Palawan News November 2012

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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

Province of Palawan, Philippines

Navy recovers 123 sea turtles from poachers in Palawan

Navy troops recovered a total of 123 sea turtles in Balabac, Palawan but failed to arrest the poachers who collected them.

Navy spokesman Col. Omar Tonsay said members of the Naval Forces West found the sea turtles inside three submerged cages made of mangrove branches.

Tonsay said the turtles were recovered last Tuesday during an operation against poachers along the vicinity of Sitio Dunglog shore in Brgy. Caguisan.

“All six unidentified suspects, however, immediately fled the site utilizing two small boats going toward different directions when they saw the approaching elements of the Naval Forces West nearing their location,” he said.

The cages were hidden among the mangroves. The area had four huts believed to have been used by lookouts who warn poachers about the presence of authorities. Nation ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

Six of the 123 sea turtles died by the time they were recovered by the Navy.

Tonsay said the poachers were believed to be collecting sea turtles to sell them to buyers believed to be funded by Chinese patrons.

Most of the recovered turtles weigh 50 to 60 kilograms. The 117 surviving turtles were turned over to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-Palawan before they were released at Roughton Island last Thursday.

The release point is about an hour’s boat ride from Balabac proper and was designated by the local government as a sanctuary for maritime species. The six dead turtles were buried at a beach close to the area.

Navy saves 100 turtles

PUERTO PRINCESA City, Philippines—Naval authorities based in Palawan’s southernmost tip, Balabac, pounced on a Chinese-financed endangered marine turtle-poaching operation on Tuesday that involved local fishermen and officials.

Cmdr. Joseph Rostum Peña, Naval Forces West commander, said Navy men discovered three fish pens off the remote village of Caguisan in Balabac being emptied of turtles in preparation for the transport of the protected marine animals to China, possibly Hainan.

“We have so far discovered three turtle pens containing an estimated 100 marine turtles,” he said.

Each of the fish pens, which are made of nylon and fishnets and measure 20 meters by 35 meters, contained at least 30 turtles, he said.

Authorities are conducting retrieval operations and have so far hauled more than 30 large marine turtles, weighing between 30 to 50 kilograms each. At least two turtles died while most are being recovered alive from the submerged fish cages.

Tourist arrivals in Palawan seen to hit 600,000

Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn said they expect tourist arrivals to hit the 600,000 mark before yearend.

“Last year’s tourist arrivals went to a record breaking 515,148, a 60-percent increase from last year. We are really happy about the news. Half are Filipino balikbayans and half are foreigners. Imagine from a few flights in 1992, we now have 123 flights a week, excluding international airports,” Hagedorn told The STAR during a recent visit.

“In fact, we have to stop our advertisements because the airport can’t handle it (passenger arrivals). We have so many flights but we are already addressing the problem,” Hagedorn said.

He said the Puerto Princesa airport would be modernized and renovated to accommodate the surge of tourists.

“The airport’s privatization will be bid (out) this year and Koreans have already expressed interest,” Hagedorn said.

With regard hotel accommodation, Hagedorn said they now have a total of 146 hotels, a far cry from the few inns dotting the city in 1992. Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

“When I first assumed in 1992, there were only four lonely travel and tour operators in the city. Now there are close to 200 hotels. It has increased by 2,950 percent since 20 years ago,” he said.

Tourist arrivals have swelled from 14,249 in 1992 to 515,148 in 2011, a staggering 3,515 percent jump.

Hagedorn stressed that because the tourism infrastructure and attractions are already in place, tourist inflows to Puerto Princesa City stand to grow to 1.3 million by 2016 and by 2025, arrivals will reach an all-time high of 2.5 million.

Puerto Princesa’s gain has been attributed to the phenomenal success of the Puerto Princesa Underground River, which was named one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

“Everything changed when the Puerto Princesa Underground River was declared as one of the new seven wonders of the world,” Hagedorn said.

PPUR won over a number of natural wonders owing to the systematic campaign launched by Hagedorn, with support from President Aquino himself, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Aquino and Hagedorn collaborated in appealing to all Filipinos here and abroad to text or email their votes for PPUR. With more than 30 million text votes registered for PPUR, the site won overwhelmingly.

“Having surged significantly over the past 20 years, tourism dollars are financing progress in the city – from irrigation covering over 2,000 hectares, nursery and propagation farms for high-value seedlings, farm implements benefiting 17,000 farmers, to government housing programs, more roads, more schools, more for public healthcare and more for building blocks for fish and marine sanctuaries,” Hagedorn reported.

Puerto Princesa Underground River declared as ‘Wetland of International Importance’

The Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) has been declared “Wetland of International Importance” by the Swiss-based Ramsar Convention on Wetlands on October 28, 2012. Its inclusion as Ramsar Site No. 2084 is the fifth for the Philippines; the other four sites are Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary in Mindanao, Naujan Lake National Park in Oriental Mindoro, Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary in Cebu, and Tubbataha Reefs National Park in Palawan, all declared in 1999. Wetlands are on the Ramsar List because of their ecological, botanical, zoological, limnological or hydrological importance.

The Ramsar Convention cited the PPUR as “unique in the biographic region because it connects a range of important ecosystems from the mountain-to-the-sea,” including “a limestone karst landscape with a complex cave system, mangrove forests, lowland evergreen tropical rainforests, and freshwater swamps, and is home to 800 plants and 233 animal species, some of which are endemic.” Prior to the declaration of the 22,202-hectare PPUR as one of New Seven Wonders of Nature on January 28, 2012, and as Ramsar Site, it was declared National Geological Monument by the National Committee on Geological Sciences on December 14, 2003, and was inscribed in Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization on December 4, 1999.

The Ramsar Convention is an inter-governmental treaty embodying the commitments of 163 member-countries to preserve the ecological character of wetlands in their territories. It was developed by 21 signatory-nations at a meeting in Ramsar, Mazandaran, Iran, on February 2, 1971, and adopted on December 21, 1975. The Ramsar List now has 2,062 sites (called Ramsar Sites), with Britain having the biggest number at 168.

Under the Ramsar Convention, natural and man-made habitats – rivers, coral reefs, swamps, marshes, billabongs, lakes, mudflats, mangroves, fens, peat bogs, or bodies of water – can be classified as wetlands. It urges countries to nominate Sites with rare or unique wetlands, or wetlands that are vital for biodiversity conservation, for the Ramsar List. A member-country plans and oversees a framework to conserve a declared Ramsar Site to maintain its ecological character.

We congratulate the Province of Palawan, headed by Governor Abraham Kahlil B. Mitra, and Puerto Princesa City, led by Mayor Edward S. Hagedorn, other Officers and Personnel, for their combined efforts to protect the beauty of the Puerto Princesa Underground River and promote it as a top tourist destination.

8 bio labs control coco pests in Palawan

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan- Eight biological control laboratories established in strategic location in Palawan by the Philippine Coconut Authority are helping counter coconut infestation caused by the brontispa longissima or coconut leaf beetle.

PCA in cooperation with the local government units, are closely working together to control the infestation which used to be confined in southern municipalities but now have affected some plantations in the north.

Ms. Claire Mendez, PCA specialist said the control of brontispa longissima has shifted from the use of chemicals to biological means in consideration of the environment. She stressed that "biological means" is the natural way of controlling an enemy or predator of the brontispa pest called the earwig.

The laboratories are located in towns affected by the infestation – Brooke’s Point, Quezon, Rizal, two in Aborlan, Roxas, El Nido, and San Vicente. These laboratories produce the earwigs which are then released to the coconut trees in affected plantations.

The use of the earwigs has proven effective, said Mendez, because they have not received any more reports of its spread to other areas.

She said that the introduction of the predator agent will not totally eradicate the brontispa pest, but will depress its population and maintain natural balances by keeping the pest population below the infestation level.

Light to moderate rains expected over NE Luzon, Palawan, Mindanao

Light to moderate rain may be expected in parts of Palawan and Mindanao, as well as in Northeastern Luzon, due to prevalent weather systems.

"The Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) will still bring light to moderate rainshowers or thunderstorms over Palawan and Mindanao today, while over the northeastern section of Luzon —particularly Cagayan Valley, Aurora and Quezon— light rains will be felt due to the northeast monsoon. The rest of the country will continue to enjoy partly cloudy skies with brief rain showers or thunderstorms in the afternoon or evening," said GMA resident meteorologist Nathaniel "Mang Tani" Cruz.

"In Metro Manila, there will be few clouds with little chance of rain —just about 10%— in the morning, becoming partly cloudy in the afternoon and with a 40% possibility of rain showers in the late afternoon or early evening. The highest temperature expected in the metro is 32C," he added.

DOE holds forum on Phl Energy Plan in Palawan

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan- The forum on the 2012-2030 Philippine Energy Plan (PEP) is currently being held, Tuesday, Nov 20, in Palawan as part of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) nationwide campaign to inform the public on the energy sector’s targets, strategies, and programs to address future challenges of the sector.

The one-day forum at the Legend Hotel, will present the programs and targets of the different energy sectors to include power and electrification, resource development, renewable energy, downstream oil, alternative fuels, and energy efficiency and conservation.

Although the PEP will formally be launched in December, the DOE is already conducting as early as October its information, education, and communication (IEC) activities to inform energy stakeholders of the country’s long-term goals for the sector.

The Energy Plan highlights the policy vision of an economy which will become largely decarbonized with the development and utilization of renewable energy – hydro, geothermal, solar, wind, biomass, and ocean energy and with DOE taking the lead in promoting energy efficiency as a lifestyle, and advocating the use of alternative fuels for the transport sector.

The DOE has also simulated the energy needs of the country over the next 20 years by considering factors such as a 10 percent target energy savings across all economic sectors – transport, industry, residential, commercial and agriculture; an increase in the number of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)-fed buses and possible introduction of CNG taxis, electric vehicles; and higher application of biofuel blends (biodiesel and bioethanol).

To further curb the country’s energy demand, the Plan also seeks to scale-up energy efficiency investments in both private and public sectors to generate more energy savings. The Plan also envisions accelerating the development and production of indigenous fossil fuels.

Before Palawan, the DOE IEC team has held similar forums in Regions 1 and Cordillera, and in region 2, 7, and 8.

The forum was attended by different power producers, Palawan Electric Cooperative, local government officials, the local media, and other members of the business community.

2 US soldiers in Puerto Princesa bar brawl settle with club’s workers

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Philippines — Two American soldiers taking part in the annual Balikatan (shoulder-to-shoulder) military exercises with the Philippine military figured in a rumble inside a bar in downtown Puerto Princesa City Friday with local patrons and the club’s staff.

The city police chief, Supt. Abad Osit, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Sunday that an employee of the club and the two American soldiers both filed separate complaints for physical injury before the City police on Saturday but eventually agreed to settle amicably.

The police blotter indicated that the two soldiers, identified as Anthony Desaldo, 22, and Keith A. Brautigan, 24, went inside Warehouse 45 Disco Bar in Barangay San Miguel here for drinks at around 11 p.m. of Friday.

A bouncer at the establishment, Allan John Gapulao, claimed in his complaint that the US soldiers were already drunk when they came and were “creating trouble” for other patrons.

Gapulao said that when he asked the two to leave the establishment, the American soldiers made a scene at the parking lot and provoked him to a fight.

In their own complaint filed before the police, Brautigan claimed that 18 to 21 persons allegedly attacked them when they tried to leave the establishment.

The Americans claimed that they were attacked with a metal pipe and peppered with rocks as they tried to run back to their hotel, the Ipil Travelodge Puerto Princesa, which was just a walking distance from the bar.

They added that the owner of the establishment and the barangay (village) captain of the area, Patrick Hagedorn, a nephew of Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn, allegedly “threatened” them when they were already in the hotel.

Brautigan suffered a broken nose and head injuries while Desalvo had a bruised right cheek. The club’s bouncer, Gapulao, had four stitches in the head caused by a steel pipe, the police record showed.

Osit said both sides have already settled the complaints and no charges would be filed against both parties.

The two Americans were part of the US military contingent that came here in April for the Palawan segment of the Balikatan exercises, a joint undertaking of the Philippine and US militaries that included civil-relations activities, such as road and school building constructions on one hand, and military land and sea warfare exercises.

The two US soldiers were among a small group of the US military contingent that remained in Palawan to do finishing touches on the civil works of projects done by the Americans, said a military officer here who asked not to be named for lack of authority to speak on the matter.

The source said the American soldiers have since been housed at Ipil Travelodge, which was described in its website as a 40-room hotel along Rizal Avenue located at the heart of the city.

PAGASA: Heavy rain over Palawan, Mindanao in next 24 hours

Heavy rain may fall over Palawan and Mindanao in the next 24 hours as the inter-tropical convergence zone is affecting Mindanao, state weather forecasters said Saturday afternoon.

In its 5 p.m. bulletin, PAGASA said the ITCZ is affecting Mindanao while a cold front is now across the Batanes Group of Islands.

"Palawan and Mindanao will be cloudy with occasional moderate to heavy rain showers and thunderstorms. Batanes group of Islands will experience cloudy skies with light rain," it said.

Metro Manila and the rest of the country will be partly cloudy with isolated brief rain showers or thunderstorms mostly in the afternoon or evening, it added.

PAGASA also said moderate to strong winds blowing from the northeast will prevail over Luzon and Eastern Visayas and the coastal waters along these areas will be moderate to rough.

Elsewhere, winds will be light to moderate coming from the northeast and East with slight to moderate seas.

Meanwhile, PAGASA said strong to gale force winds associated with the northeast monsoon may affect the northern seaboard of Northern Luzon and the eastern seaboard of Luzon.

"Fishing boats and other small sea crafts are advised not to venture out in to the sea while larger sea vessels are alerted against big waves," it said.

2 medical mission team members drown in Palawan resort

Two persons who recently came from a medical mission drowned in a resort in Palawan over the weekend.

Authorities identified the victims as Julieson Tun, 30, a dentist from Marilao, Bulacan, and his aide Roland Dino, 28.

Another person identified as Jose Punzalan, 60, also drowned but was successfully revived.

Initial investigation revealed that the three went swimming on November 10 around 12:50 p.m. in Taraw Beach Resort where they encountered big waves and strong current that caused them to be drowned.

They were rescued by a lifeguard and were brought to Salvacion Satellite Clinic in Sabang village. Cardio pulmonary resuscitation was applied to the victims, which revived Punzalan. The two others, however, remained unconscious.

The victims were transferred to a hospital in San Pedro village where Tun and Dino were pronounced dead.

Punzalan, meanwhile, was reportedly in stable condition and is currently recuperating.

Wind convergence may bring rain to Palawan and Mindanao

Rain showers and thunderstorms may affect Palawan and Mindanao in the next 24 hours, state weather forecasters said Saturday afternoon.

In its 5 p.m. bulletin, PAGASA said the inter-tropical convergence zone is affecting Palawan and Mindanao.

"Palawan and Mindanao will be cloudy with occasional light to moderate rain showers or thunderstorms. Metro Manila and the rest of the country will be partly cloudy with isolated brief rain showers or thunderstorms mostly in the afternoon or evening," it said.

Also, PAGASA said moderate to strong winds blowing from northeast to east will prevail over Luzon and Eastern Visayas and the coastal waters along these areas will be moderate to rough.

Elsewhere, winds will be light to moderate coming from the northeast with slight to moderate seas.

PAGASA also said there is no cyclone or weather disturbance near the Philippine Area of Responsibility.

Earlier, its forecasters earlier said Metro Manila may expect good weather during the weekend, except for rain showers or thunderstorms in the afternoon or evening.

DepED to allot 700 teaching positions for Palawan next year

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan- At least 700 teaching positions will be allotted for Palawan as the Department of Education (DepEd) address the shortage of teachers in both elementary and secondary levels here

This was announced yesterday by Dir. Sinforosa Guiñares, DepEd Mimaropa regional director in the open forum at the first day of Palawan Education Summit held in this city.

She said that 60,000 teacher items will be released nationwide and the province was allotted the most number of teacher items in the Mimaropa region as determined by DepEd’s electronic-based information system (EBIS).

For the next school year 2013-2014, there will be 300 teacher items for elementary and 400 for secondary levels.

Apart from teaching positions, the DepEd has also programmed for the next year the purchase of furniture and earmarked funds for the construction of additional school buildings.

At present, there are 4,047 elementary school teachers in Palawan serving 143,802 pupils with a teacher shortage of 2,587 under the standard pupil-teacher ratio of 45:1.

In the secondary level, there are 1,531 teachers for 53,867 students with a teacher shortage of 1,824.

Guiñares said that there is still a long way to go but the national government is continuously addressing the problem giving the education sector the biggest budget allocation for 2013.

She said that the DepEd will always be grateful for the “strong support” of the municipal and provincial governments for locally-funding the hiring of teachers to ease the shortage in its locality.

The three-day Palawan Education Summit will end tomorrow with DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro addressing more than 500 participants in the closing ceremonies. The summit is an initiative of the provincial government in partnership with the DepEd-Palawan.

Palawan educ summit opens

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan- About 500 participants gathered yesterday for the opening of the Palawan Education Summit, bringing together education leaders and other key players that would chart a roadmap to uplift quality education in the province.

In his opening message, Palawan Governor Baham Mitra said the holding of the summit would provide the venue to recommend concrete steps and firm up resolutions to address problems and the challenges of the sector.

The holding of the education summit, a first in the province and the region, is a project of Ensuring Quality Instruction Program for Palawan (Equip) of the provincial government in collaboration with the Department of Education-Palawan Division.

Mitra said Equip was established as one of the interventions of his administration “To build a strong human resource base placing it at the core of the provincial government’s priority program.”

The first day of the summit was well-attended with the participation of mayors, DepEd district supervisors, principals, school administrators, and other stakeholders from both the public and private sectors.

In her message, Sinforosa Guiñares, DepEd regional director for Mimaropa, said the summit is very relevant in the light of the Aquino administration’s transformation of the country’s educational system.

“Quality education is a continuing process and we need to work together because there are still so many things that need to be done which is only possible through cooperation of all particularly the local government units,” Guiñares said.

The three-day summit will feature presentations and discussions from distinguished speakers and educators from the Department of Education, Philippine Science High School, and other non-government organizations. DepEd Secretary will grace the summit on November 9, the last day of the summit.

Education leaders to converge in Palawan education summit

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan- Education leaders, policy makers and other stakeholders will converge this week for the Palawan Education Summit to be convened by the Department of Education (DepEd) Palawan and the provincial government in this city.

The summit set on November 7-9 at the Skylight Convention Center aims to gather the key players of the education sector to work together in improving the quality of education in the light of present challenges and the K to 12 program.

Under the theme “Napapanahong Tugon sa Pagpapalakas ng ng Edukasyon sa Palawan,” participants will be engaged in discussions on the current state of education in the province and examine issues in an effort to uplift the quality of education.

Congressman Juan Edgardo M. Angara, chairman of the Committee on Higher and Technical Education in the House of Representatives will grace the event as keynote speaker with Education Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro, FSC to address participants on the last day.

DepEd Undersecretary Yolanda S. Quijano will do a presentation on the K to 12 Program.

This summit is being initiated by the provincial government through its Ensuring Quality Instruction Program (Equip) for Palawan with the cooperation of DepEd Palawan.

Teachers, heads and top officials of public and private schools, colleges and universities, officials of civic and non-government organizations are expected to participate in the summit.

PPUR now officially listed as Ramsar site says DENR

The Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) in Palawan has just been officially listed as a wetland of international importance by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

In a statement, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Ramon Paje said the PPUR was the latest site to make it to the list.

Although the designation date of the PPUR as a Ramsar site had been recorded on June 30, 2012, Paje explained that “the annotation of the Philippines’ official list to make it five sites, and the designation of the PPUR as Ramsar Site No. 2084 officially affirms the park as a wetland of international importance.”

The other four sites in the Philippines are the Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary in Mindanao; the Naujan Lake National Park in Oriental Mindoro; the Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary in Cebu; and the Tubbataha Reefs National Park, also in Palawan. Together, all five sites have a total surface area of 154,234 hectares (1,542.34 square kilometers).

Paje had earlier said that the remaining steps in the listing process were the review of the Ramsar Information Sheet and the site map. These are now posted on the Ramsar Sites Information Service website via

The environment chief added that although there is no monetary prize in becoming an official Ramsar site, “the declaration would entitle the PPUR to possible technical, financial and other forms of assistance on how best to manage the site.”

Information on the Ramsar website describes the 22,202-hectare PPUR National Park as “unique in the biographic region because it connects a range of important ecosystems from the mountain-to-the-sea, including a limestone karst landscape with a complex cave system, mangrove forests, lowland evergreen tropical rainforests, and freshwater swamps.” It also cites the park as home to about 800 plant and 233 animal species, some of which are threatened or endemic.

It cites the 8.2-kilometer long underground river, part of which provides domestic and agricultural water supply to local communities. The underground river had also been recently declared one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature, and is a major ecotourism destination.

Even before its declaration as a wonder of nature and a wetland of international importance, the PPUR National Park had long been declared a National Geological Monument by the National Committee on Geological Sciences. It is also a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The DENR had nominated the PPUR to the Ramsar Convention in Switzerland in December 2011. The nomination was then presented and defended in the Convention’s Meeting of the Conference of Parties in Romania in July 2012.

The Ramsar Convention is a treaty among 163 countries aimed towards the conservation and wise use of wetlands. To date, it has listed 2,062 wetlands of international importance.