Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Monthly Archive January 2009

Subic unfurls safety net for displaced workers
Bagong ID System para sa mga Drayber
Subic locators struggle to stay afloat, join job-s...
Olongapo principal charged for ‘massacre’ of trees...
5,000 Subic jobs affected by global crisis
Councilor's wife eyed in Subic smuggling case
Software boost for Subic Bay
Olongapo school principal charged for cutting of t...
PASG nets P12-billion additional taxes
Ang Kapatiran Party Statement on Hanjin fatalities...
Senate probes Hanjin Subic deaths on Feb.4
19 and counting
Filipino group calls on Obama administration to cl...
108 shooters join SBMA shoot fest
Shipyard worker killed, another injured in Hanjin ...
DOLE sends team to Subic to probe Hanjin deaths
Senate to probe Hanjin death toll at Subic Bay
Subic records 85% drop in investments
Korean foreman latest Hanjin work site fatality
Case vs importation of used vehicles junked by SC
Korean becomes 19th fatality at Hanjin Subic facil...
South Korea envoy warns Senate on Hanjin probe
Blue Ribbon Hearing to resume Monday
RP in Guinness for most murders –Gordon
Subic defies downturn, still on a hiring mode
Gordon’s ouster sought
SBMA on latest accident: ‘Heads will roll’
Senator urges probe into Hanjin accidents at Subic...
Worker dies at Subic shipbuilding facility
Korean tour operator to add chartered flights to S...
Philip Pestano Memorial
P3.6M PhilHealth Capitation Fund
Coast Guard to secure Subic free port
Deloso cites impact of DENR order on Zambales mini...
Gordon: It's over
Wistron Mass Layoff
Reader's comments on 'Gapo tree cutting
US bases cleanup pinned on Obama
The coming perfect storm
Atienza, DepEd asked to probe cutting of trees on ...
Aboitiz Power to borrow P1.5B more; parent to hike...
13 trees illegally cut in Olongapo
Cutting of trees sparks outrage in 'Gapo'
Olongapo City Council Re-Organized
SBMA contract allows firm to kill trees
21 Zambales fishers rescued in Palawan
Teen Centers receive New Equipment from UNFPA
A New Red Cross Vehicle
SBMA tightens security after theft
Business leaders cite new SCTEx interchange
63% of Filipinos support Reproductive Health Bill ...
Construction workers, caretaker eyed in burglary i...
Robbers ransack Winnie Monsod's house
Gordon urges change of Mindanao image
Kapatiran party opens door to Puno
Early voting system ni Sen. Gordon napapanahon
Viva El Sto. Niño!
Check tree poisoning in Subic
Zambales governor challenges DENR order
Gordon College joins sports league
Lewd performers arrested at gay bar
Microsoft holds free seminar in Subic
DENR: Reports on tree-cutting exaggerated
Aboitiz suspends construction of 300MW coal plant ...
Atienza vs Zambales gov
NGOs, religious groups doubt Palafox claims
NO to “Siga”
Employee of the Month
Carriers parking their vessels in Subic Bay
Gordon hails P1-M bond for 2010 bets
Tierro powers La Salle netters
‘Environmental corruption’ slammed
Groups to review Palafox’s claims in Subic tree co...
Suspects in FHM model’s slay nabbed
Complaint vs Subic Ocean Park withdrawn
SBMA: DENR to decide Subic casino’s fate
SBMA gave mixed signals—Palafox
Chinese honey importers used Olongapo-Subic to fak...
What a difference a Dick makes
Is Arroyo being misled by SBMA?
DENR: No tree cutting in Subic
Governor padlocks planning office
MOEP order unlawful – gov
SBMA's power to issue environment permits revoked
Comelec seeks P11-B for automation
Gordon helps 4 stranded OFWs get home
Governor Deloso asks CA to stop Zambales ore expor...
Pinas pinaghahanda sa lindol at tsunami
2010 poll automation uncertain -- Gordon
720 firecracker injury cases
Koreans to participate in RP's first golf junket
Gordon to end fertilizer fund issue investigation
Hanjin sets up freight transport from Busan to Sub...
Tailin eyes Subic expansion
Job Opportunities in Olongapo-Subic Bay
‘Break walls in our minds’--Gordon
Group plans to build bigger rehab centers for abus...


Gordon College Announcement

Department of Vocational & Technical Education
Old Hospital Road, East Tapinac, Olongapo City
Telefax No.: 047-224-2089 local 105


Registration and Enrolment for the following Summer I.T.
Short-Term Courses is now on-going:

Classes starts April 13, 2009 for more details call us at 047-224-2089 local 105.


Subic unfurls safety net for displaced workers

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—As the national government cobbles a stimulus program to mitigate the effects of the global economic crisis, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has come up with a rescue plan for workers displaced by the global recession.

SBMA Chairman Feliciano Salonga said in a statement the agency is creating a “reintegration” program to give workers safety nets as in a network, access to training and livelihood programs.

More than 87,500 workers were employed in the Subic Bay Freeport as of December 2008, according to the SBMA.

The SBMA did not give a number on how many workers have so far been displaced, but industry estimates place the figures at 14,500, or half of the workers employed by the manufacturing sector.

Salonga said the rescue plan was hatched last year as the local economy started to feel the pinch of the global recession that was sparked by the credit crunch in the US.

The SBMA started a skills-set inventory of workers who were displaced last month, and learned that makers of electronics located here expected a market slump this year, according to Salonga.

The electronics-manufacturing sector is a labor-intensive industry.

Companies most affected by the slump are suppliers of electric components to major global brands like Sony, Toshiba, Panasonic, IBM, Dell, Intel and Samsung.

These major players intend to cut costs and manpower as part of their strategy to tide the recession, according to a study by the SBMA.

To soften the impact of layoffs and cost-cutting approach to doing business, Salonga said the SBMA re-integration program would give displaced workers “lifesaver opportunities” in the agro-industry, small-scale enterprise and hospitality industry. Training will include short technical courses.

“We’re doing this to make sure the free port’s human resources are not frozen while waiting for markets to bounce back,” Salonga explained.

“Filipinos are born survivors, but they still need assistance. And the SBMA will not hesitate to provide opportunities for our people, who have helped make Subic what it is today,” he added.

The skills inventory of workers will serve as basis for developing training programs the SBMA will hold with partners, like the Technology Research Center, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Technical Skills and Development Authority and the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship, which has successfully trained entrepreneurs under its Go Negosyo program.

To jump-start the reintegration program, the SBMA is raising P1 million as seed fund and put in place an oversight committee and a “one-stop action center” at the Subic Bay Arts Center.

Salonga said the agro-industry could absorb most of the workers who could be displaced in the manufacturing sector.

“We will focus on existing job markets, but we will also try to create new markets after studies show that they are feasible,” he said.

These potential markets are in food processing, handicraft and novelty items, as well as spa services, he added.

Salonga also expressed hope that the local economy will survive the recession and bounce back soon. Written by Henry Empeño / Business mirror Correspondent

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Friday, January 30, 2009

Bagong ID System para sa mga Drayber

Sinisimulan na ng Olongapo City ID Center (OCIC) ang Public Transport Color Coded Scheme (PTC2S) para sa mga drayber ng pampublikong sasakyan sa lungsod.

Ito ay isang ID System na “pioneer project” ni Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. sa pakikipagtulungan nina Senador Richard Gordon at Congresswoman Carissa Coscolluela sa pamamagitan ng teknolohiyang binuo ng Jimec Global Holdings.

Ayon kay Benjamin “BJ’ Cajudo, head ng OCIC, dapat kumpletuhin ang mga sumusunod para makakuha ng bagong ID. Kailangan ibigay ang mga sumusunod na detalye:
- Tax Identification Number o TIN
- Voter’s ID No. at Precinct No.
- PhilHealth No.

“Kung kumpleto po ang inyong requirements, maari ninyong makuha ang ID sa loob ng isang oras lamang,” ang sabi ni Cajudo.

Iminungkahi ni Cajudo ang pagkuha ng ID para rin sa kanilang kabutihan at mapapakinabangan nila ang mga benepisyo sa mga darating na araw.

“Sususunod na mabibigyan ng bagong ID ay ang mga vendors sa lungsod,” dagdag ni Cajudo

Isang “sample” ng bagong ID ng mga drayber na alinsunod sa bagong ID System na inilunsad kamakailan ni Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. sa tulong nila Senador Richard Gordon at Congresswoman Carissa Coscolluela.

PAO/ chay

Labels: , ,

Subic locators struggle to stay afloat, join job-shedding club

BUSINESS locators at the Subic free port, particularly those in the manufacturing sector, are now digging in—cutting down on manpower costs, retooling operations to boost productivity and undertaking management reviews—all to fend off effects of the global recession.

Their cost-cutting measures, however, have already resulted in significant job losses, with 530 workers already retrenched and 4,365 placed on forced leave as of January 25, according to reports from the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).

The SBMA update was the latest in a now-daily tally of shutdowns, retrenchments and other cost-cutting measures, often painful to workers, as Philippine businesses start feeling the impact of a global slowdown. Particularly hit were two key planks of the economy: the exports sector, specifically electronics, and the millions of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), whose remittances have shored up the country for decades.

The latest bad news in the last week came from Apex Mining in Mindanao, where 150 workers were retrenched; Panasonic, which is cutting 60 jobs in the Philippines as part of a job-slash program for Asia; Intel, which is closing down its Philippine plant in Cavite, laying off 1,800 people; and Texas Instruments, where nearly 400 workers lost their jobs.

On Wednesday, Labor Secretary Marianito Roque told dwIZ’s Karambola hosts that 18,000 workers had so far been laid off since December and nearly twice that number were affected by various forms of cost-cutting moves: reduced work week, reduced work hours and reduced operations.

At the Subic Free Port, industry sources said the continuing job displacement could affect almost half of the 14,500 workers now employed in the manufacturing sector, who make up close to 17 percent of Subic’s 87,500-strong workforce.

Nidec hard-hit

The most number of job casualties were from Nidec Subic Philippines, one of Subic’s consistent top 10 exporters in the last few years, which already laid off some 600 workers as early as November last year.

The firm, which supplies hard-disk drives and motors to clients like Toshiba, Fujitsu, Samsung and Hitachi, used to employ a total of 3,140 workers in three shifts, said company president Toshihiko Miyabe.

However, Nidec’s cumulative worldwide operations output—the firm also operates in an industrial park in Laguna—has declined from 18 million units in 2007 to about 16 or 17 million last year as demand fell, Miyabe said.

Like Nidec, other electronics firms are poised to let go of more workers in the next few months due to an expected 2.2-percent cutback in world electronic equipment production this year, said Ronnie Yambao, head of the SBMA Investment Processing Department.

Forced leave

Sanyo Denki Philippines Inc., which manufactures cooling fans for computers, ATM machines and power supply packs, previously hired 2,284 personnel who worked in three shifts at Subic.

Now 1,200 of its workers have been put on forced leave this month, after production fell from 1.8 million units in 2007 to about 1.2 million in 2008.

The firm’s president and CEO Toshio Shinohara also told the SBMA in December that layoffs are “imminent” for this company, which counts on customers like Intel, Dell and IBM.

Other electronics firms hurting

Another firm affected by recession is Philippine Inter Electronics Corp., which sells diode components to Sony, Toshiba, Nintendo and Panasonic. Yambao said that due to a 30-percent decline in customer demand, the Japanese manufacturer “will resort to reducing manpower by 10 percent.”

Even Wistron Infocomm, the giant Taiwanese computer maker which has consistently topped Subic’s exporters list, is set to retrench 420 workers in February.

In face of massive job cuts in the free port, the SBMA announced a rescue plan, where displaced workers would be “reintegrated” into the economy through alternative livelihood programs.

This will provide workers with safety nets that would include a networking scheme and access to training, livelihood programs and related assistance.

Seipi not shocked

AS reports of closures and layoffs in electronics and semiconductors companies are filed daily, the head of the industry group remained unfazed, saying the job losses are “normal and should be expected” because of the global downturn.

“If it is happening in the United States, Japan, Europe and China, then you should not be surprised if it also happens here. What is happening in the country is not any worse than anywhere else,” said Arthur Tan, director of the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries of the Philippines Inc.

An official of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines said the mining firms that have so far informed them of downsizing in operation and manpower are Atlas, Oceana and Platinum Group Metals Corp.

The official was surprised that Apex Mining was also affected because gold, the company’s output, is still commanding high prices in the world market at this time.

The BusinessMirror tried to get information from Panasonic Philippines but the company’s Filipino officials said they are “not in a position to say anything.”

Bloomberg, on the other hand, reported that Panasonic Philippine dry-cell batteries factory will lay off 60 workers. Tokyo-based spokesman Akira Kadota said the plant will be shut in March.

Layoff at Apex

Some 150 rank-and-file employees and managers were displaced by the manpower reduction program implemented by listed Apex Mining Co. Inc. at its Maco Mining Project in Compostela Valley, Mindanao.

In a statement to the stock exchange, Apex said the program was needed to “right-size its current personnel to sustain the economic viability of the mine project prelude to a full-swing productive operations.”

Majority of the expatriates have also been released, with only two remaining at the operation to finish their specialized technical work until they are replaced by their Filipino understudies.

OWWA aiding retrenched OFWs

Carmelita Dimzon, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) head, reported that as of January 18, the recorded number of retrenched OFWs back in the country by the OWWA was 4,042; and Dimzon projects this will run to 5,000 by the end of January.

OWWA, she said, will be profiling and mapping the skills of the retrenched workers, in preparation for a microbusiness training and loan package to ease the unemployment status for the thousands losing their overseas jobs.

The agency has signed the memorandum of agreement on the Filipino Expatriate livelihood fund, whereby P100 million from the P11-billion OWWA fund will be committed for the purpose. Loans of as much as P50,000 are payable in 24 months at 5-percent interest.

The OWWA regional units have been given marching orders and will be ready to implement or disburse funds soon, Dimzon said.

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) is also offering training in preparation for opportunities in critical emerging industries, according to Marilyn Necessito of Tesda-Cordillera. There is a focus on training for call centers, which according to Dimzon is still a viable work opportunity.

Dimzon also said the Department of Trade and Industry has a program for those retrenched workers who want to go into business. (Written by Henry Empeño / Business Mirror Correspondent With M. de Leon, H. Reyes, M. Guieb)

Labels: , , ,

Olongapo principal charged for ‘massacre’ of trees

A PUBLIC-school principal based in Olongapo City is now in hot water for the massacre of trees inside the school compound.

Environment Secretary Lito Atienza has ordered the filing of criminal complaints against Ellen Agabao, principal of Zambales National High School, allegedly after she allowed 12 fully grown trees inside the school compound to be cut down on January 13.

The trees were cut down without Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) permit.

At the same time, Atienza has ordered an investigation to determine the administrative liability of concerned DENR officials for allowing the cutting of the trees, the same officials who found principal Agabao liable for violating Presidential Decree (PD) 953, which penalizes the unauthorized cutting, destruction, damaging and injuring of certain trees, plants and vegetation.

PD 953 penalizes offenders with six months’ to two years’ imprisonment or P5,000 fine or both at the discretion of the court.

Atienza said prior to the tree-cutting in the area, he directed field personnel to prevent the activity. That is why Atienza also gave the said field personnel 48 hours to explain why they should not be charged administratively for failure to stop the “killing of trees.”

“I received reports that trees will be cut in the area. This prompted me to instruct, without any delay, the field personnel in the area to stop such activity. Since tree-cutting in the area still took place, I will make the field personnel accountable and liable for what happened,” Atienza said.

Charged with Agabao before Olongapo City Prosecutor Ruel Samonte was her labor contractor, Erick Nathaniel Ellano, who admitted that neither he nor Agabao secured a permit to cut the trees.

Atienza warned environmental violators that the department will relentlessly enforce environmental laws.

“Our determination to protect our trees is anchored on our willingness to prosecute anyone, anywhere that the law is violated,” Atienza said.

Atienza said Agabao’s “reckless disregard” for trees was unacceptable and ironic, saying that Agabao, who claimed to be an advocate of a clean and green environment, allowed the cutting of the trees to give way for the beautification of the school grounds.

The 12 cut trees consisted of mango, Japanese acacia, eucalyptus, gmelina, agoho, duhat and coconut.

Atienza also pointed out that Agabao failed to set the example to students who are painstakingly being enlightened by the DENR through information campaigns on the importance of protecting the trees for future generations.

In a report to Atienza, the provincial environment and natural resources officer (Penro), Nelson Gorospe, said his personnel immediately rushed to Zambales National High School after receiving a report about the cutting of trees.

“The cut trees were nowhere to be found upon inspection. Only the tree stumps were used as basis in determining the species and count of the cut trees,” Gorospe said in his report.

It will be recalled that Atienza ordered the filing of criminal charges against the chief of the Intramuros Administration for the cutting of trees in front of the Manila Cathedral.

The cutting of the trees violated the permits issued by the DENR National Capital Region Office, which allows only the cutting of small trees, not fully grown acacia and narra trees. Written by Jonathan Mayuga / Business Correspondent

Labels: , , ,


By Jc Delos Reyes - The audacity of hope (in the Philippines)

Hope, according to the Catholic Dictionary by Fr. John Hardon, S.J., is the virtue, which instills a confident desire of obtaining a future good that is difficult to obtain which draws out a person’s volition. It is the opposite of despair.

Barack Obama has assumed office. Not only America but also the whole world waited for the ushering in of what was once a taboo presidency—an African American assuming the most powerful office in the world. Amidst the tension in the Middle East and the global economic meltdown, the US president symbolizes hope and a new beginning not only for Americans but also for the world. This was seen in the celebration and merrymaking at his electoral victory featured in CNN across the globe and then on the day of his inauguration last week.

His interesting personal and political profile was just what the Democrats needed and his rise to national prominence was expedited by his speech entitled, “The Audacity of Hope,” delivered at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. Obama said:

“I’m talking about something more substantial. It’s the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs; the hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores; the hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta; the hope of a mill worker’s son who dares to defy the odds; the hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too. Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope!”

His prophecy of “that place for him” happened to be the presidency and it was his boldness to hope and to represent the hopes and dreams of others that got him where he is today. Despite my criticisms of his moral stand on a number of issues, particularly abortion and his “people-pleaser” politics, he indeed captured the minds and hearts of Americans, despite all odds. This is what makes his story historical.

The Obama phenomenon highlights the hope we all aspire for ourselves, our families and our country. It is in shattering stereotypes, in fulfilling dreams, slaying giants and dragons and impossibilities that hope becomes contagious and invigorates. These are unique but very rare stories that allow us to dream and bring out hidden or sleeping ideals deep within our spirit.

Speaking of hope and ideals, the same air of hope and glad-tidings in America whisked through us when a Marine major whose dying sister suffering from cancer refused millions of pesos of drug money to keep the integrity of his office, or when a self-made internationally renowned architect who could have been a million dollars richer in exchange for his signature, refused and instead opted to battle corruption. And what about a five year old national political party fighting an uphill battle against warlords and traditional politicians who continue to enslave a people so desensitized and hopeless even wary about new, alternative leaders who could free them from the shackles of political hypocrisy and witchcraft. The Filipino people I liken to a child so abused it cannot comprehend good parents . . . we could no longer comprehend good politics.

Alexander Pope could not have said it better. “Hope springs eternal,” said he, and as long as there are those hoping and dreaming for a new Philippines, these people will infect others with their passion to be more patriotic.

If America’s Obama has transformed his country to Obama’s America where “a skinny kid with a funny name” who believes America has a place for him, became president, then I want to believe and dream and hope and wishfully think and most importantly act that one day, all traditional politicians retire and realize that their self perpetuation hurts the Filipino people in more ways than one. I hope and pray that Kaya Natin! succeeds and that the Movement for Good Governance steps up to achieve not only 10 million signatures but actually 10 million soldiers for democracy and clean politics and governance.

I long for the day when the Convergence Team converges into the political mainstream through a political party where all those who dream big for our country act big as councilors, mayors, governors and congressmen. I hope that one-day a passport holder of the Ang Kapatiran’s New Philippines, one man or woman (who is realistically idealistic) who took all those principles, platforms and objectives to heart, becomes President of this virtuous country. I have hope, . . . I hope . . . and if in America change has come, I believe that in the Philippines, in the words of Nandy Pacheco, “the process of Change has begun.”

[John Carlos “J.C.” G. de los Reyes is City Councilor of Olongapo. He is active with the National Renewal Movement and the ‘Ang Kapatiran’ or the Alliance for the Common Good, a registered national political party that seeks to promote a platform-based politics and a political culture centered on genuine social concern. His passion and mission is to unceasingly work to fight massive, enslaving poverty caused by trapo politics or the politics of greed and hypocrisy.]

*For more information about Kaya Natin!, you can contact Kai Pastores at kayanatin@yahoo.com or at (02) 426-5657* Manila Times

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Dumalo ang mahigit 150 na drayber ng mga pampublikong sasakyan sa Lungsod ng Olongapo sa pinakahuling “Defensive Driving Seminar” na isinasagawa ng Office of Traffic Management and Public Safety (OTMPS).

Ang seminar ay regular na isinasagawa ng nasabing tanggapan sa pangunguna ni Col. Jose A. Aquino at sa pangangasiwa nina Robert G. Gregorio, Special Operation/Assistant Training Officer at Allan P. Dancel, Deputy for Operation/ Training Officer.

Ayon kay Gregorio, “sa seminar na ito, muling naipapaalala sa mga drayber ang mga alituntunin na kailangang sundin upang maiwasan ang aksidente sa kalsada.”

Tinatalakay din dito ang mga nakapaloob sa City Ordinance No. 32 Series of 1983 o ang “Ordinance Providing for Comprehensive Zoning Regulation for the City of Olongapo” .na dapat nilang malaman at tandaan.

Sa isang malayang talakayan, hinikayat ni Dancel ang mga drayber na magbanggit ng mga ordinansa na sumasakop sa kanila. Ilan sa mga nabanggit ay ang tungkol sa tamang singil ng pamasahe sa traysikel, ang pagbibigay ng dalawampung porsiyentong diskwento sa mga estudyante at mga senior citizens, ang tamang kurtesiya at paggalang sa mga pasahero, malinis at maayos na pananamit, ang nakatalagang ruta na kanilang dapat daanan at pagsasaaayos sa mga istasyon o pila.

Naging panauhin sa seminar ang namumuno sa Olongapo City ID Center na si Benjamin “BJ” Cajudo. Ipinaalam niya sa mga drayber ang pagkakaroon ng bagong sistema sa ID at ito ay maari nang gamitin sa loob ng tatlong taon.

Ang seminar ay ginaganap tuwing Lunes, Miyerkoles at Biyernes na nagsimula noong Enero 26 hanggang Abril 24, 2009.

Nagbigay ng mensahe si Mayor James “Bong” Gordon sa mga drayber noong nakaraang “Defense Driving Seminar” na isinasagawa ng Office of Traffic Management and Public Safety (OTMPS).

PAO/ chay

Labels: , ,


Ang City Ordinance sa pagpapatupad ng extension sa dalawampung porsientong diskwento (20% discount) sa Real Property Tax (RPT) o Amelyar sa Lungsod ng Olongapo ay pasado na ng Sangguniang Panlungsod at inaprobahan na ni Mayor James ‘’Bong’’ Gordon, Jr.

Ang Ordinance No. 69 (series of 2008) na may titulong, ‘’An Ordinance Extending the 20% discount on the Advance Payment of Real Property Taxes Due for the Year 2009 as Provided Under Section 2B of the City Ordinance No. 64, Series of 2007 Otherwise Known as ‘’Ordinance Repealing Ordinance No. 81 Series of 2002 and Providing for the Olongapo City 2007 Revenue Code’’, ay sinang-ayunan ng lahat ng miembro ng konseho sa isinagawang regular session kamakailan lamang.

Sa section 1 ng nasabing ordinansa, ang dalawampung por-sientong (20%) diskwento ay para sa mga tax payers na makakapag-bayad ng buo para sa tax year 2009 bago o hanggang ika-15 ng Pebrero 2009.

Ang City Treasurers Office, sa koordinasyon ng City Assessors Office at ng City Finance Committee ang nagrekomenda sa extension ng programa sa

City Council bilang konsiderasyon sa mahabang Christmas holiday at pagka-antala sa remittances ng maraming tax payers ng lungsod buhat sa ibang bansa.

Matatandaan na ang mga nagbayad ng buong amelyar bago o hanggang sumapit ang ika-31 ng Disyembre 2008 lamang ang maaaring makakuha ng dalawampung diskwento ngunit dahil sa ordinansa ay na-extend ito at inaasahan na higit na maaakit ang mga tax payers na magbayad ng buo at mas maaga pa sa deadline.

Para sa karagdagang impormasyon sa inyong status at discounts kaugnay sa Real Property Tax accounts, maaaring tumungo sa City Treasury Office o tumawag sa 222-2607 o kaya’y sa City Assessor’s Office na may telepono bilang 222-2666.


Labels: , , ,



Labels: , , ,

5,000 Subic jobs affected by global crisis

C. Luzon records 1,400 job losses since Nov

More than 1,400 workers in the provinces of Pampanga, Bataan and Bulacan were retrenched since November last year as the global economic crisis starts to make its presence felt in the country.

In her report in GMA News’ “24 Oras," Rawnna Crisostomo said most of the affected workers came from electronics and garments industries.

In Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), about 5,000 workers from 32 affected companies were either retrenched, forced to go on leave, or are experiencing reduction in their work hours, the report said.

SBMA Armand Arreza, however, said the number is comparably low compared to the 87,000 employed inside the ecozone.

He said that those who were retrenched will undergo “re-tooling," which meant they would be transferred to other industries like hotels and restaurants.

Benigno Ricafort, president of Clark Development Corporation, said that despite the layoffs, the business condition in the area is still in good condition. In fact, he said more businesses are expected to come this year.

"Meron kaming apat na malaking companya. Yung isa sa electronic, information technology… projection namin when they operate in June is (there will be) 3,000 (job opportunities)," Ricarfort said.

["We've four big companies, one in electronics, information technology... Our projection is more than 3,000 job opportunities will be open when they start operations in June."] - AIE BALAGTAS SEE, GMANews.TV
= = =

Jobs: the bleeding goes on

THE global economic crisis is often likened to a storm but these days it seems more like a tsunami, striking hard with little warning—or similar to nature’s version three years ago—where warnings went ignored. Still, the crisis has sent experts from the government and private sector scrambling for an explanation, but more important, for remedies. And on Friday’s Labor Forum 2009 at the Asian Institute of Management in Makati City, a clear consensus has emerged: there are steps that can be taken to mitigate the effects of this downturn, and that the backbone of the economy—the Filipino worker—may just be at the heart of the solution.

“The important implication is that we cannot afford to have any job loss. Every single job lost is one too many,” said University of the Philippines (UP) Professor Benjamin Diokno, in a presentation at the forum organized by the Blas Ople Policy Center and LC Soriano Resource Center.

In terms of job creation, the former budget secretary said the 150,000 jobs the government claims to have created in January last year is misleading.

“In fact 488,000 new wage and salary [jobs] disappeared,” he said, adding that this loss was offset by the creation of 397,000 own-job accounts, which he noted were “relatively less desirable,”

“Manufacturing jobs continue to disappear (125,000) and “for the first time” the transportation, storage and communications sector has started to lay off workers—some 107,000 jobs, he said.

(Official data on the peak of the crisis are starting to trickle in, meanwhile. Between December 1, 2008 and until Tuesday, January 27, Labor Secretary Marianito Roque told dwIZ’s Karambola hosts, some 18,000 workers had lost their jobs, and nearly twice that number were affected by various forms of flexiwork and similar strategies businesses have taken to keep themselves afloat: reduced work hours, reduced work weeks and reduced operations.)

Citing statistics, Diokno meanwhile attributed the 107,000 job loss in 2008 to the slowdown in exports growth which from January to October last year slowed to 1.9 percent, a “shadow” from the original target of 11 percent for 2008.

He further expects half a million Filipinos working abroad to lose their jobs.

Job creation is key

Diokno said that this year, the country faces even slower growth—possibly as low as 3 percent—and that the government must make up for the slowdown in private sector spending, especially because of the country’s rapid population growth.

Boosting government spending is a textbook solution in macroeconomic theory. The country’s output or gross domestic product (GDP) is determined by adding consumption, investments, government spending, plus exports minus imports.

Diokno agrees to the boosting of the government infrastructure spending but says it should focus on the maintenance of existing public structures—like roads, irrigation canals and school building—as against starting big new projects.

He explains: compared to big projects, maintenance spending is more labor-intensive, has less opportunity for corruption and is faster to start since a bidding process is no longer needed.

He said the country needs to create between 1 and 1.5 million new jobs a year, considering the population growth rate is over 2.3 percent annually—about 2 million people.

“More jobs should be created now—not two years from now,” he said.

Another near-term panacea should be investments in rural infrastructure, particularly in labor-intensive projects that at the same time enhance agricultural productivity like small irrigation facilities and farm-to-market roads.

Reforestation is another potential job creating source, said Diokno.

“The environment is the base survival of the poor,” he said explaining that the Philippines lost forest cover at 2.1 percent a year from 2000 to 2005—making denudation in the country the fastest in Southeast Asia.

The next step will be to identify the “right” skills needed in the economy in anticipation of the rebound—that while uncertain is inevitable, he said, adding that this should be done in collaboration with the private sector.

Overall, the government should look towards increasing human capital investments such as basic education and health care to “every Filipino child,” as well as the expansion of the conditional cash-transfer program.

Guidote: still uncertain waters

For her part, Cora Guidote, SM Investment Corp’s vice president for investor relations, agrees that creating new employment is important in this crisis.

“We’re bordering on the unknown right now, no one can tell how many jobs will be lost,” she said adding, “job creation is imperative- [there should be] workshops/training sessions to retool laid off individuals so they can reinvent their careers.”

She conceded that while the government should take a leading role in job creation, its resources are still limited and that initiatives will need private sector support.

“We can’t depend too much on government because our government’s reserves are $32 billion,” she said, comparing this to China’s $3 trillion. She added that the government has debts to pay as well.

“So those reserves can’t all be used completely to help our situation. Whatever we can do, let’s do on or own,” she said.

Like Diokno, Guidote said the government should direct its limited resources to boosting investments in infrastructure as well as agriculture. The latter, she noted, can be a cushion for the country during the crisis, given favorable weather conditions, but will need government “enabling.”

Tap OFW support

Another key cushion, according to Guidote, are remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), which contribute over a tenth of GDP. For the first 11 months of 2008, remittances hit $15 billion, up 15 percent from 2007.

She said the country has a “critical mass” of OFWs, accounting for over 40 percent of the labor force, but lamented that OFW potential has not been harnessed in terms of leveraging the country’s position.

Atty. Ding Bagasao, chairman of the Economic Resource Center for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), said that work must be done to prime the economy in the countryside with OFW support.

“Two thirds of OFWs come from the countryside, [so] we’ve lined up certain programs like reliable microfinancing institutions,” he said noting partnerships with the Rural Banking Association of the Philippines to join with 15 banks with a reputable track record.

The other initiative is to get OFWs to invest in their “dairy cow program.”

This, he said, includes a memorandum of agreement between the OFW investor, dairy farmer and dairy processor, who will buy all the milk and sell it to coffee shops in Manila.

He cited the case of 10 [OFW] investors coming from five or six different countries who invested a total of P700,000 for dairy cows in the town of Talavera [Nueva Ecija]. Bagasao added that nationwide implementation of this program is a possibility.

OFWs to be affected, too

Despite the remittance growth, there are threats to Filipinos working abroad. While experts debate the crisis’ effect on remittance inflows, some vulnerable sectors have been identified like the export intensive economies of Taiwan and South Korea.

Meanwhile Lito Soriano, chief executive officer of recruitment agency LBS e-Recruitment

Solutions Corp. said that sea-based OFWs--thought to be safe--are also threatened due to the cascading effects from the weaknesses in banking, retail and telecommunication sectors.

He proposed that alongside labor policy, there should also be the corresponding foreign policy, education policy, trade policy for a more coherence between policies. “This is the right time to assess and rethink our social protection and safety nets,” he said.

Safety nets

Deputy executive director Esther Guerrero, National Wages and Productivity Commission from the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) said that there are some sectors ambivalent to the crisis like business process outsourcing (BPOs).

Citing the Business Process Association of the Philippines, she said their outlook is positive this year as they expect some 25-percent growth. For displaced workers [in the electronics sector], she said that BPOs were willing to take them on because the skills sets are related.

“Retrenchment is the last thing they have in mind,” she said. For OFWs like IT workers in Taiwan, and sea-based workers, Guerrero noted that the government is preparing for these scenarios.

“Secretary Roque told us that the mantra of the department will be job preservation and job loss prevention,” she said.

“Ang gusto mangyari ni Secretary, bago pa malay-off ang workers, alam na naming para maayos namin ang safety nets” [ What the secretary wants is to have knowledge before workers are laid-off, so safety nets can be arranged], she said. She noted that these nets can be in the form of skills retraining or facilitation of money claims.

The forex tack: P55 to a dollar

In light of decreasing inflation and weakening exports, a proposed fiscal stimulus to boost the economy is to fix the peso dollar exchange rate at P55 to a dollar.

This plan is a two-pronged approach as it is seen to boost the ailing exports industry, as Philippine goods become cheaper—and thus more attractive— apart from the fact that it will put more money in the hands of OFW beneficiaries, thereby boosting local consumption.

Consumption is an important aspect in calculating growth, and is responsible for over 70 percent of the country’s GDP.

Professor Diokno also favors fixing the exchange rate as a more efficient stimulus over budget increases, as this will remove the opportunity for corruption.

“All of a sudden, OFWs will have one billion dollars in their pockets without passing through the government,” Diokno said.

Recruiters like Soriano are pushing this idea. He said that now is an opportune time for the government to let the peso slide.

“This will keep the economy going as OFW remittances have been the driver of Philippine growth,” he said.

Soriano said that if these problems are not immediately resolved, the overall retrenchment could reach 10 percent—for both legal and illegal workers—during the next three years, and remittances would then drop at a greater rate.

But he said that if the government will devalue the peso to “between 53 to 55” against $1, OFW families will maintain current consumption levels and increase investment in their community.

The decision on which policies to implement should not be taken lightly, but time remains of the essence. As Diokno puts it “it is not true that the economic storm is coming—it has arrived.”

More options

With the ongoing crisis causing retrenchments among OFWs and workers in the country, several leaders in the labor sector are pitching more options. 

The Blas F. Ople Policy Center founder Susan Ople is urging the country’s economic team to meet with labor representatives in a tripartite labor summit on the economic crisis and the job losses.

LBS-E Recruitment Solutions Corp. president and CEO Loreto Soriano said the summit could help the government ferret out valuable inputs. “We should create a task force whose main function is to formulate and influence government with recommendations to help offset the economic and social effects of expected OFW layoffs and reduced deployment.”

Besides the Department of Labor and Employment’s livelihood assistance program for displaced Filipino workers, Ople suggested that the government consider a transition allowance that would able them to put food on the table for their families while scouting for new jobs or undergoing livelihood training.

The Center said the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration can work with the Department of Education (DepEd) and Commission on Higher Education on a joint program to keep children of displaced OFWs in school despite the crisis

“In January 2003, the government bailed out private banks with nonperforming assets through the Special Purpose Asset Vehicle law. There have also been previous attempts to come to the aid of Napocor. Now, when hundreds of workers lose their jobs through no fault of their own, can’t government intervene by giving them direct financial assistance during a transition phase?” Ople pointed out.”

Over 3,000 Filipino workers were sent home last December due to layoffs in various factories in Taiwan. Ople said that most of the displaced workers have outstanding debts obtained prior to departure in order to pay their placement and brokers’ fees.

She said many issued postdated checks to private lending companies, hoping that their earnings would be enough to cover the loan.

Cash is needed

Elwood Yambao, 35, from Olongapo, a technician record operator laid off in Taiwan, said it’s easier if the government would give them financial assistance other than the livelihood program that they were providing, so they can pay their debts to other agencies.

“The livelihood program is good, but if we don’t have cash to put up a business, or to put food on the table, that will still make life hard for us,” Yambao lamented to the Business Mirror.

“We just need a little cash so we can have some mobility in looking for new jobs quickly,” he added.

“A transition package to enable displaced workers to partly settle outstanding loans or maintain their families’ upkeep is an imperative confidence-building measure. Unless they are given cash assistance to help their families, these workers would have a difficult time finding new jobs or setting up a microenterprise,” Ople stressed.

Ople said cash transfers can be part of a transition program for displaced workers that would also include career-planning sessions and skills retooling.

“This direct assistance should not be considered as a dole-out but as an integral part of a more comprehensive jobs and livelihood program. It will help them to move on and hopefully, even move up as productive members of the workforce,” she pointed out.

On a brighter side, RCM Health Care vice president Mark Chafetz said that there is still a continued demand for health-care professionals in the US, and they are still recruiting Filipino nurses; they are now focusing also on recruiting Filipino physical therapists.

”Filipino nurses and physical therapists are in demand in the US because of their outstanding work ethics,” he said.

The US is also recruiting from India but they found that their clients need most the health care professionals from the Philippines.

“The Philippines is producing outstanding health-care professionals. Our clients from major hospitals and schools specifically demand Philippine health-care professionals,” he said. Qualified Filipino health-care professionals are needed in the northeast part of the country—in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Washington, D.C.

Chafetz said: “We will pay for everything . . .We will provide gorgeous apartment somewhere located near where they work; we will also provide groceries, licensures, medicals, health insurance, dental vision . . . The benefits are pretty much the same as the US workers are receiving,” he said. At present, RCM Health Care Services has provided work for 200 Filipinos health-care professionals in the US.

It specializes in long-term and short-term staffing and permanent placement of rehabilitation, nursing, managed care and allied health-care professionals and physicians. Written by Miguel R. Camus Researcher and Sara Fabunan Business Mirror Correspondent

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Councilor's wife eyed in Subic smuggling case

At least P5 million worth of imported cigarettes smuggled out of the Subic Bay Freeport allegedly by a wife of a Pampanga politician was seized Tuesday.

Mei Jocson, the suspected consignee, appeared at the Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group-Task Force Subic (PAGS-TFS) office in Subic also on Tuesday to admit ownership of the 132 boxes, said Superintendent Manuel Obrera, PASG-TFS chief of staff.

But Councilor Benny Jocson of Mabalacat, Pampanga, denied that the contraband belonged to his wife.

"Those are not hers. She has stopped doing business," the official told the Philippine Daily Inquirer by phone. He confirmed that she came to the PASG-TFS office but only to help a certain Alvin Guzman.

Councilor Jocson did not say how Guzman was involved in the case.

The 46 boxes of Black Devil, 26 boxes of Kent Blue Futura, 30 boxes of Kent Silver Neo and 30 boxes of Mild Seven Lights had been loaded into a Mitsubishi L-300 van and two Hyundai Grace vans.

These got past the Morong Gate of the freeport. PASG operatives stopped the vehicles at the Morong town proper at past 7 a.m.

Only two of the drivers, Alvin Mamangon and Ramon Santos, were arrested. The third driver escaped, Obrera said.

The drivers failed to show gate passes from the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority and clearances from the Bureau of Customs, Obrera said.

He said the lack of proper documents indicated that the contraband was possibly bought from a freeport-based importer.

Obrera ruled out reports that the cigarettes were bought from duty-free shops. A law on the operations of duty-free shops inside Subic and the Clark Freeport in Pampanga limits individual purchases at $25 daily. By Tonette Orejas - Inquirer Central Luzon Desk

Labels: , ,

Software boost for Subic Bay

International Container Terminal Services Inc's new Subic Bay container terminal has boosted its gate efficiency through new software.

Gate effiency for Subic Bay An in-house development, which automatically generates container yard locations for trucks entering the terminal, has been connected to the existing tracking system and linked to the yard allocation software.

The gate module also allows switching between multiple lanes at the terminal gate, according to the flow of traffic.

All planning and control functions for the yard or vessel operation are carried out on a Windows platform through a graphic planning screen. portstrategy.com

Labels: , ,

Olongapo school principal charged for cutting of trees

A school principal who allowed the cutting of trees inside a school compound in Olongapo has been charged with violating an environmental law.

Charged with violation of Presidential Decree No. 953 were Ellen Agabao, principal of Zambales National High School, along with her labor contractor Erick Nathaniel Ellano.

A complaint filed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) before the Olongapo City Prosecutor’s Office alleged that Agabao allowed the contractor to fell 12 trees inside the school on Jan. 13 without permit.

Environment Secretary Lito Atienza said Agabao ignored attempts by DENR personnel to prevent the tree-cutting.

Atienza said he also directed DENR field personnel involved to explain why they should not be charged administratively for failing to stop the cutting of the trees.

“We received reports that trees will be cut in the area. This prompted me to instruct, without any delay, our field personnel to avert such activity from happening. Since tree cutting in the area still took place, we will make our field personnel accountable and liable for what happened," Atienza stressed.

He said Agabao’s “reckless disregard for trees was unacceptable and ironic," considering that Agabao claims to be an advocate of a clean and green environment. She reportedly wanted to get rid of the trees to give way for the beautification of the school grounds.

The felled trees consisted of mango, Japanese acacia, eucalyptus, gmelina, agoho, duhat and coconut.

Atienza said Agabao failed to set a good example to students who are painstakingly being enlightened by the DENR through information campaigns on the importance of protecting the trees for future generations.

“Our determination to protect our trees is anchored on our willingness to prosecute anyone, anywhere that the law is violated," said Atienza. - GMANews.TV
Related Articles:

Labels: , , ,

PASG nets P12-billion additional taxes

Subic Bay Freeport: Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group (PASG) head Antonio Villar Jr. orders its campaign against smugglers intensified on Monday after netting more than P12 billion in additional taxes, duties and illegal goods. Likewise, he warned his men that engaging in illegal activities would translate to criminal and administrative charges.

“Spare no one,” Villar told retired PASG Director for Operations Chief. Supt. Danilo Mangila, PASG-National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Special Operations Group and PASG-Task Force Subic Director Atty. Edmund Arugay and Intelligence Director Guillermo “Jaih” Francia in a meeting.

He added that smugglers are using all their connections in government to smuggle in goods in the country.

“I did it to my deputy director in Zamboanga last week, There is no reason for me to spare you should you deviate from the normal course of our mandate,” Villar said, referring to deputy director Joseph Gonzales whom he ordered arrested and charged for effecting the release of a seized container van loaded with plastic toys.

Arugay has already tapped the help of the NBI to further augment his men in Subic while Francia has asked the help of the Customs intelligence for reinforcement.

Villar also warned his men that criminal and administrative charges would be waiting for them in case they are found in cahoots with smugglers and other illegal activities.-- Anthony Bayarong - Manila Times

Labels: , , ,


Controversy looms over the Olongapo City National High School (OCNHS) due to the illegal cutting of trees in the school compound.

As Committee Chair on City Environmental Protection, Councilor Jong Cortez invited to a hearing Principal Helen B. Agabao of OCNHS, Erick Nathaniel Ellano, Contractor and Atty. Raul H. Mamac, Officer in Charge of Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) last January 26, 2009 to shed light on the issue. Also present was Daniel P. Miguel from DepEd Olongapo City and Nelson V. Gorospe from PENRO.

The hearing was attended by Vice Mayor Cynthia G. Cajudo, City Legal Officer Angelito Orozco, Councilors JC Delos Reyes, Gie Baloy, Nathan Manalo, Ed Piano, Elen Dabu, Rodel Cerezo, Elmo Aquino and ABC President Carlito Baloy. Cortez presided over the hearing.

Mamac presented to the council a copy of the case filed on the same day to First Assistant City Prosecutor Roel G. Samonte at the City Prosecutor’s Office, against the school principal and contractor for in violation of the Presidential Decree (P.D.) 705, Section 68 as amended or the Anti Illegal Logging Act and Section 3 of P.D. 953 known as Requiring the Planting of Trees in Certain Places and Penalizing Unauthorized, Destruction, Damaging and Injuring of Certain Trees, Plants and Vegetation.

According to Mamac, his office conducted an inspection on the site immediately after receiving a call from a concerned citizen on January 13, 2009, three days after the actual cutting of the trees which was done on a weekend.

They also had a dialogue with Agabao and Ellano on January 21, 2009 which established the fact that no permit was ever secured from the CENR Office regarding the cutting of trees within the school grounds.

Agabao emotionally presented her side stating that personal issues not related to the matter at hand have been included in some news reports and she feels that she has been a victim of “trial by publicity.” Agabao also admitted that she is at fault for overlooking the matter and says that she stands by her command responsibility.

Agabao’s official statement to the CENRO read, “The school is undergoing various beautification and landscaping projects inside the campus and this project was under contract with ERICK NATHANIEL ELLANO of JATI Construction and Supply.”

The contractor admitted lack of knowledge regarding Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Regulations on cutting of trees.

Ellano also said that even if the trees were cut down, they have plans to incorporate planting of bonsai trees in the proposed Japanese Garden on June as the school’s Tree Planting Project.

Councilor Edwin Piano asked CENR Officials the ideal ratio of trees to be planted to replace one tree that was cut and Mamac said that a minimum of 20 seedlings per tree (1:20) but since DENR has set no limits, he added that “the more seedlings, the better.”

In closing, after hearing all sides of the story, Councilor Jong Cortez said that “all this is moot and academic since a case has been filed already.”

During the City Council Hearing on the illegal cutting of trees inside the campus grounds of Olongapo City National High School (OCNHS), Atty. Raul H. Mamac, OIC of the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) explains a point while OCNHS Principal Helen B. Agabao, (foreground) listens.

PAO/ chay

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ang Kapatiran Party Statement on Hanjin fatalities

We express our solidarity with the families of the latest victims at Hanjin Shipyard, Subic Bay - Filipino Raldon del Rosario, 19 years of age and Choi Dong Baek, a Korean (40th and 41st fatality as per Task Force Hanjin and Subic Bay ).

These series of accidents and deaths at Hanjin are too many, enough to desensitize the Filipino people to the truth about the primary policy of any state - that any investment in this country must serve, first and foremost, its nationals, the Filipino, and that adherence to the moral law - the primacy of man over things (this particular case, Korean ships) must be the decisive consideration in assessing the situation.

The shockingly inappropriate statement of South Korean Ambassador Choi Joong Kyung was revolting yet impressive.

It was disgusting because in the midst of the trauma due to serious violations against the Filipino worker, environmental destruction, displaced, uncompensated poor families, rampant industrial occupation violations and the fear and uncertainty of workers and their families in the shipyard in the face of an increasing death toll, he was ruthlessly tactless to say "there will be substantial and negative repercussions if the Senate proceeds with an investigationŠ the tremendous political influence of the Senate means that its actions may have fatal effects to the existence of an actor in the private sector... The policy implication of all its present actions have deep and far reaching effects within and beyond the boundaries of the Philippines ."

On the contrary it was admirable at how zealous a diplomat could be in defending the interest of his country even at the expense of revealing his ignorance about state and international affairs. This gave us a clue that South Koreans would not be so tolerant about a Filipino Company that would operate at the expense of Korean lives if the tables were turned.

There will indeed be "substantial and negative repercussions" if the Senate does not proceed with investigating this powerful Korean Company. It will be this - the cowering of other officials of lower rank to do so even when the Editorial of the Philippine Star urges local government to do it. It is important to point out that Hanjin has made Redondo Peninsula , Subic bay its own territory as it restricts even government to enter the premises.

Ambassador Choi Joong Kyung must be reminded that Philippine Senators are representatives of the Filipino people, at least they ought to be. The political influence of the Senate is meant "to have effects to the existence of an actor in the private sector."

He must also be reminded that his compatriot is United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, and his statements go against basic diplomacy and are violations of international Law, particularly the United Nations RESOLUTION 2625 (XXV) DECLARATION ON PRINCIPLES OF INTERNATIONAL LAW FRIENDLY RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION AMONG STATES IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONSŠ "no State or group of States has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other StateŠ"No State may use or encourage the use of economic political or any other type of measures to coerce another State in order to obtain from it the subordination of the exercise of its sovereign rights and to secure from it advantages of any kind."

ARTICLE TWO OF THE CHARTER ON ECONOMIC RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF STATES, it says that "Each State has the right to regulate and exercise authority over foreign investment within its national jurisdiction in accordance with its laws and regulations and in conformity with its national objectives and priorities. No State shall be compelled to grant preferential treatment to foreign investment."

While Ambassador Choi should be summoned for his public display of diplomatic ignorance, we urge Subic bay Metropolitan Authority and other government agencies like the DOLE to enforce Philippine laws, particularly Article 128 of the Labor Code and to demand in behalf of the Filipino people that Korean ships cannot be made in Philippine soil at the expense of Filipino lives and that the death of Raldon del Rosario and all those before him will be given the honor and afforded the dignity befitting a Filipino worker.
For AKP, Olongapo City Councilor JC de los Reyes

Labels: , , ,


Two fire-related incidents in the City of Olongapo this January, which are only one day apart, raised alarm in the public and concern from the City Government. Both incidents happened in residential establishments damaging properties estimated at more than a million pesos and claimed the life of an 11-year-old girl.

Vice Mayor Cynthia G. Cajudo is appealing to the public to practice fire safety measures. The city government wants to ensure the public’s safety by reminding them of the little things they can do to prevent such accidents in their homes.

She is urging Olongapeños to follow the fifteen (15) Fire Safety Tips of the Philippine National Red Cross, as follows:
1. Avoid electrical overloading.
2. Unplug all electrical appliances after every use.
3. Check all electrical installations regularly.
4. Check gas stoves and LPG tanks for leaks.
5. Keep children away from flammable liquids, lighters and matches.
6. Avoid smoking in bed.
7. Ensure you have a pre-fire plan at your residence or office.
8. Do not leave lighted mosquito coils unattended.
9. Always take extra precautions while cooking.
10. Never leave lighted candles unattended.
11. Do not throw lighted cigar or cigarette butts on dried leaves and garbage.
12. Strictly obey the no smoking signs.
13. Maintain proper housekeeping to eliminate fire hazards.
14. Check fire protection gadgets or devices of appliances and equipment regularly.
15. Be fire-safety conscious.

The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), headed by CInsp. Jonas R. Silvano, conducts regular inspections to business establishments and also supervises practice drills in schools and offices to combat fire incidents.

Mayor James “Bong” Gordon personally inspected the site where a fire incident razed an old apartment along Norton St. in Pagasa and Canda St. in East Bajac-Bajac.

PAO/ chay

Labels: , , ,


Pinaigting ni Mayor James Gordon, Jr. ang pamamaraan ng pagpaparami ng kambing sa kanyang “goat-raising project”. Ito ay sa pamamagitan ng “artificial insemination”.

Katuwang ni Mayor Gordon sina City Veterinarian Dr. Arnold Lopez at Acting City Agriculturist Jhobal Sebarrotin sa pagpapatupad ng bagong sistema.

Nagsimula ang “goat raising project” ng nakaraang taon kung saan siyam na babaeng Aeta ng Sitio Mampueng, New Cabalan ang binigyan ng pagkakataong mag-alaga ng kambing.

Pinaplano ng pamahalaang lungsod ang pagpaparami ng kambing at gatasan ang mga babaeng kambing kapag nasa tamang edad na ang mga ito. Sinabi ni Mayor Gordon sa “flag raising ceremony” nitong ika-19 ng Enero 2009 na ang gatas ng kambing ay mas maige kaysa gatas ng baka dahil ito’y walang “lactose intolerance.”

Ayon sa pananaliksik, “goat milk has a more easily digestible fat and protein content than cow milk. Goat milk tends to have a better buffering quality, which is good for the treatment of ulcers.
Goat milk can successfully replace cow milk in diets of those who are allergic to cow”.

Ang makikinabang sa proyektong ito ay ang mga barangay na lubos na nangangailangan ng suportang pinansyal.

Plano ng punong lungsod na isulong ang proyektong ito upang ma-establish ang “goat breeding farm” at maging “source of income” ng mga Olongapeño.

Ang gatas ng kambing ay ginagawa ring keso, butter, ice cream, yogurt, candy, soap at iba pang “body products.”

Hangarin ni Mayor Gordon na makapagtaguyod ng marami pang “ livelihood projects” para sa mga taga- Olongapo.


Labels: , , ,

Senate probes Hanjin Subic deaths on Feb.4

The Senate committee on labor, employment and human resource development will begin on Feb. 4 the public hearings on the string of deaths of Filipino workers at a Korean-owned shipyard in Subic, Zambales, since 2006.

A memorandum by Labor Assistant Secretary Reydeluz Conferido said three officials of the Department of Labor and Employment are attending the first hearing called through Senate Resolution No. 807 authored by Sen. Pia Cayetano.

Dulce Estrella Gust, executive director of the Occupational Safety and Health Center; Ma. Brenda Villafuerte, director of the Bureau of Working Conditions; and Nathaniel Lacambra, DOLE director in Central Luzon, have been asked to shed light on work safety issues at the shipyard of the Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines Inc., Conferido’s memo showed.

The public hearing indicated that Cayetano had convinced the other senators to proceed with it despite a request by the Korean Ambassador to the Philippines not to hold one due to its “negative repercussions” on Korean investments.

There have been at least 19 work- or accident-related deaths on the site. Except for one, all the victims were Filipinos.

The latest fatality, Korean foreman Choi Dong Baek, 51, was run over by a forklift operated by a Filipino worker identified as Menti Dacanay.

Lacambra said he was ready to attend the hearing.

But Hanjin, he said, had not allowed access to DOLE inspectors in the early stage of the project. By Tonette Orejas - Inquirer Central Luzon Desk

Labels: , , , , , ,

19 and counting

Accidents happen, but it is possible to prevent a repeat of the tragedies. Prevention is the purpose of laws and regulations setting safety standards in buildings and construction sites. When 19 workers have died in the same site over many months, fate cannot possibly be the only culprit.

Last Sunday morning, the Korean foreman of Hanjin Heavy Industries Corp.-Philippines died after being run over by a forklift that was being driven by a worker near a metal assembly shop at the Hanjin shipyard in Subic. Choi Dong-baek was the first Korean to die at the shipyard, and the 19th fatality at the site. His death came just two days after the metal base of a newly installed door fell on Raldon del Rosario. The 19-year-old worker died immediately while fellow worker Camalao Bochie suffered leg injuries.

The accidents paint a picture of a worksite where no one seems to be looking where he’s driving and no one is tasked to act as a lookout for operators of heavy equipment. Being run over by a forklift and being hit by a collapsed door base smack of the absence of supervision and gross negligence in a workplace. And there will be more fatalities if no one enforces safety rules.

The task of enforcement should belong to the entity that has jurisdiction over the shipyard – in this case, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority. If the SBMA cannot or does not want to handle the job, the local government should step in.

If no one in that area wants to touch one of the largest shipyard operators in the world, perhaps President Arroyo herself should appoint herself Subic Bay micro-manager. The task of enforcing safety rules in one shipyard should be easier for her than tackling climate change or going after large-scale drug traffickers who curiously keep eluding her anti-narcotics agents. Or is a shipyard operated by a foreign-controlled company also cloaked with diplomatic immunity, like the secrets protected by executive privilege in cases such as the broadband deal with ZTE Corp.?

Philippine safety standards cannot be set aside in any part of the country. Lives, not dirty money, are at stake at the Hanjin shipyard, and safety standards should be strictly enforced. The death toll at the shipyard must not be allowed to rise.

Labels: , , , ,

Filipino group calls on Obama administration to clean up U.S. bases overseas

Since 1992, a Filipino group called the People’s Task Force for Bases Cleanup has been petitioning the U.S. government to clean up environmental contamination at former U.S. bases in Central Luzon, working with the group’s U.S. partner, the Filipino-American Coalition for Environmental Solution. Officials with the organization have high hopes that the Obama administration will be receptive to their concerns about the environmental damage and public health threat posed by contamination at the former military bases.

The Philippine government has used these sites as economic free ports since 1991, but the government failed to remove the asbestos, radioactive waste and toxic chemicals that remained behind after nearly a century of U.S. military activities.

Previous congressional resolutions and executive promises to act have not born fruit. Neither did action come when the Philippine’s Dominican Order lobbied the U.N. Commission on Human Rights to pressure the U.S. to clean up the bases. At that time, in 2004, the Dominicans reported to the Human Rights Commission that at least 375 people, including 282 children, died of leukemia around the former Subic Naval Base. Tens of thousands of workers have been exposed to toxins while working at these sites, producing a variety of cancers in this population. mesotheliomanews

Labels: , ,

Monday, January 26, 2009

108 shooters join SBMA shoot fest

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – One hundred eight members of the SBMA Law Enforcers and 18 guests shooters from the Olongapo PNP including Media joined the 1st SBMA-LED Generals Cup held at the Zambales Olongapo Pistol and Riffle Association (ZOPRA) in Castillejos, Zambales.

SBMA Law Enforcement, Department Manager, Retired General Orlando Maddela Jr., said that the LED has 19-teams participated in t he shooting competition.

“Ang susunod na papraktisin natin ay ang speed shooting while running, walking at konting assault,” said Maddela.

The SBMA Disaster Management team also participated in the tournament.

The top 10 best shooters were Edu Gruezo, champion; Jeffry Domingo, 1st; Ricardo Eligido, 2nd; Romeo Tolention, 3rd; Bong Gruezo, 4th; Roderick Gruezo, 5th; Joe Aguizar, 7th; Nomer benitez, 8th; Luisito Cabalo, 9th and Jomar Ebardo, 10th.

The guest shooters were Julius Domingo, champion; Eduardo Peña. 2nd and 3rd, Vivian Reyes, all members of the Olongapo City Police Office (OCPO).

For the best team, champion, Disaster Management Team; 2nd Admin Team and 3rd SWAT Team A.

Maddela thanked Olongapo Practical Shooters Association (OPSA) President Jim Robertson, ZOPRA owner Nonoy Juico and ZOPRA members for supporting the vent.

By. Mamer Bañez – Tonight

Labels: , , , ,


The Olongapo Volunteers Basketball Team overwhelmed Tarlac team, 57-50 in the last game of the North Luzon Regional Championships Qualifying Games jointly hosted by the city and Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority(SBMA) last January 24 and 25, 2009 at the SBMA Gym, Subic Bay Freeport Zone (SBFZ).

An intense atmosphere prevailed during the game between Olongapo and Tarlac as “bad blood” already exists between the two teams when early in the league, ‘Gapo defeated Tarlac.

Here are the scores of Olongapo Team’s battle against several opponents in the 2-day qualifying games: Gapo-96 vs. Bulacan-64; ‘Gapo-74 vs. Tarlac-68; ‘Gapo- 66 vs Nueva Ecija-62 and ‘Gapo-57 vs. Tarlac-50.

The Basketball Tournament was initiated by the National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) Developmental League(D-League), a program supported by Nokia that serves as a training ground for the national youth teams. It aims to enhance the individual and team skills and serves as a pathway for players to move to a higher-level competition.

Program Director and Coach Eric Altamirano commended the city’s athletes for their untiring efforts. He said, “you all have great potentials, we are so proud of you.”

The nationwide tournament was participated in by teams from the various cities of NCR, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The winners in the qualifying games will advance to the South Luzon Regional Championships on March 19-22, 2009.

In an interview, the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the winning team, Lomell Loyola, 16 years old, 4th year high school at Virgen Delos Remedios, proudly said, “we just practiced well, we worked and played together, we did our best, and we won!”


Labels: , , , ,

Shipyard worker killed, another injured in Hanjin accident

A Filipino worker was killed while another was severely injured in an accident at the Korean-owned Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines Inc. in Subic, Zambales Friday morning.

Victim Raldon del Rosario, 19, of Kalinga, Apayao was killed after his head was crushed by an 850-kg steel rolling door that fell on top of him around 8 a.m. A co-worker, Camalao Bochei, 24, was injured after the door fell on his left leg.

Both workers are employees of Redondo I-Tech Corporation, a subcontractor of Hanjin.

Investigators from the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority said workers were connecting the steel base canvass when the chain holding the canvass broke off. The heavy steel base then fell on del Rosario and Bochei, killing one and injuring the other.

The SBMA said it has suspended work at the Hanjin assembly area where the accident occurred. It added that at least 18 workers have died in the shipyard since 2006.

Hanjin management has yet to issue a statement about the accident.


Labels: , , , ,

DOLE sends team to Subic to probe Hanjin deaths

MANILA, Philippines - Alarmed over the recent spate of accidental deaths at the shipbuilding facility of Korean firm Hanjin in Subic, the Labor department has decided to start an investigation on the matter.

Labor Secretary Marianito Roque said he has instructed the Labor department regional office in Central Luzon to send a team to the site and investigate the deaths.

"(Dati) pinamahala natin sa SBMA. Kaya medyo nakikialam na kami, pinapapasok namin ang team natin doon sa Hanjin [Before, we left it to the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority to handle the matter. But now we have to intervene. I have sent a team there to Hanjin]," Roque said in
an interview on dwIZ radio.

He said that before, it was not Hanjin but the subcontractors that were found negligent in ensuring the safety of workers at the facility.

Roque also noted the Labor department conducted a seminar on safety there sometime last year.

Last weekend, Sen. Pilar Juliana Cayetano voiced exasperation over what she called government inaction on the deaths of Filipino workers at the shipyard of Hanjin Heavy Industries.

Cayetano also hinted at bringing the matter to the International Labor Organization if the Senate allows itself to be "bullied" by Korea's ambassador.

She also scored the indifference being shown so far by the SBMA and the DOLE toward the rising death toll at the shipyard.

Last Friday, laborer Raldon del Rosario died after an 800-kilogram metal door being installed at the shipyard's "Assembly Part 3" section fell on him.

Another worker, Camalio Buchie, 24, reportedly suffered a leg injury during the incident.

Del Rosario is reportedly the 18th fatality among workers from traffic and work-related accidents at the job site since 2006, according to Hanjin's official count.

But People's Task Force Hanjin has recorded over 40 deaths among the workers, including those who have died from malaria.

- GMANews.TV

Labels: , , , , ,

Senate to probe Hanjin death toll at Subic Bay

The Senate will investigate fatal incidents at a sprawling shipyard within the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority facility following reports that numerous Filipinos die due to work-related accidents.

This, after another Filipino laborer, 19-year-old Raldon del Rosario died after an 800-kilogram metal door being installed at the shipyard assembly section of Hanjin Heavy Industries Corp. Philippines fell on him. Another worker, Camalio Buchie, 24, reportedly suffered a leg injury due to the incident.

Mr. Del Rosario was the 18th victim of work-related accidents in the shipyard since Hanjin’s shipbuilding activities began in 2006.

Sen. Jose "Jinggoy" E. Estrada has scheduled an investigation on Wednesday by the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development, which he chairs.

"We need to conduct an immediate investigation why so many Filipino workers die there," Mr. Estrada said in a phone interview.

He said that the committee can recommend the "banning" of Hanjin if the panel finds the company remiss in its responsibilities to ensure the safety of its workers.

As this developed, Korean worker Choi Dong Baek, 51-year-old supervisor, died half past midnight Sunday after a forklift operated by Filipino worker Menti Dacanay ran over him, said SBMA Administrator Armand C. Arezza.

But Mr. Arezza said the accident was "not related to the construction of ships," explaining that Mr. Dacanay did not see the victim while they were transferring the location of a basketball ring.

"We’re ready to explain our side [in the Senate inquiry]. Not all incidents are work-related, some are just accidents," he said in a phone interview.

Sen. Pilar Juliana "Pia" S. Cayetano has filed Senate Resolution No. 807 to look into the issue, saying "it’s exasperating how our authorities have allowed these deaths to continue without imposing stringent measures and taking legal action against all those responsible on behalf of the victims."

Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Choi Joong Kyung wrote Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile on Dec. 23, cautioning the chamber against a possible inquiry that may cast "substantial and negative repercussions" on Hanjin.

"The tremendous political influence of the Senate means that its actions may have fatal effects to the existence of an actor in the private sector... The policy implication of all its present actions have deep and far reaching effects within and beyond the boundaries of the Philippines," the Korean ambassador wrote.

The Korean ambassador was reacting to a privilege speech of Ms. Cayetano on Dec. 16 when she called for an immediate attention into mounting fatalities at the Hanjin shipyard.

But Ms. Cayetano, in a privilege speech last week, said the chamber should be unfazed by the reactions of the Korean ambassador to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation.

Hanjin officials in Subic could not be reached for comment. - Bernard U. Allauigan, BusinessWorld

Labels: , , , , ,

Subic records 85% drop in investments

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority reported an 85-percent drop in committed investments in 2008 to $249 million from $1.7 billion in 2007.

Data from the SBMA Business Group showed the number of approved projects locating in Subic Freeport grew by 6 percent last year to 185 from 175 the year before, but the investments involved were significantly lower than year-ago levels.

Investments approved in Subic reached an all-time high of $1.71 billion in 2007. In 2006, SBMA-approved projects amounted to $1.44 billion.

SBMA administrator Armand Arreza said Subic was still in a good position as an investment destination despite the huge drop in the investment value in 2008.

“Subic continued to attract big-ticket projects, while remaining one of the biggest employers in Central Luzon,” Arreza said in a statement.

The projects approved in 2008 were mostly in the tourism, manufacturing and services sectors. The biggest is that of Korean-led consortium Subic Neocove Corp., worth $175 million, involving the construction of a high-end leisure facility in Subic’s Cawag area, near the Hanjin shipyard.

Hanil E&C Subic Inc. committed to invest $11 million to put up medium- and high-rise commercial residential buildings in the area. Another $6.72 million would be infused into the free port by Sultan Ahmed Lootah Enterprises Corp. to produce corrugated cartons, sheets, rolls, paper cores, corner pads, trays and duplex boards.

The SBMA also approved an investment of $6.58 million by George Dewey Medical and Wellness Center Inc., which planned to operate a hospital, medical and nursing school, wellness center, and research center in Subic.

The other major projects approved were Hanafil Golf and Tour’s $3-million golf and tour project; Australasia Marine Alliance Corp.’s $2.32-million boats and marine-related products manufacturing; Pacific Pearl Airways Aviation School’s $2.3-million aviation technical/vocational school project; Taiwan Cogeneration Corp.’s $2-million power plant and transmission facilities; Palmgold International Ltd.’s $1.94-million project involving importation of gaming equipment and operation of a slot machine arcade, and Grand Pillar International Development Inc.’s $1.9-million real estate venture.

Foreign investments account for 90.74 percent of the total, with the bulk committed by Korean firms—61 projects worth $201.8 million. By Abigail L. Ho - Philippine Daily Inquirer

Labels: , , ,


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