Partnership for Clean Air, Inc. (PCA) Newsletter

Compiled by the Partnership for Clean Air, Inc.
Philippines Country Network, 2011 Issue No. 6

Issues included:

        ~ Philippine News: Philippines readies commissioning its first PCB destroyer


        ~ Environmental watchdogs press DENR to impose ban on lead in paints


        ~ Metrobank units seek to lure more renewable energy inventors


        ~ Ayala infusion to fuel wind farm growth


        ~ Gov’t. must push for long-term solutions to fight rising fuel costs – Angara


        ~ Group prods Gov’t. to embrace electric vehicles


        ~ Eco-jeepney, green transport initiatives to fight rising fuel costs – Angara


        ~ Pedal-Solar-Wind powered train


      ~ ADB welcomes and supports Philippines’ development focus



MANILA, March 3 (PNA) — The Philippines targets commissioning this year its first facility for destroying polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), hazardous chemical substances that are among 12 persistent organic pollutants (POPs) prioritized for worldwide elimination under the Stockholm Convention.

“We’re already finalizing work on this facility,” said Foreign-Assisted and Special Projects Office Director Edwin Domingo from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), national executing agency and lead coordinator for the project amounting to nearly US$ 12 million.

He noted the facility’s commissioning is tentatively set for this month.

To ensure safe and ecologically sound PCB destruction, DENR reported the facility features non-combustion technology that complies with the Stockholm Convention on POPs.

Philippine National Oil Company-Alternative Fuels Corporation (PNOC-AFC) will host and operate this facility that was constructed in its Petrochem Park in Mariveles, Bataan province.

Such facility is the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, PNOC-AFC pointed out earlier.

Domingo noted PCBs from various sources nationwide will be brought to this facility for destruction to help reduce such substances’ threat to public health and the environment.

“DENR earlier began developing protocols for collecting and transporting the PCBs,” he said.

Among health problems linked to PCB exposure are sterility, skin disease, liver damage, irregular menstrual cycles, lesions, lowered immune responses and impaired cognitive development.

Studies also indicate PCBs contaminate the air, land and water, persisting there and affecting various species.

DENR is spearheading the project as government aims to safely eliminate by 2014 all PCB stockpiles in the country.

Government plans to achieve this using non-combustion technology that complies with the Stockholm Convention and Republic Act No. 8749 (Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999).

By: Ellalyn B. De Vera
March 10, 2011, 4:03pm

MANILA, Philippines — Green advocates Thursday appealed to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to implement a policy that jibes with the international consensus to phase out lead-added paints.

In a letter sent to DENR Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) Director Juan Miguel Cuna, the EcoWaste Coalition and Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) pushed for a policy that is in sync with the international community’s call to stop the use of lead in paints.

The EMB had asked for public comments on the final draft of the “Chemical Control Order (CCO) for Lead and Lead Compounds.”

Lead and lead compounds belong to the “Priority Chemicals List” of the Philippines that must be regulated, phased out or banned because of the serious risks these chemicals posed to public health, workplace and the environment.

“The draft CCO must disallow the use of lead pigments in preparations and articles such as paint mixtures and children’s products and hasten industry shift to clean production via kid-safe alternatives to lead,” said Manny Calonzo of GAIA and EcoWaste.


March 24, 2011 01:12:21 PM | BREAKING NEWS
Emilia Narni J. David

TWO UNITS of the Metrobank Group have partnered to help investors develop renewable energy projects, with one structuring funding requirements while the other determining commercial viability of the ventures, a statement released on Thursday read.

The partnership between First Metro Investment Corp. and Global Business Power Corp. “was conceived to draw and synergize on the expertise of First Metro in project finance and the experience of Global Power in developing power projects”,

“It is hoped that with this joint cooperation renewable project proposals can be realized thereby promoting and encouraging investments in this sector,” the statement read.


TWO more wind farms will be operating in the country by 2015 with Ayala Corp. now backing the pioneering firm behind the first turbine site in Ilocos Norte, a ranking official yesterday said.

Two more wind farms will reportedly rise by 2015 to join this project on Bangui Bay in Ilocos Norte after Ayala Corp. acquired a 50% stake in NorthWind Power Development Corp.

The planned 40-megawatt (MW) Aparri wind farm should start generating and selling power by 2013 while another 40-MW farm planned for Pamplona in Cagayan Valley should be ready by 2015, NorthWind Power Development Corp. Chairman Ferdinand A. Dumlao told reporters in a telephone interview.

This comes after Ayala, the country’s oldest conglomerate, announced last week that it had purchased a 50% stake in NorthWind as part of plans to diversify into the power business.

The acquisition, accomplished via Ayala unit Michigan Power, Inc. cost roughly P512 million, according to earlier reports.

“We are confident that we can embark on these new projects,” Mr. Dumlao said.

Ayala, through its subsidiary, will have a 50% interest in each of the windfarms, Mr. Dumlao added.


Senator Edgardo J. Angara called for the government to invest in long term solutions to fight the rising costs of fuel and end foreign oil dependency by supporting renewable energy (RE) resources and green transportation solutions.

Angara made the statements after news that the government is studying the implementation of a fuel subsidy plan for public transport operators to be able to cope with steadily rising fuel costs.

Angara noted that the plan would only be a stopgap measure with short term effects, adding RE alternatives and electric and hybrid vehicles will bring long term solutions and at the same time help stimulate the growth of new industries.

Angara, Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science Technology and Engineering, expressed his support for the new eco-jeepney program of the Department of Energy (DOE) and the initiative of Iloilo city, which recently launched an electric jeepney program.
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04-Mar-11, 3:09 PM

An electric tricycle, or eTrike, undergoes testing by the Land Transportation as groups call on government to provide incentives to businesses involved in manufacturing and deploying environmentally friendly electric vehicles.
(photo by Avilash Roul)

MANILA, Philippines – An environmental advocacy group called on government Friday to promote the manufacture and use of electric vehicles and “start the slow but sure transition away from fossil fuel dependence” amidst spiking oil prices, the growing tension in the Middle East and Libya and the worsening impacts of climate change.

In a statement, Red Constantino of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (iCSC), said that, even as the country harnesses its “huge renewable energy resources,” it also needs to “scale up solutions we already have, such as electric public vehicles and other sustainable transport alternatives. It’s time to confront the jittery oil market with a steady green hand.”

Also on Friday, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) carried out tests on electric tricycles, or eTrikes, manufactured by the Alternative Modern Transport group.

The tests were supervised by LTO North Motor Vehicle Inspection Center (NMVIC) chief Engineer Joel Donato, described by the iCSC as an advocate of green transport alternatives.

“Ang matuwid na daan ay malinis na daan (The straight road is also a green road),” the iCSC quoted Donato as saying in a reference to President Benigno Aquino III’s campaign promise of good governance.


Senator Edgardo J. Angara expressed his support for the new eco-jeepney program of the Department of Energy (DOE), adding that the program would complement the Green Transport initiative of the Congressional Commission on Science Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), which would help ease the nation’s dependence on oil.

The Department of Energy (DOE) has announced that a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) has been signed with large transport groups, for the eco-jeepney program which will promote the use auto-liquefied petroleum gas (auto-LPG) and compressed natural gas (CNG)-fed engines.

The program will aim to convert as many diesel-run jeepneys as possible.

Angara, Chair of COMSTE, identified the development of electric vehicles and green transport as priority projects of the commission for 2011.

The Green Transport initiative and Electric Vehicle program, was conceptualized by COMSTE under the Renewable Energy Research and Development Institute (RERDI) and will be implemented in cooperation with the DOST and the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP). The project will promote the development of new technology that can produce more efficient, low cost batteries and new electric vehicle design initiatives.

Angara said that innovative Green transport systems such as electric tricycles, hybrid jeepneys, buses and electric bicycles have the potential to lessen pollution caused by conventional transportation.
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Solar, (Pedal)-wind-powered train eyed for Cebu City, Cebu Daily News3/27/2011
Reporter: Candeze R. Mongaya

A SOLAR- and wind powered mini-train for Cebu?

Ecology lawyer and Ramon Magsaysay awardee Antonio Oposa sent a written proposal to Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama for access to a road where the proposed transportation system could be installed.

In his letter, Oposa also submitted a fabrication of the prototype for the mini-train.

Oposa’s project proposal would be the first Filipino-made mini-train to be powered by solar and wind energy.

“The city government will own the prototype and we are donating our services including the idea,” Oposa said.

He said they plan to launch the project by June 12, 2011, to signify Cebu’s “declaration of independence from fossil fuels.”

Oposa also asked for P150,000 to purchase the angle bars that will be used for the rail and the train’s chassis system along with an electrical harness. He said they will provide the electric motor and battery for the train.

They will also install the train’s lighting systems, solar panel, foot pedaling and the materials for the train’s roofing and body and the wooden flooring, Oposa said.

He said the estimated cost of the mini-train prototype would be P90,000.

25 March 2011

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Government of the Philippines has laid out directions for tapping the country’s development potential and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will support it, ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda said today.

Mr. Kuroda was speaking at a reception to pay tribute to the Philippines as ADB’s host country. President Benigno S. Aquino III was guest of honor. Other guests included ADB Governor and Philippines Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Alternate Governor and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco, Jr., ambassadors from ADB member countries, legislators and senior officials of the Philippine central and local governments, business and civil society leaders, members of the diplomatic community and academe, and development partners.

“We support your focus on infrastructure development using public private partnerships, social sector development, fiscal consolidation and governance reforms,” said Mr. Kuroda.

To illustrate its commitment, ADB has extended a $400 million loan for a conditional cash transfer program to assist the country’s poorest households. It has also shared know-how and experiences in developing public private partnerships with the Government’s economic team.

Mr. Kuroda thanked the Philippines for its support in piloting electric tricycles and other projects which ADB plans to replicate in other member countries. “With the environment becoming an increasing concern, I am also happy to note that we are also working closely with the Philippines in developing unique approaches to mitigating the impact of climate change,” he said.

ADB was established in Manila over 44 years ago and since then it has provided assistance of about $12 billion to the Philippines. The current portfolio includes robust private sector operations which have helped improve infrastructure and the financial sector.

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