Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hassle-free’ cash card launched in Subic Free Port

SUBIC BAY FREE PORT—Vacations and leisure trips to popular tourism attractions in this free port have just gotten more efficient with the recent introduction of a cashless-transaction system for paying the bills.

This, after Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) and Pilipinas Micro-Matrix Technology Inc. (PMTI), an information and communications technology firm based in this free port, launched the RCBC MyWallet-WOW Mangga Card that integrated features of an ATM card and a credit card.

Prior to the cobranding venture, MyWallet is known as a prepaid stored-value ATM/cash card designed to give holders easy access to the bank’s deposit and withdrawal facilities, as well as faster transactions with business establishments.

The WOW Mangga Card, on the other hand, was recently introduced in the Subic Bay Free Port for cashless payment with accredited business theme parks, hotels, restaurants and other tourism establishments.

The resulting fusion of features “introduces the convenience of cashless transactions with fast and accurate payments that also eliminate the problem of short-changing due to the unavailability of coins,” the firms said in a statement.  

The RCBC-WOW Mangga card can also be used for the unique “hop-on, hop-off” transportation system recently introduced by WOW Card to efficiently bring visitors to various tourism attractions in the Subic Bay Free Port.  

The card, which is now available in RCBC branches nationwide, also allows family vacationers to plan ahead for their trips to Subic with the “Pack Your Own Package” scheme that also provides discounts.

The introduction of the cashless- transaction system, said Raul Marcelo, deputy administrator for business development of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), “will definitely boost the tourism program in the Subic Bay Free Port Zone.”

“At the same time, this will bring Subic to the next level, as far as adapting technology to bolster tourism is concerned,” he added.

The SBMA had earlier endorsed the introduction of PMTI’s WOW Mangga Card to draw more foreign tourists who are more at home with cashless transactions.

“With WOW Card’s joint venture with RCBC, Subic’s bid to be at the cutting edge of technology is further strengthened,” Marcelo said. Written by Henry Empeño / Business Mirror Correspondent

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Team Gordon Inaugurates a livelihood training center

Images of Team Gordon Activities
  • Livelihood and Skills Training Center at Ohio Street Kalaklan Inauguration
  • Blessing and Inauguration of Mercury Street at Brgy Sta Rita
  • Blessing and Inauguration of Footbridge at Lawin Street New Cabalan


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Councilor Piano is Gapo's bet for outstanding councilor of the country

The city councilor who introduced an innovative approach using the “virtual welder trainor” and who created www.sangunian.com with its full listings of City Ordinances and Sanggunian Resolutions starting from 1959 up to the present, both first in the Philippines, is nominated in the 2009 Search for the Outstanding Councilors of the Philippines.

With the task of training thousands of youths but with meager funding, Coun. Piano needed to come up with the solution of imparting the all important skill in welding: the eye – hand coordination. A steady hand is an ultimate necessity if a worker intends to produce high quality welds. But the prohibitive cost of consumable welding electrodes, mild steel plates for practice and the cost of electricity could drain funding and eventually stop the training program, a situation more costly and will deprive those who wish to learn the trade and thus, making their dreams of becoming a shipbuilder unrealized.

The opportunity is within reach but the stumbling block appears insurmountable that as a leader, Coun. Piano must think fast and come up with an effective yet cost-efficient solution to the problem.

He utilized today’s latest tool to look for solution… the internet, and learned that advanced nations are now using a VIRTUAL WELDER TRAINOR. An offshoots of flight simulators which already saved hundreds of lives not to mention immeasurable cost savings to both the airline industry and the military.

But the Virtual Welding Trainor invented in the U.S.A. was so expensive that only the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army were able to afford it.

Ed Piano studied the concept behind the US invented virtual welder trainor and using his long years of experience in the trade (himself started as a welder in the Ship Repair Facilities (SRF) of the former US Naval Base), adopted a local version at minimal cost but with the same effectiveness as proven by the more than eight thousand trainees who have used it.

As Chairman of the Committee on Labor and Employment, he crafted ordinances to establish skills training centers and personally provided welding skills training to 9,712 unemployed and out-of-school youth at minimal cost to the government. He helped find employment for 8,802 of them, thereby providing economic security and enhancing the lives of thousands of families not only in the city but nationwide as well.

Authored legislation that computerized city government transactions with the public, thereby improving the delivery of public service.

Authored Information Communication Technology (ICT) - related legislations which ended the monopoly of one telecom provider in Olongapo City, promoted competition, improved service, and brought about competitive rates; eliminated long distance charges for phone calls between Olongapo City, Zambales and Subic Bay Freeport.

His effective management of the City Skills Training Program has been acknowledged by TESDA. Olongapo City Skills Training Center was a TESDA Kabalikat Awardee, the center under the directorship of Mr. Piano was chosen as a regional and provincial winner and was a runner-up for the national category

A former Subic Bay employee who championed the rights of his fellow Filipino workers, Edwin Piano is one of the pioneer volunteers who protected and preserved Subic Naval Base when the Americans left seventeen years ago. He was one of the pillars who fought for the creation of the Subic Bay Freeport and eventually served as Administrative Officer of the Transportation Department of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).

First elected into office as city councilor in 2001 he was voted back by the local electorate in 2004 and 2007, proof that Olongapo residents are satisfied with his performance. Mr. Piano displayed an uncanny ability to detect the needs of the times and demonstrated ability to respond in ways that will benefit his constituents.

His concern and his vision for the welfare of his city and its people are clearly manifested in the Resolutions and Ordinances he filed in the Sangguniang Panlungsod, whether principally-authored by him or co-authored with a colleague. Mr. Piano presently holds the record of having authored the most number of significant Resolutions and Ordinances (259 Resolutions and 35 Ordinances) in Olongapo City Council. He also have the most number of committee chairmanship such as ways and means, telecommunications, organization development and personnel matters, labor and employment, and information technology. www.tocp.sangunian.com
FULL SUPPORT: Olongapo City Mayor James Gordon, Jr., Zambales Vice-Governor Anne Marie Gordon, the Sangguniang Panlungsod, NGOs and local Jaycees represented by Atty. Lito Orozco for JCI-Olongapo and JC Senator Rudy Dalluay for JCI-Subic gives a "thumbs-up" sign showing support to Councilor Edwin J. Piano on his nomination to the 2009 Search for the Outstanding Councilors of the Philippines

The search for The Outstanding Councilors of the Philippines (TOCP) emphasizes the vital role that local governance plays in nation building. It is a joint project of the Junior Chamber International-Philippines, the Philippine Councilors League and the Office of Senator Edgardo Angara.

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Subic marine park starts dolphin-breeding program

SUBIC BAY FREE PORT—The operator of the Ocean Adventure marine park in this free port has embarked on a cetacean breeding program to boost the number of dolphins in its open-water viewing facilities.

According to a statement from the Subic Bay Marine Exploratorium Inc. (SBMEI), the company that operates Ocean Adventure and its sister facility, Camayan Beach Resort & Hotel, four more dolphins were acquired recently from Japan for the marine park’s breeding program.

Three female and one male bottle- nosed dolphins were the new arrivals, the SBMEI said. They are now undergoing a routine 30-day quarantine and acclimatization period before their introduction to the existing dolphin population at the park.

Ocean Adventure, which is one of the most popular tourism attractions in the Subic Bay Free Port today, is expanding its marine park business that features trained dolphins, false killer whales and sea lions that perform in a huge open-water habitat.

The SBMEI said that under a permit approved by the Department of Agriculture, the four new dolphins will be part of a cetacean breeding program “so that a stable and sustainable population of bottle-nosed dolphins at Ocean Adventure may be achieved.”

The dolphin breeding program was pushed by the firm after it became “extremely successful” with its sea-lion reproductive-management program that has produced three healthy sea- lion pups this year. The company said a total of seven pups have been born so far at the marine park since it began operations in 2001.

Before they were transferred to Subic, the four dolphins lived in an open-water facility in Japan, where they underwent some preliminary conditioning and training for the past two years, the SBMEI said.

At their new Ocean Adventure home, the new dolphins will undergo further training from Ocean Adventure’s animal-care experts and training staff to “enhance the animals’ development through internationally recognized positive-reinforcement training techniques,” the SBMEI said.

Aside from being used in the SBMEI’s cetacean breeding program, the four dolphins will also become the “new additions to our already exciting lineup of entertainment and activities,” said John Corcoran, a director of the SBMEI.

The company said it has opened two new shows this month that feature trained animals at Ocean Adventure.

The first one, the Rap, Jump and Roll Show,” is presented at a new seaside stadium and features international trampoline performers, along with the park’s famous animal mascots and dancers.

The second is called “Walk on the Wild Side,” shown at the new Eco Theater, and includes forest animals, along with Aeta tribesmen who demonstrate jungle survival skills.

SBMEI chairman and CEO Timothy Desmond also announced recently that the firm has opened “Adventure Beach,” which was designed for special events, group outings and team-building activities. Written by Henry Empeño / Business Mirror Correspondent

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Kenyan runners favorites to win Subic marathon

Filipino runners will be hard-pressed to beat their world-class counterparts from Kenya in the 2nd Smart Subic International Marathon set October 24-25 at the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway.

So far, 30 Kenyan tracksters have already made themselves available for the two-day event, including defending men’s champion Nelson Kirwa Rotich and lone female entry Lydia Cheromei.

Together, they form part of the 10,000 participants organizers of the meet are targeting to participate and vie for the P1.6-million total prize at stake.

Winners in the full 42-k marathon for both men and women will take home $5,000.

Among the local runners competing along with other entries from China, New Zealand and Singapore are Allan Ballester, Alquin Bolivar, Bernardito Desamito, Allen Quisay, and Elmer Sabal.

Top Filipino long-distance runner Eduardo Buenavista, runner up to Rotich last year, skipped the competition as he is currently preparing for the 25th Southeast Asian Games in Laos.

Race organizers Gen. Sam Tucay, Adi De Los Reyes and Smart Sports’ Patrick Gregorio and Anton Almeda graced Tuesday’s PSA Forum at the Shakey’s U.N. Avenue branch and talked about the event, now on its fourth year and being supported by Smart for the second straight time.

“We expect runners from all over the region and from the 1,600 cities and municipalities to join this unique international marathon. Mas maraming tatakbo, mas masaya,” said Tucay.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Images of the Week

  • Flag raising hosted by City Budget Office and Brgy. Mabayuan
  • 10th Capping, Candlelighting and Pinning Ceremony at Gordon College
  • Gawad Kalasag tropies turned over to City Museum
  • Benificiaries of Project Smile extends appreciation to Mayor Gordon
  • Winners of DepEd competition cited
  • East Bajac Bajac Lupon Tagapamayapa given seed money by the government
  • Computers and office equipments given to City Library, BSP, NEBES, City Planning
  • Most Outstanding Teacher recognized
  • 129th Batch of Welding Skills Training completed course
  • Ground breaking ceremony for a pedestrian overpass at Olongapo City Elem School
  • Family Day Celebration at Triangle Covered Court
  • Oath taking ceremony of Day Care Centers PTA
  • Inauguration and Blessing of newly concreted E-6th Street Pagasa


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Monday, September 28, 2009

Botolan victims are now restless

Flood after flood, Botolan victims kept from returning home, are now restless

BOTOLAN, Zambales—After losing their homes and most of their belongings to a series of floods that inundated 10 villages in this town since early August, residents who fled to the safety of higher grounds face new problems, mainly lack of food and medicine, as well as a stressful life in overcrowded evacuation centers that have served as their temporary homes.

“They badly need basic items like food, potable water, medicine, clothing, and most of all, housing,” said Vibelen Dimalupig, a social-welfare officer in Zambales, during a briefing at the capitol building in Iba on Thursday.

The relief goods issued by the government and those that come from donors “simply cannot cope” with the needs of the displaced families, she added.

The massive displacement of residents here began last month after heavy rains spawned by Typhoon Kiko combined with excess runoff from the mountains and packed a deadly headwater of debris-filled watery lahar.

The rampaging waters then breached a portion of the San Juan dike along the Bucao River, one of the major catch basins of lahar from Mount Pinatubo, and shifted the river course to nearby villages, sending residents scampering to safety.

In the aftermath of the typhoon, 4,783 families comprising 20,581 persons were displaced, a summary report prepared by the Zambales Provincial Disaster Operation Center showed. These included 4,913 persons from the riverside barangay of San Juan; 3,655 from the village of Carael, where the river passes through; 2,292 from Paco; 2,064 from Bangan; and about 1,500 each from the villages of Tampo, Batonlapoc, Paudpod, Capayawan, Beneg and San Miguel.

In the succeeding weeks when more typhoons brought torrential rains to Zambales, the number of evacuees in Botolan rose and fell along with the dreaded floodwaters, social workers noted.

When Typhoon Maring lashed the province on September 7, for example, 4,673 families were again affected by flash floods.

Of these, 718 families said their houses were totally damaged, while 333 reported that theirs were partially destroyed, a report by Botolan social-welfare officer Isagani Ecle said.

The new floods again led 1,931 families to seek refuge at evacuation centers, and 1,277 others to stay with relatives elsewhere.

Because of the recurring floods, 2,141 families composed of 7,942 men, women and children are still housed in 12 evacuation centers scattered in this municipality as of September 24.

But the relative safety of evacuation centers has apparently started to wear thin and exact some toll on the evacuees over time.

The emerging culprit, evacuees complained, is overcrowding that has inevitably strained the facilities and resources in the evacuation centers.

At the New Taugtog resettlement area, for example, a total of 901 evacuees from 235 families share a warehouse-like structure previously occupied by the Technology Learning and Resources Center.

Camping inside the building, the evacuees erected makeshift rooms that they share with family members and occasionally, household pets like dogs.

Over time, however, the noise and smell became hardly bearable that it was hard to sleep, said 74-year-old Gloria Dimacusa, who evacuated with her six grandchildren.

To make matters worse, the building has only three toilets to serve the whole evacuee population.

Social workers in this town admitted that the situation could be worse in other evacuation centers like the Babon San Juan, which has 1,771 evacuees, or the so-called Tent City, which has a total of 1,288 evacuees.

Gina Acuña, a rural health officer in this town, said the unsanitary condition in the evacuation centers, coupled by lack of adequate food and medicine, has made some residents sick.

Most of those afflicted have acute respiratory tract infection, fever, colds and cough, headache, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Acuña added.

Severino Magsanop, a 93-year-old retired soldier, has been living with his wife Felisa, 80, at the Taugtog resettlement site ever since their house in barangay San Juan became flooded last month.

Magsanop said the government should do what it can to help evacuees rebuild their houses and their lives.

“It’s very difficult to live in this kind of place,” Magsanop told the media in Pilipino during a visit last week. “We’re overcrowded in here. The place is dirty and it smells bad.”

The same plea came from Ester Josafat, 69, and Andres Bulanhigan, 65, who also left their family homes in San Juan when the floods ran roughshod over the village.

Bulanhigan, a vegetable farmer who has three children ages 5 to 16, said it is important for them to have a new home.

“We can make do with not much food, even with a few belongings, but we need to have our own house,” he said. Written by Henry Empeño / Business Mirror Correspondent

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Calls, text messages swamp Gordon

Philippine Daily Inquirer - As he tried to get help for victims of the worst flooding in Metro Manila in recent memory, Sen. Richard Gordon found himself dealing with another kind of inundation.

Gordon, chair of the Philippine National Red Cross, has been swamped with more than 1,000 calls and text messages from flood victims and their relatives since Saturday.

It turned out—to his bafflement and irritation—that his phone number was posted on Twitter and Facebook.

“Somebody told me I was No. 2 in the world on Twitter,” Gordon said in a phone interview, referring to his huge number of followers on the micro-blogging site.

The calls helped the Red Cross go about its work, but did not make him work efficiently, the senator said.

“It was a cruel joke,” he said.

He said he was also alarmed that a television network had posted hotlines that included a phone number attributed to him.

The TV network pulled it out after he advised the network that it was not his number, Gordon said.

He said someone was trying to pull a prank on him.

Still, Gordon said the Red Cross was able to organize and deploy 22 teams and 22 rubber boats since Saturday.

With the help of teams from the Philippine Coast Guard and from Olongapo City, the Red Cross was able to bring to safety 280 stranded flood victims in Quezon City, Rizal and Pasig.

Gordon said the Red Cross would focus rescue operations on Cainta and Pasig.

Failure of system

Trying to bring help to the victims was a frustrating experience as the Red Cross “battled” traffic congestion and other obstacles to reach them, he said.

“There was a failure of the entire system,” the senator said, as he pointed out that both the people and government were all “caught unaware” by this event.

He said the team from Olongapo found it difficult to reach Manila because of heavy traffic.

The misuse of the road user’s tax could have brought about the worst floods in Metro Manila, according to Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago.

“The massive floods we are experiencing right now could have been mitigated if the multibillion-peso motor-vehicle user’s charge were used properly, including improvement of our drainage systems and road maintenance,” Santiago said in a statement.

An inquiry that Santiago’s economic affairs committee held jointly with the public works committee last week recommended the prosecution by the Ombudsman of a brother of Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno, who sat as executive secretary of the Road Board secretariat from 2005 to 2008.

Santiago based her recommendation on the findings of the Commission on Audit that questioned the manner by which the Road Board had spent the proceeds of the tax paid yearly by motorists when registering their vehicles.

“It looks like the biggest scandal of the decade produced the biggest floods in Metro Manila,” she said. By Christine Avendaño - Philippine Daily Inquirer

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Saturday, September 26, 2009


The approval of the Senate and the House of Representatives in a bicameral conference of the proposal adding a ninth ray to the sun in the Philippine Flag has elated different sectors of the Muslim community.

Senator Richard J. Gordon (Ind.), author of Senate Bill 3307 proposing the ninth ray, said Muslim Filipinos welcomed the bicam approval because it is expected to further promote respect, understanding, and acceptance between Muslim and non-Muslim Filipinos.

"This measure would further promote national unity. Our Muslim brothers hailed this act. They wanted to celebrate it for the Eid'l Fitr Festival last Monday because this is a great step in recognizing their role in the fight for the nation's independence. We owe it to our Muslim brothers who have contributed many things but have become totally marginalized," he said.

Atty. Pangnal Datu Ramos, legal counsel of the Bangsa Moro Civil Society and former Vice Governor of Lanao del Sur, said that Gordon's initiative displays his statesmanship and respect for the Filipino Muslims.

"The Bangsa Moro people will never forget Senator Dick Gordon's consistent advocacy of recognizing the heroic struggle for freedom of the Bangsa Moro people that led to the approval of the 9th ray in our country's national flag. Senator Gordon displays his statesmanship and respect for the Filipino Muslims, sorely lacking in our national leaders. May his tribe increase," Datu Ramos said.

For his part, Congressman Munir Arbison of the 2nd District of Sulu stated that "the people of Sulu thank Senator Gordon for his bill honoring Filipino Muslims who, history tells, have fought foreign intruders for hundreds of years to protect and preserve our unique and inspiring way of life."

Meanwhile, Datu Norodin Alonto Lucman, a Moro Historian, said that having the ninth ray makes him feel good "to be part of the Republic."

"I am so proud that after more than a century of non-recognition of our heroic ancestors who gave up their lives for the freedom of our country, the Senate finally added a 9th ray to the flag in honor of their heroism and historical role in the independence of our country," Lucman said.

Those who also expressed their elation over the measure include Bai Samirah Gutoc of the Young Moro Professionals Network; Ambassador Abul Khayr D. Alonto, Moro Leader and co-founder of the Moro National Liberation Front; Datu Haron Demarunsing of the Muslim Traders Group of Zamboanga; Assemblyman Zia Alonto Adiong of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Regional Legislative Assembly; Datu Mohammad Dimaporo Dimalna, Vice Mayor of Binidayan, Lanao del Sur; Atty. Aymee Biruar-Metmug from a group of young Moro lawyers; Norodin Bin Hashim, an overseas Filipino Worker in Qatar who is a member of the 9th Ray Mindanao Movement; and Datu Drieza Lininding, a Moro youth leader.

Gordon said that the warm welcome of many Muslims to the ninth ray implies that they already feel that they are gradually being respected, understood, and accepted.

He pointed out that it is important to recognize the efforts and contributions of the Muslim Filipinos in the country's history so that they would not feel marginalized and Filipinos would be united regardless of creed.

"With their courage, bravery and integrity, our Muslim heroes left an imprint on national history that, at the very least, must be given due recognition in the most heraldic item of national importance--the Philippine flag," Gordon said.

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The Olongapo teacher who goes the extra mile for her students

There are no impossibilities for Eva Balbas Imingan, 41-year-old master teacher II at Barreto II Elementary School in Olongapo, and one of this year’s Metrobank Outstanding Teachers.

From childhood, Eva and her four siblings had been taught by their mother to work hard for whatever they want, even if poverty got in the way most of the time.

Thus, the siblings had to sell rice cakes and pancit noodles that their mother cooked to townsfolk in their barrio in Tumauini, Isabela. The money earned was used to pay for school supplies
and other needs.

To make their parents even prouder, the children strived hard to excel in school. They all earned scholarships which their mother only learned after the children graduated from high school. These little successes all the more made them determined to finish their college education.


It had always been Eva’s dream to be a teacher, not because it was the only course in college that she could afford, but of the mission she felt she was destined to fulfill.

“Nothing can compare to the fulfillment of being a teacher and being able to touch people’s lives. It’s a very noble profession. Maski nakatsinelas ka lang, pag alam nila teacher ka, lahat mag gu-good morning sa yo kahit attorney pa yan. It’s an honor to be one of the well-respected teachers in the community,” says Eva, an English teacher and also the district’s English and Reading coordinator.
In her 20 years of service, Eva made it her mission to be not just a good teacher but also a staunch advocate of a campaign to promote love for reading among children.

“When the Department of Education launched their Every Child a Reader Program three years ago, I was inspired to adopt it not only for the grade 3 level pupils but in my entire school. I brought reading materials and even introduced love for reading in the Grade 1 students who were still learning how to read. I even expanded the program to include reading in Filipino,” relates Teacher Eva.

Using funds from her own pocket, she developed improvised teaching devises such as the Reading Remediation Series to help schoolchildren improve their reading skills.

These include short story books which come complete with illustrations and in different font sizes to cater to the different reading ability levels of the children. The slow readers will first have to train reading with bigger fonts and later on advance to the smaller fonts when they have already improved their reading skills.

Eva also built a one-room Extensive Reading Center in their school which later on earned for them the “Best School Award in Reading” in 2007. She solicited books from friends, parents, pupils and local officials for the library.

To complement this, Eva initiated programs like the Read-Along Sessions and Brother/Sister Reading Remedial Program, where she taps parents, student officers and community leaders to come to class and read to the students.

“Pinatawag ko parents of my pupils to read with their child once a week sa aking class. Sa bahay wala man silang time, pero sa school I make sure na makakapag bonding sila with their child by sitting down with them once a week to read. Community leaders, on the other hand, even bring food when it’s their turn to read kaya nagiging feeding program na din. Tuwang-tuwa ang mga bata,” she says.

For teachers, Eva conducts in-service training for the improvement of their language and reading instruction. She also invites professors from top schools in Manila to give talks to the teachers in her area.

Seeing her accomplishments, DepEd hired Eva to be one of the authors and reviewer of the nationwide Teacher’s Lesson Guide for English for Grades 3 and 4. She was also recently
asked to join the Ateneo Center for Development (ACED) as one of its teacher trainors.


Prior to her winning the Metrobank award, Eva has already been a recipient of several citations such as the Division Outstanding Master Teacher, Division Outstanding Reading Teacher, and a Community Service Award.

Yet more than the awards, respect and achievements, Eva still yearns to excel in one more field — that is to be the best mother to her three children.

“I’m very passionate when it comes to my profession and family. I really set goals for myself and work hard to achieve it. It doesn’t matter kung kelangan ko maglabas ng sariling pera ko just to go the extra mile for my students. Ang gabi ginagawa kong araw just to do the reports at madalas wala ako sa bahay for weeks during trainings. Kaya lagi ko tuloy naiiwan ang mga anak ko. But I’m very lucky to have a supportive and understanding husband and children. Kung hindi dahil sa kanila, I cannot accomplish all these things. Kaya sabi ko sa mga anak ko, nakuha ko na itong outstanding teacher award, gusto ko naman maging outstanding mother!” concludes Teacher Eva. By RACHEL C. BARAWID - Manila Bulletin

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Activities to celebrate Mayor Gordon’s birthday

To celebrate Mayor James “Bong” Gordon’s upcoming 62nd birthday on October 2, city government officials and employees have organized various service activities to be held simultaneously at the Rizal Triangle Covered Court on September 30, 2009, 10 am.

At the said event, five hundred (500) patients can avail of free medical and dental consultations from the City Health Office while one hundred (100) patients will benefit from the free tooth extraction of the Dental Services Division. Likewise, the LCDO (Livelihood and Cooperative Development Office) will provide free haircut and will conduct basic livelihood training seminars at the venue. At the same time, the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) helpdesk will offer local and international job opportunities in cooperation with POEA-licensed recruitment agencies, business establishments in the city and, the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

“Mayor Gordon will celebrate his special day by providing various services that his constituents need, and that is when he is most happy,” said Olongapo First Lady and Zambales Vice-Governor Anne Marie Gordon.


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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Olongapo-Zambales Law Schools on Chopping block while

7 law schools on CHED’s chopping block


At least seven of the country’s 105 law schools are on the chopping block for consistently failing to produce bar examination passers in the past ten years, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said Wednesday.

CHED chairman Emmanuel Angeles identified these schools as the Abra Valley College in Bangued, Abra; Polytechnic College of La Union in Agoo, La Union; Ramon Magsaysay Technological University in Iba, Zambales; East Central Colleges in San Fernando, Pampanga; Southern Bicol College in Masbate; Eastern Samar State University in Borongan, Eastern Samar; and Samar College in Catbalogan, Western Samar.

Angeles said the seven schools were identified in a study by the commission on the law programs of various schools based on data from the Supreme Court from 1999 to 2009.

“These law schools that have been getting zero percent will be advised to shut down their law programs," Angeles told reporters.

In fact, he said, four other non-performing law schools have voluntarily phased out their law programs.

He identified them as the Virgen De Los Remedios College in Olongapo City, Manuel A. Roxas Educational Institution, International Harvardian University in Davao City, and the Zamboanga A.E. College in Zamboanga City.

Lolita Lusanta of Southern Bicol College said they should not be included since the law school opened only in 2003, short of the 10-year period covered by the study.

For Ramon Magsaysay Technological University, Prof. Cornelio Garcia, executive vice president, indicated that the university's Board of Regents might phase out the law school and turn it into a training center since they don't have full-time students.

GMANews.TV tried but failed to get the side of the other schools mentioned by Angeles.

Angeles said the commission will start closing the non-performing law schools next year and will also run after other poor performers, especially those with a passing rate of less than five percent in the bar exams for the past 10 years.

“We will be forced to close down law schools that fail to comply with CHED standards," he said.

“We have to act now in order to put our education system in the proper standard and improve the competencies of our graduates and professionals so that we can compete in the global arena starting with how we produce our law graduates," Angeles said. - GMANews.TV

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Asian ports must find new ways to gain growth–SBMA chair

SUBIC BAY FREE PORT—Asian ports reeling from slow cargo trade should look for new opportunities behind the economic crisis if they are to survive and do business for another day.

With this bit of advice, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chairman Feliciano Salonga challenged members of the International Network of Affiliated Ports (Inap) to create alternatives to further develop their business and act on new prospects.

“The [maritime] industry operates in a global environment and grows or shrinks proportionately with trade activities all over the world,” said Salonga, a graduate of the US Merchant Marine Academy and former president of the Philippine Shipyard and Engineering Corp.

“But the proverbial silver lining behind today’s economic slump is the fact that while every crisis is different, all crises have one thing in common—they all create opportunities, especially for those who can identify them and are ready to act,” he added.

He also noted that despite the largely stagnant cargo trade, “ports remain critical to the financial health of most economies around the world.”

Salonga opened the Inap 11th general assembly in Mokpo, South Korea, last week as the outgoing chairman, and later turned over the leadership of the organization to Choi Byeong-Soo, the chief executive officer of Mokpo Newport Co. Ltd.

After stressing the importance of Inap’s strategic alliance and that the group’s policies and actions “impact on the entire maritime port industry of the Asia-Pacific region,” Salonga urged members of the port network “to reestablish priorities.”

“We in Inap can definitely be part of the solution—if we do what we ought to do and do it well,” Salonga said.

He added that the group should take a fresh look at how to manage the fiscal and operational aspects of ports, where to find new revenue streams and, at the same time, control costs.

Salonga also exhorted Inap members “to discuss how we can attract more ports to join Inap,” which, he said, had been joined by only three new members in the last 11 years.

Salonga said by tackling these twin tasks, Inap could “manage to be heard and heeded as a formidable voice and authority in the industry.”

In urging ports to look for alternative revenue sources, Salonga cited the “unprecedented growth in revenue” at the Subic Bay Free Port despite the current economic slowdown.

He said the Port of Subic, which had lately become a choice anchorage for international seagoing vessels waiting out the recession, “provides a good example of how opportunities could be created out of unfortunate events.”

Salonga said collections from vessel lay-ups in Subic Bay, as well as wharfage fees on imported products, brought Subic seaport’s revenue total in the first seven months this year to P319.73 million. This amount was P3.43 million more than the revenue target set by the SBMA for this year and represented a 15.7-percent growth over 2008 figures.

“Our port collection from these laid-up ships, along with other equally significant factors, has allowed our seaport operations to achieve its revenue targets for 2009, as early as July,” Salonga said in his speech before the Inap assembly.

“So, today’s economic crisis should not be any different—if we attack it with logical examination, passionate zeal and decisiveness,” he also said.

Hosting of the Inap general assembly rotated to the Mokpo Newport this year, after the convention was held in this free port in 2008 under the auspices of the SBMA.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009


The following are candidates 11-15 of Bb. Olongapo 2009:

11. Jhayne Anne A. Mundo

Jhayne Anne Mundo is from Brgy. New Banicain, Olongapo City. ‘Jam’ studies at Far Eastern University and is taking up Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She loves reading books and writing. Her favorite sports are volleyball and badminton.

Jam keeps her body fit through exercise and eating proper diet. She believes in the quote ‘You are what you believe’. She wants to become a beauty queen someday.

She regard herself as a simple, beautiful and intelligent person. To her, Brad Pitt is the sexiest man alive and Gloria Diaz is her ideal beauty queen.

Her vital statistics are 34- 28-36.

12. Joshua Grace Klietz

Joshua Grace Klietz, or “Wawa”, is from Barangay Sta. Rita, Olongapo City. She is a Hotel and Restaurant Services student at Capstone Institute of Business and Arts. She describes herself as fit,sexy, smart and beautiful. One of her hobbies is listening to music.

For “Wawa”, Piolo Pascual is the sexiest man alive. She considers Charlene Gonzales-Muhlach as her ideal beauty queen. Her motto is, ‘Time is Gold’ and her ambition is to become a popular model someday.

Her vital statistics are 33-25 1/2-33 1/2.

13. Rosemary Joan Turner

Rosemary Joan Turner is from barangay New Cabalan. She is a BS Accountancy student at Columban College, Inc. During her spare time, she loves collecting old coins. Her favorite sports is badminton.

Rose, 18 years old, keeps her body fit by drinking plenty of water and exercise regularly. For her, US President Barrack Obama is the sexiest man alive, and considers Miriam Quiambao as her ideal beauty queen.

She believes that ‘Avoiding the phase, I do not have time will soon make you realize that you do have time for anything in life’. Rose wants to become a successful businesswoman in the future.

Her vital statistics are 33 1/2-25-34.

14. Cherryl Q. Algabre

Cherryl Q. Algabre, or Chepie, is from Barangay East Tapinac. She studies at Lyceum of Subic taking up Airline Secretarial Administration. She describes herself optimistic, servant and dancer. Her hobbies are dancing and working at the church. Her favorite sports is badminton.

Chepie, 20, keeps her body fit by eating healthy foods and dancing. She co
nsiders Dingdong Dantes as the sexiest man alive. Her ideal beauty queen is Miriam Quiambao.

Her motto is ‘I can do all things through Christ’. She wants to be a successful businesswoman in the near future.

Her vital statistics are 31-24-33.

15. Madel Ferrer

Madel Ferrer, or Dhel, is from Barangay East Bajac-Bajac. She studies at St. Benilde taking up Tourism Hotel Restaurant Operations. She likes acting. Her favorite sports is Volleyball.

Dhel keeps her body fit by eating a proper diet and exercise. She considers Dingdong Dantes as the sexiest man alive. Her ideal beauty queen is Ruffa Gutierrez.

She believes that “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and describes herself as simple, sexy and beautiful. She wants to become a stewardess someday.

Her vital statistics are 32-26 1/2-36.

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Padilla and Detubio Families bag the region’s MOFYA

The Padilla and Detubio families bagged the Regional Model OFW Family of the Year Awards (MOFYA) for land-based and sea based categories, respectively. Held at SM San Fernando City, Pampanga last September 3, 2009, the MOFYA is given yearly thru the efforts of Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Department of Labor Employment (DOLE), Public Employment Services Offices (PESO) with the support of various private companies that help sponsor the event.

“The Padilla and Detubio families were endorsed by the city not only because of the achievements of OFW (Overseas Filipino Workers) family members but also due to the success of the whole family,” said Evelyn delos Santos, head of Olongapo City PESO.

Model OFW families are chosen based on the following criteria: wholesome OFW family, success/achievements of family members, investments or success in managing the family’s finances and the community or social involvement of the family.

Headed by Pepe who worked abroad for more than ten (10) years, the story of Padilla Family of Brgy. East Bajac-Bajac caught the judges’ attention. Despite difficulties, Pepe and his wife were able to raise their nine (9) children well and sent them all to reputable colleges and universities in the country.

On the other hand, the Detubio Family was also chosen as model OFW family awardee due to the achievements and community involvement of family members. “The Detubios from Botolan, Zambales sought the assistance of PESO Olongapo to endorse them as nominees to the regional search for MOFYA,” delos Santos also explained.

“I am very proud to present the region’s Model OFW families. They do not only inspire fellow OFWs to work harder but they are living proofs that families can be successful despite of distance between family members,” said Mayor James “Bong” Gordon Jr. at the flag raising ceremonies held September 22, 2009 at the Rizal Triangle Covered Court.

The Padilla and Detubio Families will officially represent the region at the national level of the competition and winners will be conferred on the first week of November this year.

Olongapo First Lady and Zambales Vice-Governor Anne Marie Gordon, advocating the welfare and strengthened ties of Filipino families, also expressed her commendations to Detubio and Padilla Families for their feats.

The Search for MOFYA is held yearly to honor the efforts of OFWs and to recognize their vital role in the fare of Filipino families and consequently, to nation-building.

Together with OWWA Region III Director Socorro Castro and City PESO head Evelyn delos Santos, Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. presented the award received to the Padilla Family of Brgy. East Bajac-Bajac as the region’s Model OFW Family of the Year (MOFYA) for land-based category this 22nd of September 2009 at the flag raising ceremonies held at the Rizal Triangle Covered court. On the other hand, Olongapo First Lady and Zambales Vice-Governor Anne Marie Gordon (not in picture) expressed pride to the feat of the Detubio family from Botolan, Zambales who were also chosen as the Regional MOFYA for the sea-based category. The Padillas and Detubios will officially represent the region at the national level of the said competition, in their respective categories.


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City builds first over pass

Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. and Olongapo First Lady and Zambales Vice Gov. Anne Marie invite residents to join and witness the ground breaking ceremonies for the city’s first overpass on September 28, 2009 at 9:30 am.

The said overpass will be constructed along Rizal Avenue, in front of Olongapo City Elementary School (OCES) to ensure the safety of pedestrian and to reduce traffic congestion on the main highway wherein buses and motorists to and from Manila and Zambales pass by.

“In addition to passersby, almost 4,000 students of OCES cross the roads along Rizal Avenue everyday and we want to be sure that no one gets hit by a truck or a speeding vehicle. The construction of overpass will lessen the probability of road accidents for the city’s pedestrians,” said Mayor Gordon.

On the same day of groundbreaking for the overpass, the city will also open newly constructed roads at E-6th St., Brgy. Pag-asa and at Mercury St., Brgy. Sta Rita while Lawin St. at Brgy. New Cabalan will be inaugurated on the next day. The said activities are part of Mayor Gordon’s observance of his 62nd birthday on October 3, 2009.


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Monday, September 21, 2009

Subic free port approves $58M in leisure, logistics investments

SUBIC FREE Port — Nearly $58 million worth of new investments in leisure, logistics, and other sectors have been approved by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), officials announced last week.

Officials formally signed in 17 new projects by foreign and Filipino investors last week. These included six new projects in the leisure industry worth a total of $53.59 million, three in manufacturing and maritime with a total investments of $1.3 million, three in general business at a total of $266,274, and five in logistics with a total of $2.57 million.

In August, 65 new accounts were added to the SBMA’s list of investors, which totaled 948 at the end of 2008. Most of the 17 new deals involved new business locators, while a few were existing firms that had opted to expand.

The biggest investment commitments in this latest batch of approved projects is the P2.5-billion (about $50 million) project by Ocean Nine Philkor, Inc., a South Korean firm involved in the development and operation of hotels, casinos and resorts.

The firm, under its short-term plan, will be renovating a hotel complex in Subic’s Cubi area to start hotel and casino operations by January 2010, Ocean Nine manager Charles Kim said during the contract-signing ceremony.

The second-biggest project in this batch is a new, four-storey hotel and expansion of a restaurant worth P70 million by Innasia Corp., which operates the Courtyard Inn in the free port. This was followed by the P50-million expansion of Puregold Duty Free (Subic) Corp., and the $1-million project of Lionair Subic Philippines, Inc. for the maintenance of fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft.

Other investors in the leisure sector are: Aggressive North Developers, Inc., with P30 million for hotel and restaurant operations; Goltongne Subic Corp., $368,333 for a restaurant and gift shop; and LG Digital Plaza, Inc., P11.25 million for an Ilonggo restaurant, wholesale and retail operations, and import/export services.

In the manufacturing sector, the new projects include: Consummare, Inc., with $562,478 for the production of specialty wood products; Pacific Metal Works Corp. for steel fabrication; and Shang Min Construction Corp., $580,000 for the trading of construction-related materials and equipment. Under general business, the new locators are: Golden AI Trucking, with committed investments of $215,074; I Will Communicate, Inc., $30,000; and M&M Subic Bay Development Corp., $21,200.

New investments approved under the logistics sector are: Food Entrepreneur and Exporters of the Phils., with $470,000 for trading in grains and meat products; Omni Aviation Corp., $700,000; Solutions Advancing Global Enterprise International Import-Export Corp., $300,000; and Subic Bay Merlion Trading, Inc., with P5 million for the transshipment of wines and liquors. — by Rey Garcia - BusinessWorld

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Miner raises funds for nickel plant in Zambales

AUSTRALIAN MINER Rusina Mining, Ltd. has secured a total of A$5.75 million from British investors for the development of a nickel plant in Zambales.

The proceeds will be used primarily as working capital and for contingencies for a farm-in agreement with European Nickel Plc, the miner said in a disclosure to the Australian bourse last week.

"Institutional investors in the United Kingdom have injected A$5.75 million in fresh capital to support moves by Rusina to develop a nickel-chromite mine in the Philippines," it said.

Rusina Mining and partner European Nickel are conducting a feasibility study for the construction of a $498-million nickel laterite heap leach plant. The feasibility study is expected to be completed by next year.

Nickel prices for cash buyers closed at $7.91 per pound, higher than the estimated $6/lb. production cost of Rusina. Prices of nickel averaged at $5.64/lb. and $4.75/lb. in the second and first quarters, respectively, given low demand, data from the London Metal Exchange showed.

Mining operations though remain suspended. In July, the direct ore shipping operations of the 3,765-hectare Acoje mine was shelved by listed DMCI Holdings, Inc. given low metal prices.

Rusina, European Nickel and local Montemina Resource Corp. aim to mine and process 50.1 million metric tons of ore containing 1.09% grade of nickel for 10 years starting in 2012. BusinessWorld

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

ALAY LAKAD prepares for its next run

Led by Chairman Abner Santos of Lions Club International, District 301-D1, this year’s lead non-government organization, the 2009 Alay-Lakad Executive Committee (Execom) has lined-up this year’s activities in the aim to solicit funds to support the foundation’s social projects, particularly, the scholarship grants for the Olongapeño youth.

Aside from the Bingo Social Game to be held on October 7, 2009, 6 pm at the Plenary Hall of the Olongapo City Convention Center (OCCC), the foundation has already started the distribution of the tickets and selling of souvenir t-shirts and stickers while donation boxes are standing by the banks and business establishments in the city for the whole year to aid in the solicitation of funds for the foundations’ projects.

Moreover, the “Alay-Lakad” is set to kick-off on October 11, 2009 with an approximate of 3,000 participants expected from different government and non-government organizations to be led by Mayor James “Bong” Gordon Jr. and Olongapo First Lady and Zambales Vice-Governor Anne Marie Gordon.

The fun-run will assemble and start at the Rizal Triangle Multi-Purpose Covered Court at 6:00 am and will end at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center (SBECC) wherein the Execom will hold an awarding ceremony for exceptional participants, highest contributor, biggest delegation, most disciplined group, most colorful group, youngest participant and the chairman’s award.

Certificates of recognitions will also be awarded by Mayor Gordon to 5 outstanding individuals from the organization who greatly contributed to the foundation’s cause.

The Alay-Lakad Foundation has helped many underprivileged but intelligent Olongapeños to continue their studies thru their scholarship programs.


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Images of the week

  • Clearing/sandbagging operations
  • Relief operations
  • Formal endorsement of The Outstanding Councilor of the Philippines nominee Councilor Ed Piano www.tocp.sangunian.com
  • Induction of Sports Council and turn-over of seed money
  • Induction of the officers of the Federation of Lupong Tagapamayapa
  • Emergency meeting of City Disaster Coord Council
  • Celebration of the Philippine Councilor's League
  • Forum on Charter Change and Poll Automation
  • Medical and Dental Missions
  • Graduation of Sutherland call center agent training

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Only Dick shows up at forum

OF THE 11 POLITICIANS WHO HAVE indicated a desire to run for president and vice president in 2010, only Sen. Richard Gordon showed up at a forum organized by a group of Catholic educators at the Manila Hotel yesterday.

The National Leaders Forum, a three-day national convention of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP). Was partly aimed at showcasing the aspirants’ proposed solutions to issues of education and morality.

CEAP is the biggest organized group of Catholic schools with some 1,260 member institutions nationwide.

Gordon, in an interview after the forum, said the CEAP forum was not something that he would deliberately ignore.

Prior commitments

People have the right to hear what their leaders’ plans are, he said.

CEAP president Msgr. Gerardo Santos said that while Senators Manuel Villar, Francis Pangilinan, Loren Legarda, Manuel Roxas and Benigno Aquino III, and Vice President Noli de Castro declined because of prior commitments, deposed President Joseph Estrada did not answer the invitation at all.

The Lakas-CMD-Kampi’s likely presidential standard bearer Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro also pleaded a previous engagement, while Metro Manila Development Authority chair Bayani Fernando, who may have lost his bid to Teodoro, said he was sticking to a “self-imposed news blackout.

The CEAP president said Sen. Francis Escudero was “the first one to confirm” his attendance at the forum.

“But two minutes before the event, he said he could not make it,” said Santos.

He stressed that the CEAP will not be endorsing any presidential candidate next year.

By. Jeannette Andrade – Inquirer

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Online payments okayed for Clark, Subic locators

Locators at the Clark and Subic freeports will soon be able to pay for export and import fees online, the Clark Development Corp. said on Friday.

Under the second phase of the Electronic Transit and Admission Permit System’s (e-TAPS) implementation, firms will need to open e-accounts with Land Bank of the Philipines to pay permit fees and surety bonds starting in November.

"[Benefits of this system will be] the faceless transaction for processing of permits and the reduced operational cost of locators," the firm said in a statement.

Last year, state agencies behind the two freeports signed a memorandum of agreement with the Bureau of Customs to harmonize systems. The two freeports have been tagged in the government’s medium-term development plan as the country’s logistics hub.

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JC to be featured in GMAnews.TV

Two presidential aspirants to be featured in GMANews.TV web shows

On September 24, two presidential aspirants will answer questions from Internet users in real time on the second webcast of Exchange, the first ever Philippine live chat forum for 2010 candidates and experts.

Environmentalist Nicanor “Nicky" Perlas declared his intention to run for the presidency last June 17, 2009. He has never occupied any public office but has extensive experience in advocacy work and policy-making. He says that his bid for the highest office is motivated by his desire for change.

“Somebody has to step up there, somebody that can give the people who want change a real choice," Perlas said.

Ang Kapatiran’s JC de los Reyes is a city councilor of Olongapo city. He is one of the youngest presidential aspirants and is perceived to be one of the "alternative candidates" in next year’s elections.

Web users may chat with the two candidates by registering at www.allaccess.com.ph and logging on to www.gmanews.tv.

Exchange is the first ever live chat forum where Filipinos from all over the world can log in and chat on real time with the election candidates. This gives Internet users a chance to personally interview 2010 aspirants about their opinions, plans, and advocacy platforms. (Click here to visit the Facebook fan page ofExchange.)

Nicky Perlas will be online at 11 AM (Philippine time) while JC delos Reyes will chat with users at 3 PM (Philippine time).

They will also be interviewed for Examine, a question-and-answer web show that will be aired at a later date. Users may email their questions to examine@gmanews.tv before September 24.

Examine features election candidates and experts who will answer the top ten questions received from the public. Questions will be sent in and pooled from various sources including text messaging, email and social media websites like Facebook and Twitter.-GMANews.Tv

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Information technology will enable and ennoble the people

The importance of developing information and communications technology (ICT) in the country to enhance its global competitiveness said Senator Richard J. Gordon (Ind.).

Gordon, in his keynote address at the 7th Youth Congress in Information Technology, said information technology (IT) would equalize the opportunities for people and give voice even to the most marginalized sectors.

"Napakahalaga ng computer industry sa panahon ngayon. IT will equalize the opportunities for people. That is what IT will bring to all of us. It will enable and ennoble the people. Magkakaroon tayo ng boses," he said at the annual conference organized by the University of the Philippines Information Technology Training Center .

"Speed and information are the names of the game. Kung mabagal tayo, matatalo tayo ng ibang mga bansa, mapag-iiwanan tayo," he added.

Recognizing the importance of IT in the country's development, the senator co-sponsored Senate Bill 2546, which proposes to create a Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

The DICT shall serve as the primary policy, planning, coordinating, implementing, regulating and administrative entity of the executive branch of the government that will plan, promote and help develop the country's ICT sector.

Gordon explained that the DICT would maximize the country's gains on the IT sector. He added that he has used modern communications technology in the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC), which paved the way for faster and more efficient delivery of relief services.

For some years now, the PNRC, which he chairs, has been using mobile phones as early warning system, reaction system, and initial life-saving system during emergencies.

In line with his modernization programs for the PNRC, Gordon launched the Red Cross 143 and created an Operations Center equipped with computers and televisions. The operations center is also connected to all PNRC chapters for prompt response to emergencies.

The senator also said that modern communications technology could be an effective tool in promoting democracy, particularly through the computerization of the 2010 Elections.

Gordon, father of election modernization in the Philippines and author of Republic Act 9369 (Amended Automated Election System Law), said that poll automation will not only elevate the country's electoral exercise from third world to world-class but also bring credibility to the elections system and in the leaders of the country.

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Business Incentives for Barangay Micro-Business Enterprises (BMBEs)

Pursuant to the policies of Republic Act 9178 otherwise known as the “The Barangay Micro-Business Enterprises (BMBEs) of 2002, the city government is encouraging business owners to register as BMBEs to avail of tax incentives.

“Duly-registered BMBEs are given tax incentives to encourage the formation and growth of barangay micro-business enterprises that utilize the Filipinos’ own entrepreneurial talents and resources,” said Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr.

According to the implementing rules of the said act, the Office of the Treasurer of each city or municipality shall register BMBEs and issue a Certificate of Authority (CA) to enable the BMBE to avail of incentives provided that only one CA shall be issued for each BMBE.

“An enterprise can be considered as BMBE if it is barangay based, meaning, if the majority of its employees are residents of the city and if the principal operations of business is also confined within the territorial jurisdiction of the city,” explained Marcelino Andawi, Olongapo City Treasurer. “Moreover, the principal activity of a BMBE must include the application of a particular skill or use of raw materials predominantly sourced from Olongapo,” Andawi added.

Andawi also stressed that aside from being barangay based, a potential BMBE must be micro-business in nature and scope whose principal activity is for livelihood as determined by the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Council or by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) as priority area for development or government assistance.

On the other hand, applicants of BMBE must not be a branch, subsidiary, division or office of a large scale enterprise and an enterprise’ policies must not be under the mandates of a large scale business or by person(s) who are not owners or employees of an applying BMBE.

The City Treasurer’s Office requires registrants of BMBEs to submit the following documents:

1. Registration as a business entity or enterprise from the appropriate government agency such as SEC registration for corporations, DTI for sole proprietorship and Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) permit for cooperatives;
2. Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);
3. Certificate of registration from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR);
4. Mayor’s permit
5. Sworn affidavit executed by the sole proprietor or President of the Enterprise, as case may be, that the enterprise is barangay based and micro-business in nature and scope;
6. Pictures of the place of business and its assets;
7. Copy of Loan contracts, if any, and duly-notarized certification of amortization payments on the loan; and
8. Income Tax Return (ITR) with proof that it has been duly filed with BIR, including attachments, if any (for existing business only).

Interested BMBE registrants may visit the City Treasurer’s Office at the ground floor of Olongapo City Hall or call 222-2607 for application inquiries or email the said office at treasury_gapo@yahoo.com.


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Subic Free Port signs in new projects worth $57.74M

SUBIC BAY FREE PORT—Efforts by Subic authorities to sustain economic growth in this free port were rewarded with renewed investor confidence recently, as the agency signed in 17 new investment projects worth more than $57.74 million.

The newly approved projects included six ventures in the leisure industry with total committed investments of $53.59 million; three projects in manufacturing and maritime worth $1.3 million; three more in general business, with a total of $266,274; and five projects in logistics, with an aggregate value of $2.57 million.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) officials formally approved the new projects during a mass contract-signing ceremony at the SBDMC Formosa Hall in this free port.

According to Kenneth Lemuel Rementilla, SBMA manager for business and investment for leisure, the leisure industry here continues to boom despite the global economic crunch, turning in the most number of new projects and the biggest value of investment pledges.

“This is a sure sign that the leisure sector in Subic is becoming more attractive to investors,” Rementilla said.

Data from the SBMA business group showed that of the 17 new projects, the biggest proposal was that of Ocean Nine Philkor Inc., a South Korean resort developer that set aside P2.5 billion for the operation of hotels, casinos and other leisure facilities here.

Ocean Nine manager Charles Kim, who represented the firm during the contract-signing, said they will be renovating a hotel complex at Subic’s Cubi Point to start hotel and casino operations by January 2010.

The firm’s mid-term and long-term plans would involve the development of a beach resort, casino-hotel, convention center, shopping mall and theme park, Kim added.

Two more projects under the leisure sector turned in the next biggest investments. These are the P70-million construction of a four-story hotel and expansion of a dining facility by Innasia Corp., operator of the Courtyard Inn in this free port; and the P50-million expansion of Puregold Duty Free (Subic) Corp., a duty-free shop operator.

Meanwhile, new investor Lionair Subic Philippines Inc. committed the third-biggest project in this batch, with a $1-million budget for the servicing and maintenance of fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft here.

Aside from Ocean Nine, Innasia and Puregold, three other projects in the leisure sector were approved. These are  the proposals of Aggressive North Developers Inc., which pledged P30 million for hotel and restaurant operation; Goltongne Subic Corp., with $368,333 for a restaurant and gift shop; and LG Digital Plaza Inc., with P11.25 million for an authentic Ilonggo restaurant, wholesale and retail operations, and import/export services.

Ronnie Yambao, SBMA manager for manufacturing and maritime, meanwhile, identified the new projects under his sector as Consummare Inc., with $562,478 for the production of specialty wood products; Pacific Metal Works Corp., for steel fabrication; and Shang Min Construction Corp., $580,000 for trading of construction-related materials and equipment.

Under general business, the new locators are Golden AI Trucking, with committed investments of $215,074; I Will Communicate Inc., with a $30,000 investment for a language-proficiency school; and M&M Subic Bay Development Corp., with $21,200.

Meanwhile, five new investments were approved under the logistics sector, said Raymund Gil Siongco, SBMA manager for business and investment in logistics. These are Food Entrepreneur and Exporters of the Phil., with $470,000 for trading in grains and meat products; Lionair Subic, $1 million; Omni Aviation Corp., $700,000; Solutions Advancing Global Enterprise International Import-Export Corp., $300,000; and Subic Bay Merlion Trading Inc., with P5 million for the transshipment of wines and liquors. Written by Henry Empeño / Business Mirror Correspondent

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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