BREAKING NEWS: Henry Sy Sr. dies at 94

MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATED) SM Group Founder and the country's richest man Henry Sy Sr. just passed away this morning, January 19 at the age of 94.

Henry Sy Sr. dies at 94
Henry Sy Sr., the country's wealthiest man since 2005, passed away Saturday morning, January 19. 

"It is with sadness to announce my father, Henry Sy Sr., passed away peacefully in his sleep early Saturday morning," his son Hans confirmed the sad news.

Steven Tan, SM Supermalls COO, in a statement has requested prayers for their beloved Chairman "Tatang."

"With deep sadness, I would like to inform the group that our beloved Chairman Tatang, Mr. Henry Sy Sr, passed away peacefully in his sleep early Saturday morning. Please pray for the eternal repose of his soul."

Sy, former chairman of SM Investments, one of the country's largest conglomerates, led the 2018 Forbes list of Richest Filipinos as his net worth rose to US$18.3 billion last year, from $18 billion previously.

Aside from SM, he was the chairman emeritus of Highlands Prime, Inc., BDO Unibank, Inc., and was honorary chairman of China Banking Corporation.

In 1958, Sy started his empire from a small shoe store in Quiapo, Manila which later became SM Quiapo, SM's first stand alone department store. SM currently operates 72 malls located across the country plus 7 malls in China, including SM Tianjin which is the second largest in the world in terms of gross leasable area (GLA).

Henry Sy Sr. was born to a poor family in Fujian, China. He completed his secondary education at Chiang Kai Shek College and graduated college with Associate of Arts degree in Commercial Studies at the Far Eastern University (FEU).

— The Summit Express

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DepEd to probe reports of teachers who are exploited abroad as maids

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) will be looking into reports of teachers being exploited abroad.

During a recent cabinet meeting, Education secretary Leonor Briones confirmed that they have been receiving reports of abuse from teachers who crossed countries to find greener pasture. She said, “Grabe ang exploitation ng mga teachers who leave DepEd, for example, to teach abroad.”

Education secretary Leonor Briones
DepEd will take a look into the reports of exploitation done to Filipino teachers abroad | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/DepEd Philippines

Briones explained that teachers who go abroad are often slumped in debt and are sometimes treated like maids. She said, “May pattern na nakita kami, especially those who go to the United States hoping for a better life.”

“They will borrow money for their visa, for the processing of their requirements, but when they got there, their salaries and situation is comparable to those of maids,” Briones added.

Briones shared that the exporting of maids, is almost the same as the exporting of teachers.

The education secretary said that their agency will be working closely with Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). Briones said that while these teachers choose to leave DepEd, they cannot turn a blind eye on such worrisome concerns.

Briones said,“It’s beyond our control because they already left the DepEd, the country and they go abroad to teach. They go abroad to teach because of very attractive terms but the degree of exploitation is also worrisome.”

Briones said that they will start by looking into the status of schools and situation of teachers abroad. They will also look into DOLE and DFA's reports to help address the concern. Briones said, “We’re going to examine the major exchange programs of teachers who go to the US and in other countries.”

Shortage of teachers abroad

Many American teachers have decided to leave the profession due to low pay and demanding tasks. The shortage of educators have forced American schools to turn to foreign teachers via cultural exchange visa or the J1 or the Exchange Visitor or non-immigrant visa.

For 2018, a teacher working in the US earns as much as $55,000 to $60,000 a year or roughly $4,000 a month, depending on which state.

Last December, DOLE released the guidelines for the recruitment of over 100,000 Filipino teachers for deployment in China.

‘Return migration’

Back in 2014, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) worked with Philippine Embassy in Singapore for a “return migration” of school teachers who were forced to work as household helpers or household service workers (HSWs) in Singapore. They were given the chance to practice their teaching profession and fill up the vacancies brought about by the K to 12 program.

Last year, DepEd was in need of as much as 75,000 teachers for school year 2018-2019.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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DepEd wants government to stop using schools as evacuation centers

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) wants the Philippine government to change the practice of using schools as evacuation centers for disaster-stricken residents in times of calamity, stating that classes should go uninterrupted.

Year after year, there are about 20 tropical cyclones that enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR). Of these, 10 often become typhoons – and 5 of these typhoons are often potentially destructive, not only because of their strength but also due to the water it brings to the land.

DepEd wants government to stop using schools as evacuation centers
Photo credit: Tinaogan Central Elementary School's website

So, year after year, a lot of places are placed under a state of calamity, with these areas submerged in flood waters or experiencing some other form of natural calamity, including landslides.

While classes are suspended when these typhoons hit particular areas in the country, many places have extended class suspensions even weeks after the typhoon because the schools in the area are used as evacuation centers.

What’s worse, typhoons are not the only reason for schools to be used as evacuation centers but everything else that constitutes a calamity, including fire. This leads to many students missing weeks of school hours.

DepEd wants government to stop using schools as evacuation centers
Photo credit: Tinaogan Central Elementary School's website

The DepEd revealed that from 2016 to 2018, over 44,000 schools were affected by various calamities. Of this number, 39,000 schools were hit by tropical cyclones – and this was to be expected.

Aside from the tropical cyclones, however, 21,000 schools were affected in areas hit by earthquakes while nearly 18,000 have been used as evacuation centers during calamities.

Due to these numbers, a lot of classes remained suspended weeks after the calamity. The DepEd wants to put a stop to this situation.

“It also stands its position that public schools are not to be used as evacuation centers in order to ensure the continuity of education given in the worst calamity situation,” explained DepEd Undersecretary Alain del Pascua.

DepEd wants government to stop using schools as evacuation centers
Photo credit: Ronda Balita

As such, the DepEd will work hand in hand with local government units to find a solution to this problem, creating a different evacuation center for displaced residents without affecting schools in the area.

“DepEd has the support of the President that the local government should build separate evacuation centers and avoid using the schools as such,” del Pascua added.

— Joy Adalia, The Summit Express

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Photo of maid watching while employers eat goes viral

MANILA, Philippines – It is a sad reality that many housemaids and domestic helpers are not treated fairly by their employers. Many are not paid well and not even given enough food. What’s sad is that even when they are in public and dining out at a restaurant, there are employers who don’t feel ashamed of eating while their maids watch.
Photo of maid watching while employers eat goes viral

In Malaysia, a family recently received netizens’ ire after they were photographed eating a hearty meal while a woman, who was apparently their maid, was just watching but had nothing to eat.

Netizen @v_vivekkk was dining at the same restaurant as the family when he noticed the housemaid sitting at the next table, just watching her employers eat. Angered over the social injustice, he snapped a photo and shared it on Twitter with an angry caption.

Photo of maid watching while employers eat goes viral
Photo credit: World of Buzz

“I absolutely HATE people who do this. You bring your helper out to a restaurant and you don’t give her food. She sits there watching you eat. Where is your heart? Just because she’s a maid, she can’t eat at the same table?” wrote @v_vivekkk.

“I hope y’all get food poisoning!”

The angry tweet garnered a lot of support from netizens who were equally disgusted by the family’s treatment of their housemaid. Many said that they shouldn’t have brought her to the restaurant if they would not give her anything to eat or even drink, while they enjoyed a delicious meal.

But as the tweet went viral, the family speaks out and claims that the housemaid had already eaten prior to going to the restaurant.

Photo of maid watching while employers eat goes viral
Photo credit: World of Buzz

Lin, the younger woman in the woman, had been with Melissa (not her real name) throughout the day. The two had been running errands and had already eaten when they received a message from Lin’s parents that they were hungry. Thus, the two went to the restaurant where Lin’s parents were eating.

A friend sent the explanation in behalf of the family. According to the friend, Melissa was asked if she wanted anything to eat but said she was already full. Meanwhile, Lin was also full, but she sampled some of the food her parents ordered.

Photo of maid watching while employers eat goes viral
Photo credit: World of Buzz

According to the family, while it seemed like they did not feed their housemaid, it was her choice not to eat.

— Joy Adalia, The Summit Express

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CJ Perez, Columbian Dyip upset San Miguel Beermen

MANILA, Philippines – CJ Perez is not a top pick for nothing and certainly not a bust as the “Baby Beast” dropped 26 points on San Miguel and Columbian Dyip recorded a 124-118 upset win against the defending champs in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup on Friday, January 18 at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.

Despite failing in the NCAA Finals twice, CJ Perez still made it to the 2018 PBA Draft with the top pick overall by the Columbian Dyip.

CJ Perez, Columbian Dyip upset San Miguel Beermen
Columbian Dyip leaned on super rookie CJ Perez’s 26 points to score an upset win against SMB | Photo Credit:

The 6’3” former LPU Pirate missed a back-to-back jumpers but finally made his first PBA points under the basket against the outstretched arms of June Mar Fajardo at the 8th minute of the game.

All eyes are on Perez and basketball fans’ expectations are so high after seeing this year’s 3rd pick and Northport’s guard Robert Bolick scored 26 points in his inaugural game against Blackwater on Wednesday while 2nd pick Ray Parks has yet to play for the Elite as he’s bound to finish his Alab Pilipinas - ABL contract.

After starting for his team, CJ Perez sat on the bench for quite some time as Columbian had the lead courtesy of Jeramy King and Rashawn McCarty.

Perez finally checked back in with 4 more minutes left in the half as Dyip saw a drastic San Miguel comeback and erased a double-digit lead.

It seemed that rookie jitters hit Perez too hard as he wrapped up the 1st half with just 2 points as the Beermen enjoyed a 3-point, 54-51 lead heading to the dugout.

Rookie Perez shrugged off all the pressure and bad luck and drained significant numbers in the third as Columbian overtook San Miguel anew. The “Baby Beast” chipped in 11 3rd quarter markers in Dyip’s offensive blitz.

Another big name was on the pundits’ radar in this game: Terrence Romeo who was acquired by SMB from TNT during the offseason.

The “Golden Boy” didn’t do so much impact in his new team as he came off the bench and managed to score only 7 points in 3 quarters compared to his previous games.

Romeo sustained a mild left ankle sprain before the penultimate quarter closed and was sent to the locker room for further medical evaluation.

CJ Perez continued to sizzle hot in the 4th quarter as his and the opposing team switched leads and aimed to score their first win of the conference.

Perez’s first dunk in the league happened at the 6th minute mark off a fastbreak and apparently his 20th point of the game.

Under 2 minutes of the ballgame, Columbian held onto a 1-point slim advantage and obviously obtained its momentum with the help of CJ Perez and Jackson Corpuz.

After a lackluster 1st half performance, CJ Perez showed that he’s for real as he matched Robert Bolick’s 26 points couple of days ago and walked off with a 124-118 upset win against the defending All Filipino Cup Champions.


Columbian 124 - Perez 26, Corpuz 21, Celda 15, Reyes 12, Camson 11, Escoto 11, McCarthy 8, Agovida 8, King 7, Calvo 3, Cahilig 2, Khobuntin 0, Faundo 0, Gabriel 0.

San Miguel 118 - Santos 34, Lassiter 25, Fajardo 16, Cabagnot 12, Nabong 11, Romeo 7, Standhardinger 6, Zamar 3, Ross 2, Pessumal 2, Tubid 0.

Quarterscores: 24-27, 51-54, 85-86, 124-118.

— Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express

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BI to pursue deportation case against Tony Labrusca

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) Intelligence Division is seeking for the deportation of actor Tony Labrusca.
BI to pursue deportation case against Tony Labrusca

The BI issued a statement that are pursuing the deportation case against the Fil-Am actor. BI Deputy Commissioner Tobias Javier said, “The [BI] Intelligence Division recommended to the Legal Division the filing of a deportation case against Labrusca, I think for working without a permit.”

BI to pursue deportation case against Tony Labrusca
Tony Labrusca may soon face deportation case against him | Photo Courtesy: Instagram/Tony Labrusca

Early this year, Labrusca was embroiled in a fiasco at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Several Immigration staff slammed the actor for allegedly cursing and shouting at their supervisor. The Philippine Immigration's decision to only grant him 30 days in the country didn't sit too well with Labrusca. He later on apologized for his actions.


After the incident, Labrusca has been working on his petition to be recognized as a Filipino citizen. Javier said, “I was informed that Tony Labrusca also filed a petition for recognition as a Filipino citizen, considering that both his parents are Filipinos.”

While Labrusca's parents are both Filipino, he was born and raised in the US and is holding an American passport.

The actor's petition will be heard by the BI's Board of Special Inquiry (BSI). If Labrusca's petition will be granted, the deportation case against him will be considered “moot and academic.”

“We would process it, may hearing pa ‘yan (there will be a hearing) with our BSI, then it (BSI) would recommend to the Department of Justice for confirmation if they find sufficient basis for the granting of recognition,” Javier explained.

To be recognized as a Filipino citizen, at least one of the parents of the petitioner should be Filipino. Javier said that while he is sure Labrusca's father is still a Filipino citizen, his mother, who had been living in the US for sometime, might be an American citizen already.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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Villanueva passes bill that waives gov’t fees for fresh grads, first-time jobseekers

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Joel Villanueva has authored a bill that allows fresh graduates to process and receive government documents for free.
Villanueva passes bill that waives gov’t fees for fresh grads

Villanueva passes bill that waives gov’t fees for fresh grads
The First-Time Jobseekers Assistance Act of 2017 will prohibit government agencies to collect fees from first-time jobseekers or fresh graduates | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Joel Villanueva

The Senate Bill No. 1629 or the First-Time Jobseekers Assistance Act of 2017, will grant fresh graduates or first-time jobseekers to free access to government documents.

Government agencies will not be allowed to charge fees when fresh grads apply for their pre-employment documents such as National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), police and barangay clearances, and proof of identification such as Postal ID, among others.

It does not, however, include fees for professional licensure examination, Philippine passport and driver’s license.

The SB 1629’s counterpart in the lower House, House Bill 172 has just passed the third and final reading.

Villanueva, who is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development, has lauded the approval of the Congress. He said, “As principal author and sponsor of the First-time Jobseekers Assistance Act in the Senate, we look forward to the immediate passage of this bill into law.”

Villanueva believes that once the bill is enacted, it will help as much as 600,000 fresh graduates annually as well as out-of-school youth.

Easing the first-time jobseekers of a few financial burden would be a great way to give them support, Villanueva added.

“It is a great service to the nation, that we provide ways and means for the younger generations’ ease of entrance into the country’s labor force as valuable human resources and productive citizens,” the senator explained.

A bicameral conference committee meeting is expected to convene to further discuss the bill.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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Couple among topnotchers in December 2018 Criminology board exam

A lot of people believe that having a boyfriend or girlfriend while you are in school is not really a very good thing as this could lead to many distractions. There are those who get pregnant out of wedlock and still too young to support their children, while there are others who fail their subjects due to frequent misunderstandings with their partners.
Philip Dominic Pendang and Cherryfe España topnotcher Criminology board exam

But one couple in Davao proved that not all students in relationships end up with a lot of problems that affect their future – because you can be each other’s inspirations to better live your dreams!

Philip Dominic Pendang and Cherryfe España topnotcher Criminology board exam
Photo credit: Facebook / Cherryfe España

Philip Dominic Pendang and Cherryfe España both graduated from the University of Mindanao, Davao City. Both would go to the same review center and go on to top the December 2018 Criminology Board Exams!

There were actually several topnotchers from Mindanao but all eyes were on the power couple, Philip and Cherryfe! Netizens are saying these two are truly #RelationshipGoals!

Being each other’s inspiration and study buddy, the couple was able to not just achieve their dream of passing the Criminology Board Exams but were also able to surpass their expectations by both topping the licensure exams.

Garnering a score of 90.65%, Philip would take the third spot while Cherryfe took the seventh spot after garnering a score of 89.85%.

Philip Dominic Pendang and Cherryfe España topnotcher Criminology board exam
Photo credit: Facebook / Cherryfe España

SEE ALSO: TOP 10 PASSERS: December 2018 Criminologist board exam CLE result

After their impressive achievement as individuals and as a couple, Philip and Cherryfe would happily share their photos on Facebook. But both did not make the traditional ‘speech’ that many have come to see in posts from topnotchers.

Cherryfe admitted that both of them are still in ‘Cloud 9’ and feeling dreamy, but she thanked everyone who extended their congratulations to them both. It was truly amazing that they managed to achieve this feat together.

Netizens are hoping that these two would continue to love each other and achieve more of their dreams as a couple in the future.

— Joy Adalia, The Summit Express

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