Efinity Philippines to build 20-MW solar power plant in Zambo
Read 1,485 times | Posted on November 02, 2013 @ 5 years ago
ZAMBOANGA CITY — Its all systems go for Enfinity Philippines Technology Services, Inc. to put up a 20-megawatt (MW) solar power plant worth P1.4 billion in this city.
Enfinity president Dennis Chan Ibarra said the power plant will be constructed at the Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone and Freeport Authority in San Ramon, Barangay Talisayan, west of this city.
Ibarra said the Department of Energy (DOE) had already granted them with a service contract to build the solar power plant in this city.
Ibarra said the 20-MW solar energy may be too small for this city’s power demand “but at least it could help and part of the solution to the power crisis.”
Ibarra further said that Enfinity and Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (Zamcelco) will jointly petition the Energy Regulatory Board (ERB) for the rate approval.
“We are now busy preparing the power rates, the power purchase agreement and we are also busy formalizing the land leases, now that the national government has released the service contract,” he said.
He assured that the power rates from solar energy are much lower than the current rates.
Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar has strongly endorsed Enfinity’s solar power project proposal when she and Ibarra met Wednesday at City Hall. (PNA)
Chemical exports rise over 15% in 2 years
Read 1,636 times | Posted on November 02, 2013 @ 5 years ago
Exports of the Philippine chemical industry are expected to increase over 15 percent annually in the next two years, driven by new investments into the sector. (more…)
Delayed bridge construction brings woes to B’non farmers
Read 1,426 times | Posted on September 16, 2013 @ 5 years ago
By BUTCH D. ENERIO
FARMERS and traders in Talakag, Bukidnon have to wait a little while before a major bridge linking the province to this city would be passable, and the flow of goods, normalize.
This after Congresswoman Maria Lourdes Acosta Alba of the 3rd District of Bukidnon was assured by the constructor of the Uguiaban Bridge that it would be finished next month, three months behind schedule.
Rep. Alba, who personally inspected the ongoing works last Sunday, said that her visit to the site was necessitated to see for herself the progress of the bridge construction after she received complaints from farmers and residents about the delay in the putting up of the bridge that has affected the transport of their agricultural products to Cagayan de Oro.
Rep. Alba who was accompanied by the Department of Public Works and Highways’ personnel, met with the private constructor engineer of the bridge.
“I have to look into the progress of the bridge works and know the status of the construction from the DPWH and the constructor so I can give a definitive response to complaints of the people and businesses in Talakag town.” Rep. Alba said in an interview.
The Uguiaban Bridge, was totally destroyed when washed by the strong current at the height of Tropical Storm Pablo in December last year.
Construction of the new bridge started in Jaunuary 2013 with the budget of P47 million from the calamity fund.
Talakag town is host to companies such as Dole Philippines, Del Monte Philippines, Stanfelco and Agrinanas. Since post ST Pablo, farm produce have to be double hauled by manual labor and transferred to bigger containerized trucks waiting at the other side of the broken bridge, and farmers of high value crops have to add at least P15, cost per sack for hauling.
Romeo Martinez, project engineer of Charlz construction, said that their work which is already 70 percent finished, is behind schedule because of bad weather.
He said that they have committed to finish the construction of the bridge in October, and hopefully —become passable before the end of the year or after the curing period of the cement.
Prices of canned goods remain stable in Normin
Read 1,252 times | Posted on September 16, 2013 @ 5 years ago
DESPITE the reduced production by sardine factories in Zamboanga Peninsula due to the ongoing conflict, prices of canned goods in Northern Mindanao remained stable, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in the region said yesterday.
DTI provincial director Maria Eliza Pabillore of Misamis Oriental said the prices of regular canned sardines remain at P14 to P15 a piece.
Pabillore made the statement to allay fears that prices of canned foods would likely increase since most canned factories were based in the strife-torn city of Zamboanga.
Some residents had expressed the fears that prices of canned sardines might increase due to the sporadic fighting between government troopers and members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) there.
Adela Santos, a mother of five in Opol, said that any price increase of the basic commodities particularly canned sardines would certainly affect the poor “like us.”
“We can only afford to buy canned sardines as our source of protein diet since sardines were rich with protein,” she said.
Other local residents here were also worried that any price increase of canned sardines would signal the price hike of other basic commodities such as rice, fish, and meat.
Pabillore said that the DTI is continually monitoring the prices of Zamboanga-based canned sardine factories and would make a price announcement of possible movement of prices of basic commodities, too.
“At the moment, there is nothing to worry since the prices of canned goods and other basic commodities here and in the region remained stable,” Pabillore said. (PNA)
Mindanao bananas now in US markets
Read 1,406 times | Posted on September 16, 2013 @ 5 years ago
By LOVELY MAE CASENAS, Staff Member
MINDANAO-produced bananas finally made it to the US markets with the arrival last week of the maiden shipment of 7.047 metric tons of Cavendish variety at the Port of Long Beach near Los Angeles. (more…)
Govt to assist manufacturing sector to boost job creation
Read 1,404 times | Posted on September 15, 2013 @ 5 years ago
THE country will further develop the manufacturing and other labor-intensive sectors in an effort to create more job opportunities.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan underscored this initiative following the release of data showing that the Philippine unemployment rate rose slightly to 7.3 percent in July 2013 from last year’s 7 percent despite the 620,000 new jobs created.
While positive growth in agriculture employment was encouraging, Balisacan said this was accompanied by job losses in manufacturing and accommodation and food services sectors.
He noted these are crucial employment-generating sectors in an emerging economy like the Philippines.
“This is why it is necessary to accelerate the revival of the manufacturing subsector… It generates jobs in the sector itself, as well as in several other backward-linked and forward-linked sectors,” he said.
“These include agri food processing sector, furniture and gifts, those that are high-domestic value-added. We are looking at that generator of high quality jobs,” he added.
Balisacan, also the Director General of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), said manufacturing is also the heaviest user of agricultural output.
“(Thus) growing the sector means increasing demand for agricultural output, which means better business and more gainful work for our farmers and fishermen,” he said.
To boost the sector, the NEDA chief said the government and the private sector have already developed industry roadmaps.
“These should be further reviewed and strategically implemented,” he said.
Moreover, Balisacan said they are looking at other jobs growth drivers including tourism, infrastructure and logistics, business process management (BPM), agriculture and agribusiness and construction.
He said that apart from call centers, BPM sector comprises medical transcription, software development, film and animation.
“That’s still a fastest growing (sector) of our economy. Nice thing about this, it is also moving out of Metro Manila. Cities like Davao, Cebu, Iloilo and other urban areas are becoming hosts to this sector,” he added. — Danielle Venz,
Panabo says yes to aerial spraying
Read 1,247 times | Posted on September 15, 2013 @ 5 years ago
PANABO City (MindaNews ) – While Davao City is against aerial spraying, with its ordinance banning it now hanging at the Supreme Court, banana growers and exporters in this city staged a march and rally Wednesday to push for its use despite claims by opponents that it is hazardous to people’s health.
For Councilor Reynante Bangoy, who chairs the city council’s committee on agriculture, the move was to show support for the city’s banana industry, which is 70 percent of Panabo’s agricultural industry.
He said they have been asking for “affordable alternatives” from proponents of the ban, “but so far there have been none.”
Around 1,000 people – including employees and officials of banana growing companies, as well as agrarian reform beneficiaries who are members of the Philippine Banana Growers and Exporters – joined the rally to back the city’s support for aerial spraying.
The practice – a hot issue in cities hosting banana plantations like Panabo and Davao – makes use of small aircraft to spray fungicide on vast banana plantations.
Opponents have lobbied to ban the practice all throughout the country, a move that started in Davao City in 2007.
The Mamamayang Ayaw sa Aerial Spraying (MAAS), citing a study by the Philippine Society of Clinical and Occupational Toxicology (PSCOT), said that aerial spraying is dangerous to humans.
The MAAS criticized Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala for the lack of official position on the part of the Department of Agriculture.
MAAS president Dagohoy Magaway has lauded actions by Akbayan partylist Rep. Barry Gutierrez, who reportedly directed the DA issue a ban during a budget hearing at the House of Representatives last month.
Bangoy, on the other hand, said that the fungicides being used by aerial spraying aircraft are registered with the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority.
He pointed out that a ban would affect the city’s banana industry, which has been exporting to Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, United States, and the Middle East.
Wednesday’s rally was already on its fourth year, always scheduled on Sept. 11.
Supporters of aerial spray dubbed the protest “Save Our Sagingan,” or SOS to stress the urgency to continue with the practice or the demise of the area’s banana industry.
PBGEA executive assistant said that the association accounts for 53,000 hectares of banana plantations, 36,508 of which in Region XI alone.
Romeo Manuel, chairman of the Central TADECO Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Multipurpose Cooperative (CTARBEMPCO), in his defense of aerial spraying, said that the proposed alternatives are simply too expensive for the industry.
“If the practice gets banned, we will have to resort to manual spraying with machines like boom sprays,” he said.
Manuel, in stressing the safety of aerial spray, said he has been growing bananas for 31 years proves and “I’m still alive.”
“Even insects are not affected by the fungicide as it targets a specific organism,” he pointed out.
According to data from PBGEA, banana exports in 2012 have dwindled to 1.87 metric tons compared to 2.05 metric tons the year before.
Bangoy said that the recent typhoons that hit the region have affected the industry, too.
Typhoon-adaptable green shelters help Pinoys adapt to climate change
Read 1,050 times | Posted on September 15, 2013 @ 5 years ago
AN Italian-Filipino company advocating green architecture has designed houses and buildings that can cope with typhoons, floods and other calamities brought by climate change.
Italian architect Romolo V. Nati, Executive Chairman and CEO of ITPI (Italpinas Euroasian Design and Eco-Development Corporation (ITPI), has put presented his coral-inspired designs to encourage Filipinos to build typhoon and flood-adaptable shelters in the aftermath of destructive calamities sweeping the country.
“Our role model is nature and its ability to adapt to drastic changes in the environment,” Nati said of his design based on the Voronoi Diagram, a mathematical way of dividing space into regions or cells, a characteristic present in the structures of corals.
ITPI’s coral design bagged the “Special Energy Award,” besting 200 entries from 50 countries in the Design Against the Elements (DAtE) global competition in 2011 supported and co-sponsored by the National Geographic Society, the Climate Change Commission, and United Architects of the Philippines.
“Individual structures mimic various shaped coral cells, which seamlessly fit together to create a concise albeit varied living environment. Thus, it’s open to receive the benefits of good weather but not vulnerable to the natural variations of the elements.”
“We chose corals for their self-organizing living system, which is highly reactive and smoothly adaptable to changes and external influences. Their ring-like shape, for example, allows for structural integrity which can cope with stresses caused by typhoons or earthquakes. They grow in colonies but in identical ‘individual’ (structures), taking advantage of the natural conditions of where they are located,” he added.
Lawyer Jose D. Leviste III, ITPI President and Nati’s partner, stressed the need for Philippine shelters to adapt to storms and floods that have become part of the daily routines of Filipinos.
“We need to anticipate extreme weather conditions as the ‘new norm.’ Thus, we must approach developments with a new scale of values and principles that will be inherent in our design and real estate developments,” Mr. Leviste said.
Mr. Leviste also emphasized key role of location. “ It is not enough to build great things – we must ensure there should be synergy between the building itself and its particular location.”
According to Leviste, ITPI has already proven its capacity to design and build climate change-adaptable structures after its pioneer project Primavera Residences, a mixed-use green building comprising of two towers with 10 storeys each, withstood the fury of Tropical Storm Sendong and Typhoon Pablo which lashed Cagayan de Oro barely a year apart in 2011 and 2012.
Arch. Nati said the “Coral City” project features an integration of renewable energy production and architecture.
“The sun is the basis of all life on earth; it’s only natural to tap its free energy by integrating photo voltaic (PV) panels in our architecture but as the same time using them to beautify our buildings. Like cement and bricks – they are the parte integrante (essential part) of our architecture,” he said.
Arch. Nati was graduated “summa cum laude” with an architectural degree at La Sapienza University in Rome. He has worked for numerous architectural and engineering firms in Italy, Europe and in the United States, receiving numerous awards from international green architecture design competitions in Italy and elsewhere.
Set up in 2009, ITPI networks with ICCP (Investment & Capital Corporation of the Philippines), LBP (Land Bank of the Philippines), BPI (Bank of the Philippines Islands), Habitat for Humanity Philippines, CARA Welfare Philippines (Compassion And Responsibility for Animals), PGBC (Philippines Green Building Council).
Power rate hike looms as forex, fuel cost surge
Read 1,367 times | Posted on September 15, 2013 @ 5 years ago
By LOVELY MAE CASENAS, Staff Member
JUST as the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) lately announced the impending refund that would soon be reflected in the electric bills of consumers in Luzon and Mindanao regions, the state-owned National Power Corp (Napocor), on the other hand, is seeking an increase in electricity rates across the country to recoup higher costs brought about by a weak peso and more expensive fuel. (more…)
ECONOMIC FALLOUT: Zambo standoff shuts down sardine production
Read 716 times | Posted on September 12, 2013 @ 5 years ago
MANILA – Expect a hiccup in the prices of, if not a temporary shortage in canned sardines after the sardine capital of the Philippines shut down amid violent clashes between government troops and a rebel group.
In a bid bulletin, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said all canned sardine manufacturers in Zamboanga City have stopped operating. The city produces 75 percent of all canned sardines in the country.
DTI Consumer Welfare and Business Regulation Group officer-in-charge Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba said that the agency has yet to determine the number of workers displaced by, as well as the losses resulting from the temporary work stoppage.
As of this afternoon, “most” of the stores in the city are closed and only “a few,” including a Mercury Drug store, are open, the DTI said.
The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) also today announced that it suspended operations at the Zamboanga Baseload Port, the trading gateway for the Zamboanga peninsula. Banks in the city likewise shut their doors to the public.
Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar has already “appealed to store owners to open tomorrow especially on areas affected” by the conflict, DTI said.
Despite the work stoppage, the prices of basic necessities have “remained constant” while the supply is “adequate,” DTI-Zamboanga Peninsula director Rolando G. Acuna said in a report.
Acuna will meet with the members of the local chapter of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc (FFCCCII) tomorrow “to assess the inventory level of stores,” the DTI said.
FFCCCII has also pledged to “not take advantage of the current situation,” the agency said.
In particular, the Philippine Chamber of Food Manufacturers, canned sardines manufacturer Columbus Seafoods, and Monde Nissin have been in close coordination with the DTI to ensure sufficient supply of food products in the affected areas as well as in evacuation centers, the agency said.
Citing data from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), about 1,008 families comprised of 4,2889 people have been displaced by the conflict and are now staying in six evacuation centers.–InterAksyon