Go green for power: Alternative energy source in the country

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 22, 2019   •   2406

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

EcoWaste urges youth not to light firecrackers for safe, non-toxic new year

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 12, 2019

Environmental group, EcoWaste Coalition urged the youth not to light any firecrackers and fireworks for a safe and non-toxic new year.

In a statement released on Thursday (December 12), the eco-group said they launched ‘Iwas Paputoxic’ to encourage families and communities to turn away from the dangerous and polluting tradition of detonating firecrackers and fireworks to welcome the New Year.

“The misuse of firecrackers and fireworks can cause blast injuries or burns that may require amputation, eye damage that may lead to blindness, tetanus, poisoning and even death with children as the most affected” Thony Dizon said, the Chemical Safety Campaigner of EcoWaste Coalition.

The EcoWaste Coalition further urged the public not to burn used tires on New Year’s eve which can generate loads of pollutants such as particulates, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and other toxic chemicals that are harmful to a person’s health and to the environment.—AAC

Health, environmental advocates urge not to burn trash in cemeteries

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 28, 2019

Health and environmental advocates urge the public not to burn trash especially in cemeteries during the observance of Undas.

In a joint statement, public health expert Dr. Maricar Limpin and zero waste campaigner Jove Mendoza said there are health and environmental dangers in burning trash.

Exposure to these pollutants can cause breathing difficulties and trigger asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory illnesses, especially among children, the elderly and those already suffering from weakened immune systems,” Limpin said.

Meanwhile, Benosa reiterated that burning trash in public is prohibited. He said among the laws banning and penalizing open burning are Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, and Republic Act 8749, or the Clean Air Act.

“Instead of burning discards, we appeal to cemetery administrators and visitors to follow the provisions of RA 9003, which requires the segregation of discards at source and their ecological management such as by composting the biodegradables and recycling the recyclables,” said Benosa.—AAC

EcoWaste: Hazardous levels of lead discovered in public playgrounds across PHL

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 24, 2019

The EcoWaste Coalition has raised concerns over the dangerous amount of lead found in several playground equipment in the country.

Based on the report of the eco-group, 50 out of 55 play equipment have total lead concentrations above 90 parts per million (ppm) which is the limit set by the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Their report also added that around 42 lead-coated playground equipment have dangerously high lead levels above 10,000 ppm.

Chemical Safety Campaigner of EcoWaste Coalition Thony Dizon has raised the dangers of the lead-coated playground equipment.

“The paint will deteriorate with repeated use and exposure to sun and rain. This will cause the paint to peel and get into the dust and soil, which can be ingested by children through common hand-to-mouth behavior,” he said.

EcoWaste is also supporting United Nations’ campaign, the International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action which is observed from October 20-26.—AAC

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