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Vol. XXXVII No. 51

Olongapo City and Zambales P4:00

October 24-30, 2011

Pork barrel politics...

1,187 students lose scholarships Olongapo City — It’s final. No more funds for 1,187 Mitos Scholars this second semester. Speaking before the a regional conference of librarians at the Ann Raquels Resort last Wednesday, Zambales representative Milagros Magsaysay said that her office will shut down the scholarship program effective second semester of this year. This, after the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) allegedly refused to release the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) for the 1st district of Zambales. Magsaysay, a staunch ally of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, is a ranking member of the political opposition in the House of Representatives.

WHAT’S INSIDE Shell’s Chua vs oil smugglers PAGE 2 Yankee warship in Subic for PHIBLEX PAGE 4 Don’t pick on Subic Bay, chamber exec PAGE 3 SPORTS Olongapo, Makati draws clash PAGE 4 Zambales to export lahar sand to Singapore PAGE 4

‘I tried my best but they would not release the funds,’ a teary-eyed Magsaysay told scores of librarians. ‘Not enough help’ In a telephone interview with the Olongapo News, Magsaysay’s chief of staff Rowena Quejada said that all the scholars will be informed of the situation in a series of meetings at the St. Joseph School’s Converey Hall and at the Castillejos campus of the Ramon Magsaysay Technological University. The congressional scholars have been staging prayer rallies since August, urging President Benigno Aquino, Jr. and Budget

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Dangerous workplace --- A commercial vessel is seen here docked at the Keppel Subic Shipyard facility. Six workers died after a 42-ton ramp collapsed on them early this month. Officials of the facility were criticized by police and journalists for refusing entry minutes after the accident happened. (Photo courtesy of Jun Dumaguing)

Intellectual property help desk opened in ‘Gapo The city government opened an intellectual property help desk at the city library recently. The IP help desk aims to assist residents secure property rights via patents, trademarks and copyrights. Anne Gordon, wife of city mayor James Gordon, Jr., explained that the help desk makes it easier for residents of the city and nearby areas to secure their intellectual property. She reminded residents that intellectual property are assets one can own, sell, license, or give away. ‘Karapatan natin na protektahan ang sarili

nating gawa dahil ito ang magiging daan sa ating tagumpay,’ Gordon, who represented the mayor at the event, said. Ricardo Blancaflor, director general of the country’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO), for his part said that the government is committed to protect these property rights. “When you create something you need to be protected para hindi maagaw o makopya ng iba,” DG Blancaflor said at the launching. The IP Help Desk may be reached at 611-0437. (30)

Government won't penalize Keppel Subic Government regulators will not sanction Singaporebased Keppel Subic Shipyard for the accident that killed six workers while retrofitting a Norwegian vessel earlier this month. They are, however, required to implement several corrective measures to their occupational safety regulations, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said in an telephone interview said. ‘There were no violation of general labor standards. But they need to improve their safety plans and system based on the

recommendations submitted to me by my team,’ Baldoz clarified. Six shipbuilders died while six others were injured last October 17 while they were installing a plate that will prevent pirates from hooking their lines. The support tower holding up a 42-ton ramp at the stern (rear) of the ship collapsed. Reports also quoted Baldoz saying that DOLE will consider ‘lifting the suspension of operations of Keppel Shipyard” once the (turn to page 2)

DOLE to Subic Shipyard 1.) Accredit company’s safety officers and subcontractors. 2.) Hire at least two fulltime safety officers to implement the company’s safety program. 3.) Attend DOLE’s construction safety training. 4.) Submit an annual health and safety environment action plan.

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Olongapo News

October 24-30, 2011



This year, the city faced the worst flooding in recent memory. Blame it on the rain, the tide and the tons of materials ejected by Mt. Pinatubo almost 20 years ago. Blame the floods on everything but ourselves. It eases the pain, right? Like a mirror, our city reflects the situation of the nation. Think of a problem in the city and you’ve likely heard of it in the radio, saw it at ABS-CBN, or read it in the national daily. Let’s start. Olongapo’s infrastructure has deteriorated. Our roads are disintegrating. The power distribution system is failing. Garbage-slide and landslide. Corruption. Unemployment. Flood (that again?). We can go on. And on. Like the energizer bunny. But that won’t make editorial sense. So let’s talk about one topic. Let’s talk about water. That unwelcome, but regular, home visitor (not again!). But this time, not the abundance of it, but the lack of it. Let us be the first to say it. Olongapo City, and Subic Bay, is facing a water crisis. Subicwater admitted in one of its recent newsletters that Olongapo City has experienced the tightest water supply availability since 1997. If not for the typhoons, they would have rationed water to many parts of the city. Official census data show that Olongapo City’s population grew from 194,260 in 2000 to 227, 270 in 2007. Subic Freeport hosts around 1,300 companies and attracts around 100,000 tourists during the Holy Week alone. Add SM and Ayala. Think about it, 230,000 residents + 1,000 oddly mixed companies + the annual tourist volume = a huge water demand. Unlike electricity, which may be sourced from say Masinloc, Quezon, Batangas, or sooner than later Redondo Peninsula, water must, and can only come, from local sources. We have not heard any new water source developed by Subicwater. Have you? After the flooding we experienced this year, its hard to imagine a water crisis, right? But it is true. And it is coming. Sooner that we expect. If you didn’t know about it, you do now . The pressing question is what will we do about it?

Anthony Bayarong I could not believe what I read in my email alert last week. An oil company executive proposed the closure of the Subic Freeport to curb oil smuggling. Pilipinas Shell country chair Edgar Chua claimed that the Subic Freeport, among other freeports, is a haven for oil smugglers. While it may be true that the government is losing billions of tax revenues due to oil smuggling, the shotgun approach of closing down freeports ‘suspected’ of being an entry point for oil smuggling is ridiculous. More so, when it comes from the president of one of the country’s biggest oil company. Is that your grand solution to the oil smuggling problem, Mr. Chua? Tagalugin natin, alam mo ba Mr. Chua na libong kumpanya ang magsasarasa munkahi mo? Alam mo rin ba na halos isang daang libong manggagawa ang mawawalan ng trabaho? Ano ngayon ang gagawin mo sa daang libong manggagawa na mawawalang trabaho? Mr. Chua, do you know that the Philippine government has an agency called Bureau of Customs (BOC)? They are the ones who man the Freeport gates

Shell’s Chua versus oil smugglers ‘Bark at the BOC, not at the Freeport’

when it comes to oil smuggling or smuggling, in general. The point is… Bark at the BOC, not at the Freeport. The resulting loss of jobs, just to make your company wealthier, is not a good suggestion. Mr. Chua, you are such a ——. Use your imagination readers. ***** Good news for the ‘No To Coal Plant in Subic Bay’ campaigners. The Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) for the additional 300MW coal power plant inside Subic Bay Freeport has ‘yet’ to be approved. The downer, however, is that the ECC for the first 300MW was already granted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). During an interview with Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chairman Roberto Garcia, he said that the new directors of SBMA questioned the proposal of RP Energy for an additional 300MW plant. Don’t be confused. RP Energy wants to two 300MW power plants in their Subic Bay facility. The ECC for the first 300MW plant was given by DENR. The ECC,

however, does not cover the additional 300MW plant. Chaiman Garcia, and rest of the SBMA directors, questioned the health and environmental impact of the power plant. They also questioned the lease agreement of RP Energy. I will explain the problem with the lease agreement in my next column. The point is… All the local government units near the Freeport oppose this project. A movement was organized to oppose the plant. More than 4,600 liked the anti-coal plant Facebook page. So, for you ‘No to Coal Plant in Subic Bay’ pepz, your fight is still on. One advice though, be alert for people who are using this issue for political and selfish interest. Look around you and observe. ***** It’s been a while since we tasted some good, old-fashioned community news in the city. With a new staff and fresh perspectives, I hope this paper will continue for years to come. Thank you for giving the opportunity write again. The point is… Welcome back Olongapo News.

Green is good --Forester Patrick Escusa leads personnel of Subic’s Ecology Center in collecting Narra and Bani seedlings from the former mini-golf site to supply Region 3 with the two indigenous plants. The collection of seedlings is part of the National Greening Program (NGP) that aims to plant 1.5 million trees iwithin 6 years. The NGP is a flagship program of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). (Photo by Jonas Reyes)



#34 National Highway, Upper Kalaklan Olongapo City Member, Publishers Association of the Philippines, Inc. President Publisher Editor Accounts Manager Accounts Assistant Commercial Advertising Manager Circulation Manager Secretary Legal Consultant


Government won't penalize Keppel Shipyard from page 1

company adopts these corrective measures.’ Mok Kim Whang, Subic Shipyard president, identified the fatalities as Cris Xander Papna, Jhay Lord Reyes, Glenn Miranda and Ronaldo Bagay, all project employees of Keppel Subic Shipyard (KSS), while Mark San Juan and Ronald Lara were from Garcia & Rocafor General Services (G&R), the yard’s subcontractor. ‘It appears that the stern ramp of the vessel moved while being worked on which caused the

support underneath the ramp to topple. Some workers were on the scaffolding underneath the ramp edge and on the ramp at the time of the incident,’ Whang, in a statement, said. He added that they are still waiting to interview the injured workers before completing their internal investigations. ‘We are covering all their funeral-related expenses and are providing their families with financial and other assistance to help them tie over this difficult period. We are currently

looking into the insurance matters for the affected workers,’ Whang said. Officials of the shipyard were criticized after the they refused to allow journalists, police investigators, and Mayor Jefferson Khonghun from entering the facilities minutes after the incident. P/Sr. Supt Francisco Santiago said that when they were allowed to enter the facility, “equipment and materials had been moved and debris was already cleared.” “This left us in the dark about the accident,” he said.

DOLE investigators, who claimed that they were also initially denied entry, said that that the management of Keppel Subic Shipyard was rushing to beat the deadline for the retrofitting of the MV Tombarra’s ramp. Labor Undersecretary Lourdes Trasmonte told the Senate committee investigating the tragic accident that ‘simultaneous repair works were done because of an approaching deadline. This resulted to inadequate safety and health measures for workers on the job.’ (30)

Olongapo News

October 24-30, 2011

Zambales fisherfolks get P17.5-M livelihood fund

1,187 students lose scholarships from page 1 Secretary Florencio Abad to release the funds. Branded as Mitos Scholars, the majority of the 1,187 college students are residents of Olongapo City, while the rest come from the towns of Subic, Castillejos and San Marcelino. Quejada explained that around P7.15 million in schools fees for the first semester of school year 2011-2012 needs to paid to private and public colleges. Aside from the college scholars, she said that more than 8,000 high school and elementary pupils from the first district of Zambales will lose their P300 annual school supplies subsidy. ‘We asked almost all the senators to allocate some of their funds to help the students. Only Senator (Jinggoy) Estrada responded by giving P1 million,’ Quejada said, adding congressional ally DIWA partylist allocated another P1 million. Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, now representative of the 5th district of Pampanga, also committed P1.3 million from her congressional pork barrel.

Iba, Zambales— The Asian Development Bank (ADB) gave P17.5 million worth of livelihood assistance for coastal resource management projects in nine municipalities here.

‘So far, we have P3.3 million in commitments from other solons. This will be used to partly pay the total school fees owed to the schools,’ Quejada said. ‘Needy hardest hit’ Most of the congressional indigent programs will also be affected. Among them are the free diagnostic laboratory services, drug testing, skills development, including the distribution of the maintenance medicines to indigent residents of the district. Ansbert Joaquin, deputy administrator of Comteq Computer and

Business College, said that the hardest hit by this type of politics are the students. ‘This (non-release of funds to opposition solons) is a practice of almost all administrations to reign in the opposition. If President Aquino really wants a good government, he should stop this practice. The students and the needy should not be made to suffer,’ Joaquin said. Comteq College has around 130 Mitos scholars taking up either vocational and degree courses in IT and business management.

In an earlier report, Magsaysay lamented Abad’s alleged refusal to release their funds has become a major problem for her poor constituents, especially the senior citizens who get maintenance medicines from the PDAF or pork barrel. “The constituents of the congressmen in the minority bloc like me are still entitled to those funds also because our districts paid taxes to the national government. We all serve the people,” Magsaysay was quoted by journalists early this week.(30)

Don’t pick on Subic Bay, chamber exec says An official of the Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce (SBFCC) brushed off the suggestion that freeports, including Subic Bay, should be closed down to curb oil smuggling. SBFCC President Danny Piano said that such statements might have been said in haste. ‘Subic Bay’s exports alone amounted to more than P50 billion,’ he explained. ABS-CBN reported that in a briefing, Shell country chairman Edgar Chua suggested that government should shut down the Freeport to curbing smuggling . “Why don’t we just shut down these freeports? How much are these freeport zones contributing to the economy? P10 billion? How much are we losing? P14 billion. That’s just oil,” he said. Chua was quoted saying that if government finds closing down the freeport zones rather extreme, ‘it could


Zambales provincial agriculturist Dr. Rene Mendoza said the selected fisherfolks, non-government organizations (NGOs) and people’s organizations will receive equipment, facilities and materials for livelihood projects. The Integrated Coastal Resource Management Project (ICRMP) beneficiaries come from the towns of Sta. Cruz, Candelari, Masinloc, Palauig, Iba, Cabangan, San Felipe, San Antonio and Subic. Provincial aquaculturist Reynaldo Reologio said the ICRMP Enterprise Development and Income Diversification has four components: Policy and Institutional Strengthening and Development; ICRM and Biodiversity Conservation; Enterprise Development and In-come Diversification; and Social and Environmental Services and Facilities. “These projects augur well with the program of Governor Ebdane to develop the agriculture

sector in the province,” Mendoza said. The funding that were initially approved for release are: P464,467.39 for a rice retailing, meat and fish processing facility in Subic town; P204,375.40 for tilapia production in San Felipe; P943,624.04 for natural salt production in Botolan; P387,074.85 for iodized salt processing; mudcrab fattening projects in Palauig; and P478,518.20 for a hog fattening farm in Sta. Cruz. The program requires the recipient organization to retain 50 percent of the amount after earning back the full capital invested. The other half must be donated to a municipal federation of farmers or fishermen to fund more local entrepreneur projects, Reologio added. Recently, the provincial government also gave gill nets to fishermen’s cooperatives in the towns of Palauig and Masinloc and 432,000 tilapia finger-lings seeded in rivers and lakes in the province. (30)

Poaching is Illegal, Ebdane

More than smuggling --- A slide from the corporate website of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority ( shows the economic and social value generated by the Freeport zone over the last ten years. at least look at amending freeport zone regulations.’ He suggested that the government ‘should also cross reference oil deliveries to economic zones to check whether they were really ordered by locators.’ ‘The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), he added, can also audit fuel retail stations for VAT-registered receipts,’ he explained. A vehicle owner, who asked not to be identified, noted that fuel prices inside the Freeport varies very little from those in Olongapo City . ‘I am pretty sure that there are tax differences. That should also be reflected in the prices of fuel, ‘di ba?’ she said.

But Piano shot down the argument, saying that there is more than smuggling in Subic Bay. “We are talking about affecting more than a thousand businesses and about 100,000 workers here and Phividec who are going to lose their jobs. The social impact is certainly worth more than the taxes in question,” Piano explained. The law allows tax-free importation of raw materials and equipment for use in manufacturing in these zones, but Chua explained that locators inside the Freeport zones have been abusing this privilege.

Piano retbutted that added that oil smuggling is a long standing Bureau of Customs problem, which is not procedurally difficult to control. “It’s not like oil tankers can sneak unseen in the first place,” he said. The Bureau of Customs (BoC) claimed that more than 1,800 blue plate vehicles cannot be accounted for. “I do sympathize with Mr. Chua, though, regarding the rampant smuggling of oil. But no, I disagree with the blanket statement that locators are abusing their tax-free privilege. That is certainly not the case,” Piano said. (with reports from

Candelaria, Zambales --- Governor Hermogenes Ebdane warned fisherfolks that it is illegal to poach endangered species. Ebdane issued the warning after a whale was found beached at the Uacon cove, near his residence, early this month. ‘It’s illegal and the penalties are steep. We also need to preserve our marine resources,’ he told fishermen who helped bring the stranded whale to safety.

Beached --- Gov. Jun Ebdane, together with scores of fishrmen, tries to save a beached whale at Uacon cove. The whale was diagnosed to have viral infection and later died.

Olongapo News

October 24-30, 2011



Zambales to export lahar sand to Singapore IBA, Zambales – The provincial government announced recently that it will export the Mt. Pinatubo lahar sand to Singapore. Gov. Hermogenes Ebdane inked a contract with BlueMax Tradelink Inc., a Filipino company, for the dredging of the Bucao River in Botolan, Maculcol River in San Felipe, and Sto. Tomas River in San Marcelino. The Bucao and Sto. Tomas rivers are the major waterways that drains Mt. Pinatubo of rain water and volcanic ash. BlueMax Tradelink is set to pay P10 extraction fee for every cubic meter of sand. According to the governor, the government will earn P4 million in monthly. Under the contract, Ebdane said 420,000 cubic meters of sand per month will be supplied to Singapore within a period of 18 months.

Aside from the extraction fee, other local government units in Zambales may collect other charges like mineral tax and ore transport permit fee, he added. 'We have so much sand from Mt. Pinatubo. This has caused severe siltation of rivers and has often resulted in severe flooding in several towns and barangays,' Ebdane explained to reporters. Clark Zapata, president of BlueMax, said his company was commissioned by Singaporean firms to supply sand for use in their reclamation and expansion projects. Instead of paying BlueMax Tradelinks to dredge the river, 'we will pay the government for the materials.' The extracted sand from Bucao and the other two dredging sites would be processed before being exported to Singapore, Zapata added. (30).

Do the math. Government officials say that the export of sand will contribute around P200 million annually to the provincial coffers. ‘“The material that made our lives miserable since 1991 will become manna from heaven,” Gov. Jun Ebdane said. Former Zambales governor Amor Deloso also knew that the black sand had huge earning potential. ‘Ito ang makakatulong sa atin dito sa Zambales,’ Deloso told reporter years ago. Government estimates that at least 6.5 billion cubic meters of sand fell into the Sto. Tomas, Maloma and Bucao rivers. More, according to them, are deposited on the slopes of Mt. Pinatubo. At P10 per cubic meter, can you imagine how much Zambales can earn? Don’t imagine, do the math. - Ed

Yankee warship in Police seize Subic for PHIBLEX 27 bikes The American amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42) will arrive in Subic Bay Freeport this October 22nd to off load equipment’s and marines who will participate in the Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) 2012. PHIBLEX is a bilateral training exercise with Marines of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) sailors and units from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). The exercise is designed to improve interoperability of forces and operational readiness through exercises such as

peace keeping operations and humanitarian assistance missions through high-intensity combat. Commissioned on February 8, 1986, the USS Germantown paticipated during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, conducting mock amphibious assaults in the United Arab Emirates in preparation for a possible landing as part of Desert Storm. In 2004, the vessel offloaded Marines of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) at Kuwait Naval Base as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom or the US invasion of Iraq that toppled Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. (30)

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Olongapo City -- Police authorities impounded 27 motorcycles from July to present after riders were found to have violated the No Helmet, No Travel policy. Provincial HPT officer Chief Insp. Palmer Tria said that aside from violation of RA 4136, many riders failed to present appropriate documents such as driver’s license and vehicle registration. Some did not have official receipts, while other illegally transferred plate number to other vehicles.

Some 300 amateur riders will battle it out for the the Unilab Active Health Bike United this weekend at the Subic Bay Freerport. The cycling event was organized by the Bike King and is supported by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and the Triathlon Association of the Philippines (TRAP). Bike King executive and TRAP director Raul Cuevas said male, female and jun- while a busy day that bikers will have ior division compet- awaits the riders when fun at the Freeport ing in four different the 80-km road race because of the traffic- stages. The stages are and another 20-km free and wide open designed to test their time trial on Saturday. skills and stamina. The 40-km individual road course. The first course is time trial winds up the There will be four race groups in the a 90-km road race three-day tournament.

Olongapo, Makati draw clash Makati-based Timog FC drew with Olongapo Futboleros, 4-4, at the start of the Subic Bay Futsal Cup-PFCWC Qualifiers last Saturday at the Subic Bay Basketball gym. Futsal is a five versus five football game played indoors. The visitors scored two goals in the first half but was met with a barrage of 4 goals, all scored by Olongapo striker Zid Dela Cruz. Timog FC equalized with two goals at the closing minutes of the 2nd half. The draw meant that both club share leaderboard with 1 point each. 'The draw is a fitting end to the historic first-ever officially sanctioned futsal game in Olongapo City and Subic Bay,' the Amihan Football Club (AFC) said in a statement.

Four teams are vying for the right to represent Subic Bay at the national finals of the Pilipinas Futsal Cup-Winners Cup (PFCWC). 'The team with the most number of points after 3 games earns the right to face 10 other futsal champions from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao,' AFC's statement explained. The national futsal cup finals will be held in December 17 & 18 at the National Village Sports Club, Parañaque City. The Futsal Cup’s age groups are 8 & Under, 11 & Under, 14 & Under and the 15 and Over.

Results of the Age Group Competition (8 years old and Under) Balic-Balic Elementary School Kickers blasted Juventus School for the Gifted 11-0. (11 years old and Under) Lighthouse FC clawed their way back in the second half for 3-3 draw against Barreto FC. (14 years old and Under) The Olongapo City National High School Kickers defeated ‘D Expendables 3-1. The team with the most goals aggregated in two games will be declared champion.

NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC RENE CURIANO is no longer connected with Olongapo News and Zambales News effective October 17. Any transaction with him will not be honored by the publications.

Goal! --- The ball whizzes past William Brazel, the 5-year-old goalkeeper of Juventus FC, while his mates can only look on. Members of the Balic-Balic Elementary School Kickers begins to celebrate their victory. (Anthony Bayarong)

October 30, 2011  
October 30, 2011  

1,187 students lose scholarships