Emergency powers

The big news for today’s yet another case of that favorite presidential trial balloon, the possibility of emergency powers: Palace hints at emergency
powers on water, energy

It’s been provoked by comments like this: NDCC exec: Arroyo may need emergency powers. a senator asks, First Family now into mining, power? This was something Sunday’s Inquirer editorial had brought up. Blogger The Philippine Experience calls the President’s family acting as gatekeepers on energy and natural resources the “Three Mouseketeers.”

Oddly enough, Weather flip-flop: Rain after dry spell. Might as well ask for emergency powers in response to expected flooding. Or declare a permanent state of emergency, since, as Tony Lopez says, various studies conclude recurring shortages and high energy prices will be par for the course globally.

Teves says fiscal performance back on track: Customs, BIR meet July collection targets. Still, something to moisten Teve’s parade: Privatization not a good way for closing deficit.

However happy the Finance secretary is, his having clashed with the Neda Director-General was a casualty of a policy clash. In his column, Fel Maragay says this is an administration habit. No “let a hundred flowers bloom” welcome on the premises:

…Dante Canlas suddenly found himself being relieved as director general of the National Economic and Development Authority…

Canlas couldn’t exactly figure out the reason for his removal from Neda. But there was a strong suspicion that his transfer stemmed from his disagreement with the Palace over the move to void the contract of the nearly-completed Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal-3 that had been awarded to the Philippine International Air Terminals Co.

Now, Neda director general Romulo Neri finds himself in a somewhat similar situation. Neri has been given a new job, that of chairman of the Commission on Higher Education.

When asked by mediamen why President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo had decided to put him in place of Ched Chairman Carlito Puno, Neri replied: “I, too, was surprised.”

…But now that Neri is being moved to Ched, the reason being given for it sounds vague.

Neri himself confided he had been told his services were badly needed at Ched, particularly in addressing the problem of mismatch between college graduates and the manpower requirements of industries and businesses…

Another reason cited for Neri’s transfer was his disagreement with Finance Secretary Margarito Teves over the projected budget deficit and tax collection this year. The outgoing Neda chief predicted that the budget deficit would exceed P100 billion due to shortfalls in the tax yields of the Bureau of Internal Revenue and Bureau of Customs. This piqued Teves, who insisted the P67-billion programmed budget deficit would be met.

In what look like a thumbs-up for Neri and a rebuff to Teves, the FitchRatings, an international ratings agency, subsequently predicted that the budget deficit will shoot up to P125 billion “due to disappointing shortfall in tax collection.”

Knowledgeable quarters say that this is a plausible reason for Neri’s “demotion.” …

There is a third reason that has surfaced for the latest Cabinet movement. Former Iloilo Rep., and now Vice Gov. Rolex Suplico says the ax fell on Neri for opposing the government’s national broadband network contract with China’s telecommunications firm, ZTE Corp. to be funded by a $329- million loan from China’s Export-Import Bank.

Citing transcripts of a Cabinet meeting on the Cyber Corridor Initiative held in Malacañang in November last year Suplico says Neri recommended to the President that the NBN project “be implemented by the private sector at no cost to the government” through the build-operate-transfer scheme. Because of this, Neri was allegedly taken out of the loop on the NBN project, which was being pushed by the Department of Transportation and Communications.

That ZTE deal won’t go away: Junk $330M telecom deal, SC asked.

Tit for tat: China finds RP banana chips with ‘excessive’ sulfur dioxide. Meanwhile, China’s new appetite for milk forces price rise in Germany (see the Business Mirror editorial for today, on why China isn’t an appropriate growth model for the Philippines).

Arroyo names CA chief Ruben Reyes to SC while Denied SC seat, Ong brings citizenship case to Pasig court.

Most unbelievable denial of the day: Palace says GMA not involved in Senate activities.

In the ongoing saga of the Marcos billions, Lawyers of Tan, Marcos clash at Sandigan although Tan camp stops Bongbong from testifying. But still, Rep. Marcos, gov’t win 1st round. Poor Alex Magno, he seems conscience-struck by the emerging government-Marcos alliance. Ricky Carandang thinks that government’s thrown in the towel, but wonders what the government’s got to gain from doing so.

Overseas, The hidden costs of biofuels production.

My column for today is Judicial limbo; see John Nery in Inquirer Current,, for another view.

News like this ,Surrender talks bar soldiers from pursuit, serves as a good introduction to set the stage for Gail Ilagan, who quotes a general’s opinions on peace-building in Mindanao; she’s thankful cooler heads have prevailed in Basilan; and she is critical of the Philippine Marines.

The President should give Geronimo Sy a medal (or at least, a cracker).

Tony Abaya explains why he thinks the anti-terror law is a joke.

In the blogosphere, you can’t have as contrasting a take on the same story -allegations that Joseph Estrada did a deal with the administration to split the opposition- than the views presented in The Sassy Lawyer and in The Purple Phoenix Talks About Philippine Politics.

Even as Watchdog to gov’t: Where’s big fish? leading Palace denies big-time graft on the rise, concern remains. Money Smarts points to Transparency International saying petty corruption is actually down, in the Philippines, but is on an upswing in terms of big government deals, which is why they ask.

Katataspulong goes into detail why he opposes the division of Quezon Province,

August is Language Month (see my ongoing official calendar project). Filipino Librarian points to some language-related articles. A related article’s in Bahay Kubo.

Philippines Without Borders recounts being a guest on The Explainer, and then, why he blogs.

This made me laugh: La Vida Lawyer presents his top ten Starbucks aliases.

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

71 thoughts on “Emergency powers

  1. Paranaque was a veritable desert in the 90s. We had to save water. (I still do. Old habits are hard to break.) I remember being caught outdoors during a heavy downpoor and saw torrents of water coming off roofs and thinking, ‘Pucha. Sayang yung tubig.’ There ought to be something the farmers can do to save the rainwater in the wet season for use during emergencies. Some schools in the provinces that Ive visited had rain collectors–concrete tanks that collected the water that ran off the school buildings’ roofs. Although such structures won’t help power generation much, it would certainly help vegetable farmers in emergencies as they wait for the rains to come.

  2. M,

    Hayop talaga si Geronimo Sy! Super Sypsyp! Brown noser par excellance! He really should be promoted from State Prosecutor to Justice Secretary Gonzales’ Usec. Super Fawn!

  3. always floating the idea of asking for emergency powers, blah, blah.

    any decent gov’t led by an inspired leadership doesn’t need emergency powers to cope with problems such as these. crap, you alrdy have the full power of the govt behind you, how much more do you want?

    it either means you’re inutile, or you’re helplessly not up to the task.

    power and water shortages? what it needs is policy change.
    and P-O-L-I-T-I-C-A-L W-I-L-L. But she-who-must-not-be-named (tnx inidoro) lacks it where it really counts.

    Where’s that Ari Pata piece Manolo? I’m eagerly awaiting its release. LOL. Who would be Ari Pata, Weaslely, and HermyNinny? And NeEbil BellButton?

  4. I saw Queen Malamole on tv talking about saving water. She recounted that a woman from Payatas told her how she saves water – use the same water for washing clothes, bathing, and watering her plants. Queenie thought it was creative. And she said so with her signature self-satisified smirk.

    I guess the Queen is not familiar with the concept of rinsing. And I’d like to see that woman’s detergent-nourished garden.

    It’s really time to throw her out with the bath water.

  5. The Business Mirror editorial is flat out wrong both in dismissing the China Model as well as characterizing the Japanese model as “education, education, education“.

  6. MLQ,

    I liked the way you undressed justice under Gloria. She looks awful in her nekkidness.

  7. “I saw Queen Malamole on tv talking about saving water. She recounted that a woman from Payatas told her how she saves water – use the same water for washing clothes, bathing, and watering her plants. Queenie thought it was creative. And she said so with her signature self-satisified smirk.”

    Well, being thrifty on water certainly sounds good to me. Even this extremely. But only, and IF only, Madame herself joins in the SAVE WATER program. Let her bath water be her laundry water, which will then be bath water for her pets (Gonzales and Nogralez) and then drinking water for FG and Mikey. Their urine can then be Defensor’s energy drink. (let him sate his sipsip urges) Let Defensor urinate on the palace gardens so that the plants and shrubbery can be plentiful. And then die.

  8. Business Mirror:

    “When society produces lots of scientists and talents, it would be easy to generate products, services and intellectual properties that entrepreneurs could sell to the rest of the world—and whose competitive advantage depends less on labor cost and more on knowledge content and other intangibles (like branding).”

    This is the thinking that makes sure we get nowhere as a country. How much abundance of talent do our capitalists need to invest in innovations? And even when such an abundance is possible, won’t brain drain take instant effect and take away all these talents from us anyway? In Korea and Taiwan, I believe investments came first before talent. Talent is inherent. It’s the manufacturers that create the environment for the maturation of scientific and engineering talent. DOST is a pitiful token of govermental and public support for science. We need the corporations to think they can make technology too rather than just selling them.

  9. Unfortunately, even the government doesn’t support our scientists. We have hundreds of inventors who are forced to sell their wares elsewhere.

    The government focuses more on how to export our talents than convince them to stay.

  10. August, Buwan ng Wika

    August 2007, Buwan ng Long Weekend

    …Ninoy Aquino Day (21) and National Heroes Day (28) are Tuesdays…

  11. “Let her bath water be her laundry water, which will then be bath water for her pets (Gonzales and Nogralez) and then drinking water for FG and Mikey.”

    Laundry detergents have ingredients that are very slow to biodegrade. Some stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells and feminize male fish.

    So FG will become FL, Mikey becomes Michelle, Norberto can be Nora, and Raul can change his name to Kikay.

  12. now the “club” finds a new subject to ridicule the president, only this time they are making fun of something that could be a life and death reality for many filipinos. water may not be important to these people, and drought a laughing matter, but politicizing an impending natural calamity to get at the president is pure hubris. yeah, great column, manolo. what’s the matter, running out of muck from your stash to hurl at PGMA? i see your co-haters are building up another frenzy. “queen malamole” from the prince of shit-eaters, lol.

  13. Collection targets met! Wow hanep ang galing talaga ni Teves. Of course, the target was lowered a few days ago. Why did they not do it before firing Bunag?

  14. It was interesting to note that the managing director of the IMF qualified his description of countries as follows;
    Industrial economies, emerging economies and developing countries.

    The editorial in the Business Mirror clearly mirrors a disconnect on the part of the editors on what economics means to the writer of the piece.

    You would need a team of anthropologists, sociologists, equilibrium economists and political economists to try to figure out the Japanese model relative to how they developed such a command society.

    The industrial developmental model of Japan was based on the same dirigist mercantilist model advocated by Alexander Hamilton. The same model was used by South Korea, Taiwan (former colonies of Japan) and now the PRC. They used the technique “reverse engineering” but they also improved on it. After the war they became the country that bought or paid for the most patents from the more advanced economies and produced it cheaper and better.

    Ever since the Meiji period where the motto rich nation, strong army came into being, it became the developmental model based on the state leading the way.

    The lessons learned from the forced opening of trade with Japan taught the Japanese that wealth meant acquiring modern technology and also creating the means to defend that wealth.

    In 1905 the Japanese navy in steel hulled ships driven by steam technology defeated the Russian fleet in the battle of Tsushima Strait. The first time that a so called “coolie nation” defeated the white man on white man’s terms.

    Today you cannot use only military means but you use economic policy tools like a managed exchange rate to keep your currency weak to keep exports competitive. After the Second world war Gen. MacArthur then ordered land reform to break the monopoly hold of the feudal lords over land.

    The Americans do not mind if the Japanese do it (keep their currency weak) but since they are considered allies and provide the largest investment in U.S. treasury issues to keep U.S. interest rates down.

    However the Chinese are another matter.

    ” Omi yesterday said he plans frank discussions on currencies here in Coolum, Australia. Now, let’s be serious: if there’s anything Japan doesn’t want, it’s intense assessment of a foreign exchange trend in which wealthy, developed Japan gets a pass on its undervalued currency, while poor, developing China gets beaten up over a weak yuan.”

    “Japan hasn’t intervened in currency markets in more than three years, some might argue. After taking a page from the Mafia playbook Japan hasn’t needed to, I’d reply.”


    “Every now and then, the mob rubs out a few people very publicly as a message: “Don’t mess with us.”

    “In the 15 months through March 2004, Japan spent the equivalent of Indonesia’s annual gross domestic product to drive the yen down against the dollar. Not unlike a gangster, the Ministry of Finance was warning speculators not to test it.”

    “And it worked brilliantly. Markets are so traumatized that George Soros on his gutsiest day wouldn’t dream of trying to push the yen higher. He may have made $1 billion off the British pound in the early 1990s and profited from Malaysia’s ringgit in 1997, yet financiers like Soros know better than to try Japan.” William Pesek, Bloomberg


    Like Mr. Antonio Abaya said in his previous writings, there is more to economics than what is taught in the Balic-Balic School of Economics.

  15. Bencard,

    Pasiensya ka na. Ang sarap babuyin kasi ang idol mo.

    Papaano naman, kung hindi pangungurakot o paglalapastangan ng karapatan pangtao eh ratsada naman sa katangahan.

    Akalain mo buong paniniwala niya na yung emergency powers ay magdadala ng ulan!

    Wala ng ulan kasi tuyo na ang luha ng langit sa kaiiyak dahil sa mga kabulastugan ng idolo mo.

    Sinubukan na ng langit ang lahat ng paraan para alisin yan nunal sa mukha ng bayan. Malakas na bagyo, sumasabog na bulkan, landslide, mga lindol at kung ano-ano pang mga virus at sakit na dala ng lamok, pero kapit tuko pa din.

    Kaya ngayon susubukan ng langit ang tagtuyo. Sana naman ay hindi na kailangan pasundan pa ito ng locust.

    Pucha kung yan pa ang mangyari, eh lilipat na ako sa tirahan mo…sa pwet ni Malamole.

  16. Water:

    Since rainy seasons in the Visayas and Luzon are seprated by a couple of months, this mini-drought should be used to re-open the debate of distributing businesses outside of Manila.

    Such a debate may all be in vain considering how fatalistic Filipinos are – and weather pa pinaguusapan -but I just wonder.

  17. “now the ‘club’ finds a new subject to ridicule the president”

    Bencard, talaga naman kasing ridiculous yang presidente mo. People can’t help ridicule her.

    Buti ka pa nakatakas ka kay Marcos. Ngayon, gusto mo kaming magdusa sa ilalim ni Gloria na mas masahol pa kay Marcos.

  18. Bwa Ha ha ha ha. Bingo, Bencard!

    Kanina ko pa sana gustong mag comment to break the “monotone”. But I decided to wait for you. And its worth the wait! Ah ha ha ha

  19. Re: Water and/or the Lack of it!

    Why a country often visited by a hoard of typhoons and
    surrounded by bodies of water,… still would be lacking for water is something for the books! I can understand Afghanistan to suffer or the northern part of China…but in Pinas?

    Dalawa lang yan, eh:
    Niloloko nila tayo…0 niloloko nila talaga tayo!
    Take your pick!

  20. seriously, I like the column of Manolo. I feel the lawyere of Trillanes has a found a good precedent. And its not Jalosjos. Im sure nabuhayan ang loob ang mga loyal fans ni Trillanes..

    But I dont like part on Zubiri, para kasi biglang siningit na lang para to again promote ill well. What does Zubiri got to do with the Trillanes case. He shoudl jsut stick to teh subject which is triallnes Judicial limbo.

    And if you want to criticize the other senators, please there are as much to criticize on the opposition senators, like the break away group of villar, ( chiz Alan peter, jinggoy ) na nagpapagulo sa senate.

    Sobrang bias talaga si Manolo. And that dont speak well for an opinion writer.

  21. Mali yata yung link kay Alex Magno, it goes to Philstar editoria.

    On the other hand, I dont see anything wrong with what Geronimo Sy has written that Manolo has to make fun of it. He was actually suggesting a positive thing to do that I believe is an effective way to deal with the remaining years of Gloria.

  22. I also dont feel good about the Marcos alliance. But I m dying to hear what Bongbong got to say.

  23. i actually saw the article on bahay kubo and was quite impressed… until i saw the name of the author at the end. it was then, i think, that i decided to look for the original site where the article first appeared.

  24. no rego, mlq3 was not trying to make fun of sy. in fact he commends sy, and urges she-who-shall-not-be-named to do the same. a cracker from the quacker. hindi, hindi, that’s not making fun him. because if mlq3 had done so, he could have said sy wrote a very sophomoric high school essay; that he was being epynomously true to himself: sypsyp–which kinda remind me of what you do to bencard at times; that his grammar is–you get the drift.

    drat, somebody pull out mlq off my throat. i was just trying to make sypsyp, but i think i may have ended swallowing him whole.

  25. “Sobrang bias talaga si Manolo. And that dont speak well for an opinion writer.”

    Pls, Manolo. Bigyan mo daw equal coverage yung iba pa.

    What I think Manolo will say: hinay-hinay lang po. mahina ang kalaban. kapiranggot lang ang space ng column ko at ilang senador ba sila?

    And I think Sy should get a cracker. Quack, quack.

    “She is not primus inter pares for she is not even one of the flock.”

    Ah. there lies the problem. there’s a gander among the ducks. no wonder this gander is so out of touch with the ducks. she’s not even one of the flock! (therefore, a cracker for Sy)

    “It is now more than ever in the homestretch of her nine years to choose to build and leave a legacy.”

    uh. couldn’t she have chosen to start it a lil earlier? like maybe, six years ago!

    “She is in maximum control…when she clearly sees who is friend and foe. ”


    “We citizens will take sides, her side, when the line is drawn between those who work for the common man and those who work for themselves.”

    Sy: note to self. replace citizens w/sycophants. remind self Madam’s and our side is for those who work for themselves.

  26. “Sobrang bias talaga si Manolo. And that dont speak well for an opinion writer.”

    A good opinion writer kicks ass and kisses ass in equal portions.

    Yan ba ang ideal mo, rego?

  27. see what i mean rego? they blame our poor president for the drought, earthquakes, monsoons, oil-spills, gas prices, high temperatures, as though she is more powerful than mother nature herself. yet, these whiners would deny PGMA the ability to exercise emergency measures to ration whatever water is still available so everyone stay alive, not only those, like manolo, who can afford a lifetime supply of perrier bottled water
    courtesy of anna de france (or whatever name she calls herself now).

    inidoro, i think you are clogged. but don’t use the water. just call buencamino, he’ll devour it in a jiffy.

  28. Bencard,

    “inidoro, i think you are clogged. but don’t use the water. just call buencamino, he’ll devour it in a jiffy.”

    Even if I wanted to I can’t… because you refuse to remove your pointed headout of Gloria’s ass.

    And now you want Rego to jump the queu.

  29. medyo sablay ka yata diyan, buencamino, ha? tinawagan ka ba ni inidoro? siya ang nangangailangan ng tulong mo, eh – hindi yong tinu-tukoy mo. huwag ka nang mag-pakipot, alam ko gutom na gutom ka na. lol.

  30. jump the queue, mb? no rego is already stuck behind ben’s, like a remora.

  31. I love all the friendly banters here, lotsa love going around, tee-hee. Plus lotsa anal-fixation too, hihihi.

  32. Dear Manolo,

    of course, the honor is mine.
    just let me know when. Aug. 19
    is a big holiday in Quezon.

    looking forward to see you in
    Lucena. Thanks….

  33. In a distant corner of the webworld; there exists a small forum.

    Sometime in 2004, a small group of forumers (who are in no way attached to any government position) in that forum got together to engage in “light conversation” about what can be done to help alleviate certain problems of the country.

    The following are some excerpts from that “light conversation”.

    Having been stated in 2004, some of this are no longer applicable but may be source to what doesn’t work.

    The current problem is with water but I guess its best to repeat most issues considered.

    “It cannot be helped but almost everyone operates with a “tombstone policy”. That people have to suffer and even die before something is done.”

    “…we are losing our forest cover. Our flora and fauna are endangered by illegal loggers. Even the La Mesa dam watershed area that provides drinking water to a sizable part of the National Metropolis has been overrun by squatters. They have not only taken public lands for their own but have even put up their own animal farms like piggeries. I know we need food but that could be a grave source for contamination.

    Part of the training of our soldiers take place in military camps like Fort Magsaysay. We seem to have a lot of military men in our forum. Could it be feasible to spread part of the training of our soldiers in our endangered forests so they will be close to nature and even serve as their guardians? Of course, they’ll be carrying real guns (or their trainers will be) just in case they do encounter illegal loggers. What do you think?”


    I’m dividng them as they would be too long in one post and most likely edit some points as I read them along before posting.

  34. Continuing, again this was way back in 2004.

    Ponder on this.

    That sometimes it takes longer to line up in a fast-food joint ordering your meal than it takes for the paper wrapper to hold your burger.

    Jollibee, MacDonald, Wendy’s etc…. they serve your meals covered in paper wrappers, pastas, noodles in disposable Styrofoam’s, drinks in disposable cups even when you dine in. Very few of us even order items by themselves. Most prefer to eat value meals where fries are included. We eat our burgers while covered by wrappers. But how do we eat our fries? With our fingers! So we are expected to wash our hands anyway before eating so the wrappers can be dispensed with. Would it not therefore be practical to serve them in washable and reusable plastic plates, glasses, etc….? (And use the napkins given as holders or at least be served in those small square wrappers that are much smaller than the wrap around papers they currently use which would also cut down on the anmount of paper and plastic needed in the first place)

    Disposable wrappers and cups are essential for takeouts but shouldn’t they be limited to them? Would it be wise for the government to tax the use of these disposable wrappers to be paid for by the end consumer? Some fast-food joints already charge extra for takeouts because even if you dine in; the cover is not necessarily given so they charge extra for that. This would surely augment the income of the government which maybe further used to combat the garbage problem. Those that dine in but prefer to have their food and drinks served in disposable containers should pay extra also.

    Of course, the turnover time for service could increase and the prices could rise. But this is not exactly “masa” food. But the benefits could be numerous. One is that paper use would decrease necessitating lesser trees to be cut down. The process of using washable containers is also labor intensive. That means each outlet must increase their employees and given the number of fast-food franchises out there; that could translate to tens of thousands of jobs. Even if they use automatic dishwashers, this would raise their electric consumption.

    The PPA is derived from electricity that is supposed to be available but we don’t consume yet have to be paid for. Well, if somebody uses that electricity then everyone else doesn’t have to pay for it, do they?

    Some of you maybe concerned with the water consumption. As long as nature friendly soap and detergents are used; add some sunshine and that water is good as recycled and can be used again (when it eventually comes down again).

    Former MMDA chairman Binay and present chairman Fernando once championed composting to rid a sizable part of our garbage.

    Even before the sun sets (sometimes even as the sun begins to shine), our wet market places already have heaps of garbage lying about. And wet, decomposing garbage stinks like STINKING GARBAGE!!! Imagine garbage trucks hauling them off, transporting them to far away dumpsites and all the while the effluent drips (sometimes the garbage itself) to the road, stinking all the way. Would it not be feasible to order or legislate that composting be done at site or near the markets? Compost generated could also be sold for profit. Shouldn’t part of the Congressional pork barrel be used to construct composters in our wet markets?

    Ditto for our large malls. Where do they dump that mountain of trash they generate daily anyway?

    Ok that would have been water intensive so just take what seems applicable.

  35. Continuing, again way back in 2004.

    “Agriculture is the cornerstone of food sufficiency and security.

    The other side of the coin is trade. An agricultural country; trading to maintain it’s food supply. Utter insanity! And a further slap on us with the presence of IRRI in our shores (I understand that IRRI now holds office too in another Asian country).

    Industrialization might bring us money. But semi conductors, micro chips, such things can not be eaten. The law of supply and demand can also erode whatever gains in finances we can achieve (of what good would a salary increase be if cannot even offset a corresponding increase in basic necessities?). And with the subsidy given by other countries to their farmers, it will only be a matter of time before farming in our country goes belly up. Whatever basic needs our farmers require must be made available and abundant.

    During the last months, hardly any rain fell on the country. The DENR and the National Water Resources Board has already sent out the alarm that Angat dam that supplies areas in the Metropolis, Bulacan, and Pampanga is already below the “safe level” by almost 5 meters. This is certainly an ill omen for the approaching summer months. Water supply has already been reduced to MWSS and the National Irrigation Administration by 5%.

    Just a few months ago, the Batanes crop area was devastated. The absence of rain tolled heavily on the crops and just when storms appeared on the horizons to bring much needed fresh water; it veered away and instead it’s winds brought salty sea mist on the area which further decimated what was left.

    Our forebears were ingenious people. To maximize land area for farming; they decided to carve mountain sides into steps of plains. Now the Banaue rice terraces have decayed into a state of disrepair.

    Technology in agriculture has advanced by leaps and bounds. We can now grow crops resistant to many pests and diseases. Through the use of optical fibers; sunlight can now penetrate the inner crevices and crannies of buildings and underground structures. We can even grow plants without soil.

    But we can hardly do without water!

    Water, water, everywhere and not a drop to drink. It is a tragedy that we even have to contend with limitations of a resource that surrounds our country.

    But technology (Desalination) to unchain us from such limitations has been around for a while. The Negev dessert has been conquered already. Areas in Africa with no access to freshwater have been able to grow their own plants. There was even a movie by Paulie Shore where as a soldier he was detailed in the desalination team.

    There was a time when the process involved lots and lots of energy that only countries that had severe water shortages and which had oodles of money to spend ventured in desalination. But technology has progressed again and it is now possible to use an inexhaustible source of energy (at least in our lifetime). Summer will bring a steady and extended stream of sunshine.

    Corregidor even contained an underground cistern and a framework of aqueducts to protect it’s water supply from evaporating under the same recycling power of the sun so it is possible to conserve whatever water can be generated by such desalination.

    By making our coastal areas self sufficient for their water (even for at least their agricultural needs) the primary water resources can be allocated for the landlocked ones.

    We require more water during the summer months (not to mention firefighting needs). There can be no food security without water sufficiency!”

    “Ground water can be pumped up but not all sites have groundwater. Besides, there is a lot of alarm raised on use of groundwater in that too much removal of it contributes to the gradual sinking of the land.”

    “Solar desalination as used in Botswana provided about 8 liters per still in the summer, enough drinking water for a family of four. It provided even 2 liters during colder times there (both a far cry from the usual household use of 1 cubic meter/day but much of that is not used for drinking.). The price listed per still including labor and transport was at 639.41 Botswana Pulas and at 4.50 Pulas to the Dollar, that’s about 8 thousand Pesos. Let’s put it at 15 thousand Pesos (of course, we can’t put this up everywhere. Probably in some small communities) to take inflation into account since the project finished. Materials might even be cheaper here and if NGO or the army puts it up then it’d be cheaper. The byproduct of salt might even be sold. This could also be used in our faraway islands where other sources of water are not readily available.”

    The old link to the Botswana desalination plan is no longer functional but one can still read up on it at the
    International Development and Research Centre. Just search for “desalination” and “Botswana”. The details are no longer as extensive as it once was when it had numerous pictures when it now only has a diagram of the “still”. The price of putting up one though has gone way way up!

    BTW, Cebu city has a desalination plant now if I’m not mistaken.

  36. Darn, forgot this one.

    Amazing but the link still works.

    Read SOYBEAN ENZYME MAY PROVIDE CRYSTAL CLEAR SOLUTION TO POLLUTED WATERS at http://www.biotech.iastate.edu/publication…march_9_00.html –

    And in one of those Japanese Video topics (April or May, 2003); a feature already showed that the Japanese already use a soybean extract called “Natto” for purification of water. It was shown in one of those government controlled channels.

    (Makes you wonder if government people watch what they show to everyone else.)

    I don’t know what it would cost but I haven’t heard or read of the government trying to import the technology yet to produce our own “natto”. If it should prove economically viable, we might even be able to use it in the Pasig river!!!

  37. ang tindi ng ipinost mo JL. i too always wondered why our line of presidents keep pushing for industrialization when it is very clear our nation is an agricultural and a fishing nation. we have the most impt resources a human being needs and we are not developing it. meanwhile the Chinese keeps poaching off our shores. buti pa sila, nare realize nila ang pera dito. food is even more impt than oil.
    and mining. tsk. it is a great mistake of this govt to develop mining…

  38. Just viewed a japanese website that once reported about the “Natto” as a water purifier.

    Professor Akira Kojima of Gunma National College of Technology advocate using carbon fiber for purifying water.

  39. Devilsadvc8,


    But those articles are actually quite old since it was posted in 2004. Some points might not hold anymore though I still believe that we should foremost be able to feed ourselves so food security is always vital.

    Anyway, just to clarify things on that cistern in Corregidor; it is now the relic there that was once used by the Americans to supply themselves during the war.

    And also, I was reminded once of that incident in Pagsanjan falls where they had to let water off as rains were filling up a dam of some kind. It caused a lot of deaths then as those below weren’t properly warned.

    I’m wondering if there is a way to feed our undergound water directly (instead of opening the dams and letting it flow away and causing floods) with some of the reserved water during the rainy season as a sort of buffer or to maintain the water table so the country don’t sink with all the water that is being extracted from the ground with our “poso”. But I really have little idea if this is even possible.

  40. Ooooppss,

    The last paragraph should read:

    I’m wondering if there is a way to feed our undergound water directly with some of the reserved water during the rainy season (instead of opening the dams and letting it flow away and causing floods) as a sort of buffer or to maintain the water table so the country don’t sink with all the water that is being extracted from the ground with our “poso”. But I really have little idea if this is even possible.

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