Saturday, May 3, 2008

Palawan, Philippines Underground River Vies for 7 Wonders

Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, Philippines - The inclusion of Palawan's majestic Puerto Princesa River National Park, reputed to be the world's longest navigable underground river, in the worldwide search for "New Seven Wonders of Nature" is a great boost to the ecotourism industry in the city.

Puerto Princesa City Mayor Edward Hagedorn said the city's "Underground River", currently number 35th in the live ranking, will bring more arrivals of domestic and foreign tourists in the city.

The development of tourism in the area has provided income and livelihood opportunities to the local people, he added.

Declared as World Heritage Site by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO) in 1999, Hagedorn said the "Underground River" is still the primary tourist attraction in the province.

He said thousands of tourists visit the national park due to its amazing limestone cliffs, a healthy ecosystem which protects some of the most significant forests in Asia.

The 8.2 kilometer underground river runs through a dome of stalactites complemented by stalagmites running the entire length of the cave.

Hagedorn described the Underground River as the jewel of Puerto Princesa because of its "outstanding universal value" that represents the highest artistic and cultural achievements of mankind or natural sites of intense beauty and ecological significance.

The area covered was increased from 3,901 hectares to 22,202 hectares to include the tributaries of the underground river. - source: Philippine News Agency - Manila
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How's the Dagupan Bangus Festival This Year?

Dagupan City, Philippines News Headline - After 17 days of merry-making, the Dagupan Bangus Festival 2008 was a huge success in terms of people's participation and influx of visitors.

This was the view of Mayor Alipio Fernandez Jr. who said on Thursday that the huge crowd that saw the festival from day one was very inspiring.

In a talk to newsmen, the mayor went on to describe the enthusiasm of the people as "very contagious," something that did not happen before.

The Dagupan Bangus Festival started with a bang on April 16 and is due to end on May 4 with a badminton tournament finals and the awarding of plaques of appreciation to sponsors and various groups and entities that lent their support.

Fernandez said that overall, despite the rains that came on April 26 and 30, the Bangus Festival was a stunning success and had achieved its purpose.

He said the festival not only promoted the city's number one product, bangus, to the world but also Dagupan as an important tourism and investment destination.

With its featured "Festival of the North", the Bangus Festival also fostered regional solidarity and cooperation and enhanced the preservation of cultural heritage through songs, dances, arts and sports, he said.

Despite the downpour on April 26, the 'Festivals of the North' was held till its final conclusion.

Mapandan, Pangasinan; and Agoo, Las Union street dancers representing their respective festivals, won the grand prizes of P150,000 each in separate categories.

It also rained on April 30 soon after the Bangusan Street Party was opened but as soon as the downpour stopped, the multitude of people that earlier came went back to the street to jam all night till morning, with up to nine top bands from Metro Manila providing the music. - Philippine News Agency
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Davao City To Host MNLF-OIC Meeting?

Davao City, Philippines - Davao City Mayor Rodrigor R. Duterte said there is a possibility that the next tripartite meeting between the government and the Moro National Liberation Font (MNLF) facilitated by the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) will be held in Davao City.

The chief executive said MNLF-Davao chair George Asi has suggested to him about MNLF chair Nur Misuari's desire to have the next tripartite meeting here.

The tripartite meeting is reviewing the implementation of the 1996 GRP-MNLF Peace Agreement.

However, Duterte said there is no final date has been set on the next meeting yet.

He said the city can only accommodate the meeting as far as security is concerned. But he cannot support financially since an estimated 20,000 people is expected to come.

Duterte said the city is tightening its belt in preparation for other priorities, especially the incoming rainy days. - Philippine News Agency

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Job Hiring in Davao City, Philippines

Davao City, Philippines - The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) here is targeting on the spot hiring during job fairs, labor and employment officer IV Cristita Coro said.

Coro said DOLE has been discouraging manpower pulling during job fairs or a mechanism in which the employers ask the applicants to submit bio-data and conduct interview for future vacancies.

She said DOLE is achieving on the spot hiring in job fairs.

"We want hiring on the spot because this is the primary objective of a job fair, which is to provide jobs for the unemployed," she said.

Thousands of job seekers trooped to SM Davao on Labor Day, to join the one day job fair initiated by DOLE regional office and Public Employment Service Office (PESO) while another three-day job fairs in Gaisano Mall of Davao conducted DOLE Davao in coordination with radio station DXAB.

The job fairs formed part of DOLE's nationwide job fair activity in celebration of the 105th International Labor Day.

The participating companies consisted of 12 from the overseas and 23 locals. Job vacancies totaled to 2,600 of which 1,200 are local and 1,300 are overseas, Coro said.

The job vacancies covered rank and file to supervisory positions such as division head, clerical jobs, service and skilled workers, which are applicable to both graduates and undergraduates.

DOLE targeted 2,000 applicants for said job fairs.

Coro said they are expecting to meet the target by 100 percent since almost half of the number has applied as of Thursday.

International companies joined the fairs are mostly from the Middle East, United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong,

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Pag-asa Iloilo Kicked Out by Megaworld Corporation?

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA) has finally found a place to temporarily position its equipment and facilities here following the ultimatum the Megaworld Corp. has given it to vacate its present office.

Raffy Tapales, officer in charge of PAG-ASA here, said the provincial government initiated to provide them a location to set up their equipment and facilities at the Iloilo Sports Complex.

"We temporarily ceased our operations starting today, Thursday. We will resume if we could already set up our facilities," Tapales told Panay News when reached through his mobile phone.

He said that their first option was to establish the weather forecast bureau at the New Iloilo Airport because of the presence of the International Civil Aviation Organization which they have to coordinate with "(but) the negotiations never materialized," he added.

The Air Transportation Office did not allow them, he added.

Tapales said they have started to dismantle their facilities at their office in Mandurriao district and hope that they will be able to transfer and set up weather forecasting in its new site on Saturday.

PAG-ASA will be housed temporarily at the covered court of the Iloilo Sports Complex.

Megaworld Corp., the winning bidder of the old Iloilo airport property, has started to demolish the structures in the area. It intends to convert the 54-hectare property into a business hub of the city. - Philippine News Agency

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