|07 Jan 2016|
|Energy Department working with local governments to secure power supply in Mindanao|
|The Department of Energy is coordinating efforts to ensure a continuous and reliable power supply in Mindanao, particularly in areas where transmission towers of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) had been bombed, the Palace said on Thursday.Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said Energy Secretary Zenaida Monsada has reported that an additional capacity of up to 600 megawatts (MW) will come onstream in the first half of this year, starting with the 150-MW thermal power plant of the Aboitiz Group, which President Benigno S. Aquino III will inaugurate on Friday.
“Also according to Secretary Monsada, on the bombing of transmission towers, the operations of 14 out of the 15 towers have resumed,” Secretary Coloma said during a press briefing in Malacañang.
Lanao del Sur’s provincial government, led by Governor Mamintal Adiong, is working with other concerned local government units, as well as the NGCP, to beef up security for the transmission towers, the Palace official said, adding that the provincial government is also working to address right-of-way issues with landowners where the towers are located.
Coloma noted that despite the bombing of the transmission towers, the electricity supply in Mindanao will remain stable because it is derived from a combination of sources, including existing hydroelectric power plants.
“The power grid in the region is not solely dependent on these transmission towers, which are connected to the Agus-Pulangi hydroelectric power plants,” he said.
Coloma also assured that there would be enough power supply for Mindanao during the upcoming national elections, saying this is part of the efforts of the Department of Energy.
He said that despite past concerns on the energy supply in Mindanao, the country was able to conduct a successful election in 2013, and there is no reason for this year’s election to be disrupted by power shortage. PND (as)
|President Aquino issues proclamations declaring special holidays in four provinces|
|President Benigno S. Aquino III has issued four proclamations declaring special non-working holidays in several provinces for the month of January in celebration of their respective festivals.
President Aquino issued Proclamation No. 1187 declaring January 11 (Monday) a special non-working day in the City of Koronadal, South Cotabato in celebration of its 75th Foundation Anniversary and 16th Hinugyaw Festival.
January 15 (Friday), through Proclamation No. 1188, has been declared a special non-working day in the City of San Pablo to give its people the full opportunity to celebrate their 21st Coconut Festival and Street Dancing Competition (Mardi Gras).
Through Proclamation No. 1189, President Aquino declared January 16 (Saturday) a special non-working day in the City of Batangas, which will be holding a Tourism and Cultural Day together with the celebration of its city fiesta.
Meanwhile, Proclamation No. 1190 declared January 20 (Wednesday) a special non-working day in the City of Tarlac in celebration of its 5th Melting Pot Festival, which will carry the theme, “Ituloy ang Sigla sa Lungsod ng Tarlac”.
The proclamations were signed last December 28. PND (co)
|Government could activate emergency mechanism in case Saudi-Iran tension escalates, says Palace official|
|The government will activate an existing mechanism if ever the conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran escalates, Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said on Thursday.
Secretary Coloma told reporters during a media briefing in Malacañang that the government has standard policies and procedures in countries where there are large concentrations of Filipinos, as part of its assistance to Filipino nationals.
Nearly one million Filipinos are working or staying in Saudi Arabia.
“Nariyan ang ating mga Embahada, Consulada, meron ding mga tanggapan ang ibang kagawaran, katulad ng Department of Labor (and Employment). At sa ating pinag-uusapang lugar, ang Middle East, meron na tayong mga naging recent experiences under the current administration, kabilang na ang nangyari sa Libya at sa Egypt,” he explained.
“Kaya patuloy na pina-fine-tune at ina-update ang mga plano na dati nang naihanda para tiyakin na ito ay magiging epektibo kung anuman ang sitwasyon na maganap at patuloy na mino-monitor ng DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) ito,” he said.
The Palace official noted that based on the DFA’s overall assessment, there is no need to impose any of the alert levels in the government’s standard procedures.
“Ang importante dito ay matitiyak natin ang kaligtasan at kagalingan, safety and well-being of all of our citizens, dahil marami silang nagtatrabaho sa Middle East at pinakaraming bahagi nito ay nasa Saudi Arabia,” he said.
Diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran were at the lowest level after Saudi Arabia executed a prominent Shi’ite cleric.
The execution infuriated Iranians, resulting in an attack on the Saudi Arabian embassy in Tehran. PND (as)
|President Aquino to inaugurate Aboitiz group’s new coal plant in Davao City|
| President Benigno S. Aquino III will inaugurate on Friday the 150-megawatt (MW) Unit 2 of the coal-fed 300-MW Therma South Energy Project in Toril, Davao City.
Therma South Inc. (TSI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Aboitiz Power Corp., infused P25 billion for the construction of a 300-MW coal plant, which began in 2012.
The power plant will supply power to the cities of Davao, Cagayan de Oro, General Santos, Butuan, Kidapawan, Cotabato and Tagum; the provinces in the Davao and Caraga regions; the provinces of Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, and Sarangani; as well as parts of Bukidnon, Misamis, and Zamboanga peninsula.
It was reported that at least 50 MW of TSI Unit 2’s generating capacity and another 50 MW from TSI Unit 1 have been contracted to the Davao Light and Power Company.
The 150-MW TSI Unit 1 went on full commercial operations last September.
The Palace said on Thursday that the Department of Energy is coordinating efforts to ensure a continuous and reliable power supply in Mindanao.
The department has reported that an additional capacity of up to 600 MW will come onstream in the first half of this year, starting with the 150-MW power plant that the President will inaugurate on Friday.
It is also working with local government units in Mindanao to beef up security in the region to secure transmission towers owned by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines. PND (as)
|President Aquino pays tribute to former U.S. Ambassador Stephen Bosworth|
| President Benigno S. Aquino III has extended his condolences to the family and loved ones of former US ambassador to the Philippines Stephen Bosworth, recognizing his contribution to the restoration of democracy in the country.
“It is with a deep sense of loss that I pay tribute to former Ambassador Stephen W. Bosworth, a man who was not only an able and honorable envoy of his country, but a man who proved to be an enduring friend of the Filipino people and our democratic way of life,” the President said in a statement issued on Thursday.
The Chief Executive said his mother, former president Corazon Aquino, found Bosworth to be a diplomat “who went above and beyond the call of duty to understand and support the aspirations of the Filipino people”.
As US Ambassador to the Philippines from 1984 to 1987, Bosworth made it possible for his fellow American citizens and the rest of the world to see the true condition of the Philippines while actively engaging former president Ferdinand Marcos to help him realize the consequences of his administration’s actions, the President said.
“At the most crucial moments, Ambassador Bosworth served as an active broker and advocate, one who truly contributed to the reclamation of our liberty,” he noted.
“Through his unwavering commitment to our shared values, he earned the trust and confidence of a nation yearning to breathe free.”
President Aquino further recalled that even after the envoy’s tenure in the Philippines, Bosworth, along with other partners at the US-Philippines Society, remained supportive of and interested in the continued progress of the Philippines towards making democracy work for all.
He also recounted a “memorable engagement” with Bosworth when he had the opportunity to interact with the former US ambassador during his visit to the United States in September 2014.
“The Philippines has always been fortunate in having such friends abroad. I am certain that he would have welcomed the 30th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution next month,” he said.
“His passing is a reminder that the freedom we regained to the acclamation and admiration of the world is a gift that a new generation of Filipinos must carefully nurture, protect, and even expand.”
Bosworth died in Boston, Massachusetts last Sunday at the age of 76.
Aside from being posted in the Philippines, he also served as ambassador to Tunisia (1979-1981) and the Republic of Korea (1997-2001), and as special representative for North Korea Policy for the Obama Administration (2009-2011). PND (as)