Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat is ringing in the New year outdoors.

Berna Puyat starts 2021 with Masungi Georeserve hike, hopes for ‘kinder,’ ‘better’ 2021

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Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat is ringing in the New year outdoors.

After celebrating the holidays with family, the country’s tourism chief went on a hiking trail at Masungi Georeserve in Rizal. She conquered her fear by stepping into the gigantic spiderweb-style platform for a breathtaking view of the conservation area.

A video posted on Instagram showed Puyat, clad in a dark tracksuit, helmet, mask and sneakers, treading slowly into the web platform.

The Cabinet secretary turned sentimental and voiced her sentiment about the New Year. “I am entering this year slowly but surely with faith that better days are ahead in 2021♥️🙏🏻” she wrote on Instagram.

After the world endured a difficult 2020 mainly due to the COVID pandemic, Puyat is also hopeful for a “kinder” 2021. She has also refused to utter the sentence “Bring it on” this new year after just going through a difficult 2020.

“Titigilan ko na pagsabi ng ‘bring it on’ every time there’s a New Year😆 I said that at the start of 2020 and look 🦠😳 #PleaseBeKinder2021,” she said in an Instagram post.

The tourism is super happy that her family is complete for the holidays. Her son Vito, who has been working in El Nido, Palawan since the lockdown began last March, has finally come home.

“We are finally complete after 9 long months♥️ Happy Holidays from our family to yours🎄” she said.

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POLITIKO / Latest News

Trump to be allowed back on YouTube when ‘risk of violence’ falls

Former US president Donald Trump will be allowed back on YouTube but only when the threat of his inciting violence abates, the head of the popular online video sharing platform said Thursday.

YouTube in late January suspended Trump’s channel, joining other social media platforms in banning his accounts following the deadly January 6 Capitol riot.

“We will lift the suspension of the Donald Trump channel when we determine that the risk of violence has decreased,” YouTube chief Susan Wojcicki said during a streamed Atlantic Council interview.

“Given just the warnings by the Capitol Police yesterday about a potential attack today, I think it is pretty clear that that elevated violence risk still remains.”

Wojcicki said that when the Trump channel is reinstated, it will remain subject to the same “three strike” system as everyone else at YouTube.

Uploading videos that break YouTube rules such as those against inciting violence or falsely attacking election integrity would earn the channel more strikes and suspensions.

Channels that get three strikes within a 90-day period are removed from YouTube, Wojcicki noted.

“This was the first strike,” she said of the Trump channel.

“We have applied strikes to over world leaders; (Jair) Bolsonaro in Brazil for Covid-19 misinformation, channels taken down now in Myanmar.”

Factors considered when assessing when it is safe to allow Trump back on YouTube will include online rhetoric along with concerns expressed by police departments and government agencies regarding risks of politically fueled violence, according to Wojcicki.

She felt it important to hold world leaders to the same standards as everyone else on YouTube, reasoning that it is “a very dangerous path to say some people have a free pass” when it comes to breaking content rules.

The Google-owned firm has faced criticism over its slow response following the violence in Washington, as well as the proliferation of conspiracy theories on the platform.

Trump has been banned from other online platforms including Twitter and Facebook. An independent board created by Facebook is reviewing the decision by the leading social network.

Agence France-Presse

Isusunod na sana sa pulis, sundalo: Duterte blames pandemic for failure to hike pay of public school teachers

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday (March 4) said he would have raised the salaries of public school teachers if the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t happen.

In a speech at the inauguration of two public school buildings in Valenzuela City, Duterte said he was already “saving” funds to raise the salaries of public school teachers.

Duterte previously said he wanted to increase the pay of public school teachers after doing the same for soldiers and policemen in 2018.

“Nag-iipon na po ako sa totoo lang kasi sabi ko next ang teacher,” he said.

“Now, when COVID came, bagsak talaga ang ekonomiya. Sarado ang mga factories, manufacturing whatever kasi takot nga eh. There was a lockdown. And between the economy and the health of the people with the pandemic whirling around, I thought it wise to cast my lot with the interest of the people in their health,” Duterte added.

An entry-level public school teacher with salary grade 11 currently earns P23,877 monthly under the Salary Standardization Law (SSL).

In a speech on June 13, 2019, Duterte said he was “working on” his promise to raise the pay of public school teachers, but said it was difficult since there were “million[s] of teachers” while there were only 160,000 policemen and 130,000 military personnel.

“It’s easy. That’s why their salaries have doubled,” Duterte said.

Amid vaccine arrival, Duterte to stay vigilant against Covid-19: ‘We may not be out of the woods yet’

By Prince Golez

Despite the availability of vaccines, President Rodrigo Duterte still reminds Filipinos to observe and comply with the health protocols.

“Let us continue observing and practicing health and safety protocols while waiting for more Covid-19 vaccines to reach the Philippines,” Duterte said at the arrival ceremony for the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine Thursday evening.

“We may not be out of the woods yet but we are making progress and the end is in sight, and with your cooperation, we will overcome this pandemic and ensure the health and safety of everyone,” he added.

The President also stressed that in a pandemic, no one is safe until everyone is.

“As I have said before, these vaccines should be treated as a global public good. the need for international solidarity and cooperation cannot be made clearer than this pandemic because no one is safe globally until everyone is safe,” he also said.

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