Tag Archives: El Nino

Added value pushed in Northern Mindanao research congress

BusinessWorld Online
Mark D. Francisco
April 1, 2016

Small-scale farmers in Northern Mindanao continue to expand into value-added products as they recognize the need to diversify income sources.

The farmers and agriculture officers of 16 local government units (LGUs) in the region took part in a two-day congress this week on Community-based Participatory Action Research (CPAR).

Under CPAR, crops and technology packages for making value-added products are introduced to farming communities by the Department of Agriculture (DA).

The program was introduced to the farmers in 2005.

At the congress that opened on March 28, the LGUs exhibited their existing processed products from rice, corn, soybean, different potato varieties, and vegetables.

Their goods include food crisps, native cakes, milk, and soap.

There was also a demonstration of potato-based farming systems and an introduction of alternative crop varieties.

DA — Region 10 Director Lealyn A. Ramos said she was elated to see how the communities have developed their own value-added food and non-food products.

“We are backing our farmers up through trainings and support in production, post-harvest, technologies, [and] market linkages, among others,” Ms. Ramos said.

The outstanding farmers groups, agriculture workers, and LGUs were given recognition during the event.

Employment in Northern Mindanao’s agriculture sector, which makes up about 23% of the regional economy, has been declining due to the dry weather brought about by El Niño, according to the National Economic and Development Authority in Region 10 (NEDA-10).

In NEDA-10’s latest quarterly report released this week, the number of agriculture workers dropped to 725,000 as of October 2015, fewer by 13% than the year before.

The agriculture sector covers agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing.

Cecilio Y. Clarete, NEDA-10 chief economic development specialist, said the decline could be attributed to the erratic weather phenomenon.

The country’s weather bureau started logging a significant sea surface temperature anomaly in April 2014, and the prevailing El Ninõ is expected to last until the middle of this year.

Mindanao power supply critical; gov’t acts to avert crisis

By Amy R. Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer

EXPECTING A tight power supply in the fourth quarter, the Department of Energy has started mobilizing short-term solutions for Mindanao, including the possible rehabilitation of power plants
currently placed under “preservation” mode.

“We had an emergency meeting to discuss the current power situation as well as make preparations for the power requirements in the last quarter of the year in Mindanao. Details of proposed solutions are currently being studied due to legal and technical aspects,” said Energy Secretary Jose Rene D. Almendras.

Almendras said that studies were being undertaken for the various options that could be implemented, which also included demand-side management and the use of available power-generation facilities “in a manner that will not drive the electricity cost too high.”

He said all concerned energy agencies would continue to meet weekly until a viable short-term solution has been put in place. These agencies included National Power Corp., National Electrification Administration, National Transmission Corp. and National Grid Corp. of the Philippines.

“The stakeholders and relevant parties will continuously be consulted,” he added.

The energy chief, however, did not say how much the shortfall in capacity in Mindanao would be by the end of the year. He disclosed earlier that the government expected a power supply shortage of only 50 megawatts on the island by 2011, if all the hydropower plants continued to operate at full capacities.

Should the country experience another El Niño as what happened earlier this year, the deficit would become bigger.

“Mindanao, in the past, has been reliant on hydroelectric power
for its affordability. However, in light of a protracted dry season this year, questions on its reliability have been made apparent,” Almendras said.

Mindanao sources more than half of its electricity requirements from hydropower sources, with the Agus-Pulangi hydropower complex providing about 900 MW.

Due to its heavy reliance on this particular source, Mindanao has been the most adversely affected by the prolonged drought this year as the reduced water levels at the dams drastically cut power-generating capacities to less than 10 percent.

“The DOE is keen on placing short-term solutions which will [lead] to a solution with more permanency. While placing secure and quality sources of energy is a major concern for Mindanao, the DOE is also putting emphasis on more power-generation investments from diverse sources on the island,” he added.

Almendras earlier said that he wanted the Mindanao grid to have at least 500 MW in base load generation from non-hydro sources like coal to insulate the island from severe power outages and unstable supply in the near future.

As of Wednesday, the Mindanao grid posted a power supply deficit of 117 MW.

Power curtailment hits Mindanao anew

The Philippines Star
By Roel Pareno
September 18, 2010

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines-
Power curtailment has again hit a vast area of Mindanao just as President Aquino expressed hope that he could end the power crisis on the vast island before his term ends in 2016.

This, as the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) issued a red alert notice not because of dwindling water levels but of technical problems in power plants.

Mindanao, which is largely dependent on hydroelectric power, has been experiencing power shortage due to low water supply since February due to the El Niño-caused dry spell.

In an alert notice issued to the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (Zamcelco), NGCP manager Reynerio Ramos said two-hour curtailment in the power supply will again be experienced daily.

The NCGP said it issued the red alert notice effective yesterday, explaining that its contingency reserve is already zero due to planned outage of the Pulangi 4 hydroelectric power plant; the Agus 6, which is supplying only 20 megawatts; and the emergency shutdown of Agus 2.

The power curtailment was also due to the reduced capability of the Agus power plants and the Pulangi hydroelectric plant.

The non-operation of the APTM1 and APTM2 power barges due to transmission line constraints also contributed to the power curtailment.

Mr. Aquino, who was in Davao del Sur Thursday to inaugurate the 42.5-MW Sibulan hydropower project, which is seen to make a significant contribution to the Mindanao power grid, was hoping the power crisis in Mindanao, which he described as a “nightmare,” would be over soon.