Friday, December 20, 2013

Holcim bags 8 environment awards

MALOLOS CITY—Cement manufacturer Holcim Philippines bagged eight awards including the highest honor for excellence in environmental management, safety and health, and social and community development in the recent  Annual National Mine Safety and Environment Conference (ANSMEC) Awards.

Holcim’s plant in Lugait, Misamis Oriental received the Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Award (PMIEA), while the company’s facilities in Bacnotan, La Union, Norzagaray, Bulacan, and Davao City received Platinum Awards, the second highest honor.

It was the sixth straight year Holcim Philippines bagged the PMIEA. Its Bacnotan and Davao plants received the PMIEA last year, while its Lugait facility won this in 2009.

Aside from above awards, the Lugait and Norzagaray facilities of Holcim bagged the first and second runners-up honors, respectively, for Best Mining Forest-Non Metallic Category, while the Bacnotan plant was a runner up for Safest Cement Plant Operation.

Juanito Duron, a shift operations manager for Holcim Philippines’s Lugait plant, was named Best Mine Supervisor.

The awards were handed out on November 22 in Baguio City.

Ed Sahagun, Holcim Philippines Chief Operating Officer thanked ANSMEC  organizers for consistently recognizing the company’s commitment to responsible operations.

“I do commit that in the following years, our participation will not just be to win awards but to share with companies who would like to learn from our best practices, and for us to learn from other companies,” he said.

Noting that the ANSMEC’s theme for 2013 is “60 Years of Giving Back,” Sahagun said the industry should do more to help in the rebuilding efforts of Visayas, which was recently battered by natural calamities.

“On behalf of Holcim Philippines, I’d like to appeal to everyone to at least give more to the victims of Yolanda and spend more for the rebuilding of Visayas. We have some experiences to share, and we’d love to share them with all of you on how we have to rebuild lives, for them to become hopeful that the future will be there. And they will start rebuilding, so they can live in a sustainable community,” he said.

Considered as one of the world's leading suppliers of cement and aggregates as well as downstream activities such as ready-mix concrete and asphalt, Holcim holds majority and minority interests in more than 70 countries on all continents.

Holcim Philippines, Inc. (HPHI) is a Philippines-based cement manufacturer and a member of Holcim Group.

The company is involved in the manufacture, sale and distribution of cement to the domestic and export markets and  produces four cement productsnamely, Holcim Excel, Holcim WallRight, Holcim Premium Bulk and Holcim 4X.

Holcim Philippines operates four cement plants in La Union, Bulacan, Misamis Oriental, and Davao.  It currently has more than 1,700 employees in the country.

The PMIEA was established in 1997 through Executive Order No. 399 in compliance with the policy that mining activities should be pro-environment and pro-people.

Its selection committee is composed of the secretaries of the Departments of Environment, Trade, Interior and Local Government, Health, Science and Technology.

The other members are the presidents of the Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association, Philippine Mineral Exploration Association and Chambers of Mines of the Philippines.  Dino Balabo

Napocor more stable in 2014?

MALOLOS CITY—The National Power Corporation (Napocor) is no longer fear shortage of fund and fuel for its power plants.

This came as Napocor successfully bid out fuel procurement for 2014 while it increased debt collection and secured government subsidy for its capital expenditures (Capex).

These are some of the highlights in the accomplishment report of Gladys Sta. Rita in her first 90-days as the first female president and Chief Operating Officer (CEO) of the Napocor.

Speaking to journalist during the weeklong celebrations of the 77th founding anniversary of Napocor, the former Provincial Administrator of Bulacan said that for the first time, Napocor was able to bid out its fuel requirement three months in advance.

“Hindi na kami natatakot ngayon na kakapusin kami ng fuel because we were able to bid out our oil-based fuel requirement for small power utilities group (SPUG),” she said.

In the past, Sta. Rita said that the power company used to have the bidding in the month of February.

“This will ensure fuel availability and that the Romblon incident as thing of the past,” she said referring to brown out in the island of Romblon due to shortage of fuel.

Sta. Rita also noted that Napocor have completed its fuel operations manual and is coordinating with the Department of Justice for the filing charges against those involved in pilferage or illegal fuel transfer.

With regards to budget efficiency, she said that close coordination with the Department of Budget Management (DBM) and the Energy Regulatory Commission paid off.

She said that Secretary Florencio Abad of the DBM issued a letter expressing support to Napocor in case of projected shortfall in the operations of the SPUG next year.

For its part, the ERC approved Napocor’s Universal Charge for Missionary  Electrification (UCME) amounting to P7.4-Billion along with the P2.763-B for the same in 2014.

UCME is a subsidy approved by the ERC for the electrification of off-grid or missionary areas that are not connected to the main transmission grid.  This is passed on and
collected from all electricity end users nationwide.

For the Capex, Sta.Rita announced that a special allotment release order (SARO) for the national government subsidy of P969-M to Napocor has been issued with the Certificate of Availability of Funds.

She said that it would have not happened if not for the cooperation of employees in the last 90 days in preparing documents for release of the Capex.

Earlier, Sta. Rita said that DBM advised that that it was impossible for Napocor to complete all the requirements since it was already mid-year, but they did.

With regards to debt collection from electric cooperatives, Napocor’s efficiency improved from 23 percent to 33.7 percent which equivalent to P35-M collection to P72.5-M from Basilan, Sulu and Taw-tawi provinces alone.

In all, Sta Rita said the Napocor is chasing a totalof 4.4-Billion in outstanding receivables, of which, 77 percent or P3.4-Billion comes from the Autonomous Region on Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) provinces of Basila, Sulu at Tawi-tawi which are collectively known as BaSuTa.

Due to above accomplishments, Star Rita said that Napocor can not pursue long over due project.

This includes theP135.4-M for Codon-Virac Transmission line and the 10 MVA Marinawa substation; P119.3-M Cataingan-Mobo-Aroroy Transmission Line in Masbate; P4-M Abo-Abo-Quezon Rizal transmission line survey investigation, and the P24.3-M Transmission line and substation projects in Mindoro.

To increase power generating capacity, Napocor is investing a totalof P203.5-M; and another P28.9-M increase operating hours of its power stations by [priocuring spare parts.  Dino Balabo

Robinson's opens 35th mall

MALOLOS CITY—Robinson’s Land Corporation (RLC) and the city government of Malolos vowed mutual coordination for further development of this city during the grand opening of the Robinson’s Place Malolos on Thursday afternoon, December 12.

Frederick Go, president of  RLC expressed gratitude to the city of Malolos led by Mayor Christian Natividad for all the support in the establishment of their mall here.

Located along the MacArthur Highway in Barangay Sumapa Matanda here, the mall is the 35th established by the RLC in the country.

“We are very thankful for the support the city government extended to us,” said Go.

He also vowed to help Malolos in further development through job and investment generation and providing a venue for culture activities.

He also vowed to help tourism in the City of Malolos.

For his part, Mayor Natividad vowed to further support RLC saying “ we will not be a hindrance to you.”

He said that the establishment of Robinson’s Place in the historic city is not part of the many firsts.

Robinson’s Place Malolos is the first major mall to be established in this city that is proud for hosting the first Philippine Congress that gave birth to the first Constitution of the Philippines and the first democratic republic in Asia.

Natividad also said that the Malolos is the birth place of the University of the Philippines, the Philippine Military Academy and the first law school in the country.

At present, Malolos City is home to at least 240,000 residents, and serves as the economic and academic center in the province.

Natividad said that Malolos is home to 64 private schools and three major universities namely, Bulacan State University, Centro Escolar University and La Consolacion University Philippines, along with 41 banks.

The city is also home to the provincial capitol of the provincial government of Bulacan along with satellite offices of national government agencies.  Dino Balabo