The young governor chose to keep it simple and said his main reason for embarking on an ambitious goal is an adage as old as he is young-—if you build it, they will come. And true enough, they did.
Today the once poor province of Camarines Sur is enjoying not only local acclaim but international recognition for its efforts in creating a world—class tourism destination, the CamSur Watersports Complex (CWC). The sports complex is now “the place” to be for the rich and the powerful, the athletic and the enthusiast, and practically all local and foreign adventurers who want to enjoy the thrills of various water sports.
But the CWC is just the tip of the iceberg, as Gov. LRay Villafuerte puts it. These days CamSur is also known as the first local government unit (LGU) to support Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs). The province recently passed a local ordinance that allows Camarines Sur to undertake its own joint-venture (JV) projects with the private sector.
Through this, Villafuerte said the province already expects over P1 billion worth of investments to hit its shores by next year. This amount may be peanuts compared with the P106 billion worth of 10 PPPs that the national government is tendering to the private sector next year. But, for a province once considered among the poorest in the country, this is something life-changing and worth looking forward to.
Villafuerte believes that CamSur’s experience is a testament that even LGUs are capable of achieving through innovative ideas such as PPPs. All that is needed is the will to take the first step and the resolve to stay the course.
Rags to riches
When the young governor assumed office in 2004, CamSur was just dust on the beaten path of development. It was ranked among the poorest provinces in the country, along with other provinces in the Bicol region. A significant number of people were living below $1 and $1.25 a day, many children were not in school, and many more were homeless.
Based on the 2003 Small Area Estimates data released by the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB), the poverty incidence in Camarines Sur reached an average of 60 percent. Some municipalities even had a level of 61 percent.
Believing his provincemates deserved much more, the young governor embarked on a local and international roadshow promoting CamSur’s beaches and other natural attractions. This was done in the hope of spurring tourism development in the country and creating employment opportunities for the people. To his dismay, no one took notice. Not yet.
“When I became governor in 2004, I promoted CamSur for a year going around the country, going all over the world saying that we have one of the best beaches in the world, in the country. Nobody was buying it. Why? Because in the Philippines all people talk about is Boracay, Bohol, Palawan and that’s it. So I said, okay, if you don’t want to believe what we’re doing, we will do the investing,” Villafuerte related.
The results of his efforts were nothing short of a miracle, considering that the province was practically scraping off “leftover” tourists who did not have the budget for Boracay, Bohol or Palawan and did not know where else to go.
From the letdown, Villafuerte started building. The local government then built the CWC and the world-class resort in Caramoan. Both resorts are now considered top tourist destinations in the country. As icing on the cake, the top-rated TV series Survivor decided to shoot in Gota island off the coast of Caramoan for Survivor France at around the same time. From there, the province found itself in the thick of tourism development and there was no turning back.
Partnering with the private sector
Having proven its viability for investment, CamSur started developing other aspects of the economy to help more people improve their lives and living conditions. This started with the local government’s efforts to provide free training for those who want to go into the Call Center and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry.
Villafuerte said that when it comes to development, more often than not, it’s a “chicken and egg” situation. For investors, they will not invest in a particular location without enough manpower resources and for applicants, they will not stay in a province where no jobs are available.
To break this vicious cycle, the province invested in the free training of applicants and partnered with investors by putting public lands on the table, as well as undertaking the construction of office buildings for investors use. The training not only included call-center agent training but also medical transcription and animation.
With this, CamSur became the only LGU in the country that has built and established ecozones such as a tourism park, IT zone, and agroindustrial zone, which are more known to be initiated by the private sector rather than LGUs. Usually ecozones are created or declared by the national government through the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza).
Villafuerte is also proud to note that CamSur was also able to undertake a partnership with Sutherland Global Services Inc. The province provided the land, constructed the building and trained the manpower for Sutherland. There are now 2,000 call-center seats in CamSur.
With average incomes of around P12,000 to P15,000 a month for agents, the call-center alone provides an additional boost to the economy in the amount of P24 million to P30 million a month. This translates to P288 million to P360 million additional income for people in the province every year.
This does not yet include the income the province generates from the rent paid by companies to the LGU for the use of the land and the buildings. In fact, after six years in office, Villafuerte said he was able to triple the LGU’s budget to P2 billion from only P800 million in 2004.
Another project is building homes together with nongovernment organization (NGO) Gawad Kalinga. The province was able to construct as many as 4,700 homes in the province.
The governor explained that assuming the construction of each home amounted to P70,000 to P80,000 each, which translates to an investment in the province of P400 million.
“The problem, not just in CamSur [but for] everybody all over the country, is the problem with squatting and people not having homes. The problem of the province then was we had all the lands, Gawad Kalinga’s problem [was they] lacked lands. So we partnered with them,” he said.
These partnerships are also very pioneering in a sense that they happened even before the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) released and implemented its JV guidelines.
Through the earlier partnerships with the private sector the LGU undertook, CamSur has since been able to meet and even exceed national targets particularly in meeting the Millennium Development Goals.
Based on the 2008 National Nutrition Survey of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute, CamSur was able to reduce its malnutrition rate by over 45 percent and has since been able to boost the Bicol Region’s economy to 8.2 percent in 2009, according to the Gross Regional Domestic Product data provided by the NSCB.
Data from the Neda Region V Regional Development Council show that through the CWC, CamSur attracted six out of every 10 tourists in Bicol and even emerged as the top tourist destination in the Philippines in 2009.
Villafuerte also proudly noted that the Commission on Audit (COA) ranked the province as the 10th richest province in the Philippines, from being 39th. Using 2007 data, CamSur’s net income reached P233.85 million and its total equity increased to P1.993 billion, COA said.
This despite the fact that the province derives most of its funds to develop all these projects from their Internal Revenue Allotment and borrowings from government financial institutions like the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).
The success of these projects resulted in higher revenues that allowed the local government to continuously meet its obligations. The DBP even gave the LGU a P2-billion credit line because of the viability of the projects that CamSur is investing in.
“We presented to DBP proposals for projects, additional projects for schools and roads, but we have income-generating projects like the IT park, [which] we financed through our DBP loan. [For] all the money we borrowed, the net effect was very positive so coming from that, we [thought we] should expand this concept,” Villafuerte said.
The first PPP LGU ordinance
In support of the cur-rent administration’s goal of pushing for PPPs to finance infrastructure projects, CamSur passed Ordinance 003 or An Ordinance Prescribing Guidelines and Procedures for Entering into Joint Venture Agreements with Private Entities Consistent with the Neda Guidelines on Joint Venture Agreements.
According to Villafuerte, around 95 percent of the local ordinance was based on the Neda JV guidelines, but some provisions were localized, such as the creation of a local JV Selection Committee (JV-SC) to evaluate and select a private-sector partner for a selected joint-venture undertaking.
The JV-SC is led by the Chairman, a third ranking officer in the province followed by a Secretary which will be assumed by a legal officer of the province; two LGU officers knowledgeable in finance and management and operation of the JV; and a representative from and selected by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
Based on the guidelines, the governor can also create a technical working group to be composed of personnel from the public and private sector operating in the province who have the expertise to share in specific JV undertakings.
The governor said the local government will exert all efforts to promote transparency and accountability in all JV projects and undertakings. All that CamSur is looking for from the national government is support—a guarantee that they will also help in disseminating information that certain projects in the LGUs are also being undertaken through PPPs.
“What we want from the national government is simply for it to help us promote public-private partnerships. It will also relieve them, [since] instead of us asking money from them, all we need is for these projects to be part of their list, [considering they are] viable. Of course now, we also want clear guidelines from the national government supporting LGU public-private partnerships by providing a guideline for LGU partnerships,” Villafuerte said.
He thinks this will also encourage other LGUs to undertake their own JVs with the private sector for local PPP projects. Based on their experience, LGUs can easily cut business processing time. He said CamSur was able to do half of the business requirements for investors by simply providing a place to operate in.
Villafuerte said this also cuts the costs incurred by businesses operating in CamSur. He said it is CamSur’s business-friendliness that’s behind the decision of many establishments to set up shop in the province.
“I think the LGU is the key to the economic development of this country. Think global, start local. You can implement global projects locally,” the governor said.
PPPs on the horizon
By next year, Villafuerte expects over P1 billion worth of investments will stream into CamSur in the form of PPPs. Several agriculture, tourism, infrastructure, environment, and other projects will be offered as PPPs in CamSur by next year.
One of these projects is a chili processing plant in the province. While it is not unlikely for the province to go into en masse chili processing—being known for serving up the country’s hottest viands—it has never been done before. Villafuerte intends to capitalize on this untapped potential.
There is, he said, a big demand for chili production because of the increase in demand for condiments like Tabasco or chili powder for seasoning. Since the province has a lot of land—approximately 30,000 hectares of it—land can already be the province’s equity as well as the manpower. The private sector can put in the technology and the capital that can be used for processing.
“What we want to do now is create a large-scale chili plantation as a high-value crop and process it into powder. So it’s like this, we plant it for you, you buy it from us, you process it, then we share. It’s an innovative approach to governance. Me, I’m very positive, very optimistic that we can do it. We’ve pioneered the ordinance to do it, it just takes time. Of course, all of these is in the parameters of government transparency, accountability, fairness; anybody can come in, provided that it’s advantageous to the government,” the governor said.
Another long-time project is a diversion road that will cut travel time from Manila to Camarines Sur by an hour. The diversion road will be a toll road that a private-sector entity can operate and lease from the government, depending on which arrangement is beneficial to both parties.
The province is also keen on developing solar and renewable-energy projects to help in solving the power problem in the country. By providing land, power companies can already come in and build whatever facilities are necessary to operate a solar or renewable-energy facility.
“We don’t have enough money, we need a partner and now is the right time for a partnership. Why? Because we’ve proven our worth. Meaning, CamSur is viable, fastest-growing, from nothing to something, from poorest to richest,” Villafuerte enthused.
Only time will tell whether these PPPs will indeed bring about the expected results of the local government but based on their experience, and assuming that future leaders of the province will have the same vision as the young governor, PPPs will be a staple in the province.
On hindsight, said Villafuerte, even if there was some political backlash at the onset of his innovative approach to governance, people subsequently started seeing clearly what his vision was. Soon, the attacks stopped and the projects received international and local acclaim.
Meanwhile, other LGUs are consulting with him on how to go about PPPs and having a local ordinance to support PPPs in their province. This is something the province welcomes because that is also where CamSur was not so long ago—poor and underdeveloped.
To naysayers, the governor said that while it is true that the government must step aside when it comes to businesses or corporate activities, especially when there are private-sector players, its not always the case for provinces in the Philippines.
“The government must encourage private enterprise but in our case, if we don’t do it, we will never be able to prosper. If we did not build the CWC, CamSur will still be poor and the only reason why we did it is [that] no private sector wanted to invest,” the governor said. “I always believe, build it and they will come, and we built it and people started to come.”
In Photo: Call-center agents are seen at Sutherland Global Services, one of CamSur’s notable investors.
http://business.inquirer.net/money/topstories/view/20110111-313886/Group-to-invest-P74B-in-solar-venturesMANILA, Philippines—Filipino-Japanese venture Eco-Merge Philippines is putting up the country’s biggest solar power facilities over the next three years, with total investments possibly reaching P7.4 billion.
Eco-Merge president Edgar Morada said the company was looking at putting up solar facilities in four prospective areas—Camarines Sur, Negros Occidental, Agusan del Norte and Zamboanga. The projects are expected to generate a total of 41 MW.
While Morada did not disclose actual investment figures for the whole solar power portfolio, he noted that a company would need to invest $3 million to $4 million to produce a megawatt from solar resources. This means that for a 41-MW portfolio, the company has to shell out $164 million or about P7.38 billion.
“Our initial foray will be in the solar power area, but eventually, the goal really is in renewable energy. We will eventually diversify our RE portfolio. But for now, the focus is on solar energy,” Morada said in a briefing on Tuesday.
According to Morada, the company was initially looking at Camarines Sur because of the fact that the “governor of Camsur is one of the best governors in terms of undertaking renewable energy projects [and] is also eyeing Camsur as the first ever green province in the country.”
The planned 11-MW solar power project in Camsur will involve the provincial government, with the Camsur Watersports Complex (CWC) buying the electricity to be produced from the facility.
Morada said that the company has tapped Snowy Mountain Engineering Corp. (SMEC) to conduct the feasibility study for the 11-MW Camsur solar project as well as to provide the engineering consultancy services.
The Australia-based SMEC has been in the country for quite some time, servicing power giants such as First Gen Corp. and Aboitiz Power Corp. It is one of the leading engineering and development consultant firms in the world, particularly in the field of new and renewable energy.
Eco-Merge targets to hold its groundbreaking for the Camsur solar power project by November 11, 2011. The facility is expected to start commercial operations the following year as it only takes six months to complete a solar project, Morada explained.
The planned solar farms in Negros Occidental, Agusan del Norte and Zamboanga are expected to generate 10 MW.
So far, the biggest solar facility in the country is the 1-MW power plant owned by Cagayan Electric Power and Light Company.
http://www.gmanews.tvPepsi-Cola Products Philippines Inc. — manufacturer of well-known brands like Pepsi-Cola, 7Up, Mountain Dew, and Mirinda — is setting up a 1.2-megawatt (MW) biomass-fired power plant in its North Luzon Operations Facility in Rosario, La Union.
The power plant, estimated to cost around $2.7 million, will replace the existing diesel-fed generator set and fuel oil-fired boiler of the Pepsi-Cola plant, with rice hull, wood chips, and other biomass materials as fuel inputs.
Pepsi-Cola commercial director Gabby Gabinete said in a statement that the company wants to become a major player in addressing several challenges brought about by climate change and resource shortage.
Gabinete pointed out that Pepsi-Cola is planning to tie up with renewable energy developers for the 11-15-MW power requirement of its 11 manufacturing plants.
The renewable energy plants will be located in La Union, Pampanga, Muntinlupa, Naga, Cebu, Bacolod, Leyte, Iloilo, Zamboanga, Davao, and Cagayan de Oro.
Pepsi-Cola expects to save an average of 20 percent of its current cost for such renewable energy projects, Gabinete said.
The company also expects that some renewable energy firms would start setting up biomass-fired power plants in Pepsi-Cola's facilities in the next two-three years.
Pepsi-Cola said its power plant project in La Union has been commended by US Ambassador Harry Thomas.
"Pepsi-Cola's power plant facility in La Union would create an additional revenues stream to the agricultural sector," Thomas said in the same statement.
During his recent visit to La Union, Thomas took note of the more than 700 farmers that will benefit from the project by providing feedstock that the biomass plant requires.
"This means that the farmers will have additional income from selling rice husks that otherwise would have been burned or just thrown away," he said.
The power plant project in La Union is undertaken by Pepsi-Cola and Solutions for Renewable Energy Inc. (SURE) under a build-operate-and-transfer agreement.
SURE will operate the facility to generate electricity and steam while Pepsi-Cola will pay the renewable energy firm for the power consumed during the 10-year supply period.
To ensure the steady supply of biomass materials, SURE will be contracting with rice millers and farmers in the nearby towns and provinces of Pangasinan and La Union for the long-term supply of rice hull.
The good old Mother Seton Hospital
With be facing a tough rivalry
from new players in 2011 in Naga City Medical field
With the entry of NICC’s Medical Center Naga
And the expansion of Bicol Access Health Centrum
to a full Medical Center
Just like its giant swirling- circular lobby...
....Bicol region’s premier private tertiary hospital
would face a gargantuan, and dizzying task
to maintain its lead among its competitors.
http://www.azocleantech.com/Details.asp?newsID=13838Eco-Merge Philippines, a Filipino-Japanese venture group, plans to invest P 7.4 billion for solar power facilities in the country during the next three year period. According to Edgar Morada, President of Eco-Merge, the company was planning to set up solar facilities at four areas, Zamboanga, Agusan del Norte, Negros Occidental and Camarines Sur.
These projects would generate a total of 41 MW of power. He further noted that a company would have to invest $3 to $4 million to generate 1 MW of electricity from solar resources and hence for generating 41 MW the company would be investing P 7.4 billion or $164 million. He also mentioned that solar investment was only a start as the company’s goal was renewable energy and had plans of diversifying their Renewable Energy (RE) portfolio.
The first project was to be the installation at Camarines Sur as Camsur’s Governor was offering a lot of cooperation for the RE venture and was also hoping that Camsur would be the first green province in the country. The 11 MW Camsur Solar Project would also involve the Provincial Government. The electricity generated would be purchased by the Camsur Watersports Complex (CWC). Morada disclosed that feasibility studies were to be conducted by Snowy Mountain Engineering (SMEC), and they would also provide engineering consultancy services. SMEC, which is an Australian-based company has been providing its services for giants such as Aboitiz Power and First Gen for a long time and was also one of the pioneering engineering and development consultancy firms especially in the field of new and renewable energy.
Eco-Merge plans on conducting a ground-breaking ceremony on the 11th of November, 2011, for the Camsur Project and estimates that commercial operations would begin six months after i.e. in 2012. Currently, the country’s biggest solar facility was a 1 MW plant operated by the Cagayan Electric Power & Light Company.
http://www.camarinessur.gov.ph/homeIt is about 450 kilometers from Manila and is located between 14O 10' and 130 15' North Latitude and between 1240 10' and 1220 40' East Longitude. It is bounded on the north by the province of Quezon and Camarines Sur Norte, San Miguel Bay and the Pacific Ocean; on the south by the province of Albay ; Lagonoy Gulf on the east; and on the west by Ragay Gulf.
http://positivenewsmedia.net/am2/publish/Cities_And_Towns_23/NPC_set_to_collect_environment_charge_from_power_consumers.shtmlPILI, Camarines Sur, Jan. 25 (PNA) -– The National Power Corporation (NPC) has been going around the country conducting expository hearings on its desire to collect from power consumers an additional fee called the Universal Charge-Environmental Charge (UC-EC) this year.
Republic Act 9136, also known as Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001, has mandated the NPC, through its Watershed Management Department (WMD), to administer the EC which is equivalent to one-fourth of a centavo (P 0.0025) per kilowatt-hour (kwh) sales intended solely for the rehabilitation and management of NPC-managed watershed areas.
This is the portion of the UC that refers to the charge, if any, imposed for the recovery of the stranded cost and other purposes, including an EC, NPC-WMD manager Emmanuel Umali explained to hundreds of participants in an expository hearing it conducted at the Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA) here over the weekend.
Umali said CNSUA expository presentation is the second leg of the WMD nationwide sorties as required by the law before the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) comes to the final hearing on March 21, 2011 on the petition filed by the NPC for the implementation of the UC-EC.
Based on the yearly total energy sales forecast, WMD proposes programs and projects that can maintain the productive condition of NPC-managed watershed reservations for sustained power generation.
Specifically, these programs and projects aim to maintain and increase the forest cover of all watershed areas under NPC’s jurisdiction and watershed areas with NPC generating plants.
It also intends to protect the remaining watershed resources; rehabilitate eroded areas and stabilize slopes along waterways and reservoirs; and enhance participation of communities inside watersheds in watershed protection and conservation.
On or before March 15 of every year, the proposed programs and projects are submitted to the ERC in the form of a petition for their approval after publication in various local and national newspapers prior to the conduct of a public hearing.
The same authority given to NPC is also supported by RA 6395, allowing it “to exercise complete jurisdiction and control over watersheds surrounding the reservoirs of power plants and power projects; and EO 224, which also vested upon NPC “the complete jurisdiction, control and regulation of seven watershed areas around its power plants.”
Umali said that the fund that will be collected will be used for qualified projects under UC-EC which includes; watershed rehabilitation, watershed protection, acquisition and maintenance of tools, equipment, hardware and software relative to watershed database management, for research and development and for technical, legal, administrative and logistical support.
In the provinces of Albay and Camarines Sur, Umali said the NPC has already accomplished more than 70 per cent of their approved projects.
“We have already completed the vegetative rehabilitation project, which includes reforestation, agroforestry and vetiver plantation in both Albay and Camarines Sur, the same with the structural rehabilitation in both provinces, which includes riprap and check dam projects,” he said.
In the national level, among the programs and projects lined-up for implementation include rehabilitation and stabilization of open areas, sparsely vegetated areas and critically degraded areas of the watersheds through vegetative measures.
Strategies under watershed protection include community based watershed protection program through the operation of Bantay Watershed Task Force and watershed protection awareness campaign either by broadcast, print or special media and the conduct of livelihood training.
Biodiversity conservation and ecotourism are also implemented in certain areas of the watersheds to conserve and enhance their biodiversity.
A sound watershed management provides continuous supply of water not only for drinking and irrigation but also for power generation.
Almost half of the electricity produced in the country comes from both the hydroelectric and geothermal power plants which are being supported by watersheds.
Through the environmental fund of the universal charge, NPC assured that proper management of the watersheds will be attained and more stringent measures are adopted for their protection, development, management and rehabilitation, he stressed.
Last year, Umali said the NPC-WMD accomplished various projects for the watershed rehabilitation under UC-EC that included the established total area of 1,958 hectares of open and denuded areas covering 11 watersheds. Rehabilitation include projects on reforestation, agroforestry, rubber plantation, bamboo plantation, and silvicultural treatments, among others.
“We also established 6,650 cubic meters of structural measures prevent soil erosion of degraded and flood prone areas; produced more than three million seedlings of various forestry species and fruit trees for watershed rehabilitation projects and; maintained the 1,628-hectare plantations established from 2005 to 2008 to ensure sustainability,” he said. (PNA)
http://positivenewsmedia.net/am2/publish/Main_News_1/CSC_names_top_performing_LGUs.shtmlMANILA, Jan. 25 (PNA) - Six local government units (LGUs) have been qualified to receive the Citizen’s Satisfaction Center Seal of Excellence Award (SEA) for garnering the highest ratings in a client satisfaction survey, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) announced.
The SEA recipients are the Provincial Government of Compostela Valley with a rating of 95.5 (Excellent); City Government of Mati, Davao Oriental, 87.15 (Very Good); City Government of Tacurong, Sultan Kudarat, 85.1 (Very Good); City Government of Borongan, Eastern Samar, 83.86 (Very Good); Municipal Government of Burauen, Leyte, 81.88 (Very Good); and Provincial Government of Camarines Sur, 81.14 (Very Good).
The said LGUs, which hold the distinction of being the first government agencies to receive the award, are entitled to receive a wall-mountable glass seal bearing the Seal of Excellence Award symbol along with a cash reward.
The awardees attained the highest ratings in the Report Card Survey (RCS) conducted by the CSC during the pilot implementation of the program. The conduct of the Report Card Survey is one of the requirements under Republic Act No. 9485, known as the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007 or ARTA.
The CSC, through its regional offices, conducted the RCS pilot run in selected government agencies from July 1 to Aug. 31, 2010. It covered 10 priority agencies in the National Capital Region identified in Administrative Order No. 241, and the model province and model city of every region previously identified by the CSC.
Researchers were asked to interview clients who have already finished their transaction with the agency. Using a questionnaire and checklist as tools, the researchers rated the agency in terms of compliance with the requirements of ARTA, such as the presence of Citizen’s Charter, anti-fixer campaign materials, and help desk; and implementation of “No Lunch Break” policy.
It also evaluated client satisfaction based on the quality of service received, time it took them to complete the transaction, physical setup of the agency (e.g. signage/directions, accessibility, cleanliness, orderliness, lighting, ventilation and layout) and availability of basic facilities (e.g. comfort room, canteen, waiting area, facilities for pregnant women, persons with disability and the elderly).
A relatively new endeavor of the CSC, the grant of the Citizen’s Satisfaction Center Seal of Excellence Award forms part of the Commission’s mandate to promote prompt, excellent, honest and courteous frontline service in the bureaucracy. (PNA)
http://naga.gov.ph/news/70m-waste-to-energy-facility-to-rise-in-naga/NAGA CITY — The city government here is embarking on novel approach to address its garbage disposal concern which stakeholders describe as “the first of its kind in the Philippines.”
The project, costing $70 million, was formally launched January 15, this year, at the Avenue Square Convention Hall under a build-operate-transfer (BOT) scheme.
Groundbreaking rites were held at the Balatas dumpsite earlier in the morning which was led by Naga City Mayor John G. Bongat, with DILG Secretary Jesse M. Robredo, former Naga City mayor, as guest of honor.
Energy Undersecretary George Yorobe, a Nagueno, and other regional and provincial officials from the DENR, EMB, as well as local sectoral representatives were also present to bear witness to the important occasion.
Realization of the project is anchored on three documents: the contract for the establishment and operation of a waste to energy facility which was executed by and between the City Government of Naga and the Korean-based CJ Global Company on May 20, 2010; a supplemental contract and its approval by virtue of Sangguniang Panlungsod Resolution No. 2010-281 which was signed last
August 24, 2010 to ratify the two contracts.
Technically dubbed “Waste to Synthesis Gas Project,” the facility will convert the city’s solid waste to electric energy through melting-gasification, the first to be introduced in the Philippines.
Yeon-Joo Choi, chairman of the CJ Global Co., Ltd., said the German technology-based process, which is environment-friendly, will generate low-priced electricity which “our company will be made available to local electric cooperatives and/or other existing power distribution utilities.”
Gasification, not incineration
City Councilor D.C. Nathan A. Sergio, who is also the chair of the SP Committee on Environment and Energy, said the $70 M facility will transform solid waste and biomass into electricity using the process of gasification. “[The product] is green energy, sourced purely from waste.”
“Unlike ordinary incineration, gasification is zero-waste and there will be no toxic-fume emission or effluent that will go to the grounds or run to any body of water,” Sergio said.
Mayor Bongat said apart from electricity, the process can also produce asphalt and methanol as by-products which can be used for road construction and fuel for motor vehicles, respectively.
The facility would generate an estimated output of 18 megawatts of electricity from the approximately 200 tons of solid waste generated daily by the city’s 27 barangays.
Oscar P. Orozco, head of the City Environment and Natural Resources Office, said the city is now studying certain propositions that will facilitate the inclusion of the Metro Naga towns in the project.
Metro Naga towns are the 14 neighboring municipalities of the city which have been collaborating with each other under a “big brother, small brother” development alliance.
Metro Naga mayors who attended the formal launching signified interest in disposing their waste to the facility despite the tipping fees that will be collected from their respective municipalities.
‘Whichever is higher’
The supplemental contract, which was executed with Mayor Bongat on behalf of LGU Naga, modified the profit sharing provision of the original contract that says: “…the CJ Global shall remit to the city the amount equivalent to 5% of its net profits before income tax, generated from its operation of the facility…” which shall be due and demandable not later than April 30 of each year.”
The provision was changed under the supplemental contract. Instead of the 5% of its net profit, the new provision requires: “…the CJ Global to “remit to the city the amount equivalent to 1.5 percent of its gross profits, if higher than 5% of net profits before income tax, generated from its operation of the facility…”
The provision also stated that the corresponding amount of money to be remitted “shall be due and demandable not later than April 30 of each year” within the 20-year efficacy period. Review of the profit sharing agreement will be made after five years.
Mayor Bongat underscored: “The city government is trying to do the best way it can so that the venture will become mutually beneficial to the interest of both parties, which include the constituents of the city.”
MRF plan dumped
Engr. Joel P. Martin, chief of the City Solid Waste Management Project, said the waste-to-energy facility which will be constructed either in Barangay Balatas or Barangay San Isidro, here, has formally shelved the proposed establishment of Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in the neighboring Magarao town.
The Naga-Magarao MRF partnership proposal, started in 2007, has drawn protests from the residents of Magarao.
Sergio said that within the next 60 days or 2 months, the city government would have decided as to where the final location of the waste-to-energy facility would be.
Presently, the city is looking for a suitable site with no less than four hectares in size inside the city’s territory.
A member of the city council expressed apprehension in locating a site adjacent to or near the present Balatas dumpsite, considering the mushrooming of residential districts and commercial establishments near the area.
He said problems on land use and zoning might occur in the near future if the facility would be situated in Balatas.
‘More beneficial to the city’
The selection of the CJ Global as partner in the establishment of the facility was made possible thru an endorsement by then Mayor Jesse Robredo to the Sangguniang Panlungsod.
In his June 29, 2010 letter to the Sangguniang Panlungsod, Robredo explained that CJ Global’s proposed agreement was “found by the City Legal Officer to be more beneficial to the city” as it offers higher share in economic gains, preference to local labor and contractors, and commitment to provide cheaper power rate for Naga.
Robredo also mentioned other factors in favor of CJ Global such as: projected creation of secondary industries that will be created from by-products of the gasification process like methanol for LPG supply for Naga and for household, commercial and transportation needs and the provision to ensure full compliance with environmental laws and commitment to ensure the safety of the public.
http://naga.gov.ph/news/naga-starts-quest-for-city-monument/After the launching of the “Salog Kan Buhay: Contest for Best Conceptual Design for the Revitalization of the Naga River,” the City Hall has bared another contest this time for the design of an emblem that shall embody the historic significance of this city as the heart of arts, culture and faith of Bicol.
In the same event that the 12 entrants to the Salog Kan Buhay Contest presented their concepts last December 15 Wednesday, City Engineer Leon Palmiano IV together with City Mayor Executive Assistant Alec Santos formally presented the guidelines of the “Pilgrimage City Landmark of Naga Design Contest” a competition open for all individuals (students, professionals or private citizens), groups and organizations based in the Bicol Region with a vision for a monument that will embody the historical and cultural importance of Naga City. The formal launch is set for January 31, 2011 during the opening ceremonies of the National Arts Month celebration.
The City Government, however, is already accepting entries and is aggresively promoting the contest.
Organizers envision the winning design to show the religious significance of Naga in Bicol, being the home of Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia, the Patroness of the region, and the newly-recognized Pilgrimage City of the South as pursuant to Presidential Decree Number 33 and Sangguniang Panlungsod Resolution Number 2010-280.
“The winning design will automatically be owned by the City Government of Naga and may be subject to modifications in order to suit our resources,” Palmiano explained. “It will be erected at the Concepcion-Panganiban intersection.”
According to guidelines, said monument must show the pre-colonial and Spanish heritage of Naga as well as the unity, diversity and images of Bicolano faith and devotion.
Such creation should have a base not exceeding nine meters in diameter with a height that must not be more than eight meters.
Participants must submit their entries both in compact disk (CD) format and scrapbook with illustrations and perspectives from the four directions as seen from Maharlika Highway from Manila, Maharlika Highway from Legazpi City, Panganiban Drive and Magsaysay Avenue. The scrapbook must have the participant’s complete name and contact details with a brief abstract of the design.
Such entries must also be detailed in a PowerPoint presentation contained in the CD which will be used during the presentation on February 18, 2011 to the Board of Judges which will be composed by representatives from the academe, private sector, media, and the local government of Naga.
Entries will be judged according to historical and cultural relevance (40%), aesthetic impact (30%) and practicability of the design (30%).
The First Prize shall win P30,000 cash, a certificate and trophy. Second prize shall be given P20,000 plus certificate and trophy while Third Placer shall have P10,000 plus certificate and trophy.
Interested parties must pass their entries on or before 5pm of February 11, 2011 to the Arts, Culture and Tourism Office at the City Hall and may contact (054) 4789579 for more details.
Winners will be announced on February 25, 2011.
http://naga.gov.ph/experience-naga/departments-and-offices/salog-kan-buhay/[ Proponent ]
City Government of Naga, under the leadership of Mayor John G. Bongat, in partnership with ten project partners, including
─ the Archdiocese of Caceres
─ the Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry
─the Metro Naga Water District
─ the Ateneo de Naga University
─ the Naga City People’s Council
─ the Association of Barangay Councils, Naga City
─ the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas – Camarines Sur chapter, and
─ the local chapters of the Geodetic Engineers of the Philippines, the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers, and the United Architects of the Philippines
[Location] The downstream portion of Naga River from the landing site near the Peñafrancia Basilica in Barangay Balatas to its mouth in Barangays Tabuco and Sabang, Naga City. It has an estimated length of 1.5 kilometers spanning a total of 11 urban barangays.
[ Project Cost ] P300 million
NAGA CITY --- With the hope of revitalizing the historic but now polluted Naga River, city officials here, with Naga City Mayor John G. Bongat at the helm, formally presented the 12 contenders for the “Salog Kan Buhay: A Contest for the Best Conceptual Design for Revitalizing Naga River” yesterday morning, December 15, at the Avenue Plaza Hotel, along Magsaysay Avenue, here.
Twelve participants, individuals or groups, submitted their own plans and concepts on how to revive and rejuvenate the dying Naga River and the pathwalks along its banks. The river serves as the route of the annual fluvial procession of Our Lady of Peñafrancia every September.
Most of the contestants are Bachelor of Science in Architecture students and professors from the University of Nueva Caceres, including UNC Architecture Professor Oliver Gulapa and student groups Team Oragon, UNC B.O.R.G.S., and BICOL R.A.V.A.
Professional landscapers and engineers also joined the contest, including United Architects of the Philippines President Ernest Banzuela Jr. and University of the Philippines graduate and licensed Landscape Architect Juli Angela Guysayko who actually worked as one in Singapore.
Meanwhile, a group of tourism students from Ateneo de Naga University and architecture students from Camarines Sur Polytechnic Colleges tried their best shot. Two other Nagueños, namely Angelo Roco Reyes and Nelson Nayve, also entered the contest in the hope of visualizing their dreams for the Naga River.
Naga City Mayor John G. Bongat extended his sincere thanks to the participants who supported the city government’s desire to revive the Naga River.
Bongat said that event manifested the big heart of the Nagueños to impart their knowledge and time in making the city a better place to live in.
Entries will be judged based on the proposal’s aesthetic impact (50 percent), implementability and practicability (30 percent) and historical relevance (20 percent). Results of the contest will be announced in January next year.
First placer will receive P 50,000 cash and a certificate, while the second and third placer will receive P 30,000 and P 20,000 and a corresponding certificate, respectively.