Site preparations for Davao’s waste-to-energy project underway

October 16, 2019

 Despite the resistance of environmentalists here, Mayor Sara Duterte said the local government is pushing through with the waste-to-energy (WTE) project as among the programs and campaigns that her administration is undertaking to achieve a “cleaner and greener city.” In her State of the City Address (SOCA) at the Sangguniang Panlungsod on Monday, Duterte bared that the initial preparations for the site of the proposed WTE project in Biao Escuela, Tugbok District are already in progress. “The establishment of a waste-to-energy facility is on the planning stage, with initial preparations underway in an identified area in Tugbok District,” she said. As part of the city’s preparation for the WTE, Duterte said the local government plans to implement in the coming weeks a new garbage collection system to address complaints on the present garbage collection system of the local government. Under the new plan, Duterte said the standard collection point infrastructure will have a trash cage for the plastic bottles, sachets, wrappers, and plastic bags; and separate cages for biodegradable and non-biodegradable wastes. The biodegradable wastes will be collected by a separate hauler and will be brought to the compost pit of the barangay or the compost machine of the city government while the non-biodegradable will be collected by the city and segregated before delivery to the sanitary landfill. “An intensified information and education campaign targeting households, offices, schools, and business establishments will be pursued to involve as many people as possible to our new system in our collection points which will also prepare everyone for the eventual operation of the WTE,” Duterte said. She added that the local government has hired a “collection manager to oversee daily collection and project potential problems to ensure that collection is adjusted whenever there is an urgent need. We have tasked all barangay captains to adjust our collection points to accommodate the garbage increase.” In a statement, No Burn Pilipinas, a coalition of environmental advocates in the Philippines, opposed the construction of the WTE project, claiming that there are “documented failures of WTE from economic and investment perspectives and these are mostly from advanced and rich countries such as UK, Germany, and Australia.” The coalition said “emissions from incinerators contain heavy metals, dioxins and furans, which may be present in the waste gases, water or ash. Plastic and metals are the major sources of the calorific value of the waste.” “The combustion of plastics, like polyvinyl chloride (PVC), gives rise to these highly toxic pollutants,” it added. It said WTE is the most expensive way to produce energy. “It is 10 times costlier than coal-fired power plants and 4 times the nuclear. The one being proposed in Quezon City is said to produce 1kW at P524 while solar energy can be harnessed for only P53 or even less. These are just some of the reasons why WTE incineration in other countries are being phased-out,” it added

DPWH commits P2.6B for new roads and bridges in Davao next year – Mayor Duterte

October 15, 2019

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has committed to allocate P2.6 billion to build more roads and bridges in Davao City next year, Mayor Sara Duterte said. In her State of the City Address (SOCA) on Monday, Duterte said the DPWH would undertake more road and infrastructure projects in support of the local government’s “Peace Project” that is “envisioned to finally interconnect all the barangays of Davao City.” The DPWH here, however, said they do not know the details of the projects referred to by the mayor. “I have yet to ask what these projects are and their locations,” said DPWH spokesman Dean Ortiz. Boasting of the success of the localized peace campaign under the Task Force Peace 911 or Peace 911 program, Duterte claimed the Area Clearing Validation Board of the Armed Forces of the Philippines had declared all of the 13 barangays in Paquibato District insurgency-free.. Peace 911—comprising, among others, representatives the from City Social Services and Development Office, City Health Office, City Agriculturist's Office, and City Veterinary’s Office—was established by Executive Order No. 12 issued on May 10, 2018 as the implementing arm for the peace-building efforts of the city government. Peace 911 was the successor of the Davao City Advisory on Peace and Development (DC PEACE DEV), created in 2017 supposedly to conduct community consultations in pilot barangays and through which the localized peace talks with the communist guerillas operating within the city were supposed to happen. The implementation of Peace 911 had led to road rehabilitation, construction of school buildings, improved health services, and tourism and socio-economic activities in Paquibato. Duterte said the local government is expanding the campaign’s coverage to the city’s Third District. She added that Peace 911 is also “supporting the indigenous tribes in the city in the implementation of their Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development and Protection Plan and in strengthening their Indigenous Political Structures.” During Peace 911’s first anniversary last May, Duterte said the local government awarded P1.985 million to livelihood projects to 14 former rebels.

Davao del Sur’s Petecio is AIBA Women’s World Boxing champ

October 14, 2019

The new champion in the AIBA Women’s World Boxing featherweight class is a Mindanawon from Sta. Cruz in Davao del Sur. The 27-year old Nesthy Alcayde Petecio on Sunday won the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championship in Ulan-Ude, Russia, less than 24 hours after 19-year old Carlos Yulo won the championship at the Artistic Gymnastics in Stuttgart, Germany. She is the second Filipino boxer to win the gold after Josie Gabuco in 2012. According to the website of the International Boxing Association (AIBA), the featherweight class was the most crowded weight class of the championships, with 36 athletes. Petecio won against Russia’s Liudmila Vorontsova, 3-2. Five years earlier, in the 2014 AIBA tournament in Jeju, South Korea, Petecio lost to Russia’s Zinaida Dobrynina, 2-0 in the gold medal match. GMA News 7 quoted Ricky Vargas, President of the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) as saying that Petecio "deserved the win not only because she fought brilliantly but also because she sacrificed so much for this.” "Am shedding tears of joy for her. Mabuhay ka, Nesthy!" GMA News 7 quoted him as saying. Vargas also credited Petecio's coaches Boy Velasco and Reynaldo Galido, ABAP’s head coach Pat Gaspi, including their foreign consultant Don Abnett for “a great job.” In March this year, Petecio was honored as “Best Female Fighter” in the 19th Gabriel “Flash” Elorde Memorial Awards held at Okada Manila Grand Ballroom, for capturing the gold medal for the Philippines in the 1st Indian Open International Boxing Tournament held in February 2018. Sun.Star Davao reported that Petecio also pocketed golds in the 2nd Kapolri Cup Boxing Tournament Open in Manado, Indonesia, on July 9, 2018, in the 10th International Boxing Tournament in Honor of Konstantin Korotkov in Russia in May 2018 and in XXXV International Felis Stamm Tournament for Elite Men and Women in Warsaw, Poland in March. According to the Sun.Star report,  Petecio did not expect the award because she was not included in the PSA (Philippine Sports Association) Awards. It quoted the now Baguio City-based national boxing team mainstay as saying “Thanks to God og sa Elorde family kay ilaha gi-recognize ako mga achievements last year bisan wala ko naka-medal sa Asian Games (I thank God and the Elorde family for recognizing my achievements last year even if I did not win a medal in the Asian Games).” Petecio on August 5 this year, posted on her FB page that “when the world says ‘give up,’ hope whispers ‘try it one more time.’” Jeremiah Opiniano of the Batangas-based ‘The Filipino Connection’ in an article titled “Nesthy Petecio: Five years of heartaches, and a 2019 world championships gold medal” said Petecio’s silver medal in Jeju in 2014 gave her a chance to compete in the 2016 Rio Olympic games “but the succeeding years of world and Asian jousts were struggling moments” for Petecio. She did not make tit to the Rio Olympics, she lost in the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon Korea, lost in the Asian Championships in China in 2015, in the 2017 Asian Championships, and in the 2018 Asian Games. 

DA-Davao warns vs invasive pest from South America n

October 14, 2019

The Department of Agriculture (DA)-Davao Region has expressed fears a species of a pest attacking some tropical and subtropical parts of South America and Asia have reached the Davao region after agriculturists recovered some larvae resembling that of a Fall Armyworm ((Spodoptera frugiperda) in Baguio District, Davao City, and Malalag in Davao del Sur. Marilou Infante, chief of the Regional Crop Protection Center of the DA-Davao Region told the Kapehan sa Dabaw on Monday that they immediately transported samples to the Bureau of Plant and Industry for confirmatory tests. Although results of the tests are have yet to be released this week, Infante said the physical appearance, especially the markings found on the larvae recovered from those two areas are 95% similar to the larvae of the Fall Armyworm (FAW), among them light-colored band on the lower lateral, pale dorsal line, darker lateral band, smaller spots arranged in trapezoid pattern in most dorsal segment, large spots on the second last segment, head color varies from orange, brown or black. Infante said shipping vessels likely brought FAW, an alien pest from South America, to Davao. A briefer released by DA-Davao said the FAW is a pest that can feed on more than 80 crop species and may cause significant yield reduction on major cultivated cereals such as maize, rice, sorghum, and also to legumes, vegetables crops and cotton. Infante urged farmers to report any sighting of the FAW to the DA-Davao so that they can take the necessary measures to prevent a full-blown infestation on cash crops as the pest is considered as a “strong migratory flyer” that can fly across 100 kilometers to neighboring areas. She said the presence of FAW poses threats to the food security in Mindanao as the female pest, which can live for 10 days up to 21 days, can lay around 50 to 200 eggs. According to her, the FAW larvae enter the pupa stage after 14 to 22 days and hatch into an adult insect after eight to 30 days. She said the initial sightings were observed in corn plantations of Baguio District in Davao City and Malalag municipality in Davao del Sur. The DA immediately distributed “green label” pesticides to farmers to mitigate the possible spread to other parts. It also planned to use biological control agents to prevent the infestation. “We have industries that rely on corn production since we have to support our hog and poultry, our corn should not be compromised,” she said. She said the initial steps taken by the agency included a blanket spraying to ensure the areas where the larva had been found are sufficiently covered. She said it is necessary to prevent its spread as the hog and poultry industries would heavily suffer as they dependent on corn for feed production On May 9, 2019, George Culaste, OIC Director of the Bureau of Plant Industry issued a memorandum on “Pest Advisory on Fall Armyworm”  to all Regional Executive Directors in the country, BPI Center Chiefs, the National Plant Quarantine Services Division, the National Seed Quality Control Services Division Crop Research and Production Support Division. Culaste said that in view of the “continuous and rapid spread” of FAW “in our neighboring countries and since the Philippine climatic condition is conducive to the preference of the devastating pest, you are hereby advise to alert your staff to engage in pest surveillance.” “You are also advise to closely monitor the pest by conducting detection survey in your respected regions to determine its presence for immediate management,” Culaste said. Attached to the memorandum were “pertinent information and possible management strategies for your information and immediate action.” 

Fire guts 5 houses in Davao City

October 13, 2019

A fire caused by children playing with matches destroyed five houses and left two others partially damaged on Sunday afternoon at Purok 54 Block-2 in Barangay SIR Phase 1 here, according to City Fire Marshall Major Virna Silagan. Citing the result of the investigation conducted by the personnel of the Bureau of Fire Protection-Davao, Silagan said the fire emanated from the residence of a certain Danilo Camoro where some children were left playing matches inside a room on the second floor. She said firefighters received a call at around 12:30 p.m. and immediately dispatched firetrucks.  Upon reaching the area, the fire had already spread to surrounding houses, prompting authorities to place the incident under second alarm status. Accordig to Silagan, the fire was controlled at 2:12 p.m. but the fire was put out at 3:08 p.m. No one was reported injured during the incident. Silagan said the cost of damage to property was estimated at P1.5 million. 

Panelo: plan to buy military equipment from Russia will force US to treat PH fairly

October 7, 2019

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 07 October) -- Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the plan of the Philippine government to procure some military equipment from the Russian Federation would make the US government treat the Duterte administration fairly. “Baka maging fair na sila sa atin (They might become fair to us),”  Panelo told reporters during a press briefing in Malacañang Monday. He said the Philippines had been relying heavily on the US for its supply of military hardware. According to Panelo, the US government, a long-time ally of the Philippines, would be insecure with the country’s latest move to possibly source out new items from Russia. “Syempre kasi dati dati kasi puro tayo relying on them and suddenly meron tayong ibang bansa na binigyang pansin. Sa mga magkakaibigan, pag nakita mong may bagong kaibigan nawawala ka na sa amin, natural lang yun (Of course, before we were lying so much on them and suddenly we are giving attention on another country. Among friends, when you see your friend mingling with another friend, you would feel you are losing him. That’s just natural),” he said. But Panelo assured President Rodrigo Duterte would continue to honor the diplomatic ties between the Philippines and the US. After his five-day official visit from Russia, Duterte said in his arrival speech on Sunday that the Philippines had reaffirmed its “strong commitment to a robust and comprehensive partnership with the Russian Federation on the basis of mutual respect, trust, and pragmatism.” “And working with Russia, we have achieved much,” he added. He said during his bilateral meetings with President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, both countries agreed to “broaden and deepen our ties in all areas of cooperation -- from security and defense to trade and investment, agriculture, energy, science and technology, and socio-cultural exchanges.” Among the bilateral cooperation agreements signed included peaceful uses of energy, scientific research, health, culture, and foreign policy consultations, according to Duterte. “These areas are important and therefore part of our comprehensive roadmap to build a partnership with a friend and to secure the Philippines’ strategic interests,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)


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