BSP, Commercial Banks Ink Deal to Use Digital Check Clearing Systems
Effective January 6, 2017, commercial banks all over the Philippines will use a digital check image clearing system (CICS), which means check funds will be available within one banking day instead of three to five. Also, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is working on another system to facilitate digital payments between bank and nonbank firms.
Common Room Opens in Power Plant Mall
Are you a maker or lover of art? Then you'll be pleased to know that Common Room, which sells arts n' crafts materials, now has an outlet at the high-end Power Plant Mall in Rockwell. The only downside is that it'll be there for only 180 days (roughly 6 months) from July 1, 2016, so check it out while it lasts!
Department of Health Adds Mental Health to Its Priority List
Although the Philippine suicide rate is the lowest in the ASEAN region, illnesses such as depression continue to plague Filipinos. To address this, the Department of Health (DoH) — in collaboration with the Natasha Goulbourn Foundation (NGF) — will roll out "Hopeline," a 24/7 hotline for those who need suicide counseling, come September.
Entrance to National Museum Is Now Permanently Free of Charge
Yes, you read that right: Whether you're a Filipino or foreigner, a visitor of the main branch or regional branches, admission to the National Museum is now priced at Php0.00 effective July 1. According to their Facebook page, they did this to "…build upon significant spikes in viewership," which they observed during special occasions when entrance was made free of charge.
HS Students Bag First International Math Olympiad Gold Medals for the Philippines
Ever since the Philippines joined the prestigious International Math Olympiad (IMO) in 1988, it had yet to win a gold medal — until 2016, that is. Thanks to the efforts of budding math wizards Farrell Eldrian Wu and Kyle Patrick Dulay, the Philippine delegation was able to best 600 participants from over 100 countries. Aside from Wu and Dulay, Clyde Wesley Ang, Albert John Patupat, Vince Jan Torres and Shaquille Wyan Que also brought home two silver medals and two honorable mentions, respectively.
LRMC Still Testing Extended Operating Hours for LRT-1
Since July 10, the Light Rail Manila Corp. (LRMC) has been testing longer operating hours for the LRT-1, and has yet to decide whether the change should be permanent. In the meantime, expect the last northbound train from the Baclaran Terminal to leave at 10:00 P.M. on weekdays and 9:30 P.M. on weekends and holidays. Likewise, the last southbound train from the Roosevelt Terminal will leave at 10:15 P.M. on weekdays and 9:50 P.M. on weekends and holidays.
Makati Named Most Economically Dynamic Philippine City
In the 4th Regional Competitiveness Summit held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) awarded Makati City first place in economic dynamism, and second place in overall competitiveness. The city was also considered second in terms of infrastructure, and fifth in terms of government efficiency.
Passengers Carrying Bullets Only Will No Longer Be Arrested
If you've been worried about visiting the Philippines due to the "tanim-bala" fiasco last year, worry no more. Ever since President Duterte took office last June, authorities have been prohibited from arresting passengers found to be carrying only bullets. However, these passengers will still undergo profiling to clear them of any potential links to criminal or terrorist groups.
Researchers: Luzon Has Highest Concentration of Endemic Mammals in the World
After 15 years of scouring Luzon for wildlife, Filipino and American researchers discovered that the island has no less than 56 previously-undiscovered species of mammals. Of these, 52 are endemic to Luzon, surpassing the number found in Madagascar and England. Since the Philippines' deforestation rate is one of the highest in the world, however, researchers agree that conservation efforts need to be ramped up.
Two Filipino Magnates Make It to Forbes' "Heroes of Philanthropy" List
To honor those who've consistently backed worthy causes across Asia, Forbes put together the "Heroes of Philanthropy" list, which names 40 individuals/organizations from 13 countries in the region. Among these individuals are Geronimo B. De Los Reyes Jr., chairman emeritus of Gateway Property Holdings, and Anton Mari H. Lim, a veterinarian who founded the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation.
Since there's more than one news item about Filipino films bagging international awards, we decided to lump them all into one section. You have Therese Malvar, who won Best Actress at the 38th Moscow International Film Festival. You have Erik Matti's "Honor Thy Father," which bagged Best Asian Film at the 15th Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival in Switzerland. And then there's Joel Lamangan's "Tomodachi," which took home Best Original Score for a Foreign Language Film and Best Foreign Language Film, and Carlo Ortega Cuevas' "Walang Take Two," which nabbed Best Film and Cinematography from the Madrid International Film Festival. How's that for Pinoy Power?
What other noteworthy events in the past month would you add to this list? Let's hear about them in the comments!