Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Philippine Clean Air Act

By Anton Antonio
January 24, 2016

News articles must always carry complete information about their particular subject matter.  If it is about energy initiatives, the news article should clearly reflect the technology being used and the advantages and disadvantages too.  Let’s take the following news article as an example.  With a renewed awareness on environmental issues, people are more interested to know whether the new energy initiative is acceptable and environmentally sound.  Please read…

By: Anselmo Roque
January 21, 2016

SAN JOSE CITY – Businessmen in Nueva Ecija are investing billions of pesos in renewable energy plants to make the province the center of an industry that produces electricity with minimal impact on the environment.  The frenzy to put up green energy plants was started by the San Jose City “i” Power Corp. (SJC-iPower).  The company partnered with the Union Energy Corp., owned by businessman Lucio Co, to set up a P1.2-billion rice hull-powered system that is now generating 12 megawatts of electricity, 10.8 MW of which feed the Luzon grid.  The SJC-iPower is building another rice hull facility in Barangay Tulat here.  The firm buys about 300 tons of rice husk per day at P1 a kilogram.  Joselito Blanco, chief operating officer of the V-Mars SolarEnergy Corp., said a power plant to be fuelled by bana grass will be built in Lupao, Nueva Ecija, about 15 km north of here.  Bana grass, said Blanco, is similar to sugarcane.  In nearby Talavera town, the power plant of Green Innovation for Tomorrow (Gift) is schedules to operate in two to three months.  The plant in Barangay Bakal II will produce 10.8 MW of electricity for the Luzon grid.  Pantabangan town hosts a hydroelectric plant which was completed in 1977, and the Pantabangan-Masiway hydroelectric plant.  The plants’ combined output is 132.5 MW.  In Rizal town, a mini-hydroelectric plant that can generate 10 MW of electricity is nearing completion.” (Inquirer)

The use of the terms “renewable energy plants” and “green energy plants” in this news item is quite deceiving. “Renewable” and “green” energy, in this particular case, are environmental initiatives that use furnaces in the energy production process. The burning of rice hull and bana grass will certainly produce pollution in the atmosphere.  The reference to hydroelectric power , at the end of the article, seems to dilute the original subject which is green and renewable plants being established in Nueva Ecija.  Besides, establishing a bana grass plantation in Talavera will only put more pressure on food security. 

News reports are primarily intended to educate and inform the public… therefore; (a) What is this technology all about? (b) What is the production process? (c) What are the inputs necessary? (d) What are the socio-economic benefits? (e) Is this initiative sustainable? (f) What are the environmental impacts of this initiative?... and a bunch of other relevant questions.  Another question that this news item failed to answer is: Are these Nueva Ecija energy initiatives violative of Republic Act No. 8749, otherwise known as the Philippine Clean Air Act?

Thoughts to promote positive action…

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REFERENCES:, (2016).  “Ecija Turning into Capital of Green Energy in PH”.  Retrieved on January 24, 2016 from

1 comment:

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