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Estrada: Past ‘inefficient governance made Manila the gates of hell’
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Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Ejercito Estrada leads wreath-laying during Commemoration of the 69th Anniversary of the Historic Battle of Manila at the Freedom Triangle, Manila City Hall, on Monday, Feb.03, 2014. (MNS photo)

Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Ejercito Estrada leads wreath-laying during Commemoration of the 69th Anniversary of the Historic Battle of Manila at the Freedom Triangle, Manila City Hall, on Monday, Feb.03, 2014. (MNS photo)

MANILA, July 23 (Mabuhay) – Former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada on Wednesday said the “inefficient governance” in Manila by the past administration made the city the “gates of hell.”

“Six years of inefficient governance made Manila the gates of hell,” Estrada said during his State of the City Address (Soca) at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila.

Estrada said that he inherited from the previous government “poor peace and order, saddled debt, and bloated bureaucracy.”

The former president also mentioned the increase in revenue collections during his term compared to the previous administration.

Estrada won the 2013 local elections against former Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim.

He also reiterated his commitment to the Manila police to beef up measures to promote the city’s peace and order.

He said thousands of “orange cards” have been distributed to poor families for their free access to healthcare and medicines.

Estrada’s Soca was attended by officials of the city government of Manila and the people of Manila. (MNS)

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DPWH won’t stop flood projects over DAP row
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Residents wade through floodwaters to return to their submerged houses in Marikina City Metro Manila August 8, 2012. Emergency workers and troops rushed food, water and clothes to nearly 850,000 people displaced and marooned from deadly floods spawned by 11 straight days of southwest monsoon rains that soaked the Philippine capital and nearby provinces. About 60 percent of Manila, a sprawling metropolis of about 12 million people, remained inundated on Wednesday, Benito Ramos, head of the national disaster agency said. (MNS photo)

Residents wade through floodwaters to return to their submerged houses in Marikina City Metro Manila August 8, 2012. Emergency workers and troops rushed food, water and clothes to nearly 850,000 people displaced and marooned from deadly floods spawned by 11 straight days of southwest monsoon rains that soaked the Philippine capital and nearby provinces. About 60 percent of Manila, a sprawling metropolis of about 12 million people, remained inundated on Wednesday, Benito Ramos, head of the national disaster agency said. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson said the Supreme Court’s decision on the disbursement acceleration program (DAP) won’t stop the agency from implementing its flood control and other infrastructure projects.

Singson said the Department of Public Works and Highways pooled its own savings and savings from other agencies to fund its flood control masterplan.

That masterplan was finalized in late 2012.

Singson said rather than wait for next year’s budget, he asked President Aquino and the National Economic and Development Authority board to use savings to cover the 5 billion pesos needed for high-priority projects.

He said they might run into delays but they are determined to pursue the projects.

“These are ongoing. I will not stop the flood control projects because I don’t think the unconstitutional aspect of the Supreme Court decision refers to projects like this. Hindi naman cross-border ito,” he said.

Without the DAP, the DPWH will tap into its quick response fund for typhoon reconstruction.

The fund is allocated in every budget. The DPWH chief said the quick response fund this year is at P600 million and that the department is asking for P800 million next year. (MNS)

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Binay: Aquino should’ve accepted Abad resignation
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President Benigno S. Aquino lll attends to the Good Governance Summit 2014 with the theme of " Good Governance through Open Government and Sustainable Procurement " at the Philippine International Convention Center, CCP Complex in Pasay City,Wednesday,July 15. Also in photo are from left, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda,Deped Secretary Armin Luistro, DILG Secretary Mar Roxas II, DOJ Secretary Leila De Lima, DBM Secretary Florencio Abad, Secretary to the Cabinet Rene Almendras, Central Bank Governor Amando Tetangco, Presidential Legislative Liason Officer Manuel Mamba.(Photo by Benhur Arcayan/Malacañang Photo Bureau)

President Benigno S. Aquino lll attends to the Good Governance Summit 2014 with the theme of ” Good Governance through Open Government and Sustainable Procurement ” at the Philippine International Convention Center, CCP Complex in Pasay City,Wednesday,July 15. Also in photo are from left, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda,Deped Secretary Armin Luistro, DILG Secretary Mar Roxas II, DOJ Secretary Leila De Lima, DBM Secretary Florencio Abad, Secretary to the Cabinet Rene Almendras, Central Bank Governor Amando Tetangco, Presidential Legislative Liason Officer Manuel Mamba.(Photo by Benhur Arcayan/Malacañang Photo Bureau)

MANILA, July 23 (Mabuhay) – Vice President Jejomar Binay for the first time on Wednesday admitted that he disagreed with President Benigno Aquino III’s decision to reject Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad’s resignation over the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) controversy.

When Aquino announced during a Cabinet meeting last July 11 that he received and decided to reject Abad’s resignation, media reports said Binay was the only one who did not applaud the announcement.

Kasi ho yung pagpapalakpak sa aking pananaw eh yung mga kasama ko sa Cabinet ay pumalakpak (dahil) sinusuportahan nila yung pahayag dun sa naging desisyon ng Pangulo na huwag tanggapin ang resignation ni Secretary Abad,” Binay said.

(What I understood was that my fellow Cabinet members applauded the announcement because they supported the decision of the President rejecting the resignation of Secretary Abad.)

Ako naman sa aking palagay eh dapat tanggapin [nya] yung resignation (In my opinion the President should have accepted the resignation),” Binay explained.

Pero sabi ko nga nadesisyunan na ni Pangulo yan so that’s already moot and academic (But as I said, it was already decided on so that’s moot and academic),” he said.

Abad, who was credited for crafting the DAP, tendered his resignation almost two weeks after the high court decision. He said he was taking full responsibility for developing and implementing the DAP. However, he said he decided to stay after the President “expressed his continuing trust and confidence.” (MNS)

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Exercise, physical relaxation can help with social anxiety, study finds
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According to clinical psychology PhD candidate Adam Heenan, exercise activities are quite literally able to change people’s perception of the world, reducing threatening and negative feelings.

According to clinical psychology PhD candidate Adam Heenan, exercise activities are quite literally able to change people’s perception of the world, reducing threatening and negative feelings.

(Relaxnews) – Researchers at Queens University in Canada challenged the common association of yoga and other exercise-based relaxation activities with relief from tension, stress and anxiety, concluding they can be beneficial to those with social anxiety.

According to clinical psychology PhD candidate Adam Heenan, such activities are quite literally able to change people’s perception of the world, reducing threatening and negative feelings.

“This is a big development because it helps to explain why exercising and relaxation techniques have been successful in treating mood and anxiety disorders in the past,” says Mr. Heenan.

In the study, subjects were asked to either perform muscle relaxation exercises similar to yoga, jog on a treadmill or, in the case of the control group, just stand on the treadmill.

A total of 66 male and female participants between the ages of 17 and 29 were assessed, although no information on their state of mental health at the time of the study is mentioned and their level of social anxiety was assessed solely by means of Heenan’s tests.

To test subjects’ perception, Heenan asked participants to view a point-light display of a human walking and asked them to identify whether the figure was approaching them or not.

More subjects said the figure was walking towards them, a sign of social anxiety and intimidation, before their relaxation exercises rather than after.

“We found that people who either walked or jogged on a treadmill for 10 minutes perceived these ambiguous figures as facing towards them (the observer) less often than those who simply stood on the treadmill,” says Heenan.

Heenan added that the result was the same when the group who performed progressive muscle relaxation exercises was compared to the control group.

The findings were published in the journal PLOS ONE, although this is not the first academic study to conclude that relaxation exercises have significant health benefits.

In 2011 researchers in New Orleans found that not only does yoga reduce anxiety, it can also improve heart health.

Researchers worked with 49 patients who suffer from atrial fibrillation, a condition characterized by irregular heart rhythms provoked by miscommunication among the heart’s natural electrical signals.

The test groups showed significantly reduced symptoms after a three-month yoga intervention.

The study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Traffic delays on Victoria Street from South Central Avenue to South Broadway Street starting July 28
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Socalgas.com-logoSouthern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) will be replacing a section of one of its natural gas pipelines along Victoria Street from South Central Avenue to South Broadway Stree.  Expect traffic delays on these streets starting July 28.  Construction is expected to take approximately 3-4 months to complete.

The project, managed by SoCalGas, includes pipeline excavation and pipeline installation.  Work will be conducted in a series of short, approximately 200-foot sections, one-at-a-time.

At least one lane will be closed for the length of the pipeline being installed on westbound Victoria Street. The lane closure will be in effect Monday thru Saturday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

City of Carson is working with other agencies to keep residents and commuters informed.  Signs informing motorists of traffic restrictions will be installed on Broadway and Griffith and other intersections along the project route.

For additional information or concerns, please call (800) 427-2200 or contact SoCalGas Public Affairs Manager, Marcella Low at MLow@semprautilities.com or visit socalgas.com (search “safety”).

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Palace reiterates respect for judiciary 2 days before court employees’ protest
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(Supreme Court of the Philippines}

(Supreme Court of the Philippines}

MANILA (Mabuhay) – Two days before a red-and-black protest by workers in the Supreme Court and Sandiganbayan, Malacañang on Saturday reiterated its respect for the judicial branch of government.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte also said the Palace will respect the right of the workers in the judiciary to air their sentiments.

“Malaya silang gawin ang ganyang pagkilos, pagsuot ng ganiyang kulay at silent protest,” she said on government-run dzRB radio.

Kinikilala natin ang poder ng Korte Suprema … Malinaw ito sa naging hakbang ng pamahalaan,” she added.

On Monday, workers in the judiciary, including the Supreme Court and Sandiganbayan, are expected to wear red and black in a silent protest against a supposed warning by President Beningo Aquino III of a clash between the executive and judiciary.

Earlier this week, Aquino in a televised address questioned the high court’s decision declaring parts of the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program as unconstitutional.

He said that with the Supreme Court’s decision, benefits would be delayed by nearly two years due to the long processes.

“My conscience cannot bear this. I cannot accept that our countrymen will be exposed to danger because I let the process of bringing them assistance be prolonged. Let us remember: The nation’s coffers belongs to our citizens,” he said.

On the other hand, Valte said that while Aquino made known the executive branch’s side on the DAP, “it’s very clear we are following processes as mandated by the Constitution and our law.”

“Whatever our position is on the Supreme Court decision, we are raising points in the manner provided by law, and that is through the filing of a motion for reconsideration,” she added. (MNS)

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Aiko on Ara, Patrick: I pray for them
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Aiko Melendez (MNS Photo)

Aiko Melendez (MNS Photo)

Aiko Melendez said she has not only forgiven her former boyfriend Patrick Meneses and actress Ara Mina, but now even prays for them.

Melendez credited her complete “healing” for being able to pray for the well-being of Ara Mina and Meneses.

“I’ve actually not just forgiven them, but I pray for them, mahirap man isipin… Dapat pag healed ka na, ‘di ba, mapagdadasal mo na ‘yung tao, so that’s what I do now. I pray for them,” she said.

Mina also happens to be a former girlfriend of Melendez’s ex-husband Jomari Yllana. Mina and Meneses, the incumbent mayor of Bulacan, Bulacan, are reportedly expecting their first child.

Asked if she is looking forward to have good ties with Meneses or Mina, Melendez said, “Friends, I do not know yet, kasi I just want to take it one day at a time.”

“I’ll pray for it,” she added.

Meanwhile, Melendez denied speculation that she and Yllana, with whom she has a son, have gotten back together.

Magkaibigan lang talaga kami. Siguro nabigyan lang ng malisya ‘yung pictures namin sa Instagram together,” she said.

She surmised that rumors of them being a couple anew stem from Yllana referring to her as “my wife” when he introduces her.

Sometimes he does that, eh, that’s why nung minsan nga, sabi ko kay Jom, ‘Ba’t mo ba ako pinapakilalang wife mo? Nako-confuse ‘yung tao.’ Unfair sa akin, kasi siya, siyempre, obviously, lalaki, puwede siya manligaw. Ako, natatakot ‘yung mga taong gustong akong ligawan, kasi akala siya pa rin ‘yung asawa ko!

Recalling Yllana’s answer, Melendez said: “’Asawa pa rin kita sa mata ng Diyos!’”

Melendez and Yllana’s marriage has yet to be annulled.

“But, yes, we are very, very good friends,” Melendez said.

Asked what her considerations are in finding a new partner, the actress said she would prefer if they share the same faith. “Si Jom kasi ngayon, sagradong Katoliko. I have nothing against his religion. But, kasi, I prefer na maging Christian din ‘yung magiging future partner ko.” (MNS)

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