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Showing posts from June, 2009

Philippine National Railways Newest DMU Hyundai Train Coaches

At last, Philippine National Railways acquired new train coaches, replacing the old blue and orange coaches. Bicol rail operation is expected to resume before the year ends.

Repair of Catanduanes Highway Rushed - MB

VIRAC, Catanduanes – The Catanduanes district engineering office (DEO) of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) reported Sunday that it has intensified the rehabilitation work on roads and bridges damaged by tropical depression “Dante” in this province.

In his report to Regional Director Orlando B. Roces and Assistant Regional Directors Oscar C. Cristobal and Jaime B. Martinez during staff meeting held at Carlo’s Inn in Legaspi City last June 18, District Engineer Ignacio T. Odiaman, who is also the chapter president of District Engineers League of the Philippines (DELP), said that his district is speeding up the rapair of damaged Sicmil spillway on the Baras-Gigmoto Road, the embankment protection in Barangay Guinobatan, Bato town, and the removal-disposal of landslides at some sections of the circumferential road.

The repair is expected to be completed soon, he said.

Odiaman reported that tropical depression “Dante” caused P65-million damage to roads and other infrastruc…

Catanduanes Lonely Planet's Top Picks for Southeast Luzon

Lonely Planet Publications is one of the largest travel guidebook publishers in the world. It was the first popular series of travel books aimed at backpackers and other low-cost travelers. As of 2008, it published about 500 titles in 8 languages, with annual sales of more than six million guidebooks, as well as TV programs, a magazine, podcasts and websites.

Top Picks for Southeast LuzonDonsol - Swimming alongside Bicol's gentle giants, the whale sharks of DonsolMt Mayon - Scrambling up Bicol's decidedly nongentle giant, 'perfect' Mt MayonCatanduanes - Relaxing and waiting for the legendary Majestics surf break to kick in on CatanduanesBagasbas Beach - Learning to hang 10 at equally fickle Bagasbas Beach, outside DaetCaramoan Peninsula - Exploring the limestone cliffs and pristine beaches of the beautiful Caramoan PeninsulaLonely Planet has a television production company, which has produced four series: Lonely Planet Six Degrees, The Sport Traveller, Going Bush, Vint…

NPC Goes After Unpaid FCAs; Rower-Rate Hikes Loom Over Catanduanes

VIRAC, Catanduanes—The National Power Corp. (NPC) is seeking to recover some P4.9 billion in deferred fuel-cost adjustments (FCA) from the Universal Charge for Missionary Electrification (UCME) of its Small Power Utilities Group (SPUG) nationwide.

The amount represents the deferred FCAs accumulated during the period December 26, 2005 to December 25, 2007.

In its petition for the fourth generation rate adjustment mechanism (GRAM) with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), the NPC said it intends to recover the amount over a year through the application of an additional P8.1340 per kiloWatt-hour (kWh) charge to its SPUG consumers.

This additional charge would be on top of the existing subsidized and approved generation rate (SAGR) of P5.6404/kWh.

Copies of the petition have recently been circulated among Catanduanes’s local government units, media organizations and officials of the First Catanduanes Electric Cooperative (FICELCO) here.

The ERC has set a public hearing on the petition on…

Cebu Pacific Air Now with Daily Flights Here - CT

Cebu Pacific Airlines has began flying to Virac on a daily basis, just four months after its maiden flight to this island paradise.

The airline began its daily Manila-Virac service starting Monday, June 15, adding three more flights to its previous four-times weekly schedule. It likewise increased its Manila-Naga flights to twice daily – from 10 times weekly – on the same day.

"This is proof of our commitment to make Philippine travel affordable for every Juan. CEB’s trademark low fares have allowed many travelers to travel by air for the first time. The public can expect CEB to continue offering the lowest possible fare in every destination it serves, even if CEB is the only airline serving that route." Candice Iyog, CEB vice president for marketing and distribution said.

The airline, which has been providing a viable transport alternative to ferries and buses, will also boost its Cebu-General Santos service with an additional Saturday flight.

Last June 12, the leading domes…

LWUA to Spend P868-M to Build Systems for Non-Operational Water Districts

Quezon City-The Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) has announced that it will spend P868 million for water infrastructure development projects to activate ninety-four currently non-operational water districts to enable them to provide piped potable drinking water supply to some 246,000 people in their areas within the year.

LWUA Board Chairman Prospero A. Pichay, Jr. said the projects to activate the non-operational water districts is part of the PGMA administration's legacy program to provide safe water supply to all barangays by 2010.

Pichay said another P447 million has been earmarked under the same DOH-LWUA locally funded investment program for the construction of potable water systems for the so-called waterless municipalities within the area of responsibility of LWUA.

This is on top of the P500 million fund from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) under the Presidential Priority Program on Water (P3W), P69 million of which have already been released to…

CSC Celebrates 38th Charter Day - PIA

Virac, Catanduanes (19 June) -- An array of academic-literary competitions and trade-techno fair marked the 38th foundation anniversary of the Catanduanes Sate Colleges starting June 18 until today.

The celebration commenced with a parade around downtown, followed by the Techno Fair showcasing the agricultural and knowledge-based products of CSC, including researches presented in international events and other programs of the extension services department.

Academic and literally competitions as well as skills highlighted the opening day, while the Search for Mr. and Miss CSC was held in the evening.

The CSC also conferred awards of recognition to the Dean's listers, government and private scholarship benefactors, partners in extension linkages, as well as retirees and outstanding employees and alumni.

The late congressman of the province, Jose M. Alberto, is the founder of the CSC. He authored and sponsored RA 6341 which converted the former Virac National Agricultural and Trade…

P25M for the Construction of the Codon Port

A reliable source has confirmed that the national government has approved the release of P25 million for the construction of the Codon port and P50 million for the San Vicente port in Caramoan, Camarines Sur.

This piece of good news should excite local officials here to the possibility that the spillover from the tourism industry’s focus on Gota resort and the outlying islands in Caramoran would benefit the province. The DOTC is expected to complete the feasibility studies for both ports before actual construction starts.

Meanwhile, the same source said that the US$2.9 funding for the improvement of the Virac airport would include navigation lights. This is also good news for air travelers, especially those who are frequent riders of Philippine Airlines flights that leave Manila late and arrive here with the sun going down. If this project is realized, then authorities need not wait for daylight to send planes with food aid in case another major storm hits the island.

By the way, the D…

Caramoan Peninsula Unveiled - PDI

The newly published “Captivating Caramoan: An Explorer’s Guide” is what it professes to be—a picture story of the Caramoan Peninsula in Camarines Sur that unveils unique sites to discover in this rugged place jutting toward Catanduanes Island across the sea.

Author Ricardo Perez, chief of the multimedia services of the University of Nueva Caceres, has been shooting spots in the Caramoan Peninsula since the 1990s while also working as chief of the Capitol Audio Visual Center of the Camarines Sur provincial government.

For several years, he explored places to document and shoot interesting sites for the provincial government’s production of this coffee-table book. This exploration led him to untouched places documented through the lens for the first time.

Returning several times to the most interesting spots he’d discovered, Perez compiled hundreds of photographs that capture the unique features of Caramoan. Collaborating with him were homegrown photographers Arnel T. Tolete, Jovi Vil…

Top 10 Must-see Places in Bicol

MANILA - Bicol, at the southeast of Luzon island, is one of the coolest destinations in the Philippines, either for long vacations or weekend trips. Here's ten must-see places and must-try activities in the region:

Mt. Mayon Skyline Adventure - It nestles on the eastern slopes of Mt. Mayon at an altitude of 2,700 feet. It is known as "heaven on earth" because of the clouds and pleasant climate. From this height, visitors can see a stunning view of the Pacific Ocean and the different towns, lakes, villages, fields and other mountains.Mt. Mayon Assault Trek - Get a panoramic view of Bicol from majestic Mt. Mayon, Bicol's fiery maiden. Also, see proof of the Mayon volcano's destructive fury at the Casagawa ruins. This is truly a humbling experience.Pototan Cave - A spelunking adventure site about 10 feet above the beach line. Inside, an underground river flows into the chambers and passageways. Marvel at the stalactites and stalagmites of various shapes and sizes.Wh…

House Resolution No. 1109

House Resolution No. 1109


WHEREAS, there are proposals to amend or revise the 1987 Constitution, which is presently enforced, but any of such proposals cannot be considered, heard, debated, approved or disapproved, unless any of the modes expressly provided by Article XVII of the present Constitution is adopted;

WHEREAS, adopting a mode of amending or revising the Constitution, as mandated by said Article XVII is a condition precedent, a pre-requisite, before specific proposals to amend or revise the Constitution could be considered by the Members of Congress, convened to exercise the constitutionally ordained power to amend or revise the Constitution.

WHEREAS, there is a recognized distinction between the exercise of legislative powers of Congress from the exercise of the constituent power to a…

13 Interested in Coal Projects - BW

THE DEPARTMENT of Energy has received 13 proposals for over a half of the areas it had offered for the Philippine Energy Contracting Round (PECR) 2009 for coal which closed last Monday.

Undersecretary Ramon V. Oca said the proposals were submitted by 13 companies.

The contracting round for coal opened last May, involving 30 areas. Winning bidders will be awarded contracts to explore and develop the country’s energy resources.

"We’d like to finish as early as we can ... we will try to finish it within a month if we can," Mr. Oca said. "[These are] more of work programs. We still don’t know yet the proposed expenditures," he said, referring to the applications, adding that many of the proposals were for the Zamboanga peninsula.

The next contracting round will be for petroleum areas, and will start "hopefully this month," Mr. Oca said.

Among the areas offered for the 2009 coal contracting round were Cebu, Quezon, Masbate, Sorsogon, Albay, Catanduanes, Zamboanga…

Catanduanes Gets A Break From Wind - PDI

Manila, Philippines - The provincial government of Catanduanes plans to harness “nasty winds” for power generation, according to a solon. In a bid to develop alternative energy sources, the province plans to put up and develop a wind farm in the coastal municipality of San Andres, with the help of the Spanish government, Catanduanes Rep. Joseph A. Santiago said. Facing the Pacific Ocean, Catanduanes has been dubbed the Land of the Howling Wind. Already, Santiago said Spain’s Fondo de Ayuda al Desarrollo had contributed around P9.5 million (148,910 euros) to fund a feasibility study for the wind farm project. The Spanish aid agency has committed to realize the wind farm system, with the municipal government contributing the site and providing security to the installation, Santiago said. The proposed wind farm would consist of a group of wind turbines that will be used to produce electricity. A wind farm covering a large area may have a few dozen turbines, but the land in betw…

Energy to Bid Out More Petroleum Exploration Areas - MT

Jun. 2--Undersecretary Ramon Oca said the oil and gas areas will be offered through the second phase of this year's Philippine Energy Contracting Round (PECR), which kicked off with the bidding of 30 coal exploration areas last month.

"We will try if we can bid out [oil and gas areas] by this month or next month. We're looking at maybe five or six areas," he said.

Launched in 2005, the PECR is aimed at drawing investors into local energy projects to reduce the country's reliance on imported fuel such as oil and coal.

Last year, the DOE awarded five petroleum service contracts, four geothermal service contracts and four coal-operating contracts.

Oca said the department is studying areas that would be offered to investors.

He, however, said the bidding for the coal areas, most of which were nominated by investors, drew strong interest from participants.

"Many companies asked about the bidding. There were foreign companies that were interested too," he said…