Monday, February 4, 2013

South Korea on rehabilitating rivers and river basins nationwide

The government is looking into possibly partnering with South Korea on rehabilitating rivers and river basins nationwide.

"We and South Korea's environment ministry might sign this year a memorandum of agreement on the matter," said Dr. Vicente Tuddao Jr., the environment department's new field operations director and former River Basin Control Office chief.

He said such possibility is not remote since South Korea has technologies for the target rehabilitation work.

"South Korean officials concerned also expressed willingness to assist us in the work," he added.

Government continues its bid to rehabilitate river basins nationwide, noting those areas have the highest potential uses but are suffering from declining carrying capacity and deteriorating life support systems.

Among causes of such degradation are pollution, diminishing groundwater resources, biodiversity loss and declining local productivity, authorities noted.

"Climate change will worsen conditions in our river basins," Tuddao further said.

He said capacity-building training and support in preparing documents like feasibility studies are among South Korea's possible assistance to the Philippine river basin rehabilitation bid.

Tuddao said he came across several South Korean rehabilitation technologies while attending there last week a conference on restoring Southeast Asia's rivers and river basins.

Government classifies river basins as watersheds of over 1,000 square kilometers each and having topographic boundaries covering land within three or more provinces and two or more regions.

Marijuana plants in Kibungan, Benguet

Operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) based in Benguet have uprooted and destroyed P3.8-million worth of marijuana plants in Kibungan, Benguet last Friday.

CIDG head Director Samuel D. Pagdilao Jr. said on Monday that elements of the Benguet CIDG led by Senior Insp. Maximo Sumeg-Ang Jr., the Kapangan police and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Cordillera, conducted the marijuana eradication drive in separate areas in Barangay Badeo, Kibungan town last week.

Sumeg-Ang said 13 marijuana plantation sites were spotted by authorities in Sitios Ampana, Baukok, and Sagilip, all in Barangay Badeo, measuring 2,677 square meters.

He said the whole area is covered with fully grown marijuana plants and seedlings with an estimated value of P3,854,500.

Win the FIBA Asia championship

By Eddie G. Alinea
MANILA, Jan. 28 (PNA) -- "Get the best of the best and win the FIBA Asia championship."

This was the message FIBA Asia secretary general Hagop Khajirian delivered to Samahang Basketbol Ng Pilipinas in regard to the Philippines' hosting of the regional men's basketball championship for the first time in 40 years on Aug 1-11.

"It (FIBA Asia hosting) doesn't come every year," Khaihiran said when he met the press at the MOA (Mall of Asia) Arena's corporate suites lounge.

"The Philippines playing in the semifinals … why not? Champion in FIBA Asia .. why not?

The high-ranking FIBA Asia executive cautioned his audience though, which included SBP executive director Renauld and consultant Mauricio Martelino:

"But it will come as a result of hard work and not by luck. There is no luck in winning the championship."

Khajirian predicterd the host country could only end up fifth in the coming tournament behind defending champion China, South Korea, FIBA Asia Cup reigning titlist Iran and Lebanon.

The top three teams after the Manila series will advance to the 2014 World Championship in Spain.

Khajirian based his analysis on the results of the previous staging of the biennial meet the past decade when the Chinese and the Iranians usually wind up disputing the pennant.

The Philippines, he recalled, made it to the quarterfinal round twice in 2007 in Tokoshima, Japan and 2009 in Tianjin, China.

The Filipinos made the semifinal round the last time around in 2011 in Wuhan, also in China.

FIBA-Asia men’s championship

Believing in the popular consensus that the coming FIBA-Asia men's championship is not an ordinary event for the basketball-crazy Filipinos, Samahang Basketbol Ng Pilipinas (SBP) executive director Sonny Barrios called for the formation of the strongest possible team when the country hosts the world championship qualifying tournament on August 1-11.

"Based on my conversation with many of our friends in the private and government sectors, business and sports and even men and women in the streets, the coming FIBA-Asia championship is one fair opportunity for us to take advantage of to regain our lofty standing as the basketball capital in this part of the world," Barrios declared during Friday's SCOOP Sa Kamayan session at the Kamayan Restaurant-Padre Faura.

"I agree with those people, particularly with Sonny (Robert Jaworski) and Bogs (William Adornado), that, indeed, we have to form a team similar to that 1973 champion and aim not only a top three finish merely to qualify to the world championship, but, to win the title," Barrios stressed.

"Because we are hosting the event for the first time in 40 years, gusto ng ating mga kababayan that we form a team made up of the best of the best and prepare the best way possible," he said.

Jaworski, "Jawo," or "Big-J," to the local basketball circle, and Adornado, both members of the triumphant 1973 squad, have earlier welcomed FIBA-Asia's granting the right for the country to host the tournament's 27th edition as well as the formation of the strongest team capable of winning back the crown the Filipinos last won in 1985.

That, according to the SBP honcho, is apart from a chance for us to highlight anew the famous organizational skills and renowned hospitality of Filipinos.

"And as our president, Mr. MVP (Manny V. Pangilinan) had already proclaimed we, in the SBP, will be leaving no stone unturned in achieving our goals," he vowed during the public service forum, sponsored by Powerade, AKTV and FILA.

Barrios also agreed with Jaworski, local basketball's living legend, and Adornado, MVP of the 1973 FIBA-Asia championship, that achieving the targets will require supreme sacrifice among those who will be involved in the preparations and actual staging of the biennial tournament, which since its birth in 1960, has served as the qualifying phase of the Olympic games and world championship.

"Well, of course, I don't want to pre-empt the PBA, which has been tasked the job of forming the national team, but as far as organization is concerned, the ball, so to speak, has already started going by establishing key groups for the purpose," said the former PBA commissioner who came to the SCOOP session with his deputy, Bernie Atienza.

Quietly and without fanfare, the SBP had already come up with the organizational structure that will oversee preparations and the running of the project with the naming of Pangilinan himself as the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) chair as mandated by the regional FIBA-Asia charter.

Barrios is chief executive officer of the local organizing committee with Moying Martelino, former secretary general of the Asian Basketball Confederation, the precursor of FIBA-Asia, as deputy and senior sports director.

Ricky Vargas, one of MVP's closes allies and president and CEO of water firm Maynilad, heads the LOC advisory group, which will include MVP Sports Foundation president Al Panlilio, North Luzon Expressway president Ramon Fernandez, PBA chair and San Miguel Corp. basketball head Robert Non, Meralco vice president and PBA vice chair Ramon Segismundo, PBA commissioner Chito Salud and Pasig Rep. Ronnie Puno.