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Pakistani Navy Ship to arrive in PH for 3-day goodwill visit
Updated December 12, 2017, 4:47 PM
By Francis Wakefield

The Pakistan Navy Ship (PNS) SAIF (FFG-253), a Sword-class missile-guided Frigate, is set to arrive in the country on Thursday for three-day goodwill visit.

Navy spokesperson Capt. Lued Lincuna said the Pakistani ship will be arriving at Pier 15, South Harbor, Manila at about 8 a.m.

It will stay from the country from December 14 to December 17, 2017.

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First posts / Move the national capital to Camp Macario Peralta in Capiz
« on: December 13, 2017, 01:26:03 AM »
In this thought exercise, let's talk about the feasibility of moving the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of the government outside Metro Manila to a tract of land that is already owned by the National Government:

Camp Macario Peralta

Why bother?

Congestion. When Malaysia decided to move its capital from Kuala Lumpur to Putrajaya in 1999, it cited congestion one of the catalysts for the move. With the gravity of congestion problems in Metro Manila . . . why not apply the same solution?

Efficient collaboration between departments. Building a new capital from the ground up gives the country a chance to build facilities closer together to facilitate collaboration.

No need to have departments physically separated in leased buildings. The President and legislators could walk to each other's offices if necessary. If necessary a modest light rail system could be established in the complex.

Central location. Macario Peralta is situated in the Visayas. This would mean more equitable flight times to all major Philippine cities. With the Iloilo International Airport on the island as well, there is already pre-existing airfield for transactions with the capital.

Security. Being situated in a military reservation means that the AFP already owns it well positioned to physically secure the capital.


Does the capital really need to be at the economic center of the country?

Short answer is a resounding NO.

In addition to Putrajaya, the United States demonstrated this with the create of Washington DC apart from either New York, Boston, or even Philadelphia.

When Australia created its capital Canberra, it constructed it apart from the two major cities of Sydney and Melbourne.

The Brazilian capital of Brasilia is in the apart from the major cities of Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro and was chosen for being a more "central" location.

South Africa has separate cities for its Executive, Legislative, and Judicial governments.


About Camp Macario Peralta


Headquarters of the Army’s 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division (3ID), the 33,310-hectare camp

. . .

The 3rd Division occupies only about 1,000 ha of the reservation, leaving most of it untouched.
The reservation covers 27 barangays in the municipalities of Jamindan and Tapaz in Capiz province and the municipality of Lambunao in Iloilo province.

. . .

Its Camp Peralta headquarters is 54 kilometers from Roxas City in Capiz; 88 km from Kalibo, Aklan; and 122 km from Iloilo City.

. . .

General Discussion / Former intel officer warns vs entry of China Telecom
« on: December 11, 2017, 10:29:25 PM »
Former intel officer warns vs entry of China Telecom
By: Nikko Dizon - Reporter
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 07:10 AM December 12, 2017

A retired intelligence officer who held a delicate post at the height of China’s artificial island-building in the South China Sea told the Inquirer that the entry of China Telecom into the Philippine market poses a national security threat.

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“We’re dead. They [will] now have access to our telecom infrastructure,” added the former officer, speaking on condition of anonymity.

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Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, in a Nov. 20 press briefing, said Mr. Duterte had offered China the “privilege” of operating as the third telco player to “break up” the duopoly of PLDT and Globe Telecom.

The former intelligence officer said that the biggest cybersecurity threat to the Philippines came from China.

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Read more:
Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

War on Drugs / PDEA welcomes NBI return to drug war
« on: December 11, 2017, 10:14:06 PM »
PDEA welcomes NBI return to drug war
By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan  December 10, 2017, 9:27 am

MANILA -- The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) welcomes the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) back in the government’s fight against illegal drugs.

“It is good to have the PNP and the NBI as our allied brothers. PDEA now has a full complement to wage an all-out war against the drug menace,” PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino said in a statement over the weekend.

“The cast is now complete. PDEA, PNP, and the NBI have significant roles to perform in the anti-drug war. PDEA shall continue to be the lead authority, the NBI-Task Force Against Illegal Drugs (TFAID) can also go after high-value targets, while the PNP would concentrate on illegal drug trafficking and street-level distribution across district/provincial/city and municipal boundaries,” Aquino added.

Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II gave the NBI the green light to resume the conduct of anti-drug operations, investigations and case build-up for violation of Republic Act 9165, or The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, following the issuance of DOJ Department Order (DO) No. 778 on Wednesday.

With the issuance of the DO No. 778, it revoked the earlier DO No. 670 issued last October 13, 2017 directing NBI to suspend its participation in the war on drugs.

On Tuesday, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in a memorandum ordered the PNP to rejoin the anti-drug campaign.

In ordering the PNP and other law enforcement agencies to rejoin anew in the war against illegal drugs, the President said that while PDEA has made significant strides in the government’s anti-illegal campaign, the agency “has been seriously hampered in performing its huge mandate by lack of resources, specifically agents, and operatives who can penetrate drug-infested areas down to the municipal and barangay levels.”

The memorandum likewise said there had been a notable resurgence of illegal drugs in the Philippines as well as crimes committed since the PNP and the other law enforcement agencies yielded to PDEA the conduct of all anti-illegal drugs operations. (PNA)

Roque hits De Lima, Gascon ‘turnabout’ on EJK definition
By Juzel Danganan  December 11, 2017, 5:22 pm

MANILA -- Malacañang has slammed Senator Leila de Lima and Commission on Human Rights Chairman Chito Gascon for contradicting their own definition of extra-judicial killings, based on Administrative Order No. 35 that established the inter-agency committee on extra-judicial killings (EJK) during former president Benigno Aquino's III's administration.

In a statement released Monday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said De Lima and Gascon have contradicted themselves in their latest stance on the issue. Roque said AO 35 defined extra-legal killings as a death due to a person's membership to a political, environmental, agrarian, labor organization, or a media practitioner.

"Moreover, they added that for purposes of the focused mandate of AO No. 35, killings related to common criminals and/or the perpetration of their crimes shall be addressed by other appropriate, mechanisms within the justice system," Roque said.

"How is it now that when drug pushers or users die, Senator De Lima and Chairman Gascon insist that these are EJKs? Their sudden about-face is baffling, given that these drug pushers and users are not members or affiliated with any political, environmental, agrarian, or labor organization. These drug pushers or users are likewise not journalists," Roque pointed out.

Roque said if De Lima and Gascon really stand by the AO, in which they are signatories, they should also defend the Duterte administration's campaign against illegal drugs, as it is consistent with it.

During the signing of the AO, De Lima was Justice Secretary while Gascon was the undersecretary for the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs (OPAPA).

"It is high time that the hypocrisies of Senator De Lima and Chairman Gascon are exposed in favor of the truth. The Filipino people deserve no less," Roque said.

Roque further urged the two to admit their mistake for signing the AO during Aquino's term, if they really believe that the deaths in the drug war are EJKs.

"But if they believe today that the reported deaths in the war on drugs are EJKs, they should also admit to the nation and to the world that what they did during the Aquino administration was wrong -- that Aquino only signed AO No. 35 -- so that his administration would not be blamed for the deaths of drug pushers and users during his presidency," the Malacañang spokesperson said.

AO No. 35, which was adopted on April 18, 2013, establishes the inter-agency committee on extra-legal killings, enforced disappearances, torture, and other grave violations of the right to life, liberty, and security of persons. (PNA)

PH, Spain partner for sustainable tourism in Intramuros
By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora  November 30, 2017, 8:54 am

MANILA -- The Spanish government in collaboration with the Philippines revealed efforts to integrate the human resources in Intramuros to make activities within the so-called walled city more sustainable and attractive to tourists.

"In Spain, a country of tourism, we have almost 50 sites that are declared world heritage by the UNESCO, we know that in urban centers like Intramuros, urban historical sites made out of streets, people live in and work inside," Guillermo Escribano, first secretary of Spain Embassy in Manila said.

"You're not taking all of these people out of historical sites as if it were a museum," he explained. "You have to integrate them to take advantage of their presence in order to make this attractive. What we're talking about here, preserving human heritage."

In an interview, he said Rolling Manila, a project to redesign food carts and stalls in Intramuros, is a "special methodology" that aims to promote a "sustainable" integration of livelihood and tourism.

Escribano said the vendors are part of the microcosm of Intramuros. "It is of course much better if the tourists see that the place where food is being cooked are in very good shape and condition and under hygienic conditions."

Cora Linsangan, the first beneficiary and owner of the prototype Rolling Manila food stall said the initiave indeed came in as a "big help".

"Malaking tulong, dahil sira-sira na yung dati naming kariton, magandang move para rin mas ma-attract lalo yung mga turista [This is a big help to us... our old cart is dilapidated. This is a good move to attract tourists]," she said.

Escribano said the next step now is for Philippine institutions and the government to take decisions whether the "methodology" and its outcome can be replicated or not.

Maria Rita Matute, executive director of the Design Center of the Philippines, said the concept is to cash in on the food culture in Manila.

Together with Intramuros Administration and ZOOHAUS, a platform for networking that combines interests of different agents linked to architecture and urban planning, the three agencies aimed to "uplift" the Filipino street food vendors collective as well as reflect a gastronomic culture that is distinctively Filipino.

"This is still a prototype but the target of the Intramuros Administration is (to roll out) by first quarter of next year," Matute said.

Data by the Embassy of Spain in the Philippines show that the vendors, whether or not officially registered as such, "represent a unique collective composed mainly of women (69%) with years of experience (50 to 60 years of age) that manages a homey modus vivendi, more often stationary than itinerant."

"Despite being a living treasure of the other side of Manila, the real one or the one that is not mentioned in tourist guides, like in other capitals in the world – belittled," it said. (PNA)

Filipino Potential / New South Wales wants to boost economic ties with PH
« on: December 11, 2017, 09:27:22 PM »
New South Wales wants to boost economic ties with PH
By Kris Crismundo  December 11, 2017, 7:40 pm

MANILA – The government of New South Wales aims to strengthen its trade and investment ties with the Philippines, particularly sharing its expertise and technological know-how and participating in infrastructure projects.

In a statement Monday, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez said the government of New South Wales expressed its interest to boost its economic relations with the Philippines, after New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian visited the country last week.

New South Wales is located in Australia's east coast.

“We welcome Australian investors and businesses that will help us uplift the lives of those at bottom of the pyramid and enable the Philippines to contribute in the global value chain. New South Wales has expressed strong confidence in our economy and the business environment stability under the Duterte Administration and wish to partner with us,” Lopez said.

“We will continue to work on opening areas of investment and increase employment and business opportunities for all Filipinos,” he added.

In his meeting with Berejiklian, the trade chief highlighted the country's manufacturing sector, wherein Australian companies can also participate, especially in research and development.

On the other hand, the Berejiklian noted that the businessmen from New South Wales are looking at opportunities in the Philippines' information and communications technology (ICT) sector.

Among the top imports of New South Wales include telecommunication equipment and computer, as well as passenger motor vehicle, medicaments, refined petroleum.

She said the country's strong economic growth and workforce continue to attract Australian investors. (PNA)

General Discussion / 3rd TOW holds first ever CAS forum
« on: December 11, 2017, 07:30:36 PM »

With over 114 participants from Eastern and Western Mindanao which includes attendees from the Philippine Army, Philippine Navy, Marines and the Philippine National Police, the Philippine Air Force through the 3rd Tactical Operations Wing conducted the first ever Close Air Support (CAS) Forum last December 04, 2017 at the Multi Purpose Hall, Edwin Andrews Air Base, Sta Maria, Zamboanga City with Commander, TOC, Major General, Domingo D Palisoc Jr AFP as the guest of honor.

The objective of the forum is for the participants to develop a common understanding among all concerned units in the conduct of CAS operations in a joint and combined setting and for them to be knowledgeable of the current PAF weapons capabilities and its limitations.

Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) on the CAS forum were as follows:

LTC Charlie L Tiu JR PAF (MNSA) -Close Air Support in a Joint Setting
LTC Maynard P Mariano PAF -FA-50 Capabilities and Limitations
MAJ Junius N Zulueta PAF -C-208 Capabilities and Limitations
MAJ Ruel C Acero PAF -AW-109 Capabilities and Limitations
1LT Jerome Clark A Eugenio PAF -OV-10/SF-260/MG-520 Capabilities and Limitations
MAJ Joseph Carlo A Porras PAF-NVG Operations

Towards the end of the program, Brigadier General Augusto D Dela Peña AFP, WC, 3rd TOW gave his remarks and subsequently introduced MGEN Palisoc who sincerely thanked all the participants and gave all the SMEs a plaque of appreciation for the job well done.
Courtesy of: 3rd TOC


Filipino Potential / Import-Export statistics for June 2017
« on: December 10, 2017, 09:16:34 PM »
Administrator's note: See also related discussion on the forum's FB extension



Total export receipts from the country’s top ten market destinations for the month of June 2017 were valued at $4.13 billion or 84.2 percent share of the total (Table 6).

Japan, including Okinawa, ranked first, accounting for 18.5 percent of total exports, with export receipts valued at $909.17 million in June 2017. It recorded a decrease of 9.0 percent from $999.61 million in the same month of the previous year.

United States of America (USA), including Alaska and Hawaii, ranked second with revenue amounting to $697.75 million, comprising 14.2 percent share of the total exports for June 2017.  It decreased by 8.7 percent from $764.63 million recorded in June 2016.

Hong Kong ranked third with $667.50 million or 13.6 percent share of the total exports.  It grew by 12.6 percent from $592.67 million in the same month the previous year.

People’s Republic of China, with 10.9 percent share of total exports, ranked fourth with shipments valued at $535.62 million.  It went down by 2.4 percent from $548.53 million in the same month the previous year.

Singapore placed fifth, representing 6.1 percent share of total exports, with export earnings worth $299.52 million. It decreased by 7.1 percent from $322.56 million posted in June 2016.

Other top ten market destinations for   June 2017 were: Thailand, $214.32 million; Republic of Korea, $213.01 million; Germany, $206.80 million; Taiwan, $204.38 million; and Netherlands, $186.87 million.

Total payments for the top ten imports for June 2017 amounted to $5.60 billion or 79.4 percent of the total.

People’s Republic of China remained the country’s biggest source of imports at 18.8 percent share in June 2017.  Payments were recorded at $1.33 billion, a decrease of 3.7 percent from $1.38 billion in June 2016.

Japan, including Okinawa came second, contributing 12.8 percent or $901.12 million to the total import bill in June 2017.  It grew by 0.5 percent from the June 2016 value of $896.88 million.   

Thailand placed third, accounting for 7.7 percent share of the total imports worth $545.24 million in   June   2017.   It went up by 0.1 percent from   $544.44  million in  June 2016.

Republic of Korea was the fourth biggest source of imports for June 2017 with 7.7 percent share of the total import bills amounting to $542.02 million, an increase of 16.0 percent from $467.36 million  in June 2016.

United States of America (USA), including Alaska and Hawaii ranked fifth, accounting for 7.3 percent share of the total import bills in June  2017.  It went down by 8.2 percent from $558.93 million in June 2016 to $513.27 million in June 2017.

Other   major sources of imports for the month of June 2017 were: Indonesia, $483.76 million; Singapore, $443.76 million; Taiwan, $339.77 million; Malaysia (includes Sabah and Sarawak), $282.74 million; and Hong Kong, $225.37 million.

USCG hands over decommissioned cutter to Nigerian Navy

The U.S. Coast Guard and the Nigerian Navy held a ceremony Wednesday in North Charleston to officially sign the decommissioned U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Gallatin over to the Nigerian Navy.

The Gallatin was offered to Nigeria April 24, 2013, through the Foreign Assistance Act (FSA), and was decommissioned from Coast Guard service March 31, 2014.

The FSA allows the transfer of excess defense articles as a grant to friendly foreign governments under the auspices of the State Department.

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Baffer said the transfer was bittersweet but said he believes the ship, renamed NNS Okpabana, will provide valuable service to Nigeria.

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Former U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Gallatin Handed To Nigerian Navy In Transfer Ceremony
For Immediate Release
May 7, 2014

The former Coast Guard cutter Gallatin was transferred to the Nigerian navy Wednesday at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centerin North Charleston. After a 45-year career spent sailing under U.S.colors, the former Coast Guard Cutter Gallatin on Wednesday wasofficially transferred into the hands of the Nigerian navy. The vesselis now known as the NNS Okpabana.

The cutter was decommissioned in March and a crew from the Africancountry arrived in Charleston for training.

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The NNS Okpabana will serve a similar purpose under the Nigeriannavy, officials said.

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NNS Thunder departs California for Nigeria
Written by defenceWeb, Tuesday, 22 November 2011

The former US Coast Guard cutter Chase has departed the United States for her new home in Nigeria. The NNS Thunder, as she is now known, was transferred to the Nigerian Navy in a formal ceremony on May 13 and underwent a refit prior to her trans-Atlantic voyage.

The Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Thunder left Coast Guard Island in Alameda, California, yesterday. Nigerian Minister of State and Defence Erelu Olusola Obada was present at the departure ceremony.

The Chase had been declared as surplus by the US Coast Guard, who said that donating the vessel to Nigeria had saved them US$10 million in disposal costs. The vessel was refitted and a new crew trained.

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Photo credit to owner

Thread Indices / Where in the world are the WHECs?
« on: December 09, 2017, 01:23:50 PM »
Administrator's note: Related link at the forum's FB extension available here:


The US Coast Guard built 12 Hamilton Class 378-foot cutters from 1965 to 1971. These are now being replaced by the National Security Cutter and are in the process of being disposed of. This thread index keeps track of where they are now.

Operator                Original Name       Operator's name
United States


USCGC Mellon (WHEC-717)
USCGC Sherman (WHEC-720)
USCGC Munro (WHEC-724)
USCGC Midgett (WHEC-726)



USCGC Hamilton (WHEC-715)
USCGC Dallas (WHEC-716)
USCGC Boutwell (WHEC-719)

BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (FF-15)
BRP Ramon A Alcaraz (FF-16)
BRP Andres Bonifacio (FF-17)


USCGC Chase (WHEC-718)
USCGC Gallatin (WHEC-721)

NNS Thunder (F90)
NNS Okpabana (F93)


USGC Jarvis (WHEC-725)
USCGC Rush (WHEC-723)

BNS Somudra Joy (F28)
BNS Somudra Avijan (F29)


USCGC Morgenthau (WHEC-722)

CSB 8020

Bon Voyage FF-17

Palafox says Duterte right for predicting ‘dead’ Metro Manila by 2042
Published December 8, 2017 5:50pm

A well-respected figure in urban planning and architecture said on Friday that President Rodrigo Duterte was right to predict a "dead" Metro Manila by 2042, or in 25 years' time.

In an interview on Super Radyo dzBB, architect Jun Palafox not only agreed with the President but also said that Metro Manila's deterioration has actually begun.

"It's happening now. In 1976 I worked with the World Bank... for Metro Manila. What we said then, Metro Plan Manila, it was one of the best metro plans in the world. Kaya ako nakilala overseas," said Palafox, founder of the architecture firm Palafox Associates and has lent his expertise in 38 countries.

"We said that time, with the do-nothing scenario, we will have catastrophic traffic, catastrophic planning, lack of decent housing. And what do we have now?" he added.

He said Metro Manila should have completed eight train lines by 1992, but lamented how in the past six years, only 4 kilometers of roads had been built.

On Thursday, Duterte pitched for the development of more cities in the Philippines, saying Metro Manila will be a dead "city" in 25 years.

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