Protest vs BNPP evokes EDSA scenes

Evoking scenes from the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution, residents of Bataan and neighboring provinces clutched rosaries, carried images of the Virgin Mary and prayed as they marched here Monday in protest of a plan to reopen the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) located in this city. Meeting in front of St. Joseph Cathedral, nuns, tribal folk, environmental groups, students and parish leaders joined the protest in response to a call from Balanga Bishop Socrates Villegas to block a bill reviving the facility built during the administration of the late President Ferdinand Marcos but later mothballed because of safety concerns and corruption issues.

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Hundreds of dolphins invade Bataan shores

MANILA, Philippines – Three of the more than 300 melon-headed dolphins that “invaded” the waters off Pilar town in Bataan early yesterday have drowned. Locals believe they were trapped in fishing nets near the coast.

Dr. Mundita Lim, director of the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), said veterinarians from the Ocean Adventure in Subic Freeport and the bureau conducted an initial necropsy on the remains of the three animals.

The doctors determined that the marine mammals might have drowned after failing to extricate themselves from the fishing nets or baklad. [Read full article...]

ERC approves Napocor rate hike for Luzon grid

Luzon-based customers of the National Power Corp. (Napocor) will have to pay 19.78 centavos per kilowatt-hour (kwh) more in the coming months.

The rate hike came after the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) provisionally approved the power firm’s 12th generation rate adjustment mechanism (GRAM) and 11th incremental currency exchange rate adjustment (ICERA).

ERC said that based on the joint application of Napocor and the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) covering July to September 2008, the rate hike was supposed to be 72.84 centavos per kwh. The net impact on customers, however, is only 19.78 centavos per kwh because of refunds in the previous months.

Variable cost adjustments such as GRAM and ICERA allow the Napocor to recover from or refund to its customers any increase or decrease in its fuel and purchased power cost and foreign currency exchange-rate related costs.

The latest adjustment takes effect for 23 months from the Dec. 26, 2008-Jan. 25, 2009 billing period.

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