Archive for April 13th, 2012

DFA statement on the failed rocket launch of North Korea, April 13, 2012

Statement of the Department of Foreign Affairs:

On the failed rocket launch of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) proceeded early today with its planned launch of a long-range rocket in defiance of United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolutions 1695 (2006), 1874 (2009) and 1718 (2006), and in the face of overwhelming calls by the international community for desistance from such a threatening and provocative act. For these reasons, the Philippines deplores the launch, notwithstanding its failure.

The DPRK should reconsider its current path of isolation from the international community. The Philippines strongly urges the DPRK to desist from acts of provocation and to end its use or testing of ballistic missile technology. The DPRK should abide by the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions and abandon all existing weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner.

The Philippines reiterates its readiness to work with international partners in the effort to ensure peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula. 🙄

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How many are we?

From a total of 76.52 million listed in the May 2000 census, the total population of the Philippines increased by 15.8 million or by 12.6 percent to 92.34 million after 10 years as shown by the result of the last May 2010 Census. This is lower by 1.67 million than the 94.01 million projected (medium assumption) based on the 2000 count. The 15.8 million additional people represent a 1.9-percent annual compound increase, which is also lower than the 2.34 percent annual increase recorded from 1990 to 2000.

Among the 17 regions in the country, CALABARZON (Region IV-A), comprising Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon provinces had the largest population with 12.61 million. Closely following were the National Capital Region (NCR) with 11.86 million and Central Luzon (Region III) with 10.14 million. Together, these three regions accounted for more than one-third (37.47 percent) of the Philippine population.

Among the provinces, Cavite had the largest population with 3.09 million. Bulacan was next with 2.92 million and Pangasinan third with 2.78 million. Next in order were Laguna (2.67 million); Cebu, excluding its three highly urbanized cities Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, and Mandaue City (2.62 million); Rizal (2.48 million); Negros Occidental, excluding Bacolod City (2.40 million); Batangas (2.38 million) and Pampanga, excluding Angeles City (2.01 million).

The smallest provinces with a population of less than 100,000 persons were Batanes (16,604), Camiguin (83,807), and Siquijor (91,066).

Region VII or the Central Visayas Region where Cebu is registered a total of 6.8 million persons in residence. This was equivalent only to 7.36 percent of the total for the country.

The province of Cebu (excluding the three highly urbanized cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue) accounted for the biggest share of 2,619,362 or 38.52 percent of the total population of the Central Visayas Region. Negros Oriental was next with 1,286,666 or 18.92 percent of the total, followed by Bohol with 1,225,128 or 18.46 percent and Siquijor with 91,066 or 1.34 percent. The highly urbanized cities of the region accounted for the remaining 1,547,958 or 22.76 percent, with Cebu City getting 866,171 or 12.74 percent, Lapu-Lapu City with 350,467 or 5.15 percent, and Mandaue City with 333,380 or 4.87 percent.

The population of the Central Visayas Region grew annually at a slower rate than the whole nation at 1.77 percent from 2000 to 2010. It grew by 2.19 percent annually from 1990 to 2000 which gave an average of 1.98 percent overall annually in 20 years from 1990 to 2010.

Among the four provinces in Central Visayas, the province of Cebu (excluding its three highly urbanized cities) experienced the fastest annual growth from 2000 to 2010 with 1.94 percent, followed by Negros Oriental with 1.31 percent, Siquijor with 1.10 percent and Bohol with 0.97 percent. As a group the three highly urbanized cities in the region grew by 2.62 percent annually in the same period with Lapu-Lapu City leading at 4.03 percent, followed by Mandaue City with 3.72 percent. Cebu City grew only by 1.88 percent.

It can be noted that the annual growth rate of Cebu City was lower from 1990 to 2000 at 1.65 percent while that of Lapu-Lapu City and Mandaue City were much faster at 4.03 percent and 3.72 percent, respectively.

In Cebu City, the biggest concentration of population was found in barangays Guadalupe and Tisa with 60,400 and 35,600, respectively, followed by Lahug with 35,157, Basak-San Nicolas with 34,313, Mambaling with 32,162 and Labangon with 31,643. These are the places where I cannot afford to lose if I were to run for a position in the city.

It can be noted also that the 2010 combined population of the first two biggest barangays in Cebu City (95,557), which are run only by three barangay captains, surpassed the total population of Siquijor (91,066) which is run by more than 100 barangay captains, six municipal mayors, a governor and one who represent the island in Congress. What a waste of money there.

If the population of the country will continue to grow at the same rate, it will only take another 36 years from 2010 or in 2046 double to 184 million. For the region the doubling period is a longer at 39 years. It is much shorter for the province of Cebu at 36 years, which grows at about the same rate as the nation. Among the three highly urbanized cities, it is much shorter to double the population in Lapu-Lapu City with 17 years and Mandaue City with 28 years but it is much longer in Cebu City at 37 years.

The HSBC study shows that with the country going in the right track with its reform, it can become the sixteenth-largest economy in the world in terms of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), up 27 places from today. That may be true but what really matters is what the country can provide for its people. In the same study, the country’s per capita GDP is placed at number 83 today. It will only be at number 72 in 2050 after allowing for the economy to grow the fastest in the world as considered in the study. 🙄

Department of Tourism urges community to follow whale shark interaction guidelines

The Department of Tourism (DOT) stresses the need to conduct awareness training on whale shark interaction and marine conservation for local government units (LGUs) and communities in parts of the Philippines where whale sharks frequent.

Tourism Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. urges the public to follow the laws and guidelines set by LGUs for whale shark interaction.

“Tourism should coexist with the protection and conservation of these marine animals. We need to heighten people’s awareness and capacitate the community to effectively manage the interaction, so that it will not cause undue harm or disturbance to the normal behavior of the sharks,” said Jimenez.

“The guidelines are there to be enforced, not only for the stakeholders to protect [their] principal natural attraction, but also to raise awareness on marine conservation issues,” he added.

The photo of a girl riding a whale shark along the shoreline of Barangay Granada, Boljoon, Cebu prompted DOT Region VII Director Rowena Montecillo to meet with Mayor Teresita Celis, who confirmed the unfortunate incident.

The local executive narrated that the whale shark was trapped in the net of local fishermen. It was brought near the shore because the fishermen had difficulty in freeing the creature while in deeper waters. Those involved in the incident were already reprimanded and warned of being penalized if caught again.

The whale shark was later released into the open sea.

“Director Montecillo also met with the local community and got their support and willingness to undergo training. The DOT is committed to assist in preparing communities to be systematic and responsible in harnessing this livelihood opportunity,” Tourism Undersecretary Maria Victoria V. Jasmin said.

“We have also dialogued with Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Regional Director Andres Bojos, who agreed to partner with us in conducting an Awareness Caravan in May during the Month of the Ocean aimed at raising awareness on marine protection and conservation, and promoting a culture of tourism,” said Director Montecillo.

The DOT is part of the technical working group, created by Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia, which is in charge of formulating guidelines and monitoring systems to ensure that this tourism opportunity remains a boon to the communities. Measures are also being undertaken to conduct further research on the migratory pattern of the whale sharks. 🙄