My first prediction came true, Cambodia will be the next country to ratify the Asean Charter and so it was. Today, February 26, 2008, the Cambodian National Assembly unanimously approved the ASEAN Charter.
Pen Pagna, Chairman of the legislation and justice committee of the parliament said that the ASEAN Charter can help Cambodia to “rule by law and walk to democracy and development". They are also very much interested in the economic and social integration with their ASEAN neighbors, as laid down and written in the ASEAN Charter.
This is great news, Cambodia showing interest and believes in the ASEAN Charter as a tool for democracy and the rule of law. This can be used as a leverage for Myanmar (Burma). The ASEAN Charter is now approved by half of its 10-member states. First was Singapore last January 7, 2008; then Brunei last February 15, 2008; third is Malaysia on February 18, 2008; Laos fourth, on February 20, 2008; and now Cambodia, February 26, 2008.
The next five that will ratify it are (in the following order of my prediction): VietNam, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Myanmar.
Thailand already said that they will ratify it by June; Philippines gave word that they will start its ratification anytime soon. Indonesia on the other hand will seem to have some problems ratifying the it, but I am still optimistic that they will approve the ASEAN Charter before Thailand.
VietNam, being one of the countries that most benefited from ASEAN is set to ratify it next, and if you are not aware, VietNam is the most active ASEAN member to date having hosted many functions in different ASEAN sectors, as well as boasting how ASEAN could implement the ASEAN Economic Integration by 2010, 5 years ahead of schedule.
Philippines and Myanmar, I see the Philippines ratifying it before Myanmar, as the former already gave a statement on their change-of-heart. This is good, as once 9-member states ratify the Asean Charter, Myanmar will feel the pressure to ratify it before the 14th Asean Summit this December at Bangkok, Thailand, where it all began.
In fact, there will be a celebration already scheduled for the ratification of the ASEAN Charter by all 10-member countries, this will be held at the Saranrom Palace, where the ASEAN Declaration was signed on 8th of August 1967, 41 years ago by that time. Truly historic and a day to remember.
And I expect that this year’s ASEAN Day, as per the ASEAN Charter, all 10-member countries must recognize, it will be a great day of celebration and the best time to spread ASEAN to the people themselves (enough of the Elite level media hyping). After all, August 8, 2008 is 888, for those who believes in numerology. What will happen on that day? I don’t know, but I sure hope it will be positively memorable, and all countries declare it an official non-working holiday.
Congratulations to Cambodia! Thank you for your support of the ASEAN Charter, my Asean brothers and sisters!!
“Asia’s Perfect 10″ founder, Denith, told us last week that Cambodia ratified the ASEAN Charter already, but news didn’t came out until today. I can only imagine how it is like to see and hear TV and Radio stations filled with “ASEAN” and the “ASEAN Charter". I have yet to see and hear reports about it here in the Philippines.
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PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has committed the initial release of P100 million to Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. to jumpstart the development and construction of an international seaport in Sual town.
The President made the announcement to local leaders before she left Pangasinan during her visit to Binalonan last Saturday, according to Espino.
The Sual shipping port is estimated to cost around P400 million
The governor said he is elated that President Arroyo has recognized and supported the commercial seaport which he pointed out as “one of his long-term mega projects that will bring genuine progress for the province and make Pangasinan one of the country’s premier provinces.”
Aside from the seaport, President Arroyo also said in Binalonan that she will support other projects for Pangasinan such as the building of an airport, expressway, railroad and irrigation system.
The seaport construction will be jointly pursued by the provincial government , the municipality of Sual and the Philippine Ports Authority.
Its construction, according to Provincial Administrator Rafael Baraan, will greatly boost the province’s economy as this will lead to the establishment of a complementary economic zone for the whole province.
“We have so many aggregates in Pangasinan which are internationally highly competitive and if pursued, we will have no problem transporting these minerals to other destinations,” he said.
Aside from the seaport, the other long-term mega projects of the Espino Administration include the establishment and construction of a commercial airport, fish processing plant, food terminals, fish port, deep-sea fishing vessels, silos and warehouses for rice and corn.
ESTABLISHMENT of a first-ever Seafood Processing Facility here through a U.S. 2.2 million dollar grant from the Korean government is coming soon following the signing of the Record of Discussion (ROD) regarding the project in Quezon City last week.
The $2.2 million grant was sought by then House Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr., congressman of the fourth district of Pangasinan, from the Speaker of the Korean Parliament sometime in 2006.
In behalf of the Korean government, Kim In, resident representative of the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), signed the ROD with Dagupan City Mayor Alipio Fernandez Jr. and Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap, representing the Philippine Government.
The signing took place last February 14 at the DA central office.
The Korean grant will be used for the construction of the one-storey seafood processing plant measuring more than 1,700 square meters.
Included in the package is the provision of seafood processing equipment and materials, and training of Filipino officials and staff who will operate the project in Korea.
Based on the ROD, the implementing agencies of the project are KOICA for the Korean side and DA-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the City Government of Dagupan for the Philippine side.
The project is envisioned to upgrade the production and trading of seafood products from Dagupan City such as bangus, peneaus vannamei (White shrimp), tilapia and catfish.
The Seafood Processing Facility is designed to meet international standards on processing various aquatic species. Its users would be small or backyard fish processors so that they can export their products.
THE much-awaited Bangus Festival in Dagupan sometime in April this year will go regional under the new city administration, according to Vice Mayor Belen Fernandez, chair of this year’s festival executive committee.
Fernandez said in this year’s festival slated from April 16 to May 1, the city will invite people from other parts of the region to attend the merry celebration that will again showcase the city’s premier product—bangus.
“We will not confine our activities solely for the enjoyment of the people of Dagupan City but also for people in the other parts of the Ilocos Region who we will invite to participate,” said Fernandez, who owns a chain of shopping malls and supermarkets in northern Luzon.
On April 16, it will be a slam bang opening as the locals and their guests will be immediately treated to the exciting “Gilon, Gilon”, Pangasinan’s crude and most effective way of harvesting bangus right from the pond.
The other top feature is the “Festival of Festivals” on April 30 where another “Gilon-Gilon will be featured in the morning, including a street dancing competition in the afternoon among champions of different municipalities and cities in Pangasinan and other provinces.
This will likely draw participants from far and wide because the top prize in store for the winner is a whooping P250,000.
Fernandez said that in the crowd-drawing street-dancing competition, not only the dancers will be given importance but also the choreographers who will also be receive their respective prizes.
She said the main activity, which is the grilling of bangus in the street and in public view will be retained but the city will not aim to break into the Guinness world record again as it already achieved this in the past.
A bangus rodeo will also be held, chaired by Councilor Lino Fernandez, a bangus magnate of Dagupan himself.
So far, the city is already negotiating for the coming of popular rock bands from Metro Manila, like “Parokya ni Edgar”, “Bamboo”, “Kamikaze” and the others while television giant ABS-CBN will bring to the city its musicale “ASAP” live.
The “Bikini Open” will be held on May 1 at Tondaligan Park as part of the celebration of the “Pista’y Dayat”.
Fernandez said that unlike in the past Bangus Festivals, it is the local businessmen of Dagupan who will be given importance and allowed to display and sell their products in the day trade fairs.
“It was usually businessmen from other places who were invited to come and sell their wares in the city during the Bangus Festival. But in the coming festivities, Mayor Alipio Fernandez deemed that we should give priority and importance to the business sector of Dagupan,” the vice mayor said.
In the cookfest that will feature the “101 Ways to Cook Bangus”, it will be the local restaurateurs who will participate to enable them to promote and showcase their specialties in culinary arts. (PNA)
VIGAN CITY—The passage of priority legislation continues even as the Senate is pursuing the investigation on the National Broadband Network controversy.
This was disclosed by Senate President Manuel Villar during a press conference last Thursday during a brief stop-over in Vigan on his way to Laoag, Ilocos Norte.
Villar said the Senate passed 21 bills since the opening of the First Regular Session of the 14th Congress, including eight of nine priority legislation identified by the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC).
Among the most significant bills passed recently in Senate, Villa said, were the following: the Cheaper Medicine bill, banning of reappointment of a regular member of the Judicial and Bar Council who already served his full term, a bill decriminalizing vagrancy, increasing the additional benefits of World War II veterans from P1,500 to P5,000.
“Our achievement is record-setting since the chamber is not usually able to pass measures during the First Regular Session,” Villar said.
“Our focus remains fixed on the passage of priority legislation that will benefit our common people. This is simultaneous with our current investigation on the ZTE-NBN deal aimed at ferreting out the truth,” Villar added. (PNA)
THE government has set as one of its top priorities the development of bio-power as an alternative source of energy in order to help reduce the country’s dependency on imported oil and oil products.
Dr. Enrie Mendoza, presidential assistant for Northern Luzon, told newsmen here that the program was endorsed by the Regional Development Council of Ilocos-Pangasinan headed by Ilocos Sur Governor Deogracias Savellano.
Mendoza said the program intends to bring about self-sufficiency on bio-ethanol, the blended mixture for petrochemicals, and the use of solar power in order to energize homes in remote villages yet to be reached by electricity.
He said production of bio-ethanol will be pursued through the massive planting of sweet sorghum in all feasible areas. He pointed out that sweet sorghum is a good source of bio-ethanol that can be mixed with gasoline in order to run engines.
In seeking massive production of sweet sorghum, Mendoza said that the region is very lucky because the Don Mariano Marcos State University in Batac, Ilocos Norte has already acquired a four to five-year experience in production of sweet sorghum seeds.
“We are now disseminating the technology (in the planting of sweet sorghum) to the farmers, aside from the fact that plantations for sweet sorghum are already in several sites,” he said.
He added that priority targets of the massive planting of sweet sorghum, among others, are farmers who do not earn enough incomes from their present crops and who want to shift to this bio-ethanol producing crop.
Sorghum is a cash crop essentially used for animal feeds. But molasses can be produced from its sweet juices.
Sweet sorghum can be planted anywhere, even in arid lands, which the Ilocos-Pangasinan region has plenty of, Mendoza stressed.
He said in promoting the planting of sweet sorghum, the government, through the Department of Agriculture, is now coming out with several models or demonstration farms in the barangay level.
At the same time, Mendoza said that the search for alternative energy source will be exemplified through the use of solar or wind power for the purpose of the common household in the region.
“Maybe, solar power is more appropriate here in Region 1 because of the continued sunshine for almost nine months of the year or year-round,” Mendoza said.
Mendoza sees “solarization” as the answer to the problems of villages that can not be reached by electric lines, adding that there are several areas that are now being piloted for the project.
He said he will ask the Pangasinan State University to pilot the putting up of solar power that will energize a far-flung barangay in San Nicolas, Pangasinan that requested for the project.
Solar power is also being sought in the more interior areas of La Union, Ilocos Sur and Cordilleras, adding that the hinterland town of Del Pilar, Ilocos Sur already has one. (PNA)
SAN FERNANDO CITY—The buildings and machineries of the Bauang Private Power Corporation (BPPC) in barangay Payocpoc Sur in Bauang town is now in the hands of the provincial government.
This was after a public auction held on February 1, 2008 at the provincial Capitol in San Fernando City, La Union which was won by the provincial government.
The public auction was conducted because of the failure and refusal of BPCC to pay its real property tax for its buildings and facilities from 1995 to 2007 amounting to P1.866 billion.
The public auction was witnessed by local officials led by Congressman Victor F. Ortega, Governor Manuel C. Ortega, Vice Gov. Eulogio Clarence Martin P. de Guzman III, Bauang Mayor Robert P. de Guzman, lawyers led by Manuel M. Lazaro and Associates, barangay officials and concerned citizens.
The auction sale of the buildings and properties was the culmination of the protracted legal battle between the province and BPPC, lasting for almost seven years.
The case went through four different bodies, starting from the Local Board of Assessment Appeals (LBAA), the Central Board of Assessment Appeals (CBAA), the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) and finally the Supreme Court.
The province assessed BPPC for real property taxes on its machineries and equipment in 2000. However, the company sought an exemption from paying the RPT before the LBAA in Case No. 01-99.
The LBAA ruled that the properties are not exempt from RPT and that BPPC, as registered owner, is liable to pay the same.
The LBAA ruling was affirmed by the CBAA in Case No. L-32 and then by the CTA in CTAEB Nos. 51 and 58 and finally by the Supreme Court in GR. No. 173811 when it denied BPPC’s Petition seeking to set aside the decision of the CTA.
BPCC’s motion for reconsideration with the SC was denied finally on February 26, 2007. On April 3, 2007, the Resolution of the Supreme Court dismissing BPPC’s petition became final and executory.
Following this judgment against BPPC and in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Code of 1991, the province sent BPPC a Notice of Delinquency in the amount of P1.866 billion representing delinquent taxes, inclusive of penalties from June 1995 to July 2007.
BPPC however failed to settle the amount, leaving the province no recourse but to auction off the assets of the power corporation.
The auction sale was conducted by the Provincial Public Auction Committee constituted by Ortega per his Executive No. 001, series of 2008 and chaired by Provincial Treasurer Francis Estigoy. (PNA)
BANI—This town was adjudged recently as the Most Child-Friendly Municipality in Region 1 due to its continuing efforts in helping abused children and those in conflict with law.
The award was conferred to the municipality by a multi-government panel composed of the Departments of Social Welfare and Development, Health, Education, and the National Economic Development Authority.
Haydee Rapivo, a nurse, oversees the operations of the CPU, a first in Region 1 and only the second throughout the country.
Initiated by the Municipal Council for the Welfare of Children (MCWC) chaired by Mayor Marcelo Navarro Jr., the CPU receives a grant from the Plan Philippines Inc., a non-government organization.
Aside from this, the body gets a share from the mayor’s development fund.
The CPU was set up by then Mayor Gabriel Navarro which was continued by his brother Marcelo Jr. when he took over the reins of the municipal government in July 2007.
Records show that CPU served 26 cases from 2005 to 2006, mostly involving sexually abused children.
There were 22 other cases listed and attended to in 2007 where some victims were from Anda, Bolinao and Alaminos City. (PNA)
THE Philippine Council of Women, Inc.-Pangasinan Chapter has launched the “Search for Outstanding Women Achievers of Pangasinan” for 2008, a project that aims to recognize the extraordinary accomplishments of women in various fields of endeavor.
The announcement was made by Provincial Board Member Alice J. Pulido, PCWL-Pangasinan president, during a recent press briefing in Dagupan City.
The first of its kind to be launched in the province, the search is focused on achievers in community leadership and service, the performing arts (movie, stage, theater), entertainment, social welfare, entrepreneurship, diplomacy, journalism, culture/arts, travel and tourism, agriculture, education. sports and cottage industry.
A nominee, according to Pulido, must be a true-blue Pangasinense who excelled in her own fields of specialization and won honors for the province, either in the national stage or international arena.
Aside from Pulido the officers of the organization are: Irene Libunao, chairperson; Fe Soriano and Marilou Macanlalay, board of directors.
The candidates for the award should be nominated by either a person of respect or a reputable organization.
Nominations, supported by documents showing the candidate’s trailblazing record and biographical sketch, will be submitted to the PCWL-Pangasinan Chapter Secretariat, c/o Sally Navata, Office of SP Member Pulido, Capitol compound, Lingayen, Pangasinan. Navata may be reached at mobile phone 09214716887 or 09209523762.
SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union—The Regional Development Council of the Ilocos-Pangasinan area headed by Governor Deogracias Savellano has adopted agri-industrialization and tourism as major development thrusts of the region for the next three years.
The region’s economy, according to studies made by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), including one by Ms. Irene Ubungen of the graduate studies of Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU), is predominantly driven by agri-fishery and forestry sector and the services sector.
The industry sector contributes a meager portion to the region’s economy, the studies also revealed.
A deeper examination of the data however revealed that the industry sector’s overall effect to the region’s economy is overwhelming because it tends to dictate the region’s economy.
This means that when the industry sector is down in its performance, the region’s gross domestic product (GDP) follows suit, and vice-versa.
Savellano thus opted to pursue the industrialization of the agriculture sector, particularly on processing high value cash crops such as mango, tobacco, bangus, onion and garlic.
Industrialization of the agriculture sector will mean the realigning of funds and resources for manufacturing and processing of agricultural products.
On the other hand, NEDA Regional Director Leonardo N. Quitos, Jr., RDC vice chairman, mentioned that the non-metallic mineral resources of the region are another potential “growth driver”.
“Harnessing the full potential of the large deposits of gravel, sand and limestone for export to China and Taiwan could stimulate growth in the region’s economy”, said Quitos.
Department of Trade and Industry Regional Director Florante O. Leal pledged the full support of his office and his committee on economic development sector for the new development thrust of the RDC-1.
Savellano is optimistic that the region’s economy will improve with the invigoration of the agriculture-industry and tourism sector, and tapping the export potentials of the non-metallic resources of the region.
Sharing large files is easy nowadays due to the advent of P2P software like LimeWire, Morpheus, Ares etc, and file-sharing websites like Rapidshare, Megaupload, and others. However, most of these softwares or sites require waiting time and download before you can download another file. This becomes a dilemma with split downloads like movie clips, e-book downloads, and other large divided files (i.e. part 1, part 2, etc). You can only avoid waiting time and download limits by paying as premium user.
Yahoo! Mail, Gmail and other free e-mail service has attachment size limits (usually 5 MB). This attachment size is applicable only for documents, but not when sending large files as attachments like video clips, audio files, high resolution images, etc.
Pando is a great free P2P software that lets you share large files in blog posts, instant messengers and e-mail.
Send large e-mail attachments. Pando allows you to send up to 1GB of e-mail attachments through your free e-mail account.
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Malacanang is happy. See statement of Bunye below.
Influential Philippine Roman Catholic bishops slammed endemic government corruption Tuesday but stopped short of urging President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to resign.
The statement by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, issued after a 10-hour emergency meeting, was a small victory for Mrs Arroyo’s efforts to serve out the last two years of her term amid widespread calls for her to step down.
Wait, there’s more!: Earn money from your blog! Sell link ads and blog your way to the bank.
I’ve gotten a lot of searches and inquiries on this site regarding Killion Merchandising in Quiapo. Killion is a very familiar name among people in the food service industry. However, the connection escapes me since I don’t go to this store much; however, I presume you’d have more affinity with Killion if you own a restaurant, baking or catering business. What is good, as I found out from my last visit, is that you can buy retail items here too - useful for when you’re just buying cookies for the family and not the whole banquet.
It was a once in a lifetime journey. An invitation for a photo Safari that can never be declined. So last February together some some 20+ other photographer, bloggers, tech writers flew to the beautiful province of Batanes. To say that Batanes is beautiful is an understatement. You need to be there to actually feel its real beauty. From the rolling hills, wind swept mountains, whistling wind, to the animals running wild and free. Batanes is like a gemstone. Unpolished, yet still exudes a natural beauty. A gemstone that has been kept in a jewl box where only a handful has actually seen or wear it.
Following is Luli Arroyo’s letter in the Kaibigan ni GMA yahoo.group
Original Message —–
From: “luli_arroyo” [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: 02/14/2008 05:16 AM GMT
Subject: [kgma] on trying to bring down my mother
Here’s my full statement. Unfortunately ABS-CBN has been very unfair
Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan has this to say about Gloria Arroyo’s belated admission that indeed there were irregularities in the NBN/ZTE deal:
Glaring contraditions cast serious doubts on the credibility and truthfulness pf PGMA’s admission.
Malacañang said no hard evidence of irregularities then. Now, PGMA says irregularities pushed her to cancel the contract. So, what’s the truth?
Wait, there’s more!: Buy her a gift this Valentines! or send her flowers!
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