Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Monday, February 28, 2005

New Cell Phone Law

I don't know if you've heard, but starting next month you will no longer be able to use a cell phone while driving unless you have a "hands free" adapter.

I went to Best Buy and they wanted $50 for a headset with a boom microphone for my cell phone. Having a friend in the cell phone business, I talked with him and was able to come up with an alternative, working through Office Depot.

These kits are compatible with any mobile phone and one size fits all. I paid $0.08 each because I bought a whole bunch. I can give it to you for free.

I've tried them out on Erickson, Motorola, Nokia and Verizon phones and they worked perfectly.

Follow this link and take a look, let me know if you want one.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

SMS Messages

May I suggest to our legislators: sangguniang panlalawigan, pambayan o panlungsod to consider a resolution urging d govt to strenously persuade major fastfud chains to use biodegradable packaging material instead of styro in conduct of their business?
Also, can you run a survey/poll regarding the National ID System and the Celfone SIM CARD mandatory registration?
Do you Yahoo?
You can post articles in this blog by sending email to: >
subicbayblog. reporter@ blogger.com . . . Or . . . olongapo.reporter@blogger.com

Saturday, February 26, 2005

2,000 US, British retirees on QE2 tour Subic

About 2,000 American and British retirees aboard the international cruise ship Queen Elizabeth 2 arrived here on Thursday for a day-long visit to various tourist sites inside this former American naval base.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Administrator Alfredo Antonio said the arrival of the luxury ship "evidently showed the successful transformation of the former US naval (base) into (a facility for) progressive industrial and tourism purposes."

"We provided our guests with the traditional fiesta experience to give them a taste of the Filipino hospitality and charm (which) we are known for. We also hope that, through the cultural show, our foreign visitors were entertained and at the same time had learned something about our culture," Antonio said.

The travelers took time to visit Subic's Safari Adventure, whale and sea lion shows, bird park, butterfly garden and the beaches of Grande Island.

After docking at Subic Bay, Queen Elizabeth 2, which is considered as one of the world's most famous luxury liners, will set sail for Japan and other destinations in the Asia-Pacific rim.

To fast-track the transformation of what was left of the former US military port facilities, the SBMA has tapped the participation of the private sector in developing a P160-million passenger terminal to accommodate international cruise ships traveling within the Asia-Pacific region.

Global Terminal and Development Inc. (GTDI) is set to inaugurate next month the first phase development of the Rivera Wharf located inside the former ship repair facility, which has been converted into a world-class port terminal.

Rose Baldeo, GTDI president, said the company would promote and market the Subic Freeport here and abroad as an international port destination for luxury liners while developing a one-stop cruise ship facility complemented with a world-class passenger terminal and tourist parks.

"The visit of Queen Elizabeth 2 in Subic Freeport would hopefully (convince) other luxury liner ships to come here and include the freeport as part of their regular route for Asia or even their world tour packages," Baldeo said.

Commissioned into service in 1987, the ship has sailed over five million nautical miles and has carried more than two million passengers on more than 1,200 voyages.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Dept of Trade to appeal used auto ruling

Newly-installed Trade and Industry Secretary Juan B. Santos has vowed to strictly implement the law banning the importation of right-hand drive vehicles to put a stop in the importation of used motor vehicles.

This developed even as Santos said the government is going to file an appeal over the recent Court of Appeals decision that overturned a Malacañang order banning the importation of used motor vehicles through Subic freeport.

The Chamber of Automotive Manufacturer of the Philippines Inc. supported the DTI moved to appeal to the Supreme Court the CA decision, saying the decision does not only affect the industry but the entire economy.

In a 31-page resolution, the CA affirmed the earlier findings of Olongapo City Regional Trial Court Judge Eliodoro Ubiadas that Executive Order 165 or the Motor Vehicle Development Program, particularly Section 31 banning the importation of used motor vehicles, is unconstitutional and illegal.

The CA then ordered the Bureau of Customs to allow the entry of used cars.

"We are caught by surprise and we should act with dispatch on this as we intend to appeal the CA decision because the quantity of imported used cars far outweigh the locally assembled units and this not only jeopardized the local assemblers but also the parts markets,’’ Santos told reporters.

Under the law, the importation of right-hand drive motor vehicles, whether brand new or used, is illegal but importers are converting these vehicles to left hand drives inside Subic to make the vehicles compliant.

"We are very much in favor of strictly following the rules and regulations. We have to prove to all and sundry that we can implement the law,’’ Santos said.

But the rules are not being following strictly as unscrupulous traders are able to circumvent the law.

"We have to see to it that the law is implemented,’’ he vowed.

Lina promises reforms at the customs bureau

Newly appointed Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina vowed yesterday to carry out major reforms at the Bureau of Customs (BoC) to build a conducive atmosphere for business enterprise to lure investors to the country.

In a speech after accepting the ceremonial flag from outgoing Commissioner George Jereos, Lina stressed that with the dawn of the age of globalization, there is a great need to act decisively to "make us attractive investment-wise."

On the same occasion, the new chief of the Intelligence and Enforcement Group (IEG) Deputy Customs Commissioner Celso Templo reported to Lina the seizure of a big shipment of smuggled Kia cars in 21 container vans from South Korea at the Port of Davao.

Templo told the new Customs chief that the smuggled cars had been declared as mere "spare parts" to avoid payment of correct taxes and duties.
Templo, who was scheduled to fly to Davao Friday to witness the opening of the seized container vans, withheld the names of the people behind the smuggling attempt.

He said that smuggling syndicates had shifted their operation at the subports in the provinces because of the very strict monitoring of all shipments at the port of Manila.
read more . . .


House gives birth to 2-kids policy

When being Filipino is a plus

Customs destroys P13-M pirated DVDs

TEXT SCAM ADVISORY. The public is hereby advised to be vigilant and not fall prey to fraudulent text messages presently circulating, informing persons that they won prizes from an entity-sponsored raffle, especially messages coming from regular ten digit- Globe, Smart and Sun Cellular Numbers. If you will receive such message, kindly inform us at telephone numbers (02) 926 7722, 4367722 or send an e-mail to ospac@ntc.gov.ph

Ricciardone twits Recto on P2-B visa revenue
US Ambassador to Manila Francis Ricciardone blasted the proposal to rechannel the P2-billion annual income of the US Embassy from Filipino visa applicants to the Philippine government coffers, saying it’s not Washington’s business to raise revenues for another state.
Our latest offering is a four-part series on smuggling in the Philippines. The series begins by giving an overview of the extent of the problem: the estimate of the revenues lost to smuggling range from P89 billion to P200 billion a year, enough to wipe out a big chunk of the budget deficit and to finance the building of thousands of schools and one million low-cost houses.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

QE2 at Subic port

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us The Queen Elizabeth 2, one of the world's most famous luxury liners, will make a port call here as part of its ongoing Asian cruise. Some 1,900 passengers, composed mostly of American and British retirees, will be given the opportunity to visit the Freeport for a whole day before sailing off to Japan.
Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Administrator Alfredo C. Antonio said it is a privilege for Subic to have a world-class liner for a visitor. Antonio further said that the passengers will have top tourist sites to see like Grande Island, Ocean Adventure, the Jungle Environmental Survival Training Camp (JEST) and other sites in the Freeport.
Simultaneous cultural presentations will feature performers from Subic and Olongapo and artists from the famous Bellestar Promotions. For the past 34 years, the Queen Elizabeth 2 has reigned as the Grande Dame of the high seas.

Filipinos are among the world's happiest people -- Survey

Filipinos are the happiest among Asians, and one among the happiest people in the world despite the many problems they have to face everyday. This conclusion is based on the study conducted among 50 countries worldwide by the World Values Survey.

In the survey, Filipinos placed number six among the top ten happiest nations, who indicated they are "very happy about their lifestyles." Venezuelans came out the happiest with a rating of 55 percent followed by Nigeria, 45%; Ireland, 42%; Iceland, 42%; Netherlands, 40%; Philippines, 40%; Australia, 39%; United States, 39%; Turkey, 39%; and Switzerland, 38%.
The survey appears to confirm the old adage that money can't buy happiness. Many of the wealthy countries failed to make it to the top 10. The World Values Survey researchers described the desire for material goods as "a happiness suppressant".

Love Bonus for Olongapo gov't workers

The city council of Olongapo unanimously approved yesterday an ordinance appropriating 4.4 million pesos (PhP4,428,000.00)for extra cash gift or "Love Bonus" of the city's 1,476 employees.

This after Mayor Gordon announced that enough savings were realized and the city treasurer giving the assurance that cash is readily available.

Government workers are excited with this development specially those who performed well since they will be receiving additional two thousand pesos as productivity bonus.

Gordon proposes P1 tax on text for education

It's another tax proposal, but Sen. Richard Gordon says this one makes a difference because people will know where their taxes are going.

Gordon, during a press conference at the Baguio Country Club on Friday, said he has drafted the Philippine Education Revitalization Act that will focus on solving the country's education-related problems.

Under his proposal, another P1 will be added to the cost of sending text messages through mobile phones. The revenue, Gordon said, will go to a special fund that can be tapped by the Department of Education (DepEd).

He said the proposal, which he called "educational text" or "text for education," also includes the creation of an advisory body to help the DepEd determine its priority needs.

"Education is in disarray, but no one is solving it. We are not focused. We keep on talking about the problems but we don't do anything about them," he said.

Gordon said an average of 300 million text messages amounting to P300 million
are sent in the country daily. In a year, this could amount to P73 billion, he said.

Gordon said if the tax measure is passed, text messages are expected to go down to around 200 million, but this will not affect the amount to be generated because the cost of sending messages will be higher.

He said the advisory body would be asked to issue regular reports on its accomplishments and explain where the money generated was spent.

"Hard sacrifices must be made by everyone. Imagine what P73 billion could do for education," Gordon said.

He said the country lacks at least 69,000 classrooms, 40,000 teachers and more than 55,000 textbooks.

Donna Demetillo, PDI Northern Luzon Bureau

"What this country needs is not a change OF men but a change IN men."

Wednesday, February 23, 2005


The No. 2 man at the US Embassy has declared the Philippines a safe and "great place to visit."

Except when it’s April and "it’s too damned hot," Deputy Chief of Mission Joseph Mussomeli hastened to add.

Speaking with reporters at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City yesterday, Mussomeli reminded the media not to make a big fuss over what he clarified was a "public announcement" by the US State Department, not a travel advisory warning Americans against visiting the country.

"The Philippines is a great place to visit. We welcome (Americans) to come and we believe — I believe — they keep increasing," Mussomeli said, referring to the heavy arrival of American tourists in the country.

In fact, he said, he and many other US citizens living and working here have been urging their relatives and friends to visit for a vacation.

"We would not have our parents and our children visit if it is really that dangerous. We certainly feel very safe here," Mussomeli told journalists at the military headquarters where he came on behalf of US Ambassador Francis Ricciardone to open this year’s month-long RP-US Balikatan military exercises. Ricciardone was busy because his father is visiting.

What puts the country in a bad light before the world, Mussomeli said, is the way the local media treat the problems of terrorism and the corresponding pronouncements by foreign governments.

"They are not travel advisories, they are public announcements and we have that on every country in the world. The difference is that the Philippine media make it (into) headlines. No other country in the world makes it a headline so it is not a big deal," the US envoy pointed out.

Malacañang earlier said the US State Department may have "overreacted" when it issued a public announcement last Friday, advising its citizens about high threats of terrorism in the Philippines. This came on the heels of Valentine’s Day bombings that left 13 people dead and 140 wounded across the country.

Mussomeli reiterated there is a difference between travel advisories or warnings, and mere public announcements.

"Travel advisories are very rare and, for many years, we have not had one for the Philippines," he said.

The American diplomat noted that terrorism is a global problem and attacks like the Feb. 14 bombing spree in two southern cities and in Makati City could strike anywhere in the world.

"There’s always a threat of terrorist attack but no specific credible information that there are any in the offing. Where the terrorists would strike and when is anyone’s guess," Mussomeli said. "It could be in the Philippines, it could be in the United States, it could be anywhere. It is not the sort of thing that should be focused on and worried about too much."

According to the US State Department website, travel warnings are issued "when the department decides, based on all relevant information, to recommend that Americans avoid travel to a certain country."

"Countries where avoidance of travel is recommended will have travel warnings as well as consular information sheets," the State Department said.

On the other hand, the department said it issues public announcements "to disseminate information quickly about terrorist threats and other relatively short-term conditions that pose significant risks or disruptions to Americans."

A few hours after the Valentine’s Day bombings occurred, the United Kingdom also amended its earlier travel advisory for the Philippines.

The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office advised its nationals about last week’s bombings and announced further updates would be posted as soon as more information is received.

The UK, along with Canada and Australia, earlier advised against traveling to all parts of Mindanao.

The State Department noted in its public announcement that the US Embassy in Manila continued to receive reports of activities by terrorist groups. There are more than 100,000 Americans residing in the Philippines.

The al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group, which the US labels as a foreign terror organization, has claimed responsibility for the Valentine’s Day attacks in retaliation for claimed oppression of Muslims amid a military onslaught against rebels in Sulu.

Despite the latest terrorist attacks, the Philippine tourism department has expressed confidence that more foreign travelers will visit the country.

During the first 10 days of January, Tourism Secretary Joseph Durano cited international arrivals at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport reported a 9.97-percent growth compared with the same period last year.

Movie starlet files sexual harassment complaint vs solon

Posted 01:22pm (Mla time) Feb 23, 2005
By Maila Ager

A MOVIE starlet has filed a sexual harassment complaint against a lawmaker at the House of Representatives, but which the legislator has denied. Accompanied by manager Baby Bueno, Anna Leah Javier, 25, went to the House committee on ethics to formally charge Zambales Representative Antonio Diaz.

Javier, a member of the sexy all-female group ‘Viva Hot Babes,” said she had nothing personal against Diaz and that she bore him no ill feeling, although she refused to accept an apology from the congressman. “It should have been done a long time ago,” she told reporters. “I'm not scared...He should be punished for what he did to me.”

Javier provided the committee pictures of her and Diaz when she performed in a birthday party for Zambales Governor Vicente Magsaysay in January.

But Diaz told INQ7.net that he had no intention of apologizing or settling the issue with his accuser.

“Why will I settle with them? They should settle with me!” the lawmaker said in a telephone
interview. “It's nothing. They are all liars. They are saying different things when they were interviewed on TV,” he said.

Diaz said he suspected that Javier “probably just wanted money” from him.
Bueno said she hoped that the committee would seriously look into the matter and that fair justice would be given to Javier. “We don't want to destroy anyone. We just want to inform the public of the immorality that he (Diaz) has done,” she said.

Committee chairman Roberto Cajes of Bohol assured Javier of an impartial and speedy trial.
“We will proceed with the case until there's a final resolution,” Cajes said. If Diaz is proven guilty, Cajes said he could be reprimanded, censored, suspended, or dismissed from the House.

During the 8th Congress, the ethics committee suspended former Nueva Ecija Representative Nicanor de Guzman for illegal possession of firearms.

Sales, jobs loss feared after CA ruling

LOCAL assemblers warned of a sharp drop in auto sales as well as job losses if a recent Court of Appeals decision allowing the unimpeded importation of used motor vehicles is upheld all the way to the Supreme Court.

“It is already impossible for the local automotive industry to achieve its target of 8-percent growth in car sales because of the expected influx of used vehicles into the Philippine market due to CA’s order,” Frank Nacua, chair of the Truck Manufacturers Association, told The Times on Tuesday.

In a 31-page decision, the appellate court declared as unconstitutional a Malacañang-imposed ban on imported used vehicles.

Nacua said the court ruling may force the local motor vehicle industry to scale down its 2005 sales target to “lower than 2004 levels.”

In 2004 automobile sales only reached 88,000 units owing to weak demand for commercial vehicles on account of higher tax rates on the latter.

The expected decline in vehicle sales this year would be due to buyers’ preference for cheaper models, which abound given the unimpeded entry of second-hand cars and sports-utility vehicles.

“Cheap always sells and first-time buyers would prefer something lower of value for their cars,” Nacua said.

He warned that a decline in vehicle sales this time around would be severe since local assemblers are already hard-up given the already high volume of registration of used vehicles.

For every 100 vehicles registered in a year, only 40 percent comprise sales by local assemblers and importers of brand-new units, Nacua said, adding that the remaining 60 percent of the market is cornered by suppliers of second-hand vehicles.

Vicente Mills, president of the Philippine Automotive Federation (PAF), said a slump in the local automotive industry may translate to job losses.

Without providing details, Mills said some assemblers may opt to stop new hires, while others reduce their existing work force altogether.

Worse, existing players may decide to postpone if not forego additional investments given the strong competition posed by imported used vehicles.

“The industry will definitely be discouraged to invest more,” Mills said. “That is why once and for all, something must be done to stop this [importation of used vehicles]. This was what Thailand, Malaysia and other countries have done.”
-MT-Niel V. Mugas

Pampanga native pushed as CDC president

By Mark Louie P. Roxas, MT Central Luzon Bureau

Rep. Rey Aquino of the Third District of Pampanga urged President Arroyo to appoint another Capampangan as president of the Clark Development Corp. (CDC) to succeed CDC President Emmanuel Angeles, who has recently announced his retirement.

“It has been virtually a tradition that a Capampangan heads the CDC as a matter of respect and sensitivity to the local populace,” said Aquino.

Aquino is endorsing the prominent Pampanga businessman Levy P. Laus for the post.

He said that the name of a non-Capampangan has been floated as a possible replacement of Angeles, who leaves the CDC on March 16. Of the five persons appointed as CDC president, four have been Capampangans. Angeles is the fourth Capampangan to occupy the position.

The Capampangans who previously held the post before Angeles were Tito Henson, now of SM Prime Holdings; retired Air Force general Romeo David and Angeles businessman Sergio Naguit. The only non-Capampangan to hold the top CDC office was Rufo Colayco, who was picked by deposed President Estrada.

“I have no objection to whomever President Arroyo will appoint as CDC president, but as a Capampangan I would push strongly for a cabalen as the first choice,” said Aquino.

He said that Laus, besides being a Capampangan, is a highly respected business leader and corporate builder in the country.

“Mr. Laus can very well hold his candle against anyone in the business and corporate world in terms of track record, success and stature,” Aquino said.

He stressed that Laus has Pampanga and Central Luzon at heart both as businessman and civic leader.

“Laus was a leading public figure and fund raiser to save Pampanga from lahar devastation following the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991, and has, for decades now, been a champion of countryside development in Central and North Luzon,” he said.

Aquino believes his endorsement of Laus is shared by his fellow Capampangan lawmakers and most Capampangans.

Court says President can't ban Subic car imports

THE COURT of Appeals has ruled that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's ban on the importation of used vehicles was unconstitutional.

In a 31-page ruling on Feb. 14, the appellate court's 4th Division upheld an Olongapo court ruling which nullified Executive Order 156, which prohibited the importation of used motor vehicles, saying that it had no legal basis.

"There is no law granting the President of the Republic of the Philippines authority to prohibit the importation of used motor vehicles. Consequently, we rule that Executive Order No. 156 has no constitutional and statutory basis and is therefore, invalid,” said the decision penned by Justice Perlita Tria Tirona.

The court said the executive department could not claim that Ms Arroyo issued the order based on her exercise of police power. Inquirer News Service
CA OK’s import of used vehicles


The Court of Appeals declared as unconstitutional the ban issued by President Arroyo against imported used vehicles, saying that the President has no authority to the issue order. read more . . .

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

'Love bonus' due next week

EMPLOYEES of the Department of Education (DepEd) will get their P3,000 "Valentine's bonus" next week, officials said.

Undersecretary for finance Juan Miguel Luz said all their regional offices except in five regions have started handing out what is officially called the productivity enhancement pay (PEP) last week. read more . . .


I think you'll like this one!!:-

Bill Clinton started jogging after his recent heart attack near his new home in Chapaqua. But on each run, he happened to jog past a hooker standing on the same street corner, day after day.

Each day he would brace himself as he approached her for what was most certainly to follow.

"Fifty dollars!" she would shout from the curb.

"No. Five dollars!" fired back Clinton, I'm the former President of the United States!

This ritual between Bill and the hooker continued for days. He'd run by and she'd yell, "Fifty dollars!"

He'd yell back, "Five dollars!"

One day however, Hillary decided that she wanted to accompany her husband on his jog. As the jogging couple neared the problematic street corner, Bill realized the "pro" would bark her $50 offer and Hillary would wonder what he'd really been doing on his daily outings.

He realized he should have a believeable explanation for the junior Senator.

As they jogged into the turn that would take them past the corner, Bill became even more apprehensive than usual.

Sure enough, there was the hooker. Bill tried to avoid the prostitute's eyes as she watched the pair jog past.

Then, from the sidewalk, the hooker yelled, "See what you get for five bucks?!"

Monday, February 21, 2005

Hot Babe heats up women’s rights issue

By Terrie B. Fucanan, Life & Times Reporter

Ana Lea Javier takes pride in being a member of Viva Hot Babes, a group of eight young, vivacious dancers who have become hugely popular among television viewers. She was a recent addition to the group, having joined sometime during the campaign period for last year’s elections, when the Hot Babes stumped for a number of national candidates.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Recently, however, Javier was prominently in the news, but the controversy she was involved in went beyond the usual show-biz innuendo. She has not only accused a congressman of sexual harassment; she has brought charges against him.

Women’s rights advocates have rallied behind Javier, using her case to rouse public opinion on the issue of sexual harassment.

The congressman in question is Rep. Antonio Diaz of Zam­bales. On January 30 Javier went on television to say that Diaz sexually harassed her and failed to give her the P50,000 talent fee that he and her manager had agreed on.

Two weeks later, on February 14, Javier surprised the 77-year-old Diaz with a Valentine’s Day “present”—she filed sexual harassment charges against him before the Department of Justice.
In her four-page complaint, Javier said Diaz forcibly kissed, caressed and embraced her at his beach resort in Iba, Zam­bales, on January 20, after the birthday party of Gov. Vic Magsaysay of Zambales.

Diaz allegedly offered Javier another P50,000 if she would give in to his advances.
Javier is the first show-biz personality to openly complain and file a sexual harassment case against a politician.

Diaz denied Javier’s allegations and asked Justice Secretary Raul M. Gonzalez to allow him to air his side. Diaz had earlier dismissed the allegation as an attempt by Javier to “attract publicity.”
“Her being a Hot Babe member is not reason for people to trample on her person,” Gab­riela spokesperson Gertranjo Libang told The Manila Times in a phone interview, in reaction to statements that Javier may have provoked the alleged sexual assault because of her “sexy image.”

“Nobody has the right or the power to abuse a person regardless of job or manner of dressing,” said Emily Mag­haring, spokesperson for the feminist legal resource Women’s Legal Bureau.
Added Rowena Guanzon, a lawyer: Javier has a decent job and she refused to have sex. “Why is it that women are blamed when they complain against an abuse? We should stop victim-blaming and face the real issue,” she said.

The real issue is not one but three, as far as sexual harassment victims are concerned, Magharing said.

• That five women and children get sexually harassed every day or one every five hours
• That the flawed Antisexual Harassment Act of 1995 (R.A. 7877) should be amended
• That society, including the male-dominated judiciary, “is not that sensitive to the suf­ferings with which a person, in this case a woman, goes through when faced with such a traumatic, highly degrading experience.”

Javier’s case has drawn wide publicity, but it doesn’t guarantee her victory in court, or that of hundreds of other abused Filipino women who have also filed charges in court.
For one, the country’s Antise­xual Harassment Act has flaws. “The penalty is insufficient and it has limited coverage,” said Guanzon.

“One provision cited that sexual harassment happens when a person of authority or influence demands, requests or requires any sexual favor from the other. But what if that person proceeds to harass sexually without even asking? In most cases it is what happens!” she said.
R.A. 7877, which was enacted in 1995, penalizes those found guilty with imprisonment of from one to six months, or a fine of P10,000 to P20,000, or both. Guanzon considers the punishment too light, considering the anguish and humiliation suffered by a sexual harassment victim.
The male perspective

Another big obstacle, said Guanzon, is that the law is interpreted from a male perspective, making it more prone to biases and gender stereotyping. “Only about 30 percent of those working in the judiciary system are women. There is a great tendency to trivialize the violence committed against women’s rights,” she said.

Women’s groups who have rallied behind Javier believe that sexual harassment is not a selective offense.

“We have addressed many cases wherein the victim was appropriately dressed and is not working in the entertainment business. But all the same they became victims,” said Magharing.
In the summer of 2003, the Center for Women’s Resources released a report which indicated that five women and children on the average get sexually harassed every day, or one in every five hours.

In another publication on sexual harassment released by the Saligan Women’s Unit in Ateneo, the statistics revealed that the majority of the aggressors are male (95 percent) and that the victims are usually women “between the ages of 16 and 19 (67 percent of the time).”
Flawed implementation

Another informal study conducted by Saligan in various trial courts (both at the prosecution and court levels) in the cities of Manila, Caloocan, Que­zon, Pasay and Makati indicated that “something had gone awry somewhere along the implementation of R.A. 7877.”
Of the 28 cases filed in court between 1995 and 2000, more than half resulted in a dismissal. The reasons ranged from the desistance of the complainant and the filing of a case of acts of lasciviousness instead of sexual harassment, to the difficulty in establishing the elements of the crime as stated in the law.

The report further stated: “It is surprising that there were a few complaints filed, considering the nature of the places surveyed. . . . The general public’s failure to properly understand the issue of sexual harassment, the general attitude of the people surrounding the case (i.e. the prosecutors, police, lawyers, etc.) and the lack of faith in the legal system as a whole may have an impact on the decision not to pursue a relief in court.”

The law is also poorly implemented, Magharing said. “No monitoring body checks on sexual harassment incidence in local and private institutions.”

A survey by the Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines recently showed that 64 percent of the companies in the country have yet to comply with the law of setting up guidelines for sexual harassment cases.

Amor de los Reyes of another NGO, the Women’s Crisis Center, said that despite the presence of a law and growing awareness about women’s rights, her group’s hot line got only 13 calls last year. “Some probably cannot summon the courage to seek for help. Maybe they’re afraid to lose their jobs or suffer the humiliation.”

Not only does a sexual harassment victim face the threat of humiliation and losing a job. She is also burdened with psychological and emotional trauma.

Paranoia sets in Gertranjo Libang of Gabriela, who is also a psychologist, said a victim “gets paranoid and thinks that it is her fault. But she is angry of course, so she comes out into the open to report the offense. When people wrongly start accusing her of improper decorum, her self-esteem starts to diminish. That’s when it becomes more problematic, because the victim may no longer want to pursue the case.”

In Javier’s case, Libang said, “the girl was probably too scared, aware that she was in an uncontrolled environment where the reported incident took place. In sexual harassment, only one thing can stop the victim from fighting: fear.”

What is sexual harassment?

It is any unwanted, unwelcome sexual conduct, advances or attention, request for sexual behavior or other physical verbal or nonverbal conduct, which is sexual.
The Antisexual Harassment Act of 1995 (R.A. 7877) states: “Work, education or training-related sexual harassment is committed by an employer, employee, manager, supervisor, agent of the employer, teacher, instructor, professor, coach, trainer or any other person who, having authority, influence or moral ascendancy over another in a work or training or education environment, demands, requests or otherwise requires any sexual favor from the other, regardless of whether the demand, request or requirement for submission is accepted by the object of said Act.”

Some forms of sexual harassment:
• Catcalls
• Green jokes
• Obscene letters
• Sexual proposition
• Intentional touching
• Suggestive looks
• Leering
• Posting of explicitly sexual materials
• Persistent demands for dates or sex

What you should do to stop sexual harassment

• If someone tries to make advances to you, say “No!” and stop your aggressor.
• Immediately report the harassment to the concerned person or office within your place of work or institution (e.g. immediate superior, human resources, guidance center)
• If possible, narrate the incident to a third person you can confide in.
• File a complaint for sexual harassment under R.A. 7877 or other provisions of the Revised Penal code. You also have available remedies under the civil law provisions on damages.
• Do not believe in the myth that sexual harassment is actually meant as a compliment.
• Seek counseling and join a support group.
• Conduct an awareness program to inform others about sexual harassment.
Saligan Women’s Unit

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Subic, Olongapo residents clean up rivers

By Malou Dungog, Central Luzon Bureau

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT: Officials of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and Olongapo City recently led some 1,000 participants in the second cleanup aimed at saving the dying rivers that run between the two areas.
Mayor James Gordon Jr. of Olongapo City commended the efforts of those who came out and participated in the event.
“This is a journey that has already begun with small steps made by people who came out today. Your efforts in helping revive the rivers of Olongapo and Subic are truly commendable,” he stated.
Gordon recalled how pristine and clean the rivers were years ago and it would be advantageous to both areas to have these rivers like they were back then.
“There are only two points that our visitors look at when they come to Subic and Olongapo when they come to visit here. First is the peace and order. Second is clean and green atmosphere. Our ongoing efforts to keep our areas well maintained and peaceful are what stand out,” Gordon added.
Retired brigadier general Percival M. Subala, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) deputy administrator for port operations, stressed that this campaign aims not only at reviving the polluted rivers but also at bringing out the good citizen that we are.
“This is an enormous task but it is worth the while of all the people who have come out to help here as these benefits not only our generation but for future generations to come,” he said.
Subala further noted that because of the good response they got from the first river cleanup held in November, they saw it fit to hold another one and help speed up the saving of the rivers here.
Severo Pastor Jr., SBMA Labor Department head, noted that the rivers have long been considered markers that point out the boundaries of the two areas but with the ongoing effort have now shown how united people in the community are in saving the rivers.
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Mayor Gordon leads the 2nd regular river clean-up drive, with him are SBMA officials, barangay residents, girl scouts and boy scouts (biggest delegation)
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Joining the officials for the cleanup drive were Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of Olongapo and students from different schools here and Olongapo.
The project is also being supported by investors in the free port along with civic organizations and nongovernment organizations.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Mayor's Day

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To better serve his constituents, Mayor Bong Gordon visit each barangay at least three times a week by way of jogging inspection, katalakayan mo si Bong Gordon (KBG) and mayor's day wherein he moves his office to the lobby of the city hall to ensure that everyone who wish to consult with him will be accomodated without having to request for an appointment.

P10M smuggled spare parts seized in Subic

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT ZONE -- Agents of the anti-smuggling task force foiled another smuggling attempt here when they seized on Friday about P10-million worth of brand new automotive spare parts and accessories.
Jose Calimlim, task force head, led the opening of two container vans initially declared to have two passenger vans each and loaded with used automobile spare parts and accessories worth 200 dollars.
But Calimlim's team discovered that each passenger van contained brand new car spare parts and accessories such as engine bearings, brake pads, air conditioning units, piston pins, fog lamps and car seats.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Subic Anti-smuggling team says P50M in goods seized

A TOTAL of P50 million worth of smuggled goods have been seized by Task Force Subic in a period of two months since President Macapagal-Arroyo created the task force and declared an all-out war against smuggling in the country.

In his accomplishment report to SBMA Chair Francisco Licuanan and Administrator Alfredo Antonio, Task Force Director Jose Calimlim, a retired general, reported at least 10 cases of apprehension involving smuggling of luxury vehicles, automotive spare parts, appliances, household items, jewelry and various second-hand vehicles.

"I am here to enforce and implement the order of our President for the sake of our government and country," Calimlim said in his statement.

The task force, a composite team with members from the Armed Forces, the Intelligence Services, the Bureau of Customs, Philippine National Police and the Department of Justice, is the anti-smuggling operations arm of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority.

Calimlim also credited the Bureau of Customs Port of Subic which is headed by District Collector Atty. Marletta Zamoranos, for vigilance and support in the anti-smuggling campaign

Fearless Pinoys at Subic

HOW far would you go to experience extreme excitement? Would you traverse a two-inch steel beam suspended three stories high? Would you eat a cat's intestine or a bull's testicles? Would you dare go underwater with ferocious crocodiles?

Ten daring individuals who have the guts for these adventures will compete in the Philippines' first extreme stunt television production on AXN. The show, called Enervon AXN Xtreme, will be broadcast soon in more than 30 Asian countries.

After six hours of grueling tryouts and tough interviews during the qualifying rounds last December at the Rizal Coliseum, five guys and five girls were chosen to compete.

The Pinoy male species is represented by young politician Marc Leviste, commercial model Geoff Rodriguez, Mechanical Engineering student Gong Shu Xian, future scuba diver Fabian Mangahas and "student for life" Jimmy Hendra.

Challenging the guys are Chinese educator Jolly Chinuangco, party animal Monick Enriquez, single mother Cookie Lee, smiley-faced Anne Luverne Olandez and Filipino-American beauty queen Michelle Nocon.

Subic was the perfect setting for the extreme challenges presented in the show. Starting Feb. 24, catch all finalists in three hair-raising episodes that will see them carry out one thrilling feat after another in their quest for Asia-wide fame, fortune and glory.

Join in the fun and vote for your favorite contestant on AXN's website when an online poll kicks off on February 21. For plucky Pinoys who want to experience first-hand the spirit of the Enervon AXN Xtreme stunts, an on-ground event has been laid out for mid-February, giving the public a chance to share in the extreme action

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Rep. Diaz kinasuhan ng Viva hot babe sa DoJ

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Pilipino STAR Ngayon 02/15/2005

Pormal nang kinasuhan ng sexual harrasment sa Department of Justice (DOJ) ni Viva hot babe Ana Leah Javier si Zambales Rep. Antonio Diaz.

Sinabi ni Javier sa kanyang reklamo sa DOJ, pinaghahalikan, niyakap at pinaghihipo umano siya ng kongresista nang imbitahan siya na maging guest singer sa kaarawan ni Zambales Gov. Vic Magsaysay noong Enero 20.

Wika pa ni Javier, P25,000 lamang ang ibinayad din sa kanya ni Diaz gayung P50,000 ang usapan para sa kanyang show matapos siyang tumangging matulog at makipagtalik sa mambabatas sa rest house nito.

Idinagdag pa ng Viva hot babe, matapos siyang mag-perform sa b-day ni Magsaysay ay bigla siyang hinarang ng mga bodyguard ni Diaz matapos malamang uuwi na sila sa Maynila at pilit siyang dinala sa resthouse ng mambabatas at dun pilit na pinatutulog.

Nauna rito, isang open letter na nilagdaan ni Remedios Coady ang kumalat sa Kamara kung saan ay sinasabing ang unang inimbitahan ni Diaz ay si Jeniffer Lee subalit ng hindi ito available ay pinalitan ni Javier.

Nakasaad pa sa open letter ni Coady na gusto pa umanong gawing personal secretary ni Diaz si Javier kapalit ng suweldong P25,000 pero mariing itinanggi naman ito ng mambabatas. (Ulat ni Ellen Fernando)

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

BIR taps Boy Scouts in tax drive

The Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) pledged yesterday to support the tax information campaign of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to help the agency hit its R546-billion collection target for the year.

Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay, BSP president, and BSP Secretary General Jose Rizal Pangalinan expressed their support when they signed an agreement with BIR Commissioner Guillermo Parayno Jr. and Makati Revenue Regional Director Anselmo Adriano.

Speaking in behalf of Parayno, Revenue Deputy Commissioner for Legal Service Jose Mario Bunag expressed his gratitude and agreed to conduct tax information seminars to BSP members for them to be effective tax information agents.

Binay said the "BSP is more than willing to lend a hand for project like this, Lagi Kaming Handa."

Adriano is optimistic that the BSP’s tradition of patriotism, civic consciousness, and discipline will ensure the success of the tax information drive.

"The Boy Scouts can be effective instruments in encouraging their parents and the tax-paying public to register their businesses in their community and pay correct taxes," Adriano said.

Makati tax fraud chief Roy Tamane, who is the chairman of the Apo Scouting Commission, was instrumental in formulating the agreement between the BIR and the BSP.

Adriano said BSP members will be authorized to roam around commercial centers to report owners of business establishments not using receipts to their customers.

The BSP national executive board came in full force during the signing of the agreement, including Representatives Francisco Aniag, Del de Guzman, and Remedios Petilla as well as Makati revenue region officials, including Assistant Director Maria Nieva Guerrero and the eight revenue district officers

Death toll in Valentine's Day blasts rises to 11

Explosions in the business district of Manila and two southern cities on Monday killed at least 11 people and wounded nearly 130, with besieged Moro rebels claiming two of the attacks.

The three blasts came inside an hour as people were leaving work or going out for a romantic dinner on Valentine's Day. "The ground was shaking," said a man in General Santos City after four people were killed at a shopping mall.

"The people were screaming and running in all directions."

Security forces quickly blamed Abu Sayyaf, a small Moro rebel group associated with al Qaeda, for the improvised bomb in General Santos and a grenade attack at a bus terminal in Davao that killed a young boy.

In Makati, six people were killed in an explosion on a bus at a commuter terminal near Glorietta mall, major hotels and the nation's financial and diplomatic core.

"There's a strong possibility the attacks could all be linked," National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales said.

"They have admitted two. We will know more later."

A police intelligence official told Reuters investigators had not ruled out a role by Jemaah Islamiah, a regional network of militants linked to al Qaeda and the suspected fund-raiser for previous attacks by Abu Sayyaf and other groups.

Abu Solaiman, a senior Abu Sayyaf leader, said on radio his group carried out the attacks in General Santos and Davao to punish President Arroyo for heavy military offensives in Jolo, its stronghold.

"This is our Valentine's gift for her," Solaiman said.

In February 2004, more than 100 people died when a bomb planted by Abu Sayyaf sank a ferry at the mouth of Manila Bay.

Nearly 5,000 troops on Jolo are fighting about 800 Abu Sayyaf fighters and rogue members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), which signed a peace deal with the government of the mainly Roman Catholic country in 1996.

"They are now trying to divert our attention and doing these cowardly acts," Lt. Gen. Efren Abu, the military's chief of staff, said on television.

At least 94 people were wounded in the capital and 35 in the two southern cities.

Arroyo surveyed the twisted debris, bloodied clothes and broken glass in Manila without leaving her car as her spokesman, Ignacio Bunye, called the attacks "despicable acts of terror."

"We shall not be intimidated but we must be alert," he said.

Police said they had found dynamite and C-4 explosive by a roadside in a Manila suburb earlier Monday.

The last major attack in the capital was in December 2000, when 22 people were killed in near-simultaneous bombings of a train, a bus and other public places on a national holiday.

That attack is believed to have been directed by Jemaah Islamiah and carried out by renegade members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which broke from the MNLF in 1978.

The MILF, which is due to resume Malaysian-brokered talks with the government in March, has said the fighting on Jolo does not affect its path toward peace.

The rebels, who enjoy wide support among Jolo's Moro inhabitants, said the attacks were in retaliation for civilian deaths during military operations

Expressway toll hike protest

"The economic hardship is already too much. The people are already beaten black and blue by the never-ending increases in the prices of petroleum products, electricity, water, matriculation fee and basic goods, and now the VAT increase and the collection of excessive toll fees at the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx)."

Thus shouted by many of the some 10,000 protesting individuals who came from the towns of Balagtas, Bocaue, Plaridel, Bulacan, Malolos and Bustos as well as residents of Guiguinto.

The protesters forced open the Tabe exit of NLEx by bulldozing the barriers in protest of its closure about a week ago. It was also a way to dramatize their disappointment over toll fee hike at NLEx.

Some 200 members of Sanlakas, Partido ng Manggagawa and Aniban ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (AMA) also participated in the protest action to demand the immediate suspension of the toll fee increase and a review of the agreement between the government and the Manila North Tollway Corp. (MNTC).

The removal of the barriers at the Tabe emergency entry-exit in Guiguinto town briefly sparked the tension among the rallyists and the policemen, but the lawmen just stood by and watched the protesters.

Fr. Ety Ignacio, priest of the St. James parish in Plaridel town and one of the leaders of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) in Bulacan, said the closure of Tabe exit and the unjust toll fee increase are immoral.

Ignacio said that private nvestors like MNTC will always want an immediate recovery of their investments by raising the toll fees.

While the rallyists marched on NLEX to show their collective stance against the issue, many of them shouted, "ang kalsada ay serbisyo, hindi negosyo."

This startled the policemen momentarily as they were sandwiched by the protesting groups.

"Hindi makatarungan ang mahigit na 300 porsyentong pagtataas ng MNTC dahil sa dagdag na pahirap ito sa mga mangagawa at maralita (the more than 300 percent hike in toll fee is not justified because this is an added burden to the ordinary wokers and the poor," a leader of the protesters said.

Other militant groups echoed the resentment of the Bulacan folk against the toll fee hike and lambasted MNTC for alleged violation of Presidential Decree No. 1112 which states that the government must not give the operation to any corporation that was given government guarantee for its foreign loan.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Janitor Fish to Clean our polluted river?

With the idea of Janitor Fish cleaning our polluted river specifically the river between Olongapo City and Subic Bay Freeport, here are some articles from the web that may be of help:

“Janitor fish” is clean (Article from DOST)

'Invasion' of janitor fish

Marikina River being rid of ravenous janitor fish

Sunday, February 13, 2005

DELAYED PROJECT Subic-Clark road to start finally

CLARK SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE -- After more than a year of delay, the construction of the P27.5-billion Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway will start in March, said Francisco Licuanan II, presidential adviser for the Subic-Clark growth corridor program.

Interviewed after meeting with President Macapagal-Arroyo here on Saturday, Licuanan said his office and the Bases Conversion Development Authority had submitted the contract for the project's Clark-Tarlac phase to the lender, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, and to the government's corporate counsel. "We expect approval shortly," he said.

The JBIC, he said, would receive the contract for the Subic-Clark phase by next week.
Licuanan said he expected no major hitches in the next months.

The delays have been largely due to procedural matters, he said.
Recently, BCDA clarified it was to shoulder all taxes resulting from the 94-km road project.
In a separate interview, BCDA Chair Narciso Abaya said his agency had "already come to terms as far as the contentious issues in the contract [were concerned]."

He said these involved the schedule on the increase of prices of materials and on the cap on the percentage of Japanese materials and services that would be involved in the project.
"These terms are in the JBIC loan. As much as possible we are negotiating with them so that we can get the best terms for the Philippine government," Abaya said.

He said the final stages of negotiations were being held with the two Japanese contractors and these would be concluded by next week.

Antonio Rex Chan, BCDA vice president, said the contractor for the first phase is the joint venture of the Kajima, Obayashi, JFE Engineering and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. He said the second phase would be built by the Hazama, Taisei and Nippon Steel joint venture.

SubicTel expands DSL network in Subic

SUBIC Telecommunications Co., Inc. has increased its capacity to accommodate more DSL subscribers in the Subic Bay Freeport area in response to the growing demand for high-speed Internet access. From only 514 lines, the company increased its capacity by 240, bringing the total to 754. This came as SubicTel, a fully-owned subsidiary of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., quickly built up its DSL subscriber base to some 480 subscribers as of end-2004. SubicTel Head Jose Ma. B. Abola said the subscriber pick-up for DSL subscribers has been faster than expected and that the company needed to upgrade its network to accommodate demand. "Right now we have some 100 pending applications for the DSL service. We believe this is a reflection of the development occurring in Subic in terms of the impact of the Internet on people's lives and their businesses," he said, adding "SubicTel is intent on meeting the communications needs of the Freeport residents with our cutting-edge network and cost-effective products and services."

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Poison awards for river polluters to go nationwide

BUOYED by its initial success in dealing with polluting firms along the Pasig River, the annual "Lason sa Ilog Award" is going nationwide to expose business establishments found responsible for dirtying waterways.

"Lason" (poison) organizers, led by the Earth Day Network and supported by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, are accepting "nominations" beginning today in the shame campaign against factories and other establishments that lack waste water treatment facilities or otherwise dump their wastes into rivers, bays and streams.

The campaign is one of EDN's projects in the run-up to the celebration of International Earth Day on April 22.

EDN executive director Toby Tañada said that like the original award which had focused on polluting establishments backing the Pasig River, the National Lason sa Ilog Award intends to "pressure" businesses near waterways into complying with the waste water treatment standards set by the DENR.

"From our experience, an industry can be forced to improve its operations after we have exposed it as a Lason awardee," said Tañada, a son of former Sen. Wigberto Tañada.

"Being identified as a Lason awardee has an impact on how consumers see a company. Marketing-wise, the [firm would] have to do something about that image," he added.

At a press conference in Quezon City yesterday, Tañada presented a virtual "who's who" of Philippine companies that had been slapped Lason awards since the citations began in 1996.

The list included giant food companies (hamburger chains, pastry shops, roasted chicken stands, specialty restaurants), shopping centers, glass and plastics plants, animal feed and textile factories, and even an association of hog raisers.

Former Environment Secretary Elisea Gozun, Tañada's predecessor at EDN, observed that "exerting public pressure on companies (through such mock awards) has actually proven more effective than actual... enforcement" of environmental laws.

The nomination period will run up to March 25. Parties that may nominate violators are local government units, academic institutions, nongovernment organizations, church and civic groups, and people's organizations.

For details, interested parties may call the Sagip Pasig Movement at 929-6626 loc. 2216, or 0919-3765748; or e-mail at ilog_lasonaward@yahoo.com.

Nominated companies will be inspected, the complaints against them verified by technical experts, until the EDN-which has some 2,000 affiliate groups nationwide-comes up with a short list of worst-polluting firms to receive the awards.


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Mayor Gordon leads the 2nd regular river clean-up drive, with him are SBMA officials, barangay residents, girl scouts and boy scouts (biggest delegation)
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Friday, February 11, 2005

NTC orders telco to stop charging for chikka.com

By Erwin Lemuel Oliva

THE NATIONAL Telecommunications Commission (NTC) on Thursday ordered all mobile phone networks to stop charging local subscribers receiving text messages from chikka.com, a local service provider.

Chikka.com is a Philippine-based company offering Internet-based text messenger services.
NTC Commissioner Ronald Solis said that chikka.com is not authorized to charge subscribers for a premium service it was offering since it is not registered with the agency as a value-added service provider.

"During the meeting of the Technical Working Group of the House Committee on Information and Communications Technology and the House Committee on Trade and Industry on February 7,2005, it was mentioned that subscribers who received text messages from chikka.com are charged P2.50 per short text message. Our records show that such service is not registered with the Commission," Solis said in a written order sent to five mobile phone companies.

Edgardo Cabarios, director of the NTC’s Common Carrier Department, told reporters that Chikka.com was not supposed to charge a premium price for the text messaging service since it is not even registered in the agency as a value-added service provider.

"We always thought it was a free service until recently," he added.

Sought for comment, Chikka.com spokesperson Junie Agcaoli said that it would issue a statement only after it sees the actual NTC order.

Chikka.com offers various Internet-to-mobile phone services such as Web-based text messaging. In its website, it indicates that its text messenger is a free service allowing local subscribers to send text messages to another local subscriber via a PC connected to the Internet. It recently bagged a deal with US carriers, allowing local subscribers to send text messages to US-based users.

Chikka.com's service however allows the recipient of the free text message to reply. In this case, the recipient has to pay a premium charge of P2.50 per message.

Users can download the Chikka.com text messenger software for free

Noah's Ark

Most people walk in and out of your life......but FRIENDS leave footprints in your heart

I couldn't resist sharing this one. Have a great weekend.

Everything I need to know, I learned from Noah's Ark.

ONE: Don't miss the boat.

TWO: Remember that we are all in the same boat.

THREE: Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark.

FOUR: Stay fit. When you're 60 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.

FIVE: Don't listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.

SIX: Build your future on high ground.

SEVEN: For safety's sake, travel in pairs.

EIGHT: Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.

NINE: When you're stressed, float awhile.

TEN: Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.

ELEVEN: No matter the storm, when you are with God, there's always a rainbow waiting.

My instructions were to share this to people that I wanted God to bless
and I picked you. Please pass this to people you want to be blessed.
Give it! Don't just get it.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Japanese, Chinese mining firms eye ZAMBALES

BENGUET Corp. said several foreign mining firms, including Sumitomo Corp. of Japan, have expressed interest in investing in the company's nickel and copper mining ventures on the islands of Luzon and Mindanao.

The company said it would need a total of 1.3 billion dollars to jump-start its mining ventures.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange, Benguet said it was now negotiating with a Japanese group comprising Sumitomo and Sojitz (Nisho Iwai) about possible investment in Benguet's multi-billion-peso nickel mining project in the province of Zambales on the main island of Luzon.

The Metallurgical Corporation of China is also set to conduct due diligence on the nickel venture, the company added.

"Benguet Corp. estimates a minimum budget of 800 million dollars in capital expenditure (budget would be needed) to do detailed exploration and development of the nickel property," the company said.

Benguet said its copper mining project on the southern island of Mindanao has also attracted inquiries from several foreign mining firms, including Zijin Co. of China.

A budget of 500 million dollars would be needed to prepare the final feasibility study, it added

Kung Hei Fat Choy

Kung Hei Fat Choy

"Wishing You Success and Prosperity!"

Congratulations and be prosperous in the year of the rooster!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


The 2nd REGULAR RIVER CLEAN-UP is scheduled on 12 February 2005, Saturday, 7:00 A.M. As part of the Comprehensive Program of the SBMA and Olongapo in Maintaining the Health and Cleanliness of the Rivers, we are requesting the participation of our partner-locators and contractors by organizing a group of volunteer workers. You may also opt to contribute in the following manner:

a) Provide masks/gloves and/or lend their shovels and other cleaning implements to the volunteer workers.
b) Provide refreshments/food to the volunteer cleaners.
c) Participate in the Information and Education Campaign (IEC) of Ecology Center, Olongapo Environmental and Sanitation Office and other civic-oriented groups/organizations. This will include conduct of a short lecture to communities along the rivers, manufacture and distribution of leaflets, streamers, posters, etc.

The Workforce Development Division and/or the Service Contracting Office of the Labor Department shall directly coordinate with you on these matters. Partner-locators should confirm the number of participating volunteer cleaners . confirmation slip thru facsimile no. 252-4494 or 252-4496

Olongapo SP Passed 36 Projects Worth P27.4M

The city council of Olongapo passed RESOLUTION NO. 09 (Series of 2005)entitled:


Monday, February 07, 2005


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For Globe and Touch Mobile subscribers, send txt message to 29631000005203
For Smart and Talk n Text subscribers, sending message to 2071000005203

Messages (News) sent on above numbers will automatically appear in the NEWS

Saturday, February 05, 2005


Officials of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) assured residents, investors and visitors to the Subic Bay Freeport Zone yesterday that there are no traces of "Agent Orange," a toxic chemical used by the United States military in the Vietnam War, in the former American naval base.

Reynaldo Garcia, SBMA public relations office head, told The STAR that a news report saying that Agent Orange was shipped from New Zealand to Vietnam through the former Subic military base "should not be a cause for alarm."

Garcia said the report originated from a New Zealand official who was quoted as saying that "products used to make Agent Orange were shipped from New Plymouth to Subic Bay in the Philippines."

The report added that Agent Orange, which was used as a defoliant to reduce enemy forest cover in Vietnam, contained dioxin which poses increased risk of cancers, immuno-deficiencies, reproductive and developmental changes, nervous disorders and other health effects.

SBMA health officials, however, said there was "no indication that the chemical was actually handled or stored in Subic before deployment to Vietnam."

Ameth de la Llana, SBMA’s Ecology Center head, said the results of the 1996 Environmental Baseline Study (EBS) of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone did not mention any presence of Agent Orange or any similar chemical in all the sites most likely to be contaminated.

The EBS "also did not identify widespread, severe contamination of soils, groundwater or sediments resulting from US naval operations," De la Llana said.

The study, conducted by international environmental consultant Woodward-Clyde was in accordance with globally accepted standards for site contamination assessment such as scanning for a broad range of potential contaminants.

It also reviewed past land uses and activities at the former US naval base and assessed the conditions of the forest, mangroves, marine resources, air and surface water of the freeport.

The study concluded that the concentration of chemicals found in soils from 44 sites investigated "does not pose a major risk to human health" but merely "a negligible risk to health of the current and future non-residential occupiers or users of the sites due to lack of identified exposure pathways."

There was also "no evidence of potentially unacceptable health risk to people living off-site," the study said.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Olongapo Sanggunian Panlungsod ONLINE

The City Council of Olongapo made another "first" by having their approved resolutions and ordinances on-line. It can be remembered that this council made a name for itself by having their sessions cablecast live on television and aired via radio stations. With the advent of Internet technology, Information and Communications Technology Chairman Edwin J. Piano took the extra step to ensure maximum transparency in local legislature. Follow links below:

Resolutions & Ordinances 2004 to 2005
View Olongapo Sanggunian Panlungsod Website

Resources for Philippine Legislators, Parliamentary Rules
City Council eMail: olongapo@sangunian.com


Anti-terror allies the Philippines and the United States are to undertake 28 joint military exercises this year, a Philippine military spokesman said yesterday.

Twenty exercises would be combined maneuvers while the rest would focus on counter-narcotics and training for light reaction units, Lt. Col. Buenaventura Pascual said. Two exercises were already in progress, one in the northern Philippines and one in Davao City for counter-narcotics training, he said. Both are set to end on Feb. 18.

Capt. Dennis Williams, US Pacific Command liaison officer to Manila, said the scheduled exercises were subject to availability of resources from both countries. Officials had earlier said that US relief operations in tsunami-hit countries in Asia could affect scheduled military exercises in the Philippines.

"Last year, a few planned exercises were canceled due to... limits on available resources resulting from the Middle East operations and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations," Williams said.

The Philippines is a staunch ally of the US-led war on terrorism. Small groups of US forces have been training Filipino soldiers against al-Qaeda-linked militants in Mindanao since 2001. — AFP

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Subic tourism groups form umbrella organization

To further boost the tourism industry in the region, tourism organizations and stakeholders from Bataan, Zambales, Olongapo City and the Subic Freeport Zone formed the Greater Subic Bay Tourism Bureau (GSBTB).

GSBTB Chair George U. Lorenzana said the bureau aims to maximize the region’s tourism potential. “We have searched for common grounds that will benefit the industry and consequently, our businesses and our community,” he said.

GSBTB will anchor its marketing theme on the slogan “Your Vacation Haven Right Next Door,” and to its brand name “Subik.”

Lorenzana said the bureau has chose “Subik” because the word would be more catchy specially with the word ending with a letter “K.”

“We needed a fresh start, and a name that look Southeast Asean could market and promote and call their very own. We are quite optimistic that the name Subik will go a long way in accepting our drive to market the area as a major tourism destination,” he added.

“We envisioned the area, composed of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, the City of Olongapo and the adjoining municipalities of the provinces of Bataan and Zambales as a sustainable, ecologically sound tourism and vacation haven in the Asia-Pacific region,” Lorenzana added.

The bureau will be the forum, the conduit and the facilitator for businesses, organizations and government entities to work together for the enhancement of tourism, and will take an active role in all facets of the tourism-related environment including, but not limited to, master and strategic planning, marketing, promotion, service delivery training, product presentation, overall quality control, new product development and image enhancement.

Lorenzana said the GSBTB will establish, encourage and support programs aimed at positioning the Greater Subic Bay Area as a prime tourist destination in categories such as eco-tourism, land and water sports, resort center, gourmet haven, retirement destination, shopping paradise, convention center, entertainment, culture and the arts and fiesta islands.

The GSBTB’s Committee on Marketing Services, Sales and Promotions will device a sustainable advertising and promotion programs for Subik such as the development of tourism special events that would identify with “Subik,” creates tour packages, establishes tourism linkages and develop the “Subik” website.

Mayor James L. Gordon Jr. of Olongapo City congratulated all the officers and members of the GSBTB and assured them of the city’s full support and cooperation in all their plans.

Rep. Milagros Magsaysay of the First District of Zambales expressed enthusiasm on the creation of this tourism bureau, knowing that the areas of Bataan, Zambales, Olongapo and the Subic Bay Freeport are included in the 10-point agenda of President Arroyo.

“These places have a lot to offer in terms of infrastructure, beautiful beaches, nice accommodations, restaurants and the aggressiveness of all participants in the promotions of their respective areas. This is beyond politics, what we need here is cooperation to make these endeavors succeed.”

Inducting official of the GSBTB officers, Central Luzon Tourism Director Ronaldo P. Tiotuico, extended his congratulation to the newly organized tourism bureau and render the department’s support for this organization.

“The only thing that will make you successful is to make your presence felt throughout the world, and the website will help the bureau reach its clients, the website visitors doing business, accepting contracts and on-line shopping with the bureau’s different tourism stakeholders,” Tiotuico added.

The GSBTB officers are Lorenzana as chair, Vice Chair John E. Corcoran of Ocean Adventure, Secretary Cheryl M. Singzon of Legend International Resorts Ltd, Treasurer Linda Y. Lim of the Olongapo City Tourism Council and Bayani V. Chavez of Zambales Tourism Council as auditor.

The directors are Vicky S. Garcia, wife of Gov. Enrique Garcia of Bataan; Carlos Gamboa of the Olongapo Chamber of Commerce and Sotero Gan of the Olongapo Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce.
By Malou Dungog, Manila Times Central Luzon Bureau


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Diaz denies sexual harassment charge

A congressman has denied a "sexual harassment" allegation by a member of a sexy group of starlets known as the Viva Hot Babes.

"That is not true," Zambales Representative Antonio Diaz told reporters on Monday, a day after Anna Leah Javier made her accusation.

Diaz said he would have asked the committee on ethics to investigate Javier's allegation had he heard the starlet say that he actually "sexually harassed" her.

Diaz showed to the media the receipt of his payment to the starlet amounting to 25,000 pesos.

"I did not hear her (Javier) say sexual harassment. If she did, I would have stood up on the floor to move that I should be investigated by the House," he said.

Javier claimied that not only did the congressman harass her but that he did not also pay her the right talent fee when she was invited to perform at the birthday party of Zambales Governor Vicente Magsaysay, a close relative of the congressman, last January 20.

The lawmaker explained that he was actually getting the services of another Viva Hot Babes member, Jennifer Lee. But Lee's manager was asking for 250,000 pesos, which he said he could not pay.

"I thought I was welcoming Jennifer Lee but it was Javier who arrived," he said.

Diaz said Javier was paid for singing two birthday songs for the governor and no other service was asked from her.

"Nag-iingat nga ako sa kilos ko...Itong tanda kong ito, di ako papatol lalo na sa mga menor de edad (I am careful about the way I act. At my age, I have no intention of taking advantage of anyone, especially a minor)," Diaz stressed.

But during Diaz' privilege speech in congress, he rolled-out a poster of the sexy actress which prompted other lady legislators to stand up and demand apology from Diaz for the action since Javier is minor and the act was scandalous. Diaz promptly said that he is too old and had undergone hearth by-pass that he could not have committed such a senseless act.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005


Eighty-two lawmakers belonging to the pro-administration Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) have voted to postpone this year’s barangay elections to May 2008.

Party president and Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. said the move is aimed at saving P2.5 billion and "reducing divisiveness" in more than 42,000 barangays nationwide.

President Arroyo, Lakas-CMD national chairman, and the party leadership have endorsed the initiative formalized by Lakas lawmakers during a caucus last week, he added.

De Venecia said he was confident the other political parties in the majority coalition at the House of Representatives — Nationalist People’s Coalition, Liberal Party, Nacionalista Party, PDP-Laban, KAMPI and party-list congressmen — would support the initiative so it could be approved in plenary session and transmitted to the Senate early next month.

The postponement of elections would help reduce negative and destructive politics at the barangay level and enable Filipinos to face a looming financial crisis as a united nation, he added.

De Venecia and Deputy Speaker for the Visayas Raul del Mar — co-authors of House Bill 2803, one of several measures filed to postpone the elections — said that barangay elections this year are an exercise the country can "ill-afford at this time."

HB 2803 seeks to reset barangay elections to the second Monday of May 2008, a year after the local elections in 2007, when the fiscal problem would have been scaled down to manageable levels, De Venecia and Del Mar said.

The postponement of elections to May 2008 would allow the government to have more resources for the people’s basic needs without disrupting the flow of services to the barangays, Del Mar added.

The bill seeks to amend Republic Act 9164, a law providing for synchronized barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.

The simultaneous elections were scheduled on the last Monday of October.

"This (postponement of elections) will have a calming effect on the nation in the midst of the financial crisis," said Bukidnon Rep. Juan Miguel Zubiri, Lakas vice president for special projects.

"The national government can now focus its time and attention on solving this serious problem."


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