IT WAS hailed as a groundbreaking law that would not only result in lower power rates for both household and industrial consumers, but would also unburden the government of some P38 billion in annual subsidies to the power sector.
At the time, no less than President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said that had Congress failed to pass the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA), it would have meant the continued ballooning of the debts of the National Power Corporation (NPC). That would have deprived the government of much needed funds to meet the Filipinos’ other basic needs, which the chief executive even itemized in terms of 16,000 classrooms, 127,000 hectares of irrigated land, 76,000 low-cost houses, or 6,300 kilometers of road.
AT NO other time has the science of climate change been more robust than today. At no other time, too, have the impacts of climate change become more apparent and deadly, particularly for vulnerable and developing countries such as the Philippines.
These circumstances have brought about a shift in the discussion on climate change — from the realm of scientists, the academe, and policy makers, it is now taking place in the public arena. A new challenge for Greenpeace and other environmental groups is to make sure that the Filipino public is engaged and heed the warning against the dangers of climate change.
IN THE cookie-cutter residential community for academic and non-teaching personnel of the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City, the home of the Navals on M. Viola Street is a standout. Amid rows of abodes with roofs inclined at a university-mandated 15 degrees, the cream-and-terra cotta Naval house has 30-degree sloped roofs and a two-meter wooden balcony that splits the upper portion of the structure.
BANGUI, ILOCOS NORTE — They’re tall and white, and silhouetted against the backdrop of blue sea and green mountain, the tri-blade windmills of this remote coastal town up north can be an impressive sight. Indeed, in the last few years, people from various places flock to the base of the wind farm or to a view deck that offers a panoramic view of some of the 15 giant structures. Local and foreign tourists have taken thousands of pictures of the windmills, with many of the photos landing in personal online blogs. One such brag shot shows the windmills providing a backdrop to a smiling young lady in mid-leap, the shutter catching her off ground, arms outstretched. It is a pose that some have been seen trying to duplicate while visiting the site.
IT’S CALLED nostalgically as the ‘King of the Road,’ but to many, the jeepney is more the scourge of the streets.
Motorists complain of jeepneys that hog the roads and stall traffic by suddenly stopping in the middle of a busy street to pick up passengers. Even worse are the jeepneys that belch thick, black, acrid fumes as they speed down the asphalt.
IT USED to be that the only reasons LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) gas tanks would be on the streets were because they were either being delivered to homes or were attached to stoves on the carts of vendors of banana cue and kwek-kwek (deep-fried batter-coated quail eggs). Now, however, LPG is powering thousands of taxis plying Metro Manila streets — and no one is the wiser, save for pleased taxi drivers and operators who say their fuel expenses have gone down by at least half.
THEY don’t necessarily go together, although today’s political scene certainly has them looking like a tightly intertwined tandem. But it’s actually energy and all sorts of toxic substances that i Report will be tackling for the rest of September and the whole month of October. So while many people keeping track of the latest political scandal these days could end up seeing red, we will be thinking green — at least much of the time, anyway.
© 1989–2019 All rights reserved. Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism.