Gingoog to get hydro power
FROM THE STANDS - Domini M. Torrevillas (The Philippine Star) - May 14, 2019 - 12:00am

I wrote today’s column yesterday, while the voting was still going on in the precincts. At this time – barring natural and man-made kinks – a good percentage of winners in the race for elective national and local posts is probably already known.

In light of the importance of the Odiongan Hydro Electric Power project to Gingoog City, its people, as well as its surrounding communities and municipalities in Misamis Oriental, its construction and operation had been promised as a priority by the city executives during the past 30 years or so, especially during election periods. However, there was no positive result due to political bickerings.

It was only a couple of weeks ago that the Department of Energy gave the greenlight or clearance to the Oriental Energy and Power Generation Corp. (OEPGC) to start undertaking studies and putting up structures to get the three cascades working to provide electric power to the city and the adjoining cities and municipalities.

This piece of good news came from Saeed Daof, my husband, who is the adviser/attorney-in-fact of the Oriental Energy and Power Generation Corp.based on a letter from the DOE Secretary to the OEPGC management.

It will be remembered that the Gingoog City council on Sept. 16, 2015 passed Sangguniang Panglungsod Resolution No. 2015-292 “supporting and endorsing without interposing any objection to the proposal of the Oriental Energy and Power Generation Corp. to develop and operate the upper, middle and lower cascades of Odiongan River hydro-electric power project in generating electricity based on a Service Contract between Oriental Energy and Power Generation Corp. and the Department of Energy of the Philippines.”

 The vote was unanimous, with then Vice-Mayor Erick Caniosa serving as presiding officer and City Councilor and former  city mayor Miguel Paderanga as movant. At that time, the mayor was Marie de Lara Guingona. 

But as I have observed, no positive result took place in the past several decades because of political bickerings.

Let us hope now that the people of Gingoog will be vigilant in reminding leaders of different political persuasions  to unite and pursue commonality of purpose to see the completion of the Odiongan Hydro Electricity Project as early as possible. 

For the information of Gingoognons, the Odiongan river resources are owned by the state, not by the city where the waterfalls are located. 

Whoever wins the mayoral post in yesterday’s election will be proud and happy to be cooperating in the state-approved private effort to develop the Odiongan electric power project. What once was merely a promise of politicians, is now going to finally happen. Congratulations, Gingoognons.

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During the joint celebration of the 72nd anniversary of Philippine Red Cross and the World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, PRC recognized its partners for their contribution to the organization’s services. PRC president and CEO Richard Gordon honored individuals who gave much of their time and resources to PRC.

The Silver Humanitarian Service Cross Award was given to Chinese General Hospital president and PRC governor James Dy for consistently supporting the organization’s programs on various occasions. During the measles outbreak when Metro Manila hospitals were badly in need of space for patient care, PRC set up field medical units using beds and mattresses donated by governor James Dy.

The Aurora Aragon Quezon Medal Award, named after the first chair of PRC, first lady Aurora Aragon Quezon, was awarded to former president Fidel V. Ramos; Michael Chen, executive director and chief executive officer of the Minavida de Mindanao Corp., Clement Yang, president and chief executive officer of Medtecs International Corp. Ltd., and Vicente Cuevas III, president of CAMJ Construction Inc.

President Ramos was given recognition for actively promoting voluntary blood donation including his own regular donation. Through his pronouncements, he helped ensure adequate blood supply in the country. Cheng and Cuevas provided aircraft services to enable PRC to deliver timely services during disasters and emergencies, while Yang provided linen for the organization’s measles crisis operations as well as body bags which made management of the remains of those who perished in the aftermath of Yolanda more humane.

“No person was ever honored for what he received, but for what he gives,” said Dy, quoting Calvin Coolidge as he shared his experience and inspiration in doing humanitarian work for PRC. “I would like to thank Gordon for bringing me here to PRC. Thank you for your trust.”

During the occasion, PRC also recognized over 400 staff members and officers who have served the organization for five to 42 years.

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The Philippine Montessori Center Instrumental Ensemble (PMCIE), a unique percussion ensemble made up of musically inclined preschool children, will star in a gala performance at the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York City on May 31.

PMCIE takes the Filipino musical ambassadors on  a unique journey titled “Pinoys to the World: A Celebration of Filipino Musical Artistry.” This consists of concerts that started in the Philippines in February this year. Pinoys to the World will culminate in a series of performances in New York City, including a gala concert at the world-famous Carnegie Hall, the same venue known to host music legends – from Judy Garland, to Frank Sinatra and The Beatles – since 1891.

Since its inception in 1988, the PMCIE has proudly performed on both local and international stage. They have impressed audiences in prominent venues like the Philippine International Convention Center, the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Meralco Theater and Malacañang Palace in the Philippines, and Lincoln Center, Merkin Concert Hall, and Queens Theatre in the Park in New York.

With 17 members below 7 years old, the PMCIE is one of the youngest – if not the youngest – percussion ensembles in the world. Their impressive repertoire includes classical, cultural and Broadway pieces played on unconventional instruments, like the marimba, xylophone, glockenspiel, timpani and angklung.

The Philippine Montessori Center, a Quezon City-based preschool, formed the PMCIE in 1988 with its belief that music plays a critical role in support of the overall development of every child.

“Not only does music give students, with both the talent and interest, an incredible opportunity to hone their artistic skills, but being part of such an orchestra instills in them an inner discipline and strengthens their character at such a young age,” said Iluminada Woellhaf, founder of PMC.

The PMCIE will be accompanied by The Nightingales, a duo of former soprano soloists of the renowned Philippine Madrigal Singers.

A send off concert before the group flew off to the US was held at the Meralco Theater on May 3.

“Pinoys to the World: A Celebration of Filipino Musical Artistry” is made possible in cooperation with its major sponsors Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc., Jollibee Foods Corp., Land Cris Somerset Development Corp., People’s General Insurance, PhilEquity Management Inc., Quantum Plus, Security Bank, Shakey’s and the generous support of many other donors.

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