Most Recent

OFWs exempted from paying airport terminal fee starting April 30
A “simple gift” from President Rodrigo Duterte is how transportation and airport officials refer to the terminal fee exemption afforded to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

The exemption was made official through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed Wednesday morning by the Department of Transportation – Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and the 40 airline companies operating at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Under the MOA, starting April 30, 2017, the International Passenger Service charge (IPSC) or the terminal fee amounting to PHP550 shall be waived for OFWs, pilgrims, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) delegates, and others authorized by law and the Office of the President to travel outside the Philippines.

Exemption shall be honored upon face to face purchase of tickets. By the end of July 2017, the exemption will also apply to online purchases.

This means migrant workers no longer need to queue for refund when departing from NAIA. The MOA is consistent with President Duterte’s directive to give OFWs a seamless and hassle-free experience at the airport.

Transportation Secretary Art Tugade, who witnessed the signing, recalled the time he shared the good news to Duterte. He said Duterte was delighted. “Regalo ko ito sa mga OFWs pagkat mahal ko sila,” Tugade said quoting the President.

Tugade also thanked the air carriers for trusting the government. He also hailed MIAA General Manager Ed Monreal for making sure that this level of service is extended to OFWs.

“It is but fitting that we afford them utmost care and attention in very possible way we can. We hope that after revisiting the integration process earlier implemented in 2015 and instituting changes in the process of exemption, our OFWs will have a seamless airport experience,” said Monreal.

It can be recalled that the IPSC Integration Project implemented in February 2015 was met with opposition from concerned OFW groups and advocates as it required OFWs to go through a refund process.

Next Ping Wednesday, March 15, 2017
PRC to require CPD units starting July 2017
It's official. Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) will start requiring Continuing Professional Development (CPD) units from professionals for renewal of license/Professional Identification Cards this July 2017.

Last July 2016, Republic Act 10912 or the Continuing Professional Development Act of 2016 became a law which mandates all regulated professionals to earn CPD units as a requirement for PRC renewal.

CPD Councils of each Professional Regulatory Boards will comprehensively monitor and supervise the efficiency and progress of the CPD programs for their respective profession.

In a recently released updated schedule, PRC detailed that there will be transition period in implementation of CPD requirement, with only 30% of the minimum required units needed this year. Here's the schedule of implementation:
  • January to June 2017 - 0
  • July to December 2017 - 30%
  • January to December 2018 - 60%
  • January 2019 onwards - 100%

The matrix for minimum CPD requirement has been updated, and each Professional Regulatory Board concerned may increase their own required CPD credit units through a Resolution subject to the approval of the Commission.

120 Credit Units: Accountancy

60 Credit Units: Dentistry

45 Credit Units: Aeronautical Engineering, Agricultural Engineering, Agriculture, Architecture, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Criminology, Customs Broker, Electrical Engineering, Electronics Engineering, Environmental Planning, Fisheries, Forestry, Geodetic Engineering, Geology, Guidance and Counseling, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture, Librarian, Mechanical Engineering, Medical Technology, Medicine, Metallurgical Engineering, Midwifery, Mining Engineering, Naval Architecture, Nursing, Nutrition and Dietetics, Occupational Therapy, Optometry, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Professional Teachers, Psychology, Radiologic Technology, Real Estate Service, Respiratory Therapy, Sanitary Engineering, Social Work, Veterinary Medicine

30 Credit Units: Master Plumbing

Professionals may earn CPD units through academic track such as training and seminars, professional track such as getting Masters or Doctorate degree, or self-directed/lifelong learning such as socio-civic activities.

The CPD Law does not provide any exemption, even for senior citizens and overseas Filipino workers.

Next Ping Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Senate bill seeks better bed occupancy rates in DOH hospitals

Senator Hontiveros authored a bill which aims to improve bed occupancy rates in DOH hospitals.

QUEZON CITY - The Senate Committee on Heath and Demography chaired by Sen. Risa Hontiveros has deliberated a bill that seeks to improve the bed capacity of Department of Health (DOH) hospitals, and processes related to bed capacity.

Senate Bill Number No. 1143 otherwise known as the DOH Hospital Bed Capacity Rationalization Act, authored by Hontiveros, aims to give the DOH the ability to set and approve the bed occupancy rates of its retained hospitals.

Hontiveros said that there is a need to improve bed occupancy in public hospitals. The current bed occupancy standard set by the World Health Organization is at 80-85%. However, the senator said that with the devolution of health services, there are now only 70 DOH-retained public hospitals nationwide, of which 51 are considered general hospitals while 19 are specialty hospitals. The said DOH hospitals complement the devolved district and provincial hospitals, as well as private hospitals, in providing health care services to millions of Filipinos.

"Often serving patients beyond their allowed bed capacity, these hospitals are constrained by lack of adequate manpower and resources to fully provide the quality of health care their patients deserve. As a result of the mismatch between their authorized bed capacity and hospital bed occupancy rate, which according to one study averages at 121%, it is not surprising to hear stories of patients spilling over in public hospital hallways or of 2 patients sharing one bed," Hontiveros added.

Under current regulations, a DOH hospital can only increase its bed capacity via legislation. Hontiveros said that adjusting the bed capacity of a public hospital to be able to serve patients better has to compete with thousands of proposed bills in Congress and more often than not, these do not get approved or once approved, the need has already changed.

Hontiveros' bill gives back the DOH the mandate to address the problem of bed occupancy.

"The DOH is the best equipped agency to do this job given that it has both the technical expertise and the internal mechanisms to anticipate the public hospitals' future needs. By allowing the DOH to administratively set and approve the authorized bed capacity of its hospitals, we remove one barrier that impedes the efficient delivery of health service.

Bed occupancy refers to the utilization rate of the total number of beds in a hospital over a given period of time. Bed occupancy is critical to hospital resource planning and ensuring optimal care for patients. High bed occupancy rates normally means fewer days for in-patient care for those people who need hospitalization. [Source: Senate website]

Next Ping Wednesday, February 8, 2017
DOTr-LTO extends drivers license validity to 5 years
MANILA - Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Land Transportation Office (LTO) announced Tuesday that the validity of driver's license and conductor's license nationwide has been extended to five years.

Drivers License Philippines

The extension of license validity is one the things President Rodrigo Duterte promised in his inaugural speech when he assumed office last July 1, 2016.

Senator Ralph Recto supported the move by filing a Senate bill, saying that prolonging the period before the expiry date of the passport and driver’s license “will spare the holder of the hassle of applying for their renewal."

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade signed a Department Order extends the validity of car plates and driver's license to five years from three years last month, and it will be initially implemented in National Capital Region starting this October.

Spokesperson Cherie Mercado-Santos clarified that the validity extension covers new registrations. Licenses processed prior to the scheduled date shall have a three (3)-year validity period.

Here's the schedule of processing and implementation in NCR and all other regions nationwide:

  • October 10 - Quezon City Licensing Center, Quezon City Licensing Renewal Section and Central Office License Section (All at LTO compound, East Avenue, Quezon City
  • October 17 - National Capital Region
  • November 2 - Regions 3, 4 and 7
  • November 7 - Regions 1, 2, 6, 10 and 12
  • November 14 - Regions 5, 8, 9 CAR and CARAGA

Moreover, fees and charges for drivers’ licenses and conductors’ licenses are as follows:


Application Fee: P100.00
Computer Fee: P67.63
License Fee: P585.00
Computer Fee: P67.63

License Fee P585.00
Computer Fee P67.63

Aside from drivers' licenses, DOTr is also planning to extend the validity of car plates.

Next Ping Monday, October 17, 2016
Bill requiring professionals CPD units before license renewal now a law
The Senate bill that will require all professionals to take additional formal and non-formal learning before they can renew their licenses and identification cards is now a law.

Republic Act 10912 or the Continuing Professional Development Act of 2016 is one of 29 bills that Congress submitted to former President Benigno Simeon Aquino III that have lapsed into law last July.

The measure was sponsored by Senator Antonio "Sonny" F. Trillanes IV as Senate Bill 2581, approved in Senate last August 2015. The House of Representatives adopted SBN-2581 as an amendment to House Bill 6423 on May 23, 2016. It lapsed into law without PNoy's signature last July 21, 2016.

Under the new law, CPD programs will be implemented in each of the regulated professions. It will be mandatory for the renewal of the Professional Identification Cards of all registered and licensed professionals under the regulation of the Professional Regulation Commission.

Further, a CPD Council shall be created in each of the regulated professions to comprehensively monitor and supervise the efficiency and progress of the CPD programs for their respective profession.

In sponsoring the law, Trillanes sees the need on improving the competence of Filipino professionals, especially as the country gears towards ASEAN integration.

"We can do this by instituting a framework for the continuing education and skills enhancement of our professionals. Through this bill, we can provide our professionals with the necessary tools, not only to compete, but also to seize the opportunities ASEAN integration may provide us," Trillanes explained.

Here's the full text of Republic Act 10912:

On August 2, Professional Regulation Commission also amended the "Revised Guidelines on the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program for all Registered and Licensed Professional" which includes the required CPD units needed every three years for each profession. Read the details HERE, on a post by

Here's what the matrix listed:

120 Credit Units


45 Credit Units

Aeronautical Engineering, Agricultural Engineering, Agriculture, Architecture, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Criminology, Customs Broker, Dentistry, Electrical Engineering, Electronics Engineering, Environmental Planning, Fisheries, Forestry, Geodetic Engineering, Geology, Guidance and Counseling, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture, Librarian, Mechanical Engineering, Medical Technology, Medicine, Metallurgical Engineering, Midwifery, Mining Engineering, Naval Architecture, Nursing, Nutrition and Dietetics, Occupational Therapy, Optometry, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Professional Teachers, Psychology, Radiologic Technology, Real Estate Service, Respiratory Therapy, Sanitary Engineering, Social Work, Veterinary Medicine

30 Credit Units

Chemical Technician, Dental Technician, Dental Hygienist, Master Electrician, Electronics Technician, Master Plumbing, Certified Plant Mechanic, Medical Laboratory Technician, Metallurgical Plant Foreman, Mine/Mill/Quarry Foreman, Detailman, X-Ray Technician, Real Estate Sales Person

These credit units may be earned by professionals who participate in programs that emanate from the Professional Regulatory Boards for the development of the profession.

Next Ping Friday, September 30, 2016
Magnitude 6.5 earthquake jolts Davao Oriental
A magnitude 6.5 earthquake was felt in Davao Oriental and neighboring provinces early morning of Saturday, September 24, 2016.

According to U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in its initial report, the center of the quake is at 35.3 kilometers east southeast of Bobon, Davao Oriental. It has a depth of 69 kilometers.

Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) - DOST has yet to post any details of the this earthquake, as of this writing.

In the past few hours, Phivolcs has recorded the following earthquakes: magnitude 2.7 in Zambales around 12:44am, magnitude 4.1 in Agusan del Sur at 3:50am, magnitude 3.1 in Davao Occidenal at 4:05am, and magnitude 2.3 at Davao City around 5:15am.

Keep it here for more updates.

Next Ping Friday, September 23, 2016
POEA Board exempts qualified Balik-Manggagawa from OEC requirement
Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III yesterday announced that the Governing Board of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, of which he is the Chairperson, has issued Governing Board Resolution No. 12, Series of 2016, exempting a group of overseas Filipino workers from the overseas employment certificate (OEC) requirement on an experimental basis starting 15 September 2016.

Aside from Secretary Bello, POEA Administrator and Governing Board Vice-Chair Hans Leo J. Cacdac, and members Felix M. Oca, Estrelita S. Hizon, Alexander E. Asuncion, and Milagros Isabel A. Cristobal, signed the Resolution.

Bello said the POEA Board issued the Resolution following the directive of President Duterte to streamline processes in the deployment of OFWs, to afford them facility and ease in transactions before government offices.

The Secretary said those exempted on a pilot basis are returning workers who are: (1) returning to the same employer and job site, and listed in the POEA database of OFWs; or (2) hired through POEA’s Government Placement Branch.

Bello said the POEA is already implementing the Balik-Manggagawa Online Processing System which has eliminated the long lines at its offices, but emphasized a further need and growing demand to enhance the system for workers returning to the same employer and job site.

POEA Governing Board Resolution No. 12, series of 2016, states that an OFW BalikManggagawa or returning worker returning to the same employer or job site shall, prior to departure, shall register at, and provide personal and employment particulars to validate if the worker is indeed exempted from obtaining the OEC.

The worker’s updated profile will be forwarded to the Bureau of Immigration, to serve as basis for clearance to exit the country without payment of processing fees.

Bello said workers who are not exempted from getting the OEC during the time of registration will have to set an appointment with any POEA office or processing center.

A worker who proceeds to the airport without prior registration with the BM Online System will be referred by the Bureau of Immigration to the POEA’s Labor Assistance Counter (LAC) for evaluation, to determine if the worker may be cleared for departure or
be subjected to further completion of travel documents.

One month after the pilot or experimental period, POEA Administrator Cacdac shall report to Secretary Bello and the POEA Governing Board about implementation of the stated Balik-Manggagawa OEC exemptions.

Next Ping Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Duterte declares September 12 a national holiday in observance of Eid’l Adha
Malacañang has declared Monday, September 12, 2016 as a regular holiday throughout the country in observance of the Eid’l Adha (Feast of Sacrifice), one of the two greatest feasts of Islam.

The declaration was contained under Proclamation No. 56, which was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on Sept. 5 prior to his departure for Laos.

The date of this year’s celebration of Eid’l Adha, which falls on a Monday, was based on the recommendations of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF).

Eid’l Adha and Eidul Fitr (End of Ramadan) are celebrated using the Islamic calendar “Hijra” and the lunar calendar.

It is the duty of the NCMF to inform the Office of the President on which date in the Gregorian calendar the two feasts should fall.

Eid’l Adha and Eidul Fitr are declared national holidays to foster peace and goodwill between major religions in the Philippines. [via PNA]

Next Ping Monday, September 5, 2016
PRC: Viral text, FB messages on impending terror attack not true
Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has issued an official statement denying the text messages and social media posts warning the public against impending terror attacks in malls around the country.

The fake messages, supposedly sent by PRC and confirmed by General Ronald 'Bato' dela Rosa's staff, have been circulating in different cities nationwide after the September 2 bombing in Davao City that killed 14 people and injured 67 others.

It reads:
Do not post on your fb wall for security reason.
Repost :
Please pass to family members and friends ASAP please

Attn:This was confirmed by Gen. Bato's staff
Hello everyone in Manila please stay clear off malls for the time being. We received intelligence of 4 women from Basilan plotting to do suicide bombings in malls in Manila. All malls are on high alert. Thank you.
Pls Pass by personal message only. Not posting on your wall for our security. thanks
Please take this serious, from Red Cross Philippines

The same message with different locations of attack has been circulating in different parts of the country.

Senator Richard J. Gordon, chairman and CEO of PRC, posted an official statement in their Facebook page.

"The Philippine National Red Cross (PRC) has not sent out text messages (SMS), private messages via Facebook (FB), or other social media platforms warning the public against going to malls due to a security threat.

"Official statements or advisories from the PRC will only come from the Chairman and/or the Secretary General. PRC does not issue security advisories as such can come only from the national government, particularly the security offices.

"Please be prudent in believing and sharing such unverified information that may cause unnecessary panic and fear.

"Let us all continue to be reflective, deliberate and calm. Let us do our share by being constantly vigilant and alert as we continue our daily lives.

Next Ping
Korean Film Festival 2016 opens in SM Malls
The best Korean films will once again be showcased in the annual Korean Film Festival, and this year's screenings will happen from September 8 to October 16, 2016 at SM malls in six cities.

Organized by the Korean Cultural Center and Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Philippines, the festival is one of the largest celebrations of Korean cinema in the country, with screenings of the greatest Korean films from 2012 to 2015.

Themed “Strong Hearts,” the film festival will be featuring five films that capture the great willpower of a person to assert decisions even in the face of strong oppositions. It will be shown in SM malls in Pampanga, Davao, Iloilo, Cebu, Cavite and Manila.

The following schedule is as follows:

2016 Korean Film Festival Screenings

  • September 8 to 11: Pampanga - SM City Clark
  • September 15 to 18: Davao - SM Lanang Premiere
  • September 22 to 25: Iloilo - SM City Iloilo
  • September 29 to October 2: Cebu - SM City Cebu
  • October 6 to 9: Cavite - SM City Dasmarinas
  • October 13 to 16: Manila - SM Megamall


“Ode to My Father” revolves around Deok-soo (Hwang Jung-Min), a hardworking man who does everything to provide for his mother and other siblings while setting aside his own ambitions. Deok-soo becomes the breadwinner of his family at an early age after his father and sister are tragically separated from the rest of the family during the evacuation of Hungnam in 1950.

“The Beauty Inside” centers on Woo-jin (Kim Dae-Myung), a furniture designer who wakes up as a different person everyday regardless of gender, race, and age. He has resigned himself to a life alone until he falls in love with Hong E-soo (Han Hyo-joo). Since his physical identity changes frequently, he continues to visit her daily, acting as a customer that she has never seen before. Woo-jin finally musters up the courage to ask her out on a date. The perfect date passes by and Woo-jin, knowing that he will change once he fall asleep, attempts to stay awake for as long as he can. He meets E-soo for three consecutive days and E-soo also falls in love with him. However, Woo-jin can no longer fight sleep. He passes out and wakes up with a new face.

“Confession of Murder” is about Lee Du-seok (Park Si-hoo) who published an autobiography titled I am the Murderer, claiming responsibility for a series of murders that took place 17 years ago and describing all his murders in great detail. His book becomes a bestseller because of the author’s charming looks and his claims of repentance for his crimes. However, Detective Choi Hyeong-goo (Jung Jae-young), who was in charge of the investigation of all the ten murders, insists that Lee is in fact an imposter. Detective Choi chases Lee and challenges him to tell where the eleventh victim is, while Han Ji-Soo (Kim Young-ae), who is the mother of his last victim, seeks revenge with her family and friends. Out of the blue, another killer appears, casting doubt to whether Lee is the real serial killer.

Gong Yoo plays as Ji Dong-chul in “The Suspect.” Ji Dong-chul is a former top North Korean operative who is now a defector after being betrayed by his own country. His life is thrown into chaos after he’s framed for the murder of his boss and is forced to go on the run, chased by General Min Se Hoon (Park Hee Soon). Aided by a feisty documentary maker (Yoo Da In), Dong-chul tries to get to the bottom of the assassination, linked to a mysterious formula which may or may not be for a new and deadly chemical weapon. With Se Hoon and the director of national intelligence (Jo Sung Ha) on his trail, things get personal for Dong-chul when it becomes clear that the conspiracy also involves the killing of his wife and child years back.

“How to Use Guys with Secret Tips” tells the story of Choi Bo-Na (Lee Si-Young) an assistant TV commercial editor for five years. Endless nights of overwork have caused her appearance to be a complete mess.

After a grueling outdoor commercial shoot, her coworkers left back for Seoul without her. Stranded on a beach in the middle of nowhere, she comes upon a unique stall that sells various instructional tapes. While browsing the tapes, self-styled guru Dr. Swarski (Park Yeong-gyu) appears and urges her to buy his masterwork, "Manual on How to Use Men." Dr. Swarski tells her that it will give her the skills she needs to find success and happiness. After reluctantly following the instructions, Bo-na's life takes a drastic turn. She begins to experience professional success and men start wooing her including top hallyu star, Lee Seung-jae (Oh Jung-se).

The Korean Film Festival is in cooperation with the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), the Film Cultural Exchange Program, Korea Copyright Commission, Korea Tourism Organization, SM Cinema and SM Lifestyle Entertainment, Inc.

All films are with English subtitles and free of charge. For more details, contact the Korean Cultural Center at 555-1711, or email You may also log on to [via]

Next Ping Saturday, August 27, 2016