Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Thursday, April 30, 2009


The Livelihood and Cooperative Development Office (LCDO) is steadfast in providing free livelihood trainings.

A two-day training on Meat Processing was conducted in New Kababae recently which was attended by 30 individuals who learned the process of making tocino, longanisa ang ham.

Meanwhile, Barangay Barretto was the beneficiary in the training on rugs and potholder making using the five sewing machines available in the barangay with 10 women completing the training.

The free trainings are still in line with the program of Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. to help alleviate and uplift the lives of the Olongapeños.

“Hindi hadlang ang kahirapan para umangat sa buhay. Immediately after the training, they can already start selling their end-products and start earning extra income,” said Mayor Gordon.

The LCDO is all set to conduct free trainings in Barangay Pag-Asa and Barangay Gordon Heights for the month of May.

Other interested barangays may choose from the following training modules which they deem fit in their area:

Meat Processing
Fish Processing
Fruit Processing
Dimsum Making
Atchara Making
Basic Cosmetology
Massage Therapy Course/ Basic Reflexology
Scented Candle Making
Baking Seminar
Sweet Pastries
Recycled Materials Seminar
Curtain and Throw Pillow Case Making
Liquid Detergent, Powder Detergent and Fabric Conditioner Making
Backyard Farming

The Livelihood and Cooperative Development Office is located at the 2nd Floor of the City Hall Complex or call telephone number 222-3301 local 4123.

More and more Olongapeños are benefitting from the free livelihood training program of Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. where acquired knowledge and skills can be used as source of livelihood.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009


The city’s vendors are next to benefit from the free dental services of Mayor James Gordon, Jr.’s administration. This was revealed by Olongapo City Dentist Dr. Donald Vigo in an interview by SBC-dwGO radio.

It can be recalled that already, teachers, reservists and jeepney and tricycle drivers along with their families have already been made beneficiaries of the program.

“Nais ni Mayor Gordon na buong pamilya ay malusog para lagi silang masaya at nakangiti,” Vigo said.

The dental services include free dental check-up, extraction, oral prophylaxis, restoration and partial or full dentures.

Beneficiaries are issued dental health cards which are presented to the City Dental Clinic located at the ground floor of City Hall Complex from Monday to Friday 8:00 am to 5:00pm to avail of the services.


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The Department of Health (DOH) has advised the public that there is no incidence yet of swine flu affecting humans in the Philippines.

In connection with this, Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. has instructed the City Health Office (CHO) to properly inform the public on the symptoms and precautionary measures released by DOH.

“Our office is coordinating with the different Barangay Health Centers to be on the alert,” CHO Head Dr. Arnildo Tamayo said. “They are also instructed to quarantine any individual who may appear to have the symptoms especially “balikbayans” who just arrived in the country,” he added.

Symptoms of this virus include fever, body pain, sore throat, cough and flu, diarrhea and vomiting.

According to the DOH health advisory, “people should cover their nose and mouth with tissue when coughing or sneezing, wash their hands regularly with soap and water especially after coughing or sneezing, and avoid close contact with sick people or crowded places.”

“A sick or feverish person should be closely monitored and stay at home to limit contact with others. When the fever and flu persists, doctors should be consulted immediately.”

“We are advising the public to still observe the preventive measures to avoid possible contraction and to dissuade panic,” the Mayor stressed.


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The City Government of Olongapo through the City Disaster Management Office (DMO) is conducting a three-day Rapid Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis Training on April 27 – 29, 2009 at the Olongapo City Convention Center (OCCC).

The training is designed to equip participants with the knowledge, skills and techniques on damage and needs assessment and reporting system. It also aims to further enhance coordination among government employees to facilitate response and relief activities following a large-scale disaster.

Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. tasked DMO Head Angelito Layug to facilitate and organize the said activity.

Participants to the said course come from the different departments and offices in the city government who will be directly involved in responding to natural disasters. The course includes the sharing of information and experiences on the lessons learned from one of the most devastating disasters in Zambales, the Mount Pinatubo eruption in 1991.

Topics in the said training include ASEAN Governance and Guidelines for Damage and Needs Assessment, working with the media, methods and tools for improving DANA Group Activity – Application Tools and Technology using GPS, among others.

“This training will help the city government anticipate and forecast possible disasters, improve the readiness in the city and lessen the hazard impacts to the community,” said Gordon.

Binibigyang diin ni Olongapo City Disaster Management Head Angelito Layug ang isang punto sa Rapid Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis Training nitong Abril 27 – 29, 2009 sa Olongapo City Convention Center.


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Tuesday, April 28, 2009


‘’The Alay Lakad Foundation, Inc. provides scholarships to Olongapeños specifically those young adults who believe in the value of education,’’ said Alay Lakad Secretariat Fe De Paz in an interview at SBC-DWGO.

De Paz who is also a City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) Youth Service Provider added, ‘’Since the Alay Lakad scholarship program was conceived in Olongapo City thirteen (13) years ago, thirty-nine (39) scholars have already benefitted from the program. Isama pa natin ang kanilang mga kapatid at kamag-anakan na pinag-aral, pinapag-aral at pag-aaralin pa ng ating mga Alay-Lakad scholars.’’

Different activities initiated by City Mayor and Alay Lakad Board Director James “Bong” Gordon Jr. with various collaborating government agencies and non-government organizations have raised funds to provide financial assistance to the poor but deserving youth of the city who are in the tertiary level of education.

This year’s lead agency is the Soroptomist International, chaired by Zambales Vice-Gov. and Olongapo First Lady Anne Marie Gordon who said that the Alay-Lakad scholarship program ‘’provides an example of an effective partnership between the government and the private sector in providing the out-of-school youth (OSY) and qualified beneficiaries with opportunities for a better life.’’

Aside from the Alay Lakad and donation boxes placed in different business establishments around the city, additional funds come from donations made by the Department of Education (Deped) personnel and PTCA members, government officials, barangays, civic organizations, business establishments and likewise from raffle tickets, t-shirt printing and social bingo.

Obtained funds from different Alay Lakad activities are channeled by the CSWDO into pro-poor projects like scholarships of beneficiaries, capability trainings and livelihood projects.

Among the foundation’s recent graduates, three (3) graduated with flying colors including Vanessa Amor C. Reside, who graduated cum laude with BS in Information Technology, Jocelyn C. del Rosario, cum laude with BS in Nursing and Reginald Louise M. Aguas, cum laude with BS in Accountancy.


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Job Opportunities in Olongapo-Subic Bay



Monday, April 27, 2009


The Regional Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) Monitoring Team conducted an ECCD Program Implementation Review in Olongapo City recently.

The monitoring team is headed by Social Worker Head Tam Lirio of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) together with ECCD Regional Director Marites Chaves and Remy Valeria of the Commission on Human Rights.

The review aims to evaluate and asses the ECCD Program Implementation of Olongapo City which is one of the pilot areas of the said program.

Three barangays were visited and identified as the pilot areas – Sta. Rita, New Cabalan and Gordon Heights. An interview with the Barangay Officials and other service providers such as barangay health and day care workers were conducted for the improvement and repainting of said health and day care centers.

Revitalization and developments in the identified barangays are set to take off this summer through the efforts of City Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. and the members of the Sangguniang Panlunsod and the guidance and monitoring of the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) Head Gene Eclarino.

Gordon said that aside from the infrastructure development, capability building and enhancement activities are also conducted for service providers.

A refresher course on the implementing ECCD Curriculum is scheduled on April 13-30, 2009 where 55 day care workers will undergo the said course to make them more aware of handling and nurturing children in the development of their well-being.

In addition, it will help them ensure that the physical, intellectual, social and emotional needs of every child will be met, thus, making the delivery of the Day Care Service Program in the city of high quality and standards.

“In order to sustain the program, I am urging the public to support and actively participate, particularly from the barangay officials, for the welfare of the children in the community,” said Gordon.

The ECCD program, which covers children zero to six years old, focuses on health and nutrition, early childhood or pre-school education and other issues affecting children.


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It’s summer time! It’s “Operation Tuli” once again. Circumcision or “pagtutuli” is considered by an overwhelming number of Filipinos as an “obligatory rite of passage to manhood.”

The word “circumcision” comes from Latin circum (meaning “around) and caedere (meaning “to cut”).

Headed by the SK Federation in cooperation with the City Health Office and Population Commission Office with the support of Mayor James Gordon, Jr., the project has switched to high gear.

The first seven (7) barangays of Olongapo City, namely Barangay New Asinan, New Banicain, Barretto, East Bajac-Bajac, East Tapinac, New Kababae and Gordon Heights have conducted their respective Operation tuli on April 14, 16, 17, 20,21, 24 and 27 in their barangay health centers.

Registered midwives of City Health Office and Population Commission Office (POPCOM) conducted the circumcision procedures where according to them have recorded a six year old boy as the youngest patient from East Bajac-Bajac and a twenty four year old of Barretto as the oldest patient.

Barangay New Asinan has recorded twenty eight(28), New Banicain 46, Barretto 157, East Bajac-Bajac 170, East Tapinac 76, Gordon Heights 154 and New Kababae 32 number of patients. The remaining 10 barangays are scheduled to conduct their operation tuli in the next few days.

Aside from the CHO and PopCom , barangay officials councilors and SK officials are on full support of the project which offers free medicines and services supplied by the city government.

Inquiries may be directed to the City Health Office or Population Commission Office located at the ground floor of the city hall complex or call telephone number 222-4003.


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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Gordon to address Bagumbayan delegates, volunteers for change at the Manila Hotel

Independent Senator Richard J. Gordon will address tomorrow (April 27) more than 1,500 delegates of the Bagumbayan Movement - Volunteers for a New Philippines on its Grand Launching and National Convention at the historic Manila Hotel.

Leon Herrera, president of the Bagumbayan Movement, said Senator Gordon will deliver the keynote address before their delegates due to his decades of experience in Filipino volunteerism and his transformational style of leadership.

Gordon will also be joined by other speakers, to wit: world flyweight champion Nonito Donaire Jr., CNN Hero nominee Efren Penaflorida, Journey band lead vocalist Arnel Pineda, and Chikka.com founder Dennis Mendiola.

"Bagumbayan seeks genuine changes in our country from being transactional to transformational. We want our nation to climb out of the quagmire that it has sunk into. Achieving this necessitates a radical change," he said.

"For our launching and convention, who is more fitting to be our speaker than Senator Gordon? With his impressive track record in bringing about positive changes wherever he went, Gordon's forward-thinking ideas tie in with our aspirations,' he added.

As mayor of Olongapo, Gordon was widely credited for implementing programs that were in line with his vision for transformational politics and was able to remove from Olongapo the stigma of being a "Sin City".

He managed to turn Olongapo into a "Model City" with many of his programs copied by other local government units nationwide.

Later on, he was appointed chairman and administrator of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) where he transformed an abandoned military facility into an international Freeport.

As tourism secretary in 2003, Gordon led the reinvigoration of Philippine tourism that resulted in foreign tourist arrivals to 2 million a year from a low of 1 million in 2001, due to his efforts to promote Philippine tourism abroad, notably the "WOW Philippines!" campaign.

The influx of foreign and local tourists drew more investors into the country, created more jobs and brought much-needed revenue for the national government.

As a Senator, Gordon likewise laid the groundwork for the country's transformation through the laws he authored, among them the amended Automated Elections System Law which would put an end to wholesale vote manipulation.

He also authored the Tourism Act of 2009 which will enable the country to compete with tourism giants, such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand. President Arroyo is scheduled to sign it into law on May 12.

Herrera said the launching and convention to be held tomorrow coincides with the 488th anniversary of the historic "Battle of Mactan" where Lapu-Lapu defeated Ferdinand Magellan and became the first Asian to beat a colonial invader.

He added it will be held in another historical site, the Manila Hotel, because it had been a witness to many important events in Philippine history, including the sessions of the 1971 Constitutional Convention, where Gordon, one of the inspirations of Bagumbayan, was the youngest delegate.

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Friday, April 24, 2009



Public Utilities Department

The Public Utilities Dept. (PUD) would like to inform the public that Olongapo will experience a one-hour (1-hour) CITYWIDE POWER INTERRUPTION on April 28, 2009, Tuesday, 9AM to 10AM.

Reason for the CITYWIDE POWER INTERRUPTION is due to repair of the 69kv terminal connector at NGCP Compound, Halfmoon Beach.

Meanwhile, the following areas will continue to experience POWER INTERRUPTION until 1PM:

1. Whole of Brgy. East Bajac-Bajac aand West Bajac-Bajac except along Davidson St.
from 20th to 22nd St;
2. Along West 20th St. from River to Caron St;
3. Along West 22nd St. from Davidson to Rizal Triangle;
4. Whole of Brgy. New Banicain, New Kababae, New Ilalim, East & West Tapinac, New
Kalalake, New Asinan and Pag-asa.
5. Portion of Brgy. Kalaklan National Hiway from Nagbakulao to CBMU and Washington
St., from Virginia to Texas St. Kalaklan ridge DWHL line.

Power will be restored anytime without notice immediately once work is completed.

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Hitachi Terminals puts up new warehouse in Subic

SUBIC BAY FREE PORT—A Japanese firm that makes automated teller machines and terminal card readers has expanded its warehouse in this free port to improve its competitive edge in the face of financial woes that beset export economies worldwide, including Japan.

Hitachi Terminals Mechatronics Philippines Corp. (HTMP), based at the Subic Techno Park, unveiled a new 3,564-square-meter warehouse as part of its strategy to rein in cost and improve efficiency, officials said.

The firm—the fourth-biggest exporter in Subic—which last year shipped $76.37 million worth of goods, is gearing for heightened competition in the global market, said HTMP president Kiyotaka Adachi during the warehouse inauguration here.

“The inauguration of this new warehouse marks the start for HTMP to compete in the global market despite worldwide financial difficulties,” Adachi said.

“In order to improve efficiency, companies like the HTMP need to introduce change in the job process. This warehouse will enable us to conserve our resources and also improve our production output,” he added.

The warehouse near the firm’s $12-million manufacturing facility was inaugurated six months after it broke ground last October.

Adachi said the warehouse will be used to receive goods, keep inventory, control warehouse, and keep and handle materials.

Among those who graced the inauguration were Hitoshi Goto, general manager of Hitachi Asia Ltd.; Miyafumi Midorikawa, president and chairman of Hitachi Cable Philippines Inc.; Takashi Jinguji, managing director and chief executive for Asia of Hitachi Transport System (Asia) Pte. Ltd.; Jun Ishihara, chairman of Manila Intl Freight Forwarders Inc.; Ichiro Tsuji, director of Subic Techno Park; and Hiroki Nakazawa, executive vice president and general manager of CCT Constructors Corp.

Goto, who oversees the Hitachi conglomerate’s Asian operations, said in his inaugural message that the warehouse project is “an indication of how HTMP workers envision bigger and brighter operations for the company.”

He noted the project pushed through despite the global financial crisis that has affected HTMP and other Hitachi facilities worldwide, concluding that the firm’s workers and management have “a clear direction” for the company.

“We believe this will promote operational efficiency to meet the vision toward global competitiveness,” he added.

Meanwhile, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Administrator Armand Arreza described the opening of HTMP’s new facility signifies the company’s “business foresight and continued competitiveness.”

“Those who understand the dynamics of business cycles know very well that this daring business decision of HTMP is what will give Hitachi an edge over other companies,” when the world’s economy bounces back from the recession, Arreza said.

He added that Hitachi Terminals has already proven itself as a dynamic firm when it became one of the biggest exporters in Subic last year with a total export value of $76.37 million, and setting a new benchmark by surpassing its own record of $22 million in exports in 2007. Written by Henry Empeño / Business MIrror Correspondent
IN PHOTO -- JAPANESE business leaders inaugurate the new warehouse of Hitachi Terminals Mechatronics Philippines Corp. (HTMP) at the Subic Techno Park. Photo shows (from left) HTMP president Kiyotaka Adachi, Manila Freight chairman Jun Ishihara, Subic Techno Park director Ichiro Tsuji, Hitachi Asia general manager Hitoshi Goto and Hitachi Transport chief executive for Asia Takashi Jinguji. HENRY EMPEÑO

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Olongapo bets doing good in Subic Open

Olongapo City – Hometown bet Florencio Banar recorded the biggest upset on the first day of competition when he defeated fourth-seed Jeffrey de Luna 9-6 to boot him out of the tournament on opening day.

Not to be outdone, Daniel de la Rosa also did honor for the host city and the province of Zambales by recording a 2-1 card going into the second day of matches.

The two players are giving home fans something to cheer about in this first-ever Subic-Olongapo Open Pool Championship.

Besides beating De Luna, Banar also defeated compatriot Luis Saberdo in a hill-hill match. He happens also to be the president of the Olongapo City Billiards Association.

De la Rosa fashioned out victories against Elmer Kalaquian (9-7) and Ericson Navarette (9-4), after he dropped his first match against Demosthenes Pulpul (8-9).

Top seed Ko Pin Yi of Chinese Taipei led the victors in Day One after disposing off his first two rivals.

Joining Ko, the two-time World Junior champion, in the winners’ bracket are five Filipinos, one Japanese and another Taiwanese.

The five unscathed Filipinos are Mario Tolentino, Victor Arpilleda, Leonardo Didal, Elvis Calasang and Arnel Bautista.

The lone Japanese contender is Kenji Taguchi, while the other Taiwanese is third-seed Fu Che Wei.

Ko showed fine form in beating Filipino Alex Nobleza (9-2) and Indonesian Muhammad Bewi (9-4). He completely dominated both matches.

Equally impressive was his compatriot Fu, who beat handily Indonesian Siauw Wieto and Filipino Florencio Banar by the identical scores of 9-4.

Calasang showed what the foreign players should expect from the Filipino players. He outclassed Timo Makela of Norway 9-4 in the first round, and then beat highly touted Muhammad Zulfikri of Indonesia 9-5.

Arpilleda, who campaigns most of the year in Indonesia, beat second-seed Jericho Banares 9-5 in an impressive display of shotmaking and position play. The win complemented a first-round victory over Rudi Susanto of Indonesia (9-6).

Bautista handily defeated Taiwanese Lu Chui-chan 9-5, to hand Chinese Taipei its major setback of the day. He earlier beat compatriot Edgar Acaba 9-5.

In a match against eighth-seed Allan Cuartero, Taguchi displayed good form and fine shotmaking in winning 9-4. In the first round, he bested Malaysian Johari bin Abdullah 9-6.

Banares, Yang and Allan Cuartero of Kuwait-Philippines – wound up in the losers’ bracket after the first day of action. TEMPO


Top seed Ko advances in Subic-Olongapo billiards tourney

Two-time world junior champion Ko Pin Yi of Chinese-Taipei played true to his billing as the tournament’s biggest draw when he led 16 others to advance into the next round of the Subic-Olongapo Open Pool Championship at the Olongapo Convention Center in Olongapo City.

The young and promising Ko, the top seed in the tournament, went to work early in the opening stage breezing past his first two opponents – Alex Nobleza (9-2) and Muhammad Bewi of Indonesia (9-4) to serve notice of his aspirations of securing the golden trophy and the $10,000 top prize money that goes with it.

Five Filipino players also went unscathed on opening day – Mario Tolentino, Victor Arpilleda, Leonardo Didal, Elvis Calasang and Arnel Bautista.

“I was just lucky I didn’t face top-caliber opponents today," said Ko thru interpreter Yanick Po. “I really like my chances here, especially now that Jericho (Bañares) was relegated to the loser’s bracket."

Bañares, runner-up to Ko in last year’s World Junior Championship and the champion in the Billiard Stars Search, was relegated to the loser’s bracket after dropping a 9-6 decision at the hands of Arpilleda.

But the second-ranked Bañares kept his hopes alive after outlasting Junbert Ogang in a hill-hill battle, 9-8.

Aside from beating Bañares, the comebacking Arpilleda completed a successful first-round victory over Rudi Susanto of Indonesia, 9-6.

Bautista handily defeated Taiwanese Lu Chui-chan 9-5, and earlier beat compatriot Edgar Acaba, 9-5.

But it was the local bets who stole the spotlight away from the top guns.

Olongapo City Billiards Association president Florencio Banar recorded the biggest upset when he eliminated fourth-seed Jeffrey de Luna, 9-6.

Not to be outdone, Daniel De la Rosa also did honor for the host city and the province of Zambales by recording a 2-1 card going into the second day of matches.

The two players are giving home fans something to cheer about in this event. – GMANews.TV

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Olongapo City is again all set for the fight of Filipino boxing hero Manny Pacquiao in the highly anticipated match on May 2 (May 3 Philippine time) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

In what has become a tradition, Mayor James ‘Bong’ Gordon Jr. has arranged for the free screening of Pacquiao’s fight, who will face British boxer Ricky Hatton in “The Battle of East vs West" on Sunday May 3, 2009 at Olongapo City Convention Center (OCCC).

The two boxing superstars will match skills where the winner will take home the Ring Magazine 140 lbs. belt and International Boxing Organization light-welterweight championship belt currently held by Hatton.

‘’Ang pagpapalabas ng libre ay pagpapakita natin ng suporta kay Manny Pacquiao. At upang higit nating maramdaman ang excitement at gigil sa bawat suntok ng ‘Pambansang Kamao’ ay ginaganap natin ito sa OCCC upang komportableng mapanuod ito ng mga Olongapeños,’’ said Mayor Bong Gordon.

Mayor Gordon instructed Manny Pacquiao Fight coordinator and City Dentist Dr. Donald Vigo to set-up giant screens including seventeen (17) LCDs and two (2) projectors courtesy of Ocampo’s Mall. Colorview Catv is sponsoring the airing via HBO pay per view.

‘’Katulad ng mga nakaraang laban ni Pacquiao eksaktong ika-walo ng umaga ay bubuksan ang pintuan ng Convention Center. Kaya ang mga mauuna sa pila ay ang siguradong makakapasok at makakapili ng magandang lugar na upuan,’’ Dr. Vigo said.

It can be recalled that more than five thousand (5,000) Olongapeños of all ages were able to watch Pacman’s previous triumph against the boxing legend Oscar dela Hoya held last December 2008 similarly through the free screening at the Olongapo City Convention Center.


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Wednesday, April 22, 2009


As early as five o’clock in the morning, residents of Olongapo City, tourists and visitors from the neighboring areas flocked to Driftwood Beach in Barangay Barretto to witness the Sibit-Sibit Festival 2009 kick-off.

Through the initiative of Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. and the active participation of the City Tourism Office together with the different departments of the City Government, the Beach Boulevard Business Association of Barretto, the Olongapo Business Club, Inc. and the Subic Bay Resorts Association (SUBRA) the successful kick-off gives the public what to expect in the coming days.

Students wearing colorful costumes presented dances and different Gawang Gapo products were displayed. GMA 7’s morning program Unang Hirit featured the event with its segment hosts “Eagle” Riggs and Charise Solomon who danced along while Mayor Gordon and his Bonggo Band rendered the theme song “Sibit-Sibit”.

The kick-off also featured the celebration of Earth Day 2009 showcasing the clean-up drive of the city’s seashores and waterways led by the Environmental Sanitation and Management Office (ESMO).

Meanwhile, Kite Team Philippines will conduct a kite workshop on April 24 at the Olongapo City Convention Center, one of the highlights of this year’s Sibit-Sibit Festival.

The tourism office announced that the activities for the Sibit-Sibit will continue as soon as we experience good weather, referring to the postponement of some event due to rains.

For more information, call the City Tourism Office at telephone number 224-1471.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Volunteerism makes a stand

Chito Valmocina, former chairman of Barangay Holy Spirit in Quezon City, wants volunteerism to be the core value in next year’s political exercise.

As chapter head of the Bagumbayan Movement, he joins Leon Herrera, president, in pushing for a leader who means business.

“Our barangay learned much from the example of Olongapo City and Subic, we applied the principles that made them into success stories and we were able to replicate them in Holy Spirit. This is proof that each of us, acting to transform our communities, can contribute to the transformation of the entire country,” said Valmocina.

Pressed to name one whom the group wanted, Herrera said Senator Richard Gordon, also chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross, would get the job done.

“More than mere candidates, we need a leader with a vision for our country, a long experience in turning things around from bad to better, and a track record of success in moving people to achieve what was previously thought of as impossible,” he said.

Founding member and legal counsel Rodolfo Reyes said Gordon would make a difference the country needed to weather the global financial crunch.

The Bagumbayan Movement began as an informal group of individuals committed to manifesting change in various sectors of society.

Starting with the transformation of Olongapo to a model city, they eventually joined up with thousands of volunteers to create the success of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority and the resurgence of Philippine tourism. Manila Standard Today

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Top SBMA execs post bail on takeover case

A Bataan court issued arrest warrants against four top Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority officials in connection with the agency’s takeover of Subic Bay Golf and Country Club (SBGCC) in 2007.

SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza, Chairman Feliciano Salonga, senior deputy administrator Ramon Agregado, and deputy administrator Raul Marcelo already posted bail.

The arrest warrants, issued on April 4, stemmed from a case of grave coercion and trespassing filed by Susan Ho, president of Universal International Group Development Corp. (UIGDC), a Taiwanese firm that used to run the SBGCC.

“We’re confident the case [against Ho] will prosper as the [regional trial court in Olongapo City] has already affirmed the SBMA’s right to take over,” Arreza told the Inquirer on Sunday.

In June 2007, UIGDC also filed a civil case for indirect contempt of court against the SBMA officials.

The state-owned agency terminated the company’s lease contract due to debts and other unfulfilled obligations.

In the indirect contempt case, SBGCC director Jack Ho said the SBMA ignored the injunction issued by the Olongapo court.

Jack Ho said SBMA officials and personnel used force in removing and barring him and club employees from entering the premises. SBMA officials denied the allegation.

Arreza said the SBMA had taken over the business operations of the golf course due to the “failure of UIGDC to fulfill its developmental obligations under [the] lease and development agreement (LDA) and due to its unpaid rentals and charges.”

By March 31, 2007, the agency said UIGDC’s unpaid accounts totaled $352,269.08 and P16.9 million. By Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon

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Subic Open pool meet under way

Thirty two players, including 12 foreign bets will battle it out at the start of the Subic-Olongapo Open Pool Championship to be held at the Olongapo Convention Center today. .

Led by two-time World Junior Champion Ko Pin Yi of Chinese-Taipei, the foreign cue artists will come here in Philippine soil in pursuit of the Richard Gordon golden trophy donated by Mayor James Gordon and the top prize of $ 10,000.

Mayor Gordon will be there to open up hostilities to be assisted by Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority administrator Armand Arreza starting 10 a.m.

Ko, now Chinese-Taipei’s fast rising star in pool, is the top seed in this event organized by Raya Sports with the support of Star Billiards and the Billiards and Snooker Congress of the Philippines. The event is also jointly hosted by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority and the Olongapo City government.

Jericho Banares of the Philippines, who placed second to Ko in the World Junior meet in Reno, Nevada, last year, is the No.2 seed in this tournament. He is expected to carry the fight for the local bets.

Other notable Filipino players entered in this event are Demosthenes Pulpul and power breaking Jeff de Luna.

Pulpul made it all the way as far as the semifinal round of last year’s inaugural staging of the World Ten Ball Championship in Manila.

De Luna is the champion of last year’s Manny Pacquiao International billiards tournament.

The 11 other foreign competitors ready to steal the spotlight also include Fu Che Wei of Chinese Taipei, a top four player in his country and a consistent performer in international circuit. He is the third-ranked player here in Subic.

Other foreign bets include Ricky Yang of Indonesia (5), Amir Ibrahim of Malaysia (6), Japanese veteran cue artist Kenji Taguchi and Lu Hui-Chan of Chinese-Taipei.

Eight players made it to the main draw Sunday by virtue of their solid showing in the Stage 1 of the event held at the Star Billiards Center. The players who made it to the main draw were Luis Saberdo, Ericson Navarette, Ramil Gadjala, Boots Augusto, Roland Garcia and Alex Nobleza of the Philippines and Wieto Siauw and Ridu Susanto of Indonesia. TEMPO

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Bataan nuclear plant survived Pinatubo

I AM JUST WONDERING WHY THERE WAS no objection at all from the people and local officials of Bataan, and even from the Church hierarchy, during the construction of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) from 1976 through 1984. There were some groups that complained about the project’s rigged bidding and overpricing, and the hazards its operation could pose, but nothing came out of their efforts.

At that time too, the US naval base in Subic, which was very near to the BNPP, was still open. Morong, where the plant is located, was partly occupied by the naval base. The US Naval authorities could have been the first to oppose the BNPP if they had seen it as an imminent danger to the naval base complex. The Unite States is known internationally to be very strict when it comes to the issuance of environmental clearance for its infrastructure, whether built at home or in foreign countries.

I know for a fact that the residents of Bataan greatly benefited from the BNPP’s construction; most of the workforce came from Bataan, and there was so much enthusiasm about how the plant would be of service to them and increase the power supply for Luzon.

Before the plant could operate, the Aquino administration mothballed it. With $2.3 billion of people’s money spent for the plant, it would be wise to revive the BNPP. But first it should be made to comply with all safety requirements and it should be certified safe by the International Atomic Energy Commission.

The plant suffered no serious damage when Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991.Let us give Rep. Mark Cojuangco a chance to prove a very worthy project that our country needs to generate additional supply of electricity. I also believe that nuclear energy is still the safest to produce.

If the government cannot guarantee the safety of the nuclear plant, we might as well bury it in the sands of Bataan.

--By: Eliseo Reblando, MD – Inquirer

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We are a nation of heroes – Gordon

The Philippines is a nation of heroes, Independent Senator Richard J. Gordon yesterday said as he urged the Filipino people to take pride and inspiration from their heroism wherever they are in the country or elsewhere around the world.

Gordon makes the exhortation as he led the unveiling ceremony on Wenceslao Q. Vinzon’s bust held at the Vinzons Hall of the University of the Philippines, Quezon City attended by the UP student Council and administration officials.

“It is sad and unfortunate if we allow stories about the great sacrifices of our heroes to be buried into the pages of oblivion. The tapestry of our country must be painted by the brave and courageous sacrifices of our heroes and their stories must be passed on form one generation to the next,” he said.

Gordon, chairman of the Senate tourism committee, has earlier filed a resolution in the Senate calling on different government units to prepare for the nationwide centennial celebration of Vinzons’ natal anniversary on Sept. 28, 2010.

Vinzons, one of the country’s most notable patriots during World War II (WWII), organized an armed resistance in the Bicol region against the Japanese invasion army and led a raid against a troop of Japanese soldiers in basud, Camarines Norte.

Later on when Vinzons’ forces grew to around 2,800 strong, he led these forces to successfully liberate the provincial capital of Daet, killing around 3,000 Japanese soldiers since their first attack which made his capture one of the primary objectives of the Japanese army.

Even as a student, Vinzons already showed exemplary leadership abilities when he became president of the UP Student Council and editor-in-chief of the Philippine Collegian.

He advocated the unification of Southeast Asian nations with a common Malay origin I his oratorical address entitled “Malaysia Irredenta,” which won him the Manuel L. Quezon gold medal for excellence.

After passing the bar exams in 1932, Vinzons founded the Young Philippine Party which advocated the grant of Philippine Independence from American rule.

Like Gordon, Vinzon was elected as the youngest delegates to the 1935 Constitutional Convention and became instrumental in prescribing Tagalog as an official language og the Philippines.


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Now in its 25th year, the United States Navy (US Navy) together with the Philippine Navy is continuously extending community services to the City of Olongapo through Balikatan.

Balikatan is the annual bilateral military humanitarian assistance and training exercise between the Philippines and the United States taking place in Olongapo on April 16-30, 2009.

“Our activities for this year still include the painting and rehabilitation of public schools in Olongapo,” according to Lt. Cmdr. Gilbert O. Pacio, Balikatan 2009 Navy Sub Chief Joint Info Bureau and Overall Navy Community Relations Officer of the Philippine Navy. “Kasama na rin ang ilang facilities sa lungsod tulad ng Social Development Center (SDC) sa Old Cabalan.”

Aside from the painting of school building, the group also donated toys and books to selected public schools.

“It’s a very rewarding feeling being able to do good things for these students and the community, whether it’s painting buildings, donating toys or just spending time with the kids,” added Pacio.

Sailors of the US Navy and the Philippine Navy interacted with the kids in Barangay Barretto by playing a game of basketball and joined in the Filipino military tradition of “boodle fight,” where the food is lined up in a long table on top of banana leaves.

“It’s a good experience having the U.S. Navy and Philippine Navy working together,” said Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. “We hope to have more activities where Filipinos and the Americans are working together, and a long lasting friendship and the camaraderie can be developed.”


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A month after the grand launching of Bonggapo Homes, Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. is pleased to announce the positive response from both the private and public sector that only 143 units are available for sale.

“From a total of 311 available units, 168 units have already been reserved,” according to Aileen Mae Lomotos, collection staff of Fiesta Communities, Inc. in Olongapo.

It can be recalled that Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. has offered a 2% discount from the actual price of the house and lot package as added incentive. “The discount is computed based on the actual value of the chosen house and lot. The amount is then deducted from the processing fee, which is reflected as added savings for the buyer,” shares Gordon.

As of April 13, 38 government employees (teachers, policemen, firemen and city government employees); 18 employees of private companies; 34 employees of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority; 19 Overseas Filipino Workers, and 7 self-employed individuals have availed of a house and lot either through in-house financing or Pag-IBIG housing loan.

“I’m urging the public to take advantage of this affordable housing project,” Gordon said.

Bonggapo Homes is the first low-cost housing project in Olongapo City. This is a project of Mayor Gordon in partnership with Hausland Development Corporation under Fiesta Communities, Inc.

Prospective buyers can reserve a unit for only P5,000.00 for row houses and P10,000.00 for single detached units.


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HARMONIZATION. Officials of the Clark and Subic Freeports and Bureau of Customs signify solidarity during the signing of Joint Memorandum Order on Automated Transit, Admission and Declaration Cargo at the OTS Conference Room of the Clark Development Corp. (CDC). From left are CDC president Benigno Ricafort, BOC commissioner Napoleon Morales, SCADC chairman Edgardo Pamintuan, and SBMA administrator Armand Arreza.

--Manila Bulletin

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PLAYING FOR THE ENVIRONMENT. Participants of the Philippine Pool Tour Subic-Olongapo Open show their support to Olongapo City’s environmental initiatives with the launching of CR3 (Compost, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle), a new solid waste management system in the city on April 21, 2009. In photo is Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. giving the players a hands-on demonstration on how the city manages its waste disposal. (Photo and caption/ PAO )

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Shabu smuggler did not get VIP treatment

We wish to clarify some inaccuracies in the column of Mr. Alvin Capino, which tackled the issue of the Subic drug smuggling case in the April 15 issue of your newspaper.

In the said opinion piece, Mr. Capino spoke of the “Subic mess” that several law enforcement agencies “now have to clean.” As far as cleaning – or providing closure to the Anthony Ang case is concerned, that may be true. But in between lines, what this implies is that the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority failed to do its job in dealing with the smuggling try. That, of course is farthest from the truth.

First, allow us to point out that it was the law enforcement officers of the SBMA – and not any other law enforcement agency – that first detected what turned out to be an attempt to bring into the Subic Bay Freeport more than 700 kilograms of high-grade methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu. And it was also the members of the SBMA police, SWAT unit, and harbor Patrol that, in several follow-up operations, actually discovered and confiscated all the illegal drugs that Ang and his cohorts managed to stash at several places in the free port.

The SBMA, of course, sought the assistance first of the President Anti-Smuggling Group, which has tied up with Task Force Subic to deal with smuggling cases in Subic, and later on the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency when it was determined that Ang’s undocumented boxes of “sensitive computer parts” actually contained Shabu.

Second, Ang never received VIP treatment from the SBMA. In fact, SBMA patrolmen accosted Ang after seeing him receive some boxes from a boat docked at the ship repair facility area. The same policemen brought Ang to the police station, where officers further denied his request to have the boxes released without documentation. So where was the special treatment in all this?

Third, the SRF is not actually a highly restricted area, as claimed by Mr. Capino in his column. Yes it has a separate gate where guards are posted, but it is also the site of a resort-hotel and restaurant that have recently opened to the public.

Any person with SBMA-issued ID cards or passes can be allowed entry there. That Ang was able to enter the area where he was subsequently accosted by the SBMA police, therefore, is NOT “a major indicator of such VIP treatment.”

Fourth, Atty. Redentor Tuazon, as Trade Facilitation and Compliance head, had no operational involvement in the matter, as it was a case of seized undocumented cargo, which was solely the concern of the Seaport and the Law Enforcement departments. Moreover, Mr. Capino’s speculation that Tuazon may be responsible “for bringing in Anthony Ang into Subic” could not be possible since he joined the SBMA organization only in October 2006, while Ang’s entry as a Subic locator is predated by years. And while Tuazon’s office would surely have knowledge of Ang’s registered business in Subic, as well as his role in the business on “hot” Ma Ling from China , would this give him a third eye that could discern Ang’s dark intentions?

It would really be easy for anybody to analyze events on hindsight and comment on what could have been done, but in the absence of the entire attendant facts that make Ang smuggling case a good subject for conspiracy theorists and whodunit writers, we cannot claim the Wisdom of Solomon as yet.

This is why we also welcome the upcoming investigation of the SUbic drug bust b y the Aquino panel, with the fervent hope that the facts of the case would be made evident eventually.

Administrator and CEO
Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority

--Manila Standard Today

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A total of thirty two pool players gunning for the top plum at the start of the Subic-Olongapo Open Pool Championship which kicked-off at the Olongapo City Convention Center (OCCC) on April 21, 2009.

The event was made more significant with the simultaneous launching of CR3, Olongapo City’s Solid Waste Management Disposal System. The players lauded the efforts of the Olongapo City Government regarding environmental protection and preservation.

In his welcome speech, Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. urged the players to “set aside your differences for the sake of sportsmanship, friendship and camaraderie.”

Also in attendance during the opening ceremony were Raya Sports President Yen Makabenta, Sports Writer and TV Commentator Ted Lerner, Olongapo City Councilor Rodel Cerezo and Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Deputy Administrator for Tourism Raul Marcelo.

In his inspirational message, Marcelo reminded the players to “keep your eyes on the ball.” Marcelo also mentioned that “billiards is a sport that does not require physical and mental strength, but sharpness of the mind and the will to win.”

Leading the pack is two-time World Junior Champion Ko Pin Yi of Chinese-Taipei and the Philippines’ very own Jericho Bañares, who placed second to Ko in the World Junior meet in Reno, Nevada last year.

Florencio Bañar and Daniel Dela Rosa are Olongapo City’s official bets for this tournament.

Other Filipino players are Demosthenes Pulpul, Jeff de Luna, Luis Saberdo, Ericson Navarette, Ramil Gadjala, Boots Augusto, Roland Garcia and Alex Nobleza, Leonardo Didal, Junbert Ogang, Elmer Kalaquian, Mario Tolentino, Elvis Calasang, Victor Arpilleda and Edgar Acaba. Allan Cuartero is representing Philippine-Kuwait in this tournament.

The 11 other foreign competitors include Fu Che Wei of Chinese Taipei, Ricky Yang of Indonesia, Amir Ibrahim and Abdullah Johari of Malaysia, Kenji Taguchi of Japan, Lu Hui-Chan of Chinese-Taipei, Muhamad Bewi, Muhammad Zulfikri, Wieto Siauw and Ridu Susanto of Indonesia.

The Subic-Olongapo Open Pool Championship is hosted by the Olongapo City Government and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority.

LET THE GAMES BEGIN. Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. did the ceremonial break to signal the start of the Philippine Pool Tour Subic-Olongapo Open Championship. Surrounding him are the 32 players eager to get into the game. Also in the photo are Raya Sports President Yen Makabenta, Councilor Rodel Cerezo and SBMA DA for Tourism Raul Marcelo. (Photo and caption/ PAO )

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Top SBMA execs post bail on golf takeover case

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – A BATAAN court issued arrest warrants against four top Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority officials in connection with the agency’s takeover of Subic Bay Golf and Country Club (SBGCC) in 2007.

SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza, Chair Feliciano Salonga, senior deputy administrator Ramon Agregado ad deputy administrator Raul Marcelo already posted bail.

The arrest warrants, issued on April 4, stemmed from a case of grave coercion and trespassing filed by Susan Ho, president of Universal International Group Development Corp. (UIGDC), a Taiwanese fir that used to run the SBGCC.

“We’re confident the case [against Ho] will prosper as the [regional trial court in Olongapo City] has already affirmed the SBMA’s right to take over,” Arreza told the INQUIRER on Sunday.

In June 2007, UIGDC also filed a civil case for indirect contempt of court against the SBMA officials.

The state-owned agency terminated the company’s lease contract due to debts and other unfulfilled obligations.

In the indirect contempt case, SBGCC director Jack Ho said SBMA ignored the injunction issued by the Olongapo Court.

Jack Ho said SBMA officials and personnel used force in removing and barring him and club employees from entering the premises. SBMA officials denied the allegation.

Arreza said the SBMA had taken over the business operations of the golf course due to the “failure of UIGDC to fulfill its developmental obligations under [the] lease and development agreement (LDA) and due to its unpaid rentals and charges.”

By March 31, 2007, the agency said UIGDC’s unpaid accounts totaled $352,269.08 and P16.9 million.

--By: Tonette Orejas – Inquirer

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Gordon will help RP change for the best

A 30,000-STRONG group of volunteers with members nationwide has raised the call for Filipinos to address the serious and worsening problems facing the country by choosing the righteous candidates in the 2010 national and local elections.

“It is politics as usual that has gotten our country into the serious and worsening predicament it is in. We refer to transactional politics, one that knows nothing of right or wrong; it is politics that is animated by greed for money and lust for power,” said Leon “Porong” Herrera, president of the 30,000 Bagumbayan Movement.

Herrera pointed out that the country’s current situation is characterized by massive corruption, rampant criminality, the decrepit public education system, lack of healthcare services, the rising prices of food, loss of jobs, unabated conflict and disasters. He warned that unimaginable as it may be, conditions may worsen as the effects of global recession reaches our shores.

“The time has come for all of us to band together as Filipinos for love of country and the common good to start a movement for change.

We must engage in a politics of transformation, first by transforming ourselves into the best citizens that we can be and then together, act to transform the institutions of government so that they can better serve our people,” said Herrera.

Pressed to name one who fits the quality of a leader the group wants, Herrera said Sen. Richard Gordon, who is also chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross, was top on the list.

“More than mere candidates, we need a leader with a vision for our country, a long experience in turning things around from bad to better, and a track record of success in moving people to achieve what was previously thought of as impossible,” Herrera said of Gordon.

Bagumbayan leaders, including the group’s general counsel and founding member, Atty. Rodolfo “Inky” Reyes and Chito Valmocina, former chairman of Bgy. Holy Spirit and Bagumbayan Quezon City Chapter head, explained that only by having a leader such as Gordon will the country change for the best.

--People's Journal

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Effective April 2009, City Ordinance No. 13 (Series of 2009) entitled “An Ordinance Prohibiting the installation and display of buntings and pennants made with plastic & non-biodegradable materials along the streets, roads and public places within the city of Olongapo” shall be implemented.

Ordinance No. 13 is an essential part of the program of the city government in maintaining Olongapo City’s cleanliness and orderliness, sustain the development of the tourism industry and protect the health of the community.

The City Council last March 09, 2009 passed the said ordinance in line with the implementation of the first solid waste management program of the city.

The ban of plastic straw strings or plastic buntings and other non-biodegradable materials will lessen the volume of pollutants and trash present in the environment.

The City Council noted that “these materials will remain in the environment for hundreds of years, thereby causing long-term pollution and often cause the blocking of drainage and sewer pipes, resulting to flooding. Also plastic materials discarded to the ecosystem cause death and injuries to animals ingesting it”.

The lead agencies for the implementation of this project are the Environmental Sanitation and Management Office (ESMO), the 17 Barangays of the city and the Office of Traffic Management and Public Safety (OTMPS). Violators of the provisions shall be given citations and failure or negligence to settle within ten (10) days shall be further penalized.

Violators of the provisions shall be fined as follows:

First Offense: A fine of Five Hundred Pesos(P500.00)

Second Offense: A fine of One Thousand Pesos (P1,000.00)

Third Offense: A fine of Two Thousand Pesos (P2,500.00), or imprisonment of not more than three (3) months or both, at the discretion of the court and in the case of business entities, cancellation of their licenses or permit for one (1) year.

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Dental health care is the least thought of by many when it comes to health concerns because it appears not to be life-threatening besides being perceived as expensive.

In this regard, an ordinance creating a Dental Services Division under the City Health Office was recently passed by the Olongapo City Council upon the motion of Councilors Gina G. Perez and Angelito W. Baloy and was signed and approved on April 3, 2009 by Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr.

Dr. Donald Vigo, acting supervisor of the Dental Health Services Clinic, recommended the immediate creation of the said division in response to public demand for continuous dental services at affordable cost.

“We are fortunate that the city government is recognizing the importance of dental health with the establishment of the said division under the City Health Office dedicated to oral health care,” Gordon said.

Some of the basic functions of the new division include the delivery of basic dental services to the community and establishment of dental health education programs.

Basic dental services include extraction, filling, cleaning and restoration. The said division is also expected to promote dental education as a preventive tool.

Gordon stresses that “Awareness is the beginning of good dental care. People think that dental care is not important but when we get dental problems we become irritable, we can’t perform well.”

“We use our teeth for proper digestion when eating and it adds to our face value because having a good set of teeth gives us confidence,” Vigo added.


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Friday, April 17, 2009

30 new Subic firms to hire 580 workers

SOME 580 workers are expected to be employed by some 30 newly-registered companies at the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).

Although the global business outlook this year may be unattractive, however, officials of SBMA are counting on this freeport’s strong domestic base to further economic growth during the global financial crisis.

According to SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza, the agency signed up a total of 30 new projects worth P1.5 billion for the first quarter this year, topping by 13.6 percent the recorded volume of new investments in the same period last year.

The new projects brought to 966 the total number of registered investors here, Arreza said during the mass contract signing held at the Subic Gateway Park here.

With the continued influx of investments here despite the global economic slowdown, Arreza said the SBMA is optimistic that Subic will weather the current crisis.

“A 13.6 percent growth despite this global crisis indicates that the Subic Bay Freeport has achieved an excellent level of economic resiliency,” said Arreza.

This is because the SBMA “has created a self-sustaining business environment for the Subic Bay Freeport, which, through the years, was directed towards various industries that require less, if not total dependence, on foreign markets,” he added.

Arreza also pointed out that tourism has become a major economic driver for Subic Bay, and that the growing support industries for this sector, such as hotel construction, keep the local economy afloat.

He added that the maritime industry here still has a lot to offer, as proved by Filipino-owned Tountzis Shipping Inc. that committed a P975.3-million investment, the biggest among the investment projects approved in the first quarter this year.

According to Stef Saño, the SBMA senior deputy administrator for business, the biggest projects proposed by new Subic investors are related to the maritime and logistics industries.

Aside from Tountzis Shipping, which will engage in the buy-and-sell of shipping vessels and in other shipping services like logistics and warehousing, two other big investments are in maritime and logistics.

These are the 7,107 Islands Shipping Corp., which has made the Subic Bay Freeport as its home port, committing P201 million for its cruise ship operations; and Eastern Subic Fuel Depot Corp, which committed P50.8 million for the establishment of gasoline stations and retail outlets for petroleum products.

Saño also identified the other new investor-firms sharing the top 10 list as: Subic Mobymix Concrete Industries Trading, Inc., which will invest P49.7 million for the production and supply of ready-mix concrete products, warehousing, import/export and trading of construction materials, equipment and machinery; R.A. Geigl Realty Construction Corp., P41 million, for the development of housing facilities; and Westcoast Automotive Corp., P39 million, for the sale and distribution of motor vehicles, spare parts, accessories and other related products, as well as repair, maintenance, and leasing of vehicles.

Also among the biggest projects are: HYS-Yacht Phils. Ltd. Co., P36.1 million, for the construction, development and operation of a marina restaurant, resort operation and yacht restoration facilities; Fuso Kasei Philippines Inc., P30.1 million, for the manufacturing of plastic products; Hankook Networks Philippines Corporation, P19.3 million; and Bongture Corporation, P18..2 million, for real estate development, subleasing, management and marketing operations. By: Jess V. Antiporda - Journal online

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Amphibious Training Hits the Shores of Zambales

III Marine Expeditionary Force Public Affairs

The first stages of training for Balikatan 2009 took place on April 14, as Philippine and U.S. Marines hit the shores of San Miguel Beach in San Antonio, Zambales.

The bilateral field training exercise included 60 members of the 28th Marine Company, from Marine Battalion Landing Team 8, Philippine Marine Corps and elements of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit based out of Okinawa, Japan.

Marine Corps leaders from both countries watched the training unfold as several waves of amphibious assault vehicles emerged from the sea to shore. The AAVs debarked U.S. Navy vessels located several miles off the coast. Altogether, more than 200 troops consolidated ashore to seize and destroy simulated enemy terrorist buildings and capture several known role-playing terrorist leaders.

For Philippine Marine leadership, this was a beneficial event in light of the current international threat posed by terrorist organizations worldwide.

"The trend in today's military tactics is counter-terrorist action," said Philippine Marine Col. Ernesto Ravina, deputy brigade commander of the Philippine Marine Corps' Combat and Service Support Brigade. "For today and the next few weeks, both Philippine and U.S. Forces will have benefited from sharing their real-world experiences."

Those real-world experiences were put to the test here, as one platoon of Philippine Marines and two U.S. Marine platoons from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit began clearing buildings occupied by terrorist role players. Using smoke to screen their approach, both Filipino and U.S. forces kicked in door after door in search of terrorist leaders.

As the smoke cleared, a platoon sergeant sounded the "all-clear" and the regrouping process began. Any captured terrorists were immediately taken to an undisclosed location for questioning. For some U.S. Marines, this initial training event marks a promising experience for the rest of Balikatan '09.

"After working with our Philippine Marine counterparts today, I really look forward to the upcoming weeks' training," said Sgt. Daniel Brown, a platoon leader with the 31st MEU and an El Paso, Tx., native. "I think I have a lot to learn from them in the near future."

Balikatan '09 is in its 25th year of this series of training. This year's activities will focus on the humanitarian and disaster relief aspect and improve interoperability among both countries' forces. Story by Staff Sgt. Marc Ayalin

Private First Class Vilrey Allada, left, listens attentively to United States Marine Sgt. Daniel Brown, platoon sergeant and El Paso, Texas, native assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit regarding regrouping procedures and how to properly quarantine captured enemy combatants during a mechanized raid April 14, at San Miguel Beach in San Antonio, Zambales, Philippines. The event was part of first stages of training for Balikatan 2009. The bilateral field training exercise included 60 members of the 28th Marine Company from the 28th Marine Company, Marine Battalion Landing Team 8, Philippine Marine Corps and elements of the 31st MEU based out of Okinawa, Japan. Balikatan 2009 is a joint exercise that promotes unity and readiness between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States. The nations' governments are working bilaterally to ensure humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts are efficient and effective. Balikatan is a Tagalog word that means "shoulder-to-shoulder" and characterizes the philosophy and intent behind the activity.

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Employees of IT firm show volunteerism in Gapo

Neeraj Sharma has been in the Philippines for a month, helping the city government of Olongapo improve some of its Information and Technology systems from its document tracking, network security, to marketing itself as a tourist destination.

Much of this work involves his skills as an IT and marketing consultant for tech giant IBM, which he built for five years.

Sharma, an Indian national, is supposed to be paid handsomely for his stint at Olongapo City. Instead, he is doing this purely as a volunteer.

It is not only Sharma who is helping the Olongapo City government improve its IT needs but seven others from different countries are pooling in their skills.

Some of the members of Sharma’s team are from the US, Australia, Russia, Mexico and Denmark. All of them are working for IBM.

They are part of a global program by IBM where employees are encouraged to volunteer and help build up IT systems in selected developing nations. The program, called the Corporate Service Corps, was started in 2007 and could be considered as the corporate version of the Peace Corps.

Sharma said that while he has done volunteer work before, these were only done in India where it was more geographically convenient.

He has never done volunteer work in any country let alone something that would require his skills as an employee of IBM.

“One of our challenges of course was that we didn’t know each other and we are taking so much information for our project. We started with a ‘pre-work’ preparation in the country where we are currently working, mapping out what we have to do when we arrive in the country and corresponding constantly,” Sharma said.

Upon arriving in the country, Sharma and the other foreigners immediately started working. The first few days were done in the Olongapo City government office and the offices of the IDESS Maritime Center and IDESS Interactive Technologies where the volunteers provided assistance on developing sales and marketing, human resources and software development.

Even as they kept themselves busy, Sharma said the group was still able to visit some schools and residences in Olongapo City where they interacted with the local culture.

Incidentally, Sharma is a vegetarian, a problem that was immediately resolved.

“It’s funny because the term vegetarian has different definitions per country. First, someone cooked shrimp, which I didn’t eat. But then I was introduced to dinengdeng and pinakbet. Good thing the others didn’t have any problems with food.”

Sharma said that the Corporate Service Corps has one of the best volunteer programs among large corporations. Thousands also apply to take part in the activity.

IBM Philippines Country General Manager James Velasquez, one of the executives selecting the participants for the program, said one Filipino, Tom Veloso, was chosen for the first 100 volunteers in 2007. Two other Filipinos, Marie Christine Llanto and Ana Joy Bellosillo, are among the latest volunteers.

In addition, Velasquez added that the Philippines was also one of the recipient countries of the CSC. Davao City and Bohol had received volunteers under the program.

Velasquez said he was also thankful that the global office of IBM continued to choose the Philippines to be among the beneficiaries of the CSC.

“It is a testament of IBM’s commitment to continue growing in this market.”

Sharma said he hoped that other corporations would follow IBM’s lead in helping societies around the world. If he had his chance, he’ll be back in the Philippines to learn more about the culture.

“It was a good experience because I and my colleagues want to share what we’ve learned from the company to others as well. But what’s more important is that it’s a way to help others in this time of economic crisis.” By Alexander Villafania - INQUIRER.net

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Drug test for Hanjin workers

SUBIC, Zambales – Workers of Hanjin Heavy Industries Corp. shipyard in Redondo Peninsula here may be subjected to random drug tests after one of them tried to smuggle 55 grams of marijuana inside the facility, concerned groups have proposed.

Police chief Senior Insp. Nelson dela Cruz identified the suspect as Ismael Anto Bino David Hamalud, 22, a pipe fitter, of Lower Kalaklan, Olongapo City.

SPO2 Jorge Cruz said Hamalud was casually entering the gate when he was stopped by a security officer. Hamalud became uncomfortable, prompting Cruz to examine his pocket which yielded Marijuana.

Police believe HHIC workers could be using marijuana inside the facility.

--By. Ruben A. Veloria – People’s Journal

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25 RHBs surrender

CAMP Conrado Yap, Iba Zambales – At least 25 members and sympathizers of the Marxist-Lenninist Party of the Philippine-Rebolusyonaryong Hukbong Bayan surrendered to government authorities on Easter Sunday.

Provincial police director Senior Supt. Rolando B. Felix, identifies the surrendered who are from remote barangays Babangcal, Pamibian and Taposo in Candelaria town. They are Mystica Flores-Ednave, Candelaria Ecalnir, Fernan Ejan, Samuel Ebalobo, Samuel Ednilao, Eduardo Blanco, Carlo Eclarino, Felicito Kempis, Crisostomo Echon, Glen H. de Guzman; Rosario Austria, Rosario E. Elayda, Arnel Eala, Paquito Ebilane, Manuel Ednalig, Tirso Egalla, Rudy Ellago, Joey Ebal, Jimson Sanchez, Alfredo Buccat, Joseph Buccat, Tirso Buccat, Melvin Echon and Larry Mipa.

Felix said the group surrendered after experiencing hardship in the movement and upon learning that the provincial government under Gov. Amor Deloso has a renewed commitment to the “rebel returnee” program dubbed “Pakikiisa Para Sa Kapayapaan Upang Umusad ang Pag-Unlad ng Bayan.”

--By. Mamer Bañez – People’s Journal

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Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. has expressed appreciation to Neorex Philkor Inc.’s support of the city’s educational program. ‘’Pinapa-salamatan ko ang kompanya sa kanilang hangarin na tulungan ang lungsod.’’

‘’Dahil sa kanilang educational financial assistance ay marami pang mga kabataan ng lungsod ang makakapag-patuloy ng pag-aaral,’’ Mayor Gordon said during the flag raising ceremony of government officials and employees on April 13, 2009 at the Rizal Triangle Multi-Purpose Center.

It can be recalled that a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed by Mayor Bong Gordon and Neorex Philkor Inc. President Hong Sik Park on March 31, 2009 at the FMA Hall of City Hall.

The company binds itself to grant financial assistance amounting to One Thousand US Dollar (US$1,000) or its equivalent in Philippine currency per month for a period of one (1) year.

Likewise, the City Government will furnish the Neorex Philkor Inc. a list of beneficiaries of the educational sponsorship.

Through the city’s scholarship program, financially constrained but intellectually capable young Olongapeños called ’Scholars ng Bayan’’ will receive full scholarship grants in elementary, high school and college levels in any two (2) and four (4) year courses at Gordon College.

Mayor Bong Gordon expresses appreciation to Neorex Philkor Inc. during the flag raising ceremony of government officials and employees on April 13, 2009 at the Rizal Triangle Multi-Purpose Center for supporting Olongapo’s scholarship program. INSET: Mayor Gordon with Neorex Philkor Inc. President Hong Sik Park during the Educational Financial Assistance Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signing on March 31, 2009 at the FMA Hall of City Hall. (Photo and caption/PAO)


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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bagumbayan hinirit na i-accredit bilang political party

Umapela kahapon sa Comission on Elections (Comelec) and Bagumbayan Movement, binubuo ng mahigit 30,000 volunteers, para i-accredit sila bilang political party para sa 2010 elections.

Pinangunahan ni Leon Herrera ang pagsusulong sa formal petition para payagan ang Bagumbayan Volunteers for New Philippines.

“We want to present to the Filipino electorate a formidable roster of leaders who can guide our country out of dire circumstances and bring our people across the threshold of a better future,” sabi ni Herrera.

Positibo naman si Herrera na mabibigyan sila ng accreditation ng Comelec para mapabilang na political party ang Bagumbayan Movement, lalo na at aktibo naman ang grupo sa pagpapa-implementa ng political, social, economic at humanitarian projects.

Ang Bagumbayan ang nagsulong para makilala ang Olongapo City mula sa pagiging ‘Sin City’ sa ‘Model City’.

Ito rin ang naging daan para maging matagumpay ang pagtatag ng Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority at dayuhin ng halos 2 milyong investors mula 2001.

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Olongapo most wanted falls

OLONGAPO CITY -- The most wanted person in this city was arrested by joint elements of Zambales Criminal Investigation and Detection Team and Intelligence Unit of the Olongapo City Police Office.

ZCIDT provincial officer, Chief Insp. Rogelio Peñones Jr., identified the suspect as Charlie Pineda, 28, and resident of 37 Woodhouse St., Bgy. Gordon Heights.

Suspect was arrested at around 2:30 p.m. by a team composed of PO3 Kim Dominic Gamboa, Chen Ramirez of the ZCIDT, and Chief Insp. Julius Caesar Domingo of the Olongapo Intelligence Unit, based on arrests warrants for murder issued by Judge Richard Paradeza and slight physical injuries issued by Judge Norman Pamintuan, MTC, Branch 4, with a recommended bail of P2,000.

Report said suspect was among the six suspects conspired in the killing of Fernando Petilo, 22, at about 10:15 p.m. of March 1, 2005 at Santolan Extention, Purok 3, Bgy. New Cabalan, Olongapo City.

Pineda is detained at the Zambales CIDT detention cell and will be transferred to the Olongapo City jail. By: Mamer Bañez - Journal online

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The initial implementation of the new solid waste management system in Olongapo City commenced on April 16, 2009 with the deployment of 128 Container Bins at Barangay West Tapinac.

Environmental Sanitation and Management Office (ESMO) Head Dante Ramos announced the good news during a radio interview at Subic Broadcasting Corporation dwGO 1008.

“Ang bagong proyekto na bin containerization ay papairalin na dito sa lungsod ng Olongapo. Sa katunayan, ngayong umaga, magkakaroon na ng placement of container bins sa West Tapinac,” said Ramos.

One container bin is allotted for every four to six households initially. “Inaasahan natin na magiging maganda ang resulta ng proyektong ito at darating ang araw na mabibigyan na natin ng tig-iisang bins ang bawat tahanan,” Ramos said.

The container bins are color coded as follows: Yellow for hospitals, Green for households, and Blue for government offices. The city has acquired seven new mechanical trucks to make the process of garbage collection easier.

“This is part of Olongapo City’s CR3 project which stands for Compost, Reduce, Re-use and Recycle,” said Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. “This project will ensure the proper segregation, collection, transport, storage, treatment and disposal of solid wastes in the city.”

Gordon has appealed for the cooperation of city residents in line with the project: “Kung hindi tayo magmamalasakit sa ating lungsod, sino pa ang aasahan natin?”

Ramos also pointed out the dos and don’ts in the proper utilization of the new bins. Only residual wastes (i.e. candy wrappers) are to be disposed in the said bins. The public should refrain from throwing in recyclables such as plastic, bottles, aluminum, paper and steel, and kitchen wastes that rot and may soil the bins.

To complement the CR3 project, Barangay Officials in West Tapinac are proposing to collect recyclable wastes from every household to help facilitate proper garbage disposal.

Other barangays in Olongapo are already being prepared for the implementation of the said project in their respected areas.

The ESMO is also conducting a massive information dissemination drive which started early this year to promote and campaign on the importance of proper waste disposal and solid waste management system to the school children.

Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. shows off the new container bins being distributed to all barangays in Olongapo in connection with the implementation of CR3, the new solid waste management system in the city. (Photo and Caption/PAO)

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Subic investment pledges rise 13.6% in first quarter

INVESTMENT PLEDGES to Subic Freeport grew 13.6% to P1.5 billion in the first quarter from the same period last year, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) said in a statement yesterday.

Investments were mostly for shipping, trading and tourism activities, SBMA said.

The largest of the 30 new projects was the P975.3-million investment of Filipino-owned Tountzis Shipping Inc., which will engage in buying and selling of vessels.

Other big-ticket investments in the first quarter included that of cruise ship operator 7,107 Islands and Shipping Corp. (P201 million) and Eastern Subic Fuel Depot Corp. (P50.8 million).

"Tourism has become a major economic driver for Subic Bay, and the growing support industries for this sector, such as hotel construction, keep the local economy afloat," the statement read further.

Another bulk of investments in the first three months of the year involved ventures into trade and storage of construction materials and realty development.

Subic Mobymix Conrete Industries Trading Inc. plans to spend P49.7 million to produce concrete products, while Bongture Corp. and R.A. Geigl Realty Construction Corp. will invest P18.2 million and P41 million, respectively, to develop real estate.

HYS-Yacht Phils. Ltd. Co. plans to spend P36.1 million for the construction, development and operation of a marina restaurant, resort operation and yacht restoration facilities.

The 30 new projects are expected to generate 580 new jobs, SBMA said.

SBMA said last month that should be able to hit its goal of $7.5 billion in total investments by 2010. So far, pledges from 1992 to 2008 stand at $5.8 billion.

In contrast, investment pledges made to the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) fell by 50% to P13.6-billion in the first quarter from year-ago levels, earlier reports said.

PEZA, however, had said it still hopes to meet its 9.8% growth target to P170 billion by yearend, since firms are expected to push through with their investment plans later this year. — J. A. D. Hermosa - Business World

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Subic's Ang drugs case still stands: PASG

SUBIC BAY FREE PORT—The smuggling case against Anthony Ang, a former business locator here suspected of smuggling in more than 700 kilos of illegal drugs last year, still stands—contrary to some reports it has been dismissed in August last year. “That report is incorrect,” according to Presidential Antismuggling Group (PASG) head Antonio Villar Jr.

Villar, who also heads PASG-Task Force Subic, the local antismuggling unit, set the record straight in a telephone interview with Subic newsmen after it was announced that an independent panel will probe alleged anomalies in handling the Subic drug bust.

“How can the case be dismissed when we have a warrant of arrest for him, and no trial has been set yet since Ang is still missing?” said Villar.

Among the angles to be investigated, the reports said, are the possible accountability of some officers of PASG and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) “who were involved in the case.”

The same reports identified the members of the investigating panel as retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Carolina Griño-Aquino, San Beda Law dean Fr. Ranhilio Aquino and retired Sandiganbayan Justice Raoul Victorino.

Villar added aside from Ang, 14 others have been charged by PASG in connection with the Subic drug bust, including Ang’s wife Estrella, Enrique Ong and Roberto Labanderos, the last two now detained.

Also named in the charge sheet are Ang’s alleged business partners Harry Yao, Robert Lee and Rudy Chua, and Chinese crew men of the boat used in smuggling the drugs—Chi Chan Cheng, Cai Wencong, Jou Jonq Rong, Yang Tren Yen, Jau Jer Woei, Wu Jia Duo, No Lil Lin and Li Jin Zhan, who are all at large.

On the evening of May 25, 2008, Ang tried to bring out of Subic’s SRF area eight boxes from the Vietnamese-registered boat FB Shun Fa Xing.

Under questioning, Ang, a registered Subic business locator, refused to open the boxes and pleaded with SBMA officials to release what he described were “sensitive computer parts.”

Subic authorities gave two conditions for the release of the boxes: that Ang produce the necessary documents, and that a 100-percent inspection of the cargo be made.

After failing after two days to produce the necessary documents, Ang went missing. It was then that the SBMA called on the PASG, and operatives of the two agencies opened Ang’s boxes in the presence of representatives from his company, Hualong International Inc., and found out that they all contained methamphetamine hydrochloride, or shabu.

On May 28 two more bags of shabu were discovered floating on the water at the SRF area, and operatives found 60 more bags of drugs inside a van hidden near the Hualong warehouse.

Finally, on June 7, 2008, operatives of the SBMA Harbor Patrol Branch discovered three boxes containing shabu that were anchored underwater near the area where FB Shun Fa Xing docked earlier. This brought the drug haul from Ang’s suspected operation to a total of 744 kilos of high-grade shabu that authorities said could fetch some P15 billion on the streets. Written by Henry Empeño - Business Mirror

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