Jul 312013

Manila, Philippines — Ahead of the arrival of the country’s second Hamilton-class Cutter acquired from the United States, the Philippine Navy (PN) announced that BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (PF 15) has successfully test fired its 76 mm Oto Melara main gun off the waters of Zambales.

The firing exercise was conducted as the Navy prepared to welcome BRP Gregorio Alcaraz (PF 16), Del Pilar’s sister ship, which is expected to enter Philippine waters on Friday, August 2.

Lt. Cmdr. Gregory Fabic, the PN spokesman, said Del Pilar tested its main weapon by firing at a “killer tomato” balloon target drifting about two nautical miles away from the ship.

Fabic said the gunnery test was conducted Monday off the coast of Zambales, “safe for it (Del Pilar) not to inflict damage to any other fishing vessel.”

The Philippine Navy spokesman described the accuracy exhibited by Del Pilar’s gunnery team as “excellent.”

He said that, normally, before a ship can hit that small a target, between 15 to 30 rounds need to be fired. In the case of Del Pilar, Fabic said it was able to hit the target within five rounds.

“Five rounds pa lang na-hit na yung target kaya tumigil na sila. Wala nang assessment na mangyayari kasi na-hit na niya . . . so it’s very effective he said.

While the test firing was staged in waters near the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal, it was not meant as a show of force against China, he said.

Panatag shoal, a rich fishing ground located well within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ), has been under virtual control of China for more than a year now.

“Nagkataon lang na nandun siya (Del Pilar) ngayon pending the arrival of PF16 (Alcaraz),” said Fabic.

The Alcaraz, which left Guam 2 p.m. on Sunday, is due to arrive in the country on Friday.

A festive welcome ceremony slated on August 6 is being readied for the Navy’s second Hamilton-class ship when she finally drops anchor at Subic Bay next week.

President Benigno S. Aquino III and US Ambassador Harry K. Thomas Jr. will lead the welcome ceremony for Alcaraz and her crew who had completed 14 months of training in the US.

Local fishing boats, yachts, and tugboats will form a fluvial procession when Alcaraz nears Subic as part of the festive welcome.

Jul 312013

MANILA, July 30 (Mabuhay) — Vice President Jejomar Binay on Monday asked the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to reexamine the remains of an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who allegedly committed suicide in Taiwan. Binay, the presidential adviser on OFW concerns, said the parents of the 29-year-old OFW had requested a reautopsy as they doubt […]

Jul 312013

MANILA, July 30 (Mabuhay) — The Department of Social Welfare and Development has set aside P12.7-million worth of emergency relief resources for the victims of floodings that have hit Mindanao due to heavy rains, Malacanang said on Tuesday. In a press briefing in Malacanang, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said the DSWD has also been […]

Jul 312013

MANILA, July 30 (Mabuhay) — Malacanang assured that justice will be served and reforms will be carried in handling distressed overseas Filipinos workers allegedly being victimized by Filipino personnel abroad particularly in the Middle East. Some groups have voiced their concerns on the ongoing investigation of the Department and Labor and Employment and the Department […]

Jul 312013

MANILA, July 30 (Mabuhay) — Singer Angeline Quinto admitted that she has a crush on actor Gerald Anderson, who is currently in a relationship with actress Maja Salvador. But she was quick to add that Salvador is aware of her feelings for Anderson. “Kasi bago pa ako manalo ng Star Power, ‘yun na ‘yung crush […]

Jul 312013

MANILA, July 30 (Mabuhay) — State auditors had questioned the transfer of multi-billion government funds in connection with the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3 System Capacity Expansion Project and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 Rehabilitation Project in 2011. In a report, the Commission on Audit (COA) questioned how the funds, totaling P5.602 […]

Jul 312013
Gloria Maris banquet hall opens its doors at Gateway Mall

Gloria Maris CCO Steffi Lim; engr. Nelson Lim; Bb. Pilipinas-International 2013 Bea Rose Santiago; Araneta Group of Companies president and CEO Jorge Araneta MANILA, Philippines – Its interiors were inspired by a modern take on 1920s Chinese fashion by Shanghai Tang, a purveyor of “accessible luxury.” Without losing any of its “luxury” appeal, the key word here is “accessible.” And this may very well define the newly opened Gloria Maris Banquet Hall on the fourth level of Gateway Mall at the Araneta Center. With 2,000 square meters of “dynastic elegance and regal ambiance,” it serves as a perfect venue for satisfying casual dimsum cravings, hearty hot pot or shabu shabu, as well as sumptuous Chinese banquets or lauriat feasts.  As Steffi Lim, chief culinary officer (CCO) of Gloria Maris, says, “We want to be accessible to more people. We want Filipinos, not just the Filipino-Chinese, to make the lauriat a part of their feasts and celebrations.” With its first restaurant at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in the early 1990s, Gloria Maris originally catered to the upscale market. Later, the branch in Greenhills served a largely discriminating and loyal Chinese clientele. With the opening of more branches and franchises, it has embraced a broader middle market. “Today, Gloria Maris bridges both high-end and mass markets at accessible locations for those who seek the best in Chinese fare.” This is the constant in all Gloria Maris restaurants: “At the Gloria Maris Banquet Hall, we will feature all-time favorites and we Read More …

Jul 312013
SM Prime posts 15% income growth

MANILA, Philippines – SM Prime Holdings Inc., the largest mall developer and operator in the Philippines, continued its robust earnings growth in the second quarter on the back of strong consumer spending. In a regulatory filing, the newly-consolidated property arm of tycoon Henry Sy reported a P2.85-billion profit in the second quarter, up 15 percent from P2.49 billion a year ago. This was supported by a 16-percent growth in revenues to P8.72 billion from P7.53 billion a year earlier.  “New malls opened in 2012 and 2013 with a total gross floor area of 698,000 square meters (sqm) largely pushed rental revenues higher, add to that the higher contribution of SM’s China malls,” SM Prime said. Specifically, SM Prime has started commercial operations of SM City Olongapo, SM City Consolacion, SM City San Fernando, SM City General Santos, SM Lanang Premier and SM Aura Premier. The latest figures allowed SM Prime to post P5.64 billion in earnings in the first half, 15 percent higher compared with P4.92 billion a year ago. Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 “Revenues for the January to June period expanded 14 percent to P16.55 billion from P14.57 billion during the same period the past year,” SM Prime said, adding that same-store rental picked up seven percent. In the first semester, operating expenses rose 13 percent to P7.71 billion from P6.79 billion “due to new malls opened in 2012 and 2013 and the increase in administrative expenses and film rentals,” SM Prime said Hence, Read More …

Jul 312013
CAAP defers new aircraft turnaround policy

MANILA, Philippines – The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has decided to defer the implementation of a minimum 40-minute scheduled ground time for the domestic flights of budget airline Cebu Air Inc. (Cebu Pacific) so as not to affect at least 7,000 passengers. Capt. John Andrews, deputy director general CAAP, said in a press conference that the regulator decided to call off the implementation of an order requiring Cebu Pacific to adopt a 40-minute ground time for domestic flights instead of the original plan of 45 minutes from the current 30 minutes. “This is not feasible at this time. We are therefore cancelling the order for them to comply with the 45-minute scheduled ground time,” he stressed. Instead, Andrews said the mandatory scheduled ground time would be imposed on all airlines, particularly low cost carriers, as early as the start of the “winter” season or on Oct. 1. He told reporters at a press conference that the implementation of the order on the scheduled ground time for Cebu Pacific would affect a total of 75 flights involving about 7,000 passengers. “It will result to delays in 75 flights and this will have a boomerang effect and most likely the last flights will be cancelled,” he added. Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 Andrews said there is no definite schedule yet for the implementation of the 40-minute scheduled ground time but the regulator is looking at the “winter” season or October as the airlines have yet Read More …

Jul 312013
Tourist influx grows 11% in H1

MANILA, Philippines – The influx of international tourists continues to improve growing 11 percent in the first half of 2013 to 2.4 million, Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. told The STAR. The arrival figure, he said, makes up 45 percent of the projected 5.5-million arrivals for the year. He said the sustained growth in foreign tourist arrivals signals the country’s robust efforts to improve its tourism industry. Jimenez said while data from United Nations World Travel Organization (UNWTO) showed the Philippines lagging behind its neighboring countries in attracting foreign tourists, this may not reflect the actual picture. “The Philippines is not part of a contiguous land mass unlike our neighbors. We are in the middle of the ocean,” he said. “What the UNWTO data may have counted are the number of tourists visiting each country in Southeast Asia, even those crossing borders and/or making frequent visits by land. For example, citizens of Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore..crossing borders every day and being counted as tourists. We have no way of doing that here,” he pointed out. Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 “What we only have are air arrivals data which the UN data does not show. About 98 percent of our visitors arrive here by plane. Even the tourists from our neighbors would have to travel by plane just to visit here. Just imagine, a Malaysian tourist could visit Thailand and Singapore by land. The same with Vietnam, where its citizens can just cross borders from Laos Read More …