Arellano survives stern test, turns back Perpetual

first_imgAlmazan vows to comeback stronger after finals heartbreak Michael Porter Jr. stays patient as playing time increases LATEST STORIES OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Newsome sets focus on helping Bolts open new PBA season on right track Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Maria Tripoli had 20 points while Cindy Imbo added 19 for the Lady Altas, whose lead over fourth-running San Sebastian in the standings is now just half a game after falling to 4-2.Joyce Sta. Rita set a career-high to lead San Sebastian past Mapua, 25-20, 25-7, 29-31, 25-14, in the other match.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Arellano University survived its toughest test yet, climbing back from two sets down to beat University of Perpetual Help, 22-25, 19-25, 25-21, 25-20, 15-5, in the NCAA Season 93 women’s volleyball tournament Tuesday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.The Lady Chiefs leaned on their trio of Jovielyn Prado, Andrea Marzan and Regine Arocha, who combined for 50 points.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img “We played so bad in the first two sets so I made adjustments beginning the third set and things started to click,” said Arellano head coach Obet Javier in Filipino after steering his squad to its 18th consecutive win dating back to last season.Prado scored 20 points with four blocks while Marzan and Arocha scored 16 and 14 points, respectively.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk“I just told them to play with heart,” Prado said in Filipino. “The games become more important as the season goes so we have to treat every game like there’s no tomorrow.”After a tough first four sets, defending champion Arellano showed its composure and raced to a 10-1 start in the deciding fifth set. MOST READ View comments Nonito Donaire vs Naoya Inoue is BWAA 2019 Fight of the Year Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Ceres silences Roar Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacsonlast_img read more

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Aguero involved in clash with Wigan fan after City’s defeat

first_imgMOST READ Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours City manager Pep Guardiola said he was in the changing room and did not see the Aguero incident.“It’s safer when the fans are not there, but sometimes it happens,” he said.Wigan counterpart Paul Cook was also in his changing room at the time.“It’s not correct (pitch invasions), but I haven’t seen these incidents so I’d rather not give an opinion, but players’ safety is paramount for everyone.”ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Supporters from both clubs were involved in disturbances, while television pictures appeared to show a home supporter and striker Aguero involved in a physical exchange.Aguero appeared to hit the supporter after the fan said something to the player, and Aguero had to be held back by his City teammates.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkAdvertising hoardings were also ripped out and thrown as a pitch invasion by Wigan fans got out of hand while the defeated City players were being escorted off the pitch.Footage also appeared to show objects, including an advertising board, being thrown at police officers by fans in the City end. Sea turtle trapped in net freed in Legazpi City Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. GALLERY: Barangay Ginebra back as PBA Governors’ Cup kings View comments UK plans Brexit celebrations but warns businesses may suffer Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Nueva Ecija warehouse making fake cigarettes raided, 29 Chinese workers nabbed Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano Curry would love to captain Team Curry again in 2019 Wigan Athletic fans celebrate at the end of the English FA Cup fifth round soccer match between Wigan Athletic and Manchester City at The DW Stadium, Wigan, England, Monday, Feb. 19, 2018. Wigan Athletic won the game 1-0. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)MANCHESTER, England — Sergio Aguero was involved in a confrontation with a Wigan fan as ugly scenes marred the end of the third-division side’s shock FA Cup win over Manchester City on Monday.Fans spilled on to the pitch at DW Stadium as the host celebrated its 1-0 fifth-round win against the runaway English Premier League leader.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

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Magnolia wrests lead

first_imgConor McGregor seeks to emerge from controversy in UFC comeback “We needed to go to our strength, which is our defense,” Hotshots coach Chito Victolero said. “But there’s nothing to celebrate yet. We need four wins to make the finals.”Magnolia shoots for the second Finals berth—against San Miguel Beer which is gunning for an unprecedented fourth straight Philippine Cup title—in Game 6 on Tuesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkMagnolia franchise San Mig Super Coffee was the Philippine Cup champion in 2013-2014 before sister team San Miguel won the next three.Barroca led all Magnolia scorers with 18 points and hauled down seven rebounds in 31 minutes, while Lee finished with 15 points.Rookie Kiefer Ravena fired a game-high 21 points for NLEX, including 10 in the final period. Recto seeks to establish Taal rehab body to aid community, eruption victims PBA IMAGESMagnolia moved a win away from a much-awaited trip to the Finals after turning back NLEX, 87-78, in their PBA Philippine Cup semifinals series on Sunday at Ynares Center in Antipolo City.Learning their lessons from their lackluster showing in Game 4, the Hotshots backcourt, led by Mark Barroca and Paul Lee, rekindled their magic in the all-important Game 5 to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven battle.ADVERTISEMENT Anton nails autocross debut win Scarlett Johansson, Sterling K. Brown among SAG Awards presenters Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Earlier, NLEX guard Kevin Alas injured his right knee after driving against Lee and Barroca, just 40 seconds into the all-important tussle.Alas was immediately taken back to the Road Warriors’ dugout as physical therapists applied cold compress on the injured knee.“I felt my right knee lock,” said the 26-year-old Alas.Alas is averaging 9.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 4.0 assists in the series.No pressureADVERTISEMENT Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Cabuyao City rising above the ashes through volunteerism LATEST STORIES San Miguel coach Leo Austria acknowledges one thing going for the Beermen.“We’re used to pressure,” Austria said on Saturday night after a gripping 100-94 Game 5 decision of Barangay Ginebra that wrapped up their Final Four series.“This is history and we’ve been through a lot of pressure situations before.” —RANDOLPH B. LEONGSON, INQUIRER.NETThe scores:MAGNOLIA 87—Barroca 18, Lee 15, Ramos 15, Sangalang 12, Simon 7, Dela Rosa 6, Pascual 4, Reavis 4, Brondial 2, Gamalinda 2, Jalalon 2, Herndon 0, Mendoza 0NLEX 78—Ravena 21, Mallari 13, Soyud 11, Fonacier 9, Miranda 8, Quiñahan 8, Rios 3, Taulava 2, Tiongson 2, Baguio 1, Alas 0Quarters: 20-20, 37-36, 59-58, 87-78Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ In Liverpool, Man United sees the pain and path to recovery View commentslast_img read more

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‘A little hope’: Nadal vs Thiem in French Open final

first_imgMOST READ Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Nadal is 49-0 in all other clay-court contests over the past two seasons.“I know I have to play my best if I want to have chances,” said Nadal, who needs to win Sunday to hold onto his No. 1 ranking.Thiem’s ability to bully opponents from the baseline was on display in his 6-4, 6-2, 6-1 victory over No. 2 seed Alexander Zverev in the quarterfinals.That put Thiem, a 24-year-old from Austria who is seeded No. 7, in the semifinals at the French Open for the third consecutive year. Now he’s made it a step further.“You know when you start the clay-court season that Dominic, he’s one of these players that have the chance to win every tournament that he’s playing,” Nadal said, “and maybe even (more so) here in Roland Garros, because he’s strong physically. He has the power.”That might be.What is definitely true: Thiem has never been to a Grand Slam final until now.So nerves could come into play in the early going against Nadal, who will be bidding for his 17th major title overall.As for what sort of tactics will be employed Sunday, Nadal’s coach, Carlos Moya, offered a hint.“What will be important will be to try and make him play in uncomfortable situations,” said Moya, the 1998 French Open champion. “When (Thiem) is dominating the point, he is very dangerous. Once he is running, he is not that dangerous.” Sloane Stephens’ 1st loss in any final comes at French Open And Thiem’s approach?“I know how to play against him,” he said, without elaborating. “I have a plan.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Lacson: Calamity fund cut; where did P4 billion go? Spain’s Rafael Nadal celebrates winning his semifinal match of the French Open tennis tournament against Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro in three sets 6-4, 6-1, 6-2, at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, Friday, June 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)PARIS — The only man to beat Rafael Nadal on clay this year was Dominic Thiem.And the only man to beat Nadal on clay last year was Thiem.ADVERTISEMENT China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls LATEST STORIEScenter_img Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours So if anyone could head into the French Open final with even the slightest reason to think there’s a chance of preventing Nadal from winning a record-extending 11th championship at Roland Garros, it is his opponent Sunday. Yes, that’s right: Thiem.“For sure,” said Thiem’s coach, Gunter Bresnik, “this gives you a little hope.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownNot any sort of certainty, of course. Not even necessarily a ton of belief. But, sure, a little hope.Bresnik knows, right along with everyone else, what a difficult task it is to try to slow Nadal in a best-of-five-set match on his favorite surface and at his favorite tournament. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Nadal is 85-2 for his French Open career, 110-2 in all best-of-fives on clay.The 32-year-old Spaniard is 10-0 in finals in Paris, winning the trophy every year from 2005-08, then again every year from 2010-14, then again in 2017.“He’s the best competitor in (any) sport, in my opinion, of all time. It doesn’t matter what sport. The way he competes is unbelievable. He’s physically strong, and you know he’s not going to give up — at any score. He’s not going to give you a free point if he’s up 5-love or down love-5,” Bresnik said. “This is why the guy was dominating clay-court tennis over the last 14 years like nobody else before. And nobody ever will.”This will be the 10th tour-level encounter between Nadal and Thiem. All have been on clay, and Nadal leads 6-3, including 2-0 in Paris, beating Thiem in the first round in 2014 and the semifinals a year ago.But if there is a tad of intrigue entering this final, it is because of what happened in Rome on May 19, 2017, and in Madrid on May 11, 2018. On the first date, Thiem defeated Nadal 6-4, 6-3. On the second, Thiem defeated Nadal 7-5, 6-3.ADVERTISEMENT Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film View commentslast_img read more

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Atlanta Hawks agree to deal with veteran Vince Carter

first_imgLATEST STORIES In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Lacson: Calamity fund cut; where did P4 billion go? DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displaced Carter was given the veteran’s minimum deal to provide veteran leadership on a rebuilding Atlanta squad entering its first season with coach Lloyd Pierce.Carter, the NBA’s oldest player, averaged 5.4 points and only 17.7 minutes per game while starting only five games last season with Sacramento.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’He will be entering his 21st season with his eighth team. He is an eight-time All-Star and has averaged 17.7 points for his career.Carter was named Rookie of the Year with Toronto in 1999. Following eight seasons with the Raptors, he was traded to New Jersey in 2004 and also has played for Orlando, Phoenix, Dallas, Memphis and the Kings. FILE – In this April 11, 2018, file photo, Sacramento Kings guard Vince Carter is shown during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets, in Sacramento, Calif. A person familiar with the deal says veteran Vince Carter has agreed to a one-year, $2.4 million contract with the Atlanta Hawks. The person spoke to The Associated Press Thursday, July 26, 2018, on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been announced. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)ATLANTA — Veteran Vince Carter is the latest addition to the new-look Atlanta Hawks.The 41-year-old Carter has agreed to a one-year, $2.4 million contract with the Hawks, said a person familiar with the negotiations. The person spoke to The Associated Press Thursday on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been announced.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Report: Disney dropping the ‘Fox’ from movie studio names Putin’s, Xi’s ruler-for-life moves pose challenges to West Trump assembles a made-for-TV impeachment defense team Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs Snakes in the grass? Durant not the one upset after Twitter beef with McCollum MOST READ ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Carter joins an Atlanta roster that remains in transition following last week’s trade which sent guard Dennis Schroder and forward Mike Muscala to Oklahoma City. The Hawks acquired Carmelo Anthony, who will be waived, clearing the way for him to sign with another team.The Hawks have acquired point guard Jeremy Lin to work with Trae Young, the first of Atlanta’s three first-round picks. Atlanta drafted another guard, Kevin Huerter, and forward Omari Spellman in the first round.The Hawks finished last in the Eastern Conference last season. Last season’s top rookie, forward-center John Collins, and forward Taurean Prince also are keys to the rebuilding effort.Carter will join Kent Bazemore and Dwayne Dedmon as veteran leaders.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextlast_img read more

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Asian Games: Filipino bet finishes 18th in sport climbing debut

first_imgHis time, however, was not enough to catapult him into the knockout round. China’s Zhong Qizin had the fastest time of 5.82 seconds topped the eliminations round, edging Iranian runner-up Ali Pour Reza (5.83).The 17-year-old Verosil still relished the opportunity to don the country’s colors despite the results.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’“It is really an honor (for me) to represent the country in the Asian Games. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me.”Verosil, though, has a chance to bounce back in the bouldering event, which is his forte, scheduled Friday. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Gov’t in no rush to rescue animals in Taal Peza offers relief to ecozone firms Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displaced Filipino bet Gerald Verosil wound up in 18th place and missed the cut in the speed event of sport climbing, which is making its debut in the 2018 Asian Games at Jakabaring Sports City in Palembang, Indonesia.The Singapore-based Verosil scaled the 37-foot man-made wall in 10.66 seconds on his first try then clocked 7.95 seconds on his second attempt.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIEScenter_img View comments Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins Nationality confusion forces Zabelinskaya out of Asian Games MOST READ Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player awardlast_img read more

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Blind School to Celebrate 37th Anniversary

first_imgThe Mango Town campus of the School for the Blind was over the weekend a scene of excitement and jubilation as the students and their teachers celebrated the school’s 37th anniversary in a grand style. The occasion, which was climaxed with playing football between the blind students and students from the nearby death school, was interestingly witnessed by a cross-section of the community dwellers. The Friday’s indoor ceremony was also attended by an array of government officials, who mainly came from the Ministries of Health and Social Welfare, and Education as well as representatives from institutions that are giving helping hands to the institution. The School for the Blind located in Mango Town, Virginia, outside Monrovia is run under the direct supervision of the Ministry of Education (MOE) in collaboration with authorities at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOH/SW.) The institution was established on February 26, 1977 through a launch of a pilot project initiated by the MOE and MOH/SW in partnership with the Helen Keller International. Since that time, the school has been functioning under the motto: “With our Seeing Hands, We Shall Overcome.” Like any other institutions in Liberia, its fenced-in campus suffered the damaging effects of the country’s decade-long crisis, which left the authority and students spread out. This and other factors contributed to the delay in the celebration of its 37th anniversary until Friday, March 29, “because of several factors that included a lack of money to meet other expectations, but thanks to Providence for the intervention of authorities at the MOE that provided the needed amount of money for the successful holding of the program.Earlier in her keynote address on the theme, “Changing what it Means to be Blind,” the deputy Health Minister for Planning, Research and Development, Yah Mantor Zolia, challenged the students and their administrators to consider blindness as ordinary disability, which does not exclude those afflicted from achieving in life. Relating to the life of a little blind boy, Benjamin Underwood, to the students, Mrs. Zolia said that in the life of the boy, there were purposes. That was how she cautioned the students to follow Little Underwood example by being focus to go through the academic struggle and attain the level of education and skills in trade, “because anyone who suffered blindness is rehabilitated to take on the societal responsibilities at certain level of education.” According to her, despite being blind, Little Underwood was enabled to map a detailed psychological or metal plan of his surroundings; something she urged any of the students to also do, “because they too, like Little Underwood, can conquer the world of darkness by going through the rigor of education.” Another blind person who Mrs. Zolia urged the student to copy the example in life was Helen Keller–who was both blind and deaf. She told the students and their administrators that Helen overcame visually insurmountable (impossible) obstacles to live an extraordinary life.“Character cannot be developed in ease and quitetude, only through experience of trials and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved, Mrs. Zolia quoted one of her memorable phrases from one of Helen’s published books to the delight of the blind students.On that note, she admonished the students to redefine blindness through their respective individual attitude, the social support (education, training) and or daring vision where they would in turn, be valuable to the society.     Madam Zolia also challenged the visually impaired students not to reduce themselves by becoming street beggars, but to overcome their condition to pursue education to the fullest.“Do not depend on material support or handouts, but to seek education to realize your God-given potentials, because to have an insight without the necessary visual ability does not inspire anything in life,” Madam Zolia urged. For the Principal of the School, Jackson M. Suah, the event was put off until Friday, March 29, “because of hurtles that characterized the earlier planning stages.” He said that the pending activities included field day; an event that involved the visually impaired students playing football, kickball, running track and field, and other activities that involved using physical strength with other students in the community.Other activities that accompanied the just-ended celebration, according to Mr. Suah, included holding a lecture series with a focus on HIV/AIDS and preventable diseases–specifically those found in the tropics that are likely to affect the students.  Apart from holding the program, Mr. Suah disclosed that the school lacked basic equipment, such as teaching aides for the instructors, support staff, and students. Meanwhile, Mr. Suah has commended institutions like the American-based Links Incorporated, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which is a subsidiary of the World Bank, the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL), and Super Petroleum for their continued support to the institution. While, he remains grateful to these entities for helping the school, Mr. Suah asked them to once again come to the aid of the administration on the occasion of its 37th anniversary by adding up to the ongoing rehabilitation works of the campus and the anniversary focus project–soon to get underway. To contribute to the pending anniversary project, the audience, mostly members of the high table raised the amount of US$120 in cash, while others made pledges that would make the project success. However, the ongoing rehabilitation works of the campus is funded by the government through the MOE.  While on a guided tour of facilities being renovated, Mr. Suah told reporters that facilities such like the annexes of the boys and girls dormitories, the classrooms and the administration building parts of the exercise.Meanwhile, Mr. Suah has launched a project to construct a new administration annex of the school to alleviate stockpiling of their books and other important instructional materials in non-spaced room.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Liberia’s Staggering Macro-economic Woes

first_imgPolicy MotivationEconomic activities remarkably expanded in Liberia, averaging seven to eight percent growth rate over the last five years, but inherent supply-side risks are eroding the gains. Existing economic indicators of spiraling inflation, depreciating exchange rate and diverse fiscal constraints are imminent economic challenges requiring wide range of policy debates and discussions to elicit pragmatic solutions. Sustaining the growth calls for pragmatic policy actions from all strategic fronts to help mitigate ‘economic waste’ and redirect resources to productive sectors. Thus, this commentary seeks to provide a synopsis on monetary and fiscal implications of the supply-side constraints (i.e, factors that inhibit economic productivity).Supply-side and Monetary issuesLiberia’s inept ability to handle supply-side constraints is mounting the inflationary pressure. In the face of weak external demand for Liberia’s exports and escalating price of fuel, the current macroeconomic imbalance is hurting all facets of the economy. The existing structural constraints, coupled with fragile fiscal and monetary coordination, are indicative of a threat to any strong macro-economic fundamentals (high foreign reserve, domestic savings, investments, etc), which are essentially vital for a sustained resuscitation of the real sectors. Stepping up effort to improve competitiveness of exports and promote agricultural activities would tame inflation by checking on the rising prices of food. The foregoing is suggestive that monetary phenomenon, as perceived by few stakeholders, may not be the main inducement of the persistent rise in prices, rather supply-side remains the pacemaker of our staggering economy.However, the general perception appears that the monetary authority’s financial inclusion program of advancing finance to the ‘vulnerable’ businesses is influencing inflation, while others attribute the inflationary pressure to the depreciation in exchange rate, which is partly acceptable. Despite the relative exchange rate stability enjoyed in most of 2012, the economy was still exposed to inherent risk of potential depreciation in the exchange rate and high inflation due to sluggishness in priority investments to ease infrastructural constraints for a thriving real sector. In addition, the persistent current account deficit is mainly ensuing from high importation of goods (especially food and fuel) and the failure of the real sector to generate adequate foreign exchange. All of these have made the public uncertain of how long the various policies undertaken will go to dis-inflate and stabilize the economy. Aside from other external shocks, the wide spread between the exchange rate in banks and forex bureaus is underpinning an expanding parallel market that could likely increase transactions outside the banks and support inflation. Inward remittances are likely on a downward trajectory potentially due to the drawing down international staff (especially UNMIL) and slowing foreign aid. This phenomenon directly implies a high demand for dollars; the propagatory effect is leading to pass-through effect to rising prices. So, what is the policy fallback to narrow this gap?It is understandable that increased economic uncertainty provokes monetary authority to be discretionary in using unconventional monetary policy to stimulate output in Liberia. Based on the weak supply response, the monetary authority’s action of not instituting an expansionary policy is strategic, because it may influence higher inflation if production does not respond favorably to money growth. So, the current policy path of the monetary authority to support smallholders seems appropriate because of the limited interest of other financial institutions in small holders, which are the main springboard for livelihood by many downtrodden in Liberia today. The low cost credit to them (small holders) would help to boost domestic production and potentially ease the burden of inflation. The effectiveness of this policy however depends on whether significant portion of the exposures is directed at domestic activities in agriculture, furniture or other local-made products, instead of re-enforcing the high importation of goods that is already subduing the economy. In any case, a key socioeconomic implication of the policy is a reduced financial struggle on economic agents, who may use portion of the investment returns to meet other payment needs (school, rent, medical, transport, etc), including food, which are the main absorbers of low-income  households’ incentives in Liberia.Perennial intervention to contain build-up in the exchange rate pressure is also an indication of necessary utilization of monetary instrument in the short term, but it is not sustainable. The intervention mechanism, often counteracted by capital outflows and sometimes ‘public hoarding’ of foreign currency in the economy, is likely complicating the economic stability. The need to partly offset the trade deficit via other capital inflows is vital to further contain exchange rate variability. Interestingly, this would ensure that the stability of the exchange rate vis a vis the demand for United States Dollars (USD) is not as badly out of balance as the supply. The Treasury bill regime (recently launched) is a worthy monetary venture for the medium to long term to control liquidity and ease some of the imbalances, but massive education and sensitization are required to make it more effective. In addition, de-dollarization effort in terms of payments of salaries and other domestic transactions in Liberian dollars ought to be re-enforced to relieve the operational challenge on monetary policy.Fiscal policy and supply-side issuesTax mobilization has inched up, but fiscal policy still needs sound rethinking to strengthen effort in tackling development priorities that would remove supply-side bottlenecks. Increasing demand for recurrent expenditures has implications for budget deficit that propels inflation via its (deficit) financing. Given the financial constraints of the giant economies to assist Liberia with budget or program support, domestic window would remain thin to offset any budgetary shortfall. Thus, intention to raise the planned budget by more than 25% (cumulative) over the last three years may have been good, but risky due to donor fatigue and non-automation of revenue collection mechanism to ensure accuracy of revenue forecast. Thus, instituting expansionary fiscal policy without a tactful monetary policy remains a huge risk, given the perennial budget deficits endured over years.Realization of middle income cannot thrive on waste of resources and high consumption economy without sustained emphasis on production. In 2010, I stressed this point in one of my commentaries that Liberia should be wary of persistent salary increment because of the country’s limited and poor social infrastructure for earners to spend the income, fiscal difficulties of donors’ countries to support budgetary gap and the implication of increased taxes to finance the salary rise. It seems we are gradually feeling the pinch of ‘money illusion’, where households’ salaries are rising in nominal terms, but low in terms of value to venture into the market. Weak social infrastructure (school, hospitals, transportations, etc) is a reflection of high cost for the low income earners to access quality services, domestically. Fixing the macroeconomic problems, the legislature and the executive arm of government ought to understand these fundamentals that any percentage change in salary on the upward horizon puts huge pressure on the fiscal to source the fund and the monetary authorities to accommodate potential budgetary gap.Perhaps, expected returns from domestic resources such as diamond, gold, iron ore,  royalty from oil etc are motivating factors behind the increasing incentives of public workers. Let’s understand again that non-tax income, especially the ones emanating from mineral resources are non-deterministic in many perspectives (price fluctuation, low demand, resource depletion, etc), and therefore not a good instrument to consider for increasing the budget. Unless the country has stabilization fund where fixed proportion from mineral income is saved periodically for intervention, direct inclusion of all natural resource income into the budget is a high risk that we have often endured.ConclusionIn concluding, the existing macroeconomic imbalance could haunt Liberia in the short and medium term if macroeconomic policy efforts are not urgently pursued by fiscal and monetary authorities in their actions to reduce supply-side constraints, and to consider adoption of ‘inflation targeting lite’ in the medium term, which would obligate both authorities to control inflation. In the short term, fiscal effort should entail rapid reduction of expenditure wastes, while the monetary should continue to keep interest rate low/steady and prioritize local-made business ventures in its financial inclusivity program.About the AuthorDukily is a senior economist at the West African Monetary Agency (WAMA) based in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The views expressed in this commentary do not represent WAMA.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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A New Year, A Clean Slate?

first_img(Overheard in the bank queue while waiting to receive salaries.)“Papi, you don’t have to wait in the queue. I’m sure if you go to the front they will let you inside.”“Don’t worry, my son, let me wait while I still have strength.”“But, uncle, I remember when you were living abroad. Why did you return to Africa with all these terrible wars? I’m raising my children to get their educations, escape overseas, and never come back.”“Well, I felt that when the war ended, there might be a chance for renewal.  During the kinds of wars we’ve seen instigated across Africa, the collective consciousness of the people is subjected to a kind of “scorched earth” treatment. What is left can be seen as a “clean slate” – a big, new, shiny blackboard. We could rewrite, reseed, recover the best of African traditions and build on them.”“Ol’ man, you still think that way?”“Not exactly, my son. What I found was when the imperial powers decide to destroy a nation, a society, a culture; the strong nationalist voices are assassinated first. Only the pacified leaders and their zombie followers are in place to implement the imperial will. All the traditional culture is buried under the rubble of war and then even further buried under the imperial super-structure built atop the rubble. And cultural renewal is not usually given prominence in the rebuilding process.As soon as the “clean slate” is visible through the smoke of destruction, action takes place rapidly. First come the destroyers themselves with their weapons; hunting and gathering the choice areas on the “slate” (landscape) and forcibly securing them. Then they bring the lackey government officials hunting and gathering for their masters who assign them positions on the “slate”. Next enter the foreign opportunists hunting and gathering the cheapest, poorest quality goods and services to sell to those already in place and those to come. The local opportunists are then allowed to hunt and gather. They bring scams and schemes to take direct advantage of their fellow country people.”“Is there any room on the “slate” for the rest of us – those who are not hunters?”“Yes! On the big blackboard that was so clean and shiny for a brief moment in time, it seems the ancestors have preserved a small and beautiful section for us, the planters/harvesters. Some of us have already found our spot on a “slate”. And although our areas might be idyllic and nestled in our own rich, natural resources; finding other planters and harvesters is not easy. We are surrounded by hunters and gatherers – just like anywhere else on this planet. You may see that spark of light in the eye of a farmer in the village – an exciting experience, but I’ve learned that nurturing that spark is critical and time sensitive.And to find planters and harvesters among those educated in the western system is also rare. When we meet them we treasure and work to form a lasting bond with them. We give thanks for the planters and harvesters that will form our “redeemers network” all over the world.All over Africa there are small groups of redeemers preserving our cultural life-force through our music, dance, visual arts, oral arts and our literature. Don’t you want to join our work on the not-so “clean slate”? I welcome you!”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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In the Wake of Alarming Cases of the Deadly Ebola Virus in Cape Mount…

first_imgThe co-chair of the National Task Force on Ebola in Grand Cape Mount County, Dr. Julius Garbo, has declared Jenewonbe in Tewor District as the epicenter,  with over 35 suspected cases in the area and its environs.Speaking to newsmen this Wednesday at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare office in the Grand Cape Mount County, Dr. Garbo disclosed that there have been more alarming cases in the county, with over 105 suspected cases.According to the co-chair, the abandonment of health facilities by health practitioners on the basis  of demanding risk benefits was a serious problem in containing the deadly Ebola virus and saving lives. “We need more logistics,financial support and available health workers in fighting the virus, as well as therecruitment of additional workers to work in the new ETU and holding center. We have only one functional ambulance in the county with many nonfunctional health facilities, including the St. Timothy Government Hospital,” he lamented.Dr. Garbo disclosed that  burial and sensitization teams, along with the medical team have been  set up and are working in various communities to provide awareness on Ebola to ensure that the virus is contained.He cited as some of the challenges facing the task force the continued closure ofLofa Bridge Clinic, M’balomaClinic, SinjeHealth Center and the St. Timothy Government Hospital in Robertsport.Dr. Garbo said he was working closely with officers in charge (OICs)  of these health facilities to encourage health workerstoward the reopening of these closed health facilities in the county.  We are striving to encourage the health workersto return to work.Dr. Garbo explained that  there have been 15 deaths in September, includingconfirmed, suspected and probable cases, alongwith previous deaths in July and August.“We have identifiedand deployed 32 screeners of 16 key crossing points and procured 16 thermo scanners and 32 sets of rain gears.  We have also set up an investigation team to fight the virus. We have also trained over 200 people in contact  tracing.”He further explained that, in support of the fight against the deadly communicable disease in the county, they provided essential drugs, medical and sanitary supplies, including personal protective equipment to health facilities.“We have also identified land for the Ebola treatment unit, andthe clearing is ongoing by the Sime Darby Company.  Wehope that we can complete that soon and continue to be robust in the fight against this terrible disease.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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