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Space / Kerbal Space Program
« on: September 24, 2020, 03:12:32 PM »

Duterte affirms 2016 arbitral win by PH vs. China before UN
By David Tristan Yumol, CNN Philippines

Published Sep 23, 2020 5:00:30 AM

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 23) – President Rodrigo Duterte affirmed before the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) the Philippines' win against China in a 2016 ruling over the South China Sea.

"The Philippines affirms that commitment in the South China Sea in accordance with UNCLOS and the 2016 Arbitral Award. The Award is now part of international law, beyond compromise and beyond the reach of passing governments to dilute, diminish or abandon," said Duterte in his pre-recorded speech aired during the general debate of the 75th United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday (Philippine time).

Duterte, who appeared for the first time in the UNGA in his four-year presidency, said the Philippines rejects any attempts to undermine the said arbitral ruling and assured the country's adherence to the UN Charter and the 1982 Manila Declaration on the Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes.

The President also thanked nations who supported the 2016 ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) favoring the Philippines over China's sweeping claims in the South China Sea.

< Edited >

Duterte to discuss human rights, territorial row in first UN General Assembly appearance
By Melissa Luz Lopez, CNN Philippines

Published Sep 21, 2020 4:25:52 PM

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 21) — President Rodrigo Duterte will address the United Nations General Assembly this week, where he is expected to give his take on hot issues like the war on drugs and the Philippines' territorial row with China.

Chief of Presidential Protocol Robert Borje said Monday that Duterte will be joining the global body's 75th general debate this week, which will be held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the President's first time to face the UNGA during his term, as he refused previous opportunities to fly to New York.

"President Duterte will articulate principled positions of the Philippines on a wide range of issues. I do not want to preempt the President but these are the ones of key importance to the country," Borje added. "That would be the global response to the coronavirus pandemic, peace and security — including terrorism and geopolitical developments in the Asia Pacific, sustainable development and climate change, the rule of law, justice and human rights, including the situation of migrants workers and refugees, as well as peacekeeping and United Nations reforms."

< Edited >

NIST Cloud Computing Program - NCCP


Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. This cloud model promotes availability and is composed of five essential characteristics (On-demand self-service, Broad network access, Resource pooling, Rapid elasticity, Measured Service); three service models (Cloud Software as a Service (SaaS), Cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS), Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)); and, four deployment models (Private cloud, Community cloud, Public cloud, Hybrid cloud). Key enabling technologies include: (1) fast wide-area networks, (2) powerful, inexpensive server computers, and (3) high-performance virtualization for commodity hardware.

The Cloud Computing model offers the promise of massive cost savings combined with increased IT agility. It is considered critical that government and industry begin adoption of this technology in response to difficult economic constraints. However, cloud computing technology challenges many traditional approaches to datacenter and enterprise application design and management. Cloud computing is currently being used; however, security, interoperability, and portability are cited as major barriers to broader adoption. 

The long term goal is to provide thought leadership and guidance around the cloud computing paradigm to catalyze its use within industry and government. NIST aims to shorten the adoption cycle, which will enable near-term cost savings and increased ability to quickly create and deploy enterprise applications. NIST aims to foster cloud computing systems and practices that support interoperability, portability, and security requirements that are appropriate and achievable for important usage scenarios.

Mindanao Railway, tiniyak ng DOTr na tuloy sa susunod na taon
By RadyoMaN Manila -Sep. 15, 2020 at 3:21pm43
Tiniyak ng Transportation Department sa Kamara na tuloy na tuloy ang Mindanao Railway Project sa susunod na taon.

Sa pagdinig ng 2021 budget ng Department of Transportation (DOTr) sa House Committee on Appropriations, siniguro ni Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade na matutuloy ang pagtatayo ng ₱82.9 billion na first phase ng Mindanao Railway Project.

Sinabi naman ni Assistant Secretary for Project Implementation-Mindanao Cluster Eymard Eje na nasa proseso pa lamang sila ng procurement para sa project management consultant.

Nagkaroon lamang aniya ng delay sa proyekto dahil hinintay pa nila mula sa Chinese company ang shortlist ng bidders para sa contractor ng nasabing proyekto at dahil na rin sa COVID-19 pandemic.

< Edited >

Mindanao railway’s first segment secures 2019 funding
October 18, 2018599

DAVAO CITY — The funds for the first segment of the Mindanao Railway System (MRS) project covering the Tagum-Davao-Digos (TDD) area is already included under the General Appropriations Act (GAA) of 2019.

This was according to Dr. Adrian Tamayo, public relations head of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), who told Tuesday’s Davao Business Forum that the TDD segment costs PHP126 billion.

Of the total project cost, PHP89-billion budget is funded under 2018 GA, and PHP30 billion for GAA 2019 under the Department of Transportation (DOTr). The PHP7 billion would come from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

The TDD segment has a total length of 102 kilometers for the two-track electric train system, he said. It includes alignment and stations located in Tagum City, Carmen, Panabo City, Tibungco in Gimbang Davao City towards the Diversion Road to Toril and the Davao del Sur areas in Sta. Cruz and Digos City.

Tamayo said the ground works will be done in phases, adding the other permitting requirements that still needed compliance with are the Environment Clearance Certificate (ECC) and the Road Right of Way (RRW).

Tamayo said the governmet is also currently working for the establishment of a project management office here before the term of President Rodrigo Duterte ends in 2022, to ensure the continuity of the project beyond the term of the present administration. (Digna D. Banzon/PNA).

Miscellaneous / Pag-IBIG Fund
« on: September 18, 2020, 02:08:51 PM »'s%20Charter%20(Housing%20Loan%20Availment)%20-%20July%202017.pdf


The birth of Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF), more popularly known as the Pag-IBIG Fund, was an answer to the need for a national savings program and an affordable shelter financing for the Filipino worker. The Fund was established on 11 June 1978 by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 1530 primarily to address these two basic yet equally important needs. Under the said law, the Social Security System (SSS) shall administer the funds of private employees, while the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) shall administer the funds of government employees.

Less than a year after, on 1 March 1979, Executive Order No. 527 was signed. The order directed transferring the administration of the Fund to the National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC), which was one of the operating agencies of the then Ministry of Human Settlements.

Seeing the need to further strengthen the stability and viability of the two funds, Executive Order No. 538 was issued on 4 June 1979, merging the funds for private and government personnel into what is now known as the Pag-IBIG Fund. However, it was only on 14 December 1980 when Pag-IBIG was made independent from the NHMFC with the signing of PD 1752, which is recognized as the Pag-IBIG Fund Charter. With the improved law in effect, the Fund’s rule-making power was vested in its own Board of Trustees. Likewise, PD 1752 made Pag-IBIG membership mandatory for all SSS and GSIS member-employees.

Months after former President Corazon C. Aquino assumed leadership of the country, Pag-IBIG contributions were suspended from May to July 1986. On 1 August 1986, former President Aquino directed the resumption of Pag-IBIG membership under Executive Order No. 35. Membership was still on a mandatory basis but under more liberal terms. The employee and employer contribution rates were reduced, and the Maximum Fund Salary was raised from P3,000 to P5,000.

1 January 1987 marked the return of the Pag-IBIG Fund to a voluntary program under Executive Order No. 90. It was during the years as a voluntary fund that Pag-IBIG introduced innovative benefit programs that heeded the calls for expansion of membership, and addressed the immediate financial as well as housing needs of its members.

After eight years as a voluntary fund, Pag-IBIG membership reverted to mandatory on 17 June 1994 when President Fidel V. Ramos signed Republic Act 7742. The new law became effective on 1 January 1995.

More than a decade after RA 7742 was implemented, the Pag-IBIG Fund continues to be a strong partner in realizing Filipino workers’ dreams. Recognizing Pag-IBIG Fund’s contributions and the need to further strengthen its capability as the biggest source of housing finance in the country to date, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed into law Republic Act No. 9679 or the Home Development Mutual Fund Law of 2009 on 21 July 2009, and making Pag-IBIG membership mandatory for all, including Filipinos employed by foreign-based employers. Now more than ever, Filipino workers will enjoy the benefits that are available only to Pag-IBIG members.

Pag-IBIG is an acronym which stands for Pagtutulungan sa Kinabukasan: Ikaw, Bangko, Industriya at Gobyerno. To this day, the Pag-IBIG Fund continues to harness these four sectors of the society to work together towards providing Fund members with adequate housing through an effective savings scheme.

Anti-sub helicopters' torpedoes, missiles now in PH: Navy chief
By Priam Nepomuceno  September 18, 2020, 9:39 am

MANILA – Munitions for the major weapons system of the Philippine Navy (PN)'s two AugustaWestland (now Leonardo) AW-159 "Wildcat" anti-submarine helicopters are now in the country.

"Both the Spike-NLOS (non-line of sight) missiles and the BlueShark anti-submarine torpedoes are already 'in-country'," Navy chief, Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo said in an interview on Thursday, when asked on the status of the weapon systems of the two AW-159 helicopters.

Bacordo said deliveries of the weapons were completed in the fourth quarter last year.

Israel's Rafael Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd made Spike NLOS missile will give the AW-159s a capability to engage hostile vessels beyond visual range.

While the South Korean-made LIG Nex1 "Blue Shark" lightweight torpedoes will serve as the helicopters' anti-submarine weapon and are capable of shallow and deepwater operations and can run off to a speed of 45 knots.

Once the pilots and aircrew of the AW-159s are fully trained, Bacordo said he expects these personnel to train on the use of these weapons to gain proficiency in their handling.

The PN's two AW-159s were acquired to complement the Jose Rizal-class frigates' ASW capabilities.

The helicopters arrived in May 2019 and were commissioned in June of the same year.

The contract for the helicopters' munition, mission essential equipment, and integrated logistic support is worth PHP5.4 billion. (PNA)

Space / KURS automated rendezvous system
« on: September 18, 2020, 07:12:03 AM »
Soviet automated rendezvous and docking system overview
Hinman, Elaine M.; Bushman, David M.


The Soviets have been performing automated rendezvous and docking for many years. It has been a reliable mode of resupply and reboost. During the course of the Soviet space program, the autodocking system has evolved. The earlier IGLA system was replaced with the current KURS system. Both systems are radar-based. The variation in strength between antennas is used for computing relative positions and attitudes. The active spacecraft has a transponder. From discussions with Soviet engineers, it seems the docking process can be controlled either from the ground or from the active (docking) spacecraft's onboard computer. The unmanned Progress resupply ships regularly dock with the current MIR Space Station. The Soyuz T spacecraft incorporated the IGLA system, and the later Soyuz TM and Progress M Series spacecraft incorporated the KURS. The MIR Complex has both systems installed. The rear port and the KVANT docking port have the IGLA system installed to support earlier Progress ships that use the IGLA. The first Soyuz TM docking occurred in May of 1986, while the first Progress M docked in September of 1989.

Five Abu Sayyaf killed, two government troops wounded in Sibugay clash
By Kalinaw News
September 9, 2020

CAMP SANG-AN, ZDS | Five Abu Sayyaf member were killed and two government troops were wounded in a Joint AFP/PNP pursuit operation in Brgy. Pres. Roxas, RT Lim, Zamboanga Sibugay Province, 2:00 a.m. Wednesday, September 9, 2020.

“This is the result of our pursuit operations against the armed elements of Abral Abdusalam and Sahibad Group led by Furuji Indama after our encounter in Barangay La Paz, Alicia, Zamboanga Sibugay dawn of Sunday, September 6, 2020”, said Lt. Col. Don Templonuevo, 44th Infantry Battalion Commander.

Government troops were also able to recover four high-powered firearms after the 30-minute clash against the 10 Abu Sayyaf Group member.

Pursuit operation is still on-going and the cadaver of the slain terrorist is still unidentified as of this posting.

< Edited >

General Discussion / Solon assures sustained funding for AFP modernization
« on: September 17, 2020, 11:55:22 AM »
Solon assures sustained funding for AFP modernization
September 6, 2020, 2:01 pm

MANILA – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program is getting an extra PHP8 billion in 2021 to restore the bulk of the program funds earlier “repurposed” for the fight against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), Deputy Speaker and Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel said on Sunday.

“Considering the foreign threats we are facing in the West Philippine Sea, we are assuring the AFP of sustained funding support for its modernization projects, despite the coronavirus pandemic,” Pimentel said.

In the proposed PHP4.5-trillion national budget for 2021, Pimentel said the AFP modernization program is getting PHP33 billion in fresh funding, or PHP8 billion higher than the usual PHP25-billion annual allocation.

The AFP modernization program was earmarked PHP25 billion this year, but Department of National Defense (DND) earlier returned PHP9.4 billion in “unobligated” program funds to the National Treasury to help the government’s fight against Covid-19.

Unobligated funds are appropriations that remain uncommitted by contract.

Pimentel is a staunch backer of the Visiting Forces Agreement between the Philippines and the United States. The accord is in support of the Mutual Defense Treaty between the two countries.

Pimentel also has bill seeking to reinforce the military by giving the AFP chief of staff a more stable 36-month tour of duty.

The military has acquired multiple new weapons systems and capabilities pursuant to the Revised 15-year AFP Modernization Program established by law in 2013.

The latest acquisitions include two guided-missile warships worth a combined PHP16 billion for the Philippine Navy.

The frigates BRP Jose Rizal and BRP Antonio Luna are capable of launching missiles against hostile surface warships and aircraft as well as torpedoes against underwater targets.

Built by South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd., the BRP Jose Rizal was put into service in July, while the BRP Antonio Luna is due for delivery this month.

The Navy also plans to acquire two heavier warships – missile-armed corvettes – worth a total of PHP30 billion.

Last month, the DND also signed the contract for the Philippine Air Force’s acquisition of a PHP5.5-billion Air Surveillance Radar System from Japan’s Mitsubishi Electric Corp. (PR)

General Discussion / BRP Gabriela Silang sailing demonstration in Manila Bay
« on: September 17, 2020, 02:22:31 AM »

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) held a sailing demonstration of the BRP Gabriela Silang (OPV-8301) at the vicinity waters 25 nautical miles off Port of Manila today, 15 September 2020.

PCG Commandant, Admiral George V Ursabia Jr personally welcomed Department of National Defense - Philippines (DND) Secretary Delfin N Lorenzana and Philippine Navy (PN) Flag-Officer-In-Command, Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo J Bacordo who witnessed the activity.

OCEA Country Director, Mr. Jacques Briand requested the PCG's assistance in the conduct of a sailing demonstration to showcase the capabilities of the BRP Gabriela Silang (OPV-8301) to Secretary Lorenzana and Vice Admiral Bacordo who are planning on the further modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

The BRP Gabriela Silang (OPV-8301) is the largest and most advanced aluminum hull offshore patrol vessel in the world constructed by the OCEA — the leading aluminum shipbuilding company in France.

This 84-meter vessel is designed to meet the demanding mandates of the PCG on maritime law enforcement, maritime search and rescue, maritime security, maritime safety, and marine environmental protection.

It is capable of transporting approximately 500 people at one time and performs beyond its contractual specification of 20 knots of speed. It has a range of 8,000 nautical miles at 15 knots and an endurance of up to five weeks of non-stop operations. Above all, it has an excellent seakeeping ability and maneuverability, on top of the great comfort it offers for people onboard.

General Discussion / S-76 #202 crashes
« on: September 17, 2020, 02:17:59 AM »


A Sikorsky S-76A air ambulance rotary aircraft from the 505th Search and Rescue Group of the Philippine Air Force with tail number 202 crashed at vic  51N  UH  79560  35778 Brgy Upper Manggas, Lantawan, Basilan Province at around 1300H today 16 September 2020.
The PAF S-76A Sikorsky air ambulance helicopter, which departed from Edwin Andrew Air Base (EAAB) at 12:33 p.m. was heading for Jolo, Sulu, to pick up a patient when it crashed in Upper Manggas, Lantawan.

Troops of the 4th Special Forces Battalion are at the crash site located at a rubber plantation in Manggas, Lantawan conducting retrieval of the cadavers of the two (2) Airforce Pilots and two (2) Airforce Aircrews.

According to the people on the ground, inclement weather may be the cause of the tragic incident, but the air crash investigation team of the airforce will look at all the angles of this incident.

This S-76A Sikorsky helicopter with tail number 202 is just one of the few remaining AUH-76 Firebirds acquired in 1983, but was delivered in the Philippines in 1984. It was a former black lady of Sangley before it became Angel 202.
We cannot disclose the names of the pilots and aircrew of angel flight 202 yet because the Philippine Air Force is still reaching out to inform the families of our fallen aviators.

A very sad news... prayers for the four brave souls of angel flight 202.

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