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Balibago News Sep-2009

28 Sept 2009 - 'Ondoy' leaves 95 dead; 247,555 affected by floods

MANILA, Philippines - Tropical storm “Ondoy” (international codename: Ketsana) left the country yesterday, leaving behind a trail of 95 people dead, 29 missing, and some 247,555 affected families.

The figures, however, could go higher as reports from the provinces have yet to reach the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) as of press time.

Rescuers struggled through heavy traffic and darkness of the night to bring residents of flood-stricken areas, who were perched on their roofs carrying their children and cherished possessions, to safer grounds.

28 Sept 2009 - Pampanga mudslide kills 14, displaces thousands

ARAYAT -- Heavy rains brought about by Typhoon Ondoy caused a mudslide along the slopes of Mt. Arayat in Barangay San Juan Bano, killing 14 people and affecting some 2,000 individuals.

Espino said the incident happened around 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

He said members of the Municipal Disaster Coordinating Council (MDCC), 703rd Brigade of the Philippine Army and the local police have been working round the clock to recover the bodies of victims, most of them are children.

Citing a report given to him by Philippine Army Colonel Jose Mabanta, commander of the 703rd Brigade, the mudslide victims were identified as Riza Portacio, 28, and her children, eight-year-old JR (Sonny), five-year-old Shanilyn, four-year-old Raiza; Grade 4 pupil Mac-Mac Galang and his brother Marco Galang, a 4th year high school student; and members of the Dela Cruz family -- grandmother Catalina and her grandchildren Manilyn, Popoy, Lyn-Lyn, Loloy and Lely.

28 Sept 2009 - Ondoy turns Pampanga into virtual sea

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Tropical storm Ondoy unleashed its fury in this province on Saturday and high flood waters reaching as much as five feet flooded low lying municipalities and most parts of this city.

At about 5:00 p.m. last Saturday, weathermen spotted the eye of the storm right smack in this province, and brought with it a torrent of rain which the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astonomical Administration (Pagasa) said was a month's worth, and spared no area, including the Capitol and city hall.

Traffic ground to a halt as roads leading to other areas of the province became impassable to light and medium vehicles, stranding hundreds of workers on Saturday evening and churchgoers on Sunday.

People rushed to the few left open groceries and bakeshops in what looked like panic buying because of the unforeseen calamity, which weathermen described as the worst in 20 years.

Pagasa said that while weather conditions are seen to improve Monday, Ondoy will continue to dump rains in Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon and Visayas until early this week because of the southwest monsoon.

26 Sept 2009 - Dozens dead in Philippine floods

At least 50 people have been killed and thousands more evacuated as floods caused by heavy rain brought chaos to the Philippines, officials say.

At least one town is completely under water. Power has been cut off to parts of the capital, Manila, where hundreds of people are trapped on rooftops.

The government has declared a calamity, allowing access to emergency funds.

The equivalent of a whole month's rain fell in six hours as Tropical Storm Ketsana, also known as Ondoy, lashed the island of Luzon, causing the worst flooding in Manila for 20 years.

26 Sept 2009 - Project to stop exploitation, trafficking launched

Ing Makababaying Aksyon (IMA) Foundation, as the regional partner of Visayan Forum Foundation, and Microsoft have embarked on a project called the "Stop Trafficking and Exploitation of People through Unlimited Potential" (Step-UP) Project.

IMA as the partner-community-based organization for the regional implementation of this exciting new project announced the launch of the regional phase of the Step-UP Project.

The launch was held on Saturday at the offices of IMA in the Women’s Development and Resource Center (WDRC) in Balibago, Angeles City.

While the scourge of human trafficking cuts across age and gender, youth and young adults, especially girls and young women, are the most vulnerable to human trafficking.

25 Sept 2009 - Thousands to join ICT summit in Clark

CLARK FREEPORT -- Some 4,000 delegates are expected to participate in the 2nd National Information and Communication Technology Confederation of the Philippines (NICP) Summit and Convergence 2009 slated on November 5-7 at Clark Expo here.

The summit is a back to back event organized by the Metro Clark ICT Council (MCITCC), Clark Development Corporation (CDC), Cyber City Teleservices and Comclark Network Technology Corporation.

25 Sept 2009 - Ayala execs: ‘Pampanga center of growth’

ANGELES CITY -- The Ayala Land Incorporated has picked Pampanga, particularly Angeles City, to be one of its investment areas because of existing infrastructures like the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport, Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway and others.

It has described the province as a “center of growth area.” During the launching of the Marquee Mall here on Wednesday, Ayala Land president Antonio Aquino said they established a development site in the city because of the potential of the province in terms of business.

24 Sept 2009 - City celebrates Medicine Week

ANGELES CITY -- Mayor Francis "Blueboy" Nepomuceno led the celebration of the Medicine Week, which include photo and poster exhibits, at the City Hall Lobby in Barangay Pulung Maragul here.

Nepomuceno said he had instructed health officials here to launch information campaigns and programs for the promotion of such advocacies in accordance with the week-long celebration.

24 Sept 2009 - 37% of sex workers in Balibago bars are locals

ANGELES CITY -- A pro-women non-government organization has disclosed that 37 percent of "sex workers" in night clubs at the red light district of Balibago here are from this city.

The Renew Foundation based its figure on the recent survey it conducted in cooperation with the UK-based University of Oxford.

"In 2005, 16 percent of the women prostituted in the sex bars of Balibago came from Angeles (City) itself. But today in 2009, 37 percent of the women prostituted in the sex bars of Angeles are from Angeles itself," the Renew Foundation stated.

23 Sept 2009 - Thousands flock to Marquee Mall opening

ANGELES CITY -- Thousands trooped to the newest, largest, and most modern mall this side of Central Luzon – the Marquee Mall, which opened its doors to shoppers from all walks of life during yesterday’s soft opening here.

Marking the trend in must-see destinations is Marquee Mall, a redefinition of shopping, dining and entertainment which is truly a cut above the rest.

Marquee Mall is Ayala Malls' first foray in Central Luzon, making its home in Angeles City in Pampanga. It redefines convenience on this side of the country. Situated near Angeles City's business district and adjacent to the Angeles exit along North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), this new 93-hectare lifestyle hub is a vital component of "Marquee", a 53 hectare integrated mixed use community recently developed by Ayala Land., Inc.

23 Sept 2009 - 14 Clark firms hire workers

CLARK FREEPORT -- The Clark Development Corporation (CDC) has announced that at least 14 firms inside the Freeport have a total of 3,255 job openings which they intend to fill up within the next three months.

In a report to CDC President Benigno Ricafort, Assistant Vice President for Business Development Group Bernardo Angeles Jr. said most of the job positions that are available here are for customer service representatives and call center agents.

Angeles said the firms will be conducting a job fair at the SM City Clark event center on September 30 in cooperation with the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole), Pampanga Employment Services Federation, and SM City Clark.

He said that NCO Philippines and Sutherland Philippines are hiring 1,000 customer representatives each.

Other firms looking for applicants are Cyber City Teleservices, 500 customer services agents; 320 apprentices and 300 engineers and production staffers (regular positions) at Texas Instrument Philippines; 50 customer services agents at UPS Clark Philippines; 41 production staff positions at Apex Intec Philippines, C. Ltd. Inc; 25 casino managers, supervisors and staff at Hotel Stotsenberg; 10 administrative staffers and engineers; nine cutters and other positions at O&G Leather Manufacturing Inc.

23 Sept 2009 - Search is on for outstanding youths

ANGELES CITY -- The Angeles City Political Affairs Office (ACPAO) announced the start of this year’s search for this city’s Ten Outstanding Youths (TOY) in a bid to recognize the outstanding performances and contributions of the youth sector here to the local community.

According to ACPAO chief Paulo Bucud, the event is organized in cooperation with Mayor Francis “Blueboy” Nepomuceno, the Sangguniang Kabataan, and the Concerned Youth of Angeles City.

The TOY awards, now on its second year, is open to all youths 13 to 25 years old, natural-born resident of Angeles City who have shown exemplary achievements in the field of literature, sports and recreational activities, social and civic reforms, academics and education, arts and culture, leadership, Sangguniang Kabataan, eco-environmental preservation, empowerment and inspiration and public service.

23 Sept 2009 - CIDG conducts probe on student’s death

ANGELES CITY -- The Criminal Investigation and Detection Team (CIDG) is now conducting a separate investigation on the case of a nursing student who was brutally killed inside her boarding house in Barangay Salapungan here on September 3.

Police Chief Inspector Randy Glenn Silvio, head of the Pampanga CIDG based in this city, said they took over the case upon the request of the victim's parents.

Silvio said they are now gathering testimonies from witnesses to solve the case on the death of Keith Valerio Ballesteros, 16, a nursing student of Angeles University Foundation (AUF).

Silvio also denied reports that they have already established the identity of the suspects in the slaying. "We are still gathering information and statements from witnesses and barangay authorities."

23 Sept 2009 - Farm caretaker charged for employer's death

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The city police here over the weekend filed murder charges against a fighting cock farm caretaker suspected to be involved in the killing of his employer who was hacked to death last September 7.

The suspect, identified as Apolonio “Jun Jun” Sambat Panlilio Jr., 43, of Sitio Mansgold, Barangay Santa Lucia, in this city is being suspected of slaying his employer, Luisito Baluyut Ponio, 51, of Rosal Street, Greenhills Village, Barangay San Agustin.

Chief Inspector Fernando Lansangan, San Fernando Police Station 3 commander, said Ponio was hacked to death around 7 a.m. inside his farm at San Isidro Village in Barangay San Isidro.

According to Lansangan, they were able to “solve the case” with the help of several witnesses.

22 Sept 2009 - MTV sponsors concert vs human trafficking

ANGELES CITY -- MTV Philippines, in cooperation with the Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC), the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) Task Force for Migrant Protection and Trafficking in Person, the Visayan Forum Foundation Inc. and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) will be staging the MTV EXIT (End Exploitation and Trafficking) concert at the SM City Clark here at 6 p.m. on September 26.

The concert, featuring bands Sponge Cola and Sugarfree, is the second of four free concerts across the Philippines that aim to raise awareness and increase the prevention of human trafficking and exploitation.

22 Sept 2009 - 1 killed, minor wounded in shooting incident

MABALACAT -- A man was killed while a minor was wounded in a shooting incident that transpired Monday night at the Madapdap Resettlement Center in this town.

Police identified the fatality as Leonard Magcalas Ravida, 21, of Block 26, Lot 2, 9th Street in Madapdap Resettlement Center.

Superintendent Elvis Diaz, Mabalacat chief of police, said a seven-year-old boy was also hit by a stray bullet during the incident.

Diaz said suspect Valentino “Mong” Espinosa Dimatulac, 52, shot Ravida several times using a .45 caliber hand gun.

22 Sept 2009 - Biz group now supports Noynoy

ANGELES CITY -- Some members of Angeles Businessmen Association (ABA) who recently announced their all-out support for Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno are now supporting Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino’s presidential bid.

ABA President Andy Tan said over the weekend that Aquino would surely be able to unite various sectors in the country and even in Angeles City.

“Some of the businessmen here are optimistic about him (Aquino). I, for one, would support him along with those who believe in him in our business community,” Tan said.

22 Sept 2009 - CLAC holds Sangguniang Barangay congress

ANGELES CITY -- The 143 members of the Councilmen’s League of Angeles City (CLAC) held their first ever Sangguniang Barangay Congress at the Venus Park View Hotel in Baguio City from September 19 to 21.

Mayor Francis “Blueboy” Nepomuceno, who was the main guest during the event, expressed his support to CLAC officials and members in their effort to better barangay governance and administration.

During the three-day event, resource speakers discussed relevant topics namely Best Practices and Solid Waste Management by Mayor Caesar Perez of Laguna; Public Ethics and Public Accountability by Dean Dolores Quiambao; Jurisprudence on Barangay Administration by lawyer Carlos Carlos; Women and Children Issues by Dr. Cora Aguilar-David and Public Demos of Precinct Count Optical Scan Machines by Director Sonia Tiongson.

21 Sept 2009 - Public warned vs dengue

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The Department of Health (DOH) here reminded the public not to hold their guards down against dengue fever.

DOH Regional Director Rio Magpanatay over the weekend warned the public on possible rise of dengue cases “if precautionary measures are not observed” to protect communities against the dreaded disease.

“Currently, we have some 1, 400 cases all over the region with at least 11 deaths. We can prevent dengue fever by keeping the surroundings clean and making sure that there is no stagnant water where mosquitoes can breed," he said.

DOH, the lead agency in the campaign against dengue and influenza A (H1N1) virus, has come up with an intensive information communication campaign to fight dengue. Called 4S, it stands for search and destroy, self-protection measures, seek early consultation, and say "NO" to indiscriminate fogging.

19 Sept 2009 - 9 ‘rescued’ from bar

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Police operatives and representatives of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) recently rescued nine females – three of them minors – who work as guest relations officer (GRO) in a videoke bar in Barangay Cutud, Arayat town.

In his report to Pampanga police provincial director Gil Lebin Jr., Arayat chief of police Luisito Magnaye said two of the minor GROs are residents of Gapan City, while the youngest, only 14 years old, is from Cabanatuan City.

The age of the six other rescued females is between 19 and 30. They are residents of Muntilupa, Palayan City and Gapan City.

Magnaye said they arrested Bastawang and her floor manager, Cristy Dizon, 42, of Barangay Sapang Maragul, Tarlac, because they were allegedly involved in recruiting female minors to work as GROs in the said bar.

The three female minors have been turned over to the DSWD authorities.

19 Sept 2009 - Beware of substandard Christmas lights

CLARK FREEPORT -- As Christmas approaches, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has warned the public to be wary of substandard Christmas lights that could pose danger to lives and properties.

DTI Regional Director Blesila Lantayona stressed this on Thursday, adding that the DTI will monitor the sale of Christmas lights in various parts of Central Luzon.

She said DTI strictly prohibits the display of Christmas lights, construction materials, electrical products, and other imported products in stores and distributors' outlets in the city without Import Clearance Commodity or ICC certification.

Christmas lights that were not inspected according to existing standards might not satisfy the four mandatory requirements for ball pressure, torque, temperature rise, and wire tests, which may bring electric shock and overheating, which will lead to fire resulting to loss of properties and lives.

18 Sept 2009 - American dies of heart attack after sex

Angeles City - An American national died of a suspected heart attack after having sex with a Filipino waitress in Pampanga Wednesday, police said.

PO1 George Buan, who is assigned at Angeles police station 4, identified the tourist as James Fitzgerald Parks, 45.

Buan said Parks and a 22-year-old waitress, Gina Bacalla, went barhopping last September 16 before checking in at a local hotel to have sex.

Bacalla said Parks went to the bathroom to relieve himself when she heard a loud noise. She said she called for a doctor after finding Parks sprawled on the floor, shaking.

"We'd only just met. We went barhopping and had dinner before going to the hotel. After we had contact, I heard a noise and then I saw him on the floor," she told authorities.

Buan said a doctor went to the hotel but failed to save Parks. He said a heart attack might have killed the tourist.

16 Sept 2009 - Flights to Cambodia

MANILA - The Philippines and Cambodia have signed their first air services agreement on Wednesday, fielding a total of 35 weekly flights.

The new air deal allowed 7 flights a week for the Manila-Cambodia route, 14 weekly flights for the Clark-Cambodia route, and 14 weekly flights to Cambodia from any point in the Philippines excluding Manila and Clark.

This is the tenth agreeement that the Philippines has concluded for the year. The country has already sealed air deals with the United Kingdom, Singapore, Spain, Brunei, Australia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates since the start of 2009.

16 Sept 2009 - Village chief nabbed for libel

ANGELES CITY -- Elements of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (CIDU) Wednesday arrested Balibago Barangay Captain Rodelio “Tony” Mamac in connection with the libel charges filed against him by Mayor Francis “Blueboy” Nepomuceno.

Chief Inspector Lamberto Andasan of CIDU in Camp Olivas said Mamac was invited to the law enforcement agency’s office by virtue of a warrant of arrest served to him while he was in the Balibago Barangay Hall at around noontime.

The warrant of arrest was issued by Judge Edgar Chua of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 47 of the City of San Fernando. Chua ordered the arrest of Mamac for charges of libel.

In an interview with Mamac over the phone, he said the case stemmed from earlier statements he allegedly issued against Nepomuceno on the alleged extortion operations in Angeles City’s entertainment district in Barangay Balibago.

16 Sept 2009 - Girl dies in SCTEX mishap

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO - A two-year old girl died while 14 others were injured after their owner-type jeep turned turtle along the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) at the vicinity of Barangay Pabanlag, Floridablanca on Tuesday afternoon.

Pampanga police provincial director Gil Lebin Jr. identified the fatality as Hazael Joy David of Barangay Buensuceso, Arayat.

One of the injured persons was identified as Redentor Juico Makaeran, 43, driver of owner-type jeep, also from Barangay Buensuceso, according to Lebin.

15 Sept 2009 - Health caravan launched in Angeles City

ANGELES CITY -- Some 234 indigent families from Barangays Cutud, Sapalibutad and Pulung Cacutud here received their Philhealth cards during the “Caravan Para Sa Kalusugan” held at Epza covered court recently.

The distribution was part of the City Government’s advocacy on providing health benefits to Angeleños.

In his message, Mayor Francis “Blueboy” Nepomuceno urged the recipients to take good care of their health, and live a healthy lifestyle.

Dr. Cheryl Tuazon, city health officer, said the beneficiaries of the program come from urban poor families which include disadvantaged women, persons with disabilities, volunteer workers, patients from health centers, vendors and drivers.

The City Government has allotted P3.445 million for the program that will benefit some 5,743 poverty stricken families, added Tuazon.

15 Sept 2009 - Road works, night market blamed for traffic jams

MABALACAT -- Motorists are blaming the road works and the night market along the McArthur Highway in Barangay Dau here for the heavy traffic jams in this town and nearby Angeles City recently.

The heavy traffic queuing at the north-bound lane of the national highway reached Barangay Balibago in nearby Angeles City.

Some of the passengers coming from the Balibago area have chosen to just walk to reach Barangay Dau.

A traffic aide assigned in the area admitted that the ongoing construction along the road by workers of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the operation of the night market greatly contribute to the congestion.

14 Sept 2009 - CDC expects P4 billion investments

CLARK FREEPORT -- The Clark Development Corporation (CDC) is expecting the realization of some P4-billion worth of committed investments following the lifting of building height restrictions inside the Freeport by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Caap).

CDC President Benigno N. Ricafort said Caap this year has approved 32 building and expansion applications filed by various locators here.

Ricafort said tourism and information technology firms applied to Caap for clearance for their structure and building construction.

The firms include JB Cresta, CPR Palm Resort, Berthaphil Inc., Sutherland Global Services, CyberCity Teleservices, J&K Global Properties, CAASCI, Oxford Hotel, CEDC, and BBAC.

14 Sept 2009 - Blackout cripples NAIA

MANILA, Philippines - A power outage at the airport control tower crippled operations at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), forcing the delay and diversion of all international and domestic flights yesterday.

Airport officials said the power supply of their radar at the control tower broke down at 2 p.m., forcing the diversion of several incoming international flights to other airports.

“The tower cannot communicate with the radar and they cannot guide the airlines to land and depart… so it is a safety issue,” airport general manager Alfonso Cusi explained.

Cusi said some international flights were diverted to Hong Kong while other incoming flights were ordered to land in other airports.

14 Sept 2009 - BIR padlocks delinquent establishments

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- After closing a Pacific Breeze Hotel in Angeles City for under-declaring its income, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) the other day shut down nine more establishments in Central Luzon under its Oplan Kandado program.

BIR regional director Romulo Aguila identified the establishments as Benso Cham Corporation, MSQ Fair Plaza Marketing, Villegas General Merchandise, Ascending Ray Corporation and Benso Winner Corporation, all in Olongapo City.

The BIR also closed down Karen Chua Grocery in Tarlac and three other establishments in Cabanatuan City owned by one Danilo Martinez.

“These establishments have not been declaring their proper taxes. The closure of these establishments sends a clear message that the BIR is serious in its Oplan Kandado campaign and compelling individuals and businesses to declare the proper taxes,” Aguila said.

Aguila said some 11 establishments now have been closed under the Oplan Kandado program for not declaring the proper taxes.

He said approximately 60 business establishments all over the country has been padlocked since the launching of the Oplan Kandado. The very first to be padlocked was an establishment of a taxpayer in Magalang.

13 Sept 2009 - Public warned about spread of fake money

MANILA -- Authorities on Friday warned the public against the proliferation of counterfeit money, especially with the coming Christmas season following the arrest of two men peddling fake currencies in Taguig City on Wednesday.

Taguig police chief Senior Superintendent Camilo Cascolan identified the two arrested suspects as Fernandez Turogonan,, 31, of Casoy St. Barangay Western Bicutan and 20-year-old Jhon Balayman of Barangay Ususan.

The two were apprehended in front of a pawnshop on Maharlika Road, Barangay Upper Bicutan, Taguig City after an undercover agent managed to purchase 10 pieces of fake P100 bills for three hundred pesos P300.

Cascolan said authorities also recovered P2,000 worth of fake money in P100 denominations from the suspects.

Intelligence operatives revealed that the suspects were part of a syndicate selling counterfeit money on the streets. Counterfeit P200, P500 and P1000 bills are also being sold, he added.

12 Sept 2009 - CEB 4th in Asia’s top 10 budget airline list

CLARK FREEPORT -- Asia’s third largest low cost carrier, Cebu Pacific (CEB) went up in the rankings in Smart Travel Asia’s Top 10 Budget Airlines of 2009 poll.

From last year’s rank of fifth, the airline moved up to fourth place., Asia’s leading online travel magazine with one million readers worldwide, revealed the results of their May-July 2009 Best in Travel survey recently.

Low cost carriers were rated based on ticket prices, schedule reliability, quality of service, route network and access. Aside from airlines, they also polled their readers in top destinations, hotels and resorts.

“This year, we started flying to 11 new routes. We also expect delivery of two ATR-7200 aircraft by the end of the year, which will surely provide our passengers with convenient air travel, low fares, and more flights, frequencies and destinations,” she added.

10 Sept 2009 - BCDA sets safety measures on SCTEx

CLARK FREEPORT --- The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) has announced that immediate corrective measures are being instituted to ensure the safety of motorists along the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx).

This action follows a landslide that occurred at the freeway in Barangay Pabanlag, Floridablanca town at around 2 a.m. on September 8.

The landslide was brought about by heavy rains in the area.

Clearing operations are now going on and is expected to be completed today.

For the meantime, motorists are advised to take the necessary precautions and observe the proper speed limit while driving along the SCTEx.

10 Sept 2009 - Peregrine gets services of security firm

CLARK FREEPORT -- Peregrine Development International Inc. (Peregrine) announced that it is engaging the services of Herstal Security Agency (Herstal), the winning bidder for the physical site security and related security support services for the development of the 177-hectare Global Gateway Logistics City (GGLC).

GGLC, located at what was previously known as Industrial Estate 5 near Clark’s main gate, is being developed by Peregrine on behalf of its owners -- the Global Gateway Development Corporation (GGDC) and KGL Investment Company from Kuwait.

Peregrine -- developer and prime contractor of GGLC -- is a US-based knowledge management firm that provides support services to a diverse range of international clients in Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Poland and the Philippines.

10 Sept 2009 - BOC: Smuggled fuel not from Clark

CLARK FREEPORT -- The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has clarified reports saying the 954.5 liters of diesel fuel confiscated from a local gas station in San Simon, Pampanga originated from Clark.

“The diesel fuel was imported duty-free on condition that it will be sold inside the Freeport, in this case, the Port of Clark,” said news reports which came out in Manila newspapers on Monday, September 7.

In a press statement, Rolando Dela Cruz, one of the apprehending officers from the BOC Port of Clark disclosed that the diesel fuel seized from Gas Mass Station in Barangay San Agustin, San Simon town did not come from Clark.

Dela Cruz said there have been no smuggling incidents of petroleum products inside Clark.

“The Clark Development Corporation (CDC) has always maintained the highest level of security inside this Freeport as a failsafe against smuggling of duty and tax-free goods,” stressed CDC Public Relations Manager Angelo “Sonny” Lopez.

Lopez expressed disappointment over what he described as a “malicious misinformation drive.”

Lopez lamented that the incident happened almost two months ago and questioned the timing of story release.

8 Sept 2009 - DMIA: The fastest growing airport

ONCE a desolate aviation complex with ash and other volcanic debris that were littered by an angry volcano about 10 kilometers away, the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) inside the Clark Freeport is the most promising and much-improved airport in the country today.

It is also one of the highly patronized airports that cater to budget airlines in the region, fulfilling the vision for it to become the site of the next premier gateway to the Philippines.

DMIA, established in 2003 when it was renamed from Clark International Airport, registered only 44 flights back then. Now there are more than 2,000 passenger and cargo flights that come in and out of DMIA.

“This airport has so much not only promise but actual viability as we have proven since its utilization as a civilian commercial aviation complex in only recent few years,” said Victor Jose Luciano, president and chief executive officer of Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC).

Luciano said that on record is a noticeable steep increase in the number of passengers that were serviced at DMIA. As a former airline executive, he is widely credited in Pampanga for convincing officials of various local and regional airlines to mount flights in and out of Clark.

From a measly 7,880 passengers in 2003 when the former Clark International Airport was renamed to DMIA, the figure rose to 490,748 after five years or a dramatic 6,227 percent increase.

In DMIA, there are daily flights to and from Seoul by Asiana Airlines, Singapore by Tiger Airways, Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu by Air Asia. On the other hand, Cebu Pacific – a Philippine flag carrier – has six flights per week to Hong Kong, four flights each to Macau and Singapore, and, two flights to Bangkok, Thailand.

8 Sept 2009 - DMIA: Nepomuceno mourns death of 2 employees

ANGELES CITY -- Mayor Francis “Blueboy” Nepomuceno, together with the staff of the Mayor’s Office, mourned the death of two City Government employees who accidentally drowned at a resort in Morong, Bataan over the weekend.

The victims -- Lester Llanes Tolentino, single, 22, of Barangay San Jose here and Odel de Guzman, married, 39, of Barangay Malabanias here -- were both detailed at the Records Section of the Mayor’s Office.

The accident happened during the outing of the Mayor’s Office staff on Saturday.

Around 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, big waves suddenly hit Tolentino and de Guzman while swimming along the shoreline. They were later taken away by big tides, witnesses said.

Tolentino’s body was recovered after 30 minutes and was given artificial resuscitation by volunteers but failed to revive him.

He was pronounced dead on arrival at the rural health center.

7 Sept 2009 - CDC, Cila to hold job fair

ANGELES CITY -- Clark Development Corporation (CDC) and the Clark Investors and Locators Association (Cila) will hold a job fair on September 30 at the Event Center of SM City Clark here.

According to Cila president Jennie Del Rosario-Ng, the event is also in coordination with the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole)-Central Luzon and Pampanga Public Employment Service Office.

“We are expecting to have 30 to 40 participating companies inside and outside the Clark Freeport Zone. We are hoping for the success of this endeavor, as we aim to help people in our immediate communities find good jobs,” she said.

7 Sept 2009 - Pinoys in HK to use DMIA

CLARK FREEPORT --- Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Hong Kong have vowed to support the development of the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) by flying through Clark when returning or leaving the country.

According to Clark International Airport Corp. officials, hundreds of OFWs came to the Bayanihan Kennedy Town Center in Hong Kong on Sunday afternoon and witnessed the marketing and promotional event of the Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) dubbed: “Para sa Iyo, Ang Airport na Ito.”

“We were surprised by the support of the OFWs,” CIAC President and CEO Victor Jose I. Luciano, who led the CIAC delegation in a two-day roadshow in the former crown colony, said.

“DMIA is the OFWs’ airport. It’s not congested,” Luciano said.

The DMIA hosts foreign and local carriers.

Foreign carriers include Air Asia of Malaysia, Tiger Airways of Singapore, South Korea’s Asiana Airlines while local airlines are Cebu Pacific Air (CEB), and South East Asian Airlines (Seair).

Zest Air, a new local carrier, will start its Clark-HK-Clark route on September 21 while Spirit of Manila Airlines (Soma) is also expected to start operations from the DMIA soon.

7 Sept 2009 - Norwegian nabbed for overstaying

CLARK FREEPORT -- A Norwegian national suspected of “overstaying” in the country was apprehended by elements of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) in Angeles City over the weekend.

Vidar Teige Nordas was arrested at the Eruptions Bar at the entertainment district of Barangay Balibago, said Immigration Area II Director Heranio Manalo.

Immigration Commissioner Marcelino Libanan on Friday ordered the arrest of the Norwegian for blatant violation of immigration laws, according to Manalo.

Elements of the Immigration Area II swooped down at the bar where Nordas holds office.

Nordas later admitted that he was an “overstaying alien” but said that he already gave his passport to his lawyer in Manila to fix his status.

Manalo said Nordas had allegedly tried to bribe the arresting team by requesting them “to settle his case inside his office” but to no avail.

The alien arrived in the Philippines on August 20, 2004. He was given 21 days or until September 10 of 2004 to stay in the country.

Manalo said that Nordas was allowed to extend his stay in the country until May 18, 2005 and since then he has failed to apply for an extension of his stay.

Libanan ordered all international seaports, airports and border crossing stations to tighten the monitoring of arriving and departing foreigners.

5 Sept 2009 - Clark to host regional employment, education congress

CLARK FREEPORT -- This Freeport will be the venue for this year’s Regional Employment and Education Congress to be held on September 9 at the Mimosa Convention Center here.

Subic Clark Alliance for Development Council (SCADC) Secretary Edgardo Pamintuan said the Regional Employment and Education Congress is a regional gathering of industry sectors, the academic sector and relevant government agencies to collectively come up with strategies to bridge the prevailing job mismatch which has caused continued unemployment and underemployment.

5 Sept 2009 - Clark Museum now open on Saturdays

CLARK FREEPORT -- The Clark Development Corporation announced that the Clark Museum during is now open until Saturday.

The museum, located in front of Clark’s Parade Ground inside the Freeport zone, will be open six days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting this September.

This came about following the increasing number of local and foreign tourists, including school children, who frequent the Museum during weekends.

CDC President Benigno Ricafort said several sectors requested for opening of the Museum, which showcases Clark’s memorabilia from the Spanish, Japanese and American eras.

The opening of the museum on Saturdays will also cater to the Aetas’ employment, who recently completed a course as tour guides.

The Specialized Tour Guiding Seminar is part of CDC’s development program on tourism for the Freeport and the Clark Special Economic Zone (CSEZ).

The tour guiding seminar for some 20 Aetas was in conjunction with the regional office of the Department of Tourism in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga.

4 Sept 2009 - Opening of MarQuee Mall

ANGELES CITY -- MARQUEE Mall, the first Ayala Mall in Central Luzon that showcases artistry and culture, is set to open on September 23, 2009.

Expected to be a favorite gathering place in Central Luzon, MarQuee Mall boasts of a distinct architecture and people-oriented spaces highlighted by beautifully sculptured landscapes which Ayala Malls are known for.

Dave Blas, senior architect of the Ayala Land’s Innovation and Design Group, said MarQuee Mall’s design was specially conceptualized to provide something contemporary, and attuned to the culture of the people of Pampanga and Central Luzon.

Blas said the mall was planned to encourage convergence and provide various opportunities for family and friends to gather, shop, dine, relax, and be entertained all together.

It will house Metro Department Store and Supermarket as its anchor merchant, four digital cinemas, an activity center, children’s playground, civic park and transport terminal.

MarQuee Mall is the retail component of Marquee, a 53-hectare integrated community in Central Luzon skillfully developed by Ayala Land that also includes MarQuee Place, a residential development located a few meters away from the mall.

Only an hour away from Manila and strategically located a few minute drive away from the Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway, MarQuee Mall sits right at Angeles Exit of the North Luzon Expressway.

1 Sept 2009 - CDC to train Aetas in business

CLARK FREEPORT -- The Clark Development Corporation (CDC) is planning to tie up with concerned government agencies “to train Aetas in becoming self-sufficient entrepreneurs.”

CDC President Benigno Ricafort said the state-owned corporation is planning to forge partnerships with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD) for the implementation of the program.

Ricafort said that the livelihood programs will benefit Aetas living at the Next Frontier area which is located at the Sacobia Valley.

The livelihood program is part of the so-called Next Frontier project, which is in consonance with the Joint Management Agreement (JMA) signed in December 6, 2007 by CDC, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), and leaders of the Tribung Ayta.

The agreement guarantees the Aetas’ inherent rights over certain areas at the Sacobia Valley under the Ancestral Domain Claims.

1 Sept 2009 - H1N1 victims in Central Luzon recover

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The Department of Health (DOH) regional office here announced that all of the 318 Influenza A(H1N1) cases in Central Luzon have recovered from the dreaded disease and are now in good health.

DOH Regional Director Rio Magpantay said the regional office is also expecting a “windfall” in the number of A(H1N1) cases in the region in the future.

As of August 27, cases of Swine flu in Central Luzon have been recorded at 318.

Cases are distributed in Aurora with two cases, Bataan with 40 cases, Bulacan with 44, and Nueva Ecija with 65 recorded cases. Pampanga remains as the province with the highest recorded cases with 147 as of Monday. There were also three recorded cases in Tarlac and 17 cases in Zambales.

1 Sept 2009 - Clark Freefort to host ‘Fat Boys Rugby’

CLARK FREEPORT -- This Freeport will be hosting the 6th Inaugural, Invitational, International Fat Boys Rugby Tournament, which will be held at the Challenger Field this September, said the Clark Development Corporation (CDC). CDC Tourism and Promotions Office (TPO) Manager Noemi Garcia said this is the sixth year the state-owned corporation has supported the activity which aims to raise money for charity and promote the rugby game.

Garcia said proceeds of the game will go to the Philippine Rugby Football Union and the Angeles Bahay Bata Center.

The Angeles Bahay Bata Center is a home for street children opened and run by the Rotary Club of Clark Centennial since 1999.

During the sports activity, more than 10 teams from the Philippines will compete against ruggers from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Shanghai, and other Asian teams.

1 Sept 2009 - Group prescribes ‘10 rules’ for youth voters

ANGELES CITY -- A youth organization here on Tuesday posted its 10 rules for young voters in selecting candidates in the 2010 elections.

According to Paulo Bucud, convener of the group that calls itself Unang Boto Sigurado Network, the “Ten Commandments for a Meaningful Election” are meant to serve as a guide for youth voters in selecting would-be leaders in their respective localities.

“These are prescribed guidelines that would give the youth an idea on what to expect on a leader. Most of the youth who are also not involved in politics and have little knowledge on how to select a possible leader may use the commandments as reference,” Bucud said.

Among the “commandments” issued by the group include not voting for politicians with no clear political plans, not voting for politicians who do not have programs for the poor and ordinary workers, and not voting for candidates that have been talking ill of other politicians in public.