Thursday, March 29, 2012

3 dead, 17 hurt in NLEX mishap

The Philippine Star Updated March 30, 2012 12:00 AM (

MANILA, Philippines - Three persons were killed while 17 others were injured when a Toyota Hi-Ace van they were riding turned over and hit a tree on the southbound lane of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) in Mexico, Pampanga Wednesday night.

PO3 Jessie Lopez identified the fatalities as Nelia Bacugan, Fidela Robinson and Diosdado Basuel.

Chief Superintendent Agrimero Cruz Jr., spokesman for the Philippine National Police (PNP), said the accident occurred at around 11:35 p.m.

Cruz said the victims had just visited the Manaoag Church when their vehicle hit the slope of a culvert at the vicinity of Barangay Suclaban.

 The injured passengers were brought to the Angeles University Foundation Hospital in Angeles City, Mexico Community Hospital in Mexico town and Jose Lingad Memorial Hospital. – Ric Sapnu, Cecille Suerte Felipe

Appeal to help Aeta fire victims in Porac

29 March 2012
Dear Fellow Advocates for Environmental Protection ,

We urgently request your much needed support in order to serve the basic emergency needs of 22 indigenous Aeta families affected by dreadful fire brought by accident in Sitio Patal-Pasbul, in Camias, Porac, Pampanga on November 28, 2012 at around 10:30 in the morning.

Houses and other properties (including livestocks) were totally devastated by a fire accidentally caused by the open flame due to unattended stove of one of the residents. Twenty-two families with 53 children aged 2 months-12 years (34 pax) and 13-30 years (19 pax) were affected.

Majority of the victims are poor Aetas with meager source of income from farming. Currently, they are temporarily staying in the designated evacuation center in their community. They all need immediate assistance (i.e. food, blanket, sleeping mats, clothes, cooking utensils, housing materials like nail, etc.) to tide them over as it will take some time before they may be able to recover from this disastrous event.

The CEDS and its local partner organizations in IPAMINGWA! are currently monitoring the situation and intend to share emergency food rations and non-food relief assistance to the affected families through a Relief Delivery Operations tentatively set on Monday (April 2, 2012) next week.

In this light, we appeal to you for any contribution you can extend for us to be able to deliver immediate and very much needed services to our unfortunate Aeta fellowmen. Any form of support (financial or material) will be highly appreciated.

For the environment and people,

Executive Director
Center for Environmental & Development Studies (CEDS), Inc.

Agri chief urges farmers, students to impart agri info

Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala urges about 1,000 farmers and students to help the country in its bid for rice self-sufficiency by sharing the practices and technologies they learned from the Science and Technology Based Farm (STBF) and Gulayan sa Barangay projects.

During the farmers’ field day and graduation of the STBF farmer-beneficiaries and Gulayan sa Barangay student-participants in Calintaan, Occidental Mindoro last March 20, Alcala said that the graduates should share the knowledge they gained from their season-long training to their fellow farmers and students to help them augment their yield and income.

Celia G. Abadilla, focal person of the STBF on varietal trials, reported that the 4.5 tons/ha yield of Calintaan and Rizal was increased to 5.6 tons/ha during the last cropping season after its two-year implementation.

Irrigated lowland rice varieties such as NSIC Rc212 (Tubigan 15), Rc160 (Tubigan 14), Rc226 (Tubigan 20), Rc222 (Tubigan 18), and Rc224 (Tubigan 19) were tested for adaptability.

The success of the STBF project has paved way for its expansion in three barangays of Calintaan. Abadilla also said that farmers requested for another field trial showcasing different technological interventions.

The Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development implements the STBF Project, under the Techno Gabay Program, which aimed at showing the effectiveness of S&T interventions in improving the productivity and income of the Magsasaka Siyentista and other beneficiaries in the locality through the Farmers’ Information and Technology Services Center.

The Department of Agriculture, on the other hand, implements the Gulayan sa Barangay project to provide families and their children nutritious vegetables for home consumption and additional source of income.

The STBF and Gulayan sa Barangay projects are implemented in partnership with PhilRice and the local government unit.

Heads of various agencies and regional field units of the Department of Agriculture, Occidental Mindoro Governor Josephine R. Sato and Vice Governor Mario Gene J. Mendiola, Calintaan Mayor Lily R. Estoya, Rizal Mayor Jesus Valdez, and provincial  board members also joined in the field day and graduation.

Hand tractors, hybrid carabaos and goats, 150 cavans of certified seeds, and registered seeds were also given to the farmers and students.

DA-PhilRice is a government-owned and –controlled corporation that aims at developing high-yielding, cost-reducing, and environment-friendly technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos. For more information, please visit or contact DA-PhilRice at Maligaya, Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija with telephone number (044) 456-0285 loc 511/512 or any PhilRice station near you. You may also text your questions to 0920-911-1398.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Veteran scribes to hold Visita Iglesia photo exhibit

CLARK FREEPORT – Select century-old churches in  Pampanga will take center stage in a three-man photo exhibit dubbed “VISITA IGLESIA: Edifices of the Kapampangan Faith Revisited” to be launched on March 21 and will run until April 4, Holy Wednesday, at the SM City Clark.

Featuring the works of veteran journalists Bong Z. Lacson, Deng Pangilinan, and Peter C. Alagos, “VISITA IGLESIA: Edifices of the Kapampangan Faith Revisited” will highlight in graphic form 11 select parishes, some of which are Centuries-old, found in Pampanga’s four districts.

The exhibit will be graced by the following guests of honor, who will lead the ribbon cutting rites: San Fernando Archbishop Most Rev. Paciano B. Aniceto, Pampanga Gov. Lilia Pineda, Department of Tourism Regional Director Ronnie Tiotuico, SM Supermalls Vice President for Operations Bien Mateo and AssistantVice President for North Luzon 2 Operations Juancho S. Sibal, and officials from Canon Marketing (Philippines), Inc. led by Regional Operations Manager – Central Luzon Dennis Amores and OIC, BIS Sales and Marketing – Central Luzon Jeremiah Quiwa.

The churches featured in the exhibit are (1st District) Holy Rosary Parish in Angeles City; (2nd District) Sta. Lucia Parish, Sasmuan; St. James the Apostle Parish, Betis, Guagua; St. Augustine Parish, Lubao;and Sta. Rita Parish, Sta. Rita; (3rd District) San Guillermo Parish, Bacolor; and Metropolitan Cathedral, City of San Fernando; (4th District) Sta. Monica Parish, Minalin; San Luis Gonzaga Parish, San Luis; St. Peter the Apostle Parish, Apalit; and the Sto. Nino Chapel in Sto. Tomas town.

According to Lacson, “The exhibit is as much as a celebration of faith – in time for the Holy Week – as a promotion of tourism in the Province of Pampanga, with the magnificent Centuries-old churches found in various parts of the Kapampangan landscape comprising attractions unto themselves.”

He added that tour agencies like the Alliance of Travel and Tour Agencies of Pampanga (ATTAP), led by the group’s president Gilda Padua, have expressed their support to the exhibit, which, according to Padua, “is a timely event that will help promote local tourism.”

“As a matter of fact, tour agencies have coordinated with our group for the development of package tours centered on the churches, which they said will definitely draw local and foreign tourists alike to Pampanga,” Lacson said.

He added: “This is most especially significant with the increase in domestic and international flights at the Clark International Airport starting at the end of this month.”

Lacson, Pangilinan, and Alagos are members of the Pampanga Press Club. They are also members of the seven-man troop TFP or “Traveloggers Features&Photos,” a travel group dedicated to promoting tourist destinations utilizing the Clark airport as the country’s premier gateway to the world.(Peter Alagos)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

CDC, Christian group to host Kuh Ledesma's Clark concert

CLARK FREEPORT – A Clark-based Christian fellowship group has collaborated with the Clark Development Corporation (CDC) to bring international songstress Kuh Ledesma here for a free one-night concert on April 3, 6 to 8 p.m. at the Clark Expo.

Organized by the Clark Christian Workers’ Fellowship (CCWF), in collaboration with the CDC, the CCWF will be staging a timely Lent Evangelistic Concert entitled “The Gift.”

The CCWF said Ledesma will be joined by other top caliber performers like Christian Bautista, Kitchie Nadal, Isabella, Nanette Inventor, and local band Pescadores.

“This free concert has been envisioned to be a Clark Freeport Zone activity for Lent and as part of the spiritual renewal of CFZ employees,” concert organizers said.

They added that complimentary tickets will be issued to monitor crowd capacity. For complimentary tickets call +63928-983-3851 and +63927-612-4716.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

P67.1-B modernization project: Smart-PLDT completes upgrade in 2 provinces

By Joey Pavia & Ding Cervantes (

CLARK FREEPORT – Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) and its wireless subsidiary, Smarts Communications, announced on Tuesday the completion of its modernization project in Pampanga and Bulacan.

In press conference here on Tuesday, Smart Public Affairs Department Manager Jose “Wo” Rosete said the project in the two provinces is part of its nationwide plan that would cost P67.1 billion. It is expected to benefit close to 50 million Smart subscribers.

He said the network transformation program, which started in 2011, will also “further enhance the reliability and quality of its wireless services, including SMS, call and data services, and internet access to even the most remote barrios (villages).”

Rosete added that Smart had “not just improved its network capability but also the physical aspect of its offices dubbed as Smart Stores.”

They recently opened branches in the City of San Fernando and Clark in Pampanga and Marilao and Baliwag in Bulacan.

Orlando Vea, co-founder and chief wireless advisor of Smart, said “we have given priority to the provinces of Pampanga and Bulacan since we are the leading telecommunications provider in these provinces.”

“There is a lot of potential to grow our business in Pampanga and Bulacan both in the individual and corporate market segments,” he said in a statement. 

Vea also cited Clark International Airport as an example of “the growing importance in terms of both domestic and international tourism.”  

He said that the completion of the program will run for three years but they had completed it in three Region III provinces in a span of one year and a half after its launch.

“While our closest competitor is just about to lay the groundwork, we have already passed the hallway mark of this landmark network undertaking,” Vea said.

Smart subscribers have enjoyed the fruits of the program, including superior voice connection and quality, quicker SMS delivery, enhanced data connection speeds, nationwide coverage and zero downtime, especially in times of disasters, Rosete said.

“To date, PLDT and Smart have modernized and optimized the network covering the entire Visayas and Mindanao areas, and Bicol in Luzon, with the rest of the country to follow soon.

Aside from Huawei, PLDT and Smart are also working with Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Network on the program,” he said.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Clark 2011 exports breach $2B mark

CLARK FREEPORT – The Clark Development Corporation (CDC) announced that the value of exports inside this world-class Freeport for 2011have breached the $2-billion mark three years earlier than the target date set by state-owned firm.

CDC President Felipe Antonio B. Remollo said despite an apparent decline in Philippine exports due to a worldwide economic slump last year, Clark-based enterprises were able to ship at least $2.258 billion exports between January and December 2011.

Comparatively, Remollo said the amount is a remarkable 55-percent increase from the $1.453 billion exports recorded in 2010.

According to Remollo, the $1.573 billion exports from Clark’s electronic sector had helped propel this record surge. This was followed by tire exports at $298 million and garments at $226 million. Manufacturing firms contributed $131 million while aviation-related companies completed the top five exporting sectors with $13 million.

“The country’s export performance may not be altogether bleak as exports of the Clark Freeport Zone exceeded the 2 billion mark a good three years earlier than the target date set by the CDC,” Remollo revealed.

The 2011 record export volume puts CDC on track in attaining the three major performance targets dubbed “3-2-1 Development Roadmap” for Clark where $3 billion is in investments, $2 billion in exports, and 100,000 jobs, which must be achieved by the state-run corporation by the year 2014.

“With these developments in the exports sector, the present trends show that these targets are attainable much earlier than planned,” Remollo said.

Clark’s perennial top exporter, Nanox Philippines, Inc., remains at the top of the CDC’s list with exports of more than $791 million in custom-designed products such as Liquid Crystal Display panels, LCD modules, Monochrome LCDs, and other related electronic parts.

Trailing behind is Phoenix Semiconductor Philippines Corp. (PSPC), a company established only in January 2010 by one of Korea’s leading provider of semiconductor packaging. PSPC exported more than $566 million in electronic parts with DDR3, NAND, Flash Cards and SSD, as well as memory modules for PCs and notebooks.

Last year’s second top exporter, Yokohama Tires Philippines, Inc., is this year’s third largest Clark exporter with over $298 million in tires exports. Notwithstanding the slight drop in ranking, Yokohama’s export value is still 31% higher compared to that of last year.

Two more firms L&T International and SMK Electronic complete the list of top five Clark exporters with $145 million and $98 million in garments and electronics exports, respectively.

Moving on to other top performing firms here, HLD Clark Steel Pipe has exported more than $71 million to place sixth on the list of top exporters is a tipoff to the growing significance of the “other Manufacturing” sector of Clark. HLD Pipes is a Chinese metal pipe manufacturer which specializes in customized thread end pipes, scaffolding tubes, various weld pipes, and square tubes.

In terms of year-to-year growth, Clark’s “other manufacturing” sector generated the highest rate of increase of 195 percent by exporting $131 million in 2011 compared to only $44 million in the previous year.

Two other firms under this bullish sector, Multi-Tek Fasteners Inc., a Taiwanese firm that is into manufacturing, rethreading, quality checking, repairing, surface treatment, repacking, exporting different types of screws, plugs, sockets, pipes, hubs, fasteners, and other related products, and Aderans Philippines, Inc., a manufacturer of high quality, customized wigs also made strong export contributions.

Other sectors which registered double to triple digit growth rates are Services, Tourism, Aviation-related, Electronics, Tires and Furniture. (CDC-PRD)