World Newsletter

PHILIPPINES NEWS
14 January 2020

TAAL 'HAZARDOUS ERUPTION' LIKE 'ATOMIC BOMB' BUT WON'T CARRY SAME ENERGY: 
PHIVOLCS 

MANILA - A hazardous eruption of Taal Volcano will look like an "atomic bomb 
explosion" but will not carry the same energy, a state seismologist said 
Monday. 
The volcano remains under alert level 4 which means a hazardous explosive 
eruption is possible within hours to days, Phivolcs said. 
"Siguro ang closest na puwede nating ihambing sa malakas na pagputok ng Taal 
ay isang atomic bomb explosion 'yung hitsura niya, hindi 'yung energy," 
Phivolcs volcano monitoring division chief Ma. Antonia Bornas told 
reporters. 
Among the hazards of the eruption include base surges or expanding rings of 
turbulent mixture of fragments and gas at the base of explosion columns. 
Other hazards include widespread ash fall, landslides, volcanic gas, 
liquefaction, fissuring, and volcanic tsunami, according to Bornas. 


DUTERTE VOWS TO SIGN EO ON MEDICINE PRICE CAPS 

MANILA - President Duterte has vowed to sign a proposed executive order (EO) 
that would lower the prices of more than 100 life-saving medicines, saying 
it would benefit the public. 
The health department has been pushing for an EO that would cut the prices 
of 122 drugs by half, noting that Filipinos are spending more for medicines 
compared to their neighbors in the region. 
Drugs that may be covered by the price regulation include those that treat 
cancer, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, neonatal and chronic 
lung diseases. 
"I will sign it. That's good for the Filipino, reduced prices or maintaining 
a price, I will even sign the document twice over," Duterte told broadcaster 
Ted Failon in an interview aired over radio dzMM yesterday. 
Duterte said agencies are still studying the proposed order. 


DUTERTE WANTS NUMBER OF POGOS REGULATED 

MANILA - President Duterte wants to limit the number of Philippine offshore 
gaming operators (POGOs) in the Philippines, saying the presence of too many 
gaming hubs has "side effects" and will pose difficulties for regulators. 
Duterte said while POGOs have created jobs, they cannot be "in every town 
and city," otherwise authorities would not be able to police them all. 
"Many Filipinos have benefited from jobs but you have to temper it also with 
the corruption. There is always the law enforcement. I am not only zeroing 
in on police, but I am warning them, there are a lot of, how do you call it, 
side effects of too many (POGOs)," the President said in an interview aired 
over dzMM yesterday. 
About 130,000 Chinese nationals are working for POGOs. 


STATE OF CALAMITY DECLARED IN BATANGAS 

MANILA - The province of Batangas was placed under a state of calamity 
yesterday, a day after Taal Volcano exploded, sending ash and debris to as 
far as Metro Manila and Central Luzon. 
Disaster teams struggled to penetrate areas blanketed by ash to rescue or 
help ferry thousands of residents fleeing a potentially destructive 
eruption. 
Near-zero visibility caused by the rain of ash has hampered the exodus of 
residents and tourists from many parts of Batangas. 
Provincial Vice Gov. Mark Leviste said local officials made the decision to 
declare a state of calamity during a meeting of the Sangguniang 
Panlalawigan. "No need to go through the usual government processes because 
we are in an emergency situation," he said. 
Under a state of calamity, the provincial government can now utilize P60 
million in emergency funds to address the needs of people displaced by the 
catastrophe. 


TAAL SURVIVORS HAGGLE TO CHECK HOMES IN VOLCANO'S DANGER ZONE 

AGONCILLO, Batangas -- Those living within Taal's expanded danger zone on 
Tuesday sought to briefly return to their homes and survey damage from heavy 
ashfall, with the volcano still under watch for a possible "hazardous" 
eruption. 
The town's police chief, Capt. Danilo Manalo, said Agoncillo was off limits 
due to ash and frequent earthquakes. Some 39,000 people have been evacuated, 
he told ABS-CBN News. 
In neighboring San Nicolas town, Mayor Lester de Sagun pleaded with 
residents wanting to return to leave as soon as they check their belongings. 
"Mga kasama, pagkakuha ng mga gamit, Level 4 pa din, kailangan tayo'y 
magsilikas pa din," he said, referring to the volcano warning that remains 
in force. 
Taal spewed a giant ash column on Sunday, shutting markets and offices on 
Monday and forcing the cancellation of hundreds of flights. At one step 
below the highest alert level, state vulcanologists said a "hazardous" 
eruption was still possible. 
Batangas was placed under a state of calamity on Monday, which will enable 
the local government to tap emergency funds and freeze prices of basic goods 
as needed. 
President Rodrigo Duterte said late Monday that he would visit areas 
affected by the volcano on Tuesday. 


NO MAN'S LAND: ANIMALS, PLANTS IN TAAL ISLAND ALREADY DEAD AFTER ERUPTION - 
NDRRMC 

MANILA - Plants and wildlife in Taal island are already dead following the 
volcano's release of ash and lava, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and 
Management Council said Tuesday. 
As of early Tuesday, some 18,000 residents from the towns of Laurel, Balete, 
Talisay, San Nicolas, Agoncillo, Alitagtag, Mataas na Kahoy, Lemery and the 
cities of Tanauan and Lipa in Batangas have been evacuated, according to 
NDRRMC spokesman Mark Timbal. 
"The residents were the first ones to be evacuated, and the animals were 
next in line. But when rescuers were supposed to return, the escalation 
prevented them from doing so," he told ANC's Early Edition. 
"We were informed during aerial inspection that both flora and fauna in the 
volcano are dead already so there would be no reason for our rescuers to 
return." 
The figure will rise as some residents within the 14-kilometer danger zone 
continue to be evacuated, Timbal said. 
"We surmise that the reason for them insisting of going now because they are 
aware that alert level 4 means there's an imminent eruption," he said. 
Supply for residents in 76 evacuation centers are still sufficient but 
donations of food, drinkable water, and sleeping kits are welcome, he added. 
Donations may be coursed through the NDRRMC, the social welfare department, 
and local government units, Timbal said. 


FILIPINOS IN LIBYA TOLD: EVACUATE DESPITE CEASEFIRE TALKS 

Filipinos in Libya still need to evacuate away from previous encounter sites 
in the capital even as the UN-recognized government and strongman Gen. 
Khalifa Haftar ironed out a ceasefire agreement, an envoy said Tuesday. 
First raised by Manila's foreign affairs department in May, the highest in a 
4-step crisis alert system remained hoisted over Tripoli and nearby areas, 
which called for the mandatory evacuation of Filipinos there, said 
Ambassador Elmer Cato said. 
Only 12 Filipinos so far requested repatriation. Filipinos in Libya, who are 
mostly nurses, refuse to leave their jobs, Cato said. 
"Hindi nila maiwan iyong kanilang mga trabaho at naintindihan naman natin 
iyong sitwasyon nila," he told radio DZMM. 
"Ang understanding natin sa Filipino community dito is while handa ang 
Embahada na i-repatriate sila, kung hindi pa sila ready ay just make sure na 
umiwas sila sa kaguluhan," he added. 
During talks in Moscow on Monday, Haftar delayed signing a ceasefire 
agreement that would end 9 months of fighting with the UN-recognized 
government headed by Fayez al-Sarraj. 
Sarraj's Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli has been under 
attack since last April from forces loyal to Haftar, who is based in the 
east of the country along with his loyalist politicians. 
The 2 sides were expected to agree the terms of a ceasefire that took effect 
over the weekend, raising hopes of an end to the latest fighting to wrack 
the oil-rich North African country since a 2011 NATO-backed uprising killed 
longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi. 
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Sarraj and the head of High 
Council of State in Tripoli, Khaled al-Mechri, have signed the document, but 
Haftar and his ally Aguila Saleh "have asked for a bit more time until 
morning" to study it. 
Turkey and Russia's foreign and defence ministers acted as mediators, but 
the rival delegations did not apparently meet face-to-face. 


DUTERTE ON MANILA BAY RECLAMATION: NOT IN MY TIME 

MANILA - President Duterte said yesterday he is not inclined to approve 
proposed Manila Bay reclamation projects as he emphasized the need to 
protect the environment and the public. 
"If it's an investment to infuse more money into the Philippine economy, 
it's OK. But reclaiming 10,000 hectares of the Manila Bay is mind-boggling. 
There might be some offices and residences," Duterte said in an interview 
over radio station dzMM. 
"I am not ready to grant it. Not in my time, as long as there is no 
guarantee that the environment will be protected and the health of the 
people safeguarded," he added. 
Duterte said an audit should be conducted to determine whether the 
reclamation area could absorb waste from the residences and offices that 
would occupy it. 
He noted that buildings should be connected to a water treatment facility. 
The proposed Manila Bay reclamation involves 25 projects covering 10,000 
hectares from Navotas City to Cavite. 
Four projects have been given notices to proceed by the Philippine 
Reclamation Authority, including the Navotas coastal bay and the Horizon 
Manila 418-hectare reclamation. 


COFFEE FARMS WORST HIT BY TAAL ASHFALL 

MANILA - Ash from Taal Volcano has affected 752 hectares of agricultural 
land in Cuence, Lemery and Taal in Batangas, according to an initial 
assessment by the Department of Agriculture, with coffee farms being the 
most affected. 
Citing reports from its Calabarzon regional field office, the DA said damage 
to agriculture is at an estimated P74.55 million. Ninety-nine percent, 
around P73.96 million, of the estimated crop damage, is to coffee. 
According to a report in Agriculture Monthly in November, Batangas province 
produces 13% of the coffee supply in Calabarzon, although the region only 
accounts for 7% of the country's coffee production of about 35,000 metric 
tons a year. The bulk of Philippine coffee, 77%, is grown in Mindanao. 
The ashfall has also affected 102 animal head, the DA said. 
The ash is also expected to damage around 6,000 fish cages on the lake and 
will affect stocks of tawilis and tilapia. 
"[P]roduction loss is estimated at 15,033 metric tons since fishkill is 
expected in Taal Lake due to high sulfur content brought by the volcanic 
eruption, according to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources," the 
department also said. 
The DA assured the public, however, that there is enough rice for the needs 
of the affected areas, with more than 4 million bags allocated to relief 
agencies for distribution to evacuees. 


WANT TO HELP? DAMAYAN WELCOMES DONATIONS FOR TAAL RELIEF DRIVE 

MANILA - The Philippine STAR's social arm, Operation Damayan, is mobilizing 
a quick-response fund drive to reach out to communities around Taal Volcano 
that have been severely affected by Sunday's eruption. 
Close to 25,000 individuals from Batangas and Cavite have been evacuated 
from the immediate vicinity of the volcano. 
Donations in cash and in kind, preferably food, water, masks, medicine and 
other relief items such as clothing, towels, blankets, toiletries, sleeping 
mats and other basic essentials are most welcome. 
Taal Volcano remained under Alert Level 4 as of yesterday. The fund drive 
received a total seed donation of P500,000 yesterday with P300,000 from 
Philippine STAR, Pilipino Star Ngayon and Pilipino Star Printing; and 
P100,000 each from regular donors LV-TGFHA and MGB. Donations may be 
deposited to Philstar Daily Inc./Operation Damayan Metrobank Savings Account 
No. 151-7-15152422-9. 
Donations in kind may be delivered to The Philippine STAR headquarters at 
202 Roberto Oca corner Railroad Sts., Port Area, Manila. Interested donors 
may also contact 8527-7902 to 15 local 194. 


ENDING BREAKUP RUMORS, NADINE POSTS VIDEO WITH JAMES IN BRAZIL 

Nadine Lustre and James Reid appear to have weathered the latest intrigue to 
rock their relationship, as they shared snaps of each other following 
reports that they have broken up. 
Over the weekend, Reid posted on Instagram Stories a clip of Lustre in Rio 
de Janeiro, where the two are reportedly shooting a fashion editorial for 
lifestyle magazine Mega. 
On Monday, Lustre similarly posted a selfie video of her beside Reid, where 
they can be seen pulling faces while using a crying filter. 
The couple's back-to-back updates featuring each other came a week after 
rumors that they had separated. 
Lustre eventually denied this, specifically addressing a column by 
Philippine Star editor Ricky Lo. 
The supposed "disrespectful" wording of her statement subsequently triggered 
an on-air tirade from radio host Jobert Sucaldito, whose suicide-related 
joke targeted at Lustre became a controversy of its own. 


ABS-CBN UNVEILS 2020 LINEUP OF TV SHOWS, MOVIES, IWANT RELEASES 

MANILA - ABS-CBN on Monday revealed its lineup of TV programs, movies, and 
streaming platform releases for the coming year, including the teleserye 
comeback of Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla, and a big-screen romance 
starring Coco Martin and Angelica Panganiban. 
Over a dozen new titles were introduced in the trailer dubbed "Sama-Sama 
Tayo sa 2020," from drama series, Star Cinema films, to iWant originals. 
Among them are January releases: the teleserye "Make It With You" (January 
13), the military drama "A Soldier's Heart" (January 20), the zombie flick 
"Block Z" (January 29), and iWant's "My Single Lady" (January 22). 
On television, Kapamilya viewers can look forward to "Love Thy Woman" (Kim 
Chiu, Xian Lim, Yam Concepcion), "Kahit Minsan Lang" (Bea Alonzo and Richard 
Gutierrez), "Ligaya" (Ivana Alawi), "Heart to Heart" (Maymay Entrata, Edward 
Barber), "The Voice Teens" (new season), "Everybody, Sing!" (Vice Ganda game 
show), and "Tanging Mahal" (Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla). 
ABS-CBN's streaming platform iWant is also packing fresh original content, 
such as "Call Me Tita" (new season), "Batang Poz" (new season), "I Am U" 
(Julia Barretto and Tony Labrusca), "I" (Zanjoe Marudo and Lovi Poe), "The 
Tapes" (Sam Milby and Yassi Pressman), "Sunday Night Fever" (Nathalie Hart 
and Diether Ocampo), and "Quezon's Game" (online premiere). 
Offerings from ABS-CBN Films included in the trailer were "Fangirl" (Paulo 
Avelino), "U Turn" (Kim Chiu), "Love or Money" (Panganiban and Martin), 
"Motel Acacia" (JC Santos), "Kun Maupay Man It Panahon" (Daniel Padilla and 
Charo Santos), and "Servando Magdamag" (John Lloyd Cruz and Shaina 
Magdayao). 
Cross-platform collaborations were also enumerated, including "The Soulmate 
Project" (James Reid and Nancy McDonie), and "He's Into Her" (Donny 
Pangilinan and Belle Mariano). 


PBA: GINEBRA USES BIG 3RD QUARTER TO DOWN MERALCO 

For Barangay Ginebra head coach Tim Cone, the game was defined as a tale of 
two halves. 
What was a close affair in the first 24 minutes became a rout for most of 
the second half as his team held off the Meralco Bolts, 92-84, in Game 3 of 
the PBA Governors' Cup Finals Sunday evening at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. 
Ginebra outscored Meralco 35-16 in the third quarter to widen what had been 
a narrow 43-42 lead at the half. The win gives Ginebra a 2-1 lead in the 
best-of-seven series. 
"[The Bolts] were tough to handle. For the most part, we were able to get 
our game going tonight. That's the way we play. We got some stops and got on 
the open court. Stanley [Pringle] had a bunch of spectacular plays," Cone 
said after the game. 
However, Allen Durham surged for 12 points in the fourth to trim a 23-point 
deficit to just five, 87-82, with 2:04 left in the game, as he finished with 
23 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists, and six turnovers. 
Ginebra counterpart Justin Brownlee had an all-around statline of 24 points, 
nine rebounds, and nine assists, including some big assists down the 
stretch, which led to an LA Tenorio triple, and a Japeth Aguilar layup to 
clinch the game. Aguilar also put up 23 points and seven blocked shots. 
"It's a great team win. Everybody was really focused. We were shaky in the 
beginning ... We had a defensive mindset throughout the whole game. That's 
what we pride ourselves on," said Brownlee. 
Pringle was also instrumental in the critical third quarter, posting 17 
points in the period. 
Meralco guard Chris Newsome had a contrasting performance of 24 points and 
six rebounds, wherein he scored 20 in the first half. 
The Bolts were dealt a huge loss as big man Raymond Almazan suffered a left 
knee strain at the 5:55 mark of the first quarter. He was carried to the 
dugout and did not return. 
Almazan was immediately brought to a hospital for further evaluation. 
Game 4 will be played this Wednesday, 7 p.m., at the same venue. 
THE SCORES 
Ginebra (92) -- Brownlee 24, Aguilar 23, Pringle 21, Tenorio 11, Slaughter 
6, Thompson 5, Devance 2, Mariano 0, Dillinger 0. 
Meralco (84) -- Newsome 24, Durham 23, Faundo 10, Jackson 8, Amer 6, Pinto 
3, Quinto 2, Hodge 2, Almazan 2, Caram 2, Maliksi 2, Hugnatan 0. 
Quarter Scores: 24-21, 43-42, 78-58, 92-84 

SCHEDULE 
Game 4 - Jan. 15 7:00 PM (Araneta) 
Game 5 - Jan. 17 7:00 PM (MOA Arena) 
Game 6 - Jan. 19 6:30 PM (Phil. Arena) 
Game 7 - Jan. 22 7:00 PM (Phil. Arena) 


NBA SCORES JAN 12 


FINAL 
    1    2    3    4    T 
team logo Heat 27-12    31    29    34    27    121 
team logo Knicks 11-29    27    28    29    40    124 
SCORING LEADERSJ. Butler MIA 
25 PTS, 10 REB, 6 AST 
J. Randle NY 
26 PTS, 8 REB, 4 AST 


FINAL 
    1    2    3    4    T 
team logo Jazz 27-12    23    32    38    34    127 
team logo Wizards 13-26    34    32    25    25    116 
SCORING LEADERS 
    B. Bogdanovic UTA 
31 PTS, 3 REB, 3 AST 
    B. Beal WAS 
25 PTS, 1 REB, 4 AST 


FINAL 
    1    2    3    4    T 
team logo Warriors 9-32    26    33    17    26    102 
team logo Grizzlies 18-22    27    33    35    27    122 
SCORING LEADERS 
    D. Russell GS 
34 PTS, 7 REB, 4 AST 
    J. Valanciunas MEM 
31 PTS, 19 REB, 1 AST 


FINAL 
    1    2    3    4    T 
team logo Spurs 17-21    21    22    26    36    105 
team logo Raptors 25-14    28    23    31    22    104 
SCORING LEADERS 
    D. DeRozan SA 
25 PTS, 8 REB, 4 AST 
    S. Ibaka TOR 
21 PTS, 14 REB, 1 AST 


FINAL 
    1    2    3    4    T 
team logo Hawks 8-32    16    30    20    20    86 
team logo Nets 18-20    37    33    22    16    108 
SCORING LEADERSC. Reddish ATL 
20 PTS, 0 REB, 2 AST 
K. Irving BKN 
21 PTS, 4 REB, 3 AST 


FINAL 
    1    2    3    4    T 
team logo Hornets 15-27    24    21    26    21    92 
team logo Suns 16-23    18    28    25    29    100 
SCORING LEADERS 
    D. Bacon CHA 
24 PTS, 5 REB, 2 AST 
    K. Oubre Jr. PHO 
25 PTS, 15 REB, 1 AST 


FINAL 
    1    2    3    4    T 
team logo Clippers 27-13    30    22    22    30    104 
team logo Nuggets 27-12    29    37    23    25    114 
SCORING LEADERSK. Leonard LAC 
30 PTS, 5 REB, 4 AST 
N. Jokic DEN 
20 PTS, 15 REB, 6 AST 

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