The mobilization of a 353-strong police force, overseen by Deputy Commissioner of Region 8 Police Pol Maj Gen Krajang Suwannarat, was witnessed by high-ranking government officials on the evening of Tuesday December 20th 20414 in front of the Phuket City Police Station.
Officials present were: Phuket Governor – Nisit Jansomwong, PPAO President Advisor – Samanasak Rattanasaenyanuparp, Phuket City Police Commander – Pl Maj Gen Patchara Boonyasit, police officers and dignitaries.
The mobilization follows instructions from the Royal Thai Police which orders all police units to up the crime control activities during December 20 – 5 January 2014. The show of strength aims to increase tourist safety and confidence during the time when both locals and tourists travel widely. All 353 police were made up of officers from the Regional Police, Region 5 Tourist Police, Immigration, Airport Immigration, Region 8 Marine Police, Phuket Security Police, Narcotics Suppression Unit, Forensic Department, as well as community police volunteers. All are ready and will do their best to protect the lives and properties of members of the public.
On Monday, 22 December 2014, Laguna Phuket launched its Community Learning Centre in Cherngtalay, Thalang, Phuket.
The opening ceremony which was attended by approximately 100 participants comprising government officials, Laguna Phuket management, Cherngtalay villagers, and members of the press, started at 2 pm with a welcome remarks addressed by Mr. Ravi Chandran, Managing Director of Laguna Phuket.
The 2-hour launch was then continued by a press launch discussion on “Public-Private Partnership in Developing Sustainable Communities.” Panelists included Dr. Punlop Singhasenee, Vice Governor of Phuket; Ms. Claire Chiang, Co-Founder of Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts and Chairperson of Banyan Tree Global Foundation; Associate Professor Dr. Prathana Kannaovakun, Dean of the Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism, Prince of Songkla University, Phuket Campus; and Ms. Pattamaporn Rattanadilok Na Phuket, Senior News Editor and News Anchor of National TV Channel 11.
The launch participants were asked to join a moment of silence in remembrance of the 10th Tsunami Commemoration with a poetic recital to the Thai classical flute before Vice Governor Dr. Punlop and Mrs. Claire Chiang jointly rang a gong to signify the official opening of the Centre.
Laguna Phuket Community Learning Centre (CLC) was established in March 2007 from Phuket Tsunami Recovery Funds (PTRF) to develop long-term assistance for those affected by the 2004 Tsunami.
It was originally set up as a community English language centre providing free English courses to community members, with the generous support of Cherngtalay Sub-District Administrative Office.
To-date 7,328 learners have enrolled with our program (4,250 learners completed Beginner’s Level, 3,025 learners completed Intermediate Level, and 13 learners completed Advanced Level).
“I’d like to thank all of our supporters, especially the Cherngtalay Municipality, for being a great partner from the start. The Community English Centre has served its purposes for over 7 years and more than 7,000 local people had benefited from it,” said Mr. Ravi Chandran, Managing Director of Laguna Phuket, at the launch.
“With continued support from all, I believe those numbers can double. We are well on our way to developing sustainable communities” he concluded.
Ms. Claire Chiang, Co-Founder of Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts and Chairperson of Banyan Tree Global Foundation, is a true believer in partnership and engagement, “The sense of collective responsibility will bring us all together the way we are here today at this launch ceremony. The private sector, the government, the educator, the media, and the community itself all have vital roles in holistic approach to CSR. Together we can.”
The newly refurbished centre will be opened as the Community Learning Centre in recognition of the 10th Tsunami commemoration. The new centre will become a community hub where people can develop their skills and further their knowledge in addition to English courses. Starting of January 2015, the centre will provide free and open community education with training on general life skills to empower individuals, so that they can realize their potential at home, in the workplace and in the community.
On Monday December 15th 2014 PPAO President Paiboon Upattising and Governor Nisit Jansomwong took part in the launch of “Phuket Drive Thru Post” at the main Post Office in Phuket Town.
According to Sukit Payu, Assistant Head of Phuket Post Office, Praisanee Thai Co Ltd, the company running the postal services has been in operation for over 130 years. Throughout this time, it has continually contributing to the nation’s social and economic development and thereby improved people’s lives.
Apart from delivering basic mail services, it has widened and modernized its facilities to include logistic innovations such “Logispost”, automatic postal counter service, and complete postal service, which are all designed to keep up with the modern times.
“Phuket Drive Thru Post” is one of the latest innovations in which clients drive in for quick and convenient mail services without having to step out of their cars thereby saving the clients’ precious time. There will be no need for parking spaces either, thus reserving room for the PO for other uses.
The new service includes all type of postal services including normal, registered, and EMS mail and packages within Thailand as well as bill payment (Pay At Post). There is no form to be filled out and the service is intended for three pieces of post or under. The service is available from Monday – Friday, from 7.30am – 3pm.
The Phuket Bike for the King took place yesterday, 10th December 2014, with about 1,000 participating cyclists.
The Deputy Minister of Public Health Somsak Chunharas officiated at the Phuket Bike for the King cycling event and oversaw government officials and about 1,000 participants all set to cycle in the event.
He said that the ministry is creating an awareness of health-care among the public at individual, family, and community levels to build a caring society.
He also said that Phuket has a large number of cyclists who take care of their health, making it appropriate to use bicycles as a tool to promote health-care awareness.
The cycling route started from the Saphan Hin Center Stage then passing by the Clock Tower, Phuket Pearl Hotel, Klang road, Satun road, Deebuk road, Thepkasattri road, and back to the Saphan Hin Center Stage.
According to the Inspector-General of the Ministry of Public Health district 11, Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai, the Phuket Bike for the King event is held with the cooperation of the Phuket Provincial Public Health Office and other health agencies to celebrate the auspicious occasion of His Majesty the King’s 87th birthday anniversary on 5th December 2014 and to encourage the public to exercise more.
Today (11 December 2014) at a “Phuket Governor Meet Press” session, hosted by Phuket Governor Nisit Chansomwong at Phuket Provincial Office, Laguna Phuket has announced the launch of a local vendors support centre project as well as local taxi operator reorganization within Laguna Phuket area.
Following the province-wide reorganization of local beach vendors and operators in Phuket which include Bang Tao beach area where Laguna Phuket situated, the resort, in collaboration with Phuket Provincial Office and respective local authorities, extends support to affected local villagers by setting up a “Local Vendors Support Centre” for vendors and service providers such as masseuse, tour desk, etc on the resort’s land near the beach and lagoon between Tsunami tower and Angsana Laguna Phuket.
The project is divided to two phases; first by having affected local vendors run their businesses in temporary support centre’s tents provided by Laguna Phuket and then move into proper shops after the construction completion in phase II. All costs will be supported by Laguna Phuket who will set up rules and regulations to ensure the centre’s proper operations as well as compliance with relevant laws.
For taxi operators, Laguna Phuket has assigned an area within the resort as “Local Taxi Centre” with basic facilities for taxi operators at the resort’s hotels to use. Two parking spots have also been provided in Laguna hotel’s car park. In addition, the resort provided letter to certify taxi operators in Laguna Phuket to apply for proper plate and license with the provincial office.
“Laguna Phuket is situated in local communities and has been partnering with the local communities in various matters to develop its business, generate income for local operators, as well as develop sustainable community,” said Passapong Nantarak, Senior Assistant Vice President, Laguna Resorts & Hotels PLC.
“This project has been realized by consultation with Phuket Province and respective local authorities who agreed that a collaboration with all concerned will be beneficial in helping and supporting local villagers to be able to continue with their livelihood as well as ensuring our plan is complying with the government’s policy” he concluded.
Phuket Provincial Administration Office President – Paiboon Upattising recently led a of groups of local officials to send off athletes who are representing Phuket in the 43th National Games and 33th National Para Sports taking place in Nakon Ratchsima.
The 43rd National Games is taking place from December 9 – 19, 2014, in Nakon Ratchasima. Athletes representing Phuket will compete in 19 sports, namely track and field, golf, karate-do, cycling, soft tennis, taekwondo, table tennis, bridge, mak lom board game, badminton, bowling, petanque, body building, pancha silat, fencing, futsal, football, judo and swimming. Altogether, 198 personnel making up of athletes, coaches and assistants, are travelling to Nakon Ratchasima.
The sending ceremony also off included Para athletes who will compete in the Para Games taking part in the same province from January 15 – 19, 2015. Both groups have received funding from PPAO and the Sports Authority of Thailand.
Addressing the athletes, President Paiboon said they should be honored to be representing the province. They must be thankful of their coaches, parents and other supporters. He praised the president of Phuket Sports Association – Saroj Angkanapilas for working hard to raise Phuket sports excellence.
The president ended by thanking the president and committee of Phuket Sports Association, PPAO Council members, coaches and parents. Lastly, he commended the athletes for training hard. “Please carry with you at all times a sense of sportsmanship, team spirit and forgiveness, and you will succeed in all your endeavors.”
On Wednesday 3rd December 2014, Phuket Vice-Governor – Somkiat Sangkhaosutthirak presided over a ceremony which was held in recognition of 2014 Phuket Disability Day. The event, held at Phuket Rajabhat University, was also attended by officials from PPAO and other government agencies. PPAO President – Paiboon Upattising gave an opening speech together with President of Phuket Disability Council – Sawai Promjinda.
The International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which falls on December 3 of every year, has been designated by the United Nations to promote public awareness of the disabled and for the general public to acknowledge their existence. To celebrate the event, social activities aimed at increasing potential of this group of people are held.
Today, the world is beginning to acknowledge the rights of people with disability. The Thai government, a member of UN, gives importance to and support the disabled on a continued basis.
The concept for this year is “sustainable development” by which technology is developed to help with the disabled in three areas: reducing personal risks from disaster; building suitable work environment; and sustainable support.
Phuket provincial authorities, in collaboration with other agencies, have been organizing Disability Day celebrations continuously since 1995. This year the celebration took place from 7am – 3pm with activities such as donation of wheelchairs, service stalls giving legal, career and education advice, employment services, free haircuts and stage entertainment. Prizes were also given disabled participants of a drawing competition. Throughout the celebration, free food and drinks were provided for the disabled and their families, said Mr Sawai.
Forming the core of PPAO’s policy is the welfare of children, women, senior citizens as well as the socially deprived and the disabled. The program focuses on development of life quality of this demographic, and gave rise to projects such as Phuket Care, a mobile program that brings health care to the homes of the disabled and chronically ill.
Operated on a regular basis, Phuket Care is based on the motto “10,000-bed hospital for Phuket”. For the fiscal year 2014, PPAO has allocated 5,000,000 baht funding or this program, which includes visits to patient’s homes by medical personnel and volunteers, training programs for medical personal and volunteers, funding for medical and disability equipment. The target group of this program numbers around 1,032 patients. Additional funding for the disabled and the socially disadvantaged, which totals 10,646,200 baht for the fiscal year 2014, is as follows:
4,222,000 baht to Phuket Public Health Office to use towards developing heath care programs through visits and training of volunteers
300,000 baht to Phuket Sunshine Village
777,200 baht to Child Watch Phuket to use for Uncle Pitak program
47,000 baht towards organization of Disability Day celebration
To reinforce its commitment in this area, PPAO has signed a MoU with Thailand Disability Association as a pledge to support Phuket disabled people. All these works led to PPAO being awarded outstanding organization that cares for the disabled for the year 2013 from National Office for Empowerment of People with Disabilities.
“The celebration today shows that many agencies are aware of the importance of increasing quality of life of the disabled. The activity also forges understanding between people with disabilities and the rest of society,” concluded the President.
A commemoration event “Phuket Celebrates His Majesty’s 87th Anniversary”, organized by PPAO, opened on the evening of Monday December 1 2014 at Sapan Hin main stage. Secretary-General of The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Sathit Limpongpan, presided over the opening ceremony while President Paiboon gave an opening speech. The event was attended by PPAO officials including Council members, Division heads and staff as well as dignitaries and members of the public.
According to Mr Paiboon, this annual event gives the people of Phuket the chance to celebrate and show loyalty and gratitude to HM on the occasion of his 87th birthday. PPAO has been organizing royal celebrations continually for a number of years. The main component of the event is an exhibition displaying HM’s vision and achievements in the field of agriculture, fishery and livestock.
At the age of 34 and using his own funds, HM set up pilot projects in Chitralada Palace, the King’s residence, to test out his ideas and inventions before designing blueprints for further use by government agencies. He took great interest and paid attention to details to make sure all projects could be used by the people of Thailand. As a result, six Royal Initiative Development Centers were set up in six regions.
The exhibition comprises of still photos, video clips, models and even live animals so the public can experience HM’s self sufficiency concept for real. The display has been given support by Royal Chitralada Agricultural Projects and Fishery Department. Additionally, the Bureau of the Royal Household has provided the photographs of His Majesty the King and Queen taken while on the royal visit to Phuket in 1959. The photos will be prominently displayed throughout the period of the celebration. Furthermore, there is a special homage-paying area provided along with ready-made well-wishing verses designed for members of the public to recite, an activity that will be recorded and showed on a big screen.
Every year many well-wishers came to this event, said the President.
Other entertainments include a band playing HM’s compositions along with a number of singers, food stalls, and OTOP stalls. Of special note is a stall set up by the Post Office offering members of the public their very own self-portrait stamps.
“Phuket Celebrates HM 87th Anniversary” runs through to December 5. On the 5th, which is HM’s birthday, a candlelit ceremony will be staged and presided over by Phuket Governor, concluded President Paiboon.
On Monday December 1st 2014, Phuket Provincial Administration Office President Paiboon Upattising chaired the launch of a workshop on AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases prevention at the Or Bor Jor stage in Community 7, Tambon Rassada, Amphoe Muang, Phuket. Also present at the workshop were Director of PPAO Hospital – Thawatchai Anaprayot, PPAO Council Member – Chusak Sematrakul, Chair of Rassada Women’s Group – Pranee Sematrakul, PPAO officials, and PPAO Hospital medical professionals and staff. The launch was attended by Rassada community members as well as secondary school students (M5) from Or Bor Jor Ban Talard Neau School.
AIDS is a deadly disease that kills many people as up to date there is still no cure for it. According to 2013 statistics, as many as 1,166,543 Thais are infected with HIV, out of whom only 447,640 are still alive. New cases are being recorded all the time. Phuket ranks number one in the country with HIV infected patients. In 2009, records showed that 1,986 died of AIDS while 8,217 were infected. HIV virus spreads mainly through sexual contact.
With the change in law banning prostitution, sex services have become covert affairs offered under the disguise of massage parlors, pubs, bars, cafes, karaoke bars and restaurants. People who offer sexual services at these places are deemed by health authorities to be the most potent HIV carriers. Apart from contacting the disease themselves, through constant change of partners, they also transmit the virus to other people. The problem will turn from public health challenges to economic and social ones for the public at large.
Realizing the scale of the problem, PPAO Hospital authorities have organized a campaign to educate young people about AIDS and safe sex. The aims are to control the pandemic through sexual contact and reduce the cases of infection and mortality rate. Altogether 50 participants, deemed by the organizers to be at risk, took part in the workshop.
President Paiboon: “Today (December 1) is World AIDS Day and we must make it our priority to fight against AIDS. Nationwide, Phuket has the most HIV-infected cases; therefore we must exercise extreme caution. We are born equal so please motivate yourself and support others.”
On Monday 1st December 2014 at Nai Harn Lagoon in Tambol Rawai, Muang Phuket, newly appointed Vice Governor of Phuket – Khun Pranrob Singhasanee presided over an event held in honor of His Majesty the King’s 87th Birthday which falls on 5th December 2014. Activities at the event included the release of aquatic animals into the lagoon, beach cleaning and tree planting. Also present at the event were Rawai Munucipality Deputy Mayor – Khun Pisit Prapakityosapat, Khun Yosathorn Chaleewan from Phuket Provincial Fisheries Office and a number of Rawai residents who also took part in the activities.
Khun Yosathorn said “The Phuket Provincial Fisheries Office and Rawai Municipality held these activities to dedicate merit to our King and also to rehabilitate aquaculture resources in the Nai Harn lagoon where there an abundance of aquatic wildlife. It is important to hold activities such as these to create awareness in the community, the population of which should recognize the importance of the conservation and management of aquatic resources and the environment so that it can persist forever.”
Monday 1st December 2014 saw Hard Rock Café Phuket hold the final event of their 5th Anniversary Weekend Celebrations. The event, entitled “Take Time to be Kind” was part of their Imagine Ambassador Charity Program and saw them present a Charity Donation cheque to volunteers and teachers of the “Phuket Special Education Center”. Activities at the event included a lunch the children and a press interviews opportunity with the newly appointed Hard Rock Chef and General Manager. The money presented was raised from the sale of the sale of their special wristbands.
Other activities in the weekend of celebrations, which commenced on Saturday 29th November 2014, included a Monk Ceremony in the morning of Saturday 29th as well as a Birthday cake cutting ceremony in the evening. Whilst on Sunday 30th November they launched a ‘Rockers for Phuket’ charity concert featuring multiple local and expat bands on the Patio Stage.
Speaking to Phuketindex.com at the event, Hard Rock Café Phuket’s newly appointed General Manager Steven Reynolds said “I have only been in Phuket for 6 weeks but I’m already in love it. It’s a beautiful place and everybody has been so welcoming. Coming from China after 15 years it’s a nice change to come to Thailand where there’s a different view to the world, it’s perfect for me and I’m already really happy here.
“The event we’re holding here today is to mark the end of the six weeks we’ve been raising funds for the Phuket Special Education Center as part of the Hard Rock Café Ambassador Program where every year we make a charity donation by raising funds, and this year we had a charity concert with 10 local bands who donated their time and music skills to play for the charity. We have also been raising funds by selling special wrist bands, and it’s good to see we have such a supporting community.
“On Saturday we had a Buddhist Monks ceremony to commemorate our 5th Year Anniversary; we also had a celebratory party and the charity concert which all led up to today.
“Today has been really special with the children receiving all the donations from us. It’s very important for Hard Rock Café to give something back to the local community, and we participate at every chance we can!”
Recently, all Centara hotels in Phuket organised a “Bra Charity Donation” to women prisoners at Phuket Women’s Correctional Institution. A large amount of underwear, clothes, money and female accessories were donated from hotel staff to help as part of their annual Centara Hotels & Resort CSR campaign.