January 10, 2017 – Press Briefing by Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella and Department of Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella
|Press Briefing by Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella and Department of Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella|
|Press Briefing Room, New Executive Building, Malacañang|
|10 January 2017|
|PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Good morning. Today we’re going to be featuring our resource person from the Department of Energy, Undersecretary Wimpy Fuentebella.
Prior to his stint at the Energy department, Mr. Fuentebella served as the former congressman of 4th district of Camarines Sur, the Deputy Secretary General of Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, HUDCC, and the House Land Use Regulatory Board, HLURB commissioner in 2010.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press corps, let us all give a warm welcome to our guest, DOE Undersecretary Wimpy Fuentebella.
USEC. FUENTEBELLA: Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary. It’s my first time here. Good morning po sa inyong lahat. I’ll be tackling three issues with you. Kasi importante sa atin una ‘yung restoration ng power.
We just like to report that as of yesterday afternoon, we have already restored power to 76 percent of those affected. So those affected households count to 1,700,000 households and we have already restored 1,300,000. And it is a challenge for us to restore about 400,000 households.
The provinces that are challenging as far as restoration is concerned is Marinduque dahil nakaka-21 percent pa lamang ho tayo doon; Camarines Sur dahil on the average we’re only hitting 40 percent pa lamang po doon; and Catanduanes, 20 percent.
But the rest that are 100 percent are as follows: Batangas, Occidental Mindoro, Sorsogon, Camarines Norte.
In order to fast track further our effort in restoring power to the resident households and to the commercial areas, the NEA, the National Electrification Administration coordinated with the distribution utilities.
Kasama po doon ‘yung mga kooperatiba at saka ‘yung mga private distribution utilities, at nag-mobilize po sila ng almost 1,000 personnel, technical people, linesmen, and engineers. To be exact, it’s 182 and dinadagdagan pa po ‘yun.
And also ‘yung NGCP, kaya na-restore na nila, nakapag-100 percent na sila, dahil nagpadala po sila ng personnel sa field of more than 500, almost 600 personnel.
For Napocor, doon sa mga SPUG areas or doon sa mga isla tulad ng Marinduque, Oriental Mindoro, at Catanduanes they have 100 personnel para ma-fast track po ‘yung restoration. And hindi pa po tayo nakaka-100 percent dito sa Typhoon Nina affected areas, eh tinamaan naman tayo ng Auring.
At dito po sa Auring, nagkaroon po ng problema ‘yung dalawang facilities ng NGCP, isang tore at isa pong emergency restoration system dahil may inaayos din po silang isang tore.
Nagkaroon po ng damage ‘yung isang tower ng NGCP dahil gumalaw po ‘yung river, lumiko ‘yung river. They call it meandering. Nag-meander siya or lumiko siya at tinamaan po ‘yung base ng tower at humina ito kaya nagkaroon po ng problema. So it caused problems in Mindanao. The deadline for NGCP to fix it, their self-imposed deadline is January 12 because nandoon pa rin po ‘yung tubig.
So for both typhoon Nina and Auring, it’s a challenge for us to have good weather, specially so na nagkaroon na naman ng advisory ‘yung PAGASA for Bicol area na malakas na naman ‘yung rainfall.
Secretary Cusi emphasizes that we need to fast track our restoration efforts. However, the priority is safety, because when we were out in restoring the damage areas in northern Luzon because of typhoon Lawin, we lost one of our linemen in Task Force Kapatid. Isang Waray na lineman na nag-volunteer dito sa North Luzon, nagkaroon po ng aksidente, na-electrocute.
So we don’t want that to happen again. So we wish to emphasize for everybody, at doon po sa malapit sa mga damaged areas: Number one, huwag po natin lalapitan ‘yung mga facilities na nakatumba, ‘yung mga facilities na ‘yan kasi it may cause accidents, further accidents; number two, bantayan po natin siya para hindi siya mawala; number three, ‘yun pong sa linemen natin, eh dapat properly equipped. Huwag po tayong magmadali. Mabilis ang importante but safety is primordial.
So ‘yun po ‘yung first topic na nais naming i-brief sa ating mga kasamahan dito press briefing na ito. Iyong pangalawa pong issue, eh magkakaroon po ng scheduled maintenance shutdown ang Malampaya facility natin, upstream, o ito po ‘yung pinagkukunan natin ng natural gas.
Ano po ‘yung kailangan gawin para magkaroon ng maintenance? Kailangan pong ayusin una ‘yung mga facilities sa ilalim ng dagat, subsea facilities. Kaya isinabay na rin po ‘yung maintenance doon sa platform, ito po ‘yung building sa taas ng dagat at ‘yung dadaanan po ng nat gas, natural gas papunta po doon sa power plant.
Sinabay-sabay na po ‘yan at naka-schedule po ‘yan ng January 18 hanggang February 18 for a total of 20 days. At dahil po diyan, akala natin eh isang facility lang ang aayusin—January 28 to February 18, sorry for that.
Akala po natin eh Malampaya lamang ang aayusin, malaki po ang epekto nito dahil maraming planta po ang nakasalalay sa paggamit ng natural gas. At para hindi po tayo kulangin ng supply, para ibig sabihin po niyan, eh para may magamit tayong kuryente. Eh kailangan lumipat ‘yung ibang planta from natural gas to diesel which is more expensive.
And because of this, Secretary Cusi made a directive: number one, kailangan ma-ensure ng Department of Energy, in proper coordination with our partners, with the stakeholders involved, that there will be sufficiency of power; and number two, we have to maximize our protection to our consumers so that we will avoid any price shock.
Price shock meaning baka pagdating ng March bill natin eh magulat tayo dahil biglang nagmahal. So, papaano natin ini-ensure na magkaroon tayo ng supisyenteng power? We are coordinating with all those involved, number one, the SPEX or the Malampaya consortium na siguruhing hindi lalampas ng 20 days ‘yung maintenance nila.
So when they reported yesterday, that was our second coordination meeting, when they reported yesterday, everything is still on track. By January 15, all of the materials should have been delivered para maayos nila ‘yung kanilang facility.
By January 22, lahat ng personnel nandiyan na at magkakaroon ng briefing para sa logistics, sasakyan, et cetera. And when they start on the 28th, dapat matapos ‘yan ng February 18.
Doon naman sa mga planta na magkakaroon ng shift from nat gas to diesel, sinisiguro natin na meron silang sapat na supply ng diesel at tatakbo sila, hindi derated, or ibig sabihin kung ano ‘yung ipinangako nilang megawatts na maide-deliver, siguruhin na ‘yun ang talagang maide-deliver nila.
Pangatlo, nagkakaroon po tayo ng demand side management of kampanya, para doon sa mga may bahay at saka sa mga nagma-manage ng commercial areas, commercial buildings, or industrial areas, eh magkaroon ng computation kung papaano sila makapagtipid or makapaggamit ng kuryente nang masinop or judicious use of electricity.
So meron diyan mga advice kung anong oras dapat namamalansta. Hindi daw dapat peak hours. So ang pinaka-maganda po niya, eh ‘yung mga grupo ni ‘Andres’ kasama ko po dito ‘yung pangalan si ‘Andy’ ‘yung grupo ng mga ‘Andres de Saya’ eh mamalantsa po tayo ng weekend, ng umaga.
Iyon po ‘yung mga…Huwag mamalansta si mga ‘Andres’ ng peak hours, 7, 8 ng umaga weekday, 1, 2 ng hapon, at saka 7, 8 ng gabi. At bawasan po natin ‘yung aircon kasi medyo malamig naman, February. Two hours of bawas aircon is also okay.
And doon po sa may mga laboratory, halimbawa, sa mga paaralan, for the 20 days, medyo tingnan po natin baka there are other activities that we can use, we can do. Because our aim here is to ensure na hindi tayo magulat pagdating ng bill dahil sa simulations po natin, lumalabas na may dagdag pong P1.20 per kilowatt hour na dagdag at kung dagdagan pa po natin ‘yan ng VAT eh lumalabas na about 1.4.
So halimbawa po ang isang bahay ay 200 kilowatts po ang monthly consumption eh magdadagdag po ‘yan ng 200 to 300 pesos. So dahil po diyan ay demand side management po ‘yung itinutulak natin.
At ‘yung pang-apat, ‘yun pong sa renewable energy, kinakausap po natin ‘yung mga geothermal at saka ‘yung mga hydro plants natin kung pwedeng dagdagan ang kanilang production dahil magkakaroon po ng disturbance po sa supply ng mga 2,100 megawatts. So ‘yun po ‘yung pangawalang issue.
Ulitin ko po, sinasabi ni Secretary Cusi: Number one, ensure sufficiency, so we are doing everything; and, number two, maximize the protection for our consumers.
And because of this, we are also looking into policies kung paano magaanan ang ating consumers so we will do our proper coordination with the other energy agencies.
Marami po ang nagtatanong tungkol sa volatility ng oil prices. Kanina po binulungan ako ng isang nagtatrabaho dito sa office ni Secretary Abella, ‘bakit tumaas na naman ‘yung diesel?’
Ganito po kasi ‘yung kwento diyan. Every week po, gumagalaw po ang presyo ng petroleum products. Pero ang katunayan po niyan, everyday po ‘yan. Ang implementation lamang po na ginagawa natin ay every Tuesday. So ‘yun po ‘yung ating policy.
Number two, deregulated po siya, ibig sabihin, pinapabayaan po natin ‘yung market forces na magdikta ng presyo at tinanggal po natin ‘yung pakikialam or subsidy ng gobyerno na meron tayo noon, ‘yung Oil Price Stabilization Fund or OPSF. So what we see in the market is what we get.
Now what are the factors that affect the prices of petroleum products? Parati pong itinuturo sa paaralan ‘yung supply at demand. Ganoon rin po ‘yon, kaya lang dinagdagan namin ng other factors. So ‘pag sumosobra po ang supply, ang tendency po ay bumaba ang presyo ng mga petroleum products.
Ngunit noong mga nakaraang buwan, nagusap-usap ‘yung mga nagpo-produce ng petroleum products na limitahan or i-control ang kanilang production dahil po sa kumokonti na ang kanilang kinikita. So nagusap-usap sila and parang nagkakaroon na ng kasunduan although sa implementation, meron pong mga hindi tumutupad.
So dahil po diyan, nagkaroon po ng pagtulak pataas ng presyo ng petroleum products. Pero doon naman po sa demand, ‘pag konti po ang gumagamit ng petroleum products, ang tendency po eh to — bumaba ‘yung presyo. Ang problema lamang po ngayon eh medyo malamig. At dahil malamig, kailangan gumamit ng petroleum products para po pampainit. Ito po ang nangyayari sa world market. So nagkakaroon din po ng pagtulak pataas.
But there are also other factors. Kasama po diyan ‘yung paglakas o paghina ng piso. Kasama rin po diyan ‘yung weather dahil kung malamig, mainit, kung binaha, it affects supply, it affects demand.
Kasama rin po diyan ‘yung peace and order situation lalo na kung ito ay nangyayari doon sa oil producing country. Kasama rin po diyan ‘yung transportation issues, transporting the oil products from one destination to another lalo na kung mayroon mga reports ng piracy or pag-aagaw ng mga barko na nagkakarga nito.
So because of all these factors, the economists find it hard to predict everyday kung ano ‘yung galaw ng petroleum products. Ano po ang kwento sa atin sa Pilipinas? Hindi po tayo umaabot ng one percent sa paggamit ng petrolyo. Actually, hindi nga po tayo umaabot sa kalahati ng one percent. So ibig sabihin, kahit makipag-agawan tayo diyan, wala pong masyadong epekto or negligible po ‘yung epekto niyan.
Ang naging polisiya ng ating bansa ng 20 years na — tama, 20 years, magtu-21 years na, is i-deregulate ito: what we see is what we get. So diyan po ‘yung tatlong issue na nais namin i-brief from the Department of Energy.
Number one, ang tinitingnan po ni Secretary Cusi at ng Department of Energy and the family is we need to support the energy sector because if we are efficient in using our energy, we are able to complete with other nations and we can create more wealth for the nation and because of that, para magkaroon tayo ng mas malalim na appreciation sa ating energy resources from resource development hanggang sa pag-process niyan, sa pag-distribute niyan at sa paggamit, kailangan lamang po natin maging efficient para maging masaya po at mas tumaas ang quality ng pamumuhay ng ating mga kababayan.
So ‘yan po ang paliwanag namin sa Board of Investments kaya sinabi namin sa kanila na ang polisiya natin as far as power is concerned is we pass the burden or the risk to the private sector. We have to have consistency of rules because they are the ones that we tasked to provide us with the power that we need.
So diyan po ako magtatapos ng konting paliwanag and we will be open, Mr. Secretary, ladies and gentlemen, for your questions.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:
Cedric Castillo (GMA 7): Usec, sir, good morning po.
USEC. FUENTEBELLA: Good morning.
Mr. Castillo: Sir, doon sa period po na January 28 to Feb 18 po ‘yung shutdown ng —
USEC. FUENTEBELLA: Yes po
Mr. Castillo: Sir, may assurance po ba tayo na ‘yung ibang mga power plants naman, hindi sila magkakaron ng mga outages po? Kasi ‘di ba magkakaron ng increase ng supply naman nila o sa demand sa kanila, sir, tama po ba?
USEC. FUENTEBELLA: Iyon ‘yung hinihingi natin na assurance from them. Iyong mga nakaplanong mag-shutdown eh ‘wag nang madagdagan. Ngunit lately, meron pang isang nadagdag na may nakaplanong i-shutdown na hindi namin unang nailista pero ang maganda naman, meron namang nadagdag na capable tumakbo from nat gas to diesel so parang nag-o-offset siya.
Pangalawa, ‘yung mga planta na pwedeng madagdagan ‘yung output ay tinitingnan din po natin. Iyon po ‘yung ating mga renewable energy kasama po ‘yung geothermal at saka ‘yung hydro. So we have that option also.
Number three, hindi po sa tungkol sa planta ngunit doon naman sa demand side. Kinakausap natin ‘yung ating mga kababayan kung pwede tayo magtulungan kung papaano masiguro na may sufficiency nga ng power supply so lahat ng may mga generator, ‘yung mga malalaking mga konsumidor ng kuryente tulad ng mga malls at tulad ng mga government agencies na may ano, may generator, we are coordinating and kino-contact natin sila so that just in case ‘yung sinasabi niyo po, eh madagdagan pa ng planta. Kasi hindi naman natin minsan aakalain, may kotseng tumirik, ‘yung planta po eh parang kotse, minsan biglang tumitirik eh meron pa tayong sapat na reserba.
Mr. Castillo: So, sir, in the event na kahit may assurance sila na hindi sila magfo-force outage or magsa-shutdown during that period, in the event na magkaroon po ng forced outages, sir, maa-address po ito?
USEC. FUENTEBELLA: I’m sorry? Kung may?
Mr. Castillo: Kung halimbawa, sir, kahit na meron silang assurance na hindi sila magsa-shutdown eh biglang nagkaroon sila ng forced outages during that period po, pwede pa ring i-address ‘yun sir? Hindi tayo magkakaproblema sa supply?
USEC. FUENTEBELLA: Yes, meron pa tayong tinitingnan na ibang reserves.
Maricel Halili (TV-5): Good morning, sir. Sir, just a quick follow up doon sa Auring, ‘yung mga areas na affected. Ano, sir, ‘yung mga challenges na na-encounter natin? Why is it difficult to restore energy on Marinduque, Camarines Sur and Catanduanes?
USEC. FUENTEBELLA: This is Nina?
Ms. Halili: Yeah, Nina.
USEC. FUENTEBELLA: Number one, ‘yung Catanduanes, Camarines Sur, at Marinduque, ‘yon pong direktang tinamaan ‘nung typhoon. Iyon po ‘yung malapit sa center. At dahil po diyan, mas malaki po ‘yung damage na nangyari dito sa ating mga energy electricity facilities. So, ang lakas po niya ay 180 to 85 kilometers per hour. Ngunit noong tumama po siya first landfall sa Catanduanes parang umabot siya ng 290 sa gitna, gustiness, ‘yung pag-second landfall. Kaya maraming mga poles at saka mga towers ang affected. So kung napapansin po natin ang affected na mga linya ng NGCP na pinakamaraming pinsala ay ‘yon pong linya ng Camarines Sur papuntang Albay. Kaya po nahirapan po tayo dito sa areang ito mag-restore kaagad sa Albay at sa Sorsogon ng kuryente.
Ngunit noong naayos na ng NGCP ‘yung linyang ito, bigla naman nag-wa-100 percent kasi ‘yung Sorsogon hindi na masyadong tinamaan ibig sabihin ‘yung mga poste doon sa distribution utility nila or ‘yung parang MERALCO nila, ‘yung nagdi-distribute ng kuryente hindi masyadong naapektuhan. Ang naapektuhan ay ‘yung super highway, ‘yung transmission line.
Ano ‘yung mga challenges natin sa ngayon? Iyong mga commercial areas po ang inuna nating tinarget para magkaroon ng restoration ng power. Bakit po natin inuna ‘yung commercial areas and other vital government institutions?
Iyon po ‘yung mga ospital at ‘yon po ay para mabuksan ‘yung mga bangko at magkaroon ng pag-andar ng ATM para mas maging efficient tayo sa resource mobilization. At ‘yung mga radio ay makapag-communicate sa mga tao kung ano ang coordination na pwedeng magawa with those affected at ‘yung mga munisipyo at ‘yung mga kapitolyo eh magkaroon na ng power at magkaroon ng communication para ma-mobilize ‘yung kanilang disaster mitigation and ano — ‘yung kanilang teams for restoration.
So ‘yon po ang tinarget natin, ang tinatawag po diyan sa amin sa energy sector ay ‘yung backbone. So backbone ng NGCP and then the backbone of the distribution utilities. After using or after restoring the backbone, meron na po tayong aayusin ‘yung mga lateral lines, side to side. So iyon po ang medyo challenging dahil sa paggawa po niyan, merong pa pong areas na baha at meron pa pong areas na hindi accessible. So iyon po ang nagiging medyo mahirap. At once we go farther, the farther we go from the backbone — parang isipin nating puno na ‘pag gusto na nating umabot sa mga dahon ‘yung mga sityong malalayo at ‘yung mga bahay na malalayo ‘yon po ‘yung mas challenging kasi mas mahaba na po ‘yung linya at mas konti ‘yung household na kanyang nare-restore.
So for Catanduanes, Camarines Sur and Marinduque, it also follows that we will deploy more personnel so that we can fast track. But it’s not only a question of deploying more personnel, we should also know how many poles are damaged, ilang kilometro iyan at alin diyan ‘yung accessible na. Tapos kino-compute po natin sa isang team kung ilang poste ang kailangan nilang maitayo at ‘yon po ‘yung nagiging basis natin to come up with the target kung kailan magkakaroon ng full restoration. The restoration target of Secretary Cusi is by January. So, we are really working hard and he also wants us to ensure the safety of our personnel. So, we are also ensuring na safe po ‘yung kanilang pag-restore ng kuryente.
Marlon Ramos (The Philippine Daily Inquirer): Sir, on the maintenance shutdown of Malampaya. What institutional intervention can the government do to soften or mitigate the uptick in the price of electricity during that period?
USEC. FUENTEBELLA: There will definitely be a higher rates because it’s a question of — or the issue here is a change of fuel from nat gas to diesel and ‘yung diesel po ay mas mahal sa nat gas. So what we are explaining to the public is to explain the impact through simulations sa pricing and we are also looking into a possibility of staggered payment. In the staggered payment though it will have to undergo a process. So, somebody or the consumer group or ERC may have to hold hearings so that this policy can be pursued.
So, sinisiguro din natin na ito ay magiging makatarungan at hindi siya madaya. Also, we are looking into price offers in the spot market. The Market Surveillance Committee will be more active and it will be — I hope it will remain that way. So because it will be the policy of the Secretary para tingnan ng maigi ‘yung price offers ng mga nagbebenta ng kuryente to ensure that there is no anti-competitive behavior.
Mr. Ramos: How do you deal with criticisms or insinuations from some groups that the shutdown of some power facilities are actually meant, intended to augment the income of the power producers by, you know, adjusting their prices?
USEC. FUENTEBELLA: We listen to all the criticisms and we try to find out whether or not they are constructive. And in order to do that, we look at the technical inputs na pinapasok from their engineers and our engineers. So tinitingnan nating maigi kung ano ‘yung mga data kaya nakakapag-come up nga tayo ng simulations ng pricing at dahil diyan nako-compare natin nang maigi. So we look at ilang megawatts ‘yung napo-produce, how much is needed to produce this much and ano ‘yung presyo sa pagbebenta nito.
So lahat po ng mga technical details tinitingnan natin nang maigi and we are objective about it. So, maraming nakakatulong sa pagre-remind sa amin to be always on our toes and that is what we are — we intend to do. Kaya nga po parating nagre-remind ang Department of Energy na our role is to integrate and to coordinate the energy family. And Secretary Cusi acts like the father of the energy sector. It’s always a challenge because we have to balance both sa supply at sa demand. We cannot favor one too much or the other although the Secretary emphasizes that he is looking at it from the consumer’s point of view. But to favor too much one side can be disaster. Minsan po wala tayong kuryente at minsan naman sobra naman ‘yung taas. So kailangan talaga parating binabalanse.
Mr. Ramos: Sir, in this particular case of the shutdown of the Malampaya gas field, can the DOE assure the public that this is not in a way intentional?
USEC. FUENTEBELLA: It’s not intentional because nakita po ng pag-report sa amin ng Malampaya Consortium na meron pong leak na nangyayari sa ilalim. And normal naman po na kahit po ‘yung mga kotse natin na nagkakaroon ng mga regular maintenance na ipinapasok sa talyer.
So lahat po ‘yan nagkakaroon ng wear and tear sa paggamit. So, may mga panahon na kailangan natin siyang ayusin. At para ayusin iyan, naging creative na nga ‘yung mga engineers nila na idagdag na rin kasi ‘yung pinaka-source ay may problema, hindi rin naman aandar ‘yung iba so pinagsabay-sabay na para ma-limit ‘yung period to 20 days. So iyon na po ‘yung maximum.
In fact, tinanong ni Usec. Posadas doon sa nagpe-present kung kaya pa bang iklian ‘yung 20 days. Meron doon sa kanilang gagawin na talagang 20 days. Kaya iyon ang sinasabing — may term sila na critical something sa engineering. What is the critical path? So that is the 20 days so ‘yon na ‘yung pinakasagad at pinasok na nila lahat ng maintenance na gagawin doon sa period na iyon.
Leila Salaverria (The Philippine Daily Inquirer): Good morning, sir. Sir, your estimated 1.2 per kilowatt hour…
USEC. FUENTEBELLA: Wala pa pong VAT ‘yon ha. 1.4.
Ms. Salaverria: 1.4.
USEC. FUENTEBELLA: ‘Pag residente po.
Ms. Salaverria: Is this already based on the worst case scenario?
USEC. FUENTEBELLA: No, it’s the middle ground.
Ms. Salaverria: So how big is the possibility that the increase will even be bigger than expected —
USEC. FUENTEBELLA: It’s 50-50 kasi baka gumalaw pa siya ng 1.41 or 1.39 kasi masyado pang madetalye ‘yung tinitingnan natin. But what we are focusing on is when we go closer, we have better simulations because we have a better check kung ano ‘yung mga figures na ipinapasok, ‘yung mga numbers na ipinapasok sa formula.
Ms. Salaverria: Sir, based on the latest figures, what is the biggest possible increase that people can expect?
USEC. FUENTEBELLA: 1.44.
Ms. Salaverria: With VAT or —
USEC. FUENTEBELLA: With VAT na po ‘yan.
Ms. Salaverria: With VAT.
USEC. FUENTEBELLA: Iyong sa mga commercial kasi napapass on ‘yon, so lumalabas doon eh less than that.
Ms. Salaverria: Sir, may I also get an update on the Interruptible Load Program and how this will factor in the shutdown?
USEC. FUENTEBELLA: Iyon po ‘yung sinabi kong mga malalaking konsumidor na may sariling generator na nagvo-volunteer na ‘okay lang po kaming putulan dahil magpapatakbo po kami ng ating mga sariling gen sets.’
So ang capability niya is almost 900 megawatts kaya lang…Kaya nga inaano natin, idinedetalye nating maigi. Kaya lamang, ‘yon ‘yung pwedeng maglaro pero ‘pag tinatapik mo na, ‘time to play’, kalahati po noon ang nakakapaglaro. So ilagay natin sa 400 at hinahati pa po siya sa umaga at gabi so nagkakaroon ng 250 at 150 megawatts.
So dahil po sa pangungulit natin at nakikita natin ‘yung ganung picture so ‘yung 900 eh 150 pala so dahil diyan, mas nakikita ng Department of Energy kung ano pa ‘yung kailangang tapikin at kailangan sigurong sabihan naman ‘yung kabilang team, ‘yung demand side, ‘hinay-hinay lang.’
So medyo malamig naman, bawas-bawas ng embrace para hindi masyadong mainit at palakasin ‘yung aircon. ‘Yung mga magde-date sa February 14, sabi nga natin eh baka tingnan po ‘yung candle light dinner para medyo tipid sa ilaw. So mga ganyang pamamaraan at ‘yung mga ‘Andres de saya’ po ay ‘wag po mamamalantsa during peak hours.
JP Bencito (Manila Standard): Hi, sir. Hi, sir, good morning. Sir, on another topic po. Sir, are we looking into joint explorations in the South China Sea? Sir, is it possible that it’s government of — between government–to-government or purely business-to-business deals?
USEC. FUENTEBELLA: Okay. As far as explorations are concerned, we defer to the Department of Foreign Affairs and the National Security Council. In fact, I asked again Usec. Marcos yesterday on what is the latest and he said, we have to defer to these bodies, these institutions kasi it’s an issue that is more than energy.
Mr. Bencito: Pero, sir, meron bang nag-send feelers from —
USEC. FUENTEBELLA: I think there are talks but it’s more under the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Mr. Bencito: Thank you, sir.
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Good morning. Before we go into the Q & A, I’d just like to cover a few items.
Number one, the Black Nazarene is back home safe after terror threats. Despite possible threats of violence from various groups, thousands of Catholic devotees guided the centuries-old image of the Black Nazarene safely back to its home before dawn on Tuesday. Doors closed at 3:30 a.m. this morning.
Also, the 4th Quarter 2016 Social Weather Survey conducted on December 3 to 6 via face-to-face interviews with 1,500 adults nationwide with sampling error margins of ±3 points for national percentages and ±4 for Balance Luzon as well as ±6 points each for Metro Manila, Visayas and Mindanao found 73 percent of respondents satisfied with the national government, 12 percent dissatisfied and 15 percent undecided, yielding a net satisfaction rating of +61 percent, classified by the Social Weather Survey as ‘very good.’
Also, Pulse Asia Survey showing President Duterte as the most trusted government official in the Philippines continues to serve as a source of inspiration to the President and his official family.
President Duterte remains that… As the survey showed, the President’s trust and approval ratings are at a high of 83 percent. All right.
Also, we may be able to share with you just a detail from the Cabinet meeting last night that there were… From the DOTr, Department of Transportation. Ongoing details of the feasibility study by DOTr and NEDA regarding the target completion by the end of January is for the possible implementation of the Tagum-Davao-Digos segment of the railway station — of the railway project in Mindanao. So that’s a bit of inspiration.
We’ll be open to questions and answers. Thank you.
Ms. Halili: Sir, just a follow up on the Cabinet meeting.
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Yes?
Ms. Halili: Did you discuss about the issue on ‘LeniLeaks’?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: No. There was no discussion there and if there was any pull-aside, I was not privy to it.
Ms. Halili: But what was the reaction of the President when he learned about the issue on ‘LeniLeaks’?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: It was not mentioned at all. Not during the Cabinet meeting.
Ms. Halili: How about, sir, the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: What about?
Ms. Halili: Was it discussed?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: There was a presentation. He’ll be here on Thursday and there will be a state dinner, a state — state dinner. I think there will be details but he will be here on Thursday and he will be in Davao on Friday.
Ms. Halili: And what do we expect to gain from the visit of the Prime Minister, sir?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: There are at least two major things. There will be meet-ups with business sectors, both in Manila and in Davao. Thank you.
Mr. Castillo: Sir, ‘yung opening statement mo, sir, you said that despite the threats from various groups —
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Possible threats.
Mr. Castillo: Possible threats, sir. But General Bato, I believe, said earlier na parang they just came up with the parang, it was a make-believe, parang they invented the supposed threats para lang daw magkaroon ng vigilance, I don’t from the ano — pero hindi ba, sir, parang medyo confusing ‘yung statement na the Palace is acknowledging the threats pero si —
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: No, let me clarify. I said “despite the possible threats” okay. So whether it was invented or — I’m not privy to inventions.
Mr. Castillo: Thank you, sir.
Mr. Ramos: Sir, since the Cabinet and the President did not discuss the supposed leaked emails involving the supporters of Vice President Robredo —
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Yes?
Mr. Ramos: Is it reflective of how, of the sincerity or the gravity of those accusations? I mean, ibig ba sabihin, the Palace, even the President did not give or is not taking those accusation too seriously?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: It’s like, I suppose there — no, not that they are not being taken seriously. We’re just saying that any of these things should be — any and all of these things are to be taken with concern. However, it has not reached the level of gravity to be discussed in Cabinet level.
Mr. Ramos: Sir, previously, sir, the Secretary of the National Defense repeatedly said that there’s no such thing as a plot to unseat the President, at this time a very popular President. Does the Palace or at least some of its officials believe in the — on what some bloggers are writing, then what — then the information given by a top government official like Secretary Lorenzana?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: So what is your question?
Mr. Ramos: Well, I mean, ‘yung, ‘yung — the information about the supposedly leak came from two bloggers —
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Okay.
Mr. Ramos: Who were saying that there were — there was a person who told them that there’s an open Yahoo! group so — but the Defense Secretary has repeatedly mentioned that there’s no such thing as a plan to topple the Duterte administration. Between po doon sa dalawang information, which do you believe more? The information from the bloggers or official communication from the Secretary of National Defense?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Well, let’s put it this way, everything has to be carefully considered and fact based, evidence based. So I…So, well, it’s not my position to be giving my opinion. To run a government you must be fact based, fact and evidence based. Thank you.
Mr. Ramos: Sir, just on the reported travel of the President.
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Yes.
Mr. Ramos: To China to visit daw a cancer hospital?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: I think…Well, let me go by the statement of Special Assistant Go. He said, he is 100 percent sure that there was no outside travel during the Christmas holidays.
Mr. Ramos: Was it mentioned last night during the Cabinet meeting?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: No, it was not mentioned at all.
Mr. Bencito: Hi, sir, good morning.
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Yes, good morning.
Mr. Bencito: Sir, was the President briefed about the DIWM the Dawlatul Islamiyah group that replaced the AKP? Sir, was the President informed about this new development in jihadist groups? What was his immediate reactions and anong ginagawa po ng Palasyo to counter this immediate…?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: If you are asking if it was— he was briefed during the Cabinet meeting, that was not mentioned.
However, he has his own briefings. He has his national security agency briefings, so he may had been… If there’s anything at all, if there’s any validity to the — to those reports, he may have been informed about it already.
Mr. Bencito: Sir, on the SSS lang po.
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Yes.
Mr. Bencito: Sir, a Cabinet official si Secretary Piñol was mentioning na the President was somehow considering reforms to be instituted in the SSS was he referring to the pension hike, sir, or…?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: There are two items that need…Well, first I think the… I may…As far as I know…
There’s a four o’clock press conference with the President. However, let me just mention just for you. Let me…There two — from the point of view the President…
You know, from the point of view of government, from the point of the view of government. One, is fulfilling social contract, and the other is exercising fiscal responsibility. Details will be provided by the President later.
Mr. Bencito: Sir, mabilis lang pong follow up. So between those two ideas, sir, which is prevalent alin ‘yung mabigat for the President or for the government?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: That is for the President to decide. Thank you.
Andreo Calonzo (Bloomberg): On a safer topic, sir. Iyong…I’ll just get some more details on Prime Minister Abe’s visit. What kinds of agreements do we plan or do we expect from the visit here?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: The details will have to come from DFA, but…
Mr. Calonzo: Kahit ‘yung field lang po agriculture, drugs…?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Basically, they’ll talk about regional issues, business, counter terrorism, stuff like that.
Mr. Calonzo: Sir, what will Prime Minister Abe do in Davao? Why does he have to fly there?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Apparently, they have struck a certain resonant cord between the two of them. And apparently, the Pres—Prime Minister Abe wants to visit the President’s house. So it’s interesting.
Ruth Gita (Sunstar): Hi, sir, I just to confirm report po na, President Duterte has invited Cebu mayors po to — to go to Malacañang tomorrow? And has it something to do with the President’s statement yesterday na, his next step is to have an executive — executive meeting with the mayors and let them see for themselves if included sila sa drug list and if included man, he said na he would either kill them or let them resign?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: I have not seeing the appointment’s list. Thank you.
Tina Mendez (Philippine Star): Sir, good afternoon. Sir, si Secretary Piñol was quoted over the radio early this morning, regarding the President’s order to DFA Secretary Yasay to inform the Indian Embassy about clamp down on Indian nationals giving — providing 5-6 to our nationals. Can you confirm and expound on it?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Is this something that Secretary Piñol is supposed to have stated publicly?
Ms. Mendez: Yes.
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: I think there may be some discussion regarding that matter. Thank you.
Ms. Mendez: Sa Cabinet meeting raw, sir.
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Did he make a report? Did Sec. Piñol make a report?
Ms. Mendez: Yes, sir.
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: All right. So let’s take his statement on that.
Benjie Liwanag (DZBB): Sir, good afternoon. Sir, is it true, can you confirm na ininvite na ni Pangulong Duterte si incoming US President Trump for the ASEAN 2017?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: That I do not really know. It was not talked about at all especially during the Cabinet meeting yesterday.
Mr. Liwanag: Sir, sino pa ho ‘yung iba pang mga na-invite if hindi tayo privy doon kay incoming President —
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: For the ASEAN? DFA did not talk about that last night.
Mr. Liwanag: Sir, is it the DFA, sir?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Yes, it’s usually the DFA’s call.
Mr. Liwanag: Sends the invitations?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Yes.
Mr. Liwanag: Thank you very much, sir.
Vanz Fernandez (DZRJ): Hi, sir.
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Yes, ma’am?
Ms. Fernandez: Sir, is it true that President will appoint OIC to replace overstaying barangay chairwoman or chairman? If it so, is this related to the war on drugs?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Let’s refer that to the DILG. Thank you very much. Good aft— Cedric. Yeah.
Mr. Castillo: On another matter lang, sir. Kasi there is a viral video from the firing squad execution po. The BIFF has already claimed responsibility and authenticated the video, sir. In fact, they are saying na parang it happened last year, it happens every now and then sa kanila, sir. Given the status of the BIFF or the MILF as a rebel organization, how should the government act on this, sir?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: It’s something to be discussed by the National — by the Security Cluster, okay. So it’s not for me to talk about it at this stage.
Mr. Bencito: Sir, may isa lang mabilis sa ASEAN. Sir, may Ministers’ Meeting din ba on Davao?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: There’s going to be a launching.
Mr. Bencito: Hindi, after po ng launching may Ministers’ Meeting po?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: We’ll check on that. We’ll give you back the answer. Thank you.