N. Korea says it test-fired tactical ballistic missile with new guidance technology

North Korea said Saturday it has test-fired a tactical ballistic missile equipped with a new “autonomous” navigation system in a bid to advance its weapons capabilities.

The North’s leader Kim Jong-un oversaw the weapons test on Friday, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). The report did not reveal further details such as how many missiles were fired.

“The accuracy and reliability of the autonomous navigation system were verified through the test fire,” the report said.

The South Korean military said Friday it detected the North’s firing of several short-range missiles from the eastern coastal city of Wonsan. The missiles flew about 300 kilometers and landed in the East Sea, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

It marked the first weapons test since April 22, when North Korea fired shells from 600-mm super-large multiple rocket launchers, considered to be short-range ballistic missiles, toward the East Sea.

The provocation came one day after Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian Pre
sident Vladimir Putin reaffirmed their support for North Korea during their summit in Beijing. The leaders adopted a joint statement opposing “acts of military intimidation” against North Korea by the U.S. and its allies.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

Cebu reports P176.8-M damage to crops, now under state of calamity

CEBU CITY: Governor Gwendolyn Garcia on Friday declared the entire Cebu province under a state of calamity as 32 of its 50 local governments reported PHP176.8 million in damage to crops and livestock amid the onslaught of El Nin~o.

Garcia pledged to focus on assisting the agricultural sector. She, however, clarified that the declaration does not intend to give ‘dole outs’ to the residents but is a recognition of the damage being beyond normal.

‘The culture we wish to nurture in the entire province of Cebu (is) not a culture of mendicancy,’ she said.

Capitol records showed that as of May 16, El Nin~o has affected 12,312 farmers and fisherfolk tilling a total area of 3,179.32 hectares.

Garcia said she would issue an executive order to lay down the parameters for providing assistance to farmers.

Meanwhile, the Provincial Board is set to pass a resolution on May 20 supporting the governor’s declaration.

Source: Philippines News Agency

14K Bicolanos among recipients of DSWD-AKAP aid for low-income sector

LEGAZPI CITY: Residents classified as near-poor of those in the low-income bracket received financial aid at the launch of the Ayuda para sa Kapos ang Kita Program (AKAP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in the Bicol Region on Saturday.

Ian Boy Loterte, from Market Site in Daraga, Albay, headed home with his earnings as a tricycle driver and PHP3,000 from AKAP.

“Thank you to the DSWD and President (Ferdinand R.) Marcos (Jr.) because people like me now receive aid. It feels good to go home with extra income for my family. I will go home with more this day,” Loterte, 29, told told the Philippine News Agency in the vernacular. ‘It’s fair that government assistance is now given to all. We also need help. Even if we’re earning, it’s not enough.”

Loterte, his wife and three children — aged 7, 6, and 1 — survive with his daily income of PHP350.

The assistance he received would be for the maintenance of his tricycle and food for the family.

“I hope there will be more to come because m
y expenses will no longer be deducted from my income. I can buy tires for my tricycle and repair some parts that will last for more than six months, ensuring the safety of my passengers,” he said.

Arlan Mendez, 31, of Barangay San Roque, said living with minimum wage is not enough because they pay for house rental.

“‘Yung mga ganitong tulong, sobrang pasalamat ako. Hindi ko na ito hahanapin. Magpipila na lang. Sa tagal ng panahon, sa wakas na-isabay din kami. Ngayon lang nangyari ito (I’m very grateful for the help. I won’t look for money anymore. I’ll just stand in line. We finally got included. This happened just now),” he said while making a thumbs-up gesture.

In a statement, Speaker Martin Romualdez said at least a million beneficiaries in 334 areas nationwide will receive PHP3,000 each at the launch.

AKAP has an allocation of PHP26.7 billion in the 2024 budget of the DSWD.

‘Sa utos ng Pangulong Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., binuo natin ang programang ito para tulungan ang ating mga kababayang mahihirap na
apektado ng pagtaas ng mga presyo o (Upon the directive of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., we created this program to help poor Filipinos affected by the rising prices or) inflation,’ Romualdez said.

To qualify for the cash aid, one must belong to the low-income category, or whose income does not exceed the minimum wage.

The AKAP assistance includes funeral and medical benefits.

In an interview, DSWD-Bicol AKAP chief Donna Osial said for the Bicol Region, a total of 14,770 minimum wage earners received cash aid during the simultaneous payout in 14 venues in Albay, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Catanduanes, Sorsogon and Masbate.

The region’s minimum wage is PHP395. Kasambahay (household help), cooks and gardeners get PHP5,000 monthly.

“The AKAP is part of the government’s commitment to alleviate the economic hardships faced by communities, especially amidst the inflation, to ensure that no one is left behind. Most of the beneficiaries were tricycle drivers, laborers, sales ladies, and domestic helpers,
” she said.

DSWD-Bicol Director Norman Laurio said the program is not only to provide temporary help but also to give hope and inspiration to each beneficiary.

“The Marcos administration aims to ease the burden of our countrymen and help them get out of poverty,” he said in an interview. “With the help of our local governments, partner organizations, and other stakeholders, we will ensure that every cent of aid reaches our fellow Bicolanos who are most in need.”

Source: Philippines News Agency

Brazil to host FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2027

ISTANBUL: Brazil will host the 2027 Women’s World Cup, the 10th edition of the football event, FIFA Congress announced in Thailand on Friday.

“At the 74th FIFA Congress in Bangkok, Thailand, Brazil was announced as the host nation of the 10th FIFA Women’s World Cup to be held in 2027, becoming the first South American nation to host the tournament,” FIFA said in a statement.

Brazil garnered 119 votes during the bidding, followed by Belgium, Netherlands, and Germany.

Since the inaugural tournament in China in 1991, at least one edition has been hosted by Sweden, the US, Germany, Canada, France, Australia, and New Zealand.

Source: Philippines News Agency

3 wanted individuals fall in Laguna

CALAMBA CITY: The police arrested two alleged murderers and a wanted carnapper in separate operations in this province over the weekend.

Col. Gauvin Mel Unos told reporters on Saturday that one of the suspects, identified only as Ryan, was apprehended Friday in Lumban town for murder.

He was ranked the No. 2 most wanted individual in Calabarzon.

Another wanted person in the regional level, identified only as John, was arrested in Barangay Lamot 2, Calauan for murder and frustrated murder.

Ryan and John had standing arrest warrants at the time of their capture, with no bail recommended.

Meanwhile, the long arm of the law finally caught up with a suspected carnapper who had been on the run for 12 years.

‘Mark’ was arrested in Barangay Bambang, Los BaƱos based on a warrant of arrest issued by the Regional Trial Court Branch 34 here on June 28, 2012.

Source: Philippines News Agency

UP Manila reduces carbon footprint with more solar panels

MANILA: The University of the Philippines Manila (UPM) is advancing its commitment to environmental sustainability by expanding its solar panel installations across campus, effectively reducing its carbon footprint.

The solar panel arrays — a total of 10,000 square meters — will be laid out on 11 academic and administrative buildings, allowing the country’s premier health sciences university to produce 1,600 megawatt hour (MWh) renewable power leading to PHP17 million annual electricity savings.

‘Inspired by the Energy Efficiency Excellence (EEE) award that we received from the Department of Energy, we have come up with a plan that would lessen our campus’ carbon footprint by 1,000 tons annually which is equivalent to the planting of 177,000 trees in our campus,’ UP Manila Chancellor Michael Tee said in a news release on Saturday.

In December 2023, UPM was one of the 27 government institutions honored with the prestigious EEE award in recognition of its outstanding dedication to implementing and embracin
g energy efficiency and conservation programs, innovations, and practices.

Carbon footprint refers to the cumulative volume of greenhouse gases, encompassing emissions like carbon dioxide and methane, produced by an activity, product, company or nation.

Typically measured in metric tons of emissions per specific unit of comparison, carbon footprints offer crucial insights into environmental impact and efforts toward sustainability.

‘We are on track to become the nation’s biggest and independent campus power producer of renewable energy. The heat index is the language of the sun speaking to us about the need to respond to climate concern,’ Tee said.

UPM started its renewable energy project in November 2022 when it installed 48.6 kilowatts peak solar panels (also known as photovoltaic panels) at the Henry Sy Sr. Medical Sciences Building, covering a total of 554 square meters roof area and generating an annual savings of P650,000 in electricity charges.

It translates to the planting of 6,558 trees around t
he campus.

Source: Philippines News Agency