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Province of Palawan - Archived News

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U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie A. Kenney and USAID/Philippines Environment Office Chief Daniel Moore witness the safe and sustainable collection of ornamental fish by certified Marine Aquarium Council collectors in Palawan


MGB lifts suspension order on Oriental Peninsula mine in Palawan

By Danessa O. Rivera/VS (GMA News)

Listed Oriental Peninsula Resources Group Inc. may resume operations of one of its mines in Palawan after getting the go signal from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB).

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange Friday, Oriental Peninsula said it received the order lifting the suspension of operations of unit Citinickel Mines and Development Corp. (CMDC) in Narra, Palawan.

Mining operations in Narra was suspended in November 2012 when a silt spill polluted the Pinagduguan River and affected 6.8 hectares of farmlands.

The MGB also allowed Citinickel Mines to resume ore exports involving existing stockpile in Sofronio Española in Palawan but not to operate the mine.

Oriental Peninsula said Citinickel Mines is still trying to complete the compliance of conditions set by MGB in order for the company to resume its mining operations in Sofronio.

"Considering that CMDC has sufficient ore in its existing stockpile in Sofronio Española to sustain its export operations while it has temporarily halted its mining operations, it is believed that there will be no significant impact on the financial condition of [Oriental Peninsula]," the disclosure read.

Citinickel Mines was also stopped by MGB from operating its nickel mine in Sofronio Española because of another silt spill that polluted the rivers in the area.

Oriental Peninsula said the board of Citinickel Mines has decided to take a pro-active stance in installing and implementing preventive measures to protect the environment.

"This is in keeping with the company’s commitment to responsible mining, by prioritizing the protection of the country’s natural resources," the disclosure read.

Town residents in Palawan call on PCSDS to familiarize them on wildlife act


PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, July 31 (PNA) – Residents of Barangay Berong in the southern Palawan town of Quezon are calling on the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development Staff (PCSDS) to check if there are any other saltwater crocodile that inhabits their river and to inform them further about the Philippine Wildlife Act.

The call came following the capture and unfortunate death of an 11-footer male saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) more than a week ago in the river in Berong, and the trapping of a larger 16-feet crocodile in Barangay Rio Tuba in the neighboring town of Bataraza early Thursday morning.

Berong barangay chairman Pio Hablado said it was indeed unfortunate that the male saltwater crocodile that was captured by villagers in the river died while being transported to Puerto Princesa City.

However, he cannot also discount the fact that the villagers got scared since they frequent the river to wash clothes, and since their children go there to swim.

Hablado said this after information spread that villagers, who are involved in the capture of the reptile, might be liable for violating the Philippine Wildlife Act that bans it since it has not been proven that it is a “problem crocodile.”

As of press time, there is no word if a move to file violation of the law has been done by the PCSDS.

Hablado said seeing the crocodile was a surprise for residents of Berong, and though there is the Philippine Wildlife Act, none of them is quite familiar about it.

“It would be better if the PCSDS can help us check if there is still any crocodile in Berong River, and if they can inform us further about the wildlife act. Or what to do in case residents see one again,” Hablado said.

In response, Alex Marcaida of the PCSDS, the policy implementing arm of the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD), said it is okay to go to Quezon to conduct information and dissemination about the wildlife act.

Crocodiles are known to go up to the riverbanks when they are basking, when they are in search for food, and when their habitats are experiencing human disturbance, or worst, being destroyed.

Meanwhile, the 16-feet saltwater crocodile believed to have attacked and killed a fisherman in May, and which was trapped also by villagers Thursday, is now being transported to the Palawan Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Center (PWRCC) in Barangay Irawan.

Palawan Court to issue verdict on Tubbataha intruders on Aug. 5

By Tetch Torres-Tupas (

MANILA, Philippines—The Palawan Court is set to issue its verdict on the 12 Chinese fishermen arrested last year after their vessel ran aground on Tubbataha Reef, a government prosecutor said Wednesday.

Provincial Prosecutor Allen Ross Rodriguez said Palawan Regional Trial Court Branch 51 has set the promulgation on Aug. 5.

The Chinese fishermen have been charged with a case for violation of Republic Act 10067 or the Tubbataha Protected Area Law f 2009 for poaching and Article 212 of the Revised Penal Code for allegedly attempting to bribe officers of the Tubbataha Management Office in exchange for their release.

Park rangers recovered from the fishermen’s vessel around 400 boxes containing slaughtered anteaters or “balintong.”

The grounding of the Chinese fishing vessel occurred three months after the USS Guardian, a minesweeper of the US Navy, also ran aground on the reef, destroying more than 2, 000 square meters of coral reef.

The same court is also handling the case of the nine Chinese fishermen apprehended for poaching off the Half Moon Shoal or Hasa-Hasa Shoal some 60 nautical miles from Palawan early this year.

1st Palawan Youth Leaders’ Summit 2014 set


PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, July 29 (PNA) -- The first ever Palawan Youth Leaders’ Summit 2014 is scheduled in this city on September 18 to bring together more than 200 delegates from around the Philippines for two days of knowledge sharing, leadership training, and networking.

On the pre-summit meeting held Monday at the Camp Gen. Artemio Ricarte here, Pinag-isang Lakas ng mga Kabataang Lider ng Palawan (PIGLAS) chairman Ryan J. Abueme said they will act as main coordinator for youth organizations, thus assuring them of help in terms of formulating and recommending measures that could be done for the betterment of the community particularly in youth empowerment and participation.

The summit is being organized by PIGLAS as its first project. PIGLAS started from the preparatory congress workshop of the participants for the National Youth Leaders’ Congress organized by the Western Command, where 16 youth leaders from different sectors in Palawan.

The Summit aims the youth leaders to learn to exercise leadership effectively on behalf of the issues that they care about deeply; share ideas and learn from distinguished leaders and innovators from the private, public, and nonprofit sectors; and become part of a powerful global network of bright and accomplished youth leaders, Abueme said.

“The Summit desires to empower, organize and mobilize the top youth leaders of Palawan and introduce to them the role of the National Youth Commission and PIGLAS on their respective organizations. By choosing delegates from different sectors, we envision that they will embrace our advocacy in Tourism, Culture and Arts, Environmental Protection and Nationalism and help build a better Philippines for us, and the next generations, to live,” Abueme added.

Puerto Princesa installs TV in city hall lobby for President Aquino’s SONA


PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, July 28 (PNA) -- Mayor Lucilo Bayron had television monitors installed at the lobby of the City Hall Building in Barangay Sta. Monica Monday for employees and visitors to be able to watch President Benigno Aquino III’s state of the nation address (SONA).

City Information Officer Henry Gadiano told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in a telephone interview that Bayron ordered the installation of television monitors at the lobby to allow employees, visitors, and other spectators at the City Hall to watch President Aquino address the nation regarding accomplishments of his administration.

“The city mayor also wants our employee to take interest in what’s going on in the country, and know the achievements of their country through the leadership of President Aquino. Even visitors of the city government, or those who are transacting business here, can watch at the lobby,” Gadiano told the PNA.

As for Bayron, Gadiano is not sure where he will be watching because as of press time, he is still welcoming 30 candidates of the Mutya ng Pilipinas, who are in the city for a pre-pageant activity at Sheridan Beach Resort and Spa.

“Yes, the mayor will be watching the SONA because it’s important to be updated, to know also what are President Aquino’s thrusts, and if there are good news too, about Puerto Princesa,” he said.

At the Provincial Capitol Building, information officer Gil Acosta told the PNA that Governor Jose Alvarez is currently on travel in Palawan, but is sure to watch President Aquino’s SONA.

“Governor Alvarez said he will watch the SONA. Palawan is one of the Philippine important tourism destinations, and there might be good news so, he will surely watch. There might also be development projects that the President might announce, we will standby to hear,” Acosta said.

PAGASA: Occasional rain over Palawan; light rain over areas

By Joel Locsin/DVM (GMA News)

Palawan will have occasional rain on Sunday, as the Visayas; the Bicol, Caraga, Davao regions; and the provinces of Mindoro, Marinduque and Romblon will be cloudy with light to moderate rain showers and thunderstorms.

Weather service PAGASA also said that Metro Manila and the rest of the country will be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms.

Winds will be moderate to strong from the southwest to west over the eastern section of the Visayas and of Mindanao. Coastal waters along these areas will be moderate to rough.

Winds will be light to moderate coming from the southwest to west over the rest of the country, with slight to moderate seas.

Meanwhile, PAGASA forecaster Meno Mendoza told dzBB radio that, as of 4 a.m. Sunday, a low pressure area was located 790 km east of Borongan, Eastern Samar.

Measures taken to keep Palawan free of illegal logging


MANILA, July 26 (PNA) -- Local government and environment officials in Palawan have taken proactive measures to ensure that no illegal logging activities are conducted in the province.

The multi-sectoral Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force (AILTF) of Palawan, led by Gov. Jose Chaves Alvarez and DENR’s Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Juan C. dela Cruz, has been reactivated following reports that timber products from the province are being illegally shipped to Malaysia.

Dela Cruz said task force members, including representatives from the military and police, have agreed to take the following steps to curb the supposed illegal logging trade between Palawan and Malaysia:

• Personnel of the Maritime Special Boat Unit were immediately deployed in all identified possible outlets like in the municipalities of Bataraza and Balabac;

• The Philippine Navy will conduct naval patrol blockade and apprehend all suspected vehicles transporting illegally cut forest products and wildlife;

• All detachments of the Philippine Marines and the Philippine National Police will arrest poachers and illegal transporters within their areas of jurisdiction;

• The Community Environment and Natural Resources Office of Quezon and Brooke’s Point were directed to coordinate with military and police detachments in identified hotspot areas and to conduct anti-illegal logging operations.

Earlier, the provincial government of Palawan raised alarm over the rampant illegal logging trade between Malaysia and the province, noting that Malaysian authorities were allegedly freely allowing illegal logs to enter Malaysia through the town of Kudat in Sabah.

Records from the port of Kudat showed that in January this year, 27 motor launches had unloaded logs coming from southern Palawan and that another 12 motor launches unloaded the same cargo in Kudat in June.

However, the AILTF said there was no confirmation that all lumber and rattan poles discovered in the Malaysian port did come from southern Palawan.

The task force cited intelligence report from military and police authorities that most of the vessels carrying the contraband were registered in Zamboanga, Tawi-Tawi and Sulu.

It also noted the possibility that some of the timber products originated from another province since the photographs of timber products seemed to compose mostly of softwood and planted species, which are not among the hardwood species found in southern Palawan forests that have been recorded by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Meanwhile, Regional Director Oscar C. Dominguez of the DENR Region 4B-Mimaropa has advised Dela Cruz to request the assistance of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Puerto Princesa City in investigating the boat owners and to coordinate with the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA).

Domiguez thanked the provincial government and law enforcement agencies in Palawan for their immediate action even as he promised that the DENR will continue to “employ necessary interventions,” with the full support of all stakeholders, to ensure a “more systematic response to illegal activities not only in Palawan, but in the entire Mimaropa region.”

Palawan to enter into compromise agreement with nat’l govt for Malampaya share

By Celeste Anna R. Formoso [(PNA), CTB/CARF/UTB]

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, July 25 (PNA) –- Palawan will be entering into a compromise agreement with the national government regarding Malampaya shares after President Benigno Aquino III’s state of the nation address (SONA), according to Governor Jose Alvarez.

The provincial governor disclosed Friday morning at the Conservation and Missionary Electrification Forum at the VJR Hall, Capitol Building that after the SONA on Monday, he will be representing Palawan in the inking of a compromise agreement for the release of Malampaya funds.

He said that pending the decision of the highest court regarding the case that the national government filed against Palawan receiving shares as stated in the Local Government Code (LGC) during the term of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, President Aquino’s term is amenable to advance releases.

Alvarez said to participants in the forum after the SONA, it is possible that he will be meeting with the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Power Corporation (NPC), and Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza to discuss the parameters of the shares Palawan will be receiving in advance, and possibly in tranches, from the Malampaya-Deep-Water-Gas-to-Power (MDWGP) project offshore.

If the national government did not file a case against the provincial government’s share, Palawan was supposed to receive more than P74 billion, according to the governor.

Out of the share that the province stands to receive in advance, Alvarez said 80% or more than P56 billion will go to electrification projects and programs for Palaweños, while 20% will be allocated for the provision of alternative and income-generating livelihood activities.

Meanwhile, also in the forum, Kilusan Love Malampaya (KLM) Chairman Cesar Ventura, expressed support to the eventual signing of the compromise agreement.

As chairman too, of the Joint Energy Development Advisory Group-Technical Working Group (JEDAG-TWG), he fully supports Alvarez’ proposal as the planned use of the Malampaya share is based on what is stated in the local government code.

He disclosed that if shares have already been received as a positive offshoot of the compromise agreement, the provincial government and JEDAG-TWG will immediately proceed to working to resolve Palawan’s energy woes.

Ventura said too, that if the current per kilowatt hour is being paid P14.00 by consumers, the governor wants it lowered to P10.

It can be recalled that in January, the provincial government announced that four resolutions have been approved to resolve Palawan’s power problems from a conducted energy summit.

The first measure that the participants nodded to, was the strengthening of the framework to push forward the Government-Enabled Participative Small Island Grid Power Development (GEPSIGPD).

This means the opportunity to welcome private sector participation (PSP) in power generation in off-grid islands and isolated areas.

The second measure was the consolidation of the 20%-40% increase in load forecasting that will be submitted by the Joint Energy Development Advisory Group-Technical Working Group (JEDAG-TWG).

Ventura said however, that this will remain open for any changes whenever fresh data comes in.

JEDAG-TWG is a body created by the provincial government leadership to take care of matters pertaining to Palawan’s energy development and sustainability.

Third was the adoption of the next work plans of JEDAG-TWG in relation to the issue of energy of the city and province, and fourth, the adoption of the Palawan Power Situationer and Outlook that was presented by DOE Sec. Carlos Jericho Petilla.

On Thursday, the board of directors of the Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO) and the Busuanga Island Electric Cooperative (BISELCO) also expressed their trust and confidence that Alvarez’ leadership would be able to provide power all over the province by 2016.

Shellfish ban still up in Honda Bay in Puerto Princesa City


PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, July 24 (PNA) -– The shellfish ban is still up in Honda Bay in this city, according to the Palawan Red Tide Laboratory (PRTL) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

Felina Cabungcal, aquaculturist at the PRTL, said residents of the city are still being warned against collecting, selling, and consuming shellfishes from Honda Bay because per Wednesday’s result of their laboratory test, red tide toxins remain present from samples collected from the waters in the site.

The ban is continuously imposed on shellfishes from Honda Bay, as well as Canigaran area, and Barangay Bancao-Bancao.

“Yes, the ban remains in the area because the samples we’ve taken from there for plankton analysis still have the red tide toxins. Yesterday, laboratory results showed the toxin from algal blooms have not been removed,” Cabungcal said in interviews.

People who have consumed shellfishes with red tide toxins may experience disorientation, vomiting, and weak respiratory system, among others.

Cabungcal said this is what they want to avoid that is why they monitor shellfish samples from Honda Bay on a weekly basis.

“Every week, we take samples from there, and we test them in the laboratory to determine if the red tide toxin is no longer present. Unfortunately, there still is,” she said.

Algal blooms happen naturally from “coastal upwelling as a result of the movement of certain ocean currents, in others they appear to be a result of increased nutrient loading from human activities,” according to researchers.

Cabungcal said they will make information available as soon as the ban has been removed.

Tabon Cave in Palawan hosts 3rd Intl Field School Managing Prehistoric Heritage in Southeast Asia

By Celeste Anna R. Formoso (PNA), CTB/CARF/JSD

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, July 23 (PNA) – For the third time, Palawan the "3rd International Field School Managing Prehistoric Heritage in Southeast Asia", in the southern historical town of Quezon where archeologists from different countries, the National Museum, and the University of the Philippines (UP) are participating.

Provincial Information Officer Gil Acosta said Tuesday that currently, archeologists from France, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Laos, and also from the National Museum and UP under the Archeological Studies Program, are in Quezon town in southern Palawan taking part in the international field school that started since July 7 and will end on July 26.

The team of archeologists is led by Dr. Francois Semah of the Museum National d’ Histoire Naturelle based in France, Dr. Eusebio Dizon of the National Museum of the Philippines and other experts in the field of Geology and Environmental Archaeology, as well as its other branches.

They are in Tabon Caves, Quezon to conduct scientific digging to locate other artifacts that have connections to the history of the country, according to Acosta.

Accordingly, the group carefully excavated Tabon Caves after conducting surveys in possible sites that are 4x4 square meters in size.

The collected artifacts are delicately sifted with the soil they have, and are studied for identification. Acosta said the soils are also returned to where they were taken by the archeologists.

The collected human bones, ceramics, shells and others at the cave system are being examined by a group led by Nida Cuevas of the Archeology Division of the National Museum, Acosta said.

The information officer explained the study being conducted by the archeologist is important because of the new artifacts discovered in Tabon Caves. It will also help provide more information regarding the early people who lived in Palawan.

The archeologists believe that what they have dug will make a big contribution in the research that experts are conducting in the world.

Part of the activity, according to Acosta, is exchanges of ideas and experiences regarding their specializations.

Archeologists from Malaysia and Laos, he said, shared their experiences on how their countries protect important burial sites, and what programs are being done to present them to tourists and young researchers.

Search on for next batch of Tubbataha Youth Ambassadors in Palawan

By Celeste Anna R. Formoso [(PNA), LAM/CARF/JSD]

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, July 22 (PNA) -- The Tubbataha Management Office (TMO) in close cooperation with the Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. (PSFI) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) announced Monday that it is now ready to look for a new batch of youth ambassadors to advocate for the conservation of the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (TRNP).

“If you have the passion for conserving the marine environment and would like to make an active contribution, then you must be the one we are looking for,” says TMO information officer Glenda Simon.

Simon said the park management is inviting “all spirited Palaweño youth, who want to become marine advocates and leaders” to apply for the opportunity.

The TMO is looking for college graduates, between 20-30 years old, with good oral and written communication skills, and currently residing in Palawan, particularly in areas, where marine protected sanctuaries have been established.

She said they must also have regular access to the Internet, competent in online browsing, social networks, and others, to be able to reach out to more youths.

In addition, Simon said, the applicant must be endorsed by the barangay or the municipality to represent a marine protected area or sanctuary in the community where he/she lives.

“The applicant must also be willing to commit to initiate a project or activity within his/her community,” she added.

If the applicants get shortlisted, Simon said they will have the chance to learn through the Virtual Camp, a six-week online learning exchange platform.

Only five (5) among all the shortlisted applicants will be named this year’s Youth Ambassadors.

The chosen ambassadors will have a week-long Live Camp which is packed with activities such as trainings, field exposure to selected protected areas in Palawan, and youth forum.

They will also receive technical assistance in implementing their proposed activities in their community.

Aspirants must submit a completed Application Form with a recent 2 x 2” ID photograph to the Tubbataha Management Office at the Caltex Gas Station, Barangay San Miguel in the city.

Barangay execs in Puerto Princesa cut down old trees to prevent accidents


PUERTO PRINCESA, July 21 (PNA) -- Barangay officials in Sicsican in Puerto Princesa are rushing to cut down old fire trees and prune some to prevent them from falling and hurting residents due to non-stop rains and strong winds Sunday.

Barangay Sicsican chairman Noel Española said the Kilos Agad Action Center (KAAC) of the City Government is helping them clear old fire trees by the highway to prevent accident.

Trees that are not in danger of falling, and have deeper roots, on the other hand will be pruned so they would not affect power lines that can cause power outage in this city.

Española said that four trees had been rooted out of the soil due to heavy rains and strong winds Tuesday. One fell on the roof of a home; fortunately, no one was hurt.

The fire trees that will be cut will be replaced in a tree planting activity with those that can grow deeper roots, according to him.

In Barangay San Pedro, one of the largest barangays near the center of the city, minor floodings have been recorded due to complaints by residents.

At the Puerto Princesa Underground River, all tours to the famous subterranean cave have been cancelled, affecting 500 travelers.

PPUR park superintendent Elizabeth Maclang said the cancellation was issued by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Palawan due to a "gail warning" from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

Maalang said the affected tourists will be rebooked to enter tomorrow if the weather clears.

Sonny Jurilla of PAGASA in Palawan said the heavy rains being experienced in the province are due to effects of typhoon Henry.

Under the gail warning, fishing boats are also not allowed to venture into the high seas.

As of current, the city is experiencing a power outage as well as other municipalities connected to the grid.

Palawan Electric Cooperatives Information Officer Vicky Basilio said their technical team is still looking into what may have caused the blackout.

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