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Quorum BECAUSE ALL OF THE 87 PROVINCES MATTER. THE SUM OF ALL PARTS.
E MPOWERING C OMMUNITY P UBLICATION ON B USINESS & P OLITICS
Edition No. 004
Manila, Philippines January 16-31, 2011
Angelica feels lucky to work with Vhong Entertainment, Page 7
Cebu Pacific sales up in 2010
Aviation Page 8
Banner year for Ford PH
Motoring Page 7
Gov’t to intensify trade relationships THE government will undertake intensified trade relationships with existing and new emerging trade partners including the BRIC economies (Brazil, Russia, India and China). Trade and Industry undersecretary Adrian S. Cristobal Jr. said this is part of the international trade group’s strategic thrusts to help propel the country’s exports to the world. “We will pursue trade agreements with largest markets EU and US on phased negotiations, while we intensify trade relationships with the BRIC economies,” Cristobal said at the launch of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Roadmap on Thursday. Cristobal noted that for the period 2011 to 2015, the government targets exports of products and services to grow at 13 percent year on year. The objective is to level up the 2010 exports to the country’s peak in 2007 at $ 50 billion and to double up the target to $ 100 billion by 2015. As of November last year, the country’s exports already hit over $ 48 billion. The Philippines’ trade profile showed its merchandise exports only accounts for less than a percent in world’s total merchandise exports. The country’s top export destinations in 2009 were EU, US, Japan , Hong Kong, and China. These markets account for 70.6 percent of the country’s total exports. In terms of imports, the country’s main sources are Japan, US., China, Singapore and EU accounting for 49.7 percent of the country’s total imports. Although the country’s exports to China has been increasing, global imports of China has been also growing faster. Cristobal also noted the increasing significance of the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) and European Union (EU) as regional country destinations, but it has yet to maximize potential of EU member states. Some ASEAN countries Vietnam and Indonesia are among fastest growing global exporters while India is a big importing market registering fast growth. The Philippines has been hesitant to pursue free trade negotiations with the EU because the country’s agricultural sector and the marginalized farming community would be greatly disadvantaged by the highly subsidized EU farm sector.
SHOW OF SOLIDARITY -- President Benigno S. Aquino III, newly elected Chairman of the Liberal Party (LP), pose with party President former Senator Manuel Roxas II, Vice Chairperson Senator Franklin Drilon and LP members after the election of officers during the party’s national executive council meeting at the Gabaldon Hall, Club Filipino, San Juan City. Elected LP officers are Cavite 1st District Representative Joseph Emilio Abaya, Secretary-General; DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo, Executive Vice President; House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr., Vice Chairman; Batanes Lone District Representative Henedina Abad, VP for Policy; and Oriental Mindoro Governor Alfonso Umali Jr., as Treasurer. The Liberal Party was founded in 1946 by President Manuel Roxas from what was once the “Liberal Wing” of the old Nacionalista Party.
P-Noy wants to soften impact of oil price hike PRESIDENT Benigno S. Aquino III has asked the Department of Energy (DOE) to look for ways to soften the impact of the continuing oil price hikes in the world market on the Filipino consumers and motorists. Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio "Sonny" Coloma said that the President is bothered about the continuing price escalations in the world market which is why he asked the DOE to look for ways to minimize its effect on the people. “We are constantly monitoring the price movements and I assure you that we have not yet been seeing any price manipulation
taking place locally since we can calculate accurately the petroleum price increases on commodity prices,” Coloma stressed. The retail price of diesel, commonly used in public transport systems, has shot up to P40.25 per liter. Coloma said the supply-demand law will eventually dictate the buying habits of Filipinos and petroleum companies will realize that they cannot price their products too high or no one will buy them. Coloma said Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras is now persuading the executives of the major oil companies if they could give special rates to the public transport industry
PH air panel to meet with 5 nations THE Philippine air panel is set to hold bilateral talks with at least five countries this year, an official of the Civil Aeronautics Board said. Carmelo Arcilla, CAB executive director, said the governments of Japan, Hong Kong and Myanmar are interested
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to hold air talks this year. "They approached us, we are now in communication with them as to the schedule. We await for their reply," Arcilla said. The CAB official added that the Philippine air panel also wants to set bilateral air talks with Canada and Papua New Guinea. The Philippine air panel is composed of officials from the Departments of Transportation and Communications, Foreign Affairs, Tourism and Trade and Industry, CAB, and representatives from the airline companies. Last year, the Philippine government completed bilateral airtalks with China, Singapore, Qatar and South Korea, among others.
He added that the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board is also studying ways to soften the impact of oil prices on commuter fares by asking the public transport drivers to continue granting discounts for students, as well as senior citizens.
Django, 3 others share top athlete award Sports, Page 9
Liberalization to boost tourism
Nation Page 2
MMDA eyes additional motorcycle safety features IN A bid to minimize motorcycle-related deaths and injuries, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority pushed for a safety feature on motorcycles where the headlights automatically switch on during engine ignition. MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said motorcycle headlights should be on even during daytime to allow maximum visibility in the roads. "I understand that several manufacturing firms have been putting this feature on their motorcycles. We hope that this will become a standard regulation among companies manufacturing and selling motorcycles," he said. Also, Tolentino pushed for high-quality helmets for both passenger and rider, and the prohibition of a third passenger. He cited LTO Administrative Order AHS-2008-015, which prescribes rules and regulations on the use and operation of motorcycles on highways. Under the policy, failure of the driver and/or the passenger or back rider to wear the standard helmet would result in a fine of P1,500. Drivers must also not wear flip-flops, sandals or slippers or drive bare-foot or be fined of P500, P700 and P1,000 and revocation of driver's license for the first, second and third offenses, respectively. Tolentino also ordered the agency's traffic enforcers to strictly implement the "no helmet, no travel" policy on major thoroughfares and secondary roads. He said this is for the protection of the riders and warned that violators will be apprehended and meted the corresponding penalties. "I'm appealing to the local government units to likewise be strict on this matter and introduce other measures that will promote the safety of the riders," Tolentino said.
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THE PROVINCES (Sum of all parts)
Zambo readies P52M for salary hike for workers ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The city government has set aside P52 million to pay for the salary increase of its over 2,000 employees effective middle of this month. City Mayor Celso Lobregat said the salary increase effective January 15 for the city’s rank and file employees is part of the second of four-tranche salary increase that started last year. The second tranche increase is based on the Salary Standardization law that first took effect January 2010. Based on the guidelines set by the national government, salaries of government employees—both national and local agencies, will be increased in four tranches for implementation in four years at 25 percent per year. Mayor Lobregat said that not all government units in the entire country have been able to comply with the salary standardization law because “the salary increase is dependent on the personnel services (PS) cap on the annual budget.” “There are guidelines set and the grant of increase is subject to budget allocations and personnel services limitations”, the mayor said. “The PS should not go over 45% of the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA)”. Because of good financial management, Lobregat said the city government has been able to lower its PS to below 40 percent, thus enabling the local government to implement the salary increase.
Lawmen hunt 5,000 loose guns in Masbate MASBATE CITY -- Lawmen are in a wild hunt for the over 5,000 loose firearms in the hands of civilians mostly criminal elements and political goons in this provincial capital and the entire province of Masbate. The figure draws apprehensions that should these unauthorized gun holders pool themselves into a “Wild West” army, they could well outnumber the entire combination of the military and the police forces assigned in the island province and campaigning to disarm them. The over 5,000 loose firearms in the province, according to a police officer here could already arm more than 10 battalions of combatants, a figure that belittles much the total number of Philippine National Police (PNP) and Philippine Army (PA) troops assigned as peace keepers and law enforcers in the area. PNP forces in the entire province distributed among its three congressional districts that are provided with one company-size police mobile group each and 21 municipal police stations can only make around two battalions. In the military parlance, a battalion is composed of around 350 soldiers. The PA troops in the province on the other hand is a battalion-size contingent primarily focused on the government’s anti-insurgency campaign. Police Senior Supt. Henry Rañola, the Task Force Masbate (TFM) commander citing intelligence reports over the weekend, said these unlicensed guns are leftovers of the hundreds high-powered armament recovered by the task force in the implementation of the gun ban imposed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) during last year's election period. This excessive number of loose firearms could explain clearly why the province is tagged as the murder capital of Bicol with almost all of the cases attributed to the use of guns, Rañola said.
DOT to star-classify hotels in Zamboanga ZAMBOANGA CITY -- A top official of the Department of Tourism (DOT) announced that the DOT is restructuring the classification of hotels this year in the region. DOT Regional Operations Officer Bernard Gregorio said the classification of hotels will be back to the star system as in the previous years. The present classifications of the hotels are first class, deluxe, standard, economy and tourist inn. Gregorio said starting this year, the hotels will be again classified as one-star, two-star, three-star, four-star and five-star. He said they will be reclassifying the hotels as star-classified as in the previous years because the star system is known worldwide. He added consultants from the DOT central office will study and set the guidelines and requirements for the hotels to be star-classified. Gregorio said his office will start evaluating and classifying the hotels in March or once after they will receive a copy of the guidelines from the central office. The hotels will be classified depending on the facilities, services and room sizes, Gregorio said. He said the tourists usually look for facilities in a hotel like bathtub, hot and cold shower, television, gym, swimming pool, restaurants and others to include the security. He said there are over 100 hotels to include pension houses that are operating in the different parts of the region.
S Cotabato now automated procurement system GENERAL SANTOS CITY -- The provincial government of South Cotabato will implement the automated procurement system starting this year in a bid to further cut down its administrative and other related expenses. Bernardita Vallar, South Cotabato budget officer, said the move is part of the local government’s ongoing reforms to help improve its operations and at the same time become more cost-efficient in implementing its mandated services and functions. “(The automation) will mainly help rationalize our procurement operations, reduce our costs and speed up the required processes,” she said. The new computerized system will be implemented by the local government as mandated by Republic Act 9184, or the Government Procurement Reform Act of 2003. Vallar said the three phases of the supply and property management would be automated and will cover the acquisition, utilization and disposition of supplies and equipment. To facilitate the automation process, she said, the Provincial General Services Office initiated last month a two-day orientation for their personnel. “A parallel run with the new system will be implemented during the first quarter and will be fully operationalized starting the second semester of 2011,” she said.
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January 16-31, 2011
PH aviation liberalization to benefit local carriers, boost tourism -- P-Noy PRESIDENT Benigno S. Aquino III has assured players of the local carriers that opening the country’s sky to international aviation industry will definitely provide opportunities for them that will redound to further boost the country’s tourism industry and the economy. The Chief Executive echoed this statement after he led the awarding of the Cebu Pacific’s 50 millionth passenger in simple ceremony at the departure lounge of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 in Pasay City. “I am aware of the concerns of our local carriers and I can assure you that as we liberalize aviation, it will be undertaken in a way that will open up opportunities for competitive and world class domestic carriers like the Cebu Pacific,” the President said adding that once the open sky policy is implemented, local carriers would benefit from it because more visitors from the neighboring countries will be coming in. “Once implemented, we expect more international airlines to enter the market. Aside from opening our doors to more visitors that will strengthen our tourism, this will also allow us to enjoy a free market for products to further boost our economy. This, of course, will redound
to thousands of additional jobs, which in turn will provide decent living to many Filipino families,” he said. Being a “new pilot,” the President said, he always has to ensure that no turbulence affects the government flight to progress as the country is now in a position that can soar to greater heights. The President noted that no turbulence, no disastrous weather, and no challenges will lead his administration astray from its course amid the dark clouds of cynicism that will continue to threaten the country’s peaceful flight. “I ask everyone: do not let go, and fas-
ten your seatbelts. We have reached our cruising altitude of stronger trade, more jobs and greater public confidence in the government. The skies are clear, and we are headed for daylight. With the renewed confidence of the Filipino people, and with the help of partners such as the Cebu Pacific, I am confident that we will reach our destination ahead of schedule,” the President said. The government earns P3.20 billion (approximately $ 70 million) for charging the international airlines to the Philippines for the CCT and GPB taxes but the continued erosion of foreign and perhaps Philippine carrier flights that support Philippine trade and economic growth will benefit the other Asian economies in terms of business and employment opportunities. Meanwhile, domestic airlines will continue to have profitable operations despite the impending liberalization of the airline industry. This was the assurance given by Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Office Secretary Ramon Carandang, in a press briefing in Malacanang. Carandang said measures to protect the interest of local airlines will be included in an Executive Order on the open skies policy that will be issued by President Benigno S. Aquino in a few weeks.
MMDA commends Muntinlupa’s anti-plastic, styrofoam measure METROPOLITAN Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis N. Tolentino lauded the City of Muntinlupa for implementing an ordinance against the use of plastic and other non-biodegradable materials by all business establishments. Effective Tuesday (January 18), the City of Muntinlupa started implementing Ordinance No. 10-109, otherwise known as “an ordinance prohibiting the use of plastic bags on dry goods, regulating its utilization on wet goods, and prohibiting the use of Styrofoam” in Muntinlupa City. It is the first city in Metro Manila to ban the use of plastic bags for wet and dry goods and Styrofoam/ styrophor as food containers. In passing the Ordinance, the Muntinlupa City Council noted that disposed plastic bags and other non-biodegradable containers are the major causes of flash floods in the city during heavy rains as it clogged canals, three creeks, 11 rivers and other waterways that all drain into the nearby Laguna Lake. “I laud the City Government of Muntinlupa, under the visionary leadership of Mayor Aldrin San Pedro for initiating this bold move for the sake of our environment,” the MMDA Chairman said. He added that he would push for the adoption of this measure as a model ordinance to
be adopted by the fifteen other cities and one municipality comprising Metropolitan Manila, and exhorted other mayors throughout the Philippines to do the same. The Muntinlupa ordinance bans polystyrene containers, commonly known as “Styrofoam” or “Styropor” for foodstuffs, drinks and other goods. Violators will be meted a fine, while business establishments found violating the ordinance may have their licenses to operate cancelled for up to one year. Polystyrene is a petroleum-based plastic with insulation properties and is used in all types of products such as beverage
cups and food containers. A 1986 US Environmental Protection Agency report on solid waste named the polystyrene manufacturing process as the 5th largest creator of hazardous waste. The process of making polystyrene is reported to pollute the air and create large amounts of solid and liquid waste. Toxic chemicals leach out of these products into the food that they contain, especially when heated in a microwave. These chemicals threaten human health and reproductive systems. Polystyrene foam is often dumped into the environment as litter which breaks up into pieces that choke animals and clog their digestive systems. Cities and counties such as Taiwan, Portland (USA) and Orange County, CA have outlawed polystyrene foam. “The MMDA strongly encourages local government units to adopt similar strong measures such as these to combat the dangerous effects of environmental degradation which leads to massive flooding and climate change,” said the MMDA Chair, noting that the damages wrought by Typhoon Ondoy on Metro Manila and its neighboring towns and cities reached up to US$ 4 Billion. “The tragic loss of lives and loved ones is unquantifiable,” he added
DND requires amnesty seekers to take oath of allegiance THE Department of National Defense (DND) will require former military rebels applying for the amnesty issued by President Benigno S. Aquino III for their role in plots to overthrow the Arroyo government to take an oath of allegiance to the Constitution. Defense Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Pio Lorenzo Batino, a member of the DND amnesty committee that is processing the applications, said the initial plan is to take their oath in front of Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin. “There is already a plan for taking of pledge of allegiance next week. The schedule is being worked out. We think there will be decisions coming up next week regarding the applications which had been deliberated upon,” said Batino. Batino is referring to the first batch of 19 applicants whose forms had been processed already by the committee and for-
warded to Gazmin’s office Thursday. The amnesty’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR) require the applicants to state in their application form to admit that their participation in the military adventurism during the Arroyo administration constituted violation of the Constitution, criminal laws and Articles of War. Batino said the taking of the oath before Gazmin is not in the IRR, “but it's part of the procedure established by the DND committee.” “There is nothing uncommon. The content of the allegiance is very straight forward that the oath taker reaffirms the respect for the Constitution, laws and government authorities. It is a reaffirmation that we in the department would do every week in the flag raising ceremony. They are just being required to do something that is commonly undertaken by students, government officials and all citizens of the country,” said Batino.
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Your Press/Photo Releases get published here! January 16-31, 2011
Fil-Japanese firm to put up 41 MW of solar projects nationwide A FILIPINO-Chinese company, EcoMerge Philippines, is looking at putting up four solar power projects in the country that will deliver 41 megawatts in the next two to three years. Eco-Merge president Edgar Morada told reporters that the company is working with SMEC (Snowly Mountains Engineering Corp.), an international consultancy to conduct the feasibility study on its four solar projects that would need investments of around $ 150 million to $
164 million. "It is a long-term commitment of EcoMerge with support from SMEC for this series of projects we are going to have," Morada said. Morada said they will also eventually venture into other renewable energy (RE) sources such as wind and hydro. "We will eventually diversify our RE portfolio, but for now the focus is on solar energy," Morada said. Eco-Merge's projects are in response
to the call of the government for investments in the power sector particularly in renewable energy following the passage of the Renewable Energy Act of 2008. Eco-Merge will first undertake the proposed 11 MW solar photovoltaic power plant in Camarines Sur located in south Luzon. Other priority areas being considered is Negros Occidental in the Visayas (10MW), Agusan Del Norte (10 MW) and Zamboanga (10 MW) both in Mindanao. A 1MW solar project requires an investment
of around $ 3 million to $ 4 million. "(The Camsur) is one of the first projects we are planning to undertake. What is more important is we now have a partnership with SMEC. It is just one of the projects we are going to undertake in cooperation with SMEC," Morada said. "SMEC will be involved from establishing the feasibility of the project all the way to the engineering and technical side. Right now the initial estimate is about $ 40 million (cost) for the 11 MW,"
he said. Eco-Merge is now talking with commercial banks and multilateral institutions to fund at least 70 percent of the CamSur project. Eco-Merge, which has a sister company in the US, signed an agreement with SMEC Philippines for the feasibility study of the Camsur project on Monday. The feasibility study is expected to take between three to four months. EcoMerge targets the groundbreaking ceremonies for the Camsur project on No-
ECCP okays P-Noy's open skies policy THE European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) welcomes the Open Skies policy of the Aquino administration. Tourism, being recognized in Arangkada as one of the sunrise industries, has the chance to become one of the big contributors to foreign exchange earnings and employment. However, the industry’s success will not be delivered on a silver platter. The Open Skies policy which will hopefully be confirmed in an Executive Order soon, will not succeed if the international aviation industry will be burdened with excessive and unfair taxes. It has to be understood that the international aviation industry is the most crucial partner of Philippine tourism, recognized as a primary engine of socio-economic growth and development. It is undisputable that the success of
Philippine tourism will greatly depend on the country’s international connectivity which is, in turn, a function of the state of international aviation industry in the Philippines. Unfortunately, over the years, the number of international airlines doing business in the Philippines has dwindled even while the international aviation business in our neighboring countries (the same countries with which the Philippines needs to compete for international tourists) saw significant growth. The list includes Alitalia, Air France, British Airways, Egypt Air, Lufthansa, Swissair, United and Vietnam Airlines. Some foreign carriers have significantly reduced capacity. Part of the reason why the number of airlines operating in the Philippines has not increased and has in fact declined over the years can be attributed to the
unfriendly and grossly onerous tax regime for international airlines in the Philippines. The current tax regime in place consists of common carriers tax (CCT) of three percent of gross receipts and Gross Philippine Billings (GPB) tax of 2.50 percent of GPB or an aggregate taxation on their gross revenue of 5.50 percent. These taxes and their pertinent regulations are not consistent with international standards and practices, thus making the Philippines the most expensive investment destination for airlines in the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) region. And Philippine international carriers are not subject to these types of taxes in the routes where they compete with foreign airlines. This discrimination contravenes the principles of the International Civil Avia
Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala (left) commends members of the Overseas Filipino Workers-Multi Purpose Cooperative (OFW-MPC) as they and family members in the Philippines will venture into sustainable agri-fishery enterprises that make use of organic farming technologies. For its part, the Department of Agriculture will provide them free technical training and assistance on "farm-to-table" operations, from production, postharvest, processing and marketing. Secretary Alcala has been encouraging OFWs and their families to invest and engage in farm and aquaculture projects -- not only as sources of additional income but also providers of food and employment to their respective communities. (PNA photo courtesy of DA)
Review urged on privatization laws and prospective PPP deals WITH the series of increases in utility costs, including the use of Metro Manila's light rail mass transport and its expressway system, a party-list lawmaker recommended a review on existing laws on privatization, build-operate-transfer (BOT) scheme and other related arrangements between the government and the private sector to ensure that public interest remains as the overriding consideration in future Private Public Partnership (PPP) deals especially on projects that involve public utility services. "Public welfare should not be sacri-
ficed in exchange for capital investments. The government should exercise caution on its future privatization plans and Private Public Partnership arrangements and see to it that public interest is fully protected," said Ang Kasangga party-list Rep. Teodorico Haresco. Haresco, vice-chair of the committee on small business and entrepreneurship development of the House of Representatives, said that although critical services which are now in the hands of the private sector such as water, electricity and even expressway management have improved in terms of quality and effi-
ciency, public utility companies are rushing too much in their bid to recover their investment costs and immediately rake in profit. "That's the problem in allowing the private sector to run key public utility services because while they are more efficient, private companies are doing business purely for profit, in which case, public welfare is completely set aside. This is something that the government should consider before entering into privatization and PPP arrangements on projects that have direct public impact," he said, noting that the PPP is just a re-
Cebu Pacific to expand workforce by 2,000 CEBU Pacific Air plans to increase its workforce in the next four years as the airline seeks to acquire more aircrafts. In a statement, the Gokongwei-led carrier said it will spend $ 1 billion in the next four years on 19 brand-new Airbus aircraft in an international and domestic expansion that will require the hiring of 2,000 more employees. The budget airline also spend P300 million this year to promote the Philippines abroad. “Cebu Pacific has already created over 4,300 jobs, 500 of them last year. We have also revived local tourism and have helped generate jobs and opportunities
in the provinces,” Lance Gokongwei, Cebu Pacific's president and chief executive said. Gokongwei added that the airline's main focus in the next few years will be in rapidly growing its international presence, particularly in creating better linkages between the fast-growing North Asian markets of Korea, Japan and Greater China, and the various resorts and tourist destinations in the Philippines. Gokongwei said the airline expects to carry up to 12 million passengers this year, of which 10 million would be using the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA 3) terminal 3.
At the rate of its growth, Gokongwei said Cebu Pacific's next 50 millionth passenger is due in four years’ time. The airline took delivery of three Airbus 320s in the past three months, will take delivery of five more this year, and will get 16 more from 2012 to 2014. By the end of 2011, CEB will be operating a fleet of 37 aircraft — with an average age of less than 2.5 years. Gokongwei said CEB’s transfer to NAIA Terminal 3 in 2008 provided the space, convenience, and opportunity for Cebu Pacific's to really grow and serve its passengers. “We look forward to working with the government in continuing to grow within and improving upon NAIA T3, the only airport terminal that can accommodate CEB’s rapid expansion,” he said. The airline flies more than 260and flights Swissair, Egyptair, Air France P.T. daily to 16 international destinations and Bouraq in 2004. 33Porvenir domesticPorciuncula, destinationsCAB’s from its four deputy operational hubs in Manila, Cebu, Clark executive director and head of economand Davao. said he is optimistic that the ic planning, strong international passenger volume will continue this year despite the anticipated increase in jet fuel cost. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), jet fuel price stood at $ 107.7 per barrel as of December 24 last year. "We are optimistic that the international traffic will grow at least 8 percent this year," Porciuncula said.
Int'l passenger flow in PHL up 15.3% in first 9 months INTERNATIONAL passenger traffic flow in the Philippines grew by double digits in the first nine months of the year, mostly because of cheaper fuel cost and global economic recovery, the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) said. Data from the CAB showed that international passenger traffic went up by 15.3 percent to 10.55 million from January to September last year compared with the 19.15 million passengers in the same period in 2009. In 2009, the airline industry was affected by the Influenza A(H1N1)
scare and the global economic downturn. CAB said inbound passengers went up by 15.9 percent to 5.09 million in the first nine months of last year from 4.39 million in the same period in 2009. Outbound passengers, on the other hand, reached 5.45 million, up by 14.74 percent to 4.75 million passengers. Of the 45 carriers with authority to fly in and out of the country, only 35 airlines operated during the period. CAB said Air Nauru, Aeroflot, Air France, Vietnam Airlines, Canadian Airlines and British Airways ceased flying to the Philippines in 2001 followed by
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Solon urges law enforcers to run after illegal recruiters LAWMAKERS have urged the law enforcement agencies to run after criminal syndicates engaged in illegal recruitment and intensify the government campaign against human trafficking. Deputy Speaker Lorenzo Tañada III (4th District, Quezon) also moved to review the performance of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration's (POEA) and (OWWA) with regard to illegal recruiters victimizing Filipinos who are eyeing green pastures abroad. "We should review the track record of POEA insofar as the prosecution of illegal recruiters is concerned," Tañada said.
Likewise, Tañada said the government is lagging behind the fight against human trafficking. "Our existing anti-human trafficking laws have too little bite," Tañada said. Tañada explained that laws that deal with human trafficking include the AntiTrafficking in Persons Act (Republic Act 9208), Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act (RA 8042), and international statutes prescribed by the UN Office of Drugs and Crimes. However, Tañada said the Philippines is on the Tier 2 Watch List of the US State Department's Trafficking in Persons report for not being able to fully com-
ply with the minimum standards in their Trafficking Victims Protection Act. "Sliding down has a consequence of non-accessibility of aid from the US. It can be prevented by a concrete and sincere desire in cooperation with the US government," Tañada said. Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento (1st District, Western Samar) said aside from the POEA, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and Department of Labor (DOLE) must play a tougher role in foreign labor disputes. "Filing of charges against abusive employers must be ensured, special courts on human trafficking set up and
LGUs tapped in order to set up a network at the barangay level to reduce such cases," Sarmiento said. Rep. Walden Bello (Akbayan Partylist) said the DFA should closely monitor the performance of many labor attaches abroad amid report that they are not attending to the needs of the Filipinos in distress abroad. Bello cited the case of 11 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWS) who were duped into accepting dubious employment through the Manila-based ADMAN Human Resource Placement and Promotions.
Lawmakers bat for inclusion of ethnic origin in census ABOUT 9.1 million people belonging to the indigenous tribes in the Philippine may have not been included in the national census because there is no accurate count on their existence. This prompted Reps. Teodoro Casiño and Neri Javier Colmenares (Party-list, Bayan Muna) to file a bill seeking the inclusion of the ethnic origin of indigenous peoples in the national census. Casiño said indigenous people from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao include the tribes of Tingguian, Isneg, Ibaloi, Kankanaey, Itawes, Malaweg, Yagad, Bugkalot, Gadding, Agta, Ati Dumagat, Mangyan, Bangon, Tadyawan, Alangan, Iraya, Buhid, Taobuhid, Hanunuo, Ratagnon, Tagbanwa, Malbog, Batak, Taut bato, Manobo, Bagobo, Bilaan, Tiruray, Mandaya-Mansaka, Subanen and Mamanwa. It was estimated that indigenous peoples comprise about 10 to 15 percent of the Philippine population, which have already reached 91 million. In filing House Bill 1460, Casiño said the inclusion of the ethnicity indicator will generate disaggregated demographic data on the indigenous peoples, while the language indicator will produce data relevant to the ethno-linguistic groups in the country. Casiño said the national statistics fail to reflect the situation of the indigenous peoples because data on indigenous peoples are hidden in national averages. "Even to date, an accurate count of
the indigenous peoples population in the country is not available," Casiño said. Casiño explained that the law governing indigenous people's rights is not fully realized because of the lack of data on the indigenous population in the country. Colmenares cited Section 21 of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) which accords the members of the indigenous cultural communities/indigenous peoples the rights, protections and privileges enjoyed by the rest of the citizenry and Section 25 which speaks of their right to special measures for the immediate, effective and continuing improvement of their economic and social conditions. Colmenares said the state of deficient disaggregated data on indigenous peoples in the country has a significant implication on the government's planning and decision-making. "I believe it is deemed for government's policies, programs and projects to become sensitive and responsive to the needs of the country's indigenous people and there should be timely, accurate and useful statistics on the indigenous peoples population," Colmenares said. Under the measure otherwise known as "Ethnic Origin Act of 2010," the National Statistics Office (NSO) is directed to ensure the inclusion of ethnic origin in its national survey starting 2010 in coordination with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).
ENRILE ADMINISTERS OATH OF OFFICE: Taguig SK chairwoman Michelle Mae Gonzales took her oath before Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile at the Senate Building in Pasay City recently.
E’blishment of OFW hospital sought IN ORDER to prevent the influx of a vast majority of repatriated Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who suffer from poor health conditions needing immediate medical attention or hospital confinement, two lawmakers are seeking the establishment of a special hospital for them and their dependents. Rep. Diosdado Arroyo (2nd District, Camarines Sur) and his mother, Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (2nd District, Pampanga) authored House Bill 1474, which aims to address this dilemma and to complement the present package of health services provided by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) so that a more comprehensive health care package can be extended to OFWs and their dependents. "Many OFWs are in immediate need of medical attention or hospital confinement due to various physical or mental illnesses sustained abroad," Arroyo said. Arroyo cited the differences in culture, conditions and that the innate superiority complex of overseas employers have resulted in the abuse, discrimination and exploitation against OFWs most of whom are women. The bill creates a special hospital to be known as the Migrant Workers Hospital, which shall be under the supervision and control of the OWWA. The special hospital shall provide for comprehensive or total health care services to all migrant workers who are OWWA contributors and their dependents. It shall conduct medical examinations to ensure the physical and mental capability of all the would-be overseas Filipino workers duly covered by an approved job order. The migrant workers hospital shall complement the existing package of services under the Health Care Program so as to include preventive, promotive, diagnostic, curative and rehabilitative programs.
House panel to study proposal granting provinces shares in real property taxes THE House Committee on Local Government has created a technical working group to fast track the passage of a measure granting provinces a share in the proceeds of real property taxes imposed by component cities. Rep. George Arnaiz (2nd District, Negros Oriental), Chairman of the House body, said the technical committee will conduct a thorough study on the proposed measure authored by Rep. Pablo John Garcia (3rd District, Cebu). During the recent public hearing of the House panel on the bill, Arnaiz suggested that all local government units should unite their efforts to get a higher share of
internal revenue allotments. Rep. Hermilando Mandanas (2nd District, Batangas) who was present during the committee hearing proposed changing the distribution of shares in taxes of local government units or changing the classification of cities. Garcia, principal author of House Bill 2000, said there is a need to study the measure to determine actual impact on component cities, which under the Local Government Code are not required to share in the proceeds of real property taxes within the province. Garcia said component cities are not required to share in the burden of nation-
al government by way of taxation although it has the right to vote for elective provincial positions. Garcia explained that the present situation should be corrected by making component cities share the proceeds of real property taxes with the province since a component city's conversion does not relieve the province of the obligation to maintain infrastructure such as roads and bridges within that component city and its mandatory assistance to its barangays. "Under the LG Code a province is required to protect and uphold the general welfare of all inhabitants including those residing in component cities," Garcia said.
Lawmaker wants simplified corporate income tax
SYMBOLIC KEY: Senator Loren Legarda received a symbolic key from (left to right) Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto, Vice Governor Concepcion Lim and Third District Rep. Arthur Yap during the Bohol Prosperity Fair 2010.
Bill to combat cybercrime filed AMID mid steady rise in online crimes, Senator Edgardo Angara is pushing for the passage of the Cybercrime Prevention Bill which aims to effectively prevent and punish online offenses such as hacking, fraud, cybersex and child pornography. "Filipinos will always strive to keep in touch with the people they care about -and with the advent of the internet, it has become so much easier to contact them through Facebook and other online media. However, this has the unfortunate effect of attracting the criminals who want to take advantage," explained Angara.
According to recently released statistics, almost 30 million Filipinos used the internet on a regular basis in the past year. An estimated two-thirds of the online population or nearly 20 million Filipinos use Facebook and other forms of social media. To remedy the situation,Angara authored Senate Bill No. 52, otherwise known as the Cybercrime Prevention Bill. It seeks to effectively prevent and punish online offenses such as hacking, fraud, cybersex and child pornography through prison time or a hefty fine of at least P200,000.
A LAWMAKER wants a simplified income taxation scheme for corporations to encourage taxpayers to pay their taxes and increase tax collection for the government. Under House Bill 3927 principally authored by Rep. Hermilando Mandanas (2nd District, Batangas), corporations will be taxed at 18 percent of their gross income allowing direct cost as an item of deduction. The bill seeks to amend the National Internal Revenue Code. "Under the bill, the taxpayer will not be required to substantiate and specify allowable deductions, a process which is perceived to be prone to abuse or manipulation by both taxpayers and tax examiners," said Mandanas, Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means. However, Mandanas said there should be concurrence of four conditions under the present law before the President may
allow the corporations the option to be taxed based on gross income upon the recommendation of the Finance Secretary. "These four conditions are a tax effort ratio of 20 percent of gross national product; a ratio of 40 percent of income tax collection to total tax revenues, a value-
added tax effort of 4 percent of GNP and 0.9 percent ratio of the consolidated pubic sector financial position to Gross National Product," Mandanas said. Mandanas also said that under the proposed measure, areas of discretion are minimized as the tax examiners shall validate only the accuracy of the taxpayers' declared gross sales/receipts and cost of goods sold or cost of services, Mandanas said. The proposal would lessen paper work for both taxpayer and tax examiners as substantiation requirement will be significantly reduced, encourage taxpayers to file their returns and consequently increase tax collection, according to Mandanas. Under the bill, direct costs which are allowed to be deducted from gross receipts pertain to all direct costs and expenses necessarily incurred to provide the services required by the customers.
Opinion Quorum 5
January 16-31, 2011
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Belt-tightening? Oh, c’mon It’s simply a pity if not a petty posturing by our government officials as they call on us to another round of “belt-tightening” when there seemingly has nothing more a room to tighten for an already cash-strapped if not starved populace. We consumers, already are hard-pressed up the wall. So what’s more can we possibly scrimp just to make ends meet when prices of commodities are already sky-high. Those living beyond the poverty line already EDITORIAL have enough what their money can’t buy or can’t afford. We are the “boss” we been told or made to believe. But what’s happening? We remain on the receiving end, shock absorbers from fallouts of assorted form of corruption in high places from way, way back,or it could also be happening now. Mega-contracts are made of these everybody knows and somebody almost always make a huge killing out of it while the rest or bulk of PH’s population of 90 million absorbs its impact through sky-high toll fees, fluctuating oil prices, sky-high prices of commodities and what have you. Secure your belts, we could be in for a tough ride. Again? Yes, again. Let’s hope and pray it won’t break at the seams. But yes, we still believe P-Noy can make a difference. There’s no one else for us to turn to until 2016. A pity.
What’s happening? As the New Year starts, everyone is hopeful for the coming year. When I was in grade school, our teacher, back then, encouraged us to make a list of what we should aim for the year or New Year’s resolutions that will help us in our studies. Our teacher asked us to recite it out loud for everyone to hear. I wonder if we can require it to our government officials to practice the same. They were elected by the people because they hoped for better leadership. Like how President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, Jr. promised in his inauguration “Kayo ang boss ko” (You are my boss). Listing down the aims for the country, amend and instigate necessary changes for the much needed improvements will help boost our progress. However, progress can only be achieved if we can allow change to happen. If everyone will be willing to make that first step to grow for oneself, and collectively as a nation, we will be doing a great contribution to our country. As our elders remind the younger generation that the only thing constant in this world is change, I just hope that these changes will be for the benefit of the nation and not for a few. *** In one episode of my radio program over DZBB 594 KHz, a listener texted me about Highway 54 now called EDSA. He was wondering if there are still traffic cops manning the major intersection controlling the flow of traffic with grace (I guess he was referring to a dancing traffic policeman.) It’s really nice to reminisce the good old days, when things were not as complicated. Drivers were courteous and disciplined and the even pedestrians follow street laws. The policemen nowadays were not as graceful. In fact, it saddens me to know what have they become.
Quorum Waiver All commentaries and or opinions submitted by our columnists and herein published shall remain as personal opinion of any of Quorum’s column writers. As such, these cannot and never be construed nor considered as similar to that of this publication (Quorum)’s stand on issues discussed. Be that as it may, Quorum shall not be held liable to any legal issues related to, or any column/commentaries that may appear herein.
Many Filipinos no longer fear God? ROTARIANS SET YOUTH SPORTSFEST: To commemorate its 25th year of continuously holding a sports contest for the youth under its jurisdiction, District 3810 of Rotary International (RI) under Global Gov. Tranquil Gervacio Salvador III is holding the “Rotaract/Interact Sportsfest 2011” on February 6, 2011 at the Philippine Sports Commission ULTRA track and field oval in Pasig City, Senior Deputy Governor Karen Tamayo, the public relations chair of District 3810, announced. -oooMORE RAINS AND FLOODS TO COME: To understand why rains, floods and strong winds are wrecking death and destruction in the Philippines and many parts of the world nowadays, we must read Matthew 7:24-27 of the Bible, and see that Jesus Christ warned these calamities will come to anyone who no longer read the Bible and obey God’s commands. It seems unless we do what Jesus is asking us to do, more rains, floods and winds will come and destroy many. -oooMANY FILIPINOS NO LONGER FEAR GOD? The way Caloocan City barangay councilman Reynaldo Dagsa was killed during the the New Year---
being fired upon in close range in the presence of his wife and children, while cohorts of the criminal stood guard--shows there is no more faith in, and fear and love of, God among many Filipinos. It seems many Filipinos have developed a criminal heart and mind, even in their day-to-day lives, because they no longer fear God. Woe unto all of us! -oooCORONATION OF MARY: The “Coronation of the Virgin Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth” is the fifth “Glorious Mystery” in the Holy Rosary of Roman Catholic Christians, and, despite attempts by non-believers to discredit this aspect of Mary’s life, Catholics continue to hold on to it as part of their Christian faith. Catholic leaders justify their belief about the coronation of Mary as the “Queen of Heaven and Earth” in the following manner: “(Mary) is the Mother of the Son of God, who is the messianic King. Mary is the Mother of Christ, the Word incarnate...Elizabeth greeted the Blessed Virgin, pregnant with Jesus, as `the Mother of my Lord.’ [Luke 1:41-43] “She is the perfect follower of Christ. The maid of Nazareth consented to God's plan; she journeyed on the pilgrimage of
ATTY. BATAS MAURICIO
It’s the law! faith; she listened to God's Word and kept it in her heart; she remained steadfastly in close union with her Son, all the way to the foot of the cross; she persevered in prayer with the Church. “Thus in an eminent way she won the `crown of righteousness,’ [See 2 Timothy 4:8] the `crown of life,’ [See James 1:12; Revelation 2:10] the `crown of glory’ [See 1 Peter 5:4] that is promised to those who follow Christ….” -oooREACTIONS? FREE ADVICE? Call 0917 984 24 68 or 0922 833 43 96 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BI, PNP at BoC konting pansin lang BENJIE ALEJANDRO
Voice Of The News In Manila, they were called (Manila’s) finest in the early days. Now, a certain policeman, our supposed-to-be guardians against harm is accused as a rapist. And that is alarming because roaming around the ‘City of Man’ as former First Lady Imelda Marcos called it, may not already be fit for mankind. Just recently, in Pasay City a police officer slugged it out with his fellow enforcers. He nearly got killed in that incident. Tsk, tsk, a pity indeed because just how can we simple civilians be protected when our supposed “guardians” are now wreaking havoc and causing harm even to themselves? A pity, indeed! *** Yes, it could be that the P-Noy government is in dire need for cash. Imagine camps Aguinaldo and Crame and other military reserve lands in Metro Manila and suburbs are reportedly up for sale. What happened to the funds generated under the bases conversion program before? Part of it was supposed to go to the modernization of the Armed Forces. Instead, we only have an Armed Forces pretending to be ‘modernized.’ *** I hope the arrest of Tirso Alcantara or Ka Bart of the underground movement will not affect the resumption of peace talks between the government of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front which is set to start next month in Oslo, Norway. The arrest of Ka Bart, a high ranking rebel leader based in Southern Tagalog, came on the eve of preparations for the scheduled talks. Sympathizers of the captured leader insist that Ka Bart should be part of this process. The peace process should not be hindered by any preconditions. If ever conditions will be made there, it should only be …peace.
MARAMI ang umaasa na gagawin ng Pangulong Noynoy Aquino ang sinabi nito na magkakaroon ng regodon sa kanyang Administrasyon ngayong 2011 at itatalaga nito ang mga Tao na hindi lamang may kakayahan kundi higit sa lahat ay may pagmamalasakit sa mamamayang Pilipino na siyang itinuturing na BOSS ng ating mahal na Pangulo. UMAASA ang maraming Pilipino na ang isa sa Pagtutuunan ng pansin ng ating mahal na Pangulong Noy ay ang tanggapan ng Bureau of Immigration na umaabot sa anim na buwan na walang itinalagang Commissioner maliban sa OIC. MAY mga nagsasabing manggagaling sa labas ng Bureau ang itatalaga ni P- Noy na magiging Bureau of Immigration Commissioner ganyan talaga pana-panahon lang yan pero kung ang nais ng ating mahal na Pangulo ay ituloy ang pagbabago sa loob ng Bureau of Immigration ay tiyak na manggagaling sa loob ang kanyang itatalagang B.I. Commissioner. MARAHIL kung ang magiging basehan ng pagtatalaga ng magiging B.I.D. Commissioner ay performance tiyak na papasok riyan itong si Immigration OIC- Atty Ronaldo Ledesma at ang kagandahan po riyan mahal na Pangulong Noy itong si Ledesma ay hindi estranghero sa Bureau of Immigration dahil itoy 25 ng nanilbihan diyan. KUNG ang hanap ni P-NOY ay isang Tao na magdadala sa ahensiya tungo sa Landas na Matuwid malamang si Ledesma ang kanyang ilalagay na magiging permanenteng B.ICHIEF at tiyak hindi mapapahiya ang ating Mahal na Pangulong AQUINO kay Atty. Ronaldo Ledesma na hindi naman santo subalit tiyak na hindi magiging kahihiyan ng Administrasyong Aquino. oOo MUKHANG kailangan rin ng ating Pangulong Noynoy na tutukan hindi lamang ang mga non - perfoming officers ng Philippine National Police kundi higit sa lahat ay ang modernisasyon sa PNP upang hindi ito mapag iiwanan
ng husto ng ating mga kalapit na mga bansa na bukod sa husay at galing ng kanilang kapulisan sa usapin ng paglaban sa krimen ay mga moderno na ang kanilang mga kagamitan tulad ng armas at mga sasakyan. MASAKIT harapin ang katutuhanan na dito sa Pilipinas ang ating mga Pulis ay hindi lahat sa mga ito ang may Short and Long Fire Arms lalo na sa mga probensiya kaya hindi katakataka kung bakit hirap sila na labanan ang mga krimenal sa ating Bansa dahil sa mas bago ang mga sasakyan at malalakas ang mga armas ng mga masasamang loob kay sa mga alagad ng Batas. NAKAKAHABAG na Makita ang ating mga kapulisan na nagpapatrolya gamit ang isang Mobile Patrol na kung hindi karag-karag ay naglilimahid dahil sa hindi manlang magawang hugasan dala marahil ng kawalan ng panahon para hugasan ang kanilang mobile patrol. MALAKI ang dapat ayusin ng ating Pamahalaan sa hanay ng ating PNP bago pa ito magiging ipektibo sa paglaban sa mga krimenal at pagpapanatili sa ating Peace and Order, idagdag mo pa ang mababang suweldo ng mga ito dahilan para magtiyagang mangupahan ang marami sa kanila sa mga eskuwater. DAPAT na mapansin ng mga nasa Pamahalaan na kung mananatili ang kasalatan sa kagamitan ang ating PNP at hindi manlang ma itaas ang kanilang mga suweldo at iba pang mga binipesyo ay hindi tayo dapat umaasa na magiging epektibo ang mga kapulisan sa Paglaban sa ibat- ibang uri ng krimenalidad sa ating Bansa. oOo KINAPOS itong si Custom Commissioner Angelito Alvarez kaya lumagapak ang kanilang Collection performance noong nakalipas na taong 2010 kungsaan bilyon- bilyong piso sa kanilang target collection ang hindi nito na kolekta itoy sa kabila ng tuloytuloy na pag-dagsa ng importasyon mula sa ibang bansa. MUKHANG mahirap ring tanggap
Ok Yan Ha? -in ang ginamit na dahilan nitong ni Commissioner Alvarez na kaya hindi umano nito na abot ang target collection na 280 bilyong piso para sa taong 2010 dahil sa Asean Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) at ang JEPIPA na sinasabing dahilan kaya hindi naabot ng BOC ang target collection nito. TAMA ipinatutupad nga ang AFTA at JEPIPA sa mga iportasyong pumapasok dito sa ating bansa, ngunit hindi ito biglaan taon ang binilang bago po ipinatutupad ito, kaya walang dahilan para palabasing hindi nila ito napaghandaan? Katunayan lumagda ang ating Pamahalaan sa kasunduang yan pero taon- taon itinataas nila ang target collection ng BOC kahit na alam nilang iiral na ang naturang kasunduan umpisa noong kalagitnaan ng 2010. HINDI ko po sinasabing hindi sensiro si Alvarez sa pag kolekta ng duties and taxes sa mga importasyong pumapasok dito sa ating bansa katunayan ay aligaga nga ito para habulin ang mga tusong importer, kundi ang tanung ay alam ba nitong si Alvarez na pina-iikot lang siya ng ilang tuso sa Bureau of Custom? ANG sinapit ng BOC sa kanilang koleksyon noong 2010 sa Pamumuno ng isang outsider sapat ng basehan na mas mabuti kong ang ilalagay mong Commissioner ng BOC ay Carer official, bukod kasi sa alam nito ang mga pasikot sikot sa Custom ay alam rin nito kong ano ang gagawin upang maabot ang Target Collection may AFTA at JEPIPA man o Wala.
Showbiz & Sports Quorum Angelica feels lucky to work with Vhong
VERSATILE actress Angelica Panganiban is all set to prove her talents once more as she top bills Star Cinema’s kick off movie titled “Bulong” this year. Panganiban confessed that she was challenged to do this movie because she
has been doing heavy drama ever since. “Bago kasi yung horror sa akin. Dati nakagawa [na] ako [ng horror pero] ako yung multo. Mahirap siya kasi siyempre yung imagination mo, pinaglalaruan yung isip mo so mahirap na masaya,” she said.
But more than this, Panganiban disclosed that she considers herself lucky to be given the chance to work with actor comediane Vhong Navarro in the salvo movie. “Thankful din ako. Maraming gustong makatrabaho si Vhong dahil sa generation niya, siya yung pinakamahusay na komedyante,” she said. According to her, the comedy aspect of the film allowed her to be a little "laid back" which helped her in her acting. “Ang maganda naman kasi sa Bulong nagko-comedy kami so kahit mukang tanga na yung reaksyon ko, okay lang,” she said breaking into laughter. Panganiban was recently recognized as the Best Comedy Actress by the PMPC in its 24th Star Awards for TV. Meanwhile, Navarro is also ecstatic about working with Panganiban. “Talagang pinapangarap kong makatrabaho ka kasi nung unang trabaho natin, Separada pa. Ngayon dalaga ka na, nakatrabaho kita ulit...I’m happy na tinanggap mo yung project thank you at marami ako natutunan sa yo magaling kang artista, magaling kang komedyante. You’re perfect,” he said. “Bulong” will be shown in theaters nationwide on February 2, 2011.
6 January 16-31, 2011
Charice still hopeful of getting a Grammy INTERNATIONAL singing sensation Charice is still hoping to get a Grammy nomination. Charice said she has not been nominated in this year's Grammy but said that, like her, people should just wait for the right time to come. "Hindi ako na-nominate pero marami pang taon, let's wait for that," Charice said. For the 53rd Grammy Awards, Charice could have been nominated in two categories: Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. This year, nominees for the Best New Artist are Justin Bieber, Drake, Florence & The Machine, Mumford & Sons, Esperanza Spalding, while Sara Bareilles, Beyoncé, Norah Jones, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry were nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance category. Charice arrived last Saturday to launch her own line of Aficionado perfume via a concert at SM Mall of Asia Concert Grounds. On Sunday, Charice performed before her town mates in Laguna. Charice said she will be going back to Japan to stage a
concert. Strict security For the first time, Charice and Mr. Pure Energy Gary Valenciano shared the concert stage. During their concert on Saturday, Charice and Valenciano’s fans were thrilled, especially when the two sang Charice's hit song, “Pyramid,” together. Valenciano said he is honored to be on the same stage as Cha
KC receives Tiffany bracelet from Black Eyed Peas member Actress-host KC Concepcion has received a Tiffany bracelet from apl.de.ap of the popular band Black Eyed Peas. Concepcion said that the bracelet was a Christmas gift from the international Pinoy artist. "Pasko naman. Sabi niya 'Merry Christmas, I have something for you. Merry Christmas, thank you for seeing me after two years,’" Concepcion said. She also denied that her meeting with apl.de.ap caused a misunderstanding between her and her rumored boyfriend, actor Piolo Pascual. "You know what apl and I, as PJ (Pascual) knows, we are friends. Sinabi naman ni PJ sa VTR na as far as he is con-
cerned he knows that we met up. And of course a lot of people know because tinweet ko naman," she said.
4 share PSA Athlete of the Year plum Boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao likewise did his share in making 2010 a memorable one, successfully defending his World Boxing Organization welterweight belt against Joshua Clottey, and then claiming a record eight world championship by battering Mexican Antonio Margarito in 12-full rounds for the World Boxing Council super-welterweight title. But already the recipient of six Athlete of the Year plum, including three in a row from
Mosley no easy prey for Pacquiao -- Roach
RELIABLE as ever, the sports of boxing, bowling and billiards again provided some of the brightest moments that made 2010 another remarkable year for Philippine sports. This time, boxer Rey Saludar, bowler Biboy Rivera and billiard kings Dennis Orcollo and Francisco 'Django' Bustamante made it all possible, warming the hearts and delighting this country of 90 million people with their respective exploits from the Asian level to the world stage.
Saludar, Rivera and Orcollo served as the face of the 284-strong Philippine delegation that went to war in the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, accounting for the three glittering gold medals the country bagged at the end of the November 12-28 meet. Bustamante meanwhile, finally nailed the title that has long eluded him, crowning himself the world 9-ball king with his triumphant reign in Doha, Qatar. Not one to overlook what the four of them had accomplished, the Philippine
2002-04, the 32-year-old top pound-forpound fighter of the world had since been elevated to the Hall of Fame by the PSA. For Rivera, this marked the second time in four years he will be bestowed the highest award given out by the country’s sportswriting fraternity. He was honored with the same plum in 2006 when he won the Masters event of the World Men’s Bowling Championship.
Sportswriters Association (PSA) is conferring upon them the highly-coveted Athlete of the Year honor for 2010 during its annual Awards Night set March 5 at the Manila Hotel. Also heavily considered for the prestigious award handed out yearly by the country’s oldest media organization were the Philippine men’s football team, collectively known as the Azkals, following its amazing run in the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup where it made the semifinals for the first time, and the Philippine men’s poomsae team that captured the gold medal in the 5th WTF World Poomsae Championship in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and former world flyweight champion Nonito Donaire Jr., who was unbeaten in three fights last year.
BOXING trainer Freddie Roach believes that fighting Shane Mosley won't be a walk in the park for Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao. “People who say this is the easiest fight are crazy. It's definitely not the easiest fight. This guy will get into shape for Manny and try to fight the best fight he can. It's not an easy fight by any means, but whoever Bob puts in front of me, I’ll get Manny ready for him,” said Roach. This is why Roach wants Pacquiao to undergo six weeks of training for the Shane Mosley fight next year. "Fighting Mosley won’t be easy, so I need his total focus," he added. Roach said Mosley is not one to be taken lightly, unlike his previous opponents. “He did beat our last opponent [Antonio Margarito] also,” the venerable boxing coach said. “He's very fast and had [Floyd] Mayweather out for a moment and kind of let that slip out.” Roach made the statement days after Top Rank promoter Bob Arum announced that the Pacquiao-Mosley fight is a done deal. The fight will take place on May 7, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Aside from speed, Roach said Mosley is experienced and is a better boxer compared to Margarito. “He’ll give us a little trouble because he is also experienced. He is a different type of fighter compared to Margarito… Manny loves guys who come to him but Mosley will box him and come to him much more intelligently,” said Roach. The boxing coach also said that Pacquiao will do his training at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles. He said a Philippine-based training camp for the Filipino is out of the question. Roach said he doesn't want a repeat of what happened in Baguio City while they were preparing for the Margarito fight. “We had maybe our worst training camp ever,” he earlier said about the experience.
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Motoring Quorum 7
Your Press/Photo Releases get published here! January 16-31, 2011
Ford PH post best-ever sales performance record for 2010 FORD Group Philippines (FGP) has reported an all-time full-year sales record of 6,603 Ford brand vehicles for 2010. The company capped the record year with its second highest-ever monthly performance in December with sales rising 55 percent from November to 783 vehicles. Following its successful launch in October, the all-new Ford Fiesta became the best-selling hatchback in the Philippines for the month of December, and led the company’s year-end surge in sales with 342 units. The Fiesta’s exceptional December sale also represented the highest-ever monthly total for any Ford nameplate in the Philippines. “The launch of Fiesta has really given a significant boost to our sales -– and as the best-selling hatchback in the industry in December, it’s clear that this class-leading vehicle holds significant appeal to a wide range of Filipino consumers,” said Randy Krieger, president of FGP. The record year for Ford in the Philippines was supported by continued strength across the full lineup of Ford nameplates. For the seventh consecutive year, the Ford Everest continued to be Ford Philippines' top performer with sales in 2010 of 2,204 units. The Ford Escape also delivered a strong 2010 with full-year sales that rose 10 percent from a year ago to 1,556 units.
Ala-Grand-Theft violence No, they don’t know how to haggle for lower prices of your vehicle that’s up for sale. They won’t bargain for anything from you but under the barrel of a gun. They won’t even bother to ask the owner how far can he/she go down with his/her asking price for his/her vehicle. They won’t bother for anything but to forcibly take that vehicle away that’s for sale at all cost. They will just break you down or plant a 9mm bullet in your head before burning you down and cart away your car in a brutal, inhuman way. These are the stark reality we now have in the world we live in aside from other life’s challenges. Perpetrators of this new modus of carjacking, WRP freely presumes, may have mastered Sony Play Station’s brutal and bloody game known as GrandTheft Auto (GTA) where points are
Auto industry caps 2010 with major accomplishments THE country's auto industry capped the year 2010 with high double-digit growth and more importantly, major accomplishments indicating that the industry as a whole was moving forward, the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (CAMPI) said. CAMPI president Elizabeth H. Lee said in a statement that the industry saw a 28 percent growth for January to November, with December sales to be finalized in the regular monthly CAMPI meeting in the coming days. ”We are expecting 2011 sales to follow the seasonality of industry sales which was not the case in 2010 due to the elections in the early half of that year as well as post-Ondoy effect,” Lee said. There has been a growing movement by a significant number of companies committing to ethical business practices and good corporate governance as a way to proactively help government reduce corruption, level the playing field and build integrity in the business environment -- part of the Integrity Pledge advo-
cated by the large, influential association, the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP), for which all businesses should subscribe to, she noted. CAMPI plans to do its share and strongly advocate the same to support job creation and increase investments, Lee said. “We likewise look forward to 2011 with renewed hope, given government’s direction to expand local assembly operations, create jobs, and create a competitive environment for increased investments into the country,“ she added. The auto industry’s major accomplishments for 2010 include: -- The CAMPI 3rd Philippine International Motor Show (PIMS3) putting the Philippines on the regional map of international auto shows, graced by President Benigno S. Aquino III himself, showing his support for the local auto industry. -- Regional representation and participation in theASEAN market integration by 2015 to include harmonization of standards and Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRA) as well as a close working relationship with
the JapanAutomobile Manufacturers Association Inc. (JAMA) and the ASEANAutomotive Federation (AAF), which impacts the types of vehicles that enter the country to include safety standards, environmental regulation, cost, among others. -- Road safety advocacies as an incorporator and partner of the Philippine global road safety partnership. -- Consultation with government agencies to include BOC-LTO (Bureau of Customs-Land Transportation Office) electronic connectivity, revision of emission regulations with the DENR-EMB (Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environment Management Bureau), among others. -- Continued CSR (corporate social responsibility) activities with a donation to Kalayaan National High School of auto parts for the training in automotive skills to equip students for gainful employment in the industry. -- Continued advocacy against smuggling; and advocacy for market expansion and job creation.
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earned through brutal means: bashing the head of car owners, strafing pursuing police down with utomatic rifles, setting other cars on fire and everything that constitutes highway/road violence. WRP condoles with the families of the victims but what happened to Atty. Oliver Lozano’s engineer son, Emerson; an OFWwho only opted to sell his Isuzu Alterra to start up a business instead of going back abroad and other victims recently, all have the makings of GTA’s level of violence and everything’s that’s in there. Now I know why other motorists prefer to look like law enforcers even when they are not. They’d put on intimidating stickers or commemorative plates to scare away bad elements with bad intentions. But how about us, other motorists who has nothing to show off? Oh, well, WRP’s advice is as simple
ISMAEL ‘EL’ AMIGO
Wheels, Roads & Places (WRP)
as putting up an imaginary EWD (early warning device) in your system. When travelling alone, trust no one. Before alighting from your car at parking lots or gasoline stations or roadside restaurants, scan the surroundings for usual suspects. Mark them, avoid them. Or if you have somebody with you, ask them to help you do the same and don’t forget to report your travel progress by texting it to a relative back home.
Used car selling safety tips in these deadly and uncertain times BYARMANDDEANNOCUM JOURNALISTS like priests, take something like a vow of poverty. There is no money in journalism so journalists must be ready to live on idealism at the expense of personal and family comfort. Journalists cannot have fame and fortune; that is a fact. Journalists who go into business like me are the rare exception. We are among the few who get our cake and eat it too. I can only thank my brother Joey Nocum, owner of the Zamboanga City Used Card Display Center, for introducing me and my wife into the used car business early in my career as a poor and struggling investigative reporter of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. We started supplying Joey with used cars from Manila and we are happy to say as that as the pioneer used car dealers in Zamboanga, we helped switch the driving pattern of people there from using motorcycles and owner-type-jeeps into cheap start-up cars like the old 2000 model Kia Pride and 1980s box-type Mitsubishi Lancers. We were lucky to introduce these cheap cars there just when everybody was disposing them at bargain prices in Manila around 1998. We were hardly able to meet numerous orders then and you could say we are still being blamed for clogging traffic in that old Spanish town – what with its roads originally designed for horse-drawn kalesa – by convincing people to shift from dirt bikes, the popular mode of transport then, into cheap cars. Business was so good that eventually many other used car outlets sprouted years later. Fortunately we have by then shifted to Manila and set up an outlet among other used car dealers at the Mega-Expo Used Car Display Center along EDSA. Lately, we have shifted operation to Quezon City. Thus, the used car business is not just a business for us but a passion we are grateful to. That is why it pains us to see the industry getting hit by killers and carjackers as shown by the killings of fellow used car dealers Emerson Lozano, his driver; and the young Venson Evangelista. We used to deal cars with Venson's dad Boy. If experienced and seasoned car dealers like them get victimized, we dread to think about the vulnerability of car owners who simply want to sell their cars. Ms Monica Atienza, her 60-year-old relative, and her six-and seven-year-old children are so lucky to have been left alive by robbers who took their car during a test drive in Bulacan during the week Lozano and Evangelista were killed. In the order to help people sell their cars in a safe manner and to help save the used car industry, I have listed a few tips which I hope will be useful to those selling cars: 1. When contacted by buyers by phone or through the internet, always make the effort to get their address or their telephone numbers which you can call back and verify to see whether they are who they claim they are. Checking their names on Facebook or other social sites would be helpful. 2. When meeting them at your house, always get some people to witness the meeting. Although having their faces captured on a CCT camera is ideal – if you have one – getting someone to photograph them secretly during the meeting would be no harm (It is your house anyway). Well, doing so would make you look paranoid but it is better to be paranoid than dead. While they are inspecting the car, you can take pictures of them doing so by explaining that you are just taking picture of a car you hate to miss soon. 3. When they insist on doing a test drive, insist that they leave government identification cards like license, SSS, PhilHealth, gun license and other cards which cannot be faked. If they come by car, insist they leave it behind and check if it is really registered under their name and not a stolen one. If they come by two, ask one of them stay in your place. 4. The test drive should be done only be within your subdivision or places you are familiar with. These must be places where people abound. Watch out if there are vehicles following you. Always do the test drive at daytime. Meeting them at night or outside your home is out of the question except if you are acquainted with them. 5. If you really must meet them outside of your house, do so in a place you know have CCTC cameras and have a companion in a back-up car take their pictures. Always bring a back-up car to tag you along and make them aware you are bringing one. Again, this is a paranoid act, but better paranoid than sorry. 6. Lastly, in these dangerous times and if you have a choice, sell your cars to friends and acquaintances and not to total strangers to lessen the exposure and risk. We always tell clients that in the used car business, it is the trust that matters more than the cars. There, I hope these few tips will be of help to you and if you have some tips of your own, feel free to send them to me at my emails firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. But should you have additional questions, please contact my wife Ann at 09175208013 or 3522313 and 5718997 because she is a better used car expert than me. Feel free to pass these tips to friends and have a safe car selling.
January 16-31, 2011
Aviation Quorum Editor: Elami Go
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Airbus launches air traffic management firm ProSky PARIS -- Airbus has launched a new subsidiary company called "Airbus ProSky," aiming to enhance development and support of modern air traffic management (ATM) systems in Europe and other regions. Airbus ProSky will function to interact and develop ATM programs such as "Single European Sky ATM Research" (SESAR) in Europe, resembling what NextGen does in the United States, the European leading
aircraft maker said in a statement. The Airbus subsidiary will also work to implement air traffic management cooperation between the European and the United States by "capitalizing on the technological, operational and commercial synergies," it added. The new entity will be headed by Eric Stefanello, vice president of ATM at Airbus, and supported by Marc Hamy, formerly chief-of-staff for France's Transport Minister.
Cebu Pacific passenger traffic up 19% in 2010 ATTRACTION: Cebu Pacific flight attendants perform a dance number as part of the inflight safety demonstration at the arrival area of the Manila International Airport on January 6, 2011, as Cebu Pacific reaches a milestone when it flew its 50 millionth passenger, awarding the 50 millionth passenger.
Due to recovery of US economy, improved passenger traffic
PAL sees higher profits in March 2011 PHILIPPINE Airlines (PAL) has said it may post a higher profits in the fiscal year ending March 2011 due to the recovery of the U.S. economy and improved passenger traffic. "We are almost close to our projection," PAL president and chief operating officer Jaime Bautista told reporters in a press briefing, without disclosing the actual figure. In December alone, Bautista said the company recorded a total revenue of $ 6 million because of the holiday season. "December is one of the most profitable months of the year," Bautista said. He, however, said that fuel expenses are also rising. The PAL executive said the price of jet fuel went up to $ 90 per barrel from last year's $ 80 per barrel. Bautista estimated that for every $ 1 increase in jet fuel prices, PAL's fuel expenses increases by $ 55 million a year. Fuel accounts for a third of an airline’s operating cost per passenger, and is the second-highest expense next to labor. Bautista also said that the company is on track in meeting its $ 1.5 billion revenue target for its fiscal year (April 2010-March 2011). PAL also wants the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to reverse its ruling granting hefty back salary in-
creases and higher retirement age for flights attendants. Bautista said that the DOLE ruling was "confiscatory" as it obliges the flag carrier to share income it did not earn. He added that the DOLE decision has no "legal and factual basis." “DOLE expects PAL to produce the money but as to how, the decision did not say,” Bautista said. He said PAL could only infer that the DOLE is probably of the view that future income of the company from April 2010 forward can be applied to the salary increases it granted to FASAP for July 2007 to 2008, July 2008 to 2009, and July 2009 to 2010. “But this will result in an absurd situation. It is an unthinkable fiscal maneuvering. Considering that the DOLE had already ‘pledged’ any income of PAL for the next years, one can only wonder where PAL is supposed to source funds for the succeeding demands for salary increase when negotiations for the 2010 to 2015 PAL-FASAP CBA begin,” Bautista said, quoting a portion of PAL’s motion for reconsideration. To prove its point, PAL said it suffered losses of $ 297.8 million in fiscal year 2008 to 2009, and $ 14.3 million for fiscal year ending March 2010.
THE management of Cebu Pacific Air has said its passenger traffic rose by a fifth last year mostly because of higher international passengers. In a statement, Cebu Air Inc. (CEB) said it flew almost 10.5 million passengers in 2010, up by 19 percent compared to 8.76 million in 2009. The budget airline's growth was mainly driven by a 38 percent increase in international passengers, which numbered over 2.23 million in 2010. The airline flew 8.23 million domestic passengers, up by 15 percent from 7.14 million in 2009. The average load factor last year for both domestic and international routes was 85 percent, an increase of 8 percent compared to 2009. “We were able to grow our market to Hong Kong and Singapore by 29 percent and 45 percent, respectively, because of additional flight frequencies and our extensive network from Manila, Clark and Cebu. CEB also carried 65 percent more passengers to Kuala Lumpur in 2010,” Candice Iyog, the airline's vice president for Marketing and Distribution, said. She added that the airline's entry into
Brunei and Beijing also further strengthened its route network by providing passengers more access to North and Southeast Asian countries. For the fourth quarter of 2010, the airline took delivery of three brand-new Airbus A320 aircraft from Toulouse, France. This additional capacity boosted the number of Cebu Pacific's passengers in the fourth quarter to 2.7 million, a 19 percent increase compared to the same period in 2009. The average load factor in the fourth quarter was 87 percent, well above industry average. In 2010, the airline increased frequencies to China such as Macau, Taipei, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong from 68 to 80 times weekly. Cebu Pacific also increased frequencies to Southeast Asia like Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh, Brunei, Bangkok, Jakarta from 58 to 80 times weekly, and to Korea and Japan from 19 to 21 times weekly. “We will continue to offer the lowest fares in every route we operate in, and offer better connectivity and flight schedules, as we take delivery of five more brand-new Airbus A320 aircraft in 2011,” Iyog said.
Conquer the skies... BREAKTHROUGH -- The RTT80 device, which combines a CT and X Ray scan, and has been tested at Manchester Airport.
High-speed new scanner for airports
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A TEAM of academics from Manchester has scooped a top prize for a new airport scanner which could revolutionise security. Professor Bill Lionheart and his colleagues from the University of Manchester, working with security firm Rapiscan, won the defence and security category at the Engineer’s Technology and Innovation Awards. They picked up the accolade for designing the RTT80 scanner, which has been tested at Manchester Airport and by the US government. The machine produces a 3D image of the contents of a case or bag to detect any hidden explosives or weapons. At the moment, suitcases and large bags go through large x-ray systems and are sent to a second line of security if anything suspicious shows up. They are then put through a CT scan, similar to those used in hospitals. But the double-layered security
system is slow and requires extra operators, so the sophisticated new scanner was designed to speed up the process with a combined CT and xray scan. Kenn Mann, technical director of aviation security at Rapiscan, said: "We expect the RTT to be a step change in baggage screening, bringing the highest detection performance at the fastest speeds. "Our collaboration with The University of Manchester has been a great success and has produced some very impressive results." Prof Lionheart, an applied mathematician, assembled a team to work on the design after securing funding from Rapiscan and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. He said: "This project shows what can be done when mathematicians work closely with engineers in industry on problems that require new mathematics but are immediately applicable.