Blog Posts by Kim Arveen Patria

  • PH jumps eight places in global information technology rankings

    The Philippines climbed eight places in a global information technology ranking, even as many Filipinos complain about the country’s slow Internet connection.

    The World Economic Forum (WEF) ranked the Philippines 78th out of 148 countries in its Global Information Technology Report 2014 released Wednesday.

    The country scored 3.9 out of 7 points in the Networked Readiness Index. “With a significant improvement in its overall score, the country continues its positive trend,” WEF said.

    Finland topped the list with 6.04 points. It was followed by Singapore, Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, U.S., Hong Kong, U.K. and South Korea.

    At the bottom of the global ranking meanwhile were Chad, Burundi, Myanmar, Guinea, Angola, Haiti, Mauritania, Timor-Leste, Yemen and Madagascar.

    The overall ranking was based on 10 “pillars” which assessed countries’ Internet in terms of business and regulatory environment, infrastructure, usage and impact.

    The Philippines posted its highest scores on

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  • U.S. Embassy in Manila denies report of visa-free U.S. entry for Filipinos

    Don’t fall for rumors that Filipinos may now visit the United States without a visa, U.S. embassy in Manila told the public Wednesday.
     
    “There has been no change in U.S. visa policy for Philippine citizens wishing to travel to the United States,” a statement on embassy website read.
     
    “The Philippines has not been added to the list of countries eligible for participation in the Visa Waiver Program,” the U.S. Embassy said further.

    The Philippine Embassy in Washington also released a statement asking the public not to believe the “online news report” from The Adobo Chronicles.
     
    “The Embassy reminds the public that the online article being circulated in social media is a satirical piece that should not be taken seriously,” the statement read.
     
    The statements were published after netizens raved about an online post which claimed Washington has decided to lift visa requirements for Pinoys.
     
    Satirical website The Adobo Chronicles on Tuesday said that for Filipinos, “visas will no longer be required

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  • Filipinos like Americans more than Americans do, survey shows

    U.S. President Barack Obama’s scheduled visit may be stirring militant groups’ anger, but a survey showed that Filipinos still have the highest regard for Americans globally.

    More than four out of five Filipinos (85 percent) view Americans favorably, recently circulated 2013 data from Washington-based think tank Pew Research Center showed.

    It would even seem that Filipinos like Americans more than Americans do, as esteem for U.S. citizens is higher in the Philippines than in the U.S. itself (84 percent).

    The global data was generated by asking respondents from 44 countries the question “Do you have a favorable or unfavorable view of Americans?”

    Americans are also highly regarded in Ghana (84 percent); South Korea and Israel (80 percent); Senegal and Kenya (79 percent); and El Salvador (75 percent).

    The Philippines also topped the list when it comes to views on the U.S. as a country. Some 85 percent of Pinoy respondents said they have a favorable view of the U.S.

    In this area, the Philippines

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  • Police may use 'reasonable force' amid MERS-CoV scare

    If passengers of the flight taken by the Filipino nurse suspected with MERS-CoV refuse to surface, police may “employ reasonable force,” a ranking official said.

    The Philippine National Police is coordinating with the Department of Health to identify and locate the other 417 passengers of Etihad Airways flight number EY 424.

    The flight arrived in Manila Tuesday from the United Arab Emirates with a nurse who was exposed to a patient who died of the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus.

    The overseas Filipino worker was tracked while he was in transit from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and was brought to the nearest hospital for tests.

    He initially tested positive for the deadly virus but did not show symptoms. Top Health officials on Monday said the country is still MERS-CoV-free so far.

    Passengers who were aboard the same flight as the suspected nurse have however been urged to report for similar tests to rule out possibility of infection.

    DOH has only been able to test 100

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  • Singapore PM defends Filipinos from 'harassment'

    Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong took to Facebook Saturday to urge respect for a planned Philippine Independence Day celebration in the city-state.

    “I was appalled to read about those who harassed the organizers of the Philippine Independence Day celebrations, and spammed their Facebook page,” Lee said.

    “They are a disgrace to Singapore,” he added in his Facebook post.

    Lee was referring to reports by The Straits Times that Filipino organizers of the June 12 celebration had to take down a Facebook post following flak from Singaporeans.

    “The callers say we have no right to hold the event in Orchard Road,” The Times quoted Rychie Andres of the Pilipino Independence Day Council Singapore as saying.

    Lee urged his constituents to “treat people in Singapore the way we ourselves expect to be treated overseas,” noting that many countries warmly welcome Singaporeans.

    “We must show that we are generous of spirit and welcome visitors into our midst, even as we manage the foreign population

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  • April treat for stargazers: 'A dozen falling stars every hour'

    If you missed the “blood moon,” you can still witness a nighttime spectacle this month, with about a dozen “falling stars” per hour expected late Monday and early Tuesday.

    The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomic Services Administration (Pagasa) said the Lyrids meteor shower will peak on April 21 to predawn of April 22.

    “Although not numerous, Lyrids are bright and fast meteors,” Pagasa said in its monthly astronomical diary. The meteor shower has been active since April 8.

    The Lyrids meteor shower has been observed for more than 2,600 years. Pagasa said Chinese records from 687 B.C. described it as nights when “stars fall like rain.”

    “However, in recent times, the Lyrids have generally been weak. The shower typically generates a dozen meteors per hour under optimal conditions…” Pagasa said.

    The United States’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration said Lyrids are from comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher, which left a dustry trail as it approached the sun.

    “Every year the Earth

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  • PH grants visa-free privilege to 7 more countries

    Travelers from seven more countries can now experience how fun it is in the Philippines without worry, as the government extended them visa-free privileges.

    Holder of passports from Belize, Croatia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan may now stay in the country for 30 days without a visa.

    The new policy effective April 15 “aims to promote tourism and investments from these countries,” the Department of Foreign Affairs statement read.

    Nationals of the countries with visa-free perks need only present a national passport valid for at least six months beyond planned period of stay and a return or onward ticket.

    Countries given privileges “have been emerging as key players in the international economic community and which have growing bilateral ties with the Philippines,” DFA said.

    The announcement brings to 157 the total number of countries whose citizens enjoy visa-free privileges in the Philippines. Somalia has been removed from the list.

    Aside from the DFA, the

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  • Things you need to know this morning, April 16

    To keep you updated with the latest news here and abroad, Yahoo Philippines is giving you a roundup of morning headlines. Here are things you need to know today:

    South Korea ferry with 450 passengers sinks

    South Korean coastguard vessels and helicopters pulled passengers off a stricken ferry as it sank off the southern coast with around 450 passengers on board.

    Water interruptions hit parts of Metro Manila

    Aside from power woes, residents in parts of Metro Manila and Cavite will also face water interruptions for the next few days as utilities undergo maintenance checks.

    Has Jake Cuenca found a new love?

    Kapamilya actor Jake Cuenca practically announced that he has found a new love in model Chanel Olive Thomas, posting post a photo of himself holding the model.

    Injured Anthony will sit out Knicks’ last two games

    Carmelo Anthony's will miss the final two games with a torn labrum in his right shoulder, ending his first playoff-less season and potentially his New York Knicks career.

    8 things to do

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  • Visa-free Japan trips for Pinoys soon?

    Filipinos who wish to travel to Japan might no longer have to apply for tourist visas under the country’s new tourism plan, a leading Japanese news agency reported.

    Quoting government sources, Kyodo on Monday said arrangements are being made “to waive visas for tourists from Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.”

    The move is one of the initiatives to boost tourist arrivals, and will likely be part of a revised action plan the Japanese government will release in June.

    “The initiative…  is envisioned as Japan seeks to achieve its goal of increasing the annual number of foreign visitors to 20 million in the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” Kyodo said.

    Japan is known for being strict in terms of requirements for visas and in screening tourists. Applicants have to submit documents to prove their eligibility.

    Under the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, however, Japan has began easing visa policies to encourage visitors from neighboring countries.

    In June last year, Japan sent social

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  • One in 10 young Filipinas is a mom

    Young Filipinos are not only becoming more sexually active but are also being forced into early parenthood due to risk behavior, government data suggest.

    At least one out of 10 (11 percent) Filipinas aged 15 to 19 years old is already a mother, a fact sheet released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed.

    Of the total number of women in the age group, 2.6 percent are pregnant with their first child while 13.6 percent have already given birth.

    The PSA was citing data from a 2013 survey by the University of the Philippines Population Institute and the Demographic Research Development Foundation.

    The survey also showed that three out of 10 (34.5 percent) of young males are engaged in premarital sex. Among young females, the number was pegged at 28.7 percent.

    It further noted that seven out of 10 (73.4 percent) of sexually active young males did not use any form of protection on their first contact. Girls are worse off at 83.8 percent.

    In addition to teenage fertility, the 2013

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