Friday, September 29, 2006

Subic: Where vacations are fun and complete

Holidaymakers have different wants when on vacation. Some may prefer the excitement of water sports, others may opt for shopping and partying, while some may choose to commune with nature. It’s tough to enjoy these things in one place, unless of course your destination is Subic in Olongapo, which offers visitors a vacation that is both fun and complete.

Olongapo Vice Mayor Rolen Paulino is proud of the fact that Subic has everything for vacationers to enjoy. “Subic offers complete and world-class facilities, exotic dive sites, well-maintained nature trails, exciting theme parks, glitzy hotels, fancy restaurants and bustling shopping centers, to make your stay very memorable and complete,” enthuses Paulino. He adds: “At Subic, families can enjoy doing many things in an elegant setting, at a relatively inexpensive cost.”

Expounding on Subic’s other advantages, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority tourism department manager Benny Triguero says Subic is merely 110 km north of Manila. It also has its own airport and seaport, making Subic easily accessible. Triguero is also proud of the fact that Subic has a low crime rate, ensuring that vacationers can enjoy their downtime in utmost safety.

Paulino says that given the proper sports marketing, Subic is poised to become the Asian sports hub given that it has excellent sports facilities. This has allowed Subic to host a number of prestigious sporting events, which include the last year’s Southeast Asian Games, the Philippine Kayak Competition and the recent Subic elimination leg of the 30th National Milo Marathon, which was graced by Senator Pia Cayetano, SBMA chairman Phil Salonga, SBMA Administrator Arman Arezza, SBMA Deputy Administrator Ferdie Hernandez and Olongapo Mayor James Gordon.

Paulino says the National Milo Marathon plays a significant role in the development of Subic’s youth. He enthuses that leading an active lifestyle helps children with their health and they learn character-forming values to help them in life. “When you expose kids early in sports, this can in fact be good for the government because they are taught early on about discipline and how to behave when you’ve won or lost,” says Paulino, who admits that sports helped him become who he is today.

It’s no wonder that the National Milo Marathon continues to attract thousands of participants. During the Subic race, more than 11,000 participants consisting of running enthusiasts, students and family members took part in the races, making the event a top draw for everyone—tourists included.

So for a complete vacation that’s fun for all, look no further than Subic, which offers you everything exciting in sports and recreation, assuring you of holidays that are definitely memorable and worthwhile.

open letter to the President

An open letter to the President of the Philippines from the people of the Philippines who have gratefully become consumers of used Vehicles imported through Subic Bay Freeport.

Dear Ms Arroyo,

This letter is written by the people for the people, we have NO FINANCIAL INTEREST, COMMISSIONS OR POLITICAL PREFERENCE to be gained from the importation of used vehicles into the Philippines but rather benefit solely from the opportunity to obtain vehicles for family and small business use at prices affordable to Filipinos in the setting of the Philippine economy and our wish to put our best effort into growing the economy of the Philippines and giving every Filipino a better life.

While we the people of the Philippines respect the wisdom of the President in developing the Philippine economy, far too much is being said by on the subject of used vehicle imports by people who either have a vested interest in the importation or by those who are jealous because they have not been able to profit from it. These “interest groups” are only representing their own interests rather than the interests of the Filipino people

While the supreme courts argue about the legalities of EO418 and EO156 and certain “interest groups” throw in their biased opinions the ultimate losers are the Filipino people. We seek your timely intervention in this matter to improve the lives of thousands of Filipinos who benefit from high quality low cost imports by allowing the continuation of controlled imports through Subic Bay Freeport.

The simple facts of used vehicle imports is that the provision of these imports places NEWER, CLEANER, SAFER, MORE ECONOMICAL vehicles in the hands of the voting, tax paying people of the Philippines, the same people who elect and pay for the operation of the government.


No one can deny the influx of 5 year old used cars has taken thousands of Filipinos out of “owner jeeps” and into comfortable, safe, air conditioned vans.

Vehicles like the “owner jeep” are illegal in almost every country of the world, their lack of proper seats, seat belts, design rule compliance, crash test engineering, crumple zones, safety glass and thousands of other engineering features makes “owner jeeps”, that are usually overloaded with big Filipino families DEATH TRAPS!.

The people wish to respond to the four most popular anti-import Myths that are lobbied by the “interest groups”.


Countries like the United States and Japan where these vehicles are designed and originally built MUST comply to very ridged design standards, which are not present in the Philippine motor vehicle industry. These vehicles provide proper seating with seat belts and other safety features such as air bags in many units.

Some parties try to suggest that these vehicles are less safe because some of them are converted from right to left hand drive, however the manufacturers of these vehicles spend millions of dollars designing these vehicles to be supplied into different markets in both left and right hand drive configurations, not to overlook the fact that many of these vehicles are original Left hand drive USA Export vehicles.

For the vehicles that are converted from right to left hand drive, it is the LTO who is best equipped and mandated to ensure the conversion is done correctly prior to registration, after all if independent emission testing facilities can be setup across the Philippines why can’t the LTO have independent conversion engineering centers? That of course is there is any real evidence that any conversion has really been found to be poorly done. The LTO already enforces windscreen wiper conversion so clearly this is within their power.


Five year old, even ten year old emission standards in Japan and the USA exceed what is required in the Philippines. These countries had unleaded fuel in the 1980s and banned cars running on leaded fuel years before the Philippines even had unleaded fuel available at the pumps.

Filipino’s will find a way to transport themselves and their families whether they use old un-roadworthy junk cars, owner jeeps or smoke belching buses these vehicles damage the environment as well as subjecting their family members to bodily injury. The fact remains that higher emission standards on imported vehicles can improve the effect on the environment over locally built, owner jeeps or old beaten up junk cars.


People, who buy new cars, would not be interested in purchasing a 5 to 10 year old second hand import regardless of the price. The paranoia of local car makers that they are “loosing their protection” should not be to the detriment of the Filipino people who deserve to have affordable, safe transport options, options it seems the local car manufacturers cannot deliver. After all, if a new vehicle manufacturer is afraid of 5 year old second hand cars there must be something terribly wrong with the new product.


Every used vehicle is assessed for taxes by the Bureau of Customers. Not allowing used imported vehicles or over taxing these vehicles surely deprives the government of far greater taxes than could possibly be recouped elsewhere. Forcing Filipino families back into owner jeeps or other cheap transport removes taxes that could otherwise be collected. Given that low cost used imports also make older vehicles dispensable, consumers will be repeat tax payers on the duties of used import vehicles. This also reduces the burden on tax payers in other areas including law enforcement. Anyone who has driven around the streets in the last few months will have noticed that the volume of smoke belching, rust riddled, un-roadworthy 20+ year old cars and owner jeeps has gone down at the same rate that shiny clean 5 year old vans and SUVs has increased. This is a direct benefit of the used imports and an undeniable improvement to the streets of the Philippines.


Many Filipino families have finally been able to create small business opportunities through the availability of affordable used vehicle imports. This has resulted in a surge of economic growth in the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) sector as Filipinos are empowered to contribute to the economic growth of the country by getting involved in businesses that were previously out of reach due to the cost of capital equipment such as vans and trucks. This growth in business also results in increased opportunities for tax collection by the government.

Madam President, the evidence is overwhelming; second hand vehicle imports SHOULD be allowed to continue for the safety, development, prosperity and happiness of THE PEOPLE.

Yours truly,

The People of the Philippines

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Some Philippine history trivia

(We publish these pieces of trivia from the National Historical Institute in celebration of History Month -- Manila Times)

Bonifacio dressed like Rizal

According to Bonifacio’s friend and comrade Guillermo Masangkay, as an agent of foreign companies doing business in the Philippines, Andres Bonifacio had to dress well. He wore coat and tie, hat, trousers and shoes, which is far from his barefooted Katipunero image wearing shoes, an undershirt, loose pants and brandishing a bolo. On the very day he went to Balintawak Bonifacio was wearing his coat and tie. While presiding over a meeting with other revolutionary leaders in the house of Juan Ramos, Bonifacio had removed his coat. The Katipunan leaders debated whether or not to begin the revolution against Spain. Bonifacio realized that he was going to lose in the discussion since many of the leaders were against starting the revolution too soon. Bonifacio then went outside where five hundred to a thousand Katipuneros were waiting for their decision. After telling them that all of them could be arrested by the Spaniards, the Katipuneros then decided to revolt then they tore their cedulas as a sign of defiance to Spain.

The Davis Cup

The famous Davis Cup was actually named after one of the Governor-Generals of the Philippines.

The prestigious Davies Cup, which is awarded in tennis, was named after Dwight Davis, American governor-general of the Philippines from 1929 to 1932. Davis, an avid tennis player played tennis with other Americans in the Philippines.

Port of Manila

The original Port of Manila was actually located on the Pasig River.

Before the construction of the present Port of Manila, ships including those sailing to other countries dock at the mouth of the Pasig River at its northern bank in Binondo. Ships can sail up to what is now Jones Bridge. The old bridge that connected Binondo to Ermita on the south bank of the Pasig was the Puente de España. This bridge was later demolished to be replaced by the Jones Bridge during the American period. Other signs that the north bank were used as a port were the names of the streets along the north bank of the river like “Muelle del Rey,” which means “the King’s Wharf,” and Muelle del Banco. The north side had facilities for repairing ships including a shipyard. There was also the customs house, or Aduana, which is found on the southern bank. This building is now abandoned and might be demolished soon. During the American period the port was moved to Manila Bay to serve larger ships. The old port is still used today as a place to load or unload barges.

Filipino conqueror of Guam

The actual conqueror and explorer of the Mariana Islands was a Filipino.

According to Spanish records Juan de Santa Cruz, a noble native from Indang, Cavite, was given the duty to command soldiers in the Spanish garrison in the newly established Spanish colony in Agaña, Guam. This made him also the first military commander of the Marianas. De Santa Cruz made a survey of the Mariana Islands and identified the anchorages for the Manila Galleons. He suppressed the early rebellions by the natives until he returned to the Philippines in 1671.

Eat a Filipino

In Spain, “Filipinos” are a delicacy.

“Filipinos” is actually a brand of cookies covered in chocolate produced by a company called United Biscuits Iberia, S.L. The cookies resemble the “rosquillo” biscuits produced in Iloilo and Negros and the Spaniards added another twist by coating it with brown or white chocolate.

Manila, Manila

Manila has contributed much to world history. Many words in history and trade had “Manila” as prefix. Among them are:

The Manila Galleons—Also known as the Nao de Manila, these are name of the sailing ships which participated in the Manila-Acapulco trade. The galleons were moored not at Manila but at the Port of Cavite. Goods imported from Mexico and goods transshipped from Manila had to pass through the Camino Real, which is the road to Cavite. The galleons were not made in Manila but at different parts of the country. Some were made at the Royal Astillero, or Real Astillero de Bagatao, in Sorsogon. Others were built in Cavite, Samar, Albay and other parts of the country. Some were even made abroad in Japan and in Siam (now Thailand). The people who sailed aboard the galleons were called “Manilamen.”

“Mantel de Manila” actually originated in China. The textile is actually Chinese in origin and brought to the Philippines by Chinese junks. Filipinos also add their own taste by embroidering designs in the cloth, hence the name Mantel de Manila.

Another famous Philippine product was the “Manila Cigar.” Though Manila had several large cigar factories, cigars were also made in the Ilocos and Camarines provinces, Cagayan, Isabela Albay, Zambales and Pangasinan. The generic name for Philippine cigars is Manila cigar. The first cigar factory was the Casa de Binondo, which took over the building of a former Dominican convent in Manila. Other factories were La Germinal, La Insular Tobacco and Cigarette Factory, La Victorioso España, La Felicidad, Tabacalera and others. These were private factories allowed to operate after the tobacco monopoly was abolished in 1882. The cigarreras, or cigar wrappers, were women since it was believed that women would not pilfer or steal cigars and tobacco. A large factory like La Insular employed up to 3,000 women as cigarreras.

Another object using the “Manila” name is the Manila Hemp, which is the commercial name for abaca. The French discovered the salt-resisting qualities and strength of abaca fiber but it was the Americans who embarked on the mechanized manufacture of ropes made from abaca. English companies like Smith, Bell and Co, Kerr and Company competed with American companies like Russell Sturgis and Co., Peele and Hubbell and Co. and opened up plantations in Albay, the Camarines provinces, Samar and Leyte which became main producers of abaca.

Other things with the Manila name are Manila envelope and Manila paper, which are the names for these brown colored objects

RP to host 2nd int'l taspony festival

THE Philippines, in cooperation of the YMCAs in Cagayan Valley Inc. and in Northern Luzon composed of chapters from Baguio City, Ilocos Norte, La Union, Nueva Ecija, Olongapo and Pangasinan, will host Sunday the second "International Taspony Tournament" at the University of Cordilleras (UC) here.

The tasponyfest reels off Saturday at the YMCA Baguio function hall with a training-workshop to orient participants on the nature and mechanics of the game.

Akihiro Nomura, president of the Japan Taspony Association (JTA), is here to grace the two-day taspony festival. Acting Mayor Reinaldo Bautista Jr. will deliver the keynote address at the UC following his introduction by Judge Edilberto Claravall, YMCA-Baguio president.

The first international taspony tournament was held in Takoname City, Aichi, Japan last year from August 19 to 25 participated in by Taiwan, Thailand, China, the Philippines and host country Japan.

Taspony is a new game invented by Eizo Yamaguchi, a senior director of YMCA Nagoya, Japan. It is the third ball game that was invented by YMCA professional staff.

The first ball game is basketball invented by Dr. James Naismith. Second is volleyball, which was invented by William Morgan, both Physical Education (PE) directors in Springfield Massachusetts, USA.

Taspony, which is gaining popularity in Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines, is highly recommended as a form of recreation and exercise for young people and the elderly as well. Recently, Yamaguchi, YMCA vice president Victor Perez, YMCA-Cagayan Valley secretary general Dominador Calonia introduced the game in Malaysia and Singapore.

Calonia introduced taspony in the Philippines, one of the various sports he was required to observe from the YMCA of Nagoya, Japan in 2001 when he underwent management training at the Physical Education Institute (PEI) in May to August 2001.

On August 22 to 27, 2003, the JTA sent Masataka Ito and Taka Mano, Japan Taspony instructors, to conduct a series of demonstrations to members of the Hi-Y and College-Y Clubs of Cagayan Colleges (CC) in Tuguegarao, Cagayan State University (CSU) and Cagayan National High School (CNHS). Yamaguchi and Yoshio Suzuki, JTA chairman and vice chairman, respectively, officially introduced taspony to the lay leaders of the YMCAs of Northern Luzon in 2004 during the first lay leaders conference held August 20 and 21 in Dagupan City.

This year's tournament is participated in by players from Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia and host country Philippines with categories for high school, college, 22-40 years old, and 41-55 years old, and 56 and above. Event divisions are men's singles, women's singles, men's doubles, women's doubles and mixed doubles. (AR)

INTEL boss raved about the good quality of roads to Iba, Zambales

COMMENT: Martin's Hocus-pocus
Written by Patgricio P. Diaz/MindaNews

PORTLAND, Oregon -- Robin Martin, INTEL general manager in the Philippines, wrote a short item for circulation urging Filipinos not to “dwell too much on the negative” about our country but to balance “the negative with the positive especially when we talk to foreigners, whether based here or abroad." He said: “The negative perception of the Philippine is way disproportionate to reality when compared to countries like Columbia, Egypt, Middle East, Africa, etc.” Correct! The negative is only highlighted if the comparison is with Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Hongkong, Taiwan, etc.

But why the Middle East? Is the Philippines less negative, hence more positive, than Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirate, Iran, Lebanon, Israel, etc. when we send there hundreds of thousand Filipinos to earn dollars for their families and the country?

Mr. Martin itemized four marks of progress from 1995 that the Filipinos can be proud of and ten “additional tidbits to make our people prouder.” A co-op member sent the article through Our Coop loop to be passed “on to other Filipinos”

While the item merits appreciation, it, at the same time, invites critical response.


The four marks of progress – great telecommunication infrastructures, MRT, flyovers in Metro Manila, mega malls, new skyscrapers, six-fold increase in exports – are undeniable. So are the ten “additional tidbits” – INTEL, Toshiba, computer and microchip plants, international banks, and others like Procter & Gamble, car assemblers. These and many other industries boost Philippine exports and they offer employment.

What impresses Mr. Martin is that these happened in the last ten years. “Looking back and comparing the Philippines today and 1995 (the year I came back), I was struck by how much our country has progressed physically.”

The observation is undeniable. But can all these physical progress not only in Metro Manila and Luzon but also in the Visayas and Mindanao that brings multi-billion peso earnings to 10 percent, more or less, of the Filipinos balance the social injustice suffered by 30 percent, or much more, of the Filipinos?

To be a true source of national pride, the wealth from physical progress should justly and equitably benefit the various social classes – not just be the pride of a few but the envy of many and means of more and more economic and social exploitation.


If Mr. Martin’s office is in one of the skyscrapers in Makati, from there he can see the slums. And there are more such slums in the other parts of Metro Manila and big cities in the country. With no steady jobs, slum dwellers are like chickens scratching all day long for food and other needs. What does that progress that Mr. Martin wants Filipinos to be proud of mean to them?

Mr. Martin raved about the good quality of roads to Iba, Zambales. The same may be said of roads linking Metro Manila and the industrial zones in Central Luzon, Rizal, Laguna, Cavite and Batangas. However, this cannot be said of all provinces. Definitely, not of the farm-to-market roads so vital to agriculture. Not in Mindanao.
Has Mr. Martin tried to find out how many Filipinos are unemployed despite the “physical progress”? And of those employed, what percent are earning the equivalent of only half, or even less, of the cost of living? So, more and more Filipinos, among them doctors and other highly trained professionals, venture abroad.

These are realities that are also undeniable. They are marks of social injustices and inequities. They are as visible – if not more – as the physical progress that Mr. Martin wants Filipinos to be proud of.

These are the realities that Philippine media report from time to time. These are the realities for which foreign aid agencies come to help correct. These are the realities that the government has been vowing to remedy. I don’t know if these are the realities that Mr. Martin calls “negative”.

These realities do not have to be reported by media or to be told by any Filipino to be seen by foreigners residing in or visiting the Philippines. They are plainly visible or evident in the lives of the people. Not only then first Lady Imelda Marcos had tried to “screen off” the slums and eyesores in Metro Manila from foreign state visitors.

But if media report the so-called “negatives,” it is not to highlight them to drown out the so-called “positives” which are also reported. It is rather to pressure the government to do more to reverse them and to invite the private sectors like the realm of the “physical progress,” where Mr. Martin belongs, to help do something.

Even if media don’t report the “negatives” and the Filipinos don’t talk about them to foreigners here and abroad, they are still widely known. Our own government and charitable organizations beg help from foreign governments and aid institutions.

When President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo visits the United States, she appeals to Filipino-Americans to help their suffering brothers and sisters at home. She has made the same pitch to Filipino domestic workers in Hongkong.


Are the realities of social injustices really negative? Calling them so is an expression of shame and a suggestion to avoid or deny them instead of resolving to erase them. If dirt is in the face, wipe it off – not hide nor deny it nor make excuses.

The real negative in the Philippines is corruption and its serious political, economic, social and moral ramifications involving both the government, the private sectors and, in some instances, those marks of “physical progress”. These have deeply scarred the national image.

And, one negative to be deplored is the perception that by highlighting the so-called “positives” the country will be relieved of the so-called “negatives.” This is what Malacanang wants media to do. This, too, is what Mr. Martin is suggesting. No matter how well-meaning, this is a kind of hocus-pocus that will not work.

Mr. Martin concludes: “Next time you travel abroad and meet business associates tell them the good news. A big part of our problem is perception and one of the biggest battles can be won simply by believing and making others believe.”
By all means, tell the whole world about the “good news”. But that a “big part of our problem is perception” and the best way to get over it is “simply by believing and making others believe” is a fallacy -- Mr. Martin’s hocus-pocus.

And his clincher: “This message is shared by good citizens of the Philippines who persevere to hope and work for our country.” Excuse us, sir. Are media people who report the so-called “negatives” and those who talk about them not good citizens?

Friday, September 22, 2006

What ifs in Philippine history

By Augusto V. de Viana

Given the benefit of hindsight, we could stretch our imagination on what the country could have been if history had taken a different turn. Could it have been for the better or worse?

What if the Philippines became a German colony?

The Philippines would have been a German colony had a second battle of Manila Bay taken place in 1898. After defeating the Spanish fleet on May 1, 1898, US Rear Admiral George Dewey ordered a blockade of Manila. Other countries like Japan, Great Britain, France and Germany sent naval vessels to protect their nationals and interests in the country. The German squadron under Vice Admiral Otto Von Diederichs, which consisted of five warships and two auxiliaries, outnumbered the Americans.

One ship alone, the transport Darmstadt, carried 1,400 men, nearly the number of Dewey’s men. The Germans violated Dewey’s blockade of Manila by supplying flour to the trapped Spaniards and Spanish ladies and residents were treated aboard the German vessels. German officers also visited Spanish and Filipino outposts. At one time the German warship Irene interfered with the landing of Filipino troops on Grande Island in Zambales that Dewey had to send the cruiser Concord. On seeing the American warship the German vessel quietly left Subic Bay.

At that time Germany was looking for new territories to colonize. It had acquired the eastern half of New Guinea in 1873 and half of Samoa in 1889. In 1876 a German resident of Jolo, Captain Hermann Leopold Schuck, asked Germany to intervene on behalf of the Sultan of Sulu. The sultanate at that time was being attacked by Spanish forces.

The Germans continued to violate the blockade. They took soundings off Malabon and at the mouth of the Pasig River. Von Diederichs himself landed at Manila and occupied one of the quarters of the Spanish officers. The German soldiers occupied the lighthouse of Manila and some of them landed in Mariveles and conducted drills.

They also irritated Dewey by sending a launch one night at 11 p.m. to deliver an unimportant message.


The breaking point came when the German gunboat Cormoran refused to acknowledge signals from the Americans to be boarded for inspection. The boat had to be stopped by firing a shot across its bow. Von Diederichs then sent an officer to complain about Dewey’s provocative acts.

While listening to the German officer, Dewey’s complexion changed from white to red. He then asked: “Does his Excellency [von Diederichs] know that it is my force and not his is that is blockading this port [Manila]?

The officer answered yes.

Dewey continued: “And is he aware that he has no rights except as I choose to allow him and does he realize that he cannot communicate with that city without my permission?”

“One can imagine, sir, that you were conducting this blockade,” was the reply.

Dewey then bluntly asked, “Do you want war with us?”

“Certainly not!” was the officer’s curt reply

“Well, it looks like it, and you are very near it, and . . . you can have it as soon as you like!” replied Dewey with his voice raised so that he could be heard by officers below deck.

The German officer backed in consternation and whispered to Dewey’s flag lieutenant: “Your admiral seems to be much in earnest.” The flag lieutenant replied: “You can be certain that he means every word he says.”

For a while there was a tense situation in Manila Bay. The Germans were superior in both men and firepower to the Americans. At this point the British squadron under Captain Sir Edward Chichester sided with Dewey. The British ship Immortalit’e sailed alongside Dewey’s flagship the Olympia with its band playing “The Star Spangled Banner.” The balance now tipped in favor of the Americans and the Germans stopped their provocations.

If a second battle was fought and if the United States were defeated, the Philippines would have become a German colony. The idea would have been supported by the Filipino elite since Germany had a positive image as a rapidly progressive European power. Rizal and other reformists admired Germany, its culture and its industry and hoped that Filipinos imitate the German work ethic known for its emphasis on efficiency and frugality.

The histories of territories which experienced German rule such as the Northern Mariana Islands, remember the period “as the good old days.” Though the natives could not be German citizens, education and health care were extended to the population. The people were allowed to retain their native customs.

The German language was taught in the public schools. The Germans instilled the concept that work itself was a virtue. Order, punctuality, camaraderie and obedience to authority and technical knowledge were taught as desirable characteristics. The measure of progress was the improved standard of living. Most of the natives had a job which provided them with security and necessities in life.

However, if the Philippines became a German colony, Germany’s rule would be a brief one. With the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, Japan rapidly occupied the German Pacific colonies in the Marianas, Palau and the Carolines came under Japanese mandate of the League of Nations.

The Philippines would have suffered the same fate as the former German colonies. Had the Philippines become a Japanese territory from 1914 up to the Second World War, the Filipinos would be fighting on the side of Japan, not the United States, and history would have been vastly different

Thursday, September 21, 2006

100 significant events in Philippine history 3/3

These 35 are the third batch of the 100 most significant events in Philippine history, according to the National Historical Institute. Events No. 1 to 65 appeared on September 17 and 19.

66. Communist Party of the Philippines. August 27, 1930. Crisanto Evangelista established the Party, which later merged with the Socialist Party of Pedro Abad Santos and composed the Hukbalahap during the Second World War. The government declared it illegal.

67. Inauguration of Rizal Monument. December 29, 1930. The monument to Jose Rizal was inaugurated at the Luneta (now Rizal Park).

68. Sakdalista movement. 1931. Underground socialist reform movement whose members were mostly peasants against the antinationalist policies of the government.

69. Tydings-McDuffie Law. March 25, 1934. This law, signed by Theodore Roosevelt, provided for the establishment of the transition period before America would eventually recognize Philippine Independence.

70. Inauguration of Commonwealth government. November 15, 1935. Manuel Quezon and Sergio Osmeña took the oath as President and Vice-President.

71. Commonwealth Constitution. 1935. Used to guide the Commonwealth government, cut off during the Japanese period and was restored after the war until 1973, when President Marcos ratified a new one.

72. Law on Women’s Suffrage. December 14, 1937. For the first time, Filipino women were given the right to vote during elections.

73. Japanese invasion. December 8, 1941. Japanese bombers attacked Clark Air Base and other American camps in Baguio City, Manila and Davao. This signaled the beginning of the Japanese Occupation in the Philippines.

74. Oath-taking at Malinta Tunnel, Corregidor. December 30, 1941. Manuel Quezon took his second term of office as President of the Commonwealth government.

75. New government under the Japanese. December 3, 1942. The Kapisanan sa Paglilingkod sa Bagong Pilipinas (Kalibapi) was established and elected Jose P. Laurel as President of the Philippines. This party, however, lasted only until 1945.

76. Tagalog as official language. June 7, 1940. President Manuel L. Quezon proclaimed Tagalog as one of the official languages in the Philippines starting July 4, 1946. Tagalog later became known as the Filipino language.

77. Fall of Manila. 1942. The Japanese forces led by Masaharu Homma occupied Manila.

78. Fall of Bataan. April 9, 1942. General Edward P. King surrendered to spare the lives of battle weary and outnumbered Filipino and American soldiers who were defending Bataan. They ran out of ammunition, supplies and had no reinforcements.

79. Fall of Corregidor. May 6, 1942. General Jonathan Wainwright surrendered the entire USAFFE in the Philippines to General Masaharu Homma of the Japanese Imperial Army.

80. Leyte landing. October 20, 1944. General Douglas MacArthur landed in Leyte Gulf with Sergio Osmeña Sr. and Carlos P. Romulo. This signaled the retaking of the Philippines from the Japanese soldiers. It was also a fulfillment of MacArthur’s promise in 1942 when he said “I shall return.”

81. Sergio Osmeña succeeded President Quezon as President of the Commonwealth. August 1, 1944. President Quezon died of Tuberculosis while he was in the United States.

82. Makabayang Kalipunan ng mga Pilipino (Makapili). December 8, 1944. The Japanese used its members, composed of Filipinos, to inform on guerrilla sympathizers. Many of its members were prosecuted after the war for the atrocities they committed against the people.

83. Establishment of the Congress of Labor Organizations (CLO). March 16. 1945. The CLO, first called Committee of Labor Organizations, was a federation of labor organizations organized by former leaders of the Hukbo ng Bayan Laban sa mga Hapon (Hukbalahap), which was forced to go underground when the government declared it illegal.

84. Liberation of Manila. 1945. The Americans entered Manila and liberated many Filipino and American internees at the University of Santo Tomas. Manila was devastated after the war. General Douglas MacArthur turned over the civilian government to Sergio Osmeña Sr.

85. United Nations membership. September 1945. The Philippines joined the United Nations.

86. Philippine Independence from America. July 4, 1946. America eventually let go of the Philippines.

87. Alto Broadcasting Network and DZXL-TV Channel 9. 1953. The first commercial television station that developed into what is now ABS-CBN.

88. Death of President Ramon Magsaysay. March 17, 1957. The President’s plane crashed in Manunggal, Cebu. His death grieved the Filipino people and caused an immediate transition of leadership in government.

89. Reestablishment of the Communist Party of the Philippines. December 27. 1968. Jose Ma. Sison reestablished the old communist party.

90. Martial law. September 21, 1972. President Ferdinand Marcos signed Proclamation 1081 declaring martial law to “save the Republic” from crime and violence. Marcos abolished the Congress and created the semiparliament Batasang Pambansa. It caused the takeover of many private businesses by the government, exile, disappearances and imprisonment of individuals critical of the government.

91. Assassination of Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino. August 21, 1983. The senator was assassinated at the Manila International Airport, now named in his honor.

92. Comelec Employees’ Walk-Out. February 9, 1986. Thirty computer technicians of the Commission on Elections walked out of their jobs after they were ordered to cheat the election returns in favor of President Marcos.

93. Military mutiny. February 23, 1986. Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and AFP Vice Chief of Staff Fidel V. Ramos defected from the Marcos administration. People gathered at EDSA to protect them from pro-administration soldiers. Two days after, President Marcos went on exile to Hawaii.

94. Oath-taking of Corazon C. Aquino, the senator’s widow, and Salvador H. Laurel as President and Vice-President of the Philippines. February 25, 1986. They were sworn into office after the snap elections.

95. Return of presidential government. 1987. President Aquino appointed 48 members of the constitutional convention to draft the Constitution that restored democracy and abolished the Batasang Pambansa.

96. Military coup. August 28, 1987. The Reform the AFP Movement (RAM), led by Col. Gregorio Honasan, staged the coup, demanding the surrender of the Aquino government. The troops penetrated Camp Aguinaldo and Camp Crame but were repulsed by government forces. There were other failed coup attempts by the RAM (one in 1986, three attempts in 1987), Nationalist Army of the Philippines (NAP) in 1986, and the combined forces of RAM and NAP on December 1, 1989.

97. Inauguration of President Fidel V. Ramos and VP Joseph E. Estrada. June 30, 1992. President Ramos and VP Estrada were sworn in by Chief Justice Andres Narvasa at the Luneta Grandstand. FVR is the first president who comes from the Protestant faith.

98. Biggest case of corruption. September 24, 1993. Former first lady Imelda Marcos was convicted for the first time of corruption and sentenced to 24 years in prison. Few days earlier, the remains of former President Marcos who died in 1989 in Hawaii was finally entombed at their family mausoleum in Batac, Ilocos Sur.

99. First actor President of the Philippines. June 30, 1998. President Joseph Ejercito Estrada, best known as Erap, took his oath as the 13th President of the Philippines in Barasoain Church, Malolos, Bulacan.

100. End of the 20th Century and Millennium Watch. December 31, 2000. The Filipino Nation led by President Joseph Ejercito Estrada joined the whole world in welcoming the new millennium. The President called on Filipinos “to pray for global peace and brotherhood and to world as one in facing the challenges of the 21st Century.”
--By Christine G. Dulnuan, National Historical Institute

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

100 significant dates in Philippine history 2/3

These are the second batch of the 100 most significant events in Philippines history, according to the National Historical Institute. Numbers 1 to 31 appeared on Sunday, September 17.

Second of three parts

32. Naic Military Agreement. April 20, 1897. Bonifacio signed this document declaring the results of the elections during the Tejeros Convention null and void and established its own army separate from the Revolutionary Army formed during the convention. This led to his capture and later his execution in May of the same year.

33. Pact of Biyak-na-Bato. December 14, 1897. Signed by the Spanish government and the Filipino revolutionary leaders. This provided for the secession of hostilities between the two parties and the voluntary exile of revolutionary leaders in Hong Kong.

34. Uprising of Leon Kilat in Cebu. April 2, 1898. Leon Kilat (Pantaleon Villegas) led the uprising against the Spaniards in Cebu, which was suppressed after a week with the arrival of reinforcements from Iloilo and Manila. Leon Kilat continued his cause through guerrilla campaigns.

35. Battle of Manila Bay. May 1, 1898. The American naval fleets led by George Dewey fought against the Spanish fleet under General Patrocinio Montojo. This signaled America’s colonization of the Philippines.

36. Proclamation of Philippine Independence. June 12, 1898.

General Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed Philippine Independence in Kawit, Cavite. During the event, Marcha Nacional Filipina, which what would become the National Anthem composed by Julian Felipe, was played by the band of San Francisco de Malabon and the Philippine national flag was hoisted in public.

37. Bates Treaty Agreement. August 20, 1898. Signed in Mindanao between US Representative John C. Bates and the Filipino Muslim leaders Rajah Muda, Datu Calbi, Datu Joakanain and the Sulu Sultan, the agreement signified noninvolvement of the Muslims in the Filipino-American War.

38. Republic of Negros. November 5, 1898. Revolutionary forces under General Juan Anacleto Araneta proclaimed the Republic of Negros.

39. Cry of Santa Barbara. November 17, 1898. The revolutionists led by General Martin Delgado waved the Filipino flag and established the revolutionary government in Iloilo.

40. The Treaty of Paris. December 10, 1898. This was signed between the United States and Spain ceding Spanish colonies, including the Philippines, to America. The Americans received the right to colonize the Philippines after paying Spain $20 million.

41. Benevolent assimilation of the Philippines. 1898. President William McKinley proclaimed this as there was nothing left to do with the Philippines after the Spanish-American War but to take it as a colony.

42. Assassination of General Antonio Luna. June 5, 1899. General Luna and his aide Col. Paco Roman were assassinated by fellow revolutionists in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija. This event is considered one of the tragedies of the Revolution.

43. La Independencia newspaper published Jose Palma’s poem. September 3, 1899. The poem became the lyrics for the Marcha Nacional Filipina of Julian Felipe, thereby completing a national anthem for the Philippines. On September 22, 1943, the Commonwealth government adopted the flag and the anthem as national symbols.

44. Arrival of the Presbyterian Missionaries. April 21, 1899. They were the first group of Protestant missionaries to arrive and established missions in the Philippines. They established the first Protestant University in the Philippines, Silliman University, in August 1901.

45. Battle of Tirad Pass. December 2, 1899. General Gregorio del Pilar died in action while defending Tirad Pass from the Americans soldiers.

46. Balangiga Massacre. September 28, 1890. About 180 Filipinos attacked 72 American soldiers and killed many of them. Soon after, the Americans retaliated by killing every Filipino who refused to surrender and were capable of carrying arms, including 10-year-old boys. America’s pacification policy turned Samar into a “howling wilderness.”

47. Capture of General Emilio Aguinaldo in Palanan, Isabela. March 23, 1901. The American colonial government considered this the end of the Revolution.

48. Public education system. 1901. The Philippine Commission passed Act 74 providing for the public education system, which includes the use of English as the medium of instruction, free primary education and a normal school for the training of teachers. The Thomasites arrived in the Philippines to serve as teachers. The normal school on Taft Avenue in Manila is now known as the Philippine Normal University.

49. Antisedition Law. October 1, 1901. The American colonial government passed Act 292 to quell armed nationalist sentiments during the era.

50. Founding of Union Obrero Democratica. 1902. This first labor federation in the country was established at Teatro Variedades in Sampaloc, Manila, with Isabelo de los Reyes as president and Hermenigildo Cruz as secretary. The organization celebrated Labor Day the following year.

51. Establishment of civil government. July 2, 1902. The US Congress signed the Cooper Bill that provided for the establishment of a civil government in the Philippines.

52. Iglesia Filipina Independiente (Philippine Independent Church). August 3, 1902. The first Filipino church independent of Rome to be established with Gregorio Aglipay as the first bishop. It was a result of the disparagement and prejudice felt by nationalistic priests.

53. Manila Electric Railway and Light Co. (Meralco). March 24, 1903. Granted franchise by the government to supply Manila and its environs with electricity and the electric street-railway system.

54. Pensionado Law. August 27, 1903. Act 854 provided for scholarship of Filipino students to universities in the United States and their return to the Philippines to serve in various fields, including government.

55. The first Labor Day rally in the Philippines. May 1, 1903. Organized by the Union Obrero Democratica de Filipinas. Thousands of participants marched to Malacañang to publicly demand for working conditions.

56. Philippine Constabulary School. February 19, 1905. It was first established at the Santa Lucia Barracks in Intramuros, transferred in 1908 in Baguio City as the Philippine Military Academy, and developed into a premier military school.

57. Inauguration of the first Philippine Assembly. October 16, 1907. It served as the lower house of a bicameral legislature with the Philippine Commission as the upper house.

58. Creation of the University of the Philippines. June 18, 1908. The country’s premier state university was created by Act 1870.

59. First court case of libel. October 30, 1908. El Renacimiento published in its editorial “Aves de Rapina” (Birds of Prey) about a man who preyed on his enemy the way an eagle, vulture, owl and a vampire do. American Secretary of the Interior Dean C. Worcester felt alluded to in the article and sued the paper’s editor and publisher Teodoro M. Kalaw and Martin Ocampo. Worcester won the case and the newspaper was closed.

60. Iglesia Evangelica Metodista en las Islas Filipinas. February 28, 1909. The first indigenous evangelical church in the Philippines founded by Nicolas Zamora as a result of the separation of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

61. Iglesia ni Cristo. 1914. An indigenous church founded by Felix Manalo. Its leaders are often wooed by politicians who are aware of the church’s tendency to vote by block.

62. Founding of Congreso Obrero de Filipinas. May 1, 1913. Organized by Hermenigildo Cruz, the organization battled for an eight-hour working day, abolition of child labor, just labor standards for women and liability of capitalists.

63. Flag Day. October 31, 1919. Proclaimed by the National Assembly.

64. National Federation of Women’s Clubs. 1921. It was organized primarily to advance the political rights of Filipino women and later on developed into an organization of women leaders for national development. Among its prominent members were Pilar Hidalgo Lim, Josefa Llanes Escoda and Trinidad F. Legarda.

65. Radio stations. June 1922. First serviced Manila and Pasay before they expanded to the provinces. Most of the stations were confiscated by the Japanese during the war. Christine G. Dulnuan, National Historical Institute

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

100 significant events in Philippine history

First of three parts

Philippine history is made up of thousands of events that happened from the earliest period ever documented to the present. This list includes only 100 major events that influenced Philippine history from the 14th century to the end of the 20th century. Interestingly, the events included on this list represent major areas where the life of the nation revolves like trade and commerce, religion, culture, literature and arts, education, various movements, wars and revolutions, laws and government, and military. Moreover, the events mentioned here are crucial in understanding the present and future of the Philippines as a nation.

1. Trading with the Chinese. 10th century. They dominated Philippine commerce from then on.

2. Arrival of Arab traders and missionaries. Mid-14th century. They conducted trade and preached Islam in Sulu that later spread to other parts of the country.

3. Arrival of Ferdinand Magellan. March 1521. It marked the beginning of Spanish interest in the Philippines as several Spanish expeditions followed.

4. First Mass in the Philippines. March 31, 1521. It was held in Limasawa, an island in Southern Leyte. Symbolized the conversion of many Filipinos to Roman Catholicism.

5. Death of Ferdinand Magellan. April 27, 1521.

6. Landing of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi in Cebu. 1565. This marked the beginning of Spanish dominion in the Philippines as Legazpi later established the seat of Spanish colonial government in Manila.

7. Blood Compact. March 1565. Spanish Captain General Legazpi and Rajah Sikatuna performed the blood compact in Bohol as a sign of peace agreement between their parties.

8. First agreement for peace in the Philippines. June 4, 1565. Rajah Tupas and Legazpi signed this treaty of peace. Through the treaty, Cebu would recognize the Spanish government, which, on the other hand, would provide protection to Cebu in times of wars.

9. Construction of the Church and Convent of Santo Niño, the first Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines, in Cebu by Rev. Father Andres de Urdaneta. 1565. This marked the beginning of Roman Catholicism in the Philippines as Spanish priests from other religious orders followed. The priests played significant roles in developing the country as a Spanish colony.

10. Shipbuilding. Early 1600s. Ships were built on Biliran Island and later in Cavite.

11. Longest Revolt in history. 1744-1829. Francisco Dagohoy led this longest uprising in Bohol against the Spanish government.

12. British invasion of Manila. September 23, 1762. The British invaded and occupied Manila until March 1764, when the Seven-Year War in Europe ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris. The treaty compelled the British to return Manila and its environs to Spain.

13. Tobacco Monopoly. 1781. The Spanish government established this for business purposes. It served as a big source of revenue for the Spanish government until it was closed in 1882. During the period, tobacco farms and cigarette plants in the country increased and employed many Filipinos as farmers and factory workers.

14. Surnames for Filipinos. November 21, 1849. Governor Narciso Claveria y Zaldua issued a decree that provided for the use of Spanish surnames by Filipinos to facilitate census, tax collection and administration.

15. Cofradia de San Jose. 1832-41. Founded as a religious cult which attracted many members and alarmed the government. It was disbanded after one of its prominent leaders, Apolinario de la Cruz or Hermano Pule, was killed by the government forces on November 4, 1841.

16. Quarantine Station. 1850s. The Spanish government established the Lazareto de Mariveles in Bataan as a way of checking and sanitizing passengers and cargoes of foreign ships from contagious diseases before they could enter Manila. The Americans continued this practice in 1902 by establishing quarantine services in ports of entry.

17. Sugar industry in the Philippines. 1859. Nicholas Loney from England pioneered the sugar industry that contributed to the economic growth of Iloilo and Panay.

18. Cavite Mutiny. January 20, 1872. Sergeant Lamadrid led artillery regiments and some naval crews in capturing the arsenal of Fort San Felipe in Cavite. The event was local in scope and easily quelled, but Spanish priests used it to implicate their enemies in the clergy, resulting in the execution of Fathers Mariano Gomes, Jose Burgos and Jacinto Zamora.

19. Execution of Burgos, Gomes and Zamora. February 17, 1872. The three priests, known in history as Gomburza, were garroted by the Spaniards in connection with the Cavite Mutiny.

20. Founding of La Solidaridad. 1889. The Filipino propagandists in Spain established this as the organ of the Propaganda Movement. Graciano Lopez Jaena and Marcelo H. del Pilar served as editors. It published essays and articles in Spanish expressing the Filipino demands for reforms in the Philippines. One of the writers was Jose Rizal.

21. Telephone system. 1890. The first telephone system in the Philippines is inaugurated. In 1906 the government put provincial telephone systems. In 1928 PLDT was granted franchise for the entire Philippines.

22. Establishment of Masonic Nilad Lodge or "Logia Central y Delegada." 1891. Pedro Serrano Laktaw, Moises Salvador and Jose Ramos established this Masonic lodge that was approved by Grande Oriente Español on March 10, 1892. Other lodges followed. Many Katipuneros were members of the Masonry.

23. Construction of Manila-Dagupan Railroad. 1892. It hastened transportation from Manila to Dagupan. Used by revolutionists and by American soldiers during the revolution. Another railroad was constructed in Iloilo in the early 1900s.

24 Founding of the Katipunan. July 7, 1892. Andres Bonifacio, Ladislaw Diwa and Teodoro Plata composed the first triangle of the secret society.

25. Exile of Dr. Jose Rizal. July 17, 1892. Rizal arrived in Dapitan to serve his exile. This agitated many Filipinos to fight the Spanish colonial government. The hero contributed much to the development of Dapitan during his exile.

26. Discovery of the Kati-punan. August 19, 1892. Its discovery led to the government’s crackdown on suspected members and Bonifacio’s immediate declaration of war against the Spanish government.

27. Cry of Pugad Lawin. August 23, 1892. The Katipuneros gathered in Pugad Lawin, tore their cedulas and declared war against Spain.

28. Battle of Pinaglabanan. August 31, 1896. The first battle between the Katipuneros and Spanish forces in San Juan, Rizal. Over a hundred Katipuneros were killed.

29. Battle of Zapote Bridge. February 19, 1897. One of the major battles of the Philippine Revolution.

30. Tejeros Convention. March 22, 1897. The Kati-puneros belonging to the Magdaló and Magdiwang councils changed the Kati-punan into a revolutionary government and elected its officers. Subsequent events resulted in the execution of Andres Boni-facio in Maragondon.

31. Acta de Tejeros. March 24, 1897. Bonifacio nullified the results of the elections during the Tejeros Convention.

-- Christine G. Dulnuan, National Historical Institute

Five dengue deaths reported

By JAMES KONSTANTIN GALVEZ, The Manila Times Researcher

Death continued to stalk the country’s dengue patients, claiming five more victims in Bataan, Pasig and Marikina City as of Thursday.

Among the latest victims were a six-year-old child from Valenzuela City and a four-and-a-half child from Balanga, Bataan.

Dr. Ricardo Lustre, administrator of the Amang Rodriguez Medical Center, said on Thursday that the Valenzuela child was at "critical stage 4" and died 10 hours after being taken there for treatment Wednesday.

Lustre said he was informed that two dengue patients at the Rizal Medical Center had died since September 4, while two others were in critical condition.

The names of the victims were not immediately available, Lustre added.

On the other hand, Angelica Sapa of Barangay Central, Balanga, died at dawn Wednesday while being treated at the James Gordon Hospital in Olongapo City.

Since September 7 the number of dengue cases rose to 1,447 with 21 deaths reported.

At least 16 dengue patients were admitted to the Rizal Medical Center from Wednesday morning until 2 a.m. Thursday, a day after health authorities warned that the epidemic may last until October.

The majority of patients were from Pasig City, raising to 70 the number of dengue patients at the hospital.

Eric Tayag, head of the National Epidemiology Center, said parents should give children paracetamol instead of aspirin if they are suffering from fever.

Tayag added that parents should take their children to a doctor right away if they suspect of dengue symptoms.

Tayag said the Department of Health is implementing its "4-S" program to counter the spread of the disease.

"The 4-S program includes search-and-destroy breeding sites, self-protection, seek consultation and say no to fogging, which is not effective," he said.

"Health authorities led by Secretary Francisco Duque III will start going around hospitals today to inspect the dengue express lanes," he added.

With reports from PNA

The Sinking Ceremony of the Royal Ship “Krood” on Koh Sak

Pattaya City together with the Royal Thai Navy held a ceremony in sinking the Royal Ship “Krood” under the sea, to create the a new under Water World park to celebrate His Majesty the King 60 years accession to the throne. On 17 September at 10.30 a.m on Koh Sak of Pattaya Bay, Chonburi, Admiral Sathiraphandhu Geyanont, Navy Commander in Chief led the sinking ceremony of the Royal Ship “Krood” into the sea.

Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn, Rear Admiral Reungrit Boonsongprasert, Captain Surapongse Ayasanont, Management from Pattaya City, City Councils, Government Officers and departments and other representatives joined together in the ceremony.

Pattaya City in cooperation with the Royal Thai Navy created this under Water World in recognition to His Majesty the King 60th year accession to the throne. Royal Ship “Krood” is a medium size ship used to dispatch the Navy Troops but at the moment has been dismissed. “Krood” has been sunk into the sea in the Northeastern Part of Pattaya on Koh Sak, at the latitude of 12 degree and 57.1 libra, in North with latitude of 100 degree 48.1 Libra, East (bearing 034, distant 1,000 yard from Koh Sak, with depth approximately 33 meters).

The purpose of sinking is to create an artificial coral reef area and to add this place to the lists of new tourist attraction around Pattaya City for those visitors and tourist who are interesting in the diving sport to view the beauty of the coral reef and under water animals.

Admiral Sathiraphandhu Geyanont said that the Navy brought the Royal Navy Ship “Kram” and sunk in under the sea around Koh Pai on 30 January 2006 creating a new tourist place and help to conserve the under water animals. It also helps the under water environmental for the animals to expand their species and to encourage the diving sport in this area.

Diving is very popular in Thailand for both local Thai and foreign tourists. Many of them are very interested in this sport. The Navy considered that it would be the best advantage to cooperate with Pattaya City and other related department on the ship sinking project. Therefore, they have sunk the dismissed Royal Ship “Krood” in Pattaya Bay. Creating a new under Water World Park. It is hope to increase the number of ocean lives, as well as to promote new places of water attraction, for those who like diving, to build consciousness to people to help conserve the natural resources.

The Royal Ship “Krood” was sunk into the sea since the Navy has many ships that is no longer in operation and has been dismissed from duties. Pattaya City had requested too, that Navy will sink some of the non-use war ship into the Gulf of Pattaya.

The Navy has considered and decided that “Krood” as the most suitable with appropriate size. For other ships it’s either too small or too large. Some of ships the Navy have to preserve them as collection for the Museum. Whereas “Krood” is the Landing Ship Medium) with vessel of 513 ton to 912 ton fullest. The whole stretch length is 61.5 meter, 10.15 meters wide, at the water depth of 1.27 meters. Installed with 1 firearm, a 40 millimeters Bofost and machine gun, 20 millimeters. With large Diesel engine of 1,800 horsepower, with 2 propeller shafts, able to go at the speed of 13.5 knots, with radius of 2,580 miles. Staff on board the ship consists of 8 Military Officers, 6 Warrant Officers, 30 Sergeants and 24 navy officers.

The former name of “Krood” is USS EXNO (LSM 333) constructed by Pullman Works, Chicago, USA who molded the structure on 16 June 1944, the Thai Government bought the Ship for 235,000 US Dollars under the navy helping project. The presentation ceremony was done in Subic Gulf on 8 May 1947 and it was in the positioned in the Royal Thai Navy on 20 November 1947.

The Royal Ship “Krood” has conducted many imported duties such as transporting of navy troops and support and exchange of Thai forces in the Korean War, patrolling about the sea border coast and training ship for Navy Students. The ship has been serving the country for more than 57 years, the ships has gone into wear and tear condition and is no longer worth to repair to its original state. The Navy therefore dismissed it from duties since 30 July 2004.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Justice dep’t to probe alien control of PLDT

Eyes violations of Anti-Dummy Law


JUSTICE Secretary Raul Gonzalez yesterday said he will direct the National Bureau of Investigation to look into the possible violations by the controlling owners of Philippine Long Distance Telephone of the Anti-Dummy Law in acquiring shareholdings exceeding the 40 percent cap on foreign ownership of public utilities.

Gonzalez was reacting to a Malaya report which placed foreign ownership in the telecommunication company at 61 percent.

Gonzalez, however, said he would not order an official investigation for fear of being accused of harassing foreign investors.

"Since there is no substantial evidence yet, I don’t want to order an investigation that will appear as if we are harassing businessmen. The policy of the government is to encourage businessmen to come in," he said.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said he will also look into the PLDT’s alleged violation of the Filipino ownership requirement.

He said he would likely tap the Presidential Commission on Good Government as he was not familiar with the shareholding and management structure of PLDT.

Gonzalez said he heard about the alien ownership issue in PLDT before the Malaya report came out, but was wary that any government move might alarm foreign investors.

"If we have something more than stories circulating around, yes, we will investigate. But we don’t want to unnecessarily appear like harassing business, big businessmen like them," he said.

He said that once it is shown that more than 40 percent of PLDT’s equity is owned by foreign investors, the management and the controlling shareholders could be charged with violating the Anti-Dummy Law (RA 2937).

This law provides: "Any person, corporation, or association which, having in its name or under its control, a right, franchise, privilege, property or business, the exercise or enjoyment of which is expressly reserved by the Constitution or the laws to citizens of the Philippines or of any other specific country, or to corporations or associations at least sixty per centum of the capital of which is owned by such citizens … in any manner permits or allows any person not possessing the qualifications required by the Constitution, or existing laws to acquire, use, exploit or enjoy a right, franchise, privilege, property or business, the exercise and enjoyment of which are expressly reserved by the Constitution or existing laws to citizens of the Philippines or of any other specific country, to intervene in the management, operation, administration or control thereof, whether as an officer, employee or laborer therein with or without remuneration except technical personnel whose employment may be specifically authorized by the Secretary of Justice, and any person who knowingly aids, assists, or abets in the planning, consummation or perpetration of any of the acts herein above enumerated shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than fifteen years and by a fine of not less than the value of the right, franchise, or privilege enjoyed or acquired in violation of the provisions hereof but in no case less than five thousand pesos."

In submissions to the New York Stock Exchange where PLDT and its major foreign investor, First Pacific, are listed, the investments of PCD Nominees Corp., presumed to be an arm of First Pacific registered in Bermuda, are stated at 31.23 percent.

Together with JP Morgan Hong Kong Nominees Corp. (Hong Kong) with an investment of 16.37 percent, NTT Communications Corp. (Japanese), with 6.91 percent and NTT Docomo (Japanese), with 6.91 percent, the foreign holdings of common shares in PLDT come up to 60.4 per cent.

These submissions are not identical to disclosures made to the Philippine Stock Exchange where PLDT is also listed.

In the company profile submitted to the NYSE, PCD Nominees Corp. with 31.23 percent, is described as foreign. The nationalities of the same company with identical equity are described as "various" in submissions to the Philippine Stock Exchange.

The number of PLDT board seats was recently increased from nine to 13. NTT has been allowed to nominate two seats. First Pacific is entitled to six or a total of eight members nominated by foreign stockholders.

This is equivalent to 60 percent of the board seats and identical to the extent of foreign holdings.

Based on intertwined relationships of First Pacific with other foreign firms, it appears that nearly all of the 60 percent foreign control is held by First Pacific, an Indonesian company operating out of Hong Kong and registered in Bermuda. – With Regina Bengco

Drilon deplores jobless growth despite Palace proclamation

Senator Franklin M. Drilon Wednesday chided Malacañang for continuing to brag about alleged economic gains of government while at the same time failing to address the unemployment and underemployment problem in the country.

"Notwithstanding all the trumpeted economic gains, we have not improved in the past five years in terms of providing decent employment for our people," said Drilon, who is the head of the Senate finance committee.

Drilon made this statement after a Senate briefing last Tuesday of the Development Budget Coordinating Council on the proposed P1.126 trillion national budget for year 2007.

The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) reported a 5.5 percent growth in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and reported that for the first quarter of 2006, unemployment rate is 11.3 percent and underemployment for the same period is 25.4 percent.

While noting that it was too early to make a serious assessment on Malacañang's proposed 2007 budget, Drilon said most senators would like to look into the specifics of measures such as the improved GDP and its effects on the worsening problem of unemployment and underemployment among Filipinos.

"We don't want to make an assessment at this point," Drilon said. "From the briefing, we can see a respectable GDP growth. However, my impression is that this is what we call a jobless growth," Drilon said.

"Our unemployment problem remains at about 11.4 percent on the average for the past five years. That is about 3.3 million Filipinos unemployed every year. The underemployment is worse. It is about 25 percent, or over eight million Filipinos underemployed, " Drilon explained.

He added, "This is over 11 million unemployed and underemployed out of a workforce of 33 million. This is the worst in the Asean region. We have not improved in the past five years."

The former Senate President noted that while of the country's economic managers have been bragging about an improved GDP growth, majority of the Filipinos remained poor and jobless.

"I will ask these questions because I have always suspected that while we have a respectable GDP growth, the benefits have not trickled down to the economic classes C, D, E and the ordinary Juan dela Cruz is asking, 'what does it mean to me? All these good macro economic indicators, what does it mean to me: do I have a job?" Drilon said.

"It appears that our unemployment rate has been maintained over the past five years, notwithstanding all the trumpeted economic gains," he added.

During the Development Budget Coordinating Council briefing, Drilon asked NEDA Director Romulo Neri: "Would you agree with me that notwithstanding all the gains in the economy that we claimed to have made, our unemployment rate has not changed at all?"

But Neri could only reply that government was now putting emphasis on infrastructure investments to generate employment after focusing on stabilizing the fiscal part of the economy for the first few years

Junkets leave House deserted

By Maricel V. Cruz, Manila Times Reporter

Monday was a slow day at the House of Representatives, with less than 50 of the 233 members answering the roll call.

Without a quorum, presiding speaker Rep. Del de Guzman of Marikina adjourned the session a few minutes after it opened.

The absentees were either attending the 27th General Assembly of the Asean Interparliamentary Organization (AIPO) in Cebu City or have joined President Arroyo on her nine-day state visit to Europe and Northern America.

At least 30 congressmen attended the one-week AIPO conference, which opened Monday.

With the President are Davao Oriental’s Corazon Malanyaon, Pasay City’s Consuelo Dy, Quezon City’s Nanette Castello-Daza, Occidental Min­doro’s Ma. Amelita Villarosa, Quezon’s Danilo Suarez, Lanao del Sur’s Benasing Macarambon, Palawan’s Antonio Alvarez, Misamis Oriental’s Augusto Baculio, Negros Occidental’s Ignacio Arroyo and Bacolod City’s Monico Puentevella.

With Speaker Jose de Venecia at the AIPO meeting were Robert Ace Barbers of Surigao del Norte, chairman of the Committee on Accounts; Roberto Cajes of Cebu City, chairman of the Committee on Ethics, Antonio Cuenco of Cebu, chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations; Deputy Speaker for Visayas Raul del Mar; Simeon Datumanong of Maguindanao, chairman of the Committee on Justice; Edgar Chatto of Cebu, chairman of the Committee on Tourism; Antonio Yapha of Cebu, Committee on Health; Eduardo Gullas of Cebu, Matias Defensor of Quezon City, Roque Ablan of Ilocos Norte, Mark Cojuangco of Pangasinan, Vincent Garcia of Davao City, Josefina Joson of Nueva Ecijia, Eduardo Zialcita of Parañaque, Lorna Silverio of Bulacan, Emmylou Taliño-Santos of North Cotabato, Simeon Kintanar of Cebu, Milagros Magsaysay of Zambales and Juan Miguel Zubiri of Bukidnon, to name a few.

Many congressmen admitted having a hard time attending Monday sessions because they were returning to Manila from their provinces after a long weekend.

Legislators hold sessions from Mondays to Wednesdays, and supposedly devote the rest of the week to being with their constituents.

“Vanishing tribe of congresspersons because of leaderlessism,” quipped Douglas Cagas of Davao City, House contingent head to the Electoral Tribunal.

“This makes it difficult to transact business in the plenary. We cannot start floor discussions on Charter change,” Cagas added.

This week is also shaping up to be a lethargic one for committee hearings.

For instance, at the budget hearing conducted by the Committee on Appropriations, only 7 of at least 150 committee members attended.

Normally, a congressman is entitled to a $300 (about P15,000) allowance a day when he goes on foreign trips. The amount covers food and hotel allowances.

But the nine House members accompanying the President were not given any allowance by the House, according to Robert Ace Barbers, chairman of the Committee on Accounts.

Barbers said a lawmaker is given an allowance for official foreign trips if these have something to do with the events or affairs of the House

Zambales' Nagal Stops Akihiro in Two

By Rey Danseco

Showing one punch knockout power, Philippine rated brawler Alfred Nagal annihilated Japanese Shippu Akihiro at 2:21 of the second round in Japan.

The southpaw Nagal, ranked No. 5 light flyweight in the country, floored Akihiro twice en route to score an impressive victory in his Japan debut on Sunday night at IMP Hall in Osaka.

A devastating left straight to the jaw finished off the previously unbeaten Japanese, fighter who was counted out by the referee. The fight was scheduled for 8-round as one of the six-fight in the card of Osaka Teiken Promotions.

The last time the pride of Barangay Bamban in Masinloc, Zambales made the same feat on December 18 in Trece Martirez, Cavite. Trailing on points, Nagal knocked out Robert Rubillar with a single left cross in round 8.

Nagal, who turned 26 years old Wednesday, improved to 19-15-2 record with 11 knockouts in his career.

“First time lang lumaban ni Nagal sa abroad kaya pinaghandaan talaga nya. Suwerte (si Nagal) na-knockout ang kalaban,” said trainer-turned matchmaker Ronald Jerez, who seconded Nagal.

Nagal, who once challenger for RP and Philippine Boxing Federation light flyweight titles, took home $420 (more than P21,000) from the stipulated $1,000 purse.

Nagal’s manager Melvin Sagun shared $280. The Mandaluyong-based Japanese Yuki Murayama, who matched Nagal in the fight, and Jerez took home $100 each, like the amount of the license fee from Japanese Boxing Commission (JBC). Jerez also took the P3,180 that he spent for Nagal’s medical fee requirements.

Nagal trained for the fight at Tiger City Gym in Mandaluyong City under former two-division world champion Luisito Espinosa’s younger brother Lando Espinosa.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

No prejudice in Cyber City call center: official

By Reynaldo G. Navales - Sun Star

CLARK ECOZONE -- A pioneering call center in the Clark Special Economic Zone (CSEZ) has eschewed discrimination in the workplace and welcomes disabled persons into its fold.

George Sorio, senior executive vice president of Cyber City, said they are giving equal opportunities to qualified disabled persons in the call center industry in a bid to level the playing field.

A number of disabled persons had already been employed in Cyber City, which has recently called for a permanent stop to the culture of pirating call center representatives (CSRs) and technology support workers.

"There is no discrimination in Cyber City," said Regina Rael, sales representative.

Rael has been with Cyber City for four years. The company encourages disabled persons like her to be positive in life and try to get a decent employment like in Cyber City.

Sorio has called on disabled persons to apply in Cyber City and become world-class sales representatives in the multimillion-dollar call center industry. Cyber City is hiring an additional 800 CSRs and technical support workers.

The Clark Investors and Locators Association (Cila) earlier supported Cyber City to put an end to the pirating of CSRs or technology support workers.

Cila president Frankie Villanueva supported Sorio, saying that the culture of pirating the limited number of CSRs and technology support workers is not helping the unemployment problem.

Sorio said the high attrition rate of 80 percent among call centers in Manila and the habit of pirating CSRs might result in the collapse of the call center industry in the Philippines.

He also said that the decline in the English proficiency of Filipino students and new graduates had also contributed to the all-time low rate of three to five percent of applicants being hired among call centers. For every 100 applicants, only three or five are being accepted.

Sorio said pirating CSRs was not helping to resolve the problem of unemployment and underemployment because it does not contribute to the hiring of new workers but instead just recycle the limited number of manpower source.

He said Cyber City, which has around 2,500 workers in Clark ecozone, is bent to provide a training program for prospective CSR applicants to make them more competitive in the global market.

Poor sewage treatment, sanitation costs P67B

By Ronnie Calumpita, Manila Times Reporter

POOR sewage treatment and sewerage—resulting in bad sanitation—in Metro Manila, if not in the country, is costing the economy at least P67 billion a year, according to government authorities.

The inability to dispose, collect and treat human and industrial waste also sends thousands of Filipinos daily to hospitals, doctors’ offices and drugstores for diarrhea, dysentery and respiratory diseases.

Poor sanitation has polluted rivers, lakes, bays and esteros, principally Manila Bay, the Pasig River and Laguna Lake. Countless rivers in Luzon are considered biologically dead because of industrial and human pollution.

Swimmers, bathers and fishermen have complained of pain, discomfort and diseases after swimming or taking a dip in the Pasig River or in Manila Bay.

Pollution has seeped into tap water and public faucets, restaurants, hotels, cocktail lounges and other public places.

As a result, not only hotels and restaurants but most households have shifted to buying bottled drinking water.

In slum neighborhoods, residents continue to dispose of waste in plastic and paper bags in somebody else’s backyard.

Commuter train passengers have complained about being hit by feces thrown by residents living along railroad tracks.

The blight has turned off foreign and domestic tourists who have complained about eyesores, stench and dirty tap water. They get a bigger shock when they get out of Metro Manila and hit the countryside.

Bottled water

The crisis has produced a booming industry: the distilled or bottled water business. Every middle-class family in Metro Manila supports the business. Water refilling stations abound in the region.

The sewerage system must have begun during the American colonial period, although the waterworks system started during the time of the Spanish governor-general, Luis Dasmariñas, in the later part of the 19th century.

But since Manila (and later Metro Manila) began by fits and starts, by accretion, no centralized planning seemed to have anticipated a modern, citywide sewerage system.

People are asking what Cabinet or government office is responsible for overseeing a modern sewerage system. Is it the Department of Environment and Natural Resources? The Department of Public Works and Highways? The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System?

Or shouldn’t local governments be responsible through zoning ordinances?

Is there a law calling for a modern sewerage system? The Clean Water Act should have taken care of that. But since its enactment in 2004, nothing much by way of improved sewerage has happened.

Why isn’t the Department of Tourism raising a howl against the problem, which is an eyesore for the tourism industry? The Department of Health should give a care because of the threat to public health and safety. What does the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority have to say?

What is the role of Congress? Does it give a hoot?

Let’s rewind to a time in the not-too-distant past when practically every schoolyard in Metropolitan Manila had a row of drinking fountains from which the grade-school children and their elders in high school could slake their thirst. Practically every household had access to potable water—from their taps.

Even earlier—during the days before World War II—the city of Manila was crisscrossed by numerous esteros—tributaries of the Pasig River that dissect the city—ready sources of freshwater food fish like the ayungin for the residents.

Nick Joaquin, National Artist for literature, in his book Manila, My Manila, recounts that the esteros not only were sources of food for the table but served as avenues of commerce. The cascos bearing most household needs for sale to the residents used the waterways as avenues for commerce.

Not anymore.

Not only are most of the esteros gone (some of them covered and cemented over to make way for the inward expansion of the population) what are left are so filled with garbage of all imaginable variety the stench permeates the atmosphere for blocks on end.

And drinking fountains and potable tap water in households? Forget it. One swig is a virtual invitation to all sorts of gastric diseases with all the viruses wreaking havoc on one’s digestive system.

This is perhaps being alarmist, but fears have been raised that with the quality of water from the faucets, the day may not be very far off when the simple hygienic expedient of brushing one’s teeth (and using tap water) may cause serious dental disorders.

It’s almost that line from Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner coming to visit the once Noble and Ever Loyal City: Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink.

Downward spiral

How did this downward spiral happen?

Too many people, too many industrial factories and other commercial establishments all dumping their waste into the Pasig and its tributaries, which in turn carry this lethal cargo into Manila Bay.

To illustrate: Take a cruise along the Pasig from its source at Laguna de Bay to its delta past Manila’s Fort Santiago and the Del Pan Bridge. Count the number of factories and shanties of informal settlers—the current euphemism for squatters. Most of the factories have no facilities to treat the sewage they dump into the river. And the squatters? Forget it. Practically all of them do not have what pass for toilets, in the first place.

By the time you go past the Guadalupe Bridge in Makati, you shall have lost count. Worse, you shall be throwing up.

We’ve had countless campaigns to save the Pasig but most of them have been flashes in the pan.

And we’re not even talking of potable, drinking water yet.

Metro Manila’s only remaining watershed and the primary source of its drinking water—La Mesa Dam—has been shrinking from the onslaught of migration even the water it sends down to the antiquated Balara filtration plant in Quezon City is polluted.

Deep well

A good number of people have resorted to the deep-well method. Even that is not too reliable anymore. Decades of indiscriminate dumping of waste have allowed pollutants to seep down to the water table. So what appears to be crystal-clear water may in fact be harboring billions of those microscopic little buggers that spell disease.

But besides posing horrendous health problems, water pollution has an adverse impact on the economy. It costs the country P67 billion annually in economic losses.

Water-borne diseases like diarrhea, cholera, typhoid and paratyphoid and hepatitis A account for 31 percent of the total number of illnesses with an annual health cost of P3 billion. The fisheries production loses P17 billion; tourism chalks up P47 billion in losses every year.

These losses totaling P67 billion annually do not include those traceable to environmental damage in terms of compensation and claims of affected communities that have been displaced, and lost income and livelihood.

Wastewater generation based on the water demand shows that of the total of 7.2 million cubic meters (MCM) generated daily, 5.2 MCM a day comes from urbanized areas, of which 2.4 MCM a day is from Metro Manila alone.

The wastewater, including sewage, must be treated and meet the minimum standards of effluents before they can be discharged to bodies of water. Sadly, such treatment is hardly practiced.

In the domestic picture, only 7 percent of Metro Manila households have access to sewerage service, one of the reasons untreated domestic wastewater has continued to pollute the metropolis’ bodies of water.

World Bank study

Citing a study by the World Bank, DENR Undersecretary Francisco Bravo, also the acting director of the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau, said at least 93 percent of the domestic wastewater goes to Manila Bay through the Pasig River. “There is also a big possibility that ground water is also contaminated.”

Besides the Pasig River, the Navotas-Malabon-Tenejeros-Tullahan river system north of Manila also drains a huge volume of untreated wastewater also into the Manila Bay.

As a palliative solution, Bravo says sewage or toilet waste (feces and urine) should also be regularly collected and treated. “Water concessionaires should be the one to collect it.”

The process should really pose no problems to the residents of areas serviced by water concessionaires.

Regular desludging of septic tanks is one of the provisions contained in the concession contracts of the Manila Water Co. Inc. and the Maynilad Water Services Inc. with the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System.

A precursor to the concessions foresaw this need.

Presidential Decree 856, or the Sanitation Code of 1975, also requires local government units to provide adequate and efficient system for sewage collection, transport and disposal.

This law, whose implementing agencies are the Departments of Health and of Public Works and Highways, however, is not being enforced and monitored as septic tanks are seldom deslodged, a World Bank report said.

Republic Act 9275, or the Clean Water Act of 2004, also mandates that all households must be connected to a sewerage system or included in any sewerage treatment programs of the water concessionaires and water districts such as regular collection of sewage from septic tanks every five years.


Water concessionaires are contract-bound to regularly collect sewage from households that have no sewerage since they are charging their customers environmental fees.

This rate is intended to help fund the development of free desludging of septic tanks and sludge disposal services by the water concessionaires.

Households in Metro Manila and several areas in Rizal and Cavite serviced by the two water concessionaires that have no sewerage are charged an added 10-percent environmental tax in their water bills.

In all of Asia, Manila is next only to Jakarta in terms of poor sewerage service, a World Bank study shows.

“Maybe Jakarta could surpass [Metro] Manila in providing sewerage services,” Jitendra Sha, World Bank senior environmental specialist for East Asia and the Pacific region, said in an interview during a workshop on beach ecowatch program on Boracay Island.

He noted that lack of sewerage to treat domestic wastewater pollutes not only bodies of water but ground water, which also serves as drinking water for many communities that have no access to water concessionaires and water districts outside Metro Manila.

Water samples from 129 wells nationwide show that 75 indicate a high level of coliform bacteria, or 58 percent, a World Bank study said.

Coliform is a type of bacteria that invades the intestinal tracts of humans and warm-blooded animals and also affects plants, soil, air and the aquatic environment.


“This is a challenge for the people and for politicians to solve the sewerage problem. More money must be invested in the sewerage system because it [untreated wastewater] is costing everybody’s health and even the tourism industry,” Sha said.

The World Bank, in a recent Philippines Environment Monitor report, said the improvements in sewerage and sanitation services have experienced delays, causing the two water concessionaires not to meet their targets.

The Bank said Manila Water “did not meet its sanitation target when the company moved away from dumping sewage into the sea and instead set up sludge processing plants.”

The dumping of raw sewage in the waters of Zambales in the South China Sea was stopped after environmental groups in the province and nongovernment organizations, led by Timpuyog-Zambales as well as local officials, protested because of its adverse effects on the province’s rich marine resources.

La Rainn Abad Sarmiento, Timpuyog-Zambales president, said the dumping of raw sewage, part of Manila Water’s Manila Second Sewerage Project, began in November 2001 until March 2002.

Besides lack of available funding, Maynilad Water “had a difficulty in accelerating the desludging services, because these services can only be done during nonwork and nonrush hours and 40 percent of the West Zone comprises depressed areas with no septic tanks. Likewise, the public has poor sanitation awareness and is not keen in desludging its septic tanks.”

Why not build sewer networks then? Out of the question at the moment, because of one factor: the expenses involved

Protecting children is our prime duty

Fr. Shay Cullen - Manila Times

Despite all the wars that start and stop, there is one that never ends. That is the one against child abusers and traffickers.

In the UK a recent report says that not enough is being done by the child protection agencies to investigate and stop the trafficking of children. In the Philippines, hardly any trafficker is brought to justice making this a preferred destination for pedophiles and sex tourists apparently with the approval of government officials with personal business interests in the tourist industry.

Only last week, an 8-year-old Austrian child who had been abducted and kept in a basement dudgeon-like room for 10 years escaped. She had paired with her abuser as a way of survival. He killed himself by jumping in front of a train. Later she said she was mourning his death.

A few weeks ago, I was tipped off about a similar case in which a 16-year-old had been abducted and taken to a secret location in Angeles City by a 56-year-old Dutch child-sex abuser. He is wanted for tax evasion in the Netherlands. This year, he built a sex hotel in Baloy Beach, Olongapo, from where he allegedly trafficked young women over the Internet to prospective sex tourists who flew to the Philippines to meet a sex partner.

Luckily, I was able to find his secret sex den in Angeles City and had him arrested. With social workers, we rescued the teenager. She had already been made docile and submissive by her abuser and refused at first to leave him. Now he is charged in court for child abuse while the girl is recovering at the Preda children’s home for trafficked girls. She has had a change of mind and heart. After two weeks of therapy, she is willing to see him go to jail for his many crimes against minors. Now we hope the prosecutors will do their duty and prosecute him to the end.

A German also from Baloy Beach is on trial in Olongapo for obstruction of justice. In order to protect a convicted Australian pedophile from another charge of child abuse, he allegedly abducted the child and had her adopted by a foreign couple in Manila before she could testify. He refused to divulge her whereabouts to police. This is evidence of trafficking, according to Sen. Jamby Madrigal who has summoned the German and a dozen of other witnesses from the police, Department of Justice and Immigration to explain why the accused was released from the immigration prison to carry on with impunity his alleged nefarious activities.

Madrigal is a well-known defender of the rights of women and children. She has called a public hearing of the Philippine Senate Committee on Youth, Women and Family Relations tomorrow based on a Senate resolution, the purpose of which is “to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation on the release from detention of an alleged child trafficker and pedophile [name withheld] with the end in view of formulating stronger legal measures to prevent the reoccurrence of a similar incident involving alleged offenders of child protection laws.”

Senator Madrigal heard the news that the German was arrested and jailed in Manila because he was undocumented and had a deportation order issued against him. A German court had issued an arrest warrant against him for alleged kidnapping and extortion of a German couple. He allegedly forced them to sign a fake deed of sale covering their beach property in Palawan in favor of the German’s Filipino wife.

An NBI agent suspected of being involved will be with Senator Madrigal to testify. The trafficking of children and women is growing by the power of the Internet. The extent to which the Internet is used to transmit child pornography is phenomenal. It accounts for 80 percent of all pornography sent over the Internet. British Telecoms, which provides customers’ access to the Internet, has connected up with a charity to block access to child pornography sites. This is something that Internet service providers in the Philippines and elsewhere need to do.

The new legislation proposed by Senator Madrigal seeks to proscribe the possession of child pornography and to compel ISPs to filter child pornography. Protecting vulnerable children is our prime duty as human beings and above all as Christians

Monday, September 11, 2006

PGMA training-for-work scholarship program now in full swing in Region 8

The PGMA Training for Work Scholarship Program is now in full swing in Region 8 through the TESDA Region 8 headed by Regional Director Juan M. Sabulao Jr.

TESDA 8, during the latest episode of PIA Panindugan, disclosed that todate, there are already more than two hundred scholars training under the PGMA Training for work Scholarship Program. A total of one hundred sixteen (116) are training as call center agents, 50 scholars are training for the fist level welding, 21 scholars are in the second level of welding training, 15 are training in slaughtering and 20 are training are Technical Vocational Trainors.

The call center agents will be ready for employment as a call center company has already decided to locate in Leyte. The welders will be hired at the Henjen shipbuilding company in Subic while the butchers who are training in slaughtering are required in Australia.

One of the guests of Panindugan was Radel M. Llauderes from Pinabacdao, Samar who is training in the gas metal arch welding course. After his training, he will already be ready for hiring at the shipbuilding company in Subic. Radel who also sings well is known as the singing welder.

He said he is grateful to President Arroyo and TESDA because he never dreamed that he will be able to come to Tacloban to train, much more to have the chance to be employed in Subic. He said he was called by TESDA in Samar and he was made to undergo competency assessment. Then he was surprised when he was told that he will be trained through the scholarship of President Arroyo so that he will be ready for employment in Subic.

The PGMA Training for Work Scholarship Program was launched by President Arroyo in May of 2006 as tribute to the Filipino worker who needs more training in order to be employed. This program which is being implemented nationwide through the TESDA is hoped to make possible employment for Filipino workers.

Henry Sy quitting Keppel board


MALL TYCOON Henry Sy Sr. is resigning from his directorship at Keppel Philippine Holdings Corp., an affiliate of Singaporean conglomerate, citing "work pressure in the SM Group of Companies."

The board of Keppel Philippine Holdings has yet to act on Sy's resignation, which was tendered on Sept. 5.

In a letter to Keppel Philippine Holdings chairman Teo Soon Hoe, Sy has recommended SM Development Corp. president Rogelio Cabuñag to replace him on the board.

Sy's SM group owns about nine percent of Keppel Philippine Holdings. He has been a director since 1989.

Sy is also a director of Keppel Philippines Marine Inc., Subic Shipyard & Engineering Inc., Keppel Philippines Properties Inc., and SM Keppel Land Inc

Friday, September 08, 2006

DepEd to bat for integrating ICT in basic courses

EDUCATION Secretary Jesli Lapus wants information and communications technology integrated into basic education, and he is working hard to get more money for the purpose.

Speaking at the 2nd National ICTs in Basic Education Congress, which started on Wednesday at the Waterfront Hotel in Lahug, Cebu City, Lapus said his goal is to make communication technology a part of the country’s basic education program.

“The quality of, and access to, basic education remains our overriding goal,” Lapus said. “All our efforts are geared toward providing students with skills in the use of appropriate technologies.”

Lapus said that computer use in schools is very low. He noted that in public-elementary schools, computer-to-student ratio is 1:25,000, and computer-to-teacher ratio is 1:728. In public-high schools, computer-to-student ratio is 1:111 and computer to teacher ratio is 1:3.

He said only 69 percent of public-high schools in the country have access to a computer. The goal is to provide at least one computer to 75 percent of the schools by the end of next year.

Over a five-year period, the goal is to equip all 4,729 public-high schools with multimedia libraries and at least 20 percent of all public-elementary schools with computer laboratories.

The bulk of the money to fund ICT in education will come from DepEd’s budget. However, the department is planning to tap local governments, government corporations, the private sector, parent-teacher associations and foreign-development assistance.

To integrate ICT in basic education, the department must take into account several issues that affect its implementation, including the obsolescence and maintenance of current ICT resources, Lapus added.

Lapus said his department is coordinating with government agencies and nongovernment organizations to mobilize resources and encourage local government investment through the Special Education Fund.

He hopes to spur early creation of an ICT Basic Education Fund for facilities improvement, curriculum development, research and development, monitoring and evaluation and training.

“In the end, this boils down to how much resources we can allocate,” he said. “Through our combined efforts, we will be able to provide our children with the quality education they need to become truly productive and competitive.”
--Jonathan Hicap -- Manila Times