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Biz Buzz: License to trade

/ 07:15 AM March 04, 2015

Noting repeated breaches by participants in the Wholesale Energy Spot Market (WESM), energy authorities want to require training for energy traders.

“We’ve had the market for a long time now but there are still many traders who are ignorant,” Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said. “Last year there was negative pricing in the Visayas because traders oversupplied the market and then complained when prices crashed. They should have known that. It’s clear they don’t know the market.”

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Petilla said he was pushing for a kind of accreditation system for WESM traders, requiring them to undergo training through a formal academy with yearly course training.

Short of calling it a WESM license, the DOE is pushing for accreditation.

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“Those who don’t have WESM accreditation cannot trade—you cannot buy, you cannot sell,” Petilla said. “This should have been done a long time ago.”–Riza T. Olchondra

Got gum?

Remember all those reported gas explosions in recent years? There seems to be a similar danger that looms over an area in Batangas province but at a much larger scale, and authorities are apparently trying to prevent that through talks with a real estate developer.

Our source said a subdivision was in the works in an area located right on top of a segment of the Malampaya gas pipeline leading to the 1,000-megawatt (MW) Sta. Rita and 500-MW San Lorenzo gas-fired facilities.
Apparently, the Malampaya consortium has road right-of-way along the route of its pipeline but the developer was able to build houses in a segment of the route, for reasons still unknown or at least undisclosed.

Imagine if the pipeline is breached or compromised, what kind of gas cloud or pressure build-up could be just a spark and a tap away from a catastrophic “Boom!”

That kind of breach is not something you can patch up with a chewing gum, our source said.

Talks are apparently ongoing among the real estate developer and other parties to address the matter. How this situation can be patched up besides moving the subdivision—and by extension, placing its future residents out of harm’s way—remains to be seen.–Riza T. Olchondra

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Chilling Salceda

After turning red-hot over Chinoy actor Xian Lim’s rejection of Albay’s souvenir items, equities guru-turned-politician Joey Salceda has more reason to chill these days.

Apart from finding a new peg “I am here to promote Albay” to market the province and getting an apology from Xian, the Albay governor is happy to have San Miguel Pure Foods’ iconic dairy brand Magnolia bring the province to national consciousness through an upcoming collection of novelty ice cream.

Salceda recently announced through microblogging site Twitter that SMC’s Magnolia would “market Albay’s sili (hot pepper) ice cream with Batangas chocolate (tsokolate eh).” Based on a sample label tweeted by Salceda for this Albay Sili con Batangas chocolate ice cream product, Mayon Volcano—whose perfect cone has become the quintessential imagine of Albay province—appears in the backdrop.

We heard that this is part of Magnolia’s upcoming “Best of the Philippines (BOTP)” flavor wherein the ice cream house has designed a mix of new products based on food specialties from selected provinces.

“Sili con tsokolate” ice cream, a celebration of the spicy cuisine that Bicolandia is known for and Batangas’ chocolate, was launched on March 1. Magnolia, of course, has been working on the new product line long before the Xian-Salceda controversy.

Apart from Sili Con Tsokolate, there are three other upcoming ice cream products promoting a provincial duo under the BOTP ice cream collection. From Guimaras and Davao, Magnolia will have “Mango and Mangosteen”; from Palawan and Dumaguete, “Cashew Sans Rival”, and from Benguet and Cebu, “Strawberry Red Velvet Otap.”

By coming up with an ice cream collection that features the best of the Philippines, the intention was to promote the best that our country has to offer, SMC Pure Foods said in reply to our query.

“Aside from the integrated marketing campaign, we also have strong linkage with our LGU (local government unit) partners. We will support their advocacies and activities that will also promote these ingredients. We are calling this campaign: Goodness na Pinag-isa! Pinas-Saya! Pinas-Special!” the company added.

In the case of Albay, for instance, Salceda said the San Miguel group would also support the Daragang Magayon Festival of the province and likewise collaborate with its culinary festivals.–Doris Dumlao

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TAGS: Energy, ice cream, Joey Salceda, Magnolia, Malampaya, Tourism, Wesm
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