Tag Archives: Luzon

[Blog] Video-video din pag may time for Yolanda victims

Video-video din pag may time for Yolanda victims.

video video pag may time

Malikhain talaga tayong mga pinoy, akalain mo ‘yun ang daming video sa youtube na nalikha at ginamit upang ipaalam sa mundo ang mga nangyari, at siyempre makangalap ng tulong para sa mga biktima.

Ilan sa mga video na aking tinutukoy ay hinaluan ng musika na ang iba ay orihinal at ang ilan naman ay remake.  Ang mga talentadong pinoy para sa mga biktima ng bagyong Yolanda ay bumirit at umere, ikaw napanuod mo na ba?

Mokong logo copy

“The Prayer” by The Loboc Children’s Choir & Various Artists Official Music Video (Typhoon Yolanda)

Published on Youtube, Dec 12, 2013. By UniversalRecPH


[Download The Prayer at http://www.spinnr.ph. All proceeds will go to the Philippine Disaster Recovery Foundation to help rebuild the lives of those in the Visayas.]


On October 15, 2013, an earthquake with the energy equivalent to “32 Hiroshima bombs” devastated the Visayas, and parts of Mindanao and southern Luzon.

Two days later, the Loboc Children’s Choir sang, “The Prayer,” with the rubble of the hundred year old Loboc Church as their backdrop.

Their performance moved so many people here and abroad. Then, tragedy struck again.

On November 8, Typhoon Yolanda, the most powerful tropical cyclone of the year hit East Samar, Samar and Leyte.

Thousands died. Millions were left hungry, desperate, and homeless.

Relief efforts from the Philippines and the rest of the world are currently helping the victims survive and find temporary homes.

But the bigger challenge is how to help all these people get back to their normal lives.

This is where we took inspiration from the Loboc Children’s Choir’s performance.”

Read full article @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWG66HUqX74


#ProjectPagbangon: Sandugo (Original Singers Edition)

By the Philippine Misereor Partnership Inc.

Published on Dec 9, 2013

Join the #ProjectPagbangon Music Video Making Contest!

On the occasion of this year’s Human Rights Day, the Philippine Misereor Partnership Inc. (PMPI) is launching a MUSIC VIDEO-MAKING COMPETITION on the theme “RELIEF AND REHABILITATION ARE HUMAN RIGHTS”.

The friendly competition is fairly simple: Using the anthem, create a MUSIC VIDEO that portrays how you and your friends, family or organization demonstrate your solidarity with victims and survivors of calamities, with the theme of the contest in mind of course.

STEP ONE: Watch the Original Singers Edition music video of Sandugo.

STEP TWO: Send an email of intent to join using the subject “#ProjectPagbangon Contest” to pmpsecretariat@yahoo.com. Please include name of contact person, cellphone number, and short profile of your group. We will reply with a download link of the high resolution wav audio file of the song and further instructions.

STEP THREE: With the wav file, make a music video using your own video footages and/or photographs, animations and other open-source materials.

STEP FOUR: Upload your music video on Youtube, and send us a link to your music video by replying to the email with which we sent you the link of the wav file.

Considerations for judging include: Substance (40%), Creativity (40%), Number of views of your entry in Youtube (10%) and Number of likes in Facebook (10%). Top three entries win recognition tokens and P10,000 each; Deadline for submission of entries is February 10, 2014. Winners will be determined on Araw ng Kagitingan 2014.

Entry to the competition is free, and each of the first 10 to join gets a complimentary music album and book worth at least P1,000.


We are the World for Philippines (We Are The World 25 – Michael Jackson COVER by Filipino Artists)

Published on Youtube, Nov 22, 2013 By Chamberlain P. Guevarra

Tatsuo Productions (http://www.tatsuoproductions.com/)

Sapphire Productions

Evolution [Jerry Catarata] (https://www.facebook.com/EVolution.Du…)

“In light of the calamity of typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda that left our fellowmen in Southern Visayas helpless.Artists of different ages,genres and backgrounds gather together for one common goal. To make this video as an encouragement to people to open their hearts, lend a helping hand and to thank the nations that offered aid to our country. WE ARE FOREVER GRATEFUL.To our fellow Filipinos, STAY STRONG! United we stand! BANGON VISAYAS! WALANG IWANAN!


Antonette Maria Bajamunde,Noreen Isabel Quinamot,Kyle Lemuel Juliano,Tiffany Mae Valdegamo,Enrico Ricardo Nolan,Wilholm Ho,Joel Aba

Jeva Villamil,Lee Abapo,Charyn Ong,Hanna Nicole Tesado,Michael Kent Jugador, Vinz Villarosa,Dezirhyl Genn Ramirez,Rakhim Salatan Tahir,Giancarlo Benguechea and Reymark Seblero of The Robbee Talents Club

Earl Neil Kho and Andy Canlas of Midnasty

Onna rhea Quizo, Ian Gue, Kyra Aguilar, Hanz Vallehermoza, Earnest Hope Tinambacan, Dave Trasmonte, Von Cathlene Panot,Carla Mongado,Arnold Munez. aka Bassunni,Carla Mongado and Jerry Catarata”


“SOS Philippines” – The song after the storm! [TYPHOON HAIYAN / YOLANDA]

Published on Youtube, Nov 15, 2013. By Armand TJ

According to the post, “There’s a global campaign to make this song become a movement for unity, not just for the Philippines, but for the whole world. To support this movement, we need to get this SOS out there as much as we can. Every share/repost/tweet/blog/tag will help make a difference and add fuel to the fire. Thank you for all those who are one with us, and one with the message to the world!

To send further donations to benefit the devastated areas, you may download the song from any of the links below. All downloads will support a fundraiser that helps the people rise up again in the long term.”

Sabi pa niya, “The Filipino spirit is force of nature.”

“Please share this song and video on all social medias. You should hear these children’s voices! They’re from different parts of Panay island and Palawan, also hit by the storm. Please help us encourage more help/aid from the rest world, and to deliver a message of hope and solidarity to the Philippines and humanity. The Filipino spirit is a force of nature, struggling to rise up. With all your help, we can survive this crisis. This song connects us all as one humanity, from our island, to the rest of the Visayas, the Philippines – and the rest of the world! Please ask all your friends to share. One Love! Thanks for those who contributed to delivering this SOS.”

Pls visit http://mokongperspektib.wordpress.com/

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[Press Release] Lawmakers, activists want collusion in power firms investigated by DOJ -FDC

Lawmakers, activists want collusion in power firms investigated by DOJ

Citing possible cartelization or combination by several power firms which led to Meralco’s sharp increase in generation charge this month, a group of lawmakers and social activists filed before the Department of Justice (DoJ) this morning, a petition asking the Office for Competition to conduct an inquiry into the matter.


Executive Order No. 45 series of 2011 has designated the Department of Justice as the Competition Authority in the country. Created under this EO was the Office for Competition which can receive any form of complaint as a basis for inquiry or further study on possible violations of laws prohibiting cartelization, monopolies, or combinations in restraint of trade as defined in competition laws.

The petitioners availed of this remedy after the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), with neither public hearings nor conduct of probe into allegations of market abuse, approved en toto the amount of P4.15/kWh that Meralco can recover from its purchase of power this month due to the scheduled shutdown of Malampaya natural gas platform.

Signatories to the letter/petition include Akbayan Representatives Walden Bello and Barry Gutierrez, Representative Raymund Mendoza of Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, economist Maitet Diokno of the Center for Power Issues and Initiatives, Wilson Fortaleza of Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) and NAGKAISA, and Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) President Ricardo Reyes.

These groups and individuals were involved in campaigns on the power issue prior to and after the passage of the Electric Power Reform Act or EPIRA. They maintain that the unabated increase in power rates, market concentration and the threat of another power crisis were the results of EPIRA which for the past eleven years produced nothing but escalating rates and diminishing power supply.

In particular, the petitioners pointed to possible collusions by Meralco, First Gas Power Corporation, San Miguel Corporation, Kepco Philippines, Aboitiz Power, Team Energy Corporation, AES Philippines and DMCI Holdings, Incorporated when their plants went into simultaneous and unscheduled shutdown resulting to more load deficits in the Luzon grid and which forced Meralco to buy a more expensive power from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market or WESM.

“The expected and scheduled maintenance of Malampaya notwithstanding—an event Meralco was aware of more than six months before its occurrence—and Meralco’s claim that such was not anticipated, and the unscheduled shutdown of several power plants that resulted to Meralco’s recourse to expensive electricity from the WESM, are information that point to a contrived scenario of extreme short-term shortage of electricity for the purpose of raising the price of electricity beyond what it would cost to generate it,” said the petitioners.

The petitioners bewailed that the increase in electricity costs can only add to the economic burden of end-users and consumers who, at a time when the whole nation is reeling from the brunt of Typhoon Yolanda and in anxious anticipation of the holiday season, face increases in prices of basic commodities like liquefied petroleum gas, Metro Rail Transit fares and the like.

The group vowed to escalate their campaign for the overhaul of EPIRA next year.

Press Release
December 16, 2013

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[Video] OPM Artists record “the prayer” for Yolanda victims. By Universal Records

Published in Youtube
December 12, 2013



On October 15, 2013, an earthquake with the energy equivalent to “32 Hiroshima bombs” devastated the Visayas, and parts of Mindanao and southern Luzon.

Two days later, the Loboc Children’s Choir sang, “The Prayer,” with the rubble of the hundred year old Loboc Church as their backdrop.

Their performance moved so many people here and abroad. Then, tragedy struck again.

On November 8, Typhoon Yolanda, the most powerful tropical cyclone of the year hit East Samar, Samar and Leyte.

Thousands died. Millions were left hungry, desperate, and homeless.

Relief efforts from the Philippines and the rest of the world are currently helping the victims survive and find temporary homes.

But the bigger challenge is how to help all these people get back to their normal lives.

This is where we took inspiration from the Loboc Children’s Choir’s performance.

These children may be from Bohol, but their innocent voices represent not just their home province but also earthquake-damaged Cebu, war-stricken Zamboanga, and typhoon-devastated Leyte, Samar, and Iloilo — all of whom are praying for a miracle to allow them to rebuild their lives.

And so we asked the help of various Filipino artists to lend their voices, to represent our country, and show the world that the Philippines has one voice, one prayer — that we work together to help our countrymen rebuild their lives brick by brick.

The resulting song will be used to raise funds through downloads. The proceeds will go to the helpPH campaign, a project by the Philippine Disaster Recovery Foundation (PDRF). It is a non-profit organization made up of major companies from the private sector and leading NGOs. PDRF, organized in October 2009 after Typhoons Ondoy, Pepeng, and Frank to tap resources for reconstruction efforts during emergencies brought about by calamities, is one of the three identified institutional conduits approved by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to facilitate cooperation and coordination between the Philippine government and the private sector in formulating and implementing reconstruction strategies.

Its goal for Cebu, Bohol, Zamboanga and now the areas affected by Typhoon Yolanda is long-term solutions and programs that will bring businesses and jobs back to these areas. They are also planning to look into better designs for houses more suited for a country that gets hit by typhoons and earthquakes. They are focusing on rebuilding the communities which includes: immediate help, provide housing, education by rebuilding school houses, providing economic incentives, and livelihood opportunities.

As a way of giving thanks to all the countries that helped us, we offer to them “The “Prayer”.

To download “The Prayer” visit http://www.spinnr.ph.

Participating Artists:


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“BALITOK goes to Nueva Vizcaya” finalist for the 3rd HR Pinduteros Choice for HR VIDEO

4 She Andes copy
Vote for the video “BALITOK goes to Nueva Vizcaya” by She Andes for the 3rd HR Pinduteros Choice for HR VIDEO.
Watch video @ https://hronlineph.com/2013/01/26/videofilm-balitok-goes-to-nueva-vizcaya/

Balitok (Ilocano term for GOLD) captures a slice of life and reality of indigenous tribes (Kalanguya and Kankanaey) practicing artisanal or small-scale mining in the province of Nueva Vizcaya as their means of economic survival. The lush, mountainous, and mineral-rich province is one of the 23-28 Mining Priority Sites of The Philippine government. The province alone is threatened by thirty-two (32) mining tenements / applications and home to the two approved Financial Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) mining permit in the Municipalities of Kasibu and Quezon.

The documentary follows the laborious stages of mining in a cinema verite style (from extracting the ore, transporting, milling, panning, separating pyrite and gold up to the heating process) from the point of view of Ongan, a 13 year old small-scale miner, and Mona, an artisanal miner since the 1960s.

The documentary serves as an eye-opener for the viewers as they peek into the world of artisanal and small-scale miners to get a grasp of the whole mining issue in the Philippines.

This entry was posted on March 9, 2013

Iboto ang iyong #HRPinduterosChoice para sa HR VIDEO.

Ang botohan ay hanggang sa 11:59PM ng Nov 15, 2013.
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[Urgent Alert] An urgent call to help millions affected by continuous torrential rains and flooding caused by Tropical Storm Trami -AHRC

Asian Human Rights Commission

PHILIPPINES: An urgent call to help millions affected by continuous torrential rains and flooding caused by Tropical Storm Trami

Asian Human Rights Commission

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding massive disruptions to normal life caused by Tropical Storm Trami (known in Philippines as Maring). The situation, unfortunately, has merely worsened by the Southwest Moonsoon or Habagat. As of now, data puts the number of affected at around 402, 415 families and 1, 928, 685 individuals spread over 16 provinces.

Over the last few weeks, the Philippines has suffered massive devastation caused by torrential rains and flooding as a consequence of Tropical Storm “Maring” (international code name: Trami). The situation was further worsened by the Southwest Moonsoon or Habagat. The areas worst affected fall in the National Capital Region (NCR) and include the Greater Metro Manila area. The rains and flooding has also seriously affected Luzon and the Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR).

Estimates put the total number of affected at 402,415 families and 1,928,685 individuals. The extent of the devastation can be gauged by its geographical spread. The data from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) shows that the storm has affected a total of 1,549 barangays of 123 municipalities, 33 cities, and 16 provinces. Out of these Laguna and Cavite are the worst hit by the flooding and a state of calamity had been declared there.

The situation went particularly bad on August 19-20 when relentless rains caused floodwaters as high as 2.5 meters rendering most of the major thoroughfares in Metro Manila impassable. The roads closed included South Luzon Expressway, Aguinaldo Highway and roads linking Bacoor to Zapote and Noveleta to Rosario. The rainfall was heavy and measured around 10-40 mm per hour. That is classified by the government’s weather agency, PAG-ASA as heavy to torrential rainfall.

The rains and flooding caused the collapse of a dam in Tanza, Cavite resulting in flash floods in nearby areas. Similarly, data from the Rosario Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RMDRRMC) shows that the disaster has affected 21,307 out of the total 36,805 families living in the area.

The floods have seriously affected the livelihoods of people and those dependent upon daily wages are the worst hit. Fisher folks have particularly suffered in this case as many of them have had no catch for more than three weeks now. An oil spill caused by a leaky marine pipeline of the Petron Corporation, an oil company with a depot in the municipality, has necessitated the declaration of a state of calamity in the coastal areas of Rosario, Cavite since August 8, 2013. They have not been able to fish ever since. The oil spill has affected 9 barangays in Rosario, 14 in Tanza, and 9 barangays in Naic. The Petron Corp. is now jointly owned by Ashmore Group, a London-listed investment group and the San Miguel Corp.

The oil spill forced the local government to immediately suspend fishing activities in the affected areas. However, by the time the areas were clearing up rains started on 17 August and slowly developed into a tropical storm, forcing the fishermen indoors. The food security of these fisher folks is seriously affected as they depend on a daily catch for their survival.

The situation was similar in Kawit in Noveleta and Sta. Rosa in Cavite City which experienced waist-deep floodwaters rendering the major thoroughfares impassable for almost two days. It hampered the transportation of basic goods and services and also the normal routes of passenger vehicles. Further, all the companies in the Cavite Export Processing Zone (CEPZ) suspended their operations on Monday, 19 August when the storm started to bring in floodwaters inside the zone. The flood situation deteriorated the following day when almost all the companies were flooded to different degrees. The inundation did not merely cause damage to the companies but also made them suspend their work for almost a week, leaving the poor workers in trouble as most of them work under a ‘no work no pay’policy. For its part, even the government has not announced any compensation for the workers, thus making their lives even more difficult.

The fact that Southwest Monsoon rains continues to pour down coupled with the PAG-ASA’s warning of two to three tropical storms hitting the area in the coming weeks has further deteriorate the situation. It is in this context that Workers Assistance Center, Inc, our partner organization has appealed for immediate relief and financial support for, and on behalf of the workers, the fisher folk and the urban poor communities in Cavite. The Centre need food, potable and clean water, mats and blankets and medicines and would focus on helping the most affected workers and their immediate families in the coastal communities here in Cavite.

You can send cash donations as well as the material needed on following accounts. Please remember that you can make donations in almost all important currencies.

Account Name: Workers Assistance Center, Inc,
Account Number: 1004-0178-85
Bank’s Name: Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Rosario Branch, Cavite
Address: General Trias Drive, Rosario, Cavite, Philippines
Swift Code: BOPI PH MM

For other support and materials, please send it to:
Workers Assistance Center, Inc.,
BAHAY MANGGAGAWA, Indian Mango St., Manggahan Cpd.,
Sapa I, 4106 Rosario,
Cavite, Philippines.
Tel: +63 46 884-00-76; Telefax: +63 46 438-47-36.
Emails: wacphilippines@yahoo.com.ph or wacphilippines@gmail.com

Please make donations at the address given above.

Thank you

Hunger Alerts Programme
Right to Food Programme (foodjustice@ahrc.asia)
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrc.asia)

Visit our new website with more features at http://www.humanrights.asia.

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[Statement] A Thai “tsunami” threatening 7 million jobs in the country’s livestock industry -Kilusan

A Thai “tsunami” threatening 7 million jobs in the country’s livestock industry

kpd logoThe contours and character of Philippine agricultural production have long been changed to cater to the demand and operation of foreign capital in recent decades.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the “green revolution” changed the traditional way of producing rice. New seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, agricultural techniques and infrastructures were introduced and put into widespread use. This was preceded by the hijacking of our traditional rice varieties by the International Rice and Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Banos that hid the traditional seeds in their seed bank. Pharmaceutical giant corporations reaped enormous profits. Water from the rivers was commodified through the irrigation systems. Undoubtedly, this led to spectacular increase in rice production. Tenants were all the more exploited since the increase in yield only benefited the landlords because of existing tenancy relations.

At present, production has stalled and progressively decreased. It is “not fashionable for government now to help poor people grow food for other people, because ‘the market’ is supposed to take care of all the problems.”

The long established agricultural production that has been organized by families, communities, and tribes has progressively been pushed aside by agribusiness for high value crops. Mindanao, for example, has opened up more than 600,000 hectares of its prime agricultural lands to agribusiness whose export crops include among others, banana, pineapple, mango, papaya, tomato, asparagus, coffee, and tomato. This production requires monoculture or single-crop production, massive use of fertilizers and pesticides, and heavy use of water. As a consequence, thousands of Filipinos are displaced from their lands on the one hand. On the other, farmers and tribes are put at the disadvantage in dealing with the corporations.

The liberalization of Philippine agriculture has also led to the opening up of the local market to subsidize products from capitalist countries – “which are sold at prices lower than their costs thereby permitting prices even lower than those of the local products.” Local faming has been effectively finished off like the Northern Luzon farmers producing onions and garlic. The local ‘patis’ (fish sauce) industry has long been non-existent.

Indeed, the entry of Charoen Pokphand in agriculture is no surprise. Charoen Pokphand Foods Philippine Corporation* was established in the country in 2007 and started its business in shrimp hatchery.

The Board of Investment’s (BOI) approval of Charoen project which has an annual stock capacity of 25, 453 heads for parent stock and 3, 647 metric tons for slaughter hogs and 21,847 metric tons of chicken is the last nail on the coffin of local hog and poultry raisers in the country. Earlier, the local entrepreneurs engaged in hog and poultry raising, and even the backyard livestock production have suffered from enormous losses due to widespread meat smuggling.

Since livestock is horizontally linked with other agricultural activities, the ill effects of the BOI’s approval will be felt among the rice, corn, coconut and sugarcane since the domestic swine industry gets its raw materials from these crops. It is feared that 7 million Filipino will be displaced from their jobs because of the approval of Charoen’s project. Charoen only seeks to employ eighty (80) employees for its projects and is only expected to generate employment for only 1,500 people. Chareon is a big player in the global food industry. The global food industry has no intention of feeding the Filipinos. It is organized to generate profit for them. As the editors of Hungry for Profit write, “The enormous power exerted by the largest agribusiness/food corporations allows them essentially to control the cost of their raw materials purchased from farmers while at the same time keeping prices of food to the general public at high enough levels to ensure large profits.”

Equally disturbing is the news that the Chareon’s piggery in Samal, Bataan and its feedmill in Balanga, Bataan are operating as private fiefdoms. Personnel of the local offices of the Department of Agriculture (DA) of the province are not allowed to enter their premises. This is no different from the Korean Hanjin shipyard in Subic, Zambales that is declared off limits to local personnel of the Department of Health (DOH). The mindset of US military personnel deployed in the country is fast contaminating the mode of thinking of corporate managers operating also in the country.

After the agricultural crops, livestock industry is offered at the altar of neoliberalism. Pnoy’s “matuwid na daan” has always been a social contract with foreign capital. Specifically, this “matuwid na daan” will only result in the marginalization of 7 million Filipinos and condemn their families to poverty. It also facilitates the violation of the country’s sovereignty at the factory level operation of these foreign corporations.

Kilusan extends its solidarity with the domestic hog and poultry raisers in Central Luzon in frustrating the maneuvers of Chareon, a giant foreign food conglomerate. We are one with you in asserting first the people’s rights to food, on the principle that domestic agricultural production caters primarily for the local needs and defending agriculture from the onslaughts of foreign capital.

* It is a subsidiary of Charoen Pokphand Group also known as the Chia Tai Group in China. It is a Thai conglomerate that operates in agriculture and food, retail and distribution and telecommunications spread in 15 countries. Its annual revenue for the year 2010 was USD 30 Billion.

Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya [KILUSAN]
#22-A Domingo Guevarra Street, Brgy. Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City 1550 Philippines
TeleFax: (632) 717 3262 Email: kpdpilipinas@gmail.com
Web: http://www.kpdpilipinas.com

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[Video/Film] BALITOK goes to Nueva Vizcaya

Balitok small poster

BALITOK goes to Nueva Vizcaya. January 30 ( Wednesday) 3PM at Nueva Vizcaya State University (NVSU) Gymnasium

Source: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151299757185896&set=pcb.10151299780515896&type=1&theater

Iboto ang iyong #HRPinduterosChoice para sa HR VIDEOS.

Ang botohan ay magsisimula ngayon hanggang sa 11:59 ng Nov 15, 2013.

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Choice na kikilalanin sa 2013 HR week celebration.

Makiisa sa pagpapalaganap ng impormasyon hinggil sa karapatang pantao. Pindot na!

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[Event] ADVISORY: Likas-Yaman Caravan para sa Alternative Minerals Management Bill! -SOS-Yamang Bayan

EVENT ADVISORY: Likas-Yaman Caravan para sa Alternative Minerals Management Bill!

“Five hundred strong people will join a caravan from different area in Luzon to Congress and Malacañang in Manila to call for the repeal of the current mining law and passage of the Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB)”

Media friends are invited to cover this momentous event as indigenous peoples, farmers and fisherfolks go on a 4-day caravan to share about irresponsible mining in the Philippines and the flaws of the Mining Act of 1995

The caravan route is as follows:

(October 14) Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya

(October 15) San Jose, Nueva Ecija

San Fernando, Pampanga

(October 16) Malolos, Bulacan

Commission on Human Rights, Quezon City

(October 17) House of Representatives, Batasan Quezon City –

FINAL STOP: Office of the President, Malacañang, Mendiola

On October 15, a media briefing will be held in Quezon City to explain the calls of the AMMB Caravan. (For confirmation, contact Farah at 0915-3313361)

For more information:
Gerry Arances, 0932-8778578; 0922-8307758, gerry.arances@lrcksk.org
Valentin de Guzman, 0919-9657509
Val Vibal, 0927-3129300; 0932-8597921

Also checkout updates from the Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/LikasYamanCaravan

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

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[In the news] Gov’t threatens to blow up illegal structures, pens -INQUIRER.net

Gov’t threatens to blow up illegal structures, pens.

By Michael Lim Ubac, Philippine Daily Inquirer
August 14, 2012

Action speaks louder than words when it comes to almost everything, including issuing threats to squatters’ homes that clog waterways.

Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson on Saturday said the national government would go to the extent of blowing up structures that block waterways to ease flooding in Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon.

Tough talk

If only Malacañang can translate his words into action and finally muster the political will to relocate 125,000 families in the metropolis alone.

Following a Cabinet meeting presided over by President Aquino, Singson disclosed plans to “blast all of the illegal pens in waterways” in Laguna Lake and to “remove” all obstructions within water channels in Luzon to solve, once and for all, the perennial flooding in these areas.

At a briefing, Singson said the government would forcibly remove all illegal structures to clear water channels of all “obstructions,” be they houses or fish pens.

The President created an interagency body headed by Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo to implement this plan.

Read full article @ newsinfo.inquirer.net

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[In the news] 15 human trafficking victims rescued in Tawi-tawi -MindaNews

MindaNews » 15 human trafficking victims rescued in Tawi-tawi.

By Mindanews
May 26, 2012

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/25 May) – Combined government forces have rescued 15 human trafficking victims in two separate operations in the province of Tawi-tawi, officials disclosed Friday.

Eight of the 15 were rescued on Wednesday while the remaining seven, including one minor, were rescued on Thursday, according to Tawi-tawi police director Senior Supt. Rodelio Jocson.

He said the victims, all female, were rescued while they were about to be transported out of the country, most likely to nearby Malaysia, from the capital municipality of Bongao in Tawi-tawi.

He said the victims were turned over to the Visayan Forum Foundation (VFF), a non-stock, non-profit organization that works for the protection of vulnerable migrants, including victims of human trafficking, forced labor, and other modern-day forms of slavery.

Ailyn Repadas, a VFF staff, disclosed that some of the victims are from Zamboanga City and nearby provinces in the region. There were also some from the Visayas and Luzon.

Read full article @ www.mindanews.com

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[Statement] Care for the integrity of creation, care for people!

Earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.” (I Cor 10:26)

We, concerned people of the Diocese of Ilagan are alarmed by the presence of various so-called developmental projects in the province of Isabela which are directly under the control of transnational corporations and large-scale mining firms.

We have seen the destruction wrought by these transnational corporations and large-scale mining corporations on the social and environmental landscape of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. They continue to plunder our remaining forests and agricultural resources and drain away life from our rivers, seas, and coasts.

We have witnessed massive flooding and landslides that have caused deaths and miseries among our people due to unabated logging and mining. We believe these are enough for our national and local government to realize that there is a need for a drastic change in the country’s mining policy.

We believe that there is an obvious lack of transparency in the process of planning and identification of these projects wherein the local government has disregarded the rights of the affected communities as well as the protection of the environment. We are concerned that conflicts may arise should the people assert their rights and defend their resources against the onslaught of mining companies. It is well known that the state, more often than not, protects foreign corporations with the use of the military, police and militia units over and against just and legitimate protests of concerned citizens.

And so as united people of God with deep love for our country and environment, we, therefore, unwaveringly urge our local and national leaders to:

  • Scrap the Mining Act of 1995 and stop the government’s Mining Revitalization Program
  • Stop foreign large-scale mining operations
  • Declare a moratorium of all mining operations as well as the processing of applications for exploration and actual operation for metallic and non-metallic minerals in Isabela
  • Intensify the implementation of Logging Moratorium
  • Review the Ilagan-Divilacan Road Project and other development projects like dams in San Mariano, Ilagan and Jones.
  • Prioritize genuine land reform and stop development projects that legitimize land grabbing and destruction of bio-dioversity.
  • Expose and oppose selfish class interests behind the plunder of our natural resources and patrimony.

In Solidarity,
Signed during the SAVE SIERRA MADRE PILGRIMAGE in Isabela, April 16-30, 2012.

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

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[People] The Power Mess: How We Got into It and How to Get Out By Walden Bello

The Power Mess: How We Got into It and How to Get Out
By Walden Bello
April 23, 2012

With the electricity rates in Luzon now among the highest in the world and Mindanao plagued by daily brownouts, the power situation in the Philippines can only be described as a mess. How did we work ourselves into this jam?

Well, there are several landmarks on the road to our current power crisis.

Three Landmarks on the Road to Crisis

The first was the decision, during the Marcos period, to build the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP). BNPP, a 620-Megawatt (MW) facility, was supposed to fill the additional demand for electricity in Luzon from the 1980’s on. The only problem—and a big one—was that the technology was unsafe and the plant was situated in a seismically active area and on the slope of a volcano–Mt. Natib–that could not be certified as dead.

BNPP had to be cancelled, and the Fukushima tragedy of 2011 proved in retrospect how correct that decision was. But not surprisingly, with the main power project designed to fill growing demand in Luzon sidelined, rolling brownouts hit the country in the early 1990’s. The administration of President Fidel Ramos then committed the second big blunder, which was to hurriedly contract independent power producers (IPP’s) to fill the power gap. With their notorious “take-or-pay” provision–meaning distributors had to pay for a specified amount of power whether they used it all up or not–IPP contracts pushed up the cost of electricity tremendously. The power retailers like Meralco were not about ready to absorb the added cost, so they passed it on to the consumer.

The third milestone was the privatization of the National Power Corporation (NPC or Napocor) in 2001 via the so-called EPIRA law.

The Faulty Assumptions of EPIRA

EPIRA was informed by two heroic assumptions. The first was that the sale of government energy facilities would result in proceeds that would pay off Napocor’s massive debt, which reached P943 billion by 2001. As President Aquino described it at the 1st Mindanao Power Summit over a week ago, “The idea behind it [EPIRA] 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.”

The second assumption was that privatization would make the generation and delivery of electricity more efficient and thus bring down the cost of power. Private is better than public; the market is more efficient than the state: This was the neoliberal faith that was so enthusiastically embraced by Philippine technocrats in the 1990’s. This was the mindset that saw not only the surrender of NPC assets to the private sector but also the sale of the highly profitable Petron oil refining corporation to foreign interests and the ceding of the provision of water in the Metro-Manila area to the Ayalas and the Lopezes by the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS).

The reality that followed differed from the assumptions behind EPIRA.

First of all, the anticipated revenue did not materialize since NPC facilities were disposed off at fire sale terms. For instance, according to a report by the renewable energy group MinCARED , the Masinloc Geothermal Plant in Zambales, valued at $390 million, was sold to private investors who made an initial down payment of only 40 per cent, with the balance to be paid in seven years at $80 million yearly—an amount that is actually the average yearly income of the plant itself! Similarly, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) put in an initial payment of $987.5 million, or 25 per cent to acquire TRANSCO, NPC’s transmission facility. The remaining $2.92 billion or 148 billion pesos will be paid in 15 years. TRANSCO is earning an average of 15 billion a year, which is more than enough to cover NGCP’s yearly installment payment. In other words, as the analysis put it, “NGCP has only minimal investment in its acquisition of a highly profitable jewel of our country.”

Not surprisingly, the sale of NPC assets at extremely disadvantageous terms to the private sector has produced a situation in which NPC debt has not diminished but instead climbed from P943 billion in 2001 to P1.24 trillion in 2009.

The assumption that market forces would result in cheaper electricity owing to greater efficiency likewise did not pan out. The cross-ownership of power producers and electricity distributors allowed by EPIRA did not lead to greater competition but to what economist Edna Espos described as “institutionalized oligopoly …where the market is dominated by a small number of players who are able to collectively exert control over supply and market prices.” A key institution that EPIRA set up was the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM). Originally designed to be a mechanism for identifying and setting prices based on quantities of electricity transacted between many power generators and retailers, WESM’s prices actually came to reflect the dynamics of the collusive oligopoly that replaced the state monopoly.

Not surprisingly, the rates of Meralco, the country’s biggest power distributor, jumped by 112 percent over 10 years, while the rates charged by NPC went up by 95 per cent. Instead of dispersal of ownership, only a handful of groups – San Miguel Corp., the Aboitizes, the Lopezes, and “Manny Pangilinan Inc.”– control 52 percent of power generation. As Rep. Ben Evardone put it in a privilege speech in January of this year, “The EPIRA has obviously only harnessed the domination of only a few corporations in both the generation and distribution of power to the detriment of the Filipino power consumers. This can be attributed to the watered-down safeguards against monopoly in the electricity sector.”

Derailing Renewable Energy

Even as EPIRA floundered, the methods of power generation based on fossil fuels came under criticism for environmental reasons, including their contribution to global warming, of which the Philippines was a prime victim. The result of the widely felt need for a new direction in energy policy was the Renewable Energy Act of 2008, which sought to transform the country’s energy mix to one that was predominantly reliant on renewable sources like hydropower, solar, wind, and biomass. However, half-hearted commitment on the part of the Executive and resistance from business, which said renewable energy (RE) development would make power even more expensive, stalemated any move in the direction of RE. Instead, business interests, notably the Aboitizes, took advantage of projections of electricity demand to promote coal, the dirtiest energy source–both in terms of its impact on health and climate change–as the answer to the power crisis. From less than 10 per cent in 1991, coal plants now generate over 30 per cent of the country’s power. There are currently 11 coal-fired plants in the country, and plans are being accelerated to set up more. Most controversial is the Aboitiz project in the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority which is projected to produce some 400 to 600 MW to “stave off brownouts in Luzon by 2014,” according to Energy Secretary Rene Almendras. Equally controversial is the Department of Energy’s plan for Mindanao, which envisions the installation of 1000 MW of coal-powered energy capacity in the next few years. Almendras, a former Aboitiz executive, has become the high priest of coal, though it is probably technocratic belief in the efficacy of coal rather than ties to the company that drives his advocacy.

Mindanao: Battle Ground of Energy Paradigms

Mindanao has now become the site of the battle between pro-RE groups and pro-coal forces brandishing the argument that that energy source is the only way to meet that region’s rising demand. Currently, Mindanao has the most RE-friendly energy mix, with hydro, geothermal, and other renewable sources accounting for 60 per cent of energy generating capacity, in contrast to 42 per cent in the Visayas and a mere 32 per cent in Luzon, according to UP Professor Clodualdo del Mundo. Central to the energy complex of the region are the Agus-Pulangui dams, which generate 52 per cent of the region’s power supply. Mindanao’s largely hydro-based system also enjoys the lowest generation charge among the country’s regions, coming to 2.8 pesos per kilowatt hour–compared to 4.3 pesos in Luzon and 4.0 pesos in the Visayas, where the generation cost is tied to the international price of oil and coal on which power generation is dependent. Yet, owing to the deterioriation of the Agus-Pulangui dams, supply has become erratic, especially during the dry season. Rehabilitation of the two dams is badly needed. Also, siltation of the Agus River in Lanao and the Pulangui River in Bukidnon has deprived the dams of the amount of water needed for them to function at full capacity. As a consequence, the electricity provided by the hydropower plants has been reduced by about a third from its former level, according to a report in the Manila Times.

Given their central importance to Mindanao, the deteriorating condition of the Agus-Pulangui complex strikes some observers as suspicious. As the Freedom from Debt Coalition put it in its Open Letter to President Aquino, “There are indications that vested cartels are positioning themselves to corner a huge share of the electricity market by allowing the intentional decay of said power plants,” a development that “will also virtually guarantee long-term high electricity prices, since contracts will be pegged to the volatile oil market and the ever increasing international price of coal.”

Distrust is also being sown by DOE’s plan to add 1000 MW worth of capacity whereas its estimate of Mindanao’s current shortfall is only 100 MW. Pro-RE advocates suspect that the agency is preparing a major expansion of coal plants not only to support rising residential and industrial demand but also respond to the projected demand from the mining operations, including coal mining. Their suspicions have been further stoked by Almendras’ publicly proclaimed goal of making the Philippines’ self sufficient in coal and his plan of exploring “30 coal areas” in the country.

The Way Out of the Mess

So how do Mindanao and the country as a whole fight their way out of the power conundrum? The following plan, consisting of immediate, medium-term, and long-term components, is distilled from the proposal of a number of groups, such as Freedom from Debt Coalition, the Mindanao Congress of Advocates for Renewable Energy and Rural Electrification and Development (MinCARED), and Akbayan.

First of all, say RE advocates, there must be a multipronged effort to address the immediate crisis. Secretary Almendras must rescind his recent order to electric coops to fill surplus demand by buying electricity from private power plants and barges at 14 pesos per kilowatt hour.

Two, the four power barges still under government control, each of which can generate 32 MW, must be deployed to Mindanao, to produce electricity that can be sold to consumers price based on the generating cost of 2.8 or 2.9 pesos per kilowatt hour. Power from these barges, along with power from the Agus-Pulangui, should meet most of current demand, with the remainder of the shortfall filled by energy conservation efforts devised by LGU’s in cooperation with electric cooperatives.

Three, the NPC must immediately upgrade the Agus-Pulangui hydro units, rehabilitating equipment, dredging the silt from the Agus and Pulangui Rivers, and undertaking watershed reforestation to promote sustained water flow.

Moving to the medium term, under the terms of EPIRA, Mindanao has been given a brief reprieve, meaning NPC’s assets there have not yet been sold to the private sector. This reprieve must be made permanent. Instead of turning over Agus-Pulangui to the private sector, a body could be set up along the lines of Rep. Maria Isabel Climaco’s proposal for a “Mindanao Power Company,” which would be a government-owned-and-controlled corporation, but with a multisectoral board, that would own, operate and control the Agus-Pulangui hydro power complexes. The idea, says Climaco, “is to have Mindanaoans be responsible for powering Mindanao.” Part of the financing of company could come from Mindanao’s 26 provincial governments.

In the long term, both for the sake of Mindanao and the whole country, EPIRA must be repealed. More than a decade after it was enacted, EPIRA has delivered the opposite of what it promised: higher electricity rates, an energy sector unable to cope with growing demand, inefficient provision of electricity, and a greedy oligopoly.

There must also be a decisive reversal of the trend to setting up more coal plants. While the expansion of coal is being justified as a temporary step as renewable energy projects are waiting to come on stream, the reality is that it will set up a massive fossil-fuel base energy infrastructure that is permanent, with all the damaging consequences for the environment and public health. The RE Act must, in short, be implemented, immediately. The feed-in tariff and other investment incentives must be deployed, and the latest innovations in solar, wind, biomass, and min-hydropower from Europe and China must be adapted to local conditions. While some RE projects have high start-up costs, in the long run these will fall and make RE equally if not more efficient than fossil fuels, and without the latter’s high environmental costs.

Also important is the institutionalization of citizen and consumer participation at all levels of energy planning to ensure accountability and transparency. The kind of brazen undermining of the Renewable Energy Act by the DOE in its promoting the expansion of the coal option must never be allowed to happen again.

Financing the Transition

Putting this energy plan into effect will take money. Where can this be sourced? Currently, the government is allocating over 20 per cent of the P1.8 trillion budget to creditors, many of whom have been paid many times for loans—including energy sector loans like the BNPP–that were given at crushingly high interest rates over the last four decades. A negotiated or unilateral reduction of debt repayments would release the funds much needed for putting in place a renewable energy infrastructure for the 21st century. An initial step might be the cancellation of fraudulent loans. As Lidy Nacpil of Jubilee South has pointed out, this is becoming politically feasible: in 2007, Congress actually approved a general appropriations bill with a provision on suspending debt payments for 17 loans that were found to be fraudulent. From that provision alone the government was expected to save approximately P29.5 billion that it could have devoted to pressing social or energy needs, but the measure was vetoed by then President Arroyo.

Many development economists, among them Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, have increasingly reached the conclusion that countries with massive debt loads will find it very difficult to develop, owing to the channeling of national financial resources to debt repayment. In contrast to the Philippine experience, in Argentina, the late President Nestor Kirchner unilaterally reduced the debt burden of the country to foreign bondholders from 100 cents to the dollar to some 25 cents to the dollar in 2003. The bondhholders howled, but they eventually gave in. The result was an impressive 10 per cent per annum growth rate between 2003 and 2008 as financial resources were rechanneled from debt service to domestic investment.

If our country is to develop, if it is to have a 21st century renewable energy infrastructure, courage like Kirchner’s needs to be displayed by our leaders.

*INQUIRER.net columnist Walden Bello is a member of the House of Representatives representing Akbayan. He was formerly Chairman of the Freedom from Debt Coalition.

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[Blog/From the web] To solve impending power crisis, Casiño proposes one million solar powered homes and businesses in 10 years -teddycasino.wordpress.com

To solve impending power crisis, Casiño proposes one million solar powered homes and businesses in 10 years

April 2, 2012

Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño, is proposing a novel solution to the Mindanao power shortage and the impending power crisis in Luzon – build a million solar powered roofs in 10 years.

Casiño, author of House Bill 5405 or the proposed One Million Solar Roofs Act, said that Congress should fast track the bill which provides incentives and financing facilities to ordinary electricity consumers like residences, offices and small to medium business establishments who want to put up their own solar power systems.

Casiño’s bill will allow homeowners and entrepreneurs to take out loans from Pag-Ibig, GSIS, SSS and other financial institutions to purchase solar panels and pay the amount from the ensuing savings in their electricity bills.

“In this way, we hit three birds with one stone – we build additional supply of power; liberate ourselves from expensive, dirty and imported fossil fuels; and develop the local renewable energy industry. It is really the way to go,” he said.

Read full article @ teddycasino.wordpress.com

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[Event] Luzon Conference on Mining and Ecology on February 28 -Luzon Coalition for the Ecology

Luzon Conference on Mining and Ecology on February 28

This month the president is declaring his mining policy. So it is an intense time because mining companies are pulling all stops to make it friendly to their business interests. However history and facts have shown us that the current mining industry in the Philippines is detrimental to the well being of the Filipino.

On February 28, at the UST Medicine Auditorium there will be a whole day conference on Mining and the Ecology from 8:30am to 6:30pm. There will be international speakers:

· Clive Wicks – who has written a book on Mining and Food and is an expert on the Tampacan issue which threatens the ecology of this country.
· Jim Kuipers who is a mining engineer in Montana for 20 years – and can explain how mining threatens water.

Among the local speakers who will be presenting at the conference are:

· Mayor Eduard Hagedorn of Puerto Princesa will talk about his experience of building Puerto Princesa without mining.
· Dr. Lina Regis who has a doctorate degree in mining ecology will talk about the science of mining and the ecology.
· Atty. Gerthie Anda founder of ELAC (Environmental Legal Action Center) will talk about the legalities.
· Ms. Maita Gomez of Bantay Kita will share her indepth research on the mining industry and finance.
· Rep. Luz Ilagan of Gabriela one of the authors of the Alternative Minerals Act Bill which is being proposed at Congress now – as an alternative to the current Mining Act – which is not beneficial at all to the Filipino.
· Ms. Gina Lopez of Bantay Kalikasan to discuss the alternatives on mining.

In the evening a concert for the environment will follow after the conference featuring special appearances from special guests.

We hope you and your colleagues can go. The Registration is free – you just have to pay for the food. which is P400 for lunch, dinner, and two meriendas. But you need to let us know that you are coming so that we can gauge the numbers.

We need to know the names of who will be coming. Deadline for registration is on February 25, 2012.

Another very important thing, we want the event to be able to get at least a million signatures for the Luzon area. So it would be very much appreciated
if you come to the event with thousands of signatures. Just get a blank sheet of paper and put in the heading No to Mining in Palawan/ and the area of your choice.We will tabulate it.Then before the end of the month, we tell the president that ___ number of people really do NOT want the ecology destroyed.

This one is for God and Country. Its using the Power of Good and the Power of Many….

Please see attached files for more details. For inquiries and concernes, please call or text 0917-521-4624.

Hoping to hear form you soon. Thank you very much.

Luzon Coalition for the Ecology

[In the news] Pagmimina sa 2 bayan sa Batangas, pinangangambahang matuloy -dzmm.com.ph

Pagmimina sa 2 bayan sa Batangas, pinangangambahang matuloy
By dzmm.com.ph
February 6, 2012

Pinangangambahan ng isang anti-mining group maging ng Lipa Archdiocese ang posibilidad na matuloy ang pagmimina sa dalawang bayan sa Batangas.

Depensa naman ng kumpanya, marami pa silang pagdadaanan para makapagdesisyon ang mga kinauukulan.

Taong 2010 pa umano interesado ang Asian Arc Mining Corporation mula Canada na magmina sa Taysan, Batangas.

Tapos na ang exploration at pinag-aaralan na nila kung puwedeng isagawa ang pagmimina sa apat na barangay na sinasabing sagana sa copper.

Apatnaraang metrikong tonelada ng copper ang inaasahang makukuha sa pagmimina at higit 400 residente rin umano ang inaasahang mabibigyan ng trabaho.

Read full article @ dzmm.abs-cbnnews.com

[From the web] Filipino of the Year 2011: The Volunteers – INQUIRER.net

Filipino of the Year 2011: The Volunteers
They’re the silver lining behind dark clouds, rainbow after a storm
Philippine Daily Inquirer
February 5, 2012

(Editor’s Note: Now on its 21st successive year, the Inquirer’s Filipino of the Year honors a living Filipino who made the most positive impact in the past year as voted upon by the editors and assistant editors. Aside from the one most voted upon, the other nominees in the order of their number of votes were Leila de Lima [some editors have been voting for her the past three years], the Indie Filmmaker, Dragonboat Team, President Aquino [last year’s winner], Azkals, Robin Lim, Netizen, Beauty Queens and Mommy “D.”)

Were an artist to piece together a collage of the names and faces of the rescuers, relief workers, volunteers and donors who stood and delivered during and in the aftermath of Tropical Storm “Sendong” and other calamities in 2011, the resulting artwork would look, without doubt, lit from within.

A good heart beating at its core would cause the collage to glow.

There is no master list of the volunteers and donors, none tracking their names, their hours, their deeds or their gifts (in the future, there should be an effort at keeping one). But they were there—when and where they were needed.

It was in the last quarter of 2011 that the most destructive typhoons hit the country. “Pedring” and “Quiel” blew into Luzon in September and October and left 101 dead. The first affected 3.03 million people in 35 provinces and the latter, 1.11 million people in 18 provinces.

Then one night in December, Sendong unleashed an unprecedented amount of rain on places in Visayas and Mindanao so unfamiliar with such fury that, instead of keeping watch, the villagers went to sleep as the rivers were swelling. The cities of Dumaguete, Cagayan de Oro and Iligan were the hardest hit.

At last count, 1,268 people were dead, 6,071 were injured and 52,435 houses were ruined, with almost 15,000 totally destroyed. The damage to infrastructure and agriculture was assessed at P1.71 billion.

Read full article @ newsinfo.inquirer.net

[Press Release] TDC Reiterates Clarification on Semestral Break, Resumption of Classes

 As the nation enjoys a long week-end due to the observance of all saints day, public school teachers once again ask the Department of Education (DepEd) to issue a clarification on the scheduled resumption of classes. According to Benjo Basas, chairperson of the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC), they were receiving reports since last week that in some areas of Luzon and Metro Manila, teachers are required to report to duty on Wednesday, November 2 while according to the school calendar which is provided in the DepEd Order No. 28, s. 2011, classes in public schools will resume of Wednesday, November 3.

The group formally wrote for clarification on the intent and implementation of semestral break after receiving several complaints that some DepEd field officials are requiring the teachers to report for duty and participate in the in-service training (INSET) during the semestral break which falls from October 26-31.  However, the DepEd is yet to issue a formal response to the letter dated October 21, but in its two press releases last week, it states that semestral break is meant to give the teachers and students more time for their family and to take things easy during said dates and reminded the public that classes will resume on Novmeber 3 and the 3-day INSET is scheduled on May 2-4 of next year.

However, many teachers were still required to attend the INSET and to report to their respective school during the supposed vacation. Thus, according to Basas, teachers who joined the INSET and reported to school during the semestral break shall be entitled to a service-credit in accordance with the Magna Carta for Teachers and other DepEd issuances.

TDC expects an advisory from DepEd early this day. #

November 1, 2011
Reference: Benjo Basas, Chairperson, 0920-5740241/ 3853437

Agriculture workers in Cebu get insurance | Sun.Star

Agriculture workers in Cebu get insurance | Sun.Star.

CEBU CITY — Over 7,000 farmers and fishers in Cebu are now covered by insurance that will help them cope with storms and other calamities.

The Cebu Provincial Government will pay for the coverage worth P255.7 million, which an insurance official described as the most comprehensive among local governments nationwide.

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia distributed Friday in Argao town the certificates of insurance coverage in the province’s second district.

She said the insurance will cushion the beneficiaries in case calamities affect them or their produce. She confirmed the Capitol will pay for the premiums to protect farmers and fishermen, the sector most vulnerable to climate change.

The distribution was made on the heels of Tropical Depression Ramon, which destroyed an estimated P12 billion in goods and produce in the country.

So far, the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC) has released P330 million in insurance benefits, to cover the damage to agriculture.

Lawyer Jovy Bernabe, PCIC president, said only 27,000 farmers in Luzon were insured, or about five percent of the sector’s population.

“It’s very hard to convince them,” he said.

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph

[Press Release] Pambansang protesta laban sa mataas na singil sa kuryente, ikinasa – www.fdc.ph

POWER-OFF: National Day of Protest
Pambansang protesta laban sa mataas na singil sa kuryente, ikinasa

Isa sa mabibigat na pasanin ngayon hindi lamang ng mga karaniwang mamamayan, kundi maging ng mga negosyante, ang mataas na singil sa kuryente.

Nang maging batas ang Republic Act No. 9136 o ang Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) noong 2001, ipingako nito ang pagkakaroon ng abot-kaya at sapat na suplay ng kuryente.

Subalit, makalipas ang sampung taon, taliwas sa mga pangakong ito ang kinakaharap ng mamamayan. Halimbawa, P5 lamang kada kiloWatt-hour ang singil sa mga konsyumer ng Meralco bago maisabatas ang EPIRA. Ngayon, naglalaro sa halagang P11 hanggang P12 kada KiloWatt-hour ang presyo nito.

Bukod pa dito, maraming petisyon sa Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) na nag-aambang magdulot ng mas mataas na singil sa kuryente – Luzon (P6.0359/kWh), Visayas (P5.5857), Mindanao (P4.38/kWh), at konsyumer ng Meralco (P6.1465/kWh):
• Ang Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) ay humihingi ng karagdagang taas na P0.1059/kWh para sa Luzon at P0.1157/kWh para sa Visayas;
• Humihingi din ang PSALM at National Power Corporation (Napocor) ng adjustment sa universal charge (UC) na P0.39/kWh upang ma-recover ang ilang bahagi ng utang ng Napocor. Batay sa petisyon, P0.03/kWh ang kokolektahin sa loob ng 15 taon upang bayaran ang stranded debts; at P0.36/kWh sa loob ng apat na taon para sa stranded contract costs;
• Humihingi din ang PSALM ng adjustment ng base rate ng Napocor sa ilalim ng Generation Rate Adjustment Mechanism (GRAM) at Incremental Currency Exchange Rate Adjustment (ICERA) na magdudulot ng karagdagang taas na P4.72/kWh sa Luzon, P4.26/kWh sa Visayas at P3.17/kWh sa Mindanao;
• Ang National Grid Corp of the Philippines (NGCP) ay nagpetisyon na rin ng dagdag-singil na P0.82/kWh, na titilad-tilarin mula Oktubre 2011 hanggang Disyembre 2015 sa Luzon upang mabawi ang halagang P80.2 million na ginamit ng kumpanya sa rehabilitasyon at pagkumpuni ng mga nasirang transmission line dulot ng mga Bagyong Basyang and Juan noong 2010.
• Samantala, ang Meralco ay magtataas ng generation charge mula August 2011 ng P0.08/kWh bilang resulta ng pagtaas ng halaga ng kuryente sa wholesale electricity spot market (WESM) at ng mga power producer nito.
• Nakakuha na rin ang Meralco ng pagsang-ayon mula sa ERC na magdagdag ng singil na 3.06 centavos/kWh upang mabawi ang hindi nito nasingil mula Enero 26 hanggang Pebrero 25 noong 2010 na nagkakahalaga ng P944 milyon.

Bukod sa mga ito, maaari din magdulot ng pagtaas sa singil sa kuryente ang pagsasapribado ng malalaki at mahahalagang power plant:
• Ang Angat electric hydro-power plant sa Bulacan na kasalukuyang pinigil ng Korte Suprema ang pagsasapribado nito;
• Ang Unified Leyte Geothermal Plants na binayaran na ng mga mamamayan sa Eastern Visayas ngunit maaari silang singilin muli sakaling ito ay maisapribado; at,
• Ang Agus-Pulangi hydropower complex na nagbibigay ng murang kuryente sa Mindanao.

Dahil sa walang habas na pagtaas ng singil sa kuryente at sa pagsasapribado ng mga renewable energy-based power plant, magsasagawa ng “National Day of Protest” ang grupong Freedom from Debt Coalition sa ika-11 ng Oktubre. Layunin nito na hikayatin ang mga mamamayan na ipahayag ang kanilang saloobin hinggil sa mabigat na pasaning ito.

Hindi na kinakailangang lumayo pa ang mga mamayan sa kanilang lugar, maaari silang makiisa sa protesta kahit na sa loob lamang ng kanilang nasasakupan. “Power-off” o patay-ilaw at noise barrage mula 7:30 PM hanggang 8:00 PM sa ika-11 ng Oktubre ang kulminasyon ng protesta.

Naniniwala ang grupo na sa sama-samang pagkilos, magigising sa reyalidad ang gobyerno at mabibigyan-solusyon ang lumalalang sitwasyon sa kuryente.

Umaasa din ang grupo na maitutuwid na ang mga pagkakamali ng mga nagdaang administrasyon sa industriya ng kuryente. Isang paraan na nakikita ng FDC ay ang pagkakansela ng kontrata ng gobyerno sa mga independent power producer (IPPs). (30)

• Stranded debts are any unpaid financial obligation of the Napocor that has not been liquidated by the proceeds from the privatization of the generating firm’s assets
• Stranded contract costs are the excess of the contracted cost of electricity under eligible contracts over the actual selling price of the contracted energy output of these contracts in the market
• Generation Rate Adjustment Mechanism (GRAM) recovers the cost of fuel and of electricity purchased from privately owned power plants
• Incremental Currency Exchange Rate Adjustment (ICERA) is a mechanism to recover the state power generator’s foreign exchange fluctuation costs
• Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) is the agency tasked under EPIRA to oversee the liquidation of Napocor’s assets to pay off its debts, and in the process lower power rates

Freedom from Debt Coalition
11 Matimpiin St., Brgy. Pinyahan, Quezon City 1100, Philippines
Phone: (+632) 921 1985 * Telefax: (+632) 924 6399
Website: http://www.fdc.ph * Email: mail@fdc.ph

Contact persons:
Milo Tanchuling, Secretary-General, +63.920.901.8711
Job Bordamonte, Program Coordinator, +63.920.914.9561
Bobby Diciembre, Media Officer, +63.920.905.9856

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