Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Monday, October 31, 2005

Korean firm eyes $1-B facility to build ships in Subic Freeport


A Korean shipbuilding company is keen on investing $1-billion shipbuilding facility in Subic that is expected to transform the country’s premier Freeport into one of the world’s fourth biggest shipbuilding facility.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) administrator and CEO Armand C. Arreza refused to divulge the identity of the Korean firm but said the signing of the investment agreement is expected to be done during the state visit of Korean president in December this year.

"By December 15 we committed to deliver the 269 hectares that the Korean firm requires for its proposed facility," Arreza said.

According to Arreza, the Korean firm has proposed to manufacture 8,000 TEU post Panama vessels and is expected to employ 20,000 workers.

The company was also looking at putting up the facility in China and Vietnam but decided to locate in Subic because of the natural deep harbor of the Freeport.

"The negotiation already started early this year," Arreza said.

Construction of the shipbuilding facility is expected to be completed within five years.

Arreza said that Subic has been attracting not just Taiwanese firms but other nationalities as well including those from mainland China and Korea.

Committed investments in Subic as of September this year have reached over $1 billion already.

Arreza also said that they may offer another site for Hebei Jingniu Crystal Bull Co. Ltd. of China which has proposed to put up a $300-million glass production facility inside Subic.

Arreza said that Subic may not be able to provide the company with the required 100 hectare lot but said a nearby area for the Bataan Technology Park Inc. may be offered for the mainland Chinese investment.

Crystal Bull has indicated its return as long as SBMA makes a final offer for them to locate in Subic. The Chinese investors were reportedly dismayed when its proposed project was refused due to environmental reasons.

The Chinese has proposed to lease 100 hectares of land in Subic to be developed in three phases. Crystal Bull planned to put up an economic zone similar to that of the Taiwanese industrial park in Subic.

A 70 hectare lot near the Subic entrance plus a 33-hectare area close to the sea are said to being eyed for the Crystal Bull project.

Under the original plan, the Chinese group will invest in two float glass lines with a production capacity of 500 tons a day, two rolling crystallite glass lines, glass deep processing lines and glass fiber reinforced plastic yacht.

The glass firm’s other products include float sheet glass, solar control reflective glasses, multicolor high tech rolling crystallite glass with various specifications.

Its products are exported to 70 countries in Europe, Asia, the Americas and Africa

Holiday Greetings!

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Greetings from mga Batang Gapo in San Diego

Japan bank clears sale of Masinloc plant

Abigail L. Ho, Inquirer News Service

AFTER ABOUT A YEAR OF WAITING, THE Japan Bank for International Cooperation has finally given its consent to the sale of the 600-megawatt (MW) Masinloc coal-fired power plant in Zambales.

JBIC, one of National Power Corp.'s major creditors, was the last lender to issue its consent. The Asian Development Bank and the World Bank issued their consents in July and September, respectively.

"After careful consideration of the request [of the Department of Energy, Napocor and the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp.] and in accordance with all existing loan agreements, we advise that Japan Bank for International Cooperation, for itself and on behalf of the lenders other than JBIC, hereby consents to the transfer of the ownership [of the Masinloc plant] from the borrower to the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp.," JBIC director Manabu Homma said in a letter dated Oct. 28.

The lender likewise gave its nod to the transfer of the power plant to YNN Pacific, which won the auction with a $561.7-million bid.

PSALM president Nieves Osorio had earlier said that the completion of all required creditor consents for the plant also meant that the government could already request the transfer of the required 40-percent upfront payment of $222.8 million to the national government.

"The completion of the creditors' consent to the sale of the Masinloc facility is a boost to the privatization efforts of the government as it will encourage investors to enter the Philippine power industry and help expand the ownership base of generation companies in the country," she said in a statement Friday.

"This positive development will hopefully lead to more success in terms of bidding out the other [Napocor] facilities," she added.

PSALM is now working on getting the ADB, the World Bank and JBIC to issue "universal consents" for the transfer of Napocor assets to winning bidders in the future.

Under the current set-up, PSALM has to seek the Napocor creditors' consent before it can transfer each of the sold assets to their respective winning bidders.

With a universal consent, however, Osorio said winning bidders would not have to wait that long, enabling them to immediately take charge of the asset they had bought.

"The ADB is agreeable to a universal transfer. We've already made two rounds with our omnibus agreement. The World Bank has also sent us the revised draft of the agreement, also for a universal consent. We're just waiting for JBIC now," she said earlier, adding that there seemed to be no more hurdles to JBIC's issuance of its own universal consent

Text tax concern

Public uproar over text tax seen

The Department of Justice favors taxing text but warned that it could raise "howls" from the people.

Justice Secretary Raul M. Gonzales’s proposal to tax text will create additional revenues for the government since millions of people are using cellular phones.

"I think it should be considered. It would create a lot of opposition pero maiintindihan naman ito ng taumbayan [but the people should understand] that this would generate revenues for the government," Gonzales explained.

He was reacting to the proposal of Sen. Richard Gordon to tax text messaging instead of imposing value-added tax (VAT) on power, liquefied petroleum gas and processed food.

He said the government should not add to the people’s burden by collecting VAT on their most basic needs.

A reformed value-added tax (R-VAT) will be in effect starting November 1 following the lifting by the Supreme Court of its restraining order on the implementation of the expanded value-added tax.

There are now many proposals to amend the law even before it could be implemented. Among the proposed amendments is the exemption of power, fuel and processed food from its coverage.

Gordon said that taxing text messaging is a compromise formula that answers the problem of generating revenue for the government without passing on additional tariff to processed food and LPG.

He noted that 200 million text messages are sent out daily in the Philippines.

"We can generate P73 billion a year in revenue if we tax each message sent with P1," he said.

Gordon said the P73-billion projected income would be enough to compensate for the shortfall arising from a tax exemption on power, LPG and processed food.

"With tax on text instead of on fuel and power, we can not only fill in the needed revenue of the government but also provide for the needs of the people, build schools, buy textbooks, develop healthcare programs and boost tourism and trade to create job opportunities," he stressed.

There had been previous proposals to tax text messages but these were withdrawn after they were met with vigorous objections by text-crazy consumers.

Gordon said there is more sense in taxing text messages than basic needs.

"Text messages are not needs but merely ‘wants’ that we can control and live without," he remarked. Jomar Canlas, ABS CBN

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Subic Freeport locators to get P.20/kWh rate cut

By MYRNA M. VELASCO, Manila Bulletin

Employing various strategies, including a renegotiated power supply contract, the Subic EnerZone Corporation (SEZ) is now able to offer electricity rates to business locators in the freeport by a rate that is P1.20 per kilowatt hour (kWh) cheaper than what is being normally offered for other customers in the Luzon grid.

"With the reduction of our distribution charge of 40 centavos per our DMSA (distribution management services agreement), the reduction of systems losses, and the renegotiation of our power supply, we have effectively reduced electricity prices by P1.20 per kwh," announced Erramon Aboitiz, SEZ chairman and chief operating officer of Aboitiz Equity Ventures.

SEZ, which now serves as the electric service provider within the jurisdiction of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), is a consortium composed of AEV, Davao Light & Power Company (DLPC), Mirant Philippines and San Fernando Electric Light & Power Company.

Company officials disclosed that the modified power supply agreement concluded with National Power Corporation and Mirant was able to reduce their buying price of electricity by about P0.66 per kWh, made effective starting September 26 this year.

Aboitiz assured that this would be another layer of cost softening that they would be able to pass on to their customers, primarily within the freeport zone.

To further improve the reliability and stability of power sold within Subic, he further noted that the company agreed to purchase not only all of subtransmission lines of the National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) within the area, but also its 100-megawatt substation.

The other area of improvement reported by the company that will also bear positive impact on consumers was the significant reduction in its system loss to 6.86-percent; which will redound to a rate cut of 14.5 centavos that will be flowed through to ratepayers.

SEZ indicated that it had inherited a system loss average of 15-percent from the SBMA Utility Department when it took over the power distribution system in October 2003; but due to some reliability improvement measures adopted, this is now down to a level that is even beyond compliance to what is mandated under the Electricity Pilferage Law.

When it took over in 2003, the utility firm committed to invest P350 million over 5 years to improve Subic?s power distribution system; and to this date, SEZ has so far invested P200 million with plans of investing another P50 million by the first quarter of 2006.

"In two years, after a major rehabilitation program and the installation of new systems and equipment, SEZ has lowered systems loss by almost 55percent," Aboitiz stressed.



There will be no parking in the vicinity of Gate 1 to PREDA
Parking along the highway shall be assisted by the PNP and/or Barangay Tanods.
Vacant lot at the SBMA Customs Area, SBMA Kalaklan Gate will be designated as Parking Area

Passages at Sta. Rita Bridge and Julio St. will be closed at1:00pm on November 1, 2005
Roads at the right side of Olongapo Memorial Parkwill be ONE-WAY from 9:00AM to 11:00 PM

Provided by Philippine National Police, courtesy of P.Supt Aquino

Gordon to govt: Tax text messaging, not basic needs

By Efren L. Danao, Manita Times Senior Reporter

SEN. Richard Gordon proposed on Saturday to tax text messaging instead of imposing a value-added tax (VAT) on power, liquefied petroleum gas and processed food.

He said the government should not add to the people’s burden by collecting VAT on their most basic needs.

A reformed value-added tax (R-VAT) will be in effect starting November 1 following the lifting by the Supreme Court of its restraining order on the implementation of the expanded value-added tax law.

There are now many proposals to amend the law even before it could be implemented. Among the proposed amendments is the exemption of power, fuel and processed food from its coverage.

Gordon said that taxing text messaging is a compromise formula that answers the problem of generating revenue for the government without passing on additional tariff to processed food and LPG.

He noted that 200 million text messages are sent out daily in the Philippines.

“We can generate P73 billion a year in revenue if we tax each message sent with P1,” he said.

Gordon said the P73-billion projected income would be enough to compensate for the shortfall arising from a tax exemption on power, LPG and processed food.

“With tax on text messages instead of on fuel and power, we can not only fill in the needed revenue of the government but also provide for the needs of the people, build schools, buy textbooks, develop healthcare programs and boost tourism and trade to create job opportunities,” he stressed.

There had been previous proposals to tax text messages but these were withdrawn after they were met with vigorous objections by text-crazy consumers.

Gordon said there is more sense in taxing text messages than basic needs.

“Text messages are not needs but merely ‘wants’ that we can control and live without,” he remarked

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Gambling, loud music banned in C. Luzon cemeteries

By Tonette Orejas Inquirer News Service

Game cards and stereo sets using loud speakers are banned in Central Luzon’s cemeteries on All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, a top police official in the region said.

The rule applies to all 483 cemeteries in Central Luzon’s seven provinces on Nov. 1 and 2 so the occasion would be remembered solemnly, said Senior Supt. Perfecto Palad, deputy regional police director for administration.

Palad said they issued the order on the request of Catholic lay groups in the region.

He said even singing, using portable karaoke machines, has been banned in memorial parks.

Palad said the police would continue doing body, bag and vehicle searches for firearms, explosives, knives and liquor in line with the police’s antiterror and anticriminality campaigns.

“Expect extra tight security,” said Palad, quoting an order from Chief Supt. Alejandro Lapinid, regional police director and chair of the multi-sectoral Oplan Kaluluwa in the region.

The police on Friday also established assistance centers in cemeteries along the Manila North Road (MacArthur Highway) from Bulacan to Tarlac, Maharlika Highway from Bulacan to Nueva Ecija, and Gapan-San Fernando-Olongapo Road from Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Bataan and Zambales.

The centers are staffed with paramedics, radio operators and mechanics from civic groups.

At least 5,000 policemen and 450 police recruits, augmented by barangay peacekeeping action teams, would be fielded starting Friday to beef up security in bus stations in the regions.

“I hope the commuting public would bear with us while we check bags and cargoes for weapons,” Palad said.

Additional policemen would also be stationed in shopping malls where people are expected to flock.

At the same time, the police would keep a tight watch on key installations like airports, oil depots and telecommunication towers to prevent “possible sabotage by communist rebels and terrorists.”

“We won’t allow them to disturb the holidays or even sow terror,” Palad said.

The Central Luzon police’s hotline for assistance or alert for any unusual incident is (045) 860-2490.
OLONGAPO CITY RESIDENTS MAY DIAL 117 if calling from a landline or 224 5643 if using a celfone (since dialing 117 from a cp will connect you to NDCC)
DIALING 222-2206, 223-8016, 222-5401 and requesting to be connected to Oplan Kaluluwa will have you connected to onsite Command Center at Olongapo Public Cemetery.
Residents are also advised to tune-in to DWGO 1008AM for up-to-date information during Oplam Kaluluwa

Gordon blames political advisers for GMA's woes

Senator Richard Gordon on Saturday urged President Arroyo to sack her political advisers for putting her in trouble because of half-baked ideas on government policies.

Gordon said the President’s political advisers are constantly putting her on the defensive by pushing scenarios that are ill-conceived.

"Some of these people are giving the president bad advice. Tuloy sinasangag siya, ginigisa siya (She is being put on the spot)," Gordon said during the weekly Kapihan sa Sulo news forum.

He said the issues that placed Malacañan in a bad light should be blamed to the President's advisers. He identified these concerns as the controversial Executive Order 464, the calibrated pre-emptive response (CPR) and the beefing of security around the Palace.

"One example is the EO 464. It is a mistake. Why put a wedge between the Palace and the Senate?" Gordon said on Mrs. Arroyo’s directive to bar government officials from attending congressional inquiries without her permission.

He also scored the reported attempts by Malacañan to make compromises with the political opposition. He said the President's attempt to "offer a hand of reconciliation" is tantamount to a transactional leadership.

Gordon said Mrs. Arroyo will do better taking on an "offensive stance" through addressing the country’s problems and enacting reforms in the administration.

"The government must stop going around the ropes and should start hitting the right spots," he said.

He added: "The President should intensify the government’s fight against criminality, generate jobs, boost tax collection, close the gap in education and health and make their services fast and forward-looking."

Gordon, a former tourism secretary, also stressed the need for additional budget for the promotion of tourism.

He added that the government should focus on the generation of foreign investments instead of debt servicing.

Gordon was among the 10 senators who early this month signed an appeal for a "constructive dialogue" among the President, Senate President Franklin Drilon and Speaker Jose de Venecia to prevent a constitutional crisis. (ABS-CBN)

Thursday, October 27, 2005

PR: SEA Games Gapo Volunteers



Dumagsa ang mga kabataan sa Olongapo City Hall para sa isinagawang South East Asian Games Volunteers' screening and interview sa Sanggunian Session Hall nitong Oktubre 27, 2005. Kusang-loob na pumunta ang mga kabataang ito upang ibigay ang kanilang serbisyo para sa isasagawang SEA Games sa Subic Freeport sa darating na Nobyembre 24-Disyembre 5, 2005.

Kahit sa mga bagong sibol na kabataan, buhay na buhay ang 'Volunteerism Spirit' sa mga taga-Olongapo. Mga High School at College Students ang karamihan sa mga aplikante. Libreng serbisyo man ang kanilang gagawin, walang pag-aatubili ang mga kabataan. 'Once in a lifetime experience po ang SEA Games para sa amin. Maswerte po kami kung makakasama kami na makatulong at maging kabahagi ng tagumpay ng pagsasagawa ng SEA Games dito,'ayon sa isang OCNHS student na aplikante.

Sa atas ni Mayor James 'Bong' Gordon Jr., pinangunahan ni Olongapo City Sports Coordinator Angie Layug ang pag-aanyaya sa mga kabataan mula sa iba't-ibang mga high school at kolehiyo ng lungsod na mag-Volunteer para sa SEA Games. Isinagawa naman ng National Youth Commission ang Screening at Interview upang matiyak ang kahandaan ng mga aplikante. Dalawang-daan limampu (250) na kabataan ang target na bilang ng makukuhang Volunteers.

Iba't-ibang gawain ang maaaring maging trabaho ng mga Volunteers. Maaari silang maging kabahagi sa Sports Operation, Programs & Ceremonies, Support & Services, Security, Marketing & Merchandising, Liason/Protocol, at Secretariat.

Ang mga mapipiling Volunteers ay magkakaroon ng Volunteers' Training upang maging handa sa kanilang pagsabak sa trabaho para sa SEA Games.

Ang SEA Games ay sinasalihan ng labing-isang (11) bansa sa buong Timog Silangang Asya kabilang ng Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Singapore at Pilipinas. Apatnapu't isang sports events ang isinasagawa rito at sa taong ito, apat na lugar ang pagdarausan sa buong bansa kabilang ang Manila, Cebu, Bacolod at Subic Freeport.

Dito sa Subic, apat na sport events ang gaganapin sa Subic Bay Freeport Zone: ang Archery, Canoe/Kayak, Sailing at Triathlon. Inaasahang dadaluhan ito ng mahigit 600 na atleta, bukod pa sa mga kasamang foreign visitors at mga dadagsang lokal na turista na manonood ng mga palaro.

Malaki ang pagpapahalaga ng Philippine Sea Games Organizing Committee (PHILSOC) sa mga Volunteers. Ayon nga sa kanilang streamer: 'The Volunteers are the heart and soul of the games. Now is the time to showcase to the world the best of the Philippines, and in one shining moment, experience the Filipino Bayanihan Spirit.'

PR: Internet Cafe Ordinaces sa Olongapo


Ipinasa na ng Sangguniang Panlungsod ang dalawang magkahiwalay na City Ordinance na patungkol sa pagkokontrol ng operasyon ng mga internet café's sa lungsod.

Ang City Ordinance No. 2005, O-75 na isang pagre-rebisa sa City Ordinance 14, series of 2001 ukol sa 'Governing the Operation, Licensing and Supervision of all Computer-Related Establishments/Internet Stations and for other Purposes' na isinulong ni Kgd. Edwin Piano, at ang City Ordinance No. 2005, O-76 na patungkol naman sa 'Defining and Penalizing On-Line Pornography in Olongapo City' na isinulong naman ni Kgd. Gina Perez.

Layon ng mga Ordinansa na pangalagaan ang kapakanan ng mga kabataan na sobrang nahuhumaling at nagbababad sa mga internet cafes dahil sa mga On-Line Games, pati na rin ang pagbabawal sa pagsasagawa ng mga On-Line Pornography at CyberSex sa mga establisyimentong ito.

Nakapaloob sa mga Ordinansa ang pagtatakda ng oras ng pagtanggap ng mga customer na may edad 17 pababa. Ipinagbabawal ang pagtanggap ng mga bata kung ito ay oras ng pasok sa eskwela, liban na lamang kung may magulang na kasama o may valid permit mula sa paaralan. Bukod dito, dalawang (2) oras lamang pinapayagan ang mga kabataang minor de edad na maglaro tuwing school days at apat (4) na oras sa weekends at holidays.

Mariing ipinagbabawal ang mga private rooms at cubicles sa mga internet cafes sapagkat maaari itong gamitin sa anumang uri ng prostitusyon, cybersex, at on-line pornography. Bawal din ang pagsusugal, at pag-iinom ng mga nakalalasing na inumin.

Bago pa man ang huling pagbasa ng mga Ordinansa para aprubahan ng Konseho, nagsagawa ng isang Public Hearing kasama ang mga business owners ng mga internet cafés. Bagama't ito ay isang setback para sa kanilang mga negosyo, naiintidihan naman nila ang mga kadahilanan ng pagkokontrol ng pamahalaan. Ang mga mahuhuling lalabag sa mga Ordinansang ito ay papatawan ng kaukulang penalty charges at suspension, at maaari ring ipasara kung aabot sa ika-apat na opensa.

Ang tanggapan ng Punong-Lungsod (Mayor's Office), City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), Business Permit Office at Truant and/or Telecom Board ang mahigpit na magpapa-iral ng mga naturang Ordinansa.

Nais lamang nating ilagay sa ayos ang paggamit ng Teknolohiya ng mga kabataang Olongapeño. Tulung-tulong ang pamahalaang lokal, ang mga internet café businesses at mga magulang upang madisiplina ang mga kabataan at para rin pigilan sa ating lungsod ang cybersex,' pahayag ni Kgd. Edwin Piano.

PR: Czech Republic Olongapo visit


Isang mainit na pagsalubong ang ibinigay ng mga taga-Olongapo sa pagbisita ng mga matataas na opisyales ng Senado ng Czech Republic nitong Oktubre 24, 2005.

Masayang sinalubong ni First Lady Anne Marie Gordon, sa ngalan ni Mayor James 'Bong' Gordon Jr. na ngayon ay nasa isang official trip sa Amerika, at Kgd. Cynthia Cajudo, kasama ng mga department heads at mga kawani ng gobyerno, ang pagdating ni Czech Republic Senate Vice President Petr Smutny. Kasama rin sa delegasyon ng Czech Senate ang mga Committee Chairman sa Ekonomiya, Agrikultura at Transportasyon na sina Milan Balaban, Vladimir Schovanek, Ivan Adamec, Ambassador Radka Calabkova, pati ang delegasyon mula sa Czech business community.

Ang pagbisita ng Czech officials sa Olongapo ay bahagi ng anim na araw na parliamentary visit nila sa Pilipinas. Napili ang lungsod upang bisitahin at magkaroon ng dayalogo sa mga opisyales nito sapagkat kilala ito sa pagiging progresibo at modelong lipunan.

Upang makilala ng mga bisita ang lungsod, buong sigasig na inihayag ang City Masterplan sa mga bisita sa pamamagitan ni Kgd. Cajudo, kasama ang mga short at long-term projects para sa lungsod. Humanga sila sa mga proyektong pangkaunlaran at ang pagtatrabaho ng mga lider ng lungsod upang maging kauna-unahang freeport city ng bansa ang Olongapo.

Dahil dito, in-offer ng mga opisyales ng Czech Republic ang kanilang expertise sa ilang mga bagay na maaaring makatulong sa lungsod tulad ng Water Management, Medical Tourism at Environment Protection. Sila ay bukas sa mayabong at tuluy-tuloy na ugnayan sa lokal na pamahalaan ng Olongapo. Bakas sa kanilang mga mukha ang kagalakan na mabisita at makasalamuha ang mga taga-Olongapo.

Hindi naging hadlang ang language barrier upang maramdaman ang pag-usbong ng malalim na relasyon ng pagkakaibigan ng Olongapo at ng Czech Republic. Matapos ang palitan ng mga regalo ng mga opisyales, winika nga ni Kgd. Cajudo bilang pagtatapos: 'We hope that this will not be the last but instead a beginning of a lasting friendship.'

Press Release: Youngsters' Free Ocean Adventure Trip


Mapalad ang mga bata na nabigyang pagkakataon na makasama sa isang araw na pamamasyal sa world-class water theme park na Ocean Adventure sa Subic Freeport Zone.

Labis ang katuwaan ni Mayor James 'Bong' Gordon Jr. nang ang malapit niyang kaibigan na si Gregorio 'Yoyong' Magdaraog ay magprisinta na magbigay kasiyahan sa ilang mga kabataang kapus-palad.

Pa-birthday ko ito aking kaibigan. Kaysa personal na regalo, mas ikinasiya niya na mga taga-Olongapo ang pagbigyan ko, kaya naman naisip ko ang libreng pasyal na ito,' pahayag ni Magdaraog na naging kaklase ni Mayor Gordon sa Ateneo at ngayon ay VP for Corporate Affairs ng Ocean Adventure.

Pumili ang Tanggapan ni Mayor Gordon, sa pakikipagtulungan sa Dep-Ed, ng isandaang (100) mga mahihirap na batang estudyante mula sa iba’t-ibang mga pampublikong paaralan para makasama sa isang libreng educational field trip na isinagawa nitong nakaraang Oktubre 14, 2005. Tig-25 na bata mula sa Asinan Elementary, Tapinac Elementary, Nellie Brown at OCES ang mga napiling makasama.

Kasama mismo si Magdaraog ng mga bata sa kanilang tour at sa panonood ng mga dolphins at sea lions na nagsagawa ng mga performance acts. Sa labis na tuwa dala ng mga ngiti sa mukha ng mga bata, ipinangako ni Magdaraog na magiging taunang pa-birthday niya ito kay Mayor Gordon.

Ang tour sa Ocean Adventure ay isang pribilehiyo sapagkat may kamahalan din ang entrance fee rito. P370/bata at P450/adults. Umabot rin sa higit P40,000 ang kabuuang gastos ng isang araw na pasyal na taus-pusong hinandog naman ni Magdaraog kay Mayor Gordon para sa mga batang-Olongapeño.

OPLAN KALULUWA 2005 Advisory



Olongapo Memorial Park
Heritage Memorial Park

Parking Areas:

§ Olongapo Memorial - 200 cars capacity

§ Heritage Memorial - 50 cars capacity

Passages at Sta. Rita Bridge and Julio St. will be closed at

1:00pm on November 1, 2005

Roads at the right side of Olongapo Memorial Park

will be ONE-WAY from 9:00AM to 11:00 PM

Only emergency vehicles will be allowed to go back and forth in the vicinity

No vehicle shall be allowed to park on the streets

Command Post will be located inside the Olongapo Memorial Park

Olongapo Public Cemetery

There will be no parking in the vicinity of Gate 1 to PREDA

Parking along the highway shall be assisted by the PNP and/or Barangay Tanods.

Vacant lot at the SBMA Customs Area, SBMA Kalaklan Gate will be designated as Parking Area (awaiting approval)

Prior to November 1, Garbage should be taken down. There will be NO garbage collection on All Saints Day itself to avoid traffic congestion.

Medical Assistance will be provided, in both areas of Kalaklan and Tabacuhan cemeteries, by the City Health Office in coordination with the

Philippine National Red Cross and James L. Gordon Memorial Hospital




Press Release: JLGMH at SEA Games



Sa nalalapit na pagdaraos ng South East Asian (SEA) Games 2005 sa Subic Freeport Zone, napagkasunduan na ang James L. Gordon Memorial Hospital (JLGMH) ay isa sa mga pagamutan na gagamitin ng SEA Games para sa mga atletang lalahok sa mga palaro sakali mang magkaroon ng mga di-inaasahang injuries. Gagamitin dito ang mga makabagong pasilidad at kalidad na serbisyo ng ipinagmamalaking hospital ng Olongapo.

Apat na sport events ang gaganapin sa Subic Bay Freeport Zone mula Nobyembre 24 hanggang Disyembre 5, 2005. Ang apat na events na ito ay ang Archery, Canoe/Kayak, Sailing at Triathlon. Ang SEA Games ay sinasalihan ng labing-isang bansa sa buong Timog Silangang Asya kabilang ng Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Singapore at Pilipinas. Apatnapu’t dalawang sports events ang isinasagawa rito at sa taong ito, apat na lugar ang pagdarausan nito sa buong bansa kabilang ang Manila, Cebu, Bacolod at Subic Freeport.

Dito sa Subic, ang apat na sports events ay dadaluhan ng mahigit 600 na atleta, bukod pa sa mga kasamang foreign visitors at mga dadagsang lokal na turista na manonood ng mga palaro.

Sa masusing paghahanda ang ginagawa ng pamunuan ng Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), sinisiguro nito na magiging matagumpay ang pagho-host ng SEA Games dito sa Freeport. Sa naunang inspeksyon na isinagawa sa Subic Freeport Zone, humanga sa isinagawang paghahanda sa mga pasilidad nito, ang Chef de Mission Team ng SEA Games na mula sa anim na mga member-countries.

Kaya nga't upang matiyak ang aspetong 'safe and health' ng mga SEA Games athletes, nakipag-ugnayan ang SBMA kay Mayor James 'Bong' Gordon para magamit ang pasilidad ng JLGMH.

Ayon kay SBMA Deputy Administrator for Administration Ramon De Leon, 'ang SEA Games ay isang programa na hindi lamang SBMA ang magsusulong kundi kabalikat din ang buong lokalidad kasama ang Olongapo, Subic at Bataan. Kaya’t nakikipag-ugnayan kami at nagkakatulungan na ng mga lokal na pamahalaan.'

Sa ganang seguridad, traffic, at turismo, ang Olongapo ay tuwirang magiging kabalikat din sa magaganap na SEA Games. Sa kasalukuyan ay ilang Volunteer Workers na ang nire-recruit upang tumulong sa magaganap na sport events. Inihahanda na rin ang Kapulisan at Traffic Enforcers upang maging handa sa paglabas ng mga atleta sa lungsod mula sa Freeport. Higit sa lahat, naghahanda rin ang lungsod sa mga turista na magdaratingan para saksihan ang SEA Games.

OCNHS '81 Silver Jubilee Reunion

Abel Maglalang would like invite Alumni of OCNHS Class of 1981 to the upcoming 25th Silver Jubilee Grand Reunion to be held at SBMA Legenda on the 28-29 April 2006.

for more details, pls visit:


Subic Bay pollution seen to reach Manila Bay proportions

OLONGAPO CITY, Zambales -- Subic Bay is facing the possibility of suffering the same fate as the highly polluted Manila Bay if waste discharges and other pollutants thrown into the bay remain unchecked, a Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) official, quoting results of a study on the bay pollution, said.

The official, who asked not to be identified pending the official release of the results, said waste discharges from households and factories in Olongapo City and Subic Bay Freeport Zone are rapidly accumulating in Subic Bay.

He said the government's inaction on the problem could result in the rapid pollution of the bay.

"What this means is that in the next 10 years, we could be seeing a very polluted Subic Bay," the SBMA official said.

"The population of Olongapo and the nearby Subic Freeport continues to grow. While we observe a diminishing water supply, what's more alarming is that there is no effort to put up a comprehensive sewerage system for the city such that all wastes and discharges end up in the waters of Subic Bay," he said.

When one goes around the bay in a boat, "you'll see the amount of trash that has accumulated in the bay waters mostly coming from the river channels in the city," he said.

The official said the Subic Water and Sewerage Co. Inc. (Subicwater) has yet to provide a sewerage system for the city, although its franchise agreement gave it the right, privileges and authority to provide water and sewerage services both in the freeport and in Olongapo.

"Technical studies have shown that Subicwater has yet to invest in sewerage infrastructure in the city of Olongapo," he said.

Subicwater officials said the continuing pollution of the bay is a growing problem, but said the preparation of a comprehensive sewerage master plan for the city is ongoing and will be finished before the end of this year.

The plan, according to them, will provide a blueprint for the construction of sewage facilities and will include an assessment of the residents’ willingness to pay for such a service.

"At present, city residents are just paying for water services and raising its tariff to such a level to allow Subicwater to recover its costs has been difficult,” Jaime Garcia, Subicwater assistant general manager, said.

Subicwater is a joint venture of the SBMA, Olongapo City government, DM Consunji Inc. and Biwater/Cascal, a British firm.

Its franchise included implementing a sewerage system for the two areas.

A former US military facility, the freeport has an existing sewerage system while Olongapo has none.

Garcia told the Inquirer that they have commissioned a study for the implementation of a sewerage system for Olongapo and a final report is expected before the yearend.

Based on their tests conducted on the bay waters, the consultants found the capability of our receiving water (Subic Bay) is deteriorating,” Garcia said.

Be a Volunteer

Gordon warns on ‘forced Constitution’

Sen. Richard Gordon yesterday called on Filipinos to be vigilant in the light of what he termed as a "devious plot to ram a new Constitution down the collective throats of the Filipino people."

Gordon, chairman of the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revisions of Codes and Laws, issued the warning amid reports that the House of Representatives plans to adopt the recommendation of the Consultative Commission, whose members were all appointed by President Arroyo, to shift to a parliamentary-unicameral system and force a vote on the new Constitution.

The senator predicted that the House would simply adopt the report of the Consultative Commission and either bypass the Senate or insist that the Senate act upon it, which will lead to a constitutional crisis.

"Ilegal yung proseso, pero sasabihin lang na andyan na ’yan, pinagkagastusan na (The process is illegal, but they will just say, it’s already there, money has already been spent), so let’s just vote on it. It’s a fait accompli," Gordon said.

He cited allegations that House Speaker Jose C. de Venecia Jr. or even former President Fidel Ramos were backing this move in the hope of becoming prime minister. He also said that political horse-trading involving mayors, governors, and even members of Congress whose terms are about to expire is also a definite possibility.

"Papangakuan nila ang mga mayor, congressman, governor at iba pang local officials na wala ng gastos sa susunod na eleksyon kung parliamentary na at lahat makikinabang (They will promise the local officials that they won’t have to spend money for reelection if the parliamentary system is adopted and everybody will benefit)," said Gordon


Distinguished SSEAYP Philippine National Leaders ( 1974 to 2004),

Distinguished SSEAYP Philippine Former Participating Youth ( 1974 to 2004),

Distinguished members of the SSEAYP Philippine Host Family Association,

Family Members and Friends,

On behalf of SSEAYP 2005 PAGLAUM and the Hon Vice Gov. Ramon Lacbain II (National Leader 2005), allow me to invite you to the...

Philippine National Day Presentation & Exhibit of

SSEAYP Batch 2005 Paglaum

November 3, 2005 - Thursday,

7:00 in the evening

10th Floor, Diosadado Macapagal Hall, Main Building, Landbank of the Philippines, Malate, Manila (just behind the new Hyatt Hotel)

*free entrance

Let's show our support to this year's SSEAYP Philippine Delegation. Come and join us in this very special occassion.

Please feel free to get in touch with Daddy Mon Lacbain at 0920-9269818 if you have any questions or if you would like to donate anything to Batch Paglaum.

See you there! God bless always.

Yours truly,

Frankie Ong Bata
SSEAYP International Philippines

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

New Fire Department Building

Newly inaugurated Bureau of Fire Protection Building at the back of Olongapo City hall

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Gapo sa Undas

Olongapo Public Affairs Office

Sa atas ni Olongapo City Mayor James "Bong" Gordon, Jr., puspusan ang paghahanda ng mga concerned agencies para sa pagdagsa ng mga tao sa mga sementeryo sa pagdating ng Undas sa Nobyembre 1.

Sa pangunguna ng Disaster Management Office (DMO) at City Disaster Coordinating Council (CDCC), may mga nabuo ng plano ukol sa ruta ng mga sasakyan, mga designated parking areas, pagtatalaga ng mga medical assistance at first aid, electrical lightings na kakailanganin, probisyon ng tubig, at mga regulasyon sa mga mamamayang magsisipunta sa mga sementeryo.

Ang binansagang ‘’ Task Force Oplan Kaluluwa 2005’’ ay binubuo ng Disaster Management Office (DMO), Philippine National Police (PNP), Traffic Management Board (TMB), Olongapo City Fire-Rescue Team (OCFRT), Bureau of Fire Protection (BOF), Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) at James L. Gordon Memorial Hospital (JLGMH).

Kabilang rin sa composite teams ay ang City Health Office (CHO), Environmental Sanitation and Management Office (ESMO), City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWD), Public Utilities Department (PUD), City Planning and Development Office (CPDO), City Engineering Office (CEO) at ang Public Affairs Office (PAO).

Kasama rin sa magtatrabaho ay ang mga Barangay ng Kalaklan, Sta Rita, Old Cabalan at Barretto na sumasakop sa nasabing mga sementeryo.

Sa araw ng Undas, maagang ide-deploy ang mga Kapulisan at Traffic Management Board sa iba’t-ibang lokasyon ng tatlong (3) sementeryo sa lungsod: ang Olongapo City Memorial Park, Heritage Memorial Park at Olongapo City Public Cemetary

Nagkaroon na rin ng mga tokang responsibilidad ang ibat-ibang departamento sa kani-kanilang mga itinalagang command posts beinte kwatro (24) oras mula 6:00 ng umaga sa Nobyembre 1 at 2 o maging hanggang sa kinakailangan.

"Wala na ngang nakalimutang detalye, ready na kami!" wika ng Angie Layug na siyang puno ng Task Force Oplan Kaluluwa.

$5-M ship repair plant to rise in Subic; US Navy dry-dock returns


SUBIC BAY FREEPORT -­ The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has inked a contract with a subsidiary of an American maritime firm for the construction of a US$5-million ship repair facilities here, bringing back the former US naval base’s dry-dock which could employ some 200 skilled workers.

SBMA Chairman Feliciano Salonga and Administrator Armand Arreza signed the contract with Subic Drydock Corp. (SDC) president and chief executive officer Catalino Bondoc for the construction of the ship repair facilities along Bravo Wharf inside the Riviera Pier.

"The return of the floating dry-dock would mean job opportunities for people in the nearby area, especially those who were trained and used to be employed with the Ship Repair Facility (SRF) at the US Naval Base," Arreza said.

"We would like to reiterate our support to our investors and the SBMA is warmly welcoming you as our partner towards progress," Salonga said.

The AFDM-5 dry-dock used to handle the repairs of the US Navy ships that were docked in Subic. After the Philippines Senate rejected the extension of the Philippines-US military bases agreement in the 80s, the drydock was towed to Guam and later to Japan.

It eventually returned to Guam and was later purchased by Malayan Towage and Salvage Group. The dry-dock is currently docked in Manila.

"It’s like bringing back something that meant a lot to the former base workers. The AFDM-5 will surely open a lot of opportunities to the Freeport," former SBMA chairman Felicito Payumo said.

According to Bondoc, the group is bent on initially employing 200 skilled and semi-skilled workers; mostly people who used to be stationed in the SRF area for their familiarity on the dock and at the same time train and apprentice new individuals.

"We are looking at initially hiring 200 workers if the deal pushes through. These will be made up of former SRF workers who are highly skilled and familiar with the AFDM-5. At the same time, they will be able to train new workers," he said.

Bondoc also said that after the initial talks with the SBMA, they are now preparing a business plan which will be presented to the SBMA board for approval for the company’s immediate start of operations

Negrenses asked to support Gordon's EVAT proposal

The Philippine Star

With All Saints’ Day fast approaching, there has been an increase in the media hype on the implementation of the expanded value-added tax (EVAT). Doomsayers predict the worst case scenario — a collapse of the economy and more street protests. Government, on the other hand, insists that the economy is on the takeoff stage.

For one, there is a move by Sen. Mar Roxas to conduct a hearing yesterday on the impact of EVAT on basic commodities and its overall effect on people’s purchasing power.

Roxas pointed out that the government cannot adopt a business-as-usual attitude insofar as the EVAT is concerned.

Somehow, one must be able to anticipate that there will be a collective howl when the prices of fuel and power go up. For the administration spokesmen, the increase will be acceptable, the impact minimal.

But something seems to be missing in all those protestations. Undoubtedly, based on the talks going around, especially among agricultural farmers, the higher cost of inputs seems to have been overlooked by government defenders of EVAT.

That’s why members of the Confederation of Sugar Producers’ Associations Inc. (CONFED), led by its president Reynaldo Bantug, threw their support behind the proposal by Sen. Richard Gordon for a compromise formula to ease the expected non-collection of P60 billion from the EVAT on fuel and power.

He proposed that in lieu of the additional tax on fuel and power, the government should instead tax text messages. This, he told Negrense sugarmen, could generate an additional P80 to P90 billion, which is more than enough to compensate for the P60-billion sortfall from the tax on fuel and power.

"In the past, most people proposed only suspension of the EVAT’s implementation. Sen. Gordon, however, came up with a doable proposal.

Perhaps President Arroyo and her advisers may be able to see their way through the dilemna confronting the administration. They can adopt the Gordon proposal without rousing so much opposition as Luis Tongoy, chair of the Negros-Panay Chapter, sees it.

It is a fact that the country is now considered the texting capital of the world. But text messaging has become a sort of entertainment and obsession for most Pinoys. Thus, we see youngsters going to school with cellphones glued to their ears. And the most disconcerting is to see party attendants or reunion guests hardly speaking to one other, focusing only on their cellphones and sending text messages.

Thus, it is possible that if the EVAT on fuel and power is suspended and the tax on text messages adopted, the expected increase in the prices of basic commodities may be averted.

Nobody in his right senses can believe that additional taxes on fuel and power will not affect prime commodities.

As pointed out by farmers, the prices of fertilizer and other agricultural inputs had become so prohibitive. And the EVAT will also boost the cost of transport and food processing. While technocrats are just focused on table computation, they seem not to have ears on the ground. Neither have they considered the impact of escalating transport expenses, like the case in Antique where tricycle fares had been hiked to P3.50 minimum.

It’s time for GMA to certify as urgent the Senate bill seeking to suspend the EVAT on power and fuel.

In the United States, according to Gordon, "when you receive a call or text, you pay. In the Philippines, we only pay when we text and call.

The text tax, Gordon said, will hurt people less, because they can do without texting all the time. But fuel and electricity are necessities, he added.

Sugar leaders, like Enrique Rojas, president of the National Federation of Sugarcane Planters (NFSP), and Manuel Lamata of the United Sugar Producers Federation of the Philippines (UNIFED), agreed with the Gordon proposal.

We support the initiative of Sen. Gordon to exempt fuel and power from EVAT and instead tax text messages, stressed Bantug on behalf of the Confed.

Perhaps we might be able to stop the Pista sa mga Minatay and really transform All Saints’ Day into a fiesta celebration.

5 things to do, Gordon tells GMA

Senator Richard Gordon yesterday urged President Arroyo to immediately address five urgent concerns "to prove her sincerity in governing the nation."

"The President needs to show that she is doing something concrete for the people," said Gordon, adding, "and so I propose the five things that PGMA should do right away."

Gordon enumerated the five things that PGMA should do: 1) run after the criminals – the smugglers, kidnappers, and drug traffickers; 2) generate jobs – shift budget to tourism and trade, the two main fund-generating departments of the country; 3) boost up tax collection and tax the "wants and not the needs;" 4) close the social gap in education and health; and 5) make the government "fast, fair, firm, friendly, and forward-looking in public service."

"The government must stop going around the ropes and should start hitting the right spots," said Gordon.

According to Gordon, the ongoing Senate investigation on smuggling, for instance, has exposed the amount of money that the government has lost because of rampant illegal importation of right-hand drive vehicles. He said that having obtained the correct information, the government must now do the necessary action and run after the smugglers.

He also emphasized that the people need more job opportunities to empower them. So he proposed an additional budget for the promotion of tourism and for generation of foreign investments instead of focusing on debt servicing saying that, "what we have right now is a defensive budget that doesn’t prepare us for economic growth."

Gordon also reiterated his call not to tax power, cooking fuel, and processed food but to impose instead a tax on text messages. "Let us tax the wants and not the needs," Gordon said emphasizing that, "we won’t die from less text messages while many will suffer if more taxes will be imposed on LPG and processed food."

Monday, October 24, 2005

Another "racket" at the LTO

If ever you get caught for traffic violation, please keep the receipts for the penalty you paid until the such time that you renew your license again. With the 3-year renewal period of licenses and the LTO's computerization system, their personnel may have developed a new racket.

This morning, I renewed my driver's license. The LTO office in Binan refused to renew it because they said I have an outstanding traffic violation. They told me that I got caught for reckless speeding in February 12, 2004 and I failed to settle it. They showed me a computer printout to this effect. I asked them that I already settled it, otherwise, I would not have taken back my license since it was confiscated. They said I may have dealt with fixers in taking it back.
I told them that I never deal with fixers. I also told them that if they acknowledged that I may have dealt with fixers, then someone inside the LTO must also be involved since I was able to get my license back.

They said if I really settled it, then I should show them the receipt and they would delete the entry in the computer -- they said maybe they just missed to delete it. Of course, I have no receipt to show them. That was almost two years ago. I never imagined this would happen so I never kept it.

In the end, I ended paying up P1,250.00 more. P500.00 for the penalty and P750.00 for the non-appearance to settle the violation.

This is such a simple scheme but it works. They accept your penalty when you claim your license but they don't delete it from the computer. If you renew it they will claim you failed to settle it. If you have the receipt to prove you did settle, they'll just claim there was an error. If you have no receipt, then you'll just have to pay again.

Please pass on to your friends who are also drivers out there.


After immediately sending a three-man emergency disaster response team to Pakistan to lead the Southeast Asian Regional Delegation to help recover and relocate survivors of the recent earthquake that hit South Asia, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) has asked the Philippines to send another team to assist in the ongoing relief operations.

Senator Richard Gordon, Chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC), today said a second 3-man team will again be sent to Pakistan to provide assistance in logistics, disaster management, and critical incident stress debriefing. The team will consist of Nenita Briones, from the Cotabato City Red Cross Chapter; Grace Avellano of the PNRC Social Services Department; and National Field Representative Leo Abajo of the PNRC Safety Services.

The initial team sent by PNRC led by Raul Garganera went first to Bangkok two weeks ago for a pre-deployment briefing together with the other 11 members of the Southeast Asian delegation consisting of seven members each of the medical and relief teams. After the briefing, they were all sent to Islamabad in Pakistan.

According to Gordon, the PNRC took the initiative in preparing emergency search and rescue teams that can assist in the rescue operations in South Asia. After a week of rescue and relief operations in Pakistan, Geleta Bekele, IFRC head of the Southeast Asian Regional Delegation, personally called up Gordon to ask for more help by sending a 2nd disaster response team.

“Although this is the first time that Filipinos led other Southeast Asian volunteers to help South Asia, their entire delegation saw the efficiency and professional skills of our Filipino Red Cross volunteers that is why they asked for another batch of disaster response team,” said Gordon proudly. “We are glad that the PNRC can provide assistance to our brothers and sisters in South Asia. And we are proud of these PNRC staff who are all highly trained in disaster response,” beamed Gordon.

He added that aside from the 2nd batch of rescue team, the PNRC will also send monetary help for the victims.

Since Gordon became its Chairman, the PNRC has been seen actively providing assistance not just in the Philippines but also to other countries. It started to become a donor society when it sent monetary assistance to the victims of the tsunami that hit South and Southeast Asia in December of last year and recently to the victims of Hurricane Katrina in the US

Biggest Philippine Flag

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Painters are busy working on the 98-foot flagpole that holds the biggest Philippine Flag located at Waterfront Road near the Volunteers' Monument, in preparation for the upcoming Volunteers' Day Celebration on November 24 which will coincide with the opening of the South East Asian Games (SEA Games) to be held in Subic Freeport.

Mirant energizes island off Subic

THE Philippine unit of Mirant has infused fresh capital for the construction of a two-and-a-half kilometer submarine cable that will energize key locations in the Subic Bay Freeport.

Worth P42 million, the 13.8-kilovolt submarine cable will supply four megawatts of electricity from Camayan Point to nearby Grande Island, which is sufficient to provide power to a dozen commercial tourist destinations in the zone.

Besides increasing its productivity, Mirant Philippines president James R. Harris believes that providing electricity to the island will boost the area’s economic activity, including tourism.
The Subic Bay Freeport Zone is considered as among the country’s premier investment sites, housing major firms including Fed Ex, Wistron (formerly Acer), and Sankyo Seiki. It is also the site of Ocean Adventure, a theme park.

“We are pleased to announce the completion of this submarine cable which can help boost Subic’s tourism industry and possibly attract more businesses and visitors,” Harris said.

The IPP supplies power to the Freeport through the Subic Enerzone Co., the utility firm that distributes electricity within the zone.

The provision of electricity in Grande Island is part of Mirant Philippines’ rural electrification efforts.

Besides supplying electricity to 1,000 villages, it has built over 11,000 kilometers of distribution lines, benefiting an estimated 1.5 million individuals in 33 provinces.

Mirant Philippines, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based Mirant Corp., is the largest private producer of electricity in the country, owning more than 2,000 MW of installed generating capacity nationwide.

It is also the biggest supplier of electricity to the National Power Corp. through its nine plants nationwide including the coal-fired plant in Sual, Pangasinan, which supplies about 1,218 MW of power to the state-owned firm.

Not only does it have a stake in the natural gas-fired 1,200 MW Ilijan power plant in southern Luzon, Mirant also owns the 700 MW coal-fired plant in Pagbilao, Quezon, which has been discovered by environmentalists, such as Greenpeace, to emit toxic substances.-- Niel V. Mugas


In celebration of the OCTOBERFEST-MARDIGRAS,
Magsaysay Drive will be closed to Vehicular Traffic from
October 28 to November 1, 2005. Areas affected are from
Unity Fountain or Bukal ng Pagkakaisa rotunda up to
corner of Gordon Avenue and Magsaysay Drive.

US troops here for amphibious landing exercises

ON BOARD THE USS ESSEX, Subic Bay Freeport -- Some 4,500 American troops arrived here Saturday for the start of the annual amphibious landing exercises with their Filipino counterparts.

The bilateral training dubbed "Phiblex 06" will engage US sailors and Marines in a two-week ground, air and naval integration exercises with at least 500 members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Three amphibious ships -- the USS Essex, USS Juneau and USS Fort McHenry -- ferried the troops belonging to the Forward Deployed Amphibious Ready Group and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit based in Okinawa, Japan.

"This exercise will maintain the readiness [and] capability of both the Philippine and US armed forces and goes a long way to supporting peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region," said Captain Mark Donahue of US Amphibious Squadron 11.

Donahue said the exercises would be held in the provinces of Nueva Ecija, Cavite, Pampanga and Zambales. Allan Macatuno, PDI Central

Sunday, October 23, 2005

ViceGov Lacbain in Japan

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National Leaders Meeting in Hotel New Otani in Tokyo, Japan attended by National Leaders/Head of Delegations to the 32nd Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program (SSEAYP) from Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Brunei Darussalam, Philippines, Japan, Myanmar, Laos, Indonesia, Singapore and Cambodia. The Philippine delegation is lead by Zambales Vice Governor Lamon Lacbain II

Saturday, October 22, 2005

City "Boy/Girl" Officials Turn-over

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In line with the annual celebration of Scouting Month and as part of a tradition in Olongapo City, Scouts were given a chance to practice their skills in leadership and governance. Last October 17, 2005, the city's elected and appointed government officials turned-over their positions to young scouts for the city's next generation of leaders to hone their skills and have wider perspective in the field of governance. In their session held in the Sanggunian Panlungsod session Hall, a resolution was passed enjoining all scouts to donate old books for distribution to barangay reading centers. Eagle Scout Viner Millan is this year's City Boy Mayor while Ivan Lee was elected Vice Mayor and presiding officer.

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The Scouts were inducted by City Councilor Edwin J. Piano and their official designations pinned by individual city officials.

Friday, October 21, 2005

8 companies investing P1b in Subic Freeport

By Elaine Ruzul S. Ramos

Eight new companies are committing a total of P1 billion in investments within the Subic Freeport in areas of transshipment, food manufacturing, hotel and resorts and education.

SBMA Investment Processing Department acting manager Ronnie Yambao said most of the new locators would complement the port modernization project there. He said one would put up a drydock facility while three were venturing into the transshipment business.

He said the biggest investment was coming from Subic Drydock, with food manufacturer Bonsure Evergreen International Corp. generating the highest number of jobs at 500.

The new locators engaged in transshipment business are Ichiban Import-Export Corp., McGram Fusion Inc. and Fit Subic Inc.

The other locators are Subic Palazzo Hotel and Resort, information technology products wholesaler Subic Nexus Technologies Inc. and educational institution Lyceum of Subic Bay Inc.

SBMA chairman Feliciano Salonga and administrator Armand Arreza welcomed the eight companies in a ceremonial contract signing yesterday.

“We would like to reiterate our support for your profitability which is our profitability as well. That’s why for us it’s a new frontier of partnership and we would like to welcome you,” Salonga said.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Subic girds for Southeast Asian Games

By Malou Dungog and Ernie Esconde, Central Luzon Bureau

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT: The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority is leaving nothing to chance in the coming 23rd Southeast Asian Games. It is readying to provide medical services and coordinating security measures with outlying towns of Hermosa and Dinalupihan.

Four SEAG events—archery, triathlon, sailing and kayaking—will be held at the Subic Bay Freeport from November 9 to December 6.

SBMA administrator Armand Arreza on Friday signed the agreement with Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee president Jose Cojuangco Jr. in which Philsoc shall pay for the medical services and will orient SBMA emergency personnel on medical guidelines.

Arreza said the SBMA would also provide diagnostic procedures, like x-rays and laboratory tests that may be requested by the Philsoc medical committee or team physicians of foreign delegations.

Meanwhile, at a courtesy call, SBMA chair Feliciano Salonga, Arezza and retired Gen. Jose Calimlim, deputy administrator for operations, asked Mayor Efren Cruz Jr. of Hermosa and Mayor Joel Payumo of Dinalupihan to enforce security and traffic programs during the SEAG.

Dinalupihan and Hermosa are along the entry points to the sprawling Subic ecozone where athletes, delegates and sports enthusiasts are expected to converge during the Games.

Flash Gordon

FROM THE STANDS By Domini M. Torrevillas
The Philippine Star 10/18/2005

You can’t avoid him, the way you can’t avoid seeing Kris Aquino and Aga Muhlach on giant billboards everywhere and on the boob tube all the time. I won’t be surprised if some quarters perceive Senator Richard Gordon’s ubiquity as leading towards the presidency of the Philippine Republic.

Dick has been in the news for as long as we can remember. He was the youngest member, at age 25, of the 1971 Constitutional Convention; as mayor of Olongapo City during the martial law years, he did the next to impossible – converting "sin city" Olongapo to spanking clean model city free of garbage and reduced criminal elements. But he always pointed to his constituents as having been responsible for the city’s transformation.

When the largest American military facility outside the continental United States closed shop, Gordon led the transformation of Subic Naval Base, inspiring 8,000 volunteers to preserve the US$8-billion facility and making it the Philippines’ premier free port and special economic zone.

As chair of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, he drew investors and raves and was good copy when he was eased out by former President Joseph Estrada, and got into verbal tussles with his successor.

As tourism secretary, he turned around a moribund industry shaken by threats of terrorism after 9-11, and the fear of SARS disease. He gained the respect of his peers internationally, who elected him World Tourism Organization Commissioner for East Asia and the Pacific in 2002 and chair of the Pacific Asia Travel Association in 2003, and became the chief advocate of Third World countries affected by unfair travel advisories by Western governments.

It’s conceded that his popularity soared as secretary of tourism, as he scoured the farthest reaches of the land and promoted the country through attractive slogans like "Wow Philippines." I think more Filipinos learned to like to travel in their own country during Dick’s time. It seemed he liked being Filipino and living in this country. He even made Filipinos appreciate the greatness of Lapu-Lapu. It was no wonder he ranked fifth in the last senatorial race.

Now, as chair and executive officer of the Philippine National Red Cross, Senator Gordon, is able to reach more people – at a time when help is most needed. He has been to sites of disasters, handing out food and clothing to victims, carrying babies, hugging old women, making the men feel useful even in the aftermath of calamities.

But Dick’s quick response to calls for help is no political gimmick. He has been a Red Cross volunteer for a long time, since his mother, recipient of the highest PNRC award, the Gold Humanitarian Cross and Pearl S. Buck award, founded the Red Cross chapter in Olongapo City. Today, Dick’s mother remains chairperson of the said chapter.

In whatever government position Dick held, he led rescue, relief and rehabilitation operations around the Philippines. There were the 1987 sinking of the M/V Asuncion off Palawan Island after colliding with another sea vessel. One of the survivors of the collision, whose mother perished in the incident, was "adopted" by Dick. Today, the orphan is a practicing physical therapist.

He was quick to respond to the 1990 killer earthquake that hit Luzon. Where he led a joint Philippine and American civilian and military rescue effort in the collapsed Central College of the Philippines in Cabanatuan City.

In 1997, he responded to the call for Asian Regional Disaster Training and Logistics Center to help plan, prepare for, and mitigate calamities and disasters in the region. Through his prodding the first ASEAN Disaster Management Workshop Seminar was held in Manila in 1999. After the recent Asian Tsunami, efforts are now underway for the establishment of such a regional center in the Subic Freeport.

In 2004, the international regard for Gordon’s leadership track record was such that, when he appealed for help on behalf of 50,000 families affected by a series of four typhoons in November and December, the member societies of the International Red Cross from all over the world responded with more than $3 million in donations – a record in Philippine humanitarian circles.

An accomplished fund-raiser for the Red Cross, in 2000, Gordon initiated the PNRC Millennium Fund, to which corporate donors pledged contributions of a million pesos to the Red Cross for five years to sustain training of volunteers and upgrade rescue and relief equipment. Through this Fund, PNRC acquired a rescue truck equipped with air bags that can lift tons of rubble and pneumatic pliers to pry open crumpled structures and free up trapped victims. The equipment strengthens the capability of the PNRC to fund and rescue people trapped under debris or collapsed buildings or pinned down in accidents.

In the middle of a presentation before prospective investors at Subic Freeport, he learned from an aide of a call for help over the radio. He immediately led a team with a fully equipped rescue truck that he recently purchased for the Freeport to dig out survivors and bodies from the rubble of the collapsed Guzman Tech Building in Manila in 1994.

He has sent volunteers to disasters and accidents such as engineers and electricians to Negros in the Visayas that was rendered without electric power for weeks by super-typhoon Didang in 1989. He provided body bags for the thousands who had died in Ormoc in 1991, sent fully-equipped professional divers to recover drowned religious devotees from the sinking of vessels in a fluvial parade in Bulacan, sent water tankers to provide safe drinking water to communities affected by the eruption of Mt. Mayon, and evacuated city residents and 9,000 indigenous people from the flanks of Mt. Pinatubo days before the volcano’s eruption.

In March 2000, after inaugurating the newly formed local Red Cross chapter of Basilan Island in Mindanao, he worked for the release without ransom of 18 school children and teachers held hostage by the Abu Sayyaf. One of the rescued kids, Dana Mijal, who celebrated her birthday in captivity, is now in high school as Dick’s scholar at the Ateneo de Zamboanga.

Dick has received many awards, including the TOYM Award for public administration in 1962. The most colorful of them is Hong Kong Standard’s calling him the "Flash Gordon of the Philippines."

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo Outstanding Achievement Award

Senator Richard Gordon receives the Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo Outstanding Achievement Award for his exceptional performance in the field of public service. The event was sponsored by the Provincial Government of Cavite headed by Governor Ayong Maliksi with guest speaker DENR Sec. Micheal Defensor. Gordon is the great grandson of Imus, Cavite's World War II soldier, Col. Jose Tagle.

Friday, October 14, 2005

BCDA backs gov’t smuggling crackdown

The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) recently said it is extending its full support to the government’s bid to crackdown on the technical smuggling of used vehicles and said they "will not allow any of the seaports and economic zones under its jurisdiction to be used in the illegal entry of unauthorized vehicles and other undocumented imported goods."

In line with this move, BCDA and its subsidiary Poro Point Management Corporation (PPMC) vowed for the "stricter implementation of the provisions of Executive Order 156 in the Poro Point Special Economic and Freeport Zone (PPSEFZ).

Executive Order 156 or the Comprehensive Industrial Policy and Directions for the Motor Vehicle Development Program, issued on 12 December 2002, provides for the restructuring of the Most Favored Nation (MFN) tariff rates for motor vehicles and their raw materials, parts and components at such rates that will encourage the development of the Philippine motor vehicle industry.

PPMC President Juanito F. Antonio also pointed out that while the freeports are there for the speedy movement of goods and thus enhance economic activity and provide livelihood for the nearby regions, the BCDA through PPMC will continue to ensure that much needed revenues will not be lost by the government through smuggling.

Antonio said that importation of goods in the PPSEFZ "has to comply with the strict requirements of the law." He added that "BCDA through PPMC will continue to apply existing rules within the PPSEFZ and will not issue import permits without full compliance with the required procedures and submission of the requisite documents."

Thursday, October 13, 2005



GMA biased against poor buyers of second-hand cars
Plastic bags, hirit ibawal
Payatas now a tourist destination
What is the secret of this rock?
Pinatubo Funds
Wi-Fi to boost growth of SMEs
Aviation institute up soon at Clark ecozone
CAMPI mulls installation of radio frequency devices on local cars
Ecop bucks Labor Code amendments
VoIP windfall on ofws
S spy case shows e-mail unsafe from prying eyes
Unliquidated cash advances hit P3.3B
Ex-SBMA chief breaks silence, scores Gordon
Barangay,SK polls moved to 2007
Sept 16, 2005 photos of KaleBeach, Halfmoon Beach, Dumlao and Oceanview
Lawmaker, CICT propose e-budgeting project for gov't
50,000 pitch in to save Manila Bay on World Cleanup Day
Palace retrieves postdated checks
P20 milyon ni Antonio Diaz
'Splogging' polluting blogosphere with spam, expert warns
Job Fair held at Rizal Triangle
Subic Volunteers
Tag Board
Arroyo adviser for Central Luzon eyed as new SBMA head
Gordon assails �frailocracy�
DENR takes over emission testing
Duty-free goods illegal
Chat board contents
Battle for SBMA Chairmanship heats on
Importers of used vehicles move from Subic to Cagayan's Port Irene
Gordon: No politics in Subic shake-up
An Original Volunteer is the new SBMA Administrator
An Original Volunteer is the new SBMA Administrator
Gordon back in power in Subic through his boy, Areza?
Monday a special holiday for schools, govt offices only
Licuanan resigns as SBMA chair, adviser for Subic-Clark
More incentives sought for Subic, Clark, Poro Point ecozones
Dredging Project Monitoring
26 August 2005 Update on Dredging Project
Dredging of Sta Rita River started today
10 Bays
DENR, Subic resolve row on green clearance
Senate Bill No. 1850 - National Railway System
Favila urges local firms to tap $25-B medical transcription business in US
Battle royale between senators and local authorities
Guidelines for Signs and Sign Structures in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone
EDITORIAL - A national tragedy
Bataan gov seeks probe of Samal housing project
Text scams targeting OFWs, foreign nationals
Courts rule Smart exempt from paying local franchise taxes
Canada allots P300 M for Visayas kids dev’t
New US Envoy assumes post
Taiwan airline launches Clark flights
Bobby Ongpin group buys into Extelcom
An empowered generation of Filipino-Americans
New Pag-Asa Market
Protesters face charges for bringing kids to rally
Lawmaker questions impact of ATM linkup
Olongapo City Ordinances/Resolutions for Children Welfare
U.K. Ambassador Peter Beckingham
Chikka bares new multimedia mobile mail messenger service
Labor Code changes to boost call-center sector
They teach more than English in call centers
28 kompanya sa SBMA nagsara na
Prepaid cards seen to boost access to national e-library
Convergence of television, Internet coming--from phone firm
I did not vote for this Constitution but I swore to defend it
Telephone landlines hit 6.473M as of end-2004
DTI moves to ensure grant of perks to Clark, John Hay, Morong ecozones
Lakas-CMD vs Liberal Party
Nominations for 8th RP Web Awards on
Where Globe and Smart meet
A time to reflect for our only country
NTC limits VoIP services to RP firms
Everyone’s talking about 3G except in RP
RP not ready for 3G — telcos
IFC provides additional $12.5-M loan to Eastwood Cyberzone
Mobile TV: The Korean experience
Filipino-American Friendship Month
Blueprint for RP’s software industry for breakthrough growth in five years bared
Recovering the lost promise
New journalism book hits the stands
Wiretapping 101
MasterCard Int’l hacker breached security system
RP’s remotest town now just a cellphone call away
Nation joins Father’s Day celebration today
Studies show no correlation between violence, video games
cheap medicines
CHED supervision reverted to DepEd
Three million Filipinos jobless as of end-April
Ong kicked out of seminary for being a Mason?
More than 2,000 Filipino workers sneak into Iraq despite ban
RTC freezes CHED order closing college courses
14 killed in Central Luzon
US 'delighted' over Ong's coming out
DILG takes steps to ensure attendance of kids in school
Motor vehicle sales up 11% to 38,315 units in January-May
BCDA, CJHDevCo urged to settle row
Grade school whiz kids show math is easy as 1-2-3
RP struggles to match India in outsourcing boom
English could soon become the principal medium of instruction in all schools.
Blogging to reduce corruption?
Metro minimum-wage workers get P25 raise
RP kids place second in int’l math contest
Ancient history of Zambales according to Morga
Savoring Subic
First Aid for Stroke
Pimentel: Arroyo benefited from jueteng
US senator pledges help for Filipino WWII vets
Magna Carta for SMEs
Hidden fees eat into income remittances from overseas
English as a second language...
Reyes’ oppositor files charges vs Gordon
A lesson in good manners
DepEd, nagbabala vs. misc fees
President orders govt agencies to cut red tape
Arroyo signs EO simplifying govt rules for investors
CHED pegs tuition hike at 8.4 percent
3 'jueteng' men tag Mike Arroyo, son
COA official: GSIS e-Card deal illegal
Garrulous Gordon outtalks everyone
'Jueteng' suspect to snub Senate
Mayors, cops on the take
'Conflict resolution expert' is next US envoy to RP
Vivian starts journey back to family in Australia
Australia to help woman wrongfully deported
RP operators act on mobile phone virus scare
Tax task force spent P70M to collect P11M
Arroyo opens door for use of Bataan Nuclear Power Plant
Lawmaker: Plan to tax SMS is dead
Word Meaning (New)
President confronted Roy Señeres(NLRC) on 'plot'
5 governors on bishop's list of 'jueteng' operators
'Jueteng' lords dish out P13B in bribes, says bishop
never too late
RP joins Asia-wide anti-spam crusade
IT spending in RP to hit $1.2B-- IDC
Jueteng bosses stop operations in countryside
Bishop confirms M1, M2 and JS7 in jueteng list
Name Big 3 of 'jueteng,' solons urge whistle-blower
Four million Americans call some other country home
Chikka says it has 15M subscribers to mobile IM service
Pimentel challenges local officials to eliminate illegal numbers game
'Jueteng' trio dictate on PNP posts?
Outsourcing to overtake telecoms as top moneymaker in five years
New unit against jueteng formed
New GSA chief lauds RP's mobile communications growth
Big 3 top PNP jueteng list
DOH warns of E. Coli infection from swimming pools, beaches
Lomibao orders regional PNP chiefs to intensify fight against jueteng
House committee approves 3 bills on releasing patients
Earth Day 2005: Saving Planet Earth
National ID dry run set
Executive Order on ID system for govt workers out
Arroyo tells public: Buy Petron products
IMF: RP in bottom 8 of poor tax collectors
Explain jueteng ‘links,’ Villena urges Gambito
Arroyo govt’s high-priority projects on hold, says ADB
March 31 was hottest day in RP so far in '05
New species of rodent found in Zambales
Humor - Pinoy
Tony Robbin's Words to Live By
Simple Meditation
Subic-Clark-Tarlac toll project probe sought
Dayrit resigns as SEAG chief
Malaysia to import 169,000 workers to fill shortage
Study: RP prostitution is 4th largest source of GNP
First Air Asia budget flights land in Clark Field
Politics, Wealth, Knowledge
Private sector not covered by 4-day work week order: DOLE
87-year-old American sex tourist sentenced to 20 years jail
4-day week saves P114M
Transport strike grips Central Luzon
Palace mulls new anti-smuggling body
Who are mangling the English language?
Exporting labor through BPO
Gov’t borrowings overshoot 128%
Napocor to offer personnel for outsourcing contracts
Investment Incentive Schemes
Malaysian airline is set to start twice-a-day flights at Clark
Be An Encourager
mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee...
GMA signs into law P907.6-B National Budget for 2005
Fw: [Ulo Ng Apo] Digest Number 169
Quiz : see if you can figure it out
Calimlims character reference
Japan envoy confident Subic dev't will boost CL trade
Senator says 'text' spam invades privacy
Senate OKs national budget
New Cell Phone Law
Potential ID theft victims eye information
Smuggled Goods Flood Malls and Markets


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