UK travel advisory on RP

  • We advise against all travel to central, southern and western Mindanao, and the Sulu archipelago including Basilan, Tawi-Tawi and Jolo, where there are ongoing military and police operations against insurgent groups.  On 29 March 2006, an explosion on a passenger bus in Digos City, Mindanao injured at least 22 people.  On 27 March 2006, an explosive device was detonated in Jolo Town killing five people and injuring at least 27.  You should take particular care and maintain high levels of vigilance when travelling to the rest of Mindanao, including Davao.

  • There is a threat of kidnapping throughout the Philippines.  We continue to believe that terrorists and criminal elements plan to kidnap foreign tourists from islands and coastal areas in the southern Philippines – ie Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago.  Kidnappings from other parts of the Philippines cannot be discounted.  Boats travelling to and from offshore islands and dive sites are possible targets.

  • There is a high threat from terrorism throughout the Philippines.  We continue to receive reports that terrorist groups are planning further attacks and believe that they have the capacity to mount indiscriminate attacks at any time and anywhere in the country.  These attacks could be against civilian targets in public places, including those frequented by foreigners.

  • A week long state of emergency declared by the President of the Philippines following the arrest of three people for an attempted coup was lifted on 3 March 2006.  However, public protests remain likely.  You should avoid political gatherings or demonstrations.

  • There has been an increase in volcanic activity on the Bulusan Volcano, Sorsogon Province.  On 8 June 2006, the status for the Bulusan Volcano was raised to Alert Level 2.  A Permanent Danger Zone of four kilometres has been established around the summit as sudden explosions may occur.

  • You should also be alert to the risk of street crime.

  • Penalties for illegal drug importation and use are severe and can include the death penalty.

  • We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling.  You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.

PAL passenger… oops…

Ooops… please don't jump into some 'conclusions" without knowing the facts.

You are correct: the passenger was not wearing a seatbelt when the accident happened. Why? Because she was at the REST ROOM. Is there a SEAT BELT at the plane Rest Room? Did you find one when you take those planes from Manila to San Francisco and back?

Did not comply with the warning lights? Wrong either. There was NO warning lights when she went to the rest room. (That's according to her affidavit….)

But before anything else… let us wait for the story.


Santo Tomas to get DBP chairmanship

Antonino Alindogan, Jr., chairman of DBP maybe be replaced
by Santo Tomas, the labor secretary.  Antonino has barely warmed his seat at
the DBP being appointed as chairman of the board last March 15.  A Malacanang
search committee had already informed Alindogan to give way to Sec. Patricia
Santo Tomas, who has resigned and wants to transfer to DBP.  Is Santo Tomas
qualified to be the chairman of a development bank? The bank's charter mandates
that the DBP chairman should have a banking experience.
	Section 4 of the DBP By-Laws and Section 8 of the bank’s charter state that a
DBP chairman should have "attained proficiency, expertise and recognized
competence in banking, finance, economics, or law."  It also provides that the
DBP chairman's term of office should be at least one year from the time of his
appointment.  Alindogan barely warmed his seat at the DBP and would be replaced
by Santo Tomas.   This also runs counter to the avowed policy of the government
to attract qualified and highly-competent professionals from the private
sector.   While it is the prerogative of the appointing power, Santo Tomas will
be the first woman DBP chairman without a banking experience.
	A former member of the Monetary Board, the policy making of Bangko Sentral,
Alindogan who had held several banking positions and an expert in micro-finance
is very much capable on his job and why replaced him so early.  As ex- Civil
Service commissioner, Santo Tomas should decline the position because civil
servants must have the appropriate qualifications to the job especially in a
development bank.  At this early, some officials and employees are questioning
the wisdom of whoever recommended Santo Tomas to take the DBP chairmanship.—Edu