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 on: December 04, 2013, 07:27:10 PM 
Started by Forum Admin - Last post by Forum Admin
From PAO Olongapo:

The City of Olongapo received eight new generators from the Department of Health (DOH) worth P400,000.00 which will be turned over to several barangay health care centers around the city.

Olongapo City Mayor Rolen Paulino said that it is part of the city’s effort to strengthen the capabilities of barangay health centers.

“What I ultimately want is that all barangay health centers in the city act like hospitals just like James L Gordon Hospital, we are trying to decongest JLGMH. The plan is to equip all barangay health centers with proper equipment and personnel so that it would be appropriate enough to serve the needs of the residents,” Paulino said.

“I have also talked to some private individuals who are willing to assign nurses and doctors in each barangay health center to cater to the needs of the residents,” Paulino added.

He further explained that the new generators are very essential so that barangay centers would function even without power.

Among the barangay health centers that will receive the new generators are Barretto Health Center, Gordon Heights Health Center, Kababae Health Center, Pag-Asa health Center, Old Cabalan Health Center, West Bajac-Bajac Health Center, and New Cabalan health Center.

According to City Health Officer Roderick Bustamante, another set of donations from DOH which is now being processed are medical equipment such as nebulizers, microscopes and baby apparatus which will also be distributed to health centers around the city.

Meanwhile, Victory liner Inc. donated one passenger bus with an estimated value of P1.4million.

The passenger bus, which was personally handed over by Pocholo Galian, Branch Manager of Victory Line Inc. would be of great help to the city, according to Mayor Rolen Paulino.

“We would not rent anymore, this can also be used by students, teachers, non- government organizations, our senior citizens and others for their respective activities outside the City,” Paulino said.

He added that this could also be use for emergency situations.

“This only proves that the local businessmen in the city are trying their best to help us (local government) in our efforts to better the condition of the city” Paulino said. (PAO Olongapo)

PHOTO: Olongapo City Mayor Rolen Paulino (3rd from right) and City Health Officer Dr. Roderick Bustamante (2nd from right) pose with representatives of Department of Health during the turnover of 8 new generators worth P400,000.00 which will be distributed to different barangay health care centers.


 on: November 28, 2013, 03:52:44 PM 
Started by Forum Admin - Last post by Forum Admin

The results of the SBFCC Board of Directors election have been tabulated and the new officers were announced at last night’s General Membership Meeting.

The following have the top four votes from corporate members:

          Rose Baldeo
          Danny Piano
          Dante Pollescas
          Lewis Strickland

At yesterday’s Board meeting, the newly elected and retained directors voted for its officers. Prof. Danny Piano, who was voted in as director, had to beg off due to a sudden serious health problem of a family member. Lawrence Lusung was then appointed by the Board as replacement director.

Here are the SBFCC Officers for 2014:

          Rose Baldeo – President
          Dante Pollescas – Vice President
          Romeo Duran – Corporate Secretary
          Lawrence Lusung – Treasurer
          Tom De Bruin – Director
          Lewis Strickland – Director
          Jun Avecilla – Director

Thanks to all!

 on: November 24, 2013, 11:21:07 AM 
Started by Forum Admin - Last post by Forum Admin
From GMA News:

The Supreme Court on Tuesday declared as unconstitutional the controversial Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), or more commonly known as the pork barrel.

SC spokesperson Theodore Te said the high court voted 14-0-1 against the PDAF, the multimillion peso discretionary fund received by lawmakers every year.

The court also declared as illegal the portion of Presidential Decree 910 that allows the Malampaya fund to be used “for such other purposes” as determined by the President.

Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr. abstained from the voting because his son is an incumbent congressman. The decision was penned by Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe, an appointee of President Benigno Aquino III.

Petitioners have challenged the constitutionality of the PDAF before the high court following reports of its widespread and systematic misuse by some members of Congress in cahoots with private individuals.

Three incumbent senators and several former members of the House of Representatives have been named respondents in a plunder complaint filed with the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam.

The scam, allegedly masterminded by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, involved the funneling of pork barrel funds to bogus non-government organizations. Public outrage over the anomaly has resulted in the largest protest gathering under the three-year-old Aquino administration.

SC decision

In a briefing, Te, quoting the decision, said the high court declared the PDAF Article in 2013 General Approriations Act and all similar provisions on the pork barrel system as illegal because it “allowed legislators to wield, in varying gradiations, non-oversight, post-enactment authority in vital areas of budget executions (thus violating) the principle of separation of powers.”

The SC said the pork barrel system creates a system of budgeting in which items are not “textualized into appropriations bill.” It also said this “flouts the prescribed power of presentment and in the process denies the President the power to veto items.”

Apart from the “entire 2013 PDAF Article,” also declared unconstitutional were all legal provisions contained in previous and current “pork barrel” laws, including those on the PDAF and its predecessor, the Community Development Fund, as well as various “congressional insertions.”

According to the SC, these insertions authorized lawmakers, individually or through committees, to intervene, assume or participate in any of the various post-enactment stages of the budget execution, such as project identification, modification and revision of project identification, fund release, and/or fund realignment.

Also declared unconstitutional were:

    all legal provisions of past and present Congressional Pork Barrel laws, such as the previous PDAF and CDF Articles and the various Congressional Insertions, which confer/red personal, lump-sum allocations to legislators from which they are able to fund specific projects which they themselves determine;

    all informal practices of similar import and effect, which the Court similarly deems to be acts of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of discretion; and

    the phrases (1) “and for such other purposes as may be hereafter directed by the President” under Section 8 of Presidential Decree No. 910 and (2) “to finance the priority infrastructure development projects” under Section 12 of PD 1869, as amended by PD 1993, for both failing the sufficient standard test in violation of the principle of non-delegability of legislative power.

Request denied

Meanwhile, the high court denied the petitioners’ request that Executive Secretary Pacquito Ochoa and the Department of Budget and Management provide the public and the Commission on Audit complete lists and schedules or detailed reports related to the availment and utilization of the controversial funds.

The court also denied the petitioners’ request that the contested funds be included in budgetary deliberations of Congress.

“The Court hereby directs all prosecutorial organs of government to, within the bounds of reasonable dispatch, investigate and accordingly prosecute all government officials and/or private individuals for possible criminal offenses related to the irregular, improper and/or unlawful disbursement/utilization of all funds under the Pork Barrel System,” the SC said.

The court said the decision was immediately executory but prospective in effect.

Senators can get up to P200 million each in PDAF every year, while members of the House of Representatives are entitled to P70 million each.

A senior official said Malacañang will not issue a comment for now, saying it would like to read the ruling first.

“Hihintayin po ng ating Tanggapan ng Pangulo ang desisyon na yan para pag-aralan kung ano ang implikasyon,” Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) head Herminio Coloma Jr. said during a press conference.

Meanwhile, one of the organizers of the anti-pork barrel rally Million People March expressed elation over the high court’s decision, but quickly added that this is just the first step and the people still need to be vigilant against any fund misuse.

“It’s still sinking in. am personally still overwhelmed at the news. I see it as a victory but this is just the first step. The SC decision gives us hope again in our democratic process. Kelangan pa rin na tumutok at hindi tayo bumitiw lalo pa ngayon,” Peachy Bretaña said in a text message to GMA News Online.

Actress Mae Paner, also known as Juana Change, called the SC decision as a victory of the people.

“Tagumpay ng taumbayan yan. People’s vigilance helped add pressure to the SC. We in the scrap pork network are cautiously, critically, conditionally victorious! Aabangan at babantayan ang next na magaganap,” she said in a separate text message.

On August 26, thousands from different sectors gathered at the first anti-pork barrel rally held at the Luneta Park in Manila. It was branded as a “pocket picnic” for taxpayers who demand that the pork barrel be scrapped. It was also the first and so far the largest mass action in the Aquino administration.

Oral arguments

During the oral arguments at the high court last month, Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza, in defense of the PDAF, asked the court to lift the temporary restraining order it imposed on the release of the funds.

He reasoned that the scholars and indigent patients that were subsidized through PDAF funds were the ones suffering from the TRO.

But Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio suggested that the President’s Social Fund, the discretionary fund of the President, can instead be tapped for indigent patients and augment scholarship programs.


 on: November 22, 2013, 06:29:16 PM 
Started by Forum Admin - Last post by Forum Admin
From SubicNewsLink:

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has announced the installation of a tsunami alert system at the Sueste Point in this free port, thus beefing up Subic Bay’s capability in disaster preparedness.

SBMA Chairman Roberto Garcia said the Tsunami Early Warning System (TeWS) here forms part of a string of early warning systems installed in selected high-risk coastal communities in the country.

The sensors in the system communicate signals to alerting sirens strategically located at five designated areas in the Subic Bay area—one at Bldg. 657 in the Subic Bay Freeport, two at Barangay Wawandue in Subic town, and another two at Barangay Barretto in Olongapo City.

Maj. Vicente Tolentino, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) coordinator of the SBMA, said the Subic authority is now gearing up for a tsunami-preparedness program after systems installation has been completed.

“As of now, we are currently in the stage where we are coordinating with the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) regarding the training and education of stakeholders, employees and residents on how to utilize the system and how to respond properly during tsunami emergencies,” said Tolentino, who is also chief of the Special Reaction Division of the SBMA Law Enforcement Department.

He added that the TeWS sensor here would be particularly helpful due to the presence of the Manila trench subduction zone, which is an active convergent plate margin between the South China Sea and the northern Philippines. The oceanic trench located west of the islands of Luzon and Mindoro, is responsible for the belt of volcanoes on the west side of Luzon including Mount Pinatubo.

Tolentino also explained that the TeWS sensor system is designed to detect wave abnormalities in the coastal waters of Subic Bay.

The tsunami detection equipment is composed of a platform with a pole equipped with different sensors. These include an ultrasonic tide sensor, dry sensor, and wet sensor at specific heights of one meter, five meters, and ten meters.

Tolentino added that the SBMA may eventually press for installation of additional sirens for better coverage of warning signals from the sensor, as the lone siren in the Subic Bay Freeport would not be enough.

The installation of the tsunami alert system in the Subic Bay area was contained in a memorandum of agreement signed by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and its Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI), the city of Olongapo, municipality of Subic, and the SBMA in November 2012.

The agreement also required the SBMA, Subic, and Olongapo to prepare and produce community-based evacuation plans.

Aside from Subic Bay, the PHILVOLCS-ASTI of the DOST has also completed installation of TeWS in Lingayen Gulf, Albay Gulf, Manila Bay and Batangas Bay. (RFD/MPD-SBMA)


 on: November 22, 2013, 05:18:28 PM 
Started by Forum Admin - Last post by Forum Admin
From Headline:

Aboitiz-led Subic EnerZone (SEZ) has been awarded by Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) the most-sought after Tripartite Certificate of Compliance on Labor Standards (TCCLS).

The award was presented by Director Raymundo G. Agravante to SEZ Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Dante Pollescas, and SEZ Assistant Vice President and General Manager Warell Kern Sario held at the DOLE regional office in City of San Fernando, Pampanga.
The ceremony was also graced by Supervising Labor and Employment Officer Yolanda Bugay SEZ Human Resource Manager Mars Escobar and Compliance Officer lawyer Owlette Christine Jill Verallo.

Agravante said the TCCLS serves as equivalent to routine inspection with a validity period of three years, unless there is a violation.
“This certificate aims to promote voluntary compliance with Labor Standards such as General Labor Standards, Occupational Safety and Health Standards and Child Labor Law,” Agravante said.

TCCLS is a basic pre-qualification requirement to the DOLE Secretary’s Labor Law Compliance Award and to the highest award, which is the Tripartite Seal of Excellence.

Subic Enerzone is a consortium composed of Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Davao Light & Power Co., Aboitiz Power Corp. and San Fernando Electric Light and Power Co.

The utility is contracted to provide power distribution services to the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) until 2028. The company pays SBMA P40 million annually for the lease of power facilities and other properties.

SEZ is now aiming the Tripartite Seal of Excellence. -Rey Garcia


 on: November 22, 2013, 04:51:18 PM 
Started by Forum Admin - Last post by Forum Admin
From a report by Henry Empeño of BusinessMirror:

An organization serving the needs of the American elderly has checked out this free port as a possible retirement community, citing both its accessibility and atmosphere.

Officials of the American Baptist Homes of the West (ABHOW) recently met with Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Roberto Garcia here to discuss the possibility of developing a retirement facility here.

ABHOW is a nonprofit, nonsectarian corporation that is committed to providing exceptional service to older adults, their families and the wider community.

In the meeting with Garcia, ABHOW President David Ferguson said that they have conducted a survey among American and Filipino-American seniors and found out that many of them are considering retiring in the Philippines.

“We are excited with the opportunity and so we’re here to see what Subic has to offer,” Ferguson said.

Garcia responded by saying that the SBMA has long set its sights in developing the Subic Bay Freeport as a destination for retirees.

“We are happy that you are considering Subic as your location and we will be ready to support and assist your group,” he said.

Garcia said the Subic Bay Freeport is already a preferred retirement destination, where several companies have set up retirement facilities in the past decade.  He added that Subic will be a perfect destination for American retirees because of the rich American culture in Subic, a former US naval base.

The SBMA official also said that the huge number of nurses in the country can provide adequate care for the retirees.

For his part, ABHOW Chairman Randall Stamper noted that Subic’s accessibility is also a major reason their group is considering a project here.

The Subic Freeport, which has its own airport and seaport, is also connected to the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway, which cuts travel time to Manila to just two hours.

Garcia said Subic has also become a popular location for retirement homes due to its modern health and wellness facilities, healthy natural environment and laid-back atmosphere.

Among the retirement homes that operate here are Holiday Villas, Subic Holiday Mansion, Tropical Paradise Retirement Village, Subic Heights, Subic Bay Leisure and Resorts, Subic Executive Loft Condominium, and Poco a Poco.  These mostly serve South Korean, Taiwanese and Japanese retirees.

With the available facilities here, the SBMA has signed in 2010 an agreement with the Philippine Retirement Authority and the Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce for the effective promotion of Subic as a retirement community.


 on: October 22, 2013, 12:08:47 PM 
Started by Forum Admin - Last post by Forum Admin
Below are the profiles of the candidates for the SBFCC's 2013-2014 Board of Directors election (arranged by submission date of profile).

2014 SBFCC Board of Directors Candidates
 Rose Baldeo    Global Terminals (Golden Eagle Member)  download (110.6kB)
 Lawrence Lusung  Bank of Commerce  download (18.9kB)
 Danny Piano  Absolute Service Inc (Emerald Tier Member)  download (105.4kB)
 Shiny Kim  Golden Dragon Resort and Casino  download (80.3kB)
 Peter Tumanda  Reyes, Diano, Tumanda & Co.  download (53.4kB)
 Lewis Strickland  PACTEC Subic Bay  
 Dante Pollescas  Subic Enerzone (Silver Circle Member)  

Click here for information about the SBFCC Election.


 on: October 18, 2013, 11:32:35 AM 
Started by Forum Admin - Last post by Forum Admin
From BusinessWorld:

INVESTMENT in the Philippines is expected to grow over the medium term, with more opportunities opening for the private sector as the economy continues to expand.
  “The Philippines is a rising star in the investment universe,” Deputy Treasurer Sharon P. Almanza said in a keynote speech at an investment forum yesterday.

“The pressure is upon us to deliver... but we need the investor community to continue to fuel our rising star,” added Ms. Almanza, who delivered the speech in behalf of National Treasurer Rosalia V. de Leon.

With the economy continuously growing above trend, she said this would provide the country “positive momentum for takeoff.”

First semester growth was 7.6%, above the 6-7% target, and many analysts have recently upgraded their forecasts for the Philippines.

Macroeconomic fundamentals -- boosted by the appropriate fiscal and monetary policies -- are also providing ample buffers amid uncertainty in the global environment, Ms. Almanza noted.

“More positive news will continue to bolster our case to investors... and with the country gaining investment grade status from the three major credit raters, this will provide more lift for the economy,” she said.

The view was shared by Luz L. Lorenzo, senior vice-president of Maybank ATR Kim Eng, who said the outlook remained positive.

“With the uncertainty in the markets, the best defense is a strong economy. And with the Philippines continuing to be driven by domestic demand, with its young population driving strong consumption, investments can only contribute more and more to growth,” Ms. Lorenzo said.

Maria Theresa Marcial-Javier, senior vice-president at the Bank of the Philippine Islands, said the country should move to capitalize on its gains.

“With the economy’s growth increasingly becoming more domestically led, opportunities abound for the consumer, retail, and property sectors,” Ms. Marcial-Javier said.

“The environment now provides the government and private sector alike opportunities for expansion and growth ... But sustained growth will need to be coupled with an increase in income to ensure growth trickles down to all sectors,” she added.

Gerald D. Baldivia, managing director at Angeon Advisers, Ltd., added that opportunities for improvement also included the education, health and tourism sectors.

“This will support the production and buildup of physical and human capital that will give the economy a broader support base moving forward,” he said.

“The Philippines used to have a very challenging investment environment, and that’s changing now. We expect all these to translate into more investments in the future.”

Moving forward, officials and regulators pledged additional reforms to support growth.

Hans B. Sicat, president and chief executive of the Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc., said good corporate governance was critical to maintain a favorable perception among investors.

“Improved macroeconomic conditions translated into this confidence, and this will go down to individual companies to help them fuel the economy, moving the country into a positive growth cycle,” Mr. Sicat said.

The government, said Ms. Almanza, “will always remain to be one step ahead, maintaining a steady hand on policy levers and building on past achievements ... to foster the type of environment viable for investments.”


 on: October 18, 2013, 11:30:46 AM 
Started by Forum Admin - Last post by Forum Admin
From SubicNewsLink:

The world’s only five-star cruise ship is here in the Subic Bay Freeport as part of its tour of the country, strengthening Subic’s position as a preeminent tourism destination.

MS Hanseatic docked at the Alava Pier of the Freeport Monday (Oct. 14). Prior to its arrival here, the cruise ship toured the Hundred Islands in Pangasinan. It arrived in the Philippines yesterday (October 13).

According to the Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships, it is the only five-star expedition-cruise ship worldwide.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Roberto Garcia said this is first time that the luxury cruise ship has docked in Subic.

He said passengers of the ship are scheduled to visit tourist attractions in the Freeport during the ship’s one-day stay.

The ship has a capacity of 184 passengers, aside from its crew of 125.

MS Hanseatic was built in 1991 as the Society Adventurer, but was renamed when she was purchased by Hanseatic Tours, now owned by marine transportation giant Hapag-Lloyd. The ship specializes in trips to the Antarctic.

SBMA deputy administrator for business Reuel Kabigting said the arrival of the Hanseatic is a very welcome development, as it would boost the Freeport’s thrust of becoming a premier tourist destination in Asia.

The SBMA has been preparing the Freeport to be a top cruise-ship destination after it became a founding member of the Asia CruiseTerminal Association, Kabigting added. (FMD. RAV/MPD-SBMA)

Members of a school band presents passengers with leis upon disembarking from the MS Hanseatic cruise ship at the Subic Bay Freeport on Monday.


 on: September 25, 2013, 06:11:56 PM 
Started by Forum Admin - Last post by Forum Admin
The Subic Bay Freeport Chamber provides the opportunity for a significant degree of active participation in the development of the Freeport.  
The Annual Election of the Board of Directors process starts mid-September. If you are interested in getting value for your investment in the Chamber of Commerce, please consider participation in the Election of Board members.  Choose only those who will do something for the Freeport, for you, and for other investors.
The list of  members in good standing and nominations forms were sent to members last September 9th.  If you have not receive these, please call the Chamber office at 252-3180 or email  There may be last minute amendments made to this list as new Corporate members join prior to closing of elections or if/when Associate members upgrade to Corporate status.
Eligibility and Requirements

Nominees to the Board are required to exemplify and attest to being of sound moral character, demonstrate the highest level of  integrity, and will be expected to conduct themselves with the utmost regard for business ethics at all times. Moreover they are expected to demonstrate initiative, dedication, confidentiality, selfless willingness to serve, and above all, concern for the direction the Freeport and the Chamber will take in the future.
Bear in mind that your elected Board members will be requested to seriously commit to attend Board and General Meetings and mixers every month, to be involved in Committees, and to spearhead membership concerns. All these on a volunteer (without pay, allowance, or honorarium) basis.
Only Corporate members in good standing are eligible for nomination.  Members having past due membership fees will not be permitted to run.  You may nominate yourself, provided you are the authorized representative.

Remember, the Freeport Chamber is YOUR voice  in the community.  Please give careful consideration to nominating the candidate of your choice to serve on the SBFCC Board of Directors.

Election Schedule

September 16 - October 11  - NOMINATION PROCESS BEGINS. Members will receive Nomination Ballots where you can nominate Corporate members of your choice for next year’s Board.

October 14 – October 25 - CANDIDATE SELECTION . Those nominated are asked for their minimum 15 hours per month written, voluntary commitment to serve on the Board. If willing, they will be declared as official candidates in the voting process.

November 4 – November 15 - VOTING PROCESS BEGINS. Based on confirmed candidates who have verified they are willing to serve, ballots are forwarded to all Corporate members who are asked to VOTE for the candidate(s) of their choice.

November 18 – November 22TABULATION. Votes are tabulated by the delegated Returning Officer and scrutinized by the Election Committee.

November 26ANNOUNCEMENT OF RESULTS. Election Results with names of newly elected Board members are announced at the Annual Membership Meeting.

November 26OFFICER SELECTION. Next year’s officers (President, Vice President, Treasurer and Corporate Secretary) are selected by the Board of Directors.
Status of Current Board

While subject to change, there will be four seats to fill during this election.  
    Directors having one more year to serve:  Atty Romeo Duran, Tom de Bruin, and Jun Avecilla
    Running for re-election: Danny Piano, Rose Baldeo, Lawrence Lusung, and Lewis Strickland

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