Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Thursday, July 31, 2008

TESDA Officials visits Olongapo City

Councilor Edwin Piano demonstrates to TESDA Region III Driector Marty Hernandez and Zambales Provincial Director Elizabeth Manio, an innovative training tool - Virtual Welder Trainor during their visit to the Olongapo Skills Training Center last Tuesday 28 July 2008

Olongapo City has recently won the TESDA Kabalikat Awards in the Provincial and Regional Level.

Selection of awardees in both the regional and national search levels was based on the following criteria: training scholarships, donations, placement assistance, technical services, social responsibility, promotion and advocacy.

All 2008 Kabalikat winners will receive their award during the TESDA anniversary in Manila in August.

The Kabalikat Award is one of TESDA’s reward mechanisms to recognize and honor its outstanding partners in the promotion and enhancement of technical-vocational education and training in the country.

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Police bag suspects in massacre of Korean family in Olongapo

Police have collared two of the five suspects in the massacre of a Korean family in Olongapo City.

Senior Superintendent Guillermo Eleazar, regional chief of 3rd Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (3CIDU), declined to identify the suspects but said the two are now under their custody.

He said the suspects are hardened criminals with pending cases in various courts in Olongapo City. A handgun was reportedly seized from one of them during their arrest.

"The suspects have pending criminal cases in various courts in Olongapo City including murder and homicide," said Eleazar adding his men will be filing illegal possession of firearms against the two.

"Initially ‘yon muna ang kaso nila, but after the documentation in the murder of Koreans, isasampa din namin ang multiple homicide cases against them," Eleazar explained.

On Sunday July 27, three members of a Korean family were stabbed dead by unidentified men in their house in Barangay Cabalan.

Seok Heijang, 54, her daughter Suna Yoo, 35 and granddaughter Haneul Back, 9, were found sprawled inside the house situated in Sitio Kakilingan, Iram Resettlement.

The suspects, police said the victims were raped before they were killed. Jess Malabanan - ABS CBN NEWS

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Why pay for advice on leadership and politics from a foreigner when we can have a free lecture from a homegrown talent?

Sen. Richard Gordon said there is no need for Filipinos to pay and listen to renowned former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani lecture on politics and leadership.

Although admitting Giuliani succeeded in steering New York from the rubble of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, Gordon said he made a similar achievement when he served as mayor of Olongapo City.

“I can understand where he’s coming from. We are both mayors, we are both lawyers, we both cleansed our cities. I made Olongapo a model city, he did the same thing to New York,” Gordon said.

Gordon said both New York and Olongapo have had their share of disasters. New York was hit by terror attacks while Olongapo suffered from the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991.

Gordon likened himself to Giuliani, saying they each led the people of their cities out from the crisis brought about by the unfortunate events.

“We have a lot of heroes here, leaders who are tested in times of crisis,” he said.

Gordon claimed his leadership experience was born from tough luck.

“Mine was worse. The Americans left Subic Naval Base but I was able to help Pinatubo victims,” he said.

As chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC), Gordon said he is leading the effort to help victims of calamities and disasters.

After rehabilitating Olongapo and Subic Bay Freeport from the ashes of Pinatubo, Gordon said he went on to head the Department of Tourism that resulted in the growth of the country’s tourism industry under the innovative “Wow! Philippines” program.

“Even Intramuros became famous,” Gordon said as he ticked off his other accomplishments.

“All I am saying is, we have comparative accomplishments pero baka naman mas marami tayong krisis na nilagpasan at pinagtagumpayan (but we have more experience in terms of overcoming crises),” Gordon said.

Giuliani spoke at a roundtable discussion with Manila’s prominent political and business leaders last Tuesday.

Academe and media practitioners also attended the forum held at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel.

Giuliani gave an hour-long talk about “Leadership in Times of Crisis,” in which he discussed extensively the six principles of leadership.

Guiliani stressed a leader must be trusted to hold on to his or her word, whether in politics, in business, or in other endeavors.

Among other traits, Giuliani said a leader should be trusted.

The discussions focused on the issues of mistrust of political leaders.

The panelists discussed the issue of trust in leadership as they noted the adverse trust ratings of President Arroyo in the latest opinion surveys.

Giuliani though noted Mrs. Arroyo has demonstrated the kind of leadership that is not swayed by popularity concerns.

He said it is important to make the decisions that are necessary “whether they may be popular or unpopular and you’re willing to risk some unpopularity (for) the good of the people.”

Giuliani said the Sept. 11 attacks made him look into the life of wartime British Prime Minister Winston Churchill who had to go through even worse situations.

Binay, too, cites his achievements

Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay, one of the main sponsors of the forum, offered the city’s own success story as an inspiration for those who look at difficult times as hopeless times.

Binay recalled how the country’s financial and business capital had P200 million in debts when he was appointed as acting mayor of the city by then President Corazon Aquino in the political ruins left by the ouster of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos in 1986.

Binay said Makati was almost bankrupt and faced a huge budget deficit.

Binay said he was able to help Makati get back on its feet through tough leadership, innovation, and optimism.

Binay bragged how Makati managed to pay its debts and even had a budget surplus in just a year under his leadership. – Aurea Calica, Michael Punongbayan - PhilStar


First aid and basic life support Olympic set

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT -- Nine rescue teams from various parts of Central Luzon are set to battle it out on Thursday the fifth Regional First Aid and Basic Life Support Olympic here.

According to Vicente Tolentino, civil defense coordinator and operations chief of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Law Enforcement Department, the event will showcase the skills of different rescue teams from different parts of Central Luzon.

"This is an event that will sharpen their skills in certain situation that they (rescuers) can only respond to," Tolentino said.

He added that the event is also in line with the observance of the National Disaster Consciousness Month.

Edward Gruezo, deputy chief of the Subic Disaster Management Committee, said rescue teams from Nueva Ecija, Palayan City, Tarlac City, Sto. Tomas, Pampanga, SBMA and Bulacan are expected to participate in the event.

Gruezo added that they are targeting a total of 18 participants from different province and cities in the region, aside from the nine teams that have already confirmed their participation, to join this event.

Expected to grace the occasion is Police Regional Director Errol Pan, who is also the chairman of the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council (RDCC).

The yearly event is organized by the RDCC and the Office of the Civil Defense headed by Neri Amparo. By Anthony Bayarong - SunStar

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SC: Used cars import ban covers RP; Palace: Only in Subic

The Supreme Court ruling upholding Executive Order No. 156, which bans the importation of used cars, applies to Philippine territory outside the former Subic Naval Base, a court official said Wednesday.

The ruling says the Subic Bay Freeport Zone is not covered by the order, according to Supreme Court spokesperson Jose Midas Marquez.

Contrary to the statement of Marquez, however, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita claimed that the ban on the importation of used cars only covered Subic.

Ermita Wednesday said EO 156, issued by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Dec. 12, 2002, did not prohibit the entry of second-hand vehicles into other free ports such as the Cagayan Economic Zone (CEZ).

Quoting from the tribunal’s 2006 ruling, Marquez said the EO’s “provision [on the ban] is declared valid insofar as it applies to the Philippine territory outside the presently fenced-in former Subic Naval Base Area and void with respect to its application to the secured fenced-in former Subic Naval Base Area.”

Marquez said the Supreme Court decision became final in November 2007, as shown by the entry of judgment in the case.

Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile said last week that the Supreme Court was wrong in upholding EO 156, claiming that the directive of Ms Arroyo was unconstitutional.

Only Congress can ban the importation of used items, he argued.

Enrile made the statements in defense of the importation of used cars at Port Irene in his home province of Cagayan.

The American Chamber of Commerce in an internal draft report has claimed that the used-car import business in the Cagayan Economic Zone (CEZ) is “illegal and contrary” to EO 156.

File a case

Marquez said it would be up to local government units and customs officials to file a case or to allow Port Irene to keep on importing used cars.

“If the people from customs and the local government units think that is within the decision of the court, that will be up to them. If they think that is prohibited, they can file the appropriate case in court on what EO 156 really says,” the court spokesperson told reporters.

He added that if officials allowed Port Irene to import used cars and nobody questioned it, then there was nothing that the court could do.

Marquez also said that if there were parties that wanted to contest the ruling of the high court on EO 156, they would have to file the appropriate pleadings in court.

Palace defends Port Irene

At his regular press conference, Ermita defended the operations of Port Irene.

He said the import ban on used vehicles did not cover the entire country.

Ermita said he was informed that the Supreme Court decision pertained to a smuggling case in Subic that was brought before the tribunal.

“(T)herefore that’s applicable to Subic, not necessarily applicable to Port Irene, especially with this finding that there’s really no smuggling, so there’s nothing to contest,” he said.

Ermita quoted an internal investigation conducted by the Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group (PASG) that showed no trace of smuggling at the port.

“As far as the issue of alleged reported smuggling at Port Irene, I talked with Undersecretary Bebot Villar of the PASG and he told me that he had gone there and he found out there’s no such smuggling as reported,” the executive secretary said.

“And even the American Chamber validated their own statement that there was no smuggling going on,” Ermita said.

He answered in the affirmative when asked if it was the position of Malacañang that the high court ruling on EO 156 concerned only Subic Freeport, not all the ports around the country.

“I suppose,” he said.

Ermita then categorically said that the importation of used cars into the CEZ did not violate any law.

“A collaborating memo (or) EO was issued, (EO) 418. This has something to do with the tariff on second-hand vehicles, and so this EO should be applicable to all. What is important is the spirit and the purpose of the EO and then we will have to deal with them on a case-to-case basis in all ports where the EOs issued might be acceptable,” he said.

President’s visit to CEZ

Ms Arroyo was set to visit the CEZ onb Thursday, but without media coverage.

The only event opened to media coverage was the local peace and security assembly in Tuguegarao City.

But even with PASG’s findings, Malacañang said Congress could pursue its inquiries.

“I wish I could say that it will be a closed book so that governance can move forward,” Ermita said.

Holding a copy of EO 156, the executive secretary said “I would like to think that these (provisions) are all being complied with.”

He said the Bureau of Customs would never allow the importation of banned vehicles. By Leila Salaverria, Michael Lim Ubac - Philippine Daily Inquirer

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Olongapo Welders ackowledged by PGMA during SONA

Graduates of Welding Skills Training under the PGMA Scholarship for Work Program now employed at shipbuilding projects were acknowledged by the President during her State of the Nation Address at the Philippine Congress. The lady welders are proof of her administration's aggressive training programs led by TESDA.

7.74 million benefited from training and vocational courses in the last seven years, doubling the number in the last 14 years.

In 2007 alone 1.7 million workers were bestowed with knowledge, skills and ability to excel in a globally competitive work environment.

The fruit of PGMA-TESDA and Mayor Bong Gordon's Skills Training Program resulted in more than five thousand workers employed by Hanjin shipbuilding and other companies in Subic freeport and overseas.

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Over 100 Subic houses up for lease

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—A Taiwanese property developer has opened a posh subdivision project here with over 100 modern housing units up for lease to meet the growing demand of foreign and local executives.

Josephine Chua, chief executive of Grand Pillar International Development Inc., led the opening ceremony of Grandville Estate, the latest and most modern housing project inside the Freeport.

Grandville Estate is located along the former Greyback community at East Kalayaan housing area.

“Grandville was created to provide homes that harmonize with the serene beauty of the Kalayaan Hills,” said Chua. “We offer a secure and hassle-free living for each and every resident.”

She said Grandville would be an exclusive community with 24/7 security personnel manning the village.

Grand Pillar to date has completed renovation of at least 30 housing units.

Chua said Grandville was offering a long-term 50-year leasehold right to prospective buyers. The Bases Conversion Law creating the Freeport prohibits ownership or sole proprietorship of government-owned real estate properties inside the economic zone.

Freeport residents, instead, can equally enjoy all privileges, including tax and duty-free incentives as provided to investors.

Grandville will have separate sentry and guard house, three playgrounds, a multi-purpose covered court, swimming pool and a tennis court.

It offers two story, five-bedroom housing units with total floor area of about 220 square meters, including four toilet and bath rooms, hot and cold water facilities, terrace, a separate maid’s quarter, and individual air conditioning units for all bedrooms, living, dining and family rooms.

Other models include three- and four-bedroom housing units with prices ranging from $180,000 to $230,000 each.

Grandville chief business development officer Johnson Yang said the company had committed to spend $5 million as initial investment. By Cecille Garcia - Manila Standard today

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An Olongapeña was recognized by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo recently in her State of the Nation Address at the Batasan Pambansa, Quezon City.

Jessica Barlomento, a resident of Rodriguez Extension in Barangay New Kalalake, started as a lady welder and now works as Supplies Officer in Hanjin Heavy Industries Corporation (HHIC), a Korean shipbuilding firm. Barlomento, along with the three other lady welders were commended by the president as one of 1.7 million who graduated in technical and vocational courses in 2007 now gainfully employed.

She took up Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW NC-II ) in November 2006 and graduated in February 2007 at the Olongapo Skills Training Center.

Barlomento serves as model for our fellowmen, especially women, to continue pursuing goals, overcoming gender differences.

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A public hearing was held to take up the issue on Subic Water’s plan to make Mabayuan River a water source. It was the second hearing held regarding the issue.

City Councilor JC G. de los Reyes led the public hearing which was also attended by Councilor Ellen Dabu, City Attorney Angelito Orozco, concerned citizens and representatives from the barangays who will be affected by the amendment of the permit that will allow Subic Water to tap Mabayuan River.

One of the issues discussed in the public hearing was whether the water of Mabayuan River is safe for human use and consumption.

According to Orozco, they will submit a petition opposing the proposed amendment of Subic Water’s permit. Concrete facts and evidence are currently being collated to support the petition, he said.

It can be recalled that Councilor de los Reyes has already raised the issue to Mayor James “Bong” Gordon Jr. He also said that whether or not Subic Water already has an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) is another matter to look into.

City Councilors JC G. de los Reyes and Ellen Dabu, City Attorney Angelito Orozco and concerned citizens during the public hearing held on July 29, 2008 at the Session Hall of the Olongapo City Hall. Opinions of the concerned citizens were discussed regarding the proposed amendment of the permit of Subic Water that will allow it to use Mabayuan River as a water source.


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Job Opportunities in Olongapo-Subic Bay



Tuesday, July 29, 2008


In celebration of the World Blood Donors’ Month, the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC)-Olongapo Chapter held a mass blood letting on July 25, 2008 at the Plenary B of Olongapo City Convention Center (OCCC). One hundred thirty one (131) people from different sectors of the city donated blood.

“The theme of this year’s World Blood Donor’s month is ‘Once is not enough...give blood regularly’,” said Mitzi Quisay, OIC of PNRC-Olongapo

“PNRC-Olongapo invited Olongapeños to donate blood in order to ensure the continuous supply of safe blood for the community. Donating blood is also healthy for the body as it encourages the body to produce new red blood cell,” Quisay added.

The event was also held to show PNRC-Olongapo’s appreciation to those who regularly volunteer to donate blood. Tokens like shirts and snacks were given to those who participated in the event and donated blood.

Among those who donated blood were City Councilor Gie Baloy, personnel from the Olongapo City Police Office and Traffic Management Board, workers form Lidnberg Inc., NIDEC and SANYO-DENKI, employees from different barangays of the city, students and members of the religious group ‘Ang Dating Daan.’

Lion’s Club Peninsula, McDonald’s Olongapo and Jollibee Ulo ng Apo sponsored the event.

Policemen from the Olongapo City Police Office (OCPO) donates blood in the mass blood letting held by the Philippine National Red Cross-Olongapo Chapter on July 25, 2008 at the Plenary B of the Olongapo City Convention Center (OCCC).


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The first series of Seminar Workshop on Asian Urban Information Center of Kobe (AUICK)—Socio-Economic Information System was held at the Olongapo City Convention Center on July 25 to 26.

In line with Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr.’s aspirations to further strengthen the integration of population, environment and poverty eradication factors in the sustainable policies, plans and programs of Olongapo, Executive and Non-Executive committees participated in the said AUICK seminar.

The Executive Committee was participated in by Vice Mayor Cynthia Cajudo , Dr. Bryan Tubban and Jaime Elcano of City Health Office, Oliver Judes Lapid of City Population Office, Caroline Allas of CSWDO, Monette Aranilla of MIS, and Kagawad Beth Albanda of Barrio Barretto for the Association of Barangay Chairman (ABC). The Non-Executive Committees consisted of DepEd, CENRO/DENR, PNP-Olongapo, DTI-Zambales, NSO, City Civil Registrar, and BIR. The secretariat were Eric Sanchez, Dolor Milanio, Lino Mañago, Kristina Ebalo, Adrian Raagas and Jane Salgado, all from the Research Section of CPDO.

The said seminar is part of the city’s privileges in being one of AUICK’s associate cities. AUICK is an international cooperation non-governmental organization which was established in 1989 with the support of the United Nations Population Fund and the government of Kobe City, Japan. The organization aims to build extensive human networks with medium-sized cities in Asia as a means to assist in the resolution of population and urban problems.

It is the first of three series of seminars that the Olongapo City Socio-Economic Information System will be conducting. Series 2 will be held on August 15 to 16, and series 3 will be held on August 28.


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Firm completes study on $2-B project in Zambales

PALAUIG, ZAMBALES, Philippines — A Korean urban planner and developer has completed a feasibility study for Mt. Tapulao, which the local government wants to turn into a major tourist destination in Asia.

The development blueprint involves the construction of five-star hotels, leisure facilities, casinos, concert halls, condominiums and villas, as well as an 18-hole golf course within a 450-hectare area of the mountain.

The $2-billion project will be patterned after Genting Highlands in Malaysia, and Yeosu Hwayang Tourism Complex and Gampo Complex in Gyeongju City, both in Korea, said Sang-Hyun Park, vice-chairman and director for Overseas Project division of Korean developer Dongho Co., Ltd.

Proponents claimed the project would uplift living standards with minimal damage to the environment.

In April, the South Korean firm signed a deal with Governor Amor Deloso for the feasibility study. The governor said Mt. Tapulao has a semi-temperate climate similar to that of the Cordillera province and can rival Baguio City, the country’s summer capital. Tapulao in the local language means pine tree, which the mountain has plenty of.

Also known as the Zambales high peak, Mt. Tapulao rises to 2,037 meters above sea level and forms a contiguous chain of mountains in Central Luzon.

Dongho specializes in developing blueprints for urban development while minimizing its effects on the environment.

Dongho will plan, design and monitor before, during and after the construction of various development projects.

It will provide services involving water quality management, air pollution prevention, erosion, waste treatment and recycling.

Palauig Mayor Generoso Amog said the project would bring progress to his town. "We welcome the Mt. Tapulao project because it will surely bring economic growth to our town," he said.

On Wednesday, the mayor led a protest march calling for the declaration of Mt. Tapulao as a mining-free zone. They want to turn the mountain into an eco-tourism site instead.

Mr. Amog blamed mining activities in some sections of the mountain, whose summit is supposedly in danger of collapsing.

"Right now, Mt. Tapulao is in grave danger, which could be saved by the proposed eco-tourism project," he said. He said the peak would be preserved for mountain trekkers, campers and nature lovers.

Under the blueprint, a road network will be developed to complement the recently opened Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway via a new access road traversing the nearby town of Botolan to Tarlac province. — Reynaldo M. Garcia, BusinessWorld

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Blast kills 2-yr-old, wounds 6 others in Zambales

A two-year-old child was killed while six others were wounded when a grenade blew up in Palauig town, Zambales, dzBB radio reported Monday night.

Radio dzBB's Benjie Liwanag Jr. cited sketchy initial reports identifying the fatality as Moises Tampug Ulyen, 2, who succumbed to wounds from an exploding M-203 grenade.

The others who were rushed to the Ramon Magsaysay Provincial Hospital were initially identified as Dexter Saliu-an, 9; John Joseph Tenega Os-ag, 7; Jeremiah Basong, 7; Lovelever Ulier; Jarius Osag; and Wilma Joy Umayat.

Initial investigation showed the six were playing in Sitio Dapla in Salaza village when they chanced on the M-203 explosive. When they tried to pick it up, the explosive blew up.

Palauig is a third-class town with a population of 29,983 people in 5,945 households. - GMANews.TV

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Zambales may pinakamaraming buntis na namatay – DOH

CENTRAL LUZON – Nanguna ang lalawigan ng Zambales sa dami ng bilang ng buntis na namatay sa panganganak, nang magtala itong 59 deaths; samantala pumangalawa ang Bataan, 50 deaths, at pangatlo ang Pampanga. 34 deaths, noong taong 2007, base sa lahat ng Department of Health (DOH) Region 3 sa Abante.

Umaabot sa 247 ina ang nasawi sa panganganak o maternal mortality rate per 100,000 live births mula sa pitong lalawigan sa Central Luzon na naitala sa mga pribado at ospital ng gobyerno.

Nabatid ng Abante mula kay DOH R3 regional director, Dr. Rio Magpantay na isa sa mga sanhi ng naturang kamatayan ng expectant mothers ay ang pagdurugo dahil hindi sila nadala sa ospital at sa bahay na lang nagsisilang.

Hindi rin nagpapa-check- up kung saan ay kailangang tatlong beses o mas mainam na higit pa na magpatingin ang buntis na ina lalo na sa mga unang lingo o buwan ng pagbubuntis.

Ayon sa ulat, narito ang naitalang bilang ng maternal death rate per 100,000 live births noong nakaraang taon: Bulacan-24; Aurora-22; Nueva Ecija-19; Tarlac-11; at 28 sa regional hospital.

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Job Opportunities in Olongapo-Subic Bay



Busy in Subic

By. Andy Sevilla – Business Mirror

SUBIC – The weather here is not that good for the past two days that I have been here. By the time you read this, I would be back in Manila and back to where the action is. The past two weeks have been so hectic for us as we were caught up with several events in the motoring beat.

Amado del Rosario of PGA Cars invited us to test-drive their newest baby in town – the petrol and diesel variants of the Audi A4, a sporty and luxurious car for those who are always on the go and onboard a comfortable vehicle. I was paired with Inquirer’s Andre Palma and we topped the economy run from Edsa to Subic and back.

Then came the invite of JP and Jeanette Tuason for their Tuason Racing School “Media Racing Experience” that was held at the newly renovated Subic International Speedway, which is jus a few meters from the Subic International Airport. I tell you, this one is superb fro those who are in “need fro speed.” JP and Jeanettes’s Tuason Racing School, or simply TRS, is simply fantastic in “teaching” us how it was to ride a racing car such as the ones they are using right now – the TDCi Ford Focus. Yes, JP was so proud of the Ford Focus because of its great handling and power, especially the extra torque it has.

“This is one hell of a car which you can experience yourself. So please be careful and always follow our instructions,” he said as he gave important tips and guides in handling the cars and even the racetrack that was very slippery and padded in several places because of the intermittent rains.

The 13 members of the media who answered the invitation for a two-day event sponsored by Ford Philippines were divided into two groups – one was for the so-called pros of for those who have under went stringent schooling for the past several TRS events, while the other one was for the “novice” who are the so-called beginners. We were bunched into the beginners’ crowd that included Inquirer’s Tessa Salazar, Speed lab’s part-owner Sydney Ang, Hotwire’s Enzo Ruidera and Manila Bulletin’s Aris Ilagan. The more than combined six hours of instructions and racetrack experience on board the Ford Focus racing car was so exhilarating and one-of-a-kind, really. I placed third over all in the media challenge that day behind Enzo and Sydney, while Johnsy Reyes beat C’Magazine’s James Deakin, while C! magazines Vice Pornelos checked in third in the pro level.

Everybody had a good time, including my son Juan Miguel, who was able to tag along. He was allowed to go drivers on a “hot lap,” and he also took several pictures for his “motoring blog.”

On Sunday, it was the turn of Hyundai to bring a large batch of media men to Amvaya Cove also in Subic for the launch of its three eye-catching and superb cars – the i10, yhe i30 and the Genesis. They were launched later in the night after another economy – run challenge held early in the morning as all the 13i10 cars with members of the media on board left Hyundai Manila Bay. Just before the launch of the three cars, winners were awarded their respective prizes and they were the following – champion, Manila Standard’s Dino Directo and this paper’s Ira Panganiban; first runner-up, the father-and-son team of Ron and Ronad de los Reyes of “Auto Review”; and second runner-up, this writer together with FHM’s Tuel Lucas. We also got to snatch another prize as being the 10th car to enter Shell’s San Fernando station.

The i10 was one of the best compact cars I have ridden so far, I was the one who drove it while Ruel was my navigator from Pasay to San Fernando and on to Subic’s Amvaya Cove, a very relaxing and luxurious place. I understand this place is just for members only and their chosen guests, huh! I thought I was riding a Mini Cooper with the said car as it has all the power and torque one need most in an eco-run such as that one. And it was so economical to use also. The winners used only 2.7 liters all the way, while the first runner-up consumed more fuel that us, but they took a long route. We used only 3.485 liters!

Fe Argudo was also very proud of the results of the first test of the i10 as she went into a long list of thanking several media personalities and outfits (that included the BUSINESS MIRRO, of course) for Hyundai’s great success for the past 10 years now. She also unveiled two of the new very good-looking Hyundai cars that will enter the market in the next few weeks now – the i30 and the Genesis.

See that, three events and stints at the very busy hub of Subic Bay in just two weeks!

I was amazed with the way this tiny city within a province is slowly evolving into a megacity. Constructions are everywhere. Restaurants and decent drinking places are sprouting everywhere. Boutique hotels are being erected one after the other. That new Lighthouse Hotel at the end of the Baywalk was such a good small hotel. It is new and very accommodating. I and my family tried it when Felix Mabilog of Kia Motors held an event also in Subic last year. The said hotel had just opened up but everything was already in order and the people there are very accommodating. You can try that one.

Subic’s investments are going great, really, as various locators are said to be hurrying in choosing various locations inside the area. I can safely say that Subic really had transformed into one good resting and investment place, especially now that the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) had just opened. Seventy-five percent of those traveling to Subic from Manila are no longer taking the old routes along the San Fernando-Gapan Highway. The SCTEx is really great and very convenient, and the terminal fees from Manila are very minimal and very affordable.

More on Subic and more on those three sporting events this Friday. I’ll have to pack my bags first before I get left behind here in Amvaya Cove.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

5 dismissed Hanjin men reinstated

By REY G. PANALIGAN - Manila Bulletin

The Supreme Court (SC) has affirmed the Court of Appeals (CA) decision that upheld the ruling of a labor arbiter ordering the reinstatement of five workers who were illegally dismissed by Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Co. Limited in 2002.

In a decision written by Justice Minita V. Chico- Nazario, the SC said that the five workers are regular employees and not per project workers as claimed by Hanjin.

Ordered reinstated to their previous posts with full backwages from the time the salaries were withheld and up to the time of actual reinstatement were Felicito Ibanez, Carolino Aligwas, Elmer Gacula, Enrique Dagotdot, and Ruel Calda.

"Due to petitioner’s (Hanjin) failure to adduce any evidence showing that respondents were project employees who had been informed of the duration and scope of their employment, the firm was unable to discharge the burden of proof required to establish that respondent’s dismissal was legal and valid," the SC said.

"Furthermore, it is a well-settled doctrine that if doubts exist between the evidence presented by the employer and that by the employee, the scales of justice must be tilted in favor of the latter. For these reasons, respondents are to be considered regular employees of Hanjin," it ruled.

Justices Consuelo Ynares-Santiago, Ma. Alicia Austria-Martinez, Antonio Eduardo B. Nachura, and Ruben T. Reyes of the SC’s third division concurred with the decision.

Records showed that the five workers were hired by Hanjin on different dates from 1992 to 2000 as members of a work pool for the firm’s projects in North Harbor (1992-1994), Manila International Port (1994-1996), Batangas Port (1996-1998), Batangas Pier, and La Mesa Dam.

The firm claimed that the five workers were hired for the construction of the LRT/MRT Line 2 Package 2 and 3 projects. It said that the five workers were dismissed on April 15, 2002 to reduce its manpower.

But records showed that at the time of the dismissal of the five workers, Hanjin’s MRT projects were still in progress and the firm continued to hire employees to fill the positions vacated by the dismissed workers.

The case filed by the five workers before the labor arbiter was decided in their favor.

When the case reached the SC on appeal by Hanjin from the CA decision, the High Court said that "in this case, where no other evidence was offered, the absence of an employment contract puts into serious question whether the employees were properly informed at the onset of their employment status as project employees."

"Absent any proof that the project employees were informed of their status as such, it will be presumed that they are regular employees in accordance with Clause 3.3(a) of Department Order No. 19, Series of 1993."

The SC noted that Hanjin’s "failure to file termination reports with the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) every time a project is completed indicates that respondentworkers were not project employees."

"Employers cannot mislead their employees, whose work is necessary and desirable in the former’s line of business by treating them as though they are part of a work pool from which workers could be continually drawn and then assigned to various projects and thereafter denied regular status at any time by the expedient filing of a Termination Report," the SC said.

"This would constitute a practice in which an employee is unjustly precluded from acquiring security of tenure, contrary to public policy, morals, good customs and public order," it added.

"In view of the foregoing, the instant petition is denied. This court affirms the assailed decision of the Court of Appeals in CAG.R. SP No. 87474, promulgated on 28 July 2005, declaring that the respondents are regular employees who have been illegally dismissed by Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Company Limited and are therefore entitled to full backwages, separation pay, and litigation expenses," it ruled.

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3 Koreans killed in Olongapo

OLONGAPO CITY -- Three Korean nationals, including a 10-year-old girl, were found dead inside their house early morning on Sunday in Barangay Kabalan, this city.

Suspected robbers broke into the house and stabbed to death a grandmother, her daughter and 10-year-old granddaughter, police said.

The assailants attacked the victims and rifled through drawers for valuables after breaking into the house through an air conditioning unit's opening before dawn, local police Chief Abelardo Villacorta said.

The victims included Chang Suk-hi, 54, who was found sprawled on the floor of a room with stab wounds in the neck.

Her daughter, Yo Sun, 35, and 10-year-old granddaughter Hanuel Beak, were found stabbed to death on a bed in the same room. The two were naked and apparently had been raped, Villacorta added.

The police official said the 11-year-old son of Sun was able to survive the attack probably because the suspects might not have seen him sleeping at the dining room of the house.

"He was even the one who told the caretaker to call the police and led the caretaker inside the room were his grandma, mother and sister were murdered," he said.

Villacorta also said prior to the incident, the family had been receiving death threats from unknown persons. They were also visited by armed men who were extorting money from them.

The victims' house is located at the isolated Iram Resettlement site, which was set up for evacuees of Mt. Pinatubo in the early 90's.

Neighbors of the victims said they heard the dogs of the victims barking at 3 a.m. Sunday, but did not hear any commotion inside the house as it was raining.

Police investigators have yet to establish the identities of the suspects.

Kabalan is near the former US Subic naval base, which has been transformed into an industrial and tourism estate. Many South Koreans have opened businesses and factories in the sprawling estate. (Anthony Bayarong/With AP/Sunnex)
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3 kin of Korean contractor slain

OLONGAPO CITY – The wife, daughter and grandmother of a former Korean contractor of Subic shipbuilder Hanjin Heavy Industries Corp. were stabbed dead in their house here before dawn yesterday.

Former Hanjin contractor Henry Choi, said to be in Korea, has received death threats due to the dismissal of several Hanjin workers, police said.

The attackers took Choi’s cash and killed his wife, Yo Sun, 35; daughter Hanuel Baek, 10; and grandma Chank Hung Hi, 54.

Choi’s son, Sangkheol Beak, 11, reported the crime to the police.

Probers said mother and daughter were molested before they were killed. – Ric Sapnu - PhilStar

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SBMA inks sister port pact with Guangxi, China

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has signed a sister port pact with Guangxi, China to establish mutually beneficial relationships with major economic growth centers in the Asia Pacific region.

The port in Guangxi is considered as China’s gateway to the ASEAN countries.

“Our proximity to China is one edge that Subic must exploit to its advantage,” SBMA chairman Feliciano Salonga said in a statement.

Salonga explained that the sister-port agreement between Subic and Guangxi is expected to pave the way for stronger economic ties with China, which is emerging as a global economic power.

He noted that in Guangxi, the demand for mineral products like iron ore and nickel could be the basic platform to jumpstart the volume of shipment between the two ports.

“We must also learn to match the use of our country’s resources with current and emerging global situations,” Salonga said. “This is why we have fast-tracked the completion of the 600,000-TEU New Container Terminal (NCT 1 and 2) project here in Subic to boost our bid to become a major maritime industry player,” he added.

Salonga signed the agreement recently with Ye Shi Xiang, who chairs the Guangxi Beibu Gulf International Port (Group) Co., Ltd.

The Chinese firm manages three major ports in the Guangxi Zhang Autonomous Region, and is now undertaking projects for a marine terminal and a logistics base.

According to Salonga, SBMA has refocused its development efforts towards the maritime industry as a cornerstone, the port of Subic had initiated tie-ups with major ports around the world, aside from playing a more active role in INAP of which it is a founding member.

SBMA has been entering into partnership agreements with different firms in the past year.

In October, a cooperation agreement between Subic and Maryland’s Foreign Trade Zone led to a sister-port link-up between Subic and the port of Baltimore, now the top-ranking port in the US East Coast.

Later this month, another sister-port agreement will be signed by Subic with the port of San Diego, in California. By Ma. Elisa P. Osorio - PhilStar

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Subic car importers not major players in Cagayan port

Only less than 15 of 50 registered importers of used vehicles at the Subic Bay Freeport have extended their operations to the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport (CSEZF) since last year, each one able to bring in only a maximum of 30 units per shipment, a trader said.

At this rate, it is not true that Subic-based car importers have become the major players at the CSEZF or they have turned the CSEZF as the entry point of imported used vehicles, according to Maribelle Samson, owner and general manager of the Westwood Corp.

Westwood ventured into direct car importation through the CSEZF shortly after the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) enforced the final ruling of the Supreme Court on Executive Order 156. The SBMA has impounded 2,970 cars there since November last year.

Court ruling

The Oct. 30, 2007 resolution of the high court denied the motion of the Motor Vehicles Importers Association of the Subic Bay Freeport to sell used cars outside the free port.

The Feb. 26, 2006 decision, penned by Associate Justice Consuelo Ynares-Santiago, ruled that “motor vehicles that come into the Philippine territory via the secured fenced-in former Subic Naval Base area may be stored, used or traded therein or exported out of the Philippine territory, but they cannot be imported into the Philippine territory outside of the secured fenced-in former Subic Naval Base area.”

Samson’s EMS Corp. has continued importing through Subic free port trucks and heavy equipment, which are not covered by the ban. EMS Corp. also rents out its yard to car importers at Subic.

The 50 car importers at Subic have remained there to recover the 2,970 vehicles valued at a total of P1 billion, she said.

“We’re seeking an amnesty, if not we will re-export [these vehicles],” she said.

Westwood established business at the CSEZF because it had to dispose of its stocks in Japan when the court’s final ruling came. “We needed to find ways to survive,” she said.


Westwood has imported a total of 100 SUVs (sport utility vehicle) and passenger vans at the CSEZF, Samson said.

“It’s ok. The procedures are easier [at the CSEZF] but brokerage rules are stricter and handled by the [Cagayan Economic Zone Authority],” she said.

On the other hand, the procedures at the SBMA took longer, requiring importers to get import permits, pay duties and taxes at the Bureau of Customs, go to the Land Transportation Office for registration and return to the SBMA to obtain gate passes to bring the cars out.

Smugglers will find it difficult to be operating at the CSEZF, she said.

“You can’t bring out the cars until they have license plates. There are many checkpoints from Cagayan to Bataan. The [LTO] is very strict” she said.

Westwood resells used cars in Dinalupihan, Bataan, on a package system. By this, she means that the importer has done everything for the buyer from tax payments to car registration.

The import volume of Subic-based importers is minimal because the CSEZF has no facilities to handle shipments of container vans unlike at the Subic free port.

Subic-based importers brought in 70 units monthly to the free port. At the CSEZF, they can handle only 30 units per shipment, she said.

“Only Ro-Ro (roll on, roll off) ships are available. What we importers do is rent out a ship and bring in the cars in one shipment. Some of us import twice a month,” Samson said.

In good faith

Duties and taxes are paid within 30 to 60 days.

“At the CSEZF, there are no freelance brokers and the CEZA has a counterpart that processes the documents,” Samson said.

She said groups suspecting that there was over-importation or smuggling at the CSEZF should look at documents.

“We cannot be [involved in] smuggling because our clients will lose faith in us. We will go down the drain. Our clients are middle-income earners who cannot afford to buy brand new cars. We do things in good faith in Subic and at Port Irene,” she said.

SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza said the SBMA has not endorsed any locator to the CSEZF. Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

SBMA lespu na trial by publicity

CRYING BABIES ang limang lespu dyan sa SBMA na inireklamo ng isang bebot dahil sa pang momolestiya daw, kotong daw at grave misconduct daw matapos silang kasuhan sa Ulo nga Apo Prosecutor’s Office the other week.

Hay buhay police!
Hindi na babanggitin ng mga kuwago ng ORA MISMO, ang mga name ng SBMA police na kinasuhan dahil sa malaking kahihiyan ito hindi lamang sa kanilang departamento kundi maging sa mga pamilya nila, at maging sa mga biyenan nila, mga friend, kamag-anak, kapatiran, kaaway echetera.

Ang mga ito ay lumabas sa dyaryo na parang mga kontrabida sa isang pelikula at hindi nabigyan ng patas na pamamahayag para ipaalam sa madlang people ang tunay na pangyayari.
Sabi nga, kawawang nilalang!

‘Korte na siguro ang maglilinaw sa kanila kung may kasalanan ba sila o wala’ sabi ng kuwagong SPO-10 sa Crame.

‘Kapos ang kolum ng Chief Kuwago hindi na natin ito mapagkukuwentuhan’
Sabi nga, next time.


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Fifty-one students successfully completed the Caregiver course and received their Certificates of Completion during the 2nd Commencement Exercises of the Department of Vocational and Technical Education (DVTE) of Gordon College at FMA Hall. The rites carried the theme “Setting New Standards for Filipinos in the Global Workforce”.

As the occasion’s guest speaker, Dir. Elizabeth DM. Manio, Provincial Director, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Zambales delivered her message for the graduates.

“Praktikal na dahilan ng mga estudyante ang pag-a-abroad kaya sila kumukuha ng kursong Caregiver. Ang kursong ito ay TESDA accredited na kung saan nakapaloob ang mga skills na dapat nilang malaman when it comes to care giving. Kaya’t sa inyong pagtahak sa iba’t ibang bahagi ng mundo…ipadama niyo ang kakaibang galing ng mga Filipino pagdating sa care giving,” Manio stated.

Vice Mayor Cynthia Cajudo who acted as the representative of Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr., Chairman of Gordon College Board of Trustees awarded the guest speaker with a Certificate of Recognition.

The Certificates of Completion were handed-over to the graduates by Vice Mayor Cajudo, Director Manio.

The graduates who received awards were Jing E. Mostacho as Most Outstanding Student, Juanita Icban who was acknowledged as Best in Hospital Procedures, Myrna Gonzales as Best in Pediatricare and Dexter Amanonce as Best in Geriatric Care.

During Vice Mayor Cajudo’s inspirational message, she emphasized the importance of education and dedication to any job/occupation an individual has.

“Tatahakin niyo na ang real challenges outside the four walls of the classroom. Make Gordon College proud! Good luck sa inyong lahat,” Vice Mayor Cajudo happily stated.

Vice Mayor Cynthia Cajudo delivers her inspirational message for the graduating students during the 2nd Commencement Exercises of the Dept. of Vocational and Technical Education (DVTE) of Gordon College at the FMA hall on the 25th of July. In the picture are (From the right) Froilan Mobo, Head of DVTE, Director Elizabeth DM. Manio of TESDA (guest speaker) and also Prof. Arlida Pame, college president.


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Group protests destruction of mountain in Zambales

PALAUIG, ZAMBALES – The Olongapo-Zambales civil society network, composed of nongovernment organizations pushing Mt. Tapulao here as a mining-free area, staged a protest march in this town on Wednesday to save the mountain from miners and turn it into an ecotourism site.

Mayor Generoso Amog said he is leading moves to declare Tapulao, which Americans used to call “High Peak,” into a “protected area or protected landscape.”

Local officials said pine trees abound in Tapulao, one of the highest peaks in Central Luzon, and its unspoiled environment could rival the attractions of Baguio and Tagaytay cities. They said the mountain has at least eight waterfalls.

Amog said because of mining activities in some of its sections, Tapulao is now “in grave danger.”

“Right now, the miners are tunneling all over the mountain in search for ore and they are putting the summit in danger of collapsing,” he said.

Councilor Eric Alba said mining companies have long been in the area because of chromite ore abundant in Mt. Tapulao.

Amog said the local government and other groups are appealing for the cancellation of the license issued to the C-Square Mining Co., which, he said, has been operating in Mt. Tapulao since he was a boy.

“We are trying to move [to] declare the area a ‘mine-free area,’” he said.

Amog said he hopes to turn Mt. Tapulao into an ecotourism site when C-Square’s permit expires next month.

“That’s why we are appealing to President Macapagal-Arroyo to declare Mt. Tapulao as a protected area so we can turn this into an eco-site for future generations,” he said.

“If we lose Mt. Tapulao to miners, then we would lose a very beautiful spot in Zambales. I hope it doesn’t go to waste,” he said.

Zambales Gov. Amor Deloso said the mining permit granted to C-Square came “from the national level.”

“They have been there for a long, long time,” he said. By Robert Gonzaga - Philippine Daily Inquirer

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Friday, July 25, 2008

P120-M ‘conficetel’ up at Subic

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – Unveiling a new concept in modern condominium living, a Korean property developer here inaugurated on Tuesday the Subic World Plaza (SWP), a P120-million three storey project, the first in a planned series of “conficetels” – condominium office hotel.

Located at the heart of Subic”s central business district, the SWP offers hotel rooms and commercial spaces on the ground floor, and office suites and residentials units on the second and third floors.

“All the units are now available for lease,” said Subic Daesung Corp. (SDC) chairman Kim Tae Wanon Tuesday, adding that residents will have easy access to shopping and dining on the ground floor where he expects restaurants and grocers would put up shops.

“The upper levels, which contain offices and condominium units, are meanwhile intended to provide a certain degree of privacy,” he said.

Kim said the SDC came up with the “conficetel” concept after noting the increasing demand for commercial and residential spaces here in Subic in the last three years, especially among Koran investors and their families when Korean shipbuilder Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Corp. started operations here in 2006.

The firm also noted increasing tourist arrivals after the opening of the Subic – Clark – Tarlac Expressway in April, as well as the growing Korean community in the country.

“Subic has become one of the Philippines’s prime tourist destinations,” Kim pointed out. “Koreans prefer the Philippines, especially Subic, as their place for retirement.”

Because of these factors, Kim said his company is eyeing more “conficetels” here in the immediate future, a statement supported by a ground- breaking for his firm’s Wellis Conficetel project, a P770-million, 13-story edifice that will have a state-of-the-art elevator car parking.

The Wellis will have a total of 384 hotel and condominium units and is expected to be completed in 18 months.

But that’s not all. The Korean developer said that because of “tremendous opportunities” in Subic,, the SDC is planning to construct five conficetels of 17 stories each on a 3-hectare lot at Subic’s Boton Heights commercial and industrial area.

Kim said the five-building conficetel complex would be worth a total of P6.57 billion, putting SDC’s potential capital exposure at P7.64 billion.

In the ground breaking ceremony for the Wellis project, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chairman Feliciano Salonga assured Kim and his compatriots the Subic authority would continue supporting the Korean business community here.

Meanwhile, SWP project consultant Leonardo Mesiano credited the growth of property development projects here to the SBMA’s effective marketing program and the agency’s partnership with operators of Subic’s tourism facilities. By Henry Empeño – Business Mirror

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Job Opportunities in Olongapo-Subic Bay



SBMA signs pact with China

By. Jess Antiporda - PEOPLE JOURNAL

IN a bid to establish mutually-beneficial relations with major economic growth centers in the Asia-Pacific region, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority recently signed a sister-port agreement with Guangxi, considered to be China’s gateway to the ASEAN countries.

SBMA chairman Feliciano Salonga signed the agreement with Ye Shi Xiang, chair of the Guangxi Beibu Gulf International Port (Group) Co., Ltd. The company administers three major ports in the Guangxi Zhang Autonomous Region, and is now undertaking projects for a marine terminal and a logistics base.

Salonga said Ye also agreed to attend this year’s conference of the International Network of Affiliated Ports (INAP) to be hosted by the SBMA on October 28 and 29 at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center here.

The SBMA head said the sister-port agreement between Subic and Guangxi will pave the way for stronger economic ties with China.

In the case of Guangxi, the demand for mineral products like iron ore and nickel “could be the basic platform to jumpstart the volume of shipment between the two ports,” he said.

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SCTEX opens today

WITH the full commercial operations of the 93.77-kilometer Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) following the opening of the remaining 32-kilometer Clark-Tarlac stretch, motorists can expect reliable and expert road assistance from Tollways Management Corporation (TMC), SCTEX interim operator.

The state-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) announced the opening of the Clark-Tarlac segment of the SCTEX on today, at 12:01 a.m.

The SCTEX, which is 93.77 kilometers long, is composed of two segments: the 50.5-km Subic-Clark segment (Package 1), and the 43.27-km Clark-Tarlac segment (Package 2). Package 1 was opened to the public last April 28, 2008.

TMC, which is also the operator of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), has deployed similar roadside assistance services as offered in NLEX such as patrol vehicles and tellers, as well as customer service, management and support staff.

Charly Española, TMC’s division head for the SCTEX, said they have deployed emergency medical services and towing crew, as well as roadside repair technicians in the SCTEX.

TMC is always taking additional measures to ensure that travel within SCTEX is on-time, safe, secure and comfortable. Motorists will continue to receive the following services from its emergency response teams. By: Jun Icban-Legaspi - Journal online

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Foriegn Chambers identify Subic, 4 others as retirement havens

4 foreign chambers identify 5 cities as retirement havens

Four foreign chambers of commerce comprising of Japan, Korea, European and US have identified five areas – Manila, Subic, Tagaytay, Cebu and Dumaguete – as ideal retirement havens in the country that can really provide full service to foreign retirees.

Henry Schumacher, executive vice president of the European Chamber in the Philippines, said the four foreign chambers have already formed the International Chamber of Commerce, Retirement and Healthcare Coalition primarily to promote the Philippines as a retirement market.

"We have to see to it that they will be provided the required amenities and an end-to-end service – from the time they arrive at the airport to caretaker down to undertaker," Schumacher said.

"We believe the retirement market is an exciting market for the Philippines and if we want to be known as a retirement haven then we have to move now," Schumacher said.

According to Schumacher, the five cities have been chosen as priority areas as the country’s retirement sites largely due to their excellent medical facilities to serve the medical needs of foreign retirees, who may decide to make the Philippines their second home.

The five cities have excellent medical facilities and have the right environment for retirees to stay longer in the country. By BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILAT - Manila Bulletin

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Mayor confident of EO 500B's passage

CLARK FREEPORT -- Mabalacat Mayor Marino Morales has expressed confidence that Executive Order (EO) 500-B would be passed, citing "the solidarity demonstrated by Clark investors and locators which was instrumental in the signing of the Freeport Law."

During a recent general assembly of the Clark Investors and Locators Association (Cila), Morales said the signing of Republic Act (RA) 9400 or the Freeport Law "was greatly influenced by the united efforts" shown by investors inside the Freeport.

The signing of Freeport Law, he added, "is a precedent" that could convince President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to order for the immediate passage of EO 500-B.

"Your display of unity and solidarity has played a vital role in the signing of RA 9400 which is why I am confident that the President will call for the speedy issuance of Executive Order 500-B before she steps down (from office) in 2010," Morales said.

EO 500-B allows more international flights at the 2,200-hectare Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA).

Last February this year, the President approved in principle the proposed EO 500-B that will amend the existing EO 500-A issued in August 2006. EO 500-A amended the original EO 500 released in January 2006.

Cila president Jeannie Del Rosario-Ng earlier wrote President Arroyo reiterating their appeal for the immediate passage of EO 500-B that would open more flights at DMIA.

"There is a pressing need for the passage of EO 500-B which will attract more flights at DMIA," del Rosario-Ng said in her letter to the President.

Morales also cited the recent agreement signed by Cila and the Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce (SBFCC) as they vowed to join forces in the development of Subic, Clark, and the Central Luzon Growth Corridor.

"The alliance forged between these two business groups (Cila and SBFCC) assures the President in her vision to make Clark and Subic the most competitive services and logistics hub in the Asia-Pacific region," the mayor said.

He also announced that a Central Business District would soon rise in a 3,000-hectare area in Mabalacat. He that he will ask the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) to accommodate the Mabalacat's central business district in order to allow Clark investors to use the area for their expansion projects.

He urged Cila members and other Clark investors "to consider" his offer as he noted "saturation of leasable areas in the 4,200-hectare main zone of the Clark Freeport."

Morales also said Mabalacat is highly dependent on the growth of Clark's economy citing the two percent income the municipality gets from the Freeport's Gross Income Earned (GIE).

He said Mabalacat is receiving P387 million from the two percent local government unit (LGU) share it gets from Clark. He noted that its LGU share would increase to about P700 million when Mabalacat becomes a component city, he said. (RGN - SunStar)

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Nuns: No to reversal of ‘Nicole’ ruling

CONCERNED groups are closely watching developments in the controversial Subic rape case that is now under review by the Court of Appeals.

US Marine Lance Corporal Daniel Smith was convicted in 2006 by the Makati Regional Trial Court for raping a 22-year-old Filipino known only as “Nicole.”

A religious order, the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM), on Thurs-day asked the appellate court to remain firm amid supposed pressure and dictates from external powerful forces.

“We appeal to you to uphold the integrity of the Philippine judicial system and Philippine sovereignty by confirming the decision of the lower court,” the IHM said in a letter to Presiding Justice Conrado Vasquez Jr.

It added that the evidence is strong against Smith but expressed fear that “dictates from Malacañang or pressures/threats from the US Embassy will eventually result in the acquittal of Smith.”

“We are concerned that at least two justices have already inhibited themselves or resigned from handling the rape case for whatever reason or reasons,” the letter said.

Members of Task Force Subic Rape, an organization keeping watch over the controversial rape case, had also appealed to the justices’ sense of fairness and independence.

“We got information that a justice is preparing the decision to reverse [Makati Regional Trial Court] Judge Benjamin Pozon’s verdict,” said Yuen Abana of the Partido ng Manggawa, a part of the Task Force. “We are not entirely surprised because we saw how the US exerted pressure on the GMA [Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo] government just to have Smith turned over to them after the guilty verdict.” By William B. Depasupil, Manila Times

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sports hotel to rise in Subic Freeport

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT - A $1-million "sports hotel" featuring an Olympic-sized swimming pool will soon boost the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority's (SBMA)thrust to promote Subic as a major sports destination not only in Luzon or in the Philippines, but in Asia as well.

Raul Marcelo, SBMA deputy administrator for tourism, said the Korean firm Platinum Sports Subic, Inc. (PSSI) is now building a four-story, 45-room hotel on a 5,992-sqm site near the free port's main gate.

"This is a benchmark for Subic's sports tourism program," said Marcelo. "This hotel would feature facilities primarily geared to sports professionals and enthusiasts, hence the tag 'sports hotel'."

PSSI corporate secretary Elma Caquilala said the concept was inspired by a similar establishment in Dubai, which has attracted a huge patronage because of its unique amenities.

"We targeted this particular niche since we saw the emergence of Subic as a sports destination, aside from the fact that the investor is a sports enthusiast himself," said Caquilala.

She added that Subic is an ideal location for a sports hotel because of its strategic location, the soothing environment conducive to sports activities, and the security offered by SBMA.

The project, as approved by the SBMA board of directors in August last year, would include a state-of-the-art gym, sports shops, a kids' pool, and PSSI's major commitment to the SBMA - an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

"That is exactly what Subic lacks," Marcelo said, pointing out that when Subic hosted the 3rd Philippine Olympic Festival qualifying games in April, the swimming events had to be conducted outside the free port for lack of facilities.

"That would not be the case anymore with this project. Finally, Subic could now host swimming competitions," he said.

The Olympic-sized pool, which is being built according to world standards, would be located near existing sports facilities here like the Remy Field oval, the Subic basketball gym, and tennis and badminton courts.

Construction of the hotel was started on May 20 by contractor Vision 3000, with completion scheduled in December. Marcelo also said that the Subic Bay Freeport is fast becoming a major sports venue, which has hosted several national and international sports events like the 23rd Southeast Asian Games in 2005, the Philippine Olympic Festival, as well as international chess tournaments, regattas and triathlon events.

He added that the SBMA is continuously improving its facilities to draw more sports-tourism events here, and has recently solicited proposals to convert the golf course here to world-class, professional tournament venue.

He also announced that Subic will be hosting several sports events in the coming weeks. These include the Petron Ladies' Beach Volleyball Tournament on July 25-26, the ITU-Asian 03 Long distance Triathlon on August 2, the Philippine Sports Fishing Club's fishing tourney at the Alava Pier on August 3, and the Jet Sports Association of the Philippines' jet ski competition on August 23.- Jess Malabanan - ABS CBN

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Mining company warns on bogus representatives

By Marvyn Benaning – Manila Bulletin

Zambales Chromite Minign Corp. Inc. (ZCMC) has warned the people about certain parties passing themselves as representatives of the firm and selling what it termed as non-existent minerals ores.

In a statement, ZCMC claimed that the company has been receiving reports from investment bank officers that a certain businesswoman from the province was trying to sell chromites from the ZCMC area.

The company maintained that it has no previous or current business or contractual relations with them and asked those approached to report the matter to the police.

Neither ZCMC nor the department of the Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) authorized anybody to extract one from or to engage in any mining activity in the area covered by the Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) No. 005-91-111 granted by the national government to ZCMC.

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Job Opportunities in Olongapo-Subic Bay



$4.5-M Clark tourism project pushed

CLARK Freeport Zone -- The Clark Dev’t Corp. (CDC) and officials of New Well Being Spa City Corp. have agreed to establish another tourism-related project that would infuse an initial investment of $4.5 million.

Cho Young Ho, president of New Well Being Spa Corp., said the successful operations of the firm gave birth to Ritzville Corp., which signed the lease agreement with the CDC.

CDC President Liberato P. Laus and Ho, who is also president of Ritzville Corp., cemented the deal with the signing of a memorandum of agreement at the Carworld Corp. Headquarters in City of San Fernando.

Laus said the project will be situated in a 5.5-hectare area near the New Well Being Spa. The Korean firm plans to construct high-end residential villas, specialty restaurants, and other tourism-related facilities.

The project, Laus said, could complement the spa and other amenities of New Well Being like the recently completed condominium-hotel that caters mostly to Korean and other foreign tourists frequenting the Freeport.

At the signing, Laus and Cho were accompanied by Ritzville Corp. Director Ki Young Hong.

Laus said he signed his first lease agreement with Cho shortly after being appointed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as the president and chief executive officer of the state-owned firm in Oct. 2006.

After signing the first agreement, Laus noted that New Well Being Spa Corp. leased the 1.2-hectare area which transformed the former Red Wood club houses into a world-class tourism project inside the Clark Freeport. By: Bernard Galang - JOurnal online

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Job Opportunities in Olongapo-Subic Bay




The City Tourism Office has launched the search for Bb. Olongapo. The said program aims to acknowledge the exceptional qualities of Olongapeñas who will represent our city in the upcoming Bb. Pilipinas.

Female Filipino citizens and residents of Olongapo, 18-25 years of age, at least 5’4’’ in height, possesses charm, intelligence and grace may sign up for the pageant. Those interested may call the City Tourism Office and look for Ms. Maureen Magrata at 224-1468/1471 or text at 09298894255 and look for Mr. Rio Cercado.

Preliminary screening has already started on June 2, 2008 at the Olongapo City Convention Center. Deadline for submission of application forms will be on August 8, 2008.

The winner of the Bb. Olongapo title will represent the city in the search for Bb. Pilipinas 2008.




The accusations made by the program ‘Imbestigador’ of GMA 7 in its episode aired on July 12, 2008 against James L. Gordon Memorial Hospital (JLGMH), are blatantly false and biased, that is what Dr. Arturo Mendoza, Chief of Hospital of JLGMH stressed in defense of the good reputation of the hospital. The portrayal of the hospital in the particular segment of the program was unfair and unbalanced.

"In the episode, a patient of JLGMH complained that her newborn child, delivered in the hospital, acquired maggots inside the ear while confined in the hospital. The footages showed that parts of the hospital were unclean but many of the footages that were taken proving otherwise were not shown or cut during the program,” Mendoza said in his letter addressed to Marissa Flores, Senior Vice President of News and Public Affairs of GMA Network.

According to Mendoza, his interview where he explained that the baby was thoroughly checked and was even examined with an otoscope (a device which enables the doctor to view the ear canal of the patient), was cut and not aired during the program.

“My statement during my interview would have made a lot of difference in defense to the accusation that the worms have been acquired inside the hospital. Even the portion where I allowed them to video the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) where the baby was confined was only shown partially,” Dr. Mendoza said.

The footage showing the three doors one has to go through before entering the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), which is part of the policy to maintain the cleanliness and sterility of the area, was not shown either. Dr. Mendoza also said that one of the camera crew taking the footage of the NICU remarked that “hindi nga basta makakapasok ang langaw dito.”

Apparently, the source was not a constituent of Olongapo City but out of the numerous hospitals in the city nearby provinces, she chose to have her baby delivered in JLGMH.

The source also complained about JLHMH’s policy restricting visitors and relatives inside the facilities, particularly in the Nursery and Rooming-in. The policy is strictly enforced so as not to risk outside contamination and bring threats to the well-being of patients, especially to the newborn.

It was also shown in the program that the complainant’s house is located in an open field with no flooring that poses a greater possibility that if any fly would have a chance to lay its egg in the baby’s ear, it would be during the time that the baby was brought to the house.

The opened windows featured in the program were not taken in the rooming-in but from other wards of the hospital. The windows of the rooming-in area are painted blue and kept closed at all times to prevent a breach in the cleanliness of the ward.

In the nursery, aside from the three doors that one has to go through before entering the area, nurses, doctors and other personnel are tasked to wear gowns and masks, a rule which is strictly enforced as part of sterility measures.

The hospital has gained respect and is being patronized by many patients because of its excellent service and cleanliness.

JLGMH is solely funded by the City Government of Olongapo, led by Mayor James “Bong” Gordon Jr. but due to the fact that many of the patients coming to the hospital are from different areas such as Zambales, Bataan, Pampanga and even as far as Pangasinan, the hospital serves as a ‘regional hospital’.

It also served as the base hospital during the Asia Pacific Economic Council (APEC) when it was held in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone (SBFZ). It is also the base hospital for different companies and foreign TriCare patients.

“The hospital has been awarded with a ‘Sentrong Sigla’ seal and unlike in the program where it was sarcastically suggested that the hospital did not deserve the award, the hospital is a center for excellence and cleanliness which is attested by its outstanding performance and track-record,” Mendoza concluded.

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Girl, 18, sues 5 SBMA cops

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – An 18-year-old girl accused five policemen from the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority of robbing and sexually harassing her on June 10, after a fight with her boyfriend in one of the restaurants here.

In her complaint filed with the Olongapo City prosecutor’s office, the girl also charged the five policemen with extortion, acts of lasciviousness and grave misconduct.

The Inquirer learned about the attack on the girl only this week. The SBMA had been keeping the incident away from the media until the girl filed a complaint with the prosecutor’s office early this month.

In her complaint, the girl said she left the Magic Lagoon restaurant here on June 10 after a misunderstanding with her boyfriend.

As she was walking toward the freeport’s main gate at around 2 a.m., the five policemen accosted her. When they asked for her identification, they allegedly handcuffed her, took P8,000 of her money, forcibly removed her clothes, and sexually molested her.

An employee of Magic Lagoon said he found the girl sitting near the road at about 3 a.m., crying and looking dazed. By Robert Gonzaga - Philippine Daily Inquirer

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Job Opportunities in Olongapo-Subic Bay



SBMA lifts CDO vs Hanjin

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – The seven-day cease-and-desist-order issued against the Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines for the death of another worker in its shipyard here was lifted by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority on July 18, two days before it expired.

The SBMA issued the clearance to Hanjin “as soon as the Public Health and Safety Department (PHSD) concluded its comprehensive inspection of the facility,” said lawyer Ramon Agregado, SBMA senior deputy administrator.

The CDO was issued July 14 in connection with the July 12 death of Benje Gamolo, a worker in the firm’s Assembly Shop C.

PHSD’s investigation found that Gamolo’s death was accidental. It said the accident occurred while a crew, which included Gamolo, was installing an eight-ton support beam as it was starting to rain.

Investigators said all the members in Gamolo’s crew had “extensive experience” and were wearing complete protective equipment.

Gamolo, the structural erector or rigger, was communicating with the crane operator using “international standard hand signals,” investigators said.

They noted that the crew members, who had been working for nine hours, “were trying to finish the installation before the weather worsened.” By Robert Gonzaga - Inquirer Central Luzon Desk

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Subic ultra triathlon features 13 nations

Elite ultra triathletes from the United States, Britain, Switzerland and nine other countries will challenge their Filipino counterparts in the first Asian O3 Long Distance Triathlon at the Subic Bay Freeport on Aug. 2.

Participants will test their skills to the limit in the 4-kilometer swim, 120-km bike and 30-km run event—thrice the Olympic distance of 1.5 km swim, 40 km bike and 10 km run.

Other entries will come from the Czech Republic, France, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong.

The event is the fourth foray of the Triathlon Association of the Philippines in hosting continental races after the Asian Triathlon Championship, Asian Duathlon Championship and Asian Aquathlon Championship.

Trap president and Asian Triathlon Confederation senior vice president Tom Carrasco said they expect the first finisher to cross the tape in six hours and 45 minutes to seven hours.

“However, we will close shop 12 hours from the start or just before dusk sets in,” Carrasco said.

The championship in a standard triathlon will also be disputed. It will be part of the evaluation process of the members of the national team and national pool eyeing tickets to the 1st Asian Bali Beach Games and to various legs of the Asia Cup series.

Apart from individual overall and age-group competitions, team (four triathletes with best three times to count) and relay contests are likewise on tap.

Also at stake are prizes for the fastest in swimming, fastest in cycling and fastest in running. The contenders need to land in the upper half of the finish list to qualify for the special awards. By Romina Austria - Philippine Daily Inquirer

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Belly-dancing contest at Subic

The big event of the week on my SkyCable Platinum cable TV subscription (took me two years to get it) was not US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s testimony but Miss Universe.

By Ron Nathan - Philippine Daily Inquirer
Every imaginable precaution was taken to protect me. On the table in front of me were my blood pressure pills, my asthma sprays, tranquilizers, a nebulizer, blood pressure monitor and even a ventilator. Standing by were two doctors, one a cardiologist. I declined the services of a priest.

As soon as I saw Miss Venezuela (her figure curves in four dimensions), I announced confidently that she would win. The swimsuit contest was titillating and when the girls walked down the ramp two abreast, my thoughts went down mammary lane. I hope Miss USA enjoyed the trip. Next month, there will be a belly-dancing contest televised from Subic. Why Subic? Because it is a navel base.

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PICHAY offered SBMA post

Arroyo offered OWWA post aside from SBMA, ex-solon says

OFW groups express opposition to Pichay appointment to OWWA

By Veronica Uy, Maila Ager - INQUIRER.net
Overseas Filipino worker groups have expressed opposition to the possible appointment of a former congressman and losing administration senatorial candidate to the top post of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.

The Center for Migrant Advocacy and the Philippine Migrant Rights Watch said they wanted someone from the ranks of OFWs to handle OWWA and its billions of dollars in OWWA membership fees which they feared might be used for the 2010 elections.

Reports are rife that former Surigao congressman Prospero "Butch" Pichay, who ran for senator under the administration ticket, could take over the helm of the OWWA.

Pichay confirmed to INQUIRER.net that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo had offered him the top OWWA post and the chairmanship of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority and that there were also other offers of Cabinet positions.

He refused to elaborate however on the Cabinet offers “in deference to sitting officials.”

“OWWA at Subic. Iyan ang talagang inoffer ng President -- a few months ago pa [OWWA and Subic. That is what the President really offered -- a few months ago],” said Pichay who was in Vietnam.

Pichay said that he was considering the OWWA post.

“Maraming offer [There are a lot of offers] but I’m still trying to think about all these offers. In a few weeks, makaka-decide na ako [I can decide]. Inaasikaso ko pa ang negosyo [I am just attending to my business].”

OFW groups which spearheaded the drive to pass the Overseas Absentee Voting Law several years ago have launched a campaign to put Mike Bolos, an accountant who has worked for more than 20 years in Saudi Arabia to head OWWA.

Heeding the government's call for overseas Filipinos to return to the country and contribute to its development, Bolos has since returned to the Philippines to start several business enterprises.

Rashid Fabricante, of the Pinoy-abroad-forum and elagda-Riyadh, started the e-mail thread with the suggestion that OFW groups and migrant rights organizations should lobby for OFW representation at OWWA.

OWWA, which is tasked to promote and protect the well-being of OFWs, was previously headed by Marianito Roque until he was appointed secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment when his predecessor Arturo Brion became associate justice of the Supreme Court.

The attached agency of DoLE does not get any budgetary allocation from the government. It lives solely off the $25- membership fee of every departing OFW.

While the membership fee is supposed to be paid by the leaving OFW's employer, the OFW in most cases pay for the amount.

OFW groups have sought more representation in OWWA and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, the other DoLE-attached agency concerned with OFWs.

There are an estimated eight million Filipinos who live and work overseas while some 3,000 leave the country every day.

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This is a joint private blog of volunteers from Subic Bay. It is being maintained primarily to collate articles that may be of importance to decision making related to the future of Subic Bay and as a source of reference material to construct the history of Subic Bay.

The articles herein posted remains the sole property of original authors and publications which has full credits to the articles.

Disclaimer: Readers should conduct their own research and due diligence before using any article herein posted for whatever intended purpose it may be. This private web log will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by a reader's reliance on information obtained from volunteers of this private blog.

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