Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Relief Goods for Typhoon Victims

By Candice Reyes
Manila Bulletin, Monday, 25 October 2010

Navy Personnel load relief goods donated by various organizations into the Navy ship LC 551 at the Navy headquarters on Roxas Blvd., Manila yesterday, Oct. 24, 2010. The relief goods will be delivered to typhoon-affected communities in Isabela.

Navy steps up relief operations

By iris Gonzales
The Philippine Star, Monday, 25 October 2010

Meanwhile, the military has created a task force that will conduct relief and rehabilitation efforts in Isabela.

Navy spokesman Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo said the task force, to be led by Commodore Edgar Abogado, consists of engineering and rescue teams backed by various military assets.

He said the creation of the task force was in response to the appeal of local officials whose areas were practically flattened due to the typhoon.

“This is our effort to help our needy fellow Filipinos in that devastated area. The Philippine Navy will serve as link between our people and those who want to help them,” Arevalo said in a statement.

The task force will proceed to Isabela via logistics support vessel BRP Dagupan City, which left the Navy headquarters in Manila yesterday noon.

Included in the contingent are four naval combat engineering teams from the Naval Construction Brigade.

Arevalo said a 60-man rescue team under the Naval Forces Northern Luzon has been transformed to recovery, relief and rehabilitation teams.

Other Navy assets to be used for the relief operations are the BRP Alfredo Peckson, an aircraft, and three M35 trucks.

“A communications van that will serve as hub will also be included to link the different military units in the area since the communications was down,” Arevalo said.

He said the task force is also coordinating with other state agencies and private institutions to assist the typhoon victims.

“We are calling all benevolent institutions to help us in this humanitarian operation. Interested parties may send their relief goods through the Philippine Navy for our brothers in Isabela,” Arevalo said.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Navy goes from rescue to relief operations

By Elena L Aben

The Philippine Navy has shifted from disaster response, rescue and recovery operations to road clearing and relief operations as typhoon "Juan" continued to move forward South China Sea.

Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo, Navy Public Affairs Office (NPAO) director, said 250 regular and 200 reservists of the Navy's Disaster Response and Rescue Teams (DDRT) were deployed in the affected areas of Laoag City in Ilocos Norte; Vigan, Narvacan and Candon City in Ilocos Sur; and San Fernando, Bonuan, and Naguilan in La Union to distribute relief goods to affected families.

A medical team was deployed to provide assistance to families in the evacuation centers.

Five Navy vessels and an aircraft were also placed on standby.

As soon as the sky clears, Arevalo said navy aircraft will be dispatched to conduct reconnaisance to assess the extent of typhoon "Juan's" damage.

All systems ready for typhoon’s wrath

By William B Depasupil
The Manila Times, Monday, 18 October 2010

WITH lessons learned from past devastating typhoons, the national government, more than ever, is now well prepared and well-equipped for any eventuality once “Super Typhoon Juan” makes its expected landfall Monday in the northern Luzon area.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), headed by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, said Sunday that everything is now in place in Regions I and II and the Cordillera Autonomous Region, the areas that were expected to be hit directly by the incoming typhoon.

“The President’s [Benigno Aquino 3rd] instruction is zero casualty,” said Benito Ramos, the NDRRMC director and concurrent chairman of the Office of the Civil Defense.

“During the last three days, my regional directors in Regions I, II and the Cordillera were in close coordination with the local government units of Ilocos Region, Cordillera and Cagayan Valley.”

“They are all prepared. All systems go,” he added.

According to Ramos, pre-emptive evacuations have already been voluntarily made by residents in low-lying areas and in landslide prone places as early as Saturday, or two days before the expected landfall of Juan.

“They have learned their lessons from typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng. They are now listening and don’t wait anymore for the effort of the national government to evacuate them,” he said.

Ramos added that the designated evacuation centers have been identified in every towns and cities in close coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development, volunteer organizations and with well-equipped disaster response teams.

The Social Welfare department, Ramos disclosed, had already distributed 3,928 family food packs worth P2.28 million in Regions I, II and the CAR, and P46.10-million worth of non-food items. The agency also has a standby fund of P2.734 million.

Ramos said further that the entire force of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippines National Police have also been alerted to assist the local governments, down to the barangay level.

He added that the Department of Education has already declared the suspension of classes in all the affected regions following reports from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), that the typhoon has not deviated from its projected direction toward Cagayan Valley, Ilocos Region and Apayao.

Navy on standby
In a related development, the Philippine Navy spokesman, Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo, said Sunday that the Navy’s Disaster Response Task Groups were already on standby alert at the Naval Forces Northern Luzon (NFNL) in La Union, and Naval Forces Southern Luzon (NFSL) in Legazpi City, Albay, and as well as the Fleet-Marine Ready Force (FMRF) task units in the Manila-Cavite areas.

The Philippine Navy’s DRTGs are on alert in preparation for the possible devastating effects of Juan.

According to Arevalo, all Navy ships and patrol boats were also on standby and ready to conduct rescue operations if the need arises.

“The Philippine Navy is continuously monitoring events in relation to Typhoon Juan,” he added.

Meanwhile, Ramos said that Gazmin has cancelled his trip to Cagayan province on Sunday because of bad weather caused by Juan.

“Hindi matuloy, nag-back out yung piloto ng Philippine Air Force dahil kumapal ang ulap dito sa may Caraballo mountain [The trip did not push through.
The pilot of the Philippine Air Force backed out because of the thick clouds at the mountain of Caraballo],” he added.

Gazmin was supposed to oversee the preparations being made in Cagayan to ensure that nothing has been left out.

Meanwhile, thousands of families in Northern Luzon were evacuated with Juan fast approaching Isabela and Cagayan.

“Residents along the river banks and coastal areas have left their homes. We opened four evacuation centers,” said Edna Junio, provincial social welfare development officer of Cagayan province.

Isabela getting ready
Preparations were also being made in Isabela where some 100,000 hectares of palay (unhusked rice) still to be harvested may be lost to the floods that Juan will bring.

As of Sunday afternoon, rains were starting to fall in parts of northern Isabela. The flood prone areas in the province include the entire northern coastal stretch from Santa Ana to Santa Praxedes, which are all along the Cagayan River and the Pacific coast.

In Isabela, full alert had been raised for all towns along the Cagayan and Magat rivers including the capital of Ilagan, while the same was raised in Nueva Vizcaya for towns along the Magat River or for towns along the Cagayan River in Quirino province.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

'Juan' Now a Super Typhoon


Manila Bulletin, Monday, 18 October 2010

  • Signal No. 4 up in Cagayan, Isabela
  • Classes suspended in N. Luzon
  • Evacuation begins
  • Power grid, rescuers ready

MANILA, Philippines – Northern Luzon where it is expectedTyphoon “Juan” (international name: Megi) intensified into a “super typhoon” as it roared closer to to make landfall this morning, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Sunday.

Storm Signal No. 4 (winds above 185 kilometers per hour) had already been hoisted in Cagayan and Isabela provinces at 4 p.m. Sunday, said PAGASA Weather Forecasting Section Chief Robert Sawi as “Juan” packed maximum sustained winds of up to 225 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 260 kph.

Technically, PAGASA does not have a “super typhoon” category, but Sawi explained that the United States-based Joint Typhoon Warning Center declares a cyclone as a super typhoon when its winds exceed 215 kph near the center.

As of 5 p.m. Sunday, the eye of the typhoon was located at 390 kilometers (km) east of Aparri, Cagayan and moving westward at 22 kilometers per hour (kph).

“There is a 90 percent chance of landfall over the Cagayan area, then it will cross Apayao, and exit Ilocos Norte,” said PAGASA weather forecaster Aldczar Aurelio.

PAGASA projected that the super typhoon would make landfall in Aparri, Cagayan, at 8 a.m. Monday and dump an estimated rainfall of 22 mm/hr.

Sawi said Juan which will be at 100 km east of Aparri or 50 km southeast of Laoag City this afternoon, can possibly exit the country also Monday.

Areas placed Sunday under Signal No. 3 (winds of 101-185 kph is expected in at least 18 hours) were Batanes, Calayan and Babuyan Groups of Islands, Apayao, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Quirino and Northern Aurora.

Signal No. 2 (winds of 61-100 kph is expected in at least 24 hours) was hoisted over Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Abra, La Union, Benguet, Nueva Vizcaya, and the rest of Aurora.

Signal No. 1 (winds of 30-60 kph is expected within the next 36 hours) was raised in Pangasinan, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, and Polillo Island.

Classes have already been suspended in Regions 1, 2 and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).


As this developed, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council or NDRRMC (formerly the National Disaster Coordinating Council) ordered the pre-emptive evacuation of families living in high-risk areas as early as Sunday.

In Tuguegarao City, all families in coastal areas who are expected to be directly affected by the projected landfall the typhoon this morning have begun evacuations.

In a phone interview, Cagayan’s Social Welfare and Development Officer Edna Junio said as of press time that the different rescue groups are busy helping the local residents in going to the designated preemptive evacuation centers in the province.

“These residents are living along the river banks and coastal areas in Buguey, Gonzaga, Sta. Ana, Ballesteros up to Aparri towns in our province,” Junio said.

Meanwhile, Executive Director Benito Ramos of the NDRRMC, said that aside from Cagayan province, many families are also tend to evacuate in the province of Nueva Ecija especially those living near the Casili River, San Mariano River, and Chico River.


Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo, Navy Public Affairs Office (NPAO) director said the Philippine Navy’s disaster response task groups (DRTG) have been on alert since Friday in preparation for Juan, the strongest storm to enter the country this year, so far.

Arevalo said the DRTGs are prepositioned at the Naval Forces Northern Luzon (NFNL) in La Union, Naval Forces Southern Luzon (NFSL) in Legaspi City, and the Fleet-Marine Ready Force’s (FMRF) task units in the Manila-Cavite areas.

“In Northern Luzon, three teams are on standby with two teams located at the NFNL Headquarters.

The third team at the Naval detachment Bonoan is manned by naval reservists to augment the Navy’s regular force in the area,” said Arevalo, adding that each team has 10 personnel and equipped with a rubber boat and other life-saving equipment.

Meanwhile, two teams are also on standby at the Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) in San Antonio, Zambales to respond to citizens in need.

Arevalo said a team of Navy SEALS are also on standby. Augmenting these teams are naval ROTC cadets.

In Manila, two teams from the Naval Reserve Command (NRC) in Intramuros are on standby with 10 personnel each team.


Power transmission service provider and system operator National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) said Sunday it was all set to activate its command centers Sunday in preparation for the expected landfall of the typhoon Monday.

The NGCP’s system operations and operations and maintenance personnel in Luzon and Visayas have been enjoined to make all necessary precautions to minimize the impact of the typhoon.

To coordinate contingency measures in all NGCP facilities in the path of the typhoon, command centers at the head office, regional and district levels will be activated 24 hours before landfall.

Monitoring of grid conditions, assessment of damages, supervision over rehabilitation and restoration works, and documentation will all be done at the command centers.

All telecommunication facilities, equipment, tools and vehicles have been secured and groups of linemen have been organized and prepared to be deployed at any emergency.


Still on alert for the possible damage to be caused by the super typhoon, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and lead government agencies in disaster response situations have activated personnel and equipment ready to respond in any emergency.

In an emergency meeting with government agencies held Sunday, MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino assured the public of their readiness when typhoon Juan hit Metro Manila.

“We have synchronized all measures that we have undertaken should typhoon Juan bring a large amount of rain in the metropolis. Key government agencies expressed readiness to assist the public in worst scenarios prepared to cope with the possible destruction of typhoon Juan in the unlikely event it will hit Metro Manila,” said Tolentino.

On Sunday, the MMDA chief presided inter-agency meeting attended by Metro Manila Police Director Chief Superintendent Nicanor Bartolome and representatives from the Armed Forces of the Philippines-National Capital Region Command (AFP-NCR-Com), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) where they presented their reports. (With reports from Elena L. Aben, Freddie G. Lazaro, and Anna Liza T. Villas)

Monday, October 18, 2010

RP-US military exercises kick off today

By Ding Cervantes
The Philippine Star, Thursday, 14 October 2010

CLARK FREEPORT, Pampanga, Philippines – Apart from their annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise which opened yesterday in Olongapo City, Filipino and US military forces are kicking off their joint Amphibious Landing Exercises (Phiblex) here today.

In a statement, the US embassy said the opening rites for Phiblex are slated at 10 a.m. at the Holiday Inn Hotel here.

“The two-week long training will be held simultaneously in various locations in Luzon covering the areas of Cavite, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Zambales and Pampanga,” the US embassy said.

The bilateral exercises, according to the embassy, “are designed to improve interoperability, increase readiness, and continue professional relationships” between the Philippine and US armed forces.

The Philippine Marine Corps and Air Force will join US Marines from the Japan-based 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force and US sailors from the Essex Expeditionary Strike Group in both the ground-air and naval integration training, it added.

In addition to these exercises, the Philippine Marines, together with other military units, will join US military personnel in community activities such as medical and dental missions, construction of schools and repair of classrooms, and beautification projects in selected communities, the US embassy said.

Phiblex activities open to media coverage include live-fire training at Crow Valley in Capas, Tarlac.

The Phiblex closing ceremonies are slated on Oct. 22 at Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City.

Meanwhile, CARAT is the US Navy’s 7th Fleet annual exercise with the Philippine Navy to improve interoperability between them.

CARAT includes amphibious landings, humanitarian civic action, subject matter expert exchanges, naval operations symposia, community service projects, and diving and salvage operations.

Navy volleyball team confident of victory

By Jose T Ramos
The Manila Times, Thursday, 14 October 2010

Philippine Navy head coach Zenaida Ybañez is confident her team will dominate this year’s 2010 National Volleyball Open women’s division. “Our next two opponents are both strong but I’m confident with the way we’re playing right now,” said Ybañez after the Navy’s easy victory over Rizal Technological University (RTU) on Wednesday at the EARIST gym in Santa Mesa Manila.

The Navy, relying heavily on Angela Benting, Nerissa Bautista, Michelle Laborte and Suzanne Roces, scored a 25-13, 25-21, 25-21 win against RTU to stay unscathed in three games to top the women’s division.

Benting and Bautista, who led Adamson University to V-League title recently, joined forces by combining 24 kills all-throughout the three sets as the Navy delivered RTU its second straight setback.

“My players did not force themselves to save energy against De La Salle University tomorrow [Thursday],” said Ybañez, a member of the 1993 women volleyball squad that won gold in the Singapore Southeast Asian Games.

In the other games, La Salle beat winless University of the East (0-2), 25-17, 25-10, 25-16, for back-to-back victories while reigning champion Philippine Army (1-1) trounced Air Force (1-2), 25-14, 25-20, 25-27, 25-17.

US troops due for 'CARAT'

By Bebot Sison Jr.
The Philippine Star, Wednesday, 13 October 2010

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT, Philippines – Some 4,000 American troops are arriving at the Subic Bay Freeport starting today to take part in the 2010 Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise will be held on Oct. 14 to 22 here and in other areas in Luzon.

Subic authorities said six US Navy battle ships and three aircraft are joining the military and civic activities that will also involve about 1,000 Philippine Navy men and Marines.

Under the 2010 CARAT exer cise are “in port” training, including subject matter expert exchanges and civic activities like medical, dental and other humanitarian services, and “at sea” training such as search and seizure procedures, maritime interdiction operations and surveillance, and naval gunfire support.

Navy wins over Army

By Josef T Ramos
The Manila Times, Wednesday, 13 October 2010

PHILIPPINE Navy stunned reigning women’s champion Philippine Army via three-setter, 26-24, 25-17, 28-26, clinching its second win in the 2010 National Volleyball Open at the EARIST gym in Santa Mesa Manila.
Hard-hitting spiker Nerissa Bautista poured in 18 kills and 3 blocks, including two crucial hits in the endgame strengthening the Navy’s bid to capture the women’s crown.

With the win, the Navy is now on top of the women’s team standings with 2-0 win-loss card. The Army absorbed its first loss in first game.

In the other women’s match, Cherry Rose Macatangay helped the Philippine Air Force to bounce back from a first game loss by beating Rizal Technological University (RTU), 25-6, 25-12, 25-10 posting a 1-1 win-loss slate.
RTU dropped to 0-1.

In the men’s division, Philippine Air Force, the men’s defending champion, beat University of Perpetual Help, 25-18, 25-6, 25-12, while the Philippine Army outclassed Philippine Navy 25-22, 25-19, 25-17, and Jewels beat Yellow Brick Road, 27-25, 19.

Phil.Marines at U.S Marines magkatuwang sa pagsasanay

Pilipino Star Ngayon, Tuesday, 12 October, 2010

Magkatuwang ang tropa ng Phil. Marines at U.S Marines sa pagsasanay sa karagatan ng Ternate, Cavite bilang paghahanda sa nalalapit na Annual nBilateral Training Kinetic activities.

Filipino and American Troops in Ternate, Cavite

Tempo, Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Filipino and American troops patrol a beach in Ternate, Cavite, yesterday during a joint military exercise between the United States and the Philippines.

Joint Exercise

News Malaya, Tuesday, 12 October 2010

A US Marine does patrol with Filipino troops as part of joint exercises near the Philippine Marines base in Ternate, Cavite. More than 3,000 sailors, marines, and aviators including logistics support units arrived last week for the exercises.

Cavite Drill

The Daily Tribune, 12 October 2010

US marines and their local counterparts approach a beach on rubber boats to secure a hill during joint military exercises in Cavite yesterday. US Ambassador Manila Harry Thomas has said his government would continue to send troops to the Philippines for joint anti-terror trainings until the al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf was wiped out as part of its security engagement with Manila.l

Joint Military Drill

By KJ Rosales
Manila Bulletin, Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Filipino and American Troops hold a mock boat raid operation during joint military exercises along the beach near the Marine Headquarters in Ternate, Cavite. More than 3,000 sailors, Marines, and aviators and the logistics support unit of the US Navy and the US Marines, arrived last week for the exercises.

Navy, La Salle post early victories

By Josef T Ramos
The Manila Times, Tuesday, 12 October 2010

The Philippine Navy and De La Salle University posted early victories on Sunday against respective opponents in the opening of 2010 National Volleyball Open at the Rizal Technological University (RTU) in Mandaluyong City.
The Philippine Navy relied on the troika of Michelle Laborte, Nerissa Bautista and Suzane Roces to rout hapless University of the East (UE), 25-10, 25-8, 25-9, to earn an opening win in the week-long event organized by the Philippine Volleyball Federation (PVF).

Laborte finished with 13 kills and 2 blocks, Bautista racked 9 kills and 2 blocks while Roces contributed 11 points as the Navy handed the UE Lady Red Warriors their first loss.

The La Salle Lady Green Spikers rallied past Philippine Air Force, 23-25, 25-21, 25-15, 25-18, succeeding the Philippine Navy in the win column at the women’s division of the tournament chaired by PVF Vice President Gener Dungo.

In the men’s division, Philippine Army downed La Salle, 25-16, 31-29, 25-16, Jewels walloped Perpetual Help, 25-21, 25-20, 25-13, and Yellow Brick Road trounced Cagayan, 27-25, 25-15, 25-20.

The games will move to Earist gym in Santa Mesa Manila on Tuesday as reigning women’s champion Philippine Army and men’s defending champion Philippine Air Force start their title defense against respective rivals.

Air Force battles University of Perpetual Help in the first game at 8 a.m. followed by Army vs. Navy at 10 a.m. and Jewels against Yellow Brick Road at 12 noon.

In the women’s division, reigning champion Army faces Navy at 2 p.m. and Air Force collides against RTU at 4 pm.

Philippine Navy handa na sa pagsasanay

Bomba, Monday, 11 October 2010

MAGSASAGAWA ng siyam na araw na pagsasanay ang mga miyembro ng magdaragat at Marines mula sa Philippine Navy, habang ang mga sibilyan mula sa Central Luzon ay mabibigyan ng tulong mula sa humanitarian assistance at development projects ng mga American sailors at marines kasama ang kanilang Filipino counterparts.

Mahigit sa 3,000 sailors, Marines, at aviators kasama ang logistics support units ng US Navy at US Marines angdumating para sa nasabing pagsasanay gaya ng: CARAT at PHIBLEX.

Kasali rito ang 6 US avy vessels at 3 airctafts na aayudahan ng 5 Philippine avy ships at tinatayang I,OOO-strong PN contingent ng mga magdaragat' at marines.

CARAT 0 Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training sa pagitan ng mga barko at sailors ng dalawang bansa aysisimulan sa ika-l3 ng Oktubre sa Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority sa Zambales. Matatapos naman ito sa ika-22 ng Oktubre.

"It shall be comprised of "in-port" and "at-sea" training activities. lncluded in the "in-port" events are: SubjectMatter Expert Exchanges, community service activities like medicalJdental/engineering civic action and other humanitarian activities. Meanwhile, "at sea" events are comprised of Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure Procedure, Maritime Interdiction Operations, MaritlDle Surveillance, and Naval Gunfire Support, among others," ayon sa nakasaad sa programa.

Ang PHJBLEX 0 Amphibious Landing Exercise ay sasalilian ng American at Filipino Marines gayundin ng amphibious vehicles. ldaraos naman ang boat raid exercise sa Marine Base Temate sa Cavite at isang mechanized raid ang gagawin sa karagatan ng Naval Education and Training Command sa Zambales.

Sisimulan naman ito sa ika-l4 ng Oktubre sa pagbubukas nito sa Clark, Pampanga at magsasara sa ika-22 ngOktubre sa Philippine Marine Corps Headquarters sa Marine Barracks Rudiardo Brown sa Naval Station Jose Francisco sa Taguig City.

Ang naturang pagsasanay ay inaasabang mapapalakas ang inter-operability sa pagitan ng dalawang armed services ng daIawang bansa. PN

Joint RP-US Military Training Exercises Begin

By Elena L Aben

Manila Bulletin, Monday, 11 October 2010

MANILA, Philippines – The annual bilateral military training exercises — called Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) and Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) — between Philippine and American forces start Monday.

At least 3,000 US servicemen are now in the country for the nine-day bilateral training, with their counterparts in the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo, Philippine Navy Public Affairs Office (NPAO) director, said around six US Navy vessels and aircraft will also participate in the annual event that involve five Philippine Navy ships and at least 1,000 Philippine Navy and Marine personnel.

Arevalo said while both Philippine an American sailors and marines stand to benefit from the exercises that will take place in Central Luzon and Southern Tagalog, civilians in areas where the activities are set to be held will also gain from joint humanitarian assistance and development projects by Philippine and US military personnel.

The NPAO director said PHIBLEX will involve American and Filipino Marines and amphibious vehicles. A boat raid exercise will be held in Marine Base Ternate in Cavite and a mechanized raid will be held in the coast of the Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) in Zambales.

PHIBLEX will officially begin on Thursday, Oct. 14, at Clark, Pampanga and will end on Oct. 22 at the Philippine Marine Corps Headquarters at Marine Barracks Rudiardo Brown, Naval Station Jose Francisco in Taguig City.

Fun Triathlon

By Alex Datu Cruz
Remate, Sunday, 10 October 2010

PINANGUNAHAN ni NETC Commander RADM Vicente M. Agdamag ng Naval Station Leovigildo Gantloqul, ang sabayang Fun Triathlon, NETC Idol at Coastal Clean-up sa kahabaan ng mga baybayln ng Pundaquit at Capones Island sa Barangay Pundaquit, Zambales kahapon katulong ang may 700 balang kadete at opisyal ng nasabing kampo.

Ayon kay LCDR Delbert L. Siasoyco, bllang suporla 110 sa International Coastal Clean-up drive na sinuportahan din ng Megana at Tourism President na si Virgie Harvey at Pundaquit Punong Barangay Erwell S. Sadernas.

3,000 US servicemen in joint exercises

By Victor Reyes
News Malaya, Friday, 8 October 2010

AT least 3,000 United States servicemen and their assets are in the country for two military exercises with their counterparts in the Armed Forces in Central Luzon and Southern Tagalog, a military spokesman said yesterday.

The Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise will be held October 13 to 22 at the former US Navy base at the Subic Bay in Zambales, and the Amphibious Landing Exercises (Phiblex) on October 14 to 22 at the former US Air Force base in Clark, Pampanga.

"Around six US Navy vessels and three aircraft (will) participate in these annual events that involve five Philippine Navy ships and around 1,000-strong PN (Philippine Navy) contingent of sailors and marines," said Navy spokesman Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo.

Under CARAT are "in port" trainings, including subject matter expert exchanges and community service activities like medical, dental and engineering civic actions and other humanitarian activities, and "at sea" trainings which involve visit, board, search and seizure procedure; maritime interdiction operations and surveillance; and naval gunfire support, among others.

For the Phiblex, Arevalo said a boat ride exercise will be held at the Marine Base in Ternate, Cavite and a mechanized raid at the Naval Education and Training Command in Zambales.

"The exercises hope to attain inter-operability between the two armed services of both countries," said Arevalo.

"Particularly, it seeks to bolster the inter-operability of the participating country’s armed services in territorial defense in pursuit of our national defense strategy," he added.

Navy, Air Force troops to take part in bilateral exercises

By Alexis Romero
The Philippine Star, Friday, 8 October 2010

MANILA, Philippines - Troops from the Navy and the Air Force will participate in annual bilateral exercises with more than 3,000 of their US counterparts this month.

Navy spokesman Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo said some 1,000 troops from the Philippine Fleet and Marines would train with personnel from the US Navy and US Marines for the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) and PHIBLEX (Amphibious Landing Exercise).

On the other hand, Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. Miguel Okol said in a radio interview that they would send a contingent for Talon Vision 2010, an integrated training exercise usually held side by side with PHIBLEX.

“Sailors and Marines of the Philippine Navy stand to benefit militarily in a nine-day training while civilians from Central Luzon stand to gain in humanitarian assistance and development projects,” Arevalo said in a statement.

“We will provide the air component for the exercise. Our troops will learn a lot from this. But our US counterparts will also get an insight on how we do our operations,” Okol told radio station dzRH.

Arevalo said six US Navy vessels and three aircraft would take part in the event.

CARAT will start on Oct. 13 at Subic Bay in Zambales and will end on Oct. 22. It will be composed of “in-port” and “at-sea” training activities.

“In-port” exercises include subject matter expert exchanges and community service activities like medical missions and engineering civic action.

On the other hand, “at-sea” events include visits, board, search, and seizure procedure, maritime interdiction operations, surveillance, and naval gunfire support.

Meanwhile, PHIBLEX will involve American and Filipino Marines and amphibious vehicles.

PHIBLEX activities will include a boat raid exercise at the Marine Base in Ternate, Cavite and a mechanized raid at the Naval Education and Training Command in Zambales.

PHIBLEX will start on Oct. 14 in Clark, Pampanga and will end on Oct. 22 at the Philippine Marine Corps headquarters in Taguig City.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

RP Navy in dire need of choppers

By Dona Pazzibugan
Philippine Daily Inquirer, Wednesday, 06 October 2010

THE PHILIPPINE Navy has no helicopters left since its remaining helicopter crashed off Zamboanga nearly two months ago killing two junior but seasoned Navy pilots.

Navy spokesperson Lt. Col. Edgardo Arevalo said he could not stress enough the "urgency" of their need for helicopters after the Department of National Defense suspended the bidding for an P851-million Contract for two new helicopters.

"We hope that the issue can be resolved really soon. We have an acute need for air assets like helicopters. Right now we do not have any helicopter," he said. On Aug. 17, a Navy Bolkow helicopter PNH411 crashed off Zamboanga City in the middle of a training session.

Three passengers survived while the remains of pilots Lt. Tristan Joseph Corpuz and Lt. Junior Grade Jayrald Tamayo were recovered two days later.Arevalo said they need helicopters for search and rescue operations, resupply and deployment of personnel.

"The Navy however, defers to the decision of higher headquarters for a process that may be required for the procurement of these much needed aircraft for the Naval

Air Group," he added. Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin ordered a 30-day probe into a possible collusion between defense officials and a supplier since the same company which had already cornered two Air Force contracts worth P6 billion emerged as one of only two bidders for the Navy contract.

Aside from suspending the bidding for the Navy contract, Gazmin also deferred the award to PZL Swidnik SA of Poland of a P3.2-billion contract to supply seven Air Force attack helicopters. Swidnik also won the P2.8 billion contract to supply eight Air Force combat utility helicopters.

Navy, Air Force downplay ‘collusion’ over P4 billion worth of helicopters

By Mario J Mallari
The Daily Tribune News, Wednesday, 06 October 2010

Both the Navy and Air Force leaderships yesterday downplayed collusion between their respective technical working groups that identified the specifications for acquisition of P4 billion worth of helicopters and the suppliers which was the basis of the Department of National defense (DND) to defer the procurement process.

“It isn’t possible to influence the specs to suit a particular manufacturer in that bottom-up process,” said Navy spokesman Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo.

Arevalo cited the budget allotted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as a major factor in the procurement of helicopters. The DND has allotted P860 million for two units of multi-role helicopters.

The contract was supposed to have been bid out last Monday but Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin deferred the process, following reports of alleged collusion between the technical working groups and the suppliers as revealed by Reps. Teddy Casiño and Tomas Osmeña.

Aside from the procurement of the Navy helicopters, the P3.2 billion contract for seven units of attack helicopters intended for the Air Force was also deferred for similar reason.

There were allegations that the specifications provided were tailor-fit to only one supplier, apparently the PZL Swidnik SA, said to be the largest helicopter manufacturer in Poland. The firm was the only one left in bidding for the P3.2 billion contract after five other reputable bidders backed out from the process.

Last Monday, DND-Bids and Awards Committee Chairman Assistant Secretary Ernesto Boac announced the deferment of the P3.2 billion contract for seven units of attack helicopters for the Air Force which is now in its post qualification stage and the cancellation of the scheduled bidding for P860 million helicopters for the Navy.

Boac cited statements made by Casiño and Osmeña and media reports about alleged irregularities.

“Given the specs, there certainly are other companies who can comply, but the budget that the AFP has for the helicopters could be that major delimiting cause why other bidders may have backed out as in this case,” said Arevalo.

Arevalo explained that the Navy provided the technical specifications of the helicopters considering the peculiarities of Fleet-Marine operations that require the said air assets.

“The specs originating from the inputs of the end users, like the Naval Air Group and the Sailors and Marines in the frontline, were submitted to higher headquarters thru channel — passing through the Technical Working Group to Weapons Systems Board of the Navy — all the way to similar offices at GHQ (general headquarters) going to DND,” said Arevalo

For his part, Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. Miguel Ernesto Okol maintained that the Air Force technical working group or the project management teams (PMTs) based their recommendations on the current requirements of the command.

“The project management teams that has crafted this basing to current operational requirements, has based it on flight, actual flight experience, there is old doctrines that is currently used… so they came out point by point,” said Okol.

On the alleged collusion, Okol said “those are allegations, those are speculations but the Air Force PMTs are considered professional body of young pilots, very senior in flying experience, attack pilots, as far as the attack helicopter is concerned, so they based it on doctrines and actual operational requirements.”

While both Okol and Arevalo admitted that the delay on the acquisition of much-needed helicopters was not expected, they supported the deferment move if only to promote transparency in the military procurement processes.

“The Navy, however, defers to the decision of higher headquarters for a process that may be required for the procurement of these much-needed aircraft for the Naval Air Group,” said Arevalo.

For his part, Okol said “we just look at that in a way that it is just an added procedure probably established by no less than the secretary of national defense and perhaps to put some closure into the whole activity.”

Rigged bidding denied in copter acquisition

By Victor Reyes
News Malaya, Wednesday, 06 October 2010

MILITARY officials yesterday dismissed allegations that technical specifications of aircraft being acquired under the Armed Forces modernization program were tailored to favor a specific supplier or manufacturer.

The bidding processes for the acquisition of seven attack helicopters for the Air Force, worth PJ.2 billion, and two multi-role helicopters for the Navy, worth P860 million, were suspended by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin.

Allegations of collusion between defense officials and suppliers were aired last month by Representatives Teddy Casillo and Tomas Osmena during a House hearing on the DND's proposed budget for 2011.

The bids for the attack helicopters were opened last month and only one firm, PZL Swidnik of Poland, submitted an offer. The opening of bids for the Navy helicopters was supposed to be held last Monday. Swidnik is again participating in the bidding.

Swidnik, said to be the largest helicopter manufacturer in Poland, has bagged a number of DND contracts, including last year's P2.8 billion worth of eight combat utility helicopters for the Air Force.

Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. Miguei Ernesto Okol said technical specifications are prepared by an Air Force project management team "based on doctrine and based on actual operational use."

Okol also noted that after completion of the preparation of the technical specifications, the output is forwarded for review of the Air Force Weapons Systems Board. This then goes to the AFP capability development planning team and then to the AFP Weapons Systems Board.

"Once it's ironed out at the AFP, meaning properly explained, this is kicked upstairs," said Okol, referring to the DND which supervises the bidding process.

"They are the ones inviting (bidders) and the Air Force is supposed to be one step backward already," he said.

"It is impossible for us to rig that (technical specifications) to cater to anybody's requirements," Okol also said.

Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo, Navy spokesman, said the technical specifications for the Navy's multi-role helicopters were provided by the Navy, considering the peculiarities of Fleet-Marine operations that require such assets in the conduct of various operations, including counter-terrorism and search and rescue.

KL firm eyes dev't of Navy property

By Gil Cabacungan
Philippine Daily Inquirer, Wednesday, 06 October 2010

A MALAYSIAN property developer has emerged as the first entity to take a bite into the offer of President Benigno Aquino III to lease and develop the Philippine Navy's properties.

Rear Admiral Danilo Cortez told reporters after a budget hearing in the Senate that Malaysia Resources Corp. Berhad (MRCB) has formalized its offer for the 22-hectare Fort Bonifacio Naval station which it planned to convert into a mixed use, commercial, office and residential project. The property includes a golf course, a hospital, housing units for the soldiers and officers and the headquarters of the Philippine Marines.

Cortez said the MRCB submitted its letter proposal dated Sept. 10 this year to Aquino who has ordered the Department of National Defense to evaluate the unsolicited proposal from Malaysia.

"It's still in the evaluation stage, there are still a lot of requirements. We will bid it out in one year," said Cortez who noted that the naval station property along Roxas Boulevard was a separate deal.

In his State of the Nation Address, Aquino bared his administration's thrust toward public-partnership projects for major capital projects including the monetization of military assets to bankroll the modernization of the Armed Forces Aquino hoped to raise at least $100 million from the 5O-year lease of the military assets. "We are offering all our assets to maximize their potential," said Cortez.

Cortez said that while the military ngets lease offers for its properties, it has already started the relocation of its major service units to the AFP general headquarters in Camp Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

Palace studies Malaysian firm's offer to lease Navy property

Tempo, Wednesday, 06 October 2010

An offer of a Malaysian company to lease the 33-hectare Philippine Navy (PN) property at Fort Bonifacio Taguig is now being evaluated by Malacanang, Rear Admiral Danilo M. Cortez told the Senate yesterday. Appearing before the Senate finance committee chaired by Sen. Franklin M. Drilon, Cortez said the lease under the label of Public Private Partnership (PPP) of the Aquino administration was expected to bring in about 1"1 billion annually to the national coffers as "profit sharing." Cortez identified the foreign firm as Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad MRCB).

In his July 26 State of the Nation Address (SoNA), President Benigno S. Aquino III disclosed his plan to lease out the Navy property to a private sector under his PPPscheme. Cortez said the lease papers, technically termed as an "unsolicited proposal," are now with Executive Secretary Paquito OChoa. Senate President Juan Ponce Emile, former Defense minister of the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos, cautioned Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Department of National Defense (DND) that developers would "not give you a free ride" as the PN property is a very valuable property.