Good day. Here are the stories for The Manila Times for Sunday, April 23, 2023.

Marcos, Qin meet to ‘iron things out’

PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Saturday met with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang to “iron things out” amid tension with China over its growing assertiveness in the region. Qin is in Manila for a two-day official visit to follow up on agreements made between Marcos and Chinese President Xi Jinping during the former’s state visit to Beijing last January 2023. His visit comes on the heels of simmering tension between the United States and China, and consequently, the Philippines allowing the US more access to its military facilities near the Taiwan Strait. The visit also coincided with the ongoing “Balikatan” (Shoulder-to-Shoulder) exercises between Philippine and American troops, described as the “biggest ever” staged between the two allies.

DICT mulls extending SIM registration deadline

THE Department of Information and Communications Technology (D.I.C.T.) said on Saturday that it would meet with public telecommunications entities and other stakeholders to determine if the extension of the subscriber identification module (SIM) registration deadline beyond April 26 is warranted. The D.I.C.T. said earlier that the deadline would not be extended despite appeals by telecom companies Smart, Globe and DITO, saying the government should give their subscribers more time to secure the valid IDs required for registration. As of April 20, 2023, a total of 76,927,923 subscribers have registered their SIMs, equivalent to around 45 percent of the 168 million subscriber base nationwide

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Young Filipinos prone to depression – study

MORE young Filipinos are experiencing mental health issues based on a study conducted by a global insurer. Results of the AXA Study of Mind Health and Wellbeing 2023 said that Generation Z (Gen Z) Filipinos, ages 18 to 24 years, are prone to depression and anxiety, higher than the global average. In a survey conducted among young Filipinos, 35 percent said that they have experienced depression, higher than the global average of 27 percent. Meanwhile, 16 percent said they are experiencing anxiety, which is higher than the 12 percent global average. Globally, Gen Z respondents registered the highest number of those who say they are struggling or experiencing emotional stress and psychosocial impairment at 18 percent

Wreck of WW2 Japanese ship found off Luzon

DEEP-SEA explorers said Saturday they had located the wreck of a World War 2 Japanese transport ship, the Montevideo Maru, which was torpedoed off the Philippines killing nearly 1,000 Australians aboard. The ship — sunk on July 1, 1942 by a US submarine whose crew did not realize it carried prisoners of war — was found at a depth of more than four kilometers (2.5 miles), said the maritime archaeology group Silentworld Foundation, which organized the mission. The sinking of the Montevideo Maru was Australia’s worst-ever maritime disaster, killing an estimated 979 Australian citizens, including at least 850 troops. Civilians from 13 other countries were also aboard, the foundation said, bringing the total number of prisoners killed to about 1,060.

BUSINESS: Govt export devt plan out by June

In business, the Marcos administration’s export development blueprint will be released on June 9, Department of Trade and Industry (D.T.I.) Secretary Alfredo Pascual said on Thursday. In a Palace briefing, Pascual said the Philippine Export Development Plan (P.E.D.P.) 2023-2028 will list strategies of the government in the next five years to increase the exports of goods and services from the country.

SPORTS: Lady Falcons end 9-year Final Four drought

Over to sports, Adamson University ended its nine-year Final Four drought after defeating University of the Philippines (UP), 25-20, 27-25, 23-25, 25-15, on Saturday, April 22, in the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena. Karen Verdeflor took Player of the Game honors with 16 excellent digs and 16 receptions for the Lady Falcons, who improved to 9-4 and made the tournament’s semifinals for the first time since Season 76 back in 2014. Still in the hunt for that twice-to-beat semis incentive, Adamson is in solo second place at press time with one game remaining in its elimination round schedule, which is against Far Eastern University next Saturday, April 29. The already-eliminated and seventh seed Fighting Maroons, meanwhile, suffered their ninth straight loss and dropped to 1-11.

Opinion and editorial

Marlen Ronquillo is today’s front page columnist, as he believes the Marcos administration is running on a “TikTok” campaign.

Today’s editorial calls on the Philippines to deepen ties with India. Read the full version in the paper’s opinion section or listen to the Voice of the Times.

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