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Monday, July 30, 2007

Camella unveils P2.5-B project

Why is condominium living becoming the popular choice among urbanites? Topping the list of reasons is the overwhelming practicality of settling within your preferred commercial and business district. A condo unit also requires minimal maintenance, remains secured throughout the day as you head out for work, and is only a quick commute to major thoroughfares.

For the career-driven urbanite, living virtually right next door to Makati’s central business and commercial district poses endless benefits. Camella Prestige, the developer of luxuriously appointed, veritable investment residences, recently launched its second major real estate project valued at P2.5 billion, The Laureano di Trevi Towers located in Pasong Tamo, Makati City.

Trevi is expected to follow the success of the company’s pilot vertical project, Pacific Residences. Camella Prestige, a proud member of the country’s largest homebuilder, Vista Land & Lifescapes, is set to meet the increasing demand for high-rise residences with its 3-tower vertical mixed-use (combination of residential and commercial units) development to span over 5,000 square meters of property. Vista Land is the Philippines’ largest homebuilder offering homes for all income segments and catering to different lifestyles across the entire country.

Palafox Associates, the premier architectural, planning and design firm is responsible for the intricate layout of Trevi. The modern architectural style is complemented by an energy-efficient design which utilizes ventilation gratings, sunsheds and heat reflective exterior closures. Each tower is purposefully arranged to enhance natural ventilation and lighting while providing unobstructed views of the Makati skyline and the Manila Bay sunset.

The Trevi Towers is accessible from the north and south via the Sergio Osmeña highway (South Superhighway), and from the east and west via the Antonio Arnaiz Road (Pasay Road). Discover the benefits of residing next door to the country’s premier financial center at Camella Prestige’s The Laureano di Trevi Towers. For inquiries, contact telephone numbers 772-1096 and 850-4682 or log on to www.camellaprestige.com. [source]


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Philippine chicken supply seen to improve in Q3

Chicken supply is expected to improve in the third quarter of this year, once the weather improves and chicken mortality declines, the United Broiler Raisers Association (UBRA) said yesterday.

However, prices are going to be higher as the cost of production inputs such as corn, coco oil and soya are currently high, UBRA president Gregorio San Diego said.

San Diego said the production cost of chicken hovers around P60 per kilo resulting in a farmgate price of P75 per kilo for live weight.

Other poultry industry insiders said there is a need to allow chicken prices to increase by at least P20 reflect the high cost of inputs.

Because of government pressure to keep chicken prices at below P100 per kilo, most chicken growers are not maximizing production. [source]


Monday, July 16, 2007

Philippine healthcare system gets much-needed lift

The state of the national healthcare system is not exactly in the pink of health.

It ranked 60th out of 61 countries polled in terms of healthcare in the 2006 World Competitiveness Survey.

While the healthcare standard of the World Health Organization (WHO) pegs the ideal minimum annual healthcare expenditure for a country at five percent of its gross domestic product (GDP), the Philippines actually spent 2.5 percent of its GDP in 2001 and only one percent in 2006.

While it may be mind-boggling to learn that a large part of the country’s total population has not seen a doctor in their lives yet, it is easy to see why this is so.

Figures show that 45 percent of the country’s medical doctors (MDs) practice in Metro Manila if they are not yet earning dollars abroad or retraining as nurses. Metro Manila has 177 hospitals, including the most modern ones, as against only 14 in Mindanao, accounting much for the concentration of 60 percent of the nation’s public and private hospital beds in Luzon.

Contributing to the woes of the country’s healthcare system is the continuing exodus of Filipino healthcare professionals to greener pastures. According to the Philippine Medical Association, 30 percent of registered Filipino MDs are now practicing in North America.

Still, about 3,000 of them are retraining as nurses to join the ranks of the record number of 100,000 nurses who, according to figures of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, have left the country in the last 10 years. This partly explains, no matter how incredibly it may sound, why still about 40 million Filipinos nowadays have not seen a doctor yet in their lives.

Working with a budget that even WHO describes as substandard, the Department of Health (DOH) admirably makes do with scant resources and thus greatly welcomes any partnership with the private sector that aims at teaching best health practices to the Filipinos or making them self-reliant in the delivery of primary healthcare services.

An outstanding example of this partnership is the ongoing Leaders for Health Program (LHP). A joint undertaking launched in 2002 by the DOH, the Ateneo Graduate School of Business and Pfizer, it has been sending doctors to over 30 very poor municipalities across the country.

The program has also been, with Pfizer’s investment of P60 million in the last four years, educating doctors and local government officials to build a foundation for a sustainable community healthcare system.

Over four years now, the program has, among other gains, caused infant mortality rate to drop to zero percent in most sites. Pneumonia slipped from second to 10th place as a leading cause of death. The high-risk pregnancy rate improved to seven percent from 28 percent. Households’ access to potable water increased up to 960 percent. The number of households with sanitary toilets rose to 62 percent.

Now, Pfizer is all set to replicate the success of LHP in Gawad Kalinga communities under a program aptly called Gawad Kalusugan-Pfizer Community Health Development Program, which involves three critical components — capability-building, health service delivery, and health information system.

Under capability-building, the Pfizer Foundation is tasked to have the health team of Gawad Kalusugan, GK’s health arm, accomplish a masteral degree in public health management from the University of the Philippines and the community health volunteers to undergo training in primary health care and disease prevention as well as an organizational program for them to gain the competencies they need.

The two other components involve providing much-needed services that will eliminate infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and water-borne illnesses, access to PhilHealth’s insurance coverage, and a systematic approach of data gathering on the health condition of each member of the community. [source]


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Good profits in butterfly farming

There’s money in butterfly farming.

This is attested by the Ecosystems Research and Development Service (ERDS)-Region 10 under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

A cost-benefit analysis done by DENR-ERDS-10 indicated that a butterfly raiser can earn a net income of P125,000 per year.

Production cost reaches P91,000 initially spent for a lepiary (butterfly house), fees (permits, etc.), labor, and packaging and transport costs.

After deducting this from the gross income of P216,000, one gets P125,000 as a net income, ERDS-10 computed.

In view of butterfly farming’s potential, the DENR regional unit has been conducting training programs for the benefit of people either on its own or in collaboration with private entities.

Recently, for instance, ERDS-10 and Holcim-Philippines Manufacturing Corp. in Lugait, Misamis Oriental, jointly conducted “Training-Workshop on Butterfly Production, Processing, and Marketing” at the company’s training center in Dalipuga, Iligan City.

The activity was recommended by Danilo Cacanindin, regional technical director (RTD) for ERDS, and approved by Maximo Dichoso, regional executive director (RED) of DENR-Region 10 based in Cagayan de Oro City.

The training-workshop had 30 participants from the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT), People’s Organization (PO) members in Iligan City, members of communities affected by mining operations of Holcim-Philippines, Holcim-accredited contractors, and an environment officer of the firm.

The participants were taught the various butterfly species; their biology; hosts and food plants; breeding and rearing management; processing and packaging; and marketing.

Engr. Julius Baliog, mining safety and community manager of Holcim-Philippines, said the training formed part of the partnership between his company and ERDS-10. Among other things, the company has entrusted the rehabilitation of its degraded mining areas to DENR-ERDS-10.

One of the conservation strategies, in addition to the R&D component, is the setting up of a butterfly lepiary within the plant site to the showcase biodiversity conservation thereat.

“Butterflies are sensitive indicators of a healthy environment,” Baliog pointed out. “The lepiary will serve as a source of pupae and of the adult butterflies as an alternative livelihood for the affected communities within the mining area in this part of the region.”

Source: Philstar.com


Hamilo Coast: new coastal paradise

Surrounded by panoramic views of sloping mountains and cobalt waters, it’s understandable how this picturesque setting could draw guests, tourists and future residents to Hamilo Coast. However, for those who truly want to experience a piece of paradise, then one should try to live and play, the Pico way.

Whether it’s an exhilarating trek along a nature trail, a languid day at the beach or a cool drink at sunset on your veranda, Pico de Loro Cove at Hamilo Coast has the perfect combination of adventure, relaxation and luxury.

Nestled at the heart of SM Investments Corporation’s (SMIC) pioneer eco-tourism project, Hamilo Coast, Pico de Loro Cove is the first of 13 coastal developments that will define a vibrant community via a balanced selection of residential districts, leisure amenities and eco-adventure facilities.

Drawing on a contemporary, tropical design aesthetic, a series of 11, low-impact condominiums that open onto the pristine coastline of Nasugbu will rise at Pico de Loro Cove. Studio units as well as one, two and three bedroom units are available, ensuring residential enclaves ideally suited for urbanites or families seeking weekend getaways. The property; which is within easy driving distance from the city, is currently a two-and-a-half hour drive from Manila and an hour-and-a-half ferry boat ride away from SM Bay City.

Beyond the first-rate accommodations and accessibility, Pico de Loro Cove is set to redefine leisure with its world-class amenities. The variety of recreational choices available in the friendly, down-home atmosphere of the Pico de Loro Beach and Country Club lets you wind down comfortably or indulge in their sports facilities. Coffee shops with al fresco dining areas; sundry shops; infinity pools, kiddie pools and pocket jacuzzis; badminton, tennis and indoor basketball courts; a full-service gym game rooms; a library; and a kiddie club as well as massage services are all part of the exceptional Pico experience.

In addition to the spectacular landscape, Pico de Loro Cove gives future residents and guests a twist to the typical resort experience with The Boardwalk. Providing a venue that allows you to bask in the warmth of friendship and community, Pico de Loro Cove explores a different dimension of the resort lifestyle by offering commercial amenities within a resort setting.

Hamilo Coast is an Eco-Tourism Project of SM Investments Corp. that enlivens a vision of Tourism-Real Estate; a truly-world class development that all Filipinos can be proud of and enjoy for generations to come. For more information, visit www.hamilocoast.com [source]