20 Filipino gov’t officials to study in Japan under a scholarship grant

admin   •   July 10, 2017   •   8051

MANILA, Philippines — The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) recognizes the role that the human capital plays in accomplishing government projects.

That’s why the agency believes that overseas learning opportunities for Filipinos, especially in technologically advanced countries like Japan, are a big help.

“We hope that through the signing of the grant agreement for the JDS project, we will be able to further strengthen our institutions by producing highly skilled graduates capable of making immediate positive impact in their respective agencies,” NEDA Secretary Ernesto Pernia said.

This morning, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has signed a 264-million yen (approximately 117million pesos) Japan Grant Aid for Human Resource Development Scholarship (JDS) Project with NEDA.

The grant aims to help build the capacity and skills of young Filipino leaders and let them share what they have learned for the country’s development.

This year, 20 government officials will have the opportunity to take post-graduate courses in some of Japan’s top universities including International University of Japan, Kobe University, Meiji University at Nagoya University, among others.

Meanwhile, JICA boasts of its Filipino scholars who now hold key positions in the government and already made contributions in their agencies.

JICA also hopes to mutually benefit from the Philippines by learning also from the country’s universities.

JICA Philippines chief representative, Susumo Ito said, “We really hope that the JDS scholars will learn not only the area studies but also Japan’s economic development experiences.”

“Japan also hopes to learn from the Philippines’ development experiences through this exchange of knowledge,” said Ito.

To date, 259 Filipinos have benefitted from the JDS Project. — Leslie Longboen | UNTV News & Rescue

 

Japanese probe travels back to Earth with samples of distant asteroid

Robie de Guzman   •   November 14, 2019

Tokyo – Japanese probe Hayabusa2 began its journey back to Earth after collecting samples of a distant asteroid, marking an unprecedented achievement in space exploration, the country’s aerospace agency announced Wednesday.

The probe began maneuvers to leave asteroid Ryugu’s orbit and return to Earth, a distance of 700 million kilometers that would take one year to cover, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) tweeted.

If the probe returns without any setbacks, Hayabusa2 will become the first space mission to bring surface and underground samples from extremely distant celestial bodies, contributing to research into the mysteries of the universe, JAXA said.

On Wednesday at 10:05 local time (1:05 GMT), the probe activated its lithium-ion powered engine to lift itself from its orbital location – some 20 kilometers above the asteroid – and begin its return journey.

JAXA provided details of the operation named “Sayonara Ryugu” (Goodbye Ryugu) on its Twitter account and posted pictures taken by Hayabusa2.

According to JAXA’s plan, the probe will pass over Australia towards the end of 2020 and drop a capsule containing sand and rock samples collected from Ryugu.

Hayabusa2 reached the asteroid in 2018 and made two touchdowns this year, in what have been pioneering missions of high technical complexity.

Maneuvers were aimed at retrieving underground samples from an artificial crater on the surface of the asteroid created by a projectile made of the metal tantalum fired by the spacecraft.

Ryugu is located 340 million kilometers from the Earth and its surface is believed to contain traces of coal and water formed during the birth of the solar system some 4.6 billion years ago.

The samples collected by Hayabusa2 could provide clues to the formation of planets and the origin of life. EFE-EPA
ahg/tk-sc/lds

Japanese firm recalls 1.7M bottles of Craft Boss Tea due to bacillus bacteria

Marje Pelayo   •   November 7, 2019

JAPAN – A Japanese beverage manufacturer has ordered the recall of its tea drink following reports that it causes severe stomachache.

The manufacturer, Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd, has ordered a recall of around 1.7 million 500ml bottles of ‘Craft Boss Tea’ specifically those marked “best before” August 2020, with blue caps and production facility code of ‘/JJ’.

The company admitted that bacillus cereus bacteria were detected in the said batch of tea drink which causes food poisoning and serious infections in humans.

In October, one customer complained that the tea tasted sour.

After laboratory tests and investigation, Suntory Beverage discovered that microbes were present even in other bottles.

Suntory Beverage vowed to refund its customers for every bottle of Craft Boss Tea Drink returned through a gift certificate corresponding their purchase costs. – MNP (with details from Danny Ticzon Jr.)

PH Inflation further eases to 0.8% in October

Robie de Guzman   •   November 5, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The country’s headline inflation further eased to 0.8 percent in October, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Tuesday.

The PSA said the latest inflation figure is lower than the 0.9 percent recorded in September, and a sharp slide compared to the 6.7 percent in October 2018.

October’s inflation rate is the slowest in more than three years, bringing the year-to-date inflation to 2.6 percent.

Inflation means the rate of increase in prices of goods and services.

National Statistician Dennis Mapa said the downtrend in the latest inflation was primarily due to the annual drop in the index of the heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as transportation costs.

Slower increases in rates of water, housing, gas, electricity, and other fuels were also noted, as well as in household equipment and routine maintenance, and health and restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services.

Mapa added that rice prices also maintained its year-on-year decline, with a 9.7 percent drop for the six-straight month, while transport expenses also settled lower compared to last year.

Data from the PSA also showed that inflation was higher in Metro Manila where prices of basic commodities increased by 1.3 percent. Prices in regions, meanwhile, moved slower in an average of 0.7 percent.

Malacañang welcomed the slower inflation rate but assured it will continue to monitor the prices of basic commodities especially during the holiday season.

“As inflation continues to drop, the current government will continue to not let its guard down in monitoring the prices of basic commodities, especially now that we are in the ber months, approaching Christmas season,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) also welcomed the latest inflation rate, attributing it to the government’s drive and focus in its anti-inflationary efforts this year.

“We hope to further keep inflation manageable and within the government’s target,” NEDA Officer-in-Charge (OIC) and Undersecretary for Regional Development Adoracion Navarro said in a separate statement.

She, however, warned that the country must be in the lookout for upside risks such as cases of African Swine Fever (ASF), which have been observed so far in Rizal, Pangasinan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Cavite, and Quezon City.

“The livestock industry in the said ASF-stricken areas, which accounts for 21.7 percent of the country’s total hog production last year, remains at high risk. The government and private companies must collaborate to manage, contain, and control the spread of the disease,” Navarro said.

She also urged meat processing plants to enforce more stringent bio-security measures, and expand and place quarantine checkpoints and disinfection facilities in key gateways such as seaports, airports, and expressways.

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