11 October 2015

APEC News Release

Palace maintains authorities continuously address the needs of indigenous people in Mindanao
The government continuous to address the needs if indigenous people in Mindanao, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr., said on Sunday.

“The government is continuously addressing the situation of the indigenous peoples in Mindanao, and is working tirelessly to ensure their safety and to protect them from unnecessary acts of violence,” Coloma said in a Radio interview with dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

The Communications Secretary was reacting to reports citing the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees saying that there were more than the reported 6,000 indigenous people who were displaced and deprive of protection from the state against militias and armed groups.

Coloma said he has yet to read such a report from the UN, but noted that the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police are working closely to pursue the individuals and groups responsible for this incident and bring them to the bar of justice.

“We are working with all stakeholders to bring lasting peace and development to these areas affected by the conflict. The government shall continue to provide protection and uphold the welfare of those affected by this incident. ,” he added.

He said that according to the Department of Social Welfare and Development there are 200,000 indigenous people under the modified conditional cash transfer (CCT) program.

“On the humanitarian situation, we continue to provide food packs and non-food items such as malongs, as well as psychosocial counseling and child-friendly space in Tandag. We can handle the situation,” Coloma said.

“So ito po ang pagtitiyak mula kay Secretary Dinky Soliman ng DSWD na masinsing tinututukan ng DSWD ang sitwasyon diyan at tinitiyak na nakatatanggap ng sapat na kalinga ang ating mga kababayang bahagi ng mga indigenous people,” he added.

On September, thousands of Lumad fled their villages and sought refuge in Tandag City, the capital of Surigao del Sur, after three tribemen were killed allegedly by an armed group. PND (ag)

Palace supports Senator Recto’s plan to augment funds to combat HIV, AIDS
Malacañang on Sunday supports Senator Ralph Recto’s plan to augment funds intended for combating the proliferation in the country of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

“‘We welcome the idea of Senator (Ralph) Recto of providing additional funds for HIV’ o ‘yung paglaban doon sa HIV-AIDS threat sa ating bansa. The thrust of the program currently is on encouraging the high-risk population to have themselves tested; therefore, more cases are likely to be diagnosed,” said Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., reading a statement from the Department of Health during a radio interview with dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

He noted that the proposal is timely and that the government wanted to strengthen its program that focuses on the prevention and widening awareness on AIDS and HIV.

The Communications Secretary also added that the government is doing its best to help those who had acquired the illness.

“Gayunpaman, patuloy ang pagsisikap ng pamahalaan na mabigyan ng kaukulang suporta at tulong medikal ang ating mga kababayan na kasalukuyang nakikipaglaban sa sakit na AIDS, at ito ay binibigyan ng mataas na prayoridad ng ating Department of Health,” said Coloma. PND (ag)

APEC energy ministers to propose measures for sustainable energy environment, infrastructure and investments
LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu) The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is gearing for a Cebu Declaration that will propose concrete measures for a sustainable energy environment and improve energy infrastructure and investments in the region.

The 12th APEC Energy Ministers’ Meeting is happening on October 13, Tuesday.

“At the end of the APEC ministers’ meeting, we hope to have the Cebu Declaration approved by each one of them [economies],” Energy Undersecretary Loreta Ayson said.

The Cebu Declaration will have these key elements: resiliency of energy infrastructures, energy investments, low carbon development / clean energy technologies, energy-water nexus, eco-tourism sites, regional standards on energy products and services, inventory and mapping of energy resources, human resources development, and gender fair approaches in energy.

As part of the preparation for the declaration, Ayson said several consultations were made across the country, so the energy ministers can incorporate the Philippine perspective on how they can progress in energy efficiency and sustainability.

The undersecretary assured that the declaration has taken into consideration the “concerns” from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

The consultations were conducted through the help of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

This year’s APEC energy meeting will have four sub-themes: climate-proofing energy infrastructures, advancing cutting edge energy efficiency technologies, promoting community-based clean energy use in energy-poverty stricken areas, and improving energy trade and investment in APEC.

Ayson said during a pre-event press briefing the boosting of energy investments in the Asia-Pacific region is “the heart of APEC.”

She added that APEC economies must learn from their experiences in the past and focus on issues that will ensure a sustainable energy program for all 21 members.

Aside from the focus on energy trade and investments, Ayson said that the ministers will address energy issues that affect the business environment of the region, especially pertaining to natural disasters.

It will also have recommendations for energy-saving capabilities, as well as promote access to “clean energy.”

“Clean energy access [and other forms of clean energy] is a concern for all of us because we want to attain a low carbon emission for the Philippines and other APEC economies,” the energy undersecretary said.

Clean energy generates electricity from sustainable sources like wind, solar, and geothermal power with almost no pollution or global warming emissions. (APEC Communications Group)

Philippine official hopes APEC energy meeting could bring in new technologies
LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu) The Department of Energy said on Sunday that it hopes the meeting of APEC energy ministers here could also lead to the country’s adoption of new technologies for sufficient power supply and cheaper electricity prices.

For instance, in Cebu, the adoption of new technology is costly to power consumers like in the case of a one-kilometer underground power line financed by the Visayan Electric Company. The cost of investment is passed on to the consumers making energy more expensive.

In a press conference here, Energy Undersecretary Loreta Ayson said the construction of underground power lines is a good option because they are more protected from wind and typhoons acknowledging however that it’s a very expensive technology.

The installation of underground power lines is something that the DOE is looking at and she also said there’s no assurance of any government subsidy in case this kind of technology is adopted.

“With the APEC ministers around, trade and investments will be promoted and may be this is something that could be worked on and prices of these new technologies could also be discussed,” Ayson said.

She added that the goal is to attain cooperation among APEC members for transfer of technology to lower electricity prices.

“That’s one reason why we should have APEC because the ministers can discuss it. And the members of APEC are no less than U.S., Russia, and all other economies that have more advanced technologies.”

Ayson, who said they have already conducted simulations on the Philippines’ energy mix, also discussed DOE’s energy plan 20 or 30 years from now.

“We are working in a fuel mix policy for power generation so that we will have a balance of all the fuels that we are using,” she said.

The plan is to have one third coal, one third natural gas, and one third renewable energy, she explained noting DOE eyes for fuel diversification.

The DOE is also not discounting the possible use of nuclear energy in the future, considering that nuclear power is cleaner than coal-powered plants as well as plants that use bunker fuel.

But the major hurdle in the Philippines for the adoption of nuclear energy is social acceptability, according to Ayson.

“A lot of people are not really in favor of it,” she said. “But we as the Department of Energy is not really discarding it. We’re not scrapping it and its always part of our long-term options.”

The DOE has done evaluations, studies and information campaign about the use of nuclear power, she said adding she cannot say with certainty when the country would adopt nuclear energy. PND (as)