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Information Technology & Cyber Security /
« on: February 22, 2020, 01:53:44 PM »

Majority of licensed Pogos failed to pay P50B in taxes in 2019 — BIR official
By: Christia Marie Ramos - Reporter / @CMRamosINQ / 05:06 PM February 11, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Majority of the 60 licensed Philippine offshore gaming operators (Pogos) failed to pay the government an estimated total of P50 billion in withholding income and franchise taxes in 2019, an official from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) told senators Tuesday.

During the Senate labor committee hearing into the influx of illegal Pogo workers in the country, Atty. Sixto Dy Jr. from the BIR Office of the Deputy Commission for Operations disclosed that all foreign-based Pogo licensees are not paying their franchise tax.

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“One hundred percent of the offshore-based licensees are not paying franchise tax. All of them,” Dy told the Senate panel.

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Miscellaneous / When Voyager 1 overtook Pioneer 10
« on: February 22, 2020, 02:38:01 AM »
Update on Pioneer 10
17 February 1998
J. A. Van Allen

About a year ago the National Aeronautics and Space Administration announced the formal termination of the extended mission of Pioneer 10 as of 31 March 1997. On 3 March 1997, the 25th anniversary of the launching of Pioneer 10 was celebrated in Washington, DC at NASA Headquarters and at the National Air and Space Museum. I was among those who gave eulogies for the truly pioneering achievements of this Ames Research Center spacecraft to Jupiter and the outer heliosphere.

The services of the outside contractor for Pioneer 10 operations at the Ames Research Center were, in fact, terminated on 31 March 1997. But, by virtue of informal support by the Deep Space Network and the Ames Research Center, Pioneer 10 has continued to yield valuable data on cosmic-ray intensity in the outer heliosphere throughout 1997 and is expected to do so through at least early summer of 1998. The r.f. telemetry link margin, at 16 bits per second, is still satisfactory and the on-board electrical power from the four radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) is adequate to operate all essential spacecraft systems plus the University of Iowa's cosmic-ray instrument. A precession maneuver to adjust the pointing of the axis of the spacecraft's parabolic antenna was successfully executed on 3 February 1998.

A special scientific objective during 1998 is to learn whether the cosmic-ray intensity starts to diminish from its 1997 maximum as solar activity increases or whether it increases further to signal approach to the modulation boundary of the heliosphere in the antapex direction.

Until 17 February 1998, the heliocentric radial distance of Pioneer 10 has been greater than that of any other manmade object. But late on that date Voyager 1's heliocentric radial distance, in the approximate apex direction, equaled that of Pioneer 10 at 69.419 AU. Thereafter, Voyager 1's distance will exceed that of Pioneer 10 at the approximate rate of 1.016 AU per year.

United States of America / Mk 53 Decoy Launching System (DLS)
« on: February 22, 2020, 02:08:57 AM »
The MK 53 Decoy Launching System (DLS) (Nulka) is a rapid response Active Expendable Decoy (AED) System capable of providing highly effective defense for ships against modern Anti-Ship Missiles. Developed in cooperation with Australia, Nulka means 'be quick' in the Australian Aboriginal dialect. It is intended to counter a wide spectrum of present and future radar-guided Anti-Ship Missiles (ASMs). The system can either be integrated with the Combat System or used with the stand-alone Fire Control System. The MK 53 DLS contains up to six Nulka Launchers, associated Processor Power Supplies and a Decoy Launch Processor. It can be integrated with the legacy MK 36 DLS or stand alone. After launch, the Nulka decoy radiates a large, ship-like radar cross section while flying a trajectory that lures ASMs away from their intended targets. Australia developed the hovering rocket while the U.S. developed the electronic payload. The U.S. and Australia have developed their own fire control system. Nulka can be used for stand-alone ship protection, or as part of a multi-layer defense system. With the ever-changing complexity of Anti-Ship Missiles, Nulka can be continually upgraded in order to provide protection to the Fleet. Likely changes will include technology advancements as well as tactical and technical changes to counter the threat.
Anti-Air Warfare (AAW)
Nulka received approval for full-rate production in January 1999. Installation began on U.S. and Australian warships in September 1999. As of 2018, the MK 53 DLS is installed on more than 122 U.S. ships, along with the Australian Navy and will be in service well into the 21st century.


The Philippine Railway Institute (PRI) of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), has gained FULL SUPPORT from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED)

In a statement, CHED conveyed its commitment to provide incentives for continuing education of the personnel that will run the railway sector and develop university-university linkages in railway research and development.

Likewise, CHED Chairman J. Prospero De Vera III expressed his gratitude and lauded the firm resolve of Secretary Tugade to put PRI in place, to further develop the capabilities of the railway personnel.

"CHED would like to thank DOTr Secretary Art Tugade for his leadership in establishing the PRI and for inviting CHED to be part of this initiative to develop the manpower needed in running our railway system. More importantly, the Comission lauds the initiative of Secretary Tugade in expanding the scope of PRI's work to include research and development, so that top Philippine universities can link with Japanese universities to do researches that will address problems in railway development," Chairman De Vera said.

Envisioned to complement the massive railway network that is being built under the Duterte Administration’s "Build, Build, Build" Program, the PRI is being established as the planning, implementing and regulatory agency for human resources development in the railways sector.


BRP Jose Rizal to lead PH contingent in Int'l Fleet Review
By Priam Nepomuceno  February 20, 2020, 4:32 pm

MANILA — The country's first missile frigate, the BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150), will lead the Philippine Navy (PN) contingent to the International Fleet Review (IFR) off the waters of Manila Bay in May.

"We are expecting our first frigate, the Jose Rizal class frigate. Initially, we are expecting that ship to be here by about the third or fourth (week) of April. So if the IFR is May 21, we expect the Jose Rizal-class frigate to lead the convoy and the reviewing ships will be our Tarlac-class landing-dock," PN flag-officer-in-command Rear Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo said in an interview with the Philippine News Agency Wednesday afternoon.

Bacordo said the IFR will be held off Manila Bay near Corregidor and Bataan. Since the Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS) will coincide with the PN founding anniversary on May 20, he said that participating Navy heads will be invited to their Navy Ball.

BRP Jose Rizal is presently conducting its last and sixth sea trials off South Korean waters which is expected to be concluded sometime this week. Once these tests are concluded, the ship will start preparations to go home.

The IFR is one of the highlights of the WPNS which the Philippines is hosting for the first time from May 19 to 21.

The WPNS aims to increase cooperation and the ability to operate together, as well as to build trust and confidence between navies by providing a framework to enable the discussion of maritime issues of mutual interest, the exchange of information, the practice and demonstration of capabilities, and the exchange of personnel.

Aside from the Philippines, other WPNS member nations include Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Fiji, France, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Peru, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, the United States, and Vietnam.

Meanwhile, Bacordo said they are hoping that President Rodrigo R. Duterte, as the commander-in-chief, would grace the event as of guest of honor.

Meanwhile, PN public affairs office chief, Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas said 13 nations have so far confirmed attendance to the WPNS while another 15 countries committed to send ships to the IFR as of Wednesday.

Bacordo earlier said he estimates at least 24 navies and their representatives to attend both events. (PNA)

Envoy: China loans for PH infra projects to continue despite COVID-19
By: Ben O. de Vera - Reporter / @bendeveraINQPhilippine Daily Inquirer / 11:29 AM February 18, 2020

MANILA, Philippines–Even as the Chinese economy takes a hit from the COVID-19 outbreak, Beijing’s top diplomat in Manila has assured that the economic giant will continue to extend loans and grants for big-ticket infrastructure projects in the Philippines.

“Although we are fighting the epidemic in China, that has not reduced our commitments internationally. We will continue to push ahead with our cooperation with the rest of the world, including our neighbor, the Philippines,” Ambassador Huang Xilian told members of the Association for Philippines-China Understanding (APCU) Monday.

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However, Huang said the travel ban imposed by the Philippines to and from China had already been affecting the progress of some Chinese-funded projects here.

The envoy said Chinese engineers who spent Chinese New Year back home had been unable to return to the Philippines after the outbreak happened.

Despite a $9-billion commitment to finance flagship projects belonging to the Duterte administration’s ambitious “Build, Build, Build” program, China had signed with the Philippines only two loan agreements to date—$62.1 million for the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project, and $211.2 million for the New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam.

China had also given away grants to build bridges along Pasig River and other infrastructure in Mindanao, including the rehabilitation and reconstruction in war-torn Marawi City.

Also, the first phase of the Mindanao Railway Project across Davao region will be financed by China.

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DOTr reports that public consultations regarding the Mindanao Railway in Tagum, Digos, Carmen, Sta Cruz, and Panabo have all been completed

Flat Tops / Carrier Ford completes aircraft compatibility testing
« on: February 16, 2020, 03:38:51 AM »
Carrier Ford completes aircraft compatibility testing
Michael Fabey, Washington, DC - Jane's Navy International
05 February 2020

General Discussion / Test-firing of BRP Jose Rizal's main gun successful
« on: February 16, 2020, 12:09:29 AM »
Test-firing of BRP Jose Rizal's main gun successful
By Priam Nepomuceno  February 14, 2020, 11:25

MANILA -- Test-firing of the 76-mm main gun of the country's first purposedly designed missile frigate, BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150), was successfully concluded off South Korean waters on Wednesday.

Philippine Navy (PN) public affairs office chief, Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas, said the test-firing of BRP Jose Rizal's Oto Melara Super Rapid main gun successfully went off during sea trials as per reports from PN representatives who witnessed the test.

"The recent one was yesterday (Wednesday) and that is our fifth sea trial. We conducted a structural test firing of our main gun (76mm Oto Melara Super Rapid SR main gun) with 12 rounds of ammunition. This is to check the effect of the main gun in the structure of the ship," Roxas said in a message late Thursday.

Roxas said the sixth sea trials involving the ship's combat systems (weapons and sensors), integrated platform management system and endurance test of the frigate will commence on February 17.

The third and fourth sea trials took place in the third week of January that involves testing the communications and navigational equipment of the BRP Jose Rizal and also went successfully.

The ship's first and second sea trials took place in November and December last year, respectively, which involves the vessel's general seaworthiness and propulsion and associated systems, including its radars.

BRP Jose Rizal has a maximum designed speed of 25 knots and a cruising speed of 15 knots and a range of 4,500 nautical miles.

The sea trials are the last phase of construction prior to the frigate’s delivery to the Philippines scheduled tentatively in April or May this year.

BRP Jose Rizal was launched at the Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyard in Ulsan May 23, 2019. The contract for the BRP Jose Rizal and its sister ship, the BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151), is placed at PHP16 billion with another PHP2 billion for weapon systems and munitions.

These ships are capable of conducting anti-air warfare (AAW), anti-surface warfare (ASUW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and electronic warfare (EW) operations. (PNA)


Israel will not be buying the V-22 Osprey any time soon
Posted on February 14, 2020 by Arie Egozi

Israel has scrapped a plan to purchase the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey for the country’s air force amid budgetary troubles and a renewed focus on buying fighter jets and aerial refuelers, according to senior Israeli defense officials.

Given recent budget turbulence and the impending installation of a new government, the Israeli ministry of defense decided that the V-22 purchase will be frozen “until more resources are available,” according to senior officials.

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Philippines formally ends Visiting Forces Agreement with US
By Eimor Santos, CNN Philippines
Published Feb 11, 2020 1:09:21 PM

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 11) — The Philippines has finally sent the United States a notice to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement, marking the start of the 180-day period from when the two-decade military pact will be effectively scrapped.

Malacañang on Tuesday confirmed that the document has been signed by Foreign Affairs Secretary Tedoro "Teddy Boy" Locsin, Jr. and sent to the US government.

< Edited >

After the Palace's press conference, Locsin announced on Twitter that Deputy Chief of Mission John Law of the US Embassy in Manila has received the notice of termination.

"As a diplomatic courtesy there will be no further factual announcements following this self-explanatory development," Locsin said.

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On Friday (Feb. 7), Inquirer witnessed Air Force jets buzz the skies overhead in this small rural town — their engines’ roar an all-too-familiar sound to residents living near Cesar Basa Air Base, home of the Philippine Air Force’s (PAF) mainstay fighters.

The sight and sound of jets ripping the skies may be now ordinary here that most residents outside their home are no longer drawn to look up the sky, but unaware of the display of American air power and the decades of security alliance this has come to represent.

A distinct louder-than-usual rumble betrays its source—the US Air Force’s F-16 fighter jets, flying in pairs with FA-50 lead-in fighter trainers of the PAF.

Bilateral Air Contingent Exchange – Philippines (BACE-P) — a week-long joint military exercise aimed at improving interoperability and boosting the air defense capabilities of the two long-time security allies.

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Sibal new Army acting chief for reservist, retiree affairs
By Priam Nepomuceno  February 11, 2020, 12:35 pmShare

MANILA -- Col. Francis Carter Sibal formally assumed as the new Philippine Army (PA) acting assistant chief of staff for reservist and retiree affairs (OG-9) on Monday.

PA chief of staff Brig. Gen. Rowen Tolentino led the change of office ceremony at the PA Headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, where Sibal replaced Col. Danilo Cariño, who will be assuming as the new deputy chief of the Tarlac-based Training and Doctrine Command.

Prior to his appointment, Sibal served as the executive officer and deputy chief of the PA's Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Reservist and Retiree Affairs.

Sibal finished his Armed Forces of the Philippines Command and General Staff Course (AFP CGSC) in 2013.

He also holds a master’s degree in Public Management Major in Development Security from the Development Academy of the Philippines.

Meanwhile, among the OG-9’s accomplishments under Cariño’s leadership were the commissioning of 391 reserve officers and the membership of 134,048 enlisted individuals to the Reserve Force.

The PA was also able to conduct its first Philippine Military Reserve Component’s Mobilization Exercise (MoBex) and activate its 906th Community Defense Center (Provisional) as well as the 9th RCDG, Army Reserve Command.

“We did our best under the prevailing circumstances to make things happen not only in sustaining the development of the Reserve Force, as part of the total force concept in times of war and expand the capability and capacity of Ready Reserve Units for disaster response as well as its function to internal security operations,” Cariño said. (PNA)

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