Philippine Star

Biliran Geothermal Inc., an upstart joint venture between local firm Filtech Energy Drilling Corp. and Envent Holding Philippines Inc., a group of Icelandic companies, has committed to invest $15 million to develop a geothermal project in the Eastern Visayas region, a company official said.

FEDCO managing director Zosimo Sarmiento said the company and its partners from Iceland will pursue the construction of a geothermal plant in the area covering 22,394 hectares over a seven-year period.

The company estimated the capacity of the Biliran prospect at around 100 megawatts (MW) of geothermal energy.

FEDCO’s partner Envent is a renewable energy firm dedicated to the exploration and development of geothermal sources in the Philippines. It is currently working on several geothermal projects and is committed to contributing to the Philippine government´s target of 3,131 MW of geothermal power capacity by 2013.

Envent’s key shareholders are Reykjavik Energy Invest and Geysir Green Energy, both globally leading development companies in the renewable energy sector with specific focus on geothermal energy.

“Geothermal development and plant operation is usually done by owner. To have another partner usually adds another layer that will mark up the cost of electricity,” Sarmiento said.

However, he said Envent is not looking at bidding for the government’s geothermal power assets that will be auctioned in the next few months as there are “some issues that are disadvantageous to the bidders.”

Reykjavik and Geysir previously owned a combined 40 percent stake in Red Vulcan Holdings Inc., which won the bidding for the majority control of PNOC-Energy Development Corp. They eventually decided to unload their stake and sold it back to First Gen Corp. of the Lopez Group. – Donnabelle L. Gatdula/Philstar

13 COMMENTS

  1. wala gyod ta ma dawdaw kang cong.chong nga liderato susama napod ang lungsod sa naval ron sa niadtong mga panahon pa diin ang mga lider nagpunay lang katulog deri sa ato…kadtong sa nila kanhing mayor PITAO,GONZALES,SABONSOLIN diin kaning lungsod sa naval niadto mingaw pa sa payag…wala gayod mga dakong kalamboan na nahitabo,mao ni ang akong giingon nga ang atong probinsya kinahanglan gayod ug politiko nga naay dako ug koneksyon o daghan kasenatian sa kaulohan kay mao gayod ni ang importante aron kadala ang atong probinsya ug daghang kaayuhan…susama kang cong.chong unsa man ato
    maasahan sa iya nga gawas nga batan on pa,wala pa experience sa panggobernohan, diin ang usa k lider naa dapat ana nga aspeto kay sigurado gayod naa siya makuha nga koneksyon sa gobyerno…kining si glen chong ning tumaw mn lng ni sa politika gamit ang pagkamarama sa iyang amahan,klaro man gayod nga wala ni kaila o koneksyon sa kaulohan kay sa tindahan mn lng ni nila nagpinuyo,so, mao na ron nga nng balik sa dati ang kamingaw sa naval.

  2. Bay, Utip, garbo man gyod ka nga daghan ug connection kanang
    imong gidapigan. Unsa man? Dunay bay silay mga connection
    sa Ombudsman office? Mao seguro nga walay conviction sa
    mga corruption kay ingon sa news article sa ubos, gigamitan
    ug favoritism para dili makaso ang nga political shenanigans?
    Mao seguro nga ing-gara lang ka ug maayo. Ug ato pod huna-huna-on, angay lang pod nga si gov mo-initiate sa pag-exploit sa mga resources like geothermal kay iya mana
    trabaho. Ang congresman more on legislation man seguro.
    Ayaw pod intaon mi liboga nga ordinaryong tao.

    Kami kasabot naman mi ngano ang corruption sa Biliran dili
    gyod ma-convict. It is all about CONNECTION nga imong gipanghambog.. Magpa-abot na lang mi nga dunay rally or peoples
    power sa Biliran ugma damlag ug dili na gyod ma-agwanta.

    Basaha lang ang news article sa ubos.

    Ombudsman conviction rate dips, staff demoralized

    By Aries C. Rufo
    abs-cbnNEWS.com/Newsbreak

    Less than three years since she assumed the post as the country’s top graftbuster, Tanodbayan Merceditas Gutierrez has undone what her predecessor, Simeon Marcelo, has worked hard to establish: public respectability for and credibility of the Ombudsman.

    Demoralization is high among the staff, as Gutierrez has centralized decision-making process and clipped the powers of her subordinates. As a result, weak cases are being filed and the conviction rate has gone down.

    Gutierrez, moreover, controls what information to disseminate to the public, cases involving governors and vice-governors, and even travel orders. She has scrapped the traditional practice of giving recognition to outstanding personnel while giving incentives to the most fashionably-dressed and who maintains the most well-kept garden.

    At least three sources, two of them from the Ombudsman’s office, disclosed to abs-cbnnews.com/Newsbreak that the conviction rate of the anti-graft agency has gone down to a mere 14 percent, from a high of 77 percent last year.

    “We’ve lost the momentum in the fight against graft and corruption. We’re back to the Dark Ages,” one Ombudsman insider said.

    Weak cases

    The high conviction rate of the Ombudsman was one of the achievements that President Arroyo bragged in her State of the Nation Address last year. In this year’s SONA, it is very unlikely that she will make the same boast, given the dismal performance of the Ombudsman.

    Gutierrez’s centralized management has resulted to poor quality of cases being filed in the courts. She has the last say, even in minor cases. “She took it upon herself whether to file a case or not, even the defective ones,” a senior official said.

    It also did not help that Gutierrez has excluded the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) in the review and determination of cases. We sought to interview Special Prosecutor Dennis Villa Ignacio but he declined.

    In one recent case, Gutierrez ordered the filing of malversation of public funds against a hospital director for using hospital phones for personal use. The hospital director reportedly incurred P200 in telephone bills. The OSP sought the dismissal of the case but Gutierrez was adamant. The Sandiganbayan immediately ordered the dismissal of the case for “lack of probable cause.”

    We earlier reported that the Ombudsman had to immediately recall the extortion case against former justice secretary Hernando Perez for being fatally defective. The filing was “cured” at the last minute.

    Politically motivated?

    In an unprecedented move, she ordered the deputy Ombudsmen for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao to transfer pending cases involving governors and vice-governor to the Preliminary Investigation and Administrative Adjudication Bureau (PARB) which is under the Office of the Overall Deputy Ombudsman.

    In Administrative Order No. 65 issued last June 6, which we obtained, Gutierrez cited the need “to further expedite and accelerate the conduct of preliminary investigation and/or administrative adjudication of cases involving high ranking officials.”

    Senior Ombudsman officials who refused to be named because of a gag order, said AO 65 has effectively clipped their authority while giving Overall Deputy Ombudsman Orlando Casimiro vast powers. Casimiro, who rose from the ranks, enjoys the support of Gutierrez.

    Other sources suspect that the move is politically-motivated, saying it could be used to harass local officials who are on the opposite side of the fence or force them to toe the line.

    In the run-up to the 2007 midterm polls, a number of governors and vice-governors facing administrative and criminal charges were ordered suspended or dismissed by the Office of the Ombudman. They included Samar governor Mila Tan, Iloilo Governor Neil Tupas, then Batangas governor Armando Sanchez and Cavite Governor Ireneo Maliksi.

    Ombudsman sources said AO 65 may be intended to go around a Court of Appeals ruling handed last year, which delineated the different responsibilities of Ombudsman officials.

    In the case of Sanchez, the CA stopped the Ombudsman from implementing his suspension. Sanchez was not included in the list sought to be suspended by Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon Victor Fernandez but Casimiro ordered Sanchez’s inclusion.

    The CA, however, rebuked Casimiro on the ground that he could not overturn Fernandez’s order. The CA ruled that the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon and the Overall Deputy Ombudsman had the same level of authority in deciding on or making recommendations on cases.

    One source suspects that AO 65 may have something to do with the case against Pampanga governor Eddie Panlilio filed by Vice Gov. Joseller Guiao and members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. Panlilio is being accused of grave misconduct and abuse of authority when he refused to implement an ordinance reducing the provincial government’s share from income in the lahar sand quarrying.

    Theoretically, the case would be handled by the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon but AO 65 transfers the case to Casimiro.

    Gag order

    Even in the area of transparency, Gutierrez has been found wanting.

    Gutierrez has issued an administrative order that disallows any media interviews without her clearance. She designated Assistant Ombudsman Mark Jalandoni, whom she brought along with her from the Department of Justice, to speak on behalf of the officials.

    In her directive, Gutierrez instructed all staff to “brief” Jalandoni on issues and cases involving the Ombudsman. Jalandoni will then answer media inquiries, quoting the official concerned.

    It’s a virtual gag order, Ombudsman insiders say, and one which does not augur well in the campaign against corruption.

    “We’ve been saying that media should be our partner in battling corruption and every staff should establish good rapport with the media. What do we tell the media during ambush interviews, that we have to secure clearance from the Ombudsman first?” one senior official said.

    We sought to interview several officials on the status of some high-profile cases but we were directed to Gutierrez’s office. We asked Ombudsman spokesman Jose de Jesus for comment but he informed us that his reply “has not been cleared yet by (his) superior.”

    “It’s protocol,” De Jesus said in a text message.

    Information dissemination is only one area that Gutierrez has centralized. She assumed control even in matters that are better left to the discretion of her immediate subordinates.

    Simple travel orders, including those only within the country, are now decided by her. “Past Ombudsmen have never assumed such simple matters. They focused their time and energy on what really matters,” the senior official said.

    Clothes and gardens

    How then does the Ombudsman inspire and motivate confidence?

    She does this by recognizing the most fashionably dressed and those who have a green-thumb. Every Monday, she awards P1,500 for the best-Filipiniana dressed employee and P800 for the second runner-up. She also awards who have the best garden plot.

    In the meantime, she did away with the practice of giving recognition to performing employees. “There is no incentive for a job well-done,” an Ombudsman official said. “There is no recognition for excellence.”

  3. Baghilom diha otip mara sad ka correct da…tinoud ka kay sa wala ang espina sa probensya walay gobut ug malinawon..naunsa niabut ning mga #&%$# nag sogud na man hinoun ang patay ug nangamatay ang mga taga naval pa gyud pag hilum kay tingali mapitluk taka….

  4. laban mani c utip gamay sa ESPINA kay gswelduhan mana xa…para ang mga wise voter para sa 2010 nga eleksyon makasabot nga ESPINA modagan ghapon!!!

    unsay labot nako kay chong nga gamay og experience sa politics..nag start pa gani xa..huwat kay sa 2010 daog ghapon na xa…..ako mangampanya niya….

  5. Hello, Kanus-a kaha na mga espina mahuman og pangimbargo og yuta sa mga pobre na iyang gipautang tapos 150% interest kung dili kabayad sa usa ka buwan. mga people kanus man tawon mo molihok anha na ba kung espina na ang manag iya tanan lupain sa probinsya nato? unya kung mahitabo na himoun na mo alipin nya kay sa iya naman mo property nagpuyo.

    luoy kaayo ang mga taga biliran karon di na peaceful, mura nala mo nagpuyo sa kahadlok angin sa power sa mga espina. wa pa ganin mahuman ang 2008 damo na nangamatay diha sa atong probinsya.

    mata na kamo oi!!!!!!!!!!

  6. FYI. Sounds familiar?

    http://www.philstar.com/index.php?Opinion&p=49&type=2&sec=25

    Phil Star : EDITORIAL – Cost of corruption

    Tuesday, July 22, 2008

    Taxpayers are spending P22 million a year just to house nearly 2,000 vote counting machines that cannot be used. Taxpayers are also spending about $20 million a year as “commitment fee” for a 20-year loan totaling over $1 billion from the Chinese government. This is on top of P1 million a day in interest for the initial $112 million of the loan, from which the Philippines is supposed to draw funding for the Northrail project.

    The loan took effect on Sept. 13, 2004, but actual work on the project did not start until April 12 the next year, with completion targeted for Oct. 31, 2007. As the nation now knows, the project is already much delayed, with Chinese contractor China National Machinery and Equipment Group reportedly threatening to pull out if the government would not shoulder additional costs. Amid reports that CNMEG is demanding another $300 million for the project, some quarters suspect that the amount is to compensate for higher commissions demanded by influential crooks.

    Filipinos are painfully familiar with such massive costs incurred due to corruption, inefficiency or plain stupidity. Filipinos are paying a whopping $175,000 in daily interest for the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, for which contractor Westinghouse Corp. reportedly paid Ferdinand Marcos a commission of over $80 million through his crony Herminio Disini. The BNPP loan, which will be settled in 2018, accounts for about five percent of the country’s trillions in debt. By the time Westinghouse stopped construction of the BNPP, its cost had ballooned to $2.3 billion, and it never produced a single watt of electricity.

    And yet no one was ever punished for that atrocity. Disini fled, and is said to be enjoying the fruits of his labors in a European castle. Marcos died in exile, but all his heirs are fully rehabilitated in the eyes of Philippine society. This failure to hold anyone accountable for saddling Filipinos with crippling debt has surely emboldened a newer generation of crooks, who are again padding the cost of foreign-funded projects to line their own pockets.

    Several studies have shown that corruption has cost the country billions in economic losses in the past years. But despite numerous exposés, extensive news coverage, congressional investigations and actual prosecution, no big fish has ever really been punished for large-scale corruption. Until Filipinos start making crooks account for their crimes against a suffering nation, there will never be an end to thievery.

  7. utip 1

    More talk more mistakes.

    Every time you open your mouth you dig a deeper hole for Gerry Espina Sr. I don’t think he appreciates your extreme attempts to please him.

    I won’t dignify your comments on this blog on any topics with any counter comments, as your posts clearly demonstrate how you want to be treated as a “clown”. An irresponsible clown at that.

    At least a responsible clown knows what his limitations are: that is to make children laugh on clean comical skits without destroying people’s reputations, both living and those who have peacefully rested.

    I hope that you are prepared to face the families of Pitao, Gonzales and Sabonsolin whom you have insulted on this blog.

    You must have your own personal agenda for trying extremely hard to please the Espina family. I am beginning to wonder what exactly are you really fighting for, is it for the advancement of Biliranons or your own?

    In as much as your posts seem to claim that you can prove your accusations against the Chong family, why won’t you file a complaint with the Office of the Ombudsman. Any citizen of the Philippines can do that. You just access the website and lodge your complaint online. You do need to provide your personal information.

    Until then, your irresponsible comments on this site are nothing but mere rantings that should be relegated to the gossip column

    The freedom to blog carries with it the equal responsibility to be truthful in all posts.

  8. hoy utip, bisan ug unsa pa ka eksperyensido ug unsa pa kadaghan ang connection sa usa ka leader sama sa imong giingon, kung way laing tuyo kundi pagpangurakot wa gihap nay pulos.eksperyensiyado man gani pero ang experience didto gigamit sa personal nga mga interest, unsa may benepisyo nga madawat sa katawhan?aber?kay sa tinuod lng, ang pagka eksperyensiyado sa usa k leader dili maoy angayang himoon nga basihan aron husgahan siya sa iyahg kapasidad isg usa ka leader kundi kon unsa siya katinuuray nga nagserbisyo, ug dapat suportahan siya sa iyang mga plano para sa kaayuhan sa tanan, dili kay babagan hinuon tungod lng sa kaawa ug dili pagkadawat nga ang sama kaniya nga baguhan lng adunay dakong nahimo sa gamay plng kapanahon nga siya naglingkod.mao nay angayan nimong huna hunaon.

  9. agoy waits nalang ta mga mahal kong kababayan hindi magtagal matapos narin itong gulo sa ating Bayan walang ibang may utukan
    kundi si Gerry Lamang at ang kanyang mga anak na Gov.Roger yumaman sA biliran..Hintay nalang tayo..at Magdasal matatapos Din ang lahat…
    welcome to bilibid prisoner ESPINAS!!!

  10. DAGHAN NA ANG NAGMATA NGA MGA KATAW-HAN KARUN SA ATONG PINALANGGANG PROBINSYA..
    DAGHAN NA ANG NAKAKITA,NAKA SAKSI SA MGA DAUTANG UTOK UG DAUTANG WALAY KONSENSYA..NGA NAG PALUYO SA TANAN…
    SAGDI LANG ANG HUGPONG NGA MGA PAG AMPO SA MGA KATAWHAN..DUNGGON RA UNYA SA GINOO ANG PANGALIYA NGA MA PRESO NA KINING MGA ESPINA APIL NA SI GOV.ROGER KAY LAWOM NIG DULOT MAAYO LA NI SA ATUBANGAN…
    PUTANG INA SABI NIYA KAPAG WALA KANA SA HARAPAN NIYA…

  11. all blogers..

    AKO KAMO AWHAGON SA PG TOTOK SA MGA PROYEKTO NI GOVERNOR KUNG ASA UG PILALANG ANG MAADTO ANI SA PROYEKTO ATO NABASAHAN NGA ANG IYANG FARM TO MARKET ROAD DOOL KINI SA 30 MILLION KUNG KINSA MAN NGA BARANGAY ANI DAPAT IHOROT PAG BUHOS NGADTO DILI UNAHON ANG IYA BULSA KAY KINI MAAYO KAAYO NI MOBOLATIK SA MGA KATAW HAN PERO USA KINI KA KAWATAN, ANG GIHIMO NGA AKSYUN SA ATONG KONGRESMEN KARON MAAYO KANA DUNAY SIYAY MGA BIDDERS PARA DILI BASTA BASTA MAKAKUHA UG KAWAT ANG ATONG GOVERNOR NGA MAAYO PERO DEMONYO

  12. Its a good news, to us Electrical engr.,who work far in biliran. .i just want o ask, if, Who will manage the Operation of Power Plant? what Benefits can Biliranos receive if this project is implemented? is there priority hiring of Professional who are biliranon? if Yes, when?

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