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LIFESTYLE NEWS & INFORMATION

20th November 2016
Airing of Miss U Pageant in Philippines gets time slot
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on November 20, 2016, 5:40 pm

(By Azer Parrocha (philstar.com) | )

 

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Philippines News Agency) —The Philippines' hosting of the next prestigious Miss Universe pageant on Jan. 30, 2017 will be aired live on all TV networks at around 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., a tourism official said.

Department of Tourism (DOT) Undersecretary for Media Affairs Kat De Castro made this confirmation in a press conference in Davao City on Saturday urging those interested in seeing the pageant in the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena to “come early.” 

De Castro said that an inter-agency task force composed of the DOT, the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Department of Finance (DOF) was also formed to make sure the staging of the pageant runs smoothly.

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A Peek at Imelda Marcos' Wild Shopping Spree Splurges
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on November 20, 2016, 5:02 pm

(By Jacqueline Arias, Inquirer.net via preen | 20 Nov 2016)

A Peek at Imelda Marcos' Wild Shopping Spree Splurges If you still don’t believe that the Marcoses owe us a fortune, Imelda Marcos’ shopping list serves as a brief reminder.

Titled “5 Shopping Sprees So Wild, They Made History,” The Cut shows how extravagant the former first lady was.  The article first notes that Imelda “left her collection of 3,000 shoes when they fled the country in 1986.”

It also goes into detail of her wild sprees in New York where she spent $2 million in jewelry and buying a $3.5 million Michelangelo painting in Rome.  For some reason, she also spent $2,000 for chewing gum in San Francisco and asked a plane to make a U-turn back to Rome so she can buy cheese.  Seriously, did she really need all this stuff? Not to mention that she spent $10.3 million to renovate the entire town of Sarrat, Ilocos Norte for the wedding of her daughter Imee.

And yes, if you’re going to do the math, the government would’ve built two major airports and can feed the hungry for generations with the ill-gotten wealth she embezzled from the Filipino people.
 


1st December 2013
'Fast & Furious' actor Walker killed in crash
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on December 1, 2013, 8:08 am

(By Associated Press, 1 December 2013)

 LOS ANGELES - A fiery crash north of Los Angeles has killed 40-year-old Paul Wlaker, the star of the "Fast & Furious" movie series, and one other person in the vehicle.

Deputies found a Porche Carrera GT engulfed in flames when they responded to a report of a collision Saturday afternoon in the community of Valencia, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said.   The two people who were found in the car were pronounced dead at the scene.

Walker's publicist  Ame Van Iden confirmed the actor's death.  A statement on Walker's Facebook page said he was a passenger in a friend's car, and that Walker was in the area to attend a charity event for his organization Reach Out Worldwide.

The Sheriff's Department said that speed was a factor in the crash.

The Santa Clarita Valley Signal reported that the Porche crashed into a light pole and tree and burst into flames.  The fundraiser, to benefit victims of Typhoon Haiyan, took place at a nearby race car shop.  Attendees rushed to put out the flames with fire extinguishers to no avail.

Wlaker is survived by his 15-year-old daughter.


28th September 2013
MEGAN YOUNG CROWNED MISS WORLD 2013
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on September 28, 2013, 10:25 pm

(By Associated Press / INQUIRER.net, 10:25 pm | Saturday, 28 Sep 2013)

BALI, Indonesia --- Miss Philippines, Megan Young, was crowned Miss World in a glittering finale on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on Saturday.

"I promise to be the best Miss World ever," Young, 23, said after winning the 63rd annual event, as a large number of Filipino fans who traveled with her celebrated by jumping and waving the country's flag.

"Salamat sa mga kababayan ko.  Mahal na mahal ko kayo (Thanks to my compatriots. I love you very much),” said the teary-eyed actress after she was crowned on Hindu-majority Bali at the end of a three-week contest.

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30th June 2013
Over 32,000 OFW Flexi-fund members get SSS annual incentive benefits
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on June 30, 2013, 7:02 am

(By Sigfredo Ibay, sss.gov.ph, 14 June 2013)

 More than 32,000 qualified overseas Filipino workers with active accounts at the Social Security System’s (SSS) provident fund for OFW-members earned additional income totaling P12.54 million in the form of annual incentives for 2012. This is triple the amount of guaranteed earnings on their Flexi-fund savings from last year.

SSS Senior Vice President and International Operations Division Head Judy Frances See said nine out of every ten SSS Flexi-fund members qualified for the first-ever release of the annual incentive benefit (AIB), which is based on OFW-members’ personal Flexi-fund equity posted as of end of the applicable year.

"Flexi-fund members with no full early withdrawal claims or benefits filed in 2012 qualified for the AIB. They do not need to file an application for availment because the SSS automatically posts the AIB amount to their Flexi-fund accounts," she said. "The more Flexi-fund savings a member has, the higher the AIB amount will be. For 2012, the member with the biggest Flexi-fund equity received an AIB amount of P106,498."

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11th June 2013
SSS reaches P4.76-B in Vis-Min collections in first quarter
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on June 11, 2013, 7:15 am

(By Sigfredo Ibay, sss.gov.ph, 11 June 2013)

BUTUAN CITY --- The Social Security System (SSS) collected a total of P4.76 billion in contributions from members in Visayas and Mindanao from January to March 2013, up by nine percent from its P4.35-billion collection during the same period in 2012. This was disclosed by SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio de Quiros, Jr. during a "Kapihan sa SSS" with members of the local press.

De Quiros, who was in Northern Mindanao for the formal launch of SSS partnerships with two informal sector groups as well as meet with employers and members in the area, said collections in this region also grew by five percent for a total of P704.25 million.

"Our accomplishments in Visayas and Mindanao, as well as in Northern Mindanao, are in step with overall SSS performance during the first quarter, which is characterized by higher contribution collections complemented by improved management of benefits," he said. Vis-Min benefit payments for January to March 2013 amounted to P5.4 billion, of which P4.83 billion were for retirement, death and disability benefits; P205.11 million in maternity benefits; P258.83 million in funeral grants; and P101.87 million for sickness, medical services and rehabilitation.

"Total benefit payments in Vis-Min decreased by four percent compared with the P5.6 billion total for the first quarter of 2012. For Northern Mindanao, benefit disbursements slightly rose by one percent this year to P833.2 million," de Quiros said.

The SSS enhanced its Annual Confirmation of Pensioners (ACOP) program in 2012 to ensure that only rightful beneficiaries receive SSS pensions. Early this year, the agency further improved the ACOP by basing the compliance date on the member’s birth month to help pensioners remember their annual schedule for confirming their continued eligibility for pension.

The "AlkanSSSya" microsavings program and accreditation of organized groups as collecting and servicing partner agents helped bolster the pension fund’s efforts to widen SSS coverage and encourage more workers to save for retirement through active SSS membership.

"We have stepped up our campaign to reach out to workers in Northern Mindanao, with the AlkanSSSya launch for the Magallanes Cabadbaran Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association on June 7. We will also sign an agreement on the same day with the Baug CARP Beneficiaries Multi-Purpose Cooperative for the SSS coverage of over 6,800 farmers," he said.

The SSS North Mindanao division office is located in Cagayan de Oro City. The SSS also has offices in Butuan, Cabadbaran, Camiguin, Gingoog, Iligan, Oroquieta, Ozamis, San Francisco, Surigao, Tandag, Trento and Valencia to serve over 49,700 employers and nearly 1.5 million registered members in the region.


9th June 2013
SSS protection for TODA members gets support of local cooperative
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on June 9, 2013, 7:17 am

(By Sigfredo Ibay, sss.gov.ph, 9 June 2013)

BUTUAN CITY --- The Social Security System (SSS) will launch on June 7 its innovative microsavings scheme called "AlkanSSSya" for the social protection of nearly a hundred public transport workers in Agusan del Norte, a program which has also drawn the support of a local cooperative. SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio de Quiros, Jr. said members of the Magallanes Cabadbaran Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (MCTODA) will drop in their first-ever savings in their very own AlkanSSSya unit, the fabrication of which was subsidized by the Baug CARP Beneficiaries Multi-Purpose Cooperative (BCBMPC).

"Public transport workers such as tricycle drivers are especially vulnerable to road hazards and pollution, which can affect their capacity to earn for their family. With the AlkanSSSya, MCTODA members will have SSS to depend on during times of financial contingencies," de Quiros said. "In support of SSS efforts to promote social protection, the BCBMPC voluntarily subsidized the cost of the AlkanSSSya unit for MCTODA members."

All of MCTODA’s 98 members will have their own coin slot in the AlkanSSSya unit, which houses a total of 160 slots. BCBMPC is open to granting the remaining 62 slots to its own members as well as to other informal sector workers who wish to store their daily SSS savings in the AlkanSSSya.

AlkanSSSya participants at present include TODA members, market vendors, golf club workers, garbage pickers, jail inmates, barangay employees, farmers and fisherfolk. The SSS Butuan branch is in talks with a women’s group, a local government unit and a pump boat workers’ association for their future participation in the program.

"The AlkanSSSya makes it easy and affordable for informal sector workers to save as little as about P12 per day for monthly SSS contributions. Their accumulated savings wil be picked up by an SSS collecting agent at the end of every month, making it convenient for them to remit their contributions," he said.

Among those expected to attend the AlkanSSSya launch are officials and representatives from the local government, the SSS, MCTODA and BCBMPC. The Magallanes head office of BCBMPC, which is a multi-awarded cooperative that provides financial services to farmers and other marginalized workers in Northern Mindanao, will serve as the event venue.

"June 7 will be a double-celebration day as the AlkanSSSya launch immediately follows our signing of a memorandum of agreement with the BCBMPC for the social protection of its 6,800 farmer-members," de Quiros noted. "The interest and support for the AlkanSSSya shown by various groups continue to fuel our drive to bring social protection within reach of informal sector workers. These also attest to how well the concept works in encouraging workers to save for their future, one day at a time."


1st February 2013
SSS lauds signing of Kasambahay Law
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on February 1, 2013, 8:35 pm

(By Sigfredo Ibay, SSS Administration, 1 Feb 2013)

The Social Security Sytem (SSS) welcomed the signing into law by President Benigno Aquino III last January 18 of Republic Act No. 10361, "An Act Instituting Policies for the Protection and Welfare of Domestic Workers", or more popularly known as the Kasambahay Law. SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio S. de Quiros, Jr. said that the Law, which took over 17 years in the making, furthered strengthened SSS’ long-standing mandate to provide social protection to household workers, which include maids, family drivers, nursemaids or yaya, gardeners, cooks, or laundry women.

"As early as September 1, 1993, the SSS had already made the registration and coverage of househelpers mandatory," de Quiros explained. "We have made significant strides in fulfilling that mandate, but this new Kasambahay Law has more ‘teeth’ in terms of enforcing compliance and punishing non-compliance. More importantly, househelpers are given wider social protection through their mandatory membership and contributions in Philhealth, and Pag-IBIG, aside from SSS."

Under current SSS guidelines, household employers must register their househelpers and remit to SSS their monthly contributions, the amount of which is shared between the employer and the househelper. The rate of contribution is 10.4 percent of the gross income, with the employer paying 7.07 percent and the employee paying 3.33 percent of the total 10.4 percent. Under the Kasambahay Law, househelpers earning P5,000 or less per month are exempted from being deducted for their share in social security contributions, which the household employer must bear alone.

"In terms of penalty, non-compliance to the provisions of the Kasamabahay Law carries a fine of not less than P10,000 but not more than P40,000. This is significantly higher than the current penalty imposed by SSS of not less than P5,000 and not more than P20,000. So, hopefully, household employers will be further deterred from not obeying the law," de Quiros said.

Household helpers are required to secure an SS number before they can be reported for coverage under the SSS by filling out Personal Record (SS Form E-1) and submitting it to the SSS together with the original/certified true copy and photocopy of their birth certificate, baptismal certificate, driver's license or passport. In their absence, secondary documents like voter's ID, school ID, police clearance and other ID's may also be submitted.

The SSS shall issue Employer (ER) Numbers to all new or first time household employers upon submission of properly accomplished ER Registration (SS Form R-1) and Employment Report (SS Form R-1A), which shall contain the SS numbers and names of their househelpers. Meanwhile, household helpers who are using their SSS numbers to pay for the contributions of their househelpers shall be allowed to do so until they are provided their respective ER numbers.

The SSS has partnered with different banks and institutions to accept payments from employers. ER payments may also be made thru Automatic Debit Arrangement (ADA) with accredited banks or over-the-counter at Bayad Center outlets and SM Business Centers.

As of December 2012, the SSS has 95,860 Househelpers in its membership rolls. As of October 2012, contributions made by Househelpers and their employers reached around P189 Million, or 0.2 percent of total SSS collections then of P78.5 Billion.

The SSS is set to release soon new guidelines to incorporate the provisions of the Kasambahay Law.


29th January 2013
SSS: Kasunduang pang-seguridad ng mga magsasaka, nilagdaan
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on January 29, 2013, 8:04 pm

(By Sigfredo Ibay, SSS Administration, 29 jan 2013)

CABANATUAN, Nueva Ecija --- Tiyak na ang seguridad ng ilang magsasaka sa Nueva Ecija matapos pirmahan ang isang kasunduang naglalayong pagtibayin ang kanilang proteksyon sa ilalim ng Social Security System (SSS).

Pinangunahan nina SSS President at Chief Executive Officer Emilio S. de Quiros Jr at Deep Well Sumulong Irrigators Association (DWSIA) President Maximo Hernal ang paglagda sa memorandum of agreement (MOA) sa naganap na pagtitipon ng mahigit kumulang 1000 magsasaka mula sa iba't ibang Irrigators Associations (IAs) noong Enero 29 sa Cabanatuan.

Sa ilalim ng MOA, magbibigay ng tulong pinansyal ang DWSIA sa 200 kasapi nitong magsasaka para sa mas mataas na kontribusyon sa SSS.

“Tutumbasan ng DWSIA ang bawat hulog ng magsasaka na may halagang kapantay ng kanilang buwanang kontribusyon. Samakatuwid, tataas ng doble ang halaga ng kontribusyong maihuhulog nila sa SSS kada buwan.” ani de Quiros. “Halimbawa, kung ang magsasaka ay may P156 para sa hulog, madadagdagan pa ito ng P156 na manggagaling sa DWSIA. Sa kabuuan, ito ay magkakahalaga ng P312 buwanang hulog. Dahil dito, mas mataas rin ang maaari nilang makuhang benepisyo o loan amount mula sa SSS,” paliwanag ni de Quiros.

Dagdag pa niya, layon ng ahensya na palawigin ang programa at ikalat sa buong Central Luzon upang mas mapabuti ang proteksyon ng mahigit kumulang 69,000 magsasakang miyembro ng mga IAs sa rehiyon.

“Sa pamamagitan ng kasunduan, makaseseguro ang mga magsasakang naibibigay sa SSS ang kanilang mga kontribusyon dahil mismong kanilang mga IA ang maghuhulog nito para sa kanila,” sabi ni de Quiros.

Ang bawat IA sa Central Luzon ay binubuo ng mga lokal na magsasakang kumakatawan sa mga may-aring lupa at manggagawa sa bukid. Ang pondong gagamitin bilang tulong pinansiyal ng mga IA ay mula sa cash incentives na ipinagkakaloob sa kanila ng National Irrigation Authority (NIA) para sa maayos na pagpapanatili ng kanilang irrigation system.

Nakasaad rin sa kasunduan ang pagtatalaga sa DWSIA bilang SSS servicing agent. Binibigyan nito ng kapangyarihan ang DWSIA na tumanggap at sumuri ng mga aplikasyon ng mga magsasaka para sa kanilang SSS number, salary loan, at benepisyo sa pagpapalibing. Kasama na din dito ang pagpapatunay ng “fact-of-death” ng nasawing miyembro.

“Bilang aming servicing agent, babayaran ng SSS ang DWSIA ng apat na piso bilang processing fee sa bawat aprubadong transaksyon,” ani de Quiros.

Ang DWSIA ay isa sa 131 IAs sa ilalim ng Division III ng NIA-Upper Pampanga River Integrated Irrigation System (UPRIIS). Sila ay may 185 na kasaping magsasaka na nangangalaga ng 218.55 hektarya ng lupa na pinamumunuan ni Hernal na kasalukuyang president rin ng Federation of IAs ng Division III.

“Hangad namin na sundan pa ng kagayang kasunduan ang SSS-DWSIA MOA para masaklaw ang marami pang magsasaka sa ilalim ng NIA-UPRIIS sa mga lalawigan ng Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac at Bulacan,” dagdag ni de Quiros.

Ang NIA-UPRIIS ay may limang dibisyon na sumasaklaw sa 391 IAs sa Central Luzon.


7th January 2013
New SSS branch clinics enhance delivery of medical services
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on January 7, 2013, 7:41 pm

(By Sigfredo Ibay, SSS Administration, 2 Jan 2013)

The Social Security System (SSS) simultaneously opened branch clinics in more than 50 strategic locations, including island provinces and far-flung SSS branches, across the country on January 7, 2013 to ensure effective delivery of medical services to members and SSS employees.

SSS Medical Services Division Officer-in-Charge Dr. Leticia Ong said 54 branches nationwide has launched Physical Examination (PE) Centers manned by SSS doctors and furnished with basic medical equipment and supplies such as medicines for first aid.

"The PE Centers will serve as hubs for SSS medical services that will conduct physical examination of members with sickness and disability claims. The Centers will also provide check-ups, consultations and other medical services to SSS employees and their dependents," she said.

Ong said one to five SSS doctors are assigned in every PE Center, depending on the branch’s size and volume of transactions. The clinics were set up in isolated areas within SSS branches to offer members privacy and comfort during their physical examination and interview.

"Sickness and disability claimants are often within hearing distance of other transacting members. With the new PE Centers, we address their need for privacy in discussing sensitive details about their health so that SSS doctors can better evaluate their medical condition," she said.

Each PE Center has a waiting area and at least one examination table, which are enclosed with a curtain. The SSS will assess its implementation of PE Centers after six months and study the possibility of opening more SSS branch clinics by then, Ong said.

New PE Centers at SSS branches in Diliman, Novaliches, Pasig-Shaw, Caloocan, Marikina, Antipolo, Manila, Makati-Gil Puyat, Makati-J.P. Rizal, Pasay-Roxas, Alabang, Taguig and Mandaluyong cater to members in the National Capital Region starting on January 7.

At the same time, Luzon-based PE Centers were opened to members in Baguio, La Union, Tuguegarao, Laoag, Olongapo, Malolos, Pampanga, Cabanatuan, Tarlac, Dagupan, Calamba, Binan, Bacoor, San Pablo (Laguna), Lipa, Lucena, Puerto Princesa, Calapan, Naga and Legaspi.

"Our branches in Cebu, Lapu-lapu, Tacloban, Ormoc, Calbayog, Maasin, Bohol, Bacolod, Iloilo, Dumaguete, Cagayan de Oro, Iligan, Valencia, Butuan, Surigao, Davao, Kidapawan, Tagum, General Santos, Dipolog and Zamboanga also have PE Centers for our members in the south," Ong said.


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 ON THE INTERNATIONAL FRONT
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