Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Thursday, March 31, 2005


OCAMPO"S Corporation brings to the Subic Bay Area the first ever "BRIDAL FAIR& BRIDAL REGISTRY "for couples who plan to marry but do not have the time to go to Manila to attend bridal fairs.

April 7-Thursday at OCAMPO'S OLONGAPO Branch brings together local suppliers of bridal outfits, florists, caterers, hotel & resort venues, bakeshops, photographers, printing materials, & other suppliers of items needed to make your dream wedding come true. The fair is open from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm. The fair then moves to OCAMPO'S BALANGA on Friday-April 8, 2005 to serve the Bataan wedding market.

OCAMPO'S WEDDING REGISTRY SERVICE. An integral part of the bridal fair is the OCAMPO"S Wedding Registry, whereby marrying couples who do not want to receive duplicate gifts could visit any OCAMPO's Store and choose the items they want to receive as gifts on their wedding day. Upon distribution of their wedding announcement or invitations, an OCAMPO's Bridal Registry Card invites the couple's guests to visit the nearest OCAMPO'S branch & pay for the gifts,which had previously been chosen by the couple themselves. The paid gifts are then wrapped and brought out by the giver, or givers, which he or she will give to the couples on their wedding day. They could also have the option of letting OCAMPO'S delivery service be the one to send the gifts to the reception venue on wedding day.
For other details, kindly text 0920.576.1132-Perla Escano, or 0918.357.2988-Thelma Llagas.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


As requested by our readers, here are the photos of this year's candidates for Subic Circle of Hunks (click thumbnail pics to view bigger photos). You may cast your vote by sending email to: subiccircleofhunks2005@yahoo.com
You may also post comments and rate candidates by clicking on their photo.

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Senator Gordon today expressed support to Malacañang’s proposed four-day working week for all government employees during summer as he disclosed that the new schedule will bond together Filipino families and would not only save the government and the private sector substantial amounts from the payment of electricity and water bills but will also boost the local tourism industry.

“The summer months of April and May are the months when schools are closed, and families would like to take vacations together in provincial and rural areas, beaches and rustic places. The three-day weekend would enable them to enjoy the summer, savor the refreshing breezes in the countryside, shorelines, hills and mountains and lakes and parks of which our country is blessed with so many,” said Gordon.

During his stint as Tourism Secretary, Gordon initiated the “Holiday Economics” or the four-day working week to enable government employees and their families to visit tourism spots on leisurely vacation trips or engage in entrepreneurial activities, thus boosting the domestic tourist industry.

“The long weekend provided Filipinos the chance to bond with their families and earn extra income by taking another job or by selling food refreshments and souvenir products,” Gordon added.

Tourism operators and travel agencies reported increased domestic tourism and revenues at that time as most urban folk wanted to escape the summer heat by visiting the countryside on their three-day weekend to explore scenic spots or even by just staying at home and spending time at parks, museums or just enjoy the air conditioning in the malls.

Gordon also encouraged the LGUs and local tourism councils of the most frequented places in the country to promote the “Home Stay Program” for tourists. Under the said project, families can open their homes to visitors and tourists, in effect facilitating real cultural exchange and interaction while generating additional income for the host families.

Department of Finance officials said the program would also boost the economy as spending in the countryside and tourist spots would create more employment and business activity.
Gordon recalled that there was a time up to the ‘60s that private and government employees enjoyed a half-day work schedule during the summer to escape the heat. But this practice was stopped on the claim that most offices anyway are air-conditioned. Now, however, he observed, the people needed to save on the costs of energy because of the high cost of fuel, but at the same time the economy needed to be boosted through increased domestic tourism

Monday, hottest day of the year

Yesterday was the hottest day in the country this year.

With temperatures reaching 35.8 degrees Celsius, the weather bureau recorded the highest temperature in Metro Manila for this year.

Nathaniel Cruz, weather branch chief of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), said the warm weather being felt in most parts of the country particularly in Metro Manila is indicative that summer is officially here.

"Expect more sunny days, hotter days for the next few months probably until May," Cruz said.

Yesterday’s recorded hottest temperature at the Science Garden in Quezon City, however, was two degrees higher compared to Sunday’s recorded temperature of 33.8 degrees Celsius.

Last year, highest recorded temperature here was 37.8 which occurred on April 28. This was .8 higher from the May 15, 2003 record of 37.0 degrees Celsius.

But the highest ever recorded temperature for Metro Manila was 38.5 degrees Celsius which occurred on May 14, 1987.

The said record, however, is still nothing compared to the 42.2 degrees Celsius highest temperature recorded in the country which occurred in Tuguegarao, Cagayan on May 11, 1969.

With the current record, Cruz said, the weather bureau will continue to monitor the day-to-day temperature in the country to see whether there is an increase or decrease in temperature

Friday, March 25, 2005


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Firemen and fire volunteers from Ulo Ng Apo Radio Group battle fire that almost toppled two electric post near 101 beach in brgy Kalaklan

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Red Cross Volunteers man the first aid station while DX3UNA operatives ensure smooth flow of traffic during the incident.

Thursday, March 24, 2005


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Various volunteer groups lead by the City Disaster Coordinating Council joined hands for the annual motorists assistance. Shown here are communications groups Kabalikat Civicom and DX3UNA, CDCC Head Teng Tolentino, Telecom Chairman Edwin Piano, Traffic Consultant Joe Ramos, Rescue and Special Reaction Teams.

BANTAY LANSANGAN post by the entrance of the city in Caltex Sta Rita manned by SCAN Int'l and PUD personnel
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Scooter riding members of the Ulo Ng Apo Amateur Radio Club patroling the streets of Olongapo-Subic-Zambales


Senator Richard Gordon today called on the nation to unite and collectively pray for the country as we pause for reflections and worship this Lenten season.

“The Lenten season is the time to reflect on the love of the Lord to mankind and the sacrifices of Jesus to redeem our sins. Let us learn from these lessons of giving and make our own sacrifices for the love of our country,” Gordon said.

According to Gordon, who is also Chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross, though the Philippines was hit by typhoons and has been threatened by terrorist attacks, we have still been fortunately spared from major natural and man-made calamities which struck the world in the past year. He said this should be reason enough for us to celebrate and start giving ourselves to those who are more in need.

“Let us set aside our personal desires and really start thinking and acting for our fellowmen. Let us think of what we can give rather than what we can get. It is only when we get affected by what we do and what we give out that we truly make sacrifices,” said Gordon.

As devotees flock the churches and pilgrimage, Gordon asked the nation to include in their prayers those who were affected by the successive typhoons late last year, the families who were orphaned by the battles in Mindanao, and each Filipino who strive to survive with meek resources everyday. He also called for prayers for the recovery of the Pope.

“We are a strong nation. We may be lacking in resources but we can work together in attaining our goals. We have helped each other and have risen after the typhoons, we have worked together to curb terrorist threats, we have stood up for many economic and political issues. Let us include our fellowmen in our reflections and prayers. Ultimately, the world will once again recognize our strength and we will gain their respect,” said Gordon

4-day week in govt from April to May

A change in lifestyle of government employees.

The government will shorten the work week starting next month to conserve energy in light of soaring world oil prices.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo approved the four-day work week for all government agencies during a meeting of the National Economic and Development Authority board in Malacañang Tuesday night.

Higher consumption

“The four-day work week will be for two months starting April until end-May, when our electricity consumption tends to rise,” Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla told reporters in a separate press conference.

April and May are the hottest months that call for increasing the use of air conditioners, electric fans and other cooling devices.

Lotilla said government employees will still put in 40 hours a week despite the shortened work week. The Department of Budget and Management will announce details next week.

Presidential Spokesperson Ignacio Bunye said the government will undertake appropriate measures to ensure that the scheme does not prejudice the public and essential services are delivered.

Austerity in August

In August, Ms. Arroyo launched an energy conservation program that includes limited use of air conditioners and government vehicles.

Lotilla said the shortened work week will result in at least 10 percent savings in electricity and fuel as well as the expenses of government employees.

“As a rule of thumb, our total demand for power increases by 100 megawatts when the weather becomes hotter by one degree Celsius, or an additional consumption of 125 barrels per hour,” Lotilla said.

The four-day work week will enable employees to save on transport and incidental expenses while giving more quality time to their families, he said.


Lotilla pointed out that conservation measures are being strictly implemented at the energy department. Energy saving measures, like setting air conditioners to low cool between 12 noon and 1 p.m. and turning them off by 4 p.m. and putting out lights and computers between 12 noon and 1 p.m., saved the department some P1.4 million from September to December last year.

Efficient use of department vehicles also reduced consumption by 4,271 liters of fuel or savings of more than P114,000 during the period, Lotilla said

“For each of us, it will require a change in our lifestyle, in the way we do things. Government has set the example. Let’s make energy conservation a way of life,” he said.

China to invest $300M in Subic glass factory

China's leading glass manufacturing company plans to nvest $300 million at the freeport, officials of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) said on Monday.

SBMA Administrator Alfredo Antonio said Wang Changlin, president of Hebei Jingniu, a major glass company in China, has considered plans to put up his firm's glass factory at the Subic Gateway District.

"After conducting ocular inspections in several areas recommended by the SBMA investment and processing department, we have finally chosen a very suitable plant site," Wang said during a recent meeting with Antonio and SBMA Chair Francisco Licuanan III.

Licuanan said the SBMA has also invited other Chinese investors to come and nvest in Subic.

"We are very, very interested in inviting you to Subic. You are assured that the SBMA will give you the support you need to fast-track the processing of your company's requirements," Licuanan told the visiting Chinese investors.

The investment amount is the biggest made by a Chinese firm to date since President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's visit to China last year.

The Chinese investors said they were determined to invest in Subic because of its strategic location for transshipment and effective security system.

The plant will need at least 100 hectares of industrial flat land to accommodate the production plant for products such as rolling crystallite glass and coated online float glass that are exported to more than 50 countries in Asia, Europe, the United States and Africa.

"We produce high technology crystallite glasses that are seven to eight times more wear-resistant than alloy steel and 10 to 25 times corrosion-resistant than stainless steel. That is why they are very suitable to use as industry and building materials," Wang said.

The company's other products include float sheet glass and solar control reflective glasses.

Wang was accompanied by senior Jingniu executives and George Judan, Philippine trade representative to Shanghai.

During the construction period, the project will hire more than 3,000 workers. Upon completion, the company will employ 2,000 workers and 1,000 administrative employees, SBMA officials said.

Gov't owes vets P24B

A senator has called on the Philippine and United States governments to work for the compensation of Filipino war veterans, especially those who fought during World War II.

"Let us not forget those who died. But let us also not forget our veterans who are still alive," Sen. Richard Gordon said in a speech during rites commemorating the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the islands of Panay, Guimaras and Romblon from Japanese occupation.

Gordon said Filipino veterans in the US "have gotten their fair share" in terms of benefits and compensation but he said veterans in the Philippines "have gotten nothing so far."

He said non-payment could have been caused by too many claimants who
applied for compensation and benefits.

"But an effort must be made by both the Philippines and the US to find out the legitimate ones and they should not hide behind the fact that too many people are applying. They must find those who really died and served this country during that fateful war," said Gordon.

P24B in debt

Gordon said the Philippine government owes all veterans, including those who fought in World War II, around P24 billion in compensation as mandated by law.

"It is not right to say we have no money. We must find that money to pay for the veterans," the senator said.

In an interview with reporters, the senator said the Philippines would have difficulty pushing for compensation from the US if it cannot pay the veterans.

Gordon's call was cheered by around 800 veterans and their families who attended the commemoration at the Iloilo Freedom Grandstand.

"We have long been hoping that our P5,000 monthly pension would be increased," said Rafael Sobremisana, 86, from Barangay Baybay Sur, Miag-ao town in Iloilo. He fought on the island of Guimaras and in Jaro District during the war.

Still alive

There are around 2,000 veterans still alive in Panay, Romblon and Guimaras, said Rodolfo Lataquin, president of the 6th Military District World War II Veterans Association, Inc.

He said at least 18,000 joined the resistance movement against the Japanese occupation on these islands.

The ceremony was attended by defense attaches of the United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia and Japan.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

More international commercial flights at Clark

More international commercial flights will soon be mounted at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) at Clark zone. Clark Development Corp. (CDC) executive vice-president Victor Jose Luciano said that the latest airline firms which have decided to fly in Clark were Air Asia (of Malaysia), Tiger Asia (of Singapore), Air Thai (of Thailand). Already having regular flights at Clark are Asiana, Asian Spirit and SeaAir.

In addition, United Parcel Service (UPS) has established at Clark its intra-Asia hub. FeDex also has reserved a big parcel of land at the DMIA aviation complex in preparation for the transfer of its hub from Subic International Airport. Negotiations for the entry of these commercial flights to Clark have been initiated by former CDC president and CEO Emmanuel Y. Angeles and Luciano. They too were instrumental in the acquisition of a top-of-the-line radar system costing $11 million which installation is now being prepared.

Newly installed CDC president Antonio Ng has announced that one of his main thrusts is the further development of DMIA into the country’s premier international airport. In fact, he said that DMIA would soon be used as the main entry and exit points of the thousands of overseas Filipino works who hail in Central and Northern Luzon

SM Clark Megamall welcomed

The construction of the P500-million SM Megamall near the main gate of Clark Special Economic Zone is a done deal. The Clark Development Corp. board of directors has approved the mall’s construction with the endorsement of no less than President Arroyo months ago. In fact, SM management donated an initial funding of P50 million for the development of the nearby 12-hectare Bayanihan Park into a world-class theme park.

Several civic and business leaders in Central Luzon have welcomed the Clark SM Megamall project, saying that it would generate at least 12,000 jobs. Romy P. Yusi Sr., regional governor for Central Luzon of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc., said the SM-Clark project will benefit thousands of consumers because it would create business competitions. Yusi explains that fair business competitions will mean reduction of prices of commodities.

Yusi was wondering why some people opposed the establishment of SM-Clark when they did not scream a howl in the recent construction of the giant Robinson Mall and the Puregold mall near Clark zone. He added that the three-story Jenra Mall and Nepo Mall in the heart of Angeles City as well as the Saver’s Mall in Barangay Balibago were also constructed without any opposition from local residents.

Another benefit that Angeles residents got from SM management is the construction of a multimillion-peso antiflooding drainage system along the MacArthur Highway in Barangay Balibago. SM Prime Holdings, owners of the chain of SM malls in the country, funded the drainage project together with the Angeles City government. The construction site is a perennial flood-prone area during rainy seasons.

Angeleños will not deny that, for the first time in recent memory, they finally realized having a world-class theme park. Yusi said that Angeleños, including government officials, were grateful to SM management for the modern theme park.


Subic sizzles as twenty-two good looking young men go through their paces in the much awaited Swimwear Competition, the 2nd segment in this year's Subic Circle of Hunks 2005' Contest which moves to White Rock Quality Resort Hotel at 7:00 pm on Sunday-April 3. This time, the 22 candidates aged 15-22 will wear Arte Cuatro's signature "camouflage trunks".

To vote thru SMART, Type POLLCandidate (choose from candidates A-V),then send to 70092. You must register first by typing POLL [spacehunks]vote via e-mail, send mail to ivotesubiccircleofhunks2005@yahoo.com.

To get hassle-free choice seats without lining up, deposit over the counter to the account of FERNANDITO A. LANADA. S/A 01005-055476- 2, Prudential Bank Olongapo Branch. Then text 0920.855.6709 date, time, and amount deposited, after which you will get your seat number via text. Presenting the validated deposit slip together with the confirmation text detailing your seat number at the gate on show date, gets you escorted to your reserved seat without stress. Half of the available 700 seats are offered via the net, and bank deposit combination, while the other half could be bought from ticket outlets or by lining at the gate on show dates and hoping to get the nearest seat. Premium seats are also available by calling 0920.855.6709.

HUNKS VIDEO AVAILABLE: For viewers who cannot physically go to the contest, an edited CD is available by calling 0920.855.6709 Fernan Lanada- Media RelationsOfficer , or Cell.0918.904.8040-Production Director Dr. Roger l. Nuqui.

HOTEL DISCOUNTS:Three Subic Resorts Association members, White Rock www.whiterocksubic.com, Oceanview subiccircleofhunks2005@yahoo.com, (use 101854 as password )and Del's Spring Resort, gosubicseminars@yahoo.com, (use 101854 as password, thank you.) offer special rates on showdates which are only valid when booking in advance by texting 0920.855.6709. Deposit terms and restrictions apply.

DUTY-FREE SHOPPING ASSISTANCE:Royal Subic has also announced that they are open for pre-and post show shopping from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm on showdates April 3-4,and April 23-24.

A WIDER & GREATER POOL OF CONTESTANTS: According to Production Director Dr. Roger L. Nuqui,this year's contest has evolved from the past 4 editions of Ginoong Subic , into Subic Circle of Hunks 2005 in order to have a wider reach and scope, enabling contestants from other places to join, and also to align with the aims & touristic programs of the newly formed Greater Subic bay Area Tourism Bureau creating "SUBIK"as a newer and wider destination. "Events like these act as magnets for tourists to come to our area, benefiting everyone",he added.

Show sponsors are White Rock, Mcdonald's, Daylite Studio, STV 6, Dream Plaza, Centro Fashion Department Store, & Smart Wireless center

Tuesday, March 22, 2005


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Monday, March 21, 2005

New Legal Officer

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Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. today designated Atty Angelito R. Orozco to head the City’s Legal Department, this after Atty Ellen Aguilar officially retired from government service. In his acceptance speech, Orozco stated that he will be focusing first in giving legal service to the city administration and constituents who will have the need for a free legal service. The mayor also instructed Orozco to look into land cases that the city had long been pursuing.

Sunday, March 20, 2005


Senator Richard Gordon today hailed Manny Pacquiao for an admirable fight at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas saying that the young boxer has once again boosted the Filipinos’ image abroad.

“Manny made us all proud,” said Gordon, adding that Pacquiao may have lost inside the ring by decision but he is a winner in every Filipino’s heart as he showed a venerable performance and earned the world’s respect.

Gordon commended Pacquiao for finishing the course with his head up high. “All Filipinos should salute him. He played fair and demonstrated confidence that did not make Morales’ victory easy,” said Gordon.

Gordon said Pacquaio promoted abroad the image of the Filipinos as he ascertained the Filipinos as a strong contender in the field of sports. According to him, the enormous HBO sales established the strong Filipino market in the US considering that it was a non-title fight. He added that this phenomenon would recognize the Filipino market as an important constituency in the US and in the whole world.

Gordon urged the Filipinos to unite and make this event a catalyst to national change so that despite our lack of resources, we can attain our goals. Gordon emphasized that with Pacquiao’s admirable fight in the international limelight, the world once again recognized us as a potent force both in economic and political terms.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Robbery Suspects Arrested

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Olongapo City PNP arrested robbery suspects Arnold Santos y Labampa, Christopher Alviento y Gorospe and Boyet Villanueva y Olaso who broke into the Office of City Councilor Cynthia G. Cajudo last March 16, 2005. Shown are items recovered from the suspects which include a Video CD Player, a stereo component system and a mobile sound system.

Olongapo City Road Projects Inspected

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Mayor James Bong Gordon Jr. inspected yesterday the road Concreting Project in Irving St., New Kalalake. One of the City's priority projects for this year.

Thursday, March 17, 2005


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Senator Richard Gordon called for the nation to focus on revitalizing education or face the consequence of worsening poverty, given the shortage of about 55,000 classrooms and 49,000 teachers nationwide that has resulted in the declining quality of education in the country.

“We keep on talking about the education system in the country but there is a lack of focus and direction,” said Gordon. According to the Senator, the downward spiral of our educational system is an alarming concern which must take priority over the rest of the country’s problems. Reports from the Department of Education showed that in the High School Readiness Test (HSRT) for year 2004, the highest score registered was by students from Surigao del Norte who registered an average score of 87%. Furthermore, only 0.64% of incoming high school students obtained a mark of 75% or higher in the HSRT and the country ranks 43rd out of 45 countries in math and science proficiency.

Gordon disclosed that the quality of our teachers are not any better given that only 19% got a mark of 75% or higher in the English Proficiency Test for teachers. “This just shows the need to provide our teachers with training and further education. How can they teach their students if they themselves fail in their own exams?”

Aggravating the problem of teacher and student quality is the astonishing lack of resources which amounts to approximately 30 billion pesos; as of 2004, the country needs 36.6 million textbooks, 57,930 classrooms and 49,700 teachers. The teacher shortage has resulted in a ratio of one teacher per 75 students.

Gordon expressed an urgent need to raise additional revenue and it can be done through taxing text messages and utilizing the revenue that will be raised specifically as a special fund for education, as allowed by the constitution [Art. VI, Section 29. (3) All money collected on any tax levied for a special purpose shall be treated as a special fund and paid out for such purpose only. If the purpose for which a special fund was created has been fulfilled or abandoned, the balance, if any, shall be transferred to the general funds of the Government.]

The proposed law, to be known as the Education Revitalization Act will create a commission that will be tasked to control, manage, administer, and monitor the disbursement, use and allocation of funds generated through text financing. The levy, assessment and collection of the said tax will only be for five (5) years. After the specified period, the concerns regarding the shortage of classrooms, textbooks and teachers is expected to have been addressed.

“Aside from the educational infrastructures, part of the instructional reform will be a massive re-training program for the teachers,” added Gordon.
While a revenue measure is seen by most as an additional burden, Gordon emphasized the need for it “if the lives of the masses are to be uplifted and the country is to become globally competitive,” adding that “an educated public contributes to the long-term development of the nation because with highly skilled workers, more opportunities would be available.”

“The present trend is geared towards service-oriented industries such as the call centers, IT and health care. If we are not going to revitalize the education system now, we will not have skilled and quality workers that will attract investors in the country,” disclosed Gordon.
Participants of the League of Extraordinary and Admired People Congress coming from universities and colleges in Metro Manila, recently passed on signature sheets expressing support for Gordon’s proposal. Meanwhile, thousands of members of the nationwide organization, Philippine Youth Sphere (PYS), also expressed support for Gordon’s proposal.
During their recent national conference, PYS Executive Director Ian Barcelona said, “they may be young but they are willing to take bold steps to help the country prosper.” In Camarines Sur, hundreds of students and teachers of the youth oriented organization, Papica Leadership Foundation, also vowed to support the proposal. Atty. Francis Padua Papica, president of the said group, acknowledged that they support the idea because they know that they will be the one who will be directly benefited by it.


Senator Richard Gordon yesterday questioned the efforts of the Department of Foreign Affairs in pursuing the claims for the pension and benefits of Filipino war veterans specially those who are staying in the country.

Gordon discussed with Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo policies that the DFA should come up with for the protection and welfare of the veterans. He also asked Romulo to look into the Cunningham bill and other similar bills in the US that aims to restore the eligibility basis for recognition and benefits of Filipino veterans who fought in World War II. Among the benefits due the veterans are old age pension, disability pension, clothing allowance, and dependency and indemnity compensation.

“Our government should take a stand, make noise, and assert our history. We will not beg but we will push. You should push for one issue at a time,” Gordon exclaimed. He emphasized that these veterans “put their lives on the forefront of each battle to defend our country’s liberty and freedom, it is but just and fair that we accord them the privileges that they deserve.”

Senator Gordon deplored the seemingly lack of actions from the DFA in pushing for the protection and welfare of the old soldiers. “The Filipino war veterans are getting old and many of them are dying as we speak. I don’t see any strong efforts on the part of our government to try and push for what is due our veterans,” Gordon said. He said he cannot understand why the Filipinos, who fought side by side with the American soldiers, cannot get the same benefits and opportunities as the other soldiers at that time who also fought with the Americans.

“Only the Filipino soldiers stood by the Americans and never left their side during World War II, The Korean War, and War in Vietnam,” said Gordon.

Veterans Freedom Party Secretary General Rodrigo Gutang sought Gordon’s assistance in bringing the veterans’ issues to the legislature as he disclosed more reports on the delayed pension and complaints of some who still haven't received the full benefits they were promised.

Meanwhile, Assistant Secretary Jesus Terry Adevoso, Presidential Assistant for Veteran Affairs, vowed to extend full support to the moves aimed at empowering the Filipino veterans. He also lauded Gordon for leading the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the World War II with a year-long series of events nationwide, saying that this is a perfect venue to be reminded of the valor of the Filipino soldiers and for the veterans to express their concerns.

Gordon has earlier filed Senate Resolution #208 which calls for an investigation on the government’s efforts to provide the pension and benefits for the World War II veterans. The Resolution also seeks to explore ways and means to grant the said remuneration. According to Gordon, pension claims of veterans have been estimated at P23 billion in arrearages as of 2003.


Twenty-two good looking young men will showcase creative sketches this Saturday-March 19, at 7:00 pm at Subic Dream Plaza when Arte Cuatro Productions launches the Talent Night segment of Subic Circle of Hunks 2005, the very much awaited & premier all-male only personality contest in the Subic Bay Area.

To preview the 22 candidates, viewers are advised to go to yahoo.com, click the Photos section, sign in as subiccircleofhunks2005,use 101854 as password,and
choose your own winner. To vote thru SMART,Type POLLHunksletter of the Candidate (choose from candidates A-V),then send to 70092. You must
register first by typing POLLHunks, then send to 70092. To vote via e-mail, send mail to ivotesubiccircleofhunks2005@yahoo.com. To book seats
without lining up, deposit over the counter to the account of FERNANDITO A. LANADA. S/A 01005-055476-2,Prudential Bank Olongapo Branch. Then text 0920.855.6709 date, time, and amount deposited, after which you will get your seat number via text.

Presenting the validated deposit slip together with the confirmation text detailing your seat number at the gate on show date, gets you escorted to your
reserved seat without stress. Half of the available 700 seats are offered via the net, and bank deposit combination, while the other half could be bought from
ticket outlets or by lining at the gate on show dates and hoping to get the nearest seat.

White Rock Quality Resort Hotel is the venue for the Swimwear Competition on Sunday-April 3 at 7:00 pm where contestants wear Arte Cuatro's signature "camouflage trunks, while the Finals Night is at Dream Plaza also at 7:00 pm on April 23-Saturday.

Three Subic Resorts Association members, White Rock www.whiterocksubic.com, Oceanview subiccircleofhunks2005@yahoo.com, and Del's Spring Resort, gosubicseminars@yahoo.com, offer special rates on showdates which are only valid when booking in advance by texting 0920.855.6709. Deposit terms and restrictions apply. Royal Subic has also announced that they are open for pre-and post show shopping from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm.

According to Production Director Dr. Roger L. Nuqui,this year's contest has evolved from the past 4 editions of Ginoong Subic , into Subic Circle of Hunks 2005 in order to have a wider reach and scope, enabling contestants from other places to join, and also to align with the aims & touristic programs of the newly formed Greater Subic bay Area Tourism Bureau creating "SUBIK"as a newer and wider destination. "Events like these act as magnets for tourists to come
to our area, benefiting everyone",he added.

Show sponsors are White Rock, Mcdonald's, Daylite Studio, STV 6, Dream Plaza, Centro Fashion Department Store, & Smart Wireless center Center.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


With the country set to pour out thousands of more college graduates this month, Senator Richard Gordon yesterday called on the Department of Education to synchronize its educational strategy to the availability of actual jobs.

“The graduation of thousands of more college graduates this year would further swell the ranks of the unemployed,” bewailed Gordon, recalling that the current unemployment rate is around 11 percent of the labor force. Underemployment is around 15 percent, making the number of unemployed and underemployed more than one-fourth of the labor force.

Gordon suggested that the Department of Education, together with other government departments, like the Department of Trade and Industry and the National Statistics Office, should conduct a survey of jobs available in order to synchronize its “education strategy” with the country’s economic requirements.

Gordon observed that the misalignment of the careers and training of graduates every year with the actual need of the industrial, agricultural and services sector of the country has contributed to a massive employment and unemployment factor that is contributing to poverty.

“Now is the time to formulate a strategy for educational courses to synchronize with actual job needs before the start of the next school year,” said Gordon.

He cited the “scandalous case” of many doctors and other professionals taking up courses in nursing in order to get jobs abroad as an example of the “miseducation” of the Filipinos.

“We should find out if we have too many doctors or too many lawyers, and find out which of the professions and services are in need of more human resources, so that we can properly guide our next batch of graduates on what course to take so that they could ensure themselves of better, more remunerative jobs in the future, said Gordon.

Gordon also observed that while the foreign labor market is a lucrative source of jobs for Filipinos, the country could not rely permanently on this source because it could “dry up.” He pointed to the restriction of available jobs in Malaysia, Japan and other countries, as a possible trend for the future.

“Thus we must also try to re-orient our economic policies to create more job opportunities at home so we do not have to rely heavily on foreign jobs to provide livelihood and income for our people,” said Gordon.

He added that the education department, along with the National Economic and Development Authority, and other economic planning bodies could get together to synchronize their programs for job creation and job qualifications


Senator Richard Gordon yesterday hailed the forthcoming 23rd Southeast Asian Games scheduled to be held in the Philippines later this year as “another WOW event” that would boost tourism and show to the world the “organizational skills, infrastructure, culture and hospitality of the Filipino people.”

Gordon issued the statement in response to the call of First Gentleman Miguel Arroyo that he (Gordon) should act as the country’s “No. 1 cheerleader” in the SEA games.

“Now is the time to create a World of Winners (WOW), to unite our country and our people so that, despite our lack of resources, we can host the best possible SEA Games, putting forward the best in our organizational skills, infrastructure, culture and hospitality,” said Gordon. WOW, which stands for World of Wonders, was Gordon’s slogan when he was secretary of the Department of Tourism before his election to the Senate.

“The hosting of the SEA Games,” said Gordon, “is a job that goes beyond the organizers and the government, but extends to every Filipino, who has a role to play in the great honor of hosting the Games. Lahat tayo may taya dito dahil ito ay isang pagkakataon upang ipakita sa ating sarili na kaya natin ito at ipakita sa mundo na maganda ang ating bayan at magagaling ang ating mga mamamayan.”

He added, “We should look at the SEA Games as more than just a regional athletic championship event, but as a catalyst to national change, tourism and investment. Because when foreign participants see that we have a beautiful country with excellent infrastructure and facilities, with intelligent and hospitable people, tourism and business will thrive, creating more jobs and livelihood opportunities for us.”

Gordon also expressed optimism for a “full harvest” of medals by Philippine athletes in the competition. “We stand squarely and solidly behind our athletes, their coaches, trainers and officials, and those who support them, that athletic ability and the true spirit of sportsmanship may produce Winners of Worth (WOW) who compete not only for themselves and their teams but also for the greater glory of God and our country,” Gordon declared.

Ethics panel finds starlet’s case valid

The House ethics committee yesterday ruled that the sexual harassment and oral defamation case filed by starlet Anna Leah Javier of Viva Hot Babes and her manager against Zambales Rep. Antonio Diaz is sufficient in form and substance.

Bohol Rep. Roberto Cajes, panel chairman, announced that in a unanimous voting, his panel ruled as valid the complaint of Javier and her manager, Ma. Remedios “Baby” Bueno Coady, paving the way for a full-blast probe.

“Hearing no objection, the chairman declares the complaint sufficient in form and substance,” Cajes said.

Javier and Coady had asked the panel to sanction Diaz after he allegedly harassed and hurled invectives at the starlet when she refused to give him sex last January in his resort in Zambales.

The panel’s decision was based on the motion of Akbayan Rep. Loretta Ann Rosales, which was seconded by Lanao del Sur Rep. Benasing Macarambon.

Javier and Coady were gladdened by the decision, saying it indicated that lawmakers are independent-minded and do not protect each other when a complaint is raised against them in Congress.

“We just have to wait. It’s a victory on our part and there’s no more retreat in our fight although this will be a long fight,” Javier said in Filipino.

Coady filed a separate complaint against Diaz, claiming that he molested her when she was a 16-year old model.

Top business exec Ng is new CDC president

Known business executive Antonio Ng will take over as president and chief executive officer of the Clark Development Corp. (CDC) today, vice president Emmanuel Y. Angeles said.

Angeles introduced Ng to CDC officials and employees during last Monday’s flag-raising ceremony here and urged them to cooperate and support the incoming CDC president.

The new CDC boss exhorted employees to work together to boost the Clark Special Economic Zone, which is one of the country’s “national treasures that could pump-prime bigger economic potentials in the future.”

Ng, 55, expressed confidence that with the cooperation and support of the CDC officials and personnel, “the momentum that Angeles has established for Clark’s growth would remain.”

Ng has 34 years of professional work experience and held top management positions. He was the first Filipino president and managing director of Amkor Technology Philippines and the first Filipino president and manager of Motorola Philippines.

He was president and chair of Semicon and Electronic Industry Association, which employs some 350,000 personnel.

Mayor Marino Morales of Mabalacat, co-chair of the Metro Clark Advisory Council, said Angeles will be remembered by local and Angeles and Clark zone officials for his “unprecedented outstanding accomplishments and roles in the transformation of Clark Zone into Asia’s aerotropolis and leading investment center in the Asia-Pacific region.”

Angeles, for his part, thanked President Arroyo, the CDC board of directors, led by chair Rizalino Navarro, the CDC executive vice president, Victor Jose Luciano, for their support during his four-year presidency of CDC.

On Taguig Seige

Senator Richard Gordon questioned the implementation of rules in penitentiaries by the jail authorities as he called for an immediate investigation of the prison assault in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig yesterday which ended in a bloody siege that left more than 20 people dead today.

Gordon said prison policies have provisions on the control of firearms, prohibition of prisoners to be used for janitorial services, and transfer of jail inmates without conducting search for any dangerous weapons but all of these seem to be violated everyday.

“There are already existing rules on carrying of firearms within prison facilities. But are these rules clear to the law enforcers. How come the inmates were able to grab weapons from the jail guards?” asked Gordon.

Gordon disclosed that the operations manual of the jail guards does not even specifically indicate the areas where carrying of firearms will be allowed.

“We cannot afford a continued inefficient management within our penitentiaries. We should thoroughly investigate on the implementation of prison rules lest more families will be orphaned and place the country in a bad face as a country with inefficient law enforcers,” said Gordon.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005


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Senator Richard Gordon briefs the Japanese investors with the logistics of Subic during a site inspection for the Tokushukai Medical Group’s 1,000-bed medical cum retirement center in the Philippines. In photo are (L-R): Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Business Development Chief Ronnie Yambao, Tokushukai executive Koyoshi Wakamiya and President Dr. Takao Suzuki. Tokushukai is the world’s 3rd largest chain of private health institutions.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Marchant Marine cadet dies after being punched thrice

A freshman cadet at the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA) in San Narciso town died after a senior cadet beat him up on Friday, a police official here said.

Senior Superintendent Arrasad Subong, acting Zambales police director, said Fourth Class Cadet John Hector Alcantara, 18, of Las Piñas City, died after he was punched three times in the abdomen by Third Class Cadet Jake Chumacog, 23, a native of Baguio City.

The incident was reported to the Zambales police only on Saturday.

Subong said Alcantara died while being taken to the San Marcelino District Hospital in San Marcelino town.

PMMA officials turned over Chumacog and Mestieto, also a native of Baguio City, to the San Narciso police. The suspects were detained at the municipal jail and were awaiting charges of homicide.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Top Japanese firm keen on Subic medical center

The Tokushukai Medical Group, Japan's largest medical services provider, has expressed interest in making the Subic Freeport its next health and medical training hub in Asia.

This was bared by Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Administrator Alfredo Antonio during the recent visit of Dr. Takao Suzuki, president and chief executive officer of the Tokushukai Medical Group.

"We are pleased that a prestigious company like Tokushukai is looking at the possibility of putting up a center for its operations here. Subic can be a very strategic location for a medical facility of this nature," Antonio told The STAR.

Antonio stressed the importance of having a central medical center here that will not only cater to Subic and Olongapo but also to nearby provinces like Bataan, Zambales and even Pampanga.

"The idea of a world-class medical center here in Subic is very commendable because not only does it take out the burden of going to Manila for treatment but now, (people from) nearby areas like Zambales, Bataan and Subic can get medical treatment here," he said.

Accompanying the Tokushukai delegation to Subic was Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross. Suzuki earlier had expressed to the senator his interest in setting up a medical facility here.

"Subic can very well accommodate Tokushukai. The presence of an airport and a seaport can be utilized to bring in medical equipment and goods as well as patients from all over the Asian region," Gordon said.

He also cited Subic's potential as a retirement facility for elderly Japanese who cannot stand the cold winter season in Japan.

"The center can also be a retirement facility that can host Japanese senior citizens who cannot stand the cold weather in Japan. This would be a good boost to our country's tourism," he added.

The Tokushukai group was given a briefing and a tour of possible sites for the medical center such as the former naval magazine area and the Upper Mau section of Cubi Point.

Tokushukai is currently the largest medical services provider in Japan, and has 217 medical facilities worldwide, including 57 general hospitals.

The company is also committed to set up a 1,000-bed, $100-million hospital in the Philippines.

The hospital, which will be called the Benigno Aquino Memorial Hospital, will cater to Filipinos, foreigners and Japanese nationals residing in the country and those who may travel to the Philippines to benefit from lower medical costs.

Vice gov's league to GMA: Intervene in Zambales budget row

By Ding Cervantes, The Philippine Star

IBA, Zambales: The League of Vice Governors of the Philippines (LVGP) has asked President Arroyo to intervene in the budget controversy rocking the Zambales provincial government.

This, amid claims that the provincial government's 2005 budget has virtually placed the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) under the full control of Gov. Vicente Magsaysay.

In a unanimously approved resolution, the LVGP, headed by Bohol Vice. Gov. Julius Ceasar Herrera, questioned the zero budget allocation for the office of Zambales Vice Gov. Ramon Lacbain Jr. for this year.

Zambales' 2005 budget amounts to about P450 million.

Lacbain accused Magsaysay of having "the grand design to control the legislative branch to have full control of the provincial government" and to make him a lame duck vice governor.

Lacbain added that Magsaysay "assumed control of 58 percent or P17,086,495 of the funds needed by the provincial board in the 2005 budget of the province."

He said Magsaysay has also placed under his control some P11.3 million for the salaries and benefits of the provincial board's employees which used to be under the jurisdiction of the vice governor as presiding officer of the provincial legislating body.

"This means that the governor gets to appoint all casual employees for each board member and even the office of the vice governor," he said.

The STAR tried to reach Magsaysay for comment to no avail.

Under the 2005 provincial budget, Magsaysay's office would also assume control of some P4.3 million for the hearings of the board's committees and another P1.5 million for the travel and training expenses of the board members.

"Magsaysay gets to sign the vouchers and checks of provincial board members every time they travel, contrary to the Local Government Code which vests such authority on the vice governor as presiding officer," Lacbain said.

While the budget for the vice governor's office was reduced from P3.3 million last year to zero this year, he said that of Magsaysay's office was pegged at P95 million.

"The governor has made me a lame duck vice governor. What can you expect from a vice governor without a budget and a provincial board with a minimal budget?," he said.

He added that every board member gets a monthly allocation of P45,000 from the governor for assistance to indigents, while the board's committees get P25,000.

In its resolution forwarded to Malacañang, the LVGP also alleged that provincial board secretary Katheryn Fan anomalously prepared the 2005 provincial budget sometime last September without authorization from Lacbain who was her immediate superior.

Lacbain said Fan, who is now facing charges of usurpation of authority and grave misconduct with the Office of the Ombudsman, apparently carried it out upon Magsaysay's instructions.

LVGP officials said they would also elevate the Zambales budget controversy to the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP).

Lacbain said the provincial board approved the 2005 provincial budget "within a minute" after Magsaysay submitted it last Sept. 20, ahead of the Oct. 15 deadline of submission of the annual budget as provided for in Republic Act 7160.

Lacbain said he was attending an official function in Malacañang with President Arroyo when the provincial budget was approved.

"I want to perform my job well for the people of Zambales who elected me to my second term. I deserve to have a budget of my own as an elected official," he said.

Lacbain added: "Over and above the removal of my budget, the recall of my service vehicle and the intervention of the governor in the affairs of the provincial board, I demand that the development fund of Zambales must not only be allocated for infrastructure but also for economic development through agriculture, fisheries, livelihood, investments promotion and tourism."

Friday, March 11, 2005


Senator Richard Gordon called on for an immediate investigation on the government’s appropriation for the benefits of the World War II veterans in light of reported delays in the issuance of the soldiers’ pension.

“Our veterans are getting old and many of them are dying as we speak. They gave their lives and served to defend our country’s liberty and freedom, it is but just and fair that we accord them the privileges that they deserve,” Gordon said.

Gordon filed Senate Resolution #208 which calls for an investigation on the government’s efforts to provide the pension and benefits for the World War II veterans. The Resolution also seeks to explore ways and means to grant the said remuneration. Among the benefits due the veterans are old age pension, disability pension, clothing allowance, and dependency and indemnity compensation. According to Gordon, reports on the delayed issuance of the veterans’ pension and benefits have been increasing. Pension claims of veterans has been estimated at P23 billion in arrearages as of 2003.

Gordon, co-chairman of the World War II 60th Anniversary Philippine Organizing Committee, vowed to look into the issues and concerns of the veterans as he led today the commemoration of the Liberation of Zamboanga City which is a part of the year-long nationwide celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the World War II.

“Today, we will not only celebrate the victory of our veterans, our heroes who fought for our liberation but we will also hear out and do something about their present concerns and needs. We will push for the advancement of their advocacies because we owe them that,” Gordon exclaimed

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Olongapo has new PNP chief

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City officials and residents welcomed on Tuesday Senior Supt. Florencio Buentipo Jr. as the city’s new chief of police replacing Senior Supt. Orlando M. Maddela Jr. in simple ceremonies at the city hall.

Buentipo was former operations officer of the Traffic Management Group in Camp Crame before he was assigned Olongapo City police director.

In his parting message, Maddela said he was grateful to the city leadership for the trust and confidence they vested in him and for their support in keeping the peace in the city.
“I have been assigned to several places but it is only in Olongapo City where I have found vision and volunteerism being done and implemented from the highest office of this city down to the ordinary people in the streets. This attitude of the Olongapeños made the city a very ideal place for any police official,” he said.

“Peace and order is easily maintained because of the cooperation of each and every citizen. This attitude made the city a partner in crime solution efficiency nationwide,” Maddela expressed.
He served as Olongapo City police chief for three and a half years during which it was awarded the Best Police Office in Central Luzon for three consecutive years and the second Best Police Office nationwide.

“These accomplishments cannot be attained without the support of the city government and the citizenry,” Maddela said. “Though all my bags are packed and ready to go, I’m sure the [Olongapo City Police Office] will not rest in its fight against criminality and illegal drugs. I am very sure that I am leaving the command to an equally competent police officer, Senior Supt. Buentipo Jr.,” he said.

Buentipo thanked Mayor James Gordon Jr., Sen. Richard Gordon for giving him the opportunity to serve the city and promised to continue Maddela’s program in partnership with the local government and the citizenry.

Gordon also commended Maddela for his “honorable” leadership of the city’s police force for its unwavering commitment to protect the people against the presence of terrorism, instability and political unrest.

“Under his leadership, Maddela diligently protected this city from these threats and under his leadership, the OCPO was recognized as one of the best in the country. But I believe that, in Senior Superintendent Buentipo’s leadership, we will become the best police force in the country,” Gordon added.

Paneda awarded Maddela the “Medalya ng Kasanayan” for his stint as city director. He will be transferred to Camp Crame in Quezon City.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Gordon chides Philsoc execs

SENATOR Richard Gordon yesterday took to task officials of the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Committee for their supposed "failure" to drum up interest for the games the country will host on Nov. 27 to Dec. 5.

Speaking during a Senate inquiry on the country's capabilities and plans in hosting the 23rd edition of the games, Gordon told Philsoc officials led by chairman Roberto "Obet" Pagdanganan and vice-chairman Jose "Peping" Cojuangco Jr. that he has not "heard any noise" yet about the SEA Games.

"I don't feel the ugong. I don't feel the participation of the schools. We're hosting the Southeast Asian Games (but) I don't feel the ugong, I don't feel the vibration," Gordon said, adding: "Mas mabuti pa nga 'yung Manny Pacquiao, may ugong, may expectations ang bansa na may laban tayo."

In response, Cojuangco, also the president of the Philippine Olympic Committee, challenged the senators to contribute to the SEA Games war chest so the Philsoc can get "the drum beating."

"Gusto ninyong umugong ito nang husto, mag-anunsyo kayo kung ano'ng ibibigay ninyong tulong," said Cojuangco, adding he expects the senators to contribute at last P200 million coming from their pork barrel to the hosting chores.

Apparently flabbergasted by Cojuangco's reply, Gordon said: "It's a pilosopo answer. We're only here to find out what you need and how can we be of assistance."

After that exchange, Cojuangco cited what the Philsoc has been doing, saying: "The preparations are there. The machinery is there. Maybe it needs a little bit more fuel."

Philsoc officials have initially said at least P800 million will be needed for the hosting chores but have raised the amount to P1.5 billion, which they are hard-pressed to raise with just eight months left before the games.

Pagdanganan, addressing the committee chaired by Sen. Lito Lapid, said: "Kailangan namin ang suporta ninyo sa pangangailangan ng atleta, venues, security. Kung maari lang suportahan ninyo kami."

Lapid, who had already pledged P50 million of his pork barrel for the country's athletes, said he would help convince President Arroyo to re-align a portion of the P30-billion savings from the legislators' pork barrel cut to the hosting chores.

"Asahan ninyo ang suporta namin," he said. "Susubukan namin kung mari-raise sa pork barrel. Baka pwedeng makiusap kay Presidente."

Monday, March 07, 2005

Increasing of tariff on used cars not enough to curb importation

Increasing the import duty on used motor vehicles is unlikely to put a stop to the unabated influx of second-hand motor vehicles into the Philippines through the Subic Bay Free Port and special economic zone.

As such, Trade Secretary Juan Santos told reporters that the government is studying other legitimate measures that would make it more difficult for importers to bring in used motor vehicles.

At the groundbreaking of the P1.3-billion motorcycle plant of Honda Philippines Inc. in Batangas last week, President Arroyo announced that the government will raise the tariff on used cars if it fails to overturn a Court of Appeals ruling that declared unconstitutional Executive Order 156, or the comprehensive industrial policy and directions for the motor vehicle development program.

“In the meantime what we are doing is to tighten the smuggling and importation of right-hand vehicles,” Santos said.

Besides the substantial increase in the import tariff on used motor vehicles, the trade chief said the government is also looking at other measures to discourage importers from bringing in used motor vehicles into the Philippines.

He explained that he has made representations with Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority chairman Francisco Licuanan III to make sure that used motor vehicles imported through the former US military naval base are indeed reexported.

“I have talked with Licuanan to see to it that proper checking is balanced,” he added.

Other measures being considered to make it difficult for importers to bring in used motor vehicles include the strict implementation of antipollution rules and regulations.

The government is also looking at imposing an additional specific duty of P500,000 per unit of imported motor vehicle.

Industry sources said increasing the tariff on used motor vehicle imports would not be enough to stop the influx of second-hand right-hand drive vehicles, as these imports are undervalued by importers.

Under the Tariff and Customs Code, the President could increase by as much as 100 percent the import duty on products that affect the viability of domestic industries. In the case of used cars, the most favored nation duties on used motor vehicle imports currently range from 15 percent to 30 percent. Thus, increasing the duties on used motor vehicles could only reach as much as 60 percent.

Furthermore, there is no distinction between the tariffs on used motor vehicle imports and those of brand-new vehicles. Statistics showed that the production of local assemblers only reached a little over 80,000 units last year, but more than 100,000 used vehicles were imported.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth Lee, president of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc., said the group supports the government in promoting the public interest by discouraging the importation of used motor vehicles.Lee said increasing the tariff on used motor vehicles together with the implementation of EO 156 will benefit the local industry and, at the same time, shore up government revenues.

“Promoting industry growth and protecting the local economy, we believe, is very much in keeping with the spirit of the Philippine Constitution,” she said.

Campi fully supports President Arroyo’s battle to stop used vehicle importation through the Subic Free Port, as well as in other ports in order to maximize government tax collection from automotive sales, she said.

This will also promote local manufacturing of vehicles, parts and components and protect the employment of over 70,000 workers in the formal domestic auto industry.
TODAY Reporter

Zambales vice gov gets zero budget

Not even a single centavo. That, according to Zambales Vice Gov. Ramon Lacbain II, is the state of his office's coffers this year, making him perhaps the first elected official in the country without a budget.

The zero budget, Lacbain said, was the latest ugly turn in the ongoing feud between him and Gov. Vicente Magsaysay.

Magsaysay, Lacbain said, "totally removed" the P3-million budget of his office in 2004. The vice governor was reelected to a second term.

In contrast, he said, Magsaysay's office was allotted P75 million for operations and another P20 million for capital outlay. The latter was incorporated in the budget of the provincial engineer's office.

"What Governor Magsaysay wants is I will just ask from him for whatever I need in my office. It is only in Zambales that a vice governor has no budget of his own. What is even worse is [Magsaysay] wants [me] to personally ask for his signature for my vouchers and checks," Lacbain said in a statement.

in a telephone interview, denied having any hand in the budget appropriations. It was the provincial board, he said, that approved the budget.

He declined to answer other questions and asked that other statements he made during the interview be put off the record.

Lacbain, the presiding officer of the provincial board, said it was Katherine Fan, the board's secretary, whom Magsaysay ordered to prepare the budget.

The League of Vice Governors of the Philippines, in a March 1 resolution, asked President Macapagal-Arroyo to investigate the supposed move of Magsaysay.

"I hope President Arroyo can free me from this irregular situation. I cannot perform my functions well as vice governor," said Lacbain.

He said Magsaysay stripped him of funds to diminish his chances in the 2007 elections.

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Koreans wipe out RP Davis Cup bid

Opening-day winner Patrick John Tierro of Olongapo City failed to extend his luck on the final day of the Davis Cup tie, losing to Woong Sun Jun of South Korea, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3, in the first reverse singles match Sunday at the indoor court of the Philippine Columbian Association (PCA).

The loss gave the Filipinos a 2-3 record against the visitors, who advanced to face the winner of the Pacific Oceania-Lebanon tie.

Later in the second reverse singles, RP No. 2-ranked Johnny Arcilla pulled off a 6-2, 7-5 victory over 18-year-old Hyun Joon Suk in a no-bearing match.

Davis Cup ties follow a five-game format consisting of two singles, one doubles and two more reverse singles. Tierro won last Friday as the hometown side enabled a 1-1 stalemate after the first day.

But the Koreans reasserted their mastery over the Filipinos in the doubles event last Saturday and again in the first singles match yesterday.

The Pacific Oceania is made up of American expats from Fiji. As of press time, Pacific Oceania is leading 2-1.

Team Philippines dropped into a relegation round in July where the local netters are put in a must-win situation to avoid being relegated to Group Three. The country will go up against the loser of the Oceania-Lebanon match.

Woong, ranked No. 713 by Association of Tennis Professionals, capitalized on his powerful forehand drives to keep Tierro at bay in the game that lasted an hour and 55 minutes.

“My boy [Woong] has excellent timing while our [Filipino] opponent does not have the legs,” said Korea’s nonplaying captain Gap Taik Ro. Tierro, much to his dismay, could not deny this.

“I gave my best but he [Woong] just played better, he is always one step ahead. I couldn’t get going in my breaks and I committed a lot of errors,” said the 19-year-old Tierro, a second timer in the Davis Cup.

TODAY Correspondent

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Medical Mission at Iram

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Members of Soroptomist Int'l and Peninsula Lions club conducted a medical mission at Sitio Iram this morning, more than 200 patients underwent free consultation. Beneficiaries were given vitamins in addition to medicines dispensed.

Saturday, March 05, 2005


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Senator Richard Gordon, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments, Revision of Codes and Laws, disclosed that the barangay elections scheduled for October of this year is headed for synchronization with the local polls.

In a committee hearing discussing the schedule of the next barangay polls, Gordon questioned the Department of Budget and Management for not being able to prepare for the scheduled polls. the barangay elections scheduled this October is not included in the proposed budget for 2005, resulting in lack of funds for the same. He emphasized that it is the government's duty to conduct smooth elections on time.

Gordon said the government should might as well synchronize the barangay polls with future local elections to be able to save money.

Three versions of the proposed revisions to Republic Act No. 9164 sponsored by Senators Edgardo Angara, Kiko Pangilinan and Gordon were presented during the hearing. The House version calls for the elections to be scheduled on 2008.

Issues regarding the Sangguniang Kabataan were also brought up during the hearing. Gordon urged for the evaluation of the performance of the SK officials and proposed instead for a volunteer system in lieu of the present electoral scheme in choosing SK officials.

Gordon has previously conducted consultation with barangay officials to identify their pulse on the said issue. During the 4 th National Assembly of the Liga ng Mga Barangay last week, Gordon reiterated his call to the barangay captains to focus on their community's needs, be prepared to make sacrifices and have a long term vision for the projects that they are implementing.

New ‘Subik’ tourist destination is born

Subic Bay tourism groups and stakeholders organize

Driven by a common goal and vision towards the betterment of the tourism industry in the country, various tourism organizations and stakeholders around Subic Bay have united to form the Greater Subic Bay Tourism Bureau (GSBTB) that will spearhead the new "SUBIK" tourist destination.

With a fresh name intended to accentuate GSBTB’s optimistic view to regain the prestige of Subic Bay, particularly in maximizing the area’s vast tourism potentials, SUBIK is envisioned to make the market area – composed of Bataan, Olongapo, Subic Bay Freeport, and Zambales – the ultimate vacation haven and convention center for both local and foreign tourists.

In its recent induction of officers held at Legenda Hotel, GSBTB chairman George Lorenzana of White Rock and Mt. Woods Resort Hotels said SUBIK’s vision centers on the total enhancement of Subic Bay and its adjoining areas into a secure, competent, sustainable, ecologically sound tourism and vacation mecca in the Asia-Pacific region. With GSBTB’s core of competent stakeholders as board members and the strong support of its Board of Advisers mostly composed of political leaders in the area, and the SBMA leadership plus the active participation of member-organizations, Lorenzana noted that in due time, the Bureau’s efforts will eventually bear its fruit, not only for SUBIK but for the entire country.

GSBTB’s other officers are: John Corcoran of Ocean Adventure as vice-chairman, Cheryl Singson of Legend Intl. Resorts Ltd. as secretary, Linda Lim of the Olongapo Tourism Council as treasurer and chair for Ways and Means, and Bayani Chavez of Zambales Tourism Council as auditor.

Other members of the Board of Directors who also act as committee chairpersons are Gabby la O’ of El Kabayo Riding Stables for Tourist Attractions/Beautification; Francis Elum of Grande Island Resort for Hotels, Resorts, Spas; Nanik Sadhwani of Duty Free Shop for Shopping/Retailing; Vicky Garcia of Bataan Tourism Council; Victoria Gonzales of Bagac-Morong Resort Association; Jocelyn David of Bataan Hotel and Restaurant Operators Association; Sotero Gan, committee chairman for Entertainment/Nightlife of Olongapo Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce; Carlos Gamboa of Olongapo Chamber of Commerce; Dr. Teresa Yap of Zambales Tourism Council for Education, Culture, Training; and Sonny Almazan for Security/Safety, also of Zambales Tourism Council.

Other committees are for Subic Bay Enhancements/Bantay-Dagat chaired by Carlito Baloy of Baloy Beach; Tourism Activities, Sports Events, Youth Programs chaired by George Ramirez; Marketing Services, Sales, and Promotion chaired by Raymund Siongco; Membership and Secretariat chaired by Patrick Escusa; and Traffic and Transportation Services chaired by Eloy Pineda of InterIsland Tours and Transport.

GSBTB is composed of 12 committees that will implement the bureau’s vision and strategies. These strategies are: Enhancement of attraction locations within the Greater Subic Bay (GSB) area through continuous beautification programs and upgrading; coordinate with government agencies, NGOs and affiliated entities for maritime safety, security, sanitation and hygiene, and reforestation, development of water sports activities, relentless education of inhabitants along the coastline and river banks and fisher folk to instill active volunteerism in the upkeep of the bay and coral reefs; develop and implement policies and guidelines for hotels and resorts; develop linkages to provide value for money tour packages; provide fast and comfortable routes or access points into and around SUBIK through coordination with government and public transport companies; support at least two world-class nightclubs and original cultural shows that give wholesome service and entertainment to tourists; develop oriental style spas and wellness cohesive nightlife; and develop a jingle on Subik for international distribution.

The committees will also help make Subik a conducive venue for various local and foreign events depicting the area as an ideal, safe, and dynamic place for fun, leisure; facilitate the cultivation of a "service culture" throughout the SUBIK area; create a shopping area/tiangge where all exhibitors converge to create a shopping haven and serve as outlets for local and foreign products, especially the famous Zambales mangoes; coordinate a 24-hour security with the help of local police and participation of school cadets; and create a SUBIK newsletter that will monitor tourism establishments and activities and aid in soliciting financial support, sponsorships, and volunteer work from members.

In its thrust to help develop Subik as a convention center, the bureau has set its sights on two convention centers – in SBMA and Olongapo. It will assist in making them more accessible to hotels in the area and implementing projects that will beautify and smoothen traffic flow and signages to and from the convention centers.

"The synergy and the formatting of a more viable ‘critical mass’ coming from Subik’s tourism assets and active business sectors are string catalysts to SUBIK’s development as a convention center," Lorenzana said.

Also lined up is the development and promotion of various historical places, among which is Lubao, eyed as a viable gateway to Subik such as the Macapagal ancestral home and the 400-year-old Lubao Church, both ideal for educational tours. Other known tourist attractions are the Bataan Memorial in Mt. Samat, the verdant forests of SBMA, Subic Bay and the Subic Sunset resorts, not to mention the various water sports activities such as those offered in Ocean Adventure, El Kabayo, Grande Island, and many others.

On the promising economic scenario looming clearly ahead for Subik, Lorenzana is confident the achievements of the bureau will help uplift the socio-economic structure of the community in a sustainable manner, and could very well serve as an example of what our country can do if business, the government, and the community act together


Senator Richard Gordon criticized the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) for fumbling the used car importation case. In a recent decision, the Court of Appeals ruled that an executive order prohibiting the importation of used cars was unconstitutional, as there was no law which gave the President the power to prohibit imports.

According to Gordon, “the OSG clearly messed up, because anyone who bothered to read the executive order would know exactly that the President was invoking the Omnibus Investments Code as its basis.”

“This failure by the OSG will only exacerbate the culture of corruption, and the loss of taxes through smuggling in the country. The used car importers are bringing in Pajeros, Benzes, and other luxury vehicles worth hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of pesos. And yet they are only paying around 8,000 pesos in taxes, when they should be paying ten or twenty times as much,” Gordon said adding that, “If the people want someone to blame for the wave of increased taxes that the government has to impose, blame it on the car importers, the government officials who coddle them, and their conspiracy of technical smuggling.”

Executive Order No. 156 was issued by President Arroyo in 2002 to prohibit the importation of used cars. Gordon pointed out that EO No. 156 clearly states that it was based on the Omnibus Investments Code. It states in sec. 7, par. 12, that the President and the Board of Investments “may restrict, either totally or partially, the importation of any equipment or raw materials or finished products involved in the rationalization program”. Gordon said that because it specifically allows the total restriction of imports, the Omnibus Investments Code is thus more than enough basis for EO No. 156.

“Why then is the Court saying that the executive order has no statutory basis?” Gordon questioned.

Gordon lambasted the performance of the OSG in this case for doing “utterly shoddy work.” He said that as the lawyer for the government, it was the duty of the OSG to point out to the Court of Appeals that EO No. 156 was fully supported by the Omnibus Investments Code.

The basis of EO No. 156 in fact is right in front of the eyes of anyone who bothered to read it. It is so patently obvious that the OSG failed to do its homework. Would anyone trust a lawyer who did not even bother to read the law that he was invoking?” Gordon said.

Friday, March 04, 2005


A 3-day self-employment fair was held in Olongapo City Rizal Triangle multi-purpose covered court that started March 1 and ended yesterday.
The fair produced 690 new entrepreneurs as reported by 216 exhibitors participating in the highly successful project. DOST sponsored trainings in areas such as food processing and souvenir items making and according to Aileen Sanchez, 320 participants successfully completed the livelihood training programs. Mayor Gordon also invited LandBank, Accord Bank, and Quedancor to provide for the new entrepreneur’s initial capital.
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Mayor Bong Gordon endorsing Munting Banca project of Subic's Vice Mayor Simbul
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trying off one of 30 new store on wheels provided by Accord Bank.
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The Mayor joining DOST trainors, assuring his full support for his constituents' bright future

Freeport locator faces suspension

SBMA, Olongapo City - A Freeport locator and president of Motor Vehicle Importation Association faces suspension of his license to operate after the Anti Smuggling Task Force and the Bureau of Customs seized some P2 million worth of brand new car replacement accessories and second-hand vehicles from South Korea declared as used passenger vans and spare parts Friday.

Task Force chief Jose Calimlim and BoC Subic Port District Collector Marietta Zamorannos led the opening ot two 40-foot vans shipped by Shinyong Automobile Co. in South Korea and consigned To Barre - Two Co. inc. Owned and managed by Eduardo Barretto, a Freeport locator.

"This is another case of technical smuggling because the shipment is undervalued, miss-declared and over quantified” Calimlim said.

The contents of the vans were declared as used passenger vans and surplus spare parts worth olny $200 each, Hyundai Vans and an ambulance.

The task Force will turn over the illegal shipments to the BoC for proper inventory, appraisal custody.

"Based on the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority board policy, a locator or importer who is found to be involved in smuggling will automatically be suspended for three months. Once the case is field against him, his silence or permit to operate will indefinitely be suspended. If It is for renewal, it will not be renewed," Calimlim explained.

In an interview, Barretto told people's Journal that as a locator, it is his right to undergo due process.

"This is not a case of smuggling since the shipment was declared and have not been brought out of the Freeport zone,” he said

Housewife and two daugthers found dead in Subic

Beverly Pal and daughthers Jennylee and Jennylyn was found by police dead due to multiple stab wounds in various parts of the body yesterday morning inside their house in barangay Wawandue, Subic, Zambales.
Investigators reported that there was no sign of forced entry into the house leading the police to believe that the victims know the suspect, furthermore, autopsy report ruled out rape as motive. Jewelries of the victims however are reported missing, Beverly's husband is an overseas Filipino worker in the Middle East.

Merchant, daughters massacred in Subic
By Malou Dungog, MT Central Luzon Bureau
SUBIC, Zambales: The bodies of a 35-year-old mother and her daughters, who apparently had been dead for several days, were found inside their house in Barangay Wanwandue here on Thursday morning.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

2005 Barangay Election, Malabo na

Malamang di na talaga matuloy ang 2005 barangay election matapos kompirmahin ng COMELEC na di kasama sa 2005 budget ang naturang ehersisyo . . .

Abalos: Congress has to set sked for ARMM, barangay polls

Congress has to legislate a measure to reset the schedule for elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and barangays after the 2005 budget allocated no fund for the polls, Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Chairman Benjamin Abalos said Thursday.

"Congress will have to make a law to cancel the election for this year," Abalos said in an interview with ANC.

Abalos said Congress should also pass a measure to allow the extension of the terms of barangay officials.

He said the poll body may postpone the August 8 ARMM election unless Congress approves a supplemental budget.

According to Abalos, the COMELEC initially planned to spend P700 to P800 million for the exercise.

What happened to the P427 M fund?

Gordon asks BCDA:


SENATOR Richard Gordon on Thursday questioned the P427 million budject for the improvement of former United States military bases which were granted allocations since 1997.At the Senate hearing, Gordon asked representatives of the Bases Conversion Development. Authority (BCDA) to explain where the money ent since there were no sufficient improvements compared to the huge budgets allocated to them.

Gordon, chairman of the Senate committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises, said based on the revelation of BCDA President Narcisco Abaya, his agency allotted P427 million for the development of Poro Point Special Economic Zone in La Union.

“Runway of the Poro Point should have been developed and it will only cost P90 million to modernize it. Where did the money go? Poro Point is reportedly earning P50 million annually from its port operations,” Gordon told senate reporters during the press briefing.

It has been reported that gross revenue of the Poro Point Management Corporation is a whopping P547 million since 1997 with operating expenses of only P232 million.

“Poro Point could have been converted into a manufacturing and tourism enterprises zone like subic. Its facilities should be improved to meet international standards,” he said. The Poro Point presently has 1,300 meters long runaway and its need an additional 600 to 700 meters to be able to accommodate larger aircrafts.

“The infrastructure will bring in investors and tourists and BCDA should prioritize the development of Poro Point airport,” the former chairman of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority said. He called on the BCDA officials to speed up its actions especially now that foreign and local tourists going to La Union and its nearby provinces including Pngasinan, Baguio and Ilocos will not have a difficult time in traveling.

For his part, Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile also asked BCDA to resolve the issues on land and on tax privileges that has reported been causing delays in the implementation of infrastructure programs for Poro Point.

“ More jobs, more taxes and additional tourist attraction for foreign and local tourist could have been taken place if you (BCDA officials) do your job,” Enrile told representatives of BCDA.
San Fernando City Mayor Mary Jane Ortega told the committee that her administration is wiling to be an active partner in the planning and implementation of Poro Point development programs. She asked not just to be presented with a finished paln of program.

On the other hand, La Union Gov. Victor Ortega lauded Gordon for the senator’s efforts to look into the condition of Poro Point.

Subic reporters spooked by `Red assassins'

Journalists covering the Subic Bay Freeport Zone (SBFZ) in Zambales have expressed alarm over claims by the Task Force Subic that a correspondent of the national tabloid, Pilipino Star Ngayon (PSN), is now the target of assassination by breakaway communist rebels operating in Central Luzon.

In a statement by 13 Subic-based journalists belonging to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), task force chief, retired Maj. Gen. Jose Calimlim, was criticized for having issued last Feb. 6 a press release claiming that PSN correspondent, Jeff Tombado, is now being hunted down by assassins of the Rebolusyonaryong Hukbong Bayan (RHB).

The press release went on to state that the rebel assassins were hired by smuggling syndicates.

The RHB is the armed wing of the underground Marxist-Leninist Party of the Philippines (MLPP), a breakaway faction of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA).

But according to the NUJP-Olongapo City/Subic Bay Chapter, Tombado was a "well known critic of Calimlim."

It said that the "implied logic" in the purported assassination plot on Tombado was "that by rubbing out a well-known critic of Calimlim's and blaming the hit on the retired general, the smugglers - whoever they are - would succeed in getting Calimlim out of their way."

"The scenario was supposed to be a masterstroke of the smugglers," added the Subic-based journalists in their statement. "So the former chief of the Intelligence Service of the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) countered with a coup of his own - he exposed the planned hit through a press release, thereby washing his own hands of whatever would result from the alleged smugglers' scheme."

If indeed the assassination plot was true, the NUJP in Subic suggested that it would have been "most prudent for the general and his intelligence people to keep silent while working on the case, secure the safety of would-be victims and arrest the suspects."

"What disturbs the local media about this whole thing," it added, "is that the Task Force Subic did just the exact opposite - it came out with a press release exposing the alleged plot, thus making Tombado an open target for assassination, and allowing the alleged plotters to go scot-free."

The Subic-based mediamen lamented that Task Force Subic's "press release achieved nothing else" except "to wash (Calimlim's) hands of whatever could result from the alleged plot."

Besides, added the NUJP, the press release's claims were alarming to the Subic community since it even disclosed that RHB guerillas "are roaming inside the Freeport."

SEC tosses back Legend Int’l Resort rehab issue to DOJ

By Zinnia B. Dela Peña

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has tossed back to the Department of Justice (DOJ) the issue on which body has jurisdiction over the petition for suspension of debt payments and rehabilitation of Legend International Resorts Ltd. (LIRL).

LIRL is a licensed casino operator within the Subic Special Economic Zone.

The SEC referred the issue to the DOJ following a request filed by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) seeking the securities watchdog agency’s comment on which body should hear LIRL’s case.

"Please be further informed that SEC is not in a position to comment on the issue of jurisdiction over the rehabilitation case of LIRL. Such issue involves an interpretation of the law which task properly pertains to the Department of Justice," SEC General Counsel Vernette Umali-Paco said.

Pagcor earlier said it would exercise its rights over businesses engaged in gambling, citing Presidential Decree 1869 which slated that Pagcor has jurisdiction over changes in corporate term, structure, capitalization and other matters concerning the operations of gaming firms. LIRL was licensed by Pagcor to operate a casino in Subic in the early 1990s.

Last year, LIRL filed a petition for suspension of debt payments with the Olongapo Regional Trial Court to prevent creditors from instituting foreclosure proceedings against its assets. Its debts reportedly amount to P7.03 billion, P3.72 billion of which are owed to local creditor banks. LIRL also owes the government about P1 billion, representing the state’s share in the firm’s casino operations.

In disputing Pagcor’s claims, LIRL said: "Even the Supreme Court acknowledges that regular courts have jurisdiction over petitions for rehabilitation filed by a debtor-corporation, even if such corporation is supervised or regulated by government agencies like the Pagcor."

Following the enactment of the Securities Regulation Code in 2000, the quasi-judicial power over petitions for rehabilitation was transferred from the SEC to the regular courts.

LIRL said it filed the petition pursuant to the Supreme Court-approved Interim Rules of Procedure on Corporate Rehabilitation that allows a "debtor" to file such petition with the proper court which in its case is the Olongapo City RTC.

Pagcor, however, has asked the court to terminate the proceedings arguing that the SEC’s quasi-judicial power of petitions for rehabilitation was transferred to Pagcor pursuant to its charter. It pointed out that the subsequent enactment of the SRC did not transfer its quasi-judicial powers over all persons engaged in gambling to the RTC considering that the SRC pertains only to the reorganization of the SEC and does not include Pagcor’s reorganization.

Pagcor explained that the intention of PD 1869 is to remove from the sphere of influence and jurisdiction of the SEC all persons primarily engaged in gambling and to give jurisdiction over such persons to a separate entity.

Meanwhile, LIRL expressed confidence it would be able to repay all its debts given enough time to map out a workable rehabilitation plan. The company said its rehabilitation plan has the support of majority of its creditors.

LIRL is a Malaysian corporation incorporated under the Companies Ordinance of Hong Kong.

Pagcor, on the other hand, was created in 1976 to oversee the operation of gaming casinos, to generate funds for the government’s developmental projects, and to help curb illegal gambling. It is the third biggest source of government funds with annual revenue of P22 billion. In its drive to generate more funds for the government, Pagcor has ventured beyond casino management and is constantly looking for ways to improve its gaming products and maximizing the efficiency of its gaming operations.


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