15 April 2015

APEC News Release

President Aquino seeks support of municipal officials in continuing his reforms
President Benigno S. Aquino III has called on municipal leaders to ensure the continuity of his reform programs.

Speaking before hundreds of members of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) at the Manila Hotel on Wednesday, the President said an administration’s success or failure depends on the support of local government units for the national government.

“Batid ko po, malaking papel ang ginagampanan ng ating local government units. Kung ang pagpapalakad ng buong bansa ay tungkulin ng pambansang pamahalaan, kayo naman sa LGU ang direktang nakakasalamuha ng ating mga mamamayan,” the President said during the opening of the three-day LMP General Assembly, which carried the theme, “Empowerment of LGUs Towards All-Inclusive Growth.”

“Sa pamamagitan ninyo, nararamdaman ng ating mamamayan kung tumototoo ang gobyerno sa panata nitong maglingkod sa bayan. Kaya nga ang tagumpay o pagkabigo ng isang administrasyon ay nakasalalay sa pakikipagtulungan ng local government units sa pambansang pamahalaan.”

Highlighting the government’s social welfare programs and infrastructure projects, the President attributed the country’s ongoing transformation to good governance.

“Di po ba dati, ang laging bukambibig ng gobyerno, walang pera sa kaban ng bayan? Ngayon, napapatunayan natin na kung hindi nanakawin ang pondo, hindi ito magkukulang,” he said.

President Aquino thus called on the LGUs to continue the reform programs that his administration has begun.

“Kung magtutuloy-tuloy tayo sa tuwid na daan, lalo pang gaganda ang ating patutunguhan. Ang hamon sa atin ay siguruhin na magiging permanente ang bunga ng ating pagsisikap,” he continued.

The 1,490-strong LMP is lobbying for the approval this year of the “Bigger Pie, Bigger Slice” bill authored by Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel.

The bill seeks to increase from 40 percent to 50 percent the LGUs’ share in the government’s tax revenues.

President Aquino said the national government acknowledges the funding problems faced by LGUs.

“Gusto ko man hong sabihing ‘Oo,’ sige, lakihan natin nang lakihan ang slice ng pie. Siguro kaya ko hong i-commit sa inyo, sa mga nagpapakitang-gilas nga ho, hindi mahirap dagdagan ang inyong pondo. Sa mga marami naman pong problemang naidudulot sa atin, medyo nag-iingat tayong dagdagan ang pondo. Nasa inyo po iyan. Magtulungan tayo dito. Success will breed success. Pasensiya nga ho, (dahil) failure will breed an orphan,” he said.

“Ulitin ko lang po, tanaw at dama namin, nakikita namin ang mga suliraning hinaharap ninyo, papel namin bawasan ngayon ang problemang kinakaharap ninyo,” the President concluded.

National President of the LMP, Javier, Leyte Mayor Leonardo Javier, Jr., delivered the welcome remarks.

Also present at the event was Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas. PND (jm)

Ochoa: New grads to benefit from country’s bright economic prospects
Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. on Wednesday asked graduates of Manuel L. Quezon University (MLQU) to believe in the Philippines and take full advantage of the opportunities available in the country, one of only two Asian nations expected to grow 6 percent or more in 2015.

Addressing graduates at the 67th Commencement Exercises of MLQU, Ochoa said that the country has “100 million reasons to be optimistic about its future,” as foreign analysts have been bullish about the Philippines’ growing economy and its young, talented workforce.

“Our country is in the midst of steady economic growth, and that growth represents more opportunities for our citizens, especially young men and women like yourselves––who are now part of the one of the world’s youngest, best educated and most dynamic workforces,” Ochoa said.

The Executive Secretary cited a survey of economists conducted by Bloomberg which showed that the Philippines and China were the only two Asian economies forecasted to grow 6 percent or more this year. In the same survey, the Philippines was one of only five countries worldwide expected to grow 5 percent or more in the coming year, joining China, India, Indonesia and Kenya.

Quoting an article from business magazine Forbes, Ochoa said that foreign observers have high hopes for the country, which is “home to some of the most inspiring and promising talent in the world.”

“That talent is already demonstrated by Filipinos in companies around the globe and yet, it is only just a taste of what is possible and what is still to come,” Ochoa said.

“Believe in your country. Believe in yourselves. And believe that with the education you have received and the degrees you hold today, a bright future awaits you, your families and your country,” he added.

MLQU was established in 1947 to provide “ambitious but financially disadvantaged young people with the education and professional training needed to get ahead in life.” The university was founded by several prominent justices and lawyers who saw the need for a quality educational institution catering to the less privileged. Its founders include Leoncio B. Monzon, Sen. Lorenzo M. Tañada, Arsenio P. Dizon, Carmelino G. Alvendia, Justice Jose B. L. Reyes, Manuel O. Chan, and Anselmo S. Claudio.

Two secretaries in the Cabinet of President Benigno S. Aquino III are alumni of MLQU: Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz.

Solar power technology gains ground among APEC member economies
(LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte) Energy experts from member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) have reported that the Photovoltaic (PV) solar power technology has made inroads in their respective renewable energy (RE) programs.

The Philippines amended its installation target of solar energy generation from 50 megawatts (MW) to 500 MW last year, after seeing solar power generation as one of the most promising source of renewable energy.

Director Mario Marasigan of the Renewable Energy Management Bureau of the Energy Deparment said on Wednesday that although it amended the installation target, the government remains careful so as not to hurt power consumers who do not get power subsidies from the government.

“For the Philippines, we have implemented the net metering for PV solar installations in academic institutions. This has encouraged the academe to build their own RE systems, such as the solar PV on their rooftops,” he said.

The sharing of experiences was part of the ongoing 44th Meeting of the APEC-Expert Group on New Renewable Energy (APEC-EGNRET44) being held at the Fort Ilocandia Resort Hotel here.

Meanwhile, Gavin Yu of Korea noted a growing number of new renewable energy manufacturers as the RE sector develops.

He said that from 2007 to 2013, the number of manufacturers more than doubled, the employment figure more than tripled, while the revenue size increased sixfold.

Korea, he said, has a distinct microgrid system in small island areas instead of independent systems, which rely on fuel-fed generators.

The country piloted connection projects that generated energy from wind, PV solar and geothermal integrating with Energy Storage System (ESS), all in Ulleung Island, he said.

With its sound Renewable Portfolio Standard, the rooftop and parking lot of Renault Samsung Motors in Busan was converted into a Solar PV Power Plant, now the largest solar PV plant for the single factory and provides electricity to 7,300 households.

Korea’s PV Rental Program is also promising as it allows household owners to reduce their electricity bill to 80 percent, he added.

“PV rental companies earn rental fee and benefit from the Renewable Energy Point set by the government,” Yu said.

Chinese Taipei on the other hand has devised a solar PV mechanism that ensures fair participation of applicants and reveals the actual market value and costs of PV installation.

The country also convinced its banking institutions to provide financing support.

At least 26 banks have embraced green financing, with the green energy investment fund growing from US$1.6 million in 2011 to $222 million in 2013.

Japan is geared towards installing PV solar and wind power technologies because of its good wind resource.

Takao Ikeda of Japan said the government allocated more than 27 billion yen in 2014 for the research and development of a utility scale battery system.

By 2020, it targets to reduce the cost of Lithium batteries, Redox Flow battery, NAS battery and other existing batteries, he said.

The United States, for its part, conducted the 2014 SunShot Grand Challenge Summit and Peer Review in support of the ten-year SunShot initiative that began in 2010.

The SunShot initiative targets the production of grid connected PV power at 5 cents to 6 cents per kilowatt-hour.

The result of the Ilocos Norte meeting will be presented to APEC energy officials in October during the Energy Ministers’ Meeting to be held in Cebu. PIA (Region 1)