Last Tuesday, the House Committee on Energy headed by Rep. Rey Umali lost its backbone and gave way to the wishes of the Executive to grant President Aquino emergency powers. House Joint Resolution 21 was passed with one negative vote to supposedly address a lack of power in 2015.
The decision was surprising since it appears that Sec. Jericho Petilla failed to present a convincing argument to support his doomsday scenario that there will be a massive shortage in power next year. The committee correctly removed Petilla's request for 6-12 billion pesos to rent or to buy modular generating sets from the resolution.
POWER or the People Opposed to unWarranted Electricity Rates presented a position paper at the hearing prior to the approval of the majority. Former congressman Teddy Casino of POWER told the committee that the said request of Petilla “unecessary, expensive and dangerous for consumers and taxpayers”.
One friend of his recounted him writing in Filipino, “If ever something bad happen to me in line of duty (as a botanist), please organize a symposium with a suggested title ‘A People’s Botatnist is Murdered.’ I’m sure it will be well-attended by pine trees, grasses and weeds.”
The botanist who wrote that was Leonard Co, and the friend who recounted it was artist Lingling Maranan-Claver in her blogsite for a tribute to the beloved Co who was indeed murdered in line of duty four years ago.
On November 15, 2010 in Upper Mahiao, Lim-ao, Kananga, Leyte, renowned botanist Leonard Co was conducting a biodiversity research for the Energy Development Corporation (EDC) when elements of the 19th Infantry Battalion under the 802nd Infantry Brigade of the Armed Forces Philippines fired upon the research team of five persons killing Co and two of his companions, forester Julius Borromeo and and farmer Sofronio Cortez.
At the hearing of the House Committee on Energy Committee last Monday, Department of Energy (DOE) Assistant Director Irma Exconde presented the updated Luzon Supply-Demand Outlook and revealed that the supposed shortage in power supply in 2015 is but a thinning of reserves in April instead of the scenario earlier painted by DOE Secretary Jericho Petilla.
The hearing was held to discuss the joint resolution granting President Aquino emergency powers to address the supposed looming power shortage in Luzon in 2015. The granting of emergency powers was being insisted on by Petilla shortly before the State of the Nation Address of the President this year.
Progressive scientist group AGHAM – Advocates of Science and Technology for the People condemns the killing of Engr. Fidela ‘Delle’ Bugarin Salvador by the 41st Infantry Battallion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines on September 5, 2014.
Engr. Salvador, 50 years old and mother of 3 children, was working as an independent consultant monitoring numerous socio-economic projects by Cordillera Disaster Response and Development Services (CorDisRDS) when she was killed in the midst of ongoing military pursuit operations against armed groups in the area in Guinguinabang Village Lacub, Abra.
Engr. Salvador graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the Technological Institute of the Philippines in 1985. She was a licensed civil engineer and a member of the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers.
SAVE THE COCONUT INDUSTRY MOVEMENT UNITY STATEMENT
We, scientists, academics, coconut farmers, coconut processors, beekeepers, consumers, and other stakeholders of the coconut industry, including stakeholders of all other sectors directly and indirectly affected by the issue at hand, express our unity and solidarity to find long-term and sustainable solutions in order to address the Coconut Scale Insect (CSI) outbreak that is bound to affect 3.1 million hectares of coconut farm areas, 3.5 million coconut farmers and the 25 million Filipinos who are directly or indirectly dependent on coconut farming.
Despite being one of the top dollar earner industries in the country, the coconut industry has been neglected by the government. As a consequence, this sector is now suffering the negative effects of neglect and, specific to the moment, the potential long term effects of diseases and pests.