cagayan de oro

EU aid project eyes low carbon RE for PH’s sustainable energy future

November 3, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO - A European Union assisted project aiming to provide the Philippines with low carbon energy sustainability was launched last 28 October 2019 in Xavier Ateneo. Dubbed the Access to Sustainable Energy in the Philippines – Clean Energy Living Laboratories (ASEP-CELLs), the project is being implemented by Ateneo de Manila University (through the Ateneo School of Government), the Manila Observatory, ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability) a global network of more than 1,750 local and regional governments), the University of San Carlos and Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan (Xavier Ateneo). Guests from the European Union, Department of Energy, among others, underscored the project’s research agenda in relation to national and local energy challenges of the country.  GIovanni Seritella, project manager for Environment & Climate Change, Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines said ASEP is an EU program which supports the Phil. Government’s target to provide 100% household energy access by 2020. “The ASEP-CELLS project aims to advance the renewable energy agenda in the Philippines and support the transition to a low carbon energy path through three interrelated components or pillars: Knowledge Management to address needed policy reforms to push the RE agenda in the Philippines; Capacity Development which will support the knowledge and the skills of those who champion these reforms, and Advocacy to support the creation of the demand for renewable energy intervention in the country,” Seritella noted. The program aims to provide innovative ways to respond to the challenge of climate change by supporting the access to renewable energy and support marginalized groups and communities which do not have access to energy. The ultimate aim is to provide support for response to climate change. Over 750 local governments around the world have declared a climate emergency, he added. “This project is important because it will help us create political space for evidence-based practices that will link global energy to political institutions and institutional capacity, as well as strategic planning for disaster resilience, energy delivery and technology.” PH has Low Usage, High Pricing Dr. Joseph Yap, Senior Technical Advisor of the Ateneo de Manila University School of Government, said despite the Philippines having the second lowest per capita energy consumption per capita GDP in the ASEAN, it has the second highest electricity rate in Asia behind Japan. “The Philippines consumes less but pays more, and nine percent of our households have no access to electricity, the lowest among ASEAN member nations. These households are found mostly in Mindanao, specifically in Region IX and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). Thus, Yap said the two most critical energy issues facing the country in the future are adequate supply and the optimal energy mix, and the overall object of promoting energy security. “Optimal is not limited to least cost. There has to be a balance among social, economic, financial and environmental goals.  Policy has to be aware of possible conflict among components of Energy Security: Autarky, Affordability, Accessibility, Sustainability or the Energy Trilemma.” Energy Usec. Felix Fuentebella noted that while the Philippines has been declared as the third   country most vulnerable to climate change, it has been ranked first by World Energy Council on Energy Sustainability the last 4-5 years. As of June 2019, the country has attained 98% of electrification based on 2015 census while over 80% of the population expressed openness to new energy options. The Jesuit Mission and Climate Change In his welcome remarks, Xavier Ateneo Pres. Fr. Roberto Yap SJ said that as a Jesuit university, Xavier Ateneo strives to participate in Jesuit mission, an essential dimension of which is to collaborate in the care of our common home, as inspired by Pope Francis in his 2015 encyclical, Laudato Si’ in which he stressed climate change as a global problem. “Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods. It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day. Its worst impact will probably be felt by developing countries in coming decades. Many of the poor live in areas particularly affected by phenomena related to warming, and their means of subsistence are largely dependent on natural reserves and ecosystemic services such as agriculture, fishing and forestry.” (LS, 25)   Fr. Yap said Pope Francis is clear that there is only one crisis which is both environmental and social.   “There is an urgent need to develop policies so that, in the next few years, the emission of carbon dioxide and other highly polluting gases can be drastically reduced, for example, substituting for fossil fuels and developing sources of renewable energy. Worldwide there is minimal access to clean and renewable energy. There is still a need to develop adequate storage technologies.”  (LS, 26) The Mindanao Coal Dilemma “I quote these very wise, challenging and disturbing words from Pope Francis to set the tone for the CELLs project. Situating this in Mindanao, we know that a few years ago we were suffering from power shortages, we had many brownouts which would last for several hours, then we were able to solve that problem,” Fr. Yap related. “But unfortunately if we look at the many power plants that have been built these past few years and helped us become an energy surplus region now in Mindanao, most that have been built still use coal, the very models of production and consumption, and energy usage that is very much linked to the causes of climate change,” he stressed.  “Xavier is very proud and happy that we can contribute to policy formulation, through research, capacity building, technical assistance, that we can really address and promote the use of renewable energy. And I hope we will be able to show good examples, even small examples that really renewable energy is possible and sustainable and really beneficial to communities, especially for poor communities in the peripheries.” Key Legislations “In the European Union we aim to have a 40 percent target reduction on greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, and hopefully attain 45 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 emission levels,” Seritella noted. “Besides that, the EU last November has developed an energy policy that will allow EU to be climate neutral with zero gas emissions by 2050.” DOE vigilant Still, Fuentebella expressed the need to be circumspect in evaluating the implications of such projects, especially on their implications on the national treasury. “We have to closely examine our engagement with the European Union because they are sincere in helping. But still, we have to be on guard for every detail: interest, where the product comes from, who really benefits from it, what are the terms and conditions. At the end of the day, it’s easy to make decisions, especially when it’s not our pockets which are involved. But when taxpayers money is involved, then we have to be extra careful,” he noted. Fuentebella also admitted the difficulty of attaining an optimal energy grid for a particular area. “Renewables mixed with fossil fuel are reliable but not easy to achieve. Even geothermals have environmental costs, and are capital intensive. Which is why DOE is not so keen on pushing renewables to consumers? We want you take your time. We want you to be detailed in your studies, because once you make commitments, you should be ready,” he stressed. “The competitive selection should be well-rounded, it should be filled with details, and we have experts here who would give you advice, but we should never lose our dignity, always put the interests of our country first, and be meticulous. Just because it’s the current trend doesn’t mean we should adopt it,” he added. Nevertheless, Roel Ravanera, Xavier Ateneo Vice President for Social Development, welcomed the project as timely and significant. “ASEP-CELLs is a novel initiative that will have significant impact in ensuring inclusive development in the country, especially here in Mindanao. With its focus on rural electrification, it will provide basic services and more opportunities for people in the rural areas better chances of overcoming extreme poverty,” Ravanera said. “Equally important is its bias for renewable energy that will ensure sustainable development amidst the worsening global climate crisis,” he added. In closing, Fr. Yap said, “I pray that this project will be blessed by our Lord and that we will really work in cooperation with each other as we address energy poverty and security for an inclusive and resilient Philippines.”

Wildlife smugglers bound for Manila nabbed in Surigao

October 28, 2019

 Police manning a checkpoint in Tandag City on Sunday intercepted a shipment of wildlife bound for the lucrative markets in Manila, police said A cursory check on two vehicles, Ford Everest and a Toyota Innova,  yielded cages of parrots, exotic monitor lizards and other endangered species at the checkpoint in Barangay Buenavista, Tandag City in Surigao del Sur on Sunday, Lt. Col. Christian Rafols II, PNP Caraga spokesperson, said. Rafols said that when police officers demanded a permit to transport wildlife, the three suspects on board the vehicles could not produce any. He said the policemen immediately detained the suspects who were identified as Dante L. Toledo, 40, resident of Brgy. Calumpang in General Santos City; Joel C. Demoral, 38, resident of Bulua in Cagayan de Oro City; and Jory C. Demoral, 51, resident of Bankerohan in Davao City.  “Personnel from the DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources)  together with our police officers are still conducting an inventory of the birds and animals,” Rafols said. Rafols said the endangered birds and animals may have come from Mati City  in Davao Oriental, and transported overland to Pasay City where there is a lucrative illegal wildlife trade. “The forest around Mati city is a biodiversity hotspot and smugglers find it lucrative to bring the birds and animals to Manila,” he said. Rafols said cases for violation of Republic ACT No. 8485 or the Animal Welfare Act of 1998, will be filed against the suspects. The Asian Development Bank in its March 2019 report estimated the value of illegal wildlife trade in the Philippines at 50 billion pesos a year. In 2016, the Biodiversity Conservation Society of the Philippines said the Philippines is a biodiversity hotspot, losing its many terrestrial and endemic species at a rapid rate.

Toyota CDO recommends Shell as official fuel brand

October 23, 2019

Pilipinas Shell and Toyota Cagayan de Oro(CDO) have reaffirmed their partnership with the latter recommending Shell as the official fuel for all their vehicles. Both companies’ dedication to quality and customer satisfaction has led to an expansion of the alliance from CDO to other Toyota branches in North Mindanao. Toyota Cagayan de Oro Senior Vice President Dr. Johnny U. Lu notes that this collaboration is only the extension of a historical partnership that began way back in 1960, when his father owned a Shell station in Kibawe, Province of Bukidnon. “We are driven by the intention of contributing in making Toyota more accessible to its customers.  For the past 50 years, we’ve been delivering quality products and services in the Northern and Western Mindanao. Through this partnership, we will be able to continue enhancing the energy landscape in the Southern Philippines,” Lu said. Toyota Cagayan de Oro joins Toyota Manila Bay and Toyota Talisay (in Cebu) in declaring Shell as their fuel brand of choice. Their customers will be given an efficient head start for their journeys with a Welcome Kit containing Shell Fuel vouchers and a Motorist Guidebook with tips for effective car maintenance and worry-free travels. “We are glad to be joined by the Toyota Cagayan de Oro group in integrating our aspiration to secure a more sustainable energy future and continue to cater to the growing needs of millions of motorists in the region,” Llex Denia, Shell Retail District Manager for Mindanao said. Shell has also established the North Mindanao Import Facility (NMIF) as part of their continued commitment in making the future in the Mindanao region. The facility is one of Shell’s pillars in helping provide energy security for Visayas and Mindanaoas it upgrades the downstream infrastructure, improving the country’s energy resilience through an increase in oil stockpile. On its 105 years of partnering with the Philippines in nation-building, Shell continues to power progress through more and cleaner energy solutions that focus on safety and social responsibility. For more information, visit   

Cagayan de Oro awaits arrival of Pimentel; CDO wake on Oct 23 to 25

October 20, 2019

 Residents eagerly await the arrival Wednesday of its most illustrious son, Aquilino Pimentel Jr., former Senate President and Cagayan de Oro Mayor from 1980-1984.   Kathryna Yu-Pimentel, wife of Senator Aqulino “Koko” Pimentel III announced via Facebook that the remains of the Pimentel patriarch, founder of the Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino (PDP) and “Father of the Local Government Code,” will arrive in Cagayan de Oro on Wednesday afternoon.   She said there will be a public viewing immediately after arrival at the Cagayan de Oro City Hall, until October 25. From Cagayan de Oro, his remains will be brought back to Heritage Memorial Park in Taguig City.   Pimentel Jr., passed away early Sunday morning in a hospital in Metro Manila.   “For those who wish to pay their final respects, this is the schedule of the wake of our beloved Tatay Nene Pimentel,” she wrote.   The date of interment has yet to be announced.   Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar Moreno earlier requested the family of the late senator to bring him home so residents of this city and Mindanao can pay their last respects. “The people of Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental would be especially honored to pay our last respects and to give a tribute to Senator Nene here in CDO, as I am sure that our neighbors here in Mindanao would also join us,” Moreno said. The death of Pimentel on Sunday morning, saddened his townmates in this city and leaders of Mindanao as they remembered with gratitude his contribution to the country as a legislator who championed local governance.. Martial law Residents here remember how Pimentel, fondly called here as “Tatay Nene” suffered under the Marcos regime. Every morning, residents would see him walk with his wife, Lourdes “Bing” Dela Llana to the Immaculate Conception Church of Xavier University from their residence along Archbishop Hayes Street in Cagayan de Oro City. The short walk would have been ordinary except that two or three armed soldiers escorted the couple to church. Going to mass every day was a concession from Marcos who had him jailed along with other opposition leaders when martial law was declared on Sept. 21, 1972. Pimentel was jailed four times under martial law. He served as mayor of this city from 1980 to 1984, and as Assemblyman representing Misamis Orientel at the Interim Batasanga Pambansa in 1984. When Marcos was ousted by People Power in February 1986, then President Corazon Aquino appointed him Local Governments Minister. He was elected and served in the Philippine Senate from 1987 to 1992 and for two terms from 1998 to 2004 and 2004 to 2010 where he authored the landmark RA 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991,  devolving powers held by the national government to local government units.   Well-loved In their Facebook reactions, Cagayan de Oro netizens expressed sadness over the passing of a well-loved townmate. “Rest in peace Sen Tatay Nene Pimentel,” Jun Gregorio, a pianist of a local band, posted. “We will fondly remember the good deeds he has shared with this city and the country,”  Cagayan de Oro City Administrator Maria Dulce Tiro Pontentiano said. “Thank you for service, Senator Nene,” businessman Marriz Agbon said. Zia Alonto Adiong , a member of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, said the late Pimentel was instrumental in the realization of a regional government for the Bangsamoro people and fought hard for the devolution of powers to the local government units across the country. “We owe to him the Local Government Code. Mindanao has just lost one of her cherished sons, “ Adiong said. Adiong also remembered how as mayor of Cagayan de Oro, Pimentel welcomed the influx of Meranaws fleeing to the city when Marcos declared martial law. Faced by sharp criticisms from some residents in the city, Adiong narrated Pimentel argued that Cagayan de Oro residents should not mistreat Meranaws and instead welcome them. “In the latest survey, there are more than a thousand Meranaw families who are permanently residing in the city. Daghan salamat Sen. Nene Pimentel,” Adiong said. Mindanao to the national consciousness Rep. Frederick Siao of the lone district in Iligan City, said throughout his political career, Pimentel brought Mindanao issues to the front and center of the national consciousness.   “No other native of Mindanao, particularly Northern Mindanao, was both fierce and compassionate as Senator Aquilino 'Nene' Pimentel, Jr.,” Siao said. In a statement, Local Governments Secretary Eduardo Ano said the entire Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) mourns Pimentel’s passing, describing him as “one of the country’s greatest political figures,” and together with President Rodrigo Duterte, “the country’s foremost advocate of a Federal system of government.” Ano asked all LGUs to “remember him in your activities as we commemorate Local Government month” and urged them to “place your flags at half-mast as a sign of respect to this great advocate of local autonomy and empowerment.” PDP Secretary General and Davao del Norte’s 1st District Rep. Pantaleon D. Alvarez described Pimentel as “the icon of democracy and a freedom fighter." "PDP-Laban is not what (it) is now, without his courage and determination to unite the political forces especially those from Mindanao to have a voice and be represented in the political capital,” he said. “He will always be our inspiration, he was selfless and a father to every member of the party,” Alvarez said, adding he hopes the seed of Federalism that Pimentel sowed “will bear fruits with the able leadership” of his son, Koko. "We are hoping that his death will be a reminder to each party member that service to the people is important, above political lines, that his sacrifices will become our source of strength to further foster the party towards a greater goal for the country," Alvarez said. South Cotabato Rep. and House Deputy Speaker Ferdinand Hernandez,  said “We lost a great leader, one of the best leaders Mindanao ever produced.” Hernandez added that Pimentel was an “epitome of a principled leader,” one of the pillars of freedom and democracy in the country who “never compromised his beliefs and principles.”

RDC-X approves NorMin’s RDP 2017-2022 midterm update

October 7, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY --The Regional Development Council of Northern Mindanao (RDC)-X approved the Regional Development Plan (RDP) 2017-2022 Midterm Update during its 119th Full Council Meeting recently at N Hotel, this city. The RDP 2017-2022 Midterm Update contains the assessment of the accomplishments in the first three years of the implementation of the plan which served as bases in the updating of the strategies; policy actions; and programs, projects, and activities for the remaining period of the plan. Presided over by RDC-X vice-chairperson and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Regional Director Mylah Faye Aurora Cariño, the body also approved the proposed reconstitution of the Regional Gender and Development Committee; proposed creation of the Regional Halal Committee; membership of the Cooperative Development Authority in the Economic Development Committee and RDC-X Full Council; and proposed amendments to the RDC-X guidelines in the granting and utilization of region X’s share of the financial benefits under DOE Energy Regulation No. 1-94. RDC-X also endorsed the following: request for funding from FY 2020 budget of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) Central Office for the rehabilitation of NTC-X regional office main building; request for the Department of Budget and Management to hasten the approval of the proposed organizational structure and staffing pattern of the Department of Information and Communications Technology for the regionalization of its offices; and request of the local government units of Tangub City to enjoin the Land Registration Authority to fast track the issuance of Decree of Registration for Portions of the following: Lot 123, Cad 271; Lot 2, Cad. 27; and Lot 106, Cad. 271. Moreover, the body expressed support to the OROBEST Innovation Program ad ORO BEST Expo; Philippine Industrial Summit on November 26-28, 2019 in Cagayan de Oro City; creation of a Regional Task Force “Juan Magsasaka”; creation of a Regional Task Force on African Swine Fever; institutionalizing tree growing during the International Day of Forest, Arbor Day and Philippine Environment Month; Agham Bayan Mindanao 2010; formulation of the Master Plan for Sustainable Urban Infrastructure Development in Metropolitan Cagayan de Oro; and RDC-IV A Resolution expressing objection to the release of former Mayor Antonio Sanchez and urging the Department of Justice to withhold the early release of the former mayor; among others. Additional non-voting members were also confirmed. These include the 1st Infantry Tabak Division, 403rd Infantry Brigade, 2nd Mechanized Brigade, Philippine National Police Regional Office 10, Philippine Commission on Women, Research Institute for Mindanao Culture, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Mindanao Indigenous People's Youth Organization, National Irrigation Administration Regional Office 10, and the Department of Information and Communications Technology Mindanao Cluster 2. The RDC-X the highest policy-making body in the Northern Mindanao. It coordinates and sets the direction of all economic and social development efforts in the region. (APB/PIA10)

SWU PHINMA students display knowledge, skills in Basic Education Day

October 7, 2019

Southwestern University (SWU) PHINMA students enjoyed a day of fun, games, and competition during the annual Basic Education Day on September 26. They showed their knowledge, talents, and capabilities and displayed STEM (Science Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education in action through problem-based learning. The event features one of the biggest chess tournaments in Cebu City with about 280 pairs of players facing off against each other at the University Coliseum. The 7-round Swiss chess tournament is facilitated by Mark Mangubat, an arena grand master and SWU PHINMA’s Chess Sports Club coach together with international chess arbiter, Felix Poloyapoy Jr. This is part of SWU PHINMA’s initiative called Chess Time in which students are required to attend to a scheduled number of chess hours every week, giving them the opportunity to earn badges for every win and to enjoy and master chess under the spirit of sportsmanship. Chess Time, one of the initiatives under the STEM-based curriculum being implemented this school year for Grades 1 to 7, is designed to teach students 21st century skills, such as communication, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, computational thinking, decisiveness, and wise judgment. “Chess teaches the kids all these skills while developing their focus, discipline, and strategic thinking. It is one gateway for STEM education, and our chess program in the school is the path through that gateway for our budding future grandmasters,” said Glenda Roble, Basic Education principal. Another highlight of the Basic Education Day is the STEM Cosplay and Design Thinking Challenge of the Kinder students. “We challenge our students to expand their imagination while learning to sharpen critical and creative thinking,” said Roble. For more information about Southwestern University PHINMA’s Basic Education Department (Elementary and Junior High School), contact +63 (32) 416 4680 loc. 184 or visit ###


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