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Shabu seized in East, Southeast Asia at record high —UN

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Wednesday, March 13th, 2019

A member of the Philippine National Police (PNP) investigation unit shows confiscated methamphetamine, known locally as Shabu, along with Philippines pesos seized from suspected drug pushers during an operation by the police in Quiapo city, metro Manila, Philippines July 3,… REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

In a report released by the United Nation Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on Monday, shabu seized in East and Southeast Asia had increased in 2018.

Data shows that 116 tons of shabu were seized in the region in 2018 which is a 210% increase compared with recorded seizures in 2013. UNODC also raised concerns about the increase of shabu production in the regions.

From UNODC Synthetic Drugs in East and South-East Asia

“Increased quantities of methamphetamine seizures and decreases in retail prices of the drug in East and South-East Asia suggest that the supply of the drug has expanded,” according to the statement of UNODC.

READ: Duterte’s drug war to continue despite more than 5,000 death toll

In the Philippines, the administration vows to launch a harsher war on illegal drugs, taking on what President Rodrigo Duterte previously said that illegal drugs are destroying the country. —Aileen Cerrudo

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Taiwan plans to open citizenship opportunities to citizens in Southeast Asia

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Thursday, September 27th, 2018


FILE PHOTO: Taiwan’s national flags in Taipei, REUTERS/Pichi Chuang


TAIWAN – Taiwan’s lawmakers will vote next month on the economic immigration bill which seeks to allow citizenship to students and skilled workers from Southeast Asia.

This is the government’s measure to address a “severe brain drain” of homegrown talents to Beijing.

The bill is also expected to help Taiwan cope up with its shrinking manpower.

Once approved, the opportunity will be open to professionals of Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar and other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Specifically, skilled professionals would be eligible for permanent residency after working in Taiwan for three years; five years working experience, meanwhile, will be required from foreign professionals; and seven years working experience for mid-level technicians or skilled workers.

Also, foreign students who graduated and worked in Taiwan for five to seven years would be eligible to apply. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Amiel Pascual)

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ASEAN Single Window: Key to a strong regional trade

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Thursday, April 26th, 2018

ASEAN trade ministers


SINGAPORE – The Philippines is likely to join this year the so-called “ASEAN Single Window” as it participates in the 16th ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Council Meeting on Thursday, April 26.

The ASEAN Single Window (ASW) is an online platform that expedites cargo clearance process, reduce cost and time of doing business, and enhance trade efficiency and competitiveness.

In his opening remarks, Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry and the AEC Chairman Lim Hng Kiang said it is expected that once fully established, ASW “would reduce transaction costs for businesses and better facilitate the clearance of goods within ASEAN.”

ASW is now operational among five member states – Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Other five members are expected to follow through. The Philippines, at present, is still on a pilot testing of its National Single Window (NSW) program.

Mr. Lim also stressed on other important agenda on the two-day Summit in terms of trade and business. Aside from ASW, he also mentioned ASEAN’s Declaration on Cruise Tourism on which ASEAN “committed to transforming Southeast Asia into a vibrant cruising destination via infrastructure development and improved on-shore activities” emphasizing on the creation of a regional cruise hub.

Mr. Lim is positive that with the member states’ commitment and collective efforts, “ASEAN remains on the trajectory to closer economic integration and sustained, long-term growth.”

Representing the Philippines in the 16th ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Council Meeting is Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez. – Maila Guevarra / Marje Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue


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Military hunts new Islamic State emir in Southeast Asia

by admin   |   Posted on Monday, November 6th, 2017

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald dela Rosa confirmed that the Islamic State (ISIS) has a new emir in Southeast Asia.

Dela Rosa noted that the information came from the arrested Indonesian fighter, Mohammad Ilham Syahputra.

“According to him, Amin Baco is not just one of the remaining stragglers there, but he replaced former emir, Isnilon Hapilon as the emir of Southeast Asia. He assumed the post of Isnilon as the emir of Southeast Asia ISIS,” said the PNP chief.

However, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the public has nothing to worry about even though the military has not yet captured the alleged new ISIS emir, identified as Amin Baco.

Lorenzana explained that the new ISIS emir is not as strong as Isnilon Hapilon, saying it’s the first time Amin’s name has surfaced.

“Obviously, his name had not come up before. Maybe he is not as high profile as Isnilon. Maybe he is just middle level. But maybe, there are no other leaders higher than him.  He may be also taking orders,” said the defense secretary.

He added that Amin does not have the capability like Hapilon to amass a huge number of troops.

“We are not belittling him. But he can no longer mass that number of troops like that of Isnilon to bring to Marawi like 2,000 fighters who are fully equipped, fully armed supply with the ammunition,” said Lorenzana.

Lorenzana noted that the military is sweeping every corner of Marawi City and nearby provinces to capture Baco.

Arrested Indonesian terrorist Muhammad Ilham Syahputra identified Baco as the new ISIS emir in Southeast Asia.

It can be recalled military troops captured Syahputra recently in Marawi City. — Lea Ylagan | UNTV News & Rescue

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