News Briefs: April 11, 2019
Lower poverty incidence reflects admin gains – Panelo
Malacañang on Wednesday hailed the latest Philippine Statistics Authority report that showed the incidence of poverty among Filipinos declined by 6 percent in the first semester of 2018 compared to the same period in 2015.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the new data highlighted the efforts of the Duterte administration to improve the lives of the people.
Poverty incidence for the first semester of 2018 declined to 21 percent from 27.6 percent in 2015.
Panelo said the figures reflected the gains of the government in “broadening access to free education, free medicine and improved health care facilities, [among others].” —Christine O. Avendano
New US F-35B fighters make Balikatan debut
The US Marine Corps’ new F-35B “Lightning II” jet fighters debuted in this year’s 35th edition of Balikatan (shoulder to shoulder) exercises.
The stealthy, multirole and all-weather F-35Bs will conduct flight operations from the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp during the two-week military exercises in Subic Bay and the South China Sea.
According to 2nd Lt. Tori Sharpe, Balikatan media officer, the F-35B’s participation in this year’s exercises would enable the US military to “learn more about its capabilities and how to best utilize and integrate it with other assets.” —Jeannette I. Andrade
Agency that hired worker who was raped in Saudi suspended
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has banned the recruitment agency of the Filipino worker who was raped in December last year in Saudi Arabia from deploying workers abroad, pending the investigation of its culpability in the incident.
POEA Administrator Bernard Olalia imposed the ban on Iemploy Manpower Services Inc.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the agency was still not off the hook despite the victim’s decision to settle the case for P750,000 cash. —Jovic Yee
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