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NEWS / REPORTS YOU SHOULD KNOW

BI EXTENDS VISA-FREE ENTRY PRIVILEGE OF ALIENS FROM 151 COUNTRIES TO 30 DAYS

23 July 2013

Starting next month, nationals from 151 countries may now enter the country without a visa and stay here for 30 days, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced today.

 BI OIC Commissioner Siegfred Mison disclosed that the visa-free entry privilege of the said nationals was extended from 21 days to 30 days as part of government efforts to spur foreign tourist arrivals in the country.

 Mison said the new visa policy was adopted pursuant to a circular from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) issued last July 1.

 He added that pursuant to existing bilateral agreements, nationals from Israel and Brazil shall continue to be admitted for an initial stay of 59 days.

The BI chief, however, stressed that foreigners can only avail of the visa-free privilege if their passports are valid for at least six months beyond their contemplated period of stay.

 “They should also present return tickets to their country of origin or onward tickets to their next country of destination,” he said.

 It was gathered that the bureau has finished updating its computerized travel control systems in the different ports of entry to implement the new visa scheme.

 Earlier, the government announced that it was extending the visa-free entry privileges of foreign visitors to spur tourist arrivals in the country.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) said it aims to attract at least 10 million foreign tourists by 2016.

DOT officials also foresee the tourism sector to generate up to seven million jobs for Filipinos if the said target is achieved.

 

Another death in Subic Bay

17 April 2013

 2 girls stop over my place after they had walked down the beach from Blue Rock to my place down by Getaway resort and they saw the body of what looked like a Caucasian man but still needs to be confirmed that had came ashore that had a rock tied to his foot. But after spending a few days or longer in the water he bloated up and began floating this leading to how he was found.

So after spending that time in the ocean the fish and crabs had taken their share of flesh of the body so ID’ing him could be a bit hard with only finger prints and without dental records unless someone reporting him missing and can make a positive ID of the man.

One of the girls made a comment that the guys that live here should remember they are not in their own country and should treat the locals better by not calling them names or being rude to them. This is not their country and they need to remember that, she added.

This was the first time I had heard a local talking about a murder of an Expat, I don’t think many give their opinions and surely will not be so direct with their statements around an Expat, but I have known the girls a long time so maybe they just felt really comfortable talking openly around me.

Another unsolved murder in Subic Bay that is for sure L

 

Australian man shot dead at holiday resort

5 April 2013

POLICE in the Philippines have confirmed that an Australian man was shot dead last night at a holiday resort near the capital of Manila.

Paul Dean Davy, 52, general manager at the Blue Rock Beach Resort in Olangapo, on Baloy Long Beach, was shot once in the back of the head with a .45 gun, police said.

Senior officer Tyrone Tecson, of Olongapo police, said a witness told police that Mr Davy had been talking to another Australian man at a Blue Rock beachside restaurant when he was approached from behind.

''Last night, around 7pm, he was shot by an unidentified assailant inside the Blue Rock Resort, the one he was managing,'' he said.

The man was taken to Our Lady of Lourdes hospital where he later died.

''He was just approached from behind while Paul Davy was talking to a fellow Australian.

''It was in the middle portion of the Blue Rock restaurant, in the customer-receiving area.

''When we arrived, still there were lots of customers.''

Officer Tecson indicated that Mr Davy knew his attacker.

''It's an isolated case,'' he said.

The shooter was described as a man of Filipino appearance aged 30-35 who was wearing clear prescription glasses and a blue cap.

An employee at Blue Rock Resort was unable to comment.

Police are in the process of preparing a report for the Australian Embassy at the time of writing.

 

11 Dec 2012

TREASURE ISLAND Resort & OCEAN ADVENTURE

 

TREASURE ISLAND Resort is proud to announce a new, Free transportation service to OCEAN ADVENTURE!

 

OCEAN ADVENTURE, Southeast Asia’a only open-water marine park, located on S.B.M.A., has just gotten easier and less expensive to enjoy!

 

Treasure Island Resort, in partnership with Ocean Adventure, is now the primary pick-up point for daily transportation to this exciting day-time venue. Here’s your chance to experience the whales, dolphins, sea lions, rescued forest animals, and a host of fish and sea creatures in a variety of exciting and intimate ways!

 

The daily van will depart TREASURE ISLAND Resort at 10:30am, where you will be brought to the New Ayala Mall for transfer to a luxury bus for the trip to OCEAN ADVENTURE. The return trip departs the adventure park at 5:30pm for transport back to the Ayala Mall where you can enjoy many of the fine restaurants and shopping experiences. (Note: Currently transport back to Baloy Beach / Barrio Barretto from the mall will need to be self-arranged. Taxis from the mall to Baloy and Barretto are available for about p350.)

 

Additional 10% Savings:

In addition you will receive a 10% Savings on your Admission Tickets and for many of the other Special Attractions/Events that this great venue has to offer.

 

Advance Reservations are required via the TREASURE ISLAND Resort Front Desk. They can be contacted at:

 

Land Line: (63) 047-223-8890

 

Mobile: 09295156665

 

E-Mail: TISubic@Yahoo.com

 

Philippines divided over US return to Subic Bay

Date November 20, 2012

By : Lindsay Murdoch / The age.com.au

China, dollars and human rights are on the agenda as Filipino society awaits American forces.

The anti-child sex crusading priest Shay Cullen plans to mobilize Filipinos to protest against the return of United States forces to the former home of the US 7th Fleet at Subic Bay, north of Manila, 20 years after the Philippine Senate ordered them to leave.

''They are coming back and civil society will not tolerate it,'' said Father Cullen, a Columban priest from Ireland who helped whip up anti-American sentiment across the Philippines that forced the US from its two largest overseas military installations at Subic Bay and nearby Clark air base in 1992 and 1991.

''We are more organized than we were 20 years … there is now a much stronger network built up to fight for human rights and children's rights that will be able to mobilize the masses,'' he said from his sprawling offices overlooking Subic Bay, where a US navy ship was loading supplies.

Anti-US crusader Father Shay Cullen, and a US submarine in Subic Bay. Photo: Reuters

US and Philippine officials have confirmed that Subic Bay, which has a port and airfield now known as Subic Bay Freeport Zone, will play a much larger role in US Pacific Fleet deployments as the US military shifts its focus towards Asia and the Pacific.

While officials insist there are no plans to reopen any bases in the Philippines, which would violate Philippine law, Subic Bay is set to host US ships, marines and aircraft on a semi-permanent basis, officials say.

This time the anti-US campaigners will encounter stronger opposition amid heightened tensions over China's territorial claims in the South China Sea after a stand-off between Chinese and Philippine ships at the disputed Scarborough Shoal, off the Philippine coast, earlier this year, analysts say.

''We're open for business,'' said James ''Bong'' Gordon, the mayor of Olongapo, a city of 240,000 people next to Subic Bay. ''No matter what you call it … a base or semi-permanent hosting or whatever, the US is back and its great news for Olongapo.''

Mr Gordon said residents of his city are gearing up for the arrival of thousands of US marines who will flood bars, restaurants, craft shops and sporting facilities.

Father Cullen has crusaded against the sexual exploitation of under-age Filipinos since 1974. He says 90 per cent of the sex bars in Olongapo were closed after the US forces left in 1992.

But he said new bars are already opening as US ships dock more frequently at Subic Bay's wharf. ''We will mobilize. We will say no, no, no … we cannot return to the past.''

But Mr Gordon said the returning forces would greatly boost his city's economy and bring the Philippines closer to the US at a time many Filipinos are fearful of the future.

Also, US personnel coming off the ships are now better behaved than they were 20 years ago, he said, mainly because many of them are women.

''Before they were all men … it's still a reality that some US personnel will get involved in prostitution. It happens everywhere in the world,'' he said. ''We try to minimize it.''

Twenty years ago Mr Gordon's elder brother, Richard Gordon, the chairman of the Philippines Red Cross and a former senator, led the pro-US campaign to retain the bases, bitterly clashing with Father Cullen.

''It was a tragic mistake to shut out the world's most important country at that time,'' Richard Gordon said in his Manila office. ''But people who didn't listen to me then are now running around panicking, saying there's a genuine threat from China and we need a strong alliance with the US.''

Analysts say that moving back to Subic Bay on a semi-permanent basis will give the US a strategically important force posture for its shift in emphasis to the Pacific.

Richard Gordon, who was mayor of Olongapo in the 1980s and became head of the Subic Bay Authority which oversaw development of the area when the US forces left in 1992, becomes angry when asked about US personnel attracting prostitutes.

''How dare you people come here and call them prostitutes,'' he says. ''They just want to survive … they don't have anything. They don't have a choice.''

Mr Gordon said the ''noisy minority'' would make a fuss about the US forces returning.

''But the majority of Filipinos want the Americans here … we have to do what is in our interests as a nation,'' he said.

Father Cullen, 69, who founded the People's Recovery Empowerment Development Assistance organization, operates a squad to rescue sexually abused children, some of them babies found with sexually transmitted diseases.

He has twice been nominated for the Nobel peace prize, and often leads the squad, which was involved this month in rescuing an eight-year-old girl.

''You are never going to wipe out the abuse completely,'' he said. ''But with economic development that brings jobs and a lot of effort we can reduce it by 60 per cent.''

Father Cullen estimates there are still 10,000 to 15,000 sex workers in Olongapo and up to 100,000 in red light areas of Angeles City, which is popular with Australian sex tourists.

''We see victims as young as eight sucked from their impoverished home into the sex industry. The abuse … will only get worse if the Americans return,'' he said.

 

U.S. Embassy, Manila Philippines

 

25 Oct 2012

USS George Washington Arrives in the Philippines

 The U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) arrived in Manila Bay on October 24. The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier is conducting a five-day goodwill visit that highlights the strong historic, community and military connections between the United States and the Philippines.

“We have a longstanding history of partnership with the Philippines dating back to the Spanish-American War, and we are always appreciative of the opportunity to be able to work with one of our regional partners,” said Capt. G.J. Fenton, George Washington’s commanding officer.  “My Sailors also appreciate the opportunity to engage in new surroundings and for them to be able to visit a nation with such diversity will be a crowning moment in a lot of their lives.”

 “George Washington’s visit to the Philippines shows that our 61-year-old mutual defense treaty is still alive,” said Ambassador Harry K. Thomas, Jr.  “It shows that the United States is committed to the Filipino people, and that we actively support a reliable partner and a strong ally.”

  George Washington Sailors will have the opportunity to interact with the locals via several community service projects set up by the ship.  Projects include interacting with school children, teaching basic first-aid at a local hospital facility, and general cleaning and landscaping.

  George Washington’s visit to the Republic of the Philippines is also seen as a homecoming of sorts to Filipino-born members of the crew; George Washington has more than 800 Sailors of Filipino descent currently serving aboard.

  Upon the arrival of the carrier group, Rear Admiral Cecil R. Chen, commander of Philippine Coast Guard District National Capital Region - Central Luzon, visited the USS McCampbell (DDG 85), to thank the crew for their efforts in rescuing five stranded Philippine national fisherman in international waters off the coast of the Philippines earlier that morning.  McCampbell is part of the George Washington Carrier Strike Group, the U.S. Navy's only continuously forward-deployed carrier strike group, based out of Yokosuka, Japan, and is currently conducting a routine western Pacific patrol in support of regional security and stability of the vital Asia-Pacific region.

 

15 October 2012

Philippines to sign peace plan with Muslim rebels

The biggest Muslim rebel group in the Philippines is set to sign a landmark peace plan with the government on Monday aimed at ending a decades-long insurgency in which 150,000 people have died.

President Benigno Aquino is due to host Moro Islamic Liberation Front chief Murad Ebrahim at the presidential palace to oversee the signing of the accord, which outlines steps towards a final resolution to the conflict by 2016.

The United Nations, the United States and other countries have welcomed the roadmap, achieved after 15 years of on-again, off-again negotiations between the MILF and various Philippine administrations, as a rare chance for peace.

Under the plan, the 12,000-strong MILF would give up its quest for an independent homeland in the southern Philippine region of Mindanao in return for significant power in a new autonomous region there.

However the MILF's leadership, as well as independent observers and foreign governments, have warned the path towards peace remains littered with obstacles, and that Monday's signing does not guarantee an end to the conflict.

"We feel honoured to be welcomed in Manila, but I must stress this is just the beginning of the peace journey," Ebrahim's deputy for political affairs, Ghazali Jaafar, told AFP on Sunday before flying to the nation's capital.

Muslim rebel groups have been fighting for full independence or autonomy since the 1970s in Mindanao, which they consider their ancestral homeland from before Spanish Christians colonised the country in the 1500s.

The estimated four to nine million Muslims are now a minority in Mindanao after years of Catholic immigration, but they remain a majority in some areas. Muslims would be a majority in the planned new autonomous region.

The conflict has left huge areas of Mindanao, a resource rich and fertile farming region covering the southern third of the Philippines, in deep poverty.

It has also led to the proliferation of unlicensed guns and political warlords who battle over fiefdoms, while smaller but more militant Islamic separatist groups have been able to create strongholds in lawless areas.

Most of the 150,000 people estimated to have died in the conflict were in the 1970s, when an all-out war raged.

A ceasefire between the MILF and the government in place since 2003 has largely kept the peace, but outbreaks of deadly violence have occurred over the past decade.

The MILF is the biggest and most important remaining rebel group, after the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) signed a peace pact with the government in 1996.

That peace pact led to an autonomous region in Mindanao but Aquino described it last week as a "failed experiment" because of massive corruption and worsening poverty there.

The planned new autonomous region would replace the old one.

Some of the MNLF's leaders have voiced anger at seeing their powerbase dissolve, and have warned they may be prepared to take up arms again.

Fresh attacks by the MNLF or small Islamic groups who still want independence are among the potential obstacles to the peace process.

Another is potential opposition from Catholic politicians and business leaders. The nation's parliament will have to approve the laws of the new autonomous region.

However Aquino, who is one of the most popular presidents in the country's history, has invested a lot of personal political capital in pushing for an end to the conflict.

Experts have said that, unlike the unpopular Arroyo, Aquino may be able to convince the country's Catholic majority to support autonomy for Muslims.

The two sides have set 2016 as a deadline because that is when Aquino is required by the constitution to stand down after a serving a single six-year term.

The formal peace talks have been held in Malaysia, and last week's announcement by Aquino that the "framework agreement" had been achieved came after months of intense negotiations in Kuala Lumpur.

 

29 Sept 2012

By Subic Bay News

Harbor Point completes the shopping experience with the opening of Puregold Subic.

This is Puregold’s 113th supermarket and department store also its first venture with the Ayala Malls Group.

With the two companies partnership built on shared interests and goals, this newest addition to the country’s largest chain of supermarkets uphold its mission and vision to be the Most Customer-Oriented Hypermart offering One-Stop Shopping Convenience and Best value.  Expect only the widest array of choices topped by leading local and favorite imported brands all in one sprawling stretch.

Capping the excitement of the celebration is an afternoon offering from the GMA Kapuso channel.  Harbor Point brings in the complete ensemble of its hit afternoon series – Faithfully racking in names like – Maxene  Magalona, Mike Tan, Michelle Madrigal, Marc Abaya, Vaness Del Moral, and Will Devaugn, an all-star cast to spruce up the day’s festivities even more.

The success of the event definitely marks the Harbor Point as a destination where communities and tourists can come together for basic and lifestyle proving that Harbor point truly is the ultimate shopping destination in Subic Bay.

 

3 September 2012

USS Frank Cable (AS-40) arrived in Subic today for a routine port call and goodwill visit.

USS Frank Cable is here to engage with their counterparts in the Armed Forces of the Philippines and to allow the crew an opportunity for rest and relaxation.

USS Frank Cable in Subic Bay

 

15 Aug 2012 1020am

While sitting around the house doing some work on the internet I hear a popping sound that at first sounded like a car back-firing until they came a lot faster and I could her 2 different sound in the popping so quickly I realized what I was hearing was gun fire. Semi automatic guns with what I would guess were 15 or 30 round clips but the number of rounds I heard. From my place in Baloy it sounded like it was coming National Highway on the way to White Rock hotel.

The shots lasted for about 3 or minutes with a break of about 15 seconds between the main shooting sprees.

I found out later what happen; It was the police were trying to catch a man that was wanted and raided where he was or they thought he was. The area was in a place with a lot of small house that are all connected together so the cramp quarter makes it hard to find someone so the man was not found during the raid.

The reality of living in a county with guns it the simple fact that you always have to keep your wits about you and you surrounding. It is real easy to find your place in the wrong place at the wrong time.

While the Barrio Barretto area pretty safe places like Olongapo City and Subic City it can be a different story where there are more drugs and more problems.

 

 

© Warren's Subic Bay  / Last Update - 28 July, 2013