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Go green for power: Alternative energy source in the country

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Friday, March 22nd, 2019

Caliraya Hydroelectric Powerplant

The first power plant in the Philippines was built in Lumban, Laguna.

The Caliraya Hydroelectric Powerplant was built by the National Power Corporation (Napocor) after World War II in 1942. It can generate 728 megawatts of electricity that can supply power from Laguna to Bicol region through electric cooperatives.

Hydroelectric power or hydropower uses water to produce electricity instead of fuel.

The dam operated by the Carilaya Power Plant has given job opportunities to a lot of our fellowmen.

“Ngayon po may mga nagpipinta diyan mga taga-rito sa amin marami ding security guard na taga-rito sa amin diyan na duty, (Some of our residents paint the walls, many are working as security guards)” Brgy. Chairwoman Maria Dalisay Liwag said.

Liwag adds, aside from job opportunities Napocor also provides P182,000 every three months as financial assistance for their barangay.

Residents are confident they will not experience water shortage despite the start of dry season.

“Kahit maghapon kayo magigib ng magigib diyan ng inumin, mapalad talaga kami kahit ganitong mahirap dahil nakakatanggap kami ng biyaya galing diyan, (Even if we fetch water to drink all afternoon, we are still lucky because of this kind of blessing)” Liwag said.

FILE PHOTO: Windmills of Bangui Bay, Ilocos Norte (PHOTOVILLE International / Reign Lichangco)

The Bangui Windmill is located in Ilocos Norte which is the first in Southeast Asia.

This is another renewable source of energy and it is owned by the Northwind Development Corporation.

Wind is used to move the wind turbines to create energy.

It does not produce any kind of pollution like traditional power plants that uses fuel and coal.

“Basically, it is good in the environment right so the lesser fuel that we have oil the lesser coal that we have is better for the community is better for the Philippines because we are able to provide power cleanly,” President of Northwind Power Development Corporation Gabino Ramon Mejia said.

Each wind turbine costs P1.5 to P1.8 billion and has a lifespan of 25 years. There are also 25 locals working in the Northwind Power Corporation.

“Our Phase 1 has been there since 2005 it has been there for 14 years but still running,” Mejia adds.

Residents said the wind mills supplies power in their area if there is shortage.

“Noong una madalas mag-brownout ngayon bihira na lang, (Brownout were frequent before, now it isnt’)” Rodelyn Savina said, a resident.

In 1980, the first nuclear powerplant in the country was built in Morong, Bataan as a solution in the energy and fuel crisis during 1970.

It has been 30 years since the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) was built. It cost over $2 billion during the term of former president Ferdinand Marcos.

Based on the original design, the BNPP uses uranium that produces steam that will start the turbine and produce energy.

But it is not currently operation because of safety issues. It was closed down in 1986 due to the spate of accidents in nuclear power plants like the 3 mile island accident in the United States in 1979 and the Chernobyl in Russia in 1986.

The reopening of the BNPP was proposed in 2016.

For several residents in Morong, Bataan, there is no harm if the BNPP became operational.

Sylvia Magno, one of the residents, said their power rate is too high. It ranges from P1,800-P1,900.

She adds the reopening the power plant might lower the power rate.

“Okay iyon syempre mababa ang babayaran, magkakaroon ng trabaho mga tao dito para sa amin okay lang mga tagawalis man lang ng paligid dito (That is okay to lower power costs, there will also be jobs for us here like street sweeper)” Magno said.

More than $1 billion or P47 billion is needed to reopen the power plant.

Based on the study, the BNPP can produce 620 megawatt which is equal to 10% of the energy needed for the entire Luzon region.

The Philippines is rich in natural resources which can be a source of alternative energy.Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Leslie Huidem, Toto Fabros, and Sherwin Culubong

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LIST: School supplies containing lead, cadmium

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 29th, 2019

Courtesy: EcoWaste Coalition

EcoWaste Coalition has listed several school supplies containing cadmium and lead which are harmful to students.

The environment group alerted consumers against purchasing school supplies laced with hazardous substances such as cadmium and lead.

“While many school supplies are generally harmless, there are some items that contain undisclosed chemicals that are banned or restricted in children’s toys because of their harmful effects on children’s health and the environment, too,” stated Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) lead and cadmium are included in the list of “10 chemicals of major public health concern.”

Among the samples found to contain high concentrations of lead were:

  1. An Artex Fine Water Colors (bright yellow cake), 86,000 ppm
  2. A yellow painted metal water container with Minions design, 65,500 ppm
  3. A red coated hair clip, 42,600 ppm
  4. A yellow painted metal water container with Rabbit design, 39,300 ppm
  5. A yellow coated hair clip, 15,800 ppm
  6. A backpack with Ultraman design, 12,100 ppm
  7. An MPC Classique Water Colors (light yellow cake), 4,914 ppm
  8. A bag tag with a Doraemon design, 3,659 ppm
  9. A yellow Fairyland crayon, 3,191 ppm
  10. A bag tag with Superman design, 2,361 ppm
  11. A backpack with Ben 10 design, 1,908
  12. A backpack with Hello Kitty design, 1,879 ppm

“Parents should be on the lookout for these items that may contain hazardous chemicals such as cadmium, lead, and phthalates,” Dizon said.

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DENR pushes for alternative mining

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Friday, May 24th, 2019

Mining site

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) pushes for alternative mining in order to care for the country’s environment.

DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu encourages mining engineers to find ways to mine without harming the environment. Cimatu added that they are looking into surface mining as one of the alternatives.

“As long as you don’t destroy it, instead if you are able to get the mineral content then you resurface it at the same time make sure na ang mga water na dumadaan doon hindi mapupunta sa unless being treated muna, (make sure the water will be treated first)” he said.

Meanwhile, the environment secretary assured there are sufficient materials for the government’s Build Build Build Program.

Cimatu said the country has enough supply of cement, and aggregate materials including sand, stone, and steel bars.

“Sufficient naman iyan (That is sufficient) in fact the aggregates are doing well and we are allowing the quarrying in some rivers but will make sure that na hindi masisira ang river, (the rive will not be damaged)” he said.—(with reports from Vincent Arboleda)

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EcoWaste slams botched plastic waste shipment from Hong Kong

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Friday, May 24th, 2019

Courtesy : Ecowaste Coalition Facebook page

EcoWaste Coalition slammed the mixed plastic waste shipment found at the Mindanao Container Terminal in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental from Hong Kong.

During the inspection of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) Region 10
led by port collector John Simon on Wednesday (May 22), they found a 40- footer container van. It contained 22 sling bags weighing 25,610 kilograms of mixed plastic waste instead of the declared “assorted electronic accessories.”

“We denounce this latest attempt to bring into the country over 25 tons of mixed plastic waste from Hong Kong amid our nation’s ongoing efforts to send back similar illegal waste shipments from Canada and South Korea,” according to Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

Reports say the shipment arrived in the country last January 2, 2019.
The cargo was shipped by Hin Yuen Tech. Env. Limited and was consigned to Crowd Win Industrial Limited.

The BOC Region 10 already issued an alert order and a warrant of seizure and detention on February 19 and March 7, 2019 in violation of Section 1400 (misdeclaration) in relation to Section 117 (lack of permit) of Republic Act 10863, or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

EcoWaste also reported that the BOC Region 10 will also initiate an action to re-export of the illegal shipment back to Hong Kong.

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