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By Francis Allan L. Angelo

A PUNONG barangay and treasurer in Iloilo City may face criminal and administrative charges before the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Office of the Ombudsman for implementing an ordinance voided by the City Council that imposed fees on haulers of quarry materials.

Punong Barangay Ernie Poral of Ingore, LaPaz may be in hot water after he enforced Barangay Ordinance No. 6-2008 imposing a P500 fee for the issuance of “barangay stickers and passes” on dump tucks carrying quarry load within their village.

The barangay council approved the ordinance during its regular session September 6, 2008. The issuance of the stickers is based on six grouping and color coding system that will correspond to different haulers entering the barangay.

But the Iloilo City Council declared illegal the ordinance April 29, 2009 as based on the report of the committee on rules, ordinances, resolution, style, justice and legal affairs chaired by Councilor Eduardo Peñaredondo.

Peñaredondo said in the committee report that the ordinance is not within the powers of the Ingore barangay council to enact.

“It is in fact within the ambit of the powers of the Sangguniang Panlungsod. Therefore, the barangay is in effect regulating the use of the streets, which power is only to be exercised through an ordinance duly enacted by the Sangguniang Panlungsod. It is hereby recommended that the subject ordinance of Barangay Ingore be disapproved for being ultra vires,” the committee report said.

But before the SP can review and act on the ordinance, Poral imposed the barangay ordinance by exacting fees from haulers of quarry materials to the coal-fired power plant project. This is proven by copies of official receipts (Ors) obtained by The Daily Guardian.

In OR No. 3090213 issued March 2, 2009, Leonida Segura Marketing, one of the haulers, paid P2,150 for barangay registration (color coding). In OR Nos. 309022 and 3090226 issued March 3, 2009, the same hauler paid a total of P450 for the same purpose.

The receipts were issued and signed by barangay treasurer Arleen S. Herva.

This is not the first time that Poral and Ingore officials tried to usurp the powers of the city government.

Last December 17, 2008, the City Council also disapproved Barangay Ordinance No. 5-2008 which sought to regulate the passage of delivery trucks, vans and other similar vehicles in the village.

The disapproved ordinance also tried to set limits on the time of day that these vehicles will be allowed to pass through the village.

The same City Council committee headed by Peñaredondo said the Ingore council has no power to enact such ordinance regulating the use of city roads.

Instead, the City Council urged Ingore officials to pass a resolution asking assistance from the Traffic Management and Engineering Unit to help direct traffic in their village.

The Daily Guardian sent a text message to Poral for his reaction. He replied that he will explain his side today.

These disapproved barangay ordinances were passed by the barangay council months before the backfilling operations of Global Business Power Corp. (GBPC).

GBPC is constructing a 164-megawatt coal-fired power plant in the barangay.

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

THERE is nothing illegal in the assistance given to police officers and traffic enforcers who help maintain peace and order in barangays near the coal-fired power plant project site in LaPaz, Iloilo City.

Officials of Global Business Power Corp. (GBPC) justified the assistance they gave to policemen and traffic aides in the Sunday cable TV talk show Serbisyo Publiko hosted by Councilor Perla Zulueta.

Engr. Adrian Moncada, GBPC assistant vice president, said they requested the LaPaz police to help protect haulers of filling materials that are being harassed by way of stoning by unidentified persons in Brgys. Ingore and Baldoza.

Moncada cited Executive Order No. 655 which mandates the PNP to protect vital installations and projects such as power plants. The same EO encourages the private sector to help in the security of power plants.

The traffic aides, meanwhile, were requested to help manage the traffic because the road going to the project site is narrow and accident prone.

“There have been harassments of the haulers from persons who want to gain from the project, naturally we requested for police assistance. And we also want to protect residents especially the children from trucks passing by the areas that is why we requested the help of the Traffic Engineering and Management Unit (TMEU),” Moncada said.

Moncada said Ingore officials should feel responsible in asking help from the TMEU as mandated by Resolution No. 2008-1912 of the City Council. This is the same resolution which disapproved Barangay Ordinance No. 5 passed by Ingore officials under Punong Barangay Ernie Poral. This disapproved ordinance sought to regulate traffic in the village, particularly the delivery trucks vans and other vehicles.

The council said the Local Government Code does not empower Sangguniang Barangays to enact traffic rules and regulations.

“We already requested the assistance of the police and traffic aides even before the council told the barangay to seek help from the TMEU,” Moncada said.

Engr. Henry Alcalde, project manager of the 164-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Brgy. Ingore, LaPaz, said the assistance and maintenance fees are part of their corporate social responsibility program.

Alcalde said the giving of food assistance and allowances to police and traffic aides is similar to the practice of plant owners and other businesses in Luzon.

“We don’t have a specific list of police officers and traffic personnel who will receive the assistance because it depends on who will be deployed to the area. What we have is a monthly budget of around P744,000. In Luzon, the rate is P80 a day per head,” he added.

The distribution of the meal assistance depends on the police officers and traffic personnel deployed by their superiors

GBPC officials said they also give maintenance fee, not disturbance fees, to Ingore and Baldoza residents to motivate them to help clean debris falling from dump trucks. The recipients are households by the roadside affected by the hauling activities.

There are 200 maintenance fee recipients “but the list grows every month because officials keep on adding names of those who will receive the fee,” Alcalde said.

“There is no law mandating that project proponents should give disturbance fees to residents. But as part of our corporate social responsibility and to enjoin the community to help in the project, we gave out maintenance fees to them if they help clean their surroundings,” Alcalde said.

The GBPC officials said there should be no malice in the assistance given to police officers and traffic aides because the company does not engage in illegal activities. They likened the assistance to donations of business groups and other entities to the PNP and Iloilo City government.

“But since some people are putting malice in the maintenance fee and assistance, we are mulling to stop it already,” Alcalde said.

By Francis Allan L. Angelo


POWER utilities in Panay are preparing for the possible electricity shortage due to scheduled maintenance of power plants in the Visayas grid this September.

Wilfred Billena, Iloilo Electric Cooperative (Ileco) 1 general manager, said they are awaiting word from the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) regarding the preventive maintenance of certain power plants.

“It is up to the systems operator group (of the NGCP) to schedule the load shedding once these plants in the Visayas grid undergo preventive maintenance. Once we have the schedule of maintenance and the load reduction, we can make a manual load shedding scheme in our service areas,” Billena said.

Ileco 1 has a peak load of 30 megawatts which it draws from the Cebu-Negros-Panay grid and independent power producer Global Business Power Corp. (GBPC).

Billena said Capiz and Aklan might suffer the most from the load shedding if they fail to renew their respective supply contracts with the National Power Corp. (NPC).

Billena said they have minimized rotating brownouts in Ileco 1 after entering into an agreement with NGCP.

“NGCP allowed us to use excess power it draws from the Palinpinon geothermal power plant in Negros,” he added.

Gil Altamira, GBPC commercial account manager, said they are rushing the repair of Engine No. 5 of Panay Power Corp. (PPC), the sole power producer in Iloilo City.

Altamira said the engine broke down a month ago due to a damaged rotor winding. It is expected to go online on August 1, 2009.

PPC presently supplies 55MW to Iloilo City through Panay Electric Co. (PECo).

PECo also draws another 15MW from NPC. Iloilo City has a peak load demand of 82MW.

“If we can repair the engine before the scheduled maintenance of plants in the grid, Iloilo City won’t suffer from the load shedding. By then, we can supply 66MW to PECo which is enough to power the city including the 15MW from the grid,” Altamira said.

Altamira said they are hoping that the preventive maintenance of plants will not affect the 15MW the utility draws from the grid.

“If the shutdown will reduce our supply from the grid by more than 50%, we might suffer from brownouts during the scheduled maintenance,” he said.

Is she pro- or anti-coal?

Perez: Is she pro- or anti-coal?

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

ANTIQUE Governor Salvacion Perez claims she is against coal-fired power plants but she is open to having one in her own province.

Perez expressed her willingness to allow the construction of a coal-fired power plant in Semirara Island in Caluya town in her most recent interview with Aksyon Radyo-Iloilo Saturday.

Perez led four other governors in Western Visayas in signing a petition letter to President Gloria Arroyo asking her to revoke the environmental compliance certificate issued to the proposed coal-fired power plant in LaPaz, Iloilo City.

The other governors who signed the letter are Isidro Zayco of Negros, Victor Tanco of Capiz, Carlito Marquez of Aklan and Felipe Nava of Guimaras.

The five governors said the power plant poses health and environmental risks, particularly in thickly populated areas like Iloilo City.

But the statements of the governors, particularly Perez’s, in the letter petition contradict their pronouncements over the media.

In the radio interview, Perez said she has been against coal-fired power plants “a long time ago” because of their perceived ill effects on the environment and public health.

But in April 2003, Perez was a signatory to a memorandum of understanding on the coal-fired power plant in Antique.

President Arroyo even announced the signing during a meeting at Sarabia Manor Hotel and Convention Center April 1, 2003.

Perez said they are willing to compromise with Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas by moving the proposed power plant of Global Business Power Corp. (GBPC) outside the city.

And if the proponent wants, Perez said she will allow the project in Semirara Island where coal is being mined.

The lady governor said it would be better to put up the coal-fired power plant in Semirara Island because it is the source of coal.

“But they are saying that it would be expensive to install the transmission lines but in the long term power will be cheaper if it’s near the source,” she said.

Perez said she is also proud of the coal-fired power plant used by DM Consunji, Inc. which mines coal from Semirara Island.

The action of the five governors has earned the ire of Iloilo City leaders, particularly Treñas who said he was disappointed and insulted by the petition letter.

Treñas said not one of the governors informed him about the letter even if they met in several meetings.

The mayor went to Manila in a bid to convince President Arroyo not to heed the petition letter.

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

WAS Antique Governor Salvacion Perez suffering from amnesia when she wrote and signed a petition letter urging President Gloria Arroyo to revoke the environmental compliance certificate issued to the coal-fired power plant proposed by Global Business Power Corp. in Iloilo City?

Defending the petition letter, Perez said over Aksyon Radyo-Iloilo that she has been against the establishment of coal-fired power plant “a long time ago.”

“It is not correct to say that we are opposing this project only now. We have been against this for a long time now. We need to develop renewable sources of energy because no matter what we say, coal is coal,” Perez said.

Perez said they could come up with a compromise with Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas not to allow the coal power plant to be established in the city but in a place far from thickly populated areas.

The lady-governor said she and the four other governors in Region 6 are concerned with the effects of the plant on their constituents who are working and studying in Iloilo City.

Perez also cautioned Treñas not to be “onion-skinned and arrogant” over the issue lest he earns the ire of the five governors.

She also denied that they are after political mileage and popularity in coming up with the anti-coal letter.

The four other governors who signed the petition letter were Felipe Nava of Guimaras, Carlito Marquez of Aklan, Victor Tanco Sr. of Capiz, Isidro Zayco of Negros Occidental.


Apparently, Perez forgot that she signed a document endorsing a coal-fired power plant in her home province.

Sometime in 2003, Korean Electric Power Corp. (Kepco) proposed to build a 100-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Tibiao, Antique.

Five years ago, President Gloria Arroyo announced that Perez, in behalf of the Antique provincial government, signed a memorandum of understanding with Kepco Philippines Corp.

President Arroyo made the announcement in her speech before a meeting with rice farmers, irrigators associations, and the trade and agri-business sector in Panay April 1, 2003 at the Kalantiaw Hall of Sarabia Manor Hotel and Convention Center in Iloilo City.

“So I am very pleased to let you know that this morning a memorandum of understanding was signed into… by and between the provincial government of Antique led by Sally Perez and Kepco Philippines, our representatives from Korea, Mr. Lee Gilbo, President and Chief Executive Officer of Kepco Philippines Corporation, with the presence of Korean Ambassador Son Sang Ha, to construct and set up a 100-megawatt circulating, fluidized bed combustion power plant using the Semirara coal of Caluya in Antique.

The President’s speech can be downloaded from this link: (

But the Kepco project did not push through as the proposed location did not pass the soil stability test even as environmentalists opposed the project.

Kepco later transferred to Ajuy then to Banate, Iloilo.

Iloilo provincial administrator Manuel Mejorada told this paper that Governor Perez “even lobbied for the Iloilo provincial government to reject coal so that Kepco will be forced to invest in Antique.”

But opposition from environmentalists forced the Korean firm to move to Cebu where it finally established two 50-MW coal-fired power plants in Naga, Cebu.

BRIGHT SPOT Iloilo Gov. Niel Tupas Sr. stresses Iloilo role as an IT investment destination during the investment forum of the Iloilo Information Technology Week at Amigo Terrace Hotel Tuesday. Listening are (L-R) Antonio Jon of ILED, Atty.  Giovanni Miraflores, Rex Drilon II of ILED, and Dr. Glenn Aguilar of IFIT.  (Photo by Tara Yap)

BRIGHT SPOT Iloilo Gov. Niel Tupas Sr. stresses Iloilo role as an IT investment destination during the investment forum of the Iloilo Information Technology Week at Amigo Terrace Hotel Tuesday. Listening are (L-R) Antonio Jon of ILED, Atty. Giovanni Miraflores, Rex Drilon II of ILED, and Dr. Glenn Aguilar of IFIT. (Photo by Tara Yap)

Iled now confident of promotional campaigns

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

SELLING the city and province of Iloilo to potential investors is a cinch with the looming construction of a coal-fired power plant in LaPaz, Iloilo City.

Rex Drilon II, Iloilo Economic Development Foundation president, said they will mount a major investment forum in Metro Manila late this year to push Iloilo to serious investors.

Drilon, the chief operations officer of Ortigas Co. and Limited Partnership, said they have been planning to mount the forum “but various problems, especially in the power sector, stopped us from going all-out.”

Drilon said the issuance of the environmental compliance certificate to two coal-fired power plants proposed by Global Business Power Corp. (GBPC) and DM Consunji, Inc. will put Iloilo in an attractive position in the eyes of investors.

“We can now go full steam ahead with our marketing efforts for Iloilo. With these two power plants combining for more than 200MW of power, we have more than enough and investors will surely flock the city and province,” Drilon said.

GBPC, the mother company of Panay Power Corp. which is the sole power supplier of Iloilo City, is the proponent of the coal-fired power plant at Brgy. Ingore, LaPaz.

DMCI is proposing to construct a similar plant in Concepcion, Iloilo.

During the IT Investment Forum at Amigo Terrace Hotel Tuesday, Arman Lapus, GBPC executive vice president for commercial, assured businessmen that their company will deliver the plant in 2010.

“Cheap and reliable power supply will be available in time for the projected boom in the information technology sector. With the issuance of the ECC, we can deliver the plant by end of 2010,” Lapus said.

Ileco 1 general manager Wilfred Billena (right) and Ileco 2 president Dennis Ventilacion explain the purpose of the Panay Guimaras Power Consortium. (FAA)

Ileco 1 general manager Wilfred Billena (right) and Ileco 2 president Dennis Ventilacion explain the purpose of the Panay Guimaras Power Consortium. (FAA)


By Francis Allan L. Angelo


ELECTRIC cooperatives in Panay and Guimaras are racing against time in their search for power suppliers that can provide stable electricity by 2011.

The seven electric cooperatives in Panay-Guimaras said they are facing very serious power shortage with the looming expiration of their contract with the National Power Corp. (Napocor) after 2010.

This problem prompted the cooperatives to form the Panay Guimaras Power Consortium (PGPC) that will represent their interests, especially their increasing demand for electricity.

Engr. Wilfred Billena, Iloilo Electric Cooperative (Ileco) 1 general manager and interim consortium president, said they have been looking for power producers that can supply stable and cheap electricity to their franchise areas.

Billena yesterday led the opening of the bids submitted by five independent power producers in Panay-Guimaras areas.

Atty. Dennis Ventilacion, Ileco 2 president, said they cannot extend their power supply contract with Napocor because it is being privatized by the national government.

“They (Napocor) will not anymore renew the contract because of the privatization. We are now looking for other sources of electricity for our requirements from 2011 onwards,” Ventilacion said. 

Ventilacion said the Napocor contracts of Aklan and Capiz electric cooperatives will expire December this year “and they will have to look for their suppliers.”

“What they have now is a transition supply contract which will sustain the electricity supply to their consumers. The contract however is very limited because Napocor cannot anymore expand its capacity. This limited contract will mean a community cannot grow because of limited power supply,” Ventilacion added.

Billena said another problem besetting the cooperatives is the “assignability clause” which favors buyers of Napocor assets.

“Let us take for example the Dingle power plant. Under the assignability clause, the contract of a cooperative will be assigned to the new owner of the Dingle plant which might yield higher power rates because the plant is purely diesel. That is causing fear among the cooperatives,” Billena said.

Billena said another purpose of the consortium is to stabilize the price of electricity in Panay-Guimaras area once the proposed power plants are operational.

“To ascertain the future prices of electricity, we formed the consortium which will look and negotiate with power producers. We don’t want prices of electricity to be erratic that’s so we can plan our future growth.

Billena said they are looking for power producers that can provide electricity “24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year.”

“We need a base plant considering the growth rate of the Panay-Guimaras area. That is why we are conducting the bidding so that we can get steady power supply at the cheapest cost,” he added.

A total of five power suppliers tendered their bids to PGPC including Trans-Asia Oil and the Global Business Power Corp.-DM Consunji Inc. consortium which will use coal to produce electricity.

The other bidders include firms using biomass and hydroelectric power but their bids may only be for peaking, not baseload.

Atty. Salvador Cabaluna, Ileco 1 director, said the PCPC members will evaluate the bids before they reconvene next month.

“We will evaluate the bids not just in terms of their prices but also their capability to provide stable electricity supply,” Cabaluna said.

July 2020

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