Construction of the Philippines’ first subway to start soon

MANILA, Philippines – The construction of the much-awaited Metro Manila subway project is finally going to happen, with the formal groundbreaking ceremony set on February 27.
Construction of the Philippines’ first subway to start soon

Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade and other top officials of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) are in Japan to meet with their counterparts to discuss the project and inspect equipment that will be used for the construction.

Metro Manila Subway construction start soon
Photo credit: DOTr

The Metro Manila Subway will feature 15 stations, starting from Quirino Highway (Quezon City) to the NAIA (Pasay City) and FTI (Taguig City). Operating at a projected speed of 80 kph, the trip from North Avenue to NAIA Terminal 3 and FTI will only take about 31 minutes.

The subway system also has provision for a 5-km extension and two additional stations to connect it with the LRT Line 1.

According to DOTr officials, the subway will be partially operational by 2022, with the opening of three subway stations: at Quirino Highway, Tandang Sora, and North Avenue. But construction will be faster from that point on, with the entire line projected to be completed and fully operational by 2025.

Metro Manila Subway construction start soon
Photo credit: DOTr

The project will be funded by a loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The 30-km subway system be built using tunnel-boring machines (TBMs) manufactured by Japan-based Hitachi Zosen’s Sakai Works.

Php45-billion of the loan from JICA will go to the purchase of the machines needed to create the subway tunnels. The 600-ton TBMs have a 6.9-meter diameter and are designed to create the tunnels while minimizing vibration above the ground.

One of the flagship programs under the administration’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program, the Php227-billion Metro Manila Subway is expected to ease traffic and provide commuters a faster alternative to reach their destinations much faster than the current options available.

Metro Manila Subway construction start soon
Photo credit: DOTr

The construction of the Metro Manila Subway was supposed to start last December 2018, but the groundbreaking ceremony was postponed to mid-January due to schedule conflicts with Japanese officials.

But the DOTr announced that the groundbreaking ceremony will finally push through on February 27 at 9am.

— Joy Adalia, The Summit Express

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Samsung Galaxy S10: official specs, pricing and availability in the Philippines

MANILA, Philippines – Celebrating a decade since the launch of the first Galaxy S, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. introduces a new line of premium smartphones: Galaxy S10. With three unique devices, the Galaxy S10 line is engineered to meet the distinct needs of today’s smartphone market, so consumers can do more of what they love. Each device delivers a next-generation experience in the categories consumers care about most: groundbreaking innovations in display, camera, and performance.

As testament to a decade of innovations, Galaxy S10 is designed for those who want a premium smartphone with powerful performance and sets the stage for the next generation of mobile experience. For consumers looking for a supercharged device, Galaxy S10+ takes every spec—from display, to camera, to performance—to the next level.

Finally, Galaxy S10e is built for those who want all the premium essentials in a compact package on a flat screen. Featuring the all-new Dynamic AMOLED display, next-generation camera, and intelligent performance, the Galaxy S10 line offers consumers more choices and sets a new standard for the smartphone.

Samsung Galaxy S10: official specs, pricing and availability
New premium smartphone experiences help celebrate 10 years of Galaxy innovations

Maximized infinity display: Full screen experience with ultrasonic fingerprint scanner

Galaxy S10 is made with Samsung’s best screen yet, the world’s first Dynamic AMOLED display. As the first HDR10+-certified smartphone, the display delivers vivid digital content, and with dynamic tone mapping, you’ll see a wider range of color for a brilliant, realistic picture. Galaxy S10’s Dynamic AMOLED display is also VDE-certified for vibrant bright colors and the industry’s best contrast ratio on a mobile device for even deeper blacks and brighter whites.

Verified by DisplayMate, you’ll also enjoy the world’s most accurate colors on a mobile device – even in harsh sunlight. What’s more, the Dynamic AMOLED display also reduces blue light through its TÜV Rheinland-certified Eye Comfort display without compromising picture quality or adding a filter.

The result of a groundbreaking engineering process, Galaxy S10’s unique Infinity-O Display packs an array of sensors and camera technology into a hole-in display – so you can maximize your screen real estate without any distractions.

Galaxy S10’s Dynamic AMOLED display also includes the first-ever embedded Ultrasonic Fingerprint Scanner[5] that reads the 3D contours of your physical thumbprint – not a 2D image of it – for improved anti-spoofing. With the world’s first FIDO Alliance Biometric Component certification, this next generation biometrics authentication offers vault-like security to keep your device safe.

True vision multi-camera

Building on Samsung’s camera leadership of Dual Pixel and Dual Aperture firsts, Galaxy S10 introduces new camera technology and advanced intelligence that makes it easy to take epic shots and videos:

1. Ultra-Wide Lens: A first for the S Series, Galaxy S10 offers an Ultra-Wide Lens with a 123-degree field of view, like the human eye, so what you see is what’s in frame. Perfect for impressive landscape shots, big panoramas and even fitting the entire extended family into the photo, the Ultra-Wide Lens ensures that you’ll always be able to capture the full scene.

2. Super Steady and High-Quality Video Recording: Galaxy S10 offers Super Steady recording with digital stabilization technology. Whether you’re dancing in the middle of an amazing concert or trying to record every detail of a bumpy bike ride, Super Steady allows you to capture the moment. Both front and rear cameras can shoot in up-to UHD quality, and in an industry first, the rear camera gives you the flexibility to record in HDR10+.

3. AI Camera: Galaxy S10 makes already smart features more accurate with a Neural Processing Unit (NPU) so you can get pro-grade shots worth sharing without having to manually select any advanced camera settings. Scene Optimizer can now recognize and more accurately process additional scenes because of the NPU. And with Shot Suggestion, Galaxy S10 offers automatic composition recommendations so you can frame your photo better than ever.

Intelligent performance features to help you get the most out of your phone

Galaxy S10 is built with premium hardware and machine-learning-based software that works hard, so you don’t have to. From brand new power sharing capabilities to AI-powered performance enhancement and Intelligent Wi-Fi, Galaxy S10 is Samsung’s most intelligent device yet, from the inside out.

1. Wireless PowerShare: Samsung introduces Wireless PowerShare on Galaxy S10, making it possible to easily charge Qi-certified devices. As an industry-first, Galaxy S10’s Wireless PowerShare will also charge compatible wearable devices. In addition, Galaxy S10 is capable of charging itself and a second device simultaneously via Wireless PowerShare[7], while connected to a regular charger, enabling you to leave your second charger at home while on a trip.

2. Intelligent Performance: The new AI software on the Galaxy S10 automatically optimizes battery, CPU, RAM, and even device temperature based on how you use your phone, and continues to learn and get better over time. Leveraging AI-capabilities, Galaxy S10 also learns how you use your device to launch your most frequently used apps faster.

3. Intelligent Wi-Fi: Galaxy S10 comes with Intelligent Wi-Fi that allows for an uninterrupted and safe connection by seamlessly switching between Wi-Fi and LTE, as well as alerting you of potentially risky Wi-Fi connections. Galaxy S10 also supports the new Wi-Fi 6 standard, making it possible for better Wi-Fi performance when connected to a compatible router.

4. Bixby Routines: On Galaxy S10, Bixby automates your routines and provides personalized recommendations to make your life easier. With pre-set and personalized routines, such as Driving and Before Bed routines, which are customized based on your habits, Galaxy S10 makes things simpler by automatically reducing device touches and cutting steps out of your day. [8]

The best comes standard: Galaxy Foundation and Next Level Ecosystem

The Galaxy S10 line offers everything you have come to expect from the Galaxy S series and more—including Fast Wireless Charging 2.0, IP68 water and dust resistance, a next-generation processor and Samsung services like Bixby, Samsung Health, and Samsung DeX. You will get the largest storage capacity available on a Galaxy device with 1TB of built-in storage and the ability to add an additional 512GB microSD card for up to 1.5TB.

1. Speed: Galaxy S10 lets you access next-generation Wi-Fi 6[12], which gives you prioritized and four times faster access[13] over other users in crowded areas, like an airport. Experience lightning fast LTE for downloading and browsing capable of up to 2.0 Gbps for the first time ever[14].

2. Gaming: Engineered for the best possible gaming experience, Galaxy S10 is built with AI-based on-device gaming performance optimization software and premium hardware including Dolby Atmos for gaming mode and a vapor chamber cooling system. Galaxy S10 is also the first mobile device to be optimized for games created on the Unity platform.

3. Security: Galaxy S10 is built with defense-grade Samsung Knox, as well as a secure storage backed by hardware, which houses your private keys for blockchain-enabled mobile services.

Samsung Galaxy S10 full specifications

Specifications Galaxy S10 Galaxy S10+ Galaxy S10e
Display 6.1-inch Quad HD+ Curved Dynamic AMOLED, 19:9 (550ppi) 6.4-inch Quad HD+ Curved Dynamic AMOLED, 19:9 (522ppi) 5.8-inch, Full HD+ Flat Dynamic AMOLED, 19:9 (438ppi)
Screen to Window Ratio: 93.1% Screen to Window Ratio: 93.1% Screen to Window Ratio: 91.6%
*Default resolution is Full HD+ and can be changed to Quad HD+ (WQHD+) in Settings. *Default resolution is Full HD+ and can be changed to Quad HD+ (WQHD+) in Settings.
*Screen measured diagonally as a full rectangle without accounting for the rounded corners
Camera Rear: Triple Camera with Dual OIS Rear: Triple Camera with Dual OIS Rear: Dual Camera with OIS
- Telephoto: 12MP AF, F2.4, OIS (45°) - Telephoto: 12MP AF, F2.4, OIS (45°) - Wide-angle: 12MP 2PD AF, F1.5/F2.4, OIS (77°)
- Wide-angle: 12MP 2PD AF, F1.5/F2.4, OIS (77°) - Wide-angle: 12MP 2PD AF, F1.5/F2.4, OIS (77°) - Ultra Wide: 16MP FF, F2.2 (123°)
- Ultra Wide: 16MP FF, F2.2 (123°) - Ultra Wide: 16MP FF, F2.2 (123°) - 0.5X optical zoom, up to 8X digital zoom
- 0.5X/2X optical zoom, up to 10X digital zoom - 0.5X/2X optical zoom, up to 10X digital zoom
Front: Front: Dual Camera
- UHD Selfie: 10MP 2PD AF, F1.9 (80°) - UHD Selfie: 10MP 2PD AF, F1.9 (80°)
- RGB Depth: 8MP FF, F2.2 (90°) Front:
- UHD Selfie: 10MP 2PD AF, F1.9 (80°)
Body 70.4 x 149.9 x 7.8mm, 157g 74.1 x 157.6 x 7.8mm, 175g (Ceramic: 198g) 69.9 x 142.2 x 7.9mm, 150g
AP 8nm 64-bit Octa-core processor (Max. 2.7 GHz + 2.3 GHz + 1.9 GHz)
*May differ by market and mobile operator.
Memory 8GB RAM (LPDDR4X), 128GB 8GB RAM (LPDDR4X), 128 GB 6GB RAM (LPDDR4X), 128GB
+ MicroSD slot (up to 512GB) + MicroSD slot (up to 512GB) + MicroSD slot (up to 512GB)
*May differ by market and mobile operator.
*User memory is less than the total memory due to storage of the operating system and software used to operate the device features. Actual user memory will vary depending on the operator and may change after software upgrades are performed.
SIM Card Dual(Hybrid): one Nano SIM and one Nano SIM or one MicroSD slot (up to 512GB)
*MicroSD card sold separately.
Battery 3,400mAh (typical) 4,100mAh (typical) 3,100mAh (typical)
Fast Charging compatible on wired and wireless
Improved wireless charging speeds with Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
*Wired charging compatible with QC2.0 and AFC
*Wireless Charging compatible with WPC and PMA
*May differ by market and mobile operator.
OS Android 9.0 (Pie)
Network LTE ready
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax (2.4/5GHz), VHT80 MU-MIMO, 1024QAM
- 1.2Gbps Download / 1.2Gbps Upload
*May differ by market and mobile operator.
Bluetooth® v 5.0, ANT+, USB Type-C, NFC, Location (GPS, Galileo*, Glonass, BeiDou*)
*Galileo and BeiDou coverage may be limited.
Sensors Accelerometer, Barometer, Ultrasonic Fingerprint Sensor, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Hall Sensor, Heart Rate Sensor, Proximity Sensor, RGB Light Sensor Accelerometer, Barometer, Capacitive Fingerprint Sensor, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Hall Sensor, Proximity Sensor, RGB Light Sensor
Authentication Lock Type: Swipe, Pattern, PIN, Password
Biometric Lock Types: Fingerprints, Face
Audio Stereo speakers tuned by AKG
Surround sound with Dolby Atmos technology (Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus included)
Audio Playback Format:
Video MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM

Galaxy S10 availability and pre-ordering

The Galaxy S10e will be available in Prism White, while the Galaxy S10 will be available in Prism White and Prism Black. Consumers who will opt for the Galaxy S10+ will have three colors to choose from: Prism White, Prism Black, and Prism Green. The Galaxy S10+ will also be available in a premium Ceramic Black variant.

The Galaxy S10 line will be available in authorized retail stores, telco operator partners, and online beginning March 8.

Pricing starts at PHP39,990 for the Galaxy S10e, PHP49,990 for the Galaxy S10, and PHP55,990 for Galaxy S10+. The limited edition Galaxy S10+ Ceramic Black (1TB) model will only be available via pre-order at PHP89,990. Consumers who pre-order a Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10, and Galaxy S10+ will receive freebies worth up to PHP28,500.00.

Pre-register now at to witness disruptive innovation from the next Galaxy. Pre-order begins on February 22. For more information about Galaxy S10, visit or

— The Summit Express

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Gilas Pilipinas blows out Qatar by 38 points, keeps FIBA World Cup hopes alive

MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas’ FIBA World Cup hope is still alive as the nationals overpowered Qatar, 84-46 on Friday morning, February 22, 2019 at the Filipino-filled Al Gharafa Sports Club in Doha, Qatar.

It’s been a while since Gilas Pilipinas last won and it’s also been a while since Andray Blatche donned the national colors after getting suspended for few games. With this, Team Philippines felt the urgency to step up as early as possible and finish the game strong.

Andray Blatche’s return to Gilas powered Philippines
Andray Blatche’s return to Gilas powered Philippines in overthrowing Qatar at the start of FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers’ 6th window. Photo Credit: Business World

Despite the good start, Qatar garnered the slight edge as the Filipinos gave some few good shots to the Qataris especially underneath the basket.

Blatche initiated the scoring rally and was able to switch the tides to the Philippine side, 15-11 as the 1st quarter clock expired.

First-timer and collegiate basketball star Thirdy Ravena made his inaugural appearance but missed all of his shots. Good thing that his fellow Gilas guards made triples to maintain their advantage.

REPLAY: Gilas Pilipinas vs Qatar 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers

Although Gilas had a decent amount of lead, scoring became harder for the nationals as the Qataris got more physical defensively and giving up hard fouls. Philippines posted its first double-digit lead under 3 minutes of the 2nd period.

Pilipinas held on its 10-point, 31-21 lead after the 1st half.

Paul Lee was on a scoring rampage as the 2nd half unfolded. Lee hauled back-to-back treys while Blatche sank 3 consecutive long bombs to double up their margin.

Woes continued to pile up for Qatar as the host players were shooting blanks and had only made 2 points in over 5 minutes. Japeth Aguilar’s lengthy presence made it grueling for the Qataris to score as the 6’9” forward kept on swatting their shot attempts.

Aside from defensive stops, Gilas’ 3-point shooting carried on and gave the nationals a 30 plus point, 62-30 humongous lead at the end of the penultimate quarter.

After Blatche and Lee’s 3-point barrage in the third, it was Jason William and Marcio Lassiter’s turn to rain it down in the final canto to burry Qatar even deeper.

Possessing a gigantic 40-point lead, Coach Yeng Guiao pulled Andray Blatche out to give his prized ward a well-deserved rest and ordered his squad to begin melting the clock.

Coach Yeng Guiao was slapped with 2 technical fouls and was asked to leave the court in the dying seconds of the game. Nevertheless, Gilas Pilipinas finished off Qatar with an 84-46 victory.

With the win, Gilas improved to 6-5 win-loss record and currently at the 4th place in group F behind Australia, Iran and Japan.

Philippines is now in a tough scenario even if it wins its next game against Kazakhstan on Sunday because only the top 3 teams from Group E and F will qualify for the 2020 FIBA World Cup.

Philippines’ only chance to march onto the global and prestigious basketball event is to be the best 4th place finisher in both Groups which will also be difficult as both Lebanon and Jordan are also aiming for the same objective.

The Scores

Philippines 84 – Blatche 17, Lassiter 14, Lee 13, Castro 11, Aguilar 10, Barroca 7, Erram 7, Rosario 4, Norwood 2, Ravena 0, Thompson 0, Fajardo 0.

Qatar 46 – Saeed 10, Elhadary 7, Fouda 6, Gueye 5, Khalid 5, Al-Rayes 3, Muslic 3, Abdelhaleem 2, Mohmedd 2, Mujkic 2, Avdic 1, Al-Darwish 0.

Quarters: 15-11, 31-21, 62-30, 84-46.

— Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express

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LIVE STREAM: Gilas Pilipinas vs Qatar 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers

MANILA, Philippines – The country's national team Gilas Pilipinas will begin its quest in a must-win sixth and final window of the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers. The national team will face familiar foes Team Qatar in Doha on Thursday, February 21, at 7 pm (Friday, February 22 at 12 midnight in Manila). Watch the game on livestream here.
Gilas Pilipinas vs Qatar 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers

The Philippines dropped to 5-5 record or 4th place in Group F after losing in the last two contests against Kazakhstan and Iran last year. The pressure is on to win back-to-back games in the final window, against Qatar and Kazakhstan (February 24) to improve the rank to 3rd spot, which guarantees World Cup berth.

Qatar is now just in the process of completing a failed bid in the FIBA World Cup or already eliminated in Group F after sitting at 6th place and having 2-8 record.

UPDATE: Gilas Pilipinas blows out Qatar by 38 points, keeps FIBA World Cup hopes alive

If the Nationals win at least one of the two games, they will then meet team in the Group E for the best 4th placer to earn the last World Cup slot.

Coach Yeng Guiao is confident that Andray Blatche's comeback will alleviate the team’s deficiencies—particularly on the defensive side of the floor.

Joining him in the Gilas lineup for the Qatar match are June Mar Fajardo, Poy Erram Troy Rosario, Japeth Aguilar, Paul Lee, Mark Barroca, Gabe Norwood, Marcio Lassiter, Scottie Thompson, Jayson Castro and Thirdy Ravena.

WATCH: Gilas Pilipinas vs Qatar FIBA World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers on livestream (video courtesy of YouTube/Sports5):

Live updates courtesy of Sports5:


— The Summit Express

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Korina Sanchez, Mar Roxas happily welcome birth of their twins

MANILA, Philippines – ABS-CBN's broadcaster Korina Sanchez and politician Mar Roxas are now proud parents as they welcome their twins.

Korina Sanchez, Mar Roxas happily welcome birth of their twins
Korina and Mar Roxas welcome their twins | Photo Courtesy: Instagram/Korina Sanchez

While Mar, 61 years old already has a 25-year-old son, Paolo, with former beauty queen Maricar Zaldarriaga, their twins will be Korina's first children.

On Instagram, the first-time mom couldn't hide her excitement. She wrote, “I think if you believe hard enough, the miracle you most want can come true. Announcing the arrival of our little boy and little girl.”

The Rated K host even asked her followers for name suggestions for the little boy and girl. She wrote, “We’re thinking of names. Any suggestions? Jack and Jill? Sonny and Cher? MariKor and KoriMar? Daniel and Kathryn? Did you ever think it could still happen for me? I never stopped believing.”

The 54-year-old mom revealed with ABS-CBN that their twins were born via surrogacy from the couple's embryo.

In a statement, Mar and Korina also shared the details of their twins birth. It stated, “The little boy arrived first at 5 pounds, 4 ounces and one and a half hours later, his fraternal twin sister arrived at 4 pounds 12 ounces. They are both perfectly healthy.”

Mar and Korina had been married since October 2009 and made no secret of “trying very hard” to have a baby.

In a 2011 interview, Korina even revealed that it would be a miracle to have their own children but they are hopeful. She said, “I think it’s going to take some work, maybe even a miracle. But we’re looking forward to it. Hopefully it’s going to happen soon. Girl or boy? Any.”

Congrats to the new parents!

— Sally, The Summit Express

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IN PHOTOS: Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray's homecoming parade

MANILA, Philippines – Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray is back and she was welcomed by a huge crowd of Filipinos for her homecoming parade. And because one isn't enough, the beauty queen will have two grand parades.

The fourth Filipino Miss Universe arrived last February 16, followed by a media conference hosted by the Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. and Miss Universe.

Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray's homecoming parade
The Queen is back! Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Reynold Prudencio Peña

Catriona's parade kicked off today, February 21 as she went around the Pasay-Manila-Makati route starting from Sofitel Hotel in Pasay.

Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray's homecoming parade
Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray waves at the crowd | Photo Courtesy: Twitter/PNA Avito Dalan

On February 23, she will have another homecoming parade at the Araneta Center.

For her parade today, the beauty queen looked beautiful in a intricately-beaded terno. The designer Mak Tumang explained that Catriona's homecoming outfit is inspired by Philippines’ national flower- the Sampaguita.

Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray's homecoming parade
Catriona’s homecoming “Sampaguita-inspired” terno | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Reynold Prudencio Peña

Following her Mayon gown, Catriona rode a “Mayon-inspired” float designed by artist Fritz Silorio, who was also responsible for Pia Wurtzbach's float in 2015.

Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray's homecoming parade
Catriona’s homecoming float is inspired by Mayon and showed off the Mikimoto crown | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Reynold Prudencio Peña

Despite the heat, our very own Miss Universe waved and smiled as throng of well wishers cheered for her. A band and few dancers followed the float to give the parade a more festive vibe.

The crowd gave their smiles and cheers, while some even waved banners and wrote messages for Catriona as her motorcade passed by.

Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray's homecoming parade
Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray is greeted by fans and supporters | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Reynold Prudencio Peña

On February 24, Catriona will celebrate at the “Raise Your Flag” event at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. She will meet her fans along with other Filipino celebrities and previous queens Gloria Diaz, Margie Moran and Pia Wurtzbach.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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SSS unemployment benefit to support members looking for new jobs

MANILA, Philippines – The Social Security System (SSS) will soon extend the benefits of its members and support them in times when they are in between jobs.
SSS unemployment benefit to support members looking for new jobs

This week, President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law Republic Act 11199 or the Social Security Act of 2019. One of the provisions of the law is to allow members to file for “unemployment insurance” or involuntary separation benefits while they are looking for new employment.

Senator Richard J. Gordon, author of the said law, explained that members shall be given insurance for two months. He said, “For the first time in the country’s history, meron na ngayong (there is now an) unemployment insurance. It will start with two months, at least meron kang P10,000 a month if you had been paying contributions under the maximum salary credit. For two months, makakapaghanap ka ng trabaho.”

Gordon, chairman of the Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises, added, “It will allow you to look for another job. While hindi ka pwedeng magrelax at kailangang maghanap ka agad ng trabaho (You have to find work fast) because you can only get a maximum of two months, you will have something for your expenses.”

Here are a few things you need to know about the new SSS unemployment benefit:

  • Unemployment benefit is equivalent to 50 percent of his/her average monthly salary credit for a maximum of two months
  • Only those who involuntarily lost their job or without fault of their own (laid off) shall be qualified
  • Members should have a least 36 months of contributions, 12 months of which should be in the 18-month period immediately preceding the involuntary unemployment or separation
  • Unemployment benefit is not a loan but part of the SSS benefits their members can enjoy like sickness and maternity
  • members who wish to file should not be over 60 years old

If you are paying the maximum monthly salary credit which is P16,000, unemployment benefit would be half of that or more or less P8,000 for two months.

For example, even if the member's monthly salary is at P150,000 and 12% contribution would be at P18,000, the maximum monthly salary credit is only capped at P16,000. Therefore, the maximum unemployment benefit a member can get is around P8,000.

The lower the monthly salary credit, the lesser the unemployment benefit.

Among the provisions of the new SSS Law, is the increase of contributions rate starting this year. From the current 11%, the monthly contribution rate will increase to 12%, with 4% coming from the employee, and 8% coming from the employer. Gradual increase will continue annually until it reaches 15% by 2025.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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Duterte finally signs into law the Expanded Maternity Leave

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte finally signed into law the Expanded Maternity Leave (EML).

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea confirmed that the President signed the law on Wednesday. Duterte’s former top aide Christopher “Bong” Go also confirmed that the President has signed the bill in approval.
Duterte finally signs into law the Expanded Maternity Leave

The landmark law will grant additional leave benefits of up to 120 days to working mothers.

The measure will apply to all working women regardless of her civil status or legitimacy of her child.

Under the law, it will guarantee 105 paid leaves to all working mothers, with 7 days transferable to fathers as paternity leave. An additional 15 days shall be granted to single mothers.

Working mothers can even extend their leaves for up to 30 more days but will be unpaid.

It amends the previous law granting only 60 days of paid leave for normal delivery and 78 days for cesarean delivery.

The new law will also remove the 4-pregnancy cap and will apply to all women workers both in the government and private sectors.

The Expanded Maternity Leave bill was passed in Congress in October 2018 and was transmitted to the Palace on January 21, 2019.

Senator Risa Hontiveros, author of the said law lauded the passage of the bill. She called it a “massive victory for women and their families!”

The Senate Bill No. 1305 for the Expanded Maternity Leave was prepared and submitted jointly by the Committees on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality: Civil Service, Government Reorganization and Professional Regulation; Finance; and Government Corporations and Public Enterprises along with Senators Francis Pangilinan, Manny Pacquiao, Risa Hontiveros, Antonio Trillanes IV, Nancy Binay, Loren Legarda and Sonny Angara as authors.

The Congress counterpart bill on the said law was sponsored by Representatives Emmeline Aglipay-Villar, Francsica Castro, Pia Cayetano, Emmi De Jesus, Linabelle Villaricaand Micaela Violago.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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