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Philippines 10-M Solar Power Project Brings Light to Bohol’s Pamilacan Island



A PHP10-million solar power project was launched on Thursday to partially supply power to one of Bohol’s islands to prove the feasibility of renewable energy as power source for the province.

The solar power project named “Kahayag sa Pamilacan” (The Light of Pamilacan) aims to provide electricity to the whole island from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

After that, the diesel-powered generators supplied by local power cooperative Bohol Electric Cooperative I (BOHECO I) will continue to provide electricity to the island from 4:00 a.m. until midnight.

The proponent of the project is WeGen Distributed Energy Philippines, a new player in the Philippine renewable energy sector. WeGen installed a 39kWp solar photovoltaic and battery storage system, aiming to provide energy to at least 300 households, according to the company’s press release. The WeGen system comprises 135 monocystalline solar panels connected to deep-cycle silicon power maintenance-free and eco-friendly batteries with a capacity of 200 ampere hours.

The solar panels are mounted on the rooftop of the Pamilacan National High School building, which was chosen for its ideal location. The solar panels have an expected lifespan of 25 years.

The distributed energy solutions show how an island can be a model to the entire province of Bohol in meeting the rising demand for power.

Bohol is highly dependent on Leyte for its power needs. About 87 percent of Bohol’s power is sourced out from neighboring Leyte. Any disruptions in the power link and downtime of power plants in Leyte can greatly impact Bohol.

Bohol is expected to have an increased demand for power as a result of the increased influx of tourists and more investments across industries. (Dave Albarado/PNA)

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Crime Incidents Dip in Dumaguete City




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Crime incidents in the city significantly dropped for the third consecutive year through the joint efforts of the local government unit, Philippine National police, and the public.

Dumaguete City Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo expects that with the diligence and devotion of newly confirmed Chief-of-Police Supt. Jonathan Pineda, the vigilance of the community and the installation of the high definition CCTV cameras by the 3rd quarter of this year, more crimes will be prevented or solved.

In its annual report for 2017, the PNP disclosed that crime volume reduced from 4, 176 in 2015 and 4, 125 in 2016 to 2,534 incidents in 2017 or a decrease of 1,591 incidents.

The Crime Solution Efficiency has also improved from 63.57% in 2015, 72.78% in 2016 to 79.1% in 2017.

Pineda said that some 105 anti-illegal drugs operations were also conducted in 2017 resulting in the arrest of 114 puhers, 21 users and seizure of 1,400.42 grams of shabu amounting to P 13.9 million; 102 cases were filed against drug suspects in 2017; 921 persons (67 pushers; 854 users) surrendered under Oplan Tokhang who are now subject to regular monitoring by the PNP.

The PNP also arrested persons with warrants and 7 yielded loose firearms while 34 were arrested for illegal gambling.

Finally, 1,046 motorcycles were apprehended in checkpoints pursuant to Oplan Bakal and Oplan Sita for various violations of the rules imposed by the Traffic Management Office and Land Transportation Office. (jct/PIA7-Negros Oriental)

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Ubay to Set Up Floating Detachments in 2 Islets




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In its effort to zealously guard its seas from illegal fishers and poachers out to ravage the reefs with its marine treasures, Ubay is putting up two floating detachments.

Ubay Mayor Constantino Reyes said the detachments would be placed in strategic locations: near Tintinan Island and in Malingin Island.

These areas have been previously identified to have the most number of illegal fishers.

Its seas have been a magnet for blast fishers which the coastal law enforcement team has been on to, according to local Coastal Resource Management Project Team members.

Ubay has the perfect reason to set up a floating detachment, an innovation from the already innovative Coastal Law Enforcement Councils then.

Sitting right in the middle of a biodiversity hotspot called the Danajon Double Barrier Reef, the geological underwater wonder has the most perfect breeding areas for fish and marine crustaceans.

Issues as to jurisdiction in the implementation of the Fisheries Code of the Philippines with the devolution of government enforcement agencies to local governments have hounded Bohol for a time that implementers see an issue with officials who rescue supporters who fish illegally, are apprehended by the enforcement teams.

A multi-agency and inter-town composition of fishery laws enforcement teams were formed to address the issue, giving birth to the CLEC.

But with poachers also playing hide and seek with the enforcement teams, the moment the team reaches the port to replenish, the poachers are in again.

Many hope the floating detachment composed of police, Army, Coast Guard, and fish wardens including BFAR authorities and fishermen organization members could be the solution.

At the launching of the second congressional district’s 5th Community Fish Landing Project (CFLC) at the Ubay Public Market wet section, Mayor Reyes explained that the floating detachment is among the interventions which the LGU in Ubay installs to make sure there is a sustainable supply of fish in the town.

The town is host to two of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) fish stock enhancement facilities: the Ubay Brackishwater FishFarm in Son-oc and the Multi-Species Hatchery in Sinandigan.

From these facilities, commercial as well as private fish ponds get their stocks, while the government through the BFAR and LGUs implement fish dispersals of bangus, tilapia, crablets, as well as sell fingerlings for first class fish like pompano, siganid, grouper, prawn for commercial culture.

That same day, BFAR and the LGU released 40,000 crablets in Guintabo-an Island.

The crablets were hatched in the blue swimming crab facility in Sinandigan. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

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Mayon Volcano Restive; Alert Level 3 Raised




Image Source: from by Eli Casim Photography

Mayon Volcano is now under alert level 3 as it exhibited increased tendency towards hazardous eruption, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) said.

“Alert Level 3 remains in effect over Mayon Volcano, which means that it is currently in a relatively high level of unrest and that magma is at the crater, and that a hazardous eruption is possible within weeks or even days,” declared PHIVOLCS in its latest bulletin on Mayon Volcano.

Mayon on relatively high unrest

PHIVOLCS Albay resident volcanologist Ed Laguerta confirmed that a lava flow was already creeping downslope from Mayon volcano’s crater with its direction following the existing volcanic gullies at the south western direction.

Based on seismic record as of yesterday afternoon, two lava collapse events occurred at Mayon Volcano that produced rockfall and small-volume pyroclastic density currents.

“In addition, Mayon’s seismic monitoring network recorded two (2) volcanic earthquakes and one-hundred forty-one (141) rockfall events during the past 24 hours,” Laguerta said.

Evacuation ongoing

With the raising of the alert status, Laguerta noted the extension of the danger zone from the 6KM permanent danger zone (PDZ) to the 7-kilometer extended danger zone (EDZ) radius of the volcano.

Meanwhile, the Albay Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC) reported that some 2,785 families or 10,966 persons have evacuated from the danger zones particularly in the towns of Camalig, Guinobatan, Malilipot and Ligao.

In Camalig, some 1,008 families or 4,158 persons were evacuated from barangays Anoling, Salugan, Quirangay, Tumpa, Sua and upper Cabangan to Camalig National Central School, Cabangan Elementary School, and Anoling Elementary School.

In Guinobatan, the affected 774 families or 2,655 individuals from barangays Maninila, Tandarora, Mabalod, Sitio Basiao and Sitio Hacienda were staying in the elementary school of Guinobatan East and Binogsacan and Muladbucad multi-purpose center.

Some 634 families or 2, 482 individuals from barangays Canaway, Calbayog and San Roque in Malilipot and Baligang in Ligao were likewise moved to safer areas.

Be vigilant

PHIVOLCS has strongly advised the public to desist from entering the PDZ and the 7-km EDZ on the southern flanks due to the danger of rockfalls, landslides and sudden explosions or dome collapse that may generate hazardous volcanic flows.

Increased vigilance against pyroclastic density currents, lahars and sediment-laden stream flows along channels draining the edifice was also advised.

Civil aviation authorities must also advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano’s summit as ash from any sudden eruption can be hazardous to aircraft, the PHIVOLCS said.

Based on the seasonal wind pattern, ash fall events may most likely occur on the southwest side of the volcano.(SAA/MAL-PIA5/Photo by Eli Casim Photography)

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Philippine Red Cross Aids Families Affected by Mayon Volcano




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The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has started providing humanitarian aid such as the provision of dust masks to protect affected residents from harmful emissions of the Mayon Volcano in Legazpi City, which is now raised at alert level 3.

The PRC Albay chapter initially provided 20 boxes of dust masks to 1,800 individuals in the municipalities of Camalig and Guinobatan. Another 2,000 pieces of dust masks were sent by the PRC national headquarters as augmentation on January 15.

PRC Chairman Richard Gordon immediately ordered the distribution of tarpaulins in different evacuation centers, particularly in Binogsacan and Lower Binogsacan.

Rapid assessment teams were also deployed to immediately assess the situation in evacuation centers and affected areas.

He added that first aid stations were also set up along with welfare desks to provide psychosocial support to affected individuals.

“The Philippine Red Cross is closely coordinating with the local government unit in Albay to ensure the efficiency of our disaster response operation and to avoid casualties. We also alerted nearby chapters for possible augmentation,” PRC chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon said.

To provide access to safe and clean water, PRC also mobilized its water tanker from PRC Catanduanes Chapter.

Food trucks from Pasay and Manila chapters were also on standby for possible deployment to provide hotmeals to different evacuation centers in Albay.

Based on the report of PRC’s Operations Center, a total of 11,985 individuals or 3,034 families were evacuated from the municipalities of Camalig, Guinobatan and Malilipot.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHILVOLCS) raised alert level 3 over Mayon Volcano, which means hazardous eruption is possible within weeks. All families are also advised to stay out of the 6-kilometer permanent danger zone and the 7-kilometer extended danger zone.

Currently, the PRC is also providing humanitarian assistance to those affected by the recent storms Urduja, Vinta and Agaton. It is also implementing a recovery program for those affected by the Marawi crisis, and the ongoing Yolanda rehabilitation.

The Philippine Red Cross, as the foremost humanitarian organization in the country, has 103 chapters with two million volunteers nationwide that is always first, always ready and always there to provide round-the-clock humanitarian assistance, especially to the most vulnerable.

Aside from disaster responses, PRC’s other services include health, welfare, safety, blood, volunteer service, and Red Cross youth. (PRC)

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