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Go green for power: Alternative energy source in the country

by UNTV News   |   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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Luzon Grid power supply to lessen due to Binga Dam current state

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019

Binga Dam in Itogon, Benguet

Power supplied by Binga Hydroelectric Power Plant to the Luzon grid might lessen due to the current condition of Binga Dam in Itogon, Benguet.

According to National Power Corporation (Napocor) the water storage capacity in Binga Dam decreased to 19% and is affecting the operation of the power plant.

Based on the record of Napocor since the dam was built in 1960, it can store 95 million cubic meters of water. But in 2019, it can only store around 18 million cubic meters.

Binga Dam is not affected by El Niño because it has a water level of 572 meters. It would take six more meters before it reaches the critical level of 566 meters.

Principal hydrologist A, Virgilo Garcia said that stones, gravel, sand, and mud get stuck in the dam during typhoon.

“Over the years ang dam natin napupuno na siya ng sediments, ang mga naaanod na mga putik mga buhangin, graba naiipon siya sa ilalim ng dam ang tubig nandun lang siya sa ibabaw pero wala na siya sa storage capacity, (Over the years, our dam gets filled with sediments, mud, sand, and gravel. It gets collected under the dam. The water stays on the surface but there are no more storage capacity)” he said.

The Binga Hydroelectric Power Plant is one of the hydroelectric power plants in the country. It generates 130 megawatts of electricity which supplies power in the Luzon Grid including Itogon, Benguet and other areas of Bokod.

Aside from the decrease of water storage capacity in Binga Dam, its turbines are also deteriorating.

“Kung naka-design siya for 100 megawatts, baka makapag-generate siya 100 megawatts pero sandali lang baka isa hanggang dalawang oras lang so hindi na niya mamaximize ung efficiency, (If it is designed for 100 megawatts, it can generate 100 megawatts but it will only last for one to two hours)” according to Garcia.

Napocor has been reviewing on conducting dredging under the dam to remove the collected sediments but it seemed impractical, Garcia said.

He said dredging would be costly and it would be better to build another dam.

Napocor conducts regular inspection in the dam to ensure its operations will continue despite the problem.

Napocor said Binga dam can still operate to up to 30 years.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Grace Doctolero)

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‘Battle for Rivers and Esteros’: Massive clean-up of Manila Bay

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, April 1st, 2019

DPWH personnel collect plastic waste from polluted esteros | Courtesy: DENR

MANILA, Philippines — Around 5,301 sacks of garbage were collected on Sunday (March 31) in the ‘Battle for Rivers and Esteros’ — a massive clean-up drive of Manila Bay.

Waterways leading to Manila Bay were filled with piles of waste.

Some volunteers used small boats to collect trash while others needed to use cranes and backhoes.

Various groups, government agencies, and residents participated in the cleaning of the waterways that lead to Manila Bay.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu said cleaning the waterways is a step toward cleaning the rivers leading to the bay.

“Ang Parañaque River natin ay isa sa medyo maduming river na dumidiretso sa Manila Bay. Kailangang linisin natin ang Parañaque River, pero ang Parañaque River hindi natin malilinis kung hindi natin isama ang mga estero na pumupunta sa Parañaque River, (The Parañaque River is among the polluted rivers that lead to Manila Bay. We need to clean that. But we cannot do so if we will not clean first the waterways leading to Parañaque River) he said.

Meanwhile, the Department of the Interior of Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año recommends relocating all informal settlers living along the waterways.

He said cleaning Manila Bay is for the sake of the future generation and that it is time to take action.

“Alam ko sa ginagawa nating ito marami tayong nasasagasaan, Mayroong sasama ang loob , pero wala tayo magagwa dahil wala nang panahon, (I know that our activities might upset some groups. They might protest but there’s nothing we can do about it. There is no time),” he said.

Residents who volunteered in the clean-up believe this will help improve their barangay.

Among the rivers that were cleaned include Tullahan, Tinejeos, Pasig, Navotas, Parañaque and San Juan.

Amy Gallarte, a resident of Barangay. Tumana, Marikina City said that cleaning the waterways can help prevent flooding in their area.

“Kailangan po kasi natin ang kalinisan lalong-lalo na po ang creek. Kasi pag nagbara ang creek hindi po dadaloy ang tubig, makukulong po iyan, (We need cleanliness especially in the waterways. Because once it gets blocked, water will get stuck there) she said.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

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More sharks endangered—IUCN Red List

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Sunday, March 31st, 2019

Shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) | Courtesy: Mark Conlin, SWFSC Large Pelagics Program

More sharks are now endangered according to the updated Red List Assessments of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

According to the Shark Specialist Group (SSG) of the (IUCN), 17 out of the 58 species of sharks and rays are already classified as threatened of extinction.

“Our results are alarming and yet not surprising, as we find the sharks that are especially slow-growing, sought-after, and unprotected from overfishing tend to be the most threatened,” said Professor Nicholas Dulvy, SSG Co-chair based at Simon Fraser University.

Among the species of sharks listed as endangered includes the Shortfin Mako Shark, Longfin Mako Shark, and the Greeneye Spurdog.

“The threats to sharks and rays continue to mount and yet countries around the world are still falling far short of their conservation commitments, particularly with respect to basic limits on catch,” according to Sonja Fordham, SSG Deputy Chair based at Shark Advocates International.—Aileen Cerrudo

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