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NGCP restores earthquake-damaged Kidapawan Substation

November 13, 2019

NGCP has restored its Kidapawan Substation on Sunday, November 10, ahead of its November 17 target energization. The substation is now ready to fully accommodate power from Mt. Apo Geothermal Power Plant (MAGPP) to the Mindanao grid once it goes online. The Kidapawan Substation suffered damage to its high voltage substation equipment and control room facilities due to the magnitude 6.7 earthquake in Tulunan, Cotabato last October 31. Access to the substation was also initially hindered by landslides around the area, necessitating rescue of substation personnel by chopper. Despite the damage to facilities, supply of power to electricity consumers in the area was uninterrupted as NGCP was able to shift and transfer power supply through its Tacurong Substation. As soon as the situation in the area was deemed safe and passable, NGCP deployed its personnel to assess the substation damage and implement a restoration plan. This plan involved clearing of debris; design and installation of scaffolding/support structures; removal of damaged high-voltage equipment; and installation, testing, and evaluation of new equipment.  “We are pleased to report that with the collective efforts of our Mindanao personnel and additional line crews from Visayas and South Luzon, we were able to energize Kidapawan Substation and Kidapawan-Matanao 138kV Line 1 and 2 one week ahead of schedule. Our customers can be assured that we will continue monitoring the situation in the area,” stated the company. NGCP defers to the DOE on the status of generation, sub-transmission lines owned by the electric cooperatives, and distribution lines. NGCP is a Filipino-led, privately owned company in charge of operating, maintaining, and developing the country’s power grid, led by majority shareholders Henry Sy, Jr. and Robert Coyiuto, Jr.###

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23 NorMin LGUs win SGLG award  

November 12, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Nov. 10 -- From 10 awarded local government units (LGUs) in the previous year,  Northern Mindanao surges up its number of Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) awardees this year, reaching 23 LGU passers.   For the Provincial Government category,  the Province of Bukidnon made it to the list of awardees, along with El Salvador City and Valencia City under the City Government category.    For the Municipal Government, the following snatched the seal this year: Impasugong, Kadingilan, Pangantucan, Quezon, and San Fernando from the Province of Bukidnon; Sagay from the Province of Camiguin; Bacolod, Balo-i, Baroy, Kapatagan, Kauswagan, Sapad, Sultan Naga Dimaporo, Tangcal, and Tubod from the Province of Lanao del Norte, Plaridel from the Province of Misamis Occidental; and Lugait, Medina, Salay, and Villanueva from the Province of Misamis Oriental.    “It is the honor of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Region 10 that our local government units took the challenge of passing the seal this year. Despite the tougher criteria, more LGUs even won the SGLG award,” DILG 10 Regional Director Arnel M. Agabe said.    He commended the efforts made by the LGUs saying “beyond the recognition and incentives that the LGUs could get, being awarded with SGLG manifests that ‘good governance’ exists in their jurisdictions and they are able to provide excellent services for their constituents.”   This year, the SGLG carries on with the “All-in” assessment criteria where the LGUs must pass all seven (7) governance areas of (a) Financial Administration, (b) Disaster Preparedness, (c) Social Protection, (d) Peace and Order, (e) Business Friendliness and Competitiveness, (f) Environmental Management and (g) Tourism, Culture and the Arts.    For a province to qualify, ten percent (10%) of its component cities and municipalities must be passers, as per DILG MC 2019 – 44.   “The SGLG assessment criteria continues to be upgraded and redefined to highlight the critical roles of our LGUs, to encourage continual improvement to the services they are providing,” Agabe explained.    Moreover, he also lauded the efforts of DILG filed officers who contributed to this success.    “We also salute our matitino, mahuhusay, at maaasahang DILG field officers who did the extra mile in preparing their LGUs for the assessment, through the support of their Provincial/City Directors,” Agabe further said.    SGLG is a yearly award and incentive program that puts a premium on integrity and good performance as it seeks to institutionalize the continuity of local governance reforms and development. It is a progressive assessment system that gives LGUs a distinction for their remarkable performance across several areas. (Rezza Mae B. Tolinero/DILG10)

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John L. Gokongwei, Jr., 93

November 10, 2019

We mourn the peaceful passing of our Founder and Chairman Emeritus John L. Gokongwei Jr., on November 9, 2019. He was 93. We, the 75,000-strong employees of JG Summit Holdings and Robinsons Retail Holdings, join the nation in paying tribute to the founder of the first Philippine multinational conglomerate, a philanthropist with a passion for education. Mr. John, as we fondly called him, was a visionary. He was an inspiration to entrepreneurs and businessmen around the nation, with his pioneering ideas, his strong work ethic, his passion, and perseverance. Today, the Gokongwei Group is one of the country’s largest and most diversified conglomerates with interests in air transportation, telecommunications, banking, food, power, property,  hospitality, retail, and petrochemicals. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Elizabeth, and his children Robina, Lance, Lisa, Faith and Hope, and Marcia; his in-laws and grandchildren; brothers Eddie and James Go, sister Lily; and his nieces and nephews.  The wake will take place from Monday, November 11 to Thursday, November 14 at Heritage Park, Taguig, from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.  Daily masses will be celebrated at 7 p.m. Funeral mass will be on Friday, November 15 at 8 a.m. at Heritage Park. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to your favorite charity.

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AboitizPower posts P13.5 billion net income from January to September 2019

November 10, 2019

On a year-to-date basis, AboitizPower’s net income for the first nine months of 2019 was ₱13.5 billion, 19% lower than the ₱16.7 billion recorded during the same period last year. The company recognized non-recurring losses of ₱220 million versus last year’s losses of ₱1.7 billion related to net foreign exchange and derivative losses. Without these one-off losses, the company’s core net income was ₱13.7 billion, 26% lower than the ₱18.4 billion recorded in the same period last year. This was primarily due to the higher volume and cost of purchased power, lower spot market revenues, and lower plant availability. “It has been a tough year for AboitizPower with the supply issues that resulted in the high cost of replacement power for our customers. The company has also generated lower revenues from the spot market due to challenges that caused some of our power plants to shut down,” said Emmanuel V. Rubio, AboitizPower Chief Operating Officer. “Despite this, our customer base continues to grow, which underscores the consumers’ trust and confidence in AboitizPower. Moreover, we remain confident that with our incoming capacities, we will surpass our 2020 target of 4,000 megawatts attributable capacity, ensuring sustainable growth for the company, our shareholders, and the customers and communities we serve,” Rubio said. Results of Operations Generation and Retail Electricity Supply   AboitizPower’s generation and retail supply business recorded consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of ₱28.7 billion in the first three quarters of 2019, 13% lower than the ₱33 billion recorded during the same period last year. This was primarily driven by the higher volume and cost of purchased power, lower spot market revenues, and lower plant availability. Spot market prices were high in the first half of 2019 and during that period, the company purchased replacement power due to outages and contracting ahead in preparation for Therma Visayas, Inc.’s incoming capacity. Plant availability was also lower versus the same period last year due to outages from the company’s coal facilities. Distribution   For the first three quarters of 2019, AboitizPower’s distribution business recorded consolidated EBITDA of ₱6 billion, 3% lower than the ₱6.2 billion recorded during the corresponding period in 2018. This was primarily due to lost margins from the decommissioning of the Bajada power plant. The company saw energy sales increase to 4,341 gigawatt-hours (GWh), which was 5% higher than the 4,136 GWh recorded in the first nine months of 2018. This was primarily driven by the increase in new customers across all segments. About AboitizPower AboitizPower is the holding company for the Aboitiz Group’s investments in power generation, distribution, and retail electricity services. It advances business and communities by providing reliable and ample power supply at a reasonable and competitive price, and with the least adverse effects on the environment and host communities. The company is one of the largest power producers in the Philippines with a balanced portfolio of assets located across the country. It is a major producer of Cleanergy, its brand for clean and renewable energy with several hydroelectric and geothermal power generation facilities. It also has various fossil-fired power plants in its generation portfolio to support the baseload and peak energy demands of the country. The company also owns distribution utilities that operate in high-growth areas in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, including the second and third largest private utilities in the country

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Xavier Ateneo Students Win BPI-DOST Science Awards

October 28, 2019

Three students from Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan have been recognized in the 2019 BPI-DOST Science Awards for their scientific researches and innovations supporting the attainment of global sustainable development goals. Among the top 10 awardees with the most promising researches were Marc Anthony B. Reyes and Marvin Serge G. Fuentes, both BS Computer Science students from Xavier Ateneo. Now on its 30th years, the prestigious awards program honors young Filipino undergraduate students who excel in basic and applied science. It is a joint project of the Department of Science and Technology and BPI Foundation with the goal of empowering students who venture into innovative research. During the annual research competition, Reyes presented his study titled “A Mobile Application Using Convolutional Neural Networks for Detecting Rice Plant Diseases and Pests.” Reyes developed a mobile app called PalayLab, which uses deep learning to help farmers detect pests and diseases in rice plants. Fuentes, on the other hand, focused on “Developing a Rule-Based Chatbot to Classify the Severity of Depression Using Decision Trees.” Fuentes’s Atom chatbot uses a natural language processing engine to detect the level of depression of a person. Another entry from XavierAteneo that made it to the top 30 was the study conducted by BS Biology student Lloyd Alvin P. Caumban. His research, titled “Bioremediation Potential and Biomass Production of Indigenous Microalgae Consortia Cultured in Urban Wastewater,” centered on the use of microalgae in sequestering wastewater nutrients. Reyes and Fuentes each received P25, 000, a medal, and a certificate at the awards ceremony held at the Alphaland City Club in Makati City last August 2. Caumban took home P10, 000 and a medal. In her speech during the awarding, DOST-Science Education Institute Director Dr. Josette Biyo commended all participants, saying: “The works of our young scientists and engineers are truly worthy of recognition.” She also thanked BPI Foundation for “urging and inspiring students to excel in science and technology.” BPI Foundation Executive Director Maricris San Diego said that through the BPI-DOST Science Awards, they hope to “inspire more Filipino students to pursue scientific researches and innovations that contribute to building a stronger and more sustainable future for all of us.”

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Isuzu Philippines brings ‘D-MAX 4x4 Toughness’ in Davao City

September 25, 2019

A week after its successful showcase of the new D-MAX LS-A pick-up in Cebu City, Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC) made its way down to the biggest city in the south, Davao City In a 3-day test drive and display event at SM Lanang, people in Davao were able to witness the roll-out of the most stylish iteration of one of Isuzu’s iconic diesel workhorses. From September 20-22, IPC made SM Lanang Open Grounds the playground for the new D-MAX LS-A for the “Tough Enough for Anything” 4x4 test drive event, specially conducted to showcase the off-road capabilities of the D-MAX. During the event, IPC created a special “4x4 Tough Test Course” that featured different obstacles that truly put to the test the off-road capabilities of the D-MAX LS-A. The test drive included courses like the lateral descent ditch crossing, cross axle articulation, elephant holes, 45-degree camber sides and the highlight 40-degree hill climb and descent course. These courses, however, appear to be an easy task to the D-MAX, which has proven its tough performance and durability over the years. With its reliable 4JJ1-TCX 3.0-liter 4-cylinder In-line Blue Power Diesel engine with VGS turbo intercooler, the D-MAX can produce up to 177PS maximum power and 380N-m maximum torque capable of traversing any terrain. Complementing its exceptional off-road performance, the new D-MAX LS-A features a very stylish exterior as it now comes with a new redesigned front bumper and dark gray radiator grille, side view mirror, fender lip, cargo extender, and roof rail that will surely turn heads on the road. Apart from the 4x4 Test Drive, IPC also made a special Mindanao launch and display event at the SM Lanang Atrium, for clients to check the units more closely after they have gone through the test drive or vice versa. “The new D-MAX LS-A has a true character of a pick-up. Through this test drive activity, we will be able to showcase to the public its exceptional off-road capabilities, strong under chassis and powerful engine. Bringing this event in Davao is strategic, as expect to make a comeback in the pick-up segment specially in this region,” said IPC President Hajime Koso. The new D-MAX LS-A comes in the following colors: Cosmic Black, Sapphire Blue, Titanium Silver, Red Spinel, Splash White, Silky Pearl White. With all the added features on the D-MAX LS-A, IPC announced that there will be a more competitive pricing for this variant. To know more about the Isuzu D-MAX LS-A, its new features and pricing, log on to www.isuzuphil.com or visit any of the Isuzu dealerships nationwide.  

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