As the heat of summer intensifies, the steel-hulled Chinese fishing vessel numbered 63168 ran aground near midnight of April 9 in the north atoll of Tubbataha reef. The Chinese crew was detained upon suspicion of poaching as their ship was left lying on top of the corals. No clear plans on its removal has yet been reported in the news.
Earlier this year, a US Navy minesweeper, the USS Guardian, ran aground on a different area of the reef and damaged an estimated 2,000 square meters of corals before it was salvaged into pieces. The estimated fine under Republic Act 10067 or the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park Act of 2009, reaches a total of $1.4 million or P60 million at a rate of P 24,000 per square meter of damage. A team of scientists from the UP Marine Science Institute, the National Institute of Physics and other institutions is currently at the site of the area damaged by the USS Guardian to assess its extent as well as prepare for its rehabilitation.
Last Holy Tuesday, President Benigno Aquino 3rd said in an interview that, “power rates will go up in Mindanao because the choice is a higher power rate or no power.” He announced this as the country enters the summer season and the whole island already faced with rotating brownouts every day.
Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla presented a plan to tap diesel-powered generators to augment the supply in the island as the government waits for coal-fired power plants to be operational around 2015. The diesel-powered plants were seen to be the fastest way to plug the energy gap but at the cost of a higher price for consumers. The president added that around 300 megawatts of power will come on-line in around two years from coal power plants.
Letter to the Editor
March 20, 2013
DENR and MGB, blind followers of Philex
Yesterday's Senate public hearing on the Philex Mine Waste Spill was a response to Senator Serge Osmeña's speech last February 5, 2013. The public hearing exposed the DENR and MGB's ineptitude to take action to the Tailings Pond Breach that happened in August of 2012. Clearly, these government institutions are beholden to the Philex Mining Corporation and cannot be trusted to fight for the welfare of the communities affected by the mine tailings spill.
Isang pulgas na makikita sa munisipyo ng Maria Aurora sa probinsya ng Aurora at malamang sa iba pang bahagi ng Pilipinas ay nakakuha ng pansin kamakailan sa mga mananaliksik mula sa Estados Unidos. Ito ay binigyan nila ng scientific name na Lentistivalius philippinensis na nabanggit sa nalathalang ulat sa peryodikong ZooKeys, isang pandaigdigang siyentipikong peryodiko na naglalathala ng mga peer-reviewed open-access na mga pananaliksik sa biodiversity.