Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Friday, July 31, 2009

Zambales PNP reports

IBA, Zambales -- The Police Provincial Office made a modest operational accomplishment from January to June, said provincial police director Senior Supt. Rolando Felix.

Felix reported that 11 persons were arrested for illegal gambling and three cases of violation of PD 1602 as amended by RA 9287 were filed in court.

On loose firearms, 21 persons were arrested and 24 firearms, including seven high powered, were seized, while two homemade shotguns and two .32 revolvers were surrendered to the police.

On protecting the rights of children, eight minor guest relations officers were rescued at a videoke bar and 18 rape cases were filed in court.

Police also rescued a kidnap victim and arrested three suspects. Three suspected Budol-Budol gang members were also nabbed and syndicated estafa charges were filed against them.

They also arrested 22 suspected illegal loggers, and seized 8,799 board feet of lumber worth P175,980 and 844 sacks of charcoal. Three trucks and two tricycles were impounded and their personnel were charged with violation of PD705 as amended by RA 330.

On illegal fishing, the Municipal Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and Bantay Dagat nabbed and charged 51 persons for selling dynamited fish and using cyanide and compressor. By: Mamer Bañez - People's Journal

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Subic, Clark to use unified business-permit system

SUBIC BAY FREE PORT—To facilitate the entry of more investments in the Subic and Clark free ports, a unified business-permit system will be utilized in the two neighboring economic zones starting in September.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Administrator Armand Arreza said the two free ports will implement the Subic-Clark business-permit system as part of a strategic program to propel the local economy toward heightened global participation.

The unified system, Arreza said, will cover the issuance of certificate of registration and tax exemption, permit to operate, and other business permits, in compliance with Republic Act 9485, or the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007.

The SBMA and the Subic-Clark Alliance for Development Council (SCADC), Clark Development Corp. (CDC) and Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) concurred to implement the harmonized business system by signing a memorandum of agreement on July 22.

Arreza said Subic and Clark, which are now connected by the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway since last year, have recently started harmonizing their business operations under the vision of the Arroyo administration of a globally competitive service and logistics hub.

“It’s the most logical recourse — to complement each other and play on each other’s strengths, rather than remain islands of autonomy and inefficiency,” Arreza said.

“By complementing each other, Subic and Clark will have the best chances of becoming the two most progressive investment sites in the Philippines, as well as globally competitive logistics and service hubs that President Arroyo has envisioned,” Arreza added.

He also said that harmonized business operations would enable the two free ports to capitalize on both their US military-built ports and newly constructed facilities to bolster their bid for economic significance in the Asia-Pacific region.

Arreza noted that the SCADC, which is headed by Secretary Edgardo Pamintuan, has so far been successful in its efforts to turn the two former US military bases into interdependent nodes of development in Central Luzon.

In August 2008, the SCADC began the Subic-Clark harmonization program by facilitating the signing of an agreement and joint memorandum order between the SBMA, CDC and the Bureau of Customs for unified procedures on immigration, customs and quarantine in the two free ports.

The agreement signed by the agencies also institutionalized the national single windows program, and established use of the electronic transit admission permit system, an automated cargo clearance and releasing facility, in Subic and Clark.

In June, the SCADC also embarked on a 15-day economic mission to the United States to promote Subic and Clark as twin logistics hubs. This resulted in a memorandum of understanding between the SCADC, SBMA, CIAC and the Southern California Logistics Airport Authority.

Following the mission, US-based door-to-door cargo forwarder Atlas Shippers International also launched its hub for North Luzon operations in Subic.

SCADC officials also conducted a forum on the Subic-Clark international logistics hub during the US mission to drumbeat developments in the two free ports and promote their potentials in catering to the needs of the Asia-Pacific region.

Arreza noted that Subic and Clark, which previously operated as competing economic zones, “have realized that their diversity could provide a common strength that will define, focus and magnify their individual capacities.”

With these complementation efforts, the two free ports “are steadily moving towards combining their assets to become catalysts of development for Central Luzon and other parts of the country,” Arreza added. Written by Henry Empeño - Business Mirror Correspondent

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Recently approved resolutions



22 July 2009





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Job Opportunities in Olongapo Subic Bay

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Thursday, July 30, 2009


Over 300 Olongapeños received free medicines and consultations at the Mobile Medical and Dental Clinic project of Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. held in Brgy. New Banicain Covered Court on July 30, 2009.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

An oasis of wellness rises in Subic

An earthly paradise for individuals seeking health, an ideal place for retirement or a second home for numerous comforts has risen in a sylvan section of Subic.

The George Dewey Medical & Wellness Center is the only one of its kind in the Philippines and perhaps in the world. Located in an exclusive, gated facility called Villa Amorosa, it is a complete health resort for retirees, health seekers and medical practitioners.

The center has all the amenities of a world-class health center: professional care, experienced doctors and nurses, modern facilities, and outlets for sports, shopping, entertainment, leisure and business.

The only tertiary hospital in Subic

It is the only tertiary hospital in Subic, ideally sited for Regions I and II and large parts of Region III, principally Zambales, Bataan, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija and Pampanga. Recently issued a license to operate by the Department of Health, the center will have its grand opening on Saturday, August 15.

The wellness center sits on a 12-hectare facility on top of a hill, in the middle of a forest. A US-compliant hospital system was installed in the facility two weeks ago and nurses are currently training and familiarizing themselves with the system.

Owned and operated by George Dewey Medical College Inc., the center’s medical college is four years old, going five. It offers BS in Nursing. Beginning School Year 2010, BS in Radiology and BS in Medical Technology will be offered. Other courses—Dentistry, Opthalmology, Physical Therapy and Medicine—will be introduced in 2011.

Professional staff, total health care

Highly respected practitioners and well known for their experience, professionalism and integrity make up George Dewey Medical & Wellness Center’s medical staff. Many of its doctors are US- and Canada-trained. They have impeccable credentials. Almost all, save for a few, are doing their practice in leading hospitals in Metro Manila.

Readers will be pleased to know that the center’s medical and health-related services cover cardiac surgery, joint and hip replacement, reconstructive surgery, corneal transplant, refractive surgery and multi-focals, dental implants, stem cell rejuvenation, sleep-disorder therapy, transplant surgery, laboratory analysis, pain management and fertility clinic.

Many of the 12-hectare facility’s departments are in business: a medical college; a tertiary world-class hospital; a world-class wellness center; a chapel; and a gym cum sauna (for men and women) now accepting membership.

Open for business

The center’s 72-bed facility for retirees will be ready for occupancy in a month’s time. Scheduled to open in the next two months are the additional 500 condominium units for retirees; a breathtaking “Flower Park;” a mini-sports complex that includes a covered badminton court, pool tables, swimming pool and bowling alley; mini-mart, coffee shops, convenience stores, gift shops, fine restaurants; a clubhouse for conferences, club meetings and socials; a mini-theatre for 500 guests; housing facilities for visiting relatives and friends; a business center; and a theme park. Parking space is ample.

The center is positioned to compete in the domestic and global markets. In addition to serving the medical and health needs of Filipinos and expatriates, it seeks to capture a share of the growing medical tourism market here and overseas.

Management sees the domestic market as a sizeable, rich client base. Many patients from Northern Luzon (Regions I and II) now travel all the way to Metro Manila hospitals for medical treatment and other services because of a dearth of tertiary hospitals with first-class facilities and a shortage of professional doctors in their places.

A globally competitive facility

In the Freeport zone alone, there are roughly 70,000 to 90,000 workers, some 6,000 to 9,000 local and foreign executives and hundreds of local and foreign tourists. More than 3,000 US veterans and retired servicemen live in and around Olongapo. Their main complaint is the absence of a tertiary hospital in the former US naval base.

The middle and upper economic classes remain a vibrant, viable market. Other nationalities have made the Philippines their second home. In Subic, the Koreans are productively engaged in education, restaurants, shipbuilding and entertainment. Their number increases by the day.

The more than 2.9 million Filipino residents and immigrants in the US prefer the Philippines because medical care here is cheaper than in America. The Filipino-American gets first-class care in Manila, able to enjoy a month-long sabbatical and still has enough money saved on his return home.

The aging populations in countries like Japan, Korea, Singapore, the United States, Canada and Italy are expected to boost the market for medical and wellness care. Patients from Guam, Saipan and the other islands of United States Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), and the Republic of the Marshall Islands are seen to be seeking medical care in Manila.

Good news for the country

Villa Amorosa is several minutes away from an international airport, close to a yacht club and within comfortable distance from the Subic beach.

The center, according to a facility administrator, has defined the real meaning of medical tourism, what a full-service system is all about: professional medical care, a health resort for wellness and rejuvenation in complete synergy with nature, offering opportunities for a healthy and happy lifestyle.

George Dewey Medical & Wellness Center answers a whole range of needs in healthcare and enjoyable retirement. It is poised on making the Philippines a preferred health care destination competing with the world’s best. Manila Times

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Gapo bgy chief suspended

OLONGAPO City -- A barangay captain here was meted out a 90-day suspension after administrative charges were filed against him by a barangay kagawad.

Barretto Barangay Captain Carlito Baloy’s preventive suspension was recommended by the City Council convening as a collegial body. His co-respondent, Barangay Kagawad Ronald Elayda, was meted out a 30-day suspension.

Baloy’s suspension stemmed from two administrative cases filed before the Sangguniang Panglungsod by Barangay Kagawad Ferdinand Aquino.

Aquino accused Baloy of abuse of authority, grave oral defamation, slander by deed, malversation of public funds, oppressive conduct, gross negligence and numerous other charges.

In a resolution, the City Council said, “the preventive suspension is not a penalty in itself but designed merely as a measure of precaution so that the accused may not be able to exercise his power and influence within his jurisdiction while under investigation.” Journal online

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President urged to fast-track law against child pornography

OLONGAPO CITY, Philippines : A Religious voice from inside and outside the Philippines have joined to ask President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to help end abuse of Filipino children by pushing an anti-pornography law through Congress.

Columban Father Shay Cullen, an Irish missioner who has been working to save and heal abused children and exploited women in the Philippines for more than three decades petitioned Arroyo to declare the House Bill No. 684 as “urgent.”

The priest who founded the People's Recovery, Empowerment Development Assistance Foundation (PREDA) in Olongapo City, 80 kilometers northwest of Manila, started in mid-July his campaign to ask Arroyo to “act decisively to protect Filipino children.”

He wrote the president that child pornography damages thousands of children for life.

Children are abused when their images are recorded and then again when these are spread around the world through the Internet or “made available on the streets of the Philippines for all to purchase with impunity,” the priest wrote.

“They are shown to other children as training videos to seduce them into becoming commercially sexually exploited children, and they too are abused and damaged for life.”

Father Cullen told UCA News of one case PREDA dealt with about four years ago.

Twins Irene and Isabel, 15, were sold by their mother to a pimp and brought to Metro Manila. There they were photographed and recorded nude on stage in a nightclub, with the images distributed on DVD .

“A neighbor in Olongapo tipped us off about the identity of the pimp, but we missed them in the club,” Father Cullen recalled.

When Isabel later managed to escape from the club, she went to PREDA to ask for help to rescue her sister from the house in Pasay City, south of Manila, where she was being held. The girl was about to be sent to Japan.

Father Cullen and PREDA’s paralegal officer accompanied the girls’ mother to the house and took the girl.

“We hurried with her (Irene) to our waiting van and sped away before the pimp and police could stop us,” the priest said.

The 2007 Children in Need of Special Protection Study recorded 1,026 cases of sexual abuse in 2006, compared to 374 in 1997. A 2001 study by the Department of Social Welfare and Development revealed more than 1,000 child rape cases in the National Capital Region alone.

House Representative Nikki Prieto-Teodoro of Tarlac, who introduced the anti-pornography bill, told reporters child abuse prevails in the country due to inadequate or obsolete laws.

In response to Father Cullen’s online campaign, the Provincial Superior of the Blessed Sacrament Fathers in Ireland also sent his own letter to Arroyo to push Congress to approve the proposed anti-child pornography law.

Father Patrick Costello sent the letter to Arroyo later in July with an emailed copy to Father Cullen.

He wrote the president that he feels a special closeness with Filipinos who comprise the second largest group of immigrants in Ireland, next to the Poles. Courtesy : UCAN

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The Olongapo City Public Employment Service Office (PESO) posted several employment opportunities required by a private tertiary hospital located in Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

“A number of pharmacists, therapists, nurses, nursing aides, telephone operators, receptionists, cashiers, billing and collecting officers, massage therapists, housekeeping personnel and beauticians are needed by George Dewey Medical and Wellness Center,” explained Evelyn delos Santos, PESO Manager.

“The establishment of George Dewey Medical and Wellness Center will boost medical-tourism,” said Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. at the flag raising ceremonies held last July 27, 2009 at the Rizal Triangle Covered Court.

“Medical tourism requires professionals from the fields of medicine, nursing, office administration and other hospital-related occupations and Olongapeño jobseekers may benefit from these employment opportunities,” Mayor Gordon explained.

According to Mayor Gordon, the George Dewey Medical and Wellness Center has invited President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and visitors from other countries for its ribbon-cutting on August 15, 2009.

It can be recalled that James L. Gordon Memorial Hospital (JLGMH), a tertiary hospital owned and managed by the city government, also caters to medical-tourism with its competitive healthcare standards and modern hospital facilities.


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The Sangguniang Panlungsod of Olongapo recently passed Resolution No. 94 (series of 2009) entitled, ‘’A Resolution Authorizing City Mayor James Gordon, Jr. to Accept and Receive the Vehicle Donated by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to the City of Olongapo for Use in the Implementation of the 6th Country Program on Population Strategy’’.

On motion of City Councilor Elena C. Dabu, co-sponsored by City Councilors Gina G. Perez, Rodel S. Cerezo, Edwin J. Piano, Angelito W. Baloy, Aquilino Y. Cortez, Jr., Anselmo A. Aquino, Jonathan G. Manalo and Cheenee F. Hoya, the members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod approved the said resolution unanimously.

The UNFPA 4x4 White Toyota Hi-Lux, 2006 Model is initiated to be instrumental in ensuring the quick implementation of the city's initiatives relating to data-collection for the formulation of meaningful policies, and execution of programs on population strategy and reproductive health.

It can be recalled that the UNFPA has been the city's partner in implementing the 6th Country Program on Population Strategy and Reproductive Health which revolves on programs that promote the rights of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity, reduce poverty and ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV/AIDS, and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect.


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New tollway eases flow of people, cargo—Clark league

Clark businessmen and Angeles City residents now take the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway for their transport requirements en route to Manila and Subic Bay.

The chief executives of a major investors’ league in Clark Freeport Zone confirmed their preference to use the 94-kilometer stretch for its time efficiency, highlighting reduced travel time as among the advantages of using the state-owned expressway.

“The expressway has made business and other activities easier not only for Clark investors but also for Angeles City residents and commuters,” Clark Investors and Locators Association Inc. president Jeannie del Rosario Ng said.

Since the tollway became operational in July 2008, a lot of local tourists from Angeles City now go to Subic Bay to see the theme parks and other attractions in the economic zone, Ng said.

CILA is among the leading business organizations, which played a big role as a moving force for the inflow of 781 investors in Clark. The association has been in existence for the past 10 years and has consistently been at the forefront in addressing aspirations and concerns of the locators.

“We are using the interchanges to travel to and from Manila to avoid traffic at the McArthur Highway,” Philippine Sundt Construction and Development Co. president David Marr said.

Nanette Qua of Amerton Global shared the same experience and said, “It helps reduce our travel time. It is the best alternative route to avoid the congested Dau area.”

“The south entrance has been a great help for commuters to travel from North Luzon Expressway to SCTEX then to Clark that fast,” said Mike Sozon of Clark Liberty Warehouse Club Inc. He suggested the integration of Nlex and SCTEX toll tag.

The Bases Conversion and Development Authority opened the Clark South Interchange last April 5. Last Dec. 23, the Clark North Interchange became operational. Both interchanges provide direct access to and from Clark and the SCTEX. Manila Standard Today

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Driftwood Beach is a legitimate property of the city government of Olongapo, official records show.

Driftwood Beach is part of the formerly referred to as Maquinaya Beach, now known as Bo. Barretto, and Maquinaya Beach was turned over by the United States Navy to the then Community of Olongapo in accordance with Republic Act 6449 (1972) and supported by Proclamation No. 2472 (1985) that states lands of public domain such as Halfmoon Beach and Maquinaya Beach shall be disposed upon the recommendation of the Mayor of Olongapo City.

From the year 1996 to 1997, the city of Olongapo thru Resolution No. 58 (series of 1996) and Resolution No. 20 (series of 1997) manifested its desire to protect and reserve government lots and properties of Olongapo from illegal occupancy including Maquinaya and Halfmoon Beach.

“Due to the resolve of the city government to reserve and prevent illegal occupancy of the said properties, on August 11, 1999, the City Council of Olongapo thru Resolution No. 87, authorized the Barangay Officials of Brgy. Barretto to operate and manage Driftwood Beach for fund raising purposes up to the end of year 1999,” according to City Planning Officer Engr. Marivic Nierras.

Brgy. Barretto’s management continued even after 1999. On August 2002, Brgy. Captain Mercedes Nafarrete of Brgy. Barretto turned over Driftwood Beach including some equipment to the city government. Also, Nafarrete stated that Driftwood Beach is only borrowed from the city government on her letter to Mayor James Gordon Jr. dated April 17, 2006.

After the barangay elections, Brgy. Captain Carlito Baloy entered into a Contract of Lease Agreement with the City Government of Olongapo, in behalf of Brgy. Barretto, to lease the Driftwood Beach on February 2008. Today, the city government of Olongapo is taking over the management of Driftwood Beach due to the unfulfilled obligations and unpaid pile of debts of Brgy. Barretto in connection with the lease agreement.


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The Olongapo City Government has intensified its campaign against vandals who paint graffiti in different areas around the city.

“First, vandalism brings down the prices of real estate. Second we are expecting more foreign visitors and this may give them the negative impression about the city,” stressed Mayor James ‘’Bong’’ Gordon, Jr. during the flag raising ceremony of government officials and employees on Monday, July 27, 2009 at the Rizal Triangle Multi-Purpose Center.

Mayor Gordon tasked City Administrator Ferdie Magrata and the City Council to come up with an ordinance with more teeth against vandalism. Likewise, he ordered city officials and employees to strictly monitor and locate places with graffiti.

“Kapag yung may mga graffiti ay private properties, pagsabihan yung may-ari na alamin kung sino yung naglagay ng graffiti at pinturahan agad iyon. Kung sa government naman katulad ng sa eskwela, dapat alamin kung estudyante yung naglagay,’’ the Mayor added.

Mayor Gordon alerted the peacekeeping force of Olongapo, particularly the Philippine National Police (PNP) and barangays telling them to conduct patrols around the city.

“Kailangan ay mahuli natin yung mga naglalagay ng graffiti kung gusto nating dumami pa ang investors dito sa Olongapo. Dapat alisin natin yang mga yan dahil minus factor yan sa interes nila at dapat ma-enganyo natin sila na mag-tayo ng business dito,” said Mayor Gordon.

“Kailangan i-report kaagad para mahuli yang mga yan at hindi na umabuso. Pwede rin akong itext sa 0917 896 1947 para maaksyunan kaagad,” Mayor Gordon added. ‘’May pabuyang limang-libong piso (P5,000.00) sa mga magre-report ng mga vandals kapag nahuli at makasuhan ang mga ito.


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Monday, July 27, 2009


The Environmental Sanitation and Management Office (ESMO) has renewed calls for cooperation of Olongapeños to support and comply with the new garbage collection system of the city.

Dubbed as the “CR3” or Compose, Reduce, Re-Use, Recycle program, this new system for waste disposal aims to properly segregate the city’s garbage thru the 4,167 garbage bins distributed to the seventeen (17) barangays of Olongapo beginning April 2009.

According to the new waste management system, residuals or garbage that can not be re-used or recycled such as tattered or damaged plastic bags, toys, ballpens, pencils, clothes or rags, disposable diapers, sanitary napkins, styrofoam, animal waste, broken or waste pyrex, bottles, mirrors, bulbs and ceramics should be placed in a separate plastic bag and then to the garbage bin.

However, recyclable materials such as dry newspapers , magazines, booklets, brochures, posters, flyers, phone directories, white or colored papers, boxes, cartons, tin/metal/aluminum cans , aluminum foil s, undamaged plastic or glass bottles or empty aerosol containers should not be thrown to the garbage bins but instead be placed in a separate area so that barangay/purok helpers or accredited barangay or government materials recovery facilities will be able to collect and recycle the garbage properly.

Moreover, the ESMO encourages Olongapeños to decompose their bio-degradable wastes such as left-over foods, fruit and vegetable peels and seeds, egg shells, fish wastes and others, if they have available space for composting outside their homes or place them in a separate plastic bag before throwing in the bins.

Aside from advancing the concern for the environment, the CR3 project also promotes the beautification of the city. The 240 (small) -555 (big) liter capacity bins prevent garbage litters outside houses and on the streets while the green uniformity of these bins is in line with the Clean and Green campaign of the city.

On the other hand, Mayor James “Bong” Gordon Jr. is reminding the people of Olongapo that garbage burning is detrimental to the environment and may cause accidental fires and loss of life and properties. “It is also a violation of the law,” Mayor Gordon said referring to R. A 8749 otherwise known as the Clean Air Act (1999).


Environmental Waste Solutions (EWS) Philippines has completed its delivery of around 7,400 two- and four-wheeled mobile garbage bins and seven garbage compactor trucks to the City of Olongapo.

EWS has also finished implementing a source separation informational and educational campaign for the citizens of the Olongapo, as well as completed a mobile garbage bin placement service so that the bins are strategically positioned throughout the city to achieve optimum results.

Olongapo is the first city in the country to implement a citywide containerized system. Said system is already up and working well and the project has been well received by the people.

For more information regarding Olongapo City's campaign to improve its Solid Waste Containerization and Transport System, you can visit their website at:

Below is a picture of one of the bins and trucks delivered to Olongapo City

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Friday, July 24, 2009


Immediate dependents of active Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) members will have more opportunities to educational assistance with the Skill-for-Employment Scholarship Program or SESP for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) dependents.

An unmarried brother or sister aged 21 and below of unmarried OFWs and spouse or child below 21 years of age of married OFW, who is at least elementary graduate and is a Filipino citizen can apply to this scholarship,” according to Public Employment Service Office head, Evelyn delos Santos.

Qualified SESP scholars may avail of any identified in-demand technical-vocational (tech-voc) programs not exceeding 1 year in duration. However, a scholar may be allowed to enroll in a 2-year vocational course providing that OWWAs financial assistance will only be limited to a maximum of P14, 500, both for a 2-year or one year tech-voc courses.

Among the courses that a qualified applicant may choose from are the following:

1. Caregiver, Medical Transcriptionist course or other
related courses to health, social and community services.
2. Machine/Lather Operator
3.All technician/Mechanic/Electrical and electronic courses
4. Information Technology courses (IT):
Software/Computer Programmer, Personal Computer
(PC) Operation and PC Technician
5. Tourism and Hotel Management Courses such as
Housekeeping Course, Food and Beverage Service,
Commercial Cooking, Baking/Pastry Production, Front
Office Service and Bartending

SESP scholars may enroll to any OWWA partner institutions such as Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) or any accredited OWWA schools or institutions.

As of today, deserving Olongapeño OFW dependents have already received the financial assistance from SESP and are enrolled in different learning institutions in the city.

Interested applicants may visit the Olongapo City PESO at the ground floor of Olongapo City Hall for referrals and documentary requirements.


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Four hundred (400) more beneficiaries received Philhealth Indigent cards from the city government at the mini-program held at the lobby of Olongapo City Hall last July 22, 2009, led by Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr.

Recipients of the said assistance and their qualified dependents will be able to use their cards in aid of healthcare expenses until the 15th of April 2010. Said distribution was the 4th part of the series of allocation for 2009 and one to many batches of allotment for the last years wherein thousands of families already benefitted.

“Thru the initiative of Mayor Gordon, the hospitalization expenses of the grantees and of their dependents in times of need will be less worrisome because of this healthcare insurance in coordination with James L. Gordon Memorial Hospital (JLGMH),’’ explained Lino Jose, in-charge of the city’s Philhealth Indigent project.

Meanwhile, the city government is set to grant more indigent cards to underprivileged individuals in the coming months.

Mayor James Gordon with one of four hundred (400) beneficiaries of Philhealth Indigent cards distributed last July 22, 2009 at the lobby of Olongapo City Hall.


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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hanjin to spend $86M more in Subic facility

HANJIN Heavy Industries and Construction Corp (HHICC) is making an additional $86 million in capital infusion in its Subic shipbuilding facility.

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) said Hanjin has registered a new investment with the agency for the production of ship components at the Subic facility.

The SBMA said the capital infusion would be committed in two parts: $29million starting September this year, and $57 million next year and onwards.

By September, Hanjin will begin local production of ship components which they normally import from Korea for the assembly of ships at the Subic shipyard.

This will make the ships produced at the Hanjin shipyard in Subic, entirely Philippine-made.

As of 2008, Hanjin has invented $1.6 billion for the facility. As of January,it had 16,874 employees working in Subic.

The entry of Hanjin into the country has made the Philippines the fourth largest shipbuilder in the world.

Hanjin is now Subic’s leading exporter with freight-on-board (FOB) value of $179.36 million n the first quarter.

The company started operations in Subic in 2006. The first oceangoing vessel constructed in Subic by Hanjin was delivered in 2008.

Hanjin is expected to continue boosting Subic’s revenue and employment generation programs vy turning out 15 new container vessel this year.

By 2016, Hanjin will manufacture the world’s largest gas tanker and cargo ship in this facility.

--By. Irma Isip – Malaya

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In the bid to strengthen measures against pornography involving children in Olongapo, Mayor James ‘’Bong’’ Gordon, Jr. recently signed a resolution passed by the city council supporting the stand of Senators Richard Gordon, Loren Legarda, Jamby Madrigal, Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero, Juan Miguel Zubiri, Lito Lapid and Ramon Revilla, Jr. on Senate Bill No. 2317.

“Women sensitivity and children’s welfare and issues are among the many utmost priority of the city,’’ Mayor Bong Gordon stressed.

On the unanimous accord of the members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod passed Resolution No. 83 (series of 2009) entitled, ‘’A Resolution Supporting the Passage of Senate Bill No. 2317 Otherwise Known as, ‘An Act Prohibiting Child Pornography Imposing Penalties for the Commission Thereof and for Other Purposes.”

Recorded cases in the country show that children ages twelve (12) to seventeen (17) years old are common prey for pornographic exploitation. However, reports involving victims even younger than age five (5) is growing at an extremely alarming rate.

This, with the backdrop of poverty, sex trade and sex tourism, trafficking and especially with evolving advanced technology and globalization, persuaded the city council to come up with the resolution.

The resolution aims to protect children from any form of sexual exploitation and pornography, which could also come from among the children’s family and relatives.


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More than five (500) hundred children from the seventeen (17) barangays of Olongapo aged seven (7) to ten (10) in the Chikiting Category and eleven (11) to fifteen (15) in the Bagets Caterogy competed in Patintero, Piko and Tumbang Preso at Rizal Triangle Multi-Purpose Center on July 17 and 18, 2009 in the first ever Larolympics. The event was a joint effort of the city and Anak TV Foundation.

Mayor James ‘’Bong’’ Gordon, Jr. led the awarding of winners in the elimination and the championship round assisted by Anak TV Foundation President and IBC-13 President Bob del Rosario, RPN-9 Assistant General Manager Edith del Rosario, Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Federation President Cheenee Hoya and City Councilor Rodel Cerezo.

The following reaped victory in the recently held Larolympics 2009:

Chikiting Category – Brgy. Barretto
• Sheanelle Maureen Moran
• Dianne del Rosario
• Nicole Espelimbergo
• Rhianna Mae del Rosario

Bagets Category – Brgy. Pag-asa
• Ressha Jean Moselina
• Lovely Dianne Saplala
• Aprilyn Uriza
• Crislaine Yabut

Chikiting Category – Brgy. Kalaklan
• Angelo Reyes
• John Renz Gaudia
• Ellaine Joy Gedaria
• Patricia Jane Dumalasa

Bagets Category – Brgy. East Bajac-Bajac
• Leshia dela Cruz
• Lorelie Villanueva
• Yuto Uriza
• Mark Anthony Bigao

Chikiting Category – OCARE & Social Development
Center (SDC)
• Jeric Pura
• Mark Ancello Franco
• Arjay Ausan
• Danilo Teroy

Bagets Category – Brgy. Banicain
• Ryan Errol Macomb
• Christian John Handumon
• Ronoel Bjorn Leonor
• Micoh Angel

Meanwhile, Christian Cabaltica and Crislaine Yabut from Bagets Category, Jonas Mateo and Sheena Mae Martollas from Chikiting Category were named as the Larolympics 2009 Most Valuable Players (MVP).

The winning teams earned the right to compete with Makati, Marikina, Bacolod, Baguio, Iloilo, QuezonCity, Cebu, Tuguegarao and Iligan City at the national level on August 2009.

Anak TV Foundation Secretary General Mag Cruz Hatol, Arn-Arn of GMA 7’s Unang Hirit and national media from IBC-13, RPN-9, NBN-4 and Manila Bulletin graced the event and witnessed the Championship Games.

"Larolympics" came from the word "larong Pinoy" and "Olympics", a tournament which features traditional games such as Piko, Tumbang Preso and Patintero.

Anak TV Foundation decided to put some ‘twist’ in the games, for instance, in Patintero, the lines used were inscribed with children’s rights, as though they are protecting them while the tin can used in Tumbang Preso bear drawings of drugs, cigarettes and alcohol which the participants have to turn down or resist.

Mayor Bong Gordon in the ceremonial toss of Tumbang Preso during the Larolympics 2009. Also in the picture are Anak TV Foundation President and IBC-13 President Bob del Rosario, City Councilor Rodel Cerezo and City Social Welfare and Development Office head Gene Eclarino. The two (2) day event was held at the Rizal Triangle Multi-Purpose Center on July 17 and 18, 2009.


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Presidential Executive Order No. 137 has designated July as National Disaster Consciousness Month (NDCM) in order to heighten public awareness on the importance of disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness.

“The Philippines is one of the countries in Asia that is highly susceptible to natural calamities, that is why in Olongapo we make sure we are always prepared in the event of typhoons, floods, earthquakes, landslides and volcanic eruptions, and aims towards attaining zero casualty,” Mayor James Gordon, Jr. said during the flag raising ceremony recently.

In keeping with this year's theme, "Pag Alerto, Malayo sa Peligro," the City government lined up activities such as the kick off ceremony which included the peace and order parade and a nationwide earthquake drill held on July 21, 2009 where local government units, government agencies, private and public schools participated in. Public schools in Brgy. Sta. Rita were considered pilot areas in the conduct of the drill hosted by the Olongapo City Disaster Coordinating Council.

“The drill aims to prepare the public on what to do in case of earthquakes and possible scenarios during the incident,” DMO Head Angie Layug said.

Information and Education advocacies and campaigns were also conducted with the help of the members of OCDCC. These were done through press releases and radio interviews.

Other activities which have been identified are capability demonstration and the basic life support training for Bureau of Fire Protection personnel conducted by the city’s Swiss experts visiting the city, namely Christian Hauswirth and Christian deCorvet .

All national government agencies, local government units, non-government organizations and the private sector, media, academe and other stakeholders working towards the promotion of social welfare, human security and environmental protection are participating in the month-long observance.


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Members of the MSO-CARE FOUNDATION have affirmed their commitment of providing the highest quality of medical care to patients on their Annual Induction of Officers and Fellowship held last July 23, 2009 at James L. Gordon Memorial Hospital (JLGMH).

“I commend your dedication to your profession and I admire your concern to the welfare of your patients,” said Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. as guest speaker and inducting officer to the said occasion.

Composed of physicians practicing at JLGMH, MSO-CARE (Medical Staff of Olongapo-Consultants’ Assistance & Rehabilitation Endeavor), the foundation is a non-stock and non-profit organization that also established and supports a Charity Fund for indigent patients admitted at JLGMH.

The Board of trustees of MSO-CARE Foundation is composed of fifteen (15) members, nine (9) of whom were chosen by the general assembly while the remaining five (5) members came from the Departments of Medicine, Surgery, Anesthesia, Obstetrics & Genecology, Pediatrics and Radiology and from among the board, officers were elected.

For 2009, inducted MSO-CARE officers are:

President: Gumersindo M. Garcia, III, MD.
Vice-President: Ma. Leah Pulmano-Lim, MD.
Secretary: Elaine B. Corpus, MD.
Treasurer: Dennis Delgado, MD.
Asst. Secretary: Soccoro Pineda-Acosta, MD.
Auditor: Ma. Agnes P. Soriano
P.R.O: Randolf Carmelo Trinidad, MD.

Doctors Teresita Ortin-Oliver, Rudy B. Alconga, Jr., Jaime Jesus Rojo, Cyrus Peralta, Edgardo Bongco, Daisy Grace Rivera, Jeanette Molina, and Herbert Echaluse compose the Board of Trustees.

“These doctors not only save lives but also inspires the people of Olongapo to help for the common good,” Mayor Gordon explained.

Mayor James “Bong” Gordon as Inducting Officer and Guest Speaker at the Annual Induction of Officers and Fellowship of MSO-CARE Foundation on July 23, 2009 at James L. Gordon Memorial Hospital.


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Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Olongapeño call center hopefuls are invited to present their abilities and skills in customer service at the Special Recruitment Activity (SRA) to be held on August 3, 2009 at the Olongapo City Convention Center, 9:00 to 5:00 pm.

Made possible thru the efforts of the city government of Olongapo and of Global Sutherland Services, this SRA will provide competitive employment opportunities to qualified applicants.

Sutherland Global Services is an American Business Process Outsourcing Company (BPO), employing over 18,000 workers across 19 delivery centers based in 19 different countries. In the Philippines, the BPO company has operations in Makati and is now expanding to other areas including to Clark and Tarlac, vicinities that are now very accessible to Olongapeño workers thru the Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX).

“The call center industry today generates thousands of jobs to Filipinos and it also provides above-average salaries and benefits to its employees,” said Mayor James ‘’Bong’’ Gordon, Jr.

According to the Department of Labor and Employment or DOLE, that as of 2006, the Bureau of Investments estimated that there were about 112,000 people working in call centers in the country which brought in more than $1 billion in revenues in 2005.

For details and inquires, interested applicants may visit the Olongapo City Public Employment Service Office (PESO) or visit the City Skills Training Center at the third floor of Olongapo City Hall.


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Olongapo mayor bent on sending local workers to Guam

OLONGAPO CITY – Call it persistence and what you will, but Olongapo City Mayor James “Bong” Gordon Jr. is not about to let go of an opportunity when he sees one.

After learning that a massive military buildup will be made in Guam starting next year, Gordon has been to Guam twice in the last two months to see how his proposal is being accepted by the island’s authorities.

“We cannot just stand by and wait. We have to work fast because the livelihoods of a lot of people depend on this,” Gordon said.

Gordon estimates that some 15,000 to 20,000 jobs would be available once the construction of a huge military complex in Guam starts.

He said that most of the initial construction projects would require carpenters, masons, electricians, heavy equipment operators, pipe fitters, painters, and welders.

And if Gordon would have his way, Filipinos – specifically those who worked at the former Subic Naval Base, should be given priority during the Guam hiring.

“This is where the former base workers could come in, because they were trained to meet the working standards of the US military,” Gordon also said.

“This is the Olongapo advantage – something that workers from other areas don’t have,” he said.

Gordon said he wants no stone left unturned in the face of the challenges relative to the rules that will govern wage rates and foreign workers.

According to Guam officials, there is now a proposal to amend the 2010 Defense Authorization Act to limit foreign worker participation in Guam’s massive military buildup to 30 percent and raise construction worker pay to roughly $26 an hour.

Guam officials said the current $21-an-hour rate now anticipated by Philippine-based workers is already considered high pay by exchange rate standards.

Guam Gov. Felix Camacho and local businessmen are said to be against this bill, which they consider bad for business.

Gordon said Olongapo and Guam officials are set to sign a sisterhood agreement to enhance goodwill and trade relations between the two communities that share a history of hosting American military facilities.

Gordon said he and Guam senator Eddie Calvo have gone through the initial steps towards the signing of a sister-city accord, including possible areas of mutual help and cooperation.

“Both parties want strong partnership ties because of our common history,” Gordon told The STAR in an interview.

By. Bebot Sison Jr. – Philippine Star

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“ Because the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW’s) are our modern-day heroes, bringing in dollar revenues that elevate the economic status of the nation and sacrificing and working hard to fend for their families, their dependents deserve no less than the best assistance the government could provide,” said Mayor James Gordon Jr. in connection with the EDSP project of Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

The EDSP or Education for Development Scholarship Program is a financial subsidy for the immediate dependents of active OFW’s who intend to pursue courses leading to baccalaureate degrees or four-year courses. Scholarship privileges include allowance and tuition and other school fees amounting to P 30,000.00.

Possible awardees will be selected on the basis of their performance in the National Examination administered by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-Science Education Institute.

Limited to one scholarship grant per OFW family, applicant must:

a. Be a child of an active OFW below 21 years of age
b. Be a Filipino citizen and with no pending application for citizenship in any country and does not have dual citizenship
c. Be of good moral character
d. Have not earned units in any post secondary/undergraduate course
e. Be a high graduate
f. Not be a recipient of any scholarship grant

Olongapo applicants will be referred by the Olongapo City Public Employment Service Office (PESO) to DOLE and deadline of submission of application and documentary requirements will be on August 31, 2009.

For details and inquiries, visit the PESO at the ground floor of the Olongapo City Hall or call 224-8390 local 4168.


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Subic Legend closed, 250 workers in difficult situation

Subic-based Legend International Resorts Inc. suspends operations, places 250 workers on forced leave

SUBIC BAY FREE PORT—Beleaguered hotel and casino operator Legend International Resorts Ltd. (LIRL) has suspended operations of most facilities at its Legenda Resort Hotel here, placing some 250 employees on forced leave since Saturday.

David Maund, a Hong Kong-based liquidator acting as agent for the LIRL, said in a memorandum to Legenda workers that operations will be “temporarily suspended at some of the company’s hotel, food and beverage, and related facilities.”

“The company’s administration and support functions will also be temporarily rationalized commensurately,” he added in the July 17 memo.

According to Maund, the LIRL management “has taken the difficult decision to rationalize the company’s operations” in an effort to “stem losses and preserve the company’s cash reserves.”

As a result, the firm will suspend payment of all wages and benefits to all the affected employees effective on July 18 “and until further notice for a maximum period of up to six months,” Maund added.

“This is not a termination of your employment by the company,” the official assured the affected workers. “Any accrued entitlements as at July 18 will remain intact throughout the period of suspension of wages and benefits in full compliance with law,” he said.

Maund also told the suspended workers that they will be notified should any development arise regarding the status of their employment with the company.

In the same memo to employees, Maund said efforts by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) to terminate LIRL’s lease agreement, business registration and permit to operate had led to “a very substantial deterioration in LIRL’s occupancy levels.”

These, along with the closure of the company’s casino operations since May 2006, had placed “further pressure on cash flows,” he added.

The SBMA, however, said in a statement that attributing LIRL’s current woes to SBMA’s efforts to collect payment for the company’s debts was “grossly unfair.”

“The real culprit here is the mismanagement of LIRL, which has caused the company to accrue huge debts to the Philippine government, including unpaid obligations to the SBMA amounting to P850 million,” said lawyer Roy Pastor, manager of the SBMA labor department.

“In fact, the SBMA has worked on a debt-restructuring scheme with the LIRL management, which the company has not complied with,” he added.

Pastor said in face of the suspension of Legenda workers, the SBMA will look into possible labor violations arising from LIRL’s action, “including its alleged failure to file the appropriate notice with the Department of Labor and Employment.”

“The SBMA will definitely not allow these employees to become victims of LIRL’s mismanagement,” Pastor added, saying his department’s retooling program for displaced workers will be made available to Legenda employees.

SBMA labor officials also presided on Monday over the initial conciliation meeting between the LIRL management and workers, when they agreed that the leave credits of the affected employees be converted to cash.

It was also resolved in the meeting that the employees’ “saved funds”—a provident fund drawn from the workers’ salaries—be placed under security bond, and that the affected workers be paid all the wages and benefits due them “when resumption of operations will no longer be possible.”

Present in the meeting were LIRL’s legal counsel Rex Tadena and human resources manager Jennire Torres, as well as eight representatives from the rank of employees. Written by Henry Empeño / Business Mirror Correspondent

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Ombudsman to probe BCDA execs, contractor

THE Office of the Ombudsman has found sufficient basis to proceed with its investigation of officials of the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) and the Japanese contractor Hazama-Taisei- Nippon Steel Joint Venture (HTN JV) in connection with the controversial P30-billion Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) project.

Aleu Amante, OIC-director, PIAB-C, in a ruling dated June 11, 2009, asked the respondents to file their counter-affidavits and their own evidence within 10 days upon receipt of the order.

Named respondents were Gen. Narciso Abaya (ret.), BCDA president and CEO, lawyer Arnel Paciano Casanova, BCDA legal counsel and Maj. Gen Eduardo Lena (ret.), program manager for engineering and construction.

Also asked to give their sides were Japanese nationals Tadahiko Kajima, Makota Yoshida, Yoichi Inoue, Kunio Kimata and Tsunemi Nagata, court records revealed.

The case stemmed from the charges filed in February by Armando de Rossi, president and CEO of Construction Management and Consultancy Asia, Inc., (CMCAI), against the BCDA officials for alleged violation of RA 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Also included in the charge sheet were the earlier mentioned Japanese officials of Hazama-Taisei-Nippon Steel Joint Venture (HTN JV), one of two Japanese contractors of the 97-kilometer expressway project.

The respondents’ failure to submit their counter-affidavit shall be deemed a waiver and the proceeding shall continue according to existing rules, the Ombudsman said in the ruling.

In his complaint, De Rossi claimed HTN JV in complicity with BCDA officials, led by Abaya, failed to settle its obligation with his firm amounting to P59.280 million, representing professional and consultancy fees.

De Rossi claimed his engagement with HTN JV which started even prior to the actual bidding and award of the project resulted in the successful participation of the company in the multi-billion project.

He added that he provided the Japanese firm “valuable information” ranging from contracting procedure, design and scope of the competition to cost and quality estimates of the project. By: Paul M. Gutierrez - Journal online

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Opinions on JC, Ang Kapatiran and CBCP

Did CBCP intend to rebuke Ang Kapatiran?
By Rene Q. Bas - Manila Times

MOST Catholics who try to live their faith—and respect their bishops—are hoping the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) did not deliberately mean to tell the Philippine electorate that Ang Kapatiran’s people and efforts are worthless.

That, sadly, the latest pastoral letter signed on July 12 by CBCP President Archbishop Angel Lagdameo does. The absence in the pastoral letter of even a passing oblique reference to that zealously Catholic-doctrine-guided political party made up of laypersons is an insult to the founders, officers and candidates of Ang Kapatiran. It implies that the Philippine bishops do not acknowledge its existence.

Worse, it also could be a rebuke. For it can be read to mean that the bishops do not think the Kapatiran people are “those who are competent, persons of integrity, and committed to change” whom the CBCP are calling on “to get involved directly in principled partisan politics, and become candidates for political election, aware that the common good is above the good of vested interests.”

Act of injustice

That the pastoral letter did not advert to AK, even without mentioning it’s name, is an act of injustice to Ang Kapitiran’s candidate for president, John Carlos Gordon de los Reyes.

JC is the son of the late Sonny de los Reyes, who was president of the Catholic National Council for the Laity and became a good example of a layman who struggled to be a good Catholic. His mother is Barbara Gordon de los Reyes, who, to many touched by her apostolic labors and personal kindness is an example of how to be a Marylike person.

An accomplished man, JC is the nephew of Sen. Dick Gordon. I’m almost sure Dick is not too pleased with his nephew’s presidential run considering that he himself has his eyes on the presidency.

JC de los Reyes is Kapatiran’s candidate because he is convinced it is his moral duty. He considers it his response to the CBCP’s repeated calls for men and women who “are competent, persons of integrity, and committed to change to get involved directly in principled partisan politics, and become candidates for political election, aware that the common good is above the good of vested interests.”

JC is the only Ang Kapatiran candidate who won in the 2007 elections when he ran for councilor in Olongapo. Without a doubt he won not because of his party but because the people of Olongapo love the Gordons—especially his Auntie Kate and Grandma Amelia.

He is giving the kind of speeches the Kapatiran people give: Bring the Christian virtues to politics and governance.

That is exactly what the CBCP has been saying in its pastoral letters about Philippine democracy, even in the post-WW II elections. The message has just been more pointedly made these past nine years of the Arroyo dispensation.

Original, stricter message

The Kapatiran message, is the original and a stricter version of the Kaya Natin! message. Have good men and women who live their Catholic faith run against the political lords—even if they are not sure of winning. Running against the undesirable politicians is a moral duty. Giving speeches against the bad governance and fraudulent ways of the trapos is a moral duty, like doing what John the Baptist did when he spoke out against the corruption of King Herod.

I understand the CBCP’s reluctance to acknowledge the existence of Kaya Natin! In the first place, Gov. Among Ed Panlilio, who is personally convinced that running for president and abandoning the priesthood, came to him after deep prayer and meditation, is violating canon law. That could be seen as a demerit that makes him a person of doubtful integrity­—even if he looks angelically pure beside his enemies in Pampanga.

But the bishops should have given a thought to the heroic stand of Ang Kapatiran.

Its founder Nandy Pacheco is so zealously pro-Life (he founded the Gunless Society too) that he could not bring himself and his Ang Kapatiran to cooperate with another moral-politics movement because the latter is not willing to adopt the Catholic Church’s pro-Life doctrine. In fact, one of Ang Kapatiran’s requirements for anyone who wants to be a member or be adopted as its candidate for any position is to accept the moral and social teachings of the Church. And Nandy does not even want to whine about it and say anything against the bishops.

Did Archbishop Lagdameo and whoever else helped draft this CBCP apostolic letter simply not even know of Ang Kapatiran’s existence and that it has been pushing the CBCP values to the Filipino electorate?

‘Be not afraid’

Did they simply not know that JC de los Reyes believes that going into politics, combating the wicked and corrupt politicians, are serious moral duties for a Catholic? And that (as the Inquirer quoted him as saying) “We should not be afraid of battling trapos (traditional politicians) even if they can count on money, their machinery, or their popularity”?

Apart from the unfortunate slight on or unjust rebuke of Ang Kapatiran, however, the CBCP’s pastoral letter does a perfect job of calling on the laity to do its duty in the realm of politics and governance.

rqb@manilatimes.net rq_bas@yahoo.com

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Making a joke of the polls

Emil Jurado - To the point - Manila Standard Today

In the past, there were perennial nuisance candidates, among them the late Racuyal who was best known for filing his candidacy for president every time there was an election. Come to think of it, we at the 365 Club at the Hotel Intercon also had the late Lucio de Gala, who would challenge every presidential candidate.

For the forthcoming 2010 polls, we also have coming out of the woodwork candidates who believe they could be president. They are the ones who almost always get 1-to-2-percent ratings in Social Weather Stations and Pulse Asia surveys. Yet they continue to make noise about their aspirations. Are they running for the funds of it?Justify Full

Now comes the biggest joke of all—the candidacy of Pampanga Gov. Ed Panlilio, a priest on leave, who invokes the name of God in his discernment to run for the highest seat in the land. Some gall, indeed, for somebody whose election as governor of Pampanga is now being questioned, who believes that good intentions and idealism are enough to govern well, and who thinks he is the only honest official in Pampanga.

Not to be outdone, my good friend Nandy Pacheco of Ang Kapatiran is fielding an unknown Olongapo councilor, whose name escapes me, to be presidential candidate. This makes the 2010 presidential polls a circus. Send in the clowns, as the song goes!

Panlilio should face reality and refrain from making a joke out of himself. But then, in our kind of democracy, everybody—retired priests included—is free to make a fool of himself.

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Political party tells CBCP: Don’t ignore ‘JC’

By Christian V. Esguerra - Philippine Daily Inquirer

If Nandy Pacheco is scratching his head these days, it’s not because he needs a shampoo.

It’s rather that, much to his chagrin, it hasn’t apparently washed over the Catholic Church hierarchy that the political party he had organized based on Christian precepts has become real with a true-blue presidential candidate.

The founder of Ang Kapatiran party Sunday was incensed upon reading on the website of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) that the prelates saw “no qualified ‘presidentiables’ so far.”

“The bishops know that we have a candidate, so I don’t know why this came out,” Pacheco said. “How can they say that when our party was founded precisely on the social teachings of the Church?”

In its latest pastoral statement released this month, the CBCP said “our present situation poses a great and urgent challenge for active lay participation in principled partisan politics.”

“Many even believe that politics as practiced in our country is a structure of evil. It is alarming that crippling apathy and cynicism has crept in even among our young,” the bishops said.

Pacheco, an advocate of nonviolence who also founded the “Gunless Society,” maintains that Kapatiran has been responding to such a call since 2004 when the party was established.

JC is the name

In May, the party announced that it would field a presidential candidate in the 2010 elections—John Carlos “JC” delos Reyes, a low-key councilor and a member of the Gordon clan in Olongapo City.

Delos Reyes was the lone winner from among Kapatiran candidates in the 2007 elections.

Pacheco also rued that the party has yet to be invited to any of the forums gathering prospective presidential candidates.

“We’re the only party with an official presidential candidate so far yet we’ve not been invited to these forums,” he told the Inquirer.

Asked if organizers were probably not taking the party and its candidate seriously, he said: “That’s how it appears.”

“This is our passion and our crucifixion,” Pacheco said. “What we’re doing is difficult because we are swimming against the current. But it’s faith that keeps us going.”

He said he was “hurt” with the CBCP story, but clarified that he was not blaming the bishops. He said some of the prelates had been accommodating the party’s request for visits in their dioceses.

‘Man of pure heart’

Pacheco described Kapatiran’s candidate as “a man of pure heart fighting big-money politics.”

“With JC at the wheel, I can sleep because I know where we are going,” he said.

On Sunday, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) called on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to stop the forums and debates for the presidential aspirants, saying they were “premature and inappropriate.”

“Right now, we still don’t have a single presidential candidate. What we have now are individuals supposedly aspiring or planning to be presidential candidates. So it is not correct to be staging so-called ‘presidential’ forums this early,” TUCP secretary-general Ernesto Herrera said in a statement.

According to Herrera, an individual’s “self-proclamation” that he or she is interested in running for president does not make him or her a legitimate presidential candidate.

‘This is silly’

“Right now, just about anyone dreaming to run for president can join the so-called ‘presidential’ forums. This is silly,” Herrera said.

The TUCP, a registered party-list group, did not say if it would file a formal petition in the Comelec to ban such forums.

“What is happening now is that a number of individuals are merely using the untimely forums as platforms to project themselves as possible presidential candidates, and collect political contributions, or to promote their secondary political plans to run for vice president or senator,” Herrera said.

He suggested that sponsors call their forums anything they like, except describing them as “presidential.”

Real presidential forums or debates may only be held after the Nov. 30 deadline for the filing of certificates of candidacy set by the Comelec, the former senator added.

Might that be a reason why Kapatiran’s official candidate has not been invited to these talk shows? Or why the bishops have not taken notice of JC? With a report from Jerome Aning

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

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

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

www.subicbay.ph, http://olongapo-subic.com, http://sangunian.com, http://olongapo-ph.com, http://oictv.com, http://brgy-ph.com, http://subicbay-news.com, http://batanggapo.com 16 January 2012