Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

FTA scores RTC decision exempting imported 'sin' products from excise tax

By Marianne V. Go, The Philippine Star

The Fair Trade Alliance (FTA) has questioned the basis of the recent ruling of the Olongapo City Regional Trial Court prohibiting the government from collecting excise taxes on liquor and cigarettes imported into the Subic Freeport.

The RTC ruling sided with a Subic importer who had argued that businesses inside the freeport are tax-exempt based on Republic Act 7227, which states that "no taxes, local and national, shall be imposed within the Subic special economic zone".

But FTA's Labor Convenor Angelito Mendoza stressed that investor-locators in the freeport are tax-exempt "only in relation to the importation of their inputs and other production or business requirements," adding that the law "does not envisage tax exemption for goods which are sold to the larger domestic market outside the freeport."

If the RTC ruling is enforced, the government stands to lose as much as P5 billion in "sin" taxes, he said.

RA 9334, which raises the excise tax on tobacco and liquor starting this year, requires duty-free shops and importers inside economic zones to pay the same taxes.

"The government had difficulty enacting this year the new sin taxes on locally-produced cigarettes and spirits, and here comes the RTC offsetting this by exempting these non-productive importers. This is unfair to the local producers, their workers and the tobacco farmers in the Ilocos. It is also unfair to our cash-strapped government. The RTC decision virtually legitimizes cigarette and alcohol smuggling, and is an outright attack against local producers," Mendoza said.

He argued that "governments worldwide use freeports and export processing zones to promote investments, not as importation zones for untaxed imports sold in the domestic market".

Mendoza added that RA 7227 is a special law providing incentives for investor-locators, not importer-distributors.

Meanwhile, RA 9334 is a law of general application which should cover these importer-distributors, he said.

Due to the RTC ruling, Mendoza reiterated the FTA's call for the abolition of duty-free shops at Clark, Subic and other economic zones.

He pointed out that "in any foreign country you visit, duty-free shops can only be found in international airports."

Earlier this year, the same Olongapo City RTC ruled that Executive Order 165 issued by Malacañang, particularly Section 31 on banning the importation of used motor and right-hand vehicles, is unconstitutional and illegal.

Mendoza noted that EO 165 merely implements the environmental provisions of the Clean Air Act (RA 8749) and the health and safety requirements of RA 8506 banning the importation of right-hand vehicles which are prone to accidents because their conversions into left-hand ones are not properly engineered.

The FTA's position is similar to that of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) which maintains the legality of EO 165. "Imported used vehicles, valued at below market prices, distort the playing field for our domestic vehicle producers," Mendoza said.

6,000 new jobs generated at Clark economic zone in one-year period

CLARK, Pampanga — The continued confidence of investors in the management of Clark Development Corp. (CDC) has resulted in an increase in the employment rate in the Clark Special Economic Zone (CSEZ) to more than 6,000 new workers during a one-year period from May 2004 to May 2005.

In a report submitted to CDC president Antonio R. Ng, the customer service department (CSD) stated that the number of jobs generated in the economic zone stood at an all-time high of 34,652 workers as of May 31, 2005.

Last year, Clark had only 28,674 of employees hired by the 281 locators that have been reporting to CSD on the number of their employees.

The CSD said that number of jobs in Clark from 2003 to 2004 was 28,274, up by 6,045 new jobs created in support of President Arroyo’s thrust to generate more employment opportunities for the masses.

Most of the workers hired belonged to the industrial sector inside the economic zone with about 3,715 new workers last year, followed by 1,050 in the tourism sector, and 651 hired in the information technology sector.

The steady increase of employment opportunities in the economic could be attributed to the hike in investments recorded last year during which 85 new lease agreements were signed.

From January to April this year, 30 new lease agreements were signed. These are expected to provide more employment opportunities to the residents of Metro Clark and neighboring towns.

The new agreements also brought to R81 billion the amount of committed investments in the economic zone in the next five years.

While others have embarked on expansion programs, several firms have geared to create more jobs this year as some 6,000 new employment opportunities are expected to be generated before year-end.

Among the firms that are set to expand their operations are Hansa Toys Manufacturing firms, Yokohama Tire Philippines and Cyber City Teleservices Ltd. (CCTL).

Cyber City will create some 1,500 job opening for its expansion programs from April to December, this year.

More than 500 workers will be hired this year by Yokohama Tire Phils. in Clark, while 1,000 jobs will be opened within the year at Hansa Toys.

Epixtar, another call center that will locate in Clark, will hire about 4,000 new workers.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Taiwan firm investing P738M in Subic

AN ELECTRONICS giant headquartered in Taiwan is investing P738 million to assemble personal digital assistants at the Subic Bay Industrial Park, the Department of Trade and Industry said.

Wistron Infocomm (Philippines) Corp., the local unit of Wistron Corp., is currently engaged in the manufacture of motherboards and laptop computer units and is the biggest export earner in Subic.

Wistron also makes computer peripherals, fax machines, integrated circuits, and microelectronic parts and software for various computer brands like Acer, IBM and Hitachi.

In 2004, Wistron posted revenues of $747 million or about two-thirds of the total export earnings within the Subic freeport.

The DTI said that for the new project, Wistron would hire 195 additional workers.

The output, which are used as electronic organizers or day planners, would be distributed in Europe, the United States and Asia.

Trade Secretary Juan B. Santos said the Board of Investments had approved tax perks and other incentives for Wistron's project since it would be the first project in the manufacture of PDAs.

Santos said the company's decision indicated the confidence of Taiwanese businessmen in putting up big-ticket projects in the country and making it their manufacturing base for sophisticated products.

The move also meant investors "place[d] a deep trust in the capability of Filipino workers in producing high-end consumer electronic products for the export market."

PDAs, also called handhelds, have become popular because of their small size, ease in using and capability to share information with personal computers.

Aside from managing personal information such as contacts, appointments and to-do lists, the latest models of the gadget can connect to the Internet, act as global positioning system (GPS) devices and run multimedia software. Some manufacturers have combined PDAs with cell phones, multimedia players and other functions of electronic gadgetry.

According to the DTI, Wistron has the capability of embedding many of the these features and functions into its products.

Cop tagged in kidnapping of businesswoman collared


OLONGAPO CITY —Agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) arrested a police officer who reportedly heads a kidnap-for-ransom (KFR) group during operation inside the Philippine National Police (PNP)-Maritime headquarters at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone last week.

In a report submitted to NBI Director Reynaldo Wycoco, NBI-Bulacan agent-in-charge Atty. Hector Geologo identified the suspects as SPO1 Ruben Bernardo, a police officer stationed at the 3rd Regional Maritime Police Office inside the Freeport zone.

Bernardo was collared by members of the raiding team while he was on duty last Tuesday at the PNP headquarters.

According to Geologo, the warrant for Bernardo’s arrest had been issued by Judge Luis Enriquez Reyes of the municipal trial court (MTC) of Guiguinto, Bulacan.

He said the suspect did not resist arrest after his fellow officer and superior appealed to him to surrender peacefully.

Investigators said Bernardo had been tagged as an accomplice in the Aida Amanudin, a Muslim businesswoman on the early morning of April 26, 2005.

Bernardo and seven other unidentified suspects reportedly forced entry into Amanudin’s house in Banga 2, Plaridel town and dragged the businesswoman with them after ransacking the family room of R50,000 worth of compact discs (CDs).

Geologo said the group reported originally demanded R250,000 in ransom money from the victim’s husband, Halil, in exchange for her freedom.

Halil said he had only been able to come up with R30,000 but was able to secure his wife’s freedom with the understanding that the suspects will be contacting him for the balance of R220,000.

Geologo disclosed that they mapped out the suspect’s arrest after the NBI received information on Bernardo’s identity and whereabouts.

The NBI recovered a red Mitsubishi Adventure with plate number XGS-941 allegedly used in the abduction of Amanudin. The vehicle was found parked right in front of the maritime headquarters.

It was learned that NBI agents are now on the look-out for the seven other members of the KFR group that are also allegedly active members of the PNP-Maritime group.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Child-safety project launched

The Federal Express (FedEx), the Safe Kids Philippines and the Philippine College of Surgeons on Saturday launched “Safe Kids Walk This Way,” a pedestrian-safety program designed to prevent accidental injuries and deaths to children in the Philippines.

Walk This Way, a global project, brings together parents, teachers, employee volunteers and safety advocates to teach students safe pedestrian behavior, encourage motorists’ awareness of child-pedestrian safety and provide long-term environmental improvements to make neigh­borhoods and school zones safe for pedestrians.

City officials led by Vice Mayor Rolen Paulino lauded the joint efforts of FedEx and PCS in their campaign to help keep Filipino children safe.

Beng-Wee Tan, managing director of FedEx Asia Pacific Hub, said the company fully supports the program. “Our employee volunteers work with Safe Kids to teach pedestrian safety to school children and help establish safer, more pedestrian-friendly communities. To date, we have about a hundred employee volunteers in Manila and Subic who devote their time and effort to this cause.

“Twenty-five public schools will benefit from the project in Olongapo. I am proud to say that our employee volunteers have enthusiastically taken it upon themselves to conduct walk­a­bility checks for each school in the four school districts in the city,” Tan said.

“Children in Asia Pacific are especially vulnerable to pedestrian injuries, because up to 85 percent walk to and from school. For a large proportion of that number, and especially in the Philippines, the streets are the children’s playground as well,” Tan said.

Dr. Raffy Cosunji, a trauma surgeon at the Philippine General Hospital and Safe Kids’ director for Asia operations, said Olongapo City is the third beneficiary of the program in the country. It has been launched in the cities of Pasay and Parañaque.

President Arroyo has declared the third week of June as “National Safe Kids Week,” an important step in educating the public on the mission of Safe Kids Philippines and Safe Kids Worldwide.

Cosunji explained that about 36 percent, or 30,000 Filipino children, are below the age of 14. About 7,000 Filipino children died every year due to unintentional injuries. The leading causes of unintentional-injury deaths are drowning, road-traffic injury, falls, poisoning and burns.

In April Safe Kids released new data that predicts more than 35,000 Filipino children will die or get injured in road accidents this year.

Cosunji said many of the injuries can be prevented if families and communities take simple steps to protect their children. The volunteers will continue to participate in ongoing school training to educate children on road safety throughout the year and will work with Safe Kids organizations in setting up community pedestrian-safety task forces which will work to identify problems and push for improvements in their community.
--Malou Dungog

Congratulations to our New National Leader for this year!!!

Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program (SSEAYP)
Distinguished SSEAYP Philippine National Leaders (1974 to 2004),
Distinguished SSEAYP Philippine Ex-Participants (1974 to 2004),
All Concerned,

On behalf of the SIP Board 2005-2006, allow me to inform you that the Hon. Vice Governor RAMON LACBAIN II (Province of Zambales and SSEAYP Batch 1991) was chosen by the National Youth Commission as this year's National Leader of SSEAYP Batch 2005 Philippine Contingent.

Again, our congratulations to our very own Mon Lacbain for being the 4th National Leader (in 32 years) from among our roster of able and qualified Alumni Members.

Mabuhay ka kapatid!

Frankie Ong Bata
SSEAYP International Philippines
2nd Level, Shangrila Mall Corporation,
Mandaluyong City
tel: +63 6363399 fax: +63 6363398
mobile: +63 9178941967
Mon have been a participating youth (18-30 years old) during the 18th SSEAYP in1991 and for this year He was selected from among the many applicants (35-50 years old) nationwide who are high-ranking government officials. If you want to know more about SSEAYP and Nippon Maru (the ship) that will transport the 300 delegates to 10 Southeast Asian countries in 50 days from October31-December 20, 2005 please visit - http://www.asseay.org/sseayp.htm
Lets include Mon in our prayers that he will be able to lead the Philippine Delegation in the best way he can in honor of our country.

Sunken ship becomes prey to looting

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—Several artifacts and accessories of the USS New York, a World War I vintage American battle cruiser that sunk in the waters of Subic Bay in 1941, have been stolen, according to a dive instructor here.

The wreck of the 19th century ship, which is among the most popular diving attractions here, has been losing its parts to looters, said Butch Horario, an open water diving instructor of the Subic Bay Aqua Sports Inc.

Horario discovered the looting after he and four foreign divers on June 13 conducted a recreational dive at the wreck site.

The site, at 27.43 m. (90 ft) below the bay's surface, is located between the Alava Pier and the northern tip of the Cubi Point runway.

"During the dive we noticed that some artifacts and other accessories were missing, such as several pipes in different sizes, cables of different diameters and dimensions and port hole," Horario said.

He said they found a hose and a hacksaw that they believed were left by looters at the site.

Horario, a dive master here since 1995, said it was not the first time that shipwrecks were looted, citing more than five incidents in recent years.

"There were several cases in the past in which important pieces of artifacts were stolen from the other shipwrecks," he said.

The looting, he said, usually happen at night.

He said "small time" looters have been persisting because no suspect had been identified or charged in previous incidents.

Horario has referred the incident to the Law Enforcement Department of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) for investigation.

He said his group is willing to guide authorities in checking the wreck site.

The USS New York, which was commissioned on Aug. 1, 1893 in Philadelphia, was scuttled by the US Navy during World War II to keep its main guns from falling into the hands of Japanese troops.

Allan Macatuno, PDI Central Luzon Desk

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Gordon Boosts Young Athletes

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Senator Richard Gordon, Filipino Chinese Amateur Athletic Federation adviser, hands over the Philippine flag to the members of the Table Tennis Team who will represent the country to compete in the 11th Southeast Asia Junior Table Tennis Championships 2005 to be held in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam on 25-29 June. During the send off party for the team yesterday, Gordon urged the young athletes to do their best and to play fair and clean as they will be carrying with them the Philippine's colors and the country's pride.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Zambales consumers want P55.9M power execs spent

CASTILLEJOS, Zambales-Leaders of 40,000 consumers in Zambales have urged the Ombudsman and the Court of Appeals to immediately act on cases related to the recovery of P55.9 million in electric cooperative funds that have been allegedly misused by its officials since 1989.

The order to officials of the Zambales Electric Cooperative (Zameco) II to "immediately reimburse" the funds was contained in a Nov. 24, 2004 resolution issued by the National Electrification Administration's board of administrators.
The board issued that decision in the complaint filed by the Castillejos Consumers Association (Cascona) in 2002.

The board also ordered the removal of Zameco II officials and their disqualification from seeking office. It also ordered an election for a new set of officials.
But Zameco II president Jose Dominguez, vice president Isaias Vidua, secretary Vicente Barreto, treasurer Jose Santiago and members Jose Naseriv Dolojan, Juan Fernandez and Honorio Dilag Jr. questioned the resolution and their removal.

The CA's 7th division issued NEA a temporary restraining order in February and a preliminary injunction in April. Cascona has sought a lifting of the injunction.
"We want to claim the money the NEA audit department ordered returned to the cooperative," Dominador Gallardo, Cascona president, told the Inquirer.

While the NEA board of administrators upheld the findings of the two audits by the NEA audit department, top NEA and Zameco II officials did "not take remedial measures" to correct and stop the alleged irregularities, Gallardo said.

4 major SEAG events in Subic

THE scenic Subic Bay Freeport will host four major events in the 23rd Philippine Southeast Asian Games.

The formal designation of the former American base as one of the key venues for the biennial meet set from November 27 to December 5 was announced Thursday at the signing of a memorandum of agreement between Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee chair Roberto Pagdanganan and Subic Bay Freeport officials, led by tourism manager Kenneth Peralta, at the PITC Building in Manila.

Archery, canoe/kayak, sailing and triathlon are the events to be held in the bustling seaport. It also serves as one of the satellite venues, along with Cebu and Bacolod, of the third SEA Games the country is hosting.

Peralta said the Subic Bay Freeport will shoulder all expenses to be incurred by Filipino athletes, officials and technical staff for the duration of the nine-day meet.

Also at the MOA signing were Subic SEA Games coordinating team head Ramon de Leon, International Olympic Committee representative Frank Elizalde, Philippine Olympic Committee chair Robert Aventajado, POC vice president Steve Hontiveros and former POC chief Celso Dayrit.

Subic Freeport chair Francisco Licuanan III was not around during the event but already had his signature affixed in the MOA.

The signing came barely a week after Philsoc reached a similar agreement with the different Metro Manila venues to be used in the SEA Games.

Among the sites were the Ynares Center in Antipolo City and the Ateneo Blue Eagle gym at Katipunan in Quezon City, which will host men’s and women’s basketball; Makati Coliseum (billiards and snooker); Trace Aquatic Center in Los Banos, Laguna (swimming); and Tagaytay City (chess and cycling).

Bacolod will be host to boxing, football, indoor volleyball and weightlifting, while Cebu has seven events—judo, sepak takraw, tae kwon do, karatedo, pencak silat, and dancesports.

The Rizal Memorial Track and Football Stadium will be the site of athletics, considered the centerpiece event.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

33 tons of used clothing, toys confiscated in Subic

2 shipments come from California


SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—Used clothings and toys worth at least R3.3 million were discovered yesterday inside two 40-foot container vans by Task Force Subic headed by Gen. (ret.) Jose Calimlim during an operation jointly conducted with personnel of the Bureau of Customs (BoC) at the Naval Supply Depot (NSD).

A warrant of seizure and detention (WSD) was issued by District Collector Andres Salvacion who, together with Calimlim, supervised the opening and stripping of the two container vans.

Under an executive order, used clothings are banned importations.

One of the vans, containing 21.9 tons of "ukay-ukay" clothes from San Pedro, California, was consigned to TransWorld Brokerage Corp. with address at Regina Bldg., Escolta, Manila.

Customs appraisers said the wholesale rate for "ukay-ukay" clothing is R5,000 per 50 kilos. This means that the 22 tons of used clothings have a wholesale value of R2.2 million.

The other van was declared in its inward manifest to contain 508 packages of used clothings and other household items, weighing 11.2 tons and worth some R1.1 million.

Salvacion said that the two shipments, although forfeited in favor of the government, cannot be sold at auction, stating that the government would not profit from seized goods.

He added that the goods will be donated to charity organizations catering to the needs of the poor and disaster victims.

The donation will be made only upon the request of government agencies such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Office of the President.

Used truck: P300, 000, tax and duty: P500, 000

Subic Freeport’s bimonthly auction of used vehicles attracts a curious assortment of buyers. Some are young couples out to acquire their first car.

There would be small town mayors, armed with authorization letters, from municipal councils to purchase an ambulance or fire truck. Most are up and coming bus operators, haulers or civil works contactors eyeing to bid for a bus, truck or bulldozer to grow a business.

The Japan made units relatively are cheap. Converted from right-to left-hand drive an SUV may sell for P400,000, a quarter of the price for a brand-new model that a starter couple would never afford.

A fully equipped ambulance could sell for just bit more. A ready-to-use two-torn cargo truck can fetch P300,000, again a third of the price of a new version but only cab-and-chassis. The auctions thus provide bidders the means to fulfill their respective dreams.

On marched 30 the Customs bureau ordered shipping lines to not carry in anymore used vehicles from Japan. Citing the right –hand Drive Law (R.A.8506), the agency warned that violators would be forced to ship back the units to ports of origin at their expense.

The association of six or so auctioneers protested. The Law forbids driving RHDs on any road for safety. But the importers argued there is no violation since the units are converted to LHD, then tested for road –worthiness, before official registration. Besides, they said, the Subic Charter (R.A. 7227) allows low- duty imports of goods and raw materials, such as those to be converted and thus with value added.

There is more. The House of Representatives had ruled in June 2004 “no pertinent existing law or regulation is violated by bringing … (and) conversion of RHDs in the Subic special economic zone.” Studying the issue due to an outcry from local car and truck makers, the House report took into account the opinions of the Government Corporate Counsel, Departments of Justice and of Trade Industry, and Office of the Presidents.


Buhat ng maging lungsod ang Olongapo, some 40 years ago, nagkaroon na ng labing-isang (11) punong lungsod dito na sina: Ruben Geronimo (appointed, 1959-62), Ildefonso O. Arriola (appointed, 1962-63), James L. Gordon (elected 1966-67), Jaime Guevarra (take-over 1967-68), Amelia J. Gordon (elected 1968-71), Geronimo Lipumano (elected 1972-80), Richard J. Gordon ( elected 1980-86), Teodoro Macapagal ( 1986-87), Richard Gordon (elected 1987-92), si Cynthia G. Cajudo ba ang tumapos ng term ni Mayor Dick nang ito’y naging SBMA Chair? (elected 1995-2004), at incumbent Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. (elected 2004).

Without having to say among them did the most for Olongapo, suffice it to say na limang miyembro na ng Gordon family ang gumugol ng 25 of the 40 years mentioned, kaya bahala na ang tao sa paghusga nito.

The point is, dahil nagawa na halos lahat ng basic infrastructure needs ng lungsod: bahay, pamahalaan, palengke, hospital, mga paaralan, public utilities, mall, museo, public works, at kung anu-ano pang mga kailangan, tila baga mga refinements na lang sa mga ito, lalo na sa area ng job creation efforts para sa mga mamamayan, ang focus ni Mayor Bong sa kanyang panunungkulan.

Knowing Bong as a meticulous thinker and doer, di tayo dapat mabahala na di niya matugunan ang bawat relevant future needs of the townspeople at kung alin ang dapat mauunang gawin sa kanyang priority listing projects. Ang mga nagawa ng fish ports sa Banicain, ang pier sa seashore ng Kalaklan at Barretto at ang gagawin pang boardwalk sa Olongapo City Mall ay pawing pangkabuhayan at tourism enhancement ang mga iyan. At sa mismong pahayag ni Mayor bong na “tourism means jobs”, malaking kapakinabangan ang mga balak na ito.

Places of businesses ang mga ito para sa small-scale entrepreneurs, bukod sa pagiging paraan sa pag-unlad ng quality of life sa kapaligiran ng Subic Bay. Ang low-housing, road and pedestrian overpass construction, at installation of traffic lights naman ay essential safety and living improvement projects na nasa master-plan ni Mayor Bong.

Kahimunawari’y mauunang maipatupad ang mass land tiling of Olongapo lots upang makalikom ito ng sapat na pondo para sa infrastructure development projects na nakasalang.

Samantala, ang pagkakaroon ng regular na People’s Day with the mayor na tinatawag ninyo
ng Mayor’s Day ay isang mabisang solusyon sa pagkakaroon ng direct link at palagiang mabuting unawaan between the mayor and his constituents.

CENTER FOR WOMEN AT CENTER FOR YOUTH:Inaabangan na ang pagbubukas!

Tinatalakay kamakailan ang progreso ng trabaho sa ipinatatayong gusali ni Mayor Bong Gordon at First Lady Anne Marie Gordon na Center for Women at ang center for Children and Youth na matatagpuan sa Mayumi St. Sta Rita.

Nagaganap ang pulong ng Olongapo City Women’s Council ( O C W C ) na siyang nangangasiwa sa proyektong ito sa bulwagan na Sangguniang Panglungsod para sa pagpapatuloy ng pagpaplano ng ibat-ibang aktibidad nito.

“Ang Center for Women ay pansamantalang magiging tahanan ng mga kababaihang walang pamilya samantalang ang Center for Children and youth naman ay magiging pansamantalang tahanan ng mga kabataanng walang kumakalingang magulang,” ayon kay Ms. Gordon, chair ng Women’s Council.

Ang OCWC ay binuo ni Mayor James “Bong” Gordon Jr. sa layuning malakas ang pagpapatupad ng Repblic Act (RA) 7192 na may titulong “An Act Promoting the Integration of Women as full and Equal Partners on Men in development and nation building and for other Purposes.”

Ipinalabas ni Mayor Bong Gordon ang Executive Order (EO) No.3 Series of 2005 na naglalayong mag-talaga ng mga miyembro ng OCWC. Sa pamamagitan nito ay magakakaroon ng partisipasyon ang mga kababaihan sa pagpapatakbo ng komunidad at maipakita ang kakayahan sa pagkilos para sa lahat.

Ang konstruksyon ng dalawang gusali ay sinimulan noong Marso ng kasalukuyang taon sa Mayumi St. Barangay Sta. Rita. Tinatayang matatapos ito sa dulo ng taong 2005.


Sinimulan na ang implemementasyon ng limang(5) taong programa para sa Population and Development Strategy (DOS) at Gender Sensitivity Program (GS) sa pamamagitan ng dalawang araw na 2005 Annual Work Plan na ginanap sa FMA Hall, 2/F ng City Hall Complex nitong Hunyo 15-16, 2005.

Matatandaan na nitong Abril 2005, isa ang Olongapo City sa limang (5) piniling lugar sa bansa ng United Nations Population Fund for Assistance O UNFPA para mabiyayaan ng pondo na may kabuuang halagang P25milyon para sa mga programang may kinalaman sa population control. Tatlong pinakamalalaking barangay ang mabibiyaan ng pondong ito kabilang ang barangay Sta.Rita na may kabuang populasyon na 23,755; Barretto na may 53,938 populasyon at New Cabalan na may 20,002.

Kamakailan ay natapos na ang isinagawang financial management na siyang inilahad ng UNFPA Management Team upang masigurong magagamit ang pondong inilaan ng tama at maayos. Kung kaya’t isinagaw na ang Work Plan para sa tulo-tuloy at maayos na implementasyon ng programa sa barangay level. Kabilang sa mga departamento ng lokal na pamahalaan na bumubuo sa PSD Task Force ay ang City Planning Development Office (CPDO) City Health Office (CHO), City Population Commission (POPCOM), Urban Basic Services Program (UBSP) at City Social Welfare & Development Office (CSWDO).

Sa harapan ni Mayor James Gordon Jr., ipinangako ng PSD Task Force, na magkakaroon ng malaking pagbabago sa pananaw ng mamamayang Olongapo ukol sa responsibilidad ng bawat isa sa pagkontrol ng populasyon at pagpapahalaga sa family planning. “Sa tulong na pondo ng UNFPA, susuyurin naming ang tatlong barangay upang maipaalam sa lahat ang mga tamang kaalaman sa populasyon at kasabay nito, maibaba natin ang poverty level sa pamamagitan ng responsableng pagpaplano ng pamilya.

Idinagdag pa ni Mayor Gordon, “ Kasabay ng program sa pagkontrol ng populasyon, dapat ay may livelihood program din na siya nating pinapalakas sa kasalukuyan. Kung makaakibat ito, mas mabilis na uusad an gating bayan.”

Bukod sa mga libreng pills, at iba pang contraceptive methods, kasama din sa programa ang pagbibigay ng mga seminars at mga kaalamang babasahin ukol sa family planning at population control para sa mga mamamayan.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


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2005 Subic Bay Reunion will be held on October 16 to 26.
Military Historical Tours led by RADM Dan Mc Kinnon, USN, will host this year's reunion. Venue includes Subic Bay, Olongapo, Corregidor, Bataan, Clark Airfield, Angeles City and Manila.

Please visit their website: WWW.MILTOURS.COM for more details

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

On the death of Cardinal Sin:

Senator Richard Gordon today expressed grief on the death of former Manila Archbishop Cardinal Sin as he emphasized the great role that the latter has played in bringing back democracy in the Philippines.


“Cardinal Sin’s influence has transcended over the Catholic institution, he has and continues to be a moving force helping provide balance and harmony in our country.  He has given comfort and guidance to our leaders and people during trying times,” the senator said.


According to Gordon, Cardinal Sin has “instilled in Filipinos values and morals that are faithful to the teachings of our Lord through his words, work, and example.”


Gordon added, “Though the church and state are separate, Cardinal Sin has shown how the two should affect each other.  His being outspoken, often misconstrued as interfering, has given conviction to the voice not just of the Catholic community but of the majority of the Filipinos.”


Gordon asked the nation to include in their prayers the repose of the soul of Sin and to continue to be “strong in our faith and carry on the work of a true Christian as what the Cardinal would have wanted all of us to be.”

Monday, June 20, 2005


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US Embassy Defense Attache Colonel Terry Cook presents Olongapo City Mayor James J. Gordon Jr. with an envelop containing P22,000 cash donation from the USS Blue Ridge crew during a ceremony held at the mayor's office recently.

The donation, which will be used to help fund improvements in the East Tapinac Elementary School, was raised from the voluntary collection among the ship's staff that painted and made repairs in the school during an earlier visit.

USS Blue Ridge, the flagship of the US Seventh Fleet currently commanded by Capt. J. Stephen Maynard, was in the area recently for a three-day visit. (US EMBASSY)

Sunday, June 19, 2005

SubicBay Satellite Photo

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SubicBay Satellite Photo describing location of Subic Port Project.
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Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Subic Port Development Project Update

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Quarrying operation at Maritan Hill for reclamation material of Subic Port Project

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Wider shot of Maritan Hill quarrying

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Mouth of Kalaklan river, area indicated by yellow line being proposed as additional quarrying site for the port project. This material is a result of Mt. Pinatubo eruption in 1991.

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On-going Subic Port Development Project at Leyte Wharf, notice the reclamation (far-end), according to Florante Santos, project manager of the Subic Bay Port Development Project, an estimated 21 percent of the P5.217 billion modern port is now complete.

“Despite the delay in the shipment of steel piles from Japan, we are still on target of completing the project by July 1, 2007,” Santos said.

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The two-phase project involves the reclamation of 28 to 30 hectares for the new container yard and construction of a container terminal at Cubi Point that will increase Subic’s total handling capacity to 600,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU).

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Phase 1, which is already 50 percent complete, involves the construction of a 280-meter berth and the installation of two gantry cranes with total handling capacity of 300,000 TEU a year. The second phase involves the construction of another 280-meter berth and two additional gantry cranes.

The project also includes dredging with a depth of 13 meters, construction of an access road and the port administration building, and installation of utilities and navigational aids, Santos said.

The Bay

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The 1st edition of The Bay - Subic Lifestyle, Leisure & Business is out

follow Link to download .. .


Thursday, June 16, 2005

Gordon rehabilitates Infanta Health Centers

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Philippine National Red Cross Chairman Richard Gordon turns over the symbolic key of rehabilitated barangay health centers to Infanta Mayor Filipina Grace America and local community leaders, as part of the ceremony for 12 health centers in Infanta, Gen. Nakar and Real, Quezon that were reconstructed, resupplied and re-equipped by PNRC with support from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and European Community Humanitarian Office at a cost of some P8 million.

By: Jo Anne T. Papa
Media Relations Officer
Office of Sen. Richard J. Gordon
telefax: +63 2 5526719

Ten Outstanding Subic Bay Workers to be awarded on November 24

Atty. Roy Pastor, Head of SBMA Labor Department announced today in radio interview over DWHL that the Ten Outstanding Subic Bay Workers will be awarded on November 24, recognizing for the first time in more than six years the actual date when the creation of Subic Freeport was signed and more importantly, the day when Olongapo City celebrates Volunteers Day. It can be recalled that Tong Payumo refused to celebrate volunteers' day, ignored the volunteers' monument and volunteer's shrine and moved SBMA celebrations to a different date effectively trying to erase the volunteers' legacy in the creation of Subic Bay Freeport.

The 10 Outstanding Freeport Workers last year were Lina Balan of the Legend International Resort Ltd; Ludivina L. Carballo of Aura College; Israel R. Daria of Koryo Subic; Jeanette C. Fabian of Aura College; Frederick T. Ferrarez of RCM Manufacturing; Maria Belma B. Ginez of Subic International Hotel; Manuel D. Gutierrez of Wistron; Nolito F. Isaac of Subic Water; Eddie D. Sioson of RCM Manufacturing; and Thelma M. Villanueva of Subic Water.

Subic Bay Workforce Development Foundation Inc., which organized the event is now accepting nominations for this year's awards.

Subic Bay Freeport will nominate the winners to the Tower Award of the Rotary Club of Manila.

OFWs warned of BSP text scam

By Alexander Villafania INQ7.net

THE DEPARTMENT of Foreign Affairs has warned overseas Filipino workers and their families (OFW) last Tuesday of a new text scam claiming that the receiver won two million pesos, dropping the names of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and its governor Rafael Buenaventura.
DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Jose Brillantes said the message also asks the receiver to remit 800 US dollars in order to receive the two million-peso prize.

The full text message reads: “Congrats your cell roaming no. won P2 million during the electronic raffle drawn from the Central Bank of the Philippines. Call now Governor Rafael Buenaventura at this number: +639156907234.”

Brillantes said the DFA received a report from Ambassador to Egypt Petronila Garcia, saying that a member of the Philippine Embassy in Egypt received the sham message last June 2.

The “prizewinner, ” Attaché Donnie Fetalino, communications officer of the Philippine Embassy in Egypt, was said to have called the number provided. A male voice instructed Fetalino to remit 800 US dollars through the Cairo branch of Western Union Money Transfer, one of the remittance centers commonly used by OFWs.

The male voice also claimed the transaction could be validated with a certain Antonio Uy, Western Union Philippines president, giving a number to call Uy. Fetalino proceeded to call the number and another male voice confirmed the prize, asking him to remit the 800 US-dollars.

“Uy” said the remittance was necessary to authorize the deduction of service charges involved in transmitting the prize money. Then Fetalino received another text message from “Uy,” with details of a third person who would receive the 800 US dollar remittance.

Suspicious of text messages and calls, the Philippine Embassy in Cairo called the BSP where they confirmed that there was no such raffle.

Undersecretary Brillantes said he has referred the text scam to the Anti-Money Laundering Council, the Philippine National Police, the National Bureau of Investigation, and the National Telecommunications Commission for investigation.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Taiwan firm eyes Subic for flat TV production

By Marianne V. Go
The Philippine Star 06/15/2005

Appliance manufacturer Taiwan Kolin Co. Ltd. is planning to put up a factory in Subic, Board of Investments (BOI) managing head Elmer C. Hernandez said.

He said Kolin is planning to manufacture flat television sets for export to Taiwan. The parts and components for the flat TVs would be imported from Taiwan and assembled in the proposed Subic factory.

Hernandez was in Taiwan recently for the 2005 Taipei Summit on Information and Communication Technology.

According to Hernandez, if Kolin’s plans materialize, it would be the first time a foreign firm would manufacture flat TVs in the country.

Kolin is planning to produce 130,000 units a year.

Another Taiwanese firm, Quanta Computer Inc., is also reportedly interested in putting up manufacturing operations in the Philippines.

However, in the case of Quanta, it plans to manufacture parts and components in the Philippines for export to Taiwan where assembly of computers and other peripherals would be done.

Quanta, Hernandez said, has an existing plant in Taiwan but wants to relocate part of its manufacturing operations here.

More than 2,000 Filipino workers sneak into Iraq despite ban

Philstar - More than 2,000 Filipino workers have sneaked into Iraq to work for US military camps despite a government ban imposed last year, recruitment agencies said Tuesday.

The workers leave the country with forged travel papers and use Dubai as a jump-off point into Iraq, according to formal complaints presented by recruitment agencies to a government task force enforcing the travel ban.

On average 100 Filipinos have been leaving for Iraq every month to work in some 60 US military-run camps in Iraq, they said.


In Olongapo City, more than 300 workers in security services were recruited for Iraq and Afganistan. As of this writing, a secret training camp in Subic Bay is conducting refresher courses in anti-terrorism, re-tooling to include mine detection and safety and orientation on culture of their future host country by experts in Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) who were originally trained by American and Israeli Counter-Terror operatives in 1996 to secure the 18 head of states who were in Subic during the APEC Summit. Observers commented that "mercenaries" or "mercs" is the more appropriate term for these adventurers and not OFW. But with P100, 000.00 to P150, 000.00 monthly take home pay coupled with P2, 000,000.00 insurance; it’s not at all surprising that applicants come in hundreds. In fact, Subic Bay is expecting a "security drain" (patterned from the famous "brain drain") if this trend continues; even close-in security of some national and local politicians opted to hop in the bandwagon.

These "mercs" will be tasked to secure western expats in Iraq and Afghanistan, escort civilian convoys or construction/maintenance/supplies of different pro-democracy projects, and mine clearing operations.

Reports which were relayed by the first batch of Filipino "mercs" who are now operating in the Middle East for more than six months indicate that death is expected. Filipinos die (both pro and anti; since some recruited pinoy workers they said end up working with the insurgents, revels or whatever you want to call them ) in the Middle East but you will not see it in the news and our government most of the time does not even know about it.

This writer thought of bringing this issue up with the national leadership but after a hearth-to-hearth meeting with the "boys", decided to hold-out and respect their decision, which is much like most OFWs, wanting a better future for their family (for which they claim has become very elusive in our own country), and yes they are willing to take the risk.

Being part of the family of original Subic Volunteers, I consider these courageous brothers as "heroes", I wish them safe journey . . . GODSPEED!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


The Birth of Motion
by Ben Agustin
1657F Waterdam Road
Balic-Balic, Olongapo City

The Stretch-ercise is best performed upon waking up or during relaxation time w/ empty stomach.

Follow desired positions, at the end of comfort zone or onset of pain, hold the position or increase pressure during motion.

Cycle Breath: inhale/exhale one breath per second for 15 seconds (may be increased as desired)

Feel the tingling sensations and body relaxation before proceeding with next position.

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Log Posture

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Arm or Neck Stretch

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Palm or Spine Stretch

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Folded Legs Stretch

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Leg Raise stretch

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Back Arch Stretch

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Spine and Body Stretch

Monday, June 13, 2005

Mikey, Iggy urged to resign from House

The President’s son, Juan Mi­guel “Mikey” Arroyo, and brother-in-law Ignacio “Iggy” Arroyo should not wait for the President to order them to resign as members of the House of Representatives, Sen. Richard Gordon said Sunday.

Gordon said they should quit now for the sake of Mrs. Arroyo whose presidency has been besieged by allegations of election fraud and jueteng payoffs.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson has suggested that to save her presidency, Mrs. Arroyo must order Mikey, a congressman from Pampanga, and Iggy, who represents Negros Oriental, to quit from the House.

Senate President Franklin Drilon also said the President should enforce the reforms to defuse the political powderkeg.

Sen. Ramon Magsaysay said Mrs. Arroyo must discipline her family.

Gordon said Mikey and Iggy should “resign without admitting guilt so the President can go on with her reforms.”

He pointed out that the scandals hounding Mrs. Arroyo and the threat of coups raised by the opposition are placing a heavy toll on the economy.

“Investors are getting scared. We should help the government,” Gordon said.

Opposition Sen. Serge Os­meña remains convinced that the President is culpable of the charges against her and should have the decency to resign.

Osmeña called Mrs. Arroyo a “cheat.”

“It is not only her close relatives who are cheats, she should include the person in her mirror,” Osmeña said in a text message.

Sen. Jinggoy Estrada endorsed Gordon’s suggestion, saying the best solution to salvage Mrs. Arroyo’s presidency is to “’deport’ her husband, Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo, to some far-flung place, where he could no longer do any harm to her leadership.”

Estrada added that it would be better if Mr. Arroyo returned to the country after the President has finished her term in 2010.

Senate President Pro-Tempore Juan Flavier and Sen. Mar Roxas told the President to “hang on.”

Flavier said Mrs. Arroyo should not be cowered by threats and continue to exercise her mandate to lead the people.

“The Arroyo administration remains stable despite charges of wrongdoing against the First Family. The President should not be distracted by these charges,” Flavier said.

He lamented that the eco­nomy has been adversely affected by recent political problems.

“The sad thing here is that the economy is very much affected,” Flavier said.

Roxas condemned attempts to undermine the Arroyo government.

“I still support the Arroyo administration and the government. I am against the desta­bilizers,” Roxas said

Sunday, June 12, 2005

107th Independence Day Celebration

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Mayor James Gordon led the flower offering at the monument of Dr. Jose Rizal duringthe 107th Independence Day celebration in Olongapo City. Representatives from Philippine National Police, City Council, Department of Education and NGOs such as Mason, Boy Scouts and War Veterans joined the annual celebration which was followed by a parade and program at East Tapinac Oval Track.

Saturday, June 11, 2005


Schedule of Public Hearings on the Petition of Subicwater

June 22, 2005
2:00pm to 5:00pm
Rizal Triangle, Olongapo City


July 6, 2005
2:00pm to 5:00pm
Rizal Triangle, Olongapo City

All interested parties can file with Subic Bay Water Regulatory Board (Bldg. 892 Labitan St., Subic Bay Freeport, Tel # 252-3782 to 83), Oppositions against or comments to Subicwater's Petition within ten (10) days after the last publication hereof.

Gordon, Pangilinan want Senate jueteng probe to end

By Efren L. Danao, MT Senior Reporter

THE Senate majority leader, Francis Pangilinan, and Sen. Richard Gordon said Friday that the Senate investigation into the proliferation of jueteng in the country should now end.

The investigation, conducted by the Senate Committees on Public Order and Illegal Drugs and Games, Sports and Amusement, had presented four witnesses who have linked the President’s husband, Mike Arroyo, his son Rep. Mikey Arroyo of Pampanga, brother-in-law Rep. Ignacio Arroyo of Negros Occidental and other prominent government personalities and the Philippine National Police to the illegal numbers game.

Against the wishes of some senators who want the Senate inquiry on jueteng conducted everyday, Sen. Manny Villar, chair of the Committee on Public Order, has suspended the hearings for two weeks to give the committee staff “a chance to rest.”

Villar said the inquiry will resume on June 24.

All of the persons linked to jueteng claimed innocence and decried that they were being tried by publicity by witnesses using hearsay.

Pangilinan said that after Thursday’s hearing, there seemed to be enough testimonies to enable the two committees to make a recommendation.

“Our economy is hurting because of too much politicking, because of this feeding frenzy and our focus on scandal and controversy,” he added.

Pangilinan stressed that terminating the investigation should not be construed as an attempt to shield anyone.

“To terminate the Senate hearings does not preclude the Ombudsman or the Department of Justice from digging deeper and looking into the involvement of personalities,” he said.

He pointed out that the Senate is not a law-enforcement agency and does not have the means and the authority to determine criminal liability.

“The Senate legislates, the Department of Justice and the Ombudsman prosecute. If all entities stick to their constitutional mandates, we will be a more effective constitutional democracy,” Pangilinan said.

Gordon likened the jueteng investigation to a “soap opera.”

“It was very entertaining, but there was no solid evidence to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt, which is needed to prosecute,” he said.

Gordon warned that “this soap opera” could erode the national integrity. Since the committees have gathered enough testimonies, it is time for the Senate to decide whether or not to legalize jueteng.

“We should now harness the money that is going to the pockets of a few,” he argued.

He said that the hearing has tainted the integrity of a number of persons without proof.

“There should be a quantum of evidence, not perceptions or hearsays,” he said.

Gordon also wondered why the weekly deposits of jueteng payola amounting to P875,500 in the bank accounts of witness Sandra Cam were not reported to the Antimoney Laundering Council. The Antimoney Laundering Law provides for the automatic reporting of any single bank transaction of at least P500,000.

Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago had warned the two committees against conducting quasi-judicial proceedings in their investigation

Friday, June 10, 2005

Toxic Waste and a U.S. Base at Subic, Philippines

Environmental conflict at Subic Bay
case study # 31 by Misa Kemmiya

Toxic waste found at military bases around the world have often spread to the surrounding communities and threatened the public health as well as the environment of the affected areas. Subic, the largest U.S. Naval base outside the U.S., is such a case that needs cleanup because of past dumping of hazardous waste, leaking underground storage tanks, toxic spills and other environmental harmful practices. However, exactly who is responsible for this clean up remains unclear. And as such, comprehensive clean up has even not begun.

other interesting reading:

Technical Review Report
Environmental Baseline Survey

Former United States Navy Installation
Subic Bay, Philippines

Under contract to Arc Ecology, on behalf of the United States Working Group for Philippine Bases Cleanup and the People's Task Force for Bases Cleanup, Clearwater Revival Company (CRC) prepared this technical review.

The second Subic Bay Freeport Project aims to continue to strengthen the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority's (SBMA's) capacity to regulate and manage the growth of the Freeport, and support further infrastructure development - including SBMA's initial venture into partnership with the private sector through a water supply joint venture.

First Holdings to bid for 94-km Subic-Clark expressway project

By Zinnia Dela Peña The Philippine Star 06/10/2005

The Lopez-owned First Philippine Holdings Corp. (FPHC) plans to bid for the 94.5-kilometer Subic-Clark expressway project under the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA), a top company official said.

At the sidelines of the company’s stockholders meeting yesterday, FPHC president Elpidio Ibanez said they are prepared to bid for the road project to leverage on the strength of its involvement in the North Luzon expressway or NLEX.

Ibanez said the company is just waiting for the terms of reference of the estimated $500-million expressway project prior to submitting a bid. The terms of reference are expected to come out in the third quarter.

"We will study the terms of reference and if we think it’s still attractive then we will bid. We’re interested in operating it," Ibanez said.

The completion of the Subic-Clark expressway is seen to provide impetus for new businesses, industries and tourism to develop the rest of Luzon. It will link not only the seaport facilities in Subic and the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport and logistics facilities in Clark but provide access to the other major economic players in the region.

The project is expected to be completed in July 2007.

Funding for the project is provided through an Y41.931-million soft loan from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).

FPHC is the power and infrastructure investment unit of Benpres Holdings Corp. and the parent of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), the country’s largest power distributor.

FPHC reported a net income of P3.3 billion last year, mainly coming from its power generation business. It did not provide a comparative figure but based on its 2003 annual report, FPHC posted a net profit of P3.82 billion in that year.

The lower profit was due to provisions made by Meralco, in which FPHC holds a 17.7 percent stake. FPHC’s share of the provision amounted to P1.2 billion. Without the provision, FPHC’s profit would have grown 18 percent to P4.5 billion.

Among the company’s subsidiaries are First Generation Holdings Corp. in which FPHC holds 88.44 percent interest and First Philippine Infrastructure Development Corp. (38 percent).

For this year, FPHC is confident its net profit will grow 10 to 15 percent, banking on higher contributions from its power distribution and tollways businesses.

Power generation is expected to contribute between 75 percent and 80 percent of FPHC’s earnings this year, slightly lower than in past years when the business contributed as much as 90 percent.

FPHC is not planning any major capital expenditure for this year, with no big projects in the pipeline.

Although it lost in the bidding for 600-megawatt Masinloc coal-fired power station of state utility National Power Corp., FPHC remains interested in Napocor’s asset sale.

The government has been trying to sell Napocor’s generation and transmission assets valued at P280 billion to help pay off the ailing state utility’s debts.

This year, FPHC will start servicing its debt, which now stands at $85 million

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Scouts committed to Volunteer in 2005 SEAG

Boy Scouts of the Philippines signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Secretary Roberto Pagdanganan to provide assistance during the conduct of South East Asian Games to be held this November. Subic will be the venue for events such as sailing, kayaking, rowing and triathlon.

In other development, James L. Gordon Council of Olongapo won the bid to host the Central Luzon Region and National Capital Region Jamborrette this December 26 to 30. Last Friday, Council Camping Activities Committee conducted ocular inspection to determine possible venues for different scouting activities.

follow link to read more and view photos . . .

"TurfWar" Dahilan ng balasahan sa Subic?

Pormal na nanungkulan kahapon bilang bagong hepe ng Bureau of Customs (BoC) Port of Subic si Collector VI Atty. Andres "Andy" Salvacion kapalit ni Subic District Collector Atty. Marietta Zamoranos sa isinagawang balasahan ni Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina Jr.

Sa simpleng turnover ceremony, sinabi ni Salvacion na mas lalo pang pag-iibayuhin ang performance na makalikom ng mas mataas na koleksyon upang makatulong sa programa na maiangat ang ekonomiya ng bansa.

Si Salvacion, tubong Samar, Leyte, na nanungkulan bilang deputy collector for assessment sa Port of Subic ay inilipat sa Clark Special Economic Zone bilang customs collector sa loob ng anim na buwan bago ibinalik sa BoC-Subic district office.

Habang si Atty. Zamoranos naman ay itinalaga bilang district collector sa Manila International Container Port (MICP) na nagsilbi sa Port of Subic sa loob din ng anim na buwan.

Nangako naman si Salvacion na kanyang susulusyunan ang kasalukuyang namumuong problema sa pagitan ng customs police at miyembro ng Anti-Smuggling Task Force (ASTF) hinggil sa hurisdiksyon sa Naval Supply Depot (NSD).

Matatandaan na nagsimula ang sigalot sa pagitan ng dalawang ahensya matapos ipag-utos ni Anti-Smuggling Task Force (ASTF) chief ret. Lt. Gen. Jose Calimlim na huwag papasukin sa loob ng NSD ang mga miyembro ng customs police hangga’t walang ibinibigay na request letter sa hepe nito na makapagsagawa ng kanilang pagsusuri sa mga container na naglalaman ng mga smuggled goods.

Subic has new Customs collector

By Malou Dungog, MT Central Luzon Bureau

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT: Freeport officials welcomed on Tuesday Andres Salvacion Jr. as the new Customs collector of the Port of Subic, replacing district collector Marietta Zamoranos, who was promoted to the Manila International Container Port after a six-month stint.

Salvacion’s appointment was welcomed by Zamoranos and other Subic officials who know him as the deputy collector for assessment here until he was promoted to district collector of the Port of Clark six months ago.

Zamoranos, who was assigned MICP deputy collector for operation, said in her farewell message that she was happy that Salvacion was the one chosen to succeed her.

“This is my sixth turn-over,” said Zamoranos, who endeared herself to port officials and Subic-Olongapo residents during her assignment as district collector. “In leaving, there will be sadness and happiness. I want it to be happy because I am six months wiser and my reassignment at MICP a bigger career opportunity.”

During her six-month stay here, Zamoranos supported the antismuggling campaign waged by Task Force Subic, headed by retired general Jose Calimlim.

Salvacion, on his part, thanked Zamoranos and welcomed his return to the free port.

“If you remember, once upon a time I said I will be the next McArthur, now I have returned,” Salvacion said. “Not everyone is given the opportunity to become a district collector. There are only 10 ports of entry in the Philippines. Out of the 8,000 Bureau of Customs employees who want to get the position, there are only 14 district collectors.

“As the new district collector, rest assured that I will give whatever benefits due to you. And I will do my best to serve Port of Subic,” he said.

Zamoranos is faced with the challenge of increasing customs collection from the Port of Subic, which is suffering a shortfall in its monthly collection target because of the government clampdown on used-motor vehicle importation.

CDC-Angeles City dispute over permits heats up anew

By Joey Aguilar, MT Central Luzon Bureau

ANGELES CITY: The dispute between the Angeles City Hall and the Clark Development Corp. (CDC) heated up anew after Mayor Carmelo F. Lazatin reiterated the city hall’s position that all establishments outside the Clark Special Economic Zone (CSEZ) are all under the city’s police and regulatory powers.

“We advance that any commercial or construction within the territorial jurisdiction of Angeles City and outside the CSEZ, which is identified as the enclosed area of the former Clark Airbase, should be under the police and the regulatory powers of Angles City,” Lazatin wrote in a letter to CDC President Antonio Ng.

He wrote the letter after the Angeles City anti-vice squad found that several establishments at the Bayanihan Park, on Fields Avenue, are operating without business permits.

Lazatin said the areas are within the jurisdiction of this city and establishments located at the city’s “red light district” should secure business permits including sanitary and safety permits.

He claimed that under Presidential Proclamation 163, there was no mention that “Bayanihan Park” is not within the eastern part CSEZ. This area is where the initial phase of the construction of the SM Mall will take place.

Lazatin said the Angeles City police are the main agency protecting the area, debunking CDC’s claim that the area is within the reservation contained in the US-RP Military Bases Agreement and there was no actual land survey of the reservation area.

He said the city government has no intention to interfere with locators and tenants inside the fenced area of CSEZ, but those outside of the CSEZ should not be included and declared part of the special economic zone.

The City Administrator Alberto M. Suller in a statement said Lazatin wrote Ng but the latter rejected the mayor’s request.

Imposing regulatory fees on business establishments inside CSEZ is based on the law related to the operations of special economic zones and the Local Government Code of 1991, according to Suller.

“It follows therefore that outside the zone or free trade area, no preferential tax treatment is granted to any enterprise doing business within Clark,” Lazatin said.

Lazatin had also sought legal opinion from the Department of Justice and from the Department of the Interior and Local Government beforehand.

Bigger Clark airport planned

By Jonathan M. Hicap, MT Reporter

The Manila International Airport Authority will expand the operations of the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (formerly Clark International Airport) to enable it to handle more passengers.

At a roundtable with The Manila Times Wednesday, Alfonso Cusi, MIAA general manager, said he is waiting for regulations in carrying out Executive Order 341, issued by President Arroyo in August 2004 and giving the MIAA direct supervision and control of seven additional international airports in the country.

Besides Diosdado Macapagal, MIAA supervises the La­oag International Airport, Subic Bay International Airport, Mactan-Cebu International Airport, Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao, General Santos International Airport and Zamboanga International Airport.

The President authorized the MIAA to act directly on matters involving the management, operation, maintenance or development of any of the international airports in the Philippines.

The MIAA can also direct any of the officials of the international airports to perform their duties or retrain the commission of acts; and review, approve, reverse or modify acts and decisions of the governing board, officials or units of all the international airports.

The MIAA also has the power to determine priorities in the execution of plans and programs, and to prescribe standards, guidelines, plans and programs.

The Arroyo administration is pushing for the development of the DMIA as it declared Subic and Clark priority development zones.

The MIAA said major airlines are interested in operating at the DMIA. Budget Airline Air Asia has started flying from the DMIA to Malaysia. Tiger Airways also flies from the DMIA to Singapore.

The MIAA sees a need to increase the passenger capacity of the DMIA from 1.5 million to 3.5 million a year when it completes the expansion project by 2007.

Leasing of land in the DMIA aviation complex has been temporarily stopped until a new land-use master plan is finalized.

Cusi said that with the President’s new executive order, resources from the MIAA’s earnings from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport can go to upgrading the facilities of the seven other airports.

He said the NAIA and the Mactan-Cebu International Airport are the only earning international airports in the country.

Governor recognizes achievements of Guam's Filipino community

Following is a transcription of Governor Felix Camacho's weekly radio address to the people of Guam. It appears here courtesy of the Governor's Communications Office.

Hafa Adai! June 12 is an important day for many of our fellow citizens, it marks the 107th anniversary of Philippine Independence. We celebrate this occasion with our brothers and sisters from the Philippines because it commemorates a day our neighbors won their national identity, an identity and a culture that they’ve shared with us through the centuries.

Today we stand with all Filipinos on Guam to celebrate the achievements of a people who contribute so much to our island. We reflect upon the past Century of their progress and all they have done for Guam as they built a nation of freedom-loving people. We also welcome a new era of prosperity for our brothers and sisters in the Philippines and our kababayans here at home. And while we share in the pride and joy of Filipinos on Guam and around the world, we also celebrate the unique identity that Chamorros, Filipinos and all the people of Guam share in this diverse island. We all contribute to making Guam the special place it is and our Filipino community has been there every step of the way.

I want to say something to our Filipino brothers and sisters now. You are all an inspiration. As individuals working toward a better Guam, you have done so much to shape the economic, social and political landscape of island. You are entrepreneurs, service workers, teachers, doctors, homemakers, lawyers and public servants who work hard each day, contributing to a growing and more prosperous society. You are involved in the community. You care for the sick, provide opportunities to the poor and accept the challenges of working toward a brighter future for all of us. These are the principles and ideals that led to Philippine Independence; and these are the values embodied by our fellow citizens.

As a community dedicated to a mission of strengthened unity, you continue to embrace the shared and unique culture of our island, promote unprecedented relations between Guam and the Republic of the Philippines and demonstrate a commitment to a Greater Guam. Your efforts have led to the establishment and increase of ties between Guam and Manila. Because of your efforts, Guam has been blessed with the visits of then-Senator and now President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, President Cory Aquino and President Fidel Ramos. This week, Guam welcomes President Ramos back for a second visit - a testament to the enduring friendship between our peoples. Our continued relations call on us to build upon a common heritage, history and vision between the people of Guam and the Philippines.

Our island has come a long way and our kababayans have been here helping Guam prosper. Together, we’ve built a society that has stood up to countless challenges and embraced growth. The progress we’ve seen would not be as profound and felt if it were not for your efforts.

Let us all celebrate Philippine Independence with our fellow citizens. It is a proud and happy moment for them and they share that pride and joy with us. Let us thank them for all their contributions and encourage their continued pursuit of excellence.

Thank you and may God bless!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Fund lack hampers SEAG preparations

No site yet for Philsoc secretariat, media center

By eddie alinea MB

Five months before the country hosts the 23rd Southeast Asian Games, the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Philsoc) is still looking for shelter and cold cash to start the repair of the main venues.

Saddled with the enormity of raising a minimum of P1 billion to fund the Games, the Philsoc is battling against time to keep the engine humming.

Yet, Philsoc chairman Roberto "Obet" Pagdanganan was a picture of confidence and optimism when he came into the weekly forum of the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) yesterday.

Pagdanganan reported that Philsoc has so far raised P367 million from the private sector, but conceded that they need P200 million of the P300 million pledged by President Macapagal-Arroyo earlier to start the rehabilitation of the Games’ main venues.

The former tourism secretary said they have requested Malacañang to release the funds so that work can start for the renovation of the Rizal Memorial and Paglaum sports complexes.

At the same time, the Philsoc has yet to decide where to house the main secretariat, main press center, International Broadcasting Center and the offices of Philsoc’s working committees.

Pagdanganan disclosed talks with the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) bogged down after Philsoc labeled the P6 million rental fee exorbitant.

The PICC served as the nerve center when the country last hosted the Games in 1992.

"Our first option is still the PICC, but should negotiations bog down, we have to think of alternative sites for the main secretariat," he said.

Among the sites being considered are the World Trade Center and the Philippine National Bank (PNB) building along Roxas Boulevard.

The P367 million raised so far by the Philsoc represents less than 40 percent of the minimum P1 billion requirement needed to host the Nov. 27-Dec. 5 conclave.

But Pagdanganan said with the addition of the P300 million pledged by government and P150 million from the Senate and House Representatives, the goal is attainable.

"The P367 million is practically all signed up. We have already closed deals with at least seven sponsors and we are ready to sign memorandum of agreement with Yonex, SMC-Coca Cola, Air 21, Shakey’s, Jollibee and KFC this week or early next week," said Pagdanganan.

He said talks are under way for the entry of the Lucio Tan Group of Companies.

The Philsoc is also expecting P50 million from the Senate and up to P100 million from the Lower House.

As far as preparations are concerned, Pagdanganan claimed that everything is on track with the public awareness scheme to kick off in the next few weeks.

One of the activities the Philsoc is thinking of participating is the Independence Day celebration on June 12.

A program with the theme, "Team Philippines, Dugong Bayani," is being mapped out to depict the Filipinos’ heroism.

The Olympic Run set June 26 in celebration of the founding of the International Olympic Movement, will also be used as part of the drumming up program, according to Red Dumuk, head of the Philippine Olympic Committee Sports for All Commission.

Pagdanganan urged the people to support the Games.

"Nananawagan din ako sa ating mga kababayan na suportahan din ang ating mga atleta. Ang SEA Games ay isang ginintuang pagkakataon hindi lamang para ipakita natin sa ting mga kapit-bayan ang ating kakayahan magdaos at mag-organisa ng ganitong kalaking event kundi para ipakita rin ang kakayahan ng ating mga atleta na manalo," he said.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Motor vehicle sales up 11% to 38,315 units in January-May

Motor vehicle sales up 11% to 38,315 units in January-May
(Has government's moves against motor vehicle smugglers in Subic helped the industry?)

read more . . .

Subic, Clark next Asian tourism hub

The Subic-Clark economic growth corridor will soon be transformed into Asia’s next commercial and tourism hub in Asia, according to Patrick C. Gregorio, Tourism Director General of the Subic-Clark Alliance Development (SCAD) Corp., the new corporate entity that will handle the development of the Central Luzon boom area.

"By enabling infrastructure development in Subic, Clark and their surrounding areas, we will have a new economic center that will not only compete with Metro Manila, but also with the best cities in Asia in attracting investors and travelers who can help the Philippine economy in the race towards industrialization," he explained.

Gregorio, who is president of Waterfront Hotels and Casinos in Cebu City, is also the founding chairman of the private sector-led Cebu Visitors and Convention Bureau.

The new Tourism Director General said he wants to share his expertise in the tourism industry and focus his management skills, which he has acquired from running the Waterfront hotels, on establishing SCAD Corp. as a model government corporation, with crucial role in economic development.

As a corporate arm of the two former American military bases, SCAD Corp. will enable Subic and Clark to synchronize efforts in developing a regional logistics hub that will result in the complementation and sharing of resources, infrastructure and facilities between the two zones thereby propelling economic growth in Central Luzon.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo envisions the Subic-Clark area as a regional economic center, in the mold of Hong Kong and Dubai.

In January 2003, the president approved the creation of the P31.25-billion SCAD Corp. upon the joint recommendation of the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA), the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), Clark Development Corporation (CDC) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

SCAD Corp. will manage various infrastructure projects such as the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA), Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway, and the Subic Bay port.
In particular, DMIA is being eyed as the country’s next premier international gateway and Asian regional center for express freight operations, logistics and warehousing, and a major aircraft heavy maintenance base. Once completed by 2006, the DMIA expansion project can service up to 3.5 million passengers annually.

As the director general of SCAD Corp., Gregorio will coordinate with SBMA chairman and SCAD presidential adviser Francisco Licuanan III and CDC chair and former DTI Secretary Rizalino Navarro in the development of Subic and Clark.

Before he joined the government, Gregorio was among those considered by the president to be the next secretary of the Department of Tourism.

A veteran of 17 years in the tourism industry, Gregorio started as a junior sales executive at the Philippine Convention and Visitors Bureau (PCVC) at the age of 17. From there, he worked in various tourism establishments and worked his way to the top of one of the most prestigious hotel chains in Cebu and Davao.(EVA)

Broad powers for SBMA, CDC eyed

A BILL empowering the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and Clark Development Corp. (CDC) to develop special economic zones in Luzon has been filed in the Senate.

According to Sen. Richard Gordon, author of the bill, legislative proposal was aimed at promoting investment and creating more business opportunities in the areas surrounding the Subic and Clark.

A law providing such power to SBMA and CDC was also necessary so that the country could maximize and implement the potentials of the major pieces of infrastructure in Luzon the airports in Subic and Clark the seaports in Subic and Manila.

Under Senate Bill No. 1840, SBMA and CDC shall have the authority to develop other special economic zones in Luzon, and to manage and operate them. To fulfill such a function, two agencies shall also be given the power to borrow funds from local and international institutions, or to raise money through bond issues or issuance of other securities.

“The State must be aggressive ion taking advantage of the strategic infrastructure in Subic, Clark and Manila as international transportation hubs.” Gordon said in the explanatory note of his bill.

“The development of special economic zones in the municipalities nearby, bordering the highway and railway and connected to the airports and seaports in Subic, Clark and Manila must be encouraged as this will bring jobs to the people… and a promote a rising standard of living and an improved quality of life for all,” he added.

The Senator, who was former chair of the SBMA, said the development of more economic zones would decentralize economic development and thus decongest the overcrowded key cities in Luzon, particularly those in Metro Manila.

The bill, aside from granting authority to the SBMA and CDC to develop ecozones, also seeks to provide other powers to the two organizations. These include, among others, setting of minimum wage and imposition of strike moratorium in businesses to be located in ecozones, to enter into joints ventures or other investment activities to raise funds, and to establish subsidiaries.

The bill also seeks to empower the two agencies with authority and grant various incentives to businesses that will locate in the economic zones.

The bill is perceived to be in response to the ongoing row between the Bases Conversion Development Authority, which oversees CDC, and Camp John Hay Development Corp.

Michelle V. Remo

GMA names 3 Monetary Board Members

Amatong, Villafuerte, and Antonio appointed


President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo yesterday named former Finance Secretary Juanita D. Amatong and two other government officials as new members of the Monetary Board, the policymaking body of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Trade Undersecretary Nelly Favis Villafuerte and Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) administrator and chief executive officer Alfredo C. Antonio were also appointed to the Monetary Board.

The new appointments take effect on July 4, which coincides with the assumption into office of incoming BSP Governor and Monetary Board chairman Amando M. Tetangco Jr. and the 12th anniversary of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

Tetangco will replace Governor Rafael Buenaventura whose term expires on July 3. The three new BSP officials, meanwhile, will take the place of Juan Quintos Jr., Melito Salazar Jr., and Antonio Alindogan Jr.

The appointment of Amatong to the Monetary Board marks her return to the Arroyo government. She resigned as finance chief last January supposedly to return to the private sector.

Amatong also served as member of the Monetary Board when she was still Arroyo’s finance secretary. She obtained her business degree from Silliman University in Dumaguete City and postgraduate degree from Syracuse University in New York. Amatong is the first woman executive director in the World Bank Group from the Philippines.

Prior to her new appointment, Villafuerte was the head of the Department of Trade and Industry’s regional operations group. She earned a degree in law from the University of the Philippines in 1959 and passed the bar the same year before completing a postgraduate degree in business management from the Asian Institute of Management.

Bunye said Antonio will leave his present post at the SBMA when he assumes the BSP portfolio next month. He however refused to confirm rumors that Antonio’s replacement in the SBMA would be former Olongapo City mayor Katherine Gordon, wife of administration Senator Richard Gordon.

Before his stint at the SBMA, Antonio served as board member in Cosmos Bottling Corporation, Intex Telecoms Systems Corporation, JP Latex Technology Inc, and Equity Managers Asia Inc.

From 1994 to 1998, Antonio was executive vice president and chief operating officer of Associated Bank, chairman of the Philippine Savings Bank and chairman of the Development Bank of the Philippines.

He has a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from Ateneo de Manila University and postgraduate degree in business administration from Bernard Baruch College of the City University of New York.

In another development, Malacañang has tapped presidential consultant on investor relations Cora Guidote to be concurrent deputy spokesperson for economic affairs.

Bunye said Guidote retains her designation as presidential consultant while being the “de facto” spokesperson for economic affairs to avoid “plantilla” problems.

He said Guidote, who was plucked from the BSP investor relations division, would assist his office from time to time to communicate the President’s programs and policies in matters related to the economy and investor relations.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Clark exec seeks speedy resolution of Aetas’ claims for ancestral domain


CLARK ZONE, Pampanga — Clark Development Corp. (CDC) has sought a peaceful resolution of claims over at least 10,628 hectares of contested ancestral domain of the Aetas in Pampanga and Tarlac involving portions of the reverted US military base land, now part of the Clark Special Economic subzone.

In a May 23 letter to National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) Commissioner Pablo Santos, CDC president Antonio R. Ng stated that "we are, of course, in unison with NCIP in the peaceful resolution of claims, CDC recognizing at the outset that it fully respects rightful claims of ownership of lands and their (referring to the Aetas) domains under the IPRA (Indigenous Peoples Right Act), also known as the Republic Act 8371."

NCIP said claimants of the reverted base lands are Aetas from Bamban in Tarlac and Mabalacat in Pampanga.

The Clark subzone was created by RA 7227.

Ng said to resolve the rightful claims of indigenous people whose number has grown to almost 3,000 to the ancestral domain, which is also part of the economic zone under the RA 7227 or the Bases Conversion Act, a decision of the CDC and NCIP under the auspices of the Department of Land Reform (DLR), which is to conduct a ground revalidation of the controversial land, should be respected.

The original claims of the Aetas involved 5,515 hectares in the Sacobia sub-zone, but these have increased to 10,628 hectares by claiming also part of the Clark special economic main zone.

"This is the most judicious manner to revalidate the area and rightful claimants-beneficiaries of the lands covered by CSEZ because these are lands covered by RA 7227," Ng stated in his letter.

He said that "a revalidation will also determine the rightful claimants and the beneficiaries, thus ensuring that their rights will be respected and the law properly upheld."

In the April 28 letter of Santos to Ng, the NCIP commissioner stated that "the agreed revalidation of the CADT (certificate of ancestral domain title) created a cloud of doubts, putting at stake the integrity of the NCIP and depriving the Aetas of Bamban and Mabalacat the rightful ownership of their ancestral domains."

He said that "for CDC, it affects the implementation of its projects and hinders the flow of investments, greatly affecting the promotion of economic development in Central Luzon."

Santos’ letter also stated that he would like the issue resolve "through a simple accord between the NCIP and CDC."

"In order to avoid the expense of revalidating the entire ancestral domains, I am proposing that CDC make a determination of the portion of the ancestral domains actually intended for use by CDC," the letter also stated.

NCIP is the principal government agency that promotes the welfare of the indigenous people.

Ng said, however, that "with respect to the accord covering use of the lands at issue, let me Reiterate that we agree to enter into any workable sharing of benefits that will be fair and reasonable to all concerned."

Sunday, June 05, 2005


Iba, Zambales. In his desire to lead the fight against poverty in Zambales and despite zero budget in his office for the current year, Zambales Vice Governor Ramon G. Lacbain II implements P600,000.00 worth of scholarship program for poor but deserving students.

Vice governor Lacbain has facilitated the release of P600,000.00 from the Priority Development Assistance Fund of Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan for Ramon Magsaysay Technological University (RMTU) in Zambales.

“As early as December of last year, I already made a request and constant follow-up to Senator Kiko Pangilinan to help me with my educational assistance program to indigent students of various RMTU campuses in Castillejos, San Marcelino, Botolan, Iba, Masinloc and Candelaria.

I believe in education as one of the best tools that will help our young people in fighting poverty”, according to Lacbain who was a former high school teacher and college instructor before becoming vice governor.

There are about 60 students coming from different campuses of RMTU and pursuing different courses in agriculture, education, accountancy, management and many others including bachelor of laws who will benefit from this project that will cover payment of their tuition and miscellaneous fees ranging from P2,000 to P12,000 per semester until they graduate in 2007.

“I thank Senator Kiko Pangilinan for believing in my vision of economic development for Zambales through agriculture, fisheries, livelihood, investment and tourism promotions. Aside from this amount of P600,000 for educational program, I am also expecting another P600,000 from Senator Kiko Pangilinan for our economic development project with the Zambales War Against Poverty (ZWAP) Foundation, Inc. for various poverty alleviation programs including the establishment of cooperative stores in remote sitios and island communities in Zambales to be known as Tindahan at Botika Natin” said Lacbain who just bolted the opposition LDP after elections of 2004 to join the Liberal Party upon the invitation of Senator Kiko Pangilinan.

Prior to the removal of annual budget of vice governor Lacbain amounting to P3 million, he used to provide financial assistance to indigent pupils from elementary schools and students from high schools and colleges including teachers from different towns of Zambales to pursue their education.

“But now that I have zero budget, I really feel bad that I cannot anymore extend financial assistance to indigent pupils, students and teachers who are seeking my assistance. I hope that sooner I will be able to get back my budget in my office since I deserve it anyway as an elected official of Zambales”, laments Lacbain who is now on his second term as vice governor of Zambales.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

News Bits

P2.5 M Additional Fund

Namigay ng P2.5 million Additional Fund si Mayor James Bong Gordon para sa mga public schools. Kasama ito sa Master Plan ni Mayor James Bong Gordon para sa Education upang magkaroon ng Quality Education sa lungsod at magkaroon ng Progressive and United City in Olongapo.

3rd Joint River Clean-Up

Mahigit 1,000 manggagawa ng mula sa pribadong sector, (NGO) Non-Government Organizations at mga empleyado ng Olongapo City Hall ang sumama sa River Clean-Up noong nakaraang May 28. Pinangunahan ng mga Department Heads at Division Heads ang naturang Clean-Up. Kasama sa mga nilinisan ang Pag-asa River, Kalaklan River, Banicain River at New Asinan River.

Farm to Market Road

Masayang sinabi ni Castillejos Mayor Wilma Billman na nagpapasalamat siya kay Governor Vic Magsaysay sa pakikipagtulungan sa Farm to Market Road na nag-uugnay sa Bayan ng Nagbayan Castillejos at Angeles San Antonio upang magkaroon ng progressive and developmental road sa naturang lugar.

Subic Bay Freeport Press Corps

Pinangunahan ni Subic Bay Freeport Press Corps President Allan Macatuno ang Induction of Officer para sa (SBFPC) Subic Bay Freeport Press Corps. Humigit kumulang 30 member media practitioner ang lumahok. Kasama rito ang Olongapo, Zambales at Bataan. Nagbigay rin ng prestiyosong mensahe si outgoing SBMA Administrator Freddie Antonio.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Multinational’s plant in Subic to generate 1,000 jobs

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT— Gramsmed Asia Inc., a US-based multinational, signed recently a R15-million contract with Subic Bay Development and Management Corp. (SBDMC) for the construction of a manufacturing plant that is expected to generate some 1,000 factory jobs in the Freeport.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Administrator Alfredo Antonio said "Gramsmed has been one of the leading names in wound-closure products. It’s nice to know that the erection of its plant inside the Freeport would help in hindering the rise of unemployed in the vicinity."

Gramsmed Asia president Manuel Lagmay said, "over 20 years of experience in sourcing and dealing with suture products and good manufacturing practices, along with high standards of quality control, have made Gramsmed finished products the best its client will find."

SBDMC president Jeff Lin said "Gramsmed Asia can expect full support from SBDMC and SBMA. (JR


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