PIA News Service - Friday, Dec. 17, 2010

For faster and wider dissemination of information
PIA-Caraga embraces PANP technology

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY (16 December) – To cope with the demands of globalization specifically in obtaining wider dissemination of information through state-of-the-art technologies, the regional office of the Philippine Information Agency here in Caraga has recently adopted the Philippine Administrative Network Project Phase II funded by French Official Development Assistance (ODA).

With the installation of a two-way satellite transmission system based on Internet Protocol (IP), the regional office here in Caraga is now linked with other remote sites nationwide through Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSATs) and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).

“This means that PIA-Caraga Regional Office here in the city can contact the other remote sites nationwide through local calls,” said Mr. Owen Bandilla, PIA Consultant for the project.

Aside from this feature, PANP 2 caters other telephony services such as voice mail, audio-conference, forward calls, on hold calls, and transfer calls. A Wifi-access point is now also enjoyed by the regional office which is advantageous not only for the office personnel who will be transmitting and receiving information and communications, but as well as the local media who, from time to time, will be visiting the office.

Moreover, personnel of the PANP 2 remote sites nationwide can already make videoconferencing. “Thus, this technology can help lessen the communication expenses of the office,” said Nicolas Fournier, an engineer of the French protocol who installed the facilities and equipment in the regional office together with a fellow national, Sebastien Lacour.

VSAT remote sites include: Agoo Bureau of Broadcast Service (BBS), Baguio BBS and PIA, Batanes BBS, Bontoc BBS, Butuan BBS and PIA, Cagayan de Oro BBS, Calbayog BBS, Dagupan BBS and PIA, Davao BBS and PIA, Gingoog BBS, Iloilo BBS, Jolo BBS, Legazpi PIA, Lucena BBS and PIA, Naga BBS and PIA, Palawan BBS, Tacloban PIA, Tawi-Tawi BBS, Tuguegarao BBS & PIA, Virac BBS, and Zamboanga BBS.

Meanwhile, VPN remote sites include Davao BBS, Cagayan de Oro PIA, Cebu BBS, Cebu PIA, Cotabato PIA, Iloilo PIA, San Fernando Pampanga, and Zamboanga PIA.

PANP was built under the auspices of the then Office of the Press Secretary who later turned-over control to PIA and BBS under a Memorandum of Agreement in 2005, aimed to disseminate PIA and BBS news, public information, and development-oriented communication programs.

The project also provides quicker and more comprehensive gathering and consolidation of feedback and grassroots opinions about government programs and projects.

PANP also enables ICT governance mechanisms which enhance overall capability of PIA and BBS to fulfill its mandates. It also allows government to give substance to its Constitutional commitment to the public’s right to information. (PIA-Caraga)


Oil supply in PH is less vs demands, DOE says

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY (17 December) – The supply of oil in the entire country is less but the demands are too high which cause prices of oil products is high. This is what Engr. Edmar A. Derla, Department of Energy (DOE) Energy Industry Management Division (EIMD) Officer-in-charge said during the Energy Industry Stakeholders’ Forum held Thursday (December 16) in one of the local hotels here.

According to Engr. Derla, this is also true in other countries. “Thus, the world is suffering from this problem especially if political turmoil is happening in some parts of the world like the Middle East,” he said.

Also, Derla said market force is also a determining factor of the increase or decrease of oil price worldwide. “If there’s crisis in the Middle East, then oil price will definitely increase,” Derla said.

Further, the DOE official stressed that foreign rate exchange is not a factor of the price situation of oil products. “This is true to all countries and not only here in the Philippines,” he said.

Derla added that generally, oil price followed the price trending in Dubai where Philippines is among those who are included in the countries following the said trending.

The forum is among the highlights of the National Energy Consciousness Week celebration spearheaded by DOE Mindanao Field Office based in Davao City and in coordination with the Department of Trade and Industry Regional Office in Caraga. (PIA-Caraga)


PH oil price is 7th in the top 10 countries with high price

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY (17 December) – “Philippines is not the country that has the most expensive oil price in the world,” thus said Engr. Edmar A. Derla, officer-in-charge of the Department of Energy (DOE) Energy Industry Management Division (EIMD) in a stakeholders’ forum held Thursday, December 16 in one of the local hotels in this city.

Speaking before a crowd estimate of 150, the energy department official said Hongkong has the most expensive oil price, followed by New Zealand, Singapore, Australia, Thailand, China, Philippines, United States, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Engr. Derla also pointed out that in 2003, Petron has dominated the country’s market share in the oil industry, followed by Shell and Caltex-Chevron.

Meanwhile, Derla said in terms of infrastructure, two depots are situated in Caraga Region. These are the Nasipit Depot in Nasipit, Agusan del Norte and the Cabadbaran Depot in Brgy. Cabinet, Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte.

As to the demand of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), Mindanao is the least demand compared to Luzon and Visayas “because Mindanao has more woods to be used as firewoods,” he said.

For the meantime, Derla said the country has five importers of LPG. “This happens because we have more demands than the available supply,” the official added.

Moreover, Derla revealed that LPG Petronas has the highest market share in Mindanao and the demand of the product per sector posted at 74% for the household, 20% for industries, and 6% in the transport sector. (PIA-Caraga)


DTI orients sectors on mandatory certification of lighting products
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By: Robert E. Roperos
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BUTUAN CITY (17 December) – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Thursday, December 16 oriented public sectors and consumers on the mandatory certification of lighting products.

In a public forum spearheaded by DTI and the Department of Energy (DOE) Mindanao Field Office based in Davao City, Mr. Marson Jan Dolendo of DTI-Caraga emphasized that business establishments should undergo mandatory inspection in all their products, including the lighting products.

Dolendo informed those in attendance that they should look for the energy label or the yellow label when buying products. “This is an indication that the products were already tested by DTI and passed the department’s quality standards,” he said.

Also, Dolendo said the public should look for the efficacy rate of the product. The higher the rate, the more efficient is the product.

For the lighting products, compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) and ballast are the products mandated to undergo testing. All CFL products which have no yellow label must be removed from store outlets. “Total phase-out of unlabeled products will be implemented on December 31, 2010.

In other development, Dolendo presented the guidelines on warranties of energy efficient lamps and ballasts. He said, warranties are applicable to all manufacturers, importers, wholesalers and retailers. This means that these businessmen should implement warranty to their products.

Covered products for the warranty include fluorescent lamps (linear, circular and CFL), high-intensity discharge lamps and ballasts (electromagnetic).

Dolendo further stressed that warranty should be effective at least before one year after products are purchased. To avail, the customer will just present proof of purchase such as receipts and warranty cards. Also, the purchased item/s must be returned to the store where the products were purchased for replacement. (PIA-Caraga)


DOE told companies: LPG cylinder inspection, retesting a must

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY (17 December) – In a report of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), one of the causes of fire in the country particularly in the northern part is due to explosions of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tank.

To prevent such kind of disaster, it is a must that LPG producing companies should undergo mandatory cylinder inspection and retesting. This is what the gist of Engr. Nilo J. Geroche, Senior Science Resource Specialist of the Department of Energy (DOE) Mindanao Field Office (MFO) in his speech during the Energy Industry Stakeholders’ Forum held here on Thursday (December 16) in one of the local hotels.

According to Engr. Geroche, LPG-producing companies should comply with the first and second requalification. The first requalification requires them after ten years of manufacture. Second requalification means that they have to undergo inspection and retesting five years after the first requalification.

On the other hand, Geroche gave tips for consumers attending the forum. He said, when buying LPG tank, make sure that the outlet/store has a weighing device and let them weigh your purchased LPG with your presence since all establishments engaging this kind of business are required to have a weighing scale. “DOE and DTI are regularly monitoring these establishments,” Geroche assured.

Also, he said the buyer should determine the gross weight of LPG in filled cylinders by adding the tare weight and the net weight of 11.0 kilograms. “If the tare weight is 12.3 kilograms, add the 11.0 kilograms net weight to get a gross weight of 23.3 kilograms.

Geroche also reminded the public to buy cylinders with proper markings such as the brand name, tare weight, among others. The buying public is also informed to check if security seal is still intact and firmly affixed to the valve.

The official added gas burner must be clean and free from dirt so that blue flame will come out. “This means that LPG filled in the cylinder is genuine,” he said.

Finally, Geroche said if gas is smelled in the kitchen, open all windows and doors to improve ventilation.

The forum is part of the National Energy Consciousness Week celebration and is anchored on the theme: “Efficiency and conservation towards energy access for more” with DOE spearheading the activity in close coordination with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Caraga Region. (PIA-Caraga)


DOE prohibits selling of bottled petroleum products

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY (17 December) – The Department of Energy (DOE) on Thursday (December 16) said small-scaled businessmen selling bottled petroleum products is not allowed.

Addressing around 150 stakeholders during the Energy Industry Stakeholders’ Forum in one of the local hotels here, Engr. Pedrito N. Aparicio, DOE-Mindanao Field Office Senior Resource Specialist said that for security reason, “bawal ang bote-bote na pagbenta ng gasoline kung saan-saan” (selling bottled gasoline is prohibited anywhere).

Also, Engr. Aparicio said, “it’s unfair to legitimate businessmen since they are paying taxes, while the bottled system types of businessmen are not”.

Aparicio also stressed that the local government units (LGUs) through the city or municipal treasurers are authorized to conduct calibration and sealing of the product. Oil company technicians are also given the permit to conduct such activities if they are authorized by the LGUs.

Some of the punishable acts according to Aparicio include illegal trading, under-delivering, and non-compliance to consumer and safety signs.

When asked what will be the administrative sanctions, the official said that for the first offense, a penalty of Php 10,000 will be imposed to violators. Another Php 10,000 is imposed for the second offense.

For the third offense, however, the establishments’ license to sell said products will be revoked. However, for those operating without license, immediate closure of the establishment will be imposed. (PIA-Caraga)


ANECO challenges Mindanao leaders to curb island’s power crisis

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY (17 December) – Following the power crisis that the whole island of Mindanao is experiencing during the previous months, Agusan del Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ANECO) Corporate Planning Office Manager Engr. Noli Namocatcat on Thursday (December 16) challenged Mindanao leaders to curb the problem.

Engr. Namocatcat revealed that Mindanao’s peak demand growth from 2010 to 2014 is 5.76 percent. One of the reasons of power crisis is the dependable capacity which lags behind reserve requirement of 13.1% peak demand.

Namocatcat said if power plant will be built, required investment for coal plant will reach to US$1.8 million to US$2.0 million per megawatt, while hydro plant will cost US$4.0 million.

With these developments, Namocatcat said Mindanao leaders should attract investors to build 484 megawatt power plants. This will suffice the need of power supply distribution in the whole island of Mindanao.

Moreover, he said leaders of the five regions should also locate new power plants in Southern Mindanao because he said that this part of the island posts the greatest demand of power supply where about 40% of the demand in the whole island comes from this region. (PIA-Caraga)


ANECO bares plans, recommendations for the coming years

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY (17 December) – In response to the growing demands of power supply here and the neighboring province of Agusan del Norte in the future, Agusan del Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ANECO) on Thursday (December 16) revealed its plans and recommendations in time with the Energy Industry Stakeholders’ Forum held in one of the local hotels in this city.

Engr. Noli Namocatcat, ANECO Corporate Planning Office Manager presented highlights of the cooperative’s plans and recommendations. Among those is to review and revise power supply portfolio by contracting (non-firm) with independent power producers (IPP) other than the National Power Corporation (NPC) for reserve capacity during emergency. This forms part of the short-term solution.

Engr. Namocatcat also said minimizing dependence on NPC-generators as one power source will be pushed by the electric cooperative. Revising power supply planning is also necessary to have equal distribution of power supply to IPPs.

Further, the official said diversifying range of fuels and technologies will also help solving the scarcity of power supply.

Furthermore, Namocatcat said ANECO needs a balance portfolio of supply generation contracts and at the same time choose contracts on the basis of “least-cost”.

Meanwhile, Namocatcat stressed the key to risk management is a diversified portfolio of contracts, some short-term, may be medium-term, and it could also be long-term. (PIA-Caraga)


DOE pushes for LPG as automobile fuel alternative

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY (17 December) – With the primary aim to mitigate the impact brought about by high price of oil in the world market, the Department of Energy (DOE) pushed for the use of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as an alternative fuel for automobiles.

In his presentation before the around 150 stakeholders during the Energy Industry Stakeholders’ Forum held Thursday (December 16) in one of the local hotels here, Mr. Jose Rey C. Maleza of the Department of Energy (DOE) Visayas Field Office said there is no problem when converting automobile gas engine to an LPG-operated fuel engine “because they have the same heating capacity and needs with the gasoline engine”.

Maleza also said an LPG-fueled automobile helps protect the environment as it minimizes air pollution. “Aside from that, based on simulation, in as far as speed performance is concerned, the LPG-fueled automobile is faster compared to a gasoline-fueled automobile,” he said.

Autogas is the common name for LPG when it is used as a fuel in internal combustion engines in vehicles. The same equipment is also used for similar engines in stationary applications such as generators.

Meanwhile, Maleza said Auto-LPG stations are only authorized to sell LPG for automobile purposes only and not for household use. Domestic or household cylinders are not also allowed to be refilled in any Auto-LPG dispensing stations.

Moreover, Maleza said LPG-station personnel must be certified or accredited by Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). Thus, they must undergo proper training before they will be assigned to the station to ensure operation security. (PIA-Caraga)


DOE to sanction LPG-stations violating operation standards

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY (16 December) – “In every operation or transaction, security measures must be given prior attention to mitigate the negative impact that may possibly occur,” thus warned Mr. Jose Rey C. Maleza of the Department of Energy (DOE) Visayas Field Office to liquefied petroleum gas station owners who will violate operation standards set by the government.

According to Mr. Maleza, administrative sanctions must be imposed to violators. “We in the government sector authorized to conduct evaluation and inspection must at all times impose this for security and safety of the buying public,” he said.

Maleza said an amount of Php 10,000 is the penalty for those violators during the first offense. Same amount will be penalized for the second offense. For the third offense, however, immediate revocation of license to operate will be imposed. This means that immediate closure of the station will be implemented.

When asked what benefits the public can get from auto-LPG, Maleza said it has less maintenance cost in automobile parts since it will produce cleaner engine due to the absence of contaminations like lead, sulfur, and aromatics – the elements that are found in gasoline. He also said some of the typical performance of automobiles after conversion include slight power loss, should be tuned-up after initial 1,000 kilometers, slow refueling, and longer period for charging spark plugs and oil. (PIA-Caraga)