16 October 2015

APEC News Release

President Aquino presents ‘Gawad Parangal’ awards during 40th anniversary of National Housing Authority
President Benigno S. Aquino III has commended the National Housing Authority (NHA) for 40 years of providing safe, decent and affordable houses to the country’s homeless and underprivileged families.

In his speech delivered during the Gawad Parangal sa Kabalikat sa Pabahay awarding ceremony on Thursday, the President thanked the employees of the NHA, which reached its highest production accomplishment in the number of units constructed and families relocated.

“Lagi ko naman pong sinasabi: Hindi ako ang gumawa nito; kayo po, ang mga masigasig na kawani ng NHA, sa pakikiisa ng ating mga Boss—kayo ang gumawa ng pagbabago. Maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat,” said the Chief Executive, who was welcomed by NHA General Manager Sinforoso Pagunsan and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council Chairperson Chito Cruz upon his arrival at the Crossroad Center in Quezon City.

The President also expressed his gratitude to NHA’s partners in its housing endeavors.

“Kukunin ko na rin po ang pagkakataong ito para magpasalamat sa lahat ng ating naging kabalikat sa sektor ng pabahay sa mga nagdaang taon—mula sa mga bumubuo ng NHA, sa pangunguna ng bago ninyong hepe, si GM Pagunsan, at mga katuwang na ahensiya, sa pribadong sektor, sa mga lokal na pamahalaan, sa mga pinarangalan natin ngayon, at higit sa lahat, sa bawat Boss nating pinipiling maging kabahagi ng inilalatag nating mga solusyon,” said the President, who also announced that NHA employees stand to get a bigger anniversary bonus.

The NHA marked its four decades of public service to the homeless Filipino families with a celebration anchored on the theme, “Sama-Sama, Tulong-tulong, Programang Pabahay ating Isulong”.

To date, 1,053,070 families have benefited from NHA’s programs nationwide. Throughout its 40 years, the agency has prioritized the housing needs of informal setter families (ISFs), displaced communities in conflict areas, calamity survivors and indigenous groups.

So far, some 62,087 families out of the 104,219 ISFs have been resettled in new units in two- to five-storey Low-Rise Buildings constructed within their city of origin, while those who opted to move to off-city sites chose the housing units constructed in Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal.

“Mga Boss, nakamit po natin ang lahat ng ito, dahil sa Daang Matuwid, hindi tayo tumigil, hindi tayo lumihis, at hindi tayo naghilahan pababa. Sa halip, pinili nating magbayanihan. Ang dating puro ‘ako’, ginawa nating ‘tayo’. Ang dating ‘kanya-kanya’, ginawa nating ‘sama-sama’. Pinatunayan natin ang likas na pagkamatulungin ng lahing Pilipino; inialay natin ang sariling balikat at binigyang-lakas ang isa’t isa, na siya namang nagdala sa atin sa kinatatayuan natin ngayon,” said President Aquino.

Noting that the country has come a long way, he said it is up to the people to choose which path to take.

“Tunay pong malayo-layo na ang narating natin, pero hindi magtatagal, muling haharap ang sambayanan sa isang sangandaan. Ang tanong po: Itutuloy ba natin ang maganda nating nasimulan, o babalik tayo sa dating ruta ng katiwalian at kahirapan? Nasa mga kamay po nating muli ang ating kapalaran. Tiwala naman po ako: Iaangat pa natin ang ating kapwa; isusulong pa natin ang ating bansa. Mga Boss, nasa iisang bubong lang tayong mga Pilipino. Tayo ang magpapaganda ng ating bahay. Tayo ang magpapaunlad ng ating bayan. Tayo ang magtutuloy sa tuwid na daan,” the President added.

The Gawad Parangal recognizes best communities and outstanding partners of the NHA. Each best community winner gets P40,000 in cash and a plaque. The cash is given to sustain the efforts of the community in its development projects.

The Best Community winners were BPI-Baguio Neighborhood Association, Inc. in Baguio City; Association of Residents of Karangalan Village Project in Pasig City; United Southville Seven Ville Homeowners Association, Inc. in Calauan, Laguna; Abuyog St. Francis Xavier Credit Cooperative in Guiuan, Eastern Samar; Bagacay Knights of Rizal Homeowners Association in Tacloban City, Leyte; Association of Differently-Abled Persons Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Davao City; and Martha Ville Homeowners Association, Inc. in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.

The Most Outstanding Partners were the Provincial Government of Bukidnon; the Municipal Government of M’Lang, Cotabato; the Center for Asian Mission for the Poor-Asia in Bulacan; the Ang Hortaleza Foundation, Inc.; the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes; the City Government of Las Pinas City; the City Government of Pasig City; and Eastern Samar Vice Governor Christopher Sheen Gonzales. PND (jm)

To achieve collective energy resiliency, APEC emphasizes need to understand interdependency of energy and water
(LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu) Energy ministers throughout the Asia-Pacific rim have vowed to endeavor ways to understand the complex relationship between energy and water, address challenges, and utilize both resources more efficiently.

This declaration was issued at the conclusion of the 12th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Energy Ministers’ Meeting (EMM) held here this week as APEC ministers try and define the appropriate fuel and power generation technology mix that would support the twin goals of economic prosperity and environmental sustainability.

In their joint statement, the APEC energy officials noted that the energy-water nexus is an important aspect of the regional grouping’s collective energy resiliency.

“It is important that we understand the interdependence of these resources, determine vulnerabilities and strengthen our response to anticipated changes exacerbated by climate change,” they said in the statement.

According to the ministers, the region’s energy facilities require a reliable and abundant source of water, which is already in short supply around the world.

The energy-water nexus is the relationship between how much water is evaporated to generate and transmit energy, and how much energy it takes to collect, clean, move, store, and dispose of water.

All types of electricity generation consume water, either to process the raw materials used in the facility or fuel, constructing and maintaining the plant, or to just generate the electricity itself.

In the United States, about 7.6 liters of water is evaporated to create 1 kilowatt hour (kW-h) of energy. This water is consumed in thermoelectric plants, which are power plants converting waste heat into electrical power and evaporated in reservoirs for hydroelectric plants.

On the other hand, an average of 68 liters of fresh water is evaporated to generate 1 kW-h of electricity at a hydroelectric plant. The production of electricity to power one 60-watt incandescent light bulb over the course of a year would evaporate about 24,000 liters of water.

The demand for cooling water can be in competition with agriculture and municipal demands in some areas, with the demand for water for irrigation about 40 percent overall. As a result of climate change, some rivers are running lower in the summer, putting additional strain on power production. (APEC Communications Group)

APEC supports Philippine-proposed workshop on improving resilience of power infrastructure in remote areas
(LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu) The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is optimistic that a series of workshops proposed by the Philippines and to be conducted among APEC member economies, would effectively identify and address common challenges, lessons learned and best practices in improving the resiliency of energy infrastructure in off-grid areas, given the threats of natural disasters and the impacts of climate change.

Off-grid areas are places so remote that connection to the main power grid is not an immediate option. Electricity in these areas is mainly sourced from diesel generators, putting the supply at risk in times of energy disruptions.

Energy resiliency in off-grid areas is the ability to restore and sustain the availability and accessibility of energy in off-grid areas in the most timely and efficient manner, in the aftermath of natural and man-made disasters.

Off-grid areas mostly situated in geographically challenged locations are usually at risk and vulnerable to extreme weather conditions and impacts of climate change.

The APEC Emergency Preparedness Working Group (EPWG) declared that more than 70 percent of the world’s natural disasters are being experienced by the 21 APEC member economies, thereby causing the disruption of energy supply and the destruction of critical energy infrastructure.

Energy officials of APEC member economies who gathered in Cebu earlier this week welcomed the Workshop on Improving Energy Resiliency in Off-Grid Areas to be organized by the Philippines.

They noted that a priority goal in developing a resilient APEC community is to provide energy access to all people, including in remote communities.

“We recognize that providing reliable, affordable and secure supplies of energy to remote communities will drive income generation and simultaneously encourage economic growth, sustainable environmental outcomes and new opportunities, such as eco-tourism for our people, including women,” the APEC ministers said in a joint statement issued following the conclusion of the 12th APEC Energy Ministers’ Meeting held here.

According to the APEC, the Energy Resiliency in Off-Grid Areas Workshop, as proposed, is an opportunity for APEC member economies to exchange information and share expertise on lessons learned, best practices and success stories on coping mechanisms and interventions of member economies to ensure energy supply security and availability in the wake of natural calamities, man-made disasters and extreme weather events, particularly in off-grid areas.

The workshop will also be a venue to acquire insights and knowledge on possible technology solutions and other innovative options that may be adopted by member economies.

The APEC said innovative power systems include portable models that enable a local government to transport these mobile power systems to affected areas as part of immediate disaster response. It should also be underscored that off-grid areas are rich sources of sustainable and clean energy, such as wind, biomass and, to a certain degree, small hydro resources.

Collaborative undertakings, such as research, development and deployment, standards setting, capacity building, and other forms of technical assistance are all envisioned to form part of the menu of options and recommendations to promote resiliency of energy facilities in off-grid areas.

This will be documented and contained in the Workshop’s main output, the publication of the Guidelines to Improve Climate Change Resiliency of Energy Facilities in Off-Grid Areas, which member economies could adopt or contextualize according to their respective and individual circumstances. (APEC Communications Group)

President Aquino tells public to prepare for Typhoon Lando, heed government advice
President Benigno S. Aquino III advised communities in the path of Typhoon Lando, which is expected to carry strong winds and heavy rains, to prepare and not to panic as the weather disturbance moves towards north of Luzon.

“Nananawagan nga ako sa bawat Pilipino: Iwasan po natin ang mag-panic,” he told the nation in a televised address on Friday evening.

“Gawin natin ang nararapat na paghahanda. Subaybayan natin ang mga ulat; unawain ang mga kahulugan ng mga babalang ilalabas ng pambansa at lokal na pamahalaan—mula sa storm signals, rainfall warnings, storm surge advisories, at maging ang mga abiso ng evacuation kung kinakailangan.”

His government is doing all the necessary preparations to ensure zero casualty, he said, with the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) at the helm of the government’s preparedness efforts.

The private sector, telecommunications and oil companies, as well as the World Food Program and other organizations, also back government preparations.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has also prepositioned food packs to easily reach affected communities.

The DPWH, which also prepositioned heavy equipment for possible clearing operations, is also helping the DSWD in storing food supplies, he said.

“Ang ating DOE at NEA naman, nakahandang umaksyon para maibalik ang kuryente sa mga lugar na tatamaan ng bagyo. Inabisuhan na rin ng DepEd ang lahat ng paaralang saklaw ng mga rehiyong maaapektuhan,” the President said.

“Ang DOH naman, naka-ready na rin ang first aid na kagamitan at kinakailangang mga medisina. Binabantayan naman ng DTI ang presyo ng mga bilihin, para maiwasan ang pagsasamantala sa ating mga kababayan.”
To ensure public safety and orderliness, the DILG, PNP, and BFP implemented Oplan Listo, he said, adding Interior and Local Government Sec. Mel Sarmiento has already coordinated with local government units in doing necessary preparations.

Government assets, such as planes and ships are already on standby, he said. He also said the government will deploy more soldiers and policemen in affected areas.

“Maliwanag po na narito ang inyong pamahalaan, upang siguruhing maaabot natin ang hangad nating zero casualty,” the President said.

“Pero kailangan kong idiin: May tungkulin ang bawat LGU, pamayanan, at Pilipinong maaapektuhan, na makiisa sa ating kolektibong aksyon para malampasan natin ang mga darating na pagsubok.”

While Typhoon Lando could bring devastation along its path, the President said it could also fill the water levels of major dams in Luzon and this will help the country store water as El Niño phenomenon looms.

Based on the latest forecast by PAGASA, Typhoon Lando is 510 kilometers east of Baler, Aurora, with sustained winds of 130 kph and gustiness of 160 kph.

Typhoon Lando, which is seen to drench much of Luzon, could move slowly, according to PAGASA, because of the effect of another weather disturbance, Typhoon Champi, that hampers its movement.

According to PAGASA, heavy rains could last from 6 to 12 hours, as quick evaporation brought about by El Niño adds to the volume of rainfall.

PAGASA also projects that Typhoon Lando’s sustained winds could reach 185 kph and typhoon signal could possibly be upgraded up to Storm Signal Number 4. PND (as)