Dgte steps up drive vs. dengue

By Jennifer C. Tilos


Dumaguete City Health Officer Dr. Ma.  Sarah Tala renews call to the public to practice dengue prevention measures during a Kapihan Forum held on Aug. 23, 2019 (PIA7-NegOr) 


As dengue affectation from three barangays with the most number of dengue-affected persons in Dumaguete City surface, health officials here vow a relentless drive against the dreaded disease even as they hinted that barangays may consider declaring a state of calamity.

By declaring a state of calamity, a local government unit can access or utilize its quick response fund of the 5 percent calamity fund that will allow them to purchase emergency medical supplies and equipment to combat the spread of dengue.

As of August 2019, Brgy. Candau-ay registered the most number of dengue cases with 43, Bagacay is second with 28 confirmed cases, while Cadawinonan had 21 dengue cases.

Only one fatality, a resident of Brgy. Taclobo, was recorded.

There are already 239 dengue cases recorded from January 1 to August 19, 2019.

This is higher than in 2014 with 238 cases and 2015 with 234.

In 2016, the number of dengue cases increased sharply to 680 before plunging to 268 in 2017 and rose again to 380 in 2018.

Nevertheless, City Health Officer Dr. Maria Sarah Talla assures all barangays that the city government will continue to provide assistance in the search and destroy operations of the dengue-carrying mosquitoes.

With the cooperation of 30 barangay captains, the local health department will continue to declog wastewater drains, sewers, esteros, canals and maintain the general cleanliness of streets and public places.

Talla observed that in Candau-ay, there are three separate junk shops that hoarded plastics and other containers that are potential breeding grounds of dengue mosquitoes.

She has instructed the owners of the shops to dispose the recyclable materials.

The Department of Health has recently declared a national dengue epidemic, but it is still up to the individual LGUs like provinces, cities, municipalities, and barangays to declare a state of calamity based on the severity of the dengue affectation in their localities.



School board eyes dorm in Valencia hinterland brgy

By Roi Lomotan


Dr. Rolando Pacarro (standing with mic), DepEd District Supervisor in Valencia, Negros Oriental, announcing the plans to put up a school dormitory inside Dobdob High School during a Kapihan Forum held Aug. 16, 2019, at Valencia Central Elementary School, Valencia town. (PIA7-NegOr)


The local school board in Valencia, Negros Oriental is eyeing the construction of an additional building inside Dobdob High School which will have separate dormitories for students and teachers for the benefit of students who have to walk several kilometers to go to school.

Dr. Rolando Pacarro, the school district supervisor assigned in Valencia town and member of the municipal school board, announced this during the Kapihan sa PIA forum here recently.

The project has a budget allocation amounting to P2 million.

Pacarro disclosed that the proposed school building will have three rooms: one will be used as a classroom while the other two will be used as lodging areas for students and teachers, respectively.

These rooms will also be equipped with their own lavatories, he said.

The project aims to entice students to go to school and reduce the incidence of student dropouts because of the long distance between their homes and their school.

It was raised during the forum that the main reason why students, some of whom are members of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), decide to stop going to school because they can no longer endure the long walks going to and from the school.

Valencia Vice Mayor Romeo Alviola lauded the project and urged the residents and village leaders of Brgy. Dobdob to give their support.

“Mohangyo ta atong suportahan siya. Ang atong tumong ra gyud mapamaba ang incidence sa drop outs. Mao nay tuyo na nigahin tag pondo diha para dormitory, additional classroom para ang atong mga kabataan mapugos sa pag-eskwela (Let’s support this project. Our main goal is to reduce dropout incidence. We are allocating funds for the construction of dormitories and additional classroom so that students will be motivated to go to school),” Alviola said.

On Aug. 20, barangay leaders led by its Punong Barangay Jason Saycon and representatives from the concerned line agencies conducted a site visit or ocular inspection to the possible area of construction.

Meanwhile, 4Ps Municipal Link Juliet Cabajon confirmed that many students who are beneficiaries of the program have decided to drop out of school because of the long distance of their houses to their schools.

But she also pointed out that this issue is not only focused in Brgy. Dobdob but in other areas as well and one of which is Brgy. Pulang Bato also in Valencia.

Cabajon cited that Pulang Bato High School also caters to students from hinterland barangays of Nasuji and Puhagan.

With this, she suggested if the local school board can also put up another dormitory inside Pulang Bato High School for pupils who come from far villages.

In response, Alviola disclosed that currently, there is no area for another building to be constructed inside the premises of Pulang Bato High School because it is already congested.

Moreover, the campus location is also risky since the area is prone to landslides.

However, the local school board has plans to transfer the school in a different location.

The municipal government has identified an ideal site location for the new campus.

Alviola said that this will their priority for the meantime.

EDC ready to help Negros become 100% powered by RE

By Jennifer C. Tilos

Negros may turn into a greener island with the geothermal leader Energy Development Corporation’s (EDC) readiness to support it through its 100 percent clean, reliable renewable energy (RE) geothermal portfolio.

This is declared by Norreen Bautista, head of EDC’s Corporate Social Responsibility team in Negros Island.

“Our vision is for Negros to be the first island in the Philippines to be 100 percent powered by RE,” Bautista said.

EDC’s 222.5-megawatt (MW) Southern Negros Geothermal Project (SNGP) located in Valencia, Negros Oriental has been operating for almost 40 years.

This is EDC’s 2nd largest geothermal facility, contributing 19 percent of the company’s 1,181-megawatt (MW) geothermal portfolio.

It is also responsible for putting EDC and the Philippines on the map as the world’s 3rd largest geothermal producer, something that every Negrosanon should be proud of since it has also helped Negros become a green island, Bautista said.

The geothermal facility currently supplies clean, renewable power to four out of five electric cooperatives (EC) in Negros Island: 2 MW to Negros Oriental I Electric Cooperative, 25 MW to Negros Oriental II Electric Cooperative, 20 MW to Central Negros Electric Cooperative, and 3 MW to Northern Negros Electric Cooperative.

All these comprise about 16% of the island’s power supply out of its peak demand of 312MW.

“These EDC geothermal power plants ensure that Negros consumers get stable and reliable power in the island while the power supply agreements that the four ECs have with us ensure competitively priced power rates that protect them from volatile price increases brought about by coal price movements indexed on FOREX and coal fuel prices,” confirmed Bautista.

Still, EDC’s existing total geothermal portfolio mostly from its Leyte power plants allow the company to provide clean, reliable power at competitive rates even to Negros Island.

EDC’s 711.4MW Leyte geothermal facility has the biggest wet steam genberated power in the world and is the company’s biggest site.

The power from these geothermal plants will be more than enough to supply all the power requirements of all the Negros Electric Cooperatives and their electricity consumers.

“More power from geothermal energy would mean a low carbon for Negros island, which is consistent with both Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental’s goal for their respective provinces and is crucial to fighting the climate crisis that the whole world is in right now,” added Bautista.

Geothermal is considered as the Holy Grail among sources of RE because it is the only one that can provide continuous power 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Hence, EDC refers to it as geo 24/7.