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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Krispy Kreme invades the North

People up north – prepare for the sumptuous treat that’s soon to come.
A brand that is known for their World Famous Doughnuts & Coffee since 1937, has invaded Manila! Krispy Kreme is now on its way to the North! Watch out for the opening of Krispy Kreme Marquee Mall, Pampanga.
Known for their Original Glazed doughnut as well as their signature brewed coffee, it’s no wonder why Krispy Kreme has had a steady following. From its humble beginnings 72 years ago at Winston-Salem, North Carolina, it has expanded all over the United States and across the globe, with branches in the United Kingdom, Japan, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Canada, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
In the country, Krispy Kreme was embraced with much excitement when it opened its first branch at Bonifacio High Street in Taguig. As soon as the Hotlight (“hot doughnuts now” a red neon sign when lit means we are making hot Original Glazed doughnuts) flicked on and the conveyor belt began to parade the light, melts-in-your mouth doughnut, doughnut devotees flocked in during the record-breaking opening day which came down in the chain’s history in Asia with the Longest Line, Most Dozen Doughnuts Sold during the opening day and the Earliest Customer to Fall in Line. The feverish reception for the doughnut store, and the soft, luscious Original Glazed made from a recipe that has been a guarded secret since the 1930s, was truly a testament to how much Krispy Kreme has been awaited in the country.
From then until now, the doughnut brand has constantly introduced novel, delectable offerings in partnership with popular snack brands. Fans of Krispy Kreme enjoyed the successful Hershey’s Dark Chocolate, Cookies and Kreme, Reese's Peanut Butter & Kreme doughnut so much it spread like wildfire to other countries such as Malaysia. Currently, Krispy Kreme is offering the special Chocolate Kreme Cakes made with Oreo, the Snickers Classic Doughnut, as well as the Chocolate Cookie Chiller drink also made with Oreo. And with the new products lined up for their customers, Krispy Kreme definitely brings the doughnut experience to mouthwateringly new levels.
“Throughout the years, the mouth-watering delights of Krispy Kreme have never failed to satisfy doughnut devotees everywhere,” notes Gamboa. “And the arrival of the store in Marquee Mall in Pampanga will surely thrill Krispy Kreme lovers as it serves fresh, hot-glazed doughnuts for everyone to enjoy.”
As the Krispy Kreme frenzy continues to spread all over the country, it’s for sure: the sweetest invasion is set to conquer every taste bud out there.
For updates on special promotions, exclusive offers and local events, join the Philippines “Friends of Krispy Kreme” by visiting www.krispykreme.com.ph or call call (632) 8126596. Visit any of the following Krispy Kreme Branches: Bonifacio High Street, Greenhills Shopping Center (Drive-thru), SM Mall of Asia (Main Mall & Drive-thru), Trinoma Cinema Level, SM Megamall, Ayala Avenue, Robinsons Galleria, Gateway Mall, Glorietta 4, SM City Annex (North EDSA), Annex 2 SM Fairvew, 4rd Floor Cinema Level Gateway Mall.

Reden Halili: Family man, public servant

A contractor. A loving father. A public servant.
Redentor "Reden" S. Halili hails from San Nicolas City of San Fernando where he also finished his elementary years. He spent his high school at the Jose Abad Santos High School and went through college at the Holy Angel University in Angeles City and earned a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering in 1984.
After school, he became the supervising engineer of P.A. Baluyut builders until 1987. From l987-89 he was the Project Engineer of Megapolis Construction and at the A.R.G. Construction in 1989-1992. With his expertise in his profession, he was able to put up his own company, R.S.H. Construction.
His wife, Yolibeth Reyes Halili, is very supportive of all his endeavours and so are his children, namely: Sheena Yvette (also known as Sheena Halili in mainstream show-business), Mark Hariden, and Redentor Jr. In 2004 he landed as one of the city's admired and respected councilors.
Small but with a terribly big heart, Reden has a lot of achievements. In 1993’s Oplan Sagip Buhay, he was awarded the Outstanding Service Award by DZRH; P.I.C.E. Outstanding Service Award,1998; Christ In You Ministries, Recognition Award in 1999; SLRCSS’ “Natatanging Mag-anak” in 1999; PICE Committee Chairman PICE National Mid-Year Convention, also in 1999; PICE Leadership Award, in 2000; PICE Outstanding Service Award, in 2000; PICE Chairman, Regional Conference in 2001; PICE Outstanding Service award, in 2002; was part of the DILG 3rd Placer Outstanding Sanggunian National level in 2007 and DILG Local legislative Awardee, Outstanding sanggunian Regional level, also in 2007.
Undoubtedly, with all of Reden's accomplishments he became one of the City of San Fernando's working councilors. Not to mention his legislative achievements and seminars attended, the good councilor has more hopes and aspirations to reach solely for the improvement of his being a true-blooded Fernandino.


Walking the talk

SM Supermalls’ commitment to provide equal service to all its clientele is not just a mission printed on the wall but a truth that reverberates within its malls and personified by its employees.
What others could do only to comply with the laws, SM does with passion and genuine concern. Its constant reminder to mall employees to keep their customers comfortable, be they coming from the poor or those physically challenged, is another effort worth magnifying for others to follow.
With millions of people going to SM malls everyday, there would always be the possibility of a person with disability (PWD) visiting their stores and every employee should all be knowledgeable on how to treat such customers.
PWDs do not need sympathies but other people’s understanding of their rights as human beings. This is what SM would want its employees to bear in mind.
This is how SM walk the talk of real service.


Privatizing the SCTEx

The least we want is for a government agency to handle the operation and maintenance of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) unless we want the longest expressway of the country to suffer the fate of the North Luzon Expressway of old.
The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) is on the right track of keeping the SCTEx a preferred road for travel by privatizing its operation, management and maintenance.
With private concessionaires coming in, the SCTEx will be maintained even as the BCDA will cash in from shares to be used for its debt-servicing.
Let’s just hope that the bidding would not end up failed as it had been several months ago.

Gardening is saving in your own backyard!

====The saying ‘what you sow is what you reap’ applies to both planting and saving======

From the stock market to mutual funds; from ordinary insurance to variable life; from piggy bank to revolutionized saving facilities; and, from supermarket to our backyard discover the way to spend less and boost your savings.
How much would it cost you if you eat vegetables regularly? Aside from the good benefits that these foods give our body, we can in fact save a lot of money if only we grow our own food in our garden.
The saying “what you sow is what you reap” applies to both planting and saving. When our crops mature, we call them harvest. When our saving matures, we call them returns of investment.
A remarkable backyard gardening called ROTA-Veggies or “Gulayan sa Barangay,” organized by the Rotary Club of San Fernando Pampanga, headed by its President Remigio Tuazon and sponsored by PAGCOR and UPLB was launched last October 27, 2009. Folks and students of San Isidro in San Fernando, Pampanga were taught by Dr. Rodel Mahirang the basics of backyard gardening, particularly vegetable breeding and production and also emphasis on organic agriculture. These can somehow help people to be self-reliant particularly in growing their own vegetables.
This activity which may only be a secondary thing to most of us, in fact reminded me a lot of things during my youthful years. I personally made my own plot (garden) during elementary days, which made me experience regular harvests of pechay, talong (eggplant) and kamatis (tomato). I still recall the joy of going home with excitement of bringing my harvest to Mom and had an affirmation that I am capable of doing a successful planting.
People do gardening for different reasons. Others may view gardening as a hobby, a relaxation, a healthy option, or a sense of accomplishment. But as a financial planner, I will view it as a saving facility within our reach which obviously can help us reduce our food budget. With proper garden planning, you can have a fruitful harvest in the proper time. These imply a lot of similarities in the principle of saving. I would say that proper financial planning, which usually starts from right saving, can give yourself a head start of rewards in time for maturity.
As compared to buying a vegetable in the supermarket, a sachet of seed can cost you only P20, but can tremendously save you a lot of money. On saving, you can start by simply dropping a single coin in your child’s piggy bank rather than wait for a huge amount before starting a saving activity.
If planting our own can provide additional peace of mind when we know that the food we eat is safe, then maybe saving through an instrument that we understand well, including its risk and rewards, may just be worth our journey against investment ignorance.
The idea that you are sure of a better health when you know that the food in your garden has been nurtured with more nutrition and freshness will similarly assure you of attaining a good financial future if you are aware that your financial objective is always driven by sincere care and love to nurture your family.
Linking yourself to an activity like gardening may kindle and lift your spirit as a gardener and so does a family provider who works hard to provide a financial success for his family.
With the escalating cost of food, we ought to consider thinking differently by the way we feed ourselves. Growing our own food on our backyard may not be a new thing to us, yet it reminds us of many merit associated with it, thus giving us additional justification to save and give more value to the money spent on the daily food served on our table.

Big Brother by ALEX F. PATIO: Public administration

==== I know that some people will jump on me for this, but I believe that not all public administrators in the land are corrupt or dishonest, stupid or incompetent====

Since the real decision-making power in government has shifted from politics (who gets elected) and even from legislation (what laws are passed) to technical administration, a new citizen movement has erupted upon the scene demanding more participation in the processes of administration. To me, this is perfectly natural and desirable. Citizens have gone, have been forced, where the action is.
Public administrators, with rare exceptions, view citizen participation in government processes with fear and loathing. They see it as a waste of time and money, a source of confusion, and the cause of headaches. Public participation seems too irrelevant to the intellectual and scientific quality of their work. After all, administrators may be compelled to cater to congress, the press, and big business lobbies, but why should they have to interact with ordinary people who contribute nothing to the work they do?
Administrators are wrong to hold this view, I think, but I am not about to invoke the constitution or even courtesy to justify public participation in government. Instead, I wish to appeal to the self-interests of public administrators. I accept their self-interests as perfectly natural. They would not be human if they did not put their self-interest first. So let us skirt mere ethics here and get down to brass tacks.
For the purpose of discussion, I am going to assume that public administrators want to do a good job of serving the public interest. I know that some people will jump on me for this, but I believe that not all public administrators in the land are corrupt or dishonest, stupid or incompetent. Clearly, some are but many are not. Those administrators who are desirous of fulfilling their responsibilities under law are the people I have in mind. Why should they shoulder the admittedly heavy burden of public participation when there are so many ways to evade it?
As I see it, citizen participation and effective public administration go hand in hand. Properly performed, both tend to clarify and reduce the technical complexity in which most government programs are mired. Citizens ask the same basic questions that administrators must ask if they are doing their job right. For example, citizen groups concerned with environmental pollution ask these questions: How much pollution is there? Where does it come from? How does it affect us? What is being done about the problems it causes? Is the situation getting better or worse? If worse, why?
To administer a program, administrators must also employ such basic, clear questions. In a sense, administrators should ask such questions of their subordinates the first thing every morning. To have any chance of getting straight answers, it certainly helps to have people on the outside persistently asking the same questions. If we lose sight of the basic questions, we will all sink in the quagmire of technology, administrators included.
Aggressive citizen action and vigorous administration combined can make a refuse to proceed system respond. Pressure must be consciously orchestrated from the top and the bottom, from inside and out, to make things happen. Administrators, after all, must be wary or they will soon fall under the sway of their subordinates, or of vested interests, or of collusion between the two. To protect and exercise power and initiative, they need room to maneuver. Citizen groups can help provide this flexibility by entering the fray from another direction. They serve as countervailing force against both the technocrats and the vested interests. This can help the administrators buy time to work their own wills. Otherwise, they run the risk of winding up as puppets.
Along with the good news, a prudent administrator will want to hear all the bad news too, simply because it is politically safer than remaining in ignorance. Since broad and diverse participation has the effect of increasing the options open to administrators, and thereby their flexibility and power, they should be prepared to put up with its drawbacks. Yes, public participation is a time-consuming process. But it is a good use of time. Just as it takes fine wine years to mature, it takes a long time to hammer out good public policy. And the process, when completed, delivers policies that stand a chance of actually working in the cold, hard reality of the world.
Since, as I have observed, here in the City of San Fernando, we are lucky enough to have a smart and responsible administrator in the person of Ferdinand Z. Caylao, “Fer” to friends ,who always extends his hands in friendship and cooperation to the public waiting at his door, demanding to be admitted to the process of administration. Rest assured, the public will not be weakened if they do, but rather strengthened. To our dear city administrator, keep up the good work! We salute you for doing exemplary job.

Why CDC was created

If Benny can follow through such initiative with the creation of livelihood projects and such other job-generating programs…the present social and economic hardships brought about by the calamitous events that struck the Metro Clark Area will be greatly alleviated

At this time of great calamity that brings so much social hardships and economic difficulties all around, including in Central Luzon and, in particular, the Metro Clark area (that is, Angeles City, Mabalacat, Porac, Bamban and Capas), it is important to be reminded about why the Clark Development Corporation (CDC) was created. But first, a brief background on how CDC came into being.
CDC came into existence by virtue of Republic Act No. 7227, otherwise known as the Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992, Section 15 of which provides:
“Sec. 15. Clark and Other Special Economic Zones – Subject to the concurrence by resolution of the local government units directly affected, the president is hereby authorized to create by executive proclamation a Special Economic Zone covering the lands occupied by the Clark military reservations and its contiguous extensions as embraced, covered and defined by the 1947 Military Bases Agreement between the Philippines and the United States of America, as amended, located within the territorial jurisdiction of Angeles City, Municipalities of Mabalacat and Porac, Province of Pampanga, and the munici[pality of Capas, Province of Tarlac, in accordance with the provision as herein provided insofar as to the Clark military reservations.
“The governing body of the Clark Special Economic Zone shall likewise be established by executive proclamation” [NOTE: CDC was created by Executive Order No. 80. series of 1993, to serve as the governing body of the Clark Special Economic Zone, now the Clark Freeport and Special Economic Zone by virtue of RA 9400] “with such powers and functions exercised by the Export Processing Zone Authority pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 66, as amended.
“The policies to govern and regulate the Clark Special Economic Zone shall be determined upon consultation with the inhabitants of the local government units directly affected which shall be conducted within six (6) months upon approval of this Act.”
I was the mayor of Angeles City when RA 7227 was being drafted by Congress in 1992. Together with some friends in the affected local government units and in the civic and media groups (I remember in particular Bong Lacson, Sonny Lopez, the late Odi Fabian, and several others), we were consulted and took active part in helping draft the aforementioned provisions, and after the bill had been drafted, I spearheaded the effort to gather the required support of the LGUs and communities for the enactment of the bill into law (RA 7227) containing the aforecited provisions---as a provision therein requires that the support of the LGUs and communities directly affected was needed for the enactment of the bill into law.
As to why CDC was created, the reasons are clearly expressed in the WHEREAS portions of Executive Order No.80 authorizing its establishment, quoted below as follows:
“WHEREAS, the national leadership notes with deep concern the magnitude of the economic and social problems in Central Luzon, particularly in the city of Angeles, and the Municipalities of Mabalacat, Porac, Bamban and Capas, as a result of the Mt. Pinatubo eruptions and the withdrawal of the US Military Forces from Clark Air Base, and the need to address this immediate concern by way of providing employment and livelihood opportunities and resettlement and relocation sites;
“WHEREAS, it is the policy of the Government to accelerate the sound and balanced conversion of the Clark military reservations and its contiguous extensions into productive civilian uses to promote the economic and social development of Central Luzon in particular and the country in general;
“WHEREAS, the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) is mandated by Republic Act No. 7227 (RA 7227), otherwise known as the “Bases
Conversion and Development Act of 1992”, to adopt, prepare, and implement a comprehensive and detailed plan for the conversion of the Clark military reservations and its contiguous extensions consistent with the plans and programs of the national and local governments;
“WHEREAS, it is envisioned that Clark will be converted into an international civil aviation complex, a modern industrial estate, and tourism, trade and business center for Luzon and Asia;
“WHEREAS, the national leadership is cognizant of the vital roles of the private sector and the local government units in the bases conversion program.”
Immediately following the WHEREASes is “Section 1. Creation of the Clark Development Corporation. – A body corporate to be known as the Clark Development Corporation (CDC) is hereby authorized to be formed as the operating and implementing arm of the BCDA to manage the Clark Special Economic Zone (CSEZ)”---thus showing the rationale for the creation of the CDC.
The urgent primary reason for the creation of CDC then, clearly, is “to provide employment and livelihood opportunities and resettlement and relocation sites” for the victims of the calamity by way of addressing their serious economic and social problems and of alleviating their condition and giving them immediate relief.
To implement the specific mandate of CDC, former CDC presidents Antonio Henson (1993-1995) and Romeo S. David (1995-1998) during their respective tenures provided employment and livelihood opportunities for the Aetas, former base workers, and the residents of the directly affected LGUs, to wit: Angeles City, Mabalacat, Porac and Bamban either by hiring them directly or giving them top priority to implement livelihood projects that the CDC developed precisely for the purpose of giving them opportunities to improve their social and economic condition.
This laudable undertaking, however, was discontinued in October 1998 by the successor of former CDC president David and has not been revived since then. I am happy to note, though, that the present CDC president and chief executive officer, my good friend Benigno “Benny” N. Ricafort, appears to have taken initial steps to resume implementation of CDC’s primary mandate. His recent moves toward alleviating the social and economic needs of the Aetas are in that direction.
If Benny can follow through such initiative with the creation of livelihood projects and such other job-generating programs similar to those implemented during Henson’s and David’s time---which saw employment in the Clark Special Economic Zone rising from virtual zero to 56,000 jobs [25,000 actual jobs and 31,000 transient jobs] by the third quarter of 1998---the present social and economic hardships brought about by the calamitous events that struck the Metro Clark Area will be greatly alleviated.
And CDC will have then fully lived up to its original mandate. How about it, Benny? Agyu tamu ine, abe.
Mabuhay and see you again next week.

Friday, October 30, 2009

BCDA bids out SCTEX operation, maintenance

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO --- The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) has called on prospective bidders for the management, operations and maintenance of the country’s longest tollway, the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX).
Last year, BCDA held two failed biddings for the O&M contract. It then negotiated a procurement process for the temporary management of the tollroad with the Tollways Management Corp.
First Philippine Holdings Corp., Egis Road Operation and TMC served as interim service provider for six months. Their contract was renewable for another six months.
Meanwhile, SCTEX spokesperson Roberto Gervacio said that the term period for the SCTEX O&M is yet to be determined, but it is likely that it will be good for 10 years.
The O&M contract bidding is scheduled before the end of the year.
Interested private firms to partner with BCDA in running the SCTEX will have until Nov. 6, 2009 to secure the required terms of reference (ToR) after payment of a non-refundable fee of P250,000 per set.
According to the ToR, the winning bidder will bear the operational funding requirements for the management, operations and maintenance of the SCTEX, including periodic maintenance works, special, major, emergency works and all other additional works, and insurance.
Also, the private sector partner will provide management services, toll collection, traffic safety and security management, tollroad maintenance, including greenery and landscaping, and other related services.
Potential operators must have an approved budget for the contract in the amount equal to 12.2 percent of the 10-year projected toll revenues.
After the Nov. 6 deadline to secure a ToR, bidders are expected to attend a pre-bid conference on Nov. 10, 2009, at the BCDA Corporate Center, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.
BCDA financed the construction of the 93.77-kilometer tollroad through a P21-billion loan from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).
The road is a four-lane divided tollway consisting of two parts; the 50.5-km., four-lane Subic-Clark section; and the 43.27-km., four-lane Clark-Tarlac portion.
The Subic-Clark segment was opened last April 28, 2008 while the Clark-Tarlac segment was opened last July 25, 2008.
With the opening of the entire SCTEX, motorists from Manila can now travel straight to Subic Bay via a seamless connection from the NLEX and the Subic Freeport Expressway in Tipo. Likewise, motorists can also exit at SCTEX interchanges in Dinalupihan, Bataan; Mabalalcat, Pampanga; and the municipalities of Concepcion, San Miguel and Tarlac City in Tarlac.
(Albert B. Lacanlale)

PGMA to grace 2nd NICP summit in Clark

CLARK FREEPORT— President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will grace the 2nd National Information and Communication Technology Confederation of the Philippines (2nd NICP) Summit 2009 from November 5-7 at the Fontana Convention Center here.
The summit, to be hosted by the Metro Clark ICT Council (MCICTC) chaired by George Sorio, Sr. Executive Vice President of Cyber City, is in recognition of the important role of the ICT in advancing today’s growing business activities here and abroad.
The Clark Development Corporation (CDC) and Cyber City Teleservices, Inc., the leading business process outsourcing firm here, are spearheading the summit, which aims to realize President Arroyo’s vision to make the Philippines globally competitive in the ICT industry.
CDC President Benigno Ricafort said the event is fully supported by the state-owned corporation as the Freeport is envisioned to be the center for the ICT industries and other related investment projects in the country.
MCICTC, according to Sorio, is a member of the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP), which represents the national venue of united partnership for the Philippines ICT industry. The NICP is the hub of super regions in Asia with ready Information Technology platforms for investment destinations.
There are at least 4,000 delegates expected to join the 2nd NICP Summit and Convergence 2009. The 2nd NCIP Summit 2009 and Convergence 2009 is a back to back event which is being organized by the National ICT Conference of the Philippines (NCIP) and spearheaded by CDC, MCICTC, and Cyber City.
The three-day summit is also being supported by the Commission on Information and Communications Technology and sponsored by Peregrine Global Gateways, ComClark, and Savers Group of Companies. The two events be will be participated by wide variety of sectoral members of ICT in the academe, ICT-related business industries and other related investment projects in the country
Organizers include the Department Trade and Industry (DTI), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Clark Investors and Locators Association, Philippine Society of Information Technology and Educators (PSITE), Fontana Leisure Parks, Technology Education and Skills Development Authority, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), Stotsenburg Hotel, Angeles City Government, Mabalacat Government, and Smartmatic.
The event, Sorio said, is a broad collaboration among industry players, supporting the legal and regulatory environment for the Philippines ’ ICT industry structure, impediments to growth and recommended undertakings for sustainable development are eyed to be some of the areas of discussions during the summit.
“It will open doors to businesses and to be attended by various professionals and experts in the following area such as the ICT professionals, ICT companies, trade and professional organizations, consultants and experts, business people, government leaders and various schools, colleges and universities,” Sorio said.

Marikina, Manila flood victims urged to relocate in Mabalacat

MABALACAT, Pampanga---Mayor Marino “Boking” Morales urged flood victims in Manila and Marikina to relocate in the flood-free areas of this town.
Morales made these statements during the opening of Fiesta Communities, another housing project of Hausland Development in Barangay Tabun here.
Morales said the flood victims can be accommodated in the northern portion of Mabalacat where low-cost housing projects such as Xevera Mabalacat of real estate developer Globe Asiatique and Fiesta Communities are located.
The northern portion of Mabalacat is being pump-primed as “Makati of the North.”
"I’m inviting our cabalens in Metro Manila na naapektuhan nitong nakaraang pagbaha na dito na lamang sa Mabalacat sila manirahan dahil hindi po tayo binabaha, mataas ang lugar natin," said Morales.
“Kung nagtatrabaho po kayo sa Manila it will take you only 45 minutes [to travel to anf from Manila] using NLEX,” he said.
“Marami po kaming mga private subdivision na magaganda at mura pa dito sa Mabalacat katulad ng Xevera Mabalacat, Metro Clark Homes, St. Remys for low cost housing and for those who can afford, we have the executive villas, Brentwood, Buena Vista, Arrowville, Robinson Homes, Claremont, Harencia de Julieta and many more,” said Morales.
Morales said the proximity of Mabalacat to Clark and Subic Freeport and the presence of the government’s flagship projects like the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) and the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) make their town an ideal place for residential and commercial use.
Vice President Noli de Castro and comedian Jimmy Santos have attended the opening of the Fiesta Communities housing projects. Morales acknowledged De Castro’s efforts to provide decent and affordable housing to the Filipinos with a certificate of recognition.
"Basta’t may puso ka sa mga mahihirap tiyak wala kang talo sa eleksyon at kaya si Mayor Boking sigurado ko panalo na naman iyan sa nalalapit na halalan dahil kitang-kita ko ang pagmamahal niya sa ating mga mahihirap na kababayan,” said De Castro.

Pampanga’s bamboo development project in full swing

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO --- In its bid to fully explore and tap the potentials of bamboo processing and utilization technology, the Pampanga Bamboo Development Council (PBDC) recently conducted a three-day technology forum and dialogue with concerned business establishments, government agencies and other stakeholders in the province.
Dubbed Technology Forum and Dialogue on Bamboo Processing and Utilization Technology, the activity was spearheaded by the Council’s technical working group for marketing and processing in line with the provincial government’s on-going bamboo development project.
According to Mary Michelle Quiambao, provincial head of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and member of the TWG on marketing and processing, the forum’s participants were briefed by Marietta Ocampo, officer-in-charge of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist’s (OPA) planning division on the salient points of the Pampanga bamboo development plan which aims to realize the full potential of planting and producing bamboo to maximize its commercial and environmental benefits.
Quiambao said that during the activity, Robert Natividad, Forest Products Research and Development Institute (FPRDI) chief of mechanical processing and product development division, presented the various components of bamboo as a raw material and its local sources and distribution; technologies of FPRDI in bamboo processing and utilization including bamboo treatment, drying and bending, products, processing equipment and finishing facilities.
A technical presentation on bamboo engineered products was made by Dr. Rico Jariel Cabangon, FPRDI’s chief of the engineered products section while Ma. Cielito Sindalan, FPRDI’s chief of technology promotions and industry relation section of the technical services staff, presented the Institute’s various services which the participants could avail themselves of.
Quiambao, on the other hand, briefed the participants on the DOST’s Small (Micro,Small and Medium) Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) which provides assistance to target enterprises in the province.
After these presentations, the participants then underwent a science and technology action planning workshop facilitated by Forester Medardo Centeno, also of FPRDI.
Representing 11 manufacturing companies based in the Cities of Angeles and San Fernando, Calibutbut in Bacolor, Concepcion in Lubao, and other member-agencies of the TWG such as Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Provincial Cooperative and Entrepreneurial Development Office (PCEDO), OPA and DOST, the group identified the specific technical assistance and services they need relative to the bamboo development project.
Among the services requested are technical assistance on bamboo treatment, drying and bending, product development, identification, evaluation and acquisition of processing equipment, wood finishing and installation of finishing spray booth.
An on-site dialogue with six firms who signified interest for a one-on-one consultation was conducted during which the following technical concerns were raised: identification of bamboo’s right maturity for processing, drying schedule, cold and hot bending techniques, lamination techniques, preservation and treatment and required processing equipment.
One of the forum’s participants, Alberto Dizon of Calfurn Manufacturing Philippines, Inc., said that he “appreciates the conduct of the said activity as he looks forward to new products that will be developed and launched in the export market.”
Dizon added that especially during these tough times of global competition, continuous product development is a must for manufacturing firms.
Jack Tungul, officer of the Chamber of Furniture Industries of the Philippines (CFIP) – Pampanga Chapter, shared Dizon’s appreciation of the PBDC-sponsored activity as he requested the DOST’s full support in the Chamber’s upcoming project.
Other firms which participated in the said activity were Beng Designs, Distinctive Designs Inc., Vivere Lifestyles Company Inc., DiseƱo Pacifico Furniture and Currey International Inc., all in Angeles City; Country Accents Inc. and Aquino Basket Shop, both in Calibutbut, Bacolor; RSU Furniture in the City of San Fernando; Mallari’s Nursery Furniture in Concepcion, Lubao; South Sea Veneer Inc. and More Than a Chair Inc. in Mabalacat.
Quiambao assured the participants that all science and technology interventions requested during the said activity will be included in the Provincial Bamboo Development Plan and also in the DOST-Pampanga’s targets for 2010. (www.pampangacapitol.com)

CDC trains Aetas for eco-tourism activities

CLARK FREEPORT – The Clark Development Corporation (CDC) spearheaded the training of 18 Aetas on eco-tourism as part of the state-owned firm’s development of the Next Frontier in the Sacobia Valley .
CDC Tourism and Promotions Office Manager Noemi Garcia said the Aetas were brought to the JEST Camp inside the Subic Freeport and underwent a one-day training on eco-tourism.
She said the participants in the eco-tourism training also took a crash course in survival training and capped the activity with a trek of the JEST Camp’s mountainous area.
Garcia said the Aetas were the same group that has successfully completed a course on tour guiding. They are now employed at the Clark Museum as tour guides.
CDC President Benigno N. Ricafort said part of their training was a tour to various national museums “to benchmark and observe” the work of curators and guides.
Ricafort added that the 18 Aetas have been selected as tour guides after an extensive training spearheaded by the CDC, in cooperation with the Department of Tourism (DOT) Region III office last June 15 to 19, 2009.
Last August this year, more than 100 Aetas and residents of the Sacobia Valley here have applied for security force for the Next Frontier area.
Ricafort said the hiring of Aeta security personnel is one of the CDC’s measures to provide livelihood programs for indigenous people in the Next Frontier area.
Dubbed “Special Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit Active Auxiliary” (SCAA), the project is a recruitment of Ayta Security Detail for the Next Frontier, Ricafort said.
Ricafort said the SCAA is a collaboration program of the state-owned firm with the Philippine Army’s 7th Infantry Battalion, the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Air Force.
He said more than 100 Aetas, including non-Aeta residents, have applied in the program, adding that a total of 88 personnel will be hired for the SCAA project.
Ricafort reported that the applicants have trained at Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija for 45 days, added that the CDC will provide for the trainees’ allowances and other incidentals for the duration of their stay in Fort Magsaysay.
The CDC president said the initial scope of SCAA personnel is “to assist and provide security to the surveying and engineering personnel to complete the land-marking of the Next Frontier Master Development Plan.”
Also, the SCAA is expected “to assist and provide security to the surveying and engineering contractors for the construction of the road infrastructure that will be funded with the advance rental payments of the Next Frontier investors.”
“The SCAA project is related to the CDC’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program for the Next Frontier,” Ricafort said, citing the recent hiring of 18 Aetas to serve as tour guides inside the Freeport and their eco-tourism training at the Subic Freeport.

SM Pampanga commits extra care for PWD clients

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO --- SM City Pampanga last week held a seminar among its service personnel on how to give proper care to customers who have “special needs.”
SM Pampanga Assistant Mall Manager John Lo said the mall’s initials also stand for “Service-oriented Mall” and everyone working with it should live up to this principle.
Pastor Tito Songco, president of Akap Pinoy, was among the invited speakers in the seminar held at the mall’s Event Center.
Roselle Sarmiento, SM Pampanga’s public relations officer, said the seminar aims to equip employees of SM on how to handle people with special needs or those categorized as persons with disability (PWD).
Songco explained to the employees the basic tenets of the law that provides equal opportunities for PWDs to move normally in the society free from prejudice and abuse.
PWD Provincial Coordinator Antonietta Gomez, who also works with the Inocencio Magtoto Foundation, an establishment for PWDs and orphans, said SM Pampanga has been adhering to laws providing facilities to make movement easier for the handicapped.
Due to its effort to provide excellent service to persons with special needs, SM Supermalls has been awarded an Apolinario Mabini Award in 2008.
(Albert B. Lacanlale)

CIAC welcomes Hong Kong top tour operators

CLARK FREEPORT --- Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) President and CEO Victor Jose I. Luciano welcomed Top Tour Operators from Hong Kong who arrived October 25 on Zest Air Flight Z2-084 at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA).
The Airbus A-320 aircraft arrived at DMIA at about 8:30 in the evening Sunday with the Chinese delegation consisting of travel agents who explored the tourism destinations in Clark, Subic and Central Luzon
Zest Air last Saturday held their inaugural flight via daily Clark-Hong Kong route at DMIA and is the newest local air carrier to commence full commercial operations at the 2,367 hectares Clark Civil Aviation Complex.
Luciano personally met the Chinese delegation at DMIA sponsored by JIMEI operator of Fontana Leisure Parks and Resort at Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga.
“JIMEI through its world-famous Fontana Resort is a major partner of Clark and has contributed in no small measure to the development of Clark as a big tourist destination of the Philippines,” Luciano told during simple welcome ceremonies held at DMIA Terminal.
Luciano said that “JIMEI has employed thousands of Filipinos coming from the cities towns nearby and its continuous development of many facilities is making Clark now a favorite for business meetings and large conferences.”

UA tandem reigns AASP badminton cup

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO --- The University of the Assumption (UA) Junior Pelicans doubles team reined the 11th Association of Archdiocesan Schools of Pampanga meet (AASP) badminton competition, girls division, over the weekend at the Archbishop Emilio Cinense gymnasium, this city.
The tandem of Ma. Luciana Garcia and Rochellie Manalo, both second year high schools students from UA remained undefeated going into the finals facing their rivals from St. Augustine Academy of Pampanga (SAAP) from Floridablanca town.
During the finals, Garcia and Manalo gave no breather to their opponents, closing the championship match in two straight sets.
Also, Eryl Arenas (UA singles A), playing her final AASP tournament bested other participants in her division.
Arenas beat Marielle Nucum of St. Andrews Academy from Candaba town in the finals while Diana Maguicay (UA singles B) placed second after losing to Krissa Limson of St. Andrews Academy in their final match.
Meanwhile, AASP meet is an annual gathering of all Archdiocesan schools in the province with sports, cheerdance and cultural competitions.
It aims to develop the spirit of unity and cooperation among the students and teachers including administrators and employees of the Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Pampanga through sports, cultural and other competitions.
For this year, St. Catherine Learning Center in Porac town was designated as the host school while the games and other activities were housed at the UA gymnasium.
There was also a Marian and Bible quiz to develop a renewed love and devotion to the Mother God and the Bible among the students, teachers, administrators and employees as well as their families.
For his part, AASP Superintendent and UA President Bishop Roberto Mallari said AASP meet is a part of the month-long Catholic Education Consciousness celebration.
The prelate said that this is to highlight and promote the distinctive contributions of Catholic Education in the Archdiocese as well as to provide a venue for sharing and shaping of Catholic identity of Catholic schools and in making religion as the core of the curriculum.
He also said that this will also forge cooperation among parish leaders and catholic administrators in the promotion of catholic education and to develop a spirit of unity and cooperation among the administrators, teachers, employees and students of catholic schools in the Archdiocese.
“Let us join hands in making Catholic education an important mould into which our children will be formed as responsible Christian leaders and professionals, agents of peace and social change,” said Mallari.
(Raymond C. Garcia)

UA celebrates PE Day

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO --- “All work and no play makes Jepoy a dull boy.”
This holds true for the University of the Assumption (UA) as they celebrated their annual Physical Education (PE) Day with more challenges as well as physical activities lined up for both the whole day’s program.
The said event was highlighted by the annual search for the Mr. and Ms. PE led by Edwino Visoyo.
According to UA PE Chair May Flores, Mr. and Ms. PE is different from other beauty contest. According to her, aspirants were not only required to show off their talents and beauties on stage but also to perform well on every challenge they have to do.
Flores also said that each challenges has its corresponding point that each aspirant can acquire.
“At the end of the day, each candidates’ accumulated points on the challenges will be tallied and will be added to their total score at the pageant night,” Flores said.
During the coronation night, Sarah Soliman from the School of Arts and Sciences emerged as this year’s Ms. PE while Michael Fernando from the School of Business was named Mr. PE.
Other winners include Ms. Sound Body Marian Cunanan (Best in Talent and Best in Fitness Attire); Mr. Sound Body Jessel Malonzo (Best in Creative Top); Ms. Sound Mind Cassandra Franco; Mr. Sound Mind Justine Bayani; Ms. Sound Spirit Cherrie Ann Mendoza; Mr. Sound Spirut Roiniel Gigante; Creative Top Kahtlene Laxamana; Best in Casual Wear Jemma Urbano; Ms. Photogenic Fatima Khokwhala; and Mr. Photogenic Marco Dizon, among others.
On other activities, Arki 1A placed number on banner making contest while Arki 1B and ACC 1E placed second and third respectively. Educ 2A placed first in UA Got Talent Competition edging over MM 2A and HRM 1D which placed second and third.
Also, Keith Cristine Rodriguez, Charina Mariano, Angelica Mamangun, Lea Bondoc and Jenelyn Garcia completed the top five for the Aero Marathon.
Meanwhile, UA PE teachers also include Ritazita Vitug, Rowena Allam, Elizer Camaya, Maria Ana Dizon, Rommel Rivera, among others.
(Raymond C. Garcia)

Palace orders release of P10-M to SK for reforestation

SUBIC FREEPORT – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on October 28 directed the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to release P10 million to the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) for the government’s reforestation project.
The Chief Executive issued the order at this morning’s 2009 SK National Congress at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center, where more than 4,000 SK members attended. A warm welcome and a long warm of applause greeted the President as the young leaders affirmed their support to the initiatives of the government.
The P10 million fund will be sourced from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) reforestation project, which was set up to mitigate the impact of climate change.
Last year, the President also released P10 million for SK’s Sama-Sama sa Kalikasan to launch the Green Philippines Campaign.
She told the young leaders that their internal revenue allotments (IRA) have been increased this year due to the fiscal reforms the government had initiated in previous years. She cited the significance of value added tax that provides funding for various government projects and services.
President Arroyo noted that government has released more than P150 billion in eight years for its microfinance project for micro credits that will benefit the micro entrepreneurs in the countryside.
“The SK can give technical support to help more young would-be micro entrepreneurs access to these micro finance funds,” she said.
She also encouraged the SK to take an active role in waste management.
According to the President the government is expanding coverage of the Pantawid sa Pilipinong Pamilya Program (4Ps). She urged youth leaders to take part in the project by monitoring and making sure that beneficiaries in their communities are doing their duties under the program initiated by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
The government wants to increase the number of families enrolled in the program from 700,000 to one million.
Earlier, the President took part in the awarding ceremonies of youth leaders who made outstanding contributions in their own bailiwick.

CEB allots 100,000 seats for P1 seat sale to all destinations

The Philippines’ leading airline Cebu Pacific (CEB) offers a “Go Lite” P1 seat sale to all international and domestic destinations from October 31 to November 2, 2009, or until the allotted 100,000 seats are sold out. Travel period is June 15-September 30, 2010.
CEB flies the most routes and destinations in the Philippines, including Siargao, Laoag, Roxas, Virac (Catanduanes), Naga (Camarines Sur), Busuanga (Palawan), Cauayan (Isabela) and Kalibo (Boracay).
The trademark P1 seat sale also covers all of CEB’s 14 international destinations namely: Kota Kinabalu, Taipei, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Guangzhou, Ho Chi Minh, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Busan, Shanghai, Incheon and Osaka.
CEB flies to Hong Kong and Singapore direct from Manila, Cebu and Clark.
Passengers with check-in luggage will just add P100 upon booking. The P1 fare is exclusive of government taxes and administration fees.
“CEB’s piso seat sale gives even more people an opportunity to fly. It is our early Christmas present, and our way of saying thank you to the overwhelming support from our passengers,” said Candice Iyog, CEB VP for marketing and distribution.
“We also hope to stimulate local tourism, since the seat sale is available from international markets as well. Now, international travelers can come to the Philippines and discover the many exciting destinations we can offer,” she added.
She encouraged everyone to act fast and book the P1 seats online. This promotion is only available via www.cebupacificair.com or through travel agents using the Amadeus global distribution system.
Passengers without credit cards can also book online and pay via Bancnet Online or over-the-counter transactions at Banco de Oro.
Gokongwei-owned CEB has a fleet of 21 Airbus A320 and 8 ATR72-500 aircraft. It is the youngest aircraft fleet in the Philippines and one of the youngest in Asia.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

SM reviews mall guards; assures shoppers safety

CLARK FREEPORT--- Officials of SM Supermalls, which is operating two giant shopping malls in Pampanga, have assured the public that they are doing everything to ensure the safety of their shoppers while inside their premises.
This statement came in the light of the recent robbery attempt on a store of expensive watches inside the Greenbelt 5 shopping center in Makati City.
Engineer Antolin Paule, senior vice president for Engineering & Design and Security Affairs of SM Supermalls, led a tactical inspection Friday of the more than 300 combined security personnel of SM City Clark and SM City Pampanga.
Paule said the inspection was a routine activity of the SM Management to ensure that the security guards, whose services they acquire from well-known security agencies, constantly adhere to standard operating procedures in safe-keeping the SM malls, its tenants and merchants. Last March, a similar inspection was conducted.
Paule scrutinized the uniform and equipment of each security guard, including their first aid kits attached on their belts.
Roselle Sarmiento, public relations officer of SM City Pampanga, said the inspection was held not because of the Greenbelt 5 incident but because it has been a constant practice of SM’s management.
“This is how we remind our security personnel to maintain discipline for the sake of our mall-goers,” Paule said in an interview.(By Albert B. Lacanlale )

Mexico council enacts Children Welfare Code

MEXICO, Pampanga --- This town is now taking pride in calling itself a child-friendly municipality.

This after the enactment of an ordinance called “THE CHILDREN’S WELFARE CODE OF THE MUNICIPALITY OF MEXICO,” penned by the town’s two lady councilors, Trina T. Dizon and Lourdes G. Sicat.

The Code was introduced to the public on October 19 in time with the Children Welfare Week Celebration.

Approved by Mayor Teddy C. Tumang last October 15, the Code ensures the rights of children to survival, protection, participation and development.

“These are the core rights of children we must be give high priority on,” Dizon and Sicat said.

Under the Code a Municipal Council for the Protection of Children will be established. Its membership will include the mayor as chairman; and the Sangguniang Bayan chairpersons of the Committee on Women, Children and Family, Health, and Education.

The Council, as an integral part of the implementation of the ordinance, will see to it that is: fosters education of every child in every barangay; encourages the proper performance of duties of parents and provide learning opportunities on the adequate rearing of children and on positive parent-child relationship; protects and assists abandoned, maltreated and abused children and monitor cases filed against child abusers and report the same; and, protects working children from abuse and exploitation, among others.

To sustain its operation, the council will be given an allocation one percent of the annual municipal budget or thru a supplemental budget.

Barangay councils will also be given active role in the protection of children’s rights, the authors said.

Under the Code, the municipal government is also mandated to establish the programs and initiatives to contribute to the survival and development of the children such as the sustained monitoring of registration of births and completion of the immunization series for the prevention of tuberculosis, diphtheria, pertusis, tetanus, measles, polio myelitis, hepatitis and such other diseases for which vaccines have been developed for administration to children up to six years of age.

The local government unit will also have to provide facilities where children of working parents can be taken cared of during the day, and whenever feasible, a facility where children up to six years of age of parents working at night can be taken care of during the night.

Strict implementation of the ASIN LAW in the town will also follow after the passage of the Code. A fine of up to P5,000, plus one year imprisonment will be meted to violators of the law that requires the use of iodized salt by either a salt producer, manufacturer, importer or trader that uses salt in their business.

The authors said the protection of the children is a must in every locality that is eyeing genuine development in the future. (By Albert B. Lacanlale)

JQ cleared from rape raps; attends SP session

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO --- Embattled provincial board member Johnny Quiambao appeared in public again on October 19 to attend the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) weeks after being absent from public eye amid an accusation of raping a minor.

In his speech at the start of the SP session, Quiambao thanked his fellow members of the board for allowing him to extend his official leave of absence.

“I am deeply grateful for this kind of understanding of the predicament I was in during this period when I had to thresh out and settle some personal problems which have nothing to do with my official function as member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan,” Quiambao said in his statement.

Quiambao has been cleared by a regional trial court of the rape case levelled against him by a woman whom he has given financial assistance “but never known personally”.

Last October 7, Judge Adelaida Ala-Medina of the RTC Branch 45 in the City of San Fernando dismissed the case filed against Quiambao after State Prosecutor II, Giselle Marie Geronimo, filed a motion to withdraw the charges against the provincial legislator.

Geronimo’s motion was made following the filing of an affidavit of desistance by Quiambao’s alleged victim.

Quiambao said he prays for the issue to be put to rest as he bared plans to quit politics in favor of his family whom he left in Canada.

He clarified that his leave of absence was not due to the rape case he faced but to attend important family gatherings abroad.

In reporting back to his duties in the province, Quiambao immediately filed a resolution seeking the allocation of P50 million for the province’s typhoon-hit agriculture sector.

In his proposed resolution, Quiambao said the P50 million would boost the ability of farmers to rebound from the past calamities that submerged several farmlands especially those in low-lying areas of the province. (By Albert B. Lacanlale)

Boking wants Mabalacat folk priority in GGLC labor force

CLARK FREEPORT --- Mabalacat Mayor Marino “Boking” Morales has asked the officials of Kuwait Gulf and Links (KGL) to prioritize the hiring of Mabalacat residents once the 167-hectare Global Gateway Logistics City becomes operational.
Morales met with Dennis Wright, President of Peregrine Development International, recently at the Logistics complex designed to provide a world-class logistics and services hub in the Asia Pacific region. Wright said the logistics project is expected to generate 70,000 jobs for Filipinos.
“We are taking advantage of this great employment opportunity. I asked the GGLC officials to prioritize the hiring of Mabalaquenos,” said Morales.
The town of Mabalacat has a pool of English-speaking and highly talented workforce that can fill up jobs at the GGLC, according to Morales.
The development of a logistics and services hub in Clark is being supported by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo who graced the groundbreaking for the $1.025 billion Global Gateway Logistics City at the 2,500-hectare Clark Civil Aviation Complex .
The logistics project will complement the national government's grand plan to develop a logistics and services hub in the Subic-Clark Corridor and the development of the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA).
The agreement paves the way for the creation of some 70,000 jobs and would benefit the surrounding communities of Clark Freeport Zone as well as the Northern and Central Luzon. DMIA is being geared as the next Premier International Gateway and Logistics Hub.
The first stage of the project costs $25 million for the development of infrastructure such as roads, lights, fence, landscape, sidewalks, utilities, and access points. The second stage will cost about $1 billion for the construction of facilities and buildings.
The KGL project will be an aviation-related and dependent businesses including but not limited to warehousing, distribution, multi-nodal logistics, light manufacturing alongside complementary business operations and facilities to support aviation-related activities within the Civil Aviation Complex of the airport.
KGL will occupy at least 167 hectares of land within the civil aviation complex for the development of a combined use logistics hub and techno park. The project is located at the Industrial Estate Five near the Yokohama Tire Philippines and other Japanese firms in the area. KGL Investment Company is an international alternative investment firm engaged in private equity; venture capital and investment banking.
KGL is a global leader with over 50 years of experience in transportation, logistics, stevedoring, passenger transport, warehousing, supply chain management and port operations. KGL's current operations include Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Tunisia, Oman, Namibia, Morroco, Pakistan, Germany, Ireland, Cayman, Mauritius and Egypt.

100 senior citizens barred from using chapel

STO. TOMAS, Pampanga – More than 100 senior citizens here decried what they described as an “insensitive act” against the elderly after they were barred from using the San Vicente Chapel for their regular meeting and prayer sessions on Oct. 18.
San Vicente Senior Citizens Group President Supring Galang lamented that his members of more than 100 had to stay under the rains while waiting for Barangay Pastoral Council President Joba Basilio to allow them to enter the chapel premises.
Galang said his members were forced to seek shelter in the cramped shade of the barangay mortuary.
He said his group has been regularly using the chapel for their meetings and prayer sessions. Galang added that he was surprised when Basilio prevented them from entering the chapel.
Galang also said three of his members Elsa Jimenez, Estelita Zapata, and Teresita Fernandez, who also belong to the Barangay Pastoral Council, had already made reservations with the San Vicente Chapel administration.
“What I cannot understand is why Basilio had barred us from using the chapel when in fact our group has been using the area regularly. And what’s worse is that my members had to bear the cold and rains as we were forced to wait outside,” Galang said.
Galang said his members had decried the incident saying Basilio should have not allowed the elderly to wait under the rain. The members also lamented that being exposed to the elements make the elderly prone to various illnesses.

‘The world will help RP recover’

CANDABA, Pampanga – The United Nations-World Food Program (UN-WFP) assured President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Thursday the whole world is united in helping victims of typhoons “Ondoy” and “Pepeng.”
“The WFP will always be here to support the government of the people of the Philippines to recover and rebuild and to make sure (they receive) basic necessities from us,” UN-WFP executive director Josette Sheeran said in her opening statement.
Sheeran said the United Nations still believes in the strong spirit of the Filipino people to recover from the tragedy because “the Filipino people are incredible she said. You have determination; you are resilient; and in fact, you will not give up,” she said.
“So…we are firm and united in saying that we are here for the people of the Philippines and the world has been with you,” Sheeran assured.
Upon arrival at Ms. Earth Park at Barangay Mandasig here, the President inspected the food assistance packages from the UN-WFP and led in their distribution to the residents of Candaba.
Assisting the President in the distribution of relief goods were Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, Social Work and Development Secretary Esperanza Cabral, Candaba Mayor Jerry Pelayo, Pampanga 4th District Rep. Anna York Bondoc, UN-WFP regional director Keno Oshidari, UN-WFP country director Stephen Anderson, and actress-model and UN-WFP Ambassador Against Hunger KC Concepcion.
Aside from Candaba, other Pampanga municipalities/recipients of UN-WFP assistance are Apalit, Arayat, San Luis, Minalin, Macabebe, Masantol, Guagua, and San Simon.

PHO advocates family planning for a healthier, better life

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO --- The Pampanga Provincial Health Office (PHO) continuously pursues its advocacy campaign on family planning in line with the government’s efforts to promote maternal and child health care and ensure a better life among the target populace in the province.
According to Sevilla Tangcuangco, nurse IV and family planning coordinator of PHO, the office conducted briefings and orientations among high school and college students and business establishments in the province last August.
Leaflets and other information, education and communication materials were also distributed to the target clientele as part of the health office’s information campaign.
“We encourage married couples to practice family planning and have a maximum of three children,” Tangcuangco said as she stressed that three years of birth spacing helps prevent infant and maternal mortality.
Family planning contributes to the promotion, improvement and maintenance of safe motherhood and child care and development, she added. (Raymond C. Garcia)

Farmer groups go for bio-fertilizer production

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO --- The Pampanga provincial government recently turned over the initial 12 units of shredders to various farmers’ organizations in different towns of the province in line with its bio fertilizer production project.
In ceremonies held at the Provincial Engineering Office (PEO) compound in this city, Pampanga Governor Eddie T. Panlilio signed the memoranda of agreement with chairmen of the farmers’ organizations effecting the implementation of the bio fertilizer production project through the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA).
Acting Provincial Agriculturist Crispin Guintu said that the chairmen of the farmers’ organizations received the shredders from the governor, to wit: Fidel David of Bangon San Matias MPC in San Matias, Sta. Rita; Nestor Garcia of Lambac MPC in Lambac, Guagua; Manuel Fajardo of Sanduguan MPC in the City of San Fernando; Aquino Gozun of Lacmit MPC in Lacmit, Arayat; Benjamin Bautista of San Jose Malino Irrigators Association in San Jose Malino, Mexico; Jose Paguinto of Pansinao Corn Growers Cooperative in Pansinao, Candaba; Rene Garcia of Sapa San Vicente MPC in San Vicente, Sto.Tomas; Ronaldo Delfin of San Simon MPC in San Jose, San Simon; Inaki Escaler of Samahan ng Mga Magparanum ng Cansinala, Inc. of Cansinala, Apalit; Diosdado Rivera of Unicom Marketing MPC in Concepcion, Lubao; and Avelino Miclat of Telacsan MPC in Telacsan, Macabebe.
Seven more units of shredders, costing P368,000 each, will be turned over soon to other farmers’ organizations in the province.
Guintu said that the development of organic agriculture as a farming scheme enhances global competitiveness, ensures environmental integrity, promotes food security and safety, increases productivity and alleviates poverty.
He added that the various stakeholders of the project have recognized the potentials of certified organic farming as a way to utilize local raw materials, conserve non-renewable resources, mainstream into high-value markets and improve farm income as well.
According to OPA, the use of shredders reduces the process of composting agricultural wastes through traditional methods from four to eight months to only three weeks.
The OPA is also committed to conduct technology trainings on bio-organic fertilizer production for farmers in coordination with the Fertilizer and Pesticides Authority (FPA) and the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM).
The OPA shall also be conducting monitoring, impact evaluation and assessment of the project implementation.
The project’s beneficiaries, on the other hand, are committed to maintain a covered shed of not less than 100 square meters with concrete flooring, water source and electricity which shall be used as storage room for the organic fertilizer produced.
Also, the farmers’ organizations are obliged to provide for the other necessary equipment in composting such as weighing scales, wheel barrows, square shovels, portable sieves and water hose; take charge of collecting farm, household or organic wastes as raw materials; shoulder all other costs related to the production of organic fertilizer; secure the necessary license and permit from appropriate agencies and abide by the rules and regulations on product packaging and labeling.
Records of production and sales of finished products will also be kept by the project’s beneficiaries and shall produce in favor of the provincial government a total of 300 bags, each weighing 50 kilograms of organic fertilizer.

CL 3rd top performing region in civil service exam

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – Central Luzon ranked third among regions that had the most number of passers in Career Service Professional and Sub-Professional written examinations held on July 26, 2009.
A total of 509 out of the 4,645 examinees in Central Luzon passed two examinations, according to the Civil Service Commission Regional Office 3 (CSCRO3).
Central Luzon posted a passing rate of 10.96 percent and ranked as third among the top performing regions nationwide. The passing rate for the Professional level is 11.07 percent and while for the Sub-Professional level is 10.52 percent.
CSCRO3 has come up with a Regional List of Top 10 examinees for both exam levels. Julie Mar Dec C. Buenaventura of Balagtas, Bulacan topped the Professional level with a percentage rating of 89.24 while Lilybeth A. Palon of San Isidro, Nueva Ecija with a rating of 90.19 percent also garnered the top slot for the Sub-Professional level.
Completing the regional list of top 10 examinees are: for the Professional level, Allan Paul V. Torres (Balanga, Bataan), 88.46; Kirsten Joy H. Cabalu (Bulacan, Bulacan), 88.02; Ron Allan R. Estrebillo (Meycauayan City, Bulacan), 87.98; Jocelyn B. Esmele (Olongapo City), 87.70; Jann Rommel C. Pascual (Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija), 87.50; Hyra P. Dela Cruz (Sto. Domingo, Angeles City), 87.43; Aivan Charles A. Torres (Trinidad Village, Angeles City), 87.40; Mark Joseph S. Zara (Malolos City, Bulacan), 87.30; and Emmanuel B. Purzuelo (San Agustin, City of San Fernando, Pampanga), 87.20.
For the Sub-professional level, – Maria Erika E. Palon (Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija), 90.09; Adrian B. Bantegui (Magalang, Pampanga), 90.03; Marcelino M. Parado (Baliuag, Bulacan), 89.70; Davis Jan A. Alfonso (Sta. Ana, Pampanga), 88.00; Mark David L. Joson (Malolos City, Bulacan), 87.97; Windson R. Macalia (Paniqui, Tarlac), 87.82; Ariane Monique D. Chua (Tarlac City), 86.23; Mark Laurence M. Reyes (Don Bonifacio, Angeles City) , 86.16; and Romnick G. Sansait (Sta.Rosa, Nueva Ecija), 86.06.
The complete list of successful examinees of the July 26, 2009 Career Service Professional and Sub-Professional examinations may be accessed at the CSC website, www.csc.gov.ph.

Prisoners Week Celebration held

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO --- Believing in the adage that even prisoners have rights, the Pampanga Provincial Jail ushered the observance of the Prison Awareness Week yesterday, October 18 up to October 25, 2009 with the theme “Be a light to others…Instrument of healing and reconciliation.”
Col. Christopher Carreon, Provincial Jail Warden said that they have lined up various activities such as parlor games, singing contest, Feeling Pogi, Tunog Tao, Drawing, Basketball, and Miss Gay contests for the inmates. Furthermore, the award for the Best Celda, Best Mayor and Vice Mayor was conferred to deserving detainees on October 25 as the culminating activity.
In his inspirational message, Governor Eddie T. Panlilio lauded the inmates for reviving in their lives the spirit of healing, persevering to make amends to themselves and others in spite of their present situation. Likewise, he urged people to understand the plight of detainees and called on to all concerned to demonstrate understanding and compassion to the wrongdoers.
The Most Reverend Paciano B. Aniceto, Archbishop of San Fernando presided over the the holy mass for the prisoners on the last day of the celebration. Also, different religious organizations will render free concert and worship services during the week. (Raymond C. Garcia)

GMA leads relief giving to 'Ondoy' victims in San Simon, Pampanga

SAN SIMON, Pampanga -- Grateful residents of this town came out in droves recently to greet and express their gratitude to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo when she distributed relief goods to victims of typhoon Ondoy.
The President arrived at Barangay San Pedro at around 10:45 a.m. and joined local government executives led by San Simon mayor Rodrigo Canlas and Pampanga Rep. Ana York Bondoc in distributing food packs to some 1,700 families.
She then proceeded to nearby Bgy. San Juan to also distribute food packs to some 600 residents.
In both events, residents from both barangays were one in expressing their gratitude to the Chief Executive for her government's assistance.
She was greeted with loud cheers and the priceless expression of relief on the faces of residents who had patiently waited in line for several hours just to get a glimpse of her.
The relief packs distributed to the victims here consisted of rice, canned goods, noodles and used clothing.

CEB offers Korea, Japan seats at P2, 499 for winter travel

Further pushes for Clark international flights with P999 seat sale

CLARK FREEPORT --- The Philippines’ leading domestic carrier Cebu Pacific (CEB) entices travelers to head to Korea and Japan this coming winter months with a seat sale from October 24 to 27, 2009, for travel December 1, 2009 to February 28, 2010.
Manila-Incheon, Cebu-Incheon and Cebu-Pusan seats are up for grabs for the ‘Go Lite’ seat sale fare of P2,499. Those with check-in baggage will just add P100 upon booking. Meanwhile, Manila-Osaka seats are available at the seat sale fare of P2,599.
CEB also further promotes flights from Clark to Bangkok, Macau, Hong Kong and Singapore with a ‘Go Lite’ 999 seat sale with the same promo and travel periods.
This is on top of an ongoing promotion of 30 kilos free baggage allowance to anyone traveling these international routes from Clark from October 15-December 31, 2009.
“Traveling this December to February to key cities in the ASEAN and East Asian regions is encouraged. Fares are getting lower, and different tourism players are offering better deals. CEB’s trademark low fares greatly help, as passengers visit these countries for shopping, visiting friends and experiencing winter adventures,” said CEB VP for Marketing and Distribution Candice Iyog.
“Locally, we also offer a ‘Go Lite’ P888 seat sale to Zamboanga from Manila, Cebu and Davao, as well as to Clark from Cebu. Passengers can call our reservations hotlines (02)7020-888 or (032)230-8888 or check www.cebupacificair.com to book and buy promo seats,” she added.
Asia’s third largest carrier, CEB flies 20 direct domestic and 4 international flights from Cebu, and 1 domestic and 4 international flights from Clark. Its flights to Manila connect to across the extensive CEB network, using the youngest fleet of aircraft in the country.

PhilHealth pays for Leptospirosis

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO --- Confinements due to leptospirosis are compensable.
This was emphasized recently by Dr. Rey B. Aquino, PhilHealth President and CEO, in support of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's and Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III's call for all-out efforts to address the increasing number of leptospirosis cases noted in hospitals, particularly in the National Capital Region, in the aftermath of typhoon Ondoy.
Noting that leptospirosis icterohemorrhagica may be classified as Case type C, Aquino said that PhilHealth members who might be admitted in Levels 3 and 4 hospitals may avail themselves of allowances for hospital room and board fees of up to P800.00 per day and allowances for drugs and medicines of up to P28,000 per single period of confinement. "They may also avail of as much as P21,000 for supplies, x-ray and other laboratory exams that may be administered during the entire period of confinement," he said.
The PhilHealth Chief added that members may also avail of allowances for the professional fees of attending physicians at P700 per day, for a maximum of P5,600 for daily visits of specialists.
Patients requiring dialysis are similarly entitled to additional allowance of P560 for the professional fees of nephrologists, and about P1,200 per session for the use of the hemodialysis room.
Aquino stressed that availment of these benefits is subject to medical evaluation and existing policies on claims payment. He advised employed and individually paying members (IPMs) to have at least three months' premium contributions within a six-month period prior to the month of availment to be able to avail of these benefits.
On the other hand, sponsored and overseas worker-members may avail themselves of the special package within the validity period of their PhilHealth coverage as reflected in their PhilHealth cards and enhanced Member Data Records (MDRs) respectively. "They must have a copy of their MDRs attached to their claim documents," Aquino emphasized.
Noting that the cases of leptospirosis were mostly in areas heavily affected by typhoon Ondoy, Aquino added that the government agency has made benefits availment easier by temporarily doing away with the Affidavit of Loss usually required from members requesting for replacement of their Member Data Records or Number Cards.
From January to June this year, PhilHealth has paid about P2.3 million in benefits for the confinement of members and their dependents due to leptospirosis. The amount represents payment for about 324 claims, with each claim averaging P7,377.

PGMA inspects two barangay infra projects in Lubao

LUBAO, Pampanga -- Proposed infrastructure projects for two barangays here were inspected recently by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as part of the administration’s effort to modernize roads and the education system in every barangay nationwide.
Upon her arrival at Sitio Dampalit in Barangay Sta. Lucia, the President inspected the dilapidated three-classroom building which used to house Grades 2, 3, and 4 pupils.
Sta. Lucia Elementary School principal Madonna Roque said they were very thankful for the President’s visit to personally oversee the real condition of the dilapidated and termite-infested classrooms.
She said the proposed rehabilitation of the old school building would be a big help, especially for the students so that they can pursue and concentrate on their studies.
From Barangay Sta. Lucia, the President motored to Barangay San Juan where she inspected the proposed barangay road project. Lubao municipal engineer Francisco Waje briefed the President on the planned road improvement in the area.
Lubao Mayor Dennis Pineda accompanied the President in her visit to the barangay.

Climate change, ‘Common Tao Day’ at Floridablanca

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will visit Floridablanca in Pampanga tomorrow, Oct. 23, to conduct a climate change meeting and hold her second “Common Tao Day” before leaving for Thailand for the 15th Asean Summit.

The President began her “Common Tao Day” in Binalbagan, Negros Occidental Friday last week and vowed to set aside every Friday thereafter to hold her interaction with the common people, a tradition started by her father, the late President Diosdado Macapagal.

From the Palace, where she signs the law on climate change, the President will motor to Villa San Agustin Guerrero in Barangay del Carmen, where she will be received by Floridablanca Mayor Eduardo D. Guerrero.
The President will then visit Paaralang Elementarya ng Paguiruan, Floridablanca East District, where she will inspect the school’s proposed fencing project of the school, and Barangay Fortuna, where she will inspect a road improvement project.

Her final stop is at the municipal gym covered court for the Common Tao Caravan of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

CSF to host 4th towns, cities conference

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO --- This city will host the 4th Philippine Towns & Cities Conference: Reflections of the Past, Lessons for the Future (PTC4) from November 6 to 7, 2009.
PTC4, organized annually by the Heritage Conservation Society (HCS), aims to enhance civic engagement with local governments units in order to inform and guide the LGUs on the proper care and utilization of a valuable asset — built heritage resources.
The first conference was held on November 8, 2006, at the Development Academy of the Philippines, Pasig City; followed by the second conference held on November 9, 2007, at the Sarabia Manor Hotel and Convention Center, Iloilo City and the third conference was held on November 8, 2008 in Zamboanga City.
The conference aims to tackle issues on real estate speculation and over-construction that are often mistaken for modernization despite exerting devastating pressure on the historic and cultural core of many human settlements.
The Philippine Towns and Cities Conference is a communications campaign to influence policy makers at the local government level.
The Heritage Conservation Society (HCS) will take its campaign for cultural awareness and education campaign to the local governments of North Philippines (Central Luzon, CAR, Ilocos Region and Cagayan Valley), where built heritage resources abound in San Fernando and Angeles (Pampanga), Malolos and San Miguel (Bulacan), Sta. Cruz (Zambales), Vigan (Ilocos Norte), Laoag & San Nicolas (Ilocos Norte), Lingayen and Alaminos (Pangasinan) and many others.
For more information, contact Dorie Soriano/Luz Regalado of HCS at 5212239, (Fax) 522 2497, 09178668853, 09062625631, 09228712061 or
hcs_secretariat@yahoo.com; or Ching Pangilinan/Malyn Tuazon of the San Fernando Tourism Office at 0459615684 or mlcjdp@yahoo.com.
Sponsors for PTC4 include the City Government of San Fernando, Pampanga and the Spanish Program for Cultural Cooperation.

Zest Air launches daily HK flights at DMIA

Local carrier Zest Air launched October 24 its inaugural International flight via daily flights to Hong Kong at the bustling Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA).
Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) President and CEO Victor Jose I. Luciano ,Zest Air President and CEO Ambassador Alfredo M. Yao and Subic Clark Alliance for Development Council (SCADC) Edgardo Pamintuan led the inaugural flight of Zest Air at the DMIA that is expected to further boost the passenger volume of the airport by the end of this year.
A simple send-off ceremony was held at the DMIA VIP Lounge at 3pm in the inaugural flight of Zest Air.
Zest Air (formerly Asian Spirit) used its brand-new Air Bus 320 with a capacity of 166 seats for the inaugural flight.
Zest Air is the second local air carrier to operate international commercial operations at DMIA. The air carrier also flies local domestic operations via Clark-Caticlan flights to the world-famous Boracay Beach Island Resort in the Visayas.
“We welcome Zest Air for their international operations at DMIA and CIAC will support their endeavor for the development of the airport,” Luciano said.
Zest Air passenger flight Z2-083 from Manila proceeded to DMIA at 2:30pm to pick up passengers bound for Hong Kong. The aircraft was expected to arrived in the Hong Kong International Airport at around 5:40 pm where passengers would be treated by a short welcome at the airport.
Zest Air started their South East Asian flights in June 2009 such as Singapore, Macau, Hong Kong, Incheon in South Korea, Fukuoka, and Okinawa in Japan, and their 20 local destinations in the country such as Bacolod, Boracay, Busuanga, Cagayan de Oro, Calbayog, Catarman, Cebu, Clark, Davao, Iloilo, Kalibo, Manila, Legazpi, Naga, Puerto Princesa, Tabales, Tacloban, Tagbilaran, and Virac.
In March 2008, AMY Holdings Corporation established Zest Airways Inc., as it sees the opportunity for growth in the Airline and Aviation Industry in the country. In September 2008, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved the corporate name of Zest Air and the judicial personality of Zest Airways Inc. was established.
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo designated DMIA the country’s Premier International Airport right after the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Daughter’s mayoral bid saddens Boking

MABALACAT, Pampanga --- “Anything can change.”
Thus said Mayor Marino “Boking” Morales who was saddened over the announcement of his daughter Marjorie Sambo that she will vie for the mayoral post in the coming election.
“The election is still too far. My daughter’s plan is still subject to change because in the end blood is thicker than water,” said Morales. “My daughter is right when she said that I love her so much. Nothing can ever change that because she is a part of the family.”
In an interview aired over DWRW 95.1 recently, Morales reiterated that “anything can change.” “In the end, the people’s decision will be based on our performance in the town.”
Marjorie is the youngest daughter of Morales from his marriage with Mina Paras, daughter of Dr. Bienvenido Paras, a former Mabalacat councilor.
Meanwhile, Katen Morales-Sabile, the eldest sister of Marjorie and brother Dwight Morales have expressed their full support to their father because they believed that he has done so much for the welfare of Mabalaquenos and the improvement of the first-class town.
“Ang susuportahan naming ay si Daddy,” said Katen.
“Hindi naman talaga si Marjorie ang gustong humabol ng mayor kundi ang asawa niya na si John Sambo,” said Dwight.
“Huwag na niyang (Marjorie) gamitin ang apelyidong Morales total mas pinaniwalaan niya ang kanyang asawa kaysa sa kanyang ama, kaya Sambo na lang ang gamitin niya,” said Dwight.
Dau Barangay Captain Atlas Morales has also expressed his support to his father noting that “the family cannot afford to be divided in this crucial moment.”
“Alam ko po na maaayos din ito sapagkat kailan man ay hindi po namin puwedeng kalabanin ang aming ama na nag aruga sa amin,” Atlas said.
“One hundred percent po tayong susuporta kay Mayor Boking. Hindi po tayo lumalaban sa ama,” said Atlas.
Mabalacat, under the administration of Morales, had transformed into one of the most progressive towns in Pampanga province.
The Morales administration had given emphasis on the establishment of more community high schools and colleges giving affordable education to poor but deserving students.
Major infrastructure had also been developed in anticipation of the economic boom brought about by the presence of the Clark airport and the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway.
Long-time supporters of Morales said they will remain loyal to the local executive.

Foton Motor to open Pampanga dealership

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO---Foton Motor, the second largest commercial vehicle manufacturer in the world (second to Daimler) and China’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer, is persistent with its goal in being the premiere commercial vehicle brand in the Philippines as it opens more dealers nationwide.
Last September 30, 2009 the groundbreaking ceremonies for Foton Pampanga was held in its construction site located along Olongapo – Gapan road in Barangay San Juan this city.
The proposed dealership showroom and service center will sit on a 1,300-square meter property conveniently located in the center of the province. The modern architecture and advance facilities of the dealership is aimed to cater to the needs of business enterprises of Pampanga as it takes the center stage of industrial development in Central Luzon.
“With the province’s numerous infrastructures such as the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport, Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway and the recently launched Marquee Mall in Angeles City, Foton Pampanga is strategically positioned to meet the demands of businesses that require good quality yet affordable commercial vehicles from vans, pick-ups, AUV’s, light trucks and buses to name a few,” Allen Ong, Foton Pampanga General Manager, said.
“Why buy a 10 year old truck when you can buy a new one that cost as much,” Ong added.
Foton Motor Philippines, established in December 2006, is only on its 3rd year in the market but already has 12 dealerships under its wing contributing a considerable share to the Philippine automotive market. This could probably be attributed to the company’s business formula--and brand tagline--“Quality you Can Afford” as it provides quality commercially vehicles at very affordable prices.
“Mura ne, matibe yapa (It’s affordable and durable),” Ong said.

Top rebel leader in Bulacan nabbed

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO --- Combined Intelligence elements of the Philippine Army’s 703 Infantry (Agila) Brigade and Philippine National Police arrest on the afternoon of October 9 one of the topmost ranking executive committee member of Central Luzon Regional Committee (CLRC) of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).
Danilo Jose N. Castaneda, with alleged aliases “Baste,” “Delfin De Guzman” and “Efren Montana Dela Lamon”, also the purporter secretary of Sangay sa Partido sa Platoon Bulacan (SPP Bulacan) was apprehended after a tip from concerned civilians.
Castaneda was reportedly using different safe houses and private vehicles, making it hard for intelligence agents to follow his movement.
The alleged rebel’s arrest materialized when he made a visit to his live-in partner at Barangay Anupul in Bamban, Tarlac where intelligence agents had been monitoring him for months. The arrest was made by virtue of two warrants for different murder cases. Recovered from his possession are a fragmentation grenade, blue belt bag and his personal belongings.
In his capacity as a member of Regional Committee and being the number three man of the CPP-NPA hierarchy in Central Luzon, Castaneda was reported to have supervision over SPP Pampanga, SPP South Zambales and SPP Bataan.
He is an icon of the underground movement and his arrest will bring more demoralization on the already dwindling rank and file of the CPP-NPA in Central Luzon, the Philippine Army said.
Colonel Jose Z. Mabanta Jr, 703 Infantry Brigade commander, commended all the troops involved in the successful arrest as he cited the growing awareness of the community against insurgency.
“This person has been elusive for so many years but the long arms of the law finally caught up with him. With the trend we are following right now we are very much optimistic that we can render this group insignificant by yearend of 2010,” Mabanta said.
The same troops under Mabanta are also instrumental in the arrest of Jose Jackson Labrador Carmen alias “Roman”, secretary of Sangay sa Partido sa Platoon Pampanga (SPP Pampanga) last March of this year.

More Kapampangans benefit from ABE-K livelihood project

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO --- More than 2,000 housewives and heads of families, all members of Aku ing Bayung Entreprenyur-Kapampangan (ABE-K) associations, in various towns of Pampanga have benefited from the livelihood project of the provincial government.
Mamerto Gatus, head of the Pampanga Cooperative and Entrepreneurial Development Office (PCEDO) and lead implementer of the project, reported that as of October 5, the province has released more than P10 million loan assistance to 83 ABE-K associations in the province.
Pampanga Governor Eddie T. Panlilio launched the said flagship project in December 2007 to fight poverty and provide livelihood opportunities to needy constituents in the province.
Panlilio created the Provincial Livelihood Committee (PLC) composed of concerned departments of the provincial government to oversee the implementation of the project.
Gatus said that each ABE-K association received loans ranging from P50,000 to P150,000 from the provincial government to finance their small scale income generating projects.
These projects include direct selling, sari-sari store, fruit and atchara vending, repacking, silver works, ready-to-wear, electronics and bicycle parts, catering, e-load and fishball selling.
According to Gatus, the 12 ABE-K associations in barangays Solib, Gutad, Benedicto, Sto. Rosario , Bodega, San Isidro , San Jose , San Pedro, San Nicolas and Poblacion in Floridablanca town received P1,180,000 million loan assistance while three associations in Masantol were granted P355,000.
Eight associations in barangays San Agustin, San Roque, San Joaquin , Sto. Rosario and Sta. Maria in the municipality of Sta.Ana received P1,175,000 loan assistance as the Masaya association in the City of San Fernando got P70,000.
Meanwhile, one ABE-K group in Sasmuan received P140,000; four groups in Magalang, P545,000; one in Sto, Tomas, P150,000; eight in Sta.Rita, P1,085,000; seven in Porac, P1,050,000; and seven in Mabalacat, P1,025,000.
Other project beneficiaries include the Ritanians, Forward San Esteban, IMA, Maganaka, Apung Maria, Kapuso and St. Isidore Labrador associations in Macabebe; the St. Nichols, Kabalen, Divisoria, Sapang Maisac and Pamisaupan in Mexico; Cansinala, Everlasting and Sampaloc in Apalit; St. John, Ascomian, Lambac, JAS, San Antonio and Maquiapo in Guagua; Marians in Sta.Maria, Minalin; Masikap, San Isidro Labrador, in San Simon; Lucian and Rosarian in San Luis; Monicanians in Lubao; Gulap and Lanang in Candaba.
Gatus said that members of these associations underwent a two-day business planning and values enhancement seminar to better prepare them in managing their business as well as instil in them the values of loan repayment.
These preparatory activities eventually paid off as gauged from the more than 100 percent loan repayment of the program beneficiaries, Gatus said.
He added that after the seminar and assessment each qualified member received P5,000 soft loan, payable in 50 weeks without interest.
Every week, the loan borrower pays P160 to the association’s treasurer broken down as follows: P100 for loan repayment, P50 for savings and P10 for the operating expenses. Thus, at the end of the 50 weeks, the member has saved for himself P2,500.
At present, PCEDO is in the process of assessing other potential beneficiaries who want to avail themselves of the said livelihood project which has definitely helped in uplifting the lives of the target sectors, Gatus ended. (Pampanga PIO)