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List of Municipalities in the Albay Province within Region V in the Republic of The Philippines
Bacacay | Camalig | Daraga (Locsin) | Guinobatan | Jovellar | Libon | Malilipot | Malinao | Manito | Oas | Pio Duran | Polangui | Rapu-Rapu | Santo Domingo (Libog) | Tiwi
Cities in the province of Albay: Legazpi City (Capital) | City Of Ligao | City Of Tabaco

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Albay power coop seeks court action to win back electric coop from San Miguel

By Danny O. Calleja (PNA)

LIGAO CITY — Member-consumers of the Albay Electric Cooperative (Aleco) have asked the court to stop the San Miguel Corp.’s Global Power Holdings Corp. (SMC Global) from exercising control and jurisdiction over the cooperative.

In a 68-page civil complaint recently filed, the cooperative wants the Regional Trial Court (RTC) here to issue an injunction with prayers for temporary restraining order and temporary mandatory order against Albay Power and Energy Corp. (APEC), SMC Global’s subsidiary company now running the power distribution business of Aleco.

Filed by the complaining members, Aleco is asking the court to order APEC to, among others, turn over to the cooperative through its board of directors and president, Jaime Chua, the documents needed for the initiation of court-assisted rehabilitation; and to surrender to all cash items and/or assets taken over by APEC from the cooperative.

Other demands listed in the complaint are for the court to order a complete inventory of assets taken over by APEC and for the corporation to yield to Aleco the management and control of the business, franchise and other assets of the cooperative, on phase-in/phase-out basis, with minimum service disruption, under court supervision.

The complainants are also asking the court to restrain APEC from further operating Aleco’s electricity-distribution franchise in Albay; from encumbering or disposing of any of the cooperative’s assets or properties, including after-acquired assets reckoned as of February 26, 2014; and from entering into contract with government or private entities involving Aleco or its interests.

The complaining members also want the court to prevent the corporation from applying or pursuing applications for rate adjustment with Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC); from applying or pursuing applications with the ERC to collect “under-recoveries” from members-consumers; and from further implementing power-shedding program that causes needless service interruption or regular brownouts in the province.

They further want APEC disallowed from billing or collecting from member-consumers contributions for capital expenditure or reinvestment fund (RFSC) during the pendency of the case; from using, disbursing or spending any fund or money already collected by APEC from the members; conducting meter-reading; from issuing monthly bills and collecting any amount from the members; and from doing service connection to, or doing service disconnection against its members were also requested.

Aleco legal counsel Oliver Olaybal on Monday said that considering the absence of consent on the part of the member-consumers for the lease of the franchise and the assets of Aleco, the cooperative, under its new Board of Directors, filed the complaint assailing the right of SMC Global/APEC to exercise Aleco’s corporate powers, operate its franchise and utilize its assets.

After the legal issues are resolved affecting Aleco’s entitlement to exercise its corporate functions to the exclusion of SMC Global-APEC, “we shall address the coop’s financial problems,” Chua said.

Aleco’s business operations and management were taken over by SMC Global early this year following its privatization worked out by the National Electrification Administration (NEA), Department of Energy (DOE) and Albay Bishop Joel Baylon, the NEA appointed chairman of the cooperative’s interim board of director and supported by Albay Gov. Joey Salceda.

The privatization was said to be intended to bail out the cooperative from its financial troubles amounting to around Php4 billion incurred over years of mismanagement, corruption and deep political meddling.

On long-term problem and long-term solution involving Aleco’s Php4-billion aggregate operating deficits, Chua said, the new board will address by way of filing a petition for corporate rehabilitation after the court is able to take away SMC Global-APEC from the scene.

“The court-appointed rehabilitation receiver shall prepare a rehabilitation plan, anchored on capital buildup through stock issuance, under Republic Act No. 1053 whose proceeds shall be deposited in the name of Aleco, but to be disbursed under court supervision. This means that payments to creditors on matured accounts shall be covered by court orders authorizing disbursements,” Chua said.

The court shall also issue a stay order preventing creditors from taking action against Aleco, including disconnection, he added.

APEC general manager Emmanuel Imperial on Monday declined to comment on the case as, he said, the company’s lawyers will handle it in the court.

PIA, DENR hold Dalaw Turo session in Albay


LEGAZPI CITY, November 24 (PIA) -- The Philippine Information Agency (PIA) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) teamed up for the Dalaw Turo or School Visit session in Albay held November 21 at the Bicol Regional Science High School (BRSHS) in Ligao City.

Dalaw-Turo is part of the Climate Change Adaptation Advocacy program of the government with the DENR, PIA and Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) as the lead implementing agencies.

The school visit aims to educate and enable the youth to join in the campaign for environmental conservation and sustainable development particularly of protected areas and biological diversity.

BRSHS principal Eduardo Nañoz said the visit is an opportunity to empower the young people and make them aware of their vital role in taking care of the environment in their own small and simple ways.

Over 70 high school students along with their advisers and representatives from the city and provincial Environment and Natural Offices and PIA participated in the said event.

Creative lectures, environmental games, audio-visual presentations and other informative and entertaining campaign materials including the DENR mascot “Greeny”were used to engage the students and influence them to change their habits that can pose harm on the environment.

The Anduyog volunteers of Aquinas University also performed their theatrical presentation to highlight the call for change in their habit and attitude towards the environment.

The DENR-PIA partnership for Climate Change Adaptation Advocacy campaign has adapted “Nagbabago na ang panahon, panahon na para magbago,” as its working slogan.

Regional offices all over the country have been implementing activities and mitigation measures to encourage behavioral change and participation of the people to the environmental programs of the government to help minimize the effects of climate change to various sectors of society.

Phivolcs: 3 volcanic quakes from Mayon in last 24 hours

By Joel Locsin / LBG (GMA News)

At least three volcanic quakes were recorded from restive Mayon Volcano in the last 24 hours, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said Sunday.

In its 8 a.m. update, Phivolcs also noted white steam plumes of moderate volume drifting west-southwest and west-northwest.

Phivolcs likewise observed a crater glow at Intensity I Saturday night.

Also, Phivolcs said Mayon's alert level remains at 3, meaning an eruption is still likely within weeks.

More than 12,000 families were evacuated from their homes in Mayon's danger zone since mid-September, when Phivolcs raised the alert level at Mayon to 3.

Last Nov. 3, the Office of Civil Defense allowed residents in the seven- to eight-kilometer extended danger zone to return home for now.

On Nov. 4, many families allowed to go home.

In Albay town, dolphins steal limelight

By Michael B. Jaucian (Inquirer Southern Luzon)

STO. DOMINGO, Albay—A pod of dolphins has become this town’s latest attraction.

Tourists have started flocking here to see the gentle marine mammals.

Erwin Gregorio, municipal tourism officer, said the dolphins, which could be seen about 2 kilometers from the shoreline, had turned the coastal waters into their playground, swimming, jumping into the air and even twisting.

Gregorio said officials had yet to count the total number of dolphins but these could be over a hundred, measuring from 6 to 8 meters long, and practically swarming the municipal waters off Barangays Pandayan and Alimsog.

He said up to 50 visitors arrived daily in the town to interact with and watch the dolphins.

He said fishermen and boat operators had also been making money out of the new tourism attraction, collecting P500 for every person taking boat rides for closer interaction with the dolphins.

The municipal government, on orders of Sto. Domingo Mayor Herbie Aguas, has imposed restrictions for interaction activities, such as prohibiting the feeding of dolphins and swimming with them.

Aquas attributed the presence of the mammals to the abundance of round scad, or “galunggong,” in the area, which serve as the dolphins’ food.

“This is the prize for our proper marine management. Fish abound in the area because blast fishing has been stopped for a very long period of time now,” Aguas said.

He said fishermen and nongovernment organizations were active in the conservation of corals.

The municipal government has established a fish sanctuary and has built an artificial coral reef to serve as haven for sea creatures.

The town’s Bantay Dagat, or sea watch group, has also been active in arresting illegal fishermen coming from neighboring towns, Aguas added.

Patricia Zantua and Kris Orbeta, tourists from Legazpi City and Guinobatan town in Albay, said in an interview here that they were amazed at the presence of dolphins, as these mammals could hardly be seen this close to shore.

They said they would find time to return to Sto. Domingo just to interact with the dolphins.

EDC drops arbitration case against BacMan contractors

By Lenie Lectura

ENERGY Development Corp. (EDC), the geothermal company of the Lopez Group, is no longer pursuing for arbitration of its dispute with contractors it tapped to rehabilitate the Bacon-Manito (BacMan) geothermal plants in Albay.

EDC said its unit BacMan Geothermal Inc. (BGI) and the contractors—EthosEnergy TC Inc., formerly TurboCare Inc., and Siemens Inc.—have amicably settled their dispute.

“BGI and EDC are pleased to announce that, as of today’s date (Friday), all claims under the arbitration have now been settled with the contractor on terms satisfactory to BGI and EDC, and that the arbitration will be discontinued as a result,” EDC said in a disclosure on Friday.

“EDC looks forward to pursuing new opportunities with the Siemens group, and strengthening the commercial relationship between the two companies,” EDC added.

In November last year BGI filed with the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce a request for arbitration of its dispute with the contractors.

The contractors had been engaged by BGI in 2010 to carry out the rehabilitation of BacMan Units 1 to 3. Disputes arose in relation to the carrying out of those works, which were the subject of the arbitration.

BGI initiated the arbitration in order to enforce its rights under the contract for works, following a favorable determination from the engineer that sums are owed by Turbocare and Siemens to BGI.

To date, all units at BacMan are operational and the facility is producing a gross output of approximately 130 megawatts.

“The permanent fixes have now been completed on both BacMan Unit 2 and Unit 3, while BacMan Unit 1 will continue to operate with its interim solution until December 27, 2014, when it will then be shut down to install the new steam turbine rotor from Toshiba,” EDC said.

By March 20 next year BacMan Unit 1 is expected to resume commercial operations.

EDC acquired BacMan from the government auction block in 2010 for P1.28 billion.

Albay tops gravel, sand production; CamNorte leads sales

(Bicol Mail, PIA5)

LEGAZPI CITY — For calendar year 2013, Albay province recorded the highest production of sand and gravel, according to the Bicol Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) regional office here.

MGB Bicol Director Theodore Rommel Pestaño reported that Albay produced a total of 180, 150 cubic meters of sand and gravel, followed by Catanduanes – 149,245.50 cu.m.;Camarines Norte – 145,256.20 cu.m.; Masbate – 22,792 cu.m.;Sorsogon – 6,734.50 cu.m.; and Camarines Sur – 5,515 cu.m.; for a combined production of 509,693.20 cu.m.

He added that production value for each of the six provinces amounted to: Camarines Norte – P14, 289,698.25, Albay at P8,080,132.00, Catanduanes – P3,994,545.00, Masbate – P2,248,425.00, Camarines Sur – P526,360.00, and Sorsogon – P299,380.00.

The combined total production value was P29,438,540.25.

On the other hand, Pestano furthered, total sales realized from the combined production was placed at P54,068,464.50.

Camarines Norte recorded the highest earnings amounting to P19,052,931.00; followed by Catanduanes with P16,374,075.00; Albay with P11,117,228.50: Masbate with P6,588,450.00; Camarines Sur with P636,600.00; and Sorsogon with P299,180.00.

DAR to implement P10M worth of agrarian reform projects in Albay towns


LEGAZPI CITY, Nov. 18 (PIA) -- The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) will soon implement various agrarian projects worth P10-million in the province of Albay after the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released the allocated budget under the Grassroots Participatory Budgeting (GPB).

Albay Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Office chief Romulo Britanico said the projects include the construction of the 100 linear meter Spillway in Bgy Aurora-White Deer, Jovellar, the 1.5-kilometer Marayag-San Isidro farm-to-market road in Libon, and the 35 linear meter concrete footbridge in Sitio Lagsingan, Rapu-Rapu.

Britanico said that the GPB also calls for the development of coco-cased processing and farming system in Guinobatan town.

Britanico said the project would benefit 10,400 farmers, of which 527 are agrarian reform beneficiaries.

Preparatory activities for these projects are now being undertaken by the DAR Albay with the help of concerned Municipal Mayors.

Guinobatan Mayor Ann Gemma Ongjoco expressed her gratitude to the DAR for helping them boost the economic lives of Albayanons.

For his part, Mayor Ronald Galecia of Rapu-Rapu said he is looking forward for bigger projects through DAR to sustain the development the government has initiated in their community.

The GPB, previously called Bottoms-Up Planning and Budgeting (BUB), was adopted as a strategy to identify various programs and projects that address the development needs of poorest cities and municipalities in the country.

Albay mulling school holidays during APEC-ISOM on Dec. 8 and 9

By Joel Locsin / NB (GMA News)

Classes in Albay province may be suspended on December 8 and 9, Monday and Tuesday, when the province hosts a meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

Albay Governor Jose Salceda said this was upon the suggestion of the Office of Civil Defense Region 5 and Albay Provincial Preparatory Logistical Committee (APPLC).

"We intend to declare suspension of all classes during the APEC [Informal Senior Officials Meeting] of Dec 8-9, 2014 as suggestef by OCD 5 and APPLC," Salceda said on his Facebook account.

Salceda in September said that despite the threat from restive Mayon Volcano, Albay would still be the venue of one of the APEC meetings.

He said the tourism and foreign affairs departments "affirm(ed) Albay as host of the APEC ISOM" during the APEC National Organizing Committee meeting on September 25.

The APEC-ISOM is scheduled on December 8 to December 9, he said.

Albay projects bankrolled through GPB strategy

By Chito A. Chavez

With the release of the budget, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) can now go full steam ahead with various agrarian projects worth P10 million in the province of Albay, under the Grassroots Participatory Budgeting (GPB) system.

Albay Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Romulo Britanico said the projects involve the construction of the 100-linear-meter spillway in Barangay Aurora-White Deer, Jovellar town; the 1.5-kilometer Marayag-San Isidro farm-to-market road in Libon town; and the 35-linear-meter concrete footbridge in Sitio Lagsingan, Rapu-Rapu.

Britanico said the GPB also calls for the development of a coco-cased processing and farming system in Guinobatan town with the project benefiting 10,400 farmers, of which 527 are agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs).

Preparatory activities for these projects are now being undertaken by the DAR Albay with the help of the concerned mayors.

Guinobatan Mayor Ann Gemma Ongjoco expressed her gratitude to the DAR for helping them boost the economic lives of Albayanons.

For his part, Mayor Ronald Galecia of Rapu-Rapu said he is looking forward to bigger projects through DAR to sustain the development the government has initiated in their community.

The GPB, previously called Bottoms-Up Planning and Budgeting (BUB), was adopted as a strategy to identify various programs and projects that address the development needs of poorest cities and municipalities in the country.

Albay OKs ordinance vs hoarding relief goods

By Cet Dematera (The Philippine Star)

LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – The Albay Provincial Board has approved an ordinance that would penalize hoarding of relief goods, equipment and other aid commodities.

Non-distribution of relief goods within one month after its receipt is considered hoarding under the measure.

Also known as the Albay Anti-Hoarding of Relief Goods, Aid Item and Commodity Ordinance, it penalizes those who would use inflated data to support request for funding.

The ordinance also bans the sale, confiscation, diversion, acceptance, possession and use of aid commodities and equipment. It penalizes officials who misrepresent the source of relief goods and equipment.

The measure is seen as Albay’s response to reports that some officials are mishandling the distribution of relief goods for Mayon Volcano evacuees.

Phivolcs: No volcanic quake from Mayon in last 24 hours

By Joel Locsin /LBG (GMA News)

Mayon Volcano was relatively calm in the last 24 hours, with no volcanic quake recorded during that period, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said Friday.

Phivolcs, in its 8 a.m. update, also said there was no steaming activity observed due to rain clouds that covered the summit.

Neither was crater glow observed Thursday night, it said.

Still, these were not enough for Phivolcs to lower the alert level at Mayon, which remained at 3. This means an eruption is still possible in weeks.

"Mayon Volcano’s current condition remains unstable due to slow but sustained ground deformation of the edifice by subsurface magma since the start of unrest this year," Phivolcs said.

More than 12,000 families had been evacuated from their homes in Mayon's danger zone since mid-September, when Phivolcs raised the alert level at Mayon to 3.

Last Nov. 3, the Office of Civil Defense allowed residents in the seven- to eight-kilometer extended danger zone to return home for now.

On Nov. 4, many families whose homes were with in the seven- to eight-kilometer extended danger zone were allowed to go home.

Albay Governor Jose Salceda issued a list of who among the families will be allowed to go home.

Mayon, amid restiveness, is top tourist draw

By Ma. April Mier (Inquirer Southern Luzon)

LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines—This city is looking at the Bicol region’s most recognizable but volatile landmark as the main attraction for at least 400 delegates from 21 member-countries of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) who will gather in this city in December, according to officials here.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) in Bicol, which is leading the preparations, is getting ready for Apec’s Informal Senior Officials Meeting (Isom) to be held in the Oriental Hotel in Taysan Hill, Sto. Niño Village, Legazpi City, on Dec. 8 and 9, said Bobby Gigantone of the regional DOT office.

The regional DOT has been arranging off-conference activities for the delegates and “if we will talk about attractions, we are proud of the majestic Mayon,” Gigantone added.

Legazpi City is expected to take advantage of the international media mileage that the conference will bring by ensuring there will be no hitches in hosting the Isom, particularly since “all countries will be looking at us,” Gigantone said.

Cedric Daep, head of the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office, said the venue was safe even if the volcano erupted during the conference. Daep said the Oriental Hotel was about 15 to 16 kilometers from the volcano, which has been showing signs of restiveness and over which alert level 3 has been raised.

Aside from keeping the volcano’s 6-km radius permanent danger zone off limits to residents and tourists, Daep also said, that in past eruptions, “pyroclastic flow did not reach beyond 8 to 9 km of the volcano.”

Supt. Marlo Meneses, Albay police chief, said at least 2,000 policemen and soldiers would be tapped to provide security to the Isom delegates.

Displaced Mayon workers get P6M

By Nino Luces

Legazpi City, Albay – Undersecretary Rebecca Chato of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), together with Labor Attache Meriam Cuasay and other DOLE officials arrived here Tuesday to personally award the P5-million worth of Tulong Pangkabuhayan Sa Ating Disadvantaged Workers (TUPAD) program for Mayon displaced workers.

Albay Governor Joey Salceda personally received the grant allocated for five municipalities and two cities affected by the restiveness of Mayon Volcano. Also, present during the awarding were the local chief executives of the affected LGUs.

TUPAD is a program of DOLE which aims to give short-term or an emergency employment to residents of areas hit by calamities natural or manmade.

The employment will last for 15 days and the workers will receive P260 a day and will be given insurance protection, personal protective equipment (PPEs) and working clothes specially designed for the program.

DOLE Bicol Nathaniel Lacambra said, based on the approve proposal, the municipalities of Guinobatan, Camalig, and Daraga will have an allocation of P1 million while municipalities of Sto Domingo and Malilipot will get P500,000 each from TUPAD program along with the cities of Tabaco and Ligao.

At least 1,100 workers will be hired and will work for 15 days.

According to Lacambra, part of the work of these beneficiaries will be cleaning, declogging of canals and other related works at the evacuation centers.

During the awarding, Salceda also promised an additional P1 million for the displaced workers of Malilipot and Tabaco City.

“Apart from the total of P6 million for these displaced Mayon workers. I will add P500,000.00 each to Malilipot and Tabaco City since bulk of affected residents came from these LGUs. This was approved (by the provincial council) way back October,” Salceda said.

Mayon remains unstable due to slow but sustained ground deformation of the edifice by subsurface magma since the start of unrest this year, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

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