Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Monday, March 31, 2008

Lacbain, binantaan ni Mayor Khonghun

Task Force Chairman Ramon Lacbain binantaan ni Mayor Khonghun ng Subic

Subic, Zambales- “ Magkakagulo dito pag humawak ka pa ng mike (mikropono)” mariin na banta ni Subic Mayor Jeffrey Khonghun kay dating Bise-gobernador at ngayon ay Task Force Hanjin Chairman Ramon Lacbain matapos nitong agawan ng mikropono habang ito ay nagsasalita sa ginawang meeting kaharap si Zambales Governor Amor Deloso at ang mahigit 200 residente sa sa Sitio Nagyantok , Cawag Subic, Zambales kahapon.

Nagtungo si Gob. Amor Deloso at ang buong grupo ng Task Force Hanjin sa pamumuno ni dating bise Gobernador Ramon Lacbain sa Sitio Nagyantok, Cawag, Subic, Zambales matapos na pumunta ang mga resident e ng naturang lugar na apektado ng gingawang expansion ng P1.6 Billion na projekto ng Hanjin Heavy Industries, Inc. (HHIC) sa opisina ng Gobernador upang humingi ng tulong sa nag-aambang demolisyon sa kanilang lugar.

Hindi naman inaasahan ng grupo na sasalubungin sila ni Mayor Jeffrey Khonghun sa naturang lugar , ngunit ganon pa man ay malugod namang pinasalamatan ng Gobernador ang kanyang ginawang pagsalubong dito.

Sa ginanap na programa, isa-isang inilahad ng mga residente ng Sitio Nagyantok ang kanilang karaingan sa Gobernador katulad ng relokasyon, kompensasyon, kabuhayan at di pa tapos na pasilidad katulad ng tubig, koryente ,daan at eskwelahan sa ginawang relokasyon .

Isa-isang nagsalita si Gob. Deloso, Mayor Khonghun, SBMA Ecology Chair Ameth De LLana- Koval upang saguting ang lahat ng katanungan ng mga residente.

Sa mensahe ni Mayor Khonghun sinabi niya na mayroong itatayong eskuwelahan, simbahan, plaza, healtlh center, at day care center.

Sa mensahe ni Task Force Chairman Ramon Lacbain, binigyan niya ng diin na masuwerte ang mga residente ng Sitio Nagyantok at mayroon silang Gobernador ngayon na makikinig sa kanilang karaingan hindi katulad ng naranasan ng mga taga Sitio-Agusuhin sa nakaraang administrayon na naging biktima din ng demolisyon at hanggang ngayon ay walang maayos na relokasyon at kompensasyon.

Sinabi rin ni Lacbain na ang kaslukuyang kaso ng Sitio Nagyantok ay hindi muna pinakilaaman ng opisina ni Gob. Deloso at Task Force Hanjin sapagkat may kasunduan sila na SBMA , Hanjin at Gawad Kalinga muna ang aayos sa problemang ito hanggat walang reklamo mula sa mga residente na idudulog sa opisina ng Gobernador.

Dagdag pa niya na sapagkat lumapit na ang mga tao sa opisina ng Gobernador kaya nagsagawa ang Task Force Hanjin ng inspekyon noong Marso 29 sa Relocation Site para sa Nagyantok na ginawa ng Gawad Kalinga.

“Sa araw na ito ang available na bahay na puedeng tirahan ay 100 na bahay, sa araw na ito ay wala pa pong tubig at koryente, sa araw na ito marami pa po ang mga bahay na hindi pa tapos, sa araw na ito yung mga daan ay hindi pa rin tapos,sa araw na ito ang elementary school building ay sinisimulan pa lang gawin, sa araw na ito ang high school building pinaplano pa lang gawin,sa araw na ito ang retaining wall ay hindi pa rin tapos at ito ay delikado para sa mga taga Sitio Nagyantok, at ang drainage ay hindi pa rin tapos at delikado para sa mga residente, kaya kami po sa Task Force Hanjin sa harap po ng mga taga Sitio Nagyantok nirerekomenda po namin kay Gob. Deloso na hindi pa panahon para ilipat ang mga taga Nagyantok, sapagkat naniniwala po kami na hindi pa handa ang relocation site “ mensahe ni Lacbain na tinugunan naman ng malakas na palakpak at sigawan ng mga residente ng Nagyantok.

Sa puntong ito ay tumayo si Mayor Khonghun at inagaw ang mikropono kay Lacbain at sinabi niya, ”Alam mo mon masama yang ginagawa mo, ginagawa mo kaming sinungaling! Wala naman ganyanan, wala namang ganyanan!”

Habang sumisigaw ang mga mga tao ng “Boo!....Boo! “ di pa rin binigay ni Mayor Khonghun ang mikropono at sinabing” sa harapan ginagawa mo akong sinungaling eh.. sinasabi ko lamang sa inyo ang pinag-usapan natin noon, hindi ko sinasabing tapos na o hindi pa.. ang sinsabi ko sa inyo ay meron diba? meron.. pero wag mo namang sasabihin sa harap ko na sinasabi nila kanina ay meron.. sinasabi ko gagawin kung meron gagawin.. mahirap naman yan ramon yan ginagawa mo eh sa harap ni gobernor parang ano…at saka yang report mo dapat direkta ka lang kay gobernor.. hindi tama yan…”

“ Kung tapos ka na mayor pwedeng mahiram na ang mike at tatapusin .. “ sabi ni Lacbain

“HINDI! HINDI KA NA HAHAWAK NG MIKE DITO!MAGKAKAGULO DITO AG HUMAWAK KA PA NG MIKE!..”mariing banta ni Mayor Khonghun kay Lacbain.

Sa puntong ito ay namagitan ang Gobernador Amor Deloso upang hindi magkagulo.

Sinabi ni Gob. Deloso na kaya siya narito ay para ayusin ang lahat. “ lets put things in order.. anyway nandito na ako mga kapatid no..at lahat ng isyu dito ay aking pakikinggan at aayusin”.

Naging maayos naman ang sumunod pang pag-uusap sapagkat pinakinggan ng mga residente ang Gobernador.

“ Maraming salamat po sa pagpunta niyo dito, kung wala kayo di naming alam kung sino ang magtatanggol sa amin sa kalagayan naming ngayon” bigkas kay Gobernador ng isang residente ng Sitio Nagyantok ng ito ay umalis.

“Hanga kami kay Lacbain, ipinakita niya ang pagkamahinahon sa ginawa ni Mayor, di ito kumibo kahit binastos na siya” sambit ng isang residente ng tanungin ko kung ano ang masasabi sa mga pangyayari. By: Belen Figueras

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RP, Japan ink P17-B loan pact for Clark-Subic road

By Tonette Orejas - Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines will sign on Monday a 17.1-billion yen or P7.18-billion supplemental loan agreement with Japan to finance the completion of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) project.

The agreement will be signed by Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) president and chief executive officer Narciso Abaya and officials of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).

Abaya said he had obtained authority from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to sign the agreement.

The BCDA has also received the approval of the Monetary Board and the exchange of notes between the Japanese government and the Department of Foreign Affairs.

On Thursday, Japanese Ambassador Makoto Katsura and Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo signed and exchanged notes for the supplemental loan at DFA headquarters in Pasay City.
With the supplemental loan, the total SCTEx project cost has reached 59 billion yen (approximately P24.7 billion).

“With an interest rate of 0.95 percent per annum and a 40-year repayment period with a 10-year grace period, this yen loan provides the most concessional terms among various funding sources,” the Japanese Embassy said in a statement.

The BCDA provided the 15-percent counterpart fund, it added.

Abaya said the supplemental loan would cover the shortfall of the original loan worth 41.9 billion yen, pay for the price increases in construction materials, and the cost of building two interchanges in Pampanga and an interchange and an access road to Clark.

Negotiations with HTN and the Kajima Corp., Obayashi Corp., JFE Engineering Corp. and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (KOJM) Joint Venture, which built the Subic-Clark portion, for the additional work will start in the second week of April.

“We will tap the same contractors since the interchanges and the access roads are variations,” Abaya said.

The Porac and Floridablanca interchanges will be built by KOJM while the Clark South Interchange and Panday Pira access road will be undertaken by HTN.

The road will be connected to the Clark North Interchange to provide direct access to the freeport

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P&G taps Red Cross: Safeguarding against common diseasesBy

Philippine Star - Conrado M. Diaz Jr.

Sen. Richard Gordon cherishes his additional role as the newest endorser for Procter & Gamble’s nationwide campaign to promote proper hygiene to Filipino children.

“This has now brought me full circle in P&G,” the Zambales-born lawmaker points out.
Before he took up law practice and rose to political prominence as Olongapo mayor, Subic chief, Tourism Secretary and now as senator, Gordon worked at the local P&G unit, his first job after graduating from the Ateneo de Manila University.

Specifically, he was brand manager for Safeguard, the leading anti-bacterial soap in the country, which is at the forefront of the “Protect 5 Handwashing Program” currently being implemented by P&G, its long-time partner Philippine Association of Medical Technologists (PAMET), the US-based Medical Wellness Association (MWA) and the Philippine National Red Cross.

This time, Gordon, who appeared in the “Limang Banta” Safeguard TV commercial for the campaign, pitched in in his capacity as Red Cross chairman.

“It was not too difficult for P&G to convince Sen. Gordon to agree with the partnership as he did it for the love of both Safeguard and Red Cross,” said Anna Legarda, brand PR manager for Safeguard.

“One reason is because he has an affinity with the company and the brand. In the early part of his professional career, Sen. Gordon worked for P&G and he once became the brand manager for Safeguard. For this reason alone, it was not such a difficult decision for him to say yes.”

The handwashing campaign aims to teach Filipino children the proper way of washing their hands to protect themselves against five common diseases caused by germs: diarrhea, cough, colds, pneumonia and skin rashes.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has noted that common health problems such as these five diseases are at the root of over 80 percent of the incidence of illness worldwide.

However, studies have shown that frequent and proper handwashing with a good anti-bacterial soap is one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to protect a person from these diseases. In fact, a study conducted by the US Center for Disease Control showed that the simple habit of proper handwashing with anti-bacterial soap can reduce the incidence of these diseases by up to 50 percent.

Safeguard’s handwashing program is anchored on the “5-5-5” mission: to teach five kids every hour for the next five years on proper handwashing as protection against the five common health threats.

As Red Cross chairman, Gordon is leading the agency in its new task of teaching Filipino children —particularly those in calamity-prone areas — the proper way to wash their hands.

He said their role is vital in the campaign as the common diseases mentioned easily plague disaster areas and evacuation centers due to unsanitary conditions that often prevail in these areas in times of disasters and calamities. Moreover, children are also the most vulnerable to these diseases.

And as a gesture of his genuine commitment to the Red Cross, Gordon also donated the full amount of his talent fee from the TV advertisement to the organization so it can sustain its social services.

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

No rice shortage seen in C. Luzon

Tonette Orejas - Inquirer

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, Philippines—The seven provinces in Central Luzon will not experience a shortage in rice supply, at least in the next three months starting April, top officials of the Department of Agriculture and National Food Authority in the region said in separate interviews on Saturday.

A deficit was not expected because harvests from 640,913 hectares of rice lands in the region were projected to increase by 8 percent over last year’s dry season output of 2.942 million metric tons (MT), according to Redentor Gatus, DA regional director.

Hybrid varieties yield an average of 5.7 MT per hectare while certified or good seeds give out 4 MT per hectare.

Dry season in the region starts from November to April, and usually supports consumption for 57 days.

The uses of hybrid and certified varieties, soil ameliorant, organic fertilizers, drought-resistant seeds and farming technologies are among the major reasons seen for the anticipated rise in harvest volume, Gatus said.

“We do not expect a shortage. Rice production is sufficient in Central Luzon,” he said.
The DA will also encourage an early wet planting season by May. This paningit (supplement) stage will rely on water available from the Upper Pampanga River Irrigation System.

Rice trading intended for Metro Manila will not corner much of the region’s supply as only 20 percent is sold to the country’s capital, Gatus said.

In 2007, Aurora produced 88,317 MT; Bataan, 131,843 MT; Bulacan 304,849 MT; Nueva Ecija 1,356,161 MT; Pampanga 390,290 MT; Tarlac, 557,943 MT; and Zambales, 112,710 MT.

In Pampanga, however, provincial agriculture officer Mario Mangiliman said more than 50 percent of palay are bought by rice traders from Nueva Ecija and Tarlac.

Gov. Eddie Panlilio has called for a rice summit next week to check the province’s capacity to address the looming rice shortage.

Nicolas Crisostomo, NFA regional director, said most of the agency’s 40 warehouses in the region remained filled with 1.465 million bags (50 kilograms each) as of Friday.

At an average daily consumption of 63,000 bags, the stock will last for 22 days, he said.

According to Crisostomo, rice supply in commercial establishments stood last week at 1.304 million bags. On the other hand, stocks in households grossed 1.775 million bags. These supplies are enough to last for 19 days and 26 days, respectively.

Central Luzon has a total supply of 4.543 million bags of rice for 67 days before the harvest for the dry season starts in mid-April, he said.

Crisostomo placated worries over scarcity in supply, saying Central Luzon expects 2.1 million bags in import allocations.

Two ships arrived last week, unloading 480 bags for the region. The vessel, Morning Star, will arrive on Tuesday carrying 573,000 bags for Central Luzon and 225,000 bags for Cagayan Valley.

Rice prices in the region increased at an average of P3 in the market last week. Well-milled rice was sold at P26 a kg while NFA rice was sold at P18.25 a kg.

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San Fernando awaits EO 712 directive

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The City Legal Office here has finally broken its silence on the issue of the Executive Ordinance (EO) 712 amid national and local clamor for local government units (LGUs) to implement the order.

City Legal Officer Ramsey Ocampo said the City Government has not received any directive regarding the EO.

EO 712, which was signed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo last March 11, seeks to pacify complaints on the establishment of common transport terminals by the LGUs in their respective areas of jurisdiction.

Other complaints include rerouting schemes in violation of authorized routes as provided for in the transport organizations' respective certificates of public convenience issued by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the enactment of various ordinances which result in additional cost to operators and drivers like the mandatory purchase of stickers and driver's identification cards.

The City Government has been silent for the last several days on whether or not it would implement the EO.

Ocampo said last Friday that the Malacañang order has not reached them. "I have heard about it but we haven't received any directive on it yet," he said despite the ordinance is set to be implement after 15 days that it was signed.

The city legal officer said they are still waiting for the directive from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the results of the two pending cases regarding the much controversial City Central Transport Terminal (CCTT).

The CCTT has been the subject of criticism for allegedly providing as an "effective milking cow" for city councilors who allegedly own some of the stalls in the CCTT under proxy names.

The terminal is also being criticized for having more stalls than seats for commuters waiting for their transport aside for the extra fare burden on commuters accessing the terminal.

Transport operators and drivers have expressed optimism on the EO.

Bataan Transit, one of the big bus companies affected by the CCTT, has filed opposition in court and has been continuing its operation in its former location along Jose Abad Santos Avenue (formerly Olongapo Gapan Road).

This is aside from a similar case filed by Victory Liner, which was able to obtain a temporary restraining order (TRO) from using the CCTT.

The two cases are now being heard in Branches 44 and 47 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) here.

EO 712 has directed the DILG to suspend the practice of "the establishment and operation of new and existing transport terminals that charge fees and require compulsory use by public utility vehicles (PUVs)" of which may adversely affect the operation of the San Fernando Terminal.

However, the DILG seems to be lukewarm on how to proceed with the implementation of the ordinance.

Lawyer Ofelio Tactac of the DILG said the EO has different aspects that fall under a joint agency effort.

"It involves other agencies," Tactac said, adding that the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has a say on the issues regarding franchises and the likes.

He said the central office of the DILG has issued an "advisory" on the EO but it has yet to issue a directive on the implementation of the EO.

"We will be seeking clarification regarding how to implement the EO," Tactac said, adding that the LGUs in the province would adhere to the EO of the President.

"I think they (LGUs) would comply with the President's order. In the President's province, I don't think that it would be a problem," he said.

Drivers and operators here, on the other hand, are "restless" for the implementation of the EO. By Ian Ocampo Flora - SunStar

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Olongapo hosts POF kickoff

THE FIRST LEG OF THE 3RD PHILIPPINE Olympic Festival kicks off on April 2 when Olongapo City and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) jointly host the Central Northern Luzon – CAR (CNC – CAR), qualifying games.

Olongapo CITy Mayor James Gordo, Jr. SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza and Philippine Olympic Committee and festival chair Robert Aventajado signed a Memorandum of Agreement recently that sealed the deal for the hosting.

The venues for the sports competitions that will be held in Olongapo such as swimming, football, muaythai, power lifting, sepak takraw, taekwondo and volleyball have already been prepared for the five day event.

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Zambales farmers go for sweet tamarind

IBA, Zambales – This province is evolving into sweet tamarind country.

Paving the way to this eventuality is a government program that commercializes a sweet tamarind variety developed after a decade of research work by the Pampanga Agricultural College (PAC) in Magalang, Pampanga.

The variety has been named Aglibut Sweet, after the late Prof. Andres Aglibut of the University of the Philippines Los Baños, a noted agricultural engineer. Aglibut was the source of the original sweet tamarind which his relative, Dr. Fortunato Battad planted at the PAC while he headed the school many years back.

Commercial propagation of the variety was done during the presidency of Dr. Zosimo Battad who finished his tenure as PAC president the other year.

The commercialization of Aglibut Sweet in Zambales was made possible through the efforts of former Sen. Ramon Magsaysay Jr. and PAC, with funding support from the Bureau of Agricultural Research of the Department of Agriculture headed by Director Nicomedes P. Eleazar.

The project is being implemented by the DA-Regional Field Unit-3, DA-Central Luzon Integrated Agricultural Research Center (CLIARC), and local government units of Zambales. The multi-campus Ramon Magsaysay Technological University in Zambales was also tapped to promote the sweet tamarind.

Approved by the National Seed Industry Council (NSIC) for commercial production, Aglibut Sweet is comparable to the Bangkok (Thailand) variety, which is internationally known for its sweetness.

PAC embarked on Aglibut Sweet’s commercialization in Zambales in 2006. This Central Luzon province has been identified as ideal for tamarind planting because of its semi-arid lands, although tamarind can also grow well in any type of soil and agro-climatic condition.

PAC reported that more than 700 Zambaleños, mostly farmers, have benefited from the project. As of 2007, about 4,500 seedlings of sweet tamarind had been provided and planted in farms and backyards in the province.

Under the project, PAC trained and provided technical assistance to interested farmers and tamarind growers. Loans payable in one year in three installments were also provided to selected farmer-beneficiaries.

PAC reported that the project has aroused the interest of the local executives on the potentials of sweet tamarind. The majority of the towns in Zambales are planning to establish their respective scion groves and to eventually venture into seedling production for their local needs.

"Tamarind has a huge market potential in the Philippines because the country is continuously importing it to meet domestic demand," PAC concluded. Manila Bulletin

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

SPES 2008

Final registration and orientation for the Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES) will be conducted on March 29, 2008 at the FMA Hall of Olongapo City Hall.

Through the initiative of Mayor James “Bong” Gordon Jr. in cooperation with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) headed by Evelyn delos Santos will conduct the final registration and orientation of student-beneficiaries of the SPES program on Saturday, 9:00am to 4:00pm.

“We are continuously conducting SPES to help our students who are financially constrained but deserving and willing to pursue their studies. Let’s teach our students earn money for their studies,” Mayor Gordon said.

SPES is one of Mayor Gordon’s programs which gives deserving students of Olongapo the opportunity to work and earn money during summer vacation for their enrolment fees for the next school year.

Education is one of Mayor Gordon’s top priorities as he believes that this is one way of achieving excellence for the city. PAO/jpb

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SCTEx records 50,000 vehicles on Holy Week

CLARK FREEPORT -- More than 50,000 vehicles traveled along the P22.5 billion Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) during the Holy Week dry run on the Subic-Clark segment of the new toll road, according to the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA).

SCTEx program manager Robert Gervacio said the Tollways Management Corporation (TMC) recorded that about 50,130 vehicles entered SCTEx from March 19 to 24.

This, Gervacio said, is a validation of BCDA projections that there is an urgent need for a direct and faster route between the Subic Bay Freeport Zone in Zambales and the Clark Freeport in Pampanga.

"The huge volume (of vehicles) is a welcome surprise for us. It affirms the Arroyo administration's long-term vision of building a world-class toll road to connect the two most important economic zones in Central Luzon to create an international logistics and services hub in the Central Luzon region," he said.

The free SCTEx dry run, dubbed "Handog ni Pangulong Gloria, Libreng Biyahe sa SCTEx," was ordered by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as her gift to Holy Week travelers shortly after she formerly opened the 50.5 kilometer Subic-Clark segment on March 18.

The dry run, which concluded on March 24, allowed only Class 1 vehicles (cars and vans) as well as chartered and tourist buses and motorcycles with engines 400cc or higher to use the Subic-Clark portion of the expressway from 5:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. only.

The TMC, the designated interim operator of the SCTEx, reported that average travel time between Subic and Clark was only 40 minutes during the dry run.

Before, travel between the two points using the old provincial road takes more than an hour.

Charly Espanola, TMC division head for the SCTEx, said vehicles entering the SCTEx peaked during the Holy Week holidays from Holy Thursday up to Easter.

He noted that on Day One of the dry run, only 2,356 vehicles utilized the new expressway.

The TMC, which also operates North Luzon Expressway (Nlex), deployed patrol vehicles, service crews and other Nlex staff members to ensure adequate assistance to motorists during the SCTEx dry run.

Emergency medical services, towing crew, and roadside repair technicians were also dispatched in the freeway during its soft opening.

Gervacio said the number of vehicles that used the new toll road also reflected BCDA projections of considerable holiday traffic along the Subic-Clark segment.

"It offers faster, more convenient travel to Subic and Clark. The SCTEx is directly linked to Nlex via a two-kilometer spur road and interchange between the Dau and Sta. Ines exits (Mabalacat Spur Road)," he said.

"The entire 93.7-kilometer stretch of the SCTEx from Subic to Tarlac is expected to be fully operational by the end of April this year," he added. By Reynaldo G. Navales - Sun Star

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President's Cup: Subic Centennial takes overall trophy

After an hour and a half wait for the sea breeze to come in, the two remaining races to decide this years champions could get underway. Some crews took the rare opportunity to cool down with a quick dip and swim around the boat. It was all worthwhile as the building breeze produced some great sailing conditions that settled the intense rivalry developing between competitors and proved a fitting end to a tough regatta.

IRC Racing Class
Coming into the final day Judes Echauz Sydney 46 Subic Centennial held a comfortable 6.5 point lead. When they corrected out with first place in race five the engraver got to work on the overall trophy. They must be very happy as it is the second major Asian race/regatta victory for the Philippine boat in the same week. Ray Roberts crew on his DK46 Quantum Racing did their damndest to reduce the deficit with a second in race six and first place in the last race to end up with second place in the overall stakes. Once again only seconds separated the seven racing boats on corrected time to show just how hard it is to win a race, let alone the series in this class. Two third places for Chris Meads Corby 43 Full Metal Jacket lifts them to third overall after a very up and down regatta and no doubt has some further fine tuning to do. Frank Pong's Jelik was back on the pace but after yesterdays disappointment and with the drop race being introduced, finished up in fourth overall.

IRC Cruiser/Racer Class
A similar fate awaited the eleven IRC 1 class yachts when George Hackett's J-35 Jo De Ros Rudy Project once again sailed above their handicap rating to score first place in race five and seal the deal on first overall. In the fresh breeze Geoff Hill's Lyons 49 Strewth climbed back into contention with a third and first place plus after the drop race is taken out of the equation they ended up in second overall. Not bad considering they lost the keel on the new boat and still had the sheer tenacity to turn up at Subic and perform so well, all in the space of a week. From near disaster to happiness. Martin Tranco's X 452 Challenge started the regatta with fourth places but improved as the event wore on especially in the fresh breeze where the longer waterline comes into play to take a well earned third place overall. At the start of race five Jun Avecilla's Beneteau First 36.7 Selma Star was called over the line and as they failed to return dropped down to fourth overall.

Performance Handicap Class
After winning race three yesterday the Japanese sailors Yamamoto and Nishi on the chartered X - 99 Fast Exit carried on their good fortune to win today's final race. Unfortunately the 9, 6 finish in the first two races has them back in fifth overall. James Donovan's Beneteau First 47.7 Adec Solution led by the proverbial mile but lost some minutes with a bad spinnaker drop which left them with second place in the final race and second overall. Although David Mc Kenna's Sun Odyssey 42 Raparee XXX could only manage third place today he survived the onslaught to claim victory in the overall class title.

Summary

This year the racing class has grown in size and stature plus reaching a stage were it is becoming increasing difficult to win the class. Instead of minutes, it has come down to the seconds separating the entire fleet. The boat owners must be praised for bringing there respective racing teams together and campaigning there finely tuned racing machines throughout the season. This maybe raising the bar for prospective new entries to contend with but if one wants to play with the big boys it is something that they should be prepared for both financially and in the talent department. Otherwise they will have to settle on the Cruiser/Racer class where a large contingent of mainly local sailors are competing with distinction and having allot of fun whilst doing so. One thing for certain is that event organisers in Asia will cater for everyone that wants to race on a yacht and extend a warm welcome to all comers.

It was announced at the prize presentation party that the President's Cup will be held at Boracay again next year, straight after the Manilla - Boracay Race. The dates for the combined event are from 14th to 21st February and judging from the success last year and to avoid disappointment intending competitors should start making plans and bookings at this very windy and popular tourist destination in the near future.

Captain Marty - bymnews.com

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Friday, March 28, 2008

Animal theme park offers unique experience

By: Anthony Bayarong - Manila Times

SUBIC BAY Freeport: The Freeport offers a new animal experience this summer. Zoobic Safari, which earlier brought a tiger safari to the free port, is now offering a bigger and much-improved animal show, plus an educational camp for venturesome kids and adults.

If you want to see poodles do the waltz, monkeys that dunk a basketball, pigs hurdling obstacles, or dogs dancing the tinikling, then Zoobic Safari is just the place for you, said company CEO Robert Yupangco.

The popular theme park opened several new attractions for the summer season, dubbed The Zummer Zoobic Safari program, with additional facilities and entertainment features.

You can do so many things here, Yupangco said. You could go camping. We have a boot camp, with a course. You can learn different things like how to breed animals.

Under the special summer program, Zoobic Safari has headlined its daily entertainment fare with an animal show, where Jenny, the monkey, impresses the audience with her acting skills; Vera, the dog, does a tricky question-and-answer segment; while poodles dance and demonstrate athletic skills and potbellied pigs jump and fool around.

During a tour of the whole theme park, tour guides share trivia about the golden pheasants, tarsiers, albino water buffalos, moon bear, camels, and other animals featured in the park.

The tour would take half a day, as it includes a visit to the Rodent World, which has specimens of cloud rat, one of the biggest rodents in the world; the Rodent Saloon, which is equipped with small bath tubs, hair blower and shampoo for its tiny furry customers; the Serpentarium, which has a collection of pythons and other reptiles; and the Tiger Safari, where visitors ride on metal-screened jeepneys to get close to tigers roaming in their natural grassland habitat.

Also part of the tour is a visit to the Savannah, where ostriches, wild bears and guinea fowls roam freely; the Animal Muzooeum, which boasts of a rare collection of stuffed wild animals and mounted animal skeletons; and the Croco Loco that features live crocodiles.

A highlight of the tour, and for a fitting afternoon finale is an animal parade with representative specimens in the park, both wild and domesticated animals, are brought out in a parade that is actually a modern take of the biblical story of Noahs ark.

Despite the overwhelming number of attractions at Zoobic Safari, Yupangco said the theme park is only about 30 percent completed.

We have yet so much to do, and I think 50 years wont be enough to accomplish all of it, Yupangco said with a laugh. We now have 50 tigers here, but we will soon introduce white tigers as well, more zebras and giraffes are also coming in, and yes, an elephant.

Yupangco also mentioned plans for animal races, which include greyhounds, horses, and quite surprisingly, even chicken. This is in addition to Zoobics ongoing breeding program for endangered animals, and a pit bull program, which trains what are otherwise known as fighting dogs for the non-aggressive activity of racing.

Management is currently working on more adventure rides, a forest camp with trailers painted in tiger stripes, as well as fishing and canoeing adventures.

The Aetas Way offers the unique experience of living close to nature, as the indigenous people of the Subic Bay Freeport still do.

This seemed ironic, as Yupangco himself admitted, but he added that the idea was for Zoobic Safari visitors to get a grasp of the Aeta lifestyle without sacrificing comforts.

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Survey surprises

By: Alvin Capino - Manila Standard Today
It’s not surprising that Vice President Noli de Castro topped the Pulse Asia “Ulat ng Bayan March 2008” survey. De Castro, after all, has retained the popularity he enjoyed when he was the country’s top journalist. He continued to demonstrate his common touch as senator and now as vice president, housing czar and champion of the country’s Filipino overseas workers.

What is startling in the results of the Pulse Asia survey conducted from Feb. 21 to March 8 is that high-profile presidential wannabes Senate President Manny Villar and Senator Mar Roxas are in bottom of the second pack of hopefuls in the survey, placing sixth and fourth respectively.

One would think that Villar with his multi-million radio and TV commercials would place in the top three. The same thing goes with Roxas and his Tide and his “Oras Na, Roxas Na” campaign.

Legarda of course has her own TV and radio “graduation” campaign and De Castro has his “Pag-Ibig” radio ads. But the budget for De Castro’s and Legarda’s ad campaigns is just a fraction of what Villar and Roxas are spending. And yet it’s Noli and Loren in the top two slots.

The surprise among those who topped the Pulse Asia survey is Senator Francis Escudero who was third in the survey when the only ad he has is the slimming shop billboards.

Senator Ping Lacson placed fifth, one rung higher than Villar, when the only ad he has running is the print ad for a facial care center.

We interviewed Pulse Asia executive director Dr. Ana Marie Tabunda in our Karambola sa dwIZ about the survey and she clarified that they were surprised to learn that one of their subscribers released the results of their survey to some media outlets. She said that when they found out that the results have been sent out to selected media, they decided to release it to everybody.

It’s not difficult to guess who “unofficially” released the survey results— and for sure, it’s not the group of Villar or Roxas.

Tabunda said that the proper way to look at the survey results is to group the 16 names included in the survey into three. The first group is composed of De Castro (21.5 percent) and Legarda (17.5 percent) who she said are statistically neck-in-neck.

She explained that De Castro was no. 1 numerically in the survey results but the four-point difference between him and Legarda was not very significant statistically. She further explained that for the difference to be deemed significant, the results should be more than double that of the margin of error. In this particular survey the margin of error is +/-3 and therefore a significant result would be a difference of 7 or more percentage points.

The second group, according to Tabunda, is composed of Escudero (13 percent), Roxas (10.5 percent), Lacson (9.9 percent) and Villar (9.3 percent). Statistically speaking, the four are in a dead heat.

The third group are the rest of the 16 personalities included in the survey namely Senator Jinggoy Estrada (3.3 percent), Senator Antonio Trillanes (3 percent), MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando (1.4 percent), Makati Mayor Jojo Binay (1.2 percent), Senator Richard Gordon (0.7 percent), Armed Forces Chief Hermogenes Esperon Jr. (0.4 percent), Quezon City Mayor Sonny Belmonte (0.3 percent), Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro (0.3 percent), Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita (0.1 percent) and Gawad Kalinga executive director Antonio Meloto (0.1 percent).

Tabunda said that there is another Pulse Asia survey on presidential hopefuls results that they still had in embargo. She hinted that the result of this survey was a little different from the survey with 16 names.

She said that the embargoed survey had a shorter list of choices for the respondents. I would guess that instead of 16 the short list survey would probably include the perceived main contenders for the 2010 presidential elections namely De Castro, Legarda, Escudero, Roxas, Lacson and Villar.

Indeed, that would be a more realistic picture of voters’ preference for president. It’s possible that the six would be the ones who would figure out in the 2010 multi-candidate elections. It would be interesting to see how the match-up is between the six.

***
Except for Escudero, all the others have at one time or another given broad hints or outright confirmation of their intentions to run for president in 2010.

If you ask Escudero if he is considering running for president or vice president in 2010 his stock answer is that the elections is still too far off and that it’s too early to decide on anything.

A source close to him revealed that most of the other presidential wannabes have approached Escudero to get his commitment to be their running mate in 2010. The invitation includes the offer that they will spend for all of Escudero’s requirements for his vice presidential bid.

The senator from Bicol has politely turned down all the offers, according to the source. He tells them that he realizes that those offers are being made because he is doing well in the surveys. He then asks what if his survey ratings go down six months before the 2010 elections. Would they still get him?

The source says Escudero tells those who are inviting him to run as their vice president that they should talk when the election is already near and this way he would be sparing them of the embarrassment of trying to take back their offer in case he does not figure well in the surveys come 2010.

However, it seems unlikely that Escudero’s survey results would go down drastically. In fact, what’s more likely is that it would go up given the way he has been conducting himself as senator.

In fact, the result for Escudero of the “Ulat ng Bayan March 2008” Pulse Asia survey is something that other contenders envy. He was the leading presidential candidate of choice in the National Capital Region with 23.7 percent showing a significant lead over de Castro (15.7 percent) and Legarda (14.7 percent).

He also had significant lead in economic class ABC with 22.2 percent followed by Legarda (14.2 percent) and de Castro (14.1 percent).

Escudero, among them, enjoys the luxury of time. He will only be 41 in 2010. He can run for president. He can run for vice president. Or he can choose not to run at all and just continue serving as senator.

Sadly for the others, their options are more limited and waiting for the next presidential election in 2016 might not be an option at all.

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Zambales poised to become‘sweet tamarind’ capital

IBA, Zambales. — This province is evolving into "sweet tamarind country"
Paving the way to this eventuality is a government program that commercializes a sweet tamarind variety developed after a decade of research work by the Pampanga Agricultural College (PAC) in Magalang, Pampanga.


The variety has been named Aglibut Sweet, after the late Prof. Andres Aglibut of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), a noted agricultural engineer. Aglibut had also served as consultant of various government institutions, among them PAC and Mountain State Agricultural College (MSAC, now Benguet State University) in La Trinidad, Benguet.


The commercialization of Aglibut Sweet in Zambales was made possible through the efforts of former Sen. Ramon Magsaysay Jr. and PAC, with funding support from the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR) headed by director Nicomedes P. Eleazar.


The project is being implemented by the Da-Regional Field Unit-3, DA-Central Luzon Integrated Agricultural Research Center, and local government units of Zambales. The multi-campus Ramon Magsaysay Technological University in Zambales was also tapped to promote the sweet tamarind.


Approved by the National Seed Industry Council (NSIC) for commercial production, Aglibut Sweet is comparable to the Bangkok (Thailand) variety, which is internationally known for its sweetness.


PAC embarked on Aglibut Sweet’s commercialization in Zambales in 2006. This central Luzon province has been identified as ideal for tamarind planting because of its semi-arid lands, although tamarind can also grow well in any type of soil and agro-climatic condition.


PAC reported that more than 700 Zambaleños, mostly farmers, have benefited from the project, As of 2007, about 4,500 seedlings of sweet tamarind had been provided and planted in farms and backyards in the province.


Under the project, PAC trained and provided technical support to interested farmers and tamarind growers. Loans payable in one year in three installments were also provided to selected farmers-beneficiaries.


PAC reported that the project has aroused the interest of local executives on the potentials of sweet tamarind. The majority of the towns in Zambales are planning to establish their respective scion groves and to eventually venture into seedling production for their local needs.


"Tamarind has a huge market potential in the Philippines because the country is continuously importing it to meet domestic demand," PAC concluded.

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RICASA, TO JOIN AUICK SEMINAR

Lorely Ricasa, Engineer I of the Environment Sanitation and Management Office (ESMO) of the Olongapo City Government will go to Kobe, Japan to attend the First 2008 Asian Urban Information Center of Kobe (AUICK) Seminar Workshop on Population and Environment Management in Urban Planning – Domestic Waste and Greening on May 28 to June 7, 2008.

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, Ricasa was chosen to participate in the said AUICK seminar.

The seminar will focus on improved knowledge to address the urban policy implications of the links between population processes and environmental problems, especially domestic waste and greening. AUICK seminar likewise aims to deepen the participants’ understanding and know-how on the theme through presentations, case studies, discussions on current states and challenges their cities face in the fields of domestic waste and greening.

Meanwhile, among the invited cities are Chittagong (Bangladesh), Weihai (China), Chennai (India), Surabaya (Indonesia), Kuantan (Malaysia), Faisalaban (Pakistan), Olongapo (Philippines), Khon Kaen (Thailand), and Danang (Vietnam). Each city is represented by one participant, including Ricasa as the representative of Olongapo City.

The participation of Ricasa in the said seminar is part of the city’s privileges 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 Kobe City Government. 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. PAO/jpb

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SUMMER THRILL IN OLONGAPO

Olongapo City is once again having its yearly Summer Mardigras on March 27 to 29 sponsored by the Olongapo Business Club (OBC) in coordination with the city government under the leadership of Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr.

Themed “Kalye Kasiyahan 2008”, the said summer mardigras begun with a motorcade on March 27 participated in by Ramon Magsaysay Drive (RM Drive) business establishments, sponsors and organizers.

Different stages have also been set up along RM Drive to stage colorful activities including the Search for Mardi Gay, Stage Slamming Dance Contest, SK Rockternative Band Competition, Super Road Show Concert of Manila Bands and some other variety shows featuring local and Manila artists.

Meanwhile, following the Kalye Kasiyahan is the 3rd Philippine Olympic Festival (POF) Central Northern Luzon Qualifying Games hosted by Olongapo City and Subic Bay Freeport Zone (SBFZ).

With the POF Qualifying Games, different sports events will be held in the city and SBFZ including aquatics, archery, arnis, athletics, baseball, chess, football, gymnastics, judo, karate, muay, power lifting, sepak takraw, table tennis, taekwondo, wrestling, golf, softball and volleyball. The said qualifying games will be participated in by some fifteen (15) delegations from different parts of Central and Northern Luzon.

Information and inquiries regarding the POF, may be obtained through the offices of Kgd. Gina Perez and Kgd. Rodel Cerezo at the Sanggunian Office, 2nd Floor of the City Hall or the City Sports Coordinator Angie Layug at telephone numbers 224-7846.

In April, the Sibit-Sibit Festival 2008 will also spice up summer in Olongapo. Different activities have been prepared by the City Tourism Office for this event including Bangkang Buhangin Sculpting Contest, Bonggo Bingo Bonanza, Boat Competition, Summer Dance Craze, Beach Volley Ball and Search for Mr. and Ms. Summer Icon. The festival will be on April 25-27, 2008.

More details about the activities for the Sibit-Sibit Festival may be obtained from the City Tourism Office at telephone numbers 224-1471.

The line of summer activities in the city aims to give Olongapeños and tourists alike the thrill of summer the ‘Olongapo way’. It is likewise directed to advance the business and tourism industry in the city. PAO/jpb

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A better life for our people

By Senator RICHARD J. GORDON

Faith and Hope are the emotions that are conveyed by the Resurrection. The travail of Jesus on his road to Calvary and his eventual triumph over death on Easter Sunday are religious events most solemnly observed by us Christian Filipinos.

In our national life, faith and hope are necessary to encourage us to strive for a better life for our people amidst many trials and tribulations.

We should reach down into the deep foundations of our religious beliefs to gain the strength to unravel the truth. To act upon it with determination so that we shall be able to bestow upon our children and the succeeding generations a life of dignity, justice and prosperity.

The Filipino has the strength, the courage, the wisdom and the fortitude to overcome his difficulties and take its rightful place in the front ranks of the advanced stable countries of the world. All we have to do is to learn the lessons of Lent and of Jesus’ triumph over suffering and death.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Kalye Kasiyahan 2008

A MUST SEE EVENT!!!!
Olongapo Mardi Gras - March 27, 28 and 29

“Kalye Kasiyahan 2008”

Mardi Gay-Open to all aspiring, smart and beautiful candidates.
Stage slamming-dance contest
Sk rockternative-band competition
Local and manila artist
Food and dry goods stalls and booth
That’s olongapo variety show
Sm beer super road show concert of manila bands
Coca cola cool sponsors game and shows
97.5 dwok-fm live broadcast of event-3 day of pure crystal clear/digital broadcast live from the venue.
And mooooreeeeeeeee !!!!!!

For info Contact : Ms. Ellen Villar-Chairwoman
djdan at 97.5 DWOK-FM
047-222-6016/222-2274/222-5198/222-2222

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SCHEDULE OF CLASSES FOR SUMMER I.T. COURSES 2008

APRIL 7-11, 2008
MODULE 1:10 HOURS PC ASSEMBLY & TROUBLESHOOTING NC II

APRIL 14 – 23, 2008
MODULE 2:15 HOURS C PROGRAMMING

APRIL 24 – MAY 5, 2008
MODULE 3:15 HOURS PHP & MYSQL WEB DEVELOPMENT NC II

MAY 6 – 15, 2008
MODULE 4:15 HOURS ASP WEB DEVELOPMENT NC II
Contact Froilan Mobo, Gordon College

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Missing guns? Tell it to the Marines

Manila Standard Today - Macon Ramos Araneta

A RETIRED Marine commandant and seven other people were charged before the anti-graft court yesterday over the unexplained disappearance of 77 sub-machine guns in June 2000.
The Ombudsman charged retired Brig. Gen. Percival Subala, now deputy administrator for port operations at the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority; Col. Cesar de la Peña, former Marines chief-of-staff; Navy Capt. Teodoro Briones; SPO4 Richard Zules; and private individuals Edelbert Uybuco, Gerardo Vijandre, Manuel Ferdinand Trinidad, and Michael Boregas with illegal disposition of firearms after it was discovered that 77 H&K MP5 sub-machineguns were missing.
In the charge sheet, the prosecution said the defendants conspired to divert the shipment of firearms to Trimark Ventures Trading Corp., which was the accredited supplier of firearms and ammunition to the police and the military. In October 2000, a police task force raided a beach resort in Subic, Zambales, and arrested members of a gunrunning syndicate. Some of these firearms turned out to be part of the 77 sub-machine guns that went missing, prosecutors said.

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Conspiracy bared , 8 rapped

By Jester Manalastas - PEOPLE'S JOURNAL

A FORMER commandant of the Philippine Marines and seven others were charged before the Sandiganbayan for the loss of high-powered guns in June 2000.

Charged were Former Marine Commandant Brig Gen. Percival Subala and Col. Cesar dela Peña. They were accused of illegal disposition of 72 units of H & K MP5 cal. 9mm sub-machineguns.

Also included in the charge sheet were Navy Capt. Teodoro Briones, SPO4 Richard Zules and firearms suppliers Edelbert Uybuco, Gerarco Vijandre, Manuel Ferdinand Trinidad and Michael Boregas.

The eight accused allegedly connived to sell the firearms to unauthorized entities or individuals.

“Dependants transported the firearms in the guise of delivering the same to the PMC Headquarters at Fort Bonifacio, Makati city, but brought them to the office of Trimark Ventures and were subsequently disposed to unauthorized persons,” the complaint said.

On October 5, 2000, a task force led by Criminal Investigation and Detection Group raided a beach resort in Subic, Zambales where the accused, who allegedly became members of a gun-running syndicate, were arrested.

The raiding team recovered firearms, including five missing HK MP% cal.

“These firearms turned out to be part of the 72 units withdrawn form FED and licensed in the name of PMC,” the complaint said.

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DRY RUN NG HALFMOON BEACH, DINAGSA

Dinagsa ng mga Olongapeño at mga turista ang dry run ng Halfmoon Beach nitong ika-20 ng Marso.

Kaugnay nito ay pinapurihan ni Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. ang mga sangay ng Olongapo City Government na nagtulong-tulong para sa matagumpay na dry run operations ng naturang beach area nitong Huwebes Santo.

Sa nakaraang flag raising ceremony ng mga city officials at employees sa Rizal Triangle Multi-Purpose Center, binigyang komendasyon ni Mayor Bong Gordon ang Olongapo City Tourism Office sa pangunguna ni Kaye Reyes, Olongapo Mahal Ko Foundation sa pangunguna ni Lerma de Meza, Livelihood and Cooperative Development Office at iba pang sangay ng pamahalaang lokal na pangunahing nagtulong tulong upang maihanda ang kabuuan ng Halfmoon Beach at matagumpay na maisagawa ang dry run para sa kasiyahan ng publiko ngayong tag-araw.

Bagama’t dry run pa lamang ng Halfmoon Beach, maraming residente at turista na ang tumangkilik dito. Bukod sa mga comportableng cottages, comfort rooms at shower rooms, naglagay ng mga kiosks sa lugar ang Sam’s Pizza, Dimsum and Dumplings kasama ang ilan pang sari-sari stores. Mayroon na ring mga bangkang maaaring rentahan dito para sa karagdagang summer adventure sa Halfmoon Beach. Gayundin, nakaantabay sa lugar ang mga lifeguards na isinailalim ng city government sa masusing Red Cross trainings nitong Enero para sa seguridad ng mga taga-tangkilik ng naturang Beach.

Samantala, sa pasimulang dry run ng Halfmoon Beach, nilibot ni Mayor Gordon ang kabuuan nito kasama sina de Meza, Reyes, City Councilor Gina Perez, at Business Permit and Licensing Division Head Neal Perez upang makita ang mga dapat pang isaayos at paghandaan para sa higit na maayos na operasyon ng beach.

Si Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. kasama si City Councilor Gina Perez at iba pang city officials habang nililibot ang kabuuan ng Halfmoon Beach. PAO/jpb

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Philippines’ Clark airport gets $1.25bn deals

REUTERS - clark, Philippines • The international airport at Clark, a former US military airbase in the Philippines, has secured at least $1.25bn of new foreign investment to expand capacity, its president said.

Clark airport, currently catering mostly to budget airlines such as Tiger Airways, Air Asia of Malaysia, and Asian Spirit and Cebu Pacific of the Philippines, wants to position itself as an aviation service and logistics hub in Southeast Asia.

KGL Investment Company, a private equity unit of logistics group Kuwait and Gulf Link, is investing $1.02bn to build a logistics complex at a 130-hectare lot inside the former US military base north of the capital, Victor Jose Luciano, president of the state agency Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) said. “As soon as we sign, and we approve their development plans, within 30 days they will start construction,” Luciano said, adding the deal would likely be finalised in the coming weeks.

KGL, which hopes to service cargo coming from nearby Subic Bay port, will complete its full investment within 18 months of starting construction, he said. Luciano also said CIAC will sign an agreement next week with SIA Engineering Company, a unit of Singapore Airlines, for an investment of up to $250m in an aircraft maintenance facility in Clark. “It will not only service Singapore Airlines, it will also service other airlines,” Luciano said. “They will finish construction in less than a year.”

SIA Engineering teamed up with JG Summit Holdings’ airline arm Cebu Pacific for the venture and is spending $70m initially for the project. Luciano said SIA Engineering is looking at building three to five hangars at a 120-hectare lot in Clark to provide light to heavy aircraft maintenance for narrow and wide-bodied aircraft.

Investments started to come to Clark as more airlines began operations at its international airport. “The increase in flights generated more interest in Clark,” said Luciano, who helped set up Asiana Airlines’ Philippines operation in the early 1990s. Annual international passenger flights out of Clark rose to 2,065 in 2006 from just 44 in 2003. The number of flights slipped last year to 1,975 after several airlines shifted to using wide-bodied from narrow-bodied aircraft.

Luciano expects the airport’s passenger capacity to rise to 2 million annually this year from 1 million now after a 160m peso ($3.8m) upgrade is completed this month. CIAC is planning another upgrade worth $250m involving the construction of a new terminal for international flights. The agency is studying whether to tap official development funds or invite a foreign contractor to build the terminal.

Singapore’s Changi airport and Kuwait’s Al-kharafi group have expressed interest to build the new terminal in Clark. Investors are unfazed by the soured investment of Germany’s Fraport AG in a new terminal at Manila’s main international airport which remains moth-balled years after the project was completed because of a dispute with the government, Luciano said.

The opening of the new terminal in Clark by 2009 or 2010 would expand the airport’s passenger capacity to 7-8 million annually. Manila’s main international airport currently has an annual capacity of 17-18 million passengers.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Gov’t to develop Subic-Clark corridor into economic hub

Darwin Amojelar – Manila Times

The government will craft a long-term masterplan to develop the areas in the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) into an economic and Development Authority said.

Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and NEDA Chief Augusto B. Santos said the government plans to spend about $2.5 million for the masterplan to develop the areas spanning 50.5 kilometers within Subic and Clark Expressway.

Santos said the masterplan for the Subic-Clark corridor to be implemented by the Subic-Clark Alliance for Development Council (SCADC) may take two years to complete with funding from government or foreign donors.

“For that kind of developments we have foreign experience,” he said adding the estimated cost would depend in the result of the bidding for the project.

Santos said the government targets to generate an estimated investment of P400 billion in the development of the Subic-Clark corridor.

He said core of the masterplan s to develop an export processing zone and industrial park with residential, retail and commercial components. “We want it [Subic-Clark Corridor] to be a self-contained community,” he said.

The SCTEX is a 93.77 kilometer, four-lane expressway that runs from the Subic Bay Freeport Zone in Zambales to the Central Techno Park in Tarlac City, Tarlac. It runs through the interchange with North Luzon Expressway (NLex) near the Clark Special Economic Zone in Angeles City, Pampanga.

The road is intended to provide an alternative route and shorter travel time leading to the two economics zones.

The P27.40-billion project started in April 2005 and was completed this month. The SCTEX is a flagship project of the Arroyo administration intended to transform Central and Northern Luzon into a super region. It is expected to create wider opportunities for investment, trade and employment in Central Luzon and adjoining regions.

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Ship Repair firm brings second drydock to Subic

Subic Bay Freeport- Subic Drydock Corporation ( SubicDock), a company providing ship repair and new building services in this Freeport, is now ready to take on more customers following its acquisitions of another drydocking facility.

SubicDock president Catalino Bondoc said the firm recently acquired the AFDL-21, a small auxiliary floating drydock and has installed it at Subic’s Bravo Pier alongside the AFDM-5, a medium auxiliary floating dry dock, that the firm brought here last year.

The SFDL-21, which has a length of 200 ft. and a beam of 64 ft., has al lifting capacity of 1,000 tons, while the bigger AFDM-5, which has an overall length of 622 ft. and an extreme beam of 124 ft. can lift vessels up to 18,000 tons.

“With these two drydocks, we are now able to serve a wider range of vessels and aim to be one of the leaders in the Philippine ship repair industry,” Bondoc said during a familiarization tour for shipping agents and prospective clients.

“Our company vision,” Bondoc added, “is to be a world-class provider of ship repair, overhauling, installation, fabrication, and port general services.”

Subic dock brought the AFDM-5 to its former home in Subic last year after it served at Guam shipyard since 1992, when the US navy towed the dry dock to Guam as it pulled out from the former Subic Naval Base.

The AFDL-21, meanwhile, has been transferred to the Philippine Navy in 1961, but was sold to Malayan Towage and Salvage Corp. im March 1990.

Since its operation here in October last year, SubicDOck has been attracting growing list of customers, including vessels owned by the US Navy, the North Korean fishing fleet, and Austel Shipping, an Australian firm operating high speed ferries.

The firm had since received a 2001 certification of compliance from the RINA Society ( Registro Italiano Novale) of Italy, Bondoc added.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Feliciano Salonga, who attended the recent briefing, said SubicDock’s ship repair facilities boost Subic’s bid to become a major international maritime center.

“We’ve got it all here,” Salonga said. “Subic has a deep, natural harbor for ships, tax free environment for business, and skilled but comparatively cheap manpower.”

Bondoc said Subic is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cabras Marines Corporation, a US-based maritime services organization with over 30 years experience in providing tugboat, salvage, pilotage and waterfront services for the US Navy and commercial ocean-going vessels in Guam and Micronesia.

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SBMA okays $13.2 – M new investments in January-February

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has approved 30 new investments projects in the first two months of 2008, translating to $13.2 M worth of additional investments at the Freeport.

SBMA Administrator and CEO Armand Arreza said ten new projects worth of $6.2 M were in January, and 20 other investments proposal worth of $6.1 M the following month. This brings to 961 the total number of investor in Subic.

Among the new projects, Hanafil Golf & Tour, Inc., a South Korean-owned firm which plans to develop a gold and other recreational facility, registered the biggest commitments at $3 M.

Hanafil & Tour, Inc.’s investments at the free port will translate to the employment of some 1,495 workers, SBMA’s Business and Investment Department.

The next biggest new investor are Malaysian firm Palm gold Int’l Ltd., which commited $1.9 million for the importation of gaming equipments and operation of st machine arcade, and Grand Pillar International Development, Inc., which will also invest $1.9 million to acquire in improve real estate properties in the Subic ay Freeport.

The other new investor-firms sharing the top ten lists are Filipino-owned Janburlai Corp. and M. Waseem International Corp. and of Pakistan, which both pledged $800,000; Transequip Co. Ltd. with $725,000; Wonjun International Corp. with $468,000, Builenc Phil Co., with $391,000; Ringsthree Inc. with $220,000;and Mini Melts Ice Cream Dream Corporation, and Gaon International, Inc., which both committed $200,000.

“Given this growing investment trend that started two years ago, when Subic breached the $1-billion yearend total, chances are we’d get a higher investment output for the third succeeding year,” Arreza said.

New investments in Subic reached $1.42 billion and $1.67 billion in 2006 and 2007, respectively.last year’s figure represented an increase of 17 percent over the pervious year.

Similarly, job opportunities in Subic are increasing with the new investment inflows, the SBMA said, with the new project approved in January and February expected to contribute total of 1,887 new jobs.

Last year, the new investment project brought the number of Subic’s workforce to 74,181 by December 2007, up by 17 percent over the 2006 total of 63,485.

The SBMA Labor Department, however, recently reported a slight drop in the number of Subic’s active workforce due to “end of contract” cases. It said that Subic’s active workforce stood at 73,933 in February or 0.33 percent lower than the December 2007 total. (AMM)

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SBMA to sign deal with Taiwan firm

By: MA. ELISA P. OSORIO - Manila Bulletin


The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) announced it will be signing a deal with a Taiwanese firm that will bring in up to $35 billion in initial investments within the Freeport zone.

“I will be going to Taiwan this Friday and I am confident we will sign something by that time,” Armand Arreza, SBMA administrator and CEO said yesterday.

According to Arreza, he is finalizing the agreement with the Century Development Corp. to build a software park in Subic.

Arreza said the initial $35 million is only for land development.
“The big investments will come when firms start locating within the software park,” Arreza explained.

The software park is expected to be constructed in a 10-hectare lot within th Freeport zone.

The construction of the software park is expected to spur the information technology industry in the country. The software park will house companies that provide research and development and programming services.

Initially, he said the park will host call centers but eventually, Arreza said business process outsourcing (BPO) companies will also locate in the area.

“We will get the high tech industries from Taiwan to use our IT (information Technology) talents,” Arreza said.

“This development is similar to Eastwood in Quezon City,” Arreza explained. The administrator said the development is Subic will be an integrated development wherein commercial spaces and education and training facilities will be built.

This forms part of the phase two of Subic Bay’s industrial park.

‘The focus has shifted from low cost manufacturing to the production of hig technology supplies with high value added,” Arreza said.

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MAYOR BONG SUPPORTS ROTC

Olongapo City Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. declared his support for the Reserve Officers’ Training (ROTC) as part of college curriculum.

In the recent flag raising ceremony of city officials and employees at Rizal Triangle Multi-Purpose Center, Mayor Gordon recommended that the ROTC be made a compulsory course among college students.

“We have to train our students to develop leadership, discipline and professional ethics as well as teach them how to solve problems and plan strategically. And, it is possible through ROTC,” Mayor Gordon said.

It can be recalled that the mayor likewise believes that reservists, as a community defense group, can significantly help in the security of the city.

Reservists have also been invited by Mayor Gordon to join in the Flag Raising Ceremony of the city government participated in by city officials and employees every Monday.

Mayor Gordon himself is a product of ROTC. He has been appointed as Zambales Battalion Commander of the Philippine Army Northern Command Reservists on December 1 last year.

The concept of ROTC begun in the United States through Morrill Act of 1862. It was adopted by the Philippines in 1912, with the creation of the first unit at the University of the Philippines during the American colonial rule. PAO/jpb/

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Slimmers World International holds Miss Bikini Philipines '08

In celebration of its 30 years of advocating and promoting fitness and beauty nationwide, Slimmers World International, the country’s foremost name in the industry, begins the search for the country’s aspirants to the international titles. Twenty six aspirants will be selected from the hundreds of enthusiasts who have adopted the Slimmers World’s philosophy of fitness and beauty.
Slimmers World will take a keen, watchful eye for candidates from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, with screenings to be held in the key cities of Metro Manila, Subic, Metro Cebu and Metro Davao. Winner may win as much as P500,000 in cash and represent the country to two of the most renowned bikini competition in the world: Miss Bikini International and Miss Bikini World pageants. Screening begins in Metro Manila on March 29 at the Bouganvillea Room, Dusit Hotel Nikko, Makati City and on April 7 at Slimmers World Adriatico located at 6th floor Pan Pacific Hotel Adriatico Square Malate, Manila.
The screening proceeds to Slimmers World Subic at the 2nd Floor of Times Square Building SBMA, Olongapo City on April 2. It will continue to look for qualified aspirants and go to Metro Cebu on April 3 and 4 at the Marco Polo Plaza Hotel, Cebu Veterans Drive, Nivel Hills, Nahug Cebu City. The screening moves farther south to Metro Davao on April 5 and 6 at the Marco Polo Hotel located at C.M. Recto Street Davao City. Interested applicants must submit a completely filled in application form, a recent close-up 5R photo, and a recent full body photo in bikini wear. Entries may be submitted to any of the nearby Slimmers World branches nationwide.

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Subic investments up 7% in first two months

By:Elaine Ruzul S. Ramos - Manila Standard Today

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority approved 30 new projects with combined investments of $12.3 million in the first two months of the year , up 7 percent year-on-year.

The agency’s administrator and chief executive Armand Arreza said he was “highly optimistic” the higher investments generated in the first two months of the year would set the pace for the rest of the year.

“Given this growing investment trend that started two years ago, when Subic breached the $1-billion year-end total, chances are we’d get a higher investment output for the third succeeding year,” said Arreza in a statement.

The SBMA recorded $1.67 billion worth of investments in 2007 and $1.42 billion in 2006, bringing Subic’s cumulative investment pledges to $5.43 billion since Arreza took over as administrator.

Arreza said the authority’s board gave the green light to 10 new projects worth $6.2 million in January, and to 20 other investment proposals worth $6.1 million the following month.

The new investments are expected to bring to 961 the total number of registered investors in the Freeport.

Hanafil Golf & Tour Inc. of South Korea committed the biggest investment at $3 million. It will establish and operate golf, tour and other related recreational facilities. It plans to hire as many as 1,495 workers upon full commercial operations.

Palmgold Int’l Ltd. of Malaysia committed $1.9 million to import gaming equipment and operate slot machine arcade, while Grand Pillar International Development Inc. will invest $1.9 million to acquire and improve real estate properties within Subic Bay.

The other new investor-firms include local Janburlai Corp. and M. Waseem International Corp. of Pakistan, which both pledged $800,000.

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Korean shipyard workers find maggots in free meals

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – The food supplier of a Korean shipbuilder’s subcontractor again served rotten pork with maggots in free lunches to some 300 workers at the firm’s assembly and painting departments in Subic, Zambales, a group of workers reported on Sunday.

First observed in April 2007 and noticed in four incidents thereafter, the problem recurred on March 19, the workers said.

“The [maggots] were squirming from the fatty portion of the pork, which was cooked adobo style. It was packed in a Styrofoam box together with rice,” said one of the workers, who asked not to be named for fear of losing his job.

The worms were as big as rice grains, said the worker who is assigned to the assembly department of Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Ltd. (HHIC) shipyard off the Redondo Bay.

He and his co-workers took photographs and video footage of the maggot-laced pork with their mobile phones to be submitted as proofs to the Filipino subcontractor, K 2 Tech.

In a statement e-mailed from London on Sunday, Pyeong Jong Yu, HHIC-Philippines general manager, confirmed that the subcontractor’s food supplier, Hacor, served food laced with maggots to workers.

“Unfortunately, it is true that there was one case (lunch on March 19) that maggots were found in the food served in PDC (production center), where Hacor has been supplying food through delivery trucks equipped with freezer containers,” Pyeong said.

“The Philippine [catering service attendants] assigned [to] delivering and serving food to PDC did not notice existence of the foreign objects in plastic baskets nor did clean them properly,” he said.

“Please [note] that plastic baskets have been used for putting the delivered food before serving, exposing them to normal atmosphere for some time before and during serving to workers,” he added.

The workers said Hacor employees told them that the worms grew in the pork because “flies landed on them.”

Refusing the excuse and worried for their health, the workers demanded that the food be replaced. The supplier agreed, giving them fish instead.

“This has happened several times and we have always been reporting the incidents. We haven’t been informed what actions K 2 Tech took, but apparently there was none because the problem has persisted until now,” said the worker.

Other complaints were half-cooked chicken or spoiled rice.

Pyeong said the incident was isolated, noting that the catering center, which has been preparing food both for Korean and Filipino workers, “is equipped with the most up to date equipment and facilities.”

Pyeong said Hacor has assured them that the incident would not be repeated. By Tonette Orejas - Central Luzon Desk

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SUBIC DRYDOCK CORP READY TO TAKE ON MORE CUSTOMERS

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT, Subic Drydock Corporation (SubicDock), a company providing ship repair and new building services in this free port, is now ready to take on more customers following its acquisition of another drydocking facility.

SubicDock president Catalino Bondoc said the firm recently acquired the AFDL-21, a small auxiliary floating dry dock, and has installed it at Subic's Bravo Pier alongside the AFDM-5, a medium auxiliary floating dry dock, that the firm brought here last year.

The SFDL-21, which has a length of 200 feet and a beam of 64 feet, has a lifting capacity of 1,000 tons, while the bigger AFDM-5, which has an overall length of 622 feet and an extreme beam of 124 feet, can lift vessels up to 1,000 tons.

"With these two dry docks, we are now able to serve a wider range of vessels and aim to be one of the leaders in the Philippine ship repair industry," Bondoc said during a familiarization tour for shipping agents and prospective clients.

"Our company vision," Bondoc added, "is to be a world-class provider of ship repair, overhauling, installation, fabrication, and port general services."

SubicDock brought the AFDM-5 to its former home in Subic last year after serving at the Guam Shipyard since 1992, when the US Navy towed the dry dock to Guam as it pulled out from the former Subic Naval Base.

The AFDL-21, meanwhile, was transferred to the Philippine Navy in 1961, but was sold to Malayan Towage and Salvage Corp. in March 1990. It has been operating here since October last year.

SubicDock has been attracting a growing list of customers, including vessels owned by the US Navy, the North Korean fishing fleet, and Austel Shipping, an Australian firm operating high speed ferries.

The firm has received a 2001 certification of compliance from the RINA Society (Registro Italiano Novale) of Italy, Bondoc said.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Feliciano Salonga, who attended the recent briefing, said SubicDocks ship repair facilities boost Subics bid to become a major international maritime center.

"We've got it all here," Salonga said. "Subic has a deep, natural harbor for ships, tax-free environment for business, and skilled but comparatively cheap manpower."

Bondoc said SubicDock is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cabras Marine Corporation, a US-based maritime services organization with over 30 years experience in providing tugboat, salvage, pilot age and waterfront services for the US Navy and commercial ocean-going vessels in Guam and Micronesia.

With the company now in the final stages of completing requirements for ISO 9001:2000 certification, Bondoc said that SubicDock's clients could be assured of the firms capabilities in technical and client support services, ship repair, customer assurance, and on-time product delivery.

Aside from drydocking facilities, Bondoc said SubicDock also has a 100-ton floating derrick crane and all the necessary shop facilities and equipment for various operations and services.

The company also offers comprehensive ship repair, conversion and construction, engineering, mechanical and electrical repair, tugboat and barging services, non-destructive testing, welding, painting and coating services, structural fabrication and lay out, manufacturing and machining, and component refurbishment.

SubicDock also undertakes valves-in shop services, shipboard mechanical and component and valve repairs, governor and injector services, internal combustion engine services, hydraulic services, piping system services, heat exchanger and cooler services, air conditioning and refrigeration, insulation, shipwright and woodworking, temporary services, electric and electronic services, crane rigging, transportation, maintenance, testing and certification, diving services, and occupational health, safety and environmental services. (PNA)

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1 killed in jet ski, boat collision

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga – A 69-year-old man died after a jet ski he was maneuvering accidentally collided with a motorboat (banka) along the Subic Bay waters in Barangay Barreto, Olongapo City, Sunday.

In his report here, Senior Superintendent Abelardo Villacorta, Olongapo City police director, identified the victim as Mario Sar­miento, a resident of SSS Village, Marikina City.

Villacorta said the accident occurred at about 10:45 a.m. in front of the Arizona Beach resort in Barangay Barreto.

He said the victim went out of control and his jet ski accidentally collided with a banka being driven by a certain Leopoldo Calapno, 60, of Barreto, Olongapo City.

Due to the strong impact of the collision, Sarmiento suffered severe injuries in different parts of his body and he was immediately taken to the James Gordon Memorial Hospital but was declared dead on arrival by attending doctors.

The victim was one of the vacationers in Olongapo City when he met the tragic incident, said Villacorta.

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Monday, March 24, 2008

BCA PROJECT SUBIC-CLARK-TARLAC EXPRESSWAY

The Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx), BCDA's biggest and most ambitious project to date, is a major infrastructure which is envisioned to serve as a backbone of development in the Central Luzon region. Known as the country's longest expressway, it is envisioned to transform the area into a super region that would attract investors worldwide through the integration of all economic activities in the Subic Freeport and Special Economic Zone and the Clark Special Economic Zone, and the Central Techno Park in Tarlac.


Project Description:
The 93.77 kilometer, four-lane divided highway is divided into two major sections. The first section, the Subic-Clark section is 50.5 kilometers long; the Clark-Tarlac section measures 43.27 kilometers long. Undertaking the construction for Package 1 and Package 2 are the Kajima-Obayashi-JFE Engineering-Mitsubishi (KOJM) Joint Venture and the Hazama-Taisei-Nippon Steel (HTN) Joint Venture, respectively.


The project involves the detailed design, right-of-way acquisition, construction as well as the operation and maintenance of 93.7 kilometers (inclusive of spur roads) of asphalt concrete pavement (ACP) expressway on mostly lahar embankments. SCTEx is divided into 2 sections, namely the Subic-Clark section (Package 1) and the Clark-Tarlac section (Package 2).


It entails the the construction of four major bridges; eight interchanges; 29 minor bridges; 44 underpasses; 303 drainage culverts; toll operation center, toll plazas. Additional three interchaThree interchanges and Additional 3 interchanges and 1 access road will soon be built to enhance the functionality of the SCT Expressway.


Operation and Maintenance:
An Interim Service Provider (ISP) was tapped to handle Operations and Maintenance for at least six months. On December 20, 2007 the contract for the ISP was signed between the BCDA and the consortium of First Philippine Holdings Corporation, Egis Road Operation, and Tollways Management Corporation. The conglomerate will be the ISP of SCTEx.


The terms of the contract for operation and maintenance will be for a period of six months, renewable for a maximum of another six months. The services include functional requirements for the efficient operation of the toll road, such as toll road collection, traffic safety and security management, toll road maintenance, including greenery and landscaping, management services, and all necessary support services.


Funding:
The total cost of the project is Php27.405 billion.
85% loan from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) amounting to ¥41.93 billion or Php23.06 billion-with an interest rate of 0.95% per annum;
15% BCDA counterpart or Php4 billion


Beneficiaries:
The project itself would be generating more than 3,400 jobs at its peak level. These include but are not limited to site workers, heavy equipment operators, engineers, SCTEx-PMO staff and other construction-related professions. Once completed, the highway will directly benefit the population of the municipalities and provinces it will traverse as well as the whole of Region 3 and the general motoring public.

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Subic, yachts ready for the President’s Cup Regatta

FOREIGN Grand Prix Yachts, led by defending champion 76-ft Maxi and Reichel Pugh-designed Jelik, skippered by Frank Pong, are all geared up for the regatta that will be held in Subic Bay starting today until March 29.

Chris Mead’s Full Metal Jacket, a Corby 43 Custom Design, the early entrant, will be joined by last year’s second runner-up finisher Ray Robert’s Quantum Racing DK 46, Nick Burns/Fred Kinmoth’s Farr-Mills 51 Fortis Mandrake, Neil Pryde’s newly converted Welbourne 52 Hi Fi Team Pryde, Sam Chan’s TP 52 Free Fire, Geoff Hill’s newly acquired TP 52, Strewth-2 and Paul Bankowski’s Kerr 11.3 Jaywalker and the all-Swiss Team Sydney 38 Stella captained by Roland Buser, in the IRC Racing Class.

The Philippines’ past winners Sydney 46, Centennial II of Judes Echauz as well as Ray Ordoveza’s Excel 53, Karakoa are entered in the group, too.

“Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority is pleased with the preparations for the event that will once again put Subic Bay at the center of attraction,” said deputy administrator for Business Development and Tourism Raul Marcelo. “We are making sure that all participants and guests will have a great time in Subic. With the test run of the Clark Subic Expressway during the Holy Week and its soft opening on March 29, the public is given the opportunity to watch the regatta with greater accessibility.”

In the Cruiser Racer Class, a close battle is expected between six-time and perennial winner George Hackett’s J-35 Jo De Ros, defending champion Bashford 36 Sandoway chartered to Klass Hiijuis with his all-Dutch Team and recent Manila-Boracay Race champion Beneteau First 36.7
Selma Star, skippered by Jun Avecilla, Martin Tanco’s X-452 Challenge, Dick Morris’ Shock 35 Salina, Allan Burrell’s Farr 1104 Rags and virtual newcomer James Donovan’s Beneteau First 47.7 Balajadjai will join the fray.

The Cruising Class is expected to draw more entries this year with the participation of the Saturday Afternoon Gentlemen Sailing Club of the Subic Bay Yacht Club, led by Jeremy Simpson’s Warwick 43 Shibumi, Jelle Man’s Beneteau Oceanis 430 Saipin, Ton Van Hierden Beneteau Oceanis 430 Cocobolo, Austin Chamberlain’s Irwin 37 Sorcerer, Jon Kerner’s Ted Bruer 42 New Moon and Rolly Gipulan’s Yamaha 36 Punta de Uian. They will be joined by an all-Japanese Team on X-99 Fast Exit, led by Seiji Kawakami, an all-Taiwanese Team on Beneteau First 31.7, Selma, headed by Chang Kavalan, together with David McKenna’s Sun Odyssey 42 Raparee XXX and Rainer Blum’s Celestial 49 China Rose.

“The number and quality of racing participants so far are and the toughest ever assembled. It’s going to be a very interesting, exciting and dramatic sailing competition,” said Jun Avecilla, chairman of the PCR Organizing Committee. “The ideal sailing conditions that Subic is known for promise a great race. It’s anybody’s race.”

Some 300 topnotch sailors and yachting enthusiasts from all over the world are expected to participate in this highly anticipated sports tourism event in the country.

The President’s Cup Regatta is organized by the Manila Yacht Club and jointly hosted by The Lighthouse Marina Resort and the Subic Bay Yacht Club in conjunction with the SBMA.

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OLONGAPO CITY: Police authorities recovered stolen jewelry worth P1.5 million suspect on Easter Sunday afternoon.

Anthony Bayarong – Manila Times

Police Director Senior Supt. Abelardo Villacorta identified the suspect as Marvin Awa, 27, a resident of 35 Balic Balic in Sta. Rita. Initial investigation revealed that Awa forcibly entered the back door of the house of certain Marilyn Escriba at 67 Elicaño St., East Bajac-Bajac and took the jewelry. He then personally reported the robbery hoping the police would not suspect him. Unfortunately, the police matched finger prints lifted from the crime scene with those Awa.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Subic firm ready with 2 drydocks

By: PhilStar.com, By Bebot Sison Jr.


SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — A Philippine-registered company providing ship repair and new building services in this Freeport is now ready to take on more customers as it announced full operations of its two dry docks.

Catalino Bondoc, president of Subic Drydock Corp. (SubicDock), said the firm has recently acquired the AFDL-21, which has a lifting capacity of 1,000 tons, to complement the biggerAFDM-5, which can lift vessels up to 18,000 tons.SubicDock, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cabras Marine Corp., brought the AFDM-5 in Subic last year to cater to a growing clientele in the ship repair industry.
The AFDM-5, which is a trough-type dock of welded structural steel with pontoons on its center and two end sections and two fixed rectangular sidewalls, can take in vessels up to 96 feet in width. Both the drydocks are now berthed at the approach pier of Bravo Wharf here in the Subic Freeport.” With these two drydocks, we are now able to serve a wider range of vessels and be one of the leaders in the Philippine ship repair industry,” declared Bondoc.
“Our vision is to be a world-class provider of ship repair, overhauling, installation, fabrication, and port general services,” he added during a recent familiarization tour of the firm’s facilities for shipping agents.Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Feliciano Salonga, who attended the briefing, said SubicDock’s ship repair facilities would “surely boost Subic’s bid to become a major international maritime center.” We’ve got it all here,” Salonga said. “Subic has a deep, natural harbor for ships, tax-free environment for business, and skilled but comparatively cheap manpower.” I believe that SubicDock, which is highly experienced in this business, will prosper here in Subic,” he added.

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Sea fleet race halfway to Subic

Enjoying a favourable breeze, the Rolex China Sea Fleet was a little more than halfway along the racecourse today. The first night was not without its' drama though - at 0400 this morning, the TP52 Strewth reported via satellite phone to race officials that they had lost the keel and bulb. All crew onboard are safe.

The boat remained upright and watertight, and the crew have moved all heavy equipment down as low as possible in the bilge, and have filled their tanks with sea water to add stability. They have also unshipped the boom and stowed it below.

Strewth was 170 nautical miles east-southeast from Hong Kong and is now motoring back to Hong Kong at 3.5 knots. The Beneteau 44.7 Cloud diverted to Strewth's position and has been standing by to offer assistance.

Meanwhile, in IRC Racing Division, the frontrunners - Ffreefire, Hi Fi, Fortis Mandrake, and Full Metal Jacket are all within 30 miles of each other in about 12 knots of wind, with Ffreefire leading, currently making nine knots. With approximately 270 miles to go, the boats are due to the finish in Subic Bay Saturday early evening.

In the Cruising Division, Peter Churchouse's Moonblue II leads their division overall in front of Shatoosh, though the IRC Performance Cruising Division is also closely grouped.

The updated weather forecast has easterly winds, force 4 (11-16 knots) in area C, west of the Philippine coast. adonnante.com

video

Click to view video

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Hanjin Heavy to form shipyard safety committee



South Korean-owned Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction has said that it plans to form a special committee to monitor compliance of its subcontractors with international safety standards in shipbuilding works, reports the Inquirer.

“We will try to level up safety awareness of all those concerned, including subcontractors, to the extent of international standard. In addition, we will form a special committee to especially monitor and implement safety wise matters,” Pyeong Jong Yu, HHIC-Philippines general manager is reported to have said.

“It was and will be our concern that our employees, including subcontractors must be well aware of what is shipbuilding and its incidental activities,” he added.

The company has had a handful of work-related deaths in recent months, including an explosion at its Subic yard in January that killed two workers and injured five others. seatradeasia-online.com - Seoul



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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Car theft ring eyed in 'Gapo massacre

Police authorities in Olongapo City were eyeing dispute over a car theft or carnapping racket as one of possible motives behind the recent murder of Viva Hot Babe model Scarlet Garcia and three others.

In a report to Camp Crame, Olongapo City police chief Sr. Supt. Abelardo Villacorta said Garcia’s live-in partner George Vitug Castro Jr. had alleged connections with a car theft ring and may have been involved in a deal gone sour.

“It is possible there was some double-cross involved that led to the killings. It is also possible that the suspects killed all four persons inside the townhouse because the suspects are known to the victims,” Villacorta said in a report.

Garcia, Castro, Garcia’s cousin Rachel Estacio and Van Mark Bandejas were found dead inside an Olongapo townhouse on March 13. All the victims sustained gunshot wounds. Police noted that the killers tried to set fire on the townhouse, apparently to cover up the murder.

Earlier, police said they were investigating a traffic policeman, SPO1 Leopoldo Vitug Jr., for the murder. Vitug’s personal belongings were found at the crime scene. Vitug, a cousin of Castro, denied involvement in the killing.

Garcia’s aunt said in an earlier interview that Castro may have been involved in hanky-panky as he had a habit of passing himself off as a policeman.

“We are looking into the possible involvement of the killers in carnapping activities. It is possible that Castro is involved,” Villacorta said. Fernando M. Cariaso

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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.

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