News: Scottish firm says to make RP manufacturing base for waste-to-energy machines

[Originally sent August 10, 2010 for BusinessMirror newspaper by
Dennis D. Estopace, Reporter. Copyright of BusinessMirror. Photo
courtesy of Nana Nadal, public relations and events management for
Mackay Holdings Inc.]

MACKAY Holdings Inc. said they plan to infuse US$50 million (P2.35
billion) initially to build two to three factories to manufacture its
waste-to-energy turbines.
"The margins are there and there's a huge demand for these types of
technology," chairman and founder James Ronaldson Mackay told
reporters on Tuesday.
Mackay said they plan to export their turbines, which can convert 300
tons of solid waste into 150 tons of fuel pellets, to China and the
Middle East.
He claims executives from the Middle East are coming in to sign a
US$44.4-million contract to purchase the technology.
Terry Brown, president and chief executive of subsidiary Mackay Green
Energy Inc., said they also signed three joint-venture contracts on
Tuesday. One of these contracts, for a 2-megawatt turbine, is worth
US$4.8 million.
Brown explained they are initially considering the Subic Bay Freeport
Zone to build the plants.
He added that the average turbine, outfitted from a Rolls Royce jet
engine, with a 250-kilowatt per hour power, would be imported from
Australia. The 2-MW turbine would be shipped from the United States.
The first turbine's already arrived, according to Brown.
He added that the first turbine manufactured in the Philippines is
expected to be finished by early or mid-October this year.
"Between now and October, we're qualifying the contractors and
sub-contractors for the plants," Brown said.
He explained that a 250-kwh turbine, the smallest unit, can power
1,200 rural homes.
"It's portable and can be placed anywhere. However, we don't plan to
place it at the end of a 300-meter transmission line."
He added that a unit can be online after six months.
Mackay said that the equipment will be sold mainly to cooperatives or
local power distributors.
He added they already signed a 25-year joint venture contract with the
Baguio City government to install one machine.
Brown and Mackay said they're not worried of the supply of solid waste
that a 250-kwh unit will burn at 1,900 degrees centigrade.
Brown said they estimate that Metro Manila alone produces 10,000 tons
of solid waste a day.
"I'll be long gone before zero-waste happens," Mackay said.
Still, the turbine may need replacement after 15 years, he said.
Mackay estimates the global green energy market is valued at $48 billion.
Mackay Holdings is a privately-held company that has interests in the
properties, green energy, construction plant and equipment services,
and life sciences business.

For each child that's born

[Song credited to Ysaye Barnwell]

1. For each child that's born
A morning star rises
And sings to the universe
Who we are (2x)

2. We are our grandmothers' prayers
We are our grandfathers' dreamings
We are breath of the ancestors
We are the spirit of God

3. We are mothers of courage
And fathers of time
Daughters of dust
The sons of great visions we're
Sisters of mercy
And brothers of love
Lovers of life
The builders of nation we're
Seekers of truth
And keepers of faith
Makers of peace
Wisdom of ages.

Repeat #2

Uncanny Pinoys: [Mobile Photo] Rules 2

[Sign inside a Metrorail station toilet asking users not to use the
basin to wash their feet. Apparently, some do.]

Uncanny Pinoys: [Mobile Photo] Rules

[Photos of a poster containing rules for using a toilet of an
establishment in Quiapo, Manila. Honesty's the best policy.]

Uncanny Pinoys: [Mobile Photo] Steel Man

[Sign says "Wanted Steel Man." Taken after covering a real estate
firm's stockholders' meeting in Quezon City. The project must really
be in need of a man of steel.]

News: Mackay brings breast cancer tests to rural RP villages

[submitted to BusinessMirror Aug 10 for Aug 11, 2010]

Written by: Dennis D. Estopace, Reporter /
[535 words / 2,775 characters (spaces not counted)/ 3,290 characters
(spaces counted)]
[pack reporting-based / document-based]

NEW Philippine investor Mackay Holdings Inc. said it plans to bring
breast cancer detection to the masses by marketing its patented
electro-senagram (ESG) machine.

Company chair and founder James Mackay told reporters on Tuesday that
their patented technology competes against the mammogram machines
installed in hospitals that are either far from provinces or charge
fees ruralfolks can't afford.

"Where I come from [Scotland], the hospitals are 200 miles from our
town. You can imagine the distance it takes for health to reach common

Mackay claims that their machine is not only affordable at less than
under US$30,000 (approximately P1,410,000) each, it is also portable
and non-evasive.

"When you get a mammogram, you get radiation, so if it's not cancer,
it might be afterwards. This one has no radiation, no pain, requires
no hospital," that is even few and far between in the Philippines.

Mackay said that the first buyer they had is the Quezon City
government under then-Mayor Feliciano Belmonte who offered free breast
detection to employees using the ESG machine.

However, Mackay said the company is meeting a "lot of resistance" from
hospitals in the Philippines in the market for their equipment.

Hospitals won't like to hear of us because they bought old mamogram
machines they haven't milked profits from, he added.

Hence, Mackay said they're trying to sell their machines to local
government units or enter in a joint-venture with local village-based

According to chief executive Terry Macdonald, the machine also offers
recurring income for doctors because they need to replace sensors. But
he claims the cost is only at US$25 per patient.

The outright purchase can be recouped by 20,000 patients, he added.

Macdonald said they are not competing head on with major hospitals but
only "giving alternative options" to Filipino women above 15 years old
who may have to check for breast cancer susceptibility.

According to the Department of Health, breast cancer has overtaken
lung cancer as the most common illness in terms of incidence in Metro
Manila and Rizal.

The DOH said in a statement that breast cancer led the top ten cancer
sites for both sexes.

Citing World Health Organization data, a Mackay presentation said that
deaths from cancer worldwide are projected to continue rising, with an
estimated 12 million annual deaths by 2030.

"Breast cancer is the most common malignancy in women and the second
leading cause of cancer death. Breast cancer diagnostics represents a
US$6-billion global market," the company's presentation added.

"In Europe and the West, they spend so much money on very expensive
technology but only a few can get the test," Mackay said adding that
with their technology, they aim to lower cost and extract high volume
of users.

"Early detection –and that's the case fro most cancers, will save so
much money. You cut down the burden on government and on insurance
companies. Ultimately, you help the government, the health system."

Mackay Holdings secured the technology after it purchased last year
Biofield Inc., which it renamed MacKay Life Sciences Inc.

Mackay's story goes that the company was offered to him by a doctor
from mainland China who eventually died of liver cancer but wanted to
bring breast cancer detection "to the masses."


[Sent by email from friend at the Ateneo Alumnia Association]
"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire." –Winston Churchill
"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure." –Clarence Darrow
"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary." –William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)
"Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?" –Ernest Hemingway (about William Faulkner)
"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it." –Groucho Marx
"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it." –Mark Twain
"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends." –Oscar Wilde
"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend... if you have one." –George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill
"Cannot possibly attend first night; will attend second, if there is one." –Winston Churchill's response to George Bernard Shaw
"I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you here." –Stephen Bishop
"He is a self-made man and worships his creator." –John Bright
"I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial." –Irvin S. Cobb
"He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others." –Samuel Johnson
"He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up." –Paul Keating
"He had delusions of adequacy." –Walter Kerr
"Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?" –Mark Twain
"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork." –Mae West
"Winston, if you were my husband, I would poison your coffee!" –Lady Astor to Winston Churchill at a dinner party
"Madam, if I were your husband, I would drink it!" –Winston Churchill's response to Lady Astor
"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it." –Moses Hadas
"There's nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won't cure." –Jack E. Leonard
"He has the attention span of a lightning bolt." –Robert Redford
"They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge." –Thomas Brackett Reed
"He inherited some good instincts from his Quaker forebears, but by diligent hard work, he overcame them." –James Reston (about Richard Nixon)
"In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily." –Charles, Count Talleyrand
"He loves nature in spite of what it did to him." –Forrest Tucker
"He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any one I know." –Abraham Lincoln
"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts – for support rather than illumination." –Andrew Lang (1844-1912)
"He has Van Gogh's ear for music." –Billy Wilder
"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go." –Oscar Wilde
"You, Mr. Wilkes, will die either of the pox or on the gallows." –The Earl of Sandwich
"That depends, my lord, whether I embrace your mistress or your principles." –John Wilkes's response to The Earl of Sandwich
"A modest little person, with much to be modest about." –Winston Churchill 

Legacy of Hope and Triumph


About the book


FOR eight decades, a rare breed of Fipino women passed the torch of enlightenment and empowerment to cast away the darkness of social despair, economic inequity, and political incapacity, which centuries of colonial masters brought in this part of the world. Slivers of light gave hope to indigenous women struck down from their lofty place in tribes, to señoras and señoritas hobbled from pursuing university education, and to all women displaced in the electoral process.


This book chronicles the passing of the torch held above the shoulders of the leaders and members of the National Filipino Women's Club of the Philippines. This book shines the light on the lives, loves, losses and liberation the clubwomen as they searched in every nook and cranny for their rightful place in history.


Such women are Josefa Llanes Escoda and Mrs. Trinidad Legarda, shown in this book's cover photo marching with the Girl Scouts of the Philippines, a platform for women's development they helped organize and lead.


Pepa, as Mrs. Escoda wanted people to call her, embodied the clubwomen's quintessential leadership: having the humility to serve even at the cost of having the light of life flicker away. Legarda, the first woman president of the Manila Symphony Orchestra, personified the power of music to heal and bring forth a country from the ashes of war.


Both, like the Girl Scouts marching behind them, had chins up, heads held high, confident of their future and at peace with their past. Still, they mirror the sophisticated bearing of leaders.


There are many of them in this book; women who were confident of their self and their multi-faceted roles when the times called for bravery and selflessness, in times of struggle against servitude and self-determination.


Their images and their roles are scattered across this book, divided into significant points of Philippine history.


Part One bares the seed of hope and its planting on soil drenched by the blood of heroes. Part Two reveals the clubwomen's quest for servant leadership. Part Three covers the triumphs and travails of clubwomen as history marched on.


This book, hence, is as much a story of the National Federation of Women's Club of the Philippines as it is a compilation of stories of the hopes and triumphs of Filipino women shaping a nation.
About the Book designer


Media Wise Communications Inc./MUSE Books is recognized for its expertise and professionalism in publishing for more than thirty years through arts, travel, and culture Muse Magazine.


Led by impressionist painter Ramoncito Ocampo Cruz, Media Wise also shared with readers the sophistication and elegance of Philippine culture and arts through "150: The Ateneo Way," a coffee table book celebrating the sesquicentennial of the Ateneo de Manila University.


This seminal book gave Media Wise its latest in a string of awards,


Flagship product Muse magazine also reaped a special citation from the Catholic Mass Media Awards in 2008.


That same year, the magazine was recognized by the International Association of Business Communicators during the Philippine Quill Awards under the communication creative division-publication design category.


Pursuits, a magazine created, designed and published for the Insular Life Group of Companies by Media Wise was also given a Philippine Quill Award under the communication skills division-publications category.


Media Wise Communications Inc./MUSE Books also won the 2001 Anvil Award of Merit for best annual report for the De La Salle University System's President's Report. In 2005, Media Wise Communications Inc./MUSE Books won another Anvil Award of Merit (Institutional and Corporate Programs Category -Public Affairs Management & Communications, Arts & Culture) for its work on the Department of Tourism's Biyaheng Sinko-Sinko.


For leading Media Wise Communications Inc./MUSE Books, chief executive Ramoncito Ocampo Cruz was recognized in 2003 by the Consumer League of the Philippines Foundation (CONPHIL) as Filipino Role Model of the Year for Arts and Culture.


News: Abu Sayyaf

[Statement of United States Department of Justice]


Founding Member of Abu Sayyaf Group Pleads Guilty to 1995 Hostage Taking Involving US and Philippine Citizens


WASHINGTON, July 28 -- The Justice Department announced that Madhatta Haipe, a citizen of the Philippines and founding member of Al-Harakat Al-Islamiyyah, also known as the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), pleaded guilty today in federal court in the District of Columbia to four counts of hostage taking in connection with the 1995 abduction of 16 people, including four US citizens, in the Philippines. The guilty plea was announced by David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; Ronald C. Machen Jr., U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia; and Charlene B. Thornton, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Honolulu Field Office.

            According to the factual proffer in support of the guilty plea, to which Haipe agreed in court, at the time of the hostage taking, Haipe was serving as the General Secretary of the ASG, or second-in-command of the organization, under the Amir. The Amir of the ASG had directed that members of the group engage in kidnappings for ransom in order to raise funds for the group and to raise the public's awareness of the group's purpose. The ASG was subsequently designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the U.S. Secretary of State, and remains so designated today.

            As admitted by Haipe as part of his guilty plea, on Dec. 27, 1995, several armed members of the ASG kidnapped 16 individuals, including four U.S. citizens, one U.S. permanent resident alien, and 11 Philippine citizens, in the rugged area around Trankini Falls, near Lake Sebu, in southern Mindanao, in the Philippines. The hostages, including six children, were forced to march up a mountainside. Some of the adult hostages had rope tied around their hands or neck.

            Haipe informed the hostages that they were being kidnapped for ransom, and he individually questioned some of the hostages to determine the amount of ransom to be demanded. Later that same day, Haipe decided to release four of the 16 hostages to allow them to collect a ransom totaling at least one million Filipino pesos (equivalent to about $38,000 U.S. dollars, at the time). Haipe threatened that if the released hostages told anyone about the kidnapping, then hostages would be killed.

            After releasing the four hostages, Haipe and his group forced the remaining hostages to continue marching up the mountainside to evade capture by the Philippine authorities. Four days later, on December 31, 1995, Haipe and his group released the remaining hostages after a ransom was paid.

            "For roughly 15 years, FBI agents, Justice Department prosecutors and authorities in the Philippines relentlessly pursued this matter on behalf of the victims, who were held hostage and threatened with death by this Abu Sayyaf leader. With today's guilty plea, Mr. Haipe is finally being held accountable for his actions," said David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security.

            "Today's guilty plea sends a clear message –we will never tire in our pursuit of justice for those who seek to harm American citizens, whether at home or abroad," said Ronald C. Machen Jr., United States Attorney for the District of Columbia. "Today's guilty plea demonstrates that there will be serious consequences for those who commit such crimes."

            "The FBI Honolulu Division has investigated this matter in close coordination with the Philippine authorities for approximately 15 years," said Charlene Thornton, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Honolulu. "Through this international cooperation, despite the time and distance, we have managed to bring to justice a defendant who had sought to harm our U.S. citizens abroad."

            Haipe, who is now 48 years old, was indicted for this crime by a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C. in November 2000. In August 2009, he was extradited from the Philippines to face the charges against him. He is now scheduled to be sentenced before Judge Richard Roberts on Dec. 14, 2010. He faces up to life in prison on each of the four counts to which he pleaded guilty. As part of the plea agreement, the government may advocate for a sentence of up to 25 years in prison.

            The Department of Justice and the FBI, working with their partners in the Philippines, have vigorously pursued this case for years. The investigation was conducted by FBI Honolulu Field Office, with substantial assistance from the Philippines Department of Justice, the Philippine National Police, the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs. The Criminal Division's Office of International Affairs and, in particular, Robert Courtney, the U.S. Justice Department's Attache to the Philippines, also provided substantial assistance in this case.

            The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gregg Maisel and Anthony Asuncion of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, as well as Trial Attorney T. J. Reardon, III, of the Counterterrorism Section of the Justice Department's National Security Division.


Source: U.S. Department of Justice, 202-514-2007, WWW.JUSTICE.GOV, TDD 202-514-1888


[Got this from my friends in the Ateneo Alumni Association.]






1.  No window hours: Makati, Malabon and Las Pinas. Number Coding is in effect from 7am to 7pm.

 2.  No number coding: Taguig, Marikina andParanaque. Feel free to roam anytime.

 3.  Pasig City has window hours of 9am to 4pm (note the 1 hour additional to the normal 10-3pm window).  San Juan has window hours now according to MMDA website.

 4. Pasay City is implementing Number Coding except on the following roads: Ninoy Aquino Avenue, MIA Road , Domestic Road , Portions of Airport Road , Sales Road , Tramo.

 5.  EDSA, C5, Pres. Diosdado Macapagal Avenue, Roxas Blvd ( Pasay ) have window hours

 6. For the rest of Metro Manila (Caloocan, Mandaluyong, Manila, Muntinlupa, Navotas, parts of Pasay, Pateros, Quezon City, Taguig, andValenzuela) number coding is in effect (window hours of 10am-3pm is also observed).




1. Call MMDA hotline (136) METRO BASE at  0920 9389861  0920 9389861 or 0920 9389875  0920 9389875 and ask for an Inspectorate. They will send inspectors to the place where these MMDA officers are extorting, even while you are arguing out of your apprehension.

2. MMDA officers are not allowed to group together in order to apprehend. They are not even allowed to stand together in groups of 2 or more. The only time they are allowed to work together is for special operations

3. Swerving IS NOT a traffic violation. Moving one lane to the left or right is not swerving, no matter where on the road you do it. And it is even less of a violation when you do it with a signal. Swerving is defined as shifting 2 or more lanes very quickly. So you can argue your way out of this, and call the Metro Base for help.

4. Using the yellow lane is a traffic violation and will get you a ticket. However, buses are really not allowed to go out of the yellow lane, so if you see selective apprehension of private cars only, you may complain.

5. MMDA has confirmed that your license MAY NOT BE CONFISCATED at a traffic apprehension. The only time they can do so is if you are part of an accident, or it is your third violation and you have not settled your fines yet. They are only allowed to give you a ticket, which you can contest.

5. Also, you are free to ask any of these officers for their "*mission order, which is written by their supervisor. If they apprehend you for a violation that is not in their mission order for the day, you can report them and they will receive disciplinary action.

News: Cascal



Wastewater firm says to go private


CASCAL N.V., which operates a water and wastewater business in the Philippines and seven other countries, announced July 27 from London, United Kingdom, it will go private by October 27, 2010.

The company said its last day of trading of its common shares on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) would be on August 4, 2010.

On August 5, 2010, "the effective date of the delisting, the Company plans to file a Form 15 to deregister its common shares under Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended," the company said.
"Upon the filing of the Form 15, the company's obligation to file certain reports with the [US] Securities and Exchange Commission, including Forms 20-F and 6-K, would immediately be suspended. The Company expects that the deregistration of its common shares would become effective 90 days after the date the Form 15 is filed with the SEC."
Aside from the Philippines, Cascal said it provides services to customers in the UK, South Africa, Indonesia, China, Chile, Panama, and Antigua. It added its customers "are predominantly homes and businesses representing a total population of approximately 4.7 million."

News: Avon

Avon says Philippines cushions softening Japan market

BEAUTY products-seller Avon Products Inc. said the "strong growth" of its Philippines second-quarter 2010 sales of 14 percent (9% in constant dollars) "offset continued softness in Japan."
The company known for its direct selling model through "Avon ladies" said its "over-all Asia Pacific's second-quarter revenue increased 8% year over year, or 1% in constant dollars."
"The region's active representatives and units sold were each up by 3%. Operating profit rose 123% versus the 2009 quarter. The region's operating margin was 11.3% versus 5.5% a year ago. The region's adjusted operating profit rose 9%. Adjusted operating margin was 11.2%, flat versus a year ago."
In a statement dated July 29 from New York, the company said its second-quarter 2010 total revenue hit $2.7 billion, which it said is 8-percent higher than the revenue it reported in the same period last year.
"Constant dollar sales rose 7% as foreign exchange contributed 1 percentage point to growth. Beauty sales in the second quarter of 2010 were up 9% versus the prior-year period, and increased 7% on a constant dollar basis. active representatives grew 5%. Total units and beauty units both rose 1%, and price/mix rose 6%."
The company said it saw its revenue in China plunging to 32% year over year.
"Units sold decreased 46% and active representatives were down 18%. China had an operating loss of $2 million compared with $7 million in profit in last year's second quarter."
Avon blamed its "continued transition away from a hybrid model to one which focuses on direct selling and deemphasizes retail" as having negatively impacted its region?s revenues.