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CEB, DOH, BOQ coordinates efforts to curb NCov 

February 2, 2020

Cebu Pacific is working closely with the Department of Health (DOH) and the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) on the necessary actions after the identification of the 38-year old Chinese female passenger confirmed to be positive with the Novel Coronavirus (NCoV) who took Cebu Pacific flights last January 21, 2020. "We are in the process of contacting passengers seated in the vicinity of the positive NCoV patient and are taking the necessary precautions to inform them so they can have themselves checked in case they show flu-like symptoms," the airline said in a press statement. "The cabin crew and pilots on affected flights have also been informed and show no symptoms of illness." "The aircraft used for both flights have been pulled-out of the line and are undergoing thorough disinfection." The airline said it is also implementing preventive measures to reduce the risk of infection across all its flights, including cleaning and disinfection of aircraft in between flights; wearing of face masks by all employees, frontline personnel and cabin crew while on duty; providing face masks to passengers who show symptoms of illness; when possible, isolation of passengers who manifest symptoms of illness in empty rows inside the aircraft during the flight; and coordination with health authorities in case there are passengers suspected of NCoV contamination for immediate turn-over and further observation The airline has also reduced its flights between the Philippines, mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau from February 3 to March 29, 2020 in light of the situation. Passengers who wish to check the status of their flights may do so through the Manage Booking portal in the Cebu Pacific website, https://book.cebupacificair.com/Manage/Retrieve/  for the latest updates as more information becomes available.

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Singapore's Science Observatory captures livestream on Annular Eclipse

December 26, 2019

PEOPLE witnessed the Annular Eclipse which is a rear phenomenon on Singapore Science Centre Observatory captured on a livestream. It is a type of phenomenon, wherein the moon was very far from the Earth. As such, the moon becomes smaller and it did not block the sun's entire view, thus forming what it seems to be a "ring of fire" effect.     This rare phenomenon was also seen in some areas in Guam, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Philippines and Northern Mariana Islands. Some parts of the Philippines also witnessed this rare phenomenon like in Davao Oriental, and in Balut and Batubalaki in Sarangani, Southern Philippines.   TRIVIA: Do you know that the Philippines last witnessed an annular eclipse on July 20, 1944 that traversed Puerto Princesa City, Palawan to Southern Mindanao? The next similar astronomical event in the country will be on February 28, 2063 or 44 years from now.  

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NGCP restores earthquake-damaged Kidapawan Substation

November 13, 2019

NGCP has restored its Kidapawan Substation on Sunday, November 10, ahead of its November 17 target energization. The substation is now ready to fully accommodate power from Mt. Apo Geothermal Power Plant (MAGPP) to the Mindanao grid once it goes online. The Kidapawan Substation suffered damage to its high voltage substation equipment and control room facilities due to the magnitude 6.7 earthquake in Tulunan, Cotabato last October 31. Access to the substation was also initially hindered by landslides around the area, necessitating rescue of substation personnel by chopper. Despite the damage to facilities, supply of power to electricity consumers in the area was uninterrupted as NGCP was able to shift and transfer power supply through its Tacurong Substation. As soon as the situation in the area was deemed safe and passable, NGCP deployed its personnel to assess the substation damage and implement a restoration plan. This plan involved clearing of debris; design and installation of scaffolding/support structures; removal of damaged high-voltage equipment; and installation, testing, and evaluation of new equipment.  “We are pleased to report that with the collective efforts of our Mindanao personnel and additional line crews from Visayas and South Luzon, we were able to energize Kidapawan Substation and Kidapawan-Matanao 138kV Line 1 and 2 one week ahead of schedule. Our customers can be assured that we will continue monitoring the situation in the area,” stated the company. NGCP defers to the DOE on the status of generation, sub-transmission lines owned by the electric cooperatives, and distribution lines. NGCP is a Filipino-led, privately owned company in charge of operating, maintaining, and developing the country’s power grid, led by majority shareholders Henry Sy, Jr. and Robert Coyiuto, Jr.###

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23 NorMin LGUs win SGLG award  

November 12, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Nov. 10 -- From 10 awarded local government units (LGUs) in the previous year,  Northern Mindanao surges up its number of Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) awardees this year, reaching 23 LGU passers.   For the Provincial Government category,  the Province of Bukidnon made it to the list of awardees, along with El Salvador City and Valencia City under the City Government category.    For the Municipal Government, the following snatched the seal this year: Impasugong, Kadingilan, Pangantucan, Quezon, and San Fernando from the Province of Bukidnon; Sagay from the Province of Camiguin; Bacolod, Balo-i, Baroy, Kapatagan, Kauswagan, Sapad, Sultan Naga Dimaporo, Tangcal, and Tubod from the Province of Lanao del Norte, Plaridel from the Province of Misamis Occidental; and Lugait, Medina, Salay, and Villanueva from the Province of Misamis Oriental.    “It is the honor of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Region 10 that our local government units took the challenge of passing the seal this year. Despite the tougher criteria, more LGUs even won the SGLG award,” DILG 10 Regional Director Arnel M. Agabe said.    He commended the efforts made by the LGUs saying “beyond the recognition and incentives that the LGUs could get, being awarded with SGLG manifests that ‘good governance’ exists in their jurisdictions and they are able to provide excellent services for their constituents.”   This year, the SGLG carries on with the “All-in” assessment criteria where the LGUs must pass all seven (7) governance areas of (a) Financial Administration, (b) Disaster Preparedness, (c) Social Protection, (d) Peace and Order, (e) Business Friendliness and Competitiveness, (f) Environmental Management and (g) Tourism, Culture and the Arts.    For a province to qualify, ten percent (10%) of its component cities and municipalities must be passers, as per DILG MC 2019 – 44.   “The SGLG assessment criteria continues to be upgraded and redefined to highlight the critical roles of our LGUs, to encourage continual improvement to the services they are providing,” Agabe explained.    Moreover, he also lauded the efforts of DILG filed officers who contributed to this success.    “We also salute our matitino, mahuhusay, at maaasahang DILG field officers who did the extra mile in preparing their LGUs for the assessment, through the support of their Provincial/City Directors,” Agabe further said.    SGLG is a yearly award and incentive program that puts a premium on integrity and good performance as it seeks to institutionalize the continuity of local governance reforms and development. It is a progressive assessment system that gives LGUs a distinction for their remarkable performance across several areas. (Rezza Mae B. Tolinero/DILG10)

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John L. Gokongwei, Jr., 93

November 10, 2019

We mourn the peaceful passing of our Founder and Chairman Emeritus John L. Gokongwei Jr., on November 9, 2019. He was 93. We, the 75,000-strong employees of JG Summit Holdings and Robinsons Retail Holdings, join the nation in paying tribute to the founder of the first Philippine multinational conglomerate, a philanthropist with a passion for education. Mr. John, as we fondly called him, was a visionary. He was an inspiration to entrepreneurs and businessmen around the nation, with his pioneering ideas, his strong work ethic, his passion, and perseverance. Today, the Gokongwei Group is one of the country’s largest and most diversified conglomerates with interests in air transportation, telecommunications, banking, food, power, property,  hospitality, retail, and petrochemicals. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Elizabeth, and his children Robina, Lance, Lisa, Faith and Hope, and Marcia; his in-laws and grandchildren; brothers Eddie and James Go, sister Lily; and his nieces and nephews.  The wake will take place from Monday, November 11 to Thursday, November 14 at Heritage Park, Taguig, from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.  Daily masses will be celebrated at 7 p.m. Funeral mass will be on Friday, November 15 at 8 a.m. at Heritage Park. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to your favorite charity.

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AboitizPower posts P13.5 billion net income from January to September 2019

November 10, 2019

On a year-to-date basis, AboitizPower’s net income for the first nine months of 2019 was ₱13.5 billion, 19% lower than the ₱16.7 billion recorded during the same period last year. The company recognized non-recurring losses of ₱220 million versus last year’s losses of ₱1.7 billion related to net foreign exchange and derivative losses. Without these one-off losses, the company’s core net income was ₱13.7 billion, 26% lower than the ₱18.4 billion recorded in the same period last year. This was primarily due to the higher volume and cost of purchased power, lower spot market revenues, and lower plant availability. “It has been a tough year for AboitizPower with the supply issues that resulted in the high cost of replacement power for our customers. The company has also generated lower revenues from the spot market due to challenges that caused some of our power plants to shut down,” said Emmanuel V. Rubio, AboitizPower Chief Operating Officer. “Despite this, our customer base continues to grow, which underscores the consumers’ trust and confidence in AboitizPower. Moreover, we remain confident that with our incoming capacities, we will surpass our 2020 target of 4,000 megawatts attributable capacity, ensuring sustainable growth for the company, our shareholders, and the customers and communities we serve,” Rubio said. Results of Operations Generation and Retail Electricity Supply   AboitizPower’s generation and retail supply business recorded consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of ₱28.7 billion in the first three quarters of 2019, 13% lower than the ₱33 billion recorded during the same period last year. This was primarily driven by the higher volume and cost of purchased power, lower spot market revenues, and lower plant availability. Spot market prices were high in the first half of 2019 and during that period, the company purchased replacement power due to outages and contracting ahead in preparation for Therma Visayas, Inc.’s incoming capacity. Plant availability was also lower versus the same period last year due to outages from the company’s coal facilities. Distribution   For the first three quarters of 2019, AboitizPower’s distribution business recorded consolidated EBITDA of ₱6 billion, 3% lower than the ₱6.2 billion recorded during the corresponding period in 2018. This was primarily due to lost margins from the decommissioning of the Bajada power plant. The company saw energy sales increase to 4,341 gigawatt-hours (GWh), which was 5% higher than the 4,136 GWh recorded in the first nine months of 2018. This was primarily driven by the increase in new customers across all segments. About AboitizPower AboitizPower is the holding company for the Aboitiz Group’s investments in power generation, distribution, and retail electricity services. It advances business and communities by providing reliable and ample power supply at a reasonable and competitive price, and with the least adverse effects on the environment and host communities. The company is one of the largest power producers in the Philippines with a balanced portfolio of assets located across the country. It is a major producer of Cleanergy, its brand for clean and renewable energy with several hydroelectric and geothermal power generation facilities. It also has various fossil-fired power plants in its generation portfolio to support the baseload and peak energy demands of the country. The company also owns distribution utilities that operate in high-growth areas in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, including the second and third largest private utilities in the country

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