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Marcelle P. Villegas - January 21, 2021

Eleven Filipino Scientists Listed in Asia’s Top 100 List

By Marcelle P. Villegas Last year (2020), eleven Filipino scientists were included in the Asian Scientist Magazine 100 list for most outstanding researchers and scientists. The list pays tribute to the best and brightest in Asia in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Asian Scientist Magazine is an award-winning, Singapore-based magazine about science and technology. It features the latest research and development news stories in Asia. Their online and print publication is managed by a team of professional science journalists, with contributors from industry and academic background. [1] Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary, Fortunato de la Peña said, “I am proud. Eleven out of 100 among so many Asian countries is a sizable share.” He notes that two of the those listed are heads of DOST agencies, namely; Dr Carlo Arcilla of Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) and Engr. Robert Dizon of Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC). [2] According to Asian Scientist Magazine, “Arcilla received the Gregorio Y. Zara Awards for Basic Research in 2019 for his contributions in resolving sensitive issue on mineral resource development, water management and developing peaceful application of nuclear energy in the Philippines.” [1] A report from Philippine News Agency mentioned, “Dr Arcilla has been encouraging the use of nuclear power in the energy mix, saying this could also help lower one’s electricity bill.” [2] The Gregorio Y. Zara Award was established by the family of National Scientist Gregorio Y. Zara and the Philippine Association for the Advancement of Science in 1968 to honour the most outstanding national scientists of the Philippines. Ever since the award already recognized 70 Filipino scientists and researchers. National Scientist Dr. Emil Q. Javier is also included in the list. Dr. Javier was Minister of Science from 1981 - 1986 when DOST was still called the National Science and Technology Authority. He is the 42nd National Scientist of the Philippines and one of the only 11 distinguished awardees living today. Just last year on 7 January 2019, President Rodrigo R. Duterte conferred the Order of National Scientist on Dr. Javier at the Malañang Palace. The Order of National Scientist is the highest honour that the Philippine Government can bestow on the Filipino scientist for his/her outstanding contribution to fields of science and technology. [3] Academician Dr. Javier was recognized by the Philippine Government for his remarkable studies and writings about the application of biotechnology in agriculture for the alleviation of poverty. He is notable for his significant contribution to the plant breeding research. He is the founder of the Institute of Plant Breeding (IPB) in University of the Philippines Los Baños in 1975 where their research is about produced high-yielding crops and disease-resistant varieties. On the molecular microbiology for medical application, scientist Raul Destura of the National Institutes of Health in the University of the Philippines Manila is also included in the list. In 2019, he was awarded the Presidential Lingkod Bayan Award for his exceptional work in the development of the Biotek-M dengue aquakit for fast and affordable dengue diagnosis. Currently, Destura is also the lead researcher in the locally developed diagnostic kit that aims to detect COVID-19. Two other achievers are from University of the Philippines, namely Alonzo Gabriel and Cleotilde Hidalgo-How. Gabriel is a researcher on microbial stress adaptation on food safety and quality. Hidalgo-How is recognized for her work in the understanding, management and diagnosis of tuberculosis in children and adolescents. From De La Salle University (DLSU), Raymond Tan and Susan Gallardo were recognized in the list. Last year, Tan is a recipient of the Gregorio Y. Zara Award for Advanced Research for his contribution in the development of novel computational techniques for the design and sustainable industrial systems. For Engineering Research, Gallardo was awarded the David M. Consunji Award for her work about environmental engineering and catalysis and industrial and hazardous waste treatment and management. From University of Santo Tomas, academe Alicia Aguinaldo made it in the list. She was awarded the Philippine Federation of Chemistry Societies Shimadzu Achievement Award for Chemical Research for her research on Philippine plants that have anti-tuberculosis and anti-diabetic properties. Another academe, Emma Sales from the University of Southern Mindanao was given recognition for her work in establishing the first tissue culture and biotechnology laboratory in Soccsksargen (Region XII) for developing diagnostic tools for the identification of durian fruit, rubber and mango varieties. The list also cited Joselito Chavez of the National Kidney and Transplant Institute. He is a recipient of the 2019 Presidential Lingkod Bayan Award. His work is about the extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in severe leptospirosis. In 2019, eight Filipinos were included in the Asian Scientist 100 list. Among them was Gay Jane Perez for Environmental Sciences and Geology. [4] She is an assistant professor at the Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology at the University of the Philippines. Since 2012, she is the President of the Geosciences and Remote Sensing Society. In 2018, USAID-Philippines recognized her as the Philippine representative as one of the finalists for ASEAN-US Science Prize for Women. This was for her work on precision agriculture for improved yields by using remote sensing and satellite data. Asian Scientist Magazine is published by Wildtype Media Group Pte Ltd. The company is a digital-focused media business for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Wildtype Media Group Pte Ltd. Is also the publisher of Supercomputing Asia, a print magazine about the high-performance computing sector. [1] Reference: [1] Asian Scientist Magazine. Retrieved from - https://www.asianscientist.com/about/ and https://www.asianscientist.com/scientist/carlo-arcilla/ [2] Arayata, Maria Christina (10 October 2020). Philippine News Agency. “11 Filipinos among Asia’s top 100 scientists”. Retrieved from - https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1118115 [3] National Academy of Science and Technology website. “Malacañang confers the Order of National Scientist on Dr. Emil Q. Javier”. Retrieved from - https://www.nast.ph/index.php/13-news-press-releases/475-malacanang-confers-the-order-of-national-scientist-on-dr-emil-q-javier [4] (7 May 2019). The Good News Pilipinas Team. “8 Filipino Scientists Among Asia’s Best”. Retrieved from - https://www.goodnewspilipinas.com/8-filipino-scientists-among-asias-best/

Industry

Marcelle P. Villegas - January 12, 2021

President Duterte at the 37th ASEAN Summit

By Marcelle P. Villegas President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his remarks during the virtual plenary session of the 37th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits hosted by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam at the Malacañang Golf (Malago) Clubhouse, Malacañang Park. (Photo credit: King Rodriquez / Presidential photo, Presidential Communications Operations Office website) President Rodrigo R. Duterte attended a virtual summit of world leaders to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic, South China Sea dispute, trade and other issues. The virtual event is the plenary session of the 37th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Summits hosted by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam that will last until November 25. On his speech, he asserted the Philippines’s arbitral win and emphasised the legal victory is now part of “international law”. [1] He said, “The Philippine position is clear and firm. We must solve the disputes peacefully and in accordance with international law, including UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea).” “The 2016 arbitral award on the South China Sea is an authoritative interpretation of the application of UNCLOS. It is now part of international law. And its significance cannot be diminished nor ignored by any country, however big and powerful.” President Duterte also emphasised the need to fast-track a “Code of Conduct” in the South China Sea in order to promote peace and stability in the busy waterway. “The Philippines is one with ASEAN in transforming the South China Sea into a sea of peace and prosperity for all. We are committed to the immediate conclusion of a substantive and effective Code of Conduct in the South China Sea. And if I may add, it has been a long time and it is a long wait,” he said. Since President Duterte assumed office in 2016, he addressed the maritime issue with China through a non-adversarial approach. China has an important role in the President’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program as they had been providing financial assistance to several major infrastructure projects in the Philippines such as bridges and railways. South China Sea Dispute -- In China’s Nine-dashed Line Map the Philippines loses about 80% of its Exclusive Economic Zone facing the West Philippine Sea. This includes the entire Reed Bank and part of the Malampaya gas field. This loss covers 381,000 square kilometers of maritime space and 100% of the Philippines’ Extended Continental Shelf which covers an estimate of over 150,000 square kilometers of maritime space. South China Sea is also rich in methane hydrate which is a potential source of energy. How did the South China Sea dispute start? Why is the Philippines involved in this conflict with China? On 7 May 2009 when China submitted the Nine-dashed Lines Map to the United Nations. Their map claims large areas of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and Extended Continental Shelf (ECS) of the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia. On the map, China is claiming 85.7% of the entire South China Sea. Their claim covers 3 million square kilometers out of the 3.5 million square kilometers surface area of the South China Sea. Since China did not provide any legal basis for the dashes, and the dashes also had no fixed coordinates, Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia protested against China’s claim. The Philippines is greatly affected by the Nine-dashed Lines Map because the Philippines loses about 80% of its EEZ facing the West Philippine Sea. This includes the entire Reed Bank and part of the Malampaya gas field. That is around 381,000 square kilometers of loss in maritime space, and 100% of the Philippines’ ECS which covers an estimate of 150,000 square kilometers of maritime space. Therefore, in January 2013, the Philippines formally initiated arbitration proceedings against China’s claim on the territories within the Nine-dashed Lines that includes the Scarborough Shoal. Then, Justice Antonio T. Carpio, former Senior Associate Justice of Republic of the Philippines Supreme Court, defended the Philippines’ right of ownership of the little islands within our territory to the international Arbitral Tribunal. He pointed out our legal rights through legitimate historical records. It was on 12 July 2016 when the Philippines won the arbitration case it filed against China after the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands. The verdict invalidated Beijing’s Nine-dashed Lines Map claim on South China Sea. In response, China refused to accept and acknowledge the arbitral ruling. South China Sea is significant not only to Asian countries but also to the world. Each year, US$5.3 trillion ship-borne goods travel through South China Sea. This number is almost one-half of the world’s shipborne trade in tonnage. Additionally, a great percentage of the petroleum imports of South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and China pass through the South China Sea. There are also 2 billion people who live in the 10 countries bordering the South China Sea where hundreds of millions of people depend on fish there for their protein. Lastly, the maritime area that is close to the coast of the countries bordering the South China Sea is rich in oil and gas resources. South China Sea is rich in methane hydrate – a potential source of energy. Reference: [1] Parrocha, Azer (12 November 2020). Philippine News Agency. “Arbitral ruling can’t be ignored by any country, Duterte to Asean”. Retrieved from https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1121630 Photo credit: President Duterte - https://pcoo.gov.ph/news_releases/asean-must-demand-climate-justice-says-president-duterte/ Nine-Dashed Line - Justice Antonio T. Carpio. “The South China Sea West Philippine Sea Dispute” - https://www.slideshare.net/SamGalope/lecture-the-south-china-sea-west-philippine-dispute-justice-antonio-t-carpio-philippine-social-science-center

Industry

Marcelle P. Villegas - January 12, 2021

Dept. of Energy: Moratorium on New Coal Power Plants

By Marcelle P. Villegas A moratorium on the endorsements of greenfield coal power plants was issued by the Department of Energy (DoE). This announcement was made while allowing foreign investors to now have full ownership of geothermal plant projects in the Philippines. DoE’s decision to stop the endorsements of coal power plants is the result of an assessment that showed the importance of focusing on a “more flexible” power supply mix. According to Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi while at a virtual conference with world leaders held in Singapore, “This would help build a more sustainable power system that will be resilient in the face of structural changes in demand and will be flexible enough to accommodate the entry of new, cleaner and indigenous technological innovations.” DoE is currently updating their Philippine Energy Plan for the next 20 years. Mr Cusi mentioned that DoE is committed to accelerating the development of the Philippines’ resources while “pushing for the transition from fossil fuel-based technology utilization to cleaner energy sources to ensure more sustainable growth for the country.” [1] According to Undersecretary Felix William B. Fuentebella of DoE, the ban on endorsing new coal-fired power plants will not affect those power plants that have received endorsements in the past. He said, “We need to prepare for the influx of RE (renewable energy) under the recent policies issued by the DoE. Hence, the need for more flexibility.” [1] On note, 3,436 MV of committed coal-fired power projects in Luzon are ongoing as of August 2020. This includes the Meralco Powergen Corporation and GNPower Dinginin Ltd. Co. which is a joing venture of the Ayala and Aboitiz groups. Additionally, a 135 MW coal-run power projects in Visayas and 420 MV in Mindanao have been endorsed by DoE. Overall, there are around 10,000 MV indicative coal-fired power plant projects in the Philippines which may receive government endorsements. Mr Fuentebella said these will need to be sorted out. The ban will continue until the country will require additional baseload power, according to DoE official. [1] In relation to the ban, Center of Energy, Ecology and Development (CEED) pointed out that there are still environmental concerns about the existing coal-run power plants in the Philippines. CEED Director Gerard C. Arances said, “That is still concerning and alarming vis-à-vis pollution, climate imperative, and costly electricity in the country.” Another important announcement made by DoE is the upcoming open bidding round of renewable energy service contracts that will now allow foreign companies to own large-scale geothermal projects. This includes exploration, development and utilization. Last 20 October 2020, DoE released a circular providing the guidelines for the third Open and Competitive Selection Process (OCSP3) in the awarding of renewable project contracts. Cusi said, “From an investment perspective, OCSP3 allows for 100% foreign ownership in large-scale geothermal exploration, development and utilization projects.” DoE clarified that big geothermal projects are those with an initial investment cost of about $50 million and are under Financial and Technical Assistance Agreements, signed and approved by the Philippine President. Reference: [1] Ang, Adam J. (27 October 2020). Business World. “DoE bans new coal-run power plants”. Retrieved from - https://www.bworldonline.com/doe-bans-new-coal-run-power-plants/

Industry

Marcelle P. Villegas - December 21, 2020

PH now allows foreign ownership of geothermal projects

By Marcelle P. Villegas Department of Energy (DoE) announced that the Philippines now allows foreign companies to fully own large-scale geothermal projects in the Philippines. This decision was made to further promote renewable energy and to shift away from coal as an energy source. [1] DoE signed the circular on the guidelines for the third Open and Competitive Selection Process (OCSP3) in the granting of renewable energy service contracts. DoE Secretary, Alfonso Cusi signed it on 20 October 2020. He stated, “From an investment perspective, OCSP3 allows for 100% foreign ownership in large-scale geothermal exploration, development and utilization projects.” Geothermal projects are considered large-scale if it has an initial investment cost of about $50 million and approved through a financial and technical assistance agreement. From CNN PH report, “The project is entered into between the Philippine government and the foreign contractors.” [1] This requires the signature of the President. The Philippine Constitution requires 60% of a public utility to be Filipino-owned. However, DoE said that 100% foreign ownership is now allowed in the renewable energy sector. In 2019, DoE also reportedly allowed foreign companies to fully operate and own biomass power plants. DoE also released a moratorium on endorsement for greenfield coal power plants for sites that have not been used for commercial development or exploration. DoE’s objective it “to further brighten the prospects of our Renewable Energy landscape”. Secretary Cusi also aims for faster implementation of the Philippines’ national renewable energy program, hopefully generating 20,000 megawatts of renewable energy by 2040. Is geothermal energy the best energy source option we have to prevent an energy crisis from happening in the future? How about solar energy? According to a recent article published by Popular Mechanics Magazine, "It's Official: Solar Is the Cheapest Electricity in History" by writer and researcher Caroline Delbert, “Solar is now the cheapest form of electricity for utility companies to build.” This is based on the report of the International Energy Agency (IEA). Although the report mentioned that the reduction in cost of solar energy is based on the risk-reducing financial policies around the world, “it applies to locations with both the most favorable policies and the easiest to access to financing.” “IEA’s recommendations include similar projections and calculations for all renewables as well as nuclear.” Moreover, IEA forecasts that solar energy is well positioned to blow up in the next 10 years, “because right now it is in the sweet spot to lower cost and increasing availability… And while the news is very good for solar [power], it is still pretty good for all the other renewables as well as nuclear, the IEA says.” Why is solar power lower in cost of capital? According to Delbert, it depends on many factors. For renewable energy, she wrote, “There are a few low-hanging factors… As people and companies see more successful projects like Elon Musk’s South Australia solar battery farm, their investment confidence grows.” How did this year’s COVID-19 pandemic affect the global development of renewable energy? Last May 2020, IEA gave a market update and analysis on the impact of COVID-19 on renewable energy deployment in 2020 and 2021. They reported that “COVID-19 crisis is hurting but not halting global renewable energy growth.” “Half a year later, the pandemic continues to affect the global economy and daily life. However, renewable markets, especially electricity-generating technologies, have already shown their resilience to the crisis.” As a review of IEA’s analysis for 2020, they reported that global geothermal capacity additions are projected to amount to 0.3 GW in 2020, which is one-third of 2019’s level, which was the highest ever recorded. [3] “This year, Indonesia is again expected to lead new development, with 145 MV of capacity added (90 MV from the Rantau Dedap plant and 45 MW at the Sorik Marapi plant), followed by Turkey (+70 MV). These two countries are expected to account for more than two-thirds of new capacity additions in 2020, while the Philippines, the United States and Bolivia are responsible for most of the rest.” IEA also noted that this year, due to the COVID-19 crisis, a number of projects have been delayed by disruptions to the global supply chain for machinery and materials and by deferrals of strategic decisions, such as decisions in financing. In effect, several small and medium-sized projects originally scheduled to come online in 2020 are expected to be commissioned in 2021 instead. [3] In Turkey, the 10-year FiT scheme for new plants (originally scheduled to end at the end of 2020) has been extended until mid-2021 in order to cover projects affected by delays caused by the pandemic. (FiT or FIT refers to feed-in tariff. It is a policy mechanism designed to encourage and speed up investment in renewable energy technologies by offering long-term contracts to the producers of renewable energy.) “Global cumulative geothermal capacity is forecast to increase 7% to 16.5 GW by 2022, with Indonesia, Kenya, Turkey and the Philippines responsible for two-thirds of this growth.” IEA also reported that in Indonesia, the state-owned company PT Geo Dipa Energi (GDE) has received a USD 300-million loan from the Asian Development Bank for the 110-MW expansion of the Dieng and Patuha plants, expected to be carried out during 2020 – 2023. “Beyond 2022, Indonesia, Kenya and Turkey continue to lead capacity additions, which are projected to exceed 0.8 GW per year globally on average.” “The Indonesian government recently prepared a roadmap for geothermal energy, with the goal of having 8 GW of installed capacity by 2030 (up from 2.1 GW in 2019). However, wider exploitation of the country’s considerable geothermal potential will require the resolution of a number of challenges, including low energy prices, limited local electricity demand, a lack of capital investments, and environmental and social issues.” [3] In relation to this, the Indonesian government plans to conduct exploration and drilling in 20 geothermal areas during 2020 until 2024. Their view is to reduce development risks for future auction plans. They are also focusing on coming up with policies with the objective of providing better economic incentives to geothermal projects. If Indonesia overcomes the obstacles, they could match up with the accumulated installed capacity of the United States by 2025. In conclusion, IEA said that geothermal power is also receiving greater interest from oil companies. Most oil companies are open to opportunities to diversify their activities while capitalizing on their drilling expertise. [3] The International Energy Agency is an autonomous intergovernmental organization that is based in Paris, France. It was established in the framework of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 1974 in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis. IEA is a reliable source of information and statistics about the international oil market and other energy sectors. IEA also acts as a policy adviser to its member countries and also with non-member countries like China, India and Russia. IEA’s mandate is focused on effective energy policies related with energy security, economic development and environmental protection. The Agency also promotes alternate energy sources such as renewable energy. Reference: [1] CNN Philippines Staff (27 October 2020). CNN Philippines. “PH now allows 100% foreign ownership in large-scale geothermal projects”. Retrieved from - https://www.cnnphilippines.com/news/2020/10/27/renewable-energy-philippines-foreign-ownership.html?fbclid#.X5jn8RFncGQ.linkedin [2] Delbert, Caroline (22 October 2020). Popular Mechanics. "It's Official: Solar Is the Cheapest Electricity in History". Retrieved from - https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/a34372005/solar-cheapest-energy-ever/?fbclid=IwAR2SZ1K5JZH6XHDqztP8-DfnY7X2lURKK4OCDxtSf0UFzKA59sC2XgBaLUg [3] International Energy Agency website. Retrieved from - https://www.iea.org/reports/renewables-2020 and Geothermal abstract Photo source: Philippine Geothermal Production Company, Inc. - https://www.pgpc.com.ph/

Industry

Marcelle P. Villegas - June 08, 2020

Geoscience in a Post-COVID-19 World

Dr. Jun Abrajano (Photo credit: GSP and KAUST - Office of Sponsored Research) By Marcelle P. Villegas Last 26 May 2020, the Geological Society of the Philippines (GSP) conducted a webinar with guest speaker Dr. Jun Abrajano on "Geoscience in a Post-COVID-19 World: A Perspective". Dr Abrajano is the Director of the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) in King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia. These are the highlights of the webinar: “Geoscience in a Post-COVID-19 world: A Perspective.” [1] (1) The concept of foresight and active resiliency was presented as important in this time of COVID-19 pandemic. This concept looks into understanding the drivers of risk from which strategies and outcomes may be formulated to benefit the communities and from which challenges and opportunities may also be identified. (2) Potential features of a post-COVID-19 world include statistical results showing the negative impacts of the pandemic and COVID-19 global outlook that features the presence of risks arising from prolonged recession, geopolitics, and accelerated technology adoption among others. In a post-COVID-19 world, every business is a health business. More so, it necessitates reinvention of authority among others. (3) The pre-COVID-19 situation of the geosciences plays around the following major considerations: (a) understanding the complex Earth systems; (b) reducing vulnerability and sustaining life; (c) sustainable resource utilization and; (d) growing the geoscience workforce. With the pandemic, granular trends in addressing issues that impact the human life (e.g. geohazards, health-related) can either be accelerated or decelerated. (4) With the pandemic, emerging trends in the activities and opportunities for the geosciences arise. These include (a) identifying the “geo-impact” to human health; (b) having an interface between geology and biology/microbiology and (c) dwelling on real-time observations and big data analytics among others. The resource sector has also been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, both positively and negatively. The precious metals and base metals have so far performed well, in contrast to the crude and natural gas sectors which have suffered a downward market trend during this time of pandemic. (5) With the pandemic, foresight would be a prolonged recession or another pandemic occurring. This, however, should be taken also as an opportunity for geosciences, bearing in mind the considerations during the pre-COVID-19 situation as outlined above. GSP provided certificates of attendance to webinar participants. The video recording of the webinar may be viewed at the Facebook page of GSP - https://www.facebook.com/Geological-Society-of-the-Philippines-172188472827844/. ----- About the guest speaker: Dr. Teofilo A. Abrajano, Jr. is a Balik Scientist of Dept. of Science and Technology. His expertise include Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Geoscience and Geology, Geochemistry, Isotope Geochemistry, Biogeochemistry. Some of his research works are about ophiolites, petroleum biomarkers, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), isotope fractionation, paleoceanography, isotope analysis, molecular and isotope characterization, molecular tracers, and sediments. [2] Dr. Abrajano's other affiliations include: ● Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Professor, Isotope Geochemistry, 1998 ● Argonne National Laboratory, South Cass Ave., Argonne, Illinois, Scientist, Environmental Research Division, 1997 - 1998 ● Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Director, Environmental Science Program, 2001 ● Division of Earth Sciences (GEO), US National Science Foundation Arlington, VA, Head, Surface Earth Processes Section, 2006 - 2009 ● Memorial University of Newfoundland, Prince Philipps Drive, St. John's, NL, Canada, Associate to Full Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, 1991 - 1998 Since 2015, he has worked as Director at the Office of Sponsored Research, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. In 1977, he graduated from the University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City with a degree in B.S. Geology. Then he had his Master's degree in Earth Science in 1981 at the University of Akron in Ohio, U.S.A. In 1984, Dr. Abrajano studied in Washington University, U.S.A. and graduated with a degree as Doctor of Philosophy in Earth and Planetary Sciences. In 2010, he received the Balik Scientist Award from the Department of Science and Technology in the Philippines. ----- One of the attendees of the webinar was Dr. Graciano Yumul, Jr., Executive Vice President for Geology, Exploration and Operations at Apex Mining Co. Inc. After the event, he commented, "The GSP-sponsored webinar yesterday, May 26, 2020, was educational with a lot of practical messages. I learned a lot and I am sure the other participants did too. The webinar meeting went for almost two hours with interesting questions and comments coming from the participants.” “Foresighting, the corresponding drivers, passive vis-à-vis active resiliency, globalization/ internationalization, the World Economic Forum global risk outlook, and the Accenture post-COVID-19 'Human Truths' were some of the takeaways during the meeting. The importance of artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning and related big data science management were highlighted. Indeed, the FIRe (Fourth Industrial Revolution) is here. But the aspect that I enjoyed most during the talk is the bridging of all these sciences, specifically in the context of the geosciences, with the present realities of the world we live in and the possibilities out there, especially in the context of social and cultural backgrounds." He added, "It was a well-spent two-hour presentation and Q&A session. Dr. Jun Abrajano, as anticipated, has given an excellent presentation. Congratulations to the GSP for this initiative (the second in the series), a welcome respite from the lockdowns and you name what that we are all experiencing now." [1] Dr. Yumul is a former Undersecretary for R&D at the Department of Science and Technology. ----- Reference [1] Retrieved from - https://www.facebook.com/Geological-Society-of-the-Philippines-172188472827844/ [2] Retrieved from SPHERES - Specialized Philippine Enterprise Reference of Experts and Scientists http://spheres.dost.gov.ph/sci-profile.php?i=001471

Industry

Marcelle P. Villegas - June 08, 2020

German Geologist Conducts Lecture About Taal Volcano

Dr. Friedrich-Karl Bandelow received a Plaque of Appreciation from Divine World College of Calapan -- (Left to right) Dr. Aleli C. Dugan, CPA (Vice President for Academic Affairs), Ms Diana Kyth Conti (Teacher at Divine Word College of Calapan), and Engr. Rosvelinda Luzon Dequiros, LPT, Ph.D. (Dean, School of Education) (Photo credit: Dr. Friedrich-Karl Bandelow) By Marcelle P. Villegas The start of 2020 felt like doomsday when Taal Volcano suddenly erupted. It is the second most active volcano in the Philippines. When it erupted in January, it frightened many people when the sunny afternoon suddenly turned dark and terrifying with volcanic lightning visible through the dark volcanic ash. This resulted in the immediate mass evacuation of almost 1 million people. When it comes to natural calamities, it is often unpredictable, but nature has a way of giving us clues of future disasters. From the point of view of geologists, volcanic eruptions are just part of the natural movements of the Earth’s crust. Looking back on that day, it was Sunday afternoon on the 12th of January when Dr Friedrich-Karl Bandelow, a retired geologist, noticed from his window that the Taal Volcano looks unusual. Although the sky was blue and the weather was sunny, there was something strange about a giant cloud that formed a ring above the volcano. [12 January 2020] “Taal Volcano woke me up. This is a view from my window in Calapan City.” (Photo by Dr Friedrich-Karl Bandelow) In the late afternoon, the skies turned dark and Taal Volcano spewed ashes across Calabarzon, Metro Manila and some parts of Central Luzon and Ilocos Region. [1]. It was a phreato-magmatic eruption, an eruption resulting from the interaction between magma and water. "The upper ring [of clouds] appears to be caused by a phreatic eruption that developed into a phreato-magmatic eruption.” Although volcanic eruptions are disastrous and dangerous, it is no doubt that the volcanic lighting that evening was both frightening and fascinating as it gave a rare and beautiful light show in the night skies. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) issued Alert Level 4 which implies that hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days. By 26 January 2020, PHIVOLCS observed an inconsistent but decreasing volcanic activity in Taal, thus they downgraded their warning to Alert Level 3. On 14 February 2020, Alert Level was finally on Level 2 due to consistent decreased volcanic activity. [1] Educational Event in Calapan Divine Word College of Calapan (DWCC) in Oriental Mindoro requested Dr. Friedrich-Karl Bandelow to give a lecture about Taal Volcano. He received this invitation from Engr. Rosvelinda Luzon Dequiros, LPT, Ph.D. (Dean, School of Education), Fr. Crispin A. Cordero, SVD (President, Divine Word College of Calapan), and Dr. Aleli C. Dugan, CPA (Vice President for Academic Affairs). On 11 March 2020, he then gave a presentation at DWCC with the title "Volcanoes in General and Taal Volcano in Particular". It was a 90-minute lecture with a 30-minute Question and Answer portion. Dr. Bandelow said, “About 80 students from various courses attended the lecture. From each interested course, about 8 to 10 students were assigned and they later disseminated the information to their classmates.” “It was enjoyable to teach and interact with young students. I also felt that I am part of my community in Calapan City,” Dr. Bandelow stated. The purpose of the lecture was to give information about the recent Taal eruption and the history of that volcano. He covered the following topics: Basics About Volcanoes, Volcanoes in the Philippines, Are there Volcanoes in Mindoro?, Taal Volcano: Physiographic Elements, Which is bigger: Taal or Mayon?, Taal Volcano Eruption History, The January 2020 Eruption, Effects of Eruption, and Monitoring and Prediction. “The question if there are volcanoes in Mindoro was of big interest. Some students were living near volcanoes in Naujan and Pola without knowing it. Of course, the question on Taal eruption’s impact on Calapan was also interesting,” he said. Getting To Know The Volcano Here are some key points from his lecture about Taal Volcano: ● Taal is 311 m high. It had a total of 42 eruptions since 1572 ● Taal Volcano Island lies within the Taal Lake. Taal Lake lies within a 25-30 km Taal Caldera formed by explosive eruptions between 140,000 and 5,380 BP (Before Present). Each of these eruptions created extensive ash and ignimbrite deposits, reaching as far away as where Manila stands today. ● Since the formation of the caldera, subsequent eruptions have created a volcanic island within the caldera, known as Volcano Island. ● The center of the island, occupied by the 2-kilometers Main Crater with a single crater lake, was formed from the 1911 eruption. The island consists of different overlapping cones and craters which 47 have been identified. [2] Dr. Bandelow also discussed the importance of the 1911 Taal Volcano eruption. In 1911, the volcano had violent eruptions. The crater floor was completely changed and the interior was created. There was complete destruction of Taal Island with a death toll of 1100 lives and hundreds of animals died as well. Ash was falling within a radius of about 300 km, 70 to 80 million m3 of ash. [2] About the January 2020 eruption, he mentioned that the event started with a phreatic eruption. Phreatic eruptions are steam-driven explosions that occur when water beneath the ground or on the surface is heated by magma, lava, hot rocks, or new volcanic deposits. The intense heat of such materials (as high as 1,170° C for basaltic lava) may cause water to boil and flash to steam, thereby generating an explosion of steam, water, ash, blocks and bombs. [2] Effects of the January 2020 eruption: ● More than 1 million people were evacuated. ● The volcano island is off-limits. About 8000 people lost their homes and cannot return. ● The area around Agoncillo and San Nicolas is badly damaged by fractures. ● Fish raising facilities in the Taal Lake were damaged. ● Water level of Taal Lake went down. Pansipit River dried up. ● Crater lake was falling dry and is recovering. How does PHIVOLCS monitor the Taal Volcano? Here are some important eruption precursors: ● Increase in frequency of volcanic quakes and rumbling sounds ● Changes in the water temperature, level and bubbling or boiling activity on the lake ● Development of new or reactivation of old thermal areas like fumaroles, geysers or mud pots ● Ground inflation or ground fissuring - Often surveyed by means of satellite images (interferometry) ● Increase in temperature of ground probe holes on monitoring stations ● Strong sulfuric odor or irritating fumes similar to rotten eggs ● Fish killed and drying up of vegetation Can PHIVOLCS predict the next eruption? PHIVOLCS will determine the alert level (0 to 5) based on the permanent survey of data. [2] Here is a guide: ● Level 3 indicates that an eruption could occur within the next days or weeks (or not!). ● Level 4 indicates that an eruption is an imminent risk and could occur now. ● Level 5 is on during a volcanic eruption with ash falls, lava flows, pyroclastic flows. Conclusion: Volcanologists are in the position to describe the actual situation and the possible risks but they cannot schedule the events. At the end of the lecture, Dr. Bandelow received a Plaque of Appreciation by the Divine Word College of Calapan. About the Lecturer Dr. Friedrich-Karl Bandelow is a retired geologist living in Calapan City. He studied geology at Johannes-Gutenberg University in Mainz/Germany and graduated as Master of Science in 1980. In 1981, he joined Montan Consulting GmbH, an international mining consulting company. He was assigned to exploration projects in Germany and Botswana. He arrived in the Philippines in 1983. From 1983 to 1987, he was seconded to a technical aide project as a consultant to the BED, now the Philippine Department of Energy. He later returned to Germany where he focused on his doctorate thesis while working on international projects. In 1997, Dr. Bandelow received his Ph.D. in Natural Science (Dr. rer. nat.) from Johannes-Gutenberg University in Mainz. From 2011 to 2013, he settled in Jakarta, Indonesia after being assigned as President Director of PT DMT Indonesia. After a year, he returned to the Philippines and based at his home office in Calapan City. He retired from permanent employment in 2016 and is still occasionally working as an independent consultant in the region. Dr. Bandelow is a member of the United Nations - Task Force for Resource and Reserve Classification. He is a registered European Geologist with the European Federation of Geologists. Dr. Bandelow has written 23 publications in international journals with focus on resource classification and coal geology. ----- Acknowledgement: Thank you, Dr. Friedrich-Karl Bandlow, Engr. Rosvelinda Luzon Dequiros, Fr. Crispin A. Cordero and Dr. Aleli C. Dugan, CPA of Divine Word College of Calapan.. ----- References: [1] Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_Taal_Volcano_eruption [2] Bandelow, Friedrich-Karl (11 March 2020). "Volcanoes in General and Taal Volcano in Particular". Lecture at Divine Word College of Calapan, Oriental Mindoro.

Industry

Philippine Resources - April 09, 2020

Expo Industry Facing the Crisis Head On

The crisis brought by the COVID-19 pandemic opens the question on how the business sector would respond to the changes this global concern may bring to the economy in the coming months. This is a case where no exemption is given. Businesses, big or small are all dealing with the crisis day by day. For an industry which relies on mass gatherings as part of its lifeblood, the adjustments may not be that easy. Worldbex Services International (WSI), the country’s premiere events organizer, had to postpone some of its major events this year. Even with its banner events at stake including the 25th year celebration of WORLDBEX and the 16th Manila International Auto Show, an event organizer’s priority is the health and safety of its stakeholders, attendees, and employees over anything else. BUILT TO WITHSTAND CHALLENGES This is not the first time the industry faced a struggle which forced expo organizers to re-evaluate their strategy. Looking back at the 1997 Asian financial crisis, the local MICE Industry was challenged. One notable action was done by WSI wherein foreign exhibitors withdrew from the event which pushed the organizer to make a quick and careful decision to further strengthen its local exhibitors’ line-up. The shift in their game plan gained overwhelming support from the industry players up until today. RESPONSE TO CRISIS It has always been the company’s strength to spearhead a platform where businesses can find solutions and opportunities through introduction into new industry connections. With the same foundation, they are already looking into potential scenarios on how expos can address the issues businesses may encounter after the crisis as a way of staying competitive and innovative. Nonetheless, WSI also believes that the focus should all be given to every effort to flatten the curve. In relation, the organizers are proud and honored with the dedication given by PICC and World Trade Center Metro Manila, their second homes, as these venues serve a different purpose to further help the country in solving the crisis. Through the leadership of DPWH Sec. Mark Villar, the transition and conversion of the said venues are being completed ahead of schedule. Once everything is in a more manageable state, they commit to uphold its goal in helping businesses to bounce back with several innovative solutions already waiting in the pipeline for their upcoming events. BEYOND EXPOSITIONS The private sector as key industry players in driving the economy as the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, Exhibitions (MICE) Industry has been a strategic area for boosting tourism and contributes to the country’s gross domestic product. An expo is more than just a showcase. In a time where businesses aim to regain momentum, expos can help kick-start a brand or a product’s action plan. As the game changes and a “new normal” might begin, means and ways may change but the mission will always be the same. The uncertainty of a crisis can’t hold back the Filipino entrepreneur’s spirit. We are resilient when faced with adversity, we adapt to the surroundings, and we always find ways to make things work. We will continue to work and improve as our way of giving back to society. True enough, even with a crisis at hand, we are able to create opportunities beyond expositions.

Industry

Marcelle P. Villegas - February 20, 2020

Resiliency and sustainability through geoscience

By Marcelle P. Villegas GeoCon was first organised in 1988 as a venue where the latest development in geosciences are shared and discussed. Each year, new ideas and fresh perspectives are presented through technical reports and exhibits. What is the importance of GEOCON in the Philippines? Since it is a conference where great minds in the field of geosciences gather to discuss, debate or collaborate for continued learning, the event then brings to light solutions to national problems that science can solve. Last December, the Geological Society of the Philippines (GSP) presented GEOCON 2019 with the theme “Geoscience for a resilient and sustainable Philippines”. The two-day conference was held at The Manila Hotel last 4-5 December 2019. Dr. Renato U. Solidum, Jr., Chairperson of GeoCon 2019, gave the welcome remarks on the Day 1 of the conference. He is also Department of Science and Technology Undersecretary for Disaster Risk Reduction -- Climate Change Adaptation. Dr Solidum is also the Officer-In-Charge of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology. Although GeoCon 2019 took place a month before the Taal Volcano Eruption (12 January 2020), Dr. Solidum’s message was regarding readiness in case of natural calamities. “The theme of this year’s GeoCon… should jolt us and remind us of our collective obligation as geoscientists to convey to the most vulnerable sectors of our society the imminent dangers of geological hazards. This is a herculean task which all of us, because of our specialized training, can help achieve.” He said, “We should join hands and we must zero in our common efforts in educating and empowering our people so that they will become more resilient to natural disasters.” Dr. Carla B. Dimalanta, President of GSP, stated, “2019 has also been an extremely challenging one for our country, particularly on matters where the geosciences are central to the issues. Geohazards and resource use conflicts, most especially, continue to cause significant disruptions to the lives and livelihoods of Filipinos. From the water shortages in Metro Manila during the dry months, to the large-scale landslides and floods in Luzon and the Visayas in the rainy periods, and the unusual earthquakes in Mindanao, GeoCon 2019’s theme brings to focus what we, as geoscientists, have done and must further do to contribute to building a resilient and progressive country.” Dr. Dimalanta expressed that there are many changes in the regional and global perspectives which affect the decisions on natural resource use, environmental design and management, and geohazards risk reduction. She also mentioned the urgent need to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). “[With] barely two years left for the current national government administration, we the country’s geoscientists must assert our relevance in delivering SDG targets. The Geological Society of the Phils., as a collegial body of experts in the various fields of earth sciences, is best poised to address concerns pertaining to the following SDGs: SDG 6: clean water and sanitation, SDG 7: affordable and clean energy, SDG 9: industry innovation and infrastructure, SDG 11: sustainable cities and communities, SDG 14 and 15: life below water and on land, and most importantly SDG 17: partnerships for the goals.” The keynote speaker for Day 1 was Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon of the National Economic Development and Authority (NEDA). The Undersecretary discussed the three key points in her speech: 1) economic and social impact of the disaster on the country 2) the new ecosystems for science, technology, and innovation 3) the challenge with the science community, including the geoscience community. She stated, “The Philippine economy is currently on a high growth trajectory. So at the beginning of 2012, our growth rate has been upward by 6%. We could actually have grown much faster were it not for the damage and losses due to the typhoons and other natural calamities. The UN estimates that we lose about 0.8% of GDP every year due to the combined impact of disasters.” NEDA Undersecretary mentioned that the cost for evacuation and spending in managing an evacuation center is an added expense. When there are natural calamities, loss of productivity happens which in turn brings about the loss of income per day. Other factors that affect and hinder income and productivity are loss of lives, destruction of cultural heritage sites or buildings, and more. These events bring insecurities among Filipinos because during a natural calamity, they are subjected to various threats in their livelihood. In contrast, the Undersecretary presented some good news which is in light of “the new ecosystem for science and technology, innovation". “To be fair, we had been improving towards progress with regards to how we had been addressing climate shocks. In fact, we are the only country with an institutionalised response mechanism [or Institutional Mechanisms for Disaster Response] which includes preparedness measures.” "We have also completed a number of high-resolution geohazard maps." "For the last seven years, the economic growth remains above 6%. With our already released Q3 growth, the Philippines is actually second in terms of economic growth compared to Vietnam 7.3% and even higher than China 6.0%. So our economy has been steadily growing and it is our goal to sustain this momentum in the coming years, and uphold the Philippines' standing as one of the fastest growing economies in Asia.” Undersecretary Edillon added, “And to be able to sustain this growth, science, technology and innovation have been identified and prioritised not only as a catalyst to exponentially grow our economy but also as a solution to minimize environmental impacts, efficiently use our natural resources, and build our resilience.” “I've got a piece of good news. In 2019, the Global Innovation Index, which measures the performance of countries in terms of innovations like technological advancements, the Philippines jumped 19 notches, ranking 54th which marks the biggest leap amongst Southeast Asian countries and we ranked 5th behind Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand.” Later during the day, the other topics and studies presented were: “Re-opening new paths for the Philippines’ search for energy independence” by Arthur Saldivar-Sali, “Paving a new landscape in risk valuation: The GeoRisk Philippines initiative” by Mabelline Cahulogan, “The October 2019 earthquake sequence: Parameters and impacts” by Jeffrey Perez, and more.

Industry

Philippine Resources - November 06, 2019

Harnessing hydropower potential in the Philippines

Together with its client, Cordillera Hydro Electric Power Company’s (COHECO), GHD’s renewable energy capabilities were in the spotlight at the Asian Power Awards, recently announced in Malaysia. Dubbed as the “Oscars of the power industry,” the awards recognize cutting-edge innovation and sustainable development with COHECO’s 60 MW run-of-river hydro project named Hydropower Project of the Year. GHD is the owner’s engineer for the project, which will generate reliable, low-cost electricity and boost socioeconomic growth in the communities of Kapangan and Kibungan in Benguet province, Philippines. Run-of-river hydro schemes do not require reservoirs, reducing cost and complexity and minimizing social and environmental impacts. “It’s a proud moment for GHD and COHECO to be recognized by an esteemed jury of leaders from the energy industry,” shares Darren Shrives, GHD’s General Manager, Philippines. “This award reflects our commitment to create value for our clients, our employees, and the communities that benefit from our work.” “We thank GHD for the nomination and we are one with them in bringing development opportunities and uplifting the living conditions of local communities to propel economic growth,” states Jose Xavier Gonzales, President and Chief Executive Officer, COHECO. “This international recognition affirms the way GHD leverages its global expertise to support us in achieving our business goals.” The project, in development since 2015, involves the construction of a 22-km access road, about 8 km of tunnel, powerhouse, switchyard, surge tank and 24 km of 69 kV transmission lines. In the early stages of the project, GHD undertook an extensive hydrology study to estimate the potential annual energy output for the consideration of potential lenders. The construction of the hydroelectric power plant is estimated to take three years with GHD as owner’s engineer providing technical advisory, project management, construction monitoring and supervision services. This project is a cornerstone in increasing the region’s competitiveness and reinforcing the country’s commitment to increase the share of renewables in its total energy mix, with energy consumption expected to nearly double by 2040.

Industry

Marcelle P. Villegas - August 20, 2019

Hitting A Hole in One at the 4th Rocks and Forests Golf

By Marcelle P. Villegas 5 July 2019, Villamor Air Base Golf Course, Pasay City: The 4th Rocks and Forests Invitational Golf Tournament was held, organised by the UP Geology Alumni Association (UPGAA) and the Society of Filipino Foresters Inc. (SFFI). This annual golf tournament is one UPGAA’s major projects which aims to generate funds for the different projects of the group. Part of the proceeds of the tournament this year will be used to purchase equipment for National Institute for Geological Sciences (NIGS). UPGAA is a non-stock, non-profit organisation. Its main objective is to provide a forum for the members of the UP Geology Alumni Association. Here, there can interact through mutually beneficial contacts and “to provide avenues for drawing upon the knowledge and expertise of the alumni for furthering the cause of UP NIGS as a School of Excellence”. UPGAA is headed by its Chairman, Joey Nelson Ayson while SFFI is headed by its President, Tom Valdez. Both UPGAA and NIGS work together to further develop the geological profession. SFFI is an independent, democratic, non-profit, non-political and non-partisan professional organisation of the foresters in the Philippines. They actively promote and support sustainable management of forest resources. Their vision is to be “committed professionals for the advancement of forest technologies, practice and biodiversity in the country essentially contributing to the sound environmental management, social justice and economic development”. With UPGAA working for the advancement of the geological profession and SFFI is doing the same for the advancement of the forestry profession, their partnership further led in addressing the climate change problem. In 2016, UPGAA and SFFI started a collaboration and worked together on the Carbon Neutral Program (CNP). This program “joins the global call for climate change mitigation in view of the dreadful impacts that can change the world’s landscape as we know it today”. For more information: UP Geology Alumni Association (UPGAA) - https://upgaa.com/ Society of Filipino Foresters Inc. (SFFI) - https://sffi.org.ph/ _ _ _ _ _ Acknowledgement: UP Geology Alumni Association (UPGAA) for the photos and golf tournament updates

Industry

Marcelle P. Villegas - August 20, 2019

Green Solutions at the 7th PH Electric Vehicle Summit 2019

By Marcelle P. Villegas Is the Philippines coping with the global trend for green solutions in transportation? A lot of electric vehicles are out now in the international market. With this wave in green technology, the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (eVAP) organised and hosted the 7th Philippine Electric Vehicle Summit 2019. This was held last 17 - 18 July 2019 at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City. The eVAP is the Philippines’ main voice of the electric vehicle industry and for the past 7 years, they had been hosting the Philippine Electric Vehicle Summit. This year’s theme is “Modernizing the Transport Landscape: Driving Sustainable Growth”. [1] “Infrastructure and government support to sustain the growth of the EV industry are now being set up. The 3,000 Bemac eTrikes of the Department of Energy (DOE) [which are] now being deployed nationwide are becoming more visible in various LGUs,” according to Mr Edmund Araga, EVAP President. He stated that the e-vehicle industry has become mainstream in the Philippines. He also said that more e-Jeepneys are being deployed in Metro Manila, Visayas and Mindanao regions as part of the PUV Modernization Program. Mr Agara also noted that the program is planning to upgrade some 200,000 public utility jeepneys for the next six years with modern public utility vehicles powered by either a Euro 4-diesel engine or an electric motor. He also stated that retail financing is available for PUVMP via Landbank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) [1] The summit featured car manufacturers like Nissan, Mitsubishi and Hyundai to showcase their electric vehicles. The summit also had technical sessions where transport officials, local government representatives, members of the academe and electric vehicle and automotive industry players were present. During the summit, Atty. Dante Bravo, President of the Philippine Nickel Industry Association (PNIA) emphasised the role of nickel in the growing e-vehicle industry. He said that the nickel industry is poised to supply the growing demand for nickel in lithium ion batteries that are used to provide power to electric vehicles. [2] Mr Bravo said, “We want the nickel industry to be able to rise to the challenge of globalization, and in the process we would need a long-term strategic approach. This can be embodied through collaboration with our partner industries as well as the private, public and academic sectors. Thus, I would like to enjoin our friends in the EV sector to join us in the pursuit of an industrialised and sustainable economy.” [3] References: [1] Manahan IV, Ruben. (5 June 2019). “‘Green Light’ for PH EV Summit 2019”. Retrived from - Carmudi Philippines - www.carmudi.com.ph/journal/green-light-for-ph-ev-summit-2019/amp/ [2] {18 July 2019). “Briefs: Nickel, EVS moving forward together”. Daily Tribune. [3] (19 July 2019) “Nickel Industry’s Role in Growing The EV Industry”. Philippine Nickel Industry Association website. Retrieved from - https://www.philippinenickel.org/news-and-updates/press-release/ nickel-industrys-role-in-growing-the-ev-industry/

Industry

Marcelle P. Villegas - August 20, 2019

Oil and Gas PH 2019 and PhilMarine 2019

By Marcelle P. Villegas 18 - 20 June 2019 - Oil and Gas Philippines is co-located with PhilMarine 2019 at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City. This is an annual three-day event that features products in the oil and gas sector, fire protection systems and materials, flare systems and equipment, electromechanical equipment, ships, boats, vessel equipment and services, and more! Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) hosted the PhilMarine 2019 and their theme is “Continuous Quality and Productivity Improvement in the Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Sector.” On day 1 at the 6th PhilMarine 2019 International Maritime Exhibition, the Maritime Industry Authority Technical Conference was held. Also on this day, the MARINA signed an agreement with a Japanese association to adopt Japanese technology in the manufacturing of resources for the Philippine shipbuilding and ship repair industry (SBSR). The cooperation agreement was signed by Vice Admiral Narciso Vingson, Jr (MARINA Officer in Charge) and Chairman Shinzo Yamada of Japan Ship Machinery and Equipment Association (JSMEA). [1] “With Japan’s latest technologies and expert strategies, it has sufficient machinery and technical skills to discover and provide solutions to challenges. We hope that this cooperation agreement between the MARINA and JSMEA will aid us in building a solid ancillary industry for SBSR sector, which will generate jobs for millions of Filipinos... Together, let us achieve a mutual progress of having a flourishing Philippine maritime industry.” he stated. [1] Vice Admiral Vingson said that this agreement will open new opportunities for partnership in investments between the Japanese and Filipino businesses. This will give local shipbuilders an easy access to good quality shipbuilding and ship repair materials. He also stated that the objective of the Maritime Industry Development Plan (MIDP) will be more feasible now since locally manufactured resources are already within reach. “So, in 10 year, hopefully, the programs under the MIDP are no longer plans, but tangible results.” Mr Yamada said, “We believe that with the MoU (memorandum of understanding), it would bring a solid relationship between MARINA and JSMEA and a good relationship between the Philippines and Japan.” He noted that the Southeast Asian maritime market is important to JSMEA. Thus, he hopes that his company will be able to provide progress in the maritime industry in the Philippines. [1] PhilMarine 2019 is the only specialised event in the Philippines that brings together an international array of maritime, shipbuilding, offshore, oil and gas naval defense, and other supporting industries to showcase the latest developments in the maritime industry. The objective is to improve the current shipbuilding, technology and equipment and to maintain the Philippines’ ranking as the world’s 5th largest shipbuilding nation. On day 2, “The Philippine’s Domestic Shipping Modernization Forum and SONAME General Assembly and Election” was held. This was hosted by the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, Inc. (SONAME). Welcome Remarks were given by Engr. Sammuel T. Lim, Chairman of SONAME. Some of the topics presented were: - “Philippine Domestic Shipping & Shipbuilding Situation: by Engr. Ramon C. Hernandez (Director, Shipyard Regulations Service, Maritime Industry Authority) - “High-Speed Craft Technologies for Philippine Shipping” by Ms Julie Zhu, General Manager, Pio-Ship Design & System Integrate and Harbin Engineering University Ship Equipment & Technology Co. Ltd. - “Probabilistic Damage Stability - Case Studies for Philippine Ferries” by Engr. Jerome M. Manuel (Pres., PRS Tech) - “The Shipbuilding Cooperation between Philippines and China” by Mr Wang Xiaohal (Vice General Manager, China Shipbuilding Trading, Co. Ltd. - Shanghai) On day 3, the 146th Maritime Forum and Exhibitors Night were held. The PhilMarine 2019 had attendees from 20 countries. There were 152 companies/exhibitors who participated at the 6,500 square meter exhibition space. Of note, 60% of the companies in the exhibit have already renewed their participation for 2020. The event was organised by Fireworks Trade Exhibitions and Conferences Philippines, Inc. This company is a part of Fireworks Trade Media Group, one of Asia’s largest independently owned trade media companies. Reference: [1] Factao, Genevi. (19 June 2019). “Pro-ship sector agreement signed”. The Manila Times.

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Industry

Philippine Resources - May 29, 2019

Mine-Mouth power plant development to lower electricity cost in the Philippines

By: Guillermo R. Balce, Arnulfo A. Robles, Ismael U. Ocampo and Mars T. Ocampo ABSTRACT The development of coal-fired mine-mouth power plants in the Philippines is one measure that can address the country’s need for electricity cost reduction, energy supply security and a shift from coal to renewable energy. The use of mine-mouth power plants as a low-cost electricity development option in the USA, Thailand, Indonesia, Laos and Mongolia are cited as examples that can guide the Philippines. A review of coal resources in the country indicates 10 potential sites for mine-mouth power plants distributed in proximity to the electricity grid and HVDC substations. The estimated cost of generating electricity from these sites ranges from Php2.61/kwh to Php4.45/kwh, which is significantly lower than the average generation cost of Php5.425 in 2014. Because mine-mouth power plants use indigenous coal resources, they can reduce the Philippines’ exposure to coal price volatility and protect the country from coal supply disruption due to commercial and political risks. Coal-fired mine-mouth power plants utilizing circulating fluidized bed combustion (CFBC) technology and low calorific value lignite can be converted to biomass-fired plants, which can use agricultural waste or wood chips sourced from systematic management of forest areas near plant sites. Thus, coal-fired mine-mouth power development is a potential measure in the country’s quest to shift from coal to renewable energy. We therefore recommend that coal-fired mine-mouth power plants be given an incentive of priority dispatch similar to renewable energy plants. Benefits to host communities should be increased from 0.01 to 0.02 PhP/kWh (DOE 1-94) to encourage hosting of coal-biomass-fired mine-mouth power plants. COC holders and power plant investors should be encouraged to operate commercial biomass farms or industrial forest management areas in the vicinity of the plants to provide continuous fuel supply. The increment of 0.01 PhP/kWh may be shared among the barangays, municipalities and provinces to encourage the LGUs to host such power plants. Inclusive economic growth is further assured by organizing the nearby communities into forest management cooperatives to plant and grow appropriate fast-growing tree species to supply the wood chip requirements of the coal-biomass-fired power plant. For instance, planting rubber trees that would provide rubber sap to a nearby rubber factory after 5 years would be ideal. This would provide immediate income after only 5 years up to 10 years when the rubber trees would be fully mature for wood chipping as they no longer produce rubber sap. By planting specific areas in an organized manner, a continuous year-round supply of biomass wood chips is assured for the power plant, thereby extending the life of the mine-mouth coal reserves. Moreover, the biomass tree farm would ensure ecological balance within the surface/strip mine area. Once the coal reserves are exhausted or deemed expensive to mine, the biomass tree farm would ensure continued power plant operation, provide steady income to local communities and assure the supply of rubber sap to a nearby raw rubber factory. INTRODUCTION A mine-mouth power plant is a coal-fired electricity generating plant built near its source of coal, a coal mine. Its location is primarily dictated by water availability, as a 100-MW plant requires about 5 million liters of water per day for cooling and steam production. A run-of-river source with a discharge of 60 liters per second (0.06 cu. m. per sec.) is sufficient. However, water flow must be continuous all year round and ponding is necessary to store and conserve water and prevent warm water from the plant to merge with the cool water of the natural drainage system. The most widely used coal-fired generating technologies are CFBC and pulverized coal (PC). Table 1 shows the comparative parameters of the different CFBC and PC options. Before 1990, PC technology used turbine generating steam at a subcritical pressure of 16.5 mega pascal (MPa) and a temperature of 540°C. By 1990 the design had improved to a supercritical pressure of ≥ 22.1 MPa and temperatures of 540-560°C. In 1995-2000, this had been upgraded to pressures of 27.5-30 MPa and temperatures of 560-600°C. After 2000, the ultra-supercritical conditions of ≥ 30 MPa and ≥600°C became the most favored design for PC power plants. For mine-mouth power plants that use low-heating value lignite, the favored technology is the supercritical CFBC. MINE MOUTH AS LOW-COST ELECTRICITY DEVELOPMENT OPTION North America Advances in long-range electricity transmission in the 1990s enabled the construction of many mine-mouth power plants in the USA and Western Canada. These plants did not need long-distance rail transport and shipping, which reduced fuel costs by at least 50% and substantially reduced the cost of producing electricity. In 1995, Wyoming coal sent to Georgia, USA was sold for USD 29 per ton while it sold for only USD 13 per ton in Wyoming. The cost of converting coal to electricity in a mine-mouth power plant in Gillete, Wyoming was just a little over one US cent per Kwh. Thailand Located in the mountains of Lampang, Thailand, the Mae Moh Power Plant is Southeast Asia’s first mine-mouth power plant. It was built in four phases from 1978 to 1996 by the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT). The power plant at present consists of 10 units with a total installed capacity of 2,400 MW, accounting for 12% of Thailand’s installed capacity and generating approximately 18,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity per year. The nearby Mae Moh Coal Mine supplies 40,000 tons of lignite per day or approximately 16 million tons per year from a coal resource of approximately 864 million tons. The cost of power production is 60 satang per Kwh (1.6 US cent per Kwh). In March 2015 EGAT awarded Alstom Power Systems and Marubeni Corporation an EPC contract for the construction of a new unit with an installed capacity of 600 MW to replace the plant’s existing Units 4 to 7. The new unit is programmed to be commissioned in 2018 and will use the ultra-supercritical boiler and steam turbine technology. Indonesia The Indonesian government aims to make mine-mouth power plants as the main source of its 35,000-MW programmed additional capacity by 2019. To encourage coal mine license holders and operators to develop vast but inaccessible lignite deposits for mine-mouth power plants, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources issued regulations (MEMR 10/14 and MEMR 9/16) providing for incentive pricing of coal from mines to mine-mouth power plants with assured margins of 15%-25% over production cost. The resulting minimum regulated price of coal sold to mine-mouth power plants, called “coal base price”, is USD 16.36 per ton at an assured margin of 15% and coal quality of less than GAR 3000 or higher. In response, PT Bukit Asam, Indonesia’s national coal corporation, has committed to build 4,400 MW within its coal concessions in Sumatra. Since May 2010 PT PLN, the national power corporation, has been bidding out approximately 6,510 MW of mine-mouth plants in Sumatra, with an estimated cost of USD 110.44 million per 100 MW. Independent power producers (IPPs) have committed 800 MW also in Sumatra. In East Kalimantan, Borneo Island, coal mining company PT Adaro is constructing a 600-MW mine-mouth plant within its license area. Laos In the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), the Hongsa Mine Mouth Power Project, a 2,504 MW (4 x 626 MW) mine mouth power plant complex, has been under construction since October 2010. The first two units of 626 MW each were commissioned in 2015, with the third unit commissioned in 2016. The fourth unit began operating this year upon expansion of lignite reserves from 370.8 million tons to 577 million tons with an average heating value of 2500 Kcal/kg. Coal cost averages Baht 300/ton or USD 8.10/ton. Power production is allocated mainly to Thailand’s EGAT under a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Thai-Lao Lignite Company at 5.7 US cents per Kwh. Figure 1 is a layout of Hongsa Lignite Mine and Power Plant showing the water source for steam generation and cooling. Mongolia In Mongolia, the Chandgana Mine Mouth Power Project is in the last stage of negotiation for government guarantee of revenue requirement for international financing. The project consists of four units of 150 MW each totaling 600 MW licensed since 2010 to Prophecy Power Generation LLC (PPG). Coal source is the Chandgana Tal Coal Deposit of Chandgana Coal LLC, which is 100% owned by Prophecy Development Corporation of Vancouver, Canada, the owner of PPG. Coal supply is 3.6 million tons per year, backed up by measured resource of 733 million tons. The coal supply agreement between Chandgana Coal and PPG is pegged at a coal price of USD 17.70 per ton. Philippines In the Philippines, a mine-mouth power plant has been in operation since 2014 as a component of the coal mining operation of the Semirara Mining Corporation in Semirara Island, Caluya Municipality, Antique Province. The plant has a 15-MW capacity using CFBC technology. Production cost is Php 3.55 /Kwh (US cent 7.1/Kwh). In 2014, the Philippine National Oil Company – Exploration Corporation (PNOC-EC) was supposed to start the construction of a 50- to100-MW mine-mouth power plant in Cauayan, Isabela located beside a 25 million-ton lignite reserve. However, in August 2015, the Philippine government deferred approval of the plan pending proof of PNOC-EC’s financial capability to undertake the project. PNOC-EC is currently searching for a viable project partner. MINE-MOUTH POWER PLANT DEVELOPMENT IN THE PHILIPPINES The countries cited as examples clearly demonstrate the potential of mine-mouth power development to significantly reduce electricity cost in the Philippines. The 5.7 US cents per Kwh price of electricity sold to Thailand from the Hongsa mine-mouth power plant in Lao PDR is a viable target for mine-mouth power plants in the Philippines. If this cost is doubled to include transmission, distribution and other costs to deliver the electricity to Filipino consumers, the price would be only 11.14 US cents or just a little lower than the 12 US cents that the average American household pays for one Kwh of electricity. The foregoing explores the feasibility and benefits of mine-mouth power plant development in the Philippines. 1. AVAILABILITY AND DISTRIBUTION OF COAL RESOURCES IN RELATION TO THE NATIONAL POWER TRANSMISSION GRID Figure 2 shows the known coal deposits in the Philippines. The wide distribution of these deposits throughout the archipelago favors the distributed generation of base load electric power, an important factor towards minimizing transmission costs and losses. At least 10 of the deposits have accurate delineation of resources and coal qualities that can be used for mine-mouth power plant planning, as shown in Table 2a and Table 2b. Figure 3 shows the 10 potential mine mouth plant sites in relation to the existing transmission grid and planned upgrading until 2030. Although the Iguig and Semirara sites will not be connected to the grid until 2022, the other eight sites are within 30 kms of existing HVDC substations where the prospective plants can be connected to the grid. 2. PROJECTED INSTALLED CAPACITIES AND ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION COSTS The potential installed baseload capacities and electricity production costs are estimated from available data for each of the 10 sites using an investment cost of USD 1,200/KW based on 2014 Indonesian bidding estimates and a higher USD 1,850/KW estimate based on the CFB power plants recently constructed in the Philippines. The two scenarios are given in Table 3a and Table 3b. Table 3a (at 1,850 $/kW) and Table 3b (at 1,200 $/kW) show the estimated installed capacity, the planned capacity of various proponents and electricity cost from mine-mouth power plants based on planned capacity. The average costs of mine-mouth electricity nationwide are PhP 3.52 and PhP 2.74 /kWh based on USD 1,850 and 1,200 /kW of all-in (installed) capital cost of CFB plant. The formula for calculating the potential installed capacity from the coal reserves for a 25-year mine-mouth power plant is shown below which assumes a CFBC thermal efficiency of 34.39% (plant heat rate = 3412 / 34.39% = 9,921 Btu/kWh) and net capacity factor of 85%. MW = (Coal Reserve/25 x 10^6 x 10^3) x GHV x 2.2046 x (34.39% / 3412) / (365 x 24 x 85%) / 1000 The total potential installed baseload capacity is 1,828 MW or about 10.4 % of the existing installed capacity of 17,610.8 MW nationwide. The planned capacity addition from mine-mouth power plants from prospective developers aggregates to a higher capacity of 1,985 MW or 11.3% of existing installed capacity. 3. OVERALL REDUCTION IN AVERAGE ELECTRICITY RATES The following Table 4 shows the price breakdown of electricity in 2004 and 2014 and the average annual growth rate of each component (Final Report of Task Force on Reducing the Cost of Electricity Power, 2014). Generation cost is Php5.425/kWh in 2014 and is growing at an average annual growth rate of 4.6%, while total delivered electricity cost inclusive of transmission, system loss, distribution, subsidies, universal charge and government taxes aggregate to Php9.568 /kWh in 2014 with an average annual growth rate of 4.7% p.a. Table 4. Electricity Cost Components and Annual Average Growth Rates (2004, 2014). Reduction in electricity cost at USD1,850/kW Using the current Philippine all-in capital cost (overnight cost) for a mine-mouth CFBC of USD1,850/kW, the average price of electricity from these mine-mouth power plants is Php3.52 /kWh (7.49 US cents/Kwh). (see box below) The current grid rate average of Php5.425 /kWh (11.54 US cents/Kwh) at present can be substantially reduced and a lower weighted average grid rate from blending the two rates will be achieved at Php5.232 /kWh (11.13 US cents/Kwh) or a significant reduction of 3.56% relative to 2014 grid rates. Reduction in electricity cost at USD1,200/kW Using the all-in capital cost from winning bidders in Indonesia for mine-mouth CFBC of USD1,200/kW, the average price of electricity from these mine-mouth power plants is Php2.74 /kWh (5.83 US cents/Kwh). (see box below) The current grid rate average of Php5.425 /kWh (11.54 US cents/Kwh) at present can be substantially reduced and a lower weighted average grid rate from blending the two rates will be achieved at Php5.153/kWh (10.96 US cents/Kwh) or a significant reduction of 5.01% relative to 2014 grid rates. Major Assumptions for the Project Finance Model (DCF IRR) The DCF IRR model was converged to project NPV equal to zero at the target project IRR (100% equity, 0% debt) of 12% p.a. The model also computes the expected equity NPV, equity IRR and other calculated parameters such as project PAYBACK, equity PAYBACK and debt service cover ratio (DSCR – minimum, average, and maximum). The project finance model (discounted cash flow IRR method) used the following input assumptions in running each mine-mouth capacity of a given mine-mouth resource area. (see next box) 4. ADDITIONAL BENEFITS OF MINE-MOUTH POWER DEVELOPMENT Aside from the reduction of electricity generation cost, mine mouth power plant development in the Philippines could contribute tremendous benefits to the economy and provide sustainability in power development. These are: a. Savings in petroleum fuel use, b. Savings in foreign exchange for imported coal, c. Protection from coal supply disruption and coal price volatility, d. Potential to shift from coal to renewable energy, and e. Enhance inclusive growth and sustainability of power development. Reduction of transportation distance for supplying coal from mine to power plant should result in significant savings in petroleum fuel use. The minimum savings would be the amount of diesel oil to be used in transporting the coal to the nearest shore where a power plant may be located or a ship can carry the coal to a plant. Considering the 10 potential mine mouth plant sites above, the minimum savings in diesel oil is thus estimated to be about 469.8 million liters or 2.9 million barrels. Savings in foreign exchange for imported coal can be estimated from the present price of about USD30/ton-CFR of lignite from Indonesia that is imported by the newly installed CFB power plants in the Philippines. Assuming that this price remains as the average during the 25-year life of the power plants, the total avoided foreign exchange cost of the 450 million tons used during 25 years is about USD 13.5 billion. During the past five years (2009-2015), coal prices experienced steep fluctuations. Figure 4 shows the volatility of coal prices and the recent uptrend from a long period of declining prices. Mine-mouth power plant development would certainly protect the Philippines from the negative effects of coal price volatility and supply disruptions stemming from Indonesia’s moratorium on coal shipments to the Philippines due to hijacking and piracy of coal barges in the seas between the two countries. With the high fuel flexibility of CFBC technology, it is now possible for power plants to shift from lignite to biomass. A mine-mouth plant running on CFBC and coal fuel with heating value of 2500 Kcal/kg can be converted to a biomass-fueled plant with no drastic changes in turbine and boiler conditions. It is possible to plan the construction of a mine-mouth power plant that will run on lignite for the first 10 to 15 years and then switch to biomass or wood chips. A parallel development of commercial biomass-producing farms and/or industrial forest management areas in the plant’s vicinity can be implemented during the first half of the plant’s lifespan; the plant can subsequently function as a biomass-fired power plant for the remainder of its lifespan. This concept can address the clamor of climate change mitigation advocates for a shift from coal to renewable energy. Inclusive economic growth is further assured by organizing the nearby communities to forest management cooperatives that can plant and grow appropriate fast-growing tree species to supply the wood chip requirements of the coal-biomass-fired power plant. For instance, planting rubber trees that would provide rubber sap to a nearby rubber factory after 5 years would be ideal. This would provide immediate income after only 5 years up to 10 years when the rubber trees would be fully mature for wood chipping as they no longer produce rubber sap. By planting specific areas in an organized manner, a continuous supply of biomass wood chips is assured for the power plant, thereby extending the life of the mine-mouth coal reserves. Moreover, the biomass tree farm would ensure ecological balance within the surface/strip mine area. Once the coal reserves are exhausted or deemed expensive to mine, the biomass tree farm would ensure continued power plant operation and provide a steady supply of rubber sap to a nearby raw rubber factory. Mine-mouth power plant development contributes to inclusive growth because it requires indigenous fuel sources and local labor. Moreover, the potential for mine-mouth plants to convert from coal to renewable biomass-fired plants ensures sustainability. CONCLUSIONS Mine-mouth power development can greatly reduce the cost of electricity and provide many additional benefits to the Philippine economy, namely: a. Savings in petroleum fuel use, b. Savings in foreign exchange for imported coal, c. Protection from coal supply disruption and coal price volatility, d. Potential to shift from coal to renewable energy, and e. Enhance inclusive growth and sustainability of power development. POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS 1. Priority dispatch for mine-mouth power plants. 2. Priority supply of electricity to host communities. 3. Upgrading benefits to host communities of MMPPs. 4. Develop commercial biomass farms for producing wood chips to replace coal once it is mined out or becomes economically non-viable to extract due to high strip ratio. The initial coal mining operation and power generation will provide the needed capital to start the commercial operation of the biomass farm utilizing local labor with expert assistance from relevant agencies to ensure inclusive growth and sustainability in rural areas.

Industry

Marcelle P. Villegas - May 29, 2019

Updates on the Bamboo Initiative by OLLI Cares

By Marcelle P. Villegas 3 May 2019 - During Philippine Mining Club at I’M Hotel, Makati City, Mr Leo Dominguez presented updates on his Bamboo Initiative, an advocacy which he started with the support of other mining companies and assoc. Mr Dominguez is the President of OLLI Consulting Group, Inc. and flamboyant Masters of Ceremonies in Philippine Mining Club events. During the recent PMC event, he stated, “If you were here on June 8, 2018 you will recall that we had this speaker from our Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Secretary Cimatu, where he spoke to us about reinventing mining. And during that presentation of his and in the ‘Question and Answer’ period after that, we started a conversation around bamboo.” “I'd like to report that that conversation has actually led to some developments. The first development after that was the participation of the mining industry in the FAME exhibition in November (2018) where bamboo products were put forward as part of the exhibit in a pavilion that was funded, thank you, by the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines as well as the Philippine Nickel Industry Association to the tune of PHP1.6 million. And it is in that FAME exhibition that the collaboration amongst the Department of Trade and Industry, the DENR, and the mining industry was first told. So we expect that FAME every year will repeat the story of that collaboration as it improves.” Furthermore, he said, “Now, beyond that in April this year, the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Cimatu, hosted a meeting with the DTI Secretary, the mining industry as well as his staff responsible for bamboo. So I'd like to refer to it as a bamboo initiative and it was in that very well-attended meeting that the next steps of the bamboo initiative with the mining industry were discussed.” “So our next move will be a technical working group that will deal with the regulations and all that need to be tweaked to really make bamboo a greening material for the mining industry as we go forward.” The meeting which Mr Dominguez was referring to took place on 2nd April 2019 where OLLI Consulting Group, Inc. with DENR, DTI and mining companies and its stakeholders discussed the potential of bamboo in “reinventing mining”. OLLI Consulting Group, Inc. has a CSR component called “OLLI Cares” which supports the “Tanging Tanglaw” Project of Diwata-Women in Resource Development, Inc. (For more information about OLLI Cares and “Tanging Tanglaw Project”, please visit their webpage at https://olli.ph/olli-cares.) In that meeting with Secretary Cimatu and DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, Mr Dominguez started the session by explaining the importance of bamboo. He said “Aptly called the Bamboo Initiative, this endeavor seeks to create a synergy between the government and the private sector on how to effectively harness the power and potential of this grass for the revegetation and rehabilitation of mine sites across the country.”[1] The following were present in that meeting [1] : ~ Philex Mining Corporation - Eulalio Austin ~ Marcventures Mining & Development Corporation - Isidro ‘Butch’ Alcantara Jr. ~ Filminera Resources Corporation - Gloria Tan Climaco ~ OceanaGold Philippines, Inc. - Jose ‘Joey’ Leviste, Jr. ~ The Chamber of Mines’ (COMP) Executive Director Atty. Ronald Recidoro ~ Philippine Nickel Industry Association’s (PNIA) Executive Director Charmaine Olea-Capili ~ Mine & Geosciences Bureau (MGB) - Mine Safety, Environment and Social Development Division Engr. Rodolfo L. Velasco, Jr. ~ DENR’s Forest Management Bureau (FMB) Director - Lourdes Ferrer ~ Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau’s (ERDB) - Bighani Manipula and Angelito Exconde ~ Biodiversity Management Bureau’s (BMB) - Juvy Ladisla ~ OLLI Consulting Group - Christopher Paris Lacson, Steve Araneta and Maria Paula Tolentino - - - Now, going back to the PMC event, Mr Dominguez said, “As you all know, the whole idea is the bamboo will also be the material that the communities on whom your SDMP funds are being spent will be taught to work with the bamboo. The result will be implementing the DTI's roadmap for the development of the bamboo industry. This will generate livelihoods and hopefully more than that -- real enterprises involving our mining communities.” “So one day, we hope to say that when visitors do come to the mining companies, the first protocol will be the community, seeing how hard they are working, products that are going to export market, and so on. And you, mining companies, will be able to tell your visitors that the mine over there is what makes it possible.” “So ladies and gentlemen, at the end of the day, with bamboo we have the opportunity to reinvent mining and then mining will now be defined as follows: The success of a mining company will no longer be judged simply by how profitable or how responsible the mining company is, but it will also be judged by how successful it makes its mining communities.” Finally, he concluded, “Therefore, mining reinvented, thanks to bamboo, will mean that mining is also a social enterprise. We'd like to see where that is going. Ladies and gentlemen, with your help and continuing support for this initiative, we hope to change the conversation about mining and therefore make that conversation speak of it as a social enterprise as well. You will hear more about this as the developments take place.“ - - - Reference: [1] Tolentino, Maria Paula (27 April 2019). "OLLI Cares spearheads the Bamboo Initiative". SEMScribe Publishing - - - Acknowledgement: Mr Leo Dominguez and Ms Maria Paula Tolentino

Industry

Marcelle P. Villegas - May 29, 2019

Is the East Mindanao Volcanic Arc Lost, Buried or Eroded?

By Marcelle P. Villegas During the GeoCon 2018 last year in December, a study about East Mindanao Volcanic Arc by Dr. Graciano Yumul, Jr. and his team, C.B. Dimalanta, J.A. Gabo-Ratio, B.D. Payot, et. al.[1], was presented. The title is "East Mindanao Volcanic Arc, Philippines: Lost, Buried or Eroded?". The members of the study are from Apex Mining Company, Inc. (Pasig City) and Rushurgent Working Group, National Institute of Geological Sciences, University of the Philippines (Diliman, Quezon City). It seems apparent that whenever an oceanic plate subducts along a trench, this would result into the formation of a volcanic arc. There may also be a formation of geothermal fields, mineralization, accretion of oceanic plates and subduction erosion. The Philippine Mobile Belt also plays a role in this study. The Philippine Mobile Belt is a complex portion of the tectonic boundary between the Philippine Sea Plate and the Eurasian Plate. This includes the Manila Trench to the west and the Philippine Trench to the east, and the Philippine Fault System. This belt is notable to having numerous of crustal blocks or microplates. Now based on the report, the eastern boundary of the Philippine Mobile Belt is characterized by the reactivated East Luzon Trough which shares a common transform boundary with the west-dipping Philippine Trench. “It has been argued that the East Luzon Trough-Philippine Trench is propagating northward whereas the Visayan-Mindanao segment of the subduction zone is propagating southward. This is mirrored by the northward and southward propagation of the Philippine Fault Zone whose northern and southern termini are characterized by horse-tail structures,” according to the study. “A look at the Philippine Trench with respect to the Bicol Peninsula through Samar-Leyte all the way to eastern Mindanao exposes differences in the morphology and distribution of volcanic arc centers. A well-formed volcanic chain characterizes the Bicol Peninsula, whereas an alignment of geothermal fields and volcanoes can be observed along the NW-SE stretch of the Leyte island. However, eastern Mindanao is defined by an almost non-existent volcanic arc range except for Mount Paco in Surigao del Norte and Leonard Range (also known as Leonard Kniassef) in Compostela Valley.” With all these geological features and movements described from the study, here are some points to think about. “A question to ask is why would the volcanic arc range along eastern Mindanao be absent? Was it lost due to large-scale fault-related dislocation? Is the volcanic arc range simply not just exposed? Or through time, would there have been a systematic, region-wide erosion of volcanic arc centers? Or were the volcanic centers not simply formed due to stunted subducted slab or the presence of a subducted, buoyant oceanic bathymetric high?” When we take into consideration the geological evolution on this part of Mindanao, an explanation can be found compatible with what is known. “Implication in terms of arc magmatism (super-critical fluids vs mantle fluids), crustal thickness vis-a-vis barometric fugacity, tholeiitic to calc-alkaline signature of cumulate rocks and the mineralization potential of the region will also be presented.” - - - [1] Complete list of authors and researchers: Dr. Graciano Yumul, Jr., C.B. Dimalanta, J.A. Gabo-Ratio, B.D. Payot, V.S.V. Olfindo, G.T. Valera, C.J. Arellano, K.C. Punzalan, K.D. Jabagat, J.B. Demegillo, K.L. Queano and N.L. Caagusan You may write the team through csrwg3@gmail.com.

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