MERCADO FORMALLY TAKES DPWH POST
by Philippine Resources - October 18, 2021
Photo credit: Department of Public Works and Highways
The newly appointed Head of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has formally assume the agency leadership.
Former Secretary Mark A. Villar handed over the stewardship of DPWH to Acting Secretary Roger G. Mercado during the turnover ceremony on October 14, 2021 at the DPWH Central Office, Bonifacio Drive, Port Area, Manila.
Appointed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte on October 12, 2021 replacing Secretary Villar who stepped down to run in the 2022 elections, Secretary Mercado prior to his new post was the 18th Congress’ Public Works and Highways Committee Vice Chairperson.
The 44th Secretary of the DPWH is a lawyer by profession who hails from Maasin City, Southern Leyte and is known for his Tourism, Environmental Protection, and Agriculture (TEA) Programs in his province as then Southern Leyte lone district Representative.
“It is an honor to work with the professional men and women of DPWH and to be able to continue oversee the completion of Department’s flagship infrastructure programs and projects”, said Secretary Mercado.
“I vow to sustain the current momentum in the Department so we can deliver more high-impact projects that will benefit the Filipino people including those living in remote communities”, Secretary Mercado added.
Article courtesy of The Department of Public Works and Highways
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Philippine Resources - September 22, 2021
DPWH SIGNS 2 HISTORIC AGREEMENTS WITH BARMM
Photo credit: The Department of Public Works and Highways The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has re-affirmed its support to the government of Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) with the signing of two (2) agreements at DPWH Central Office in Manila. DPWH Secretary Mark Villar and Ministry of Public Works (MPW)-BARMM Minister Eduard U. Guerra signed on Monday, September 20, 2021 the memorandum of agreement (MOA) to turn-over the DPWH Cotabato City District Engineering Office to the auspices of the BARMM and the interim implementation arrangements/protocols of various infrastructure projects of the national government in Bangsamoro. Other signatories as witnesses of these agreements are DPWH Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations Emil K. Sadain who is also the Focal Person for BARMM Infra Projects and alternate representative in the Inter-Agency Task Force Bangon Marawi, and MPW-BARMM Director General Danilo A. Ong. The event was also attended by MPW-BARMM Deputy Minister Abdul Maomit M. Tomawis and DPWH Region 12 Legal Division Chief Atty. Jahara Ali-Macadato while others participated virtually via zoom including Bangsamoro Government Chief Minister Ahod B. Ebrahim and Senior Minister Abdulraof A. Macacua; DPWH Undersecretaries Ardeliza R. Medenilla and Eugenio R. Pipo Jr.; DPWH Assistant Secretary Ador Canlas; Assistant Secretary Wilben M. Mayor of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process; DPWH UPMO Project Directors; DPWH Regional Directors in Regions 9, 10 and 12; MPW District Engineers; and other Bangsamoro parliament members. With the inclusion of Cotabato City under BARMM, DPWH officially transfer the DPWH Cotabato City District Engineering Office land, building, equipment, and assets located in Barrio Kakar, Cotabato City to the jurisdiction of MPW-BARMM pursuant to Republic Act 11054 or An Act Providing for the Organic Law for the BARMM. However, a Project Management Office (PMO) for Maguindanao is created to handle implementation of various DPWH national projects within the Province of Maguindanao inclusive of Cotabato City. The other agreement covers the two (2)-year implementation arrangements/protocols of infrastructure projects of the national government in the BARMM. Under the interim implementation arrangement, the DPWH is tasked to lead in the identification of various national infrastructure projects in BARMM, in coordination with MPW. The MPW may recommend and initiate request of proposed flagship projects directly to the BARMM government parliament for funding and consideration. DPWH is however required to furnish MPW copies of all approved report/studies, plans, annual procurement plan, procurement monitoring report, and list of contracts awarded with name of contractor of all DPWH projects in BARMM. MPW shall also be notified and invited as observers in pre-bid conferences, pre-construction conference of DPWH projects in BARMM and be assisted in capability development in matters related to procurement. Quarterly coordination meeting shall also be conducted between two (2) parties for the evaluation of the projects under the national government. During the construction, the DPWH Regional Office or PMO that will handle the direct implementation of all national infra for BARMM funded by the General Appropriations Act (GAA) shall furnish project progress to MPW, and invite the latter on final inspection of projects. The MPW may conduct an independent project monitoring of completed projects. The maintenance of national roads and bridges shall also be under the national government in close coordination with the BARMM. Minor maintenance works and emergency/disaster response in BARMM can be delegated by the DPWH to the MPW through a separate MOA. On foreign-assisted projects, DPWH-UPMO headed by Undersecretary Sadain shall remain the lead in coordination with MPW. This interim agreement is effective for a period of two (2) years upon approval or until such time that the Regional Project Management Office and PMOs for Bangsamoro are created and fully-operationalized. Article courtesy of The Department of Public Works and Highways
Philippine Resources - October 18, 2021
NEW DPWH CHIEF CONDUCTS FIRST GROUND WORK
Photo credit: Department of Public Works and Highways The newly installed Acting Secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) immediately made his presence felt on the ground, inspecting the on-going Binondo Intramuros Bridge Project. Secretary Roger G. Mercado said that although reports can be read inside airconditioned office or while seated on vehicle, best decisions are made if you really get to know and feel the situation in the field. DPWH Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain, in-charge of Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations assisted Secretary Mercado in his first project visit as the newly installed DPWH Chief was also the first Cabinet official to step onto the completed deck slab of the two-way four-lane basket-handle tied steel arch main bridge. Secretary Mercado says with pride that the team of Undersecretary Sadain has done an excellent job in coming with solutions to project implementation challenges as well as mitigated the impact of Covid-19 pandemic to construction activities. DPWH-UPMO Roads Management Cluster 1 together with the contractor China Road and Bridge Corporation has already accomplished about 82.75 percent of work for the Binondo Intramuros Bridge Project. We are almost there and the project is scheduled to be finished early next year, Secretary Mercado added. Others who were present in the inspection are Undersecretary Eugenio R. Pipo Jr.; Assistant Secretary Ador G. Canlas; and the Project Directors of five (5) specialized UPMO clusters namely Benjamin A. Bautista of Roads Management Cluster 1, Sharif Madsmo Hasim of Roads Management Cluster 2, Rodrigo Delos Reyes of Bridges Management Cluster, Ramon A. Ariola III of Flood Management Cluster, and Johnson Domingo of Buildings Management Cluster. According to Undersecretary Sadain, the ₱3.39-Billion bridge project across Pasig River is part of the two (2) bridges financed by a government aid grant from the People’s Republic of China. Another China-granted Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge linking Makati and Mandaluyong was earlier completed and inaugurated by President Duterte. The new Binondo-Intramuros Bridge is a 680-meter, basket-handle tied steel arch bridge that will soon connect districts of Intramuros (at Solana Street and Riverside Drive) and Binondo (at San Fernando Bridge) in Manila with a viaduct structure over Estero de Binondo. This new bridge under the Build, Build, Build program funded by Official Development Assistance is expected to not only cut travel time between Intramuros and Binondo but also benefit approximately 30,000 vehicles daily. Article courtesy of The Department of Public Works and Highways
Philippine Resources - June 15, 2021
Work on BGC-Ortigas Link Road Enters Homestretch Phase
Photo Credit: Department of Public Works and Highways The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), which has reached a major milestone with the Independence Day opening of 440-meter Kalayaan Bridge connecting Pasig City with Makati City, enters the final stages of fully completing the Bonifacio Global City (BGC)-Ortigas Center Link Road Project. DPWH Secretary Mark Villar, on the day the new Sta. Monica-Lawton Bridge now dubbed Kalayaan Bridge across Pasig River was opened to motorists during the 123rd celebration of Philippine Independence, declared that the next goal is to finish the entire BGC-Ortigas Center Link Road Project towards the last quarter of 2021. Secretary Villar said that once this BGC-Ortigas Center Link Road Project is fully complete and open, about 20 percent of the traffic volume of EDSA and C-5 Road can be accomodated. The Kalayaan Bridge, the viaduct structure and coupled with our road widening and rehabilitation works will create much better traffic flow to get through BGC and Ortigas business districts quicker, added Secretary Villar. In his report to Secretary Villar, Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations Emil K. Sadain said that the construction of 565-meter Lawton Avenue – Global City Viaduct which is another component of the 1.367 kilometer BGC-Ortigas Center Link Road Project has already reached the Kalayaan Avenue intersection. Simultaneous to the final finishing activities for the Kalayaan Bridge and the up and down ramps to Kalayaan Avenue, construction of the viaduct structure from Lawton Avenue, Makati City moved quickly and will soon be connected to the entrance of Bonifacio Global City’s 8th Avenue, added Undersecretary Sadain. Assessment of the (4) lane viaduct construction project was conducted by Undersecretary Sadain together with UPMO Roads Management Cluster 1 Project Directors Virgilio C. Castillo and Benjamin A. Bautista, Project Manager Ricarte S. Mañalac, Project Engineer Emmanuel Regodon, and Engr. Reynaldo Perez of Persan Construction Inc. Now that the viaduct is about to reach the BGC side, the DPWH UPMO team is continuously coordinating with partner stakeholders so that the work that needs to be done is as efficient as possible to finish the viaduct overpass, connect with the roadway and get it open by this last quarter. Article courtesy of the Department of Public Works and Highways
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Philippine Resources - July 01, 2022
Sampulna cites need for more mineral processing plants to boost PH production
Photo credit: DENR - Mr. Jim O. Sampulna Former Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Acting Secretary Jim O. Sampulna pushed for the establishment of more mineral processing plants and utilization of rare earth deposits to help increase the country’s mineral production and revenue generation. “Mineral processing plants make the mined mineral ready to use for application. For example, limestone, if processed, will become cement, which is ready to use for construction,” Sampulna cited. “If we have more of these plants and more minerals will be processed in the country, then its value will increase even more than 100 percent, and lesser raw materials will be shipped out to other countries, like Japan or China,” he said. The DENR-Mines and Geosciences Bureau has so far issued 108 mineral processing permits, most of which are for construction materials. Likewise, Sampulna proposed the identification of rare earth elements (REEs), such as scandium and yttrium, in operating mines. Sampulna, who was the former DENR undersecretary for mining, said that these metals are essential parts for many high-technology devices. “The Philippines is conducive to these minerals. It could contribute to the national government through the identification and utilization of these commodities. To date, there are only a few operating mines which have identified REEs,” he said. Sampulna cited that a proposed iron mineral processing plant in Zamboanga had its groundbreaking ceremony on June 18, to support the DENR’s initiatives toward self-utilization of mineral commodities in the country. “We hope that investors will push for the opening of more processing plants in the Philippines,” he said. He also assured Filipinos that the DENR will continue to strengthen its regulation and monitoring of mining operations to ensure sustainable and responsible mineral production in the country. Article courtesy of Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Philippine Resources - June 29, 2022
DENR Awards MGB with Plaque of Appreciation for the Success of the Boracay Island Rehabilitation
Photo: The MGB Boracay Island Rehabilitation Team together with former DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu Four years after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) spearheaded the rehabilitation of the Boracay Island, the DENR Acting Secretary and Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) Chair Jim O. Sampulna CESO I awarded the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) a Plaque of Appreciation for its valuable contribution to the success of the Boracay Island Rehabilitation during the BIATF’s culminating event on June 16, 2022. Boracay Island is one of the most developed and densely populated karstic islands in the Philippines. The extensive alteration of its natural landscape, as well as the alleged discharge of wastewater into the sea, posed a major environmental concern, prompting its temporary closure on April 26, 2018. The BIATF then launched the rehabilitation of Boracay island to safeguard its sustainable development. As part of the BIATF, the MGB team, led by Lands Geological Survey Division (LGSD) Chief Liza Socorro J. Manzano, was composed of technical personnel from the LGSD of MGB Central Office and the Geosciences Division of MGB Regional Office No. VI. The team conducted studies on hydrogeology, coastal geohazards, karst subsidence hazard, and geophysical investigations using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and georesistivity. The highly specialized studies sought to provide a holistic understanding of the island’s karstology and the impacts of tourism development to ensure that the rehabilitation efforts of the government are predicated on the ecological sustainability of the small island karst. Ultimately, the results of the GPR investigation on pipes discreetly disposing wastewater and polluting the seawater of Boracay which resulted in the discovery of their existence and eventual dismantling of the same is a "game-changer" relative to the implementation of science-based strategies and crafting of policies for appropriate wastewater and solid waste management in the island. Article courtesy of the MGB
Philippine Resources - June 28, 2022
The Fault with Cobalt: Overcoming the Challenges of Battery Metal Exploration
upply Co., Inc. Cobalt is an important element used to manufacture rechargeable batteries. Cobalt has unique properties that help improve thermal stability, which is critical for the batteries to function properly. It also helps improve some batteries’ energy density, so they can last longer. The demand for cobalt is high, so geologists need fast, accurate tools to help them meet these requirements. Portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF) analyzers are one of these tools, as they provide on-the-spot material chemistry results. Why Choose Portable XRF for Cobalt Exploration? Portable XRF provides rapid, in situ, multielement geochemistry for immediate results in the field. This is useful for greenfield and brownfield exploration, ore grade and process control, environmental monitoring and remediation, and researching/teaching within the geological/environmental sciences. For battery metal exploration, portable XRF provides decision-quality data faster than traditional, lab-based XRF, and also enables more discriminatory laboratory sampling, helping reduce costs and improve ROI. With sample preparation, pXRF produces high-quality quantitative data that is comparable to laboratory analysis. Challenges with Analyzing Cobalt XRF is prone to inter-element interferences. Iron (Fe) on cobalt (Co) and nickel (Ni) on cobalt (Co) are two common examples. This means that when a lot of iron is present, it becomes difficult for XRF to identify cobalt at low levels. Likewise, the presence of nickel also makes it difficult for XRF to ID cobalt. Unfortunately, cobalt is routinely explored for in the presence of significant amounts of iron and nickel. To solve this challenge, we developed a GeoChem method for Vanta™ pXRF analyzers that offers improved analysis for battery metals exploration by being able to detect cobalt in the presence of iron and nickel. This innovative method overcomes the interference that has historically made it very difficult for portable XRF analyzers to detect cobalt in the presence of these other elements. The method we developed for the Vanta analyzer is built on the current GeoChem method, but with a more sophisticated way of deconvoluting the iron/cobalt/nickel peaks. Before deploying this solution, we tested it on client samples to make sure that it produced good results. Test Results We analyzed 16 samples with high iron content—9% < Fe < 50%, 50 ≤ Co ≤ 6000 ppm, Ni < 500 ppm. We also analyzed 50 samples with a moderate amount of iron—0.5% < Fe < 15%, 16 < Ni < 8000 ppm, 50 ppm < Co < 2.3%. The samples were pulps in XRF cups, and they were analyzed using 60 seconds per beam with no corrections. The graphs below show excellent agreement between the results obtained from a lab and results obtained using a Vanta portable XRF analyzer, indicating that the modified GeoChem method can accurately detect the presence of cobalt when it’s in the presence of both large and moderate amounts of the interfering elements iron and nickel. Geologists now have another important tool that they can rely on when exploring for new sources of this vital element.
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