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AFP lets officials decide on plan to turn Fort Magsaysay into quarantine site

February 9, 2015

The local government of Nueva Ecija is considering the camp as a quarantine site for patients of Ebola virus and other communicable diseases like the severe acute respiratory syndrome or SARS.

MANILA, Philippines – The military is leaving it to higher authorities to decide on the proposal to make Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija a quarantine site for people infected with communicable diseases.

Armed Forces public affairs chief Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc said while they are open to the proposal, it has to be studied by policy makers.

“In the spirit of bayanihan, that is possible. However, we need the approval of higher authorities on the use of the military reservation,” Cabunoc said in a text message on Monday.

“The AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) has shown its willingness to support other agencies in handling national concerns like what we did for personnel who came from Liberia,” he added.

Fort Magsaysay, the largest military camp in the country, hosts the Army’s Special Operations Command and the 7th Infantry Division. The 44,000-hectare camp also houses the Combat Arms School of the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command and the Division Training Unit.

The local government of Nueva Ecija is considering the camp as a quarantine site for patients of Ebola virus and other communicable diseases like the severe acute respiratory syndrome or SARS.

Nueva Ecija Gov. Aurelio Umali believes setting up isolation facilities inside the camp is more advantageous than doing so in hospitals.

“In the hospital, the patients are susceptible and you increase the chance of an outbreak,” Umali said in a recent meeting with local disaster and police officials.

At least three hospitals in Central Luzon have been tapped as possible isolation facilities namely the Paulino J. Garcia Memorial Research and Medical Center in Cabanatuan City, the Bataan General Hospital and the Jose B. Lingad Memorial Hospital in Pampanga.



Puregold buys NE supermart chain

February 4, 2015

The Cosco Group, led by businessman Lucio Co, said it has bought the nine-supermarket chain and five commercial lots of NE Inc., a property company based in Nueva Ecija.

02The nine supermarkets will be folded into Puregold Price Club Inc. and the five commercial lots for Cosco Capital Inc.

In separate disclosures to the Philippine Stock Exchange Cosco reported buying five commercial lots d in Zulueta St., Cabanatuan City; San Jose City, Nueva Ecija; San Juan Accfa, Cabanatuan City; Baler, Aurora and Santiago City, Isabela to increase its rental selling space.

The nine new supermarkets are in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, San Jose Nueva Ecija, Baliwag, Bulacan, Baler, Aurora and Santiago, and Isabela.

“The additional stores will also make Puregold the dominant retail player in the province of Nueva Ecija,” Puregold said.

Puregold has set aside P18.5 billion for the next five years to increase by 50 percent its store network. Cosco meanwhile is budgeting P2.4 billion to build six community malls d in the next three years.

The group plans to set up 500 Lawson convenience store in the next five years, with 50 stores targeted by yearend. The first 200 Lawson stores will be company-owned, before it sells the franchise.

Puregold saw a increase in its January to September 2014 net income by 13.8 percent to P3.007 billion from the P2.64 billion same period last year, while Cosco booked P4.32 billion net income in the first nine months of the year which is 16 percent higher than a year ago.

Incorporated in 1998, Puregold primarily operates hypermarkets and retail stores. Its portfolio includes hypermarket format Puregold Price Club, supermarket Puregold Junior, discounters format Puregold Extra, and high-end membership shopping S&R.

Also incorporated in 1988, Cosco is the holding firm of business magnate Lucio Co which has interests in retail (Puregold Price Club Inc.), real estate (Ellimac Prime Holdings Inc. etc), liquor distribution (Premier Wine and Spirits Inc.), liquefied petroleum gas and mining.


CL execs back NBP transfer to N. Ecija

February 2, 2015

Council approves resolution endorsing project to Neda

National Bureau of Corrections

National Bureau of Corrections

At Justice Secretary Leila de Lima’s behest, the Regional Development Council (RDC) of Central Luzon endorsed on Friday the transfer of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) to a 500­hectare area within the Philippine Army’s Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija province.

A resolution approved at an RDC meeting in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga, allows the NBP project to be raised before the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) board chaired by President Aquino for final evaluation before a public- private partnership could begin construction of a new national penitentiary.

“I am extremely happy,” De Lima said about the support the project received from the RDC. The council backed the NBP relocation after Nueva Ecija Gov. Aurelio Umali endorsed a resolution indicating the willingness of several sectors in the province to host the prison.

“We are willing to host the jail in General Tinio town,” he told the council.

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Retired soldier claims P160-M lotto jackpot

January 15, 2015
By Perseus Echeminada, The Philippine Star. Posted at 01/15/2015 7:35 AM

Super Lotto 6/49

MANILA, Philippines – A retired soldier from Nueva Ecija has claimed the jackpot of the 6/49 Super Lotto Jan. 11 draw, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) announced yesterday.

Jose Ferdinand Rojas II, PCSO acting chairman, said the lone winner picked the winning digit 06-13-19-31-34-38 with a jackpot of P160,083,688.

Rojas said the soldier, 50, availed himself of the early retirement program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to devote his time to his family. The winner, who has been a lotto bettor since the online lottery game began in 1995, is married and has a child.

Rojas said the player bet P40 for two lucky pick tickets.

The third lotto millionaire for this year plans to buy a house and lot, invest in a business and share his winnings to his siblings and parents.

Nueva Ecija case shows PCOS vulnerability.

January 15, 2015

1GAPAN CITY—A case decided in a Nueva Ecija court is offering evidence that precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines could yield inaccurate results.

The court, in a March 2014 decision, sided with a group of voters who asked for a manual recount of votes cast for Bro. Eddie Villanueva, who ran and lost in the 2013 senatorial elections, in three clustered precincts in General Tinio town. The recount showed that the votes received by Villanueva were short by 119.

In his ruling, Judge Celso Baguio of the Regional Trial Court Branch 34, said “obviously, the [PCOS] machines counts fell short.”

The General Tinio case came to light again as advocates for clean elections questioned the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec)

approval of a contract with Smartmatic for refurbishing of the PCOS machines.

Former Comelec Commissioner Augusto Lagman, an information technology expert and one of the leaders of the election watchdog Automated Election System (AES), said recently that the PCOS machines “can be manipulated by expert technicians.”

In the General Tinio case, complainants Bernardo Aranas and Arlan Esteban and their lawyer, Anicia Concepcion Marquez, sought the opening of ballot boxes in Clustered Precinct Nos. 29 and 30 in Barangay Pias and Clustered Precinct No. 19 in Barangay Concepcion after the May 2013 elections. They wanted to prove that votes cast for Villanueva were not counted properly.

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NE farm laborers see bleak 2015.

January 9, 2015

mechanical rice harvester

CABANATUAN CITY – The rice harvest was good and the relatively high farm gate price  of the palay harvest, which manifested starting last year, continued to be good, too.

They were reason enough  for land owners and even tenants   to be joyful. But not  for the thousands of farm laborers who failed to share in  the bounties of rice farming in Nueva Ecija.

“Gawat po nitong nakaraang anihan (We have  nothing this last cropping season),  Marlon Manale, 36, of Villa Cuizon, Science City of  Muñoz, said.

“Inagawan po kami ng mga halimaw sa aming  dating knikita (The   beasts robbed us of the opportunity  to get our usual earnings),” he added.

He was referring to the mechanical rice harvester, called  combine harvester, which did the reaping, threshing and  bagging of the rice harvest in many  rice farms in the prov-ince. Manale said that he was  only able to get three cavans as share for harvesting in  the rice lands whose owners did  not employ the use of mechanical harvester.

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‘Declare smuggling as economic sabotage’

January 6, 2015

Nueva Ecija First District Rep. Estrellita Suansing

A solon proposed to amend the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines to declare any form of smuggling as an act of economic sabotage.

Nueva Ecija Rep. Estrellita Suansing, who authored House Bill 5179, seeks to amend Section 3514 of P.D. 1464 so that economic sabotage refers to “any and all activities that undermines, weakens or renders into disrepute the economic system or viability of the country or tends to bring about such effects, for the purpose of this Act, any violation of Sections 3601 and 3602 of this Act, which involves goods and/or articles with the aggregate value of P1 million, shall constitute as economic sabotage.”

The bill also seeks to amend Section 3601 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines, pertaining to unlawful importation, and Section 3602, pertaining to various fraudulent practices against customs revenue.

It proposed the following punishments for violators:

a) Fine equal to twice the fair market value of the articles involved;

b) Fine equal to the aggregate amount of the taxes, duties and other charges avoided;

c) Imprisonment of a minimum of eight years and one day up to life imprisonment; and

d) Confiscation of the articles involved.

If the violator is a juridical entity, the penalty of imprisonment shall be imposed on the president and the responsible officers thereof. In addition, the business permits and licenses of the business entity shall be revoked or cancelled. The broker of the violator shall be punished as a principal, the bill provides.

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