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3 firms win MIWD contracts

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

THREE firms won bulk water supply contracts from the Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD) Wednesday (December 9) afternoon.

The winners are Maynilad Water Services Inc., Solerex Water Technologies, Inc. and Abejo Builders Corp.

Engr. Adrian N. Moncada, MIWD director, said a total of 20,000 cubic meters of water supply daily was bidded out.

The winning bidders were allocated four injection points where they can establish and connect their contracted water supply.

Maynilad won the contract for the Pavia injection point, which has a capacity of 10,000 cubic meters, at P11.98 per cu m.

Solerex got the Leganes injection point (2,000 cu m) at P14.28 per cu m.

Abejo will supply 8,000 cu m of water through the San Miguel and Ungka (Jaro) injection points at P13.98 per cu m.

The winnings bidders tendered prices below the P15 approved budget for construction stipulated in MIWD’s terms of reference.

Moncada said they might formally award the contracts to the winners next week.

“It (bidding) looks like a successful one. A total of 20,000 cubic meters of water was bidded out. The Special Bids and Awards Committee is undertaking the post qualification process and may recommend to the board the awarding of contracts during the December 17 meeting,” Moncada said.

The contracted water supply is seen to serve part of MIWD’s 31,000 consumers in Iloilo City and neighboring towns. 

Some 74% or 23,000 MIWD consumers are based in Iloilo City while the other consumers are spread in the towns of Pavia, Sta. Barbara, Cabatuan, Maasin, San Miguel and Oton. 

The additional 20,000 cu m supply from bulk contractors will serve an additional 23% of the firm’s total consumers.

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

ILOILO and Guimaras will have a “coming out party” of sorts during an investment forum in Metro Manila that will feature the two areas as future investment hubs in Visayas.

The Iloilo Economic Development Foundation, Inc. (ILEDF) will host the Iloilo-Guimaras Investment Forum on September 4 at the Hotel Intercontinental Manila. 

The forum will present investment opportunities and prospects in the areas of information technology and communication, tourism and agribusiness in Iloilo City, and in the provinces of Iloilo and Guimaras.

The half-day forum opens with a commercial exhibit at 8am.

The keynote speaker is Ramon del Rosario, Jr., new chairman of the University of Iloilo, and president of PHINMA Group which recently acquired the university.

Del Rosario will tackle their company’s belief in investing in education in Iloilo.  

Other speakers who will participate in the forum are Oscar R. Sanez, president of the Business Processing Association of the Philippines; Narzalina Z. Lim, former tourism secretary now president of Asia-Pacific Projects, Inc. Tourism and Hospitality Consultants; and Jesus N. Alcordo, president of Global Power Business Corp., which is presently building a coal-fired power plant in Iloilo. 

Aurelio R. Montinola III, president and CEO of the Bank of the Philippine Islands, will deliver the luncheon address.

In a statement, ILEDF said Iloilo and Guimaras make for an attractive investment proposition because of their development-oriented and business-friendly local governments, backed by a young and highly-educated population, a strong OFW sector, air, shipping and telecoms infrastructure already in place.

The coal-fired power plant project which will be completed in 2010, is expected to solve inadequate and expensive power supply.  The ongoing flood control project which will be completed next year will also ease flooding in the city and its suburbs. 

The good mix of cultural and natural attractions makes Iloilo and Guimaras the tourists’ delight, further highlighting their preparedness for socioeconomic growth.

EIGHT Ilonggo businessmen will be recognized during the 18th Visayas Area Business Conference of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Iloilo, Inc. (CCIII) in Iloilo City.

The Galing Ilonggo Awardees are Rogelio M. Florete, Sr. of Bombo Radyo, Phils., Edgar J. Sia of Mang Inasal, Rodolfo C. Tiu of Imperial Appliance Corporation, Marcelino M. Florete, Jr. of F&C Jewelry, Alfonso A. Uy of La Filipina Uy Gongco Corp., Johnny O. Que of Waffle Time, Angel De Leon of Taytay Sa Kauswagan, Inc. and Alejandro O. Que of Iloilo Supermart.

They will be recognized in a special program July 18, 2009 at Sarabia Manor Hotel and Convention Center in Iloilo City.

Joe Marie Agriam, CCIII president, said the eight businessmen awardees were chosen for exemplifying “Ilonggo ingenuity, tenacity, strength and power in business and industry.”

“They have successfully invested in the city and province of Iloilo City and other key cities of the country and employed skilled Ilonggo manpower. These business leaders embody the indomitable Ilonggo entrepreneurial spirit vis-à-vis the bigger players in the industry,” Agriam said in a statement.

The CCIII is an organization of local businessmen, established to promote trade and investments in Iloilo for the attainment of sustainable and equitable development. It is an affiliate of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the biggest business organization in the country and considered the voice of Philippine business.

The Visayas Area Business Conference is one of the five business conferences organized by PCCI in the country where regional business concerns are discussed and relevant area policy recommendations, strategies and plans of actions are formulated.

The CCIII, PCCI and the Iloilo provincial government are jointly hosting the two-day conference. (Neonita Gobuyan)

FOR SALE A consumer holds placards denouncing the Ileco 3 board during an indignation rally in Sara, Iloilo Saturday. (Photo by Tara Yap)

FOR SALE A consumer holds placards denouncing the Ileco 3 board during an indignation rally in Sara, Iloilo Saturday. (Photo by Tara Yap)

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

 

THE National Electrification Administration (NEA) can boot out the entire board of directors of an electric cooperative (EC) if there is proof of their mismanagement and conduct unbecoming.

 

Engr. Wilfred Billena, Iloilo Electric Cooperative (Ileco) 1 general manager and NEA board member, said NEA’s power to supervise and control ECs is imbued in Presidential Decree No. 1645.

 

Section 10 of the decree empowers NEA “to issue orders, rules and regulations and motu-propio or upon petition of third parties, to conduct investigations, referenda and other similar actions in all matters affecting said electric cooperatives.”

 

If the electric cooperatives fail to comply with NEA edicts after due notice, NEA can “take preventive and/or disciplinary measures including suspension and/or removal and replacement of any or all of the members of the Board of Directors, officers or employees of the cooperative.”

 

In the case of Ileco 3 and its controversial 25-year power supply agreement with Applied Research Technologies Phils., Inc. (Artech), Billena said consumers should file a complaint with NEA.

 

“As soon as we receive the complaint, we will verify it and conduct an investigation to give due process to parties involved,” Billena said.

 

In a text message to The Daily Guardian, NEA Administrator Edita Bueno said they will address the Ileco 3-Artech deal if her office receives a complaint.

 

Ileco 3 board president Mateo Baldoza and member Rene Arandilla questioned the deal saying Artech’s generation charge of P8.56 per kilowatt-hour is expensive compared to the offers of other independent power producers (IPPs) in a bidding conducted by the Panay-Guimaras power consortium.

 

Artech’s offer is seen to jack up Ileco 3’s rate from P6 per kWh to P12 per kWh.

 

Artech did not join the consortium’s bidding and instead made an unsolicited offer to Ileco 3 to put up a diesel-fired power plant and a biomass plant.

 

Baldoza had alleged that he received P75,000 from Governor Niel Tupas Sr. during a meeting with Artech officials in the governor’s house in Jaro April 17.

 

Baldoza also received last April 21 another envelope from an Artech employee with the same amount of money during the Ileco 3 board special meeting in Iloilo City. The Artech deal was approved and signed during the same meeting.  

 

But Baldoza later changed his statement by denying that Tupas handed him the money at the latter’s mansion. He said a female employee of Artech gave the money to him.

 

Tupas had denied Baldoza’s allegations saying he only arranged for the meeting. The governor said he only wants to secure the power requirements of Ileco 3 by inviting more IPPs.

 

Billena said he found it irregular for Ileco 3 to accept Artech’s offer outside a competitive bidding process.

 

“Under the rules of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), procurement of power should be done through competitive bidding unless there are no other choices. The contract between Ileco 3 and Artech will undergo ERC review and approval and I believe the commission will protect the consumers,” Billena said.

 

Billena said the technical services department of the cooperative must first examine the contract to find out if the analyses and assumptions are correct.

 

“The management side is very important in the deliberation of the contract because it will go over the contract on technical matters. The contract might result in oversupply which might burden the consumers,” Billena added.

 

Public hearings and consultations with stakeholders must also be conducted before the cooperative can enter into an agreement.

 

ERC Commissioner Rauf Tan earlier said distribution utilities and cooperatives are responsible for contracting enough and affordable electricity for their consumers.

 

A competitive process must be observed in tapping sources of power, Tan said in an interview with The Daily Guardian.

 

More than 1,000 Ileco 3 consumers trooped to the cooperative’s office in Sara, Iloilo Saturday to call for the revocation of the deal with Artech.

 

Ileco 3 covers the towns of Anilao and Banate in the 4th district and Barotac Viejo, San Rafael, Lemery, Ajuy, Concepcion, Sara, San Dionisio, Batad, Estancia, Balasan and Carles in the 5th district.

 

Dr. Raul Banias, presidential assistant for Western Visayas and former Concepcion mayor, said he will write NEA, ERC and the Department of Energy regarding the Ileco 3-Artech agreement.

 

The local government units under Ileco 3 will also pass their respective resolutions calling for the revocation of the deal.

 

“I am also a consumer and I will be affected if this agreement pushes through. I am disappointed with the Ileco 3 board for its act,” Banias said.

 

Atty. Edison Belloga, Ileco 3 legal counsel, defended the agreement saying only Artech can provide electricity after the EC’s power supply agreement with the National Power Corp. next year.

 

Belloga said Artech’s proposed biomass plant will benefit consumers as it will drive down prices of electricity. The proponent will also establish a sorghum plantation to sustain the plant’s fuel.

 

“The plantation will put to good use idle lands in the 5th district and provide employment to the consumers,” Belloga said.

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

 

THE new president of an influential business organization in the country vowed to help the city and province of Iloilo rise to economic prominence provided that problems on power and water shortage are solved first.

 

Alfonso Uy, the newly elected president of the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII), said the two problems besetting Iloilo must be solved first to encourage investors to come to the city and the province.

 

“Many investors are interested in Iloilo but they are hesitant because of our unstable and expensive power and water supplies,” Uy said in a phone interview with The Daily Guardian Monday.

 

Uy was elected FFCCCII president April 6 during the federation’s 27th Biennial Convention at the SMX Convention Center at the Mall of Asia in Pasay City. He is the first Visayan president of the federation.

 

FFCCCII is composed of 170 member organizations nationwide and one of the most influential business organization in the Philippines today.

 

Uy also chairs the Iloilo Economic Development Foundation (ILEDF) which promotes the city and province of Iloilo as the future investment site in the country.

 

Uy said they are pushing for projects which are “fundamentally needed to promote Iloilo.”

 

“One good news is the construction of the coal-fired power plant of the Global Business Power Corp. (GBPC). We expect the price and supply of electricity in the city and province to stabilize once the project is completed and goes online between October and November 2010,” Uy said.

 

Engr. Adrian Moncada, GBPC vice president for commercial operations, told the Iloilo business community in a forum on power issues last Friday that the 164-megawatt power plant will be completed in the last quarter of 2010.

 

“Landfill development is currently ongoing in the 24-hectare site and actual construction will start by July or August this year,” Moncada said. 

 

As regards water supply, Uy said they are looking at the long-term supply that will cater to big investments in Iloilo.

 

He cited the integrated irrigation system project of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) which got the support of the World Bank.

 

The NIA project will construct a water dam in Lambunao which has capacity of 360 million cubic meters. The project will also create an irrigation canal system.

 

“The integrated irrigation project will irrigate our farmlands the whole year and supply water to Iloilo City and the towns along the distribution lines. It will mean increase in agricultural production and stable water supply,” Uy said.

 

ILEDF has requested NIA to revisit the study on the integrated irrigation project to find out if it’s still feasible.

 

“We have to revalidate the data of the study to find out if it’s still feasible nowadays to address the water shortage,” Uy said.

 

Uy said solving the power and water problems are the key to Iloilo’s prominence in “sunshine industries” such as the business processes outsourcing sector.

 

“If we solve these concerns, it would be easy to attract members of the business community to invest in Iloilo,” he added.

 

Two years ago, a major call center investor moved to Bacolod City because of high power rates in Iloilo City.

July 2020
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