Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Sunday, February 28, 2010


Mr. Rodrigo Poblete turned over to Mayor James “Bong” Gordon Jr. “Speedy and Sleepy,” the pawikans that he named and cared for. The city government, in turn, placed the pawikans to the care of the Ocean Adventure at the Subic Bay Freeport. International standards have declared the species of marine turtle to be endangered all over the world due to illegal trading of the creatures and their low survival rate. Marine turtles or pawikans have 7 different species in the world and five of these species are present in the Philippines which are being protected by Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Conservation Act of 2001.

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Thumbs up! Mayor James “Bong” Gordon Jr. with Olongapo First Lady and Zambales Vice-Governor Anne Marie Gordon, now running for the Zambales First District Congressional Seat, joined the youth leaders at the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Grand Reunion held recently at the Olongapo City Convention Center. Also present in the event were City Councilors Ellen Dabu, Jonathan Manalo, Rodel Cerezo and city consultants Romy Guerrero, Bugsy delos Reyes, former SK Tet Marzan and Eduardo Piano.

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Owners of Subic blue plates warned

The number of unaccounted Subic blue plate cars that are subject to crackdown by Bureau of Customs (BoC) has climbed to 203 as the bureau warned its owners about their seizure and forfeiture.

Customs Commissioner Napoleon Morales said BoC tapped the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the PNP Highway Patrol Group for the expeditious location and apprehension of the motor vehicles through the issuance of alarm notices.

“There is a need to locate these motor vehicles for the collection of the proper duties and taxes and for the prosecution of customs personnel and smugglers involved in the illegal entry of these motor,” Morales said.

He said both of the agencies have been asked by Customs to be held in abeyance the registration of the SBMA blue plate vehicles following reports that some of them have been sold to third parties and converted into regular plates.

Among these vehicles are various models of 37 Mercedes Benz, 26 BMW, eight units of Porsche, three Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo units, and one Ferrari, among others.
These luxury cars are tax-exempted vehicles (TEVs) that enter the Port of Subic and can only be used around Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA). They can be brought out of SBMA territory for official business but must be returned to the zone after 15 days.

BoC identified their consignees as Microvan Inc., Subic Acropolis, Portnet Pet Corp., One World Multi Ends, Jear Trading, Janitzek International Trading, Bambusa, Crown Trading, 4D Trading, California Waste, HOF International Inc., and Mexxon International Trading. By RAYMUND F. ANTONIO - Manila Bulletin

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The Olongapo City Council (Sangguniang Panglungsod-SP) recently passed Resolution No. 12 “Ratifying the Memorandum of Understanding entered into by and between the city government of Olongapo and the Women’s Education, Development, Productivity and Research Organization (WeDPRO), Inc. Buklod Center, Inc.”

“I signed this resolution because I want this organization to prosper and be able to implement more projects for the protection of women and children in the city,” Mayor James Gordon, Jr. stressed.

According to the resolution, “the city fully supports the cause of every person particularly women and children and unequivocally conforms to the state’s policy of valuing human life and dignity.”

The Women’s Education, Development, Productivity and Research Organization (WeDpro), Buklod Center, Inc. is a women’s organization that seeks to serve a dynamic catalyst within the women’s movements and other social movements working for people-oriented, gender-fair programs and services that ensures women empowerment.

Buklod Center, on the other hand is a non-government organization (NGO) in Olongapo City, working to help women and children trafficked into prostitution. It provides a health clinic where women and their families can avail of health-check up. Buklod’s main programs include Organizing, Education and Networking/Advocacy and Direct Services. Under Direct Services they support children and women who are victims of human trafficking and prostitution. Buklod also encourages women to continue with their education through the DepEd "Alternative Learning System" or (ALS).

Councilor Elena C. Dabu sponsored the said resolution which was passed unanimously by the Members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod.

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Mayor James “Bong” Gordon Jr. together with Lino Jose, OIC of the City’s Philhealth Indigent Program and City Health Officer Arnildo Tamayo, proudly displays the Plaque of Recognition, conferred last February 12, 2010 by the Philhealth Office to Olongapo City for “achieving Universal Coverage under the Sponsored Program,” an assurance of Olongapeños continuous access to quality healthcare services.

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Friday, February 26, 2010

JC got bishops' support

Two bishops go for ‘Kapatiran’
BY GERARD NAVAL - malaya.com.ph
LIPA Archbishop Ramon Arguelles and Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra yesterday said they are supporting the Ang Kapatiran party and its presidential candidate, John Carlos delos Reyes, a councilor of Olongapo City.

"I’m supporting JC de Los Reyes and other Ang Kapatiran candidates but that is my personal position," said Navarra.

"I am endorsing JC de Los Reyes and other Ang Kapatiran candidates. Some will say that di naman sila mananalo pero that is my position," said Arguelles.

The two said they both believe it is only Ang Kapatiran that is sincere in bringing political change.

"Sila lang kasi nakikita ko na may sincerity, honest and with clear platform of government," said Arguelles.

The statements of Arguelles and Navarra came as a surprise because the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines has been very firm in being non-partisan in elections.

Archbishop emeritus Oscar Cruz, a Canon Law expert and former CBCP president, said Arguelles and Navarra did not violate any Church law.

"There is no canonical violation, strictly speaking, but it could be pastorally imprudent as of the moment," Cruz said.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Help Save Electricity, Help Save the World

The city government is calling on Olongapeños to conserve electricity due to the effect of the El Nino phenomenon to the country’s hydropower generation.

According to the flyers distributed by the Public Utilities Department (PUD), Olongapo like Metro Manila, Cebu and Visayas will experience rotational power interruption or power load-shedding due to the dry spell that results to insufficient generation of energy for dams and power generating plants.

The El Niño phenomenon is a temporary change in the climate of the Pacific ocean, in the region around the equator. The phenomenon is characterized by abnormalities being experienced in parts of the world such as the warming of South America, torrential rains in North America, and drought in Southeast Asia nd Australia.

Among the areas in the country that are susceptible to El Nino are Ilocos Sur, Ilocs Norte, La Union, Pangasinan, Cagayan, Isabela, Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, Zambales, Cavite, Rizal, Occidental Mindoro, Palawan, Capiz, Ilo-Ilo, Negros occidental and other places like Davao and Zamboanga.

It can be recalled that the province of Isabela, the location of Magat Dam, the second largest power contributor of electricity in Luzon, has just declared a State of Calamity due to the dry spell brought by El Niño.

According to SN Aboitiz Power, the water level in Magat Dam has decreased to 171.22 meters or just nine meters before the 160-meter minimum operational level.
“The 160-meter level is our minimum operation level. One drop further means we will be forced to temporarily stop operations,” said engineer Melvyn Eugenio, manager ng Magat Dam.

Among the hydro-electric power plants in Luzon are the San Roque Dam in Pangasinan, Binga Dam in Benguet, Angat Dam in Bulacan and Pantabangan Dam in Nueva Ecija but since these hydro-electric power plants derive energy from water, hydro-electric generation may be affected if the “rainless” situation continues.

“Malaki ang maitutulong nating mamamayan upang mabawasan ang nararamdamang epekto ng El Niño kahit sa ating munting mga paraan. Magtipid tayo sa paggamit ng tubig at kuryente lalo na ngayon at hirap ang ating mga hydropower plants na gumawa ng kuryente dahil sa kawalan ulan,” wika ni Mayor Gordon.

Households can save electricity by observing the following tips:
1. Use compact fluorescent lights instead of incandescent bulb;
2. Do your ironing all at once and not one at one time;
3. Open refrigerators only when needed;
4. Turn-off lights when not in use;
5. Unplug appliances when not in use; and
6. Lessen the use of air-conditioners or electric fans by having good ventilation at home.

Meanwhile, Mayor Gordon has reminded city employees to continue conserving electricity by turning off lights and other electrical equipment after office hours.

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Central Luzon Regional Athletic Association (CLARAA)

Mayor James “Bong” Gordon Jr. himself led the city’s delegation to the 2010 CLARAA (Central Luzon Regional Athletic Association) Meet 2010 at the opening parade held in Angeles City, Pampanga last February 22, 2010. City Councilors Rodel Cerezo and Jonathan Manalo together with city consultant Eduardo Piano and other city officials also joined the parade to express full support to the participants who represented the city in this year’s regional sports competition.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Thus said Guam Senator Edward Calvo in addressing the Filipino and local chief executives and businessmen who attended the third annual Association of Pacific Islands Local Government (APILG) conference at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center and Olongapo City Convention Center.

Senators Calvo and Tina Rose Muña Barnes are eyeing former U.S. Naval base employees and other skilled workers of Olongapo for the military build up on their island in connection with the transfer of the American base from Okinawa, Japan.

“We simply do not have the manpower required and so the number of foreign workers involved in the project will increase by the thousands in the next few years. The people of Guam are facing a significant impact as a direct result of the relocation of the US base in Okinawa,” Barnes said.

“There are a lot of opportunities in Guam, the $15 billion military build-up is unlike anything that we have seen before”, Calvo added.

Barnes also expressed concern on the project’s impact on the environment. She said waste management should be handled properly because “we expect an increase in Guam’s population once the build-up is realized, we are looking at an influx of some 70,000 individuals.”

Mayor James Gordon, Jr. assured the Guam officials that the city is willing and ready to help. “We are all looking forward for this tremendous opportunity that the Guam government has offered us. With the former US base employees and our skills training program, we can assure you that we will provide the needed skills and manpower for this project”.

Guam Senators Edward Calvo, Tina Rose Muña Barnes and some of the Association of Pacific Islands Local Government (APILG) delegates with Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. seen here holding the symbolic key of the Sisterhood relationship of Olongapo City and Guam.

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Olongapo City Vice Mayor and Anti-Indecency Board Head Cynthia Cajudo convened the city’s Anti-Indecency Board to formulate its programs for 2010.

“Taong 2009 ay tuloy-tuloy ang mga ginagawang surveillance sa iba’t-ibang mga establisyemento sa lungsod na nagpapakita ng mga malalaswang panoorin at katulad na gawain,” Vice Mayor Cynthia Cajudo said in the meeting she presided on February 23, 2010 at the Session Hall of the Olongapo City Hall.

“Ilang business establishments ang naging under surveillance ng Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) at ng Olongapo City Police Office (OCPO). Ngunit mayroong isang bukod tanging business establishment na nahuli ng Anti-Indecency Board na nagpapalabas ng lewd at pornographic videos sa loob mismo ng establishment at sa kasalukuyan ay patuloy ang kasong isinampa sa kanila,” Vice Mayor Cajudo said.

The board also reported in detail the projects that they have accomplished including for closure orders from Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. to business establishments staging lewd and indecent shows.

Prostitution is illegal and it will not be taken for granted by the local government. But apart from the arrest of alleged prostitutes, Mayor James Gordon and Olongapo City First Lady and Zambales Vice Gov. Anne Marie Gordon see to it that they are given support and assistance by means of skills training, livelihood capital assistance and scholarships.

Also present at the meeting were City Councilors Ellen Dabu and Jong Cortez and City Consultant Edna Elane and members of the Anti-Indecency Board.

Olongapo City Vice Mayor and Anti-Indecency Board head Cynthia Cajudo presides over the Anti-Indecency Board Meeting held February 23, 2010 at the Session Hall, Olongapo City Hall.

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Guam-Olongapo Center for Best Practices proposed

Calvo proposes economic think-tank

Guam Sen. Eddie Calvo shared the stage with Philippine presidential candidate and Sen. Richard Gordon on Friday at an Asia-Pacific mayors' conference, where Calvo proposed a joint economic think-tank with Olongapo City.
Olongapo once was host to a U.S. Navy base at Subic Bay, and has successfully transformed itself into an international trade center when U.S. troops pulled out two decades ago.

Calvo, who is running for governor in the November General Election, said the proposed Guam-Olongapo Center for Best Practices "will be so much more than a think tank for our two communities."
L-R SBMA Adm Armand Arreza, Olongapo Mayor James Gordon, APILG Pres Paul McDonald, Sen. Eddie Calvo, Councilor Ed Piano, Sen. Tina Muna-Barnes
"There is so much our communities can learn from each other. This center can examine what works and how we can improve the practices that lead to our economic vitality," according to Calvo's speech at the conference. "It can promote our core competencies to each other and work to involve both our communities in an active exchange of ideas and programs geared toward mutual prosperity."

His speech followed a keynote address by Gordon, who led Subic's shift from having been a military town to an international business hub.

"Our hometowns ... can be known for our forward movement of people, starving for greatness, building dreams, and making our mark in the world," Calvo added.

Calvo and Sen. Tina Muna Barnes were among the Guam guests at the conference.

"Guam is at the starting gate of heated economic growth," according to Calvo, referring to the looming military buildup. "What we do and how we see ourselves as global contributors will determine the future ahead. It all starts with a vision far beyond what some would accept, and the belief that we can reach it. That was the beginning of Olongapo's road to success, and it is one that is working."

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Monday, February 22, 2010

SBMA allays concerns of cargo operators

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority has allayed the concerns of Subic Bay Freeport Zone cargo operators over its approval of an unsolicited proposal for the development, management and operation of the Freeport’s biggest bulk and break-bulk cargo terminal and other support areas.

The SBMA Board of Directors, pursuant to its 2008 Joint Venture Guidelines, accepted in principle the unsolicited proposal of Harbour Centre Port Terminal, Inc. in November of last year.
The understanding is called the “Subic Agro-Industrial Logistics Port – A Proposal for Private-Public Partnership (PPP) Between Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority and Harbour Centre Port Terminal, Inc.”

SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza, in a letter to Mario Yapjoco, president of Amerasia International Services, Inc., one of the largest and long-time cargo operators at the Freeport, assured existing cargo operators that the proposal will not prejudice SBMA’s existing contractual obligations over areas that are covered by the activities of the joint venture.

He stressed that “the acceptance of the unsolicited proposal was only for the purpose of authorizing the JVSP to commence further negotiations with HCPTI on the terms, conditions and scope, as well as the legal, technical and financial aspects of the proposed venture.

“This acceptance did not constitute a binding contractual agreement on the part of SBMA,” Arreza said.
Yapjoco earlier pointed out what seemed to be a preferential treatment for Harbour Centre, a cargo operator which has yet to establish a track record at the Subic Bay Freeport.

He said the joint venture agreement constitutes a “restraint of trade or commerce and prevents free competition without the benefit of any legal, equitable or moral justification or rationalization.”

Yapjoco further appealed to SBMA to “protect our legal rights as we have a valid and subsisting contract with the agency. We also plead to the SBMA to protect our substantial capital investments and the jobs of the hundreds of people we employ.”

Established in 1996 and operating as a bona enterprise and cargo handling operator at the Subic Bay Freeport since February 1997, Amerasia secured a 25-year lease contract with SBMA since 2007.

It employs an average of 300 people on a monthly basis, benefiting at least 300 families.

The company has also poured in about P100 million investments in equipment and more for its marketing and promotion for the Freeport.

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The said award was conferred by PNP Chief Jesus Versoza, the guest speaker at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Regional Office III 19th PNP Day Anniversary Celebration held last February 18, 2010 at Camp Olivas, San Fernando City, Pampanga.

“The special award that Mayor Gordon received is in recognition of his full support to the mission and duty of the Olongapo City Police Office (OCPO) and of the PNP, in general, to continually maintain the peace and order in our area of responsibility,” said Police Senior Superintendent Oscar Albayalde, head of OCPO.

It can be recalled that the city government led by Mayor Gordon is working hand-in hand with the Olongapo City Police Office thru the intensive support being given to OCPO’s transformation program and donations of service vehicles to aid in OCPO’s duty to keep the peace and order in the community.

Meanwhile, the OCPO celebrated the 19th PNP Day Anniversary last February 22, 2010 where guest of honor PDIR Ray D. Roderos, director of Visayas Integrated Police Operations conferred the following OCPO’s awardees in recognition for exemplary performance of duty and for the support extended to the police office:

Mayor James “Bong” Gordon Jr. has once again proven his track record of being a competent and honored local chief executive as he receives a special award from an organization that values the virtues of Service, Honor and Justice, the Philippine National Police.

“Lubhang napakahalaga ng tungkuling ginagampanan ng kapulisan sa kaayusan at katahimikan ng lungsod. Kaya naman dapat na patuloy nating suportahan ang kanilang paglilingkod publiko dahil sila ang mga bayani ng lansangan sa kasalukuyang panahon, laging handang rumesponde at labanan ang masasamang elemento ng lipunan,” said Olongapo FL at Vice-Governor Anne Marie Gordon. Binabati ko ang mga miyembro ng PNP hindi lamang sa Olongapo at Zambales kundi pati na rin sa buong bansa sa inyong pagdiriwang ng 19th PNP Day. Saludo ako sa inyong tapang at kagitingin sa pagseserbisyo sa bayan. Mabuhay kayong lahat!”

Mayor James “Bong”Gordon Jr. receives a plaque of appreciation from PDIR Ray Roderos, director of PNP Visayas Integrated Police Operations at the 19th PNP Anniversary Celebration held last February 22, 2010 at Camp Gen. Manuel Cabal, Olongapo City. Earlier, Mayor Gordon was also recognized as Best Local Chief Executive.

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Known to be an advocate of women empowerment, Olongapo First Lady at Zambales Vice-Governor Anne Marie Gordon, now running for the first district congressional seat, pledged to continue to assist the female inmates at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology thru the various livelihood and health programs that she has been implementing together with Mayor Bong Gordon.

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

NiHAO Unit Gets Permit To Develop Zambales Mining Claim

DJ NiHAO Unit Gets Permit To Develop Zambales Mining Claim >NI.PH

NiHAO Mineral Resources International Inc. (NI.PH) said Monday its wholly owned subsidiary, Mina Tierra Garcia Inc., has signed a mineral production sharing agreement with the government that allows it to explore and develop a 5,081-hectare mining claim in Zambales province, north of Manila.

The claim, across Iba and Botolan towns, contains potential sources of nickel, cobalt, chromite and other mineral deposits.

The agreement has a 25-year term that could be renewed for another 25 years.

-By Cris Larano, Dow Jones Newswires

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It is reported that Companhia Nube Minerale Inc, a subsidiary of Nihao Mineral Resources International Inc, has executed an operating agreement with another local mining firm for the exclusive right to develop a nickel mine in Botolan, northwest of Manila.

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Two militant legislators are seeking congressional inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the involvement of high-ranking government officials in the alleged irregular endorsement and granting of mining contracts to two companies headed by former environment secretary Michael Defensor.

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Nihao Mineral Resources International Inc. will raise funds through a stock rights offering for its mining activities in its nickel tenements, the company told the Philippine Stock Exchange

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Zambales: Mining capital

Mistulang mining capital ang Zambales. Noong panahon ng panunungkulan ni Governor Vic Magsaysay, malalaking minahan lamang ang namamayagpag. Pero sa ilalim ng kasalukuyang lokal na pamunuan ni Governor Amor Deloso, mas pinaigting ang kampanya para sa pagsusuporta hindi lamang sa malalaking minahan kundi maging sa small-scale mining o SSM.

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Oplan Subic Blue Plates

Task force to seize vehicles smuggled by 'misusing' a law

A recently-created task force will apprehend vehicles that were smuggled into the Philippines by misusing a law that created the Subic Special Economic Zone (SSEZ).

Under “Oplan Subic Blue Plates," the Bureau of Customs (BOC) will track down 184 “blue- plated" tax-exempt vehicles that were supposed to be used only within the jurisdiction of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).

Although these vehicles can be used outside the zone for official business trips, these must be returned to the zone after 15 days.
All 184 vehicles have been unaccounted for since 2008, Port of Subic District Collector Marietta Zamoranos said.

The same vehicles are registered in the name of companies which have since closed shop but still have existing tax-exempt vehicles.

The vehicles were “smuggled into customs jurisdiction through the misuse of Republic Act No. 7227," which created the SSEZ, BOC Commissioner Napoleon Morales said in a statement.

Warrants of seizure and detention for these vehicles have already been issued by Zamoranos.

In the meantime, Morales designated Atty. Rolando Ligon, Jr., head of the Post Entry Audit Group, to head the Task Force.
The group has visitorial powers in all places where the subject vehicles are openly offered for sale or kept for storage.

The task force is expected to coordinate with other agencies including the Land Transportation Office, Department of Transportation and Communication and Philippine National Police-Traffic Management group for the location and apprehension of subject motor vehicles.

“There is a need to locate these motor vehicles for the collection of the proper duties and taxes and for the prosecution of customs personnel and smugglers involved in the illegal entry of these motor vehicles," Morales said. - RJAB Jr., GMANews.TV

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Nothing wrong with Gordon's ads, says Red Cross executive

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delegation in the Philippines yesterday said there’s nothing wrong with the political advertisement of presidential candidate Sen. Richard Gordon showing his achievements as chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC).

ICRC in the Philippines head Jean-Daniel Tauxe said it is normal for politicians to show their achievements during campaigns. He said many Red Cross officers are in politics.

“We have to make it clear that he is not a Red Cross candidate; that should be kept in mind,” Tauxe said in a media briefing at the Crowne Plaza Galleria in Ortigas.He said Red Cross officials should always remember that the organization is an international one and they should be impartial.
“We had already discussed it with Sen. Gordon and he told us what it means,” Tauxe said.

Gordon’s 30-second advertisement, which started airing late last year (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RWnXiW2nuo), uses the Christmas song “Silent Night” and shows Gordon attending to evacuees from the rumbling Mayon Volcano, the victims of the Christmas Eve fire at the Pasay-Makati border, and victims of the sinking of the M/V Baleno off the coast of Mindoro Oriental on Dec. 26.
By Helen Flores (The Philippine Star)
It also has the slogan “Hindi Natutulog si Dick Gordon (Dick Gordon does not sleep).”
Gordon is standard-bearer of the Bagumbayan Party with former Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Bayani Fernando as his running mate.

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Olongapo: Prime Tourists Destination

“Kahit ngayong Pebrero pa lamang ay kapansin pansin na ang pagdami ng mga turista sa ating mga beach areas lalo na tuwing weekends kaya Mayor James “Bong” Gordon Jr. has tasked concerned departments to prepare for the upcoming summer season as tourists noticeably begin to flock at Barangay Barretto, the city’s beach capital.

‘’Dapat na hindi lamang ang mga resort owners at mga negosyante ang maghanda kundi pati na rin ang mga ahensya ng pamahalaang lungsod upang masiguro ang kaligtasan ng mga turista sa kanilang pagbisita dito sa Olongapo,” wika ni Mayor Gordon.

In this connection, the City Tourism Office, Office of Traffic Management and Public Safety, Disaster Management Office, and the Olongapo City Police Office are closely working together to ensure that tourists can enjoy exploring the city without worry for their safety.

“Now that Olongapo and Subic Bay Freeport Zone are more accessible to travelers from north to south thru the Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), it is expected that the number of tourists visiting the areas would geometrically increase considering the less hours of travel time and less cost in travel expenses as compared to other summer destinations,” said Councilor Gina Perez who has sponsored several resolutions in the Sangguniang Panglungsod in promotion of the city’s tourism industry.

“Although unsolicited, I want to give the employees of hotels and resorts in the city a piece of advice, especially those who are in the frontline. Not only smile and be sincere when serving your guests, but provide the best service you can give, because Olongapeños should not only be known for volunteerism or discipline but also as the most hospitable and efficient people and that, plus our natural wonders make Olongapo as one of the prime tourists destinations in the country,” said Mayor Gordon.


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Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. is giving his full support to the Kitchen Wars: Culinary and Flair tending Grand Prix 2010 to be held at the SBMA Grounds, Olongapo City on March 11-13, 2010.

The goal of this competition is to build international recognition and promote the culinary and flair tending skills and expertise of Filipinos. Twenty (20) culinary and HRM schools, twenty (20) restaurant chefs, ten (10) celebrity chefs and ten (10) master chefs are expected to join and challenge each other in a friendly culinary battle for honor and glory.

Kitchen Wars also aims to achieve a world record in the longest buffet expected to be participated in by various culinary schools, restaurants and food manufacturers.

Mayor Bong has always believed in anything that will benefit Olongapenos that’s why apart from the competition and the longest buffet, there will also be a job fair, grand banquet, food exposition and a concert party as finale.

The event is also good for Olongapo City’s tourism because the organizers are expecting one hundred thousand (100,000) visitors and participants nationwide, according to Mayor Gordon.

The said competition will be hosted by Blue Spoon Culinaire, Inc. and the Department of Tourism, SBMA Chapter in cooperation with the Olongapo City government.


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Olongapo City went under a two-day evaluation by the validating team to judge and rate the city for the Search for the 2008 Presidential Awards for Child-Friendly- National Level, City Category.

Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. gladly received the national validation team which include Lilia San Vicente from the Department of Education (DepEd), Andre Canilang and Froilan Flores from the Council for the Welfare of Children when they arrived at the FMA Hall of the City Hall on February 18, 2010.

Representatives from National Sub-committee for the Welfare of Children which consists of the Department of Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Education and Department of Agriculture (DA) also rated Olongapo City for the search.

Also, members of the committee are the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), National Nutrition Council and Philippine Information Agency (PIA).

“Olongapo is a multi-awarded city,” Mayor Bong Gordon said. “Kabilang sa mga programang tinututukan ng lungsod para sa mga kabataan ay ang health, education, environment, peace and order, sports, nutrition, pagsasa-ayos sa iba’t-ibang pasilidad, curfew, total firecracker ban at marami pang iba.”

The evaluation team picked Barangays Gordon Heights and West Bajac-Bajac through a raffle which determined the barangays they will visit. Part of the team’s itinerary was to visit James L. Gordon Memorial Hospital (JLGMH), Health Centers, Day Care Centers, schools and the Social Development Centers (SDC) and OCARE.

“Ang Makati City at ang Puerto Princesa ang dalawang mabigat na katunggali ng Olongapo sa titulo ngunit naniniwala ako sa maraming programa ng lungsod para sa kapakanan ng mga bata,” City Social Welfare and Development Office Head Gene Eclarino said.

Olongapo City recently won the “Most Child Friendly City” in the entire Region III making it the region’s bet for the national level.


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Thursday, February 18, 2010

APILG SPEAKER - Captain Ulysses O. Zalamea

Backgrounder on Captain Ulysses O. Zalamea

The most anticipated speaker at the upcoming 3rd Annual Pacific Islands Local Government (APILG) conference that will be hosted by the city of Olongapo on February 18-21, 2010, is Captain Ulysses O. Zalamea, the Deputy Director of the Joint Guam Program Office, who is in charge of the planning and execution of the redeployment of US military forces from Okinawa to Guam. Popularly referred to as “the US military Guam build-up,” the project will begin in 2010 and is expected to take more than 4 years to complete at a cost of $20 billion

Captain Zalamea, the US Navy officer in charge of one of the most important and biggest infrastructure projects in the Pacific region in the last 30 years, is the highest ranking Filipino American in the U.S. Navy.

Captain Ulysses 0. Zalamea was born on November 27, 1956 to Francisco and Narcisa Zalamea in Pagsanjan, Laguna, Philippines. Zalamea is married to Mrs. Jean Zalamea.

Captain Ulysses 0. Zalamea earned his Bachelor of Science Degree from the Far Eastern University in Manila, Philippines in 1977. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in Subic Naval Base in the Philippines on November 1977 and completed his basic training at Recruit Training Command, San Diego, California.

In May 1978, Zalamea reported to the Navy Recruiting District in Los Angeles, California as the Enlisted Programs Officer. Captain Zalamea attended Surface Warfare Officers School (Basic) at Coronado, California following commissioning via Officer Candidate School in 1983. He then served as Anti-Submarine Warfare Officer and Damage Control Assistant on the USS GRAY.

In December 1989, he returned to sea after graduating from Surface Warfare Department Head School. His Department Head tours included assignments as Operations Officer aboard the USS RACINE and as the First Lieutenant on the USS MOBILE. He twice served on the staff of the Commander, Amphibious Force, U.S. Seventh Fleet asAssistant Plans Officer and as Chief of Staff for Plans and Operations,in August 1993 and again in March 2003 respectively.

In 1995, Zalamea attended the Naval War College and was awarded a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies. After graduation, he returned to sea and assumed duties as Executive Officer of the USS GERMANTOWN. In October 1997, Captain Ulysses 0. Zalamea reported to the Bureau of Naval Personnel in Washington, D.C. and later, as the Surface Lieutenant Commander Assignment Branch Head.

In 1999, he was posted to the Pentagon where he served in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Politico-Military Affairs Branch, East Asia and Pacific. In April 2001, Captain Zalamea took command of the USS OAK HILL. In June 2005, Captain Zalamea reported as the Director of Armaments Cooperation Division at the U.S. Mission to NATO in Brussels, Belgium. There, he is the Deputy Director for the Armaments Cooperation Division. Working closely with Office of the Secretary of Defense principals, he also serves as the U.S. representative to the NATO Committee for Standardization and the NATO-European Union Capability Group.

In May 2007, Zalamea became commander of the Maritime Prepositioning Ships Squadron Three of the U.S. Navy. In 2008, Zalamea was appointed Deputy Director of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint Guam Program Office (JGPO), responsible for the planning and execution of the $20 billion U.S. military redeployment and buildup on Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).

Captain Ulysses 0. Zalamea has been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal Award three (3) times, the Navy Commendation Medal six (6) times, the Navy Achievement Medal and various other medals and service ribbons.
“We are very proud of Captain Zalamea,” said Olongapo Mayor “Bong” Gordon. “He joined the U.S. Navy here in Olongapo back in 1977.

“He is the reason why many contractors are attending the 3rd APILG conference,” added Aurelio Pineda, overall director of the conference and president of the Metro Olongapo Chamber of Commerce, one of the organizers of the conference.

For more information about the 3rd APILG Conference pls call Mr. Aurelio “Bong” Pineda (Overall Conference Director): 09192471062

Prepared by Dean Alegado
3rd APILG Conference
Executive Director
Contact Phone Number: 047-638-4062/Conference Secretariat
Email: avpineda@subictel.com

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Ang livelihood, scholarship at health ang tatlong programang higit ko pang tututukan at bibigyan ng karagdagang pondo,” Olongapo City First Lady and Zambales Vice Gov. Anne Marie Gordon said as she addressed the residents of Perimeter Extension, Brgy. Pag-asa at the Gordon HELPS Caravan on February 15, 2010.

“Maglalaan din ako ng malaking halaga bilang pondo ng James L. Gordon Memorial Hospital (JLGMAH) para ang mahihirap na pasyente nito ay hindi na kinakailangan pang mag-problema kung saan kukuha ng halagang ibabayad sa pagamutan,” added the First Lady.

Led by Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr., the Gordon HELPS Caravan is still doing the rounds of the seventeen (17) barangays of Olongapo City.

In the HELPS Caravan, Mayor Gordon reports projects that were accomplished, those that are still in the works and other future projects for the Olongapenos. Vice Mayor Cynthia Cajudo and City Councilors Gina Perez, Ellen Dabu, Rodel Cerezo, Nathan Manalo and Jhong Cortez and City Consultants Bugsy delos Reyes, Tet Marzan, Ed Piano, Romy Guerrero and Edna Elane are also regular participants in the HELPS Caravan to address their constituents.

The Gordon HELPS Caravan also provides free medical check-up and gives out medicines and vitamins, free tooth extraction, fillings and dentures.

Residents looking for jobs can find one through the Public Employment Office (PESO). Different skills trainings like livelihood, welding, computer, call center and housekeeping are also made available for the people at the Caravan.


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Two (2) motorcycle riders from Gordon Heights and Mabayuan died of injuries sustained in a collision with a Toyota Camri car that occurred about 3:45 in the morning on February 13, 2010.

“A Toyota Camry car was traveling along Rizal Ave. from the direction of RM Drive heading towards the direction of Ulo ng Apo Rotonda and upon reaching Rizal ave. cor. 15th St. collided with a Motorstar MCX single motorcycle driven by a 22 year-old male Jeff Mark John Avenila y Ulanday of #14 Woodhouse St. Gordon Hgts. with a 21 year-old back rider Melbert Pagas y Oca of #49 Brgy. Mabayuan traveling at opposite direction. Both parties were under the influence of alcohol,” P/Supt. Zaldy A. Antonio chief of Traffic Enforcement and Patrol Unit disclosed.

“This will serve as a lesson to all of us, I’m appealing to all Olongapeños to take part in this very important reminder . This is for your own safety, let us religiously follow the guidelines set by the Land Transportation Office (LTO), “ Mayor James Gordon, Jr. stressed.

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) recently has issued an amended guidelines in the operations of motorcycles on roads and highways for the safety of the public in general.

The official administrative order issued by Assistant Secretary and LTO Chief Alberto Suansing stressed that a license with restriction Code No. “1” shall be carried by the driver/rider of the motorcycle or scooter at all times.

Other recommended guidelines by the technical working committee headed by Engr. Joel Donato, chief of the LTO-Motor Vehicles Inspection Section are as follows:

1. the driver shall anytime of the day switch on the headlight of the motorcycle or scooter while it is being operated on the highway.

2. LTO has increased the fines and penalties for those who would violate the rules and regulations. Drivers and back riders who fail to wear prescribed helmet will be fined P1,500 plus attending seminar for traffic safety to be conducted by LTO

3. For carrying more passengers other than the back rider or cargo, a penalty of P1,000

4. for defective accessories such as headlight, tail light, signal light, brake light, side mirror and horn a fine of P1,000 for the violators.

5. for modifying any part of the original design of a motorcycle or scooter without approval of LTO and the DTI a fine of P2,000

6. Lastly for wearing flip flop, sandals, or slippers fine of P500 for the first offense, P700 for the 2nd offense and p1,000 for the 3rd offense and revocation of driver’s license.

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Subic Bay sets summer sailing series

It will be a sizzling long hot summer at the Subic Bay Freeport as sailing enthusiasts set a series of sailing tournaments in its tranquil waters.

The sailing season kicks off on February 20-22 for the 210-nautical mile Subic to Boracay Regatta, one of the country’s longest and most challenging inter-island races.

This will be followed by the Great Zambales Yachting Challenge sails on March 13-14 from Subic Bay to the northern coast of Zambales passing through the idyllic Capones Island in San Antonio town.

The highlight of the sailing events is the inaugural of the Commodore’s Cup Regatta slated on April 6 at the Subic Bay Yacht Club (SBYC). Immediately preceded by the 565-nautical mile Rolex China Sea Race from Hong Kong to Subic Bay, the Cup will draw international sailors of grand prix keelboats.

The regatta is part of the Asian Yachting Circuit which goes around Asia-Pacific’s best sailing sites.

"It should be noted that in these events, the Philippines, Subic Bay in particular, is ranked as among the best sailing destinations for competition or leisure," said Jesus Avecilla Jr., skipper of the multi-awarded Team Selma Star/C! Calibre sailboat and a prime mover of sailing in Subic.

The 36-foot Selma Star/C! Calibre, the 2006 Beneteau cruiser racer yacht of The Lighthouse Marina Resort, won for three consecutive years top honors in the Borneo International Yachting Challenge which sailed in the Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah. It also won in the maiden voyage of the Singapore Straits Regatta in 2006, as well as in the Manila-Boracay race in 2006 and 2008,

"Aside from these established races, Subic Bay sailing community holds special races to celebrate national holidays such as Independence Day, Ninoy Aquino Day and National Heroes’ Day, to name a few," he added.

Avecilla said that in addition to competitive racing, The Lighthouse Marina Resort offers sailing lessons and leisure cruises to make Subic Bay the country’s top sailing haven. malaya.com.ph

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Victory Liner inaugurates new Pasay Terminal

Victory Liner recently unveiled an improved bus terminal in Pasay as part of its service commitment to provide its passengers with enhanced amenities and greater travel convenience. Located along EDSA in Pasay City near SM Mall of Asia, the new Victory Liner bus terminal will offer a more organized ticketing and dispatcher booth, a relaxing passenger waiting area with better ventilation, lighting as well as fully covered bus bays, ATM machines, clean rest rooms and organized kiosks dedicated to food and drinks.
Right at the entrance, the new terminal will also have an electronic billboard flashing the schedule of bus arrivals. Deluxe bus passengers, meanwhile, will get to enjoy a waiting area with internet and coffee stations. The terminal’s entry and exit points will also be separated to facilitate for a smoother traffic flow into the terminal and out to EDSA.

Bus routes at the Victory Liner Pasay terminal include Baguio, Dagupan, Olongapo, Tuguegarao, Zambales, and Apalit/Guagua. For more information on Victory Liner trip schedules, visit www.victoryliner.com.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010


“Dumating na sa lungsod ang dredging machine na lilinis sa iba’t-ibang mga channels at river ng lungsod,” Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. proudly announced the arrival of the first Olongapo City-owned dredging machine to the residents of Abra St., Brgy. Barretto at the Gordon HELPS Caravan on February 17, 2010.

“Ayon sa mga flood control experts, makatutulong ang desilting sa mga ilog sa lungsod. At ngayong buwan ng Marso ay sisimulan ng gamitin ang dredging machine sa bukana ng Kalaklan River,” added Mayor Gordon.

According to a study done by flood control experts, the over flow of rivers is a result of erosion. Soil, mud, rock and other particles from the mountains are going down making rivers shallow. To prevent river overflows, the dredging machine will be used for regular desilting works in Olongapo City’s rivers and channels, particularly Sta. Rita River, Mabayuan River, Cabalan River, East Bajac-Bajac Channel and Kalaklan River.

The IMS Model 5012 HP Versi Dredge with Patented Starwheel Dredging Machine which was bought by the city government from the United States came in with accessories. “Kung ikukumpara sa isang ordinaryong dredging machine na nasa three hundred (300) meters lamang ang layo ng buhangin na kayang ibuga, ang dredging machine na binili ng city government ay tripleng mas powerful dahil meron itong kapasidad na 1.5 kilometer maximum length of pipe na di hamak na mas malayo ang kayang ibuga na buhangin,” General Service Office (GSO) Head Engr. Vic Bernabe said.

“At bagamat mas maliit sa size ay mas compact naman ito at kayang pumasok kahit na sa mga makikipot na ilog na hindi nagagawa ng isang ordinaryong dredging machine,” the GSO head added.

Meanwhile, heavy equipment personnel of the City Engineering Office (CEO) who will operate the dredging machine will be trained by US instructors who are expected to arrive on February 22, 2010.

In 2007, the City Council passed Resolution No. 114 (Series of 2007) approving the budget allotment for the purchase of the city’s very own dredging machine. The primary reason of the city government for purchasing the machine is to prevent rivers and channels from overflowing.

Mayor Bong Gordon with City Engineer Bobby Alvarez (left), General Service Office (GSO) head Engr. Vic Bernabe (right) Environmental Sanitation and Management Office head Dante Ramos (2nd from right) give the thumbs-up on the arrival of the powerful IMS Model 5012 HP Versi Dredge with Patented Starwheel dredging machine.

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Kids don’t lie. Children residing at Block 14 Gordon Heights listen enthusiastically and react with joy as Mayor James “Bong” Gordon Jr. explains his Urban Basic Services for the Poor programs.

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Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. directed city officials regarding the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) Regional Dir. Raquel Q. Ramos’ request to disseminate information for the Philippine National Police (PNP) bi- annual Entrance and Promotional Examinations which will be held on April 25, 2010.

Interested applicants for the PNP Entrance Examination are required to submit the following documents: Transcript of Records or diploma with Special Order, birth certificate, 2 recent and identical 1 x 1 colored ID pictures with white background and complete name tag.

On the other hand, the PNP Promotional Examinations applicants should submit certified true copy of attested appointment or Plantilla appointment or PNP absorption order, report of rating or certification issued by the NAPOLCOM Central Office or PRC Board Certificate and 2 recent identical 1 x 1 colored picture with white background and complete name tag.

Filing Fees for Interested Applicants:
- PNP Entrance – P400.00
- Police Officer - P400.00
- SPO – P450.00
- Inspector – P500
- Superintendent – P600.00

According to the letter sent by NAPOLCOM Reg. Dir, qualified civilians and PNP personnel should personally file their application forms from February 8 – March 15, 2010 at the NAPOLCOM regional office located at Camp Olivas, San Fernando, Pampanga.


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GORDON: unity, stability and transformation

Palace hopefuls to business: Investment-friendly climate

Bets zero in on curbing corruption, reducing transaction cost

PRESIDENTIAL ASPIRANTS yesterday wooed business leaders by promising an investment-friendly business climate.

Speaking at a presidential forum organized by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industries (PCCI), the candidates vowed to lower the cost of doing business and streamlining procedures.

Only six candidates were present: Senator Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III of the Liberal Party, former president Joseph E. Estrada of Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino, Senator Richard J. Gordon of Bagumbayan, former Defense secretary Gilberto C. Teodoro, Jr. of Lakas-Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino-Christian Muslim Democrats, evangelist Eduardo C. Villanueva of Bangon Pilipinas and Senator Manuel B. Villar, Jr. of the Nacionalista Party.

Four candidates did not confirm their attendance, said organizers. They were: Vetallano Acosta (Kilusang Bagong Lipunan), Senator Ma. Ana Consuelo A. S. Madrigal (independent), Nicanor Jesus P. Perlas III (independent) and John Carlos G. delos Reyes (Ang Kapatiran).

Mr. Teodoro said: "My policy would be to engage the private sector in synergic dialogues and make sure that the measures that have evolved out of these dialogues would be implemented."
He also promised to secondary and tertiary education "so that at postgraduate level they would become efficient members of the private sector," build major thoroughfares to ship goods and simplify business procedures.

For his part, Mr. Villar said he would focus on tourism development, the entry of foreign investments and strengthening labor-intensive sectors.

"The next President should be a good marketing man who is extremely competitive, he said, adding he would prioritize the rationalization of fiscal incentives.

Mr. Aquino, who is tied at the top with Mr. Villar in independent surveys, said his first priority is to eliminate graft and corruption and strengthen law enforcement.

"I will also offer tax breaks for businesses... for example for those that import raw material, VAT (value-added tax) will be imposed at point of sale and not at the time of manufacture," he said.
Mr. Villanueva echoed the war against corruption. "What’s important is the character, will and integrity to implement policies."

He noted the importance of revitalizing the domestic market by providing financial assistance to small and medium enterprises.

Mr. Estrada, who was ousted in 2001 on plunder charges, told businessmen that track record is more important over yet-to-be fulfilled promises.

"During my time we have attained the status of being food self-sufficient. Also during my time there were low levels of kidnapping and carnapping... Are we better off today than in 2000 when I was your President?"

Mr. Gordon, former Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority chairman, zeroed in on a three-way platform: unity, stability and transformation.

"First I would unite the country, stop the war in Mindanao, for there can never be real economic progress for the country if not all issues in all parts of the country are addressed, and I would address corruption and poverty to be able to provide stable living conditions for the citizens. Finally, I would venture on the road to transformation by investing in education and inculcating the value of work ethic in Filipinos," he said.

The presidential candidates also noted the importance of consistency in policies so as not to drive away foreign investments.

Asked about their position on the P7.3-billion tax row between the Bureau of Customs and Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc., all said they are against indiscriminate changes in business policies.

On the issue of amending the Constitution to afford foreigners more access to land, education, professions and the media, all favored adjusting the foreign ownership base to include all proposals except land, which they said, should be reserved for Filipinos.

Miguel B. Varela, PCCI chairman emeritus and head of the organizing committee said in his opening statement, "Job generation, economic recovery, poverty alleviation, and business competitiveness are some of the most pressing issues that the country is facing today. It is important that the next President has definite strategies on how to address these concerns." -- J. F. S. Valdez - bworldonline.com

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JC Gordon Delos Reyes at Payatas sortie

Ang Kapatiran’s JC De los Reyes vows to fight poverty in Payatas sortie

Ang Kapatiran's standard-bearer John Carlos de los Reyes on Tuesday vowed to fight poverty in the party's proclamation rally held in Payatas, Quezon City—site of Metro Manila’s largest garbage dump and home to thousands of urban informal settlers whose livelihoods depend mostly on scavenging the dump.

De los Reyes said the party chose Barangay Lupang Pangako (“Promised Land") in Payatas as the venue of the proclamation rally because it is “a symbol of the failure of the government to address the needs of the poorest of the poor."

“’Yung mga lider dapat bumaba sa taong bayan para malaman nila ang realidad. Dito sa Payatas makikita ang pinaka-inkredibleng realidad ng bansa (Leaders should go down to the people for them to be able to see reality. It is here in Payatas where one can see the country’s most incredible reality)," de los Reyes told GMANews.TV during the rally.

“Nung umikot ako rito, nakita ko na (When I went around the place, I saw that) life here is without dignity, and our fellow Filipinos experience it. Ang sinisimbolo ng Payatas ay isang Pilipinas na lagapak sa kahirapan (Payatas symbolizes a Philippines mired in poverty)," he added.

De los Reyes said he would fight poverty under his administration by empowering barangays (village-level communities)—the smallest administrative division of the government.

“We should empower barangays, because [they] should serve as lifelines for every Filipino—in health, in education and in peace and order," he said.

De los Reyes, a councilor from Olongapo City, said he would do this by allotting more resources for these political units.

“Give them [barangays] resources and autonomy—devolution and decentralization. We need to overhaul the system," he said.

The official proclamation of De los Reyes as the party’s presidential bet was witnessed by about a hundred residents—mostly children and housewives living near the dumpsite—who also benefited from food packs containing bread and pancit distributed during the rally.

The candidacy of the party’s vice-presidential bet Dominador Chipeco and eight senatorial aspirants were also formalized during the rally.

Ang Kapatiran’s senatorial slate include: social scientist Rizalito David; lawyers Jo Imbong, Zosimo Paredes, Grace Plazo and Adrian Sison; Aparri councilor Reginald Tamayo; Col. Hector Tarrazona; and former United Nations executive Manuel Valdehuesa.

Also present during the proclamation rally were the party’s 49 bets for local positions nationwide.—JV, GMANews.TV

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Olongapo City Police Office

Mayor James “Bong” Gordon Jr., Olongapo First Lady and Zambales Vice-Governor Anne Marie Gordon (now running for Congresswoman of the First District of Zambales) and Councilor Ellen Dabu formally turned over the 6 brand new motorcycles donation of the city government to the Olongapo City Police Office last February 15, 2010.

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One hundred and fourteen (114) couples chanted “I do” in unison at the mass wedding ceremonies officiated by Olongapo City Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2010 at the Olongapo City Convention Center (OCCC).

Mayor Bong Gordon also stood as godfather while Olongapo City First Lady and Zambales Vice Gov. Anne Marie Gordon was godmother to the newlyweds. Also there for the ceremonies as sponsors were City Councilors Gina Perez, Ellen Dabu, Rodel Cerezo, Nathan Manalo and Jhong Cortez with City Consultants Bugy delos Reyes, Tet Marzan, Ed Piano, Romy Guerrero and Edna Elane.

“Sa panahon ngayon na mahirap ang buhay ay kinakailangan na ang mag-asawa ay nagtutulungan, kaya naman patuloy ang pamahalaang lokal sa iba’t-ibang programang may kaugnayan sa pagbibigay ng ikabubuhay ng isang pamilya katulad ng trabaho o kaya’y livelihood,” Mayor Bong Gordon said.

Communication between husband and wife is what First Lady Anne Gordon specifically pointed out, “Ang lahat ng problema ng mag-asawa ay kailangang pag-usapan at narito kaming inyong mga ninong at ninang na handang makinig at magbigay ng solusyon sa inyong problema basta lapitan nyo lamang kami sa Mayor’s Office at sa aking tanggapan.”

Meanwhile, the oldest couple in the group Avelino Magante, 72 years old and wife Leonora, 53 years old was chosen to lead the ceremonial cutting of the cake. On the other hand, the youngest couple Carlo Silverio, 23 years old and wife Eleonarda, 18 years old led the ceremonial wine toast.

First Lady Anne at Vice Mayor Cynthia Cajudo handed each couple their gift, envelop bid, grocery bag and food packs that the couples shared together with their guests.

The City Civil Registry headed by Keren Cajudo facilitated the processing of documents with the other city govt. departments concerned.

Since 2004, when Mayor Bong Gordon and First Lady Anne’s mass wedding started, over a thousand couples were united in matrimony through the project.

Mayor Bong Gordon and First Lady Anne Gordon with Vice Mayor Cynthia Cajudo witness the ‘ceremonial cutting of the cake’ by the oldest couple Avelino (72 years old) and Leonora Magante (53 years old) at the ‘’Mass Wedding Ceremony’’ on February 14, 2010 at the Olongapo City Convention Center (OCCC).


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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Zambales access to SCTEx pushed

SUBIC BAY FREE PORT—Former public-works secretary Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. has reiterated calls for the construction of an access road from Zambales province to the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx), saying the proposed connection is “imperative to help Zambales take off in terms of trade, tourism and economic development.”

Ebdane said in an interview with newsmen here during the launch of the fortnightly local newspaper Headline Zambales that a highway connecting to SCTEx “will revolutionize the pace of development in Zambales.”
“As the SCTEx has made the Subic Bay Free Port and the nearby city of Olongapo more accessible to tourists, traders and investors, so will the proposed SCTEx artery do wonders for Zambales,” said Ebdane, who is eyeing the Zambales governorship in the coming local elections.

The SCTEx access project was first broached by Zambales First District Rep. Mitos Magsaysay in a dialog with community leaders in Castillejos, Zambales, last week.

Magsaysay, whose political clan has allied with Ebdane for the May elections, revealed that the Magsaysay-Ebdane coalition is pushing for the construction of a road that would connect Castillejos to the SCTEx.

Castillejos, the second town in south Zambales after Olongapo City, is considered a pivotal location because it links the Zambales highway to the Hanjin shipyard in Subic’s Redondo Peninsula.

Magsaysay added that the proposed road will also benefit billion-dollar tourism-development projects in the area, which are funded by foreign investors.

Ebdane said the proposed Castillejos-SCTEx connection will most likely branch out from the Floridablanca segment in Pampanga and will be about 40 kilometers long.

“In a little more than 30 minutes, tourists could access Castillejos from SCTEx, and from here, could also visit other places in Zambales,” he said.

Ebdane also noted that the only route to Zambales for tourists from Manila often becomes congested during holidays and other peak seasons.

“An express lane must be made to make Zambales more accessible to foreign and local tourists,” he said. “Rather than going the usual route, which is through Olongapo, tourists could use the express lane to avoid traffic. That way, they would have more time to spend on the beautiful tourism attractions in the province.”

In the Castillejos dialog, the former DPWH head also acknowledged that roads and other public infrastructures are “essential to the modernization of rural areas in the province.” Written by Henry Empeño / Correspondent Business Mirror

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Subic-based shipbuilder bags big project anew

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — Subic-based shipbuilder Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction-Philippines, Inc. (HHIC-Phil) bagged another big-time ship construction project, as its reputation for employing skilled and hard-working Filipinos grew with each finished vessel.

According to Hanjin officials, the firm has signed a contract with Hsin Chien Marine Co., Ltd., a Taiwanese shipping company, for the construction of two 180,000-ton Cape-size bulk carrier vessels due for staggered delivery starting September 2011.
Hanjin gained the new contract shortly after unveiling last month MT Leyla K, the first oil tanker to be made in Subic.

As this developed, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Administrator Armand Arreza said the HHIC-Phil, which is now the largest shipbuilder in the Philippines and the fourth biggest in the world, won the new contract because of the well-trained workforce, state-of-the-art technology, highly efficient shipbuilding processes, and high quality of workmanship, which made possible the establishment of a cost-efficient shipbuilding industry here.

“What many foreign investors like about Subic is the competitive workforce,” Arreza explained. “The Philippine labor force is more competitive than those in other Asian countries. And here in Subic Bay, we take pride in our talented and high-quality workers.”
Arreza added that local workers have “high-quality motor and technical skills, are quick learners and hardworking, and they put into practice whatever they learn in training.”

It was gathered that as of yearend of 2009, shipbuilding and marine-related businesses employ some 25,186 workers here.

About 68 percent or 17,000 of these are employed by HHIC-Phil and its sub-contractors, seven of which are among the top 10 employers here.

According to Arreza, shipbuilding and marine-related industries at the Subic Bay Freeport is fast catching up with the services sector in terms of the number of hired workers, as they are also labor-intensive activities. Manila Bulletin - Franco G. Regala

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

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

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

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