Legarda files Bill on Ecosystem and Natural Capital Accounting 


By Crispina M. Belen

Legarda files Bill on Ecosystem and Natural Capital Accounting 

img_0834Another important bill has been filed by Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda. The bill seeks to develop and implement an ecosystem and natural accounting system that applies to the Philippine environment, giving importance to the role, value, and impact of the country’s natural resources on the economy.

Deputy Speaker Legarda explained: “For decades, the debate has been whether to choose economy over conservation of natural resources.  This is a false dichotomy. The economy and all of society are fully and entirely dependent on natural resources—our natural capital that includes our forests, wetlands, and other ecosystems.”

House Bill 9181, otherwise known as the Philippine Ecosystem and Natural Capital Accounting System (PENCAS) Law of 2021, will include what was formerly considered “externalities,” not valued as capital, in the national income accounts.  Conventional national income accounting systems measure economic performance by determining the value of goods and services produced in a country and aggregating them to develop economic development indicators, such as the Gross National Product (GNP) and Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Legarda explained further that “the goods and services included in this accounting system are those that are “marketed,” the prices of which are the basis for estimating the value that is then included in computing economic indicators. This methodology thus reflects the goods and services produced, sold, and bought in the economy. However, these goods and services are almost entirely reliant on the goods and services that the natural environment generates.

“Consumption benefits of products and amenities provided by the natural environment, waste disposal services, and pollution are part of producing marketed commodities but are not valuated (positively or negatively) and reflected in national income accounting.  While it is difficult to undertake this valuation, and many would say it would tend to commodify what is priceless, the lack of such valuation has led to the appreciation of these services as having zero instead of priceless value.”

Indicators and standards generated by the national income accounting system are considered vital information for economic management and policymaking. They serve as the basis for socio-economic planning, formulation of development programs, and policy analysis to aid legislation, among others. Legarda stressed that it is important that the national income accounts reflect a more accurate state of development and economic performance of the country and should incorporate both environmental and non-environmental economic inputs and outputs for policymakers to make responsive, relevant, and effective laws, plans, and programs necessary for national development.

“The bill, when passed into law, will allow government planners to have a full understanding of the natural capital available and expendable in the pursuit of national goals.  For instance, there has not been an accounting of whether our legally harvested sand and gravel will suffice to meet the needs of both the Build Build Build program and the demands of the private sector.  Good housekeeping requires that you budget what you have and not live beyond your means.  It is the same for national patrimony.  Not taking into account how much we have and how to allocate it drives our ecosystems to ruin. The climate crisis and biodiversity losses that could potentially lead to the next pandemic highlight the urgency of having this bill approved and implemented,” Legarda concluded.

The proposed measure adheres to the United Nations System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA), which the UN introduced in 2006 and has been continuously advancing further with the adoption of the SEEA Ecosystem Accounting in March 2001 and the UN collaborative project with other organizations on Natural Capital Accounting and Ecosystem Valuation that will end in 2021.

A Working Group of experts on environment and natural resources, economics, management, and science and technology from the Climate Crisis and Sustainable Development Network (CCSDN) and the former Sustainable Development Committee of the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) assisted in drafting the bill. They include Dr. Marian delos Angeles, Dr. Corazon Claudio, Dr. Laura David, Ms. Maricor Ebarvia, Dr. Angelina Galang, former NEDA chief Dr. Cielito Habito, Dr. Ben Malayang, and Ms. Rina Ma. Rosales.


GMA Network’s ‘I Can See You: Truly. Madly. Deadly.’ returns to primetime this Monday


By Crispina M. Belen

GMA Network’s ‘I Can See You: Truly. Madly. Deadly.’ returns to primetime this Monday

What do you do if someone from your painful past comes back to your new and well-adjusted life? Will you trust that person again for what it’s worth or will you turn to your newfound love to help you escape from a resurfacing traumatic experience?

This April 12, GMA Network brings back its hit mini-series “Truly. Madly. Deadly.” from the first season of the groundbreaking drama anthology ‘I Can See You’ on the Telebabad block.

Set to bring passion with a tinge of thrill to primetime TV viewing this Monday are the highly talented stars of ‘Truly. Madly. Deadly.’ – Kapuso Drama King Dennis Trillo, versatile actress Rhian Ramos, and Ultimate Star Jennylyn Mercado.

The story begins with Coleen (Jennylyn), a professional woman who, after being ridiculed online for a scandal with a married man, moves out of the city and works in a remote resort where she meets the mysterious resident IT guy named Drew (Dennis). Life seems to be going well for the recovering Coleen until her best friend turned enemy Abby (Rhian) shows up and her past begins to haunt her once again.

Joining the talented cast are Jhoana Marie Tan with the special participation of Ruby Rodriguez.

Don’t miss the recap of “I Can See You: Truly. Madly. Deadly.” under the helm of esteemed director Jorron Lee Monroy – from April 12 to 16 right after “First Yaya”  only on GMA-7. 


Another milestone for Edgar Allan Guzman 


By Crispina M. Belen

Another milestone for Edgar Allan Guzman 

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Kapuso actor Edgar Allan Guzman marked another milestone in his career after being named ‘Best Supporting Actor’ at the 4th Entertainment Editors’ Choice awards (EDDYS) last Sunday, April 4.

He earned the award for his exceptional role as Neb in the 2020 drama film “Coming Home.”

In his acceptance speech, EA expressed his gratitude to the award-giving body and dedicated this recognition to his supporters, family, and girlfriend Shaira Diaz, “Unang-una gusto kong magpasalamat kay Lord for the talent and the passion. ‘Yung every project na ibinibigay N’ya sa akin, andoon ‘yung passion at pagmamahal ko sa craft ko at hindi n’ya iniiwan bigla kundi binibigay N’ya. Thank you sa lahat ng bumubuo sa The EDDYs, sa SPEED, ito ang kauna-unahang award ko sa inyo and this means a lot to me. Idini-dedicate ko po itong award ko sa aking family, kay Shaira, sa lahat ng aking mga inspirasyon, sa mga sumusuporta, sa mga nagmamahal, sa GMA Network family, Artist Center, and ALV family. Maraming salamat po.”

He also shared how his character in the movie created an impact in his life, “Memorable para sa akin ‘yung role ko dito dahil malapit sa totoong buhay ko. Panganay na mahal na mahal ang pamilya. Sila ‘yung naging inspirasyon ko sa buhay. Talagang ‘yung bawat linya tagos sa puso. Minahal ko ng sobra ‘yung role ko dito. Drama talaga s’ya… ‘Ensemble acting’ kumbaga.”

Currently, EA is gearing up for his upcoming projects including “Heartful Cafe” on GTV. 


Mikee Quintos and Kelvin Miranda release new single ‘Two of A Kind’ under GMA Music


By Crispina M. Belen

Mikee Quintos and Kelvin Miranda release new single ‘Two of A Kind’ under GMA Music

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Here’s the latest on Mikee Quintos and Kelvin Miranda: After winning the viewers’ hearts in GTV’s recently-concluded fantasy-romance series “The Lost Recipe,” Mikee and Kelvin will surely captivate listeners in their newest single titled “Two of A Kind” under GMA Music.

Composed by Jimmy Borja, Edmund Perlas, and James Scott, “Two of A Kind” is the latest “kilig” and feel-good love song that is perfect to add to your playlist. It tells the story of two people who are ready to conquer love and life together.

Following the successful run of their series, Mikee is glad to be reunited with Kelvin in their first single. 

She quipped, “At first, we were not sure kung magki-click ang show at ang bago naming tambalan sa viewers. We are grateful sa suportang ibinigay ng viewers sa show at sa aming love team. This time, we have a new treat for them. Kelvin and I had fun recording this for our supporters so I hope it will put a smile on their faces.”

Likewise, Kelvin expressed his happiness on working with Mikee over something they both truly love – music. He is also excited because their avid supporters can now finally listen to what they’ve been working on.

“Nakakatuwa po sa pakiramdam na binigyan kami ng chance ng GMA Music para kumanta na magkasama. Dahil dito, may chance kami na ipakita rin yung side namin pagdating sa music,” said the Kapuso star. “Lubos kaming nagpapasalamat sa inyo. Sobrang pinagagaan ninyo ang loob namin sa tuwing nakikita namin na maligaya kayo. Samahan ninyo kami hanggang sa dulo! ‘Di namin kayo bibiguin dahil tiyak na maaantig ang iyong mga puso.”

Download and stream “Two of A Kind”  beginning April 7 on Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube Music, and other digital stores worldwide. 



Cast of ‘Heartful Cafe’ in ‘Sarap Di Ba?’


By Crispina M. Belen 

Cast of ‘Heartful Cafe’ in ‘Sarap Di Ba?’

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This Saturday, April 11,  join the Legaspi family for their weekly fun bonding activities at home. For this week, they will prepare an easy dish, the Banana, Strawberry and Peanut Butter Turon, a perfect snack or dessert for coffee or tea time. Zoren and Cassy will also share their father and daughter bonding moments at the Firing Range.

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In this episode, Julie Anne San Jose, together with the cast of “Heartful Café,” joins the Saturday fun as she takes the “Sarap Di Ba” viewers to a tour around the “Heartful Cafe” set. Julie Anne also introduces the characters in the romcom series and do some fun games with them and with her leading man, David Licauco.

All these plus the 5K giveaway promo are in store for all happy peeps this Saturday only in “Sarap Di Ba?”!


Cassy Legaspi impresses netizens with acting skill


By Crispina M. Belen 

Cassy Legaspi impresses netizens with acting skill

Cassy LegaspiCassy Legaspi has impressed netizens with her portrayal of Nina Acosta in the top-rating Kapuso primetime series “First Yaya.”

This is actually Cassy’s first try into serious acting, and many haven’t noticed her acting ability. A netizen named Sheee Yaaa posted: “Is this Cassy’s first TV series? Ang galing niyang umarte, gaya ng ina at ama niya.” To which another netizen, Ines Maglinte, agreed saying: “Yes natural ang pag-arte ng anak ni Carmina. Ang galing umiyak, natural lang,  di pilit. Congrats Cassy.”

A comment from @itsurtrish: “Watching replays of ‘First Yaya.’ Jusko ka Cassy Legaspi, ba’t mo ‘ko pinayak!” Another netizen, Belaaaaaaa, was also touched by the emotions that Cassy displayed for her character and she said “Grabe dalang dala ako sa acting ni Nina. Wala akong masabi. Nakaka-proud ka talaga @LegaspiCassy.”

Aside from her impressive dramatic ability, many are also eagerly watching out for her and screen partner Joaquin Domagoso’s “kilig-filled” scenes.

“First Yaya” is shown nightly on GMA-7, GTV, and Heart of Asia.


Instituto Cervantes to screen works of four contemporary Spanish filmmakers 


By Crispina M. Belen

Instituto Cervantes to screen works of four contemporary Spanish filmmakers 

This April, Instituto Cervantes de Manila will screen online work of four contemporary Spanish filmmakers. The film series dubbed “Del corto al largo” will be streaming two works (a short and a feature film) by each of the selected filmmakers: directors, Álex Montoya, Belén Macías and Juanjo Giménez, and the producer María del Puy Alvarado. 

The films will be shown through the Instituto Cervantes channel on the Vimeo platform (vimeo.com/institutocervantes) and will be freely accessible for 48 hours from their start date and time. 

The series, which comprises of eight films, will kick off on April 7, Wednesday, at 2am with the online screening of “Lucas,” directed by Alex Montoya in 2016. Available anytime for 48 hours, the short can be watched for free and with English subtitles through this link: https://vimeo.com/519053672

Enjoy the weekend watching the comedy “Asamblea,” directed by Alex Montoya in 2018. It is an interesting work of adaptation of the play “La gente”, by Juli Disla and Jaume Pérez, also screenwriters of the film. The emergence of assembly groups after the political movements after 2011 served their authors to cast a comic look at decision-making processes and the capacity for dialogue of the human being. The movie will be available on April 10 & 11, and will be accessible through this link: https://vimeo.com/518996347 

The film cycle will continue on April 14, Wednesday, with “Mala espina” (2001), a short film by Belén Macías, which tells the summer story of a teenage girl who lives a huge conflict with her elders. Mala espina can be seen free on April 14 & 15 by clicking this link: https://vimeo.com/519059285 

The same week, on April 17 & 18, Belén Macías’ feature film “Marsella”  (2013) shows a dramatic duel between its two protagonists, Goya Toledo and María León, both in a true state of acting grace. 

The third filmmaker on focus will be Juanjo Giménez. On April 21 & 22, Wednesday, Instituto Cervantes will offer the free online screening of “Rodilla” (2009), a short film about the world of soccer, the passions it arouses and the emotional universe that it means for many people. 

It will be followed on April 24 & 25 by Juanjo Giménez’s feature film “Nos hacemos falta” (2001), a peculiar road-movie that tells the encounter between different antiheroes.  

Finally, the series will close with two samples of producer María del Puy Alvarado’s work. Her trajectory has touched almost every gender. A fine proof is given by the short film “Pulse” (2013), a thriller set in Ukraine but shot in Madrid, which tackles one of the many crimes that are unfortunately perpetrated around the world against adolescents. 

The closing movie of the cycle, “Antonio Muñoz Molina, el oficio de escritor” (2014), will be streamed on May 1 & 2. With it, María del Puy Alvarado faced the proposal to produce a documentary about the writer Antonio Muñoz Molina, to give an account of the main creators of Spanish culture. 

The films, presented by Instituto Cervantes in collaboration with ALCINE, the Alcalá de Henares Film Festival (Spain), and the Embassy of Spain in the Philippines, will be in Spanish with English subtitles. Admission is free. For further information on this film series, please check out the event page on Instituto Cervantes de Manila Facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/events/355457229118138 

For further information about the cultural program of Instituto Cervantes please log on to Instituto Cervantes’ website (http://manila.cervantes.es), or Instituto Cervantes Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/InstitutoCervantesManila.  



Legarda files resolution to review laws on women


By Crispina M. Belen

Legarda files resolution to review laws on women

152813736_10158180081666194_8300902307419130915_oDeputy Speaker Loren Legarda filed House Resolution 1681 that will direct the House of Representatives to conduct an inquiry into the implementation of pertinent women-related laws and policies in line with the Updated Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022.

The Updated Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 is geared towards the Ambisyon Natin 2040 that details strategies, policies, and programs under the three main pillars of Malasakit (building a high-trust society), Pagbabago (transforming towards equity and resiliency), and Patuloy na Pag-unlad (increasing growth potential). The updated Plan responds to the emergence of new threats to the country’s growth prospects and guides the transition towards economic recovery.

“The vision of the Updated Plan is to attain an economic growth that is relevant, inclusive, and sustainable to uphold the right of every Filipino to a better life. However, the 2021 data of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on gender statistics relating to work and economic participation showed that labor force participation rate of women from 2012 to 2021 has been considerably lower compared to men, with an average rate of female labor force participation at 46.29 percent compared to the 73.12 percent labor participation rate of males,” Legarda said.

“We have to address this gender disparity and promote women’s full participation in the economy to help pursue an inclusive and equitable economic growth. 49.4 percent of the country’s total population is composed of women with a poverty incidence rate at 16.6 percent in 2018. We have closed 78 percent of our gender gap based on the World Economic Forum (WEF) report but women remained to be distressed with poverty, abuse, discrimination and exploitation,” Legarda added.

Legarda also cited data released by  UN Women that the pandemic would cause resurgence of poverty pushing 96 million people into extreme poverty, 47 million of whom are women, by 2021. 

“Amid the pandemic, Filipino women suffered even more from economic insecurity due to loss of livelihood, which in turn has increased their vulnerability. In a report published by the UN Women, 6.6 million Filipino women are working in the informal sector with lower earning capacity, with little to no access to labor protections, in livelihoods that are dependent on public spaces and social interactions, and in the service and retail industry which are now hindered due to movement restrictions by the COVID-19 lockdowns and community quarantines, “ Legarda said.

The three-term senator stressed that in order to sustain the provisions to build resilience through programs funded under the Bayanihan to Heal as One and the Bayanihan to Recover as One laws, the Updated Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 needs to be re-evaluated and to refocus its strategies towards having a healthy and resilient Philippines while facilitating economic recovery. She highly recommended that other laws and policies on financing, investments and trade also be reviewed to establish their relevance to the economic empowerment of women, as well as to determine the financial and resource allocation needed for the effective implementation of said laws for the benefit of women, groups and enterprises of concern.

“It is evident that the existing gender and social inequality existing before the COVID-19 pandemic are now exacerbated and need to be addressed promptly. Existing laws and policies need to be reviewed to ensure that they are proportionate and gender-responsive to help promote employment and economic upliftment among Filipino women and others in the vulnerable basic sectors in order to meet their needs for financing, capacity development and skills, and provide linkage and marketing support needs,” Legarda concluded.




GMA launches newest digital channel ‘I Heart Movies’


By Crispina M. Belen

GMA launches newest digital channel ‘I Heart Movies’

I Heart Movies

For movie lovers, here’s a very interesting and much-welcomed news: GMA Network raises the bar in viewing experience anew as it rewards its audiences with the launch of the newest digital channel “I Heart Movies” this Monday (April 5). 

A fun and energetic channel for the young and young-at-heart, “I Heart Movies” is set to give movie enthusiasts a new way to celebrate their relationship with cinema from the comfort of their home.

From romance, drama, horror, action, to comedy, “I Heart Movies” offers a wide variety of free-to-air and all-time favorite Pinoy and foreign titles that will capture the viewers’ hearts and touch the lives of the audience.

The channel introduces four movie blocks – Timeless Telesine, Takilya Throwback, Block Screening, and Pinoy Movie Date – each composed of movies for all ages. 

Timeless Telesine presents various GMA Telesine stories that are engaging and top-notch quality movies that were made for television. Meanwhile, Takilya Throwback features local classics from the ‘70s to early 2000s. In Block Screening, hit foreign movies await viewers. Lastly, widely-followed contemporary Filipino movies will air on the Pinoy Movie Date block. 

“We want to provide the Filipino audience a one-stop shop, “freemium” digital channel, which is readily accessible and offers a mix of foreign and local film features especially during this period of pandemic when viewers crave for entertaining content while in the convenience of their homes,” said GMA First Vice President for Program Management Jose Mari Abacan. “We are now contending with a fickle-minded audience. The pandemic has given birth to an abundance of content and through the advent of OTT platform services, viewers are now spoilt for choice; where to watch; and when to watch. By offering a more diverse line-up of movies, we hope to provide a free TV alternative for everyone,” he added. 

Are you ready to watch movies all day, every day for free?

Viewers can catch “I Heart Movies” on Channel 5 in GMA Affordabox and GMA Now. It is also available on other digital TV boxes. For more details, go to the official website on http://www.gmanetwork.com or visit I Heart Movie’s official social media accounts. 


Consequences of social media misuse via sci-fi romance series ‘I Can See You: #Future’ 


By Crispina M. Belen

Consequences of social media misuse via sci-fi romance series ‘I Can See You: #Future’ 

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Is going viral truly the be-all and end-all of using social media? Or, will one realize, like ripples on a pond, that for every choice one makes, there is a consequence to face? 

This April 5, take part in the mysterious and intriguing story of a man whose life turns upside down as he gets a glimpse of the future in the second episode of GMA Network’s groundbreaking drama series “I Can See You: #Future.”

The episode features the highly-anticipated reunion of two of the Network’s brightest stars – Kapuso versatile actor Miguel Tanfelix as Vinchie Torres, an aspiring segment producer who gains a supernatural ability to see the future through CCTV footage, and Kapuso Breakout Star Kyline Alcantara as Lara Dacer, the woman who crosses paths with Vinchie and learns that the cause of her depression is somehow linked to him.  

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In relation to the theme of their episode, Miguel shares his stance on how social media can be beneficial in today’s society, saying “Ang edge ng pagiging artista, if you were to make a movement, may followers ka na agad. But hindi lang artista, anyone can start a movement. Just make sure na alamin mo muna ‘yung tama sa mali and make sure na may ginagawa ka rin for that movement. Hindi mo lang siya ginagawa for social media. Iba ‘yung nangyayari sa social media at iba rin sa totoong buhay.”

Following their several successful projects together, Kyline expresses that she is delighted to be working with Miguel once more and teases fans on what to expect in the episode. She said “It’s fun to work with him again because we’re familiar naman sa work etiquette ng isa’t isa. We’re happy na they appreciate the scenes that we had done together.  Marami pa po silang aabangan. Of course, dapat abangan nila not just the kilig scenes but ‘yung plot twist ng story.”

Playing an equally vital role is Ms. Aiko Melendez as Menchie Torres, Vinchie’s loud but loving mother who gets caught up in several vices after her husband’s death.

Making this series exciting is the special participation of Gabby Eigenmann as Elvin Torres, Vinchie’s kindhearted and noble father who works as a CCTV operator. 

Completing the cast are Mikoy Morales as Royce, Lara’s ex-boyfriend who falls victim to addiction; Dani Porter as Analyn Fuentes, Lara’s supportive and dependable best friend; Jmee Katanyag as Kakai, Menchie’s friend who loves to gossip and gamble; Francis Mata as Walter, Charlie’s strict but gullible boss.

Driven by his desire to go viral and to gain likes, social media addict and segment producer Vinchie (Miguel) records what seems to be a desperate robbery. After getting his footage of the crime, Vinchie flees the scene without helping the struggling victim. Unbeknown to him, his father Elvin (Gabby) rushes to break the mugging and meets an unfortunate end. Several months later, while scanning through CCTV footage at work, Vinchie witnesses an incident from the future and attempts to save a mysterious woman named Lara (Kyline). 

How will Vinchie’s newfound ability to see the future through CCTV footage play a role in closing a painful chapter of his past and building his budding relationship with Lara? 

This original series, created by the award-winning GMA Entertainment Group, is headed by SVP for Entertainment Group Lilybeth G. Rasonable, FVP for Drama Redgie A. Magno, SAVP for Drama Cheryl Ching-Sy, Senior Program Manager Camille D. Hermoso, and Executive Producer Michele R. Borja. 

I Can See You: #Future is a product of the visionary minds of GMA’s highly-talented creative team: Creative Director Aloy Adlawan; Creative Consultant Agnes Gagelonia-Uligan; Headwriter Des Garbes-Severino; Concept Creator Kutz Enriquez, and brainstormer John Borgy Danao.

Catch the world premiere of “I Can See You: #Future” – under the helm of esteemed director Dominic Zapata – beginning April 5, weeknights, right after “First Yaya” only on GMA-7.

Viewers abroad can also watch the series via GMA’s flagship international channel, GMA Pinoy TV. For the program guide, visit http://www.gmapinoytv.com.