Skip to content

Huwag Matakot Sa Nuklear

Diretsahan

 

 

ni Horacio Paredes

 

Kamakailan,  nag-twitter ang Meralco nang ganito: “Sa pagbabalik-normal ng suplay ng kriyente, bumaba sa P6.54/KWH ang generartion charge ngayong buwan.”

Alam ba ninyo na ang isa sa pinakamataas na singill ng koriyente sa buong mundo ay ang koriyente natin sa ‘Pinas? At, kung ganito ng ganito ang ating ginagawa — ang pagdagdag ng mga planta na gumagamit ng langis galing sa Gitnang Silangan at coal (Karbon) galing kung saan man ito nabibili — lalong pataas ng pataas ang babayaran natin sa bawat kilowatt ng ating ginagamit na koriyente.

Alam ba ninyo na kahit na sa Gintnang Silangan kung saan nanggagaling ang langis na sinusubo natin sa mga generator ng ating koriyente, nagtayo na at magtatayo pa ng mga nuclear plant para sa kanilang gamit na koriyente?

Marami sa atin ang takot sa Nuklear? Dahil sa takot, ang ating Nuklear na planta na sinimulang tinayo noong  1976 pa ay hindi natin masimulang gamitin. Dahil sa  sakunang nangyari sa Three Mile Island sa Amerika noong 1979, natigil ang trabaho at sa pagsusuri ay nakahanap sila ng apat na libong depekto. Ang isa nito ay ang nakatayo raw ang Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) sa lugar na malamang tatamaan ng lindol at ng  pagsabog ng Mt. Pinatubo. Noong 1984, halos tapos na ang construction nito. Umabot na ang gastusin sa US$2.3 bilyon at ang kayang ibigay na koriyente nito ay 683 megawatt.

Pagkatapos napalayas si Marcos ng People Power noong 1986, at dahil sa aksidenteng nangyari sa Chernobyl sa Rusya, pinagpaliban ni Pangulong Cory Aquino na buhayin ng planta. Kahit hindi pa ito nagagamit, binayaran ng Pilipinas ang buong utang sa Westinghouse.

Ang dapat nating tanungin ay kung baket hanggang ngayon ay hindi pa rin natin binubuhay ang Bataan Nuclear Power Plant( BNPP). Malaki sana ang matutulong nito kung idadagdag ang kaniyang 683 Megawatts upang mapunoan ang ating kakulangan sa koriyente.

Ang BNPP rin ay magbibigay ng koriyente na walang masamang dalang sakit na usok at polusyon. Kahit na malaki ang magagastos natin sa pagbili ng nuclear rods na sinusubo sa reaktor, wala naman tayong bibilhing coal (karbon) o langis kaya bababa ang magiging singil sa ating gagamiting koriyente — baka,  ‘ika na mga inhinyero, halos mga P 3.00 lamang sa bawat kilowatt, imbes na singil ngayon na sobra sa anim na piso.

Ang ginagawa ng ating pamahalaan na walang tigil na pagtatayo ng mga plantang gumagamit ng coal at langis galing sa Gitnang Silangan ay lalo lamang tatyong binabaon sa utang.

Merong magsasabi na luma na ang design ng BNPP. Ngunit, ang BNPP ay meron ng containment structure, gaya ng  plantang nukear na nasiraan kamakailan sa Fukushima sa Japan kung kaya wala ni isang namatay sa aksidenteng nuklear na iyon. Kumpara sa Fukushima mas matibay sa lindol ang BNPP at mas mataas ito sa dagat kung kaya hindi ito malulunod sa mga matataas alon na maaaring dala ng tsunami.

Napakaraming bansa ang nagtatahyo ng bagong mga plantang Nuklear, gay ng Tsina, Amerika at pati na ring ang mga bansang pinanggagalingan ng ating binibiling tonetoneladang karbon at langis para ipakain sa ating mga power generators. Kung sila na mayaman sa langis ay pumupunta sa nuklear, bakit tayong wala o kaunti lamang ang langis sa ating bansa ay hindi matutong gumamit ng nuklear na mas mura ang magiging gastusin natin sa enerhiyang gimagamit natin?

# # # #

hvp (6.11.14)

 

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

SC Justice Carpio on China’s Claims

Carpio also explains that historical facts dating back to the age of discovery in the early 15th century until the 17th century or even earlier ‘have no bearing whatsoever in the resolution of maritime disputes under UNCLOS.’”

 

 by Ducky Paredes

 

Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio says that  an examination of early maps made by Chinsese cartographers prove that the “historical facts” claimed by China for their newly created nine-dash line is a fiction of their imagination.

 “All these ancient maps show that since the first Chinese maps appeared, the southernmost territory of China has always been Hainan island, with its ancient names being Zhuya, then Qiongya, and thereafter Qiongzhou,” says Justice Carpio.

The magistrate said this shows that Hainan island, which was for centuries a part of Guangdong until 1988 when it became a separate province, has always been the boundary of the Chinese territory in the Southeast Asian region.

Carpio said even the maps of the Philippines and other nearby countries made by European cartographers  also never showed the contested islands as part of China.

In fact. Justice Carpio saysthat  China only claimed its alleged “historical facts” as basis for its maritime claims in the South China Sea after the Philippines filed in January 2013 an arbitration case against it before an international tribunal, invoking UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea).

The fact that this part of the world’s ocean is called the  “South China Sea” as basis for China’s historical claims also proves nothing.

 “The South China Sea was not even named by the Chinese but by European navigators and cartographers. The Song and Ming Dynasties called the South China Sea the ‘Giao Chi Sea,’ and the Qing Dynasty, the Republic of China as well as the People’s Republic of China call it the ‘South Sea’ without the word ‘China’.”

Citing foundations of international law by Hugo Grotius in the early 17th century, Carpio notes that “the oceans and seas of our planet belonged to all mankind, and no nation could claim ownership to the oceans and seas.”

 “India cannot claim the Indian Ocean, and Mexico cannot claim the Gulf of Mexico, in the same way that the Philippines cannot claim the Philippine Sea, just because historically these bodies of water have been named after these countries,” he stresses.

Carpio also explains that historical facts dating back to the age of discovery in the early 15th century until the 17th century or even earlier “have no bearing whatsoever in the resolution of maritime disputes under UNCLOS.”

Thus, China’s claim of a “historical right” to the waters enclosed within the 9-dash lines in the South China Sea is without basis under international law.

UNCLOS extinguished all historical rights of other states within the 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone of the adjacent coastal state. This is the reason why the zone is called “exclusive,” as no state other than the adjacent coastal state can exploit the economic resources in this EEZ. This is why the Unite Nations Law of the Sea (UNLOS) had to be signed by the countries of the world before it could take effect and China was among the countries that signed this!

Yet, China now claims that Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal, which it now calls Huangyan Island, is the Nanhai island that 13th century Chinese astronomer-engineer-mathematician Guo Shoujing, allegedly visited in 1279 on orders from Kublai Khan – the first emperor of the Yuan Dynasty – to conduct a survey of the Four Seas to update the Sung Dynasty calendar system.

This supposed visit of Gou Shoujing to Panatag Shoal in 1279 is the only claim by China of historical association of China with the shoal, which Carpio, in an earlier speech pointed out, was what China also used in its dispute with Vietnam over the Paracels.

He also cited a Jan. 30, 1980 document entitled “China’s Sovereignty Over Xisha and Zhongsa Islands Is Indisputable” published in Beijing Review, in which the country’s foreign ministry officially declared that the Nanhai island that the 13th Century Chinese astronomer Guo Shoujing visited in 1279 was in Xisha or what is internationally called the Paracels, a group of islands, more than 380 nautical miles from Panatag Shoal.

Carpio says Guo could not have gone ashore to “visit” the shoal because “it was just a rock, with no vegetation, and did not even have enough space to accommodate an expedition party.”

The SC justice also argued that, under UNLOS,  a state may only claim “historical rights” only over waters that are part of its internal waters or territorial sea.

China failed to satisfy any of the conditions to claim historical rights under the general principles and rules of international law, such as formal announcement to the international community, continuous exercise of sovereignty over the waters it claims as its own internal waters or territorial sea, and recognition from other states.

He added that China’s new claims of the existence of the newly fashioned 9-dash line claim was “never effectively enforced.”

Since last year, Carpio had been bringing up the West Philippine Sea issue in a number of public speeches.

In a speech before members of the Philippine Bar Association in August last year, Carpio expressed fear that territorial claims over disputed areas of the West Philippine Sea could end up being dictated by naval strength and not by the rule of law, citing the tendency of China to ignore arbitration proceedings.

In a speech three months earlier before law students of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, Carpio noted that under the United Nations Charter, the International Court of Justice can ask the UN Security Council to enforce its decision. The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea or ITLOS is also a UN body.

Carpio wrote the Supreme Court decision that unanimously affirmed the constitutionality of the Philippine Archipelagic Baselines law of 2009, beating an UNCLOS deadline.

The South China Morning Post China (SCMP) reports that China plans  to put up  a military base after the expansion of an artificial island located on Kagitingan (Fiery Cross) Reef.

Chinese Naval Research Institute expert Li Jie, says in the SCMP report, that the military base would feature an airstrip and a port. The base will also have storage for military supplies.

Jin Canrong, a professor of international relations in Renmin University in Beijing, also said in the same report that the artificial island would be twice the size of the US military base in Diego Garcia, which occupies an area of 44 square kilometers in the Indian Ocean.

Jin also said that the proposal to construct the artificial island was submitted to the Chinese central government and that its approval would depend on the progress of reclamation on Mabini (Johnson South) Reef.

* * *

Panatag Shoal (Scarborough Shoal) has always been part of the Philippines that from the 1960s to the 1980s, Philippine and American planes used it as an impact range during joint military exercises.

Neither China nor any other country ever protested the bombing runs on the shoal.

China is claiming the resource-rich shoal off Zambales province as part of its territory, seizing it after a two-month maritime standoff with the Philippines in 2012.

“If the Philippines can bomb a shoal repeatedly over decades without any protest from neighboring states, it must have sovereignty over [that] shoal,” Carpio says.

In his talks, Carpio shows copies of maps of China dating back to the 13th century and to the 1930s, made by Chinese and foreigners, that show the southernmost territory of China has always been Hainan Island and that Chinese territory never included the Spratly Islands in the middle of the South China Sea and Panatag Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.

“There is not a single ancient map, whether made by Chinese or foreigners, showing that the Spratlys and Scarborough Shoal were ever part of Chinese territory,” Carpio says.

Carpio called China’s claim to almost the entire South China Sea, which Beijing calls “nine-dash line,” a “gigantic historical fraud” because it claims that its southernmost territory is James Shoal, which is 90 kilometers from the coast of Bintulu, Sarawak, Malaysia—within Malaysia’s exclusive economic zone—and more than 1,700 km from China.

Under international law, a country’s territory extends up to only 370 km from its shores.

Carpio said Philippine maps from 1636 to 1940, or for 340 years, “consistently show Scarborough Shoal, whether named or unnamed, as part of the Philippines.”

Spain also ceded Scarborough Shoal to the United States under the 1900 Treaty of Washington.

“In sum, China’s so-called historical facts to justify its nine-dash line are glaringly inconsistent with actual historical facts, based on China’s own historical maps, constitutions and official pronouncements,” says Carpio.

“China has no historical link whatsoever to Scarborough Shoal. The rocks of Scarborough Shoal were never bequeathed to the present generation of Chinese by their ancestors because their ancestors never owned those rocks in the first place.”

# # # #

hvp 06.11.14

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

An Arrogant China/Almonte’s Idea

Deng Xiaoping, anticipating the rise of China as a superpower, said China “should not be a victim of its own leadership who may be exploiters, or arrogant … because that will cause the collapse of China.

 

 

by Ducky Paredes

 

“It’s none of your business. “

In a press conference in Beijing Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hong Lei answered Philippine concerm over what they are building on the Spratys with those words. He insists  that China had “indisputable sovereignty” over the Spratly Islands, including parts of the archipelago within the Philippines’ 370-kilometer Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) known to Filipinos as the West Philippine Sea.

“China exercises indisputable sovereignty on the Nansha (Spratly) Islands and the adjacent waters,” Hong said.

“Any action taken by China on any island falls within China’s sovereignty and has nothing to do with the Philippines.”

Unlike Vietnam, the Philippines will not send its ships to disrupt the Chinese.

Vietnam has sent dozens of civilian ships to stop the operation of a deepwater oil drilling rig that China moved near Hanoi-claimed Paracel Islands in the East Sea last May.

Vietnam has reported rammings of its ships and accused China of sinking one of its fishing boat.

Hong said Chinese ships were defending China’s territory.

Mr. Aquino gave no details, but Gavin Reefs, two reefs in the Tizard Bank of the Spratly Islands that is also claimed by Vietnam, are already under Chinese control. Internet information describes them as having a supply platform and a reef fortress. The supply platform is described as having antiaircraft guns, search radars and radio communications equipment.

The Gavin Reefs are also known as Burgos Reefs.

 “We will not respond to any provocative action,” says Malacanang..

Apart from the fact that the Philippines has no ships that can match China’s large armed naval vessels, the government has taken a diplomatic tack to resolve the Philippines’ territorial dispute with China peacefully.

The Philippines has filed a petition in the United Nations International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea to nullify China’s claim to 90 percent of the 3.5-million-square-kilometer South China Sea. The tribunal has ordered China to respond to the Philippine petition by Dec. 15.

She said any damage to corals would be considered in the action to be taken by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

The DFA filed a diplomatic protest against China in April for its actions on Mabini Reef.

China readily rejected the protest, saying Mabini Reef was part of its territory.

The Philippines is relying on a favorable ruling from the UN arbitral tribunal to resolve its territorial dispute with China.

China has refused to participate in the process, repeatedly reiterating its sovereignty over the South China Sea.

But the tribunal is proceeding with the process and is likely to make a ruling based solely on the Philippine complaint.

Vietnam is considering following the Philippine lead and is looking to consult Manila before bringing legal action against China.

            * * *

Former National Security Adviser Jose Almonte, a retired Army general, says that the best strategy for handling the Philippines’ territorial dispute with China in the South China Sea is the “people-to-people approach.”

After all, he said, citizen initiatives are “more authentic” and “more enduring,” than those of politicians.

Almonte, meets with  with several Ateneo de Manila University graduates—called the Ateneo 198—in Greenhills.

“This nation is still too important to be left to the politicians,” Almonte said, two days before Vice President Jejomar Binay, who is running for the presidency in 2016, was reported to be conducting “back-channel” efforts with top Chinese Embassy officials to lay the groundwork for patching the frayed relations between the Philippines and China.

Under his people-to-people strategy, Almonte wants Philippine “intellectuals” “to connect with the intellectuals in China who oppose the Chinese leadership’s policies in the South China Sea.

He said “any mode of communication,” such as Facebook, Twitter and other social media, would do.

“Maybe some of us can … explore possibilities, maybe China can exploit the exclusive economic zones, but under the laws of the (affected) littoral countries,” he said.

Almonte said the Philippines, a littoral country, was only trying to persuade China to respect international law.

China, he said, will benefit from that alternative by getting returns on its investments and earning “tremendous respect and goodwill” in the international community.

Almonte said Philippine intellectuals, whose ethnicity does not matter, could “identify views that the Chinese articulate” and that could be maneuvered to redirect the Chinese leadership’s policies.

He cited the views of Deng Xiaoping, who is credited with launching China’s economic reforms, reflected in the Chinese leader’s 1974 statement to the United Nations General Assembly.

Deng Xiaoping, anticipating the rise of China as a superpower, said China “should not be a victim of its own leadership who may be exploiters, or arrogant … because that will cause the collapse of China.”

 “Connecting with China will not contradict Philippine government policy, or the policy of the United States, or even of China, which claims it abides by international law but is violating it,” says Almonte.

He added that it’s a “waste of time” to deal directly with the Chinese leadership, as the Chinese leaders may be “fixated” on what some experts call their dream for China to become a superpower.

“Some experts say you can’t be a superpower unless you have a second-strike capacity,” Almonte said. “Second-strike capacity requires that [China be] invulnerable to [launch] a strike. So these experts say the South China Sea is an integral part of the dream, for [the sea] to function just like the Sea of Okhotsk … during the Cold War.”

The Sea of Okhotsk in the northwestern Pacific Ocean was a stronghold of the former Soviet Navy. It was home to ballistic missile submarines of the former Soviet Pacific Fleet, although several US Navy operations to tap Soviet Navy undersea communication cables there had been successful.

Almonte said that as far as China’s superpower dream is concerned, “the South China Sea is necessarily an issue that cannot be resolved by … diplomacy” between the Chinese and the Philippine governments.

In fact, Almonte said that “whatever happens,” the ITLOS is a forum where the dispute can be “discussed.”

“The world could be informed and could make [its] own judgment. And that educates mankind on what is happening in the South China Sea, and can make [its] own decision on what is right and wrong,” he says

Ateneo 198 is composed of 1962 grade school graduates, 1966 high school graduates and 1970 college graduates, Rene Palma, one of the meeting’s organizers, explained. (Actually,  the ‘62 Grade school grad is a HS ‘68 grad and a ‘70 college alumnus!)

Is the Almonte idea worth trying or will our “intellectuals” find only Chinese “intellectuals” who follow the official line that the seven-dash line defines China’s territory within the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia’s 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zone?

# # # #

hvp 06.10.14

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

Pamamalakad na Walang Corrupt

Diretsahan

 

ni Horacio Paredes

 

   Totoo kaya na maaaring sa isang lungsod ay “Walang Corrupt”? Papaano nagagawa ni Mayor Maria Laarni “Lani ” Cayetano, ang Mrs. ni Senador Alan Peter Cayetano na napalaki na ang kita ng Lungsod ng Taguig sa anim na taon pa lamang niyang pinatatakbo ito.  Nngayon ay  P5.3 bilyon na  mula sa P3 bilyon lamang noong 2010 noong iba pa ang maya hawak ng City Hall!

Hindi niya tinaatasan ang singil sa buwis at dumami pa ang mga benepisyong natatanggap ng mga residente. Halimbawa, kahit na ang Opital ng Taguig ay ang Taguig-Pateros District Hospital  pa rin at hindi pa sinisimulan ang Taguig City Hospital, meron naman silang tatlong Super Health Center na bukas 24 oras at pitong araw sa isang linggo at, hindi gaya sa ibang lungsod, kung saan kinakailangang pumila upang makatanggap ng befepisyo, sa Taguig, ang mga pasiyente ay pinupuntahan ng mga duktor sa kanilang bahay at hinajatid ang kailangan nilang gamot na mas mura ang benta kesa sa botika,

Noong nabalitaan ko ang nangayayari sa Taguig, naisip kong ilatahala ito para na rin sa lahat ng mga Pilipino ay maaaring makaisip kung papaano ang maaaring mangyari sa kanilang munisipyo’t lungsod kung ang mga ito any gmaya sa “walang corrupt” ng Taguig.

Ang unang ginawa ni Mayor Lani ay ang binawasan ang binabayad ng Taguig sa naghahakot ng basura. Sa totoo lamang, madalas na ang kontrata sa hauler ng basura ay pinagkikitaan rin ng mga taga-munisipyo. Binawasan ni Mayor Lani Cayetano ang budget para basura na dati ay 500 milyon. Ginawa niyang P400 milyon lamang. Ginamit niya ang “savings” na  P100 milyon para sa mga iskolar ng Taguig sa college kung saan 24,000 na iskolar na ang naka-enroll sa mga kursong vocational at technical at ang budget para sa mga iskolar sa ngayon ay nasa P400 milyon na rin.

Nagawa nila ito sa Taguig patri na rin ang paglago ng kanilang knikita sa buwis sa pangakong matindi nilang tinupupad “Walang Corrupt sa Taguig.”

Marami nang mga kumpaniya ang lumipat sa Taguig mula sa Makati kung saan ang pinagyayabang ng Makati ay ang kanilang “Serbisyong may Puso” na malamang ay ito rin ang gagamitin ni Bise Presidente Jejomar Binay sa kaniyang pagtakbo bilang Pangulo natin sa 2016.

Ngunit para sa akin, Ang pinakita sa atin ng Taguig, ay ang hindi kailangan ng kung anong galing ng pamamalakad, na maaaring makamit ng kahit anumang munisipyo o lungsod ay maayos na buhay parsa kanilang mga residente kung “walang corrupt” at merong maayos na nagpapatakbong alkalde. Hindi naman mahirap pagpatakbo ng isang lugar basta’t ang mga nagpapatakbo ay hindi ang kanilang sarili ang pinagsisilbihan kundi ang mga residente ng lugar.

Sa pananaw ng World Bank ang Taguig ang nangunguna sa Metro Manila at sa buomg bansa sa panig ng  “Ease of Doing Business Index,” Ang Quezon City at Makati ay nasa ika No. 13 at No. 9 lamang.

Kung dadami ang mga munisipyo’t lungsod na tutulad sa Taguig, tiyak na mas mabilins uunlad ang ating bansa. Nasa mga botante iyan. Pumili kayo ng mga bibigyan ninyo ng pwesto sa sunod na halalan mula sa mga opisyal ng Barangay hanggsang sa ating mga alkalde na maaasahan natin na sila’y kayang mabuhay na “walang corrupt.” Tiyak na kung ganito ang ating gagawain, ggaling ang ating gobiyerno at lalong uunlad ang inyong lugar at ng ating kabuhayan.

* * *

Basahin ang aking mga  kolum sa www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. Mag-email sa duckyparedes@gmail.com.

# # # #

hvp (06.09.14)

 

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

Na-Lintekan Ang MRT3

Abaya and Chaneco must abandon any idea about extending APT Global’s M&O contract, lest it be another ground for the filing of anti-graft charges against them.

 

by Ducky Paredes

 

Two lightning strikes caused MRT3 system glitches for two straight days in Quezon City, stalling trains and limiting morning runs from the Shaw Boulevard to Taft Avenue stations.  To the superstitious,  this is a message from an angry God telling Malacañang and the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to gettheir act together.

Lightning struck a Kamuning area cable that powers the train system at 9:52 a.m., forcing management to idle half of the line from the North Avenue to the Shaw Boulevard stations for almost two hours as its technical crew did emergency repairs.

 The next day, another lightning bolt struck MRT3 also in Quezon City, stranding passengers amid a sudden downpour and prompting management to again suspend the MRT run from the North Avenue to Shaw Boulevard station.

* * *

 In keeping with the DOTC’s constant state of denial, Secretary Joseph Abaya blamed its private concessionaire, the MRT Corp. (MRTC), for all the troubles hounding MRT3 riders, but MRTC executives have correctly noted that the litany of passengers’ complaints about kilometer-long queues, congested trains and repetitive system glitches began to take a turn for the worse only after the DOTC  dumped the system’s decade-old operation and maintenance (M&O) contractor in 2012, in favor of an interim provider that we all know now was a fledgling, undercapitalized firm controlled by alleged Liberal Party (LP) campaigner  Marlo dela Cruz and then-MRT general manager Al Vitangcol III’s uncle-in-law Arturo Soriano.

Vitangcol awarded the P517-million M&O contract to the Soriano-dela Cruz-De Vera group’s consortium of  Philippine Trams Rail Management & Services and Comm Builders & Technology Inc. (PH Trams-CB&T), after dumping TES-P of Sumitomo Corp. of Japan (TES-P/Sumitomo) when its contract expired in 2012.

 After the PH Trams-CB&T contract ended, the DOTC then awarded to Autre Porte Technique Global Inc. (APT Global) a one-year P685million maintenance contract, which is due to expire this August.

* * *

Now, to save themselves,  Secretary Abaya and Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) administrator Honortio Chaneco, who was named concurrent MRT3 officer-in-charge (OIC) following Vitangcol’s ouster, must do two things at once to avoid not only the feared disaster-in-waiting, but also their possible criminal prosecution for the highly irregular award of the two contracts to PH Trams-CB&T and APT Global as successive interim maintenance providers.

Both contracts are void ab initio (or null and void) from the very start for:

1.    Being manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to Government and giving undue and unwarranted benefits to the two favored contractors in violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act; and,

2.   Usurping MRTC’s authority as the private operator of this EDSA train system, as so provided in this firm’s Build-Lease-Transfer (BLT) agreement with the government.

MRTC director Rafael de Tagle Jr. and Rogelio Bondoc Jr. wrote the President that the DOTC’s award of the two contracts to PH Trams-CB&T and, later, to APT Global was in gross violation of the 1999 BLT deal between DOTC And MRTC, which requires the review and prior approval or consent by MRTC for any MRT3-related contract entered into by the government with any other private party.

In both instances, the DOTC did not submit the Terms of Reference (TOR) of the M&O contracts to MRTC before signing them with PH Trams-CB&T and APT Global, as provided in their 1999 BLT accord.

* * *

What has been left out in this controversy is that the fingerprints of Secretary Manuel Roxas II of the Department of the Interior and Local Governments (DILG) are all over this MRT3 M&O mess, given the central roles of three of his proteges—Vitangcol, Undersecretary Rafael Antonio Santos, and PH Trams incorporator-director Dela Cruz—in these highly irregular M&O contracts.

Vitangcol was appointed MRT general manager by Roxas when he was still DOTC secretary.

Dela Cruz was involved not only in the PH Trams-CB&T contract but in the APT-Global contract as well because the Notice to Proceed issued to APT-Global on Sept. 5 last year as interim M&O service provider was addressed to Dela Cruz as the “authorized representative.”

According to one media report, Dela Cruz campaigned for Roxas as the vice-presidential bet of the Liberal Party (LP) in 2010 in his hometown of Manaoag, Pangasinan..

            As for Santos, he was, according to an official DOTC document, the one who signed—as undersecretary for operations—the Notice to Proceed dated Oct. 19, 2012 directing PH Trams-CB&T Joint Venture president Roehl Bacar to “commence the performance of the service” as “the interim service provider for the maintenance of MRT3” in the amount of $1.150 million per month, exclusive of taxes.

            Roxas took Santos with him to the DILG, also as undersecretary, when President Aquino appointed him there in August 2012.

            According to sources in the DOTC, Santos, after signing the M&O contract for PH Trams-CB&T, told Abaya to sign it too as Roxas was about to do so had the President not appointed him DILG secretary. The same rumor has it that Santos officially transferred to the DILG a day after convincing Abaya to sign the M&O contract.

            Santos is so close to Roxas that the secretary openly defended Santos when his deputy came under fire for vying in 2013 for the post of Sandiganbayan presiding justice. 

            A GMA7 report dated July 3 last year quoted Roxas as telling Supreme Court reporters that he had told Santos na “hayaan mo sila”—meaning not to mind his critics—as “okay naman na mag-apply” because “maayos ang kanyang trabaho. Sa haba ng aming pagsasama sa DOTC at saka sa DILG ay wala kang masasabi. Walang mantsa, walang bahid ang kanyang pagserbisyo.”

* * *

            On the APT Global contract, Secretary Abaya and MRT3 OIC Chaneco have to explain the circumstances surrounding the award of the current M&O contract to APT Global, amid reports that (1) it is under the control of the same PH Trams-CB&T group, and that (2) PH Trams-CB&T’s contract was no longer extended in favor of APT Global in the hope of sweeping the PH Trams issue under the rug at that time when Vitangcol was already under heavy media fire as a result of Ambassador Rychtar’s expose against him and De Vera.

            Before they could even think about extending APT Global’s M&O contract when it expires this August—in the same way that PH Trams-CB&T’s contract was extended twice after its original six-month contract ended in February 2013—Abaya and Chaneco must first clarify speculations that the same Soriano-Dela Cruz-De Vera troika are the true beneficiary of APT Global’s contract on the basis of Dela Cruz’s connection to both consortiums.

            This is because the DOTC, in an ironic twist, was the one that unwittingly revealed to the public in September last year that Dela Cruz was also the one who forged APT Global’s M&O contract with DOTC.

            Rappler Reports last year bared that APT Global was directed to take over MRT3’s maintenance work starting Sept. 5 on the basis of the DOTC’s Notice-to-Proceed letter issued on Sept. 3 and posted that same day on the Department’s official website.

            According to the same Rappler report: “The DOTC directed APT Global’s authorized representative Marlo Dela Cruz “to commence work on September 5, 2013 to September 4, 2014, according to the terms and conditions stipulated in the contract.”

            The Rappler report recalled that “APT Global bested other bidders for the P685,041,298.95-worth interim maintenance provider contract, which is good for one year only….because the government intends to buy out the private owners of the MRT3 pursuant to Executive Order (EO) No. 126, which President Benigno S. Aquino III signed last March.”

            Hence, Abaya and Chaneco must abandon any idea about extending APT Global’s M&O contract, lest it be another ground for the filing of  other anti-graft charges against them.

# # # #

hvp 06.09.14

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

‘Bawal ang Corrupt’ in Taguig City

(G)ross tax collections grew from P3 billion in 2010 to P3.746 billion in 2011, P4.526 billion in 2012, and P5.4 billion in 2013, an almost 100% increase since the lady-mayor took over four years ago.

 

                                                  

by Ducky Paredes

 

There’s an infomercial on primetime TV inviting businessmen to invest in Taguig City where, as proclaimed by its political leaders, “bawal ang corrupt.”

The 30-seconder has the city’s power couple—Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano and his mayor-wife Maria Laarni or “Lani”—trumpeting the unprecedented slew of education and health initiatives, including free medicines and college scholarships, that their city has been able to give Taguig  residents from the increased tax collection from the business sector under a graft-and red tape-free regime.

This “bawal ang corrupt” ad campaign on TV was produced for the city’s 427th Foundation Anniversary last April 28 —on the back of its solid credentials as a local government unit (LGU) model for good governance.

Alan Peter besides being a true-blue nat Batang Taguig from Barangay Bagumbayan, started his political career  as his generation’s youngest councilor at the age of 21 in 1992. More importantly, because of his reputation as a champion of good governance and nemesis of corruption, Big Business has found its new home in Taguig because of its investment-friendly environment topped by a high-priority drive against graft and corruption. This translates to higher tax collections that the city government plows back to Taguigeños in the form of superior education and health services.

In short: Good governance equals more investments and full benefits for the people.

No wonder that the World Bank ranks Taguig as No. 1 among Metro Manila and highly-urbanized cities in the Philippines in the “Ease of Doing Business Index” conducted by its International Finance Corp (IFC). Makati and Quezon cities are a distant No. 9 and No. 13.

Records show the scores of businesses that have set up shop in BGC include about 50 that have recently relocated from Makati City.

These 50-plus companies that have moved from Makati to BGC include the Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corp. (HSBC), Sony Philippines, Sun Life Corp., Aboitiz Power Corp.; Pru Life Insurance Corp.; Philam Corp.; Colgate-Palmolive Inc., Chinatrust Commercial Banking Corp., 3M Philippines, Hewlett Packard, Intel Microelectronics, Coca-Cola Export Corp. and Avida Corp.

* * *

How did Taguig make the giant leap from Metro Manila’s backwoods to a premier business district and from an illicit drugs hub into the World Bank’s A-lister in just four years?

Taguig’s success comes from the relentless effort of the mayor, with the senator’s support, to (1) stop official corruption allowing the city government to spend the savings on even more and better social services for Taguigeños, who they regard as VIPs (very important persons), and (2) eliminate red tape and simplify business applications and payments by way of a Business One Stop Shop (BOSS).

Thus, gross tax collections grew from P3 billion in 2010 to P3.746 billion in 2011, P4.526 billion in 2012, and P5.4 billion in 2013, an almost 100% increase since the lady-mayor took over four years ago.

In terms of business taxes, collections rose dramatically from just P805,935,548 in 2010—the last year of the previous administration—to P1.039 billion in 2011, P1.26 billion in 2012, and P1.588 billion in 2013. This is significant because, unlike in other LGUs where the increase stemmed from the corresponding adjustment in tax rates, the Taguig LGU posted incremental increases despite a moratorium on tax increases.

 One good governance practice that has allowed the city to funnel more funds into social services was the drastic cut in funding for garbage contracts, which is a favorite LGU under-the-table money maker believed to have easily deprived city coffers of a cool P100 million in the past.

From roughly P500 million in the past administration, the incumbent mayor pruned the garbage budget to P400 million when she took over four years ago, leaving her with a huge outlay that she used later to bankroll college scholarship programs—now amounting to P400 million annually—which, to date, have benefited over 24,000 students enrolled in tertiary or vocational-technical (voc-tech) courses.

* * *

 The invest-in-Taguig TV ads must have struck a sour note in neighboring Makati City, given that the infomercial came out at almost the same time as Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr.’s media blitz boasting about Makati’s nearly 30-year feat as a welfare city from the time his father, Vice President Jejomar Binay, was at the helm as Officer-in-Charge (OIC) in 1986.

The full-page newspaper ads proclaiming the Makati-style “Serbisyong may Puso” governance—and topped by a magazine cover story featuring the incumbent Mayor Binay—came out last week in celebration of the 344th Makati Foundation Day.

Although the Binays are credited for turning Makati into a model welfare city, they cannot deny that Taguig has upped the standards for good governance in delivering better social services to their constituents—in a short span of 4 years as against the Binay’s almost 30-year rule.

Cayetano partisans note, for instance, that whereas the country’s financial center has the Ospital ng Makati; Taguig has its Taguig-Pateros District Hospital (TPDH)  and three 24/7 Super Health Centers to provide out-patient services to Taguigeños.

The City also launched a first for LGUs in the country when it hired more doctors that do house calls so the patients don’t have to go to the city’s health centers for treatment. 

Plans are also afoot for two more 24/7 health centers this year and for the New Taguig Hospital to soon rise.

The steady rise in Taguig’s annual health budget has enabled the city government to give free maintenance medicines for hypertension, diabetes and asthma—equivalent to two weeks’ supply per month—that are even delivered to the homes of indigent patients, along with a 40% discount on all medicines, supplies and laboratory fees for patients treated at the TPDH.

In contrast, Makati provides health services only to residents who already have their own PhilHealth cards and 10-day supply of medicines per month at a 50% price discount—but recepients must line up to receive your benefits. In Taguig, the free medicines are delivered to indigent patients.

* * *

The tough anti-graft campaign by the Cayetano couple  that has made Taguig a haven for investors is one reason why many doubt reports linking the senator to the P10-billion pork scam masterminded by Janet Napoles.

Cayetano is hell-bent on ferreting out the truth on the Napoles scam as he has been dragged into the pork-barrel controversy with the wild claims that Alan  was (1) allocated a P600,000 “rebate” for a P3-million project of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) funded from his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocation when he was still the Taguig-Pateros congressman, and (2) received a Napoles campaign donation for his 2013 senatorial run.

Both are absurd, considering that Cayetano has made a name for himself in Congress as a no-nonsense graft-buster. Also, consider these:

First, Luy himself has said that the P600,000 was actually returned by the supposed emissary—a certain “VLL”—because Cayetano didn’t want to deal with the Napoles group.

During Luy’s appearance at the Senate inquiry, he categorically said “No” when Cayetano asked him if there was any senator present in that committee hearing  whom the Napoles group have had any dealings with.

Second, the whistleblowers’ lawyer Levito Baligod also cleared Cayetano of any involvement in the Napoles pork scam.

Baligod says there is no corroborating testimony nor documentary evidence to back up the senator’s alleged link to the scam.

Third, Cayetano is obviously squeaky clean on this because his recent actions—his active involvement in the Senate probe plus his slew of proposals on resuming the pork probe and expanding its scope to include the Malampaya and Fertilizer scams—are not the actions of somebody who has anything to hide.

Fourth, Cayetano had been the tormentor of the Arroyos, particularly then-First Gentleman Mike, with his pursuit of, or active participation in Senate probes into the past administration’s most celebrated scams from “Hello, Garci” to the ZTE-NBN deal, as well as his key role in the Senate trial of the Arroyos’ appointee, convicted Chief Justice Renato Corona.

It doesn’t make sense for a graft buster who tormented the Arroyos in the past administration with exposes and relentless attacks on shenanigans to throw his career and reputation away by dealing with the Napoles gang for a mere P600,000 payoff.

Fifth, if he had wanted to do some hanky-panky, Cayetano could have done it in Taguig City, which has been the Cayetanos’ turf for decades now and where his wife Lani is the reelected mayor.

But that is not the case as the Cayetanos have made it their No. 1 priority to rid the city of official corruption, in keeping with their vision to transform Taguig into Metro Manila’s premier city and business haven—unlike in certain cities in the national capital with hushed tales of massive City Hall graft.

In fact, the city’s “Bawal ang Corrupt sa Taguig” has started to pay off and will soon make Taguig, deservedly, the country’s business center.

# # # #

hvp 06.08.14

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

A Truth Commission/ The Bangsamoro Law

Once you’re name is mentioned, suddenly you’re perceived as a criminal already. That should not happen. Most of the cases involved, based on my knowledge, legislators not knowing that they have been unduly implicated in the scandal.

 

by Ducky Paredes

 

Do we need a Truth Commission to discover exactly what Janet Lim Napoles did and who helped her and who profited from it? Sentor Antonio Trillaes III seems to think so. A close ally of the President Trillanes notes that Malacaang seems to be judging its allies one way while finding those  in the opposition immediately guilty by association when it is their names that find themselves in the various lists that have been bruited sbout.

Three opposition senators are bout to be charged with plunder related to the misuse of legislators’ Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) based primarily on being in some list. Shouldn’t they also be given the chance to deny involvement until the evidence has come in?             Palace pronouncements defending the likes of Budget Secretary Florencio Abad from his supposed links with Napoles should raise the standard of proof not only for his allies but for everyone in those lists.
            Says Trillanes of the President: “The situation is that he raised the standard of proof before entertaining any doubts on Abad. He will not abandon him only based on what have been coming out in the newspapers lately.
            “On defending the Cabinet secretaries, that is the call of the President, that is his position. So where do you go from there? We will likely find out during future investigations on how deep are the involvement of the Cabinet secretaries implicated.”

Not quite. I have known Abad for some time and believe him over the convoluted story that Napoles tells.

Anyway, a Truth Commissipn may be a good idea, if the Supreme Court does not again shoot it down as they did our President’s idea of one on the Gloria years.

Communications Secretary Hermino Coloma clarifies that  Aquino’s position regarding Abad that the allegation should have proof, and that he has the right to be presumed innocent and given the chance to perform his job as there was no formal charges against the Cabinet member.
            Says Trillanes: “I don’t want to preempt Pres. Aquino. We all know that Abad is the closest adviser of Aquino. Aquino has utmost trust on him, they even can be said to be practically dependent on each other. Aquino’s position is that I will stand in defense of Abad, and if there’s compelling evidence against him then let’s see it.
            “Asking Abad to voluntarily resign would be out of the question, Abad for Aquino is indispensable in terms of trust and his ability in advising Pres. Aquino.”        

Besides Abad, also mentioned by Napoles in her signed affidavits were Agriculture Sec. Proseso Alcala and Technological Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) chief Joel Villanueva.
            Trillanes says that  the investigation on the pork barrel scam no longer serve any purpose insofar as remedial legislation is concerned and that the issue is now bigger than Congress itself since it has placed a cloud of doubt even on the probers.
            Trillanes suggests the creation of a “Truth Commission” which was proposed to investigate charges against former President Gloria Arroyo.           

   Since the case is already in the hands of the Office of the Ombudsman, the senator says that there seems to be a lynch mob mentality among the public especially on those names that have come out of the so-called Luy’s list or Napoles list.
            “Once you’re name is mentioned, suddenly you’re perceived as a criminal already. That should not happen. Most of the cases involved, based on my knowledge, legislators not knowing that they have been unduly implicated in the scandal. Some of them were linked to the scam because of their full trust of their staff, the others are victim of propaganda. The public should scrutinize who really are guilty,” says the Senator.           

Would a Truth Commission find out the Truth or will this be still  another way to confuse us all?

* * *

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is getting antsy over its Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) as it remains hanging more than one month after it was submitted to Malacanang. The MILF, in its official website, expressed concern over the fate of the BBL, saying time is not on the side of the BBL’s approval.
            “For sure, we do not have the benefit of so much time at our disposal,” the MILF said in its website.
            A Palace official said last May 25 that Malacanang is stepping up its review of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, saying that it will be soon submitted to Congress. When? Congress goes into recess tommorrow.
            Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal noted last week that time is running out for the submission of the draft law to Congress.
            Iqbal also chairs the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), comprised of experts from the government and the MILF, which drafted the bill.
            The MILF submitted its proposed BBL, crafted by the 15-member Bangsamoro Transition Committee (BTC), to the Office of the President (OP) last April 22 or less than a month after the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) last March 27.
            The MILF explains that it is for this reason that most of the provisions of the BBL were copy-pasted from signed documents; others were culled from recommendations from civil society organizations (CSOs), non-government organizations (NGOs), local government units (LGUs), peace workers and individuals; and the rest to flesh out gray areas in the CAB but taking account its spirit.
            “On the side of the BTC, it has never doubted that this engagement with the OP is forthcoming, because there is no other way to handle it. With heart and soul, the BTC commissioners have poured it all in crafting this historic document. All of the 15 commissioners, except one, signed the BBL”, said the MILF. On the other hand, the MILF will not engage into any matter pertaining to the BBL outside the peace negotiation but vowed to closely monitor the developments.
            “The President himself has made several follow-ups on the legal team but the President is also cognizant and is understanding of the task that is at hand,” Valte explains.
            Valte also said the President also was a given a copy of the three-inch thick BBL draft.
Valte quoted the President as saying: “I am very cognizant of the urgency but I’m also understanding of the task at hand.”
            Peace Adviser Teresita Deles expressed confidence that the draft bill would be submitted before Congress adjourns on June 7.

                                                                                       * * *
            Last month, a group of Philippine officials, mostly members of Congress, made a five-day study visit to Spain where they experienced a first-hand observation on the workings of Spain’s autonomous region that could serve as a model for the proposed Bangsamoro substate.
            Deles, who was also a member of the delegation, said that during the study visit, the Filipino delegation was given a first-hand view of the experiences of Spain in the setting up of its 17 autonomous communities, provided with best practices and lessons learned on the relationships between the central and autonomous governments as well as on territorial and political organization, public administration, decentralization and models of local autonomy.
            OPAPP points out that the Philippine legislators foresee a spur in development in the future Bangsamoro region following the study visit on Spain’s autonomy models.
            Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, along with Senator Pia Cayetano and Representatives Deputy Speaker Pangalian Balindong, Jim Hataman-Salliman, Jesus Sacdalan, Bai Sandra Sema, Nancy Catamco, Rodolfo Biazon, Teodoro Baguilat Jr. and Arnulfo Go, participated in the study trip organized by the Spanish Embassy in Manila and funded by the Agencia Española de Cooperacion Internacional para el Desarollo (AECID).

“During this study trip, we were exposed to European Union standards and I am hoping that these EU standards can creep into the drafting of the Bangsamoro Basic Law,” Pimentel said.
            On the other hand, Cayetano cited the health care in the autonomous community of Galicia as an example. “The national government and the national laws still dictate the number of systems or standards that one must provide but the implementation reside with the autonomous government,” she said.
            “Seeing how it works here gives me better ideas on how to share the power,” Cayetano said.         

# # # #

hvp 06.09.14

 

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

May Nabura sa Hard Disk ni Luy

Diretsahan

 

ni Horacio Paredes

 

            Ang ika-huling pangyayari sa kasong Naoles ay ang pagkaka-delete ng ilang files sa external hard disk ng whistleblower na si Benhur Luy. Sino ang nag-delete ng mga files sa hard disk na ito. Gustong malaman ng Departmentof Justice at ni Justce Secretary Leila de Lima kung baket merong nawawala sa ilang nilalaman ang hard disk ni Luy at ang tinatanong ni de Lima ay si Luy na gusto niyang magpaliwanag kung baket merong nawawala sa kaniyang hard disk.

            Meron namang ilan na naghihinala na ang mga nagtanggal ng ilang mga nilalaman ng computer ni Luy ay ang pamahalaan dahil na ang kanilang hinihinala ay baka ito ang patunay sa sinasabi ni Janet na natuto lamang siya kay Butch Abad kung papaano ang sistema sa pag-gawa ng Saro at pag-bitiw ng kwarta para sa PDAF.

            Sa mga pangyayari tungkol sa kasong PDAF , mukhang napakarami ang ginagawa ng kung sino-sino upang gumulo mamg gumulo ang kaso imbes na lumiwanag kung ano nga ba ang nangyari, Sa ngayon ay parang maaaring tumungo ang kwento sa kung saan-saan, lalo na sa pagkalita ng mga naburang mga files na pinasok ni Luy sa kaniyang external hard disk, Sino ang nagbura? Si Luy ba?

            Sa totoo lamang ang mga hard disk ay talagang merong mga file na nabubura. Maaring binura ang mga matagal nang hindi ginagamit ng mga files o baka naman gumawa ng sulat at pinalitan ito ng bago. O, scratch na tinapon na dahui pinalitan ng bago o kaya’y nag-iba ang ginawang bagong sulat o file.

            Ngunit sa mga nangyayaring kagulohan tama ang sinasabi ng ilan na tayo sa Pinas ay “disfunctional”, sa Tagalog, magugulo at para pa ngang marami ang nanggugulo. Dito lamang yata na ang ebidensiyang nasa kamay na ng awtoridad ay maaari pa ring burahin o baguhin. Eto ay kung ang ating pinaghihinalaan ay ang mga taga-gobiyerno ang binubura kung ano man ang makakasira sa mga taga-gobiyerno.

            Napakalungkot ang stwasyon. Ang nangyari sa PDAF at sa “pork barrel” ay pagkakataon na malinis ang isang sangay ng ating lipunan at gobiyerno, isang sangay ng pamahalaan na binubuo ng mga mambabatas. Ngunit, sa nakikita natin, gumugulo ng gumugulo ang imbestigayon at baka matapos ito na mawawala lamang sa wala at walang magbabago dahil sa kagulohan ng mga ebidensiya at sa mga kalokohang nakikita nating nangyayari.

            Pinaghihinalaan na ang mga nabura sa hard disk niLuy ay maaaring ebidensiya na maaaring magpatunay na merong ilang mambabatas at iba pang mga tao na mapapatunayang nakinabang sa PDAF at pork barrel.

            Ito po ang kaso: Si Janet Lim Napoles at ang kaniyang mga empleyado (na ngayon ay tinuturing na mga “whisltleblowers) kasama ang ilang corrupt at masibang mga mambabatas, katulong ang Department of Budget and Management (DBM), ay nakakuha ng  P10 bilyon na galing sa  DBM na dapat ay napunta sa mga mahihirap at nangangailangan. Ang kwarta  ay bilang PDAF o pork barrel ng ilang senador at kongresista ay dinaan sa mga  non-government organizations at kooperatiba na gawa-gawa lamang ni Napoles. Ang kwarta ay pinaghatian nina Napoles at ng ilang mambabatas.

            Umabot raw sa 50 na file ang nabura ngunit, ayon sa ilan naibalik raw ang mga binura ayon sa

Senate Blue Ribbon Committee. eto raw ay mga project proposal, endorsement letter at disbursement records.  

            Ngunit ang dapat pa nating malaman ay kung sino ang nagbura ng mga files na nawala at kung baket binura ang mga ito. Sana namang malaman rin natin kung baket binura ang mga ito.

hvp (06.08.14)

 

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

Why Not Use the BNPP?

In terms of lives lost per unit of energy generated, nuclear power has caused less fatalities per unit of energy generated than the other major sources of energy generation. Energy production from coal, petroleum, natural gas and hydropower has caused a greater number of fatalities per unit of energy generated due to air pollution and energy accident effects.

 

 

by Ducky Paredes

 

Nuclear power, or nuclear energy, is the use of exothermic nuclear processes, to generate useful heat and electricity. The term includes nuclear fission, nuclear decay and nuclear fusion.

Presently the nuclear fission of elements in the actinide series of the periodic table produce the vast majority of nuclear energy in the direct service of humankind, with nuclear decay processes, primarily in the form of geothermal energy, and radioisotope thermoelectric generators, in niche uses making up the rest. Nuclear (fission) power stations, provides about 5.7% of the world’s energy and 13% of the world’s electricity in 2012.

In 2013, the IAEA report that there are 437 operational nuclear power reactors, in 31 countries, although not every reactor is producing electricity. In addition, there are approximately 140 naval vessels using nuclear propulsion in operation, powered by some 180 reactors. As of 2013, attaining a net energy gain from sustained nuclear fusion reactions, excluding natural fusion power sources such as the Sun, remains an ongoing area of international physics and engineering research.

There is an ongoing debate about nuclear power. Proponents, such as the World Nuclear Association, the IAEA and Environmentalists for Nuclear Energy contend that nuclear power is a safe, sustainable energy source that reduces carbon emissions. Opponents, such as Greenpeace International and NIRS, contend that nuclear power poses many threats to people and the environment.

Nuclear power plant accidents include the Chernobyl disaster (1986), Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster (2011), and the Three Mile Island accident (1979). There have also been some nuclear submarine accidents. In terms of lives lost per unit of energy generated, nuclear power has caused less fatalities per unit of energy generated than the other major sources of energy generation. Energy production from coal, petroleum, natural gas and hydropower has caused a greater number of fatalities per unit of energy generated due to air pollution and energy accident effects. However, the economic costs of nuclear power accidents is high, and meltdowns can take decades to clean up. The human costs of evacuations of affected populations and lost livelihoods is also significant

Along with other sustainable energy sources, nuclear power is a low carbon power generation method of producing electricity, with an analysis of the literature on its total life cycle emission intensity finding that it is similar to other renewable sources in a comparison of greenhouse gas(GHG) emissions per unit of energy generated. With this translating into, from the beginning of nuclear power station commercialization in the 1970s, having prevented the emission of approximately 64 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent greenhouse gases, gases that would have otherwise resulted from the burning of fossil fuels in thermal power stations.

As of 2012, according to the IAEA, worldwide there were 68 civil nuclear power reactors under construction in 15 countries, approximately 28 of which in the Peoples Republic of China (PRC), with the most recent nuclear power reactor, as of May 2013, to be connected to the electrical grid, occurring on February 17, 2013 in Hongyanhe Nuclear Power Plant in the PRC.

In the USA, two new Generation III reactors are under construction at Vogtle. U.S. nuclear industry officials expect five new reactors to enter service by 2020, all at existing plants. In 2013, four aging, uncompetitive, reactors were permanently closed.

Japan’s 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, which occurred in a reactor design from the 1960s, prompted a re-examination of nuclear safety and nuclear energy policy in many countries. Germany decided to close all its reactors by 2022, and Italy has banned nuclear power. Following Fukushima, in 2011 the International Energy Agency halved its estimate of additional nuclear generating capacity to be built by 2035.

* * *

We have mail from www,kuryentenuklear,com. The message is a simple one. “Since its completion 30 years ago, the Bataan Nuclear Plant was ‘ready to run.’ Today, it is our hope that BNPP will celebrate a new bisthday — as a commissioned and operating nuclear power plant. How long can we keep ignoring her? Let us act now. Commission BNPP and let’s start moving forward.”

The message comes from former congressman Mark Cojuangco, who says: “Thirty years have passed and we have proven that the solution to our power problems cannot happen by itself. Planning and debates alone will not do, actual work has to be done.

“Thirty years have passed and the doomsayers’ prediction did not happen. BNPP has not been blown down by the many typhoons that have come and gone; not destroyed by the strongest quakes; not buried by Pinatubo’s fury; not swallowed up by the earth.

“BNPP is not the white elephant that the oppositions to it would have us believe. BNPP is the safest and cleanest source of v0f 620MW Kuryente just waiting to happen, BNPP had generated over 5MW of power during its hot functional testing which ended in May 28,1984.”

Apparently, it had been tested also recently and it still gives the same power leading us to conclude that BNPP could solve our energy crisis overnight. There is nothing wrong with wanting to start up the BNPP. Read the Constitution; it declares our “freedom from nuclear weapons”; it does not prevent the use of nuclear energy.

What if we commission our scientists to rate BNPP as to its safety so that we can at least use it to boost our electricity supply in the meantime that we are creating other sources — solar, wind, hydro, coal, gas, bunker and whatever else.

While I would not go for a total reliance on nuclear and would eventually go with the German decision of eventually ridding itself of nuclear as it has already decided (by 2030), I have to agree with Congressman Mark that we ought to at least use the BNPP in the meantime to help our power skituation.

* * *

As part of my rewards for having been one of the first customers of Globe. I was given an LG Phone by Globe. It came with a free one month insurance against loss from Ace Insurance with a premium  of a little over P100 a month beginning on the 31st day after delivery.

I am not using the phone. Thus, I want to cancel the insurance. I called up Ace and they gave me a way to cancel. One has to call a number and send a text message asking that the insurance not be continued. Every time, I send my text, however, I get a message back telling me that they were unable to process my request and to call again. I have already tried several times and I always get the same message.

I am making this of record so that the DOTC or whoever has authority over telcos such as Globe can put a stop to what looks to me like a scam. I am not using or planning to use the phone. Why would I want to pay for loss insurance?

# # # #

hvp 06.08.14

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

Ayong Maliksi, PCSO Chairman

Their modus operandi is to control the collections of all jueteng bets in the guise of submitting them before the government –run Small Town Lottery (STL).

 

 

by Ducky Paredes

 

I was originally unimpressed with the impending appointment of former Cavite Gov. Ayong Maliksi as the new chair of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), until I noticed that many in politics are moving heaven and earth to prevent Maliksi’s takeover  from happening.

I am told that Maliksi had already met with  President Aquino a few days ago and was briefed on his takeover of the PCSO from Margarita Juico, a former appointments secretary of the late former President Corazon Aquino, who did very well with the PCSO.

Margie is the wife of Philip Juico who served as secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform also during the administration of the incumbent President’s mother. She said only that she was leaving the PCSO to have time with family.

Meanwhile, I have it on good account that there are groups and individuals who have been lording it over at the PCSO for the longest time now. These have even forged an unholy alliance with some political enemies of Maliksi to ensure that he would not be given the coveted post.

Shortly after the alliance was formed, they immediately buckled down to work and tapped some operators, who went on a media campaign in a bid to discredit the former governor before the eyes of the public and President Aquino himself.

It is therefore no surprise that one of the accusations that they are throwing against Maliksi, was the long settled issue about the LRT Cavite extension project, which he has already sufficiently explained numerous times in the past.

It is good thing that the issue failed to take off simply because the people realize that it was nothing but a mere attempt to undermine the credibility of Gov. Maliksi.

* * *

Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. of Dasmariñas City in Cavite said the former governor is “more than qualified” to take over the post.

“The credentials of former Rep. Ayong Maliksi as three-term mayor of Imus from 1988 to 1998 and three-term governor of Cavite from 2001 to 2010 show that he is more than qualified to be PCSO chairman,” he said.

“As mayor and governor of the country’s most populous province, he personally witnessed and effectively attended to the needs of the people, especially the indigents, who benefited from the implementation of projects and programs on health and social welfare,” he said.

“Hence, since the mandate of the PCSO is to raise funds to provide opportune and responsive health and welfare assistance, former congressman Maliksi is more than capable of assuming the post of PCSO chairman to effectively carry out the mandate of the agency to finance and support health programs, medical assistances and services, and charities,” he added.

Barzaga and Maliksi were colleagues in the last Congress but are not partymates. Barzaga belongs to the National Unity Party, while Maliksi is a Liberal Party member. The latter tried to reclaim his gubernatorial seat in the May 2013 elections, but lost to Juanito Victor Remulla Jr. of the Nacionalista Party.

Barzaga also belied talk that the President is about to appoint Maliksi as PCSO chairman to wipe the Revillas from the Cavite political landscape.

“There is no truth to the claim that the Maliksis and the Remullas are now political allies. They are still on opposite political alliances. On the contrary, it is the Remullas and Revillas that are on the same side of the political fence, since the vice governor is a Revilla,” he said.

* * *

My informants says that these anti-Maliksi groups are composed of some erstwhile operators inside the PCSO who have been actively working in cahoots with the group of a well known illegal gambling lord.

This gambling lord has control of all illegal numbers game especially “jueteng” operations from Southern all the way to Northern Luzon areas, but has remained untouchable through these years because of his tight and well-entrenched political connections.

Their modus operandi is to control the collections of all jueteng bets in the guise of submitting them before the government –run Small Town Lottery (STL).

This modus enables the gambling operators to operate virtually unhampered for many years now, while amassing billions of pesos in earnings, and in the process depriving the government coffers of billions of pesos in potential revenues.

The thought of losing this huge income once Maliksi takes control of  the PCSO, is surely giving these illegal gambling operators nightmares and sleepless nights.

They know that unlike his predecessors, Maliksi would surely completely follow the instructions of President Aquino to clean up the agency and throw out all the shadowy operators who work in connivance with the illegal gambling lords.

His perceived enemies are completely aware that no amount of convincing could make Maliksi change his mind and cooperate with them, because he was known to be a tough anti-gambling advocate during his time as governor of Cavite.  

 It is imperative for them therefore to prevent Maliksi from assuming his post, which explains why he is under sustained media attacks the past weeks since news of his appointment was leaked.

To the credit of Maliksi however, he refuses to be affected by the black propaganda hurled against him  and by this time could be plotting his next moves to throw out and even prosecute the gambling lords if ever he takes  over at the PCSO.

With Maliksi at the PCSO, I am confident that the agency will be in good hands and the public especially the poor and the sick would receive undivided and immediate attention and assistance that they deserve .

After all, the poor are the very reason why the PCSO was created in the first place.

* * *

Rotary International is having its convention this week in Sydney. Australia. I am the President of the Rotary Club of Pasig and would have gone if I could. Maybe it’s better that I decided not to go. Among my classmates (fellow Rotary Presidents), First Class President Rodel “Odie” Zafra of RC Marikina North presented the official letter-invitation from Rotary International together with a letter  from our District 3800 Governor Louie Ticman and everything else that the Australian Consulate asked for.

Too bad that the consul on duty was a fellow Filipino named. J. Amistad. For no sane reason, the consul said he did not believe that Zafra was going to the convention. He said he believed that my fellow president was only using Rotary as an excuse to get into Australia, after which he would overstay, look for work and stay in Australia forever.

What his basis was for not issuing a visa for Zafra was nothing but his prejudiced belief that Filipinos are not trustworthy and would lie and cheat just to get into his new country. As an Aussie, former Filipinos should act like Aussies instead of using their prejudiced view of other Pinoys, based on God-knows-what, using their prejudice of Pinoy visa applicants as a reason to deny them entry.

# # # #

hvp 06.06.14

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.