Saturday, April 12, 2014

Flood & Politics seven months later

Flood control stopped by lack of funds

By Cecille Garcia
Apr. 11, 2014 at 12:01am


SUBIC, Zambales—Lack of funds has stopped critical flood control projects here, endangering the lives of residents in the province, local authorities said.

In a meeting held by the Interior and Local Government Regional Director Florida Dijan, Zambales officials said dredging and desilting of clogged waterways, among other measures, should be completed before the rainy season.

“Our province is running against time to implement crucial flood-control projects before rains come,” said Governor Hermogenes Ebdane Jr., former Public Works and Highways secretary.

He called for a “cohesive effort” of town mayors to ask the Office of the President and DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singzon to release the funds for anti-flood infrastructure projects.

“Let’s all set aside politics when it comes with plans and programs related to natural calamities to ensure safety of lives and properties of residents,” he told the local executives.

Zambales 1st district Rep. Jeffrey Khonghun expressed urgency of preventing widespread destruction in the flood-prone sections of the province.

“We do not want to play blame game when massive flooding will again hit us this coming rainy season which may result to loss of lives just like what happened last year,” he said.

The meeting was joined by Subic Mayor Jay Khonghun, San Marcelino Mayor Jose Rodriguez, Castillejos Mayor Jose Angelo Dominguez, DPWH regional director Antonio Molano Jr. and other Zambales and regional officials of various agencies.

According to Zambales 1st District Engineer Hercules Manglicmot said his office is awaiting release of P192 million for flood control projects.

Of the P140 million requested for Subic alone, DPWH has released only P7 million to dredge Matain river.

Other project includes dredging and desilting of Kalaklan and Sta.Rita rivers in Olongapo, dredging and desilting of Matain, Tamayok, Pamatawan, Wawandue and Marelalec rivers in Subic.

Manglicmot said the proposed reconstruction of drainage systems in Castillejos and San Marcelino have yet to receive their respective allocations.

“The City of Olongapo and municipalities of Subic, Castillejos and San Marcelino suffered massive flooding due to the low carrying of the rivers brought by heavy river siltation,” he said.

“As a result, flood waters overflowed the riverbanks damaging the existing slope protection structure which requires immediate rehabilitation.”

Olongapo Mayor Rolen Paulino said the city lost over P1 billion in both public and private properties last year’s flooding that left 11 dead due to Leptospirosis that infected about 800 residents.

Ebdane approved the creation of a Technical Working Group led by Zambales Provincial Engineer Domingo Mariano with members composed of all municipal engineers, DILG, Office of Civil Defense, Community Environment and Natural Resources Marife Castillo and other agencies.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Jackpot tops 40 K Pesos!

The Sunday Midnight Rambler hole-in-one contest passed the forty thousand peso mark on Sunday as more than thirty particants failed to nail the prize. The jackpot has not been hit in over two months and as it grows so do the number of players showing up. it was a perfect day with perfect conditions. But no aces.

Friday, March 28, 2014

New Customs procedure

No more Customs declaration form for arriving passengers

By Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star)
Updated March 29, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Arriving passengers on international flights who have nothing to declare will no longer be required to fill out a Customs Declaration Form.

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) issued Customs Administrative Order (CAO) 02-2014 on March 25, or the “Simplified Procedures for Clearance of Baggage of Passengers and Crew of International Airlines Arriving in International Airports of Entry.”

BOC spokesperson Charo Lagamon-Logarta yesterday said the CAO order is “one of the priority areas of reform” of the BOC under Commissioner John Phillip Sevilla.

She said it is in line with the advocacy of the agency to speed up the flow of passenger queues at the Customs area.

“This streamlining is in line with the directive of the BOC... to make it easier for the general public or passengers,” she said.

The BOC also designated two lanes for passengers and crew of arriving international flights.

Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

The Green Lane is for passengers and crew who have nothing to declare or have no goods for purposes of import duties and taxes, with goods that can be admitted free of import duties and taxes or do not carry any goods which are subject to import prohibition, restriction or regulation.

The Red Lane is for passengers of international airlines with goods to declare for purposes of import duties or taxes, those with goods above the exempted Customs limits, or carrying goods or articles prohibited, controlled or regulated by several statues.

The BOC said those in the Green Lane need not accomplish a Customs Declaration Form.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Knockin' on Heavens Door

Bob Dylan watches Manny spar

By Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star)
Updated March 15, 2014 - 12:00am

Music icon Bob Dylan withh Manny Pacquiao. PHILBOXING.COM

MANILA, Philippines - Music icon Bob Dylan came to watch Manny Pacquiao train at the Wild Card Gym yesterday.

It’s a common thing for celebrities to drop by at the famous Hollywood sweatshop and watch the Filipino superstar in training.

But to have the American legend in the building is quite extra ordinary.

Dylan, whose songs “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “The Times They Are a Changin’” became synonymous to US civil rights and anti-war movement in the 1960s, watched Pacquiao in sparring.

The 72-year-old Dylan also posed for photographs with Pacquiao. They stood side-by-side and held their fists closely together.

Later on, trainer Freddie Roach said, “I think a hard rain’s a-gonna fall on Tim Bradley.”

Sportshub ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

“Huge thrill for everyone here,” publicist Fred Sternburg tweeted.

Pacquiao is in the final phase of his training for an April 12 rematch with American Tim Bradley at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Many celebrities have come to watch Pacquiao in training over recent years, including Lou Diamond Phillips, Mark Wahlberg, Mickey Rourke, Jean Claude Van Damme and Lakers star Kobe Bryant.

Others who came to see Pacquiao up close include Jeremy Rener, Denzel Washington, Steven Seagal, Robert Duval, Jeremy Piven, Michael Payne, Don Rickles, Christian Bale and Jessica Alba.

Throw in other NBA stars like Reggie Miller, Kevin Garnette, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, baseball superstar Jerek Jeter, and boxing greats Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield.

Pacquiao is in his last four weeks of training for the fight, and normally they don’t let anyone else in when he spars.

Not when you’re Bob Dylan.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Beach Bash Again

The 22nd annual VFW Beach Bash opened big on Thursday night. 19 girls and 8 boys vied for the titles of Mr. and Mrs. Little Beach Bash.  Each night over the four day period will include a major event at 6 PM. Friday night is a singing competition. Saturday night is Cosplay.  It will all finish Sunday with the Miss Beach Bash contest.  Saturday morning the parade begins at 8 AM snaking through the barrio. Nine marching bands are featured this year.  There are many food booths, games for children, watermelon and ice cream eating contests, volleyball, pool and dart tournaments. Head on down to Driftwood Beach for this years events.  

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Toys R Us

Valentine’s Day is coming! When flowers and chocolate just don’t get the message across you might try the toys at Love Shop.  

Monday, January 20, 2014

Rambler Golf

On Sunday afternoons the Midnight Rambler has been hosting a golf shot tournament. A 10 x 10 meter floating green has been built and floated 40 meters offshore in the bay. For 100 pesos you have 5 balls to hit the hat-sized hole at the center of the green. If no one connects the pot rolls over to the following Sunday. Last Sunday 26 men and one woman had a go at it. People use the right or left handed pitching or sand wedge available. After three weeks the pot was over P9,000 when William connected on his third ball taking the cash. Hanjin Shipyard has contributed P10,000 to get next Sunday's pot started.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Have You Been Shot Lately?

The number of measles cases has increased alarmingly in Olongapo. While the chief concern about a resurgence of the disease had been focused on Metro Manila, where there were more than 744 confirmed cases last year. Three infants died of measles in the metropolis in 2013, the Department of Health (DOH) said. But health authorities in Bicol and Olongapo City have reported a rise in measles cases recently. The DOH in Bicol is bracing for an outbreak after 12 cases were reported in Albay and two in Sorsogon. In Olongapo, the city health office (CHO) has also launched a door-to-door immunization program after recording more than 60 cases on Monday Jan 8th.

Measles is a highly communicable viral disease transmitted through droplets, spread from person to person caused by sneezing, coughing and close personal contact.

The Bugle highly recommends ensuring that all of your family members have been immunized properly.  While the cost may seem high remember an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Visa Renewal hints

The following information is from an e-mail that was sent out to the Bugle.  We are reprinting it here as there seems to be a lot of information that will help us along in our annual renewal trip,

     Philippines Immigration has a new (four part) form that must be completed prior to your annual registration. I finally completed this gruelling task today after my third trip to their office. Which is now located at 111A Gordon Ave. Just beyond 14th. St. (very limited parking)
The simplest way to do this is as follows.

1.      Go to their office Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8 – 12 AM  or 1 – 5 PM.
2.      Bring your ACR card and your U.S. Passport with you.
3.      Be sure to wear a proper collared shirt for passport style picture. Which they will take there, and charge you P50. For three pictures. (they give you two back). If you decide to bring your own picture make sure it has been taken within the last thirty days. Hey! They are just trying to make a few peso off of everyone.
4.      They will give you a two page BI form which is four parts (front to back). The forms must be filled out with a “Black ball point pen”.
       You can take the forms home to complete, or (I recommend) that you fill out the forms there. The reason being, there are samples of the completed forms posted on the wall there. Two pages of the form will not apply to most people. (unless you are employed here in the Philippines). In that case you simply write N/A in all of the blocks on pages two and three. This is where most people screw up the form. That is why I recommend you look at the completed samples on the wall.
5.      Once you have filled out all four parts of the form, date and sign page four. Take it back to any open window. An Immigration officer will inspect the form. If it is filled out correctly, he will then take you inside for fingerprinting, and they will take your picture.
6.      The charge for these two services is P50. For the picture, and P150. To have your paperwork notarized.
7.      Then you wait.
8.      They will call your name, and you then pay your annual registration fee of P310. “Be sure to get your receipt”
9.      And your done, for another year.

This entire procedure took me fifteen minutes to complete. But I filled out the form at home.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Join One of the Best Youth Soccer/Football Teams in the Philippines

Olongapo team player crushing two larger players in the recent Alaska Cup.

Comment from a reader: 
The Olongapo soccer team has developed into one of the best city teams in the Philippines. At the top tournaments, including the recent Alaska Cup, where more than 40 teams participated, the Olongapo boys and girls teams finished in the top four. The girls team was beat only by the top college teams in the country,  Ateneo, De Le Salle and Miriam. They beat every other city team and private club in the country. At the recent Batang Pinoy national competition, they took gold, most valuable player for the tournament and most points scored.

Both the boys and girls teams need more players. Training and practice is held six nights a week at either Remy Field on the base or the Tapinac Oval in Olongapo. Training and practice are free, but parents are encouraged to support the team however they can (bring extra water, etc.)

The Olongapo team is catching the eye of national-level sports officials. Last year’s coach was recruited to help coach the national women’s team. The star players of the Olongapo team are receiving scholarship offers from top schools.

A small group of hardcore players make up Olongapo's competitors in the national tournaments, but the teams are open to players of all ages and all levels of commitment and dedication. Novice players are welcome. Serious players have a chance to shine in national tournaments.

For more information, call Glenda at 0915-202-0505 or 0939-348-7386.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

NCC cites steady PHL progress up the global competitiveness ladder

This report  by National Competitiveness Council Co-Chairman Guillermo M. Luz on efforts made in 2013 to put the Philippines in the global competitiveness map and the road up ahead requiring projects and programs to help boost the country’s standing down the line and is being re-posted by the Bugle for our readers.  Especially all of those naysayers out there who are always saying that the PI doesn't do anything right,

Dear friends,

We have come to the end of another long, busy, and successful year at the National Competitiveness Council. Overall, it has been a good year though, of course, many challenges still remain. When we started our work in 2011, our goal was to move from the bottom-third of global rankings to the top-third by 2016. I am pleased to inform you that a great deal of progress has been made in that regard and that we have now made it into the middle-third of global tables and, in some cases, moved above the median.

Out of eight major competitiveness reports released in the last year, we recorded gains in seven of them and held ground on one. This is the first year this has been done. Over the course of the last three years, we have made improvements in seven global competitiveness reports, from the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Index to the International Finance Corporation Ease of Doing Report, IMD World Competitiveness Report, Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, and others. More important, these gains have been significant—overtaking 30 countries in one year in the IFC Report (largest jump worldwide), overtaking 26 countries in the WEF report, and overtaking 40 countries in the Transparency International. Our one-year and three-year performance records are attached for your reference.

Much of these gains were the result of some new programs planned and installed over the last 12 to 18 months. For instance, we partnered with Social Weather Stations, Asia Foundation, Australia Agency for International Development, Integrity Inititiative, Makati Business Club and the Management Association of the Philippines to revive and continue the Annual Enterprise Survey on Corruption. This allowed us to closely track perceptions and experiences of corruption in key business areas in Metro Manila, Angeles, CALABAR, Iloilo, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro-Iligan, and Davao City. Tighter monitoring of local governments and regional offices of national government agencies has proven useful and enlightening.

In May 2013 President Aquino created the Task Force on Ease of Doing Business  to cut red tape in processes to start, operate, and close businesses in the country. The result was the 30-country jump in this key measure, the biggest improvement in the world in 2013. Our Gameplan 2.0 is now ready and the government agencies are raring to go for another record jump for the Philippines.

This year, we also launched our City/Municipality Competitiveness Index, with the help of USAID and Project INVEST. This project was kicked off by organizing 15 Regional Competitiveness Committees across the country whose first project was to design the index and collect data. Through these regional committees, data was collected on 285 cities and municipalities so they could be entered and ranked on the index, which basically measures economic dynamism, infrastructure, cost of doing business and ease of doing business in these local government units. In 2014 we plan to expand that list to 550 cities and municipalities so businessmen will have basis for making decisions on where to locate their businesses. We have also worked closely with Microsoft and the World Wildlife Fund to expand the activities of the regional committees to include software applications for city management and disaster preparedness and response and climate change risk assessments.

On top of these new projects, we continue to run our older projects such as the working groups, dialogues, customer satisfaction surveys, performance governance system, and field monitoring on business permits and licensing systems. We have added a new working group this year —agribusinesses and trade logistics— and will open up a new working group on manufacturing in 2014.

We have also received some new assignments in the past year. The first one involves the preparations for the Apec 2015 Chairmanship and Summit in the Philippines. Working within the Apec National Organizing Council, we will help the country prepare the logistics, sponsorship  and policy agenda for 2015. Planning commenced in February 2013 and preparations are being undertaken in 11 locations around the country—including Manila, Tagaytay, Subic, Clark, Bataan, Boracay, Iloilo, Bacolod, Cebu, Legazpi and Davao.

Aside from being a member of the Economic Cluster, the National Competitiveness Council is also represented on a number of government interagency committees and boards, including the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC), Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center Governance Board, the AO25 Task Force on the Performance-Based Bonus System, the Professional Regulatory Commission’s standards committee, and MITHI (the government’s new information-technology standard setting body for IT procurement).

Finally, with the onslaught of Supertyphoon Yolanda (international code name Haiyan), we have been asked to coordinate the private sector response to work closely with the government’s Rebuilding After Yolanda project. In this regard, I am working closely with the newly reorganized Philippine Disaster Recovery Foundation (PDRF), which will be the business community’s main point of coordination with the government, international aid agencies and the non-governmental organization community as far as recovery and reconstruction is concerned. PDRF will also be engaged in disaster-preparedness (primarily through better urban planning and design), as well as relief in future events.

Before the year closes, I wish to thank the hundreds of people in the government, the private sector and international partners and our board and staff who all help the National Competitiveness Council in carrying out its numerous programs and projects to help us achieve our goal to make the Philippines more competitive. Without these individual and collective contributions, we would not be able to make the gains and feel the improvements that we have seen. The past year has been, I believe, a breakthrough year and I am looking forward to another great year in 2014.

Happy New Year !

Sincerely yours,


Monday, January 6, 2014

No Need for this Overpass

This is the view looking under the Matain River bridge that borders Barrio Barretto and Matain along the National Highway.  What the Bugle finds funny is that this is where the new sign about the home of the most Beautiful Women is being erected.  The same sign that espouses transparency and good governance that the Bugle wrote about the other week here.  How many of our readers think that the local government is wasting money by painting a new sign when just underneath that road is disaster just waiting to happen again?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Same as Last Year

Bugle, you provide zero facts. You always refer your readers to newspaper articles and other media to support your tsismis, but much of the news is no different from you. In the Philippine media, they report more propaganda, rumors and errors than truth. We all have our own perceptions of smuggling in the Subic area, but do you have any facts? Has anyone ever been convicted? What smuggling that you know of is going on now? I believe there's much more personal and political name calling and accusations than smuggling going on in Subic at this point. Please report the facts, then let your readers decide. 

Bugle Sez:   And your facts (opinions) are based on what?  

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Classic Barrio Barretto photo


Folks for all the dirt and grime we see at the street level maybe it is time for us to just step back a bit and look at the big picture.  It really is beautiful in our little slice of heaven.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year

Thanks to all of our loyal readers for putting up with us in 2013.  We here at the Bugle have enjoyed our New Year's Break and will be back to passing on our particular brand of news, rumours, and what not even more in 2014.  So once again Thanks and we here at the Bugle hope everyone's 2014 is an improvement over the year past.