Monday, February 27, 2012

Philippines rejects China’s joint oil exploration proposal

The joint development of areas in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) that "are clearly ours is not a viable solution" to our problem with China, according to Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario.

As for the potentially resource-rich Spratlys group of islands, the Philippines is "open to considering joint development in the disputed areas," Del Rosario told the Philippine Daily Inquirer Sunday.

Del Rosario said that during his meeting last week with Wang Yingfan and Wang Chungui, two former Chinese ambassadors to the Philippines who were here on a goodwill visit, he "reiterated our position that we are open to inviting China in the Recto Bank as an investor to be governed by [our] laws."

The Recto Bank (Reed Bank), he pointed out, was an "integral part of the Philippines and, as such, cannot be jointly developed."

"To do so would be in violation of our Constitution," he said.

The Recto Bank had drawn China's interest several months ago when the Philippine Air Force discovered several Chinese vessels in its vicinity.

UNCLOS is the other option

As another option, Del Rosario said "we again asked if China would join us in availing of the dispute settlement mechanism under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea," or UNCLOS.

He said he told his guests the government was "endeavoring to look at all means to arrive at a peaceful solution of the disputes in the West Philippine Sea in accordance with international law, specifically UNCLOS."

Apart from China's suggestion that the Philippines revisit the concept of joint development of the Spratlys, the two sides also discussed "how both nations are advancing our bilateral agenda while treating contentious issues separately, and the view that we should not accept all that appear in the press as being factual," Del Rosario said.

According to the secretary, the retired ambassadors were "very appreciative (they) came to enhance our friendship and cooperation."

Earlier, he told this paper that "their visit serves to put substance in the initiative (of China and the Philippines) on friendly visits."

During President Benigno Aquino III's state visit to Beijing last August, both sides declared 2012 and 2013 the "Years of Friendly Exchanges" between the two Asian neighbors.

Philippines should adopt Chinese Deng Xiaoping Solution & set aside fighting?

Wang Yingfan during his visit to the Philippines told a media forum organized by the Chinese Embassy that the Philippine government should consider the "Deng Xiaoping Solution" to the Spratlys dispute, which is, setting aside the territorial quarrel in favor of a joint exploration and development of the disputed waters.

Wang, who served in Manila from 1988 to 1990, stressed "it is time for cooperation, not confrontation, not fighting."

He said he had "talked with some important people in your government that we should work hard to find ways that are acceptable to both sides that we must work hard to prepare the ground so that we could share the resources together."

According to Wang, the response he got "was very encouraging. They said they would consider this kind of thinking. So with patience, with goodwill and with hard work, we could find a way out that's agreeable and acceptable to both sides.    "

Wang also advised Filipinos to "spend your energy on economic development."

He said it would be some time before the two Spratlys claimants could find a solution to the dispute.

Wang also warned the Philippines against bringing the United States into the equation, saying this would be unacceptable to China which would "certainly react" if that happened.

Wang stressed that allowing the US to meddle in the six-nation Spratlys conflict was another story. "That would make the issue more complicated and more difficult to settle among ourselves," he said.

The Philippines and China claim all or part of the Spratlys along with Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei.

1+1 = Asia Pacific Freedom U.S.A. & the Philippines

The new equation is born for the new era of the USA and the Philippines relations.

The U.S. and the Philippines are working together to counter terrorism, increase maritime security and assist in humanitarian efforts.

The United States is revitalizing its long-standing alliance with the Philippines in order to meet the challenges of the 21st century.  "In many ways," said U.S. Assistant of Secretary State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell, "we are writing a new chapter in our relationship and turning the page from a legacy of paternalism to a partnership of equals."

In recent Congressional testimony Assistant Secretary Campbell and Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense Peter Lavoy noted that the United States and Philippines are allies committed to sustaining global and regional peace, security and prosperity. 

While the U.S. and the Philippines remain committed to countering al-Qaida-linked terrorist groups in the southern Philippines, including with the support provided by the Joint Special Operations Task Force, the two countries are also increasing their cooperation in maritime security and humanitarian and disaster assistance.

Assistant Secretary Campbell added that the U.S. and the Philippines are also building a stronger economic partnership.  The U.S. is the second largest trading partner of the Philippines and one of its largest foreign investors. 

But more needs to be done to enhance the commercial relationship, particularly in removing certain trade barriers, which the United States believes unfairly penalize U.S. products, including Philippine restrictions on frozen meat imports.

The U.S. and Philippine governments have committed to a joint development approach in addressing the main constraints impeding equitable, broad-based economic growth for Filipinos.  Primary focus involves support for the Aquino administration's anti-corruption efforts. 

Assistant Secretary Campbell noted that Philippine president Benigno Aquino has brought his "integrity, passion and commitment" to the fore in seeking to follow through on his campaign pledges to root out corruption in the Philippines.

President Aquino has given his personal attention to addressing the scourge of human trafficking and there has been significant progress under his leadership.  The U.S. supports government and civil society institutions that are working to prevent victimization, rescue those who have been abused, and expeditiously apprehend and prosecute perpetrators.

"The vital ties between the Philippines and the United States are strong and growing stronger," said Assistant Secretary Campbell, "and we must continue to invest in them to serve the interests and answer the concerns of our people, to maintain security and the conditions for progress, and to keep following the fruitful pursuits of peace."

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Philippine Navy & Coastguard Joint Patrol in Spratly – China ordered NO..

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Philippine Navy (PN) will jointly conduct offshore patrol on West Philippine Sea (WPS), a task mandated under the newly-created National Coast Watch System (NCWS) by virtue of Executive Order No. 57, signed and issued by President Benigno C. Aquino III last September.

Addressing the PCG graduating class of Advance Boarding Officers' Course (ABOC) conducted by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Mobile Training Team held at the PCG headquarters last week, newly-named PCG chief of staff Commodore Aaron T. Reconquista said, of late, the PCG has been mandated with a leading role in the West Philippine Sea in terms of enforcement of national laws particularly relative to customs, immigration and quarantine (CIQ).

Reconquista underscored the US team of instructors for sharing their expertise, knowledge and skills with the PCG, particularly the members of PCG special operations group (SOG) headed by Cdr. Marco Antonio Gines, who, undoubtedly acquired knowledge and skills from the four-week training course – two weeks spent in training instructors-counterparts, and two weeks in training new 26 students on advance boarding course. "We are indebted to the US government for extending to us this assistance and to the United States Coast Guard (ASCG) mobile training team facilitated by the US embassy staff," he said.

He extended the warm felicitations and words of thanks of the whole PCG headed by its commandant Vice Admiral Edmund C. Tan to US embassy deputy economic counselor Mr. Brent Christensen, US charge' d Affaires Ms. Leslie Basset, Export control and Boarding Security (EXBS)regional advisor Mike Mcnamara, US naval attache to the Philippines Capt. Jack Sotherland, and the entire USCG Mobile training team for the time they shared with the PCG, who benefited from the training course.

The conduct of the ABOC is really quite timely, said Reconquista. "Today's terrorists are not particularly concern about converts, and rather than wanting a seat at the table, they want to destroy the table and everyone sitting on it,!" stressed the PCG chief of staff.

Reconquista, an alumnus of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) and the United States Coast Guard Academy (USCGA), disclosed that the 2nd USCG cutter will be handed over to the Philippine Navy soon. Expressing excitement, he told US brass present at the rites, "perhaps through your representation, the 3rd USCG cutter would be for the PCG, as the trend in maritime law enforcement is shifting to law enforcer operators like the Coast Guard, in contrast to the aggressive nature of the 'gray ships."

President Benigno Aquino III created the National Coast Watch System (NCWS) to expand the country's naval and maritime security operations to preserve the Philippine territory, protect its people and resources from maritime threats, through Executive Order No. 57 that has made the NCWS the 'central inter-agency mechanism' for a more coordinated approach on maritime issues, and security operations, to enhance governance of the country's maritime domain.'

China Order the Philippines over Spratly

Former Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Wang Yingfan warned that dragging the United States in the disputed West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) would be unacceptable to China and Beijing "certainly would react" if that happened.

"We could forge good neighborly relations and work out something that's beneficial and acceptable to both sides… You are happy and we are happy. Maybe, you're half-happy and we're half-happy, but it's acceptable to both sides," Wang said in a media forum on Wednesday organized by the Chinese Embassy.

Wang ignored the previous incidents of poaching and firing of Chinese Naval Force to the Filipino fishermen fishing in the Sea of Palawan.

Wang, who served in Manila from 1988 to 1990, said there was nothing wrong with the Philippines acquiring used US warships for defense purposes and that "any nation must do something (to improve) their own national defense."

"It's understandable. No problem," he said. "I know your Navy is very much backward in equipment. If you buy warships from the United States, I would understand."

But Wang, who said he still advised his government on regional issues despite his retirement, asserted that allowing the United States to meddle in the six-nation Spratly Island dispute was another story.

More complicated

"If it really happens that the United States and your country would talk about the South China Sea and how you should work together, I think that would be something which cannot be accepted by the Chinese," he said.

"If (the Americans) involve themselves in the territorial dispute, there will be problems with China. If that happened, the Chinese government certainly would react," he added.

That is why it would be "wise for the nations concerned in this region, including the Philippines, not to introduce Americans into the disputed waters," Wang said.

Six claimants

"That would make the issue more complicated and more difficult to settle among ourselves," he said.

The Spratlys are a chain of up to 190 isles, reefs, coral outcrops and banks believed to be sitting atop large deposits of oil and natural gas.  A Chinese report quoted by US authorities estimates there are 225 billion barrels of oil in the area.

The isles and their waters are claimed wholly or in part by China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei.

President Benigno Aquino III has said the gas deposits in the disputed territory are so enormous that they would dwarf the Malampaya oil and gas fields.

Wang Yingfan and another retired Chinese diplomat, Wang Chungui, who was ambassador to Manila from 2000 to 2004, are in the Philippines on a weeklong goodwill visit as part of the two countries' friendly exchanges, the embassy said.

'Deng Xiaoping solution'

Wang Yingfan pushed for the so-called "Deng Xiaoping solution" to the dispute—setting aside the territorial quarrel in favor of joint exploration and development.

Xiaoping solution is unfavorable and unacceptable to the Philippines as the whole Spratly's Archipelago is under the territory of the old Sultanate State of Sulu during the 1400 years. The Chinese invasion to the Philippines territory in Spratly wouldn't mean that they would have the rights over the wealth in the Spratly but just a forever dream as the Philippines will never surrender to China's power.

The late Deng, who led China from 1978 to 1992, steered the world's most populous state toward a market economy in the 1980s.

Wang Yingfan stressed "it is the time for cooperation, not confrontation, not fighting."

"I talked with some important people in your government that we should work hard to find ways that are acceptable to both sides, that we must work hard to prepare the ground so that we could share the resources together," he added.

"The response was very encouraging. They said they would consider this kind of thinking. So with patience, with goodwill and with hard work, we could find a way out that's agreeable and acceptable to both sides."

'China's Solution will come but not the UNCLOS'

Instead of wasting time talking about the Spratlys dispute, Wang said it would be better if Filipinos "spend your energy on economic development."

He said "it would take some time before we could find a solution (to the dispute)" but he was "optimistic that that will come."

Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario has said a "rules-based" approach based on international law is the key to settling the dispute and that the Philippines expects nothing less from the other Spratlys claimants.

Following a recent meeting between the Philippines and China in Beijing, the Department of Foreign Affairs said the two sides had agreed to promote bilateral relations, such as on energy, science and technology, disaster mitigation, law enforcement and maritime cooperation.

The Chinese foreign ministry has said both countries have agreed not to let their quarrel over the Spratlys "affect the broader picture of friendship and cooperation" between them.

China had warn the Philippines several times that the Philippines would pay the price after Philippine Navy catch the Chinese poacher who is illegally killing green turtles in the West Philippines sea, recently Chinese government mouthpiece even call for  the China government to sanction the Philippines by economic disruption and even fired several Filipino fishermen in the Philippine waters during the last year.

China's belligerent behavior towards the Philippines have recently slow down after the USA pronounced its full support to the Philippines if there is any invasion from external force to the Philippine territory.

Though invasion happened as the china controlled few islands and shoal near the Palawan Island under Palawan jurisdiction; still the Philippines failed to drive away the current illegal occupation of china in around Sabina shoal.

China loosen its tight grip over the Spratlys archipelago after US intervene of its aggression in the 1400 year old territory of the Sultanate State of Sulu which is the Spratly Archipelago.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Philippines Lifted Ban - Au Pairs for European Countries

The Philippines on Wednesday (February 23, 2012) lifted a ban on sending Au Pairs to all European countries after new protection guidelines were issued, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said. The ban to European countries lasted for 14 years since 1998 due to racial and economic discrimination towards the poor Filipinos from the Philippines from the rich European countries.

The ban on the deployment of au pairs to European countries has been lifted after the ad-hoc Technical Working Group (TWG) issued a new set of guidelines, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario announced yesterday.

The DFA said that the new guidelines are meant to facilitate the departure of the "au pairs" and at the same time to provide them safety nets and protection. A strict monitoring system will be put in place at all Philippine embassies and consulates in Europe for the protection of Filipino au pairs, the Philippine Star reported.

The new "Guidelines on the Departure of Au Pairs to Europe" were approved to facilitate the departure of au pairs and provide safety nets and protection.

The ad-hoc TWG is composed of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Education (DepEd), Bureau of Immigration (BI), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO).

Under the new guidelines, procedures for the departure of au pairs have been simplified and the documentary requirements were set to the minimum.

A strict monitoring system shall also be put in place in the Philippine embassies and consulates general in Europe for the protection of au pairs. The DFA will act as the lead agency in formulating policies on the au pair scheme.

Departing au pairs only need to submit the following to the BI at the port of departure: a contract of engagement duly authenticated by the Philippine embassy or consulate general in the area of destination, valid passport with au pair visa, and a CFO certificate/sticker.

The DFA said au pairs need not go through the DOLE or POEA procedures as they are not considered overseas Filipino workers (OFW).

Au pair is a term used to describe those between 18 and 30 years of age, unmarried and without any children, placed under a cultural exchange arrangement with a European host family for a maximum stay of two years, unless otherwise allowed by host countries.

Under the au pair scheme, the au pair is placed in an immersion program in cultural and language learning in the specific European country of destination. He or she shall live with the host family at par (au pair) or on an equal basis with the immediate members of the host family, shall be given pocket money, share in child care, light household chores and responsibilities previously agreed upon in an au pair placement contract between the au pair and the host family.

The ban was imposed in 1998 due to isolated cases of abuse of the system by some unscrupulous elements. In 2010, the ban was lifted for Switzerland, Norway and Denmark.

Del Rosario advised prospective au pairs not to go to third party go-betweens since the procedures have been simplified at the least cost for the Filipino au pairs.

Black Gold investment in the Philippines pushed!

Department of Agriculture (DA): Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan has urged the national government to develop the coffee industry in the Philippines, which he tagged as the Philippine "black gold."

"The country could be missing out on a great opportunity if it fails to pay attention its well-regarded coffee beans," said Pangilinan, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food.

Pangilinan, who hails from this province, said he allocated 5 million from the Priority Assistance Development Fund (PDAF) of his office for the purchase of a common service roaster that will enable farmers to increase the value of their beans, thereby increasing their own earning potential.

"There is resurgence in the popularity of coffee shops, and it is unthinkable that we are not making the most out of this opportunity by marketing the Philippines' coffee beans," Pangilinan said.

The lawmaker has also encouraged businesses to advocate coffee bean agriculture development in the Philippines.

"I enjoin our countrymen to support our proudly Pinoy-made coffee beans. Our beans are renowned for their unique taste," he added.

Pangilinan said the Philippines must be able to capitalize on the good quality of coffee beans harvested in the country to boost the local coffee industry and empower local farmers and all those whose lives are dependent on the said valuable commodity.

The senator is also advocating the "Sagip Saka" movement, an advocacy to achieve sustainable modern agriculture and food security by transforming agricultural communities to reach their full potential, improving farmers' and fishers' quality of life, and bridging gaps through public-private partnerships.

"Sagip Saka is meant to give agriculture and fisheries the primacy that it deserves by focusing on improving the quality of life of our farmers and fisherfolk and, in doing so, building sustainable farming communities nationwide as a means to achieve food security. Only through strong public-private partnerships can we achieve this," he said.

The senator said opening access to market, rolling out infrastructure, and strengthening research and development in the field of agriculture would help millions of farmers in the country to increase their income, thereby improving the quality of their lives.

Coffee farm in the Philippines boost during the late 80's to 90's but faded away because of less support from the government. Black Gold Philippines' Coffee could be grown under the coco farms and banana plantations. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Philippines - New Billion Dollar Creditor Helping IMF – Europe Crisis

Economy: Philippines - From being a user of the resources of the International Monetary Fund for decades, the Philippines has attained creditor status, with half of its $251.5-million contribution to the IMF as of December tapped to help European countries such as Ireland, Portugal and Greece ease the impact of the financial crisis in the euro zone, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said.

The BSP said the country's improved status has become evident with its being a participant in the Financial Transactions Plan (FTP) of the IMF since 2010.

The FTP is the mechanism by which the IMF finances its lending and repayment operations through transfer of foreign exchange from members with strong external position to borrowing members.

"A member is said to have a creditor position in the Fund when the latter has used the holdings of the member's currency to provide financial assistance to other members," the BSP clarified.

The member gets interest earnings in return which reflect in its gross international reserves (GIR). The country's GIR is expected to hit a record level of $79 billion this year from about $75 billion last year.

By virtue of their participation in the FTP, emerging market economies like the Philippines have joined international cooperation efforts to mitigate the spillover effects of Europe's sovereign debt crisis.

The BSP said the country's participation in the FTP would pave the way for the central bank's admission to the New Arrangements to Borrow (NAB) facility of the IMF.

The NAB facility is a credit arrangement between the IMF and member countries or institutions aimed at forestalling situations that could impair the international monetary system.

"The participation in the NAB would be a significant step in strengthening international cooperation. This would also demonstrate the BSP's strong commitment to global efforts to help address threats to the international monetary system," it said.

The Philippines' participation in the FTP marks a transition in the country's relationship with the IMF.

In 2006, the BSP pre-paid all outstanding debts with the IMF, allowing the country an early exit from the fund's Post-Program Monitoring Arrangement.

With its stronger external payments position, the country has achieved balance of payments surplus in the last seven years. In the region, the Philippines is also a contributor to the $120-billion Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM) facility among member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, China, Japan, South Korea, and Hong Kong.

The Philippines, through the BSP, has a contribution commitment of $4.552 billion to the CMIM.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

USA formally offers 2nd warship to AFP of the Philippines

Philippines top military official exposed Saturday (18th February 2012) that the United States has formally offered to the Philippines a second warship that is expected to boost the country's territorial defense capability.

Navy chief Vice Admiral Alexander Pama said the US sent last week a letter notifying them about the availability of another US Coast Guard cutter, Dallas.

"They (US) sent a letter offering us formally (the ship). They are telling us this is available and their government has approved (the giving of the ship to the Philippines). They are asking us if we are interested," Pama said.

He said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is expected to reply to the letter next week.

"We will respond to the letter and tell them that we are interested. Once they receive that, the formal, detailed discussion would start," Pama said.

The Navy chief said the transfer of the warship might be held in May if discussions run smoothly.

"If the talks are continuous and smooth flowing, we are looking at a formal transfer to be held in May," Pama said.

The transfer cost would be funded by proceeds from the Malampaya natural gas project off Palawan that the Department of Energy will provide.

Officials have said the transfer cost for the cutter Dallas would be close to the P450 million spent for the first Coast Guard cutter that the Philippine Navy acquired last year.

The first Coast Guard cutter that was converted into the BRP Gregorio del Pilar was acquired from the US Coast Guard last year to improve the Philippines' territorial defense capability.

The Gregorio del Pilar is the Navy's first Hamilton-class vessel and was acquired under the US Foreign Military Sales program.

The ship is 380 feet long and is now the Navy's largest ship. The ship is currently deployed in Palawan since Dec. 23 to secure the country's natural resources.

The Philippines deployed the ship amid a territorial row over the Spratly Islands, an area in the West Philippine Sea that is rich in mineral and marine resources.

The Philippines, China, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan claim either part or the entire Spratly Islands, which has been the subject of a territorial dispute in the region.

Last November, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said her government is ready to provide a second war ship to the Philippines.

Clinton, who visited Manila to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Mutual Defense Treaty, said the US would remain "in the corner" of the Philippines, its "trusted ally."

Early this month, US Rep. Ed Royce said the ship "should soon be on its way to Manila" and that the review process for its transfer would be completed soon.

Dallas is a weather high-endurance cutter and has features similar to that of Gregorio del Pilar.

The US Coast Guard had used the ship for drug and migrant interdiction, law enforcement, search and rescue, living marine resources protection, and defense readiness.

The ship can accommodate up to 180 officers and sailors.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

₱2.8 billion New combat choppers arrives Philippines airbase


Four new combat utility helicopters acquired from two foreign firms have arrived in the country, the military said yesterday.

Armed Forces deputy chief for plans and programs Maj. Gen. Roy Deveraturda said the helicopters arrived at Clark Airbase in Pampanga.

"We can use these for transporting troops, air evacuation of the wounded or disaster response," Deveraturda told reporters in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. Miguel Okol said the helicopters were purchased from Augusta PZL Swidnik of Italy and Poland.

Okol said four more combat utility helicopters from Augusta PZL Swidnik are expected to arrive in the last quarter of the year.

The eight helicopters are worth 2.8 billion.

Okol said the "Sokol" (Polish for "falcon") helicopter is an ideal air asset since it can be fitted with equipment depending on its mission.

He said the helicopters are night-vision goggle-capable and equipped with an SN 350 Autopilot.

Each Sokol helicopter can accommodate 10 passengers and reach a maximum range of 402 nautical miles in a single flight with airspeed of 140.5 knots.

"A Sokol is fitted with gun mounts for the M-60D MG [7.62mm machinegun] on both sides and when utilized during search and rescue or over water operations, it can be equipped with pilot-controlled Emergency Floatation Gear attached to the lowest portion of the aircraft," the Air Force said.

The Air Force has 40 operational utility helicopters in its inventory.

Some P3.4-billion worth of military modernization projects will be completed this year. The projects include the delivery of eight combat utility helicopters, three multi-purpose attack craft, equipment for coast watch stations, and 33 multi-purpose rocket launchers for the Presidential Security Group.

Deveraturda said the delivery of the four helicopters set into concrete action the eight-year modernization program that Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin charted for the Armed Forces.

Gazmin wants to acquire armored vehicles, radar systems, missile-guided and multirole vessels and aircraft that include f-16 fighter jets under the program with a projected total cost of at least 70 billion.

Since the amount needed is too large, he said the acquisition will be pursued through a Congress-approved Multi-Year Obligation Agreement, with government to government as the procurement mode.

Deveraturda said the military is also hoping to sign the contract for the delivery of another Hamilton class cutter from the United States until March 2012 this year.

Monday, February 13, 2012

High Grade Gold intercepted by Aus Firm in the Philippines

Lindian Resources intersects new zone of high grade gold at Masapelid in the Philippines

An Australian firm; Lindian Resources (ASX: LIN) has discovered copper and high grade gold at the Masapelid Project in the Philippines, following assays from two recent drill holes.

Drilling on a new target at the Sabang Prospect, on the southern portion of Masapelid, has identified supergene copper-silver-gold mineralization between 20 meters and 96 meters depth above an extensive interval of banded gold-silver-copper mineralization.

The new target zone is located 300 meters to 400 meters south of Sabang Hill.

In the lower, banded zone, gold and silver are generally dominant.

Drilling in the supergene copper-silver-gold zone returned:

- 385.1 meters at 0.79 grams per ton (g/t) gold, 6.54g/t silver and 0.32% copper from 20 meters, including 76 meters at 0.25g/t gold, 17.55g/t silver and 0.78% copper; and

- 44.4 meters at 0.35g/t gold, 26.75g/t silver and 0.4% copper from 21 meters, including 10 meters at 1.35g/t gold, 61.56g/t silver and 1.12% copper.

In the gold-silver-copper zone, best intercepts included:

2 meters at 35.48g/t gold,

34.4g/t silver and 0.14% copper from 103 meters

including 1 meter at 68.96g/t gold,

43.2g/t silver and 0.11% copper:

- 8 meters at 11.23g/t gold,

5.89g/t silver and 0.29% copper from 372 meters,

including 3 meters at 27.89g/t gold, 12.67g/t silver and 0.58% copper; and

 2 meters at 11.04g/t gold,

5.9g/t silver and 0.2% copper from 275 meters.

Assays from two neighboring drill holes are pending, and Lindian plans to re-enter and extend one of the two holes already assayed, which was terminated at 45 meters depth due to core loss issues.

Further holes are planned to the northwest and southeast of the existing holes, to provide an understanding of the potential strike extension of the mineralization.

Apple’s big bite: Billions USD gains - No justice to its iPad2 users


Apple Craze hit not just Philippines but all around the World

Computer and software giant Apple took a huge bite of profits recorded at a staggering $13.1 billion for its first quarter ending Dec. 31, 2011 – far above analysts' predictions. Total sales registered at $46.3 billion, almost double the $26.7 billion posted for the same period a year ago, with huge holiday sales of the iPad and the iPhone 4S attributed to the consumer electronic firm's windfall. Despite initial negative reviews, consumers snapped up the iPhone 4S when it went on sale a week after founder Steve Job's death on Oct. 5 last year. Many of the iPhone 4S buyers reportedly switched from other platforms like Android and Blackberry, and a renewed surge in the Apple smartphones' popularity saw them selling like hotcakes with 37 million units sold for the October to December period alone.

No doubt Apple is awash with cash, accumulating an estimated $97.6 billion and leaving its rivals struggling to keep up. The company's market value has increased to over $437 billion, putting it at the top of the pile in Standard & Poor's 500 Index. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, they couldn't manufacture iPhones fast enough. The way things look; the same could be said with the Mac and the iPad, the other stars of the company. More than 5.2 million Macs were sold in the quarter – up from 4.1 million for the same period last year. On the other hand, 15.4 million iPads were sold for the period from October to December – proving that it is the most popular tablet – cornering more than 60 percent of the market.

More and more people are certainly appreciating the iPad with its breathtaking applications that have surpassed expectations. Even kids find it the most exciting tool for getting information from the net, with apps that make learning even more engaging. As a matter of fact, the Dubai Ministry of Health recently developed an iPad app for cancer patients, allowing them to link up with a doctor any time of the day – definitely making it easier for homecare patients.

One of the industries that has benefitted from the iPad is publishing – with interactive features that make reading more engaging than ever. In the Philippines, PeopleAsia magazine's iPad app version has been a great success – and it will be even more so since the app is getting an upgrade after the successful People of the Year awards night at the Dusit Thani Manila .

Shame on Greeks

Grappling with a debt-laden economy, the Greek government has launched a "name and shame" campaign to force tax evaders to pay up. Over 4,000 people figured in a list – which reads like a "who's who" in Greek society – finally released by the government after keeping it under wraps for months following a change in privacy laws. Greece has some $77.5 billion or 60 billion Euros in unpaid taxes – equivalent to 25 percent of its economy, and the 4,000 or so tax evaders owe an estimated 15 billion euros, more than enough to cut the Greek government's huge budget deficit.

In the Philippines, the BIR has been going after tax cheats via its Run After Tax Evaders (RATE) program, with the focus now on professionals and other self-employed individuals like doctors, artists and lawyers. According to the BIR, they are raising tax collection targets from these self-employed individuals to over P222 billion. Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima told us the tax collections last year have been below expectations but they are confident that more Filipinos will now be more conscientious about paying the right taxes. He admits there are still collection inefficiencies, but efforts would be focused on going after tax evaders, smugglers and all those who are not paying the right taxes.

Apple – No Justice for Apple users

Many apple consumers are complaining for the shift of focus of apple instead of "service to the customers" shifting into money from consumers. Though apple posted high gains for their iPhone and iPad gadgets; many are losing loyalty to apple for the less of justice issue to their consumers.

A customer in the Philippines who bought apple's iPad2 3G + WIFI admitted that his insufficiency of information as a big mistake of buying Apple's iPad2 3G+ WIFI  as he was convince the logic that if there is 3G means there is communication mobility that includes call and text or SMS but not exist in the iPad2 3G+Wifi.

"I chose the highest specs of iPad2 3G+ WIFI a 64GB plus leather cover because I believe that I could work even outside the office as long as I am connected to the internet but so disgusting because of limited compatibility of Apples software to MS Office, plus I could not receive call and text with my micro SIM inserted in my iPad2 3G+WIFI slot" this is a big regret he said.

"Apple fanatics must have to think many times because apple product is a thrill that hangs you in everlasting regrets . Para bang isang taong inutil, meron naman sana, Kompleto pero Hindi ma pakinabangan, parang taong baog at impotent na walang silbi, maganda lang tingnan sa panlabas pero Hindi Magagamit. Sinayang ko pa ang Perak o, I spent more than $1 Thousand USD para sa gadget na to plus oras ko para mag pa palit ng SIM ko from regular SIM into a micro SIM para magagamit sa iPad2 ko per laking pagtataka ko di matatawagan kahit naka 3G ang iPad ko" He added.

Apple's shift from giving value to its user's satisfaction over fashion and money into purely business might have a pitfall ahead that could lost its customer's loyalty.

Philippines Tops As best Investment Site in Asia

JETRO Competitiveness Survey In Asia

The Philippines has emerged as the most competitive country among seven Asian economies as an investment destination and doing business whether in manufacturing or services sectors, the latest survey conducted by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) revealed.

Trade and Industry Undersecretary Cristino L. Panlilio said that JETRO came out with this Philippine Competitiveness survey by comparing the Philippines with six other Asian countries wherein the Philippines bested China, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Myanmar in most categories. Competitiveness indicators included in the survey are financial costs, sufficient labor supply and reasonable salary (for manufacturing and non-manufacturing personnel).

The survey was conducted by JETRO on Japanese-affiliated Firms in Asia and Oceania for the period August-September 2011.

"We are the cheapest in almost all categories of doing business," Panlilio said.

The Philippines garnered favorable ratings in terms of competitiveness advantage on business environment in comparison to other Asian countries, the report said.

Based on the survey results, the Philippines has the cheapest rates when it comes to labor, rentals and land prices. The Philippines also has the least problem on the competency of its labor pool.

In terms of sufficiency of labor supply, the Philippines emerged to have the most plentiful number of workers and second to Malaysia when it comes to the availability of executives.

"In terms of employment retention, we have the best loyalty record. In terms of problems of workers competency, we have the least problem," Panlilio said. .

"The implication of this project is that even in Asia, we are now very competitive. In fact, we are the most competitive when it comes to those factors of business or investment decision making," Panlilio said.

Specifically, the JETRO survey showed that when it comes to problems on increasing financial costs in the Philippines, the country had the lowest percentage rating of 4.6 percent while China had 64.1 percent. Comparatively, ratings of Indonesia, Vietnam, India, Thailand and Malaysia ranged from 51.9 to 61.5 percent.

In terms of problems in shortage of land/offices, rising land prices/rental, the survey results showed this is not a major problem in the Philippines considering that the 5.8 percent rating is way far lower than the 32 percent rating of India, which is the highest. Ratings of Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam ranged from 9.8 percent-18 percent for this particular indicator.

On problems in skyrockettng payroll costs, again the Philippines had the lowest rating of 18.2 percent with Vietnam having the highest 61.3 percent. Malaysia was second lowest with 27.5 percent while ratings of Indonesia, India and Thailand ranged from 40.8 to 48.1 percent.

On sufficiency of labor supply, the survey showed the Philippines had the lowest rating of 3.2 percent followed by India, 4.2 percent and Indonesia, 4.4 percent respectively, in terms of difficulty in recruiting general staff.

This particular rating means there is a large pool of general staff which MNCs can recruit or hire. Ratings of China, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam ranged from 28.6 percent to 36.7 percent with Vietnam having the highest rating when it comes to difficulty in recruiting general staff.

On the difficulty in recruiting executives, Malaysia had the lowest rating of 37.9 percent followed by the Philippines 39 percent. Myanmar had the highest rating of 64.3 percent while the ratings of Thailand, China, Indonesia, India and Vietnam ranged from 40 to 52.8 percent.

Another indicator is low rate of worker's employment retention with the following results: where

  • the Philippines had a rating of 30.6 %, the lowest among ratings of other Asian countries.
  • Vietnam had 48.7 percent rating so far the highest,
  • Thailand, China, India and Malaysia ranged from 33.6 % to 42.5 %.

The Philippines boasts of highly competent and English-proficient labor force. Thus the rating of 37.9 percent the lowest which means our country does not have a major problem when it comes to worker's competency compared to Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, China, Vietnam and Myanmar, with ratings from 40.9 percent to 56.3 percent with Myanmar having their highest percentage when it comes to problems on worker's competency.

For the manufacturing sector only, when it comes to difficulty in quality control Philippine ratings of 26.7 percent, the lowest so far among other Asian countries in the report, proved that manufacturing firms had minimal problems on quality control compared to India with the highest rating of 45.5 percent. Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and China with rating of 28.7 to 43.4 percent.

Reasonable salary, another competitiveness indicator, showed that the Philippines had 5.3 percent rating salary base-up rate for 2011-2012. Malaysia followed with 4.5 percent. Vietnam had the highest rating of 17.1 percent for said indicator while Thailand's rating was third from the lowest at 6 percent, followed by Indonesia, 9 percent; China, 11.4 percent and India,, 12.8 percent

For the annual salary (including bonuses, allowances, benefits like SSS, Pag-Ibig etc) of the manufacturing staff, the Philippines ranked third from the lowest giving an annual salary of $4,048.

The lowest was Vietnam with annual salary of $2,196 followed by Indonesia, $3,980. Annual salary ranges of India, Thailand, China and Malaysia were from $4,495 to $6,340 with Malaysia giving the highest annual salary for its manufacturing staff.

0n annual salary (including bonuses, allowances, SSS, etc) for manufacturing engineers, again, Vietnam's annual salary of $4,793 was the lowest, followed by the Philippines, $6,494.

Malaysia had the highest annual salary for manufacturing engineers at $16,092 while annual salaries of Indonesia, China, India, and Thailand ranged from $9,937 to $11,464.

On annual salary (including onuses, allowances, SSS, Etc) for mfg managers, still Vietnam's annual salary of $11,526 was the lowest annual salary of $5,199 again followed by Indonesia and the Philippines at $6,852 and $7,324, respectively. Malaysia had the highest annual salary for non-mfg staff at $14,554 while annual salaries of India, Thailand and China ranged from 10,088 to $12,334.

On annual salary (including bonuses, allowances, SSS, etc) for non-manufacturing manages, again Vietnam continued to be giving the lowest annual salary of $14,977 for non-mfg managers, followed by the Philippines and Indonesia at $19,187 and $23,068, respectively.

Consistent for annual salaries, all categories, Malaysia had the highest annual salary at $35,117 while annual salaries of India, Thailand and China ranged from $25,179 to $27,610.(Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Philippines Defense will acquire Italian Fighter-bomber Jets, Frigates, Destroyer & unmanned surveillance Aircrafts

Philippines signed a 5 year contract in Italy Defense Ministry to acquire the following;

  • Italian Fighter-bomber Jets
  • Frigates
  • Destroyer
  • Unmanned surveillance Aircrafts

Mr. Gazmin together with a team from the Department of National Defense's newly formed Acquisition Defense System (ADS), went to Italy to sign a five-year contract with that country's Defense Ministry for the acquisition of fighter-bomber jets, a frigate, a destroyer and unmanned surveillance aircrafts, among others.

Gazmin said the government is working on an earmarked 70-billion budget to boost the military's capability in territorial defense.

US no more bases like Subic bay Clark in the Philippines

A Senior US official said despite the growing need to increase security engagement with the Philippines, the US still does not plan to have permanent bases in the Philippines but remains committed to helping the country address internal security threats.

Andrew Shapiro, State Department assistant secretary for political and military affairs, said the Philippines's internal security threat has now shifted from terrorism to maritime concerns as the country continues to raise concerns on the Chinese intrusions in the disputed islands on the West Philippines Sea (South China Sea).

During his visit to the Philippines, Shapiro met with senior officials from the Departments of National Defense and of Foreign Affairs to discuss measures on redirecting US military assistance to address internal security threats.

Shapiro said the traditional military assistance that the US gave to the Philippines for fighting terrorism in Mindanao, gave the country "great successes" as proven by the recent deaths of top bandit and terrorist leaders operating in the southern Philippines.

"Given the progress in addressing that threat [terrorism], we can transition our support toward maritime security," said Shapiro in a press briefing on Friday with Manila-based journalists.

"Discussions [focused] on how to deepen partnerships and to work very closely for support to the Philippines's internal security and with their maritime security needs as well," said Shapiro.

Shapiro said the US Congress has recently approved transfer of US military equipment [Coast Guard Cutter] that will further help in the Philippines's maritime security needs. The US also intends to increase humanitarian assistance in disaster areas.

He reiterated that Washington does not intend to set up permanent bases in the Philippines amid recent decisions to strengthen military cooperation.

He said the 600 US troops in Mindanao are still there but will not be stationed in the country permanently.

"We have no plans for bases here… we are talking about ways, in which at the invitation of the Philippine government... we can work together to help support security needs," said Shapiro.

Asked if the US plan to strengthen maritime security of the Philippines is aimed to counter China's increased military buildup on the West Philippines Sea (South China Sea), he said, "Our goal in this dialogue is to help the Philippines with their defense needs as they identify them. It is best to work together in a number of different defense needs... and it is not designed to target any country… it is [aimed] to address the security requirement of the Philippines."

Shapiro maintained that, "the US has not taken a position on the claims [on the South China Sea], we believe it will not be resolved through the use of force. We will continue to press that point to all the parties, that's been the US policy under the Obama administration."


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