Friday, October 12, 2012

RP-US military exercise kicks off in Subic Bay

By Allen M. Villa

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT, Oct 10 (PIA) -- The RP-US Amphibious Landing Exercise (Phiblex) formally started Monday with a simple ceremony at the flight deck of USS Bonhomme Richard, an amphibious assault ship of the US Navy anchored at Subic’s Alava Pier.

The ceremony was witnessed by US exercise director Brig. Gen. Craig Timberlake, RP exercise director Brig. Gen. Remigio Valdez, flag officer-in-charge Vice Adm. Alexander Pama, Deputy Chief of Mission
Brian Goldbeck of the US Embassy, and Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Roberto Garcia.

Philippines and United States military officials said they were optimistic that the annual bilateral training would enhance the common goal of regional security and readiness.

Over 2,000 American and Filipino soldiers will be participating in the exercises, which will be held variously at the Subic Bay International Airport; Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija; Gregorio Lim Marine Barracks in Ternate, Cavite; Crow Valley in Tarlac; Apolinario Jalandoon Naval Station in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan; and the Naval Education Training Center in San Antonio, Zambales.

The country’s elite Marine Corps, the Navy’s Air Group and Special Operation Group, the Philippine Army, and the Philippine Air Force will train hand-in-hand with their American counterparts in the 11-day exercise.

In his message at the opening rites, Gen. Pama noted that Phiblex 2013 will serve as a venue for exchanging expertise, technology, tactics and effective procedures to ensure interoperability of the armed forces from the two nations.

Pama added that Phiblex 2013 is focused on the interoperability of the two forces in providing humanitarian assistance and disaster response in times of calamities.

The US Embassy’s Goldbeck, meanwhile, stressed the importance of the friendship binding the United States and the Philippines, adding that Phiblex “reinforces our long-time partnership and demonstrates the U.S. and Philippines’ commitment to mutual security.”

“All aspects of this Phiblex — whether they are field training, staff exercises, or civic action projects — will enable the men and women of our armed forces to work together, reinforcing our unity, and improving our ability to work as a team,” Goldbeck added.

Residents of host communities in Zambales and Palawan are expected to benefit from the scheduled Medical Civic Action Program (Medcap) during the exercises. Four barangays in Zambales and Palawan will also get assistance through the Engineering Civic Action Program.(CLJD/AMV-PIA 3)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

FutBulakenyos clinches 1st CLFL title with game to go

Subic Bay --- The Bulacan side clinched the championship of the inaugural season of the Central Luzon Football League (CLFL) after the Futbulakenyos FC held on to a 3-2 scoreline against the Lighthouse Amihan FC (LAFC) at the Remy Field last July 1st.

Despite the loss, the Olongapo/Subic Bay side cemented their 2nd place finish in the league with an away win against Tarlac FC, 4-2, at the Tarlac Recreational Center yesterday (July .7

Dubbed as the championship match, the Batang 'Gapo scored first to the cheer of some 1,200 supporters. Futbulakenyos equalized just before half time, silencing the boisterous home crowd.

After a string of errors from the LAFC in the second half, the Bulacan side added two more goals early to push the scoreline to 3-1. But the home team managed to punch through the central defenders and slot home a goal with 25 minutes left in the game.

"We really had a hard time in beating the Amihan FC for the 2nd time. Their group attack improved a lot, breaking our defenders wall," Emman Robles, Futbulakenyos coach said in a statement.

Robles said that they wanted to win the game to seal the championship for the people of Bulacan.

Only the Lighthouse Amihan had a chance to steal the Sinukuan from Bulacan, but the home loss, after an impressive 18 goals in the last two games, doomed their chances.

"Against the football giants of Central Luzon, our football developmental team performed magnificently. We offer the silver finish to all our supporters---to every person who considers himself or herself as a Batang 'Gapo," LAFC coach John Bayarong said.

Bayarong added that the championship was decided by the breaks of the game "and it went their (Futbulakenyos) way. Our most sincere congratulations to the maiden champions of CLFL."

Meanwhile, Pampanga FC unleashed a barrage of 3 goals in the second half of their home against Tarlac FC last, chalking up a point in a 3-3 home draw recently.

"It was a terrific day for PFC considering the odds of getting goals and even finished the game with a tie," coach Larry Simon said after the game.

The match had to be moved to Don Bosco-Mabalacat, after heavy rains made the Bren Guiao Sport Complex unplayable.

"We experimented with positions being confident with the lead and we paid for it dearly. We were not the better team in the field," Tarlac FC coach Christian de Ocampo noted.

The CLFL is set to end its maiden season at the Remy Field in Subic Bay on July 14th with a double header featuring Futbulakenyos Fc versus Pampanga FC at 2pm. The other game, Ligthouse Amihan FC against Tarlac FC will kick off at 4:30PM.

"After a short break, the teams will fight it out in the Central Luzon Futsal League with all teams travelling to a host team futsal court every match day. We hope we get the same support from our home crowds," Christian de Ocampo, league commissioner announced.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Subic Bay gaining ground in sports tourism

By Allen M. Villa

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT, July 3 (PIA) -- The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) expressed optimism for the future of sports tourism in this free port after it successfully hosted another international
triathlon last week.

SBMA chairman and administrator Roberto V. Garcia said the first Century Tuna 5i50 Triathlon, which drew more than 600 foreign and Filipino tri-athletes, will carry the torch for Subic in the international sporting circuit for the next three years.

“We are surely gaining ground as far as sports tourism is concerned,” Garcia said after the inaugural run.

“We’re very proud to have hosted this event and we have a lot of foreign and local athletes, all of whom were very happy about the unique and challenging course,” he added.

The Century Tuna 5i50 Triathlon was the first 5i50 distance event authorized by the World Triathlon Corp. or WTC in Southeast Asia. It was composed of a 1.5-km swim, a 40-km bike, and a 10-km run that took
participants along the most scenic routes in this free port.

Organizer Alaska Milk Corp. president and CEO Fred Uytengsu said the Olympic-distance triathlon race will be held here annually until 2014 and will be organized by Sunrise Events, Inc., the company behind
Ironman 70.3 Philippines.

Garcia said the SBMA has signed a contract with Sunrise Events, Inc. for the staging of the event until 2014. “So we look forward to a bigger field next year. As far as our sports tourism program is concerned, we will continue to promote triathlons, marathons, biking events and all other sports events which have chosen Subic Bay as their venue,” he added.

Australian triathlon veteran David Dellow emerged as the first 5i50 Subic Bay champion on last Sunday’s race, after finishing with a time of two hours, three minutes and two seconds. Dellow was also the
champion in Ironman Cairns 2012 held on June 3. He placed fifth at the Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship 2012 in Melbourne last March 24.

Following close behind Dellow was three-time Olympic Triathlon qualifier Csaba Kuttor of Hungary, with total time of two hours, three minutes and 27 seconds. Kuttor finished eighth place in the 2012 5i50
in Klagenfurt, Austria.

In third place was Australian Xterra elite Ben Allen with two hours, four minutes and 43 seconds, while Canadian Mathieu O’Halloran finished fourth with two hours, five minutes and 23 seconds. Allen won
first place in the 2012 Xterra Asian Triple Crown and first place at the 2012 Xterra Philippines, while O’ Halloran finished first place in the Pico De Loro Triathlon 2012, first place in the Zambales Beach
Games Triathlon in 2011 and first place at the Bantayan Beach Games Triathlon.

Another Australian, Belinda Granger, ruled the women’s category, clocking two hours, 22 minutes and 35 seconds.

Meanwhile, the relay category was led by the Wetshop Tri Team, which recorded an aggregate time of two hours, 16 minutes and 27 seconds.

Team Wetshop Para-Tri clocked two hours, 31 minutes and 30 seconds for a second finish, while Meralco Lightspeed Team 1 finished third with two hours, 32 minutes and 35 seconds.

A total of 619 participants, including 45 relay teams of three members each, joined the race which totaled to a 51.50-kilometer triathlon distance.

The Subic Bay sports event also drew international professional triathletes like Canadian Ali Fitch, British Jacki Slack, and Justin Granger. Filipino celebrities attended the event like senator Pia Cayetano, television hosts Kim Atienza and Drew Arellano, actor Matteo Guidicelli and news anchor Raffy Tima.

Organizer Alaska Milk Corp. president and CEO Fred Uytengsu said the Olympic-distance triathlon race will be held here annually until 2014 and will be organized by Sunrise Events, Inc., the company behind
Ironman 70.3 Philippines. (CLJD/AMV-PIA3)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Central Luzon Football League kicks off tomorrow

OLONGAPO CITY:  The region's first and only football league is set to kickoff on Sunday, May 20th, at the Jose V. Yap Sports and Recreational Park with four teams representing Central Luzon provinces.

"We organized the league for football players to showcase their talents and improve individual and team tactics. But more importanly, this is gives Central Luzon players a venue to play the beautifu game of football," Christian De Ocampo, coach of the Tarlac Football Club explained.

The league format is a home and away game with the championship going to the team with the highest number of point at the end of two rounds.

Among the founding teams are the Lighthouse Amihan Football Club (Olongapo City/Subic Bay), Futbulakenyos (Bulacan), Tarlac Football Club (Tarlac) and Pampanga Football Club (Pampanga).

"We settled for four teams during the first season to make the league manageable and to keep the logistical requirements reasonable for all participants. Moving a team from one place to another and hosting a game requires a bit of resources so we hope the community will also extend support to the teams," Larry Simon, coach of Pampanga Football Club said.

The CLFL champion takes home Sinukuan, the league's perpertual trophy, designed by Arvin Simon, an architecture student from Don Bosco Mandaluyong and done by some of the best craftmen in Pampanga.

Bulacan coach Emman Robles said that football pride is at stake here.

"All teams want to win. This time, we want to win for our cities and provinces. The Sinukuan is the gold standard of football development in the region. And all teams want to bring her to their repective areas," he said.

All games will be played on a weekend at the home field of a host club.

The teams also agreed to hold the first futsal league in the region dubbed Central Luzon Futsal League.

"Futsal (indoor football) will be played during the rainy season to keep the players fit. It also signals the arrival of futsal in the region as a major sport," John Bayarong, Lighthouse Amihan Football Club coach said.

The Subic Bay Futbol Club, Amihan FC's mother club, completed its futsal development program last May 18th training around 200 kids.

"We at the Pilipinas Futsal Association (PFA) support the regional competitions. We hope that more regions take the initiative to set up their own league for both football and futsal," Xarex Velazquez, coordinator of the PFA said.(30)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Hanjin set to deliver newly built tanker, bulk carrier ships

MT Bright Way

Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Philippines- Relentless in its effort to achieve greater heights in its core business, shipbuilding industry leader Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction - Philippines, Inc. (HHIC-Phil, Inc.) is set to deliver two newly built vessels before the end of April, 2012 namely: M/T Brightway, a DWT 160,000 Crude Oil Tanker ordered by a Liberian company Modmal Shipping Limited and M/V FMG MATILDA, a DWT 205,000 MT Bulk Carrier owned by Bocimar Hong Kong Ltd. based in Belgium. Both ship-owners are engaged international shipping and maritime solutions.

M/T Brightway and M/V FMG MATILDA were launched last April 27, 2011 and July 29, 2011, respectively and the 34th and 35th vessels to be delivered from Hanjin’s Subic shipyard. Singapore is M/T Brightway’s future port of registry while M/V FMG Matilda is Hong Kong.

 Mr. Jin Kyun Ahn, president of the Korean shipbuilder giant, said that the scheduled vessel delivery will highlight the competitiveness of HHIC-Phil’s Subic shipyard which produced the state-of-the-art commercial vessels. “What made this possible is our very efficient, cutting-edge shipbuilding facilities and highly skilled workforce”, he said.

 President Ahn explained that Hanjin’s Subic shipyard is compliant with international safety standards as evidenced by its ISO certification and that “the well-being of our shipyard workers is given top priority in all stages of the production process”.

Ahn said that Hanjin has made great strides in promoting the welfare of its workers while training them to become world-class shipbuilding employees, able to build huge ships for various foreign nations in the world.
He also recognized the HHIC-Phil’s shipyard safety committee (largely composed of shipbuilding subcontractors’ representatives) for exerting “utmost efforts in the implementation of the best health and safety practices in order to achieve zero fatal accident in the shipyard in the long term.”

 The shipyard has a modern emergency medical facility being manned by competent medical professionals who are ready to provide quality health and medical services to the workers 24 hours a day, which is at par with the international standard.

MV Matilda
 “This strong resolve on safety concerns has substantially reduced reported cases of work-related accidents, and most noteworthy, fatal accidents have rarely happened.” according to President Ahn.

He also emphasized that the average rate of work-related accidents in the Subic shipyard is much lower as compared to any other heavy industries here and abroad, based on the available statistics from the DOLE and other international organizations.

As part of its commitment to maintain a hazard-free working environment for the shipyard workers, HHIC-Phil in cooperation with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) thru the Bureau of Working Conditions have forged a pact last February 17 of this year.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is in line with DOLE’s KAPATIRAN-WISE-TAV program of pursuing a culture of compliance with labor standards and of occupational health and safety standards to attain high productivity and quality at the workplace - especially in the face of technological advancement, modernization and globalization.

Since 2006, HHIC-Phil operates two (2¬) state-of-the-art Skill Development Centers - one located at SBFZ’s Industrial Park and the other in Cagayan de Oro City to fully equip Hanjin’s Filipino workforce with skills in shipbuilding, which has enabled its workforce to attain global competitiveness.

These training facilities, which serve as the catalyst for developing skills required in the shipyard, have already mentored more than 25,000 trainees and will continue to hone and develop Hanjin’s workforce to keep them globally competitive.

To date, Hanjin’s Subic shipyard currently employs nearly 20,000 local employees and continues to generate more job and business opportunities in the surrounding communities.

Maximizing its assets and capabilities, HHIC-Phil will be expanding its investment in the Philippines by engaging in offshore business, ship repair, and construction, fabrication and installation of various steel structures for key industries.

 The Philippines currently ranks as the world’s 4th largest shipbuilding countries as per record of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), an agency under the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC).

Indeed, the presence of the Subic shipyard at the Freeport has also been positively contributing to the growth of the Philippine economy amid the looming world economic crisis.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

SBMA rescue team hailed for helping flood victims

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – The Emergency Rescue Team (ERT) of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) again received a well-deserved recognition, this time from the town of Calumpit in Bulacan province for their participation in rescue operations at the height of the flooding caused by Typhoon “Pedring” last October.

Calumpit Mayor James de Jesus cited the SBMA team in a simple ceremony held on November 4 at La Residencia in Calumpit, thanking members of the team who rescued and helped his constituents during the flood.

De Jesus gave a letter of commendation to the SBMA rescuers “for their unselfish time, energy and spirit in the pursuit of the noble vocation of saving lives.”

The letter also thanked the crew for their “invaluable assistance and support to the Local Government Unit of Calumpit in flexibly addressing the evolving physical needs and welfare of those in the evacuation centers, as well as those left in the far-flung barangays as the flood threateningly raged on and receded.”

“But the most touching of all the gifts they gave us were the coffee mugs that said they will never forget,” said SBMA fire chief Ranny Magno who also commands the SBMA's ERT.

“We have won so many awards from fire-fighting and emergency rescue competitions, but nothing is more rewarding than being thanked by the people you have helped,” Magno added.

A total of 19 fire fighters from the SBMA came to help out in Calumpit as floodwaters reached the rooftops in some areas of Bulacan due to heavy rains early last month. Most members of the SBMA team stayed there for almost a week.

Magno said helping in times of emergencies is all part of their duty, adding that they are more than willing to sacrifice their time and risk life and limb to make sure that everybody is safe.

Aside from those posted in Calumpit, three other SBMA teams were deployed to Olongapo City, Subic in Zambales, and the Roman Highway in Bataan to clear roads and public places of fallen trees and collapsed structures.

Because of its response to emergency situations, the SBMA Emergency Rescue Team has received several awards for extraordinary courage, heroism, self-sacrifice, and bravery against all odds in times of emergencies and disasters. Among these are the 2009 Gawad Kalasag Special Citation for best support organization in the national level; and the 2010 Kalasag Award for being the best disaster manager in the country.