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.