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Pacquiao ready for 2 more fights in 2019

Published in Sports

By EDDIE G.ALINEA | Sports Editor & Columnist


(Photo from Instagram | @mannypacquiao)


MAKATI CITY (PhlTodayUSA) – World Boxing Association regular welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao, who had outpointed Adien Broner to retain his belt two Saturdays ago, said he’s ready to fight two more times before year’s end to complete a three-fight 2019 in celebration of his 44th year as a prizefighter.  


Asked of his immediate plan during a thanksgiving party he hosted for local sports media at the Shangrila Hotel in Makati, the Filipino ring great said he prefers arch-rival Floyd Mayweather Jr. to be his dancing partner the next time he climbs the ring.


“But just in case Floyd isn’t ready yet to unretired as he promised when we met in Tokyo last year, I can face anybody in the top list, including Keith Thurman, who I learned is willing to do battle with me,” the 40-year-old said.  


“A I said two weeks ago after beating Broner, I’ll fight anybody na gustong lumaban  sa akin,” he asserted. “Kilala na naman ninyo ako, hindi ako pumipili ng kalaban. Whoever my promoters put on the table, puwede."


“Errol Spence Jr., Mikey Garcia, Shawn Porte. Bring them all on. Basta gusto rin nila pasayahin ang fans sa magandang laban, laban din tayo," he said. “Dalawang laban na naman nanapatunayan natin na kaya pa, so samantalahin na natin hangggang my speed and strength are still there.”


“Kahit sino makalaban ko sa kanila, magandang tuneup for the Mayweather 2, just in case he’s ready to fight this year," he added smiling.  


July last year, Pacquao TKOed Lucas Mathysse in seven rounds to take a piece of the 147-pound jewel he lost to  Australian Jeff Horn a year back. He followed this up with that unanimous decision triumph over Broner last January 19 at the MGM Grand.    


“It’s a matter of how you train lang naman yan eh. Walang sekreto. And the way I see it, mas solid ang preparasyon  namin nitong huling dalawang laban. My training team is more solid now than before. Mas nagkakaintindihan na kami,” he said.


Pacquiao was  referring to his coaching team headed  by Buboy Fernandez, conditioning guru Justin Fortune, Nonoy Neri, Roger “Haplas” Fernandez and consultant Freddie Roach.


Pacquiao’s three-fight performance in a year happened in 2008, the year he considered his best year, beating Juan Manuel Marquez by split decision March that year to crown himself the WBC super-featherweight king, David Diaz, who he TKOed in nine rounds for the WBC lightweight diadem.


He ended that year by retiring legendary Oscar DeLa Hoya in nine in his first fight as a welterweight.


He, too, fought and won thrice in 2003, including a TKO of Marco Antonio Barrera at the San Antonio Alamodome on November 15 to clinch he RING featherweight plum.


Pacquiao’s busiest year was in 1995 when he started his pro-career, climbing the squared ring 10 times and winning all his assignments.

Gov't eyes $2-billion panda, samurai bonds

Published in Business

MANILA (PhlTodayUSA) National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon is confident that there will be adequate funding for government’s programs this year even if the approval of the proposed 2019 national budget is still pending.


This as the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) has been offering the Treasury bond (T-bond) and Treasury bills (T-bills) through the tap facility and over-the-counter (OTC) due to high demand during the regular auctions.


“So we have really built a very strong cash position to be able to meet the requirements for the budget,” she said, noting that “we are, so far, on track on meeting the requirements at least for the domestic borrowings.”


De Leon said the government is also on-track with its foreign borrowing program after the issuance of US$1.5 billion US dollar-denominated 10-year global bond last January.


She also said that the government has appointed five Japanese banks for the planned issuance of the yen-denominated Samurai bond in the second half of this year, or about 12 months after last year’s issuance.


The tenor for this year’s planned Panda bond issuance would be about 3, 5 and 10-year and the amount would likely be about the yen equivalent of US$1 billion to US$1.5 billion.


“We still have to see the appetite of Japanese investors,” she said.


The issuance of the renminbi-denominated Panda bond is also part of the plan after the country’s initial foray in March last year.


“Right now we are nearly finished with all our approvals. We are just watching the market,” she said.


For this year’s planned issuance, de Leon said they are considering the issuance of around 300-500 million US dollar equivalent of renminbi.


“When we did the first Panda (bond) issue we are just looking at the onshore Chinese investors but they opened up the bond direct facility for Panda (bond) so that also allowed offshore investors to invest in the onshore market,” she said.


“We see (that) there would also be a lot of interest for offshore investors to invest in the onshore RMB market,” she added.


a De Leon said the government is considering to issue $300 million to $500 million worth of panda bonds by the second quarter, plus another $1 billion to $1.5 billion worth of samurai bonds in the second half of 2019.


The volume for the panda bond issuance, she said, is higher than the $230 million issued by the government during its last activity in the Chinese debt market in March last year.

Reclamation projects in Manila Bay

Published in Editorial & Other Articles

As various government agencies and volunteers map out plans to make successful the massive cleanup and rehabilitation of the Manila Bay as mandated by a 2008 Supreme Court decision and pressed lately by President Rodrigo Duterte following the success of a similar initiative in Boracay, public attention focus on the proposed reclamation projects in Manila, Pasay, Paranaque, Navotas and other areas in the Manila Bay region covering thousands of hectares.


As expected, the proponents of the reclamation projects like the SM group trumpet that their projects would boost business in the region and create thousands of jobs for Filipinos. Sadly, while the projects are supposed to be projects of the government and that the reclaimed land are government properties, there have been no declared plan incorporated in the vision of both the giant corporations and government agencies for government centers and facilities in those areas. Simply, the proponents are motivated mainly by profit and not by a mission to help the government and the government agencies involved in the end are just becoming tools to the greedy expansionist tycoons of Chinese descent.


The situation today is very much different when then President Ferdinand Marcos started the reclamation of Manila Bay in the '70s. His vision was to make a better Manila, thus portions of the reclaimed land became the site for the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the Folk Arts Theater, and the Film Arts Center, among others. What followed after the Marcos-approved reclamation were all private businesses of the country's moguls and taipans. 


Possibly to review and correct the "errors" of government planners involved in the reclamation projects, Mr. Duterte, throught Executive Order No. 74, again transferred the Philippine Reclamation Authority to the Office of the President, explaining in his order that henceforth all reclamation project proposals will have to be studied and pass on by his office. Various concerned groups and fishermen, however, see the Duterte move as a way to speed up the reclamation projects and not to pass them on for thorough scrutiny amidst fears on adverse ecological effects, including floodings and pollution.


There is a glimmer of hope though that Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Ano, who has jurisdiction over the cities, towns and provinces composing the Manila Bay region and environs, has come out with the statement, through Assistant Secretary Jonathan Malaya, that will be no reclamation projects as part of the Manila Bay rehabilitation program. Secretary Ano and the agencies concerned should issue a written order stopping the pending reclamation projects while it endeavors to undertake public hearings and consultations on the 43 pending reclamation proposals covering some 32,000 hectares.



(Photo from Philippine Star)


QUEZON CITY (PhlTodayUSA) — Reelectionists Senators Mary Grace Poe Llamanzares and Cynthia Villar continued to hold on to the top of winnable senatorial candidates as shown in the latest Social Weather Station (SWS) survey.


And for the first time, former special assistant to the president Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go jumped into the survey's winnable Magic 12, landing in 5th to 6th place pleasing his former boss, President Rodrigo Duterte.


Duterte's other candidates, former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronaldo Bato dela Rosa and former presidential adviser Francis Tolentino, however, did not make it in the Magic 12. Outgoing Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, whom Duterte had also endorsed, fell to no. 14 in the survey.


In the  survey, Poe garnered 64 percent of voter preference, followed by Villar with 57 percent voter preference.

In the SWS survey conducted from January 23-26, Go made a huge jump from his 15th-16th place ranking in the December 2018 SWS survey to secure a place well within the winning circle, tied with reelectionist Sen. Juan Edgardo "Sonny" Angara.


In the same SWS survey, former senator Manuel "Lito" Lapid  and former senator and now an outgoing Rep. Juliana Pilar "Pia" Cayetano of Taguig City trailed Poe and Villar coming in 3rd and 4th places.


Sen. Lourdes "Nancy" Binay is in seventh place, while former senators Manuel "Mar" Roxas and Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr., recently cleared of his plunder and graft cases, are tied in the 8th-9th place.


Completing the “Magic 12” are reelectionists Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III (10th), Sen. Benigno Paolo "Bam" Aquino (11th) and former senator Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada outshining his half-brother, reelectionist Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito.


Aquino previously was no. 14 in the earlier SWS senatoriable survey.


An elated Go immediately thanked the people for their trust and confidence in his capability to serve the nation as a legislator as he vowed to work even harder to present his advocacies to the Filipino people.

“It’s heartwarming to realize you trust my capability and sincerity to serve the country. May this serve as inspiration for us to work harder in delivering to our countrymen the programs we wish to push forward for the benefit and prosperity of every Filipino,” Go said in a statement to media.


“I’d like to change the mindset of people that a simple provincial man working as a staff, unpopular, not an actor, not from a family of politicians can dream of serving others in higher capacity,” he added.

Go also thanked his mentor, President Duterte, for endorsing his candidacy. Go served as assistant to Duterte for many years while he was mayor, vice mayor and congressman and when he became president.


In his visits to various places, Duterte vouched for the character and integrity of his former top aide, stressing that Go is an “extremely honest” man and a dedicated public servant.


“It helped a lot that I got endorsed by President Duterte whom I had served for 20 years and who really knows me well,” he said. “Thank you President Duterte. It only shows our countrymen’s strong belief in the changes you desire.”


But he stressed that his recent rise in the survey means he should work harder and continue the service he is doing.


“This only means we should work harder so we can better serve others. I will go to every corner, to the farthest place and the narrowest alleys just to help those in need most,” he said.


“Just like what I promised you, I will be your bridge to the President, but I also want to be your bridge to real change that can benefit every Filipino,” he added.


Go’s surge in the rating of senatorial candidates came more than a week before the start of the campaign period for national candidates in the 2019 midterm elections.


Go’s legislative agenda prioritizes improved delivery of health services, including the institutionalization of Malasakit Centers across the country.


A Malasakit Center brings together in one room all concerned government agencies such as the Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, PhilHealth, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, to make it easier for poor patients to avail themselves of medical and financial assistance from the government.

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