Monday, August 29, 2011

₱ 5.6-Billion Solar Plant will rise in the Philippines - ATN Philippines Solar Energy Group Inc

The Board of Investments has granted limited income tax holiday to the P5.676 billion 30-megawatt solar power project of wholly-owned Filipino firm ATN Philippines Solar Energy Group Inc.

ATN, a joint venture of ATN Holdings Inc. and Transpacific Broadband Group International Inc., has proposed to sell electricity for P17.95 per kilowatthour. It would employ a total of 30 personnel when it starts commercial operation in December 2013. It is funded by 23.5 percent equity and 76.5 percent debt.

The project is under the Mandatory List of the Investment Priorities Plan and is entitled to incentives under the RE. Law or RA 9513. The firm is also registered with the Department of Energy as a new RE developer of solar energy resources.

In approving the project, however, the BoI said that once the feed-in-tariff (FIT) is in place, ATN should no longer be entitled to income tax holiday as the FIT is in itself the guaranteed return.

This decision is based on its general guidelines which provide that projects with sovereign guarantee or guaranteed rate of return are not entitled to income tax holiday.

However, the BoI Legal Department said that under the RE Act of 2008 (RE 9513), the firm is entitled to all incentives including the ITH. The law provides for a seven year ITH for RE projects. The BoI also noted a position forwarded that non-grant of ITH delivers a major impact on the proposed financial performance as the same is already considered when the proposed FIT was computed.

Given this conflicting positions, the BoI management committee has given instruction to communicate with the Department of Energy on all matters relative to the applicability/implication of FIT in the incentives granted to RE projects.

On the ATN's proposed a selling price of electricity of P17.95 per kwh, the BoI said that such rate shall still be subject to ERC approval in compliance with the feed-in-tariff rules.

The FIT system is a scheme that involves the obligation on the part of electric power industry participants to source electricity from RE generators at a guaranteed fixed price applicable for a given period of time, which shall in no case be less than 12 years, to be determined by the Energy Regulatory Commission.

Based on its application, ATN will put the plant in the 324 hectare property of ATN Holdings in Montalban, Rodriguez Rizal, which is less than 10 kilometers away from densely populated business districts in Metro Manila.

The company said that its power supply during the peak hours would contribute in the reduction in capital cost of base load generating plants that use imported coal, and save the country's foreign exchange capital and operating costs for power generating units.

ATN is targeting to serve Metro Manila, particularly the peak demand of mall in the high growth business districts in Quezon City.

It can also sell electricity directly to end users under the Wholesale Electricity Sport Market (WESM) set-up. It may also negotiate with the National Power Corp. as primary off-take customers that will distribute power through the Transco.

The company claimed that its 30-mw solar project is equivalent to 60 million kilowatthours of clean energy.(BCM)

San Miguel Philippines will invest up to US$ 1 Billion to refurbish the Port Dickson refinery

Philippines conglomerate, San Miguel Corporation (SMC), which acquired a 65 per cent stake in Exxon Mobil Corporation's interest in three businesses operating in the Malaysian downstream petroleum sector, plans to invest up to US$1 billion to upgrade and install new equipment in the 48-year-old Port Dickson refinery.

Member of the Board of Directors of SMC Eric Recto said the corporation was looking at bringing in new machinery to create more value-added products in the Malaysian market.

"We are looking at the same achievement we did when we acquired Petron Corporation three years ago.

"The Malaysian refinery is a useful asset, given that a fair level of investment is poured in to replace the old machinery and equipment," he told Malaysian journalists via voice-conference from Manila today

SMC holds 68 per cent equity in Petron Corporation

Recto, who is also Petron Corp president, said the plan would be executed over a long-term process between three and five years.

ExxonMobil and SMC signed a sales and purchase agreement for the latter to sell its 65 per cent stake in public-listed petroleum trading company, Esso Malaysia Bhd (EMB), and its wholly-owned, ExxonMobil Malaysia Sdn Bhd (EMMSB) and ExxonMobil Borneo Sdn Bhd (EMBSB), to the Philippines' highly-diversified entity for US$610 million or RM3.50 a share of EMB.<

SMC is a Philippines business conglomerate and the parent company of Petron Corp, the largest oil refining and marketing company in the Philippines.

Its 68 per cent-owned subsidiary, Petron Corp, is the largest integrated oil refining and marketing company in the Philippines, with a crude distillation capacity of 180,000 barrels per day and over 1,700 service stations across the Philippines.

Under the deal, other than the Port Dickson refinery, 10 fuel distribution terminals (7 active); about 560 branded retail fuel sites (420 company-owned); and ExxonMobil's Industrial and Wholesale and Aviation fuel businesses, will be controlled by San Miguel.

Recto said the upgrading would enable the Port Dickson refinery, which currently produces 50,000 barrels per day, to maximize the plant's production capacity to 88,000 barrels a day.

The investment, he said, would be divided into two segments; the first 70 per cent would be derived from financial institutions, while the remaining 30 per cent would be from San Miguel.

"In this case, ExxonMobil Malaysian operations can stand on its own as it will fund 30 per cent of its operations in Malaysia.

"Only if extra investment assistance is needed, SMC would step in. However, we will be very careful from where the money comes from," he said, citing the recent concerns from locals about where the money will come from, given that San Miguel was a beer company initially.

Recto clarified that currently SMC, based in the Philippines, is a highly diversified conglomerate, with businesses ranging from food and beverages to petroleum, power, energy and infrastructure.

The company now derives more than 70 per cent of its revenue from the non-food and beverages segment.

As for the bank, Recto said banks from both Malaysia and the Philippines were keen to finance the company's investment expenditure.

"There will be no doubt that Malaysian banks will be given priority, given their achievements and capabilities," he said.

In enhancing human capital, Recto said SMC promises not to retrench any of the existing operational staff in the refinery and in other businesses as SMC  needs all of them, and even more workers in the future in tandem with its goal to maximize utilization of the refinery.

"We will be creating more job opportunities and the first priority will be given to Malaysians.

"When we first acquired the Manila refinery, we needed around 20-25 per cent extra workers to rebuild and reorganize the plant," he said, adding that a similar workforce might be needed in Port Dickson

Philippines president leads business delegation to China

August 29, 2011

Philippine President Benigno Aquino will lead some 300 businessmen when he visits China from Tuesday August 30 to September 3, 2011.

Mr Aquino's state visit comes amid the ongoing tensions in the Spratly Islands, and the anniversary of the Manila bus hostage tragedy that killed eight Hong Kong tourists.

Trade and investments will be the main agenda of President Aquino during his visit to China.

Among the trade agreements to be signed is a five-year development program for trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.

It will focus on infrastructure, mining, energy, information and tourism, which will generate US$60 billion in investments for the Philippines.

Liu Jianchao, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines, said: "The President said last year that the Philippine economy is taking off and China is ready and willing to add power to the wings of the Philippine economy. So this is a perfect time that our business leaders meet and seek the ways and channels and opportunities for future cooperation."

Contentious issues such as the territorial dispute over the Spratly islands might also be raised by President Aquino, but both sides agree that the controversial issue will not affect bilateral relations.

China maintains its willingness to partner with claimant-countries including the Philippines to jointly explore the contested group of islands.

Liu said: "We do hope that this will materialize as soon as possible because we do believe that this is the best way for the claiming parties to have opportunities of cooperation rather than indulging in any kind of conflict. I hope that we can all be open and we can always be realistic, so that we can really find something that we can agree upon so that we can have joint exploration and cooperation."

Aside from promoting the Philippines as a business destination, President Aquino will also promote the Philippines as a tourist hub.

With tourist arrivals from China posting an annual growth rate of about 20 per cent, it is now one of the country's fastest-growing markets. This is despite the bungled hostage rescue last year that killed eight tourists from Hong Kong.

Though China will not be asking Hong Kong to lift its black travel warning to the Philippines, China will continue to promote exchanges with the Philippines.

Liu said: "Yes, the relationship really has gone through some tests in the past year but our past experience tells us that we could put solutions to all these crisis, all these issues in a way that will not affect the relationship. But rather, after we successfully found solution to these problems, we can even strengthen the relationship."

Aside from Beijing, President Aquino will also be going to Shanghai and Xiamen, where he will be paying respects to his Chinese ancestors. It is such kinship between the two countries that gives rise to optimism that both countries will be able to resolve sensitive issues that have strained bilateral relations.

₱ 2.5 Billion expansion of Procter & gamble Philippines and to add new 500 jobs

Procter & gamble in responds to the fast growing demand of the products will expands their production in the Philippines for 2.5 Billion and will also expand their workforce from 1, 400 to around 2,000 in 2011 or hiring more than 500 new workers.

Doubling the production of high demand products is necessary to meet the fast growing demands in the local and international market.

By doubling its diaper production, Procter & Gamble Philippines Inc. (PGPI) expects to add more than a hundred jobs a year, an official said on Friday.

"The investment will result in the addition of over 500 direct and indirect jobs," corporate communications manager Anama A. Dimapilis said.

The local unit of the Cincinatti, Ohio-headquartered P&G Co. said the increase by a third of the company's total 1,400 workforce will result from the P2.5-billion investment to expand its diaper production line at the firm's manufacturing facility in Cabuyao, Laguna. The expansion will occupy 8,500 square meters (sq.m.) of the total plant area of 220,000 sq.m.

"Currently, our baby care line capacity is at 10 million [diaper] pads per year. Upon completion of the 3-year expansion plan, capacity will be doubled to 20 million pads per year," Dimapilis told the BusinessMirror after the groundbreaking ceremony at the company's plant inside the Light Industry & Science Park (LISP).

Dimapilis said they plan to triple production on the expanded line's fifth year. Thirty of the multinational company's 140 branded products, including disposable diaper brand Pampers, are being sold in the country.

P&G put up the production line at the LISP in 2006 for P360 million after reorganizing its Philippine business into "a toll manufacturer providing the service of converting raw and packing materials to finished products and other related services for the account" of other affiliated companies, P&G said in a report to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

About 40% of the company's diaper production is for export while about 30% of the production of the new line would mainly serve the domestic market, a company official said.

A statement said the Cabuyao plant serves the Philippines and several markets in the southeast Asian region.

The Laguna complex manufactures fabric and home care products under five brands, personal cleansing and skin care products under three brands and feminine care products under the Whisper brand.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Irene comes in- New York City Closed

IRENE’S EYE. The finger of National Hurricane Center Director Bill Read points to the landfall of Hurricane Irene's eye at Cape Lookout, N.C., using a Telestrator, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011, at the hurricane center in Miami.

 

No subway, bridges, airports, Broadway ahead of ‘historic hurricane’

 

NEW YORK—Tens of thousands of people along the US East Coast were on the move Saturday, fleeing their homes and vacation spots ahead of massive Hurricane “Irene,” which has shut down airports, transit systems and scores of businesses, including Broadway.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has ordered an unprecedented mass evacuation and the closure of America’s biggest subway system—the first time ever because of a natural disaster—while US President Barack Obama cut short his summer vacation and returned to Washington.

Obama, speaking from Martha’s Vineyard Island off the coast of Massachusetts before ending his vacation early, said all indications point to the storm being a historic hurricane.

The Category 2 hurricane, packing winds of 137 kilometers per hour, slammed into the coast of North Carolina on Saturday before moving up the eastern seaboard toward Washington, New York and Boston.

Though the wind strength has weakened from the forecast 160 kph, authorities say the hazards are still the same.

“The emphasis for this storm is on its size and duration, not necessarily how strong the strongest winds are,” stressed National Hurricane Center (NHC) specialist Mike Brennan.

The densely populated corridor, home to more than 65 million people, was under the threat of flooding, storm surges, power outages and destruction that experts said could cost up to $12 billion.

Officials declared emergencies, called up hundreds of National Guard troops, shut down public transit systems and begged hundreds of thousands of people to obey evacuation orders and get out of harm’s way.

“Don’t wait. Don’t delay,” said Obama. “I cannot stress this highly enough: If you are in the projected path of this hurricane, you have to take precautions now.”

Latest forecasts

At press time, Irene had made a crashing landfall into the North Carolina coastline on Saturday, and according to the latest forecast, to churn up the eastern seaboard and drench areas from Virginia to New York City on Sunday before a weakened storm reaches New England.

Irene’s wrath in the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas, gave a preview of what might be coming to the United States: Power outages, dangerous floods and high winds that caused millions of dollars in damage.

Long before the storm’s eye crossed the US coastline, rain and tropical storm-force winds of at least 80 kph already were pelting North and South Carolina as Irene trudged north, snapping power lines and flooding streets.

Officials warned of dangerous rip currents as Irene roiled the surf. Thousands already were without power. Wind and rains knocked out power to about 45,000 customers along the coast, including a hospital.

Extremely dangerous’

Irene will be accompanied by an “extremely dangerous” storm surge that could raise water levels by as much as 3.4 meters, the NHC said.

The NHC said the storm is unlikely to get any stronger and may weaken slightly before reaching land. But even below hurricane strength it would be a powerful and potentially destructive storm, it said.

The hurricane still packed 160 kilometer per hour winds, and officials in the northeast, not used to tropical weather, feared it could wreak devastation.

Irene’s approach stirred painful memories of Hurricane “Katrina,” which smashed into the Gulf Coast in 2005, stranding thousands of people in New Orleans and overwhelming poorly prepared local and federal authorities.

Last hurricane in 1985

“We haven’t seen a hurricane threat like this in quite a few decades,” Chris Vaccaro, a spokesperson from the National Weather Service, told AFP.

“This is going to be a very long weekend for the residents of the Mid-Atlantic and the northeast,” he said.

Hurricanes are rare in the northeastern United States— the last major hurricane to hit New York was “Gloria” in 1985.

The US East Coast, home to some of the country’s most densely populated cities and costliest waterfront real estate, was expected to suffer a multibillion-dollar disaster, experts forecast.

In addition to widespread wind and water damage, Irene could also push crude oil prices higher if it disrupts refineries in Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia, which produce nearly 8 percent of US gasoline and diesel fuel.

First-ever NYC evacuation

Bloomberg told a news conference Friday he had ordered the first-ever mass evacuations from low-lying areas across the densely populated New York City that are home to some 250,000 people, calling it a “matter of life or death.”

Subways, buses and trains in one of the world’s largest public transportation systems were to stop running at noon Saturday. Bridges and tunnels also could be closed as the storm approaches, clogging traffic in an already congested city.

The five main New York City-area airports were also scheduled to close at noon Saturday for arriving passenger flights.

Several New York landmarks were under the evacuation order, including the Battery Park City area where tourists catch ferries to the Statue of Liberty.

Sporting events, concerts and even Broadway were going dark.

The unprecedented orders, which affect New Yorkers from Manhattan and out to the beaches of Brooklyn and Queens, dealt the congested metropolis a formidable logistical challenge that raised more questions than it resolved.

Where to?

Where are all of those people in New York’s flood-prone areas supposed to go? And, more pointedly, how are they going to get there—especially since many don’t own a car?

Officials hoped most residents would stay with family and friends, and for the rest the city opened nearly 100 shelters with a capacity of 71,000 people.

Many people scoffed at the danger and vowed to ride it out at home.

Bloomberg said he was confident people would get out of the storm’s way.

“We do not have the manpower to go door-to-door and drag people out of their homes,” he said. “Nobody’s going to get fined. Nobody’s going to go to jail. But if you don’t follow this, people might die.”

“It’s possible to evacuate without going very far,” said John Nielsen-Gammon, a Texas A&M University meteorologist who has been involved in disaster planning in his role as the state climatologist.

Big wild card

“The big wild card for New York is the fact that nobody there is used to a hurricane and can’t rely on common sense or past experience as a guide. And what we learned from evacuations in Houston is that people rely on their friends and their own experience as much as, or more than, they rely on public officials,” he said.

America’s biggest city has not seen a hurricane in decades, and a hurricane warning hasn’t been issued there since Hurricane “Gloria” hit in 1985 as a Category 2 storm, said Ashley Sears, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Even if the winds aren’t strong enough to damage buildings in a metropolis made largely of brick, concrete and steel, a lot of New York’s subways and other infrastructure are underground, making them subject to flooding.

New York’s two airports are close to the water and could be inundated, as could densely packed neighborhoods, if the storm pushes ocean water into the city’s waterways, officials said.

The last 200 years

In the last 200 years, New York has seen only a few significant hurricanes. In September 1821, a hurricane raised tides by 4 meters in an hour and flooded all of Manhattan south of Canal Street, the southernmost tip of the city. The area now includes Wall Street and the World Trade Center memorial.

An infamous 1938 storm dubbed the Long Island Express came ashore about 120 kilometers east of the city and then hit New England, killing 700 people and leaving 63,000 homeless.

In 2008, the city had a brush with Tropical Storm “Hanna,” which dumped 8 centimeters of rain on Manhattan.

Philippines is perfect place to study faith, globalization - Tony Blair

The Philippines is in many ways the perfect place to explore the complexities surrounding the relationship between faith and globalization, both past and present. As a society deeply influenced historically by Spanish, Indonesian, Malaysian and indigenous cultures, it finds itself in the 21st century occupying a delicate and profoundly important role in both Asian and Western trade and  foreign affairs. I am therefore pleased to announce that the Tony Blair Faith Foundation (TBFF) has just established a deep and extensive partnership in the Philippines: A schools initiative to make inter-faith dialogue a part of social education, a program presently in 17 other nations; and a consortium of universities that will join the global Faith and Globalization course that was begun at Yale in the USA and is now in eight countries around the world.

Britain abused and rejected the Philippines

Tony Blair is a youngest with a longest service period Prime Minister in the United Kingdom. He resigned from his all position in the politics and political party last June 2007 after so many criticisms of his participation in the Afghanistan and Iraq invasion led by Former President George W. Bush.

He might be no escape of the dirts in the politics reason he resigned and starts to serve the people by his own will and own direction without the measure from the dirty world of politics.

The Britain government is still having the huge unpaid indebtedness to the Philippines after they turnover the North Borneo Territory (Sabah) to the ally Malaysia. Without respect and rejecting the ruling Sultan of Sulu, the British Government include the North Borneo (Sabah) to the crown treaty and turnover to Malaysia in spite of the several warning from the United States that the North Borneo (Sabah) is not belong to the crown treaty and must remain free and part of the Sultanate State of Sulu under the Philippines Government.

The stupid mistake of the British Government is a prime reason for the never ending conflict in Mindanao as the locals are keep on longing to take back the missing piece of their territory resulting to continues revolution until the present time.

With the pride of the British Government, they did not accept mistake. The conflicts continue rising and already tallied around 150,000 death. The 150,000 death is enough for the Britain to correct their previous mistake and they are accountable to all of this.

The initiative of the defecting Tony Blair is good for the Philippines but this is not enough to clean the mindset of the aboriginals (Muslims, Subano and other tribe in Mindanao) that they lose a piece of land because it was stolen by the British Government.  Read more here about this issue.

Enormous possibility

The Philippines is a great place to have such ideas. It is a fascinating country on the move, facing big challenges but with enormous possibility which it is starting to fulfill. It has a new president with a strong mandate and the determination and capability to succeed and a people behind him willing him on. It is a nation of 100 million, situated in the middle of the rising East, with resources, culture and beauty to exploit. Its people are hard-working and smart. Its poverty remains real, but so does its potential.

Faith is also a big part of the country. It is predominantly Christian and Catholic; but it has a significant Muslim population. In the past years the Philippines has witnessed a tragic dispute in its Mindanao region, where the majority of the Muslim people live. Largely ignored by the outside world, this conflict has resulted in the death, in recent decades of 150,000 people, displaced two million and inhibited what could be huge investment in the southern part of the islands which is rich in deposits of oil, gas and minerals. It is actually the second oldest conflict on earth after North/South Sudan.

Faith-based programs

Hence the need for, and the importance of faith-based programs that promote peaceful coexistence. Of course, here, as in all such situations there are a myriad of political and territorial issues that complicate. However, here also, we cannot hope to establish peace without accepting that religion is part of the problem and therefore must become part of the solution. To its great credit the government is prepared to recognize this and help make it happen.

The TBFF will be working closely with the government on two levels. In the first place, we will be working with the Department of Education to bring our “Face to Faith” program into Filipino public schools. This program will provide the next generation of Filipino leaders with the opportunity to learn essential communication skills while also gaining greater understanding of inter-faith dialogue and the role of religion in the world. Second, we will work with the Commission for Higher Education, the Office of the Peace Process and a consortium of universities in our “Faith & Globalization Initiative,” which gives university students from around the world the opportunity to learn more about religion’s complex relationship with the forces of globalization.

Pervasive and complex

From this example, we can see a wider truth about the way we live and work today. The role of religion in today’s world can be described in two words:  Pervasive and complex. Religion extends its influence over a myriad of aspects  of our daily lives in the globalized 21st century, whether or not we have  religious faith ourselves. Religion can claim responsibility for some of the most profoundly positive and important events and movements the world has ever known. Yet it has also been associated with some of the most heinous and horrible crimes against humanity.

Unstoppable force

Globalization is an unstoppable force, driven partly by technology and partly by people. Its impact is to thrust people online and physically together through mass travel and migration. So today people are aware of, mix with and compete with those of a different faith. There are then two responses. One is to make sense of this interaction by establishing ways and means of living together, learning from each other and coexisting in mutual respect.

The other is to react against the changes such a process brings and use religious faith as a badge of identity in opposition to those of another faith. The world over, this struggle is being played out.   There is a risk that extremism grows unchecked except by security methods whereas what is needed is a combination of hard and soft power. But the other side effect is that faith itself is discredited, seen as the cause of the world’s problems not a vital civilizing force for its future.

This would be sad; because the single most compelling fact about faith and the reason those of faith are still growing in numbers not diminishing is that amongst all the potential for conflict, it still does immense good for the people of this world, in caring for them, supporting them when weak and counseling them when strong. This, not the extremism is the true Face of Faith.

Tony Blair is the founder and patron of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation (http://www.tonyblairfaithfoundation.org/blog/entry/the-phillipines-government-and-tony-blair-announce-plan-for-peace-building).

 

Philippines' products stand tall over China's territory

By MARIA TERESA T. ALMOJUELA (Minister and Consul General, Philippine Embassy Beijing)

Philippines — One may ask — amidst the preparations for the summitry of the State Visit of President Benigno S. Aquino III to China next week and its weighty agenda — how is the Philippines seen in China?

A quick survey of Philippine presence in China would bring up an eclectic mix of Philippine “flag bearers” – things, people and places that shape the images conjured by the word “Philippines” in the minds of the common Chinese.

The list would be topped by edibles found in the markets like dried mangoes, the pan de sal (labeled “Filipino bun”), Philippine bananas grown in Mindanao and Oishi snacks and mango juices. Seafood from the Philippines is also in high demand – gaining ground in high-income cities in mostly-landlocked Chinese consumer markets.

Since the success of Philippine lobbying in the 1990s to secure access of Philippine bananas in China, the country has become the third largest market for Philippine bananas. These days, Mindanao-grown cavendish is a staple in Chinese tables – one sign of the dramatic change in consumption patterns in China over the last two decades, a change that has accultured the Chinese to the best of what the outside world could offer – from food, music and clothes, to luxury cars and yatchs.

Thanks to the efforts of the Department of Tourism to build up the Philippines in a very competitive but numbers-rich outbound travel market in China – Boracay (called the Changtan Dao – meaning Longbeach Island) has carved its own name in China.

The strength of the Boracay brand, as an island-paradise get-away that is not far from China, and the market’s familiarity with Cebu, resonates in the popular impressions of the Philippines’ tropical destinations among the Chinese.

One would easily know this from cab drivers and pedestrians who voluntarily share these images of the Philippines when they encounter a Filipino.

This branding has made Cebu and Boracay the most popular destinations of Chinese tourists in the Philippines. The market is booming and blooming: China is one of the fastest-growing markets for Philippine tourism, ranking fourth in terms of arrivals in 2010.

Chinese impressions of the Philippines are enriched by personal contacts with the increasing number of Filipinos in China – currently estimated at 10,000. This includes Filipino musicians and bands playing in watering holes from Xinjiang to Tibet to Heilongjiang to Shanghai, English teachers, and corporate executives and engineers employed by global giants and Philippine companies.

There are many individuals of notable distinctions – from tycoons like Carlos Chan (known as Shi Gong Qi) and Lucio Tan (Chen Yong Cai), whose business interests span the entire Chinese map, to journalists like CNN Beijing Bureau Chief Jaime Flor Cruz, Harvard-educated Intel executive Lara Tiam, architect Marco Torres who carried the Beijing Olympic Torch and who persuasively tells the Chinese of the wonders of the Philippines through networking sites, blogs, tweets and his lifestyle magazine, chef Rey Lim who has been whipping up appetites in high-end Western fusion restaurants in the Chinese capital in the last 17 years, and Elmer Reyes, an athletics teacher at an international school who runs ultra marathon and triathlon races.

Among these individuals are agents of cultural interaction such as soprano Anne Luis of the Bayanihan Dance Troupe, who studies Beijing Opera at the National Theater Academy of China. With her, the Chinese people are very much taken by the homage a Filipino talent is paying to China’s ancient theater form.

The Philippine Consul General in Beijing, Maria Teresa Almojuela, says that “the Filipino men and women in China are not merely bearing witness to China’s changes: they are contributing to the energy of the Chinese society and taking part in its history.”

There were three Filipinos, who enthusiastically threw themselves into the City of Beijing’s fervor for its 2008 Olympic hosting: aside from Marco Torres, the father-and-daughter team of Jaime and Michelle Florcruz were chosen by the Beijing government to be among the 58 expats to carry the Olympic torch. It was the first time for Philippine nationals to run with the Olympic torch since the 1964 Tokyo games – and these Pinoys delivered with aplomb.

These Olympic torch bearers reflect the Filipinos’ penchant for giving themselves to Chinese civic causes. The Philippine Ball in Beijing, organized by the leaders of the Filipino community bi-annually, raises funds for Chinese charities. There are community projects like schools and orphanages in China which are supported by Filipino benefactors and volunteers.

These examples have strong historical precedence. Records show that in 1930s Shanghai, Philippine veterinarian Dr. Honorio Evangelista led the Philippine company of the Shanghai Volunteer Corps, ready to help the city in the outbreak of hostilities. The Filipino volunteers were said to be “keen volunteers and always participated in activities and hazardous assignments, earning for themselves medals and honors.”

Since the 1990s, China has warmly received teachers from the Philippines, mostly in the English language. To date, there are over 2,000 Filipino citizens who teach English in all levels of education in China, from pre-schools to graduate schools.

Filipino educators also founded the first international school in the province of Fujian in 1993. The Manila Xiamen International School (MXIS), founded by Filipino educators Roman and Mildred Go, now boasts of a student population of 328 students representing over twenty countries.

A Filipino traveling to China will be surprised that most Chinese know the Presidents of the Philippines by name. The Chinese are after all an educated people who still devour books, read newspapers and watch the evening news, keenly following China’s public affairs.

The average Chinese could easily remember the names of Presidents Marcos (Ma-ke-si Zhongtong), Estrada ( Ai-si-te-la-da Zhongtong) and Arroyo ( A-lou-ye Zhongtong). It is also known in China that President Aquino ( A-ji-nuo Zhongtong) is the son of former President Corazon Aquino, whose visit to China in 1988 included a journey to the laojia (hometown) of her great-grandparents’ ancestors in Fujian.

The Chinese profess an admiring impression of the women leaders of the Philippines and hold the Philippines as a model for gender equality in politics. This is the reason Philippine women Presidents like Aquino and Arroyo capture the imagination of the Chinese public.

The older Chinese generation in their 60s, 70s and 80s could still recall their first enchantment with the Philippines and the Filipino woman in the image of Imelda Marcos. Her visit to Beijing in 1973 was beamed in Chinese state television. And so the image of Filipino women to that captive audience – and for a very long time in China - was Imelda Marcos herself – regal and svelte in pink terno being toasted by Chairman Mao Zedong, and carrying both beauty and power as she paved the way for our formal ties.

Contemporary Chinese hardly miss the fact that the Filipinos are a musically-gifted people because of the presence of Filipino musicians in China.

Filipino musicians are among the most sought-after performers in the Chinese music scene, headlining shows in the most popular bars and hotels in China. Some bands have so captured the fancy of their Chinese audience that they are even invited to perform in variety shows on local television channels.

It is estimated that there are over 3,000 Filipino musicians working in China. While it may seem on the surface to be a recent trend, records show that Filipino musicians were in fact very much in the Shanghai music scene in the 1920s and 1930s – playing nightly in the plush clubs, cabarets and hotels in the city in combos with 6 up to 12 members until the wars stopped the music.

The Philippine presence in Shanghai in its days as Paris of the East was such that the former French concession had a Manila Road (pronounced locally as Man-nun-la-lo). Today, this is named Yan’An Road – a busy beltway of flyovers at the heart of the city.

Philippine flavors are also making headway to the Chinese palate. The importation of fruits and food products to China, including dried mangoes, banana chips and polvoron (shortbread cookies), mango, calamansi, coconut juices, purees and concentrates are adding new flavors in a country whose young, diverse, and open-minded market welcomes new culinary experiences.

Many Chinese are becoming more aware that leading snack food brand Oishi is made by Liwayway Marketing Corp., a Filipino company which first ventured into the Chinese market in 1993 with two companies in Shanghai. In less than 20 years, its China operations has expanded to 14 facilities all over Mainland China under the head company Liwayway (China) Co. Ltd.. Oishi’s range of range of products includes more than 50 variants of salty snacks, cereals, popcorn, cookies, powdered juices, and sauces.

Bistro Luneta is flying the Philippine flag proudly in downtown Shanghai, serving amazingly delectable squid sisig, chicken empanada, chicken and mushroom adobo, lechon kawali and other Filipino gastronomic treats.

Luneta is probably the only Filipino restaurant in the entire Mainland China. By doing successfully, it may also be paving pathways for other Philippine restaurateurs to enter China’s culinary scene.

Oishi and Bistro Luneta both represent the range of investment ventures that Filipinos have made in China’s dynamic and huge market. Since China’s opening up at the beginning of the 1980s, the cumulative volume of Philippine investments in China has grown to US$2.78 billion by the end of 2010. Currently, the Philippines is one of Asia’s top sources of investments in China and ranks as China’s fourth largest ASEAN investor.

This is one of the key features of the bilateral economic relationship, and places It also places the Philippines in an extremely good vantage point to engage China towards a stronger economic partnership, especially as the latter has recently become, according to the UN World Investment Report of July 2011, the fifth largest source global investor.

A Filipino travelling to China will find numerous high-rises, malls, factories, and ventures across the territory that illuminate the role of Philippine investments in contributing to the synergy of the country’s economic transformation in the last three decades.

Friday, August 26, 2011

DO NOT BUY MADE IN CHINA - CODE 690 to 695. BUY ME

Broken? Ohh! Made in china!

Identifying Product “Bar Codes”

Refer the first 3 number codes below to know which country the product is made

Warning for these codes are made in China!

6 9 0 – 6 9 5 are made in China

6 9 0 ********* Made in China

6 9 1 ********* Made in China

6 9 2 ********* Made in China

6 9 3 ********* Made in China

6 9 4 ********* Made in China

6 9 5 ********* Made in China

4 7 1 ********* Made in Taiwan (China)

===

0 0 - 1 3 are Made in USA

0 0 ********* Made in USA

0 1 ********* Made in USA

0 2 ********* Made in USA

Until 13 ***** Made in USA

3 0 to 3 7 **** Made in France

4 0 to 4 4 *** Made in Germany

4 7 ********* Made in Denmark

4 9 ********* Made in Japan

5 0 ********* Made in UK

7 6 ********* Made in Switzerland and Liechtenstein

6 9 0 – 6 9 5 * Made in China

4 7 1 ******* Made in Taiwan (China)

4 8 0 ******* Made in the Philippines

6 2 8 ******* Made in Saudi Arabia

6 2 9 ******* Made in United Arab Emirates (UAE)

7 4 0 to 7 4 5 * Made in Central American Countries

8 8 0 ******* Made in South Korea

Do not be confused! Be sure to read before buying. Do not buy china’s Back market products. For Countries surrounding China like South Korea, Japan and Vietnam, There are products which are actually design from their country but still manufactured in China for example the code 880 which is a Korean code product but when it is manufactured in china, it will appear as made in China.

For Filipinos, always buy product Made in the Philippines or made in other country except made in China.

4 8 0 ******* Made in the Philippines

It is always a big issue talking about made in china because of the burgeoning china’s economy is made of fake and substandard products which exported through smuggling system to avoid the quality classification of the country’s destination.

China becomes dominant in the world market for producing cheap products which lure buyers to but the product because of a very low price.

Many issues of buying china’s products being ignored because of their dominance in the market but buyers must supposed to be wise because buying Made in China products is a big loss in their part with respect to the quality.

A simple advice to the buyers not to buy electrical products which is made in china because it is proven about 96% cause of fire. Do not waste your money saving the cheap electrical products which are made in China that would burn your whole Million worth property.

There is no Original and genuine product in China

So many factor why not to buy Made in China. It is not just because of the very poor quality that could lead to shame and property destruction but also for piracy issue. Piracy is the highest issue for China made because China never manufacture product which is design from their own ingenuity. China is wise. They are not willing to spend for the research and development to discover a new product but just to copy and infringe the rights of the owner “PIRACY”.

China leads the world in piracy not just for small product like toys but also including bullet trains, ships, cars and even the defense weaponry.

The fake and pirated china learned how to develop a Stealth Helicopter after the death of Bin Laden in Pakistan and they are now in the move on how to manufacture a stealth helicopter like USA but it would take time as there are so many factors to be considered to avoid detection. It is not just measurements but also the materials and many other things.

The recent boasting of China’s bullet train is also a pirated version of the Japanese bullet train which even Japanese government suit china for the issue.

Smart Bro Wireless Internet in the Philippines is MADE IN CHINA

Made in china is not just a big issue in the Philippines but also the most hated label.  Filipinos are born to be to be peaceful, patriotic and jovial which issues of china’s invasion to the Philippines waters in the West Philippines Sea (South China Sea) the Spratlys alarmed the whole country and call for “Boycott Made in China”.

“Boycott made in china” could not be possible if buyers are not familiar with the  product codes because China tried to hide the label now. Most Product made in China didn’t show the label “Made in China” so the only way to distinguish is to check the first 3 numbers in the bar codes which starts from 690 – 695.

Techy and internet lovers in the Philippines; We would like to remind you that the “Smart Bro wireless internet” dongle is Made in China.

Few reasons that the ASEAN countries must not buy Made in China

1.      The more china’s economy will grow, the more they would become rich and they could develop more sophisticated war weapon to attack the ASEAN SEA (West Philippines Sea or South China Sea)

2.      The More you will buy china’s product, the more they could have power to invade the world including your land

3.      The more you will buy Made in China, the more you hurt your economy.

4.      The more you will buy Made in China, the more you will become fake like china.

5.      The products are Sub standard specially the electrical product. ASEAN countries are tropical countries which houses are usually made of light materials “Cottages” to avoid fire that would risk your lives, in your cottage, do not buy made in China.

6.      China is the leader of piracy. Do not buy Made in China to obey the anti piracy law

We encourage you to make research what are the products that are made in China and post them here so the people would be aware. We submit this article in this site because this site as we noticed gain thousands of visitors every day which means thousands of people would know this. DO NOT BUY MADE IN CHINA

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Monster Black hole caught in act of swallowing a giant star

This still photograph from a NASA video animation depicts the supermassive black hole Swift J1644+57 eating a big star, a process that scientists witnessed for the first time using the Swift satellite.

SPACE NEWS: For the first time, a black hole has been caught in the act of tearing apart and swallowing a star that got too close.

Scientists, who until now had witnessed only the aftermath of such events, say the observation is shedding light on "relativistic jets," bursts of matter that shoot out at nearly the speed of light.

At the centers of virtually all large galaxies are supermassive black holes. These monsters, which are millions to billions of times the mass of the sun, can rip apart passers-by, gravitationally pulling at stars in gigantic versions of how our moon tugs on Earth's oceans to generate tides.

Evidence for this destruction may come in the form of a bright flare of ultraviolet, gamma and X-rays, a flare that can theoretically last for years as the star is gradually consumed. Although scientists have observed the aftermath of such "tidal disruption" events several times, they had never seen the onset of one.

"Now we've seen the start of this event for the first time," study co-author David Burrows, an astrophysicist at Pennsylvania State University, told Space.com.

The Swift satellite observed a string of extremely bright bursts of gamma rays from outside our galaxy that began March 25 and lasted about two days. Scientists have detected gamma ray bursts in the past, but this pattern of light was completely different.

"It was nothing like we expected for a gamma-ray burst," said Ashley Zauderer, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who co-authored a different study on the event.

Additional observations by several radio telescopes suggested the flare occurred in the center of a galaxy, and that the source of this radiation was expanding at 99.5 percent the speed of light. This suggested the flare came from a relativistic jet released after a black hole ripped apart a star, which scientists named Swift J1644+57.

Based on the wavelengths of light emitted by the flare and the way it evolved over time, the scientists concluded that it originated from matter falling or accreting onto a black hole about 1 million times the mass of the sun, comparable to the supermassive black hole at the heart of the Milky Way.

 NASA / Swift / Stefan Immler

Images from Swift's Ultraviolet/Optical (white, purple) and X-Ray telescopes (yellow and red) were combined to make this view of Swift J1644+57. In the past, scientists had missed the fact that relativistic jets could form as black holes ripped apart stars. This helps explain why the flare had X-rays 10,000 times brighter than predicted for a tidal disruption event: Basically, relativistic jets are focused bursts of energy.

"It's not surprising that such an event would cause jets, but it was just never discussed in past publications," Burrows said.

Future research could reveal more outbursts of this kind. Knowing how often these occur will help scientists figure out just how many galaxies harbor supermassive black holes, what the properties of these monsters are, the density of stars in galactic cores, and how these jets form.

"There are a lot more surprises in space for us to discover, especially as we continue to make huge strides in the technical capabilities of our instruments," Zauderer said.

The scientists detailed their findings in two papers in the Aug. 25 issue of the journal Nature.

China seeks joint Exploration in the Island and Waters of the Philippines' Spratlys

The Philippines government already pronounce that no more joint exploration to happen in the West Philippines Sea but it is just for the areas which is within 200 Nautical Miles Exclusive Economic Zone but the proposal for joint exploration is acceptable only by the Philippines government if it is beyond the 200 nautical miles.

Joint exploration is lately suggested by the Philippines that disputed areas must be separated from the undisputed areas’ 200 Nautical Miles Exclusive economic Zone.

Wednesday, China seeks a joint exploration of the resource-rich and contested Spratlys, but an agreement on this is unlikely in the forthcoming state visit of President Benigno Aquino III to the mainland, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Liu Jianchao(August 24, 2011).

The conflict between China and the Philippines over the Spratlys will not be solved in one state visit; he said at a press conference prior to the August 30 to September 3 state visit.

“I’m sure the (Spratlys) issue will be discussed. The issue has been there for decades, but we can’t expect it to be settled by just this trip. The visit will enhance understanding of the two governments,” the ambassador said.

The idea of a joint exploration on the disputed islands through a public-private partnership “would be a very, very nice idea if we can do that. Both sides should be patient so that the issue will not affect relations and be settled in a way that can bring prosperity, peace, and stability in the region.”

Liu said the proposal for a joint exploration had been put forward by the Chinese government as early as 1985 when then Chinese Premier Deng Xiao Ping raised the idea to the Philippine foreign secretary.

“Since then, we've been working with the other claimant countries on the possibility of such a joint exploration, so we do hope that this will materialize as soon as possible,” he said, adding that any joint exploration would include even islands occupied by China.

“We believe this is best way for claimant countries to have the opportunity of cooperation,” he added.

In 2005, the Philippines, China, and Vietnam, through their respective national oil companies, agreed to a joint maritime seismic undertaking in the contested areas involving the three countries. Finalized during the time of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the agreement to jointly gather, process, and interpret pre-exploratory seismic data on possible oil and gas reserves ended in 2008; it was not extended to the next stage of assessing the potential of the area.

“I can’t give you a definite date when such an agreement will be reached, but we hope that we can reach a stage that we can agree upon a joint exploration,” the ambassador said.

Aside from the Philippines, China, and Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei and Malaysia also have either partial or complete claims to the islands and rocks in the South China Sea, which the Philippines has renamed West Philippine Sea.

Dispute settlement

President Benigno Aquino III has said that he would raise the border dispute before the International Tribunal on the Law of the Seas. Asked how this would affect the discussions on the contested area, Liu said: “I’m not sure how the two presidents will be discussing this issue, but I’m sure they will discuss the issue in good faith and will not affect the general relations” between the two countries.

The ambassador said Aquino’s first state visit to China would be of great significance in “expanding cooperation between the two countries and strengthening people-to-people understanding.” The dispute, he said, should get in the way of an improved bilateral relationship between China and the Philippines.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

WIKILeaks - US says Island Mindanao has $1-Trillion Dollar untapped mineral resources

[Mindanao is known as “The of Promise”. The promise of all the promises. Treasures, Land of God, the Lost Paradise, The lost garden of Eden and the land of the last judgment in earth. Bible scholars even pointed the Mindanao as the land of promise of all promises. One verse of the Bible quoted “The God’s kingdom will rise again in the east of the east seas where the Sun will rises first, in the white sand shores where the only land which people are willing to live and die for praising my name ”.]

Leaked diplomatic documents in Wikileaks showed the United States has a special interest in the natural resources in Mindanao and the ending of the armed conflict in the region, giving credence to a suspicion that the United States is prodding the Aquino administration’s peace efforts with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), including brokering the recent secret meeting between MILF spokesman Al Haj Murad and President Aquino.

Wikileaks obtained documents dated February 2006 or prior to the botched signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MoA-AD) on Aug. 5, 2008 showing extensive reference to the untapped rich mineral resources of Mindanao and tensions in the region which hinder the exploitation of these resources.

The leaked cable from the US embassy in Manila made particular reference to the so-called Liguasan Marsh in the Cotabato Basin spanning 288,000 hectares and is among areas controlled by the MILF.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has already identified natural gas and oil deposits in three areas of Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago: the Cotabato Basin, the Davao-Agusan Basin; and an area straddling Tawi-Tawi and Sulu. The Cotabato Basin, notably, includes the 288,000 hectare Liguasan Marsh, straddling the provinces of Maguindanao, North Cotabato, and Sultan Kudurat, according to the cable.

It stated that this “swamp/marsh — which is an officially declared bird sanctuary and game refuge — remains an important MILF stronghold, home to an estimated 280,000 Muslims, and an area where members of the terrorist Jemaah Islamiya (JI) have historically conducted training and sought refuge.”

It detailed the several roadblocks the government faces in exploiting Liguasan Marsh particularly what it called as “competing land ownership claims.”

The cable recounted the clan of former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Gov. Zacaria Candao staking a claim to 40 percent of the Liguasan Marsh, while other clans, including the Mangudadatus and Pendatuns, have claimed at least 50 per cent ownership.

It also stated that MILF vice-chairman for political affairs Ghazali Jafaar as referring to the Liguasan Marsh as a “legacy from our forefathers” adding that the Bangsamoro people would not part with their lands in the marsh.

“The MILF has created the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) to lead, manage, and determine developmental efforts, including in the Liguasan Marsh,” it added.

It said separately, the Maguindanao tribe, which is the predominant indigenous and largely Muslim ethnic group living in and around the Liguasan Marsh, considers the marsh as part of its own ancestral domain.

The cable added that the Maguindanao-based clan of the deceased Salipada Pendatun, the first Muslim to serve as a general in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), has also claimed ownership over the entire Liguasan Marsh by virtue of an original land title.

“Though Pendatun’s daughter and legal heir, Bai Monera Pendatun, has said the Pendatun clan is open to sharing the marsh with others, she has opposed any amendment to the law that would allow titling of lands within the marsh,” it added.

It stated that the head of the Alamada clan, Rebecca Dilagalan Alamada Buan, has separately claimed 14,000 hectares in North Cotabato Province, near the borders of Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur. “Meanwhile, the Ampatuan clan, led by Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan and ARMM Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan, politically dominate the region, also including most of the mayors of the 11 municipalities of Maguindanao, eight municipalities of North Cotabato, and one municipality of Sultan Kudurat that encompass the Liguasan Marsh,” it added.

The intercepted cable was transmitted long before the Maguindanao massacre in 2009 where 51 people were slain over an election-related dispute and in which the Ampatuan clan is suspected of having carried out.

The cable said the Philippines National Oil Company (PNOC) began exploring for oil and natural gas in the Liguasan Marsh area in 1994 under Geophysical Survey and Exploration Contract (GSEC) 73, which covered all of Maguindanao, North Cotabato, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudurat, Sarangani, Davao, and Bukidnon provinces of Mindanao.

It added that Malaysia’s national oil company, Petronas, partnered with the PNOC for the exploration of the marshland.

“By the late 1990’s, they had located natural gas and/or oil in five sites, including Datu Piang (Dulawan) and Sultan Sa Barongis in Maguindanao and Lambayong in Sultan Kudurat.

According to the PNOC, the estimated natural gas deposits in Sultan Sa Barongis alone would be enough to fuel a 60-megawatt (MW) combined cycle power plant for 20 years.

“The PNOC had hoped to use this gas to support the power requirements of Mindanao as well as for industrial applications. However, the PNOC and Petronas suspended operations in the Liguasan Marsh area due to threats from the MILF and extortion by local mayors and political warlords,” it added.

It cited incomplete data and unconfirmed reports that the Philippines may have untapped mineral wealth worth between $840 billion and $1 trillion.

It said the US Geological Survey hopes soon to conduct a more comprehensive survey of minerals, with funding from the Philippine government.

A special advisor on the GRP-MILF Peace Process in the Office of the President recently described Mindanao in particular as “a treasure trove” of mineral resources, including gold, copper, nickel, manganese, chromites, silver, lead, zinc, and iron ore, it added.

It cited data from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau that up to 70 per cent of the Philippines’ mineral resources may be in Mindanao.

“Interest has grown significantly since a December 2004 decision by the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Mining Act. Companies that are up to 100 per cent foreign owned may now pursue investments in large-scale exploration and development of minerals, oil, and gas. As of early 2006, there were 23 mining projects nationwide,” it added.

Multinational firms are already eyeing areas in Mindanao for possible projects, it said.

The cable stressed that despite official optimism over a final GRP-MILF peace agreement by the end of 2006, disputes over land and natural resources, clan conflicts (locally called “rido”), and tensions between Muslims and Christians will remain important undercurrents and challenges to peace and development in Mindanao.

“Diffusing such tensions will be a major challenge for the GRP-MILF peace process during the years ahead, requiring careful governance and significant amounts of foreign assistance,” it said.

Malacañang had repeatedly denied the participation of the United States government in the meeting between Aquino and Murad in Tokyo but it had refused to reveal details about the two-hour meeting.

Murad, meanwhile, expressed hopes that the government peace panel could submit its counter-proposal in the ongoing peace negotiations during the resumption of formal talks in Malaysia on Monday.

“We hope that the Philippine Peace Panel shall finally submit its draft of the political compact and so that we can start the discussion on substantial agenda,” said Murad.

Murad was upbeat over the resumption of the peace talks with the government of the Philippines (GPH) following the Aug. 4 “secret” meeting between him and President Aquino in Tokyo, Japan.

Formal talks between the MILF and GPH peace panels will resume in Kuala Lumpur on Aug. 22 to 24.

“That meeting in Japan was a significant breakthrough, a landmark progress and development for the peace process between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the MILF,” Murad stressed.

The MILF chairman pointed out the government and MILF agreed to fast track the ongoing peace process and negotiation.

Murad said that it is important to note that MILF saw in President Aquino the commitment and determination to resolve the conflict within his administration.

“For us in the MILF leadership, we want to solve the problem during our time,” said Murad.

During the “secret” meeting, Murad personally brought up the MILF’s proposed Bangsamoro sub-state which would share power with the national government.

The MILF admitted that the proposed sub-state is just a “reframed” version of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MoA-AD) which was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2008.

The peace process between the government and MILF started in 1997 with the ultimate objective of solving the conflict in Mindanao and the Bangsamoro legitimate aspiration for identity, homeland, self-governance and right to self-determination.

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