National Press Club’s pride

October 30, 2018

THE other night  was the celebration of the National Press Club’s (NPC) anniversary. Meeting up with Police Files publisher Joey Venancio there, I noticed there were lots of policemen to secure the area.

After a chat with Venancio, I left the NPC compound with the assumption that top government officials would be gracing the event.

But while driving, I realized NPC has its own sons who are now executives in the Duterte administration namely Undersecretaries Joel Egco from the Presidential Communicatuons Group and Benny Antiporda from the Environment Department, among others.

Egco has been relentlessly pursuing cases on media killings. He is admired by colleagues in the industry for promoting the welfare of journalists.

On the other hand, Antiporda is fast becoming a name in environment protection through his efforts in the rehabilitation of Boracay.

Just the other day, Antiporda dealt with ‘polluting’ steel makers, saying the DENR is pursuing cases against the companies for using equipment that are harmful to the environment.

Both Egco and Antiporda truly serve as inspiration to journalists who aspire to make bigger achievements for the people and our country.

By the way, Venancio is trying his luck in Romblon politics by running for mayor of one locality in the province.

Joining the party of very popular Romblon Governor Lolong Firmalo, Venancio filed his certificate of candidacy due to public demand.

Venancio is a reformist and will serve the interest of Romblomanons very well.

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Several groups are not giving any chances for an energy contract to be approved by the government even though a project related to it has been endorsed by the chief of the Energy department.

They believe Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi’s endorsement of the 1,200 MW Atimonan One coal-fired power plant in Quezon as an energy project of national significance (EPNS) is a ruse to shoehorn regulatory approval of the controversial and hotly-contested supply contract between Atimonan and Meralco, one of seven such contracts pending approval but under litigation in various courts.

Atimonan One is 100% owned by Meralco thru its fully-owned subsidiary, Meralco PowerGen.

Romeo ‘Butch’ Junia, an intervenor in ERC Case 2016-092 application for the approval of the power supply agreement (PSA) between Atimonan One Energy and Meralco, said this contract is about a third of the 3,551 MW of coal-fired plants contracted by Meralco in April 2016.

At the outset, Junia said, these contracts got mired in controversy as they were entered into without any public bidding or the competitive selection process (CSP).

This should serve as a red flag for our decision-makers.

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