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ASEAN, other Asian leaders call for unity, cooperation towards economic integration

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, along with the leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states and South Korean President Moon Jae-in do the traditional ASEAN handshake as they pose for a photo prior to the start of 20th ASEAN-Republic of Korea Summit at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City on November 13, 2017. ACE MORANDANTE/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines –  The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders as well as its partner countries – China, Japan and South Korea, have agreed to cooperate and unite to further improve their respective economies.

This is amid the rise of protectionism in other countries. The countries espousing a protectionist agenda prevent the entry of international trade or competition from foreign companies to protect local businesses.

The three biggest trading partners of ASEAN have expressed positive outlook in advancing the southeast Asian economic community.

“I hope that through this Summit we can build a consensus and send a positive signal that regional integration and advancing the East Asia economic community serves to benefit the people and the countries in the region,” Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reiterated the importance of financial cooperation in the region saying, “In the midst of concerns about the rise of protectionism and inward-looking orientation in the world, in order to enhance predictability of the economies of the region, to mitigate vulnerabilities, and to maintain and strengthen the free trade system, the significance of financial cooperation between the ASEAN Plus Three becomes increasingly greater.”

South Korean President Moon Jae-in also called for the establishment of a regional community saying, “Let us create a vision for the East Asian community of peace, prosperity and progress that has overcome the complex challenges including protectionist and self-centered approaches to globalization, aging and climate change,”

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also noted during the session the importance of pushing for economic integration.

As the next ASEAN chairman, the prime minister vowed to further strengthen the cooperation and dialogue of Southeast Asian countries with its three Asian partner countries.  – Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue

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PH, Japan ink P18-B loan agreement for MRT-3 rehab works

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, November 8th, 2018

Loan agreement between the Philippines and the Japanese governments

MANILA, Philippines – Rehabilitation works in MRT Line 3 are now on its way after the signing of the P18-B pesos loan agreement between the Philippines and the Japanese governments represented by the Department of Finance (DOF) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

This was after the two countries’ exchange of notes on the said project was finalized on Wednesday (November 7).

The said exchange of notes involves the overall detailed plan on the rehabilitation of MRT-3 which includes a general overhaul of train coaches, replacement of rail tracks, improvements in the train’s power and signaling systems, as well as the repair of elevator and escalator systems along with beautification works in all MRT3 stations.

The ceremony was headed by Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. and Japan Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda with Transportation Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan witnessing the event.

“With the Exchange of Notes for the MRT-3 rehabilitation, we secure a better and safer commuting experience for our riding public. We shall see improvements, service efficiency, security, and convenience,” Locsin said.

“We all know that a safe and eco-friendly transportation system is crucial for the greater Manila area and the Philippines as a whole to realize sustainable economic growth and a more comfortable life for the Filipino,” said Ambassador Haneda.

The loan agreement will shoulder the 80% of the entire rehabilitation project while the remaining 20% will be shouldered by the Philippine government.

The entire project is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2021. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Joan Nano)

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PH, Japan sign exchange of notes to enhance defense, transport capabilities

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, November 8th, 2018

(L-R) Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. and Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda

MANILA, Philippines – The governments of the Philippines and Japan signed on Wednesday (November 7) the Exchange of Notes on the Grant Aid of Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) UH-1H Parts and Maintenance Equipment to the Philippine Air Force (PAF); and on the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT3) Rehabilitation.

Representing both governments in the signing held at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) were Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. and Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda.

The Grant Aid on UH-1H parts and maintenance equipment to the Philippine Air Force (PAF), involves ¥10.68 billion (P5 billion) worth of spare parts and maintenance equipment of UH-1H helicopters which are useful in PAF’s activities related to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, transport, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

Meanwhile, the MRT-3 rehabilitation project involves “the complete rehabilitation of MRT-3, the general overhaul of MRT-3’s entire fleet of 72 Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs), and day-to-day maintenance,”

The rehabilitation works are expected to be completed in the first 26 months, and the general overhaul to be completed on the 43rd month.

Secretary Locsin noted how Japan has supported development projects in the Philippines particularly “through economic and development assistance as well as in enhancing our defense and security capabilities. It is help that has no agenda but friendship, decency, and a deep and abiding regard, as much for the safety and well-being of neighbors, as for oneself.”

The Exchange of Notes, according to Locsin, “affirms this ever-growing, mutually beneficial and gratifying relationship between our two countries and our two peoples.”

For his part, Ambassador Haneda reiterated Japan’s commitment to the Philippines saying “we do not only mark our commitments on paper, we also pledge our all-out efforts in bringing these projects into successful completion.” – Marje Pelayo (with reports from JL Asayo)

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China makes key breakthroughs in space station development

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

 

Animation on China’s Tiangong space station | REUTERS

China has made key technological breakthroughs in developing its Tiangong Space Station, as announced at the 5th Manned Space Conference, which opened on Tuesday in Xi’an, the capital city of northwest China’s Shaanxi Province.

The Tianhe core capsule of the space station will exhibit in full size at the upcoming 12th Zhuhai Airshow which runs from Nov 6-11.

The China-developed space station consists of a core capsule and two experiment modules. It can hold three astronauts and a maximum of six during change of the crew members.

China has long been making preparations for constructing and launching the space station. For example, it will launch the Long March-5B carrier rocket into space in 2019 to help carry the core module and experiment modules to the space station.

“Currently, we are making steady progress in the space station research and construction. Key technological breakthroughs have been made in producing the three modules including the core capsule and the Long March-5B carrier rocket. Selection of the third batch of reserve astronauts is also underway as scheduled,” said Hao Chun, director of China Manned Space Engineering Office.

The space station will enable experiments in multiple areas, including space science, biological technologies, and microgravity fundamental physics and materials sciences in space.

“We will complete on-orbit construction of the space station around 2022 as planned. It will be a national orbital space lab in the long run after being completed,” Hao said. — Reuters

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