Aussie pledges P1.8 billion assistance

The Australian government has pledged P1.8 billion over the next five years for the rehabilitation of roads in Mindanao particularly in Misamis Oriental.

Australia made the pledge following the completion of the rehabilitated provincial road in Misamis Oriental funded under the provincial road management facility.

By progressing reforms in key governance areas of planning and budgeting, internal audit, human resource development and increasing locally-generated revenues, provincial governments compete for a share of up to P2.2 billion through the facility’s incentive mechanism. 

The five-year, P4.3 billion provincial road management facility helps provincial governments upgrade and  maintain their core road network in Mindanao and the Visayas. Misamis Oriental is one of the initial seven provinces covered by the facility.

“This road will make a significant difference in the lives of the citizens of Misamis Oriental. Communities are already reaping benefits from the improved road,” said Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Rod Smith.

The road construction has generated 100 local jobs. Travel time along the road has shortened from an average of one hour to 35 minutes, and average costs for transporting farm produce have been slashed by almost half. More than 1700 farmers are expected to benefit from the improved road section alone.

The facility is different to most other donor-funded road projects by focusing not only on road construction, but also ensuring that local governments put in place the governance systems to enable them to maintain the roads over time.

BOC seizes contraband

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has confiscated 20 containers of glutinous rice and 12 containers of white sugar worth P42 million which were misdeclared by an importer as office supplies and exercise equipment.
Customs Commissioner Angelito Alvarez said the imported sugar was sourced from Singapore while the rice shipments came from Thailand and Vietnam.
A delegation from the Congressional Oversight Committee on the Physical Examination of Imported Articles (COCPEIA) headed by Congressman Hermilando Mandanas, chair of the House Committee on Ways and Means, witnessed the opening the containers at the Manila International Container Port.

Other members of  Congress present  were Congressmen  Tomas Apacible, Rodolfo Farinas, Cesar Sarmiento and Reynaldo Umali.
Mandanas expressed hope that the continuing success of the BOC in detecting and foiling smuggling activities would go a long way in finally convincing tax evaders that smuggling has become a losing proposition under the Aquino administration.

Cebu Pacific Air offers seat sale to Bangkok

Cebu Pacific is offering a seat sale for Bangkok, Surigao, Ozamiz and Pagadian routes for travel from July 1 to August 31, 2011.

Passengers can avail of P2,399 ‘Go Lite’ seats from Manila and Clark to Bangkok. CEB flies from Manila to Bangkok ten times weekly, and from Clark to Bangkok twice weekly.

They can also avail of P999 ‘Go Lite’ seats from Manila to Surigao, Ozamiz and Pagadian. Meanwhile, those coming from Cebu can avail of the following ‘Go Lite’ seat sale fares: P399 to Surigao, P499 to Ozamiz and P599 to Pagadian.

Those with check-in luggage will just add P100 upon booking. “We hope passengers can take advantage of this seat sale for their business and leisure travel. Aside from Cebu Pacific’s trademark low fares to Bangkok, we also have Fun Tours packages for our guests’ booking needs,” said CEB VP for Marketing and Distribution Candice Iyog.

Fun Tours packages to Bangkok are available for as low as P1,060, inclusive of two nights hotel accommodations at Welcome Sawasdee Inn with breakfast.