Monday, October 20, 2014

Submit “position” on radio need 
for boat registration, asks PCG

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, October 17, (PIA) –In an attempt for a win-win solution to the stand-off on motorized boat registrations, due to a government policy to assure maritime communications, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) hints an amendment of the law could solve the problem. 

This too, as the country’s Maritime Authority (MARINA) asserts the need for the registration of all motorized boats used for transportation across the country’s island destinations.

MARINA is the agency mandated to oversee and regulate the registration and safe operation of ships plying domestic and international port of destinations. 

Now, as the government demands that boats carrying passengers to any offshore destination in the country would have a radio communications installed, the same regulation applies to motorized bancas carrying tourists to dolphin and whale watching tours, dive tours or island hopping activities in Bohol. 

And just as MARINA Memorandum Circular MC No. 4-09-88 says no passenger or cargo vessel shall attempt to leave any Philippine port without the prescribed radio installation on board, the problem is that boat operators insist that other than the logical permits and certifications demanded, radio installation is allegedly impractical.

“It is expensive, impractical and bulky compared to a the easily available mobile phone technology,” assert boat owners who see that a radio installation on a boat also needs a National Telecommunications Commission franchise. 

“We are just fishers who pick up tourists on island tours as an alternative livelihood, we can’t afford the radio requirement” a boat operator from Pamilacan Island in Baclayon argued. 

For this, Tagbilaran Coast Guard Station Commander Lieutenant Junior grade Robinson Madriaga suggests, organize and come up with a position paper proposing an amendment to the law.” 

Speaking over at Kapihan sa PIA Thursday, the PCG head seid he has been reminding his substation commanders to tell small boats owners, unregistered because of the MARINA standoff, to at least put up a semblance of communications system with the coast guard using mobile systems.

The instruction also states that boat captains need to contact the PCG upon leaving port and upon coming in, details a PCG who is assigned in Panglao substation. 

On this, PCG thinks there is something the government and the boat operators can agree on the problem. 

“Without radio communications installed in their boat however, it could be difficult to get to the boat in times of distress, and directing search and rescue teams could be hard,” MARINA said. 

The NTC, the sole body which exercises jurisdiction over the all telecommunications services in the country, said they are demanding maritime radio communications for the assurance of safety and security of boats while at high seas or off port. 

NTC says boats with bay and river operation should have a VHF radio with capability on 156.8/156.6/156.3 MHz while those with coastwise operation use an SSB with capability on 2182/4125/6215.5 KHz or a VHF radio with capability on 156.8/156.6/156.3 MHz

Now in Bohol, almost a hundred boat operators in Panglao alone, are struggling with the requirements: mandatory installation of Navigational Telex (NAVtex) and Emergency Positioning Indicating Radio Beacons EPIRB, as per MC No.01-01-02.

A NavTelex is an international, automated system for instantly distributing maritime navigational warnings, weather forecasts and warnings, search and rescue notices and similar information to ships, according to the MARINA. 

On the other hand, a EPIRB is an earth station in the mobile-satellite service, the emissions of which are intended to facilitate search and rescue operations.

Both radio equipment however, need to be approved by the NTC. (PIABohol/RAC)

For disaster preparedness…
PCG dangles water rescue 
training for first reponders

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, October 17 (PIA) –It has happened in the unusually swelling rivers of Sevilla and the upper tributaries of Loboc River. 

Here, freshwater-fishers scour the slippery banks of the treacherous river to catch for food and a simple slip can be disastrous with the sometimes calm but deep waters. 

Or sometimes, unsuspecting bathers, or women doing their laundry in the river can easily fall in and a reliable rescue may be hours away. 

Besides, it may seem simple as it is but water rescue is so complicated that unskilled rescuers can drown, first responders agree. 

Now, communities which are with low lying areas or those with threats of swelling rivers and treacherous water systems can equip its local rescue teams with the proper skills to handle water rescue, and that’s a credit for the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG). 

“The PCG, which has about 59 organic personnel in Bohol could not physically be present in all areas where they are needed,” that according to Commander Robinson Madriaga, “getting first responders in place can be solved by training communities to respond for emergencies.” 

In areas where the PCG rescuers could not easily get in time, it pays to have residents equipping themselves for disasters, especially those brought by changing climate, Madriaga, speaking at the Kapihan sa PIA noted. 

And as the law has allowed government units to use government funds to equip its disaster teams, the PCG said they can help with the trainings. 

Coast Guard Station –Tagbilaran Commander, Lieutenant Junior grade Robinson Madriaga dangled his office’s free training for water rescue to local government units as the PCG thinks prepositioning first reponders is crucial in disaster preparedness. 

All they need to do is to file a request, Commander Madriaga said. 

With the request file, the PCG would assess the situation before they approve, explains the top commander of Bohol’s 5 sub-stations and mobile teams. (PIABohol/RAC)

NGCP bares 8 more 
projs from 2016-23

PANGLAO BOHOL, October 15 (PIA) – The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) bares 8 more big projects set here for the next eight years, projects that would impact on Bohol’s power reliability which would keep its development engines spinning. 

During a Power Briefing at the Bellevue in Panglao October 15, NGCP through Engr. Hannel Tamayo, revealed to the local media that after the NGCP has completed the P1.19 billion Bohol Backbone Transmission Project (BBTP) and its corresponding 100MVA Corella Substation, which was due for inauguration October 16. 

But despite a new high voltage transmission line, NGCP has laid out 8 more projects in the next decade, most notable among them are two new transmission lines from nearby island, bringing in the crucial additional juice to power Bohol’s industries. 

Engr. Tamayo, principal engineer of the NGCP’s Visayas Systems Planning Division identified the projects as proposed the 138 KV Transmission line which comes from KepCo plant in Naga Cebu to Cabilao Island in Loon, Bohol and the Leyte-Bohol second submarine cable which runs parallel to the Leyte-Bohol Power Interconnection Project (LBPIP) set up years ago. 

This line however is planned for 2022.

Other than the two new lines to Bohol, NGCP said the new Cebu-Bohol line would need a new 138 KV Substation in Loon, a new 138 KV transmission line from Loon to Corella Substation and another 138 KV transmission line from Loon to Ubay. 

The line to Corella would necessitate 3 units of 7.5 MVAR Capacitor for a project called Visayas Voltage Improvement Project to be set in place in Corella Sub Station.

Finally, a 69 KV substation would be put up in Tagbilaran by 2020, Engr Tamayo said. 

For the second submarine cable bringing in power from Leyte, NGCP needs to put up Ubay and Corella Bohol Substation upgrading so it could be capacitated to accept the power supply from Leyte. 

Bohol now mainly relies its power requirements from the 20 MW locally sourced out power from hydropower plants and diesel plant in the island, while the rest is provided by the 138 KV from the LBPIP. Currently, Bohol’s peak power requirement is pegged at 85KV, unconfirmed reports said. 

But with a single large source from Leyte, any inclement weather experienced in that region could compromise Bohol, as it happened when typhoon Yolanda ravaged Leyte. 

To solve this, the NGCP hopes the Naga, Cebu-Cabilao Loon Transmission line opens up a back-up power source for Bohol, while another Leyte-Bohol line would certainly upgrade the power situation here. (RAC/PIABohol)

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