Philippines promulgates law penalising fake news spreaders

Uber Vietnam’s representative said that its taxi brand UberX will raise fares in Ho Chi Minh City from August 24, closing up with traditional taxi fares. Reacting to pressure from the traditional taxi coalition led by Vinasun, Uber decided to raise fares in Ho Chi Minh City  In particular, UberX’s fare will increase from VND7,000 ($0.3) per kilometre to VND8,500 ($0.37) per kilometre in Ho Chi Minh City. Fare based on time stays unchanged at VND450 ($0.02) per minute, while the minimum fare and cancelation fee will still be VND15,000 ($0.66). Earlier, in November 2016, Uber has already raised prices once. Then the minimum fare increased from VND5,000 ($0.22) to VND15,000 ($0.66), and the kilometre charge increased from VND5,000 ($0.22) to VND7,000 ($0.3). Uber drivers still have to pay a 25 per cent commission to the company. Besides, Uber has a strategy of raising fares based on actual traffic flows to support drivers. In rush hours or during heavy rain, the minimum fare can be 1.3 times as much as the usual. By raising minimum fares, UberX fares may exceed traditional cabs. Through these two bouts of raising prices, Uber fares are getting closer to traditional taxis. According to the statistics of Ho Chi Minh City Taxi Association, the minimum price of Vinasun’s 5-8-seater passenger cabs is VND11,000-12,000 ($0.48-0.53) and charges VND14,000-16,000 ($0.62-0.7) per kilometre for the first 30 kilometres, after which the…... [read more]

Ride-hailing giant Uber on Tuesday defied a Philippine government order to shut down, branding the suspension a "blatant violation" of its rights but risking its drivers being arrested. Philippine authorities announced on Monday that they would suspend Uber for one month for failing to have the proper permits to license its drivers. Uber initially obeyed the order and shut down its app on Tuesday morning, triggering anger from commuters who lashed out at the government for taking away what had become a trusted alternative to notoriously bad public transport. But on Tuesday afternoon Uber relaunched the app, telling commuters via Twitter that it had launched a legal appeal and would continue operations until the dispute was settled. In its motion for reconsideration to the transport authority, it said the suspension was a "blatant violation of USI's (Uber's) right to due process". The government replied immediately, saying the suspension was still in force and threatening to arrest Uber drivers who violated it. "The order stands," said Aileen Lizada, spokeswoman of the transport authority. "Uber is online again, let us apprehend," she told reporters, narrating her order to traffic enforcers. Uber officially launched in Manila in 2014 and the service was later rolled out to a few provincial cities. The transport authority requires Uber to get permits for its drivers and vehicles, in the same way taxi companies must. However, Uber insists the drivers are independent contractors and thus do not have to get the permits. The dispute is Uber's latest…... [read more]

Philippine rice tender win buoys local priceTrung Chanh Farmers load just-harvested paddy (unhusked rice) onto a boat in the Mekong Delta - PHOTO: TRUNG CHANH CAN THO – That Vietnamese rice firms won in a Philippine tender last month to supply 175,000 tons of 25% broken rice has led to a steady price increase of IR 50404 rice in the Mekong Delta. The Vietnamese winners of the tender which the Philippines held under a government-to-private importation to replenish its dwindling buffer stocks are Vietnam Southern Food Corp, Gia International Corp, Tan Long Group JSC and Hiep Loi Food JSC. Nguyen Thanh Tho, a rice trader at Ba Dac wholesale market in Tien Giang Province, told the Daily on August 8 that IR 50404 material rice sells for VND7,300-7,400 a kilo, up VND100-150 compared to July 25, while its finished rice fetches VND8,400-8,500 a kilo, up VND100-200. Local traders purchase IR 50404 fresh rice at VND5,000-5,100 a kilo on the farm, up VND200-300. Likewise, broken rice is sold at VND6,900-7,000 at Ba Dac market. The four winning bidders will deliver 120,000 tons to the National Food Authority of the Philippines within this month, resulting in an upsurge in domestic demand for IR 50404, according to Nguyen Thanh Phong, director of Van Loi Corporation in Tien Giang Province. Its price has subsequently picked up. Some enterprises said IR 50404 25% broken rice is locally priced at VND8-8.13 million (US$353-357) a ton. Meanwhile, the Philippine government purchases the staple food at US$409 to US$425.9 a ton.…... [read more]

A welcome ceremony for PM Dung took place at the Presidential Palace in the presence of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Right after that, the two leaders held talks. The Philippine President congratulated Mr Dung on his re-election as Vietnamese Prime Minister and expressed hope that his visit will open up a new chapter in relations between the two countries. Mrs Arroyo also praised Vietnam’s renewal and foreign policy as well as its great socio-economic achievements recorded in recent times. For his part, Mr Dung affirmed that his visit aims to further strengthen the ties of friendship and multifaceted cooperation between Vietnam and the Philippines and praised the Philippines for having successfully fulfilled its role as ASEAN President during the past year. Host and guest expressed their delight at the development of Vietnam-Philippines multifaceted cooperation since the two countries established diplomatic ties 30 years ago. Last year saw two-way trade reaching nearly US$1.2 billion. Vietnam exported 1.5 million tonnes of rice to the Philippines, accounting for up to 90 percent of its rice imports. The Philippines currently ranks 25th among countries and territories investing in Vietnam. The two leaders expressed their wish to bring the relations of friendship and multifaceted cooperation to a new height for the benefit of the two countries’ people. They also affirmed their determination to early approve a plan of action aimed at implementing the joint statement on bilateral cooperation for the first 25 years of the 21st century. Accordingly, Vietnam and the Philippines will increase the…... [read more]

PM Dung and King Haji Hassanal Bolkiah expressed their pleasure at the rapid development of the friendly and cooperative ties between the two countries. They noted that Brunei now ranks 10th among 90 foreign investors in Vietnam, with 67 projects valued at more than US$4.5 billion. They agreed to boost bilateral cooperation in economics, trade, investment, health care and education, and assigned their relevant agencies to discuss and prepare to sign a memorandum of understanding on labour cooperation. They said they are happy at the effective cooperation between the two countries regarding East Sea issues and agreed to increase cooperation in oil and gas exploitation, including the implementation of a project between the Vietnam Oil and Gas Corporation and the Brunei National Petroleum Company. In a meeting with Filipino President Gloria Arroyo, PM Dung acknowledged the two countries’ efforts in raising two-way trade in 2008 to US$2.2 billion, surpassing the US$2 billion target set for 2010. He thanked the Philippine government for rationally addressing the issue of Vietnamese people accidentally fishing on the Philippine seas, demonstrating the spirit of friendship and neighbourliness between the two countries. President Arroyo affirmed that the Philippines wants to develop cooperative ties with Vietnam. She thanked the Vietnamese government for facilitating the shipment of its rice to the Philippines under export contacts, as well as coordinating closely with her country in regional and international forums. The two leaders praised the result of their countries’ cooperation in sea-related issues. They agreed to early sign a memorandum…... [read more]

Deputy Foreign Minister Ho Xuan Son donated the aid to Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario in capital Manila on February 20. Son extended Vietnam’s condolences to the Philippine government and people over heavy human and property losses caused by the storm, and believed that the Philippines will soon overcome the consequences. Washi slammed into the Philippines on December 16, 2011 and claimed nearly 1,000 lives. Secretary Albert del Rosario thanked Vietnam for the aid, describing it as a vivid manifestation of the close-knit solidarity between the Philippines and Vietnam, as well as among countries within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Son is in Manila for the first session of the Vietnam-Philippines Commission on maritime and ocean affairs at the deputy foreign ministerial level.... [read more]

Defence Minister General Phung Quang Thanh and his Filipino counterpart Voltaire Tuvera Gazmin agreed to exchange delegation visits, establish a defence policy dialogue mechanism at the Deputy Ministerial level, and increase training with a focus on language training and information exchange. They underlined the need to strengthen cooperation between the two countries’ military units, especially the naval forces, through setting up a direct hotline and conducting joint search and rescue work. General Thanh thanked the Philippine government and army for supporting Vietnamese fishermen in distress at sea, and proposed humane treatment for detained fishermen when they violate the Philippines’ territorial waters. Secretary Gazmin welcomed Thanh’s visit, which he said will help foster the Vietnam-Philippines friendship and cooperative ties in various areas, including national defence, in the interest of the two nations, and for peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region. At a meeting with President Benigno S. Aquino III the same day, General Thanh expressed his hope that the President will support national defence cooperation between the two militaries, particularly in sharing experience in defending national sovereignty, territorial integrity, and exclusive economic zones of each country. President Aquino spoke highly of Vietnam’s role in the region and voiced his support for the two militaries to effectively implement signed agreements, including those on staff training and coast guarding. General Thanh visited the Philippines on August 26-27 at the invitation of Secretary Gasmin.... [read more]

The Vietnam Food Association (VFA) said that through the end of June, Vietnam has delivered more than 3 million tonnes of rice worth an estimated US$1.367 billion to foreign partners. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) said that China remains Vietnam’s largest rice importer with 40.46% of market share. Notably, the Philippines market has witnessed a sharp increase in importing Vietnamese rice against last year’s same period, ranking second with market shares of 20.66% followed by Ghana (4.39%) and Singapore (3.63%). The Philippines Government has recently decided to import an additional 200,000 tonnes of rice from Vietnam in the context of the price hike in rice and other commodities in the market. At present, the price of dried paddy in the Mekong River Delta is hovering around VND5,400-5,500 per kilo while that of long-grain paddy stands at VND5,500-5,600 per kilo.... [read more]

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung held talks with Philippine President Benigno Aquino on the sidelines of the 21st ASEAN Summit which took place in Phnom Penh on November 18. The two leaders expressed their delight at the fine development of relations between Vietnam and the Philippines over the years and agreed that the two nations’ similarities and common interests provide a foundation for them to lift their relations to a higher level. PM Dung thanked the Philippine Government for saving Vietnamese fishermen and boats in distress and congratulated the Philippines on its achievements in national development and security including its preliminary peace agreement with the largest Islamic liberation group Moro in the country. He said he hopes the Philippines will achieve long-term peace and stability. Regarding the East Sea issue, PM Dung and President Aquino underlined the need to properly implement ASEAN’s six-point principle on the East Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) towards building the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) between ASEAN and China. Both sides also emphasized the necessity of bringing into full play ASEAN’s central role in the region and believed that the success of the 21st ASEAN Summit and its related meetings will positively contribute to building an ASEAN community by 2015 and ensuring peace, stability and development in the region and the world at large. The same day, PM Dung and his delegation visited the Vietnamese Embassy in Cambodia.... [read more]

Hanoi (VNA) – At least 33 people were injured in a blast in Hilongos town, the Philippines’ central province of Leyte on December 28, reported the country’s media. Local police and authorities revealed that the explosion hit a busy park at about 21:00 (the Philippines time) when a boxing match was underway in the town, hurting at least 33. No deaths have been confirmed so far. The Philippine government said the accident was caused by bombs which were activated in remote by a mobile phone. Police said no suspects had been identified and no group or individuals claimed responsibility. The accident occurred only a few days after a grenade blast outside a Catholic church on Christmas Eve, killing 16 people, in Mindanao Island in the central part of the Philippines. No information has been found to prove the bombings were connected, police said, adding that they are coordinating with the army to make more investigation./.... [read more]




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