Saturday, March 03, 2007
HAGEDORN: The Maverick by Tony Lopez BIZNEWS ASIA
Having built many of the amenities of a city fit for the 21st century, Mayor Edward Hagedorn realizes that Puerto Princesa doesn’t have enough facilities to meet an impending tourism boom over the next ten years, the influx of some 600,000 tourists, from only 130,000 a year at present.
Now, he must make up for lost time and work double time to make the city the country’s premier destination.
Thankfully, he has help from the central government in Manila, international lenders and even Church leaders who share his vision of a modern city anchored on helping the poor and on sustainable development of the environment.
After 14 years as mayor of Puerto Princesa, Edward S. Hagedorn has brought about or built just about any amenity a modern city can aspire for – relative peace and order, absence of illegal gambling, a 911-type quick0response public assistance center, clean and green surroundings, a state-of-the art garbage processing plant, Olympic-style sports facilities, a sprawling housing settlement for informal settlers, and a national and growing global reputation for its heavy focus on the environment.
So why is there impatience in his gait and intensity of his action?
“I don’t have facilities to host more than150,000 tourists a year,” he confides. “We only have 1,000 hotel rooms of all kinds. In peak season, we can only take in only 1,000 tourists most a day.”
Hagedorn wants to double the number of hotel rooms in three years. To do that, he must attract investors into the city’s tourism. Before he could attract the, he must dramatically build up the city’s infrastructure. The roads in particular. That takes time. “It is a chicken and egg situation,” the mayor winces.
In the interim thus, Puerto Princesa welcomes tourists but they have to make do with the limited facilities of a city that is now at heart, is just a small town.
The city’s former first class hotel, the 100-room Asiaworld Resort has been shuttered for two years now, a victim of the previous mayor’s shortsightedness. Hagedorn is helping the hotel’s owners, the Tan Yu family of Manila and Taipei, find buyers for the property. “The building structure is good and solid and sits on a 5-ha. Property,” he says.
Asking price for the hotel: P250 million, cheap considering that the property is centrally located and where going rate is P 7,000 per sqm.
In the meantime, Puerto Princesa was promised $100 million, P1.5 billion by President Arroyo for tourism infrastructure.
The city has plenty of money. In 1992, Hagedorn had only P50-million budget. That’s crippling considering that in land area alone, 2,539 square kms. Puerto Princesa is the country’s largest city.
Travel north or south of the town center for two hours and you are still in Puerto Princesa. The city runs 140 kms north to south and is about 50 kms at its widest.
To link with the world, Puerto Princesa has to modernize itself. That requires considerable resources. Hagedorn spent P200 million to build a sports coliseum that can seat 8,000 people.
He built a sports complex complete with a track and field and an Olympic-sized pool, also for P200 million. No wonder the city is becoming popular as a convention and sports destination. With near complete sports facilities, Puerto Princesa has hosted the Palarong Pambansa twice.
This year, the city budget is P1 billion, thanks to a massive increase in IRA (Internal Revenue Allotment) from Manila. With that equity capital, the city can borrow money. The Manila-based Asian Development Bank has provided loans for the city’s garbage recycling, massive road-building, and environmental protection programs.
Arroyo has declared Puerto Princesa one of the country’s major tourist destinations. It has been singled out as one of the primary growth areas in central Philippines.
Said the President in her State of the Nations Address in July 24: “Central Philippines has the competitive edge in tourism in its natural wonders and the extraordinary hospitality of its people.” The area, she says, sweeps across Palawan and Romblon, the Visayas and Bicol, plus the northern Mindanao islands of Camiguin, Siargao and Dapitan. “Topbilled by Boracay, Cebu, Bohol and Palawan, it attracts more than half of the foreign tourists to the Philippines,” she said. “The priority here is tourism investments.”
Mrs. Arroyo related further: “Tourism in Palawan requires the upgrading of the airports in Puerto Princesa, Busuanga, San Vicente, as well as a continuous road backbone from El NIdo to Batazara.”
Palawan is perhaps, the only province in the Philippines where four airports are being built simultaneously over the next four years.
During that time, Hagedorn is confident that Puerto Princesa will be able to attract 600,000 local and foreign visitors yearly. Each day, flights to Puerto Princesa are almost always full, each using wide-bodied aircraft. Last year, the city had only 130,000 visitors.
At its height, the city’s tourism attracted 170,000 visitors but the number dropped following a series of unfortunate events under the previous mayor, Dennis Socrates who became very unpopular and was ousted in a recall election that Hagedorn won.
To be sure, Puerto Princesa cannot compete with other Philippine cities like Metro Manila, Cebu, Davao or General Santos in attracting major industries. But it has one attraction its peers don’t have – eco-tourism.
Puerto Princesa, in fact, threatens to become the Philippines’ No.1 tourist destination in terms of eco-tourism.
The city’s recent preeminence is a tribute to Hagedorn’s work as mayor of 14 years.
Coming to office in July 1992, he found the city’s coffers nil and visioning equally absent. The city had unruly police force. There was filth and dirt all around. Many of the commercial structures were decrepit.
Immediately, Hagedorn went to work with the only available resource at hand, cheap labor, actually displaced jueteng workers who had just lost their source of livelihood, the illegal numbers game, because the once tough gambling lord had promised the local bishop he would not engage in it for electoral support.
Hagedorn thought the bishop was bluffing and readily agreed to the deal. But the promise apparently was cast in stone and so the newly elected mayor had to comply with the covenant.
He went to clean the city’s streets. A fine of P200 was imposed for loitering, a huge amount given that most of the residents don’t earn that much in a day. Among those who was fined himself was caught by his police chief throwing a cigarette butt in a canal.
The police thought of making an example of Hagedorn. He went on radio and television about the mayor being fined for littering. Hagedorn has since quit smoking.
Hagedorn also ordered the city’s beaches and waters patrolled for illegal fishing.
Bantay Dagat also has one unintended benefit. Pirates couldn’t maraud in the area.
Hagedorn’s vision is to “see Puerto Princesa as a model city in sustainable development,” by developing the city based on the following concepts:
- A park-like city demonstrating balance and harmony between development and environment;
- A center for eco-tours, healthful recreation, applied research on ecology, ecosystem, marine and terrestrial flora and environment management;
- A home for disciplined inhabitants whoa re responsible stewards of the city’s ecological system and resources; their quality of life improved as they enjoy directly or indirectly the bounties of nature and the fruits of their labor; and,
- Its major thoroughfares developed as boulevards, promenades, and stretches of tree-lined and coastal highways interspersed with parks and resorts and provided with appropriate facilities fro tourism, agriculture, commerce and environment-friendly industries.
To protect and preserve the city’s environment – marine and terrestrial the - city instituted environmental protection measures against the despoilers of nature.
For his efforts, Hagedorn reaped awards, such as, the Earth Day Award, MAcli-ing Dulag Environmental Achievement Award, Best Governed Local Government Unit Awards and Gusi Peace Award.
Delighted with the Mayor’s notable achievements and rising popularity, a series of Presidents, from Fidel V. Ramos, to Joseph Estrada, to Arroyo extended their backing.
Ramos gave the city a 1,772-hectare of land carved out from the Iwahig Penal Colony to be used as the City Industrial and Commercial Zone. When she became president, Arroyo gave the city and additional 1,000 hectares for mass housing.
ADB is funding almost P2 billion worth of infrastructure projects to backstop the city’s $100-million development plan aimed to garner 600,000 tourists in three years.
A $100-million development plan will prepare Puerto for a massive tourism promotion that aims to bring in 600,000 tourists within three years.
Among Hagedorn’s infra projects are: the widening of the main Rizal Avenue, reclamation of the wharf, and a BayWalk that will rival Manila’s. he is buying additional police cars and hiring more police officers to beef up the current police force complement.
The ADB-funded P1.6 billion Palawan North Road stretches 134 kms, from the City to Barangay Roxas, cutting travel time from four to five hours to just one and a half hours. The concrete road was made with a special concrete paver, making it much smoother than normal concrete roads. Engineers boast that it is a world-class road. It was completed in 2004.
The road is part of ADB’s Sicth Road Project which aims to improve infrastructure an the countryside to boost economic development. The project consists of the 80.34-km Puerto Princesa-Langogan road and the 54.14-km Langogan-Roxas road along the northeast coast of Palawan. The road is a scenic view of the sea and of the famous snake island.
“These nice roads are catalysts for development,” Hagedorn enthuses. “When investors come, the first thing they notice is the condition of the roads,” he points out.
“Before, when you go to Roxas, you stop at San Rafael which 75 kilometers form the city. All buses stop there to eat because the trip is long. After the uphill climb in Langogan, there’s another eatery, they eat again because they are hungry again,” says Simeon Alarcon, vice president of the Palawan Chamber of Commerce. “Now the busses don’t stop anymore.”
The Palawan North Road boosts the tourism economy of the province, which is one of the one two industries after agriculture. It leads to major tourism spots like Honda Bay, the Underground River, and its famed world-class resorts like El Nido, Club Noah-Isabelle, etc.
Another ADB-funded project is the P200-million sanitary landfill in barangay Santa Lourdes, said to be the first local government-controlled and engineered sanitary landfill in the country. “When tourists came, you build up your garbage. This landfill takes care of the problem,” says the mayor.
The landfill can handle garbage for the next 20 years.
With the implementation of the zero waste management program under R.A. 2003, the City expects that the life span of the sanitary landfill will extend to 50 years or more.
The sanitary landfill will be implemented in six phases on a 20.9-hectare abandoned mine site.
Phase 1 covers the construction of a leachate treatment plant and pumping stations, composting plant, and auxiliary facilities like access road, perimeter fence and gate, cut-off ditches and drainage system, monitoring wells, protection dikes, gas vents, waste recovery shed, equipment yard and wash bay, weighbridge, guardhouse and administrative building. Dump trucks and a landfill vibratory compactor were also purchased.
The third ADB project in the city is the P40-million Fisheries Resources Management Project which supports the strong environment vision of Mayor Hagedorn.
Some 370 hectares have been declared fish sanctuaries, prohibiting fishing and any other human activity.
“We are achieving our goal of sustainable development and reduction in poverty,” says Hagedorn. The city also maintains nurseries with mangrove seedlings and the maintenance of full-frown mangroves.
ADB says the project has an income diversification component, through community participation for the sustainable livelihood of fishermen who were once involved in destructive and/or unsustainable means of fishing, by providing the micro financing for such activities as crab fattening, fish drying, processing, etc. it covers 56 coastal barangays. In Honda Bay alone, there are 18 barangays benefiting from the project while in Puerto Princesa Bay, it covers 22 barangays.
If Hagedorn loves the environment now, it is because he used to ruin it, his family having been among Palawan’s largest loggers. And if hates gambling now, it is because he used to be the city’s biggest gambling lord.
Parañaque-born Hagedorn was humbled by the fact that despite being a non-Palawan native, he was elected by the people in 1992. “My election changed my outlook,” he relates now. “Because of the trust and confidence of Palaweños, I promised I am going to protect the resources that rightfully belong to the Palaweños.”
Among the city’s major projects and programs:
Oplan Linis Program (Clean and Green Campaign)
Launched on Aug. 1, 1992, the program aims to sustain cleanliness, beautification, and sanitation in the city through active and continuing partnership among government agencies, non-government agencies, the private sectors, and the citizens.
The program has earned for Puerto the coveted honor of being the cleanest and greenest city in the Philippines.
Oplan Linis has six major components: cleanliness, Beautification, Sanitation, Sagip-Dagat (Save Sea), Sagip-Hangin (Save Air), and Information and Education.
In 1994, Puerto Princesa was formally declared the Cleanest and Greenest Component City in the country. Its 98% rating over the 95% garnered by Baguio City as the Cleanest and Greenest Highly Urbanized City technically makes Puerto Princesa the cleanest of them all.
Oplan Linis’ success is not only in terms of actually and immediately cleaning and greening the city, but also in sustaining the cleanest effort.
In 1995, Puerto Princesa again bagged the Cleanest and Greenest Component City Award scoring a near-perfect 99.8% rating.
In 1996, it received the Hall of Fame Award for having been declared as the cleanest and greenest component city for three years in a row.
This program was chosen by the Asian Institute of Management as one of the ten most outstanding local government programs, and was awarded the Galing Pook Award.
Locate. Identify. Register. This is what Puerto Princesa did to understand the magnitude of the squatters’ problem.
Declaring war on squatters, the city sought suitable relocation sites, source funding for land acquisition, site development, and housing construction.
Puerto Princesa has some 10,000 squatters. Hagedorn has relocated so far half of them. Living along the coastal areas of Puerto Princesa, Honda Bay, the squatters are the city’s biggest polluters.
He got a 1,000-hectate portion of the Iwahig Reservation for housing for squatters.
Aside from tourism, agriculture is the city’s only other economic base. The city is almost self-sufficient in food, except for a few varieties of vegetables.
Metro Manila gets it fish and other marine supplies from the city in particular and Palawan in general.
Hagedorn helps farmers raise mango, form agri cooperatives, and acquire the necessary agricultural inputs like fertilizer and pesticides.
This has a three-pronged approach: Enhanced agricultural activity, aggressive tourism development with the end in view of making Puerto Princesa the eco-tourism capital of Asia, and promotion of livelihood activities that are not necessarily reliant on natural resources.
The city provides schemes such as agro-forestry; rice, corn, vegetable, and cut-flower production; furniture-making, goat, poultry and piggery raising; cattle breeding and fattening; sari-sari stores; buying and selling; and similar such projects that promote self-employment.
He has involved the San Teodoro Rural Bank in a project call Sosyo sa Negosyo that the city government appropriates for livelihood assistance.
The city government constructed five two-story school buildings with sixty classrooms, on City High School building, two Technical School buildings, and eighteen Elementary School buildings.
Hagedorn has put up satellite libraries.
Each Satellite Library is equipped research materials such as encyclopedias and dictionaries; Instructional media materials; books covering a wise spectrum of learning; magazines; newspaper; and a variety of livelihood and how-to reading materials.
Reading, the source of all higher learning, is gradually becoming a hobby among a group of people who had previously been deprived of its pleasures and benefits.
Forty-two of Puerto Princesa’s sixty-six barangays are in rural areas. About 86,255 or 64.8% of the city’s population reside in these 42 remote barangays, engaged mostly in fishing and farming. Each of these barangays has its own elementary schools; seven have secondary school of learning.
Total student population is estimated at some 12,060. Not one of these rural elementary and secondary has a functional library. So where do the students run to for research? Nowhere! To go to the city proper where the City Library is located is impractical, given the distance, time and infrequency of transport.
Scholarship Program – it annually sets aside funds to defray the educational expenses of poor but deserving college freshmen. More concretely, it provides free tuition, books, transportation, uniform and a miscellaneous fees until the candidate finishes a bachelor’s degree.
One day, in 1992 then mayoralty candidate Hagedorn was in hurry to visit a project south of the city. Along the highway, he saw an apparently sick person needing help to be brought to the hospital. Since he was going to the opposite direction, he promised to be back soonest.
When he came back, the man was dead. From thereon, he promised his city folks wouldn’t die for lack of medical care.
He put up satellite hospitals and centers equipped with doctors, nurses and cheap medicines. The satellite hospitals are linked by two-way radio for easy communications.
The project is a drain on city finances but Hagedorn believes health is an essential public service.
The seven satellite hospitals are in strategic locations – one each for the barangays in the southwest, northwest, north, southeast, and the central areas.
“You can travel for miles in this city for two hours and you cannot find a doctor or a hospital. The satellite hospitals fill that need,” explains Hagedorn.
Each satellite hospitals has five-bed capacity and is equipped with radio communication, electricity courtesy of solar energy, ambulance, medicines; and, manned by a physician, nurses, midwives, radio operator, driver and a utility man. Each is open 24 hours a day.
Puerto’s principal tourist attraction is the Subterranean River, 81 kms north from the city proper. The National Park was declared a Unesco Heritage Site by the United Nations Environment, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
It is said to be the longest navigable underground river in the world, runs for 8kms, and spills out into the South China Sea. It is under the St. Paul’s Mountain which has a lush tropical rain forest. The river can also be reached by a two-hour hike on top of the mountain.
Several threatened species are regularly seen in the extensive lowland forests and substantial number of Palawan Pheasant Peacock and Philippine Cockatoo are found in the park.
Hagedorn limits visitors to the underground river to just 250 a day, “its carrying capacity”.
Aside from the underground river, the city is becoming popular as a convention center.
It also has a 50-ha. Zoo and botanical park, hot spring at Santa Lourdes, water spa in the woods at Salakot Falls, the Salvacion View Deck overlooking Honda Bay, the Talaudyong Beach, the Canigaran Sandbar, and the 100-hextare government center and nature part at Santa Monica.
To promote the habitats of Palawan, the Eco-tourism Village will feature jogging/biking trail, nature viewing spot, north train station, north security node, viewing tower, hostel type units (log cabins) and interest areas such as aboriginal habitats, orchid farms, curio shops, delicatessen, etc.
On Jan. 7 1994, Puerto Princesa City was adjudged and given the National Distinction Award for Best-Governed Local Government Unit, making Hagedorn the best local executive there is in the country today.
On April 25, 1994, Hagedorn received the Grand Award of the First Macli-ing Dulag Environmental Achievement Awards.
Less than a year earlier, on Aug. 25, 1993, he was likewise given the national recognition by the Department of Natural Resources (DENR) via a special Earth Day Award for Wildlife and Protected-Area Management.
Among Hagedorn’s latest awards are: the Development Management Award, the first ever that was given to a local government unit by the very discriminating and prestigious Asian Institute of Management (AIM); the Pamana ng Lahi (Heritage Award) bequeathed by President Fidel V. Ramos; and, the Global 500 Roll of Honor Award by the United Nations Environment Programme.
These accolades show, in a nutshell, the Mayor’s distinctly effective management style.
One of the major components of Bantay Puerto is Bantay Gubat or Forest Watch, which is tasked with the protection, conservation and rehabilitation of the city’s forest areas.
Hagedorn has confiscated hundreds of thousands of board feet of prime lumber, hundreds of talking birds, dozen of chainsaw, and trucks full of logs. It has also apprehended more than two hundred persons found violating the various forest ordinances; filed cases against sixteen of them, two of whom had already been convicted.
To rehabilitate the denuded areas of the city’s forestlands, Hagedorn embarked on a massive reforestation scheme.
Dubbed a “Pista Y Ang Kagiban” of Feast of the Forest, it has mobilized thousands of peole from all walks of life, and greatly succeeded not only in terms of the number of trees actually planted (approximately 800,000 with 80% survival rte), but also in inculcating the proper attitutude among the Puerto Princesans toward tree planting and conservation, making it the “in” thing to do.
Celebrated every last Sunday of June, this unique feast has transformed from a novel reforestation activity to becoming a tourist-attracting one that people from everywhere look forward to annually.
Another worthy project is Bantay Dagat, or Baywatch.
It seeks the protection and conservation of the city’s marine ecology by waging an all-out illegal fishing and related activities in its four strategic bays, namely; Puerto Princesa Bay, Honda Bay, Turtle Bay, and Ulugan Bay.
By one reckoning, the campaign has apprehended 1,657 pump boats and 46 fishing boats for violations of various fishing laws and ordinances. One vessel (F/B Robinson) worth P20 million was forfeited in favor of the city government. Some 18 tons of fish, including live ones, found illegally caught were confiscated.
Among the illegal methods of fishing, cyanide is the most pemicious and the most difficult to control.
Unlike dynamite or trawl fishing, cyanide fishing is a very silent operation and is usually done underwater.
The city bans live fish for shipment. Hagedorn says live fish is almost always caught with cyanide.
To protect the interest of the legitimate live fish catchers, the Cyanide Detection Test Laboratory was established to scientifically determine if fish were caught by illegal means. It is the first of such facility in the country to be put up by a local government unit.
When mayor Hagedorn opted for sustainable as apposed to extractive development and implemented nature conservation measures, his sole interest was in preserving nature for all generation to come.
The city has more construction equipment than the regional office of the DPWH.
It has ten trucks and 37 heavy equipment, most of them almost new.
The city also has an asphalt batching plant. The equipment pay for themselves. Having them, Hagedorn is able to quick-start projects and finish them ahead of time. And he saves a lot of money in the process.Filed in Mayor Hagedorn, Political Will, Puerto Princesa City, Palaweno, Puerto Princesa, Leadership, Palawan, Philippines
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
the transformation of Puerto Princesa into a world-class, park-like city and the eco-tourism capital of Asia, full employment can be assured for those who are not engaged in businesses of their own.
Kaunlaran or economic development is the last of the three K’s (the first two being Kalinisan or cleanliness and Kapayapaan or peace and rrder) that Mayor Hagedorn has promised the people of Puerto Princesa. This is the most difficult and challenging task that the mayor has put before himself.
To achieve this objective, he adopted a three-pronged approach: Enhanced agricultural productivity, aggressive tourism development with the end in view of making Puerto Princesa the eco-tourism capital of Asia, and promotion of livelihood activities that are not necessarily reliant on natural resources.
Initially, the City Agriculture Department and the City Social Welfare Department undertook the organizing, training, screening, evaluation and final determination of possible beneficiaries of the City’s Government various livelihood assistance schemes such as agro-forestry; rice, corn, vegetable, and cut-flower production; furniture making, goat, poultry and piggery raising; cattle breeding and fattening; sari-sari stores; buying and selling; and similar such projects that promote self-employment.
All in all, a total of P27,626,960.00 have been released by the City Government to 1,187 family beneficiaries.
Due to poor repayment record, however, seen in retrospect as having been caused largely by some of the people’s dole-out mentality, Mayor Hagedorn shifted tactic and involved the San Teodoro Rural Bank in a project called Sosyo sa Negosyo.
Under the new scheme, the rural bank puts up 150% of whatever amount that the City Government appropriates for livelihood assistance. Since its implementation, P2,664,300.00 have already been loaned out to 142 family beneficiaries for such livelihood activities as shell craft and native products manufacturing, mushroom culture, fruits vending, art and beauty shops, and many others. Since then, repayment record has gone up to a healthy 80%.
Friday, August 18, 2006
|An Invitation to Adventure|
Ecotourism has now become the buzzword among the worlds travelers, and rightly so. With the massive ecological ruin that many parts of the world have been subjected to in the name of development, very few are the places left where the integrity of the oceans and the forests has remained intact.
In our little world that is Puerto Princesa City, we delight in many things, foremost of which are the richness and the relative purity of our terrestrial na marine resources, and the peoples success i n conserving them. That we have also made it the cleanest, greenest and most peaceful city in the Philippines are other humble accomplishments that have become our collective source of pride.
To our fellow travelers, we offer you a journey abounding with breathtaking sceneries, distinct sights, a rich cultural heritage, and the warmth of our people. We share them with you, lovers of nature. They are yours to enjoy.
So, come now. The pristine while beaches, exotic islands, lush virgin forests, and a bundle of many more natural excitements await!
Together with the rest of the noble Puerto Princesans, I will be
EDWARD S. HAGEDORN
Thursday, August 17, 2006
DENR :launches Green Philippine Highway
Green Philippine Highway
Koronadal City (17 August) -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 12 will spearhead the implementation of Green Philippine Highway.
At the Kapihan sa SOCCSKSARGEN, DENR 12 Regional Director Jim O. Sampulna said simultaneous planting of tress and launching of Green Philippine Highway along the highways and main thoroughfare in Region XII will be done on August 25, 2006 at 10:00 o'clock in the morning. This will also be done all throughout the nation's national highways.
Aims of this undertaking is to lessen air pollution mostly emitted by motor vehicles and big industries in consonance with the environmental protection and the Cleaner Air Act of the government.
According to health surveys most of today's common diseases are caused smokes emitted by motor vehicles and big industries.
Region XII will launch Green Philippine Highway in the following sites, from Esperanza and Tacurong City in Sultan Kudarat, Tacurong City to General Santos, General Santos City to Malungon, Sarangani and Pigkawayan to Makilala in Cotabato Province. This will also be a part of the yearly activities of the region until entire stretch of identified thoroughfares will be fully planted, RED Sampulna said.
Different non-government organizations, civic and youth organizations, government agencies and Local Government unitsare expected to participate in this undertakings.
The Department of Education (DepEd) will also be tapped for the tree planting activities involving mostly students and pupils for planting.
Sampulna also urge all members of the Regional Development Council and government employees to participate not only in the launching activities but all throughout the completion of the greening and planting intervention activities. (PIA-XII)
Reducing Tricycle Noise in the Philippines’… Reducing Tricycle Noise in the Philippines’ Puerto Princesa City … Reducing Tricycle Noise in … more »… more »
Tourism Program: Not so long ago, Puerto Princesa City was a place no one really bothered to know, except of … more »
Environmental Protection and Management Oplan … 1996 Outstanding Environmental Protection and Management. Oplan Linis : … more »
11 - 204 exotic birds in Palawan rescued
Bayanihan.org, Philippines -
... possession of four suspects in sitio Parangue, barangay Bunog, Palawan early this ... led SPO1 Rolando Ytac and some personnel of municipal environment and natural ...
Philstar.com : Mitra - Declare Palawan a ‘biodiversity hot spot’Mitra issued the call in last Thursday’s opening of the first Palawan Environmental and Economic Summit here, which aims to come up with a long-term plan to ...
|Ramsar Wetland: |
World Heritage Site:
World Heritage Site:
|Tubbataha Reefs National Marine Park|
Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park
Tubbataha Reef Marine Park
FPJ : Hagedorn
Hagedorn / Philippine Movie VCD
Fernando Poe, Jr. - Sharmaine Arnaiz -Jun Aristorenas - Bob Soler - Dante Rivero - Paquito Diaz - Jorge Estregan - Dick Israel
His devotion to his duty is nonpareil. His heart listens to the murmurs of his subordinates. He loves people. He loves his service. But he is a ruthless advocate of peace and justice. When he was wronged for downing a high-ranking police officer, he was easily locked in jail by his archrivals. The antemortem statement that should have cleared his name falls into unsrupulous hands only dimming his chance of clearing his name. One good cop against a whole block of bad cops. A story of dignity of labor. Of honor and humility. Edward Hagedorn is a true-to-life depiction of a simple man whose commitment to duty and service to his fellowen still serve to this day a paragon. Genre : Drama Copyright 2002 Viva Video Inc.
His dedication to his duty is unrivaled. His heart listens to the clamor of his people. He, too, is a steadfast defender of justice and peace. His uncompromising stand winds him admirers, but it also earns him enemies who will stop at nothing just to see him fall. He is Edward Hagedorn, public servant, social and environmental activist, mayor of Puerto Princesa City. And this is his story.
|Cast (in credits order)|
|Writing credits (in alphabetical order)|
|Clodualdo Del Mundo Jr.|
"Let's Cha-cha now" ULAP
PIA Press release- Senate irrelevant? - ULAP
Manila (8 August) -- The Senate's insistence on conducting hostile hate-filled inquiries rather than producing strategic policies has made the institution totally irrelevant and removed from the mainstream of Filipino life, the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) charged yesterday.
ULAP national president, Gov. Erico Aumentado of Bohol, reiterated the call of 1.7 million local government officials nationwide for the immediate abolition of the Senate because it has become "the bastion of destructive and poisonous politics."
No one would lament the abolition of the Senate, which has become the single biggest obstacle to national stability and progress, Aumentado said in a statement.
Aumentado cited the Senate's mangling of the 2006 budget by P63 billion as the "best proof that the chamber is working not for the common good but in aid of the political agenda and ambitions of a few power-hungry senators."
Aumentado, who is also president of the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP), said the Senate's "very existence has become anathema" to the interest of Filipinos.
"It should be abolished this year to give way to one-house legislature under a parliamentary government. This is the change the country badly needs," said Aumentado.
He and Puerto Princesa City Mayor Edward Hagedorn, chairman of the League of Cities of the Philippines, concurred with Sen. Edgardo Angara's observation that the Senate's dismal performance on lawmaking- and its focus on unproductive congressional investigations - already made the chamber "lose its purpose and prestige."
Angara was quoted as saying that if the Senate, at the end of the legislative year, cannot produce "meaningful laws, then we are of no use as a legislative institution."
The Senate of the 13th Congress has approved no more than 20 laws since July 2004 - making it the worst-performing Senate since 1986. It has not acted on more than 820 bills that the House of Representatives already approved on third reading, many of which are national bills Speaker Jose de Venecia said are of "utmost interest to the nation."
The ULAP has a Memorandum of Agreement with the Majority Coalition of the House of Representatives to seek Charter amendments this year and shift the structure of government to the parliamentary system with a unicameral parliament.
Aumentado and Hagedorn said the present bicameral presidential system has highlighted the ills of a divided government that have made the country inefficient in creating a climate of stability vital to national development.
The two said the Senate's decision to slash the budget by P63 billion deprived LGUs of funds already programmed for anti-poverty projects and programs to provide clean water, electricity, medical health care and livelihood opportunities to depressed areas.
ULAP has also joined the multi-sectoral coalition Sigaw ng Bayan which has been pushing a campaign for People's Initiative to amend the Constitution and change the structure of government from the presidential to the parliamentary system.
At least 48 percent of Filipinos polled by Pulse Asia last month said they favored the people's Initiative to amend the Charter, while only 23 percent- down from 30 percent in April- favored a conventional convention to initiate amendments.
The latest survey showed clearly that more Filipinos are now accepting Charter reform in the face of destructive politics of which the Senate is the leading practitioner, Aumentado and Hagedorn said.
Meanwhile, Gov. Luis "Chavit" Singson of Ilocos Sur and Gov. Tomas Joson of Nueva Ecija led the provincial executives in urging the House of Representatives to immediately resolved "the recycled impeachment complaints against President Arroyo" to enhance the political and economic stability of the country.
During its recent national executive board meeting, the LPP also favorably endorsed the passage of the supplemental budget being asked by Malacanang from Congress, especially the allocation of P14.862 billion for the IRA (internal revenue allotment) shares of LGUs (local government units).
They also requested the President to provide national government counterpart funding to projects of the LGUs under the Kilos Asensyo program duly approved by the Provincial Development Councils (PDCs) and expressed support for the creation of mega regions to enhance countryside development. (PIA)
PIA Press Release
ULAP, Sigaw say "Let's Cha-cha now"
Manila - Charter reform advocates challenged the opposition Thursday to "show statesmanship and accept the truth that Filipinos are tired of the present destructive state of our politics and it is now time to shift to a unicameral parliamentary government."
The 1.7-million strong Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines and the coalition umbrella Sigaw ng Bayan said that "the argument that the Filipino people don't want Charter reform has been crushed and no amount of self-denial can reverse it."
"The opposition can no longer hide behind the catch all phrase 'in the name of the people' in opposing Charter reform - because the people themselves have rejected their claims," Bohol Gov. Erico Aumentado, the national president of ULAP, said.
People realize that the opposition cannot solve the nation's problems by whining all the time without offering any alternative solution or program, Aumentado added.
Sigaw ng bayan spokesman Raul Lambino said the Pulse Asia survey and a similar one taken a week earlier by The Center for Issues and Advocacy (The Center) should be seen by Charter opponents "as the ultimate defeat of the forces of the super elite and the moneyed class who have manipulated politics and public opinion for the longest time."
The Sigaw ng Bayan advocacy is a move by the Filipino people "to reclaim the initiative in reforming Philippine society and politics."
This is also a warning to the opposition forces in Makati that continue to employ "Gestapo-like tactics to thwart the people's sovereign will in support of Charter reform," Lambino said.
The latest resolution by ULAP, approved a few days ago at the Local Government Unit Summit in Manila, denounced Makati mayor Jejomar Binay's "antidemocratic tactic" and challenged the opposition to stop employing political harassment to intimidate constitutional warriors in Makati.
The latest survey by Pulse Asia showed that more Filipinos are in favor of Charter reform - higher for the first time than the number opposing it since the campaign for Constitutional change was launched.
The Pulse Asia survey also showed 48 percent of Filipinos favor People's Initiative to amend the Constitution - more than twice the number of those who favor Constitutional Convention, which has fallen to 23 percent.
The third mode, Constituent Assembly of the Senate and the House of representatives, remained at 28 percent.
Puerto Princesa City Mayor Edward Hagedorn, chairman of the League of Cities, said the "time for debate is over, and the sooner the opposition can join us in this pushing for this historic endeavor, the faster we can put the ills of the nation behind us and usher in a period of stability and economic growth."
He said "we don't need another two or four months to prove that the great majority of Filipinos have embraced Charter reform according to the goals we want urgently to accomplish."
ULAP has a Memorandum of Agreement with the Majority Coalition of the House of Representatives led by Speaker Jose de Venecia to push for seven core amendments to the 1987 Constitution within the year.
Topping the proposed amendments is the shift from what the coalition called the "failed system of bicameral presidential government" to the unicameral parliamentary system, which is the governing structure in most successful countries of Europe and Asia.
De Venecia, in his statement opening the Third Session of the House of Representatives, said "we have awakened a national consensus for Charter reform" and said it was now up to the Supreme Court to give the nation guidance and direction on the most efficient mode of amending the 20-year old Charter.
The other crucial amendments call for an end to turncoatism, state financing for political parties, and synchronized elections once every five years to eliminate massive election spending that breeds corruption. (PIA-MMIO) [top]
Monday, August 14, 2006
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo commended on Friday the city government of Puerto Princesa for its state-of-the-art engineered sanitary landfill facility, the first of its kind in the country and the first to fully comply with Republic Act 9003 or the Solid Waste Management Act of 2003.
The P230-million pioneering landfill project is situated in a 35-hectare, environmentally controlled area, an abandoned mercury mining site in Barangay Sta. Lourdes, some 11 kilometers away from the city proper.
“Thank you, Mayor (Edward Hagedorn) for this beautiful and very good project and for the help that you give to the country,” the President said during the inauguration of the landfill facility this morning.
The Puerto Princesa City mayor chairs Task Force Jueteng, which was created by the President to stop jueteng operations in the country.
The President said this is the first time that she has seen an odorless landfill facility.
She expressed her appreciation to Hagedorn for his support and role in the government’s campaign against jueteng and commended him for the good condition of the infrastructure facilities in his province.
The President arrived here this morning to inaugurate and inspect various government projects, including the P1.5 billion, 134.5-kilometer Palawan Road Project connecting Puerto Princesa City to Roxas town and other municipalities in the northern part of the province.
The project was undertaken jointly by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) with funding assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Among the benefits of the project is the systematized sanitary disposal of solid waste, reduction of air and waterborne diseases associated with open dumping, and reduction of pollution of the Tagburos River and the famous Honda Bay.
From Antonio Bautista Air Base (ABAB), she motored to Barangay San Pedro where she unveiled the marker and cut the ribbon marking the official opening of the Puerto Princesa-Langogan-Roxas Road project.
The project was funded by ADB under its Sixth Road Project.
The completion of the project is expected to address the major constraints to Palawan’s economic and social development, particularly in the northern portion of Palawan.
The President also inspected the Puerto Princesa City government center and nature park, the new city hall, and sports complex.
The sports complex served as temporary shelter for the 2,000 families of victims of the fire that hit Barangay San Pedro.
The President also inspected the Coastal Development (Bay Walk) Project at Barangay Sea Side and the road widening project at Rizal Avenue leading to Palawan Airport.
She also made brief visit to the headquarters of the 10th Marine Battalion Landing Team (MBLT) and informed them of her administration’s housing projects for members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Accompanying the Chief Executive were Presidential Chief of Staff Mike Defensor, Public Works Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane Jr., Tourism Secretary Ace Durano, and Transportation and Communications Secretary Leandro Mendoza. (Source: bayanihan.org Friday, March 31 2006 @ 05:55 PM BST)
GMA boosts tourism in Puerto Princesa
Being hailed as one of the Philippines’ top tourist destinations has not stopped Puerto Princesa City from exploring other ways to showcase its flora and fauna to nature lovers and other potential visitors. In recent years, Puerto Princesa has taken the initiative to channel its efforts in promoting its sights, natural and historical through sports tourism.
The city which earned the monicker “the country’s last frontier” has successfully hosted both local and international sporting events in the past, most prominent of which are: the BIMP-EAGA (Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia- Philippines - East ASEAN Growth Area) Games in 2003, the National Youth and Women’s Amateur Boxing Championship, the MIMAROPA (Mindoro Oriental and Occidental-Marinduque-Romblon-Palawan) Regional Athletic Association Games, the International Invitational Sepak Takraw Championships and the best-ever attended motorsports event in Philippine sports history, the FIM-UAM Asia Pacific Motocross Championships.
Next month, Puerto Princesa will take its achievements in the sports tourism realm to greater heights when its hosts for the third year in a row the 2006 Motocross Masters of Asia, Round 2 of the FIM-UAM Asia Pacific Motocross Championship slated at the Puerto Princesa City motocross racetrack adjacent near the City Hall on March 16-19.
With no less than the city’s CEO Mayor Edward S. Hagedorn and the City Administrator Agustin Rocamora presiding over the preparations, the event promises to be another blockbuster and is expected to surpass the success of its 2004 and 2005 versions where over 70,000 spectators showed up. Up for grabs anew in the centerpiece 125cc class is the Mayor Edward S. Hagedorn Cup, a sterling silver trophy coming from the city’s chief executive and his constituents.
Considered as the biggest motocross series in the Asia Pacific region, the event will be participated in by riders from China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Japan, Guam, Saipan, Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines and will be covered and telecast by the ESPN Star TV Networks to an estimated 400 million households worldwide.
With barely five weeks before the Motocross Masters of Asia, the Filipino riders competing in the event will have the first of two tune-up races next weekend when the 2005 NAMSSA Camel International Supercross Championships stages its opening round in Bacolod City on February 17-19. Round 2 is slated in Iloilo City two weeks hence on March 2-5.
The 2006 Motocross Masters of Asia is being organized by the NAMSSA and supported by the City of Puerto Princesa, the Philippine Sports Commission, motorcyclephilippines.com and Inside Racing magazine. For details on the Motocross Masters of Asia and the Camel International Supercross Series, please email email@example.com or call 0917-8992363.
The Filipino’s hospitable nature combined with his innate flair for color and fanfare are expected to spruce up anew this year’s rendition of the 2005 Motocross Masters of Asia (Puerto Princesa International Motocross Grand Prix). The motorsport spectacle will be held in the FIM-compliant Puerto Princesa City permanent motocross racetrack situated near the City Hall on March 19-20.
The 2005 Motocross Masters of Asia is sponsored by the City of Puerto Princesa, the Philippine Olympic Committee, the Philippine Sports Commission, the Department of Tourism, Cebu Pacific, Negros Navigation, Dickies, 2Go Aboitiz, Polisport, HJC Helmets, Oakley, Highland Products, yehey.com, motorcyclephilippines.com, Inside Racing, Broadband Philippines, Dusit Hotel, Hotel Asturias, Sports Unlimited, GCG Pipes, Solar Entertainment and ABC5’s Speed.
Last year’s version which came with all the trappings and pageantry of a fiesta provided the international delegates with a different perception of the Philippines and its people in stark contrast to what they have heard of, seen on TV or read about back home. The event served as a medium for the City of Puerto Princesa to showcase the bright side of a country and its people. The foreign guests were able to experience Filipino hospitality at its very best. They were entertained with cultural shows from the city’s homegrown artists, excursions to the city’s top tourist destinations and on many occasions treated to feasts which served native food and delicacies.
Close to 100,000 spectators trooped to the racetrack on raceday to set the all-time best-attendance record in Philippine motorsports history. Despite the numbers, the spectators were never a problem with the comprehensive crowd-controlled measures implemented. The races provided the spectators with what they came for— two days of excitement and drama from motocross. As a bonus, the multitudes got what they wanted when local motocross hero Glenn Aguilar claimed the round pennant by winning the two motos of the centerpiece 125cc division. The races and the sights-and-sounds feature on Puerto Princesa City were shown to over 400 million viewers worldwide on the ESPN-STAR Cable TV Networks. This year’s event will be covered by the same cable TV outfit and shown to an even bigger audience estimated at 500 million viewers.
The Motocross Masters of Asia is a joint handiwork of the National Motorcycle Sports and Safety Association (NAMSSA) and the City of Puerto Princesa. Mayor Edward Hagedorn is once again giving his full support to the endeavor to ensure that last year’s success is replicated.
The 2005 FIM Asian Motocross Championship is a 6-leg series that features the top riders from 12 nations in Asia and Oceania namely Japan, China, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Saipan, Guam, Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines. The series’ opening round was held in Guam last February 6. The riders to watch out for in the Philippine round are Tadakazu Ohtsuka, the defending champion, Australia’s Christian Horwood, the overall winner of this year’s Guam leg, our very own Glenn Aguilar who came in 2nd and New Zealand’s James Robinson the 3rd placer.
NAMSSA, the only Philippine organization recognized by the FIM has been playing a major role in promoting motorcycle sports not only in the country but throughout Asia as well. Ken Falco and Arthur Valdez, President and Vice President respectively of NAMSSA, have both been appointed as jury members to various FIM events in the region in recent years. Falco was a jury member was in the Guam round held early this month. Valdez’s latest appointment as official in an international event took place in the final round of the 2004 FIM Asian Motocross series held in Macau, China last October
NAMSSA has set March 8, 2005 as the deadline for the loading of bikes/racing equipment to be used in Puerto Princesa at the South Harbor. For more details on the shipping schedules and the Motocross Masters of Asia, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0917-8992363.
PUERTO PRINCESA, PHILIPPINES - A scheme backed by an ADB grant of $240,000 to provide alternative livelihoods to tricycle operators and help cut down on pollution in Puerto Princesa City was launched today.
The grant is extended through the Poverty and Environment Program (PEP), which will pilot test a number of strategies, as well as livelihood support activities among tricycle drivers to tackle environmental and the underlying social issues surrounding tricycles in the city.
Taking a participatory approach, the project will strengthen the technical and entrepreneurial knowledge base of tricycle operators and drivers and establish a fund for drivers to upgrade the efficiency of their tricycle engines. It will also help enhance the city government’s enforcement of its Clean Air Act, especially for roadside emission monitoring and catching smoke belchers. The lessons learned from the project will assist in the formulation and replication of the strategies in other cities in the Philippines.
Puerto Princesa, which prides itself as the cleanest city in the country, is noted as a tourist destination as the capital of Palawan, the province known as the “last frontier” of the Philippines.
However, just like any other thriving city in the country, it is confronted with problems of ambient air and noise pollution, particularly from the proliferation of motorcycles and tricycles.
Noise emissions reach 90-97 decibels (dB), a serious problem given that some studies suggest that prolonged exposure to noise levels at or above 80 dB can cause deafness. The bikes clog the streets with their number and relative low speed and are perceived to be more accident prone than four-wheeled vehicles.
The number of tricycles have been increasing due to high unemployment and absence of alternative livelihoods among the drivers; the limited road network; and the rise in the size of the commuting population.
Compounding the problem is the fact that most tricycle drivers are low earners. In a survey conducted by ADB, the majority (70%) of the drivers earn a daily net income of between P100 and P150, or less than $3, which leaves little room for tricycle maintenance that could cut down on noise and maintenance.
The project was inaugurated today by city Mayor Edward Hagedorn. Representatives from tricycle operators’ and drivers’ associations and nongovernment organizations, and officials from the central government are expected to attend the event.