Monthly Archives: June 2015

Aquino checks on Palawan, Cebu airports


PUERTO PRINCESA, Philippines—President Aquino on Monday inspected the construction work on the new international airport here, one of his administration’s main tourism-boosting infrastructure projects.

The facility, targeted for completion in 2017, aims to upgrade Palawan’s capacity to handle more tourists. Continue reading

Palawan officials set to declare power crisis


PUERTO PRINCESA CITY: Local officials are set to declare the province under a power crisis, citing lack of supply and the local power distributor’s limited capacity in handling heavy power loads.

Puerto Princesa City Mayor Lucilo Bayron said the declaration will be made by the City Council through a resolution that would be submitted to the Department of Energy (DOE). Continue reading

Joint exercise in South China Sea reflects Japan’s ‘strong concern’ about Beijing


PALAWAN ISLAND, Philippines–Tokyo’s growing partner in the field of security appeared impressed by the equipment of Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force.

“We have radar, but they (MSDF) have advanced radar for search and rescue,” said Niccaben Ogoc, 37, a second petty officer of the Philippine Navy, during the countries’ first joint exercise using the MSDF’s P-3C patrol aircraft. Continue reading

Chinese turtle heist sends rare Philippine species to brink of extinction, international rescue underway

0626_gs_IMG_3162On Friday, June 19, Philippine authorities raided a warehouse on the island of Palawan and confiscated more than 4,000 live, illegally harvested rare turtles, only days before they were to be shipped to foreign food and pet markets.

“It appears that a businessman, a Chinese national in the Philippines, had stored them in a warehouse in large cement tanks, piled a dozen deep, awaiting export to China,” Dr. Brian D. Horne told Horne is the Wildlife Conservation Society’s coordinator for freshwater turtle and tortoise conservation. Continue reading

2 M passengers a year seen with new Palawan airport


President Aquino inspects the Puerto Princesa Airport development project yesterday. With him are Palawan Gov. Jose Alvarez, Korean Ambassador Kim Jae-Shin and other local officials.
MANILA, Philippines – Tourist arrivals in Palawan are expected to increase with the newly renovated Puerto Princesa International Airport in Palawan, an official said yesterday. Continue reading

Aquino visits Palawan


PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd flies today to Puerto Princesa City in Palawan, the province that is closest to the disputed territories in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. confirmed the planned visit during a radio interview on Sunday but stressed that it has nothing to do with the heightening tension between the Philippines and China. Continue reading

Reject coal plant, Jimenez asks Aquino


PUERTO PRINCESA CITY—Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez has asked President Aquino to reject a 15-megawatt coal-fired power plant planned to be put up in Palawan province by the Consunji group’s energy company DMCI Power Corp.

In an urgent memorandum to President Aquino dated June 25, a copy of which was obtained by the Inquirer from a source in the Department of Tourism (DOT), Jimenez warned Malacañang that the approval of the coal plant would imperil Palawan’s booming tourism sector. Continue reading

Outgoing AFP chief now an adopted son of Palawan


MANILA, Philippines – For showing determination in challenging China’s provocations in the West Philippine Sea, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. has been named “an adopted illustrious son of Palawan.”

In bestowing on Catapang the honors, the Palawan Provincial Council cited his personally leading a group of local and foreign media last month to Pag-Asa island – seat of the Kalayaan island town in Palawan – to brief them on the real situation and send a message to China that the Philippines is serious about asserting its sovereignty over its territory. Continue reading

VIDEO | As CARAT ends, US Navy confirms warships to patrol SE Asia waters


A US Navy official confirmed a plan to deploy its warships for rotational patrols in Southeast Asia as it concluded naval training exercises with Philippine forces in Palawan waters.

The week-long Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT 2015) maritime exercises between US and Philippine naval forces saw the USS Forth Worth and Philippine warships BRP Ramon Alcaraz and BRP Gregorio del Pilar  sailing in the Sulu Sea. Continue reading

Palawan NGO uses seized chainsaws for fences

640_2015_06_26_08_51_42A volunteer on Thursday, June 25, cleans up the perimeter of a local non-government organization’s compound, using confiscated chainsaws as fences in their campaign against illegal logging in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. Since 2009, close to 500 chainsaws have been seized from tree-cutters who were caught illegally logging in the forest to convert the area for palm oil and rubber plantations as well as nickel mines, a Palawan NGO Network Inc. (PNNI) official said. Continue reading

‘We have short memories’: Japan unites with former foes to resist China’s empire of sand


It was American soldiers held captive by Japanese troops during the second world war who first dug through the thick, damp mud to build an airstrip on the Philippine island of Palawan.

Now, in 2015, two spy planes, one Japanese and one American, stand side by side on that same runway. Continue reading

VIDEO | Energy chief Petilla inspects Malampaya amid breakdowns bugging facility

interphoto_1435246679PALAWAN, Philippines – Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla himself led an inspection Thursday of the Malampaya gas field facilities in Palawan.

He inspected the new platform, installed in February of 2015 with the goal of supplying natural gas to Luzon’s three biggest power plants. The second platform, however, was hobbled by serial breakdowns almost as soon as installation was completed, forcing restrictions on the volume of gas to be released in April, in turn causing supply to thin in the Luzon grid. Continue reading

School kids tour P3 Orion surveillance planes in Palawan

640_2015_06_24_09_59_52The crew of a US Navy P3 Orion aircraft escort children on their tour of the maritime surveillance plane at an air base in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan on Tuesday, June 23. The Philippines is holding separate naval exercises with US and Japanese forces this week on an island not far from the disputed Spratly archipelago, where China’s rapid creation of seven-island outposts is stoking regional tensions. At left is a Japanese P3-C Orion surveillance plane. Reuters/ Continue reading

VIDEO | US, Philippines insist Palawan exercises not related to sea row with China

interphoto_1434991495PALAWAN, Philippines – More than 600 American soldiers are in this southern province for “combat training and exercises” alongside Filipino soldiers. The two countries have stressed, however, that the exercises have nothing to do with the continuing spat over maritime territory in the West Philippine Sea. Continue reading

Waverly Pictures launches Waves


MANILA, Philippines – Cebu-based Waverly Pictures marks its initial foray in the local commercial film market via Waves, a romantic drama starring Baron Geisler, Polish model/actress Ilona Struzik, Pilar Pilapil and Pilar’s real-life brother, Leo Pilapil.

Making his directorial debut is Don Gerardo Frasco, a native of Liloan, Cebu who pursued his filmmaking and photography studies at the International Academy of Film and Television and the New York Film Academy. Continue reading

PH begins naval exercises with US, Japan this week

balikatan2-300x233MANILA – The Philippine Navy will begin Monday separate naval drills with its two major allies, US and Japan, near the disputed West Philippine Sea.

Officials from the Philippine and US Navies are set to open the annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) at the Naval Station Apolinario Jalandoni in Puerto Princesa City on Monday. Continue reading

CARAT war games start off Palawan


This year’s Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercises, which take place off Palawan’s waters, will formally open Monday afternoon with 600 American and Filipino military personnel slated to take part in the bilateral naval maneuvers.

CARAT 2015 public affairs chief Lt. Liezl Vidallon said the opening ceremonies will take place at 1:30 p.m. at Naval Station Apolinario Jalandoni in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. Continue reading

PH, US to hold naval exercises east of Palawan on June 22


The Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (Carat) naval exercise between the Philippines and the United States Navy will begin Monday (June 22) in east of Palawan amid the rising tension in the South China Sea.

The Carat 2015, a bilateral maritime exercise, will be conducted from June 18 to 30 in different areas of Palawan, according to Lt. Liezel Vidallon, Philippine Fleet public affairs officer. Continue reading

DOTC to bid out 3 Palawan airports separately from 5 regional airports


The government will be bidding out the development of three airports in Palawan separately from the five regional airports currently being auctioned off by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC).

This developed as the DOTC Prequalification, Bids and Awards Committee has decided to finally exclude Puerto Princesa Airport from the ongoing bidding of the development, operations and maintenance projects for Bacolod-Silay, Iloilo, Davao, Laguindingan and New Bohol airports. Continue reading

Palawan police seize 4,312 rare pond turtles

2015_june19_prov1Puerto Princesa—Authorities seized more than 4,000 critically endangered Philippine forest turtles, locally known as bakoko or pond turtles, from a local resident in Barangay Rio Tuba in Bataraza town.

Endangered. Authorities have been vigilant in arresting turtle poachers in
Palawan. These sea turtles were recovered from Chinese fishermen off the
disputed Half Moon Shoal, 60 nautical miles west of Palawan, in May 2014. AFP Continue reading