Farewell, PNoy

OPINION
By IGNACIO BUNYE
June 28, 2021

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PNoy passed away last Thursday  at the age of 61. Like any man and like any President, he had his share of flaws. But I wish  to remember him for his better qualities. He was humble, dignified, straightforward in manner and speech, and most important for me as a Filipino, he defended our patrimony.
    
I first met him when he was still a presidential son. Not yet thirty at that time, (he still had thick hair), PNoy  became  an instant crush of high school students in Muntinlupa where he attended the finals of the Ninoy Aquino oratorical contest. Since assuming office in 1986 as Muntinlupa mayor up to the time I left in 1998, I tried to institutionalize an annual oratorical contest (around August 21) to honor his late father. 
    
Later, hearing about PNoy’s fancy for guns, I invited him to try our newly opened gun range at the Alabang stock farm. He did not disappoint  as he consistently drilled holes at the center of  paper targets and dropped metal plates from varying distances and shooting positions. 
    
I really get irritated whenever a convoy of a dignitary, with sirens blazing, jumps the line especially during heavy traffic. If they do not want to be late for their appointments, why don't they just leave home early, like the rest of us, to avoid the traffic. Perhaps fully aware of the sensitivities of the ordinary motorists, PNoy shunned the use of “wang wang”. I was driving at normal speed  towards Silang, Cavite  one weekend when I noticed flashing lights at my rear view mirror. I slowed down a bit to allow the convoy to  overtake me but it did not.  When I turned left to  a side road, the convoy followed.  As soon as I parked my car,  I noticed PNoy alight from his presidential vehicle. On the invitation of then BSP Governor Amando Tetangco, Jr., PNoy had come to try out the newly constructed BSP gun range where,  a la  American sniper Chris Kyle, he easily downed round metal targets at 200 meters with his scope-mounted rifle. 
    
Good voyage to the home of our Heavenly Father, PNoy. Please say “hi” to your Mom and Dad for us. 

Do not ever let your guard down
    
I received sad news from a family friend that his brother-in-law recently died of Covid. The deceased and his bereaved wife had been very careful and had stayed home since the quarantine started in March 2020. It is surmised that his brother-in-law was infected through food deliveries. 
    
Meanwhile, an office mate reported one family who tested positive even after receiving their first dose of Aztra Zeneca. Fortunately, their symptoms were very mild.
    
There has been quite a confusion arising from conflicting statements  on the use of face shields. So, just play it  safe. Always have your face shields ready. 
    
Tez Navarro, Muntinlupa City’s PIO, gave this update on the vaccination in Muntinlupa City to date:  Total vaccinated: 147,989.  Vaccinated with First Dose: 119,560.   Vaccinated with Second Dose: 28,429.  224,574 have signed up for Muntinlupa’s vaccination program, representing 58 percent of the target population.
 
Good news at the energy front
    
Just when we start hearing about an  impending power shortage in Luzon, this  news coming from AC Energy is indeed welcome.
    
AC Energy’s 120-megawatt Gigasol Alaminos in Laguna, one of the country’s largest solar farms, is now operational and has started exporting renewable energy to the grid. Earlier in April, the company operationalized its 63 MW GigaSol Palauig in Zambales. 
    
More good news. According to AC President and CEO Eric Francia, the company is expected to start the operations of the 150 MW Ingrid Power quick response thermal plant in Pililla, Rizal in the next few weeks.  Francia added that  the company has  another 276 MW of renewables capacity under construction in the Philippines, with plans to double the capacity before the end of the year.
    
A 120-megawatt facility like Gigasol Alaminos can power approximately 80,000 homes while avoiding more than 100,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent of greenhouse gases. Gigasol Alaminos is notable for its pioneering Sustainability Hub. 32,000 kilograms of plastic waste were recycled into eco-bricks which were used in building the plant’s facilities. The site also features a tree nursery. It is surrounded by Ayala Land’s Carbon Forest, a woodland reserve that acts as a carbon trap and fosters biodiversity.
    
In various stages of completion are the following renewable energy projects of AC Energy: 
    
1) 4 megawatt Bataaan RE Tech Hub 2) 40 MW Alaminos Battery Storage in Laguna 3) the 72 megawatt Arayat-Mexico solar plant in Pampanga and 4) the 160 megawatt GigaWind in Ilocos Norte.
    
Located in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, the 160 MW GigaWind Pagudpud wind farm is set to be the biggest wind farm in the Philippines to date. The ₱11.4 billion facility will be  the third wind development of AC Energy in Ilocos Norte. The project’s target completion is slated for Q4 2022, in time for full year operations in 2023, when supply in the Luzon energy market is expected to be tight.
    
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