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Sunday, February 18, 2024

Rare Historic Document Unveiled: 1899 Declaration of Philippine Independence from the United States

Ms. Amanda Williams, Director of the MacArthur Memorial Museum and Consul General Iric Arribas with the Philippine Declaration of Independence on display.

In a poignant ceremony marking the convergence of two nations’ histories, the General Douglas MacArthur Memorial Museum unveiled an original document declaring the independence of the Philippines from the United States. Signed by President Emilio Aguinaldo, the declaration was made immediately before the Philippine-American War, which commenced 125 years ago. 

Consul General Iric Cruz Arribas, in his opening remarks, underscored the significance of the occasion, stating, “This document symbolizes the courage and resilience of the Filipino people in our quest for self-determination. It is a testament to the enduring spirit of independence that continues to define both our nations. We are honored that the MacArthur Memorial Museum will preserve and showcase this invaluable piece of Philippine history.” 

On stage during the unveiling ceremony (left to right) Col. Arthur M. Romanillos Jr., Philippine Army Attache, Dr. Cynthia Romero, Chairman of the Council of United Filipino Organizations of Tidewater, Consul General Arribas, Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander, Virginia Representative Bobby Scott, and Mr. Max Frias of the Philippine American National Historical Society- Hampton Roads Chapter.

Ms. Amanda Williams, Director of the MacArthur Memorial Museum, emphasized the document’s role in education and reflection. “The Declaration of Philippine Independence, housed within the museum’s esteemed collection, will serve as a focal point for deepening understanding of the complex historical narratives that connect the Philippines and the United States,” she remarked. 

Following the unveiling, a symposium on the Philippine-American War, organized by the museum in partnership with the Filipino American National Historical Society- Hampton Roads Chapter, provided further insight into this shared history. 

Consul General Iric Cruz Arribas delivering a message on behalf of the Philippine Embassy Washington DC and Philippine Secretary of Defense Gilberto C. Teodoro Jr.

The event, attended by dignitaries such as Virginia Congressman Robert Scott and Norfolk City Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander, along with historians and leaders from the Filipino community in Hampton Roads, served as a meaningful reminder of the enduring bonds between the Philippines and the United States. 

The MacArthur Memorial has also released a new multi-media guide that provides a look at some of the Spanish-American War and Philippine-American War items in the museum collection.

View here:


Thursday, February 8, 2024

Mayor Adams Unveils New Anti-Trash Technology, Launches Next Phase Of City’s War On Trash

Administration Unveils New Trash Collection Truck Four Years Ahead of Schedule,  Allowing for On-Street Containers at Large Residential Buildings 

Mayor Announces New Data-Driven Strategy to Identify Best Containers for Buildings of Different Sizes 

Manhattan Community Board 9 Will Be City’s First Fully-Containerized District Next Year 

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) Commissioner Jessica Tisch on Thursday, February 1, made two major announcements that will help get all of New York City’s trash off the streets and into secure, rodent-resistant containers, once and for all. The two announcements — a new, automated, side-loading garbage truck and a new data-driven containerization strategy — taken together represent the largest single turning point in the ongoing effort to make New York City the cleanest major city in the United States, and affirm a commitment in Mayor Adams’ 2024 State of the City address to set New York City on the course to store all trash put out for pickup in containers. Mayor Adams also announced that, thanks to today’s new announcements, Manhattan Community Board 9 will be the first district with 100 percent of its trash containerized and serviced next year. These announcements follow new data in the Preliminary Mayor’s Management Report showing that the city’s streets are getting cleaner

“The data is clear: Under our administration, New York City’s streets are cleaner. And as of this fall, thanks to the bold steps we have taken, a full 70 percent of New York City’s black bags will be off our streets and put into containers — but we’re not stopping there,” said Mayor Adams. “The new garbage truck we’re unveiling today — four years ahead of schedule — represents the future of New York City garbage collection. It means we’ll be able to containerize trash from our large residential buildings, something people didn’t believe would be possible in our dense city. And thanks to that truck and our commitment to turning our streets from mean to clean, residents of Manhattan’s Community Board 9 will be the first in the city to experience our streets free of every single black bag.” 

“Rats and black bags are heading off our streets — no room for them in a containerized New York City,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. “Thanks to the hard work of DSNY, we have a smart containerization plan that meets the diverse needs of the city. New Yorkers and visitors are getting the clean, welcoming streets they deserve.” 

“New Yorkers have been clear: they’ve had enough of the black bags occupying our sidewalks, enough of the oozing garbage juice, and enough of being told that other global cities can have something that we can’t,” said DSNY Commissioner Tisch. “This administration rejects the cynicism that says things can’t change, and the speed at which we’ve moved to change the relationship between 8.3 million New Yorkers and 44 million daily pounds of trash cannot be overstated.” 

Automated Side-Loading Truck: A New Superweapon Against Trash 

The Adams administration today unveiled an all-new, automated, side-loading garbage truck — removing a major barrier to containerizing trash from high-density residential buildings. DSNY’s 2023 “Future of Trash” report found that this type of truck is needed to service the stationary on-street containers that high-density buildings will use to containerize their trash. But less than one year ago, industry experts estimated that development of this prototype truck would take up to five years. The truck unveiled today will also allow for substantially faster collection than manual pick-up. The rapid development of this prototype — which took place in Torino, Italy and in both Hicksville and Brooklyn, New York — will be followed by substantial testing and training. 

A New Data-Driven Model

Mayor Adams today outlined a new strategy for determining the type and size of containers that will be used for buildings of different sizes. Under this model, buildings with 31 or more residential units will be required to use stationary, on-street containers for their trash, serviced by the new automated side-loading garbage truck described above. Those on-street containers will be assigned to a specific building, solely for residents of that building. Buildings with 10 to 30 units will be able to choose between stationery on-street containers and smaller wheelie bins. Buildings with one to nine residential units will be required to put their trash in individual wheelie bins starting this fall, with the first-ever official NYC Bins available for use at that time and required by all residential units with one to nine units approximately two years later, in the summer of 2026. This model was informed by a volumetric analysis of how much trash buildings of different sizes produce, on average.   

A New Timeline to Containerize a Full Community District 

Thanks to the automated, side-loading garbage truck and new containerization strategy announced today, New York City will have its first district with 100 percent of its trash containerized and serviced next year: Manhattan Community Board 9. The district is currently home to a successful containerization pilot on 10 residential blocks and at 14 schools, during which rat sighting complaints in the pilot zone dropped by 68 percent compared to the same period the prior year. 

Because the automated side-loading truck had not been available, that current 10-block pilot uses wheeled containers, which sanitation workers wheel to the back of a conventional collection truck retrofitted with a tipping mechanism. Those wheeled bins will be removed and replaced with stationary on-street containers like those used in Europe, Asia, and South America.

As this full-district pilot will require procuring new containers and new trucks, installation will begin across the entirety of Manhattan Community Board 9 in the spring of 2025. This work is already underway, and DSNY will release an RFP to procure the containers next month. DSNY will conduct the necessary environmental review this year and will engage in substantial outreach across the district. 

A timeline and process for expansion beyond Manhattan Community Board 9 will be determined based upon learnings from the pilot district.

The “Trash Revolution” Thus Far 

The implementation of the transition to automated side-loading trucks for high-density buildings and a new containerization strategy will be among the final steps in the “Trash Revolution” and the war on rats. 

  1. In October 2022, the Adams administration kicked off the Trash Revolution by changing set-out times for both residential and commercial waste from 4:00 PM — one of the earliest set-out times in the country — to 8:00 PM in April 2023, while also allowing earlier set-out if the material is in a container. This incentivization of containerization was paired with major changes to DSNY operations, picking up well over a quarter of all trash at 12:00 AM rather than 6:00 AM, particularly in high density parts of the city, and ending a practice by which up to one fifth of trash had been purposefully left out for a full day. 
  2. Later that month, DSNY published its “Future of Trash” report, the first meaningful attempt to study containerization models in New York City, and the playbook to get it done. 
  3. Last August, containerization requirements went into effect for all food-related businesses in New York City. These businesses — restaurants, delis, bodegas, bars, grocery stores, caterers, etc. — produce an outsized amount of the type of trash that attracts rats. 
  4. That same month, installation of the initial 10-block, 14-school Manhattan Community Board 9 pilot containers began.
  5. Last September, commercial containerization requirements extended to chain businesses of any type with five or more locations in New York City. These chain businesses tend to produce a large total volume of trash.
  6. Starting March 1, 2024, container requirements will go into effect for all businesses — of every type — in New York City to get their trash off the streets and into a secure bin. 
  7. Later this fall, when container requirements go into effect for low-density residential buildings — those with one to nine units — approximately 70 percent of all trash in the city will be containerized.  
  8. In the spring of 2025, installation of stationary on-street containers will begin in Manhattan Community Board 9 for the first full-district containerization pilot, serviced by new automated side-loading trucks.  

“DSNY’s steadfast commitment to containerize waste is inspired,” said Director of Citywide Rodent Mitigation Kathleen Corradi. “This progress in systematically denying rats’ food access enables our city’s mitigation efforts to gain substantial traction and achieve sustainable, long-term success. The full containerization of CB9, representing one third of the Harlem Rat Mitigation Zone, will have a significant positive impact on residents and a significant negative impact on rats.”  


Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Philippine Consulate in New York Highlights Key Initiatives in Media Hour

Consul General Senen T. Mangalile unveils the significant initiatives of the Philippine Consulate General in New York during the Media Hour with the Filipino-American media. (Photo by Cathe Aguilar)

Consul General Senen T. Mangalile unveiled significant initiatives during the Philippine Consulate General in New York’s first Media Hour of the year, held on 23 January 2024. Reflecting on the past year, Consul General Mangalile highlighted achievements and expressed gratitude for the support received since taking office.

During the Media Hour, Consul General Mangalile announced the upcoming 2024 VIP Tour scheduled from 21 to 30 July 2024, covering Manila, Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, and Bukidnon. The addition of the Mindanao leg to the tour presents exciting opportunities for more extensive interactions with local communities, contributing to the broader goal of promoting Philippine culture and heritage. Consul General Mangalile emphasized the importance of media support in promoting the tour, recognizing its potential impact on fostering cultural understanding.

The new officer designations were also introduced by the Consul General. With these changes, the Consul General emphasized the Consulate’s commitment and continuity in serving the Filipino community. He specifically highlighted the importance of delineating cultural diplomacy from community relations, noting that cultural diplomacy targets non-Filipinos while recognizing the Filipino community’s crucial role in promoting Filipino culture to a broader audience.

The Consul General also announced the full implementation of the e-payment system in the Consulate as an initiative to streamline consular services, offering efficiency and convenience for clients. Media representatives were encouraged to inform the public about this transition and its positive impact on consular services.

Looking ahead, Consul General Mangalile announced that the 10th Filipino Community General Assembly is scheduled for 24 February 2024 at the Philippine Center. He noted that the General Assembly would provide an opportunity for the Filipino American community and media to learn about the Consulate’s accomplishments and upcoming projects this year.

The Media Hour concluded with an engaging Q&A session, allowing media representatives to seek clarification and interact with the Consul General. Consul General Mangalile expressed gratitude for media support and welcomed their continued participation and support in the upcoming activities of the Consulate.


President Marcos Leads “Bagong Pilipinas” Kick-off Rally in Manila, 400k in Attendance

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. led Sunday the Bagong Pilipinas kick-off Rally at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila as he calls for unity to build a progressive nation, strong economy and secured future for Filipinos.

Speaking during the event, President Marcos said the country faces a complex and changing world, which calls for a united response to build a strong nation and economy sound.

“We cannot meet these challenges if no common purpose energizes us. We need to have a vision that moves us forward as a people united. A vision so compelling that it brings out the best in us. One that is feasible that every one of us will invest in,” Marcos told the crowd during Sunday’s event.

“We must restore faith in ourselves by taking stock of what makes us a strong people, a resilient nation. We must dig deep into our valiant past, draw strength from the heroism of our forefathers, and let this heritage of selflessness propel us forward into the future,” he said.

The Bagong Pilipinas Campaign is the overarching theme of the Marcos administration’s brand of governance and leadership, characterized by a principled, accountable, and dependable government reinforced by unified institutions of society.

It encourages every Filipino to see beyond differences and work harmoniously to build a nation that shapes a more promising future for its citizens.

Around 400,000 people attended the event, including members of the Cabinet, lawmakers, local government officials, and the general public.


Monday, January 29, 2024

Pahayag ni VP Sarah Duterte Tungkol sa Panawagan ng Pagbibitiw ni President Marcos Jr.



January 29, 2024

I have not spoken to my brother about his remarks on the President’s resignation. 

I can only surmise that Mayor Sebastian Duterte is coming from a place of brotherly love, coupled by the common sentiment that I do not deserve the despicable treatment that I am receiving from some sectors within the circle of the President.

Gayunpaman, naniniwala ako na ang boto ng taumbayan ay isang pagkakaloob ng tiwala na ako’y magtatrabaho at maninilbihan para lamang sa Pilipino. Kasama ng tiwalang ito, ang tiwalang kakayanin ko ang anumang atake, black propaganda, paninirang-puri, at iba pang mga hamon na ibabato sa aking pagkatao. 

Hindi man madali, patuloy akong kumukuha ng lakas at inspirasyon sa tiwalang ibinibigay sa akin ng ating mga kababayan. I take heart from the confidence of the people in my ability to work and thrive in a pandemonium. 

Sa kabila ng lahat, hindi ako kailanman panghihinaan ng loob. I will stay true to my work at the Department of Education, unless the President says otherwise.

Uunahin ko ang Pilipinas.


Sara Z.Duterte

Vice President of the Philippines

Secretary of the Department of Education

Opinion: Guest Commentary on the Maharlika Investment Fund featured at 'On My Watch" By Manuel L Caballero




In my desire to present both sides of an opinion or issue, I am featuring this week a guest opinion from an "OMW" reader.

Our guest opinion writer is Atty. Virgilio Reyes Garcia of Quezon City, Hagonoy, Bulacan and Zamboanga City. Atty. Garcia ran for  congressman in QC's 3rd District in the last election. He placed 3rd out of 6 candidates.But, only one won. Our guest writer is a retired brigadier general in the PH military organization.

Atty. Garcia expressed his opinion on the controversial Maharlika Investment Fund of Pres. Bongbong Marcos, Jr. in response to OMW's earlier commentaries. Here is our guest opinion.

"Quezon City - Now that the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) is in play, its success or failure depends not only  on the competence of the President and the men and women he chose to manage the fund, BUT to a large extent on us, FILIPINOS, here and abroad. 

"The President placed his bet on the MIF in his calculation that it will spur economic development,  accelerate infrastructure development and propel the country to higher growth. Ultimately, we will be among the high middle income class by the end of his term. This was his promise during his first SONA. 

"The success of the fund also depends to a very large extent on foreign investments. 

"We, the people here and abroad, can all help attract foreign investment by manifesting our TRUST. 

"What I am saying is that we have gone past the process of setting it up. The objections to the original draft have been considered in the final version. It is now time to work together and make it work for the sake of the People who stand to benefit by it, and for the sake of our country. 

"Thanks to the inputs of the 12 organizations of economists, businessmen and think tanks we now have a better law. 

"It has been said that a sovereign wealth fund can be beneficial if it is designed well. 

"At least 166 countries have sovereign wealth funds including several States in the US where we can learn from their successes. The only known failure was in the case of Malaysia, where we can also learn from to make our MIF better and to work for us too. 

"Sure there is corruption in the Philippines due to the general weakness of government institutions and of governance due to lack of political will to fight it but I have not totally given up on the Filipino. 

'The MIF will succeed with our support by giving it good publicity. We owe it to the People who are less fortunate than we, the People we all serve, one way or the other."


I wish to greet my daughter Niña on her birthday on Jan. 28. 

Happy Birthday dear Niña!


Thursday, January 18, 2024

Governor Hochul Announces $50 Million to Expand Inpatient Mental Health Services for Children and Adults

Funding to Help Community-Based Hospitals Expand Inpatient Capacity Statewide

Governor Highlights 2024 State of the State Proposals to Strengthen Youth Mental Health Care in New York, Build on $1 Billion Investment To Transform Continuum of Care

Commitment To Open School-Based Mental Health Clinic in Every School That Wants One

Governor Hochul on Thursday, January 11, announced the availability of $50 million to help community-based hospitals expand access to mental health treatment for children and adults across New York State. This funding, part of Governor Hochul's $1 billion investment to transform the mental health continuum of care, will allow these facilities to add new inpatient capacity. Governor Hochul also highlighted the proposals in her 2024 State of the State to tackle the youth mental health crisis, including a commitment to open a school-based mental health clinic for every school that wants one.

“For too long, the mental health crisis has been ignored or pushed aside — but no longer," Governor Hochul said. "Our $1 billion investment is transforming the mental health continuum of care, and our State of the State initiatives will make a real change in the lives of millions of kids.”

Administered by the state Office of Mental Health, this funding will provide awards of up to $5 million to cover design, property acquisition, and construction costs associated with this expansion. Eligible facilities include Article 28 licensed general hospitals and freestanding Article 31 psychiatric hospitals, which operate programs licensed or certified by and in good standing with OMH.

Governor Hochul announced the availability of this funding during a visit to the New York City Children’s Center facility in the Bronx and following her 2024 State of the State address. Earlier this week, she announced new initiatives to ensure children and adolescents have access to adequate mental health support– including youth-led programs, school-based and intensive therapeutic supports, and a specialized workforce trained to treat these populations.

Building on her landmark $1 billion plan to strengthen mental health care, Governor Hochul announced proposals to include additional funding for Children’s Community Residences, developing Youth Assertive Community Treatment teams, continuing funding for school-based and community-based mental health programs, adding inpatient beds for youth with special needs at state-operated psychiatric centers, and other measures aimed at improving mental health support for young people.

The state will also provide additional funding to Children’s Community Residences, which allow youth to go to community schools and continue life in their neighborhoods. These residences will also focus on youth with child welfare involvement, reunifying them with their families and building networks that will encourage success as they age.

Governor Hochul is proposing an expansion of partial hospitalization and children’s day treatment programs for youth who need intensive, daily treatment to address their mental health needs. These programs allow children to stay at home while receiving intensive care in their schools or within community-based treatment settings.

In addition, the state will develop additional Youth Assertive Community Treatment teams also supporting children and adolescents in their communities, and providing wraparound care that includes crisis support, psychotherapy, medication management, and skill-building. First established in 2022, these teams enable young people living with mental illness to live at home and attend school in their community, rather than receiving treatment in residential and inpatient settings.

There are now 24 such teams throughout the state, with an additional six being developed. OMH will fund an additional 12 teams, which would be split between New York City and upstate.

New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan said, “By building a full continuum of mental health services and supports for youth, we can ensure our young people and their families can access appropriate levels of care that will allow them to live and thrive in less restrictive settings. The initiatives outlined in the 2024 State of the State proposal will provide these supports and help children get care at school or within their community, which are less stigmatizing and proven most effective at treating mental health issues.”

Governor Hochul will also partner with the Attorney General and the Legislature to adopt the Stop Addictive Feeds Exploitation for Kids Act, which will require social media companies to restrict addictive features. Under this measure, the state would provide resources to young people covering topics such as the risks of social media use, understanding privacy and protecting personal information, and reporting cyberbullying and online abuse and exploitation.

Building on a 200-bed expansion completed last year — New York’s largest in decades — Governor Hochul proposed adding an additional 200 beds at state-operated psychiatric centers. This includes 100 new inpatient beds, 25 forensic beds aimed at restoring justice-involved individuals to competency to stand trial, and three new 25-bed Transition to Home units designed help stabilize individuals with complex mental health needs.

Governor Hochul has made expanding access to mental health services for all New Yorkers, but especially for youth throughout the state. This includes expanding the roughly 1,200 existing school-based mental health clinics to all schools who want them, with continued start-up funding, enhanced reimbursement rates, and enhanced enforcement to ensure all insurers pay adequately for school-based services; and increasing funding for Teen Mental Health First Aid training programs, which utilize peer ambassadors to engage disconnected youth.

In addition, OMH will establish a Youth Advisory Board to ensure behavioral health programs and policies are youth-informed and incorporate best practices. Finally, the Community Mental Health Loan Repayment Program will be expanded to include slots specifically for clinicians who work in child-serving agencies and treat children and families.