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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, July 7, 2016
Benitez bill seeks scrutiny
of power supply contracts

Rep. Alfredo “Albee” Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3 rd District) has filed a bill seeking to put power supply contracts under closer scrutiny, which is expected to decrease electricity rates.

House Bill No. 84 will require the Energy Regulatory Commission to conduct a transparent bidding process for power supply, amending Section 45, B of Republic Act No. 9136, or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001.

The bill mandates ERC to conduct transparent and competitive selection process in power supply contracts between distribution utilities and generation companies.

‘Roxol waste not hazardous'

Roxol Bioenergy Corp. clarified yesterday that the toxic waste reportedly seized Tuesday in Hinigaran town was not hazardous but was used as fertilizer for sugarcane and other crops.

Angelito Colmenares, Roxol proprietor, said the seized matter were actually the spent wash from molasses, and was intended to be used as fertilizer for the company-owned sugarcane field in Brgy. Tuguis, Hinigaran.

What the town government and the police should have done before releasing a statement was to investigate whether the substance was, in fact, toxic, Colmenares said.

Foreign tourist arrivals up

A total of 2.51 million foreign tourists visited the Philippines in the first five months of the year, up 13.02 percent from 2.22 million arrivals during the same period in 2015, data from the Department of Tourism show.

In May 2016 alone, foreign tourists reached a total of 445,449, posting a 7.61 percent increase against the 413,937 visitor count in the same period last year.

Korean remained the top market with 576,332 visitors making up 22.88 percent of the total arrivals followed by the US with 377,595 visitors (a share of 15 percent) and China with 285,348 visitors (a share of 11.33 percent).

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