Monday, April 30, 2012

916,315 Jobs for Palm Oil Projects, PEZA Investment Growth 2012

The Bureau of Investments (BOI) on Monday approved a 737 Million palm oil project of Philippine-registered Zanorte Palm Rubber Plantation.

"The Zanorte project will help expand the country's agro-industries and create much-needed employment opportunities in rural areas. It will also help boost the palm oil industry which is among the sectors we have identified for industry development," BOI Managing Head Adrian S. Cristobal Jr. said in a statement.

Sirawai and Sibuco in Zamboanga del Norte–one of the 30 poorest provinces in the country–will host the project.

It will provide about 1,055 jobs, and is expected to create 54-58 percent  net value added to Zamboanga del Norte's economy.

The palm oil facility has a rated output of 9,900 metric tons (MT) of palm oil, and 2,338 MT of dried palm kernel.

The by-products of Zanorte Plantation will be sold to food giants like Universal Robina Corp., RFM Corp., Nestle Philippines, and Mina Oil Mill Corp., as well as exporters and manufacturers of soap and other industrial products.

Government data show the Philippine yearly production of palm oil is 54,333 MT and 6.54 MT of palm kernel.

Each palm fruit is capable of producing 90 percent palm oil and 10 percent  palm kernel oil. Industry data show that palm oil currently accounts for a 21-percent share of the world edible oil market.

Earlier this year, Zanorte registered a rubber plantation project with the BOI.

The project aims to integrating dried rubber production, which will be sold to tire makers Dunlop, Bridgestone, and Yokohama.

"While agriculture was hard hit by El Niño, La Niña, and other natural calamities, the sustained investor interest in agribusiness will re-energize and help us further grow this sector," Cristobal claimed.

BOI registered 479.682 million of agricultural investment in the first quarter of the year, up 52.77 percent from P313.988 million a year earlier.

PEZA sets 12% growth in ecozone investments, exports, jobs for 2012

Having generated 465 billion in registered investments in the country's 258 economic zones since President Benigno Aquino III took office, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) aims to post 12 percent increases in investments, exports and employment this year.

Last year, PEZA investments totaled 288 billion—a 41 percent increase from 204 billion in 2010.

"These [figures] show the continued enthusiasm of investors who are looking at the Philippines," PEZA director general Lilia de Lima said during the annual Investors' Night Thursday evening in Pasay City, where President Aquino was guest of honor.

The President highlighted the significance of the investment figures.

 "I am told that since we assumed office, PEZA has generated a total of—and this is part of the statistics I want to repeat 465 billion pesos in investments. Allow me to emphasize the magnitude of this figure. I'll have to repeat it a third time: 465 billion pesos. In 17 years of PEZA, this represents 23 percent of all investments generated by the authority. And, may I say again, this has happened in a span of less than two years," the President said.

 Among the locator firms feted during Investors' Night were Texas Instruments Philippines and Amkor Technology Philippines. These firms were given the Billionaires Award for pouring at least P3 billion worth of investments in the past three straight years.

 Europe, a new market

 In January and February, PEZA has brought investors that committed to 90 projects costing P16.22 billion.

 "Even companies in the European countries that did not show previous interest in the Philippines are now considering investing in the country," de Lima added.

 There are 2,709 firms in the ecozones—19 percent of which, or 514 firms, came during the Aquino administration.

 These firms directly employ 915,260 employees, according to de Lima.

President Aquino said the growing PEZA investments "is an indication of the investors' newfound confidence in the Philippines. We have garnered distinction after distinction from various renowned institutions."

 "The World Economic Forum, for example, bumped us ten places higher in their latest competitiveness ranking. The Japan External Trade Organization, in their survey of companies in Asia and Oceania, also named us as one of the best place to do business in Asia, whether in manufacturing or in service," Aquino noted.

The President also shared with PEZA investors a bit of realization he got from attending the World Electronics Forum in Cebu City last week.

"Businesses have realized the creativity and skill of the workforce and are moving them up the value chain; from production-line assemblies, they are tapping Filipinos for chip design and engineering. This is the result of companies nurturing their work force, and in turn, that work force is eager to learn and to propel its company towards even greater heights," Aquino shared.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

13 Million Hectares Benham Rise belongs to the Philippines, UN Approved!

Effective year 2012, the Philippines have augmented its area into 43 Million hectares from 30 Million hectares.

The United Nations has approved the Philippines' territorial claim to Benham Rise, an undersea landmass in the Pacific Ocean potentially rich in mineral and natural gas deposits, Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said.

"We own Benham Rise now," Paje said in a media interview. "This is for future Filipinos," he added, noting that the 13-million-hectare area off the coast of Aurora province has been shown to have rich mineral deposits.

Paje said the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos) sent the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) a letter last week informing the agency that the landmass is part of the country's continental shelf and territory.

Benham Rise, a seismically active region facing Luzon's eastern seaboard, is rising slowly to the surface of the Pacific Ocean, Paje said. Perhaps, in a million years—a blink in the planet's geological time—it will be habitable, he said.

Larger than Luzon

The plateau is a massive formation of basalt, a common volcanic rock, and is within coordinates 119°30'E to 132°00'E and 12°10'N to 20°30'N latitude.

Paje said Benham Rise, named after an American surveyor, is larger in area than Luzon. It has been shown to have natural gas deposits and manganese nodules, vital in the production of steel, he added.

Despite Benham's proximity to the Philippines and its location within the country's exclusive economic zone, the government did not claim it until 2008. Then, the next year, the government submitted a formal claim to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. The Philippine submission noted that the country reserves the right to submit further claims in the area.

The Philippines is the sole claimant of Benham Rise. The country is currently embroiled in territorial disputes over several islands in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

China and the Philippines are feuding over Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal, 220 kilometers (124 nautical miles) west of Zambales province.

The Philippines and some of its Southeast Asian neighbors are also disputing with China and Taiwan ownership of parts of Spratly Islands in the West Philippine Sea.

The Spratlys are believed to be sitting on vast deposits of minerals and natural gas, in an area spanned by sea lanes vital to global trade.


BENHAM RISE is a 13-million-hectare undersea region that lies east of Luzon and off the provinces of Isabela and Aurora.

Also known as Benham Plateau, it is a massive formation of basalt, a common volcanic rock, and is described in a study as a thickened portion of the Philippine sea plate's oceanic crust.

The formation lies within the continental shelf of the Philippines as defined by the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos), under which a coastal state's exclusive economic zone extends 370 kilometers (200 nautical miles) from its continental shelf, while its extended continental shelf extends for another 278 km (150 nautical miles).

Benham Rise is not subject to any maritime boundary disputes and claims.

Studies conducted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) have indicated large deposits of methane in solid form in the area.

In August last year, Environment Secretary Ramon Paje announced that the Philippines will gain additional territory should the United Nations approve the country's claim to Benham, which the country submitted to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf in New York on April 8, 2009.

According to Paje, an American geologist, Andrew Benham, discovered the area, which was between 40 meters and 2,000 meters below the waterline, in 1933. Paje said gas deposits in the area would enable the country to achieve energy sufficiency

Benham Rise was found off the coast of Aurora province, Northeastern part of Luzon Island  and is part of the Philippine continental shelf and its 200 Nautical Mile Exclusive Economic Zone. With just the Pacific Ocean to the east, Hawaii is probably the next closest island.

Benham Rise, also known as Benham Plateau, is a 13-million hectare undersea region east of Luzon. It is enclosed by the coordinates 119°30'E to 132°00'E and 12°10'N to 20°30'N latitude.

The plateau is a massive formation of basalt, a common volcanic rock, and is described in a study as a thickened portion of the Philippine Sea plate's oceanic crust.

Another research notes the similarity of the shape of Benham Rise to the sharp bend of the Luzon coastline, which suggests the sea floor's resistance to subduction (the process by which one plate on the earth's crust is pushed downward beneath another plate because of collision) that may have affected the Philippine fault.

Paje said the undersea region, called Benham Rise, could turn the Philippines into a natural gas exporter because of the area's huge methane deposits.

Studies conducted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for the past five years indicate large deposits of methane in solid form, Paje said after a Senate budget hearing.

The government is only awaiting a formal declaration from the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) that Benham Rise is on the country's continental shelf and therefore part of its territory, Paje said.

Philippines Legal basis of Expansion

Since the UN approved that Benham Rise is part of the Philippines, "we would have legal basis to enter into exploration agreements with private companies to explore… (the area's) resources," said Sen. Franklin Drilon, chair of the chamber's finance committee.

After this favorable UNCLOSs declaration, the Philippines territory area augmented from 30 million hectares in 2011 into 43 million hectares effective year 2012 with the inclusion of Benham Rise.

Davide submission 2009

Hilario Davide, then Philippine ambassador to the United Nations, filed the country's partial submission with the commission.

The United Nations says the continental shelf is "the seabed and subsoil of the submarine areas that extend beyond its territorial sea" up to 370 km (200 nautical miles) from the archipelagic baseline. An extended continental shelf goes farther than 370 km.

The Philippines claims that Benham Rise is an extension of its continental shelf.

Paje said Benham Rise was within the country's 370-km exclusive economic zone.

American geologist

The environment secretary said an American geologist surnamed Benham discovered the area that was between 40 and 2,000 meters below the waterline in 1933.

"But we are able to define categorically that it is attached to our continental shelf only recently. We have proven (to) UNCLOS that it is attached. So now the UN is considering it for decision sometime in 2012," Paje said.

He said gas deposits in the area would enable the country to achieve energy sufficiency.

"Benham Rise is very relevant because of its gas deposits (which has been) confirmed particularly by (the) National Mapping Resource Information Agency. It has given us the data that (the area) contains solid methane. We have not explored it but we have found nodules of methane in the surface and this is very important to us," he said.

Kalayaan, Scarborough Shoal (Panatag Shoal)

The Kalayaan Island Group, which is part of the disputed Spratly Islands and Scarborough Shoal, both located in the West Philippines Sea (South China Sea) and claimed by the Philippines, are also believed to contain oil and natural gas.

Paje said there was the possibility that the country could export gas in the future.

The secretary added that there would be a demand for gas deposits in Benham Rise "because it's much cleaner than (other) fossil fuels."

Thursday, April 26, 2012

10 Million Overseas Filipinos call to Stage Protest against China

Filipino organizations in the United States will stage demonstrations in front of China embassies and consulates on May 11 to protest Beijing's recent aggressive encroachment on the Philippines' Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal.

Loida Nicolas-Lewis, national chair of a Filipino-American good governance organization based in New York, yesterday called on Filipinos throughout the world to mount demonstrations.

Among those quick to respond were Filipino organizations in Hong Kong, Canada and Australia.

China considers Panatag Shoal, located 124 nautical miles from the Philippines' Zambales province, to be its "inherent territory" even though it lies more than 500 nautical miles from the nearest China port of Hainan.

The territorial dispute over Panatag Shoal, which China calls Huangyan Island, has escalated in recent months following these developments:

– Chinese navy ships recently confronted the Philippine navy vessel BRP Gregorio del Pilar, which sought to apprehend Chinese boats illegally fishing in the area. The Chinese fishing boats were found to contain endangered corals, rare fish and live baby sharks, which are considered illegal cargo under Philippine law.

– Chinese navy ships have fired on and harassed unarmed Philippine fishing boats and exploration vessels, forcing them to withdraw.

– Chinese navy ships have dropped steel posts and navigation buoys with Chinese markings in the waters around Panatag Shoal.

China's Global Times, published by the government's People's Daily, reported in its April 25 editorial that China is prepared to engage in a small-scale war at sea with the Philippines: "China should select the most arrogant provocateur, conduct comprehensive strikes, and exert pressure economically, politically and militarily. If the water overwhelms China's knees, other countries will find their necks in the water."

To defuse the situation, Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario proposed that the two countries bring their territorial dispute to the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) but this proposal was immediately rejected by China.

Rodel Rodis, national president of the US Pinoys for Good Governance (USP4GG), called on the Global Filipino Diaspora Council (GFDC) representing 12 million Filipinos in 220 countries throughout the world to support the Philippines' sovereign claim to Panatag Shoal which has been in Philippine maps since 1743.

"A strong showing of support and solidarity by Filipinos in the Diaspora will impress on China that it is not just confronting a small country that it can easily bully, but one that has citizens scattered throughout the world who can mobilize and galvanize public opinion against China," Rodis said.

Ted Laguatan, USP4GG national spokesman, also "called on all Filipinos and all those others who believe in freedom and the right of every country to control its own destiny to join us in a global demonstration at Chinese embassies and consulates in the United States and around the world at noon on Friday, May 11."

China: Phl and USA will never succeed

As this developed, a commentary in the English newspaper People's Daily, the mouthpiece of China's Communist Party, yesterday said that the Philippines will not succeed in getting support from the United States over the recent territorial dispute over Panatag Shoal.

"The Philippines and China have been stuck in a stalemate for many days. The Philippines recently conducted military exercises with the United States and the South China Sea issue has again become the focus of world opinion. The Philippines pretended to be bullied by a big country and hoped to get support from the United States. They will never succeed because it not only violates the principles of International Law but also ignores the historical facts," the commentary written by Li Xuejiang said.

It said both the Nansha Islands and Xisha Islands originally belong to China and the Philippines' and Vietnam's territorial claims of South China Sea Islands is mainly on the basis of the system of exclusive economic zone and continental shelf regulated by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The commentary said that the UNCLOS cannot replace other norms of international law.

"The principles of historical rights and international law are the most effective principles to determine the ownership of the territories, namely, the principles of first discovery, first occupation and first exercise of jurisdiction," it said.

The commentary said that China has had jurisdiction over the South China Sea since the Song and Yuan dynasties.

"Even in modern times, the Republic of China was internationally recognized to take over the South China Sea Islands based on the Cairo Declaration and Potsdam Proclamation after the defeat of Japan," it said.

The commentary explained that the administrative regions map of the Republic of China had marked the boundary line in the South China Sea in 1947 and the People's Republic of China also re-declared its territorial sovereignty of the South China Sea Islands in the Declaration of the government of the People's Republic of China on the Territorial Sea in 1958.

It said that the Philippines and the other claimant countries did not express any opposition to China's claim over the disputed islands until the 1970s and after the UNCLOS took effect in 1994.

Li said the Philippines and Vietnam's sovereign claim to the South China Sea Islands is based on the "adjacent geographic location."

"It is untenable whether it is based on the international law or the reality," the commentary said.

To support its argument, the commentary cited France's St. Pierre Island and Miquelon, which are only 20 kilometers away from the coast of Newfoundland of Canada but are thousands of kilometers away from France.

"Denmark's Greenland is far away from the continent of Europe but is separated with a narrow strip of water from Nunavut in northern Canada. If using geographic proximity as the only criteria to determine the ownership of territories, most coastal and land border lines in the world would have been redrawn," it added.

The commentary likewise argued that China has the responsibility to defend its territory regardless of size.

"Defending the territorial sovereignty has nothing to do with the size of the country. Every country has responsibility to protect its territory whether it is small or big. China is a big country but it was invaded in the late Qing dynasty," it said.

The commentary added that the conflict in the South China Sea – which the Philippines calls the West Philippine Sea – is associated with China's rise.

"(It) is just an excuse for Western countries to curb the rise of China. Anyone with discerning eyes can see that the Southeast Asian countries are used by the United States to contain China and service for its strategy of 'returning to Asia to contain China.'

"Hypocritically, the United States who had refused to sign the UNCLOS now uses the UNCLOS to contain China. Who can believe the so-called fairness and neutrality the United States boasts?" it said.

A time to unite

Meanwhile, a foreign relations expert at the Senate called on everyone to help settle the Phl-China dispute peacefully rather than resort to muscle-flexing in the West Philippine Sea area.

"Can you imagine, there will be a high profile meeting with Foreign Affairs Secretary Del Rosario and Defense Secretary (Voltaire) Gazmin, and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, what will China say now? China will say that we are siding with the United States," the source told The STAR.

The source reiterated that the best way to solve the crisis in the West Philippine Sea should be through diplomacy.

"Outwardly, they fight each other. But behind their official function, there should be back- channeling. Let's not go over the brink here. This Scarborough conflict does not even rate worldwide. We are so small here," the source added.

President Aquino is sending Del Rosario and Gazmin to meet with Clinton and US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to discuss the issue.

He said there should be no cause for alarm amid reports of the conduct of war games between Russia and China, adding that superpowers like the United States and China know very well the capabilities of each other, and that they would think twice before going to war.

He said Aquino should tap business tycoons George Ty, Lucio Tan and even former House speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. in the back-channeling efforts because he still has vast contacts in China.

The source made the recommendation even as President Aquino has yet to appoint an ambassador to China after he did not reappoint businessman Domingo Lee who failed to secure the nod of the Commission on Appointments.

Tan is close to top Chinese officials, which were his contacts in setting up his businesses in Fukien and Xiamen, the source noted.

Ty, who owns the Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co., has also established vast businesses in China.

The source added Aquino can also tap as consultants Eric Macalinao and award-winning journalist Chito Sta. Romana, former Beijing bureau chief for ABC News who stayed in China for 39 years and witnessed the development of China from Mao to the present time. – Mike Frialde, Christina Mendez


Old Map of the Philippines 1654 -Palmas or Miangas Island as part of the country

Original Antiques Map of the Philippines in the MAP HOUSE LONDON

Old Map of the Philippines in 1654 – Showing Palmas or Miangas Island as part of the country

Cartographer: N. & G. Sanson

Title: : Les Isles Philippines, Molucques et de la Sonde

Date /Year : 1654     

Published: Paris

Description: Philippines and East Indies. Original colour.

Map Ref: SEAS2587


Old Philippine Map in year 1628 showing the Reed Bank as part of the country

Original Antiques Maps in the MAP HOUSE LONDON

Old Map of the Philippines in 1628

Cartographer: Mercator Hondius

Title:  Insulae Indiae

Date/Year:  1628

Published:    Amsterdam

Map ref:       SEAS2418

Description: Philippines and East Indies. Atlas Minor. Coloured.


Old Maps of the Philippines year 1628 in Map House London - Showing the Reed Bank as part of the Philippines

Original Antiques Maps in the MAP HOUSE LONDON - Philippines MAP

Old Map of the Philippines in year 1628 - Showing the Reed Bank as part of the Philippines

Cartographer: Mercator Hondius

Title:  Insulae Indiae

Date/Year:  1628

Published:    Amsterdam

Map ref:       SEAS2418

Description: Philippines and East Indies. Atlas Minor. Coloured.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Cyber War: Philippines Palace intruded by China’s hackers- Failed

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda

Chinese hackers were at it again, and this time they attacked the presidential websites.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda on Monday (April 23, 2012) said that at 4 p.m. +8 GMT on Sunday, the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) "noticed a significant spike in traffic with malicious URL requests from forged user-agents being channeled to the Official Gazette website ( ), PCDSPO ( ) and to the Presidential Museum and Library website ( )."

Lacierda said the spike in traffic from these "forged user-agents'' caused the Palace websites' servers to "momentarily lag.''

"We determined that this was a denial-of-service attack," Lacierda said. "Information gathered through our data analysis indicated that the attack originated from IP addresses assigned to Chinese networks.''

A denial-of-service attack (DoS attack) or distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS attack) is an attempt to make a computer or network resource unavailable to its intended users. Although the means to carry out, motives for, and targets of a DoS attack may vary, it generally consists of the concerted efforts of a person, or multiple people to prevent an Internet site or service from functioning efficiently or at all, temporarily or indefinitely.

Chinese perpetrators of DoS attacks typically target sites or services hosted on high-profile web servers of the country as revenge after Filipino hackers defaced several china's websites.

One common method of attack involves saturating the target machine with external communications requests, such that it cannot respond to legitimate traffic, or responds so slowly as to be rendered effectively unavailable. Such attacks usually lead to a server overload. In general terms, DoS attacks are implemented by either forcing the targeted computer(s) to reset, or consuming its resources so that it can no longer provide its intended service or obstructing the communication media between the intended users and the victim so that they can no longer communicate adequately.

Lacierda said the PCDSPO would maintain its websites, but added that "we can expect temporary disruption of service while the attack is [going on].''

Last week, groups claiming that Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal belonged to China hacked the website of the University of the Philippines.

Filipino hackers hit back, attacking several Chinese websites and stating that the shoal belonged to the Philippines.

The Philippines and China remain deadlocked at Panatag Shoal, with their maritime vessels refusing to budge in a standoff now on its 14th day.


Investment Recommendation: Bitcoin Investments

Live trading with Bitcoin through ETORO Trading platform would allow you to grow your $100 to $1,000 Dollars or more in just a day. Just learn how to trade and enjoy the windfall of profits. Take note, Bitcoin is more expensive than Gold now.

Where to buy Bitcoins?

For Philippine customers: You could buy Bitcoin Online at
For outside the Philippines customers  may buy Bitcoins online at