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.