Sunday, January 31, 2010
With the global financial crisis easing up on cargo shipping lines, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) expects to award the winning bidder of the New Container Terminal-2 (NCT-2), the second phase of the $215-million Subic port modernization, in July this year.
SBMA Administrator Armand C. Arreza, who is also chairman of the Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC) for Port Commercialization, said they are proceeding with its second attempt to privatize the port.
“We are still in the publication phase. We hope to award the winning bidder by July this year,” said Arreza.
The first bidding for NCT-2 early last year failed because of the global financial crisis, which caused trade volumes to collapse and forcing cargo ships to park.
He said the original 7 parties that expressed interest to bid for NCT-2 are still vying for the project.
During the first attempt to bid out NCT-2, major international carriers were expected to join including China Overseas Shipping Corp., OOCL, American Presidents Lines, Maersk and Evergreen.
This followed as SBMA prefers bidders to be engaged in shipping lines operations or a combination of port operators and shipping lines to bid for the NCT-2 to guarantee the base cargo of the terminal.
“An eligible bidder should be an operator of an international container shipping line or a consortium of operators of international shipping lines,” Arreza said.
Arreza hopes that big liners would make NCT-2 its Southeast Asian hub where they will consolidate cargoes rather than go to places like Hongkong which is so expensive.
NCT-2 is being positioned as a transshipment hub for shipping lines has an annual cargo-handling capacity of 300,000 TEUs, which can be expanded to 600,000 TEUs. The capacity has potential annual revenues of $6 million, including wharfage fees.
SBMA expects that the operations of the NCT-2 will further boost its break-bulk business that has been swelling by about 40 percent annually three years prior to the global financial crisis in 2009 and complement with NCT-1 in the containerized cargo business. The government has invested $80 million for NCT-2.
NCT-2 has 14 hectares of newly constructed container yard, a 280-meter long newly-constructed wharf, two units of 53-ton quay gantry cranes, as well as buildings, equipment and utilities within the area.
Arreza said that to be eligible in the bidding, the bidder should be an operator of an international container shipping line or a consortium of operators of international shipping lines.
He added that the bidder should be currently operating an international container port terminal that handles at least 2 million TEUs per year, or has an operating capacity of 100,000 TEUs, a figure which could be combined for a bidding consortium.
Further, the bidder or consortium of bidders should have a net worth of at least $50 million, which could also be a combined net worth in case of a consortium.
As for financial qualifications, Arreza said the bidders should be able to submit audited financial statements for the last five years; a sworn statement that there has been no materials change in the financial condition since the last audited financial statement; and letters or testimonials from reputable banks that the bidder is banking with them. By BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILAT - Manila Bulletin
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Satellite firm goes to Subic
Asia Broadcasting Systems, a major satellite operator in Asia, is transferring the control of $800 million worth of equipment to its Subic facility this year.
ABS chief executive Tom Choi said in a statement that the company would beef up its workforce by over 50 percent in two years and train staff for the transfer of the control operations to the Subic center from the southern part of Hong Kong.
“In short, an $800 million worth of satellite equipment will be controlled in our operating center in Subic,” Choi said.
The Subic center, he said, would control five of the company’s satellites—ABS 1, ABS 1-A, ABS 2, ABS 5 and ABS 6.
The satellites serve the firm’s markets in Asia-Pacific, Russia, Africa and the Atlantic. ABS recently acquired Mabuhay Satellite Corp. of the Philippines, which operated the Agila-2 satellite, now renamed ABS-5.
Choi said ABS would invest over $5 million for training and additional infrastructure in its ground facility in Subic, adding that the firm would hire a minimum of 20 new employees this year.
“The investment will include new control equipment, new software, big antennas and satellite control equipment that will all be located in our Subic control center,” he said.
Choi added the company would spend an additional $300 million for another satellite to replace Agila 2 in preparation for its retirement in five years.
“Our investments in the Philippines will be long term,” he said.
ABS, whose control operations are in Hong Kong, said its main clients in the Philippines are telecommunication and broadcasting firms, including Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., Bayan Telecommunications Inc., GMA Network Inc. and ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp.
ABS in November signed an agreement for the purchase of Mabuhay Satellite’s business.
“ABS will maintain all of Mabuhay’s operations in the Philippines and the staff will be integrated with the ABS team,” Choi said.
He said revenues from the Philippines would account for 15 percent to 20 percent of the total after the merger. by Jeremiah F. de Guzman - Manila Standard Today
MORE LIVELIHOOD ASSISTANCE FROM MAYOR GORDON AND FIRST LADY ANNE
Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. and Olongapo City First Lady and Zambales Vice-Gov. Anne Marie Gordon have extended another Livelihood Capital Assistance (LCA) to 9 beneficiaries at the flag raising ceremonies on January 25, 2010 at the Rizal Triangle Multi-Purpose Center.
The LCA aims to give Olongapenos an initial fund or capital to start their own businesses or any income-generating projects that will eventually support their family’s basic needs.
The nine (9) recipients of LCA are the following:
1. Josefina Zerrudo- Brgy. Mabayuan
2. Adoracion Santos- Brgy. Mabayuan
3. Alicia Barlaan- Brygy. Sta Rita
4. Angeles Especia- Brgy. Sta. Rita
5. Gil Royo- Brgy. New Cabalan
6. Teresita Carabeo- Brgy. West Bajac-Bajac
7. Shirley Custodio- Brgy. West Bajac-Bajac
8. Carmelita Bumagat- Brgy. Sta Rita
9. Jerry Fernandez- West Bajac-Bajac
The recipients will have to return the amount within ten (10) months but without interest. This is ensure that more people will benefit from the livelihood assistance program of Mayor Gordon and First Lady Anne.
Each beneficiary has undergone a screening. Representatives from the Livelihood Cooperative and Development Office (LCDO) visited the candidates for the LCA to make sure that they really are not financially capable of starting up their own businesses.
Hog raising, sari-sari store, balut vending, cigarette vending, barbeque vending, rice vending, fish and vegetable vending, tocino making are just some of the many small businesses that the recipients will venture into which requires minimal amount of capital.
It can be recalled that the 2009 City Fiesta under the Chairmanship of First Lady Anne Marie, part of the funds raised was allotted to the Livelihood Program of Mayor Gordon.
Mayor Bong Gordon and Olongapo First Lady and Zambales Vice-Governor Anne Marie Gordon with the recipients of the Livelihood Capital Assistance (LCA) Program at the Rizal Triangle Multi-Purpose CeAnter on January 25, 2010. Also in the picture are City Councilors Edwin Piano and Ellen Dabu.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Subic airport to be converted into logistics hub
The Subic Freeport airport may be converted into a logistics hub to maximize its potentials after its failure to find a replacement of the FedEx, which used to operate its Asia Pacific hub in the Freeport.
This was revealed by Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) administrator Armand C. Arreza to reporters covering the ground breaking ceremony of the regional leaf warehouse of Philip Morris Philippines Manufacturing Inc.
Arreza said they are still studying the conversion of the airport.
The planned conversion has taken into consideration the more competitive Clark freeport, which is being groomed as the country?s next international airport.
Arreza said the Freeport currently pays P250 million in debt service annually and P80 million for maintenance.
"We need between 12 to 15 flights a day to break even" he said.
"With the departure of FedEx, Subic is left with no user at all and source of revenue. How can we sustain that?" Arreza said.
On the other hand, Arreza said that Clark offers free parking and landing fees to the budget airlines operating in the former American Airfield.
FedEx left Subic as its Asia Pacific hub in February 2009 to a more profitable Guangzhuo, China.
?We are still studying its conversion, but we also want Subic to a subsidiary airport to Clark,? he said.
The airport, he said, could be converted into a logistics hub noting that they have not enough space for the logistics firms operating in the Freeport .
Earlier, however, SBMA was in talks with several groups that could replace the slot left by FedEx, which has finally closed its Asia Pacific hub in Subic Freeport as it transfers to a more profitable new hub in Guangzhou, China leaving 500 workers jobless.
?We?re in talks with several groups but no immediate replacement,? said Arreza the day after FedEx pulled out its last plane in Subic after operating its Asia Pacific hub in the former U.S. military base for the past 16 years.
Arreza, however, refused to elaborate except to say that negotiations for possible replacement of FedEx are ongoing.
Last year, SBMA forged an agreement with UK-based Stratospheric Airship Technologies (SAT), which has committed to invest $ 500 million for aircraft manufacturing by taking over the facilities of FedEx.
But SAT official said that SAT is not going to replace the Asia Pacific hub operations of FedEx but rather transform the facility into an aircraft manufacturing hub.
The FedEx hub, which began operations in 1996, earned the Subic Bay authority about P150 million (3.2 million dollars) from landing fees and warehousing in 2008.
About 500 workers were expected to lose jobs. At the peak of its operations in 2004, the FedEx unit in Subic employed about 800 people.
At the time FedEx came into Subic, it was hoped it would lure foreign businesses to Subic and breathe new life into the area after the US closed its military bases in the Philippines in 1992. (PNA)
There's a new look to the Boracay Race this year - for starters, it begins in Subic Bay. The race is now run by the Boracay International Regatta Committee and SAGS (Saturday Afternoon Gentlemens' Sailing), following the collapse of any recognisable competitive sailing at the Manila Yacht Club.
Secondly, the course now allows boats to pass west of Mindoro - skipping out the contrary trip through the Verde Passage - but which is the quicker route? Interesting tactical decision there...
The race to Boracay will be followed immediately afterwards by the Boracay Cup - by popular demand. Literally.
Subic Bay to Boracay Race, 19 - 21 Feb 2010, Notice of Race
The Regatta Organizing Authority is the Boracay International Regatta Committee and SAGS Group under the auspices of the Philippine Sailing Association.
Enquires and entries should be addressed to:
Subic to Boracay Race,
Telephone: (63-2) 400 9326
SCTEX bidders failed
MNTC, Northlink fail in Sctex bid
THE Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC) and Northlink Toll Management Inc., the two remaining firms that submitted bids for the management of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx), have failed to meet the hurdles set by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) in the bidding’s terms of reference (TOR).
The BCDA, however, is still not declaring a failure of bidding as it gave the two companies a few days to submit their respective appeals, BCDA vice president Aileen Zosa said.
Northlink, an incorporated joint venture between San Miguel Corp. and Star Tollways Corp., was declared ineligible by the BCDA after it failed to comply with the technical requirements set in the TOR.
Northlink was given up to January 29 to file its protest.
MNTC, a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Investments Corp., on the other hand, was declared eligible after the technical phase.
Its financial bid was opened on January 25 in front of representatives from both MNTC and Northlink, members of BCDA’s Asset Disposition Program committee and a representative from the Commission on Audit.
However, the BCDA declared the financial bid of MNTC as “failed/noncomplying,” since it fell short of the minimum requirements as set in the TOR. MNTC still has up to February 1 to make an appeal.
“Both bidders were given a period of time to file their respective request for reconsideration and/or a protest as provided for under the TOR. Thus, the BCDA has not declared a failure of bidding,” Zosa said.
In a statement, the MNTC, the concessionaire and builder of the 93-kilometer North Luzon Expressway, said it is still considering its options.
But Rodrigo Franco, MNTC president and CEO, said having MNTC operate and maintain the SCTEx would facilitate its integration with Nlex, giving motorists greater benefits.
“MNTC will redesign and reconfigure certain toll plazas and the toll- collection systems to achieve full integration of the two expressways. Customers will discover an even more pleasurable and convenient travel experience,” he said.
Six firms originally expressed interest in operating and maintaining the SCTEx by purchasing the TOR, but only MNTC and Northlink proceeded with the bidding.
Philip Morris starts Asia-Pacific warehouse project in Subic
Tobacco producing giant Philip Morris International (PMI) broke ground on its new regional tobacco warehouse facility in a 50,000- square meter total land area inside Subic Techno Park that will store tobacco leaf for shipment and processing in various PMI cigarette factories in the Asia-Pacific region.
Philip Morris Philippines Manufacturing Inc. (PMPMI) Managing Director Chris Nelson, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Feliciano G. Salonga and SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza led the groundbreaking Monday morning to signal the commencement of the project.
?Today we break ground in what described to be the largest humid warehouse facility that will established Subic as a major center of regional leaf tobacco trading and a major center for international distribution, ? SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza said.
This new warehouse will have state-of-the-art features such as humidity control, fire suppression equipment, and air conditioning to handle the imported tobacco leaf from China, Indonesia, Thailand, and India, among others, which will be used by PMI cigarette manufacturing facilities in the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia..
?The expected project completion will be August this year, so definitely, the economic benefit of this project will accrued to the community in a very short period of time,? Arreza said.
?What we are groundbreaking today is actually the Phase II of our investment here in Subic.. You will recall that in January 2008, exactly two years ago, we opened the first phase which was a 10,000-square meter leaf warehouse that used to be Building 8120 of SBMA located at the Boton area,? PMPMI Managing Director Chris Nelson said.
At present, the existing refurbished warehouse in Boton Area can only accommodate 6,100 metric tons of tobacco leaf. Phase-I has an initial investment of P30-million while the new project is peg at around P500-million worth of investment, Nelson said.
?The new warehouse stands on a 20,000-square meter lot out of the almost 50,000-square meter total land area that we have leased from SBMA for 50 years. In the future, we could further expand the warehouse facility to handle 24,000 metric tons of tobacco depending on the region?s demand,? he added.
The construction of the Subic Techno Park warehouse, with an initial capacity of storing 14,000 metric tons of tobacco, is expected to be completed in July this year.
Nelson disclosed that Subic was chosen from among several possible locations in Southeast Asia ?as it provides reasonable advantages in cost and efficiency over the various storage areas where tobacco leaf are previously kept.?
?Through the years, we have steadily expanded our investments here in the Philippines. The project that we are groundbreaking today further cements our commitment to the economic development of the country and our faith in the Philippine tobacco industry,? Nelson said.
PMI is the leading tobacco company in the world with over 15 percent share of the international adult smoking market (excluding China).
It previously invested more than $ 300 million in the construction of its first class cigarette manufacturing facility in Tanauan City, Batangas which became operational in 2003.
PMI?s affiliates, which include PMPMI, manufacture and market seven of the top 15 best selling international brands - including Marlboro, the world?s number one cigarette brand. (PNA)
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Subic investments to hit over $ 2-B
Investments in the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) are expected to hit over $ 1.9 billion from only $ 190 million last year given the huge Korean investments pouring into the Freeport.
SBMA administrator Armand C. Arreza revealed this to reporters at the groundbreaking ceremony for the regional leaf warehouse facility of Philip Morris Philippines Manufacturing Inc. in Subic Freeport.
Korean investments include tourism investments in Neocove project with $ 1 billion project cost, another $ 1 billion project of Korean firm M Castle and the P3 billion commercial project of Ayala Group .
?We are just awaiting for the implementing rules and regulations of Executive Order 675 that expands the Freeport area outside of the main zone to include Olongapo and parts of Hermosa, Bataan,? Arreza said.
Arreza said Neocover alone is investing $ P1 billion for its tourism development in a 400-hectare facility in the Cawag area.
For its first phase, Neocove is investing $ 312.146 million for the construction of an island resort, Annika Golf course resort and a town center.
Stockholders of this Korean firm are Heung-A Property Group and Daewoo Securities.
The Ayala Group is also putting up a P3-billion mall in an eight-hectare lot inside the main Freeport zone near the gate but its expansion into a commercial development would be located outside outside somewhere in Rizal and Magsaysay Avenue in Olongapo City.
On the other hand, another Korean-owned M Castle is also investing $ 1 billion for another tourism and commercial establishment project.
M Castle has already reserved about 600 hectares of which 360 hectares are allotted as buildable lots in Morong, Bataan.
Other investments this year would come from the privatization of the port terminal.(PNA)
Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway groundbreaking
PGMA leads TPLEX groundbreaking
Her Excellency President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will spearhead the groundbreaking ceremony of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) Project today at Barangay Subusub, Rosario, La Union which will signal the boosting of economic growth and countryside development in the northern corridor.
According to Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Undersecretary Romeo S. Momo, the TPLEX is an 88.58 km. 4-lane high speed toll expressway which is a four (4) year in the making project.
It is divided into two (2) phases, to wit: Phase 1 is the construction of 2-lanes and Phase 2 is expansion into 4-lanes when capacity reaches 25,000 vehicles per day.
"The TPLEX project for its initial 2-lanes has an Php 11.594 billion total base cost (2007 prices) composed of Civil Works (Php 9.601 million), Engineering (Php 0.768 million), Project Management (Php 0.192 million, Contingencies (Php 0.240 million) and Right of Way (ROW) acquisition (Php 0.793 million)," Momo added.
The DPWH will provide support in the form of actual acquisition and funding of ROW in the amount of Php 793 million and cash subsidy of Php 2.907 billion starting 2011 and as of January 4, this year, a total amount of Php 438 million for the ROW acquisition was already released.
ROW acquisition from Tarlac City to Rosales, Pangasinan (Segment 1, -48.70 km) is on-going.
"The project route alignment starts at the terminus of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway Project in La Paz, Tarlac and traverses through the municipalities of Tarlac, Gerona, Paniqui and Moncada, all in the province of Tarlac and the municipalities of Carmern, Urdaneta, Villasis and Sison in Pangasinan province which will end up at the intersection of Rosario-Pugo road in Rosario, La Union," Momo added.
Project components of the 2-lane includes eight (8) interchanges located at Victoria, Gerona, Paniqui, Moncada, Carmer, Urdaneta, Pozzorubio and Rosario with nine (9) toll plazas and two (2) operation center buildings situated at the Carmen Interchange and other Sub-Centers at selected interchange sites.
TPLEX will have 11 waterway bridges, two (2) viaducts, 66 underpasses/1 overpass and tollway facilities to include toll equipments, rest areas, administrative buildings and maintenance depot.
Through public bidding, the government represented by the DPWH has awarded the contract which is inclusive of design, construction, financing operation and maintenance of the concession to Private Infrastructure Development Corporation (PIDC) on a Build-Transfer-Operate (BTO) scheme.
PIDC is a consortium of 10 Filipino private contractors namely D.M. Consunji, Inc.; First Balfour, Inc.; D.M. Wenceslao & Associates, Inc.; C.M. Pancho Construction, Inc.; RD. Policarpio & Co., Inc.; J.V. Angeles Construction Corporation; J.E. Manalo & Co., Inc. New Kanlaon Construction, Inc.; EEI Corporation; and Rockford Development Corporation and San Miguel Corporation/Rapid Thoroughfares, Inc.
The design consultant is Filipinas Dravo Corporation (FDC), a leading design and engineering consulting firm based in the Philippines while the supervision consultancy will be provided by a top Filipino consultancy firm, the DCCD Engineering Corporation.
The designated tollway operator/advisor is Tollways Management Corporation (TMC).
DCCD Associate and Deputy Project Manager of the TPLEX Melchor P. Sirilan said that the project will reduce travel time from Manila to Baguio from 6 to 3 hours with a safe speed of 80 kph, enhance super regions competitive advantage, stimulate economic growth and development and provide faster and effective access for agricultural products from the north to the major population centers in Luzon.
"The TPLEX will commence before the end of this year and the start of the partial operations will be on March 2012 for the Tarlac-Carmen section, April 2012 for the Carmern-Urdaneta section, and October 2014 for the Urdaneta-Rosario section," Sirilan concluded.
After the groundbreaking, the President will award the Project ICC to Samson C. Lazo, President of the PIDC. By Jennilyne C. Role - PIA
Iba Judge jailed for extortion
Bribe-taking judge draws 3-year jail term
A judge of the Municipal Trial Court of Iba, Zambales was sentenced to three years in jail Tuesday for accepting P10,000 in exchange for a favorable ruling.
Judge Conrado Alinea Jr., insisting he was innocent, broke down in tears during his sentencing by the Sandiganbayan Third Division.
He was also ordered to pay a P20,000 fine by Associate Justice Alex Quiroz, who wrote the 18-page decision. The Sandiganbayan was convinced that Alinea was criminally inclined to extort money from the private complainants in a case pending before his sala, based on the chain of events presented in the bribery case.
There was no doubt he was guilty of direct bribery, the Third Division said in its decision with which Associate Justices Efren de la Cruz and Francisco Villaruz, the division chairman, concurred.
Agents of the National Bureau of Investigation in June 2004, acting on a complaint by Raul Neria and his uncle, Jose Abadam, who had a pending case for a writ of demolition before Alinea’s sala, caught the MTC judge receiving P10,000 from Abadam and Neria in Iba’s Bon’s Restaurant. by Macon Ramos-Araneta - manilastandardtoday.com
KALAKLAN LIGTHTHOUSE BRIDGE CLOSURE OPPOSED
Different groups in Olongapo City have banded together to oppose the closure on February 15, 2010 of Kalaklan Lighthouse Bridge which connects Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Olongapo City and the rest of Zambales.
Led by the Greater Subic Bay Tourism Bureau (GSBTB), Metro-Olongapo Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MOCCI), Subic Bay Resorts Association (SUBRA), Olongapo Chinese Chamber of Commerce and several transport groups in Olongapo and Zambales, an appeal to delay if not avoid the closure of Kalaklan Lighthouse Bridge was conveyed to Engineer Joselito Bakuzeta of SBMA Eng’g Dept., in a consultative meeting on January 20, 2010 at the Olongapo City Hall.
A new bridge will be constructed beside the existing one which was built by the U.S. Navy some 50 years ago because, according to SBMA officials, the structure has weakened over time.
However, the same experts said the old bridge can still service light vehicles and pedestrians, which has been the case for almost a year now, pending the construction of a new one.
In a multi-sector meeting held at the SBMA Board Room earlier, it was revealed that the bridge will not be immediately demolished and instead, will be used by the contractor for its equipment, drawing reactions from city representatives for what they say “undue favor to the contractor over the public’s interest.”
According to MOCCI President Aurelio “Bong” Pineda, with the expected resulting monstrous traffic situation in Olongapo once the Kalaklan Lighthouse Bridge is closed, businesses in the city will certainly suffer, eventually affecting everybody, from students to employees, even passersby.
According to the GSBTB, the imminent closure is ill-timed since it will coincide with the on-set of summer vacation, the beginning of construction activities relative to the establishment of the SM Mall, Ayala Mall, Ocean 9 Casino, the Ampelos Tower as well as the Expansion Project of the New Banicain Fishport.
“This will definitely affect our business. Most of our visitors in the summer are day tourists. If the average traveling time from Manila to Subic is 4 hours and another 4 hours going back, visitors have no time left to enjoy their day and if that is the case, tourists will not come here anymore. If you really need to close down the bridge, do it after the summer season so that our business will not suffer too much. We have employees to think of and our employees have families and children to tend,” said representatives from MOCCI.
“If you need to demolish the existing bridge for the construction of a new one, you have to provide an alternative for us because the bridge’s closure will certainly create traffic and congestion plus the downbeat to the tourism industry. The contractor and SBMA can provide a bailey bridge to temporarily accommodate motorists and pedestrians until the new bridge is finished,” Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, who mediated on the meeting, told Bakuteza.
Meanwhile , Col. Joe Aquino , head of Olongapo City Office of Traffic Management and Public Safety (OTMPS), accounted that the closure of Kalaklan Lighthouse Bridge will lead to no less than 2,500 additional vehicles passing thru Olongapo’s streets and will also adversely affect several thousands of pedestrians who walk thru the bridge every day.
“The closure of Kalaklan Lighthouse Bridge means that we have to go around the city to reach the James Gordon Hospital. In times of medical emergencies, a heart-attack victim would be dead already before reaching the hospital since traveling time from the outskirts to the city proper is bound to increase,” said an ex-pat residing in Bgy. Barretto, the city’s beach capital.
To convey the predicament of affected sectors and the city government’s concerns, Mayor James “Bong” Gordon Jr. sent a letter addressed to SBMA administrator Armand Arreza, a day after the meeting, which proposes the following schemes to mitigate the possible effects of the closure of Kalaklan Lighthouse bridge such as the construction of a bailey bridge to be used by pedestrians and motorists during the entire construction period or to reinforce the existing bridge to make the existing bridge safe and passable until the new bridge is constructed.
“We are not opposing the construction of a new bridge per se, what we are contesting is the untimely closure of the existing bridge. There must be a proper coordination with the City of Olongapo in this issue, because we will be the ones facing the wrath of the public when traffic starts to build up in the city’s major roads,” said Olongapo City Administrator Ferdie Magrata.
“It doesn’t make sense. Why close the bridge immediately when light vehicles can still safely pass? Why appropriate the old bridge for the contractor’s use instead of the general public? If it is a choice between the interests of the public and the convenience of the contractor, we expect SBMA to side with the public,” said Vic Vizcocho, Olongapo City Public Affairs Officer.
It can be recalled that over a year earlier, the SBMA has also closed down the Main Gate bridge connecting R.M. Drive in Olongapo and SBFZ to motorists, re-routing vehicles to and from Olongapo and Zambales to 3 remaining entry and exit points: the 1st Gate fronting Rizal Ave. connected by the Asinan Bridge, 14th st. Gate and the Kalaklan Gate, which leads to the current object of controversy.
Should the Kalaklan Lighthouse Bridge be closed without an agreed solution that would be beneficial to all concerned, the closure will not only lead to traffic mishaps but will definitely affect the business peak seasons of resort-hotel owners in Barretto and in neighboring towns in Zambales, as well .
OLONGAPO TENNIS CLUB
Mayor James “Bong” Gordon Jr. together with (from the extreme left) Felix Cadorna, Dr. Arnildo Tamayo, Antolin Jose Gular, Teresito Gamboa, Renato Echon, Alfredo Adap, and Councilor Rodel Cerezo, officers of Olongapo Tennis Club.
SUBIC BAY FREE PORT—Pointing out the need to reverse the degradation of Subic Bay, considered the No. 1 asset of this free port, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has called on various stakeholders in the area to help map out an action plan to save Subic Bay.
SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza said the Subic agency will host the first Subic Bay Water Summit here Jan. 28 and 29 to address concerns on the water quality of the bay that, experts said, “had been subjected to various strains brought about by rapid urbanization as well as development activities.”
Arreza said the 12,350-hectare Subic Bay, which forms part of the communal waters of Olongapo City and nearby areas in the provinces of Zambales and Bataan, plays a critical role in the development of the Subic Bay free port and nearby areas.
However, the bay is now considered a threatened resource, Arreza added, due to patches of pollution load caused by the disposal of partially treated sewage, nutrient inflows from changes in land use, and inadequate treatment of industrial wastes.
“Subic Bay is an all-important natural asset,” Arreza said. “But if these stresses continue, we are sure to be left with an unsustainable resource.”
“Since Subic Bay is a common resource, every stakeholder has the moral obligation to keep this critical resource sustainable. We hope the summit would address this very vital concern,” he added.
The SBMA official said that recent studies indicated that the degradation of the bay waters is caused by several “stressors” in nearby areas. These include reduction of forest cover, inefficient use of fertilizer and pesticides, burning of grasslands, proliferation of fish cages, and increasing sewage and pollution load from domestic waste produced by neighboring communities.
“Surprisingly, despite growing industrialization in the Subic Bay free port, the major culprit in the observed decline of water quality at this point is waste from domestic households in the surrounding local communities,” Arreza noted, citing studies made in 2006 for Subic’s Integrated Coastal Management Plan (ICMP).
The studies showed that pressures from commercial and industrial activities in nearby communities, as well as rapid urbanization and population growth, have increased solid-waste generation.
On top of these, limited sewer and wastewater treatment facilities, and lack of waste-disposal facilities, have created negative impact on the quality of Subic Bay.
According to SBMA Ecology Center manager Amethya de la Llana-Koval, the water summit will serve as a venue for the SBMA and other stakeholders to define the current status and issues on the quality of the water environment in Subic Bay.
The summit is also expected to raise environmental awareness among stakeholders and community groups, and provide them with examples of current best practices in environment and water resource management.
The exercise will also help identify and prioritize key water issues and action plan for the greater Subic Bay area, and generate commitment among stakeholders toward sustainable use and management of land and water resources, Koval said.
For the two-day summit, the SBMA has invited people’s organizations in Olongapo, Zambales and Bataan; environment officials; heads of local government units; and representatives from Subic business locators, schools and various SBMA departments.
Koval said the event speakers include Sec. Edgardo Pamintuan, chairman of the Subic-Clark Alliance for Development Council, who will talk on the impact of human settlements on water resources; Gov. Felipe Nava of Guimaras, who will present best practices in marine conservation; Marikina Mayor Marides Fernando, who will tackle sustainable city planning; World Wide Fund for the Environment vice president Joel Palma, who will make a presentation on marine conservation; and Cesar de la Cruz, president of the Philippine Institute of Chemical Engineers, who will lecture on sustainable technologies and best practices in industries.
Also scheduled to discuss land- and water-use planning, and coastal management, respectively, are two members of the SBMA ICMP team, Dr. Hoanh Hoang Nguyen, a soil and water specialist, and Carlito Rufo, an environmental consultant.
Jaime Garcia, assistant general manager of Subic Water and Sewerage Co., which operates the water system in this free port, will expound on the firm’s sewerage master plan.
Koval said that Sen. Richard Gordon, the first SBMA chairman and administrator, has also been invited to deliver his message to participants of the two-day summit.
--Written by Henry Empeño / Correspondent
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
ANNUAL PACIFIC ISLANDS LOCAL GOVERNMENT
WHAT: PRESS CONFERENCE
WHEN: FEBRUARY 2, 2010 AT 3PM
WHERE: 2ND FLOOR, FUNCTION ROOM
OLONGAPO CITY CONVENTION CENTER
RE: 3RD ANNUAL MAYORS’ CONFERENCE ON FEB. 18-21,2010 AT OLONGAPO CITY CONVENTION CENTER (OCCC) AND SUBIC BAY EXHIBITION AND CONVENTION CENTER (SBECC)
PLEASE CONFIRM ATTENDANCE, CONTACT
MR. VIC V. VIZCOCHO AT 09285038350 OR
NETTE MORTEL AT 09087420602.
Vice-Governor Anne Marie Gordon Speaks at SOPA
Olongapo First Lady and Zambales Vice-Governor Anne Marie Gordon expressed her gratitude to colleagues and constituents in Zambales at Governor Amor Deloso’s State of the Province Address (SOPA) held last January 18, 2010.
“Ako ay nagagalak at nagpapasalamat sa mainit na pagtanggap sa akin ng aking mga kasamahan sa Provincial Board, lalong- lalo na sa tiwalang ibinigay sa akin ng mga Zamabaleño ng ako ay kanilang inihalal bilang Bise-gobernador ng Zambales.
She also recognized the diligence and dedication of the Provincial Government employees.
“Sa maikling panahon na ipinamalagi ko sa provincial government ay nakita ko kung gaano kasipag ang mga empleyado ng Zambales at alam ko na sa pamamagitan n’yo, kayang-kaya nating paunlarin pa ang probinsya at mapabilang sa isa sa mga competitive provinces sa buong bansa,” dagdag pa ng bise-gobernador.
As expected, Vice-Governor Anne Marie Gordon, a champion of the underprivileged, did not forget to address the flood victims in Botolan, “We were able to rebuild our lives and our homes. No amount of disasters cannot be overcome kapag sama-sama tayong lahat,” said Vice-Governor Anne Marie Gordon.
As Presiding Officer of the Provincial Board, Vice-Governor Anne has passed 422 legislative measures in 2008 alone to address various concerns of the province focusing on economic and infrastructure development, responsive bureaucracy, preservation of the environment, socio-cultural development, health and family welfare and agriculture progress. In Olongapo, Anne is also responsible, along with Mayor Bong Gordon, for the establishment of the Center for Women ,a safe haven that provides refuge to battered and abused women in the city wherein they are given temporary shelter, appropriate counseling and moral support, and are taught to be self-reliant until the time they are able to stand on their own to rise up from their condition.
Under the leadership of Vice-Governor Anne Marie as Presiding Officer, the Provincial Board has approved the budget appropriating the procurement of hospital equipment such as x-ray machines, infant ventilators, CT scan machine, new ambulance vehicles, plasma separator, incubator, dialysis machines, mammography machines, cardiac monitors and other hospital equipment for RMM Hospital, Candeleria District and San Marcelino District Hospital in Zambales.
“Zambales and Olongapo had some issues before. I believe I won as Vice- Governor for a purpose. In a way, I have cemented Zambales and Olongapo’s relationship for the better and if your honor make it to Congress, I will support the province’s livelihood projects, among others,” the vice-governor pledged.
Vice-Governor Anne Marie is running for the first district congressional seat on the 2010 elections.
Olongapo First Lady and Zambales Vice-Governor Anne Marie Gordon at Governor Amor Deloso’s State of the Province last January 18, 2010.
DENGUE: YEAR-ROUND THREAT
The mosquitoes that transmit dengue live among humans and breed in discarded tires, flower pots, old oil drums, and water storage containers close to human dwellings. That’s why Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. advised Olongapenos to keep their surroundings clean and dry to keep dengue-carrying mosquitoes away.
“Ang buwan ng Enero, Hulyo at Agosto ang kadalasang peak season ng Dengue taun-taon, kaya ngayon pa lamang ay kinakailanganng patuloy na mag-ingat ang publiko” Mayor Bong Gordon said.
The Mayor explained that even if there are peak months where Dengue are most likely to spread rapidly, the disease is still considered a year-round threat because it can attack anyone anytime.
“Kinakailangan lamang na tiyakin ng publiko na walang naka-imbak na tubig sa kanilang tahanan at dapat na itapon at regular na palitan ang mga tubig sa flower vase at iba pang lalagyan,” City Health Officer Arnie Tamayo said.
Dengue is a disease carried and transmitted by mosquitoes. To avoid the disease, eliminate mosquito breeding sites in areas around homes. Discard items that can collect rain or stagnant water, especially old tires. By keeping our space clean and dry, we can save our selves and our loved ones from the killer disease, according to handouts being distributed by the Department of Health (DOH).
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
BROWNOUT IN GAPO: NATIONAL GRID CORPORATION OF THE PHILIPPINES (NGCP) EXPLAINS
Mayor James Gordon, Jr. and the Public Utilities Department (PUD) want Olongapo City to be spared from the “rotating brownouts” which several areas in Metro Manila are facing.
The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) in Kale Beach Olongapo City has informed the Public Utilities Department (PUD) that the city will tentatively experience brownouts from January 25-29, 2010, 12noon to 2pm daily. According to NGCP the cause of brownouts that put Luzon grid, including Olongapo City on “yellow alert” is due to the power deficiency.
“Mabuti nang maliwanag sa ating mga consumer na hindi ang PUD ang dahilan ng brownout kungdi ang NGCP,” ani Louie Lopez, PUD general manager.
“The brownouts in Metro Manila is the result of power deficiency from the Sual generation plant which supplies power to the Manila Electric Company,” NGCP explained.
In an interview with Engr. Zavalla of PUD, he said, “the scheduled brownouts will only be tentative because it depends on the load shedding, consumers will share the burden of low power supply instead of putting the affected areas in blackout at the same time.”
NGCP deputy assistance chief technical officer Carlito Claudio was quoted as saying, “the rotating brownout was also caused by the shutdown of the 540 megawatt Limay power plant, the outage of the Calaca power plant due to boiler tube leak and the ongoing maintenance work on the Ilijan power plant. Unit 1 developed feedwater pump trouble and Unit 2 was shutdown on Jan 8 due to the lack of coal supply.”
Among the areas affected by the rotating brownouts are some parts of Metro Manila, portions of Laguna and Bulacan.
BONG AND ANNE THANK VENDORS
Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. and Olongapo City First Lady and Zambales Vice-Gov. Anne Marie Gordon took time out of their busy schedule to thank the vendors of Olongapo City.
“Naniniwala ako na ang mga awards at pagkilalang patuloy na natatangggap ng Olongapo ay hindi lamang karangalan ng mga city officials at iilan. Malaki ang inyong kontribusyon dito mga vendors,” Mayor Bong Gordon said to over one-thousand three hundred (1,300) officials and members of different vendors’ organization who were present.
City First Lady Anne Marie Gordon, Vice Mayor Cynthia Cajudo, City Councilors Ellen Dabu, Rodel Cerezo, Jhong Cortez, Nathan Manalo and City Consultants Bugsy Gordon delos Reyes, Ed Piano, Romy Guerrero, Edna Elane and Tet Marzan also thanked the vendors for their unwavering support to the city.
Meanwhile, at the same affair, Mayor Bong Gordon related in detail the city’s Master Plan where one of the top priority is health and to improve Medical Tourism in Olongapo. In a power point presentation, the Mayor showed the new building at the James L. Gordon Memorial Hospital (JLGMH) Outpatient and Medical Arts Building.
“It has an additional twenty-four (24) private rooms and eight (8) beds for a semi-private room to accommodate more patients, houses the hospital’s 24-hour pharmacy and modern facilities for sports medicine, women and children health protection and chemotherapy unit for cancer patients,” Mayor Gordon said.
Our Lady of Lourdes International Medical Center, Baypointe Hospital and Medical Center and George Dewey Medical and Wellness Center are the new hospitals in the city and the Freeport Zone that Mayor Gordon mentioned at the program.
Out of the darkness comes Flash Gordon
“The official candidacies are in, so now we know that 99 Filipinos — at least nine of them serious contenders — are dreaming of becoming their country’s next president. The serious ones — in their intentions if not in their machinery — include Sen. Noynoy Aquino, former Defense chief Gibo Teodoro, Sen. Manny Villar, former President Erap Estrada, Sen. Dick Gordon, Sen. Jamby Madrigal, environmentalist Nicky Perlas, Bro. Eddie Villanueva and young reformer JC de los Reyes.
“I’ve never done this before, but I’m going out on a limb to make an endorsement. And I’m going to do that because the stakes are just too high, the situation too dire, for someone in my position — who might yet persuade the uninformed or the uncertain — to sit idly by as the most important presidential election of the post-Marcos era takes place.
“Having gone through martial law, two EDSAs, and the interminably long night of GMA’s hold on power (something she might yet extend with her run for Congress, and presumably the Speakership and Prime Ministership, if the chips fall her way again), I’m convinced that we Pinoys have punished ourselves enough with bad and corrupt leadership. If we elect another lemon to the Palace again, we’ll have no one to blame but ourselves.
“My vote will go to that person who I think has the experience, the integrity, the intelligence, the vision, the compassion and the discipline to best serve as our next president. After reviewing the options, I conclude that that person can only be Sen. Richard ‘Dick’ Gordon. He’s running along with former Marikina mayor and Metro Manila chief Bayani ‘BF’ Fernando — whose teaming up with Gordon was something of a masterstroke, focusing attention on the reputations of both men as proven, no-nonsense performers (or, the way Gordon puts it “transformers” — people who change society).
“First of all, full disclosure: I’ve just finished writing the biography of Senator Gordon, a commissioned project that took three years to finish. Within that time, I got to know the man and his story better than most people, beyond the official press releases and the front page stories. I’ve kept a formal distance — I still call him ‘Mr. Senator,’ never ‘Dick’ to his face — and I’m not a part of, nor have I been asked to join, his campaign organization.
“My heart tells me to vote for Noynoy and Mar, which will most strongly express my outrage over the way GMA has gutted our most cherished values and institutions. But my head tells me to vote for Dick and BF, who will need no on-the-job training in good governance, and whose track records as strong-willed, visionary executives are unmatched.
“I frankly don’t know Noynoy well enough — and neither, I suspect, do most Filipinos, beyond what they’ve seen of him on TV after President Aquino’s death. I have no reason to doubt that he’ll make an honest, upright President — maybe even a capable one. I’ve worked for Mar, and have nothing but appreciation for the seriousness and high purpose with which he takes his job as a senator. But much as I admire the late President Cory Aquino and the legacy she left behind — a legacy the Liberals will seek to sustain — I believe the Presidency can’t and shouldn’t be inherited, but earned.
“One just has to look at what Gordon has done in Subic and Olongapo, and what Fernando did to Marikina, to see how they have delivered on their word. Both places provide working demonstrations of what inspired leadership and political will can achieve.
“True, both men have big egos, and can come across to Filipinos accustomed to being wooed and massaged as being brusque or even abrasive when they need to get things done. But that’s nothing compared to the smiling impunity with which GMA and her crew weakened, rather than strengthened, our people’s faith in government.
“They’ve faced their share of lawsuits, but, to the best of my knowledge, no charge of corruption against either man has ever stuck or prospered. Gordon lives with his wife Kate in a comfortable condominium in Fort Bonifacio — in the same building where artists, expats, and successful professionals live — and stays in the same old, modest house in crowded downtown Olongapo when he’s there.
“In a country plagued by disasters of every kind, Dick’s 40 years of hands-on experience with the Red Cross should be invaluable. At a time when Philippine-American relations need to be managed with both firmness and finesse, Gordon trumps all his fellow aspirants in experience in dealing with the Americans, knowing when to stand up to them and when to seek their cooperation.
“xxx Can Dick Gordon win? The surveys don’t look too good at the moment, but it’s up to us to decide whether to let the surveys — or we ourselves — choose our best next President.”
By. Federico Pascual Jr. - Philippine Star
Monday, January 25, 2010
More Taiwanese investors flock to Subic
With China-ASEAN free trade area
More Taiwanese firms are locating in Subic Bay Freeport in light of the implementation of the China-Asean free trade agreement as they use the freeport as staging ground for their exports.
Manila Economic and Cultural Office Managing Director Antonio I. Basilio revealed that 14 firms, 7 of which are Taiwanese, have signed lease agreements with Subic Bay Development and Management Co. (SBDMC) to establish their businesses in the Freeport.
These firms are engaged in manufacturing, trading and warehousing and transshipment with combined investments of $8.9 million.
“This shows the unwavering Taiwanese investor confidence in the Philippines as a prime investment site despite stiff competition offered by other Asian countries for Taiwanese producers seeking cheaper land and labor costs,” Basilio said.
According to Basilio, Taiwanese investor confidence has grown, given the positive experiences of Taiwanese companies successfully operating in the Philippines ' special export processing zones.
Jeff Lin, president of the Taiwanese-owned SBDMC predicted more business for locators in the Philippines with the start this year of China's free trade pact with the Asean.
SBDMC, Inc. is the developer and administrator of the 300-hectare Subic Bay Gateway Park (SBGP) that is located in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, where internationally renowned companies such as Wistron Infocom, Hitachi, Tonglung, Sanyo Denki, Taian Electric, have been successfully operating since Subic began operations. By BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILAT - mb.com.ph
Philip Morris builds P1-B Subic warehouse
Philip Morris Philippines Manufacturing Inc. (PMPMI) broke ground Monday for its P1 billion regional leaf warehouse facility in Subic Bay Freeport, but warned of a drastic reduction in industry sales should the government pushes with the implementation of stamp tax on every pack of locally made cigarettes.
The company is investing more than P1 billion in Subic. The company has entered into a 50-year long term lease agreement with Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority.
The second phase with P500 million project cost broke ground Monday at the Subic Technopark. The project would start commercial operation in July this year with handling capacity of 14,000 metric tons
Labels: Subic Bay
Mayor James “Bong” Gordon Jr. recently donated a basketball to a group of sports enthusiasts from East Bajac Bajac. This is in line with Mayor Gordon’s continuing campaign to promote youth preference for sports activities over vices or other pastimes.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
HELPS Program Orientation for City Hall Employees
Because the HELPS Program is not just the project of Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. but the project of the local government as a whole, Mayor Bong wants every government official and employee to take part in the dissemination of information regarding the program to Olongapeños.
Mayor Gordon himself discussed the projects concerning Health, Housing, Education, Labor, Livelihood, Peace and Order, Social Services and Sports to the employees.
“Dapat ay kasama ko kayo sa pagpaparating ng HELPS Program sa ating mga kababayan. Ipaalam ninyo sa kanila ang good news na hatid ng programang ito,” Mayor Gordon said.
To serve his constituents better through HELPS Program, Mayor Gordon works alongside Olongapo City First Lady and Zambales Vice-Gov. Anne Marie Gordon together with the support of Vice Mayor Cynthia Cajudo and City Councilors Gina Perez, Ellen Dabu, Rodel Cerezo, Nathan Manalo and City Consultants Bugsy Gordon delos Reyes, Ed Piano, Romy Guerrero, Edna Elane and Tet Marzan.
The City Administrator’s Office and Personnel Office are supervising and managing the schedules of more than two-thousand one hundred twenty six (2,126) employees of the City Hall for their orientation schedule.
Mayor James “Bong” Gordon Jr. reports and explains his HELPS-health, housing, education, environment, labor, livelihood, peace and order, social services and sports accomplishments to the city government employees.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
PUROK 1 STO. NINO FIESTA
Mayor James “Bong” Gordon Jr. and Olongapo First Lady and Zambales Vice-Governor Anne Marie Gordon rejoice with devotees, visitors and residents of Purok 1. Sta. Rita at the celebration of the Feast of Sto. Niño last January 17, 2010.
BUSINESSMEN: DELAY BRIDGE CLOSURE OR PROVIDE TEMPORARY ACCESS
Mayor James “Bong” Gordon mediated on the dialogue held between the Metro-Olongapo Chamber of Commerce (MOCCI) and Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Project Management Office last January 20, 2010 at FMA, Olongapo City Hall.
At the said meeting, resort and business owners reacted on SBMA’s plan to close Kalaklan Lighthouse Bridge for motorists motorista on February 15, 2010 and for pedestrian on March 1, 2010.
According to Joselito Bakuteza, head of SBMA Project Management Office, the existing bridge that connects Olongapo and SBFZ will be closed down to give way for the construction of a new two-lane concrete bridge.
“The bridge’s impending closure will definitely affect our business. Most of our visitors in the summer are day tourists. If the average traveling time from Manila to Subic is 4 hours and another 4 hours going back, visitors have no time left to enjoy their day and if that is the case, tourists will not come here anymore. If you really need to close down the bridge, do it after the summer season so that our business will not suffer too much. We have employees to think of and our employees have families and children to tend,” said representatives from MOCCI.
Meanwhile , Col. Aquino , head of Olongapo City Office of Traffic Management and Public Safety (OTMPS), accounted that the closure of Kalaklan Lighthouse Bridge will result to an approximate of 2500 additional vehicles passing through Olongapo’s streets and will adversely affect several hundreds of pedestrians who pass thru the bridge every day.
“If you need to demolish the existing bridge for the construction of a new one, you have to provide an alternative for us because the bridge’s closure will certainly create traffic and congestion plus the downbeat to the tourism industry. The contractor and SBMA can provide a bailey bridge to temporarily accommodate motorists and pedestrians until the new bridge is finished,” Mayor Gordon suggested to Bakuteza.
Bakuteza said that he will relay the queries and suggestions raised to the contractor and to SBMA.
Should the Kalaklan Lighthouse Bridge be closed on the planned dates without an agreed solution that would be beneficial to all concerns, the closure will definitely affect the business peak seasons of resort-hotel owners in Barretto and in neighboring towns in Zambales as well.
Resort and business owners who are members of the MOCCI or Metro-Olongapo Chamber of Commerce appealed to the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Project Management Office to reconsider their plan of closing the
on February 2010. According to MOCCI, the tourism and business industries in Barretto and other neighboring towns will be adversely affected by the closure since travelling time to Kalaklan Lighthouse Bridge Subic and back is expected to increase due to traffic and congestion that is bound to happen in access roads to Olongapo via Barretto and Zambales when the bridge closes. (Photo/Caption Courtesy of PAO)
Video report on bridge closure
Construction of the New Kalaklan Lighthouse Bridge and Security Plaza
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Friday, January 22, 2010
Lyceum mock poll shows Gordon most capable
Senator Richard Gordon, standard-bearer of the Bagumbayan party, is the most capable among presidential aspirants in the 2010 elections, a poll from the Lyceum of the Philippines showed.
Gordon received the highest number of votes during a mock election that followed the Lyceum Presidential Forum last Wednesday which was attended by students from different universities, foreign diplomats and business leaders.
Gordon received 59 votes, followed by Gilbert Teodoro (23), Sen. Benigno Aquino III (20), Bro. Eddie Villanueva (17), Nicanor Perlas (10), Former President Joseph Estrada (9), Sen. Manny Villar (7), and Olongapo Councilor JC Delos Reyes (2).
During the forum, Gordon explained his policy of governance and sent a clear message that everyone must take part in transforming the nation and breaking free from a transactional society.
“When I look at governance I always think in terms of vision, values, volunteerism equals victory. To my mind, leaders ought to know where they are going. They have to uplift the level of values, of dignity, of behavior and performance of their people; uplift not just the standard of living, but also the standard of values; not just making them receive the hand-out, but making sure that all hands are carrying the load of the nation,” he said.
Gordon said the Philippines is faced with many challenges, primarily the cycle of disaster and poverty, ongoing war in Mindanao, and corruption not just in the government but in the whole society which should be solved by the country's next leader.
He explained that these problems can be solved by a government that is focused, fast, friendly, flexible and forward-looking, but the people should start selecting worthy and true leaders in the 2010 elections.
Gordon also presented his governance agenda, which included his top six policies: (1) Responsible budget deficit reduction program by minimizing fraud, waste and abuse, while maximizing revenues and services; (2) Burden-sharing by forging genuine partnership with local government units and the private sector; (3) Investing in people by ensuring quality population through quality education; (4) Disaster proofing the nation to end the cycle of disaster and poverty; (5) Strong political will and leadership by example; and (6) Re-engineering the government through a system of meritocracy.
“This is how Gordon’s governance will be. People must be part of the process of change. I will try to explain my vision to the people. Vision is a mental picture of the future which is certainly better than what is today. Vision will require challenges; work ethic, a sense of duty, dignity and determination are required for us to achieve our vision,” he said. By DAVID CAGAHASTIAN - Manila Bulletin