Tanghalang Pilipino (TP), the resident theater company of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), announced its September line-up of productions for ‘PangsamanTanghalan’.
Last August, TP started PangsamanTanghalan, the online streaming of its theater productions, as a response to the Covid19 pandemic, which led to the closure of all CCP public venues and cancellations of all CCP shows.
The August launch of PangsamangTanghalan coincided with the annual Buwan ng Wika celebrations.
Members of the Actors Company bring to life a timely and informative tale in “May Giyera sa Katawan ni Mark” by Dr. Luis Gatmaitan, adapted for the production by Nono Pardalis.
As the title suggests, Mark’s body will try and resist foreign bacteria entering his body. Visuals for the antibodies and bacteria will be produced by Anino Shadowplay Collective.
TP releases a special medley of songs for the concert “Handa, Awit.” Nar Cabico reprises his role in a special performance of songs from “ZsaZsa Zaturrnah: Ze Muzikal,” the award-winning play by librettist Chris Martinez.
Cabico sings the most memorable songs composed by Vince De Jesus with Cabico’s own arrangement, engineered by TJ Ramos, and directed by Carlitos Siguion-Reyna. This concert is on September 16 at 6 pm, which also happens to be Cabico’s birthday.
“Bagong Tagpo” shows the new film collaboration between TP and Voyage Studios. Directors Missy Maramara and Chuck Gutierrez, along with assistant director and Actors Company member Antonette Go, film an excerpt of Anton Juan’s Centennial Literary Prize winner, “The Price of Redemption.”
The “Price of Redemption” is a haunting play that examines the parallelism between the Philippine society during the American period and martial law years through the lens of artists, freedom fighters, and traitors. The production features the TP Actors Company’s first ensemble performance on screen for this year.
“The Price of Redemption” streams on the eve of the anniversary of the declaration of martial law, Sept. 20, at 6 pm.
For this month’s iKAPWA workshop classes, TP Artistic Director Fernando Josef shares how an actor can adapt in performing for online theater productions in “SArili para sa BAYan” (SABAY-KAPWA).
Meanwhile, theater director and former TP Artistic Director Dennis Marasigan teaches a special class for aspiring directors for online productions and performances through the “Kamalayang Pilipino.”
Both classes begin on Sept. 19 and run until Oct. 4, conducted during weekends.
Finally, to conclude the CCP Arts Education – TP partnership for the month, Gawad Buhay Award-winning dance artist JM Cabling discusses movements and techniques he used in “Lam-ang.” He will tackle “conveying narratives and emotion in choreography.” The class streams on Sept. 25 at 10 am.
For more information, please follow the official Tanghalang Pilipino Facebook page.
Help and support TP on its mission to continue inspiring the public with relevant artistic presentations during these trying times by donating via the fundraising Pantawid Ng Tanghalan.
While the purists pontificate that theater must have live audience, the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) quickly understood the brutality that Covid19 has caused since January this year.
The CCP moved decisively as Covid19 savaged the global economy, infecting 27.48 million and killing 894, 983, according to the World Health Organization data as of Sept. 9, 2020.
Recall that on March 12, 2020 at 5:42 pm, the CCP announced its initial list of show cancellations due to the rapid rate of Covid19 infection. Included in the initial list were the Philippine Philharmonic Concert Series VII scheduled on March 13, and the anticipated 40th anniversary production of Rama Hari by the Ballet Philippines, which was to open on March 20 and to run until March 29, 2020.
On March 13, 2020, 9:02 pm, the CCP made a shocking, drastic, but wise step to shut down all its public venues and to postpone all slated productions and exhibits.
“As prescribed by the Philippine government, the CCP will still function on a skeleton workforce. Restricted access will be enforced for employees, artists, suppliers, and other public entities, except those attending the basic and safety operation of the building,” the March 13 CCP announcement said.
‘Shows’ must go on
One sunny day last April, weeks into the lockdown, Chris B. Millado, CCP vice president and artistic director, ventured outside of his house, braved the virus-cloaked metropolis, and went to the CCP complex.
Millado had one important mission at the time: to mine the CCP vast HD and archival recordings of productions in theater, dance, visual arts, film, literary and workshop events during the last 50 years, which were housed at the CCP Cultural Content Digital Archives office.
Under Libertine S. dela Cruz, officer-in-charge of the CCP Cultural Content Department, the nondescript CCP digital archives office is located in the terra incognita of the complex. It is near the south entrance of the CCP main building, accessible via a narrow hallway. The first time I went there to watch a vintage production, I was lost in the maze.
As technological innovations disrupted contemporary lives and changed ways of conducting business, the CCP Cultural Content Digital Archives, one can say, is the unknown and unseen powerhouse of the CCP, compared to its more prominent counterparts, whose outputs graced the CCP Main Theater, CCP Little Theater, and Tanghalang Huseng Batute (Black Box).
Among the first measure taken by the CCP to cope with the challenges posed by Covid19 was to “realign” its programs. The announcement was made on April 24, 2020.
“In response to the extended community quarantine and the post-Covid19 recovery situations, the Cultural Center of the Philippines is realigning its artistic programs with the goal of protecting lives and livelihoods while continuing to deliver educational and inspiring content to Filipinos on alternative platforms,” the CCP said.
The new configuration of programming prioritized the immediate implementation of “Arts and Culture Online,” “Live Arts on Lockdown,” “Arts for Therapy” and “Capacity Building.”
Under Arts and Culture Online, the video streaming of archival recordings, HD, edited recordings was rolled out in early April.
The Live Arts on Lockdown program saw the unprecedented launch in June of the annual Virgin LabFest online.
The Arts for Therapy Program develops and implements modules on “Arts for Mental Wellness” and pursues “Arts for Healing” activities such as pocket concerts of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra and “PPO at your bedside events.”
Under the Capacity Building program, CCP provides training modules for upskilling of artists and cultural workers in art therapy and online technology.
“The shows will go on at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Despite the shutdown, the CCP continues to make arts matter to every Filipino,” the CCP said.
The curated CCP productions initially streamed via Facebook and YouTube, eventually tapping the Vimeo and iwantTV (now iwantTFC) platforms.
‘Better normal’ from the 51st year and beyond
As the Philippine lockdown entered its 6th month this September, coinciding with the winding down of CCP’s 50th anniversary celebrations and the start of its 51st season, the center seeks to return to its normal operations, ensures that the whole complex is safe, and vigorously migrates to the digital platforms “to make arts and culture still at the forefront of the social development, while keeping as many artists’ livelihoods as possible.”
In another breakthrough, on Sept. 8, at 9 am, the CCP held its first virtual flag ceremony since it locked down on March 15.
Streamed via the CCP Facebook page, the virtual flag ceremony closed the celebrations of the CCP’s 50th anniversary, which began in September 2019.
The September 8 virtual flag ceremony also ushered in the beginning of the CCP journey to another 50 years.
Included in the ceremony was a tribute to artists, cultural workers, arts and culture advocates, media members, and employees of CCP who passed away during the Covid19 pandemic.
“Setyembre ng 2019 noong tayo’y nagtipon upang ilunsad ang ika-50 anibersaryo ng Sentrong Pangkultura ng Pilipinas. Ibang-iba ang panahon noon. Kung hindi nangyari itong pandemya, ngayon siguro ay abala tayo sa paghahanda para sa malalaking ganap upang tandaan ang pagtatapos ng 50th anniversary,” Millado said during the flag ceremony.
“Naka-setup na marahil ang sound and light exhibition sa front facade at lawn na pinamagatang Luces. Nakaabang na ang maraming mga booth sa buong complex para sa festival. Nag-eensayo na para sa CCP Gala sa Main Theater. Naghahanda na ang lahat upang buksan ang bagong Black Box Theater,” Millado said.
“Ngunit dahil sa pagsasarado dulot ng pandaigdigang sakuna, kailangan nating ipagpaliban ang mga ito,” Millado said.
Last February, CCP cancelled Pasinaya, the Open House Festival and one of the biggest events produced by the center. Pasinaya would have been a super-spreader of the virus had the management decided to push through.
While the theaters remain closed, the CCP migrated its artistic programs online and launched CCP Online, streaming its digital archives in HD.
The CCP made historical milestone with the launch of the digital version of the Virgin Labfest in June, followed by the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, and other programs.
Jobs for artists, technical staff
“These endeavors have provided jobs to artists and technical staff,” the CCP said.
“We are doing our best to take care of the welfare and safety of our employees. If there are any shortcomings, we are trying to overcome and improve. We are making the best in this trying time. In this time of difficulty and uncertainty, let us still count our blessings,” Rodolfo del Rosario, CCP vice president for administration, said.
CCP Chairperson Margie Moran-Floirendo said pandemic and its effects have “given the trustees the time to clarify and work on their respective roles in the CCP, in accordance with the law and their mandate to fulfill it.”
“You have now active Board Members who are taking their positions seriously to improve our role as trustees at the CCP. Maybe, and I am certain providentially, they have time to be more involved,” Moran-Floirendo said.
Theater will survive
“This might be the worst time in our lifetime due to the serious economic downturns; however, as an institution, we have to last more than a lifetime. Theaters existed for 2,500 years, surviving pandemics and wars,” Moran-Floirendo said.
“There are reasons for us to come out stronger, and achieve our missions and visions more than ever. In so doing, we can’t leave our artists behind,” Moran-Floirendo said.
“Our job is to prepare the CCP for better normal, adapting to the needs of our stakeholders and audiences,” Moran-Floirendo said.
CCP President Arsenio Lizaso expressed his gratitude to those involved in the preparation and execution of the 50th anniversary events.
Lizaso urged everyone to continue to strive to make 51st anniversary “more accessible and significant for our people.”
“Ang CCP ay hindi tumigil sa paggawa ng iba’t ibang paraan para makapagbigay ng inspirasyon, lakas ng loob at kahulugan sa ating mga kababayan sa kabila ng pagsubok na dinaranas natin sa kasalukuyan,” Lizaso said.
“We have adapted to the realities, and we have succeeded in bringing shows and productions to our people through the digital platforms without sacrificing the institution’s ideals and goals of achieving excellence in the artistic projects,” Lizaso said.
As the final event commemorating the 50th anniversary, the CCP is scheduled to hold a light and sound show on its façade facing the Roxas Boulevard. The event will be live streamed on the CCP Facebook page.
The CCP plans to launch the CCP digital time capsule and special videos in collaboration with its resident companies and other artists. “Sinasabing ang industriyang kinabibilangan natin, kasama ng entertainment at turismo, ang siyang pinakahuling babangon sa paglipas ng pandemiyang ito. Hindi pa tapos ang laban. Patuloy tayong titimbangin sa ating naging sagot at paninindigan sa hamon na ito,” Millado said.
Chris B. Millado, Cinemalaya 2020 festival director, assessed the remarkable outcome of the risky but game-changing decision by the Cinemalaya organizing committee this year.
Due to the disruptions and displacements caused by the Covid19 pandemic, the powers behind Cinemalaya16 threw its weight and support to fully migrate Cinemalaya 2020 to online digital platforms such as Vimeo during its Aug. 7-16, 2020 run, its first week.
To the unfamiliar, Vimeo has been described as “an optimized online video streaming site that allows users to upload and promote their videos with a high degree of customization not found on competing sites.”
Established by a group of filmmakers in 2004, Vimeo is focused on customization to enable the platform to better meet the streaming needs of filmmakers and directors.
From Aug. 17 to 31, the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival streams to global audiences via The Filipino Channel (TFC), effectively making Cinemalaya16 indie film offerings accessible to 10.2 million people of Filipino descent, an estimate by the Commission on Filipino Overseas (CFO) in 2013.
The CFO said the 10.2 million figure represents about 11 percent of the total Philippine population and is “one of the largest diaspora populations spanning over 100 countries.” The millions of persons of Filipino descent living overseas is a new and enormously huge untapped market for Cinemalaya films and events.
After streaming on Vimeo and TFC, the Cinemalaya16 films screen on iWant platform from Sept. 18 to Oct. 2, 2020. The “iWant has the biggest library of Filipino entertainment, spanning different genres, formats” its website said.
Both the TFC and iWant are affiliated with the ABS-CBN Corp., popularly known as the Kapamilya brand or group of companies owned by the Lopezes.
Online digital Cinemalaya, new beginning
In a speech during the Cinemalaya 2020 awards ceremony, Millado, who is also the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) vice president and artistic director, said “it looks like the online digital future of Cinemalaya has arrived sooner than later.”
“And it looks like our filmmakers and audiences will be ready to traverse the Cinemalaya Festival at the CCP, the screenings at the partner cinemas and the online platform when the time comes when we can put this all together,” Millado said.
The TFC streaming of Cinemalaya films marks a “new beginning” for the festival, which effectively broadens its reach to global Filipinos and international communities all over the world, Millado said.
Cinemalaya 2020 initial report
• Cinemalaya 2020 showcased 207 films and filmmakers, including the competition films, exhibition titles, and the Gawad Alternatibo entries during the period August 7-16;
• The Ricky Lee’s Masterclasses gathered 535 participants, plus about 150 alumni to a live streamed reunion;
• Cinemalaya “streaming consciousness” was supported by at least 69 artists, production, and technical staff who worked at home and at the CCP;
• The Facebook postings of Cinemalaya 2020 reached a record 7 million this year and hit of 400,000 engagements;
• Vimeo platform rentals numbered 8,427 units, with total sales purchases of 1.8M as of Aug. 15;
• Altogether, the total sales have reached Php 2,015,000, breaching the 2-million-peso target that Cinemalaya 2020 set for itself.
“Thank you very much filmmakers, viewers, workshoppers, resource persons, production and technical staff, and partners for making all of these possible. Together with you, we shall burn brightly through these dark times with our luminous stories,” Millado said.
The film “Tokwifi” took home the 2020 Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival Best Short Feature Film award and the Network for the Promotion of Asia Pacific Cinema (NETPAC) Prize.
Directed by Carla Pulido Ocampo, Tokwifi was cited for its “highly original take on love between two persons coming from different eras and worlds, and how modernity and tradition could best be bridged by common humanity.”
Filmmaker Martika Ramirez Escobar received the Balanghai trophy for Best Direction for her film “Living Things.”
Escobar’s citation said her film “effectively orchestrated the resources of cinema in its whimsical yet convincing tale of how two people in love confront the challenges of change by even more love and devotion.”
Best Screenplay award went to “Pabasa Kan Pasyon,” a film by Hubert Tibi. The film was acknowledged for its “moving tale of mother and son struggling to survive amid the sounds and sights of lent in the Philippine countryside.”
Reeden Fajardo’s “Quing Lalam Ning Aldo” won the Audience Choice Award.
Joanna Vasquez Arong’s “Ang Pagpakalma Sa Unos” garnered the Special Jury Prize for “its moving account through the eyes of a child of the ravages wrought by the strongest typhoon ever recorded in human history, its poignant poetry losing none of the event’s immediacy and tragedy.”
For more information, check out the CCP website (www.culturalcenter.gov.ph), follow the CCP official account in Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You may also check out the official Cinemalaya Facebook page.
The Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival 2020 jury named “Tokwifi” as this year’s Best Short Feature Film and Network for the Promotion of Asia-Pacific Cinema (NETPAC) Prize awardee, edging out nine other entries.
Directed by Carla Pulido Ocampo, jury members cited Tokwifi for its “highly original take on love between two persons coming from different eras and worlds, and how modernity and tradition could best be bridged by common humanity.”
Aside from the Balanghai trophy, the Best Film winner took home Php150,000 cash prize, a set of OSMO 3-Axis pocket hand-held camera and full color-grading services from Optima Digital, worth Php360,000.
A film about an unlikely love story between a 1950s mestiza star trapped inside a television set that fell from the sky and a Bontok Igorot man who does not know how to kiss, the film also won the NETPAC Award for its magical but very convincing depiction of how women are boxed into stereotypes by television and how cultural communities are reduced into backward primitivism by the media.
The NETPAC is a worldwide organization that promotes a greater understanding and appreciation of Asian films and filmmakers.
Filmmaker Martika Ramirez Escobar took home the Balanghai trophy for Best Direction for her film “Living Things.”
Escobar has “effectively orchestrated the resources of cinema in its whimsical yet convincing tale of how two people in love confront the challenges of change by even more love and devotion,” the jury said in its citation.
Living Things is about a woman who discovers that her decade-long lover has turned into a cardboard standee.
The Best Screenplay Award went to “Pabasa Kan Pasyon, a film by Hubert Tibi.
It was cited for its “moving tale of mother and son struggling to survive amid the sounds and sights of lent in the Philippine countryside.”
The film follows a Bicolano family that turns to religion to make both ends meet.
Reeden Fajardo’s “Quing Lalam Ning Aldo” took the Audience Choice Award, and received a certificate and Php50,000 cash prize.
Fajardo’s film is a heartwarming tale of a transgender sampaguita farmer who decides to renovate their neglected kitchen as soon as she hears that her son is coming home.
Joanna Vasquez Arong’s “Ang Pagpakalma Sa Unos” received the Special Jury Prize for “its moving account through the eyes of a child of the ravages wrought by the strongest typhoon ever recorded in human history, its poignant poetry losing none of the event’s immediacy and tragedy.”
Arong also received a Balanghai trophy, Php60,000 cash prize, and a DCP mastering package, worth Php25,000, from Central Digital Lab.
The Cinemalaya continues to screen on Vimeo until Aug. 16.
The awarding ceremonies were held on Aug. 12, 2020, live on CCP and Cinemalaya Facebook pages, Vimeo, and KUMU.
For those living outside the Philippines, you can catch the global premiere of Cinemalaya on the Filipino Channel (TFC) from Aug. 17 to 31, and on iWanTV from Aug. 24 to Sept. 7, 2020.
The Philippine campaign to manage sustainably its natural resources, while at the same time deterring environmental criminals received a significant boost from the US government through the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
The Philippines Sustainable Interventions for Biodiversity, Oceans, and Landscapes (SIBOL), a project supporting the sustainable management of the country’s natural resources and combat environmental crimes, has been launched, it was announced on Tuesday, Aug. 11.
The US government, through the USAID, launched the Philippines SIBOL, a five-year project with a budget of Php1.1 billion ($22 million), the US Embassy in the Philippines said.
SIBOL will provide support to the Philippine government to meet its goals of improving natural resource governance and stimulating public and private investments leading to greater ecosystem stability and inclusive green growth, the embassy said in a statement.
The USAID works with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in implementing SIBOL.
RTI International, a US-based nonprofit organization, leads the implementation of SIBOL.
“Effective conservation management and measurement of the value of natural resources contribute to the Philippine economic development and environmental resilience,” Lawrence Hardy II, USAID Philippines mission director, said.
“Through SIBOL, USAID is pleased to support the Philippine efforts to conserve the country’s rich biodiversity while improving the livelihoods of Filipinos whose incomes depend upon these natural resources,” Hardy said.
The new project builds on the RTI International’s three decades of experience in providing technical assistance, institutional strengthening, programmatic support, and research in a variety of sectors in the Philippines.
The Center for Conservation Innovations, Forest Foundation Philippines, Internews, Zoological Society of London, and the Resources, Environment, and Economics Center for Studies (REECS) are members of the consortium partnering with RTI.
Juan Miguel T. Cuna, DENR undersecretary for policy, planning, and international affairs, welcomed the “important partnership” with USAID.
“Ensuring ecosystem integrity and human well-being are among the key priorities of the DENR,” Cuna said.
“We look forward to partnering with USAID in advancing our goals of environmental sustainability and strengthening the DENR’s capacity to combat environmental criminals, enhance the adaptive capacities of communities against natural disasters, as well as improve the economic conditions of affected local people,” Cuna said.
Since 2014, the USAID has provided more than Php5 billion ($100 million) in assistance to the Philippine government in conserving the country’s biodiversity and protecting its landscapes and seascapes.
US State Secretary Michael R. Pompeo cited the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Aug. 7, Friday, saying the strategic partnership between the US and the group “contributes to our shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
In a message released by the US Embassy in Manila ahead of the ASEAN’s 53rd founding date celebrated annually on Aug. 8, Pompeo said “for decades, ASEAN has fostered a more stable, prosperous, and peaceful region.”
“ASEAN and ASEAN-led mechanisms are at the heart of the U.S. vision for the Indo-Pacific and that of our allies and partners. The strategic partnership between the United States and ASEAN contributes to our shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Pompeo said.
Acknowledging the “enormous challenge” posed by the Covid19 pandemic, Pompeo said “we are proving the strength of our relationship by leveraging our government, private sector, and charitable partnerships to support our shared health and prosperity.”
The US has pledged nearly $85 million in emergency health and humanitarian assistance to help ASEAN countries battle COVID19.
Pompeo said the US will continue to promote transparent economic growth between our countries during the post-pandemic recovery.
ASEAN was formed on Aug. 8 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand when the group’s “founding fathers” signed the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration).
Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand are the group’s original members.
Brunei Darussalam then joined on Jan. 7 1984, Vietnam on July 28, 1995, Laos and Myanmar on July 23, 1997, and Cambodia on April 30 1999.
La Buena Estrella (Lucky Star), directed by Ricardo Franco in 1997, is this weekend’s feature in the ongoing Instituto Cervantes Manila film series.
La Buena Estrella is an intense drama, which garnered several Goya Awards: Best Film, Best Director, and Best Screenplay.
It revolves around the toxic relationship among a woman and two opposite men.
La Buena Estrella stands out for the superb interpretation by the actors of their roles, namely Antonio Resines, Jordi Mollá, and Maribel Verdú.
Resines won the Goya Award as best actor for his rendition of a kind man over Jordi Mollá.
The female role in the triangle is played by Verdú, a popular Spanish actress known internationally for the films Amantes (Vicente Aranda, 1991), Y tu Mamá También (Alfonso Cuarón, 2001), and Pan’s Labyrinth (Guillermo del Toro, 2006).
La Buena Estrella represents Verdú’s artistic summit. She was nominated for the Goya Awards best actress in this role.
Verdú visited Manila in 2015 to grace the inauguration of Pelicula, the Spanish Film Festival.
La Buena Estrella will only be accessible from the Philippines on July 25 and 26 (Saturday and Sunday), with English subtitles.
The bassoon players of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) are the stars of the July 26, 2020 “Instrument Petting Zoo” featuring Adolfo Mendoza and Frenvee Andra.
The live online show is at 4 pm via the PPO Facebook page.
During the show, Mendoza and Andra discuss the bassoon and demonstrate how it is played. They will perform classical pieces suited for the bassoon.
Mendoza finished his Bachelor of Music in bassoon performance at the University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music under Prof. Romeo Verayo and Prof. Arnaldo Custodio.
He studied with the NHK principal bassoonist. Prof. Koji Okazaki at the Elizabeth University of Music in Hiroshima, Japan for his master’s degree. He was a full scholar at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing arts under Prof. Kam Sui, principal bassoonist of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. He finished his Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) at Texas Tech University in Texas, US in 2016 under Prof. Richard Meek.
Mendoza is the principal bassoonist of the PPO, a faculty member of the Sta. Isabel College of Music, and the conductor of Trinity University of Asia Symphonic Band.
On the other hand, Andra received his Bachelors in Music degree in bassoon performance at the University of Santo Tomas under the tutelage of Prof. Severino Ramirez.
He studied under John Mostard and Adolfo Mendoza. He has a master’s degree from the Elisabeth University of Music in Hiroshima under bassoonist Koji Okazaki, principal bassoon of the NHK Orchestra.
He founded the I-House Woodwind Quintet in Hiroshima. He was also the bassoon principal of the Hiroshima Festival Orchestra in 2001 and instructor of bassoon with the Hiroshima Junior Orchestra.
A former principal bassoon of the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra, he is now a member of the PPO and conductor of Lyceum of the Philippines University Cavite Symphonic Band. He is the Music Director of the Sta. Cecilia Band 89 City of General Trias Cavite.
A project of the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the PPO, the instrument petting zoo aims to promote appreciation for musical instruments of the orchestra and its music among children and families.
It is held every Sunday at 4 pm and will run in the coming months.
Catch the Musical Instruments Appreciation Series on the official PPO Facebook page.
Benjamin Diokno, governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), announced on Tuesday / July 21, 2020 a 100-basis-point reduction in the reserve requirements of thrift banks (TBs) and rural and cooperative banks (RCBs) effective July 31, 2020.
The reduction is expected to increase lending capacity of these banks to support financing requirements of their micro-, small-, and medium enterprises as well as rural community-based clients, the BSP said.
Reserve requirements are the amount of cash that banks must hold in reserve to ensure their capability to meet liabilities.
The reduction will also help lower intermediation costs and ease financial strain faced by these banks’ customers.
With the reduction, the reserve requirements of TBs and RCBs will be three percent and two percent, respectively.
Earlier, the BSP Monetary Board had approved a 200-basis point reduction in the reserve requirements of universal and commercial banks and non-bank financial institutions with quasi-banking functions.
This move was also part of the BSP’s omnibus package of reforms aimed at assisting the banking public with their liquidity requirements during the Covid19 pandemic and supporting the transition toward a sustainable recovery during the post-crisis period.
The United States, through the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and in coordination with the US Agency for International Development (USAID), is distributing Php14.8 million (US$300,000) worth of regionally-manufactured personal protective equipment (PPE) to the UP-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) and Covid19 treatment centers across the Philippines.
This latest donation brings to nearly Php981 million (US$19.8 million) the overall US government assistance to the Philippines related to the Covid19 response efforts.
US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim said “this delivery of PPE demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the Philippines to stop Covid19.”
“During this month, which began with a commemoration of Philippine-American Friendship Day, we are honored to support our Filipino friends, partners, and allies with the PPE they need to assist communities confronting the pandemic,” the ambassador said.
Recipients of this particular donation were determined by a needs assessment based on pandemic infection rates, current PPE supply levels, and projected future needs, the US Embassy said.
The US will continue to support Filipino frontline workers, it added.
Dr. Robert S. Pope, director of the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), said “we are proud to support brave Filipino medical workers to ensure they are safe and healthy while providing essential medical care to those affected by this deadly virus.”
“We value our longstanding partnerships in the Philippines. One day, we will look back on these events and know that our partnership helped enable a robust response that saved lives and prevented further contagion in the Philippines and surrounding region,” Pope said.
The Philippine General Hospital and the US Department of Defense have a long history of mutual support dating back to World War II. During the war, Filipino and American medical personnel worked together to treat soldiers and civilians during the Battle of Manila, following the liberation of PGH through joint US-Philippine effort.
The DTRA enables the Department of Defense, the US government, and international partners to counter and deter weapons of mass destruction and improvised threat networks.