Chiz: Completion of
Mindanao-Visayas grid link to boost Luzon power supply
By Office of Senator Chiz
December 9, 2015
PASAY CITY – Sen.
Francis “Chiz” Escudero urged the National Grid Corporation of the
Philippines (NGCP) to start the implementation of the long-standing
proposal to link the Mindanao power grid with the rest of the
Philippines to avert a potential power shortage in Luzon that is being
projected by the Energy Development Corp. (EDC) by 2018.
According to Escudero, the
EDC expects the demand for power to go up due to the country’s growing
economy, which may impact on the energy supply to Luzon.
With the projected over
supply of electricity in Mindanao starting next year because of the
completion of new power plants, Escudero said the Mindanao-Visayas
power interconnection would make it possible to share the surplus
power to Luzon.
Power supply in Mindanao is
projected to hit 13,300 megawatts (MW) by 2016 compared to a projected
demand of 12,000 MW, according to the Department of Energy (DOE).
Escudero said lawmakers have
long been pushing for the link-up since discussion on Republic Act No.
9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) started in
Congress 15 years ago.
“We have been pushing for
that since the EPIRA was being discussed in Congress in 2000. We’ve
been proposing that already – the inter-connectivity and a truly
national grid connecting the entire country’s power lines,” Escudero
vice-presidential bet, however, admitted that the government’s hands
are tied on the issue since the NGCP is a private entity.
“NGCP cannot be forced to
hasten the implementation of the plan since it has already been
privatized but the government can exert pressure, and that pressure
would come from the fact that no new power plant in Luzon will be up
by 2017,” Escudero pointed out.
“It’s a stop gap solution
but it is the only immediate solution to the impending power shortage
in Luzon. Connect Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao through overhead lines
and submarine cables so power could be brought from areas where there
is a surplus of supply to places where there is a supply shortfall,”
The same solution could not
be applied before to address the Mindanao power crisis because Luzon
had only enough power supply for its consumers, according to Escudero.
Recent reports said the NGCP
is still completing the feasibility study on the Mindanao-Visayas
power line interconnection but it has vowed to complete the project by
NGCP said it has been
studying two proposals that would make Dipolog City as the connection
point to either Cebu or Negros Islands.
The NGCP, which is
responsible for bringing the electricity produced by power plants to
distribution utilities, has thumbed down the original plan of having a
Surigao-Leyte route because it’s situated near active fault lines.
The said route, which would
have spanned 455 kilometers of overhead lines and 23-kilometer
submarine cables, is estimated to cost P24 billion.
ROSE SAN DIEGO
December 8, 2015
CHICAGO – Remembering
the day, December 7th, 1941, a reason why we volunteered to save our
country, our families.
Not only did the Japanese
unload its arsenal from the air on the Island of Hawaii, but also on
the Philippines Islands as well that day. The surprise air bombardment
annihilated the Navy's entire Pacific Seventh Fleet at Pearl Harbor
within hours. Across the ocean the Japanese Zeros were also creating
havoc destroying US bases in the Philippines, Guam and Midway.
These aging Filipino WWII
veterans continue to gather regularly to share their daily life
struggles but most importantly to share in a bond of camaraderie with
one another. After each gathering they have a merienda style of
refreshments and then depart in all directions on their way home,
hoping to meet for another community mission.
Continuing on their agenda
is the hopeful return of at least one of the three church bells
removed from the Town of Balangiga, Eastern Samar in 1901 and is still
a priority in their lifetime. Another great observance is Bataan Day,
commemorated annually on April 9th when US Forces first surrendered
the Town of Bataan and its soldiers in 1942 to the enemy, the Imperial
Our history and culture
remains rich and alive because of the stories still shared by these
gate-keepers, some may call Lolo. I am inspired and proud to call them
our nation's heroes.
General Jet B. Velarmino AFP, Commander, 8ID while delivering
his message during the Flag Raising Ceremony and commemoration
of National Human Rights Consciousness Week on December 7, 2015.
National Human Rights Consciousness Week
By DPAO, 8ID PA
December 7, 2015
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – The 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army joined in the
commemoration of the National Human Rights Consciousness Week during
the Monday Flag Raising held at Division Admin Building today December
The celebration bore the
theme: “Karapatang Pantao: Igalang, Ipagtanggol, at Isakatuparan” was
spearheaded by Major General Jet B Velarmino AFP, Commander, 8ID. It
was attended by the officers, enlisted personnel and civilian
employees of the Command.
Brigadier General Demy T
Tejares, Assistant Division Commander, 8ID, PA as Human Rights
Officer, led the troops in the reading of Panata sa Karapatang Pantao.
“As we pursue our sincere
commitment, I am very aware and respectful of the role of every
‘Stormtroopers’ to the society and various stakeholders’ effort to
broaden people’s awareness on their human rights,” Major General Jet B
Velarmino in his message.
“It is our duty and mandate
to protect and put an end to this impunity and cultivate a culture of
respect to human rights in all levels of our Command,” Velarmino
launches world’s first national human rights investigation into 50 big
December 4, 2015
MANILA – The
Philippines Commission on Human Rights (CHR) announced that it will
launch an investigation on December 10 (International Human rights
Day) which could hold fossil fuel companies responsible for the
impacts of climate change, such as extreme weather events. This will
be the world's first national human rights investigation into big
The 50 companies that will
be investigated include Chevron, ExxonMobil, BP, Royal Dutch Shell,
ConocoPhillips. They are a part of the 90 legal entities that are
responsible for the majority of global CO2 and methane emissions in
the earth’s atmosphere, as identified by peer-reviewed research into
so-called ‘Carbon Majors’ published in 2014.
“The response of the
Philippines’ Human Rights Commission to the petition signals a turning
point in the struggle to avoid catastrophic climate change. It opens a
critical new avenue of struggle against the fossil fuel companies
driving destructive climate change,” said Kumi Naidoo, the
International Executive Director at Greenpeace International.
“This should hopefully
inspire other human rights commissions around the world to take
similar action. If I were a CEO of fossil fuel company, I would be
running scared. This is yet another indication that we are seeing the
end of the fossil fuel era.”
The CHR disclosed in a press
conference on 4 December in Paris that it’s investigation will involve
all stakeholders including the 50 corporations, and include
consultations and studies. As triggered by the petition, it will
organize an investigation committee devoted to climate change and
“This investigation is not
just about how fossil fuel companies do business, but that they do
business at all in the future. It’s time we held, those to account who
are most responsible for the devastating effects of climate change,”
said Zelda Soriano, legal and political advisor at Greenpeace
“We’re absolutely behind the
Commission on Human Rights in seeking the opinion and cooperation of
UN human rights experts and scientists, and its courageous
investigation into these distant and faceless companies,” adds Zelda
Soriano, legal and political advisor at Greenpeace Southeast Asia.
Greenpeace Southeast Asia
together with 14 organizations, 20 individuals, filed the petition on
22 September calling for this investigation to take place. Over
100,000 signatures have been gathered in support of the initiative
online from Change.org, SumOfUs and Greenpeace Southeast Asia, and
eight international NGOs provided advice and support. Among other
requests, the complaint asks for the CHR:
- to officially put these
companies on notice;
- to request plans from
these companies on how they intend to eliminate, remedy and prevent
damages (or threatened damages) resulting from the impacts of climate
- to recommend to the
government that it provides human rights mechanism where victims of
climate change can be monitored and assisted.
Filipino youths demand strong climate agreement at UN
December 3, 2015
PARIS, France – While
world leaders and negotiators continue to meet in Paris to address the
global climate crisis, on the Youth and Future Generations day at the
United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 21st Conference
of Parties (COP21), Filipino millennials demand parties to address the
worsening effects of climate change through an ambitious and strong
agreement to limit and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Transmitted to the UNFCCC
Secretariat today, the Filipino Youth Statement on Climate Change,
which was formulated and developed by Filipino youth participants in a
series of regional consultations and workshops in the country through
the Road to Paris campaign of the Climate Reality Project (CRP),
further demands a “global goal to phase-out fossil fuels by 2050 and
limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius and form as
well as strengthen existing mechanisms on adaptation, loss and damage,
technology transfer and finance to help climate vulnerable countries
such as the Philippines.”
“Climate change is a social
justice and human rights issue and demand that the Government of the
Philippines in cooperation with all parties to the UNFCCC to come up
with an ambitious, party-driven, gender-sensitive and participatory
climate agreement,” the statement declared.
“We held workshops and
consultations across the country explaining not only the basics of
climate change, but the basics of climate policy and the negotiation
process as well. In these sessions, participants were divided into
four workstreams – adaptation, mitigation, climate finance and
capacity – building – and asked to identify three to five priorities
that they believe the Philippines as well as all parties to the UNFCCC
should put forward in COP 21. Emulating the negotiations, the youth
leaders were given time to meet with their groups to lobby for matters
they thought most urgent,” said Rodne Galicha, Philippine manager of
Climate Reality Project, a global movement founded by Nobel Laureate
and former US vice president Al Gore with a mission to catalyze a
global solution to the climate crisis by making urgent action a
necessity across every level of society.
“From 2015 and COP 21
onwards, The Filipino Youth Statement on Climate Change will be the
annual culmination of Climate Reality Project in the Philippines’s
youth campaign. Aside from its policy advocacy and climate education
efforts, we seek to properly represent the youth sector in the climate
negotiations by providing areas for dialogue and collaboration between
the youth and civil society, government, and the Philippine Delegation
to the climate talks,” said Galicha.
Learning from the lessons of
last year’s climate negotiations in Peru, then Philippine youth
delegate to COP20 Marlex Tuson, who participated in the consultations,
said that “The youth demands that a global transition to low-carbon
societies be supported by all nations. COP21 will decide our future
and that of our posterity, whether or not we will still be capable to
sustain life. Thus, we firmly believe that our world leaders must be
fully committed to exhaust all means to mitigate the effects of
“We affirm our
responsibilities as stewards of the environment, and recognize the
need for participation in this global effort. We commit to act in our
communities, and support the government and other agencies in programs
for sustainable development,” said Tuson.
Beatrice Adeline Tulagan,
CRP’s Road to Paris youth campaign director and former youth delegate
to COP20, explained that “attending last year's COP as part of the
Philippine delegation made me realize the imperative to bring down the
negotiation process to the grassroots level and to the youth, who will
someday inherit the responsibility of negotiating for their own
countries. The employment of transparency through multi-sectoral
consultations is the only way we can say that the Filipino youth and
all Filipinos are properly represented in the climate talks.”
The Filipino Youth Statement
on Climate Change 2015 submitted to the National Youth Commission,
Climate Change Commission and the UNFCCC Secretariat, reiterates the
human rights approach to the negotiations, emphasizing that it is a
moral imperative to bring to light the plight of women, children,
people with disabilities, indigenous groups and marginalized
communities as they are rendered twice vulnerable by climate impacts.
Gen Jet B. Velarmino AFP, Commander, 8th Infantry Division,
Philippine Army while pinning the medal to a wounded soldier of
14th Infantry Battalion in a ceremony conducted at Camp Lukban
Station Hospital on December 1, 2015.
8 soldiers wounded
in clashes get medals, cash assistance
By DPAO, 8ID PA
December 2, 2015
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – Eight soldiers who were wounded in separate clashes last
November in Samar were awarded with wounded personnel medal and cash
assistance for their bravery and selfless service under the 8th
Infantry Division, Philippine Army in a ceremony, Tuesday morning,
Two soldiers belonging to
the 63rd Infantry Battalion, two soldiers from 87th Infantry Battalion
and three soldiers from the 14th Infantry Battalion, 8th Infantry
Division, Philippine Army received the medal and cash assistance in a
ceremony held at Camp Lukban Station Hospital, Headquarters 8ID at
The Wounded Personnel Medals
were awarded by Maj. Gen. Jet B. Velarmino AFP, Commander 8th Infantry
Division, assisted by Brig. Gen. Demy T. Tejares, the Assistant
Division Commander and Col. Divino Rey C. Pabayo Jr, the Chief of
Staff. They also gave cash assistance and assorted fruits to the eight
wounded in action soldiers.
The two personnel of 87th
Infantry Battalion namely: Cpl Jonas C Autor and Pfc Nico Basibas,
were wounded in an encounter with more or less 15 New People's Army (NPA)
rebels at Barangay Buluan, Calbiga Samar at around 6:00 a.m. on
November 25, 2015. The encounter resulted to the death of one
unidentified NPA member, seizure of an enemy encampment with 18 enemy
bunkers, one multi-purpose hall and one classroom and the recovery of
200 rounds of K3 squad automatic weapon ammunition, one memory card,
one binocular and other subversive documents.
The other soldiers namely:
Pfc Pablito Pomarca and Pfc Eric Lazara of 63rd Infantry Battalion
were wounded during an ambush perpetrated by NPAs at vicinity Barangay
Washington, Catarman, Northern Samar at about 3:28 p.m., on November
Four other soldiers, namely:
1lt. Cherwin B. Lapura, Pfc Rey D. Calabroso and Pfc Jack O.
Macatantan of 14th Infantry Battalion were wounded during an ambush
with more or less 20 NPA members at Barangay Lagundi, Catbalogan City,
Samar last November 27, 2015 and Staff Sgt, Wilfredo T. Irasgaof the
20th Infantry Battalion who was wounded in enemy attack at Barangay
Bonifacio, Gamay, Northern Samar while conducting peace and
development operations last October 20, 2015.
While pinning the medals to
the wounded troops, Maj. Gen. Velarmino said: "Your bravery in
carrying out your assigned task is remarkable and worth emulating by
other soldiers. With that, I would like to extend my congratulations
to all of you for a job well done in protecting the people to the
extent of risking your lives.
Reenlistment Training (RRT) students of 8ID, PA together with
the city health workers headed by Dr. Gerarda Tizon, during the
Blood Letting activity at Pier 2, Catbalogan City on December 1
which was organized by the Catbalogan City Health Office in
support to Worlds AIDS Day.
8ID join blood
letting in Catbalogan
By DPAO, 8ID PA
December 2, 2015
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – The 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division, represented by
the Restructured Reenlistment Training (RRT) students of the Division
Training School (DTS), participated and provided support and
assistance to the Blood Letting Activity organized by the Catbalogan
City Health Office held at Pier 2, Catbalogan City on December 1,
The said activity is in
support to the World AIDS Day celebration of Catbalogan City dubbed as
"Zero HIV Transmission Through Safe Blood Donation: Be a Blood Donor"
was also participated by local government agencies of Catbalogan City,
Philippine National Police (PNP) Catbalogan City, ROTC Students of
Samar College and barangay residents of Catbalogan City. It was
facilitated by the City Health Office as organizers headed by Dr.
Gerarda C. Tizon, the City Health Officer.
Major General Jet B.
Velarmino, Commander 8ID, encouraged everyone to participate in
activities like this in order to strengthen the spirit of “Bayanihan”
which is the trademark of every Filipino.
This activity is just part
of the efforts of the City Health Office for its continuing community
relation service in cooperation with Local Government Units, Local
Government Agencies, Private Sectors and Stakeholders.
Fil WW2 vet
observes Veterans Day
By ROSE SAN DIEGO
December 1, 2015
CHICAGO – Early
morning on Veterans Day, one of Balangiga Bells staunch advocate for
recovering the historic church bells is Filipino WWII veteran Jaime
He began his day by visiting
the local IHOP Restaurant in Wrigleyville. In his American Legion
attire, he was greeted by many patrons thanking him for his service
and contribution. WWII vet Pesongco also thanked other veterans seated
among the early breakfast crowd from different campaigns such as
Korea, Vietnam and the Iraq wars. The IHOP franchise served him up
their fancy Red, White & Blue Pancakes with eggs and beacon on the
side, complimentary to all veterans on that special day.
Then off to the JB-VA
Medical Center to hear the program put on by other veterans and guest.
This would be the first indoor event attended, in the past he was
always at Soldiers Field with a program hosted by the City of Chicago.
Due to brisk temperatures in
November along the lake front, it was best not to sit outside in the
cool weather for the hour long event as in years past.
Hosting the VA program was
Connie's Pizza, boxes towering tall, serving a variety of their famous
pizzas to the veterans. The pizza chain has been known to cater to
Chicago sports events in the area when teams are in season.
Ninety-five year young WWII
vet Jaime Pesongco made it a point to personally extend his gratitude
of appreciation to Connie's Pizza owner/president Mr. Michael Stolfe
for not only being a valuable host but most importantly for his
presence and camaraderie on Veterans Day 2015 at the JBVAMC.
incentives for renewable energy developers to lure investors, curb
By Office of Senator Chiz
December 1, 2015
PASAY CITY – Sen.
Francis “Chiz” Escudero said the government should come up with
incentives to encourage renewable energy developers to invest in areas
that remain without power and at the same time, help the country
fulfill its pledge to address climate change.
Escudero made the proposal
as the Philippines commits to a global effort to reduce the world’s
carbon emissions at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) to the UN
Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris.
The Philippines chairs the
Climate Vulnerable Forum, a group of 20 nations most vulnerable to the
impacts of climate change.
“If we are serious about
reducing carbon emissions and making good on our international
commitments, then we should push for the development of renewable
energy sources,” Escudero said.
The Department of Energy
(DOE) estimates that the Philippines will need an additional 11,400
megawatts of generating capacity to meet the demand for electricity
from 2016 to 2030 – an opportunity for power producers to consider
renewable energy development, the senator said.
Escudero, who heads the
Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, said renewable
energy sources are not only sustainable but cheaper than fossil fuel
because the sources, such as wind and sunshine, are virtually free.
Unfortunately, as of 2014,
only 37 percent of generated power was supplied by renewable sources
while 63 percent came from non-renewable energy, mainly coal,
according to DOE data. Of the renewable sources, less than one percent
was from wind and solar energy.
“It’s pitiful. We have the
resources that we need right here that can solve our problem of
insufficient, unreliable and expensive power supply. But we’re not
developing them, so we have to ask ourselves: why isn’t there enough
interest in this business?” Escudero said.
Escudero, who is running as
Sen. Grace Poe’s vice president, said the government should study the
possibility of giving tax incentives to companies that would go into
renewable energy development, especially in areas with power problems
He also proposed conducting
a nationwide survey to identify which provinces could be tapped for
various renewable energy projects.
“Having access to
electricity is a basic right of all Filipinos, and our goal is to
provide this access to low-income families without costing them half
their take-home pay,” Escudero said. “We cannot move forward with
genuine economic development unless the problem of insufficient power
supply is addressed.”
He said the government
should exhaust all means to bring affordable electricity to some 15
million Filipinos who still have no electricity in their homes.
“It is time to harness the
resources that we have to produce the energy that we need. Otherwise,
we will forever be at the mercy of the big power firms who control the
supply of power, and hence, the amount that we pay for electricity,”
the senator said.
Philippine households pay
the fifth highest power rate in the world, according to the
International Energy Agency. In 2011, households here paid $ .2460/kWh
for electricity, only slightly lower than Denmark’s $.3563/kWh, the
highest electricity rate in the world for residential consumers.