October 14, 2015 – News Releases
|14 October 2015|
APEC News Releases
|APEC ministers promote use of nuclear energy|
|(LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu) Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) energy ministers have encouraged member economies to look into the potential of nuclear power to support the region’s goal of cutting its carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions.
“We reaffirm the importance of safe and efficient development of civil nuclear power as an option to clean, high-quality and advanced modern energy, which functions as a base load power source, to help ensure global energy security and sustainable development, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” read the joint statement of the APEC energy ministers that was issued here on Tuesday.
The APEC energy ministers, in their statement, also encouraged interested member economies to continue exchanging experiences and best practices to improve nuclear safety performance.
They encouraged interested member economies to coordinate emergency response and preparedness mechanisms, as well as conduct capacity building and training for the safe and peaceful development and use of nuclear power.
“As far as the APEC is concerned, they are promoting nuclear power,” Philippine Energy Undersecretary Loreta Ayson said on the sidelines of a press conference following the conclusion of the APEC Energy Ministers’ Meeting here.
“It is an option, although not all economies are into nuclear (power). Like in the Philippines, we have a problem on social acceptability,” added Ayson, who also co-chaired the APEC Energy Working Group Meeting.
She said safety issues remain the top reason why people reject nuclear energy.
“People fear it is not safe. But come to think of it, the latest technology is in place so that safety is always there. But I think our people have yet to be informed. They have to be convinced,” she pointed out.
“It is clean fuel, so it does not emit greenhouse gas or carbon dioxide. It is clean and cheap fuel.”
Earlier, Ayson said nuclear power remains part of the long-term options of the Department of Energy, which continues to conduct studies on nuclear energy.
She also mentioned that some APEC economies are increasing the share of nuclear energy in power generation, while other member economies are putting up nuclear power facilities or exploring nuclear energy.
Data from the International Atomic Energy Agency show that among the APEC economies using nuclear energy are Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, and the United States.
These economies’ nuclear share in electricity generation in 2014 ranged from 19 percent to 30 percent.
Ayson noted that neighboring countries Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam are looking into adopting nuclear resources as part of energy generation.
Japan also returned to nuclear energy as it restarted in August its nuclear-powered Sendai plant, after the Fukushima meltdown in 2011.
Aside from civil nuclear power, the APEC ministers also urged member economies to explore the contribution of clean energy technologies and energy efficient initiatives in the transport and power sectors, including biofuels, advanced coal technologies, liquefied natural gas, as well as solar, wind, and marine technologies, as the region aims to shift to low-carbon economy.
The APEC has envisioned the region to double renewable energy’s share in power generation by 2030.
If the region does not resort to other energy resources, the APEC is expected to be heavily dependent on coal, which is expected to cover 70 percent of the total energy capacity in the next 15 years. PNA (kc)
|APEC ministers agree on energy resiliency guidelines|
|(LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu) Energy ministers of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) on Tuesday agreed on a framework on energy resiliency and came up with instructions to the APEC’s Energy Working Group (EWG) to formulate action plans to achieve the visions for the region’s energy sector. The instructions will be implemented by the EWG, the Experts’ Groups on Energy Efficiency and Conservation, New and Renewable Energy Technology, Clean Fossil Energy, Energy Data and Analysis, and the Low-Carbon Model Town Task Force.
To support the collective efforts of the Experts Groups, the Asia-Pacific Energy Research Centre, and the APEC Sustainable Energy Center will extend their expertise.
The energy ministers on Tuesday also recognized that climate proofing of energy infrastructure in the APEC community is a significant endeavor towards energy resiliency.
They agreed to conduct vulnerability assessment, including regional geo-hazard mapping, explore best practices in enhancing the quality of electric power infrastructure, and undertake research and development programs.
They also made a commitment to share information on energy infrastructure technology advancements, and technological innovations.
Recognizing that advancing cutting-edge energy efficiency technologies is a springboard for energy resiliency, the ministers adopted the EWG recommendation to undertake a cost-benefit analysis of available energy-efficient technologies.
The APEC economies will also develop minimum energy performance standards, explore the potential adoption of fuel quality and vehicle efficiency standards, and pursue the APEC’s aspirational goal of attaining the reduction of energy intensity by 45 percent by 2035 from 2005 levels.
To attain community-based clean energy use in energy poverty-stricken areas, the ministers encouraged member economies to explore strategies to drive the shift towards green buildings through energy efficiency measures.
They likewise instructed the EWG to come up with an energy eco-tourism development framework, since energy is critical to spurring economic activities in the tourism sector.
The promotion of clean energy or renewable energy is also an important program in line with the APEC’s aspirational goal of doubling the share of renewable by 2030 from 2005 levels.
The ministers further agreed to improve energy trade and investment in the APEC community, emphasizing energy infrastructure planning and development.
They also supported the adoption of public-private partnership schemes, especially for the liquefied natural gas industry, as well as those on securing both energy and water resources, and on developing new markets and trading hubs. The ministers are also eyeing to increase investment in green economy through Green Energy Finance.
The APEC energy ministers concluded their meeting here Tuesday, promoting the theme, “Towards an Energy Resilient APEC Community”. PND (as)
|APEC energy ministers eye energizing region’s remotest areas to spur growth|
|(LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu) Member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) will push for the development of resilient APEC communities by providing energy access to their people, including in remote communities, APEC energy ministers said in a joint statement issued on Tuesday.
“We note that clean energy technologies and traditional energy sources, including cleaner use of fossil fuels, are important in addressing energy access challenges,” they said in the statement.
The energy ministers recognized the significant potential that exists to provide energy access to rural communities through the up-take of micro grids, energy storage and their integration with renewable energy resources.
Providing reliable, affordable and secure supplies of energy to remote communities will also drive income generation and simultaneously encourage economic growth, sustainable environmental outcomes and new opportunities, such as eco-tourism for the people, including women, they said in the statement.
The ministers further acknowledged that natural gas, including pipeline and liquefied forms, plays an increasingly important role in the Asia-Pacific region, and as such, they said they appreciate the member economies’ efforts to create favorable conditions for trade and investment to support a diversified, flexible and integrated natural gas market in the APEC region.
In keeping with the APEC’s goal of inclusive growth, the development of community-based clean energy strategies paves the way towards income-generating activities that benefit the marginalized and indigenous communities, they said.
“We envisage the APEC region to be the home of well-integrated power systems as well as a global model for satellite community-based micro independent grids that promote sustainable and inclusive growth as well as offer equal and gender-fair employment opportunities,” the APEC ministers in the statement.
The APEC ministers on Tuesday concluded their two-day meeting that centered on energy resiliency. PND (as)
|Capacity building, best practice sharing could widen access to electricity in region, says Australian official|
|(LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu) A combination of building capacity, sharing of best practices, and attracting more investments in energy infrastructure are key to providing energy to people without access to electricity in the region, an Australian official said here Tuesday.
Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia, Josh Frydenberg, said during a press conference that one of the most important issues discussed during the 12th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Energy Ministers’ Meeting, was access to electricity.
“So what we are doing here is enhancing investments in infrastructure that is needed to produce energy,” Frydenberg said.
“We are sharing here best practice as to the regulatory framework, tax frameworks, and other frameworks to enhance the building of the necessary energy infrastructure that all goes towards creating greater access to people who do not have electricity.”
Member economies of the APEC, he said, can make a real difference in both sharing the lessons learned from their own processes and also in best practices and capacity building.
“We all have our own programs that we use to support governance projects, energy projects, and health projects in other countries,” he said.
Energy ministers of the APEC concluded their two-day meeting on regional energy resiliency at Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort here Tuesday. PND (as)
|APEC energy ministers highlight importance of low carbon development|
|(LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu) Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) energy ministers have reaffirmed the importance of low carbon development to achieve individual and regional economic aspirations.“We commend the significant progress of the APEC Low-Carbon Model Town Project, where the concept and the indicators for APEC Low-Carbon Town are being developed,” the APEC ministers said in a joint statement issued on Tuesday.
“We view environmental sustainability as equally important with economic prosperity, and recognize the important role of the market in providing efficient, cost-effective energy technology solutions and energy resources.”
They further said that the APEC region’s future economic growth will be supported by an appropriate mix of energy resources and power generation technologies that includes both conventional and renewable energy, giving priority to clean energy sources and enhanced energy efficiency.
To achieve this, the energy ministers agreed to build on synergies among the member economies aimed at maximizing strengths from each economy, thus minimizing costs of policy implementation.
In transitioning to a low-carbon economy, APEC economies agreed to explore the contribution of clean energy technologies and energy-efficient initiatives in the transport and power sectors.
These may include biofuels, civil nuclear power, advanced coal technologies, liquefied natural gas, as well as solar, wind, and marine energy technologies.
The ministers said they will strive to attain the APEC’s aspirational goal of doubling the share of renewables in the APEC energy mix, including in power generation, from 2010 levels by 2030.
“We strongly encourage the acceleration of renewable energy development and deployment toward this end,” they said in the statement.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Energy Secretary Zenaida Monsada announced the selection of Mandaue City for the implementation of Phase 6 of the Low Carbon Model Town Project.
Mandaue City is entitled to a feasibility study grant that would determine policy program measures to attain its targets for green technology opportunities, particularly in building infrastructure, urban planning and the transport sector. PND (as)
|27 individuals named to various government posts|
|President Benigno S. Aquino III has appointed 27 public servants to various executive offices, according to documents released by Malacañang on Wednesday.
Secretary Fredelita Guiza led the long list of appointees as Presidential Assistant on Food Security and Agricultural Modernization under the Office of the President.
Guiza has been promoted to a Cabinet rank after former secretary Francis Pangilinan resigned last month to make another run for the Senate under the administration party.
Reynaldo Antonio de la Paz Laguda was also promoted to Undersecretary at the Department of Education, following the death of Francisco Varela last August.
Lawyer Erdelyne Go, meanwhile, was named Deputy Chief Presidential Legal Counsel, also with the rank of Undersecretary.
Completing the list of newly appointed and/or promoted public officials in their respective departments and agencies are the following:
• Teresita Cortez Fortuna – Director IV, Department of Science and Technology;
• Constante Acuña Llanes, Jr. – Director IV, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH);
• Maria Nieva Sison de la Paz, Acting Director IV, DPWH (vice Bienadel Elizabeth Yap);
• Celia Carpio Carlos – Director III, Department of Health (DOH);
• Maria Lourdes Caballero Santiago, Acting Deputy Director General for Field Regulatory Operations, Food and Drug Administration, DOH;
• Nordy Lisondra Plaza – Director III, Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC);
• Romulo Villegas Bernardes – Director II, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), DOTC;
• Rodolfo Los Baños Jaucian – Director II, LTFRB, DOTC;
• Robert Dosono Peig – Director II, DOTC;
• Teofilo Estrada Guadiz III – Director II, LTFRB, DOTC;
• Francis Ray Arnibal Almora – Director I, LTFRB, DOTC;
• Jose Eduardo Leyson Natividad, Acting Director IV (Regional Director), DOTC (vice Celina Claver);
• Adeline Tejada de Castro, Acting Director IV, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE);
• Jesus Gabriel Capili Domingo, Acting Deputy Administrator (Deputy Executive Director V), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, DOLE;
• Englebert Caguioa Lasang, Member (representing the Workers Sector), Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board, Region IV-A, National Wages and Productivity Commission, DOLE (vice Jesus Villamor);
• Josephine Rima-Santiago, Director General, Intellectual Property Office, Department of Trade and Industry;
• Emmanuel Niño Wee Ang, Foreign Trade Service Officer II, Philippine Foreign Trade Service Corps, DTI (vice John Paul Iñigo);
• Jhoaden Guelos Lucero, Local Government Operations Officer VIII, Department of Interior and Local Government;
• Ireneo Galicia, Government Corporate Counsel, Office of the Government Corporate Counsel, Department of Justice (vice Raoul Creencia);
• Dexter Bun-Go Calizar, Member, Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board (vice Jose Luis Martin Gascon);
• Jose Alejandre Payumo III, Deputy Secretary General, Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (vice Wendel Avisado);
• Arlyn Sicangco Villanueva, Member (Professional Regulatory Board of Accountancy), Professional Regulation Commission (vice Maria Elenita Cabrera);
• Robert Samoy Sac, Chairperson, Professional Regulatory Board of Architecture, PRC (vice Rolando Cordero); and
• Robert Medina Mirafuente, Member (Professional Regulatory Board of Architecture), PRC (vice Yolanda Reyes). PND (hdc)
|Better policies will help APEC members attract energy investments, says Australian minister|
|(LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu) Governments in the Asia Pacific have been urged to institutionalize better investment policies to attract energy projects in the region.
Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia, Josh Frydenberg, on Tuesday told Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies that attracting investments play a crucial role in ensuring energy security in the region.
“The investment that we need with the future energy demand was (a) very important issue,” Frydenberg said during a press conference following the conclusion of the 12th APEC Energy Ministers’ Meeting (EMM) here.
“You have to understand that energy demand is growing exponentially. It will increase by a third between now and 2040 (globally) and it will double in our region between now and 2030,” he added.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has projected that energy demand in the Asia Pacific would grow to 3.2 percent in 2015 and 2016 from the 2.9 percent expansion in 2014.
“So, unless we are able to attract investments from the private sector or foreign investors, we won’t be able to meet that demand,” Frydenberg said.
He further noted that better policies on taxes, workplace relations, and investment regulations should be in place in each APEC member economy to attract energy projects, whether in research and development, new technologies, or new facilities.
The Australian energy minister also indicated that it is an opportune time to invest in the energy sector, given the lower prices of oil and gas.
“We need to attract those investments at a time when commodity prices are lower, oil prices and gas prices are lower than they traditionally have been,” he said.
Meanwhile, Philippine Senator Loren Legarda, in her keynote speech during the EMM, said that providing better access to markets, finance and innovation would facilitate investments in energy infrastructure.
“Investments in resilient energy infrastructure generate sustained economic and social benefits and deserve the highest priority for policymakers,” Senator Legarda said.
The 21 APEC member economies are home to 2.8 billion people, who account for 60 percent of the global energy consumption, she said, adding however that the region’s share in global energy production is only 55 percent.
As the EMM concluded, energy ministers adopted the Cebu Ministerial Declaration and Instructions to ensure energy security, sustainability, and resiliency in the region.
The Cebu Ministerial Declaration and Instructions will also formulate action plans to achieve the APEC’s goal of doubling the capacity of renewable energy by 2030 and reducing power intensity by 2035.
The outcome of this year’s EMM tapped four key areas: climate proofing energy infrastructure; improving energy trade and investment in the APEC; advancing cutting-edge energy-efficient technologies; and promoting community-based clean energy use in energy poverty-stricken areas.
The Cebu Ministerial Declaration and Instructions will be the energy ministers’ recommendation to APEC economic leaders when they meet in Manila in November. PNA (kc)
|U.S. proposes creation of APEC task force for energy resiliency; Philippines accepts co-chairmanship|
|(LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu) The United States has proposed the creation of a task force that would work on energy resiliency and the Philippines has agreed to co-chair the US initiative, Energy Secretary Zenaida Monsada announced in a press conference here on Tuesday.
“Eventually, it will become a working group, depending on the progress but precisely, we started with this topic and we will have to expound more on this in the task force,” Secretary Monsada said.
Many countries have become vulnerable to natural disasters and the Philippines is one of the countries frequently hit by calamities. This makes energy resiliency at the forefront of the APEC energy ministers’ discussions here.
As a result of these disasters, energy infrastructure — whether grid, power lines, or hydro facility — are easily damaged, leaving a large number of people without access to electricity, Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia, Josh Frydenberg, said during the press conference.
“What you do is to make those frameworks robust. That means testing for disasters, that means sharing best practices among the 21 economies, as to who does it well,” he said.
“And if you can share that information, if you can get better coordination, if you can plan for disasters ahead of them happening, that can be very, very helpful,” he added.
That was the theme of the energy discussions, with the ministers having to buy into the outcome that produces a blueprint or framework for actions going forward, he said.
Energy resilience is a very important issue, as well as power access, energy investments, and future demand and these were all tackled during the energy meeting, Frydenberg noted. PND (as)
|APEC energy ministers call for evaluation of energy facilities in region, urge formulation of guidelines for quality electric power infrastructure|
|(LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu) Energy ministers of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies have instructed governments, the private sector and stakeholders to immediately carry out a vulnerability assessment of existing energy-related infrastructure and to evaluate current infrastructure standards in their respective economies, in pursuit of an energy resilient APEC community.
In adopting the Cebu Declaration and Instructions, a joint statement on the region’s energy priorities, on Tuesday, the APEC ministers noted that the past decade has been characterized by a series of super typhoons, hurricanes, flash floods, storm surges and droughts, among others, that challenged the robustness and integrity of existing energy systems across member economies.
They warned that the vulnerability of energy infrastructure and associated facilities to natural and man-made disasters might result in economic breakdown or business interruptions, thereby compounding the actual cost of damaged infrastructure.
The energy ministers pointed out that for developing economies, the costs of rehabilitation and rebuilding can be prohibitive, as recovery efforts could account for a substantial share of the economy’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“Beyond the cost of reconstruction, we note that a disruption of fuel supply and breakdown in energy infrastructure interdependencies could seriously affect the free flow of goods and services within an economy and within the region itself,” they said in their joint statement issued Tuesday night at the conclusion of the 12th APEC Energy Ministers’ Meeting held here this week.
According to the energy ministers, improving the capacity of the APEC region to respond to emergencies, such as disruptions in oil and gas supply, is vital, and as such, they reaffirmed the continuation of the APEC Oil and Gas Security Initiative (OGSI), which puts forward oil and gas security exercises, network and studies.
To encourage the adoption of appropriate standards for critical energy infrastructure, member economies, in cooperation with the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), need to foster and nurture public-private partnerships.
Taking into consideration not only resilience to extreme weather events but also lifecycle costs, environmental impact, responsiveness to changing market circumstances and business continuity, the energy ministers welcomed the new APEC Initiative for Enhancing the Quality of Electric Power Infrastructure.
The initiative was proposed by Japan in November 2014 as ministers recognized that lifecycle cost, environmental impacts, and safety, such as resilience to natural disasters, constitute the key elements of infrastructure quality.
Activities under the project include a survey on the current state and outlook of electric power infrastructure in the APEC region; formulating a guideline for developing high-quality electric power infrastructure; and capacity building for disseminating the guideline.
In this context, a progress report was made at the APEC Energy Ministers’ Meeting (EMM) and a final guideline will be endorsed by the Energy Working Group (EWG), and introduced to the APEC Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) in 2016.
The APEC energy ministers also expressed their view that environmental sustainability is equally important as economic prosperity.
They recognized the important role of the market in providing efficient, cost-effective energy technology solutions and energy resources.
They further disclosed plans to build on synergies among the member economies, aimed at maximizing strengths from each economy, thus minimizing costs of policy implementation.
“The future economic growth of the APEC region will be supported by an appropriate mix of energy resources and power generation technologies that includes both conventional and renewable energy with increasing priority for clean energy sources and enhanced energy efficiency,” they said in the joint statement.
Meanwhile, in transitioning to a low-carbon economy, the ministers said they will explore the contribution of clean energy technologies and energy efficient initiatives in the transport and power sectors. These may include biofuels, civil nuclear power for interested member economies, advanced coal technologies, liquefied natural gas, solar, wind, and marine energy technologies.
They said they will encourage the acceleration of renewable energy development and deployment as they strive to attain the APEC’s aspirational goal of doubling the share of renewables in the APEC energy mix, including in power generation, from 2010 levels by 2030.
The energy ministers further said they are open to the idea of safe and efficient development of civil nuclear power as an option to clean, high-quality and advanced modern energy, which functions as a base load power source, to help ensure global energy security and sustainable development, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
“We encourage interested member economies to continue to exchange experiences and best practices, pursue practical cooperation, including improving nuclear safety performance and coordinating emergency response and preparedness mechanisms, conduct capacity building and training for the safe and peaceful development and use of nuclear power, under the precondition of commitment to safety, security and non-proliferation,” the ministers declared.
They also stressed the importance of energy-water nexus in the APEC’s collective energy resiliency. According to the energy officials, it is important that APEC economies understand the interdependence of these resources, determine vulnerabilities and strengthen their response to anticipated changes exacerbated by climate change.
“Our energy facilities require a reliable and abundant source of water, which is already in short supply around the world,” they said in the statememt. “As we define the appropriate fuel and power generation technology mix that would support the twin goals of economic prosperity and environmental sustainability, we will endeavor ways to understand the complex relationship between energy and water, address challenges, and utilize both resources more efficiently.”
The APEC energy ministers further expressed their commitment towards sustainable energy development in the Asia-Pacific region through knowledge-sharing and facilitating technology cooperation, demonstration and dissemination.
They encouraged the newly established APEC Sustainable Energy Center (APSEC) to continue its work in expanding sustainable city development across the region, cutting-edge clean energy technologies and other programs on energy resiliency.
The ministers vowed to sustain efforts to integrate emerging and cutting-edge technologies in “our economic and business processes that will significantly improve our energy utilization and optimize the use of existing energy assets and capital investments in the region”.
“The member economies, subject to individual circumstances, will continue to explore applicable energy-efficient technologies, processes and services and subsequently pursue policies that enable their entry to markets with a vision towards achieving the APEC aspirational target of reducing aggregate energy intensity by 45 percent from 2005 levels by 2035,” they said. (APEC Communications Group)
|APEC seeks to phase out fossil fuel subsidies, double renewable energy, use nuclear energy|
|(LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu) The 21 member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) seek to phase out in the medium term “inefficient” fossil fuel subsidies, double renewable energy use, and use nuclear energy as a sustainable and clean energy source “to help ensure global energy security and sustainable development, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions”, energy ministers said in a statement issued Tuesday at the conclusion of their meetings here.
According to the International Monetary Fund, fossil fuel companies get US$5.3 trillion a year in global subsidies.
“We reaffirm the APEC Leaders’ commitment, and welcome ongoing initiatives of member economies, to rationalize and phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption while providing energy access to those in need. We are committed to make substantive progress toward this goal in the medium term,” according to the statement of the APEC energy ministers.
“We commend Peru and New Zealand for completing voluntary peer reviews, and the Philippines, Vietnam, and Chinese Taipei for volunteering to initiate peer reviews. We encourage the exchange of best practices and capacity building efforts to facilitate fossil fuel subsidy reform,” it read.
After their meeting, which carried the theme “Towards an Energy Resilient APEC Community”, the energy ministers released the statement, which also reaffirmed nuclear power as an option for a “clean, high-quality, and advanced modern energy”.
The ministers noted that the APEC needs to transition to a low-carbon economy and the transition needs clean energy technologies that may include biofuels, civil nuclear power, advanced coal technologies, liquefied natural gas, solar, wind, and marine energy technologies.
“We reaffirm the importance of safe and efficient development of civil nuclear power as an option to clean, high-quality, and advanced modern energy, which functions as a base load power source, to help ensure global energy security and sustainable development, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” the statement read.
“We encourage interested member economies to continue to exchange experiences and best practices, pursue practical cooperation, including improving nuclear safety performance and coordinating emergency response and preparedness mechanisms, conduct capacity building and training for the safe and peaceful development and use of nuclear power, under the precondition of commitment to safety, security and non-proliferation,” it added.
The APEC energy ministers said the region should strive to double the share of renewables in the APEC energy mix, including in power generation, from 2010 levels by 2030.
The energy ministers noted that the APEC’s economic progress — estimated at 4 percent annually over the past 10 years — is anchored on having sustainable energy. They noted that the region’s energy consumption has increased by about 3 percent.
“We recognize that the APEC region has become the lynchpin of world economic progress… We reaffirm that energy remains a critical input for intensifying and sustaining productivity improvements across all sectors in the economy, which supports APEC’s economic development,” it said.
The recommendations by the energy ministers will be presented to the leaders, who will meet and agree on which recommendations to pursue. The APEC Leaders’ Summit is scheduled to be held in Manila in November this year. (APEC Communications Group)
|Mandaue City is APEC’s latest low-carbon model town|
|(LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu) Considered the sixth smallest government unit in the Philippines in terms of land area, Mandaue City is now far bigger than anyone realizes.
On Tuesday, during the 12th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Energy Ministers’ Meeting, Japan announced the selection of Mandaue as the APEC’s latest Low-Carbon Model Town. (LCMT), besting two other nominees — Krasnoyarsk City in Russia and Subang Jaya in Malaysia.
This entitles Mandaue City to a feasibility study grant that will determine policy program measures to realize its targets for green technology opportunities, particularly in buildings, urban planning, and transport sector.
Mandaue City was chosen as the newest LCMT for having a clear target for reducing its carbon dioxide emissions and for crafting measures to establish a sustainable city to address air pollution and traffic congestion.
Its proposed project consists of developing green growth areas and interconnecting these areas within Metro Cebu. An ordinance will also be proposed to promote disaster-resilient buildings in the city.
The LCMT project of the APEC Energy Working Group (EWG), launched in 2010, is part of the APEC’s Green Growth initiative, which involves upgrading policy initiatives; expanding capacity building and public-private teamwork to promote green industries through finance, trade promotion, green jobs education and training; and facilitating the development and spread of green technology.
In 2011, the Yujiapu financial district in Tianjin, China was chosen as the test case for the LCMT project. Other previous winners include the city of Da Nang in Vietnam, which implemented an innovative system of electric motorbikes and charging facilities.
Samui Island in Thailand also got support for its feasibility study to utilize solar, wind and small hydropower; for its reliance on electric vehicles; and for its reforestation efforts and protection of existing forests.
The island also adopted green technologies for resort and hotel developments, such as solar water heaters, solar panels on rooftops, biomass power generation of kitchen waste, and increased ventilation for natural cooling. (APEC Communications Group)
|President Aquino attends Forbes Global CEO Conference|
|President Benigno S. Aquino III on Wednesday said good governance gave the Filipino people a renewed outlook that paved the way for the country’s booming economy.
“We have shown them how government, run properly, can really affect changes in their lives and then this has enabled us to push reforms in a previously sacrosanct sectors of our economy,” President Aquino said in “A Meeting of Minds”, a one-on-one dialogue with Forbes Media Editor-in-Chief Steve Forbes at the closing of the 15th Forbes Global CEO Conference at the Grand Ballroom of Solaire Resort and Casino in Parañaque City.
“For instance, our Bureau of Internal Revenue—the tax collection agency—has been collecting more than double without any new tax laws from that which was previously gathered in the nine and a half years of my predecessor. This in turn has enabled us to embark on very ambitious programs like, for instance, the growth in spending in infrastructure. We project it will be about five percent of GDP by next year. It’s at four percent currently. That has opened up so much in the countryside and delivered a lot of various services to our people,” he said, adding that there have been “massive investments” in social services, including education and health.
He said his administration has this theme in the campaign “where there is no corruption, there will be no poor”.
“In essence, the people gave us a mandate; that mandate was used efficiently,” said the President.
“So it becomes a virtuous cycle of us delivering on the promises, the expectations rising, and then the optimism generating a more positive activity within the economy—both in terms of the growth of the middle class and also the confidence of those who have the economic clout to effect changes in our country,” he added.
The President also talked about the country’s business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, which he said is “currently worth US$19 billion” and “will reach US$25 billion by next year”.
“The beauty of it is, to a large degree, it is fueled by a very young and dynamic population and the only requirement for the BPO industry to a large degree is availability of talent and that means primarily where there are schools, they tend to be able to grow their industries… We have been very supportive primarily because these jobs that are created are inducing a lot of development in the countryside and at far greater rates than what was previously done by various other interventions,” said the Chief Executive.
“So, it seems that the Philippines has identified a niche and that we have the talent to be able to really populate and to really grow. So we are getting higher and higher up in the value chain, various other bank office functions are being transferred to us, we are getting in turn known by other countries that did not see us on their maps. So we think that this is an industry that has grown tremendously but still has so much potential, especially for all the other outlying areas besides the current hotspots of Manila, Davao, and a lot of other urban areas,” said the President.
President Aquino also discussed the government’s effort to fight corruption, even citing the impeachment of a Supreme Court chief justice.
“I think our people are convinced that where previously there were people or sectors or groups beyond the pale of the law, now everyone is being made to account for their actions—or whether it was incorrect or illegal or unlawful. Now, that was considered not a possibility previously, so we are very serious,” he said.
On the security side, President Aquino admitted that the country has problems like other countries but the government is not stopping efforts to make the Philippines as crime-free as possible.
“We admit, we have problems, but I don’t think our problems are disproportionate to any other country of our size and our particular status. Most of the kidnappings happen in the part of the country, the southern part of the Philippines, where we are in the process of trying to forge a peace agreement with the major secessionist group. And it has already reached a stage that there is a law that will implement all of the agreements, which is pending before our legislature. Hopefully, it gets to be passed soon, so that they can demonstrate a difference of governance that can be wrought—a difference of system that they want to implement there,” he explained.
“We are in the process of modernizing both our armed forces and our police and getting them the equipment, the training, and the necessary personnel to effect the security considerations for this country. So, again, it will be wrong to say that there is no crime in the Philippines. But I think our crime situation is being addressed,” said the President.
“There has been quite a substantial reduction of what they call ‘index crimes’, but we are not stopping our efforts to make us as crime-free as possible. But we do have the same threats as anybody else—drug cartels trying to penetrate our country, either to sell it to us or as transshipment points; the new white collar crimes of identity theft,” he added.
President Aquino said that with the country’s improving economy, there are many opportunities for foreign companies to invest in.
“Well, we started out about a billion; it is now about six billion—the last time of reckoning—a 600 percent growth. And I think I keep hearing comments from investors, especially foreign ones, who are saying ‘we should have joined you when you started.’ So, it is not too late. There are so many opportunities in this country. We have so many potentials that have yet to be tapped in so many different sectors. So, I guess, in a sense there will be less risks, optimism, hope rather than more actual figures that will say that it is really more fun, not just to visit the Philippines, but to do business in the Philippines,” said the President.
After the interview, President Aquino received the book, “Money: How the Destruction of the Dollar Threatens the Global Economy and What We Can Do About It”, written by Forbes.
About 400 of the world’s top business leaders participated in the three-day conference, which was held in Manila for the first time.
Carrying the theme, “Toward a Winning Vision”, this year’s conference focused on visionary leadership — how leaders at the helm of great companies conceive and articulate vivid visions that capture the imagination of their teams, inspire confidence among investors, and win the hearts and minds of consumers.
Some 50 speakers from around the world took part in the panel discussions. The sessions covered such topics as outlook for the global financial markets, prospects in emerging markets and investment opportunities in finance, technology, retail and real estate. Panels also discussed the best strategies for building a winning brand, leadership and philanthropy.
Other cities that have hosted the Forbes Global CEO Conference include Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Sydney, Shanghai, and Bali. PND (jm)