PIA News Service - Saturday, April 14, 2012

Hydropower not sustainable source of energy – PNoy

By Robert E. Roperos

DAVAO CITY, April 14 (PIA)
-- President Benigno S. Aquino III yesterday said the Mindanao needs a more diverse mix of energy sources if the demand of power supply cannot rely anymore on the existing hydro-power to provide the base load of the entire island.

Speaking before the stakeholders during the Mindanao Power Summit in Waterfront Insular Hotel here, the President said the Mindanao is relying on hydropower for more than half of its consistent consumption, the base load, which is not sustainable anymore, considering the many variables that affect water supply – from rainfall, to natural calamities, even to seasonal variations like El Niño.

However, the President said he is open for the rehabilitation of the Pulangi and Agus Plants. He added Pulangi plant will be rehabilitated within one month while Agus Plant 6 will be rehabilitated within 30 months. The President also said Mindanao needs reliable and long-term electric power to accommodate the economic development of the island.

Meanwhile, the President said Mindanao’s energy production capacity is at 1,280 megawatts including the 200 megawatts from the barges, “which I must thank the cooperatives for contracting,” he said.

He further stressed Mindanao’s peak demand is at 1,300 so there is a need of 20 megawatts more to meet the peak demand. “But we also have to meet the reserve margin of 150 megawatts. So, what this really means is we need 170 megawatts more,” the President added.

Furthermore, Pres. Aquino said that in 2003, National Power Corporation’s (NAPOCOR) debt had already reached a staggering P1.24 trillion which is 24.3 percent of total consolidated public sector debt.

He added this debt was bigger than the entire General Appropriations Act for that year. “The country faced a continuing, hopeless dilemma which is to pay NAPOCOR or pay for everything else like roads, schools, and health care,” the President said.

Aquino said this explains why Congress passed the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001. “The idea behind it was: NAPOCOR would sell its power plants to private investors, and use the proceeds to pay its debt. This was supposed to put an end to the never-ending, increasing debt. It also freed money that could go to essential government services,” President Aquino added. (RER-PIA 13 Caraga)

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NEDA bats for extension of Mindanao’s rural program

By Noel T. Provido

BUTUAN CITY, April 14 (PIA)
-- The government’s technical body has approved the two-year extension of second phased Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP2).

The National Economic and Development Authority – Investment Coordination Committee (NEDA-ICC) Technical Board in its recent meeting in Manila has approved and endorsed to the Cabinet Committee the two-year extension of MRDP2.

The NEDA-ICC is one of the NEDA Board’s inter-agency committees that evaluates the fiscal, monetary, and balance-of-payments implications of major national projects. The approval of the technical board paves the way for the project extension to be presented to the Cabinet Committee for final scrutiny before the eventual deliberation by the NEDA Board chaired by President Benigno S. Aquino III.

Meanwhile, MRDP2 is a five-year poverty alleviation program of the Department of Agriculture (DA) through a loan portfolio from the World Bank. The national government and local government units (LGUs) also provide equity share. Launched in 2007, the program will supposedly end by December this year. With the two-year extension, it is now expected to be completed in 2014.

MRDP2 deputy program director Arnel De Mesa said the extension is in response to the overwhelming LGUs and community clamor for local projects. In rural infrastructure alone, demand has reached a total of P10.8 billion surpassing the program’s allocation of P4.8 billion.

“The program’s good performance and substantial lists of pipeline projects are among the factors in getting the nod of the technical board,” De Mesa said adding:

“The World Bank during its previous mission has satisfactorily rated the program noting its sufficient improvement as of midterm. This shows that fully committed projects can be completed within two years,” he said.

These projects include rural infrastructure such as irrigation, farm-to-market roads, and potable water supply. It also provides livelihood assistance to small farmers including natural resource management interventions to sustain food production in island region.

The two-year extension De Mesa said also presents challenges that must be overcome particularly in meeting the 60 percent disbursement target by yearend. “Right now we are at 35 percent, so we have to address implementation bottlenecks to comply with agreed timelines and deliveries,” he said.

MRDP program director Lealyn Ramos for her part said the two-year program extension will be a boost to the Aquino administration’s goal of promoting inclusive economic growth as MRDP projects are focused on improving incomes of poor communities in Mindanao.

“The program with the co-financing support from the office of DA Secretary Alcala enabled Mindanao LGUs to massively engage in infrastructure projects. At present, we are facing huge demand from our LGU partners prompting Secretary Alcala to request not only for an extension but also for additional financing,” Ramos said.

“While we remain optimistic that positive developments are taking place, we also urge our stakeholders to sustain the momentum we have gained. We bank on our partners from LGUs and oversight agencies to help us fast track implementation so that we can eventually meet our targets and eventually negotiate for the third phase of MRDP” she said. (NCLM/NTP-PIA 13 Caraga/DA-MRDP)

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TESDA spearheads induction program for 87 trainees

By Gervacio C. Dauz Jr.

CABADBARAN, Agusan del Norte, April 14 (PIA)
-- The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Provincial Office of Agusan del Norte spearheaded a two-day induction program for 87 trainees on April 11 and 13 at the Provincial Training Center here to give them the big picture on what to expect during their training and post-training undertakings and prepare them for the long haul.

In terms of breakdown, 27 out of the 87 trainees will undergo the Commercial Cooking NC II skills training; 20 for Electrical Installation and Maintenance NC II; and 40 for Shielded Metal Arc Welding NC II. Most of them are supported under the Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP), which is bankrolled by TESDA.

The TWSP has been dubbed as such because prior to the admittance of the trainees to be scholars, an open job is scouted and prepared for each of them, which will hopefully become their respective entry point the moment they successfully graduate and acquire a National Certification.

As an eye-opener, Provincial Director Florencio F. Sunico Jr. shared with them that based on Section 2, Paragraph 1 of RA 7796, “It is hereby declared the policy of the State to provide relevant, accessible, high quality and efficient technical education and skills development in support of the development of high-quality Filipino middle-level manpower responsive to and in accordance with Philippine development goals and priorities.”

During the first day of the said induction program, the trainees learned from Agrecio Basul, Sr. TESDA Specialist about the necessary work values, as well as rules and regulations that should be maintained or heeded during the entire duration of their training at the PTC.

They were given the description of their training regimen, the significance of competency-based training, and the importance of national competency assessment and certification.

Liza B. Budtan, Supervising TESD Specialist, provided them with the idea of where to find jobs by using the web technology to facilitate their scouting and application.

The trainees were also oriented about gender and development pointers and issues.

Finally, the trainees were given the chance to voice out and share their perspectives and outlook with respect to the trainings they received.

The entire training delivery itself is anchored and based on competencies as directed by TESDA Central Office. Said delivery mode “has long been emphasized as highlighted in all the TESDA Training Regulations and in accordance to the amended Philippine TVET Trainers Qualification Framework. Much of TESDA’s development efforts like trainers’ capability build-up programs, provision and upgrading of training equipment, tools and materials have been pursued by management in support of the implementation of the Community-Based Training Delivery.” (NCLM/PIA 13, Caraga/TESDA-Agusan del Norte)

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Construction of 30 Day Care Centers in Agusan del Sur starts

AGUSAN DEL SUR, April 14 (PIA)
-- A memorandum of agreement (MOA) was signed on April 11, 2012 between District I congresswoman Maria Valentina Plaza, the project director of Peace, Justice and Integrity of Creation- Integrated Development Center (JPIC- IDC), Agusan del Sur Gov. Adolph Edward Plaza and the five mayors of Agusan del Sur in order that the 30 day care centers be constructed in 30 barangays in the five municipalities under District I, as part of the Early Childhood Care and Development Phase 2 program.

This program, according to Mayor Albin Magdamit of Prosperidad, is another milestone of Gov. Adolph Edward Plaza for his “Pagtoon alang sa Masanag nga Kaugmaon” (Study for a Brighter Future) in the province and as part of the eight-point program of governance of Gov. Plaza’s administration.

According to Rev. Fr. Tony Salas, project director of JPIC-IDC, the funds intended for the project will reach up to P25 million where 67 percent of the total amount will be taken from the priority development assistance fund (PDAF) of Cong. Maria Valentina Plaza, 12 percent from the PDAF of Gov. Adolph Edward Plaza, 12 percent from JPIC-IDC and 10 percent from the municipal local government unit where the day care center will be constructed. Fr. Salas also said, teachers handle the day care center will also undergo trainings from the JPIC-IDC.

According to Cong. Plaza, it is best that educating children will start at the early stage so that their interest in learning will be strengthened and that is the main reason why the day care centers are really needed to be in place in every municipality.

Gov. Plaza also believes that one of the best solution to address poverty in the future is giving the children the best education that they need in order that they can face the challenges that will confront them in the future.

The JPIC-IDC is a long time partner NGO of Agusan del Sur in many of its programs and projects. In fact, during the terms of now Cong. Maria Valentina Plaza when she was still the governor of Agusan del Sur, 34 day care centers were constructed in 34 barangays in the municipalities of Loreto, La Paza and Veruela, while the early childhood education which is under the early childhood care and development program gain much support from Gov. Adolph Edward Plaza in realization to his administration’s program called “Pagtoon Alang sa Masanag nga Kaugmaon”. (DMS/Alexis Cabardo, PIA-Agusan del Sur)

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Cebuano News: Surigao Norte giturn-over ang day care center sa usa ka barangay sa Gen. Luna

Ni Danilo S. Makiling

BUTUAN CITY, Abril 14 (PIA)
-- Ang provincial government sa Surigao del Norte nagturn-over sa usa ka bag-ohay nga gitukod nga Day Care Center para sa barangay opisyal ug mga residente sa Barangay Magsaysay, Gen. Luna Town, niining probensya.

Ang bag-o nga gitukod nga Day Care Center pormal nga giturb-over ni Gov. Sol Matugas ug gidawat sa mga local nga opisyalis sa Gen. Luna nga gipanguluhan ni Mayor Jaime Rusillon pinaagi sa yano nga selebrasyon nga gisaksihan sa lokal nga mga residente.

“Kini usa ka provincial government support ngadto sa public school nga reforma nga gi-implementa sa Department of Education (DepEd),” si Gov. Matugas miingon.

Ang kalihukan gisaksihan sa 1st districk representative Francisco Matugas ug Surigao City mayor Ernesto Matugas. (NCLM/PIA-Caraga)

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Cebuano News: Gov General Bryce naghisgot sa makapaukyab nga oras sa Pilipinas ug Australia sa pagpataas sa relasyon

By Danilo S. Makiling

BUTUAN CITY, Abril 14 (PIA)
-- Ang Governor-General sa Commonwealth of Australia nga si Quentin Bryce naghisgot sa “exciting time” ang pagpataas sa relasyon sa duha ka nasud sa Australia ug Pilipinas kung diin, giingon nga ang duha ka nasud makabenepisyo sa pagpakusog sa ilang panagbanay.

“Klaro nga kini usa ka paukyab nga oras sa pagpataas sa relasyon,” ingon ni Bryce sa iyang saysay human sa meeting kauban ang Pangulong Benigno S. Aquino III sa Malacañang.

Ang duha ka partido ni rekognisa nga bisan wala nagkauban ug duga, aduna sila'y daghan nga mabuhat kung mag kauban nga paningkamot, regionally, ug globally. Ang Australia nagalantaw nga makatrabaho ang Pilipinas nga gobyerno sa sunod nga mga katuigan, labi na si Panguloong Aquino nga mubisita sa Australia puhon karong tuiga,” ingon niini.

Ang Governor General nga mao ang nibisita sa Pilipinas sa una nga higayon sa iyang posisyon, ni ingon nga ang iyang panagkita sa Pangulo sintro sa pagpataas sa aktibidad sa duha ka nasud hinglabi na sa “development cooperation programs, lakip sa disaster preparedness ug response to security and defense cooperation, in trade and investment, nga makiguban sa regional ug global.”

Siya ni ingon nga ang development cooperation programs “karon ni taas sa hadtod sa ang Australia mamahimong pinakadakong grant aid donor sa Pilipinas.”

“Kami nilinya sa amo aid programs aron nga masundan permi sa Pangulo ang dapat unahon niya ang iyang kaugalingon nga pagpaningkamot sa infrastructure, economic, governance, ug poverty reduction,” ingon ni Bryce. (NCLM/DSM/PIA-Caraga)

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Cebuano News: Pagtukod sa multimillion nga irigasyon pagasugdan sa Pantin-ay

By Danilo S. Makiling

BUTUAN CITY, Abril 14 (PIA)
-- Ang pagtukod sa balor P15 milyones nga irigasyon gisugdan human sa seremonya sa ground-breaking ug memorandum of agreement (MOA) nga gipahigayon sa National Irrigation Administration (NIA), provincial government, ug local government unit (LGU) sa Prosperidad, Barangay Patin-ay, ug Barangay Patin-ay Irrigations’ Association kon BPIA.

Sumala ni Ruperto Eva, Pangulo sa BPIA, ang proyekto alang sa mga mag-uuma sa Patin-ay kay sila nagahangyo nga matukoran og irigasyon ang ilang lugar aron makontrol ang tubig kung moulan ug kay kini usab makapadugang sa ilang produksyon tungod sa makanunayon nga suplay sa tubig.

Si Engr. Ferdinand Amon, head sa NIA nga nakabase sa lungsod sa Rosario nagkanayon nga ang gasto sa maong proyekto niabot sa P15 milyones para sa Phase 3 implementation kung diin ang pundo gagikan sa provincial development for agriculture fund ni Cong. Maria Valentina Plaza, ang provincial government, ang municipal government sa prosperidad ug NIA.

“Kani nga kantidad musulbad sa paghuman sa Barangay Patin-ay Communal Irrigation System kung diin adunay ubay-ubay nga mekanismo nga mabutang aron mapadali ang mga mag-uuma sa pag-irrigate sa ilang humayan aron usab walay damyos nga mahitabo kung adunay mga pagbaha,” ingon ni Engr. Amon.

Dugang ni Amon, ang irrigation system ensakto nga maka irrigate ug 100 ektarya nga humayan ug 50 ka mga mag-uuma sa lugar. Tungod kay sakto ug kontrolado ang suplay sa tubig, ang mag mag-uuma posible nga makapagawas ug 1,000 caban sa bugas kada ektarya kung sila pud mosunod sa modernong pamaagi sa pag-uma.

Si Cong. Tina Plaza nagadasig sa mga mag-uuma nga magtrabaho pag ayo og i-konsidera nga ang proyekto usa ka investment para sa maayo nga pangwarta ug ekonomiya nga kalambuan sa ilang pamilya. Niingon usab si Cong. Plaza nga siguradohon gayud niya sa mga residente sa Patin-ay nga sila magpadayon sa pagpangita og pundo aron ang pareho nga proyekto mamugna usab sa lain nga lugar.

Ang Phase 1 nga Proyekto nagalangkob sa Patin-ay nga canal padulong sa Caridad, ug Phase 2 nga mukompleto sa pag konek sa Patin-ay nga suba ngadto sa suba sa Gibong. (NCLM/DSM/PIA-Caraga)

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Cebuano News: PNoy ngadto sa DOE: resulba sa Mindanoa nga kakulangon sa kuryente padali-on

By Danilo S. Makiling

BUTUAN CITY, Abril 14 (PIA)
-- Si Pangulong Benigno S. Aquino III nagmando sa Energy Department nga resulbahon ang kakulangon sa enerhiya sa daling panahon apa kini nagpahimangno nga dili ibaylo ang posibleng negatibo nga dangatan sa umaabot.

Sigon ni Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Jose Rene Amendras sa usa ka press conference sa Davao City nga ang Pangulo nagmando nga hatagan og atensyon ang pag-ila ug paghatag ug solusyon sa Mindanao nga kakulangon sa kuryente.

Dugang pa ni Almendras, ang sulosyon sa makanunayong problema sa kuryente kinahanglan nga matagamtaman sa pagkakaron ug bisan pa man sa umaabot. Sa ingon niini, ang Pangulo gusto nga maresulba ang problema nga dili maapektuhan ang umaabot sa Mindanao,” dugang niini.

Samtang si Almedras nagpahayag nga ang pito ka adlaw nga pag undang sa Malampaya nga Planta nga mahitabo sa bulan sa Hulyo, sukad nga ang panginahanglan sa kuryente ubos kung ting-ulan (Hulyo-Setiyembre) diin hinay kaysa ting-init. Kini, sigon ni Sec. Almendras, himuon ang pag ayo sa planta. (NCLM/DSM- PIA 13)