Palawan News December 2015

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Palawan - Archived News

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Dietary supplement is a product that contains vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, enzymes, and/or other ingredients intended to supplement the diet. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has special labeling requirements for dietary supplements and treats them as foods, not drugs.

Manufacturers and distributors of dietary supplements and dietary ingredients are prohibited from marketing products that are adulterated or misbranded. That means that these firms are responsible for evaluating the safety and labeling of their products before marketing to ensure that they meet all the requirements of DSHEA and FDA regulations.

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Undergroud River in Palawan
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Underground river in Pureto Princesa, Palawan
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Baracuda Lake, Coron, Palawan

Wars of ancient history were about possessions, territory, power, control, family, betrayal, lover's quarrel, politics and sometimes religion.

But we are in the Modern era and supposedly more educated and enlightened .

Think about this. Don't just brush off these questions.

  • Why is RELIGION still involved in WARS? Isn't religion supposed to be about PEACE?
  • Ask yourself; What religion always campaign to have its religious laws be accepted as government laws, always involved in wars and consistently causing WARS, yet insists that it's a religion of peace?


There are only two kinds of people who teach tolerance:
  1. The Bullies. They want you to tolerate them so they can continue to maliciously deprive you. Do not believe these bullies teaching tolerance, saying that it’s the path to prevent hatred and prejudice.
  2. The victims who are waiting for the right moment to retaliate. They can’t win yet, so they tolerate.
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U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie A. Kenney and USAID/Philippines Environment Office Chief Daniel Moore witness the safe and sustainable collection of ornamental fish by certified Marine Aquarium Council collectors in Palawan

PCSD defers Water District SEP clearance


THE PALAWAN Council for Sustainable Development opted to defer the issuance of a Strategic Environmental Plan (SEP) Clearance to the proposed Montible and Lapu-lapu dams of the Puerto Princesa City Water District and advised the agency to talk again with the City Government.

Palawan Gov. Jose C. Alvarez who also sits as PCSD Chairman said Water District should first talk with the City Government and that the two should cooperate with one another to resolve whatever differences they have. The city Government has also submitted its own proposal for a bulk water project but the source is the same with the PPCWD proposal.

PPCWD General Manager Antonio Jesus Romasanta however contradicted Alvarez saying that they have given their full cooperation. Romasanta said that they have already talked with the City Government but the Board of Directors or his office have not received a single document regarding their own proposal.

Romasanta likewise rebutted Alvarez’ statement saying the water district management is not asking for his assistance to secure water rights from the Department of Justice since the two proposed sources are within the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Corrections. “How can I help you when you are not asking,” Alvarez said. “I have already talked to former Justice Secretary De Lima but she is adamant to give the rights because you do not have clearance yet,” he added. Romasanta said it is not needed and what is more important is for the projects to push through which has been pending since the year 2014.

Despite the non-issuance of the SEP Clearance, Romasanta however said that he is still confident that council members will change their minds and that they will be able to secure the requirements for the project in time before their present source of water again runs short of supply. While he said that sometimes he feels hopeless, he said he is still confident that the project will push through.

ONP ready for Iwas Paputok 2015


The Department of Health (DOH) – MIMAROPA (Oriental/Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) today assures the residents of Puerto Princesa City in Palawan that Ospital ng Palawan (ONP) is equipped and ready to admit firecracker injuries and provide prompt and immediate medical treatment to victims of firecracker and pyrotechnics.

“We are again appealing to all adults to supervise children this holiday season and exercise extreme vigilance and caution against using firecrackers and pyrotechnics and instead encourage them to use alternative noise makers like hooters, sirens and playing loud music,” Regional Director Eduardo C. Janairo stated.

“Don’t risk your life, your family and friends by lighting up a firecracker and teasingly throwing it upwards or near a crowd of people. When you see children playing with firecrackers, seize it immediately and put it away. Remind them on the dangers of lighting a firecracker and the injuries they may sustain,” he emphasized.

According to records from ONP, there were _18 reported injury cases from firecrackers in Palawan in 2014, 80 percent higher compared to the 10 reported cases in 2013. Ospital ng Palawan is a DOH-retained hospital and one of the sentinel sites of Iwas Paputok 2015.

According to Janairo, all health facilities in the region will be placed in Code White Alert from December 21, 2015 to January 5, 2016, in preparation for any injuries and incidents from firecrackers and pyrotechnics. All hospital personnel will be on standby for deployment and augmentation as the need arises for additional medical and other emergency services.

DOH-MIMAROPA together with representatives from the City Health Office, Philippine National Police (PNP) will be conducting pre-christmas and New Year rounds both in private and government health facilities around the city to ensure health and safety of everyone and that no illegal fireworks will be distributed and sold.

The Philippine National Police Firearms and Explosives Office (PNP-FEO) will conduct inspection in all retailers of firecrackers around the city and confiscate any illegal items that may be found selling in stores. They will also arrest officers and local citizens who will fire indiscriminately during the celebration of Christmas and New Years Eve.

The Iwas Paputok Campaign 2015 with the theme “Sa Ingay Walang Sablay, sa Paputok may Goodbye,”was launched on December 7, 2015. Its objective is to remind the public against using firecrackers and pyrotechnics and resort to safer choices instead.

DOST launches int’l ICT business incubation, startup hub in Palawan

By Edd K. Usman

Filipinos with bright ideas on information and communications technology (ICT) leading to a startup business can now count for help from an ICT hub in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.

It’s because the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and its partners have just launched the Philippines’ first international ICT business incubator early this month.

DOST-MIMAROPA collaborated with Palawan State University (PSU), Palaweño ICT Association (PICTA), and Make a Difference (MAD) Industries of Malaysia for the hub they opened at the Palawan State University-Main Campus in Puerto Princesa City.

It’s called the Palawan International ICT Business Incubator cum Startup Hub (Palawan ITBI).

Wikipedia says ‎”a business incubator… is a company that helps new and startup companies” while “a startup…is an entrepreneurial venture or a new business in the form of a company” looking “for a repeatable and scalable business model.”

DOST-MIMAROPA (Misamis Oriental and Occidental, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan) said the Palawan ITBI will serve as a hub for local “technopreneurs” to help them develop their tech-relevant ideas into world-class products.

Technology-based startups have been sprouting in the region, the agency noted.

It’s where “ideas can be transformed into products and startups can be guided to become fully-fledged entrepreneurs,” said Director Josephine Abilay, head of DOST-MIMAROPA, said of the hub they opened on December 14.

In a statement, the regional agency expressed confidence in realizing the goals of DOST, PSU, and PICTA, “namely, to nurture technopreneurship, promote public-private partnership in the development of MIMAROPA, create more jobs, and introduce local technology ventures into the ASEAN Economic Community as well as the East ASEAN Growth Area which consists of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.”

ASEAN is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations comprising of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar,‎ Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The Palawan ITBI will be run under the MAD Incubator management framework and a partnership between a successful MAD Incubator owned by Andrew Wong.

Among those who witnessed the Palawan ITDI launching included outgoing PSU President Jeter Sespeñe, Elliot Hsu of Taiwan-based Hand Link Corporation, City Councilor and ICT Committee Chairman Eleutherius Edualino, students and faculty members from PSU, and media representatives.

It can be recalled the DOST-ICT Office has been a strong supporter of startups in the country.

The ICT Office has been a partner of many of the local startup advocates and stakeholders.

The day France’s ex-first lady roamed Busuanga

By Cathy Cañares-Yamsuan (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

WITNESSES said Valerie Trierweiler’s escorts from the Philippine Navy panicked when she suddenly left her hotel in Busuanga, Palawan, to enjoy a short stroll around the vicinity some nights ago.

Trierweiler was not exactly an anonymous tourist.

She is former first lady of France and was in the island to witness the inauguration of two newly constructed buildings for the Concepcion National High School (CNHS), as well as the turnover of new school facilities.

Two years back, a CNHS building was among those destroyed by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” in Palawan. Secours Populaire Français (SPF), a nonprofit based in France, played a key role in making sure the school is rebuilt better.

Trierweiler is regarded as SPF’s “godmother.”

Still a high-profile personality in France even after her breakup with President Francois Hollande two years ago, the French journalist is using her star power to help SPF draw attention to the plight of the marginalized across the globe.

The children of Busuanga are now all too aware of Trierweiler’s success in convincing her countrymen to help them.

‘Thank you’

From nearby houses, they quickly gathered around Trierweiler and followed her once she stepped out of the Corto del Mar. Some reached out to grab her hand. Soon it became difficult to go farther so the children just walked her back to her hotel.

Though they spoke no French and her English was limited, that impromptu meet-up was the children’s way of saying “thank you” to the strange woman who made sure they would stay in school. Busuanga managed to get SPF’s attention after Danny Rayos del Sol, vice president of the Quezon City chapter of the Children’s International Summer Villages (CISV), began a fund-raising activity to help “Yolanda” victims in Palawan via his social media account.

“Though Tacloban is the first place that comes to mind when one thinks about ‘Yolanda’ … Palawan was [also] badly hit … but [this] escaped the media’s attention,” he explained.

SPF, founded in 1945 to fight poverty and exclusion while promoting solidarity among nations, immediately proposed emergency relief operations.

Rayos del Sol set up the Philippine-based Mirasol Outreach Foundation Inc. (Mofi) to aid SFP’s efforts in Palawan.

Immediately, SPF national secretary Ismail Hassouneh flew to Busuanga to supervise an assessment and draw up a plan for the area’s “rehabilitation, recovery and development,” Rayos del Sol said.

Soon there were three “successful emergency operations” in selected barangays, and the effort shifted to recovery and rehabilitation by April the following year.

In CNHS specifically, two buildings housing eight classrooms were built with a 120-square-meter fully equipped library and toilets “through the assistance” of Mofi and SPF, Rayos del Sol said. Electricity and a water system were also provided.

Former Senator and Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery Panfilo Lacson, Busuanga Mayor Samuel de Jesus, Vice Mayor Elizabeth Cervantes, doctors Gilbert Sadsad and Servillano Arzaga of the Department of Education and Philippine Navy Commodore Jorge Amba were in attendance.

Rayos del Sol said the local guests “were all instrumental in facilitating the project locally.”

Aside from Trierweiler and Hassouneh, other SPF officers who attended the inauguration were its president Julien Laupretre, SPF Fed du Moselle president Marie Francoise Thull and SPF Fed du Lyon president Sebastian Thollot.

Triple enrollment

The SPF-Mofi partnership also resulted in the construction of a 200-sq-m Busuanga Multi-Purpose Hall and the creation of the Busuanga Weavers Cooperative Association.

But more than the CNHS facelift, Rayos del Sol said the SPF-Mofi’s “biggest achievement” would be the increase in the number of students who can now go to school.

“Enrolment in this school tripled in one year. I think this was because the new facilities and supplies made the school very conducive to learning,” Rayos del Sol noted.

“Before the start of our project, there were 128 students enrolled in CNHS. Today, the school has 332 high school students. This is expected to increase in the coming years,” he added.

Trierweiler sat down with Inquirer Lifestyle for an exclusive interview before returning to France.

Speaking through Filipino translator Amy Loste, she said her job as a political journalist and contributor for Paris Match magazine allowed her to cover catastrophes the world over.

From her exposures, Trierweiler noted that SPF school projects are especially important because these make a huge impact on the lives of children. Child welfare is also one of SPF’s main advocacies, she added.

SPF’s Hassouneh said the group’s main project following emergency operations was two-fold: set up livelihood programs and construct new school buildings.

When he arrived post-“Yolanda,” the children in the area had only a “very small school” that many could access only after walking eight kilometers.

SPF has done similar school projects in Haiti and Japan after violent earthquakes ravaged these countries in recent years.


Trierweiler said she is “very happy that the school is finished. The suffering of the children is alleviated.” The school buildings have electricity, toilets and a steady water supply. Hassouneh said SPF also provided the children with books for a library and computers.

“SPF cannot resolve all the problems in the world. That is not our objective, but we [have] decided to stay in the Philippines and develop another project,” he added, without going into specifics.

SPF is regarded as the biggest humanitarian organization in France. It turned 70 years old this year and is visible in 60 countries.

It is particularly concerned with issues of poverty and exclusion. In emergencies, SPF delivers food, clothing and immediate housing. SPF also supports causes including access to housing, health, culture and leisure, sports and professional integration. As part of its commitment to international cooperation, SPF hosts an annual camp for children every August called Copain du Monde.

(Sophia Paez, daughter of broadcast journalist Patrick Paez and Daphne Oseña, met Trierweiler when she attended Copain’s annual event in France this year. Seventy thousand children from across the globe were there. Paez wrote a story that was published by Inquirer Lifestyle’s travel section.)

Trierweiler said SPF remains undaunted despite the terrorist attacks in Paris last month. In fact, SPF continues to operate in the periphery of Syria despite reports that the terrorist group ISIS staged the attacks in retaliation against the French air strikes in Syria and Iraq.

“The role of SPF is to continue normally, to always make sure that we do not leave anyone behind, especially the children regardless of ideology, religion, color … just any child in need. The best way to combat racism is to keep helping,” she stressed.

After the interview, Trierweiler shed off her serious look and tried her English.

“I’ve been on trips with the President (Hollande) but never to the Philippines. It’s a very beautiful place. I hope to be back,” she said.

Then she spoke in a near-whisper: “Have you been to Paris? It’s beautiful. Paris is not dangerous despite the attacks. It’s still like any other place.”

New Paleco BOD Chair in hot water for lack of academic qualification

By Joy Tabuada

The newly installed chairman of the Board of Directors of Palawan Electric Cooperative, Jeffrey Y. Tan-Endriga, is facing the prospect of getting removed from his position if it is proven that he lacks the academic qualification for membership in the Board.

Dr. Antonio P. Cabrestante filed a complaint against Endriga with the National Electrification Administration in which the former questions the latter’s qualification to run as director of Paleco in the election in 2014, to represent District VIII (Quezon and Rizal towns) of the electric cooperative.

According to Dr. Cabrestante, Endriga did not have a college bachelor’s degree at the time of the election, contrary to what the latter stated in his sworn certificate of candidacy for the election of Paleco District VIII representative to the Board that was held on December 13, 2014.

“Director Endriga lied” and “committed perjury” in his Notarized Certificate of Candidacy, Cabrestante said in his complaint to Paleco Board of Directors dated December 17, 2015, attaching copies of Endriga’s Transcript of Record and Diploma, “neither of which the latter submitted when he ran for directorship in the Board”.

Based on the copy of the diploma that Endriga submitted later, the same states that he is a graduate of Bachelor of Arts in Political Science major in Local Government Administration (Executive Program) at the University of Makati on August 19, 2015.

“He declared in his Certificate of Candidacy that he is college degree holder as of 2014 samantalang ang nakalagay sa diploma niya na siya ay na confer na graduate lamang noong August 2015. Kaya noong nag-file siya ay hindi pa siya graduate,” Cabrestante said.

“They have to act on this urgent matter because the outcome of this complaint will affect the decision of the board,” Cabrestante said as he urged the Paleco Board for an immediate action on the issue he raised in his complaint with it, considering that Endriga’s qualification to function as chair and his decisions will have an impact on the member consumers of Paleco in spite of his questionable qualification to act as such.

In a letter response of Paleco Manager Ric Zambales to Milagros Quinajon, director of Institutional Development Department of NEA, pertaining to the foresaid accusation of Dr. Cabrestante against Endriga, the former said that the latter submitted a Certification dated November 28, 2014from the University of Makati, duly signed by Dr. Edison Delos Trinos Tapia, attesting that Endriga has finished the course. “The Screening Committee did not solely rely on the Certification but verified the authenticity of the document,” Zambales said in his letter.

Zambales also stated in his letter that “The Paleco Election Code provides as one of the qualifications a candidate (for Board Directorship) should possess is that he is a graduate of bachelor’s degree, (which) cannot be proven by a transcript of record or diploma alone. In the absence of these documents, other documents may be presented which prove that an applicant for directorship is a graduate of bachelor’s degree, such as the certification coming from the University of Makati where he finished his course.”

In an interview with Endriga, he said that he got his bachelor degree in the form of modular system of education that is equivalent to a four-year course. “Inipon ang lahat ng certification ko during the time na ako ay councillor. Ito ay programa ng Philippine Councilors League at University of Makati. Ito ay nire-recognize ng gobyerno,” Endriga said.

Endriga stressed that their learning session ended on the fourth quarter of 2014, although his diploma was issued only in August 2015. “Ang lecture namin natapos ng fourth quarter ng 2014. Alam naman natin na ang special order galing sa CHED will take time,” he said.

Still a no-go for freedom voyage


MEMBERS of the Kalayaan Atin Ito movement are still hoping that their plan to sail to the Kalayaan Group of Islands dubbed as Freedom Voyage will push through despite hitting several snags for more than two weeks now.

The group are now stationed in Bgy. Buenavista where they are awaiting go signal for their planned trip.

They arrived in Puerto Princesa City last December 4 and temporarily stayed in Palawan State University. They then proceeded to Bgy. Buenavista last December 12 where they set-up camp sites and are staying in tents.

The youth group has long been planning to go on a month-long trip to the disputed West Philippine Sea where the municipality of Kalayaan is located along with several other islands which is being contested by the Philippines and other countries particularly china, claiming the territory. KAI movement wants to send a protest message to China against its encroachment and poaching in several territories being claimed by the Philippines through Freedom Voyage.

Government agencies particularly Western Command and the Philippine Coast Guard however are adamant to give green light to the group’s plan expressing concern over the dangers that they might encounter during the trip.

Wescom officials also said that should the freedom voyage not push through, the group can still look for alternatives to air their sentiments.

Members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan also aired their concern during their last regular session for the year.

3 held for attempted murder, drugs

By Alfred P. Dalizon

THREE men will spend Christmas and the coming New Year in jail after they were arrested by agents of the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group on separate felonies last Monday and Tuesday, PNP-CIDG director Chief Supt. Victor P. Deona said yesterday.

Deona said two of the suspects, identified as Ferdinand de la Torre alias ‘Sonny,’ 50, driver, and Melandro Paigma, alias ‘Mags,’ 32, both of Bgy. Poblacion in Narra, Palawan, were arrested for attempted murder inside the Narra public market last Monday afternoon.

The official said operatives of the CIDG Palawan and the local police under the supervision of Supt. Zacarias Noel Villegas arrested the two on the strength of a warrant for attempted murder issued by Judge Ambrocio de Luna of the Puerto Princesa City Regional Trial Court Branch 51.

The two are now being held at the local CIDG detention facility.

Last Tuesday, CIDG Region 2 operatives arrested Christian Marlowee Agcaoili, 34, of Bgy. 1, San Mateo, Isabela, who is the subject of a warrant for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 issued by Judge Reymundo Aumentado of the Cauayan, Isabela RTC Branch 20, said CIDG regional chief Senior Supt. Froilan Perez.

The suspect was detained at the CIDG jail in Isabela.

Palawan resort joins world travel mart

(Manila Times)

Buyers from UK, Germany, France, Russia, Switzerland and more were in attendance in one of the travel industry’s most important events of the year.

Targeting the elite adventurous traveler, Huma Island Resort & Spa was among this year’s delegates under the Philippine Department of Tourism, that attended the World Travel Mart 2015.

A cocktail reception was hosted by the resort in cooperation with premium Lebanese wine Chateau Musar, which is also served at the resort.

Baron Travel’s Marilen Sandejas Yaptangco and Intas Travel, Fina Joven were one of the many WTM participants that were treated to a taste of the resort’s Middle-Eastern vibe and world renowned Filipino hospitality.

Huma Island Resort and Spa boasts its uninterrupted view of the ocean in their water villas with private, ample dining options serving the freshest catch of the day, colorful marine life, mysterious sunken wrecks of Japanese warships and planes, which are considered to be one of the best diving spots in the Philippines.

Travellers are treated with exclusivity which starts with an hour and 20 minutes private seaplane ride from Manila Bay for an adventure getaway to recharge, feel more connected with nature, escape from the hustle and bustle of city life and discover a whole new world waiting for them to explore.

Light up the Night: Fireworks in Puerto Princesa

By Karina Mae Funesto

Fireworks put emphasis and wonder in every celebration. It’s loud, bright but fleeting. It’s never a question why we love the sight of exploding colors in the sky or booming noises on the ground, but the question of what we prefer. But there is danger in beauty.

Last year, according to the data collected by the National Epidemiology Center (NCE) from 50 sentinel private and public hospitals, at least 860 cases of fireworks-related injuries occurred nationwide. These results were recorded from December 21, 2014 to January 5, 2015.

The Department of Health (DOH) launched its Iwas-Paputok campaign on December 7, 2015. Will it be as effective as the campaign of 2014 where cases dropped in comparison to 2013 which recorded 1,013 cases? But what about the fireworks industry in the Philippines? They are challenged too since the government pushes for the use of alternative means of celebrating the holiday season. Campaign against fireworks or promote responsible use of fireworks? Which campaign are we willing to support?

In Puerto Princesa City, firework dealers have built their stalls at the San Jose New Pubic Market entrance. Each stall boasts an array of fireworks. A familiar sight that appears yearly. Dealers offer affordable fireworks and kid-friendly ones like sparklers. Their most expensive fireworks are the ones in boxes which are valued at thousands of pesos. The dealers get their supply from Bulacan, the fireworks capital of the country.

In Puerto Princesa City, firework dealers have built their stalls at the San Jose New Pubic Market entrance. Each stall boasts an array of fireworks. A familiar sight that appears yearly. Dealers offer affordable fireworks and kid-friendly ones like sparklers. Their most expensive fireworks are the ones in boxes which are valued at thousands of pesos. The dealers get their supply from Bulacan, the fireworks capital of the country.

The supot term known to avid buyers of fireworks can be attributed to the following: if the agent used to seal firecrackers or the fuse didn’t set properly, if the fireworks got wet, and if the buyer didn’t open the package properly. Dealers offer instructions regarding the correct way of using certain fireworks like the ones in boxes. Aside from selling fireworks, they also cater to establishments or private individuals who want to avail a fireworks show. The fee varies depending on the duration of the show and the dealer.

According to dealers, the popular fireworks are kwitis and fountains. The fireworks that can elicit a “wow” from people are the ones in boxes. These are the ones that light up the sky in varying colors and shapes. Stalls also sell torotot or horns priced at around P3.00 to P100.00 each.

It has been a tradition in our country to light up fireworks during Christmas and New Year. It is something that cannot be erased in our celebrations easily. What we can do is prepare and take fireworks seriously or come up with better alternatives.

Decision of new Paleco Board chair to sign DMCI’s Supplemental PSA upsets civil society

By By Joy Tabuada

The civil society group in the Province of Palawan is dismayed by the decision of newly installed chairman of the board of Palawan Electric Cooperative Jeffrey Tan Endriga to sign the supplemental Power Supply Agreement of DMCI Power Corporation.

In a letter of the Palawan Alliance for Clean Energy it urged the board to revisit and reconsider its approval of the proposed Supplemental PSA.

The board (by a majority vote) approved the supplemental agreement despite several issues raised by civil society.

PACE enumerated some of the many contentious issues regarding the supplemental PSA like the absence of corroboration with the Energy Regulatory Commission on the rate to be charged by DMCI; there was no Grid Impact Study that has to conducted by DMCI to measure the impact of bunker technology on the performance of the grid; use of old bunker engines with no assurance they will run reliably or economically because the engines are almost 20 years old; DMCI’s failure to comply with its PSA which is in default for not delivering the Guaranteed Dependable Capacity.

It also raised the complaints of residents living near the DMCI’s diesel power plant in Brgy. Irawan which produces too much noise. This issue has reached the City Council of Puerto Princesa and has been under investigation for three years.

“We strongly believe the PALECO BOD should hold in abeyance the execution of the Supplemental agreement and instead open the discussion on this matter to its member-consumers. The resolution of these issues is imperative before the BOD embarks on a new agreement with DMCI,” PACE said in their letter.

Jeffrey Endriga, said that DMCI Power Corporation has already explained the issue on the tariff or cost of electricity it will be charged to Paleco saying that it is lower compared to other independent power producers.

“Kanina na explain na ang taripa. Actually, makakamura tayo kasi wala tayong minimum off-take sa halip kung ano lang ang energy delivered nila yun lang ang sisingilin not like the other IPP’s na may minimum off-take,” Endriga said.

He said that he will sign the Supplemental PSA in the first week of January (2016).

Endriga added that DMCI has requested PALECO to give them (DMCI) ample time to settle their penalty amounting to almost P10M.

“Sa kanilang sulat humihingi sila(DMCI) ng ample time para –settle yan kasi mayroon din naman silang claim sa NPC,” Endriga said.

Puerto Princesa City Jail says no to prostitution, conducts info drive on HIV-AIDS among inmates

By Marlito Anza

According to the latest report by the Department of Health (DOH) this year, 20 new cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are diagnosed every day. This is almost 50 percent higher from the number of cases reported daily in 2012.

HIV leads to acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), a condition in which the body’s immune system is attacked and compromised, making the patient vulnerable to opportunistic diseases that would ultimately lead to death.

In 2014, there were a total of 6,011 new cases of HIV reported nationwide. Of this figure, 543 were reported as AIDS cases. Last year, 188 deaths were recorded.

These alarming reports led to different concerned agencies and organizations to take initiatives on increasing the level of awareness of the community regarding HIV-AIDS and how to prevent this virus.

On November 17, 2015, an information drive on Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) was successfully conducted to inmates of Puerto Princesa City Jail.

Seventy-four (74) residents became aware on causes, mode of transmission and prevention of HIV-AIDS. Pre-counseling was also conducted to inmates who submitted themselves for HIV testing.

The City Health Office of Puerto Princesa headed by Dra. Eunice Ponce de Leon-Herrera became the partner of the BJMP-Puerto Princesa City Jail Health Service Unit on the said initiative.

Jail Senior Inspector Ariel O. Pabulayan, Officer In-charge of Puerto Princesa City Jail stressed that the Bureau will not tolerate prostitution inside the jail and reminded the participants that only legally married inmates can enjoy the special conjugal visit as one of its contributions to the alarming reports.

At this time, the Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Plan Bill seeks to amend R.A. No. 8504 or the Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 1998, by harmonizing it with evidence-informed strategies and approaches on prevention, treatment, care, and support.

The Stop AIDS in Prisons Act, meanwhile, will create an HIV-AIDS awareness program in jails, provide comprehensive medical treatment to inmates living with HIV/AIDS, and protect prison guards and other personnel from infection.

With the passage of Republic Act 8504 otherwise known as the Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 1998, the country’s response to HIV/AIDS is now strengthened and concretized via the wide spectrum of provisions comprehensively contained in this law. This law also attempts to address major concerns involving various issues on human rights vis-a-vis public health and safety. RA 8504 gains popular recognition as an international “”best practice”” in the field of HIV/AIDS.

Palawan Prov’l Board approves PHP15M for BHW honorarium


PUERTO PRINCESA CITY (PNA) -- The Palawan Provincial Board (PB) approved Tuesday Governor Jose Alvarez’ over PHP15-million fund request for the honorarium of barangay health workers (BHWs) in the province.

The PB approved more than PHP15.93 million for the BHWs that will be charged from the provincial government's savings.

Board Member Leoncio Ola of the 1st Palawan District, chairman of the Committee on Appropriations, said more than 5,000 BHWs will benefit from the move of the provincial government to make the Christmas Season happy for them.

Ola said as of present, the BHWs have not been given any allowance for almost a year as volunteers, even the monthly PHP300 they were supposed to receive.

The Palawan PB approved the budget request in recognition of the BHWs help to bring health services to Palaweños.

Palawan triumphs anew in 2015 DSWD Regional Gawad Listahanan Awards

By Celeste Anna R. Formoso [(PNA), FPV/CARF/EBP]

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Dec. 15 (PNA) -- For the second time, Palawan was recognized in the 2015 Gawad Listahanan Awards by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in the whole MIMAROPA Region.

According to the Provincial Information Office (PIO) Monday, Palawan was given Php10,000 and a plaque of recognition as an outstanding province in the MIMAROPA on December 11 in an event held at a garden resort in Puerto Princesa.

The cash prize and the plaque were received by Helen Bundal of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) and Dominic Fresnillo of the PIO.

Puerto Princesa also received a special citation, as well as other municipal government units.

The awards and special citations were personally handed by DSWD MIMAROPA Regional Director Wilma Naviamos, who lauded Palawan Governor Jose Alvarez’ leadership and support to various sectors in terms of delivery of social services.

The PIO said further that the award was given to Palawan in recognition of its Local Social Pension (LSP) program that takes care of impoverished senior citizens by giving them monthly allowances, aside from those provided by the national government.

The LSP, which was funded with Php17-million this year is appropriately titled “Fostering Social Local Pensions for Indigent Senior Citizen Towards Social Development in Palawan.”

Listahanan is the new name for the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) of the DSWD.

It is an information management system that focuses on social needs of poor families in many communities.

The system is one of the methods the provincial government of Palawan is employing to determine what programs should be implemented to alleviate poverty, particularly in distant areas.

Hub for Palaweño ‘technopreneurs’ launched

By Keith Anthony S. Fabro [(PNA), FPV/CARF/KASF/EBP]

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Dec. 15 (PNA) -- Aspiring Palaweño “technopreneurs” can now develop their business ideas and earn from them through the help of the newly-launched Palawan Information and Communication Technology Business Incubator (PICTBI) at the Palawan State University (PSU) here.

The Technology Business Incubator (TBI), launched Monday at the PSU, was made possible through collaboration among the Department of Science and Technology-Region 4B (DOST-4B), and Palaweño ICT Association and international ICT companies based in Malaysia and Taiwan.

The TBI is the first of its kind in the Mindoro-Marinduque-Romblon-Palawan (MIMAROPA) Region that tapped international ICT companies.

Dr. Ma. Josefina Abilay, director of the DOST-4B Regional, in her speech delivered during the launching, said the technology business incubator will serve as a platform, “where ideas can be transformed into products and start-ups that can be guided to become full-pledged entrepreneurs.”

“The establishment of the TBI is just the initial step towards a goal that we all should envision to achieve, and that is to harness and unleash the imaginative and creative power of our human capital to conquer the world with exceptional, different and innovative products,” she added.

Abilay said it will specifically benefit students and graduates of computer-related courses from various higher education institutions in MIMAROPA, who have the drive to create ICT-based products that can compete in the global market.

“We are now at the point where we need to become visible in the global market. It is high time that we refrain from being passive consumers to becoming creators and producers of innovative ICT-based products,” said Abilay.

Incubatee can use the hub’s facility, and they will be provided with access to mentors, financial institutions, legal counselors and market, and also assistance in acquiring licenses.

“They can come here and have their business grow into maturity,” said the regional director.

Dr. Michael Pido, PSU Vice President for Research and Extension, was grateful that the university was chosen to house the TBI. He believes this newly-established hub would help drive economic development, and would further transform PSU as one of ICT centers in the country.

“We would like to produce graduates not simply to become employees but graduates who will become entrepreneurs in different fields like ICT,” said Pido, who will act as TBI’s overseer. Dr. Hanlie Taha, PSU Planning Office Director, meanwhile will serve as Palawan ICT Business Incubator manager.

The launching was also attended by outgoing PSU President Jeter Sespeñe and City Councilor and ICT Committee Chairman Eleutherius Edualino.

USAID to fund wildlife protection project in Palawan

By Celeste Anna R. Formoso [(PNA), RMA/CARF/EDS]

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Dec. 15 (PNA) -- The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is financing a five-year program for the protection of wildlife in the province in partnership with the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD).

The information was disclosed to members of the media in a get-together lunch Monday invited by PCSD Staff (PCSDS) Executive Director Nelso Devanadera.

The PCSDS is tasked by the multi-sectoral and inter-disciplinary body Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) to provide machinery to coordinate its policies and functions, implement programs, and organize services it requires.

Devanadera, who cannot give in detail yet how much fund the USAID is providing for the wildlife protection program, said implementation will start in April 2016.

The financing, according to Devanadera, will help the PCSD in further strengthening law enforcement against illicit wildlife activities, developing alternatives, capacity building, and technical assistance among others.

Devanadera said the USAID added Palawan in the two other areas – Mindoro and Zamboanga – it is helping in terms of wildlife protection.

PCSDS Wildlife Management Specialist Beth Lagrada explained that in terms of law enforcement, the USAID will finance efforts to toughen the engagement of communities in Palawan for residents to provide information regarding illegal wildlife activities happening in their areas.

Devanadera explained in addition that it is called “CLT-QRS,” or Community Listening Tools-Quick Response System.

He added that they will also revive the PCSD Konek, a quick response campaign launched in partnership with Smart Communications, whose concept is to the PCSD Staff to Palawan residents through the short messaging system (SMS).

The PCSD Konek helps in getting ground information on illegal activities against Palawan wildlife, and others.

Palawan as a mini-Thailand

By Bernardo M. Villegas

Today, Thailand may have lost some of its economic luster because of political and demographic problems. It has reverted to military rule and is already facing, very early in its development process, a demographic crisis. These challenges, however, do not take anything away from its outstanding success in tourism and agribusiness. More than 20 years ago, Thailand surpassed the Philippines in per capita income because of the way its leaders focused on building first-class infrastructures for its countryside and agricultural sector. Already in the 1980s, there was not a single small farm in the remotest parts of Thailand that was not within one kilometer from a good road. The admirable focus on farm-to-market roads, irrigation systems, post-harvest facilities and other rural infrastructures (including regional airports) killed two birds with one stone. It made the small farmers rich by helping them improve productivity and transport their produce to the markets cost effectively. At the same time, it opened up its tourism destinations to millions of tourists who used the same roads and other rural infrastructures as the farmers did. Furthermore, the rich farmers led to a boom in the domestic market for cars and other manufactured goods, enabling Thailand to develop its industries ahead of the Philippines.

Among the provinces of the Philippines, Palawan can become a mini Thailand under the leadership of its present Governor, Jose Ch. Alvarez. This was in my mind as I listened to the Governor present his long-term vision for his province in a recent investment forum. It was music to my ear to hear that his local government is fast-tracking the completion of airports that can accommodate direct flights to Palawan. In contrast with the very slow implementation of infrastructure projects at the national level, three major airport development projects are already underway (not Power Point Presentations!). They are: 1) The Puerto International Airport worth P4.5 billion; 2) The San Vicente airport which will be operational soon with the completion of its Terminal Building; and 3) The Busuanga Airport worth P4 billion. To complement these major airports, the provincial government is developing 22 smaller municipal landing strips that will comprise the network of “mosquito” airports where small planes can operate to facilitate the faster movement and transport of people to tourist destination sites. These mini airports can also facilitate the transport of high-value agricultural and aquacultural products, among them seaweeds in which Palawan is becoming the biggest producer.

The program for road construction is equally impressive. Over the last three years, a total of P4.5 billion has been invested for the construction of more than 300 kilometers of national and local roads in support of tourism under the tourism Road Infrastructure Convergence Program of the Department of Public Works and Highways and the Department of Tourism. These new roads are over and above the existing 1,000 kilometers of roads. In addition, local roads leading to airports and seaports are being built with a budget of more than P1.2 billion. As of August 2015, a total of 600 kilometers of road projects have been initiated and/or completed. I have personally experienced the dramatic improvement of the road network in Palawan. More than twenty years ago, I had to take a helicopter to go to the famous underground river of Puerto Princesa because it would have taken more than three hours in bad roads to get there. Today, it takes only an hour to reach this same destination from Puerto Princesa on beautifully paved road.

Maritime transport is also experiencing major improvements. The provincial government of Palawan is partnering with the Philippine Ports Authority for the development of ports in Coron in the north (to connect Palawan to Mindoro, another island with very attractive tourism destinations) and Buliluyan in the south (to connect the province with Kudat, Sabah as part of the ASEAN roll-on/roll-off or RORO Shipping Network). This will facilitate land and sea travel to the “equator” covering a total stretch of 1,500 kilometers. The local government of Kudat is investing roughly 8.5 million Ringgit for the development of the RORO port in Kudat. Archipelago Shipping, whose owners were among those who attended the investment forum, has just acquired RORO ships costing P500 million that will be deployed in these north and south RORO routes. Investors are becoming more bullish about Palawan because of the many infrastructures projects that they see are being aggressively pushed by the provincial government. For example, Kennemer Foods, Inc. will develop 6,000 hectares of cacao plantation in six southern municipalities of Palawan. The next phase calls for the development of another 6,000 hectares. All these will generate 6,000 jobs. Del Monte Fresh Produce, Inc. is investing about $250 million for the development of a 6,000 hectare banana plantation under a 25-year lease program. This venture is expected to generate 8,000 jobs. DOLE, the other big producer of bananas and pineapples, is now also seriously considering investing in Palawan, which is fast becoming an alternative to Mindanao for large agribusiness investments.

In addition to farm-to-market roads and other rural infrastructures directed to the small farmers, another very critical factor for reducing poverty and attaining inclusive growth is potable water. When Governor Alvarez was elected for the first time two years ago, 39 percent of the 366 Barangays had no access to safe and potable water. Literally hitting the ground running, newly elected Governor launched the P3.6 billion Water Infrastructure Program consisting of 183 levels 2 and 3 water projects using the gravity-driven water system and solar-powered water systems in upland areas. As a support to the tourism industry, DPWH through its Tourism Water Program (or TouWA) is rolling out water projects in the municipalities of Roxas and El Nido, with budget allocation of P89 million and P80 million, respectively.

Eradicating poverty is the most important goal of the province of Palawan. Thailand was able to bring down its poverty incidence from more than 50 percent in the 1980s to less than 10 percent today by doing exactly what Governor Alvarez outlined for his province for the next six years or so, the remaining years when he can still be Governor. Because Palawan consciously or unconsciously is following the footsteps of Thailand, I am sure that the next six years will see a dramatic decline in poverty, thanks to the growth of tourism and agribusiness.

For comments, my email address is

Capitol launches Bantay Turista Program

By Jumong Ustares

To proactively provide information to tourists planning to visit the beautiful places in Palawan, the Bantay Turista Program was launched Thursday, December 10 at the Capitol.

The program was borne due to some incidents in the previous months which put the province in bad light. But with enough prior information about the place these incidents would have been avoided.

The information that the program would want to focus on is about the weather condition, the possible dangers in the place, the culture of Palaweños and environmental protection.

Roselee Baluyot Buenconsejo, in-charge of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) media training group said that they are aiming to involve the tourists to plant at least one seedling of tree before leaving Palawan.

The program is under the supervision of PDRRMO in partnership with Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA), Coast Guard, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), and Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).

Cuyo to host next year’s Palarong Panlalawigan

By Joy Tabuada

The League of Municipalities of Palawan has agreed that the 2016 Palarong Panlalawigan will be held in the town of Cuyo after four years when it last hosted the annual sports event.

LMP led by Narra town Mayor Lucena D. Demaala was made to choose between Roxas and Cuyo. The island town came out more ready to host such big event. Also, the officials of Cuyo have already manifested there bid earlier to be the host through a resolution.

Cuyo town Mayor Andrew Ong said that the neighboring towns of Magsaysay and Agutaya will also be involved in the hosting of the event.

The 2016 Palarong Panlalawigan has no definite date yet but according to Mayor Ong, they will schedule it when sea condition is good so it will be very convenient to the athletes and the delegates to reach the historic and beautiful island town of Cuyo.

This year’s Palarong Panlalawigan will conclude today in Brooke’s Point. It hit the record of being the most-participated sports event in Palawan.

Palawan holds Marine Protected Area Summit 2015


PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Dec. 11 (PNA) -- Over a hundred participants were present in the conclusion Thursday of the “Palawan Marine Protected Area Summit 2015” that was spearheaded by the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI) of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the provincial government as part of the Strengthening the Marine Protected Area System to Conserve Key Biodiversity Areas Project for Southern Palawan.

Assistant Provincial Agriculturist Dr. Romeo Cabungcal said that the summit, which started December 9, was aimed at strengthening the understanding of the participants about the proper management of marine protected areas (MPAs) in Palawan; have exchange of ideas, work and experiences in handling MPAs; and create a common policy statement of local government units (LGUs) in southern Palawan regarding MPA management.

The two-day summit was composed of discussions on the Status of the Coastal Environment of Palawan and MPA: Tool for Fisheries Management.

Among best practices that were shared were the MPA livelihood program in Caramay, Roxas; Best Practices in MPA Management of Sibaltan, El Nido; Biodiversity Impact of Calamianes MPA; and the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park Law Enforcement Strategies.

Cabungcal said that before the summit concluded, the participants were able to start the establishment of the common policy statement in relation to the sustainability of the MPAs through effective management.

The participants, he added, also agreed to lead in the further strengthening of community participation, especially women and indigenous peoples in MPA management.

Some of the MPAs in Palawan are Ursula Island Game Refuge and Bird Sanctuary located in the southern most of the province, El Nido-Taytay Managed Resource Protected Area, Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park, Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, Malampaya Sound Land and Seascape Protected Area, and Coron Island Protected Area.

The MPA is a special area of the sea that is devoted to the conservation and sound management of biodiversity, as well as natural and related cultural resources, and managed through legal or other effective means.

It includes nature reserves, marine parks, shipwrecks, tidal lagoons, mudflats, saltmarshes, and seabed among others.

The benefits it provides are to support economies are conservation of biodiversity ecosystems, reverse global and local fish population decline, breeding or nursery area, and also provide opportunity for marine tourism.

Palawan Rescue 165 to strengthen operations in 2016

By Jumong Ustares

Considering the expanse of the Province of Palawan to be able to respond to various emergency cases, the Palawan Rescue 165 will strengthen its operations by adding additional equipment and vehicles that will be deployed in strategic areas in the province.

Gilbert Baaco, program manager of PR 165 said they want to keep up with other cities and provinces in the country that have advanced equipment that can easily respond to man-made and natural disasters.

PR 165 aims to be at least, like the United States’ and Canada’s emergency dispatch centers Rescue 911. Though it may be not as high-tech as the operation of 911, according to Baaco, they want to be the first to extend help to disaster stricken communities.

According to Baaco, in 2016 they are expecting that 16 units of ambulance will be given to the program.

The PR 165 will have its station complete with ambulance and equipment in the towns of El Nido, Taytay, Quezon Coron and Cuyo in 2016. At present, they have station in Brooke’s Point, Roxas and soon in Aborlan.

NCCC unveils new developments as it celebrates 24th Anniversary

By Joy Tabuada

The New City Commercial Center has announced the many upcoming new and exciting changes they are going to unleash next year after its 24 years of business in the Province of Palawan.

NCCC Mall was established in December 10, 1991 when the City of Puerto Princesa was still enjoying its slow paced development.

After 24 years, NCCC Mall has evolved into a place offering almost everything their customers need and with the renovations made, it is ready to compete with other establishments that may come in the highly urbanized Puerto Princesa City.

July Toroctocong, head of NCCC Supermarket, has announced Wednesday that there will more changes in terms of the physical appearance of the mall to ensure the comfort of the public while shopping especially this Christmas season.

“Marami pong exciting na mangyayari next year dahil by first quarter of next year, matatapos na ang renovation ng NCCC Supermarket,” she said.

Apart from their stores located in 168 Mall in Brgy. San Jose, San Jose terminal, they are also conducting caravan in Aborlan, Narra and Roaxas towns offering affordable products or items to local residents.

It also plunged into doing Corporate Social Responsibility programs to communities and in the first quarter of 2016 they will be medical services in partnership with HB1 Pharmacy located inside their main mall in Lacao Street.

The NCCC Supermarket inside the China Town Center will also open in the first quarter of next year to make shopping accessible to everyone, Toroctocong announced.

Puerto Princesa City remains a safe place says PNP

By Martin Paul Henderson

Puerto Princesa City remains peaceful and safe despite the ensuing crime incidents in the past days.

Police Superintendent Ariel Celino, deputy chief for operations of City PNP said that there is no vigilant group in the city whose intention is to kill and create fear. Rather, he said, the recent incidents were caused by too much drinking of alcoholic drinks which caused the death of two individuals, and crimes that were due to heated arguments.

Celino however, advises parents to refrain from allowing their children from going out at night because they might be victimized by people who are temperamental or maoy.

In the account of Palawan News, in the past few days, six individuals died in the city. One was in Sitio Tagbarungis, Brgy. Inagawan who was shot dead. Another was found dead near the exit gate of Ospital ng Palawan and sustained five gun wounds in his body. In Brgy. Bagong Silang, one was hacked 16 times due to argument on parking space.

Last Saturday, one died due to stabbing after he attempted to hostage a child but the father (of the child) was quick to respond and stabbed him to death.

On Monday, a man was found dead inside a store in Brgy. Tiniguiban, allegedly he died due to bangungot. Today, a man was found dead in Bgy. Sta. Monica allegedly due to drunkenness.

A Brighter Christmas

By Karina Mae Funesto

If we ask Him why He made us the way we are, what would His answer be? Some have more while some have less. Some are hindered while some are way ahead.

Children with special needs are people not a social stigma. This is why organizations like Special Olympics Philippines-Palawan Chapter exists. They function to empower people with intellectual disabilities through sports like Bocce Ball, Tennis, and Athletics (Track and Field). It is led by Ms. Angie Mendoza, founding director, Mr. Edgar Clamor, president, and a board of directors.

Just this December 5, 2015, SOP-Palawan celebrated their annual Christmas event at the Robinsons Place activity area with the people with special needs and their parents.

Magic of Christmas

The event showcased the children’s talents. Performers were groups from schools like Salve Regina, Taw Kabui for a Child Inc., Pilot, and Palawan National School. Some danced. Some sang. A group from PNS used sign language to interpret the song, “Sana Ngayong Pasko.” Whatever the children did received hearty claps from the audience.

The celebration was sponsored and supported by Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc., Palawan Pawnshop, Robinsons Place Palawan, Mr. Donut, and I Travel and Tour.

“Magkaroon ng buhay na kaya nilang gampanan despite their disability,” Marvi Trudeau of the Pilipinas Shell Foundation Inc. mused. Her message was a wish for the children. She hoped for an accepting society that will never again belittle children with special needs. Edgar Clamor shared the same sentiment. Rather than ridicule, we should encourage the children to embrace their individuality and talents.

Parents were overjoyed to see their children be themselves. A mother shared that gatherings such as the Christmas event is a show of support and a source of confidence for the children. As I approached parents to ask their opinions, a girl with Down Syndrome fondly touched my chin and carried on expressing her happiness. I have never witnessed such uninhibited display of warmth.

Like most Christmas parties, the celebration ended with a gift giving and a picture with Santa Claus. Definitely a perfect closing to a wonderful gathering of angels.

Take STEP to work abroad

By Joy Tabuada

Thousands of Palaweños are now on their way out from poverty as they take the chance to be part of the pool of skilled manpower that has high probability of getting a job abroad or at least within the member countries of the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-East Asian Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).

According to Kitten Gomez, head of STEP and Program Manager of Aborlan Technical School of the provincial government, they are geared up to provide employment to Palaweños through various skills trainings that will equip the participants the necessary expertise needed by various countries.

The Skills Training and Employment Program for Palaweños is an initiative of the Provincial Government of Palawan with the directive of Governor Jose Chavez-Alvarez that’s been going around the province together with the staff of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. The group provides skills training in different municipalities.

“Pumupunta sa munisipyo at dinadala ang mga trainers. Ang local government naman ang nagbibigay ng venue,” Gomez said.

The training usually lasts for five days and after which there will be an assessment which will qualify the participants to receive a National Certificate 2 (NC2).

The province has recorded a relatively high unemployment rate at 13.7 percent based on the 2005 Community Based Monitoring System data.This represents a total of 31,646 members of the labor force who did not have work during the reference period.

Gomez said that almost 3,000 individuals are graduates of STEP. This means that they are ready for employment abroad. The provincial government is now working on the possible partnership with Malaysia for the employment of STEP graduates.

This small milestone she said is geared towards addressing the unemployment rate of the province.

Recently, another STEP activity was conducted in Balabac. The town has 39.9 percent unemployment rate based on CBMS data in 2005.

Technical Schools

The Provincial Board, Tuesday, has drafted a resolution that was being referred to the Committee on Education requesting the governor to put-up technical vocational schools on Calamianes Group of Islands and Magsaysay-Cuyo recognizing the importance of the school to the people of these towns.

In June 29, 2015 the provincial government has put up the Technical School in Aborlan town with the support of Asian Business Cabletow Cooperative Academy, Inc. (ABBCA) and TESDA.

As of November 20, more than 2,000 students from different parts of the country have flocked to enrol hoping that after graduation they could get a good job.

Gomez however, clarified that the graduates of the school have to undergo the STEP to be able to get employment abroad.

Mimaropan schools set to compete in Nuclear Science Quiz

By Lyndon Plantilla (LP/LBR/PIA4B)

QUEZON CITY, Dec 5 (PIA) --- Two schools from Palawan and Oriental Mindoro will be sending teams to the Philippine Nuclear Science Quiz next week.

The schools are Domingo Yu Chu National High School (Maluanluan, Polo town in Oriental Mindoro) and Limnangcong National High School (Limnangco, Taytay town in Palawan).

The Science Quiz is one of the highlights of the first Philippine Nuclear Youth Summit that will be hosted by the 3rd Philippine Nuclear Congress from December 7-9 in Manila.

The Philippine Nuclear Youth Summit recognizes young people’s potential in nuclear and radiation technologies and affords students from colleges and secondary schools to be heard in the local nuclear science and education sector.

On the other hand, the Philippine Nuclear Congress gathers experts from agriculture, industries, medicine, government and academies to trade information and assess as well the contribution of nuclear science and technology to national development.

The last time Congress convened (1996), the delegates discussed the potentials of nuclear power to improve the country’s energy mix (which included geothermal and coal-fired sources). Currently, nuclear technology is applied mostly in medicine and agriculture.

One of the newest applications of nuclear technology, is the irradiation of carrageenan (a substance from seaweeds) to become fertilizer additive.

Radiation degrades the carrageenan into minute particles enough to be absorbed by plants.

Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo reported fertilizers with irradiated carrageenan made rice crops stronger, more yield and resistant to diseases based on the field trials conducted by Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI).

Secretary Montejo added that PNRI is developing precision farming methods using nuclear techniques to determine the right amount and timing of fertilizer application at the different growth stages of crops, as well as optimizing irrigation scheduling to help cut the cost of farming inputs.

DILG awards fire trucks to Palawan

By Joy Tabuada

To boost the firefighting capability of local fire stations, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has awarded yesterday, December 3, four units of brand new fire trucks to the Province of Palawan.

First District Congressman Franz “Chicoy” Alvarez has informed Palawan News today that the four units of dump trucks are results of their request to the DILG during the term of former Secretary Mar Roxas.

Alvarez said that aside from the fire trucks, the DILG will also provide for the salary of 14 firemen who will be engaged as employees of the Bureau of Fire Protection. He also added that new fire stations will be built by the DILG to provide a decent workplace for the BFP personnel.

The towns that will be awarded with a new fire truck are Taytay, Aborlan, Rizal and Quezon.

“First batch pa lang po ito at may kasunod pa ito. Maliban sa brand new unit of fire trucks may kasama pa itong fire station at 14 na employees,” Alvarez said.

He also said that drivers of the fire trucks are undergoing training in the regional office of BFP before the units will be transported to Palawan.

Present during the awarding of fire trucks were Cong. Alvarez and Cong. Frederick Abueg who also initiated to request fire trucks for southern Palawan towns.

The DILG Secretary Mel Senen S. Sarmiento previously said that plans are underway to ensure that all municipalities nationwide will have their own fire station.

“Bukod pa dito, aanhin natin ang firetruck at fire station kung walang firefighters kaya magkakaroon ng 14 additional personnel items bawa’t fire station,” he said.

The four units of fire trucks are part of the 469 units of Jiangtze firetrucks procured by the BFP amounting to a total of P2.5-billion that are being distributed to cities and municipalities which do not have fire trucks or have dilapidated ones.

City gov’t plans to permanently implement one-way traffic route in the New Public Market

By Beldad Soledad

Despite the opposing stand on the implementation of one-way traffic route in the New Public Market in Brgy. San Jose, the city government is contemplating of enacting an ordinance to permanently implement the scheme as it lessens traffic congestion in some areas.

Allan Mabella, special operations officer of the City Traffic Management Office said the new scheme has been implemented since last month and it seems the new route is effective in ensuring the smooth traffic flow.

“Dahil sa magandang resulta ng dry run na naisagawa sa new market ay posible na gagawing one way narin ang kabilang kalsada sa lugar,” Maribella said.

This however is being opposed by some drivers and motorists because they consume more fuel due to longer route and waiting time for commuting public.

Many drivers are still confused on the new traffic scheme which resulted to committing traffic violations.

The city government still believes that it is normal to receive resistance from the public but hopes that in the long-run this new scheme will be appreciated by the people.

Cine Europa heads to Palawan for the first time


MANILA, Philippines – On its 18th year, Cine Europa is scheduled to go to Southern Luzon, particularly in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan for the first time.

European Union (EU) Ambassador Franz Jessen said the EU Delegation to the Philippines and its cultural partners decided to bring Cine Europa to Palawan to expand the Luzon leg of the film festival to give more Filipinos access to the rich cultural heritage of Europe.

"Cine Europa Film Festival in Palawan carries films reflecting the dynamism and energy of the youth from Europe which Filipinos from Southern Luzon and other parts of the Philippines can very well relate to," he said.

The film festival will go to Palawan State University on December 2, 3 and 6 and to Cinema 1, Robinsons Movie World, Puerto Princesa City from December 4 to 5.

It will be inaugurated by Jessen, Romanian Embassy Chargé d'Affaires, a.i., Mihai Sion, Embassy of Romania, German Embassy First Secretary Thorsten Gottfried, diplomats from the European embassies and cultural institutes along with Palawan Vice Gov. Victorino Dennis Socrates, Puerto Princesa Mayor Lucillo Bayron on 4 December at Atrium at the Robinson's Mall in Puerto Princesa City.

Cine Europa in Palawan is also supported by the Palawan provincial and city governments, Palawan Tourism Council, Palawan State University and Robinsons Mall. Entertainment ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

The theme adopted for this year's festival is "Coming of Age." The film festival has now matured and evolved with its carefully chosen thematic films from Europe.

The Romanian film "Nunta Muta" or "Silent Wedding" directed by Horatiu Malaele will be screened during the reception for Cine Europa on December 4.

The film talks about how two young lovers' wedding was interrupted by communist party officials with the announcement that Joseph Stalin died and that there should be a mandatory period of commemoration to remember the great leader. The town complied and had a silent wedding played out with all the farcical pratfall of a fine mime production.

Finally unable to contain themselves, the celebrants threw off their chains in loud celebration setting up the final conflict with the authorities.

Aside from film from Romania, people from Palawan will also get to watch movies from Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Italy, France, Finland, Sweden, Spain, Slovakia, Switzerland and United Kingdom. Admission is free for all screenings on a first-come, first-served basis.

Cine Europa 18 is organized by the European Union Cultural Group in Manila and EU Cultural Institutes accredited to the Philippines including the Embassies of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, the Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines, Instituto Cervantes de Manila, British Council, Goethe-Institut, Philippine-Italian Association, and Alliance Française.

The festival started on September 10 in Shangri-La Plaza in Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila and it earlier went to Baguio City, Cebu, Iloilo, Tacloban and Baybay, Leyte, Cagayan de Oro, and Zamboanga City.

‘Palawan Liberation Day’ wants to be declared on April 22

By Keith Anthony S. Fabro [(PNA), JMC/CARF/KASF/EDS]

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY (PNA) -- A member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod here is seeking April 22 to be declared as “Palawan Liberation Day” to pay tribute and respect to the guerilla warriors who fought in the name of freedom and liberty during World War 2.

City Councilor and Tourism Committee Chairman Matthew Mendoza penned the said proposed declaration through an ordinance he filed in the Sangguniang Panlungsod’s regular session on Nov. 23.

Mendoza said Wednesday that the declaration aims “to pay tribute and respect to the Filipino and American heroes in the City of Puerto Princesa and the Province of Palawan, who exemplified valor and risked their lives during the World War II for the freedom of Palawan and the Philippines.”

It can be noted that Palawan and the entire Philippines were freed from Japanese forces when the Imperial Japanese Army surrendered on April 22, 1945 – exactly 70 years ago this year.

In his ordinance, Mendoza emphasized Puerto Princesa’s vital role in liberating the Philippines from the Japanese forces during the World War 2.

“Dr. Higinio A. Mendoza Sr., a guerilla leader from Puerto Princesa and hailed as Palawan’s provincial hero organized the 190 first guerilla force also known as the Palawan Special Battalion to fight against the Japanese Imperial Army,” he noted.

Mendoza Sr. happened to be the city councilor’s grandfather.

The city councilor also highlighted the former Japanese garrison Plaza Cuartel in Puerto Princesa which was the site for the infamous Palawan Massacre, where about 150 American prisoners of war were burnt alive inside the tunnel they themselves dug.

He also noted that the former Palawan airport, where the Puerto Princesa International Airport is located now, served as staging point of Japanese airplanes that linked the Pacific to Mainland Southeast Asia.

The ordinance has been referred to the Committee on Ordinances and Legal Matters. Once approved, it will direct the City Tourism Office to spearhead an activity in line with the Palawan Liberation Day.

On April 22 this year, Palawan commemorated the 70th Philippines Liberation Anniversary at the Plaza Cuartel.

This first-ever activity conducted in the province was made possible through the provincial and city government in cooperation with the Palawan Liberation Task Force and the USAID-COMPETE.

Palawan Gov. Jose Alvarez vowed to make the commemoration of the liberation an annual event to honor the sacrifices of now local hero Dr. Higinio A. Mendoza, Sr., and the war veterans, who fought for freedom in World War 2.