines, is complicated. Partnerships in Environmental Management of the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA), which is implementing Project ASEANO in the Philippines and Indonesia, is tackling plastic pollution through an integrated plastic waste management approach which combines the use of science to adjust policies, adopt suitable technologies and build local capacity to monitor and manage waste.

The Philippine component of the project centers on the Imus River Watershed, one of six river systems in Cavite. The Imus River itself begins in the uplands of Tagaytay and Silang and passes through some of Cavite’s most densely-populated hubs, including Dasmariñas, Imus, Kawit and Bacoor, before discharging its contents into Manila Bay.

Once productive, the river is dying a slow death from pollution and sedimentation. “When we were young, we’d catch so many fish in this river,” recalls Noriel Gonzaga, a local official from the coastal municipality of Kawit. “It’s sad that today’s kids can no longer dive and swim in a clean and clear river, the way we used to. The riverbanks are no longer made of sand, but mud. Most fish are gone, with plastic and rubber tires everywhere. I’m calling out to my fellow Caviteños. Please look at what’s become of our beloved river. I hope we can bring it back to life.”

To communicate river and waste management solutions in an educational but engaging manner, Project ASEANO launched #BuhayiLog (Filipino for Life Beside a River), an interactive map of the Imus River which shows the various natural elements, challenges and solutions needed by both the public and governments to better understand how to manage Asia's rivers.

The map creatively explains real-world challenges like sedimentation and pollution, highlights solutions like deploying trash booms and conducting regular river cleanups, and points readers to an array of downloadable studies from social scientists, economists and environmental analysts.

“There are so many practical solutions to address the global challenge of plastic waste,” says PEMSEA executive director Aimee Gonzales. “Solutions can range from empowering often-ignored players like basureros and junkshops, to educating the next generation to be mindful of the waste they generate. Project ASEANO is a repository for integrated plastic waste solutions, particularly for riverside communities.”

Project ASEANO has been working closely with public and private sector allies to unlock the keys to reviving Asia’s rivers.

“Project ASEANO can be a guide for other parts of the country to improve existing policies and ordinances on how to combat growing plastic pollution in our rivers,” notes Cavite PGENRO Anabelle Cayabyab. “The project’s studies can help various sectors enhance their sense of social responsibility and be partners in addressing plastic pollution in other major rivers and tributaries.” public and government allies to better understand how to manage Asia's rivers. 






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