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Posts Tagged ‘power crisis’

Teachers told only vote scanners must be plugged in on election day

Posted by akosistella on May 7, 2010


BAGUIO CITY, Philippines—Teachers must make sure nothing but the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines are plugged into their precincts’ electric outlets to make sure that no electrical overload or short circuits will occur and result in blackouts in their areas on Election Day.

Energy Undersecretary Loreta Ayson on Thursday offered election supervisors and voters practical tips to reduce energy consumption and stabilize power distributed by the main power grids “at least for that one whole day.”

Ayson was here to sign an agreement with the city government for an alternative energy power system that will be used to light up Burnham Park.

via INQUIRER.net.

Regional Comelec chief: No contingency plan for automation failure

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines—The Commission on Elections has no alternative plan if if automation fails, the chief of the poll body’s office in Western Mindanao admitted on Thursday.

“I am sorry to say this but the Comelec has no contingency measures if automation failed,” Helen Aguila-Flores said during a special meeting of civilian, police and military officials at the headquarters of the Western Mindanao Command.

The meeting was called for the purpose of discussing a contingency plan in the light of possible power outages on election day.

Via Inquirer.net

Teachers worry: What if machines fail again?

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines—Teachers who will man the precincts on election day are at a loss about what to do in case the precinct count optical scanners PCOS machines) still do not function properly.

Abelardo Brutas, secretary general of the Teachers in the Philippine Public Sector (TOPPS), said they were not prepared for manual counting in the event the machines conk out.

“We were not prepared for manual election,” Brutas said.

Via Inquirer.net


Posted in 2010 elections, Comelec, News, Philippine politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Next gov’t needs to raise new taxes—Teves, economists

Posted by akosistella on April 16, 2010


•Priorities tagged by Cabinet official, economists

MANILA, Philippines – Tax reforms should be prioritized by the next administration to shore up revenues that can be used to boost growth, economists and a Cabinet official yesterday said.

Speaking at a forum held at the Makati Shangri-La, Finance Secretary Margarito B. Teves called for a higher value-added tax (VAT) rate, lower corporate and income taxes, and approval of proposed reforms such as the rationalization of fiscal incentives.

The same proposals were aired by University of the Philippines (UP) economists — some of them former Cabinet officials in the previous administration — in a separate gathering a few blocks away.

“We have a declining revenue base due to [the] crisis and tax-eroding measures. There is an increased pressure on the deficit as government needs to sustain expenditures,” Mr. Teves said.

The ongoing El Niño weather pattern, a power crisis, as well as volatility in commodity prices are also threatening growth, he added.

via ABS-CBN News Online Beta.

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Stories from Sunday’s Phil. Star

Posted by akosistella on April 11, 2010


Noli supports Mar’s vice presidential bid

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Noli de Castro will not endorse a presidential candidate but is supporting the Liberal Party’s Manuel “Mar” Roxas.

De Castro said it was his decision not to publicly support a presidential candidate because he does not want to be tainted with “political color” when he returns to broadcasting at the end of his term.

The Vice President kept mum when asked if he is supporting Nacionalista Party standard-bearer Manuel Villar Jr. Both of them belong to the Senate’s Wednesday Club.

Click Phil. Star

Mar the technocrat has funny side, too

During the forum, he started to hum along with a Carlos Santana song playing in a videoke joint beside The STAR office.

The music grew louder as he was explaining a serious issue, and when he could no longer be heard, he decided to join in and sing along.

Roxas describes himself as “kenkoy” (playful) and down-to-earth, but admits he can be rigid and detailed.

Click here


Villar: I’m mentally healthy

MANILA, Philippines – Nacionalista Party (NP) standard-bearer Sen. Manuel Villar Jr. yesterday said he is mentally healthy as he challenged his rival Sen. Benigno Aquino III to address the issues contained in an alleged psychiatric report, which claimed among other things that the Liberal Party (LP) bet suffered from depression and smoked marijuana.

Interviewed over dzMM yesterday, Villar boasted that he has never smoked cigarettes, more so marijuana, and that he keeps himself in good shape.

Click here

Noynoy admits talking to a psychologist, but only about other politicians

MANILA, Philippines – Liberal Party (LP) presidential candidate Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III admitted yesterday he had indeed talked with a psychologist – but about other politicians, not himself.

He recalled that in The STAR’s series of interviews with presidential candidates, he was asked if he had consulted a psychiatrist.

His reply that he spoke with a psychologist friend about the personalities of some politicians drew laughter from The STAR editors, columnists, and reporters, he said.

Click here


Indelible ink deal rebidding eyed

Palace downplays report on 35 polling precincts without power

DH, teacher cast first ballots in HK, Palau

LP now focused on guarding votes

Mar: I’ll be a partner and conscience of the president

The Vote 2010: Manuel ‘MAR’ Araneta Roxas.

Kapatiran files complaint vs ABS-CBN

Posted in 2010 elections, Comelec, Manny Villar, MAR Roxas, News, Noynoy Aquino, Philippine politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »


Posted by akosistella on April 9, 2010


Phil. Star: Power for automation

With temperatures soaring even in Baguio City, there seems to be no immediate relief in sight for residents of Mindanao, where a drought continues to cause rotating blackouts lasting up to 12 hours daily. The other day energy officials said factories and shopping malls in Mindanao would have to suspend operations for three days in May to ensure that there will be enough electricity for blackout-free elections.

The country first saw the devastating consequences of an acute power shortage in the final months of the Aquino administration, when investors fled as Metro Manila reeled from blackouts lasting an average of eight hours daily. Fidel Ramos restored the lights quickly, but consumers have since learned from painful experience that quick fixes to a power shortage can be costly.

via Philippine Star.

Malaya: No law against rebellion?

THIS Norberto Gonzales is really a shameless liar. That he now holds the defense portfolio is among those bizarre developments that could only come about in a totally dysfunctional administration like Gloria Arroyo’s.

Briefing the diplomatic community on the arrest of 43 people in Morong, Rizal, last February and their continued detention, Gonzales called for the passage new anti-rebellion and anti-subversion laws.

Click Malaya

Posted in 2010 elections, Comelec, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Opinion, Philippine politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Energy chief Reyes resigns, eyes party-list seat in Congress

Posted by akosistella on March 26, 2010

MANILA, Philippines – Energy Secretary Secretary Angelo Reyes formally resigned his post on Friday to pursue a career as a lawmaker.

The former chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines said he has accepted the invitation of 1-United Transport Koalisyon (1-UTAK), a partylist group, to represent the transport sector in the Lower House.

Filling in Reyes’ vacated post at the Energy Department as officer-in-charge is Jose Ibazeta, the current president of the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM), which oversees the sale of the state’s energy assets.

Click ABS-CBN News Online Beta.

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Failed elections seen a bane for economy

Posted by akosistella on March 23, 2010

A FAILURE of elections risks running the Philippine economy aground, according to the country’s prophet of boom.

If the May national polls failed, “GDP [growth] in the second half may hit zero,” Bernardo Villegas, senior economist at the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P), told reporters.

This, he said, could result in a full-year expansion of only 2.5 percent, or below the low end of the government’s target range of 2.6 percent to 3.6 percent.

An indicator of economic performance, gross domestic product (GDP) is the amount of final goods and services produced in a country.

Click Manila Times.


No failure of polls, assures Comelec

Comelec Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal, at the same time, agreed with election lawyer Romulo Macalintal that politicians who predict that the polls less than two months away will not happen must be cited in contempt.

Larrazabal said that people must realize the “serious implications” to the public of failure of election.

“It’s so cheap to use the phrase ‘failure of elections’ now. Every person suddenly becomes an expert and says failure of elections. Do they actually realize what they are talking about and what it means to have failure of elections?” he asked.

Click Manila Times

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Posted by akosistella on March 19, 2010

Phil. Star: Protecting the teachers

Public school teachers will be glad to know that the Integrated Bar of the Philippines will provide them with free legal aid in case they face criminal or administrative charges in connection with their poll duties. To complement the IBP assistance, the government should also equip the teachers with the necessary training so they can perform their duties efficiently and avoid legal problems.

Click Phil. Star

Inquirer: Noynoy’s albatros

Consider just one instance: To support the story’s sweeping claim that “most farmers’ groups, scholars and businessmen question the department’s figures” (referring to the Department of Agrarian Reform’s statistics on redistributed land), the writer, the Times’ Southeast Asia bureau chief, relied solely on Anakpawis party-list Rep. Rafael Mariano. We do not question Mariano’s credentials; we only wish to point out that the story did not identify him as ideologically opposed to CARP itself, or as a vigorous campaigner against the extension program passed last year and which met the expectations of the more moderate bloc in Congress, or, indeed, as a close political ally of senatorial candidates running on the slate of Aquino’s main rival. (Note to the New York Times, whose main audience knows next to nothing about Philippine politics: There is more than one color in the Philippine political spectrum. That simple truth is not reflected in your choice of confirmatory sources.)


Malaya: Business-friendly?

MALACAÑANG has directed the Department of Energy to see if the rise in local fuel prices tracks the movement of global crude prices. The directive sounds innocuous enough, but the message beneath the surface is introducing uncertainties the oil industry could do without.

Click Business Insight Malaya.

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Posted in 2010 elections, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Noynoy Aquino, Opinion, Philippine politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Political will needed to solve power crisis, says think-tank

Posted by akosistella on March 18, 2010

In a March 18 report titled “Power, Interrupted,” Global Source said that beyond election and short-term macroeconomic risks, incidents of massive blackouts would undermine investor confidence as well, especially in a country that has a history of power shortages.

“This risks under-investment all around resulting in an inability to expand the country’s growth frontier, thus bringing forward to the present the issue of long-term supply adequacy,” it said.

Click INQUIRER.net.

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GMA cronies took advantage of Mindanao power crisis – Erap

Posted by akosistella on March 18, 2010

MANILA, Philippines –   Former President Joseph Estrada accused yesterday the Arroyo administration of causing the power crisis in Mindanao to “line the pockets” of associates.

Speaking to reporters at the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) national headquarters in Mandaluyong, Estrada said the power crisis in Mindanao could have been avoided had the administration acted on it properly.

“The Arroyo administration did not take any concrete steps to avoid the calamity,” he said.

Click Philippine Star.


Bro. Eddie’s camp to Comelec: Don’t single us out on billboard rules

MANILA, Philippines – The Bangon Pilipinas Party criticized the Commission on Elections for singling out standard-bearer Eddie Villanueva in the implementation of regulations on campaign materials and billboards.

The BPP said campaign posters of other candidates could also be seen among major thoroughfares, in clear violation of the Comelec rule in designating common poster areas.

Click http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=558970&publicationSubCategoryId=63″target=”_blank”>Phil.Star

AND: Aquino scores removal of parents’ posters along Manila road

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Malampaya: Why sell goose laying golden eggs?

Posted by akosistella on March 17, 2010

By Boo Chanco

With only three months to go before a new administration takes over, it is easy to see this impending sell-out of a prime revenue-generating government asset as one more short-term measure of this administration most probably for some kind of self-serving gain. The deal is obviously unwise from a business investment point of view and seems fraudulent from a governance perspective, Ms. Ferrer observes. 

Given the reputation of this administration it is easy for some to “surmise the funds will be diverted to private pockets, or electioneering. Others think the administration wants to exit without the shameful legacy of a huge budget deficit…. Still others cannot help think of even more sinister plots in the offing, such as the eventual privatization of the much devalued PNOC-EC at bargain prices to a favored investment group.”

Or maybe, this is just a case of a very desperate Finance Secretary who is ready to sell the most saleable government asset regardless of other strategic considerations because his exit report card would otherwise report that large deficit. But if he is using his brains the way he used to in his younger days, he would realize that ending his watch even with that deficit number is not as bad as losing a strategic investment in a strategic industry that also more than pays for itself.

Click Boo Chanco.

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Gov’t OKs plan to ease power crisis in Vis-Min

Posted by akosistella on March 17, 2010

MANILA, Philippines–The Energy Regulatory Commission has agreed to implement a so-called interruptible load program as a stop-gap measure to alleviate the current power crisis in Visayas and Mindanao.

Covered by the program are consumers—particularly the big industrial and commercial customers—who have the ability to produce their own electricity through generating sets.

Participating customers will allow distribution utilities to either cut off or reduce the electricity being supplied to them, particularly during peak periods of the day or during emergency conditions. During these hours, “de-loaded” customers are expected to use their gensets.

Click INQUIRER.net.

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Posted in 2010 elections, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, News, Philippine politics, Regions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Not out of the woods yet

Posted by akosistella on March 16, 2010

By Conrado de Quiros

There are five reasons to worry about the elections.

One is president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo assuming emergency powers to deal with emergencies of her making. The first time she did that was when the Ampatuans showed signs of restiveness after one of their own was hauled in for the massacre of their enemies. Zaldy Ampatuan’s lawyer articulated their thinking by expostulating against the way Arroyo repaid the Ampatuans “after all they’ve done for her.” Now she has assumed emergency powers to deal with the power crisis in Mindanao. That is not something she can lay at the door of her predecessors. She’s had nine years to deal with it, but after borrowing more money than the last two (real) presidents, she has just brought back the power blackouts.

How exactly Mindanao’s need for electrical power can be met by giving someone additional political power only Arroyo can say. Maybe she figures pare-pareho lang ’yan, it’s all about power. But the people who are fretting about it have every reason to fret. Once is an accident, twice is a pattern. What now if under the exceedingly hot sun of summer (exceptionally so this year) the rest of the country dries up, and what now if under the exceedingly slimy hands of those with political power the rest of the country loses electrical power? Won’t it be easy for Arroyo to declare a state of emergency to solve the emergency of threatened automation? Same logic: The disease is the cure.

Click Conrado de Quiros.

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Next administration needs a new energy framework

Posted by akosistella on March 16, 2010

By Ernesto Herrera

CITING errors in the government’s management of the energy sector amidst a nationwide electricity shortage, the report of Maitet Diokno Pascual of Freedom from Debt Coalition which was published in the Manila (Sunday) Times yesterday, made it clear where the blame lies.

Contrary to what the administration says, the energy crisis is man-made and not God-given. “Consumers in Mindanao, Visayas and Luzon should worry that electricity will become more expensive and less stable in the years to come, not because that’s how God wants it, but because a very flawed law—EPIRA and incompetent energy bosses—govern the power sector,” the FDC report said.

EPIRA, of course, is the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira), which was signed into law by President Arroyo to rationalize the power supply sector and lower electricity rates. It was enacted back in 2001, shortly after GMA took over and has obviously failed to live up to its billing and intentions.

Well, as we have seen far too many times in this country, having a law in place to serve a good purpose is one thing, but having that law properly implemented is another.

The government has to be capable of not only properly implementing Epira but also recognizing and rectifying its errors. Expensive electricity, repeated outages, rationing of electricity, all these show that the implementation of Epira is far from ideal.

The Freedom From Debt Coalition is even calling for a new framework altogether, one “that makes electricity available to all households and enables the power sector to stimulate the development of vibrant local economies.”

But what should government do for the meantime to increase electricity production and promote energy conservation amidst a national shortage?

The FDC article makes it clear that better government management is paramount.

In the coming days, you could expect government to come out with directives like reducing the operating hours of government offices or businesses like shopping centers, or offer rate incentives to reduce electricity consumption in homes and businesses.

But such measures, although helpful would not address the root of this electricity crisis, or for that matter, future power crises.

As FDC said in a statement: “EPIRA did not remove the crooked syndicates, the oligopolists, the political power players, the big business groups, both local and foreign. It did not put an end to rent-seeking, deal-making, price manipulation and market abuse. It did not require an independent and non-politicized and highly competent regulatory body. It did not create a level playing field. EPIRA did not empower consumers.”

The government must increase the direct participation of consumers in the management of the electricity sector. It is not good enough to blame unusual natural conditions.

The power industry has suffered from poor management, misguided policies and serious corruption, even as energy production costs continue to rise with the price of gas and coal.

The continuing electricity shortage poses no significant political risk to GMA at this time. She’s on her way to Congress. The rains will probably come before people come out into the streets to express their anger.

One only hopes that this administration for once is telling the truth that the power crisis would not affect the coming elections.

But assuming that the election does push through, the new administration would face the unenviable task of mitigating the pain of further power outages.

It must ensure that this country gets out of this perennial near-crisis energy situation mode.

The problems in the energy sector have been building over many years and what we’re seeing now is just the culmination.

Labor warns of Mindanao job losses

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) has warned of severe job losses as a result of the crippling power shortage in Mindanao, which has been hit by daily rotating brownouts lasting eight to 10 hours.

Industries reeling from recurring brownouts in Mindanao are already aggressively carrying out coping strategies that include fewer work shifts and the rotation of workers.

The Department of Labor and Employment should step in and find ways to mitigate the plight of workers displaced by the brownouts, and extend them emergency assistance.

Among the power-intensive industries being hit hard by the brownouts are steel and cement manufacturing, canning, commercial fishing (particularly cold storage), mining and quarrying, food processing, telecommunications and retail trade.

Mindanao risks not just temporary but long term economic losses. We’re afraid Mindanao’s ability to draw incremental foreign and local investments, and create badly needed new jobs, could be impaired if the power shortage there is not fixed right away.

The government should move fast and forcefully to address the shortage. If necessary, extra power barges should be deployed.

Also, subsidies out of a special fund should be made available preferentially to private sector projects meant to quickly harness Mindanao’s potential renewable energy sources. I refer particularly to the trust fund established by the Renewable Energy Law of 2008. Portions of the fund may be used as grants, loans, equity investments, loan guarantees, insurance, counterpart fund or other forms of financial support to new biomass, solar, wind, hydro, geothermal and ocean energy projects installed by the private sector.


Posted in 2010 elections, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Opinion, Philippine politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Brownout threat ebbs as plants get Malampaya gas

Posted by akosistella on March 15, 2010

THE RESUMPTION of natural gas feeds to three Luzon power plants has significantly reduced the likelihood of fresh brownouts this week.

National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) said the Malampaya deepwater gas-to-power facility resumed supplying three Batangas power plants on Saturday following the completion of preventive maintenance work.

The Malampaya shutdown starting Feb. 12 led to a shutdown of the 1,200-megawatt (MW) Ilijan. The 500-MW San Lorenzo and the 1,000-MW Sta. Rita plants, meanwhile, were forced to run on more expensive liquid condensate.

Click BusinessWorld Online.

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Saving Gibo: Lagging numbers don’t faze Palace strategists

Posted by akosistella on March 15, 2010

MALACAÑANG yesterday said it is too early for administration presidential candidate Gilberto “Gibo” Teodoro Jr. to throw in the towel especially since a recent survey conducted with the participation of the election watchdog Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting showed him already climbing to second place early March.

“Hindi pa po tapos ang laban… it is certainly too early for anybody to say na dapat mag-give up ang administrasyon sa tsansa ng kanilang standard bearer,” said Gary Olivar, deputy presidential spokesman.

Click Business Insight Malaya.


Mar wants independent study of nuclear power in RP

“I have an open mind about it. Let us think about it. It’s the cheapest form of power and [it is for long term],” Roxas, the Liberal Party’s candidate for vice president, told reporters here on Saturday.

He said the Philippines’ neighboring countries were either using or open to the use of nuclear power.

Click Inquirer.net

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Posted in 2010 elections, Gilbert Teodoro, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, MAR Roxas, News, Noynoy Aquino, Philippine politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »