Philippines facing water crisis – Marcos

President Marcos has signed an executive order creating a water resource management office as part of efforts to address what he called a “water crisis” threatening the country......»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarMar 24th, 2023

Katrina Ponce Enrile: A woman worthy of her name

Anyone who had come of age in the late 1970s and the 1980s would surely know about the most famous names and faces of the younger set of the era known for the coming of age of feminism and women’s lib. The 1960s may have ushered in a cultural revolution but it was in the succeeding decades that the cataclysmic events of the decade that was, in the Philippines, would manifest in the ways and attitudes of Filipino women. I mention this phase in our history because I am sharing my thoughts on one woman whom many consider as one of the country’s most powerful, influential and successful. She is Katrina Ponce Enrile.  I may not privy to the growing-up years of Katrina Ponce Enrile, and I would not have the advantage of seeing her from the point of view of someone old enough to observe the growth of a child, but as a teenager, I would occasionally read about her and see her on photographs published in newspapers and magazines, although not too frequent. I just knew she was not only well-bred and beautiful in the mestiza sense being the daughter of a striking beauty of a mother (and the granddaughter of a handsome playboy of a paternal grandfather), but that, she too was brilliant. I would assume that she got her brains from her father, one of the wonder boys of the Marcos administration. Katrina would, in time, be mentioned in juicy gossip now and then, but it was her smarts in enterprise and management that she would eventually be recognized, this notwithstanding the controversial stories that one occasionally heard of her family members. [caption id="attachment_134172" align="aligncenter" width="525"] KATRINA Ponce Enrile has always lived up to her parents ‘ expectations.[/caption] ‘Treat everybody with respect’ But to imagine her childhood and teenage years, one would suppose that for all the comforts that she might have enjoyed while living first in Urdaneta and then Dasmarinas Village, she had had to assert herself, she had once been overheard to say: “At 10, I had to fight a little bit harder to be heard” -- which was expected if one were the only daughter of a famous lawyer of a father and a lovely talented mother, herself a respected stage actress. But no matter that she had to deal with being the daughter of awe-inspiring parents, what she had been showered with, aside from her parents’ affection, was well-meaning advice. For one, it was from her dad and mom that she first heard the word of wisdom. “Treat everybody with respect — everybody. Because you don’t know what fate will bring you or them. People that you meet when you are going up, you also meet when you are going down.” No wonder that years later, as a businesswoman, she was very thoughtful in making decisions whether she was dealing with other top businessmen, her executives or the employees who served the family company at her beck and call. “I always think of how my actions and decisions would affect others,” she said in an interview with the Daily Tribune Lifestyle. No, for all the feisty woman that we know her to be, Katrina, was not advised to be aggressively pro-active when facing a conflict. The legendary Juan Ponce Enrile, instead, cautioned his daughter: “Never throw the first punch. But if they throw the first punch, then…” This, she would take to heart whenever she had had to face corporate, social or emotional bullies, not that she is one to attract people prone to violating her rights. [caption id="attachment_134173" align="aligncenter" width="525"] As the only daughter of Juan Ponce Enrile, the most famous native son of Cagayan, Katrina brings to her new job an affection for the province and Cagayanos and the whole Cagayan Valley.[/caption] One imagines her father might have preferred her to be a boy, JPE being a man’s man, but to which she would have retorted: “Dad, I don’t have to be a boy to be what I am now… Girls can do it too.” Call it outright confidence, or chutzpah, or maybe it’s Pinay pride, but Katrina is not one to be cowed. And yes, she could lead and fight and attack, but as her father would most likely say: “Only if they attack first.” Self-assured executive What I have heard of Katrina, especially from my dear friend, Carol Mercado, who was her classmate at St. Paul College, is her signature confidence. “From our youth, when she could be stubborn, she has matured steadily into a self-assured executive no wonder that she has accomplish much as an entrepreneur. “It’s a paradox that while she may have been underestimated at times and even flat out rejected, she knows how to overcome these challenges because she is one creative person and she is not one to easily bow down or to say no. But then, she is not even outright assertive. She could be very charming and before any nemesis would know it, she has gotten what she wants without lifting a finger.” It would seem that the lady would have aimed for political eminence, being the daughter of the powerful JPE, but to everyone’s surprise, she had chosen to create a name outside of her inherited box (or confines), so to speak. While she takes pride in being an Enrile, she has not taken advantage of her family name as though an amulet that would do wonders for her. Instead, she has chosen to rely on the old-fashioned values of industry, respect for others, commitment and determination. She might as well be girl scout, except more courageous, daring and trailblazing. Flexing her risk-taking muscles In her 20s, when her friends were disco dancing, she was, to use another friend’s words, “flexing her risk-taking muscle and sharpening her foresight for the first time — pivotal experiences that would shape her business sense now admired by many.” She surprised everyone when, at 26, she bought properties in Palawan. “It was a big joke to many,” she recalled. “They could not see any reason I should take the risk and invest in a place where no one dared go.  It was then no man’s country and perceived to be mosquito-infested.” Today, Palawan is a safe haven from the pandemic, and, of course, an investors’ paradise. On the other hand, her parents saw a promise in her, someone who would play a key role in the family enterprises. They appointed her as Group Treasurer even before her 30th birthday, and with it the added role of overseeing the many concerns of the JAKA Group of Companies.  It is quite a daunting responsibility given its extensive industrial reach –- food manufacturing and product distribution to marketing and logistics; forest plantation management; safety match manufacturing, property management and development; as well as IT, security and financial services. It would seem that, for a “beginner” in the big league, it was beyond Katrina’s grasp, and yet she lived up to her parents’ expectations. [caption id="attachment_134175" align="aligncenter" width="525"] SOME of Delimondo’s best products.[/caption] In time she would qualify as the firm’s COO and eventually CEO. Not one used to trumpeting her achievements, Katrina candidly shared: “I was able to turn around the company, helping navigate it through the debilitating Asian Financial Crisis in the mid-1990s. And when the peso devalued in 2008 to 2009, when we had [a] one dollar denominated loan which I had to quickly deal with, I was able to restructure our company and keep it afloat.” Soon, she would be trusted to manage JAKA’s investments, which “allowed me to dream of bigger things, this in the midst of an economic crisis and the pressure to survive it.” Her baby Delimondo When shopping in a supermarket or a grocery, the Filipino consumers, especially those who take their corned beef seriously, would pick the Delimondo brand. They would also put the brand’s Bolognese Pasta, Luncheon Meat, Yellowfin Tuna spreads and aromatic oils in their cart or shopping bags. Katrina confides, “Delimondo was my baby and was purely our family’s venture.” Her was a one-woman team that managed the brand’s marketing, sales and R&D.  To introduce it to the market, she gave away cans of their initial recipes for free. “I wanted to offer something deliciously different, one that I enjoyed from my travels abroad.” [caption id="attachment_134174" align="aligncenter" width="525"] SHE is most proud of her baby, Delimondo.[/caption] It wasn’t long before investors would come in too aware that Delimondo operates its own plants that produce and package its own products.  The company would soon expand and offers its manufacturing services to other products all the way to exporting them. In time and with Katrina at the helm, JAKA shifted to investing in other companies. But if her JAKA performance is impressive, anyone should take a look at her other achievements. To cite one, as the Philippines Overseas Telecommunications Operations director and CEO/president. She led the efforts to renew the company’s franchise that would allow it to provide the Philippines satellite services. For another, as director and president, she has brought into the Montemar Resorts Development Corporation and Montemar Beach Club Inc. not only her management expertise, but her exposure to top international resorts as a frequent guest. No wonder that Manila’s well-heeled consider these resorts as standard-bearers of local luxury travel. [caption id="attachment_134171" align="aligncenter" width="525"] ‘Delimondo was my baby and was purely our family’s venture,’ said Katrina.[/caption] Transforming the upper east corner of Luzon Katrina also sits as the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority’s vice chairperson. In this role, she envisions making the province a model destination that easily rivals the country’s capital. “They’re considering appointing me as administrator. Once that post is confirmed, I will be fully committed to transforming the upper east corner of Luzon into another business area that the Philippines will be proud of.” As part of her vision, she plans to build a stronger point of economy with the available freeport and expand its potential by constructing an airport. To attract investors, she plans to boost incentives to encourage more players to relocate. “We plan to make smart cities there. I plan to make it very green. I plan to protect the lush forests. It’s really also known as the rice granary of the Philippines. I plan to push the transition from GMOs (genetically modified organism) to non-GMOs. I know that that will be a hard task but I plan to do it. I want to give the Filipinos healthy food for the next generations to come,” she states. Worthy and deserving As the only daughter of the most famous native son of Cagayan, Katrina brings to her new job an affection for the province and Cagayanos and the whole Cagayan Valley. She may have grown up in Manila, travelled the whole world, but her heart has always remained in the home of her father, Juan Ponce Enrile, and it is among his people, relatives and townsmen that she intends to pursue her next dream. There is no stopping this feisty Cagayanon. For her home province, she is out to conquer the world. But then, I must insist that this is not about being her father’s daughter, although there is no denying the great influence of JPE on Katrina becoming the woman that she has become -- strong-willed, passionate, forward-thinking. Still, Katrina could only thank herself most for being herself. That she accepted the challenges that came her way and faced them head on using her own gifts and advantages – which undoubtedly brought her to her destiny, one that she has arrived at and one that she has yet to fulfill. Indeed, if the women’s movement has reached this far, and women today now enjoy key positions in government, private sector and civil society, this may be attributed to the generations of women who have looked toward the future and embraced their destinies as key players in the affairs of humanity. Katrina is one of these women and we wish her all the best. No one could be more worthy of the challenge and deserving of the honor. The post Katrina Ponce Enrile: A woman worthy of her name appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 19th, 2023

Water resources management office timely

Senator Lito Lapid on Tuesday stressed the need to establish a comprehensive water resources management office amid the raising of the El Niño Alert in the country. In a statement, Lapid expressed support for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s issuance of Executive Order 22, directing the creation of the Water Resource Management Office in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. He said the EO is very timely as The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration warned about the massive impacts of the dry season in the country, which includes the looming water crisis. Hence, Lapid urged his colleagues to support the passage of Senate Bill 268, an act pushing for the creation of the Water Resources Authority of the Philippines — to address the water crisis caused by the ballooning population and the effects of climate change. SB 268, authored by Lapid, targets to impose a regulation on water extraction and distribution within the national and local government units.     The post Water resources management office timely appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 10th, 2023

March against climate change held

Environmental, church and civil society groups marched to Malacanang Palace on Thursday morning to urge the Marcos administration to recognize the crisis brought by climate change and exert efforts to address the issue. From the Our Lady of Loreto Shrine in Sampaloc, Manila, representatives from seven organizations walked to Mendiola, bringing with them copies of the petitions addressed to the government. It included their proposed solutions to address the climate crisis. However, they were prevented from reaching Mendiola as a line of policemen barricaded Legarda and Figueras Streets. CBCP News, however, reported that some of them have been welcomed to the Palace to submit the petitions. The petitions were filed mainly by Laudato Si Movement and Rights of Nature Philippines with signatories from 166 Catholic churches, church groups, non-government organizations, schools and even the Commission on Human Rights. “Declaring a climate emergency means first recognizing that humanity and the whole ecosystem is collapsing and immediate and strategic actions must be taken to reduce or halt the irreversible impacts of climate change,” Rights of Nature Philippines said in one of the petitions. “Second, as we primarily put to task the government to act, we call for collective and strategic actions from all sectors in keeping the 1.5 degree Celsius target up to 2030,” they added. The 1.5 degree Celsius target refers to the goal of global warming levels in accordance with the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement which includes the Philippines. Among the proposals are the use of renewable energy to lessen the country’s carbon footprint, and getting rid of the use and expansion of fossil fuels. They also recommended more policies that protect the conservation of biodiversity and the environment, stopping projects that are seen as detrimental to the environment, and crafting responses to address changing climate including rising sea levels and intensified weather conditions. Apart from executive action, the petitioners are also seeking the passage of six “Green Bills” that aim to push for environmental protection. These include House Bill 259 or the ‘People’s Mining Act’ which eyes to align the Philippine mining industry into goals that lean towards national industrialization; House Bill Number 2469 or the ‘Sustainable Forest Management Act which sets guidelines on the use and conservation of existing Philippine forests; and House Bill 2383 or the National Land Use Management Act that sets policies on the utilization of existing land and water resources in the country. Other bills listed include House Bill 4616 or the Indigenous Community Conserved Territories and Areas Act, House Bill 77 or the Human Rights Defenders Protection Act, and Senate Bill 376 or the Alternative Minerals Management Act. “We will lobby for the enactment of the Rights of Nature Bill and other Green Bills, push for climate action and promote a just transition towards a low carbon economy,” the petition reads. Last month, 60 Catholic social action groups declared a ‘climate emergency’ during the third and last day of the Right of Nature PH General Assembly in Quezon City, where they insisted that the lack of progress in terms of environmental protection poses more risks to the quality of life in the country. “We have not improved a bit. Sea levels rise in the Philippines three times more than the world average, while naturally rich ecosystems are being destroyed. Typhoons, though fewer, now have become more devastating as our forests are steadily vanishing,  and millions of Filipinos were drawn to deeper involuntary poverty due to climate effects annually,” Caritas Philippines said in a statement. The post March against climate change held appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsApr 21st, 2023

Water agency creation step in right direction

Water provider Tubig Pilipinas supports the proposed creation of the Department of Water which it deems critical to quickly building dams for water security. “I think the government is headed in the right direction. The proposed department is very important because you need an agency to oversee all water-related issues and help private proponents to push something like building dams forward,” Ryan Yapkianwee, president of Tubig Pilipinas, told media last Thursday. He said the dams will store rainwater to ensure that people have enough water supply during the dry season. However, he said, their construction has been delayed as residents have to be relocated from the project sites to other areas. “You need the national government because building dams would need the housing authorities to come in to provide houses for relocation,” he added. “The social welfare agents will ensure people have jobs there when they relocate. It has to be the whole government and it would take a lot of political will to move these people because our local government elections here are also too short,” Yapkianwee noted. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. had said there should be a Department of Water as the country is facing a water crisis with more than half of the population or 57 million out of 110 million Filipinos lacking access to clean water, according to the National Water Resources Board. Marcos said the country’s water supply is also threatened by climate change which causes extreme drought. Yapkianwee said collecting rainwater through rivers and dams will prevent a water shortage for households, especially in largely populated areas such as Cebu and Iloilo. “Cebu perennially will have a shortage of water of around 300 million liters a day. Technical studies show that Cebu could have had one-third of that through rainwater collection from the Mananga River. Aside from that, authorities were supposed to construct a 70-meter-high dam to harvest rainwater.” This project, which was negotiated by Tubig Pilipinas and Manila Water and was seen to displace residents in two cities, was scrapped as the local government struggled to find relocation sites for them. Tubig Pilipinas was founded in 2014 and serves customers in the provinces of Pangasinan, Bulacan, Isabela, Palawan, Samar and Bacolod City. The post Water agency creation step in right direction appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsApr 15th, 2023

DENR urges young Filipinos: Be active on climate change

Environment Secretary Antonia Loyzaga called on young Filipinos last Monday to take an active role in crafting solutions to the ongoing climate crisis. In a statement, Loyzaga said she also issued the call during an event held at the DENR Central Office in Quezon City last week, as part of the agency’s Earth Day celebration with the theme “Invest in our Planet, Invest in our Youth.” Over 150 high school and college students as well as teachers from Metro Manila attended the event organized by the department. “We are in the middle of an emergency, and that is the climate crisis. What we need to do with you, the youth, is to become part of the solution,” Loyzaga told the participants. “Every fraction of every degree counts and we all need to work together to prevent even that fraction of a degree of increase, in terms of our temperatures,” she added. The activity was aimed at raising awareness, understanding, commitment and action on environmental stewardship among the youth. Loyzaga underscored the importance of participation, “as we all have the ability to make a difference and influence our country’s fight against the impacts of climate change and the degradation of our environment.” DENR Chief of Staff and Supervising Undersecretary for Strategic Communications Marilou Erni said the event served as an avenue to gather insights from young people in terms of the environmental issues and challenges they face in their communities. The participating schools and organizations included the Association of Science and Mathematics Educators of Philippine Private Schools, Oscar M. Alcaraz Community Scout, Brighton Ventures, Marikina Polytechnic University, St. Clare College of Caloocan, National College of Business and Arts, STI College, University of the Philippines — Diliman, Polytechnic University of the Philipines, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, Universidad de Manila, Cagayan State University, New Era University, Quirino High School, Bagong Silang High School, West Fairview High School, North Fairview High School, Mother of Perpetual Help School, Immaculate Concepcion Academy, Ramon Magsaysay High School, South East Asia Institute of Trade and Technology, and Krus na Ligas High School. Over 150 high school and college students as well as teachers from Metro Manila attended the event organized by the department. During the event, the DENR held a visual communication workshop where participants showcased their vision of a livable environment and the significant ways to achieve that vision through a poster-making contest. Teachers were also given a platform to share their hopes for DENR, so that the agency could further improve its current environmental programs and initiatives. The participants listened to young leaders from the DENR as they shared the agency’s priority programs such as Clean Water, Clean Air, National Greening Program, Biodiversity Conservation, Coastal Marine Ecosystem and Solid Waste Management. The speakers encouraged the participants to consider a career in the sciences and be part of government service in the future. Erni said the DENR plans to continue holding youth-centered programs, including collaborating with the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education, for more strategic partnerships that will go beyond awareness and lead to translating this understanding and commitment into action. Earth Day is celebrated in the Philippines every 22 April in accordance with Proclamation No. 1481 signed in 2008 by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970 in the United States and was globally recognized in 1990. The post DENR urges young Filipinos: Be active on climate change appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 21st, 2023

Can the water crisis be quenched?

Summer will soon be over, but it doesn’t mean the water woes being experienced by most Filipinos will also dissipate. On the contrary, it is literally just a dry run of things to come as the country will soon face the El Niño phenomenon. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administratio has already issued a bulletin warning of an 80-percent probability that El Niño, which brings prolonged dry spell and drought, “could happen in a few months.” However, with or without El Niño, the water crisis has been going on for several decades now. People complain of lack of water particularly during summer, but once the supply is back, they stop whining until another water crisis comes their way. Pundits say the water crisis will not end unless the government and the people work together to protect whatever watersheds remain in the country and revive those that are already degraded. The Philippines has 30 million hectares of land, and 70 percent are considered watersheds (areas where rain water can drain), according to Dr. Rafael D. Guerrero III, an academician with the National Academy of Science and Technology. The forested cover of such watersheds is vital for holding rainwater, which is then supplied to surface bodies of water like springs, rivers, lakes and reservoirs and is stored in underground aquifers or groundwater. Unfortunately, “more than 60 percent of the country’s virgin forests have been lost due to overlogging and slash-and-burn agriculture that have contributed to massive soil erosion and siltation of water bodies,” lamented Guerrero. He said only 10 percent of the rainfall infiltrates into the ground. “With the low water absorption of denuded areas, there is an increase in the runoff in the uplands, which causes flooding in the lowlands during heavy rains.” Although the Philippines is blessed with an average annual rainfall of 2.5 meters, the distribution of rain varies throughout the regions, Guerrero explained. “Surface waters provide an estimated 1,314 million cubic meters of available water per day, with the Southern Tagalog, Cagayan Valley and Eastern Visayan regions producing the most volume, and the Central Visayas and Ilocos regions producing the least volume.” “The estimated storage volume of our groundwater is 251,158 MCM with the Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon and Northern Mindanao regions having the most water available per day, and the Central Visayas, Southwestern Mindanao and Ilocos regions having the least,” Guerrero added. A study released by the Washington, D.C.-based World Resources Institute some years back identified the Philippines as one of the countries that will experience water stress in the coming years. Water stress is defined as “the ratio between total water withdrawals and available renewable surface water at a sub-catchment level.” While there is still enough water for every Filipino these days, the water scarcity will be felt acutely by 2040 — that’s 17 years from now. How can our water woes be curtailed? “We can conserve our water resources by protecting our watersheds with forest cove and reforesting denuded areas,” Guerrero said. Most bodies of water in the country are now polluted with agricultural, domestic and industrial wastes. The pollution is causing these waters to be discarded and not used. “The strict enforcement of our environmental laws against water pollution is imperative,” stressed Guerrero. “The application of clean water technologies by industries and the recycling of ‘grey water’ from commercial establishments are highly recommended.” Watersheds are vital for holding rainwater — unfortunately, ‘more than 60 percent of the country’s virgin forests have been lost due to overlogging and slash-and-burn agriculture.’ About 86 percent of the total water Filipinos use is directly for agriculture, with 8 percent for industries and 6 percent for domestic households. For instance, it takes 5,000 liters of water to produce a kilo of rice, the staple food of Filipinos. [caption id="attachment_135080" align="aligncenter" width="525"] About 86 percent of the total water Filipinos use is directly for agriculture, with 8 percent for industries and 6 percent for domestic households.[/caption] “Improving the efficiency of our irrigation systems and the planting of less water-consuming crops in agriculture should be considered,” Guerrero said. Dr. Sandra Postel, director of the Massachusetts-based Global Water Policy Project, believes the water crisis will be right up there along with climate change as a future threat to many nations. More ominously, higher global temperatures will only worsen the current water problem. “Although the two are related, water has no substitute,” Postel told The Daily Tribune. “We can transition away from coal and oil to solar, wind and other renewable energy sources.  But there is no transitioning away from water to something else.” The post Can the water crisis be quenched? appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 21st, 2023

Double trouble

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. over the weekend sounded the alarm that the Philippines will have to brace for the one-two punch coming from the El Niño and La Niña weather phenomena. Marcos said that despite the severe drought brought about by the El Niño, the country is also preparing for the extreme opposite, of the intense rainfall associated with the La Niña. The La Nina “brings its own set of problems” like flooding, Marcos said, adding that, “this requires the participation of every Filipino. For the water shortage presently being felt, the Chief Executive asked the Department of the Interior and Local Government to monitor the compliance of local government units in cracking down against the wasteful use of water. He cited in particular, “car washes, golf course irrigation and swimming pool refilling” that people may, on their own, limit as their contribution to saving precious water. Metro Manila mayors, for their part, said this week that they will come up with proposals on how to address the water shortage in the “next week or two,” including the possibility of water rationing. Being a tropical country, the Philippines is vulnerable to the effects of El Niño and La Niña — the first, a climate pattern that occurs every two to seven years when the Pacific Ocean warms up and touches off droughts and crop failures in unirrigated farmlands. La Niña is El Niño’s anti-thesis, occurring when the Pacific Ocean cools down, leading to extended rainfalls, floods and, consequently, landslides. Marcos’ plea for Filipinos to do their best in easing the effects of both weather conditions is not to be taken lightly as the Philippines has experienced both El Niño and La Niña in recent years. In 2015, the country had a severe El Niño event, along with countries like Australia, Indonesia and Africa, that led to widespread droughts, crop failures, food shortages and price increases. Five years later in 2020, the Philippines experienced a La Niña event that led to widespread flooding and landslides. This resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people, and it also caused billions of pesos in damage. True enough, the effects of El Niño and La Niña are not evenly distributed around the world. Still, such events are becoming more frequent and intense due to climate change, experts agree. For example, Australia is particularly vulnerable to droughts caused by El Niño, while Bangladesh is particularly vulnerable to floods caused by La Niña. As El Niño and La Niña are not going away, countries like the Philippines have no choice but to apply measures to mitigate their effects, including investing in renewable energy, diversifying the agricultural sector, improving water management, and building climate change-resilient infrastructures. Renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, are not affected by El Niño and La Niña. By investing in them, the Philippines can reduce its reliance on fossil fuels, which are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Likewise, the Philippines, being heavily reliant on rice production, which is a water-intensive crop, needs to diversify its agricultural sector to make its food supply more resilient to climate change. Improving water management needs no explanation and it is something that can be done by all sectors and individuals. Not so when it comes to building climate-resilient infrastructure, an undertaking that needs government support and guidance. Here, they may be a need to revise the country’s Building Code to build structures that are resilient to floods, landslides, and typhoons. As the Philippines braces for El Niño and La Niña, it is important for the government and the people to work together to mitigate the effects of these climate patterns. By doing so, the country can build a more resilient future and protect its people from the impacts of climate change. The post Double trouble appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 21st, 2023

How ready are we to manage disasters?

A recent report from the World Meteorological Organization warned that global temperatures are expected to rise to record levels in the next five years, triggered by greenhouse gases and the recurring El Niño. With the current hot weather already a bane to many, and occasional thundershowers offering temporary relief, the scenario in the not-too-distant future looms as a threat more than a warning, as the chances of having the hottest days on record within five years appear to be a dead certain reality. “A warming El Niño is expected to develop in the coming months, and this will combine with human-induced climate change to push global temperatures into uncharted territory,” said WMO Secretary-General Pro. Peterri Taalas. “This will have far-reaching repercussions for health, food security, water management, and the environment. We need to be prepared.” Despite the grim announcement, Taalas offers a ray of hope. We still have time to prevent the inevitable from happening; he provides to soothe doomsayers. This is not an impossible situation and is not irreversible, he adds. Strengthening weather and climate services to protect people from extreme weather conditions and new greenhouse gas monitoring will be on top of the agenda of matters to be discussed during the forthcoming WMO Conference scheduled from 22 May to 2 June. For our part, how ready are we to handle disasters of this sort? Are we equipped to face or institute disaster-reduction/mitigation efforts? There has been a lot of discussion on making a paradigm shift from reactive to proactive in the matter of responding to disasters, including floods, earthquakes, and droughts, among others. The government and the private sector have stressed that responses should be immediate and efficient, and emergency relief immediately followed by the rebuilding of destroyed houses or infrastructure or rehabilitation and livelihoods restored to the affected victims. The World Conference on Disaster Reduction mapped out a framework from 2005-2015 that adopted “five priorities for action: 1. Ensure that disaster risk reduction is a national and local priority with a strong institutional basis for implementation; 2. Identify, assess and monitor disaster risks and enhance early warning; 3. Use knowledge, innovation, and education to build a culture of safety and resilience at all levels; 4. Reduce the underlying risk factors; and 5. Strengthen disaster preparedness for effective response at all levels.” Considering that the Philippines ranks first in the world regarding risks associated with natural disasters and is “host” to an average of 20 typhoons annually, six of which are destructive according to a World Risk Index report, have we used these recommendations? Only a few years ago, five Northern Luzon town mayors were facing charges in the Office of the Ombudsman after they were found missing from their posts as Typhoon Ompong ravaged most parts of the islands, causing deaths and destruction in the aftermath. Many victims of past calamities continue to live in makeshift dwellings as they cannot rebuild their homes far from their workplaces and schools for their children. There is a never-ending line of displaced people seeking food or ayuda and a mad scramble for the same caused by disorderly or ill-maintained distribution systems. Donations are being ripped off and do not go to the intended beneficiaries. Instead of being disaster-prepared, we react as if these calamities are happening for the first time. In contrast, look at how neighboring Bangladesh, another developing nation in 6th place on the Global Risk Index, deals with the catastrophes that come their way. Its government has boosted community-focused risk reduction efforts, decentralized disaster management, developed partnerships, and enhanced community resilience by working together to reduce their vulnerability to the elements and participating in risk-reduction activities. Our local government executives should look up to their Bangladesh counterparts and learn a thing or two, reviewing their original mandates and responsibilities to their constituents. Old systems that did not work must be discarded or restructured according to the needs of the times. And the time to act is now before it’s too late. The post How ready are we to manage disasters? appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 21st, 2023

‘Taj Mahal’ of Negros Occidental

“Ancient ruins,” said Mary Jo Arnoldi, chair of the anthropology department at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, “give us a connection to the past that’s visceral. This was a real place, and you can walk through it.” This could be why Raymund Javellana, the man who wanted The Ruins, which is listed by as “one 12 most fascinating ruins of the world,” restored to its former glory. The Ruins was a mansion built in Talisay City, Negros Occidental. “I am so glad that it was not destroyed completely. With the blessings of The Lord, we were able to restore the mansion itself. I challenge people who keep on destroying the old structures to please stop and make some good use of it,” Javellana said when he accepted the award for The Ruins as Best Destination (Heritage Sites category) at the first Choose Philippines Awards in 2016. Javellana is the great-grandson of Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson, the Negrense sugar baron who built the mansion for love. How the mansion came to be Love, goes a famous song, comes from the most unexpected places. This is what happened to Mariano Ledesma Lacson, a sugar baron from Negros. The most-sought after bachelor was visiting Hong Kong with a friend when he met Maria Braga, a Portuguese lady from Macau and daughter of a ship captain. Smitten by her beauty, he courted her earnestly until she said yes. To make the long story short, they got married and he brought her to his ancestral house in Talisay, where they raised their family together. Children came after one another: Victoria, Rafael (who later became the governor of Negros Occidental), Mercedes, Natividad, Sofia, Felipe (who became a mayor of Talisay), Consolacion, Angelina, Ramon and Eduardo. Maria was pregnant with their 11th child when she slipped in the bathroom. She was bleeding; her condition was so precarious that traveling outside of the house was out of question. Mariano summoned some of his men to get a resident doctor from a nearby town. He told them to use a horse-drawn carriage, then the fastest mode of transportation. It was the 1920s and it took two days to traverse the various sugar farms to Silay. By the time the doctor arrived, on the fourth day, Maria and her child were dead. Mariano was so devastated, he went into a depression for a time m. Yet knowing he still had children needing his attention, he began to focus instead on building a house in memory of his beloved wife. He consulted his father-in-law about the idea, who fully supported his plans. Being a ship captain, he brought in many items from Europe and China — ranging from machuca or handmade custom cement tiles, chandeliers and china wares. He even brought with him some construction workers from China just to help build the mansion. A local builder was entrusted to make the design and building specifications. Mariano asked his son Felipe to supervise the project and ensure an A-grade mixture of concrete was precisely poured. The marble-like effect of high-grade concrete can be felt by touching the posts and walls of what remains now of the mansion. The entire property has a floor area of 900 square meters: 450 sq.m. upstairs and the same on the lower ground. Ten rooms occupied the mansion: eight for children, a Master’s bedroom and a family room. The house was of Italianate architecture as evidenced by its neo-Romanesque columns all around. “Since the engineer was a Filipino, it is believed the design came from that of Maria’s ancestral mansion which was given by her father to Mariano as sample,” an inflight magazine said. “The imprimatur of Maria’s father, a ship captain, is now clear from the shell-inspired décor all around the top edges of the mansion – the same ones that identified the homes of ship captains in New England at that time.” It took about three years to finish the Don Mariano Lacson Mansion. Because it was built out of a husband’s devotion to his wife, Javellana likens it to the Taj Mahal, a white marble mausoleum built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife. The initials engraved on every post of the mansion — two Ms facing each other — stand for Mariano and Maria. [caption id="attachment_134716" align="aligncenter" width="525"] The two M's facing each other stand for Mariano and Maria.[/caption] At that time, the mansion was the largest residential structure ever built in the area. It was constructed at the center of a 440-hectare farm. The Lacson family lived in the mansion happily, but it was not “ever after” as Japanese forces invaded the country in December 1941 after Japan’s declaration of war upon the United States, which controlled the Philippines at the time and possessed important military bases. In anticipation of the war, the Lacson family fled their home. They left behind all their furniture, china wares, home décor and some personal belongings, locked up the place and left a caretaker to watch over the mansion. The soldiers of the US Armed Forces in the Far East came to the place. Sensing that it might be used as headquarters of the Japanese troops, it was decided that it would be burned just like other big houses in the area. While it took three years to build the mansion, it took only three days to consume all of its roofs, ceilings, two-inch wooden floors, doors and windows, which were all made of hardwood of tindalo, narra and kamagong. Still, the three-day inferno was not able to flatten the whole mansion. Thanks to its oversize steel bars and the meticulous way of pouring A-grade mixture of concrete, the skeletal frame remains. The four-tiered fountain in front of what remains of the mansion makes it a perfect replica of the ancient homes with spacious gardens – like those you see in the old city of Savannah, Georgia in the United States. Joy Gallera Malaga, an independent writer who visited the place, wrote: “And most likely you would appreciate the mansion even if it was already reduced to its skeletal frame, or maybe it is its present condition that adds to its character and beauty. That’s the charm of old structures; it invites you to engage in an experience just by being there, getting to know it better through the stories it continues to tell.” [caption id="attachment_134715" align="aligncenter" width="525"] Water fountain.[/caption] Love and legacy Filipinos would have never seen The Ruins – which was abandoned for 67 years! – had it not been for Javellana. He is the son of Ramon, who was the son of Mercedes, the daughter of Mariano. Raymund had a travel agency in Manila when his mother requested him to come back to Negros and help her manage their sugar plantations. He now settles in Silay but in one of his trips to Talisay, he saw the abandoned mansion, which is located in Hacienda Sta. Maria. He decided to make it one of the province’s tourist attractions. Although people were not too keen about the idea, Javellana pursued his plans. In January 2008, he opened The Ruins to the public. People flocked to the place. Aside from being a tourist attraction, The Ruins is fast becoming a favorite venue for weddings and photo shoots. It was a good Javellana, inspired by his father and their forebears, kept his dream alive, never giving up on it. That’s love. The post ‘Taj Mahal’ of Negros Occidental appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 20th, 2023

Gov’t interagency task force studying nuclear power viability to address energy woes

An interagency task force is continuously reviewing the viability of nuclear power to address the energy requirements of the Philippines, an official of the Department of Energy (DOE) said on Saturday. Undersecretary Sandy Sales of the DOE’s Energy Resource Development and Oil Management said there is still a lot of work to be done regarding the issue of nuclear power being tapped as an alternative source of energy in the country. “Meron talagang inter-agency na task force to study this. In fact, nasa DOE nagre-reside ito with all the relevant government agencies,” Sales told a news forum in Quezon City, referring to the Nuclear Energy Program Inter-Agency Committee (NEP-IAC). “Of course, mayroong … ginagawa na maraming pag-aaral tungkol dito and with regards sa nuclear… open ang nuclear option para sa atin – meaning to say, there are many kinds of nuclear technologies (available),” the DOE official added. Sales pointed out the country has yet to formulate a regulatory framework since the Philippines is currently not set up to utilize nuclear energy as an alternative power source. “We are studying it and hopefully, babalik tayo doon sa situation na charting our course depende sa situation which potentially becomes part of the energy needs of the Philippines in the future. Just saying that nuclear is one of the technologies that can react fast to the variability of renewable energy,” Sales said, stressing that going nuclear entails some risks so it has to be carefully studied. The steering committee of the NEP-IAC is set to hold a meeting next week. Earlier, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said the government will work on tapping nuclear energy among other sources of power to meet the growing needs of Filipinos and avert a possible power crisis in the country. The President had stressed the immediate need to ramp up the energy supply of the country. Even before he took office, Marcos said he had been looking at nuclear energy as an option to address the power shortage of the country. In his recent working visit to the US, President Marcos said he is looking at a “cutting-edge” micro nuclear fuel technology as part of the administration’s efforts to solve the problems in the country’s power sector. While in Washington, DC, Marcos met with officials of Ultra Safe Nuclear Corp. (USNC), a US-based firm global leader and vertical integrator of nuclear technologies and services. | PND The post Gov’t interagency task force studying nuclear power viability to address energy woes appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 20th, 2023

‘Tacloban facing water crisis’

Mayor Alfred Romualdez has declared a water crisis in this city, citing the worsening water supply problem......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 19th, 2023

DENR closes illegal Misamis Oriental mine

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources on Friday said it raided an illegal mining operation in Misamis Oriental and arrested 18 suspects, including five Chinese nationals. DENR Secretary Antonia Loyzaga said they also seized several heavy equipment, which have caused damage to roughly 7.6 hectares of land along the Iponan River in Opol, Misamis Oriental. Loyzaga said the raid was carried out by joint operatives from DENR Region 10 led by Regional Executive Director Henry Adornado and DENR Undersecretary for Field Operations-Mindanao Joselin Marcus Fragada, as well as the Mines and Geosciences Bureau; North Eastern Mindanao Regional Office of the National Bureau of Investigation; and special forces of the Philippine Army 4th Infantry Division. Reports of the illegal activities were first received by the field team of Adornado and were then confirmed through DENR’s satellite imagery at the DENR Central Office. The satellite imagery showed massive excavations and forest destruction. “I hope that the recently conducted joint operation and the succeeding monitoring and rehabilitation efforts will bring about positive changes and bring to life again the Iponan River,” Loyzaga said in a statement. “I am calling on concerned government agencies, other stakeholders and the communities along the Iponan River and elsewhere in the country to take consistent active measures to combat illegal mining operations in their area,” she added. The suspects were brought to the detention facility of the NBI North Eastern Mindanao Regional Office at Capitol Compound, Cagayan de Oro City and are now facing charges for violation of several environmental laws, including Republic Act 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act, RA 9275 or the Philippine Clean Water Act, and Presidential Decree 705 or the Forestry Code of the Philippines. Loyzaga said they have created a national environment and natural resources geospatial database and are using space science and technology applications across the country. Early this year, the DENR partnered with the Philippine Space Agency to develop and generate maps, systems and tools that could monitor forest areas using satellite remote sensing, artificial intelligence and geographic information system. The DENR’s satellite image have allowed different government agencies to monitor and observe mining sites and confirm and track their activities. The post DENR closes illegal Misamis Oriental mine appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 19th, 2023

Food policy: Food utilization (2)

Last week, I discussed the first dimension of food security which is accessibility. This week I will discuss the second dimension which is food utilization. Food utilization is concerned with food consumption, food quality, and food safety. It is not enough that people get to have the food that they need. The nutritional value of the food available to them must also be taken into consideration during food consumption. Also, food quality and safety must be monitored by regulatory authorities such as the Bureau of Food and Drugs, the Department of Trade and Industry, and other authorized certifying bodies (for example, HACCP Certification is given to food manufacturing corporations that passed the international standards in food safety management). Since 1974, the government has already embarked on a nutrition program through the establishment of the National Nutrition Council or NNC by Presidential Decree 491. The NNC was created primarily to institute and implement the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition or PPAN. One of the components of the PPAN is to ensure that the population is well nourished. When it comes to nutrition, the Department of Health, in coordination with the Local Government Units, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Department of Labor and Employment, and non-governmental organizations, has rolled out programs such as Overweight, Obesity Management and Prevention, Micronutrient Supplement, and Food Fortification. In times of emergency crisis, the DoH together with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and DSWD provide training to ensure that the provision of nutritious foods is taken into consideration through its Capacity Building for Mainstreaming Nutrition Protection in Emergencies Program. As regards food quality and safety, the government through the enactment of the Organic Agricultural Act of 2010, has been able to promote Good Agricultural Practices. The law encourages the use of chemical-free inputs in agricultural production. Also, in monitoring compliance with food safety, the government adopts international safety standards such as the issuance of HACCP certification in food manufacturing industries. This certification ensures that all manufactured food circulating in the market is toxic-free. In addition to food commodities, water is an essential component of human nourishment, and the government through its SALINTUBIG program, ensures clean drinking water for all. Despite these programs and agencies behind the implementation, there seems to be a problem with food utilization among our children. According to the article from the World Bank Group entitled “Undernutrition in the Philippines Scale, Scope, and Opportunities for Nutrition Policy and Programming”, written by Nkosinathi V. N. Mbuya, Gabriel Demombynes, Sharon Faye A. Piza, Ann Jillian V. Adona, “For nearly thirty years, there have been almost no improvements in the prevalence of undernutrition in the Philippines. One in three children (29 percent) younger than five years old suffered from stunting, being small in size for their age”. To promote healthy Filipinos, tax incentives should be given to suppliers and producers of healthy and nutritious food products (raw or processed). The imposition of higher taxes on manufacturers of unhealthy food may also be considered (as in the case of cigarettes and liquors) to lessen the supply of unhealthy food. This would encourage manufacturers to factor in nutrition in their products. Although the Philippines already merged the tax on sugar-sweetened beverages with the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion, the tax burden is simply passed on to the consumers. Tax incentives should also be used to encourage further the production of healthy food. Nutrition programs should also be observed in every school, particularly at the primary level when the child is still in the early process of his/her physical development. I firmly believe that good nutrition is among the fundamental building blocks for economic prosperity. Hence, there is an urgent need to address the nutrition gap and improve food utilization. The post Food policy: Food utilization (2) appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 19th, 2023

Red, yellow debacles (2)

In search of energy sources that would provide the country with a stable supply of energy, particularly during the peak dry season when yellow and red alerts are prevalent, a sustainable source may just lie around the corner. Thus, turning waste into energy has become in vogue because it will hit two birds with one stone as it contributes to the production of power while also helping clean up the environment. Industry experts, however, consider the current laws do not support the development of a waste-to-energy industry. The Clean Air Act, for instance, sets rigid standards for incineration, the primary waste-to-energy technology. The House of Representatives already passed a bill allowing the use of waste-to-energy and redefining the incineration ban in the Clean Air Act. The next step, however, is stuck in the Senate which, as with other bills transmitted from the House, has not even started public hearings.   Opportunities in the use of waste By 2025, the Philippines would have generated up to 92 million tons of waste, the equivalent of 500,000 blue whales, the largest animals to ever live on Earth. Then the country need not worry about a garbage crisis since it becomes the feedstock to generate power. The amount of waste that could end up in landfills, street corners, empty lots, or bodies of water will grow in direct proportion to population and urban centers. Landfills have limited capacities. A large volume of plastics that now clog the world’s oceans come from the Philippines, which is ranked one of the biggest contributors to plastic pollution in the seas. A law that could stop the waste-to-energy thrust dead on its track is the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act or ESWMA which mandated the use of landfills for waste disposal. ESWMA clashes head-on with the Renewable Energy Act, which mandated the government to prescribe policies and programs promoting and enhancing the development of biomass waste-to-energy facilities. The push for waste-to-energy as alternative fossil fuels lacks clarity in policies. First, the government through the DoE would have to list waste-to-energy as a priority power source as it did other renewable energy technologies—solar, wind, etc. To bring waste-to-energy production into the energy mix, there should be guaranteed and long-term power purchase agreements which would allow private companies to at least recoup their investments. The technology, nonetheless, is not cheap. Facilities that would turn heat from burning waste into energy would require substantial capital and technical expertise. Public-private partnerships would be ideal for such projects. Waste-to-energy facilities would require higher fees that would be charged against waste generators, including local governments. But who would end up bearing the added costs? Not the local governments with their commonly inadequate revenues. Consumers will have to bear the additional costs of waste-to-energy facilities if the government fails to provide support in the form of funding and incentives which are done in successful waste-to-energy systems like Singapore and Japan. Filtering facilities are part of state-of-the-art technologies to prevent waste-to-energy facilities from contributing to the toxic mix in the air. Environmental advocates have been campaigning against burning trash which they said is dirtier than burning coal. Incinerators release unimaginable volumes of minute pollutants into the air that could eventually affect the health of nearby residents. Waste-to-energy facilities need waste, they would need more and more trash to ramp up the production of energy, encouraging a steady and growing stream of waste. In some areas where local governments are starting to embrace waste-to-energy technology, unrest becomes prevalent among local folks. In the search for sustainable and clean sources of energy, the government should have an active part since proper use of technology will help mitigate the periodic lack of power while ending the trash problem that has defied solutions for ages. The post Red, yellow debacles (2) appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 17th, 2023

Marcos signs Malampaya gas field contract extension

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Monday signed an agreement to extend the contract for the Malampaya gas field to ensure that the remaining gas reserves are used and that the country has a stable supply of energy. The Malampaya Service Contract No. 38 (SC 38) was originally set to expire in 2024, but the extension will allow the field to continue producing gas for an additional 15 years or until 2039. “This is the key to our drive to energy security and calculated to advance the nation’s energy interest. This project will reduce our dependence on oil imports while ensuring a stable supply of energy,” Marcos said during the signing ceremony in Malacañang Palace. “It is consistent with the Constitution and our state policy of hastening discovery and production of indigenous petrol. As we renew the contract, we look forward to the continued production and utilization of the remaining reserves of the Malampaya gas field as well as further exploration and development of untapped depot,” he added. Marcos said the renewed SC 38 would generate more revenues for the government, given that the Malampaya gas project has generated a total of P374 billion of revenues. The Chief Executive also assured that the government will continue to generate revenues from the project through a favorable sharing scheme with the government's private sector partner because of the contract renewal. “We are confident in the capability of the SC 38 consortium in handling this project,” he added. Meanwhile, the Department of Energy said that the discovery of additional reserves in the Malampaya gas field would boost the country’s quest for energy security. “It is also expected to encourage opportunities for further exploration in the country, which to date remains underexplored, and to add to the Philippines’ energy portfolio," DOE added. The Malampaya SC 38 is a natural gas field located in northwest of Palawan. It covers an area of around 830 square kilometers. It also supplies natural gas to five power plants in Luzon, the country's largest island. The agreement to develop the Malampaya gas field was first awarded to Shell Philippines Exploration in 1990. In 2022, Shell sold its 45 percent stake to Enrique Razon's Prime Infrastructure Capital Inc. Dennis Uy's Udenna Corp holds another 45 percent stake, after acquiring it from Chevron. The state-owned PNOC Exploration Corp holds the remaining 10 percent. The new agreement to extend the contract for the Malampaya gas field requires the contractors to conduct a minimum work program consisting of geological and geophysical studies and the drilling of at least 2 deep water wells from 2024 to 2029. This will ensure that the remaining gas reserves are utilized and that the country has a stable energy supply. The post Marcos signs Malampaya gas field contract extension appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 15th, 2023

CCC, Paete LGU partner for climate resiliency, sustainability

The Climate Change Commission continues to work with local government units in a collective effort to address climate change and work toward a more resilient and sustainable future for the Philippines. The CCC welcomed the local government of Paete, Laguna’s submission of the Local Climate Change Action Plan for 2021-2026 and Annual Investment Program for 2023, which were personally handed over by Paete Mayor Ronald B. Cosico. The LCCAP outlines the LGU's strategies and actions to address climate change impacts on their community, infrastructure and economy, while the AIP contains the programs, activities and projects of the LGU, including on climate action. The CCC commended the Paete LGU for submitting its LCCAP and AIP and will further collaborate with the town in enhancing its plans and programs to make them aligned with the national framework and international commitments on climate resilience. “Patuloy na susuportahan ng CCC ang bayan ng Paete sa pagpapatupad ng mga aksyon sa pagbabago ng klima at matiyak ang katatagan, hindi lang ng Paete, kundi ng buong bansa (The CCC will continue to support Paete in the implementation of actions on climate change to ensure the well-being not only of Paete but also of the entire country),” said CCC vice chairperson and executive director Robert E.A. Borje. According to Cosico, the submission of the LCCAP is a significant milestone for the town as it demonstrates the LGU's commitment to protect and enhance the well-being of its constituents. "Ang pagbabago ng klima ay isa sa mga bantang kinakaharap ng aming komunidad. Sa pamamagitan ng LCCAP, makakagawa kami ng mga konkretong hakbang upang makapag-adapt at mabawasan ang mga epekto nito (Climate change is one of the threats our community faces. Through the LCCAP, we can do concrete steps to adapt and mitigate its effects)," he said. Paete is one of the LGUs in the Philippines regularly affected by climate change impacts such as typhoons, flooding and landslides. By submitting its LCCAP to the CCC, the LGU is now eligible for various technical and financial assistance, including access to the People's Survival Fund. The PSF is a domestic funding mechanism that supports the implementation of climate resilience and adaptation programs of local communities in various areas such as agriculture, water resource management and disaster risk reduction and management. Cosico shared the ongoing initiatives and best practices of the town in climate resilience, including reforestation, sustainable agriculture and investment in renewable energy. Paete was among the awardees of the Seal of Good Local Governance in 2019. To further boost its local climate change initiatives, the CCC will connect Paete LGU with relevant development partners. The CCC will work with the local government to create a climate-resilient, climate-smart and sustainable community in Paete, which can serve as a model for other LGUs in the country. The LCCAP is a key deliverable of the LGUs to the CCC, as mandated by Republic Act 9729 or the Climate Change Act, and Department of Interior and Local Government Memorandum Circular No. 2021-068.   The CCC endeavors to enable all LGUs in the country to develop, implement and enhance LCCAPs that address the specific climate change risks facing their communities. As of 17 April 2023, 82.57 percent or 1,416 out of 1,715 LGUs in the country have already submitted their LCCAPs to the CCC. Visit and The post CCC, Paete LGU partner for climate resiliency, sustainability appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 14th, 2023

PBBM need to reform MUP pension system — Diokno

The Marcos administration has to reform the retirement and pension funds for military uniformed personnel (MUP) since keeping the current system could cause a significant increase in the national debt and expenditure in the coming years, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said. In a recent briefing, Diokno said the current formula for the MUP pension system, which started under the Ramos administration, is financially unsustainable. He mentioned that the military uniformed personnel "does not contribute" to the pension system, adding that government wholly finances their retirement benefits through yearly appropriations. Diokno stated that the current pension system is expected to cost the government approximately P848.39 billion per year for the next two decades. It is also estimated that the level of total unfunded pension liabilities is at P9.6 trillion, which is equivalent to nearly half of the country’s economy last year. Furthermore, he noted that the mounting pension obligations may lead to an up to 25 percent rise in public debt by 2030. "They (the MUP) have no contribution, yet they receive a huge amount. I think this really has to be discussed openly," Diokno said. "We can no longer afford to keep this around," the Finance Chief added. The country's outstanding debt could potentially increase by around P3.43 trillion, primarily due to the need to finance the pension system. This projection excludes any other government borrowings for various purposes over the next seven years. Diokno emphasized that meeting the financial requirements to cater to future pensioners and their dependents would be tough if the government would not immediately resolve the unfunded liabilities. Since this reform would require approval from Congress, Diokno expressed confidence that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has the necessary political influence to pursue such a measure. “He (Marcos) has signified that he is willing to spend his political capital for important reforms. We have no choice. We have to face this problem,” Diokno said. Diokno pointed out that Rep. Joey Salceda is one of the advocates who will introduce a bill to revamp the MUP pension system. The finance secretary is optimistic that MUP members will begin contributing to their pension system by January 2024. Diokno cited an instance, stating that a retired general is receiving a tax-free monthly pension of P131,000. He further mentioned that the current pension system could impact other government projects such as education and healthcare. The Department of Finance (DOF) plans to talk with other government agencies and the military to address this matter. Additionally, Diokno stated that "no military official had approached" him to oppose the proposition, necessitating soldiers to contribute 1 to 3 percent of their monthly income initially. “We can no longer afford to ignore this elephant in the room. Somebody has to really fix this formula, otherwise, we will be facing a fiscal crisis,” Diokno said. “If this continues, we are crowding out some important projects like education and health because we keep on prioritizing the military pension,” he said. Instead of incremental changes, Diokno suggested that the government should establish a unified separation, retirement, and pension system for the MUP. Diokno explained that the proposed solution should cover all members of the MUP agencies, including those who are still in active service or have recently joined. Currently, the monthly pension for retirees is automatically linked to the salary of the next-in-rank in the active service. Consequently, salary increases for active personnel result in an increased funding requirement for retired members. MUP members can choose to retire early after serving for at least 20 years, even before reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56. The post PBBM need to reform MUP pension system — Diokno appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 7th, 2023

Revilla lauds order creating water resource office

Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. on Friday commended President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for issuing an order directing the creation of the Water Resource Management Office in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources amid the looming water crisis brought about by the El Niño phenomenon in the country. Revilla expressed support for Marcos’ Executive Order 22 which served as a “swift and responsive action” of the government to address the emerging impacts of the dry season. The senator also filed Senate Bill 1428, known as the “Water Regulatory Commission Act of 2022,”  seeking the creation of a Water Regulatory Commission that would consolidate water-related agencies into one government body—which is still pending in the Upper House.   SB 1428 aims to rationalize the economic and administrative regulation of water utilities through an independent, quasi-judicial body. Its functions also include the policy-setting for water supply, sewerage, and septage management; issuing licenses; setting, reviewing, and approving rates; reviewing and suspending contracts; initiating investigations on erring officials through its quasi-judicial nature; among others. “This proposed measure targets to consolidate the economic and administrative regulation of water utilities in a single body, so we could prevent overlapping of services,” Revilla told reporters. The National Water Resources Board has logged about 11 million Filipinos that don’t have access to clean water. Revilla cited that most of them are forced to use unsafe water coming from deep wells, springs, rivers, and lakes, including rainwater. The post Revilla lauds order creating water resource office appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 6th, 2023

Marcos to NGCP: Solve Visayas power crisis

The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines has been asked to immediately address the power crisis in parts of the Visayas......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 2nd, 2023

OCD, DILG head El Niño mitigating team

The inter-agency team tasked to address the impact of El Niño will now be jointly headed by the Office of Civil Defense and the Department of Interior and Local Goverment. OCD Administrator, Undersecretary Ariel Nepomuceno in radio DZRH interview said this was the consensus reached Monday during the meeting of the team, to take a “whole of nation approach”  in mitigating the impact of El Niño into the country, particularly its food supply. The National Irrigation Administration, Nepomuceno said, has also been tapped to augment the farmers’ possible increased demand for irrigation waters when the impact of El Niño hits the country most probably in June and could become more severe in the first quarter of 2024. “But before that we should also prepare for stronger typhoon as forecast by Pagasa,” Nepomuceno said. “There are several points that we need to address. We need to prepare for the possible worst-case scenario and identify and harmonize short-term solutions, medium-term, and long-term solutions,” Nepomuceno added. Aside from OCD and DILG, the El Niño team will include the Department of Agriculture, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Energy, Department of Health, Department of Science and Technology, Office of Civil Defense, National Economic and Development Authority, National Irrigation Administration, and Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System as members. A support team made up of the National Water Resources Board, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Presidential Communications Office, and the Department of Trade and Industry are also included. NIA meanwhile said it has identified areas that will be prioritized for irrigation, and will implement the alternate wetting and drying technique to address the threats posed by El Niño on the country’s water supply. Priority farming areas are those near the water sources that were already helped by the DA to plant high-value or yielding crops, according to NIA acting administrator Eduardo Guillen. He said NIA has been laying out “short-term solutions” by alternate wetting and drying which is a water-saving technology that farmers can apply to reduce their irrigation water consumption in rice fields without decreasing its yield. Guillen said this technique was sourced by the International Rice Research Institute. The direction that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. wanted, Guillen said is for the team to work also on how to increase the income of farmers, aside from providing them farming inputs like seeds and feeds. PAGASA, the other day, said the El Niño phenomenon may be felt as early as June to August 2023, with the likelihood that its severity will rise by the first quarter of 2024. The post OCD, DILG head El Niño mitigating team appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsApr 25th, 2023