By By Fernan A. Gianan
BFAR boss’ provocative proposals
posted 6-Aug-2018  ·  
1,393 views  ·   0 comments  ·  

We ran out of space for the news regarding the FICELCO general manager’s report to the municipal mayors. Here is the continuation:

“On the other hand, the 2-MW solar power project to be funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has yet to be approved by the National Economic Development Administration (NEDA).

The upgrading of the overloaded tie line between Marinawa and Balongbong that would cost P2.7 million will be completed in December 2018, with two or three teams from Bicol cooperatives to assist FICELCO linemen.

He bared that the P700-million transmission line project of NPC will be completed in 2020, upon which the line between Virac and Asgad will now be used exclusively by NPC.

Informed that the FICELCO franchise would expire in 2029, LMP members advised the cooperative to improve its services so it would be granted another franchise and avoid being privatized.

Zafe said a partylist group has filed a bill seeking to return to the National Electrification Administration (NEA) the power to issue franchises to electric cooperatives which the EPIRA Law gave to Congress.

He also informed that the cooperative is planning to have barangays perform road right-of-way and line clearing activities for compensation. He also asked LGUs to monitor the construction of structures underneath or near power lines to avoid accidents.

Among other projects being implemented by the co-op to improve system reliability include load phase balancing, installation of line protection equipment to isolate problem areas, line clearing and thermal scanning of hot spots.”

What was unsaid in the report is that the LMP, notably Gigmoto Mayor Ding Guerrero, was of one mind that the cooperative should operate its own power plant, prompting the GM to raise the DBP’s financing offer.

Director Boy Vargas also volunteered that the cooperative still has part of its P80-million Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) loan unutilized and could be set aside for such a purpose if needed.

GM Zafe also suggested that the LGUs could chip in with counterparts for the establishment of such a diesel-fed power plant, with the repayments charged to their monthly LGU power bills.

The proponents are tacitly implying that FICELCO should have some control over the power supply, in the light of recent events. It should be remembered that the cooperative used to operate the Balongbong mini-hydro power plant before it was taken over by Napocor on orders of Malacanang. It also operated its own diesel power plant (where SUWECO now intends to place its two gensets) before the secondhand gensets became too old to be economically viable.


DA Usec. Eduardo Gongona, who heads Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) as director, claimed in his presentation last week that fish is now more valuable than gold.

His claim, of course, is just a figure of speech, as gold prices today is nearly US$40,000 per kilo, or an astounding P2.16 million per kilo or P2,160 per gram. The costliest fish at the Virac public market in recent weeks was a fat malasugui or sail fish at P320 per kilo, far cheaper than gold but certainly food for the rich at about US$6 per kilo.

    What should get marginal fishermen worried is his stand that the current law be amended to allow local commercial fishing within a 4.5-kilometer stretch of outlying municipal waters, and to allow the use of superlights.


NEVER TOO OLD. Rudy, 91, and Dolores, 86, are about to get married. They go for a walk to talk about the wedding. Along the way they pass a drug store and decide to go in.

Rudy asks the pharmacist: “Do you sell heart medication?”

Pharmacist: “Of course.”

Rudy: “How about medicine for circulation?”

Pharmacist: “All kinds.”

Rudy: “How about Viagra?”

Pharmacist: “Of course”

Rudy: “Do you have wheelchairs and walkers?”

Pharmacist: “Yes, all speeds and sizes.”

Rudy: “Excellent! We’d like to use this store for our wedding list, please.”

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