Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Relief web - Report

Situation report - 01 Dec 2009 (NCR, Regions I, III, and IV-A)

Source: Community and Family Services International (CFSI)
Date: 01 Dec 2009

Full_Report (pdf* format - 48.8 Kbytes)

Reporting Organization: Community and Family Services International (CFSI)

Report Date: 01 December 2009

Report Description: Update on CFSI field activities in the areas affected by Tropical Storm Ketsana (Ondoy), Typhoon Parma (Pepeng), and Typhoon Mirinae (Santi)

Report Period: 14 October—30 November 2009

Areas Covered: National Capital Region (NCR): Marikina City, Pasig City, and Quezon City
Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR): Baguio City and Benguet Province

Region I: Pangasinan Province

Region III: Aurora, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, and Zambales Provinces

Region IV-A: Cainta Municipality, Rizal Province


- Beginning 03 October 2009, CFSI deployed its Luzon Emergency Response Team (CFSI-LERT) to assess and respond to the needs of people affected and displaced by Tropical Storm Ketsana (Ondoy) and Typhoon Parma (Pepeng) in NCR, Region IV-A, and Region III. These areas were selected on the basis of perceived humanitarian impact, need for psychosocial support, and reasonable access. CFSI field activity continued and expanded with the onset of Typhoon Mirinae (Santi).

- From 14 October through 30 November, CFSI served the following number of people:

Food: In partnership with WFP and DSWD, CFSI provided food assistance to 48,695 families (243,475 persons) in 34 municipalities in Aurora, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, and Zambales Provinces. The WFP food aid package consists of the standard 25 kg of rice; a few areas received cooking oil and high-energy biscuits as supplemental items.

Health and Psychosocial: (A) 1,000 families (5,000 persons) received CFSI Family Hygiene Kits in the following locations: Cainta, Rizal; Botolan, Zambales; and Calumpit, Bulacan. (B) 35 persons with disabilities (PWDs) received psychosocial care through group sessions on stress management. (C) 58 disaster responders from at least 15 government, non-government, and international organizations participated in stress management training for humanitarian workers.

Child Protection: 470 children participated in safe play activities, storytelling, puppetry, and other structured group activities in Ultra and Kapitolyo evacuation centers (ECs) in Pasig City from 05 through 29 October.

Protection: With UNHCR, CFSI completed a Participatory Protection Assessment with IDPs and affected communities in the following areas: NCR (Marikina City, Pasig City, and Quezon City); Region IV-A (Cainta Municipality, Rizal Province); Region III (Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, and Zambales Provinces); and Region I (Pangasinan Province). This assessment was also undertaken in cooperation with the Ateneo Human Rights Center (AHRC) and St. Louis University (SLU). Findings are being consolidated and will be circulated through the Protection Cluster.

- CFSI reached agreement with UNHCR to carry out a protection project that began on 25 November and will continue through at least May 2010. Under this initiative, CFSI will address the protection needs of affected populations in CAR and Regions I, III, IV-A by undertaking Quick Impact Projects (QIPs), serving especially vulnerable individuals (EVIs), distributing non-food items (NFIs), and providing technical assistance.

- CFSI launched an Emergency Appeal, with the goal of raising USD250,000 (PHP11,250,000) to produce 25,000 Family Hygiene Kits for 25,000 families in NCR, Region III, Region IV-A, and, possibly, Region I. As of report date, As of report date, CFSI has received cash donations and pledges from various organizations and individuals in the Philippines, Germany, Australia, Viet Nam, and the United States. This amount represents almost 14% of the Organization's appeal target.

- CFSI participates in meetings of the IASC Country Team and the meetings of the Food, Protection, Child Protection, Education, and Health Clusters. CFSI submitted proposals to the relevant Cluster Leads in support of the flash appeals process.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Reasons to be voted

Pulse Asia asked their respondents why they were voting for a particular candidate. The five top reasons cited were:

“Hindi kurakot/malinis” (Does not steal/is clean) (21.2 percent);

“May nagawa, may magagawa” (Has done a lot/can do a lot) (14 percent);

“Para sa mahirap, galing sa mahirap” (Pro-poor/comes from the poor) (12.2 percent);

“Tumutulong” (Helps a lot) (12 percent);

“Reputasyon ng pamilya” (Family reputation) (4.2 percent).

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Why China Overtook Korea in Shipbuilding

Korean shipbuilders took up the top 10 spots in the global industry in 2006. Back then, No. 5 STX Shipbuilding sought facility expansion. To emerge as a world class shipyard, it needed more than 3.3 million square meters of land, or far more than the 16,500 square meters the company secured around its shipbuilding site in Jinhae, South Gyeongsang Province, for the past five years. Due to uncooperative landowners and thick layers of regulation, the company instead turned toward Dalian, China, which offered better terms. At the same time, world No. 6 Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction decided to build a new shipbuilding site at Subic Bay in the Philippines in the same year. As a result, more than 100,000 new jobs were created overseas, including those generated by partners of Korean companies.

Korea has lost its title of world shipbuilding leader for the first time in 10 years to China. China controlled 34.7 percent of world ship orders excluding those delivered from the total number of orders, or one percentage point more than Korea. Furthermore, Chinese shipbuilders won 142 contracts, or more than half of global orders, this year. China’s success is largely thanks to its domination of the lower-end vessel market with its large foreign reserves and orders placed with Beijing’s support. Though Korea is ahead of China in high value-added areas such as LNG ships and offshore plants, there is no room for complacency. At this pace, China could soon overtake Korea in the two areas.

China took over the world No. 1 spot largely thanks to the passion and dedication of its leadership, which never forgot to visit plants of large conglomerates whenever they came to Korea. For example, then Chinese Vice President Hu Jintao in 1998 visited the plants of Samsung Electronics, Hyundai Motors and Hyundai Heavy Industries when visiting Korea. He was followed by Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of China’s National People`s Congress, who visited the Pyeongtaek plant of LG Electronics in Gyeonggi Province, and the Ulsan factory of Hyundai Motors in South Gyeongsang Province in 2003. In 2007, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao made an unprecedented visit to SK Telecom, leading many experts to speculate that China, dubbed “the world’s factory,” was no longer interested in benchmarking Korea’s manufacturing industry.

While Chinese politicians focused on nurturing their manufacturing sector including electronics, cars and shipbuilding, their Korean counterparts simply indulged in corporate bashing. Regulations forced Korean companies to waste three to five years just to get approval for a plant that took a year to build, but what did Korean politicians do? They strengthened regulations to further stifle corporate activity, such as putting a ceiling on total equity investment and restrictions on investment in the Seoul metropolitan area. These deplorable acts simply reaffirm Korea’s reputation as an impractical country. Unfortunately, this means it could be only a matter of time before China surpasses Korea in cars and electronics, followed by shipbuilding.

Editorial Writer Park Yeong-kyun (

Thumbs Up For First Philippine Employer To Get DOD Patriot Award

GUAM - Former Guam National Guard Adjutant-General Benny Paulino was quoted in a recent story about the first employer in the Philippines to receive the Department of Defense's Patriot Award.

According to The Philippine Star, South East Asian Airlines Director Nikos Gitsis is 'the man of the hour' for the encouragement that he and his staff gave a U.S. Naval Reserve member now stationed in New York.

The Patriot Award is an honor bestowed on outstanding employers through a DOD agency called the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR).

Paulino, who now chairs the ESGR Guam-Commonwealth of Northern Marianas Committee, is quoted in the Star article as underscoring the significant role employers play in the defense of our nation and the security of the world:

"Today, supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the US National Guard and Reserve units," said US Army retired Maj. Gen. Benny Paulino, field chairman of the ESGR Guam-Commonwealth of Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI) Com-mittee.

Maj. Gen. Paulino once served as the adjutant-general of the Guam National Guard, effectively serving as a top tier personnel director helping to ensure combat readiness among Guard Members.

Nowadays, Paulino puts his military experience to use in the private sector as the president and CEO of American Veterans International, LLC. Also known as AVI, the firm specializes in staff augmentation and offers secondary services in Unexploded Ordinance handling, construction and environmental services. Written by Jeff Marchesseault, Guam News Factor Staff Writer

Saturday, October 31, 2009

'The Scourge of Climate Change' By Fr Shay Cullen (Olongapo City)

The waters of the great flood of Metro Manila and Laguna may have receded somewhat, yet they have left behind destroyed communities and thousands of impoverished families. The emotional scars remain, caused by the loss of loved ones, children and parents, drowned, and thousands of homes, lovingly built brick by brick collapsed and in ruins. That's the aftermath of the floods.

Lack of prevention has been underlined as the biggest cause of such human suffering. No foresight or emergency response teams were ready. Few trained disasters or emergency medical personnel were available. Billions of public funds that should have developed public safety emergency plans and resources have disappeared through corruption, waste and mismanagement.

Why is it that we have to see the bloated bodies of dead children, parents and heroes, swept away by flood waters and a torrent of national and international criticism before government officials and big business tycoons feel the sting of shame and are forced to act however sluggishly for the public good and not always for there own gain.

Every year there are floods and the engineers, bankers and politicians know why and they know what should have been done. The Manila Times has revealed in an exclusive report a few weeks ago that one major cause of the floods are the alleged corruption riddled delays of a vitally important multi-billion peso flood alleviation project.

The huge mega project of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) worth US$14 million, known as the Pasig-Marikina River Improvement Project was supposed to start last 2007 and be complete in 2013 yet hardly a bulldozer has moved or a backhoe mobilized. It is the Marikina Valley that has been most devastated by the floods. We have to research the factors that are causing such disasters, is it incompetence, politicking, corruption? Hundreds have died because of the snail like pace of project implementation.

Likewise the Kamanava Area Flood Control and Drainage System improvement Project in the same area Northeast of Metro Manila worth US$15 million has also been delayed. It was due to be completed last 2007. It is 90.5% complete but until now that vital last section has remained uncompleted due to the haggling and bargaining going on over money and payments for the right of way compensation.

The necessity for such flood control projects is simple, the forests have been cut down, the soil is washing away so there is nothing left to absorb the rains. Corrupt politicians protecting logging companies and promoting the interests of foreign mining companies are behind the loss of 70% of the forest cover of the Philippines over the past 60 years. The archipelago was one massive rain forest at the turn of the century, now it is has just a few scraps left.

Even those remaining forests could be a starting point for regeneration and reforestation, but they too are being hacked to the ground, all laws forbidding it are ignored. Three weeks ago, I saw a huge truck hauling massive cut trees through the heart of Manila.

Reforestation is one of several important things that the G20 nations of global community need to do to slow global warming. The forests and the seas are the great absorbers of the deadly CO2 gas that we generate by burning coal and oil in our power stations and cars. Yet it is too late to reverse global warming by replanting trees alone. Climate change is coming on faster than predicted. We have to turn to renewable sources of energy on a massive scale and stop burning fossil fuel.

While the insatiable and criminal greed of Wall Street financial traders and the irresponsible bankers of the world brought the global economy to the brink of disaster, it is becoming clear they are too powerful to restrain, regulate and control.

Perhaps they could be directed to turn their propensity for profit to funding the next great industrial revolution of renewable energy and the electric car. Such massive investment is needed to save the planet from irreversible climate change and reduce the severity of the floods, droughts and famine that are on the way to the poorest of the poor everywhere. (Preda Center, Upper Kalaklan, Olongapo City, Philippines.

4 senators inhibit selves from anti-dynasty measure

By Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines - Four senators, who are scions of political families, have strongly expressed their intent to inhibit themselves from the passage of the Anti-Political Dynasty Act that would ban any spouse or relative of an incumbent elective official to run for any elected office.

The senators signed the committee report on the Anti-Political Dynasty Act, but admitted plans to hold it back.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson, the bill’s principal sponsor, re-filed the measure just before Congress went into recess last Oct. 14.

The measure is recommended for approval without amendment before the Senate plenary. If passed into law, the measure will be effective in the May 10, 2010 elections.

Sen. Francis Escudero, who bolted last Wednesday from the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) in his fight against so-called traditional and party politics, signed the report as chairman of the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments, Revision of Codes and Laws.

He vowed to “sponsor” the measure even if there was “potential conflict of interest” on his part.

Escudero’s father is Salvador Escudero III, a congressman from Sorsogon who was a member of the Marcos cabinet. The senator’s great grandfather, Salvador Sr., and grandfather, Salvador Jr., were also politicians of their time in Casiguran, Sorsogon.

Aside from Escudero, Senators Benigno Simeon Aquino III, Rodolfo Biazon, Loren Legarda, Manuel Roxas II, Jamby Madrigal, Richard Gordon, Lito Lapid, Joker Arroyo and Francis Pangilinan signed the report as committee members.

Sen. Pia Cayetano, also a member of the committee, did not sign the report, notably because her brother, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano is also a member of the Senate.

Their father, the late Rene Cayetano, was a senator. Sen. Alan’s wife, Lani, is incumbent congresswoman of Taguig.

Ex-officio members Senate President Pro-Tempore Jinggoy Estrada, Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, and Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. also signed the report.

Although they signed the measure, Lapid, Zubiri, and Estrada separately noted that they “may have to inhibit due to possible conflict of interest,” while Arroyo signed with “serious reservation.”

Aquino, who has been banking on the political influence of his parents, the late Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. and late President Corazon Aquino, in his presidential bid, said he would interpellate on the measure.

Lapid’s son, Mark, is also a former Pampanga governor. The senator is reportedly mulling to leave the Senate and return to Pampanga where he intends to run again for governor next year.

On the other hand, Jinggoy is a member of a political empire founded by his father, former President Joseph Estrada who has declared his bid to run anew for the presidency.

Ex-president Estrada’s wife, Dr. Loi Ejercito, recently retired from politics but without first being elected as senator while the former president was still in jail on plunder charges.

Apart from Jinggoy and Loi, one of the ex-president’s sons with another woman, Juan Victor (JV) Ejercito, is mayor of San Juan.

Zubiri is a scion of Bukidnon Gov. Jose Ma. Zubiri Jr. His brother, Jose Ma, Zubiri II and the governor’s nephew Ignacio Zubiri are also involved in local politics in the province.

In Malacañang, President Arroyo is seen as the best example of what political dynasty is. Presidential sons Dato and Juan Miguel Arroyo are representatives of Camarines Sur and Pampanga, respectively. The president’s brother-in-law, Ignacio Arroyo, is a representative of Negros while Rep. Ma. Lourdes Arroyo, another sibling of First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo, has been accredited recently as a representative of Kasangga party-list group.

Voters’ right to choose leaders

However, the passage of the measure may again be derailed because Congress is in recess until Nov. 8 and will resume session from Nov. 9 to 20.

Congress will have a break again from Nov. 21 to Nov. 30, presumably to allow candidates to file their certificates of candidacy.

During the resumption of session between Dec. 1 to Dec. 18, the lawmakers hands will be full with the continuation of deliberations on the 2010 General Appropriations Act set to be passed before Christmas break on Dec. 19.

By January 2010, candidates for national and local posts are expected to be busy with their respective campaigns.

Before Lacson, the anti-dynasty bill was first advocated by Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago who has expressed disappointment over Congress’ dilly-dallying with the passage of the measure in past Congresses.

In his explanatory note for Senate Bill 1468, Lacson lamented that Congress failed to pass the law since its first filing during the 8th Congress because most lawmakers come from “well-entrenched political clans.”

Under the measure, political dynasty refers to the concentration, consolidation or perpetuation of political power by persons related to one another.

“Unfortunately, despite numerous attempts to introduce an anti-political dynasty law (as early as the 8th Congress) to effect electoral reforms and level the political landscape, Congress failed to pass such a law,” Lacson said.

He added that the inaction can be attributed to the fact that many members of Congress came from well-entrenched political clans.

“Over the years, they have successfully argued for the so-called electorate’s right to choose their elected leaders using the oft-repeated principle that sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them,” the senator said.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

PDEA arrests Australian, 2 Pinoys in Olongapo drug and sex den raid

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (Pdea) agents over the weekend arrested an Australian and two Filipinos in a raid on a drug and sex den in Olongapo City, Zambales.

The drug-enforcement agents, armed with a search warrant issued by Judge Fernando Sagun Jr. of Branch 78 of the Regional Trial Court in Quezon City, arrested Robert Paul Mason, an Australian, and Mark Anthony Quinday and Enrique “Jun” Magsaysay Jr.

They were taken to the PDEA headquarters on National Irrigation Administration Road in East Triangle, Diliman, Quezon City

PDEA Director General Dionisio Santiago said a joint team from the elite PDEA Special Enforcement Service, Complaint and Reaction Unit and PDEA Regional Office 3 implemented Search Warrants 4560 and 4561.

Santiago said the operation was conducted at Ces’t La-vie Hotel on Gordon Avenue in Olongapo City at about 12:30 a.m. on Saturday.

PDEA agents confiscated from the suspects six Demerol tablets, several transparent plastic sachets containing methamphetamine hydrochloride, or shabu, a pocket digital weighing scale, a Valium 10-milligram tablet, several drug-use paraphernalia such as disposable lighters, glass tubes, aluminum foil, improvised tooters, disposable syringes and needles for injecting dangerous drugs, and several rounds of 9mm ammunition.

Operatives also rescued five young girls, three of them minors, who were turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development for proper care and counseling.

“This operation was the result of several months of intelligence operations and continuous surveillance. We are fortunate that no operatives were hurt during the implementation of the search warrants because intelligence reports indicated that the suspects were armed, dangerous and well-connected,” Santiago said.

He added that the suspects will be charged with violation of Section 6 (Maintenance of a Drug Den)
in relation to Section 26 (c) (Attempt or Conspiracy in Maintaining a Drug Den), Article II of Republic Act 9165. Written by Joel Mapiles / Business Mirror Correspondent

Thursday, October 01, 2009


Zambales Rep. Milagros "Mitos" Magsaysay blew her top over the delayed action on a complaint filed by her constituents against Olongapo City Mayor Bong Gordon for allegedly failing to remit their payments to the National Power Corporation (NPC).

Magsaysay said she is worried their electricity would be cut because of the unpaid dues.

"You're pussyfooting on the case. Pag small fry, ang bilis ng action nyo. Pero ngayon pong taong bayan ang nagfile, por que hindi famous [walang aksyon]. Kailangan ba ako ang magfile?," she said.

"Paying P50 million a month is not enough to cover all the debts we have with Napocor. Didn't you bother to ask the city mayor how come he does not remit every single centavo. Once the National Grid Corp. cuts the power of Olongapo, who will I blame now?" she added.

Magsaysay reminded the Gutierrez that she is the vice-chairman of the committee on appropriations, and she threatened to hold the budget of the deputy Ombudsman for Luzon.

House committee on appropriations chairman Quirino Rep. Junie Cua had to call a break to ease the tension. "Sometimes when we are angry, it is difficult for us to think. Maybe it's time for us to take a lunch break," he said.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Palace puzzled at Ebdane's bid for president

By Christine Avendaño, TJ Burgonio - Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines--Why only now?

The ruling coalition’s choice of its presidential standard-bearer has yet to be finalized and President Macapagal-Arroyo herself has told him the post is open to everybody.

So said Public Works Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane who acknowledged on Friday that he is indeed interested in running for president in 2010.

“I have become interested,” said Ebdane, a former national police chief, speaking to reporters at a Senate hearing yesterday into the use of the road user’s tax.

“I think under the circumstances, I can join the fight,” he said.

Officials of the ruling Lakas-Kampi-CMD are baffled by Ebdane’s sudden interest in running for president, saying they had no hint that the secretary was harboring any political ambitions.

“Why only now?” said Gabriel Claudio, the party secretary general and presidential political adviser. “If he can tell us formally what his plans are, then we’ll see how the party can help.”

He said Ebdane, who is not a party member, has not formally informed the Lakas-Kampi-CMD about his plans nor made any move to join the administration party.

“Party members are perplexed by his timing,” Claudio said, adding that Ebdane had not tried to sound off either Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, the Lakas-Kampi-CMD president, or himself about his plans.

Print advertisements praising Ebdane’s qualities and proclaiming him to be a good alternative to professional politicians have appeared in several broadsheets in the past few days.

The ads ask: “Di kaya si Jun Ebdane ang Tamang Daan sa 2010?” (Could Jun Ebdane be the right way in 2010?)

Last Thursday, Surigao del Sur Gov. Vicente Pimentel Jr. announced that about 15 governors from Mindanao were pushing for Ebdane’s selection as the ruling party’s presidential standard-bearer.

The governors are said to favor him because of the infrastructure and development projects that he has brought to the region which supposedly shows his concern for Mindanao.

Request rejected

It was learned from reliable source, however, that Ebdane had made a last-minute attempt to have the Sept. 16 meeting of the ruling party’s national executive committee postponed. But his request was rejected.

In that meeting, the committee members endorsed Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro as the administration presidential standard-bearer in 2010.

Asked what party he would align himself with, Ebdane said that would depend on “developments,” adding that he had other “alternatives.”

Ebdane said that even as early as a year ago, people and groups “from several sectors, in the national and barangay levels” had been asking him to enter the race for Malacañang.

The public works secretary said he told the groups urging him to seek the presidency that running for president was no walk in the park and that they should truly support him and not abandon him in the end.

Asked whether he had informed the President about his interest in the presidency, he said: “I insinuated to her that there were people convincing me to run and she said that the position was open … for everybody.”

'Presidency or nothing’

He evaded a question about being pitted against Teodoro, saying that the administration coalition has not finalized its choice of presidential standard-bearer.

Ebdane also would not say who his choice of running mate would be, repeatedly saying that many things were still bound to happen since the filing of candidacy papers was not till November.

He also refused to answer questions on whether he thought Teodoro would make a good presidential candidate.

“Let’s respect everybody. I respect Gibo. He’s a good man,” he said.

Asked whether he was optimistic about getting Ms Arroyo’s support, he said the question was too “personal” and declined to answer.

Asked to comment on the tendency of some politicians to float the idea that they are running for president when what they actually want is to seek a Senate seat, Ebdane said that for him “it (was the presidency) or nothing.” He added that he was not a politician.

But should he decide not to run for public office in 2010, Ebdane said he could always return to his Zambales home province and engage in farming as well as “help whoever may be there.”

Claudio, however, indicated it might be too late for Ebdane to seek the party’s endorsement as presidential standard-bearer.

He pointed out that the party’s endorsement of Teodoro, while it has yet to be ratified, was the consensus of the national executive committee, the party’s highest governing body.

“The committee is the highest ruling body of the party. A consensus has been reached. A clear preference has been expressed. Gibo has the formal endorsement of the national executive committee,” he said.

If Ebdane were to suddenly express a desire to join the party and seek its endorsement, this would be “tossed” to the national executive committee for deliberation, according to Claudio.

But he noted that the deadline for non-party members to join the party and submit to the selection process for standard-bearer was Sept. 15.

“The deadline did not apply only to Vice President Noli de Castro but to all aspirants who were seeking the party’s endorsement. Everyone was aware of the deadline,” he said.

‘Outstanding contributions’

Claudio doubted Ebdane’s bid, if it pushes through, would cause cracks in the party, pointing out that officials endorsing Ebdane have vowed to abide by the party’s choice of standard-bearer.

“Even those endorsing or giving recognition of his qualifications are declaring that they will abide by the final decision,” he said.

Claudio said he and Ermita would talk to Ebdane, whom he described as a “valued Cabinet member” with “outstanding contributions,” about his political plans.

A spokesperson for the Department of Public Works and Highways yesterday said Ebdane’s campaign for president was gaining ground.

More ads coming

Undersecretary Romeo Momo said Ebdane had the support of local officials who he said had paid for the advertisements that appeared in newspapers endorsing Ebdane’s candidacy. He said more ads are expected to come out in the next few days.

Momo said the ads, which appeared in several national dailies, were “voluntarily done by the local leaders because they wanted to encourage the secretary to run following the greater demand to lead the country within.”

There have also been radio commercials featuring Ebdane. Some DPWH employees have also started wearing orange shirts, with the message, “We want a new face in 2010!” With a report from Kristine L. Alave

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bottomline: Policy instability


Policy instability is one of four major factors responsible for the Philippines’ poor showing in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) most recent Global Competitiveness Report. The top three factors are corruption, inefficient bureaucracy, and inadequate infrastructure. Last week, we were treated to another example of policy instability with the Senate’s passage of a bill converting the Bataan Economic Zone (BEZ) into a special economic zone and Freeport.

In the second quarter of this year, foreign direct investment (FDI) fell 73% from a year earlier. For all of 2008, FDI was down almost half at US$1.52 billion from 2007 at US$2.9 billion. That year, Thailand received more than $10 billion in FDI, and Indonesia took in almost $8 billion. And the Philippines’ poor record for attracting FDI won’t improve anytime soon, according to Dennis Arroyo, director for national planning and policy at the National Economic and Planning Authority.

The passage of a bill creating a special economic zone and Freeport would normally be greeted with enthusiasm, but BEZ investors say that’s not the case in Bataan. The bill doesn’t call for the creation of a new economic zone, but the conversion of an existing zone under the jurisdiction of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) into a locally administered economic zone.

According to a Senate news release, Senator Richard J. Gordon, who co-authored the bill, believes “local governments should have a strong hand in operating the Bataan Special Economic Zone and Freeport as they had in (the) Subic (Feeport) because the local folks would have more enthusiasm in making it into a viable operation.” The Subic Freeport was formerly a U.S. Navy base. Mr. Gordon’s argument is flawed in two fundamental ways.

First, PEZA is the principal generator of FDI in the Philippines, generating almost 65% of total FDI in the second quarter. PEZA enjoys a strong positive image among investors for policy stability and transparent management. Those are not qualities shared by the Bataan provincial government, in contrast. Governor Enrique “Tet” Garcia, Jr. was ordered suspended by the Ombudsman last year for six months as a result of the alleged illegal seizure and auction of a business property in 2005. Employees of the company, Sunrise Paper Products Industries, Inc., filed the complaint.

BEZ investors tell me that they do not know if Mr. Garcia will respect the contracts they signed with PEZA, which exempt investors who pay five percent of gross revenues as income tax from all local and national taxes, including real property taxes. The Senate bill passed last week, investors say, includes a provision that will require them to pay real property taxes. For investors who have created jobs in Bataan in good faith on the basis of their PEZA contracts, this is a show stopper.

There are other potential issues affecting investors that have persistently hounded local Freeports in the Philippines, including Subic. Predominant among these issues is smuggling new and secondhand automobiles, trucks, oil, and other illegal imports, which both result in the failure to create local jobs and imperil legitimate investments. Corruption, presumably including smuggling abetted by government officials, is the number one factor responsible for the Philippines’ poor competitiveness ranking in the WEF report.

Second, if local governments are as adept at generating FDI as Mr. Gordon suggests, wouldn’t it make sense to place all economic zones under the jurisdiction of local governments? After all, the Subic Freeport was the number two source of FDI in the second quarter after PEZA. In fact, the Subic Freeport is managed by an administrator appointed by the president of the Philippines. The Subic Freeport website says it plays a key role in the national government’s effort to achieve international

For a country that attracts as little FDI as the Philippines does, it has more agencies engaged in generating FDI than it needs. These agencies include the Board of Investment, PEZA, and existing Freeports. In an ideal world, local governments would be vigorously promoting local investment to generate jobs and direct and indirect tax revenues. In the world we have, investors are looking for good governance, efficient bureaucracy, reliable infrastructure and policy stability, as the WEF report shows.

Until local governments demonstrate they can provide those attributes, it makes sense for investment to be overseen by a central authority. That doesn’t stop local governments from promoting themselves to investors. In fact, there are many examples of local governments working closely with PEZA and other investment agencies to do exactly that, and with considerable success.

It will be interesting to see how the Bataan Freeport fares in attracting investment. In the meantime, its administrators should learn to take care of existing investors. It may find itself trying to make up for lost investors, rather than building on its existing base.
* * *
(Michael Alan Hamlin is the managing director of TeamAsia and a Manila-based author. His latest book is High Visibility: Transforming Your Personal and Professional Brand. Write him at

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Are we creating too many ecozones and free ports?

Opinion Written by Manny Villar / The Entrepreneur - Business Mirror

THE way things are going, the whole Philippine archipelago will be dotted by economic zones and free ports within a short period. This makes me wonder, why not just declare the whole country as an economic zone and free port?

Data from the web site of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) show that as of June 2009, there are a total of 195 operating economic zones, consisting of 64 manufacturing economic zones, nine tourism economic zones, two medical tourism parks/centers, 118 information technology (IT) parks/centers, and two agro-industrial economic zones.

There are 83 new zones being developed now, consisting of one agro-industrial zone, 50 IT parks/centers, 30 manufacturing economic zones and two tourism economic zones. And we already have five free ports—Clark, Subic, Cagayan, Zamboanga and Poro Point (La Union).

The House of Representatives has approved on third reading five bills seeking to establish new ecozones in Bataan, Ilocos Sur, Cebu, Davao Oriental and Samal Island.

Twelve other bills, which have been approved on the committee level, propose to establish ecozones in San Jose del Monte City, Pasqui and Burgos in Ilocos Norte, Bacolod, Iloilo, Romblon, Southern Palawan, Negros Occidental, General Santos, Davao, Misamis Occidental and Southern Leyte.

And 12 bills, pending with the committees on economic affairs, trade and industry, ways and means, and appropriations, also intend to put up ecozones.

The benefits we receive from economic zones and free ports are significant. In 2008 alone, total investments in economic zones totaled P154.8 billion, up 16 percent from 2007. During the period 1995 to 2008 economic zones attracted about P1.33 trillion in investments.

This year, the PEZA is targeting total investments of P170 billion, despite the global crisis that restricted investment pledges to P13.7 billion during the first three months of 2009, compared with P27.7 billion in the same period last year.

In terms of employment, companies operating in ecozones and free ports employ more than 600,000 workers. Economic zones also account for the bulk of manufactured exports.

Investors are lured to local economic zones and free ports through fiscal incentives like income-tax holidays and duty-free importation of equipment. It means that the government is forgoing tax revenues in exchange for the investments and other benefits generated by ecozones and free ports.

That, in turn, creates a predicament for the Department of Finance, which is tasked with generating revenues to support government expenditures, including money used to develop ecozones and free ports.

So I understand the apprehension of the finance department, including Secretary Gary Teves, about the bills seeking to establish more ecozones and free ports. I recall receiving a letter from the finance secretary last year in which he expressed concern over the numerous bills seeking to establish more free ports and economic zones in the country.

At that time, more than 20 bills were already pending in Congress seeking to establish economic zones and free ports, each one proposing generous grants of tax and duty exemptions to investors. Teves warned that putting up more free ports and economic zones would make it difficult for the government to pump-prime the economy while two-thirds of the world was reeling in recession.

Based on the rule of thumb used by the finance department, the government stands to lose P3 billion for every new ecozone. Thus, the department estimates that if all the bills proposing to create ecozones and free ports were approved, the government would lose as much as P90 billion in revenues.

Not an insignificant amount, considering that deficit that is expected to widen to P250 billion this year, which is equivalent to 3.2 percent of our total gross domestic product (GDP). The deficit in 2008 reached only P68.1 billion, or 0.9 percent of GDP.

I sympathize with Secretary Teves. Raising revenues in a slow economy to support a growing budget is not easy. But I also support the ecozone and free-port programs, which other countries have used successfully to attract investments from major economies, generate jobs and develop their export industries.

As to the number of ecozones and free ports, there should be a comprehensive feasibility study to determine how many do we really need, and the sites where these should be located. That should help Congress weed out proposals that are driven by personal agenda, like using ecozones and free ports as fronts for smuggling. For starters, we have to assess the performance of existing ecozones and free ports: Were they used for smuggling?

Everybody knows the controversy over the importation of used, right-hand-drive motor vehicles through the Subic free port, which local automotive manufacturers brought to the courts.

Recently, the Department of Finance announced the adoption of new measures to curb smuggling at the Subic free port and Clark special economic zone. These include a fuel marking technology to prevent the smuggling of petroleum products, tighter monitoring of importations and grant of tax privileges to enterprises inside ecozones and free ports and post entry audit on imported cigarettes, alcohol products, and motor vehicles.

I really hope these efforts succeed; otherwise, the illegal practices of unscrupulous investors and their cohorts will defeat the objectives of economic zones and free ports: attract investments, create jobs for our people and generate foreign exchange.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Women's conference against militarism held

The 7th meeting of the International Network of Women Against Militarism began today. Women from all around the region are on island to attend the weeklong event with the theme of "Resistance, Resilience, and Respect for Human Rights."

"We are very much concerned that women are still seen as a commodity," said Philippine delegate Gorazon Requizo. As the island prepares for the impending military buildup, participants attending this week's conference say we can expect to see more human trafficking. Requizo, a native of the PI, provided insight as she grew up near the Olongapo Province that once hosted one of the largest United States military installations.

"We are advising since there will be a military expansion now here in Guam, we must challenge the women, especially the women and people of Guam to have a very strong resistance movement to this implementation," she said.

Concerns have been raised about the relocation of thousands of Marines from Okinawa to Guam, as there were concerns in Okinawa about the Marines behavior and sexual misconduct. Victims Advocates Reaching Out executive director Vangie Cabacar said, "It's a big concern for us, our numbers are high from sexual assault cases already, the lack of federal funding is another problem."

VARO is just one of many organizations in Guam involved in the dialogue about how to mitigate the impact, but Speaker Judi Won Pat says a full pronged approach is needed. Asked if she was planning on taking any preemptive measures to protect them, she said, "Yes, absolutely." The speaker warned that talk of a red light district by GVB and individuals at the Chamber of Commerce are of concern to her.

"A possible red light district, moving them out of Tumon and at that time to Harmon, but I think this is a bigger problem. We need to look at the whole picture. We need to look at our community and what it is we need to do to protect women and young girls," she said. Won Pat says she plans to create a blue ribbon committee to counter exploitation and to help create policies to ensure the safety of women and children.

Said Won Pat, "This is going to be a policy for Guam, I know we can't legislate or mandate anything for the military, but when their men come into the community, they would have to abide by the local law." Dr. Vivian Damas, UOG professor and committee member at the conference said that while a law that defines human trafficking has been passed, there is still more to be done. "Regulation of massage parlor, reporting of violence versus women and children both on the base and off the base, if we don't do that and we don't work out the coordinated agreements, we are going to have a huge problem on this island."

Thursday, September 10, 2009

80 NGOs call RP’s mining policy ‘erroneous’

Written by Joel C. Paredes / Special to the BusinessMirror
THE river that runs near the slopes of the mineral-rich mountain ranges of Masinloc, Zambales, suddenly turned brown one fine day, forcing the mayor to temporarily stop mining activities in his town.

While mineral explorations were contributing to the municipal coffers, the local chief executive could not barter the future. The environment was deteriorating as fast as the backhoe dug deep into the earth. It wasn’t worth it, he thought.

Now, Salvador “Ka Dan” Dimain, a local community organizer among the Aeta hunters and gatherers in nearby Botolan and Cabangan towns, could only blame the flash floods and the sudden uncontrollable flow of lahar to populated areas to the large-scale mining activities being promoted by local officials.

“They keep on saying that it will bring good to my people, and they practice ‘responsible’ mining, but look at its backlash,” he said.

Ka Dan has joined nongovernment organizations (NGOs), calling themselves the Alyansa Tigil Mina, in asking the government to stop “Mining Philippines 2009,” a conference and exhibit of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines scheduled from September 15 to 17, until the so-called revitalization strategy of the Philippine mining industry is reviewed.

Conference organizers are already bullish on the prospects of mining, having rebounded to a double-digit growth of 21.4 percent from a negative 13.7 percent last year.

“The mining industry is expected to continue its rebound, defying a lot of skepticism that have hounded the commodities market in recent months,” a statement from the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines Inc. (COMP) noted.

At least 80 NGOs, however, criticized the Philippine mining policy as an “erroneous” development policy meant to lure foreign investors. Based on official statistics, the contribution of mining to the national economy is actually miniscule, the jobs generated are not even 1 percent, and even investments made are off-the-mark by 80 percent, according to ATM national coordinator Jaybee Garganera.

Worse, he said, the Philippines, being an archipelago, may not be suited to large-scale mining because of ill-effects caused by mining activities on the climate as forests are denuded and watersheds are turned into wastelands.

Civil society’s sudden outrage puts into question the viability of the so-called responsible-mining strategy being showcased by the Arroyo government and COMP.

This is supposed to abide with the principles of sustainable development, built-in protection for the indigenous peoples, the sharing of the benefits of mining among major stakeholders, and compliance with strict environmental and social provisions of the Philippine Mining Act, the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act and other laws.

Garganera said they were shown the “best practices” of various mining operations for responsible mining, but they have yet to be convinced that the companies have successfully closed or “looped in” in this model in one single operation in a specific area.

He said responsible mining has become a weak model since it relies on voluntary compliance of large-scale mining companies.

Mining operations in the country also depend highly on the ability of the government to enforce safeguards articulated in national laws and policies.

It doesn’t even address the issue of corporate and state graft and corruption, a scenario that is not totally insulated in the extractive industries.

Today, he warned, the industry’s track record has “earned social distrust, which does not adhere to the elements of responsible mining, proving that it does not exist in the Philippines.”

Civil-society groups have been calling for the scrapping of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, and the passage of House Bill 6342, the alternative mining bill, which is anchored on land and natural-resources management and human-rights-based approach.

In a statement, they said the existing law only “promotes the exploitation of raw materials without maximizing the benefits of such resources for the Filipino people.”

Hanjin exec says $2-B shipyard project to proceed

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY — Korean shipbuilder Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines is optimistic on the recovery of the world economy, with a ranking official of the company saying it would resume the development of a $2-billion shipyard complex at the Philippine Veterans Industrial Development Corp. (Phividec) Industrial Estate.

"There’s no question about it. Our investment in a new shipyard at the Phividec Industrial Estate was a bit withheld because of the worldwide recession," Jeong Sup Shim, Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines president, told BusinessWorld. Mr. Shim was in Lugait town on Wednesday to receive the Presidential Medal of Merit from President Arroyo.

Hanjin’s chairman Cho Nam Ho earlier assured Mrs. Arroyo that the Korean firm would push through with its project, which covers 3,000 hectares in the industrial estate that straddles the towns of Tagoloan and Villanueva. "Our chairman already promised that we will resume our investment and we will start as soon as economy is good," said Mr. Shim.

But he could not state a definite target date. "We don’t promise on anything impossible," said Mr. Shim.

The shipyard was projected to generate up to 40,000 new jobs in the next three years. Hanjin had said there was ongoing training for at least 1,000 applicants in a training center in Tagoloan.

Phividec administrator Nimfa A. Albania said the company would renew a memorandum of understanding it had signed with the industrial estate, which will expire on March 10, 2010.

Other than the world economic crisis, the Korean firm also had a rift with the local governments of Tagoloan and Villanueva but Mr. Shim said it has been solved. "Because of the strong instruction from the central government, it’s now over," said Mr. Shim.

When asked if Hanjin would scout for more business opportunities as earlier reported by the National Economic and Development Authority, Mr. Shim said yes. "We have a strong affection in Mindanao especially Misamis Oriental because the province is the starting point of our investment here," said Mr. Shim.

Hanjin’s investment in the province is much larger than its $1-billion shipyard project in Subic.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Olongapo Subic Tour

Subic Bay Travel Guide, Tourists and Tourism Guide
for Pleasure & Business Travelers
Things to Do in Subic
Subic Freeport, Zambales, Philippines

Subic Bay Travel & Tourist Guide

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There is literally so much going on in this forested, bayside retreat offering panoramic views, restful-splendor, fun-filled adventure, ecological-enlightenment, and awesome-beauty, that you’ll find you need a week or two to truly experience it all. From jet-skiing and parasailing in the bay to eco-tourism and jungle adventures with Siberian Tigers in the mountains, you simply have to experience Subic to believe it. More than 8 million tourists make the trip to Subic yearly; why aren’t you one of them?

In Subic you can, swim, dive, kayak, jet ski, sailboat, wind-surf, parasail, yacht, fish, hike, horseback ride, target practice, go nature trekking, marvel at centuries-old trees, bird-watch, bat-gaze, butterfly hunt, watch/learn auto racing, race go-carts, enjoy casino action, play tennis, golf, bike, bowl, play pool, shop, enjoy an amusement park, and, one of my favorite treats, indulge your pallet in a variety of interesting cuisine.

For those who prefer a more relaxed lifestyle, you can find interesting bars and night-spots along the romantic boardwalk featuring quality entertainment; test your vocal chords at local karaoke spots, or simply go to a local concert hall or cinema to catch the latest flick.

For 94 years, this former pride of the U.S. Navy, with its long-status as the largest naval installation outside the United States is now a recreational, entertainment and food wonderland.

With over 1000 businesses employing over 50,000 people, the industry and business backbone in Subic is very-much a part of the picture. Yet you’ll find that these companies are managed under tough environmentally-friendly developmental rules that allow industry to blend with nature in a combination ecosystem/business climate unique to Subic. It seems as though the conversion from a military base to a recreation and business haven with strict environmental controls is working for Subic.

In Subic, you can’t help but appreciate the wild orchids and ferns along wonderfully tree-lined streets. You’ll also be surprised to see kingfishers, orioles, wild ducks and sea eagles in the Triboa Bay area. Many people take pleasure in the marvelous pristine beaches and ocean-resort areas. If you are into diving, then there is probably no place better to experience old shipwrecks than in the waters around Subic with over 20 historic vessels sunk in the bay.

If you are concerned about emergency, safety and protective service, while you frolic and play, then worry no more. With a 911 emergency response system providing fire, security and ambulance services 24 hours a day 7 days a week, you can enjoy all of your adventurous activities knowing help is but a phone call away. In addition, Subic maintains one of the strictest police and traffic safety programs in the entire country; as a result, Subic enjoys one of the lowest crime rates in all the Philippines.


Extreme Adventure Park in Subic BayIf you are looking for some extreme fun and excitement, then Extreme Adventure is the place for you. This place requires a degree of courage and is popular for enforcing teambuilding skills in groups and amongst work associates. This is the type of training that is normally reserved for military groups.

Extreme Adventure is synonymous with extreme adrenaline! If you’ve got the courage, Extreme Adventure has the facilities, trainers and equipment. This facility is not for the faint at heart, in fact, you get to do things normally reserved for elite military groups or for those on the popular T.V. show Fear Factor.

But you don’t need to be a group in order to avail yourself of this experience. Don’t worry, the instructors and guides are highly trained professions and the equipment is high-quality, high tensile strength and well-maintained. So, whether you are a group, family or just a thrill-seeking individual, go for the adventure of a lifetime with Extreme Adventure.

A Few of these Adventures are Listed below.

The most popular by far is the incredible Slide for Lifeadventure. After securing your harness, you climb up a stairway towards the top of a large rainforest tree. Then your guide will secure you to a system of high-strength cables suspended between massive trees in the Jungle of Subic. You are then in for the ride of your life as you find yourself flying through the air, propelled only by gravity, traversing the cable system, skirting tree limbs with the wind in your face. You end-up at the top of another huge tree at the opposite end of an immense section of jungle. But wait, you are stuck in the middle of the jungle with no way down from this new perch. Guess what, you get to do it again for a total of three exhilarating slides, each one an excitingly different, new adventure.

If you want a realistic Indiana Jones experience, try the Hanging Bridge. Here you walk along an old, cable-suspended, wooden bridge high above the jungles of Subic. You feel the breeze of fresh Subic air in your face as you sway back and forth attempting to make it to the other end. Onward brave soul!

The Wall is an endurance and bravery test where you and your teammates climb a large scalable wall with pegs designed for climbing. It takes perseverance, skill and technique to make it to the other side. If you are part of a team, the objective is to give hints and positive reinforcement, to the other team members, so as to work together in order for each member to make it to the other side of the wall. This is a classic military exercise that you’ve probably seen in numerous movies.

For additional information about Extreme Adventure and for bookings call: 045-499-0695

JEST CAMPJungle Survival Training Camp in Subic Bay - JEST Camp

Jungle Environment Survival Training (JEST) Camp is a unique facility used to gain experience on how to survive in the hostile environment of the jungles of Southeast Asia. The prestigious special operations teams from the U.S. Marines used to learn jungle survival skills from the local indigenous Aetas of this region. They acquired skills such as how to make fire out of nothing but dried bamboo, what plants are safe to eat and those that are not and, how to obtain precious water in the deep, isolated jungle in order to sustain their lives.

If you are one of the brave ones and opt for the full-blown course, you will be taken to remote areas of the jungle overnight without food or water. Your Aeta guides will show you how go retrieve water from different plant vines. Then you will be taught how to cook rice using only green bamboo, make insect repellant from certain plants and so forth, all utilizing only the basic elements of the jungle that surround you. So, why not learn some new techniques for survival from the same instructors who taught these jungle skills to the elite Navy Seals?

But JEST Camp is more than a place to learn about jungle survival. A few of the additional attractions you’ll experience include a mini zoo, a handicraft and souvenir shop, insectariums, a wonderful butterfly garden, a breathtaking view deck of Subic Bay, an amphitheater, a cafeteria featuring natural native cooking in bamboo, a wonderfully-creepy Spider World exhibit and an Aviary with birds from all over the world.

For additional information and bookings for JEST Camp Call: 045-499-0695.


If you are into nature, appreciate the wilderness and the beauty of protected forests andSubic Bay Eco Tourism lush jungle areas, you have come to the right place in your quest. You won’t be disappointed with Subic Bay for exceptional ecological and nature experiences.

If you enjoy bird watching, remote stream fishing or simply want to be at one with nature, then this program offers you the opportunity to hire an FSC guide to show you and your group some of the most beautiful back-country areas of Subic.

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Tourism Department and Freeport Services Corporation (FSC) offer tours and a wide variety of adventures in the deeply forested nature areas in and around Subic Bay. Trips to Baton Falls, Hidden Falls, El Kabayo Falls, Pamulaklakin Forest Trails, and the Pamulaklakin River in the Binictican Heights area are but a few of the wonders of nature waiting for your senses to absorb.

Call to arrange your eco-tourism trip at: 045-499-0695.


Remi Field Track - Subic Bay, PhilippinesLocated along Rizal Highway and the Corner of Burgos, right in the heart of Subic, you’ll find a little-known sportspersons treasure chest. After the long-drive, while lodging at your hotel or resort in Subic, why not get some exercise at a world-class sports and recreation complex.

Here you’ll find many of the athletic courts and facilities are covered, or indoors to protect you from the sun and weather. You can play tennis or band mitten in covered elegance and even basketball and boxing in an air conditioned gymnasium.

Why not try the rubber-based track and field facility for high-tech nightly walks, jogs or runs with your friends and family members. This surface actually helps protect your skeletal-structure from too-much damage as you jog or run the track. Also included are various athletic pits and facilities for full-scale track and field activities such as the long-jump.


El Kabayo Riding Stables Subic BayRide some quality imported horses from the United States, Argentina and Australia at El Kabayo. You can ride a thoroughbred, saddle-bred, or a quarter-horse if you prefer. If you are the type who simply admire horses but you are afraid to ride an animal weighing 4 times your weight and with a mind of its own, then you should also visit, simply to admire the beautiful, magnificent breeds and to get a feel of a peaceful and serene U.S. style horse ranch/equestrian facility.

El Kabayo offers simple riding within the safe confines of the area, or, for more experienced riders, you can venture-out beyond the facility into the Subic foothills and forested areas. There are even guided rides to the Kabayo Falls and a long extended trip through the Subic Forests and Jungles to the Subic Bay waters.

For those who have always wanted to learn to ride horses, the climb on the back and let an expert instructor teach you all the tricks.

HILL 394

Found in the eastern park of the Ilanin Forest Park, is a place called Hill 394. A strange name for a location of isolation and beauty, but it was named such for a good reason. Back in the old U.S. military occupation days, this hill was used as a secret, hidden helicopter landing spot. Named for its elevation above sea level, 394 feet, today it’s an observation spot where you can see over 50 species of birds and more than 150 species of vibrantly green trees.

Here you’ll find panoramic views of lush forests and the Bataan and Zambales Mountains. For those interested in a little exercise and fresh Subic air, you can take the 45 to 60 minute trail hike to the top of the hill. For those wanting to experience this beauty without the work of a hike, a slightly-rough, remote drive in your car takes you to the top for some restful camping or simply to experience a great picnic spot.


Formula One Car - Subic International RacewayCompleted in 1994, situated beside the Subic International Airport, only 15 minutes away from the Subic Central Business District, you’ll find a track worthy of local and international races, a road-race course 2.9 kilometer long with 12 turns. This is a familiar racetrack to racers from the Philippines and even many foreign countries.

Types of races held here include, Formula 3, motorcycles, Philippine National Touring Car series and SVI Grand Prix. Most races are three day events with a typical season encompassing 12 race events. The track is host to the Annual Philippine Motor sports Festival in November.

For those who have always wanted to learn to be a racecar driver, you will find two racing schools using the raceway as their base of operation and training track. The Ramirez’ Racing School utilizes your own vehicle as the race car and teaches you the skills needed to perform in a race environment. Tuason Racing School, using specially equipped and race-ready cars to take you to the next step of racing.

Operated by Sports Values, Inc. and governed by Automotive Association of the Philippines (AAP) and Federacion Internationale de Automotive (FIA), this racing facility in just one more example of an unexpected, world-class Subic experience.

Call 047-252-9069 for additional information about Subic International Raceway.

Subic Le-Mans Go Cart Track


So, you want to be a race driver but you don’t want to risk your life. Why not try a smaller version of a race car that is much closer to the ground and yet still exciting enough for those wanting the feel of a quick-turning, fast moving vehicle under-foot. Located next door to the Magic Lagoon Park Grill and Bar, along the main road, Rizal Ave., leading into the Freeport, here you can pretend you are Mario Andretti and get all of those frustrated-racer anxieties out.


Ocean Adventure Marine Park in Subic BayAs the first Marine Park and aquarium in the Philippines, you and your family can enjoy playful sea loin, dolphin and whale shows. Ocean Adventure is located at the Camayan Wharf, West Ilanin Forest Area of Subic Bay. With 12,000 sqm of land area and 8,000 sqm of water space, your family is assured an entire day of fun and excitement, intermixed with informative knowledge about the wonderful world of sea life.

Don’t miss the Discovery Aquarium, a showcase of Subic Bay and South China Sea marine-life and its ecosystem. Here you’ll learn of the multitude of varied marine life in these seas, along with ways to help protect and preserve our rich, natural, sea resources.

Your children will enjoy a the Learning Center where they will learn numerous aspects of marine life and get to sit-in on a spectacular Sea Lion Painting Session where very wise sea lions actually paint on canvas.

Visit the Dolphin and Friends Show and watch the Killer Whales and dolphins in their lagoon perform jumps and tricks with grace and amazing skill. You will also learn interesting facts about these mammals.

If you love sea lions, you can’t miss the Sea Lion Marine Patrol Show. Here you’ll get to watch these extremely smart guys perform tricks with balls and dancing that will make your heart sing with joy and laughter. The trainers also deliver a strong environmental message of preservation throughout the show.

The Photo Encounter brings you close to the mammals of Ocean Adventure in a way you may have never experienced. The South American sea lions, dolphins or whales all make fantastic friends very easily! You can shake a flipper, a get a kiss or hug from a sea lion and have that moment captured in photo opportunities to show all your friends and family back home.

If you’d like to encounter these fantastic sea creatures more in these natural environment, and stay only in shallow water, why not try the Beach Encounter? This is a 30 minute interactive adventure with the dolphins and whales where you can shake their fins and touch their smooth skin actually in the water with them. Of course you have lots of photo opportunities here.

The Swim Encounter is one step beyond the Beach Encounter and will provide an experience found in few other places in the world. For 45 minutes, you can actually swim with the dolphins and whales in deep water. Put on your life vest and go for a ride with one of these majestic creatures. Pictures taking sessions are included.

If you are a diver, why not take it one step further and try the Dive EncounterProgram where you strap on your dive-tanks and actually play-amongst, feed and swim in the deep with these massive, playful, majestic creatures. Of all the encounters, this requires the most skill. Then get your photo taken with your new aquatic acquaintances to show all of your friends and family back home. You must be a certified diver and show your dive card for this one.

For the really serious enthusiast, there is even a half-day long program called theAnimal Trainer Adventure. Work hand-in-hand with the actual trainers at Ocean Adventure and actually participate in training sessions with these feisty sea creatures. Swim with then, prepare their food and learn some important training techniques. Lots of lasting memories photo opportunities present themselves when you sign-up with this program.

Zoobic Safari Tiger Adventure Park in Suibc
Located in the hills of Subic, Group 1, Ilanin Forest area. This is the park everyone has been talking about. This is the next best thing to an authentic trek on a African safari in Kenya. You get to avoid the long plane ride and expenses of a trip to Africa by partaking in this facility’s attractions. Zoobic Safari has 25 hectares of land filled with wild and exotic animals roaming and playing in their simulated natural habitat.

A Few of the Attractions are Listed below.

Close Tiger Encounter - An exciting, extra-close encounter (2 ft away) with Siberian and Bengal tigers. Watch them tear apart and bite-through raw chicken carcasses with the ease of butter.

Tiger Safari - A once in a lifetime adventure! Ride in a safari jeep where you actually enter an open-range area teaming with live tigers roaming and frolicking in their natural habitat. Listen to their deep, awesome growl just a few inches from your face as they eat from the hands of your tour guide through the screen mesh of your safari vehicle. While on our safari the tour guide threw a chicken on top of the vehicle and a 400 pound Siberian tiger followed to the roof, rocking the vehicle back and forth with its massive weight. He consumed the entire chicken while we watched his huge teeth only a foot or so away, through the screened mesh of the vehicle, directly under the giant mammal. Wow, what an experience!

The Zoobic Park - Enjoy a walk-through petting zoo, jungle environment with tame and gentle roaming albino caribou, deer, ostrich, bear, monkey, eagles, miniature horses, ducks and more.

Savannah - A sanctuary of exotic and farm animals featuring a wide range of ostriches, potbellied pigs, wild boars and guinea fowls. See the ostriches run alongside your car. You may even get a peck from them.

Serpentarium – Grab an up-close and personal view of snakes, iguanas, lizards, turtles and various other slithering and crawling reptiles.

Rodent World – A collection of rodents like you’ve never seen before. They even have their own grooming salon where you can watch guinea pigs get a shampoo and style job.

Croco Loco – Here you can view up to 200 crocodiles in a natural swamp area. If you’re lucky, get a chance to feed a few of the snappers. Dangle a chicken on a fishing pole and see them jump, snap and tear at the carcass. Quarter chickens can be purchased for only P50 each.

Adventure Animal Rides - Ride on camels, horses, carabaos and alpacas - a unique and exciting experience only available at Zoobic Safari.

Educational Shows - You can also see educational shows featuring live animals or learn jungle survival skills from the indigenous Aeta people and see native dances performed by the same. When an Aeta did the monkey dance for us, he traversed up a tree in a split-second; for a moment, we thought he actually changed into a real monkey.

Call: 045-499-0695 for additional information regarding Zoobic Safari.


Jungle Joe's World in Subic BayThis is probably one of the most family-oriented fun places you’ve ever been to. Imagine, old U.S. Navy munitions bunkers, set in the deep Subic jungle, converted to various specialty entertainment bunkers of fun. Jungle Joe’s World is currently oriented towards the younger crowd, but you’ll find fun for the entire family here for sure.

There’s a total of 60 hectares of land belonging to the park, much as yet to be developed. As of April 2008, they have 6 hectares ready for family fun and excitement. Located in the lush Subic mountainous area of the Group 3 Ilanin Forest, you and your family will enjoy the deep, rich, green surroundings and get lots of exercise as you partake of all the attractions.

The first phase of this amusement park consists mainly of the Bunkers of Fun attractions. These are brightly painted and completely transformed, creatively designed, play areas with various themes. Some of the attractions you’ll find in these include, interactive kiddy rides, novelty shops, discotheques, an ultra-comfortable beanbag seated theater, Santa and the Elves village and other uniquely-themed, interestingly exhilarating attractions.

For the older kids and adults, there’s a very large-scale and challenging paint ball course. This one is huge with sniper towers, numerous obstacles and hiding places. You’ve never played paintball like this before.

At Jungle Joe’s, not only will the kids and adults have fun, but the fun is strategically integrated with learning experiences at every turn and lots of physical exercise thrown in as well. Many of the attractions encourage the kids to learn about ecological and other issues and to burn-up lots of energy as they are kid powered. By the end of the day, they most likely will be sleeping in the car on the ride back home.

The near future looks very bright for Jungle Joe’s World with gargantuan plans afoot such as an artisan village, scholarships for talented Filipinos and, if financing works-out, some very large themed attractions. An example is the planned and very eagerly awaited roller coaster ride through the Mt. Pinatubo Volcano experience. Lets hope the owners are able to get this one going.

Call 045-499-0695 for additional information regarding Jungle Joe’s World.


SUBIC CONDOS - Affordable family condo accommodations in Subic Bay available through a special arrangement with Clark Subic Marketing only. Now you can stay in Subic Bay at a one-of-a-kind, master-planned community nestled close to the residential foothills where lush, green forests meet the clear blue skies. These are reasonable, full-featured villa-style units with multiple bedrooms. You’ll feel rested and at peace as you enjoy this classy and spread-out facilities of this wonderful home away from home lodging. Call: 045-499-0695

MOUNTAIN WOODS HOTEL – Romantic and Intimate best describe this hideaway in the residential mountain area of Subic. This is the place to inspire your love with your heart; it will be forever remembered in her heart when she reconsiders the romance, beauty and grandeur of this location. Call: 045-499-0695

WHITEROCK BEACH RESORT - This is indeed a true resort in every sense of the word. This resort is located just outside of the Freeport Zone in the Bareto’s Beach area, but well worth the short drive. 115 rooms of all varieties, your vacation or group event is in the perfect setting at this resort. This one has it all: jet skiing, banana boat rides, beach activities, oceanfront cottages, elegant restaurants and romantic beach evenings for you and your mate. 045-499-0695

LEGENDA HOTEL – Enjoy a class-act as one of the original Subic Bay high-end hotels. The Legenda maintains a well-founded reputation of high-quality accommodations. This facility features 236 rooms from standard to luxury suites. They specialize in putting on first-rate events with their variety of function rooms large and small, and even a huge convention center for a wonderfully facilitated, corporate seminar or large wedding reception. 045-499-0695

MAJESTIC HOTEL – Affordability and comfort work hand and hand at this central Subic business district location is great for you business men on a budget. And for entertainment purposes, you’ll find it only an extended-stroll to the boardwalk and waterfront areas. Currently being renovated, this hotel will help free-up your budget for other luxuries while vacationing. 045-499-0695

LIGHTHOUSE MARINA HOTEL/RESORT – This hotel/resort stands out from the rest as a landmark in Subic with its authentic looking old lighthouse structure right on a peninsula jetting-out into the bay in the Moonbay Marina district. Light house offers high-end facilities with lots of amenities for moderate to upper-end prices. Enjoy widescreen plasma television sets in each room. 045-499-0695

SUBIC BAYFRONT HOTEL – You get a reasonable room with a view of the beautiful Subic sunsets? This is a mid-level hotel with nice rooms, a great courtyard swimming pool and very fair prices. This facility is located directly on Waterfront Road in the Moonbay Marina district for all the fun and entertainment potential. 045-499-0695

VISTA MARINA HOTEL/RESORT – A very open and airy hotel-resort facility right on the waterfront. You can sit-back at Vista’s great pool, sip a margarita and contemplate the sunsets glistening off the bay. Features include a business center, paid Wi-Fi Internet access and a 100 person meeting room for your events. 045-499-0695

SUBIC BAY YACHT CLUB HOTEL/RESORT – This is a members-only facility, but Clark Subic Marketing may be able to arrange a potential match with a member. A very dramatic and ultra elegant clubhouse is ideal for your large event, wedding or corporate kickoff. Call CSM for coordinated bookings of this facility. 045-499-0695


Italian Food
Argonaut Highway , Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-6556
Filipino Food
B607, Sampson Road, Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-6568
Pizza Parlor
Country Inn, Waterfront Road,
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-2366 / 2367
Filipino Food
Waterfront Road ,
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-6703
Spanish & Filipino
Lanzones Street
Binictican Heights
( 047) 252-1403
Filipino Food
Waterfront Road, CBD
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-2893 / 94, 252 3994
Cakes & Pastries
Rizal Highway , near Main Gate
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-7401 / 222-4250 / 223-4970
International Food
Ground Floor, Bravo Bldg. SIH
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-6703 loc. 3001
Oriental Food
Basin Road , Rizal Highway
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-5211
Oriental Food
Basin Road, Rizal Highway
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-5211
Chinese & Filipino fast food
Sampson Rd., CBD
( 047) 252-7624
Oriental Food
Across Times Sq., Rizal Highway CBD
( 047) 252-2412 to 13
Filipino Food
Moonbay Marina, Waterfront Road
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-3169
Filipino & American Food
Dewey Avenue , CBD
( 047) 252-6270
Asian Rice DFS Duty Freeshop
B332, Burgos Street
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-7622 / 6524 / 3719
Coffee & Doughnuts
Main Gate Area, CBD
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
047 252-3638
Pizza Coffee, Pasta & Pastries
Dewey Ave. , Cor. Sta Rita Road
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-3615
Oriental Food, shabu-shabu
Canal Road
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Western Food
Grand Seasons Hotel
Canal Road
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-1888 loc 1230
Seafood & Filipino Food
MC12 Waterfront Road
Cor. Mckinley Road
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-3189
Western, Korean, Japanese & Seafood
San Bernardino Road , Lower Cubi
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-1888 loc. 1230
Seafood & Native Dishes
Waterfront Road
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-2238 / 39
Chinese Food
Canal Road
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-2222 loc. 2017
Phone: 047 252-3189
Chinese Food
Subic Bay Golf & Country Club
Binictican Valley Drive
Phone: 047 252-1588 / 89
Malaysian & Western Food
Tarlac cor. Sulu Road, Cubi Point
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-1888 loc. 7850
Japanese Food
B286 Crown Plaza, Sampson Road
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-3144
Oriental Food, Filipino & Korean Dish
Moonbay Marina, Waterfront Road
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-2092 / 93
American Food
Greenwoods Park , Central Business District
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-3456 loc. 240 / 252-6401
Oriental Food
1031 Rizal Highway
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-1801
Oriental Food
Ocean Adventure Park, Ilanin Forest
Naval Magazine
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-9000
Japanese Food
BQ, 8826 Manila Ave
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-7622 / 6524 / 3719
Fast Food
Rizal Highway , near Maingate
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-2028
Snack House / Bar
Malawaan Fishing Area, Argonaut Highway
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone:(63-2) 820-3392
Chinese & Western Food
SLRC, Waterfront Road
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-1888 loc. 1140
Filipino Food
JEST Compound, Aparri St., Upper Cubi
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-9072
Phone:(63-2) 820-3392
Nautical Pub and Restaurant
Lot 14 Argonaut Highway
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-1843 / 1845
American Food
Sampson Road
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-7091 / 6090 / 6496
Chinese Food
Sampson Road , Central Business District
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-6555 / 6558
International Food
Time Square Plaza , Sta Rita Road
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-1406 / 1407
Chinese Food
SLRC, Waterfront Road
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-1888 loc. 1144
Grilled, Seafood & Filipino Dishes
Rizal Highway ( Bicentennial Park)
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-1475
Chinese Food & Vegetarian Food
Main Gate Area
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-1888 loc. 1140
International Food
Moonbay Marina, Waterfront Road
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-2765
International Food
B286, Crown Plaza, Sampson Road
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-3103
American Food
Dewey Avenue , CBD
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-6588 / 6555
Filipino Food
Manila Avenue
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-3818
Filipino Food
Waterfront Road , Central Business District
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-5970 / 1346
Filipino Food
Waterfront Road
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-3187
Cakes, Pastries & Sandwiches(for members only)
Basin Road, Rizal Highway
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-5211
International Food
Boton Area, Argonaut Highway
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-1996 / 1992
Indian Food
Crown Plaza , Sampson Road
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-3663
Japanese Food
Sta Rita Road , corner Rizal Highway
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-2666

Filipino Food
Waterfront Road
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-6544

American/Filipino Food
Waterfront Road
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-3005
International Food
Waterfront Road
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-2222 loc. 2003
Coffee & Sandwiches
Waterfront Road , Central Business District
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-3023
Japanese Food & Wines
Sampson Road, Central Business District
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-3736
Filipino Food
Waterfront Road , Central Business District
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-1488
Canteen / Bar
Remy Field Compound
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-2884 / 2885
Filipino Food
In front of Bravo Bldg., Sta Rita Road
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-2222
Korean Food
Rizal Highway , Central Business District
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-3422
Hawaiian & Japanese Food
Blk. 1 Moonbay Marina, Waterfront Road
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-8199 / 2666
Cocktails & Appetizers
Dewey Avenue cor. Sta Rita Road
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-3615
Korean, Japanese Filipino & American Food
Bayfront Hotel, Waterfront Road
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-3615
International Foods
Delta Building., Central Business District
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-2222
Chinese Food
Located at Subic Diamond Casino, Waterfront Road
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-0888
Filipino Food
Rizal Highway near Main Gate
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-7401
Pizza Parlor
Dewey Avenue , Central Business District
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: 047 252-9999