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Garbage — political and otherwise DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 09/09/2011

Friday, September 9, 2011

Garbage — political and otherwise

Herman Tiu Laurel
Exasperated with the politics in our country and writing without any hope of any constructive responses from the system, I took some time off to find solace in the development of my own small, hilly nine-hectare farm. The singkamas (jicama) didn’t grow as planned this season with the overdose of rain the past months; but with more sun these days, they’re beginning to catch up again. The luya (ginger), meantime, I hope will keep on schedule, as they’re slated for harvesting by the end of the month.

The orchard is growing well. After years of patient planting and fighting off brush fires that have thrice decimated our mangoes, we’re finally seeing a few hundred trees growing shoulder high. We’ve also got suha (pomelo), guyabano (soursop), calamansi (Philippine lemon), and a dozen more varieties growing; but since we’re averse to using chemically-synthesized farming aids, the problem now is where to get enough organic fertilizers and soil conditioners.

This dilemma then brought me to study many alternatives, including tapping the poultries around the area; but the entire supply of chicken manure had already been reserved for a Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) jatropha experimental farm in the same barangay.

Serendipitously, I had scheduled a cable TV interview with one of our national science and technology institutes and called for a pre-interview visit of its facilities and projects. One of the items I had in mind was to observe the “bioreactor” that converts market waste to soil conditioner and, with a higher addition of dry matter that increases the carbon-to-nitrogen (C:N) ratio, its production of fertilizer. Imagine, how much fertilizer we can possibly produce from converting all the market waste of Metro Manila!

Once there, I was toured around the institute’s many projects, including an experiment on the combination of animal waste with ground-up and dried water hyacinths (water lilies) to produce methane. Then, I was informed of another experiment — a floating shredder for water lilies that can churn and grind the prolific water pest to compact dust for easy transport and use.

When it came to the market waste bioreactor that I was most keen about, I was shown three units and one was covered in canvass, apparently waiting to be delivered. I then learned that it was a unit supposed to have been delivered to a Metro Manila city that was all set for operation when city council members intervened and asked for guarantees, such as on public nuisance complaints, etc., which I thought should be the city’s area of responsibility, being a local government-owned equipment.

The use of this market waste bioreactor would have reduced market waste hauling for up to 90 percent. That apparently is why the city council kept putting obstacles on the device’s way to the markets. It is common knowledge that garbage hauling contracts are one of the main sources of “sidelines” of insatiable city politicians.

These pols are the political garbage that our society still has found no way of disposing. Proliferating from way up in Malacañang down to the lowliest of barangays, they accumulate, grow and clog up the entire social system into stagnation and teeming rot.

And while the said city officials continue to block such a worthwhile project, Malacañang officials, for their part, block budgetary spending, waiting for their own contractors in the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects — this, as senators and Philippine National Police (PNP) brass block the real prosecution of the former First Couple in the choppers mess and other scams.

One hopeful development on garbage disposal comes from the revival of an old advocacy of mine — the garbage incinerator. The Clean Air Act and its Implementing Rules and Regulations inserted inane provisions that practically banned municipal incinerators in the Philippines, leading to the horrendous garbage problem all over the country, not to mention repeated deaths in garbage landslides, like Payatas in 2000 (which killed 200) and, recently, the one in Baguio that killed five.

Good thing we received this news from Sen. Antonio Trillanes’ media officer, Careen Sapallo: “(In eyeing the) use of incinerators to address… the worsening problem of waste disposal in the country… (Trillanes) filed Senate Bill 225 to revise the law signed in 1999 in light of the ‘trashslide’ set off by heavy rains in Baguio City… (It is a system supported by) advances in emission control designs, along with strict standards and monitoring system, (which) have caused large reduction of pollution in the atmosphere.”

This “new” technology (which I had studied a decade ago) involves the use ceramic filters, catalytic burners, and high heat after-burners in reducing the problem of dioxin emissions to insignificant amounts. And because backyard (or street-side) burning of garbage is the one that produces the most amounts of uncontrolled toxic emissions, municipal incineration aided by new technology thus becomes all the more imperative.

Frankly, the Clean Air Act was a product of ignorance perpetrated by the anti-development, green and global warming scare mongers as well as the electricity oligarchs who wanted no cheap competition from incinerator-generated power. Now, if only we can build an incinerator that will burn to a crisp those dirty politicians and oligarchs on sight, that would be a first!

(Tune in to Sulo ng Pilipino/Radyo OpinYon, Monday to Friday, 5 to 6 p.m. on 1098AM; Talk News TV with HTL, Saturday, 8:15 to 9 p.m., with replay at 11 p.m., on GNN, Destiny Cable Channel 8 on “Sci-Tech Innovations: Key to Filipinos’ Economic Emancipation”; visit http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com for our articles plus TV and radio archives)
(Reprinted with permission from Mr. Herman Tiu-Laurel)

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110909com6.html

Mar goes to market EDITORIAL 09/09/2011

Mar goes to market

Click to enlarge
Noy’s designated troubleshooter Mar Roxas, appears to be shooting two birds with one stone, based on the US Embassy dispatches detailing his meeting with top US trade officials that appeared in the anti-secrecy Web site WikiLeaks.

Mar hyped himself up prior to the elections as a champion of the poor, a Mr. Palengke, a made up image that failed miserably in the face of his genuine pro-poor rival who eventually won the vice presidency, and mentioned extensively his sponsoring the Cheaper Medicines Act as proof, while in the background, apparently raising campaign money from giant drug companies by compromising on contentious provisions in the bill.

It was clear in the series of cables in which Mar was the topic that he sold out to the Americans who are apparently doing the bidding of huge multinational pharmaceutical firms in the crafting of the Cheaper Medicines Act that Roxas trumpeted as the salvation of the millions of poor Filipinos in accessing cures for their ailments.

A supposed centerpiece of the measure was the provision of generic drugs, the cost of which would have been far cheaper than medicines of multinational drug firms..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110909com1.html

Al Capone’s descendants FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 09/09/2011

Al Capone’s descendants

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
One common reaction from individuals in the country who have become the subject of the cable leaks is their denial. Another would be claims that, while such may have been true then, it isn’t true now, since changes have been made since.

A WikiLeaks 2005 cable that saw print a few days ago, said to have been sent by the then number two at the US Embassy in Manila, outlined in colorful language what it said was “endemic” corruption within the 117,000-member Philippine National Police (PNP) force.

The PNP was compared to police forces in Al Capone’s Chicago, or 1940s “LA Confidential” Los Angeles.

“Apart from corruption, many cops undertake investigative short cuts that often employ physical abuse, the planting of evidence, and sometimes — allegedly under guidance from local elected officials — the extra-judicial killing of criminal suspects.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110909com2.html

Iraqi ex-MP in contact with ousted Libyan leader focus 09/09/2011

Iraqi ex-MP in contact with ousted Libyan leader


BAGHDAD — The owner of Arrai TV, famed for being the only media outlet still in contact with Moamer Kadhafi, opposes dictators but says the ousted Libyan leader embodies resistance against foreign occupation.

Damascus-based Iraqi Sunni former MP Mishan al-Juburi has been the only person who has been able to contact Kadhafi since he went into hiding after forces of the National Transitional Council (NTC) took the capital Tripoli.

“When I need to talk to him, I send him a message, or he contacts me when he wants to pass a message,” Juburi told AFP by telephone.

“The object of this channel, which I launched in 2006, is to fight against all occupations, whether in Iraq, Palestine or now in Libya,” the 54-year-old said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110909com3.html

E-mail NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 09/09/2011


Armida Siguion-Reyna
Outside of spurious messages from supposed Nigerian royalty asking me to please forward my bank details and password so I could get the millions of dollars bequeathed by some distant philanthropist who had heard of my own “generosity to the unfortunate,” I continue to get e-mail of the regular kind.

Pete Lacaba, if not reminding me of his next “Salinawit” night, forwards angry posts about censorship. He’s an anti-censor like me, and if only I were physically able, I’d really accept all his “Salinawit” invites, except it’s hard at this age to go to places where the flooring isn’t assuredly level, for one sorry misstep means the wheelchair for me.

Willie Nepomuceno’s also sent information about his repeats of “Stop! In the Name of Laugh (Macoy to PNoy... Music and Memories... Fun and Laughter!)!” Featuring Frida Nep (Willie’s daughter), with the special participation of Karen Davila, Anthony Taberna, Bernadette Sembrano-Aguinaldo, Julius Babao, Amy Perez, Vic de Leon Lima and Kaye Dacer..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110909com4.html/

On CamSur, WikiLeaks: Facts, not fiction C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 09/09/2011

On CamSur, WikiLeaks: Facts, not fiction

Jonathan De la Cruz
Just the facts, nothing but the facts, please. This is all that we are asking from the parties in the ongoing debates, or should we say hyperventilated discussions about two of the hottest issues in town, i.e., the proposed creation of the new province of Nueva Camarines and that global tsismis machine a.k.a. WikiLeaks. We note, for example, that the creation of Nueva Camarines out of Bicol’s biggest province, Camarines Sur, as embodied in House Bill 4820 which passed the Lower House by an overwhelming vote of 229-1 has been so muddled by loads of half truths, innuendoes and outright lies by advocates of both sides of the divide but more from the “No-To-HB 4820” crowd. It is time to clear the air and allow the public, especially those in the province itself a fuller appreciation of the merits of the proposition.

For, as the bill’s authors, namely, Deputy Speaker Noli Fuentebella and Reps. Luis Villafuerte, Rolando Andaya and Dato Arroyo, representing four of the province’s five districts have always maintained in the ultimate analysis it is their constituents not they, who will have the final say on this long overdue initiative. Thus, even if the bill is passed by the Senate and P-Noy signs it into law it will still have to be subjected to a plebiscite before it takes effect. If it does not pass muster then that’s the end of the line. The province remains intact and will probably have to wait for another batch of advocates to get it out of its slumber and meandering ways as some sectors have come to regard the current pace of its development..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110909com5.html

Energy chief: Noy may do an FVR on electricity By Danessa O. Rivera 09/09/2011


Energy chief: Noy may do an FVR on electricity

By Danessa O. Rivera 09/09/2011

Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras raised the possibility yesterday that President Aquino may do a Ramos in solving a looming power shortage he claimed that may happen in the last three years of the Aquino administration. This will be done through emergency powers.

Almendras told reporters there may be a power reserve shortage around 2014 to 2015 as most of the proposed coal-fired power plant projects are hindered by permitting problems.

“If national interest is not protected then the President will exercise his powers. But we’re hoping that we will not get there,” he said.

President Ramos, after assuming the presidency in 1992 sought emergency power from Congress to address a then crippling power shortage that resulted mainly from the decision of Ramos’ predecessor President Cory Aquino, the incumbent Aquino’s mother, to abolish the Ministry of Energy (MoE) during her term that created a vacuum in energy supply planning..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110909hed1.html

NFA debt stands at P153 billion 09/09/2011

NFA debt stands at P153 billion

The National Food Authority’s (NFA) indebtedness, when the Aquino administration assumed power last year, amounted to P176 billion, the bulk of which, P163.4 billion, was incurred during the nine-year stint by the Arroyo government, senators were told yesterday.

This was brought about mainly by world food crisis and shortages of Philippine rice production in 2008.

Of the total indebtedness, the current figure stands at P153 billion as of June 30 this year following the settlement of some of its obligations, NFA Administrator Lito Banayo said during the Senate finance committee hearing on the proposed 2012 budget of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

But due to some lending procedures, this is projected to increase to P157 billion by the end of the year, Banayo added..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110909hed4.html

AFP junks Wiki report on Sabban benefiting from Abu ransom By Mario J. Mallari 09/09/2011

AFP junks Wiki report on Sabban benefiting from Abu ransom

By Mario J. Mallari 09/09/2011

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is not giving credence to the WikiLeaks report claiming that a ranking military general benefited from the ransom paid to the Abu Sayyaf group in exchange for the safe release of three International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) workers kidnapped in 2009.

At a press briefing, AFP-Public Affairs Office chief Col. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr. said the military is treating information coming from the on-line whistle-blower as unverified reports.

“We don’t glorify reports from WikiLeaks. These are unverified and unconfirmed in terms of determining its authenticity, it is questionable,” said Burgos.

Recent reports quoting information from the WikiLeaks identified incumbent AFP-Western Command (Westcom) chief Lt. Gen. Juancho Sabban as having benefitted from the ransom paid to the Abu Sayyaf group responsible in the kidnapping of the ICRC workers..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110909nat4.html

DoT’s footing the bill for solons’ travels quizzed By Gerry Baldo 09/09/2011

DoT’s footing the bill for solons’ travels quizzed

By Gerry Baldo 09/09/2011

The policy of the Department of Tourism (DoT) during the Arroyo administration to shoulder the foreign traveling expenses of lawmakers has been questioned by the Commission on Audit (CoA).

State auditors said that between Feb. 24 and July 5, 2010, the DoT spent P4,998,669.74 for members of the Lower House and the Senate who went to 10 exhibits, expositions and fairs in various countries.

Of the said amount, P1,900,795.03 was spent on air fares and P3,097,874.71 went to daily subsistence allowances.

Auditors said 46 House members and five senators attended the said events at DoT’s expense. The report did not disclose the names of the lawmakers..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110909nat1.html

Customs files P4-billion smuggling raps against Jetti Petroleum Inc. By Conrado Ching 09/09/2011

Customs files P4-billion smuggling raps against Jetti Petroleum Inc.

By Conrado Ching 09/09/2011

The Bureau of Customs (BoC) yesterday filed technical smuggling case against Jetti Petroleum Inc., bringing the number of oil players involved in alleged oil smuggling to six in a span of just 15 months.

Sued before the Department of Justice (DoJ) for various fraudulent practices against Customs revenue were Jetti Petroleum Inc. president Joselito Tibayan Magalona, Darwin Suico, broker and attorney-in-fact, and Dario Amolata, a broker based in Cagayan de Oro City.

Also charged were several Customs employees and other individuals who participated, directly or indirectly, in the illegal release of Jetti\'s various importations of diesel and unleaded fuels.

Jetti is a 100 percent Filipino-owned company engaged in the importation, blending, distribution and retailing of petroleum products..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110909met1.html

BI deports Japanese recruiter for duping Pinoy jobseekers 09/09/2011

BI deports Japanese recruiter for duping Pinoy jobseekers

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has deported a Japanese illegal recruiter who duped many Filipinos with promises of high-paying jobs in Japan.

Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. identified the deportee as Kesajiro Yamauchi, 66, who was deported last Sept. 1 aboard a Korean Airlines flight to Kagoshima, Japan.

David said Yamauchi has been languishing at the BI jail in Bicutan, Taguig City since September 2005 after the foreigner was arrested for violating the immigration law and being an undesireable alien.

The BI chief described the Japanese as a \"very undesirable alien\" as he had been under the bureau\'s care for so long when, in fact, he should have been deported six years ago..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110909met2.html

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