Sen. Angara pushes for the RPs development and implementation for electric vehicle

By Jason de Asis


SENATE OFFICE, Manila, October 26, 2010-Senator Edgardo J. Angara, Chair Congressional Commission on Science Technology and Engineering (COMSTE) said that this is the right time for the development and implementation of an electric vehicle program in the country.


“This would greatly lessen the Philippines dependence on imported fuel sources and simultaneously lower the nation’s carbon footprint, adding that this would create a new industry for the country,” he said.


The COMSTE has been pushing for an electric vehicle and green transport solution from the environmental impact of using cleaner transport in which the project has been tagged as a priority by the commission for 2011.


The veteran Senator said that we import roughly 96% of our petroleum, the majority of which is consumed by the growing transport sector. This same sector accounts for the biggest share of the energy use, nearing 40%.


“To become energy dependent has long been one of the goals of the government,” he said, adding that this can be achieved by promoting innovative projects that can reduced our foreign dependence on fuel and at the same time can create a less-polluted, environmentally friend cities.


In a recent Asian Development Bank (ADB) study, the Senator showed that Metro Manila ranks high among the megacities of Asia that have air quality problems, with a level of suspended particulate matter (SPM) that is more than double the standard of the World Health Organization.


70% of air pollution in Manila as identified by the DENR comes from motor vehicles; hence, the need for a cleaner mode of transport which is the electric vehicle.


COMSTE has studied many programs that could help in addressing the energy and environmental issues of the transport sector in which their target was the public utility jeepney, which accounts for nearly 70% of the public transport in Metro Manila.


“Taiwan is interested in collaborating with the Philippines to develop new technologies for batteries which would greatly improve the performance and efficiency of electric vehicles. COMSTE studies show that a locally produced electric vehicle is a potential export industry for the region,” Sen. Angara explained.


A proposal that would introduce the electric jeepney has been the prepared by Sen. Angara to avoid air pollution in Aurora. This initial undertaking will provide a blueprint for similar projects that could be easily replicated in other areas. (Jason de Asis)

Sen. Legarda says out of 170 nations RP ranked 6th in a climate change vulnerability index

By Jason de Asis

SENATE OFFICE, Manila, October 26, 2010-Senator Loren Legarda, the UN’s Asia-Pacific Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation made a statement in a report that Manila has been tagged as one of the most dangerous cities to live in if a natural hazard strikes, adding that the country ranked 6th in a Climate Change Vulnerability Index out of 170 nations.


The ranking was attributed to the country’s growing population who are exposed to flood, drought, storms and high tide wherein the Senator reiterated her call to the Philippine governments to double its efforts and act swiftly to make the country resilient to disasters and be able to combat the effects of climate change.

“The whole world is telling us, matter-of-factly, that the people are in great danger every time a natural hazard hits us,” she said, adding that we must exert greater efforts and act double time because we are among the countries that are most vulnerable to disasters.

According to the Climate Change Vulnerability Index, compiled by British-based global risks advisory firm Maplecroft, the Philippines is the world’s sixth most climate-vulnerable country.


It also said from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs-Integrated Regional Information Networks showed that Manila, the state capital, is one of the five (5) most dangerous cities in the world to live in when a disaster strikes because it is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire and lies in a coastal area. The presence and continuous growth of slum areas also contribute to the city’s vulnerability to disasters.

“All local leaders in the country must commit to the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction’s (UNISDR) campaign to build more sustainable and disaster-resilient towns and cities,” Sen. Legarda reiterated her call.


Sen. Legarda said that we must realize that every decision we make with regards to disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation is crucial to our survival. We must plan carefully but swiftly, adding that our disaster risk reduction and management system needs to be more proactive, coherent, and effective.


“Committing to the UNISDR’s disaster resiliency campaign would help us achieve that target,” she furthered.

Having the vision of making cities resilient as sponsored by the UNISDR’s program encourages towns and cities to commit to the “Ten (10) Essentials” to scale up investments in urban planning, infrastructure and building safety; protect ecosystems to mitigate floods; and install early warning systems, among other measures. (Jason de Asis)


Ex-councilor gunned down on election day in NE

By Jason de Asis


GAPAN CITY, Nueva Ecija, October 26, 2010–A former city councilor was gunned down by two motorcycle-riding gunmen in front of his house right on election day early morning here yesterday.


Police Senior Supt. Roberto Aliggayu, Philippine National Police provincial director, identified the victim as Elpidio Rueda, 56, ex-councilor, of Barangay Sta. Cruz in this city. Rueda died on-the-spot.


Rueda’s killing came three days after a former Air Force intelligence officer was waylaid by suspected communist New People’s Army rebels in Cabanatuan City.


Aliggayu said the gun attack was carried out by the suspects at around 5 am in front of the victim’s house at Purok 7, Sta. Cruz. Rueda was sipping coffee at a waiting shed in front of his house with two (2) of his neighbors when the suspects suddenly appeared and fired at him.


The gunmen fled at the north direction to Barangay Pambuan.     


The motive for the attack has yet to be known. Rueda is an ally of ex-mayor Ernesto Natividad and was one of those who filed an election protest against the group of Mayor Christian Tinio and Vice Mayor Rodel Matias.


Police said the suspects have been monitoring Rueda’s movements and have actually established a pattern on his whereabouts.    


Responding lawmen recovered three (3) empty shells from a caliber 45 revolver.


The attack on Rueda came following the cold-blooded murder of Pablo Ramos, a retired PAF sergeant of Barangay Sto. Tomas, Aliaga town. (Jason de Asis)