Armed with placards saying "National Academic Break Now!" while wearing face masks and face shields and practicing physical distancing, Filipino students demanded accountability from the government for its "criminal negligence" during recent typhoons and the coronavirus pandemic. Fed up with the government's inefficiency, there's no stopping youth activists Bern de Belen and Elise Ofilada, both from One Big Strike – a student-led movement formed at the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) – from holding government accountable. Together with at least 20 more Ateneans, they wrote a manifesto calling for a nationwide academic strike beginning Wednesday, November 25. (READ: Ateneo students call for nationwide academic strike vs Duterte gov't ) "Our education is at stake here. We believe in the bigger cause that we're fighting for. We believe that no student should be left behind in this situation," De Belen said in a Rappler Talk interview on Tuesday, November 24. ... » Learn More about School time out during a pandemic? Pros and cons of an academic break
IRRELEVANT QUESTIONS. Ilocos Norte Representative Rodolfo Fariu00f1as, Capiz Representative Fredenil Castro, 1-Ang Edukasyon Representative Salvador Belaro Jr, and Kabayan Representative Harry Roque all asked questions ranging from whether what was between Dayan and De Lima was u201ctrue loveu201d to when the two entered the u201cclimaxu201d of their relationship. MANILA, Philippines – Lawmakers in the House of Representatives crossed the line on Thursday, November 24, as they pounded Ronnie Dayan with questions about his intimate relationship with his former employer Senator Leila de Lima. The former aide and ex-lover of De Lima faced the House committee on justice two days after he was arrested in La Union. He has been accused of being De Lima's bagman in the illegal drug trade. Netizens were quick to criticize legislators who asked Dayan |irrelevant questions that sought to bring out juicy details about their relationship, but which had nothing to ... » Learn More about The House’s ‘climax’ congressmen: Who are they?
RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories – The idea of a Palestinian state existing alongside Israel has been the basis of decades of international efforts to end the conflict. After new US President Donald Trump's administration said it is no longer wedded to the so-called two-state solution, here are some questions and answers about the idea and the possible alternatives. The two-state solution envisions independent Israeli and Palestinian states coexisting side by side peacefully. This means creating a Palestinian state on the rough basis of the situation before 1967, when Israel occupied east Jerusalem and the West Bank in a war with its Arab neighbors. The so-called Green Line demarcates the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, which the Palestinians see as their capital. In 1988, then Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat unveiled a declaration of independence which for the first time talked of two states. This recognition is endorsed by ... » Learn More about FAST FACTS: What is the two-state solution?
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is under fire following the dumping of artificial white sand along the Manila Baywalk. The government defends its decision, saying the beautification of the bay will “signify cleanliness.” The white sand is made from dolomite rock mined and exported from Cebu. Later reports revealed that Cebu province did not greenlight the extraction, but it was the DENR’s Mines and Geosciences Bureau that did. But what exactly is dolomite, the material at the center of the controversy? We know it's the material from which the sand is made, but other questions about its possible adverse effects on Manila Bay persist. Here's basic information you should know. Used in construction Dolomite, also known as calcium magnesium carbonate, is a non-metallic material used in manufacturing bricks, mortar, cement, concrete, plastics, paving materials, and other construction materials. The rock originates in warm, ... » Learn More about FAST FACTS: What is dolomite sand, and how will it affect Manila Bay?
After weeks of tracking Delta COVID-19 cases, the Philippines confirmed local transmission of the super contagious variant in the country on Thursday, July 22, prompting local governments to impose a fresh round of marginally stricter restrictions and brace for a possible surge in cases. The Philippines’ neighbors in Southeast Asia have shown the potential devastation Delta can bring to communities and health systems, especially as large portions of the population remain unvaccinated. The Philippines has not reached that point yet, but experts stressed now is the time to act. A better strategy to manage a surge is to ensure health facilities are always prepared, regardless of whatever community quarantine level is implemented. “ Hindi po ‘yung mag-e-escalate po tayo at saka pa lang naghahabol. Dapat parating ready (We can’t wait for numbers to escalate and then only catch up. We need to be always ready),” said Dr. Anna Ong-Lim, a pediatric infectious disease ... » Learn More about Delta COVID-19 cases in PH: What we know and what we don’t
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte wants to get rid of public bidding in implementing big-ticket projects, and instead apply a Swiss challenge, to help eliminate corruption in government. But under the country's build-operate-transfer (BOT) and procurement laws, not all projects can be implemented via Swiss challenge – the course the government takes when dealing with unsolicited proposals. This is when the government invites private groups to make competing offers, while giving the original proponent the right to match them. "Swiss challenge is allowed under the BOT Law , in the case of an unsolicited proposal. It is, however, not allowed under the Government Procurement Act," Rene Santiago, a transportation expert and president of Bellwether Advisory Services, told Rappler in an e-mail correspondence. According to Republic Act 7718, or the Philippine BOT Law and its implementing rules and regulations, infrastructure projects listed as ... » Learn More about EXPLAINER: Not all projects are eligible for a Swiss challenge
MANILA, Philippines – What is Benham Rise, and who owns it? The subject has come up in recent days, after the Philippines' defense department revealed that China has shown interest in the territory located off Aurora province, with a Chinese ship spotted surveying the area for as long as 3 months last year. Asked about this, President Rodrigo Duterte seemed to confuse the issue with the Philippines' dispute with China over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). But Benham Rise, located in the Philippines' eastern border and far away from the West Philippine Sea, is not disputed territory. Unlike Scarborough Shoal, no other country is claiming the underwater plateau believed to be rich in minerals and gas. UN confirmation: PH's extended continental shelf Benham Rise is a 13-million-hectare underwater plateau located near Aurora. It is larger than Luzon, the Philippines' biggest island, and is considered part of the Philippines' ... » Learn More about FAST FACTS: What you should know about Benham Rise
TAKE YOUR MONEY ELSEWHERE? The United Nations, European Union, and United States were among the top donors in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda in 2013. MANILA, Philippines – The United States embassy in Manila recently posted a series of photos and videos depicting the relief operations conducted in several areas across the Philippines. These relief operations were done in the aftermath of the Zamboanga siege and Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), both in 2013. The online posts came amid recent tirades by President Rodrigo Duterte against the US, among other nations, ever since the US became critical of Duterte's war on drugs. On Tuesday, October 4, Duterte said he would never "kneel" before the US and even told President Barack Obama to " go to hell ." The European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) have also been targets of Duterte's invectives, following their criticism of the rising death toll as the administration's campaign ... » Learn More about What Typhoon Yolanda foreign aid looks like without US, EU, and UN
There was nothing that President Rodrigo Duterte said in his final State of the Nation Address (SONA) that we had not heard before, but his statements on some issues on Monday, July 26, departed from what he said during his first address in 2016 . The speech lasted 2 hours and 45 minutes – the longest by any president post-EDSA Revolution – and it covered infrastructure, illegal drugs, and the pandemic, among other talking points that were staple in his ordinary speaking engagements and briefings. But what changed between his first SONA in 2016 and last SONA in 2021? Rappler counted at least four changes in reference to the following: Historic Hague ruling on the West Philippine Sea Corruption in government Communist insurgency War on drugs West Philippine Sea and the Hague ruling First State of the Nation Address (2016): “With regard to the West Philippine Sea otherwise known as [South] China Sea, we strongly affirm and ... » Learn More about First and last: Changes between Duterte’s 2016 and 2021 State of the Nation Addresses
NCRPO CHIEF. New Metro Manila top cop Guillermo Eleazar speaks at the Quezon City Police District. File photo by Eloisa Lopez/Rappler NEGROS ORIENTAL, Philippines – Following orders from Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar Albayalde, over 25 police officials have been uprooted from their posts on Friday, June 1. This development is among the promises of new top cop Albayalde, who vowed to bring to Camp Crame his stern style of leadership in the Metro Manila police. The reassignments were based entirely on merit, Albayalde said, disregarding requests for longer stays or transfers to coveted posts. For Chief Superintendent Guillermo Eleazar, however, it's just like coming home. Plucked from heading the Calabarzon regional police, he was tapped to lead the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) . Eleazar, fondly called "Guillor" by people close to him, now watches over the country's most populous, ... » Learn More about Meet Guillermo Eleazar, Metro Manila’s new police chief