Sunday, November 25, 2012

PPA clarifies at Kapihan… 
P 12 port access fee is not 
Passenger’s responsibility 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, November 23, 2012 (PIA) –The P12.00 port access fee which the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) collects to pubic trikes starting December 1, is the driver’s responsibility and not the public’s. 

This sums up the information which PPA manager Manuel Boholano shared at the Kapihan sa PIA Thursday. 

The soft-spoken port chief said they could have started regulating the port access; the primary reason for their giving away access passes to persons and vehicles with legitimate businesses at the pier in 2009, but humanitarian reasons prevent them from immediately implementing PPA Administrative Order 04-2009. 

The order prescribes the revised pass control system and access regulations for the use of the country’s network of ports. 

The December 1 implementation has also stirred confusion among the public and the tricycle drivers who may have to pay an additional P12.00 for every entry at the port for doing business in the facility. 

The PPA, through manager Boholano has explained that the delay in the implementation of tricycle access fees is because they urged tricycle drivers to organize. 

By this, the drivers would share the cost in obtaining an annual port user’s pass and identification, which would allow drivers to get through their business at the port. 

Private vehicles have since been paying the P12.00 temporary entry pass since 2009, Boholano said. That is in lieu of the P2,000+ annual port user’s pass granted to users with legitimate business at the facility. 

The PPA admits that exacting P2,072 for a driver’s annual port pass is quite heavy, but when an organization processes the pass, a 40 member organization could avail of the pass at a little more than P50, and that’s for the whole year, Boholano explained. 

The PPA waited until the time has come when they would have to implement, said Boholano. 

Drivers have not organized as yet, so that we are forced to exact P12.00 everytime they come to the port, PPA said said. 

Over this, the port manager begs for public indulgence in their implementation of a long overdue policy in regulating access to the port of Tagbilaran. 

He also said, PPA is an independent regulating government entity that has its own charter and fiscal autonomy and is in charge of development, administration and management of the country’s ports operations in line with international standards, including international security protocols. 

The new access regulation is in line with the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code which the Philippine government contracts to follow, to deter terrorism attacks and security sabotage like what happened in September of 2011, also explains Tagbilaran Port Police Division Commander PPSSupt. Norberto Alfaraz. 

The PPA Port Police is taking the responsibility of implementing the port facility security measures, topmost of which is a policy to keep people and vehicles without legitimate business off the port. 

To facilitate this, the PPA issues privilege access passes to those with legitimate businesses inside the port, upon securing a permit to operate with a corresponding personal pass of vehicle sticker to gain eventual access to the port, except in restricted parts. 

So, if a driver picks a fare to the port and exacts P12.00 on top of the contracted fare, it may be the passenger’s discretion to pay for the tricycle pass, but it is the driver’s responsibility, PPA said. (30/ED)

Christmas wish… 
Family members aspire 
To reunite with Janine 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, November 23, 2012, (PIA) –The family of a woman who walked from their home in Panadtaran Mabini, and has not returned since December 17, 2011 is still keeping the faith that some kind-hearted Boholanos have kept and fed Janine Morin until now. 

“Janine [Morin] is new to the place in Panadtaran, having transferred to the place from Cebu, when her father bought a piece of land and lived with their family,” said Jill Morin, Janine’s sister told. 

A woman in her 40’s, stands 5’3, is chubby and sports a mole on the left side of her face, near her eyes, Jill describes her sister. 

She has some mental problems, but she can answer simple questions like her name, her parents’ names, she continued. 

A daughter of Joel and Clotilde Morin, Janine has been sent to school but could not continue college, as they have to move to Bohol, Jill, who stayed in Cebu narrated. 

She was seldom allowed to go out of the house in Mabini, until she had the chance when her mother went to the market and she followed her. 

She was not seen since then and we spent out Christmas and New Year looking for her in nearby towns, incase she has gone there, according to Jill. 

The family has, since then distributed posters hoping to find persons who could lead them to Janine, but the responses have so far been negative. 

There were times when we had to quickly come to some towns to verify for her sightings only to come home das, she admits. 

But with no reports of finding Janine, Jill, along with sister Joy is now in Bohol until Sunday to continue their search for the missing sister. 

We just want to find her, or at least know what really happened to her, Jill said, a hint of hopelessness slowly showing in her tired eyes. 

Janine was accordingly spotted at different times in the towns of Candijay, Duero, Jagna, Carmen and Mabini, but those who report seeing her could not temporarily keep the person until positive identification could be done. 

Those who may have information on the whereabouts of Janine Morin, can also text or call PIA Bohol at 0920-954-5482, or call 501-8554. (30)

“Bonifacio Day” ushers in
December long weekends 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, November 23, 2012 (PIA) – December comes announced with a long weekend as foreign and local tourists begin to lavish in the most joyous season of the year. 

December 1 is on Saturday but before that, Friday, November 30 is Bonifacio day and has been traditionally observed as a regular holiday in the country, making it a long weekend of three days. 

The next long weekend comes December 22 when a series of rests end on the 26, with four straight rest days. 

This happens as December 24 has been declared special non working day, by virtue of proclamation 361, s., 2012, followed by a regular holiday for December 25. 

The third long weekend happens again starting December29-January 1. 

December 31 is the last day of the year and is therefore a special non working holiday while January 1 is a new year and is a regular holiday. 

On Friday, Bonifacio Day is celebrated in honor of the gallantry of Andres Bonifacio, founder of the first serious Filipino revolt against the Spaniards in the 1890s. 

As the red letter day is marked on calendars across the country, the day is fast becoming an excitement as workers and students find a perfect time for going to malls, amusement parks or simply watching television all day, allowing time to pass by. 

But, for the younger generation who may have apportioned their three days vacation for travel or leisurely vacation, the fear of them forgetting the essence of the day can never be set aside. 

According to historian Mona Liza Quizon, it was on February 16, 1921 when the country started celebrating November 30, the birth day of Andres Bonifacio as a holiday through an act of the Philippine Legislature. 

But who was Andres Bonifacio anyway? 

Born November 30, 1863, Andres Bonifacio was one of the leaders who fought against the Spaniards to gain independence for the country. 

But, admittedly not as schooled as Jose Rizal, Bonifacio took a back seat over the intellectual war waged by the learned and the band of intellectuals who campaigned against Spain in foreign lands. 

But upon Rizal’s assassination in Bagumbayan, Bonifacio took on a more radical act as he lost his belief in the peaceful means to attain democracy. 

Immediately rising to the occasion, he ignited a revolution that spread across nearby princes in Manila, led some of the key battles and won, some he lost, but the sweeping goal was to oust the Spanish colonizers. 

He founded a secret society called Katipunan, which also attacked important Spanish gatherings, fortifications and key areas of influence, earning for himself the ire of the Spanish colonizers. 

Ironically, Bonifacio did not die at the hands of the Spaniards. 

A fight for supremacy at the Katipunan peaked when Cavitenos of the Magdalo faction elected Emilio Aguinaldo and relegated the Supremo to a lower rank. 

With Bonifacio’s resistance, he was charged with sedition and was ordered killed by the Magdalo faction of his founded organization, May 17, 1918. (30) 

Clean technology in coal 
Makes coal plants viable 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, November 23, 2012 (PIA) –Oppositors of coal as a fuel to source out the much needed energy to empower the country may have to read the recent developments in technology. 

Questions raised about the use of coal in producing thermal energy to propel the turbines to generate power have mainly been focused on dust, carbon emissions and nitrous oxide. 

The said past experiences of coal fired power plants show communities eternally shrouded in thick smoke, a carpet of dust, dangerous carbon and nitrous oxide emissions as well as smokestacks eternally belching, according to authorities at the Department of Energy. 

But knowing that coal is still by far, the cheapest fuel available for to artificially produce thermal energy, scientists have pursued the development of technologies that make of clean-coal technologies in coal-fired power plants, according to Mae Melchor, Cebu Energy Development Corporation (CEDC) communications officer during a briefing at the Toledo Coal-fired power plant administration building November 21. 

The Toledo Power Plant by the CEDC generates 246 megawatts of power through a new technology called Circulating Fluidized Bed (CFB) coal-fired power plant of three units each with an output of 82 megawatts, also revealed Engr. Vasco Teofilo Saldana, plant operations manager. 

The CFB technology has addressed the issues and concerns raised over old coal-plants, Saldana said pointing out that while the old perception of coal is dust and black smoke, the CFB incorporates in its process n electrostatic precipitator which he boasts of being able to collect 99.9% of solid particulates from coal, thus eliminating the dust and black smoke. 

On coal as the culprit allegedly associated with acid rain, Melchor explained that while sulfur di-oxide and nitrogen oxide indeed cause acid rain, the new technology allows limestone to be injected in sulfur dioxide which causes a chemical reaction converting sulfur into calcium sulfate, and can now be used as base for cement production. 

As for nitrous oxide, Engr. Saldana said its production is a result of extremely high combustion processes and the CFB does not use extreme heat so that nitrous oxide is reduced to negligible levels, Engr Saldana said. 

With coal feared as a fuel for its capacity to carry heavy pollutants, Engr. Saldana assured that the problem of coal ash storage can leach into aquifers and water systems is consistently monitored and the gathering of monitor samples indicate that the coal ash which the plant stores in its waste facility is way below the standards set by the government’s environment agency. 

Earlier, energy development authorities agree that while the country has renewable energy (RE) development in its crosshairs, RE still takes a long time to develop into a commercially viable option, or would need a huge investment to generate enough to be viable. 

Set in a backdrop which shows that Visayas is running towards a critical power supply by 2016, the government has to find energy resources quickly or the region’s economic development stunts and the area is clothed in darkness when the time comes. (30/ed/cc)

DOE: clean energy prog on, 
Denies alleged bias to coal 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, November 21, 2012 (PIA) –The recent increase in the commissioning of coal-fired plants in the country is not an indication that the Department of Energy (DOE) is biased to coal. 

In fact DOE officials admit that the option for clean-coal-technology in the new power plants in the country is still temporary. 

The ultimate plan is to develop renewable energy sources, revealed Engr. Eduardo Amante during the recent Strengthening Public Education, Appreciation and Knowledge (SPEAK) on Energy, which the DOE brought to to the media and information officers at the Holiday Plaza Hotel in Cebu. 

Amante, who sits as the chief of the Energy Resource Development and Utilization Division of the DOE in Central Visayas during his talk on Introduction to Renewable Development, added that the dire problem of seeking immediate solutions to the looming power crisis is a short term solution offered by coal fired power plants. 

He was also quick to add that recent development in these new coal-plants use clean technology, in contrast to the old coal technologies, which are dirty and inefficient. 

New technologies, including the circulating-fluidized bed has been tested to reduce carbon and nitrogen emission by 90% and a 99.9% efficiency in collecting dust before reaching the plant smoke-stacks. 

Amante revealed too that the country is never stopping form seeking alternative energy which is clean and renewable as a long term solution. 

On the other hand, DOE Visayas energy Industry Management Division Chief added that investors in coal-fired power plants are quick in implementing projects compared to renewable energy. 

Engr J. Rey Maleza said coal-fired-power plant investors only take a short time in implementing projects compared to renewable energy. 

Renewable energy resources are site-specific and low-yielding that transmitting the generated energy from the mountains would entail huge investments, according to Engr Amante, who hinted that investors may not be as keen to put up capital in renewable energy. 

Next to nuclear energy, coal energy remains to be second cheapest source of energy, Maleza shared. 

Besides, developing Renewable energy resources need a longer gestation period of about three years before it can be commercially viable, DOE sources said. 

At present, Visayas is fast approaching critical power problems, one that would entail the establishment of more power resources to feed to the Visayas grid by 2016, when power supply in the region becomes critical, Maleza said. 

Now, Visayas has a little more that 2,000 megawatts of power while the highest peak demand was recorded on August 20, 2012 at 1,489 MW. 

At a current aggregate annual growth rate of the demand in the region pegged at 4.52%, the region is expected to have critical power issues by 2016, where about another 50 MW would be needed. 

From then on and henceforth, the region would need an annual 100 MW of supply to sustain the industry growth, according to Maleza. 

Groups propose composite 
team for island protection 
Rey Anthony H. Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol November 23, 2012 (PIA) –With elections a shy six months away and a huge task that has the potential to make incumbent and re-electionist Panglao Mayor Benedicto Alcala unpopular, two environmental task groups offered a brilliant solution to advance efforts at protecting and conserving the Bohol Marine Triangle (BMT). 

Instead of Mayor Alcala singularly heading an uphill battle in the coastal restoration of Balicasag and enforcing laws to protect its rare marine environment, the groups decide to craft a composite team instead of leaving the mayor spearheading a quixotic war for the marine environmental here. 

Task Force Dolphin (TFDolphin) and Coastal Restoration for Amazing Balicasag (CRAB), both created by virtue of a two separate executive orders met with Governor Edgar Chatto presiding them, to iron out a binding task that would embroil CRAB chairman Alcala into controversial environment enforcement, months into an election. 

Both have been tasked to look into creating solutions for the problems in Balicasag, including the population explosion that impacts on the environment, illegal construction, solid waste management, abuse in its marine habitats and unregulated activities in the island. 

Earlier, Alcala has openly asked the group to accept his resignation, reasoning out that his situation, which is now at odds with his Sangguniang Bayan makes the full operation of the CRAB project doubly hard. 

CRAB, in a workshop along with stakeholders of Panglao, Dauis and Baclayon (PaDaYon) identified activities which needs funds form the collected Environmental User’s Fee (EUF). 

The EUF is a legislated measure to exact fees for environmental usage from divers and snorkelers, but oppositors and political detractors secured a court order to temporarily stop the collection until recently. 

The court has recently restored the EUF for the town, but even then, mayor Alcala said the fund is held in trust and would only be useable upon a legislative concurrence by the SB. 

Moreover, he said being the chairman of the CRAB puts him in a rather jeopardizing situation of enforcing environmental laws, at a rather uncompromising time months before an election. 

The moment I implement the law, my political opponents would have a grand day and I would surely be on a losing end, Alcala said, reiterating his intention to resign as CRAB chairman. 

For Governor Chatto however, Alcala sitting as CRAB Chairman is still important in as much as Panglao executive is in the perfect position to locally enforce laws. 

Not wanting to leave the issue unsolved and putting up a win-win solution to the issue, the two groups paddled towards the possibility of creating a composite team whose main task is enforcement of environment and applicable laws for the conservation of Balicasag, its surrounding waters and the marine creatures in the island. 

The composite team, according to Nunila Pinat of PaDayon Bohol would be comprised of the Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Navy, Philippine Army’s Special Forces, Maritime Police, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Fish Wardens and Local Government Units. 

With a composite team, even the problem of the SB can be overcome as it is not anymore the mayor who will lobby but a composite team which could extend its advocacy through the use of the media as a pressure group to force private investors to abide by the laws, Chatto hinted. 

On the team, Chatto said “we should be seen as a group not making their lives difficult but one that helps them sustain the very island they own. (30/cc) 

Does Balicasag building ban 
include new gov’t facilities? 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol November 24, 2012 (PIA)— Authorities have implemented a ban on new buildings within the 25 hectare island of Balicasag, but would the moratorium on new buildings include social service infrastructure in a community birthing center? 

Panglao Mayor wants to know this as a local government unit initiated birthing center to serve the needs of the community in Balicasag, some 30 minutes away from mainland Panglao, has been ordered stopped due to the affectivity of the ban. 

Philippine Navy, upon which the island has been entrusted as a naval reserve and a lighthouse, has reportedly stopped the contractors from building the new facility, as it was considered illegal. 

American Governor General James Smith in 1907 declared Balicasag Island as a reserve for lighting purposes. As such, only the Philippine Coast Guard and the Philippine Navy were allowed access to the island for security and lighthouse operations. 

By the time of President Marcos however, a decree placed the island under the Philippine Tourism Authority, which also caused the government to establish the Balicasag Island Dive Resort, following the discovery of the island’s unique underwater sceneries. 

This development did not just beckon the tourists to the island, it also lured locals to the island’s marine bounty, which ahs been ideal grounds for fishing. 

Now saddled with an exploding population problem, which also caused concerns on solid waste management, seepage of wastewater to the reefs, unauthorized use of sand to construct houses and clear unregulated tourism practices has pushed authorities to step in and salvage what can be saved from the island paradise. 

To curb on population explosion, authorities have imposed a zero new buildings policy in the island.. 

This, when taken strictly, can be quite a poser, according to members of the Coastal Restoration of Amazing Balicasag (CRAB) during a meeting last week. 

Panglao Mayor Benedicto Alcala admitted he did not also issue a building permit, as it was nevea a practice for his town to issue such documents for government projects. 

At a meetings las week, CRAB members also asked if the LGU in Panglao is technically authorized to issue permits when the island is under PTA control. 

By operation of law, when the island was declared naval reserve, the people who settled in the island were technically illegal settlers. 

But according to Governor Edgar Chatto, social services must not be denied of people. 

This then means that, like Balicasag school facility, the structures were built for a purpose. When the purpose is for social service delivery, then it must not be stopped, CRAB members added. (30/gg)

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