activists slam coal financiers, call for divestment from ‘dirty,
costly, deadly coal’
October 5, 2017
MAKATI CITY –
Climate justice activists, composed of civil society groups and
people’s organizations, held a concerted action today at the Bank of
the Philippine Islands (BPI) Ayala Triangle to protest the
Ayala-controlled bank’s planned financing of a new coal-fired power
plant in Atimonan, Quezon. The said bank – housed by the Philippine
Stock Exchange building where many other commercial banks are listed
as coal project investors – was also slammed by climate justice
activists for its continued financing of other coal projects.
The protesters brought
tall, inflatable, "dirty, costly, and deadly coal demons", which
served as a backdrop to a huge image of Ayala Group CEO Jaime Zobel
de Ayala, to highlight the temptations of an obsolete fossil fuel to
private banks such as BPI.
The protest action is part
of Piglas Pilipinas, a nationwide campaign for the Philippines to
break free from fossil fuels. Its main call stressed on the
importance and urgency of divesting from coal and other fossil
Coal: Not Clean, Not Cheap
“Coal is not the answer to
our country’s energy needs,” said Philippine Movement for Climate
Justice Coordinator Ian Rivera.
“Contrary to the coal
industry’s persisting propaganda, coal is neither cheap nor clean.
In fact, it has time and again been proven to be dirty, costly, and
deadly,” said Rivera.
According to Rivera, coal
is the culprit for the health problems suffered by communities that
host coal-fired power plants. He cited a Harvard study conducted in
the Philippines which found an annual estimate of 2,410 deaths as a
consequence to exposure to pollution emitted by coal plants. Rivera
stated that residents of communities that host these coal plants
often suffer from lung, cardiovascular, and skin diseases. He also
added that due to soil and water contamination from coal plant
chemicals, the residents’ livelihood is often left destroyed.
“Coal is also deadly not
just for local communities but for the rest of the world,” continued
“The burning of fossil
fuels, coal being the worst of them, is the lead contributor to
carbon emissions that aggravate global warming, which we know to be
the primary cause of stronger typhoons, longer droughts all over the
planet, and other forms of ecological disasters,” he said.
“Coal is, most of all,
expensive – with most of its costs externalized and paid for by
society at large,” said Rivera, citing huge economic losses from the
environmental, health and livelihood destruction caused by the
extraction and utilization of coal for power generation, and the
establishment and maintenance of coal facilities.
Rivera stated that the
coal industry is now being outstripped by new technologies that make
cheaper solar and wind power, citing a renewable energy sector that
continues to drive down its prices.
“Clean and sustainable
energy sources are steadily making the continued usage of coal not
only an obsolete choice, but also an inexpedient one,” said Rivera.
Reputational Risks and
“Investors and depositors
of BPI should be advised against coal financing for its reputational
risks. Most alarming of all, however, are the investment risks that
continued coal financing poses. As our country, along with the rest
of the world, moves towards renewable energy sources, coal assets
will be nothing more than stranded assets in the future,” warned
According to research
conducted by the climate justice activists, BPI is invested in
presently operating coal plants, such as the SEM Calaca in Batangas,
Team Energy Pagbilao in Quezon, Cebu Energy Development Corporation
and Toledo Power Corporation in Cebu, and GNPower Mariveles in
The group of climate
justice activists stated that BPI also has plans to invest in the
coal pipeline, particularly in the Masinloc Expansion Project in
Zambales, in the Pagbilao Energy Corporation in Quezon, the GNPower
Dinginin in Bataan, and GNPower Kauswagan in Lanao del Norte.
Other coal-fired power
plants have not disclosed their investors.
Reclaim Power 2017: Global
Wave of Actions for Just Energy Transformation
The protest at the Makati
central business district is part of the Reclaim Power Global Wave
of Actions for a just energy transformation for the entire month of
"The science of climate
change is unequivocal, it's undeniable, and so now, action to
transform our energy system is urgent and must be done immediately,”
said Asian Peoples’ Movement of Debt and Development (APMDD)
Coordinator Lidy Nacpil.
“The energy sector
produces over 35% of all climate pollution caused by humans each
year, mainly from the extraction and burning of fossil fuels like
coal, oil and gas. According to the latest numbers from the UN, over
80% of all remaining fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas will have
to remain unburned if the world is to avoid extremely dangerous
climate change,” emphasized Nacpil.
"Reclaim Power is about
demonstrating that while the current energy system fails on so many
levels, including its failure to resolve the energy poverty of 1.2
billion people in the world who continue to have no access to any
electricity, we have solutions using renewable energy technology
that can decentralize power production and actually get it to all
people in a democratic, people-controlled way," explained Nacpil.
“We need to ensure
community and public control of our energy systems, to ensure that
people’s access is prioritized over profit,” concurred 350.org
Digital Communications Campaigner and Coordinator Chuck Baclagon.
“The technology to provide
energy to all of humanity without burning the planet already exists.
Instead of continuously giving handouts to dirty energy companies,
what we need now is to direct public – and private – finance and
subsidies to encourage 100% renewable and clean energy,” Baclagon
Bicol’s best, finest products at SM Mega Trade Halls
October 4, 2017
MAKATI CITY – The
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is set to showcase an annual
display of micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) excellence by
bringing the best and finest products from Eastern Visayas and Bicol
Regions for the Bahandi Eastern Visayas and OKB-Gayon Bicol Regional
Trade Fairs on October 4 and 5, respectively, at the SM Mega Trade
Halls 1 and 2, SM Megamall.
As part of Marketing, one
of the seven-point strategy (7Ms strategy) advocated by the
Department, DTI is helping MSMEs penetrate the mainstream marketing
through trade fairs.
“With MSMEs being the
backbone of the Philippine economy, it is important that we find
ways to integrate the sector to bigger value chains, either in the
public or the private sectors. Empowering MSMEs can only mean
significant growth that is powered by ever smarter Filipino
entrepreneurs, ready to participate in local, regional and global
marketplace,” said DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez.
Group Supervising Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya explained that
providing platforms for MSMEs to market their products in events
such as trade fairs will test its marketability for bigger markets.
“Participation in Trade
Fairs provide MSMEs an opportunity to test their products for bigger
markets and beyond,” Maglaya said.
These MSMEs, according to
Maglaya, have been assisted by DTI through Negosyo Centers, Shared
Service Facilities (SSF), One Town, One Product, Kapatid Mentor ME
Project, SME Roving Academy, among others.
“By enhancing MSME
products through DTI assistance, we are confident that their
products would be market-acceptable, and supported locally and
globally,” she said.
The Bahandi Trade Fair,
through the DTI-Region 8, will be celebrating its 20th year and will
open the annual 5-day exhibit and selling fair of the best products
from the six provinces of Eastern Visayas on October 4-8, 2017 at
the Megatrade Hall 1, Mega B, SM Megamall.
Under the theme, “Breaking
Grounds for Borderless Markets,” the trade fair is aligned line with
the Philippines’ hosting of the ASEAN Summit, promoting
participation of MSMEs in the global value chain.
The Eastern Visayas trade
fair will also feature products of MSMEs who were victims of Typhoon
Yolanda in November 2013. MSMEs were assisted by the Department to
get back in operation, supporting them through learning, marketing
assistance, product designs and innovations.
A total of 132 MSMEs – 48
are from Leyte, 18 from Southern Leyte, 8 from Biliran, 28 from
Samar, 10 from Eastern Samar, 20 from Northern Samar – from the
processed food, and homestyle and wearables sector, and other
products are expected to join the fair.
The trade fair is in
coordination with Regional Development Council - Region 8,
Department of Tourism, Tacloban Entrepreneurs Associated Marketing
Cooperative (TEAM-COOP), GREAT Women Project 2, and Negosyo Center.
On the other hand,
OKB-Gayon Bicol, now on its 21st year, is expected to banner Bicol
Region’s fine products and tourism potentials ranging from wearables
and homestyle products, processed foods, ceramics, furniture/
furnishing, fine jewelry, and other products. The trade fair will
run on October 5-8, 2017 at the Megatrade Hall 2, SM Megamall.
Joining this year’s
OKB-Gayon Bicol fair are 141 MSME exhibitors from all over the
region – forty (40) from Albay, 15 from Camarines Norte, 22 from
Camarines Sur, 25 from Catanduanes, 11 from Masbate, and 28 from
Sorsogon. It will feature 32 new entrepreneurs that are provided
full marketing assistance and 255 new products resulting from
DTI-Region 5’s product development activities.
The longest running
DTI-organized regional trade fair is a convergence activity of OKB
Association, Inc. in partnership with DTI-Region 5, DOT-Region 5,
Air 21 and Bicol Harvest/Bicol Artist.
127 graduates as
new breed of soldiers
DPAO, 8ID PA
October 2, 2017
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – The 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division, Philippine
Army led by Maj. Gen Raul M. Farnacio AFP, Commander 8ID conducted
the Closing Ceremony of the Philippine Army Candidate Soldier Course
Class 462-2017 consisting of 127 soldiers at the 8ID Jungle Base,
Barangay Fatima, Hinabangan, Samar today.
Out of 135 candidate
soldiers who entered on June 1, 2017, only 127 brave and dashing
Candidate Soldiers graduated and graced by Hon. Marcelo Ferdinand A.
Picardal, the Acting Governor, Province of Eastern Samar as the
Guest of Honor and Speaker who further led the ceremonial
entrustment of firearms, distribution of certificates and individual
The majority or 81 new
privates came from Samar; 21 from Leyte; 8 from Luzon; and 17 from
Mindanao. On their educational profile, 23 of them are college
graduates; 45 are college level and 59 are high school graduates
with skills training from TESDA.
In his message, Hon.
Picardal said, “As workers in the government, our greater mission is
to provide protection and security to the Filipino people and our
country. Today, we face the challenges more than ever and the issues
of peace and security are being tested not only by internal
conflicts but by external threats as well. Thus, our vision to
develop into a progressive nation is getting harder to realize. We
see therefore the urgent need to get the real and concrete peace
development initiatives into action.”
Likewise, Maj. Gen.
Farnacio said, “The soldier above all other men is required to
practice the greatest act of rigorous and rigid training. Put
emphasis on the sacrifices you have made and love your profession.
What you are, inside or outside the camp, even if you are not in
uniform, is the extension of you being a soldier. To the 127 new
soldiers, focus on your job. Help the national government in their
effort in Mindanao and make us proud”, Farnacio added.
Maj. Gen. Farnacio extends
his warm appreciation to the stakeholders who untiringly committed
and supported the attainment of a just and lasting peace in the
region. The 8ID is still accepting applicants for Candidate Soldier
Course for CY 2017.
Store launched in Makati
September 29, 2017
MAKATI CITY – The
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) launched the Bangon Marawi
Product Store today (29 September) at the Ground Floor of the DTI
Bldg. along Sen. Gil Puyat Ave. in Makati to introduce Maranao
products to the public as well as provide livelihood assistance to
internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Marawi City.
Administrative Order No. 03 of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte
mandating the creation of an inter-agency task force that would
implement the recovery, reconstruction, and rehabilitation of Marawi
City and other affected localities.
“While our government is
working tirelessly to give them respite in the wake of the tragedy
afflicting their city, DTI has come up with its own way to help our
Mindanao countrymen” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said.
“Given that the Maranaos
are inherently traders, we thought it appropriate to find a way to
help them showcase their products and bring them to the mainstream
market,” Lopez added.
Products on sale include
brasswares, wooden furniture, wearables, Maranao woven products,
jewelry, fashion accessories, and Maranao native delicacies. The
sales and proceeds of the Bangon Marawi products will go to help the
Maranaos and others displaced by the conflict in Marawi.
This project is done in
partnership with the Bangsa Moro Federal Business Council, the
Tugaya Local Government, the Muntinlupa Local Government, and
Magsaysay Shipping and Logistics.
Also at the launch were
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (leftmost) with wife Edith
Lorenzana (2nd from L), Undersecretary Rowel Barba (rightmost),
Undersecretary Nora Terrado (3rd from R) with other DTI and other
DTI will carry the Bangon
Marawi products in all Go Lokal! stores nationwide.
Samar I braces
for Road Rating Inspection
APRIL FATIMA DIRA
September 29, 2017
CALBAYOG CITY –
Samar First District Engineering Office will undergo a
“Walk-the-Line” Inspection of the road sections covered by the
district with a total length of 741.609 kilometers conducted by the
Inspectorate Team lead by Engr. Roy P. Mate from the Bureau of
Maintenance, Road Condition Monitoring and Evaluation Division (RCMED)
on September 22, 2017 to October 15, 2017 to assess compliance of
the District Office to the provisions of Department Order 41, series
of 2016 regarding the Amended Policy Guidelines on the Maintenance
of National Roads and Bridges.
DPWH in accordance with
its mandate to maintain national roads and bridges being a paramount
priority issued a Department Order to improve the maintenance
service delivery to the public, the Regional and District Engineers
shall strengthen their maintenance unit to keep all national roads
and bridges safe and convenient to the travelling public at all
times. In this regard, the Inspectorate Division of the Bureau of
Maintenance, this department will conduct assessment, the physical
condition of national roads and bridges per semester.
SFDEO under the leadership
of District Engineer Alvin A. Ignacio and supervision of Maintenance
Head Engr. Ramon Calagos make sure that all the relevant documents
for the Inspectorate Team’s reference are ready and updated.
Maintenance field workers do their regular routine of cleaning the
area, cutting grasses and vegetation, canal declogging, patching
path holes, cracks resealling, issuing notice of obstruction and no
parking signs maintained.
Maintenance Point Persons
Engr. Ronale Pelotos (Caglanipao-Carayman Area), Engr. Jeremias Lim
(Calbayog-Catbalogan Area) and Engr. Mario Balane (Calbayog-Catarman
Diversion Road) monitor their respective areas for activities and
implementation of immediate action of road defects and obstructions.
The passing rate for the assessment of roads by the team is pegged
institution backs CCC pronouncements on national energy policy shift
to RE, stresses need for just transition programs
September 29, 2017
QUEZON CITY –
Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development (CEED), an independent,
non-profit, non-stock, think-do institution engaged in issues of the
environment, energy, and development in the Philippines, expressed
its support for the pronouncements on an energy policy shift as
stated by the Climate Change Commission (CCC) during the
commission-spearheaded National Energy Policy Review program held on
September 28, 2017.
“The Commission’s strong
emphasis on the need to make key shifts in the nation’s energy
policy is a much needed tone in our government given the pressing
climate realities we face today,” said CEED Legal Research and
Policy Officer Avril De Torres.
policies on shifting current destructive trends in the energy and
environment, the country cannot hope to see better environmental
conditions for itself and achieve its Nationally Determined
Contribution on emission reductions that it committed to as party to
the Paris Agreement,” said De Torres.
“One such proactive policy
direction is that which targets the fossil fuel industry, especially
the coal industry. Policies such as the imposition of taxes on coal
usage and on carbon emissions helps address the issue of high
greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change in general,” added
De Torres cited numerous
data that hold the combustion of fossil fuels, especially of coal,
responsible for being the largest human source of carbon dioxide
emissions. Quoting a 2016 study made by the Joint Research Centre of
the European Commission, De Torres stated that coal combustion was
responsible for about 46% of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil
fuel combustion, with 31% of which is emitted from coal-fired power
“The fossil fuel industry
is a major contributor to the global GHG emissions. Imposing an
excise tax on coal and other such tax mechanisms on fossil fuel
products would discourage dependence on fossil fuel,” said De
CEED Research Policy and
Advocacy Officer Arvin Buenaagua claimed that a shift away from
carbon-intensive energy sources not only reduces GHG emissions, but
also helps reduce the costs of coal that burden a number of sectors,
spanning from coal-affected communities to regular electricity
“Although not reflected in
the price by which coal sells, coal comes with financial costs that
are externalized and paid for by society at large. These costs could
take many forms, such as rehabilitation costs and lost revenue from
communities whose environmental resources and sources of income have
been destroyed by the establishment of coal-fired power plants,”
“This makes a proactive
shift to cleaner and more sustainable energy sources imperative –
especially as the Philippine renewable energy sector has been making
great strides in driving down its costs and improving its
technologies,” said Buenaagua.
Aside from the reduction
of carbon emissions and prevention of further environmental
destruction as caused by tapping into renewable energy sources,
Buenaagua also cited significantly lowered electricity prices
offered by a sprouting renewable energy market – prices that are
projected to hit as low as below P5 per kWh.
concurrence with the Commission’s projected energy policy shift from
fossil fuels to renewable energy, CEED highlighted the importance of
further developing a just transition program.
“A global transition to
renewable energy is happening, at any rate,” said Buenaagua, citing
countries like Sweden, Germany, and China where shifts from
carbon-intensive energy are transpiring, “but it must be made
conscientiously so as not to leave anyone behind.”
De Torres pointed out the
lack of program that centered on groups most heavily affected by a
shift away from the fossil fuel industry.
“The nascent Philippine
just transition program, which includes RA 10771 or the Philippine
Green Jobs Act of 2016, although enthusiastic in setting a landscape
for a greener economy, overlooks workers and coal-affected
communities who have served as the backbone of the fossil fuel
industry and who are situated to be the backbone of this new, green
economy,” said De Torres.
De Torres cited the
growing, global movement of workers, situated in energy-shifting
economies, demanding for a just transition program. If the
government is serious in its shift away from the fossil fuel
industry, it should heed transition concerns of workers.
proponents have said this a number of times: a sustainable energy
transition is a just transition,” said De Torres.
“We cannot hope to build a
future ran by clean energy if we leave behind the very people who
have been powering our economy,” concluded De Torres.
delegation for the 2017 Philippine Coconut Roadshow to the
DTI leads coconut
roadshow to US
September 26, 2017
MAKATI CITY –
Department of Trade and Industry through its Export Marketing Bureau
(EMB) and Philippine Trade and Investment Centers (PTICs) in the
United States recently concluded the 2017 Philippine Coconut
Roadshow held from 6 to 24 September 2017 in key cities including
Los Angeles, Colorado, San Francisco, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.
“We see the increasing
healthy, non-GMO, and gluten- free lifestyle of the American market
as a window of opportunity for our exporters to promote their
products as well as showcase the Philippines as an ideal source for
coconut-based products,” said DTI Trade and Investments Promotion
Group Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado.
DTI supported 17
Philippine exporters enrolled in its Regional Interactive Platform
for Philippine Exporters Plus (RIPPLES) program to extensively
promote coconut oil and coconut-based products, including food,
cosmetics, and personal care items to the huge US market.
Together with key
officials from the United Coconut Association of the Philippines (UCAP)
and Virgin Coconut Oil Philippines (VCOP), the Philippine Trade and
Investment Centers in the United States (Washington, D.C. and San
Francisco) assisted and organized business meetings between American
and Philippine companies for potential partnerships that seek to
enhance and expand exports of Philippine coconut-based products to
the United States. The group also met with US doctors and scientists
that have in-depth knowledge on the benefits of coconut oil.
The group participated in
the 50th ASEAN Anniversary Forum organized by the ASEAN Trade
Commissioners in partnership with the Port of Los Angeles. The
meetings with leading importers and retail chains in Los Angeles and
San Francisco generated market leads and market access platforms for
For the Washington, D.C.
leg, the Philippine Companies met with the US Department of
Agriculture, the Organic Trade Association, the US–Philippines
Society, Foodshowcase, the USA Halal Chamber of Commerce, and
and Philippine officials were also briefed on the US Generalized
System of Preferences (GSP) Program, including identifying coconut
products that could benefit from GSP treatment. Meetings held in
Washington, D.C. highlighted the importance of trade policy issues
when exporting to the United States, including compliance to US food
safety regulations, labelling, and other non-tariff measures.
From 14 to 16 September,
the delegation held a dialogue with several US companies during the
Natural Product Expo East held in Baltimore, Maryland, considered as
the East Coast’s leading trade show in the natural, organic, and
healthy products industry. The delegation had a chance to exchange
views on how to further promote and increase awareness to American
consumers on the health benefits of coconut oil.
include Amazing Foods Corp, Chemrez Technologies, Inc., Coco Plus,
Coco Veda, Coconut Cures, Dignity, Eau de Coco, Franklin Baker
Company of the Philippines, Galo Organic and Naturals, Greenlife
Coconut Products Philippines, Inc., Hancole Corp., Marinduque Land
Corporation, Pasciolco Agri Ventures, Nuco/ProSource International,
Inc., Wellness Care International Inc., and Tongsan Industrial
DTI’s Coconut Roadshow to
the United States is in partnership with the Philippine Coconut
Authority (PCA), an agency committed to promote the growth of the
P. Adongay Jr., (wearing black jacket) District Engineer
inspects the on-going widening along Naval-Caibiran Cross
Country Road (NCCR) with a construction budget of
P37,418,424.94. Adongay reported that the project is being
fast-tracked to finish the project on or before October 8,
2017. As of August 30, 2017, it has an accomplishment of
monitors on-going and completed FY 2017 projects
September 24, 2017
NAVAL, Biliran –
Engr. David P. Adongay Jr., District Engineer of Biliran District
Engineering Office (BDEO) conducts inspection around the district on
August 16, 2017 together with Engr. Ginisar M. Romero, Engineer II.
The first project
inspected by DE Adongay is the substantially completed Asphalt
overlay along Naval-Caibiran Cross Country Road with a construction
cost of P33.322M.
The project entails the
application of asphalt overlay on existing concrete pavement with
minor corrections with a width of 6.10 m. and a thickness of 50 mm
covering an area of 7.316 lane km.
According to Adongay,
application of a Reflective Thermoplastic Stripping Materials will
be the last activity of the project. The completion of this project
will provide a smooth riding surface for the traveling public as
well as provide convenience in transporting agricultural and aquatic
products to market centers.
Construction of Drainage
along Biliran Circumferential Road is another project inspected by
DE Adongay. The project is still on-going upon DE’s inspection.
Major scope of work of the project is the construction of both open
drainage on some sections and covered drainage on another section
with a total length of 1,860 ln.m. It is to be constructed after a
3.05 m. widened shoulder.
Adongay reported that the
project has already 58% accomplishment as of August 30, 2017 and is
target to be completed on October 1, 2017. The completion of this
project will provide a drainage structure that will contain runoff
water from the mountain sides during rainy days which will prevent
flooding along the National Road thereby preventing its
The district engineer also
took time to inspect the on-going Rehabilitation of Damaged Paved
National Road along Naval-Caibiran Cross Country road (NCCR).
Adongay said that the major scope of work of the project is the
replacement of damaged concrete pavement to new concrete with a
construction budget of P1.457M.
“The project was
prioritized because of the significant cracking along the above
section which when left unattended might cause vehicular accident,”
Adongay reported that as
of August 30, 2017, the project is already completed.
The last project inspected
by DE Adongay is the Widening along Naval-Caibiran Cross Country
Road (NCCR) with a construction budget of P37.218M The project
involves the construction of additional lanes on both sides of the
existing paved road with a width of 3.35 m., a thickness of 0.28 m.
and a length of 1.30 Kms. on one (1) section along Naval-Caibiran
Cross Country Road. It includes also construction of drainage and
installation of road safety features. Adongay reported that the
project is being fast-tracked to finish the project on or before
October 8, 2017.
As of August 30, 2017, it
has an accomplishment of 58%.
“I will be consistently
monitoring the projects in an alternate schedule without the
knowledge of the contractor so as to see if they are doing their
job,” said Adongay.