20th China-ASEAN Expo hosted in Vientiane

The 20th China-ASEAN Expo and China’s Guangxi Export Fair are being held at Lao-ITECC, Vientiane between April 24 and 26.

Chinese Ambassador to Laos Jiang Zai Dong, representatives from international organizations, public and private sector and entrepreneurs from Laos, China and Thailand participated in the opening session of the two events.

The events have drawn 235 booths representing 175 companies, selling and displaying a variety of products from Laos, China and Thailand including electrical appliances, machinery, food, beverage, agri products, industrial products, clean energy innovations, medical equipment, construction equipment, among others, according to Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce Chansouk Sengphachanh.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce Mrs Chansouk Sengphachanh said, “The China-ASEAN Expo is attached importance by Chinese and ASEAN leaders. It is also a forum of comprehensive cooperation between public, business and people to people exchange which plays a key role in promoting trade and investment, tourism thus realizing China-ASEAN Free Trade Area.

Laos’ first participation in China-ASEAN Expo dates back to 2004, when Nanning (China) hosted the event. Annually, senior leaders of the Lao PDR lead a delegation, accompanied by producers of competitive products, in attending the expo.

“I do hope that this exhibition will be an important arena, creating the opportunity of market exchange for Lao and Chinese businesses to secure partnerships, markets, and sign partnership deals thus enhancing and promoting cooperation on economy, trade, investment, tourism between the two countries,” said the deputy minister.

Highlighting the importance of inclusive China-ASEAN Expo, Mrs Wei Zhaohui, Secretary General, China-ASEAN Expo Secretariat, pledged to deepen the exchange and cooperation between Laos and China as well as between China and other ASEAN member countries and to help Lao products including hand-carved wood, beer, furniture, coffee, rice better access major markets.

Source: Lao News Agency

PAF, US aircraft do a ‘Top Gun’ as part of ‘Balikatan’

Philippine Air Force (PAF) fighter pilots flying the FA-50PH light jet fighters and their American counterparts aboard Hawker Hunter transonic aircraft did a “Top Gun” by conducting tactical air intercept (TAI) sorties over Pampanga on April 20. “Pilots from the 5th Fighter Wing of the PAF, together with Hawker Hunter pilots from the US, performed TAI sorties at Clark Air Base, Mabalacat City, Pampanga on April 20, 2023,” Air Force spokesperson Col. Ma. Consuelo Castillo said in a statement Tuesday night. She said the training, part of this “Balikatan” iteration, allowed pilots to showcase their skills in tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) using FA-50PHs and Hawker Hunter aircraft over bodies of waters in Luzon. “TAI is a crucial military operation that involves launching fighter aircraft to intercept unknown aircraft entering Philippine airspace. The primary objective of this operation is to identify any unauthorized aircraft and determine whether they pose a threat,” Castillo said. And should the intercepted aircraft be deemed hostile, the fighter aircraft must take necessary actions to prevent the enemy from carrying out their mission, she said. Castillo said this includes shooting down, if deemed necessary, or forcing these hostile aircraft to retreat. “Typically, TAI operations are conducted during aerospace control alert operations, which usually occur during peacetime. In the event that an intercepted aircraft is experiencing an emergency, the fighter aircraft will coordinate with air traffic control to guide and assist the aircraft,” she added. And this is why PAF fighter pilots need to be proficient in recognizing closure rates, visual cues, and other attack cues in performing this mission, Castillo said.

Source: Philippines News Agency

‘Kidnapper,’ 2 other wanted persons nabbed in Zambo Peninsulac

An alleged kidnapper and two other wanted persons were arrested in separate manhunt operations in Zamboanga Sibugay and in this city, officials said Tuesday. Brig. Gen. Neil Alinsañgan, Police Regional Office 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula) director, said Aberin Pulalon was nabbed in Purok 3, Barangay Lower Tungawan, Tungawan, Zamboanga Sibugay at about 7:55 a.m. on Monday. Alinsañgan said Pulalon, 49, is the ninth most-wanted person in the region with a pending arrest warrant for kidnapping and serious illegal detention with no recommended bail issued by a court in Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte on Sept. 30, 2019. Pulalon also has another pending arrest warrant for less serious physical injuries issued by the 4th Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Siocon-Baliguian-Sirawai. Col. Alexander Lorenzo, Zamboanga City Police Office director, identified the other two wanted persons as Bryan Barrios, 38, and Melrose Tamparong, 51. He said Barrios, who has a standing warrant of arrest for falsifying public documents, was arrested in Barangay Sta. Barbara here at about 5:10 p.m. on Monday. Tamparong, meanwhile, was arrested earlier in Barangay Culianan in this city on the same day. Lorenzo said the suspect also has a standing arrest warrant for violating the bouncing check law issued by a court in Makati City on Nov. 19, 2021.

Source: Philippines News Agency

Backpackers can take modern bus ride to Camotes Islands – LTFRB

Backpackers and excursionists planning trips to Camotes Island Group to experience pristine beaches and amazing caverns will enjoy a safe bus travel from this capital city starting on May 4, a transport official said Tuesday. Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board-Region 7 (LTFRB-7) Director Eduardo Montealto Jr. said the inclusion of a route to Camotes, located north of Cebu province, will largely benefit travelers who prefer riding a bus in going to and from the island’s tourist spots. An ongoing agency research, Montealto said, indicated that many individuals would just carry their backpacks and hop on buses or board a vessel to visit different destinations. This prompted the capitol to boost the land transport system serving Poro, San Francisco, Tudela and Pilar towns on the island group, the official added. On May 4, a missionary route will be covered with a special permit pending the issuance of a memorandum circular that will make the Camotes trip permanent and open to all interested transport cooperatives and companies, Montealto said. The four experimental bus units originating from the Cebu South Bus Terminal will no longer pass the Danao City Port in taking a Roll-on Roll-off vessel to Poro; instead, it will take the Liloan Port, which is much closer to this capital city. ‘The Cebu provincial government is in constant communication with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for the finalization of their Local Public Transport Route Plan (LPTRP). The final LPTRP will include the Cebu City-Camotes route,’ Montealto said, adding that Bohol province will also submit its own LPTRP. Once the DOTr issues the notice of approval, Montealto’s office will certify that the respective Provincial Board of Cebu and Bohol are authorized to pass an ordinance laying down inter-town routes. According to the LTFRB-7 data, Cebu’s LPTRP will cover 138 routes and 72 in Bohol. ‘LTFRB-7 commends Governor Gwen Garcia for her persistence in passing Cebu LPTRP which will cover an estimated 3,500 modern public utility jeepneys. Not included here are units and routes of the tri-cities (Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu),’ Montealto said. In Bohol, 550 modern jeepneys are up for inclusion in its LPTRP, he added.

Source: Philippines News Agency

54 Olive Ridley turtle hatchlings freed back to sea in Sarangani

After almost two months of hatching at a protected nesting site, environment officials have freed 54 hatchlings of Olive Ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) along the shores of Alabel town, Sarangani province. Joy Ologuin, superintendent of the Sarangani Bay Protected Seascape (SBPS), said Tuesday the shores of Barangays Maribulan and Ladol in Alabel are known as nesting areas of marine turtles, an indication of a healthy ecosystem that provides a safe nesting ground for these endangered species. Monday’s release coincided with the celebration of this year’s Month of the Planet which carries the theme ‘Invest in our Planet.’ Participating in the release activity were officials of the Sarangani Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office, the Protected Area Management Office of SBPS, Alabel municipal environment officers, and community volunteers, among others. Sending the sea turtles, locally known as ‘pawikan,’ to their natural habitat is regularly done as part of efforts to preserve the ecosystem in Sarangani Bay, according to Oloquin. “Our records suggest that the peak turtle nesting season in SBPS is around March to May,’ she added. Sarangani Bay is home to at least four species of marine turtles that include the Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas), Olive Ridley Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta caretta), and the critically endangered Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata). The catching and hunting of marine turtles, like all wildlife species, are prohibited under Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.

Source: Philippines News Agency