March 17, 2023 9:00 p.m.
STUDENTS won’t have to worry paying their loans during times of calamities and emergencies, as Quezon City first district Congressman Juan Carlos “Arjo” Atayde has introduced a moratorium on the payment of student loans administered by higher educational institutions (HEIs).
The House Bill 7279, which Atayde filed last Feb. 21, headed into its first reading six days later in the Committee on Higher and Technical Education, chaired by Baguio City Rep. Mark O. Go.
He said the bill — once it turns to a law — will halt the payment of all the fees, charges, and costs relating to student loans and technical-vocational training institutions (TVIs) or by the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UNIFAST) during emergencies.
It will cover all students residing in areas declared to be under a state of calamity or emergency — those who are enrolled in state universities and colleges (SUCs), local universities and colleges (LUCs), private HEIs, and public and private TVIs.
“We have to find a way to help our students and their families, when natural or even these man-made calamities hit them hard. We just have to make everything easy for them including a moratorium on the payment of student loans,” Atayde said. “It is a burden on a student and their family especially in difficult times like aftermath of typhoon, fire and earthquakes, among other disasters.”
“In the order of spending, student loans will be their least priority since spending will go mostly to basic necessities for survival,” Atayde added.
The moratorium shall be effective for the duration of the state of calamity or emergency and for 30 days after its lifting. No penalties shall be collected on the deferred payments.
“To provide adequate relief and protection to our students in times of calamities and emergencies, this measure shall allow the deferral of student loan collections for a reasonable period during and after the onset of disasters.”
The Quezon City lawmaker cited also the availability of the moratorium, which shall not adversely affect the status of the students concerned with regard to their eligibility for re-enrollment on the succeeding semesters or terms, or their eligibility for graduation.
“The proposed legislation doesn’t prevent public and private HEIs from implementing more favorable forms of payment relief or assistance to students affected by disasters, prohibiting students from voluntarily waiving the moratorium on student loan payments, or availing subsidies and assistance from the government,” Atayde concluded.
SM Prime explores potential partnership with Japanese firm for waste-to-fuel solutions
September 25, 2023 12:39 p.m.
Shown here are (from left) SM Supermalls Vice President Liza Silerio, SM Prime Chairman of the Executive Committee Hans T. Sy, GUUN Chief Executive Officer Shinji Fujieda, GUUN Philippine Branch Senior Managing Director and General Manager Takeshi Konishi
Leading real estate developer in Southeast Asia, SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (SM Prime) recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Japan’s GUUN Co. Ltd. to explore a potential partnership to implement waste management solutions by recycling waste paper and plastics as an alternative source of energy called ‘fluff fuel’.
Fluff Fuels are one type of RDF (Refuse Derived Fuel) which are produced from shredded and compressed plastics, papers, and fibers. These are used as fuels in cement manufacturing, paper mill companies, or power companies in Japan.
SM Prime Chairman of the Executive Committee Hans T. Sy is positive that a partnership with GUUN will contribute to the waste reduction goals of the country. “Today, Japan’s waste management and recycling technology is among the most advanced in the world,” he said. “There is no better partner for SM because we do not just talk about being big, we make sure we do it; we do not talk about being environment friendly but we do take bold steps to save the environment. I am looking forward to growing with GUUN as among leaders in solving environmental issues in the Philippines.”
GUUN Co., Ltd., founded in March 2001 and headquartered in Yokohama City, Japan, piloted the production of fluff fuel from plastic waste in Inayawan, Cebu in 2014 and recently inaugurated its P200-million, 2,400-square meter waste recycling plant in Tayud, Consolacion, Cebu.
Since then, Japan’s Ministry of the Environment has adopted GUUN’s waste-to-fuel technology as a model for advanced low-carbon technology innovation for further deployment in developing countries.
“This will be a milestone partnership for us,” GUNN Chief Executive Officer Shinji Fujieda said after the signing ceremony. “I understand very much how important waste management is for SM and for the Philippines and we look forward to more projects we can do with the properties of SM Prime.”
SM Prime’s initiatives for waste management include waste reduction and effective waste collection and segregation. Over the years, it has implemented programs such as Trash to Cash, Plastic Waste Collection, and E-Waste Collection that have contributed to reducing the total solid waste generation across its real estate portfolio.
Through its pioneering Trash to Cash recycling market, SM Prime has collected and recycled 1.4M kg of plastics, paper, metals, and others in 2022. “We have saved 16,766 trees from the 986,222 kg of paper recycled,” SM Prime disclosed in its 2022 Integrated Report to shareholders.
Meanwhile, SM’s Plastic Waste Collection program, a partnership with the Plastic Credit Exchange that was launched in February 2021, has accumulated 42,541kg of plastic waste from 14 mall sites. Also present in all its 83 SM Supermalls is the E-Waste Collection program for the responsible disposal of WEEE (Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment). This drive has helped process close to 7,000 kilograms of e-waste. (ENDS)
Satisfy your cravings with these best-selling Nanyang drinks
September 15, 2023 3:30 p.m.
Nanyang isn’t only known for its Laksa Prawn, Cheesy Chicken Chop Noodles and Singapore’s best selling Hainanese Chicken Rice and Kopi.
It also has several best-selling drinks to whet your appetite and satisfy your sweet tooth, such as Iced Teh Melaka, Kopi Jelly Milk Tea, Milo Dinosaur and Kopi O.
Head over to your nearest Nanyang branches nationwide.
USA back on top; Germany takes Top 3 spot in FIBA World Ranking
September 15, 2023 1:28 p.m.
MIES (Switzerland) – The recent completion of the prestigious FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 has produced some eye-catching positive climbs in the latest FIBA World Ranking Men, presented by Nike.
USA reclaim pole position with 786.6 points after benefiting from their consistency at major tournaments over the last three summers. Finishing in fourth place at the FIBA Basketball World Cup where they outperformed former number one nation Spain, their run to the Semi-Finals came off the back of winning an Olympic title at Tokyo in 2021 and also taking bronze at the FIBA AmeriCup 2022.
Recently crowned FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 champions Germany have another slice of history to enjoy as they step into the top three of the rankings for the very first time after moving up a massive eight places and onto 759.7 points. Their stunning success made all the more incredible because of the fact they made the journey to the top step of the podium without tasting defeat.
Canada also have another reason to celebrate too, with their maiden FIBA Basketball World Cup medal fueling an even bigger rise of nine spots. They now occupy sixth position with 745.5 points.
Serbia performed in outstanding fashion to make the title game and their second-placed finish gave their fans something to be proud of. Those supporters can also now enjoy and reflect on their country being a top five nation again as they move up a place and into fifth position on 755.6 points.
Meanwhile, when it comes to the scale and impact of climbing the rankings in the upper echelon, nobody can match Latvia. They have rocketed up a staggering 22 places and into the top 10 after their heroic underdog displays which ensured they took fifth place at the FIBA Basketball World Cup. They now sit in 8th position on 743.7 points.
There were many other teams who impressed at the flagship event, including Brazil who recorded three wins in five games and moves up a place into 12th in the rankings on 660.5 points. The Americas region can also boast a nice move upwards of five places into 16th for Puerto Rico on 611.1 points, while Dominican Republic rise six spots into 18th place on 561.9 points.
There were also notable improvements for Georgia who move up 10 positions and into 23rd on 465.9 points, Japan jump 11 spots to 26th on 432.2 points and Lebanon claim an uplift of 16 places into 28th on 423.3.
One nation that truly made everyone sit up and take notice at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 were first-timers South Sudan. They made history by beating China to claim a first win at the event, then pushing on to beat the Philippines and Angola. This has resulted in a sensational climb of 32 spots in the rankings. They now find themselves in 31st place with 375.5 points.
For more information about the method used in the calculation of the FIBA World Ranking Men, please refer to the “How It Works” section.
Click here to view the full FIBA World Ranking Men, presented by Nike.