Automatic Centre closing down after 73 years in business

Marje Pelayo   •   September 9, 2021   •   1186

MANILA, Philippines – One of the country’s leading appliance retailing shops, Automatic Centre, will officially close down effective October 10, 2021.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused tremendous challenges in our business and it is with much regret and trepidation that we share this news with you today,” Automatic Appliances Inc. president and CEO Geoffrey Lim said in a statement.

Established in 1948, Automatic Centre has been known for selling top quality appliances, gadgets and electronics at reasonable prices and affordable payment terms.

To keep the brand’s legacy alive, the Lim family said they “will continue to seek out outside parties that may be interested in using/adopting the ‘Automatic Centre’ brand name moving forward.”

“We would like to assure you that we remain committed to honoring our obligation and we intend to work closely with each of you to ensure the smooth transition and closing process,” Lim said.


Duterte honors COVID-19 frontline workers as PH marks Heroes day

Robie de Guzman   •   August 30, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte paid tribute to frontline workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic as the country marks National Heroes Day.

In a message, Duterte called the frontliners modern heroes who continue to answer the call to fight and bravely lead the country’s raging battle against the pandemic.

The new breed of heroes, he said, includes health workers, uniformed personnel, government employees, and frontliners in essential industries.

“Their names will not be etched on any edifice, statues will not be erected in their honor, banknotes will not be graced by their portraits, and their individual exploits will not be immortalized on the pages of history books,” he said.

“Yet, for selflessly risking their lives to ensure the survival of our society, I can confidently say they have more than earned their rightful place in the pedestal of heroes,” he added.

He urged the public to “consecrate this day not just as a memorial to their extraordinary heroism, but as an enduring testament to our inherent capacity to rise above self-interest to fight for a cause far greater than our own.”

Earlier in the day, the president attended the commemoration of National Heroes Day in Taguig City where he also paid tribute to the sacrifices of those who fought for the country’s freedom and democracy.

P3.2 billion ECQ cash aid distributed in NCR — DILG

Robie de Guzman   •   August 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — More than P3.2 billion cash assistance has been distributed to individuals and families affected by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) being enforced in Metro Manila, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said.

In his report to President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said a total of 3,299,290 individuals received the government cash aid since local government units (LGUs) started handing over the subsidy last August 11.

The distribution of the financial support is based on the provisions of the Joint Memorandum Circular No. 3 of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and LGUs in the National Capital Region (NCR).

Año said the release of the subsidy is ongoing, assuring the president that the names of recipients and beneficiaries are posted in the LGUs’ offices, official websites and social media platforms to ensure transparency.

“At sa inyo rin pong pag-uutos, atin pong sinupervise (supervise) at mino-monitor ng DILG, DSWD at DND ang distribution sa LGU ng NCR at pati naman po ang mayor ng nasabing LGU ay sumunod din po sa inyong kautusan,” he said.

Duterte on Monday approved the release of the P10.894-billion aid for the NCR and the P368 million supplemental budget, bringing the total amount of government support to P11.256 billion.

Aside from residents in Metro Manila, Año said that qualified beneficiaries in Bataan and Laguna are also set to receive similar support following the president’s approval of subsidies for the two provinces.

Bataan will get P700 million while Laguna will receive P2.7 billion, Año said.

“Within the week po ay magsisimula na ang pamimigay ng ayuda at sisiguraduhin nating makakaabot sa mga nangangailangan at walang abuso o anumang korapsyon na magaganap,” he added.

PNP files cybercrime raps vs 80 individuals for allegedly exploiting pandemic

Robie de Guzman   •   August 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday said it has lodged criminal complaints against 80 persons allegedly involved in cybercrimes exploiting the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

PNP chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar said the cases involved spreading false information on social media, illegal online sale of medical supplies, and online scams.

Citing PNP data from March 2020 to August 2021, Eleazar said that the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) have filed 87 criminal complaints against 52 persons for proliferating fake news.

Eleazar said they were specifically charged with Unlawful Use of Means of Publication and Unlawful Utterances under Article 154 of the Revised Penal Code as amended to include Online Libel; violation of Republic Act 10175 or the Anti-Cybercrime Law; and violation of Presidential Decree No. 90, which makes rumor-mongering and spreading false information as unlawful.

Based on the reports, Eleazar said there has been an increase in the number of incidents involving the spread of fake news and unverified information about the COVID-19 pandemic on social media.

“We are appealing to the public to be discerning and wary of fake news. This is also a stern warning to all individuals or groups spreading false information on various social media platforms. We will go after you and will not hesitate to put you behind bars,” the PNP chief said in a statement.

The CIDG and the ACG also filed three criminal complaints against two alleged online scammers; and 31 criminal complaints against 26 alleged online profiteers, hoarders, and unauthorized sellers of medical supplies.

Seized from the unauthorized online sellers were: gallons of disinfectant; vitamin C capsules; forehead thermometers; facemasks; and several liters of isopropyl alcohol.

“Binabalaan ko ang mga manloloko at mapagsamantala sa kapwa na tigil-tigilan na ang ganitong gawain,” Eleazar said.

“You will face the full force of the law for your criminal activities,” he added.


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