Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Aklan sets auction sale of properties

In News on November 4, 2011 at 2:26 am

BY BOY RYAN B. ZABAL (Aklan Forum)

KALIBO, Aklan – The Aklan provincial government is set to sale a number of real properties through public action on November 18.

By virtue of provision of Section 260 and 263 of Republic Act No. 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991, the Office of the Provincial Treasurer has certified the properties to be delinquent in the payment of realty taxes.

A total of P22.092-million tax due and P12.650-million penalties were accumulated for the past several years for non-payment by property owners.

Some property owners owed the government in back taxes since 1972. Other owners – government banks and private companies also failed to comply their tax obligations, the records showed.

According to the notice, the towns of Kalibo and Buruanga led the municipalities with the most number of lots and machinery for auction with 53 each followed by Altavas with 48, Madalag (47), New Washington (45), Libacao (35), Malay (25), Makato (23), Batan (20), Ibajay (19), Banga (15), Balete and Lezo with five each and the towns of Tangalan and Numancia with four parcels of properties each for auction.

The towns of Nabas and Malinao have no properties for auction based on the notice of sale of delinquent real property issued by the Office of the Provincial Treasurer.

Of the 25 properties for sale in Malay, 20 are located in the island of Boracay. The town of New Washington has the highest unpaid tax due of P4.928-million followed by Altavas with P3.544-million, Batan with P3.396-million, Malay with P2.417-million, Banga with P1.913-million, Libacao with P1.341-million and Kalibo with P1.255-million in back taxes.


Oriental considers Aklan as site for ferronickel and power facilities

In News, Uncategorized on November 2, 2011 at 2:10 am

Oriental considers Aklan as site for ferronickel and power facilities

BY MIGUEL R. CAMUS (Aklan Forum)

Listed Oriental Peninsula Resources Group Inc. (ORE) is studying Aklan province in Western Visayas as a possible location for its proposed ferronickel plant and coal-fired power plant.

 In a recent interview, ORE Vice President for administration Ferdinand Pallera said the mining company is proposing to establish the facilities in Aklan, citing its strategic location in terms of logistics.

“The business models we are conceptualizing are appropriate to Aklan,” Pallera said. He clarified that ORE is also eyeing other locations, including mainland China. He said the company may tap Chinese partners to build the facilities.

ORE Chairman and President Caroline Tanchay said in September the company expects to invest up to $300 million for the power and nickel processing facilities.

ORE currently owns two nickel mines in Palawan through subsidiary Citinickel Mines and Development Corp.

Citinickel started operations at its mine in Española, Palawan during the third quarter and commenced operations at its Narra site in March.

The company plans to end the year with 23 nickel ore shipments to its Chinese and Australian clients said Pallera, who also serves as Citinickel president. He said the company will ship 2.4 million tons of nickel ore in 2012, roughly double its output this year.

ORE reported earlier that net income in the three months to June jumped to P280.38 million, reversing a net loss of P8.73 million in the same period last year, while revenues amounted to P506.33 million. Gross mining revenue stood at P312.91 million as production costs hit P193.42 million.

The miner did not book mining revenues last year as it only started commercial operations toward the end of the first quarter of 2011.  ORE shares added 1.27 percent to P3.99 each on Friday’s trading.

For more information about Boracay, including accommodations, tours, activities and loads of insider tips, contact your local connection: Helen and the Go Discover team at

In Boracay, tricycle rides to turn quiet

In News on October 12, 2011 at 2:40 am

In Boracay, tricycle rides to turn quiet

BY NESTOR P. BURGOS, JR / The Philippine Daily Inquirer

While tourists best remember Boracay for its white sand beach and clear, shallow waters, they’re also not likely to forget its noisy and smoke-belching tricycles, the resort island’s main mode of transportation.

Things are likely to change soon, although tricycles would remain to be Boracay’s kings of the road.

The town council of Malay, Aklan, passed a resolution promoting a shift to the mode of transportation on the island from petroleum- to electric-powered tricycles.

The resolution, passed by the council unanimously on September 20, expressed support for the project of the Department of Energy and Asian Development Bank to finance a program that would supply electric tricycles nationwide.

The Malay council hopes to ride on this project, which would supply electric tricycles to one of the Philippines’ top tourist destination.

Electric tricycles, which would cost P200,000 to P250,000 per unit, would replace at least 507 registered units of petroleum-fueled tricycles that have been the main mode of transportation on the 1,032-hectare island for years.

If plans push through, electric tricycles would be made available and paid through amortization by the local government unit and tricycle drivers. In two years, the council hopes to banish petroleum-fueled three-wheeled vehicles in Boracay.

The number of registered motor vehicles in Boracay has more than tripled from 553 in 2004 to 1,861 in 2007. Most of these (1,486 or 79.84 percent) are motorcycles using two-stroke engines, according to the DENR Boracay environmental master plan.

For more information about Boracay, including accommodations, tours, activities and loads of insider tips, contact your local connection: Helen and the Go Discover team at <a href="http://Boracay”>

DMCI Holdings nixes plan to expand Boracay condo

In News on September 22, 2011 at 2:32 am

DMCI Holdings nixes plan to expand Boracay condo


Consunji-led DMCI Holdings, Inc. will no longer expand its condominium-hotel in Boracay, marking another decision to scale back corporate plans after earlier shelving a subsidiary’s listing debut.

The decision comes amid expectations that the conglomerate will post weak results for the second semester, an official said.Victor S. Limlingan, DMCI Holdings managing director, said the company would not be expanding Alta Vista de Boracay in the famous tourist destination as the company realized that tourism is not its expertise.

“It’s one of our mistakes. It’s already there but we felt that we are not good in tourism,” he said in a chance interview late last week.Mr. Limlingan clarified, however, that the project is doing well.“We are starting to operate it. It is turning around. We are lucky that it is in Boracay Island so there’s no problem. But we decided that it is not our field of expertise,” he said.

Construction of Alta Vista de Boracay started in 2006 and it was completed in 2009. The P5-billion project stands at a four-hectare property and has 17 buildings with three storeys each. Each building has 30 units, or 10 units per floor.

Mr. Limlingan said that second-semester performance of the company might not deliver a significant growth over year-ago levels. He, however, said that the company is projected to grow by 10%-15% for the whole year of 2011.“Our properties are okay. The one we are disappointed is in our infrastructure…” he said.“[But for full year,] I think 15% growth. That is through high price of coal, we maintained it. We also increased our production of power,” he added.

DMCI Holdings has so far notched P5.3 billion in net income for the first half, up 26% from year-ago levels.Earlier, the firm had announced it was shelving the initial public offering planned by subsidiary DMCI Homes, Inc. Officials had said it is easier to borrow from banks.

Already, DMCI Homes has secured some P5 billion from lenders in January.

Mr. Limlingan added that the decision to shelve the listing debut was also due to concerns over its impact on the holding company.

“One of our independent directors said it might affect the holding company because it will sell at a bigger discount. Since we really don’t need to list, we decided to postpone the decision,” he said.

For more information about Boracay, including accommodations, tours, activities and loads of insider tips, contact your local connection: Helen and the Go Discover team at


Manila Water seals P500M loan for Boracay project

In News on September 4, 2011 at 2:06 am

Manila Water seals P500M loan for Boracay project

Aklan Forum: Manila Water Co. said it has closed a P500 million loan for the financing of its capital expenditure program for its Boracay water concession.
The company said unit Boracay Water Co. Inc tapped the Philippine Water Revolving Fund (PWRF) of the Development Bank of the Philippines for the loan.
The PWRF is a collaborative undertaking of the Philippine government, the US Agency for International Development and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to address the need to mobilize additional and sustainable resources to meet the country’s Millennium Development Goals.
This deal is the first and the biggest loan provided by the PWRF to a private company from the water sector.
Manila Water said that the loan will provide it with the necessary financial support and flexibility to support key projects such as network improvement and expansion to achieve 100 percent water coverage by 2014 and 100 percent sewerage coverage by 2018.
Since taking over the island’s water and wastewater operations on Jan. 1, 2010, Boracay Water has brought down water losses significantly from 37 percent to 24 percent and increased water pressure from 15 psi to an average of 30 psi, resulting in the provision of water supply 24 hours a day, seven days a week to 96 percent of the island’s population.
Recently, Boracay Water upgraded the island’s Sewage Treatment Plant to boost wastewater treatment capacity by 250 percent (from 2.6 million liters per day to 6.5 million liters per day.)
This has allowed the company to achieve environmental compliance four years ahead of the concession target, effectively reversing the island’s water pollution challenges. Since the STP upgrade, the treated water released from the facility to Balabag beach has been safe for swimming and aquatic life.

For more information about Boracay, including accommodations, tours, activities and loads of insider tips, contact your local connection: Helen and the Go Discover team at

44 teams join the Boracay International Dragonboat Festival

In News on April 18, 2011 at 8:39 am

(Manila Bulletin) — The world’s top rowers test their limits once more when the American Tourister-Boracay International Dragonboat Festival, now on its fifth edition, paddles off April 28 to 30 in Boracay.

Eighteen to 20 paddlers rowing together to the beat of the drum on a long canoe comprise each team that will vie in the event set at the beachfront of the Boracay Regency Beach Resort and Convention Center.

A record number of 44 teams have so far confirmed their participation, making this year’s event the biggest in five years.

Nenette Aguirre Graf of the organizing Boracay Island Paddlers Association, said they are expecting 1,000 rowers to see action in the event, which will be officiated by the Dragon Boat Federation of the Philippines and will feature two main races – 300- and 500-meter. These divisions will be split into three categories: Men’s, Women’s and Mixed.

Among the teams competing are International Pink Sisters (USA), Dragons of North America, Filipino Dragons (Singapore), Sydney Fire Dragons, The Royal X-Team (Hong Kong), The Philippine Army Dragon Boat Team, Onslaught Racing Dragons, Triton Dragon Boat Racing Team, Manila Wave Club, Boracay All Stars, Boracay Bombshells, Boracay Guardians and Guardians of Bumshells.

Touted as the biggest water sports event in the country, the event is presented by the Department of Tourism (DoT) while the title-sponsor is American Tourister, an internationally-known American brand of suitcase which started as a small venture in 1993 in Rhode Island.

Partner Airlines are SEAir and Zestair while major sponsors are Boracay Regency, Boracay Beach Resort, Knot Just Weddings, Nami, Boracay Realty, Hawaiian Tropic, Standard Insurance, Shangri-La Boracay Resort and Spa, BFI, One White Beach, San Miguel Beer, Fairways and Bluewater, Pioneer Marine Epoxy, The Windsurfing Shop, Golden Bamboo by Tesoros, Schick and Wet Ones.

More than 3,000 spectators are expected to converge daily to watch the races as the rowers fiercely paddles for the gold in a spectacular show of teamwork, camaraderie, strength and power.

The event kicks off with the parade of teams and the opening ceremony with the traditional dotting of the eye of the dragon by the title sponsor and guests of honor, introduction of participating teams followed by cocktails and music. It will culminate with a night party on April 30.

Dragon boat racing started in China some 2,500 years ago and is considered one of the emerging sports in the world.

For more information about Boracay, including accommodations, tours, activities and loads of insider tips, contact your local connection: Helen and the Go Discover team at

World-class Boracay sewage facility inaugurated

In News on April 13, 2011 at 2:19 am

THE sustainability of the ecosystem of the island resort of Boracay, one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations, is now assured with the inauguration of the Boracay Island Water Co.’s world-class wastewater treatment facility.

The inauguration was led by Rep. Florencio T. Miraflores of the lone district of Aklan, Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority general manager Mark Lapid, Malay Mayor John Yap as well as officials of the Boracay Island Water and Manila Water Company led by Manila Water president and CEO Gerry Ablaza Jr.

Miraflores congratulated and thanked Boracay Island Water for taking the challenge of managing the difficult environment in the island and successfully implementing the P78 million project, commending Manila Water for solving the long-standing water and wastewater problem in Boracay in what he said is another successful public-private sector partnership.

Lapid said the inauguration of the Boracay Island Water STP is a “significant step” in protecting Boracay’s rich environment. The new facility, he said, validates the important contribution of the private sector in the operation of water and wastewater systems and in ensuring the economic and environmental viability of Boracay in the coming years as a top tourist destination for the country.

Boracay Island Water chief operating officer Melvin John Tan said the newly-refurbished treatment plant ensures a significantly better wastewater effluent quality in the island.

“We have upgraded the treatment capacity of the wastewater facility by 250 percent, raising it from 2.6 million liters per day to 6.5 MLD to maintain the environmental sustainability of the island in anticipation of the growing number of tourists that flock to the island,” Tan said. Last year, Boracay saw an estimated 780,000 tourists and the number is expected to top one million by 2016, according to Tan.

Ablaza stressed that Manila Water and its subsidiary remain committed to fulfilling their mandate in Boracay in providing reliable and quality water and efficient wastewater treatment. He said that the operation of the world-class wastewater treatment facility, which is located in Barangay Balabag is an important milestone in the development plan for the island resort.

On top of its wastewater function, Boracay Island Water is also improving the island’s water supply. After only a year in operation, the company has increased 24-hour water availability from 60 percent to 96 percent of the population and reduced water loss from 40 percent to 29 percent. Water pressure has also increased from an average of 15 pounds per square inch to 30 PSI.

Boracay Island Water was created in 2009 as a joint venture company between Manila Water and the Philippine Tourism Authority, now TIEZA, with the goal of ensuring the implementation of a comprehensive infrastructure program that would provide 100 percent water supply and sewerage coverage to the entire island of Boracay.

For more information about Boracay, including accommodations, tours, activities and loads of insider tips, contact your local connection: Helen and the Go Discover team at



Rachel Alejandro ties the knot with Spanish boyfriend Carlos Santamaria

In News on April 12, 2011 at 6:26 am

Last Saturday, April 9, Rachel Alejandro exchanged vows with her Spanish boyfriend Carlos Santamaria. The afternoon ceremony was held at Shangri-La Resort in Boracay, according to an article written by director Bobby Garcia for the Philippine Star.

The Filipina singer and the Spanish reporter got married in a ceremony officiated by the mayor of Boracay.

Geneva Cruz, Rachel’s best friend, was the maid of honor; while Ricky Rivero, one of Rachel’s closest friends since That’s Entertainment days, served as the best man.

Meanwhile, Girlie Rodis and Bobby Garcia served as the couple’s principal sponsors.

For their honeymoon, Rachel and Carlos will be going to the Indian Ocean islands of the Maldives.

When she returns, Rachel will be part of the pop-rock musical Aida where she will play a character named Princess Amneris.

In a previous interview, Rachel mentioned that she and Carlos are planning to have a second wedding ceremony in Spain.


Philippines tops Google’s worldwide “resorts” search list

In News on April 11, 2011 at 12:42 pm

(PDI) MANILA, Philippines—With the summer season now in full swing, the Philippines has ranked on top of a list of “resorts” that people all over the world look for on, the search-engine giant said in a statement.

The country also made it to the Top 10 of three different lists related to the words’ “vacation,” “summer” and “beach,” results of Google’s summer “Zeitgeist” showed.

The company’s “Zeitgeist,” which translates to “spirit of the times” in German, is a measure of the most-searched terms on, the world’s leading search engine.

“In our tropical country where vacations in beaches or resorts can be pursued all year round and weekend trips to nearby pools or beaches is the local norm, the Philippines’ ranking … does not come as a surprise at all,” the company said in a statement.

“With this much love for summer vacation in beaches and resorts, Google looks into the most popular local destinations for the first quarter of this year,” the company said.

Trailing the Philippines in the resorts list were Fiji, South Africa, India, Singapore, the United States, Trinidad and Tobago, Iraq, Canada and Namibia.

On the list of summer-related searches, the Philippines placed sixth. On vacation searches, the Philippines ranked ninth, and on searches involving the beach, the country was in fifth place.

On all of the lists, the Philippines was the highest-ranked country from Asia.

The results also showed that Coron, Palawan, which features pristine white-sand beaches and is largely undeveloped compared with Boracay, was ranked the fastest-growing local destination searched on Google.

Coron started to gain popularity ever since Banyan Tree Holdings announced plans to develop Diwaran Island in the area as the single largest integrated island resort in all Asia by 2012.

“The island paradise is popular for being a great shipwreck diving spot as well as for its therapeutic Maquinit Health Springs,” Google said in a statement.

Behind Coron was the town of Sagada in Mountain Province, about 275 kilometers north of Manila. Completing the Top 10 list of fastest-rising local destinations were Laguna, Pagudpud, Boracay, Bohol, Puerto Princesa, Tagaytay, Camarines Sur and Baguio.

“Compared with the 2010 Summer Zeitgeist, which was dominated by beaches, this year’s list shows Filipinos seeking destinations other than sand and sea,” the company said.

Google said there was a notable decrease in searches on “beach” and “resorts” during the first quarter of this year compared with last year.

This may be connected with the late onset of summer this year, and an increasing trend around visiting more historical sites that do not involve being in the water to cool off.

“In 2010, the country experienced an unusually hot summer, with temperature hitting 39 degrees centigrade, prompting Pinoys to seek the water in unusually high numbers,” Google pointed out.

Tourism has been tagged by the government as one of the major drivers for economic development, especially in the countryside.

The government has set a target of doubling the number of tourists visiting the Philippines from over three million in 2010 to six million by 2016.

The government is focusing on eliminating infrastructure bottlenecks, allowing more foreign airlines to fly to the country, and aggressive marketing to achieve this goal.

For more information about Boracay, including accommodations, tours, activities and loads of insider tips, contact your local connection: Helen and the Go Discover team at

Boracay land probe, DENR investigating irregularities

In News on April 11, 2011 at 2:40 am
Another development over the weekend on the issue of the Boracay Land Probe has resurfaced when Bayan Muna Representative Teodoro Casiño called on the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to spare no one in the investigation on alleged irregularities in the titling of land on Boracay Island.

Casiño also called on the DENR to expand its investigation on the titling of properties in other tourist destinations where the same issue may have found its roots and spawned a quagmire of invalid titles.

During the recent Annual General Membership Meeting of the Boracay Foundation Inc. (BFI) The DENR Community and Environment and Natural Resource Officer (CENRO) spoke about the move of DENR to thoroughly conduct an investigation on irregularities involving its personnel in the issuance of 31 homestead patents covering 9.7 hectares to 21 land title applicants on the 1,032-hectare island-resort.

The titles, which were registered with provincial registry of deeds, were issued between Nov. 13, 2009, and Dec. 8, 2010.

Most titles were believed to be invalid because the properties were misdeclared as agricultural farmland instead of commercial or residential.