The recent brouhaha at the Department of Agriculture, now chair by no less than President Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos, Jr, exposes many in the political spectrum, especially in the sugar industry, as premature press releases.
Initially, there were talks among the sugar industry stakeholders that the Philippine government needed to import 300 metric tons of sugar to augment the after the current milling season.

The President sits as chairman of the Sugar Regulatory Board, which decides whether the local sugar industry can produce the needed products in the domestic market. The board must present an importation plan to the President sitting as the Agriculture Secretary, which is required to determine whether the Philippines has an ample supply of sugar to protect the interest of the sugar industry.
Four days ago, the headline in most major daily centers on President Marco's rejection of 300,000MT of sugar import plan Press Secretary Trixie Cruz Angeles said.

But the press release from the Press Secretary runs counter to the news released by the Sugar Regulatory Board, which approved an import plan Aug. 9, 2022 for delivery no later than No. 30.

According to the import plan prepared by the Sugar Regulatory Administration, the Philippines will fall short, ending the month of August, the need for the importation of sugar.
Malacanan Palace is now undergoing an investigation as an offshoot of Sebastian's resignation as DA undersecretary for operations.

Atty Vic Rodriguez, executive secretary, just recently released the appointment of Sebastian, who retains his position, but added other responsibilities and was given the authority to sign contracts and head the procurement on the agency's behalf.

What I am reading from the press releases of the Press Secretary is that there is a misunderstanding between Atty. Vic Rodrigues and Undersecretary Sebastian.




Marcos govt faces first serious controversy, over sugar imports

By Rigoberto Tiglao, Aug. 15, 2022

LESS than two months in power, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s administration faces its first crisis that could dent the public’s confidence in his capability to lead.

At best, the issue reveals a chaotic, amateurish Malacañang bureaucracy — where officials are elbowing each other, as an insider described it in Filipino (nagbabalyahan).

At worst, it points to corruption at the highest levels since the issue, whether to import sugar or not, involves the opposing interests of elite groups — sugar planters who hate imports because they bring their prices down vs food and beverage manufacturers, whose margins increase with lower prices for the sweetener. None of these elites are beyond offering bribes for government to go their way, with their industries set to lose or make billions of pesos depending on the regulatory body’s decision.

P9 billion

And then there are the traders who would be getting a huge commission from the importation of 300,000 metric tons of sugar roughly worth P9 billion after they get the authority to do so from the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA).

It’s even a double-whammy for Marcos’ prestige. First, the controversy involves the SRA under his direct supervision as he appointed himself Agriculture secretary since he thinks he is the best qualified to run the department.

Second, there are allegations that it was his most trusted official, Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez, who ordered both the agriculture undersecretary who could represent Marcos on the board, Leocadio Sebastian and the SRA administrator Hermenegildo Serafica, to get the body to issue “Sugar Order No. 4” on August 9, which allows the importation of 300,000 MT of sugar, roughly worth P9 billion.

This is purported to prevent a steep rise in local prices, since the SRA’s projections show a shortfall, partly due to the delays of a previous importation order because of a planters’ suit against such imports that was granted by two courts and because of the Typhoon “Odette” that ravaged sugar-growing areas.


The day after the SRA issued its order and posted it on its website, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles was on the warpath, claiming that the resolution was illegal. “The chairman of the Sugar Regulatory Board is President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. As such chairman, he sets the date of any meetings and convening of the Sugar Regulatory Board and its agenda. No such meeting was authorized by the President, nor such a resolution was likewise authorized,” she said. Strangely the usually staid press secretary, who most often smiles while talking, pouted the whole time, and menacingly and melodramatically announced, “many heads will roll.”

This is the first time in the Republic’s history that Malacañang publicly declared a decision by a body in the executive branch it supervises illegal. This never happens since any government body in the executive branch always secures Malacañang’s approval first for any decisions that have a national impact.

The lady doth protest too much. The SRA posted its order on its website August 9, with the president’s signature, and those of the SRA administrator Serafica, lawyer Roland Beltran representing the sugar millers, and Aurelio Valderrama, for sugar planters. After the press pointed this out, Cruz-Angeles changed her story, that it was not just illegal, but Marcos’ signature was faked.

I find it difficult to believe that Serafica would risk at least 12 years imprisonment for falsifying a public document, a crucial one, the signature of the President of the Republic. Furthermore, Serafica, before President Duterte appointed him as administrator, had been a sugar planter who represented sugar planters before in the SRA. Why would he risk imprisonment for an SRA inimical move to planters, as the importations could reduce sugar prices?


Why Tiglao resigned

HERE'S THE SCORE - Teodoro C. Benigno -


PHILSTAR April 17, 2002 | 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The whole thing looks like a page out of Alice in Wonderland. Press Secretary Rigoberto (Bobi) Tiglao just took himself a bride, the fetching Gethsemane (Getsy) Selirio. That may not have been a shocker. After all, Bobi Tiglao was a bachelor, his wife having died just about a year ago. But when President Gloria Macapagal’s press secretary announced he would take a six-month leave to take over the job as visiting professor fellowship at Kyoto University, then I knew it was adios, adieu and hasta la vista. The whole thing was choreographed, with Bobi having no choice but to scram out of Malacañang before he sunk deeper into the pits. know whereof I speak.


I was press secretary and spokesman of President Corazon Aquino for almost three years. It was a job I didn’t seek, enjoying as I did then the emoluments of Agence France-Presse Manila bureau chief and a roving foreign correspondent. But Cory Aquino beckoned and her martyred husband a bosom friend of mine, I eventually relented. Why not? In retrospect. It was a chance to serve the nation. It was also a chance to prove one could be a model public servant without looting the public till I figured I was excellently qualified for the job, having labored in the vineyards of journalism for 36 years.

Dual Nationality

Section 101(a)(22) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) states that “the term ‘national of the United States’ means (A) a citizen of the United States, or (B) a person who, though not a citizen of the United States, owes permanent allegiance to the United States.”


Therefore, U.S. citizens are also U.S. nationals. Non-citizen nationality status refers only to individuals who were born either in American Samoa or on Swains Island to parents who are not citizens of the United States.


The concept of dual nationality means that a person is a national of two countries at the same time. Each country has its own nationality laws based on its own policy.


Persons may have dual nationality by automatic operation of different laws rather than by choice. For example, a child born in a foreign country to U.S. national parents may be both a U.S. national and a national of the country of birth. Or, an individual having one nationality at birth may naturalize at a later date in another country and become a dual national. 

U.S. law does not mention dual nationality or require a person to choose one nationality or another. A U.S. citizen may naturalize in a foreign state without any risk to his or her U.S. citizenship. However, persons who acquire a foreign nationality after age 18 by applying for it may relinquish their U.S. nationality if they wish to do so. In order to relinquish U.S. nationality by virtue of naturalization as a citizen of a foreign state, the law requires that the person must apply for the foreign nationality voluntarily and with the intention to relinquish U.S. nationality. Intent may be shown by the person’s statements and conduct.

Dual nationals owe allegiance to both the United States and the foreign country. They are required to obey the laws of both countries, and either country has the right to enforce its laws. It is important to note the problems attendant to dual nationality. Claims of other countries upon U.S. dual-nationals often place them in situations where their obligations to one country are in conflict with the laws of the other. In addition, their dual nationality may hamper efforts of the U.S. Government to provide consular protection to them when they are abroad, especially when they are in the country of their second nationality.



Business Mentor: Tips on getting a franchise business

By Armando BartolomePosted at Jul 09 2022 09:12 AM | Updated as of Jul 09 2022 11:14 AM

MANILA, Philippines — The pandemic has led many to reexamine their lives and career choices, leading a lot of people to think of starting their own businesses. 

But setting up your own business is not easy. It entails a lot of risks. 

Apart from the usual set of challenges that entrepreneurs come across, small business owners now need to be extra cautious to ensure the safety of everyone in the workplace. 

To lessen the stress brought about by starting a business from scratch, joining a franchise brand may just be the answer. When business owners are part of a successful franchise system, the franchisor is there to provide support. Aligning with a proven brand can help prospective franchisees through the following: marketing, support, access to specific resources, and leadership.

However, the big question is: what should an aspiring franchisee need to consider when starting a franchise business?


But first, you need to understand what you are getting into yourself. This article should help guide you on how you can start your entrepreneurship journey by creating a franchise business.

1. Focus on what you think interests you the most 

I always advise my mentees to start with a business close to their heart. I think the best way to start any business is to honestly know in your core that you will be 100 percent involved in the industry. For example, if you are a.....


DOT positions New Clark City as premier tourism investment hub

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New Clark City (Photo courtesy of DOT)


MANILA – The Department of Tourism (DOT) is rooting the development of the Clark Freeport Zone (CFZ) and the New Clark City in order to further boost the recovery of the country’s tourism industry.


During the first Central Luzon Tourism Investment Summit and Business Exchange (CLTISBEX) Hybrid Edition held recently at Hilton Clark Sun Valley Resort, the DOT, in collaboration with the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) and the Subic-Clark Alliance for Development (SCAD), showcased how CFZ and the New Clark City may be positioned as premier tourism hubs -- Clark as a modern sustainable metropolis and a preferred MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibits) destination and the New Clark City as an ideal destination for sports tourism in the Asia-Pacific region.

In a news release Tuesday, DOT 3 Regional Director Caroline Uy said “through the help of the private sector, the goal is to transform the Clark Freeport Zone into a preferred business and tourism destination in the Asia Pacific region and enable investors to find long-term economic returns.”

US employers struggle to find enough workers

By Agence France-Presse, August 14, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C.: Salespeople, food servers, postal workers —"Help Wanted" ads are proliferating across the United States, as companies struggle to deal with a worker shortage caused by the pandemic, a rash of early retirements and restrictive immigration laws.

More than 10 million openings went unfilled in June, according to government data, while fewer than six million people were seeking work, even as employers desperately try to boost hiring amid a frenzy of consumer spending.

"We have a lot of jobs, but not enough workers to fill them," the US Chamber of Commerce, re


  AUG. 15 - 22, 2022

Marcos to speak at UN General Assembly on Sept. 20

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President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos, Jr. (File Photo)


By: Daniza Fernandez - Reporter / / 11:32 AM August 08, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is expected to speak at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on September 20, Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel “Babes” Romualdez said on Monday.

“We have recommended to him — Secretary [Enrique] Manalo recommended that we attend the United Nations General Assembly,” Romualdez said on ANC’s Headstart.

“So, President Marcos is expected to speak at the UN on September 20th which is the day it starts,” he went on.

According to the envoy, several people are “very eager” to listen to Marcos Jr., and many heads of state have asked to meet with him.

Marcos has been preparing for his engagement and has created an outline for his speech, said Romualdez.

The president’s key message would be about the COVID-19 pandemic recovery.


“He has already put together a sketch or an outline for his speech. This is very important for us. I think we’re ready to sort of telling the world that we’re here, we’re going to play a major role in the global community,” Romualdez shared.


“More importantly, which is part of what President Marcos has always said, the recovery from the pandemic is not going to be done by one country alone but by the world. That probably will be his message at the United Nations,” he added.

Duterte won't allow foreign prosecutor to exercise jurisdiction over him: Roque

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Former President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (File Photo)

ABS-CBN News, Posted at Aug 02 2022 09:38 AM | Updated as of Aug 02 2022 10:18 AM


MANILA - Former President Rodrigo Duterte will not allow a foreign prosecutor to exercise jurisdiction over him, one of his counsels said Tuesday.

Former presidential spokesperson, lawyer Harry Roque said he met with Duterte Monday night along with former executive secretary Salvador Medialdea, and Solicitor General Menardo Guevarra among others at the Rizal Park Hotel.

"He (Duterte) has made his position very clear: Now that he is no longer president, he no longer has immunity from suit. All those who have grievances or complaints against him should file a criminal case before a Philippine prosecutor. If there's probable cause, he’s willing to face them but before a Philippine court," Roque told ANC's Headstart.


"If he’s found guilty of violating Philippine International Humanitarian Law which states the crimes punishable under ICC (International Criminal Court) then he will face the consequences and will face time in a Philippine jail. Under no circumstance will he allow a foreign prosecutor, any foreign judge, court to exercise jurisdiction over him."

ABS-CBN to acquire a third of TV5, Cignal to buy into Sky Cable


By Pilar Manuel, CNN Philippines, Published Aug 11, 2022 11:11:45 AM, Updated Aug 11, 2022 11:54:00 PM

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 11)– Listed ABS-CBN Corp. announced Thursday that it would acquire more than a third of TV5 Network Inc., making it the single biggest minority shareholder in the Manny Pangilinan-led broadcasting company.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange, ABS-CBN said the deal involves the acquisition of new common shares of TV5, representing 34.99% of total voting and outstanding capital stock, for ₱2.16 billion. MediaQuest Holdings, the media arm of the MVP Group, still has a controlling stake at 64.79%.

ABS-CBN said both companies would execute a convertible note agreement, which involves conversion into 5.5 million more common shares of TV5 eight years from its issuance. By then, ABS-CBN would own nearly half or 49.92% of TV5.

“This transaction is transformational for both companies and is envisaged to significantly enhance significantly TV5’s capability to deliver content and coverage to the Filipino public in the areas of entertainment, news, sports and public services,” said ABS-CBN of the deal, which is expected to be completed this August.


It adds that the transaction is “consistent” with the national government’s policy of expanding the private sector’s role in supporting efficient and reliable public services, citing TV5’s nationwide network which will be used to increase coverage, especially in remote places.


“In partnership with TV5, we look forward to reaching viewers both on owned platforms and through other broadcast partners, thereby enriching the Philippine creative industry. We hope the industry evolves from being highly competitive to increasingly collaborative, which benefits all stakeholders in the long run,” said Carlo Katigbak, ABS-CBN's president and chief executive officer.


Pangilinan, who chairs Mediaquest, also welcomed ABS-CBN’s entry and investment.

Marcos rejects proposal to import 300,000 MT of sugar

Published August 10, 2022, 6:00 PM, by Betheena Unite MB

MANILA, Philippines — Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles confirmed the decision of the President on Wednesday, Aug. 10.

“The President rejected the proposal to import an additional 300,000 MT of sugar,” Angeles said.

“He is the chairman of the Sugar Regulatory (Administration) Board and denied this in no uncertain terms,” she added.

This came after reports claimed that the President had allowed the importation of additional sugar supply through an order signed by him as the SRA Board Chairperson and Agriculture Secretary.

The Press Secretary also denied the authenticity of the order, saying the signature seen atop the name of the President in the order was “not his signature.”

“That’s not his (Marcos) signature. The President did not sign that,” Angeles told reporters.

Tight supply of the commodity and increase in demand in the country has led to soaring sugar prices, hitting more than P100 per kilo in the past week.


Amid this issue, newly-appointed board member of the SRA Aurelio Gerardo Valderrama Jr. assured the public that the sugar supply shortage and increasing prices would be resolved soon.

Sebastian authorized to act on sugar import

DA Undersecretary-designate and Chief-of-Staff Leocadio Sebastian Source:

By Catherine S. Valente and Bella Cariaso, TMT, August 14, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — MALACANANG "authorized" resigned Agriculture Undersecretary for Operations Leocadio Sebastian to "sign contracts, memoranda of agreement," among others, "necessary to effectively carry out objectives, plans, and projects" of the Department of Agriculture (DA), which included the controversial decision to import sugar amid a looming shortage.

The authorization is contained in a memorandum dated July 15, 2022, issued by Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez, a copy obtained by The Manila Times on Saturday.

The memorandum, its legitimacy confirmed by a Palace source who was not authorized to speak to media, surfaced a day after Sebastian resigned and took full responsibility for the "unauthorized" meeting with the Sugar Regulatory Board (SRB) and subsequent issuance of Administrative Order 4 that called for the importation of 300,000 metric tons (MT) of sugar to stem a possible shortage.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Press Secretary Rose Beatrice "Trixie" Cruz-Angeles said on Saturday, will spare no one in his administration's investigation into the sugar importation mess that "will go as far as it needs to go."

Marcos, who heads the Sugar Regulatory Administration's (SRA) board as the concurrent Agriculture secretary, wanted the investigation to proceed without his "interference."

"Tutuloy po 'yun. Iyan po talaga naman ang ating palakad. Hindi po natin ipapaubaya iyan. Hindi puwedeng pabayaan 'yun (The probe will continue. That's really our way. We will not let that go. That can't be neglected). So, it will go as far as it needs to go," Cruz-Angeles said during an interview with state-run Radyo Pilipinas.


First Lady to Batangas grads: Make PH ‘better place

to live in’

FIRST LADY AUG 15, 2022.jpg

MAKE PH A BETTER PLACE. First Lady Louise "Liza" Araneta-Marcos delivers a keynote speech during the University of Batangas’ commencement exercises on Aug. 8, 2022. She encouraged the graduates to help make the Philippines a “better place to live in.” (Photo from First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos' official Facebook page)

By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos August 10, 2022, 7:06 pm 

MANILA – First Lady Louise "Liza" Araneta-Marcos has encouraged the graduates of the University of Batangas (US) to realize their full potential and help make the Philippines a "better place to live in."

"I urge you my dear graduates, use your talents to help others and help make our country a better place to live in. Sama-sama tayo, babangon muli (Together, we will rise)," Araneta-Marcos said in a keynote speech delivered during the UB's commencement exercises on Monday.

Araneta-Marcos was the guest of honor and speaker during the 78th commencement exercises of UB's College of Law, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Criminal Justice Education, College of Education, and College of Nursing and Midwifery at the university's gymnasium in Batangas City.

In her speech, she emphasized the importance of "being ready," telling the graduates to "always be prepared."

"Today marks the start of your commencement exercises. And as you know, the root word of the word commencement is 'commence,' which means to begin, to start again, to start something new. We are here today to celebrate a new chapter in your life," Araneta-Marcos said.

Araneta-Marcos advised them to make a difference and a lot of effort as they embark on a new journey.

"If you want to make a difference in this world, you have to be prepared. Being prepared means putting your heart and soul in whatever you decide to do, whether it be something big or something small. It doesn't matter. Just put your heart and soul into it," she said.

She also told them to seek professional advice and channel their "knowledge, experience, and energy towards helping others."

"Being prepared means being humble enough to seek opinions from people who are experts in their fields. There's no shame in asking for advice from others. This will help you master your trade," Araneta-Marcos said.

She also said it is "more rewarding" to use one's talents to help others.


SC: Natural-born dual citizens may not renounce foreign citizenship

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The Supreme Court building is viewed from its closed gateway. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

By: Dona Z. Pazzibugan - Reporter / @dpazzibuganINQPhilippine Daily Inquirer / 05:44 AM August 13, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — Candidates for elective office who are considered dual citizens for being born to one Filipino parent and one foreign parent are not required to renounce their foreign citizenship and take an oath of allegiance to the Philippines to be eligible to run for office.

In a full court decision, the 15-member Supreme Court ruled that Filipinos born to one Filipino parent and one foreign parent are considered dual citizens by birth and not by naturalization, regardless of subsequent acts performed to confirm the foreign citizenship.

Filipinos who fall under such dual citizenship are considered natural-born Filipinos qualified to run for public office, the court said.

The Supreme Court made the pronouncement as it upheld the petition of Mariz Lindsey Gana-Carait and overruled the September 23, 2021 decision of the Commission of Elections (Comelec) that canceled her certificate of candidacy for councilor of Biñan, Laguna, in the May 2019 elections.


Gana-Carait’s candidacy was opposed through a petition for disqualification on the ground that she failed to renounce her United States of America citizenship and another petition for cancellation of her certificate of candidacy for false representation on her eligibility to run for office because of her American citizenship.


Same-sex civil unions in the Philippines: What you need to know

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By Xave Gregorio -, August 13, 2022 | 12:08pm

MANILA, Philippines — For Sen. Robinhood Padilla, it is “high time” for the Catholic-majority Philippines to give same-sex couples the same rights married straight couples have long enjoyed under the country’s laws.

“It is high time that the Philippines provides equal rights and recognition for couples of the same sex with no prejudice as to sexual relationships are protected and recognized and given access to basic social protection and security,” Padilla said in the explanatory note of Senate Bill No. 449.

He added, “Providing equal rights and privileges for same-sex couples will in no way diminish or trample on the rights granted to married couples.”

It is not an entirely novel proposal as Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez (Davao del Norte) had filed a similar measure in 2017 when he was speaker of the House of Representatives, which made it easier for lawmakers in the lower chamber to support the bill.



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