Monday, July 28, 2014

Bohol is N-1 ready-NGCP

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, July 25, (PIA) –Bohol is N-1 ready, declared National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) through Engineer James Rodriguez. 

By N-1, Rodrigues means even if NGCP performs systemic audits and preventive maintenance to its transmission lines and substations in the island, some parts of Bohol would still have power.

Rodriguez sits as the NGCP Bohol Backbone Transmission Project (BBTP) manager, one which provides alternative power lines where generated power could get to Bohol distribution utilities before these are distributed to households. 

Then, a single 69 kilovolt (KV) line receives the additional power requirements the islands industries need, these are then coursed through local distribution utilities like the Bohol Electric Company (BOHECO) 1 and 2 and Bohol Light Utilities Incorporated for most parts of Tagbilaran and Dauis. 

But during the necessary preventive maintenance and systems audit which the NGCP performs, the need for a power shutdown, inconvenience many consumers, and not to mention that lost investments incurred in the temporary power outage. 

To remedy the situation and to prepare for the projected exciting activities for the local economy, the government drew the BBTP. 

The project aims to accommodate load growth in support of the socio-economic development of the province; improve voltage levels in Bohol as prescribed by the Philippine Grid Code; and enhance system reliability, provide operational flexibility, and maintain power quality delivered to electricity users, according to NGCP officials.

Completed a year ago, the BBTP now provides an alternative route for generated power through high tension overhead cables from Ubay, where the Visayas Grid supply enters to a substation in Corella, one that can bypass the older 69 KV lines, explains Engr Rodriguez. 

This means, even if we shut down the 69 KV line, or N-1, there is still power in Bohol, he explained. 

According to Engr Rodriguez, the N-1 ready status, has been attained after the NGCP has completed its BBTP, a 95 kilometer 138 kilovolts (KV) overhead transmission lines strung on steel cables from Ubay to Corella, where a new 100 megavolt amperes substation is now in place. 

Now set for full commissioning by August 2, the BBTP allows the NGCP to do preventive maintenance to its lines and substations without totally depriving Bohol the power it would need for its daily businesses to operate, Rodriguez said. (RAC/PIABOHOL) 

To pass on power info 

TAGBILARAN CITY, July 24, (PIA)—The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) finds a new ally in their need to multiply relevant and timely information for power consumers in Bohol. 

In a brilliant exercise of synergy, the NGCP taps the local Association of United Development information Officers (AUDIO) in Bohol, to help the transmission company relay relevant information to the populace. 

The AUDIO is a group of information officers from the towns and government agencies who resolved to join hands and voices in univocal support to the holistic development of the province. 

With the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) as its supervisor, the AUDIO has become a very strategic contact point for government and private sector information exchange. 

Jast June 21, a scheduled power interruption took longer than expected and consumers criticized the NGCP, who were the whipping dogs when local distribution utilities passed the buck to the transmission problem. 

With information only largely available through text messaging, NGCP through its public affairs office sent out repair and maintenance updates, but the information could only travel as much. 

It was clear that NGCP could use the help of strategic key messengers who would fill in the need for fast and relevant information in times such as that, pointed the PIA, who keeps administrative support to the AUDIO. 

Present in most towns covered by the power distribution utilities who get their power sources through NGCP lines, the AUDIO information officers find themselves at the end of the pole during power outages. 

We simply have to rely on PIA to pass information in times of outages, shared a remote town information officer, whose people have been so used to uninterrupted power supplies. 

While several power outages here are scheduled repairs and preventive maintenance activities, others as simply due to interruptions in the critical link: the overhead transmission cables traversing the mountains of Leyte, to the submarine cables that connect Bohol to the Visayas Grid, according to NGCP Public Affairs officer Maria Rosette Martinez. 

With only a few locally sourced power, Bohol draws most of its power demands from the NGCP grids, which also service the most of the Visayas and Luzon, she said. 

In extreme weather, the power lines that traverse overhead through steel tower cables in nearby provinces, get shorted, causing the tripping of the lines, rendering the most parts of Bohol in the dark. 

Moreover, during preventive maintenance activities of the 69 KV line which services the large part of the island, the province experiences total blackout until the servicing is completed, added Engr James Rodriquez. 

Rodriguez now heads the Bohol Backbone Transmission Project, a fully enhanced power capacity for Bohol which puts up another alternative to the 69KV line in Bohol. 

With AUDIO, we hope we can get to most consumers the information needed so they will be advised on what to do in any power disturbance, Maria Rosette Martinez said. (RAC/PIABohol)

Ambassador cites possible 
China-Bohol cooperation 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, July 22, (PIA) --Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to the Republic of the Philippines, Zhao Jianhua, hinted tourism, agriculture and disaster relief program as possible areas of cooperation for China and Bohol. 

Speaking before Boholanos gathered at the Bohol Day, the ambassador came as the guest speaker during the celebration which commemorated the 160th year when Bohol was declared as a separate province from Cebu, July 22, 1864. 

The relations between Bohol and China go a long way, as history traces Chinese traders doing business in Bohol in the pre Spanish years. 

Beyond the trade, Boholanos have an undeclared affinity with the Chinese, as can be seen by the flourishing businesses of naturalized Chinese men who have been adopted and have married and settled here in Bohol. 

“I can feel the affinity and the affection of the Boholanos towards China,” the ambassador beamed, even as he detailed areas for possible mutual cooperation here. 

China has been a major source of tourism, sending about 230,000 Chinese tourists to the Philippines. 

He hinted that it comprises over 70% increase in tourists since last year. 

And just as the Chinese government continue to support sending of tourists here, he said developing tourism infrastructure can be an area where China can help Bohol. He however did not elaborate if the help entails financial aid. 

On the other hand, the ambassador pointed Bohol’s role in regional agriculture. 

“I am pleasantly surprised that Bohol is producing more rice and is keeping its strong advantage as the bread basket in the Philippines,” the ambassador who was on a navy blue suit pointed out. 

He said China has over 500 years of agricultural development they can share to Philippine farmers, hinting that exchange of ideas and best farming practices can increase productivity and strengthen foreign relations. 

Ambassador Zhao Jianhua also said that China may have something to share to Boholanos about disaster relief, as he retold a disaster that had China roiling. But it also bounced back after some time. 

The Chinese ambassador was accompanied by Bohol patron and former ambassador Carlos Chan. 

Bohol Day 2014 adopted the theme “Commemorating history, celebrating friendship.” (PIABOHOL/RAC)

Best regional products at 
6th Sandugo Trade Expo 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, July 23 (PIA) --- The annual Sandugo Trade Exposition (STE) 2014 opens its showcase with the region’s top sells, including the widest loomwoven product from Tubigon, and a gaping window for local inventors who aspire for mechanized production of their prototypes. 

Top products from micro, small and medium enterprises from Regions 6, 8, 9, 10 and Davao are up; the best there is in furniture, jewelries, fashion accessories, home furnishings, arts and other knick-knacks; all certified products supportive of the green tourism in the region are on display here. 

Adopting the theme, “Gearing for ASEAN 2015” the trade exposition keeps to the main shelves local Philippine products which are attempting to be scooped into the mainstream global markets. 

Opening at The Block, of the Island City Mall since Wednesday until Sunday, the STE 2014, also puts up on a special setting the capability of the country’s only fabrication laboratory (fablab). 

The fablab is the country’s first design and fabrication laboratory that allows local inventors the chance to be assisted in mechanized fabrication of their prototype inventions, with the assistance of the Department of Trade and Industry, Science and Technology, Japan International Cooperation Agency and Bohol Island State University. 

On its first participation this year, Bohol fablab puts up a nail-less modular building, furniture and lazer printed or wood carved designs including souvenir products. 

Governor Edgar Chatto, trade expo keynote speaker commended the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) initiative as this shows how the province is standing strong after the great calamities that had the potential to really wipe off investor interest and confidence. 

According to Chatto, the trade expo shows that earthquake that devastated Bohol in October 2013 and the succeeding super storms failed to put the people’s will down, in fact he pointed on how the showcase tells Boholano creativity and will to survive, intact. 

There is life after the devastation, Chatto beamed before he led the opening of exhibits at the airconditioned display block which houses about a hundred display stalls. 

Faced with the biggest of challenges when the country is set for the Asean regional integration in 2015, Chatto urged exhibitors and local artisans to make the products competitive and be ready in areas where Bohol and the regions have their competitive advantage. 

In 2015, our products will be competing against the ASEAN, and we must project as a strong region in the global competition as we face the world together, he said. 

Products from local raw materials including the famed Antequera baskets, Cebu furniture, Siquijor woodworks, Negros Agri prodtucts showcase and a other regional pasalubong items in the brilliant fusion of existing design elements characterize this year’s displays.

Ex-Camillians cited for 
Relief volunteer work

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol July 25, (PIA) –An international religious order granted a Boholano group of ex-seminarians a citation for its partnership in volunteer relief operations after the earthquake. 

The Order of the Ministers of the Infirmed, or the Camillians, granted the Society of Ex-Camillian Seminarians (SECS) of Bohol cash and a plaque of appreciation for invaluable volunteer work during the relief operations in major towns hit by the October earthquake in Bohol. 

The award, called the St. Camillus 400th Years Award was for exemplifying motivation, leadership and service to the sick and to those who are in need and as an active collaborator of the Camillians Minister of the Infirm, of the Philippine Province. 

The Camillians handed the award to a delegation of SECS during the 4th centenary of the Death Anniversary of Camillus de Lellis, at the Order’s Loyala Heights Theologiate House, last July 14. 

SECS is a group of Boholano seminarians who had stayed or studied at the St Camillus College Seminary and Formation Center in Quezon City, Marikina, its novitiate house in Baguio and in any of its religious houses in the Philippines, but pursued a lay life instead. 

Numbering over a hundred in Bohol, some members occupying key positions in Bohol now, SECS performs regular summer apostolates in hospitals, one practice they carried on from emulating the life of the order’s founder, St. Camillus de Lellis. 

Last October, when the earthquake struck, SECS gathered to map out areas where they can be of service. 

Raising funds for relief, SECS’ efforts reached the Camillian Task Force, through Fr. Dan Cancino, who was personally sent to Bohol to help assess the areas for cooperation with the SECS and CTF. 

SECS went into food relief, shelter and then to livelihood assistance, giving out sari-sari store packages, and motorcycle for habal-habal livelihood assistance. (PIABohol/RAC)

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