DA can now easily determine whether to import rice–Palace
The government will be able to efficiently determine when the country should import rice now that the National Food Authority (NFA) is back under the Department of Agriculture (DA), presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.
President Duterte recently signed an executive order returning the supervision of the NFA, as well as the Philippine Coconut Authority and the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority, to the DA.
The agencies were placed under the Office of the President by former President Benigno S. Aquino III at a time when “it was necessary to give a job to Sen. [Francis] Pangilinan,” the presidential adviser on food security and agricultural modernization.
“[T]he data is with the DA on the rice production of local farmers and the rice importation needed to meet the demand of the market,” Roque said. —CHRISTINE O. AVENDAÑO
POEA tells OFWs to be wary of ‘get-rich’ scheme
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has advised overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to be cautious in dealing with persons or entities that offer “high-yielding” investments without the necessary permit from the Securities and Exchange Commission.
A group of OFWs in Dammam and Al Hassa in Saudi Arabia reported that they were recruited by Sangguniang Masang Pilipino International Inc. and encouraged to make an investment with Almasai Finance and Investment (now Almasai Equity Holding Corp.).
The OFWs said they were required to make an initial investment of P50,000 with a guaranteed interest of 5 percent each month. The workers complain that they no longer receive any of the promised interests and have lost contact with Almasai officers. —TINA G. SANTOS
PH consulate reopens in Houston after 25 years
Twenty-five years after it closed, the Philippine consulate general in Houston, Texas, will be reopened so it could serve the growing consular needs of the Filipino community in the south central United States.
“The reopening is consistent with the priorities laid down by President Duterte for us to bring our services closer to Filipinos overseas. Through our consulate general, we will endeavor to serve all Filipinos living on this side of the United States,” Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said in a statement on Friday.
The consulate, which was closed in September 1993, will reopen on Sept. 24. It is expected to serve about 179,000 Filipinos in the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. —JEROME ANING
Lahar goes high-tech for Clark airport’s terminal
CLARK FREEPORT—Lahar, very tiny sediments spewed out by Mt. Pinatubo’s eruptions in 1991 and washed down by rain in sometimes deadly searing hot waves, will be the “new fiber” for concrete posts, beams, slabs, walls and tiles that will be used for the new terminal of Clark International Airport.
German-Malaysian technology will convert the volcanic sediments into “sturdy yet light and fire-resistant” construction materials, according to architect Royal Pineda, whose firm, Budji+Royal, designed the P15-billion project funded by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority.
The US Geological Survey estimated that in the first few years after the June 15, 1991, eruption of Mount Pinatubo, rains washed down 3 cubic kilometers of lahar equivalent to 300 million dump truck loads. —TONETTE OREJAS
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