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500 EDCA deals in 2024 pipeline

The United States has committed to more than 500 bilateral military engagements with the Philippines next year, which would primarily feature the stepping up of war games and joint sea patrols. An Armed Forces of the Philippines official described the engagements as encompassing exercises and high-level exchanges between the allied nations on security cooperation and strategic vision, including maritime security, information sharing, and capacity and capability development, among others. The commitments were made during last week’s annual Mutual Defense Board-Security Engagement Board meeting, said the AFP official, who requested anonymity. Meanwhile, AFP Public Affairs chief, Lt. Col. Enrico Gil Ileto, said highlights of the activities will include an increased “tempo” in the joint exercises. At the same time, projects under the Enhanced Development Cooperation Agreement will be scaled up. He said engagements with other key international partners will also be part of the new set-up. During the meeting, AFP Chief of Staff, Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr., and US Indo-Pacific Command Chief Admiral John Aquilino reaffirmed the “steadfast commitment of the Philippines and the United States to safeguard their respective nations and the Indo-Pacific region.” “The meeting was the culminating activity of the planning cycle that assessed previous activities and set out over 500 bilateral engagements for 2024,” Ileto said. Increasing the American role in the maritime conflict with China is expected to be matched by the latter through increased aggressiveness in staking its claim in the West Philippine Sea.   Swarming by vessels resumes The AFP Western Command on Saturday expressed alarm over the heightened presence of Chinese maritime militia vessels and the massive coral harvesting at Rozul, or Iroquois, Reef, located within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone and continental shelf. In a weekly news forum in Quezon City, Wescom commander, Vice Admiral Albert Carlos, reported the “resurgence” of swarming incidents in the West Philippine Sea, with about 40 Chinese fishing vessels spotted as of 15 September at Rozul Reef, which is located south of Recto Bank. Carlos said the latest figure is higher than the 33 vessels spotted on 24 August and the 24 tracked on 7 September. Swarming was also observed at Escoda (Sabina) Shoal, where five Chinese fishing vessels were spotted, and Baragatan (Nares) Bank, with two boats, according to a Wescom news release on 14 September. “But the good news is we also have our presence there,” Carlos said, referring to vessels of the Philippine Navy and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. “So, we are addressing the issue of this swarming,” he added.   Harmful harvesting Carlos noted that in July, the Philippine Navy deployed divers to conduct an “underwater survey” of the swarmed area and found “there were no more corals” at Rozul Reef. The military is coordinating with scientists and experts to assess the area, he said, adding that it specifically wants to verify the divers’ assessment that massive harvesting of corals happened just recently. “We saw that there were no more corals. The corals were damaged, and there was debris,” he said. “We are not making any conclusions at this time. It’s a work in progress, but we just want to report coral harvesting in the area where (the Chinese were) seen loitering and swarming.”   Keeping  the peace Carlos said government troops want to “keep the peace and avoid miscalculations” in the WPS despite the recent incidents. He, however, guaranteed a heightened military presence in the Philippines’ waters. “The presence (of Chinese vessels) is already alarming because we have the sovereign rights in our exclusive economic zone. Now, coral harvesting is still unverified. We are not saying that they are harvesting our corals. We suspect somebody is harvesting our corals, which means they are violating our sovereign rights. We have the exclusive right to exploit resources in the West Philippine Sea,” Carlos said. “For the Western Command, that is alarming, because it might appear that we are remiss in our duty to protect our territory, as well as the riches of our exclusive economic zone. So we are doubling our efforts on that. We are going to address that issue by increasing our presence there,” he said.   Joint patrols assessed Carlos said the government is “carefully” studying offers by other countries to conduct joint patrols with Philippine forces. For now, the military is carrying out unilateral maritime patrols in the WPS, he said, adding that these are being “jointly conducted with the Philippine Coast Guard and the BFAR, not with any foreign country.” “We are in engagement with whoever offers to help us, whoever shares our desire, our objective to establish a rules-based international order. We are studying it carefully. All the offers are on the table,” he said.   More EDCA projects Ileto said Brawner and Aquilino also agreed to hasten the completion of the EDCA projects. There were 32 projects approved. The two officials are eyeing 63 more EDCA projects. “More importantly, it reaffirmed the two nations’ commitment to the PH-US alliance as espoused in the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty,” he said. The Philippines and the US military officials also agreed to jointly push for a free and open Indo-Pacific region “against a backdrop of a rules-based international order,” Ileto said. The post 500 EDCA deals in 2024 pipeline appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource: tribune tribuneSep 16th, 2023

Palawan Recognized as One of the Top Destinations in World for 2024

Palawan has once again earned recognition as one of the Trending Destinations in the World for 2024 on Tripadvisor, the global hub for travel deals and reviews. This follows Palawan’s outstanding global achievements in 2023, being named one of the World’s Most Desirable Countries for Adventure, making it to Travel + Leisure’s top Islands, and […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsJan 19th, 2024

BOI: More renewable energy investments in the pipeline

More investments for renewable energy including the manufacturing of equipment for RE projects are in the pipeline for the country in 2024, according to Trade Undersecretary and Board of Investments managing head Ceferino Rodolfo......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 29th, 2023

DBP backs NG’s logistics action plan

State-owned Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) is prepared to extend the needed technical and financial assistance to strategic initiatives that would ensure the successful implementation of the Marcos administration’s three-year logistics master plan aimed at reducing the cost of commodities particularly food, a top official said. DBP President and Chief Executive Officer Michael O. De Jesus said the bank would work closely with the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Agriculture, and other government agencies and key stakeholders to modernize the food distribution system and storage and to address prevailing supply chain gaps. “DBP is one with President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.’s goal of ensuring reliable food supply at reasonable prices for all Filipinos,” De Jesus said. “DBP will leverage on its experience and financial capability to support key programs to support this goal.” DBP is the eighth largest bank in the country in terms of assets and provides strategic financing support to critical economic sectors such as infrastructure and logistics, micro, small and medium enterprises, social services, and the environment. In August this year, President Marcos, Jr. approved the country’s three-year food logistics action agenda aimed at promoting food availability, accessibility, and affordability through strategies that would modernize the country’s food distribution system, increase investments in logistics infrastructure, and address other supply chain gaps. De Jesus said that as of the end of the first half of 2023, DBP has allocated P281.6 billion for projects under the infrastructure and logistics sector, representing 55.5 percent of its total loan to borrowers amounting to P506.9-billion. He said total loan releases to the sector have reached P45.5 billion while deals in the pipeline are around P18.5 billion for the period covering January to June this year. "As of July this year, DBP has approved a total of P25.55-billion in loans for 189 borrowers nationwide under the auspices of the Bank’s Connecting Rural Urban Intermodal Systems Efficiently (CRUISE) program, which serves as our flagship facility for transport infrastructure and logistics sector,” De Jesus said. The post DBP backs NG’s logistics action plan appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 28th, 2023

VP Sara skips OVP, DepEd budget deliberations

Vice President Duterte failed to appear before the House of Representatives on Tuesday to defend the 2024 budget of her office and the Department of Education, which she also heads. Due to a “possible conflict of schedule”, Duterte skipped OVP’s and DepEd’s budget deliberations, prompting the House to move it on Wednesday, along with other agencies. Duterte sought P2.395 billion for OVP and P758.6 billion for DepEd, including P500 million and P150 million in confidential funds, respectively, for 2024. Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin, a member of the majority, told lawmakers that Duterte will not appear in the plenary, following a question by ACT Teachers Partylist Rep. on why the OVP and DepEd budgets have not been addressed on the floor yet. “I just would like to inquire about our schedule for today, because, as written in our schedule for today, after the OP (Office of the President), there should be OVP and Department of Education. So, at this point in time, what is the estimated time that the budget deliberation for the OVP and the DepEd be deliberated today?” asked Castro, one of the opponents and critics of Duterte's confidential funds. Based on the initial schedule, deliberations in the budget of the OP would come first, followed by OVP and DepEd, which did not materialize as planned. “The OVP, as well as Secretary of the Department of Education, conveyed a message to the [House] Committee on Appropriations as well as the [House] Committee on Rules of a possible conflict of schedule,” Garin responded. “As of the moment, the deliberations on the proposed budget of OVP, as well as the DepEd, have been temporarily moved tomorrow, considering we also have other agencies in the pipeline,” she added. OVP spokesperson Reynold Munsayac confirmed to reporters that the budget hearing for the two agencies will be rescheduled for tomorrow afternoon. The rescheduling of deliberations in the proposed budget of OVP and DepEd came a day after Duterte made headlines that the OVP spent P125 million in confidential funds in 2022 in merely 11 days—not 19 days—as initially claimed by some opposition lawmakers. The post VP Sara skips OVP, DepEd budget deliberations appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 26th, 2023

Biden’s son Hunter indicted on gun charges

US President Joe Biden's son Hunter was indicted Thursday for illegally buying a gun when he was using drugs, casting a new shadow over his father's campaign for reelection next year. Hunter Biden, 53, was charged with two counts of making false statements when claiming on forms required for the 2018 gun purchase that he was not using drugs illegally at the time. A third charge said that, based on the false statements, he illegally possessed the gun during an 11-day period in October that year. If convicted on all three felony charges, Biden could in theory face 25 years in prison, though in practice they are seldom punished by any jail time. In attesting that he was not an unlawful user of drugs when he bought the Colt Cobra revolver, Biden "knew that statement was false," the Justice Department said. The indictment came two days after Republicans in Congress opened an impeachment probe against Democrat Joe Biden, alleging that when he was vice president he benefitted financially from his son's foreign business dealings. The legal troubles of Hunter Biden present a target for political rivals of his father, who is bidding for a second term in the White House. Hunter is a Yale-trained lawyer and lobbyist-turned-artist, but his life has been marred by alcoholism and crack cocaine addiction. Without offering any evidence, Republicans have accused Biden's Justice Department of protecting his son and have accused Weiss, a Republican appointee, of going easy on Hunter. Representative James Comer, a Republican from Kentucky who will be leading the impeachment inquiry, welcomed the filing of the gun charges, calling it a "very small start." "Mountains of evidence reveals that Hunter Biden likely committed several felonies and Americans expect the Justice Department to apply the law equally," Comer said. Twice-impeached former president Donald Trump reacted on his Truth Social platform. "This, the gun charge, is the only crime that Hunter Biden committed that does not implicate Crooked Joe Biden," he said.   - Plea deal collapsed -   But a leading Democrat, Keisha Lance Bottoms, ex-mayor of Atlanta and a former senior adviser to Joe Biden, questioned why Hunter had been charged. "Can anyone tell me how many people have been federally indicted for purchasing a gun while dealing with substance abuse issues?" Bottoms said on X, formerly known as Twitter. "I don't know the answer, but in my over 29 years as an attorney, I have never heard of it." The gun charges were filed by Justice Department special counsel David Weiss, who has been investigating Hunter Biden since 2018 over various allegations, mostly related to his overseas business deals. Two months ago a plea deal between Biden and Weiss, covering the gun charge as well as alleged tax violations, went sour. Biden agreed to plead guilty in federal court in Delaware to two minor tax charges. In exchange he was offered probation, as he had already paid what he owed the government along with penalties. Weiss agreed to suspend the felony gun charge if Biden completed "pretrial diversion," which often involves counseling or rehabilitation. But in a dramatic July 26 hearing, the deal collapsed over whether Biden would have been immune from any other charges also investigated by Weiss, including possible crimes related to his business dealings in Ukraine, China and elsewhere. The judge mentioned the possibility that Biden could be charged as having acted as a lobbyist for foreign governments without registering with the Justice Department. Three weeks later, after the deal collapsed, Weiss dropped the tax charges and said an indictment on the gun charge would come by the end of September. As the 2024 election race swings into gear, Republicans in the House of Representatives on Tuesday formally opened an impeachment inquiry against President Biden. They alleged, without offering hard evidence, that while vice president in 2015-2016, Biden intervened to protect an allegedly corrupt Ukrainian energy company, Burisma, where Hunter Biden sat on the board. Republicans allege Joe Biden and his family reaped large sums for helping Burisma. The post Biden’s son Hunter indicted on gun charges appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 15th, 2023

PEZA secures P10.8B investments from Japan, signs MOU for automation of ICT systems

In conjunction with the visit of the members of the President’s Cabinet to improve economic ties with Japan, PEZA pursued a five-day outbound mission to Tokyo resulting in P10.8 billion in solid investment expansion commitments from PEZA-registered Japanese enterprises. Held from 28 August to 2 September 2023, PEZA participated in an investment forum organized by junca Global Holdings and a series of business-to-business meetings that capitalized on investment leads sought by PEZA, and those from Sumitomo Corporation and the First Philippines Industrial Park, Inc., one of PEZA’s leading developer-operators. PEZA also explored new strategic areas of collaboration with Kiraboshi Bank, one of the leading regional banks in Tokyo, and with the Organization for Small & Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation JAPAN, a government agency under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in charge of supporting the needs of Japanese SMEs. Further, PEZA entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with NEOJAPAN that will allow PEZA to use NEOJAPAN’s desknet’s NEO and Appsuite, free of charge to PEZA until the end of 2023. In an investment promotion forum organized by junca Global Holdings on 29 August, Director General Tereso O. Panga highlighted Japan’s contribution to the Philippine economy, stating “Our top country investor, Japan, has a total of P766.550 billion investments from 1995 to June 2023 making up for the 27.37 percent of PEZA’s overall investments by country. This investment comes from 877 Japanese locators with 339,751 direct employments as of May 2023 and exports of $ 6.370 billion from January to May this year.” The said forum was attended by representatives from various industries, specifically from renewable energy/alternative fuel to water recycling, real estate, financial services, food processing, cosmetics manufacturing and distribution including research and development on sprayed stem cell therapy, and human resource training and management. Panga also reported that “2023 is proving to mark the significant rise of the semiconductor industry with several industry leaders proceeding with their expansion plans to address the projected demand in their products due to the rise of the electronic vehicle industry and steady technological advancements in the downsizing of gadgets and their parts.” “PEZA will make sure that the country will be poised to receive these investments as we have a small window to get the manufacturing of new high-tech products into the Philippines given the competitiveness of the industry,” he added. The mission allowed PEZA to secure P10.8 billion in investment commitments from Japanese companies, namely the Terumo Corporation (P1 billion), Taiyo Yuden (P1.6 billion), TDK Corporation (P7.2 billion) and Almex Technologies (P1 billion). Panga’s statement is further solidified by the P111.207 billion in investments already approved by the PEZA Board for the first nine months of 2023, and expansion announcements by some of PEZA’s biggest locators such as Knowles (Philippines) Electronics Corporation, Terumo, Wipro Philippines, Inc., and Isla Import Terminals, Inc. According to Panga, “Taiyo Yuden CO., LTD. has an investment plan to operate their business in Taiyo Yuden (Philippines), Inc. We are proud to have locators such as Taiyo Yuden grow inside PEZA’s ecosystem since 1989. The ongoing investment plan covers the calendar year 2023-2024, with the total investment amounting to P1.6 billion. This signifies a continued era of trust and confidence in the country’s investment facilitation climate.” The Metal Power Inductor is Taiyo Yuden’s newly patented product with cutting-edge technology. The Philippine facility is the first manufacturing site aside from the facilities in Japan. The new product is the world’s first multilayer-type metal power inductor with the latest multilayer technology and its unique metal material characteristics. On the other hand, the TDK Corporation, an electronics manufacturing company that uses leading magnetic technology will have its first expansion from 2023 to 2026 while its second expansion will begin in 2024. TDK’s new product is a bio-magnetic sensor for monitoring heartbeats. Promising investment leads are also in the pipeline such as the partnership with Kiraboshi Bank, LTD., As one of the largest regional banks in Tokyo, Japan, Kiraboshi Bank caters to a large network of enterprise clients including PEZA registration-eligible business enterprises. Meanwhile, talks with the SME Support JAPAN led to the possible inclusion of the Philippines in the conduct of CEO Business Meetings that will allow direct linkage between Japanese SMEs and PEZA RBEs. PEZA also considers the partnership as a promising prospect since the Philippines is in a position to address the human resource needs of Japanese SMEs that are looking to expand operations. According to SME Support Senior Director General Soma Hirohisa they are “looking forward to the possible partnership with PEZA to produce more success stories for Japanese SMEs, similar to those who setup manufacturing facility in the ecozones to export these products to Japan and other global markets.” On the other hand, Kaneko Cord Co., LTD. is a company engaged in various industries such as the production of electrical wires, cables, and the manufacture of medical tubes and caviar productions is interested in transferring its Japan-based operations to the Philippines. Kaneko representatives later lauded the productive meeting with PEZA, stating that the meeting “surely expedited the beginning of [their] business in the Philippines.” Meltec Corporation also have plans to expand their operations in the Philippines due to the country’s strategic location to its clients and the presence Filipinos workers with high-quality skills and positive attitude. On 1 September 2023, PEZA entered into an MOU with NEOJAPAN that will allow PEZA to use NEOJAPAN’s desknet’s NEO and Appsuite, free of charge to PEZA for a limited period. The use of these groupware solutions will allow PEZA to digitize, automate, and centralize most of its internal documents and processes under a secure IT environment. With this partnership, PEZA will be taking the lead in government administration, being one of the first Philippine government agencies to use the product as a standard operating office system. In Japan, desknet’s NEO is used by 40 percent of all Japanese LGUs, ministries such as the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication, universities such as The University of Tokyo, and large enterprises such as Toyota, Mitsubishi Motors, Mizuho, Pilot and Fujifilm. Represented by Panga and Corporate Center Senior Director Tsuneko Aoki, PEZA and NEOJAPAN inked the engagement geared toward exploring areas of collaboration and cooperation in developing, improving and automating the administrative processes of PEZA through the adoption of appropriate ICT systems. In Japan, desknet’s NEO is used by 40 percent of all Japanese LGUs, ministries such as the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication, universities such as The University of Tokyo, and large enterprises such as Toyota, Mitsubishi Motors, Mizuho, Pilot and Fujifilm. The MOU is also in compliance with Republic Act No. 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012 and Confidentiality of Information. This is part of PEZA’s initiatives towards contributing to the goal of the Department of Trade and Industry of promoting digital transformation in the Philippines that is science, technology, and innovation-driven. The post PEZA secures P10.8B investments from Japan, signs MOU for automation of ICT systems appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 12th, 2023

MERALCO TO SPONSOR STUDIES OF ASPIRING FILIPINO NUCLEAR ENGINEERS

The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) on Monday launched the Filipino Scholars and Interns on Nuclear Engineering (FISSION) program in a proactive bid to develop skilled professionals and advance the Philippines’ push for the integration of nuclear power in the country’s energy portfolio. During the opening day of the 3-day Giga Summit organized by Meralco Power Academy (MPA), Meralco Chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan announced that the company will invest in local talents and support aspiring Filipino nuclear engineers to help accelerate the development of the country’s technical and regulatory talent pipeline through education and training in the highly specialized field of nuclear engineering. “Meralco will send some of our engineers to a two-year graduate program targeting local talents who are graduates and practicing Mechanical, Electrical, Material Engineering, and related areas in universities in the US, in Canada, Korea, Japan, France,” Mr. Pangilinan said. Part of FISSION’s objectives is to address identified gaps that could impede the government’s transformative initiatives, such as the absence of expert safety regulators and technical professionals capable of operating nuclear technologies, specifically the small modular reactors (SMR) and micro modular reactors (MMR). Scheduled to run from 2025 to 2027, this two-year graduate program will be offered to graduates and practitioners in the fields of Mechanical, Electrical, Materials, and Metallurgical Engineering, Physics, and other related disciplines. Meralco is eyeing top global engineering universities, including the University of California in Berkeley, the University of Illinois, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, and Université Paris–Saclay, for the program. FISSION will also include a one-year immersion and internship from 2027 to 2028 at partner SMR facilities abroad like Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) and Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation (USNC), both of which are participating in the ongoing Giga Summit. Upon completion of the graduate and internship programs, Meralco will implement a Re-entry Action Plan to facilitate the scholars’ return to the Philippines in 2029. The scholars are expected to render their expertise to the company and to the Philippine government. The application process for the pilot batch of the program will open in 2024. Meralco will announce qualifications and other details of the program in the coming months. As one of the country’s major players in the energy industry, Meralco has been proactively preparing for the introduction of nuclear technologies in the Philippines In March 2023, the company expressed its readiness to provide scholarships to help the country develop local nuclear energy experts. Mr. Pangilinan has underscored the importance of establishing a regulatory framework and cultivating a pool of skilled professionals to lead the adoption and advancement of nuclear energy in the Philippines. “Hopefully, this is the start of exploring and considering seriously new options for this country to achieve smarter and greener future,” Mr. Pangilinan concluded. Through the MPA, Meralco will play a pivotal role in supporting these initiatives and forging partnerships with relevant government agencies, including the Department of Energy and the Energy Regulatory Commission, the academe, and private sector partners to collectively shape a sustainable energy future for our nation. ### The post MERALCO TO SPONSOR STUDIES OF ASPIRING FILIPINO NUCLEAR ENGINEERS appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 11th, 2023

Phl to rely on rice imports from Vietnam, Cambodia

  JAKARTA, Indonesia – The Philippines and Vietnam are working on a 5-year agreement to improve rice output and food security in the two Southeast Asian nations, Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said on Thursday. During their meeting on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit, the Vietnamese leader told Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. that his country is ready to help the Philippines obtain food security and boost rice production. "Our two countries will conclude an inter-government agreement on rice trade so that our rice export to the Philippines will ensure food security in the Philippines," he told Marcos Jr. "We look forward to having a stable framework of cooperation on rice trade for a long period of at least (five) years," the Vietnamese official added. Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh then said that Vietnam "will ensure" its rice production and told Marcos that the Philippines can also ensure imports from its neighboring country. Marcos Jr. then noted that his Vietnamese counterpart was ready to let the Philippines import rice as the Philippine leader acknowledged that food supply is a "main issue" in the Philippines. "In Asia, food supply is very much determined by rice and the prices," Marcos said. The Philippine president then expressed his optimism that both his country and Vietnam would have "very fruitful" arrangements. Rice imports from Cambodia In a separate bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Hun Manet here in Jakarta, Marcos opened up the possibility of sourcing rice from Cambodia to the Philippines. Marcos then asked for Cambodia's support in making things easier for rice importers so that there would be a steady rice supply after typhoons hurt rice production in the Philippines. Initially, business-to-business sales deals between Cambodian-based firm Khmer Foods company and rice importers in the Philippines resulted in the export to the Philippines of about 2,500 tons of rice in May this year. This was the first time the Philippines is importing a significant tonnage of rice from Cambodia after the passage of the Rice Tariffication Law in 2019, which liberalized rice trade in the Philippines and allowed private entities, instead of the government, to import rice from any country, subject to compliance with sanitary and phytosanitary requirements and import duties. Cambodian officials say that by 2024, they want to have a 1 percent share of the imported rice market in the Philippines. They have urged stakeholders to keep exporting rice to the Philippines and even increase the amount Cambodians export. *Aviation* With regard to civil aviation cooperation, both countries agreed to expand the direct flights between the Philippines and Cambodia given the improvements in the COVID-19 situation and easing of restrictions. “…I shall, as my homework when I get back, look into the possibility of our airline increasing the number of flights to other destinations in Cambodia that we would like to go to. This is something that goes both ways,” the President also said. The President also mentioned the cultural, educational, and people-to-people exchanges between the Philippines and Cambodia that could be enhanced further. “I’m very proud of our overseas Filipino workers and the teachers who have gone abroad and places. Many who’ve come from my part of the country and we have been able to assist our allies and our partners in terms of exchange of culture and the like,” Marcos said. The post Phl to rely on rice imports from Vietnam, Cambodia appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 7th, 2023

Mla slams Beijing’s expanded SCS claim

The Department of Foreign Affairs has strongly protested China’s inclusion of the entire West Philippine Sea in the newest version of its standard map, calling it “unacceptable.” Manila, through the DFA, made this very clear to Beijing on Thursday as it rejected China’s map that depicts its new “10-dash line” claim to the entire South China Sea, including maritime zones of the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam and Indonesia. The map was issued by China’s Ministry of Natural Resources on 28 August, drawing protests from Malaysia and India (see related story). “This latest attempt to legitimize China’s purported sovereignty and jurisdiction over Philippine features and maritime zones has no basis under international law, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,” the DFA said. The DFA reiterated to China that a 2016 international arbitral ruling invalidated its “nine-dash line” claim in the South China Sea and affirmed the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone in the West Philippine Sea. This was in reference to the final judgment rendered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration on 12 July 2016. “It (decision) categorically stated that ‘maritime areas of the South China Sea encompassed by the relevant parts of the nine-dash line are contrary to the Convention and without lawful effect to the extent that they exceed the geographic and substantive limits of China’s maritime entitlements under the Convention,’” the statement said. “The Philippines, therefore, calls on China to act responsibly and abide by its obligations under UNCLOS and the final and binding 2016 Arbitral Award,” the DFA added. China claims nearly the entire South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea, but has not recognized the arbitral ruling. Neither did Beijing participate in the court’s proceedings. During a Malacañang press briefing, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Daniel Espiritu confirmed Manila had filed a diplomatic protest with Beijing regarding the issue. Beijing’s revised map features a sequence of 10 dashes arranged in a U-shape, encompassing not only parts of the Philippines but of self-ruled Taiwan as well as parts of the exclusive economic zones of Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam and Indonesia. “Suffice it to say that we have already expressed our opposition to that matter,” Espiritu told Palace reporters. “We are definitely against it, we reject it, and we continue to advocate for a peaceful resolution of disputes in that aspect,” he added. Asked how this would affect the Philippine position when Marcos meets with his Southeast Asian and Chinese counterparts during the upcoming Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit, Espiritu said the leaders would not complete their discussions on the matter in just one, two, or three meetings. “Progress has been made. We also expressed our profound satisfaction with recent developments in the South China Sea, particularly on the issue of the water cannoning,” Espiritu said. “We emphasized that these actions must be avoided, as they erode trust, escalate tensions in the South China Sea, and destabilize the peace and stability in the region,” Espiritu added.   China’s defense For its part, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs defended the map, saying it is “in accordance with the law.” “On 28 August, the Ministry of Natural Resources of China released the 2023 edition of the standard map. It is a routine practice in China’s exercise of sovereignty in accordance with the law,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said. Wang called on the countries affected by the new map to “stay objective and calm, and refrain from over-interpreting the issue.” Four of the 10 members of ASEAN are primary claimants to the resource-rich South China Sea — Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines.   Final and binding In reaction, National Security Adviser Eduardo Año said the Philippines does not recognize China’s nine-dash line claim, more so its expanded 10-dash line. “The arbitral award is final and binding,” Año said. “It gives us our maritime entitlement, our extended economic zone, our territorial waters, and our extended continental shelf.” The Philippines, he said, is not alone in its rejection of the 10-dash line. India and Malaysia have also expressed their opposition to the new map. “There would be more countries, I think, to react adversely against this 10-dash line,” Año said. “Our Armed Forces, our uniformed services, our government will do everything in their capacities to ensure that we are protecting our national interest.” President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., meanwhile, will push for a rules-based international order and for parties to follow the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea during the upcoming 43rd Asean Summit next month, DFA Undersecretary Espiritu said on Thursday. “The Philippines will continue to uphold and exercise freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea in accordance with international law,” Espiritu added. He said Marcos is expected to have one-on-one meetings with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet, Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, and Timor Leste Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão. “With Vietnam, the focus will be on strengthening the strategic partnership between the two countries and, of course, cooperation on rice and food security,” he said.   ‘Cancel China projects’ With Beijing’s unrelenting expansion into the SCS, Infrawatch PH convenor Terry Ridon said the government should reconsider existing and upcoming China-assisted infrastructure projects. “Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri had earlier suggested a boycott of all Chinese companies and products, including the Chinese Communication Construction Company, to protest Beijing’s continued incursion into our territory,” Ridon said. “Why not push that call up a notch and call on the Marcos administration to cancel all China-assisted infrastructure projects in the pipeline?” he added. There are presently six major infrastructure projects financed with Chinese loans, the biggest of which is the PNR South Long Haul Project, a 380-kilometer railway that will link Calamba in Laguna and Legazpi in Albay. The project, which started in 2016 and is set to be completed in 2024, has a total price tag of P175.3 billion. The post Mla slams Beijing’s expanded SCS claim appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 31st, 2023

DoTr lines up deals for Japan financing

Banking on decades of expertise in taking on big-ticket projects, the Department of Transportation or DoTr is enticing Japanese companies to bid for various public-private partnership contracts in the railways and aviation sectors. At the recent Philippine Investment Opportunities forum in Tokyo, Japan, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista cited the Metro Manila Subway Project and the North-South Commuter Railway as well as the privatization of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport or NAIA as priority projects that may need Japanese support. “Following through our President’s directive, the DoTr has cast the vision of transforming the Philippines’ transport industry and elevating it to global standards, characterized by comfortable, accessible, safe, and affordable transport services throughout the country,” Bautista said.   Gap to be addressed “DoTr will bridge the gap towards our vision for the Philippines’ transportation sector by developing infrastructure and delivering transport services across our four operating sectors in airports and aviation, maritime, railways and roads,” he added. Worth P76.89 billion, the 36-kilometer Metro Manila Subway Project includes operations and maintenance for subway trains, stations, depot, and other systems infrastructure under a concession period of 15 years of full operations. Also included are maintenance of facilities and equipment under the Philippine Railway Institute, collection of passenger fares, and commercial development rights within prescribed station boundaries, among others. The project’s bidding will start within the last quarter of the year or until the first quarter of next year. Meanwhile, the 147-kilometer North-South Commuter Rail system worth P204.6 billion includes operations and maintenance of trains, stations, depot, and other systems and infrastructure, and a concession period of 15 years of full operations in addition to a partial operations period. The project also includes interoperation management within the rail system by trains from other lines such as the subway project, collection of passenger fares, and exercise of commercial development rights within prescribed station boundaries, among others. Along with the subway project, bidding for the operations and maintenance contract of the NSCR Project will commence within the fourth quarter of the year to the first quarter of 2024. As for the privatization of the NAIA, the DoTr already kicked off the bidding last week. The P170.6-billion project will help address the long-standing issues at the country’s main air hub such as congestion and limited aircraft movements that usually cause inconvenience to passengers under a 15-year concession period. The project is expected to improve the overall passenger experience and increase the current annual passenger capacity of NAIA to at least 62 million from the current 32 million. Last February, during President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s state visit to Japan, the country secured over P156 billion in loan financing from the Japanese government to fund transportation projects. The government signed two projects worth ¥377 billion or around P156.22 billion with Japan. The Philippines is the biggest recipient of Japan International Cooperation Agency’s or JICA programs in Southeast Asia worth 418 billion yen in 2022. JICA is currently supporting 28 ongoing loans in the Philippines, the most recent of which was the 30-billion yen loan agreement signed this week to strengthen the country’s disaster resilience. The post DoTr lines up deals for Japan financing appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 30th, 2023

DBM, DepEd respect Ombudsman’s suspension order

The Department of Budget and Management on Saturday said it will adhere to the Office of the Ombudsman’s suspension order against officials involved in the purchase of alleged overpriced laptops for public school teachers in 2021. “The Department of Budget and Management, under the leadership of Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman, assures the public of its utmost compliance with the decision set by the Office of the Ombudsman against former Procurement Service and DBM officials due to their alleged involvement in the purchase of reportedly overpriced laptops for the Department of Education,” it said in a statement. It added that Pangandaman has already directed concerned officials to implement the suspension order against former and present PS-DBM officials and employees involved in the controversial procurement deal of DepEd laptops. In a resolution, Ombudsman Samuel Martires issued a six-month preventive suspension without pay against education and budget officials, pending the investigation into the P2.4-billion laptop procurement for the DepEd Computerization Program. Citing reports from the Commission on Audit, the Ombudsman found sufficient grounds to preventively suspend the officials for grave misconduct, serious dishonesty and gross neglect of duty. The DBM has already requested an independent investigation from the National Bureau of Investigation in August 2022. The DepEd also assured that the suspension of its officials won’t affect the education services of the department, especially the preparations for the opening of School Year 2023-2024. “DepEd adheres to due process and shall abide by the said Order. Meanwhile, the Department reassures the public of its unhampered services as we prepare for a safe and orderly opening of School Year 2023-2024,” DepEd spokesperson Michael Poa said. Among the education officials ordered to be placed under six-month suspensions are former PS-DBM officers-in-charge Lloyd Christopher Lao and Jasonmer Uayan; and procurement management officers Ulysses Mora, Marwin Amil, and Paul Armand Estrada as well as Alec Ladanga, former Executive Assistant IV of the Office of Usec. Sevilla; Marcelo Bragado, Director IV of DepEd’s Procurement Management Service; and Selwyn Briones, DepEd’s Supervising Administrative Officer. Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Saturday urged the Ombudsman to go after the contractors involved in the alleged overpriced laptop procurement deals. Pimentel said the anti-corruption body should undertake “vigorous efforts” in reclaiming public funds used in the anomalous purchasing deals. “The Ombudsman’s decision to impose preventive suspension sends a strong signal that any alleged wrongdoing will be treated seriously. It is equally vital to thoroughly examine the role of the contractor in this anomalous transaction, from its background to how it secured the contract,” he said. It is imperative for the Ombudsman “to regain taxpayers’ money, expended on items that did not align with the government’s actual needs.” The PS-DBM awarded the contract to Sunwest Construction and Development Corp., LDLA Marketing and Trading Inc. and VST ECS Philippines Inc. Pimentel earlier authored the Senate Resolution 120, which called for a comprehensive investigation into the laptop procurement carried out by DepEd through PS-DBM. In previous hearings, the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee found out that the joint-venture companies failed to meet the technical specifications required for the laptops, rendering them unsuitable for the teachers’ needs. The companies were also unable to complete the delivery within the agreed target dates outlined in the procurement contract. “Our citizens deserve to know the exact circumstances that led to the selection of the joint venture comprising Sunwest Construction and Development Corp., LDLA Marketing and Trading Inc. and VST ECS Philippines Inc. for this significant procurement,” Pimentel said. He criticized the PS-DBM over its failure to promptly blacklist the suppliers involved in the anomalous laptop deals by the recommendation of the Commission on Audit. The Blue Ribbon Committee, he said, will continue to perform its duty and help in seeking out the truth behind the alleged overpriced laptop deal. The post DBM, DepEd respect Ombudsman’s suspension order appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 26th, 2023

Aboitiz rolling out largest solar project 

To further expand its local footprint, Aboitiz Power Corp. will build two new solar facilities in Zambales and Negros Occidental this year, one of which will be the company’s largest solar venture to date. AboitizPower president and CEO Emmanuel Rubio confirmed through a press statement on Tuesday that the projects, scheduled to start next month, will provide the company with an additional 3,700 megawatts or MW of renewable energy by 2030. AboitizPower, through its Aboitiz Renewables Inc. or ARI, will begin building the 211 megawatts or MW solar power project in Olongapo, Zambales in September.   Operation starts September The project is scheduled to be commercially operational by September 2025 to provide electricity through the Castillejos substation. On the other hand, the 173 MW solar power project in Calatrava, Negros Occidental, to start also in September, is planned to export electricity to the grid via the Calatrava substation as soon as December 2024. It will be undertaken by SUMEC Complete Equipment and Engineering Co. Ltd., the same company currently completing the 159 MW Laoag Solar Project of PV Sinag Inc. With these new projects in the pipeline, AboitizPower will have five solar projects in total, which also includes San Carlos Sun Power Inc. in Negros Occidental and the Laoag and Cayanga solar projects in Pangasinan. AboitizPower, the holding company of the Aboitiz Group for its energy-related investments, has a pipeline of close to 1,000 MW of disclosed renewable energy projects. It aims to have a total of 4,600 MW of clean energy and a 50:50 balance between its renewable and thermal capacities.   The post Aboitiz rolling out largest solar project  appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 15th, 2023

Aboitiz takes on largest solar project

To further expand its local footprint, Aboitiz Power Corp. will build two new solar facilities in Zambales and Negros Occidental this year, one of which will be its largest solar venture to date. AboitizPower President and CEO Emmanuel Rubio confirmed through a press statement on Tuesday that the projects, scheduled to start next month, will provide the company with an additional 3,700 megawatts or MW of renewable energy by 2030. AboitizPower, through its Aboitiz Renewables Inc. or ARI, will begin building the 211 MW solar power project in Olongapo, Zambales this September — its largest solar project to date. The project is scheduled to be commercially operational by September 2025 to provide electricity through the Castillejos substation. On the other hand, the 173 MW solar power project in Calatrava, Negros Occidental, to start also in September, is planned to export electricity to the grid via the Calatrava substation as soon as December 2024. The Negros project will be undertaken by SUMEC Complete Equipment and Engineering Co., Ltd., the same company currently completing the 159 MW Laoag Solar Project of PV Sinag, Inc. With these new projects in the pipeline, AboitizPower will have five solar projects in total, which also includes San Carlos Sun Power Inc. in Negros Occidental and the Laoag and Cayanga solar projects in Pangasinan. AboitizPower, the holding company of the Aboitiz Group for its energy-related investments, has a pipeline of close to 1,000 MW of disclosed renewable energy projects. It aims to have a total of 4,600 MW of clean energy and a 50:50 balance between its renewable and thermal capacities.   The post Aboitiz takes on largest solar project appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 15th, 2023

Trump indicted for racketeering over 2020 election interference

Donald Trump was indicted Tuesday on charges of racketeering and a string of election crimes after a sprawling, two-year probe into his efforts to overturn his 2020 defeat to Joe Biden in the US state of Georgia. The case -- relying on laws typically used to bring down mobsters -- is the fourth targeting the 77-year-old Republican this year and could lead to a watershed moment, the first televised trial of a former president in US history. Prosecutors in Atlanta charged the Republican leader with 13 felony counts -- compounding the legal threats he is facing in multiple jurisdictions as a firestorm of investigations imperils his bid for a second White House term. Eighteen co-defendants were indicted in the probe, including Trump's former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who pressured local legislators over the result after the election, and Trump's White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows. "Trump and the other defendants charged in this indictment refused to accept that Trump lost, and they knowingly and willfully joined a conspiracy to unlawfully change the outcome of the election in favor of Trump," the indictment read. "That conspiracy contained a common plan and purpose to commit two or more acts of racketeering activity in Fulton County, Georgia, elsewhere in the state of Georgia, and in other states." With Trump already due to go on trial in New York, south Florida and Washington, the latest charges herald the unprecedented scenario of the 2024 presidential election being litigated as much from the courtroom as the ballot box. The Trump campaign released a statement as the charges were being processed calling Fulton County's chief prosecutor Fani Willis, who is a Democrat, a "rabid partisan" who was "persecuting" the former president with "bogus indictments." The twice-impeached Trump was charged with violating Georgia's Racketeer Influenced And Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, as well as six conspiracy counts over alleged efforts to commit forgery, impersonate a public official and submit false statements and documents. He is also accused of lying in statements and filing fake documents, as well as soliciting public officials to break their oaths. - Most serious threat - Georgia, which Biden won by fewer than 12,000 votes, presents perhaps the most serious threat to Trump's liberty as he leads the field comfortably for his party's nomination to bid for reelection. Even if he is returned to the Oval Office, he would have none of the powers that presidents arguably enjoy in the federal system to pardon themselves or have prosecutors drop cases. The harsh penalties associated with RICO cases can be an incentive for co-defendants to seek cooperation deals, and the statutes are usually used to target organized crime. Under federal law, anyone who can be connected to a criminal "enterprise" through which offenses were committed can be convicted under RICO. The broader Georgia law doesn't even require the existence of the enterprise. Atlanta-area authorities launched the probe after Trump called Georgia officials weeks before he was due to leave the White House, pressuring them to "find" the 11,780 votes that would reverse Biden's victory in the Peach State. Meadows, who is accused of trying to get a public official to violate his oath, was on the call. Willis empaneled a special grand jury that heard from around 75 witnesses before recommending a raft of felony counts in a secret report in February. She alleges that Trump's team worked with local Republicans on a scheme to replace legitimate slates of "electors" -- the officials who certify a state's results and send them to the US Congress -- with fake pro-Trump stand-ins. - Criminal intent? - Giuliani, who faces 13 felony counts, was being investigated over accusations of harassment of two Fulton County poll workers while other Trump allies were charged over the accessing of sensitive data from an election office in a rural county south of Atlanta, one day after the 2021 Capitol riot. Trump is already facing dozens of felony charges after being federally indicted over the alleged plot to subvert the election, and further prosecutions over his alleged mishandling of classified documents and keeping allegedly fraudulent business records. Authorities in Atlanta installed security barricades outside the downtown courthouse in anticipation of a potential influx of Trump supporters and counter-protesters in the latest case. Lawmakers investigating Trump's efforts to cling to power heard evidence in a series of congressional hearings last summer that would challenge his potential defense that he genuinely believed he had been cheated of the election. ft/sst © Agence France-Presse The post Trump indicted for racketeering over 2020 election interference appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 15th, 2023

DA sees more foreign agri, fisheries deals

The Department of Agriculture, or DA, will be expanding partnerships with foreign organizations and governments to achieve food security as the global population is seen growing to 8.5 billion in the next seven years. DA held the Development Partners’ Forum last Friday to gather information from international organizations and government agencies in improving the agriculture and fisheries sectors in the Philippines. “The vitality of international support for the nation’s food security has never been more needed than now. We are in a period of great flux in international affairs. There are signs that the world may be entering a new phase in international relationships after the pandemic,” DA senior undersecretary Domingo Panganiban said in a statement to the media on Monday. Partnerships expanded Its statement added, “the forum also aims to further expand partnerships with development partners, explore investment opportunities, and enlist the help of partners for official development assistance or ODA.” Japan provided the most assistance to the Philippines in the form of loans and technical aid in 2019, according to the National Economic and Development Authority. Other major ODA providers included China, South Korea, United States, Australia, China and the European Union. On the other hand, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization alone works with at least 20 non-government organizations and 270 farmers cooperatives and associations in the Philippines. Exchange of food and other products is seen to accelerate as the International Monetary Fund forecasts trade between countries to grow by at least 2.4 percent this year and 3.5 percent in 2024. The forum participants were officials from the NEDA, Department of Finance, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Budget and Management and Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The post DA sees more foreign agri, fisheries deals appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJul 17th, 2023

New Candaba Viaduct to make travel faster, safer

Motorists can expect a much faster and safer journey to Central and Northern Luzon once the third Candaba Viaduct is completed. The third viaduct will be constructed by NLEX Corp., a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. or MPTC, the tollways unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. The first 5-kilometer Candaba Viaduct connects Bulacan and Pampanga along the North Luzon Expressway. It has been an important bridge for motorists traveling from Metro Manila to Central and Northern Luzon for over 50 years. The viaduct has withstood natural disasters such as typhoons and earthquakes. The current project was recently inaugurated in a groundbreaking ceremony led by House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, Senior Deputy Speaker Aurelio Gonzales, Toll Regulatory Board Executive Director Alvin Carullo, Pampanga Governor Dennis Pineda, Department of Public Works and Highways Region 3 Director Roseller Tolentino, MPTC president Rogelio L. Singson, and NLEX president and general manager Jose Luigi L. Bautista. Targeted for completion in November 2024, the P7.89-billion third viaduct requires the construction of a new bridge between the two existing viaducts. Once completed, the road capacity of the new viaduct will increase from three lanes without shoulders to three lanes with inner and outer shoulders in each direction. These lanes and shoulders will be wide, boosting safety and convenience for travelers. According to MPTC president and CEO Singson, who is a former Public Works and Highways secretary, “This project will not only increase the capacity of the 5-km Candaba Viaduct but will ultimately improve safety and convenience of the motorists and will aid in the acceleration and growth of trade and commerce in Central Luzon.” Speaker Romualdez emphasized the importance of the new bridge which is expected to decongest traffic and reduce travel time for motorists. “This project will not only enhance the efficiency of our transportation network but also contribute to the overall socioeconomic development of the region. It will create jobs, attract investments, and stimulate economic growth,” Romualdez said. The third Candaba Viaduct will be built using green and sustainable engineering practices and comply with the country’s latest bridge design requirements. It will have piers every 20 meters, with each pier supported by two columns and two bored piles, strengthening the structure amid the swampy condition of the natural ground beneath it. NLEX president and general manager Bautista assured motorists the construction of the new bridge would not affect the operation and traffic flow on the two existing viaducts. Based on the studies, constructing the third viaduct is necessary because the existing structures are aging and operating at a lower capacity. Competent engineers and management teams will manage the construction site to ensure efficiency and safety. “This new mobility project will offer easy journeys and make travel safer for the public traveling between Metro Manila and Central and Northern Luzon as there will be a new structure to augment the existing ones and that will safely allow the speed limit to be increased to 60 to 80 kilometers per hour from the current 40 to 60 kilometers per hour,” said Bautista, adding that upon completion, Class 3 vehicles or large trucks will be directed to the new bridge so that the old structures will be relieved of heavy loads. Since 2005, MPTC has been upgrading the viaduct. Among the upgrades were pavement resurfacing, bridge link slab, girder, and deck replacement; girder and column strengthening; and construction of lay-bys or emergency bays in the northbound and southbound directions of the bridge. Since 2020, stricter anti-overloading policies, such as the 33-ton gross vehicle weight limit for the southbound viaduct, were implemented to ensure the safety and stability of the bridge. With projects like the third Candaba Viaduct underway, motorists can expect even more improvements in the quality of the road infrastructure and service along the NLEX. These projects aim to ensure the utmost comfort and safety of motorists traveling to Central and Northern Luzon through the expressway. With the BBM administration’s vision of taking the country into the golden age of infrastructure, this project will certainly add to the many programs in the pipeline that in the end will benefit millions of Filipinos. The post New Candaba Viaduct to make travel faster, safer appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJun 24th, 2023

Spanish firm investing $38M in Phl wind market

Spanish firm BlueFloat Energy is investing as much as $38 million or P1.2 trillion at current exchange rates to build 7.6 gigawatts of offshore wind projects, or OSW across the country in the next decade. At a press briefing on Friday, BlueFloat Energy CEO Carlos Martin announced that the company has secured wind energy contracts for four sites in Central Luzon, South Luzon, Northern Luzon and Southern Mindoro. Each site can have a capacity that ranges from 1.5 GW as the smallest to 3.5 GW as the highest. “In terms of the investment, the general rule is one megawatt of offshore wind requires an investment between $3 million to $5 million,” Martin said. “We can expect the first of these projects to be in the execution phase and nearing completion by the end of the decade or by 2030,” he added. Martin pointed out that its massive investment in the Philippines is the company’s largest foray in terms of the total pipeline of projects under development. BlueFloat Energy has ongoing project developments in Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan. Meanwhile, BlueFloat Energy Country Manager Raymund Pascual pointed out that the Philippines’ aggressive clean energy development has caught the attention of many foreign investors. “The demographics we have been seeing are favorable and one of them is the updated Philippine Development Plan from 2023-2028, which suggests a whole-of-country approach,” Pascual said. “There will be international partnerships whenever necessary,” he added. The government is racing to maximize wind energy as a viable power source as demand grows bigger. The Philippines OSW Roadmap launched last year showcased that the country has 178 GW potential OSW resources. With more foreign firms pouring in investments in the country, the Board of Investments is optimistic to hit or even exceed its P1.5-trillion target investments for the year. BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo recently said the government’s target will be achievable through the five major renewable energy projects that will be finalized this year. BlueFloat’s investment was among the five deals. Initially, the BOI set a P1-trillion investment target for the year, but with a “very healthy flow of investment project applications,” the agency hiked its target to P1.5 trillion. ### The post Spanish firm investing $38M in Phl wind market appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 2nd, 2023

Race against time for US debt crisis bill in Congress

The bill hammered out by US leaders to prevent the country from a catastrophic default on its debts will face one last hurdle this week: Passing Congress. Top Republicans and Democrats scrambled Monday to secure congressional support for the measure, with President Joe Biden feeling "very good" about its prospects despite having just days left before the government starts running out of money. The deal, finalized Sunday by Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy after weeks of frantic negotiations, faces opposition from the progressive and hard-right wings of their respective parties. Ultra-conservative Republicans feel McCarthy should have secured far deeper spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling and allowing the government to keep borrowing money. The left wing of the Democratic Party is equally unhappy that Biden agreed to any spending limits at all. The House Rules Committee will meet Tuesday to set the parameters for the upcoming vote, now scheduled for Wednesday. Delay tactics Biden and McCarthy both say they believe the bill will pass the House and then move swiftly to the Senate. "I never say I'm confident what the Congress is going to do. But I feel very good about it," Biden said Monday, adding that he had spoken to lawmakers. But organized dissent could force some nerve-shredding delays. The key deadline is June 5 -- when, according to Treasury estimates, the government will no longer have the funds required to pay all its debts and bills. If that scenario morphs into a full-fledged default, the repercussions would be disastrous for the US and the wider global economy. The basic framework of the deal lifts the federal debt ceiling, which is currently $31.4 trillion, for two years — enough to get past the next presidential election in 2024. In return, the Republicans secured some limits on federal spending over the same period. As they finalized the text Sunday, Biden and McCarthy both went into hard-sell mode to shore up support in their parties. Biden's message to dissident Democrats, he said Monday: "Talk to me." Win, win Both Biden and McCarthy were backed by vocal spin operations insisting the agreement clearly represented a victory for their side. "You want to try to make it look like I made some compromise on the debt ceiling -- I didn't," Biden told reporters. McCarthy, for his part, touted the agreement as a "historic series of wins." But like Biden, McCarthy will have to quell members of his own party who aren't keen on the bill. "I want to raise the debt ceiling. It'd be irresponsible not to do it," Senator Lindsey Graham told Fox News Sunday. "But what I will not do is adopt the Biden defense budget and call it a success," Graham said, calling for bigger increases to the Pentagon's budget than currently agreed. "I will not be intimidated by June 5." In reality, the agreement represents a mutual climb down of sorts from Democratic and Republican negotiators. Biden had initially refused to negotiate over spending issues as a condition for raising the debt ceiling, accusing the Republicans of taking the economy, hostage. And the big cuts that Republicans wanted are not there, although non-defense spending will remain effectively flat next year, and only rise nominally in 2025. McCarthy's wafer-thin majority in the House will require significant Democratic backing to balance out Republican dissent. One Republican tweeted out a vomit emoji in response to the deal, with another calling it "an insult to the American people." At the same time, a member of the House Progressive Caucus, Ro Khanna, said a large number of fellow Democrats were still "in flux as to where they're going to be on this." Democrats hold the majority in the Senate, but individual senators could try and hold up the bill with amendment votes that would bring the process perilously close to the June 5 deadline. One element likely to rile Democratic environmental hawks was the surprise inclusion of a measure to accelerate the completion of an oil pipeline project that has been stalled by green concerns. Both the House and Senate are expected to return on Tuesday, after a long holiday weekend. The post Race against time for US debt crisis bill in Congress appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 29th, 2023

TEKA SANDALI | Ano nga ba ang EDCA?

Malacañang recently announced the four new sites for the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), a treaty that the progressives dubbed as lop-sided for the Philippines. In this episode, we unpack what deals may burden the Filipino people and its violent nature. The post TEKA SANDALI | Ano nga ba ang EDCA? appeared first on Bulatlat......»»

Category: newsSource:  bulatlatRelated NewsApr 19th, 2023

Meralco eyes rebidding supply deal scrapped by SMC

Manila Electric Co. is looking to rebid a 1,800-megawatt supply contract after San Miguel Corp. withdrew its supply deals aimed to provide electricity by 2024 and 2025......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 17th, 2023