Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award “I thought it would be a great match and instead especially in the first half we had a lot of difficulties.“After the break I explained to them what was happening, and the game became more balanced.”Portugal host relegated Poland in three days in Guimaraes, in a match that has no significance for either side.But Santos insisted: “The final match against Poland will be important because it will be on front of our public, who are always with us.“We have to play well and to win.”ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Zverev’s ATP Finals win vs Federer tainted by ball boy flub Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown “There are no questions to ask. Ronaldo is part of this team, just read the post he wrote today,” said Santos, referring to the message the Juventus player sent to wish his teammates good luck via Twitter.Portugal booked their ticket to the semi-finals next June after holding Italy to a 0-0 draw at the San Siro on Saturday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissThey progressed top of Group A3 with one match to play, dashing Italy’s hopes in the process.“The qualification confirms the quality of our football,” said Santos. MOST READ Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Portugal’s forward Cristiano Ronaldo (R) sits next to coach Fernando Santos as he watches his teammates practice during a training session at the team’s base in Kratovo, outside Moscow, on June 21, 2018, during the Russia 2018 World Cup football tournament. (Photo by Francisco LEONG / AFP)Portugal coach Fernando Santos insisted Saturday that superstar Cristiano Ronaldo remains a key part of his national team despite being left out of his Nations League squad, after the European champions became the first team to advance to the semi-finals of the competition.The five-time Ballon d’Or winner spent much of last month vehemently denying allegations of rape and was dropped by Santos for the Nations League internationals amid accusations by former model Kathryn Mayorga that Ronaldo raped her in 2009, just before he joined Real Madrid from Manchester United.ADVERTISEMENT Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew LATEST STORIES Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college View comments
But it’s not just the scoring. Only Steve Nash, John Stockton and Jason Kidd — three of the best point guards ever — averaged this many assists at this point in their career.“He’s the best player in the world,” Lakers guard Lonzo Ball said.Added fellow Laker Kyle Kuzma: “He could average 40 if he wanted.”Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, who had James for four seasons in Miami, describes James’ game in one word: “Timeless.”“Doesn’t matter what year, doesn’t matter how old,” Spoelstra said. “Consistency is as much of a talent as any physical or mental talent. He’s five-star in all of those.”James hasn’t won an MVP award in any of the past five seasons. For as good as he’s been, for as long as he’s been that good, it’s hard to believe that his first 15 seasons only resulted in him winning that award four times. He should be in the conversation again this year, and thought he should have won the award last year.“I just go out and my love for the game keeps me going,” James said. “My ability to put in the work, and see what happens after that. I know if I put in the work and be true to the game, then everything else will take care of itself.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Bryant had gone more than seven years without a 50-point game before April 13, 2016, when he went 22-for-50 and scored 60 points at Staples Center as the Laker faithful roared for his work one final time. James hadn’t gone six months since his last 50-point night; it was Game 1 of last season’s NBA Finals, the one where J.R. Smith forgot the score in the final seconds and Cleveland lost to Golden State on the way to a sweep.James was methodical on Sunday; he was 19 for 31 from the field, 6 for 8 from 3-point range, getting to 51 points on a deep 3-pointer in the final seconds with the outcome already long decided.“That’s all coaching,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said. “Just great coaching. … No, the way he sees the game, he knows what he’s doing out there.”Through 16 games, though there’s nothing to suggest that he’s going to slow down this season — or anytime soon — James is his usual sensational self. He’s averaging 28.8 points on 52 percent shooting, with 7.7 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game.No one in NBA history has ever averaged that many points in a 16th season or later. Bryant is the only player to average more than 25 points this deep into a career; he averaged 27.9 points in 2011-12, 27.3 points in 2012-13.ADVERTISEMENT Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James keeps the ball from Miami Heat forward Justise Winslow during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, in Miami. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)MIAMI — LeBron James stopped worrying about his place in history long ago. His legacy has been secure for years. The argument about where he ranks, whether or not he’s the best player to ever step on a basketball court, will continue forever and there will never be a definitive answer.That is, unless he keeps doing things like this.ADVERTISEMENT Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. In his 16th season, James can still make the game look absurdly easy. The latest entry on the long list of his unforgettable nights came Sunday, when James scored 51 points and led the Los Angeles Lakers to a 113-97 win over the Miami Heat. He’s only the second player to score at least 50 in a game this deep into an NBA career; the other is Kobe Bryant, in his final game, and that was aided by 50 shot attempts.“I’ve always been a guy to let the game talk for itself, speak for itself,” James said. “My body of work speaks for itself, still to this day, 16 years in.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissHe paused for a second, breaking into a big smile.“If there’s ever a discussion,” James said, “games like this will make sure you figure it out.” Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal MOST READ LATEST STORIES Civil Engineering graduate Dave Yu hopes to pave way for NU student-athletes Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title View comments
In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Serena Williams of the US plays the ball to Venus Williams of the US, during the 2018 Mubadala World Tennis Championship match in Abu Dhabi, on December 27, 2018. (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP)Serena Williams is back in Melbourne as hot favorite to repeat her 2017 Australian Open win and claim a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam with rivals, including defending champion Caroline Wozniacki, battling health issues and poor form.Williams won her 23rd title and seventh at Melbourne Park while eight weeks pregnant two years ago, and now attempts to match Margaret Court’s mark of 24 singles majors on the Australian’s home soil.ADVERTISEMENT Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Regarding the controversial final against Osaka at Flushing Meadows — when she raged against umpire Carlos Ramos who imposed three code violations, the final one resulting in the loss of a game — Williams said she had put it put behind her and intended to “move on to bigger and better things”.Bookmakers in Australia have installed Williams as a short-priced favourite for the title with her US Open conqueror Osaka — the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam — next in the betting.Osaka shinesThe 21-year-old Osaka backed up her US Open win by riding a wave of fanatical home support to reach the final of the Pan-Pacific Open in Tokyo without dropping a set.She warmed up for Melbourne by making the semi-finals of the Brisbane International last week, where she blamed a poor attitude for losing to Lesia Tsurenko.ADVERTISEMENT Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title But the 20-year-old Aryna Sabalenka from Belarus has zoomed up the rankings from 73rd at the start of 2018 to number 11 on the back of tournament wins in New Haven and Wuhan, and is a dark horse to emulate Osaka and achieve a maiden Grand Slam.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Philippine Azkals flaunt quality under continental spotlight Philippine Army to acquire MANPADS, self-propelled howitzers Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra MOST READ Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:44Djokovic wins Laureus Sportsman of Year Award02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title LATEST STORIES Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college The 37-year-old enters the tournament ranked 16 in the world but has proved in the past that such numbers mean little to her, despite fresh memories of her meltdown in losing the US Open final to Naomi Osaka in September.Her 2017 triumph Down Under gave Williams the outright open era record for singles majors ahead of Steffi Graf’s 22, leaving only Court’s tally of 24 titles — 13 of which were earned in the amateur era before 1968 — for Williams to chase.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissWilliams missed her first chance to match Court when losing last year’s Wimbledon final to Angelique Kerber, and said ahead of the Australian Open that she was taking nothing for granted.“It’s something that I clearly want but I have to be able to get there and beat a lot of good players to get it,” the American said. “I feel like last year I did a lot of that,” she said. “I’m trying to change it more, and I think I have.”While she is the leading light for the next generation, the world number four’s status as second favourite points to a lack of serious rivals for Williams among the more established players.Wozniacki, ranked three, started last season by winning her first Grand Slam in Melbourne and returning to world number one, but ended it in October with the bombshell announcement that she had been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.The 28-year-old Dane insists she can manage the debilitating auto-immune condition, which sometimes leaves her so exhausted she cannot raise her arms above her head.Wozniacki proved she can still compete by winning in Beijing in October but whether she can cope with the gruelling two-week slog of a Grand Slam remains to be seen, and she was bundled out of the Auckland Classic last week in round two.Halep cloudWorld number one Simona Halep of Romania comes into the tournament under a fitness cloud after a nagging back injury curtailed her 2018 season.Second-ranked Angelique Kerber has already indicated her priority for 2019 will be the French Open, the only Slam to elude the 30-year-old German in her career.Maria Sharapova has failed to impress since returning from a doping ban and, now ranked 30, is looking some way from the player who won five Grand Slams.Two-time major champion and former number one Garbine Muguruza was another who had an injury-blighted 2018 which saw her drop out of the top 10. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments
Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “I wanted to be aggressive and continue to attack the rim,” Harden said. “I took my shots when I had the opportunities, and not only myself, but Austin (Rivers), Gary (Clark), Chris (Paul) made some plays down the stretch. It was a total team effort tonight.”Rivers scored 17 points, and Paul and Clark each had 14 to help Houston win its fourth straight game. The Rockets shot 49 percent, including 19 of 46 on 3-pointers.Houston held Miami to 20 points in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Heat by 15 in the decisive quarter.“I just really think it was a big win for us,” Houston coach Mike D’Antoni said. “Just for a lot of reasons — spirit wise, we did it the right way. We got into them defensively. … This is a character win, and when you get in the playoffs, that’s what counts.”Kelly Olynyk and Goran Dragic each had 21 points for Miami, Justise Winslow added 19 points and eight assists, and Josh Richardson had 18 points. The Heat shot 52 percent, making 15 of 28 3-pointers.ADVERTISEMENT Eugenie Bouchard’s bid for Australian Open spot ends in qualifying Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college UP NEXTHeat: Host Brooklyn on Saturday night.Rockets: At Boston on Sunday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next “We were lackadaisical on defense, especially in that second quarter,” Harden said. “They gained confidence and knocked down shots. They were just too comfortable, so we had to pick the pressure up in the second half, create some turnovers and energy with our defense.”He fell three points short of his career high set at New York on Jan. 23, and had the most points ever against the Heat — breaking Willie Burton’s mark of 53 for Philadelphia on Dec. 13, 1994.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets offers from Asia, Australian ball clubs“We get the stat sheet at the end of the game, and I saw he had 58,” Rivers said. “All of us were like, ‘He had that many points?’ We had no idea he had that many points. That’s a lot of points. He was incredible.”Harden made 8 of 18 3-pointers and was 16 of 32 overall from the field and 18 of 18 on free throws. Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Houston Rockets’ James Harden (13) goes up for a shot as Miami Heat’s Josh Richardson defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019, in Houston. The Rockets won 121-118. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)HOUSTON — After scoring 58 points, James Harden pointed to the Houston Rockets’ defense and team effort.Harden also had 10 assists and seven rebounds and the Rockets overcame a 21-point third-quarter deficit to beat the Miami Heat 121-118 on Thursday night.ADVERTISEMENT Rogue cops marked as Gamboa’s targets in his appointment as PNP chief View comments “We were in the driver’s seat and had an opportunity to close it out and really buckle down defensively, and we started to foul,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Double-digit lead all of us a sudden you look up and they were right there. That was probably more deflating than anything.”Miami was coming off a home victory over Golden State on Wednesday night on Dwyane Wade’s banked 3-pointer at the buzzer. Houston played at Charlotte on Wednesday night.With Houston down 113-103 after Dragic’s 3-pointer with 6:18 remaining, Harden scored 10 points on a 14-0 run that made it 117-113.Miami had a chance to regain the lead after Paul missed a 3-pointer, but Wade missed a jumper, and Richardson missed a 3-pointer. Paul hit a jumper with 46 seconds left to finish the scoring.“Obviously, he (Harden) had the ball a lot and his teammates made timely plays when they needed to,” Wade said. “They just got it going, and defensively, we weren’t as good as we were early on in the game when we had that lead, and that allowed them to come back.”TIP INSHeat: James Johnson (shoulder sprain) and Hassan Whiteside (hip strain) did not play. … Wade had 12 points, Waiters had 11 and Adebayo 10. … The Heat outscored Houston 46-32 in the paint.Rockets: Kenneth Faried (hip), Eric Gordon (knee) and Iman Shumpert (calf) sat out. D’Antoni said Faried was day-to-day after leaving Wednesday’s game with the injury. Clark started for the Rockets. … Houston committed 16 turnovers, which led to 27 points.TUCKER EJECTEDAfter an offensive foul with 3 1/2 minutes left in the third, Houston forward P.J. Tucker argued the call on his way back up the court, earning two technical fouls and an ejection. Tucker had to be restrained by two assistant coaches as he left the court. Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? MOST READ Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Magic rally to hand Warriors 2nd straight loss Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra LATEST STORIES
The Board of Commissioners of the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission (PPCC) has with immediate effect appointed Mr. James Dorbor Jallah as Executive Director of the Commission.The appointment of Mr. Jallah, according to a PPCC dispatch, followed a “competitive and transparent recruitment process” witnessed and certified by international and bilateral organizations. Those organizations that witnessed Mr. Jallah’s endorsement by PPCC’s board included the African Development Bank (AfDB), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), GEMS, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).The interview panel, the dispatch said, comprised the Liberia Institute of Public Administration (LIPA), Civil Service Agency (CSA), Governance Commission (GC), and the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission (PPCC).Mr. Jallah was one of 11 candidates shortlisted from among 52 applicants. As executive director, he will head the secretariat and manage the day-to-day affairs of the Commission. He will ensure implementation of the Public Procurement and Concessions Act (PPCA) of 2010, and its relevant regulations as well as all policy directives of the Board of Commissioners. He is expected to begin work on September 1, 2014.The new PPCC executive director holds a Master of Arts degree in Logistics and Supply Chain Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) at Zaragora, Spain. He previously served the Liberian Government as Deputy Minister for Regional and Sectoral Planning at the former Ministry of Planning and Economics Affairs. In that position, Mr. Jallah coordinated and implemented several public sector investment projects in fiscal year 2010/2011, totaling US$37 million.He is currently the project manager of a World Bank (WB)-funded capacity Development Project of the Liberia Institute of Certified Public Accountants (LICPA). According to the dispatch, Mr. Jallah brings to the Commission the right mix of education, skills and experience; and possesses an impeccable character, which is essential for an institution like the PPCC.He is credited for planning, supervising, and administering the 2013 entrance and placement examination of the University of Liberia, whose final results sparked a national debate on the quality of education at high schools and universities in the country.Thereafter, he was also appointed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to chair the Special Presidential Independent Investigative Body, with a mandate to conduct a comprehensive review of the issuance of Private Use Permits (PUPs) by the Forestry Development Authority (FDA). The findings of that investigation resulted into drastic ongoing reforms being carried out in the forest sector.The Board of Commissioners of the PPCC has therefore reconfirmed and reaffirmed its commitment to an effective implementation of the PPCA 2010; and is confident that Mr. Jallah has the competence and experience to perform the task he is appointed for. The PPCC was established by an Act of Legislature with oversight responsibility to regulate and monitor all forms of public procurement and concession practices in Liberia. It replaced the CMC with elaborate mandates of monitoring procuring entities to comply with the Act of 2005 for all public procurements and awarding concessions, in order to ensure economic efficiency, transparency and promotion of competition so that government gets “value for money” in using public funds.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Since the beginning of the fight against Ebola there have been a lot of proposals, discussions, blogs, tweets and posts (on the Internet) about a multitude of ICT solutions that can help improve information flow, collaboration, aid the fight against the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). International partners and other “goodwill partners” flew into Liberia to assess situations, propose and implement solutions that would aid in the fight against the EVD. The advent of these “goodwill partners” to deploy ICTs to help in the Ebola battle has led to what I call an “amalgam of ICT efforts”, which has given birth to the many new systems and software solutions we continue to hear about.Yet despite what we hear and read about in “blogosphere” we are yet to feel the impact of these much touted solutions. Hitherto writing this article, our call centers continue to use manual systems, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has no automated processes or dashboards that could facilitate information gathering, collaboration, or delivery. So, the question is where is all the “help” that we hear about? Obviously, the “help” is here but focused somewhere totally alien to our current needs. In fact, it seems this “help” isn’t or has not been provided based on demand from us but rather, based on the “helpers’ ” desire to test or deploy solutions that they feel is good for us. But what good are these solutions when they don’t meet our immediate or long-term needs?A recent study done by USAID-GEMS identified several gaps and information system needs in Liberia. This study identified many areas where there is a significant need for systems, in most cases automated systems, to improve the way things are done in Liberia (now in the Ebola fight and for the future), reduce costs, ensure operational efficiency and effectiveness and promote economic development. Some of the areas identified include: The lack of automation at call centers, lack of Case Management Systems, Contact Tracing, Ambulance investigation, Team Dispatch Unit, ETU Management, Fleet Management, Asset Management, Rehabilitation Management Training Management, etc.According to the report, “each ETU operator has independent systems and there have been reports of shortcomings, and challenges with standardization of reporting. Contact tracing activities vary across the counties. Paper-based systems provide base functionality in low-intensity areas, but have been overwhelmed in Montserrado. There is no automated national EVD fleet management system and there is no automated national EVD asset management system. I could go on but the survey has done that already.From the list of areas that show gaps, one would ask: How can these “gaps” exist in the presence of the “amalgam of ICT efforts” and goodwill partners who have been touting ICT solutions since the genesis of the Ebola Virus outbreak?There’s absolutely no doubt that the “amalgam of ICT efforts” could have a significant impact on the fight against Ebola in Liberia and other countries affected. And, there is also no doubt that there is a great need for ICTs in this fight. The problem, I have come to know thus far, is that the ICT solutions are that are being proffered and deployed are not taking into consideration the immediate and particular needs of the responders. Moreover, they are yet to show any tangible results in terms of their impact on the fight against Ebola. Worst yet, there is a total lack of coordination when it comes to this “amalgam of ICT efforts.” This lack of coordination has led to neglect for the immediate and particular ICT needs of responders, duplication of systems/software solutions, and other efforts. In addition, the array of technologies and systems being eagerly proffered or provided has the propensity to compete with one another and prove ineffective if they are not coordinated.Frankly, the way I see it, the eagerness to develop technology solutions stems from the fact that the EVD outbreak presents several opportunities for those solutions to be tested, deployed and subsequently sold. It is not expensive to purchase a plane ticket and run to these “hot zones”, assess the situation, develop software, blog and tweet about it even though it may or may not have any short or long term impact on that country or its crisis.There are many different partners in Liberia and other Ebola infected countries who are trying to do important work, but the systems and approaches are not collaborating. Because of this, there are duplicate technologies and systems being put in place by those partners. We should watch out for those solutions that are only temporary or do not fit into our long term developmental goals. This means all efforts must have room for scalability.Finally, there is a great need for ICT in the fight against the EVD for economic development in Liberia. Hence, we ask our international partners and “goodwill” folks to not only provide solutions to help us meet our short-term needs (Ebola Virus Disease), but they should provide solutions that would also help us meet our long-term (economic development) needs. A lot of people have died as a result of this outbreak and there are lots of indications that we need help in many areas. Help us in the areas where we are lacking; not where you believe your interest lies.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Dear Editor,Would it ever be possible for GTT to restore the services of my two landline phones to normalcy? For more than six months now, the one at Adventure and the other at Suddie have not been functioning, much to my inconvenience.During that period, umpteen reports were made at the complaints desk in the Anna Regina compound, and two letters were even sent to the officer-in-charge to have the matter rectified.All along, a technician came twice, but it was just useless to bring about corrective measures. The major problem with the phones is that, ever so often, there is no dial tone; and even when this comes on, it is not possible to make or receive calls.For sure, my frustration and stress over the use of the phones will be eliminated with the company doing a favour to provide information on the true position.It is well known that, from the lack of the company providing an efficient service, many customers have abandoned the use of their landline phones.As a matter of fact, monopoly is always bad for customers, with a clear demonstration of such situation taking place here.Yours respectfully,Baliram Persaud
PSC Chairman Norman McLeanchairman of the Private Sector Commission (PSC) Norman McLean on Thursday said the body remains committed to its advocacy for the establishment of several commissions.These include the Public Procurement and the Ethnic Relations Commissions, as well as other commissions on children, gender and indigenous peoples. However, they remain non starters at the moment.The new Administration had promised to get most, if not all of these commissions, up and running; however, there have been some major setbacks.In December last year, Government began making moves to have the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) established by advertising through the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) for stakeholders, political parties, civil organisations and individuals to submit names of persons eligible to be considered commissioners.Since then, nothing further has been said or done.While on the Opposition side of the house, the new Government was very critical of the then People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government’s approach to the distribution of contracts and had called out to the PPP/C to have the Public Procurement Commission established.According to Guyana’s Constitution, the PPC shall consist of five members who shall have expertise and experience in the procurement, legal, financial and administrative matters.The Procurement Commission is usually made up of Government and Opposition parliamentarians, and is traditionally chaired by a member of the Opposition in the House.Government itself had come under fire for failing to establish the Procurement Commission earlier – a promise it made in its manifesto. The absence of the PPC had caused even more outrage against Government, particularly because of its move to carry out a number of forensic audits at State entities across Guyana, without carrying out the requisite tendering process.Meanwhile, the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) is yet to be constituted. Government had said late last year too that it was awaiting a move from the Opposition.During the 10th Parliament, the appointive committee had approved the names of nominees to be ERC Commissioners; however, despite the approval, their appointments were not assented to by former President Donald Ramotar.Similarly, the Rights of the Child Commission, the Women and Gender Equality Commission and the commission on indigenous people are also yet to be established.The last public call for the establishment of these commissions was back in early February 2015, by then Speaker of the National Assembly Raphael Trotman.He had urged that outstanding aspects of the 2001 Constitutional Reform process be deepened to strengthen the work of the Rights of the Child Commission (RCC). According to him, the Constitution specifies that a Human Rights Commission and a Rights Tribunal be established, the existence of which he believed would give potency to the work of the RCC and its findings.The RCC is one of several constitutional Rights Commissions that were established at the conclusion of the reform, which included the term limits for Presidents. The others are the Human Rights, Women and Gender, Indigenous Peoples and the Ethnic Relations Commission.
Police Prosecutor Deniro Jones of the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts, on Thursday received a slew of deadly threats towards him and his family by Orin Arthur, an accused on trial for three murder.Jones, speaking to Guyana Times, disclosed that he will not take the threats of the murder accused lightly: “I have already made a report to the court supervisor and later I will be going to the Brickdam Police Station to make another report.”The accused, while being escorted from the holding cell at the Court to the prison van, began hurling comments at the sight of the Police Prosecutor which then escalated into a heated argument.The argument between Arthur and Jones is suspected to have stemmed from the searching of Arthur’s food.Jones told this publication that on the previous day, Arthur’s family brought food for him at the holding cell and he ordered an officer to search the food. This, he noted, apparently offended the accused. He added that when a constable took the food to Arthur along with a bottle of water, Arthur threw the water on the constable.It was related that as Arthur was walking past the Police Prosecutor at Court on Thursday, he told him that his food must not be searched, to which the Police Prosecutor replied that it has to be searched.Arthur then told Jones that he will kill him and his family, while addressing him with several derogatory names. The officers at the court had to intervene and placed Arthur in the awaiting prison van.Thinking that to be the end of it, the accused still blurted that he has “his connections out of prison to do his external jobs.”Arthur is currently facing a joint charge for the murder of Guyana Geology and Mines Commission engineer Trevor Abrams, and the murder of Beharry Security Guard, Wilfred Stewart, at Sterling Products Limited on December 2014.According to prosecutors, Arthur is said to be facing a third murder charge.
Pharmagate…offers apology but skirts direct questionsPublic Health Minister Dr George Norton on Friday, apologised for telling the National Assembly that New Guyana Pharmaceutical Corporation (NEW GPC) had been paid in excess of $19 million for the rental of its drug bond, and that drugs had already been stored at the controversial Sussex Street property, since this was inaccurate.Dr Norton met with the media at Parliament Buildings shortly after he supposedly handed over a written apology to Speaker of thePublic Health Minister,Dr George NortonNational Assembly Dr Barton Scotland.Reading a prepared statement, Minister Norton said the answers he had given on August 8, 2016 in the National Assembly were in part a result of personal knowledge, in addition to the advice he received at the time.He added further that ever since August 8, 2016, “I have come to the firm position that the answer given to the questions related to NEW GPC and the storage of drugs at the bond at 29 Sussex Street, were not accurate and these were based on information provided to me. In the circumstances, I wish to express my sincere and profound regret to his Excellency, Brigadier David Granger, President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, Honourable Dr Barton Scotland, Speaker of the National Assembly, Prime Minister Mr Moses Nagamootoo and my Parliamentary colleagues of the APNU/AFC, members of the Parliamentary Opposition and all others who were present or were able to observe the process of the consideration of the estimates.”According to Dr Norton, “as Minister of Public Health I know that high standard of duty and care is expected of me and the staff of the Ministry of Public Health, so I take full responsibility for this unfortunate episode and give my full commitment that it will not re-occur.”ResignationResponding to mounting calls for his resignation, the minister told the media: “I have admitted that I made a mistake of which I take full responsibility for, assuring you that this will not re-occur and I am still committed.”The Public Health Minister’s subsequent pronouncements however, has left more questions than answers in addition to what the final cost of renting the bond will be, in addition to the $12.5 million rental fee; whether the new facility is in fact a savings to government, and further, whether the rented space is compliant with international standards for the storage of drugs and medical supplies.Appearing at the press engagement with Dr Norton was Director of Public Information Imran Khan−who at times attempted to provide answers for the Minister.PS signedDr Norton was relentlessly grilled by the media and said that it was the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Trevor Thomas, along with Larry Singh−the majority owner of Linden Holdings Inc, the controversial company in question−who were the signatories to the agreement, thus he was unable to say at the time who witnessed the signing of the agreement.As was the case with whether an apology was in fact delivered to the Speaker, Dr Norton gave varying answers with regards why an unsigned agreement had been released to the public on Friday−void of the signatories or witnesses.He suggested that what had been handed to the Speaker was in fact a copy of a copy of the contract and that the signatories were inadvertently left out.This he said would be rectified but up to press time, the complete agreement had not been released inclusive of the signatories for the Sussex Street property.Commenting on the fact that the inked agreement speaks to the rental of the premises for the purpose of a professional office and not a drug storage bond, Dr Norton said he could not at the moment provide an answer on the ‘technicality.’DPI khan at this point attempted to intervene and reminded that the Cabinet Sub-Committee had found that the Building did in fact meet PAHO/WHO standards for the storage of drugs and medical supplies but Dr Norton could not substantiate this claim with any form of verification.Too much spaceSpeaking about the cost savings in light of the discrepancies that have since been pointed out over the different proposals in terms of rental fee, Dr Norton said that Government found itself in a position where it needed space to store its drugs and medical supplies.He could not say however, what is the specific size of the Sussex Street bond, only that the storage space being offered by NEW GPC was too much and that government did not need that much storage area.Dr Norton said government was looking at how much money it could save in the shortest possible period, since there had been an emergency (unexplained) where government required storage space.He conceded that the problem of storage space only obtained when government decided to end its pre-qualification arrangement with NEW GPC−which in turn asked for rent to be paid for a service it had been providing free of cost for over a decade.Larry SinghAsked directly how Larry Singh of Linden Holdings Inc came to know of the need of government to secure a bond in an emergency situation, it was DPI Khan who attempted to explain but the media were adamant that Minister Norton needs to provide the answers.Khan attempted to suggest that the minister could not be expected to answer the question as to how the Ministry and Linden Holdings Inc initiated their arrangement. Minister Norton eventually told the media: “I would not be able to say that.”He was also unable to say whether Larry Singh was in fact a member of the People’s National Congress Reform, saying “I can’t confirm that.”Dr Norton was also unable to provide an answer as to how Larry Singh, ‘coincidentally’ paid $25 million to purchase the property−the same amount fronted by government in it security deposit for the facility−during the same time government began searching for an alternative storage bond.Questioned as to whether government was prepared to re-tender the contract given the brouhaha that has erupted, Dr Norton defended the merits of the actual contract, insiting that it was the better deal. He said: “There is a collective responsibility on the part of the Cabinet and um…every decision will be have to make at the level of cabinet.”Asked frontally if Cabinet−of which he is a member−is prepared to re-tender the contract, Dr Norton replied that it is not a decision that has been taken.DPI Khan at this point again interjected to remind of the Cabinet Sub-Committee’s recommendation that the contract be reviewed.Fall GuyDr Norton was also asked to respond frontally to the claim that he was in fact being placed as the ‘fall guy’ for someone within Cabinet with a personal interest in the contract.According to Dr Norton he was unaware of such a thing.Pressed again on how the ministry became aware of the Sussex Street property, Dr Norton said he could not recall when this happened but assured, “yes I did visit the bond and I was convinced that it was suitable.”Pressed again on whether he had suggested to Cabinet that the entire contract be revisited given the public’s reaction, Dr Norton said he did not, because he did not see it to be necessaryAccording to Dr Norton, notwithstanding the public flack, his public apology and the numerous questions surrounding the entire affair, he did not believe that the contract needed to be re-tendered. Dr Norton conceded that he was not comfortable with the way the entire affair played out, hence his apology but glowingly stated: “I am comfortable with the bond…I think it has what it takes to store the medication in a proper way”